Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Wrench: Part II

Two weeks before I had Zoe, I wrote a blog post about our daily routine. I stumbled across that post a few weeks ago and thought it would be fun to do again. Fun for me, that is, because I like going back and reading things about my past that I otherwise wouldn't remember. I can't say that this post will be any fun for you, dear reader. 

The thing is, you just never quite know how life is going to change when you throw a wrench, like a new baby, into it. 


I both look forward to and fear the changes ahead. Here is a glimpse into our lives right now:

The Morning

I recently wrote about our mornings here. In summary: my kids wake up early. Scotty leaves for work at 6:00, and the rest of us get up shortly after that.

Once the kids are up, we start the routine of getting ready for school. Nicky used to be really independent and reliable with getting ready for school, but within the last six months or so, I've had to nag him a lot more. It's a bummer, really. In the morning, he is supposed to take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, feed the chickens, and brush his teeth. If he has extra time, he practices the piano and reads. While he gets ready, I usually pack him a lunch (I am not opposed to school lunch, but when Nicky eats school lunch, he comes home starving. I have to pack him a HUGE lunch to hold him over) and start a load of laundry or dishes (I am not the type of person who has issues with going to sleep with dirty dishes in the sink).

Mornings are my most productive time. Anything I haven't accomplished by 9:30 probably won't get done that day.

Most mornings, my sister-in-law picks up Nicky for school. After he leaves, if it's a Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday, I get Daisy ready for preschool. Daisy is pretty good at following a check list of things to do to get herself ready for school. The hard part is getting her hair done. She has beautiful, waist-length hair that she never wants to cut. But she has some sensory issues (and some over-all attitude issues), so she hates having her hair brushed. Her hair is also always very tangled, so it sometimes takes half an hour just to comb through it. I use a very expensive leave-in conditioner (I pay less than the price on Amazon, luckily) in her hair, and I use a tangle brush. The brush helps but the job still isn't easy.

We usually do hair while watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. After Daisy's is done, I do Zoe's. Sometimes there are huge battles over who gets to go first. My kids fight over everything. Hopefully that means they're normal, but sometimes I wonder...

Around 9:30, my friend Amber picks up Daisy for school.

Preschool Time

While Daisy is at school on Tuesdays, I work on school. Zoe isn't always agreeable (especially lately), so I just have to play it by ear. If Zoe isn't cooperative, I can't get much done for school, and I end up holding her and watching Dora or something equally unproductive.

On Thursdays, Zoe and I do errands, usually grocery shopping. Errands with Zoe are rough. She is in a phase where she fights me over everything. Changing her diaper, getting her dressed, and getting her in her car seat are quite difficult. Shoes aren't even worth bothering with most of the time. Zoe refuses to sit in a shopping cart (my kids have never been shopping cart sitters, and there is this mistaken belief among some parents that you can make your kid sit in a shopping cart. I'd like to see those parents make my kids sit in a shopping cart. Show me this magical ability you have! Puh-lease! I've never found a safety belt that can keep my kids in a shopping cart), so once we get to the store, it just gets more and more fun by the moment. Zoe walks for about ten minutes, and after that, she clings to my legs and stands on my feet crying until I carry her, so I'm that eight-month pregnant lady pushing my cart through Sam's Club with a screaming two-year-old on my hip.

Yay, me!

Occasionally, when we're not in a rush, I will let Zoe take a doll stroller or toy shopping cart to the store to push around. This keeps her content, but it triples the amount of time we spend in the store because she pushes the object very slowly. She also put things in the cart/stroller that I then have to sneak to the cashier to put away (I always feel really bad about this).

On Fridays while Daisy is at preschool, I try to do more school work and clean up the house a bit - Zoe pending.

At 11:30, I pick up Daisy and two friends from preschool. Then I take the friends home, and we go home and eat lunch. Daisy is always really excited to come home and look for chicken eggs in the back yard.

Early Afternoon

Usually by 12:30-1:00, I am utterly exhausted. I can not account for what we do during this time. This is true even when I'm not pregnant. I am useless in the afternoon. It's when I hit my wall and become a bum.

