Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mother's Pride

I found myself with an unexpected day off...I'll get into that in another post, at another time...and since Grandma had already made the trip over to our house to watch the girls while I worked, we decided that we should use this bonus day of fortune to take the girls to the zoo. We have been trying to pick a day to go there for weeks now, but have otherwise been thwarted by bad weather or some sort of appointment. But today, the skies were mostly clear, the temperature was in the high 60's, and there were no appointments to be we went.

We arrived at the park at around 12:30 and, at Big's request, we headed almost immediately for the elephants. She was excited to see if they would squirt her with their trunks. I was leery. The last time we faced these giants (about a year ago), we ended up making a hasty retreat, Big covering her eyes to shield herself from the horror that was the fact most of the animal exhibits ended that way; the giraffes, the aquarium, the bears...etc. I was afraid that we might see a repeat of last year's trip...but it was not so. As we approached the elephants from a distance, she saw them, and immediately got excited. (This was a good sign. I let myself get just a bit hopeful, while still cautiously awaiting screams and tears.) We pulled up next to the railing of the elephant exhibit and, to my amazement, there was no screaming. She wanted closer. In fact, she wanted in the exhibit so she could pet them, instead. (duh, Mom!) I was impressed! And that's pretty much how she reacted to all of the animals that we saw. She wanted to touch them all...even the cheetah, who Grandma assured her would eat her if given the opportunity (gee, thanks Grandma). I was so excited for my big girl, that she was having such a good time and was so happily taking everything in, and then...despite my doubt that it possibly could...the day got even better.

Grandma: Wanna ride a pony Big?!

Big: Yeah! Yeah, Gwamma!!

"Hmmmm...," I thought. I was skeptical...sure that she would ideally like to ride a horse...but felt certain that there was no way we were going to make it through this one without some sort of meltdown and hasty retreat. A knot appeared in my stomach. I hoped that this wouldn't ruin our day by turning her into a tearful, disappointed, frightened, snotty mess.

Grandma: You're gonna ride a horsey?

Big: Yeehaw!! (Apparently that means yes in "cowgirl")

"Ughhhhhhh, great," I thought as we went up to buy her ticket. I only hoped she wouldn't leave the line damaged and sad...but was her turn...and she did it. She really did it, all by herself. I don't think she's smiled as much in her whole entire lifetime as she did during those four rounds around the ring that she made on her pony, Norman's back. She wasn't even the tiniest bit hesitant to go up and hop right on when it was her turn. Her joy was priceless, I wanted to cry. I was so proud. Sometimes I am only able to sit back and look at her with wonder and amazement at how she approaches things in life with so much gusto and joy. I really admire that in her, my little girl who is getting so big before my eyes. ::sniff:: She blows me away sometimes.

And, at the end of the day; 4 chicken nuggets, 2 elephants, 2 giraffes, 6 different species of felines, 2 hippos napping in the water, at least 10 different species of African animals, 1 pony ride, 1 train ride, 2 merry go round rides, and 1-15 minute ride home, Big lay her sleepy head down on her Disney Princess pillowcase and slept soundly in her bed...dreaming of her first pony ride, and her buddy Norman, I'm sure.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Little's Lullaby

Hubby made up his own song for Little. He started singing it to her when she first same home from the hospital, when we were up with her in the middle of the night and he was changing her diapers. Right now you're thinking "Awwww! That is SO sweet!!" right? Yeah, it goes like this:

My little stinky butt girl

My little stinky butt girl

You make my nose hairs currrrrrl

My little stinky butt girl

My little stinky butt girl

My little stinky butt girl

You make your daddy wanna hurrrrrrrrl

My little stinky butt girl

(then it changes to humming and starts again at the beginning as many times as it takes for her to fall asleep)

I laughed when he made it up, after all it is true, she has a very stinky butt...and it was much needed comic relief during those newborn sleep disturbed nights. But this song has become part of her nightly routine. This is the song she demands when she goes to sleep each night. This is what she immediately calms to when she's fussy. This song, about her butt, is Little's lullaby.

