Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tomorrow can't come soon enough.

Brandon is off work tomorrow. This is good. Lately I've been struggling a little bit. I haven't felt like my usual positive, annoyingly calm, incredibly patient, chipper self. The last short while I've been quick to anger and frustration, snapping all too often and being far too confrontational and far too short on tact. I've felt sort of hollow. Like when I'm not angry I can't feel much else, so I almost WANT to be mad because it's an emotion I can hang on to. Even when I feel somewhat ok, I'm not at peace.

I've struggled off and on with depression for a long time. I was diagnosed and medicated at 13, and couldn't stand what it did to me. I didn't feel like a person any more. I didn't feel anything at all. I gained a bunch of weight, went through the motions as far as existing, and slept all the time. So I kicked the meds and never looked back. They didn't work out for me at the time. I did other things to cope with my downswings. For my seasonal depression I up my vitamin D intake, do more physical activity, and make an effort to get dressed and accomplish a handful of small tasks every day so I don't get overwhelmed. These bouts of clinical depression that I get every so often last a lot longer and hit a lot harder, and are much more difficult to cope with. If I continue to feel this low, I'm going to call my doctor and get help so it doesn't get worse.

My family has a pretty extensive history of depression, and I watched my mother, aunt, and grandmother struggle with it my whole life. After Cooper I had mild PPD, which I was able to deal with. There are times, though, that I go into a tailspin and it doesn't get better for a long time. Years. So I'm making an effort to get help early. My family deserves to have the best me possible, and right now, I'm not that person. I know I'm in a bad place when I start to wonder if my family would have been better off if my midwives hadn't been able to get my bleeding under control and I just wasn't around. Time to get some help.

I'm so glad I have Brandon. He supports me and tries to understand. I have a good man.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Let's talk about breasts, baby!

I have never been super zealous in any of the mommy wars. I'm pretty much the live and let live type of mom. I vaccinate, left my son intact, formula fed my son (reasons being unimportant) and currently breastfeed my daughter, let my little boy play with girl toys if he wants and grow his hair long and wear nail polish, we don't spank, we eat well, but leave a little room for moderation when it comes to junk food. I don't attack people that feel differently, or give my opinion without being asked as a general rule, even when I feel strongly one way or the other. I'm basically very easy to please, and very easy to get along with. Which is probably why I wouldn't have called myself a breastfeeding advocate in the past.

Oh how that has changed. I am still very pro-choice about parenting decisions. You wanna formula feed? Go for it. I'm not going to harass anyone. I formula fed my son. It's not the end of the world. However breastfeeding my daughter I've come to a major realization: People suck ass, and I HAVE to advocate for myself and other women who choose to nurse their children.

I had heard stories of breastfeeding moms dealing with assholes in public, being asked to leave places for feeding their children, having to deal with covering or being shamed. I've heard about the breastfeeding moms holding nurse-ins and trying to advocate for themselves and their right to feed their babies as they see fit. I've seen a lot of hate from both sides in the online community. I've heard of Facebook and Instagram accounts being banned for posting breastfeeding pictures that show less than the swimsuit photos posted by tweens twerking their way to early parenthood that never get removed, which seems like nursing mothers are getting it from the "slut shamers". Being a formula feeder, I never understood the war on breastfeeding. Who cares, right? I mean, it's just a little bit of flesh, and a child eating. It's not sexual, and the kid has to eat, so really, why waste time flipping out when there are so many more important things? I also never got why these breastfeeding moms had such a problem with using a cover or going into another room. That was then. This is now. I get it now. Being sequestered and anti-social because you have to feed your baby sucks. Stopping in the middle of a shopping trip to take your children into a bathroom so you can feed your baby is not fun or healthy. Cutting off air circulation in hot weather and covering an infant's head so as not to offend is awful, not to mention how hard it makes getting a latch when you're still figuring it all out in the beginning. Being shut in your house because you can't go anywhere in case baby gets hungry isn't fair to anyone.

I am exclusively breastfeeding my seven week old daughter and I have a two and a half year old son. We are a pretty active family. We go to the park, the store, the library, meet up with friends and family throughout the week. It's in the 90s during the day right now, and we do a lot outdoors. We recently went to the fair, and most weekends we have fun plans for family activities, like the local pool. My daughter needs to eat every few hours during the day, sometimes more often. I can't get a letdown with alternate expression, hand or pump at this point, so I exclusively nurse. It works for us. The really great thing has been that usually when I need to feed my daughter, I'm able to do so, quietly and respectfully, while continuing on with our usual activities. It's been really great. I don't cover her or go to a gross bathroom or sequester myself to feed her, and rarely does anyone say anything, and only occasionally do I get a sour look. I honestly was having a hard time believing that people could take serious offense to me feeding my daughter, because it just hadn't happened yet. I had actually gotten a couple POSITIVE comments about it. Maybe the haters just didn't exist in my community.

My dad has issues. Of all the people to flip out about me breastfeeding my daughter, it was my dad. The man who changed my diapers, saw my mother breastfeeding me, washed my hair in the bath when I was small, has seen me in a bikini, and who should be one of my supporters and pillars of strength when I need him. HE was the person to tell me I was being inappropriate in his house, when I had always tried to be respectful. He was the one to rant about my boob hanging out and being disgusting and how he didn't want to see that. My own dad was sexualizing my feeding Penny. He was the one disrespecting me and putting me down. Not some angry stranger on a high horse. My daddy.

I don't announce when I'm feeding her. Most people don't even notice unless they come close. My breasts are just hanging out. There is a small bit of exposed flesh. My nipple, which is SO OFFENSIVE, isn't even visible unless you're looking for it, and then it's for the half a minute it takes to latch my baby or to cover back up when she's done.

I honestly don't get it. Breasts are bad. Breasts are evil. Let's plaster scantily clad women all over every form of media, and then take offense to a woman feeding her child? No. That is not ok. It does not make logical sense. I will not allow myself to be objectified like that. Even my husband supports me fully and doesn't see me feeding her as a sexual act. Time to educate America. This is wrong. Formula feed if you want, but understand that I made a different choice and expect the same tolerance. Thankfully the law is on my side. I get to feed my daughter wherever I see fit in public. And I will. Don't look if you don't like it. This is kind of a big deal.

These were stolen from my mother-in-law's blog (with her permission):
Someone explain how this offends? I am feeding my happy baby.
It's a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Confession time.

   I try really, really hard. It takes a lot of effort to be the kind of parent I am, the kind of parent I want to be. There are a lot of days I just feel like I'm just barely keeping it together and nights I cry myself to sleep because I feel like I'm coming up short. There are days I'm so tired I can barely hold my head up, let alone pack around a toddler and a baby and go through the motions of the day on my own. Most days I barely see my husband because he's sleeping and then working all night, and I feel like I'm falling farther and farther behind, being away from home, living on 3 hours of sleep a night.
   I've been short with Cooper lately. I catch myself raising my voice, which I NEVER did before. I've had to remind myself to be patient, and sometimes it's too late and I've already hurt him. I've snapped at him when he needs me. I've been so rushed I have forgotten that he is small and learning about the world, and instead of fostering that love of discovery, I have rushed him and brushed him off lately.
   Right now I'm looking over at my tiny sleeping boy and it occurs to me that he really is the epitome of unconditional love. Even though things have changed, and I don't always have time to play with him on command or get him a snack RIGHT NOW, and even though I'm cranky sometimes and I've snapped at him, he still wants me there. He still asks me to play, wants to sit on my lap and snuggle with me, tells me he loves me, tries to make me proud. I am. I am so, so, so very proud of him.
   I'm going to have to try harder to breathe before I react, and to be more patient. I have a fantastic son, and he deserves the best version of me possible. I need to slow down and be more of the mother I was before Penny was born and I let myself become so wrapped up in life that I forgot that it's going to go on whether I take that microsecond to enjoy my awesome little boy or not. The only difference is that not hurts my baby.
   Cooper has been so loving to Penny. He wants to help with her, hold her, rub her hair, share toys with her, buy her things, and tell her stories. He is the best big brother I could imagine. Penny is the luckiest little girl in the world to have such an awesome brother. My family is amazing. It's definitely time to refocus and be the best mother, wife, and Amber I can be for them. I want fewer nights crying and thinking about how far short I came.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hello darling!

