Catching Up

So . . . yeah. Ok, it’s been an eternity, but I really do have a valid excuse. I pushed an entire human person out of my nether-regions and that tiny human hasn’t let me sleep since. There is very little time for blogging in my world right now, honestly. But I did want to let everyone know that I am indeed still here, albeit entirely consumed by a little hungry tyrant who demands my every waking moment. And most of my sleeping moments as well. For the first 3 months, all he did was scream and eat. Lather, rinse, repeat. And while, obviously, that’s what newborns do so suck it up already, it’s been tiring and draining to say the least.

But I’m guessing you want details, right?  Yes?  No?  Who are you again?  Maybe?  Well, let’s go back.  To a magical time when I was getting 8 hours of sleep a night (except for the 4 times a night I got up to pee).  There I was . . . very pregnant and excited for my 3rd child to be born, and hoping he would grace us with his presence early.

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I  had the big belly . . . I had the painted toes . . . I had the nursery all ready.  Now, all we needed was a baby!  He faked us out by pretending to come a week early, but once I got to the hospital, he apparently changed his mind.  Damn you, Braxton Hicks!!  He played with my emotions for about a week, with occasional contractions that made me hopeful, but ultimately ended in disappointment and frustration.  Finally, though, on his due date, he started making moves to enter the world.  For real this time.  So, after being up all night with contractions that continued until the next afternoon, a labor that was quite harrowing as his heartbeat slowed drastically with every contraction, and an epidural that slipped out of my back and had to be re-administered during the worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my life, he finally entered the world.  On December 1st, at 7 pounds, 4 ounces and 21 inches, he was healthy and beautiful.  I mean, just look at him!

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And since that moment he has totally filled my world and my heart.  I am with him pretty much every moment of the day and it is wonderful, frustrating, fulfilling and exhausting.  However, once he arrived, I made a pretty drastic decision.  I will no longer be a slave to the corporate world as an attorney, but will instead solely be a slave to my kids as . . . wait for it . . . a stay at home mom!  Since this is my last baby, I just couldn’t hand him over to child care workers and run back to work, like I did with my first two kids.  So, my new full time job is MOM.  We sent the au pair off about 2 weeks ago, and so far it’s been great.  I mean, it’s tough trying to juggle the newborn and also the older kids’ school schedules, but that’s only temporary.  It will get a bit more manageable when the baby is older and not eating every 2-3 hours.  But so far, I think I’m doing fabulous at my new job.  I mean, I even clean the baby occasionally!

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And I think I even worked out what was making him scream so much.  At first I thought it was colic.  Then the doctor said it was just reflux.  But I started to suspect it had something to do with an aversion to dairy.  Then again, he would also be miserable it I ate anything that was a gassy food (i.e. almost all fruits and veggies).  So, basically I’ve cut out all dairy from my diet and avoid almost every fruit, veggie, oily fish, nut and pasta.  But other than that, I can eat anything I want!  Yeah, that pretty much leaves me with meats and breads (as long as they don’t have milk in them).  And you wouldn’t believe how many things have dairy in them!  Pretty much everything, dammit.  So, it’s been frustrating to completely change my diet, but worth it for him not to wake up screaming in pain every night.  Oh, and did I mention that I also haven’t had a drink in over a year?  I am having the most fun!  Parenthood is such a joy.

And we probably don’t need to talk about the fact that I turned 40 three weeks ago as well, now do we?

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Thanks, hubs!

So, now you know where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing these past few months.  And honestly, I can’t promise that this means a return to blogging regularly (or even sporadically) from now on, but I’ll at least try to check in occasionally.  If my little tyrant allows it.  Here’s hoping.

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Making Room for #3

I was worried.  So was the hubs.  We had the best possible plans and intentions, but had no idea how it would be perceived.  Still, this was our best option, so we had to go with it, consequences be damned.

