Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Talking Shop

*I'm going to paraphrase a conversation Micah and I had yesterday towards the end of this post. He hates when I do that because he believes it loses the spirit of the conversation. I'm doing it because it's funnier when I say it.

So there is this weird thing that happens when you get divorced. Or at least when I got divorced. I felt FREE. For the first time in forever I wasn't under the thumb of my husband and I was learning to live without the constant state of anxiety that was so prevalent in my life up until that point. I went out with friends, went on dates, took dancing lessons, went hiking, went white water rafting etc. I was brave. I was confident. I wore 5 inch heels. And worked out in them.

Then I got into a relationship with Micah. For those unfamiliar with the timeline Micah and I started "talking" back at the end of July 2008. We went out on our first date in August. I say this because I like to explain that Micah and I met long after my divorce had been filed and was more than halfway through processing by the time he bought me dinner. Micah did not know me while I was truly married.

Back when I was pregnant initially but before I knew it I started making Micah CONSTANTLY reassure me that he wasn't going to leave. It's weird because prior to that I was kinda all "whatever" about us. I loved him and I wanted to be with him but the overwhelming fear that he would get up and walk out began to press in on me. I should have known that fear was due to a baby.

Since finding out that I'm pregnant I still tend to get a little crazy about our relationship. I occasionally don't trust him not to leave. It has nothing to do with him and everything to do with me and my former relationship. That creeping feeling of "OMG he doesn't have to be here with all this crazy and kids and dogs and home improvement projects and my constant need for reassurance" tends to weight me down.

Probably because when I look at Micah, I can totally see him going the "other" way. Going the way of single with no kids forever. Well, maybe not single. I see him in a long term relationship, maybe not married, maybe so, but childless and hanging out and just the two of them forever. I can see him living in an apartment and hanging out and going to movies at 10pm for the rest of his life. But I don't see that lifestyle for me. I would have always wanted exactly what I have, which is kids and house and 'burbs and PTO. I can't see myself any different than I am, except maybe with another baby on my hip. (Not a 4th baby. Stop it.)

So my crazy takes over and I get all scared that one day Micah is going to wake up and say "NO MORE!". Because that happened to me. I had a man tell me he wanted the kids and the 'burbs and the stability and then wake up one day and say "NO MORE". He wanted hanging out and going to movies at 10pm and just the two of them. Even more to the point my MOTHER woke up one day and had a man tell her that despite his earlier desire for stability and and kids and 'burbs "NO MORE!". So yeah, my limited experience with men with the kids and 'burbs thing? Not so positive.

I tell all of this to Micah. Because he gets me in a way that others generally don't. And I know he wont be upset, that'll he say the right thing but 99% of the time he knows the right thing to say.

He tells me that he's been busy talking "shop" with the other guys at work.

Me: Which guys?

Him: Andrew and Jason.

Me: Big work stuff going on?

Him: Not really.


Him: Jason has the same stroller on our registry and so we were talking about it, he really likes it.

Me: ??

Him: Yeah, been talking cribs and strollers and car seats with the guys.

He's not going anywhere. Because the height of cool, as we all know, it sitting around with your buddies, drinking a SmartWater and discussing the pros and con's of the Eddie Bauer Stroller at Babies 'r Us.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Breakfast Cookies

Last Friday my 4 year old looked at me and sighed while we were leaving the house.

She said, "I wish we still had breakfast cookies."

My response?

"Me too."

Now, I realize to those of you who don't know me, it might sound like I'm a genius who created breakfast cookies that are healthy and nutritious and give them to my children under the guise of "cookies". I can imagine that they would have oatmeal and fruit of some kind, possibly cranberries or dried cherries or bananas and oatmeal.

But you would be wrong.

No my friends, my breakfast cookies are plain old chocolate chip cookies. I didn't even mix them, they came out of a plastic tub.

A few weeks ago I decided we should have cookies and so every night while I was making dinner I made chocolate chip cookies. I would use the cookies to entice my exhausted 4 year old to get in the car and come to preschool with the promise of a "breakfast" cookie. Because even she knew that normal cookies are not for breakfast.

Fast forward to last week and we are out of pre-made cookies and I had been enticing her with other things, like bananas and her OWN.WATER.BOTTLE. But Friday, she was wishing for the breakfast cookies.

I know, I know, bad mommy. Cookies aren't for breakfast.

Except when they are.

I'll be making breakfast cookies tonight after dinner. Yeah it's wrong but she'll get out of bed 5 minutes faster knowing there is a cookie waiting for her.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A revelation - of sorts

Sorry that I didn't post on Friday. I'm sure all 2 of my readers were devastated that I took a day off from my prolific posting. :)

The truth is that I was simply too emotional to post on Friday, even though I wanted to. But every time I sat down to write I ended up crying. When I'm crying it's hard to focus and I either need to give into my sadness or suck it up and stop the crying. 99 times out of 100 I suck it up. But when it comes to grief over my mother I try not to do that and just let the grief do it's thing.

Every morning after my shower I turn on the Discovery Health Channel (I think) and watch Bringing Home Baby. It's a show that chronicles the first 36 hours of a new baby's life and more importantly how the parents/siblings/pets handle the newest addition. I like the new baby part but hate the birth part of most of those kinds of shows (A baby story for example) and this show deals with POST birth so I'm a happy camper.

Except that Friday it dawned on me that my mother wont come to help me this time. In the past I always knew my mother was going to help me with my babies. I knew she would come and make my favorite foods and make sure I ate and slept and showered and she would make up these ridiculous songs for the new baby that she would sing as she changed their diapers or clothes or whatever. (I still know ALL the songs by the way. I have video of me singing one of my mothers silly songs to Lulu when she was 3 months old)

I guess that logically I knew I wouldn't have my mother to help this time but emotionally I kind of blocked it out. Until Friday. When I, in a very panicked way, asked Micah if he was really going to be home with me when I had the baby. Because I've never done a baby alone before. I mean, I've generally done it without a MAN around, but I've always had at least my mother and occasionally more women to assist me post baby. My 3 Aunts came to visit when Kylie was a week or so old and my mother in law and grandmother in law came to visit along with my Mother and Dora when Lulu was born.

