Wednesday, April 28, 2010

7 Days Past Due

Got some sleep last night.  Feel much better today.  Ahhh...

Had an appointment with the doc yesterday.  They did a nonstress test for the baby.  She passed with flying colors.  They measured my amniotic fluid.  They want it to be at a "5" and I was at "16."  Very good news!  Yeah!

The doc was wonderful, which is great news because you know that not ALL of them are. 

Other than that, I feel great.  I have contractions all day long and they simply go away when I go to bed at night.  Then, I get up and my body starts all over again. 

Tomorrow is Dear Husband's birthday.  I'm hoping to make a coconut cream cake for him... if I have the energy tonight.

Baby needs-a-name is scheduled to be induced on May 4 at 5:00 a.m.  If the hospital is full, they may call to postpone by a few hours or even as much as 24 hours... but the doctor assured me that by next week we will have no option but to deliver the baby on or before May 5.  Speaking of May 5, I think that a cinco de mayo birthday would be great fun!  Don't you?

Happy 7 Days Past Due!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On a happier note...

I walked down to the water in Annapolis today during my lunch break.  People look at me like I'm a freak...

oh... whoops... this is supposed to be on a happier note...


This extra time before delivery gives me a chance to fully prepare a proper "thank you" for Bro and Lulu's teachers. 

Bro is switching daycares... his first day in his new daycare is going to be Monday... the timing couldn't be worse... coinciding with the arrival of his new baby sister.  I'll do the best I can to help him.  But, I did write some thank you cards to some ladies at this current center who I feel he has really bonded with.  They could never know how much their love towards him has meant to him and to me.

Lulu has had some issues at school this year.  She is in all advance classes (for whatever that is worth) and excelling at everything except math... we do hours and hours of math each night and she has a tutor and she meets with the teacher after school... but it has become very apparent that there is an "issue" so we are seeing some professionals to see what the "issue" is and to see what can be done to help her.  Nonetheless, her teachers have been especially helpful this year and I really did want to give a sincere "thanks" to her core teachers... yes... including that mean teacher who gave Lulu a detention for chewing gum.

I ordered this Sigg water bottle for her math teacher... 

... and these "dream, believe, achieve" bracelets for her social studies and language arts teachers.

I don't really know what to do for the science teacher - he's a man.  I'll come up with something!

I told Dear Husband that if I am pregnant this weekend (which it looks like I will be) then I want to take Bro to a petting farm that is near our house... so I am excited about that event with my baby boy.  I hope that the weather is nice. 

I know that it is a little bit soon to be making weekend plans, but I need to get my mind focused on something positive.  I really like to be more positive than negative... I'm trying... really hard.

I'm still here... (a.k.a. be careful what you wish for)

Let's see... I'm steaming mad and I've been up all night.  I watched two rerun episodes of Survivor that I missed so I am all caught up on that.  I tried to go back to sleep.  It didn't work.  I've been on the computer ever since.

It is 5:26 a.m. and the birds are starting to chirp... just in case you were wondering.

Where to begin...

I rescheduled my doctor's appt (the one I missed because I didn't want to see Dr. do-as-i-say-and-don't-ask-questions).  I saw my favorite doctor yesterday (Monday) at 4:00.  While I was waiting in the exam room, I could hear lots of discussion in the hallway about the fact that the hospital still doesn't have room for me for an induction.

My favorite doctor came in and gave me the news which one of my friends affectionately refers to as "no room in the inn."  That is, there are way too many women coming in for a regular delivery that the hospital doesn't have any spare bedrooms for those who aren't laboring naturally.  The person from my doctor's office who does the induction scheduling seemed sincere when she said that this is very rare and she can't really recall the last time this has happened.

On Wednesday, I will begin my 42nd week of pregnancy.  Two weeks ago my doctor gave me a laundry list of reasons why moms need to deliver before week 42.  You can google the stats yourself.  Plenty of moms deliver healthy babies for weeks after they are full term, but the risks are definitely greater.. I'm talking life-threatening risks here.

Tomorrow I go in for a nonstress test for the baby.  This is a test to see how she is doing at this time... oxygen levels and so on.  At this point, the placenta is starting to break down as well as some other issues... so we will see what happens.  I think that I read that the still birth rate doubles after 42 weeks.  Granted the stillbirth rate is tiny to begin with... but you don't want to read that it doubles... that's just scary.  So, while I will be 42 weeks on Wednesday, I will be OVER 42 weeks on Thursday... and may have to wait through the weekend and go into next week... which has me knocking on the door of 43 weeks.

Don't get me wrong, I do not want to be induced and I am willing to wait through this week... as I feel remarkably well actually... however, waiting through Sat and Sun and potentially NOT being able to deliver on Monday/Tuesday either... has me angry-beyond-belief.

