WE'VE MOVED!! You can now find us at Sunshine and Spoons!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Please Welcome Veruca Salt to the Family

Princess has been driving me BONKERS for the last 8 months or so. She used to be so sweet, obeyed really well, went right to sleep at night and naptimes. Not anymore!

Frankly, if I saw a child whining and throwing the types of fits that Princess constantly throws, I would wonder why the parents didn't discipline better. I really have to learn not to judge without knowing the whole story.  Princess has turned into one of those whiny, screaming, "Gimme NOW!" kids I always dreaded. And it's not because of lack of discipline. Lately, time-outs, removal of privileges, and spankings are all common occurrences at our house. I keep telling myself, "It's just a phase, it's just a phase, it's just a...Princess! For the 11th time today, stop pouring the milk carton out on the floor!!!"

I was venting about this to a friend the other day and she responded by asking me how much quality time I really spend one-on-one with Princess. I shrugged it off. I mean, I spend time with her every day, she's not in daycare and we're constantly together. But then I started thinking. I remember before Little Man was born and and I quit my job at the B&B to babysit four mornings a week. This meant that Princess was no longer at her cousin's house every day of the week while I worked and instead, was able to come with me when I babysat. I saw this as a wonderful change, she saw a change. Having spent so much time at Will's house ever since she was a tiny baby, the sudden change was devastating for her. She was pretty crabby and hard to manage for a while until she finally adjusted several months later.

Last May, just as Princess was getting used to my new job situation, I had Little Man. Who refused to eat, sleep or stop screaming for the first several months. He took up ALL of my time at first because he was so difficult, and I was unable to do much with Princess other than throw some food on the table at mealtimes. Not only was she not getting Mama's attention anymore, but she also had to listen to a screaming baby. Many times, she would either cover her ears, tell him to be quiet, or just run into her room and hide out in there.

Little Man finally started turning into an adorable happy baby around 3-4 months. Incidentally, this was when I also started my at-home online boutique which sucked up a lot of my time. While I still think this has been a good move for me and my family, it meant that I still didn't have much time for Princess. Now that I've got an inventory made up, I'm not as busy with that as I was before and I'm able to do more with Little Man. However, she isn't able to switch off her terrible behavior just because things are better. From now on, I plan to spend a little time each morning, while Little Man is napping, giving all my attention to Princess. Hopefully, after about a year of doing this, she will snap out of it and turn back into the sweet, loving child I had before.

Unsolicited Advice:
No matter what you have going on in your life, remember that your children will grow up quickly. Be sure to enjoy every stage (even the bad ones!) because it won't last long and soon they'll be moody teenagers who hate us.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Care To Dance?

Princess is having a ballerina birthday party for her 3rd birthday next month. Ballerina birthday supplies are surprisingly hard to come by so I'm searching Ebay and Etsy for decorations and making some myself.
Here's what I've got so far and what I'm planning to get:

Invitations from Ebay

Possibly ballerina silhouette cupcake toppers from Etsy seller Two Sugar Babies

Tutu Outfit
Made by Moi, of course! I'm almost finished with this. It includes a hairbow, tutu, matching tutu for her favorite doll, and applique shirt. Pics will be up on Facebook when it's done.
Here's a link to the album:

Ballerina Dress
Also made by Moi! I made one for Princess and one for her doll. I figured she probably won't want to wear a tutu for the whole party so now she has a backup outfit

Paper plates and plastic silverware
From a party store in colors that coordinate with the party theme

Ballerina Cake
Your basic bowl-shaped cake "skirt" with a barbie stuck in the top. Sounds tasty! Hope it turns out because I've never made one of these before.

Ballerina Garland
Designed and handcrafted by...Moi! Does anyone else think I'm putting too much work into a 3 year old's party?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I Told You So...

The plan for Christmas was to drive 6 hours on Christmas Eve to celebrate with relatives, then drive 6 hours back the day after Christmas. Except that we live in Minnesota where the record for the most snow in December has been surpassed this year and was added to on Christmas Eve. So we decided not to risk getting stuck somewhere with 2 small children and stay home instead. We missed spending time with family, but it sure was nice to be able to spend a quiet Christmas at home. Christmas morning, we did the stockings and gifts.  Little Man was thrilled with his toy puppy that barks and walks that Princess gave him (and that she keeps trying to take back since she loves it as much as he does). Princess got a dollhouse and accessories from Hubby and me. I had asked him before Christmas if he would help me put the dollhouse together so I could wrap it up. He told me to wrap it up in the box and we'd put it together on Christmas. Here's the conversation that took place Christmas morning after opening gifts:

Me: Didn't I tell you we should've put that dollhouse together a week ago?

Hubby: Part of the fun of (Stupid hinges!) Christmas is (These directions are worthless!) watching someone put your toys together (throws screwdriver in frustration)

Princess: I wanna play! Waaaaaa!

So yeah, next year we're assembling all toys in advance.
My kids have a very special tradition of either being sick or cranky on major holidays. Not being the kind of kids who break tradition, they were (thankfully) both healthy, but crabby.  Little Man wasn't too bad since he's easily distracted with a toy or pacifier, but Princess was....well, let's just say that if there was a Santa, he probably would've come over last night to take back all her toys.

Here's the loot. Keep in mind that these are just the gifts Hubby and I bestowed upon our little angels. This does not include gifts from friends, relatives, etc..

Big news that I'm very excited about since potty training turned out to be such a nightmare.  Princess is fully trained. I know I put that in the last post too, but yesterday (Merry Christmas!) we took the last step and let her sleep in her big girl "unners" instead of changing into a pull-up because it had been over a week since she had an accident, sleeping or awake. We're done!!!!! Just one in diapers! And this time around, I absolutely refuse to start potty training until he's good and ready. I don't care how much pressure I get from people, if they want him potty trained earlier, they can do it themselves.

