Wednesday, December 31, 2008
As for Luke and Evie, they are adjusting really well. The only hard part is the fact that they want to hug and hold him a lot! Oh, and both of the kids have brought up when the next baby is coming. At the hospital, Evie asked, "When is the next one coming?" And yesterday, Luke told me that when we have the next baby there will be six in our family. I just calmly answered, "Yes, if we had another baby there would be six of us." I haven't broken the bad news to them yet, but I'm pretty sure there won't be a "next one."
We've also experienced some interesting times with me nursing George. The first time they saw that, Evie asked incredulously, "What is he doing to you?!" I had to explain that mommies make special milk for their babies. It only took one or two feedings to eliminate all questions and inquiries. I don't cover up when it is just the family at the house because, honestly, it would just be ridiculous. So, the kids have gotten used to just seeing me out in the open. I stopped changing clothes in front of them a long time ago, but for some reason, this doesn't seem unnatural or like I'm exposing them to something they shouldn't see. Still, they think everyone can see what is going on so they try to look under the blanket when I cover up for company. I've had to explain that not everyone wants to see George eating. This was a difficult concept to justify and explain. Although the kids are good with the nursing, I think I would totally freak them out if they saw me pumping. I can just see their faces if they saw me hooked up to the funky and noising machine sucking away at my you-know-what.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I know two of my friends had babies over the holidays (Congrats to Kari and Susan!). Mine was pretty good, all things considered. My in-laws decided that they should all celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at my house. I was somewhat against this plan since we have a new baby in the house, but my wishes and suggestions were pushed aside, because really, how do you say no to your in-laws. I won't delve into the details, but suffice it to say that hosting Christmas with a new baby was not my idea. But I have to admit that under normal circumstances, I would LOVE to host Christmas every year. So, I put on my optimistic face and welcomed the idea of having all the family over to meet George and celebrate Christmas, until . . . . the day before they arrived I found out that half the family was recovering from a stomach bug and Chuck's dad was throwing up as he drove into town. To say the least, I was not pleased. But they came over anyway, despite my concerns. So, Chuck ended up with the stomach virus three days after Christmas. So far, no one else has caught it. While they were here, I made everyone use Purell, I refused to hug anyone or let them hold the baby (I don't care if that seems bitchy), and I disinfected the house immediately after they left and throughout their stay.
Now, things are somewhat back to normal, but the kids' school is closed all week, so I'm taking my first stab at being a full-time mother of three. Let me tell you, the house is a mess and I'm doing my best to keep the kids entertained beyond watching SpongeBob Square Pants and Dora the Explorer. I'm not having much luck. They're all sitting on my lap right now asking over and over, "Mom, what are you doing? Mom, what are you spelling? Mom, what does the 5 do? Mom, where's the 1? Mommy, I want to spell my name." Ahh, the joys of children.
Enough of my rambling for now. Here's another picture of George for you to enjoy. These are his hospital pictures. My little football player. For the record, the photographer had the football - I didn't bring it. I'd love to share a picture where his eyes are open, but he slept through the whole photo shoot.
A seasonal pic. We bought them all so we didn't have to make any decisions. Picking out pictures at the hospital was the last thing we wanted to do.
This is Chuck's favorite. I think we all have one of these photos of our children entitled, ". . . and the horse you rode in on too"Hopefully I'll be back in the new year with more frequent posts! Happy New Year to all of you!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
George Maxwell Berend:
Evie and Grandma: Evie's not so sure about George at the hospital, but she loves to hold him now.
This one just makes me laugh. He really looks like a grumpy old man - especially when you take his hat off.
Me - pretty tired on the second day at the hospital.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
We got home late Monday and spent yesterday completely sleep deprived. Lucky for me, my mother was able to drive into town late Friday night to help us out. Now that I'm feeling more human, I'm able to catch up on a few things. I will try to post pics of our newest little one soon.
Thanks to everyone who kept us in their prayers. We appreciate all the wonderful warm wishes and can't wait for you all to meet George.
Friday, December 12, 2008
All in all, it was pretty darn fun. Plus, Luke got to see some of his soccer teammates who were there with their parents. That's my life in a big small town! Better not go out without makeup on!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Last night I went to a panty exchange party (instead of an ornament exchange party). I got the slutiest thing there - a nice bright pink lace thong with white bows on the back. Here's a picture:
As was stated by several of the skinny bitches (and I say that strictly as a term of endearment even though they all have size 2 bodies), a person probably needs a Brazilian to even consider wearing it! I told everyone at the party I was going to wear it to my doctor's appointment this morning so I could show it off somewhere. Can you imagine the talk I could have caused at the office?!
I will be 37 weeks on Saturday and that is considered full term, so I guess that is a pretty big milestone that the doctor wants to reach before George is delivered. I completely trust her judgment, so her obvious concern about the situation was a sobering experience for me. I guess I'll just do my best to take care of myself and my baby, and we'll go from there.
