Thursday, October 10, 2013

Oh Tyler

So, I was reading a Reddit post asking guys what they thought the most annoying thing about being a girl is.  There were the obvious things: periods, having to look good all the time, hair care, makeup, etc.  But, a surprising number of guys said that they wouldn't like being so physically weak.  A few of them said that they got really freaked out when they discovered just how much stronger they were than their girlfriends/SOs.  Like they were wrestling and they realized that they were using 50% of their strength and easily overpowering the girls' 100%.  The guys went on to say that they'd be afraid of all these strong men who could easily kill them.

I told Tyler because I thought that was interesting.  I've never really dwelt on the fact that I'm physically weak because there's nothing I can do about it.  You can't think too much about how 50% of the population could rape you and then kill you without breaking a sweat or else you'd be paralyzed with fear.

Moving on to the punchline:  Tyler said he didn't think he was that much stronger than me (says the guy who can jump our back fence in a single leap.  If we had a fence that was proportional to my size, it wouldn't be pretty if I tried to get over it.  Also, he ran a half-marathon WITHOUT TRAINING.  I had to train for 5 months before I was even remotely ready.).I suggested we wrestle for real to see how much stronger he was than me, and that I would give it everything I had.

"Why?" he asks.  "Like, if you were in a dark alley or something and a girl jumped on you and was trying to rape you, and you'd have to fight them off."

"Why would I ever want to fight off a girl who's trying to have sex with me?" 

By the way, he pinned me easily.  I'm not sure if I'm glad that he proved my point, or freaked out that he proved my point; he really IS much MUCH stronger than me.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

For one minute

So, I accepted a long time ago that I wasn't ever going to have an A+-all-the-time-clean house.  In order to do this, you need to either have no children or really like cleaning.  I am the opposite of both those things.  One time, I asked my neighbor, who, at the time, had 4 children and a SPOTLESS-ALL-THE-TIME house how she kept it clean.  She told me she found cleaning relaxing and really enjoyed it.  This does not compute.

When my kids go to bed, I don't want to spend an hour cleaning up and putting my house aright.  I don't want to spend 10 minutes doing it.  I want to sit down and and read a book and not have to answer any more demands or have anyone touch me for like 2 hours.  And then I want to go to sleep.

During the day, I can think of about 50,000 things that I'd rather do than clean.  I got used to the idea that I would have a B- house that I'd clean up for company.  Maybe.

I went to a kid-free (except I brought my baby) get-together last night at a friend's house and her house was spotless.  She also has 4 kids and her husband is in medical school, so probably he's not doing a whole lot of cleaning.  SPOT. LESS.

I thought, "I wonder if I could get my whole entire house clean at one time.  Even for just one minute."

The house was pretty bad because I spent all day yesterday doing this:

and generally ignoring my children while they trashed my house, but I decided that I didn't care how long it took, I was going to get my entire house clean for one minute.

I cleaned all morning and got the whole upstairs in pristine order.  I took a break to watch the afternoon session of conference and then went upstairs for something and saw that my kids had attacked.  I almost cried.  Instead, I freaked out at the kids and then called my mom.

Two hours later, my whole house is clean.  Except the floors, I didn't sweep or mop... but they're mostly clean.  Mostly.

So, if I can keep the kids outside for the rest of the evening and then put them to bed, we might set a record for at least 10 hours.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Things on my mind at this moment in time

In no particular order

*I'm really glad Evie takes a pacifier.  I think it's cut down on her crying by at least 60%.  Now, if I could just figure out how to get her to go to bed at from 7 to 7 like a normal baby instead of this college co-ed 12 to 12 business, that would be gravy.

*You guys: Lillian's at school and all three of the other kids are sleeping.  I know, it's miracle nap time, so I'm taking this opportunity to write this instead of doing my chores.

