Tuesday, December 22, 2015


This is my 100th post. I feel like it should be something super amazing to commemorate, but it's not really.

There are moments, when you have kids, that you just kind of soak into and think you will remember forever. But, like a lot of moments, you forget them eventually.

Chumbercules needs a lot of love lately. He spends a lot of time with Dad, but he and I don't get to go on our special just-the-two-of-us outings anymore. We haven't been to the library in over a month. We don't go on walks downtown. Dad puts him to bed about half the time now and it used to be me. 90% of the time. Normally at bed time, after we read stories and he climbs into his crib, he asks for hugs and kisses and to be tucked in. He cries and says, "Wait!" when I'm walking to the door. The night before last, he asked for two hugs. Last night, he asked for four. I wonder if tonight he will ask for eight?

Having one kid is constantly having your attention divided between your partner and your child. (And the dogs but, sadly, they are the lowest priority for attention and I now understand why people get rid of pets when they have kids). Add a second kid and nobody gets any love. Except for the baby. Because I'm breastfeeding and I kind of have to hold him to do that. So, I've discovered stationary games I can play with Chumby. He makes guns out of his toys and he will hand me a gun and we shoot at each other. The other day, Brown Sugar took a nap right after I got home from work, so Chumb and I ran around the front yard, sword fighting with sticks and hiding behind trees. It was nice.

Mr. Adventure and I need a date night. Chumby needs more attention. The dogs need a walk. And I am seriously slacking on the picture-a-day thing for Brown Sugar. For Chumb, I took a picture nearly every day (I missed a few, but whatever). I haven't taken Sugar's picture since the 13th. Maybe instead of a 365 I'll do a 52? Maybe aim for one a week? One a month? When he's older and asks why we didn't do one a day maybe we can tell him it's because we love him 85% less? Just to be dicks? Or because time goes by about 85% faster when you have two kids. I've been back at work for two months now and it simultaneously feels like I've only been back a day and that I never left.

We have the Little Miss this week. I went to her school and saw their little Christmas program and I almost started tearing up in the beginning. But then I didn't want to be the crazy lady in the audience crying at the 1-3rd grade holiday program, particularly when I'm not related to any of the kids.

There's a guy in the southeast part of town who goes all out for Christmas. He gives rides on his vintage fire truck and on his sleigh (that he pulls through the streets with his ATV). We went and checked out his amazing holiday decorations and took a ride on the fire engine on Saturday night. Then we went back home for hot cocoa with marshmallows. Mr. A got a great picture of the kids next to the fire engine and the dude, all decked out in a Christmas poncho and Santa hat, holding Brown Sugar. I think we are going to hit the botanical garden on Wednesday night for Winter Garden Aglow and there's another house in town who does this ridiculous Christmas light show that we will probably go see. The Little Miss goes' back to mom's on Christmas morning, so we are doing our gift exchange on Christmas Eve, with Santa gifts (assuming the kids are well-behaved) coming on Christmas morning.

For gifts, the Little Miss (age 7, nearly 8) is getting:
A super awesome Kite from Santa
A 7" tablet with a fancy purple case (thank you, Groupon Goods, for your affordable prices!)
Russian Nesting Dolls
Pajamas. With a hood and feet. That are purple. Because they don't come in my size, I'm living my dreams through my stepdaughter.
Playing cards, rings, a ball and cup and various little things for her stocking.
And I still need to get her a book.

For Chumby (age 2):
Janod Robot Magnets The whole Janod toy line is pretty amazing and I'm pretty excited.
A shark backpack with dinosaur pajamas and a flashlight inside.
A recorder, some plastic dinosaurs and various things for his stocking.
Mustache Baby Meets his Match
Chu's Day at the Beach
I really want to get him the Playskool Alphie Robot and a balance bike, but he's two. And, instead of buying him an amazing Power Wheels Dune Buggy that I could have purchased for a reasonable price, I bought myself Elvis Costello tickets. Because he won't remember this Christmas, but I will remember blowing all my money on Elvis Costello. And seeing him live. And buying tickets within the 10-15 minute time frame they were available before selling out.

For Brown Sugar (age 3 months):
The sock rattle I made
A new hat exactly like a hat he has now in the next size up
Chumby's old teething toys
Odd and the Frost Giants
And a new bottle and medium flow nipples.

Let me tell you about this bottle.

I never thought I would think a bottle was amazing. It's just a bottle, right? No. This. Is. Amazing.

I was invited to join the Wee Spring parent panel and test out MAM's fancy new anti-colic bottle in exchange for writing a review on the MAM website. Mr. Adventure is the one that does the Bottle Feeding and we used Dr. Brown's and Life Factory bottles for Chumby.

I told Mr. A the bottle was coming and he opened it and washed it as soon as it came in the mail. Then he started texting me about the amazingness. He said Brown Sugar was swallowing half as much air as with the Dr. Brown's bottles. The design is pretty spectacular and it is super easy to clean. It can be microwave sterilized. The nipple design is a little flat and has ridges or something inside that does something magical. The base has holes in it designed for air flow so when the baby sucks harder, instead of collapsing the bottle nipple, he gets more milk. Mr. A loves this bottle. He had a friend over who also fed the babe and he also loves the bottle. He said if his son hadn't just turned one, he would be switching to the MAM anti-colic bottles. So, there you go. Stay at Home Dad approved. And baby approved, too, I'm sure. Who doesn't want to swallow less air when they are eating?

I think that's it. Did anyone else watch the Miss Universe Pageant the other night? I can't even imagine how horrifying it would be to be Miss Colombia. Or Steve Harvey, really.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Curse of the Monkey Skeleton

Halloween happened recently. We took Chumbercules out trick-or-treating to score us some candy for the first time. He was a tiny blonde Superman who kept trying to go into people's houses and, as the night progressed, was saying, "trickamatreat" when people opened their doors. It was pretty freaking cute. And it was warm here, which was nice. Though it isn't warm anymore. It's snowed the past couple of days.

Anyway, one of our Halloween decorations is some skeleton I scored in the discount bins several years ago. It's a coated wire frame and burlap, basically. The head has straw on it and the eyes glow red and it laughs. It's motion-detected, so when you walk by it, it does these things. Chumby thought the laughter sounded like a monkey, and from there, the dreaded Monkey Skeleton was born.

Chumb is both intrigued by and scared of the Monkey Skeleton. He cried when he first heard it laugh. The day after Halloween the Monkey Skeleton was sitting outside and we were going grocery shopping and dude wouldn't go out the door because the Monkey Skeleton was there. So, I tossed him in the laundry room and we got in the car.

I came home from work on Monday and the Monkey Skeleton was sitting on the back of one of the couches. I guess when Chumb woke up, he was asking about it, so Mr. Adventure pulled it out and let Chumby examine it. When I got home, it was kind of creepy. He was giving the Monkey Skeleton high fives and saying, "Monkey Skeleton loves me." or, "Monkey Skeleton gonna get me." I'm pretty sure both of those things come from Mr. A. Because Monkey Skeleton quickly became his new parenting tool.

"Eat your dinner or Monkey Skeleton is going to get you."
"Potty on the toilet or Monkey Skeleton is going to get you."

I come home from work and am greeted by these giant, round, blue eyes, asking me, "Monkey Skeleton gonna get me?" I have no idea how many times I have said, "No, the Monkey Skeleton isn't going to get you."

Hamburglar is two, so he's at the prime age for night terrors. Some of these bad dreams have horses and all sorts of things going on, but the other night, he was dreaming about the freaking Monkey Skeleton (which we still hadn't put away). I told the Mister that I thought it was time to pack up the Monkey Skeleton. Last night at dinner (Monkey Skeleton sits at the dinner table with us), Chumb looked at me and asked again, "Monkey Skeleton gonna get me?" and I said no and decided to put him away. Little Man ran from the dining room, screaming, when I picked up the Monkey Skeleton. I just tossed it into our bedroom on the bed, which prompted a whole new series of questions during dinner. "Monkey Skeleton on your bed? Monkey Skeleton sleeping? Monkey Skeleton tired. He sleeping," and so on. Finally, after dinner, I removed the batteries from Monkey Skeleton and shoved him in the Halloween box. Hopefully that will be the end of the Monkey Skeleton concerns.