Sometimes I nap. Daisy usually has some computer time. Sometimes Zoe naps, but we're in a touchy place with her nap schedule right now. She needs to nap around 2:00-3:00, but I have to leave at 3:00 to pick Nicky up from school, so this makes Zoe's naps a huge complication. Sometimes she naps in the car while we're picking up kids. Sometimes she doesn't nap at all. It's really rough. The poor girl never gets the sleep she needs, so she is always super cranky for the last half of the day (which is crazy because she's super cranky for the first half of the day, so really, she's just cranky all the time).

After School

After Nicky is done with school, we are pretty busy. On Mondays we're able to come straight home. Nicky needs a snack immediately (and by "snack," I pretty much mean "meal") or he will die. He has emotional breakdowns at least half the school days because he is so hungry. On Mondays we do chores, homework, and make dinner. When Scotty gets home, we eat then have Family Home Evening.

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I drive Nicky and a friend to Taekwondo. Once a month, Nicky has Pack Meeting on Tuesday.

On Thursdays, Nicky goes straight to piano lessons after school (if I don't bring a snack for him to eat on the way, things get really ugly). While he is at piano, the girls and I used to go to the library, but I won't take Zoe to the library these days if I can avoid it, so lately we've been going to the car wash instead (Scotty and I get a lot of free car washes when we buy gas, so we have a nice stockpile to use up). On Thursday nights, Nicky has Cub Scouts. Scotty is the den leader, so he goes, too.

On Fridays, Nicky gets out of school early. He gets a day off from extracurriculars, and Daisy goes to dance class.


Our routines in the evening vary depending on what needs to be done each day. I already mentioned that Monday is Family Home Evening. On the first Monday of each month, we let the kids shop from our "family store." When we read scriptures as a family, our kids earn a marble. They save their marbles all month, then they can trade them in for prizes.

Some evenings we work in the yard. Sometimes baths are needed. Sometimes we let go of all responsibility and go to a park. I usually have to do some homework in the evening while Scotty can take care of the kids.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are a whirlwind. They are busy and fly by quickly. Nicky is gone for a while each of those nights, and I always miss him, but he is doing good things, like Cub Scouts,

Night Time

We start the bed time routine around 8:00 each night. On a good day, we read scriptures by 7:30. We send the kids to get ready, and we end up telling them no less than five times to brush their teeth. Then Scotty checks their teeth and makes them brush them again.

The whole family gathers in Nicky's room for songs and prayers (where Daisy sleeps as well - her bed is in there, but all of her clothes and belongings are in her and Zoe's room - she is our displaced child). Each child gets to pick a song to sing, then each child says their prayer. Then we say a family prayer and sing one final song (parents' choice).

We tuck in Nicky and Daisy. Daisy usually has a fit because she wants a drink, but we have a rule that you don't get drinks after you've gotten into bed. Nicky and Daisy turn on their book lights and either read or color until they are ready to sleep. Daisy's bed is full of markers and Christmas coloring books.

When they are settled in, Scotty and I tag team Zoe. Sometimes we're able to get her in pajamas while the older kids are getting ready, but more often than not, we have to use manipulative tactics to get that girl ready for bed. She's always more agreeable for Scotty than she is for me, so he frequently ends up having to get her ready for bed. Brushing her teeth is not fun at all. Sometimes it takes both of us to pin her down and brush her teeth.

Every night, Zoe escapes from us and climbs in our bed as if she's setting up camp for the night. When we find her, she is tucked in and perfectly propped against a pillow because she thinks she's going to watch a movie (we are those bad kind of people who have a TV in our room). We have to haul her into her bedroom kicking and screaming. If she calms down, we sing a series of songs with her: How Much is that Doggy/Piggy/Kitty in the window. A while ago, Scotty sang her a song about "Stinky Mama," so now every night, she wants to sing the "Stinky Mama" song.

So, thanks for that, Scotty.

(The older kids like to sing a song about "Pregnant Daddy" - so I guess we're both on the chopping block).

(Scotty has more food cravings that I do, so we tease him about being more pregnant than I am. It just seemed appropriate to sing a song about it).