*I'm having a quarter-life crisis, I think. Before now, the only people who were my age who were accomplishing things of note were Olympic athletes and child geniuses.  I think we can all agree that the people that make up those two groups are not normal; they are exceptional by birth.  I'm not all that exceptional, so I didn't have to be jealous.  BUT, now, normal people MY AGE are writing books of note, conducting groundbreaking research, starting their own companies, inventing things, making documentaries, presenting at conferences, and all sorts of other things that I'm not doing.

I get that I spent all the time that those other people spent working on their business plans and/or research birthing children and making peanut butter sandwiches.  And, believe me, if I didn't think that birthing and raising decent human beings was a worth-while way to spend my time, I wouldn't have done it four times over.

The kicker is that I haven't been thinking, "I have this awesome business/book/company idea that I'm TOTALLY going to do when my kids are older."  I've mostly just been drowning in cheerios and morning sickness.  This is what makes it a quarter-life crisis: I have no idea where to go from here.  My tentative plan was to go to nurse practitioner school, which I realize I could still do, but do I really WANT to do that?  I don't know.

*I started reading The Happiness Project and the author mentions her One Minute Rule for keeping her house organized- if the task will take less than one minute, do it right now.  Put away the pen, close the cabinet, put the bowl in the dishwasher, file that immunization card, put your makeup back in the bag instead of leaving it out, etc.  I've been trying to do this, and I've found that I'm spending a lot more of my day cleaning.  Up side: I have a cleaner house which puts me in a better mood.  Down side: I spend more time cleaning which puts me in a bad mood.

*We're going to California in a few weeks, and I'm beyond excited about it.

*I got the movie Mongol from the library on my sister Anne's recommendation, and I need to watch it.  I really liked Temple Grandin, her last recommendation.

*I thought it was hilarious when I figured out why Ethan was telling everyone at the grocery store that Evie really likes nickles.  Someone, it might have been me I'm not sure, gave Ethan an anatomy lesson specifically about breastfeeding.  I laughed until my eyes watered.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Target FAIL

I decided to take all 4 kids to Target to do Lillian's back-to-school shopping and get a few miscellaneous items like light bulbs and C batteries.  I fed all the kids; they all went to the bathroom; I fed the baby; I changed her diaper; I had a water bottle (a must for Arizona); I had extra diapers, wipes, and an extra onesie; I had emergency granola bars; I made a list and I stuck a pen in my hair so Lillian could check off the items and (hopefully) not bother her siblings.  Target is about 20 minutes away, so if Evie has to eat every 2 hours, we have a little over an hour to get this all done and get back home before I have to feed her.  I would be like the Delta Strike Force.  In and out.  No messing around.  I expected it to go very poorly.

The actual shopping went as good as could be expected: of course Lillian took freaking forever to pick out a present for her friend's birthday and Ethan announced he had to go poo when we were on the exact opposite side of the store.  I don't know what his deal is, but he takes like 20 minutes to do his business and announces multiple times that he's finished, but then quickly recants.  "I'm done!" I open the door.  "I'm not done! Go away!" Repeat at least 4 times.  The girls were less than thrilled to be stuck in the bathroom for 20 minutes and told me so.  A few times.

You know how you can feel when it starts falling apart?  Evie started screaming when I was looking for the light bulbs.  Ethan was climbing like the uncoordinated monkey he is, winning me disapproving tuts from passersby.  Nora ran off to look at the headbands.  Lillian was unsuccessfully trying to mother the other two kids and it was giving her anxiety and making her freak out, plus the other kids don't like being mothered by her so they were freaking out.

We got to the checkout and I was mentally stabbing the man who ran to shimmy his way in front of me in line while bouncing the screaming Evie (a-RAH a-RAH a-RAH) and yelling at Ethan to get down for heaven's sake.  I threw our items on the conveyor and the checker, sensing the urgency of the situation, began scanning like a madman.  I reached into my purse to get my wallet and found only extra diapers, wipes, and the extra onesie.  No wallet.

Then I remembered I had taken it out to get the number for the credit card customer service and put it on the table.