I understand that women are actively coming in and giving birth.  I understand that the hospital cannot turn them away at the door.  Obviously, I am fine with that.  However, I truly believe that as of Wed/Thur of this week... my baby will be equally as needy and has waited her turn and is equally as deserving of a room and healthy delivery like every other baby.  It's really, really, really pissing me off {{sorry}} that some babies are being chosen over others.  And I am sure that I am not the only mom in this situation right now.  My doctor's office's scheduler told me that the hospital has anywhere from 0-5 induction spaces available on any given day and that there are 10 local practices trying to schedule for those spaces.  According to the scheduler, 0 {{z-e-r-o}} spaces have been available because the hospital does not have the beds because so many women are coming in with natural labor.  So, the rest of us sit and wait.  And, I am sure that some of these waiting moms probably/might have a riskier situation than I do. 

So, {{playing devil's advocate here}} what if my baby is stressed tomorrow?  Then what... because they don't have a space for me to deliver.  Remember????? 

It is now 5:55 a.m. and the sun is starting to come up.  I'm gonna go eat some cookie dough - cookie dough always makes me feel better.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I don't know why... it just doesn't happen that way for me...

Admittedly, babies... and life... and all of the things that go along with babies... are great.

But, for some reason... for ME... I just don't get that lovey feeling when I first find out that I am pregnant.  Like, it takes awhile... a loooooooong while... for me to really feel the connection.  I don't know why this happens.  I'm just being honest here.

Somewhere around the start of my ninth month of pregnancy... I started to feel the love... the overwhelming love... the love that gives us the strength to endure breastfeeding and long nights without sleep.  Ok, who am I kidding... ALL of my babies sleep... I don't know what "nights without sleep" feels like.  And, this baby will sleep too... I just know it... it's our top house rule.  Napmom Rule #1:  As long as you sleep through the night, you can get away with almost anything else.  mkay? deal?

Well, I might have "that loving feeling" now... the attachment... like she's all mine... like I love her sooooooooooo much... even if she is a {{gulp}} g-i-r-l.  I'm starting to actually like the cute girl clothes that she has.  I might even be able to embrace {{gulp}} p-i-n-k once again.

I just might be excited about little ribbons in her hair.
I just might be excited about little bits of ruffles.
I just might be excited about sweet girly socks.

Maybe... just maybe... I might have a few more years of pink-endurance in me!

Maybe... just maybe... I might be open to some baby names that I had not considered before.

Maybe... just maybe... I might be a little bit whole lotta excited now!

Speaking of names... the name of the day today is... Brielle.

While we wait for her arrival, please enjoy a few of the funny things that I have heard about why she might be so late...
There must be a lost stork flying around somewhere... ;-)

What did you expect? That little girl is related to you and Fairy Grandmother. She wants to make sure everything is right and ready for her before coming out!!!

Maybe she's waiting until she has a name... hmmm...

She's just letting you know, right off the bat, that there is only ONE person in charge, and she's it!!!!!! :)

Oh - here's hoping that we all get to meet her soon!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ahem... still pregnant...

You know those wives' tales about self-inducing labor... well... they aren't working.

Walking - walked around the neighborhood, the Home Depot, the Target, and the grocery store... nothing.

Red Raspberry Tea - drank appox. 12 cups of tea... nothing.

Hand pressure point - I may have bruised that little "labor" pressure point but it sure didn't create even ONE contraction.

Foot massage and ankle pressure point - See "Hand pressure point" but I did at least enjoy the foot massage. 

Spicy food - wings from the Green Turtle were definitely spicy... but they didn't produce a contraction.

Castor Oil - I'm not that desperate.

Sex - I might have to try it.

Bumpy rides - That's on tomorrow's to-do list.

Well, let me say this... I have contractions all day long every day.  I probably average about four decent contractions an hour... but I still don't have a baby to hold... so... we... wait.

I did, however, wash some baby clothes and cleaned out a place to put them.  We are making some progress.

I called and rescheduled my doctor's appointment for Monday.  I'm not expecting any note-worthy news while I'm there.

Hope you had a more productive weekend than I did.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Name Campaign

Dear Husband says that our {{ahem}} discussions about baby names have turned into more like... campaigns for baby names.  That is, we are both campaigning for our favorite names.  And, names that were once winning the race, have dropped out of contention.  Take "Riley" for example.  "Riley" was a top contender and is now losing to "Brooke" and "Molly."

I still campaign for "Keely" but she hasn't really made any progress since she first entered the race.

In case you are wondering, the polls will close on or before April 29, 2010.

Oh my gosh, I can't believe that this is really happening! 

In other news...

I still haven't made any progress in logistically preparing for the arrival of baby-needs-a-name.

I did, however, order a Mother's Day gift for my mom.  Yes!