As for the normal part of my check up, I am dilated 3 cm - whoohoo! So, maybe little George will make an appearance on his own. My doctor is on call this weekend, so that would be just fine timing for me. Otherwise, I'm still expecting to gaze into the eyes of my precious newborn sometime next week. Little finger, little toes, I can't wait!
On another note, I'm completely jealous of the Houston crew who all got to experience hours of snow. We didn't see a single flake! What a rip. And let me tell you, Luke is totally heartbroken about it too. I mentioned that it snowed at Grandma's house and he asked if it snowed here. I said no. He started to tear up and I asked what in the world was wrong. He looked at me with big crocodile tears in his eyes and said, "Is Christmas over?" --- Ugh - back to this horrible misunderstanding that I may or may not have explained to all of you. Luke and Evie are insistent that it snows on Christmas and it is Christmas when it snows. In their minds, it absolutely, without a doubt WILL snow on Christmas. I've tried to explain that snow is a function of the weather, and not controlled by religious holidays, but apparently this is beyond their comprehension because every Christmas movie they watch shows it snowing on Christmas day. I guess that makes sense. The problem is trying to explain to them in February (when it is more likely to snow) that they aren't getting Christmas presents just because it snowed. Still, it is easier to explain that than it is to explain that they haven't missed Christmas this week and that they will still get their presents and Santa will still visit even if there isn't snow. Instead, they tell me (in their best I'm-smarter-than-you voice that it will snow on Christmas).--- So, I tried to reassure Luke that he hadn't missed Christmas, but he remained upset for at least 20 minutes until I was able to distract him with breakfast.
Any suggestions on how to clear up this misunderstanding?
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Anyway, for those of you who aren't sqeamish about such things, let me begin again. I decided I didn't want to look like I'd been living in the wilds of Africa for the last nine months. I can't actually see anything anymore, but trust me, when I tell you I am certain it wasn't a pretty sight. So, I made an appointment at the spa for last night and went in.
Now, I've had this done only one other time and I laughed my ass off the entire time while the woman waxed and ripped causing me untold amounts of pain. I laughed hysterically at the fact that I was actually paying someone to do this to me! All I could think was, what kind of crazy person has this done to themselves willingly? Sadly, once they start, you can't really stop because the wax is already on there and you can't walk around like that, so you just have to make it through the pain. Well, after that experience, in which I repeatedly broke out in a cold sweat as I endured the pain and had to walk gingerly for a day, I decided I would probably never get a bikini waxing again. Of course, I should be smart enough to know that one should never say never.
Now, I guess I could have tried to do it myself (but I seriously cannot see a thing), or I could have asked Chuck to do it (but that's really not an option). One time I had Chuck manicure my nails and when I looked down I realized he had manicured them to look like man hands - so now I don't trust him with very many grooming details with regard to my body. So, without many other options as to taking care of this area, I came to the conclusion that the spa was my best option and I just needed to suck it up and do it. Well, I did. I have to admit that I was a much better trooper than last time and even avoided the hysterical laughing. Instead, I only experienced the cold sweats a couple of times and the technician (or whatever you call a person who gest paid to rip hair off of a person's body with hot wax) kept me talking the whole time as she waxed and ripped and groomed me as she saw fit. She asked me my preferences and all I could tell her was, that I couldn't see anything so she should go ahead with the procedure however she saw fit. Well, she did, and it looks fine - I think (again, I can't really get a good look at it). In any case, I don't think it looks like I've just emerged from seclusion and the doctors shouldn't be scared when they see it.
But through it all, I decided that waxing that area of one's body is definitely worse than child birth. Hell, the tech even asked me if my Lamaze was helping. I said, "I have no idea. I never took Lamaze." Tech, "Well, it really does work for you to blow out the pain." I was stunned into silence as I thought, should a person really willingly engage in a monthly activity (bikini waxing) in which you have to utilize breathing techniques to overcome the resulting pain? That's not for me. I swear after that statement the ripping hurt more for some reason, but I got through the whole thing mostly intact after banishing scary wilderness woman.
(On a side note, if you decide to have this done and you aren't pregnant, drink two glasses of wine in the waiting room and pop a couple of Tylenol before you subject yourself to this kind of pain. If you are one of those people who has this done regularly, then I will state for your sake that apparently this gets less painful if you have it done on a regular basis. Sadly, I cannot overcome the pain and the fear of pain, so I will probably never get to a point where this is pain-free experience.)
With all that trauma, however, I think I induced myself to going into false labor. I got home about 8:00 and started having strong (but not painful) contractions around 8:30, five minutes apart. After a while, I insisted that Chuck needed to clean the house just in case this was the real thing, plus I was totally riddled with anxiety. Who knows what the anxiety was about since I was really ready to go, but the anxiety was there nonetheless. (Of course, in my opinion, the thought of having a newborn and a third kid is enough to make a person a little nervous). While Chuck cleaned the house, he put in a movie he said was meant to ease my anxiety. For the record, Lethal Weapon 4 was not a good choice on his part. At 10:30 (contractions still coming every 4-5 minutes), I decided I needed to take a shower and go to bed. I showered (still contractions), went to bed (still contractions), slept for a couple hours and woke up at 1:00 (still contractions), and fell back to sleep around 2:00 (no more contractions). So, here I am this morning back at work and ready for anything!