Little: 1 Mommy: 0

Yep, that's right. She won. My white flag is up in the air and waving. I give up. No more nursing. Every time I even begin to put Little into nursing position she gives me her best tornado siren impression...except louder...and angrier than any tornado siren I've ever heard. I've been pumping full time for over a week now and I just can't keep it up anymore. I'm stressed about fitting it in to my daily schedule, about making sure that Big doesn't burn down the house while I'm trapped with both hands holding plastic containers on my boobs for 20 minutes 7 times a day (sounds sexy, no?), about whether I can keep my supply up enough that I can meet her feeding needs and all that goes with that (upping fluid intake=extra trips to the I have time for that), about making sure that my pump pieces and bottles are clean after each use so that I have them for the next use...and I just. can't. do. it. anymore. So I gave her a bottle of formula last night. ::sniff:: And I know there is nothing wrong with formula. It's formulated (hee) specifically for baby's good for her. And she liked it, drank it right up...which was a relief...but I still have this feeling of emptiness about the whole thing. ::sniff sniff::

On a "well isn't that ironic" note...I'm still pumping for the time being, to transition Little to formula and to transition myself from dairy cow to just regular cow (I have plenty of hind quarter)...and wouldn't you know it, when I pumped this morning I got 11 ounces of milk...more that I have gotten during this whole stupid pumping thing. My supply is finally up, just in time for me to shut down the factory. Figures.


Weighed myself again this morning...lost all 4 new pounds AND an extra 1/2 pound. Now, had I done anything yesterday to warrant a 4-1/2 pound weight loss, I'd be ecstatic...but I assure you I didn't. My body is wacked. Weird.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Sugar Battle: Summarized

Well, it's official. The week has come to an end. I haven't blogged about my sugar battle for the last few days, so here's a summary of the rest of the week:

Day 4: Had a cyst removed. It was disturbing. That creepy scraping sound just about drove me to the edge of sanity. ::shudder:: I drove right from the doctor's office to Culver's and got a malt. I then spent the rest of the day feeling guilty. Dumb.

Day 5: I was good. I was back on track. I even resisted Hubby's Peanut M&M's at the movie theater. It was dark in the theater. No one would have known about my indiscretion but me (and Hubby, but he was the one offering them, so he wouldn't have cared). I knew this. I resisted anyway. Go me!

Day 6: Stressful day. Little's still on her nursing strike so I'm pumping 8 fricken fracken times a day, while managing to wrangle two small children at the same time. I'm not one for patting myself on the back, but OMG, I think I deserve a weekend trip to the spa as a reward when all of this pumping business is done. Anyway, I got Big and Little both down for their naps, finished pumping for the 4th time of the day and finally had a moment to I ate a cookie. And then another one. Crap.

Day 7: Memorial Day. Family cook-out. Lots of fun. My dish to bring? Brownies. D'oh! So Big and I stirred up a nice batch of triple chunk brownies and threw some frosting on them. They looked harmless enough...but, well, I thought it best to try one to make sure they weren't poisonous before anyone else ate one. I'd hate to be the one responsible for a family-wide illness epidemic....and stuff. And then I ate another one. And, more. Dude.

Sooo, I have to admit, I certainly wasn't perfect...but in all honesty, the amount of sugar I consumed this week was about one tenth of what I normally would have consumed. I'm irritated that I didn't make it one measly week without breaking, but I still feel pretty good about how much I decreased my sugar intake. I also have to say that I can definitely tell that I'm no longer a slave to the cane. I still enjoy sugary foods (like brownies-*ahem*) but I don't get crabby and irritable if I don't eat them. I find it much easier to take it or leave it. So, yay!