For the record, Micah assured me he will take his week of paternity leave AND another week of vacation so I wont be all alone.

This thought though, it led to more thoughts. More revelations. When my mother came down when Lulu was born I specifically requested Meat Gravy and Mashed potatoes. I have tried to explain this meal to Micah with limited success, mostly because of the gravy consistency. She didn't get a chance to make it since her visit and my in-laws visit overlapped and she didn't have time.

So she promised she would make it when they came down for Thanksgiving. Except we never had time. She swore she would make it for me at Christmastime when they came down. Time escaped us then too. She was unsure if she would make it down for Easter because she was having surgery on her foot and would be using a lot of time off for that in January.

Except in February we found out she had Stage 4 lung cancer.

I went down in March to visit for Easter but she had no appetite. I don't even know that we had an actual Easter meal that year.

I asked her if she would tell me how to make it when we came down for Christmas. She said she would.

She never made it to Christmas.

It's a stupidly simple meal that I can't make right. I've tried. It's freaking hamburger, flour, water and mashed potatoes for crying out loud. I just can't seem to get it right.

My mother will never come see my new baby. She'll never make me that meat gravy and mashed potatoes. She wont make up silly songs or talk about her first grandson and threaten to dress him up in pink dresses.

And it's like I didn't know that until Friday.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

20 weeks

Today marks the theoretical halfway point in my pregnancy. I don't have any pictures. Sorry. Today is a small belly day for me. 2 days ago though I was rocking the huge belly. That's just how I work I guess.

I say theoretical because anyone who has either had a baby or has had their baby carried by someone else knows that a due date is almost arbitrary in the actual date the little bundle of joy will arrive. In my case I don't even really notice it because I don't believe for one second I will have a baby even near that date.

My first child was 18 days overdue. Yes. 18. And I was induced. I never actually went into labor. I'm fairly certain if I hadn't been induced by the reluctent midwife Kylie would still be in there today. I love her but that child is lazy hates change. She took 18.5 hours to deliver.

My second child was also induced by to be far she was induced a day or so early because her father was leaving town and would be gone for 3 months. He was actually due to be be at location ON her due date so she was forced into this world a couple of days early so he could meet her. Despite the induction and use of pitocin she also took her time and was delivered 13ish hours after drugs began.

The dangerous location he had to be at? San Antonio. I know! Scarier than Iraq.

So I hold no hope whatsoever that this baby will come anywhere NEAR his due date. I full expect to approach Thanksgiving and have pictures of me with a belly as big as a turkey (the poultry). Or Turkey (the country). Whatever.

But yay! 20 weeks! Whoo hoo!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Some more crazy

This current month of pregnancy has found me crying. A lot. We keep track because it's humorous when I'm not actually sobbing and I am fully aware of the crazy that seems to be going on because I will cry at a moments notice. I'm not USUALLY a crier but now I cry at everything. Sunday I couldn't get an application on my iphone to work properly and it reduced me to tears.

Yeah, I know.

I blame Micah.

His mother is a famous crier. She tears up at everything. (HI LESLIE!) I figure he has now put her DNA into my body, hence the crying.

The other day I started crying and Micah asked what was wrong. I told him it was because he didn't want to go to Disney world. But that isn't what started me crying. What started it was my car color.

Because that's how my brain works. My brain went from car color (or something equally odd) to Disney world and it did it within about 30 minutes. Want to see how it went down? (Micah stop reading here, I know you hate this part)

I was thinking about my car color which is bright blue. Reminded me of the car accident I had December 2007 which reminded me of my rental car before I bought this car. I loved that rental. It was a Camry and I wish I had bought a Camry, it was so roomy and comfortable. Which made me think of Christmas because I had to return the car on Christmas Eve and Brian yelled at me because it was a snow storm and I was all panicked because the rental place told me I had to bring it back right away. I think about that last Christmas where we were married and that was kinda a crappy Christmas on so many levels which reminds me of jewelry because that's what I used to get for Christmas even though I don't really wear jewelry. Which reminds me of "pushing presents" which are gifts husbands buy for their wives when they have a baby although I don't actually know anyone whose every gotten such a thing which reminds me that I'm pregnant. That reminds me of the vacation I wont be taking next summer to Ireland or where ever that I wanted to go and plan for and I think about a really great vacation would be Disney world. Except Micah thinks that's the second circle of hell and now we can't got to Disney world.

Yeah, I cried that entire time.

That's how my brain works folks. It takes some getting used to and I SWEAR I do not have ADD.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fathers Day

I generally struggle with Fathers Day. I find all of the cards to be far too generous and sentimental for the feelings I have for my father. For some reason Hallmark just doesn't make a card that says "Thanks for... whatever it was you did. In a pinch I'd always choose mom. Just so you know."

My father did not walk me down the aisle at my first wedding. He's not technically invited to my second. I talk to him once every 4-6 months. Maybe. He's "processing" my pregnancy and has no qualms about telling me about everything I'm doing wrong in my life. And that's okay. That's who he is and that's how he lives his life and somewhere deep in the recesses of my soul I love him for it.

I still keep hoping that a letter will arrive in my mailbox one day telling me that my real father was the mailman. I keep hope alive.

Luckily for my children, they do not have such a father. Their father can be absent. But he can also be totally there, even from a million miles away. (Or at least in another continent) He generally can be the calm quiet one while I'm the raving lunatic. He can't remember the last time he spanked a child and well, I. I know it was last Friday. But he's not always the most flexible or most understanding guy either. He's in the military. And sometimes his way of thinking isn't very gray at all but rather concrete black and white. Sometimes that's great. Sometimes that sucks for everyone.

My children have also recently acquired another daddy-like guy. We call him Micah. Kylie actually doesn't talk to him a whole lot. But Lizzie. Lizzie adores him. Thinks he hung the moon. He's greater than sliced bread and ALMOST as good a Disney Princess nightgown. Sometimes she slips up and calls him daddy. Sometimes she calls him Micah.

