Thursday, March 31, 2011

The MIL Saga: Part 3 – The Tension Mounts and then Explodes

See Part 1 and Part 2 of the saga that never ends…

I left this story off after last Christmas, when Adriana was 2 ½ months old. The next part of the drama involves a series of visits with lots of “comments”. In January, Justin and I went to his cousin’s wedding. MIL repeatedly drilled us on who was watching Adriana that night and who would watch her when I went back to work, and seemed put out that the other grandparents got to solo babysit before she did. She also asked a million questions about the breastfeeding, and how long until I’d be done.

I could tell that she really wanted to babysit, so we made arrangements for her to take a day off work and watch Adriana at our house one Friday. She showed up with her sister, stating that she was nervous about watching her alone. Everything seemed to go fine, but she mentioned that she wanted to watch her at their house next time, and still wanted Adriana to spend the night “without mama and dada, so we can have FUN.” (Note: this comment was often repeated during visits – always said to Adriana, not to us).

Other than that, we didn’t see MIL too many times. I know we invited MIL and SFIL over for dinner once, and she came by herself once or twice. She never invited us to her place, and we never offered to go. Justin and I had always told all of the grandparents that, with me being at work full time (and trying to finish my master’s degree on top of that), we like to just relax on the weekends. If anyone wanted to come visit, we would absolutely love to have them, but we would mostly be homebodies. I probably actually over-communicated that point, since I wanted everyone to feel like they are always welcome to see her.

That being said, I started to feel bad that we never went out to see MIL and SFIL. I would tell Justin that we really should go out to visit, since they hardly ever saw Adriana. His response was always “If she wants to see us, she will call. I never just go out and visit her, she knows that.”

Sure enough, we got a call from her late summer. I did the usual ridiculous amount of cleaning and preparation for the visit, and made sure that we had fresh bagels, coffee, and fruit salad out. We had a really nice visit, with the only weirdness in the morning being that MIL brought clothes that had been sitting at her house for months (and therefore reeked of cigarette smoke). At this point, Adriana was in size 9 months, and these were all 0-3 or 3-6. There was no way she was going to fit. MIL said something to the effect of “I guess I should have brought these over when I got them as a gift, I thought we would see her more.” Sigh.

So anyway, we were all having a good time, sitting on the back porch and playing cards while Adriana napped, tired from her morning of playing with grandma. Then MIL cleared her throat. “I wanted to come here today so I could talk to you guys. Can we go inside?” My stomach dropped because I HATE HATE HATE conflict of any sort, and I especially hate conflict that comes without any warning whatsoever.

So she pulls out this letter, and instantly starts crying, which made me tear up because I HATE when people cry, and I totally knew what was coming, and I knew she blamed me. It started off something like “I just don’t see where SFIL and I fit into Adriana’s life,” and went on to basically air her grievances. She had a BULLETED LIST of different “comments” that had been made that made her think she will never get to “have the baby alone”, and that “everything has to be on [Justin and my] terms”. At one point, I told her that I had been trying to get Justin to come over and visit, because I knew we didn’t see them often enough. She interrupted me and said “That’s not the point.”

It became increasingly clear throughout the conversation that she had NO INTEREST in seeing the three of us as a family. She wanted to have Adriana out to her house, without us, to have a “special grandma moment.” Part of the requirement of this “special grandma moment” was that Adriana had to spend the night. She admitted that she had found out that Justin’s cousin now babysat Adriana one day a week, and she was tired of “always being the last choice for babysitting.” She also said that she knew that I was done breastfeeding, and that she was forced to lie to her coworkers because they knew that she was going to be allowed to have Adriana spend the night once it was over.

We tried to explain that 1) We almost never get babysitters. We need them so we can go to work, but other than that, like to spend our weekends with Adriana. If we were to arrange for Adriana to spend the night, that’s time we don’t get to spend with her; 2) MIL works, so it’s not like she could replace my parents or Justin’s cousin as the daytime babysitter; and 3) Her house still isn’t safe for Adriana.

About 3…remember when I told you about how MIL tore out the floor in between Thanksgiving and Christmas? SHE NEVER REPLACED IT. They still had plywood down, and, for all we knew, the nails and staples and crap sticking out of it.

So anyway, lots of tears were shed by MIL and I, and we all hugged it out. I genuinely felt BAD for her, and SUPER GUILTY. I said that we would absolutely arrange a “spend the night” situation after Adriana’s birthday, as long as the floors were done and the dogs were locked up. Then she left.