Now that I've got the nethers groomed, my next step is to get my hair highlighted, my nails filled, and my toes sparkling. We'll see if I can fit it all in.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
I decide it is time for a man to explain what testicles do, so I leaned my head out the bathroom door and shouted, "Chuck, what do testicles do?" Chuck, "They make sperm." Me, leaning back into the bathroom and looking at Luke, "Yup, they make sperm." Him, "What does sperm do?"
Me, but in my head, "Awe hell! How did I get into this?" Me out loud, "Umm, sperm helps make babies." Now, I'm thinking I've stepped into quicksand and I quickly try to bail out saying, "Um, but only big boys make sperm that can make babies." I quickly amend it, "Only Daddies can make babies." Luke, "Babies?" He sounds very suspicious, but thankfully does not question it as I change the subject to washing his hair. Crisis narrowly averted. Better get ready for next time.
On that note, I discovered the following book in the kid's section at Barnes & Noble. It is a book written and illustrated in 1977 called, "Where Did I Come From?" It describes sexual intercourse in words and descriptions that kids will understand. It shocked the hell out of me. I was just browsing the shelves while the kids played with the trains at the local B&N and I noticed this book set among the Human Health books in the kid's section. I flipped through the pages and couldn't believe my eyes as I saw illustrated Mommies and Daddies, full on with pubic hair, breasts, and penises. The book named all the parts such as vagina, penis, testicles, sperm, etc. and then went on to describe the act of making love, specifically stating that the Daddy puts his penis in Mommy's vagina. I was seriously taken aback.
I started to do a little research on this book online and found out that it is a highly recommended book - even Dr. Spock recommends it. So, here's a link and you can make your own decisions.
I have to say, I'm leaning toward using this book to educate my children about the logistics of the whole thing. I think the difficult part will be trying to describe or inform them adequately about all the variations on the sexual act that are out there (e.g. oral sex, hummers, etc.). Should prove interesting for me and the kids.
Forgot about all the fun necessities you need to have: nipple cream, breast pads for nursing, pads for the other end, a snot sucker (aka an aspirator), changing pads, sensitive wipes, bottle racks, alcohol for the umbilicus, vaseline for the circumcision, etc., etc. There are still a couple of things that I forgot to pick up, so we'll try and get those this week. One of the things was pads, so Chuck picked some up on his way home from church yesterday, but instead of bringing home pads, he brought home a huge package of Poise. I looked at him like he was crazy and said, "I said I needed pads, not diapers! Do I look like an older woman who is incontinent?" His only response was that he got the biggest thing he could find and he was sure it work the same way. Let's hope so. Goofball.
Evie has become super clingy - probably a result of having the baby on the way (so says Evie's teacher). We're trying to work through it, but she is in tears if we even ask her to let go of us so we can go to the bathroom. I hope she grows out of this soon, but for now I'm a little concerned.
Before all that shopping, however, we got to go see Santa at the Club. Evie was sick so she stayed home with my mom. Luke had a really good time and ate up all his pancakes. I was really impressed with this event and will have to post some pictures. Luke asked for a scooter. As luck would have it, I hear that Santa has a scooter in his workshop just for Luke (don't mention that to Luke). Santa also has a scooter in his workshop for Evie, but I have no idea if that is what she wants from Santa.
Still have a few more gifts to buy for Christmas, but all in all, we are pretty ready for George to be here and for Christmas to arrive. For now, I'm just working steadily and slowly. Trying to get through the next couple weeks. I think I'll have continually reduced hours because I can barely walk or concentrate on much for any period of time. If I had some extra time off, I would gladly trade this last couple weeks for my couch and the remote control. Oh well. I'm here and I'm making it.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Well, this year, I've heard two new Christmas songs (new to me, at least) and I'm sharing them with you now.
For those of you who need a holiday pick me up and enjoy remembering the reason for the season, here's a great song called "You're Here" by Francesca Battistelli that my friend Roxy told me about. Enjoy:
Also, I heard a song by Sixpence None the Richer the other day and it brought tears to my prego eyes. If you're expecting, I highly recommend it. It is called the Last Christmas. It starts, "I feel your heart beating inside my own skin; And I think of Mary in Bethlehem. . ." It is a sweet song sung by a mother to her unborn child about about how this will be the last Christmas the mother has without the sweet baby. With any luck, this will be our first Christmas with our new baby, but it touches my heart anyway.
I wore my heels for about two hours and now my feet feel bruised.
I bought some new pantyhose and had to try and squeeze into them while sitting on a toilet in the office restroom. Imagine my morning difficulties and then double it. I was grunting and rotating and probably causing everyone to think I was having trouble with a bodily function as opposed to trying to put on an article of clothing. The bathroom was deserted when I exited the stall fully dressed. No surprise here.
Chuck and I ditched the party around 7 or 7:30 and went downstairs to a new restaurant called "Grace." It just opened up about a month ago and it is a pretty happening place. A few other attorney's joined us and then we ran into several other attorneys that we know. It was good, but very pricey. Of course, my glass of juice was the cheapest thing, while Chuck's 18 year old scotch was priced for Vegas.
