Tuesday, June 30, 2009

So much going on in this head...

I have had so many topics roaming around in my head, it is positively depressing how little I've been able to post. But folks, keeping three kids alive is seriously time consuming. Granted, we've been doing a leetle more than just maintaining life around here...

...Leah is attending Safety Town, an Optimist Club-run program for kids going into kindergarten. She's been learning about traffic signs and bike safety, and has gotten to check out a police car and a fire engine. It's been great for her, and also requires us to be out the door by 10:15 to get her there in time. Just what I needed - a goal to get me up and moving! And this one is definitely reachable, even with the new little guy.

...We traveled to Western ND this past weekend for a family wedding. Adam slept the whole time, except for a short period of fussing. We pulled over and burped him, and then he was okey-dokey again! The trip went well despite our general sleep-deprivation (the kids from fun, us from Adam's eating schedule), and it was good to see several of Aaron's sibs and their families.

...Prodigious amounts of burping and tooting. Contrary to popular thought, these activities are NOT necessarily a requirement for life. Adam has been the source of most of the excess noise, but let me tell you folks, not ALL of it. Baby Adam is not a spitter (so far), but he does enjoy a good belch...or ten. The child will belch an hour after eating, and after already having belched three times. It's almost always the reason for his fussing - pick him up and give him a few good thwacks on the back, wait for the man-sized burp, and then he's happy again. I swear one time I saw his lips flap like Homer Simpson's.

...Cleaning off sand. And taking showers. Aaron added a sandbox to the kids' swingset, and now I am fighting a constant battle against the grit. We have changed the main exit to the backyard to try to avoid having it ground into the carpet, but so far the kids most enjoy getting hosed off. Fortunately we have convinced BOTH kids that showers are the way to go, which has greatly sped up our bedtime routine.

...Laundry. Seems like this should be a life necessity, but I guess we could wear dirty clothes and survive. Actually, Adam does this fairly often - I guess after two other kids, I've given up on changing his clothes every time he pees or spits up on them a bit. I figure, if it's not too much, or not actually touching his skin (like pee on a onesie being in a diaper-covered area anyway), it's not that big of a deal. Besides, baby boy does NOT like having his diaper changed OR his clothes changed at night. Not that I can really blame him, I guess. But the screeching does bother his sleeping father a bit.

Future posts promise to be more about the survival part....sleep (or lack thereof), eating (the constancy of it), and other joys. As life settles into more of a routine around here, hopefully my blog will return to a kind of normalcy, as well! Thanks for hanging in here with me! (Oh yes...photos will follow, too!)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Despite what he thinks, he is NOT starving.

My son Adam has been a ravenous eater in the two weeks or so that he's been out in the big wide world. He insists on a meal every two hours, or even every 1 1/2 hours. Round the clock.

And all that eating has paid off. He had his two week appointment yesterday, and we discovered that he weighs 9 pounds. That is NINE pounds.

He was born weighing 7 lbs and 11oz, and then, as newborns do, lost some weight, and left the hospital weighing 7 lbs. 5 oz.

This means in a two week period, he gained 27 ounces. Insane. Neither of our kids EVER gained that much that quickly - in fact, Ben at 2 weeks wasn't even back to his birthweight!

Basically the result of this discovery is that I no longer feel guilty giving Adam a pacifier instead of feeding him.

A Mid-Potty Training Experience

Today I took my boys (hehe! Isn't that hilarious!?) to Target while Leah was at a safety program. The trip was about an hour long, and both the guys were great! Adam slept the whole time in his carseat, and Ben was just excited to be in his favorite store (you know, the one where he usually gets either an Icee, a toy, or both.)

Towards the end of the trip, Ben started jumping up and down and screeching, "Change diaper! Change diaper!" I officially call this behavior "spazzing out". I was very hopeful that this meant that he had to go poopy, since he has done this whole routine at home after putting a dooky in his underpants. I hurried us over to the family bathroom, which was taken. The next option (and only one left!) was to take Adam in his carseat, grab the diaper bag and shuffle us all into the handicapped stall of the women's bathroom.