Afterwards, I gradually went from being really upset and guilty and sad to really pissed off. Who was she to go for months and months without contacting us, and then come over and lay all of that on us like it’s completely our fault and not at all hers? Not only do I BEND OVER BACKWARDS to accommodate visitors, but I had also spent months telling Justin to call her or to set up a visit. Why did I feel like she was only mad at me and not at all mad at her son? What the fuck did she want to do alone with Adriana that she couldn’t do when Justin and I were there? And WHO ELSE’S TERMS would care of OUR CHILD be on? At this point, I started to think that perhaps she is a little cuckoo for cocoa puffs, and was more interested in creating a “special grandma moment” than actually BEING A GRANDMA.

More to come in Part 4…

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 6: Write a Bucket List (or Ignore Your Own Rules and Replace it with 101 in 1001)

This is part of my 30 Days of Blogging Series.I kept stalling on this one because a bucket list is just so morbid. I also realized that my life is such a mess in a few key areas (clutter, house maintenance, photo organization, being a more thoughtful friend / family member, and taking care of myself) that I need some shorter term goals before I go jumping out of planes or walking the Trail of Tears. Instead of a bucket list, I will present to you my 101 in 1001 list. This concept (much like the 30 Days of Blogging) was stolen from the lovely Lacey. I feel like I really needed this list to get my butt in gear - wish me luck in completing these 101 goals over the next 1001 days.

1) Complete a maternity photo shoot
2) Do not miss any (more) photo shoots for the kid(s) (newborn, 2 month, 4 month, 6 month, 9 month, 12 month, 18 month, and birthdays)
3) Write quarterly letters to the kid(s), do not miss any (more)
4) Get and keep the kid(s) baby books up to date
5) Make a photo book for each set of grandparents
6) Change the holiday door decoration every holiday for a year
7) Save up money for a cleaning service
8) Buy a new computer
9) Upgrade my iPhone
10) Purchase / download and learn how to use photo editing software
11) Buy and read a Nikon D90 book
12) Get planters for front porch
13) Make beds for a garden
14) Make a family birthday/phone number/address list
15) Make/buy a rack for the firewood; split wood

16) Get cushions for patio furniture
17) Read 101 books
18) Restart the book club or join another one
19) Watch 10 movies in a theater
20) Complete Couch to 5K Program
21) Run a 5K in an official race with a t-shirt prize

22) Complete 30 day shred
23) Take kid(s) to swimming lessons
24) Hire an electrician to look at basement light and to install living room overhead lighting
25) Replace burnt out porch lights
26) Paint the basement in moisture-proof paint
27) Install a railing on the staircase
28) Install a new thermostat
29) Replace the filter in the kitchen sink
30) Make a recipe book
31) Visit my great aunt in Wisconsin
32) Take kid(s) to the Children’s history museum
33) Take kid(s) to an aquarium
34) Take kid(s) to the zoo
35) Go to a glass blowing class
36) Go to a wine tasting
37) Go to a concert
38) Buy a wine rack / hutch deal for the dining room
39) Buy curtains and carpet for the dining room
40) Buy additional counter space / shelving unit for kitchen
41) For the love of god, get some new sheets already
42) Find a family physican; get a physical
43) Go to lupus and/or heart doctor to figure out what the deal is
44) Go to dermatologist for rosacea; check all moles
45) Take kid(s) to a water park

46) Clean out garage
47) Fix gas line to stove
48) Install outlet in downstairs bathroom
49) Take kid(s) camping
50) Go on a romantic weekend getaway with Justin
51) Go to Brazilian meat restaurant with Justin
52) Learn all of the neighbors’ names
53) Bake something for someone for no reason

