Boo! (aka: Scary Parenting)

Happy Halloween! I love Halloween: the candy; the decorations; the candy; the costumes. Did I mention the candy? I am a sucker for any occasion that requires the donning of costumes. I guess I am just a frustrated thespian at heart (not to be confused with lesbian. I do have two kids, after all!).

This year, All Hallows Eve dawned with me struggling to finish Z's costume and not even having started Q's. Ah, procrastination in action! Not only did I have the costumes to complete, but I had to pack for my trip to see Sister K, pack for the kids' trip to the ranch with Grandma and GanGan, clean up all of the food the dogs weren't here to eat off the floor, and be ready to leave for Ginormousville directly from the Halloween carnival so I could catch my morning flight. Phew!

All progressed well in the morning. I got most of Z's costume finished by mid-morning. I finished Q's in record time, just in time to pick up Z from school. I picked up some extra-wide elastic for Z's wrist and ankle bands on the way home. Q fell asleep in the car on the way home. Sweet! With him asleep I should be able to motor through the rest of Z's costume and get our bags packed with plenty of time to actually bathe before it was time to head out. Yay!

Well, it didn't happen like that. Z woke Q up as we pulled into the garage. No biggie. I can usually get him back down without much fuss. I plop Q in his crib and head downstairs to get Z settled with a snack. Q lets out a howl that makes it clear that there would be no sleeping any time soon. Here's the weird part: when I got back to Q's room and took him out of baby jail, he didn't stop screaming. He seemed to be having some sort of fit. He threw himself on the floor and flopped around, bashing his head on his bookshelf in the process. I couldn't touch or comfort him in any way without sending him spiraling back into tantrum mode. Arg. I spent a couple of hours with this fun activity. Finally, he was so tired that he couldn't keep his eyes open and I got him into bed at last.

By the time I got Z down for a nap, it was mid-afternoon. Panic time! I managed to get both costumes finished and the bags packed. I did not manage a shower. I was pretty testy by the time it was time for the 'fun' part of my day to begin. Z was dogging my every step (pun entirely intended!) and Q woke up as cranky as he had been when he went to sleep. I had to bite my tongue to keep from snapping at her, but I managed it. It wasn't her fault that I had planned so poorly. I was sweaty and crabby and my costume shirt was made of polyester. Feh.

The good news is that once I got the kids into their costumes and out onto the street for trick-or-treating, they were so cute I forgot all about my foul mood and got into the spirit of things. We drove into town to a neighborhood where the houses are closer together. Z was the belle of the trick-or-treating ball. Everywhere we went, people wanted to take her picture because she was so dang cute. Q, too, but to a lesser extent. I was dressed as a French person (striped shirt, red scarf, beret), but most people didn't that or that I was supposed to be the poodle's owner.

My talkative tot had to be reminded what to say after she rang the door bell, but after that, she was off and running. To every group we passed, she said, "My name is Z. I'm three and a half. This is my brother, Q. I'm a poodle. My mama made this for me." She developed quite the fan club among the 'tween girls who were roaming the streets in packs. They called out to her as they passed and she would wave and say to me, "Those are my friends." It was adorable.

When we had collected an amount of candy bordering on obscene, we headed off to the Halloween carnival where Z won the costume for the fourth year in a row. Not that I'm competitive or anything. Actually, she won with her best bud Zeke. He was Indiana Jones. After the contest, they ran off to the bounce house for the rest of the evening, only taking breaks to come eat more garbage carnival food. Such excellent parenting: don't feed the children dinner then fill them up with candy. I rock.

After a hay ride and changing into pajamas in the parking lot (standing in a fire ant bed, no less), we set out for Ginormousville. The kids were asleep before we even hit the highway. Upon arrival, Z woke up just enough to tell Grandma all about 'trick-or-treats.' It was a close to perfect night. This is what parenting is about.


Off to the Pumkin Patch

Every year we make the photo-op pilgrimage to the Farmer's Market to buy pumpkins and capture our children's joy at the changing seasons in pictures.

No, wait. That would be other people's children. Ours rampage through the stalls leaving destruction in their wake. I think Z dropped a minimum of a dozen assorted gourds and mini-pumpkins. She tried to pick up a pumpkin the size of a small car, but the sight of my head spinning completely around made her think better of it.

I was trying to photograph this fun little field trip with a camera borrowed from the in-laws. Let me just say, that Kodak Easy Share camera is the Worst. Camera. Ever. It has been temperamental for a while now, but I couldn't even make it snap a picture. Every time I hit the button, the lens would zoom in and out and the Easy Share screen would come up on the display. I poked and prodded, turned it off and on, toggled through menus, and mashed the shutter button in vain.

I looked up in time to see that Q had wandered back to the car and was leaning against it with his head. Just his head. The rest of him wasn't touching it at all. He had clearly had all the fun he could stand. Such stellar parenting!

Meanwhile, the Farmer's Market lady (the one with the ciggy hanging from the corner of her mouth like it was stitched there and a voice that sounded she'd taken up drinking brown liquor at a tender age) started following Z around with a plastic sack. At this point I realized that the picture taking venture was a colossal fail and that if I didn't get her out of there, Z was going to have the entire fall crop of (dropped/damaged) gourds in a sack on its way to the back of my car.

I let Z pick out a big pumpkin, or more accurately, steered her toward an acceptable big pumpkin. I picked out a lumpy, kind of purple-y boutique-y pumpkin and we had a white one at home already. Zoe got her bag o' gourds and we headed back to the house.

I had every intention of letting the kids decorate the pumpkins this afternoon, but being fine parent that I am, I got sucked into making Z's costume and completely forgot about the 20 pounds of pumpkin rolling around in the back of my car. Guess we'll do it tomorrow. I got these cool adhesive foam face pieces, so it will be interesting the see how Z puts them together!


Halloween Cuteness

Years ago, I purchased a sewing machine for the express purpose of making costumes. During college and my single years, I made some pretty amazing costumes. If I do say so myself!

The last one I made was for a space themed Halloween party when I was five months pregnant with Z. I went as Miss Piggy from Pigs in Space complete with silver boots, shiny purple dress, and silver lamé epaulets.

But today I have outdone myself. I am making Z's Halloween costume. (I know, I know. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. What can I say? I work better under pressure.) She is going as a pink poodle. I bought this curly/shaggy pink fleece for the furry parts. It looks like there has been a stuffed animal massacre in my kitchen. Man, does that stuff shed!

