Kids are the Comedians of Life

Can I just be honest for a minute and say that it took me a second to remember the site to type in for my blog?  Probably because my phone has the wordpress app and has made me totally lazy, but mostly because I have not blogged in about forever.  However.  At least a few of you stalk me on facebook so you probably know that I am done with grad school until mid-January-since I posted about being done-very loudly-several times-but that means that now I have much less of an excuse to not blog.  Plus, I missed y’all!  Aww, feel the love and crap.

Anyways, my children-both born and unborn- are a total hoot lately.  Corinne and Ashlynn had their toddler beds both moved into the same bedroom a few days ago as prep for the coming baby, and it was nothing if not memorable.

First Corinne happily advised that we should put the infant in the bushes, on the roof, or in the tiny alcove we call the attic.  She helpfully added that we could cut a window out of the wall for it if we wanted.  Or not.  She didn’t really care, she just didn’t want anyone to touch her stuff.

We decided to do this move now because they are getting bunk beds in December and a sibling in April, and I am so not throwing all that junk at them at once or it will be Kidmaggeddon 2013.

So anyways, moving furniture was fun.  And finding long-lost toys stuffed in cracks behind furniture was super-duper fun.  Also Corinne had like eight rolls of tape in various crevices of her art desk.  Which, what the hell, you know?

So we moved their stuff and rearranged and asked them to put at least some of their millions of toys into a bag for less fortunate kids, and at the end there were like two McDonald’s toys and a used tissue in there because Hey! Generosity!

So there was much joy and jumping on each other’s beds and celebrating.  And then exactly seven minutes later (I looked at the clock) Corinne comes flying out screaming that Ashlynn was touching her stuff and she DID NOT WANT TO SHARE A ROOM OMG NEV-AH!!  Haha too bad.  I am five months pregnant and only move furniture once a day so there.  Also they totally got over it and are doing just fine.  Although I did hear mutinous mutterings of “my side” and “your side,” but all I could think was that made a damn good I Love Lucy episode, so if a reenactment occurs I will probably become parent of the year and just laugh the whole freaking time.

Yay!

Ashlynn has seriously been coming into her own on the whole sense of humor thing, too!  The other day we were watching a movie and the villain got all bitchy and Ashlynn looked at me and said “MAN, does she need a nap!”  Because my kid is awesome that way.

Corinne has decided to try to get her misdeeds done by telling Ashlynn to do them.  So she will whisper something for her to do.  But here’s the thing-she totally sucks at whispering.  Really.  Like I will be in the kitchen and hear her say “HEY ASHLYNN TOUCH THE TV WITH YOUR SUCKER.”  At volume ten.  Because she seems to think if she puts her hand next to her mouth, it makes her whisper?  I guess?  So then I have to tell her I heard her and to cut the crap, and she’s all like “How did you EVER hear me?”  And to set myself up for the teen years I see coming, I tell her that mothers hear everything and there is nowhere to hide.  Ha!

The unborn child is behaving as well as can be expected.  We are about half done baking our bun, as I will be twenty weeks on Monday woohoo!  I get lots of punches and bops and kicks now, and the other day Kirk had his arm across me and it got him good so he told it it was grounded for the next twenty weeks.  But still with the barfiness.  The thing is, I can go two or three days now and be fine but just when I think maybe I am over it, my body is like “Hahaha no way GAG at everything!”

I am just super happy to have an ultrasound on Monday and stop calling it “it.” Gah, I cannot stand that.  Although seriously, major pressure from all quarters to have a boy, what with the two girls and all.  To which I say tough, it will be what it will be and that was decided long before we even knew we were pregnant.

So, the gender announcement.  I want to do something special for this child, because I have seriously dropped the mom ball on this pregnancy.  With the first two I had a little pregnancy calendar that counted down the days and you’d put little stickers on for doctor appointments and stuff.  Well, they don’t sell them anymore so that’s kind of out of my hands.  But I also took a picture every month with the girls and I have a grand total of one for this pregnancy so far.  Ooops.  (Although to some people I am apparently too thin-such as the girl from my grad class that felt the need to inform me that I really should follow doctor’s orders and eat more-what-the-ever-loving-hell?)