And now to the big stuff...I faced the moment of truth this morning with skepticism. I know I wasn't all that great at resisting sugar, but I did do a lot better this week than I have in months...and I didn't replace my sugar junk food with other things either. No chips or other snacks were shoved down as a replacement in my moments of I thought that I may have still lost a pound or two. I got on the scale in the bathroom with just the teeniest bit of hope...took a deep breath...and...looked discover...that I...gained 4 pounds. Umm, what?! You must be F'ing kidding me. I haven't gained 4 pounds since I was pregnant!! Ridiculous, I tell you. Maybe it's someone telling me I need more ice cream. Grr.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sweet Whispers

Little is on a nursing strike. I can hardly contain my enthusiasm. (note sarcasm) And she's not on a passive, "I'd rather smile and coo at you" strike, she's on a full blown "if you put my face near that boob I'm going to scream until the glasses in the cabinet shatter" kind of strike. Its SUPER! Anyway, one such strike episode was going on last night, shortly after Big had been put to bed. She clearly hadn't had time to fall asleep before the screaming began and soon was yelling for me from her bed. Hubby went to the rescue. She told him that she wanted to come and help with Little and make sure she was OK. heh. Hubby quickly saw through her thinly veiled effort to get out of bed and told her that we had it covered, her sister was just fine, and she should go to bed. He then tucked her in again and closed the bedroom door. A few minutes after walking away, he heard her talking in her room again, so he went and stood outside her door. He heard her whispering this:

Big: It's OK Little. You no cwy. Hewe, I move my bwankie. I make woom fo you. (rustling was heard) You can way down wiff me wiiiiight hewe on my bed. No cwy Little. It's OK.

He told me this story with a giant smile on his face. My heart melted. I guess she's over hating her baby sister. My sweet little girl, you're such a good Big sister. ::sniff::

The Sugar Battle: Day 3

Dude. This is only day 3?! Ugh.

I'm of the opinion that weight loss needs to be more instantaneous. It is in the heat of the moment...when you're faced with your child's half finished vanilla malt...that you desperately need to see some weight loss results for encouragement...not 2 weeks later! Who came up with this system!? Seriously.

So, it's day 3, feels like day 353, but I'm still on track. No sweets were eaten yesterday. Pants are still tight. Maternity sweater that was supposed to be long and concealing actually ended up resting on my "butt shelf" (you know, when your butt sticks out enough that it creates a place for your shirt to rest...vindictively accentuating your already ample rear) making me squirm every time I stood up yesterday. I don't think my clothes even fit me this badly when I was pregnant...and huge. Now I'm just medium huge. What's the deal?

OK, trying to be positive here...I did make it through yesterday without cheating. I came this close to eating a bite of Big's strawberry bon bon ice cream, (umm, yum!?!) but didn't. Whew! That's about it. Overall I'd say its getting a bit easier to not want sugar every minute. This is encouraging.

Now, back to watching the floor around me. I'm waiting for the first pound to hit the deck...any minute now...aaaaaaaaaaany minute now...whelp!

Note 12:10 PM: Whoever said that you should load up on water in order to curb your appetite must have been sadistic. Water makes my stomach feel absolutely empty, and ravishingly hungry. Idiot.

Note 12:12 PM: After re-reading my post I realized that it appears that I'm weighing myself, ohhhhh, every 5 minutes or so. And I'm not. I won't weigh myself until next Tuesday. I'm giving it a whooooooole week. ::groan::

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Sugar Battle: Day 2

Well, since yesterday I've learned quite a few things about this battle, things that will help me stay strong and give sugar the boot.

First, and most importantly, I've learned that cutting sugar treats our of your diet makes you very, very crabby. Hubby has, unfortunately, learned this lesson too, poor guy.

Second, I've learned that A LOT of people are going through this same thing at this very moment. Oprah, for one (who knew??)...but also a lot of my friends! Had I not come out with my declaration of war, I may have never known what a common issue this is! Thankfully, I am in good company.

Third, and finally, I've also learned that I can make it through a whole day without consuming sweets. And a really bad whole day too. Sweeeeeeeeeeeet (Note to self: find a new expression of enthusiasm to use, as that one makes me think of cake.). I did have a handful of chips before dinner, and a regular soda with dinner, but no chocolate, no candy, no cake (I made hubby eat the intruder cake), and none of the very delicious lemon cupcake cookies that I unknowingly bought the day before yesterday. ::slaps forehead::

So, we're almost halfway through day 2 and, aside from wanting to shoot lasers out of my eyes at the drop of a hat, I'd say that this is so far a success....for me...not such a happy experience for those around me. heh. Hopefully that will pass.