I need to buy a birthday gift for Dear Husband, since his birthday is also April 29 and I will be a bit UNABLE to go out and buy a gift at that time.

I am actually hoping to make some stud muffins and somehow surprise him with them at the hospital.  I got the idea from Love Actually.  {{Um... the chances of me actually doing this are very slim... but I think that he would appreciate it.}}

Oh... and here's the best news {{LOTS of sarcasm here}}... remember the 7-day motorcycle ride with the boys that was supposed to take place in May... well, it has been rescheduled to July to accomodate Dear Husband's family responsibilities... and it is has been extended to a 10/11-day trip.  {{I feel a marriage ref post coming about this one.}}  

Light bulb just went off in my head... he can go on the bike trip if I can name the baby Keely?  You think?  No? 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Beyond Furious!

I am a patient at a fairly large (and popular) ob/gyn practice in our area.  Through the years, I have been feeling like I haven't been getting the the doctors/practice just doesn't give me that warm and fuzzy feeling.

Then, there was an incident with the doctor's office during the start of this pregnancy that really made me mad.  I went through the steps to change ob/gyns and then, during that process, a conversation with the office administrator as well as a visit with my most fave doctor (Dr. AMAZING) convinced me to stay with my current practice. 

Dr. Amazing validated my complaints.  He said that the practice had a fair amount of complaints about Dr. just-do-as-i-say-and-dont-ask-questions and Dr. i'm-shy-(not mean)-and-don't-have-any-people-skills.  His suggestion was that I just make appointements with the doctors that I like.  We reviewed the names of the docs that I like and so I stayed with the practice... agreeing that I wasn't going to see any doctor except the ones that I like... the ones that take the time to look me in the eye... ask how I am doing... give me some information... PRETEND to even be remotely interested in what is going on in the exam room while I am in there... something!

Well, I went for my check-up yesterday.  The lady couldn't find me in the computer.  Then I said I had a 2:45 with Dr. very-sweet-but-needs-some-training-on-doing-a-better-internal-exam.  The receptionist said, "Oh - there you are... I have you at 2:45 with Dr. just-do-as-i-say-and-dont-ask-questions."  After I picked my jaw up off of the floor, I replied, "Uh... No.  I do not have an appointment with Dr. just-do-as-i-say-and-dont-ask-questions."  {{pause}}  "I would never have scheduled an appointment with him."  {{pause}}  "I'm not seeing  Dr. just-do-as-i-say-and-dont-ask-questions."  {{pause}}  "I'll come back at another time."  She said that I could come back today, in the middle of the day, to see Dr. very-sweet-but-needs-some-training-on-doing-a-better-internal-exam.  {{Um... yeah, I could take another half-day off of work... a half-day that I have already budgeted to be home with baby-needs-a-name... but I'm here now... and this was your freakin' mistake anyways because I wrote down my appointments on this little pad of paper and it clearly says that I am here to see Dr. very-sweet-but-needs-some-training-on-doing-a-better-internal-exam... I didn't make this up... I would never in a million years schedule with Dr. just-do-as-i-say-and-dont-ask-questions.}}   I told her that I would call to rescedule... and I left the office. 

Beyond Furious!

It gets better!

At my previous appointment, the doctor scheduled me to be induced on April 29, or anyday (sort of) that week.  I asked him why I couldn't wait longer since I really, really, really, really DO NOT want to be INDUCED AGAIN.  {{Why do all of my babies require an EVICTION NOTICE... can't one baby come on their own free will??}}

Dr. has-had-the-least-amount-of-complaints-ever-in-this-practice (that's what Dr. Amazing told me anyways) gave me a list of life/death situations that could occur after 41 weeks and said that it was their recommendation that I deliver by April 29.  Fine.  So we scheduled for next week... avoiding April 28 {{because Dr. just-do-as-i-say-and-dont-ask-questions is the April 28 doc on call}}.

After leaving the doctor's office yesterday, I called the practice's hospital scheduler to see when I am scheduled to deliver this baby.  She told me that the hospital is booked next week and we'll have to shoot for the week after (week starting May 3). 

I was, again, Beyond Furious!

{{deep breath}}

So, I called the doc and left a message saying, "I am just checking to see why my physician insisted that I deliver by April 29 but then the office says that I cannot deliver any earlier than May 3."

The scheduler called back to say, "I have a note right here that says that you are to deliver by April 29.  We will get you in before then.  Don't panic."    

Conclusion:  'Baby' still doesn't have a name.  I am NOT on ANY schedule to be induced next week.  Please pray that I don't deliver on the day that Dr. just-do-as-i-say-and-dont-ask-questions is on call (Wednesday).

