Friday, December 18, 2009


I find myself in a strange position as it comes to Santa.

First, he wont actually be coming to my house as it's Brian's year with the kids on Christmas Day. Although he will be bringing stocking stuffers I've been told because he loves them. And it's the only way the kids get new socks and underwear in this house. (I kid)

Second, I have three children. One believes in Santa FERVENTLY. The other two, well. One doesn't believe at all but has agreed to keep her mouth shut to help the magic for her sister. Oh, and if we publicly say we don't believe in Santa we don't get Santa gifts. Or stocking stuffers. (Why, yes I did threaten my oldest child. Why do you ask?) The other child, well, he's not invested yet in this Santa business. Really, for him, Santa involved sitting on a strangers lap and listening to Lizzie talk in DETAIL about all the ways Santa watches us and that he better let Mommy sleep at night because waking her up is naughty.

Will did not care about her Santa and his naughty list last night, FYI.

Yesterday I was at the mall 30 minutes from our city shopping and came across a Santa. I thought I would get a quick picture of Will with him. Yeah. Not so much. Apparently at this mall you have to make an appointment and come back. And photo packages start at $20. For 1 5x7.

Back in my day the visit to Santa was all about telling him what you wanted for Christmas and getting a mini-Candy cane. The picture was a $5 Polaroid snapped right before you got off his lap. Now it's about dressing up and packages and all manner of craziness.

I left the mall and drove home. Picked up Ky, got Lizzie out of school early (20 minutes) and we went to the mall in our area. Which I realize is the ghetto mall. The chance of Santa swigging a 40 and the elves wearing booty shorts was high but I chanced it.

No line, no alcohol and no booty shorts, although Santa's elves hate their job and that was obvious.

I am lucky though that to date none of my children have been ridiculously frightened of Santa.

I present to you, our Santa picture for 2009. Not dressed up, not matching and Will is about 4 seconds from blowing out his diaper. Again.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Grandma Linda

Sorry, I suck and have no pictures of her with the baby. Or my kids. I was tired. A lot. While she was here.

But I thought I would share a quick story about how God plans for us far ahead and how my story involved my Aunt Linda.

Linda is the oldest of my maternal Aunts. She was the first child for my Grandpa Cotton (Harold) and Grandma Violet. She was born pretty much 9 months after they got married so it's safe to say she was a honeymoon baby. Her father was away, fighting in WWII when she was born and for awhile after that so she wasn't so keen on him when he first came home. I hear she eventually warmed up to him.

Linda has been married forever (okay like 40 years) and has/had 3 children. Jon, who has passed away, Jenny (who is 33?) and Jodi (who is 31). She is fortunate to have both of her daughters living near by to her and is an active participant in MOPS for her community.

When I was a small child my mother and father (mostly my mother because my father wouldn't have bothered to care) decided that should something happen to both of them they wanted Linda and her husband Jerry to take me. Like Godparents but a)related and b)without the Catholic ceremony.

Luckily that never happened and I became an adult with both parents intact.

When Lizzie was born Brian also got orders for us to move. Those two things happened about 2 weeks apart. We received orders to Colorado, someplace we had never even asked for (Japan? yes. Italy? Sort of. Germany? Heck YA! Colorado, not so much.) We could not, for the life of us, figure out what purpose we had going to Colorado. It snows there you know.

It also happens to be 6 hours from my Aunt Linda if you don't have to stop 100 times for a potty training toddler to pee.

5 months after Lizzie was born we found out my mother had terminal, stage 4 lung cancer. I was about to be Motherless. And I am essentially fatherless anyways since he sucks so I was about to be an orphan.

Except that God knew that. He knows everything. So he moved me as close as he could to my Aunt Linda while working within the confines of the military and also the destruction of my marriage which was still a couple of years off.

My Mom and Nana used to come for Easter and Thanksgiving without fail. Now I'm able to drive to my Aunt Linda's and have holidays like nothing ever changed. *

God moved me to be close to my family. He moved me so that I would find the love of my life. He moved me to my new home and I never even knew it at the time. Because God is such a miracle worker. That is someone who is very good at his job. *wink*

*Okay, that's not true. Growing up holidays meant horribly inappropriate movies to be watched after the meal but before games. Think "Silence of the Lambs" for Easter and you'll see why I am the way I am.........

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Catching up

You know you've created a monster when your own husband starts asking for a new blog from you.

I would like to tell you that things have been boring and slow around here but I would be lying to you and you deserve better than that.

Little Will is already 3 weeks old. How did that happen? He still has a massive amount of hair and is a pretty content little guy. We jokingly call him the Milk Shark for his attempts at finding a nipple where ever he can. And okay, we put his hair into a little Mohawk looking thing too which helps with the "shark" reference.

He is by far my most alert baby and he seems to throw people off. He's generally awake when we are out and about during the day and so people assume he's months old. But he's small of course because he's three weeks old and so people stumble over their words when asking how old he is.
He seems to be taking it all in and thinking a lot.

We were lucky enough to have Grandma Linda here for a week. I know it must have been so boring for her but she truly was a life saver letting me nap during the day when possible and most importantly entertaining Lizzie before and after school for me. It's hard to get much done when you have someone connected to your chest all the time and Lizzie was pretty desperate for attention which Grandma Linda happily provided.

Speaking of Lizzie all goes well and right in her little world. Her class went to the Firefighter Museum last week in school and she had a blast. She continues to do well and please her teacher and is friends with almost everyone. She is of course in love with her baby brother and he seems to be okay with her holding him even when I feel nervous at his position on her lap.

Kylie seems to be thriving lately. She continues to rehearse for the school play "The Phantom of the Opry" (yes, you read that right, it's a spoof). She plays Felicity and has a song in the play. She also was accepted to Advanced Choir this last week and I believe that begins next year (in January). She recently came home with an Advanced ILP or Individualized Learning Plan from her Literacy teacher although it includes Math goals as well. It will allow Kylie some freedom in her school work and expectations but will keep her focused as well. It also allows for some bigger goals than she would normally have in school like reading "Origin of Species" for example.

The only hiccup we seem to have is that her relationship with Brian seems to be deteriorating at an alarming rate. Ky has requested that she not go over there anymore and I'm unsure as to how to handle it with Brian. I'm hoping for guidance in that area sooner rather than later.

Overall though we are thriving as a family and are ready for Christmas. I hope you and yours are too!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Birth Story

So please bear with me in the retelling of this because frankly, I was in a lot of pain for a majority of it and so times may be a little fuzzy.

We were told to show up at the hospital at 7:30am and to eat breakfast. I was impressed because this was the third time I had to be induced and the previous two times I had been told not to eat after midnight. As a side note, during my other inductions I wasn't allowed to eat and was only allowed ice chips, not even water. This time they brought me toast when I asked for it and I was allowed all the grape or apple juice I could desire. To say I was impressed would be an understatement.

Anyways, so we got up at O dark thirty and stopped at Village Inn for breakfast. I cried during breakfast and before we left the house. I'm going to own that right now. I was crying because I was scared. Induction is not fun and my induction plan (personally) did not include medication. The reason I chose not to plan for medication was because my epidural failed so spectacularly with Lizzie that I just couldn't do that to myself again and decided I would mentally prepare for an unmediated induction.

So we get to the hospital and it takes about an hour to get my hooked up, settled in the room, and my IV started. My midwife shows up and confirms what I had found out the day before, that I was 2 centimeters dilated and "soft". I almost came off the table during that check and every one after that. They also informed me that while my baby had been facing Posterior (sunny side up or his face was facing my belly button) he was now sideways but still head down. This was good news and we prayed as a group (midwife and both nurses included) that he would turn to be face down or facing my back. It's an easier way to have a baby. I delivered Lizzie sunny side up and it's what made my anticipation of labor anxiety riddled.

At about 9am (I think) my Mother In Law, Leslie showed up at the hospital. Micah started his nap on the couch.

Between 10am and 11am (I think) they started my Pitocin. They started it out slowly and the plan was to jack it up in intervals of 3 (I can't tell you 3 what though) every half hour. Within about 30 minutes of starting the Pitocin I started having menstrual cramps.

