What are you doing New Years?

on 30 December 2011

People keep asking me this.

I find myself looking at them quizzically because I'm pretty sure that I LOOK 9 and a half months pregnant.  What are they expecting me to say?  That I'm going out to PARTY?  Staying up DANCING?  What am I doing for New Years?

I am SLEEPING.

We're going to have a newborn in our house in a matter of DAYS.  It's going to be MONTHS before we get to sleep with any degree of predictability.  Chris and I have already divvied up the weekend, he gets a late lie in on Saturday morning and I get to lounge about in sleepy luxury on Sunday morning.

We're so NOT New Years people...Chris' theory is that the New Year will come whether we stay up to ring it in or not, and given the choice between staying up for an anticlimactic clock tick tocking over to midnight, or sleeping like normal human beings and waking up with any kind of energy and motivation to actually FACE the New Year, we choose the latter.

As it is, for all intents and purposes, our year is DONE.  The last of our holiday festivities (my Dad and Sister's birthdays) were celebrated yesterday.  I have to pay bills for the month, but otherwise we are DONE. 

Well, until the Girl decides to make her appearance. 

A Very Festive Recap

on 28 December 2011

Christmas was lovely.

Of course it was.  Amid all the other crap, amid exhaustion and frustration and discouragement, it would take a real Scrooge not to enjoy SOME aspect of Christmas.

So here's a quick recap.

We hosted Christmas Eve at our place again this year.  This has become my favorite tradition.  There was quite a bit of discussion in Burnstopia as just how this party should manifest itself this year.  I am, after all, GREAT with child.

For 10 years now, my sweet husband, has wanted a TRAY of chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A.  And for 10 years he has been DENIED.  I thought it could be fun, something whimsical to bring out his buried-deep inner child.  So I floated the idea of a "Nabs" party to my family.  They're all afraid of me at this point, I think, I may have had one too many meltdowns in the past month.  Anyway, they thought it was a great idea, so that's what we did.

What are Nabs, you may ask?

Nabs are what Chris' family calls finger foods or appetizers...not knife and fork food.  Stuff you can eat with your hands or a toothpick.  So that's what we did!  We had this huge tray of chicken nuggets (we are STILL eating nuggets) and bruschetta (my sister makes the BEST) and a meat and cheese tray (my family's been looking out for the emotional, pregnant, gestationally diabetic girl this season), a veggie tray, a fruit tray, meatballs, boursin cheese and spinach dip and fruit and some marinated veggies that turned out SO good!  And then there were the 5 different kinds of fingery desserts...mini cheesecakes and pecan tassies and 3 kinds of Christmas cookies.  And oh, everything was SO yummy and good.  And it was so fun to gather this group of people into our cozy apartment and eat and talk and laugh and tease. 

We opened the Grandma presents (this one is a tradition that's held over since my childhood, every Christmas eve we were allowed to open 1 present, the one from our Grandma), and then dispersed.  It was so fun, but I was pretty grateful it didn't go too late this year, I was exhausted.

Christmas morning dawned and the Boy slept until 8am which we were all grateful for.  We got up and opened presents and stockings and it was so much fun to watch him go from one present to another and then to try to incorporate ALL of his new toys into 1 homogeneous, imaginative play scenario.  There's nothing funnier than listening to a kid using his imagination.  And it really was such a fun morning that it was hard to get dressed and head out to church.  But that's just what we did.

After Church we headed up to my sister's house where we all got to say hi to my nephew who's serving a mission in Denmark...he looks good but he's so grown up now that there's no real resemblance to the little kid I fell in love with half a lifetime ago.  It was sort of bittersweet.  I'm sure my sister can still see it, Mothers have that special gift of being able to look at their child and see both the adult and the child.  But it made me a little sad.  He sounds amazing and he's doing good work and we're all so proud of him.

After wards there was yet another dinner, followed by phone calls from absent family, which was also bittersweet.  It would be so amazing, well, exhausting and amazing, to have us all gathered together for Christmas some time, maybe someday...but for now, we were all spent.  Poor Sherry was sick, her kids were fried, the Boy didn't get a nap and so fell asleep on the way home (at 6:30!).

It was a weird Christmas for us, well, at least for me.  I usually have plenty of energy to carry me through, but not so much this year.  Chris' socks are still unfinished, but so much prettier than the previous pair that I started and abandoned.  And it's ok because one of his gifts for me didn't arrive on time either, so he and I will get to have our own little cozy gift exchange in another week or so.  I was just so relieved to have it all over with this year, and I've never actually felt that way before.  I had the most fun putting together Chris' stocking (you'll have to get him to tell you about that!) instead of presents, which were undeniably practical this year.   And you know, I've given myself permission to just have an off year every now and then...it just happens.  And it's ok. 


***


And now?   Well, the Christmas stuff is down and packed away.  Chris and I, well, ok, just CHRIS did laundry for approximately 15 hours on Monday.  But Phase Two of the Nesting is complete.  The pack and play with bassinet is set up, sheets and all.  The clothes and diapers are all washed and ready to go.  I need to make one more run to the grocery store to stock the fridge with staples for the next few weeks and then we'll be all set for the entrance of the Girl into Burnstopia.

And now, it's your turn.  How was your Christmas?

R.I.P.

on 15 December 2011

Chris' Christmas socks this year have been the BANE, the BANE I say, of my existence.

Back in September, I chose a lovely (and challenging) pattern out of Nancy Bush's Folk Socks.  They seemed totally do-able at the time.  Of course...that was September. 

And then I got sucked into this vortex of aggressive nesting and baby knitting.

And now, it's 10 days to Christmas and last night, I ripped back Chris' Christmas socks to salvage what wool I could and threw the rest away.

Yes.  I threw away the entirety of the colorwork motif.  It was painful.

But also cathartic...those socks have been torturing me for WEEKS.  I ripped them back THREE times to try various decreases and I could NOT make them work.  The pattern was clearly written for people with infinite time and patience.

I went to bed last night mulling over the problem of Chris' Christmas Socks, and what to do about it.  It's TRADITION, and my man doesn't have many Christmas traditions that he likes.

So I woke up this morning feeling excited.  Excited to cast on some NEW Christmas socks for my Man.  I had him bring down my Big Bin o' Yarn and I chose different (and simpler) colors.  I then went to my stash of colorwork motifs and flipping through I found this lovely Estonian motif that was reminiscent of M.C. Escher to my mind and I thought, "I can totally still DO this."

And so I cast on.  And began the process of work work working on them.  Sure...I may miss my Christmas deadline, but by all that's wooly, if I have to knit until  my fingers bleed, my Man will have SOCKS before New Year.

Burnstopia and the Worst. Christmas. EVER

on 09 December 2011

Do you think it's too late to call of Christmas?

Just cancel it this year, and we'll resume our festivities next year? 

I know there are people out there who have it A LOT worse than us right now, but from where I'm sitting this is projected to be one of the worst Christmases in Burnstopia history.

Would you like a recap?

  • Chris gets passed over for promotion
  • Gestational Diabetes
  • Twice weekly fetal non-stress-tests from now until the Girl comes
  • A big FAT speeding ticket (and mandatory court appearance) issued to Me (M) because I wasn't paying attention.  And if you think I haven't learned my lesson think AGAIN.  I have spent the entire DAY in tears over that one.  (And yes, Chris has been chastising me for years about slowing down.  YES, I have actually slowed down.  I was coming back from a non-stress-test, that rather ironically stressed ME out to no end and I was going down hill and not paying attention to how fast I was going.  By the time I realized I was going too fast, the police had picked me up on radar.  YES, I feel stupid.  Please do not berate the heavily pregnant girl who is already in tears.)
  • No ability to change ANY of this, no matter how hard I work.

Seriously, can we just call off Christmas this year?  If you need me, I'll be in bed with the covers over my head.  I should be out sometime in early January when the Girl is due to arrive.

Buckling Down

on 01 December 2011

Hi.


I'm sorry to inform you that my time is no longer my own.  I have 24 days to finish Chris' Christmas socks.  The Christmas socks that seemed perfectly reasonable back in September, and then stalled through ALL of October and November, and now seem not very reasonable at all.

In addition to knitting my fingers down to nubs on the socks, I have a sweater to finish for one baby girl.  A baby girl that I am hope, Hope, HOPING decides to arrive in the next 3-4 weeks.  And if my dearest little hope comes true then I may NOT have 24 days left to knit those socks.

So if you wonder what's happening here, just know that there's copious amounts of knitting and swearing (alternately).  And when my hands start to hurt, just know that Part Two of the Nesting, has in fact commenced.  There is an ENORMOUS pile of tiny little baby things sitting in my bedroom.  There are, in fact, just a few more little items that I'd like to acquire before I begin the mass laundering.  Once that Mount Visuvius is laundered and folded, I'm going to get Chris to set up the pack n' play and we'll be all set.

(In funnier news, I was taking inventory of what all we had and what we still needed and I was asking for Chris' opinion and he looked at me and said, "You know what I learned watching Babies?  That in Mongolia, all babies need are a t-shirt and sandals."  I chuckled and reminded him that we do not live in Mongolia and our daughter is due in the middle of winter...so maybe she might, just might, need a bit more covering than a t-shirt and sandals.)

Trust me, if anything exciting happens, I'll blog about it here.  And WHEN I finish the Christmas socks that NEVER end, I'll post pictures!

Thanksgiving

on 25 November 2011

We had a great Thanksgiving yesterday.

All of us locals descended on my sister's house to feast and talk and laugh together.   The dinner was delicious, the conversation was lively, the setting was informal; it was everything I look for in a familial holiday celebration.  Though, we all admitted that there had never before been so many vegetables on our Thanksgiving table.  Thank you, Gestational Diabetes.