In the meantime, I am going to spend my weekend following every wives tale known to man to naturally induce labor... this includes, but is not limited to... massaging the skin between my thumb and pointer finger, drinking red raspberry tea, sex (this may or may NOT happen since I am beyond 9 months pregnant), and walking... and walking... and walking.  However, I will forgo the castor oil cocktail for now.

What is your remedy for natural induction?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It looked like chocolate to me (aka Nook: A Review)

Dear Husband and I do not buy nice gifts for each other for special occasions.  Why?  Well, we don't buy nice gifts for a variety of reasons... lack of funds is one of them... but neither of us really require nice gifts... and we are savers, not spenders... and we really don't like to spend money... for any reason. 

I take that back.  We bought nice gifts for each other our first Christmas together.  You know what happened after that?  We went back to the stores the next day and returned the gifts.  Then, we joked that every Christmas we will exchange gifts of "what I would get you if we were spenders and NOT savers."  And, we said that we would take the gift back the next day.  Ha ha ha ha.  We never followed through, but it was fun to think about.

An example of a practical gift?  I think that one year I got the handheld kitchen floor cleaner that I wanted and I gave him a... frying pan in return. 

I'm fairly certain that one year his birthday gift was a tent so that he could go on the annual bike trip with his brothers. 

Anyways... most of our gifts to each other are very practical... and we like it that way.

Our birthdays are two weeks apart.  Mine is FIRST... thus I can gauge what I need to get him on his bday based on what he gets me for mine.  tee hee hee.

This year, I had planned to get him a pizza stone for his birthday.  He likes to make homemade pizzas and he likes to complain about the pan that he makes the pizzas on.  :-)  A pizza stone would be the perfect gift.  Right????

Imagine my surprise when I opened my birthday gift.  I THOUGHT that it was a gift box of Russell Stover chocolates.  It sat on the counter for most of the night and I didn't even give it a second thought.  I THOUGHT that the basement was my gift.  I THOUGHT that the box of Russell Stover chocolates probably came from his office.

He got me a nook... you know... a nook... I can upload books onto it and then read them.  I totally wanted a nook. 

I was speechless.  I was crying.  I can't believe that he thought to get me a nook.  We don't even spend money like that... I was gonna get him... {{gasp}}... a... pizza stone.

He tells me that we have 14 days to return it.  I tell him that we could use this money to buy a TV for the basement.  He tells me that I must keep it.  Bro wonders why mommy is crying.

Nook:  A Review

Nook vs Kindle:  After reading 10 million reviews on nook versus kindle, I knew I wanted a nook.  Nook, for now, allows you to loan books to other nook users... {{of which I don't know of ANY other nook users, but that's a small detail}}.  Most importantly, nook allows all ereader files to be uploaded to the device and this includes ebooks that you can get from the library.  Kindle, on the other hand, ONLY allows you to use books from Amazon.  {{Oh Amazon... you have been my savior on so many occasions... but... please... get over yourself.}}

Nook vs itouch:  The itouch is VERY tempting, but I want to do my reading on a large screen... not that itty-bitty itouch device.  {{Dear Apple, When you and Verizon can come to an agreement, I will DEFINITELY own an iphone... please hurry!}}

Book vs nook:  Admittedly, there is something to be said for holding a book in your hand and feeling the pages.  I have always been a book person.  Mentally... reading from a handheld screen takes some getting used to.  On the other hand, I can say that... I will be able to breastfeed and read my nook at the same time.  It is easy to transport.  Battery life has been fine.  It is easy to read a nook in bed.  I don't have to worry about losing my place, because the nook takes care of all of that for me.  There are lots and lots of great things about my nook that I love.

However, I feel extremely guilty that we spent $$$ on a device that allows me to.... {{gasp}}...  read books.  Um... for all intents and purposes... all I need to read those books is my own two eyes... and they are FREE.

I want my nook, I want my nook, I want my nook, I love it, I love it, I love it... it makes me feel super cool... really super cool... however, it... is... such... an... unecessary... gadget. 

Conclusion:  Nook = very awesome (even if I decide to return it)! 

What about you?  What's the most practical/fun gift you ever gave/received???

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

and we wait...


The basement is painted, tiled, and carpeted!  Yeah!  Granted, we didn't make the April 15 deadline, but that's okay. 

Last night, Dear Husband and I sat down on the one couch in the entirely-naked basement.  We spent about an hour just talking about all of the potential for our new found space.  Where to put the desk?  Where to put the TV?  Where to put the couch?  What to do about the black fireplace?  Do we have to keep the ledge white or can we use a blonde wood ledge?  And so on. 

We don't have the trim down yet, but here is a pic of the tile, carpet, and blue wall.

I'm still not quite sure what we are going to do about the fireplace.

Bro was surely excited to see the finished product.

Lulu ate her lunch and waited patiently for the carpet to be installed.

