Happy Halloween

N (who I'm still thinking of a nickname for) on his first Halloween.

Perfect Pumpkin

And now that I've ruined my ability to post in Blogger by attempting to share a photo, let me assure you all that I am still trying out Wordpress and considering its seductive loveliness.  I suspect that I'll be moving to it within a month and within the next few months, I'll be going Wordpress Pro.  We'll see.  I'll keep you updated on that.  It'll probably happen soon since the service which provides my feed (Feedburner) is dying as well.  Might as well change everything up at once.  The good part of having only six followers is that you can be fairly assured that most of them will follow you to a new blog.  Okay, I'm out for now.  LYLAS.  (Except the one guy who reads this blog.  May he be having the best scary movie month of his life.)


Sorry For The Lack Of Posts

Blogger is being all fucked up in the composing.  I hate to cuss, but there it is.  This means that I'm much more seriously reviewing and considering other blogging mediums.  I do have a prize for the Pinterest posts in September and I have pictures for the October pin I'm doing.  I also have knitted items to post about.  I just don't have a blogging medium I trust. 

I still am thinking about you all.  Hopefully be back to you soon.


The Belly Gets Older

So Cuddly and Cozy
As some of you may, or may not, know, N2's nickname is "Belly".  It has almost nothing to do with her real name and was given to her by me and N.  P is worried that it will cause her some anxiety, but I doubt it will last and it's got a bit of sweetness to it.  Plus, I'm a prime nibbler of baby tummies.

Belly (as will be her new name on the blog) is getting bigger and stronger and smarter.  She's learned which breast she prefers for which meals.  She knows that if she clenches and unclenches her hand, I will pick her up and hold her.  She does not know it means I will nurse her though.

She can sit up.  She can push backwards while on her tummy.  She abhors tummy time though and will roll over when you put her down.  She can drink from a straw.  She can laugh at N's jokes.  Belly is showing independence and curiosity and a desire to be a part of the family in a way she isn't quite yet.  She's still just a tiny bit "the little baby that we carry on our adventures" and she seems to be trying to break free of that.

When I attempt to sit her down now, she locks her legs in an attempt to stand.  She makes whimpering and whining and crying noises when we eat.  She wants food too.  She chatters like a crazy little girl.

When we "read" her touch and feel book, she remembers it and goes right for the textured parts of the page.  If N comes near her, and she tries to grab his hair and shake him.  This causes him to duck and cry and retaliate.  It starts so early.

She's obsessed with cats.  That is how you know she's my daughter.  Belly, the daughter of a ninja kitten.  She'd rather stare at the cats than do anything else.  She likes car naps and hates alone in the bedroom naps.  Sometimes, she gets fussy and only mommy will do for her nap.

Belly is dressed crazily.  Sometimes she'll have on her Sunday finest.  Other times, she's dressed like I went blind during the picking of her clothes.  She's growing into a more distinct look now too.  Earlier, she was N's twin.  Now, she is starting to get her own features that are the Belly's and not just "Oh, that's like N."  Her nails are like mine.  Her lips are like mine.  Her smile is beatific so that must be from P.

I can't believe she's this small.  I can't believe she's growing so quickly.  How is it that I've had her for what seems like forever, but she was just born this year?  I absolutely adore babies.  If I did not have a problem with my stupid veins and my clotting blood, I'd have a billion of them, each sweeter than the last.  As it is, I think she might be last so I try to remember that as I smell the top of her head before I kiss her once again.


I Heart Being Lazy

Kale Chips And Their Making

Ugh, do I wait until the last minute, or do I wait until the last minute?  I know, I totally wait.  If I ever got into a race with a hare, we'd both be napping on the side of the road forever, while we watched tortoise after tortoise race by. 

All that said, I did do it.  I completed a pin!  Kale chips by Smitten Kitchen (a blog I love and adore and read with anticipation.)  As you know, I used to be a vegetable hater.  I wouldn't eat vegetables other than potatoes for any reason.  I'd push onions, celery, and carrots in my soups to the side.  I'd wrinkle my nose at cauliflower.  Now?  I'd probably push someone down the stairs for a bowl of roasted Brussels sprouts.  (No one I live with, so don't worry for them.  N wouldn't even eat my bowl of Brussels sprouts if someone threatened to push ME down the stairs!)

Having said that, while I'm over my fear of a lot of vegetables and I only occasionally push onions off my plate, I just hate the idea of leafy greens.  Spinach, lettuce, and cabbage are things to be eaten because I must, not because I like to.  This does officially make me the worst Korean you've ever met.  Kale, in particular, seemed hideous.  It's a punishment food, right? 

Then Helen made me some and I was worried I was going to have to fake enthusiasm. Her own husband made faces at the chips as they were pulled out of the oven.  Having said that, I really liked them.  They were crunchy but super light and full of flavor.  I immediately decided I was going to try making them again and I pinned the recipe from Smitten Kitchen within the last few months when I remembered seeing it.

Kale Chips And Their Making

After getting a ton of kale at a local farmer's market, I just dug through the kitchen for the ingredients and whipped this together.  It was quick and tasty and no one in the house besides me will eat them so it's a treat I alone get.  

Kale Chips And Their Making

I will give you a bit of a warning.  Be careful with the salt.  It's really easy to over-season quickly!

I'm already photographing October's outing, and I hope to hear from some of you who said you would try this Pinterest thing.  TRY THIS.  Also, is it cheating to pin something because you want to do it, but you thought of the project before pinning it?  (For instance, can I pin an apple pie recipe even though I already know I want to do apple pie?  Is that a cheat?  I made this up and I don't even know!)


Friday Links #2

Listen, folks, this is a paltry and sad links day, though everyone I link to has made me happy.  I know I've not been blogging, but, and this is a huge but, I'm catching up mightily on my photo processing.  I want to be more current with my photos so I can use more on my blog.  I'm finally within a month now and I expect I can be closer.  Also, I'm knitting up a storm (for me) and meeting up with moms and knitters and seamstresses up here in New Hampshire.

Anyway, Vahnee of Crunchy Parenting answered my questions.  None of the rest of you did.  They were easy questions.  Where are you faltering?  Were you afraid of giving a lame favorite superhero so that you left it unanswered because you thought I'd think that you were kind of dorky for naming Aquaman.  Let me assure you, I love Aquaman.  He is the best part of Batman: Brave and the Bold. 

 "Never trust an amphibian: land or water, choose a side!"

So, no fears, okay?  Do you not want to disappoint me with the Pinterest thing?  I'll forgive you if you answer me with "It's a lame idea, Kitten.  LAME."  

Anyway, I have two entries in the Pinterest thing!   Ms. Knitpicky, a favorite of mine for her video blog entries, her fabulous sense of color, and her love of Hedgehogs and My Little Pony, entered into it with some gluten free snickerdoodles.  I am not gluten-free so I won't be trying these, but if you are, go to it.  She recommends!

Marlie enters with a Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Scallops.   She also gave a thumbs up.  Doesn't that recipe just sound good?  It's like when you go to a restaurant and they have a "white wine, garlic, lemon, butter sauce" over some pasta or seafood.  Lemon, ricotta, pasta, and scallops are all bell ringers for me, so I want to do this.  Perhaps I will when N likes lemon or ricotta or pasta or scallops.  Sigh.  

Listen, there is still time for you to enter.  I plan on doing a food themed giveaway this month because people did enter.  I also plan on putting up my own Pinterest post when I get my photos finished.  (Ironically, I've baked like mad this month, but almost none of it counts because I didn't pin the recipes beforehand.  Oh, why you gotta go and do me like that, internet?  Don't you want to hear about my peach crisp success or my raspberry and chocolate chip muffins failure?!)

In other news, I've sewn and made a reusable cloth sandwich bag.  Only, N doesn't need them because he doesn't eat lunch at school.  Does anyone use them and have a need for one?  


Awarded: Me!

I got chain awarded. It's one of those awards that just spreads like a weird virus among all the bloggers you know. I wouldn't participate, but... I've never gotten one before. That's why when the zombies come to kill us all, I'll fight to protect April. I take this blog award seriously. (No, really, why haven't I ever gotten one before? I've been blogging or journaling most of my life, right?!)