So I thought…hey!  Gender announcement and Christmas cards!  And I think I may have been the only person to ever think of this because Google seriously let me down and now I am disillusioned.  It gave me this:

Um, no?

So, I dunno.  I want to do something with maybe a belly shot and a blue or pink ribbon or possibly a blue or pink onesie.  Maybe with a “Do Not Open Until April 2013” tag or something?  I dunno.  There’s a really fine line here between sweet and cheesy.  So if you have any ideas, let me know!

And Then This Happened…

I have not written a post in forever, and I gotta say…that’s probably going to keep happening for a while.  Sorry.  Life is awesome and amazing and so, so crazy busy.

Last time we talked, in this post, I had just finished up getting my classroom ready for the school year.  I was as prepared as I could ever be for a group of wildly diverse 1-4 grade gifted students!

And then this happened**…

The first day of school!!  It was everything I ever dreamed!  My students are so very fantastic.  Intelligent, intuitive, but still just kids…fun-loving kids.  But then I went home and cried a little.  Cuz whoa.  I SO want to do things right for them.  I’m glad I have such a wonderful school district to support me.  Our biggest challenge is classroom management. (I have 28 kids that are SO VERY smart enough to know how to get away with things.)

Maybe my aide said it best…someone walked past her in the hall and said “Hey, how’s Amy doing?”  And she replied, “You know!  Crazy!  Stressed! On cloud nine!”  That about says it all. 🙂

And after the first week, I started to get into the swing of things.

And then this happened…

Grad school!

Now seriously, I do enjoy the pertinence and challenge of grad school.  Not so sure about the challenge of grad school with papers to grade and lessons to plan and…stuff.  BUT..I’m gonna get through it. And I plan on getting a freakin’ A, too.  Cuz that’s how I roll.

And then this happened…

Ashlynn started preschool.  My baby, my little one, my precious girl.  She headed right off to school and never even looked back.  No tears, no crying for Mommy, just a huge smile and heading off to school.  I still haven’t figured out if that made it easier or harder.

And then this happened…

 

Corinne started kindergarten.  She popped out of bed her first morning like toast from the toaster.  She’s been ready for kindergarten since she was, um, about 2 years old.  She’s right down the hall from me (which I love), and she adores her teacher.  Her friends.  The cafeteria.  Art class.  Lunch.  Recess.  All of it.  She talks about nothing else.  I’m proud to say I made it through orientation without tears, although I did almost lose it when she leaned over and said “I’ll miss you, Mommy, but I’ll see you at the end of the day!”

And then this happened…

Baby Number 3!

Now don’t take this wrong-this baby was totally planned.  I’ve always wanted three, and the whole time I was pregnant with Ashlynn, I just felt it wasn’t the last time.  This time is-so I plan on savoring it!  I’m due on April 15th (or, as the doctor said: “More due than just taxes that day!  Harhar)  And seriously, I am that sickening girl that loves being pregnant.  Except right now, I am just sickening.  Sick as a dog.  And “morning sickness” be damned.  24/7.  I wake up at 3am to pee and also feel the need to gag.  So yes, I am savoring this pregnancy.  But yes, I am also looking forward to a time when stifling nausea is no longer my hobby.

**I would like to clarify that these things did not happen in this chronological order, but rather all in one giant crazy whirlwind clump of like a week and a half.  Woooooo!!

I promise to be back.  Sometime.  Soonish.  Hopefully.  Probably!

Ashlynn Cari

Any parent will immediately understand how blown away I am by the fact that today is my youngest daughter’s THIRD (count them…three) birthday.  If it is even possible, it seems like she’s growing faster than Corinne is.  (possibly because you run around twice as much with two children)

Since I published Corinne’s birth story here and here,  I want to share Ashlynn’s story with you as well.  I promise to try to avoid overt ickiness or TMI, but hey, it’s a birth story.

