solo parenting again

What with all of the focus on the new baby lately, I sort of forgot to mention that Dave is flying to England today. (Well, tonight. He’s on the red eye.) This time it’s for business reasons rather than just fun/family stuff, and the trip has been planned for a while, so it’s not like I didn’t know this was coming.

And the funny thing is that I’ve been totally chilled out about the idea of this trip all along. When Dave first mentioned it weeks ago when I was still pregnant, my reaction was all, “Eh, whatever. Two kids, one me, no biggie.”

It wasn’t until late last night that I suddenly almost burst into tears. I’m sure it’s a combination of post-partum hormones, sleep deprivation, and maybe a little leftover trauma from the last time he went to the UK.

But it doesn’t even make sense, because it’s not like I’m going to be on solo parent duty for the two weeks that he’s away. My mom is flying up tomorrow and she’ll be here for the majority of the time that Dave is gone.

(My dad is coming up for a few days in there too, but since he’s not a big fan of travel, he’s only coming for a few days rather than 12 days like my mom.)

So I know I’m going to be fine. I’ll have backup. The whole thing is totally manageable.

Dave multi-tasking with both kids

But holy crap, we’re really going to miss that guy.

Safe travels, babe. Love you.

the old wives' & their tales can go jump off a cliff

I’m getting induced tomorrow. I’ve come to terms with the fact that this baby is not going to evacuate her current premises willingly, so we’re going in after her.

And it’s funny, I’ve been joking for a while about how I have a feeling that this baby is going to be more like me. Mainly because Catie is so much like Dave, but also because this child will be the second girl (just like I am), with a large-ish age gap between herself and her older sister (Catie is almost 4 1/2, my sister and I are 5 1/2 years apart). I don’t know, it’s just a hunch that she’s going to inherit more of my traits than Catie did.

And as it happens, my mom had to be induced when she was pregnant with me, because I had no intention of being born either. So there you have it, commonality from the get-go.

It’s sort of weird, having the induction scheduled and knowing that I’m going to have a baby tomorrow. It’s actually helped calm down my tendency to over-plan. Today we’ve spent doing laundry, getting groceries, setting up the pack ‘n’ play in our bedroom, all of those last-minute preparations.

And I’ve been trying to soak up as much of Catie as I possibly can, enjoying these last few minutes of her as an Only Child. It’s probably weird that I haven’t been emotional about that until just now. Go figure.

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And now for a completely unrelated topic!

Ever wondered about some of those old wives’ tales that people swear will make you go into labor? I’d like to tell you right now that they’re all crap.

Here are some of the ones I’ve heard repeatedly, along with my personal experience:

* Acupuncture – While it definitely made the baby “drop” a lot lower, nothing else has happened.
* Sex – No comment. (People in my family read this website, I refuse to say anything else about it.)
* Walking – I’ve been on the treadmill every day for the past two weeks. No luck.
* Other exercises (prenatal yoga, squats) – No luck.
* Castor oil – Relatively unpleasant (not as bad as what I’d heard some people describe, but still not what I’d call a good time), and it didn’t help at all.
* Spicy food – Ok, this is the one I couldn’t really commit to. I ate things spicier than I would normally eat them, which is still way milder than what the old wives’ tale intended. I am a wimp about spicy food, I just can’t handle it at all. It’s physically painful for me. So, eh, whatever.
* Evening primrose oil – I’ve been taking the pills orally and also applying it, um, internally. Nothing.
* Red raspberry leaf tea – Nope. Doesn’t taste bad, though.
* Warm baths – Nice, but totally unhelpful.
* Nipple stimulation – I’ve yanked on my own boobs about a million times, trying to mimic the feeling of a nursing baby or a breast pump, because (allegedly) it’s supposed to make the uterus contract. Let me tell you what I learned: it hurts. A lot. And it didn’t do a damn thing.
* Eggplant Parmesan – It was delicious. But it didn’t do anything.
* Pineapple – I love pineapple. I’ve eaten so much that the inside of my mouth is sore from the acidity. And it didn’t help one whit.

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Back to the whole Impending Baby Thing!

