Thursday, October 28, 2010

Good Times

I added the link within gadget to my blog.  I have enjoyed using it on some other blogs to read or re-experience stories.  Turns out I like it just as much on my own blog.  I initially started this blog (a bazillion years ago practically) as a journal.  This was back in the days when "comments" were titled, "poseurs" and there was nothing I could do to change it (oh, except learn coding).  The stuff from way back in the day is pretty badly written.  As one of my friends said, "Um, I'm not sure where you were going with that.  I read it and I was like, WTF?"  (Hello!  I was going for mysterious and subtle.  So I'll take your WTF as a sign of my success, whoop whoop!)

It's one o'clock right now, and not really unusual for me to be online.  Mostly I can't type because it's one-handed, in the dark fumbling while hunching over my daughter that makes my back hurt.  Tonight I've been following links from one part of my past to another.  I'm mostly pleased.  Yes, I'm willing to accept sleep deprivation and elevated hormones as reasons I find it fun to go through.

But as much as I've enjoyed reliving some of my own memories (which sounds strange even to me, but hey... most of my stories involve my kids), the comments have been equally great to re-read.  For those of you commenters who are still around, thanks again!  Much love and happiness to you.

And now, the fact that I've had both hands free for 20 minutes or so means I really need to get myself to bed while the getting's good.  Sleep sweet all!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Well What Do You Call It?

We call breastfeeding a lot of different things around here.  Tonight Mad tried to offer Fynn a bite of her apple.  Daddy explained that she can't eat an apple like Mad can; she just drinks Mama's milk.

Mad replied, "She need booby love."

Yes, yes she does.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

In Theory, I'm an Idiot, But Who Cares

Theory #1  Sixty-three degrees is perfect weather for the pumpkin patch down the hill (way better than the 85 or so we've been having at home). 
Well, okay it is, but not when it's also raining.

Theory #2  Since it's a kind of rainy day, maybe people will stay home today and it won't be crowded. 
Yeah, no.

Theory #3  We're not gonna need the stroller!  Last time we went to the pumpkin patch at Cal Poly Pomona, we got the "bad" parking about 100 yards from the pumpkin patch entrance.  Well if you go on the opening weekend, during the Pumpkin Festival, then you're going to park around the corner and down the street.  Apparently other people knew this and came prepared.
Like the guy with the baby carrier.

 And Mad...

 ... who brought Other New Fwog.

Corey, who said, "Thank goodness I don't want a big pumpkin this year!" after seeing where we had to park, ended up relying on his muscles for those not exactly small pumpkins.

Muscles he did not get by eating anything prepared by this group *gag*.
Disclaimer: Gagging is not induced by actually ingesting anything made by the International Viscera Cooler Club.  *gag*retch*gag*  I've had a problem with stuff that was simply labeled "meat."  Is it necessary to be that graphic? *gag*  Jeez.

Ahem... *deepcleansingbreath*

My pumpkin didn't come from the patch.  No no!  I wanted something for baking.  The lone grandma in our group suggested the Cinderella (which I tried last year... fabulous!) or the Jarrahdale variety.
It's funky looking, but the Jarrahdale pumpkin is rumored to make a fine pie... or four.  Sucker weighs a ton... or at least 15 pounds.

Corey carried it to the car for me as we left.  He and Tom had already made one trip to the car with the kids' selections.  On our way out Tom stopped to grab some backup sugar pies for me from a stand while the rest of us continued to the car.  Fynnie was in the wrap and Mad was tired.  So I picked her up and maneuvered her to my back.  Eleven or so extra pounds in front, 33 extra pounds in back.  And yet Corey had the nerve to complain about the pumpkin in his arms.  Reminded me of the argument he and Tom had as we walked to the hospital while I was in labor with Madelyn.

All in all it was a fun day spent with fine people.  My theories were all wrong, but we had a great time.

What's that?  I didn't show you any photos of Fynnie Fynnie Coco Pop?  Did I forget?  Pshaw! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Argh! and Yea!

I have been attempting to add photos to a pending post since Sunday night.  Still only extremely limited success (and none of the cute ones).  I'm hoping my cries for help are the reason "image uploads" is going to be serviced tomorrow.  In the meantime, here is a random sampling of my life:

I set up my phone so I can send posts to Blogger, but there must be a step I'm missing.