Essentially, I am making bloomers, a short vest, a bunch of wrist and ankle scrunchies and a headband with ears on it. It is the. cutest. thing. ever. When I started out, the bloomers looked like little furry hot pants, which totally cracked me up. Of course, once I added the elastic they turned into really fluffy bloomers. Too cute! She will wear the bloomers and vest over a pink leotard and leggings. She will have a black collar with white polka dots and little black and white polka dot bows at all of the appropriate places. I could just go into a sugar coma from the sweetness of this costume.

Wouldn't you know it? Precision Camera is still holding my camera hostage. So much for taking it to see Sister K next week! I will post a picture as soon as I am able.

Q is going as a tiny little cowboy. I found some faux leather and am making him a pair of chaps and a vest. He already has tiny boots, a sheriff's badge, and a cowboy hat. I am considering making some spurs out of fun foam, but I think he would probably just take them off and chew on them.

Z has already said that she wants to be a witch next year. So I will make her a cute/scary witch costume and - wait for it - Q will be her flying monkey! I am already scheming wings. Love!


I'm on the phone with my dad the other night. The doorbell rings and I exclaim, "Ooh! That's the pizza guy." To which my dad replied, "What are you doing ordering a pizza?" Ouch.

I have fallen off the wagon. I have fallen off so thoroughly that I can't even find the wagon (or, you know, the scale) to get back on. Blah. And all those doctor appointments? Started with the super fun visit to the weighs-heavier-than-any-other-scale-in-the-universe scale.

I will get back at it. I will do a weight report as soon as I locate a scale.


Noxious Growth

For the last several months there has been a small knot on my scalp. The last time she was here, Sister K checked it out and decided that it was just another depressing sign of aging; yet another mole on Rae Ann's amazing Mole Farm. Then last week, it ballooned up into this huge painful lump. It was like a squirrel had burried an acorn under my scalp. OUCH!

Dr. Dad-in-Law looked at it and declared it to be a boil. A boil? I was horrified. I thought only dirty people got boils. I mean, I know my standards of hygeine have slipped, but a boil? Really?

I went to the dermatologist today. She said that it was a very irritated pilar cyst and referred me to a plastic surgeon to have it removed. Huh. Basically it is a pocket of the kind of cells like you have in the bottom of your hair follicles that has run amok. Blarg. The plastic surgeon will also look at/remove my witch's mole on my chin. Yay!

Dr. P, who is NOT the nazi some of her online reviewers suggested, said that my skin was "pretty good." And that she didn't say that to very many people. She was very thorough in her exam. She flopped boobs and checked creases with amazing speed. She said that I have some minor sun damage and, sigh, rosacea. And Rae Ann makes three: my sisters have rosacea, too. Damn genes.

I guess now I will actually have to take care of my skin. It figures. I had perfect skin as an adolescent. Now I get to fight it as an adult. Whee.


Bureaucratic Hoop Jumping

We are back from the ranch. In an entirely unprecedented event, I am in my big ol' house all by myself alone. No kids, no dogs, no husband. Very strange. But what is particularly bizarre is that with an entire evening ahead of me with absolutely no responsibility and a Tivo full of my favorite shows (Grey's Anatomy! Pushing Daises! Private Practice!), all I want to do is catch up on my blog. I watched Ugly Betty while I was scarfing my (illicit pizza) dinner and all I could think about was uploading the posts I wrote while I was at the ranch. Huh. I think I must be addicted.

Hubs is attending a week long training in Austin. The kids are with his parents because I have two doctor appointments here in Small Town and didn't want to track down child care - or worse, take them with me. Can you imagine my over-observant Z at an Ob/Gyn appointment? "Mommy, what's a speculum? Why is she putting that in your girl bits? I want to see!" My brain explodes just thinking about it. I have yet another appointment back in Ginormousville on Tuesday, so I will be back before my kids even have a chance to miss me.

Here is my little tale of bureaucratic hoop jumping for your entertainment: About three weeks ago I made an appointment to see a dermatologist. They pre-screened my insurance to make sure I was covered and discovered that I needed a referral from my primary care physician (PCP) in order to get the highest level of benefits.

I am the healthiest (fat) person you are likely to meet. Ever. I do not have a primary care physician because in the four years that I have been married, I have never been sick. I do have an Ob/Gyn (I did birth two kids in those four years), so I called her to see if she could make the referral. No dice. The insurance company says it has to be your PCP.

I call the insurance company to see who is available. First, I ask about my doctor back in Ginormousville from my teaching days. (Days spent in the company of other people's germy children did seem to produce trips to the doctor!) They couldn't find her, though I am certain that she is still in practice and accepting their insurance. Next I asked about the one general practice Small Town has to offer. They found a doc there and signed up with her. I was assured my new card was in the mail. Great!

I called the doctor's office to beg for a referral/set up an appointment so that I could beg for a referral, only to find that the doctor in question wasn't actually accepting new patients any more. Rather than calling the insurance company back (clearly they didn't know anything, anyway), I talked to the new patient department at the local practice. Turns out none(!) of the doctors there are accepting new patients. Ack! Panic! But the nurse practitioners are. Whew!

So now I am signed up with a NP with the incongruous name of Brandi and her supervising doctor will be the name on my new insurance card. Luckily, she had an appointment available tomorrow morning, so I should be able to get her to slip the referral in just under the wire. I am so glad that I get to spend $20 for a NP to tell me that I need to see a dermatologist who will get $30 plus procedure fees. Insurance is such a racket.


The Poop Scoop

WARNING: This entry has graphic details about things that came out of my son’s butt. If you are at all squeamish about bodily functions, do not read any further.

Seriously. Come back tomorrow.

I mean it.

Okay, you asked for it. Q has poop issues. The poor little guy has been constipated pretty much since he started eating solid foods – last January. We were completely baffled when the problem started, because he was on the all fiber and breast milk diet. Breast milk is a natural laxative, so his difficulties were a real puzzle. I made enough milk to feed small third world countries, so it wasn’t an issue of dehydration, either.

Eventually, after his poor little abused sphincter started bleeding because he was pooping ROCKS, I consulted the pediatrician. He suggested glycerin suppositories (been there, done that. No luck), prune juice, apple sauce, and pureed prunes. Failing the dietary changes, he suggested giving Milk of Magnesia in increasing doses until we got the poop soft and kept it soft. I made a calendar to keep track of his excretion schedule.

Even following this regimen, Q was only pooping once or twice per week. When he did poop, he did this heart-breaking poopy dance and wailed as if his heart (or butt) was breaking. We had been using the Milk of Mag hardcore for about six weeks and had added Benefiber to pretty much every beverage that went in his mouth when we finally got him on a decent non-painful schedule.

