So this is what I get?

You know what’s hard?

Checking out cute guys in kilts.

When you’re pregnant.

When you’re holding the hand of a two year old.

When you run by later trying not to pee your pants while cursing the recreation department for putting the bathrooms so far from the playground.

You know what’s hard?

Trying not to flirt with the incredible cute cashier with a British accent.

When you’re pregnant.

When you have a four year old and two year old dancing around you and trying to pull out the moving counter for wheel chair check writers.

When your husband is waiting at the end of the line for you.

Someone is mocking me.

Bringing Home Baby . . . #2

Want to blow your kid’s world away?

Bring home a sibling.

Nothing changes the family dynamics like a new little brother or sister.  And everyone has heard the horror stories of the older sibling who now hates mommy and daddy because of that thing.  A friend of mine told me her son didn’t speak to her for three days.  When my baby brother was born, my grandma refused to tell me it was a boy in fear that I would turn my wrath towards her.  (I just refused to learn his name for six months or so.)  As we neared d-day of Tornado S, The Husband and I worried what Tornado E would do and tried to prepare.

First off, Tornado E was just under two.  Do you know that two-year-olds don’t have a very good grasp of gentle?  My first attempt of paving the way to a non-only-child-household was to buy Tornado E a baby doll to teach him gentle.  Tornado E loved Bobby and readily practiced gentle.

Second, I bought a Big Brother Gift.  Some experts say to have the gift be from the new baby; other experts say that your elder child(ren) will know a baby didn’t buy the gift so don’t insult the child(ren) with a lie.  Seeing The Husband has a hard enough time letting Santa have all the glory, we just had the gift come from us.

Third, I stalk piled small gifts for Tornado E just in case people brought only gifts for the baby.  Yeah, let’s start out an already rocky relationship with jealousy.  Lucky for us, we didn’t need one of those gifts because our friends were so generous with Tornado E.  The baby just got clothes; Tornado E got toys.  Sweet.  (I kept the gifts for birthday and Christmas.)

Fourth, we added Daddy time.  The Husband now made it a point to take Tornado E to the park or some small adventure every week, starting during the last trimester.  Tornado E was over the moon to go with just daddy.

Fifth, we made it a point to never say Tornado E couldn’t do something (like scream in the house during baby’s naptime) because of the baby.

Sixth, my mom came out for three weeks to help with the adjustment of Tornado S.  She came in the day Tornado S was born, staying the night with Tornado E, making it a special treat.  She let him help her decorate the house for the baby’s homecoming.  She let him pick out flowers for mommy and a gift for the baby.  She spent tons of time with him during those three weeks.

I’m not sure how we managed it really, but I waited for the other shoe to drop for months, waiting for Tornado E to start hating the baby, start hating me, start being angry and resentful.  But it never happened.  He adored Tornado S.  The birth announcements were a picture of Tornado E holding Tornado S, beaming with pride.  Tornado E didn’t begrudge Tornado S any time, any toy, any baby thing.

One day as I sat nursing Tornado S, Tornado E climbed on the couch next to me with Bobby.  He pulled up his shirt, cradled Bobby in his arms, and started nursing Bobby.  Yup, just like Mommy.  I turned to my mom.

Me: Um, what do you think?

My Mom: (Trying not to laugh too hard) We should get him a baby doll bottle.

Me: Especially before The Husband sees this.

Now we can only hope that bringing home baby #3 will be just as easy.

Friday Recap

  1. I don’t like it when people express surprise that my house is clean.
  2. Apparently when I’m worried and trying to think, I still pick my split ends like a fourteen year old.
  3. Tornado E will get sick once a month, but at least he’s learning to use a bowl.
  4. Nothing is more embarrassing than being pulled over with the boys in their seats and your parents in your car.
  5. Ok, having your mom trying to tell the cop your dad is a police officer while you’re talking to the cop is WAY more embarrassing.
  6. Tornado S has decided he’s ready to move up to R movies during DVD time.
  7. Stupid third trimester is making me nap and then I don’t have any time to read my favorite blogs.
  8. Apparently several moms with preschool children don’t go out on date nights with their husbands; I thought it was just me.
  9. My OB/GYN is starting to encourage us about picking out a name.
  10. My father in law still annoys the hell out of me, but at least the feeling’s mutual.

To cut or not to cut

(Note: This isn’t meant to change any one’s mind.  I think this issue is personal.  I really don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer.  This is just to say what happened in our family and why we decided what we did. )

We really believed Tornado E would be a girl.  The Husband was sure.  My mom was sure.  Heck, even my dad dreamed of a baby girl.  But somewhere in the third trimester, The Husband thought it would be prudent if we discussed circumcision.  Don’t you hate when your husband is right?