Unsolicited Advice: I think this goes without saying, but assemble all toys before the Big Day. Oh, and it probably isn't a bad idea to remove all toys from their packaging so you don't have the traditional "I want it now!" tantrum.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Profound Thoughts....HA!

I had something very profound to write and then Princess decided to stand right next to me and throw a fit because I won't give her a potty treat until she actually goes potty. Profound thoughts go straight out the window when a child is throwing a tantrum near me. As you can guess, I don't have too many profound thoughts anymore.

Methinks Princess may be a bit spoiled. For her birthday I'm making her a tutu outfit which includes a tutu, applique shirt, hairbow, and matching tutu for "Mink Baby" (her favorite doll which just happens to have a pink outfit). I'm also making her a pillowcase dress and matching dress for Mink Baby. Everything will, of course, be ballet theme. She is my little Princess and my little ballerina. She loves anything frilly and girly and the pinker the better. At a garage sale last fall, I found a Disney dress that is pink with tulle for the skirt and sparkles. I held it up and asked Princess if she wanted me to get it for her. She responded by attempting to strip off her clothes right then and there so she could put it on. I managed to keep her clothes on her until we got home, but then she HAD to wear the dress. Since that time, the dress is either in the laundry basket or on Louise.

Hmmmm, I was going to insert a picture of Princess wearing the famous Princess dress here, but upon reviewing my photo records, I see that, despite how much she wears her dress, we have not taken one picture of it.

Anyways, I'm writing this blog about my children, but as of this second I am telling Princess to stop bugging me so I can finish writing. This kind of defeats the purpose. This is to help me appreciate my children more, but here I am neglecting one of them so I can write. Time to go!

Unsolicited Advice:
Now is the time of year when joy and goodwill toward men abound. It's also a good time to get back at your now-married-with-a-baby brother-in-law who gave your kids the most annoying toy in the world two years ago.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Too long

Has it really been 4 months since I last blogged? Seriously, I've been so busy I've barely had time to pee let alone, stop and write an entire blog post. I'm not kidding about peeing either. At least once a week, I'll go into the bathroom to brush Princess's teeth and realize that I haven't been in that room since before breakfast. Thankfully, this generally happens while I'm in the bathroom so there is a toilet very conveniently place, saving me from having to explain to my potty training 2 year old why Mommy just had an accident.

Speaking of a potty training 2 year old....she's potty trained!!! After 1 1/2 years of trying EVERYTHING, she decided last week that she was ready. And that was that. A very good friend of ours was around when Princess wet her pants and made sure Princess knew how disappointed she was in her. Apparently, that was all it took and I wish we'd tried that a year ago!

Ever since I got pregnant with Little Man, I've had an issue with my temper. More like I've had an issue with losing it. I've had very little patience with anyone. At first, I wrote this off to pregnancy hormones. Then I had the baby and was still frustrated with every little thing (The milk cap fell on the floor?!?! Someone must die!!!) so I wrote it off as new baby hormones which we all know can be pretty wicked. Then I stopped nursing, baby stopped screaming 21/7, and things got much easier. And I was still seeing red. Being home with me all day, poor Princess bore the brunt of my temper, although Hubby got more than his fair share as well. He'd walk in the door at the end of the day and I would realize that here was someone I could yell at without worrying about paying therapy bills in 13 years. Recently, I sat myself down and had a talk with myself (should I be worried about this?) about how I needed to get myself under control. As I sat there, lecturing myself and getting angry with myself for lecturing myself, I realize that it had been several months since I'd opened my Bible outside of church. Hmmmm.... Now I'm back in the Word everyday and things have gotten better. Why do I always let things get so bad before I turn to Jesus and give everything over to him?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My New Boutique

I'm so excited! With the help of my sister, I recently started on online baby boutique, Annalie's Baby Boutique. It's been up for less than three weeks now and we've had a good response to it. I've been having so much fun designing and making baby and boutique things. Hubby has been having fun watching my supplies take over the living room and our credit card balance hit alarmingly high levels. You gotta spend money to make money, right? :) Because the boutique is online, I've been spending a lot of time on the computer promoting the business and updating the store. Hubby has begun to drop hints about our energy usage around here and asked me the other night if I was ever going to come sit by him on the couch instead of sitting with my new boyfriend, Mr. Acer Computer. I told him that Mr. Computer is always there when I need him (except for when the wireless goes out) and loves to take me shopping so... The housework has also been a victim of the boutique. Dear Hubby made the mistake of informing me that just because I have a "little hobby", it did not give me the right to neglect my real job. The next day, I persuaded (with a little threatening speech) my younger sister to help me turn my city dump back into a pleasant dwelling and let Hubby know how I really feel about him choosing The Farm over his Honey-Do list at home. That evening, he promised (of his own free will) to help out more around the house.

Anyways, gotta go try out my new sewing machine. The one I was using was over 30 years old and decided to retire last Wednesday so I went shopping again today. ("Do you take a visa card that's dangerously close to it's spending limit?")

Unsolicited Advice:
Check out my boutique. No, really. Do it. And tell your friends.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Bouncing Baby Boy

I love Little Man. He smiles easily and has started laughing although I'm not sure if he's laughing because he's happy or if he's laughing at me.

Little Man is also pretty challenging. The only way to get him to sleep is to swaddle him tightly, give him a pacifier, throw a blanket over his face, and bounce him. I have an exercise ball that I spend several hours a day on...not exercising, but bouncing Little Man, who is quite literally my bouncing baby boy. If I forget to cover Little Man's face with a blanket while trying to convince him that he needs at least one nap during the day, he simply will not close his eyes. My theory is that he never has actually fallen asleep, but simply passes out from lack of oxygen due to having his face covered. Don't worry though. When he falls asleep, I pull the blanket off his face so he can revive himself within 11 minutes and then proceed to scream for the next two hours because he's so tired.