Then, both of the kids took advantage of the large play area.

Yes, we still have some more work to do.  But, at least I can put some furniture in this area and "retreat" if I need to.  We are going to install some decent closet doors.  We don't know what to do about the ledge that goes around the room (seen in this last pic).  Should we keep it white or try to bring in a natural blonde wood tone/accent.  And, we need to do something about the fireplace.

The point is... the basement is finished tiled, painted, and carpeted, as promised!

Baby Names

Now... we need to get ready for baby no-name. 

Last night Dear Husband said, "you know, we really need to come up with a name for her."  {{Uh, DUH!}} 

"Riley" seems to be a top name right now.  I'm still pleading my case for "Keely."  All of Dear Husband's names are too plain.  Why don't we just go ahead and name her "Jane" for goodness sakes?  There is nothing remotely interesting or unique about "Claire" or "Chelsea"... and so on.  No offense if this is YOUR name... I just want something a tad bit... different unusual something.

"Stella" is a family name that I like but every single time I mention "Stella," people YELL OUT "STELLA" which is apparently part of a rather famous scene from "A Streetcar Named Desire."  Who knew?

Other Baby Tasks to Note

Here is the status of the baby to-do list... keeping in mind that the baby is due TOMORROW.

Baby Name - don't have one
Baby Car Seat - in our other house which we are waiting to sell (selling the HOUSE, not the CAR SEAT)
Baby Swing - in our other house
Baby Bouncy Seat - in our other house
Baby Crib - dismantled in the basement
Baby Clothes - sitting in gift bags with tags on them
Breast Pump - in our other house
Place to Put the Baby Clothes - don't have one

Am I missing anything????  Yes.

Infant Diapers - don't have any
Pacifier - got it
Baby Bathtub - in our other house
Hospital Bag Packed - ha ha ha... of course NOT

As always, we will seriously consider any baby girl name suggestions that you have. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

B is for...

Hah!  Lots of deadlines.

B is for Basement

In case you forgot... today is the deadline to have the basement finished.

I haven't been down there yet today (it's only 6:45 a.m.), but at my last inspection...

the walls were painted...

the tile was set (although I'm not quite sure if they have been grouted)...

the carpet was rolled up waiting to be installed present and accounted for... and the installers are scheduled to come tomorrow.

Close enough!

B is for Baby

The baby is still coming.  :-)  I was having so many fairly uncomfortable contractions yesterday and last evening that I thought for sure that the baby is coming t-o-d-a-y.  It was insane.  Alas, the contractions have stopped and so I am off to work today... it'll be a looooooong day... too. 

Tonight, I'm going to wash her baby clothes so that she has something clean to wear should she decide to make an early arrival... which, for me... is NOT likely.

B is for Birthday

I came home to this lovely cake last night.  It almost brought tears to me eyes.  I'm such a big birthday person... but this year has been way too hectic for me to take time to get excited about my birthday.

In case you can't tell... this is a homemade cake... my mom made this just for me... it made me feel so special...

Thanks mom!  {{sniffle, sniffle - can someone please hand me a tissue}}

I'm doubly excited because today Starbucks will give you a free drink if you come in with your own coffee mug.  SOOoo grab a mug from the cabinet and head on over to your local Starbucks for a yummy {{FREE}} coffee.  Vanilla skim latte is my fave right now.  {{And, in case you are wondering... I DON'T get paid to say this.}}   

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What Would You Do?

For most of my doctor's visits, I am whisked in and out in a flash.  Recently, I had to wait... thus, I found myself awake, without children, and staring at a mountain of magazines.  As I scanned the magazines a few covers caught my eye.  They were:

Time Magazine:  Environmental Special - The Perils of Plastic

Time Magazine:  What Health Care Means for You - An Essential Guide to the New Plan

People Magazine:  Sandra Bullock - Inside Her Divorce Dilemma

Oh - decisions decisions! 

I was running out of time so I started with the "Perils of Plastic."  After I skimmed the articles about plastic, I read a great article titled, "Getting Pumped - why some moms prefer to pump their milk & bottlefeed instead of putting baby to breast."  Really?  Yep!  For the time being, you can still catch the article online.  Fascinating!  And, it appears that the newest and greatest Medela breastpump only costs a mere $280 and I can get a hands free pumping bra for $36.  {{choke - choke - choke}} 

Speaking of pumping, I am a very experienced "pumper" because I pumped at work for months and months and months after Bro was born.  However, I'm not a great milk producer to begin with and I'm not convinced that pumping and feeding would be easier than just plain breastfeeding.  My current breastpump is about 7 years old now.  I was starting to wonder if maybe it wasn't functioning as efficiently as it could have been or maybe I needed a bigger flange  {{is that the right word}}... I don't know.  I am half-tempted to update my pump this go round though.  Apparently I can turn in my old pump and get $40 towards a new one and SOME insurances pay for a breast pump, often only if it is medically necessary... and sometimes "going back to work" qualifies as medically necessary.  Then, part of me doesn't even want to pump when I go back to work.  I don't know... I just don't think that the breastfeeding thing is as emotionally rewarding for me as it is for other moms.  Isn't that horrible to say?   