I had a lot of information under my belt.  I knew the religious, social, and cultural reasons for circumcision.  I even had to research the historical beginnings for several papers.  (In case you’re wondering, it began in ancient Egypt for boys at 12 to prove they bled into manhood like girls bled into womanhood.)  I even listened for several, several, several hours to a guy I knew who was against the whole thing.  He personally felt that because of his that his sex wasn’t nearly as good, but I’ll guarantee you that it didn’t ruin his sex life one bit.  In my sexpert research, many claimed that an uncircumcised man enjoyed sex better and so did his partner.  Unfortunately any girls I knew who could give me a personal account used condoms, which defeated the point.

The Husband had his own experiences.  He knew a guy who wasn’t circumcised.  After being married for a couple years, his wife made him get a circumcision because she thought his penis was gross.  It’s a painful procedure that lays a guy up longer than a vasectomy.  The sick part was his wife still divorced him less than a year after the procedure.

But I agreed that we should research it all.  We dove into it.  I taught The Husband how to search for qualified research.  For every article we found that supported circumcision, we found another against it.  Every time we decided we wouldn’t do it, we found evidence to change our mind.

The Husband: Well, read this one.

Me:  Hmm.  Yeah, but read this one.

The Husband: Hmmm.

Me: Would you be worried if he didn’t look like you?

The Husband: No, not all.  But what if girls don’t want to get near him because of it?

Me: Do we want him around girls that would take issue with his penis?

The Husband: No.  You’re right we don’t.

Me: This article says the foreskin is important for lubrication.

The Husband:  And this article says that circumcised men have a slightly lower chance of STDS.

Me: This sucks.

The Husband: Yes.  It does.

By the next OB/GYN appointment, we were both confused and still wondering what to do.

The Doc: So, any questions?

The Husband: Actually, we have one.

The Doc: (light up since we’re probably the only first time parents without questions) Yes?

The Husband: Fae and I have been debating circumcision, but everything we find just negates everything else.  We can’t see the difference.  What’s your opinion?

The Doc: Hmmm.  (He took a minute.)  It’s all a personal choice.  I don’t want to sway you.  But if you’re unsure, then the medical evidence does support that a male with a circumcised penis has a slightly less chance of getting an STD.  It’s so slight that if you didn’t want your son circumcised, I wouldn’t worry about it.  But if you wanted the extra evidence to make a decision, that’s the medical stance.

The Husband and I: Thank you.

As we left in the car, The Husband and I agreed that a slight less chance of STD was better than none.  Of course, my mom weighed in, saying she got my brothers circumcised because she didn’t know how she was going to teach and be sure a ten-year-old’s penis was clean.

So when Tornado E was born and in the hospital, I got to know the staff and rooms very well.  Including nursing in the circumcision room, which is scary with all its boards and straps.  I asked the nurses, who assured me that the babies were given pain medication, that the straps were tight but not uncomfortable, that the procedure was quick and nearly painless after the meds.  I was reassured.  Except Tornado E didn’t get his done in the hospital because of his meds.  I had to take him to the doctor’s office a few days after they took out his IV.

My mom and I arrived at the OB/GYN with Tornado E on a Friday for an appointment right before lunch.  I helped get Tornado E ready, and then they shooed me out of the room to wait with my mom.  A few minutes later the nurse came back with a screaming Tornado E.  A screaming, hurt Tornado E.  What did I do?  I let them hurt my baby!  I grabbed Tornado E from the nurse’s arms and started crying too.  My mom started crying because I was crying.

The nurse: Didn’t you give him any pain medication?

That woman is only alive today because I had Tornado E in my arms.  My mom and I shot her nasty looks.

My Mom: Well, it would have been nice if someone told a first time mom what she was suppose to do.

The nurse wisely and quickly left the room.  I cried and cried.

My Mom: Fae, you have to stop crying.  Tornado E won’t stop until you do.  We’ll go to the drug store, and I’ll run get him some Tylenol, and you can nurse him.  He’ll feel better with a full stomach.  It’ll be fine.  It’s over.

I nodded and eventually was able to compose myself.  We left, got the pain medication, and fed Tornado E in the parking lot.  My mom bought us a bag of chocolates because we needed it.

By the end of the weekend, I was sure I ruined Tornado E’s penis.  Monday I called in a panic because it was still bleeding a little.  The doctor insisted I came in and retaught me how to clean Tornado E up and assured me I was doing everything right.