Friday afternoon she brought home a poem and picture she made at school for fathers day. She painted the background herself but there is obviously a lot of effort on the teachers part as well. She carried it in the house even though the thing is almost as tall as she is to show Micah. He saw it and asked if she was going to send it to her daddy for Father's Day. She said "No Daddy. It's for you." He didn't cry. I did though. (Side note but I cry at everything. I think I cry at least 3 times a day right now. It's extreme.)

Happy Fathers day, belated, to the fathers out there, especially ones who are funny, stern, loving and helpful to children. Even those that aren't theirs.

He's so going to kill me when he see's this blog.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A taste of the crazy

I swear, I'm pretty sure I don't have ADD. And I most certainly don't have ADHD. Anyone who knows me can attest to my ability to hold still, on the couch, for long periods of time. Being hyper is SO not an issue of mine.

A long, long time ago someone once asked me why I don't seem to be able to keep a clean house. Especially given that I was a stay at home mom. Here's how it went for me.

I have the best of intentions when it comes to keeping my house clean. I actually used to make a LIST of things I had to get done during the day and the time frame I had to complete it in. I still love lists. I just don't use it like that anymore.

My morning would start at 6:15am. I would get up, shower, get Kylie up. Get Lizzie up, prep breakfast, pick up a toy in the living room. Yell at Kylie to brush her teeth, have her completely ignore the bowl of breakfast on the table and we'd be late because she couldn't find her other shoe. Or Lizzie suddenly had to pee. Or both. And I forgot to put on a bra. (Forgot is putting it mildly. If I had changed out of my jammie shirt I would have noticed) But school starts at 7:15am and we have to leave absolutely no later than 7:08 and it's already, crap, 7:11. So we gun it, with Lizzie still wearing her princess pajama dress and no shoes and Kylie snarling the whole way about why don't I wake her up earlier even though she went back to sleep when I woke her the first time like I'm a snooze button.

Get Kylie to school and make her jump out using a duck and roll technique and speed back home. Ahh peace at last, right? Except now Lizzie is hungry. And has to pee. She can't decide which to complete and she gets upset and cries. I take her to the bathroom and start getting her bowl out and pour in her favorite cereal. She comes out (No flush?) and announces she does not want cereal. She wants yogurt. So I hand her the yogurt and tell her to sit at the table while I do the dishes. I begin to put the glasses away when Lulu starts telling me she would like to help. I try to distract her LET'S COLOR! LET'S PAINT! LETS WATCH VEGGIE TALES! but no. She's my helper. How can I possibly do the dishes without her. So I let her help. The unloading of the dishwasher now takes 30 minutes instead of 10. She decides that silverware do not need to do in their drawer but rather she thinks they would look great under the sink. More redirecting. Now I have to LOAD the dishwasher.

"Lizzie, can you bring me your spoon and juice cup please?" Famous last words.

Suddenly the yogurt spoon drops to the floor and in her distress she also drops her chocolate milk cup. I walk away from the dishwasher and survey the damage. Instead of just cleaning with a rag I decide I should mop the floor. So I grab a broom and start sweeping AROUND the mess. To prep for mopping. Except I need a helper. Who grabs her toy broom. And sweeps THROUGH the yogurt and milk. Now I REALLY have to mop.

Take child out of room and tell her it's TV time! YAY! TV TIME! YAY! She's not buying it. Whatever. But I need to mop and if she helps it'll take 3 times as long. And I still have dishes to do. We spend 10 minutes going through EVERY movie she owns to find that ONE movie that she wants. Of course it's the first movie I offered but whatever. Cinderella it is! I can choose to be a feminist and object to this Princess stuff or I can mop. I'm going to be lazy and mop. Sorry mom.

We start the movie and I decide to take a pit stop to pee. It's edging up on 9am and it's about that time. So I head to the bathroom. While in there attempting to do my short business I notice that the bathtub is sporting a ring. And is that mold in the tiles? GROSS. I need to clean the bathroom. No biggie, I can do a quick clean in here, head to the kitchen, mop, and finish dishes while Cinderella is finding Prince Charming. Right? Except I realize I need to take everything OUT of the bathroom to clean it. Like shampoo, toothbrushes, everything is making a mass exodus. I can't JUST clean the bathtub after all. Might as well clean the whole thing. I'm so proud of myself.

As I start to take everything out of the bathroom I notice that we have 10 half empty shampoo bottles. That seems ridiculous so I grab 2 and decide to put the other two under the sink for later usage. Except the under sink area is a mess. So I sit down on the floor or take everything OUT of under the sink and then organize it. How long can this honestly take, after all? About 5 minutes into it I discover we have expired medication under here. Vicodin from my 2004 baby delivery? Migraine medication from the 90's? That in the world? As I proceed to dump them down the toilet I realize I now need to dump the bottles. So I walk to the kitchen to throw them away.

Except I need to take off the labels. Or permanent marker out the information. Identity left and all people. So I search for the junk drawer for a marker. Except it's REALLY looking junky. WAY junky. So I decide to organize it. I mean, Cinderella hasn't even made it to the ball yet, I've got PLENTY of time. So I take out the draw in the kitchen, dump it on the counter and start to go through it. Man, we have a lot of tools in here and why do we have 100 pens, only 2 of which work? I'm about halfway through the drawer when the phone rings.

It's marketing research. I hate to hang up on these people because they aren't trying to sell me anything, they just want to know what I think. Except I spend 20 minutes with them trying to remember the answers to all of their questions (sometimes, a lot, not often, occasionally, once in a while, once a year AREYOUKIDDINGME?) and now Lulu has decided she needs me because she has the kid sense that once mommy is on the phone she NEEDS me. RIGHT NOW.

I get off the phone and realize it's almost 11am. How did that happen? Cinderella is over for some reason (that movie went FAST!) and we promised to meet up with the other moms at the Mommy Group story time and lunch. Crap. So we grab a purple shirt and orange sweat pants for the little one and I'm STILL in my jammie shirt and head out the door. I get her buckled in the car seat and run back inside to grab a hairbrush and apparently a snack even though we're going to lunch because Lulu is DYING from starvation. We start driving and I'm trying to open a fruit snack, brush my hair and drive to a Borders 20 minutes away in 10 minutes because we're late.