After I thumbing through the first magazine, I had time to read about the new health care plan... nothing fascinating there.

I was called to see my doctor before I got to read about Bullock's lame soon-to-be ex-husband. 

So, given the three choices listed above (there were lots more choices, but these were my fave three), which magazine would you have read first? 

Monday, April 12, 2010


I bought Lulu this charm for her new charm bracelet, which Fairy Grandmother started for her.

I plan to give her the charm when her sister is born and attach a card that reads...

"Big sisters are so lucky! They get to be heroes, teachers, and best friends for life. Wear this charm as a reminder that, like your new baby sister, there are little bits of sparkle all around us! Remember that the smallest things can brings us the greatest joy. Take time to delight in the simple pleasures of life. Know that peace is possible!"

My goal is to tie in the "big sister" occasion with the "peace" charm that Lulu wants.  I hope I was able to bridge the gap.  Maybe I should just stick with the "sparkle" part and forget the "peace" part. 

This project kinda reminds me of Lulu's elementary school graduation gift.  Her gift was a beach-themed gift that she wanted... which I then had to tie in with the whole graduation occasion.

I created this card to go with the gift.

The poem reads,

"Voyage upon life's sea,
To yourself be true,
And, whatever your lot may be,
Paddle your own canoe"
by Sandra Bolton

Any suggestions that you have to tie in the "peace" charm with the "big sister" occasion would be greatly appreciated. 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Belly Pics

and this one... I just love it when these things happen... this makes me laugh...

Friday, April 9, 2010

How I Spent My Easter Weekend

First, I came home to the tulips that I wanted... and I didn't even ask for them.

I finally made our Easter cupcakes, which is a family tradition.  Grand Matriarch taught me to make these cupcakes when I was a little girl... way before internet, blogs, and crafty people like Martha Stewart.

Granted, her cupcakes had little basket handles too... but I didn't get to the craft store to get them.  These cupcakes were delicious even without the handles. 

Lulu spent the weekend with her dad and her family who was visiting from out of town.  So, Bro celebrated Easter as an only child (for the first and last time).

Note to Bro... if you use the egg dipper as a bubble blower, then you end up with a very messy face.

An Easter bunny stopped by to deliver an Easter basket (Lulu got one too - it's just not in the picture)...

... with a very yummy chocolate bunny.

After we opened the basket, I let Bro peek over the side of the deck to see that the Easter bunny hid his eggs.  This is when things got a little ugly.  "Not Nice!  Not Nice!  NOT NICE!," he started screaming.  He quickly put on his shoes and ran outside to gather his eggs.  After he had all of his eggs together, I explained that the Easter bunny came and hid his eggs... to which he responded, "No mommy!  Squirrels did it.  Not Nice Squirrels!  NOT NICE!" as he stormed into the house with his eggs. 

I have to admit that he must get his love of squirrels from me.  Speaking of squirrels, check out the new bird feeder that we bought. 

When the squirrels jump onto the landing, their weight causes the landing to lower, thus blocking access to the bird food.  And, it seems to REALLY work!  So far, we haven't seen even one squirrel access the food part of the feeder... despite their best efforts.  Mission Accomplished - I think!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Literally... it's killing me


My every day life is killing me.  And yours might be killing you too!

I came to this realization when Yummy Mommy posted about the dangers of certain sunblock.  I am not going to rehash everything she said, but you can read all about it on her blog.  Shocking!

I learned that the face lotion that I apply every single day along with the sunscreen that I put on my children every single summer has oxybenzone in it... and oxybenzone is probably giving me skin cancer.

Further research into the Environmental Working Group web site showed me that there are lots of everyday pollutions that I should know about.  I'll print them here so that you can be informed and I can comment on them.  They are:

Everyday Pollution Solutions

Your Guide to Going Green

1. Use cast iron pans instead of nonstick. Read about Teflon health concerns. 
{{Lovely. My frying pan is killing me too.}}

2. To avoid chemicals leaching into food, go easy on processed, canned or fast foods and never microwave plastic. Read about Bisphenol A, a toxic food-can lining ingredient associated with birth defects.
{{So, don't heat up my leftovers in the tupperware container like I have been for 35 years.  Got it!}}

3. Buy organic, or eat vegetables and fruit from the "Clean 15" list. Find out more about the "Dirty Dozen."
{{I read the list.  The grapes that we love so much... are killing us.}}

