Saturday, January 21, 2012


Do you ever just stop and look at your kids and wonder, When did they get so big?
I've been doing that a lot lately.  I'm not one of those moms that gets teary over my kids growing up.  In fact, when I read my friends' statuses on Facebook about how "it's bittersweet," I just don't relate.  I love my kids as babies.  But I love it when they do things that show that they're growing up.  I want my kids to be independent!  I don't need them to be my babies forever.  The more they grow up, the less they have to depend on me for every little thing.  I have yet to shed a tear putting away baby clothes or looking at old pictures.
Both boys have had some "big boy" accomplishments recently.
Jacob has been in his big bed - with a bed rail - since last summer.  But this week we took off the rail.  He hasn't fallen out once.  The last month or so, he's been sleeping through the night MUCH better, and he goes back to sleep without much intervention when he does wake up.  (He used to need snuggling, talking, more snuggling, and then he MIGHT not cry when you left the room.)  His vocabulary is becoming so clear and articulated - it amazes me he's only been talking for less than 6 months.
Nathan went to the dentist for the first time last week.  He so reminded me of Paul - "I'm really not comfortable with this situation, but I'm too cool to let you know that."  He did great, even though they had to do some scraping on his front bottom teeth.  They took x-rays of his teeth, and his adult teeth on top are really close to being in - the baby teeth are already loose.
They do grow up so fast.  But I'm not sad about it.  I can't wait to see what my kids are like when they are grown up.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Do humans have dark meat and white meat, or do we have just all red meat?

(Pondering cannibalism.)

Update. For Real.

So.... I've had lots of single-subject entries lately, but nothing about life in general.  Get comfortable, this is going to be a long one.  (........TWSS?)

We finally got the accident report for our wreck.... A month later.  It turns out they're blaming most of it on Paul - even though we were the last vehicle involved.  He caused damage to two cars, yes, but I'm pretty sure there was damage before we even got there - why else would they be stopped in the middle of the Interstate?  I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I don't think there's anything we can really do to change it, other than pray our rates don't jump up.
I'm at 27 weeks preggo now....  Almost to that last trimester, and just under 3 months until the due date!  I'm feeling pretty good, but still tired more than it seems like I should be (maybe something to do with two little boys, and my waking up at night).  I've found that there is a "perfect" caffienation window....  Late enough it will still be effective to stay awake during the afternoon, but early enough it won't keep me awake when I need to go to bed at night.  So that means it has to be between about 10 and 11 in the morning.  But usually I can get something done while they nap if I have a Dr. Pepper or a Crystal Light "energy" drink.
During December, I had a bad cough, which did a number on this hernia I have above my belly button.  It's been there since I was pregnant with Jacob, but definitely has gotten bigger, and the coughing really made it start pooching - about the size of a half an apple sticking out above my belly button.  I have repeatedly asked my doctor about it, and she said as long as it still goes back in (which it does whenever I lay down), it's not an emergency.  Not that I wanted to have surgery, but it's ugly (if you think it sounds gross, you should see it!) and it hurts pretty bad by the end of the day if I don't take an hour or two of laying down and "letting it rest" every day.  I showed it to her while standing up last appointment (looks much worse), and she suggested I get a maternity support belt to help keep it in.  I got what is actually a postpartum support belt (identical to a hernia support belt, but cheaper!), which is about 9 inches wide and closes with velcro.  Sexiness.  But it really is helping.  In the week and a half since I started wearing it (all day, every day), I've only had one day where it hurt at the end of the day - the day I spent scrubbing the bathroom.
And adding to this vision of sexiness....  I've started having to wear compression pantyhose.  I've griped about my varicose veins every pregnancy - in fact, they were the first indication that I was pregnant with this baby.... Before any other symptoms showed up, before I even took a test, my veins swelled up and started aching (which is why I went and bought a test).  They've gotten worse (yet I still only have them on one leg!), and I have a new "patch" on the lower part of my shin that itches.  I griped about it to my doctor, and showed them to her (ugly!), and she sent me to a vein specialist.
Think I needed to go see a vein doctor? (And this is first thing in the morning, on a day they look "good!")