Little Man may view falling asleep as tantamount to having his fingernails pulled out one by one, and he may have issues with taking a nap that's longer than 17 minutes at at time, but he does sleep through the night. So my days are frustrating and long while my nights are peaceful and full of sleep. When I'm out somewhere and Little Man is screaming his head off like I've forgotten to feed him for a week, I get looks of pity which turn into deep sympathy when I explain that this is what he does EVERY TIME he gets tired. Then, I usually make the mistake of saying, "Well, at least he sleeps through the night." At that point, most people roll their eyes and tell me that I don't know how good I have it. I'll agree with that. I've been blessed with two children who, so far, (knock on wood, cross fingers, pray HARD) are good at sleeping during the night, but lack that skill during the day. However, people don't have much sympathy for a mom with a "high-needs" baby if that baby sleeps through the night. Guess I don't blame them though. I'd much rather that Little Man is a bear during the day as long as he sleeps all night.

Unsolicited Advice:
When taking laundry out of the dryer, fold it and stack it in the laundry basket instead of just dumping it all in. This ensures that, even if you don't have time to even look at the basket of clothes again until you actually need to wear something out of it, you will at least find folded clothes instead of a wrinkled mess.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Why Won't You Stop Asking Me Why?

I hate the word "why." And if you ask me why, I'll probably bite your head off. So please don't ask, let me just tell you. Princess is in the "why" stage. She has been for a while, and at first, I thought it was cute that she wanted to learn so much. Now, she seems to think that no matter what I say, I expect her to follow up with "Why?"
Me: "Princess, you just stepped on your sunglasses and broke them."
Princess: "Why?"
Me: "I don't know why you did that."
Princess: "Why?"
Me: "Because I have no idea why you do most of the things you do."
Princess: "Why?"
Me: "Because 2 year olds are inexplicable."
Princess "Why?"
Me: (Pulls out hair in frustration) "Stop asking me why! I don't know why!!"
Princess: "Why?"
Me: (Screams and locks self in bathroom)
Princess: (Bangs on bathroom door) "Why?"
So yeah...not so cute anymore.

Have you ever noticed that people are never happy with how many children you have or don't have? After the wedding ceremony, people (especially prospective grandmas) sidle up to you at the reception with a glint in their eye and casually ask how long you plan to wait before having kids. Five months later, the same question is posed, but this time with a vague sense of urgency. A year later, people start slipping you brochures with titles like "How to Overcome Infertility" and "Babies: A Fulfilling Experience"

When you finally cave and become pregnant, complete strangers feel as if it's acceptable for them to add their opinion. Questions arise as to the number of babies you are carrying even though you've had two ultrasounds to prove that there really is only one baby in there. Fast forward to when the baby is 6 months old. People start to whisper behind your back. "Do you think she'll have another soon?" It's almost as if, since you've proven your ability to create a new life, they expect you to pop out another one within the year. After you've had your second baby, some people start to change their tack. Instead of pushing you in the direction of pregnancy, they tell you how you now have the perfect pair and don't need any more. Others will still hold out hope that you continue to have more. If you dare to become pregnant again, you will receive advice on how three children is really a difficult number to have because someone is always left out. About half of the people telling you this are trying to make you feel guilty for bringing another life into this world, the other half are telling you to have one more to even things up a bit. When you bring home your fourth baby, with only a few rare exceptions, people will begin giving you literature on the dangers of overpopulation and asking you how you can possibly handle so many little people hanging on you all day long.

Unsolicited Advice:
One of the best things about having kids is that they make great gift ideas. I don't mean you should wrap your 10 month old up and give him away at Christmas time, but pictures of your kids or personalized items with pictures of your kids make great gifts for relatives (your boss at work may not be too impressed with a mug showing off your children's "silly" faces).

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Is It Really Worth It?

I'm a big fan of breastfeeding. I know the health benefits and I appreciate the bonding aspect of it as well. Although Princess wasn't a good nurser, I still nursed her for a year. She didn't nurse exclusively because she was such a lazy eater that she didn't get enough that way, so she did have formula as well. But when you consider how hard it was to teach her how to latch on and then to keep her sucking long enough to get a full meal, a year is pretty impressive.

I was planning to breastfeed Little Man for a year as well. Now, I want to be done as soon as possible. It's been a nightmare to nurse him since the day he was born. He has problems latching on so I have to use a nipple shield. Then he screams and gets angry if milk isn't pouring into his mouth the whole time so about half the time I have to fight to get him to stay on the breast long enough. I can't take him anywhere because he refuses to nurse anywhere but home. Occasionally I can get him to nurse when we're out somewhere, but usually I end up giving him a bottle. Then I started getting plugged milk ducts, which are pretty painful. One of those led to a pretty bad case of mastitis which took over a week to clear up completely. Since the mastitis, I've been getting a plugged duct almost every day. I also got mastitis again, but since I'd just had it, I knew how to treat it right away to keep it from getting worse.

Breastfeeding has NOT been a bonding experience at all with Little Man. In fact, it's actually kept me from bonding with him somewhat. He has flatout refused to nurse more than once or twice a day for the last week which means I get to haul out the good old breastpump and vacuum out my breasts multiple times a day. Yay. I would love to just stop nursing, but with my issues with plugged ducts and mastitis, I have to go VERY slow so I don't end up with a bad infection.

The lactation consultants and breastfeeding advocates I've talked to have been discouraging me from weaning Little Man. They keep saying that if I just pump, I'll get my milk supply up enough, and I shouldn't be giving him bottles because that's just making the problem worse. I've gotten so many tips on how to get him to latch on, how to relax and enjoy nursing, etc. But, you know what? None of these people are here when Little Man is screaming and turning purple because I'm trying to get him to nurse while Princess is in the bathroom using my toothbrush to clean the diaper pail. So while I still support breastfeeding and believe it's the best option for the baby, I also believe that if it's not working and it's making the mom miserable, IT'S NOT WORTH IT! By the way, the breastfeeding advocates I've talked to all had an easy time nursing, so they really can't judge me for bottle feeding.