4. Pregnant women should use iodized salt to combat chemical interference from the thyroid. Read about rocket fuel's effect on the thyroid.
{{No comment.}}

5. Seal outdoor wooden structures. Order a test kit to find out if your wooden deck, picnic table, or playset is leaching arsenic.
{{So much work to do on the new house.  I don't even think that I want to know if my deck is leaching arsenic, do I?}}

6. Leave your shoes at the door. This cuts down on dust-bound pollutants in the home.
{{We already do this!}}

7. Avoid perfume, cologne and products with added fragrance. Search for personal care products that are fragrance-free, or check the products you're already using.
{{Like I said, my face lotion and sunblock are killing me.}}

8. Buy products with natural fibers, like cotton and wool, that are naturally fire resistant. Use our list of products and manufacturers to avoid the chemical flame retardant PBDE.

9. Eat low-mercury fish like tilapia & pollock, rather than high-mercury choices like tuna & swordfish. Check our Safe Fish List to see which fish to avoid and what's safe to eat.
{{We don't eat much fish anyways... probably because we have to go to a whole separate store to get good fish and partly because it's expensive.}}

10. Filter your water for drinking and cooking. How does your tap water stack up? Search our tap water database to see what you're drinking.
{{Our water was tested, extensively... thanks to a certain Fairy Grandmother... so I think that we are safe here.}}

11. Learn your personal body burden. Take a step-by-step tour of your home to learn the toxic truth about how household products contribute to your body burden of industrial chemicals.

Our family complies with 2 of 11 items on this list. 
How well are you doing?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Parenting Advice Wanted: What Would YOU Do?

Those of you who are teacher will enjoy this one too.

Right before spring break Lulu got a detention for chewing gum. 

The Scenario:  Lulu's friend, we'll call her Erin, offered Lulu a piece of gum.  Lulu politely refused the piece of gum.  Erin said that she had an extra piece to share.  Lulu asked if the gum is "spicy" {{Spicy is what Lulu calls most gums that are minty and Lulu doesn't like minty gum}}.  Erin said that the gum is not spicy and so Lulu and Erin shared the piece of gum.  Both girls got busted.  Both girls were issued detentions which were to be served AFTER the spring break {{sometime at the end of this week}}.

We (her parents - all three of us) have told her that this is not a big deal... she is not in trouble with us... this is a lame rule... but we must obey the school rules.  In other words, "Sorry babe - good luck in detention.  Don't do it again."  :-)

Despite this, Lulu continues to be distraught that she has a detention... crying that she NEVER thought that she would have detention.

Just last night it came to our attention, via Lulu, that according to Erin... Erin's mom called the school and spoke to the principal and told the principal that (1) this is a stupid rule, (2) the teachers need to worry about something else, and (3) Erin has a hair appointment that day and, thus, will not be serving detention.  According to the story, the principal let Erin out of detention.

I wondered what would happen if someone just decided NOT to go to detention, so I consulted the county's 2009-2010 student handbook.  Low and behold... there is NO mention of any food, drink, or gum rules in the handbook.  There are rules for bullying, gangs, weapons, drugs, dress code, and so on... but not one single rule for food, specifically g-u-m

BTW - I called the school and the two people I spoke to cannot confirm or deny if Erin will actually be serving the detention.  The two people I spoke to said that NO GUM is absolutely a rule, but they don't remember what page the rule is on.  {{I'm telling' you... I did a word search for "gum" and "food" in the electronic version of the handbook as well as skimmed the ENTIRE handbook and found no mention of such a rule.}}

Let the record show that I was fully prepared to support the detention punishment, regardless of what Erin was doing, until I learned that no one can show me that this is an actual school rule anyways.

Also, even though I think the No Gum rule is crazy, in an e-mail discussion with the teacher, the teacher said that she enforces the rule because she is the one responsible for scraping off the gum when the students put the gum on desks and chairs.  Ewwwww.....!  Fair enough!!

What would you do? Should Lulu serve a detention for something that (1) an equal offender does NOT have to serve detention for (because she has a hair appointment for goodness sakes) and (2) doesn't even appear to be an actual and bona fide rule? 

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Good Day

I have to admit that normally Dear Husband and I are of the opinion that semi-bad things always seem to happen to us.  Like, why is everything working out for EVERYONE else, but NOT for us.  Don't get me wrong, we have SOOOOOO much to be thankful for... but it just seems like things could be better and we wonder why they are not getting better.

Most of this has to do with finances.

I mean, I think that we are pretty reasonable with our finances.  We live in a very small house with a reasonable mortgage, compared to ALL of our peers.  We drive OLD and DUMPY cars  {{yes, a 2001 Ford Focus with MANUAL doors and windows qualifies as both OLD and DUMPY}}.  We don't take vacations.  We don't spend money on clothes.  Heck, I went 8 months without going to get my hair done... and I have the grey hairs to prove it.   