   It's been a long time. I haven't really had time to write anything since Brandon started this new job. It's been a big adjustment. He's working 7pm to 3:30am. Cooper and I have been hanging out at my MIL's house while Brandon works. I still feel bad keeping them up all night, but Veronica has repeatedly assured me that they would be awake anyway, and that it's perfectly alright. It's been awesome hanging out over there though. I love talking to my MIL. I'm sure I drive her insane. I tend to talk a lot.
   Cooper has been having fun over there with his favorite uncles. He's had a hard time at home the last couple days, because he misses his dad. Brandon works until Cooper is asleep, then stays up a few hours at home to decompress, and then goes to bed. So then he's sleeping when Cooper wakes up, and sleeps as much as he can because he's so tired. Cooper barely gets to see him until we're getting to leave and drop Brandon off at work. I think getting to play with his uncles and grandma are making it easier because he's not so sad when Brandon has to leave.
   I'm so ready to have this baby. I'm waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Sometimes I feel like if I have to wait anymore my head is going to explode. Come on baby.
   The car is having some minor issues we need to get fixed, so that's a little stressful, but thankfully it's nothing expensive or horridly dangerous. Just annoying right now. We need to get our gas turned on, but we can wait on that. I DO miss hot showers though. Haha.
   I need to go take care of Cooper. He's crying.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Classic Sesame Street. Oh yes.

   Cooper has recently discovered Classic Sesame Street on Netflix. I love it. It's awesome. He's not into the new episodes. Just the old ones. He loves the Count and Cookie Monster. I'm sick of sitting in the house. I think tomorrow is an adventure day.
   I'm part of an mom forum, and I keep seeing a lot of first-time moms in the pregnancy group being concerned with a lot of the same things I was really worried about when I was pregnant with Cooper. This is my second pregnancy, and while I'm still nervous, I've experienced labor and delivery, and having a new baby home, and am a lot more relaxed with this pregnancy. I continue to educate myself as I go and stay informed as much as possible, but as a first time mom it's hard to know where to start. It doesn't help that in every day life, people seem to develop logorrhea when it comes to pregnancy, losing all sense of propriety and social etiquette and saying and doing things to a pregnant woman that would NEVER be acceptable any other time. Well, guess what, first time moms... I'm here to help!
My definitive list of pregnancy crap!
  1. People are stupid. Even women that have been through it before like to focus on the negative and the worst case scenario when giving advice and telling stories. It's like their goal is to scare the ever-loving crap out of anyone even considering giving birth. Ignore the stories about emergency c-sections gone wrong, about heinous tearing, about all the terrifying complications and situations that are within the realm of possibility, and talk to your health care provider if you do have concerns about anything. Educate yourself on what a c-section really is and how it is preformed, just in case, but know that while scary things CAN happen during labor and delivery, they seldom DO. The odds are well in your favor for a great birth experience.
  2. Childbirth IS a painful process. It just is. Whether you choose to go all natural like me, or you choose to get pain relief, at some point it's going to hurt. A lot. Here's the thing about that, though: It's so temporary, and your body has coping mechanisms in place, and most importantly, as soon as the baby is out, the pain is gone and there is this crazy rush of hormones that makes you high. Crazy high. I was so wired after my son was born, and regardless of the fact that my uterus and I just ran a three-legged marathon for five hours non-stop, I physically and mentally felt totally recharged and ready to dance through the birth center, and didn't sleep for hours after the birth. It was crazy, but trust me, it's so worth the pain to get to hold a beautiful baby and feel as good as you do after the birth.
  3. Everyone is going to tell you how hard it is, how exhausted you're going to be, and how you're never going to sleep again. Unless your baby has issues, that's actually pretty untrue. The first few nights are pretty rough, and the first week or two you're going to feel like a sobbing zombie between the hormones and the new sleep patterns, but once you establish a routine with your baby, which will happen naturally, it is actually pretty easy. Newborns sleep quite a bit. Take that time to rest, relax, shower, and sleep, oh, and eat food that's still hot. In no time at all baby will be sleeping all through the night, and then part of you will miss those 4 am snuggles while the rest of the world sleeps.
  4. In spite of the general view of infants, they DON'T actually cry every second they are awake. As a general rule, they cry when they have needs and stop once they are met. Within a week of being home with baby, you're going to know what they need based on how they cry alone. Again, to the parents who have babies that have some problem or another, I get it. Cooper had reflux and colic until we could find a formula that worked for him, so for 3 weeks he cried pretty much all the time, but once we got it sorted out, he was awesome. They really are beautiful when they are awake and content.
  5. You don't actually look that big.
   I find it's best to ignore people for the most part, talk to medical professionals when I need advice or opinions, and get my research from reliable sources, like medical journals, the CDC, the WHO, and the AAP. I also like watching different types of births so I know what to expect from each situation.
   Good luck, first-timers everywhere. It's normal to be nervous no matter how many kids you've had.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Deep breath. And a sigh of relief.

   Brandon got the job today. His schedule sucks, but it'a a job that pays decently and is guaranteed forty hours a week. He's not really thrilled about the job itself, but having a job is a huge relief for all of us. I'm glad he was able to find something. He's also thinking about going to school this fall. I'm kind of frustrated because he knows what his dream career would be, but he doesn't think he can do it, so he's not going to major in anything he is really passionate about, which to me seems like a huge waste. He's going to spend the money on an education, but not be doing what he really wants to do. On the plus side, his tentative thoughts on going to school is big progress. Hopefully I can convince him to do something he'll actually enjoy.
   Poa has definitely dropped. It's pretty uncomfortable. My hips and lower back ache. My grandmother also mentioned the drop today. Apparently it's pretty noticeable because I was carrying so high, all up in my ribs. I'm not carrying high like that anymore. It's easier to breathe, which is awesome. Hopefully the drop doesn't mean Poa is coming soon. I need to keep that baby in until the 22nd to have the birth at the birth center, and I want the baby to cook as long as possible and be really ready to come out healthy and strong. As uncomfortable as I am, I'd be so much more miserable if my sweet baby came early and had to spend time in the hospital.
   Speaking of sweet babies, my Cooper got to ride all sorts of fun rides at the Cherry Fest tonight. He had a blast. Last summer he was too small to ride anything but the carousel and the baby roller coaster shaped like a caterpillar. This year he got to go on a couple of the big rides with his daddy, and was big enough to ride all the toddler rides by himself. He had a complete blast. He rode everything he could at least 3 times. His favorite thing was the giant slide that he went down on the big itchy blankets. He loved that so much. He played a couple games, too, and won a stuffed pink, sparkly dolphin, and a little blue shark. He had carnie food and we got another photo button of the three of us. Brandon and I have one of the two of us from the year before I got pregnant with Cooper, and now we have one as a family of three. Next year we'll have to go get one as a family of four.
   I'm glad we got to do this with Cooper before the new baby came. It was like a mini-vacation for an evening, and we were focused just on our little boy before everything changes. Inez and Charlie took us and were extremely generous with their time, and bought him food and a wrist band for the rides. We are extremely lucky to have them in our lives. As soon as we have a little extra money I would like to go do something for them, maybe take them to a movie or dinner.
   Sometimes I wonder if I'm going to miss being a family of three. We've hit this awesome routine, and Cooper is old enough now that he's more independent. Life is pretty great with the three of us. I worry that Cooper is lonely though. Still, I'm a little bit afraid of having a new baby and starting over trying to learn how to function as a family. I hope we can make it work. I'm really nervous about it.
   I've got the list made of things we need to pack in the baby bag, and started packing. I'll have everything either in the bag or ready to go in by the end of the week. Obviously the laptop and camera are going to have to wait until the last minute because we use them daily, and I need to go pick up some newborn diapers and the oatmeal raisin cookies I want for my snack, and the popsicles won't go in until the last minute so they won't melt before we get there, but I've got the bottled water, Gatorade, Tylenol, outfit to go home in for myself and baby, 2 baby blankets, hair ties... basically the rest of the bag packed and set aside. We don't need a ton of stuff since we're not staying at the birth center over night. We'll be going home between 4 and 6 hours after the birth, which I LOVE. I'm still kind of torn about whether I want Cooper to come home with us, or spend a couple days being spoiled by one of his grandparents before coming home to a whole new world.
   Part of me thinks I want my little boy home, because I love him and I always want him home. I want to be surrounded by my little family and all get to know the new baby together. On the other hand, I remember how exhausted I was the first couple nights home with Cooper, and I'm afraid I might be impatient or unable to meet all of his needs, and that it will be harder to adjust with all the stress. I'm a little concerned that he will have a much harder time getting used to things in the chaos of the first few days. Brandon and I are talking about it off and on and I just can't seem to make up my mind. I think I'm going to ask for some advice from a few of the moms in my life and see what they think. Normally I'm pretty decisive, but this is all new to me. I want it to be as easy as possible for Cooper, who, by the way, has already decided that this is HIS baby. He's such a funny little thing.
   IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII need to pee again. I think that's it for the night. Goodnight internet.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Things that make me emotional... ETA