After the kids are in bed (even writing about it is exhausting), we pretty much have nothing left. We are usually asleep by 9:00-9:30. No joke.


Our weekends have very few consistencies since every week brings new adventures. Scotty usually has every-other Friday off work, but for the last two months, he has had to work. Last Friday was his first day off in a while. We use those Fridays off to accomplish a great deal of work and fun.

If we don't have anything going on on Saturday mornings, I take Nicky to Taekwondo. We do Saturday chores and yard work. Many Saturday evenings are spent playing games with our friends.

Sundays are... well... I don't have a word for it. Scotty makes a German pancake or crepes for breakfast every Sunday. I have meetings before church three Sundays of the month. I try to get the kids as ready as possible before I leave, then Scotty does the rest. This year we go to church from 11:00-2:00. We have Sacrament meeting first, which is an hour and twenty minutes of pure bliss... ahem... followed by two hours of primary. Scotty teaches the 10-12 year old boys, and I am the primary president.

When we get home from church, everyone is ornery and hungry, so there is an hour or so of complete chaos. We have dinner... or lunch... or whatever you want to call a meal that takes place at 2:30 in the afternoon, then Zoe naps, and we go visit Scotty's mom. Occasionally I have meetings after church, so Scotty tackles the chaos alone - bless his heart!


That about sums up our norms. My life feels a little bit chaotic to me right now. I don't know how much of it is true chaos and how much of it is enhanced by the discomforts and heavy emotions of pregnancy. Either way, it will be interesting to see what changes. I can see one of these two scenarios taking place:

Scenario 1: Things just work out. The baby is born, and life goes on. We find balance in all things and move forward.

Scenario 2: I completely lose my mind. I drop out of school, quit my church calling, and start drinking.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Not Buying It

The Colonel

My cat is about twelve years old, and with that age, he is starting to lose the ability to groom himself. He has become matted on his back, and it's not pretty. I'm considering taking him in for a shave. If I knew he'd kick the bucket within the next year, I'd leave it be, but since he could go on living for many years to come, I think I need to intervene with his hygiene. I've never had to put that much effort into a cat before. Well, technically, he's the only cat I've ever been solely responsible for, so of course, I've never had to put that kind of effort into a cat. Heck, I don't even get my kids groomed regularly!

As I consider the grooming possibilities for my matted cat, I've been looking at cat brushes. We used to have a cat brush, back before we had kids and we could actually take the time to brush our cat, but it is long gone. Today I was looking on Amazon to see if I could find something amazing when I discovered this: the love glove.

Yes, it's called... The LOVE GLOVE.

For that reason, alone, I can not buy one.

Just to be a thorough consumer (even though I'd already decided against buying a love glove) I went ahead and read through the Customer Questions and Answers where I found this amusing question:

"Will Four Paws Purple Love Glove Cat Grooming Mitt working on my son? She young and ugly hair."

I had to laugh because I have no idea what that customer is really asking. The answer, though, was simply... "No."

All I can say is that if the answer to that question is "No," I'm glad I decided not to buy it!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Thing About Toilet Paper

I hate buying toilet paper. Of all the necessities, toilet paper is probably my least favorite. I never feel like I'm getting a good deal. There are times when I buy something like milk, and I feel really good about it because I know I got a good price. The same can be said for other things like cheese, laundry detergent, bread, and so forth.

But not so with toilet paper.


It feels like I've been robbed EVERY.DANG.TIME.

Part of problem is that I don't know what kind of toilet paper to commit to. What do I really want in toilet paper? Quilted? Two-ply?

Do I want it to be thick? Do I use less if it's thick?

Do I want more smaller rolls or fewer big rolls?

(For replacement effort, I must want big rolls. No?)

Does the number of sheets per roll really mean anything?

There is so much information on a package of toilet paper, but none of it is actually helpful. Especially if you try to compare one package to another. It's like trying to translate two different languages, and no one is bilingual in TP.

I usually buy our TP at Sam's Club or Costco. I don't know if I'm getting a good deal, but at least I can buy a gigantic package, put it in my basement, and not have to buy toilet paper again for about a month and a half. When Charmin is discounted, I buy Charmin. You can't go wrong with Charmin because it's like wiping with rose petals.