Caution:  The grey hairs in this picture cause a bright and shiny glare.  Please wear sunglasses while viewing.

We aren't poor (exactly) but I would like to see a little bit of a monetary cushion from time to time and every time I think that I am going to see a little bit of a cushion... another expense comes along.

Well, two great things happened today.

1.  Em's Orthodontist bill is PAID!  When I went online to pay the bill, it said, "There is no financial information available for this account."  This worried me {{like maybe I forgot to pay and they cancelled me or sent me to collections or something}} and I started clicking buttons but I couldn't find our bill information.  I called the office and they confirmed that we are PAID IN FULL!!!!  Yeah baby!

2.  We had a hunch a very strong feeling that our air conditioner did not work and that it will cost several thousand dollars to fix it.  Oh my gosh I hesitate to even jinx myself like this but... Dear Husband turned on the AC today and it worked and it cooled our house.  EEEEEEEEEEEEK!!! 

oh my gosh - oh my gosh - oh my gosh - I am so excited.  {{Ahem... we'll see how excited I am when the AC stops working in mid-July as I am sitting at home with this baby and Dear Husband is traveling the globe with his brothers... but I'll save that rant for another day.}}  ... because today is all about celebrating!!!!!

I am also celebrating because:

1.  It appears that the basement is going to be finished (paint, tile, carpet) by the April 15 deadline.  {{Shocking!  If I was a betting person I would have lost my first-born child on betting that it was NOT going to be finished.}}
2.  It appears that my new squirrel-buster bird feeder really works. 

Does it get any better than this????? 

I hope that you are celebrating something totally unexpected and fun today!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Flower Rules

On Valentine's Day... a male co-worker/friend of mine asked me if Dear Husband was going to get me flowers for Valentine's Day.  Uh... I told him that Dear Husband knows better than to give me flowers on Valentine's Day. 

Oh gee - I opened Pandora's box.  My co-worker/friend called me every name in the book {{nicely and diplomatically, of course}} including "cheap-o" which is now a running joke between the two of us.

It started with my initial reaction, which was:  No, you get NO POINTS for giving your wife/girlfriend flowers on Valentine's Day. 

I don't mean to sound heartless, but really... it boils down to this... giving ANY GIFT repeatedly on every single occasion (because you know he gives the flowers for birthdays and Mother's Day too) is just rotten.  {{There, I said it.}}  Repeatedly giving the same gift is robotic, thoughtLESS, and, yes, unromantic.  Not to mention that flowers can be expensive and they just die anyways (which is where the "cheap-o" part comes in).

The gift doesn't even have to be flowers, it could be anything... for example...

"Happy Birthday Honey - here's an anti-squirrel bird feeder." {{yeah - you rock - my husband is the best ever}}
"Happy Mother's Day Honey - here's an anti-squirrel bird feeder." {{awe}}
"Happy Valentine's Day Honey - here's an anti-squirrel bird feeder."  {{oh - another one?}}

Repeat every year for the rest of your life = NOT ROMANTIC, FUN, OR THOUGHTFUL!

Guys think that they can just order up yet another dozen roses and you'll just fall at their feet with glee.  NOT ME!

Having said all of this...

Easter is this weekend - the weather right now is BEE U TIFUL.  And, to be honest, I get spring fever worse than anyone on this planet.  And, just this morning I was thinking about how great it would be... gulp... if... Dear Husabnd... oh my... would come home this afternoon... with some... flowers... tulips... to be exact.  How sweet, thoughtful, and romantic is that!  Don't you agree?

When I told my male co-worker/friend that I wanted the tulips, his jaw hit the floor.  He said that I needed to blog my "Flower Rules"... here is his understanding of Napmom's Flower Rules.

Flowers for Valentine's Day = horrible
Flowers for Easter = awesome
Flowers Just Because = awesome (most of the time)
Flowers to "buy you off from a heated arguement" = not awesome
Flowers Because You Are Truly Sorry = awesome
Fake Fern = never awesome
Dandelion from Bro = awesome

Additionally, in the same conversation he told me that I "read too many books" and I "romanticize life too much." 

So now, I'm half-tempted to just be blunt about this and call Dear Husband and say, "Hey Babe - could you stop by Sam's Club and see if they have any tulips for sale and bring some home?"

Sam's Club = large discount warehouse that actually sells pretty flowers for a reasonable price and they last forever!  This is where the "cheap-o" part of me comes into play again.

Be honest!  Do you like to get flowers?  Maybe I'm the ONLY female on the planet with my own set of unwritten Flower Rules.  Is it just me?  You can tell me the truth - it won't hurt my feelings.