Monday, December 28, 2009

stuck in the car for twenty-three hours

It should have just been a 6.5 trip under normal conditions. But the weather + abandoned cars + stuck cars + panicky drivers = a 23-hour long trip instead. With a newborn and a toddler.

It started out somewhat normally on Christmas Eve. Tim had to work that day so we were going to go up to Amarillo (from Dallas) that night, and get to my parents' house sometime shortly after midnight. The very first leg of the trip was very slow, before we even got out of Dallas, but it was because of an accident. After we passed the accident, the traffic picked up a little in speed. It was still snowing at this time (about 7:00 p.m.), but very lightly, and visibility was good.

We continued on our path, going up through Denton to Decatur. Traffic continued plugging along slowly, moving down to one lane b/c of how the weather was. The roads were snowy and icy, but nothing completely undrivable. We had just over half a tank of gas left when we reached Decatur, and decided to go ahead and fill up at that time. We also bought a 16-oz coffee. The cup would come in handy later.

Not even two or three miles up from that gas station, traffic came to an absolute standstill. No movement whatsoever. And it stayed like that for a couple of hours. We literally moved fewer than 20 yards in 2 hours. I tried to sleep a little but it's hard to sleep in a car, especially when you can't move the seat down b/c of passengers in the back. Later on, Tim tried to sleep some as well.

There was a hill shortly up the road, and a DPS worker was letting the cars go by one at a time and saying "drive on that spot on the hill so you can get traction and don't slide back down." He also said that we should be able to make it all the way to Wichita Falls (normally about 70 minutes of traveling time) but that the roads would be like this the whole way (one lane, icy, etc.). We were moving again. The snow had completely stopped by now and visibility was as good as it could be, for being in the middle of the night.

We did NOT make it to Wichita Falls before we were stopped again. This time, we were on a slight curve in the road, and we could see the 50+ cars each in front of and behind us, in the same predicament. We would have loved to pull off the road and go into a hotel somewhere and wait it out, but there was a median with 8-10" drifts in it on one side, and a big ditch on the other. During this stoppage, someone in a Ford Focus tried to drive in the other lane, and they got stuck shortly in front of us and were going nowhere fast. Tim got out to try to help, and also to help another car that had gotten stuck as well.

The coffee was long since gone, as was the water we had brought, and I was getting thirsty. Tim took the empty coffee cup and stepped off the road into some untouched snow and filled it up for me, so it could melt and I could eat it. I couldn't wait for it to melt, though, and so I ate little bits of ice. It helped some, but what I really needed was ounces of water, not mere teaspoons.

We watched the sun rise at one of the stuck spots, and Benjamin finally woke up to eat. I had Tim get out and pass him to me in the front seat, and I fed him while sitting in the car in the line of non-moving traffic. And I changed his diaper on my lap a few times. All of them were #2 diapers. If the traffic were moving at all, even inches at a time, I would not have fed him in the front seat like that. We were completely stopped for all 4-5 of his feeds that he needed while in the line.

We were nearing half a tank of gas again, and pulled off to a 7-11 station. They had no gas at the time, only diesel. It was about 10:00 a.m. at this time. The road briefly had two drivable lanes, and there was someone behind and to the left of us who got Tim's attention right after he buckled Benjamin back up after a feed. It was a family and the mama asked if I had any water, and told Tim that if I'm breastfeeding then I need some water, and she gave him a bottle for me. :)

The next gas station we came to was one at Iowa Park (still normally 30 minutes before Wichita Falls), and this one DID have gas, and a long line for the bathroom, and food. I let Tim run in to the bathroom first and then I took Lydia out so she could stretch her legs. Except for a brief diaper change earlier, she hadn't been out of her car seat at all. Poor thing was such a trooper though. She did not want to walk on the ice, though, and at the very slightest slip, she started crying and needed me to carry her. So I went to the bathroom and got some food and more water while Tim was pumping gas. I came back outside to find several people helping him to get up the icy hill to leave the station. Part of the problem was the ice, definitely, but I think another part of the problem was that the parking brake was still on. We did get out of that station with little ado and were on our way again. This was about 1:15 p.m. We had now been on the road for 19 hours.

Once inside Wichita Falls, the traffic moved along w/ one lane. There were a ton of abandoned vehicles still on the road that we had to weave around. And you know those big signs in large cities that will say what the traffic conditions are, like for rush hours? There was one of those signs in Wichita Falls, and it said that US-287 (the road we were on and needed to stay on) was closed west of the city. We were hoping that it was just an old message and we would be able to continue moving. And we did, slowly. We were averaging about 5 to 10 MPH during this time.

We passed some "encouraging" road signs that said things like "Amarillo... 231 miles." At our current speed, that meant it would take us 23 to 46 hours to get there, lol. And outside of Wichita Falls, we did have one final hour or so of standstill before we were able to get going again. But sometime between Wichita Falls and Vernon, we saw spots of real pavement. The slush got less and less, and we were able to finish the trip in the usual amount of time, and even go the normal speed limit. We finally reached my parents' house at 5:15 p.m., a full 23 hours after we had started out.

I am glad we were able to spend some time with them, but I just wish it had been a little more time. Tim did say that I could probably take a longer trip up there in the spring, though.

Friday, December 11, 2009

when being abnormal is a bad thing

There were some things in my past that I could classify as abuse. These things caused me to build a little wall. I thought I healed and I thought I tore down the wall, but maybe I didn't. Sometimes being abnormal is OK (like we as Christians are a peculiar people) but sometimes it's not OK. I think that my wall is still there. Sometimes I just feel... not "sad" really, but just emotionless in general, almost like I'm afraid or unable to feel anything very deeply. Like with the birth of my children... I didn't feel a huge adrenaline rush with either one of them. I didn't have thoughts of "OH it's my BABY and you're here and I'm so excited to meet you!" The thoughts were more like "oh, hi baby. You came out. Nice to meet you." When I watch the video of my son's birth, it's evident to me the lack of strong emotions.

Now don't get me wrong, I DO love my kids. But more often than not, it's more of a mental thing than an emotional thing. It's like I am taking care of them and stuff and just going through the motions that I mentally know that I'm "supposed" to, and that's the main driver.

I wouldn't be so concerned, except that from the time I was a child, being a mom was ALL I wanted to do. That was it. I didn't want to have a career when I grew up. Being a mom WAS the career I wanted. Then years later now that I AM a mom, I'm like "this is it? This is all there is?" The excitement and happiness and love that I thought when I was younger that I'd have, just isn't there w/ the expected intensity.

And it's not like I CAN'T feel things intensely. I have before. But just not in the recent past, or even in the short-term past. And I don't know if it's just because I'm getting older or if I really am NOT normal this way, b/c of the wall that I've built. I can't break down this wall myself. But it needs to go. The people around me are suffering and they deserve better. Somewhere on the mess of the dining room/craft table is the book outlining the benefits that Tim gets at his job, and I am going to see if there is some sort of counseling hotline there first. Maybe they can either reassure me or maybe they can refer me for further assistance.

But enough about that. In other news, potty training is actually moving FORWARD with Lydia! Sometime while we were out of town at Thanksgiving, she started being able to reliably go #1 whenever we put her on the potty. And sometimes she could even do #2, too. She totally doesn't feel the urge to go on her OWN yet, and doesn't care or notice if her diaper is wet (like if she's playing or whatever), so I can see this still being a several-months-long process, but I am pleased with some progress, finally.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"potty training" my son

Yes, my son, and no, I'm not talking about a future event. I hope nobody thinks I've gone completely off my rocker after reading this blog entry, lol. Anyway, it's not really potty training, but elimination communication. There are any number of sites and books out there that go into more detail on it, but the gist of it is that newborns and infants give off signals when they're about to go to the bathroom. Parents can pick up on these signals, even part time, and an infant can start to hold it until being held over the toilet or small potty bowl. Then the parent can start giving "cue sounds" to help the infant make an association between the sound and the going.

Anyway I had heard about this a long time ago, probably when I was pregnant with Lydia or even before that. I tried it with her, but didn't really start until she was 15 months or so, but that was too late already. If a baby's signals aren't being read by the parent, then the baby will eventually stop giving them as they continually "learn" to use their diaper instead. Then when the baby is a few years old, they have to "unlearn" how to use the diaper and how TO use the potty.

So far, I've been pretty much a failure at trying to potty train Lydia. I was also a failure when I tried to potty train our cats, back when we had them. (Don't laugh too hard, there's actually an entire Yahoo group dedicated to helping people learn how to toilet train their cats... TOILET train, not litter box train.) So when I wondered if I could do elimination communication (or EC for short) with Benjamin, I went into the adventure stresslessly, without any expectations. In fact, I was more thinking that I'd fail rather than have any success at it, since I can't seem to get Lydia potty trained properly. But I was pleased and surprised at the early results so far.