Let me stop here for a second and tell you, if you've never labored without Pitocin, you are lucky, lucky people. Pitocin is ROUGH and jacking it up hurts. I knew this going in. I dealt with it when I had Lizzie and while I had some drugs in my IV with her I did okay overall with it. But it hurts.

Micah goes to get Kylie from school around 11am. Things were slow going and I decided we should get her then before all the chaos of birth were to happen. Kylie gets there and promptly falls asleep on the couch until 5pm.

My Midwife broke my water sometime around 2pm. More Pitocin. I was allowed to sit in the rocking chair and was offered to sit on the birthing ball. I chose the rocking chair.

Also, at some point I mentioned to my midwife and my nurses that I wasn't planning on an epidural because mine had failed last time. They suggested I talk to the anesthesiologist if I was open to the idea of it because in all her years of practicing, my Midwife had never seen an epidural fail with this guy. His name was John.

We spent some time discussing why my last one had failed and he gave me some possible reasons and explained how he does the epidurals and how to prevent the failure of them. I decided to think about it.

From here the contractions continued, we watched a lot of Law & Order on the TV in the room and Micah sang to me during contractions. My mother in law talked to me some but what helped the most was Micah singing to me. This was a new preference for me as in previous deliveries I wanted silence during a contraction. This time during the contractions I would breath and lean into my husbands neck and he would sing to me. I just wanted the noise to distract me from thinking or dwelling on the contraction.

At about 4pm my midwife checked me and I was at 4 cm. I wanted to die. I had been on the stupid Pitocin at that point for 6 hours and had only gotten an extra 2 cm dilated. My nurses assured me that getting to 4 was the hardest part and now it should speed up.

At about 8pm I was starting to cry when the contractions would start. Because they hurt, if you didn't know. I was still on the Pitocin and it was crazy high and they just kept increasing it and now my water was broken and it just felt like every contraction was going to kill me. Didn't help my moral that I wasn't dilated very far. My Midwife had put on some lavender aromatherapy for me and we had dimmed the lights and she had electric tea lights all over the room and that was lovely and amazing. My mother in law had rubbed my very swollen feet but I was just crying through the contractions and the singing was starting not to help anymore. I asked for the epidural.

John appeared within moments and had me set within 10 minutes I would say. I had a spinal with an epidural chaser which means I felt immediate relief from the contractions but that eventually the spinal would wear off and the epidural would kick in. I was initially numb from my mid-ribcage down but as the spinal wore off my epidural kept me numb from about mid-belly down. Now, please, don't confuse numb with can't feel anything. I still felt pressure during contractions. Which were 2 minutes apart and lasting about a minute and had been since 10am.

I asked Micah if we could name the baby John after my epidural hero. He thought I was joking.

At about 10pm I started shaking and having a bit more pain during the contractions. My midwife checked me and I was at 8.5-9cms. They had John the Epidural Hero come back and top off my medication which was lovely but at this point I knew I was in transition and could feel the pressure of the baby and contractions.

At about 11pm (This is where my memory is fuzzy) I was complete and it was time to push. My midwife told me to give a practice push. I did. The baby was suddenly in my birth canal and I freaked out. Epidural wasn't a failure but it was done wonderfully so that I still had the urge to push and could feel the contractions. I hurt. And I refused to push anymore.

Leslie tells me that I told people not to touch me. I believe her but I don't remember it. I remember my midwife telling me it was time for the baby to be born and she had her gloves and "suit" on for it. I remember people telling me to grab the back of my legs to push and me refusing. I just refused to push. I kept telling people (I think) that I would push with the next contraction and then fighting each contraction that came along and pretending I wasn't having one so they wouldn't tell me to push. (I know now that no one was convinced)

But here's what I love. My midwife let me. My midwife didn't "make" me and didn't force Micah and Leslie to hold my legs for me or anything. She let me say no. And say no I did for several contractions.

The thing with nature and contractions though, is you can't fight it forever. Despite me telling everyone in the room I didn't want to do it and that I had changed my mind and would wait until Monday (My sad attempt at humor), I HAD to push that baby at some point. I didn't have a choice.

So I finally pushed. I don't remember anything else in the world at that point except Micah talking to me. He was encouraging and helping and holding my leg (I did refuse to grab my thighs for the most part). I pushed again. And everyone was silent. Then Micah started talking about the baby's hair and it was curly he said. Then my midwife said, "Now push his shoulders out."

I had no idea his head was out. So I pushed again and felt him slide out but am still a little shocked that I had no idea his head was out until after the fact. Essentially 3-4 pushes for that baby to be born at 11:31pm.

They laid him on my chest and we wiped him down and that child had more hair than I have ever seen on a baby.

During the birth Kylie hid in the bathroom (a pre-designed spot she and Leslie had discussed if she didn't want to witness the actual birth) but she did hear me and I remember looking over to my right and seeing her standing there staring at me and her new brother while he was still connected to my via the umbilical cord. She looked a little shell shocked frankly.

Micah cut the cord, and I asked them to weigh the baby. He weighed in at 8lbs 5 oz and was 20 inches long. The hair on that child probably added at least 2 oz.

So all in all, he took awhile to get here but when he arrived (downward facing, BTW) it was well worth it with all of the not pushing a lot and oh, no rips or tears. Meaning no stitches for me this time, Whooo Hooo!

(I had no rips with Kylie either but with Lizzie, because of the face up position, I had 2. It took me forever to recover from that.)

Nursing took awhile to get established and he had some jaundice which required him to be under the special lights for a few hours but we were able to leave the hospital Sunday early afternoon which I liked.

Overall, happy mommy, healthy baby, proud daddy and adoring big sisters. We couldn't feel happier or more blessed with our newest addition.

Here is Will, a mere hour or two after his birth.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Time goes by....

So a couple of things.

First, I realized that when I posted that the baby was here I neglected to mention his size. Or anything really other than his name.

He was 8lbs 5oz, 20 inches long and was born at 11:31pm on 11/20/09. He was not my biggest child (that honor goes to Kylie at 8lbs 12 oz) but he was my longest since both of my other girls were 19in and 19.5 in respectively.

Second, I keep meaning to blog, I really do. It's just that in the last week my world just happened to get away from me and time moved at warp speed. I personally blame the lack of sleep but it could just be that I now have 3 children to wrangle and that is harder than anything else I've ever done.

Third, the birth story. I'm working on getting that up and should have at least part of it done tonight. The girls are with their dad for the week so I have a little more free time frankly.

Four, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving and feel all around truly blessed this Christmas season for the gifts we have been given individually and as a family.

I will leave you with this picture.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Welcome to our house....

William Raul Gonzales

I will post a birth story soon, I promise, but as you can imagine, I'm tired and we are trying to get ourselves together and get nursing handled and that's a bigger priority than telling you about begging my midwife not to make me push the baby out. As he was crowning.

Yes, I really did. I also told everyone in the room I changed my mind. As he was crowning.

We are a breastfeeding baby. Hence the hat.

Literally a couple of hours old or so. Massive amounts of hair

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Moms and stuff

Still no baby. Sorry all. I promise he will be here by Friday though, one way or the other. Unless he's stubborn and insists on being born Saturday but he's COMING and I'm starting the process 7:30am Friday morning. Eviction time buddy, sorry.

Truthfully I'm a little disappointed, I had hoped to go into labor naturally and labor most of the time at home with my husband and mother in law but alas, appears not meant to be. And I'm a little scared because I know what's coming next and it's the hurty party. I'm excited to meet this little guy, I feel like I know him but not fully yet but the part where he makes his grand exit? Not my favorite part. Sorry.

ANYWAYS, with these thoughts swirling around in my head I've been thinking a lot about my own mother. I miss her of course and I hope she's in heaven and has been getting to know my little guys spirit up there but of course I'm sad that she wont get to be here for his first bath. Or first diaper change. Or to cook for me. (Yes, I am selfish, what do you what, I'm an only child.)

I don't have a whole lot of pictures of my mom on this computer and almost none of her with Lulu since she passed when Lu was only 8 months old but I thought I would share a few of her that I have.

She was truly a wonderful Grandma and while my children have amazing family and fantastic Grandparents in Nana and Grandma Leslie and Grandpa Rex and Grandma Linda and Grandpa Jerry I'm a little saddened that Lulu and this new one wont know my own mother like Kylie did. I'm especially sad that I wont hear my mother singing her new Grandson a silly made up song like she did for Ky and Lulu or telling stories about how I ate pork chop at 6 weeks old and if it was good enough for me its good enough for .