Anyway. It's the Liebster Award! As stated, April of First Time Mom and Dad gave it to me. I wasn't some thrown on blogger, either. I was like in the top five of those she awarded.
What is the Liebster you ask? The Liebster award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word meaning: sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.
For those of you who read in code, this award was probably created by the big bloggers who got tired of receiving these chain awards.
  • Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
  • Answer the 11 questions the person giving the award has set for you.
  • Create 11 questions for the people you will be giving the award to.
  • Choose 11 people to award and send them a link to your post. Go to their page and tell them.
  • No tag backs.
Let's be serious. I'm not going to tag people. I don't even personally know 11 bloggers who blog consistently enough to handle this. But, on to the show.  

11 Facts About Me 
  1. I am weirdly flexible for a person who never stretches. 
  2. I sing made up songs. All the time. Now N does this too. I sing in the shower, I sing in the car, I sing while cooking. I sing real songs too. 
  3. I often walk around a store like Target or Babies'r'Us piling things into my cart only to go back around the store and put every single thing besides a hair clip or some crayons back. 
  4. I have over three thousand emails in my inbox right now. Inbox zero is my dream. 
  5. Sometimes, I get so afraid of hoarding that I'll stand up and start to randomly throw things around me away. No, for reals. Ask P. He's become defensive of his things. 
  6. I love wrapping paper so so so much. If I had a craft room, I'd want it to have a wall solely for all my wrapping paper and notions. I really want a craft room. 
  7. My favorite suit of cards is spades. 
  8. I can wear children's sized shoes. 
  9. Sometimes, I read weight loss success stories just to be happy for those people who managed to lose crazy amounts of weight. I also read stories from people who manage to unclutter/clean their house. 
  10. I'm so indecisive about things I don't care about that I can spend over an hour or two trying to decide on a restaurant. 
  11. I'm afraid of talking to people I don't know and even those I do know. The only way I've come across of getting better about this is just to do it over and over and over again. The problem I have in trying to overcome my natural state is that I tend to over talk. 

1. When did you start Blogging and why? 

I started " online journaling" when I was in college, so, maybe 14 years ago? I started journaling or blogging because I thought I was interesting. Lesson not learned fourteen years later.

2. Do you eat breakfast? 

HA! No. I hate breakfast. Unless I'm in France. And then, I wake P up so we can eat breakfast and then go back to bed.

3. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? 

London, maybe? Nice, France? I also like the northeast of the States.

4. Mini Van or SUV? 

 Minivan, though sometimes I think a smaller SUV wouldn't make me angry. But I will punch you in the nose if you drive a Yukon and you don't actually need a Yukon. Sorry.

5. Flats or heels? 

Flats, preferably ballet. But, I like to imagine a world where I can where heels without falling or walking like I'm clomping.

6. Ocean view or Mountain view? 

OCEAN! About the only natural outdoor setting I like is the beach.

7. Dream profession? 

Fashion designer, maybe? I have so many. I also want to be a television actress, popular blogger, and artist. Also, I'd like to be CEO of Amazon.

8. If you had 1 million you had to spend or giveaway what would you do with it? 

 Really? I'd likely invest in a house I really want to have for the rest of my life, private education for my children in their early years, and some clothing for them and me.

9. Biggest Pet Peeve? 

I don't know. Clutter and dirt in my own household.

10. Worst habit?

 Procrastination. By far.

11. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully I'll be a successful fashion designer or the CEO of Amazon. Barring that, I really don't know. Back to work full time, I suppose?

11 Questions For My Readers, Who Are All Award Winners

Do you ever find yourself feeling good about yourself and then you trip and fall?  (Or is that only me?)
Dessert or dinner?  
Favorite superhero -- good, evil, or neutral, all answers are acceptable -- character?
What was your first favorite band?
Are you going to complete a pin for my "I heart Pinterest" along or what?!
Favorite shade of toenail polish?
Why don't you want to have a sewing or knitting night with me, friend?
If Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Easter were anthropomorphized and got into a fight, who would win?
Do you fall victim to scrapbooking paper even though you don't scrapbook, too? 
Your favorite M&M color?
If you could wake up tomorrow and be magically proficient in one skill such as drawing, sewing, a musical instrument, surfing, etc, what would it be?


Friday Links #1

Like everyone else on Earth, I've decided that putting up a link to some things on the internet on a Friday would be a good idea.  Let's face it, we're all bored Friday afternoon and by Saturday, some of us are angry about the lack of internet posts.  I'm just helping us all to stay internet enthused this weekend.

Remember that daily schedule I posted a while ago?  I thought I was funny.  It turns out, Motherhood, WTF is funnier

Here's a toddler's letter to his father about the family bed. 

Okay, let's face it, this is probably too late for you, but Blonde Designs puts out a yearly set of signs that you can use for your child's first day of school photos.

One day, I'm most likely going to have a conversation with Noelle about inequality and unfairness due to her gender and why life for her brother will just be a tiny bit more charmed than hers.   I see that other mothers already have.


I heart... Pinterest

Ah, after a week in Philly, and a week at the shore (only Philly and Jersey people call it the 'shore' instead of the beach, I think), I'm ready for autumn.  New Hampshire is getting crisp and the Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back.  School is around the corner for my older baby.

So, now that we're ready for the school year and new starts, my idea is a go!  Three people agreed to attempt a Pinterest along, which I've titled "I heart... Pinterest".  I know, you're thinking 'why the clever title?'  Well, the font I picked for the button below?  It totally came with the I heart... option and I was too lazy to look for a better font.  That's me, telling you all my secrets!

I know, you might be wondering why I'm doing this with so little interest.  I told you, I think only six people read my blog.  Three of them said yes.  That is a fifty percent sign up rate!

I am only showing the button below.  I will write some code for the button to put it on your own blog, if you wish.  You don't need to use this button.

What are the rules?  Every month, do one pin.  What counts?  Make a meal you pinned.  Do a craft you pinned.  Create a fun activity for your children that you pinned.  Hell, put together with an outfit copying one you pinned.  Use a free font you found!  That's what I did!  I basically completed my first month's challenge just making this blog button!  If you don't know if it counts, just contact me, and I'll consider it.

But, if you can, try to do more.  Blog about it and your perceived success or failure.  Do more than one pin a month.

If it goes well and I actually see some blog entries from my three lovely readers, I will consider doing a giveaway.  I'm pretty excited by this!

And, now, I need to go update my blog.  PS.  Anyone out there use  I am considering moving to it, but I hate making a change without talking to someone.  Especially an expensive change!


Idea: Pinterest Along

I know other people have done this, but I'm hoping some of my readers might be interested in this idea.  If I see any interest, I'll go through with it.  Do you pin a ton of stuff, but rarely do anything with it?  If so, would you like to join me in working on a pin a month?  It doesn't need to be the same pin, but we'd all make one of our pins (craft, organization, food) per month and just do it.  I rarely find interest in my readers because I have so few (not modesty, just truth), but this is something I'd like to be held accountable for by my little but loyal reading group!


A Different Version Of Myself

Do I know you?  Do we hang?  If so, you're already aware, most likely, that I'm kicking it in NH with my family.  We're only there for several months, but, it's bye-bye Philly suburbs.  The weird, the true, and the good follows:

  • At home, popular news items: murder, corruption, death, disease!  Here?  Whale crosses harbor!  People catch burglar!  No one hurt in propane leak!  Olympic champion visits home!  This is a really small town we live in and it seems pretty darned peaceful and it is surrounded by similarly small towns or even smaller towns.
  • I'm ten minutes from Maine.
  • I'm ten minutes from the Atlantic Ocean.
  • I saw a humpback whale.  That was cool.
  • I joined a knitting group and I might have inadvertently offended a male knitter by telling him that I was afraid of steeking.
  • N took nearly four years to get a birthday invite from a friend in Philly areas.  In NH?  Four days. 
  • I'm knitting again and spending more time with P due to the lack of a computer desk.  Thinking maybe I should get rid of the one at home or convert it to homework use for N in the future.
  • We have two bathrooms.  Celebrate!
  • I got another shout out from a random stranger.  Right Side, Wrong Side, you made my day.
  • I'm panicking over rumors that Feedburner might just stop working.  What to do with my RSS feed then?  I should switch over to Twitter anyway.
Okay, I'm out.  I just wanted to remind you all that I'm alive and kicking.  Also, my children?  Still adorable.  N2 is trying her best to scoot but failing and her table of solid food per day is making her stink.  Wow.  So much stinking.  


People Who Give Shout Outs, Get Shout Outs

So, two different bloggers have mentioned me in the last month and I'm so honored!  Honestly, I make so little effort online to keep up my blog, I'm always shocked when someone finds and follows me and I build an online relationship with them.

