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May 29th, 2008

As tends to be the trend in our house, a manic day with Kenny is often immediately followed by one of the sweetest days ever.   Perhaps part tender effort from me to be extra-nurturing, part concentrated effort on the rascal’s part to be less rascally… whatever the cause, it works.

We had a companionable day, my little man and I.   We played on his swing-set, had a picnic lunch, amiably skipped our naps when a contractor showed up two hours early, took Dudley to the Vet for his vaccinations, scooted over to the mall to buy him a new shirt for a wedding he is going to tomorrow with us (!) and then had a dinner date at California Pizza Kitchen.   The wild man fell asleep on the way home, and I actually got him from the car to his bed without waking him up, and even changed his diaper and put his eye drops in without too much mayhem.  

Casey is working late, and, as always happens when I know he will be coming home after “bedtime,” I am wired and can’t fathom the thought of going to bed early.   darn.

So, from the Two to the To Be… I am 35 weeks and my OB tells me that I’ve already “dropped” and that the head is “pretty far down in the pelvis.”   I’ve been having those pesky Braxton-Hicks contractions since week 30, but in the last four days, those bearable ab-crunchers have turned into real-deal-take your breath away contractions.   Last night for about an hour, I was seriously considering packing a bag and heading off to the hospital.   They aren’t regular, but they sure are strong and frequent.   Then morning comes, the B-H’s are back and the hard core clenches wait until dark to rear up again.   I want to go early, but not yet!   I’m thinking 38 or 39 weeks would work out well.   Besides, Casey and I have tickets to a Sugarland concert next Friday, and am not NOT missing it.   I’ll give birth in the concert hall aisle before I’ll give up another chance to see Jennifer Nettles in concert.   (and the silly thing is that I’m not really joking…)

How about all of you Mommies out there… did any of you have several weeks of real contractions before going into labor?   And how did you know you were finally in labor after all the false alarms?

Monsters, Inc.

May 28th, 2008

Yesterday Kenny woke up with  a little gunk in his left eye.   By noon it was fervently pink, and by the time he woke up from his nap, both eyes were completely glued shut with yellow and green ick.   He started screaming and I ran upstairs, my stomach in my throat.   It took a wet cloth to unstick his poor little lids so that he could see, then several minutes of hugging for him to calm down.   He was a sad little puppy for the rest of the day, feverish and cranky, no appetite and just plain woeful.   We took him to the doctor to diagnose the obvious, and today he is much better overall on Vigamox and Motrin.

Unfortunately, Pink Eye had a nasty run-in with Pregnancy Hormones today at two o’clock, and I am ashamed to say that the Hormones won out over mommy’s normally good nature.

I had an appointment with my chiropractor at 12:30 today – bad news all around, as her office is 45 minutes away, and 12:30 falls smack into lunch and naptime.   I go to a very specialized chiro, called an “Atlas Orthogonist” – it’s an incredible branch of medicine and my pregnancy has been much more comfortable because of it.   There is no cracking or snapping, only gentle pressure points and muscle stimulation.   At this point in my pregnancy, I should be going once a week, but I’ve missed the last three weeks – mostly because I hate dragging Kenny for a car ride that long.   Anyway, I was so far out of alignment that my dear orthogonist was clucking her tongue and shaking her head.   In fact, she said that there was nothing about me that was in sync.   With that many adjustments in one sitting (I usually only have a few), I left feeling like I’d been through the ringer, with  a killer headache coming on.

In light of the bad timing of today’s appointment, I had packed a lunch for Kenny and I to eat in the car on the way.   Despite the fact that he devoured it, by the time we got home (at 1:45), he started whining for lunch.   And not only lunch, but lunch outside on his picnic table.   It was all I could do not to collapse on the floor in pain, as the muscle soreness was setting in, but I said, “Ok” and fixed him a little plate and said we could take it outside, then we’d have to come back in for a nap.   He then  continued, in his whiniest voice, “I want to eat my lunch at my picnic table!!” another ten times, each time I was saying “Ok” as I scrambled to fix him  a plate (that I knew he wouldn’t eat) and tried to suck down a Pepsi as I contemplated whether or not my searing headache deserved a Tylenol.   Finally, I lost it: “I SAID OK!   WE CAN EAT YOUR LUNCH OUTSIDE AT THE PICNIC TABLE!” This was projected at nothing short of a yell, getting louder with each syllable.   Halfway through the sentence, I knew I needed to stop myself, but I was so mad I only got louder.   I slammed the kitchen counter door shut on the last word and turned my back on Kenny.  