Then he got pneumonia.

The infection and/or the antibiotics gave him the trots, so we quit all poop-softening rituals. After he recovered, we were pleased to note that he seemed to be doing okay with only the prune juice and Benefiber. Yay!

Then when I took him in for his flu shot on Tuesday, he did the poopy dance and squeezed out a hiney-ripper of a turd. Poor little guy! This was the first time that the doc had witnessed exactly how much distress Q was really in when he pooped. He pretty much told us to give him Milk of Mag until the end of time. So we got back on our all fiber and Milk of Mag routine.

He hadn’t pooped in a couple of days, but I didn’t think anything of it, as he often goes days between stinkers. He hadn’t been sleeping through the night and when he woke up, I could hear him making grunt-y pushy noises. I knew he needed to go, but he had pooped on Tuesday, so I wasn't really worried. He was a little crabby after we got to the ranch, but then he didn’t sleep in the truck and he is often out of sorts when we travel.

By that afternoon, I just didn’t know what to do with him. He wanted to be held but cried when I picked him up. Nothing made him happy. Finally, he started doing the poopy dance and I got a clue. Oh, he needs to poop! He swayed and cried and I rubbed his back and his belly… for a really long time. I kept checking his diaper, but he was making no deposits. After a while, my abs hurt from sympathy pushing!

Finally, I checked his pants and could see a little turtle sticking out its head. In a move only a mom could make, I reached in a pulled his little cheeks apart and a tiny little poop came out. On the next push, I could see there was a giant poop in there, but it couldn’t come out. My god, it looked like it was going to rip him in two!

Luckily, I was in a hunting household and there were lots of surgical gloves around (for cleaning game). So I snapped some on and took Q to the changing table. I was going in.

I was horrified by my little boy’s cries of pain and anguish as well as the train-sized poo trying to exit his rectum. It looked like something out of a birthing video. I guess there is no limit to what a mother will do for her child because I took my gloved hand and squeezed the muscles around his butthole.

This was a thing nightmares are made of. It was like popping the most disgusting zit in the universe. A giant plug of rock hard poop was followed by a man-sized dookie that was easily a foot long. But wait! He wasn’t finished. He did two more giant poops before we could even get the first one cleaned up. He must have produced at least two pounds of sh!t. I’m pretty sure he was pushing so hard that he had pushed out part of his colon.

Before the day was over, he had produced two more overflowing diapers. Good god! Where did he put it all? He must have had poop backed up to his uvula.

Interestingly, once he was finally cleared out, he ate like a linebacker. He must have been feeling pretty empty.

This morning his rear looked like it had been through a war, but he was in much better spirits. Until it was time to poop again. He was all, “There is no way I am letting anything pass through my abused rear exit!” But eventually the prune juice and Cracklin’ Oat Bran prevailed.

The good news? I could totally identify everything in his poop, so now I know he is completely cleared out. The bad news? My brain needs an enema to rid it of the horrific image of poopzilla exiting Q’s backside.

Sing it Willy! (On the Road Again)

Further proof that moving west would be good for everyone? We drove to the ranch from Ginormousville today – and it didn’t suck! T was in a good mood. The drive wasn’t long enough for the kids to get really crabby. The hounds had gone ahead with the in-laws, so there was no juggling of Pomeranians while eating our lunch in the truck. Practically heaven. (Actual heaven would involve first class tickets to a tropical island with sugar sand beaches.)

The weather has been just gorgeous. The skies are blue and clear. There is a nice breeze, but there is just enough of fall in the air to keep it from being too hot. Temperatures are probably in the 70’s, which is downright brisk by Texas standards.

T and I took a drive all around the ranch in his 1947 Jeep yesterday evening. The sun was setting, so it was rush hour for the wildlife population. There were deer everywhere. (T tells me he only shoots the mean ones to make me feel better about eating them in the very near future – like tonight at dinner. This sounds like a bunch of hooey, but as it turns out, is actually true. Old barren does are often aggressive with younger deer and are singled out for shooting. Who knew?) We saw flocks of turkey on the hoof – that’s a sight to see. Those are some seriously silly looking birds! We startled a couple of armadillos into doing speed racer imitations. I couldn’t help but laugh at their awkward escape. Clearly these guys have been naturally selected for survival around cars. We even saw a pretty decent showing of duck and dove as we did a tour of the ranch’s watering holes. It was a great end to a nice day.

The last time we were here I scoped out a cool place for family portraits. There were red sandstone steps with a backdrop of huge prickly pear cactus. I got us all dressed up in coordinating outfits and trucked us all out to our location. T got some huge bug up his hiney and was pissy the whole time we were there. I am guessing it is because I asked him to a.) tuck in his shirt; and b.) take off his sunglasses (but not his hat!) for the pictures. He said that he thought the lighting would be best just after lunchtime, so we were there around 1:00. The sun was directly behind us – photographic suicide. Arg! Anyway, his mood poisoned the well so to speak. The kids picked up on his vibe and were not very cooperative. Both of the in-laws were armed with digital cameras, so we probably took +/-50 pix. I think we may have ended up with 2 where we adequately resembled a happy family. I guess we will do it again on our next visit. At a different time of day. Like I wanted to. Sigh.

We paid a family visit to the catfish pond. They are as huge as ever. Z delighted in dumping an entire bowl full of fish food on them. Q mostly ignored the fish and focused on his true love: 'driving' the Jeep. T is going to have to fight him to drive before he knows it!

All in all, it was a nice visit. I guess I wouldn't mind too much if we lived closer.


Hangin' with Chica

We are bound for the ranch again this weekend, and because of a series of doctor’s appointments I had to bring a separate car to Ginormousville. I decided to head out a day early so I could hang out with Chica.

She is taking most of this ‘I am getting a brand new baby in six weeks’ stuff in stride, but for whatever reason, baby bedding is the hill she has chosen to die on. Chica has a very specific (fabulous!) design aesthetic and is finding it difficult to find bedding that doesn’t make her gag. She is not a fan of pink and the word “cutesy” is not in her vocabulary. She wants primary colored (red, specifically) girl bedding – which may as well be the Rings of the Nibelungen (hey! A non-pop-culture cultural reference!).

She found a boldly colored country-French floral, but everyone keeps telling her that it is too grown up and to just buy the pink already! This, understandably, frustrates her. She found several other fabrics that she likes, but couldn’t visualize how they would look as a finished product.

