Thursday, January 26, 2012

In Case I Forget, Again.

I believe it is a common thing after the new year to have trouble remembering to write the date correctly, spending the last twelve months writing one number and then suddenly a ball drops and we have to start writing a new number.

How long is it acceptable to keep making this mistake into the New Year?

And just out of curiosity, how bad does it look if you write the year from two years ago?

About a week ago I was filling out a bunch of forms that I had to sign and date, and I kept writing 2010.  Embarrassing.

I post this as a reminder to myself.  The New Year is here. It is on its way to not being the "new year" anymore, but just the standard year that we all live in (until the next new year rolls around).  You celebrated this "new year".  Remember?  You and Devin and the girls made party hats?  And you marched around the house yelling "Happy New Year!" while banging on pots and skillets with wooden spoons?  REMEMBER?

Ok, so stay with me, here's the important part.  It is now the year 2012.  Not 2011. And most CERTAINLY not 2010. So don't write that. Ever again.

New Year's Resolution for 2012: Don't Take Any More Sideways Videos

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Let's Guess

When do YOU think Heather will come?

For your consideration, Hallie was born on her "due date" and Hanna was born exactly a week early.

Also, if you are going to guess late you should be grateful this poll is anonymous... I'm just saying.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Good News, Bad News

The good news is we got this done

before this happened:

Yes, that is blood on her face. She's wearing a coat because we were on our way out the door to get stitches.  Thankfully, she was a pretty good sport about the whole thing:

The really bad news is that we missed their doctors appointment that we had scheduled for their birthdays.  All the bruises on her face cleared up and she looked great and ready to go.  I rescheduled the appointment, and then this happens.  The doctor who stitched her up told me to expect bruising all down her nose, and a black eye.  Awesome.  I've been practicing my "story" since it happened.

Also, her birthday party was that morning.  Happy Birthday, Kiddo.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Letter

Dear Wonderful People I Call My Friends -

Thank you for your comments on this sad post.  Guess what? I actually slept pretty well that night, mostly ache-free and miraculously also heartburn-free, AND I think I only got up to use the bathroom four times (normal is 5-7).  I don't know what little bit of magic that was and who worked it but I was mighty grateful for it.

Each of your comments made me either sit up a little taller, or make me tear up a little bit, and now on those long sleepless nights when snuggling up to my cash register* seems like the only thing left to do I can think of you guys instead. AND I can be grateful that my name isn't Horace**.  There is always that, too.

And you know, today as I went about my mundane tasks and errands I told myself that to be fair I could probably think up some things about being pregnant that aren't completely awful, and I will have you know that I did come up with a few!!

Here goes:
1. Strangers are (generally speaking) quite nice to pregnant women: Holding doors, crawling under your car when the two year old drops something under it so you don't have to, and maybe Lincoln is the last oasis of good old fashioned family values (although I certainly hope not) but everyone is so supportive. "What a cute little family!" "You have such great helpers!" "Those little girls look so sweet!" and when they find out we're expecting another girl the people just go crazy.  That's always fun.
2. Friends are extra helpful too. "Oh, don't bend over to pick that up!" "Let me carry that!" etc. etc. and shameless person that I am I let them. Pamper me, I don't mind.
3. My maternity clothes are cuter than my regular clothes.  So even though I don't necessarily "feel" cuter because of this huge obtrusion sticking out of my front, my clothes themselves are, and that's nice.  And perhaps an indication that I need to update my regular wardrobe.
4. Hearing the baby's heartbeat at appointments.  The girls love it, I love it, we all love when we get to hear that tiny thump thump.  It never gets old.
5. The fact that I am seeing a midwife this time.  That is probably a whole different post if anyone wants to hear about it, but it is perfect for me.
6. Getting out all of the little clothes and toys and setting up the little room.  Remembering when Hallie wore that, and Hanna played with this, and anticipating what this new little person will be like.
7. I even do sometimes daydream about those quiet moments at night, when it feels like the only two people awake in the world are you and this tiny new person, nestled in a cocoon of warmth and half awake drowsiness.

*weird Hello Dolly reference. Don't worry about it too much. My sister will get it.
**I don't know why I'm stuck on Hello Dolly right now.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Last Month

Tomorrow is exactly a month before my due date.  My sister's baby was born exactly a month early, and part of me is wondering: what are the odds that it happens to me?  If I could only be so lucky...

I'm sitting in our basement exhausted, bored, and wishing I hadn't eaten that last tootsie roll.  Thanks to that one morsel of pseudo-chocolate I can add heartburn to the list of things that will keep me tossing and turning all night tonight.  Earlier today Devin said, "This baby better come soon, so that you can start sleeping again."

It is sad to think that I may actually sleep better with a newborn than I have been the past week or so.  I lay in bed at night looking out our dark window and can't decide which would make me feel better: to actually fall asleep, or give in and cry at the frustration of not being able to sleep.