54) Send a handwritten letter to my 6 closest high school friends
55) Visit 2 out of state friends
56) Donate blood 5 times
57) Cook a turkey dinner
58) Take nephew on a fun outing
59) Plan a game night at my house
60) Plan a play date at my house
61) Cut storage bins in half
62) Donate 10 bags of clothes to Goodwill (or similar organization)
63) Participate in a charity walk
64) Donate $5 per item not completed to NPR, Actor’s Summit, and/or Akron Art Museum 65) Fix old computer and laptop; back up photos on external drive
66) Organize digital pictures and upload to Flickr
67) Help mom complete her scanning project
68) Cook a meal for a new mom
69) Send 10 cards via USPS in a timely manner for birthdays, retirements, sympathy, new home, new baby, etc.
70) Send 10 handwritten thank you cards for 10 different occasions
71) Send someone a care package
72) Pay off all credit cards
73) Purchase and hang / place 10 decorative items around the house
74) Take kid(s) to Cedar Point
75) Take kid(s) to the pool 10 times
76) Find at least one couple with a similar aged kid(s) to hang out with on a semi-regular basis
77) Have mom and dad over for dinner 5 times
78) Have in laws over for dinner 5 times
79) Find a meaningful way to thank mom and dad for everything they have done for us
80) Get birth certificates, passports, and social security cards for entire family in a safe place
81) Get 5 massages and 5 pedicures
82) Bake a birthday cake for Justin
83) Make a quilt
84) Complete a knitting project
85) Get another tattoo
86) Go on a picnic
87) Take a nature hike in CVNP
88) Go canoeing / tubing
89) Fly a kite
90) Visit a national park I’ve never been to
91) Visit a state I’ve never been to
92) Paint something on a canvas and hang it up
93) Complete a 365 day photo challenge
94) Start savings accounts for the kid(s); figure out how much I owe Adriana and replace it
95) Buy wedding CD and order album
96) Use the KitchenAid to make cookies
97) Bake grandma’s bread recipe
98) Get a recycle bin for home, you lazy ass!
99) Go geocaching
100) Buy a pair of designer jeans
101) Make a set of Moo minicards

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 5: Post a Picture of Somewhere You’ve Been

This post is part of my 30 Days of Blogging Series.

This one has been holding me up because I have 2 hard drives of pictures that I keep forgetting to grab on my way out the door. I finally decided to go with a picture that is already on my work hard drive, rather than dig something out from the ancient past. I’m actually glad I decided to do this, because this picture is special to me. It was taken out of the window of the honeymoon suite at the Konica Minolta Tower in Niagara Falls, Canada, the day before Justin and I got married. It also looked like this the day after we got married. The day of our wedding basically looked like a giant cloud of mist and rain (isn’t it ironic)(dontcha think). We got married on the observation deck, so all of our pictures turned out kind of funky. Figures.



Monday, March 21, 2011

Diniwilk Stew

· Since I already opened myself up to some car seat controversy, I may as well continue…I took an informal poll of my work friends with kids between ages 1 and 2. Of the 6 people polled, 4 flipped to forward facing as soon as their kid was 1 year and 20 lbs, 2 waited or are waiting until 16 months, and 0 plan on flipping their currently forward facing kid around in light of the new APA guidelines. Adriana is 17 months old, weighs 25 lbs, is in the 97th percentile for height, and faces forward. I have no intention on flipping her back around until October. I enjoy the fact that she only screams through about 18% of car rides now, and think that going back to 100% will probably increase the likelihood of me getting into a wreck significantly. What do you guys think of the new guidelines? Will you do things differently? [Edited to add: This is not permission to be a jerkface in my comment section]

· Friday night I went to dinner and a play with my friends. We had an awkward encounter that I could not possibly do any justice here, but trust me, it was one of the weirdest nights I’ve had in a long time, and therefore also one of the funniest.

· Saturday we took Adriana to Friendly’s and to Amazone. Adriana made friends with a cute little girl across the aisle, and it turned out to be one of seven(!) children belonging to a guy I went to high school with. Small world! Amazone was hot and there wasn’t anyone there to monitor the big kids trampling through the toddler gym, so we left early. I made a mental note to mock my kids and call them babies in order to encourage them to leave the toddler side alone. Still not bad for $4.

· I can’t eat a 5 scoop Reese’s pieces sundae by myself anymore. And Friendly’s still calls desserts “happy endings”, much to our amusement.

· Sunday we relaxed as a family for a bit. Kid B kicked strong enough for me to feel it on the outside, so Justin sat with his hand on my FUPA until he felt it too. I think several weeks went by between me feeling Adriana and Justin being able to feel it, so Kid B is probably going to be less of a pain in the ass than Nanny is. Maybe she will even CONTINUE DOING CUTE THINGS when the video camera turns on?

· Yes, we call her Nanny sometimes. No, I don’t know why. Especially since I have made it clear that Adriana and banana don’t rhyme. Yet Nanny bananny she remains.

· I am at 20 weeks today! This means not only is Kid B banana-sized, but she also poops! In the womb! Which means in me! Isn’t the miracle of life wonderful?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The MIL Saga: Part 2 - Early Warning Signs

Read here for the MIL Saga: Part 1.