   Ummm... try everything lately. I'm really starting to panic that we haven't found work yet. Poa is going to be here very soon, and we have nothing. I'm getting Allison's infant car seat from Morgan just to be able to bring the baby home. We're using Cooper's old pack and play for the baby to sleep in when we're not co-sleeping. We don't even have diapers yet. I so desperately wanted to cloth diaper, and I really thought we were going to be able to, but we can't afford the up-front costs, even though in the long run it's so much cheaper. We caved and bought a couple outfits on clearance to get by until we have income. If it ends up being a Penelope I won't need to buy clothes anyway. Morgan saved all of Allison's stuff just in case, and most of it is brand new. If it's an Archer, we're kind of stuck. I'm seriously freaking about not being ready. It's been overwhelming the last few days.
   We still owe the midwives $350. I don't know what we're going to do. I'll have to make a payment arrangement, but I'm not sure how because I don't know when we'll have income again, so I can't really schedule payments. Part of me is terrified I'll have to go to the hospital instead, and have a stranger deliver my baby in a very high-stress setting. I haven't been sleeping well because I have nightmares about it all. I've been trying so hard to be positive, but the time crunch is wrecking me. I haven't told Brandon how scared I am, because he's already so upset and feels like a failure. I don't want to make it worse.
   Yesterday a bunch of my clothes got ruined. I had started the wash, and the neighbor decided to move it to the dryer without saying anything and start it on high without fabric softener so they could wash their clothes. All of the shirts I had that fit are now shrunk and too small. I'm furious. I went down to move it over, and it was almost completely dry and everything was messed up. I now have a couple dresses to get through the next five weeks. Morgan has offered to loan me some clothes, but that doesn't change the fact that my neighbors were extremely inconsiderate. If they had needed to do laundry THAT BADLY, they could have asked and I wouldn't have done it that day. Instead they stopped my load mid-cycle and put everything in the dryer on high. They ruined a bunch of my clothes. I love the guy that lives upstairs, but this was not cool. I'm going to talk to the guy upstairs and work out a schedule for when I can do mine without it getting touched, or I'm going to find somewhere else to wash clothes. I can't afford to just go out and buy more.
   I think I need a mini-vacation. Maybe I can talk my mom into taking Cooper for the weekend so Brandon and I can get the house in order and spend some time decompressing and looking for jobs together.

BRANDON JUST GOT A JOB INTERVIEW. Positive thoughts, please!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ok. No. Nononono.

   I am so ready to be done being pregnant. I'm tired all the time, and I have such awful sciatic nerve pain in my right hip and leg that it's becoming hard for me to walk without my leg giving out. We went to the store today and I was getting LOOKS as I gimped around, trying not to fall over or gasp in pain every time the sharp, sudden, intense stabbing would hit me. It was bad.
   I'm having a pretty easy pregnancy, and I know I should be grateful for that. I have had no complications, my asthma has improved this time, I'm right on track for weight gain and growth, and everything has come back normal. Every test has had a good outcome. It's been easy. Still, I am not one of those women that enjoys being pregnant. I'm ready to be finished. I have roughly 6 weeks left. Well, 5 weeks, 3 days, but who is keeping track? Not me, clearly. I'm thinking about making a paper chain. Cooper was born at 37 weeks. Hopefully this baby cooks as long as it needs to in order to be healthy and strong, but not so long that I contemplate smashing my head into the table over and over until I die. I'd like to get as close to the 40 weeks as possible, but I think if I had to go over I would lose my mind. I'm such a baby. Hahaha.
   I need a good massage. I think I'm going to ask Brandon to give me some rubbing tonight. The weight on my front half is causing some huge knots on my back half, and it's starting to hurt really badly. Basically tonight is a whiny post. I feel like whining and complaining until I'm tired enough to sleep, since right now my eyes are tired but the rest of me is like, "HEY! Wanna think about EVERYTHING?! LOUDLY?!" So I'm going to get all of my grumbles out and have a little pity party for a minute so I can go back to being my happy self. Sometimes it's nice to just bitch and moan and then be done. Like somehow writing it down or saying out loud makes it seem so much smaller and it all goes away for a while.
   I'm getting really scared about money. Things are beyond tight. I'm being as brave and supportive as I can for Brandon, but on the inside I'm flipping out. There is so much wrong right now, and so little time to fix it. Our gas got shut off today. Cooper is going to take "baths" using water from the stove and we're going to take cold showers until we can get it turned back on. We have almost nothing for the baby. I don't think the cloth diapers are going to happen because we can't afford them, which sucks because long-term they would have saved SO MUCH MONEY. We don't even have an outfit to bring Poa home in. I'm getting more and more frantic every time we need something. Today we had to get toilet paper and milk. Cereal was on sale and we were out, so Brandon bought a box. It doesn't seem like a lot of money, but that $11 is money we don't have for bills later. We've come so far and I am so scared to see it all slip away again, especially with Cooper and now Poa.
   I'm sure we'll be fine. Brandon's been desperately looking for work, applying 3 or 4 places a day on average, calling to check on applications, and doing everything he can to give himself a fighting chance. I just know he'll find something soon. So far he's been vehemently opposed to me applying for anything, but I was thinking about applying at some call-centers and going through the paid training as long as I can, working until he finds a job. It's easy to sit through training, and if I leave on good terms for medical reasons, I'm likely to be hired back later if need be. I think if he doesn't hear back from anywhere by the end of the week I'm going to spend the weekend applying at every call center in the area. We can't afford to be picky right now.
   I need to sleep. First, calming lavender chamomile lotion on my itchy belly, and then hopefully sleep. I'm feeling better already. For me getting stuff out helps me let go and focus on the positive, so I'm glad I have a place to vent for a while without dragging anyone down. Good night, planet. Tomorrow is going to be a good day.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Time to get ready to gooooo.

   Yesterday Brandon was cranky, so I took Cooper and gave him some space. We went into Boise and cleared some stuff up with my dad, and Cooper spent the night. I'm going back today to take care of my grandmother while my parents go out of town for my brother's graduation. They'll be back very late tonight, but I only have to stay until my grandmother goes to bed. I'm not sure if Brandon is coming with me. He's still sleeping. I doubt he'll want to come along, but I was going to offer. I need the help anyway. I can't lift my grandmother into her chair if she needs to get out of bed. I have Morgan as a back-up.
   Either way, I need to go.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Baby in my ribs...

please get out of my ribs. It's not comfortable. It's rather painful. Cooper messed up my ribs really bad, and you're not helping matters by using them as a springboard. I love you, Baby, but this is not cool.
   I am freaking tired today. I think tomorrow I'm going to ask if I can sleep in. Brandon is usually awesome about letting me get extra sleep when I need it. I'm usually not able to sleep past about 8:30, so even if he agrees to take over Cooper duties, I will probably be up anyway. I tried taking a nap when Cooper did yesterday. I was woken up 5 different times in 2 hours before I gave up. It was pretty much the worst nap ever. Still, I'm glad I have a husband that understands how tired I am lately and is willing to pick up some slack so I can rest while I have the chance. Once the new baby is here I'm going to be a lot busier.
   Tomorrow I'm making scones with orange blossom honey butter. Right now I'm going to go lay my pregnant butt on the couch and watch a movie with Brandon before bed. Cooper is finally in bed for the night, and it's pouring rain, and it's the perfect night for stove-top popcorn and a good movie.
   I will leave you with this, internet:
This is my son being a sodabot. It's awesome. Enjoy.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

I am pooped. Edited with pictures!

   Inez and I were up until after 1am making all the desserts for the baby shower today, and then I was up at 8, so I'm pretty tired. It was worth it though. Everything came out so cute, and tasted so good. We baked and decorated ourselves nearly to death. I could not have gotten everything done in time without her help. She did so much for me in the last few days. I am so grateful.
   We got to the park a little late, but everyone else was much later, so it worked out. The food was delicious and was promptly devoured. There was very, very little left over. Enough people played the games that it wasn't a waste of time for me to have spent the time making them, and they were actually pretty fun. Brandon got pictures of all the guests. He took them all in sepia tone, which ended up looking really cool, but in retrospect he wishes he had taken them in color and been able to edit them himself in Lightroom. We got a couple awesome things for the baby, including a folding travel co-sleeper that I LOVE, an awesome diaper bag set, a hand-written coupon for my aunt to make the baby a keepsake quilt after the birth so she can pick gender appropriate fabrics, and a bottle-drying rack. Cooper loved helping open presents. He likes ripping open the paper.
   Brandon's family came, which was great. My mom and Randy came and brought Sara, Inez and Charlie followed us into town, a couple of my aunts and uncles, and several cousins made it. Shyla and Max didn't show up, and a lot of my family couldn't make it because they had to work. My dad and step-mom and little sisters didn't bother coming, which stung a little, even though I knew they weren't going to. I haven't even spoken to them in over a week. The people that were there were great though. There was a lot of good conversation, happy people, and tasty food. It was really fun.
   So far almost everyone is rooting for team girl, which I'm all for. I would love to have one of each so I can be done. Hahaha. For now I don't care if it's a boy or a girl. I'm just sleepy.
   Brandon's mom got a lot of pictures, so I'll be stealing some from her to post. And I'll put up some of Brandon's later.

Here are the pictures!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Sleep apnea is awesome.