I know, I know, you're all so tired of hearing me complain about being pregnant.  I'm tired of it too.  The other night as I lay there rolling over and over searching for a position that was not painful I kept thinking about how there are women out there who claim to enjoy being pregnant.  I suppose it is you women that I would really like to hear from now.  I need someone to tell me what they like about being pregnant.  I keep telling myself just to think about how great it will feel when this baby is out of my body and in my arms, but when she's tap dancing on my ribs at two in the morning, and the food I ate four hours ago is sitting in my throat it isn't enough.  I need something positive about this experience as it is right now, and even if I have to feel it vicariously, I'm willing to do that.

So tell me what YOU like about being pregnant, and then when the urge to cry comes over me I will tell myself to think about "so and so" and how much she likes "such and such" about being pregnant.  Can you do that for me?

You know what is really nuts, and perhaps makes me certifiable?  I'm already thinking about how nice a family of four looks, and plotting future "H" names if it is a girl (that one we would do on purpose!!), and daydreaming about how handsome David Jonathon will be if it is a boy.  Don't tell Devin.  He really might have me committed.

Monday, January 16, 2012

It Ain't Easy

Good art isn't easy to create.  It takes extreme focus. It takes careful concentration. It requires devotion and emotion.  Not to mention you should probably have enough of your daddy's t-shirts for your buddies to wear too.

Thanks for letting them come over to play with you Lydia!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Learning the Lingo

Hallie and Hanna have recently become obsessed with lions.  Hanna at random intervals will begin saying over and over, "Lions eats mans." translation: Lions eat men.  I don't have ANY idea where this phrase comes from, but once she starts saying it she will repeat it over and over and over again.  Also, the following statements have been overheard:
Hallie: We don't run from cars. We just only run from lions.
Hanna: Lions sharp teeth, eats mans.  Sharp teeth. (translation: Lions have sharp teeth so they can eat men.)
Hallie: But there are no more lions on earth. They all just disappeared. Why did the lions disappear Mommy?

And no matter how much I insist there are still lions on earth, they will not believe me. I guess a trip to the zoo is in order.  I would also like to add that I am doing my best to explain to Hanna that lions prefer to eat zebra, or antelope, but she is still fairly certain that "mans" is their meal of choice.

Another obsession of late is Heather.
Hanna will put her hand on my tummy and say, "Heather screaming Mommy.  She screaming.  Sister sad." and then she will give my tummy kisses.  Sometimes she says, "Heather laughing Mommy." and again, more kisses.
Hallie asks me every day when Heather is coming, and why isn't she here yet.  Hanna tries to say hospital, and it comes out "hopspistol" and they are both looking forward to their tour of the hopspistol to see where baby Heather is going to finally come out of Mommy, an event which to Hallie means, "then you won't sleep all the time anymore, right Mommy?" ha ha ha, if she only knew.

And last but not least, Hallie has given us all nicknames.
Hanna we call "The Baby with the Swoosh in her Hair". and while we do often use the full name, it is occasionally shortened to "the Swoosh" or "Swoosh baby". Again, don't ask where this name came from, I have no clue.
Hallie has dubbed herself "The Pink in the Pink in the Panther".  Yes, oh yes.
She has decided that I am to be called "The Sweet Hot Pumpkin Pie".  At least I am delicious.
Devin is "Gum." I'm not kidding. I think this one is funniest of all.

Yeah, we're pretty silly around here.  She put that on her nose all by herself. Pretty good, eh?

Monday, January 9, 2012

My name is Mommy. And Amy.

The children's librarian knows Hallie and Hanna.  We go in to the library quite often, and she always takes a moment to talk with them, play with them, help them pick out stories.  She is pretty great.  One day she was talking to me about something and she referred to me in her statement as "Hallie's mommy."

It didn't bother me, I don't think I even noticed, after all, I am Hallie's mommy.  But she instantly looked sort of shocked and said, "Oh! I mean, of course, you have a name too! You aren't just Hallie's mommy!"  And I laughed, and said, "It's fine, I mean, I am Hallie's mom. Don't worry about it." and we continued talking, and it wasn't until I had left the library that I realized that that would have been a perfect opportunity to tell her my name, and gain my own individual identity with this woman, and I passed it up. 

In so many ways I feel like I am just Hallie's and Hanna's mommy.  Even the things that I personally enjoy doing and would do with or without children, I do for them now.  And that's fine, and it makes me happy, but sometimes I wonder if or when they will ever see me as AMY.  Not only that, what if by the time they are perhaps interested in learning those little tidbits of information that have made my life my own, I don't remember them anymore either, having spent so much time as Mommy?  To that end, I make the following list. For them, and for me.