And yet, no matter how much I'm looking forward to being done breastfeeding, I'm sad that it didn't work out. I enjoyed nursing Princess and only gave it up at a year because so many people told me that she was "too old" to breastfeed anymore. I know I'll second guess myself later and wonder if I'd tried more, if I could've breastfed Little Man longer. And anytime Little Man gets sick, I'll wish I'd been able to nurse him longer to give him more antibodies. I wavered on my decision to stop breastfeeding for over a month until I got mastitis and decided for sure. But even now, I find myself thinking that if Little Man is my last baby, I'll never get the chance to breastfeed again. However, no matter what decision I'd made about breastfeeding, I think mommy guilt would've kicked in.

Unsolicited Advice:
Breastfeed if you can, but if you can't for any reason, don't sweat it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Baby Stuff I Love

Apparently I'm not loyal to any one brand. These are some of my favorite brands of baby products.

Boppy pillow: Works great for breastfeeding, bottle feeding, and propping up the baby while he or she is learning how to sit.

Boppy Bare Naked Pillow

Avent bottles and training cups: I love that the nipples are marked with a number indicating how fast the flow of milk is, unlike other nipples which you have to guess at. I also like the wide mouth of the bottle because I don't spill the formula when putting it in the bottle. I used the training cups when Princess was transitioning from a bottle to a sippy. The handles and sippy top screw onto the bottles as well so I didn't have to take a bottle AND a sippy cup when we went out.

Philips AVENT BPA Free Infant Bottle Starter Set

Nuby sippy cups: The soft top makes the transition from bottle to sippy easier on baby.

Nuby 2-Pack 8 oz No Spill Cup with Super Spout

Mam pacifiers: Louise's cheeks and chin broke out everytime she used a pacifier until I found the Mam pacifiers which have dimples on the underside and holes for air ventilation.

MAM 2 Pack Start Orthodontic Silicone Pacifier, Colors may vary

Jeep stroller: I LOVE my jeep stroller. I got an all terrain jeep stroller as a gift for Louise and I used it a lot. It's big and roomy with plenty of storage, has an mp3 hookup, and can navigate rough terrain which is a must since I live out in the country.

Jeep Liberty Limited Urban Terrain Stroller, Spark

Members Mark baby wipes: Reasonably priced at Sam's Club, and the packages come with a pop up lid so you can use them straight out of the package or refill your wipes case with them.

Member's Mark Folded Moist Wipes, Case Pack, 8/90 Count (720 Wipes)

Carter's clothes: Cute clothes, reasonable prices. Need I say more?

Carter's Boys Firetruck 3 Pc Shorts Set 2 in 1 Outfits

Carter's Pink & White Love 3-pc. Bodysuit Set

Sassy toys: Sassy makes some really cute baby toys with bright colors.

Sassy Illumination Station

JJ Cole Diaper bag and pacifier keeper: After going through 3 diaper bags which ripped after a few months of use, I splurged and bought a JJ Cole Mode Tote Bag in the cocoa tree design. I haven't been disappointed. It's heavy duty, comes with shoulder straps, hand straps, and stroller straps, a large changing pad that folds up really thin so it's easy to carry with, and is roomy enough for all the junk I carry around with me. I also like the pacifier keeper JJ Cole makes. It's a good size, straps onto any bag or stroller, and has a velcro closure that makes it easy to get to the pacifier.

JJ Cole Mode Diaper Tote Bag, Cocoa Tree

What are some of your favorites for baby gear?

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Survived Month One!

Little Man is a month old this week and still not nursing well. He eats nonstop, which Princess is thrilled about because that means she can pretty much do whatever she wants, and I can't stop her until Little Man stops eating for a few minutes. Because Little Man eats so frequently and has a VERY hard time nursing anywhere other than home, we've been pretty much housebound since he was born. I'm giving him one more month to start nursing better and less often before I start supplementing with formula. I've given him a few bottles so far, and I enjoy feeding him that way. Nursing, on the other hand, feels more like a chore right now and I honestly don't enjoy it. So much for that bonding experience.

Little Man is a great sleeper. He takes a long nap in the afternoon at the same time as Princess which gives me a little downtime, and he only wakes up once at night to eat. The only problem is getting him to sleep. The long nap in the afternoon is usually his ONLY nap all day and he fights it like crazy even though he's so tired he can barely keep his eyes open. Bedtime is a fun event that starts around 6 pm when Little Man starts getting tired. It stretches out into a marathon of nursing/crying that doesn't end until almost midnight. He's been doing this for several weeks now.  Princess was hard to get to sleep too, but Little Man is worse and started at a much younger age than his sister.

Okay, enough of the griping. I have some observations about baby clothing to share.

1. Pockets.
Seriously. Why in the world do baby clothes, starting at newborn sizes, have pockets in the pants? Every once in a while, I'll run across a fake pocket that doesn't actually open and is for decorative purposes, but most of them aren't like that. They're real, honest-to-goodness, stick your hand in 'em, pockets. It makes me feel as if I should provide my one-month-old with a wallet filled with diaper coupons, a stroller license, and maybe some monopoly money.

2. Belt Loops.
How many newborns do you know that wear belts? To be honest, my skinny little baby boy could do with a belt to hold his pants up, but I haven't come across any belts that are small enough for a baby younger than 2 years old. Maybe I should market a new line of baby belts and take advantage of the otherwise pointless belt loops stitched onto many pairs of baby pants.