   Not! My poor husband has a hard time sleeping. He can't seem to maintain normal breathing, and moans in his sleep during the worst of it. It happens a lot at night and has been waking me up lately. It's gotten worse over time. I'm not sure if it's because he's gained a little weight over the years, or if it's exacerbated by something in the house, or if it's just naturally worsening. It's the worst when he's on his back. He's sleeping next to me right now and his breathing is fairly regular, but every now and then he has these stretches where you can hear a change in his breathing and it stops or reduces dramatically, and then he's breathing hard to make up for it, to the point where he's moaning from being winded. He doesn't snore or anything. I worry about him. I don't think he understands just how much I worry about him sometimes. I need him to be healthy for our kids and I. That's probably why I'm so anal about him taking care of himself. Pushing him to eat healthy foods with me, go to the dentist, cut back on caffeine when he's going overboard.
   Sometimes I worry that I come off as nagging, and I know I'm not his mother and he's a grown man and can do what he wants. If he wants to take caffeine pills and drink 6 Redbull in a day, it's not really my place to tell him he can't. Still, it freaks me out, so I DO say something and ask him to cut back and tell him how much it bothers me. When he broke a couple teeth and they were hurting him, I DID push him to go to the dentist and get them fixed so they wouldn't get infected and cause him pain. I'm pretty pushy about things like that. It's because I care. I hope he knows that. It's because I want him around for our family for a long time. I never want to have to explain to Cooper why his hero is sick or never coming home again, so sometimes I do demand that he do things he doesn't want to for the sake of his health. We're young. We need to take care of ourselves now so we can grow old and enjoy it.
   Blake has been here since yesterday. He's a good kid. He played with Cooper a lot. It was good for Cooper. He doesn't get to play with other people enough. He's shy at the park most of the time, and generally wants to hang out with me or tries to play with the older kids. His uncle Blake gets down on his level and plays with him. Last night they ran all over the house and porch, doing tricks off the furniture and killing zombies and riding Cooper's bike, scooter, and fire truck. They watched a movie on the floor with all the pillows we could find in the house, I roasted some chick peas with honey and chipotle and some other spices for them to snack on. It was a good night. Blake fell asleep pretty early, around midnight, which I thought was really funny since he was talking about how he was going to be up all night and how freaked out he was about sleeping in a new house. He was worn out. Cooper was put in bed around 10:30, but didn't fall asleep until almost 1am because he wanted to get up and play with Blake. He was so cute.
   I don't think Blake is used to waking up as early as we do. I was up at 8 doing my own thing. Cooper woke up at 8:30, I hooked him up with some cartoons and got in the shower. Brandon and Blake got up at about 9 when I got out of the shower and Cooper's cartoon was over. Poor Blake seems to be dragging, but  he's being a good sport. He and Cooper are cutting shapes out of Cooper's scrapbooking paper. Cooper is making "stickers" for the baby shower. Hahahaha. He's so awesome.
   I'm going to go make breakfast, do a load of dishes, prep the fruit for the lemonade tomorrow since it needs to soak, pull out dough for scones, clean the bathroom, and tidy the living room before Inez and Charlie get here. Then we're all going to bake. Yesterday was awesome, today is going to be even better.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

We got a lot done today!

   The baby shower is Saturday! It's so close. Today we sat down and made a bunch of the stuff we needed for it. Brandon made mustaches and I made bows for the photo area. I made the uterus game. It's pretty much awesome. It was really time consuming to make all the sperm though. I cut each one out individually and made each one look different, all with a unique tail, so it was hard. I bruised my knuckles on my scissors. They came out SUPER cute, though. It was worth it. So I no have my adorable pennant banner for the photo area, along with the props, which is really exciting. I hope everyone is willing to do pictures. I made 6 super cute bows, and Brandon made 8 mustaches, and we attached them all to sticks for photo booth props. I really want to get fun pictures. I have one game made. I also got some cheap yarn for the measurement guessing game. So two games down and the stuff for the photo booth made.
   Tomorrow I need to work on the calendar game, which is basically making a big calendar that encompasses most of June and July, and decorate the jar for the betting money to go in. Everyone is going to bet on when the baby is going to be born. It's gonna be $2 per bet, and once the baby is born we'll split the pot with the person that got the closest. People can bet more than once, but two people can't bet on the same date.
   I also need to make the Old Wives Tales game, which is basically a board with 13 old wives tales that predict gender, but I'm not going to write which gender each one predicts. Everyone is going to get some paper and guess which mean boy and which mean girl. Then I'll go to the board and put a mustache by the ones that mean boy and a bow by the ones that mean girl. Whoever gets the most right wins. Easy peasy. I just need to make the poster with the tales, and some little paper bows and mustaches.
   So tomorrow I need to make the two easy games. It's basically taking a sharpie to some poster board and gluing stuff to a jar to make it pretty, and of course cutting out a handful of paper shapes. All of which is fast, easy projects. There will be 4 games and the photo area. Plus the food, which again, Brandon's family has generously offered to help with. It's going to be too cold for a water fight, but there is plenty to do at the park beyond that, so I think it will be good. Since everyone cancelled we decided against the pinata, since there won't be many kids there now. I have a HUGE family, but getting them all together is a pain. As far as young kids being there, it's looking like it's just going to be Max, Cooper, and Allison. The rest will all be tweens, teens, and adults. Hopefully the kids all have fun though. That's important to me. It's part of why I picked the park I did. Cooper loves it. It's just the right size for him and there is a big field for him to play with Raymond and kick his ball around.
   We're going into Boise tomorrow to pick up the last few things on my shopping list for the shower, and to grab Brandon's little brother for the weekend. Then we're coming home and Brandon is making some of his delicious chicken wraps just the way I like them: heirloom orange tomatoes, dairy-free ranch, crispy bacon, roasted chipotle and smoked paprika chicken breast, lettuce, and avocado. Mmmmm.... I think Cooper will be pleased too. He loves bacon and veggies as much as I do. He'll probably pick out the chicken unless I shred his really finely though. He doesn't really do meat very well. Big bites of it make him gag, so I try to shred it up really small. I got strawberries for dessert. We have some whipped cream in the fridge for the boys to have with them.
   I love having extra people to cook for. I'm really looking forward to having Blake here. I'm sure he'll be sick of us by the end of the weekend, but it will be nice to have someone else to cook for and Cooper loves him to death. Friday Inez and Charlie are coming over, too, to help finish up the baking. I got dark chocolate for the molds for the tops of the cupcakes and I'll probably get some white chocolate for the mustache pops. I was planning on mixing some blue sprinkles in with the white chocolate to make them pretty and give them texture, and I've got the sprinkles. We're making a small mustache-shaped cake, and TINY strawberry cupcakes with white frosting and a little dark chocolate bow on top of each, and white chocolate mustache pops. We'll also be having hot dogs, strawberry and blueberry lemonade, simple fruit salad made of watermelon, strawberries, and blueberries, we'll have chips as well.
   So far this is shaping up to be a pretty awesome shower. I am excited. The people that show up are the ones that I want there, and anyone that doesn't isn't worth being sad about. I've put a lot of time and thought into this shower so we can celebrate with the people that support us and are happy to celebrate with us. That's exactly what we're going to do. We're going to have a damn good time.
   I am now very tired. Goodnight, little planet!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Things that I need to accomplish in the next few days...