Back of my Mom's gravestone. Long story about this gravestone but short story is, this quote was perfect. Thank you Nana for finding it.

My mom and Kylie (she's 2 in that picture) watching a movie. Both appear, well, puzzled.

I'm fairly certainly my mom is singing a song to Kylie in this picture. Kylie was captivated.

Me, my Mom, Kylie and Lulu when she was a little over a week old. Why yes, I am still wearing my pajamas. Why do you ask?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Adventures in Castor Oil

This blog post will be short because I actually have a better one in my head. I actually have 2 better ones. The first involves a political lesson I gave my 14 year old recently. Knowing what I do about my readership (hello family!) I have to be careful how I word that so you people don't call CPS on me. (I'm kidding of course. It's just a long post that many of your might want to ignore altogether.) The other blog post will include a birth announcement. But, well, that birth hasn't happened yet. So I can't even begin to write that one. *sigh*

But I did want to share a semi-funny story with you all involving me and my pregnancy induced crazy and Castor oil.

So last Wednesday I went home early from work with contractions that SEEMED like they might be getting closer together. But not fast enough. It was also the day before my due date.

Up until that day I had been the biggest opponent of Castor Oil as an induction method. I knew exactly one person who had used in and gone into labor and her story was so horrific (involved a very fast labor and multiple bowel movements) that I couldn't remotely stomach the idea.

Until last Wednesday. Last Wednesday I was so desperate to make the contractions stop and just get it over with I stopped by the grocery store on the way home to find some of the "magic" oil. I had done my research and one website suggested there might be Castor oil pills. I couldn't find them. But it also suggested that 58% of women who had taken 2 oz of Castor oil had gone into labor within 4-6 hours.

Those seemed like frankly good odds last Wednesday.

I could not find the Castor oil however. So I called my husband and told him if he loved me he would bring me some. And he loves me. So he brought some home and then immediately said he couldn't be a part of it. He felt like it wasn't going to be pretty and darnit, we're still newlyweds.

I decided to go easy on myself and I took 1 oz of the Castor oil in orange juice. Let it sit an hour or so and nothing. So I took the other oz.

Let me stop here and say, taking that second ounce was rough. I knew the texture by that point and while it didn't taste particularly bad it does strange things to juice. Basically it sits on top of it and gets all over your mouth and no amount of orange juice will really help that.

And so I sat. And waited. And I knew what SHOULD come next. The exiting of anything I may have consumed for the last 3 years in a horrible method. But if it brought on labor I was ready for it.


Except NOTHING happened. NOTHING. No gut wrenching bathroom trips. No nausea. No regrets. No contractions. NOTHING HAPPENED.

In fact, my contractions stopped altogether for the evening.

Disappointment, thy name is Castor Oil.

Which is why I sit here, 4 days past my due date, still at my office job and still not delivered. Not even Castor Oil can save me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Quicky Halloween post

Here are Halloween Pictures as promised and teased about in a previous post. Sorry all, my brain, she no work so good this pregnant.

The girls and I Halloween night. I'm wearing a black dress and a cape. I'm sure my friend Erin recognizes that lovely piece of costume. (Sorry Erin, still mean to send this back to you!)

The girls for Halloween. Remember, Lulu is Wall-E and Kylie is some goth/punk singer. Or Brett Michaels. Whatever.

Funny story about Halloween.

Lulu's costume came with a built in bag. The front of the Wall-E costume opened up and people could just toss candy into the pre-made bag. It was the most perfect costume ever.

Lulu quickly learned 2 truths while Trick or Treating that night.

1. If you go to the door by yourself and make mom wait at the end of the driveway people are more apt to focus JUST on you and make all sorts of fuss about you. Also, avoid going up with crowds of other children.

2. If you make mom clear out your candy from your costume bag after every stop and carry it in her bag people are more likely to give you several pieces of candy instead of just one "because you don't have ANY! yet!"

My child learned fast this year.

Kylie also learned trick or treating with her little sister sucks. About half of the time people completely ignored her and didn't give her any candy. Which is the way of it when you're 14.

In the end she just ended up stealing about half of Lulu's candy anyways.

The gift I still need

I am 40 weeks +1 day pregnant. I am still working outside the home. I am tired. I have 2 daughters at home who want my attention. Plus a husband who is anxious to meet his first baby. And two dogs, one of which (Tasha) can not stop checking on me every 2.9 seconds. And a cat that thinks my belly is his personal elevated bed. Even when I'm sleeping.

We are also dealing with some pretty serious issues with Micah's lovely grandmother Jenny. I wont go too much into it here but I will say that this week has seen some aggressiveness and confusion on her part that are escalating and it's hard for us to know what the right course of action is.

People keep asking me what we still need. Do we have everything? What else could we use?

My answer is always "A baby".

(For the record we do have some larger items we still need but I have the money for those items. I just don't have the desire to go by the swing or bouncy seat right now.)

But what I really need right now is patience. This baby will come on his own time. Or by the 20th, whichever comes first. (I have a schedule induction date because no one wants me to be in the hospital over Thanksgiving which is what we will be up against if I go 2 weeks overdue)

Grandma will be okay. She needs to adjust to her new environment and she is struggling with the confusion of dementia. She is now in a closed unit and it's hard for her to accept. Additionally, she wants to sit and eat with "friends" and it's hard to make friends in the closed dementia unit since, well, everyone has some level of Alzheimer's or dementia. We need to be patient and fight for her best interests.

My daughters always need and deserve my attention. I need to be able to explain to them what I need and what I can give. This is the last week that Lulu will be the youngest child in our house. This will be the last week that Kylie wont be "on call" to watch a small infant so Mommy can take a shower for a year or so.

Tasha and Molly and Jason are lovely, sensitive animals that love me. They can tell things are changing in the house and they aren't entirely sure how to deal with them. They need some love as well.

So I just need some more patience. Okay, I need a lot of it. Everything will be okay. Deep breath. It will all be alright. I just need some time. And patience.

And guacamole.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Healthy Obsession

So I know I've mentioned my love of guacamole on this blog maybe once or twice before. But I think Sunday may have alerted my husband to a growing problem I have with it and he may be forced to act on it soon. As such I am coming clean now in an attempt to abate his possible "Guacamole Intervention".

Sunday my Mother In Law Leslie and I went to Holiday craft fair. We walked and talked and did some minimal shopping for about 2 hours. I had one contraction and it was a faker. *sigh*

I dropped Leslie off and realized that I was very close to my favorite restaurant of all time, Carlos Miguels. It's a Mexican restaurant in Lakewood/Littleton and I live somewhere between 30-40 minutes away from it. I called Micah but he had eaten and wasn't interested in going out.

So I called them for pick up and got some dinner on the way home. A chimichanga. Yum. And also fresh "tableside" guacamole just the way I like it, to go.

I had every intention of sharing the goodness of the guac with Micah. I really, really did.

I discovered instead though that Carlos Miguels wants to destroy my marriage. The container for the Guac of Life happens to fit the cup holder in my car. And the waitress, when she noticed I had tipped for a pick up order, loaded me down with warm, salty chips.

So I did what any pregnant, ravenous, guac loving woman would do. I drove down E-470, I-25 and I-225 going about 65 miles an hour eating guacamole from the cup holder in my car. I meant to just have one or two bites, I really did. I swear.

But I got home and Micah greeted me and I'm sure he was thinking he would enjoy a little guacamole too. But alas there was MAYBE 2 bites of it left in the container and I would have eaten those too had I not been busy licking the rest of the guacamole off my shirt where I may have dropped it. While driving.

So, my name is Lacy, and I am a Guacaholic.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Pumpkin Patch and Halloween

So in October Micah and I took the girls to the pumpkin patch. Okay it was Oct. 3rd. Yes, I know, I'm behind.

We had a great time overall.

I'm just going to post some pictures for you all since the guilt of taking a month to post these is eating at me. Or I have ice cream upstairs calling my name.