Adriana was born mid-October, 2009. All three sets of grandparents met us in the middle of the night, after my water broke but before I was actively laboring (we told them they didn't have to do this, but everyone was too excited to not be there). MIL and her husband, who I supposed I will call SFIL, left soon after Adriana was born, electing to visit again once we were back home. They did, and everyone was happy, and everything was fine.


During the first visit, MIL mentioned that she had picked up a crib, a high chair, and some other baby stuff to stay at their house. I was surprised, but it wasn't entirely unusual since my parents have a full nursery at their house (then again, they had babysat my nephew for the past year, and were planning on watching Adriana full time when I went back to work).


I think MIL and SFIL came over once after that (maybe twice, but I only have pics of one more visit, and I took literally hundreds of pictures a day back then). We didn't really spend a significant amount of time with them until Thanksgiving. This was when I started to get a little uneasy. MIL made numerous comments about how she couldn't wait to have Adriana spend the night alone. It hadn't really occurred to me that any of the grandparents would be requesting overnight visits so soon. I don't usually react well when I am caught off guard, and Justin wasn't exactly piping in, but I calmly let her know that it would be a while, since Adriana was still exclusively breastfed and I hadn't started pumping yet. I also mentioned that she was still a little young for that, and I just wasn't comfortable spending a night without her.


After the visit, I asked Justin what he thought about the conversation. He was right with me - in addition to the fact that Adriana was so little, was breastfed, woke multiple times a night, etc., he was not a fan of the fact that his mom is a chain smoker (and all of their nursery stuff was coated in smoke). Plus, she has two dogs, and one of them is literally psychotic to the point that it tries to bite us every time we visit and has to be locked away. I felt better that he agreed, and that was that.


We didn't see MIL and SFIL again until Christmas. Somewhere in between the two holidays, MIL realized that the smoking was going to be an issue, and decided to tear out all of the carpet in their house. When we were over there for Christmas, she went on and on about her grand plans for hardwood floors, which would help control the dog hair and wouldn't hold in smoke. There was just the plywood subfloors left, and, at that point, lots of staples and nails sticking out of the floor, so we couldn't set Adriana down on the blanket for tummy time. Not the hugest deal in the world, since she was only a few months old and liked to be held, just a minor inconvenience.


MIL brought up spending the night alone again at the Christmas visit. Justin just sat there and let me do the talking, again, and I bumbled through the same explanations, again. However, this time didn't go quite as smoothly, because MIL had previously done her homework, grilling me about whether or not I was pumping and if Adriana could take a bottle. I didn't realize that all of the questions she was asking were just setting her up with ammo for the spending the night thing, because I am a little dense sometimes. MIL said she would be more than happy to give Adriana a bottle as often as she needed it in the night. I said it was still too soon, and dropped it.


Another fun moment of that visit came when we were talking about the dogs. This time, Justin made it perfectly clear that the psycho dog made him nervous. MIL said that she had thought about that, and was going to buy a baby doll so that the dog could get used to an infant. Because, you know, a DOLL is the same thing as MY BABY, and would have similar consequences if either one got their head bit off. Justin made it clear that the dog would never be allowed to be out when Adriana was over, and MIL made it clear that she didn't think it was a problem.

Another car ride home, another conversation that proved that Justin and I were 100% on the same page.

But I was officially nervous.

Stay tuned for Part 3...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Public Service Announcement: 2010 CRV Headrest Removal

I bought a 2010 Honda CRV last March. When I mentioned to the sales person that I had a kid, he went on and on about what a great car it is for moms. At that point, Adriana was still in her Chicco KeyFit 30 infant seat (in Cubes), and there weren't any issues with getting it properly installed, so I bought the car. What I completely failed to do was check to see if her next car seat (the Britax Roundabout 50 (in Cowmooflage), which I had also received at the baby shower because I am a registry genius) would work.

When I could no longer squeeze my freakishly tall child (97th percentile) in the infant seat, I sent Justin out to install the Roundabout in the CRV. After much swearing, he came back in and said it couldn't be done because the headrests wouldn't move and the Roundabout curves backward. I told him I preferred her to be in the middle anyway, and to figure it out. He got it in, but to be totally honest, I have never really been happy with the installation since it seems like it gives a little too much. Not, uh, unhappy enough to do anything about it though. Mom fail.

Anyway, now that we have a second kiddo on the way, I will obviously need to have the good old infant carrier on one side and the Roundabout on the other side. I had Justin confirm once again that the rear headrests aren't meant to come out. I consulted Google, and found the same thing - people complaining about not being able to get the headrests out so they can install their car seats.