My Dad, Chris, and my BIL Jeff all hung out outside with the frying turkey.  While us women-folk stayed inside minding the roasting turkey and the sides.  Who am I kidding?  I did quite a lot of just sitting and chatting because the Belly is growing epic and developing it's own gravitational force.  Don't stray too close to me or you'll end up having to orbit me until the BIRTH.

It really was fun, and I'm not someone who LOVES Thanksgiving, but Chris does, which means he gets particularly sassy.  And who's NOT amused by that?!  The Boy did more playing than eating, but at one point (somewhere between the Feast and the Pies) I walked in on him in the kitchen with a big ol' fistful of  turkey just munching away.   My little happy savage.

We all stayed until dark and then began to drift back towards our own homes.  Chris bathed the Boy and then cleaned up our own kitchen (I had cooked all of the veggies before getting to Sherry's.  I knew the kitchen would be crazy, but I left the MESS for later).

***

Chris is working today.  He volunteered because he is a good guy and a team player and all of that stuff.  We're going to put up our Christmas tree this evening once he's home.  And then tomorrow he and the Boy are heading down to Savannah for his great-Grandmother's 105th birthday celebration.

Yes, I'm nervous about him taking the Boy.  Yes, I'll probably worry about them all weekend.  But yes, I'm still going to pack their bags and kiss them good-bye and let them go.  They will have a blast together.  Chris will get to do all those things that I frown over when I have to watch (like taking the Boy out on the 4-wheeler and feeding him ice cream at 9 o'clock at night).  And the Boy will get some good lovin' from his Pa-Paw and Aunt Nancy and Grandma Mildred, and then they will come home.

As for me, I'm going to use my time wisely to work on some Christmas gifts that I've been neglecting.  I'm hoping that with a wide open schedule and no one to need me, I'll be able to crank them out in good time.

***

I try to do some good thinking this time of year.  I like to use Thanksgiving, rather than the busyness of Christmas, to take stock.  I like to ponder about the year that's been, the changes that have come, and are coming.  And most of all the blessings (some more overt than others) that have come our way.

It's been a hard year.  A good year, but a hard year.  Chris and I were talking last week after hearing about the most recent rejection and we were chuckling over how it seems a long time since we had an EASY year.  But for all it's struggles, it's highs and lows, it's frustrations, irritations and expectations, we remain grateful.  It was a good year.  We spent much of it insulated by family who consistently reminded us to have faith, to be obedient and patient, to take care of each other, and gradually things would work out.  And while some things have (i.e. the Girl), other things have not (i.e. the Job).  But for all that, we have each other and we have the Boy, and we have our home and our family and just enough.  And this year, that is a Blessing indeed.

The Breakfast Sandwich Bandwagon

on 23 November 2011

I'm a-joining the breakfast sandwich bandwagon.

I've been on an egg-kick with this particular pregnancy in a way that I have not known...oh, EVER.  But after a month straight of soft-boiled eggs for breakfast, I thought I might need a change.  And the nutritionist recommended english muffins since they're lower in carbohydrates than regular bread.  So I picked up some whole wheat ones and began scrambling the eggs and adding cheese to it.  And what do you know?  Delightful. 

The only problem is that after a week straight of those, I'm a little tired of it already.  So I'm looking for variations on the breakfast sandwich.  The eggs are going to be the base and it all has to fit on an english muffin.  But beyond that, I would like to solicit your suggestions.  The only limiting factor is that it can't add sugar or starch to the overall sandwich.

The really good news?  After one of these bad boys, my blood sugar is so normal it's like I was never diagnosed.  It's brilliant.  And according to the nutritionist, if I can start the day off with good blood sugar it's oh so much easier to maintain than if I start it off with high blood sugar.

And yes, I did try to explain that little girls were made of sugar and spice and everything nice and that THAT is the real reason why my blood sugar was ever so slightly elevated.  Alas, those medical professionals, always so quick to write off folklore, they did NOT believe me and gave me the glucometer anyway.

A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad WEEK

on 21 November 2011

Last week was just plain awful.  There's no mincing words, there were very few redeeming moments, Chris and I were both VERY happy to write the whole thing off as over and done.  Thankyouverymuch, what's next?

I met with the nutritionst and began testing my blood sugar.  The problem is that I'm an easy bleeder, so one little finger prick and I'm leaving a trail of blood behind me like some horrific Gretal character.  The one redeeming moment is that, as I get better about knowing what I can eat when, and how much I can get away with, my blood sugar has dropped right back down in to normal range.

Please note:  I have already started a mental list in my head of all those foods that I want but can't have, or can't have as much as I want, for the future date when this little Girl decides to make her appearance.

I also met with my Ob/Gyn, what a colassal waste of time that was.  UNC's VBAC policy is that the attending physician has to sign off on the VBAC before it can be attempted.  My doc ran a variety of different scenarios with resulting percentages of success and the conclusion of all of this?  It's really too soon to tell.  It all depends on Her and when she decides to make her appearance.  If she comes a week or two early then all will be well and fine...if she lingers until her due date, then I'm staring down a scalpel.

May I just ask, What was the freakin' point of me going down there for that?!  I could have told them THAT!  And I'm not even a doctor!

That was Thursday, also known as The Day M Reached Saturation Point with all Her Various Anxieties and had a Ginormous Meltdown.  I spent most of that day in tears, the poor Boy kept getting suspicious of my sniffles (I try never to cry in front of him) and saying, "What you doing, Mama?"  To which I would reply, "Mama's just a little bit sad/scared/frustrated."  At which point he would come over and say, "No you are NOT sad."  It was funny and sweet all at the same time.

The Boy has been on a Grinch kick lately.  He requests it almost every day.  On Friday we were watching it and there's that scene at the beginning, where the Whos are cutting down the Christmas tree and the Boy says to me, "What they doing, Mama?"  And I said, "They're cutting down the Christmas tree to decorate it."  He looked at the screen again and furrowed up his face and said, "That not very nice to those trees."  At which point I laughed until my face hurt.  Some days I wonder how such an amazing kid came from my body.

Friday night we found out that Chris did NOT get the job that he has most recently interviewed for.  The one we thought for sure he was a shoe-in for.   The one the VP had insisted he was perfect for.  And yet...not so much apparently.  We were both depressed and relieved all at once.  The job is mostly mediating interdepartmental conflicts, and Chris does not do well with contention.  He takes it personally, or he loses patience.  He can't seem to keep it at work, so he brings it home with him which then translates to increased tension in our home.  He gets depressed because he can't make people happy.  So, maybe it's a blessing.  But rejection is still hard, especially when we've gotten our hopes up again and again and again.  And AGAIN.  Only to have them fall flat.

And so we get to begin all over again.

My Big Fat Science Experiment

on 16 November 2011

Well, I met with the nutritionist this week.  I got my very own glucometer and guidelines.  They told me a lot of stuff I already knew and a few things that I didn't.  There was another (very obnoxious) woman in the same little orientation and I was very glad not to be in her shoes.

I'm trying to establish trends, so that I can figure out which of my habits spikes my blood sugar, so I'm tracking everything I eat in addition to my blood sugar.  I showed my lovely little spreadsheet to Chris who replied rather tartly, "Oh good!  Something new for you to obsess about!"  But for all his tartness, he's filled our fridge and freezers with protein for me and hasn't once asked me to make something sweet, which, when you think about it, is very thoughtful and kind of him.

In the meantime, I feel like a big, testy science experiment.  The Girl is currently positioning herself for Most Uncomfortable Baby EVER, I have no idea how she's laying in there but it's quite painful, and perhaps I should remind her that my left side, just under my ribs is not an expansion pack, nor is it an EXIT.

It's otherwise one of those wild and crazy weeks where we have something going on almost every day.  It's only Wednesday and we're all already exhausted.  The Boy and I spent yesterday in our pajamas in an attempt to recover from the hurricane of Monday, and I'm planning on spending Friday in a similar fashion.

And now that I've considered everything I need to do, just this morning, I really should get to it.  I'll leave you with some visual proof of just how tired we all are around these parts. 





 This was AFTER a 2 hour nap in his bed.  I woke him up, he climbed up on the couch, curled up and went back to sleep.

How Sweet it is...

on 10 November 2011

I failed the 3-hour glucose test.

And so I have the added pleasure of gestational diabetes for the next 8 weeks.  YAY!  Just what I always wanted!  Sugar-free holidays!

***

You know, I spent about 4 days sulking over it and then I woke up one morning, shrugged my shoulders and said, "Oh well, M, you can't be good at everything.  What's next?"

And much as I wanted to be good at being pregnant and having babies, I'm just not.  And after 4 days of sulking, I'm ok with that.  I'm good at other stuff.

Sadly, this likely means that my chances of a VBAC go down the toilet.  I'm meeting with my OB/GYN next week to do the evaluation and we'll see what he says, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

***

I've started listening to Christmas music 'round these parts already.  And surprisingly, Chris is fine with it this year.  I think he's accepted that it's almost impossible for me to be sad or discouraged when I listen to Christmas music. 

I decided two years ago that I would try to add at least one new Christmas album to my collection every year and this year I want to add two.  She and Him has a quirky and fun Christmas album out and I love their sound, so I'm off in search of that.  And then Mindy Gledhill has a new Christmas album out, and I've loved her contributions to other compilations that I have so that one I'll order off of amazon (it would be nearly impossible to find it in a store).