Still, we were home by 9:30 and climbed into bed around 10. We have a less exciting party to attend tonight, and I'm certain the food won't be nearly as good as the bacon-wrapped shrimp, shrimp cocktail, beef tenderloin, and other items that were served at my firm's party. Mmmm. Then tomorrow, we are having pancakes with Santa at the Club. I mentioned it to the kids this morning when they woke up and they said things like, "No, Santa is in the North Pole. Are we going to the North Pole?" And when I asked if they were excited to see Santa they evaded my question and asked, "Where's Grandma?" I thought they would be more excited - guess I was wrong. So, I'm a little worried about how they are going to react to Santa tomorrow. Hopefully better than seeing him at the Mall - what a beating!
Just finished up with a Christmas lunch for women attorneys and then the women attorneys at the firm are going to have afternoon tea at 4:00. I should be out just in time to get to the other party. Gotta love Christmas! Jingle, jingle!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I'm really good with that except for the fact that I still feel like we have so much to do. I even casually mentioned last night that perhaps I should pack a bag for the hospital. Well, I'm packing a bag tonight and I intend to go buy all our missing necessities this weekend.
Beyond that, my only concern is the fact that I have never gone into labor on my own (induced with both Luke and Evie) so I'm worried I won't know when to go to the hospital or whether I'm having real contractions. We shall see.
The best news about the early baby is that I will hopefully get to enjoy Christmas a little more, provided I get all the Christmas presents purchased. Looks like Chuck is going to be very busy this month!
While pregnant this go around, I have pretty much boycotted the idea of wearing pantyhose. This worked out just fine while it was hot outside - a great excuse to not wear pantyhose in any law office. So, I ditched the dreaded pantyhose and banished the thought of them from my mind except for special occasions such as appearances in court. Unfortunately, it has turned colder and now, I'm desperate to have something warm on my white, pastey legs. Last night it dropped into the 20's here and to top that off, today is our firm Christmas party. So, when I went to get dressed this morning, I realized that I had to wear pantyhose for the sake of warmth, beauty (remember the pastey leg comment), and the formality of the occasion tonight.
Since I have banished all pantyhose, I only ever bought one pair of maternity pantyhose for wearing to hearings and other important meetings. Well, I wore that pair once and had to search for that one pair of pantyhose this morning. I noticed that there was a pair of pantyhose sitting on top of a fresh batch of laundry so I assumed that these must be my one and only pair of maternity pantyhose. I grabbed them off the laundry and proceeded to contort my ever-growing, bulbous body so that I could stretch, pull, manipulate, and hoist the pantyhose onto my overworked legs. Poor George put up a valiant protest as I squished him in my attempts to reach my toes, but eventually, I got the task completed.
As I finally attempted to pull the enormous pantyhose up over my watermelon belly to just under my bosom (girls, you know what I'm talking about), I noticed that the pantyhose could not be stretched beyond just below my non existent waist. I muttered, "What the hell?!" I looked in the mirror and realized that I had just managed to squeeze my 8 month pregnant, maternity ass into a pair of regular sized pantyhose. I briefly considered ditching them and trying to locate the ginormous pair of maternity pantyhose that would adequately fit over my belly, but realized that there was no way in hell I was going to go through that effort again even if I actually found them (which was unlikely anyway). So, as I walked out of my bedroom I felt the top of the teeny-weeny pantyhose begin to roll down as it settled uncomfortably and precariously around the top of my hips. Thank God I have big hips to hold them up (Yes, I can't believe I just said that - shows how distorted the pregnant mind can be).
So, here I sit at work with the waist of my pantyhose uncomfortably pressing in on George's little head, the fabric bursting at the seams (I already have a run in the back), and I realize that perhaps my "no-way-in-hell" attitude was perhaps the wrong choice. I guess I'll have to figure out a quick fix to this before the party, but I have no idea what I'm going to do since there are no maternity stores anywhere close to my office. Until then, I'm pretty much just going to bitch and whine about my poor decision. Thanks for listening.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
On an unrelated note, we have encountered a major glich with our new school. I guess we should have known that there would be some hiccups along the way, but it still took us by surprise. Our school failed to pass inspection with the fire marshal because it doesn't have overhead sprinklers. How odd is that? It is smaller than my house and it has more fire alarms and other types of alarms installed in every room. Who would have thought that they had to have a sprinkler system in addition to that? Anyhow, the school actually got shut down for this failure and we had to pick up the kids from school yesterday. The school will be closed while they install sprinklers (who knows how long that takes) and then we will get right back to work. We are still very committed to the school and don't regret our decision to send our kids there. I can't tell you how great it is to see Luke reading and Evie trying to write her name. For now, the kids are enjoying a vacation with my mother, who promptly dropped everything and drove up from Houston to help out. What a life saver!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Chuck and I also hit the stores (sans kids) on Friday morning and had a great time with one another. That one on one time doesn't happen as much as it used to, and I'm certain it is about to completely dry up with an infant on his way.