- My favorite class in high school was etymology, the study of words.  I still have the Greek alphabet memorized (and when Hallie was little I used to whisper it to her over and over when I ran out of lullabies and she was still screaming)
- My other favorite classes have always been English class.  I memorized Hamlet's famous 52-line soliloquy for extra credit I didn't need, all 52 lines, and I still have that memorized too. (When the Greek alphabet got tiring I would recite to Hallie poetic words of a man contemplating suicide. Probably a good thing infants don't know words like "fardel" and "bodkins")
- I was quite a dorky nerd in high school, but I also played softball and soccer and was on the track team, and generally had a great time - even though I was terrible at all those sports.
- Sharpie markers, rubber cement, and scissors make me very happy deep inside where I am still a child myself.
- I won third prize in my fifth grade science fair for my project "Does Peppermint Make You Think Faster".  Your daddy makes fun of me for this project.
- While I had fun at prom, both the year I went alone and the year I went with a date, it was not the most magical night of my life.  At this point it wouldn't even make my top ten.
- Likewise with my first kiss.  Although to be honest that one might still be hovering around the top fifteen.
- My baby sister, your Aunt Mimi, is one of my best friends.  So remember to be nice to your sisters even when they take your brand new shirt and get it stained before you have a chance to wear it.  Someday you won't care about that shirt, or even remember what it looked like.
- My favorite place when I was little was a cottage in the woods in Vermont, or my Homer grandparents house in Fountain City.
- I love cats and dogs and it makes me sad that we can't have them and it's all (mostly) my fault.
- I  love your daddy. I love you. Most of all, I love being your mommy, and I love being Amy.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I May Be Going Down

Many, many dark moons ago when Hallie was younger and much smaller than she is now she was running, rather unsteadily, down a sidewalk to catch up to her daddy.  Crash, boom, bang.  She landed flat on her face and scraped it up pretty good.  After much screaming and many tears and a couple of ice cream cones (Mommy needed a treat to recover) she seemed to be fine, and the whole incident may have been completely forgotten by everyone except for the awful gash just by her left eye.  It was truly gross and horrific looking.

And not two weeks later she had a routine checkup with the friendly pediatric doctor.  He checked her joints, her eyes, ears, mouth, asked me all the important developmental questions and then in an unassuming manner asked me how she had gotten that injury on her eye.  I told him the story as quickly as I could, "Oh, she was running downhill and fell."  Because, you know, that was the truth.

Sometime later that nice doctor moved and the pediatric practice called and asked if we would switch to a different doctor. I had no reason to say no, so they switched us.  Sometime after that we went in for another routine appointment, and we all got to meet the new doctor for the first time.  He looked Hallie over, checking all the usual places, poking and prodding like any good doctor.  Then, looking me solemnly in the eye, he said, "Could you tell me how she got that scrape on her eye last year?" I'm not sure what I started doing first: twitching, sweating, rolling my hands, or whimpering.  Ok, I didn't do any of those things, but I really don't know which thought flashed through my mind first: How does he know about that? Why is he asking me? What is going on here? What does he think happened?

I mean, there was obviously a note about it in her records. And if there was a note, wouldn't the note tell the story? And if the note told the story, why did he need me to tell it to him again? The scar was no longer visible.  I did the only thing I could do, staring at him right back, I told the story again.  "She was running downhill, to catch her daddy.  She fell down and scraped up her face."

And as I left the office all I could think was "that was weird."  Since then, for many reasons, I have decided to switch doctors at that office again, and this new doctor comes highly recommended by a couple of my friends who take their children to the same practice.  Our appointment with this new doctor is next week.

Last week Hanna fell off of a chair face first and has two awful looking bruises, one on her cheek, and one on her forehead. I prayed and prayed that they would go away before this appointment, and encouraged Devin to pray for a miracle as well.  They began to fade almost the next day and I was so grateful.

Today at church Hanna tried to carry a large stool (it's a silly story) and she tripped and fell, and as she went down she hit her face on one of the legs of the stool.  She has an awful gash right by her now swollen, puffy left eye.  Oh, and those bruises from last week?  They have ceased fading and now, added to the new injury, just combine to make a really battered looking (yet still adorable) face.

I'm sort of terrified to meet this new doctor. What note is she going to write in my (ahem) Hanna's record that I will have to explain again in a year?  I fully support doctors being careful and keeping an eye out for their patients and asking about their injuries, but is it really necessary to follow up on what is clearly your everyday childhood accident A YEAR LATER?  Is that still on my (ahem) Hallie's record?  Should I flee the country?  No, that would just make me look guilty, television has taught me that much.

I'm thinking my best course of action is to come prepared with a file of character references.  So if you could take a minute to jot down some notes about how sweet, even tempered, calm, rational, and unlikely to harm my children I am, I may get out of this unscathed.  I'm sort of begging here.

But mostly I'm kidding. I hope, right? (nervous chuckle...)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It Worked Out

You may remember a while ago I wrote a post ranting about my sewing machine and how it chewed up and spat out the flannel that I was using to make a quilt.  Well, it got to the point where I had to borrow a friend's machine (thanks Natalie!) to finish the blanket, but everything worked out in the end - especially because it came the breakdown came right in time - cue music for awesome Christmas present. (Although it was not from Devin technically, thanks Grandma Boling!!)

My friend just sent me a picture (thanks Hannah!) of her lovely cutie pie, and it looks to me like she likes it! (You're welcome, Madelyn)

I am considering giving flannel a second chance on my new machine, but the irrational part of me is afraid that flannel is just plain evil and will destroy this machine as well...