I maybe screamed a little.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What a difference a pill makes

A friend stopped by to see the baby.  As he was holding her he asked, "So, is she totally your favorite right now?"  Bizarrely, for me, I could answer yes!  She is!

When my other babies were infants, I felt like I was stuck in a babysitting job that never ended... and that's all I felt.  Other moms talked about this magic bonding love that exploded inside of them when they saw their infants for the first time.  My first thoughts were much like Bill Cosby- "I just gave birth to a lizard."

With Lillian, I attributed my lukewarm attitude to the fact that I was sailing in uncharted waters, largely alone.  I lived away from my family and Tyler and I were the only people in our group of friends to be married, let alone have a kid.  Tyler was working to finish his degrees and was gone a lot.  Then it was just me and the kid.  All. Day. Long.  Very lonely, who wouldn't be a little depressed?

With Nora, I attributed it to the fact that I was, once again, very alone.  We had moved to Arizona in the middle of my pregnancy and I didn't have very many friends by the time that she came along.  Plus, she cried a lot.  A lot.  Who wouldn't feel a little ground down by a baby that won't stop crying, especially when you have a total of 3 friends... none of whom you know very well.

With both of those kids, I mostly just hid and cried and cried some more and then it got better and I decided that I loved them with that heart-exploding love that everyone talked about.  Then we had Ethan.

Nora was only 19 months old when Ethan was born.  It was summer, which is my darkest time of year anyway.  Tyler's company was laying off people left and right, which was stressful.  I had just decided to go back to school to finish my degree and started online classes a few weeks before he was born.  The stress and hormones outstripped my coping abilities.  I sunk into full-blown post-partum depression.  Tyler suggested that I call the doctor and I cried for two days just thinking about it.  I never thought about hurting my kids, and I wasn't afraid that they would come take my kids away, I was mostly afraid of admitting a weakness.

In Mormon theology, gender is an inseparable part of one's identity and I was raised to believe that I was a mother by design and that the bearing of children is part of my eternal calling.  To aid me in this calling, I was endowed with all the attributes I would need to be successful... and here I was, failing.  I felt like I was defective.  I cried and cried.

Eventually, I called the doctor and started on an anti-depressant.  The nature of the pills is that they take about two weeks before they start working, and I was amazed at how much better I felt.  It was magical.  I all of a sudden could handle the stress.  I loved my baby.  I could think clearly.

This time around, I asked for a prescription when I left the hospital.  The past few days, the blues were starting to creep in, but now, after taking the medication for two weeks, I'm feeling much better.  And I get it now: I can sit and look at Evelyn for hours while she is sleeping and I feel like my heart is going to burst.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Birth Story

So, I was getting ready to leave church on Sunday.  I stopped in the hall and chatted with a friend who had said he wanted to swing by sometime in the week.  "Oh sure! I don't have ANY plans this week... unless, you know, I go into labor..."

And at that very second, my water broke.

No kidding.

It started out as a slow trickle so it wasn't as embarrassing as it could have been, and I went outside and waited by the car while my friend went and found Tyler and the kids.  Estimated time: 4:10 pm.

I wasn't in labor so we headed home, changed, I ate a little dinner, took the kids over to a neighbor's house and then headed up to the hospital.

The decision was made that if I didn't "convert" into labor on my own (spoiler: I didn't), we would start pitocin.  Yeah, I'm getting an epidural for that.  I was 3 cm.

We got into our room and the anesthesiologist came so quickly, I didn't even have an IV in yet, so he started one, got called away to the emergency room for a bit, then came back and put in the epidural.  Estimated time 9 pm.

Pitocin was started and it took about 45 minutes for the contractions to start coming... and I could feel them. And they hurt.  A lot.

I told the nurse and she got the anesthesiologist to come back lickedy split.  He decided to change around the medications in my epidural and if that didn't work, he'd put in a new one.  I agreed to give it about 20 minutes to see if it would work.  Estimated time: 9:45.

