So… Jim found a YouTube video he was very eager to show me! Lol. I did have to laugh. I don’t know if this is an old trend and everyone’s already seen it but I thought I’d put it up here for anyone who hasn’t.
So… Jim found a YouTube video he was very eager to show me! Lol. I did have to laugh. I don’t know if this is an old trend and everyone’s already seen it but I thought I’d put it up here for anyone who hasn’t.
Have you guys seen that Tumblr called “Reasons My Toddler Is Crying“? I present my own list, without pictures since I’m not THAT cruel:
It’s a charming phase, the Irrational Outbursts of Rage. Yesterday Jim asked me, “When do kids hit the stage where they start acting like actual human beings?” Except, I think this IS how humans act when left to their own devices. After having participated in raising several children, it’s actually amazing to me that there isn’t more rampant crime. As a species, given how simultaneously self absorbed and self destructive we tend to start off in life, I think humans do a pretty decent job civilizing ourselves.
Anyone have their own reasons to contribute to my list? Try to top the “not scrolling fast enough” item. I dare you.
So June is looking just as busy as May was! With the added fun of an extra big kid to
prevent from murdering her brothers entertain! No, it’s all good, it just took me by surprise. We have lots of out of town weddings (and bachelorette party!) and graduations and a family reunion thing, plus I’m co-running a garage sale fundraiser for a family in our Girl Scout troop that has gotten way bigger and more complicated than I thought it would be. AND the kids are desperate to go to the cottage- and so am I- but we have several things to finish on our house/yard still, so leaving on weekends gets dicey. Add to that finding a family babysitter to keep Jameson when we go (since we agreed very quickly that taking that particular child to the beach at this particular point in his life sounded more like a water boarding than a vacation) and we’ll probably end up getting there less than the kids are hoping. I miss it a lot… I didn’t get to go at all last year. Stupid real life interrupting vacation. SUMMER MEANS OBLIGATIONS MUST CEASE!
Oh, and we’re also now “in talks,” if you will, about putting Eli in some kind of part time preschool program through the summer. It’s appalling for me since a) I’m a stay at home parent so it feels embarrassing to pay for him to be supervised even during the summer, for pete’s sake and b) paying for more stuff, ugh. However, his behavior ever since preschool ended- which has been what, a whole four days now?- has taken an upsetting nose dive. I won’t go into details, but, seriously. UPSETTING. He had been doing really great the last month or so, and then all the sudden, serious regression into behaviors I thought we had mostly eradicated.
He clearly must thrive on having his time very directed and activity driven, but unfortunately that is tricky to give him when I also have a toddler and a nursing baby, as well as the grocery shopping and laundry and meals and dishes and a house that all demand attention. He also LOVES all his friends at school, and complains often about being lonely and having no one to play with at home- his sister is too bossy, his brother too pesty, blah blah blah. The loneliness thing wouldn’t concern me so much if Addy didn’t have so many little friends to play with right in our neighborhood, and him so few. Zero, actually. So while she can run around and ride her bike with five or six other girls all summer long, he will likely be ganged up on or ignored and left behind by them the majority of the time.
So, we’re thinking this might be the best option despite the cringe-making cost. I so want him to have a positive summer before kindergarten, not a summer filled with restricted privileges and subsequent tantrums and further restricted privileges and further tantrums and so on, ad infinitum.
Thoughts? Anyone else send their kids to programs throughout the summer, too? Am I worrying too soon?
I am in a very “meh” phase when it comes to blogging. Part of it is that in general the enthusiasm with which everyone used to post and comment on other posts seems to have dwindled a bit over the last few years- I blame Twitter, mostly, but also the fact that a lot of people I blog “with,” myself included, have added significantly to our families since we first began, and/or our families are growing up and needing more from us than diaper changes, so we are finding ourselves with far less free time/creative energy than we may have had five years ago. That’s ok, I tell myself. It’s a stage, and in another five years, if I can keep this little blog limping along, I’ll be brimming over with thought provoking post ideas again!
Actually, it’s not that the idea well has run dry so much as that it bubbles up with inspiration at the most inopportune times, and when I find myself at the computer twelve hours later, all I can think to write are brief, desperate, telegram style updates: “Kids are overwhelming. No one ever told me it would be THIS hard. Stop. House is so messy. Wish I could throw whole structure in washing machine on sanitize. Stop. Body is falling apart. Stop. Marriage is held together with equal parts affection, tolerance, and separate TV rooms.” So maybe I do need a smart phone after all, if only to give me a chance to post when the mood actually strikes me, which is inevitably when I’m in the van, running errands in between dance class and dinner, for instance.