Fast forward to Tornado S.  You would think I would have been against circumcision for the rest of my boys, right?  I honestly had forgotten all about Tornado E’s ordeal when Tornado S was born and I was asked what I wanted.  All I remembered was Tornado E had his for a medical reason, and it still worked for me.  They whisked Tornado S away and returned him 15 minutes later, a little fussy and wanting to eat.  Done.

The funny thing is Tornado E has a partial circ, and Tornado S has a full one.  And I’m sure I can prove that guy in college wrong about the pain and “flashbacks” that he was sure happened to many men.  Tornado E’s experience was traumatic, but the kid tugs on his penis all the time.  I can’t let him go nude or his hands are on his penis.  I don’t think he’ll have a hard time at all with the enjoyment of his penis.

So with this one, we’ll probably cut again.

For parents who are about to make this decision, I encourage you to make an informed decision, whichever way that takes you.  Anyone want to add why they did or did not?

Ray of Sunshine

I learned a lot about myself when I became a mother.  Actually I learned that I had a few gifts in more abundance than I thought.  I had more patience and energy than I ever thought I possessed.  I could roll with the punches with ease.  I could take deep breathes and channel some inner peace during the fights, cries, and whines.  I could be up most of the night and dance all day.  Sure there are days when I’m crashed or at the end of my rope, but they’re not every week or day like I assumed they would be before motherhood.  I thought I would take up smoking, have kids addicted to TV, and drink a few shots after I put the little demons to bed.  None of that has happened . . . yet.

So when I started to feel the darkness growing around me, pulling me into a life-sucking muck, I was pissed and scared.  I didn’t want to give up what I had.  I’ve been done those dark roads before, and I didn’t know how I could be a good mother while fighting to get out of bed, fighting to smile, fighting to move, fighting to feel.  And I told you all about it, and I was amazed by the outpour.  I wasn’t looking for comfort, just throwing a bottle out in the sea to know that I wrote it out, I spoke out those words, I still had a voice.

The good news is it’s been three weeks since I’ve felt depressed.  I don’t know what changed.  Sure I got out in the sun more, and I made sure I always added thankfulness to my prayers.  But I never did much exercise.  I never got around to going to church.  (Sleep or church; sleep or church; sleep or church; guess which won?)  Instead I kept my finger on the pulse.  I faked being normal.  Somehow my hormone levels must have balanced out.  I have my energy back.  I don’t feel sucked of life at the end of the day.  Granted, I’m tired as hell,  but I’m hugely pregnant, so I figured that’s the reason.

Thank you to all of you.  I’m still on guard for post partum.  My doctor is still keeping an eye on me.  But I’m glad I’m able to meet the rest of my pregnancy fully armed and ready to roll.

Learning of the week

  1. When pregnant and hungry, you never have the “right” food.
  2. When pregnant, Catholic, and hungry, on a Lenten Friday, you want fried chicken.
  3. Freely given Tornado S kisses are the best.
  4. Tornado E takes great pride in making his brother scream, “STOP IT BROTHER!” or just scream.
  5. Tornado S knows the letter b.  Booty, Bottom, Butt all start with B.
  6. My parents rock because they came over and cleaned my carpets and then they came over to replace the furniture.
  7. To f with A personality retired people, just get your trash cans out before anyone else does and switch the order (trash on left instead of right), the whole street will switch the order to match.  Reverse the next week.
  8. Sugar crystals take a f-ing looooong time to grow.
  9. I am unable to eyeball an equal division of six types of batter into sixteen cupcake cups.  Stupid Family Fun.  Stupid rainbow cupcakes.
  10. No store has wheat grass seeds in my town.  They so would in California.

Nesting: The Furniture Plans

I’m in my nesting phase.  It’s the only thing I can say when describing my habits of late.  And I don’t nest in one area.  I don’t just cook food, clean every little nook, or make the furniture sparkle.  I do a combination.  But I thought I would focus on one crazy aspect at a time.

I used to tell people we furnished a new room every other year.  But that’s not true.  We furnish when I’m pregnant.  In the last month or two.  And I drag someone around to do it.  Usually The Husband.  And it has to be the perfect furniture.  An investment.  I think The Husband hates when I shop for furniture.  It means a large dent in our savings.

We bought our last house a few months before conceiving Tornado E.  The Official Story is that our bed was ruined in the move, like my dresser, because it was from Ikea and some of their furniture was not meant to be moved or to last more than a couple of years.  The Truth (Because I love and trust you all and I’m damn proud) is we broke it.  Ah, the days before The Husband’s business became so stressful and before the boys came and made my life stressful.  The days when we had energy and weren’t wondering what would happen if one of us just happened to have a life insurance policy that was sizable.  Any ways, the fact was we were sleeping on a mattress and my dresser was just a small wire shelf unit.