Note 11:02 AM: I'm suddenly wondering if Little's refusal to nurse (yes, still!) is related to my kicking the sugar habit. Maybe she only likes chocolate milk? Poor kid.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The War Rages On...Let the Sugar Battle Begin: Day 1

The war against my waistline that is.'s not even really been a war lately, more of a massacre. I haven't been trying to watch what I eat at allllll...unless you count watching the fork full of cake as it goes from the plate to my mouth. (heh) It's now been 3 months since I've lost a single pound of after baby weight, and that is just crap. The good news? I've got my boxing gloves on and I'm finally ready to do some battle. As of today I am NOT allowing myself to snack on sweets. No after lunch chocolate. No after dinner cake. No convenient cookie stops at the mall. None. After reviewing my diet, I think I might single handedly be responsible for the depletion of the sugar crop around the world with all of the sweets I eat!! And if I can do away with that part of my diet, the price of sugar should go down by about 50% AND I will be way closer to winning this stupid war and actually stepping out of the maternity section sometime in this decade. I really do love my elastic waist pants, with the built in fabric panel...ahhhhhh...comfy (it's like wearing jeans and sweat pants at the same time! To work!) but the reality is that that panel is there to allow for baby growing room, not cupcakes...and there is no baby in this belly anymore. Thus, its time to get a move on and get back in my "my body is not a vessel anymore" pants.

So...I weighed myself this morning (I won't share that part with you ::eye roll::) and my goal is to do this for ONE WEEK and see what happens. I figure that if I can make it through the first seven days, the second week will be's hoping.

Ready? Set. Go! Day one in progress...

Note 2:16 PM: Just ate lunch at work, a Lean Cuisine flat bread. It was tasty, but I yearned for a Hershey Nugget chaser...which lies a mere 12 inches from me in my desk drawer. I resisted. It was hard. I'm only 14 hours into this thing and I hate it already. I'd better see some scale results next Tuesday!!! Grr.
Note 9:11 PM: OMG. I picked the wrong day to start this. Tonight Big was in rare form. First she spat at me, then used the word "hate" for the first time. In fact, it was used in this sentence: I HATE Mama. Umm...what?! I mean, she was angry with me because I was being super mean and all and not letting her have her way (insert eye roll here) but HATE? ::shudder:: I thought I had 11 more years coming before I heard that one! And to put the cap on my craptastic evening, after I finally got Big to bed, Little spent hour upon hour screaming at me and refusing to nurse...until I gave in and gave her a bottle of EBM. I've never had to give her a bottle before. ::sniff:: Not only do I want to eat the stupid piece of cake that's intruding in my fridge right now, but I want to drive to the store and buy a whole cake...and eat it in my the grocery store parking lot. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK! P.S. I refuse to eat the stupid cake. Stupid cake. Grr.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mommy Stripes

I am earning my Mommy stripes today! I tell you...I have seen battle, and baby, it ain't pretty!! Ugh! The motherhood stuff is tough!! By the end of this day, I will totally be Sargent Major Mommy...or something like that...high ranking...yeah, that! Argh!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Genuine Happiness

I posted some family pictures on a chat board yesterday (woot woot ladies!!) and one of the responses I received was that we all look so genuinely happy in the photographs. My immediate response was "We are!"...but then I had to take a contemplative time out to think about that for a minute. My realization: You know what? We ARE! We are a genuinely happy family! Wow! For so long I thought that I would never get there, to that happy family place that people talk about...but all of a sudden...I AM THERE! Don't get me wrong, our life certainly has its challenges...big challenges...and we're not perfect, but we do all genuinely love each other. We treat each other with kindness and respect, and darn it- we enjoy the time we spend together. No mumbling under our breath, no faking a smile to keep up appearances, instead we have real smiles and laughter, and talking!! It's like I fell asleep in prison a few years ago and woke up in paradise. And I am so thankful...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

4 Months Ago Today...

my Little came into the world. Hard to believe its been that long already, though in a way I'd like to put as much time between me and that day as possible. Not that it was a bad day, after all I met my little girl for the first time...something I had surely been looking forward to for many months...but it was a tough day, easily the toughest day of my life at that point...