So this "mom-friendly" CRV is apparently only friendly if you have one kid, and even then, is more like a coworker who you'd never actually want to hang out with outside work, but will make small talk with while waiting for your piece of birthday cake. What kind of mom car doesn't recognize that moms have babies who need special seats? Anyway.

I called the dealer and explained the situation to the peeps in the service department. They told me that they CAN get the headrests out, but that it would take at least 5 hours because they had to take the seats apart. They were going to charge $94/hr in labor. I did some quick math, and told them to screw off. I can just buy 2 new car seats with a straighter back, and save the Roundabout as the second carseat for Justin's car once Kid B outgrows the infant seat.

So here's where the story gets a little embarrassing. I was ranting about this to my dad, and he was basically like "That's BS, let me call them." I get a text like 64 seconds later saying to bring the car in on Wednesday, and they will do it FOR FREE.

I do not know what sort of magical bargaining skillz my dad possesses, but this kind of stuff happens ALL OF THE TIME. I feel like I made it perfectly clear to the people on the phone that this car was sold to be under the guise of being perfect for moms, and that I wasn't happy that they never mentioned that it may not work with certain car seats due to the GLARING DESIGN FLAW of having immobile rear headrests. I also made it perfectly clear that I felt that Honda should foot the bill for said headrest removal. But I was still going to have to pay like $500, and my dad got this moved to $0 with very little effort. Must be nice to have a penis.

So. If you have a 2010 Honda CRV, find someone with a penis, and have them make the nice service people agree to get the headrests out for free. They do not have to take the seats apart to do this, that is a lie. Just tell them that you don't care about getting the poles out. Also, they said that if I ever need to get the headrests back in, nothing they did was irreversible.

The End.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The MIL Saga: Part 1 – Pre-grandkids

First off, I would like to thank the hubs for giving me permission to write about this, since it is something that has been weighing on me for some time.

So. When I first met my husband, I pretty much fell in love with his family as I fell in love with him. They are good people, and a lot of fun to be around. He is the only child of parents who divorced when he was 5 or 6. After the divorce, he lived with his dad until about halfway through his 8th grade year, moved in with his mom for high school, then back to his dad’s after he graduated (he technically rented a small house on his dad’s property until he moved out for good). He loved his mom and everything, but was a lot closer to his dad since he spent a lot more time with him.

In the early years of dating, I would constantly marvel at how weird their relationship was. He and his mom were on a bowling team with his aunt and uncle when we first got together, and I would hang out and watch them bowl once a week. This made me think that J and his mom were super close – he saw her almost as often as I saw my parents. But then, towards the end of the season, she dropped off the face of the planet. She stopped going to bowling, and she cancelled plans to have dinner with us at my apartment for something ridiculous like 8 weeks in a row. It frustrated me to see that J seemed to be upset by this (not to mention the annoyance of meticulously cleaning my apartment for hours and preparing meals only to not have her show up)(and the fact that we pretty much couldn’t plan to do anything WE wanted to do since we were supposed to get together with her every damn weekend). However, I really didn’t see this as a red flag at the time.

Other than that, I never had any problem with my MIL whatsoever until I had Adriana. I mean, sure, she was totally different than what I grew up with. She can be loud and a little abrasive and inappropriate (and it only intensifies when there is alcohol involved, which was the case more often than not when she was around). This is a woman who once asked me what it was like to be with a man who had a tongue stud (HER SON). Um, yeah. That was uncomfortable to me, seeing as how my parents have a whole “see no evil, hear no evil” attitude when it comes to me and sex. I’m pretty sure that, as far as they were concerned, I was a virgin until the day I told them I was pregnant. But none of this really bothered me, it was just DIFFERENT.

When we announced that we were pregnant with Adriana, MIL seemed genuinely excited for us. She seemed a little put off that we weren’t having a big wedding after all, but not majorly upset, just a little comment here and there about how we were only inviting immediate family (like 15 people total). There was some awkwardness with certain members of that side of the family not coming to our reception back home (which we SPECIFICALLY planned to be 4th of July weekend, since that’s the only weekend of the year that side gets together), and a little more awkwardness at the baby shower with most of her side not showing up, but I wasn’t really upset with her for any of it. Mostly, I thought it was rude of the rest of the family to not RSVP for either event in any way, shape, or form, since there are other people I would have invited if I had known we’d have the space.

