Wednesday, February 23, 2005

And Now It's the Dog Too

I just took my furry princess in to be groomed. Madison is the sweetest dog I know. As I've mentioned before, she is spectacular with kids. Never growls, never snaps, just takes it like a man(woman). Well, Madison 'knew' we were going to the groomers; it's uncanny how dogs can just sense these things. Course, it could be that since Steve has been born she rarely rides in the car on a weekday morning. Who knows? Maddy whined the WHOLE way there, even Steve was trying to comfort her.

When we got there, things weren't any better. She was crying and shaking. Did I mention my dog hates baths and getting her toenails clipped? Anyway, they take her from me as I am filling out the question and release sheet. As I look at the top of said sheet, I notice the following words HIGHLIGHTED in marker, 'Put on muzzle. Snaps when nails are clipped.' Little Maddy is only 8 pounds! I never had this happen when I had a 70 pound German Shepard. And you know what, I agreed with them. Two weeks ago I tried to cut her nails, and ended up having to have Jeff hold her down. For a small dog, she is quite the scrapper! So, OKAY, I'm embaressed about this. No sooner than I had calmed myself down, the groomer comes back, she put Maddy in a cage, and tells me that Maddy 'went after her'. Oh, how lovely. She didn't bite her, which was my main concern, but I was seriously shocked. Oh, and emabarressed and apalled... I have apologized for my child's behavior, but now the dog's too? When did sweet little Maddy become the dog formerly known as 'sweet little Maddy'? When will the insanity end?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

It's the Little Things

Today I woke up to find that Jeff had cleaned the top of the stove. It probably doesn't sound like a big deal to most, but it is to me. Usually, Jeff will clean up after I've cooked. This usually involves clearing the table and loading the dishwasher. It does not include, however, wiping down the counters or cleaning off the stove top even when it is pretty clear that they are dirty. I have mentioned that cleaning the counters and stove are part of cleaning the kitchen to Jeff since we were first married, to no avail. So I just accepted that this was the way it was going to be, and if I wanted them wiped I needed to do it myself. This morning just seeing a clean stove made me so happy. I forgot to do it last night, and knew it would have stuck on food on it. Yuck! So it being cleaned for me was just such an awesome surprise. Either I am very easy to please, or this is just a sad commentary on my life:)

Well, I thought the best was over, but it wasn't. Steve and I went to his tumbling class, and for the first time EVER, he sat down by himself during circle time and sang the hello song. Usually we have a little battle about how he needs to sit; it's only for five minutes. Not today! And he was doing so well. I was just so proud of my little boy!

Next, we needed to go home and eat lunch so I could get him to nap a long enough time so that he was not cranky at my OB appt. That all went well, and I even got him to go down 15 minutes early! Imagine my surprise when I heard the garage door open at 2:45PM. Unfortunately, being the pessimist that I am about a husband coming home from work early on a weekday, I immediately thought,'Oh, no! He's got the flu! Or maybe he got fired? Well, no they wouldn't do that, they just promoted him.' I really need to relax a little more. Jeff is feeling run-down, but he came home more to help me out. He watched Steve while I went to the doctor's and ran a few errands. I feel so much better now. I am just so surprised because this is Jeff's busy season. What a guy! It really is the little things that make me feel better.

On another note, my OB appt. went well. I do not have to go to jury duty. Phew! Course, I did forget the note he wrote, so I have to call back tomorrow and have them send it to me. Oh, and surprise of all surprises, I am measuring big! The doctor even asked me to remind him how big Steve was, and he commented that this is going to be a big one too. I told him I felt 9 pounds, he didn't disagree. He chuckled and said, "And you're so short." I said, "Tell me about it. I'm already uncomfortable." There's just no room for a big baby in my tiny 5'4" frame. I guess there is, obviously, but I just get so darn uncomfortable and it starts early on. Then he asked when I'd like to have this critter. I asked him,"When CAN I have him?" I was hoping for a better answer, but no, I can only schedule a c-section 1 week before my due date. I am so afraid I'll go early, and have to go into labor again, all for nothing. That was hell. Recovering from both types of birth was not fun. I was beyond exhausted! I know it is not in my hands, and I really just want this baby to be healthy. So we shall see when he's ready to make his appearance.