About that “body falling apart” stuff. Childbearing is BS, you guys, (says the doula.) It makes me seethe with anger sometimes that for me, the cost of having a big family is that before I’ve even seen my thirtieth birthday I’ve heard the words “eventual hysterectomy.” Yeah. There’s a happy thought. Actually, if it didn’t involve major surgery, it WOULD kind of be a happy thought. That’s one way to not get pregnant again.
After months of worsening pelvic pain and even some swelling, I finally went to my OB a couple of weeks ago, thinking she would take a peek under the hood and just inform me that it was all hormones and my body gearing up to start cycling again as Talia’s nursing tapered off, something like that. Some benign ovarian cysts, probably, which is something I’ve always been prone to. Instead, after two visits, a round of antibiotics and a sonogram, she said that I almost certainly have a moderate case of adenomyosis (you can’t confirm it definitively without actually doing a hysterectomy and looking at the uterus itself, so it’s generally diagnosed based on symptom reports and either ultrasound or MRI.)
Apparently adenomyosis is not often seen in young women- usually it’s diagnosed between age thirty five and fifty, and it mainly happens to women who have had some kind of trauma to their uterus, either through multiple c sections or other uterine surgeries (such as d and c procedures- I’ve had two, following miscarriages.) But the doctor said for some people just repeated pregnancies can do it (um… yep, done that.) And there’s also evidence that having been on any kind of hormone treatments (check and CHECK) can up your odds. So. Here we are. I’m twenty eight years old and my reproductive organ is giving up.
Unfortunately the only treatments before hysterectomy are ones I am not a good candidate for: Some people use birth control pills to control the symptoms of adenomyosis during their cycles, but I’m not supposed to be on those kind of hormones- it also often doesn’t work, anyways. There’s also ablation, but my case is too advanced for that, she said. So I can do this: absolutely not get pregnant again, take a bunch of NSAID s before ovulation, before and during my period, and before… other activities, and hope it doesn’t get worse.
I certainly don’t want a hysterectomy, but the thought of years and years enduring painful ovulation cycles, long, excruciating periods, and downing handfuls of Advil to get through the day is also genuinely depressing. I’m feeling frustrated, honestly, and old and used up. And angry, even though I know it’s no one’s fault. I wouldn’t go back and change my choices, since they brought healthy babies into my life (though I maybe would have skipped those doctor-recommended d and c’s and waited those miscarriages out instead.) But I can’t seem to stop thoughts like, “So, I put my body through years of unpleasantness for the sake of our family, and my reward is… more unpleasantness. That sounds completely fair!”
My favorite Sarah Haskins clips- a belated Mother’s Day gift to women everywhere, mothers or not.
Just thought I’d pass along a few links from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s annual clinical meeting:
I’m not even going to go on a bender, ranting about the gross misuse of Pitocin inductions (and I don’t mean an induction for preeclampsia, obviously. I’m talking about what they’re talking about- induction for convenience’ sake only.) I’m just going to say that I’m very glad this information is out there and finally getting the acknowledgement it deserves from the medical community, and not just from on-the-fringe birth professionals like midwives and doulas.
I’d also like to add that I am NOT posting this to make anyone who did have an induced or augmented labor feel badly! Believe me, there are medical/pregnancy-related decisions that I myself would reevaluate if I could go back and do things again. But at a certain point you do just make the best decision you can with the advise and information you’re given. It is on the shoulders of the medical community to stay as up to date as possible on research and to then act accordingly, even if it means disrupting the status quo or inconveniencing themselves. Anyone in the health field has an obligation to acknowledge the latest outcome-based research available to them, and when it is ignored for years and years (i.e. the prolonged use of routine episiotomy even after years of mounting evidence showing that it usually offered no benefit and often caused harm,) it’s very upsetting to those of us who WANT to have faith in our physicians and believe they’re on our side.