   My incredible husband took on the momentous task of deep cleaning the house for me as a late Mother's Day/ birthday gift. It looks really good. I helped, and managed to drag 4 trash bags of stuff out of the house yesterday. It's funny how much STUFF accumulates in a year, and it feels good to throw out all the unnecessary junk. Our whole house feels fresh and much roomier without all the extra crap hanging out here and there, taking up space and getting strewn about by a messy toddler. Brandon cleaned the living room and started the kitchen, and helped with the bedroom, and took on Cooper's room with Cooper's help, and mine toward the end. We still need to finish our bedroom (just hauling the last of the STUFF out and vacuuming), the kitchen (a handful of bulky dishes and mopping), and the bathroom (sweeping and wiping everything down really fast). We're waiting until evening to finish because it gets really hot in our house during the day, but in the evening we can throw the doors open and it stays cool.
   I was starting to feel like we had outgrown this little apartment, but now that all the STUFF is out, it feels big again. It could use a fresh coat of paint since Cooper took artist markers to the walls and I was taking paint off trying to scrub it off. It could also probably use a good carpet steam, since our lovely toddler has had a few spills, but it's really a very charming little place. The landlord never showed up to open the windows today. Hopefully that happens soon and he installs the new air unit. It gets so hot in here without it.
   Brandon had a final job interview for a new job today. He'll know by the end of the week whether or not he has a job and when the next training classes start. We're having to stretch everything out until then, and I'm a little nervous about making it all work, but I am positive he got the job. The interview went well, and he passed all the tests, and was well above the requirements. We're not putting all of our plans into this job until we know for sure, though. We've been discussing other opportunities he's been offered just in case.
   The baby shower is this weekend. Thursday I'm going into Boise to pick up the last of the stuff we need, and to grab Brandon's little brother to come stay with us for the weekend. Inez and Charlie are also coming over on Friday to help me bake all the desserts. Then Saturday we're going to be busy having fun. I'm pretty excited. Of course my dad backed out of being there at the last minute. I don't know if they are going to let my sisters go. They are still trying to talk me into having a separate celebration with them. It's not happening. I'm standing my ground on this one. THEY made the choice to divorce without making the effort to be civil. Now they feel uncomfortable with each other. I was a kid. I didn't have any say in it. Now I'm an adult and I want to be surrounded by the people that love me during moments that matter to me. I'm not going to deal with the stress of walking on eggshells and planning 3 of everything. Grow up and get along at least enough to be civil a couple times a year, or don't be there when it counts, and know that it hurts me that they can't put aside petty things and be there for me, their child, who they chose to have and then forced to split between multiple families. Their choice.
   I have a bunch of baby shower stuff to make. No one other than Brandon's family has even given me a rough estimate of who all they are bringing, and I may as well not have put an RSVP request on the invite. My family sucks at RSVPing. I'm not sure who all is going to be there, if they are bringing their kids, how much food to buy... it's made all the planning that much more annoying. Brandon's family has been a HUGE help in putting it all together, and so has Inez. No one else is communicating with me. It's kind of frustrating, but on the other hand, I knew what to expect. I swear, though, if anyone objects to any part of the shower after I gave everyone the chance to give input, I'm going to go all pregnant bear on them and possibly cry.
   I'm pretty stoked about the shower. We're going to play a handful of not-sucky games, like Pin the Sperm on the Uterus, Old Wives Tales, and a betting game. I think we've finally decided on prizes for the game winners: we're going to buy lottery tickets. Because it's a co-ed, all ages shower, I had a really hard time coming up with affordable prizes that everyone would like. Scratch tickets are fun, it's like a mini-game itself, and if they win big, that's even better. As a kid I loved scratch tickets and always wanted to get one when my mom went to the gas station, and if it won she'd cash it out for me and buy me a soda. Now as an adult I still like them sometimes when we have a spare dollar or two. We've started putting them in Christmas stockings for our friends and they love it, so I thought it was a really good way to include a prize that at the very least was gender neutral and wouldn't cost a zillion dollars.
   So far the weather isn't looking like it wants to cooperate for a water balloon fight, which is sad. I'll come up with something else to make it fun, though. Knowing Idaho, the forecast will change between now and then anyway. So far it's predicted to be 76 with up to 10 mile an hour winds. Certainly not warm enough for me to participate in any water antics. Maybe if the wind isn't that intense Cooper will still be up for it though. Who knows?
   Silly Idaho weather.

Monday, May 20, 2013

As things draw near... EDITED

   Brandon still hasn't gotten a for-sure on a new job. A lot of potentials, but nothing guaranteed. I'm starting to stress out a little bit. I'm sure we'll be ok, but I'm not sure how we're going to make the final payment to the midwives by the deadline, and I'm not sure how Brandon will be able to leave a new job for the birth. I can't imagine that would go over well. I've already accepted that we're probably not going to get everything for the baby that was on the original plan, and that's ok. I'm just concerned that as it draws closer we are getting to a more and more desperate position. I keep thinking positively and doing my best to be supportive and not add stress to Brandon, but I'm kind of freaking out a little bit.
   I'm also worried because with his previous job, he had vacation time he was going to take right after the birth so I wouldn't be home alone for the first two weeks, giving me time to heal and rest and develop a routine that would work for Cooper and the new baby and I. He won't be able to do that now, and I'm scared that not having any support at home during the day is going to be really hard, and overwhelming. I wish I lived closer to the people that are able to help out. Instead I'm on my own. Inez will be immensely helpful, I'm sure, as she tends to be, and I want to keep everyone who wants to be as involved as possible, but I'm nervous about having the energy to play hostess to people when what I really need is help. I'm terrible at asking for help, and I do have some history of both seasonal and clinical depression, so I was hoping to have someone around for a little bit to keep me from sinking into the hole I sometimes fall into, and to watch so that if I do they can shake me into getting the help I need, since I will try to downplay it all in my head.
   I was sick over the end of the week, and all day Friday. I was just well enough to help with Allison's birthday treats all day Saturday, and then we went to the party Sunday. I'm still pretty pooped, which may also be contributing to the level of anxiety I'm feeling right now. I tend to let things overwhelm me when I'm tired, which is another reason I was so happy that Brandon was going to be home. He was home with Cooper for the first little bit, and it helped so much to have him take over for a few hours and tell me to go sleep when he saw that I was getting frazzled. Once I developed a routine I was ok, but that first week was a huge adjustment and I'm really panicking internally at the thought of not having that extra little hand until I can get a pattern down.
   Sometimes I wish I had a momma. I mean, I love my mom, but I just don't feel comfortable asking for her help. I know a lot of people had their mother or mother-in-law stay with them after they had their baby, or at least come over during the day, and I don't really feel that's an option for me. I just don't have those kind of relationships. I have my mother, my mother-in-law, my step-mother, and my former step-mom, and honestly, the one I'm closest to is my former step-mom, and she's already got so much on her plate, with her dad having stomach cancer, her high school age son, she just had surgery and lost her job during her leave... I don't want to be a burden to her. Lately I can't really rely on my best friend, either. We go through phases where she's seriously the coolest person and we don't rub each other wrong ever, and then phases where we just don't quite mesh and we need a break from each other. I guess that happens with everyone, though.
   Having a car has been great. I've been able to relax about being able to get to appointments and get the things we need. I'm really not sure how we're going to pay for insurance next month, though, so we may very well be parked next month. Basically in the last few weeks I went from feeling completely secure and grounded to feeling like we're back to square one, and I'm screaming in my own head for solutions to everything. It's not working out. Haha.
   I think today we're going to deep clean the house, and I need to take some deep, cleansing breaths and refocus on the positive. I need to stop thinking about the problems, and think about the potential solutions available to us, and how to take them on one by one so we can be prepared. I also need to stop being so sad that we don't have a broader support system. The people we have are pretty awesome, and we have a lot more than a fair chunk of people.
   Ok. Find that center and get a move on. We have a lot to do this week, and not much time.

   Brandon got a call back today about a high paying job about 15 minutes from home. He has the final interview and will get to pick his schedule tomorrow if he's hired. I'm really relieved. I just needed to calm down, be positive, and have faith in my husband. He would never let me down.
   Hopefully we'll be back on track as of tomorrow. That would be awesome. I just had to pay our insurance today, and I need to go get a new title and registration for the car tomorrow while the landlord is opening our windows to install the new air conditioner. All of that costs money.
   I finally came to a conclusion on the cloth diapers we want to start on. I know, I know, I've said that a couple times, but after talking to my family that would have regular contact with the baby and comparing all the different features for the ten billionth time, I decided that a hybrid system would be the best. So I'm going to get the GroVia hybrid package with some extra soakers and boosters, and a few boxes of the disposable liners so our family doesn't have to worry about cloth while the baby is there. I'll probably buy a bunch of other diapers as we go to bulk up my stash and try different things, but I'm really confident in my choice and ready to move forward. We're going to use sposies for the first while until the OS diapers fit, to save money. I'm still trying to figure out what is going on with the sewing machine I was given, so I haven't made anything yet, but I'm hoping to make my own wet bags for the diaper bag and hanging dry bags for the house, and some diapers. We can't afford to invest in the stuff I need to make them for a business yet. Hopefully soon though.
   Everything is going to be ok. I just need to calm the hell down. lol.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rough start, but it's time to wake up refreshed.

   Yesterday was a great day for me. I got my license, I got to spend time with some really special people, and I changed my last name finally, which was awesome. I mean, I love my dad, but that name was such a pain. No one could pronounce it right the first time. It's not even that hard. It's totally phonetic. Stupid people. Brandon even cleaned the house while I was out running my errands and passing my driving test. My step-mom took Cooper for the night so we'd have some adult time for my birthday, which is today.
   The only problem was that I was super happy and had a huge weight off my shoulders because we now have reliable transportation, and Brandon was so stressed about not having a paycheck for a couple weeks that he just sort of shut out reality. Including me. He barely spoke to me all day. He spent most of the time playing video games with our friends, and even people he didn't like, but when I got on to play with him we played one game and he said he knew he shouldn't have played. It hurt my feelings pretty bad. I wanted to celebrate progress and spend time with my husband and be happy. Instead I sat on the couch alone watching The Omen and true crime shows while he ignored me and my requests that he spend time with me, until he went to bed without me. I ended up falling asleep alone on the couch because every time I got up to go to bed I just got sad that such a great day had ended that way. I meant to go to bed. I really did. I just... never quite made it. So I woke up alone on my birthday, all the lights still on and a stiff arm.
   I know a big part of it was that I'm overly sensitive right now. Freaking hormones. I'm trying really hard to have a handle on myself, but I have pretty big reactions to stuff anyway, so it's been a challenge. I also know that when he's stressed, he needs space. He distances himself so he can analyze the situation and either find a solution or come to terms with what's happening. It just sucks that the timing for his turtle day was just right for my day to really be relieved. I wish it had been different.
   Today is my birthday. I may have woken up all wrong, and yesterday might have ended on a very low note after such astonishingly fabulous progress, but today is going to be a good freaking day. I'm going to take a shower, do my make-up, and get ready for a midwife appointment. After the appointment I'm going to go see my best friend. We've spent every single birthday eating cake together (or at least over the phone together) for the last 13 years, and I'm not going to break that tradition. I'm going to spend time with my kiddo, maybe take him to our favorite park since it's supposed to be cooler today, and make pasta and Italian sausage for dinner. I'm not going to let anyone be cranky at me, and if they try, I WILL make them smile if it freaking kills me.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Getting ready for the shower!