First is Trying To Be Normal Since Last Tuesday.  She told people I give good book recommendations.  If she had flat out told me she loved me, she could not have been kinder.  (The day I suspected I would be good friends with Helen is the day we were discussing book and based on her interests I told her to read Tam Lin by Pamela Dean and she told me that she had an autographed version already.  A person who has your same reading history and interests is a good person to cultivate as a friend.)  To be fair, I first started following her blog because I realized we were some how making the same sewing projects.  But to then also discover that she shares my love of good books and my hate of germs and dirt?  Fantastic.

Second is First Time Mom.  I found her at her previous blog.  How?  I googled "tired of being pregnant" and there it was.  I had found my soul mate -- someone who hated pregnancy as much as I did.  Ugh, I still hate pregnancy no matter how much I adore my babies.  She is now blogging about being a mom with devotion and energy, but she's not telling me about her kale smoothies, her love of doing yoga with her baby, or how she spent five hours creating a whole black/white/red environment to best accommodate her babies sense of sight.  Because that's normally who I read and they send me into shame spirals.  When I read April's blog, I come away thinking, "Hee, yeah, I do that."

So, thanks for the shout out, ladies.


An Open Letter To My Firstborn

I wrote this letter a tiny bit prior to having N2.  I assure you all that I love N2 as I love N, and I would say as much, but that would indicate that I love them in the same way.  My love for them is most likely equal but it is different.

Dear N,

You are very clingy nowadays, but, to tell the truth, I don't mind so much since I'm sort of clinging to you too. We both can sense change coming and it is scaring the bejeezus out of us. When I first started this pregnancy and started my daily habit of napping with you for hours each day, it seemed like I had all the time in the world to spend solely with you. Often, as soon as you fell into your nap, I'd turn over to get comfortable so your knees would only hit me in the back instead of stomach.

Now, when we nap, I let you fall asleep and I stroke your cheek or face for twenty minutes or so before I also fall asleep. At the doctor today, when my blood pressure was elevating due to my fear of surgery, she asked me to think of something calming, and I pictured your face as you slept next to me. I think you might be the thing to get me through this surgery as I remind myself that you were the prize at the end of my first C-section. If N2 can be half as cute or loving as you, I will have it made.

Sometimes, sweetie, I'm afraid that I won't love N2 as much as I love you. It's funny. My mother-in-law mentioned this fear, and I dismissed it at first, but now I wonder. How can I love anyone like I love you? When I was growing up, my mom used to tell me that if anyone ever hurt me, she'd kill them. Full stop. I wondered why. Then, I had you and the second you were born, I understood what she was saying. My love for you felt like a force of nature. Can I possibly love my daughter this much?

I'm half worried I resent her, honestly. Will she take away from our time together? Will you love me less because I have her? I know the reality is that I'll most likely love her just as much as I love you, but it's scary, isn't it? This is why you hold me and tell me you miss me and love me nowadays and I hug you back and tell you that you are my angel.

I just want you to know that I love so much and even when I'm holding N2 at the hospital after the surgery, I'll be counting the moments until you can join me at the hospital too. When you were born, I couldn't wait to take pictures of you. Now that she is being born, I can't wait to take pictures of BOTH of you together. I wish I could tell you this all now so you understand, but I have to be satisfied with this letter.

Love, your mommy.

Gonna Be Doing Some Long Drives Over the Next Couple Months

So...  If you could, please tell me about podcasts or songs or albums you enjoy.  I'll need something to distract me from my overwhelming need to use the bathroom as I'm on hour six of a trip with two sleeping children in the backseat who are preventing me from ever leaving the car again.  I like podcasts about knitting, sewing, crafts, Dungeons and Dragons, superheroes, video games, young adult novels, fantasy novels, and television shows I like.  Some of my favorite artists are Lily Allen, Kate Nash, OK Go, Kimya Dawson, Postal Service, Jonathan Coulton, Cake, Presidents of the United States of America, Ben Folds Five, The Shins, Eels, Weezer, Stars, Owl City, and Stephen Malkmus.  Recommend away.


Who Is The Funniest, Most Wonderful Person You Know?

I like for my daughter to laugh with and at me, obviously.  Like all besotted parents, I attempt to make her laugh every day for quite a bit of time.  When N was this age, I was the only one who could consistently make him laugh.  He'd bat his eyes at me and smile at me and giggle and coo with me.  N2 views me as a food delivery system that likes to hang with her brother.
I sat there watching them and trying to make her laugh.  Failure, failure.  A few small smiles that indicated that she was trying to please me, perhaps.  N looked at her, screamed, "ICE CREAM" for no apparent reason other than he wished to discuss one of his favorite foods, and he laughed.  She, in turn, snorted at him with laughter. 

If I sound bitter, I assure you I'm not.  I'm actually trying to build a closeness between them. I encourage N to believe that she finds him the swellest thing that ever existed.  In turn, he then spends more time trying to make her laugh or play.  In the beginning, this was a failure because she'd stare at both of us like we had two heads (times two).  He'd lose interest and go play with his toys.  Now?  She laughs, he laughs, she laughs, he laughs.  Eventually one of them gets tired and starts to cry.

In other news, one little girl managed to sit for the first time without support for a second or two.  She has also rolled over (back to front pretty consistently, then she just cries).  She's finally, finally, starting to view the food I'm eating with some vague interest.  I let her lick a peach I was eating and she gave me "Why are you giving me battery acid?" face.  I gave her a tiny bit (literally a piece about a third of a centimeter in diameter) of breading and she tried spitting it out.  I know I'm not doing the standard "start with purees and only go through them in this manner" but I'm not good at following food rules. 

Also, in other news, N is starting to understand things we say a lot more, but he's also hilariously incompetent at grasping concepts I'm introducing at times like hypothetical situations.  I was trying to describe someone who cuts in line and why and how they are unfair.  I used an analogy that described N eating candy he should not have eaten.  N thought about this for half a minute before piping up to say, "I'm sorry, mommy."  I looked at him, confused, "For what?"  He looked at me sadly, "For eating the candy.  I didn't mean to."  Then I apologized to him and explained how he hadn't eaten any candy.  But I think P and I laughed pretty hard about the whole thing.  The problem is I often talk to N like I'm talking to a friend instead of a child.  I forget that he doesn't understand concepts or words I use until he asks about them.  He has finally gotten a slight grasp of basic sarcasm and will ask me if I'm teasing when I'm sarcastic.  I nod yes and he tells me to stop teasing, and we move along.

I wonder if N2 is going to grasp everything more quickly because N is there to walk her through it, or more slowly, because N is there to protect her from needing to do things.


Happiness Is...

As I've stated, I'm trying to get my feelings in order.  Some terrible things, some happy things, some big changes, they've all been coming my way, but I've not blogged about them for various reasons.  One is that I have more people than I expected reading my blog, including people close to me.  Those people don't deserve to find out big change news via my blog.  However, since the big change news hadn't been finalized until this week, that means I haven't been able to share it with everyone.  (For those of you worried for my future happiness, I'm not pregnant.  Please be aware that if I was, my blog would first go silent and then become bitter and hilarious, while people left both congratulations and "Are you dumb?" comments.  The "Are you dumb" comments would all be left by my own husband.)

Anyway, the terrible news is that another person close to my family was diagnosed with cancer.  This gentleman was a neighbor and a surrogate grandfather figure to N.  They often mowed the lawn together.  They'd hang and watch Sesame Street and eat M&Ms and Kit-Kat bars. 

The saddest part about this is that they are not treating it because they cannot.  He most likely will not live beyond a few more months.  I'm tearing up thinking of this.  I'm sad for his wife.  I'm sad for his family.  I'm sad for my son.  I'm sad for him.  I will most likely need to explain to my son where this man is going and what will happen to him.  All N knows so far is that he is "very very sick and he can't come home yet from the hospital".  This is the first time he'll face death that he'll most likely remember it.  While N has been to one funeral already, he was quite young at that one and the overwhelming sadness at that one led P to quickly take him to the children's room so that N could play away from people suffering from grief.  I feel guilty because I expect P will have to take this conversation.  I cry too easily and I think that would further upset our son.

I will miss this man and I already miss his daily presence.  It used to be on a slow day, we'd hop over to their house and him and N would hang for an hour while his wife and I chatted about food and books and children, or we'd all hang out on the front porch while N drove his Power Wheels around.  He was abrupt and brunt and generous and fond of N.  I hope the rest of his life is awesome.  I also hope for a miracle and that he punches cancer in the face.  I kind of hope for the latter more, to tell you the truth.

