Thursday, November 27, 2008


My oldest child has an aversion. To clothing. She loves being naked! We're trying to teach her some modesty, but it's been slow going. And, seriously, the temperatures have been below freezing lately. Today she was, as usual, running around without any pants on. So, I told her that I was going to get some pants for her. She said, "I can do it myself," and disappeared into her room.

When Bean reappeared, she ... well, she wasn't bottomless.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 24, 2008


We all know pregnancy does weird and irreversible things to the body. I got back to my pre-wedding weight recently, but having babies has changed the shape of my body. No matter how much weight I lose, my clothes just don't seem to fit the same way.

And then there's my navel. I used to have a nice bellybutton. I had a little belly ring, which took all the courage I could muster (in addition to being an anti-dentite, I'm not big on getting poked with needles). But, my bellybutton popped out like an indicator on a Thanksgiving turkey very early in pregnancy. And it was huge. It looked like I had a golf ball embedded in my abdomen. And it was off-center. It poked out to the left.

My bellybutton was a constant source of embarrassment during my first pregnancy. I was working in an office downtown. People stared at my navel in the elevator. People knew it was me walking down the street because they saw the enormous growth. Kids pointed at it and asked, "What's that?!" I'm not kidding. I tried putting a Bandaid on it to hold it down, but that was like trying to stop Niagara Falls with one sandbag. Next, I tried an Ace bandage, but that just added bulk to the protrusion. Duct tape was not very comfortable. I finally resorted to buying non-maternity skirts with elastic waistbands and strategically positioning them over my bellybutton. As long as the skirt stayed in position (which was about 50% of the time), the effect of my bionic bellybutton was minimized. My navel never returned to its former glory. I miss my bellybutton.

But, the effect of pregnancy on the mind is equally strange. I have a friend who craves bricks when she's pregnant. All she wants in life is to take a big bite out of a brick and chew on it. I have another friend who was nauseated by the color orange. Driving through a construction zone was like a mine field. She dry-heaved her way past the pylons, work trucks, and reflective vests.

The latest thing with me is reading. I've been wanting to read a book I bought months ago called Confessions of an Ugly Step-Sister. But, for some reason, the thought of reading a work of fiction overwhelms me with nausea more than the smell of onions. I can read autobiographies. I can read political commentaries. I can read Uncle John's Bathroom Reader. I just can't read fiction. Even thinking about it right now is making me gag a little.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Bean had a long and, in my estimation, kind of rough day yesterday. First, she woke up early in the morning (we're talking, like, 3:00-4:00 a.m.) because she had a bad dream. The dream? She dreamt that Cakes was drinking tea, choked on it, and threw up. Bean is not a big fan of vomit (is anyone a big fan of vomit?), and she was fortunate enough to witness Cakes throw a trantrum until she threw up the other night. I think she was a little traumatized by the whole thing. More so than Cakes, who recovered within minutes. So, the morning started out with a nightmare. But, in spite of the nightmare, she was pretty happy and very helpful and cooperative all morning long.

That afternoon, it was off to the dentist for a filling. Now, I've mentioned that I'm an anti-dentite. I am fortunate that my child doesn't know this, and that she hasn't inherited my irrational fears. She sat patiently, nitrous oxide pumping into her little body, while the dentist quickly and efficiently drilled and filled. The dentist and his assistant both expressed amazement that someone so young was so well-behaved during a dental procedure (she handled it much better than I would have).

We got home, where she patiently played with Cakes all afternoon. No fights! Then, we got ready for dance class that evening, where she actively participated in class, socialized with the other little ballerinas, and chatted excitedly on the drive home about how "I'm going to be a great dancer!"

At bedtime, she voluntarily climbed into bed, said good-night, and went to sleep!!!! These days make those tantrum- and screaming-filled days tolerable.

For more feel-good moments of Mommy-ness, check out In the Dailies.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I didn't sleep very well the other night. We live out in the middle of nowhere, and have very few neighbors. Unfortunately, one of those very few neighbors is into partying on the weekends. Loud partying. So, I was lying awake, listening to the bass thump through the walls of my house at 1:15 a.m., debating whether or not to call one of the five police officers in my small town to come ask them to turn the music down a little bit.

After the partying, Cakes started having a turbulent night. So, I ended up in a twin bed with her, trying to keep her calm and quiet so as not to wake Bean, who was sleeping in the top bunk. And, of course, pregnant me has to pee every five seconds. Oh, the wonderful things pregnancy does to the body. And the mind.

In my few minutes of sleep between loud music, the toilet, and a shrieking cherub, I had one of what I refer to as my "pregnancy dreams." My dreams take on a rather bizaare angle when I'm pregnant. Once I'm in my third trimester, my dreams usually involve me being stuck in a very small space, my only escape being through a tiny opening that I couldn't possible squeeze my enormous, pregnant self through. Or being stuck in the tunnel section of some amusement park ride. Those dreams seem rather self-explanatory, don't you think? But, the dreams during my first two trimesters are just plain weird. So, without further ado, a glimpse into the sleeping pregnant mind ...

I was standing in my parents' bathroom, looking in the mirror to see if I was starting to develop the "baby bump," when I noticed that my belly button looked swollen (as an aside, my belly button grows to the size of a golf ball and protrudes off center very early in my pregnancies). So, I squeezed it. A little drop of water came out. I squeezed it some more. Water started gushing out of my navel like a faucet. Fortunately for me, there was an empty aquarium on my parents' bathroom counter, so I positioned myself over the aquarium and proceeded to squeeze all the water out of my belly button. After I had squeezed out every last drop of liquid, I looked into the aquarium and saw that, in addition to water flowing forth from my navel, a variety of large tropical fish had also come out. Some of the fish were as big as my hand, while others were the size of a pencil eraser. And then, I woke up.