   It feels really early to be starting on getting everything ready. I was going to order everything, but instead I'm making almost everything by hand. So I've decided to work on one project a day until I have all of the decorations and favors done, that way I have enough time and I don't get frustrated or rush or feel pressed for time. Last night I decided to make the pennant banner. The one I was going to order was made on burlap with fabric block letters. It was simple triangular pennants on twine, and it was one long sign and the pennants were really small. It fit across a fireplace mantle. It was $18 before shipping. I'm so glad I made mine. It's big and it's pretty and it turned out really nice. I made it on card stock with twine. I have a picture. It took me about 3.5 hours to make it from start to finish.

   I'm going to have a photo booth area at the baby shower with some other props, and the banner is going to be in the tree as part of that. I am making the other props today. I'm making different mustaches and bows, hats, and glasses out of card stock and attaching them to sticks so people can mix and match props and have some awesome photos. I want lots of pictures for the baby scrapbook and I want to blow a group shot up poster-sized for the nursery area. I made a lot of photo crafts when Cooper was a baby, and I love being able to look back on everything now. I don't really like traditional scrap books, but I made cool frames and collages and I plan on doing the same for this baby. 
   Brandon talked to his mom about helping out with the food instead of getting us a baby shower gift, and she has graciously agreed to help, so that's one less thing I have to worry about. Brandon heard back about a job today. I can stress just a tiny bit less. I'm hoping he gets it and can start working soon enough that we don't fall behind, and can maybe even get the cloth diapering stuff. That would be amazing.
   Brandon and I have been playing LoL a lot, and I finally got the guts to play ranked duo queue. Turns out I'm actually pretty good at it. I've lost one of seven games. The rest were all wins. I have 3 ranked games left to play before I'm placed in a division. I'm really excited to be making progress. I'm still not as consistently good as Brandon, but I can hold my own in his division, so I'm pretty stinking proud of that. I want to get to gold before the baby is born.
   I'm off to clean the house, now. It's getting messy. I don't like that. I think I'm entering the nesting phase. I want everything clean, I feel like arranging the furniture, I want to have everything ready.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Planning is for people that really like to punish themselves. I am one of those people.

   I had every last detail of the baby shower planned, sites bookmarked waiting to place orders for decorations, favors, and a pinata, recipes poured over trying to find the perfect ones, and invitations sitting on my desk waiting to be mailed as soon as I get the last of the addresses from family and friends. I have the registry all set up, and our furniture laid out in my head to make room for the nursery furniture I had bookmarked just waiting to be ordered with Brandon's end of the month check. I had researched cloth diapers to death and found a pattern to try, some WAHMs to order some from, and the different diapers I wanted to order to compile my stash. With Cooper we were caught up in trying to get on our own feet while taking care of family and friends, so I didn't get to do most of this for Cooper, and I was so excited to get to do it all right this time.
   Brandon took another absence at work today. His ride never showed up to get him to work this morning or answered his phone, so Brandon was very late, and because it was an overtime day, it counted as an absence. So he called in and stayed home and went to the dentist to get his tooth fixed. He had two teeth extracted today because they had broken, but other than the two broken teeth, the rest are healthy. Which is really awesome. I'm glad he finally went to the dentist. He's been in a LOT of pain, to the point where it keeps him up at night. He was going through Oragel faster than we could buy it, and I was worried about his liver because his Tylenol and Ibprophen intake were so high. He's going to feel so much better once he's healed up. Sadly, missing work means he is probably going to lose his job. He wasn't able to be late or miss anymore work until the 14th, otherwise he was going to be walked, and he missed today.
   We were SO CLOSE. I start my driving classes on Wednesday, and will have them finished on Monday, then Tuesday before my midwife appointment I was going to go in and get my license, and after my appointment pick up the car. I've already got the insurance set up to go into effect Tuesday and everything. Now that Brandon is looking for a job, it looks like we're going to be on temporary assistance again, and we'll have to tighten our belts. Cloth diapering, nursery furniture, and the baby shower I had been planning are all out of the question. At first I was really sad, but I kept it to myself. Brandon already feels terrible. I don't want to make him feel worse. He told me he feels like he failed us.
   Now that I've had time to sit on the idea of not having everything I had hoped for, I've had time to focus on what we DO have and what we CAN have. It might be back to the drawing board as far as planning everything, but I happen to like planning. I can make things and get crafty and come up with really special personal ideas for things. We can buy second hand and I'm handy with sandpaper and paint. Everything is going to be ok. Brandon's applied for other jobs and has some prospects. We'll be alright. We'll land on our feet.
   Realistically I'm pretty lucky to have everything I do. I have a lovely little home, a fantastic family to share it with, people that love me and that I love back, a full belly, and the opportunity to improve our circumstances. There are a lot of people out there with a lot less. Sometimes things are messy and they fall apart and it seems like the end of the world for a moment, but we've weathered so many of the harshest storms, and this is barely a breeze by comparison.
   I love my husband. He is fantastic. He doesn't feel like it right now. Between the pain in his mouth, and his level of stress, and having to accept that we now have to give up some things that seemed so important yesterday, he's pretty low. So I'm working really hard to make him feel better. In the end, the perfect crib is still just some painted wood and nails and a mattress. The most exceptionally cute decorations are still just string and paper and glue and fabric for one silly party. Even the best cloth diapers made from the best fabrics and materials are just things to cover a butt to keep poop from getting on everything. And in the end, our life isn't the things we bought or what our child pooped in, slept in, or the decorations for celebrating them, but the fact that we DID celebrate each other. The moments that made us stronger and pulled us closer and even the most mundane conversations that meant that we LIVED. And damn it, we do. We live as best we can, and make what we have the best it can be.
   So today is about starting from scratch. I'm plugging my nose, closing my eyes, and holding my breath, and jumping in from the highest diving board knowing my family is with me, and when we resurface we'll have new ideas and new chances to make everything awesome.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I should be asleep.

   Brandon's had to go into work ass early lately, and when he gets ready for work I wake up and can't go back to sleep. I'm so tired at this point. I just want to sleep in. Cooper wakes up in about an hour and a half, and I could be zonked out, and I want to be, but I try and try and even though I'm pooped, I just can't fall asleep. I'm ready for someone to hit me in the head hard enough to knock me out just so I can get some rest.
   I'm at the point in my pregnancy that is just uncomfortable. I'm up and down all night going pee, I still toss and turn because my hips get sore, and I'm lugging around an extra 28 pounds all on my front so my back is a little bit angry at me. On the plus side, I'm 29 weeks, 5 days today. I had a midwife appointment yesterday, and once again I was told I'm right on track. Lately all of my appointments have been with Kelly, which I love. She's just got this personality that makes me comfortable. All of the midwives are great and I love them dearly, but Kelly is my favorite. My next appointment is on my birthday. Kelly and Danielle put a reminder in the notes because they are absurdly sweet and didn't want to forget.
   Baby Poa has been moving a lot lately. Still not as hard as Cooper did, but really active. It's been nice. I love feeling little waves of movement and sudden little kicks and rhythmic hiccups and gentle rolls. It's neat. It's comforting to feel my sweet baby, strong and so very alive. It's one of the few things about pregnancy I enjoy. I'm not one of those women that likes being pregnant. This is my respite from all of the things I would complain about a lot more if I focused on them. I already whine quite a bit on here, so having a positive point of focus the rest of the time is awesome.
   I'm going to try one more time to get a little more sleep before I have to get up and do dishes and go get more driving stuff out of the way. I need to pick up my permit today, pay the driving school, schedule my driving classes, and contact my insurance company about getting the car insured next week so I can take the test and get my license. I'm really nervous to be just starting out driving with a toddler. I don't want to make a stupid mistake that could hurt my son. Which is why I'm now, at 23, taking driver training. Every little bit of instruction and practice I can get before I put my kid in the back seat is going to help me feel better about driving. I need to feel like I am competent enough to put my kiddo in the back seat and not kill or injure him.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I just want to put out there... husband is the best man I've ever known. He drives me mad sometimes, but I love him so much. He takes great care of us. He is loving, and kind, and goofy, and sweet. Sometimes he's tactless, but that just makes him more lovable. He's incredibly attractive, and physically very attentive. He puts up with all my crap and loves me for it. I'm a lucky ducky. That is all.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

There's this little tiny detail...