So, yeah. Induction starts tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. Hopefully we’ll have an announcement before the day is over. Oh, and a name. Because we still don’t have a clue what we’re going to call this poor kid.

But, my sweet little Baby No Name, we can’t wait to meet you. And your mama can’t wait to not have this view every time she looks down.

Current view. See that pointy part sticking out? That's her butt.

You have no idea how much more comfortable we will both be once you’re out here in the world. I promise. We’re gonna have so much fun.

Best! Friday the 13th! Ever!

(One of Catie’s favorite lines from the movie “Tangled” is Rapunzel swinging around a tree, yelling, “Best! Day! EVER!” She repeats that a lot. Hence the post title.)

Why I love this particular Friday the 13th, superstitions be damned:

1. Catie got dressed and left for daycare without any fights this morning. Hey, it’s the little things.

2. Beaumont is currently at the vet getting shaved. (Insert your own shaved p***y jokes here.) We have to do this every summer because his fur is so long and it gets all matted and nasty. And yes, he looks ridiculous afterward:

Beaumont post-haircut
(Exhibit A: his first haircut, 2 years ago.)

But he’s also a lot happier. And since he is currently in “Guard the Pregnant Lady” Mode and is all over me constantly, I’ll also be a lot happier when there’s less fur on him. Hopefully it means I’ll stop having the recurring nightmare about being attacked by a bear, when I wake up and realize that it’s because I’ve got a ridiculously furry cat sleeping up against my face, suffocating me.

3. The housekeepers are coming today! I always feel a little weird mentioning that we have housekeepers, because it feels so… I don’t know. Snobby? Elitist? I get oddly defensive about it. But you know what? Whatever. For the mental health benefit alone, I consider it to be a totally worthwhile expense.

Oh, also? Knowing that the house will be all sparkly and clean should I happen to go into labor in the immediate future? HUGE load off my mind. You can’t even imagine.

4. I’m getting a massage this afternoon. All of y’all who’ve had babies know how late pregnancy can make you ache all over. My back and shoulders are currently a disaster zone of knots and pains. Then Catie’s daycare teacher Mandy informed me that a new massage therapist opened up shop in the building next to the daycare, and she had left a stack of coupons for them to pass out to the parents. When I checked it out, saw that this lady is certified to do prenatal massage, and that the coupon was for 50% off her normal hourly rate? Hell yes, I booked that sucker. I cannot wait.

5. It’s Clean Sheet Day. Between the massage and the fresh sheets on the bed, I’m already looking forward to bedtime tonight. It’s gonna be so good, y’all.

6. Our sixth wedding anniversary is on Sunday, the 15th. Awww.

Still laughing.

And we’re still laughing. (Most of the time.)

happy lazy Mother's Day

I feel like there’s so much I want to blog about – Catie just said some awesomely hilarious thing, or some weird pregnancy symptom happened that I think I should document – but when it comes time to sit down and write it, it all sort of flies out of my head. I could blame Pregnant Brain for that, I guess. My attention span feels like Dory in “Finding Nemo.” Wait, what was your name again?

So. Mother’s Day.

I woke up on Sunday morning with a killer headache, which is unfortunately really common right now. The best I can tell, it has something to do with weather changes (when it goes from sunny to rainy and back to sunny again in just a few hours); it seems that the rapid barometer shifts give me headaches. And that kind of sun/rain/sun weather happens a lot in the spring in North Carolina.

I took one of my OB-prescribed headache pills and headed back to bed to let it do its work. Soon I had a little companion who wanted to make me feel better.

My headache companion #1

[Side rant:

How is it possible that I need to cut her bangs again already? I swear my mom just cut her hair in late March! Look, I have photographic proof:

Getting a haircut from Mimi is HILARIOUS...

See, she got a haircut! Now it’s barely 6 weeks later, and I find myself constantly pushing her hair off of her face because I want to see her eyes. Is she sneaking my prenatal vitamins when I’m not looking? Is she actually Rapunzel? What’s up with the crazy rapid hair growth, kid??