It sort of started subconsciously a few weeks ago, because I noticed that when he was nursing, he'd sometimes pop on and off for a few minutes, then do a #2, then be able to relax and nurse. So that was one clear signal that he gave. Another more subtle one is sometimes he will just seem to be staring off into space, and then a #2 comes out of nowhere. But yesterday, I started trying to take him to the potty. I had several "catches" (what EC-ers call it when the #1 and/or #2 goes into the potty) yesterday, including one after Tim got home from work late that night. That catch was about 10 seconds after Tim walked past the bathroom, and he was amused and curious as to why I was holding our baby over the toilet. Then today, I've had more #2 catches in the toilet than have been in the diaper. One of them was after he'd been napping for only about an hour. I heard him stirring in the other room and went to get him, undressed him, and found his diaper was dry and clean. I held him over the toilet, and within less than 2 minutes, the #2 came and he was much relieved. Once he was more comfortable, he nursed back to sleep and I expect the rest of his nap to last about 2.5 hours or so.

In other news, I'm looking forward to going out of town to see my family next week for the holiday. Lydia is finally getting her 2-year molars... all 4 of them at once. Tim is really loving his new job, but is in the middle of working 10 straight days, including Sunday, so that he will be off for Thursday and Friday and can come with me out of town (and that schedule was a company-wide thing rather than his choice to work those particular days).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

adjusting slowly but surely

I'm not back to 100% yet, but getting there slowly. Some days I think that I can handle being a mom of two after all. But there are still those hours here and there where I still just wonder what I got myself into and lament the fact that it's too late to change my mind about being a parent even of one child, never mind two. I'm still sleep-deprived although I have started taking a short nap if both of them happen to be napping at the same time. And he is starting to sleep a little more at night, from about 11-6 with one brief waking, so that seems to help a little, too. But right now with him it's just eat, diaper, cry, diaper, eat, eat, cry, diaper, eat, cry, diaper, cry, sleep, sleep, diaper, eat, cry, sleep, diaper. And some of that crying is from me and not from Benjamin, lol.

Lydia continues to be a challenge and a joy at the same time. She continues to randomly get my hopes up for potty training. Like this evening in her bath, she randomly said that she went in the tub, and that she wanted out. I asked her if she wanted to go in her potty and get new bathwater and she said yes, and she went in her potty right away. But all day long, she never mentioned or noticed her diaper, and also said that there was no #2 in a particular diaper when I asked her, but really there was.

Benjamin is still "suffering" from some newborn acne. (It's just visually unappealing, but doesn't seem to bother him at all.) I am ready for it to go away. It had some improvement earlier this month but hasn't made any additional improvement since then, that I can tell. Other than that, though, he's doing well, growing and gaining. On Saturday he was 10 lbs even and 23.5" long. I had that one "awake" smile when he was about 3 weeks old but am still waiting for any more. In the meantime, though, I sure do love the cooing. I don't remember Lydia starting her cooing this early, but Benjamin's been doing it nearly since birth, it seems. Here's a short clip where he has a sound in the beginning and then a few more near the end.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

two is hard, really hard

Several months ago, I posted about three big things that I was waiting on that were causing me a great deal of stress. Two of those waits (a job for hubby and the arrival of Benjamin) are now finished. I am thankful to God EVERY DAY for how those items ended up. Tim loves his job. It's an awesome fit for him. It's something that he can do for the rest of his life. It meets our needs. And as for Benjamin, we were able to have a successful homebirth which went very smoothly.

The third wait (Lydia's potty training) is once again at a standstill. She doesn't understand the process or notice her internal signals. At all. Her 3-year well-child visit is in about 6 weeks, and since I doubt that anything will change between now and then, I plan on asking her doctor about it. I have had other parents give me tips and stuff that worked for their children, but I don't know... maybe I'll just feel better if I hear from the doctor that she's still normal and not to worry about anything. And maybe she'll even have some suggestions that I haven't heard yet, and I could try those. There are a few things that I haven't tried (like having her run around in regular panties or w/o anything on her bottom at all)... but now that Benjamin's here, it would be hard to chase her around with a bottle of Resolve. We live in a tiny, yardless apartment where the only non-carpeted areas are the kitchen and the bathroom, and the latter might as well be carpeted b/c of all the bathmats that are in it. And the kitchen linoleum gets very slippery when wet, so I don't want her to fall and be afraid of the whole thing. But I am just waiting for now.

But aside from that, getting to the title of my post today... being a mom of two is hard, WAY WAY harder than being a mom of one. People have told me that going from one to two the hardest, harder even than going from two to three (maybe I need to hurry up and have #3 and that'll "cure" me, haha). But I had NO IDEA that it would be this difficult. My nearly 3 year old is becoming increasingly defiant, and I don't know if it's her age or if she's just testing me b/c of the new situation. I'm exhausted all the time and can't "sleep when the baby sleeps" like I could when I just had one, b/c otherwise my toddler would wreak havoc. Benjamin so far seems to be a more difficult baby than Lydia was, or maybe I'm just not remembering her early days very clearly. Stir in a significant helping of postpartum hormones and a mild to moderate case of the baby blues, and it's just not an appetizing mixture at all. I'm hoping to feel better in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, I am just taking one day at a time, one hour at a time. As hectic as this time is, I know that it'll pass way too soon, so I need to try to find the enjoyable moments and remember those.

And on that note, here's another few pictures from the past couple of weeks.

Hanging out in the living room.

Benjamin and his daddy.

A bad case of newborn acne... 19 days old is too young to be going through adolescence already.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

baby has arrived and it's a....


I have a son now. Benjamin Luke was born at home on Saturday, October 10th at 2:08 a.m. He weighed 8 lbs 12 oz and was 22 inches long... with a 14.25" head! The birth was amazing and I'm so glad we chose to have him at home.

Lydia loves him so far and always wants to help me with him. She was even going to put him in his car seat for me the other day. So far, she doesn't do a lot of talking to him, but she does like to stand there and watch him and touch his hands and feet. Here she is holding him for the first time, when he was one day old.

And here's Benjamin at 7 days old, smiling in his sleep.

Tim's new job is going fine. He's still in training and is enjoying himself. He came home the other day with a HUGE box of uniforms. I am excited about that, because it means that I won't have to wash his work clothes every day like I did back when he was working at places where he only had 2 or so uniforms instead of 5-6.

My work is going fine as well. I got on with the third new transcription company but then had to turn around and request a leave of absence right away. I had Benjamin between the time I sent in my paperwork and when they wanted me to start work, and with the grandmas coming over and staying and just new-baby chaos in general, combined with the schedule they wanted me to work, adding in a few other things that I need to do before the end of the month... there was just no way I could do that transcription right now. I emailed them and asked if I could come back in January instead and they said that would be fine.

Tim's mom came down for a week before the baby was here and stayed for a few days afterwards, then the same day she left, my mom was able to come down and stay for a few days as well. Everyone is gone now, though, so when Tim goes back to work tomorrow, I will need to learn a new normal. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

I have a series of chiropractor appointments for the next few weeks, and also need to find some time to make our Halloween costumes. The four of us are dressing up as a theme this year, and I am so excited to see how it will come out.

Monday, October 5, 2009

a toddler's talent and sense of time

In the past, whenever Lydia gets a pen and paper, she just makes random circles, lines and scribbles. Even her name, when I write it out first, she'll make a few random scribbles and say, "that says Lydia." But yesterday, my mother in law gave her a notepad at church, and I noticed that Lydia was putting eyes and a mouth inside the circle, then adding legs and arms. :) So this morning, I asked her to draw a happy face, and she did. Then I asked for arms and legs, and she did that too. I love it. :)

And she is starting to develop a sense of time. Anything in the past happened "this morning" and anything in the future will happen "tonight." She uses these terms even if the events referred to are several days in the past or future. It is really so cute to see how her mind processes things as she gets older.

The pregnancy is still going. This is the longest that I've been pregnant now. I am due today, but there's absolutely nothing going on. I know that God is putting the finishing touches on my baking baby, though, and it will be born when the time is right. But I'm still hoping that the right time comes sometime this week. Mother in law came down on Saturday and is going to stay for about two weeks, to help me out postpartum. Hopefully most of these two weeks WILL be postpartum instead of pregnant, although I appreciate the help prepartum as well. :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

finding the potty contents

Sometimes when I change Lydia's #2 diapers, the wiping hurts her a little, and she cries and fights me. But of course if I leave anything on there, it'll be hurting even MORE later, so I just explain to her that I need to clean it all, and that if she could put her poop straight into the potty, then there wouldn't be so much wiping. Other times, I am ready to put a new diaper on and she starts crying saying that she needs to go potty (which I usually am doubtful of since her previous diaper was already full). But I let her sit on the potty and tell me when she's done, and I'll go and give her some "privacy." She usually tells me she's done after just a minute or so, and has had no results in the potty at all, but still goes ahead and wipes and flushes.

But this morning, I left her sitting on her potty while I put a load of diapers in the dryer. A minute later, she ran into the kitchen (our laundry nook is just off the kitchen) and I asked her if she was done yet. She said no and ran back to the bathroom. Then after another minute, she calls to me and said that she "found" some peepee. (I didn't know it was lost, lol.) I said, "You did? Let me see," and started towards the bathroom. But I should have told her that I was going to COME and see. She didn't realize that I was coming, because when I turned the corner to go down the hallway, she had already come out of the bathroom and down the hallway... carrying her half-full potty, to bring it to me so I could see. LOL. I'm amazed that she didn't spill any of it. So I took it back into the bathroom and took care of it and had her wipe and stuff, and gave her a hi-five.