In Brown Sugar news...

He went in for his two month exam. He weighs 13 pounds, 8 ounces, has a 16 inch head circumference and is 23.75 inches long. They say you should never compare your first and second child. I don't know about anyone else, but that's pretty much all I do. Chumby was 14 pounds at his two month exam. I don't remember the rest of the stats, but I see some sort of growth comparison chart happening within the next year, comparing the growth of my two boys. Because that's what you do when you're a mom scientist, right? Scientist mom? Mother of dragons? Chemistry? What?

Having another kid and a single income family can be pretty straining on the budget, so I'm making Christmas gifts this year. I will post pictures of things I make, if you're interested. Really, I will do it anyway. Because this is my blog, y'all.

I was inspired by the folks over at Happy Hooligans and their 70+ Homemade Toys to Make for your Kids. I already made the sock bunny rattle for Brown Sugar. The rad thing about that was, even with my shoddy sewing skills (I only know one stitch!) I was able to bang out the whole thing in a couple of hours. I did the cutting during nap time, around two in the afternoon. And between nursing, making dinner and putting the kids to bed, I had the whole thing done by 8p. I haven't put a face on it yet. I'm not sure if I'm going to.

I'd like to make a balance board for Hamburglar, but I'm trying to find an old skateboard deck for free or cheap that I can repurpose. And I have a ton of cardboard at my work I can use to make some cardboard construction pieces. I was going to make a couple foam lacing toys, then one of the moms  in my local moms group let us all know that they have wooden 8-packs of lacing toys in the Dollar Spot at Target for $3. So, I scored Chumby some robot ones. I also found a little wooden shape puzzle and some spiderman socks. And some ladybug playing cards for the Little Miss. Who isn't really little anymore. Kid isn't even 8 and she's a freaking Amazon.

Speaking of the Little Miss, we scored her a great tablet for $50 from Groupon Goods. I think she'll be pretty excited. And, since I'm making things for the boys, I thought I would make her something, too. I've seen those story boxes that are, like, $50, that come with a story printout and some dolls so you can act out the story. Then, I thought, "I bet I can make that for way cheaper!" And I found a tutorial online. I decided to go with Little Red Riding Hood because I will only need to make 4 dolls. Though, I keep thinking I should do a Little Prince theme instead. I don't know. She knows the story of Red. I have about a month to decide for sure. And I figured I would gift the dolls in their little story box with a copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales. And, since she's nearly 8, I imagine she will make Present Face.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Nursing, swearing, reading, creating

I always have brilliant ideas for what I'm going to write about either late at night or super early in the morning when I'm feeding Brown Sugar. But I never remember what they are later. Oh, well.

I received a text from a friend on Sunday. She said, "I'm nursing a hangover!" to which I responded, "I'm nursing a baby!" It's interesting to see how different paths lead people different places. She graduated college a year before me.

I was thinking about that the other day. I think it was late Friday or Saturday night when I was up with the babe. Or maybe I was doing dishes. I realized that if I didn't have kids, I would probably be nursing a hangover, too. And then I wondered what I used to do with all my time. Aside from drink, I didn't really do a whole lot. I went to work. I bought really expensive glasses that are super fancy and made of titanium. I walked around a lot, looking for new places to drink. So, having kids has made me sober but also made me want to drink. A lot. By next September, I will be drinking all the wine in the world. I will have one of those beer hats with the straws, but I will have wine on one side and water on the other. Because hydration is really important, you guys, and I need to set a good example.

Speaking of setting a good example...

We've entered the parrot phase. Chumbercules repeats nearly everything either Mr. Adventure or I say. I really need to watch my mouth while I'm driving. Like, really. I'm not even going to write what I said (and what Chumby repeated over and over again for the next 3 miles). Because it was bad. Very, very bad. At home he tends to swear in context, though. Some people talk about how genius their children are. Ours is a swearing prodigy. And I don't find that surprising.

Breastfeeding is way easier this time around. It has been since the beginning. I think Chumb may have had a slight lip or tongue tie, or maybe I was just really bad at breastfeeding. But, things are way easier with Brown Sugar. For me. Mr. A is staying home again and Brown Sugar isn't a fan of the bottle, I hear.

We had the Little Miss over the weekend, though I think she may have Amazon blood because the kid is a giant. The Home Depot has kid's workshops the first Saturday of each month. They're totally free and they do some cool stuff. Last month she made a wooden fire engine for Fire Safety month and this month she made a wooden jet for Veteran's Day. They get a little apron and a pin to represent the activity they did. She's 7 and it's something fun she gets to do, just her and her dad, which is nice.

Chumb loves his baby brother, but sometimes it's hard. Like if Tiny wakes up from his nap and is all, "waaah! I'm a baby and I'm crying because I'm hungry!" And Chumby will say something like, "No! Put nipple away. Don't feed brother, I hungry, too." because he wants me to make him some food. So, that's a challenge. It's definitely way easier when Mr. A and I are both home. I don't know how people do it once they're outnumbered. Mr. A was sick on Sunday and was in bed and it was very hectic in the House of Adventure. I wanted to take the kids to the park, but I also didn't want to take three kids somewhere by myself. I guess I'm just not brave enough.

I know it isn't even Thanksgiving yet, but I've been thinking about Christmas and Christmas gifts. We are trying to get rid of pretty much everything we own and trying not to spend a lot of money. We scored the Little Miss a tablet from Groupon Goods for $50. She will be 8 in January, so it seems like a good age. But, with the little guys, we are kind of in this magical place where neither of them really give a shit. Sure, Chumby is starting to figure out this whole present thing (he sang happy birthday for about two weeks after he turned two, then got really excited  for his Uncle's birthday. So excited that I made my brother blow out a candle because Chumby thought the cake needed some fire). So, I think I'm going to DIY it. The only problem with that is, like with most things in my life, I get things about 85% complete before I just stop working on them.

I found this list from Happy Hooligans of over 70 DIY toys and crafts to make. I'm thinking a sock bunny rattle for the baby and maybe some of those wooden roads for Chumby? Or a drop box? Maybe some of those alphabet clothespin dolls for the Little Miss? That's the other tough thing for us. Mr. Adventure and I were early readers and we both loved to read. We were super advanced readers by the time we were in second grade. The Little Miss doesn't really care for reading and isn't reading at grade level, so we are constantly thinking of things we can do to help her improve her skills without her realizing she's learning something.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How to successfully induce labor/A birth story, volume 2

For those of you that have wondered where I have been, it's this insane place called Maternity Leave. And since my laptop has been broken forever and I didn't want to write any posts on my phone and I was spending "quality time" with my family... I haven't updated. But, I'm back!  Hi!

My last post was on September 8th, and that is the day I learned how to successfully induce labor. I just had to resign myself to the fact that I was going to be pregnant forever. I had to completely give up all hope that Brown Sugar was ever going to be born. I did that with my blog post that morning. And I had done that in my heart the day before when I talked to my boss and decided to come back to work the day after labor day, because all I was doing was wasting my paid leave. Though it was nice.

So, for those of you interested in how Brown Sugar's birth went, just look at part two of Hamburglar's birth story. I was all like, "same birth, different day." Or something.

But really, I was at work on the 8th of September. Being all super pregnant and past my due date. Posting pictures of myself in my lab coat on Facebook, wondering if I would have to go up a lab coat size since I was going to be pregnant forever. My stomach had been tightening regularly throughout the morning, but I just figured it was Braxton Hicks or something. Then, around one, I was in the break room chatting with a coworker who also has two kids and she was telling my about how she went into labor at work with her second. While we were talking, I noticed my stomach doing weird things and she said, "I think you're having contractions." So, I started timing them. They were coming about every five minutes and were lasting about a minute. After talking with her a few more minutes, I decided I should probably leave work. So, I sent a few emails, got everything ready in my lab for me to be gone for a while, changed into my street clothes, told my boss I was "feeling birthy" and hopefully wouldn't be back at work until November, then I left.