I think I gave him about 5.  Not working.  He came back with his attending and when he pulled out the first epidural, he saw that it was kinked.  He put a new one in and I could immediately feel it start to work.  Sweet.  Well, I had a small spot on my left side, probably the size of a 50-cent piece, that I could still feel.  The doc said that it was probably because I had some scar tissue from my previous epidurals and he probably couldn't fix it.  I thought it was annoying but if that's how it is, that's how it is.  The nurse checked me and I was still 3 cm.  Estimated time: 11 pm.

Very soon, I realized that the small spot on my left was getting bigger and bigger.  Then it was my whole left side.  Then, I started to wonder if the epidural was working anywhere.  My legs, however, were numb and paralyzed so I couldn't move to writhe around with the pain, which was very claustrophobic-inducing.

The pain was off the chart.  Sometimes the contractions came every 3 minutes, but sometimes they came faster and I yelled and cursed the universe when this happened.  I said, "I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS ANYMORE," and my nurse would calmly reply, "honey, you don't have a choice."  I didn't feel an urge to push, but the pain was different.  Not less, just different so the nurse checked and I was 10 cm.  Estimated time: 12:15 am.

The doctor was called, the bed converted and the pushing started.  I cannot believe how painful it was.  I pushed through 2 contractions and her head was out.  Then, at the start of the next contraction, through a white wall of pain, the nurse's face swam up next to mine and yelled for me to stop pushing.  Then, all of a sudden, there was a pop and an explosion of pain.  I had been yelling up to that point.  Yelling loudly, but I think it was just yelling.  However, with that pop, I screamed in pain.  The baby's shoulder had gotten stuck behind my pelvis and the doctor had popped it out.

Two or three more pushes and the baby was out.  Exact time: 12:31.  You can see because she came so fast, her head is really round.

I was having an after-contraction when Tyler told me to smile for this picture.

She didn't like that bright light in her face.

I stayed awake for approximately 20 minutes, enough time for everyone to finish up their fussing over me, and then I passed out.

Not my favorite birth experience, and I don't feel any stronger or better for doing it somewhat naturally.  I'm just glad she's here and perfect.

Welcome to our family Evelyn Claire.  You'll like it here.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Same old, same old

38 weeks 1 day

Here's a list of things that have not worked in starting labor:

  1. Measuring at full term (for those who have not had children, the doctor measures your belly and how many cm it is roughly corresponds to how many weeks pregnant you are.  Thus, my belly is 2 cm too big).  I feel like measuring 40 cm should give you a free pass to labor and delivery.  It doesn't.
  2. Walking.  I've walked and walked and walked.  I read in "Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?" that walking does not speed the onset of labor, but I thought it might at least serve to wedge the baby down into my pelvis... or something.  It would appear that this is not so.  Also, it's like 95 degrees outside at 7:30 in the morning, when I go for walks sometimes, and upwards of 108 during the day, so I've also been doing a lot of sweating.  Which brings us to number 3:
  3. Dehydration.  In the afore mentioned book, the author mentions that a dangerous way to start labor is to dehydrate yourself which would concentrate the oxytocin in your blood, theoretically starting labor. Although I'm not doing it on purpose, I'm probably perpetually dehydrated given the amount of sweating I've been doing and the fact that I can drink and drink and drink and not pee any more than usual.
  4. Drinking raspberry leaf tea.  This, on it's own, is not supposed to induce labor, but it's supposed to tone your uterus, making your contractions more efficient.  Since I've been in labor for 4 months, I thought it might help move things along and then I could do like I did with Ethan and just show up at the hospital 4 cm dilated and having contractions and convince them that I was in labor.  However, I am not dilating like I did with Ethan and, at last check, was only a piddly 2 cm.  I may have started crying, or yelling, or both when they told me that.
  5. Drinking black cohosh.  This did give me more forceful contractions with a higher frequency... for about two hours, then I fell asleep watching TV.
  6. Having Tyler massage my feet with some supposed labor-inducing essential oils given to me by my neighbor.  Perhaps one needs to have more faith in accupressure for this to work.  But, hey, I got a nice foot rub out of it.
  7. Heavy lifting.  I've been telling my kids for the past 8.75 months that I can't carry them up the stairs because I have a max carrying capacity of one child.  No more- I've been carrying them with reckless abandon for the past week or so.  Nothing.
  8. Uh... the thing that got us into this situation in the first place.  Nope.
  9. Making and eating a spicy curry.  It actually wasn't that spicy.  This only served to cause my children to cry tears of joy because it was so delicious and they wanted to eat thirds, but I wouldn't let them.  (That's a lie. They hated it.  Nora told me that she didn't want to eat it because it had worms(?) in it.)
I don't want any other suggestions, AND DON'T TELL ME TO TAKE CASTOR OIL, I WON'T DO IT. I just want to have this kid and be done with pregnancy forever.