Rae Ann to the rescue! She sent me links to all of the swatches she was considering and I made her what amounts to paper dolls for home décor. I created a template of the nursery that included curtains, crib bumper, bumper ties and the bed skirt. I filled each template with one of the swatches Chica had sent me. Then I created a nursery to put them in with paint in colors that coordinated with the floral. Finally, I cut out all of the little pieces and you could dress the nursery and see how all of the parts looked together. Pretty slick, if I do say so myself.

I took the whole kit and caboodle over to her house and we got the whole thing sorted out over some lovely Scottish tea that tasted of apricots.

Coincidentally, her birth mother lives near our ranch in the middle of Nowhere. I am currently planning to camp out there around the due date so I can see the new baby right away (that’s not stalker-like at all, huh?). Chica is so cute! When she found out that I wanted to come out for the birth, she offered to buy me a pair of the matching PJ’s that she is getting for her mother and herself (a men’s style pajama in a fun leopard print. Whee! I love me some leopard print.)

She asked for some input on what would have made my birth experience more pleasant so she could provide that for the birth mother. I completely drew a blank. All I could come up with was some music to labor by. I had music with me for Z’s birth, but in all the excitement forgot about it. Q came earlier than expected, so I hadn’t even downloaded his music yet – and there wouldn’t have been time for it anyway. He was born literally one minute after we dashed into the hospital, but that’s a story for another day. What would you have liked to have at your birth to make the whole experience better/easier?

What kind of gift could you give to the birth mother to say thank you? What gift shows a birth mother how much you appreciate her sacrifice without becoming something that reminds her of a difficult time in her life every time she looks at it? Somehow, a thank-you-for-giving-us-this-baby-you-grew-inside-of-you-for-nine-months-cupcake doesn’t seem quite right, but the agency says that many of the birth mothers like to have some sort of memento. Any ideas?

I am just so excited for Chica I can hardly stand it. I can’t wait to hold that sweet Chicklette!

Testing T

T’s department uses competitive testing for promotions. T has been studying like crazy (in between bouts of crazy procrastination) for the tests this week. He sat for three exams in three different departments within his organization.

Regardless of how the tests turn out, it looks like we will be moving. T loves the guys he works with, but a combination of other stuff including but not limited to the six hour drive to the ranch is motivating him to seek other opportunities (again, within his current organization). So we will be moving. At the worst time of year to sell a house and in a giant recession. Blah.

I am kept awake nights making mental lists of all the (millions of) things that need to be done to get our house ready for the market. Our realtor is going to come do a walk-through to tell us what she thinks needs to be done. I know we will need to decrapify the house, especially the closets. I know that the way you keep your house to sell it is not the same as how you live in it – something of which I need to convince my husband.

I’m sure there is a ton of junk we can get rid of, but what do we do with the stuff we want to keep? Small Town isn’t large enough to have one of those mobile storage companies, so I envision this white-trash caravan across the state with our stuff flying out of boxes on trailers and in the back of pick-up trucks as we haul our sorry possessions to the ranch for storage in the rodent hotel barn. Oh, boy! Mouse turds! In my stuff!

Then there are all of the mostly finished home decorating projects around the house. I am really good at the planning of home improvements, but here in the land of half-ass they are never really 100% complete. For example, there are two wicked ugly seams in the kitchen wallpaper, drips of scarlet where the paint seeped under the tape onto the cream colored wainscot in the dining room, drips of primer on the vinyl floor of the kids’ bathroom, caulking that wasn’t done adequately by the contractor was certainly not corrected by me.

The most daunting of all, perhaps, is the landscaping. T declared flower beds to be my domain when we moved into this house and I agreed. Then about ten minutes later I was pregnant and I have never found time for them again. They are at best overgrown and at worst, weedy and/or barren. T finished a retaining wall that could be likened to the Great Wall of China behind the pit of despair (aka: our in-ground pool) this summer. He left a trail of dead bushes and mangled liriope in his wake. The bed needs a truckload of top soil and compost. T knows a guy, but has been too (legitimately) busy with other things to take care of it. Now, here it is fall, and even in Texas winter is not really a growing season. And again I say blah.

I know it will all work out in the end. Things always do. Being closer to the ranch will make life more pleasant for everyone, or more exactly, it will make T happier and that will make me happier. Looking for houses is fun, once you get past the trauma of selling the one you already have. I will get to plan/shoddily implement new home improvements! What an adventure!


Flu Shots for Everyone!

I am not a gung-ho vaccinator. I totally get where the parents who don’t want to vaccinate their kids are coming from. All this ADD and autism have to be coming from somewhere… But my pediatrician is pretty open minded to my somewhat left of center medical views and managed to convince me that vaccinating is the single best thing I can do for my children’s health.

I guess the flu vaccine is optional, but they got that one, too. Me, too. I am a believer in the flu shot. Last year, T was the only one who wasn’t vaccinated and guess who was the only one who got the flu? Not me or the kids, that’s who.

Z and I got the flu mist. I think the nurse overshot my sinuses and the mist went straight down my throat in this sickly sweet stream. Gag! Z had better luck. She sniffed like she had the worst cold ever, but I guess that is how you are supposed to do it. I was too paranoid to blow my nose for the rest of the day!

Q got the regular ol’ shot in the leg. Turns out he had more of a reaction to the adhesive on the Band-Aid than he did to the shot. Yay! Now, if I could only convince T to get over his weenie fear of needles and get him vaccinated, too. I guess he snorts all kinds of stuff up his nose (allergy meds. What were you thinking?), so he would have no problem with the flu mist.

The kids got their annual exams out of the way prior to getting shot. Z weighs in at a whopping 36 pounds and is 39 inches tall. This put her at the 50th percentile for both height and weight.

Poor Q did not fare as well. He is truly a product of his parentage at 23 pounds and 31 inches. This puts him at the 25th percentile for weight and the 9th for height. This was so disproportionate that the doc re-measured his length because he just couldn’t believe that it was right. He is still young enough that they measure his head. 51 cm – which is completely off the chart. This makes me laugh because I also have a giant head. Q is completely taking after me in this regard.

The doctor had a conversation with Z to make sure she could answer questions and form sentences. He got so tickled with her precocious responses that he kept asking question after question, ending with, “What is your favorite yellow vegetable?” Z was stumped, so he listed a few: corn, carrots, squash... When he got to squash, Z put her hands on her hips and said, “Squash isn’t for eating! Squash is for decorating!” That's my girl! We have seasonal gourds on our kitchen table right now.