Mowing With Our Neighbor

Sad, but kind of funny thought for the day:  For the previous two years, a family of ducks has come and lived in our neighbor's bushes.  I'm now totally peeved at this duck that it didn't come and live in their yard this year.  You couldn't have given the family that much, duck?!


Hey, Is This Blog On?

The answer is yes.  Yes, the blog is still being considered and written to.  I have five draft posts that I'm currently unsure if I should post.  They are all sentimental or thoughtful and I don't think that is what I do best, but I still kind of want to put out there.  For example, I have a letter I wrote to my son prior to my daughter being born and a piece on how I feel about being a "mommy".  I'm not sure if they are meant for this blog, or to be written out and put in notes to my children for them to discover one day.

Additionally, a change might be coming to our lives and though that change would be temporary, it's still leaving me afloat in a sea of confusion and planning. 

So, I guess my question is, should I also blog the non-funny and non-crafty?  Do you want to hear about my legitimate (non-crazy) worries and thoughts?

(Crazy thought of the day -- spent ten minutes planning my attack on the game show Supermarket Sweep which no longer exists.  Everyone on that show was always crazy to pick up turkeys for some weird reason.  Why didn't people just go to the make-up aisle?  That stuff is both expensive AND small!)


Conversations With People

Me:  It's just...  I feel embarrassed when people tell me they've read Fifty Shades of Grey.
P:  Why?
Me:  I just don't think it should be a done thing to tell people you consume porn.  Also, if you're only going to read a book every year or two or three, that's the book you pick?!  Then I feel justified in my contempt for humanity.


My mom:  So, you're getting the minivan soon?
Me:  Pretty soon.  Yeah.
My mom:  Going to go with the leather seats, right?
Me:  What?  No!  That's thousands extra for a feature I don't care the least about.
My mom:  But, your seats are going to end up a mess!  With the leather, at least they'll clean easily.
Me:  That's not worth a few extra thousand dollars to me!
My mom:  Your life will just be better with leather seats!  Why can't you see that?!
Me:  Did you not hear me say a few thousand dollars?
My mom:  Why don't you ever listen to me?!

Bumblebee Sister


P:  Why do you always scream when you talk to your mom on the phone?
Me:  She's not very good with technology.
P:  What does that have to do with anything?
Me:  Well, she always screams at me over the phone because she thinks I can't hear her.
P:  But you don't have to scream back.
Me:  It seems rude to have her scream at me and not to scream back.  What if she thinks I'm not into the conversation?


Me:  Look, N, there is a deer on the side of the road!
N:  Where?!
Me:  Well, we passed it now.
N:  Why?!
My beloved sister-in-law:  It was just standing there and we had to keep driving.
N:  Don't hit it!
Me:  Well, I didn't, so we're safe.
N:  Don't hit it!
My beloved sister-in-law:  It's behind us and it didn't cross.
N:  It have to look left, then right, then left before crossing!
Me:  It wasn't crossing.  It was just standing there.
N:  Left, then right!
Me:  Maybe it could just fly across the road!
N:  Deer don't fly.
Me:  Reindeer do, don't they?  Don't Santa's reindeer fly?
N:  Moose don't fly.
Me:  Good thing that was a deer and not a moose.
N:  Where was it?
My beloved sister-in-law:  It's like having a conversation with a drunk, isn't it?
N:  I didn't see the moose!

Nathan LOVES Fire Stations

Me:  Ugh.  Traffic.  I hate traffic.
N:  I hate traffic too!
Me:  We don't use the word hate.
N:  You hate traffic.
Me:  Maybe.  But we don't use that word.  Mommy is sorry she used that word.  Let's talk about the traffic more nicely.
N:  JESUS!  This traffic is bad.
Me:  I'm failing you, aren't I?

Damn You Blurriness!

(Scene:  Jeopardy playing.  Category:  Authors with three names.)
Jeopardy:  This author died in 2008 and his most famous work is Infinite Jest.
Me:  David Wallace!
Jeopardy:  David Foster Wallace!
P:  Your answer doesn't count.
Me:  What?
P:  You needed all three names since that is the category.
Me:  But I knew who it was.
P:  But you needed all three names.
Me:  I know that and if I were actually on Jeopardy I would have clearly lost money, but I think we can still say that I knew the author in question.
P:  Still wouldn't have gotten it right on Jeopardy.

Cupcake Girl


The Life Of A Blogging Mom

Sometimes, when I read mommy blogs, I get dejected.  The bloggers don't mean to make me feel that way.  Their posts are not full of judgment.  They seem sweet and kind and capable.  But, I feel dejected.  Why?  Well, here is a fake sample daily schedule for the mommy bloggers I read.

3.30 AM:  Woke up.  Got on running shoes.  Made kale and strawberry and banana smoothie.  Used the strawberries from our most recent strawberry picking trip.  (Or, alternatively, if this is a more rural blog, used the strawberries from our garden.)

3:45 AM:  Ran six miles.

4:50 AM:  After quick shower, sat down at computer to write about 3,000 words of the novel/cookbook/sewing book/DIY book I'm working on.

5:50 AM:  Start breakfast for children and husband.  The food is from the organic market that pops up every Saturday.  It is full of whole grains and fresh fruit.  (Or, if more rural, making omelet from eggs I picked up from my hens this morning.)

6:15 AM:  Everyone is awake and eating together.  We discuss how we hope our day will go.

7:00 AM:  Husband is off to work and I spend the morning with my children, home-schooling them and involved in active play with them.  We work on our science projects we have going and learn about the planets by building a scale model of the solar system!  So much fun.  After that, we spend time building pillow forts and pretending to be dragons and knights.  I pull out all the costumes I hand-sewed!

10:00 AM:  Time to start making lunch.  I make sure all the children are aproned and we all work together to make bread for lunch and to make some refrigerator jam with the strawberries that are too ripe!  I let them make a mess of the kitchen and I am so happy!

12:00 PM:  We all sit down to lunch on a picnic blanket on the grass outside and while I knit a sweater for my children, they play peacefully and happily with each other.

1:00 PM:  More homeschooling!  We're working on reading and then we go to the local park to do more studying on nature.

2:30 PM:  Time to cart my children around to activities.  They make me so tired, but I know my children love them and want to participate in them.

5:00 PM:  Back home to make dinner.  I use one of my pinterest links, but sub out anything that seems unhealthy.  Everything tastes good and fresh now that it is summer.

6:00 PM:  Dinner outside again and everyone is terrific.  We discuss our day and play dinner games.

7:00 PM:  All the children quietly do homework and read or play outside within eyesight while my husband and I lovingly discuss our life and our plans for the future as we hold hands and watch the younger children.

8:00 PM:  Everyone is in bed besides me and my husband.  I start to blog!  Time to process photos and post.

9:30 PM:  Time to bake a cake for the special birthday tomorrow and maybe sew up some special clothing for my children.

11:00 PM:   Bed time!

These people writing these blogs are so genuinely good and involved with their childrens' lives that it makes me sad.  Here is a sample daily schedule for me:

7:30 AM:  N2 and I are sleeping/nursing and trying to squeeze another few moments of shut eye in.  Suddenly, a nude N is laying on the bed next to me kicking the headboard and asking me to put his pajamas back on him.  I groggily ask where his pajamas are and he throws them on me.  With one arm, so as not to wake N2, I try to finagle them on him and fail.  I ask him to bring me a shirt so I can put that on instead.  He cries/screams loudly about wanting to wear pajamas and this wakes up N2 who weeps about the end of her morning nursing.  She decides now is the ideal time to have a bowel movement that ends up ruining her onesie and sleeper.

8:00 AM:  Everyone is dressed and clean, including me.  I look inside the fridge to get N a yogurt and realize I forgot to buy yogurt.  Captain Crunch it is.  Again.  He eats it and asks for chocolate milk.  I turn on some Go, Diego, Go, so he'll finish it off quietly.

8:25 AM:  Go, Diego, Go is over and N is asking what we plan to be doing.  I tell him I need to think about it and I check the weather reports and meetups planned.  After some time, I decide it is a zoo day.  We just have to get everything prepped.  Time to feed N2 again.  Wait, she needs to get changed again.  Throw a load of laundry in and discover I never folded the clothes in the dryer.  Do so.  Pack diaper bag.  Make lunch and pack that.  Oh, the cat is throwing up.  Clean that up.  Change N again because he wants to wear his soccer jersey and is following me around crying about it.