...that no one seems to understand: I am a HUGE dork. I get really excited, I express myself fully, often forgetting that I should use a social filter.
   I've been stressed. This weekend I got a string of great news, and I'm feeling much better. I also got Girl Scout cookies. And the mother helping her daughter sell them gave me her number and asked me to call her so we can hang out. We have a lot in common. She has a two-year-old daughter as well as the older one selling the cookies, I have a son the same age. We're both 28 weeks pregnant. We go to the same midwives. We're both pretty awkward and giggly. It was nice to meet someone that didn't think I was a total spaz, especially another mother. Most moms think I'm a weirdy. I let my son have princess sippies and wear capes and MLP stuff in public and encourage my son to ask a million questions and never shut up. I wear my bun off to one side of my head and I smile too much, too big, and I wear bright colors and I'm as loud and energetic and random as my toddler.
   I was positively giddy at the prospect of a new mom friend in my area. I still don't have many friends here. It's a bummer. I get kind of lonely. Brandon was laughing at me. What started as me never being able to say no to a Girl Scout, especially one peddling Samoas and Thin Mints, turned into me having an awesome conversation with a perfectly sweet stranger. It was lovely. And her little girl was sassy. It was adorable. She didn't cut my darling husband any slack. We bought 3 boxes of cookies, and she got a cream soda out of him. It was perfect.
   I'm in love with my impossibly handsome man. He's great. He drives me insane, but he's the best man in the world. And his hair looks really awesome today. I want to do horrible things to that man, later. Right now though, I'm going to fall asleep to some true crime documentaries about killers.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The thing about boys...

   I have one child, currently. Just my perfect little boy. I can't really say if this describes girls, but I know this description is accurate for my little boy.
   I've talked to moms in a pregnancy forum that so desperately want girls and are terrified of having little boys. I have no idea how this is possible. My little boy is in-freaking-credible. I've heard women describing boys as rambunctious, inattentive, loud, gross, more difficult to teach and discipline, and basically described as being a creature of great difficulty with little foreseeable reward for people that do not have one of their own. As the proudest mother of a little boy, I would like to give a completely honest representation of what it is REALLY like.
   My son is precocious, rambunctious, noisy, and random. Yes. It's true. Little boys are all of those things. But it's more than that. He's passionate in the most innocent way. He really loves with every bit of his great big heart. It doesn't matter if he's pouring that love into a picture he draws for me, proudly proclaiming, "I drew a big doggy!" He could be pouring that love into playing cowboys with the dog, or saving a princess, or just being with Brandon and I, snuggled up on the couch. Everything he does, he does because he adores it, and he's proud of everything he chooses to do. Some days I'm busy, and I forget how much he cares and tries to make me proud of him, and I don't acknowledge him with my full attention, and it hurts him, but he doesn't get mad or throw a fit or cry. He just gets very quite and walks away until I realize that I made him sad, and then he shows me the picture he drew or a new "cool trick" he practiced just for me. I love that about him. I love how freely he loves and how unconditional and forgiving he is.
   His noise is such beautiful noise. He plays his guitar, bangs on pot drums, sings songs, makes sounds effects to the games he plays, tells great big stories, and asks a million questions. Before he was born, I relished the quiet. Now I miss his noise when he's gone. It makes me smile. Even the sound of his breathing when he sleeps makes me happy. I'm not going to lie, there are days when I'm stressed and overwhelmed that I just want ten minutes of silence, but when I have it, I realize the empty space in my head that is normally occupied by his happy noise. It's not like he's a walking junior high garage metal band that practices 24/7. His noise is the noise of a happy toddler figuring out his universe and finding joy in everything.
   He's so full of energy. He runs and jumps and ninja fights. He's full of life. He's not ill-behaved. I know I can take him to the store and trust him to stay near me, keep his voice down, stay out of other shoppers' way, and not pull things off the shelves. I can trust him to know the difference between how it's acceptable to behave at the book exchange versus the park. He's brilliantly smart, so while yes, he IS a rambunctious handful sometimes, I love that I can take him to the park and let him play until he's so exhausted he can't stand anymore. He wants us to be proud of him, so it was easy to explain appropriate behavior. Sometimes he forgets and takes off down a store aisle, but a quick reminder and he's back to being my sweet, well-behaved baby, staying near the cart and walking. It might be that I have a pretty easy toddler, but he's so easy to redirect and discipline. He just wants to make us happy, get a high-five and a hug that squeezes the air out of him.
   He can be pretty gross. He's often sticky. He likes to try to eat thinks like apples in ketchup. He eats candy he finds in the crannies of his car seat. He jumps in puddles of mud. He giggles when he farts. He's a toddler. And he's a boy. And his mother is a tom-boy. And his father is equally gross. He loves bath time, brushing his teeth, and is really particular about not wearing clothes that get stuff on them. That's good enough for me. He's uninhibited and plays rough, gets dirty, and laughs off bumps and scrapes. At the end of the day he smells nice and wants a cuddle and a kiss.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Netflix! Why?!

   I just watched the final episode of the UK version of Being Human on Netflix. Now I have to wait and see if they get more. The one really big flaw of having Netflix instead of TV is that I get hooked on these shows, and can't keep up because I have to wait to watch the new ones for an incredibly long period of time. It SUCKS. I might have to just download the new episodes, the season I haven't seen. It's an awesome show. The US version is ok, but I adore the UK version of the show. It's fantastic.
   My neighbor has been bugging me. I'm not sure how to go about telling him that I really can't stand him. I try so hard to be courteous and neighborly, but I really don't want to be friends with him. We've lived here over a year now, and he still keeps trying to be friendly. I fundamentally disagree with him on pretty much everything. He's a white supremacist bag of assholes, a day-drinker, a junkie, and pig. He's disrespectful and drives me insane. All he talks about is sleeping with women in the most derogatory manner imaginable, and how much he hates his family. I'm on the verge of telling him to just disappear, giving up on being neighborly completely. I don't want people like that around my son. It would be different if he wasn't such a douche canoe.
   Brandon gets paid tomorrow. I'm pretty stoked to go grocery shopping. We're getting pretty low on food, and I much prefer having a full pantry. Brandon caught what Cooper and I got, so I'll be getting him some stuff to help him suffer through the worst of it. I finally seem to be getting over it, and Cooper is coughing a lot less, so we're FINALLY doing better. This winter. Ugh.
   I'm in the third trimester. Time to really start preparing. I'm getting really excited. I'm nervous, too. I can't wait to find out if we have a daughter or a son. I'm eight or nine kinds of stoked. I wish we'd have more help in the beginning though. I'm nervous being so isolated from anyone that can help us with the new baby and Cooper. I hope I can do it all on my own.

Monday, April 15, 2013

I love my darling son.

   He's been sick. We all have, but he's taking a little longer to get over it. It seems like we've been sick a lot more this winter than every before, and now winter's over I'm hoping this will be the last time we get sick this year. Meanwhile I've been pumping Cooper full of hot green and white teas with lots of honey, juice, and water. He's staying hydrated, darn it! He's still playing a lot during the day, but he's tired faster. Instead of taking a nap from 2-4 he's been going down at 12 and waking up around 5 or 6, and then going to bed on time and sleeping all night. I'm letting him sleep as much as he can, and have been making stuff that's easy on his throat to eat, like eggs and other soft foods. I've been putting Vicks on him at night to help him sleep without coughing, and he seems to be doing better. He's coughing less, anyway. We've spent almost a week watching cartoons in our jammies with the couch full of bedding. We've painted toe nails and colored a lot. I made cookies the other day with him just to get him up.
   About the middle of the week we needed to go to the store, and he begged to stop at the playground on the way, so I let him play himself out. He's RAN for 2 hours. Up and down the equipment, on the swings, just playing so hard. I feel bad because I know he hates being cooped up and being sick has meant staying indoors, so I let him just play. He was exhausted, and it seemed to make his coughing worse. I was hoping the fresh air would be good for him. No dice. So now we know, I shouldn't give in and let him play outdoors like a maniac when he's sick. I know it seems like common sense, but I really did think that maybe the fresh air would help, and he was so desperate to play. I kind of feel like a crummy mom.
   I'm feeling BIG. I couldn't button my usually oversized saggy cardigan today. I love big round pregnant bellies. I don't just look bloated. I look all pregnant and adorable. I just wish my skin would chill the hell out. There is no reason for it to break out as if I smear Country Crock on it twice a day. Overall I'm liking the way I look right now, though, which is nice. I like being confident in my appearance. I think liking myself also sets a good example for Cooper. I want him to like himself and know that it's not only ok, but GOOD to be self-confident.
   I was reading some current events and there are two that kind of got to me, on completely different levels for totally different reasons. One being Justin Bieber and the Anne Frank guest book. Ok, so while I DO think what he wrote was self-serving, immature, and disrespectful, I don't think he should be bashed to the level that he's being. I hate his music and think he's a ridiculous public figure, but not for being basically a young man. He did something that is so classically young, stupid behavior, I can't really judge him. He was egocentric, tactless, and thoughtless, but I don't think he was intentionally being any of those negative things. I think he's just a young kid that put his foot in his mouth. It was stupid, but honestly, not unreasonable.
   The second thing is the Boston Marathon explosions. My heart goes out to the victims. I hope they figure out the cause, and every bit of me hopes it was a freak accident, and not some bomb. Either way, it was tragic and horrific, and I wish the survivors speedy recoveries and the families of the deceased all the strength to carry on as best they can.
   I'm off to watch Samurai Jack with Cooper. I want to enjoy every moment of his innocence. I hope nothing that terrible ever touches close to home.