Lulu riding a metal horse. Totally not a staged photo......
Kylie treats her sister to some face painting. She actually snuck this and did it because her sister would like it AND paid for it from her own money. Don't tell her I told you though, it would ruin her reputation.
I'm so glad my husband doesn't have anxiety issues and won't freak out when he see's I posted this most flattering picture of him on the internet.
I adore pictures of small children with their backs turned running in fields. If there be pumpkins, even better. For the record, I'm not being sarcastic, I probably took 8 pictures just like this one.
Lulu contemplates if she can lift that pumpkin.
Girls posing for pictures. If you look closely at Kylie's right hand you will see her newest appendage, a cell phone.

Tricycle obstacle course.
This little goat was begging me to take him home and cuddle him.
Highly inappropriate body art. Kylie snuck this too.
Lulu made me pose like this. I really like that pumpkin though.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Super Phone

For those that don't already know what a big freak I am, I have 2 cell phones. Personally. I have a pink phone whose provider is T-Mobile and I have a black Iphone which is provided by AT&T. And yes, I work for that "other" cell provider that starts with a V and no, I don't have their service. It's weird. They just don't give a discount that's worth it to switch.

My Iphone was a gift from Micah when we were first dating. I think we had been seeing each other exclusively for about a month and we were burning through our phone minutes so he decided to add me to his plan and get me what I assumed would be a cheapie phone. Instead he pulled out all the stops and got me an Iphone (I think he was in love by that point. At least I hope so.) and then spent about a year teaching me to use it.

I keep the pink phone as my "Main" number because AT&T isn't always reliable and service can be spotty. Also, I have a killer deal on unlimited minutes with it and am hesitant to give that up just yet.

My Iphone has been a life saver on numerous occasions and I thought I would share those moments with you.

Last Christmas my group had a Christmas party. Except the managers forgot the music AND the camera.

TADA! My phone did BOTH. So they were able to take pictures I could email them the same day with the iphone AND it played Christmas Carols ala Trans Siberian Orchestra. Iphone saved the party.

Lately it has taken to granting me small blocks of time in the car where Lizzie can listen to "her" music on headphones with it and I can get some peace. I think that is the biggest time saver of them all.

Yesterday though, the Iphone saved the day for several people. Yesterday I was sitting in the Social Security office waiting to change my last name. No comments on how long THAT'S taken me to do, please. The number they called when I walked in was 62. My number was 197. They estimated my wait time as 90 minutes. *Sigh*

So I'm sitting there, entertaining myself and watching this little girl with her grandmother. Her grandmother has been there forever and this little girl is about 2. I don't know if Grandma was unprepared for the wait or what but she brought nothing to entertain this child. And for the first, oh, 45 minutes, I was there, that was fine. I know they had been there a lot longer than that. Little girl played jungle gym on Grandma and there was another child there slightly younger than her who kept coming over and "chatting" with her. They ran up and down the aisles a couple of times. But towards the end of the 45 minutes she started acting up.

She was whining and beginning to get loud and kept saying "Bye bye" to her Grandma had to leave. Now, this doesn't bother me because, well, she's 2. She can't help it. She's stuck there and it's been too long and she wants to play and there is NOTHING for her to play with. SS would do well to have some color books on hand.....

Grandma is getting frustrated and her number is still 6 away from the last number called and people are starting to look at the child and roll their eyes and frankly, get a little rude.

I pulled out my handy dandy Iphone, pulled up You Tube and despite the 10 signs saying not to use your cell phone in the lobby, showed Bella Sesame Street clips. Bert and Ernie singing, Elmo sing, Big Bird talking about ice cream or something......

The child was quiet. Grandma was grateful. Rude people at Social Security lobby were appeased and Bella got to watch Snufalufogus dance around.

For my next Iphone trick I plan to solve World Hunger. Not sure how, but when the opportunity presents itself me and my Iphone will be RIGHT there!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

That baby.......

As I round the corner into my 39th week of pregnancy I'm starting to field a lot of questions about "When are you going to have that baby?".

Mostly from Micah.

But co-workers are also kind enough to ask, as well as strangers and even Lulu. Lulu is exceedingly worked up about when the baby is coming.

You see, way back when, we explained a timeline that made sense to her. First there would be her birthday (Sept. 26th), then Halloween (Oct. 31st) and then the baby would come after that but before Thanksgiving.

Well, we've had a birthday, we've had Halloween and she's starting to see Turkey decorations all over the place. It's time for the baby. So where is he?

He's still inside me, that's where. And I think it's beginning to frustrate her just slightly because she has taken to asking "How many more days until the baby?" about every 1.8 seconds.

Kylie, on the other hand, has no issues about when the baby is coming. She's old hat at this frankly, becoming a big sister at the ripe old age of 9 for the first time, and so she knows that the baby will come when he comes. Besides, she has more important things to worry about, such as, where is her black eyeliner, will I buy her more books and does she get to skip school when the baby is born. Priorities for a 14 year old.

Yesterday, I started having Braxton Hicks contractions about 9:30ish in the morning. I knew they were fakey's, as I call them, so I stayed at work and was able to work through them for the most part but it's kinda nice to know my body is finally DOING something towards getting the baby here. Because lately? It's been kinda lazy on the contraction front.

I don't think Micah can clean anything else in the house, his nesting instinct is so pronounced and if I change my budget one more time it's going to result in a Wall-Street collapse, I'm sure. (I nest in dollars, he nests in household stuff. That's why we make a great team.)

So any day now William, any day now......

Monday, November 2, 2009

Rosie the Charlantula

I am working on Halloween pictures, I swear. But this story is too cute not to tell and I think even without pictures you'll appreciate it.

For Halloween I conned Kylie on coming out with Lulu and me while we walked the neighborhood. Kylie was Wednesday 13 (A band? A singer? I dunno for sure.) but I just called her Brett Michaels. Lead singer of an 80's band called Poison. She was not amused. Lulu was Wall-E which was perfect because it went over her jacket and snow hat perfectly and she was toasty the whole time.

As we are rounding part of the neighborhood Kylie advises us that "There is the spider house". Apparently Kylie remembered a few years ago going to the door and then asking her if she wanted to hold their pet spider. A tarantula. She declined. Probably not politely.

Let's take a moment to remember who we are with at this moment. My Goth child who is wearing eyeliner thicker than my pinky and total black with a cowboy hat and mesh shirt. Also in tow is my 5 year old dressed up like a Robot.

We get to the house and the lady who is at the door asks if Lulu wants to see her ring. And yes, it's a brown tarantula. And I died. Okay not really. Lulu is fascinated and stares at it through her goggles. The lady asks if she would like to hold it.

Now let's stop here for a moment. I'm pretty sure she expected the answer to be no. Because was 5 year old girl in her right mind would say yes to holding this hairy giant spider?

My kid, that's who. She asks me to take off her glove and holds out her hand for Rosie to step on to. The lady explains that Rosie has suckers on her feet and is furry but wont bite. Lulu has no reaction as Rosie steps onto her hand and just HANGS OUT. Kylie is dying behind me and I'm squatting in my witches costume wondering where MY child is and who I have under this costume of the robot.

Then Rosie makes what could have been a fatal move. She steps onto the sleeve of Lulu's coat and suddenly Lulu FREAKS OUT. She starts screaming and waving her hand and luckily I was already squatting so I grabbed her hand in and in a brief second told myself that I could take the giant hairy TARANTULA if I had to.

Blessedly the lady was also squatting and we had Lulu's hand still while Rosie was still attached and she was able to get the spider off the coat and child with no issues. We checked Rosie out before leaving and she was fine. Lulu also was fine and was later able to explain she didn't want the spider in her hair. I totally get that.

So to recap. Toasty warm Kindergartner holds Rosie the Charlantula (Lulu's pronunciation, not mine) while Goth big sister and Mom barely keep from peeing themselves at the sight of it.

Happy Halloween to us.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Random Updates

I'm 38 weeks, 1 day pregnant.

I'm tired.

I'm possibly a little cranky.

We had a snowstorm in Colorado Wednesday and Thursday.

Kylie helped shovel snow without griping about it. I consider my parenting work to be a moderate success.

Lulu has begun to focus on art more than TV for entertainment. While this is fantastic and I continue to encourage this behavior I am a little tired of writing the stories to her little art projects when every fiber in my being is begging for a nap.