Just as we pull into the parking lot my cell phone rings. It's Mommy Club member #1 reminding me that the story time is at Barnes and Nobles, not Borders so we RACE across town the other way and arrive late. Whatever. There are 30 kids and what feels like 5 moms listening to story time which is not a story I am familiar at all but some very odd story about a polar bear and a leopard. I think.

We moms head over to the lunch counter/Starbucks and try to negotiate what our children will consume from this menu. Whose idea was it to bring small children here again? I order a PB&J that costs almost $6 and a juice and a soda for me which gets FROWNS from all the moms because what kind of example am I setting for my child drinking juice. And soda. Whatever. I haven't eaten yet. The sandwich comes with something like 5 potato chips and we all head back to story time. The story leader has the kids up and dancing and doing a very weird version of the hokey pokey. Maybe. When story time is over we try and corral children to a safe eating area away from expensive books which fails pretty miserably. Lulu isn't hungry. She takes 2 bites of her $6 sandwich and decides to wander off. I munch my ridiculous lunch and chat with the moms while I listen to the evils of cornstarch and liberals. Those crazy liberals. They want to make all the children gay. Or something. I stop listening because well, I carry a DEMOCRAT card in my wallet. And I don't want to turn children gay. Not that there is anything wrong with gay children. But why are we discussing children and their sexual preference? Doesn't that seem wrong?

I realize I'm missing my child. So I get up and start to just walk around the nearest magazine racks, nicely saying my child's name. She's not there. I move to the left and start looking among the ancient history literature and she's not in those book stacks either. I go to the children's area, saying her name louder but no answer. Hmmmm. One of the little boys in the group comes up and tells me that my child walked outside. Out the big doors. Oh.My.GOD. Suddenly the Mom's group JUMPS into action and like a sloppy looking, overly fertile A-Team they start fanning out in all directions calling her name and keeping me calm but also telling me horrible stories about their mailman's high schools coaches best friends daughter who walked out of a bookstore one time and DIED.

15 minutes later child is recovered in the CD section of the store. I thank my A Team mommy hood members and we depart. At least it'll be interesting gossip for them for the rest of the day.

We get home and it's edging on 2pm. How did we manage to spend 3 hours at story time? Oh right, I lost a kid. We walk in the house and now I REALLY have a lot of work to do. Hey Lulu. Wanna watch another movie? 10 more minutes picking a movie for quiet rest time and we select The Little Mermaid. I hate that movie. Ariel is so whiny. Whatever. I can be a feminist or I can get my house together. In goes the movie and child must lay on the pillow and be covered with a blanket.

What do I start first? Kitchen and mop, dishes, junk drawer? Bathroom under sink, or in general?

Kylie walks in the door and drops 2 metric tons of crap on the living room floor. Book bag, coat, shoes, teenage angst, etc. I ask her to clean up and she kicks her shoes to the side of door. Nice. Informs me that she has homework and needs help. Okay. I'll help. Let's go to the kitchen and I'll do the dishes or mop or finish the junk drawer while we do that. She wants a snack. Okay, I'll get you a snack, what do you want? Burritos. Okay. Sit down, I'll do burrito. Burritos. Whatever.

As the burritos cook, I load 2 dishes in the dishwasher. I take them out of the microwave, place them in front of the child and she complains about her homework. Mom, look at this. I look at her math homework and honestly, it's Greek. I don't understand a WORD of it. And I took college algebra. And ACED College statistics. I'm not stupid but none of that crap makes any sense. As I politely suggest that perhaps the male figure in our lives would be better for this than me. And she tells me I'm stupid. No, I'm not kidding. I'm the most stupidest person on earth. Ever. She gets up to storm off, walking THROUGH the coddled dairy products on the kitchen floor and tracking it through the house. Crap.

I grab a towel and attempt to manually clean the soon-to-be-stinky dairy off the carpet while trying not to dream of ways to hide the oldest child's body and thinking about how short that stupid Ariel movie is. I think I have MOST of the pink yogurt off the carpet so I stand up and decide to throw the towel down the stairs. When I do I notice the mountain of laundry at the bottom.

What the heck, it can't take more than a minute to start a load, right? I'm so proud of myself.

I go downstairs only to realize that I need to at least quick sort the laundry. I decide I need towels in a bad way so I start the washer with hot, dump in the soap and start grabbing all the towels out of the pile. I get 5. How can I only have 5 towels in this pile? I dump them in the washer and head upstairs to find the rest. I look in my room, the bathroom, (Still not organized OR clean), the youngest child's room and knock on the oldest child's door. She begrudgingly opens it and is listening to some horrible sounding disease named rock band and moping. And not doing her homework. I tell her to go back and do her homework and she rolls her eyes at me which leads to a lecture about disrespect and in my head I'm thinking about how far I would have to drive to dump her body and which friend I can count on to help me do it.

I grab 18 towels from her bedroom and begin to walk towards to basement and I see that Lulu isn't on the couch watching her now over movie OR resting. I place dirty towels on the coach and go to find her. She's not in her room. Or bathroom. Or in my bedroom. She's not in the living room. I search and scream her name for 6 minutes getting more and more hysterical only to discover her playing outside in the backyard. I smile and think how cute she is and head back to the living room.

Suddenly I remember that I have to make dinner and it's, oh shoot 4pm. How did THAT happen? I search my fridge and nothing pops out so I do to the freezer in the garage. While I'm out there I remember the tools from the junk drawer and head back inside to grab them. I grab them and attempt to put them in the tool box but can't find the right drawer and decide that I should probably grab the trash cans and take them out to the curb for garbage day tomorrow. That takes 10 minutes of hauling 4 garbage cans down to the street and rounding up the garbage in the house. I head back to the garage and start to rummage looking for more food for dinner. I need to go grocery shopping but can't right now. I finally come up with tater tots and chicken nuggets. I am so creative. Ketchup is a vegetable, right?