The specialist told me that the ones on my foot were bad enough they could ulcerate (is that the word?  become open sores).  That sounded just lovely.  Well, the whole experience was just lovely, from the paper shorts I had to wear in the examining room, to rolling said shorts up to my crotch and having "mug shots" taken of my legs with my name taped on my butt.
Let me tell you about these support hose. When I took them out of the box, they looked about big enough to fit Jacob.  I know they'll stretch to fit, but....  It was still intimidating.  So I tried to put them on, like you'd put on pantyhose.  FAIL.  These things are tight.  How tight?  They are the kind you have to have a prescription to even get - that's how much they "compress." When I put them on my hand and arm, they are uncomfortably snug.  Imagine trying to get these things over my size 12 hooves.  I tried for a good 10 minutes, and got half of one foot in.  So I gave up, ate lunch, took a nap, and before trying again, researched online. (Yeah, those YouTube video models are NOT wearing real support hose - or at least not appropriately sized.)  So I tried again.  You have to turn them completely inside out to the foot, put your foot only in, then the other one, then shimmy them all the way up.  Once you get your feet and calves in, it's not that much different than regular pantyhose.  But that first little bit is painful and awkward and really uncomfortable.  Once they are on, they're not that bad, and they definitely did make a difference of what my legs looked like at the end of the day - not swollen and heavy feeling.  But definitely not looking forward to wearing these for the three fattest months of being pregnant.  (Thankfully, they actually do fit over my belly, and don't feel tight.... yet.)  The good news is, the vein doctor said that I can get the veins fixed/removed/whatever they do 6 weeks after I have the baby - maybe I'll actually have good looking legs this summer!
So lets recap for your mental viewing..... 6 months pregnant.  Support hose.  Hernia belt.  From 7:30 AM to 10:30 PM.
 plus this.....on fat me.....  (Because we all know those are NOT pictures of me, and I am not taking any!)

The vision of sexiness.  My husband can't keep his hands off me.  (Not.  I'm not sure he even wants to touch me!)
In other news....
The boys are ready for spring.  I'm ready for spring!  They are fighting and nit-picking all the time, it seems, and seeing just how far they can go with defying me.  (Nathan telling me that's NOT how you do whatever I tell him to do - usually in violin - and Jacob crossing his arms and putting his head down when I tell him to do something.) I really want to just be able to kick them outside with no jacket and no shoes whenever I'm about to snap.  But taking 10 minutes to dress them just for them to spend 5 minutes outside seems so pointless.
I have a mouse in my kitchen.  If you've ever seen Ratatouille, I want to call to mind two scenes:  When the old lady at the farm house sees the rats in her kitchen and takes after them with the shot gun (which I could totally see myself doing, if I ever saw the little beasts), and then shoots the ceiling and it falls in and there's like a million rats living in her ceiling.  Whenever I know there's a mouse in our house, this is what I envision.  I can sometimes hear one in the wall when I'm trying to sleep, and I imagine a whole community living in there.  And I may not be far off, because it seems like when we catch one, we catch several.  Gross.  The other scene is when the health inspector comes into the restaurant, and the rats are all over the kitchen cooking the meals.  Not that they cook my meals here, but I sometimes hear one scurry away when I get a drink in the middle of the night, and I envision that there's like 20 of them.  Luckily, ours are mice, not rats - at least as far as I know.  (Shudder.)  But nonetheless, the little [insert bad name here] are getting quite adept at stealing bait.  We've caught 4 in the last couple weeks, but the bait has been stolen 3x that many times - and we use peanut butter, not a hunk of cheese they can grab and run off with!  I seriously would take a shot gun after them if we had one.
We've decided on what type of vehicle we want to get when we replace the car.  We wanted a crossover, but they are not made to use the backseat on an everyday basis.  We looked at SUVs, but the gas mileage about made me pass out.  (I couldn't go from getting 22+ to getting half that.)  So we decided we'd go with a minivan, as much as I hate the idea of being stereotyped as a "minivan mommy."  We're going to go with a Toyota, not because of all the safety bells and whistles they're always bragging about, but because they last forever (like it or not).  We're looking to get a mid-2000s model, and probably have to take out a small loan (which I hate the idea of), but we just have not been able to save up the money to pay cash for the whole thing.  I'm hoping we can get about half the money from selling my car (privately, not trade-in, which always screws you over), and maybe by then we'll have a small chunk saved up as well.  (Although every time we try, something breaks and we have to use that money to fix something else - like the house A/C.)  We're going to cram all 3 kids into the car for at least the first couple months.  Not ideal - definitely crowded, but it's more responsible, we feel.  And we're praying the exact right van shows up when we need it.
I'm having the mealtime showdown AGAIN with Jacob.  He wouldn't touch his breakfast this morning, which made him really moody and overly emotional about everything.  But he has got to learn that he can't just skip a meal and get rewarded with snacks all morning.  I did give him half a roll with peanut butter on it at 10, but that lasted less than an hour.  It's moments like this my backbone as a mother is sorely tested.  Nathan did this, but wanted milk for his between-meals.  Jacob just wants chips and sweets.
We're trying to get back in the swing of being social again.  We haven't really done anything social on a regular basis for a long time.  It's just easier to sit at home and not try to work out a time that works for everyone.  (Especially with Paul's work schedule.)  But it's not good to be hermits, and we want our kids to know hospitality, so....  We're trying.  Hopefully having a baby in 3 months won't throw us back into hermitage.
Sigh.  It's 11, so I'm going to go fix an early lunch for these guys and then probably send them to bed early for their naps, too.  Because if I have to tell them not to hit/kick/shove again, as they whine at me with snotty noses, I'm seriously going to blow a gasket.  (I'm such a cold, insensitive, uncaring mother.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nesting Much?