I called Mr. Adventure on my way home and told him I was pretty sure I was in labor, but I would call him back to confirm it in a bit. (He was less than two months in at a new job, and they didn't want him to leave to be present for the birth of his son, for some reason). And I called him back about ten minutes later, before I even made it home. Hamburglar was at day care, so it was just me and the dogs at home, who I promptly sent outside and I took a shower, braided my hair and did my makeup (all exactly like my first baby).

My labor never really got as intense as it did with Hamburglar. And I was more present. I was really deep in transition when we went to L&D the first time, and I had no idea where it was or that I had ridden in an elevator. This time I was so present. I remember filling out the paperwork and signing it and I was able to read it! I was having regular contractions, but it was different and better this time. Mr. Adventure parked the car and got to L&D right when they were taking me back.

We arrived at the hospital around 3:45p. I let everyone know I had a history of fast labor, and that I was delivering with the laborist on call. I scribbled my birth plan on a 3x5 card before we left the house (For me: no drugs, no port, early discharge. For Brown Sugar: No hep B vaccine, no circumcision, early discharge) with some in-case-of-emergency stuff on the back (in the result of a c-section, dad goes with baby, skin to skin and breastfeeding ASAP with me, etc). They brought us back and put us in one of the eval rooms. They wanted me to pee in a cup, and while we were standing in the bathroom and she was writing my name on the cup, my water broke. I let her know that and told her that, with Chumby, it was 25 minutes from when my water broke and he was born.

Because of the amniotic fluid and meconium (which is pretty normal for babies born after 40 weeks) my pee-in-a-cup didn't look normal. I was trying not to freak out when I looked at it. So, mostly I just avoided looking at it. My contractions were getting more intense and no one had checked on me in several minutes. I was about to send Mr. Adventure out to get someone when our nurse came back. (Mr. A was great giving me water, keeping me hydrated, and not touching me. Which are the things I enjoy during labor). We went to the labor room. I was chatting in between contractions. They were never able to get a full twenty minutes of the baby on the monitor because of my contractions, which were continuing to intensify.

Pretty soon after moving to the delivery bed, I told the nurse I was pretty sure I was going to have my baby. She told me I wasn't. After my next contraction I told her I was pushing. She said, "Wait!" and I guess she slapped some emergency button to get people in there. I don't know how many times I pushed before the baby was out, but she's the one who caught him. And, it turns out, there was a room full of people who had poured in when she hit the button, but I didn't notice. NICU was on standby in case baby boy had aspirated meconium, which he didn't. So, Brown Sugar was born at 4:31p on September 8th, weighing in at 8 pounds, two ounces (a full 6 ounces smaller than his brother! That's, like, a serving of chicken breast, if you're still following a faux infant cannibalism meal plan).

After I was moved up to the maternity ward, Mr. A went to pick up Chumby from a friend's house (she picked him up from day care and fed him dinner). Then brought him back to the hospital to see me. He was really excited about his baby brother and totally loves him.

So, there you go. I've had two labors that lasted about 3 hours each, with the last hour being the most intense. Mr. A is an awesome birth partner. And I have two healthy boys. I swear, Brown Sugar has already tripled his birth weight in the past seven weeks. Dude likes to EAT.

And that's all I have time for today. But, just so you all know, two is better than one. And maternity leave was much more fun this time around.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Everyone is a liar.

Back when I used to be cool and I lived in Central America, I was sitting underneath my mango tree one day in a hammock chair, sunglasses on, gently nursing a hangover... my friend Roberto came by with some soup or beverage, something to help with my hangover. He looked at me and recommended a drink. I looked at him and groaned, "Ugh, I'm never drinking again!" And he told me:

The Three Greatest Lies in the World
1. I'll never drink again
2. I'll pay you tomorrow
3. Just the tip

It's even funnier in Spanish, I swear.

But there is a new lie I have learned about. And it's being espoused by nearly everybody. And I would like to let you all know, right now, that second babies do not come early.

Google "Second babies" and you'll get all sorts of hits letting you know to expect your second earlier than your first. Unless this baby comes today or tomorrow, that's a mother fucking lie.

I did, however, receive the only appropriate response to a woman telling you she is past her due date over the weekend.

I was at Dog Park Baby's second birthday party on Saturday. Dog Park Grandma was there (my friend's MIL) and we were chatting and she asked me when I was due. I told her, "Last Thursday." and I probably looked super sad when I said it, because she just said, "Oh honey!" and gave me a hug. I don't normally like to be hugged by people I don't know, but, somehow, it was the only appropriate response. Anything else would have been stupid.

Like the chick there that told me to shove my hand in my vagina and sweep my own membranes. Stupid. Or my friend's sister's girlfriend who told me to smoke pot. Okay, crazy lady. No wonder your kids were taken by the state of California.

I have tried just about everything else in the world, though. I've been walking a million miles a day. I tried "nipple stimulation" (I feel like that needs quotes for some reason); once with my breast pump for about 45 minutes, and the other time I did it manually. I read that the best way is to alternate sides every fifteen minutes. So I did. For an hour and a half. I've been sitting on my exercise ball. I have purchased all of the loose red raspberry leaf from the bulk section at my local Fred Meyer (red raspberry leaf is more for toning your uterus than inducing labor, for the curious) and I drove up the bumpiest mountain road near town. Twice.

So, now I have resigned myself to the fact that I will be pregnant forever. And I have come back to work. I took Thursday and Friday off, thinking maybe I needed to relax a bit to get myself in a birth-y state of mind.

I also tried self-talk and scrubbing the kitchen floor.

Hamburglar's birthday is in nine days. I would really like a few days, at least, to recover so he and I can have some good birthday fun. But I don't know if that's going to happen. If Brown Sugar doesn't come by next week, I'm assuming I will be induced. I see the doctor today. I'm assuming I will receive some comment like, "I wasn't expecting to see you blah blah blah!" And then I will stab her with my dagger eyes.

Mr. Adventure has been telling the baby to get out, too. And we have Chumby saying to my belly, "Come out, brother!"

But nothing. So, I'm going to be pregnant forever. And, I guess, if this guy comes today or tomorrow, people aren't total liars when they say second babies come earlier, but they are liars when they say second babies come early.

And all those assholes that say, "There is no early or on time. Babies come when they are ready," are totally right. Obviously. Otherwise something I did over the weekend would have shaken this bastard loose. Oh well. I wonder what the Guinness Record is for being pregnant. Maybe I can win that?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Missionary style

I was taking out the recycling yesterday and their were two baby Mormon missionaries all free range in my neighborhood. They had a car(!) they were walking toward and asked me if I needed help. I said no, commented on the fact that they were fancy and had a car. Then they started walking toward me and I threw up my hands and said, "I was raised Mormon." They asked me why I wasn't and I said "Mostly due to my atheism." And I have to tell you, baby Mormon #1 was the one doing most of the talking. He was 18, maybe 19, and had super light, clear blue eyes. Baby Mormon #2 didn't say much, was shorter and more portly and had acne. He was also maybe 19.

Anyway, so #1 asked me all sorts of questions like: When was the last time I went to church? I thought about it for a second... it's been almost 20 years. Longer than the baby missionaries have been alive. So I realized I'm old. Thanks, Mormons.

He also asked me where I worked before I became pregnant. Awww. Baby. People still work. I'm still going to work. He also seemed surprised that I am due Thursday and was taking out the recycling. I wonder if he thought pregnant ladies just lie around like a sea otter, being pregnant and barking?