Or can you go wrong with Charmin?

What if those cartoon bears have fooled us all?


Have any of you figured out the toilet paper thing?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

36 Week Run-Down

There are very few pictures in existence from this pregnancy. I can think of two - one of me in Vegas pushing my kids on a swing, and one of my family at my son's baptism. Other than that, there is no photographic evidence of this pregnancy. Over the weekend I tried having my kids take cell phone photos of me. They were all blurry or shadowed or not actually of me at all. Many of them became pictures of chickens. This is the best one we got. 


And that's fine. The proof of the belly is there. I don't care about the quality. We tried. And I didn't have to use up the indescribable amounts of energy it would have required for me to charge the battery on the DSL-R.

(Why are little things so hard when you're pregnant?)

Here is the run-down for how things stand at week 36:

Weight Gain: 19 pounds

Emotions: a complete mess. I cry EVERY.DAY. Multiple times. Sometimes my crying is justified, but sometimes it's totally explainable.

Okay, maybe it's never justified...

Stupid hormones.

Worried about: the behavior of my two-year-old who has completely SNAPPED in the past two weeks. Zoe has turned into a holy terror. Remember two weeks ago when she pouted? That trend has not continued. She is a violent tantrum thrower. A hitter. A biter. A clavicle clawer. A scrape-poop-from-her-bum-and-throw-it-at-you-because-howdareyou-change-her-diaper kind of kid (I'm not even joking).


Have no idea what to do.

I'm also really worried about spring break coming up. I'm not sure how I'm going to have all my kids home and take care of them every minute of every day for a week. When I'm 38 weeks pregnant, I need my kids to go to school!

Preparations: last week I washed all the newborn and 0-3 month clothes. I brought the swing and car seat up from the basement. I bought some new bottles. I need to pick up a few things from the store (like diapers and those absorbent products that women need for both the upper and lower areas after childbirth...yay...), but we're pretty much ready to welcome our little one.

Sad about: the hospital's visitation policy which won't allow my children to come meet their sister. I understand the reasons for the precautions, but it makes me sad that I won't be able to see my kids while I'm in the hospital. There's a small chance the policy could be lifted by then, but I'm not planning on it.

Craving: biscuits. Weird, right? I mean, not as weird as wanting to drink ham juice or something, but I've never heard anyone say they were craving biscuits.

Sleeping: horribly. My mind races all night, and when I finally doze off, it's time to get up and pee. Then I'm tired and cranky all day.

I've reached the point where I feel like I'm sitting around waiting to have the baby. This happens every pregnancy - I get sick of being pregnant and I become somewhat idle in the last month. Last time, I passed this time by watching Robin Hood. This time I don't yet have anything to occupy my time while I'm being idle. I need a good book series, a TV show, or a vacation.


It just can't be messy (like a sewing project) or use a lot of energy (like leaving the house).

I guess that rules out a vacation.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Phases, Stages, and the Things I Didn't See Coming

This morning, during an hour that I prefer to not be awake, Zoe started yelling in her sleep. It made me jumpy because it reminded me of a time when Daisy used to have night terrors.

For about a year, Daisy would start screaming around midnight each night, and she would be completely inconsolable. We couldn't rouse her or calm her down. We could get her to stand up, and she would nod or shake her head if we asked her questions, but she wouldn't wake up or stop wailing, and she never made sense.

We ended up having to have her sleep on our bedroom floor because she woke up the other kids every night. Eventually we figured out that we had to get her wet to stop the terrors, so each night, when she'd start screaming, we'd drag her into the bathroom and run her hands under cold water. If that didn't work, we'd put her in the tub and spray her.

It was a really, really difficult phase that I hope we never have to go through with another child.