And, there you have it. Strange.

Friday, November 14, 2008


My cherubs really are growing up. We packed away the crib and toddler bed, and got the girls their very own "grown-up" bed.

Needless to say, the girls are ecstatic. Cakes has fallen off the ladder four times, Bean has hit her head on the ceiling twice, and Cakes has hit her head on the underside of the top bunk once. But, this has not dampened their enthusiasm. Every bedtime is full of exclamations of:

"I just love my new big girl bed!"

"This bed is so cozy!"

"I love having a big girl bed of my very own!"

And, while I still have to wrestle Cakes into bed every night, Bean has gone willingly and excitedly. She often starts asking if she can go to bed about two hours before bedtime. We'll see how long this lasts.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


My girls are quite the artists. I've become rather adept at removing ink from vinyl kitchen chairs, permanent marker from light-colored carpet, and crayon from just about anything. But, by far, as demonstrated here and here, the cherubs' favorite art surface is their own bodies.

Cakes managed to turn the pink watercolor into a paste that rivaled Pepto Bismol in color and texture. It was quite tiring.

For more photos that will never see the inside of a scrapbook, check out We Are THAT Family.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


So, I went to this pregnancy's first OB/Gyn appointment yesterday. First things first, I am exactly 9 weeks pregnant as of today. My official due date is June 17, but I tend to run late and will probably actually give birth around June 24. The baby looks like a healthy peanut, with a very strong heartbeat. I love seeing those first images of the baby! I could make out little arms and legs, and a great big head, and that wonderful, beating heart.

And now, on to the Life Lesson.

I have been surrounded by illness for about a week. My husband (who continued to go to work in spite of his illness) had a bad chest cold. Bean spent a few days with a fever and the sniffles. Cakes is still recovering from a head cold. And I have had a hefty chest cold on top of the sometimes debilitating nausea. So, I've spent my week choking my way through each day while covered in a moderate coating of kid snot.

So, as I was saying, I had my first OB/Gyn appointment yesterday (and let me preface this story by saying that I've been so distracted by household illness that I forgot to shave my legs at all this past week). Anyway, I was at the doctor's office. We discussed some medical history, and then the "lady doctor" proceeded to do what "lady doctors" do.

Then, I began to feel a tickle in my throat. I tried to ignore it. It would not be ignored. I tried to politely clear my throat. The tickle remained. I coughed a little "ahem"-type cough. The tickle grew worse. Suddenly, in the middle of everything, I began coughing uncontrollably. It was that kind of cough that makes you dry heave and gag and barely get a breath in between hacking. The doctor grabbed the trash can in case I began to throw up from the coughing. And, then I peed myself. Yes. Ah, pregnancy.

All in all, it was an eventful appointment.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


You know a book that I really enjoyed while I was pregnant with my first? It's called Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy. Oh, man! It was so funny! My husband saw an interview with her on TV and got me the book during my second trimester with Bean. I couldn't read it sitting on the couch, because of my tendency to laugh so hard that my bladder suffered a bit.

One of the things that really stuck with me throughout my pregnancy (and all subsequent pregnancies) was the concept of "pregnant head." Have you ever heard of it? It's where your face swells up during pregnancy so that you look like your own ugly twin. I became obsessed with my facial swelling. At every OB/GYN visit, I gave my midwife the "pregnant head" definition and asked her if I looked like my ugly twin yet. I pored over photos of my face from each month, seeing if I could find any differences. I pointed out to my husband all the celebrities I noticed with prominent "pregnant head." And, then, there are those people whose faces never quite recover from "pregnant head." Oh, the horror!

Now, sometimes people get "pregnant head," and it doesn't make them look unattractive. They just look a little different. That wouldn't be too bad.

Margaret, my midwife, laughed at me every month when I went on and on about "pregnant head." Then, she got pregnant, and was surprised to find herself obsessing about the very same thing. She would look carefully in the mirror each morning, she would ask her co-workers if her face was getting puffy. I was just amused that I'd been able to pass along my pregnant neurosis.

Did I get "pregnant head"? Looking back at photos, I think I did. A little. It was most noticeable in the weeks right before I gave birth. And, I think my face went back to normal afterwards. That's what I tell myself.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I'm an anti-dentite. I shudder at the thought of some masked, gloved person poking sharp instruments into my mouth. It's like some form of medieval torture. I think dentists might be the most feared and/or despised group of medical professionals in existence.

Why are dentists so scary? I don't know. I think people don't like sharp things in their mouths. I think tooth pain may be worse than labor. I'm serious. I didn't use drugs with Cakes, and I think I prefered it to getting my teeth cleaned. By a huge margin.

But, today, I had to choke back the urge to scream and hyperventilate as I took Bean on her first trip to the dentist. She put on a brave facade as various people cleaned, flossed, poked, and flourided her teeth. She even eventually enjoyed "thirsty Joe."

The good news? Bean came through her first dental appointment with flying colors. She was well-behaved and cooperative, even if she was a bit nervous having so many things put into her mouth by strangers.

The bad news? We have a cavity. Nothing like a cavity in your kid's mouth to make you feel like a horrible mother, huh? It's not big, but it's there and it needs to be filled. Yikes!