3. Snaps.
Yes, I'm thankful that baby clothes isn't inundated with tiny buttons instead of the easier option of snaps, but still... I can't count how many times I've wrestled a screaming baby into an outfit, fought with a myriad of snaps around the neck and legs, and realized when I get down to the last snap that I'm one off. I have no idea what would be a better alternative, but all those snaps still annoy me. My favorite outfits are the sleepers with an easy (and fast) zipper from foot to collar, and a onesie I found at a garage sale that has a strip of velcro instead of snaps in the crotch.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Growing Pains

I've heard so many people say that they worried they wouldn't love their second child as much as the first only to discover that when the second one came along, their love expanded exponentially to include the new baby. I wasn't worried about that. I loved my baby from the moment I found out I was pregnant. And when Little Man was born, I fell in love with him even more. To be honest though, I really didn't start liking him until four days after his birth. I know that sounds terrible, but he was born screaming mad and the next couple of days were spent either trying to get him to stop screaming or trying to get him to nurse which made him scream even more. There really weren't too many opportunities to bond during that time. At one point, while we were still at the hospital, I handed Little Man over to Hubby so I could take a few minutes to use the bathroom. While locked in the luxurious closet sized hospital bathroom, I could still hear Little Man voicing his indignation at being born, and I thought to myself, "What have I done?"

On top of Little Man's anger and eating issues, Princess came down with a cold the day Little Man was born and obviously didn't feel good. Try telling a two-year-old that Mommy can't rock her when she's sick because her new brother needs to be fed or calmed down again. I felt like I had just ruined her life by bringing this new kid home.

On Saturday, Hubby took Princess to his mom's house to give me a break. As soon as they walked out the door, I started an email to my best friend telling her how I felt about my son at the moment and expressing the usual mommy guilt over such feelings. She wrote back to tell me that while it was true that my love could grow to include another child, nobody ever tells you that it could involve growing pains. She also pointed out that while I'd known Princess for over 2 years, my relationship with Little Man was still brand new and needed time to develop. She knew exactly what to say to make me feel better and that afternoon, as I spent one-on-one time with Little Man, I finally bonded with him. It helped, of course, that he finally started getting over his four day long temper tantrum directed at being born and started learning how to nurse.

Today, Little Man is 9 days old and I am thrilled to be his mother. He's a good baby who only gets up once a night to eat and is learning to tolerate his big sister invading his space every second of the day. I actually wish she didn't like him SO much, but hey, at least she's not jealous.

Unsolicited Advice: Never say no when someone offers to help you out with something after you've had a baby. Giving birth is kind of a big deal and requires time to recover. Make sure you don't prolong your recovery by overdoing it after birth.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Well, I didn't have to be induced like I thought. On Monday, I started having cramping and occasional contractions and right after I went to bed that night, the contractions got regular and pretty painful. By 3 am, we were heading up to the hospital, and Little Man was born at 11:42 on Tuesday morning. Everything went well except for when my epidural wore off just as I hit about 9 centimeters meaning that the new dose they gave me did absolutely NOTHING. Even though labor was harder this time because of my epidural only working for about 3 1/2 hours, the recovery is SOOO much easier! With Princess, I tore really badly, probably because she was a forceps delivery, but this time I really didn't tear much at all. Last time, I couldn't even get out of bed until the day they kicked me out of the hospital, but this time I was up and out of bed of my own free will just a few hours after giving birth.

We came home yesterday and spend our first night at home.  Princess spent the night at Grandma's house again so we only had Littlel Man to worry about. Up until last night, he hadn't had any interest in eating yet and I hadn't been able to get him to nurse. Then at 1 am, he woke up crying and was actually hungry. Still working on latching on and nursing, but at least he's eating a little better now. He'd been sleeping most of the evening and hadn't wanted to wake up, but 27 seconds after I laid down to sleep, he was up and upset that nobody else was. Really though, the night wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Hubby says that Little Man cried a lot last night, but I'm curious as to how he would know as his vigorous snoring seemed to indicate that he was sleeping while I was up all night with the baby. Because he isn't nursing well yet, every time the baby got hungry, I would have to try to get him to nurse (which makes him REALLY mad most of the time) and then give him a bottle of expressed milk from my last pumping. After getting him settled back into his cradle, I would pump another bottle, wash the pumping supplies and lay back down only to have Little Man awake again.

Anyways, I really can't think clearly right now and I'm starting to get really tired so I think I'll take advantage of the fact that Little Man is sleeping and join him for awhile.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fun Online Stuff Recommended by MOI!

Yes, I am posting twice in one day. Apparently consistency is not my thing because I can go several weeks without blogging and then write a couple of entries in a row.

I just wanted to share some cool stuff I've found on the internet and tried out.

Parents magazine is promoting reading to your child with a program that runs through May 31st. All you do is sign your child up online and fill out a log each day with how many minutes you read to your child that day. At the end of the program, you could win a $50 Barnes and Nobles gift card. I'm kind of a HUGE supporter of parents reading to their children and instilling a love of reading in them so a program like this is pretty cool. Don't forget to also check your local library for a summer reading program. Most of them start in June and are free with prizes and incentives to get kids to read. The one at our library goes from birth to 12th grade, but you'll have to check to see what ages your local library allows to sign up.

If you shop online at all, this site can save you some money. You simply sign up (for free) and then access any number of a ton of online shopping sites through their site. When you buy something online, you get money back (usually ranges from 1% to 6% back), and they send you a check every so often. If you combine this with other coupon code sites (think free shipping or money off your order) such as retailmenot.com or coupons.com, you can save some decent cash just by shopping online.

This is my latest find online and one I'm already hooked on. It's like ebay, but you don't use money. It's free to sign up and free to list auctions. Instead of using money to pay for things, you use credits. You earn credits to buy things that other people have listed by selling stuff you don't want anymore or by watching for "extra credit" activities you can do such as posting an auction on Facebook, being an active participant on the site, etc. The only money you might shell out is to pay for shipping, but a lot of sellers offer free shipping.


Yesterday was my due date. I'm still here. I'm pretty much expecting to have to be induced, but hopefully I'll be surprised.