9:30 AM:  N2 is down for her first nap.  Desperate for sleep, I throw on another Go, Diego, and take a swift 25 minute nap.  Best 25 minutes of my life.

10:30 AM:  Starting out the door.  Really need coffee.  Plan trip to Starbucks.

10:45 AM:  Finally have N buckled in, the car packed, and N2 in her carseat.  Wailing.  I think she might be hungry again.

11:15 AM:  At Starbucks, N begs for a juice box.  I give in and get him that and the shortbread cookies.  I get a venti coffee drink and try to drink it as quickly as possible.  Getting N and N2 into and out of the car is a large portion of my day.  I threaten to leave N at the Starbucks if he doesn't start hurrying along.  He ignores me until I start walking out the door which is when he starts to wail.  I pretend I have no idea who he is even though he's screaming mommy right at me.

12:00 PM:  Get to the zoo.  It is packed.  Put N2 in the baby bjorn so she can take a second nap of the day.  We walk and walk and walk and talk and talk and talk and feed N2 again.  I answer questions about trucks approximately fifteen hundred times.  All I can think about is my aching back and bulldozers.

3:00 PM:  After giant fight to get N into the car, we manage to get heading home.  N2 decides she is starving and screams through all the suburb heading traffic home.  N asks why she's crying every five minutes and spends the rest of the time discussing either soccer, animals, or trucks.

3:50 PM:  Pull into driveway.  I rush into house to feed N2.  She falls asleep immediately, tired from crying too much.  I put N into pajamas for a short nap.

4:15 PM:  Clearly N is not meant to nap today.  I keep at it.  I need that nap!

4:25 PM:  N is sleeping!  YES!

4:30 PM:  N2 wakes up.  NO!  Oh well, quality time with my daughter, right?

6:00 PM:  She falls asleep after a lot of peekaboo, cuddling, and iPhone checking.  I nap with her on the couch.

6:20 PM:  P walks in and is convinced that all I do all day is nap with children.


How Sick Is Kitten?!

Today was hideous.  I mostly slept, but occasionally I would wake to hallucinate or eat.  I'll admit it was an unusual sick day in that I was starving whenever I awoke, but I was still pretty damned sick.  If you are slightly worried about my hallucinations, I'd advise you not to be too worried.  I simply start to see things out of the corners of my eyes.  It normally happens when I take liquid cold medicine and I'm extremely sick.  Everything about the day begins to take on a hazy quality where in I'm unsure if anything I'm doing or seeing is real.  It made for a fun drive to my mom's house (where she watched my children and let me continue my sleep healing).  I basically dug my nails into my arms and asked N to keep up a constant stream of chatter while I sucked down a large coffee.  Occasionally, I'd ask if something I was seeing was real.  "N, there is a car turned around on the Turnpike in front of me.  Do you see it too?"  "Yes, mommy, and cops coming!"  "Good, good.  Do you see the other car driving backwards on the other side of the road?"  "Yes, why it do that?"  "No clue." 

I did realize how sick I was last night when I awoke today to find that my sink was full of dirty dishes.  Here is the scale of how sick I am using my household cleaning status at nightfall:

Bed is unmade, both hampers are full, toys are all around, sink is full of dirty dishes (and dishwasher is still not full) -- Kitten is probably in the hospital.  If not, she should be.

Bed is made, but hampers are full.  Toys are out in living room and children's bedroom.  Sink is partially filled with dishes, but dishwasher is full --  Kitten is really sick.  Get her some sleep and some medicine.

Bed is made, hampers are partially filled.  Toys are out in children's bedroom.  Sink has one or two big pans in it and dishwasher is full -- Kitten is probably just tired, but she might have a mild cold.  Also, this happens during early or late pregnancy.

Bed is made, hampers have a few items in them, toys are away, sink is clean -- Kitten is plotting how to get kitchen table clean, worrying about the state of the kitchen floor and the bathroom sink, and is fully healthy.

Do any of you hallucinate when sick?  Also if anyone has seen an episode of a live action show about Alice In Wonderland that was about cough drops -- it would have aired in the early morning of the mid nineties, you'd be doing me a favor if you told me so.  I'm still trying to determine if I hallucinated that or not.


Weekly Roundup

  • Had mastitis over the weekend, on the date of N's fourth birthday party.  It was terrific.  First I woke up with chills so bad that I went outside and laid on my mom's driveway like a lizard warming myself.  Then, I took another nap and woke up so feverish my mom looked slightly horrified.  Basically forced N2 to nurse off the affected breast every three seconds and emptied it in the shower twice a day.  Still like nursing, but that was not good.
  • Someone asked me over this weekend if I had read Fifty Shades of Grey.  Reacted like they had asked if I was a serial killer.  Perhaps I would have reacted less violently if they had actually asked me if I was a serial killer.  Think my exact words were, "Do I look like I read Twilight bondage fanfic?  Is that what you think of me?"  I'd like you all to note that I said that and I do read fanfic, though not bondage fanfic.  Can't wait to see which search results get to my page now!
  • N got a Batmobile, Mj√∂lnir, Captain America's shield, and the Millennium Falcon for his birthday.  I feel like if he gets more geeky before the age of five, we should all be worried.
  • N's godparents (and our good friends) came to visit us.  It was fantastic.  Our children played, we chatted and ate, and people were merry.
  • My next door neighbor and N's beloved faux grandfather got word that he has cancer.  He smoked over sixteen years ago and just developed this cancer.  With that and my step-father's lung cancer which developed ten years after quitting, I plan on reiterating "no smoking" to my children every month for the rest of their lives.  
  • A friend said cleaning her kitchen made her feel like Sisyphus.  At least that bastard's loved ones were not the ones pushing the rock back down the hill.
So, saying all this -- what's up with my readers?  I miss talking to you all!


The Accidental Cosleeper

You know how before you have a baby you make all these rash statements?  "I will not let my children watch more than half an hour of television!"  "I will feed my children organic food!"  "My child will play with wooden, and not plastic noisy toys!"  Then, it comes down to the crunch, and you're sitting at the Burger King playcenter while your child watches the television there, holding the cheap whale toy that he just got from his happy meal because you needed a half hour of downtime.  You know how that happens, right?

Well, I never swore off television or crappy food, but I did swear I would never cosleep.  It was too dangerous!  I live in fear of SIDS.  With N, around month four I buckled like a belt and started to cosleep with him during naps when I realized it extended his twenty or thirty minute nap to three hours and I desperately needed sleep.  To be fair, half my fear of cosleeping comes from the fact that P is a champion of sleep.  The man has nearly crushed ME during his sleeping.  The cats won't sleep on his side of the bed normally.  So, with the naps, N and I napped alone and since neither of us moved and I'd wake up the second he'd fuss (so that I could soothe him right back into that nap), it still felt safe.

Well, nowadays, not so much.  N2 has forced me to cave.  Even in the hospital, she refused to sleep in their little bassinet, only happy in my arms.  Worse, since we have N, we couldn't adapt our sleep schedule to hers in the first month.  Since I was breastfeeding, I just stayed up with her.  Then, one magic super sleepy moment, I noticed that she slept if I held her in my arms in bed.  She slept for three hours.  Sometimes, crazily, she slept four hours!  Four hours of sleep to a sleep-deprived lady was like crack.  I'd try and try to put her in the bassinet and when she whimpered out of control, I'd pick her up, and into bed she'd come, sleepy and happy. 

That Are Nearly The Same

It turns out that cosleeping is actually good for me too.  I normally spend some time (a lot of time) worrying and planning and fretting at night instead of sleeping.  I can't relax at all.  But, put a baby in my arms, and I stare intensely at my darling's face.  As my children's hands relax indicating that they've fallen asleep, my whole body relaxes.  I can't bother to fret or worry while holding my babies close.  I'm too busy thinking about how much I love them.

So, I'm cosleeping once again with a baby, a bit more this time.  N2 spends a great deal of time in the early morning hours in our bed.  If she wakes after five in the morning, she gets a fast trip to the middle of our bed with my arms curled protectively around her.  If she can't sleep in the middle of the night?  More cosleeping.  During afternoon naps, she sometimes gets to sleep between the occasionally flailing N and me.  There I have to do a bit more proactive protecting by making sure that he isn't too close to her.  Like his father, he is not gentle when he turns over in his sleep.