The doc allowed as how she was as well or better spoken than many six-year-olds of his acquaintance. My head swells! My children’s giant heads are filled with giant brains! Perhaps they will choose careers that will allow them to support T and me in our old age, as a cop and a teacher will be hard pressed to do so on their own. Good to know.


Falling Behind

Wow! It has been a crazy couple of days. I have much to post, but so little time! Anyway, I have started several entries and will post them as I squeeze them out.


Bad Country Song

My dad-in-law is the angel of death This is to say that he is a worrier of the highest order and gives any situation the worst possible spin. Here is today’s list.

  • My mom has been more stooped over than usual and has fallen down a couple of times. Conclusion: Her Alzheimer's is getting worse and the end is near.
  • My dad has to have another round of chemo for his chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Conclusion: his CLL is accelerating and the end is near.
  • Mom-in-law’s hip hurts. Conclusion: she has something malignant and the end is near.
  • Giant golden retriever Scout has an egg-sized mass in his groin. Conclusion: the end is near, so why bother taking him to the vet?
  • Gregarious Z was acting strange around another little girl’s grandfather. Conclusion: someone had been inappropriate with her. Gah!
  • My sister’s cat, Coco, has been losing weight and having difficulty eating. Conclusion: she’s old and the end is near.

Needless to say this list has me rattled. Seriously, we have all the elements of a bad country song. All we need is for someone to go to prison, and I’m not volunteering.

Update: Mom missed a pill. Her Alzheimer’s is getting worse, but she is nowhere near the end. My dad has a new oncologist, so he might have a new strategy for battling CLL. Mom-in-law has sciatica; literally a pain in the butt, but hardly fatal. Scout’s mass was a harmless lypoma (fatty tumor). Z was mad at the grandfather because he wanted to put her on the baby swing. Coco had a large benign mass removable by surgery. And nobody went to prison! Whew.


Oodles of Love

Today is the big day: after seven years, I finally get to through Chica a baby shower! How cute is that invitation? (None of this is Chica's info, of course. I copied the picture from the My Expression website.) I woke early and hit the ground running. First I made the sangria. Nothing like liquor first thin in the morning! I had to sample a little. Tasty!

Next, I started on the diaper cake. Chica had made one for me when she threw the shower for Z's arrival. It was the kind that wraps the diapers up into one giant jelly-roll of diapers (as opposed to the kind where you bundle up multiple bundles into layers). Chica held mine together with a zillion stick pins. All the directions I read recommended rubber bands. So of course, rubber bands were the one thing I forgot to get. Luckily, mom-in-law is prepared for anything. She had rubber bands of all sizes - even the super huge one I needed for the largest layer (50+ diapers!). It took a while to get the hang of it, but it turned out so CUTE! Unfortunately, my camera is still being held hostage by the nice people at Precision Camera, repairing the flash I suspect was traumatized by Z. I used one of the other hostesses cameras and took about a million pictures of both the diaper cake and the rest of the shower. I was like baby shower paparazzi! I will post a picture as soon as she sends me one.

I hosted the shower with Chica's two sisters-in-law at her mom's house. I was a bit of a shower nazi, but they were a joy to work with. They let me do all the fun stuff like the invitations and the diaper cake. I guess that was practical, as transporting food over 100 miles would not make for good eats. We did mini quiches, scones with all the trimmings, a gorgeous fruit plate, chilie cheese polenta (okay, corn casserole squares, but polenta sounds so much fancier!) and adorable cupcakes with frosting booties on them.

Chica's mom was initially scandalized at the menu, but I think she came around. She was so impressed with how pretty everything looked. It should have; we used all of her stuff. It was like entertaining in a four-star catering facility. Gorgeous silver and crystal serving pieces. Heirloom silver baby cups and rattles. Beee-yew-tee-ful!

Baby showers are always so much fun. All the tiny little clothes! One of the other hostesses and I got Chica a purple Britax infant car seat (squee!). Purple is Chica's fave color. Mine too. Even though we got her the big gift, I couldn't resist buying Oodle (what the birth mother started calling the unborn baby) a tiny pale purple dress with brown polka dots. Adorable! I also tracked down the book Little Miss Spider by David A. Kirk. It is a lovely story that ends with this verse:

When finding a mother
There is one certain test
You must look for the creature
Who loves you the best.

Oodle is one lucky baby.


Headless Chicken, Anyone?

So tomorrow is the big Baby Shower day. I had done all I could do remotely, so today I loaded up the offspring and drove to Ginormousville to gather up the rest. Thank god for my mom-in-law. She corralled the kids and shooed me off on the hunt. I left the house around 3:00 and thought I would be back in time for dinner. I walked in at - wait for it... 11:30.

My list of errands were pretty standard: paper plates, cups, napkins and plastic cutlery; booze for the sangria*; fruit for the sangria and iced tea; and the stuff to make the diaper cake centerpiece. I figured I would hit the craft store, liquor store, baby store and grocery store and be done. Silly me! You see, my problem is that I have these very specific ideas of how I want thing to turn out, so if the stores don't have exactly what I want, I have to add another store to my list to check for it there.

The craft store was disappointing. They had literally no party plates and depressingly few baby accessories that weren't either overly pink or downright tacky. They redeemed themselves slightly by having cute ribbon for the diaper cake, but I still had to add another craft store to my list.

Next I had to drive all the way to the outer suburbs to pick up a hard to find book, then back into town to the baby store. They had diapers and goodies for the diaper cake, but no party supplies. From there, I headed over to the mother ship: Target.

Target has historically had really cute paper goods, but apparently I was at the crappiest Target ever. They had only a few baby shower designs and only one that didn't make me gag outright. The rub here is that Chica loves a pretty cocktail napkin and all of these were ho-hum at best. Finally, I took the best of what they had to offer and headed on to the next destination.

The liquor store was the only stop of the day that was straight forward. Other than the clerk that laughed at me for mispronouncing Cointreau, that part was painless. Then off to another craft store and then another in pursuit of the perfect paper plate. Finally, I crossed town (again) to go to a party store and was able to find cutlery and napkins in an appropriate color.

By now it was 7:30. I called the awesome mom-in-law and she had to kids fed and on the way to the tub. I considered running back to the house to help, but they would have already been in bed by the time I could get there. So I grabbed some dinner (oh, Chipotle, how I adore thee! Diet fail.) and was able to meet up with a friend for coffee. We chatted until Starbuck's kicked us out, only to realize that I still needed fruit and tea from the grocery store.