I head back in the house and turn the oven on. I prep the nuggets and tots and throw them on a baking sheet. Suddenly I hear the garage door open and I realize it's 5pm. What the heck?

In my walks my man to see me standing there with frozen nuggets and tots on a baking sheet, the kitchen floor covered in nasty dairy products and dirt that my preschool JUST dragged in from her time in the backyard, the junk drawer dumped all over the kitchen counter, the dirty dishes from this morning still in the sink, the dishwasher hanging open, 2 burritos cold on a place at the kitchen table, homework not finished also on the table, a washing machine full of water and only 5 towels NOT spinning because I didn't put the lid down, a teenager screaming horrible lyrics in her bedroom, pink yogurt on the floor, the bathroom completely emptied with all contents in from of the door, the under sink area completely scattered on the actual bathroom floor, a backpack and shoes dumped on the living floor, a pillow and blanket still on the couch and his youngest child telling him about how she made mommy cry in the store and disappeared and got to watch movies all day and is SO hungry because mommy ate all of her lunch.

I'm exhausted and I haven't finished ANYTHING yet.

And that's my day. And also, why I'm divorced.
And mostly why nothing gets done in my house.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Conversations with Micah

Via text on the iphones:

M: What project sounds best? Thermostat, dirt to fill in holes in yard, bins for craft stuff to work on guest room, screens and door for gazebo. I'd say screens for house but not sure if I'd f*ck it up.
M: Or something else.
L: Screens, honest to God. But do we really need a door for the gazebo? Really? Second is guest room.
M: Screens and no door doesn't keep out mosquito's?
L:I thought screens for house. My bad. Guest room.
M: *Blah blah blah screen door for gazebo*
L: We still need to move Kylie.
M: k craft stuff it is.
L: What are you doing?
M: Get lil more storage stuff for craft stuff and start getting it out of room.
M: Ohhh excuse to go to container store rather than wallmart. haha (He's totally serious. He loves the Container Store)
M: *blah blah blah iphone software*
L: Go pick up Lizzie.
M: left carseat so I can pick up stuff. Sowiee.
L: It's okay. I guess.
M: Am doing things....for baby.
L: Yeah yeah yeah, me too. Like supplying blood and oxygen.
M: you'd be doing that anyways. I'm going out of my way here.
L: Not the good blood. I go out of my way to give him the good blood.
M: Sexy when you make the good blood.

Yeah I know. We're freaks.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Getting married

This question comes up more and more often, the more my tummy starts to stick out. People mean well and I appreciate the thoughtful question.

The short answer? Sept. 5th. In my future mother in law's back yard. Small, intimate, please don't feel bad if you don't get an invite. I promise, you'll get an announcement. It'll be closely followed by my baby announcement. Ha!

The long answer. Sept. 5th. In my future mother in law's back yard. But it's been a long time coming to that point.

Way back when, before I got pregnant, Micah and I had talked about getting married. He was pretty much with the idea after about 3 months of dating. I was taking a little longer but I liked the idea. We decided that IF we got married it would be about July 2010. July 24th actually. I liked the date, it has meaning for us. It was certainly nice to hear "I want to marry you Lacy".

We went on vacation in March and everyone kept asking if we were going to elope in Mexico. The answer was no. Honestly it hadn't crossed my mind until my former mother in law asked. Then I looked up what it would take, just for giggles. It's a LOT harder to get married in Mexico than in Colorado. So that was out. (Mexico involved a blood test and waiting period. Colorado says I don't even need witnesses.)

We giggled and talked about getting married and I knew by February (well, slightly sooner than that) that we were most certainly going to get married. But in my mind it was still 2010.

Every time I would come up with an idea for a wedding Micah didn't like it or was uncomfortable with it. It took some fighting and some tears before I finally said ENOUGH. And stopped thinking about it.

Until that positive pregnancy test in April.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't believe in getting married because you're pregnant. I didn't do that the first time when I had Kylie. I was offered the opportunity but declined. Getting married BECAUSE you're pregnant is just a recipe for disaster in my opinion. People should get married because they love each other, because they are committed to each other. They should get married and be committed that no matter how bad it gets they are going to stick it out. Not for the kids but because it's the right thing to do. It's a vow you make. I have yet to see people who got married because they were pregnant work out.

But now, we've moved up the wedding date. Because I'm pregnant. But we had planned it before. Leslie and Melissa can attest to that. The girls I work with can attest to that. We'd been planning to get married. Just maybe not this soon.

Micah wants me to be his wife. I want him to be my husband. I want to raise this baby and my other babies together. I want us to struggle and love and laugh and weep together.

So we're getting married. And I'll be 32 weeks pregnant. And I'm okay with that. Baby moved it up faster but isn't the cause.

Here's a picture of my ring. Micah did good. 2 sapphires surround a round diamond. In white gold. The wedding band is alternating sapphires and diamonds. Honestly, they are beautiful and exactly what I wanted.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cherry loves Cheesecake

You know what's cool about being an adult? Eating whatever I want, whenever I want. You know what's not cool about being a mom? Having your eating habits modeled by your children. So you can't really eat what you want, when you want.

Today though, I got to eat what I wanted at lunch. Because I'm pregnant. And picky. And it sounded better than anything else available.

I had ice cream for lunch. Not a large amount, but it was my only source of food. Cherry loves cheesecake is a flavor of ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery which is all things awesome. It's cheesecake ice cream, mixed with black cherries, fudge and chocolate chips. It is, without a doubt, the best ice cream ever.

At least to me. No one else I know seems to like it. Whatever.

So yeah, I'll eat healthy homemade pizza tonight for dinner. Vegetarian pizza even. And my kids will watch me make it (actually Lulu will help me prepare it. She's a helper like that) and they'll watch me not eat a lot of it because I eat small portions right now and hopefully they'll learn to eat fruit and vegetables on cheese and crust.