I don't know if it was the few days of really nice weather we had, or what, but I have been cleaning the house like mad.  I guess some have called it nesting, but so far my only "nesting" tendencies are for really weird projects, like washing windows and polishing kitchen cabinets.
Yesterday, I let my children play in the road while I cleaned the front room.  (Okay, not really) (Well, kinda.  I caught Jacob at the end of the driveway.)  Then in the afternoon, I spent four hours cleaning and organizing the dining room (which is also the school room).  Yesterday, I spent 2+ hours cleaning the bathroom, which included getting down on my knees and scrubbing the entire floor with a brush - something I haven't done in..... Well, who am I kidding?  I've never done it.  GROSS.  (Our linoleum is very textured, which disguises dirt.... Unless you know what it's SUPPOSED to look like, then it just looks gross and dirty all the time.  Not to mention the fact it's the bathroom, and we have two little boys.)
I was wanting to tackle the kitchen before rewarding myself with time to blog, but I figured the kitchen would just look like this again in 24 hours, so why even try?
I've noticed, though, that in every room, I have something that I don't clean.  Front room:  computer desk (not my mess)(okay, not ALL my mess).  Living room:  tv cabinet.  Dining room:  top of the tall cupboard.  Bathroom:  top of the towel cabinet/dresser.  Kitchen:  top of the microwave.  Mostly I think I avoid these places because they're all landing spots for those little tiny annoying things.  Game pieces, marbles, pennies, paper clips.... Anything I want to keep away from the boys.  I need to get better at putting them away right away, and not stashing them.
Well, that's kind of the story of my life.
But my major battle is the dining room table.  Probably because it is in the traffic way to EVERY room in our house - to go to the kitchen, back porch, or bathroom, you walk through the dining room.  To get from one of those rooms to the living room, our bedroom, or the front room, you walk through the dining room.  The door we come in from outside is in..... the dining room.  We eat there, do school there, I pay bills there.....  So what do you think it looks like most of the time?  That's right.  A huge pile.  It's the landing zone, I'll-deal-with-this-later stacking place.
And it grates on me.  It really does.  So I made this sign:

It works.... About half the time.  Worst is after we have one of those weeks, where you're running, running and don't get time to do much cleaning.  I've found I can take 5 minutes every day to clear off the table, or let it go for 3 days, and it takes me an hour to clean off.  (How does that work?)
But having a clean house just makes me feel SO MUCH BETTER.  I don't know if I view it as a reflection on me as a wife, or what, but it is so weird how peaceful I feel to sit and look at a clean, organized room.
And with that, I need to go clean off the dining room table.  And finally tackle those pans in the kitchen.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Blame My Husband

Apparently, Paul thought my blog was boring, so he's been messing around with adding some things.  I think the only permanent fixture (so far) is the music player to the side.  I suggested the first 6 or so songs, then he added the rest.  But he figured out the custom "skin" (a flower from our yard), and how to resize it for the sidebar, so I'm grateful.
So far, I can't get him to take on re-vamping the whole thing.  I know it's in need of a makeover (how long have I had that sunset picture up there?), but right now, it ranks lower than even cleaning the kitchen on my list of things I'm motivated to spend time on.