Ashlynn didn’t behave nearly as well in my belly as Corinne!  I ended up in the ER twice, once because she was a sleepy baby that didn’t move for HOURS at a time, and once because she decided to camp out on a major artery and seriously messed with my blood pressure.

As an aside, in order to save on $500 ER bills, I rented a fetal doppler monitor from Heartbeats At Home.  It was very reasonable and actually really fun since anyone (Expectant grandmothers, etc) could listen to her heartbeat!  I highly recommend it.

Towards the end of my pregnancy, I got really impatient.  I was due June 10th, and school got out June 4th, so I knew that for every day that passed after the 4th, my maternity leave got one day shorter (my job offered no paid leave at all-except summer vacations!).  My husband and I took a lot of looonnnggg walks around the neighborhood trying to get things “moving.”

Love this pic!  Even if I was thinking "Get out!"

I think what frustrated me most is that I had a TON of false labor, and every time contractions started to get regular everyone got all excited.  (Everyone watches you like a hawk when you’re ready to pop.  People call you for weird, spurious reasons just to see if you accidentally went into labor and forgot to tell them.)  But after the umpteenth time of getting all excited, my preggo attitude turned to “either come or don’t but quit teasing!”

On June 7th, I’d been having contractions off and on all day but I was refusing to acknowledge them.  My husband called and asked me to grab him his favorite take-out salad from Bob Evan’s, and I remember the waitress being annoyed because I got there at like 5 til ten and they were closing.  That was when I felt my first pretty serious contraction, but I was annoyed with all the false labor so I ignored it.

I went home and basically had the worst night ever.  When contractions weren’t waking me up, I was dreaming about going into labor (my body knew when it was go-time, even if my brain didn’t.)

When my husband woke up, I told him to call off work and take me to the ER.  Nothing was super regular yet, but I was exhausted and scared that if this kept up, I wouldn’t have any energy for actual labor or pushing.  My MIL came to watch Corinne and off we went.

The doctor told me I was on the very edge of active labor, so they admitted me and gave me a little pitocin.  Pitocin is the devil, people.  The DEVIL.  Those contractions were horrible.  The nurse came in to break my water (which usually makes labor faster but harder) and I looked at her and pointed to the pitocin and said “NO WAY until you turn THAT OFF.”  I was curled (as best as you can curl when hugely pregnant) into a ball of misery, and it was time for the epidural.

As a side note, this is the first and only time I yelled at my sweet hubby during either of my labors.  I felt a massive contraction coming and called him and he was texting and told me to hang on a second.  I was like “PUT THE PHONE DOWN AND GET OVER HERE RIGHT NOW!!”  But other than that, he was awesome 🙂

See? Best hubby EVER!!

One thing they sometimes forget to tell you about the epidural is that it can fool with your blood pressure.  Both times I’ve had one, it made me dizzy and light-headed for the first hour or so.  Just FYI.

So epidural.  Now wait, wait, wait.  Second labors are not necessarily shorter than firsts.  I went 17 hours with Corinne and almost 19 with Ashlynn.

This was an absolute textbook easy birth.  I pushed for like 10 minutes and out she came. The doctor placed her on my belly and I cried.  She was gorgeous!  She had red hair!  I spent my pregnancy thinking she would be a brunette.  I remember that was the first thing the nurse said-look at all that red hair!  I was up and walking around an hour after she was born.  It was great!

Ashlynn Cari
June 8, 2009
4:42 PM
7lbs. 12 oz
20.25 inches long

Oh, about her middle name:  my mother’s name is Cathy, and my MIL’s name is Lori.  So we took the CA from CAthy and the RI from LoRI and made Cari!  Plus, her name starts with A like mine, and my middle name is Lynn.  So really she’s named after three people!

Oh, she’s exactly as much of a stinker as she looks like!!