This has been stuck in my head for a week (I kind of like it):

Potty training is going very well.  I gave up the ridiculous idea that changing Mad's diaper while she's laying down will confuse her or I'm failing to reinforce that she's not a baby anymore. So, no more poopy hands for Mama.  Whoever thought of using a timer to make kids go to the potty is a fricken genius.  I'd kiss him or her on the mouth!  And realizing that I can use my cell phone alarm instead of the oven timer (thereby not having to rest Fynn's perpetually nursing body on the stove so I can make the ringing stop) makes me a freaking genius, too!  (At least to me.)  Mad's been telling me when she needs to go during nap time and overnight.  I mostly make it to her in time, but she's diapered then, so it's not as urgent.  She's getting good at telling me when she needs to go the rest of the day, too.  As I'm getting a sense of her timing, we are not living our entire mornings in 10 minute increments.  This is great!  However, when I offered to let her wear panties while we took Brother to school, she declined.

My friend with the lung situation has been tested four different ways.  One shows a borderline cancer score (6-10 typically means cancer; she got a 6).  However, a biopsy shows that there are no lesions.  It's not exactly a clean bill of health.  The doctor wanted to do another procedure, but the test results weren't close enough to 100% reliable for L, so she declined.  She'll go through another PET scan in two months to see if it's grown.  There are so many things to say or think about a friend in this situation.  I think I know how I'd handle much of it.  For one thing, I'd want to know as much as possible.  The opposite is true for her.  No googling, no super-involved conversations with the doctor.  Her philosophy is that everything she ever felt like she wouldn't be able to survive has happened, with this being the big one (if it is, indeed, the big one), but she's survived everything else.  Why not this, too, right?

In odd news that I probably shouldn't be mentioning, tomorrow would be my 20th anniversary if I'd stayed married the first time.  I cannot imagine still being married to him.  I have felt exactly that way since we agreed to divorce.  Yet every year at this time I feel a mental countdown.  I have no idea where he's at, if he's still married to wife number three (or was it four?  I couldn't keep track), or even if he's still alive.  I am glad we're not in contact, but I would tolerate him and be decent if he were part of Corey's life.  Fricken jackass.

Over the past 24 hours or so we've had some spectacular thunder and lightning.  Tom, Fynn and I sat upstairs in our bedroom watching (well, Fynnie nursed... is it possible that she's starting her next growth spurt so early?!?).  The strangest thing to me was the lack of heavy winds during most of it.  The gentle breeze made it possible to sit here with the window open.... until all of a sudden the storm got serious.  Wind, rain, hail.  Little chilly until Tom could close the window.  I'm so glad we have wireless Internet or I'd be stuck playing solitaire on my phone tonight while Tom and Fynn sleep.

I don't remember mentioning, but I have scheduled my tubal.  Two weeks from this Friday.  I'm good with the decision again.  Really, I always have been; I realized it while talking to my doctor.  I'll be 40 in the spring.  As I said to the doc, "There's room in the house.  There isn't room in the budget or the calendar."  Or the car.  Corey barely fits back there with the girls.  It's good we've gone so many places as a family, but if this continues, we'll have to get a bigger car.

There is still a slim chance we can make it to Chicago for Christmas, because the state still owes me money.  If nothing else unexpected happens, the money I'll get through PFL may be enough to do a slightly shorter trip.

Let's end with some good news.  I got my statement today showing that my check will be this month will only be a few hundred dollars short.  Compared to last month, I feel rich!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I Did It!

*ahh*  I almost feel as relieved as I should.

First (as always, right?) a little background.  When Fynn was born, Tom took a (blessed) month off from work.  During that time, I pretty much stayed upstairs in our room with Fynn.  She nursed all the time (so imagine my shock at what nursing her during a growth spurt was like!).  I'm pretty sure had the same bedroom hangout routine with Madelyn, only our apartment was so tiny that no matter where everybody else was, our bedroom was right there.  Bigger home makes the separation more significant, I think.  Plus, Tom was busy taking care of Madelyn this time, as well as hanging out with Corey, preparing meals, doing the shopping and cleaning up the messes that Maisy was suddenly making all over our carpet.  (Yes, I almost always realize how lucky I am.)