But for a moment in time the real Lace came out. And she ate ice cream for lunch. HOORAY!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

18 weeks pregnant

I'll post a picture later but honestly, there isn't a lot of tummy to see yet.

I've been telling everyone that I'm halfway through my pregnancy today. I realize that is incredibly wishful thinking but it could POSSIBLY be true. Maybe. Okay with me, not likely.

I am however, very close to the midway point here and I'm still a little shocked. We found out 6 weeks ago that we had a little someone on the way. And here I am, pressed up against the wall of almost halfway done.

I have clothing. Well, I have cute stuff. But it's starting to get to me that the nursery isn't even started and the basement to move the youngest child isn't done and we don't HAVE anything for the baby.

I'm stressed because we still don't have a name picked out either. By this point in both of my pregnancies prior I had a name selected so this irriates me to no end. It's small details people, small details.

On the plus side though, I AM feeling movement, more and more. I have energy again, at least occasionally and I don't look like a blimp yet either. I have clothes and more clothes on the way, I'm back to sleeping a little better and food tastes good and sounds good. All of these are positives.

Now if only I could get to painting.


My parent's divorce taught me a lot about money. My dad screwed my mother in their divorce in ways I still can't fully comprehend. Seeing her struggle and carefully manage her money taught me to do the same. I had a paper route as a child, mowed lawns, held garage sales and babysat. I was constantly working. And saving. I spent frugally and wisely.

When I got married I married a man to whom stingy would have been a compliment. Sort of. He was aggressive with spending and saving if I was doing the spending. But he was pretty free with his own spending on himself. It was a weird dynamic and it worked for us for awhile. I got REALLY good at saving and paying cash as much as we could.

The divorce has been hard on my not so much emotionally as in my personal security. Brian always made enough to support us. I was able to stay home for a year with my children because of the income the military provided, along with careful saving. I now have to count solely on my income and child support as a method of getting by. All financial decisions are mine to make and sometimes my mistake to make.

When Brian left I did use credit, as sparingly as I could, to accommodate items he had taken in the divorce. Luckily Micah has also come in and provided some of those things (like a bedroom set) but overall while I was getting the hang of living on 2/3 of the income I was used to I sometimes used credit to scrape by. I'm getting better now and working like mad to get rid of the debt I accumulated during that time. I often tell people I don't believe in debt and it feels disingenuous to say that and now I have debt staring me in the face.

What has been particularly tough though, has been Kylie's medical bills. I feel like I was getting to be even keel until all of that "stuff" in April went down. Since then I have struggled to keep up with the co-pays, medication and therapy. I detailed another week how I had paid a massive amount of money in co pays and medication costs not too long ago. This week is another one of those weeks.

I received a bill for some therapy Kylie received while in the hospital that is out of network. Cost? $208. I fought it and have lost with my insurance company. I also had to pay the bill for my delivery with my Dr this week. $255. I have fill her prescription for Zoloft before she leaves to the tune of $17 for a month. And I just looked at the bills coming now that my insurance has processed most of them. I have $756 coming for her hospital stay (in addition to what I have already paid) and $150 (give or take a few dollars) coming from my blood work and pregnancy appointment last month.

It's honestly overwhelming and I feel like crying.

The thing is, I have GREAT insurance. I only have to pay 90% of any of the medical costs we've incurred. I only pay a small portion of medication costs and let's be honest, I'm paying a fraction of what it will end up costing to have this baby. I have a $100 deductible per person in my family which is fantastic. I KNOW this.

Doesn't stop the fact that I earn less than $34K a year and child support can be sporadic at best for one of my children.

2/3rd of bankruptcy filings in 2007 were due in large part to medical debt. I completely understand this from a whole new way now.

Right now life would be a lot easier if I had no debt or no medical bills. The fact that I have both can really be overwhelming.

No real point or follow up to this point. I know it's depressing. I just had to put this out there. Money sucks.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Guard Dogs

In case you didn't know, we have two dogs. Or DOGS! when we are upset. Their names are Tasha and Molly.

Micah got Tasha about a year ago from the Dumb Friends League. She's a Belgian Malinois and looks a lot like a shorter haired, smaller cousin of a German Shepard. She is still getting used to me and I think resents that I have invaded the space of her Daddy but overall tolerates me. She's about 2.

Molly is the dog we got together in January. She's an Australian Cattle Dog/Collie Mix. We think. She's pretty much black and has a weird left eye that looks "off" somehow. She's also from the Dumb Friends League and is close to 2. She ADORES Micah. LOVES HIM.

She and Tasha are good sisters. When we got Molly Tasha calmed down and has taken the role of alpha dog/big sister remarkable well. The girls play together well and I think make great companions. They get into trouble together as well and like to hog attention from whoever pets.

Molly likes me. Until Micah is around. Then she doesn't know I'm alive. Which is fine. Micah exudes "lover of dogs" while I am mostly background noise.

They both tolerate Kylie. She says she hates them but when she thinks no one is looking I've caught her stroking Molly. Molly knows that the pets are there, she just has to beg for them whereas Tasha goes looking for pets elsewhere.

The remarkable thing though, to me, is how well BOTH dogs have taken to Lulu. She's 4. She's pretty much a danger age for dogs. She's small and delicate and sometimes doesn't remember to be gentle. I once saw her squishing Tasha's face in every direction while Tasha just sat there and let her. I was in awe.

You see, when I was married, Brian and I had a dog named Kenai for MANY years. She was a mostly dim Black Lab/Beagle mix who did not like children despite the fact that we had always had one when she was around. She bit Kylie more times that I can count and we finally had to give her to the dumb friends league when she started taking warning nips at my then 9 month old baby. So to watch a dog not only allow but enjoy a child is, well, new to me.

Tasha in particular understands WHO Lulu is. She sees her as a smaller human and therefore a higher order member of the pack. She also recognizes that there are lots of gentle pets and belly rubs to be had for the dog that is gentle with the little one. She routinely "checks" on Lulu in the middle of the night by going into her bedroom and gets very concerned when she cries or fusses. She constantly checks on her and occasionally gives a delicate lick. She'll obey the general commands given by the little one in hopes of a treat and likes to watch over her.