Around the time of the wedding, we also found out that she had an illness that was affecting many aspects of her life. Basically, we accepted that as the excuse for any weirdness on her part, and the months and months of cancelled plans / not calling us.

So that pretty much gets you up to speed on our pre-baby relationship with MIL. It only gets more fun from here…

Green

Since about 1993, black has been my color of choice when it comes to wardrobe decisions. In high school, it was probably equally due to personal preference, parental annoyance, and teenage rebellion (95% of my school was super preppy, I was not). As I grew older, I found that I still love to wear blacks and grays with just the occasional pop of color (jewel tones) to brighten things up. At this point, it's probably laziness more than anything. I COULD start to wear browns and blues, but then I have to get shoes, bags, etc. to match. I'd rather not deal with it.

Needless to say, I don't own a lot of green. Despite the fact that I am almost 100% Italian and don't have a drop of Irish blood in me (and am well past the green beer drinking days), I still try to find fun ways to show some St. Patrick's Day spirit.

I am wearing my standard uniform of black maternity pants (Motherhood Maternity, gag) and gray long sleeved ruched sweater (Target, Liz Lange). I paired that with some olive Madden Girl heels I found at TJ Maxx a couple of years ago, and (of course) green nail polish. I think I have mentioned before that I own 90 kazillion bottles, so picking which shade of green was the highlight of my day. I went with Rescue Beauty Lounge's Recycle (and brought in No More War for a coworker).


Did you wear green today?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's My Fetus, I Can Mock If I Want To

Several people have come up to me today to say that Kid B's freaky ultrasound picture was haunting them. This is the one I'm talking about, in case it's not already burned into your retinas:


I'm sure this has nothing to do with the fact that the picture was sent around with the following images for comparison. Justin thinks she looks like the Terminator, but I think she favors Bony Joanie, myself.






We are kind of assholes, sometimes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's a...

So, we had the big ultrasound today. First and foremost, Kid B is healthy. Normal size, fluid levels, development, palate, whatever else they check for at these things. I believe they said Kid B was about 230 g (a little over half a pound) and was measuring at 18 weeks 3 days (in between my date and the doctor’s date, so no clear winner in the due date debate yet). Kid B is currently head down, but that’s not likely to be a permanent position until week 36 or so.

I am going to post all of the ultrasound pics, since I am the worst mom ever and still haven’t put Adriana’s into a baby book. Plus, Kid B is exceptionally photogenic.


See what I mean? What a beautiful skull. And look how round the one eyeball is. My kid is NOT AT ALL creepy, nosiree.
This one shows off Kid B’s astounding flexibility. I wish I could lick my kneecaps with such ease. Kid B remained in this scrunched up position throughout the entire scan. Perhaps it’s time to officially stop sleeping on my stomach so the kid can stretch out?

Hands. Or at least the shot on the left is a hand. Not really sure what’s going on on the right side. It looks to me like a person with a cute butt leaning back onto a catcher’s mitt.

Feet. We have a teeny tiny replica of this one from the first ultrasound.
Now lets show some nice, normal, non-freaky pics that people can OOH and AAH over without being total liars.

Profile #1

Profile #2

And NOW…for the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

Three lines = it’s a girl! I think the winding thing is the umbilical cord.

We are super psyched for so many reasons that we are having another girl. I have an older and a younger brother, so I think it will be so much fun to raise sisters. Not to mention that with a 22 month age difference, we will get to save a ton of money on clothes, bedding, etc. We tried really hard to go gender neutral on all of the big stuff, but everyone ELSE insists on buying Adriana the pink version of every toy she has, and now we don't have to worry about that either. Plus I think eventually they will share a room so we can have a playroom (and get all of the toys out of the living room). YAY. I could go on and on about all of the reasons I'm excited, I really could. GIRLS!!!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

WAHM! Bam! Thank you ma'am

So, after putting lots and lots of thought into what is best for me and my growing family, I decided to ask to work from home twice a week after coming back from maternity leave.

Assuming I am, in fact, due August 8, I would be coming back from 3 months of “maternity leave” (which is really just sick time, vacation time, and unpaid FMLA) either the week of November 7 or 14. The holidays around here are SO SLOW, and pumping at work is SO CRAPPY, that I just kept thinking that it would be so much easier to only have to deal with it part time. I have had a newborn before, so I know what to expect at the 3 month mark. I really think that I could effectively get my job done and take good care of Kid B. I will either have to send Adriana to grandma and grandpa’s, crate train her, or staple her to the wall for this to work.