I got his shorts and diaper off, and stationed him properly on the toilet. Aaron has taught him to sit towards the back and lean forward so that his little wiener points into the potty. So clever! Anyway, nothing happened. Apparently it all went into the diaper...Mommy took too long to get to the bathroom. Ooops.

I put a pull-up on him, and then used the toilet myself. Just as I was finishing (after Ben pushed the door open several times...), he started the spazzing routine again, this time even more ferociously. Sure this time was for real, I yanked his shorts and pull-up down around his ankles and plunked him on the potty again. However, with them there and not completely off, he couldn't assume the proper position for peeing, and neither could he hold it while I got it right.

So, he peed directly out in front of him. Which is where I happened to be.

Somehow I was standing far enough away to avoid the stream, but his pull-up and shorts (and the floor and side of the toilet) were not so lucky. Ben was freaking out the whole time, and Adam had also decided to throw in his 10 cents. I had long given up trying to keep things sounding normal in our stall, and was focusing on just trying to get out alive.

Also running through my head was the fact that that thoroughly soaked pull-up had been the ONLY one in my diaper bag.

I cleaned up Ben and the surrounding area, and then made a brave decision. I told Ben that I was just going to put on his shorts on him, without anything else. That's right. I had my 3 year old non-potty-trained son go commando in a public place.

We paid for our stuff, and then in the van I put another diaper on him. While he spazzed out about not having his shoes on.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Quote of the Day

We have this nasty, horrible household rule that when we have visitors, the kids must be clothed. Shirts and bottoms for both of them.

I just finished cleaning the kids off after playing in the sandbox - after a brief rain. I used the hose.

Ben needed a new shirt as well, as I had taken his off outside to avoid more sand spillage. He started to try to take off his shorts outside, too, but the clothing rule also extends to the outdoors. As we got into the house, however, the shorts did come off. I reminded Ben that we were expecting the company of 3 girls, and he said:

"Girls like me naked."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Happy Baby to Me!

I'm contemplating a post-baby gift to myself of hiring some cleaning help. Problem is, I'm cheap. And, I kind of like doing things myself. What's a girl to do?

Well, there ARE a couple of jobs that I really would pay someone else to do for me.

1. Scrub our large tile shower, in which there is a fair amount of black grouting.
2. Scrub the tub/shower in the kids room, which Aaron has used to rinse out his paint trays.

and here's the really lame one:
3. Change the sheets on Leah's bed.

Yep, just Leah's. Her bed is miserable, since 3 sides are against walls (of the bed itself - daybed/trundle style) and the 4th has a bed rail that needs to be removed and then of course, replaced. It may be easier to do this job without my pregnant belly, but as long as a maid is coming, why wouldn't I add that task?

'Cause I'd feel stupid, that's why. I may as well as the lady to wash my dishes or something.

So, any ideas? I'll have to get an estimate first, but I'm trying to think of other tasks that I could erase off my own To Do list.

And in other news:

The worst kind of nap? The one where you "wake up" without even feeling like you slept. I had one of those today. The only reason I knew I HAD slept was that I knew it couldn't be possible that I had been just laying there awake for an hour.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Long Overdue Update

I love how I'm thinking of this post as "long overdue" and it hasn't even been a week yet. Sheesh, you people sure are impatient!
Anyway, here's what the week has brought us:
AARON: He's had this week off, so in between playing Super-Dad and Super-Husband, he's been working on yard projects. Once again, a simple goal like, "set up swing-set for the kids" has morphed into a job that threatens to take over the poor guy's summer. The swing set must have a "safety zone" built around it, and that involves removing a LOT of landscaping rock - first, for the actual safety zone, and second, the outside remaining rock so that he can raise up everything to fix some of the drainage issues.

He's also putting in a sandbox underneath the swingset, and while he's buying the landscaping timbers for this and the safety zone, he also decided to get the supplies for our prospective gardening beds, just in case they stop selling that kind. Now we have about 100 of these timbers stacked on the side of our house. He told the neighbors we're building a log cabin.