***

You know, the hardest bit about pregnancy is just how humbling it is.  I have no control over what's going on in my body right now.  And I had hoped to spend November and December serving my family because I'll need their help once the Girl gets here.  I didn't want to feel beholden or dependent in any way.  But I will be.  And I'm trying to feel like that's ok.  It's ok to need people and to rely on the family.  It's ok to ask for help.   I'm going to keep telling myself that in the hopes that by the time it gets here it will be a little bit easier.  

***

This is the Boy's favorite song right now:



He wakes up in the morning and says, "Tall and Green, Mama! Tall and Green!"  It's not a Christmas song, but he does DANCE and dance at full TILT.  It's awesome.

***

I have to meet with the nutritionist next week.  I seriously contemplated being bitchy or contemptuous at the very least, because, seriously?  We eat pretty healthy around here as it is.  And then I realized, it's not her fault...it just is what it is.  And you know what?  Pregnancy can have my sense of humor when it pries it from my cold, dead hands.

***

The ladies at the bank gave the Boy a lollipop and now he positively STINKS of high fructose corn syrup.  He loves it (of course), but ugh, he stinketh.  He keeps coming over to hug me and I keep plugging my nose until he goes off to play again.

***

Chris finished up his interview process this morning.  Now we wait.  We're hoping to hear from them one way or another next week. 

***

The fall leaves have been so beautiful this year.  I remember my first Fall quarter at the UW, I was so engrossed in my classes and school work that I didn't even notice the leaves at all.  I had started school when they were all still green and when I surfaced and looked around me, the trees were completely bare.  I had lost a whole season out of my life.  It was a very strange feeling.  Since then, I've tried to be more aware of how the earth under my feet keeps track of time passing.

***

I keep thinking about all the different kinds of sweetness in life.  Natural, artificial, the sweetness on our tongue, but also the sweetness in our ears and on our skin.  The people in our lives that sweeten the difficulties and smooth over the irritations.  I think about all the little limitations, frustrations, irritations and how it seems like Heavenly Father thought of them all...and made sure that there would be appropriate sweeteners for all occasions.  Not an absolute removal...but just enough to make the bitter bearable.

A Tale of Marital Restraint

on 07 November 2011

Chris snores.

It's not a disparagement on him at all, lots of people snore, but my man snores like a ROCK CONCERT.  It's amplified.  It's loud.  It's beyond LOUD.

Now, normally, I can get him to roll over or change positions so that it resumes it's soft, breathy quality.  But every once in a while...oh my, every once in a while the man snores so loud I worry that the neighbors will call the police on us for running a chain saw in the middle of the night in an apartment!  And those are usually the nights when I cannot budge him, oh no, it is very much like a Dead Man Snoring in my bed.  He lays in the same position all night long, snoring at full volume in my ear.

In those moments it's hard not to feel like he's doing it out of SPITE.

After all, this is the man who can sleep through ANYTHING!  Literally.  I can get up early, turn on lights, read, shower, run the blow dryer, plop the Boy into bed next to him, cough in his ear, dump the cats on top of him and nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  He just snores right through all of it.

And believe me, I'm no picnic to share a bed with right now...I'm awash in a sea of pillows and blankets in my (mostly) vain attempts to get comfortable enough to sleep, but my bones hurt so badly that I end up shifting from one side to the other all night long as I try to relieve the pain in my hips and back.  But one would think that given my level of discomfort while gestating his progeny, the man would cut me some slack and try to keep the snoring to a minimum so that I can sleep.

But no.

He snores at top volume and I'm left laying there contemplating one of two options:

  • Hit him over the head as hard as I can with one of my pillows and then glare at him until he realizes that he is the reason I am not currently asleep.  In more ways than one.  Or...
  • Retreat to the futon because getting even more worked up will not help me on the sleep front.
Tempting though the first option ALWAYS is, I have yet to choose it.  I usually retreat to the futon, which is now a decidedly chilly options since I'm refusing to turn the furnace on.

And as if being driven from Bed Sweet Bed were not hard enough, I then have the cats to contend with.  One more night like I've had recently and I'm taking them both to the POUND.  Leike sleeps all day long--and that's no exaggeration, unless we vacuum, she sleeps ALL. DAY. LONG.  And then prowls all night.  Having passed Cat 101, she enjoys her nocturnal wanderings.  And usually I am oblivious to her weaving herself in and out of the blinds or chasing her tail, or hunting her gray mouse toy (complete with hunting cry).  She can also open doors, so long as they aren't shut tight.

Agnes on the other hand, apparently FAILED Cat 101 because she parks herself between Chris and I in Bed Sweet Bed for the entirety of the night.  When one of us (i.e. ME) leaves Bed Sweet Bed, she's at a complete loss.  She knows not what to do.  Stay with Chris?  Cuddle M?  And if you shut the door, even if the latch doesn't catch, forget it!  She's completely trapped!  She can't open any door to save her life.  So she resorts to howling at top volume until someone comes to her aid.

So between Chris snoring like a chain saw, Agnes howling (I foolishly tried to minimize the volume of Chris' snores by pulling the door to the frame), Leike hunting, and my own inability to get comfortable, it all makes for a sleep deprived and decidedly disgruntled M.

Lately my fantasies have elaborated to include a soft hotel bed, solitude, and a spa bathtub.

A Weak Week

on 02 November 2011

Chris interviewed for his boss' job yesterday. 

We knew that she was planning to retire at the end of this year and so we've been patiently watching to see what would happen.  Chris is very private and mostly modest (he puts on a bit of a jackass bravado, but that's just for show...when it comes to reality, he's quite modest and occasionally insecure...you know, just like ALL of us), so he'd never talk about this, so I will.  Last spring he took a job that he's embarrassingly over-qualified for.  But it's honest work and better than sitting at home on his dignity while he waits for something better.  Chris would rather provide for his family, than sit around and whine about the economy and how he DESERVES better.  (cough...Occupy Morons...cough.)

So naturally, when he learned that his boss would retire at the end of this year, he threw his hat into the ring.  He works hard, and he's very well educated.  We're hope-hope-hoping that he gets this position.  It's what's next.  His educational background is in hospital administration (mainly management), but with the economy as it is, it's incredibly difficult for a recent graduate to acquire a management job when they're competing against people who have 7-10 years of management experience and were laid off.  In order to progress, he has to gain experience.

Now you see why we're hope-hope-hoping for things to work out with this position.

So we all spent Tuesday on pins and needles while Chris went to interview.  Many many prayers were said, and hopefully by the middle of this month we'll hear something.

***

In other news, I failed the 1-hour glucose test a couple of weeks ago.  So I get the repeated joy of the 3-hour glucose test this week.

I worked so hard in preparation for that 1-hour test (only to fail it!), that I've been pretty apathetic all week, eating what I feel like, when I feel like it, and consequences?  Whatever.  The test is Friday, and 2 weeks after that I get to have, what I'm sure will be, a charming consultation for a VBAC evaluation.

We're down to the last 10 weeks of this pregnancy, and I am ready.  Samwise asked what else was on our wishlist, but the truth is, the things we really wish for, no one can give us.  We wish for a smooth VBAC.  We wish for a good milk supply so that breastfeeding is a little easier this time around.  We wish for a little girl with curly, red hair.  Mostly, we wish her to be healthy and normal and not to torture her Mama too much with the Exit Strategy.

But dear, Samwise, if you really want to send us something, we never turn away blankets in this house.  Chris and I are stingy with the heating around these parts, and the Girl is due in the middle of winter, so if you want to send a flannel blanket or fleecy jammies or anything cozy really, feel free.  I'm sure Baby Girl will welcome the coziness (coziness being something we prize highly in these parts).  We've all tried to keep the pepto pink to a minimum in favor of bright, cheerful colors (I suppose I'm secretly hoping to create some truly miraculous clashes with her (hopefully) bright hair).

So that's our week...if anyone wonders where we are or what we're doing...know that we're all probably feeling a little light-headed and nauseous.  Hopefully, next week will be a little stronger.

Tales of a twin bed or New Ways to Break your Heart

on 01 November 2011

We set up the Big Boy bed last weekend.

Yes.  Finally.  My nearly 3 and a half year old child is now sleeping in a twin bed.  He picked out his own sheets (yellow!  and I mean lemon pudding yellow), and he's happily installed in there with his bright yellow sheets, his animal friends and his Thomas stickers.




(Dear Susie,  the Boy LOVES the Thomas stickers--good call on that one!  He goes in there just to sit on his bed and talk to his Thomas stickers.  It's adorable!)

We spent all weekend in there, cuddling on the bed, reading, playing and just generally being together.  What I had suspected but not really embraced was that the rocking chair cuddles (an integral part of our bedtime routine for the past, oh, 3 and a half years) have now passed away.  He wants a book and a cuddle IN the big boy bed.

And inevitably, the evening concludes with him hugging me and saying, "Mama.  You don't want to LEAVE me!"  And I sit there torn between laughter and tears, because of course, I don't want to leave him.  But I also know that someday, he'll retreat to his room, to this same big boy bed having just said something along the lines of "LEAVE me ALONE." 

Can someone wiser than me please explain why this is so hard?  Why these children break our hearts so repeatedly and like FOOLS we keep going back for more?  I know he's going to grow up and fall in love and leave me, and the worst part is, I WANT him to.  I gave him life so that he could LIVE it...but why oh why it has to break my heart so repeatedly in the process, I know not.


Maybe I'm just really pregnant right now.

Sewing Accomplished

on 28 October 2011

Finally.


FINALLY!  I'm done.  Finished.  Long list of projects to sew--check!  and complete! 