Micah and I had a very serious conversation about buying Lulu an Iphone for Christmas because she loves to play with the YouTube feature on mine and that + headphones = at least 30 minutes of silence.

We decided against it.

My midwife informed me yesterday that my no later than date is November 19th since she is on call for Thanksgiving and does not want to induce me then. That means if I go to 41 weeks (which would be November 19th) they will induce me the day after. While I'm not looking forward to induction if I can help it, it's nice to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

I have a cold.

Here is a picture of Micah and Kylie shoveling the driveway.

I am hiding safely in the garage. It's good to be pregnant. I guess.

The kids are supposed to go over to Brian's house on Sunday for a sleepover. Kylie is protesting vehemently. I'm torn on the issue personally. On the one hand, he raised her. Regardless of legal whatever, that's her dad. And the reason she doesn't want to go is because he wont let her wear black clothing.

On the one hand, I get that this is who she is and it's a phase and the more you fight something like that the more she wants it and rebels against parental rules. So I want her to be who she is today, even if it isn't who I would wish for. He disagrees. So on the other hand, do I force her to go somewhere where she isn't allowed to be who she is (within reason) or do I allow her to tell the man that raised her for 14 years to forget all about her and that she gets to be in charge because he didn't formally adopt her?

We are packed for the hospital and only because Micah made me. If this stuff was left up to me I would show up at the hospital with a pillow case full of movies and a pair of pants wondering what else I was supposed to bring.

Lulu is going to be Wall-E for Halloween. This is possibly the best costume ever as Wall-E is essentially a foam box with goggles. That she can wear over her coat. Hurray!

Kylie seems to have decided against going trick or treating. Be this a lesson to you Brian. When you told her she couldn't go it was the thing she wanted to do most in the world. When I told her she could go her interest in it waned and now she wants to hand out candy. Just sayin'.

Overall, still pregnant and probably not going anywhere anytime soon.
But feeling very smug about my parenting right now. I'm sure God will show me humility soon but if he could just let me have a few more minutes of being superior that would be great.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Why do they care?

I'm often surprised at how much people give a crap about my reproduction. I shouldn't be, I am, after all, a product of the internet generation and I use the internet to fuel all of my research ever, and yet, random co-workers and people on the street asking me questions and then telling me the "right" and "wrong" thing to do still amazes me.

1. When I found out I was pregnant and I finally started to tell people I had no less than 5 co-workers ask me how that happened.

My 14 year old knows how that happened. I assume that adults my own age or older know how it happens too. If you need me to really tell you we have some larger issues at play.

2. When did it happen?

Really? People REALLY want to know this? My EX-HUSBAND asked me if it happened while we were in Mexico (Micah and I, not he and I). I told him no. But why would you ask?

3. Do you know what you're having?

Okay this doesn't bother me so much. I'm having a boy. It's the follow up questions that come with it. If I'm lazy and say no people ask if I'm going to find out. If I tell them it's a boy, they ask if it's my first. Second? Third? First Boy? And then, THEN, I get the comments about "I bet you're glad it's a boy finally." That is possibly the most insulting thing I've ever heard. I had my heart set on a girl if you must know. But whether it was a boy, a girl or a monkey it's the last baby that is exiting my body. The suggestion that I'm relieved and don't have to keep trying for a boy tells me that strangers really will say the oddest things.

Also, before we knew what we were having people would try and lobby for me to either a)find out or b)not find out. EVERYONE has advice on this subject. When I would tell people we planned to find out I got some really adamant people telling me what a bad idea that was for any myriad of reasons. My favorite was "It'll make you push harder to find out."

I've had 2 kids. The last thing I've EVER had on my mind while pushing them out was the gender. My last child my only thought while pushing was my then husband's vasectomy.

4. What are your plans for delivery?

My midwife asking me this? Totally fine and appropriate. My husband and Mother In Law asking? Also fine. Close family members I'm also okay with.

Co-workers? Strangers? People in line at Wal-Mart? Stop it. Seriously.

Also, when I tell you my plans please, for the love of all that is holy, do not try and argue with me about my decision, whatever it is.

I'm choosing to go medication free. I have a reason for this. I also have 2 other children so it is possible that I've thought about this maybe once or twice. For what it's worth I've had both a medicated and an unmedicated birth. My unmedicated memories make me want to vomit with anxiety because I remember how bad it all hurt. I remember calling my Dr a liar because it hurt so bad. My medicated birth was, by far, so much better for me. And YET, I am still choosing to do this unmedicated. Really, I've thought about it. Telling me that birth hurts does not help.

Also, conversely, when women tell others to bring the epidural on in month 8, I don't blame them either. That stuff hurts. For REAL. So don't try and talk women OUT of medication if they choose too, I don't care how uninformed you may think they are. I'm going to say it again, labor hurts. It's not easy, it's not "fun" and while it's well worth it in the end, judging someones ability to tolerate pain is just plain mean.

5. Are you going to circumcise/vaccinate/eat your placenta? Etc........

WOW, really? REALLY?
Again, friends and family I'm cool with. If you're close to me. And close to me means I'd call you at 3 am for bail money.

If not, don't ask. These questions have no right or wrong answer except to the individual making the decision. They are bound to start controversy and I have no desire to hear about your cousin who either a) had to be circumcised at 5 because it wasn't done when he was an infant or b)your cousin who was scarred for life and became a serial killer because he was circumcised (or vaccinated for that matter) as an infant.

For the record, no, I wont be eating my placenta. I don't care how much protein it has in it.

Can you tell I'm grumpy? Sorry. But I am. I'm still pregnant and so done with it that I can't stand it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My housekeeping skills can be summed up in one conversation

Me: What's that sound?
Micah: A vacuum cleaner.

How the got their names

For some reason I find the process that people use to name their children fascinating. I love 99.9% of names people pick for their children because of course they always seem to fit that child but I also love the time and thought that parents put into the process of picking the "right" name.

A name is something that you give your child that they will carry with them forever. It helps shape and mold them and make them who they are and who they will become. (You know, along with upbringing and morales etc.)

So here is how each of my children got their names. I just thought I would share with you.

Kylie LeAnndra

Kylie is a name that my stepmother really liked and wanted for my half brothers daughter (my niece). At the last minute they changed their minds and so 4 years later I used it for my daughter. It also helps that its a)an Irish name and b) her birth fathers middle name is Kyle.

Kylie is Irish, meaning Handsome (okay it was for a boy in Ireland) or Boomerang in Australian Aboriginal.

LeAnndra is me changing up my middle name. Originally Kylie's middle name was going to be Nicole but at the last minute my mom suggested I use LeAnndra instead since her fathers middle name was getting some billing, perhaps mine should to. LeAnndra means "like a lioness" and I find it appropriate.

Elizabeth Ann.

Elizabeth is for Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. The A&E movie is my favorite movie of all time and had I seen it 7 months earlier Kylie may very well have been named Jane.

Ann is also using my middle name and giving it to my child. I just had to be sneakier about it. At the hospital, after Brian had filled out the birth certificate information he looked at me and said, "Hey, you, Kylie and Lizzie all have Ann in your middle name." I faked being surprised and really was shocked he hadn't noticed sooner.

William Raul.

William was all Micah's idea. He really, really, really wanted to name the baby that. I was heading more towards Jeremiah. Or Paul. Or Benjamin. Or anything that wasn't William because Micah wanted to call him Bill and when I think of the name Bill I think of old, bald, fat guys. (Apologies to all Bills right now) He finally won me over with a promise to call him Will, not Bill. But every so often he messes with me and make me think that William is still a bad idea.

Raul is Micah's grandfathers middle name. He insisted and while I was all about putting Lee as the middle name (More homage to ME!) I agreed, seeing as Micah loved his grandfather so much.

I toy with the idea of adding Julian as a second middle name to this baby as homage to my mother but I generally am not a fan of 2 middle names so that probably wont happen.

So how did you name your babies?

Monday, October 19, 2009

The ballad of Jenny and Fran

Jenny and Fran can't seem to get along. Already today they have had it out and involved a third party with the "it's not fairs!" and the "She touched my stuff!"