We went into the scheduled c-section with fear. Fear over the surgery I would soon have. Fear over bringing our precious daughter into this world, not knowing how her heart would function once she was on her own. Would she need to have a pacemaker? When would we be able to take her home? How were we going to be able to spend enough time with her while she was staying in the NICU? And then there was the fear about how Big would handle being separated from us for 4 days. Would she feel abandoned? Would she cry for me? How she would adjust to being a big sister? So many fears...and then she was here.

She was so beautiful right out of the gate (or uterus, if you will). She had a full head of soft brown spikey hair, a teeny tiny little nose, long, skinny feet, and a pair of lungs that would put Tarzan to shame. She was amazing. I was only able to briefly gaze upon her face before she was taken to the NICU and I was taken to recovery, which seemed so unnatural and unfair to me, but I knew it was what had to happen. When I finally got to hold her for the first time that afternoon at her bedside, the world was right again. My baby was here.

The rest of the day is a blur. Monitors and cords, visitors and drugs, IV's and a fever, nurses and doctors and surgeons, bandages and consults, an anxiety filled midnight trip down to the NICU hold my baby...things that we were told to expect, but not things that we could truly prepare ourselves for.

As I look back now though, four months later, what sticks out most in my mind among all of the chaos of that day is my beautiful baby. Her soft, warm body and her newborn cry...and most of all, the amazing strength and spirit that she's shown us from the very moment she was born. How far you've come Little One. I'm so lucky to have you in my life.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wanted: A New Hair Dresser

I love getting my hair done. I'm not sure what thrills me so much about it. When I was sitting at the salon on Monday, having my chair elevated by foot pump, plastic cape draped over me, I took a moment to try to decide what it is about the experience that I enjoy so much. Is it the celebrity gossip mags that I get to read while my color develops? Is it chatting with a fellow adult while sitting, childless, in a quiet locale for a few hours? It's certainly not the actual process of getting the foil strips shellacked to my head with color goo, or looking like I could transmit a small, private radio station with my head for 30 minutes. Huh. I couldn't decide. However, by the time I was finished with my appointment, I had figured it out. It's the promise of walking out of the salon in a mere few hours, fresh color applied, hair swinging bouncily from a fresh cut and style, and feeling like a renewed woman. It's like a mini-makeover that I get to have every 6 weeks...and it makes me feel good...when things go right that is. This was not the case on Monday.

It started out well. I verbalized what I wanted to my stylist (my normal blond and coppery-red highlights to brighten up my blah brown hair)...she was receptive, color was mixed, foil was applied, US magazine was thoroughly scoured for gossip while I developed for 30 was good. We washed and cut my hair, then dried...all on, fun, fun...and then it happened. I looked in the mirror, and my day went sharply downhill. I swear I heard the music from Psycho. Holy holy. Apparently when I asked my hair dresser to make my red highlights "a bit brighter" than she had last time, what she actually heard me say was "I want to look like the Little Mermaid. You know, I'd like my highlights neon orange fact, make most of my hair that color...except for a few blond streaks, oh and leave the brown roots...cuz that's the sexiest look of all!!". My heart actually stopped beating for a moment...right before she asked me how I liked it with a large, satisfied grin on her face. My reply? "I love it!" Ughhhhhh, I suck. I lied...and then paid her over $100 for ruining my hair. ::insert sobbing here:: Don't I get it free if its ugly? For $100 I could surely find a wig to wear for the next, ohhhh, 6 weeks? No, huh? Damn.