The sewing machine and sewing box have been removed from my dining room table and restored to their proper place (in the very top of my closet).  Almost all of the fabric that I purchased for this incoming babalah has been made up into the projects it was designated for.  In all honesty, I still have some pretty-pretty flannel that I wanted to make into simple dresses for her to wear to church...but it's just going to have to wait.  I am at the end of my ever so proverbial rope with sewing.

And for all that, for all the time and frustration and sweat (I'm a nervous sweater) that went in to all of those projects, it doesn't feel like a big accomplishment.  And that's moderately depressing.  But for the record (sorry, no pictures), here's the list of what I've made up:

  • 24 super soft, super bright and fun flannel burp cloths
  • 6 colorful pacifier clips
  • 2 nursing covers (I couldn't decide between two fabrics, and since the pattern only called for 1 yard, I bought both) (also, I wanted to experiment with the tutorial, if I liked it and it was easy (it was NOT), then it was going to be my go-to baby shower gift.)
  • 21 super soft, teeny-tiny, fitted diapers.  Yes.  I made cloth diapers.  Because they retail for $11 EACH and I made 21 for about $40 total.
My Mom has (thankfully) made all of the swaddling blankets we'll need, and my amazing sisters are combining their CONSIDERABLE talents to sew (what I imagine to be) a GORGEOUS blessing dress for the Girl to wear.

Which leaves only the knitting projects left.  I've been knitting up woolie diaper covers (to go over the fitted diapers and then later over prefolds), once those are done (I'm working on the last 2), I'll move on to the hats/sweater/booties that I've picked out for her.  And in the middle of all of this, I'm also working on socks for Christmas for some of the people that I love. 

So what am I watching?  If you've been reading, you know that I prefer to knit to the soothing sounds of television.  Last Christmas, Chris' socks were completed while I watched Ken Burns' The War.  This year, I'm knitting to Law & Order.  Netflix has the first 8 seasons available for streaming and since I LOVE it, that's what I'm watching.  I didn't start watching it on television until after I had graduated from high school, so these really early seasons are a bit of a trip.  A trip BACK IN TIME!  No computers!  No cell phones!  They use  PAY PHONES, people, in NEW YORK CITY!  ew.  But I digress.

The diaper covers, again, retail for about $20 EACH and I've made 5 so far for less than $12.  Aaaaaaaand this is why I make stuff.  The pattern was FREE and it's incredibly easy, I've bought about 3 balls of wool--2 of which were on clearance for $3--and the rest I made out of a lovely neutral wool that I had in my stash from last January when I stocked up on wool yarn that was on sale as part of their annual inventory clean out.  So for the price of some lanolin, I'll have 8 diaper covers in 2 sizes that should last this little girl until she grows into our bumgenius.  But...if they work as well as I'm anticipating, we may just stick with the prefolds and wool covers for her.

And this is where I admit that I'm almost, almost looking forward to the postpartum period with a newborn to nurse and nothing else to work on.  With the Boy, I literally just watched BBC miniseries and stared into space while I nursed him, rocked him and mopped up spit-up.  After this marathon of making stuff, that sounds about like a vacation.

My new Approach to People on the Internet

on 26 October 2011

Chris has long been trying to tell me that there's no point in arguing with people on the internet.  There's no point wasting time and energy and thought...because (as he reminds me), DUDE--It's the INTERNET.

I'm generally pretty good about it.  I read something I don't like, I see something I don't like, I turn off the internet and step AWAY from the computer.  But lately, things have been getting under my skin...irritating me in way they normally do not.  And I find myself tempted, oh so tempted, to bend my intellect and considerable (and scathing) wit in their direction and take them down a few notches.

And then, I was reminded by a long loved friend.  Jane Austen wrote in Sense & Sensibility, "Elinor agreed to it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of a rational response."

And so, from a woman who could not possibly have conceived of computers, the internet, digital networks or the level of public stupidity which we seem to have created by all of those other things, I have been reminded yet again, to just let things go...a rational response is a considerable compliment for which one must prove oneself worthy.

Thank you, Jane.

A Weekend of Family Dinners

on 24 October 2011

I grew up in a family that had family dinner basically every night.  Almost always the same time, so we always knew as kids when we needed to be home.  My Dad would be home from work and Mom would have made something--animal, vegetable, grain--for us all to eat. 

And so I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that we're not actually very good about having family dinners in our household.  Don't get me wrong, we WANT to have family dinners, they just don't always pan out.  Chris works 5 evenings a week, so most nights it's just me and the Boy.  And to be honest, the Boy has become a dawdling eater, and in my pregnant state of high irritability, it's hard for me to sit with him every night while he eats dinner.  It's easier (and a lot less shrewish) for me to work in the kitchen (cleaning up), or to work on the computer while he eats in peace.

So imagine my surprise when we came to the end of this past weekend and had had, not 1 but TWO proper family dinners!  One of them by candlelight, per the Boy's request. What can I say, at 3 he's very romantic.

Saturday night, Chris cooked what can only be described as Midwestern home cookin' (hamburger steaks, onion gravy, mashed potatoes and green beans), the Boy ate green beans BY CHOICE for the first time EVER.  And Sunday night, I cooked, herb roasted chicken, stove top and green beans with brownies for dessert.

We'll just leave you all to wonder at how many Tums I had to eat to balance out the heartburn.  The heartburn that has been RELENTLESS for the past SEVEN months.

The point of this post (aside from a little boasting on my part, TWO family dinners is nothing to sneeze at in these parts), is this...I could actually tell the difference it made for the Boy.  He ate better, by which I mean, GREEN BEANS!  An actual BALANCED meal!  It was shocking...usually his dinner is composed of the Carbohydrate of the Moment and milk.  And he didn't dawdle like he does when it's just him and I.  He chewed with his mouth closed and made intelligible conversation with us.   He was enchanted by the candles and pleased with both his parents at the same time. 

Which leads me to the conclusion that, maybe there's some kind of magic to be found in family dinners.  I'm actually looking forward to the day when Chris can move back to day shift and we can have them more frequently than just the weekends.

This one goes out to the Nana

on 21 October 2011

My Mom went over to Tennessee to visit her sisters last week.  It coincided with our week to visit them and go to the temple, but luckily, my Dad was home and willing to step in and take care of our Boy so that Chris and I could still go and serve.

I explained to the Boy several times that Nana was at her sisters' so that he wouldn't be upset or confused when he walked into their house (like he OWNS the place) and didn't find her.  He asked about her on the way home, "Where Nana?  When she come home?  When she come to my house?"  It was adorable.  I explained that Nana would be home on Sunday and she would surely come to see him some time during the week.

And so Sunday came.  He was having a fit, not wanting to dress in church appropriate clothes, and I was manhandling the clothes over his limbs when he cried out, "Nana come home NOW!  Go to Nana's house!  Nana come HERE!"  I suppose he thought that Nana would intervene and allow him to go to church in his pajamas.  I chuckled and said that Nana wasn't home just yet, but that she would be home at some point during the day.

The day was gorgeous, so after church and naps, we went over to the botanical gardens for a short hike.  And I was finally able to document my child.  So for his Nana...some new pictures:





 He's becoming more opinionated about the way we go.  And he has a surprisingly good sense of direction.  He can tell me exactly how to go to his Aunt Sherry's and his Nana and Popper's house.  He limits his directions to THIS WAY!  or THAT WAY!  But if I went the way he told me, he'd get us there.  Impressive, no?


 There's this great picture of Chris walking with his best friend Jeff.  They're in high school and Jeff is slightly ahead of Chris and looking straight ahead, but Chris is glancing back over his shoulder.  I love that picture.  And this one reminded me of it...only more endearing.  My sweet man, he hates for anyone to be left behind.


The more the Boy grows, the more he's turning into a miniature version of Chris.  It's sweet and funny and lovely and I get to watch it every single day.  He loves ice cream like his Pa-Pa and his Popper.  He loves to read and color, but he hates to sing and he won't.  He'll dance if I put on a Jane Austen movie, but not if I only put on music.  He loves to run off and play but he bounces back every few minutes to say, "Mama, I need to love on you for a minute."  So he does and then he's off again.  It's like this bright star has taken up residence in our house...

A Belly, I has one...

on 19 October 2011

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding...


I thought I would celebrate the start of the 3rd trimester with a belly pic.  While it certainly feels huge, I'm assured by medical professionals that I'm measuring perfectly normal. 

(If you want to compare with the Boy, just click HERE.)

What continues to amaze me, though I don't know why--I knew that every pregnancy would be different, is just HOW different this pregnancy is from my pregnancy with the Boy.  The Boy used to roll.  And I mean roll, he would roll over, he would roll around, he would roll in circles.  Those were the movements that I was always able to feel and rely on.  The Girl?  Baby is literally a tiny dancer...it feels like Lord of the Dance took up residence in my WOMB.  And while it was pleasantly ticklish for some weeks it's becoming quite painful as she gets bigger and stronger.

Trust me, we're always grateful for it...even when it hurts.  It means she's alive and thriving, and for all the tears we shed to bring her here, we're always grateful to be reassured she's still with us.

For all the largess, the aches and pains and exhaustion, the fear and worry, we can't help but soak up this happy season.   We're just so excited to meet her.

Occupy your Mind

on 17 October 2011

Am I the only one disturbed by all these Occupy Protests?

Am I the only one who read my French and Russian history this morning?


Follow it through, people.  Follow it through to the END.  How exactly do you think these ideals are going to END?  With a guillotine?  With a Soviet system?  Did either of those turn out well for ANY of the people involved in them? 

I think not.

The more I see, the more I hear, the more frightened I become.  Someone get these people a history class.  Someone who speaks their language, because evidently I do not.  Is it fair that 1% of the population controls the bulk of the wealth, no it is not.  But who EVER said life was going to be FAIR of all things?  This is the single most asinine thing that I've seen yet, and I've seen some asinine things in my day.

