Friday, May 11, 2012

18 weeks to go...

Over half-way there... it's hard to believe!  This pregnancy seems to have gone by so much faster than with Ladybug.  Not having the 24/7 nausea helped, I think, plus being distracted by Ladybug instead of dragging myself to work every day.

So far things are stable.  Still have the low lying placenta, still have the subchorionic hemorrhage, sugars are slowly starting to creep up.  But, I feel her move every evening while I'm still and reading in bed, which is reassuring.  We'll see how she does tonight; I sort of overdid it on our walk today.  Well not sort of... definitely.  I got ambitious and decided to not just go to the library, but another block to the bakery.  No biggie.  Then I spotted a yard sale, so we went to check that out... found a couple cute Christmas things.  Then I made my mistake.  I knew that street was blocked off from cars at the top of the hill, but I thought sure I could get by.  Just thought I might need to go into a yard for a couple yards.

Yeah... right.  They felt the need to put the guard rail across the entire road.  No room for even a pedestrian to squeeze by.  And the "yard" next to it was an extremely steep hill.  I thought I might be able to climb over the guard rail and collapse the stroller and push it under the rail.  Nope.  Not only was my basket full of library books and donut holes so the stroller wouldn't collapse fully, Ladybug had fallen asleep.  And that guard rail was higher than my waist; there was no way I could climb over it while holding Ladybug.  If she'd been awake I would have just sat her down while I got the stroller across but I was not going to lay her on concrete.  So I finally gave up and walked back down the hill.  I didn't want to cut through the parking lots again in the bright sun, so I thought I'd cut through the neighborhood streets.  Next bad decision.  Part of this town's name is "Hill" for a reason.  Holy cow.  Steep hill.  Long hill.  No shade.  And that's one heavy stroller!

Next time, I'll just walk back through the parking lots.  At least until I'm by myself and don't have another life depending on my heart beating!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Children's books

It's amazing what doesn't occur to you until you're a parent.  And what occurs to one family but not another.  And then I'm left sort of in the middle trying to figure out what's right for our family.

I've been going to the library every few weeks to get books for Ladybug.  Those first few months I felt like I memorized the few books we had, and I knew the repetition would kick in when Ladybug got old enough to pick her own night night books.  So, I tend to just pick a small section, the "N's" for example, and get most of my books for the week from there.  And then I pick up a few that are familiar, like Go Dog Go or Curious George.

This means I get a wide variety of books.  Some of them are simply stupid.  Some are boring.  Some have awesome illustrations and a great plot.  Some of good stories with good morals.  Some... nneh.

I brought home some Bernstein Bears books one day.  The Mechanic mentioned that he wasn't allowed to read those growing up because they portrayed the dad as a bumbling idiot.  I'd never thought about it... but the beginning reader books do.  The more advanced books don't seem to do that as much, but The Bike Lesson and The Picnic, for example, two I well remember from my childhood, do show a very dumb father whose son has to continually get him out of scrapes.  At this early age I don't figure it matters all that much (and some would disagree with me I'm sure), but when Ladybug gets a little older and understands spoken words, is that something I really want her reading?

So now I find myself evaluating every book I pick up.  I brought home Purplicious last week.  And I thought, oh it'd be cute to have Pinkalicious for Ladybug and Purplicious for ... well, the Lump doesn't seem quite applicable now.  I'll have to come up with another nickname for the next daughter.  But when I was adding books to their Amazon list, I noticed the Goldilicious book in the same series.  And it says something about defending against the evil magic of her little brother.  And I raised my eyebrows... that doesn't sound like something I want my daughters reading.  I have nothing against magic in children's stories, but evil magic performed by their brother?  Hm.  And even Purplicious... (I've not read the original Pinkalicious book) I sort of wondered if I want them reading and quoting it.  It has the other girls telling her liking pink is for babies, pink is out and black is in... and I couldn't help but think, I'm going to hear this kind of talk from my girls soon enough.  I hate the whole "in" and "out" slang anyway, and while it shows you can make friends even if what you like isn't popular... I kind of wonder if I want my girls exposed to the idea of "popular" at such a young age.

So many books also portray siblings in a negative light.  Oh, they eventually show them liking their younger sibling, but they always start out with "Sister was not happy about the new baby, Honey."  Or something along those lines.  I wish I could find a book that talks about how great sisters are.  How much fun you can have with them.  What good friends they can be.  Something that emphasizes the positive.  Because I figure they'll come up with negative stuff in their lives on their own... if they haven't already thought of "I don't like this" why do I want to put the idea in their head?

Who knew simple children's stories could be so complicated!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Learning to Trust

So I checked my bank account for the 15th time today.  Since 2.  Why?  Well, the rent was due, so I had mailed the check... and I was trusting that my refunds from my flexible spending account would arrive in my bank account before the cashed check did.  I have been living with less than $20 in my primary bank account for over a week now.  I had almost been ready to breathe a sigh of relief when my flex account said I'd been paid; that money today, payday Friday, we'd be just fine!  