We have a four bedroom home.  Right now, all four of those bedrooms are occupied by myself/hubs, my oldest son, my youngest son and the au pair.  So, the question was . . . where does the new baby go?  We could have easily put him in a bassinet in our room, but that would only be a temporary solution and I have always been of the mind set to start them out early in the crib so they get used to it quickly.

Once upon a time, my youngest son’s room was a nursery.  In fact, it’s pretty much the only room in the house that I actually spent time designing and decorating, as he arrived soon after we moved into the house.  It has green/brown/tan painted stripes under a white chair rail with tan paint above and an adorable jungle theme.  The only thing that has changed over the past six years of my son’s life is the bed.  So, we decided . . . his room would once again become the nursery, and we would move him in with his brother.  In order to make this a reality, we needed to get bunk beds for the boys.

They have wanted bunk beds for a while now, ever since we flirted with the idea of getting them a couple of years ago but never pulled the trigger.  So, we were hoping that the excitement of finally getting those much coveted beds would trump the disappointment of them both losing their bedroom autonomy.  We were already creating a middle child by having this baby, but now we were taking away my youngest’s sanctuary and making him bunk with his older brother.  Like I said, we were worried as to how they would react.

Despite our trepidation, I found a perfect bed online and ordered it for delivery in early October.  Being the cowards that we are, we wanted to wait as long as possible before we had to tell the boys that they were going to be sharing a room, and have the beds delivered then.  But finally, we could wait no more, and we had to pull the trigger.

When we broke the news, we were surprised at how excited they were.  They couldn’t have been happier.  And while we were cautiously optimistic about their reaction, we still wanted to see how they would react once the reality of the situation presented itself.  After sharing the news, we took action . . . removing my oldest’s existing bed and moving around some of the furniture in preparation for the upcoming delivery of the new beds.  Then we waited . . .

Oldest son's original room . . .

Oldest son’s original room . . .

Room without bed.

Room without bed.

The bunk beds arrived two days later and were set up and ready to go by the time my kids got home from school.  When I returned from work, I found my boys upstairs, hanging out on their new beds.  And loving them!  They were so excited, it was like Christmas day.  My oldest got the top bunk, which he thought was super cool.  My youngest got the bottom, Full sized bed with a brand new mattress, and he said it was super comfy and soft.  In fact, they loved their new bunks so much, that they without being told, took Clorox wipes to the dusty parts of it (the stairs, inside the cabinets, the top of the ceiling fan that was head height to the top bunk) and cleaned their brand new beds.  Phew!  Sigh of relief.

New bed.

New bed.

My little animals enjoying their new bunks.

My little animals enjoying their new bunks.

Since then, we have managed to somehow get all of my youngest’s clothing into the room, and with the addition of a new bookcase, have been able to organize their books and other items.  So far, they seem to be enjoying the new set up, and I even found them sleeping together on the bottom bed a couple of nights . . . giggling and talking as if they actually like each other!  So, I’m tentatively calling Project Combined Room Bunk Beds a success!

Now, I just need to get the baby’s room organized.  Anyone want to volunteer to help me locate all of the boxes full of baby clothes in my basement storage room?  I’m sure after six years, they will be super easy to find.  Oh, and then there’s the massive amounts of washing to be done once those clothes are found.  Seriously, people . . . I may actually need a village, so get your asses over here!

 

August Was Rough

Hey there.  Long time no see blog.  I know you’re probably not speaking to me now, because you think I just abandoned you without even a sayonara, but at least let me explain.  No, don’t look at me like that, I have a good reason, I promise!  Just give me one more chance.  Please?

So, the last you heard from me was early July.  I really have no explanation for the rest of that month, except to say that I was sad, and it’s hard to write witty, snarky posts when consumed by the sadness.  By the time I started to emerge from the funk, it was the annual family vacation time, which we all so desperately needed.  So, August started out pretty good, with a full week and a half of vacationing down the beach with my  husband’s crazy and wonderful family.  It was relaxing and fun and everything a vacation at the beach should be.  I laid in the sun and got tan, took my kids on rides and played games and mini-golfed, and even had a date night with my hubs at the local casino where I won some cash.  All and all it was the perfect getaway.