He started crying immediately, of course.   I’m not a screamer by nature.   In fact, I can remember exactly only 3 other times I’ve lost control and yelled at him.   Twice in the same day, about a week after my second miscarriage, and once in the car, lost on the beltway in a bad part of town when he wouldn’t stop asking me when we were going through another tunnel.

I went over to him and wrapped my arms around him.   “I’m so sorry, Kenny.   That was wrong of Mommy.”   His little chest heaved, and he stammered, “Why did you yell at me?”   Just last week  during our trip to  the Outer Banks, Kenny had seen one of our friends yell at her kid several times.   He was shaken up by it, and asked me what was going on.   We went in our room and talked about it; about how it made us feel, and why it is wrong for a mommy to yell at her kid.     Anyway, I held him tight and said, “I was wrong to yell at you.   I should never yell at you.   Mommy is hurting right now from our trip to the doctor’s office.   I’m really tired and I need a nap, and sometimes when you ask me the same question over and over, when I’ve already answered you, it makes mommy’s head start to spin.   But I should not have yelled at you, and I am sorry.   Will you forgive me?”   He nodded and wiped his runny nose on my bare arm.   Then we headed outside to his picnic table, where he ate exactly one grape, and declared that he was ready to go in for a nap.

It’s so hard to be calm and nuturing with a sick/cranky Two Year Old.   Right now he’s refusing bedtime, sitting on the landing of the stairs, crying, “Mama! Mama! Mama!” over and over.   It’s after 9.   Between Casey and I, we’ve already spent over an hour in his room with him, trying to get him to sleep, and now it’s the maddening tough love time.   Even without prenatal hormones coursing through my nearly 9-month pregnant body, it’s tough to take.   Ah, give in to his plans or wait it out while I slowly go crazy one floor below.

Calgon, take me away.

Me and My Shadow

May 26th, 2008

This weekend Casey’s older brother Dan and his son Ryan came to visit.   It was non-stop fishing, crabbing, basketball, baseball and fun.   Kenny, who thinks the sun rises and sets  on 8-year-old Ryan, became his shadow.   He was alternately  sweetly shy (as in, “You wanna bite of this cracker, Ryan?”) to  charmingly bossy (“I want the ball!   You go over there!”) to awe-struck adoration (“Look, Ryan! We can do puzzles!    Look at this caterpillar!   Look at my  playground! Look at this booger!!!!”).   Ryan was graciously accommodating, never making Kenny feel as if her were anything less than a big guy.


Today we all went to the Oriole’s game and watched the Yankees get buried…


It was a hot one, and Kenny and I made several trips from our sunny seats on the field to the concessions breezeway for some shade.   I couldn’t figure out why I was so light-headed, even though I was   super-hydrated, until I realized that we’d climbed up and down  the monster set of stairs four times in two hours…

memorial-day-weekend-040.jpg   (Check out the 35 week belly!)

 By the bottom of the 7th inning, after arriving two hours early for batting practice, Kenny finally checked out…


This remains proof that you don’t  need a quiet, dark room for a two-year-old to take a nap, you just need to exhaust them.

Hold the Tacos

May 21st, 2008

Last night I made tacos for dinner.   This is not remarkable (except for the fact that I can count on my fingers the number of times I’ve made something from a box for dinner instead of something from scratch…) and shouldn’t hold any interest for blogging purposes.

