Thursday, January 31, 2008

Car Shopping Sucks

For the record, I can't think of many things that would suck the life out of me faster right now than spending another minute in a car dealership. No pun intended re: a baby life coming out of me literally.

Once again, as is the case with EVERY stinking car dealership I've ever dealt with, they told me a vehicle had ABS, then I checked, and it didn't. I don't understand the confusion - it's so easy to turn the key to on and then look for the ABS light on the dash. No light = no ABS.

Needless to say, I STILL don't have a vehicle. Tomorrow morning at 10, however, I'll pick up the '05 Caravan that my mechanic blessed this afternoon. It's sage - ew. And then I'm done for a while.

Why haven't our local dealerships invested in making the emotional experience more positive? Everything is flourescent lights and white tile, stinky garage smells and over-cologned sales schmucks. What's wrong with comfortable furniture or even some decent lighting? When you consider how much money a person spends on a vehicle purchase, the sales atmosphere is appalling. I have such a headache right now. And yet, we continue to buy more vehicles.

Do I sound like a whiny, oversized pregnant lady yet? This exhausted and crabby chica is going to bed early tonight. As in 9:00 or perhaps even earlier. I look forward to a new day tomorrow - with very little time at Corwins.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Good Week and We're Only Halfway Through

It all began with my last out-of-town work trip on Monday. I went deep into Lake Country to interview a couple who had turned a cruddy old barn into a beautiful lake home. They were super nice, and they even had homemade apple crisp for me. The evening brought about a pedicure with my Mothers of Multiples mentor group, topped off with a Caribou Coffee stop. What nice friends to have - such truly delightful women.

Last night, my pal from over at Dandeelion Soup stopped by for a visit, armed with a tote full of baby boy clothes. She even helped me (a TON. actually) with getting the girls to bed after their rice pudding fiasco. What a mess still today.

Today, I wrote for a while, then took a long bath and shaved my legs before going to my OB appointment. Two soaks in one month - I feel like royalty! The non-stress test went well, and my doctor said everything is progressing nicely. While I'm not dilated even a full centimeter, she did make me bleed a little and said my cervix is 2/3 ready. We're on our way.

AND, she had no problem scheduling a C-section on my due date (Feb. 21) as a backup in case I don't go into labor by then. She didn't pressure me about Pitocin, which sounds like the most awful thing in the world. I still haven't heard one positive induction story, so I'd rather just skip it if it comes down to it.

This afternoon, I think I found a new vehicle for the short-term. It's a 2005 Caravan, and cheap enough that the dealership would actually have to cut me a check for a few thousand bucks when they take my Camry. I scheduled my mechanic to take a look and hopefully give his blessing tomorrow afternoon. When I called him, he said, "Are you sure this is what you want to do?" I explained about not wanting a car payment while I'm out for an undetermined amount of unpaid maternity time, and he said he couldn't blame me. "A van, though?" he asked. He knows me pretty well.

Yup - cheap and easy and hopefully temporary. By spring, I plan to be pulling in some dough again and then feel justified in getting something fun - like a Mazda CX9 or a Honda Pilot or something. In the meantime, here's a little less heartburn for poor DH (who hasn't been sleeping well at all lately - too stressed about getting the house done on time, keeping his clients happy, realizing he'll be "supporting" a family of five, and trying to squeeze in a little time at home to boot).

The same thing happened when we were about to have the girls and were facing some unpaid maternity leave. He worries about money and bills and the likes, but I don't think he realizes how much I put into savings when I do work. Maybe I'll be kind and walk him through my bank accounts once he gets home tonight. I could be really nice and remind him that because of the way I pay taxes, we'll be getting back a nice chunk of change in the form of tax refunds fairly soon.

I'm excited to see what's in store for the rest of the week. Happy Hump Day, my friends!

The Thing About Dreams

Anyone who knows me well will roll their eyes when they read the title of this post. I'll admit- I'm one of those dream people. I wake up every day with a new tale of what I witnessed or experienced overnight. And I'm compelled to look it up in my books and talk about it. I keep a dream book on the bathroom counter so I can read while I brush my teeth each morning. Some people find it entertaining - others annoying (i.e. DH). It's not like I can just say that I dreamed I was cooking. I have to remember the details - all of them - and how all the senses were affected.