And then we returned, and I was punished for that enjoyment with extreme prejudice.  I got sick.  At first,  I thought it was just a bad cold, so I took a day off of work and went to my OB (because I’m there all the damn time and knew they wouldn’t charge me a $50 co-pay just to get a note for work).  I told them I had a cold and needed a note, they checked the baby’s heartbeat (although the baby was just fine thanks), gave me my  note, and I was on my way.  Although, the next day I felt even worse!  I decided just to take another day off to rest and try to recuperate, and deal with the whole “note” thing later.  But then Friday came.  And I felt the same.  I took another day (which is insane for me) and decided that it was finally time to go to an actual doctor.

Diagnosis?  Sinus infection.  Well, crap.  And since I’m allergic to penicillin and also pregnant, I was limited in the meds I could take.  So, I was given Erythromycin and sent on my way.  Cut to Monday where I still feel like hell and don’t make it into work again.  This was getting out of control.  I had no choice but to suck it up for Tuesday, since I was due in court, but by Tuesday afternoon, when I still felt like death, I returned to the doc to see what was up.

Apparently, I still had the infection as the meds had not worked.  On to antibiotic #2:  the Z-pac.  Once again, I dragged myself into work the next day for court, but by Thursday, I was done and took another day.  This was getting ridiculous, but I just couldn’t really function.  I once again womaned up for Friday and got to work, but knew I was in for another visit to the doc that afternoon when I felt exactly the same.  I happened to see the same doc from my first visit, and he informed me that my ears and throat looked just as infected as they had a week ago.  So, he prescribed the last possible antibiotic he could, which was Bactrum (#3), but also told me that if that one didn’t work, I’d have to go to an ENT to have my sinuses drained.  Oh, and that involved the breaking of my nasal bone to get up there and do that.  So that was good news!

Cut to Monday and I still feel the same and take another day off.  And also call the ENT, reluctantly, to make an appointment.  First available is for the following Friday.  Great.

The next 2 days are court days, so I’m at work, despite feeling the same.  Thursday I take off again.  Although, it was fortuitous that I was off, because I got a call early that morning from the ENT about a cancellation for that afternoon at 3:00.  Could I come in?  Damn straight I could.

Luckily, the doc was nice and didn’t break anything.  But, he also told me that it appeared that I no longer had the infection.  When I told him I still felt like crap, he poked around in all of my head orifices and said that it could be residual stuff in there or maybe even allergies.  He stuck some stuff up my nose and ended up sucking out a bunch of extreme snottiness.  Yum.  When I asked him about the nose breaking, he seemed surprised that the other doctor told me that, and explained that he doesn’t normally do that as a practice, unless it’s in very extreme circumstance.  Instead, he gave me some Nasonex, and sent me on my way.

Happy ending, right?  Oh how I wish it was that simple.  Cut to two days later and I’m sitting at my son’s baseball game feeling very uncomfortable and itchy.  I start seeing all of these little red dots appearing all over me and am feeling quite miserable (in addition to the current sinus misery I was still feeling, for whatever reason).  By the end of the day, I was a giant ball of red itchiness, so I passed on dinner with the team and ran home, stopping only to buy some oatmeal bath and gold bond menthol lotion.  Those were the only things that soothed my body when I had my last rash . . . 9 years ago when I was pregnant with my first child and contracted a rare pregnancy rash called PUPPS.  Miserable.  Hoping it wasn’t that, since I had 3 months to go before the baby came and the rash would subside, I went home and took my oatmeal bath and slathered myself with cooling lotion.  And . . . nothing.  I still felt the same, and actually it was getting worse by the minute.