In Lillian's nighttime prayer the other day, she prayed that "mom can have the baby so that she can be in a good mood."

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mostly miserable

My mom is letting me borrow these little reader books for Nora.  I learned how to read from these things and I remember them very fondly.  My mom was, at first, very hesitant to let me have them because they are out of print and IRREPLACEABLE, but I pulled out the sucker-punch "it's for your grandkids!" line and she relented.

Nora loves them as well, which warms my heart.  The books have an adult page and a child page, and sometimes Lillian will sit with her and read "little words" (as in small type) and Nora will read the "big words."  It's super cute... for like 10 seconds until they start arguing because Nora isn't reading the words exactly right or Lillian isn't singing the songs or doing the voices the way I do.

Other than that, I mostly just sit around, being in labor but not actual labor which makes me very cranky.  I try to tell myself that every contraction (which I have all day long every day) brings me closer to delivery; like every pregnancy has a finite number of contractions needed to push the baby out, and instead of being in labor for 3 days like I was with Lillian (which was the only kid of mine where I didn't have this 4-month long labor thing), I can just be in regular labor for 8 or so hours.

At least that's what I tell myself to keep me from going insane.  Oh, did I mention that I am still nauseated?  Yeah, so there's that, too.

 Also, I'm bigger now than I was with any of the other kids, as evidenced by the fact that I have grown out of all but ONE pair of shorts and most of my shirts.  Also, it's a million degrees here.  Unless I have to leave the house, I can be found wearing one of Tyler's t-shirts and just underwear.  I went to book club last night and Lillian advised me that I better put pants on before leaving, "because THAT would be embarrassing" if I went in my standard pants-less uniform.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Suzy's Drop Cookies

I've tasted several versions of these cookies but they are never as good as our family recipe.  Instead of flaky or crumbly or not chocolaty enough, this recipe makes cookies that are moist and chewy with just the right balance of chocolate and peanut butter.

The only catch is that these have a excellence half life of about 24 hours and their quality seriously begins to deteriorate off after 48.

Because I'm all about safety, I let my kids sit on the counter and stir.  Nora thinks it's awesome that I'm taking her picture.

You have to have the peanut butter and oats all measured out before you start or else the chocolate and butter will overcook.

After you dollop them onto your tin foil or parchment paper or whatever, you have to poke them every time you walk past and then eat 4 as soon as they are firm enough to pick up.

Or maybe that's just how I do it.

Suzy's Drop Cookies

 1/2 C milk
1/2 C butter
2 C sugar
1/4 C cocoa

3/4 C peanut butter
1 t vanilla
3 C oats

Combine milk, butter, sugar, and cocoa in a sauce pot.  Bring to a boil.  BOIL FOR EXACTLY 1 MINUTE (this is the key to great cookies).
Remove the pot from the heat and add in the rest of the ingredients.  Stir to combine then drop by spoonfuls  onto tin foil or parchment paper.