Speaking of surprises...my sister had her baby. I don't remember if I mentioned this, but she was due to have a baby girl April 10th while I was due to have my baby boy yesterday. We figured that was perfect. We'd swap baby clothes and neither of us would have to buy much more than a few bibs and pacifiers. We'd gotten all the baby clothes out of storage, and each of us had filled our baby's dresser drawers with gender appropriate clothes. Or so we thought. On Friday, at 13 days overdue, my sister had to be induced. I have to be honest, her hubby is a bit of a joker so when he called me at 8 pm that night and announced "It's a boy!" I insisted on speaking with my sister before I could actually believe that she had given birth to a 9 pound 14 ounce baby BOY. My first thought was...well, I'm not actually sure because I was so positive she was having a girl that I was in shock. My second thought was "Oh shoot." Prior to finding out what the genders of our babies were, my sister and I had agreed that she got first dib on the boys clothes if we both had boys and vice versa. So, 4 days before my due date, I found myself packing up all the clothes and baby boy stuff and giving it back to my sister. She was nice enough to return the newborn size clothing to me since her bouncing baby boy was already too big for them, but other than that, all I had were a few pieces of miscellaneous clothing I'd picked up because I thought they were cute. To a woman who's 9 months pregnant, it was devastating because let's face it, when you're pregnant everything is worse than it needs to be. I must have complained about it to enough people though, because less than a week later, I now have everything I need plus offers for more.

Unsolicited Advice:
Don't ever assume an ultrasound will be 100 percent correct in predicting the gender of your baby!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Who Stole My Feet?

I miss my feet. Yes, I still own a pair of feet, but they're not the ones I had "before." Right now, I can't even see my feet most of the time because my stomach has obscured the lower half of my body. When I do catch a glimpse of my feet, it's a shock for me to see them because they aren't the same feet I had a few months ago.

When I was pregnant with Princess, I did not have water retention. I was kind of hoping that this pregnancy would be the same, but it's not. Maybe it's because I'm carrying a boy this time, maybe it's just because every pregnancy is different. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that my feet looked a little...bigger. Not a big deal though because I could still fit into all of my shoes and they really didn't hurt much unless I was on them all day. Now however, the swelling has kicked in for real. I can barely walk in the morning when I get up, and shoes that fit me at 10 am are too small by mid-afternoon. My sister (the one who is also pregnant and is due this week) is thrilled that this time around, she's not the only one with water retention. Yay. I've been trying to drink plenty of water and put my feet up periodically because I've noticed that even in a sitting position, my feet keep swelling up. I now have one pair of shoes that isn't too small for me. I want to cry because I just bought an adorable pair of Skechers that I won't be able to wear for a while because they're too tight.

I'm not bragging, but my feet used to get compliments. Their main flaw was being flat, but if you overlooked that, they were nicely proportioned feet. Now I can't even look at them. When I see my feet, I have the feeling that they're actually somebody else's feet that somehow got attached to my ankles (which by the way, don't look so hot either right now). Hopefully this baby doesn't decide to be as late as his sister was so I can have my feet back soon.

I love being pregnant. No really, I do.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

My House is Being Taken Over By Toys!

As I desperately tried to cram Princess's beanie babies, teddy bears, and other stuffed animals into the medium sized bin I'd long ago allocated for stuffed animals, a thought crossed my mind-I needed to go shopping for bigger storage containers. The stuffed animals were overflowing into the doll bin which was overflowing into the box of board books which was overflowing onto the toys shelves which were overflowing onto the floor of my living room. You get the picture.

How did we get so many toys? It's my personal theory that toys secretly procreate in the dark of night, multiplying their numbers so sneakily that you don't even notice it happening until one day you realize that your whole house has been turned into a giant playroom. Of course, the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even I am guilty of keeping Princess entertained with an endless supply of new toys to play with. My big pitfall is thrift store and garage sale shopping. My experience usually goes something like this:
"Look at the practically brand new, adorable toy that reminds me of my own childhood and gives me warm, fuzzy feelings inside! And look, it's only 50 cents!! I must buy it for my own child so she too can experience childhood to its fullest!"
I get home and hold my breath as I hand the latest acqusition over to Princess, anticipating shrieks of joy. She takes it from me, examines it briefly, and drops it to the floor so she can play with the the empty lotion bottle I forgot to throw away earlier.

As I contemplated what type of storage bins I could find that would contain the evergrowing population of Princess's toys, the solution hit me. The answer was to make the toys fit into the space we already had. I grabbed a garbage bag and started digging through the stuffed animals. I still haven't figured out why stuffed animals are such a popular gift to give children when I don't know a single child who actually plays with them. Occasionally, Princess will go through the bin and look at each one before wandering off to play with something else, but that is the extent of her interaction with her stuffed animals. So, it was relatively easy to downsize those. Then I started in on the rest of her toys. That was a little more difficult because I didn't want to get rid of toys that were gifts from relatives, but I managed to fill the garbage bag and off it went to Goodwill.

My new worry is that I'm due to have our second child next month and it's a boy. Which means a whole new set of toys geared for boys. I'm not one of those people who insist on toys being gender specific, but I don't think my little farm boy is going to want to play with dolls and other girly stuff ALL the time. He's probably going to want tractors and cars and the relatives will be more than happy to supply him with plenty of those. Another child also means twice as many birthday and Christmas presents for me to find space for. I'm hoping to convince relatives that, instead of giving a bunch of smaller stuff to each child, they can give one bigger gift to both the kids. But we'll see...

Unsolicited Advice: I recently remembered one of my favorite things to play with when I was a kid and decided to recreate it for Princess. When my parents moved back to Minnesota from Florida, my mom filled a cake pan with white sand from the beach. She didn't take it out very often so it was a special treat to get to play with it and it was perfect for when we were stuck inside all winter. Not having access to beach sand, I decided to use white rice to fill my cake pan. You could also use dry beans, oatmeal, gravel, etc.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Third Trimester Joys

Let me just take a moment here to whine. Actually, let's be realistic. Let me just take an hour here to whine.