Thinking about the night terrors got me thinking about some of the other fun things we've had the opportunity to deal with as parents. In addition to all of the usual kid sicknesses (croup, hand foot and mouth, bronchiolitis, and the like), here are some of the things our children have provided us experience with:

  • Hematoma on the skull
  • Reflux (we are pretty much throw up professionals)
  • Dislocated elbows (4)
  • Iron deficiency
  • Restless leg
  • Umbilical cord compression
  • Chronic constipation (requiring constant supervision and intervention)
  • Long-term bed wetting
  • Chronic nose bleeds (that gush for 30-40 minutes - these are not cute, little nose bleeds. They look like a murder scene) 
  • Nose cauterization (didn't work, needs to be redone in the O.R.)
  • Six crowns + 3 cavities on one child at one time
  • Stitches in the face
  • Eczema
  • Suppositories
  • Tubes (twice)
  • Tonsils and adenoids removed
  • CT scan because the kid's head was too big
  • Warts
  • Breech baby
We've also had the privilege of having our son strapped into one of these baby torture devices for a chest x-ray:

He fought so hard that they had to re-do the x-ray several times because he was making the table roll away (even with the brakes in place).

That was a great day...

It's kind of funny (in a sick, twisted way) to think about some of the routines we've had to develop to help our children get through life. We have the Nose Bleed Routine wherein Nicky's nose begins to gush, and we react instinctively as if we've been programmed exclusively to handle bloody noses. We roam the house at night like zombies, heating rice bags and administering iron supplements when Nicky's legs start hurting. We cringe and pop those elbows back in place. 

When you have kids, you do what needs to be done... because what else can you do? You take the blankets outside and fling the puke into the bushes, you scrub the blood off the bathroom floor, you change the sheets... and then you do it all over again the next time. 

I think if I'd seen this list prior to having children, I would have second-guessed my desire and ability to be a mother. Luckily I went into it naively. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Sleeping Things

In the mornings, it's always interesting to see which of my children comes tromping up the stairs first. Zoe still sleeps in a crib, so she does't get to "tromp" yet,* but Nicky and Daisy each have their individual mannerisms that help us identify who is coming up the stairs at 6:00 a.m.

Nicky is the silent one. If I hear the faint rustling of slow movement, I know it's my son. It's usually a relief when it's Nicky coming up the stairs because he can fend for himself for a bit while I go back to sleep. Occasionally he has stomach problems or a bad dream and wants some help, but in most cases, he wanders the house silently or just sits on the couch wrapped in a blanket.

Daisy is the noisy one. She stomps on each stair and slams into walls with her uncontrolled limbs. She breathes loudly, clears her throat, and stands over us like something out of a horror film. Whenever it's Daisy, we fake sleep just to see what she'll do (there is no authentic sleep to be had once Daisy starts ascending the stairs). Sometimes she stands there for a long time and breathes. Sometimes she pokes us in the arm. Sometimes she says something in a drawn-out, creepy whisper (the child is loud so whispers are a challenge for her).

Our sleep routines are always going through changes. We'll go through phases where I wake up naturally before any of the kids. I love this because I can work on homework, do some blogging, read books, etc before I have to be a mom. It's always nice to have some personal time at the beginning of the day. The only bad thing about it is that, whatever I do, it must be absolutely silent. It would be awesome to start a load of laundry or shower before the kids get up, but with the floor plan of my house, there is no safe place to make noise. I'm even scared to pee. Doing a chore is too risky to my alone time, so I must use my alone time to indulge in quiet things.

Other times we go through phases where my kids wake up before me, and I have to drag my groggy self out of bed and try to not bite their heads off and eat them for breakfast.** I'm not a great mom when we're in this phase. I don't know what happens to affect my kids' sleep cycles like this, but they'll go from sleeping until 7:00 to waking up at 5:00 for weeks at a time. It's usually 4-6 weeks before they start "sleeping in" again.

I think my ideal wake time each day would be 6:30. Before that, I'm a little too tired, and it makes my day a little too long. Actually, my days are too long, in general (the 5:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. time frame is brutal). But if I could wake up at 6:30 and have an hour to myself before my kids wake up, that would be pretty cool.  Of course, that would require them to sleep until 7:30, and that just isn't going to happen.

{Zoe asleep on my friend's kitchen floor}

You may be hoping that this post has a point, but it doesn't. I just needed something quiet to do during my alone time this morning, and as I anticipated my children waking up, it turned into some meaningless blogging.