Unfortunately, there is a story.   About an hour after going to bed, I started getting acid reflux so bad I thought I was going to die.   And there wasn’t a single TUMS in the house.   After two hours of trying to sleep sitting up in bed, of pacing the floor, beating my chest, gulping water and ginger-ale, Casey got up and ransacked every drawer in the house looking for a stray antacid.   He found one in the bottle I thought was empty (duh) and one in the bottom of my make-up travel bag.   I chomped on the first, then desperately peeled the congealed paper from the second, which neither tasted nor crunched like a Tums.  

We went back to bed where I continued to toss and turn.   Casey offered to run out to buy me a new box, but I declined… the nearest convenience store is 4 miles away on a winding road, and I didn’t think it was the best idea.   So I sipped some more ginger-ale and laid down.   I had just drifted off to sleep when a wave of nausea hit me like a demolition ball.   I leaped up, woefully too late, and projectile-puked all over the carpet.   As my stomach heaved, I was hit with an equally strong contraction, and fell to my knees, where I emptied the contents of my undigested stomach onto our white Berber rug.   Casey, bless his heart, ran for a towel, which caught the last few surges, but the damage was done.   He handed me a cool wet towel for my face and helped me to the bathroom to rinse my mouth.   Then worked for fifteen minutes trying to get the reddish bile up from the pile.   No dice.  

I sat in the bathroom floor and bawled – from exhaustion, continuing contractions, humiliation and anger over ruining the carpet.   Casey came in and made me laugh.   Then we reminisced over all the times Kenny and Dudley have thrown up onto the carpet… though I definitely won the damage contest.

I am never eating tacos again.   And I am never going to bed without a full bottle of Tums on the bedside table.

Outer Banks

May 18th, 2008


We arrived home safe and sound a few hours ago, and I am exhausted.   What a wonderful trip!   Casey, Kenny, Dudley and I went to the Outer Banks with two other families – there were 6 adults, 8 kids (ranging in age from 5 weeks to 10 years old) and two large-breed dogs among us.   It was chaotic and wonderful.   Though I never did have time to write on this blog, there was much time for good conversation, tons of food and a few good books thrown in.

Kenny had the time of his life: he was the only boy, and was adored and doted on by all the little ladies in attendance.   He gets along especially with two of the little girls – one a year older and one a year younger – and he played and played to the hilt.   It may take us a week to get all the sand out of his hair, but a week “with the gur-ils” (as he says) will fuel him much longer.

As much fun as we all had, however, Dudley definitely had the best vacation of his life.   He ran mile after mile every day, chasing tennis balls, wading in the surf, and going on long walks in the sand.

A few highlights: (click on the pictures for a better view)


While the adults mainlined coffee to wake up in the wee sunlit hours, Kenny and Kiana read quietly on the couch and contemplated the day…


Kenny and his betrothed, Ruthie, enjoy a romantic walk on the shore…


Pure joy and silliness…


Watching dolphins in the sunrise…


May 13th, 2008

It suddenly hit me this weekend that I am going to have a baby.   A real baby.

For those of you reading who are new to this blog, I have been virtually pregnant since January 2007.   My first miscarriage was in March, I was pregnant again by June, lost twins in July, and then was pregnant again in October.   So I have been pregnant for the last 12 out of 16 months.   And I still have seven weeks (give or take a few) to go.

Somebody get a Grey Goose martini with extra olives ready for me, will you??

But I’m also really nervous.   I’ve been pretty used to being pregnant, but it’s been so long in coming that the thought of actually having the baby seems crazy.   What will Kenny think?   Will I ever have a date night with my husband again?   Will this one nurse every two hours for forty minutes like Kenny did?    With Kenny’s exuberant nursing needs, I read nearly two books a week and knew the entire Food Network programing schedule by heart.   What will I do this time around?   Read to Kenny?   Let him watch endless TV and DVDs?   Will he suddenly learn to play by himself every time I  sit down to nurse?