When I got to the store, citrus was strangely scarce. They had lemons, but no oranges or peaches. I finally found some pitiful pre-bagged Texas oranges and compromised with frozen peaches. The tea, instant I'll admit, was similarly hard to find. Usually, I make the tea with two parts peach ice tea and one part lemon ice tea. No lemon tea. Sigh. Finally I dragged myself home. Whew!

So all I have left to do is to make the sangria and the tea and create an entire diaper cake. Piece of cake!

*Totally Awesome White Zin Sangria

1 750 ml bottle White Zin
1/2 cup peach schnappes
2 tablespoons tripplesec
1 lemon - thinly sliced
1 orange - thinly sliced
1 peach - sliced
10 oz. Club Soda

Mix alcohol and fruit in a large container. Chill for at least half an hour. Add soda just before serving. Serve over frozen peaches instead of ice so that the sangria wouldn't get watered down.



I was schlepping a huge basket of laundry down the stairs when T was coming up. Since one of his favorite sayings about me is, "Weebles wobble, but my wife falls down," he offered to carry it to the laundry room for me. Not one to look a gift (chauvinist) horse in the mouth, I hand it over. He takes it and grunts, "You sure are a stout little thing." For the record, he totally meant that as a compliment since he goes to great lengths to maintain his own herculean strength. But still, stout? Sigh.

Later that week, we had just finished a nice family dinner and were getting ready to clear the table. Z pushed back her chair, pokes out her tummy and exclaims, "Look, Mama! I am big just like you!" while patting it. Double sigh.


New Addition

Well, we have a new member of the family. No, I'm not pregnant. And I did not risk divorce by bringing another dog into the house. My husband brought home his new Jeep yesterday. It is a lovely dark green (not to be confused with the hideous baby-poo green that is also available), hard top, 4-door Rubicon. He managed to find one with only one undesired whistle/bell: the mega sound and navigational system, complete with Sirius satellite radio. After less than 24 hours, he is already talking about adding Sirius service to the monthly budget. Funny, when I said that I wanted those same features in my next car, he laughed himself silly. But after less than a day with them in his new car, they have become necessities!

He has spent every spare minute since returning home with the Jeep surfing the internet for off-roading accessories. I call it Jeep p*rn. And like many men with their, ahem, visual aides he wants me to look and be enthusiastic. He's all, "What do you think of this bumper?" And I go, "Oooh, baby. That bumper is so big." Then he says, "What do you think of this (insert unintelligible part here)?" to which I reply, "Any way you want it, baby." And so on. Snore. Are we done yet?

A very cool side benny of the Jeep homecoming is that my mom-in-law (love!) came into town to help with transportation issues and stayed to sit with the monsters kids so T and I could have an actual DATE! Without kids! Like a couple!

We went to the local Japanese steakhouse where we discovered the reason that everything tastes so good there is because the chef used at least a pound of butter in cooking our meal. Who knew the Japanese took cooking lessons from Paula Deen? Over-cooked shrimp aside, everything was delicious, if not diet friendly. Afterwards, we drove around town like a couple of teenagers (they roll up the sidewalks at 9 pm here in Small Town) and messed around with the new cool sound system. We topped off the festivities (in for a penny, in for a pound!) with ice cream.

You would think that after such a nice evening out that we would return home to do the thing that loving married couples do when someone else has put the children to bed. And we did. We went to bed early. To sleep off all of the butter.


(Belated) Weigh In

Blah. Up .3 pounds this week. Do you think it had something to do with staying home with sick babies and not going to the gym? Or maybe the Blizzard that T brought home to me and I snarfed like it was a new religion?

At least I made it back into the gym today. Another new water aerobics instructor. She was even better than the last one - who was awesome! After class I had to tell Q that I was sorry that I couldn't pick him up, as my arms were flippers. Couldn't he walk himself out to the car? An load himself up? And drive it home? Maybe not.


They liked it! Hey, Mikey!

I bought the Hungry Girl Cookbook on impulse last week. I was peripherally aware of Hungry Girl because she blogs for Weight Watchers. I signed up for her daily e-mail, and apart from an unnatural love for fake meat (veggie burger patties? Blech.), her suggestions sound tasty.

So far I have tried two and a half of her recipes and liked them all. Better yet, my kids liked them, too. I made oven fried chicken tenders and onion rings from the cookbook. Then I took that methodology and made zucchini fries. The kids loved the chicken. And it is super easy, too. Just dunk the tender in some Egg Beaters and roll it in crushed Fiber One cereal with some salt, pepper, and garlic and bake for 20 minutes. Easy. The cereal does have a slightly sweet taste, but it is crunchy and fun to eat. The kids were only lukewarm about the veggies, but I really liked them. They were a total points bargain, and the portions were huge. I am all about bulky foods!

I bought the ingredients to make a couple other recipes from the book. I'll keep you posted on how they turn out!

* ** *** ** *

Q had a rough night. He was completely limp and disinterested in food this morning, but after he got up from his nap he was back to himself. Whew!


Here we go again

So Q has a fever again. It isn't very high, but the fact that he has one even though he is on Zithromax is worrisome. That and the fact that his belly is puffed up like a parade float really have me on edge. He has been crabby and clingy all day. Boo hoo! Dr. Dad-in-law says that that there isn't anything to do at this point. It will either resolve itself or get worse by morning. Good times.


The Truth Hurts

Today was another beautiful fall day in Texas. (Who knew you could have more than one per year?) The kids and I were out in the yard playing on the swing set. Z loves to swing, but refuses to learn how to make herself go. She is my more hands-on child and, of course, she wants me to push her. This is not always convenient since Q is ambulatory and we live on two acres of accidents waiting to happen. There are vehicles in various states of repair, scrap lumber, old tires, snakes, poison ivy, the works! The only thing separating us from redneck white trash is the fact that we don't have a trampoline and our swimming pool is in-ground*.

I demonstrated to Z how to lean back/pump your legs to make the swing go on its own. I got going pretty high and then was ready to give Z a chance to try out the new technique. As I was slowing down I commented, mostly to myself, that the swing was squeezing my rear. Z's reply? "That's because your hiney is too big for that swing!"


That is almost as good as the time this summer when Z was trying to get on my good side so I would take her swimming. I was folding laundry and came across the bottoms to my tankini. Z asked what it was and I told her is was the bottom of my suit. She smiled sweetly and said earnestly, "I think that would look nice on your big hiney." Sigh.

Okay, okay! I get it! Back to the gym for me.