I was standing at a counter of a magnificent yellow kitchen with huge sunny window. I was rolling a pie crust with a cold, antique marble roller on a tan-striped Formica counter top. Some female French jazz musician (kind of like Madelienne Peyroux, but not her) was singing in the background and cinnamon and butter perfumed the air. I was wearing a teal T-shirt dress with beads around the neckline and some really comfortable black ballet slippers, my hair up in chopsticks. I could hear young laughter in a nearby room, but don't know whose it was.

You get the idea. It's been this way my whole life. I think it comes from my dad a bit - he's one for vivid dreams, as well. Last night, DH's sister from Idaho called to let us know she'd had a dream that we had a baby boy, that he was early, but considered full-term (as in, good sized). And something about the numbers 7 and 14. She wasn't sure if he was 7 pounds, 14 ounces, born 7-14 days early, or born between the 7th and the 14th, but she thought she'd better forewarn us that her premonitions are often indicative of reality.

I had to laugh - and then wonder if it's fluke or if it's a Leo thing. I do know of a couple other Leo friends who are like this with dreams. What do you think? Connection to astrology or just searching for some sort of explanation?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Who says size matters anyway?

I was dressing Breanna yesterday and realized her 18-month bibs just will not do the trick. One sit-down and she'll split her snaps. So I grabbed a bigger pair from the back of the closet and they fit perfectly. Size 3T. No kidding.

I guess it shouldn't be that shocking, since my non-maternity pants range from size 6 to 12 depending on the brand, and my shirts go from XS to L (in going-out tops, anyway). What is wrong with this country - and why can't we get consistent sizes, like men's pants and shirts? Maybe it's a translation problem, considering most clothes aren't made in the USA anyway.

Regardless, 3T seems really exciting, especially since we haven't even dug into 2Ts. It makes the idea of another child joining the family seem just a little less daunting.

Another sign of growing up was when Breanna brought me the socks that Lillian had just yanked off, handed them to me, and said, "Here's some socks for you, Mama." As in a whole big sentence. At once. One that made sense, no less. A few minutes later, Lillian said "Go potty" as she went on the potty chair. Yay! Progress is a wonderful thing!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Anyone need a twin fix?

I'm looking for a babysitter for tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon for a few hours. A new publication that I'm going to start working with (very small beans) has an event that DH and I have been invited to, but it's a business thing. Care to come by? Or send a trusty teen from your family? Please call. : ) I need the help from 1 to about 5. Everyone always says they want to babysit but that I never ask, so here I ask.

Onto another topic... I went in for my non-stress test on Wednesday and had my vitals checked upon arrival. The scale said I'd gained three pounds from the week before. Whaaaat? Then I remembered, I always take my shoes off when I arrive. And that day, I was wearing tall black leather boots. So I asked to take them off and reweigh. The nurse rolled her eyes and said it wouldn't make much difference, but 2.25 pounds lighter, I felt much better. Not quite a pound of weight gain from one week to the next is much easier to handle than 3.

All is still looking good in the baby department, although it's still hard to imagine that we're less than one month away. This little guy is just bouncing away, fascinating our girls when they see the movements!

On a happy and ironic note, my one and only darling sister informed me yesterday that her big ultrasound (at her halfway point) is scheduled the morning of my due date, February 21. I told her that I'm asking for forgiveness in advance if my doctor gets called away to my delivery and they have to reschedule the exam. At least I know I won't get in the way of her ultrasound. It's all so very exciting!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What grows within me

Having always been somewhat of a girly girl, it's hard to believe that there's a testosterone-filled baby boy growing within me. I hadn't thought of it that way until just tonight, but by golly, there's a penis inside my uterus.

I'm sure I'm not the first mom to think of this during her pregnancy, but it certainly seems strange to me.

That's all. It's about as newsworthy as my post about a handful of toots from back when the girls were newly home from the hospital, but my oh-so-deep thoughts nonetheless. That's all. Good night.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

And the Old Woman Snores

As the cold I acquired from my generous daughters clings to its last breaths, I still have a bit of stuffiness. Apparently, the result is some pretty horrific snoring.

When I tried to get DH out of bed this morning, he was a bear. Even after turning on the lights and coming back into the bedroom twice, he still just couldn't drag himself out of bed. I finally asked what his problem was and he said grouchily, "You. You snored all night long and I hardly got any sleep."

I suggested that he could have gone out to the living room to snooze. He stated that he tried it, but my snoring was loud enough to bug him out there, too. Aah, the unintentional paybacks for those younger days when he'd go out for drinks and then come home to snore me awake all night. At least I had bedrooms on a different level of the house back then.