I'd hate to say this, but I find cosleeping rather lovely now.  I'm not saying I'm going to go all Dr. Sears on you and keep my children in my bed until they naturally want to move to their own beds, but I do think my next bedroom, if I get it in the next few years, will have a king sized bed so that we have room for little ones to nap with us whenever they like.


Some Month Three Observations

So Sleepy
Remember when I gave you some of my thoughts from my weeks of pregnancy?  Well, here are some of my thoughts on having a daughter who is three months old.
  • Things worn by N2, which N never wore -- rompers, 'bubble' outfits, skirts, hairbands, pink, onesies with puff sleeves and picot edging, dresses, and anything embroidered with kittens or strawberries.
  • Breastfeeding is nice, but I make too much milk.  I can't believe that is true.
  • I love N a lot.  I just wish he wouldn't wake N2 in the mornings so much.
  • My daughter has chubby knees and elbows which dimple.  I have a hard time not constantly pretending to snack on them.  I thought I was alone until my mom started to nibble on N2's toes.
  • I'm never going to get back into shape with my chocolate covered doughnut obsession.  (By the way, I'll use the word donut on the same day that I write the word nite instead of night, i.e., when hell freezes over.)
  • Sleeping with N2 is just as nice as sleeping with N was.  I love cosleeping naps more than just about anything in the world.
  • I use the word pretty a lot to describe my daughter.  I'd feel horrible and stereotypical about that except that I called N pretty as well.  And to be fair?   He really was.  N2, I'm sorry, but he might even have been prettier.  He inherited his daddy's eyelashes.  You got mine, kiddo.
  • Pretending to throw N2 in the air forced her to really laugh.  It scares me to death, but it makes her smile so hard that I do it until my arms ache.
  • It's easy to love two different children so much that you ache inside when you think of them.
  • Growth spurts are painful when you're the only one who feeds your child.
That's all for now.  These are not as funny as my observations from pregnancy.  That's because I'm more humorous when I'm a seething ball of anger and anxiety.  Sad, but true. 


Happy Mother's Day

Family Kite Outing

I turned to P last night, and said, "I have the perfect plan to make someone disappear forever."

He didn't roll his eyes at me, which is nice, and he inquired as to my plans, which is also nice.  Sometimes he ignores me when I'm crazy.  "What is your plan?"

"I'm going to tell my mom that the person said that N and N2 were definitely not the cutest babies on Earth.  Then that person will 'mysteriously' disappear."

Grandma Gets Some Baby Girl 

P nodded and added, "But we'll know the truth."

My Favorite Picture Of My Mom and Nathan

"You know what she told me today?"

A shake of his head, and I answered, "She said that my babies were perfect and gorgeous looking, just like I was as a baby.  I wonder if she accosts random strangers with photos of them and demands that they declare N and N2 the best.  I bet she does.  I bet she browbeats them into agreeing."

My Mom and Nathan

I added, "She's right though.  My babies are the most gorgeous creatures on Earth."  

Happy Mother's Day.


Finished Project: Last Minute Mittens


Leave it to me to sew the one project in the whole book I said I wasn't going to sew first.  How does one get into this position?  Well, let me tell you.  First, highly pregnant, miserable, and uncomfortable, you tell your husband to go without you to the skating rink with your son.   Then, when he comes back, in the middle of winter, you find that your husband and son have lost one of the cutest mittens on Earth.  It was a mitten shaped like a puppy dog face with paw prints on the finger areas.  You weep a little privately to yourself.

Then, two weeks later, after failing to find any other cute mittens, you give up.  You decide no more mittens, which is ridiculous in January.  And then, to your consternation, it snows a big snow and your son wants to play in it.  You are at home, with no mittens, no way to quickly purchase good mittens, and a son who wants to play in the snow.  He is sad about his puppy dog mittens.  You are sad about his puppy dog mittens, but you decide something must be done.  How fast can you knit mittens?  The obvious answer is not fast enough.


But, sewing?  Sewing is faster.  And, if you think about it, you have a sewing pattern for mittens!

Project:  Last Minute Mittens
Pattern:  Mittens from Oliver + S Little Things to Sew
Fabric:  Scavenged microfleece from N's old pajamas


So, there you are, you quickly trace off the pattern of these mittens you were never going to sew.  You wonder if it is feasible to make corduroy mittens.  No, that is ridiculous.  Does Jo-Ann sell microfleece or wool?  Are they open in a snow storm?  Suddenly, it hits you!  You have microfleece pajamas that your son has outgrown.  You sweep through his closet and pull out one you kind of hate.  You have not picked out this non-cute pair of pajamas, that is for damned sure.  Ta-da, you think.  This is the pair to cut up.  You'll not be cutting on grain, but you're not even sure if microfleece has a grain.

You cut, cut, cut, and then, try to figure out how to sew these suckers together.  You have to give it to Oliver + S, this patten is clear.  It is your own confusion and lack of sewing skills that lead you to wonder how this two dimensional fabric becomes three dimensional clothing.  Finally, after a lot of work, you piece it together, and, coincidentally, you have bias tape in a color that works with the fabric in the size needed and elastic in the size required.  This project was sent by God to your sewing machine, it is clear.

Miraculously, it all works together.  For the first time sewing ever, you do not need to pick out stitches.  Even the part that you think will not work, the zig-zagging of the edge of the raw edges, works wonderfully, creating the look of the mittens in the book.  

The next morning, you hand them to your son, happy he can play outside.  He looks at you, and weeps, "I want my puppy dog mittens."  Your reply?  "If you want to play in the snow, this is all you've got." 


Less dramatically -- I feel like this was a great pattern and a wonderful introduction to the world of Oliver + S.  It makes me want to make more of their stuff.  It wasn't the most exciting thing to sew, but it turned out cuter than I thought it would and I loved the way the bias tape was so neutral against the blue.  It was totally boyish without being dull.  Also, the zig-zagging did lend a neat effect that I was not prepared for. 

Do you like the way I combined my styling photoshoots for the last two projects?  He matches SO WELL.

What next, what next?!

Flyer's Hat

Flyer's Hat

Sometime in December or January, I promised N I would make him a Flyer's Hat.  I meant I would knit it.  I told him we could go pick out the yarn together and he got very excited about this.  He was super excited to see and feel the yarn and he kept petting the yarn.  Then came the picking of the pattern and, boy howdy, was he angry!

Here are the two types of hat he wanted me to knit him:  baseball cap or construction hat.  When I told him that I could knit neither of those hats, he set up a howl and had a tantrum which resulted in me telling him, "Fine!  I'll never knit you a hat!"  (I was in my eighth month of pregnancy, so I wasn't exactly rational either.)

After a lot of talking through, I realized I had to just ignore him and knit the hat I was prepared to knit.  It worked out.  I did have to bribe him with chocolate to get these photos though.

Flyer's Hat

Project:  N's Flyers Hat (ravel it!)
PatternSeaman's Cap
Yarn:  Random Soft Yarn From Yarnings
Needles:  Some Addi Turbos in 5 and 7

The sad part is that though I love love love the black yarn I used, I have no idea what yarn it is.  I do know it is different yarn from the orange yarn, but I don't mind so much.  They are both soft, but the orange is crisp and the black is extra fuzzy soft.  I mean, see how it looks so nice in the black part, but my stitches look uneven and kind of sucky in the orange?!  That's because the orange is so good at showing my uneven and sad stitch definition.

Flyer's Hat

P made N wear this hat while ice skating, and I've made him put it on a time or two.  I'm hoping by the time that next winter rolls around, he'll be a little easier to talk into wearing this.  We're already drilling him on how much he loves the Flyers this playoff season.  " No, N, the New Jersey Devils are called that because they are literally EVIL.  They are made of evil."  Don't worry.  I might have said that, but I later rescinded and when he told me that they were the bad guys, I admitted that the reason I didn't like them was because they are too good at hockey.  We got into a little fight before I clarified that being anti-Flyers does not make you an actual devil, just a devil in name.  I didn't tell N my theory that Martin Brodeur might actually have sold his soul to the devil.

But, tell me the truth, my readers -- does this look like a future Flyers player to you?

Flyer's Hat


Month Two

My little girl is two months old.  I might have just cried about that.  How is she getting bigger so quickly?

She's got an official nickname from N and I.  We sing it to her as we take care of her throughout the day.  N has not yet let go of his jealousy, but as she smiles more at him, he likes her more.  She is certainly willing to smile at N.  I will admit, the fact that she won't stop staring at me makes my heart go pitter-pat.  As I walk around the room, it doesn't matter who holds her or plays with her, she tries to look at me and I love her.