I decided to talk to my boss about this sooner rather than later because our organization is going through some changes, and I have some inside information about changes in my group (completely unrelated to the changes in the organization). I wanted to get his approval before HE was aware of the change in my group, or before we report to someone new, because I am sneaky like that. While certain parts of the company get to enjoy flex time or special work/life balance arrangements, it really varies based on who you work for.

My boss is a new manager, and he has erred on the overly cautious side before (not letting coworkers with a long commute work from home during a snowstorm, despite the fact that we have laptops and the type of job that does not require a physical presence in The Office). I SUCK at negotiations of any sort, and only ended up asking to work from home until January. He was SO NICE about it, that I am absolutely kicking myself for not asking to do it longer (or permanently)(or for more days each week). Still, I was half expecting a no, so I am super excited!

In other exciting Kid B news, I am officially calling it – I feel movement. I have felt fleeting sensations for about 2 weeks now, but nothing steady enough or strong enough to say I was 100% sure it wasn’t gas or some other weird pregnancy sensation. This is more like the flutters or bubbles most people describe, instead of the THUNK THUNK THUNK I felt with Adriana, but it’s definitely the kiddo.

YAY!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 4: Write about a habit that you wish you didn’t have

I actually had two habits that were running neck and neck for this one, until I wrote the sentence “If I could snap my fingers and change one thing, it would be…” It’s now clear to me that my clutter habit is far more serious than my habit of generally not giving a crap about looking professional at work. I guess wet hair and no makeup other than rosacea control aren’t that serious in the grand scheme of things. My clutter habit, however…

It’s not that I’m a total slob or anything. And my house isn’t DIRTY, it’s cluttery (my car is a different story though – cracker crumbs, milk stains, and pop cans, oh my). I am actually this weird mix of OCD and hoarder. Some of my things, like books, DVDs, CDs, etc. are organized to the point that if you so much as think of moving them, I will beat you down. Justin regularly makes fun of me because every time I pick up Adriana’s toys in the living room, I take inventory to make sure that not one single piece is missing. I will literally turn the whole room apart to find a block, because she has 20, not 19, dammit!

Let’s take a tour of my desk at work to show you how weird OCD + hoarding can be.


Perhaps no one will notice the clutter if I stack it into nice neat piles?


It's amazing I can find anything in here. Note the super organized binders though, which all have matching labels and typewritten tabs on the inserts.

And THIS is the side people can see when they walk down the aisle. I regularly use clorox wipes on it, because we wouldn't want the CLEAN SIDE to get dusty. Also, the picture frames have to be angled JUST SO and I instantly fix it if someone knocks into one.
My biggest clutter fails are 1) the area near the mail slot, which also tends to spill over onto the dining room table; 2) my garage, which STILL has unpacked boxes from when we moved in last March; and 3) the basement and spare room, which have, I kid you not, something like 40 of those huge Rubbermaid bins of CRAP, some of which have survived 5 or 6 moves without being touched. I always thought that once I stopped moving on an annual basis I would get my act together and go through it, but here I am, a year later, with no progress made.

Has anyone ever used one of those professional organizers? How much does it cost? Is it physically painful to have someone touching your things? And, if Miss Niecy is reading, call me!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Diniwilk Stew

· I went to get my eyebrows waxed over lunch and saw OPI’s Texas Collection in person. It was so freaking boring that I put my name on the list for the Katy Perry Black Shatter as well as the new Pirates of the Caribbean Silver Shatter that is coming out in May. I have NO IDEA where I will actually wear them seeing as how I’m 31, not 13, but ugh, I was just so disappointed with the Texas colors. And I'm a nail polish whore.

· While I was there, I made an appointment for a haircut on Saturday. If I’m not going to dye it (my grays are out of control), I could at least have a nice cut.

· I bet having a nice cut is going to make me dye it. Sorry, kid.

· I am feeling SO MUCH BETTER this week. I’ve only thrown up once since Friday, and I’m actually ENJOYING FOOD again. It’s almost like not being pregnant, it’s crazy. I didn’t have a week like this since about week 28 with Adriana. Perhaps this is a more “normal” pregnancy, in which the sickness ends around now? Is that too much to ask?

· I would be 100% okay with not barfing if I could feel Kid B MOVE already. If the doctor’s due date is right and Kid B acts like Adriana, I should feel movement next week.