When my parents came to visit us so my mom could go to my CA baby shower, they were horrified to find out their very pregnant daughter was still sleeping on a mattress on the floor.  They went out and bought us a bed frame.  Then my dad learned The Husband didn’t believe in box springs, so my dad went out and bought some wood to that we could use the bed frame.

It was then that I took it into my head that we needed a whole new bedroom set.  Sure, The Husband’s dresser, nightstand, and former bed matched, but I brought in a small bright blue shelf unit that I built and used for a nightstand and a former white dresser.  We had looked half-hearted before for a bedroom set.  But now I was nesting and NEEDED it NOW.  I dragged The Husband from store to store and ended up back at the first store in love with set.

I, I mean we.  We ordered a bed, two night stands, a dresser, and a chest of drawers (which was to be The Husband’s so he had last space for his pile of clothes and would need to use his drawers).  We had purchased our guest bed from the same store a few years before, so when they heard The Husband loved the guest bed mattress, they looked up the brand and type and ordered it for our new bed.  As we sat there, the sales person asked us an important question.

Sales: What size would you like this?

The Husband: California King.

He said it with such conviction that I actually believed he wanted one.  It wasn’t until our celebratory dinner (back in the days of money and childlessness when every occasion called for a celebratory dinner out) that I asked The Husband why he wanted a California King.

The Husband: Because they’re so big.

Me: You do realize that they cut off the width of a King and add it to the bottom to make it a California King.

The Husband’s jaw dropped.  Damn.

We got the bed and dressers two weeks before Tornado E came.  We got the night stands the day after Tornado E came.  Though The Husband looked around the room and said, “The furniture clashes with the wall paint.  We should have bought a different stain.”  Um, no, we paint the walls.

When I was pregnant with Tornado S, Tornado E needed a bed.  Since I was pregnant with a second child, a boy child, I was on the hunt for bunk beds.  I wanted something sturdy.  I wanted something with clean lines.  I wanted something that wasn’t easy to break.  I wanted something that would last until the boys were out of the house, like what my parents’ did.  I also decided I didn’t need more than bunk beds and two dressers with young boys.  I figured I could always match the stain for desks and such.

At first, I tried to drag The Husband with me on the weekends, since we couldn’t go out on weeknights with a toddler who needed dinner and bed at the same early time every night.  I think I got The Husband to enter one store.  Something about being dragged around nearly two years before just made him hard to convince to come with me.  Or maybe he was still thinking about the damage to the savings account I did the last time.

So Plan B.  I was blessed enough to have a great friend who was waiting for her Green Card.  (It took over a year and she was a Canadian citizen married to an American.  Screwy, right?)  So I picked up my friend, who had a great eye towards design and loved Tornado E, and we went off to tons of stores with Tornado E in tow to try out ladders.

After several days and stores, I found the set I wanted.  Sturdy, dark stain, clean lines.  The thing is put together that it takes at least two guys to put it all together.  When they came to set it up, four big guys came.  The sales person assured me the company had been around for decades and would probably have the same style of furniture or the stain when I was ready to buy more pieces.  I decided to bring The Husband in for a look before I purchased.  You know, because we’re married, it’s his kids and money.  I’m a thoughtful wife.

The Husband couldn’t come with me that weekend, but I showed him the brochure and the amount, getting the ok.  I decided I better buy it before I had Tornado S.

I went in that Monday with Tornado E on his monkey leash.  I didn’t bring my friend to entertain Tornado E because I figured it would be easy to buy.  The stores computers were down, so it took longer.  The sales people fed Tornado E red licorice and suckers to keep him occupied.  They gave me a large discount because of the wait and that I actually came twice with a toddler.  They gave me a delivery date a week before Tornado S was due.  Perfect.

Except Tornado S came early.  But at least I was out of the hospital.

Of course, The Husband flipped when he heard how much it all cost after I bought the set.  Because The Husband tunes out when I speak to him.  But hey, I did talk to him first.

As for this kid, I REALLY want to go buy some furniture.  We left our white leather, bachelor-years coaches with the old house as well as our bachelor-years table set with two chairs broken.  But we don’t have the money or the room for new furniture.  I guess I’ll wait until we move into a real house. At least, The Husband will be glad to protect the savings account from heirloom furniture.

What is in a name?