Monday, February 21, 2005

A Few Rants and Such

Today I woke up feeling so tired, but forced myself to go out. Turns out, it helped. Plus, my son was an angel. He let me just look at things, taking my time, without so much as a whimper. No, I did not bribe him, either. This morning I was feeling down, but just some time to look around without a purpose seemed to really fit the bill.

Steve and I went to Tar*et, Micheal'sCr*fts, and B*rder's. I am pleased to announce that I did not impulse buy, which is what I usually end up doing when I am feeling less than stellar about my life. Why the down feelings? I'm not sure. I know I am sick of the pregnancy stuff and ready for the baby. I also know that I am scared to death of the recovery I am going to face once I do give birth to this child, as well as the sleep deprivation. I LOVE to sleep, and Steve has always been a good sleeper, which has allowed me to enjoy that sleep. What if this child is the opposite? Everyone who has a second child has been telling me how their second child gave them all the gray hairs, and is their greatest challenge. I try to tell myself that people LOVED to tell me all their horror stories of childbirth before I had Steve, and how I didn't find it to be as bad as they all said it was. Not a piece of cake mind you, but not something that made me never want to have children again as I was told it would do. My mom told me not to listen to these people; that people love to tell you bad things, and that she believed much of it was exagerrated. So I am hoping it is that way this time too. I am having some anxiety over being a mother of two, but that's not all that's causing me to feel down.

I am bored right now. And I feel guilty that I am feeling less than happy right now. I am also uncomfortable. Jeff has told me to make an appointment to get a pregnancy massage; he will not give me massages. Well, it is easier said than done to make an appointment to go anywhere these days. It is Jeff's busy season, so I am constantly trying to figure out a night that I can go to do anything that I can't do with Steve in tow. Like the more pressing gestational diabetes test. How can I keep a toddler entertained while we sit for an hour? I don't know, therefore I have pushed off taking the test. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have an OB appt. tomorrow and have yet to take that test. I have had the script for a MONTH, what excuse can I come up with? Oh, and I need to take Steve with me to my OB appt. which is scheduled at his most lovely time of the day----cranky time. Which happens to coincide with the time of the day in my doctor's schedule, I'll call it 'Sit on your ass and wait for me as if you have all the time in the world because I am inevitable running behind'. I have to be nice to this man tomorrow, because I need to get a note saying I will be 8 months pregnant at the time the city of Chicago would like me to fulfill my service as a juror. Said trial will be at the Daley Center in downtown Chicago--think place where the ugly Picasso statue sits--and these are federal trials people. Meaning I would likely be part of a grand jury that would decide whether to indict someone on federal charges. I would need to be there a month, which would put me at 9 months pregnant. Which basically would mean that next month I'd go downtown, likely to be excused because I could give birth during the remainder of the trial. Basically, that would be a huge waste of my time and money as Chicago does not reimburse you money spent on train fare, cabs, and food. Oh, and they only pay you $17 for your time. Really makes you want to do your civic duty, doesn't it? And if I would get on a week long trial, I would have to take the lovely, bouncey train to and from the courthouse as you do NOT drive downtown during a weekday. Too busy, and too much money for parking which is not close enough to warrant those prices. Then I would have to walk 4 blocks to the courthouse and deal with what you deal with when you are a juror. If I wasn't pregnant this would not be good either, but being pregnant--8 months to boot---well, the words uncomfortable and bitchy come to mind. And do you really want a hormonal, bitchy, uncomfortable pregnant lady sitting on your trial? One moment I would think, 'Burn the bastard! He made me have to come here today!" and the next I would think,"Oh, the poor man. He was just trying to feed his family when he stole from the corporate giant. Those assholes!" Not good.