Then he asked me where I work. I told him I'm a chemist and he asked what I studied for that. I told him chemistry. He said, "That makes sense." I think #2 wasn't talking because maybe he thought his buddy was super dumb?

Then he asked me if I have more of a "Scientology outlook" on life and God and whatnot. I told him Scientologists are kinda crazy. He asked me if Scientology was the Brad Pitt religion and I said, "No. It's the Tom Cruise religion." He said, "Oh! Those guys are crazy. I belong to a bit of a crazy religion, too."

So, that was my encounter with the baby Mormons. I hope I didn't ruin things for their future wives by shattering the illusion that pregnant women can do things like walk around, take out recycling, go to work at their fancy scientist jobs...

Other than that, I have a cold. I feel like I'm dying. I'm due Thursday. The baby is the size of a baby, I'm assuming.

I just googled "How to cook a baby" and some really grisly news stories popped up. I would avoid googling that, if I were you. But you can totally look at this cookbook.

I also took Chumb to the doctor yesterday. He's had perma-snot since about a week after starting daycare and he's been up late coughing. It was his first non-wellness check-up since he's been born (other than his trip to the ER). The doc said he's at a higher risk for continued febrile seizures since he's had one. But, he said right now dude just has a cold. Or several overlapping colds.

And that's about it. Keep your fingers crossed that I stop being sick before I deliver a baby. Because that would really suck to have a cold, deliver a baby, then have to handle a newborn and a toddler all while dying.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Birth plan

To the tune of the original Batman theme song.

So, the new doctor I found is all right. She laughed at my inappropriate jokes, and that's really important to me. She seems a bit gung-ho to get this baby out of me, though. At our first meeting, she offered to induce me at 39 weeks. And yesterday at my appointment, she said she'd check my cervix and sweep my membranes next week at my 40 week appointment. Not really sure why. Last time around the midwife did a membrane sweep because my blood pressure was super high, but it was 112/80 yesterday. I think I'm the only person in my family who doesn't have high blood pressure.

A friend sent me a text yesterday and told me I should stop blogging. I asked her why, assuming I was some preachy weirdo blogging asshole that somehow bred a weird sub-group of super-sarcastic militant parents who think they are funnier than they actually are. But, no. Apparently it is because "Mommy bloggers are taking over the fucking internet." And, it seems, I am not preachy enough to be a real mommy blogger. I guess I should be more insistent on the meals you prepare for your faux-infant cannibalism diet?

At 39 weeks, Brown Sugar is the size of a watermelon or a rabbit. Did you know that watermelon.org is a site? Well now you do! And they have instructions on how to carve a motherfucking watermelon into a rabbit. Also, blogger tried to autocorrect 'motherfucking' into 'motorbiking'.

Oh, and you must carve a watermelon into a rabbit this week or you will be haunted by the creepy dead children from Edward Gorey's Gashlycrumb Tinies.

What else?

NOOOOO!!!! I just went over to my new/old favorite pregnancy website, and the domain expired! Two days ago! So, instead, here is a flashback to the last time I was 39 weeks pregnant. It's pretty much the same. I haven't packed a hospital bag this time, either. Or installed the car seat. I did get a new car, though. I traded in the Fit for a 1998 Nissan Pathfinder that will be completely paid for in 6 months instead of three years. I'm pretty excited. Even though it's white.

Chumby is good. Now that he's in daycare, I feel like I never see him. I don't know why or how, but picking him up from daycare seems to add an extra 400 hours to my day. I'm ready to have this baby just so I can stop putting on pants every day. Also, Chumb weighs less than I thought he did. He's 31.5 pounds.

Finally, since I'm not delivering with the midwife, I typed up my birth plan. The midwife had a checklist because I guess the L&D staff are too busy "working" to read a 42 page detailed birth plan such as Jamie and Jeff's Birth Plan. Though I bet they may find the time to read that one through. Because hilarious.

So, I went through what we did last time and pulled the highlights that are important to me and got it all on one page. What?! That's right, suckers.

I think that's about it. The betting pools are open for when you think 2.0 will arrive. The prize is some melted and re-solidified dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's. They were only in the car for half an hour. But I guess it is summer in the desert.

Oh! And as for a billing update: I'm still going to wait a couple more weeks to make sure they have filed everything through my insurance but, after looking at my EOB's, they seem to have sent everything through and those fuckers at the midwife's office owe me $27. Assholes.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Rage against the billing machine

I'm 37 weeks pregnant. My midwife is on holiday this week. Her partner in her practice is totally delightful and I was super looking forward to seeing her. My midwife is bad ass. Retired military, no kids and was the first midwife in my city to get rights to deliver at the biggest hospital chain in my state. Her partner is a former student who has two boys, two years apart (like mine will be). And I adore them both. Also, I like the practice they are at. But, I do not like the billing department.

After being a single income family for two years, money is tight. Having an unexpected pregnancy, money is tight. I've made payments when I can, I've been in regular contact with the billing department, but holy fucking shit. Now that we are at the end of the pregnancy, I received a voicemail from Becca in Billing letting me know that I need to be prepared to make some kind of payment at my appointment on Friday. I called her back and let her know that, I'm well aware I owe them money, but telling me I need to make a payment won't make money magically appear in my bank account. Then she started saying things like, "Well, because you've only paid x amount of money, you're essentially receiving services for free." I countered with, "That's bullshit. My insurance covers 80% of the costs." Then I told her how I used to see the best chiropractor in town, until their billing department back-billed my insurance for services I'd paid for out-of-pocket, without telling me. They were acting all shady, so I didn't trust them. And you don't mess with people's money. It makes them angry. And now I see the second best chiropractor in town. When I can afford my co-pay to see the chiropractor, which isn't very often. (Side note: I haven't had a pedicure since February. And that was a birthday present from a friend).

So, after my phone call with Becca from Billing, I called back to get the results of my group B strep test (negative) and cancel the scheduled appointments I had. I also talked to the billing manager. Then I started researching what happens if I don't find a provider before I go into labor. The hospital has laborists that work 24/7, so that's not an issue. But the nurse I talked to in L&D at the hospital told me I should page my midwife when she gets back from holiday to let her know about my billing issue, and that my midwife will probably be pretty freaking angry that the billing department is costing her clients. Especially since we moved hospitals when the midwife moved hospitals and our toddler was one of the first ten babies she delivered at the larger, fancier hospital.

So, I'm totally going to call her and let her know what happened, but I'm not going back there. I received an estimate of what I owe for services I've received and I'm trying to figure out what to do for the next couple of weeks. If it was just me, and I wasn't pregnant, and I needed three more weeks of doctors exams for something, I would just say fuck it and not go to the doctor, but shit can still go wrong even this late in the pregnancy game, and I have to make sure Brown Sugar is good.

And I came to a conclusion through this whole billing thing. You know how the billing department is always separate? I've determined it is for the same reason that nurses give shots in the pediatrician office: it's so you don't have a negative association with your direct care provider. And I don't. But I do have a negative association with the whole practice in general.

So, I called a local birth center to get a quote. My insurance doesn't cover the facility fee, so it's a minimum $1500 right there. And I don't mind delivering in a hospital anyway. Particularly if this labor goes even half as fast as the last one. So, I'm just trying to figure out the prenatal care issue. I'm going to call the health department to see if they have any recommendations. Or I may just hit Primary Health or something. It's a $20 copay when I go in there, but whatever. What extra super sucks is that we, as a family, are in that income bracket where we make too much money to get any kind of help, but we don't make enough money to have things like money in savings or a liquor cabinet so we can drink away our financial worries.

In other news, Chumby went to the dentist yesterday. They said his teeth look really good. His molars still haven't busted through yet (they're taking FOREVER) and they even let him use the whirring tooth polisher thing to polish two of his teeth. And they had a cool dragon with a mouth full of teeth and a giant toothbrush so Chumby could brush some dragon teeth. Yay! And he got a new toothbrush and the hygienist and dentist both complimented him on his manners. Such a polite young man. And I asked about flossing. They said it isn't necessary yet (until his teeth are touching) but may as well start to get him used to it. Maybe flossing his teeth will make me better about flossing mine (once a week FTW!).