(Daisy was first today).

*Zoe's wakings go something like this: Zoe wakes up. Zoe lays in crib and yells, "Mama!" or "Dada!" I go into Zoe's room. Zoe pretends to be asleep. I leave Zoe's room. Zoe yells some more. I go into Zoe's room. Zoe looks at me and says, "No! Dada!" I tell Zoe Dada is at work. Zoe refuses to leave her crib. I text Scotty and tell him he needs to come home and get Zoe out of bed. This is funny because he works an hour away. Haha. Hilarious, right? 

**That is a figure of speech. I have never actually bitten off nor consumed a child's head. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Thoughts for the final weeks

I've reached the point in pregnancy where it's hard to talk about anything else. Is that annoying? Or is it completely understandable? It's hard to tell. Either way, bear with me if I get in the habit of blogging about pregnancy. It will be over soon.

Right now I'm 35.5 weeks. Today I feel fabulous because I just turned a corner in battling a horrible sinus infection (my third since Christmas). I got sick on March 2 with the worst cold I've ever had. I thought for sure I had a respiratory infection because my lungs were burning, and I had a horrible cough that kept me awake through the night for several days. I went to the doctor, and they told me that it's "just a virus." Fine. I can deal with that. I'm glad its not pneumonia. But I was pretty sure a sinus infection was settling in. They told me they would readdress the issue when I'd had symptoms for ten days. On Sunday after church I started feeling a bruising sensation in my left eye socket. This is not the usual location of my sinus pain nor is it the the usual type of pain I experience, so it freaked me out a little bit. I may have convinced myself that I had a tumor in my eye socket even though it seemed reasonable that it was just a sinus infection. On Monday my OB/GYN prescribed some antibiotics, and now I have improved. The bruising sensation is gone, and even though I am not 100% mended, I feel like a million bucks compared to how I felt two days ago. Hooray for that! It is a beautiful thing to feel "normal." I don't even mind that I'm eight months pregnant. I can breathe! I don't feel like I've been punched in the face! It's amazing!

Just to make my Worst Cold Ever more exciting, I had 48 hours of false labor last week. I'd had exactly zero hours of false labor prior to that experience. All of my Braxton-Hicks contractions in previous pregnancies have been annoying and uncomfortable but not painful. Last week I started having painful contractions every three minutes. I couldn't walk, I couldn't sleep. They wouldn't stop, but they weren't getting worse, either. Occasionally they would get father apart and then go back to three-minute intervals. They sucked, but they weren't "enough" for me to feel justified in calling my doctor or going to the hospital.They went on for two days and finally went away. That was a new experience.

Last night Scotty and I may have picked a name. I'd say it's an 85% chance. The reasons I can't fully commit are three-fold:

  1. It is a weird name. I have a hard time deciding whether it is cruel to give my child a weird name. However, my son's name is weird (it's not Nicky), and he has fared just fine in life thus far.
  2. The baby might not "look the part" so I need to leave a bit of leeway in case she comes out, and she is clearly NOT a [insert name here]. (This is what happened with Zoe. We had three names to choose from, but when we saw her, none of them seemed to fit, so we had to start from scratch).
  3. I might hear a name in the next few weeks that I like better.
The name we're considering is very meaningful, though, and that helps cancel out the weird factor. The more I think about the name, the more I want to use it, but we'll see... we'll see...

(By the way, if you ask me what the name is, I won't tell you. I'm sorry! I just can't. I've never been able to tell people my babies' names before they're born. I have some subconscious fear of jinxing them. And just to be even more cruel, I don't use my children's real names on this blog, so some of you are really out of luck. Sorry. I've been a real tease today).

Just in time for me to have another baby, Zoe has decided to become a stereotypical two year old. The tantrums! The not knowing what she really wants! The stubborness! The wanting to do everything herself except for the things she actually should do herself! The refusal to wear clothes! The resistance to the car seat! The hitting! The pinching! The biting! The incessant screaming for no reason! 

I remember this! It goes on for years! In fact, Daisy hasn't entirely passed this phase yet. 