With Thanksgiving behind us, we are rapidly approaching Christmas and George's birthday - although I don't know what day that is yet. I've become more comfortable with the baby - I guess I'm just growing used to it. I'm in a lot of pain at night and find myself unable to do a lot of things, such as Christmas decorating. Nonetheless, I got two trees up in our house this weekend, and pretty much got them decorated. We have a few more things to do to prepare our house for Christmas, but all in all, it will be a scaled back version of my normal holiday spirit.
As for George, Chuck and I have finally had that "Oh-Shit" Moment - namely the moment where we realize that we are having a real, live baby and it will be here forever and we are not nearly prepared. So, I guess we'll go shopping sometime in the next week and gather together all our necessities. Oh, and I guess I should pack a hospital bag sometime. To assuage some of my nervousness, I picked up a pack of diapers this weekend. Plus, my family was so kind and gifted us with lots of little onsies, blankets, socks, etc. It makes it more and more real. Oh, and Chuck has taken an interest in the baby room which has been really sweet.
So much happened over the weekend that I'm sure I would bore you with all the details, but I might throw out a cute story here and there this week. Until then, I best get to work and bill as much as I can before George makes his big arrival.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
With that said, my kid still puts his shoes on the wrong feet and constantly asks to go home even when we are already at home. I don't know - I guess somethings take longer than others. Still, I'm wonderfully impressed with the education he is receiving at his new school.
I'll leave you all on that note as we head to H-town. First we have to attend a Thanksgiving Program at the school where the kids are apprarently playing the parts of Indian Chief and Pilgrim (guess which one is which: Luke is the former and Evie is the later). I'll let you know how it goes. To one and to all, I wish you a blessed Thanksgiving. I hope we all can understand and appreciate the gifts we have been given this season.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
What kind of Thanksgiving dinner is this? Where's the turkey, Chuck? Don't you know anything about Thanksgiving dinners? Where's the mashed potatoes? Where's the cranberry sauce? Where's the pumpkin pie?
I know I have spent a lot of time complaining about the discomfort of this pregnancy, but please don't doubt that I treasure every moment of helping God create this precious little being who is sure to win my heart the way Luke and Evie have. All in all, I really love being pregnant - especially the elastic waistbands in everything as I've mentioned before. It is an absolute joy to carry this sweet little boy with me to work and share his life all day long. I actually miss having the babies with me when I get back to work after maternity leave. It is fun to have a little companion to pat, monitor, and sometimes talk to. Even late at night when everyone else in the house is asleep, George keeps me company with his sweet little kicks and his big, painful, kicks and adjustments. But each movement and discomfort is a reminder of the sweetness he will bring to our family. I just hope we can make him as happy as he will make us.
I have to admit that this comment led me to have thoughts all night about folded origami cranes flying out of my hoo-ha right before I pop out a baby who looks like an Asian Stewie Griffin (from The Family Guy). I just imagine him coming out slinging around offensive phrases like, "ha-cha-cha-cha" and "flied lice" while wearing a kimono and yielding a Samurai sword as he attempts Kamikazi attacks against his mother.
The pregnant mind is clearly unstable.
Monday, November 24, 2008
But the talking mice say she's the wrong girl.
Have fun today, kids!
Friday, November 21, 2008
This morning it finally got cold. I am so grateful to have the weather matching my holiday mood, but my mood turned sour when I insisted that Luke needed to wear his coat and he pitched a holy fit about having to wear his coat. I mean a serious two-year-old-lay-down-on-the-floor-kicking-and-screaming fit. It has been ages since I've seen such a display. I tried to explain that it was cold and that he needed to wear a coat, but he insisted in a very rude way that he was not going to wear the coat. I insisted that he had to wear the coat and attempted to zip it up at which point he started jumping up and down, twisting and turning and trying to pull his coat off.
I gave him my very best stern mother voice as I said, "Lucas Berend! It is cold outside and you will wear a coat! Now stand still." Him in the whiney voice I loathe to hear, "I don't want to wear my coat!" Me, "It doesn't matter. It is cold and you have to wear your coat." At this point, Luke turns really ugly and in between his angry little sobs he reaches out and tries to squeeze my arm with his hands.
Sounds pretty harmless right? Well, you're right, it is pretty harmless because he isn't strong enough to hurt me that way (yet), but the fact remains that he was trying to hurt me and that does not fly at our house.
My eyes widened as I watched him try to hurt me and I pulled out the Pissed Off Mom Voice (which consists of a lower pitched but louder version of my very best Stern Mother Voice) and I said, "That is IT! You will not hurt me or anyone else. Do not even try it!" I gently tapped his bottom through his jeans (no harm at all, I promise, since he pulled the magic bowed back maneuver - if you're a mom you know what I'm talking about - if you don't know, ask me to demonstrate next time I see you). I pointed to the time out spot and ordered him "Get in Time Out now, and I don't want to hear any crying."