This week, Brown Sugar is the size of a winter melon, Swiss Chard and a large mouth bass. So, make this. Just replace the radicchio with Swiss Chard and you will still be following the guidelines of an appropriate faux-infant cannibalism diet.

And, just for fun, here's a flashback to the last time I was this pregnant.

Friday, August 7, 2015


Chumby and I went to see my dad the other day. My stepmom is out of town, so I thought I'd check in and see how he is doing. He's doing really well. His cancer isn't in remission, but the doctors believe the tumor is dead. So, now he's living with cancer and has to get periodic maintenance chemo. He looks pretty good though and he's walking without a cane. Which is kind of amazing and surprising, since a year ago we were all (doctors included) pretty sure he was going to die.

The problem with my dad feeling better? He's back to his weirdly awkward, zero boundaries self. Every time I see him, he asks me some weirdly inappropriate or awkward question. He had asked previously if he could be in the delivery room when Chumbercules was born. (No). He asked if Chumby could have his last name. (No). He asked if Sean Connery/Brown Sugar/Cthulhu could have his first, middle AND last name. (No). I have two brothers. My dad already got to name his kids. And we aren't and never have been close, so I don't really get it. But the best? The best was the other day.

He asked me if I'm planning on getting my tubes tied. Let me say that again. He asked me if I'm planning on getting my tubes tied. Like, he opened his mouth and asked that question, thinking it was a completely appropriate and not weird question to ask someone. I was a bit taken aback and said, "What?! No!" And he said, "I've heard it doesn't hurt." Which lead me to ask if all his experience having a uterus taught him that. Then he asked if Mr. Adventure was going to get snipped. I told him I'm not interested in having an in-depth conversation about my contraceptive choices with him. If he brings it up again, I'm just going to tell him that my future plans solely involve using abortion as a contraceptive afterthought.

Seriously? WTF? I think that was on Tuesday or Wednesday. I'm still traumatized. I wish I had a therapist, just so I could talk about this. Mr. Adventure called me after work to see how my visit went (and to find out what weird fucked up thing my dad asked me/said to me. Because it's enough of a regular occurrence that it has become A Thing). Even he was surprised. I can't remember, though, if he was always like this or maybe it's the brain tumor? I don't know. I think our next visit will be after my stepmom gets back. She tends to let him know when he's being inappropriate and just fucking weird.

At 36 weeks pregnant, Sean Connery is the size of a honey dew melon or a breadbox. So, buy yourself a breadbox and shove a honey dew inside it, forget that it is there, then in a few months, wonder what the smell is in your kitchen! Or you can buy a honey dew, cut it up, bring it to a barbecue where no one will eat any of it, then leave it for the host to deal with. They also make excellent house warming gifts.

The same as last time, I can't sleep anymore because I'm peeing every ten minutes, then can't get back to sleep afterward. I saw the midwife yesterday to do my Group B strep test. I'll get the results next week.

According to my favorite pregnancy website, the baby is getting cuter. And I have been relieved of the ability to breathe. I mostly just announce that there is baby in my lungs and people look at me weird. But they do that anyway. All the time. Because I'm related to my dad. Probably.

We saw the Book of Mormon musical the other weekend. It was even more hilarious than I thought it would be. I wish I had lots of money, because I would have seen it three more times at least.

And I have heart burn.

Chumby is doing well in day care. The Little Miss is getting ready to start second grade. And she's super excited to have another little brother.

And I still have heart burn.

I feel like I'm running out of time. It was brought to my attention recently that I could have a baby as early as next week. So I should probably get a car seat or something, right?

And that's about it. Happy weekending!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Brown sugar

Pregnant Chicken tells me that, at 34 weeks pregnant, Brown Sugar is the size of a five pounds bag of sugar. Delicious.

Speaking of Pregnant Chicken, there are a couple pretty amaze balls giveaways sponsored by her and BabyList. I thought about using BabyList to set up a registry for Brown Sugar, then I realized that I don't really need shit for a second baby, and our house is only 1500 square feet. 1350 square feet of it seems to be devoted to baby shit, 100 square feet for the dogs and the other 50 for the mister and I).

The most amazing giveaway is the $4000, everything fancy for your baby plus a year of 7th generation diapers. If you think that your baby deserves nice, fancy things that you would never spend money on because you're poor and can't afford to live anywhere better than Idaho, this is the perfect opportunity for your new bundle to get a taste for the finer things before he is bitch-slapped into reality and forced to realize that the neighborhood his parents decided to buy a house in is probably one of the worst in town for schools. (But he's not even born yet. Why is he worrying about schools? You never should have entered that giveaway from BabyList! Pretentious little fuck.)

There's also the Body After Baby giveaway. I've been thinking about tight lacing to get my ribs back where they belong, but maybe shape wear could do the trick? And if it's free, why not try it?

And there's also a Babyganics and Target giveaway. I've never used the Babyganics products because, as mentioned above, I'm not fancy. Any more. I used to be fancy, though. I would drink $14 cocktails made with elderflower liqueur and squid ink and eat Basque tapas at the fancy Basque tapas bar that was right next to my house and go to fancy and ridiculous art parties at the underground gallery and venue that was two doors down from me and up the creepy stairs.

Anyway, enough about me in my twenties. Back when I was cool. I was also really drunk. And all those $14 fancy cocktails could have gone into an IRA or something grown up and fancy. Instead, all my paychecks from my first real environmental job went to booze, books and music. I WAS LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM.

Okay. Now that's really enough.

This is Mr. Adventure's first week of work, and Chumby's first week of not being at home with him. Things are going great with the mom from my mom's group, though. Chumb doesn't really care when Mr. A drops him off and he cries when I make him leave. I think he wants to live with them. They have all the cool toys, so I totally don't blame him. They also have a really nice yard and lots of windows in their house. I want to live with them, too. But, today is his last day going there. I'm taking tomorrow off and next week he starts Day Care and I start working Tuesday through Saturday so we can save a couple bucks on childcare expenses.

And my best friend from college is flying in this weekend with her husband! I'm assuming it's mainly so she can make fun of me for being so fat.

I have an appointment with the midwife today. I'm meeting her partner for the first time, just in case she is the one who is on call when I deliver. I think it's so that way I know who she is, but when you're balls deep in labor, you kind of don't give a shit who comes in the room. At least, I didn't. I didn't even open my eyes when my midwife came in. I heard her voice and she got there just in time to put on gloves and catch Hamburglar as he came flying out, like Slimer from Ghostbusters flying through a wall. But less green. And more solid.

Brown Sugar is the size of a butternut squash or something. You should probably just eat some butternut squash soup. Anything more than that and you'll end up with heartburn anyway.

According to that weird pregnancy website I found, the tip for this week is, "If you are facing trouble sleeping, try drinking a warm cup of milk and eat a banana. This will soothe you and even rock you to sleep. Try it out as it may work for you!"

I want a giant banana to rock me to sleep.

I think that's about it. I need a nap. I've been at work by 5:15 every morning this week. And I'm all fat with baby in my lungs, so it's hard to sleep. Boo hoo hoo, poor me, etc, etc.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Scary firsts

I've been wanting to write about this, but also not wanting to because it was super scary.

Hamburglar had his first fever 4th of July weekend. Well, the third of July. He wasn't very hungry at dinner and he felt really warm, so I checked his temperature and it was 101. We gave him Tylenol and some water and put him to bed. Mr. Adventure checked on him and changed his diaper at 11. His fever was still 101 (or 101 again?) and he gave him the very last of the Tylenol, which was maybe half a dose?

We figured fevers aren't a big deal. All kids get sick eventually. Chumby has had the occasional cold, but nothing really bad other than a lot of snot or gross poo diapers.