*Not that having a trampoline or above ground pool alone qualifies anyone for redneck/white trash status!


Z has a Sniff

Z woke up this morning sounding all stuffed up. She announced to me as we were getting her dressed, "I only have a sniff in one side of my nose. The other side doesn't have a sniff." I guess she was trying to prove that she was well enough to go to school!

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Several of the blogs I follow have Wordless Wednesdays. I think they are fun, so when I have a funny visual to share, I will slap it up for your enjoyment on humpday.
Check out the couch camo! Does this feel like your husband on housework day? This comes to me via Chica. She suggested that T should get some purple camo so he can blend in with our couches. Yeah, like he needs an excuse to wear camo!


Weighing In

I actually did weigh in on Monday. I just forgot to write about it. Oops!

I had a successful week weight loss-wise. This is really the first week I have made a weight loss effort since I got the plague. I lost 1.7 pounds, which brings my total up to 8 pounds even. When I got dressed this morning, my jeans - fresh from the dryer even! - were loose around the waist. Yippee!

Eight pounds down, 49 to go.


A Really Long Day

I yahoo-ed too soon. Q woke up this morning with a tiny fever. By lunch time he was up to 103.7. Our regular pediatrician said he'd better see him since the fever had been going on for so long. When we got there, he couldn't find any obvious reason for 5+ days of such high fever, so he ordered a blood test.

I figured he would just say, "Nope. It still looks like a virus!" Wrong! The test came back with crazy high white blood cell count. Something 19,000 when normal is four to nine thousand. He didn't want to prescribe antibiotics willy nilly, so more tests were required. He sent Q over to the hospital with a stool culture and an x-ray order. The list of possible maladies went from alarming to OMGOMGOMFG! Possibilities in order of potential hysteria: pneumonia; gastroenteritis; blood borne infection; bone infection; leukemia(!).

I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly we got in at the hospital. We had to go into the emergency room, so I was prepared for the long haul. (Man, there were a bunch of scary people in the waiting room. I haven't been to an ER since college - when I was still a military dependent, which is a totally different experience.) But we were shown right to the radiology department. We had to wait maybe 5 minutes, then the techs were apologizing all over themselves and hustled us right in. The x-rays were over quickly and the only thing Q objected to was being strapped down. The techs email the films over to our doc and Q and I head home.

Unfortunately, when we arrive home our doctor has already called to tell us that there was a possible pneumonia in Q's right lung, but he needed another film to be sure. So back to the hospital we go. This time Q is wise to what is coming and put up a bit more fuss. But even so, it is all over quickly. This time we hang around until the doc calls us at the hospital. The news? Pneumonia. Whew! I know pneumonia is serious, but when I consider the other things it could have been, I must count my blessings.

Dr. C prescribes a powerful antibiotic (Dr. Dad-in-Law says Zithromax will kill bugs, mice, rabbits and small children) to be picked up from the one 24-hour pharmacy here in Small Town. We are to start giving it to Q this very night so as to avoid any future medical procedures. When I get there, the very nice pharmacist explains that the computer is rejecting my insurance card. He says that he knows the cards are good (they are less than a month old!) because he has the same insurance plan, but that Blue Cross/Blue Shield HealthSelect routinely rejects claims made after hours in the hopes that patrons wouldn't bother to come back the next day to get the difference refunded.

The nerve! That makes me more angry than I have words to express. Bilking people who really need the medicine or they wouldn't be at the pharmacy in the middle of the night. Arg! Q's prescription was only $43, but you can bet your sweet patootie that I will be at the pharmacy tomorrow getting the difference refunded.



Q's fever just broke. He woke up soaked in sweat and sporting a tummy ache, but his temp felt blessedly normal. Huzzah!


Today, what I have is scraps:
  • When I thought Z had conceded defeat over the bedtime battle last night? I was SO wrong. Q woke up in the dead of night, on fire with fever because his Motrin had worn off. I'm sure his head felt like it was exploding with a fever so high, and he showed his discomfort by screaming fit to wake the dead. But rather than ghouls, he awoke another little beastie: Z. As I was putting Q back down, I heard Z calling for me. Worried that she had contracted Q's viral nastiness, I go in to check on her. What does she say when I open the door? "I want you to read me a book."

  • My great aunt and uncle stopped in for a quick visit today. I was totally unprepared for their arrival, as I had completely forgotten about it in all of the plague-ish excitement. Luckily, they called for directions, so I had time to get everyone dressed. The house? Alas, it was a wreck, as usual. My aunt is nine years older than my mom, which makes her 78. She and her husband were on their way to Branson for a reunion with their friends from when they were in the Peace Corps. How cool is that? I hope I take after my aunt instead of my mom in the brain health department!

  • The angels sang at our house today. Both kiddos napped (and actually slept!) at the same time. I got to catch up on a little reading and sleep, too. Yippee!

  • I am a voracious reader. No need to be impressed, however, as what I like to read is pretty much fluff - as I am sure you can tell by my 'What I Am Reading' list to the right. (The exception being Jen Lancaster's books, of course! Love, love, love her!) It seems to be all vampires all the time around here. I guess I am going to have to read the Twilight series, just to keep up the streak! It all started with Blood is the New Black, a recommendation from Jen Lancaster's blog. I stumbled on the rest when I was buying the first one on Amazon. Anyway, lots of sassy vampire fun at my house.

  • The highpoint of my day? I got my very first comment from someone I'm not related to! Yay for Dodi! She made my day. It seems that I am a whore for comments. Who knew?

  • Had to really marshall all of self control to keep my head from spinning around at bed time tonight. Z is showing all the classic signs of sibling rivalry with Q getting so much attention. Most of it has been the usual stuff: talking back, doing stuff to bug Q, crawling all over me. But tonight, she trotted out a new one. She peed on the floor. Arg! If I thought it was a case of not making it to the bathroom in time, it would have been no big deal. But the trail was leading away from her door and further into her room. I had to work very hard not to lose my mind. Good thing I have stock in Nature's Miracle because of the dogs!

  • A weird thing I love? My alpha dog (all eight pounds of him!), Griffin, is sitting under my desk licking my feet. He is usually so busy keeping the other dogs in line that he doesn't show tons of affection. When I am writing, he keeps me company and gives me a pedicure. I love this giant ball of fluff!


House of the Plague

Hello? 1-800-Rent-a-Gypsy? I have two slightly used children to sell. Cheap.