By late that night, it had traveled to my face and I was completely covered with red bumpy itchies from head to toe.  Even my hair itched.  Not to mention other places that . . . well, I’m not going to mention.  At this point, I figured it wasn’t PUPPS, but a reaction to one of the meds I was taking.  This was the same reaction I got from Penicillin 20 years ago.  Currently, I was on Bactrum and Nasonex, and had had some Afrin/Lydocain sprayed up my nose 2 days prior by the ENT.  It could have been a reaction to any of these.  I just wish I knew which one.

Every attempt at sleep that night proved fruitless.  My entire body felt like it was on fire.  No matter how many oatmeal baths or lotion slatherings I administered, I felt exactly the same.  After my 3rd bath and lotioning at 3:00 am, I decided that sleep was not an option for me that night, so I grabbed my book and headed downstairs to read and then watch TV until the sun came up.  At 7:00, my youngest son woke up to see me downstairs, and was very confused.  I came up to greet him, and he looked at me with his head tilted and a bit of apprehension on his face.  “Mom, you look . . . different.”  I told him I was sick and he asked if I had the chicken pox.  I told him I just had a rash.  (Later, he would tell my husband that I looked “creepy.”  He wasn’t wrong).

After trying again to sleep and finding it to be impossible still, I took another bath and decided that I was again going to have to go to the doctor.  So, dressed in my finest pajamas, unwashed hair pulled back in a bun, glasses and no make up on, I ventured out into the world to scare more children.  After an hour of waiting to be seen, the doctor asked what was wrong, and I told her I was having an allergic reaction.  She said she would give me steroids, and I told her I was pregnant.  So, apparently, Benadryl was the only thing I could take.  Luckily, she had some there, so she gave me my pills and finally let me go home.  Worth noting is that she never even examined me.  Maybe I was just too “creepy” to touch?

I spent the rest of the day in bed and misery.  I could hear the entire extended family splashing around and whooping it up outside at my pool.  Did I mention that this was Labor Day weekend?  Yeah.  I had left strict instructions that nobody was to come in the house.  I was much too frightening to be seen.

Later that evening, I actually started to feel a bit of relief.  Whether it was the meds that were working, or complete and utter exhaustion, I at least was finally able to sleep that night.  A couple days later, the rash was cleared up and I felt better.  Still with the crappy sinus issues (since I’d stopped taking the Nasonex in case that was the culprit of the rash), but no longer on fire from head to toe.  That might be the best I can hope for at this point.

So, that’s my long, ridiculous story of this past month.  Of the 20 days possible for me to be at work in August, I managed to make it in a mere 7 times.  Creativity and writing were pretty much out of the question during that entire time as well.  So, that’s my excuse.  Are we good?  All square and such?  It really wasn’t entirely my fault.  You’ll have to blame my plague.

(Below are some pics of the rash.  These are not for the faint of heart, so if you’d prefer not to look, run away now while your eyes are still in tact.  You’ve been warned . . .)

 

Arm

Arm

Neck

Neck

Close up of big, itchy, pregnant belly.

Close up of big, itchy, pregnant belly.

It’s A . . .

When I got pregnant with my first child, the hubs and I were convinced it was a girl.  We had a perfect girl name all picked out . . . until the sonogram.  Then we struggled and fought for 5 months to come up with a boy name we could both agree on.

The second pregnancy was pretty much the same . . . both thinking it was probably a girl, and struggling to come up with a name we agreed on for our second son.

As I previously stated, we never thought we’d have to go through all that again, but now that I’m pregnant, I’ll admit it . . . I really really really want this one to be a girl!  Despite the odds not being in my favor (75% chance of having a boy after having 2 prior), I would not be swayed from my fervent hope of a baby girl.

When we first informed our kids that I was pregnant, it was unanimous.  The boys were hoping for a baby brother.  They were adamant that it was a boy, and even my hubs joined in by saying, “well, I make boys.”  I told him to quit jinxing my uterus.