We have a little problem.  Six weeks and still no name.  Heck, we don’t have a final list.  But here are some suggestions and who suggested it.

Tornado E: Kevin

Our buddy J: Jeffrey (Can you guess what are buddy’s name is?)

My old college roommate: Liam (Though we have an L last name, so I wonder how it would sound.)

Tornado E: Lightening

The Friendly Giant: Seven (He’s been pushing this since Tornado E’s conception.)

The Husband: Tristan

Tornado E: Peasant

My dad: Doctor (Because it’s the easiest way to get a doctor in the family.)

The Friendly Giant: Jacoby

The Husband: Owen

My grandma: Philip (After her and her father)

Tornado E: Darth

Tornado E: Schmevan

Me: Collin, Cullen, Leland

Of course my roommate keeps texting and calling me to convince me on Liam.  She might have me hooked, though now The Husband, who used to like it, is balking.  As you notice we have a thing for 4 letter Gaelic names.   I’m big on knowing what a name means and fitting it to the child in some way.  But if we can’t figure this out in four weeks, I’m actually considering letting you all name the baby.

Third Trimester Beef

I’ve got a few more complaints about this pregnancy thing.  I’m in my third trimester, so I’m getting big, I’m getting smooshed, I’m getting squished.

Which Tornado S I was so big, that I was only comfortable in our wing-back chair because it made me sit up straight.  Once I was watching a movie with BFF and The Husband, and The Husband kept asking me to come over and sit with him because I would be more comfortable on our saggy leather coaches.  Finally, the BFF told him to look at me, I was fine where I was.  And I was.  It was the only way to breathe easy and allow digestion.

That’s another thing.  Digestion.  Not only does it take For. Ev. Er. I now have a tinier stomach.  Those two things are not good when one is trying to get some sleep.  Not good at all. When I was pregnant with Tornado E, I learned how not good it was and that you can actually have vomit come out your nose.

If laboring like a hugely, grotesque woman wasn’t bad enough, I do two things during pregnancy that I NEVER do at any other time.  I snore.  And I drool.  The Husband complains bitterly over my snoring.  But he has no room to talk.  His friends think I must be a saint because every one of them can tell stories of sharing a hotel room with The Husband and not being able to sleep, contemplating snuffing him out with a pillow.  My old roommates on the other hand will swear I never snore.  The drooling is plain embarrassing, especially in this pregnancy where I can’t sleep on my side.  The stupid drool pools on the corner of my mouth, drying there, creating a sore.

Now you can see why I feel so damn sexy.

Ally Camisole Maternity Set

Sexy Lace Flyaway Babydoll with G-String

Yeah, not so much.

Ten Things I Learned This Week

  1. Chocolate.  I need lots of it.  All I want is chocolate or ice cream.  I figure this is the last time I’ll ever not have to worry about my weight, so I’m indulging.
  2. I’m more competitive with my brothers than I thought I was.  I was so sure I grew out of competing with them when I was in college.  But all it took was my mom to beg us to get Farmville Farms so she can have more neighbors and my baby brother kicking my ass in points to make me want to play the damn game all the time.  Of course, I don’t have time for a new obsession.
  3. I apparently cut tomatoes “wrong.”  I didn’t know there was a right way.
  4. I apparently cube hard boiled eggs in a weird way too.  Isn’t it nice to have moms around to correct you?
  5. Pregnancy shirts show way too much cleavage, which is something I forget until I wear them again.  I get it.  I’ve got a nice rack.  The only reason to show it off is for guys to ogle.  They aren’t ogling a pregnant woman’s breasts.
  6. When I’m pregnant, food doesn’t get to my mouth all the time.  It lands on that big tummy or worse down the shirt with the low cut cleavage.  Do you know how annoying it is to have a popcorn kernel in your bra?
  7. My sons want to be the same Jedi.  The obscure Kit Fisto.  And he happens to have a green light saber, so they’re still fighting for it.
  8. Tornado E is afraid of sharks.  Hmmm.  But he knows exactly where the Jaws DVD is and brings it out to ask questions.  Sharks aren’t that big, Tornado E.  Sharks don’t eat people.  I don’t know why that shark is going to eat that woman.  Wait a few years, and we’ll watch it, and I’ll show you were it’s wrong.
  9. Tornado S has a bladder like a steal trap.  The kid doesn’t pee after a dry nap for an hour or two.
  10. When husbands become fathers to children who miss him and he misses them, he feels guilty for being away and brings them presents.  He’s no longer required to bring the wife something.  Not that I’m complaining, but some chocolate would have been nice.