Back for an encore performance, it's Viruspalooza! This time with scary high fever and diarrhea! (The crowd goes wild! No, wait, that's just me.) Unlike his usually intractable sister who becomes mellow with the addition of a few degrees, happy-go-lucky Q becomes 23 pounds of cranky when he has a fever. Has to be held, but only in a position that is maximally uncomfortable for me. Wants his juice, but wants me to hold it. Wails like a banshee if Z even looks in his direction. Is exhausted, but refuses to sleep. I swear, when the kids are sick it makes me need a nap!

It was a beautiful fall day here in Texas today, but we were trapped inside. T is working nights, so he was asleep for most of the day and of no use to me parenting-wise. Z desperately wanted to go out, but there was no one to watch her. And she needs watching. No telling where she would go given even half a chance. I thought we would sneak out while Q was asleep, but his fever (+/-103) made him nap fitfully and as soon as Z was released from captivity, he was (unhappily) awake, too. As the evening progressed, Z became more and more tightly wound up. I guess I should have seen the bedtime fiasco coming.

We all headed upstairs for bath time. Z's room was an unholy wreck, so she had to clean it up before she joined her brother in the bath. I tried to stretch bath time out so Z could join us, but after Q's third escape attempt, I gave up and got him ready for bed. I took Q to his room and read and rocked and sang and got him to bed. He was settled, but not happy about it. I walked down to Z's room only to find that she had not put away a single toy in the 45 minutes I had spent with Q. I had to grab the top of my head to keep it from blowing off.

I am trying not to be a yeller, so I told Z matter of factly that she would be in bed in 15 minutes. How she used that time was up to her, but she had to fit cleaning her room, brushing her teeth, reading and snuggling into it. She puttered around as I counted down the time and put the last toy away just as her 15 minutes were up. When I told her to put on her PJ's and get into bed, she freaked. And ran. I found her hiding in my bedroom. I was all, "Really?" and goose stepped her back to her room, where she threw the tantrum to end all tantrums.

There was literally kicking and screaming. I had to hold the door to keep her in. She lay down on the floor and kicked her heels against the door - which woke up her brother. When I opened her door to tell her to knock it off or I would have to spank her, she tried to make a break for it. Where did she think she was going to go? The gate to the stairs was closed, so she only had the choice of my room or Q's. I corralled her again and put her back in her bed. At this point she changed tactics and was bawling about how she needed a hug. (This is a new delaying tactic she has been using lately. Cute at first, but now just annoying.) I told her I had already hugged her and to get back in bed. At this point, she finally conceded defeat and got in bed.

Now Q was crying. I rocked him to sleep and fumbled the dismount as I was laying him in his crib. I figured he would cry a little just for form's sake and drop off, but no dice. Instead, he had another round of badness in his diaper. So I changed him and comforted him and finally got him to sleep half an hour after his usual bed time.

Now I am tired and cranky. I'm not the least bit hungry, but I really want ice cream. Somehow, I don't think it is hunger I am trying to feed. This, class, is textbook emotional eating. I will resist. I hope. Maybe.

* ** *** ** *

PS - Adding to the fun of fevers and diarrhea, the Dr. Doogie I took Q to yesterday? Gave me totally backwards advice. He mixed up the effects of two different meds. He told me one was safe to use daily and the other was habit forming. Our regular doc, who is off on Fridays, had told me to steer clear of the drug Doogie recommended. Confused, I checked out both drugs online. Doogie was completely wrong. Jeez! Do you need a medical degree just to be a parent? Do they have remedial medical school? I guess it just goes to show, even in medical school, someone has to graduate at the bottom of the class.


Other Compulsions Come to the Fore

Can't write. Must compulsively assemble digital photo album. Totally sucked in.

Before I dash back, I have to give mad props to my album publisher of choice, My Publisher. They rock! You download their (free) software onto your computer, so all storage is on your machine and permanent. They are competitively priced and the finished product is amazing. I used them to make both Z and Q's baby books. So cute!


Mom Roulette

My BFF, Chica, is adopting a baby girl. I am SO FREAKING HAPPY for her that I can hardly stand it. I finally get to pay her back for all the cool parties she has thrown for me (wedding, bachelorette party, baby #1, baby #2 - you get the picture!). So I found the cutest non-cutesy baby shower invites available on the web and called her up to get the particulars, only to find that she hadn't registered yet.

Now when it was time for me to register for my first baby, my other BFF, G, an experienced mom, took me in and showed me the ropes. She told me what was essential and what was a gimmick. I was fairly prepared when, at five months pregnant, I dragged the husband in to register with me. You know, to get him involved in the pregnancy. I had planned to offer this service to Chica, but have been out of pocket so often since returning from Colorado, that I have been unable to make it to Ginormousville to go with her. I suck.

Anyhoo, last night Chica and her husband made the safari into the land of all things baby. Instead of feeling better now that she is registered, she is now even more confused about what is gold and what is dross. She was going to take my advice and register for everything and sort it out after Baby Chica is born, but it seems that Babies R Us has a new (crappy) return policy. They are no longer doing exchanges without receipt unless it is on your registry. So she is wary of registering for a bunch of darling pink girly things just in case Baby Chica turns out to be a Chico. Drag!

She sent me this e-mail upon her return: "OMG HELP ME! Just came back from Babies R Us and feel confident that my child will not survive me." Poor Chica! I couldn't help but laugh, but she has gotten such conflicting advice from all of her different mom friends that she doesn't know what to think. Some say pacifiers! and others say no pacifiers! Some are pro technology and others think the vibrating chairs are the devil.

In the morning after post mortem, we were discussing all of the stuff that I think is essential. But here's the thing: I am a stay at home breast feeding mom. She will be a working bottle feeding mom. There are just some things for which I have no perspective to share. Babywise? Bottles? Huh?

None of us know in advance what kind of mom we will be, what we will use to cope or what pre-baby thing will have to give. I never figured that my kids would be such TV hounds (though given their parentage, I don't really see how it could be avoided! Go PBS!). I certainly never thought that my standards of grooming could limbo under such a low bar (pony tail? Check. Shirt with stainage? Check. Putting deodorant on to cover the funk? Check. Make up? What's that?).

What did remain? I am still connected with my friends back in Ginormousville. I always have some electronic and/or home decorating project going on. Other moms don't have time for phone calls/e-mails/hobbies because they are fans of good hygiene. Or make homemade baby food. Or have to work at that pesky other job so they can have food and shelter. Some can do it all. My friend J just put her baby in the sling and did her thing.

Hang in there, Chica! It doesn't matter what flavor of mom you are. You will be great!