· Last weekend, Justin and I went on our 9th date since Adriana was born almost 17 months ago (we saw the Adam Sandler movie and I drank a GIANT cherry icee in celebration of feeling awesome)(and yes, we count our dates). My mom (who is back from Florida, YAY) offered to keep her Friday night, so we are going on date 10. If I still feel okay, I want to go to the Melting Pot. Two kid-free evenings in 7 days!!!

· I just found out that I was going to have to testify as our company’s expert witness in a case, but hearings were scheduled in late July. Kid B is due early August. I am TERRIFIED of taking the stand – I break out in hives just thinking about it. BULLET DODGED! This actually happened when I was pregnant with Adriana too. Best pregnancy timing ever.

· Adriana woke up at 5:30 this morning, so I let her hang out in our bed. She was being so cute I couldn’t fall back asleep. She’d kick her foot out from the covers and set it on Justin’s back, happily chanting “Foot. Back. Foot. Back.” as she kicked him. Then she’d take her binky out and hand it to me, “Here, Mama. Binky.” She knows about 80-100 words now, and I just love listening to her.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 3: Post a picture of you as a child

Yay, I was looking forward to this one. Not just because my childhood pics crack me up, but also because I lost all of my scans when Justin's laptop was stolen on our honeymoon (screw you, Sandals Grande St. Lucian). Thankfully I have the bestest little brother ever, and he sent me these for your amusement.


1982 - This is one of my all time favorite pictures ever. I can clearly remember my dad being excited about his new camera and playing around with the settings before he set it on top of the tv (the blur at the bottom of the pic). Oddly, I don't remember that the OTHER reason for excitement was that this was John's first day home. I think we are juuuuuuust close enough in age that I don't remember life without him.

It BLOWS MY MIND that my mom is 5 years younger than me in this pic. Isn't she the prettiest mommy EVER?


1986ish. Might be 1985, that looks like our first house. Aww, Nick actually used to like us.


1988. One of about 9 zillion pics of the three of us in coordinating outfits, sitting in front of the fireplace. I love how I'm doing my best "bad seed" impersonation while John is goofy and Nick is "so cool".


1990. My super awkward years begin. Nick is actually looking a little awkward here too, a stage which lasted about 5 minutes for him and 5 years for me. John looks cute here. Oh and my mom made that dress. She was SO PROUD of it, but I hated the neck thing. It had a drop waist and bubble skirt in the same red and black material - very fashion forward, 2006 would have been excited.
I have some fun non-sibling childhood pics on facebook too, but I will save them for another trip down memory lane.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why Two is Enough

A friend of mine came back to work this week after what seemed (to me) like the world’s fastest maternity leave. She had a particularly rough delivery that involved things like a cracked pelvis and a bonus follow up surgery this June (oh.my.god.), and she mentioned that she and her husband were so sure that this was the last kid that he’s already had the big snip-eroo.*

We had a nice chat about how, although we think it is/will be challenging to have two spaced so closely together (hers are about 16 months apart, mine will be 22), we think that it will be so nice later on. It’s exciting to think that in just a couple of years, BOTH kids will be walking, talking, maybe even out of diapers. When I entered into the second trimester, I cheered that I will never have another first trimester EVER AGAIN. When her son cries all night, she is comforted by the fact that he will sleep through the night soon enough, and there is a light at the end of the LAST newborn sleep deprivation tunnel.

It was actually really nice to talk to someone who feels the same way about things as I do. Reading all about Swistle and Marie Green’s feelings of babywant were so fascinating to me because I have never experienced those feelings myself. It almost makes me feel like there might be something lacking with my maternal instinct for not feeling the same way.

I’ve heard people mention that strangers react to families with >2 kids like it’s a completely unheard of notion, but I keep running into the opposite reaction. EVERY TIME I mention that Kid B will be my last, someone makes a comment about how I will probably change my mind later, or how different our family would be if John (my younger brother) hadn’t been born. Maybe people will always have opinions to share about your situation, no matter what it is? What is with this universal attitude that we mothers don’t have any clue what is right for us or for our families?

It’s not at all that I didn’t love every single stage with Adriana – it’s just that I am ready to go through the stages again knowing that it’s the LAST time. Justin most definitely feels the same way (he advocated for even CLOSER spacing, and said many times that he would have been okay with just Adriana). I don’t at all feel that me being excited that Kid B will be the last means that I love this baby any less than the first or that I’m trying to rush his or her babyhood. If anything, I feel that I am going to go through it all with a sense of peace that our little family is complete.

*All of that being said, I don’t know that I am ready for J to get a vasectomy. More on this later.