Aaron has also been pretty much a single parent to Leah and Ben, including taking them with him on all his excursions to Menards. He's also been in charge of getting them fed and going in the morning, which honestly earns him so many brownie points with me that I know I'll never be able to pay him back. Thanks, honey!

LEAH: Leah went to Vacation Bible School at our church this whole week - every morning, except for Tuesday, when Adam and I came home from the hospital. She simply LOVED it, which Aaron is afraid means that she'll love kindergarten more than she'll love him. (Have you EVER heard anything so silly? Or sweet?!)

She is quickly catching on to this big sister business, and a couple of times has told me she's made Adam stop crying by talking to him. The other day when she got home from VBS, Adam happened to be fussing, and Leah offered, "Maybe he's hungry?"

BEN: Poor Ben. He's had a bad runny nose this week, so Mommy and Daddy won't let him get too close to this new little guy he adores. He will frequently ask to "check" the baby, so I hold him low enough for him to get a good look. Also, sometimes if he comes into the room and I'm not holding Adam, he asks, "Where him?" or "Where my brofer?" and then needs to "check" him in his bassinet.

Last night during baths, Adam was sacked out in a bouncy seat, and Ben was wrapped in a towel, still dripping. He scuttled over to the baby, and said, "Hewo? Hewo?....Wake up!" It was pretty darn cute, even if it doesn't translate well.

MOMMY: Well, folks, the boobs and bottom have turned the corner and are returning to manageable. Adam's first night home was pretty rough on me (seriously, WHO needs to eat every 30-60 minutes for 3 hours straight?!) but Super-Husband has been making sure I have a chance for a good nap every day, so I've been doing okay in the sleep department.

I even felt ambitious enough today to start cleaning out the "exercise room" (really used to be an indoor kennel which the previous owners finished and outfitted with independent heat & cooling) so that it can be our primary entrance to the swingset/sandbox, therefore saving our carpets some wear and tear. Yesterday I vacuumed the main floor, and I've been able to keep the kitchen decent, so I figure I'm on the road to my normal housekeeping regimen. Cooking, however, may be a whole 'nother ball of wax, so thanks so much to the friends who have brought meals! If someone would write me weekly menus for the next month, that would be great, too!

ADAM: This little guy is gradually turning from a lump into a real baby. He is awake a bit more every day, which we think is helping his sleep schedule. Last night he actually had a 5 hour sleep period! And not to harp on the subject, but even more amazing to me was the fact that my boobs weren't killing me by the time he DID wake up!
He's averaging about 2 outfits a day. So far Aaron has had the brunt of the diaper accidents, but I've been peed on a couple times too - still remembering the techniques that kept me dry when Ben was a baby!

We're hoping that his current easy-going nature is not just new-baby coma, but really is his personality - when he's awake, he's content to just check things out. The only crying so far has been because I took too long to feed him, or we have the nerve, the NERVE I tell you! to change his diaper or clothes. Unlike his budding nudist brother and sister, he does NOT like to have skin exposed.

All in all, we are adjusting pretty well. Nobody has cut anyone's hair, no permanent marker has been used inappropriately, and although there has been some mud painting on the side of the house (by Leah!), things have been fairly calm.

Aaron will go back to work part time on Monday, so we'll see what my mental status is by then. If I manage to get a post up, you'll have a good idea!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Now I have a whole new set of issues...

The good news: No more feet in my ribs! No more heartburn! I can reach my feet!
My new set of things to whine about: sore boobs, sore bottom and lack of sleep.

BUT...I get to hold my sweet baby!

Adam Henry was born Sunday morning at 1:50am. He weighed 7lbs, 11oz (same as Ben, couple ounces lighter than Leah...consistency is key!).

The entire delivery went well, starting with contractions at 8pm. I got a wonderful epidural around 11pm, which unfortunately made the pushing part more difficult. Also complicating matters was the fact that Adam decided to come out sunny-side up - which is also known as "the WRONG" way. But despite these two issues, I only had to push for half an hour before meeting our son.