Seriously, someone get them a history book.  Refresh their memories...start with September 5, 1793 and work your way up to 1917 and the October Revolution.

The Stolen Dream

on 14 October 2011

I broke a needle on the sewing machine the other day.

Which seemed like a sign that maybe I shouldn't sew for the day.  So Chris asked me to ride with him and the Boy to the bank and to get gas and to Guglhupf for bread.  So away we went.

I should mention that before the needle broke, I noticed one of the maintenance guys picking up litter outside our back window earlier in the morning, but naturally thought nothing of it.

So we stepped outside and I noticed that our little strip of patio was unusually neat.  As in the basil plant that my husband has been carefully tending in it's little terra cotta pot, was conspicuously GONE.  I mentioned it to Chris, "Hey, did you finally get rid of the basil?"  Which invited him to whip around the door and examine the empty patio before howling, "WHAT DID THEY DO WITH MY PLANT?!" 

At that point I started to giggle.  See, Chris' conception of a "plant" and everyone else may leave something to be desired.  My lovely friend Lisa had given us the basil as a cutting from her own plant.  We bought the stuff to use it and then forgot to eat with the basil and just ate the tomatoes and moz on it's own and one thing led to another and the basil sprouted.  Then Chris decided that he needed to PLANT the basil. 

So we stole the terra cotta planter from my sister and planted the basil. 

Now, you should probably know that Chris fancies himself a horticulturist.  But the man can't keep a plant alive to save his life.  He tends to LOVE them to death.  So between the hot-hot summer and the ice cold water that Chris kept using to water the basil, it wasn't looking too good.  In fact, a couple of weeks ago, I made the mistake of suggesting that maybe the basil was DEAD and we should just get rid of it.  Circumstances had reduced it to a yellow-ish stalk sticking up in a cracked planter.  But Chris insisted that basil would come BACK next spring and we should keep it on all winter long.

So keep it, we did.

But as a testament to how pitiful the plant was looking, the maintenance guy must of mistaken it for GARBAGE and hauled it away.

Chris was outraged.  As we were getting in the car he was ranting, "That was going to be our first plant at our house when we buy a house!  They STOLE MY DREAM!"  He continued to rant the rest of the way to the bank, insisting that it really wasn't about the plant, but the DREAM, man!  The DREAM! 

Part 1: DONE

on 12 October 2011

We're done.

With Part 1 of the Nesting.  Including moving furniture around and a massive deep  clean that took all. morning. long.  (I know that doesn't sound like a long time, but when you inhabit fewer than 1000 square feet, for cleaning to take ALL morning, is A LOT of cleaning.)

We shall not discuss the horrors of that deep clean.  Apparently, when there's something that I don't want to do (like DUSTING), I'm really REALLY good at ignoring it.

But now that I'm looking around at my immaculate apartment, it makes me so happy to see.

So what's on deck for Part 2?

Well, Part 2 is what most of you would probably think of when you think of nesting.  Things like installing the car seat and washing up loads of baby clothes and diapers, setting up the bassinet and bouncy seat.  And Part 2 is going to wait until after Thanksgiving.

I have to say, I'm relieved to have Part 1 done.  I still have sewing hanging over my head, like a crafty guillotine,  but I feel like one big, massive job is done and now I can rationalize some sitting around and reading blogs and just relaxing.

How are we celebrating?  I'm so glad you asked.

It's cloudy and gray here without being chilly, so we're celebrating with my sister's awesome apple cake and caramel sauce.  It's DIVINE.



Stay Tuned:  Next week--a proper Belly shot.  I figure, entrance into the 3rd trimester warrants a little evidential support.

Project Hell

on 10 October 2011

So I mentioned before that I've been sewing and knitting quite a bit for Baby but also for a few Christmas gifts.  And as I was sweating profusely through what I thought would be an easy project I realized something that I've learned the hard way, and since I'm nice, I thought I would share this lesson with all of you.

When you find a tutorial online for something that you want to make.  Be sure you READ the tutorial thoroughly before you just up and decide "Hey!  That looks SO easy, I can totally do that!"  Because some things that LOOK really easy, in reality are a pain the arse and probably not worth the toil.

Except...

With every project, regardless of the sweat and the stress is causes (I don't enjoy sewing.  I really do try to enjoy it, but it just stresses me out to no end.  I'll keep my knitting thankyouverymuch), I can't help adding up the cost the item would be in the store and keeping a running total of the GOBS of money that I have saved by NOT purchasing it in the store and instead, making it at home.  I wish I could be all wholesome and talk about the whole handmade with LOVE thing...but the truth of the matter is that it's just so much CHEAPER to make than to buy.

And so, in all likelihood, I will continue my love-hate relationship with Project Hell, because at the end of the day, I prefer to keep MORE of my money.

I'm nearly done with the sewing...I've finished off a few of the knitting projects, and I can share the ones for Baby with you, but the Christmas ones will have to wait for Christmas since...well, ALL of the recipients read this blog.  (I can't wait to show you Chris' Christmas socks!)  Once things are done, I'm going to post some pictures here, if for no other reason than just to prove that while I haven't been writing, I HAVE been doing SOMETHING productive.

I mean besides growing the Girl.

A list of unconnected thoughts, or an ordinary Friday

on 07 October 2011

I made an enormous pot of Chicken noodle soup last night for dinner and it was so good I also went and baked up some cookie dough that I had frozen a few days before.  The whole deal made me feel like an uber wife.

***

My child also asked me to build him a train track, so I did.  And it was AWESOME.  So awesome it made me feel like an uber mom.  And then he proceeded to ignore the track and trains completely and read books on the couch.  Why is that?  Why ask me to build him a track with which he is not going to play?  The 3 year old mind, it is a mystery to me.


***

I've been rereading Pride and Prejudice.  For some reason when I don't feel well, I always turn to Jane Austen.  I'm not sure why, but it's as comforting as the aforementioned pot of chicken noodle soup.  Anyway, usually I read it when I want something to read that I don't really need to pay attention to, for I have read it so many times that I have parts of it memorized.  Anyway, I've been thoroughly enjoying it this time through and it got me thinking...well, reminiscing really. 

I've seen the 1995 A&E version of Pride and Prejudice more times than I could possibly count.  I've been watching it for YEARS, easily since it was released.  Anyway, the funny thing is, when I pull it out and put it on the over-riding memory that comes back to me is sitting on our futon watching P&P while nursing a very newly born Boy.  I can't imagine how many times I watched it, well, P&P and also Our Mutual Friend, but still.  That's the memory that comes back to me.  So I suppose it's no small wonder that the Boy still loves it when I put it on.

Aggressive Nesting

on 06 October 2011

I'm generally a nester.

I'm quite particular about my living environment, I like things just so.  I wouldn't say that I'm fastidious, but particular.  I like a certain ambiance, a specific feeling that's relaxed and cozy and tidy without being pristine.  And so, I'm sort of perpetually nesting, pregnant or not.

That said, ye be warned if ye enter into Burnstopia when I happen to be pregnant because the Nesting?  Oh, it intensifies in a BIG way.

I've been purging the apartment for the past 2 weeks or so.  I started it in anticipation of moving, but it was just so satisfying to sort and put away and box up for storage and reorganize, that I haven't really been able to stop.  Well, I finished the majority of the purging.  The sorting and putting away and reorganizing?  Not so much.

Though, I'm pretty sure that Chris would pay anyone good money if they could get me to stop.

The nesting this time around has taken an aggressive turn.  Not that I'm going to hack off limbs if anyone gets in my way...it's more that it's a BIG job because it involves a variety of factors.

We're still in a relatively small space, and yet, our brood is expanding, so the reorganization is necessarily aggressive in order to open up as much space as possible.  We also need to move the Boy into a twin bed.  I know, I know....he's THREE and still sleeping in a crib.  Anyway...so we're not just reorganizing STUFF, we're shifting furniture all around.  To say nothing of the fact that there is NO where in our bedroom for a bassinet of any kind.

So last weekend, we shifted all of our storage around--I'm SO happy with how it turned out.  We also hauled off, I am not exaggerating, a CAR LOAD of stuff to the goodwill.  And this week we're working on shifting the furniture around.  Once that's done, I'm going to set about redecorating the Boy's room.  The era of the Tolkien room is over.  Alas, he's now old enough to actually CARE about his bedroom.  And since he's been a reluctant customer of the Big Boy Bed, I'm hoping that some fun new sheets and a bedspread will sweeten the deal.  (His aunt Susie gifted him with some Thomas the Tank Engine wall stickers, so I think we might be heading down that route.)

And lastly, once all of the above is completed I can begin to Deep Clean.  Since we've been planning on moving, we've just sort of been survival cleaning for the past few weeks.  The place could use a decent scrub down.

This is the part where you all feel very sorry for Chris, and very relieved that you don't live with me.

Miracles

on 03 October 2011

I believe in miracles.

After all, I live with one every single day.  It's impossible to spend much time around the Boy and not acknowledge something otherworldly about him.

So that I believe in Divine Intervention in the following story should not surprise any of you.

***

Last Friday I stopped in the leasing office of our complex to pick up a package.  As I walked in the door one of the leasing agents said, "Speak of the Devil!"  And I (unaccustomed to having people admit they've been talking about me) said, "Uh-oh.  What?"  She then went on to ask if there was any way Chris and I would consider staying in our apartment, we're such good tenants, they hate to lose us, blah blah blah.  Then she said, "What if I could offer you a zero increase on your rent for 6 months?  Would you think about it?"  And I stood there and tried really hard not to cry.