Fran has accused Jenny of wearing her clothes (she isn't). Jenny says she doesn't have to share the closet (she does). The two have been bickering since at least this morning and I suspect by the time I get there after work Fran will be claiming she doesn't have to share the bathroom since it's on her side of the room if Jenny won't share the closet because it's on Jenny's side and Jenny will have punched Fran in the teeth. Except Fran doesn't have teeth and I'm not sure Jenny has the strength to follow through on a good punch. Although Fran may be dead because she does like to nap a lot of I think Jenny has enough strength to hold a pillow over Fran's face.

The "funny" part of all of this is that these are not two sisters bickering and sharing a room. No. These are 80+ year old women in a nursing home who became roommates over the weekend. Neither one is particularly happy with it, apparently and they don't seem to like each other.

Micah got a call from the social worker earlier today detailing the argument for him. He tried to talk to his grandma, Jenny, who is unhappy regardless. *sigh*

I'm off this evening to try smooth things over, at least with Jenny.

Pray for me. I think I may need it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

You know you're 36 weeks pregnant when....

1. Your 5 year old knows the routine in the morning involves putting Mommy's socks on for her
2. Your 14 year old's routine involves Mommy's shoes
3. Your coat struggled to zip up over your belly
4. Strangers start saying "Getting close now?"
5. Your appointments become weekly
6. and involve you taking off your pants
7. People start asking what you're doing to help labor along...and wink at your husband
8. You realize that doesn't sound like a bad idea if you could figure out how to get your belly out of the way
9. Your socks leave marks on your legs
10. Getting your leg over the bathtub is exhausting
11. You want to get a pedicure but aren't sure if you need one since you haven't seen your toes in 2 months
12. You also haven't shaved your legs in that length of time
13. The dogs no longer fear your hunger, they know you can't eat more than an M&M at a time
14. You're co-workers beg you not to take on too much work as they don't want to have to do you're stuff when you're out
15. You rework the budget 15 times in one day because that's your idea of nesting
16. When people ask if you need anything you ask if they can go to the bathroom for you as you're tired of spending all your time in there
17. You wake up tired every morning and realize you lost count of the number of times you visited the bathroom
18. Getting out of the car requires assistance..and occasionally a fork lift
19. Slip on shoes never looked so good
20. You have a countdown calendar going on and you tell EVERYONE about it

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Parent Teacher Conferences

Last week I had the parent-teacher conference for Lulu with her teacher Mrs. Brunning. Who I love.

For some unknown reason Kylie's parent teacher conferences were in Sept, less than a month after school had started. I missed out on going because I didn't know about it. But even if I had I can already tell you how they would have gone.

Teacher #1: Kylie is brilliant but lazy. She speeds through her work and then just reads.
Teacher #2: Kylie is so smart and talented but she seems a little lazy. We really have to struggle to get her homework turned in, even though she aces every test.
Teacher #3: Kylie is gifted but lazy....

You see where that goes. So yeah, I'll just check her report card, thank you very much. Talking to 7 teachers about how gifted by lazy my kid is does nothing for me.

So back to Lulu.

Lulu was truly shy for the first time in almost a year and didn't speak the entire time. She just stared at her teacher and smiled.

According to the teacher Lulu is doing well at school, she's got all of her capital letters down and most of her lowercase. She's desperately trying to read and spends a lot of time sounding out small words. Her memory is good and she's moving quickly through math and reading concepts.

She also is apparently the guide dog of the Kindergarten. According to the teacher Lulu is very outgoing and talkative and is very good at multitasking. That is to say, she can color a picture and talk at the same time. Apparently not all of the children and create a picture and describe it so she will pair Lulu with that child so they can see her process as she creates and helps the other children come out of their shells.

None of that is a surprise, I don't think Lulu stops talking from the moment she gets home until she falls asleep.

She also told me that Lulu is very helpful, wants to help others and is very empathetic to the needs and feelings of others. She doesn't want anyone to have their feelings hurt and goes out her way to make sure everyone is "okay".

And doesn't stop talking. Which sometimes gets her in trouble. But overall a joy to have in class.

I honestly don't know how I got so lucky sometimes.

Brilliant but lazy and talkative and helpful. What more can a mother ask for?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Maybe a bad example

As I approach the end of my pregnancy I have begun to take to my bed earlier and more frequently. Micah was kind enough a few weeks ago to give me his vibrating heating pad for my back and it has done me a world of good.

Like a caring and loving daughter, Lulu has noticed that I seem to hurt a little more and when she comes in my room and sees me using the heating bad she'll get a very concerned look on her face and ask if my back hurts. I generally tell her yes, a little bit and she gives me a hug.

So you can imagine my laughter last night when I came into my room to find Lulu on the bed looking like this:

She said her back hurt too. And then couldn't stop talking because she's so little the vibrating made her sound funny when she opened her mouth.

I've created a monster.

*and yes, I really do sleep with all those pillows plus 2 more you can't see. I'm a freak.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Donuts with Grandpa

By now it should come as no surprise to my readers that I grew up in a household of women. I've been known to say once or twice that women raising children together is the way it should be. Because in the past I've had more help with my kids from other women than with the father figure in the house. And my own experience was being raised by 2 women.

I'm kinda getting to the point where it might be okay to do the Mom and Dad thing in the house. So far it's looking promising anyways, what with the help with dinner and kitchen cleanup and laundry and reading stories that the Dad in our house does...but I digress.

Today at our elementary school it's Donuts with Dad morning. Donuts with Dad is actually a community event I started about 4 years ago when I became President of the PTO. (Why, yes, I am tooting my own horn, why do you ask?) When I took over the PTO was solely about raising funds for pet projects that the former board liked and was not necessarily about the school or the kids. I got lucky, the entire board quit and I started with a clean slate. And no help. But I was passionate about PTO not just being about money and so that fall we held our first DWD or Donuts with Dad.

Because of the makeup of our community we opened it up to ANY male figure in a child's life so Dads, Step Dads, Uncles, Brothers, Grandpa's, even friends and neighbors could come and support the child.They get a donut and juice or milk and the child gets to show off their school, classroom and teachers as well as friends. We do a similar event for Moms in the Spring but the Dad event is by far better attended (free donuts, hello) and we get somewhere around 200-300 people to the event. Considering we have about 450 students, including pre-school, that's pretty good.

Not once, in those 4 years, did either of my children have a male figure attend the event with them. For those of you who are keeping track, I did actually have a child in the school 4 years ago but her father couldn't be bothered to come. Even though his wife organized and planned it. He is on vacation for it this year.

Micah was unable to attend this year but Lulu didn't actually invite him anyways. When she and I talked about it she wanted to invite her Grandpa. Luckily for us Grandpa accepted and Lulu was very excited.

This morning all she could talk about was showing Grandpa off. Like he's a display piece in her collection of people who adore her. Oh wait. He probably is.

To be fair she offered to save me part of her donut. I decline. I've seen what happens when she saves anything for me and it's not pretty.

As far as I can tell Grandpa came and Lulu was pleased. Here is the photo my friends on the PTO took for me showing my littlest girl and her Grandpa. I hope she got to show him off. I hope he liked it.

Thank you Grandpa!

PS - Elisa:

Actually that's not your little girl keeping you up, it's my inability to convey the story properly.
That's Micah's step-dad Rex who is, by all accounts, the only dad that matters as far as Micah or I are concerned.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I've been MIA

Sorry I've been MIA for the last couple of days. I have so many ideas floating around in my head of what to write but nothing really seems to come into focus for me lately.

The kids are doing well. I'm still pregnant and doing well. Micah is doing well.

We have some challenges also going on and that has made it difficult I think for me to focus.

Micah's grandmother is still in the nursing home and we are trying to figure out the right course of action for her. She wants to go home. The nursing home says they'll call adult services if we send her home. She only has enough in savings to cover a 24 hour caretaker for 3 months and then we'd need to move her. So there is stress.

Did I mention I'm still pregnant? Yeah. I am. I have about 5 weeks until my due date and it just seems like every time I see my midwife something ELSE is going on. This last week they were worried I was showing signs of pre-eclampsia. I'm not. But that was a semi-stressful weekend.

I have a new roof but now I need to pay the roofers and that is becoming difficult since my insurance sent me a check that is difficult to cash.

The principal at the elementary school is annoying the PTO, of which I am a board member. (And am irritated right along with them)

So I just don't have a lot of funny things to post or say and I really dislike complaining a lot on the blog.