Another thing that is making me feel down is my dad may be retiring early and moving to Florida with his girlfriend J. Don't get me wrong, I really like her; I really do. Her husband died a year after my mom from cancer too. J and I have had many excellent discussions about her husband and my mom. It's also nice to have another woman around as I often feel like the lone female. In fact, I have told Jeff that my father better not screw this one up. I really did not like the last woman my dad dated; she was awful. But J just feels like part of the family already. I told my dad that I could see her and my mom being friends; that's a huge compliment BTW. I just feel like my dad moving away would be another loss. I'd be alone up here without parents. My dad just turned 54, so early retirement is just not something I had considered. I will support his decision, though, I just want the man to be happy; he's been through so much.
Jeff's parents already have a condo. in Florida close to where J and my dad would like to live, so that is helpful. Jeff's mom lives in FL in the winter while Jeff's dad works up here. In two years they plan to retire; they are in their 60's. Even though I don't always see eye to eye with Jeff's parents, having no parents around seems lonely. And poor Steve and brother, they will have no grandparents in state. So much for providing an extended family for them to bond with and learn from. I DO, however, have my brother and his family. They only live 20 minutes away, and I am sure they would include us in all their holiday gatherings and such, but it's not the same. Just seems so lonely. Jeff and I have always wanted to move to California; part of my mom's family lives there, so maybe we will. We won't have much to keep us here. Certainly not the weather! I lived in CA when I was a middle-schooler, and I never wanted to move back here. I am a true mid-westerner at heart, but I also like warm weather. Too bad CA is so expensive! I know we won't be able to afford a house like ours out there.

Just one more thing. I am feeling angry about having to take Steve with me to every medical appt. Jeff never has to. He can always go to his appts. by himself. He doesn't have to bring snacks and books and Elmo everything to keep a young boy occupied so people don't stare at him and declare him a bad parent. I truly have had to find a sitter so I could go to a dentist appt. that I scheduled 6 months before for an EVENING appt. that wasn't during busy season. Why you ask? Because my hubby had basketball that night, and you know, the team depends on him. So I guess my teeth can decay as long as Jeff's obligations are met.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Out on the Town

Jeff and I went to dinner tonight......ALONE! It was so nice not having to share my food with a toddler, or having to cut up someone else's food! It was also VERY nice to be able to have a conversation with my husband that wasn't constantly interrupted. We were also going to go to a movie, but I didn't get much sleep due to my little man kicking me at midnight repeatedly. The kicks are starting to hurt; I had forgotten about this stage. Oh, it's lovely!

Usually Jeff allows me to sleep in on Saturday while he takes care of Steve. I cannot tell you how much this helps. Well, today Jeff was doing a mission project for our church. My husband, the man who hates painting more than anyone I know, had to paint trim inside a house for 5 hours! Well, he didn't HAVE to; he chose to. He could have given a few hours of his time and come home. Instead he got to the home at 7 AM and left at noon. I was beyond exhausted when he came home. I was also angry, resentful -whatever, that he was gone for half the day helping someone else when I really needed his help. I felt he should go for a few hours and come home. Did I tell him this? No. How passive-aggressive is that? And since this was a project for CHURCH, helping people who are in a lot worse shape than we are, well, I felt like such a bitch for complaining at all. I could not bring myself to complain to Jeff, because I felt I was being selfish. I mean it wasn't like the man spent half the day golfing with his buddies. He hates painting, so he was probably getting no thrill from doing it. But still, I was jealous and angry. Angry that I was at home AGAIN by MYSELF with Steve. Jealous that Jeff can always say yes to outside activities because he knows I will be here. No asking if I'll be home from work on time, so he can go out. Angry that I always tell myself Jeff does so much for Steve, therefore he DESERVES the time out. I mean he WORKS all day. As if I don't. I did put my foot down, nicely, to him meeting some co-workers after work at a bar a few weeks ago. He was already going to be gone 2 nights that week. One being his weekly basketball game and another being an eye appointment. I was just having a lousy week, and felt being alone all day/night and taking care of Steve by myself for another night was just not something I could do. My endurance had run out. Oh, and I am also angry that society puts such a low value on SAHMs. At Jeff's work party last week, when I was asked what I did for a living, and remarked "I stay at home with my son", I could feel the boredom wafting from their bodies as they tried to find someone more interesting to talk to. My status as a woman dropped. It's as if I have no life in corporate people's minds. They look at me as if I am some spoiled diva who gets her hair and makeup done for her, and has a weekly massage. Nope. Maybe their wives do, but I don't. If I could reasonably afford it, I would have someone come to my house for a few hours twice a week. However, I would not hire a full-time nanny like their wives do. I am going to raise my children. I am home to do that. If I were working, I'd need childcare, but since I'm not, I believe I should be raising my child. A few hours with a sitter would actually do my sons good I think, but why stay home if you're going to hire a nanny anyway? The wealthy in our area do just that, and I don't understand it. And that is why I get so pissed when I get looked down upon for being a SAHM; like I have it made. I don't have to work. Well, being a mom is work period. It is so hard sometimes. I do admit that my brain feels like mush some days, and that I long for a weekend, yes a whole weekend, with my husband sans kids. But I would not trade being a mom for anything. It's just I wish the division of labor was fair, and I wish I was given the respect I deserve. I am sorry if this post is jumbled. My baby boy is presently rolling, AKA really hurting his mommy, so I can't think straight. I want my body back, I want my body back, I want my body back! And I want to hold my son NOW!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine's Day, The Married With Children Way