I guess I have a lot to look forward to! 

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Irrational Pregnant Britt

Anxiety and irrational fears are a common part of pregnancy.

During all of my pregnancies, I worry more than usual. I have generalized anxiety anyway, but it gets worse when I'm knocked up. I'm always a little more afraid of traumatic things happening to my family. I worry about natural disasters, car accidents, deaths, and all of that other good stuff. I also always worry about slipping and falling in the shower. This is probably because I do slip and have a close call every time I'm pregnant (this pregnancy when I slipped, I hit my leg on the edge of the tub. That was almost two months ago and my leg still hurts where I hit it. I'm not sure if that;s okay).

I think those are probably pretty common fears during pregnancy, but I've also had some fears that are a little more irrational.

During my pregnancy with Nicky, a man died at Disneyland and a boy died at Disney World. This made me paranoid of dying at a theme park. I vowed that I would never go on another ride as long as I lived, and I would never take my family to a theme park. I thought about it all the time and spent a lot of time researching every death at a Disney resort. Obviously I've gotten over it since I've been to Disneyland with my family approximately twelve times since then.

While I was pregnant with Daisy, I knew (knew!) that Scotty was going to leave me someday. It wasn't going to be within that year or the next, but three years down the road or more, he was going to realize that I wasn't treating him very well, and he was going to tell me he wanted a divorce. His new wife was going to be a much better housekeeper and a much more affectionate woman who might as well raise my children for me. I would cry at night because each time I went to bed, I was sleeping away my remaining time with Scotty.

With Zoe, I was worried about being stalked. I thought someone was out to get me - following me, watching my house, and so on and so forth. I was worried that my son was going to be taken from school, so I talked to the front office and told them I had reason to believe that someone might try and get my son from school. I was always jumpy when someone would knock on my door or call my phone. I had to change my ringtone eventually because it started making me ill to hear it.

This time, I have a lot of smaller fears, but one of the dominant ones is my fear of passing out in the shower. I've been sick a lot this during this pregnancy with head colds and sinus infections. I have had fluid in my ear almost the entire time I've been pregnant, so I am always trying to force it out by plugging my nose and blowing (this is what my doctor told me to do). It doesn't ever work for me, but sometimes it forces the fluid toward the outer ear enough that it stops bothering me temporarily. Whenever I try to blow the fluid out, it always makes me feel like I'm on the brink of passing out, and one day, our of sheer stupidity, I did it in the shower. I realized that if I were to actually pass out in the shower, I would probably drown. How long would my kids leave me naked and dying in the shower before they checked on me? Now every time I shower, I imagine my death because I'm either going to slip and fall or pass out.

So those have been my fears. Some are irrational, some are a little more understandable, but either way, I look forward to a decrease in my anxiety someday.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

This Pouting Thing

Yesterday while working on a homework assignment, I sat my laptop on the couch intending to quickly run into the kitchen to put a glass in the sink, and the second I took a step, Zoe charged at it. I was hardly two feet away, so I said, "No, no, Zoe!" and I picked up the laptop and took it with me. When I returned to the living room, Zoe was standing in the middle of the room with her head down. I looked at her for a second thinking what on earth is she doing? Then I realized... she was pouting!


It was the funniest thing. I just stared at her for several minutes while she stood there, still as a statue. I "Psssst!"-ed at Scotty to get his attention and then pointed to Zoe and whispered, "She's pouting!"

It was quite a phenomenon for us to behold, you see, because we've never had a child who pouts. Our kids are big tantrum throwers - they have all excelled at screaming and thrashing around on the ground like they are possessed. When they are experiencing strong emotions, they let us (and the entire neighborhood) know it!

None of them has ever pouted in that isolated, silent way!

I remember about five years ago when I was babysitting another child. I don't remember what happened to make him upset, but he ended up standing in my living room with his arms folded for about an hour. He was completely silent with his head down. I kept checking on him to make sure he was still there, and he stayed firm in that position. I was blown away. Then I realized that I'd never seen this child scream or throw a tantrum for his mom. I asked her afterward if he ever threw tantrums, and she confirmed that he never did, he would just sulk when he got mad.