Then I put a diaper back on her. LOL. All of these "random successes" are just that, random, and while this may be the start of something big, I'm not ready to go 100% to underwear yet, especially with the new baby coming any day now which may likely cause her to regress. Or who knows, she may see the diapers on the tiny baby and realize that she is SO much bigger than the baby and can do so much more, including going in the potty, and decide to ditch the diapers herself. But I'm not holding my breath for that, either.

But, yes, this baby is still baking. I'm not due until Monday, but if this pregnancy goes just like Lydia's did, then I'll have this baby tomorrow. But I'm trying to hold out until Friday. Either way, I'm doing fine. I had some swelling in my feet, but it was more concerning to me than to my care provider. My blood pressure is still hovering in the high 70s/low 80s, and I gained 3 lbs since last week. She thinks that it's going to be an 8-lb baby. I'm still having no regular contractions, and baby is still slightly posterior, so I'm working on getting him/her to float around to a better birthing position. But I am remembering Lydia's labor and am pretty sure I'll be able to recognize it in time to get everyone called in time.

Hubby called Schwan's on Thursday to get an update, and they were still waiting on his paperwork. But then Friday morning it finished coming through, so he started on Monday. They have an extensive 4-week training period that is divided up with daily tasks, but his first week has already had to be rearranged because their computers have been down, so he hasn't been able to do those training modules yet. Hopefully they're up so he can do them today. Tomorrow he goes in for an overnight, and then is off for the weekend, then the rest of his training is normal 5-day weeks, about 9 to 9.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

a lot of progress

The Schwan's ride-along went very well, and they called Tim the next day to have him come in this past Thursday to "start the hiring process." Thursday and Friday he filled out paperwork for DMV background checks, took a drug test, went to a physical therapist so they could test him to see if he could physically perform the essential functions of the job, etc. They offered him the position, pending his paperwork coming back fine (waiting on the DMV and drug test). Depending on when it gets processed, he'll either start on Monday or on 10/5. I am so excited and thankful.

And my transcription is going fine as well. I did hear from the training department a week ago on Monday, and had a conference call orientation w/ them on Wednesday. Turned out that I needed only IE7 on my computer instead of IE8, b/c their software doesn't work at all w/ IE8. To downgrade, I had to reset my computer back to its factory settings. That took a couple of days, but everything is back to normal now and I've been able to start work with them (we'll call them ST). After six weeks, they are going to review my work and possibly take off the restrictions, so I may be able to do some longer files. I am also continuing with the other company, MWP, that I started with at the end of August. They communicate with me via YIM, and a few days ago, one of the "head" people there was asking how I was feeling and how much longer I had left and how long I'd need to take off afterwards. I told her, and she said that I was doing very well at the job and that when I came back from maternity leave, I might be able to become a team leader. :) I also did test w/ the last company, we'll call them TP, on Tuesday evening. The "invitation to test" email said that they'd let the testers know in a week how they did, and that week is up tomorrow. That company does both medical and general transcription, and the test had both aspects to it. I feel like I did well on it, but haven't heard anything from them yet.

Lydia's potty training had an "event" today. Tim was sitting in the bathroom with her, patiently, and she had some #1 in the potty. He put her in a Pullup. Then later, her Pullup was wet (but she also still went some in the potty, too). He put a new Pullup on, and that one got wet as well, so he put her back in a diaper after that. At bedtime when I was changing her, she asked for underwear. I politely declined her request since apparently she's still not ready. I explained that she could have underwear when she could go in the potty within a few seconds of sitting on it instead of the "hours" that it takes her now. She didn't argue or complain. And since I'm due in under 2 weeks now, the likelihood of having two in diapers is up to nearly 100%.

Speaking of which, WOW, I am due in under two weeks! I have random contractions now and then, but nothing regular. I'll have two that are 10 minutes apart, then another one a few hours later, then nothing until the next day where I'll have a tiny batch of them that are about 7-9 minutes apart, then a few more hours of nothing, etc. I'm ready for this baby to come, but just hope that I can recognize real labor when it happens. With Lydia, my real contractions even felt different than the BH contractions. But with this baby, some of the "fake" contractions feel JUST like real ones. I need to call some people when labor starts, but it just seems like if I wait too long to be sure that it's "started" then it'll be too late in the game to call people. :p

A couple of my friends hosted a tea party for me on Sunday afternoon. It was a time to just hang out w/ a few friends and drink tea and eat chocolate and fruit, and it was great to share those couple of hours with everyone. We played a couple of games: draw-the-baby-on-the-paper-plate-on-your-head, and cut-off-a-piece-of-string-that-will-fit-around-the-mama-belly. Everyone overestimated my belly, even me. Then at the end of the shower, I got a very unexpected blessing. If I wasn't so in shock at the time, I probably would have started bawling right then. In the past, when I have been feeling down about things, people would tell me about their unexpected BIG blessings that had happened to them, and I'd be happy for them, but at the same time, "know" that HUGE stuff just never happened to me and probably wouldn't happen. But now it has. And I'm sitting here bawling now, thinking about it. God knew not only what I needed, but when I needed it. To Him be the glory.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

a little progress

Well, it turns out that the Pizza Hut egg was a dud. But no worries, b/c several paths seem to be opening for us. Hubby has a ride-along with Schwan's on Tuesday to see what a normal day like that would be, then afterwards he can call the company and let them know if he wants to move forward w/ the application process. Monday, he calls the manager of On the Border to schedule a third interview with them. Wednesday night, he goes up to UPS for about an hour and a half to get a feel for what that would be, and would go forward w/ the application process after that.

Meanwhile, I've heard back from two more transcription companies. One of them has all my paperwork, and I'm just waiting to hear back from the training department, should be Monday. And another company contacted me yesterday, inviting me to test w/ them. That test isn't due until Wednesday, so depending what I hear on Monday from the other company, I will do my tests on Monday night.

Pregnancy is moving right along. I'm nearly 37 weeks now, and not nearly as "done" with my to-do list as I'd liked to have been by this point. I think I need to RE-do it again, b/c as time keeps marching on, the items that I feel "have" to be done before the baby comes get fewer, and more and more items can just be pushed back a little bit. But my appointments are going OK. My blood pressure is rising a little bit, so I'm hoping that stays low enough through the rest of the time.

Lydia asked to go potty tonight, while at someone else's house, so I took her into the bathroom and took off her dry diaper (that she had been wearing for about 60-75 minutes), and sat her on the potty... where she proceeded to do nothing. :p After a minute or so she said she was done, so I put her diaper back on. Who knows, she may yet train herself after all, and my year of worry will have been for nothing.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I wasn't really sure what to title this entry. I thought about "not feeling positive anymore." But I am positive about one thing... stress is eating me up. I've now lost my appetite and am just forcing myself to eat. I still haven't made any additional progress at all on my pre-baby to-do list. And that stuff NEEDS to be done, b/c I'm not a kangaroo who can just put her baby's development on pause until times are better.

And I'm still waiting for times to be better. It's been two weeks since Tim put all his eggs in the Pizza Hut basket, and that egg has not hatched yet. His former boss is under the impression that Tim quit without notice, but when Tim was working cleaning pools, his hours early on were such that he couldn't work at PH as well, and he told PH that he'd need to take some time off until things stabilized. Then when things DID stabilize in the pool business, he called PH to get back on the schedule, and was told that the position was filled.

He is going to meet w/ his former manager on Monday at 2:00 to discuss things. That store is the one that has a current opening. And if it doesn't work out, then the next opening at a different store wouldn't be until mid-September. I am hopeful, but VERY cautiously so, that the face-to-face meeting will clear up any misunderstandings and Tim will be able to work there again.

But even with Pizza Hut, even at the assistant manager level, it will not quite meet our monthly needs. And there have been no leads or searches or anything for a morning/early afternoon job for Tim.

Meanwhile, I've been applying to various transcription companies. The (general, not medical) transcription that I've been doing for over two years is with a company that has peaks and valleys, and even in the peaks, it only yields me $150/month. The valleys yield $0/month. So I'm looking for something that's a little more consistent over time. So far, I've found one that will bring in about $12/day. I am waiting to test and waiting on test results for a couple of other companies, and late next week (depending on how/when I hear from my pendings) I have another several that I can apply to.

And I have decided NOT to try to potty train Lydia. I've finished reading all my books, and decided that she's not ready. There are four areas of "readiness" and she's ready in three of them, but WAY behind in the physical area, so I'm waiting. I'm at the point where I'm going to ask about it at her 3-year visit, unless she "magically" trains herself before then.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

an update of nothing

I haven't done anything on my to-do list yet, but will definitely be starting up on it next week as the transcription winds down. I've also set a date for my attempt to potty train Lydia -- August 31. I'll give it that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then if it doesn't work, she goes back into diapers until sometime this winter, after we've all adjusted to the new baby.

New baby is doing well. On Monday, I'll have just 7 weeks left until my due date. While it's still August, I still "feel" like I have two months left, but those months are getting shorter and shorter.