Naturally, I said that I would take it to Chris and she should call me when she heard back from her senior manager about the zero increase and we'd make a decision then. 

I talked to Chris about it and his reaction was along the lines of, "HECK YEAH we'd stay!"  So then we waited.

The leasing agent called back, of course, they couldn't make the ZERO increase work, but she had talked her senior manager down to just $40.  Could we pay $40 more a month in rent?  And no, it wasn't perfect.  It wasn't the ideal.  But it was a way out of Moving Hell.  So I said I would talk to Chris.  And after chatting over the pros and cons and mixed feelings (we're still not crazy about the management of our complex, we're not wild about many of the clientele, the rent is still outrageous for what our apartment is, and the way they distribute utilities is an absolute SCAM), we decided to stay for another 6 months. 

Of course we did.

Because if any of you have been reading Burnstopia for very long you know us by now.  You know that we speak hastily, even recklessly, but we act conservatively.  It saves us having to move while pregnant.  It saves the expense of an additional move, it provides us with an additional 6 months in which to house hunt, and at a still workable rate of cost.  Of course, we're staying put.

And all of this got me thinking about miracles.  I think human beings stopped believing in miracles because we expected them to be perfect, to solve ALL of our problems, or better to make them all just go away.  And what living with the Boy has taught me is that miracles are rarely (if ever) perfect.  They seldom meet all of our would-be specifications.  But they are ENOUGH. 

I've also been pondering a lot on this notion of sufficient.  Just having enough.  Not more, not less, just enough.  And while I still wish for an excess of energy, or time, or money...I'm content with this little miracle just as it is.  It's a huge burden off of our collective plates.  Chris came home from work Friday night positively cheerful, which he hadn't been all week--because looking at apartment listings will do that to a man.



And now...I can NEST.

What's been going on...

on 29 September 2011

I have been grossly negligent in updating here lately, I know.

I apologize.  We really have been sorely busy.  Doing what, you might ask?

Well.

Our lease is up at the end of October.  As you all know, we were house-hunting and hoping to find a house and purchase it before our lease ran out, but then...well, we couldn't really find anything we BOTH loved that was also in our agreed budget, so we've decided to continue looking, but to rent for another year.  However, we still have to be out of our apartment by the end of October.

I am understandably, on the VERGE over here.  Firstly, and perhaps most significantly, I'm pregnant and one big MASS of hormones, and now I'm faced with having no where to LIVE.  This is not good.  For me or for anyone else in my proximity.  So, we're frantically searching through listings trying to find something slightly bigger (seeing as we're expanding and all) and still in our price range.  Chris would prefer to stay in our same general neighborhood, but, as it happens, we live in a rather expensive part of town.  We've never really noticed it before until we started house hunting and now we're coming to the conclusion that we really do live in a rather expensive part of town.  Which means, we either have to relocate to a different section or town (or a different town all together), or we need to find a money tree so that we can extend our budget.

Guess which one is more likely?

I started sifting and purging and packing over the weekend.  The empty boxes are piled up in our house (again), and I'm trying to summon the energy to fill them and prepare them for moving (to where, I know not).  When all I really want to do is sit on the couch and watch BBC and knit.  Or nap.  Or some combination of the two.  I sat in the Boy's room, sorting through toys the child has NEVER played with, and blankets we've never used, and packed up books for storage (I won't need them for more than a year at least), and looked at the piles around me and I could have cried right there. 

There has to be some form of liquid energy, in addition to liquid courage out there available, that is also safe for pregnant women.

***

My child is obsessed with dinosaurs lately.  I never knew that some experience with paleontology was preferred for parenting.  I find myself at a loss as to how to pronounce many of these names, and I know more about dinosaurs now than I ever thought necessary for general well-being.  Go figure.

***

And lastly, I have this mountain of sewing projects on my dining room table.  Chris had part of the mountain, but he just finished all of his machine sewing, so now it's really just mine that are left.  I'm trying to finish them all before we move.  Not because there's a big rush to get them done (they're all for the Girl), but because I need to pack my machine and I don't want to have to UNpack it once we're in our new space.  At least not for a good long while.  So if I can finish this enormous pile of work, well then, there's one less thing to have to do once we move.

Our timing is brilliant, isn't it?  We'll move right around Halloween (no, we're not doing anything again this year, the Boy was adamant he's NOT wearing a costume, and I'm don't care enough to make him), we'll unpack just in time for Thanksgiving, then it's the run up to Christmas, then it's the frantic get everything packed away and organized before the Girl makes her debut just after the New Year (well, that's when we're expecting her to make her debut), and then it's my Birthday!  And then...maybe...I'll get to breathe again, if not actually sleep.

There has to be some form of liquid energy, in addition to liquid courage out there available, that is also safe for pregnant women.  Anyone?

Biscuits and Boo-boos

on 26 September 2011

So I'm rereading my favorite biography of Elizabeth Gaskell (my favorite British female writer), and I came across this little anecdote that I thought I'd share here, if only because it made me smile.

Gaskell was a relatively new mother and like most Victorians was neurotic about her child's health.  "She went to Warrington and after that, for Marianne's (her daughter) health to Grange-over-Sands on Morecambe Bay.  Rather to her alarm (her doctor) had prescribed sea-bathing for Marianne, but luckily, "Aunt Anne, a capital bather, was with us, and undertook the charge of her (Marianne), which was so much better than being frightened by being given over to a strange woman in an uncouth dress...I stood on the rocks with a shawl ready to receive her and gave her a biscuit." (The diary is endearingly punctuated by biscuits, ready for every emergency.)"

I love that.  I love the simple things in mothering that make everything better, like biscuits (or cookies, as we Americans would say).

***

The Boy fell yesterday.  And by "fell" I mean he catapulted himself, headfirst, into the wooden frame of the futon.  His skull collided at full force and he was left with an enormous blueish goose-egg on his forehead that lasted through the day.  (The bruise is destined to linger, I should try to get a picture of it, it really is spectacular.)

I was in the kitchen taking my vitamins and summoning the energy for the day when I heard this ghastly scream and, naturally, went running.  Chris was there insisting that he was fine (he's such a MAN sometimes), but the Boy, awash with tears, was inconsolable.  So I sat in the floor and held him in my arms while he cried and cried.  After a few minutes I quietly asked him, "Would a piece of chocolate help your head feel better?"

He tearfully said, "Yeeeeeeeeees."  And so we went to fetch a piece of chocolate and administer relief in any available form.

As I wiped up his chocolatey fingers and face I couldn't help thinking about Elizabeth Gaskell and her endearing biscuits, ready for every emergency.

I love that some things never change.  Sweets will always sooth away bitter hurts, physical or otherwise.

Unintentional Salt

on 19 September 2011

It took us a while to get pregnant again.  It was hard.  Hard to the point where I still don't really like to talk about it.  And fortunately, I have my lovely Sister who's been through it all before, so I tend to confine those conversations to her.  After all, talking about it with Chris only intensifies the matter, he struggled with it as well.  But my lovely sister, well, she's on the Great Other Side of this particular trial, so she's perfect for perspective.

I mention this because I've been thinking a lot lately about the ways in which people unintentionally pour salt into other people's open wounds.  Wounds that no one really sees or knows about because they're that private.

In the trenches, when everyone and their dog that I knew was pregnant and Chris and I were just stuck in that horrible in-between land where people start to look at you quizzically because you have this great big toddler and clearly are young, and clearly love your child to pieces and hey, "Why the heck aren't you having another kid right about now?"  Several women that I'm not particular friends with, but whom I know, announced rather cavalierly that they were pregnant and one of them piped in with Hey it's TWINS!  I told a friend of mine that it was a sore trial for me to resist wanting to throw a shoe at her head.

They were terrible moments, moments of pain where logically you knew that no one was trying to hurt you intentionally but oh, it still hurt.

***

A friend of mine (the younger sister of one of my good friends) just lost her baby.  She was 27 weeks pregnant with her first when they found out the baby had stopped growing at 21 weeks.  I sat at my computer a cried and cried.  And then promptly turned it off and walked away.

I wanted to write about how we're celebrating our girl around these parts lately.  With feminine flannels and lots of homemade knitted things.  How we're slowly gathering together tiny pink things.  How we've finally picked a name and how adorable the Boy is with his perspective sister.  I was going to post pictures of all the unbearable cuteness of it all.

And then I remembered the Salt.

***

I haven't actually told that many people that we're pregnant again.  I mean, I've told YOU...the ephemeral blog.  But in person?  Not really.  And it's not for lack of excitement.  We're both so happy it borders on ridiculous pretty often.  But I can't forget what that felt like...that place of wanting another child so badly and not being able to have one.  I can't forget how hard it was, other people asking me to be excited and happy for them when I was nursing a battered heart.

And I can't stop thinking about that other darling girl who is so funny there are no words to describe it.  That girl who was also expecting a baby girl.  Who was so excited to bring her daughter home, who had the crib and all the unbearable cuteness as well.  I don't know if she reads my blog or not, but just in case...

I would so much rather hug her and let her cry on my shoulder than pour salt in her wounds.

***

Chris thinks I'm over-thinking it.  That I can't live my life tip-toeing around other people because I don't want to add to their own personal grief.  But I find myself thinking that maybe those 2 years wouldn't have been quite so painful if other people had only been a little softer with me.  If they had been a little quieter in their own celebrations, or a little less harsh in their judgments of me, maybe it wouldn't have hurt quite so badly.  And yet.  I'm adult...I could have spoken up at any time.  Hey, I could have just posted a sign that said, "I hurt right now, please be nice."  Maybe it's unreasonable to wish that people would just be a little more aware of the people who live and breathe around them.  Maybe those days are gone and it really is every man (and woman) for themselves.  I don't know.