Around midnight, Mr. Adventure heard what he thought were hiccups coming through the baby monitor, but they didn't stop, so he checked on Chumby and he was having a seizure. I heard him say, "Oh my God!" but it wasn't the gross poo OMG, it was more of a panic. I shot out of bed, he handed him to me, he was twitching still a little bit and his lips were turning blue. Mr. A had a friend over who called 911, but the ambulance was seven minutes out and we only live about a mile from the hospital, so Mr. Adventure drove to the ER while I cradled Chumby, who was still non-responsive.

We were at the ER for a couple of hours. His temperature was 103.5 when they took it. They gave him some ibuprofen or something and his fever started coming down. I loved the nurse we were assigned. He was so kind and gentle. When Chumby started feeling better, he asked for a sticker (because all grown ups who work in buildings with fluorescent lights have stickers, obvs) and the nurse went out to see what he could find. He came back with a stuffed bear.

Febrile seizures are somewhat common in infants and small children, but it doesn't make it any less frightening when it happens. I remember clearly the day I realized I was mortal (after an express kidnapping in Central America!) but I think it's even scarier to discover your children are mortal. Mr. Adventure didn't sleep all weekend. Chumby's breath smelled like he was dying. That was really scary. They did a chest x-ray and tried to get him to pee in a bag (that never happened. Even though we tried running water and watching the episode of Daniel Tiger where everyone goes to the potty). The doctor said he had pneumonia and prescribed 5 days of antibiotics. I didn't know you could have pneumonia with no symptoms.

I think with all toddlers, you know they're feeling better when they are well enough to be total a-holes. So, Chumby is back to his usual self. Hopefully Mr. Adventure and I will be back to our usual selves soon.

In pregnancy news, 33 weeks pregnant. I've started calling the baby Brown Sugar, because I primarily eat generic rice krispies with brown sugar. I wonder if what you eat really impacts the temperament of your baby? When I was pregnant with Chumb, I ate a lot of salty foods and he was a pretty salty baby. He's a super sweet toddler, though. Brown Sugar/Sean Connery is all about the sweet.

Pregnant Chicken talks about breast vs. bottle feeding in her 33 week pregnant post. The first time around, I was so insistent that Hamburglar would only be breast fed and I would do it for a year. And I totally did. This time, I'm like "fuck it! Who gives a shit what this kid is eating as long as he is eating and growing?" Although, my favorite thing about breastfeeding is that it is free. And, as a family on a budget, I'm hoping I can only breastfeed this guy as well. At least for the first 6 months. I kind of hate breastfeeding and I really hate pumping, but it does give me a good excuse to take a break from work and watch shitty TV on my smart phone. Though, I don't have Netflix anymore and I'm still rocking my S2, which doesn't support Amazon Prime instant video.

We may have picked a name. I'm not willing to commit yet, but Mr. Adventure's terrible suggestions have finally worn me down and I kind of don't care what we name the kid anymore. All I know is that I am going to pick a quality and classic middle name so that if he hates the name Mr. A has picked, he can thank me for a quality backup name. During one of my many, many googling sessions of things like "baby naming for assholes," I came across this post from the daddyfiles on baby naming. I liked it.

At 33 weeks pregnant, Brown Sugar is the size of a durian (see: WTF is a durian? from 2013). Here is a recipe for Durian Puree Cheesecake. And here is a recipe for Durian Breakfast Muffins. I feel that the muffins really get into the spirit of faux infant cannibalism, because the recipe calls for brown sugar.

I think that's about it. Mr. Adventure scored a fancy day job, so he's trading in his Stay-At-Home-Dad hat for some Lord-Loves-A-Workin'-Man boots. He starts Monday, though, after being offered the job yesterday, which gives us very little time to find a day care/child care situation. The extra complication is that I don't get until next week, our budget is super tight and daycare is mother f-ing expensive. But, I have a mom from my mom group that said she can help out at least until we find something, or, if things go well, she may be willing to watch Chumby until I go on maternity leave in September! Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

31 weeks

I am huge.

I think my stomach has tripled in size in the past three weeks. And, as a point of reference, my bra size is a 36H. So that is a giant belly.

Do you like my kitchen floor?

Anyway, at 31 weeks, all the normal pregnancy culprits are there. I have heart burn. My lower back hurts. I'm peeing 1000 times per night. It's good stuff.

At 31 weeks, Sean Connery is the size of a pineapple, leeks and a mini skirt. So, slap on a mini skirt that will fit you and grill some pineapple and serve it with leeks? Or you can make this recipe that came up when I googled "Pineapple and leeks" just now.

According to my old favorite, weird blog, only 6-8 hours a day will be dedicated to feeding and changing my newborn. I hope that's true this time around. Because I'm pretty sure that's all I did the first time around. Maybe with some intermittent napping.

According to me, I had to pee all the time last time, too. And I hope this baby is also not a dick. And there's a much better pineapple recipe in my post from the first time around.

One thing that's way better about this pregnancy is that I do not feel like I was kicked in the clam with steal-toed boots. So, that's awesome.

That's all. Happy 4th of July. Blow things up. And eat a pineapple.

Friday, June 26, 2015

75 percent

It's that time of pregnancy again, everyone! Where I declare myself to be 75% pregnant. Yay! Also, only ten weeks left. Eek!

I had my glucose screen with the midwife last week and I, once again, do not have gestational diabetes! Yay! My blood sugar looked even more awesome than usual. My blood pressure has been equally awesome so far this pregnancy (last time around, it kept going up even though I didn't have Pre-eclampsia, and the midwife tested me for HELPP towards the end of my pregnancy). And, I made some changes to my diet a while ago that are supposed to be good for my thyroid (cutting out soy, limiting gluten) and, so far this pregnancy, I've only gained 7 pounds. And that's pretty awesome since I'm a big fat fatty anyway. Last time I gained 30 total, which is a reasonable and standard amount of weight to gain while pregnant. Though, the doctors do say for all us fatties out there that we should really only gain half that.

I'm hungry.

Hamburglar can count to nine. Well, he skips the number four, but who needs the number four anyway? Four is a total asshole.

What else? I'm rocking my job about as awesome as I'm rocking my pregnancy. I passed my Waste Water Lab IV exam (I never have to take another lab exam again!) and I was selected for a pilot leadership program for the municipality I work for. Mister Adventure is getting super close to going back to work (he's had enough of full-time stay-at-home-dadd-ing, which I totally get) and we've found a few pre-pre-schools that look promising for our favorite toddler.

Also, we get to have the Little Miss for 4th of July this year. Though she's not so little any more. I'm pretty sure she's part Amazon, because the kid is a giant.

And we are getting closer to naming Son Number Two. We are not naming him Maxwell, which had been at the top of my list, but I have pregnant friends all over the country who are naming their sons various versions of Max this year. It's still a totally adorable name and I love it, but I went to elementary school with a million Dustins, and I want 2.0 to avoid the Dustin Effect.

Mr. Adventure suggested a name that I thought was kind of douchey, so I googled douchey names and came across this. We aren't planning to name the kid Chad or Brody, so I think we're good. One of my coworkers went to high school with a Chad who eventually named his son Brody. She claims they aren't douchey, but I think it can be hard to tell if someone is a douche when you are in the web of douchiness or something.

Anyway, that's about it. It's summer. It's hot. I'm glad I work in a climate-controlled environment that is always 20 degrees Celsius.

I almost forgot! 30 weeks means Sean Connery is the size of a cucumber, a cabbage and Britney Spears's Yorkshire Terrier. So, yum! Throw all that shit on the grill and see what happens!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Vaginal Hubris

We went camping. I haven't been in, like, a decade and I don't see much of a point in camping when we live close enough to several forests, lakes, rivers, and whatnot. Why would I sleep on the ground when I have a fancy Tempurpedic bed at home? And refrigeration? And running water? Is that what I did when I lived in Central America? Was that camping?