Hubby has quit his current job. He does not yet have a new one lined up. He quit yesterday, after he spoke with someone at Pizza Hut and they scheduled him for an interview this afternoon. He was THAT confident that he'd get a position. He feels that working at PH, he'll at least be bringing in SOME income, and he'll have more time during the day to job hunt and go to any interviews (of course, to do that, he first has to HAVE interviews) that come up. When he turned in his items at Reliant, they told him he was welcome back at any time.

So the interview came today, and he came home and told me that they would start him off as a driver, and would be a team leader after that, and a minimum of six months before he'd be an assistant manager. He also said that they told him there were several positions in the area, and they would need to look at the different stores to see where his best fit would be and would call him Wednesday. So I asked him if that means that he's definitely hired but they just need to find a spot for them, and he said that he hopes so. That answer did nothing helpful for my stress level. Wednesday seems so far away, especially with nothing going on Monday or Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

daily to-dos turn into weekly to-dos, and job stuff, and toddler cuteness

I had been doing a daily to-do list, and found it helpful initially, but now that transcription is picking up quite a bit, I've found that I don't have time to go through each day's whole list. So from here on out, I plan on making a weekly to-do list, including items that don't get crossed off, but instead are "as-needed" such as laundry and dishes. I will include in these weekly to-do lists items from my "big" list. Here's the original list, as a refresher:

- continue hoping and praying for Tim's job situation to get more stable before baby arrives
- pack up Lydia's outgrown clothes
- install infant carseat
- clean out corner of our bedroom where crib will go (includes going through craft stuff)
- move small bathroom cabinet into hallway
- move changing table into bathroom
- sew a bunch of newborn gowns
- dye some infant diapers
- move craft supplies into spot in Lydia's room that used to have the changing table
- move rocking chair into our bedroom
- move crib into our bedroom
- get bunk bed pieces from our friends' house
- assemble bunk bed for Lydia
- wash out chlorine buckets and cover with contact paper

Here's what I've completed:

- pack up Lydia's outgrown clothes
- clean out corner of our bedroom where crib will go (includes going through craft stuff)
- move small bathroom cabinet into hallway
- move changing table into bathroom
- dye some infant diapers
- move craft supplies into spot in Lydia's room that used to have the changing table
- move crib into our bedroom
- get bunk bed pieces from our friends' house
- assemble bunk bed for Lydia

And here's the new list, with a few things added, and sorted in order of priority:

- continue hoping and praying for Tim's job situation to get more stable before baby arrives
- finish working transcription peak season
- install infant carseat
- move rocking chair into our bedroom
- attempt to potty train Lydia
- sew a bunch of newborn gowns
- wash out chlorine buckets
- transfer play food crochet patterns from chicken-scratch notebooks into a nice printout from the computer
- make one of each play food item and take pictures and put on Facebook fan page
- cover chlorine buckets with contact paper

I'm sure there are a few things that I'm forgetting. And I don't know if all of this will be done before the baby arrives, but that is my goal. Everything after "wash out chlorine buckets" is a low-ish priority, and it would be wonderful if it were done before baby comes, but I wouldn't be heartbroken if it wasn't.

Regarding potty training Lydia, I am continuing my research and mentioning things to her. One of the things I'm trying to get her to understand is whether her diaper is dry or wet (we use cloth diapers w/o a cover at home, so it's easy for me to have her check). Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to "get it" yet. I'm hopeful that she will realize the difference between wet and dry sometime before we do the potty training in a couple of weeks. I don't understand what's different about her diaper, b/c she totally knows the difference between many other things that are wet/dry. I am thinking that I will pass on the 3-day method that I mentioned in an earlier entry, and instead use the method outlined in this book instead. The latter method is a little more involved on the parent's part than the 3-day method is. I am still keeping the "three days" though in that that is how much time I will devote to it right now, and if it doesn't work by then, it's back into diapers she goes until sometime this winter, when we'll give it another try.

Hubby has had a few tiny leads for a new job. I'm cautiously hopeful, but interviews haven't even been scheduled yet and it's not even a guarantee that those will happen. But he has made more contact w/ a few places besides just the initial application, so that is encouraging.

Lydia received a bag of hand me down clothes the other day. I hadn't told her what was in the bag, but she explored it anyway and unloaded the contents onto the floor. Then she tried on random pieces. At one point, she stood right in the middle of the pile and looked around and said, "hmmmmm...... I need a..... hmmm... I need a jackiet!" And she grabbed a "jacket" and put it on. (Really it was an airy crocheted shirt that goes over another shirt).

She also ate a raw biscuit the other day. I was baking a can of them, and had lined them up on the baking tray, then turned around to wash my hands before sticking them in the oven. When I turned back around, a biscuit was missing. Lydia had run off with it and taken a bite. And she must have liked it, because when it was swallowed, she asked for another one.

The transition to the big girl bed is going well. I've shortened her nap from 3 hours to 2 hours, and I think that is helping. For the first several days, she would get up early and open her dresser and unload all the clothes, and I scolded her for that. I think it's finally sinking in that I don't want her to do that, though, because of what she said the other night when I put her to bed. I was giving her the bedtime instructions ("Ok climb into bed, pull up your covers, give me a hug and kiss") and she added her own and said, "and do NOT get up and get the clothes out." She was so serious when she said it, too. It's hard to not laugh. :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

work, work, work

So far, hubby's work has not picked up very much. He is still on the job hunt. He went to an "informational meeting" this morning and if this company is going to call him for an interview, it won't be until Friday at 5:00 pm. Meanwhile, he is still applying at lots of random places, and continuing with Reliant.

My work is starting to pick up, though. I still have the financial transcription that I do quarterly, and last week started four weeks of "peak." I am also attempting to jump-start my play food again by offering several weekly free-for-shipping drawings of up to $12/worth of food. I even made a Facebook fan page for it (a work in progress... eventually I will have on there a picture of everything I offer). And so far, the drawings seem to be working, because I have a "real" order that I'm soon to start. (I also have a few orders that I'm going to trade for things.) I also might be able to be a nanny next month for a family, until their day care spot opens up.

I intended to do attempt an intensive few days of potty training with Lydia last week, but will have to put it off for a few more weeks because of the transcription. Meanwhile, though, I am continuing to read my library books on the matter, and am starting to introduce a few concepts to her here and there, to gradually expose her to what we'll be doing with more effort in a few weeks. I'm picking points from several different methods, and will give the training effort three full days of undivided attention, and if it's not completed by then (or very nearly so) then I have no qualms about putting her back in diapers until well after the baby comes. But, if she is ready and just needs a little push, I want to give her that little push, so that I'm not forever asking myself "what if?"

Monday, July 20, 2009

eleven weeks left

Or 9, or 13. I'm thinking that it'll be closer to 9 1/2 or 10 or so. I am moving right along and making good progress on my to-do list. I had a bunch of stuff lined up for today and most of it is done. I started early today and visited my second and third Lowe's of the weekend. Hubby and I went late after church yesterday to get some wood pieces to be the cross-beam mattress supports for Lydia's big-girl bunk bed. I looked up the dimensions of a twin mattress online, and it said 39 inches, so that is what we got the wood cut to. But then when we got home and I measured about where it would actually sit, I needed it to only be 38 inches, so this morning, I took the wood back out to a different Lowe's to get an inch trimmed off. But that Lowe's told me their saw was broken, so I went to a third Lowe's. (both the second and third Lowe's were close to the apartment, and the first Lowe's from last night was close to the church building). But finally, I got them trimmed up and sanded and they are ready now. She is going to move into her big girl bed this week sometime! :D We live in a tiny place, so moving furniture is interesting... there are about 6 items that need to be done in a specific order to get the crib into our room and the bed into her room. All in the short time that she is awake. :)

I had my 29 week appointment and everything looks great. I'm measuring right on and am up 24 pounds total. Heartbeat sounds good and was anywhere from the 130s to the 150s during the appointment. Baby was head up w/ his/her back towards my back, so all of that needs to change sometime before the birth. There's still plenty of time for him/her to flip around, though, and he/she has definitely been doing that in the past several days. Here is my 29-week picture. Quite a bit of difference from my picture at 20 weeks.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

yay for nesting

I don't have the "urge" to nest, but with only 65 to 93 days to go, I finally got on it. The most daunting task on the list was, by far, cleaning out the corner of our bedroom where the crib will go. I had a few totes right next to the wall that held mostly fabric and also a few other miscellaneous craft things, then in front of that was just a huge PILE of lost pajamas and hand me down clothes and pillows and a slip that I had been missing forever that I finally found on the Very Bottom of the pile. I did a ton yesterday to clean out that pile and put everything in its appropriate place, and was really happy with my progress. Today, I plan on inventorying my fabric. I want to sew a few more nursing dresses, and it'll be easier to plan my projects if I have a list of what fabrics I have, and if they're knit or woven, and how much of them I have.

I've also been still thinking about potty training. I've heard that a lot of people had success with the 3-day method, and someone shared their copy with me, so I am going to try it out. I originally was going to try it out next week, on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday, but forgot that my seasonal transcription job starts up at that time, so I wouldn't be able to give potty training the attention it needs. But sometime after August 20th, I may give it a try. I don't really have very high expectations going into this, since I've also heard that this method did NOT work for a bunch of people, but as I sit here and wait for Lydia to "train herself," I can't help but wonder if she doesn't need a little push-start. If I don't do this, then I will be forever wondering "what if," so I just need to do it and get it out of my system.