We are tired, but happy. The kids love him, and I've already plotted a location for the daytime bed that will keep Adam out of the most household traffic, and also minimize the amount of sibling smothering.

After a walk in the halls, Ben came back into the hospital room asking "Where my baby?" so I think he's okay. So far.

Leah seemed pretty excited about the whole baby business, and immediately agreed to be Mommy's helper.
A couple of observations about baby Adam:
1. He cries very quickly.
2. Making that crying survivable is that his cry is lower, almost husky - not shrill like Ben's was.
3. He is good at using his pacifier! We popped it in about 2 hours after he was born.
4. Because, ahem, little Adam is an aggressive nurser.
5. Adam likes to be held close...which I will allow for a month or two. Then he's going to have to toughen up and come to terms with the fact that his older siblings need attention, too.
I am such a heartless mommy, I know. But now I have to spread my love three (okay, four, sorry Aaron!) ways! It's going to take me some time to figure out this crazy balancing act.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Yesterday I had my hopefully last weekly OB appointment. We quite like our doc, but I was NOT happy to be seeing him in his exam room. And the news he had for me was even worse - same as last week. I was depressed. Aaron told me to quit whining. And then he went on to explain that all my fixating on the possibility of labor and complaining about the same 5 things over and over again left no worrying for anyone else, so I should cool it.

Just for the record, here are the 5 things that I've been whining about for the last month or two:
1) Braxton-Hicks contractions, which seem to come on by me walking across the room
2) Magnus's high level of movement, painful at this point
3) Magnus moving WHILE I'm having a Braxton-Hicks contraction
4) A certain foot in my ribs, creating a burning sensation in my chest and a muscle knot by my shoulder blade
5) Having to use the bathroom approximately every half hour.

Also, he seemed to remember that the week I had Ben, I was pretty much acting like normal, not like I was going to give birth at any moment. The day of the big event, I went to a large indoor garage sale, tripped and almost fell on my face (but only hit my knee - and I swear it had NOTHING to do with the fact that contractions started about 6 hours later!), went grocery shopping, and hung up a shower curtain.

All of Aaron's advice might sound kind of heartless, but I have kind of been driving myself crazy this week, so I'm sure he's been along for that fun ride.

Aaron reassures me that HE remembers when my "real" contractions started with Ben, so surely I won't miss them in the swarm of false Braxton-Hicks. And then, that wonderful husband of mine, mentioned us having the baby THREE TIMES in the 6 hours since I stopped verbalizing my obsession.

Instead of limiting my activity "just in case", today I went to a couple of garage sales with the kids, then took them to the park with friends and stayed for the potluck lunch afterwards. It was good for all of our spirits, so we'll see what else I can plan for us to do.

I have a renewed commitment to work on Magnus's baby album, and after THAT I'm going to start on the baby booties I've been avoiding. I'm sure that as soon as I figure the suckers out, he'll decide that he should come try them on! The busier I keep my mind, the faster time will pass, right?

At least I'll feel productive while I'm waiting. A watched teapot never boils, right? We'll see.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Show an English Teacher can Love.

If you know me at all and have seen this show on ABC, you have probably already thought to yourself, "Man, I bet Lyz loves this show." And you'd be right.

Unfortunately, this post is about a month or two too late, and actually is only being written because I miss Castle so so much, now that the summer programming is on. I did just check the website, and it looks like it will be back in the fall, thank goodness. Aaron and I are being left to watch Here Come the Newlyweds, which, while great fun, isn't quite the same as the snap between Castle & Beckett in my new favorite show.

Here's the description from the ABC website: Wildly famous mystery novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) is bored with his own success. Then he learns that a real-world copycat killer has started staging murder scenes depicted in his novels. Castle is questioned by NYPD Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), a bright and aggressive detective who keeps her investigations under tight rein. Though they instantly clash, sparks of another sort also begin to fly, leading both to danger and a hint of romance as Castle steps in to help find the killer. And once that case is solved, he and Beckett build on their new relationship as they look to solve more strange homicides in New York - as much fun as one can have with death and murder.