/end side rant]

Oh, we were also joined in bed by my other headache companion, who was basically useless.

My headache companion #2 (this one is useless).

Beaumont will not leave me the hell alone these days. He did the same thing when I was pregnant with Catie, so I guess I must be giving off some kind of baby pheromones, but he’s driving me bonkers. I do not like being herded around the house by a cat, nor do I like having his giant fur-shedding body up against my face when I’m trying to sleep. A little personal space would be nice, is all I’m saying.

Once I was feeling a little better, we fired up the Gamecube (do they even still make those anymore, or are we officially old school?) and played Legend of Zelda in bed. Or rather, I played while Catie watched and narrated everything I did. (“Get the bad guy, Mommy! Oh look, there’s a treasure chest! Quick, open it! What’s the treasure??”) We managed to waste most of the day doing that, it was pretty fun.

My two Mother’s Day gifts from Catie:
1. Dave took her to the store and let her pick out a card for me. It’s 101 Dalmatians themed, and she wrote her name in it and covered it in flower stickers. I love it.

2. She cleaned up all of her toys without me having to prod her about it. (In fact, when Dave wandered into the family room while she was cleaning up, she told him, “Daddy, you have to get out so I can pick up all my toys like a big girl.” He was about to get offended at being told to get out, but I explained that she wanted to be alone so she could have her big “Wow!” Moment to impress us when she was done. We left her to it, and then made a big, “Look at this room! You did a great job cleaning up! High-five!” fuss over her when she was finished.)

My Mother’s Day gift from Dave was that he finished up all of the last-minute items on my to-do list before Baby 2.0 arrives. That beats flowers any day in my book.

For dinner, since the weather had gotten really nice, we put out some citronella candles and sat on the deck to eat. A little evening picnic was pretty much the perfect way to cap off the day.

Oh, and the best part? I never put on a bra all day. I call that a total win.

in the not-too-distant future

I had a dream last night that Baby 2.0 had been born. (And no, she didn’t have a name in my dream either. I was hoping for a sign, but alas.) The main thing I remember about the dream was holding her on my shoulder, her tiny face on my neck, and patting her tiny padded diaper butt, and I woke up feeling like, “Oh, hell yes. I want that. NOW.”

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t have many happy memories of the newborn days with Catie; my brain seems to only remember the exhaustion and the tears. But then suddenly I’ll remember a tiny moment like this:

sweet

And I absolutely cannot wait to do it all over again. Which is particularly weird since I’m pretty sure I got puked on just a few minutes after that picture was taken.

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Semi-related: my sister had to be in Raleigh for a work meeting this morning, so she came over last night and spent the night with us. Catie was super-excited, as Tracy is pretty much one of her favorite people on the planet.

The night before, I told Catie about Tracy’s visit, and explained that yes, Tracy is coming, but it’s only for one night and then she has to leave in the morning and go back to Charlotte. I was hoping that if I warned Catie in advance that this would be a quick visit, that it would prevent any meltdowns.

Catie: But I’ll be sad when Tracy leaves.

Me: I know you will, Catie-Bug. But you know what? Tracy will be back again soon. When Baby Sister is born, and Mommy & Daddy go to the hospital, Tracy is going to come to our house to take care of you!

Catie: (looking worried) Forever?

Which, OMG. She’s been talking up the whole Baby Sister thing, I had no idea that there were underlying fears that once the new baby arrived, we wouldn’t be her Mommy & Daddy anymore.

We had a very long talk about how I will always be her Mommy, and how Daddy will always be her Daddy, and all this means is that now we’ll be the Mommy and Daddy of two little girls instead of just one. She buried her face in my neck and hugged me for a long time, so I think she got the message.

What’s funny is that I’ve been trying to lay off on talking about the new baby with Catie for the most part, and I usually wait for her to bring it up, because I don’t want to overwhelm her with baby-baby-baby all the time. But now I’m realizing that approach might not be the best, and maybe I do need to start talking with her more about what things will be like after the baby is here, and emphasizing how this is going to be a good change for our family.