So bear with me while I try and break through this writers block and find funnier times ahead.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Today is my fathers birthday. If my recollection of his year of birth is correct then today he will be 67 today. I will not, however, be calling him to wish him a happy birthday. A card did not go out to him today and no, I didn't forget. I remembered his birthday a week ago and have chosen to send him nothing.

I am a disrespectful, hateful, unforgiving daughter. Ask him. He'll tell you the same thing.

I so don't care. Well, obviously I care somewhat or else I wouldn't be posting a blog telling you about it and how I don't care.

I am infinitely jealous of my cousins who grew up with fathers. Fathers that did things with them and took them places and never made a promise they couldn't keep. Father's who deserve Fathers Day cards and birthday presents and brag about their grandchildren and come to visit. Father's who lend an ear or helping hand and who know you better than you know yourself. Pictures of them growing up in Daddy's lap, getting help with the science fair projects etc. I don't long for that anymore but I used to. Secretly.

I always wanted my children to have that dad. The dad my cousins had. The story book Daddy's who showered their daughters with affection and attention, I wanted that. Wished for it. Pretended I had one from time to time. My children didn't really get that either but what they did get, I think is probably better than a completely absent father.

To be fair, Will is going to get the best dad in the bunch if behavior continues as I suspect it might.

Neither Micah nor I had great biological role models for Fathers. We have some pretty awesome role models now in Step-Fathers, Uncles and friends and I feel like we have gotten incredibly lucky in some respects with that.

So instead of sending my dad a card or calling him or anything of that sort, I just want to say happy birthday to all the good Dads out there.

All the dads coaching games or sitting on the sidelines or taking to practice or rooting theirs kids on. All the dads kissing boo boos, driving to the emergency room at 80 miles an hour and checking on their kids at night. To the dads making dinner, buying dinner or eating dinner a child made that might be slightly "creative. To the dads knowing their children and loving them for who they are instead of trying to fit them into a mold that they have created in their minds as "best".

Happy Birthday guys. Even if it isn't your birthday today. It will be in the next 364 days so here's your birthday wishes too. Happy birthday. Sincerely.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Divorce, 1 year later

So today is my Divorce anniversary. I realize that sounds odd, that someone would remember such a thing and call it an anniversary but it really wasn't that big of a deal to me then and kinda isn't now.

The day I got divorced I took the day off of work. Brian and I met at the courthouse, waited for our judge to not show up and so we were shipped to another judge who asked us questions about our parenting plan (that is in a total shambles today by the way) and if I was pregnant. I swore I wasn't (and I wasn't) and we were divorced. We giggled before and after. Decided it would be in bad taste to have a party.

After that I went back to Micah's apartment and we went out brunch, went to the shooting range and I got my back tattoo. It's a Forget Me Not and has a lot of meaning to me on so many levels.

I remember my mother being devastated about her divorce. She lost weight. She pushed through but she had a really rough first year after my father left.

I didn't have that. I blossomed. I developed hobbies. I tried new food. I traveled. I got pregnant. Opps. I found a family that loved me for me and didn't judge that I was or wasn't something else. And they weren't my biological family. My first year of being divorced coincided with my best summer of all time and my new life that I embraced warmly.

I've been asked by other women how I dealt with the devastation of divorce. Normally they are staring into the pit of despair at possibly the end of their marriage and are terrified. People like to talk to me and I'm pretty open about everything in my life so it's natural that they look at me. But I feel guilty because I have to be honest with them and tell them that for me it wasn't a pit of despair and it wasn't devastating. I cried, to be sure. But I cried for my hopes and dreams, for all my plans, for my failure to my children and to my family. I didn't cry because I missed him or because he was gone. I cried because the picture in my MIND was gone. The plans I had made were gone. But in reality, looking back on it, they were never going to come to fruition like I had hoped anyways.

I occasionally tell one or two stories about my ex so that people can get a feel for why the breakup wasn't hard. Besides telling them we were living completely separate lives as roommates LONG before we separated. These stories are as follows:

A winter or two after we had moved to Colorado I decided I needed a winter coat. I had a 5 year old hoodie made out of sweatshirt material that my mother had given me but it was falling apart and wasn't very warm. I went out in search of a coat in December. I found one at Burlington Coat Factory that I adored. It was sort of a pea coat and was black. It went down to my knees and was made of wool. It was Colorado perfect. I called my then husband to ask him if I could buy the coat. He asked me how much it was. I told him it was $80. He told me no. He said if I could find a coat for $20 I could have it. Yes, he was serious. This, despite the fact that we had over $5000 liquid cash in our checking account and slightly over $10,ooo in our savings account plus various other savings vehicles. Of course a plus size woman in the beginning of winter in Colorado can't find a $20 winter coat so I didn't get one. I just wore my hoodie for the entire winter. I even shoveled snow in that hoodie. He had a wool coat plus a military coat for winter that was good up to -30F I believe.

My other story is about after he moved out. One week he told me he couldn't pick up Lulu from daycare after work, despite the fact that it was on his way home. Every day it was a different reason, he had to work late, he had plans after work etc. So I picked her up. I also made dinner for myself and the kids every night, gave baths, helped with homework, did laundry, tidied the house (I wont lie, I didn't CLEAN it every night) and did the various other tasks moms do. On the weekend I took the kids to do some sort of family "thing". After that week, Monday night, Brian asked if I had "noticed". I asked him "Noticed what?" He wanted to know if I had noticed how much harder that week had been without him there to help. He had avoided picking up Lulu to show me what my life would be like without him.

I laughed. I told him nothing about my life had changed in that week, except I had to pick up Lulu from daycare. But essentially, my life had gone on as normal. He didn't cook. He didn't tidy. He didn't do laundry, or bedtimes or homework. He didn't go family stuff on the weekend and he didn't cuddle with me at night in bed. My life had been pretty normal.

He didn't react well to that at all. He expected me to be exhausted and devastated and begging him to come home. He hadn't really thought about what my life was like when he had something better to do every night of the week and weekends than be with me and the kids.

So there. There are my 2 stories to illustrate why my divorce isn't the devastating thing that it was for my mother and many, many other couples and women out there. My husband was a husband in name only, not deed. His leaving effected me economically more than emotionally but then, by the time he left, I had already prepared for that as well.

Sure, there have been ups and downs in the last year. Sure, it's been hard. But honestly? Micah has taken my children to more appointments and taken more sick time to care for them than Brian did in 10 years of marriage. Overall, I got a much better deal after the divorce.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy 14th Birthday Kylito!

Happy Birthday my biggest girl!

You are my first baby and so I know sometimes things are hard as we grow up together, you as a human, me as a mother. But I think you're surviving and beginning to thrive which is all I ask for.

You are my independent individual. While you care what other people think you rarely let that influence a decision that you make. You have always been my child with orange pants and a neon pink shirt and mismatched socks. And you loved it. Right now you have purple hair which I love more than the green before it (pictures to be posted later) and are learning to tame your makeup usage to a dull roar instead of an intense scream. I appreciate this. You wear all black even though none of your friends do and listen to music by bands whose names are weird, even to most weird people.

You're sense of humor is certainly developed and you have moved far past the fart jokes of old and are onto dry sarcasm. I know you get this from me and often we have some really fun times in the car where the sarcasm is free to roam. I adore this about you and can't help but imagine that this is certainly helping you get through these fun teenage years.

You still are one of the smartest kids in your class as evidenced by your yearly testing that we received last month. Advanced in Writing and proficient but within 10 points of advance in Reading and Math. You seem to skate through school with little effort which is a little worrisome for me but then, I was similar and so can relate.

For the first time ever you have more friends than our living room can hold and I was so pleased to come home and find 13 teenagers hanging out last Saturday for your birthday party. There were days not too long ago where we had to troll the neighborhood on the day of your party searching for kids to come and see the magician or I had to invite my friends kids to make the party seem less empty when only 1 or 2 friends would show up. This year I don't think we had enough sitting space and while 13 kids hanging out, eating pizza, watching bad horror movies and throwing M&M's around my living doesn't sound like heaven I'm sure for you it was your best birthday ever. I'm so glad to see your peers growing into you (finally) and you are blossoming socially.