I’ve been reading several blogs lately by women who have just had their second baby, who have kids  Kenny’s age.   It’s been encouraging, and I know that it will all work itself out, but it’s hard to picture it right now…  

In other news, I don’t think I wrote previously about the chaos we’ve been through at our house as of late.   A few weeks ago, we discovered some cracking in part of our foundation, and after a visit from a structural engineer, we ended up having to have one side of our house jacked up two and a half inches and a steel beam inserted below to keep it from slipping again.   Yikes.      Three nights  ago we noticed that the alarm on our sump pump was going off, and we unplugged it.   Meaning to plug it right back in after we’d woken up in the morning.   But we woke up and left on a trip, and forgot.   When we saw a weather report for our area that included flooding, we called a friend to go check on our house.   He ended up spending five hours trying to jerry-rig the broken sump pump to save our house from being flooded.   He is a saint.   We called the contractor who has worked on our house many times before (and who still has a key!) and he came over today to replace it.   He is also a saint.   What would we do without these two incredible guys in our lives??   Come home to a house full of water, that’s what… In the meantime, our neighbor is keeping a hawk-like watch on things.   Disaster averted.

By the way… I’ll write soon about the trip we are on… It’s our first ever trip with other friends with little kids.   Now that’s adventure.

Another Reason to Use Pencil

May 10th, 2008

It turns out that all the c-section slots are full for the entire week of my actual due date, so I am now on the waiting list for that week, and scheduled for the following week… one thing I wasn’t counting on was having this baby late!   My OB thinks there is a very good chance that a spot will open up, but it gives me the willies, all the same.    Or maybe it’s because my appetite has kicked into turbo gear, and I am starting to waddle that the thought of going even a mere day past my due date sounds bonkers.

It’s funny, too, that scheduling a c-section is a little like scheduling a dentist appointment.   You know, you call in and the receptionist says, “Oh, the doc is all booked that week… how does that week of the 7th look for you?   Are mornings or afternoon best?”

Penciled In…

May 6th, 2008

I’m so glad I had the good sense to write “Baby’s Birthday!” in pencil on my calendar.   Casey and I had an incredible meeting with my OB yesterday, and after a full exam and conversation, he sees no reason why I can’t try for a natural birth!   I am floating.   I feel like this 20 pound bowling ball I’ve been hauling around is suddenly lighter and the pep has come back to my step!

Assuming I don’t go into labor super early, instead of the scheduled c-section for June 24th (the 39 week mark), he has scheduled a complete sonogram to measure the baby and check the positioning.   Since it’s too dangerous to induce, we have re-scheduled the section for my actual due date, giving me another week to go into labor on my own.   I know that there is still a chance of a c-section, but just knowing that it’s possible and that I have the support of both my OB and Casey makes me believe that it can happen!   Hurray!

I’m sure I’m going to be writing compulsively about this for the next seven weeks, so bear with me.   By the way, for all of my pregnant readers out there, check out the book The Baby Catcher, by Peggy Vincent.   Absolute inspiration.   I’m almost done with it,  so I’ll post a review sometime next week, but suffice to say it’s a gripping and uplifting read for anyone about to have (or thinking of having!) a baby.

First Fish!

May 6th, 2008


Last night, as I was running around making final preparations for a dinner party with some of Casey’s colleagues, Casey mercifully got Kenny out from underfoot and went down to the dock for a little pre-dinner fishing.   And after  two and a half hours of catching nothing but seaweed on Sunday, they caught their first fish together in the first five minutes!!


Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of said fish… it seems that the bucket Casey had taken down to the dock to put the fish in may have had something toxic in it previously, because as soon as the fish hit the bucket, he went belly up.   When I went down to see, Kenny said, “Look Mama!   The fish we caught is sleepin’!”

Signs of Spring…

May 4th, 2008

The  a trail of mulch, sand and freshly cut grass from the porch door to the kitchen… the wine rack holding a merlot, a malbec and Casey’s fishing pole… the container of nightcrawlers next to the yogurt in the fridge…  the baseball in  Kenny’s  bed alongside his Baa to fall asleep with… the t-ball set anchored in the lawn… the sound of the drawbridge going up every hour on the hour… open windows and a film of pollen on the coffee table… citronella candels on the outside table… a fishing glove, a toddler life jacket and a pair of pliers on the kitchen counter…

Summer can’t be far away!


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