My stomach hurts from Baby Boy kicking and squirming so much and so hard. My hips hurt and feel like they're falling out of their sockets every time I move. My legs hurt from having to carry all that extra weight around. My feet hurt because I've been wearing non-supportive, slip-on shoes to avoid having to bend over to tie tennis shoes. I've got killer heartburn 79% of the time. It takes me 84 minutes to turn over in bed or get up off the couch. I'm ready for bed around the same time I put Louise to bed. No matter what position I try sitting or laying in, two and half minutes later, I'm uncomfortable again. Judging from my symptoms, it sounds like I might be in my third trimester of pregnancy.

But to be honest, despite the nausea, discomfort, exhaustion, and outright painfulness of pregnancy, I actually do enjoy being pregnant. For a while I can wear clothes without worrying about whether they make me look fat or not, because let's face it, I passed that point around the third month of pregnancy. I like how people are so much nicer to pregnant women, and how just seeing a pregnant woman can seem to cheer some people up. And I love, love, love that there's a tiny baby growing inside of me. Because of my severe asthma messing with basically every part of my life, I somehow assumed that my body wouldn't work right when it came to making another human being. So I was a bit surprised when I found out I was pregnant with Princess, especially since it only took seven months of trying NOT to get pregnant for it to happen. Then I managed to actually carry her to full term (and beyond!) and deliver a healthy beautiful baby girl. Now I'm pregnant again and this time, it took exactly one "oops" moment to conceive. Apparently getting pregnant is not an issue for me.

Unsolicited Advice:
When possible, borrow maternity clothes from a friend or relative or buy them at thrift stores. They're not cheap and you only wear them for a short time really (even if it feels like forever some days) so why spend an arm and a leg on them?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And the Potty Training Stalls

A random observation that I made the other day...when Princess is standing right in front of me hanging onto my legs, I can no longer see her. I also can no longer tell if my socks match unless I'm sitting down. If they don't match, I really don't even care because it was so much work to put them on that there's no way I'm taking them back off again.

It's been two months since we started potty training. Two verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry long months. Every single day I have to rinse poopy underwear out in the toilet. Every day. That strikes me as ironic since that is the very reason I chose not to use cloth diapers.

The reason potty training is still going on is because Princess has yet to achieve the final step. She knows exactly what to do on the potty chair and can usually squeeze at least a few drops out to earn her chocolate chip. But she can't tell when she needs to go potty or poop! Kinda a big thing. When we started potty training, she would tell me as she was peeing her pants and would be pretty upset about getting Elmo wet (her underwear of choice). Now, the only way I catch accidents is if I feel a wet spot on her pants or happen to take her to the bathroom at which time I notice that Elmo is not dry.  Princess  will put on a sad face when I tell her that Elmo is wet, but as soon as I put her in clean underwear, she's all happy and smiles again as she declares "Elmo dry!" The only reason Princess doesn't have more accidents is because I know about when she's going to have to go and can usually take her before she goes in her pants. However, while I can tell she's going to need to go potty again soon because it's been a while, poop just kind of comes whenever so I very rarely catch it before I notice green fumes rising from Princess's backside. How in the world do I get her to realize when she has to go so I'm not taking ALL the responsibility for her body functions?!?!? Any advice on this would be GREATLY appreciated!

When we started potty training (and I use the term "we" loosely because, while Hubby was gungho about training her and still is, I'm the one doing all the actual work), Princess used a potty seat that fit over the regular toilet seat. Pretty nifty since I didn't have to rinse out a potty chair. This worked great until I realized that everytime I took her to the bathroom, I would suddenly have an urge to go as well. For a while I would "dance" around the toilet and beg her to hurry up and do her business so I could have a turn. Then I realized that I did have a potty chair stashed in the closet. Duh. Now we both go in there and get our own toilets.Princess  is thrilled because she gets to go potty with mama and I'm thrilled because I no longer have to worry about peeing my pants while I wait for my two year old to use the toilet. However, this has led her to believe that everytime I use the bathroom, she should be welcomed in the bathroom as well even if she isn't using her potty chair. If I dare to close the door, I have to listen to pounding on the door and plaintive cries of "mama, mama, mama." Recently, Princess has decided to be independent when it comes to going potty and if I try to follow her into the bathroom to give her a hand, she slams the door in my face and tells me, "Go away, mama!" How is this fair? My two year old gets more privacy in the bathroom than I do!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Give Me My Music and I'll Be Happy

Do men design maternity clothes? Seriously. I'm only 6 1/2 months along and most of my clothes do not fit me or are too uncomfortable to wear. Most of my pants have the under-the-belly band which may look cute on a woman who's four months pregnant, but are ridiculously uncomfortable past that point. They dig into my stomach and slide down so far that I spend most of my day hitching them back up and terrified to bend over in public lest they slip down even farther. And since my pants are hanging out somewhere below my belly, that means that most of my maternity shirts are not long enough to cover said belly. Unfortunately, the beer gut look has just never been my thing.

A lady came up to the desk at the library to check out her books while I was working (I work a few days a week at the library in addition to my babysitting job). She eyed my bourgeoning stomach and made the clever observation, "It looks like you're going to have a baby soon."

I replied that I still had almost three months to go. Her eyes widened in surprise as she said, "You must have really big babies!" Thanks. Every pregnant woman wants to hear that. And for the record, my last baby was two weeks overdue and was still under seven pounds.

Lately, a lot of people have been noticing the baby bump and making the astute observation that I'm pregnant. I wish I had a little more nerve. If I did, I would respond with an astonished look and say, "Oh my word! That's what that is?! And here I thought I was just putting on a little weight!"