Oh well, it's only temporary. This cold is just a half-step from disappearing in its entirety. Thank goodness - there are few things in the world that could make me feel less womanly - between being caught snoring or letting one rip, what else can strip one's femininity quicker? At least I'm not sprouting any back hair or BO. (That I know of anyway.)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

One Mo'

This weekend, Lillian was quite the little ham. She especially gave my mom a kick when she'd ask for "one mo'?" of whatever she was eating. When Lilli would ask, she'd hold up her pointer finger and raise her eyebrows. Cute as ever.

Breanna still isn't quite herself. DH saw another molar coming into the back of her mouth, and that, along with all the drool, probably explains her need for extra sleep and cuddles.

My folks came for the weekend to help us prepare for the arrival of the new little guy. We pretty much just hung out, eating non-complicated meals, washing up boy clothes, playing with the girls, and just visiting. Wouldn't you know it, the one weekend we plan to do all kinds of laundry, the dryer in our rental stopped drying. It gets plenty warm, but isn't taking out the moisture. We're still waiting on the landlord to get in here to fix us up.

We ran out to the new house to show off progress today, and though it was SO cold (-7), it was still exciting. I'm so proud of DH for all the great, fast work he's done. I'm taking a break from shopping online for vessel sinks to write this little blog, but I'd better get back to it so I can narrow down to my top 5 before meeting with the plumber tomorrow.

Have a good week, friends, and be sure to bundle well. (And splurge on some cocoa!)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Big Baby C

I went to the clinic for my 35-week ultrasound today, which revealed a healthy-looking 5-pound, 4-ounce bundle of boy (give or take some size). No wonder I feel so gigantic!

Everything looks just as it should for 35 weeks, with no worries of going into labor tonight or anytime real soon. Good, since we still haven't packed our bags, nor have we lined up someone to hang with the girls from when I go to the hospital until my mom arrives.

But, we do know for sure now that we're having a son, so I'm going to rip tags off the boy clothes and get everything washed this weekend. Still not so sure where we're going to keep the boy clothes for now, but that's ok, I guess. We may end up with a Rubbermaid tote for a dresser until we're in the new house. I still cannot imagine squeezing another person into our little apartment, but I'm sure we'll make it.

The house is coming along beautifully, so we're still on track to move in right after the spring Parade of Homes. Hooray! I'll take my folks out to the building site this weekend and grab a few pictures. It looks a lot bigger now that it's roofed, but that could be affected a bit by the coziness of our current abode. I'm excited about the hugeness of the windows - especially overlooking our stamped concrete patio surrounded by a back yard of woods. I get more enthusiastic each time I see the continuing progress.

A few friends have recently asked how I like driving a mom-mobile. Honestly, I still have my Camry, driving it up until the last minute, I guess. I feel so unmotivated to get a big vehicle. Maybe next week...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Few New Things Learned Today

- Breanna knows how to climb the dining room furniture and stand on top of the table.

- Lillian's best defense is to lie down on the floor, where you can't finish dressing her.

- I won't die if I don't get a shower in before noon. It makes it easier for me to go down for a morning nap when the girls go if the sleep isn't out of my eyes yet.

- Breanna calls everything that she's not supposed to touch "hot" as she shakes her head back and forth.

- Lillian goes to sleep for naps much better if her head is covered with a light flannel blanket and she actually prefers to cover her own head.

- If I don't send out invoices right after completing projects, I'll keep forgetting for weeks. And weeks. I finally sent three of them tonight.

- When the girls still have colds and are whiny and driving me nuts with their whininess, I can shock them into forgetting they were whining by hollering a super-quick, loud whine back. Their eyebrows shoot right up and they sit there, stunned.

- They also understand that hugging your sister when she's struggling seems to help the situation. What a sweet thing to see.

Good Eats

This past weekend, we ate well. I tried some new recipes, and one was such a hit that I just had to share it. We had sort-of homemade sweet rolls as a side to our Mediterranean Chicken Packets on the grill and Greek Salad on Saturday night. The recipe is adapted from one in the Jan./Feb. 2008 issue of Cooking Light.