I couldn't help daydreaming about what that would be like. Just think, if my kid got mad at me in the grocery store, instead of screaming and throwing himself on the ground in front of the shopping cart, he would just stand still with his head down. I could easily put him in the cart and push him around while he pouted, and he wouldn't disturb anyone! And if he ever got mad at home, he wouldn't roll on the ground and kick the walls. He would just stand in the living room out of the way and sulk and it would be quiet. What a different life that would be!

I don't know if there are any long-term differences between children who loudly express their anger via tantrums and those who do so quietly through sulking (maybe one is more likely to end up a serial killer), but I am fascinated by this pouting thing. It will be interesting to see if Zoe continues to do this in the future or if it was just a one-time thing. Either way, at this point, it's new to me, and I admit I'm intrigued. Don't get me wrong, though, the girl can still throw a mean tantrum. In fact, a couple of cashiers at Sam's Club know her by name because of her tantrums (she's made her mark).

Friday, March 6, 2015

Mama Rat


A few weeks ago, we stopped by the pet store because it has animals and it's cheaper than the zoo. While we were looking at the pets, I came across this mama rat. The picture isn't very clear, but she had baby rats climbing all over her trying to get a hold of her nursing parts.* The poor mama was so tired, she could barely open her eyes. She glanced at me for just a second before her eyelids fell, and then she lifted up her little paw and stuck it against the glass as if to say, "We are sisters, you and me."

I couldn't stop looking at her, and even after I moved away, I came back two or three times because I was so enthralled with her. She looked exactly how I felt, and I think we had a mutual understanding between us. I've never breastfed multiple children, or even one, for that matter, but I know the feeling of kids climbing all over you and needing you. Sometimes all you can do is find a friend who "knows" and hold your hand up to the glass in surrender.

I get you, Mama Rat. I do!

*Took me a minute to decide what kind of vocabulary word I wanted to use right there

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


One of the best parts about blogging is having the ability to look back in time and reminisce about my life. I guess the same could be said for a journal, but the way I write on my blog is entirely different from the way I write in my journal. My journal is a little bit depressing, but my blog includes a lot of happy and a lot of funny, so there's more balance on my blog.

For the past few weeks, I've been meaning to go back and read some of my posts from my last pregnancy. This morning I finally did it, and it was funny to see the similarities and differences. Most things are similar which means maybe, just maybe, I am going to survive this pregnancy and be myself again someday. That's the part I always forget - the pregnant version of me is not the "real" me. My personality changes a lot when I'm pregnant, and I get very lost. I start feeling like I'll never come out of it, but then I have the baby and food starts tasting good again, and life gets a little better.

The disappointing part of reading my old pregnancy posts is that I found out I had only gained 8 pounds by this point in my last pregnancy. I can't complain because this time, I've only gained 13 so far, but still... I thought I was so well-off only to discover that I was better off last time. Oh well. Thirteen isn't bad at all for 34 weeks. Plus, I started off this pregnancy ten pounds lighter than my last pregnancy... so I'll just shut up now.

With this being my fourth baby, I'm hoping to be "done." Four has always been "my number." I've always wanted four kids, and I've always felt confident that God supports that desire. But sometimes God can be a little hard for me to comprehend, so now that I've pregnant with #4, I've been wanting to ask Him, "Am I done now?" But God tends to do this thing where He lets me know that I don't get to have the answer yet. So I've been hesitant to ask because I'm worried the answer is, "I'm not telling you that right now," and then five years from now I'll get the prompting that I need to have another baby. The answer I want is, "I am so proud of you for having the faith to bring these children into the world. They are all here now! Go forward and raise them the best you can! I will be here to help when you need me!" That seems like a righteous enough desire, doesn't it? And having that answer will help me move into a new phase of life (plus, I really, really don't ever want to be pregnant again!) So I got brave the other day, and I asked, and I can't say that I have received a clear answer, but my two-year-old has been screaming consistently for four days straight (i.e. ever since I asked), so I'm kind of leaning toward, "Yes, you're done! Good luck with the screaming!"