Hubby is still on the job hunt, with no real prospects yet. This week has not been a good one for him at his current job. He had 4 days in a row of zero sales (and therefore zero income), and on the 5th day the streak was broken... but with only one sale. And even the sales that he does might not "count" since the people have three business days to cancel, and if they cancel, then he doesn't get credit for it. This wouldn't be so bad, but it adds to the uncertainty, because we don't know if any cancellations happen until his pay statement is run, 3 weeks later. I am really hoping and praying that something stable comes along before this baby does. Stress and the postpartum period just do not get along very well.

Monday, July 13, 2009

the to-do list continues

Maybe if I write it all down instead of just keeping it in my head, I'll have a better chance of getting at least some of it done before the baby comes. I HAVE been using a daily to-do list, using the night before to write down things to do the next day, and that has been helping some, but there's still usually one item from each day that gets carried over to the next day. Anyway, here's the big items that need to be done before the baby comes, in no particular order.

- continue hoping and praying for Tim's job situation to get more stable before baby arrives
- pack up Lydia's outgrown clothes
- install infant carseat
- clean out corner of our bedroom where crib will go (includes going through craft stuff)
- move small bathroom cabinet into hallway
- move changing table into bathroom
- sew a bunch of newborn gowns
- dye some infant diapers
- move craft supplies into spot in Lydia's room that used to have the changing table
- move rocking chair into our bedroom
- move crib into our bedroom
- get bunk bed pieces from our friends' house
- assemble bunk bed for Lydia
- wash out chlorine buckets and cover with contact paper

It's a daunting list, but nothing insurmountable. I don't have any more out of town trips planned, and my play food business is at a pretty slow time right now. The chlorine buckets will be my diaper pails. Maybe just one of them, I haven't decided yet. We use cloth diapers, and the diaper pail we use now is itty bitty and only fits just over half a days' worth of diapers in it, and that's just not going to work when we have two in diapers, so I'm getting a bigger pail.

And about the two in diapers... it's inevitable. I am continuing to think about potty training, not in a stressful way, but more in a "research" way. I checked out several books from the library the other day and have started reading them. I first opened up most of them to the "readiness" section and realized that Lydia is NOT ready for potty training yet, as much as I was hoping that maybe she'd be ready for at least one of the methods. She never wakes up dry, even if I withhold her fluids. She always says that her diaper is dry, no matter what its actual condition is. She doesn't notice or care that her peers are potty training. She's not dry for hours at a time. She's just plain not ready. So much for the "rules" that girls train sooner/faster/easier than boys, and that cloth diapers make for earlier/faster training. But, when she is ready, I'm hopeful that it will be a quick and easy process.

The pregnancy is still going fine. I'm down to 12 weeks left, and feeling very uncomfortable already. I'm already so big that I have trouble breathing, and Braxton Hicks just will not leave me alone. There are some times where as soon as I do any activity at all, even walking the 10 steps to the bathroom, I will get hit w/ a BH contraction. They're not painful, but they've gotten to the annoying point, mostly b/c of their randomness. I won't be sorry to leave those behind. I WILL be sorry to leave the kicks behind, though. I keep feeling elbows and knees and feet and playing with them already. So much fun. :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

twenty-seven week appointment

My appointments continue to go well. This time, I gained 7 lbs in 4 weeks, but am still only up 21 lbs overall. I gained 40 w/ Lydia and feel like I'll be in the 35-40 range with this baby as well. I'm measuring right on track and everything just looks great. Since I'm getting scarily close to the third trimester, we've started talking about the birth, and I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I am so excited and really looking forward to it.

In other news, I was able to score a twin-sized mattress in great shape off of Craigslist for just $18. :D Whenever I get the corner of our room cleaned out so the crib can fit there, then we'll retrieve our bunk bed from where it's stashed at a friend's house, and that will be Lydia's big girl bed. I have a body pillow that I think I will set up on the floor next to her, though, since she still moves quite a bit in her sleep and isn't perceptive of the edge of the bed yet.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

three big stressful waits

I really am surprised that I haven't pulled myself into two pieces from the stress I've been feeling lately. It just seems to keep piling and piling and then when the tiniest bit of relief thinks about being seen, it all of a sudden vanishes and the pile continues to grow anyway. I know I just need to let things go and rely on the Lord to take care of them all. I KNOW this. But it's hard. Nearly impossible. I have always been a planner and "need" to know the whens, whys and hows. I can't just let it sit inside me, though, so every so often I need to write about it. Writing helps me, just a tiny bit, to keep from going to pieces.

I mentioned on Facebook that I have three major "wait for its" right now: the coming baby, potty training for Lydia, and a stable job for hubby. Each item on its own would be stressful enough, but combined, they are a mountain of which I cannot see the top. I pray, I try to be peaceful, I try to be supportive where necessary, I try to think positive... and then I just end up in silent tears at night anyway.

To keep this post from being too much of a downer, I will also do a "count your blessings" thing towards the end. Because really, it could be worse.

Of the three, I think the most stressful to me right now is Tim's job situation. Ever since we moved to Dallas two years ago, it has been inconsistent and unstable and come & go. Right now, he is in a commission-only, independent contractor position. He's been there for about 2 weeks, and it is starting off very VERY slowly. We need about 10 sales/week to just barely make ends meet, and his first two weeks had 6 sales and 4 sales, respectively. He's in the middle of his third week and has only had 5 sales in it, with the two slowest days of the week yet to come. The hours that he currently works make it impossible to get a second job and nearly as hard to have any bit of time at all to look for a different job. I can't work right now since I'd just have to turn around and quit in a few months (besides, Tim doesn't want me to work anyway). It is massively hard to live hopeful and positive day by day not knowing until bedtime if any sales have been made, and then being crushed when the daily total is 1 or even 0.

The second-highest stressor is potty training. This situation could be an entire blog in itself (not an entire post, but an entire blog, lol), so I will try to keep it brief. It started when Mom said that me and my two younger sisters were all potty trained by 18 months. It continued this past week when they were talking about a friend of my nephew's who is nearly 4 and is "not potty trained at all" and the tone of voice they used when discussing that. Then here at home, I read things where this one's child just magically trained themselves overnight one night. That is the most common thing I read. And it is usually with a child who is younger than Lydia. I read tips and signs of readiness and give a half-hearted try, and fail, and just do nothing for a few months. Then I start to think about it again and the stress roller coaster reaches a peak and we try again, and fail again, and I have thoughts of just keeping her in diapers forever since she "obviously" won't be one of those children who just trains themselves overnight. Every time I talk about it to people, they tell me that she's "only" such-and-such an age, and just give it time. So I give it time, and nothing that I can see changes in her development in that time. I talk about it again, and they tell me again that she's "only" such-and-such an age. But then I see or hear of multiple children her same age or even younger than she is who ARE potty trained, and I get discouraged again.

The least stressful of my "big three" is the pregnancy. I wonder if I'll be able to get everything ready in time, or how the baby and Lydia will get along, or what type of personality he/she will have, or if I'll be able to be a good mom to two (since sometimes I wonder if I'm even a good mom to one). I wonder how my labor will be and if my support people will be able to make it here in time to help care for Lydia. I wonder if I'll be early or will go overdue or will deliver at just the right time. All of these things are "normal worries" for pregnancy, and they would be fine on their own, but they are just more dirt on the mountain when combined with the other two.

There, now that my feelings are "out there" I can count my blessings.

1. I have a husband who loves God and me and our daughter and our unborn child.
2. We have an awesome supportive church family who would do anything for us.
3. We have our health.
4. We have a roof over our heads (with a/c even).
5. We're not starving.
6. All of our parents are still alive.
7. I had no trouble getting pregnant either time.
8. My pregnancy is "boringly normal."
9. God loves me and WILL take care of us, in HIS time.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

a wedding and a wading, and fun and a falling and a failing

I wasn't sure what to title this post because it is going to be FULL. I've been out of town for a week, and a bunch of fun and funny stuff happened that I have to share with you. (Too bad that potty training isn't in that list. Oh well... someday, someday.)

First, let me get the "failing" out of the way, which seems to be what hubby's new job is doing so far. It is failing to live up to both its absolute potential and to our monthly needs. It's only July 2nd but already we're having a shortfall for the month. There are people who have done what he did in the past, so hopefully he can talk to some of them to get some tips and encouragement. Meanwhile, I think he's going to be on the list to look for something else, again. It's been two years of instability and uncertainty now. I can't even remember what it's like to be normal anymore.