This is the image I walked into after my shower this morning.

Tasha guarding Lizzie while she slept.

Notice the paw gently by the little girl's face? As if to make sure any movement would be recognized. I don't know how they would be as guard dogs. But they sure watch over my baby when no one is around.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I wrote a few years ago, for another blog, about my oldest daughters 5th grade graduation. I hated it. I went but I was resentful. I went because that's what "good" mothers do and I didn't want to be labeled as a "bad" mother. Especially since I was the president and treasurer of the PTO. (Conflict of interest?)

The school refused to allow it to be called any kind of graduation. They referred to it as Continuation, even though the kids didn't continue at that school. No pictures of scrolls or caps. Nothing to allude to the idea of graduating. Because, I kid you not, they were afraid the kids would think they were DONE with school. That they had graduated. This was discussed in LENGTH at the PTO board meeting with the principal and my honest reaction was "If we have kids stupid enough to think that they are done after 5th grade then we have a lot more issues than not showing a cap and scroll." I'm obviously popular with the principal. (And only the incoming PTO Vice President this year.)

I thought my 8th grade graduation was lame when I had it. LAME. Dressing up for no reason. I don't honestly remember anything about walking across a stage or anything although I'm sure I must have. I just remember fighting with my pantyhose.

Kylie had a graduation of some kind, maybe from a day care in Alaska? I don't remember it at all but I suspect that I wasn't there. I think it was from Montessori or something while she was visiting one summer. I only even think about it because I seem to remember a picture of her in a cap and gown.

So suffice to say, I'm not at all excited about silly school graduations that happen before high school. I kind of think it's a big deal about nothing and that it's yet another example of what is wrong with us as a society. We have to make EVERYTHING a big deal and can't just let things progress as they should. We rarely teach kids about winning and losing, we rarely let them just BE without someone sticking a camera in their faces to make a milestone out of every.single.thing.

That said, Lulu's Preschool graduation is this Friday. I can ALREADY feel the tears coming. I'll be that mom. You know, THAT one. Standing in the aisle, trying to get the best shot of her daughter singing horribly out of key in a tshirt I paid too much money for. Why?

Because in my mind that is still my littlest. That is still my baby. She's made leaps and bounds this year in preschool. She has fulfilled every request I would have had for her to learn and develop and fine tune, if I could have articulated them.

She won't go to that school next year. Next year she graduates to a real public school. When we drive by it she gets extrememly excited and tells me all about how she'll be a DARTH MOTH kid (Dartmouth) and she'll get to help Ms. Cammie (a family friend who works at the school) and she'll have a new teacher and a WHOLE BUNCH of NEW FRIENDS and a new playground and a new daycare and, and, and.... she's excited. She's ready. She's beyond ready.

So for her this really is a graduation. She's done. With that school, with that teacher, with those friends. She's moving on to the big leagues.

So yeah, I'm going to cry. And laugh. And hum that horrible song over and over and over again until my co-workers want to kill me.

Come on Friday!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Smart Man

Conversation this weekend:

Me: Hey, just an FYI, I bought some maternity clothes. They should be here this week.
Micah: Ok
Me: Just wanted you to know, I'm not asking permission or anything.
Micah: Ok
Me: It's just that I'm really starting to get sick of my clothes already and....
Micah: Babe, it's fine. Frankly, I wish you would buy more clothes.

Me: *Mouth hangs open*

Micah: I don't think you have enough frankly.

I love that man. That is the sexiest/smartest thing I've ever heard in my life.

Friday, June 5, 2009

So appropriate

If you've seen me in the last 9 months, you know, I'm rarely without my iPhone. A gift from Micah when we were first seeing each other. To save the phone bills and to get me addicted.

Since then I can generally be seen checking the weather, texting, emailing, calling and playing games on my phone and am rarely seen without it.

Micah's sweet sister Melissa got me this shirt shortly after we found out we were pregnant. I think it's pretty accurate. Sadly.

In case you can't see it, or don't know what it is, it's the baby in my tummy. Watching a iPod. Yeah. That's probably about right. Lizzie thinks there is a bed and chairs in there anyways.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pill Popping

So we are a little over a month from a time I like to refer to as BZ. Before Zoloft. Not for me but for my child. I wanted to take a second to reflect on what this month-6 weeks has been like for me, for her and for us.

Before I begin though let me first say, I'm pretty much the Anti-Prescription Drug when it came to my child. My Pediatrician was impressed a year and a half ago when I took Lizzie in for a raging cold that had stagnated and wouldn't clear up. I had refused antibiotics twice in the prior 3 months for this issue insisting that if there was another way I was willing to do it. He had never SEEN a child who regularly saw a Pediatrician but hadn't had more than 3 rounds of antibiotics in her life. (It does happen, I'm not tooting my own health horn here. She had taken them, I just always tried a different approach first and use antibiotics as a last resort.)

I myself tend to avoid medication that my own personal research doesn't indicate as totally necessary for life. Well, and birth control. Which I considered totally necessary. My body just disagreed with me.

When it came to Kylie I fought for YEARS against any medicating of her. When teachers suggested she might have ADD or ADHD I had her tested. The therapist said "Maybe". I researched. She didn't fit enough criteria so I said tough cookies. I also decided that since she HAS the ability to complete her school work and pay attention then she did not need medication. I fought that for YEARS because Kylie can be, what some might call, strong willed. It can be hard for a teacher to reach her. She protests change, including in the classroom and was so used to being so brilliant that for many years she wasn't actually taught anything. When a teacher did actually try and teach her something she struggled. My ex and I used these opportunities to attempt to teach her focus and discipline. To learn social cues and what was acceptable and not acceptable. We worked hard. We fought to keep her off of any kind of medication since I did not believe she would benefit from anything.