People often view teenagers as selfish and I wont lie, you certainly have your moments where that rings true but that's because people don't see the you that I see. They don't see the daughter that holds my hand in the car when no one is looking. They don't see the child who asks if I can help her keep her anxiety in check. No one knows the teenager who went shopping with her mom for baby clothes before anyone even knew there was another baby on the way. Or the girl who wants to be there for the birth of her youngest sibling. Or who walked her mother down the aisle and signed the marriage certificate. The girl that puts her mothers shoes on can not be all selfish.

We are starting to talk about college and career choices in earnest now. You don't seem to know every much about college other than that you want to attend the University of Arizona in Tucson but you are pretty sure that you want to be into some kind of art. You've talked about being a tattoo artist but are smart enough to discuss the crummy economy and how that might not be profitable in the long run. You've talked about maybe business so you could run your own and I think that is truly where you will end up. Doing something creative on your own. You aren't my worker bee child or my rule follower, you are dancing to the beat of your own drummer. I'm sure your career choice will follow along that path as well.

You're recognition of world events is remarkable to me and you have a firm grasp of history not only of our own country but of the world. You also seem to lean more to the left than the right politically and I wont lie, that makes me smile. When you compared the plight of our POW's to the plight of those in Gitmo to your possibly someday step mother I was pretty impressed, not only that you could see the similarities but that you were brave enough to point it out to an adult. Standing up for yourself and your moral's and values is always a good thing. Always. Your sense of justice amazes me and I'm continually impressed by it.

Happy Birthday my little Kylito. I hope this next year is even better than the last. And no, you may not get your belly button pierced.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy 5th Birthday Lizzie Lou!

*Yes, I'm late with the birthday post. I was busy Saturday, sorry.*

Happy Birthday Lizzie Lou Who!

I asked you Saturday if you were sure you were 5. Because it seems like just yesterday you were still inside me. You of course assured me you were 5 and but also that time has gone by fast. The problem sometimes is that you are so small and petite that it's easy to forget you are actually 5 and in Kindergarten and not still toddling around in diapers.

You are my mellow (so far) child. You just seem to allow life to trickle over you like a water and tend to very rarely get upset about anything. You go to bed with no problems and can generally be made to at least try anything on your plate with no fuss.

You are eager to please and make friends where ever you go. I was concerned when you started Kindergarten that you would feel left out as you hadn't attended Pre-school there but you seemed to blossom. When I asked you how many classmates you wanted to invite to your birthday party you eagerly told me 15 and then named them all off. You are so quick to welcome strangers into your life with instant love that sometimes I worry. You are also easy to bruise when kids tell you that they aren't your friend anymore and you cry when that happens. I alternate between wanting you to develop a thicker skin and not because I worry that your eagerness to love might somehow diminish if I did that.

You are my helper child. If I am doing any activity you are quick to step up and offer to help. You recently "helped" me mop the kitchen floor which actually led to a much dirty floor than when we started out but again, I'm not in a hurry to tell you to stop. You have been setting the table since you were at least 2.5 years old and occasionally help me make my bed in the morning. You still struggle with picking up all your toys by yourself but if an adult offers to help YOU then you're eager to get that done as well.

You're best gift for your birthday this year was your bicycle. You embraced the change and couldn't wait to hop on it Friday morning at 6:15am.

You are my brave child. You cant wait to try new things and rarely do you get scared or say no to something. At your birthday party you had no fear of the hissing cockroach and petting it. Jumping on your new bike, walking into a new classroom or meeting new people, nothing seems to frighten you.

You are also certainly a dog person although you love all animals. Our two dogs Tasha and Molly adore you and while that occasionally frustrates you as they are about your size when they are on all 4's you also love them and are so incredibly gentle. You and Tasha seem to have a connection that I can't quite explain. You love all dogs though and have embraced your Dad's dogs, strange dogs next door and the little baby puppies the neighbors have. You love our cat and adore stroking and petting him but dogs seem to hold your attention longer and you are more excited when you see them than the cat or any other pet.

You started Kindergarten this year and are so in love with your class, your school and your teacher. Mrs. Brunning is your favorite adult I believe and you participate in your classroom whenever possible. You have embraced buying lunch at school and overall have thrived and blossomed. You are always excited for Monday mornings but then, you seem excited for every new day, every morning.

You are very much into your art right now and enjoy painting, drawing and anything artistic. I love watching you as you explore color and shape and work so hard on creating SOMETHING. Right now your art is very abstract with the exception of shapes but you love telling me the story of your abstract item when you create it.

As I get closer to bringing your baby brother into this world you are increasingly excited about him as well. Today when I dropped you off at the babysitters you gave me a kiss and then told me you needed to give a kiss to the baby. And then kissed my belly. You do not seem to have any apprehension about him coming into our world and have already offered to share your bed with him as well as your bathtime and have offered to change diapers and hold him. You talk to him in my belly and constantly choose one of your many animals or dolls to play the roll of baby brother so you can put him in the bassinet in my room and rock him. You are aware that you wont be able to feed him anytime soon but seem to accept that in stride as one of the few things Mommy will have to do and instead offer to share your cups and books with him as well.

Happy Birthday my sweet princess. Thank you for reminding me what the magic of children is really all about over and over again and thank you for being my sweetie.


Conversation with Kylie

*This scene occurs during her birthday party when she came in to check on something in my room

Me: I really like that one boy
Her: Which one?
Me: Bailey I think? The one who shook my hand. Brought you a present. That was wrapped...
Her: Yeah that's Bailey.
Me: Tell me you have a crush on him. Please.
Her: *rolling eyes* No mom, I'm pretty sure he's gay.
Me: *as Kylie walks out of the room* He's not GAY! He's POLITE!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Not that kind of season.....

Conversation this week between myself and a co-worker:

Co-Worker: I love this season
Me: The fall leaves changing, the air growing crisp?
CW: No. Tax season!
Me: OH ME TOO! I love tax season. I love the forms, the numbers, finding hidden money, researching the tax code.
CW: *blank stare*
Me: The anxious wait for the W2, the anticipation of submitting the final form, filling out additional forms and then doing a second copy just to see which is better, itemizing or standard deduction. God, I love tax season!
CW: I meant the refund. I like the refund.
Me: Oh, those are nice too.
CW: *shaking head* You're not healthy Lacy. That's not healthy at all.
Me: It is in my family!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Colony

Last night Micah and I sat down to watch a DVR'd show or two titled "The Colony".

It's a Discovery Channel show and according to the Wikipedia page: "Ten volunteers enter an experimental post-catastrophe world to see if they can survive and rebuild after a global disaster. Cordoned off in a downtown Los Angeles warehouse with no electricity from the grid, no running water, and no communication with the outside world, they must secure shelter, filter water, and defend their new home from thieves. "

We watched three episodes and I suspect we'll watch at least 1 or 2 tonight more. There are only 10 episodes I think so it's a short series.

Of course it's 10 people with a camera crew following them around but Micah and I had a lot of discussion watching this show and our thoughts on a post-apocalyptic world and how we would survive and here is what we came up with.

I sure hope Rex is coming with us. Rex is Micah's stepfather and has been for 18+ years. That man can do anything with his hands and if The Colony is any indication we sure hope he's around. Otherwise, Micah and I are going to die.

Of course my Uncle John would be an excellent choice too since he is very much like Rex and can pretty much do anything. But John lives in Minnesota so we are going with our Colorado family on this one.

Also, Micah's mother can plant and grown just about anything. And Rex grew vegetables this summer in their back yard. His tomatoes looked lovely last time I saw them. So basically, we need Micah's mom and dad to survive and want to be with us. Because HR and IT aren't really serviceable skills if we get trapped and most of the world dies out.

Then I remembered that Micah worked on tanks and stuff in the Army.He has mechanical experience. He also knows guns and how to shoot stuff incredibly accurately. So he brings some stuff to the table. So really it's just me that's fluff.

To my defense, I do know how to kiss boo boos and give very good kisshugs every night. I also apparently gestate well all things considered. But yeah, for the immediate needs of our Colony, I'm fluff.

That's sad. I need a really cool skill like building a generator to re-energize car batteries or building a gasonator or something like that. My priorities would be something more like food and shelter and less worry about getting power. Watching the things those people were making last night just floored me and made me realize how utterly useless I am in the grand scheme of reality TV.