And because I don't know what to do with any of this, or what to write here, or what to say to so many amazing women who struggle and hurt and still live their lives with courage and integrity, who still grin and bear it all...I write nothing.  I say nothing.  I wait and watch and take note and say prayers and go on with my knitting and sewing and gathering and hoping.

Small and Simple Things

on 11 September 2011

We spent last weekend in Savannah.

It was a lovely weekend filled to the brim with family and friends and laughter and delicious food.  The Boy was delighted with Pa-Pa's house and has been asking to go back to Pa-Pa's house and play since we got back.

We've spent the week, dragging ourselves through our chores and work and routine.  And I've been reading and pondering on the events of a bright day 10 years ago.  I've been watching the clips of people talking about how their lives changed.  I've been remembering the people who changed my own life.  And how very grateful I am for this little life of mine.  It's not Important.  It's not Influential.  It's not Popular by any means.  It's small and quiet, but it's important to me.



I remember before having the Boy the distinct feeling that I didn't want to bring a child into this world.  This horribly flawed and failing world.

But I look at him now and I realize that by bringing him here, with his heart and his faith and his beautiful eyes that see the world so clearly, that I have made the world better than it was before.  Every time he smiles, I see that the world is a boy-sized bit happier, every time he laughs (and he makes everyone laugh around him) the world is a boy-sized bit happier, and that's when I knew.

That it wasn't books and learning, it wasn't bombs or guns, it wasn't a Nobel prize winning peace plan that made the world a little bit better.  It was a Boy.  As small and simple as that sounds, it is a great and wondrous thing that has happened.  And not just in my life, but in my family's life.  In Chris' family's life.  In the lives of everyone who knows him.

And on this particular day, when I remember so many husband and wife and father and mother and son and daughter shaped holes left in the world by folding steel and breaking glass, by planes turned into bombs and men turned against fellow man, I am profoundly grateful for the little bit of boy-shaped good that I've been able to bring into the world.

Other People's Words

on 08 September 2011

I think I've quoted this one here before, but it's something that's been on my mind a lot lately.


“When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, He goes about it in a very unusual way.  He doesn’t stir up earthquakes or send forth His thunderbolts.  Instead, He has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother.  And then God puts the idea into the mother’s heart, and she puts it into the baby’s mind.  And then God waits.  The greatest forces in this world are not the earthquakes and thunderbolts.  The greatest forces in the world are babies.”
                •E.T. Sullivan

Because Sometimes you just Need to Play

on 01 September 2011

We have an alarming number of squirt bottles in our house.  In fact, the ratio is just over 1 per person.  If you're wondering, between disciplining the cats, cutting the Boy's hair and his variety of bath toys, we have a lot of squirt-able objects...which means that occasionally it's dangerous to enter out house.

Sunday night I was feeling devilish.

Apparently, three hours of church followed by two hours of post-church visiting were just not enough to wring the devil out of my soul.  So while my sweet Husband was washing up the dinner dishes, from the dinner HE had cooked for his incredibly tired and worn out wife, his incredibly tired and worn out wife allowed the devilish part of her soul to pick up a water bottle and begin hosing down her family.

Now, I don't know about your family, but I firmly believe that every family uses some sort of violence to express affection.  In my brother-in-law's family it's these incredibly painful tickles.  He comes up behind you and digs his fingers in between your ribs or the muscles of your shoulders and while you're writhing in pain, you know he's doing it because he really loves you.  But in our family, all violent affection is expressed by hurling water at one another.

The story goes, that once my sister started a water fight with my Dad and it culminated in my father mopping up the watery mess with my sister's HEAD.  And we'll take any and all forms of water, ice cubes down the back, wet willies in the ear, snow balls hurled at each others heads and of course, cups of water slung at each other, or squirted surreptitiously  while no one is paying attention.

And it's in the GENES!  My 15 year old nephew carried around a 4 inch water pistol the entire time I was out in Utah and he used it mercilessly on anyone and everyone within range.

And when my patience-of-Job Husband sighed and asked me the reason for this spontaneous burst in aquatic violence, I laughed and said, "Because sometimes you just need to play, babe.  We don't play enough.  And I really needed that tonight."  At which point he took and enormous syringe filled with water and hosed me down with it.

Life with a Frances

on 29 August 2011

Did your mother ever read the Frances books to you?  I mean specifically Bread and Jam for Frances.  Am I the only one familiar with this particular book o' irony?  I know there are other titles, but I'm having a Frances problem and it just so happens to be the EXACT same problem that Frances' mother faces in Bread and Jam.

I am living with a Bread and Jam Frances kid and it is making me INSANE.

And I come here with my insanity because it's literally taking ALL of my patience to keep this child among the living. 

I confess, I loathe the dinner hour.  I'm not good at planning a menu, and I can't even blame the fickleness of pregnancy for that one, because it's a constant, unwavering part of my natural M-ness.  I just suck at it.  Inevitably, four o'clock rolls around and it occurs to me that people will be hungry in a couple of hours and perhaps I should come up with a plan to deal with that hunger.  And then it's the mad dash to the fridge and pantry to attempt to assemble something from the odd bits of staples that we keep on hand.  It's not so bad the first few days after I grocery shop, for there's a lot of fresh stuff in the fridge, but as the week wears on and the fridge thins out, things become decidedly more experimental and haphazard.  Never good words to describe dinner.

But lately, I've been wondering if my apathy towards the dinner hour isn't at least partly the Boy's fault.  He went from being a relatively laid back eater to The Pickiest Child on Earth. 

Even when I plan, people!  Even when I start early!  When there's a nutritionally balanced meal, beautifully presented to him at the table, he doesn't even SMELL it, he takes one look and then declares himself, "Don't like it, Mama.  Do. Not. Like. It." 

And of course, I insist that he TRY it.  Just TRY it, child.  And most evenings I can get him to put a microscopic spec of food partical into his mouth and then he just reiterates the "Do. Not. Like. It." declaration.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I've tried everything!  I've tried the whole, "You have to sit there until you eat it." routine.  I've tried sending him to bed hungry--no good.  I'm not Dickensian enough, of course, when he woke up crying and hungry, I got him up and made him toast and milk.  I've tried the Children are Starving in Somalia, but he's not entirely sure where Somalia is, it might just be another planet for all he knows, so he doesn't particularly care, or rather, he might care, just enough to send them HIS dinner that he has flatly refused to EAT!

So I come to the internet to lay my parental frustration on the alter of the almighty Internet.  Please, help me.  How to I get my child to eat more than yogurt, cereal and cashew nuts?

NEWS Too

on 24 August 2011

Our final ultrasound was today.

Good thing too, those are getting expensive.

Though, I have to say, I LOVE those ultrasound chairs.  I told the technician that I woke up feeling uncomfortable and thought about that lovely chair that I was going to get to sit in and that was something to look forward to.

I have to say, this pregnancy has been weird, but since it's only my second I'm starting to think that maybe every pregnancy is a little bit weird.  I was sick at the beginning but then I've been fine ever since.  I alternate between craving red meat and wanting to drown myself in chocolate.  I swing between tears and fits of the giggles.  My cup of hormones runneth over.

What?  I'm stalling and y'all want to know what we're having?  Well, ok.  I suppose I should get down to business.

Except that I'm hungry...maybe I should go eat something first.

Not so much?  Oh I know, it's quick news...but since we still have no name for the Child it all feels anticlimactic.


Fine.  It's a GIRL!  We're going to have a little girl in our house.  We're about to be inundated with pink and purple and all manner of sugar and spice.  It's no small wonder that I'm feeling overwhelmed. 

Incidentally, the Boy has called this one from the beginning.  But the funny thing was, after the technician told us it was a girl, the Boy burst out with, "No!  Want a baby brother!"  Sorry dude, maybe next time...

Home Again

on 23 August 2011

Hi.

We got home late LATE last night.  Our flight got in around 10:15 and then it was the mad juggle of luggage and Boy and then Chris left right after work to pick us up.  We got home and unloaded the car and got the Boy down in his own bed for the night.  I was expecting a big fit (he and I have been sharing  a bed for the week... I've got some funny stories there), but he did just great.  He was so happy to see his Monte bear that he bounced down into his bed and hugged him tight and was out cold by the time the door closed.

Guess what Chris did while I was gone?  He traipsed into a bed of ticks!  He was out walking my sister's dog (Maya, she's been hanging with us while Sherry's been out in Utah with a wide variety of familial stuff) and thought it would be a good idea to take Maya through the woods behind our apartment, give her something new to smell etc.  Well, Maya gets flea and tick medication, Chris does NOT.  So Maya got out completely unscathed, Chris was bitten from ankle to waist and it took a good 45 minutes to pick all the seed ticks off of him.  It was awful, but I'm guessing it's nothing compared to how bad the man itches now.  Even with the itching, he's happy we're home.

We're happy to be home.

It was so much fun to be with my amazing sisters and to watch their kids play with the Boy and how much they all loved each other.  I'm thoroughly exhausted, but I'm blaming the pregnancy for that one.  I've slept most of today, thanks to my lovely husband.  The Boy is pretty fried too, he's watched Charlie Brown videos all day long, and while I would normally feel guilty about that, I figure, he needed a day in his jammies to just decompress.

I have loads of stories, flashes of memories to share with you all, but it's going to be a little bit.  I have a lot of sleeping still to do!  Also, we have the great Ultrasound tomorrow morning, so if you want to hazard a guess as to the variety of baby we'll be having in January, now's your chance.  Naturally, I'll be letting you all know...some time or other.  Oh, come on!  I'm kidding!  Of course I'm going to tell you all!  How could I not?  We're so thoroughly excited that we don't much care if we have a boy or a girl, but let me just say, if it's another boy, he may never get named.