Ever since we bought our minivan and found out that the cool cd player that holds 6 cds at a time skips so badly that it's useless, I've been a little depressed every time I get into my wonderful roomy van. While driving, I've had to rely on the radio, which doesn't pick up any good stations, for my music addiction. Hubby and I have talked about replacing the cd player which obviously wouldn't be cheap. As money is a little tight right now, that obviously wouldn't be happening for...a long time. We would probably be able to do that around the same time we would be able to trade in the van for a newer model. So today, I skimmed through all five (seriously, they couldn't condense it all into one book?) of the owner's manuals that came with the van and made a shocking discovery. It turns out that the dvd player plays cds. Who woulda thunk it? Of course, the little "CD-R" symbol on the dvd player never clued me in, and the fact that most dvd players also happen to play cds just didn't occur to me. Do the words "blonde moment" come to your mind when you read this? To make my day of discovery and elation even better, the woman whose kids I babysit gave me a little gadget today because she has no need for it anymore. I have no idea what it's called, but it plugs into the vehicle power outlet (not cigarette lighter because those are no longer in style along with the little ash trays that were in all the vehicles when I was a kid and were fun to stuff full of trash) and hooks up to an mp3 player. This means that my mp3 player (which Hubby got as a Christmas gift from his boss one year and gave to me because I drooled over it so much) can be used in the van! Without headphones! Okay, I know I'm pathetically backwards when it comes to technology. Right now I'm trying to find a vcr to replace ours since it no longer plays videotapes. I've gone to quite a few different stores and asked if they carried just a vcr, not a vcr/dvd combo since I have a perfectly good dvd player. The looks I've gotten have ranged from disbelief to downright mocking.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Didn't We Used to be Friends?

Okay, so it's been a while since I've updated my blog. During the time I've been absent, Princess has turned two and I've entered my third trimester of pregnancy.

For Princess's birthday party, we had a family gathering consisting of Hubby's parents, one set of grandparents, two siblings and their families and my parents, one set of grandparents, four siblings and their families. Our smallish family gathering amounted to 30 people in my big, but not huge living room. If somebody turned to talk to someone on their left, that meant that everyone turned to talk to the person on their left. The eight children under the age of 5 at the party spent most of their time in Princess's room playing which was good because there really wasn't any space for them to play in the living room. It was a lot of fun, but completely exhausting especially since I was 6 months pregnant.

After the party, I surveyed the (large) corner of the living room which has been overrun by Princess's toys, the coffee table which has four more boxes of toys in it, and the closet in Princess's room which is full of toys as well. I'm still trying to figure out how in the world her toys multiplied so fast. When she was an infant, all of her toys fit in an ice cream bucket. Then before she turned one, she took over the bottom shelf of the coffee table. Sometime before she got to 18 months, I had to give her toys a complete corner of the living room in addition to the coffee table. Now she has so many toys that I rotate them, storing some in her bedroom closet and taking them out when she gets bored with the ones she has. Don't accuse me of indulging her though. One time not that long ago, I went through and counted the toys I had actually purchased for Princess and came up with a figure less than 15.

Now that I'm in my third trimester, I find Hubby to actually be likeable again. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I'm carrying a boy this time or something, but when I was pregnant with Princess, I remember liking my husband the whole time. This time was different, much to Hubby's dismay. I can almost pinpoint the day I got pregnant because it's the day I started to STRONGLY dislike poor Hubby for absolutely no reason and for no fault of his. I loved him, but I just didn't like him much. I knew I was being unreasonable, but he couldn't do anything right no matter how hard he tried. In my second trimester, I began to tolerate him. Not that I liked him that much, but I was no longer so antagonistic (he may disagree with this statement somewhat). Now that I'm in my third trimester, I like the guy again.

The weird thing is that my sister, who is due 2 weeks before I am (and had a baby 6 weeks before I did last time), has felt the same way during her pregnancy. Maybe our husbands should have formed a defensive club and called it "Hormones Kill."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tum, Tu Tu Tu Tums.

My favorite foods right now.
1. Chocolate
2. Anything with a tomato based sauce
3. Cheese
4. Tums Extra Strength

I have acid reflux disease bad enough that unless I take a daily preventative pill, there is a constant burning in my esophagus. Now, add being pregnant and being taken off my usual medication as it's not safe for pregnant women, to that. Fun times! Tums are my favorite dessert nowadays.

Last Friday (New Years Day to be exact. What a way to start off the new year), I put Princess in underwear and we said goodbye to her diapers. Well, she said "goodbye", I said, "See ya at nap time." She was incredibly thrilled about her Elmo underwear and I stressed how important it was to keep Elmo dry so he wouldn't be sad. Day one was great. She pooped in her underwear in the morning, but that was the only accident. That night as I got ready for bed, I thought about how easy this was going to be. Haha. Day two, she pooped in her underwear once and peed in them 4 times. About 25% of the time, she tells me when she has to go and actually does. Other times, she tells me she has to go, but as soon as I put her on the toilet, she hops off saying, "all done!" The rest of the time, she tells me after the fact by standing in one spot and saying "wet" repeatedly until I tell her to walk to the bathroom, at which point she walks with her legs as far apart as possible without actually falling over.

Is there some magic time when kids just get it and go to the bathroom before peeing in their pants? Or should I put Princess back in diapers until it's time to send her to school? That probably wouldn't go over well as she throws a major fit everytime I put her in a diaper to sleep in. On Sunday, I really didn't want to deal with poopy underwear at church, so I put her in a pull-up. She rebelled by refusing to use the toilet for most of the morning.

So now that Christmas is over, the cardboard boxes have been played with and thrown out, the Christmas cookies are going stale, and the new toys are squeezed in every inch of space there was left in the toy area, I have to start planning birthdays. Hubby's birthday is mid-January, but is almost forgotten in my frantic planning of Princess's party in late-January. Here's a fun bit of trivia: I'll be almost exactly 6 months pregnant on Louise's birthday. The theme for Princess's 2nd birthday is Princess. I'm going to attempt to make her a cake that looks like a castle with the help of ice cream cones. I also made her an adorable pink tutu out of tulle to wear for her party which she is terrified of and refuses to put on. Maybe the promise of presents will help persuade her. :)

Unsolicited Advice:
If at all possible, find someone else to take your child home with them to potty train. Way less mess for you.
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