Lime Cardamom Sweet Rolls


1 box mix of Hot Sweet Rolls from the grocery store


1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 T. grated lime rind
3/4 t. ground cardamom
Dab of butter

Prepare sweet rolls as directed on package, using the crescent roll version. After cutting dough into triangles, mix up the filling and crumble on top of each triangle. Roll each into a crescent, then brush with melted butter. Sprinkle any leftover filling on top, then bake as directed on the box.

We forgot to make the glaze, but I'm going to try it next time. The glaze calls for combining 1 c. powdered sugar and 3 T. lime juice.

Without Dad's mom alive any more to give lessons on her Finnish Cardamom Christmas Bread, experimenting I go. Our local bakeries don't make Christmas bread, so I've had to find other ways to get that cardamom taste without the hassle of making the bread.

Monday, January 14, 2008

And now... nothing

After a very busy, somewhat exhausting weekend of company and bridal shower (and not getting home until 11:35 last night), I'm done. From here on out, the only official anything is a weekly doctor appointment. I have a couple writing projects that have no set due dates - as in grace periods of two to three months. But that's it.

Thankfully, by having the shower at my mother-in-law's house yesterday, I was able to dump off lots of stuff that had been in my way around here these past few weeks (gifts, favors, napkins, games, etc.). And I didn't have to bring any leftover food home, so that's a bonus, as well.

Now the great cleanup will begin. When my up-nort' pal Amanda and I left for my in-laws' house yesterday morning, our husbands were feeling rather miserable after their walking tour of our local downtown nightlife. My DH was still in bed, moaning, with the patio door open, snow coming in, and his head lying on his underwear at the foot of the bed. Hers was moaning on the inflatable bed in our living room, trying to forget his sleepwalking woes of the night before.

Once I realized how worthless the guys would be in helping us get out of the house (specifically getting the carseats out of DH's giant man truck and back into my nice little car), I said forget it. We ended up just driving the big diesel with the carseats still in it. When Amanda and I raced out of here, I left all the breakfast messes from us girls right where we'd made them. Upon returning just before midnight last night, I found everything exactly where I'd left it for the guys. French toast batter still on the stove top. Sausages still on the plate. Brummel and Brown still out. A full container of juice on the counter. And clean plates and silverware on the table (the only non-gross part of the whole scene). Oh well.

Today the girls had a good breakfast and are already down for naps - they're still not at 100%, but are getting much better. Now the dishwasher is running and all that's left in the kitchen is a mild wipe-down and the putting-away of clean stuff. Then on to laundry, which was neglected all weekend.

A great big hooray for a clean horizon. I'm really looking forward to these next few weeks of non-busyness. Maybe a little nesting, but nothing major. I might even squeeze in a few manicures. Aah, at last.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Recipe for a Backache

Both our girls came home from their mini-vacation with in-laws with nasty colds this week. Poor Lillian cries each time she coughs and they're both dripping gobs of snot. At least I can hand them a kleenex and tell them to wipe their own noses instead of having to do that for them. They're certifiably miserable, stinking of Vics and sick breath.

We had a very long day today. I had DH meet me at the walk-in clinic this morning, where we learned that Lillian has an ear infection on top of her cold.

I figured they'd sleep all afternoon, being sick and missing morning naps. Ha ha. Each slept about 20 minutes at different times. Both girls wanted to be held and rocked all day, but didn't want to share Mom with one another. That, combined with us not having a rocking chair, made for a very sore back for me. Needless to say, I'm ready for a vacation. Alone. With a masseuse. And lots and lots of pillows and fresh, hot coffee. (Oh how I miss the days when I could drink a whole cup of coffee in one sitting - without it getting cold.)

I think I'll just have to settle for a 10-minute sit-down to blog before getting back to dusting and vacuuming. I'm pretty sure it's been at least three weeks since I last dusted. Oh well. Happy Friday, friends! May you be blessed with a snot-free weekend!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Magic of Six Weeks

Only six more weeks and we'll have a full-term baby. At this point in my pregnancy with the girls, I was in the hospital, worried sick about our itty bitty preemies who'd just been taken by C-section. What a difference in our lives.

Everything is looking good for us baby-wise, but we're still not totally ready. DH still needs to pick up a bassinet from his buddy . And we have our 35-week ultrasound on Wednesday, during which we'll hopefully confirm with more certainty that we're having a boy. After that ultrasound, I plan to wash up a load of boy clothes and then do a bunch of last-minute boy-clothes shopping. I haven't wanted to go too crazy until I was more sure - just in case.