Found Again

on 17 August 2011

My sisters and I are all together out in Utah this week.  We came together to attend Education Week, but really it's about this girl:

the one on the right...

She's my sister's only daughter and she's starting school at BYU this Fall.  Sherry brought her out to help her move in and get settled.  She also had to get her wisdom teeth out.  (She's currently nestled under a pile of her cousins in her bed.  I was just in there and it was so sweet that I went back to my room to hide and cry a little bit.)

Because I've been thinking a lot about being the youngest in a family.  I'm the youngest of four.  My two older sisters (whom I idolized growing up and I'm sure I made them absolutely insane) and then my brother (whom I also idolized but for different reasons).  My sisters have always teased me quite a bit about being the youngest and being spoiled, and I think to a certain extent, maybe it's unavoidable.  The family dynamic changes, and as the chicks fly the nest, the ones left behind get more and more time and attention and so yes, they get a bit spoiled.

And yet.  I think what Sherry didn't see when she was younger, but what she's seeing now with her own children, is just how hard it is to be the youngest.  Sure, you might be spoiled a bit, but you're also the one that's always left behind.  Whether it's left behind while the older kids go off to play, or left behind for schools and missions and marriages.  It's a lonely place to be.

And as I watch my nephew play around his sister, and my own Boy play with his cousins, what I wish I could do is take them in my arms and whisper this secret in their ears.  What I've learned as an adult, who is still the youngest child, is this:  there is nothing lost, that may not be found again...if sought.




Through my twenties I despaired of ever catching up with my sisters, of ever getting to be close to them.  They were off having a life, while I seemed stuck in perpetual youth.  I thought that they had just slipped through my fingers like the passage of time and once gone, they were just gone.  But here, in this lovely place in my thirties, we have all found each other again.  If someone had whispered this secret in my ears so many years ago, I wouldn't have believed them.  And so I whisper it here, and continue to hug and kiss my nephew and nieces and Boy and trust that in the years that are coming, they will all find what they once thought was lost.



Maybe Not

on 10 August 2011

Well.

At the risk of sounding like two flakey people, Chris and I have decided NOT to buy the house.  We had some concerns going in to it and we spent the weekend thinking about it and decided it's just not the right time for us to buy.  Oh well.  C'est la vie.

On to the next crisis.

So I'm leaving for Utah on Monday and Chris will be checking rental listings trying to find something in our price range.

Why are you going out to Utah, M?  Well, it turns out that the three of us Sisters are far too awesome to live all together in one concentrated area, so Sherry and I are heading out to Utah to open up a Vortex of Awesome at my sister Susie's house.  We're all going to Education Week, and we'll spend the week tooling around town and reeking havoc like a pack of teenagers.  Well, as much havoc as you can reek checking out yarn shops and fabric stores and bookstores and art museums.  But we're three wild and crazy girls, so you never know.

The Boy is beyond excited to play with his cousins and play in the dirt!  It's a tough call which he's more excited about...his cousins or the dirt.  Yesterday he asked me approximately 87 times when we were going to get on a big airplane and go see Aunt Susie.  I think he's learned by now that the Aunties will let him eat things and get away with things that Mama does not normally allow.  And you know...it's ok.  I have absolutely loved spoiling my nieces and nephews, so who am I to deny the pleasure to my sisters?  Plus, it's hilarious to watch him charm the pants off of them.

Chris is on Animal Duty all next week while we're gone.  We're keeping Sherry's dog here with the cats and Chris will be a veritable Kennel Keeper.  The dog is hilarious, I should note.  She has a bit of a death wish--I think it's because Sherry lives more in the country than we do, so Maya (the dog) isn't quite as accustomed to cars.  I took her to walk this morning and it was all I could do to keep her from hurling herself into traffic with wild abandon.  I'm trying hard not to take it personally.  I'm pretty sure she likes us...in spite of trying to throw herself after cars.

And with that, I suppose, you are all updated.  Sorry for not having blogged much.  I'm not feeling very lively lately.  Whether it's a normal side affect of pregnancy, or just life in general, I don't know.  I told my friend Samwise the other day, that I feel like burying my head in the sand and blissfully ignoring all the stuff I should be doing and just knitting baby stuff--so that's what I've been doing.  I'm working on a few pairs of neutral colored baby booties and hats.  They're so tiny that they knit up in a few hours.  And they're adorable.  (Though, I have to say, I knit the first one to pattern and maybe it would have fit the baby NOW, but by the time the baby is actually BORN, there's no way that bootie would fit on baby's feet!  So I changed the pattern to fit Burnstopia Baby Feet and like it much better.  Likewise with the hats!  I swear, other people must have these teeny tiny newborns...there's just no way that these delicate doll-sized hats will fit on a Burnstopia Baby.)

That's it.  I'm really done this time.  So for my Great Western Friends, if you hear of anything strange happening in Utah next week, don't worry, it's just me and my sisters and our Havoc. 

Home Sweet Home...maybe...

on 05 August 2011

Well.

I think we found a house.

It's not a huge house.  It's not new.  It's not extravagant or luxurious.  But it's lovely.  It's surrounded by trees and has plenty of room (for us) to spread out.

Now we just have to buy it.

Chris will start the offers and the haggling next week.  For that is ALL him.  I don't care to bargain (and if you can name that movie (or book!) I'll be duly impressed).

For now, I'm taking a break.  I've discovered in the midst of all this craziness that I'm actually a MUCH (nay, profoundly) better mother when I have less going on.  And so I reiterate for all of those multi-tasking, working Mothers--I don't know how they do it.  The Boy and I have books to read and Charlie Brown specials to cuddle and watch together.  His new favorite expression for anything at all is "Good Grief."  It's hilarious.

And for those of you who, for reasons I don't quite understand, are interested, I've gone back to working out.  Are you impressed?  You should be.  I'm unspeakably impressed!  It's not really hard working out, I'm doing some strength training on upper and lower body, trying to build my I-have-to-carry-a-baby-and-lug-a-carseat-in-6-months-oh-crap! muscles.

And while I shall be packing up our apartment, I have already absolved myself of the actual move itself and declared my intention to spend the day hiding at my parent's house and watching television and biting my fingernails all day.  I've never missed a move before!  Not one of my own!  I feel a little strange...guilty and pansy all at the same time.  Is this all preemptive?  Since we haven't even bought the house yet?  We've told the office we're not renewing our lease so technically if the house doesn't work out, we still have to move.

And as for the babalah, I've been feeling inordinately guilty for not having blogged about the Babe much.  It's not personal, I don't mean to make the poor wee one out to be a lesser loved child or anything, there's just not much to say at this point.  Talk about what?  My fickle stomach?  My incessant craving for peaches?  The buckets of tears I've cried over absolutely NOTHING (last night it was the last 2 episodes of Battlestar Galactica!  BSG?!  I've seen it 3 times!  I've never cried over it before, but there I sat, on the couch, sobbing my heart out as Athena holds and rocks Hera and Sam steers the ships into the sun and Roslin dies and Starbuck disappears on Apollo and weep weep weep, what is WRONG with me?!)?  It's a pregnancy.  It's healthy and normal and I've relaxed A LOT thank Heavens.  I can feel the lovely twitchy, tickly movements of a real live baby in there, and that's nice.  And in 3 more weeks I'll be able to tell you if it's Another Boy or A Girl and that will make me inexplicably happy.  Maybe then, I'll start to blog more...I don't know.

We're talking names.  I've reached a point where lo, I am sick to DEATH of the pronoun debacle.  Do I call it an It? Him? Her?  Somebody pinch me please, it annoys the crap out of me.  I usually alternate between the three, but I am just sick of it.  And yes, we're those odd sort of people who name the child in utero and refer to the child by name, because we happen to believe that it's an actual person.  I like Margaret for a girl (Chris likes Mathilda) and Liam for a boy (Chris likes Isaac), and while I can get Chris to think about Liam, I can't even get him to consider Margaret.  (People, please, we'd call her Maggie while she's little and she'd have Margaret to grow into as an adult--if she chose.  We're not horrible evil people.)  So I think we may have found another girl name that we can agree on, but we can't agree on the adult form to grow into and until we do, I'm not talking about it here.  We can't agree on ANY middle names (for girls) at all, and while my Dad would opt not to give her (if it's even a HER) a middle name (so that she can use her maiden name as a middle name) I love the middle name option.  That way if she's happy to relinquish her last name she still has a middle name she can hold on to.  Anyway, this is all bounding around inside my head most of the time because Chris won't even have the conversation with me until we know what IT is, and now you know why I'm feeling a little bit CRA-ZY.

And I just reread that last paragraph and I sound LOONY, so it's not small wonder that I haven't blogged in a while.

(I'm leaving it there as future evidence, when my grown children come to me and attempt to argue that I love the Boy more than any others, that I was indeed obsessive and neurotic about each and every one of my children.)

Anyway.  It's a cloudy day today, which is just so lovely.  I'll never understand why people complain about the weather in Seattle.  I loved the clouds.  The unending weeks of glaring sunlight, that is Summer in the South, it makes me a little bit crazy.  I need the cloudy days, it's what reboots my brain and settles me down.  I always feel better after a nice long string of gloomy days.  Is that strange?

And on that note, you are all updated.  C'est la vie en Burnstopia.  Ce n'est pas une vie en rose, mais, c'est bonne.  And since I haven't heard from anyone in a while, tell me how you're all doing.