Before moving an inch he opens his mouth as wide as he can and wails as loud as he can in my face "AhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHH!" This turns me into Hysterical Pissed Off Mom, and I yell back (I admit, probably not a good decision), "GET OVER THERE NOW!" With a loud wail he runs to the living room and throws himself onto the carpet in the designated Time Out spot. Then he rolls into his automatic complaints (whether true or not) that he is sick and he starts to cough in a way that would normally indicate he is about to give me a second look at his breakfast, but that never amounts to anything other than him torturing himself to put on a display to gain my sympathy. This continues between sobs and running tears and boogers, as he informs me "I'm sick!" Alternating with a cough-cough and attempted gagging noises. Then he proceeds to grab his stomach and complain in between coughs and gagging, "My stomach hurts."
Now, the first two times he pulled this stunt, I totally was at his side comforting him and trying to soothe him and keep him from barfing all over. After that, I figured out that it is all a contrived show to get my attention off the fact that he just acted like a total brat or was behaving poorly. So now my response (whether appropriate in your estimation or not) is, "Stop it. You're not sick and your stomach wouldn't hurt if you would just stop crying." Of course, this just pisses him off more, but there's no way I'm going to acknowledge his temper tantrum as anything other than just that - a temper tantrum. Of course, he's probably quite right that he feels bad - I remember feeling bad after throwing fits like that too. Still, I'm not giving him sympathy when all he has to do to feel better is stop crying and do what he is told.
After continued coughing, gagging noises and crying, I tell him to get out of time out and go the front door (where Evie is waiting quietly and watching the entire episode without a word - smart girl). He still is ticked and barely moving from his time out spot so I go pick him up and tell him that he is being silly. I try once again to zip his coat, but that just pisses him off even more, so I gave up and walked him to the front door. (Remember, I'm carrying a four year old boy against his will as he struggles against my prego belly, and yet, I find it amazing that I haven't really lost my cool yet, well except for the moment of Hysterical Pissed Off Mom.) We get to the door and I've given up trying to reason with Luke so I just set him down (jacket fully unzipped but still on his body) and we all exit the house into the cold weather.
Before Luke can even get to the car, he starts whining that he is cold. I look at him with my evil squinted mom eyes and think, but don't actually voice, "No Shit!? Ugh!" What I did say was, "That's why you had to wear your coat. Now get in the car so we can get warm." And that was it.
I only convey that story to say, Why the hell don't kids want to wear their coats? Do they truly think that I'm an idiot and it isn't really cold outside? Do they think coats are just a torture device created by mothers and fathers? What is it?
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Happy Thanksgiving . . . it's your turn to say Happy Thanksgiving back.
Quite honestly, Chuck and I find this to be one of the most annoying exchanges in this whole movie. I don't know why it gets under our skin, but we cringe everytime we watch this part.
As for George, the doctor confirmed that he is riding exceptionally low. The feeling where my leg occassionally feels like it is falling out of my hip socket has kicked in. What a pleasure. People who see this happen while I'm walking often want to call an ambulance for me and I have to assure them (while I catch my breath and wait for the feeling to dissipate) that I'm just fine. Blood pressure was up also - 140 over 84. Sounds like George is cooking up just right and if I keep playing my blood pressure cards right, we will have an early delivery.
Until then, we have Thanksgiving and a round of Christmas parties (oh, and one major hearing) to get through. On a bright note, I saw a one month old baby at the doctor's office today and I couldn't help but stare, feel my uterus do a little flip-flop of joy, and really feel excited that we are having another beautiful baby. I think in the midst of all this other stuff, I tend to forget how wonderful this little miracle is.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Both the kids are still suffering from the nasty cold too. I guess it is time to call in the doctor. Now, where do I find the time to get them to the doctor? Poor little, snotty darlings.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
On a happier note: The women attorneys at my office are throwing a celebratory dinner for me in honor of George's impending arrival. Isn't that sweet? No more showers for this old mother. Plus, I can't imagine subjecting anyone to the pain of attending yet another baby shower for me.
Oddly enough I am woefully unprepared for George -- no diapers, bottles, pacifiers, formula, and I have no idea where Luke's baby clothes are. Luckily I've had a few gifts of clothing that should get me by at least for a few days. Still, I need to start getting prepared, although if I listen to Chuck he'll tell me that we don't need to do anything for George. In his words, "One trip to Babies R Us will take care of everything." Unfortunately, I can't just let it all go until George's actual arrival. And my attempts at redecorating Evie's pretty green/pink nursery (replacing the pink with brown and blue) is not going well. There are still plenty of remnants of pink, and I can't seem to get motivated to make the complete transition since what I've done to date looks pretty crappy. Poor George.
I better not die anytime soon, because if Chuck is left to raise these kids they will never have a birthday party, sign up for sports, get school supplies before the first day of school, or be prepared for anything or any event (except Aggie football games). And heaven help Evie getting ready for prom - Chuck might actually get the dress and shoes taken care of (since he is such a fashion hound - yes, it surprises the shit out of me too, but it is true), but I doubt he'll remember the boutonniere, transportation, her pantyhose and appropriate underwear, pictures, etc.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I'm not sure what has put the thought of marriage into their heads, but Evie talks about who she is going to marry too. I think someone told them that you marry your best friend (not too far off, right?). The awkward part is that right now Evie's best friend is me, Luke, and Daddy. So, she announces that I am going to marry Daddy and she is going to marry me, and Daddy, and Luke. Okay, whatever you want kiddo.