My two year old son has found you via Netflix, despite my attempts to persuade him that any other show is preferable and that YOU ARE A LARGE PURPLE DEVIL. Since I was unsuccessful (and still too lazy to just turn OFF the TV) I spent a half hour listening to you and your squeaky voiced minions singing about various healthy habits today. One of them, obviously, is hand washing, and I certainly concur that hygiene is important. I take issue, however, with the song that begins, “Squishy squishy squashy, give your hands a washy!” My complaint (other than the fact that there exists such an annoying song,) was with the phrase “You can’t wear out your skin, so give your hands a washy!” I submit Exhibit A in my case against you:
The resolution is not great here, but perhaps you can observe that it is, in fact, possible to literally wear out your skin from washing. As I type this my skin is stinging and burning around my fingertips where it is cracked open in three places, currently. So, you know, if you’re going to prance around
stabbing my ears singing, at least be accurate, please.
PSA: I recently discovered Gold Bond Hand Sanitizing Moisturizer, and I am now keeping a tube by both diaper changing areas and in my purse to help cut down on my hand washing. Eliminating hand washings is not usually a goal, I realize, but the skin on my hands is starting to feel as fragile as tissue paper, so it’s become imperative for me.
Just a few quick updates here… and none of the deep, reflective post content that gets mulled over while I’m driving around and listening to music. I don’t know where those kinds of posts go, anymore. To my thighs, most likely. That seems to be where everything else ends up.
I guess that’s a good a segue as any to the first update, which is that I’m easing myself into a diet. Ugh. I have never actually dieted, only food journalled, or whatever you want to call it, when I could tell my habits were getting a little out of control. I found that when I had to write everything down, I found ways to get more fruits and veggies on the list and less pastry and ice cream.
I’m not journalling this time, because I hate having to be SO conscious of every single thing. For the rest of this month, I’m just eliminating sweets and also (gulp gulp) eliminating most cheese. I’ll eat it if it’s part of a dish or something, you know, a little sprinkled parm on a chicken breast. But no more snacks that end up basically being half a block of sharp cheddar and an indeterminate number of Triscuits. I always wondered what might happen to my body if I just gave up my cheese addiction. Guess we’ll see.
I should note that this decision to diet is in no way brought on by a sudden surge of health consciousness but is instead motivated by a desire to fit more neatly into a bridesmaid dress which I have already purchased and from which, currently, there protrudes all sorts of fleshy bits both below and above the strapless cocktail design. It is a beautiful, but fairly unforgiving, fit, at least on my body. My arms are getting that matronly jiggle and my knees are encased in, basically, the remains of all those late night cheese and cracker snacks. I fit in it, now, technically, but I know I’ll be sad if I look at all the pictures and feel that I didn’t look my best. So I’m going to try just cutting out the desserts and the cheese and see where that gets me. If it doesn’t help much, then I may actually do calorie counting and all that tiresome nonsense. (Talia is eating a lot more table food lately, so I feel safe now trying to actively diet a bit without compromising her milk supply too much. In the past when I’ve tried to cut calories- mostly during Jamie’s babyhood- I could always tell within a week that I was producing a lot less milk.)
So, blah blah blah, boring food/body talk. My least favorite thing. On to more fun stuff! First of all, most excitingly, I am officially certified with DONA now and can put CD(DONA) behind my name! So now I can start putting those business cards to good use. I already have a client (a repeat, actually,) due in November. Hopefully I’ll get a few more in the meantime!
Secondly, I did in fact find a way to frame those wine pictures I mentioned before. It turned out really well, and I spent a grand total of seven dollars, in buying the calendar and then a few mats to use with a bunch of frames I already had. I just ended up cutting and trimming the pictures to fit various sizes of frames and hung them in a gallery style. I’ll post a picture one of these days, because I was really excited by how it turned out. And also I felt clever for doing it on the cheap instead of paying to have them all framed.
Thirdly, we’ve had great weather the last week or so (until yesterday) and have been outside and doing playdates and picnics and things every single day. I am exhausted, and my housework is a bit behind, but I feel really good about how much fun the kids have had, and how little TV time. They are so much easier to deal with when they’ve been outside to run around! Dirtier, but easier. Good thing too, because I was about at the end of my rope recently with attitudes. I even had a little breakdown and ranted to Jim that being a mom wasn’t exactly leaving me fulfilled, since I just ended up feeling unappreciated and like a failure all the time. That was a bad day. But then the sun came out and everyone straightened up a bit, thank GOD.
And… I guess that’s it. Or it’ll have to be, because we have to leave for Family Fun Night at church. Whee! (Then on to Adult Drink Night.)
So this morning at ten thirty I got to have a total stranger come into my house and take pictures of every single room! A new appraisal of the house had to be done after the addition, but at least, luckily, it happened just a few days after Easter Sunday. We hosted the family lunch in our new dining room this year, so the house was more or less clean already. I was still scrambling and sweating at ten twenty nine, of course, but it wasn’t as much of an ordeal as it could have been.