Other than the sleeping quarters and clothing, we're pretty much ready. I have a list made of what to pack in my hospital bag, DH's hospital bag, and the girls' bag, just in case they end up going to Grandma Becky's or something. My mom plans to come up here as soon as she gets the call to come take care of the girls, but in our climate, I always like to have a backup plan. Thankfully the hospital is literally four blocks away.

I've continued to look for some temporary work to get me by until the baby arrives so that the girls can still go to daycare (and so I don't get quite so exhausted), but no luck so far. I went on one interview and left within 15 minutes, just knowing in my gut that something illegal was happening with the skeezers conducting the interview. Then I had an actual job offer this week, but it ended up being basically a Kirby salesman except with knives. Anyone care to solicit their friends and neighbors and sucker them into giving your their friends' and families' phone numbers so you can peddle cutlery? I don't think so.

I'd rather just live on a budget and be wiped out from busy girls. The whole past two weeks have been humbling to say the least. So, I continue to lower my household cleanliness standards and increase the amount of peace in our home. It's still an adjustment, but really not so bad. The kids are down for naps, so I guess I'd better get back to making my grocery list. Company's coming this weekend. Hooray!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Holiday Highlights

So, yes, we're well into the new year and I'm finally posting a few pics from Christmastime. Oh well, a lot of people I know still have their trees up, so I figure we're ok here.

One of our highlights amidst all the travels included a nice dinner out. On December 22, my parents celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. My sis and her hubby and our cousin were all home with us, so we went out to Prime Time Charlies in Breezy Point (my dad's pick). Thirty-five years and they still look happy as can be.

The girls also got some wear out of their beautiful red Christmas dresses. I had one and asked my mom to make something to coordinate. No one will ever know which one has a tag. Hopefully they still fit for Valentine's Day.

I think everyone received gifts they liked and very few things needed to go back to the store. As always we ate a lot of great food, and as a special treat, I even had some Finnish Cardamom Bread the weekend before New Year's. Life is good.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Great Job, Lillian!

We just returned from Lilli's marathon Neonatal Growth & Development Clinic. This 4.5-hour exam covers evaluations from all sorts of specialists, such as a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, a dietitian, the head of our NICU, etc. The philosophy for this clinic is that at-risk kids (Lillian is high-risk because of her small birth size) come in every six months for evaluations in every field. The one long appointment means we don't have to trek all over the place for 15,000 different appointments on different days.

In every area, our Lillian scored great! No therapies needed and no return appointment in 6 months. Hooray!

Once we were all done, we stopped at daycare to pick up Breanna. I guess she was not quite herself and kept saying "Lala" as she looked for her sister. As soon as we returned home, Lala went to bed and then Breanna and I had some bonding time. I have to admit, I really enjoyed some one-on-one time with each of them today.

Happy Friday and happy weekend to you all!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

7 weeks and counting

I had a great check-up at my OB today. I can hardly believe how fast delivery day is approaching. We did a non-stress test (NST) and it was so fast and easy with just one baby in there. I'm going to do them once a week until delivery.

And we're almost through with my first week of being a stay-at-home mom. I'm thankful to have only had one big sobbing breakdown - that's a small miracle in itself.

I am completely astonished at how NOT cut out for this I am. Poor DH walked in last night to find the girls covered in supper and me covered in tears, sobbing in the kitchen. They are SO busy and SO curious and SO into everything.

Between keeping them clothed (now they both know how to strip and fling poop like monkeys), and keeping them from killing themselves as they catapult out of their cribs, and keeping them from eating dryer lint and keeping them from escaping through our deck door, it is constant. Add to that that they are weaning down to one nap a day and I'm beside myself. I don't dare to go to the bathroom without taking them in with me for fear of what I'll come out to find.

Today, I managed to brew up a cup of coffee (two hours after we got up) and set it back on the desk while I went to change a diaper. While I was buttoning up Breanna's pants, in walked Lillian with my empty coffee mug. "All done," she chirped in her sweet little voice. Sure enough, you could follow the trail from the entryway through the dining room and all the way to the computer desk. Coffee sure shows up well on cream apartment carpet.

Our Christmas gifts are still not all put away yet, and one of my articles is still not quite done yet. And my eyes still are drooping. but anyway. I've never been so relieved to drop them off at daycare for a few hours. When I reached the OB office, I think I relaxed for the first time all week.

Only one "work" day left. Wish me luck.