With all that said, and considering I spent all weekend trapped in a house with those two little ones, I still think they are the most adorable things when they aren't being brats or throwing up.
Hope you all had a great weekend!
Friday, November 14, 2008
At National Adoption Day (in my area), each child that is adopted receives a book, a stuffed animal, and a pendant with their new name engraved on it. On a side note: A very special local jeweler donates the materials and his time and hand engraves each pendant himself for each child each year. This year, the jeweler will once again donate his time and materials although the event will be bitter sweet since a large donation of books will be made to NAD in the name of his son (my friend) who was killed in a car accident two months ago. It is also interesting to mention that the local young lawyer's group I am involved in honored this jeweler for his generous contribution to NAD over the years and his son (who is now deceased) presented the award to him last spring. I digress.
The best part of tomorrow that I get to present the parents to the court for the final adoption proceeding when the court grants the final adoption decree, and I have to ask the parents (and this is where I get choked up just thinking about it), "Do you understand that adoption is like a promise and that you are promising this child to love her forever and ever and to keep her as a part of your family forever and ever?" It's just the most beautiful thing!
I am so excited for this new family and all the new families across the nation that will be created or altered for the better tomorrow.
Much love to all of you, and may your weekend be as wonderful as mine is sure to be!
With regard to the Baylor game, I said, "I can barely walk around my office right now, because I'm in a fair amount of pain . . . there's no freakin' way I'm going to go to a football game where I'll have to haul kids around and walk everywhere. Plus, I'm sick. I want to sit at home and rest this weekend." No response, except the ocassional comment of, "Are you sure I can't go to the Baylor game?"
With regard to the Bonfire, I said, "Do you even know when it is?" Him, "No, I'll have to find out." Me, "Well, I can't imagine it would be something we want to take the kids to yet, so we'd have to drive to Houston, drop the kids and then drive back to College Station for the bonfire." Him, - no words, just a blank stare as he tried to figure out what was wrong with this plan. I changed the subject.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Category 1: Women who have a family and go back to work part time so they can dedicate more of their lives to raising their children; or
Category 2: Women who have a family and go back to work full time and are fully committed to their careers.
I know both types of women. And I spoke with a fellow attorney last night who has been practicing for 12 years, has had a family and has decided to work part time so that she can spend more time with her children. Noble and worthy. I fully respect her decision. But it returns me to the question, is she sacrificing her career? Is it okay for the industry to classify her as something less than the women in Category 2?
I also know female attorneys (and think I am one of them) who falls into Category 2. I work full time, bill the budgeted hours (or more), and continue to commit myself to serving the community in various capacities, even though I have to still make sacrifices so that I can take care of sick kids and attend school open houses. However, this returns me to the ever present dilemma that I am spending less time with my children. Am I somehow cheating my children out of something? Is it okay for the industry to classify me as something more than women in Category 1 and/or something less than my male counterparts?
Moreover, is it okay that we are all paid differing salaries (i.e. Category 1 is paid less than Category 2 and Category 2 may be paid less than male counterparts - not that this is necessarily true across the board)?
Furthermore, there is still the business aspect of the entire thing: Women who work and bill fewer hours bring in less profit - plain and simple. Should this failure to bring in a profit be reflected in their salaries? Should salaries be even across the board based on experience? Should salaries reflect your community involvement? At a fundamental level, every business must consider the value created by and employee and how much that employee is worth. I can't honestly say that I am as available (with regard to hours committed to work) as my male counterpart. Therefore, should I be making the same amount of money as my male counterpart?
Whereas my male counterpart can be at work every day of every week and work early and late, I am held to a daycare schedule. My husband or I have to pick up our kids at a certain time - no one else is going to do it (except in an emergency - which we have encountered). We have to stay at home when the school is closed or when our kid is sick. We have to take our kids to the doctor for regular check ups and doctor appointments. We don't have a stay at home wife who can handle birthday party planning, doctor's appointments, soccer practice, dance lessons, phone calls from the school principal or nurse, grocery shopping, picking up the dry cleaning. My husband and I split all these duties, but we both make sacrifices for our jobs and for our families. We both could potentially be more successful at work if we had the time and freedom to spend more hours there or more hours drumming up business, but instead, we choose to have a family. We both could spend more time with our children if we cut back hours at work. As it is, we balance the situation we've chosen and we still try to have our own adult time, together and apart.
Back to my male counterpart who either doesn't have children and/or a wife, or the male counterpart who has a house wife, I can easily see how a business would find that he creates more value by being able to work later, attend more after-work functions building more client relations, and by not having to take off for 6 weeks or more to have a baby. If you simply look at cash in and cash out - the male counterpart is a better choice, and it is difficult to justify choosing a woman to fill the spot when you could choose a man who is just as capable as the woman. So, I think it comes down to the fact that women simply must make themselves better than their male counterpart. Women must offer something that the male counterpart cannot, whether that be better connections, better customer service, better job performance, better attitude, better loyalty, or whatever.