He was awesome.  My favorite part of the whole deal was how much time he spent having fun with Madelyn.  For the better part of the last year he'd been working full time at his unfulfilling day job and then putting in crazy hours trying to get his business off the ground.  He frequently had commitments four nights a week (gotta save one night for tennis or softball or whatever the fix is at the time), plus he spent about 10 hours on Saturday either in training or trying to drum up more appointments for the upcoming week.  Many weeks Mad only saw her Daddy for an hour or so on Saturday morning, all day Sunday and the occasional drive home together on Thursday (sports night).  She loved him, no doubt, but she hardly saw him and didn't go to him for much of anything.  Now they are best buddies and she clearly adores him.

The downside is that he hardly got to spend any time at all with Fynn.  Although Fynn and I came downstairs periodically, I found the air conditioning blowing on us almost no matter where I sat.  The one place it didn't hit us was in a seat Mad especially enjoys using as her own personal jungle gym, but only when the chair is occupied.  So we stayed up and everybody else mostly stayed down.

The long-term effect is that Tom's not as comfortable with Fynn as he was with Mad at this age.  Last weekend I convinced him to put Fynn in the Moby wrap while I got my hair lopped off.  It worked beautifully.  He wore her again today, twice.  The first time I helped a little with getting the wrap on (right up to his comment, "This is a little like having my mom help me get dressed when I was a little... hey, no... I didn't mean it like that!").  The second time he did it entirely himself.

I used my free time to get a shower and also to work on the table and chairs that still need to be clear-coated.  Between Corey and I, everything has it's first coat.  A little buffing and a couple more coats and we may actually be able to use this fricking thing before it's two years old.  At this point, though, we're racing against the weather.  Fall is a pretty windy time in So Cal, and it's especially windy up here.  Sometimes it sounds like a train's passing through if we have a window or two open in the evening.  We could only work until about 2:15 today before it started kicking up.  Seemed to be bringing a storm in, but we'll see.  Corey and I are in complete agreement that we cannot believe we ever used to enjoy staining furniture. 

The table and chairs aren't perfect.  Heck, none of the pieces we've done together are, but there are some ridiculous errors on the chairs.  However, after spending whatever free time we could find over the last month when it wasn't windy or humid (gah! didn't I move to the middle of an arid desert?) just trying to get the chairs "fixed," I have decided that those annoying frustrating glaring mistakes areas just add character.  Oh, and I've decided that I'm never ever ever having chairs with spindles again.  Spindles suck. 


This evening I was telling Tom (as Fynn nursed for pretty much her second solid hour in a row) that I feel pressure to get something done when he's got her.  It's nothing he's doing or saying.  I'm putting the pressure all on myself.  So tonight, when Fynn nursed herself to sleep for the third or fourth time in three hours, but then woke up again as soon as I tried to put her down, I changed tactics.  And her diaper.  And took her downstairs to Tom.  I believe he's rocked her to sleep.

I should be sleeping now, too.  He probably is sleeping in the glider.  Instead, I came online to type with two hands and without hunching over.  I've had about 45 minutes of free time.  It's been lovely.

But I believe I hear a tiny, but effective set of lungs calling for me.


A soon-to-be-wed woman on my birth board asked for tips to keep her marriage strong.  I'm posting my response here because this will be easier to find when I need a refresher.

Here's what we do when we're doing things really well (sometimes we forget and go back to bad habits):

*Respect one another whether you're in each other's presence or not ~ I see a lot of posts bitching about the husband being stupid, a loser, incompetent with the baby, etc. Venting is one thing, but unless he's doing something illegal, immoral or otherwise dangerous, try hard not to be that kind of wife. Don't let him be the kind of husband who would be mean to you or bash you to others either.

*Have fun together ~ Enjoying one another's company and having some friends in common is vital.

*Have separate interests ~ Don't do everything together.

*Understand that having a baby and getting married will make things more challenging... but know that you'd feel challenged without the baby. It's a little something extra to deal with right off, but not an extra reason to quit early.