But enough about that, let's get to the fun stuff. We'll start with the wedding. We took a vacation-within-a-vacation to go see my cousin get married. My almost 4 year old nephew was in her wedding as the ring bearer. My sister and mom had been talking up his job for several days beforehand. Sometime between the rehearsal and the ceremony, he made the comment, "my job isn't that hard. All I have to do is carry a pillow." But the funniest things he did were definitely during the ceremony. He and the flower girl walked up to the front fine and got to their places. Then there was a delay while the music got ready for the bride to come down. As soon as my nephew got to his place, he was looking around, and he saw the unity candle tapers sitting about 5 feet away. From his spot, he took a huge deep breath and leaned over and tried to blow them out. It didn't work, and he gave up and continued holding his pillow. The pillow went all over... in his arms, in his hands, on his head... but he stood in his spot for the whole ceremony. At one point, he gave a "thumbs up" to the flower girl across the way. She returned the signal, then he returned it again, and they went back and forth 6 or 7 times. Towards the end, my aunt (mother of the bride) heard him say, "my feet are tired." But he still stood up there and made it through the rest of the time. I think that now he can hire himself out as a professional ring bearer. :)

Next topic is the falling. Lydia had a few gentle falls and some not-so-gentle falls over the week. At home, she still sleeps in a crib. On previous trips to visit my mom, she had set up the pack'n'play for her to sleep in, but for her first afternoon nap upon arrival, we decided to try her just on the trundle bed by itself. She did very well on it. :) But she did not stay on the bed. Here is how she started out that first night:

And here is where I found her the next morning:

And here are another few interesting sleeping positions in which I found her:

After a few days, she did manage to mostly stay on the bed all night. We stayed in a hotel for two nights for the wedding, and she and I shared a bed w/ my mom in the first night, or tried to. Lydia was too wiggly and kicky and so I ended up putting her on some pillows on the floor (which she wiggled off of as well). The next night, mom got brave and slept on the sofa sleeper, so Lydia and I had the bed to ourselves. I had set her down in the middle, and she was already asleep, so I pulled her over to the side a little to give myself some more room. We all went to bed and then I woke up an hour or so later to a THUMP and to Lydia crying. She'd fallen off of the hotel bed. I screamed b/c it was a BIG fall and I didn't know if she was hurt or not. I think she was more scared than anything, though, because it took less than 2 minutes to calm her back down. I put her on the floor for the rest of the night so she wouldn't fall again, and she went right back to sleep.

As for the wading, my mom has a little plastic wading pool that she fills up from the hose so that my nephews can sometimes go swimming after their naps (she watches them during the day while my sisters work). Lydia didn't want to take a nap one day, so we gave her some pool time by herself before the boys woke up. She was excited to put on her swimsuit, and went out to the pool. She stuck one foot barely into the water, then took it right back out again and ran over to me and said, "that's enough."

Mom took her and encouraged her to go down the slide. She didn't want to at first:

But it didn't take her long at all to get into it and start having fun:

Then, all that playing made her thirsty, so she drank the closest water that was available, right out of the pool:

Eventually, she lost her hat in the pool and I gave her a washcloth instead, to play with while her hat was drying off:

Then the fun was really just another couple of backyard pictures. There were a couple of giant croquet-looking mallets that she tried to play golf with, a T-ball set, the old blow-up "hoppity horse" that my sisters and I had when we were little, and a few other random toys.

Monday, June 22, 2009

drawing for a free sling and swaddling set

Hi all,

I came across this drawing to enter and win a free Sakura Bloom Linen Ring Sling AND some Aden and Anais Muslin Swaddling Blankets. Go check it out!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

hungry for lunch only minutes after breakfast is over

I think that Lydia would eat every waking hour of the day if I let her. More often than not, we finish breakfast, and then she immediately starts asking for lunch. Her pronunciation of both words is so cute, though. The best way I can think of to write them phonetically is "breh-sis" and "yutch" lol. Video to come shortly so you can hear it for yourself. :)

Ok here's the video now. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

job hunt is over already

I don't have a ton of information on it yet, but Tim went out for an interview this afternoon and decided to work for an energy company, doing door to door sales. We are very excited that God has provided this opportunity so soon for us. Thanks to everyone who was keeping us in your prayers.

I'm trying to do the crafting thing again. I found a tutorial online on how to make newborn gowns out of adult-sized T-shirts, and have a stack of T-shirts. I've made a couple of gowns so far and they are turning out SO cute. I'll post a few pictures once I get some more done. I've also been doing some more crocheting. I have a bunch of wool yarn with which to make diaper covers, and am in the middle of making a "patchwork" one for Lydia. Some of her plastic covers are a little too small for her bulky nighttime diaper, so this patchwork one will be for her at night. It's coming along quite nicely. :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

she doesn't know what a screwdriver is for

For the past couple of months, I have been attending a Bible study on Friday mornings. The teacher of the study has two grown boys and no daughters, and still has quite a few "boy toys" that Lydia and the children of the other students like to play with during the study.

This past Friday, Lydia found a tiny plastic screwdriver. She held that in one hand, by the "metal" part, and held another small plastic something-or-other in her other hand. She'd touch the handle of the screwdriver to the other piece, then put the handle to her eyebrow. She likes to watch when I put on makeup, and in amongst the bins of "boy" toys, she'd managed to find herself an eyeshadow applicator. LOL. It was really cute.

She also was with me for my most recent prenatal appointment, and when we were listening to the heartbeat, I asked her if she heard that. She said, "the baby's talking!" It's really so amazing to see the world through her eyes.

Potty training is still a no-go. She'll sit on it every now and then w/ no results, same as she has for months, but I think she's starting to be aware of when she's just gone. I still don't have any hope for her training before the baby comes, but maybe this winter something will happen.

Monday, June 1, 2009

job hunting begins again, for the third time this year

I am seriously nearly at the breaking point with the never-ending string of instability since we moved to Dallas two years ago. I don't know what God wants for us or what He has planned for us or when He'll tell us. I DO know that He'll take care of us and provide for our basic needs, and only our basic needs. I need to be content with that. We will likely never be materially rich. Our 800 sq ft apartment with only a concrete patio for a "yard" for the children to play in will have to suffice. It at least is a roof over our head that doesn't leak... at least, it usually doesn't leak. I feel so out of place among my peers sometimes, you know, the ones who regularly get their hair done and live in a neighborhood that has grass and sidewalks and fences and is in a residential area instead of right on a busy street. The odds are not in my favor that I will ever be in that niche.

But do I want to be? Time to change my tune. The "woe is me" part of this entry is OVER! Listen to all the blessings I have. I have a godly husband who sincerely WANTS to be able to support me and the children, and he gets more proactive and motivated to look for a job with each unemployment that happens. He also is a wonderful spiritual leader to our daughter, and prays with her every night before she goes to bed. I do have a place to live, even though it's not my "dream home," it's home, and I can work to make it a dream. I am to keep it (Titus 2:5). I have a daughter who thinks the world of me and wants to be with me and imitate me... am I making sure to show her a good example every day? I have a HUGE loving spiritual family who doesn't care about my outward appearance. I have a second child on the way whom God has sent to bless our family, and he/she is already doing so, as Tim and I enjoy "playing" with him/her and feeling the kicks and movements. I have a crafting business that doesn't yield a ton of income (yet), but I so enjoy making those items that make people happy.

As for Tim's job, when I started this post, I was near tears in wondering what the future would hold and upset at the reasons that he was given for being let go. My tears are dry now. The future holds what it holds. Tim will look for opportunities, and perhaps the very next door that opens, whenever it may be, will be the door that offers exactly what we need. And only God knows what that is. I accept that He will make His plans known to us in His time, not ours. I am at peace.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

more growth in the garden

My hanging garden is growing even more. The cucumber plant is almost to the ground, 4.5 feet long, and the tomato plant is growing in a very defined U-shape. And... BOTH have blossoms, finally. I was wondering if I had really gotten a tomato plant or if it was just going to be a vine. Hopefully by the end of June I'll start having some veggies.

Lydia continues to be entertaining. She's a little particular about how her blanket and her doll are arranged when she goes to sleep, though. In addition to what you can see in the video, I also inadvertently laid down the doll with her hand very slightly under the blanket another time, and when Lydia laid down, she noticed it, and had to correct it before she could go to sleep.

She also is learning how to spell. Well, not really, but she's trying. She brought me one bib today that said "let's do lunch" on it, and I let her know that's what it said. A minute or so later, she brought me a second bib. This one said "puppy love" on it. Lydia pointed to the words and said, "R-E-E-R-E... lunch!" She was so pleased with herself.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

i am showing enough that strangers notice now

Tim's family was in town over the weekend, and we all went out to the zoo for the day. It was hot and crowded, but we had fun. Lydia got so tired that she fell asleep about 5 minutes into the ride home. That is VERY unusual b/c I can't remember the last time she's fallen asleep in the car, especially if she's not alone in the backseat (which she wasn't this time). But anyway, while on one of the bathroom breaks at the zoo, I was standing in line, and the woman right in front of me noticed that I was pregnant and offered to let me go first b/c of that. I didn't need to all that badly, so I declined, but it was still so sweet of her to offer. :)

My pains that I was having a few weeks ago have lessened, and when I asked my care provider about them, she said that it was likely just ligament pain. I am glad that the pain is gone. However, I have already developed a slight waddle because of the loosening ligaments. I don't remembering waddling at ALL with Lydia, even at the very end, so it's a strange feeling to have it so early this time.