Afterwards, I decided to go through and take a bunch of pictures of the new part of the house for you all, even though it’s not TOTALLY done and I had wanted to wait until everything was perfect for the grand reveal. I decided, though, that this is as clean and tidy as it’s ever going to be all at once, so I was just going to photograph it now and be done with it. Once all the unfinished stuff, like our closet, is done, I can always post update pics.
Without further ado, I present, from varying angles, our new dining room:
You can see here that apparently the shutter of my camera didn’t open all the way or something? And also that we’re still working on that doorway that leads to the kitchen. The drywall there was a wreck from way back when, so it’s on coat three, I think, of joint compound. One of these days it’s going to be smooth and ready to paint! And then that last bit of trim can get put up along the wall and around the doorway. (I stained and sanded all the dining room trim, btw, so I’m obnoxiously proud of it.)
That blank wall above Taliana’s crazy entertainment station is going to have a wine tapesty on it, which I bought the first year we were married and have been saving for a dining room ever since. It’s probably tacky and outdated by now, but gosh darn it, it’s getting hung in my long awaited dining room!
I’m not sure what we’re going to do on the wall leading back towards the rest of the addition. We had talked about maybe putting a couple of decorative shelves along the length of it, but just yesterday I found this wine calendar on clearance for four dollars, and it has four or five pictures that I love so much I want to find a way to frame them, despite their odd shape. So I might put those there instead if I can figure out an (inexpensive) way to do it.
Anyhoo… moving on to the kids’ new bathroom:
I found a bunch of quotations and sayings (my favorite is “If you really want to be happy, there’s no one who can stop you”) that I wanted to have in front of
my whiny ungrateful children all of us on a daily basis, so I printed them on various scrapbook papers and put them in little frames I have been collecting from clearance sections over the past year.
Not sure what’s going to go on the wall over the white cupboard there. I’m very proud of that towel cupboard, too- I found it just sitting in the middle of a wide Lowe’s aisle with an as-is sticker price on it that was about half of the way too high original, because the doors don’t close exactly flush and it’s also missing the interior shelves. I realized it was perfect for storing a big ole’ stack of back towels, however, and determined to make it mine. I found a sales’ associate, told them I was interested in it but I felt it was priced too high given the defects (it was also a little banged up on the bottom edge,) and asked if he would take x amount instead. And he did! I probably would have bought it anyways, but it felt a lot better to pay x than the original sale price. It never hurts to ask, is the moral of that story. (Unless your personality makes it painful to ask such things, in which case don’t torture yourself!)
And here is our new bedroom:
Our most frequently rotated clothes are hanging on a ladder in here at the moment, and the rest live in Talia’s closet. Jim and his architect brother are cooking up their own custom organizer/shelf system, so I am eagerly anticipating having a gorgeous area in which to hang my hand me downs and random snags off the Kohls clearance rack! Heh. Clothes- and shoes- are really not my girly thing. Make up used to be. Now it’s… um…. shaving my legs on a bi monthly basis?
And finally, the master bathroom:
Another area almost but not quite finished. Tub still needs the tile surround done, obviously, and the glass block window needs framed. It’s useable though, even the tub, so I am a happy girl. I really love how it’s turned out so far.
Here’s the shower side. I really like that print on the wall- that was actually the very first thing I bought for the “new” house, and I chose all the colors for the bathroom and even our bedroom based on it.
Here’s the print I have hanging above the tub. I deliberated about this picture for a month- repeatedly visiting it at the store to contemplate- and felt very self conscious buying a (gasp!) NAKED picture, but in the end I had to have it. I love how relaxed and at ease the subject is, seeming almost to be embracing her own nude body. She looks so comfortable in her own skin. I guess I wanted it in my bathroom for the same reason I wanted inspiring quotations in my kids’ bathroom. We all need positive images in front of our eyes on a daily basis!
Lastly, here is the view coming out of my bedroom back into the dining room:
You can see that the brick wall and the little utility closet area are also still unfinished. We know what we want to do with that closet area eventually, but I am still on the fence how to paint the brick wall. I wanted to do some kind of effect initially, but the brick is actually plastered over, so there’s really not much I can do with it. But should I paint it a darker color or something?
I also wanted to show you a few shots of the kitchen and how nice and open it is now, without a table in the middle! I am so happy with the space.