Sooooo, now I'm a red head...or, well...let's be honest, I'm an orange head. A very unhappy, out a hundred dollars, still jumping every time I catch my reflection in the mirror orange head...and I'm in the market for a new hair dresser in the Milwaukee area...anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mother's Day

I know it's a little late to be doing my Mother's Day recap but, just like every other day, my Mother's Day was bu-sy...allowing me zero time to blog. It was good busy; having coffee while playing with Big's Barbies, getting presents from Hubby and the girls (wheee!), running to my sister's house (an hour and a half late-d'oh!) to have brunch with my much fun!! But when we arrived home that evening, my Mother's Day celebration really began, in kind of an odd way. It changed from "a day to honor me as a mother" to "a day to step up my game and be the best mother I can be." As soon as we stepped in the door Big and Little were both hungry. Both were tired. Big was all worked up from playing with my nieces all was truly a scene to behold. Imagine a Tasmanian devil, eating chicken strips and french fries over your living room carpet, while a teeny tiny fire truck siren goes off in your arms for 20 minutes while you try to feed it. It was something like that. heh. Nothing new in our household, but for some reason the fact that it was Mother's Day actually gave me a new perspective on the chaos.

There was no pity party that my Mother's Day didn't turn out to be a relaxing day of paying homage to my greatness. In a few years, my days won't be as hectic; Big won't require constant supervision during meals to keep her from lodging fish sticks in her trachea, and I won't be "trapped" in a seated position while I feed Little...but I'm not ready for that yet. I LOVE having little kids. I love (secretly) laughing at Big's reasoning and daily verbal contemplations. I LOVE getting huge smiles from Little every time I make eye contact with her, and stroking her soft baby hair with my cheek. I love that if I feed Big "like a kitty" and meow a couple of times, I can get her to eat just about anything. I love nursing Little and having her fall asleep in my arms, feeling her warm body against mine. I love when we all sit on the couch together; Big laying on one side of me with her pink blankie and Little in my other arm kicking and cooing up a storm, and just being together. I love where we are now. I don't want to rush this period of our lives. And yeah-with the good parts of motherhood also comes the dirty diapers, the spit-up, the sleepless nights and crack of dawn mornings, but soon enough I'll wake up the mother to two teenage girls who are too busy with their own lives to even acknowledge that they have a mother. That can wait a while. I'll take changing a million dirty diapers in exchange for one messy, strawberry lip gloss filled kiss from Big and one smile filled coo from Little.

So, in retrospect, this Mother's Day was far from relaxing. I wouldn't compare it to a day at the spa. I wouldn't call it leisurely...but I will say that I think that it was just as it should be. It was busy and hectic and loud...and I changed diapers, wiped noses and diffused tantrums, just like every other day...but this day I took the time to realize how much I enjoy being a mother. I wouldn't have spent it any other way.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Warning: this is not "new"

Yep, here I my pajamas, with a nice hot cup of coffee next to me. The house is quiet, except for the washer and dryer noise (but to me that sounds like progress, not noise). I'm all set to have my computer free time, and I can't think of a thing to write about. I always get so mad when popular shows reflect that the show of the evening will be "new" on the channel guide...but then when you get all settled in with your basket of laundry to fold (and your snacks *ahem*) you find out that its a stinkin' recap show. That's not new!! Its clips of things I've seen already! Stupid *&^%#$! Well, in order to avoid that frustration, my friends, I'm giving plenty of warning...this is going to be an update post. Don't say I didn't warn you.

The rash: Yeah, it's eczema. We've been given a prescription for some salve (gotta love salve...the word just sounds greasy and disgusting) to use on it. It's now turned into big patches of really dry skin...umm, all over her body. Comfy! Eh, what can you do. She's still the happiest *coughcough*and cutest*coughcough* baby on the planet.

The swing set: Yep, still lovin' it! Big calls it her park. Hee! She wants to play outside eeeeevery day, which really is a good thing...except when I have to tell her no. But it HAS also proven to be quite effective in the bribery, umm...I mean motivation department. For example; "Big, if you don't eat those two chicken nuggets, you won't have any energy and we can't go out and play on the swing set!". Mwahahahahahahahaha! Oh, come on, every one does it! Don't they?

My family: They still rock! They can't get enough of Big talking about and playing on the swing set. I'm going to use this space to send a BIG appreciative shout out to Uncle Andy, who I hear devised the plan to surprise us with a complete swing set (and did most of the work). You. are. awesome. Uncle Andy's also going through some really stupid, unfair crap at work right now, so I have to also use this space to tell him that we love and support him 100%, and we're sending lots of thoughts his way.