I have been having extremely strange pregnancy dreams as well. Last night, I dreamed that I was a young professional, and was sitting in an audience for a presentation. A bunch of my high school classmates were also in the audience. My supervisor had told me that one of my job duties was to ask a relevant question during the presentation (a microphone was being passed around). I kept missing my chance to do so, b/c someone else would ask a question before I got up the nerve to stand up. Then during a lunch break, I was in line behind two guys, and there was a tray with sandwiches w/ lettuce and tomatoes on it, and each guy grabbed two of the last four sandwiches, leaving the tray empty and me w/o a sandwich. I was about to get really upset and ask for them to give me one of their sandwiches, lol, but then I noticed an entire new covered tray full of the same sandwiches. After eating, but still during the break, I overheard one of my barely-showing classmates talking to some people about her pregnancy, and how she found out that it's a boy. This is the second "baby boy" dream that I've had, and I've only had one girl dream this time.

I had my ultrasound appointment on the 20th, and the technician was amazing. So was the equipment. We were able to see incredible detail, a lot MORE detail than we saw with Lydia. Everything looked great with the baby and its environment. It still has a ton of room in there, b/c we saw it moving all over and wiggling but I didn't feel a thing. Here's a few of the pictures we got to take home, followed by my 20-week tummy.



Monday, May 11, 2009

toddler fun and not so fun

A brief update on the pregnancy. We had another appointment and it went well. Baby was swimming all over the place so it was hard to grab the heartbeat, and every time we did, it was tiny and faint. Finally we were able to pick it up nice and strong. It's in the 150s. I've gained 11 lbs so far, so if I keep up that rate, I'll gain less than I did w/ Lydia. It makes sense since when I was pregnant with her, I had nobody to chase around and take care of. She is "helping" me burn some extra calories. I must remember to eat more. During the appointment, Tim also got to see the baby kick. There was a big kick, enough to make a little flutter on the outside of my tummy, and he happened to be looking right in that spot. We also scheduled my ultrasound for the 20th, and we are still planning on not finding out.

As for toddler fun, I love love LOVE the cute little ways that Lydia says certain words/phrases. Here are a few of her latest ones.

"nuffin" (muffin)
"butterjelly" (peanut butter and/or jelly... i.e. in the grocery store today, I pointed to just the display of jelly, and she still calls that "butterjelly.")
"shopping groceries" (grocery shopping)
"pooghetti" (spaghetti)
"poojamas" (pajamas)
"princess hat sticker" and "princess hat jammies" (for her 2nd birthday party, one of the activities was making princess hats, so now anything that has a princess on it isn't just a "princess sticker"... it's a "princess hat sticker" even though there are usually no hats in the stickers.)
"nermaid" (mermaid)

Now for the toddler not-so-fun. I've been seriously stressing and worrying about potty training. What if I start too early, what if I start too late, what if she has trouble and it takes years, what if she never gets out of diapers, etc. I've read both Diaper Free before Three and the 3-Day Method E-book, and neither one seems like it would work for us. The methods in the former are geared for MUCH younger children, and for the 3-day method, we can't really do that b/c we don't have three consecutive days in our schedule where nothing is going on. I keep trying to just do a "waiting" method where maybe she will just eventually catch on by example, but months go by w/o her ever showing any further "signs of readiness" (or any at all, really) and the stress cycle starts again.

But anyway. Occasionally when I wake her up from her nap, her diaper is dry-ish. (If she wakes up by herself, then it's already wet 99% of the time when I go and get her.) Yesterday, I woke her up from her nap, and she was dry, so I suggested she go sit on the potty. She got excited and said "Want to go sit on Lydia's little potty??" and I said yes, so I sat her down on the floor and she walked to the bathroom and sat down on it. I sat down on the big potty (closed lid) and waited with her. After less than a minute, I heard some action. I got excited and said "Wow, Lydia, that's peepee! You are putting peepee in the potty!" She stopped briefly and got a bit of a worried look on her face, but I kept being excited for her and cheering her on and she got into it too. Then I asked her if she had any more to put in there, and I heard a little bit more go in and I cheered for that too. Then we went to get daddy and show him what she had done so he could cheer for her and hi-five her as well. I thought it was a good beginning, but then today, every single time I've mentioned her sitting on her potty w/o a diaper, she screams like the world is coming to an end, and insists I put a "new clean fresh diaper" on her. She will sit w/ no problem if she still has her diaper on. I don't know where to go from here and just want to give up on the whole thing forever. Depends aisle, here I come.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

my daughter is over two years old and is still rear-facing in the car

I am by no means a child safety seat expert, but I like to think of myself as an informed consumer. I've spoken online and offline to people who ARE carseat experts, and know that the chest clip needs to be at the chest instead of at the belly (to prevent a child from slipping through the neck space in a crash and exiting the carseat that was meant to protect him). I have also learned that it is safer to have a child in a 5-point harness as long as possible before moving her to a booster seat (even NASCAR cars' seat belts are a 5-point harness).

But I think one of the most important things about a young child in a carseat is to keep them rear-facing for as long as possible. Being rear-facing is 5 times safer for a 12 to 23 month old than being front facing. And the AAP is even now recommending keeping children rear facing until age 2, (not age 1 as was the previous guideline).

A toddler's head is very heavy compared to his body, and if he is front facing in a crash, it could easily cause serious injury to his neck and spinal cord as his head is thrown forward from the force of even a moderate crash. Here is a powerful video where a grandfather tells the story of his 18 month old grandson who suffered a life-threatening neck injury JUST because he was front-facing in his carseat. If the child were rear-facing, the crash would still have happened, but the injury (and the months of therapy and healing) would have been prevented.

Here are some of the types of comments that I've heard from people who want to turn their children front facing ASAP:

"But her legs are all squished up and she doesn't have any room for her feet." A broken leg heals much easier and faster than a broken neck, and a toddler can sit quite comfortably with their legs crossed. (Or they can have fun kicking the seat, like my daughter does. :p)

"My 12 month old is already 30 lbs, what am I supposed to do?" Toddlers grow at a slower rate during their second year than during their first year, and there are several carseats out on the market that have a rear-facing weight limit of 35 lbs.

"I've already turned my child front facing. He's 15 months old and he used to cry non-stop in a car ride, but now he's SO happy. It's nice to be able to drive in peace." All I can say to this one is watch the video, please. Watch the rear-facing versus front-facing crash tests that are within that video. If you'd still like to keep your child front-facing, that is your choice. I'm only posting this to try to make people aware who might not have known there is an alternative to switching their child from rear-facing to front-facing at 12 months.

And again, I am not a carseat expert. But I do feel that this is important information that the general public all too often just doesn't know, and it could make a positive difference for someone out there.

Monday, May 4, 2009

not quite the diaper contents i expected

I just put Lydia down for a nap, and changed her diaper just beforehand. I opened it up and found.... a little car. I asked her if she put a car in her diaper and she said yes. Thankfully, the diaper was only wet and not dirty so the little car was easy to clean up.

I am 18 weeks today and have a definite belly, but in certain clothes, I can still "hide" the pregnancy a little bit. I've been having some way-down-low cramps for the past couple of weeks, and I'm afraid that it is SPD. I have an appointment later this week, so I'll definitely be asking about it. But the symptoms list in that link really describes what I'm going through right now. It hurts to walk. Sitting down and laying down are fine, but as soon as I get up, it hurts again. It's possible that it could be just round ligament pain, in which case it will go away comparatively soon, but if it's SPD then it's likely to hang around until even after the birth.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

my hanging garden is showing signs of life

About a month ago, I posted about how I bought some of those hanging tomato container things from the infomercial. I've remembered to water them enough and so far they seem to be doing well. We had a light freeze about a week after they were hung, so we put them in our closet on a sturdy hanger for that night. Later on, another freeze was forecasted, but Tim didn't want to bring them in again and said they'd be OK. Turned out that it did not freeze that time. It did get cold enough, though, to make the "seed leaves" (those little round starchy areas that stick out from the stem) on the cucumber plant whither up. Tim saw them a few days later and thought that it looked bad until I told him that those are the leaves that are supposed to eventually dry up and go away.

Anyway, the plants are growing. I got some tomato plant food that I'm feeding them, to hopefully help them grow more tomatoes (or cucumbers) and fewer leaves. The tomato plant is growing more and bigger than the cucumber plant is, but both have definitely grown since I brought them home.

In other news, Tim got laid off for the second time this year last Thursday. He is seriously considering leaving the plumbing world altogether and going back into the pool business, this time cleaning pools. A friend of ours from church already does this, and Tim is out riding with him on his route today. Tim talked to the owner several days ago, and he came home excited and then I got concerned, b/c I had some unanswered questions. But since then, through conversations with various people, I feel better about this change of career. Tim and I were both even able to go talk w/ the owner yesterday and get some of my more pressing questions addressed and clarified. He will probably come home this afternoon ready to make a decision, and I'm now prepared to support him in whatever decision he wants to make.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


We were over at some friends' house last night, and on the way home, Lydia tripped on the sidewalk and did a faceplant on the corner of one of the steps, right on the line of the concrete and the grass. Poor little girl looks a lot worse than she feels, and has little scratch spots on her forehead, next to her eye, on her cheek and next to her mouth.