*Know that being right doesn't necessarily mean you're going to win. This one is sometimes still hard for me. Pointing out how right you are or how wrong he is might make you feel better for about 30 seconds, but it's not going to solve the problem or keep you close to the man you love.

*Remember what brought you together ~ Times get hard once in a while, sometimes for a long while (that first year was a doozie for Tom and I, and we'd been together over five years by the time we wed), but you two are making this monumental decision because of several reasons. Write them down now while they're fresh and look at your list when you need to. Add to it when you can.

For example, by the time my husband got home last night, I was fried. Not because of anything bad, but I've been potty training our toddler this week (whew!). After we got our toddler to bed, I was supremely annoyed by the sound of my husband dragging his feet on the floor... and then I realized he was just getting to use the bathroom. Neither of us likes public restrooms so much. Tom usually goes from the front door to the restroom in the evening. He'd been home for about three hours when he finally got to go last night. He helped with dinner and the girls, then we ate. Then it was the bedtime routine and then he got a minute or two to himself. So, on my list of more than a million reasons why I love my husband... he waited to use the restroom so he could be with his family on a night when I really needed the help (and yes, I'm so glad I didn't cop an attitude about his feet dragging, even though it drives me up the wall on a good day).

I guess what it all really comes down to is that each of you should try to be the kind of person you'd want to be married to. Sometimes you're going to mess up, and so will he. Hopefully by keeping the other person in mind at all times, those mistakes will be relatively minor and you can continue to grow and love each other.

What advice would you give?  Did anyone ever advise you before marriage?  Did you heed it?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Potty Training, Day One (Not for the Squeamish)

What I've learned today:

  • The "five minutes off, five minutes on" method is too much.  I prefer the "10 minutes off, stay on a reasonable time" method.
  • My daughter can be taught in three hours or less to stop what she's doing and head to the potty once the oven timer goes off.
  • The pause function on the TV is a wonderful feature that helps keep a little girl from feeling rushed so she won't miss Abby's Flying Fairy School.
  • You cannot leave poop on the floor with Maisy around.  I left it for 10 seconds while I got Mad to the potty, but it was still gone when I returned.  I almost vomited, but I was also kind of grateful I didn't have to clean it up all by myself.
  • That little ladybug-shaped egg timer Mad loves?  Having it go off in the bathroom because you're trying to get her to stay on the seat for 2-3 minutes is NOT a good idea.  Causes a certain little girl to somehow jump off the potty with the seat adapter attached to her backside until she lands in your lap.  (So proud of her for getting back up there later!  She keeps saying, "No wadybug in the potty.  It's too woud in the potty.")
  • The idea that you can simply dump poop from a diaper into the potty is freaking ridiculous, especially if your daughter pooped and then hopped and scooted all over her bed while not napping .
  • Mad can only bend over and touch her toes for so long while Mama cleans that massive poo in the "you're not a baby, so you don't lay down for diaper changes" way.  And when she falls, she's probably going to land her poopy butt right on the hand that cleans her.
  • Telling a child three weeks before you actually start a potty training method, "I'll give you a candy when you pee in the potty, two if you poop!" is bribery.  Bribery is bad. 
  • There is nothing like the expressions of surprise and pride that come over Mad's face when she uses the potty.  (Maybe bribery is not so bad after all?)
  • Mad fully comprehends the difference between wants and needs.  In between successful trips to the potty today she said, "I want... *looks away wistfully*... I need a candy."

It has been a triumphant day.  I've heard this method can work in three days (or that it can take weeks or even months!).  Wish us luck for tomorrow.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Not Quite A Member

I know, I know... every third blog has a Wordless Wednesday feature.  Which I love, don't get me wrong.  I'm just not a joiner... not to mention I have got to be one of the wordiest people out there.  So here it is, Monday night, and here are some photos that I love:

Sisterly smooches

One is thrilled and the other, at least, can breathe

Talking with Daddy

Two months of cuteness and bliss

How Daddy and Fynnie made it through while Mommy went out to get her haircut

Bonafide teamwork.  In my own home.

 Can we... open dis? (Now think of that every three seconds or so for 45 minutes.)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mixing It Up

Here's another hodgepodge rundown of life lately:


Mad-a-speak ~ "I putting a ball on my butt, Dad," really means, "I'm sitting on my ball, Dad."