I Promise I Am Not Missing In Action, Nor Have I Fled the Country

I have not forgotten that I have a blog.  Promise.  But life, it happens.  Can’t help that much!  March Madness, indeed, although it has nothing to do with basketball.  Actually, I don’t give a rat’s hind end about basketball.

Anyways, here’s the update, mixed in with a few stories, happy, sad, and otherwise.  I try to write every week, sorry for the epic fail on that part lately!  When I write posts like these, I type a quick list of things I want to mention so I don’t forget anything.  And since bullets won’t cut it, I left the list as headings.  Aren’t you lucky?

Grad school

I’m going back to graduate school.  I cannot decide if I’m excited or scared to death, really.  College wasn’t exactly “hard” for me-school never really has been-I love learning and I’m what some people call smart, I guess.  But then in college I didn’t have a career and two small children.  I did, however, have a spouse and a full-time job, and most undergrad students didn’t have those and still got crummy grades, while I got good ones.  So I guess maybe things will pan out?

I’m going to get my “Master of Arts in Educational Curriculum and Instruction, focusing on Talent Development Education.”  Holy crap if that isn’t a mouthful.  Basically it means that a) I can collect from the Master’s step payscale in my district and b) I can teach gifted kids.  People say I’m crazy for wanting to teach gifted kids, but I think it just takes a special person.  Also?  I was one.  So I understand the inherent weirdness.

Grandpa

In early March my husband lost his paternal grandfather.  He was a fantastic, wonderful man.  He was magnificent to Kirk throughout his life, and he welcomed me into the family with open arms.  The great granddaughters we gave him brought him tons of joy, and I know he’ll be a great guardian angel for them.  He was a man that treated everyone kindly and smiled all the time.  There aren’t many like him these days, and he will be so greatly missed.  Rest in peace and with love, Grandpa H.

Baby

Sometime in the next year, we are planning another baby.  There are days when my daughters have the screaming tantrums and I think “No way could I handle three.”  Fortunately, those days are few and far between and most days I just want a third child to love.  I think it will be vastly different from the first two-Corinne was the first, so she was the only kiddo to juggle for a while (Which is good-turns out there’s quite the learning curve on babies.  Who knew?)

Ashlynn came along when Corinne was 2 1/2, so we had a baby and a toddler, which was…interesting.  By the time this baby comes along, Corinne will be 6 (6!) and in kindergarten and Ashlynn will be almost four and in preschool.  Quite the difference!  Of course, this all depends on the timing of things.  Although sometimes I worry that maybe Ashlynn and baby #3 will be too far apart…hmmmm.  For now we are just enjoying the lack of diapering occurring in our house.

Spider Fell on me

Yep.  Yesterday a spider fell on me.  I opened our garage door and when I walked in to get the wagon, a spider freaking FELL ON ME.  FROM THE CEILING.  ONTO ME.  So since yesterday at about five o’clock, every time a hair touches me or my clothes fall weird I turn into a ninja and attempt to jump out of my own clothing.  It’s happened like six times since I started typing this.  Hardy har.

Poop story

Well with that little header I’ll just bet you are excited to read this.  Ashlynn hasn’t shown up on here as having as many hilarious conversations as Corinne, but trust me-they are happening more and more frequently.  And the potty training hasn’t helped.  (I was kind of hoping to avoid the obsessed-with-potty-humor phase since I have girls, but this is not to be so.)

Ashlynn: (from the bathroom) Mom, I’m done, come help me wipe!

Me: Coming!

Ashlynn: And don’t use your finger!

Me: <gags> Ew!  WHAT?!  I am not going to use my finger!

Ashlynn: And don’t eat it.

Me:   Ashlynn Cari, don’t SAY things like that!!

Game of Thrones

Well gah.  How can Game of Thrones be exciting after that poo story?  Believe it or not, it can be.  Someone told me the show is good, and since AT&T screwed up our bill, we have free HBO so woohoo!  And it IS a good show.  But more importantly, it’s based on books!  Books, people!  3,188 pages in the first four volumes alone!  So good, thick, fat, juicy books!  Yeehaw!  I cannot wait to begin this series as a reader.  Although I must admit it totally goes against the grain to read after watching.  So I’m excited for the books to fill in the gaps from the show.