Soon after, he left for a business trip to Brazil for a week, and when he returned, he brought back a few very Brazilian presents.  One such present was this:

Baby shoes

I teased him that if he made boys, these might not be our baby’s color.  Either that, or he bought the wrong size for me.  But, it warmed my heart that he seemed to want a girl as well.  At least for that brief moment when he was buying the shoes.

Immediately after we broke the big news of my pregnancy to everyone, I had a scheduled sonogram and blood testing for all types of issues.  Since I’m “high risk” or “advanced maternal age” (i.e. old as fuck), I got the full screening to see if anything might be wrong with the baby genetically.  What I didn’t realize at the time, as they never mentioned it, is that they could tell the sex of the baby once they received the results, which would be in about 2 weeks.  I found out that little detail about a week later, when I spoke to the lab tech who called with the preliminary results, and she told me that she would call back with the final results later that week.  Oh, and also, that she could tell me the sex of the baby at that point if I wanted.  Um, yes.  I wanted.  And then I waited.

When she called back and told me the news, I was at work.  I immediately texted my hubs to let him know:

Me:  Well, you were right.
Hubs:  The Havaianas were right?
Me:  Nope, you make boys.
Hubs:  I’m sorry, sweetie.  I really wanted you to have your girl.  Are you ok?
Me:  Yeah, I’m fine.  But damn you and your sperm!

And I really was fine.  It’s not like it wasn’t expected.  When she said “boy” it sounded completely right.  I’m a little disappointed, I’ll admit it.  But I will love this boy, just as I love the hell out of my other two.

So then, it was time to tell my kids that they had gotten their wish.  I wanted to do something fun and creative that they would remember, since I figured they’d be pretty excited about the whole thing.  So, I had an idea, and I ran with it.  First, I decorated a big box:

box

Then, I filled it with supplies I had grabbed on the way home, covered it with a blanket, and took the boys outside to reveal the big news.  I had them pull the blanket off on the count of three, and reveal the answer to the box’s question.  To say they were excited is putting it mildly.  My oldest ran around the yard pumping his fist and screaming, “yes!” for five minutes.  It was adorable.  I can only imagine the reaction if it had been a girl!

Boy balloons

So, now we will have to go through the fun of trying to name this one as well.  Based on the hubs and my history with attempting to name boys, maybe we’ll just wait until he comes out and let him name himself.  Might be quicker than waiting for his parents to come to an agreement on boy names.  (In case you were wondering, yes, I did already have a girl name totally picked out).

Also, I guess it’s time for a new baby picture as well.  Can’t have my little man wearing women’s shoes!  Might give him a complex right from the womb.

sono12wkshoes-boy

All You Need Is Love . . . and Brussels Sprouts

Recently, my husband and I attended a wedding for his boss in Fredericksburg, VA.  It is almost a two hour drive from our home to this location, yet despite the distance, we planned to drive down for the wedding and then return later that night.  The drive down was uneventful, thankfully, as you never know what you might hit when you have to drive near and around DC.  I’ve had the pleasant experience of sitting in massive traffic at midnight on the DC beltway.  But since we left our home 3 hours before the wedding started, in anticipation of such a possibility, we arrived in Fredericksburg about an hour before the wedding.  Not really knowing what “heavy hor d’oeuvres” would entail at the reception, we grabbed a quick bite a few blocks from the church at a cute little pizza place that served tapas in the bar.  We ordered a few tapas to share, and it was the perfect amount of food to tide us over for the remainder of the afternoon.

The wedding itself was lovely, if longer than normal, since it was a full service with communion and everything.  But, after an hour of sitting, standing, sitting, standing, standing, standing (luckily no kneeling), sitting, standing again . . . the ceremony ended with a full participant sing-along of the bride and groom’s favorite song:  All You Need Is Love by The Beatles.

Song

All You Need Is Love

When we first arrived at the ceremony, I reviewed the program and saw this printed on the last page.  Commenting to my husband, “I guess somebody is a fan of Love Actually,” we both wondered if there would be a horn section that would pop out of the pews randomly, and if a choir would appear in the upper balconies that lined either side of the church.  Honestly, we were both kind of hoping that would occur.