Today I went from this

to this
(you can thank me later for sparing you the sight of my extremely tired eyes).

I did have to wrestle the big round brushes out of the stylist's hands.  "Yes, I have curly hair.  Yes, I love straight hair as much as you apparently do.  But I've been out of the house for over an hour and I can feel my baby calling me.  You're going to see physical evidence of my psychic abilities very soon if you don't just dry my hair and let me get out of here."


Our financial woes have been resolved without loans and with only being late on two payments.  One of them we were still within the "grace period."  The other called me yesterday.  We were less than a week overdue.  On the one hand, I'm glad to know they won't just let us get behind due to sleep deprivation (after Mad was born I overpaid one bill by $250... money I'd intended to send somewhere else... whoops!).  On the other hand... seriously?  After five days I have to confirm every piece of contact information you have on me?  I resisted the urge to have the poor woman repeat herself after each one.  She said due to the economy she has to ask everybody these questions.  I hate her job for her.


I have found another mom's group in my area.  There is an event Tuesday evening (Mom's Night Out!  At Starbucks!!) I'm hoping to attend.  It all depends on Fynnie.  We'd intended for her two month doctor visit/shot to be last week, but there was a scheduling error.  Thankfully I know they're closed on Friday afternoons and called earlier in the week to see when her real appointment was.  Turns out the girl had put us down for December 8, not October.  I'm all for delaying vaccines to a point, but there are some I think should be given as cold and flu season starts up.  So her new appointment is this coming Tuesday afternoon.  We only do one shot at a time, but if I recall correctly, the first one is a doozie.  If she's not feeling well, I'm not going, obviously.  But the thing is that I've found people.  Now I just have to meet them and take it from there.


Corey has been making big plans for Halloween with his cousin Sarah.  The original plan was for Sarah and her friends to all dress like zombies; Corey will be a zombie hunter.  Tonight I got this email from my sister-in-law: 
Sarah is not going as a zombie princess. Nor is she going with the group that will be zombie princesses.  She is going with her old friends, and Corey knows all of them. Sarah is going to be a rubber ducky girl, but if Corey would like a zombie, she is willing to add a zombie aspect to her costume.
Sarah's a giver, that girl!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

How $37 Can Suddenly Seem Like... Not A Lot... But More

I get paid on the last business day of the month.  That's it.  When I was a single mama, it meant paying all the bills and doing one massive grocery shopping trip at the start of each month.  Frozen vegetables and meat stocked our freezer.  Sometimes I wished I could get a fridge/freezer combo where the freezer was larger.  Once Tom and I married, I rejoiced in fresh fruits and veggies.

A few weeks ago I got a notice from the payroll department showing how my September check would be reduced by 50% for my days on leave.  Dates were listed along with amounts, but there was no real explanation.  Last week I got another yellow slip in the mail detailing dates and deductions, but again without an explanation.  The deductions on this form were about half of the original amounts.  I ridiculously assumed that the second form canceled out the first. Nope.

Apparently they hadn't docked my pay for all of my maternity leave in August.  So my check was docked half pay for nine days in August plus 22 days in September.  Take out taxes, my standard deductions and the money that goes straight to my car payment, and I was left with a very small check.

When I called the bank Thursday morning on somehow I got off the phone thinking the direct deposit was for $37.  When I called Payroll later in the day, I learned that I'd overestimated my wealth.  In fact, my check for the entire month of September was $32.48.  Sweet!

All is not lost; I should be receiving a sizable check from State Disability, which will cover about 2/3 of what's missing.  I called Wednesday to see when I can expect it because it seems to be overdue.  The customer-no-service person I spoke with couldn't tell me if the certification I'd sent in had been received, only that it will take 10 days to process my check and two days to send it out once it's processed.  Could she tell me how much to expect?  No she could/would not.

So, yes, we are in a mad scramble to gather our funds from various sources to just pay the mortgage this week.  The money we'd set aside to maybepossiblyhopefully make our biennial trip to Chicago at Christmas?  Gone.  Happy Christmas everyone.  We can't come see you, but we still have a home!

Fun times, to be sure.
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