Yes, I promise to blog again before I finish the series.  Gah.  What?  You think I’m blog delinquent or something?

 

Baby Advice

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Mommy with the ….

Well, there are a lot of people that don’t do it in that order anymore, but I’m a purist, I suppose.

Lately, I have found myself surrounded by pregnant people.  Ok, pregnant ladies.  I’ll let you know if I see any pregnant men.

There are at least 5 people pregnant at work and multiple Facebook friends are announcing it as well.  Must be the trendy thing to do! 

And a lot of these people are first time moms, and since I’ve been there, done that before and plan to do it again, I feel the urge to give them a few tips.

But not annoying tips.

I remember the first time I was pregnant and every other person was like “Oh my GOD they grow SO fast!” (Duh.  The pregnancy was already flying by at neck-breaking speed.) 

Or my favorite- “Enjoy your sleep while you can, you won’t be getting any for a while!”  (Duh, again.  Also, you try sleeping with a squirming watermelon in your waistband, then tell me how a pregnant woman is supposed to enjoy her sleep.) 

She's totally faking

But honestly, I adored being pregnant.  No, really.  I was that annoying woman.  But now that I see others getting their first time belly bumps, I want to share the things I wish someone had told me, because they are some of the things I most wanted (or needed) to hear.

Also because it helps tone down my desire to get pregnant again RIGHT NOW.

Also because I think I feel kind of old.

So here’s my parenting advice (keeping in mind the fact that I am totally winging this as I go.  And also the fact that sometimes I don’t take my own advice.)

Don’t Buy Everything

I’m serious.  During those nine long months of pregnancy, all you have to do is sit there and internet shop or randomly roam around Babies’R’Us and hold up outfits and squeal, usually with a bored, non-pregnant friend.

But people will buy you stuff.  People you never knew even knew your name will buy you baby gifts.  And you’ll probably have a shower.  There’s something about a baby that gives everyone the urge to shop.

When you register, take someone with you that has had a baby in the past six months.  Bribe them with food or babysitting if you need to.  If you have no such person, grab someone with an infant in Babies’R’Us.  They’ll be happy to help.  It’s way too tempting to register for every silly awesome gadget just because it’s nifty.  And then you end up with hundreds of dollars worth of stuff you never even look at.

And it will all, ALL be pink or blue. No exceptions.

You Don’t Need Everything Now

My kids didn’t sleep in a crib until they were six or seven months old.  But it was the first thing we bought when that little pink line showed up.  We bought loads of sippy cups, and Corinne refused to drink out of all but one specific kind until well after she’d learned to drink from a cup. 

Babies are picky about bottle nipples and binky types.  Some diapers will give them rashes.  Some babies are born too big to wear “newborn” size.  Some grow slower(or faster) than others and don’t need seasonal clothes quite as soon as you’d think.  Buy and register carefully, and keep your receipts!

You Will Give Birth

Yes, there is a time (somewhere between 30-40 weeks.  Or ALL the time between 30-40 weeks) when you will think “This baby is never, ever going to be born and I will be huge and fat and pregnant forever.”  No one is pregnant forever.  It will happen. 

Same thing with the thought “I will never be able to have this baby.  It has become physically impossible and I simply refuse.”  Yeah, that’s not happening either.  You will become unpregnant.  And I’m not going to feed you that “Women have been doing it for millenia” drivel.  That is not a comfort.  Women Scwimen.  YOU haven’t been doing it for millenia, so what do you care?  How exactly is that supposed to help you?  What will help you is knowing that you have a support team to back you and a body that’s pretty well programmed for this.  And medical people that are experienced in this sort of thing. 

(I was going to but a picture here.  Let’s just say I highly recommend NOT searching “big pregnant” on Google Images.)