I take many iPhone pics and videos of the baby girl and I try to get out the video camera and SLR too.  No need to put her into therapy one day because N has fifteen billion times the photos/videos of him.

She is getting chubby too!  She gained two and a half pounds this last month.  Pretty good for a little baby I initially believed I was starving.  We got through her six week growth spurt and it was a bit painful, but once past that, it's gotten a bit easier.  She does love to eat, though.

She coos like a crazy person, often holding conversations with me.  We play silly games like "ka-pow" and peekaboo and "kiss attack".  Kiss attack is a personal fav (it involves me pointing to my lips, yelling kiss attack, and making kissing noises as I near her), but she likes peekaboo a bit more.  Ka-pow doesn't get many smiles from her, but it makes me nearly snort, so we keep playing it.  "What are you going to do to the boys who treat you badly?  You get up all in their business and go 'ka-pow' 'ka-pow' with your fists."  We accompany that with me helping her to punch these imaginary boys.

I'll admit, I find peekaboo kind of boring, but it's gotten the sound closest to a laugh, so we play it a LOT.  N likes to imitate these games I play or he then likes to play them with me.  Watching him ka-pow with her is hysterical.  Watching him play peekaboo with me is also hysterical. 

She's also starting to grab my clothes while she nurses, clutching onto me for dear life.  I kiss her fingers while she does this.  I've become one of those crazy women who loves nursing.  I feel like I should join LLL or something. 

That's my two month update on N2, otherwise known as the strawberry cake baby or the cupcake princess.  (N has a series of his own nicknames that he refuses to share with her that has forced me to be a little more creative with N2's names.)


Sometimes, I Do Crafty Stuff

Sometime during my pregnancy, I decided to do some crafty things, and I did them!  I really did.  But, as you all know, I either didn't have a good camera lens, or I was totally lazy about processing and posting photos.  So, this photo of a pillowcase I made for N is from October.  October.  I'm embarrassed. 

In fact, I'm even more embarrassed by the fact that I had this fabric for so long.

But, at least N likes it.  He sleeps with it every night that it isn't in the wash.  It's a pretty simple pillowcase made from the pattern in Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing.  The fabric is one I bought from a fellow blogger

I paired it with a neutral for the edging and the success of this project inspired me to buy fabric for a specifically autumnal pillow for N.  Which I did not make.  WEEP!

I'm the worst.

Sewn Pillowcase


Random Thoughts I've Thought Today

I realized today that I wanted to catalog some of the things I've been thinking.
  • I'm so over mending.  Maybe I should just pre-patch the knees on N's pants?
  • I didn't really care for the latest Superman movie, but that one scene in which he goes into space and he can everyone and their problems but he can't save them all was super awesome and stuck in my mind.  Why can't they explore that weakness in a storyline?  They glossed right over it.
  • Can two ounces of formula really mess up N2's digestive system this badly?
  • I wonder if I'll like these boots from Gap kids if I get them.  They only cost fifteen dollars.  It's probably worth it.  I hope a size three fits me.
  • Why don't I like the header text on this page that Helen sent me?  I can't pinpoint it and now I'm frustrated.
  • I get angry when I can't keep up with P when we watch Jeopardy together.  I hope that in a few years, N can enjoy Jeopardy with us rather than screaming over it with questions.
  • It makes me laugh pretty hard when N sings to himself, "Radio killed the video star" or he asks for the firefly song.  I'm glad he has good musical taste, but his interpretations of the music he hears makes me even happier.
  • I miss playing D&D.
  • By the time I have time to play Skyrim, a newer and better game will come along.
That's a snapshot of my thoughts.   As you can see, I'm both boring and dorky.  As a warning to all of you peeps, if your husband gives your newborn formula after they have only had breastmilk for a month or so (thus allowing you an extra hour and a half of sleep), your child will both be peeved and fussy about receiving the formula bottle, and they will be constipated for hours.  Sigh.


Newborn N2 Is Becoming Just Baby N2

I love my new baby.  I should just put that out there.  And I want her to grow and be healthy and big and happy.

However, she's already finding the newborn clothing a bit tight and I keep thinking to myself, "I'm going to weep like a crazed loon as she grows out of stuff".  Because my husband and I only ever planned for two babies so this is the last time I'll hold a baby this small that is mine, mine, mine.  And considering the health issues I have with having babies and the weeping and wailing I do right up until they arrive, that seems like a wise choice.  But damn it...  sometimes, when I am holding her tight to me and thinking about how tiny she seems right now and how big she'll get, I think to myself that three children isn't so many.

Feel free to leave links to your favorite crazed ninja kitten pregnancy post to remind me that two children are the perfect amount of children.


Breastfeeding: Why I Made Myself Cry

Update:  This was written a week ago.  Since that time breastfeeding has gone from minorly uncomfortable to working without pain.  Now the only times I get worked up about it are at six in the morning (ugh) or when I want to eat at night.  Otherwise, I kind of love it.  Also, I'm losing weight on a diet of doughnuts and chocolate cookies and whole milk.  It's like I'm running miles every day!


 Again -- this one is for the ladies!  As many of you who read this blog regularly know, I was not able to breastfeed N.  I attempted it, but by the time he got to me he was used to the bottle and my milk is not the type which comes in quickly.  I cried bitter tears of defeat and self-hatred over that failure three and a half years ago and I only gave up when my pediatrician told me that I was not bonding with N because I was so focused on breastfeeding.  She was correct and I was miserable every single time he would not latch which was pretty much every single time. 

When I got pregnant a second time, I was determined to try and find a more supportive breastfeeding atmosphere at a hospital, but I tried not to get my heart set on succeeding.  I knew my body seemed to have trouble producing milk.  When N2 was born, they gave her to me immediately in the recovery area, and she had no problems latching.  I was ecstatic.  Every time they brought her to me, she latched and she appeared happy.  Two days later, they gave me a warning.  She had lost roughly nine percent of her body weight from birth.  If she didn't improve soon, they would start to supplement her. 
The next night, after I started to feel the beginnings of my milk come in, they told me the bad news -- she had lost more weight, and was down to 12% lost.  I sucked it up and started to supplement with a syringe.  She ate greedily, but continued to latch.  Unfortunately, this was also the day that my breasts began to hurt.  Hurt hurt.  So much hurting this day.  The lactation consultant told me she was latching incorrectly and gave me advice on the new way to latch her.  She also consoled me and gave me advice on pumping.  I cried because I could only pump five to ten ml for both breasts combined.  When the pediatrician came in, she told me even worse news -- I could not supplement with a syringe any longer.  She needed a bottle and plenty of them.

The next night was a battle.  Being accustomed to the bottle now, she refused to take my breast.  I would beg and plead with her, but three day old babies aren't really rational or willing to accept requests.  I continued to pump, slowly getting larger amounts of milk, but it would take me three or four times with the pump to get her a full meal.  After refusing to give her a bottle unless she would latch at least once, I managed to get her back to nursing the next day, and I supplemented a small amount.  She managed to go back to only nine percent of her weight lost before we left the hospital.

We went home soon after, and at home, I went back to mostly nursing only, with one small bottle at night for supplement and I hated to do it because she would sleep so long with that formula that I had to beg her to wake up to nurse!  However, the next day we went to the doctor and they told me the bad news again -- she was losing weight once again.  I started to cry in the doctor's office and told them what I was doing.  The doctor examining her asked some questions and seemed a little perplexed stating that she was clearly not dehydrated and had all the signs of a well fed baby other than the weight loss.  Once again, though, we were on a heavy supplementing menu for N2.

I went home, supplemented like crazy, and again she started to refuse nursing.  Again, I cried.  I think I told P that if things continued to go badly, I was giving up at the end of month one.  I refused to go through the pain and lack of sleep for a baby who wasn't thriving and refusing to eat.  However, once again that night, through my refusal to offer a bottle until she at least attempted to nurse, I got her back to breastfeeding.  And when I pumped, I noticed that I was able to put together nearly an ounce of milk now.  This time, I said screw it -- we went back to the one bottle supplement in the middle of the night the next day and luckily, on our next doctor's appointment, the good news was she was gaining weight once more.

I challenged myself to lose the formula supplement at this point and she only got pumped milk for supplement for the next two days.  After that, no supplements -- all nursing all the time.  I wanted my milk to really damn well come in.  And wouldn't you know?  A week later, we went to the doctor and the word was she had gained over an ounce a day.  I tried not to cry tears of relief and happiness as we got in the car.  My body had not failed my daughter.