I know that there are plenty of women out there who disagree with this appraisal of the workplace. Many women believe that we are entitled to have a job, get paid the same, and still take a paid maternity leave despite the fact that we will not bring in the same amount of profit as we would if we did not have to take a maternity leave. And, quite frankly, I think the entire debate sucks. It's a crappy situation, because I have to bear the children. My husband can't split that duty with me on that. It is my career that takes a hit. I am the one who has to take off 6 weeks and miss the opportunities that arise at work during that time. I am the one who will have to pass off my responsibilities so that I can exit the workforce to give birth and nurse my newborn. I am the one who will have to ease back into the workforce after the child is old enough to start daycare. Only women can take bear the child, thus, only the woman will bear the brunt of this sacrifice on her career. This will never change. It is a fact of life, and it sucks.
Thus, I am brought to the question, of how this affects raises, bonuses, and the possibility of promotion (in my case, making partner). I haven't been able to take advantage of all the opportunities that my male counter part has because I've missed weeks of firm business. I have not been able to bill or collect the same amount of money that my male counter part has. Even if I make partner, I will still have a family to raise and commitments that will arise outside of work. Luckily, I think that many males today share many of these commitments so the gulf between us after the childbearing years lessens, but there are still the curmudgeons of yesteryear who see things differently.
It is also interesting to me that women who have a family, whether in Category 1 or Category 2, are thought less of in either case. If you are in Category 1 then the senior attorneys may think, "She doesn't care enough about her career to practice full time and she'll never be fully committed to the practice of law [or fill in other profession here]." If, however, you are in Category 2, then the senior attorneys may think, "She is not a very good mother since she isn't staying at home to take care of her children." I've heard both of these comments phrased by "open-minded" men with a more positive spin such as, "I can't believe she doesn't want to be at home with her kids more." or "She has such potential as an attorney, I can't believe she wants to give up on how successful she could be by going part time."
In the end, it is what it is, and I don't think there is a solution. (But certainly let me know if you think of one). Women will always be the ones bearing children. I just think we need to support one another's choices: Category 1 supports the decisions of Category 2, and Category 2 supports the decisions of Category 1, and male counterparts recognize and support the sacrifices that Categories 1 and 2 make for their families and careers. (Oh, and I would add (while I'm on my soapbox), please don't judge another person for choosing Category 1 or Category 2. We're all in this together. I personally don't think I would be a good stay at home mom, so Category 2 is my choice. Others may be kick-ass stay at home moms on a full time or part time basis - and I tip my hat to you and respect you and your ability to do that for your children.)
Sorry for the novel, but I've been engaged in this discussion multiple times in the last week, and obviously more than that throughout my career as a working mom. I'd love to hear your thoughts. There's plenty of debate in this topic.
I don't think I could fully appreciate what the article had to say until after I had a child and actually experienced several of the topics of dicussion, but my motto is "The more you know, the better prepared you will be." (Well, that really isn't my one and only motto, obviously, but it is a pretty good one). Anyhoo . . . here are links to the two articles written by John Hoffman, and I think they are very insightful even if they are Canadian (just kidding about the Canadian bit). But really, there isn't much different between Canadian and American parents, eh?
A Girl's Guide to Rookie Dads
A Guy's Guide to New Mothers
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I AM NOT A DOCTOR. I AM NOT AN EXPERT REGARDING FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME. NONE OF THE REPRESENTATIONS MADE HEREIN SHOULD BE RELIED UPON AS MEDICAL ADVICE.
With that said, here are some links to great resources which can inform you regarding both sides of the fence (to drink or not to drink). These are more focused on a U.S. audience (I've had hits from other countries), but there is an article at the end that compares the stances taken by various countries around the world.
In my opinion (which counts for nothing since I'm not a doctor), this is a personal choice - as personal as deciding whether to get pregnant. Please inform yourself and make a decision from there. Please do not judge others if their decision is different from yours.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state that no amount of alcohol while pregnant is safe:
Study by Oxford reveals occasional binge drinking does little harm:
Medical Textbooks still condone drinking while pregnant:
Federal Drug Administration and U.S. Surgeon General's stance:
"Alcohol warning for pregnant women". FDA Consumer. . FindArticles.com. 12 Nov. 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1370/is_3_39/ai_n16419491
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Frequently Asked Questions about FAS published by the CDC:
Article "Yes, You Can Drink While Pregnant"
Articles regarding Study performed by University College of London which found that light drinking while pregnant may be beneficial, particularly to boys:
Articles regarding drinking alcohol to prevent preterm labor (this is not social drinking):
Oxford Study regarding linking drinking alcohol and preterm birth:
And my favorite, an article comparing different countries' stances on drinking while pregnant:
I hope you will take this information and make an informed decision. Again, I must emphasize that I AM NOT A DOCTOR. Happy researching, and congratulations if you are pregnant!