Monday, April 13, 2009

a surprise basket in the kitchen

So yesterday was Lydia's third actual Easter, but this was the first year we put a basket together for her. No eggs, either hidden or colored, though. Maybe next year we'll hide some for her. I think she'd be more into it then. But we "hid" the basket in plain sight on the kitchen floor, and she loved it. :) Here's the video of her exploring it.

Tim's and my 5-year anniversary is this Friday, and he went out on Saturday and got my present, which he couldn't wait to give to me. It was a new phone. :D (I've never really been the flowers/chocolate/jewelry type.) I'd had my previous phone for about 6 years, lol, so it was definitely time for an upgrade. The only thing "advanced" about my prior phone was that it had a color screen (barely) and the phone I had before THAT did not. But it didn't even have a camera or anything. My new phone is awesome and I have been playing with it all weekend. I also downloaded the 141-page manual so I could skim through it as well (it just came w/ a quick-start guide). Ok, who am I kidding, I am actually going to READ the manual, b/c I'm a little strange like that. :p

I do have to share a few funny things from the quick-start guide though. Whoever wrote it has a bit of a sense of humor. Like here's a few tips for caring for your phone (the boldings are mine, and are what made me laugh):

"Water will damage your phone and accessories - even a small amount such as water droplets from a soda in your car cup-holder, melting snowflakes, tears of joy, squirt-gun crossfire or steam from hot water in the kitchen or bathroom.

Use only batteries and accessories from the original manufacturer of your phone - Non-approved accessories can cause damage to you or your phone and shorten the phone's life. Hint: if it's being sold out of someone's car trunk, walk away."

And then here's a safety tip regarding using your phone while driving:

"Keep your phone closed. If it rings and you discover it's in the back seat, do NOT crawl over the seat to answer it while driving.

The whole manual isn't like that (it IS a manual and not a comic book, after all), but those things and a couple of others made me laugh so hard.

In pregnancy news, it's moving right along. I'm undeniably showing a tiny bit now. I have a pair of capris that I wore when I was postpartum with Lydia, and they are my "way fat" pants, lol. They are still a little too big at this point, but my other bottoms are too small. I was wearing them for our most recent appointment and she commented that I was "still fitting into my pants nicely." I had to confess that they were my fat pants, lol. The rest of the appointment went fine. She said that I felt big, but when she actually measured me, I was measuring right on. We talked about my labwork. On two of the measurements, I was very slightly below the "normal" normal range, but the level I was at was perfectly normal for pregnancy. Hematocrit was slightly low at 35.6, but hemoglobin was still in a good range at 12.5. We heard the heartbeat again and talked about my morning sickness. Hopefully THAT is on its way out. I'm trying to eat as soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning, and also eat more protein overall, to help keep it at bay. So far, it seems to be working. We'll schedule our ultrasound at our next appointment. I'm excited b/c we will actually get a DVD of it this time instead of just a few pictures like w/ Lydia. :D Yesterday and today I thought I was feeling the baby move again, but the movements still seem "too big" for the size that the baby actually is right now. Like something so tiny surely can't kick me that hard, right?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

a bittersweet end of an era

I think I can partly-tearfully and partly-joyfully say that Lydia is now weaned. She's 28 months old. I met all my nursing goals, both in absolute timeframes and in "situational" things (like I wanted to have a talking nursling). I have no regrets, either for stopping right now or for going "so long," but I do kind of miss it, and am glad that I'll be able to do it again in about 6 months. I went to my first La Leche League meeting in over a year today, and as soon as I said that "Lydia WAS nursing until about a week ago," I started bawling. But I think part of that bawling just came from the pregnancy in general, because even Reader's Digest articles will make me cry at this point. :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

the incredible shrinking belly, and the feeling is gone

I've decided that what I felt the other day was just an imagined baby movement, and was just digestion instead. No worries, though. I will feel REAL baby movements in my belly soon, soon, soon.

Speaking of the belly, I'm at the point now where I "show" differently, depending on what time of day it is. I'm still small enough that if I lay flat on my back, it completely disappears. Also, first thing in the morning, I'm still somewhat smallish. But all that changes as soon as I eat anything, and then throughout the day, the belly seems to get a tiny bit bigger all the way through to bedtime. Then overnight while I'm sleeping, it shrinks again. Even with all these changing sizes, I have gone ahead and made the switch about 90% over to maternity clothes, especially for skirts. I had a few that were a little forgiving, but the forgiveness can only go so far before comfort needs to take over.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

an interesting feeling... and a two-year appointment

So, I've been waking up at night several times. Sometimes I can go back to sleep if I adjust my position, but other times I need to get up and go get a drink or whatever first. During one of my wake-ups last night, at about 2:00 am, I had a strange feeling way down in my lower left middle-ish stomach area. It might have just been digestion, or mmmmaaaayyyyyyyyyybbbbeeee it could possibly have been the baby. It felt like a pea-to-dime-sized bubble that popped, and happened a few times in a row. The area I was feeling it was "correct" to be a baby, as was the size of the feeling (my normal digestive feelings are... much bigger. LOL). But I don't know for sure if I can call it the baby or not. I think I can, but I'm still so early. I didn't feel Lydia until 18 and a half weeks, and I'm 5 weeks away from that right now, but "they" do say that you feel your second baby earlier than your first. So who knows? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But it's nice to imagine that it is. :)

We also finally had Lydia's 2-year well-child appointment this morning, only 4 months late. I mentioned to her doctor that I'd be bringing her a new patient in October, and she said "Oh, ok... OH! Congratulations!" lol. Lydia is the picture of good health, and has maintained her 30% height curve and also gained in her weight curve, from 1% up to 20%. So yay, now she is proportionate. We don't have any issues with her and she wasn't due for any shots today, so her next visit won't be until she's 3. I had Lydia sing her ABCs for the doctor, and then later when she was offering Lydia a sticker, I asked Lydia if she could "ask nicely" for a sticker and she said "May I have a sticker please?" I also taught her the name of her doctor this morning, so that she could say "Hi Dr. ___" and "Bye Dr. ___" today. The doctor recommended moving Lydia from skim milk (what our family is used to) to 2%, but Lydia gets some good fats elsewhere in her diet like from olive oil and whatnot, so I think I will try out 1% instead. Her stats today were a head circumference of 18.5", height of 34" and weight of 25 lbs 8 oz.

Also, I have another "funny word" to add to Lydia's repertoire. Yesterday before church, I had her sitting on a stool in the bathroom so I could curl her hair (and then it fell down about 5 minutes later, lol). She saw Tim's toothbrush by the sink and said "I see a brush-your-teeth!" Then she noticed her toothbrush as well and said "I see Lydia's purple brush-your-teeth too!" I love her cute little words. :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

am i having fun yet?

I turned 13 weeks yesterday, and the day before yesterday, I was still having "morning" sickness. It was after church at night, and let's just say that I didn't make it home. (I DID make it off the road, though.) Also, in the past couple of weeks, I've had the occasional painful stretching of my round ligaments. It's not very fun. And my "belly" still comes and goes. It is there in the evening, but then when I wake up in the morning, it's disappeared again.

I'm ready to move on from all this into the fun part. I want to feel movements. I didn't feel anything with Lydia until over 18 weeks, and have heard that second and beyond babies are felt earlier, but probably not THIS early yet. Movements would be fun, though. The ligament pain... not so much.

Lydia's been two years old for nearly 4 months now, and I just now called to make her appointment for her 2-year visit. We had some... "issues" with our insurance and changes and stuff, but her appointment is now set for Thursday morning. It's so strange to me to go this far between appointments now b/c they were so close together in her first 18 months. The office staff always loves her when we come in, though, as do the other waiting patients. And Lydia, social butterfly that she is, is of course happy to entertain.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

a couple of cute things she says

Lydia loves to sing, and she loves me to sing to her. (Well, sometimes she loves me to sing. Other times if I'm singing and she's not in the mood to hear me, she'll say "No sing, mommy." LOL) But she doesn't know about song title, so instead, she will ask me to sing a particular song by phrasing some of the lyrics as a question to me. Like: "ABCDEFG?" or "All around the neighborhood?" (for "This Little Light of Mine") or today's newest installment, "Up the water 'pout?" (for "The Itsy Bitsy Spider.") Then, if she wants to have something or to do something, she'll say "How 'bout...." and then state her request. Like just now, she was hungry for a snack, so she said, "How 'bout some bread?"

But yesterday morning was the funniest thing she'd said in a while. I've been teaching her to ask nicely for things, and to say "May I have a ____ please?" instead of just demanding something with a holler and a single word. She's doing pretty well with it. When she wakes up in the morning, she sits in her bed and talks to herself and laughs and is just in a good mood. Occasionally she'll get a little loud and say things to try to get my attention so she can get out and go play (like "Moooooommmmmmmyyyy, where aaaaaaarrrrreeee yooooouuuuu?" from the other day), but most of the time she just chatters to herself. But yesterday she nearly made me laugh out loud. Several times in a row, she said, "May I have a open-the-door please?" LOL

The pregnancy is moving right along. I still have an occasional day of sickness, but most of the time I feel pretty good. I'm starting to get rather thick, and have gradually started to bring out the maternity clothes, tops only for now, since most of my bottoms are still forgiving enough to allow another week or two of wearing.