I left work around 10a Friday morning to go home and help finish packing. We were going less than three hours from town to meet up with Mr. Adventure's friend and his girlfriend. It was Chumby's first time camping and I thought the dogs could use some outdoor time since they've been rather neglected since Chumb was born.

I hard boiled some eggs and made a lentil/barley/feta salad and cut up some veggies and had some hummus... my goal was to have food and not have to worry about cooking anything. Except hot dogs. And smores.

We got up there and it was beautiful. They scored a great camping spot. We took my car (because I didn't want to spend three times as much on gas to take the '93 Explorer) and we parked and set up camp while Chumbercules stretched his little toddler legs and the dogs went exploring. Within minutes, I had, like, 7 mosquito bites and The Girlfriend sprayed me down with bug spray.

Mr. Adventure's friends were fresh off Sasquatch (the music festival in the Washington Gorge) and they were already drunk (or still drunk?) when we got there. But whatever. I heard a thousand times from The Girlfriend about how 21 Pilots is her new favorite band and topless fishing is her new favorite thing. When I would ask Hamburglar to do something, she was parrot-parenting me. This girl is typically pretty nice. But she was getting pretty annoying pretty quick.

What took the cake was when she started talking about how she wants to have her boyfriend's babies (oh, dear God please no!) and she was asking me if she could get a scheduled C-section because she doesn't want her vagina all mangled or something. She then proceeded to pester Mr. Adventure, for the next 45+ minutes, about what my vagina felt like pre and post-baby. Mr. Adventure is a bit more of the old school type. He doesn't like to talk about those things. WE haven't even talked about it. I thought about whipping out my lady junk and saying, "You look at my vagina! It's the best damn one on the lot!" But maybe she has like a mangled corpse vagina already and doesn't want to make things worse? I don't know. What I do know is that my vagina is fucking miraculous. And, if she really wants to know, she can look that shit up on the internet. That's what the internet is for: finding information that may or may not be true and repeating it like it's the oldest known fact in the world. Duh.

Then, as the evening progressed and they continued drinking, they started arguing. All Mr. Adventure wanted to do was fish. While he was fishing, I laid Hamburglar down to sleep. And while we were doing that, the other couple continued arguing and the campfire died. All I wanted was a mother fucking smore. So, I went down to the lake and grabbed Mr. A and he restarted the campfire. By the time he finished, his friends were down by the lake, right by his fishing spot, continuing their argument. So, Mr. Adventure came back up, the baby woke up, I made them a smore to share then I made one for me and, on my first fucking bite, I broke my porcelain tooth. I look like a fucking crackhead. A smoking hot crackhead with an amazing vagina, but a crackhead, none-the-less.

We went to bed at some point and it was cold. We didn't bring warm enough sleep gear. Then it started raining. Mr. A hadn't weather-proofed his tent in several years so water was leaking in. And it was raining HARD. And the dogs were outside. I let them in and it was instantly warmer. None of us slept well because it was freezing fucking cold and wet. And the rain wasn't letting up.

If it hadn't been for the rain, I would have stuck it out. Everything else was what it was and, like I said, it was a beautiful spot. However, the prospect of spending the day in a 3-man tent with two dogs and a toddler was probably pretty close to what hell is like. Mr. Adventure said, "As soon as the rain lightens up a bit, we will pack up." Cue rain to come down harder.

The second it lightened up, I climbed out of the tent to pee and started packing up our stuff. I was ready to go. When we were finally packed up and getting the fuck out of there, my car tire got stuck in the mud and his friends had to help push us out. And there were no coffee stands anywhere. And we were all so very tired. I'm STILL tired.

At 27 weeks pregnant, I'm pretty sure I shouldn't be sleeping on the ground anyway. Plus I've gained like, three times as much belly in the past two weeks as I did in the whole 40 weeks of my first pregnancy.

This week, Sean Connery is the size of a rutabaga, cauliflower or a roast. You can look up your own damn recipe. This isn't a cooking blog!

Do you remember my favorite pregnancy website from the end of my last pregnancy? Well, I've rediscovered it and it is still hilarious. According to him, the baby  is the size of a big turnip (think Turnip Head from Lost). But my favorite part has always been the tip at the end. "You should make exercise fun and social. Meet other pregnant women and go for exercises together."

Doesn't he know that talking to people without gilling them is a third trimester challenge? And, since I'm officially in the third trimester (tomorrow) I am now accepting bets on whether I can make it to my due date without stabbing someone!

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Will Wheaton Effect

I've been told I'm not posting enough. I'm sorry. To all three of you.

25 weeks pregnant. I'm feeling pregnant now. Mr. Adventure felt Sean Connery move the other night. He was pretty excited. I'm also fatter and feel taller. Does having boys make you taller?

My next appointment with the midwife is the glucose screen. She gave me the drink to take home with me and told me to drink it on my way in to the office and note the time I finish. I learned that the gestational diabetes screen can also indicate diabetes likeliness later on in life. The thing that sucks is, if you fail the one hour test, you have to do a three hour, fasting test. I think it's super rude to make a pregnant lady not eat for that long. I have a hard enough time not stabbing people when I'm well-fed and well-rested, so there's that.

My friend who was almost as pregnant as me last time around pointed out how both of our pregnancies dragged on last time, but this one seems to be going by super fast. And it's true. Shit's crazy. I have a meeting with the midwife in mid-June, we'll do another three weeks later (to get me on the schedule she wants for appointments) then I go to every other week, then every week, then baby.

I'm pretty excited I have another friend who is almost as pregnant as me this time around, too. (And three very friendly acquaintances, one of which is due with a boy the same day as me!). My friend is having a little girl and I'm working on arranging a marriage for Sean Connery (the baby, not the actor, obviously).

Also, Mr. Adventure wants me to write a letter to Vin Diesel, asking Vin Diesel to come out and play D&D with him and a few friends in exchange for naming Sean Connery Vin Diesel. But I haven't done it yet. Because doing things is hard. And I'm a notorious procrastinator. Which is why I really need a fancy job in a think tank or something. I want to get paid for ideas that other people carry out.

Chumbercules is 20 months old. He can count to chicken. And he can count up from fun. I went to a clothing swap for my local mom's group and scored him a gator vest. He calls it a dinosaur and roars when he wears it. he can say the words "I" and "Love" and "You," but when he puts them together, it comes out, "I luboo." I call it the Will Wheaton effect.

I had to get another ultrasound and brought Chumby with me. We are trying to prepare him as much as possible for the idea that he is going to have a little brother. We go to the library a lot and have a couple books. His favorite is Hello in There: A Big Sister's Book of Waiting. I change the end to "I'm finally a big brother!" Instead of sister. I think he likes it because it has little tabs that you unfold that reveal a growing baby. I need to get him a pop-up book or something soon. He'll totally love it.

We've also been going to the park a lot since the weather has been nice and he is getting so independent at play. He also tries to keep up with the big kids. (You know. The three year olds!) He's a quarter Viking, so he's huge, and I guess his language is super developed, so most people think he's older. I've learned to guess the ages of children based on whether they have a neck and how long that neck is. It's way easier than cutting off a leg and counting the rings. And more socially acceptable.

I've also become a bit of a yeller lately. And I hate it. So I've stopped and gone back to Janet Lansbury's RIE website and have been reading up on setting limits without yelling.  It's getting easier the more I practice. Like at the park yesterday, I told Chumby that he can't take a stick on the play equipment because it isn't safe, but that I would hold the stick for him while he played. He was very upset about it when I first took it away and I said, "I know it's frustrating to have things taken away from you, but I will hold it right here when you're ready for it." And he took two breaks from the toy to play with his stick. And I only had to take it away from him again one of those two times, repeating again how it isn't safe to bring it on the toy. The third time he gave it to me after I asked for it. Toddlers are little people. And, most of the time, people don't care about you solving the shitty and frustrating things that happen in their life, they just want to not  feel alone for a moment. They want acknowledgement that the situation or event is super shitty and that their feelings, no matter what those feelings are, are completely valid.