My In-laws: They still rock too! They've apparently told Hubby several times how much they enjoyed having us come up and visit...which is nice because we enjoyed it so much too. Win-win. Doesn't get better than that! We will, in fact be seeing Uncle Frank at the baseball game here this afternoon...and maybe again tomorrow for some chill out time...although we secretly know he only wants to come and hang out with the girls, but that's cool! He's a wonderful uncle and the girls love him, so

Pink eye: As fast as it appeared, it disappeared. No antibiotics were even picked up from the pharmacy. Weird, no? Maybe the big guy really heard my plea...I can hope.

Big's Boo Boos: Like all first boo boos of the season, they're healing fine and going away. No more crying eruptions. No more neosporin was necessary. I'm sure we'll soon see another pair, such is the life of a two year old.

Aaaaaand, I believe that brings us to a close...unless you're wondering about my emotional instability...that hasn't changed, but I think that's just part of being a mother, and a wife...and a daughter...sister...friend...employee...nevermind just being a woman (oh the hormones!!). I'm not hoping for much improvement in that area. I have an AMAZING husband and family, two unbelievable daughters, and the best friends a girl could hope for to get me through. Thanks for putting up with me everybody!

Well, happy Saturday friends! I'm off to go fold some laundry, then feed little, give her a bath and apply salve, wash the get the idea. Then we're off to Wal-Mart ::shudder::, then Grandma's to drop Little off, and then we're heading to the ball game! Go Brewers!

Don't forget to love your mothers tomorrow!! MWAH!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Popping a Seam

No, not in my pants...well ok I did bust out one of the clasps on my new non-maternity pants already, imagine that...but right now I'm talking more about coming unraveled emotionally. I hate feeling like this. Too much on my plate! Too many directions to go in! Too much to worry about! Too many unpleasant emotions! Stupid, stupid...argh!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Boo Boo Season

Well, it's official. Boo boo season is upon us. Poor Big. She got her first pair of skinned knees yesterday when she fell on the cement at the park. When she came home from being with her dad last night, the first thing she said to me, before the usual "hi" or "I want some candy" was "Mama, I got owies!". Indeed. Ouch!

My little girl never cries. Well, not never...but hardly ever in pain. When she falls down or bumps her head she usually just gets right up and, seeing the horror on my face, says "It's OK Mama! I'm OK!" as if to comfort me that she fell down. She's incredible. But this morning was no typical owie moment for Big. She was absolutely beside herself when she bumped one of her boo boos on the table. I'm talking drool soaking the carpet as it pours out of her mouth because she's crying so hard, crying. My poor baby. Kisses didn't help, she wouldn't let my lips anywhere near her boo boos...I was at a loss. Already late for work, I had an epiphany; Neosporin with pain relief! Let me just publicly thank whoever came up with this stuff right now. Give that man (or woman...I'm equal opportunity) a Nobel peace prize, because I can only imagine how many additional mothers have been thankful for the peace that concoction has brought their children. Pure. genius. If you don't already have this, run out and get some NOW! Right Now! Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight...Now! Seriously, go!

So, I reluctantly left my sad little girl all calmed down, laying on the couch, sucking her thumb, snuggling her bunny, knees covered in Neosporin and a whopping 5 Dora band-aids. It's going to be a long boo boo season.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Dear God,

Could you please give Little a break soon? She's dealt with so much in the 3-1/2 months that she's been alive. I know that she's a strong girl, and she can handle your challenges, but it would just be so wonderful for her to not have to deal with anything for a little while. She's such a happy baby, full of joy and smiles even though she's had heart surgery, and has a pacemaker. She's been a patient in the hospital twice and has had more IV's than I have in my 30 years. She's already had a blood transfusion and an experimental treatment, which most people go a lifetime without. She takes her 4 daily doses of medication with gusto, even though the taste of them made Mommy gag. She smiles at the nurses and doctors when they poke and prod at her monthly, examining every aspect of her cardiovascular system. She's managed to grow and thrive and be a joyous baby despite her discomfort and constant spitting up from reflux. She hasn't complained at all about the rash that's now covering her body and doesn't look very comfortable...or the pink eye that she mysteriously came down with yesterday. She's been smiling and cooing despite her obvious discomforts. She's such a champion. So, could you please cut her some slack and let her little body heal what it already has to deal with, without putting anymore challenges on her plate. Her Mommy would really appreciate it.