I mean, we have the “I’m a Big Sister Now” book, and several of her friends have younger siblings, so I guess I took it for granted that she understood how the whole transition would work. But my guess is that four year-olds aren’t really capable of internalizing quite so well.

If any moms out there want to throw some advice for how to walk a four year-old through this process, feel free to throw it my way.

partially solving a mystery

Today at work, my cell phone rang and it was Dave. Not normally a big thing, right? Spouses call each other at the office. It happens. But the ensuing conversation was not at all what I expected.

Dave: So, a policeman is here at the house. They found your purse and your mom’s purse.

Me: WHAT?!?!!

Dave: Yeah. Uh, here, I’ll let him tell you.

So, the police officer gets on the phone, and explains that the best he can figure, whoever stole the purses tossed them down a storm drain, because a maintenance worker found them in a retention pond in the next subdivision over from ours. Which is where they’ve been for a month. He warned me that there wasn’t really anything salvageable there, but they did find my passport, which is how they knew the purses were ours. (My passport, btw, has already been canceled, so recovering it was not exactly a big “yay!” moment.) (And yes, it’s very stupid to have one’s passport in their purse. I had just had to do an I-9 form at work a couple of weeks before and I had forgotten to put it back in the drawer with all of our other important ID information.)

Want to know what purses look like after they spend a month in a stagnant retention pond?

purses

This photo doesn’t even begin to do it justice. Seriously, y’all, I just… I cannot even begin to describe the smell to you. It may never leave my nose. It might be worse than the time our septic tank exploded back when we lived in the boonies. This smell is burned into my brain.

Dave had already deemed the purses as ruined and trashed them before I got home, but I don’t know, I just needed to see it for myself. So I pulled them out and took a picture. (As Dave pointed out when he found out I retrieved them from the trash, it was probably not very smart for me to be breathing in God-knows-what when I’m pregnant, which, yeah I guess he has a point.)

When I told my mom, she wanted me to save her purse so she could try to root through it the next time she’s up here. I called her back and told her that no way is that foul-smelling thing staying in my house. OMG. Nevermind that the purses are basically empty anyway. We found some nail clippers, a tube of Carmex lip balm, and my mom’s epi-pen (which was filled with nasty drainage pond water). I think that anything else the thieves didn’t take is probably still floating in that pond somewhere. The only reason my passport didn’t float away is because it was in a zippered side pocket.

So, I guess that’s the end of the story. Not exactly the satisfying, “Lock up those thugs and throw away the key!” form of justice that I’d been hoping for. Instead, it’s just two empty black purses covered in mildew and pond muck. Lovely.

a much needed day out

This past Saturday, we did something we haven’t done in a long time: went on a fun outing. I know, it’s pathetic, but I’ve been feeling so awful lately and I just haven’t been up for it.

The story is, there’s a church near our house that we drive past every day. They have an annual Spring Fling, and we saw them setting up the rides and whatnot last week. Catie saw it too, and was all, “Oooh, we go see that???” So I looked it up and found out that it was open to the public, and better yet, the entire event was free (apparently it’s the church’s way of giving back to the community), so I said that heck yeah, we’d go.

So, on Saturday, Dave, Catie, and I trooped off to the festival and met up with our former neighbor and her daughter (who is Catie’s age) while we were there.

The girls LOVED it.

This is when I said, "everybody say, CHICKEN HEAD!"

Tip for getting genuine smiles from preschool-aged kids? Yell, “Everybody say, CHICKEN HEAD!!!” It cracked them up.

Oh, and the best part of the whole day? They had pony rides.

This was probably the high point of her entire week.

There’s probably nothing that Catie loves right now more than horses and unicorns, so the presence of actual, live ponies? Made her freaking year.

After that, Catie and her friend Morgan jumped themselves silly in the bounce houses, and when they hit the point of exhaustion that both of them were crying and throwing tantrums? We headed over to the free food area. After some hamburgers, hot dogs, and cotton candy, all was right with the world again.

So, yes, I probably over-did it, because I completely exhausted my pregnant self by being on my feet for over two hours, but it was totally worth it. We’ve been needing a Fun Day around here. We need to work on making them happen more often.