Click on picture for movie clip.

Click on picture for movie clip.

Once the sing-along ended, the wedding party exited the church and set up in the atrium for greetings, as you do.  While we were waiting for our turn to depart our seats, having been seated towards the back of the church, we turned and chatted it up with some of my husband’s colleagues sitting behind us.  As I was standing there, facing the back of the church, I happened to look up, and saw this:

Organ

Oh my god!  It is just like Love Actually!!  I was kind of disappointed at that point that they didn’t take advantage of this huge behemoth of an organ and have a full on musical accompaniment with their final movie-inspired song.  What a waste!

After the wedding, we made the two block trek to the reception locale, which was at a local wine bar/restaurant.  Upon entering the establishment, we were greeted by a waiter holding a tray of sparkling bubbly goodness that he was handing out to each guest.  As I am off the sauce for the time being, I declined and asked if he had anything non-alcoholic, like sparkling cider.  He informed me that they had lots of sodas to choose from.  Hmmm.  Not being a soda drinker, I opted for water.

Once we moved into the main area of the restaurant, we encountered a long table, filled with food items.  There was blue cheese and feta, there were some lovely lunch meats ala a charcuterie platter, and there were raw oysters.  Hmmm, again.  Realizing that I could not partake in any one of those items, I stood watching the hubs partake in these delicacies, while hoping that some other types food items would be served at some point.  After chatting with a few of my husband’s work friends, I realized that although my shoes were relatively comfy, after the up/down, up/down ceremony, the walk to the restaurant, and now standing for a stretch, I was actually getting more hungry for a seat than anything else.

Oysters

Nope to all of that.

A little while after settling in at a small cocktail table, a waiter walked over with some additional goodies on a tray.  He placed before us a lovely little bowl full of salmon wrapped around an herb spread.  Um, gee thanks.  It looked delicious, and more than booze, what I miss the most in my new restricted pregnancy diet, is sushi.  So this was just an awful tease.  In the “foods Misty can eat at the wedding” game, so far, I was striking out completely!

Salmon

Not nice.

Finally, after some time, we saw another guest walk by with some kind of vegetable on their plate.  The hubs, knowing that I was getting frustrated watching everyone else eat, and having had previous experience with a hungry, pregnant wife, decided to run up to the food table to see what was new that he could possibly retrieve for me.  Unfortunately, all he returned with was news that there were some roasted brussels sprouts brought out, but apparently they were scooped up as soon as they were set down.  (Was everyone there pregnant?).  He assured me that he spoke to someone, and that they would let us know as soon as more arrived.  At this point, I had merely consumed 3 glasses of water.

Eventually (this had to be after a full hour of being at this reception), an angelic lady walked over to our table with a huge bowl brimming with the most delectable brussels sprouts ever served.  She scooped about half of the bowl onto our plate, and what commenced was probably the fastest eating of a vegetable ever recorded in human history.  I scarfed those things!  They were delicious.  Either that, or I was experiencing a feeling akin to having the munchies whilst high on the weed, where anything I would have eaten at that point would have tasted like manna.  Or so I assume.

Luckily, those brussels sprouts broke the damn of food served that was appropriate for pregnant person consumption.  Thus followed some grilled shrimp, lobster egg rolls, seaweed wraps, beef spare ribs, and eventually a wonderfully decadent flourless chocolate cake.

By the time we left the reception for our long drive home, I was fully sated.  However, that didn’t stop the hubs and I from stopping at a local Arby’s to order a few items.  A shake for me, some cheese filled pretzels for him.  (I tasted them, by the way, and would not recommend them to anyone).

The moral of my story seems to be that while weddings are full of love and happiness and new beginnings, they are not the best place for pregnant people.  And also, that next time I need to cram some snacks into my little purse, along with my phone and lipstick.