Here's the official checklist of reasons I like this show:

literary references and jokes: check (like this one: "What is this, a Mamet play?" "I keep forgetting you read plays! (devilish grin)"

romantic comedy/flirtatious banter: check
procedural crime plots: check
great supporting characters: about 5 checks
cases that aren't so in depth that I can personally relate: check

Okay, so there you go. I'm officially looking forward to fall. Somebody smack me back to reality!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Going kind of nuts around here.

This baby of mine could literally come any day. I'm not joking OR exaggerating. And this? This freaks me out.

I mean, I have had 9 months to prepare and everything, and the baby's room is completely ready- even though he'll be hanging out in ours (which is ALSO completely ready!) for the first couple of months. My parents are on high alert to come stay with the kids when they get that important call, and Aaron has arranged his schedule in a mutually agreeable way, and it's even flexible enough to allow for an early or (God-forbid) late arrival.

And still, I freak out. I mean, there aren't many times in your life that it's possible for your life to completely change within 12 hours - AND YOU DON'T KNOW WHICH TWELVE. I could be in the hospital five hours from now, or not for five more days. Wouldn't YOU freak out a bit?

I've noticed that I'm hesitant to schedule things - a playgroup this morning seemed a little risky to me. A playgroup at my house. With two friends whom I would leave my kids with on a regular day, much less in an emergency. They should literally come over every day, just in case. Thursday will probably be the big day, though, since I have a book club meeting that morning and Aaron has scheduled a round of golf. Other than that, I'm just sitting here biding my time - oh, and apparently trying to make sure my family is taken care of for the 3 days I'll be gone (eventually) --I am compulsively buying toilet paper, apples, and eggs, and doing laundry. Like Aaron couldn't figure out how to keep the house running. Please.

Oh, just to let you know: I'm bringing the laptop to the hospital, and hopefully I'll be able to post a photo and the vital stats, but don't go expecting any huge posts! Or contraction by contraction Tweets for that matter (since I've been avoiding Twitter so far anyway).

Monday, June 1, 2009

Fill in the Blank

Just recently Aaron and I have had two conversations which wouldn't have been nearly as argumentative if I'd just had a TINY BIT more information. Now, before I make Aaron sound kind of spacey, let's make it clear that I do this all the time. "Oh, you mean I didn't say we were at church when this happened? Oops."

Here's kind of how the first discussion went:

Him: Today I saw a kid go half way into our neighbor's yard to get a ball.
Me: Um...so?
Him: It's rude!
Me: What was the kid supposed to do? Just let his ball lay there, because it was in someone's yard?
Him: Yes! That's trespassing!
Me: Are you serious?! Some poor little kid is going to lose his soccer ball just cause it went in the neighbor's yard?
Him: Didn't I say that it was a golf ball?
Me: Um, no. So it was a golfer. Well, that WAS rude.

Now, remember, we have this nice little 9-hole golf course in our backyard, and neither of our neighbors have fences, so this illegal ball retrieval is nothing too new. But I felt a little silly defending some poor neighbor kid when it was some turkey out on the golf course!

And the second conversation, just a day or two later:

Him: I was telling some people today how I'm not friends with women unless I'm friends with their husbands.
Me: (some noise of agreement)
Him: And Lindsay (hi Lindsay!) said that TJ is friends with all kinds of girls that she doesn't know.
Him: (thinking about it...) I guess maybe girls from high school...I don't know THEIR husbands...
Me: Yeah, but it's not like you talk to them on a regular basis or anything...you don't really have a relationship with them or anything.
Him: (Looking at me oddly) Well, I guess that defeats the whole point of Facebook, huh?
Me: What? You're talking about being Facebook friends?
Him: I didn't say that? Oh.

Obviously, this communication thing is so easily broken up. And all that was needed was one additional word. "Golf". "Facebook." See how easy that was?

Aaron just explained that he's merely trying to balance the universe - I use too many words, so he tries to use too few.