Control Your Own Delivery.  BEFORE You Go Into Labor

Oh my God, make the big decisions with your significant other ahead of time.  And make sure they know that they need to stand by them or you will kill them after the delivery and being in a hospital will be of no help.(I must say, my husband was awesome at this.  No, he’s not for sale.  We can talk renting if the price is right.)  When you are in labor your brain leaves the building and I don’t care if you are medicated or not, you don’t want to have to make one single damn decision.

I’m not talking about the big decisions like natural vs. c-section.  You might have a say in that, but it’s a preference.  I’m talking about making sure people you do not want in the delivery room are not there.  Making sure the people that need to stay within viewing above your waist remain above.you.waist.  Making sure the right people get called to announce the news because a phone call will not be your priority. 

You will remember, set in stone, virtually everything that happens while you deliver a baby.  Try to make it a memory to look back on well.  Not one that pisses you off because so-and-so drove you crazy or did this crappy thing.

Prioritize

This is one piece of advice I heard but chose to ignore.  But seriously, nobody cares if you have a one-week-old and you haven’t vacuumed the damn rug.  Go take a nap or something.

Get That Kid on A Schedule

Not at first.  Let the baby do it’s own thing for the first 6-8 weeks.  You are just baby’s slave during that time.

But after that, get them on a schedule.  And I mean post-haste.

This is the number one biggest thing I did that has made my life easier as a parent.  I’m not talking about Junior eating breakfast from 8:24am-9:12am and then exercising from 9:12am-10:22am and then napping from 10:22am-11:47am.  Yeesh.

Not a good schedule. For the baby OR the parents

Pick a general schedule and stick with it.  Be realistic.  Life happens.  There are days when scheduling is just shot.  But for the most part,  naptimes and feeding times should be around the same time everyday.  Bedtime should have a  basic routine.  something as simple as jammies, book, brush teeth, bed will work if you do it every night.

(And OHMIGOD if your kid wakes up during the night do everything you can to show them it is sleep time.  Don’t turn on the light or tv.  Don’t talk to them (much, anyways) or tickle or play.  Give them what they need and put them straight back to bed and THE END.  You are welcome.)

Be prepared to adjust as your kids grow.  Right now we eat lunch at 12, nap from about 1-3, go to bed at 8.  Simple as that.  (Oh, and there is NO sleeping in our house after 4pm.  Night time is sleeptime and sleeptime is sacred.) 

The glory of it is that once you get a schedule in place, then you can sometimes deviate (like I know we will on Christmas Eve).  Deviating without a schedule is disastrous because the kids just never know what is going on.  Sometimes not knowing what is going on is ok.  But never?  Not so much.  Routine is key.

And yes, you have to adjust your own life. That means I can’t shop from 1-3 and I need to get a sitter if I want to see a movie that goes past 8pm.  I chose to be a parent.  I make sacrifices.  You will too.  Deal.  Or face the consequences.*

*Consequences include but are not limited to: sleepless nights, crankiness, temper tantrums, excessive whining and extreme frustration. From the parents.

And no one- I repeat-no one, wants to listen to that.

They’ll Hit the Milestones

This is the BIG one.  As a teacher AND a parent, I find myself referencing  this ALL THE TIME.

Ever met a teenager that wears a diaper?  Sucks a binky?

Ever talked to an adult that never learned to walk?  That doesn’t sleep through the night by choice?

No?

Me either.

Well, except for your deviant weirdos

You kid will do the things they need to do at their own pace.  So much parenting frustration comes from people who think their kid is ______weeks/months/years old and should be doing_________by now.  Bull.  These kids don’t read your calendars, people.

It will happen.  Almost certainly not when you want it to. (Yes, I would have preferred my children to be potty trained by age two.  No, it did not happen.  And no, no one died from it not happening.  Surprise!)

Hope this advice helps! Welcome to the parenting club for the first, second or whatever time!  And always remember our motto: 

We’re all just flying by the seat of our pants!