Thank you.

Best. Weekend. Ever.

Freshly off the high of this weekend, I feel the need to recap. It. was. fabulous. Well, not all of it...Little went to the pediatrician on Friday and was diagnosed with full body eczema (and this morning her eye was crusted shut)...we took a 4-1/2 hour car ride with two babies, twice in three days...and both rides had their low points (screaming, crying kids, hearing Dumbo so many times that I could perform an impromptu one man version of the movie this morning)...but overall, it was simply amazing!

The amount of love, generosity, warmth, and kindness that we experienced this weekend is almost impossible to describe. My in-laws seemed to light up the moment we pulled into the driveway, and just gave and gave and gave all weekend long. From the wonderful homemade meals, to letting us sleep in while they took care of Big, to sitting and coloring with Big so that hubby and I could have an uninterrupted cup of coffee in the morning (even big, tough Uncle Frank got in on the coloring), to just the overall kindness, love and warmth they showed our children and us all weekend...I'm literally blown away. It's usually a nice feeling to head home from a trip, knowing that life will soon be getting back into a routine...but yesterday as we pulled away from their house, they were all standing outside waving good-bye and there was a definite feeling of sadness within me. I have the most wonderful in-laws on the planet.

Now onto chapter 2 of the best weekend ever...

As we pulled down 104th street, looking forward to the completion of our second long car ride of the weekend, we turned the corner and got ready to pull into our driveway-except we couldn't. Why, you ask? Because my sister's car was parked in the driveway, and my Mom's and Dad's and Brother's and Brother-in-law's cars were all parked on the street in front of our house. And all of them were in our backyard...putting Big's swing set together as a surprise for us. ::insert jaw drop here:: Big's reaction was priceless. She wasn't previously told about the swing set (so as to avoid the persistent questioning of when said swing set would appear in our yard, as is normal with two-year olds) to see "her friends" putting this together for her was almost too much for her to comprehend. She kept repeating "Oh, my goshes!! I can't baweeve it!!" It made a mommy's heart swell. It took 4 men (well 3 men and a big 10 year old boy) 10-1/2 hours to put the thing together...and I know that I don't get to judge this because it wasn't my time that was put into it, but if you ask me, it was worth every minute. The amount of joy that was experienced in the 1 hour that the kids (Big and my 3 nieces and 1 nephew-not Big and Little...cuz Little is, well...too little) got to play on it last night was enough for a lifetime...and we have a whole summer ahead of us!!

I just have to express my almost overwhelming feeling of fortune to have the people in my life that I do. Thank you to our families for being so wonderful and loving us so much. I don't know how we would have made it through the last year without all of you. We love you too!! MWAH!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Back away slowly...

...because I may need to post a "quarantine" sign on our front door. We have a rash. (Well, Little has a rash, WE don't. I'm rash-free thank you.) And so the wait has begun to determine exactly what it is we're dealing with. Is this a rash, or is it a RAAAAAAASH? I'm on fever watch, which is nothing like Baywatch, by the way. No swim suits (thank GOD!), no beach...just me and Little and a terribly sloooooowwwwww digital thermometer. Loads of fun. My poor baby.

On a happy note, Big and I got to go and do something "alone" for the first time in months today! Grandma came over to watch Little while I took Big to the place of her choice to spend some time alone with moi! She chose the park. I tell you, watching her climb and jump and fly around that playground, I was beside myself. She climbed up to the highest platform and went down the 3 big kid slides all by herself. Last year I had to help her with everything; hold her hand as she walked across the wobbly bridge, catch her at the bottom of the toddler sized slide...but not anymore. *sniff* My baby is growing up. *sniff* I'm hopeful that this alone time might help improve her morale when it comes to Little. I haven't seen her stick her tongue out at the baby this Big's a tough cookie, though. I'm not uncrossing my fingers just yet.

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