So, here we are weeks later.  She is still breastfed only though I get tempted by the idea of a formula bottle for her at around five or six in the morning with P the one giving it to her, but from my reading online, that appears to be the way to nursing failure with your milk supply drying up.  That thought terrifies me and keeps me waking up at six in the morning.

The pain from nursing is finally back to normal levels.  For a while, when N2 latched on my right breast, I would kick my leg it hurt so much.  I took a few pumping breaks on that breast and healed it up and now she can latch and I don't want to scream.  The only thing that really still pains me is the engorgement after a four hour night break (oh, God, I want to wake her to make her eat sometimes) and the nursing frenzies that last for hours.  She can be fussy in the evening and normally from six to around eleven, I spend a LOT of time nursing.  That has been slowly getting better and last night she would take twenty minute breaks between eats to look around.  That was nice.

I find that the more awake I am, and the more often she eats, the better nursing actually is.  I hate nursing in the middle of the night because she doesn't like to lay next to me and nurse, so I have to sort of wake myself up and stare off into space as she spends her time nursing.  And often, she only wants one breast which doesn't fill her up enough but I can't get her to wake up to take the second.  I love nursing at around nine at night when I'm at my personal best, my breasts don't feel pained and she is settling down for the night. 

All in all, I think recovery from having a child goes a lot faster with formula, but here's hoping I never have to take N2 to the hospital from an asthma attack due to the awesome immunities and health I'm passing her with my breastmilk.  Also, I hear that any week now, she will be going from eight to twelve feedings a day to seven to nine feedings.  And that I might get four and a half or five hours of a break soon at night.  I keep reminding myself that this will not last forever, and that by the time fall rolls around, she'll be eating solids and sleeping a long time and N1 will be going to school more often, so the sleep deprived Ninja Kitten will once again be only minorly sleep deprived rather than openly weeping for lack of sleep most mornings.


Breastfeeding - Help Me

Okay, men, feel free to skip this post. Other breastfeeding moms, when does the cluster feeding end? Which week? And how do I get my right breast's milk production going? It is vastly outclassed by my crazy milk making left breast. Like half an ounce difference I'm betting.

Other than that, I'm laying (lying?!) on the couch with N2 while P and N nap. We are all happy and I miss blogging.


Why I Got Suckered Into A Second Child

Many people, knowing how miserable pregnancy is for me, wondered why I would choose to have a second child.  Here's the thing -- pregnancy is miserable, but my recovery and babies are amazing.  Here's some interesting facts from week 2 of this recovery:
  • I'm only two pounds heavier than my starting weight.
  • I no longer look even vaguely pregnant -- I'm fitting into more than half of my pre-pregnancy clothes.
  • My child is showing inclinations of sleeping through the night -- N2 likes to put her long sleeps together in the evening.
  • I stopped bleeding about a week after the C-section and it was never heavy.
  • I have stopped needing my meds for pain.
  • Breastfeeding appears to be a go, and I'm managing the pain for that fairly well right now.
  • I feel good, if tired.
  • My son appears to love his sister, or as he calls her, "My baby".
  • My husband appears to be in love with his daughter and taking great care of his son.
  • He also appears to be in love with me even though I've been a miserable jerk for months now.
  • TMI, but I beat out constipation this C-section.  In your face, pain meds.
  • And I've successfully breastfeed in public already! 
Now that I've discussed these things, of course everything will go to hell in a handbasket, but this is why I've got two children and why sometimes the call of a third sounds less like craziness and more like a plan. Then I remember how I spent the last four weeks of my second pregnancy whimpering.  I must remember that whimpering.  Also, the lack of sleep.  Luckily I'm not formula feeding this time, or I think we might definitely be considering a third.  But I really love and miss sleep.


N2: A Birth Story

Twas the night before delivery, and all through the house, not a creature was sleeping, especially not me. No, seriously, I was awake awake awake on Wednesday night, thinking about the IV and the catheter and the spinal and the cutting. Finally, around one thirty in the morning, worn out by anxiety, I dropped into a cat nap, only to be awaken at two in the morning by N screaming in pain. I rushed over to him after P did not wake (that man can sleep). N said to me miserably, "My ear hurts, Mommy!" I just sighed into my hands and said, "Ear infection." After a quick cuddle, he asked to go to my room with me, which I accommodated. Frankly, I slept better with him in my arms than not. His warmth lulled me to sleep again.

At five in the morning, the alarm rang out, and I woke up tense and anxious. After getting ready (while in pain from late pregnancy), we got into the car. I told my husband, "My lips and mouth are dry. I'm thirsty." But nothing for me to drink or eat until after the operation.

We got to the hospital around six, and started the checking in process. I'm sure I looked lovely as I sat there exhausted and trying not to cry. They asked me a series of questions I've forgotten and led me back to the triage. There, they started the process of prepping me. They monitored my baby (turns out I was having small contractions that I couldn't feel) and me and started prepping me for the IV.

At this point, I started to panic. I asked them multiple questions including whether I could get the catheter after the spinal. Yes, they assured me. And they kept trying to keep me calm as I had started to shake violently. The nurse who was giving me the IV looked at me and said, "You're shaking like a poodle." And it was true. I couldn't stop shivering. My body felt like it was trying to shake apart. She assured me it would go fast and it wouldn't hurt that much and everything would be fine. She got the IV in me and I tried not to cry when she blew a vein. (This wrist would end up bruising and hurting severely for the rest of the day. I still have a vague bruise from it, which is better than the all over bruising that circled my wrist like a bracelet.) So, we moved wrists to my left wrist. This time we got it in no problem, but it did hurt for a bit. However, having gotten one of my major fears over, I calmed for a short time.

Then, they asked me what I wanted to listen to during surgery. We picked the Postal Service station of Pandora. At eight, I was taken back to surgery. Here, I lost my shit. P was outside and I was alone with the joking anesthesiologist and the kind nurse. I started to cry. They asked me to sit on the table and I just stared at them in horror. After a few minutes, I got up and they began to prep me for the spinal. I asked them question after question. The anesthesiologist started to get a little annoyed. I can tell. I was now full on weeping and the guy was assuring me that nothing would be too bad. I peppered them with question after question when they told me I would feel them touching, but there would be no pain. I assured them I had felt nothing last time and they questioned this.

Finally, time for the spinal. They gave me something to numb the area first and that stung (enough to make me say much like N, "Ouchie!") and cry more. Then, the spinal, and that took effect and they laid me back. P was led in, but I kept questioning and questioning them. "Will I feel them cut me open? Will it hurt? Will it be okay?"

At this point, Dr. Todd, the anesthesiologist assured me that I would be getting a sedative as soon as little N2 was removed from my womb. I begged for it. They laid me back and I remember telling them I was going to be sick. "I'm nauseous. I'm nauseous!" They pushed my mouth to the side and gave me more drugs to counteract the drop in blood pressure. Then, "My shoulders hurt! Why do my shoulders hurt? Oh, God! Did they start cutting?!"

Poor Dr. Todd. He looked over me and said, "I'm giving you a pain med for the shoulders, but if you don't calm down, we're going to have to knock you out completely. How did you do this last time?" I told him I felt a lot calmer last time and didn't feel anything. He asked me if I had gotten oxygen after the cutting, and I told him they had given me oxygen when I started to panic in prep the last time. He nodded and told me that I had been drugged pre-surgery last time. Then, they asked if I had felt that and I told them I could feel them touching me. Dr. Todd told me they had test cut me and if I really felt anything, I would have been screaming in pain and agony. So, they started.

I felt the same pressure pushing I did with N, and I kept asking, "Why isn't she crying?" P and the doctors and nurses told me she was not out yet. A few minutes later, a weak cry came and they told P to rush over for pictures. Pictures were taken and they started to put me back together like I was Humpty Dumpty. P came back with N2 and I stared at her and they gave me some sedatives. I went from 100% anxiety to about 20% anxiety in minutes. I was able to start chatting more casually as I stared at my daughter in awe.

The next few hours were a giant blur. I had to ask P just now, "Did they bring me N2 in the recovery?" He assured me they did and I tried to breastfeed, but I don't really remember anything besides seeing her in surgery and then being taken to the room where I'd spend the next several days. I do remember thinking that she was a cutie pie that looked almost exactly like her brother.

More about my trials with breastfeeding and how I feel now (roughly a week later) in my next few posts.