Depending on the size of your spoonfuls, you get between 1-2 dozen.

Thursday, June 06, 2013


Lillian likes the idea of playing soccer- she likes running around on the field while the other kids move the ball around.  We kept yelling at her, "LILLIAN! GET THE BALL!" and "LILLIAN KICK IT!"  It was never much help.  Finally, Tyler took her aside and asked her if she knew what "be aggressive" meant.  She said no.

"Being aggressive in soccer means that you get to ignore every rule that you learned in school: you don't have to wait your turn, you don't have to ask permission, you don't have to share, you can steal the ball from other players, you can be in someone else's space, and you can cut in front of people."

With each new instruction, her eyes got bigger and bigger, but she was pumped to get back in the game and try it out.  And she did! She stole the ball and dribbled it for a little bit until she lost it.  In two seasons of soccer, that was a first.

The whole ride home, she gushed about how impolite she was and how she ran up to that kid and STOLE the ball.  But, it seems like she can't completely turn her back on her old ways because she quietly admitted to me that when she took it, she said thank you in her head.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Never Trust Them

For today's installment in our Summer Fun series, we made cloud dough.  Eight cups of flour and 1 cup of oil.  I keep my flour in that bucket.  The instructions said you could use any kind of oil and I probably would have used canola if I didn't have this thing of baby oil under my cabinet. I've had this since Lillian was a baby and haven't used it until today because, frankly, I have no idea what baby oil is supposed to be for.  Are you supposed to rub it into their skin? Because I feel like that would just make them oily.  Baby oil, Q-tips, and cotton balls, when it comes to baby hygiene, are all mysteries to me.

The consistency of the dough is like fluffy wet sand, except not wet.  The kids had fun playing bakery and making cakes, and then pretending like they had kids of their own who needed cakes.  It got pretty involved: naming their kids, what age they are, what kind of cakes they like, etc.

Ethan liked it, but he wasn't that good at pushing the dough into the cups to make shapes.

We played for 20-ish minutes and then I decided I could slip away and fold a load of laundry.  The kids were playing really appropriately and not throwing it or eating it.  I told them to try to keep it on their pans.

I'm going to go ahead and blame the pregnancy for the not nice words that came out of my mouth when I came downstairs like 15 minutes later.  These shots don't really capture the carnage... but they managed to get it everywhere.  Also, it appeared that Ethan took a break from playing at the table and wiped his floury hands over every surface of the house.  I was mostly mad at myself.  "ROOKIE MISTAKE," I shouted at myself over and over again.

Why did I trust them? Never trust them.

Ethan looks at things

Monday, June 03, 2013

Bunk Beds

The girls have shared a room since Ethan was born, but these beds were just two twins.

As part of our Summer To-Do List, Lillian wanted to make them into bunk beds.

Pro tip: do not try to assemble bunk beds by yourself while 7 months pregnant.

We also painted our loft which has been half-painted for... a while.  The tape and sheeting were left up for a day or two while we were putting up a few coats and I found this little guy is a bark scorpion which the bug guy said that he sprayed for.  Blech, I hate scorpions.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


I purchased an ebook with simple summer activities from the girl who does NoTimeForFlashcards plus some other cutsie-pie crafty moms.  I picked out all the activities that I wanted to do and went to ACE Hardware to purchase supplies for all of them, so I would be all ready.

We tried out our first one today: making a waterwall.  The original idea was to nail the bottles to your fence, I used zip ties.

Pros: 1. Cheap- I paid about $4 for a pack of 100 zip ties.

2. Age appropriate for all 3 kids.

3. Doesn't "waste" water as you can re-use it over and over again.

Cons: 1. Children cannot help construct what with the using a utility knife to cut the plastic, so they got bored and started fighting.

2. Only one child can use at a time...


 So the other kids might find it really boring and look like this:

3. The kids only played with it for about 20 minutes, then they got too hot and went inside.
Related Posts with Thumbnails