Monday, January 2, 2012

$400 Worth of Hair (alternate title: The Longest Ever "I Got a Haircut" Story)

I think I first heard about the concept of selling your hair in O. Henry's short story The Gift of the Magi.  I've donated my hair twice to Locks of Love, but for some reason, decided to look up the possibility of selling it.  It turns out there were several places online that you could do this!  So I thought about it..... For a long time...... And finally decided that when I cut my hair next, I'd try to sell it.
Well, when December rolled around, I was dealing with this:

The bottom one is what it looked like after washing and air-drying it.  The ponytail is what it looked like a few days after I washed it, after keeping it tamed down in a braid.  My ponytail was 14 inches long, and over 4 inches around at the band.  That's just a lot of hair, no matter how you look at it.
Don't get me wrong.  I like long hair.  I do think I have pretty hair, even though it may be vain to say so.  But.......  The fact it took me at least 10 minutes just to brush it out every day, and about 20 minutes in the shower whenever I washed it was REALLY getting old.  So I told Paul that the hair had to go before this baby gets here.  He said he was fine with it.  I think he was secretly relieved that he wouldn't be getting yelled at in the middle of the night anymore whenever he rolled over onto it.  :)   I asked him what he thought about me selling it, and he said he was fine if I went ahead and tried.
The website I liked the looks of most was  I liked it because you could post several pictures and write as detailed of a description as you wanted, and it sounded like they had a great "tech support" if you have questions or problems.  A "featured" ad was like $26, and would be posted for 3 months.  I figured I'd try it out.... If the three months passed without selling it, I'd still get it cut and just donate it.  I might not sell it, but then I've spent $26 dollars on stupider things.  The hardest thing for me was deciding how much to list it for.  I decided I'd try to get $300, but I'd settle for $150.  But then I looked at several ads with hair similar to mine in color, length, and texture, and most of them wanted over $1000.  Hmmm.......  The question was - what might I get for my hair, and what could I be happy with getting for my hair?  I'd rather sell it than turn people off by a price tag.  I bumped it up to $400.  I figured that by the time I counted the ad price, the haircut, and the shipping, it would be close to $100 anyways.  (It was more like $60, but anyhow.)
I got an offer the same afternoon as my ad posted.  The guy was a creep - asking for more pictures, if I could cut my hair a certain way..... No.  I got a couple other weirdos asking if I'd shave my head/do a pixie cut/military cut.  No.  Then I got an offer from a guy from Minnesota.  He asked if I would cut an extra inch off (I'm guessing to make it an even 15 inches).  I told him I wasn't willing to cut it any shorter, and he said he'd pay the full asking price anyways.  Very straighforward.  As soon as I got the money out of Paypal and into our bank account, I went and cut it.
Night and day.
The night after cutting it, no styling products.  (No, I did not get it permed or colored.)

Because I know you're all dying to see the belly and my children who are still in their pajamas at 6 in the evening.  And my hair that I haven't combed all day.  I'm lazy like that.

I forgot how easy short hair is.  I can comb it out in 10 seconds.  All I have to do to style it is get it wet to make it curl up again.  I do have to wash it more often (2 or 3 times, verses the once a week I was), but it takes like 3 minutes.  I am going to love having short hair.
And as I mentioned in the post about our wreck.... We have a $500 deductible we'll owe to get the truck fixed.  I made the deal on my hair the day after our wreck.  So God provided most of the money for the deductible, money we just didn't have any other way.  It's not the recliner I was hoping to buy with it (nursing mamas need a recliner!), but.....  It's being used for something we really need.  And God obviously knew we were going to be needing it when he put the idea in my head.