I also like I Think I Know Why You're Yelling, and I think I need to take more time for myself before I get to the burned-out, I-don't-give-a-fuck stage. I'm not as consistent with limits when I'm tired and cranky and hungry and not taking care of myself, and if you're out of control, I imagine it's extra scary for the tiny people in your life.

According to my Ultimate Guide to Faux Infant Cannibalism, Sean Connery is the size of cauliflower, acorn squash and a recorder this week. So, make some Cauliflower Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash and play this song on the recorder while it's in the oven!

Happy adventuring!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Mother, May I?

I read this quote this morning,
"A mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary." Dorothy C. Fisher.
If that's true, I suppose I can thank my mother this mother's day by raising me to be independent. Some may describe it as fiercely so. Granted, most of this was through neglect, when you don't have any one to mother you, you find substitutes until you learn to mother yourself. I also really like to get my oldest brother mother's day cards occasionally. It acknowledges that he raised us all and it's hilarious.

I don't think I've posted in a while. I've been busy at work working (a surprise, I know, since I'm a fancy scientist for The Man) and I've been spending a lot of time with Chumbercules.

We found out Sean Connery is a boy! I am so excited! I've always wanted to be a boy mom. However, I it is quite likely that the next person that says, "You're going to have to go for a third to try and get a girl!" is going to get punched. In the throat. Possibly with spiked brass knuckles. Who knows. Oh! That's what I want for Mother's Day! Spiked brass knuckles! (I just googled it. It's totally a thing.) Plus, I have a stepdaughter. That's enough for me.

So, baby boy 2.0 is proving a bit harder to name than his older brother. Because, once again, all my ideas are too awesome for Mr. Adventure to handle and all his ideas are not awesome. Well, some are okay, but I don't like them with his last name, you know? Our last naming discussion ended when I said, "I'm going to name him 'Fuck You, Mr. Adventure!'" And he asked me if fuck you was going to be one word and the first name or how I planned to split that all up.

Since I have entered the forgetful stage of pregnancy, I may re-share some links. But I doubt any of you are going back and reading whatever I posted the first time around anyway, and it's long enough between posts these days that maybe you've forgotten what I shared as well! Yay!

At 23 weeks pregnant, mostly I think about how I'm currently the size I was when I was 9 months pregnant the first time around. The best thing about second pregnancy is that I actually look pregnant this time around, instead of just fat. Yay!

The other thing I think about is, "How will this effect my current family?" We've discussed reworking space in the house and how we can make sure everyone (and everything, dogs!) that sleeps in our house has the space and privacy they need. I hate to say it, but I think the dogs may have to give up their bedroom soon.

Yes, my dogs have their own bedroom. They're fancy. Rupert dances when I ask him if he wants a top hat and a monacle. That's how you know they're legit fancy.

Anyway, Pregnant Chicken has a post I really love on bringing home your second baby.

And I've recently discovered Janet Lansbury's Elevating Childcare site. She's a proponent of RIE and gentle parenting (but not in an overly hippy way that drives me freaking crazy). She talks a lot about setting boundaries and how when toddlers test limits, it's really them making sure the boundaries are the same. Anyway, she has a post on Helping Kids Adjust to Life with a New Baby and I keep re-reading it (because I'm forgetfully pregnant). It's really good.

Vanity Fair did an article on RIE last year in their February issue.

This week, Sean Connery is the size of a grapefruit, an eggplant and a Harry Potter book, though I'm not sure which one. I think I read last week he was the size of a Barbie, but that freaked me out.

And The Hunger! I've been eating a lot of generic rice krispies with brown sugar. Because it's delicious. And I did a really shitty job grocery shop last weekend, so it's slim pickins around our house.

Hamburglar is almost 20 months! Shit's crazy. And super fun. He picks up his own toys and puts them away and he loves helping me unload the dishwasher. We talk about what each object is as we put it away. And I let him put away the things that go on bottom shelves. Because bending over when you're pregnant is hard work.  I came across this page and it gave me some great ideas for things to do with Chumby around the house.

That's about it. I still feel fine. No swelling, mild heart burn. Oh, and I've only gained 7 pounds so far, which is pretty freaking amazing considering all the god damn cereal I've been eating.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Money baby

We had a hot date with Dog Park Baby (DPB) about a week ago. Chumby and DPB enjoy many common interests, such as drinking out of each other's cups, pulling all the dvds off the shelf and taking cans of food out of the pantry in the kitchen and bringing them into the living room to stack and/or line up so unsuspecting adults will trip over them.

It was fun. Then, as I was driving home, I realized that my favorite part of play dates is being a judgy bitch afterwards. DPB drank nothing but juice while we were there (for about two hours) and her parents complained about how gross her diapers were (um... maybe lay off the juice?) and, as we were leaving for lunch and nap time, they opened a can of spaghettios and threw it in the microwave for the kid. I don't even eat spaghettios. Because they are gross.

Then, like, two days later, my dad fed Hamburglar fast food chicken nuggets and fries and (I'm 90% certain) chocolate milk. His diapers were an affront to humanity that night. So, I decided if G-ma and G-pa want to take him again for a couple of hours, Mr. Adventure and I will be packing his lunch. Because one of my dad's favorite snacks is Velveeta with salsa and potato chips.

What else?

I'm 20 weeks pregnant with Sean Connery. We find out what kind of junk this guy is packing on Wednesday. And we also get to make sure that all my years of lab work aren't going to result in a flipper baby. Yay!

Also, I keep coming across all these articles about still births and babies dying after less than a day and, as a result, I worry in bursts. One of the things I read that was nice to read was 23 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Pregnancy After Loss over on the Pregnant Chicken. Number 9 is a big one for me, "Anxiety around doctor’s appointments happens. Going to the doctor can be reassuring but it can also be scary because the doctor is often time the one who delivers bad news. It’s normal to get anxious about appointments, even women who have not experienced a loss, experience anxiety during appointments during pregnancy." The worst were the first two visits when my midwife couldn't find the heartbeat and we had to go to the ultrasound machine. That's how we found out I had miscarried the first time. After hearing the heartbeat at the first visit, there wasn't one at the next. We walked to the ultrasound room and there was nothing. It's totally common for the Doppler to not pick up a heartbeat in early pregnancy, but after that being the way I found out there was a dead baby inside me, well, it's hard.

I also relate to number 2, about being indifferent. I may sound all complainy and "poor me, I don't have morning sickness or any typical pregnancy symptoms," but so far, both of my pregnancies have been super easy. I haven't really had morning sickness or acne (other than an undergrounder here and there), my boobs haven't even really been sore this time around. I was super tired in the first trimester, but that could also be related to hypothyroidism and running after a toddler and getting up at 4:30a every morning for work. You know?

I'll feel a lot better when Sean Connery gets a bit bigger and I can regularly feel his (or her?) movements. I feel movement now, but it's still the gentle butterfly-wing-like tapping. I wish I had written down when I felt Chumby moving regularly. Because I wonder if everything is normal and okay, so I've had to pick up and dust off my old mantra, "There's no reason this won't be a normal, healthy pregnancy."

According to my Ultimate Guide to Faux Infant Cannibalism, this week, Sean Connery is the size of a banana, an artichoke and a Red Bull, which makes me wonder... how much caffeine would a pregnant lady have to consume in order to have a meth baby?

My favorite, though, for twenty weeks, is Pregnant Chicken referring to the baby as "money baby":
The good new is that your baby is weighing in at about ten ounces and measuring six and a half inches which is the length of an American dollar and the weight of 50 quarters...

If you're hungry, You should eat a banana while you steam an artichoke, then eat that, too. And you can totally have a serving of Red Bull. There are 80 mg of caffeine in an 8.4oz can, and the American Pregnancy Association says moderate caffeine consumption (150-300 mg/day) is totally fine. Granted, Red Bull is super gross, so I don't know why you would want to drink it, but if you're following the faux infant cannibalism diet plan, you're going to have to. Sorry.