And yet, as of right now, that money seems to be in no man's land.  It's out of one account, but it's not in the other.  Unfortunately, the rent check is at my bank.  I don't fully understand how bounced checks work, but from the couple of experiences I've had, if that money doesn't appear in my account early tomorrow that check's going to become a rubber ball.  It may still become a rubber ball even if that money does show up since it wasn't there today.  I don't understand why not.  I mean, everything electronic and supposedly instantaneous, so how the money can be absolutely nowhere I don't understand. 

This is on top of finding out yesterday that we're out nearly $500 thanks to IRS regulations that we were not aware of which mean we pretty much spent double on day care for the month of January.  No wonder we're broke; the government is allowing companies to steal from us, legally. 

But I've finally thought, why am I checking my account so often?  Why am I so worried?  Can I do anything to make the money appear faster?  Nope.  Can I keep that check from bouncing?  At this point, no.  It's totally out of my hands and in the hands of ... well... some computer processor somewhere I guess.

In the meantime, my child is currently sleeping on her stomach on the couch.  She's had a rough afternoon, getting woken up from her nap by a dog I'm currently furious with for waking her up.  She would not go back to sleep, but was completely exhausted, so I finally got her to sleep on my chest.  After a few hours I just couldn't lay there anymore so I wiggled out from under her.  Now, I know they say "back to sleep."  But sometimes you do what you have to to keep the baby asleep.  They also say not to let them sleep on the couch.  And not to let them sleep with a blanket.  I'm breaking all the rules today.  But I keep going over and scooting her away from the back of the couch that she loves to smoosh her face in.  And I keep removing the blanket from her face, because she keeps covering it up. 

And I realized trust is a factor in both situations.  I'm paranoid of SIDS.  Ladybug is still at high risk because she can't roll over, and she has also proven herself her mother's child by panicking when something covers her face rather than just removing it.  One of the goals I set with the TEIS is airway protection, that she would learn to remove a blanket or toy from her face instead of panicking.  

Back to the trust.  I can remove dangerous objects from her. I can position her with a clear airway.  But I can't make her keep breathing.  I can balance my checkbook and plan ahead, but sometimes things are going to happen.  Too many expenses in one pay period and we're in a hole.  And another case: my unborn daughter.  I can do everything in my power to keep her healthy, but I have very little control over what happens in my body.  At any moment her heart could stop for unknown reasons, and no one besides me would have ever felt her existence.  So I just have to trust.  That God will keep my one daughter breathing.  That a few bounced checks isn't the end of the world.  And that He will keep my other daughter's heart beating.  

And while I stress about the bank account, in reality, when I look at the baby girl now wiggling in my arms, trying to reach the keyboard, when I feel a tiny kick from inside, I realize that a negative balance really isn't that important, especially since I know it won't last more that a day. 

Monday, April 23, 2012


“Home is the true wife’s kingdom. There, first of all places, she must be strong and beautiful. She may touch life outside in many ways, if she can do it without slighting the duties that are hers within her own doors. But if any calls for her service must be declined, they should not be the duties of her home. These are hers, and no other one’s. Very largely does the wife hold in her hands, as a sacred trust, the happiness and the highest good of the hearts that nestle there. The best husband—the truest, the noblest, the gentlest, the richest-hearted—cannot make his home happy if his wife be not, in every reasonable sense, a helpmate to him.
In the last analysis, home happiness depends on the wife. Her spirit gives the home its atmosphere. Her hands fashion its beauty. Her heart makes its love. And the end is so worthy, so noble, so divine, that no woman who has been called to be a wife, and has listened to the call, should consider any price too great to pay, to be the light, the joy, the blessing, the inspiration of a home.
Men with fine gifts think it worth while to live to paint a few great pictures which shall be looked at and admired for generations; or to write a few songs which shall sing themselves into the ears and hearts of men. But the woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.”
― J.R. Miller

I found this quote on another blog recommended by my sister-in-law, Encouraging Beautiful Motherhood.  Recently I've been convicted that I complain far too much.  Here I am, living the life I always dreamed of, staying at home with a dog on my heels and a baby on my hip, and I complain about it.  I don't complain about being a mother; I confirmed with the Mechanic that in general, I act like I enjoy motherhood.  But, I don't act like I enjoy "housewifehood."  I don't like cleaning, I don't like cooking, and therefore I tend to not do either.  And I complain about what little I actually do.  
As an incentive, I posted pictures of how horrible my house currently is on Facebook.  I figure if I put it up there for all to see just how messy, cluttered, and unorganized my life is, I'd have a bit more motivation to fix things.  My hope is eventually to post pictures of a clean, organized home.  I don't want perfection; I'm fine with a stray sippy cup or toy, or some dust bunnies in the corner.  But this "hope the house doesn't catch on fire because we'll never make it out alive" living has got to stop.  
So today, I cleaned my kitchen counters.  Big whoop you say.  Um, yeah... those poor counters hadn't been cleaned in who knows how long.  It's a good thing I cleaned when I did because another month or so and I wouldn't have been able to reach that one corner because of a belly!  It looks so much better in there!  And I feel better... I feel like something got accomplished, and I even have dinner ready for the Mechanic whenever he makes it home.  So there's a few dirty dishes next to the sink again... but overall, it's clean, so I'm okay with that.  They'll get done tomorrow morning.