Kylie's will just got progressively worse. From calling her 5th grade teacher a Bitch, to threatening suicide, to cutting herself. Once. 75 times. All over her body. From fights with her 6th grade Math Teacher to being suspended in 7th grade. Kicking a hole in my basement wall to throwing $350 remote controls, screaming and yelling until I was hoarse and throwing up. Crying for 3 hours and staring at her face in the bathroom. Wearing dirty clothes and sleeping on an un-sheeted mattress. That's where we were.

I finally consented to medication. I hated it. I cried when they recommended it to me. I emailed my ex and asked for guidance. I talked to Micah in depth about it. I prayed.

Zoloft has saved my life. (And hers I suspect. I might have killed her if it had continued.)

Sure, it makes her a little tired. It also made her take my pregnancy 1000 times better than I could have dreamed of. It makes summer something she's looking forward too and I get no argument about showering or washing clothes. I LIKE my child again. Honestly, for the first time in awhile. I know parenting is about work. It's harder than I ever imagined. There is a difference though between fighting and disagreeing. I can handle our fights. I can be the parent I need to be when she's the child SHE needs to be.

I know she still forgets her pills once in awhile. That's okay. She's taking them. She's doing better. It's good for her, it's good for me, it's good for her sister.

I'm lucky, we have a Pill Pusher aka Psychiatrist who also believes in the less is more approach. She's on the second lowest dose she can take and still be on the medication. She's doing well. No reason to up it if she's doing well. I love that man.

I still struggle with medicating children. I hate the idea of it. But I like to see her enjoying life. So I guess it's a trade off. My unease with medication versus her childhood. Not such a bad trade off I guess.

Monday, June 1, 2009


Last weekend my ex-husband girlfriend had to put her dog down. He was old (14 human years) and had been suffering from old man syndromes for some time. Last weekend he fell down the stairs at her house and either popped his hip out of place or broke it, I'm unsure.

I'm going to stop here and admit that I don't ALWAYS like my ex-husbands girlfriend. While I an infinitely happier with the man I am with I still tend to feel a little resentful to someone I think of as a husband stealer. BUT, she has a good heart and I liked her before she started sleeping with my ex and she loves my daughters. I occasionally have to remind myself that I don't have to LIKE her but that there is no such thing as too much love for my daughters so I do what I can to be helpful and cordial. She has the girls spend the night one weekend a month while Brian is gone and has penciled events for the girls in such as Lulu's preschool graduation. She also works very hard to follow the parenting rules that Brian and I have set for the girls which I applaud her for.

Anyways, so she had to put her most beloved dog to sleep. I had to explain it to Lulu. I at first just said it in words I knew she would understand, forgetting that the concept can be difficult. Sommer's dog Jake died just doesn't cut it somehow. What is died wasn't hard. But later she asked when he would come back.

Then I decided to have a discussion about Heaven. I know everyone has a different concept of Heaven, based on their faith and belief system. I think my vision of Heaven is probably generic in the sense that it's a happy place free from disease, drama and death. I don't know that I buy that it's on fluffy white clouds and that we all walk around wearing togas and sandals, unless we want to that is, but I digress.

I firmly believe my mother is in Heaven and I believe she watches the goings on of my family. She came to me a in dream a little while after she died and described Heaven to me. Sounded a lot like she was living in a condo in Miami. With only a small office trash can allowed for garbage a week.


So Lulu and I discussed Heaven and what it must be like there. For surely, Jake went to Heaven. He was a good dog who was patient and kind and loyal. He was a peacekeeper and rarely a squirrel chaser. I believe he was worthy of Heaven.

So Heaven, according to Lulu, for Jake, is a very happy place. There is a HUGE yard to run in. And lots of other dogs. Chew toys and raw hides as far as the eye can see. He doesn't get in trouble for chasing the rabbits and he never catches them anyways. (Remember, no death in Heaven) There are people there to rub his belly whenever he wants and to play fetch and catch. They throw sticks as long as he wants. His bed is soft and fluffy and he watches Sommer every day.

After this long talk I think she got it. And the concept of Heaven.

When she came home from Sommer's she promptly informed me that Leo the fish is also with Jake in Heaven. Apparently Brian's fish died last week. I wonder if chasing rabbits will be up to Leo's liking as well.

Well this is new......

So yeah. I'm having a boy. I'm still processing it. That is not what this post is about however.

I'm dealing with a lot of differences in this pregnancy that I hadn't experienced in prior pregnancies. The biggest one for me is the overwhelming exhaustion. I can sleep for 9 hours, wake up, move around for 4 hours and be utterly exhausted and overwhelmed after that.

It gets so bad for me that I begin to feel sick to my stomach and worry that my legs wont hold me because I'm so tired. I of course get cranky and can fall asleep in the car within 5 minutes if given the chance.

The problem of course is that no one in my house seems to believe me.

My 4 year old wants to check on me if I lay down in my bedroom. Every 10 minutes. She can be completely content and have everything she could ever need within reach of her tiny hands but the moment I start to drift to sleep she begins to sense it and comes to jump on me/inform me she needs to potty/decide she wants a different movie/would like another snack/needs another drink/wants to play with her animals/wants to play with her dolls/wants to play dress up/wants to sit with me etc. And no, apparently no one else can assist her with this task. If Kylie is here she just pretends she isn't and if Micah is here she tends to avoid him to get to me.

Of course if Micah is here he's generally laying in the bedroom with me trying not to fall asleep but falling asleep anyways and driving me crazy with his breathing because THAT'S how tired and exhausted I am.

Sunday I sat in my backyard and cried because I was so tired and no one would let me sleep. I could not rest, I could not get comfortable and I was so far past the line of tired that I didn't trust myself to be with anyone else.

If I had a fairly godmother right now my wish would be for a nap. A long day of doing nothing, where no one talks to me, interrupts me or makes me stay awake when I want to sleep.

I know this sounds selfish, it feels horrible to type. But honestly, I've been up for all of 3 1/2 hours at this point and I'm already feeling the tendrils of exhaustion starting to wrap around me. Sadly, I'm at work so there is nothing to do about it for me at this point.

It was never like this with my other pregnancies. It's hard to wrap my head around that all I want to do is sleep when normally I like to be up and moving.

This little boy better love his mommy.