Friday, April 5, 2013


   I have been soooo good. I've met and exceeded my nutritional goals all week, I've picked healthier options even when I really, REALLY wanted to eat nothing but buttered peas and toast with jam. Tonight Brandon and Cooper can have leftovers for dinner if they are so inclined. I myself and frying up a big batch of carnival-style scones with raspberry honey butter. I'm going to eat one bigger than my head, and if I'm still hungry, I'll eat another. I don't even care right now. My midwife appointment went fabulously, I'm healthy, baby is healthy, and we're right on track. I get to have one night where instead of a meal, I'm eating dessert. Deep fried, golden brown, crisp on the outside, fluffy and bready and soft on the inside, dripping with sticky golden honey butter dessert goodness.
   Tonight, yeah, it's going to be a good night.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Today is a much better day.

   We all got some much needed sleep, and are in top form. It's nice. Cooper is being his usual, fun-loving, mellow self. Now that it's warming up we're spending a lot of time outside. He is my little sunshine boy. He would much rather be outside in the sun and the dirt than indoors watching TV. He's already getting a little tan, and I'm going to have to start sun-blocking him like crazy more than once a day here pretty soon.
   He's such a funny little thing. He loves to be helpful. He wants to help do dishes and laundry and pick up the living room. It makes him feel good to be helping me. We high-five a lot, and turn the music up really loud and dance and do productive things, and then we go outside and have a snack and he rides his bike all over the place. Some days are hard. Some days are really hard. some days being a parent is like running the gauntlet of madness. The majority of days make up for it a million fold, though. I love my little goon. My little sunshine baby.
   Baby 2 is getting big. I can feel a lot more movement, and it's awesome. It seems like time is slowing down the closer I get to being done. I'm 15 weeks away from my due date and Brandon's birthday, and I'm just starting to get hit with reality, that we're having another baby, and that it's approaching rapidly. The more reality creeps in, the slower the days go, as if to say, "Oh, you are getting really excited and anxious? Let's see how long you can survive these feelings as their intensity increases before your head explodes."
   Today has been a burning curiosity day, too. I want to meet this baby and find out if it's a boy or a girl, get to know them, watch them figure out how to be a person, watch their personality grow every day. I want both of my children to know how very much I love them and watching them become whoever they turn out to be. I hope they know that.
   I think I'm starting too many projects lately. I need to s    l    o    w        d    o    w    n. I've picked two to focus on. The cloth diapers, and our garden. Brandon is really excited, and told me yesterday that he's already budgeted in everything we need for a big container garden this year. I'm really excited. Saturday we're going to the street market downtown and I'm going to start getting local plants. I want at least 4 types of heirloom tomatoes, 2 types of strawberries, 3 types of peppers, my usual 8-10 herbs, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, peas, and maybe blueberries. I was also thinking about doing onions and garlic this year. Who knows. It depends on how ambitious I'm feeling as far as how big the garden gets this year. I might even grow more things if possible.
   I think everyone should grow things at some point. Especially produce. There is something so rewarding about making things grow and getting to eat a warm tomato picked fresh or juicy strawberries still dewey from being watered. I think Cooper is really going to like helping. We're going to get him a little Cars gardening set with a "gas can" watering can, a pair of little gloves, and a trowel. I'll teach him how to prune and care for one of the plants that will just be his. I'm thinking a tomato plant, since he LOVES tomatoes, and they are pretty easy to take care of. He'll like that.
   Cooper's napping, so I'm going to hop in a shower while I can.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Today is one of the tougher ones.

   I'm 25 weeks pregnant. I'm getting round, and gaining weight, and it's starting to get more noticeable in my daily life. I can't bend as well, I'm short of breath more frequently, I'm tired all the time, and between the hormones and the lack of sleep lately I'm also pretty cranky.
   Yesterday was fantastic. Cooper had so much fun. All the other kids there were a fair bit older than him, but he had a good time anyway. He primarily hung out with his older aunts and cousins anyway. I'm talking the ones in high school or college. Jojo is his favorite person on the planet right now. He followed her around off and on all day in between activities. It was pretty cute. The party was fun. There wasn't a whole lot of non-dairy foods, so I was pretty hungry by the end, but Cooper loved it, and it was a blast watching him run and play and learn and get to experience the holiday fresh. He doesn't remember his first two Easters.
   My family has a tradition for the egg hunt every year, called the booby egg. Basically, there are all the bright, pretty, candy-filled eggs for the hunt, and then there is one REALLY ugly hard-boiled egg. It's dyed to be as ugly and gross looking as possible. It's always the hardest egg to find, and some years it takes HOURS before some clever little kid unearths it's hiding spot. The person who does, gets a bunch of money. Since Cooper was the very youngest by a few years, he didn't even really understand the egg hunt. Instead of running around getting as many as he could, he was fixated on meticulously getting every egg that the faster kids had missed, and he opened them to find out their contents before putting them in his little bag. Of the nearly 500 eggs between 12 kids, he maybe got 25. But he got all the ones hidden in the trees that the other kids bolted past, all the ones tucked away in the flower beds or nestled in bushes. Once all the plastic eggs had been found, the hunt for the booby egg began, and all the bigger kids started searching high and low.
   I told Cooper there were no more eggs to find, and that we should go play a game, and we started the walk around the VERY LARGE (about the size of my house) koi pond that had 7 or 8 HUGE koi fish. It was so big it was also stocked with crappie, and a bunch of the older kids and their parents were catch-and-release fishing earlier in the day, and catching craw dads. As we were walking around the pond, Cooper saw a pole that was still in the water. All the other had been packed up, and this one was still out in the water, unattended. Cooper LOVES fishing, and got so excited. We didn't bring his fishing pole because we didn't know there was going to be any fishing, so he didn't get to fish earlier. It was my uncle's pole, so I hollered up that Cooper wanted to fish, and asked if I could help him use Marshall's pole. He got a huge grin and he and my uncle Seth both hollered back to let him fish. So I did. I held the pole steady since it was much bigger than Cooper's little pole, and he reeled it in and was just tickled that he would get to cast it and catch some fish.
   As he's reeling there is something silver on the end of the line, and I laughed and told him, "Look, baby! You caught a can! That's good. The fish don't like trash in their pond." Yeah. It wasn't a can. They had put the booby egg in a sandwich bag, then sealed it with duct tape, and put it at the end of the line, in the water. So Cooper found the booby egg. The bigger kids were PISSED, and kept trying to get him to give it to them, and kept asking me, "What is a baby going to do with all that money? You're his mom. You can tell him to give it to one of us." He just kept saying no, and went back to fishing. Meanwhile all the adults emptied their pockets of change and small bills into the pot as per tradition. Cooper made $24.09. I'm going to round it up to $25 and take him to get something special when we're in Boise on Thursday. Maybe I'll let him take it with him to his grandma's so she can take him to pick something out. Whatever he wants to do, really. It's his money. Little squirt found it fair and square.
   After the party, Cooper was supposed to stay the night at my mom's, but she called around 9 and asked if she could bring him home, because he was homesick. After spending a few nights with dad and Jo he wanted to be home with us. I got on the phone and talked to him and he was so sad. He said he wanted to come home and wake up with momma and have dinner at the table and sleep in his bed. He was crying. So I told him he's ALWAYS allowed to come home, and to get his shoes on so grandma can bring him back. He wasn't eating at my mom's because he was so upset, so she picked up McDonalds on the way and we all had dinner when they got home. He was so happy to be home. He kept saying, "I missed you, momma! So bad!" I kept telling him he can always come home no matter what, because we loved and missed him, too. That seemed to make him feel better. He stayed up until after midnight watching movies with us in our bed. Then Brandon and I stayed up. And then Brandon couldn't sleep so I woke up to help him relax and got him the Tylenol for his broken tooth. And then this morning I got up, found his work stuff, and made his lunch. I'm tired and cranky today. It's been a lonnnggg day. One of those days where I have to remind myself to take a deep breath and not be a grouch.
   I'm thinking I'm going to hit the hay early tonight. I need it.