Well, this Valentine's Day has come and almost gone. We did nothing exciting, as usual. In fact, I cooked. It was very nice, however, to spend it with my little boy. We got him a cookie monster card, with Elmo stickers, plus some lift-the flap books; he's been really into those lately. He was so happy. Happy with books and stickers, isn't that great?! Jeff did send me flowers, tulips, which were beautiful. We both exchanged cards in which we had written how much the other means to us. What made me laugh was both of us talked about looking forward to finally living a 'normal' life. Life with each other and our two boys, pure bliss in our eyes. No more infertility treatments. Oh, how wonderful! I have to confess that I still have not thrown out any of my infertility medicine that I have left. It feels like we'll be jinxed if I do. I didn't throw out my progesterone supplements until 2 weeks after Steve was born. Jeff just looked at me, and jokingly said, "Can we throw these out now?", as I was holding Steve. We felt like we had really made it when we did that. I am hoping to have the same feeling this time.

This past Saturday we went to Jeff's work party. It is a really big deal, and jokingly referred to as the H**** Prom. I have never seen so many skinny woman in little sequined gowns in one place before. Of course, I felt like a fat cow. And I just love how people stare at you when you're obviously big pregnant. I just wanted to scream, "Pregnant people can go out too!" I always like to have a glass of wine at these functions to help myself relax, but I couldn't this time, which didn't help. Since Jeff has worked at this company almost 6 or 7 years, I know most people, so I feel a little less ackward, but still. It was very nice, though, being alone, sort-of, with my husband. We hadn't gone out without Steve since December. I think I am going to suggest seeing a movie this weekend. Any suggestions?

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Live Life Like You're Dying...

I am not a fan of country music, but the Tim McGraw song 'Live Life Like You're Dying' really struck a chord in me tonight. I only watched about 10 minutes of the Grammy's, and Tim McGraw happened to be singing this song at this time. I had heard about the song before, but felt it would be morbid and all. Actually, I found it to be inspiration to all of us who are still living. The gist of the song is that this man found out he was dying, and instead of just letting go and feeling sorry for himself, which I could see doing, he used his time left in a good way. He did all the things he wanted to always do, but what I like about the message of the song was he became the PERSON he always should have been. A better husband and friend. He found time to be there for others in ways he would not have done before, and he ENJOYED it. I know there are days when I could be doing better at being a friend, wife and mother.

My mom was an inspiration to me, just as this song was. When she found out her cancer was terminal, she sprung into action. I do not think my mom had an ounce of regret when she died. She was a good wife, friend and mother to the end. I was talking to her cousin tonight, and we reminisced about how she was still helping people up until her final month. A little background info. here, my mom made it to her cousin's daughter's bridal shower; I am still not sure how. This was only a month before she died. Well, a woman named Rita was there; she was a friend of my mom's cousin. She had recently been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was having a hard time dealing with it all. My mom, in tremendous pain, got on her knees next to Rita so she could look her in the eyes when talking to her. As Rita descibed what she was feeling, the nausea, inability to get out of bed, the fear, my mom listened. My mom then told her what anti-nausea medicine she needed to be on, and that she was depressed. She needed to call her doctor the next day. Well, Rita did. That anti-nausea medicine, Kytril, worked wonders for her and enabled to her to tolerate the chemo. And her doctor believed Rita was depressed, and she got help for that as well. Rita always talked about how much my mom helped her, long after my mom died. But that is what my mom did; she used her knowledge of cancer from being a cancer patient as well as an oncology nurse to help others. It gave her a purpose.

I was very saddened to find out a few hours ago that Rita passed away from her ovarian cancer. She was at home, out of pain. She did it her way. I am happy for Rita that she has, in her words, 'gone home.' She fought so hard, but in the end it was time for her to be with the Lord, and I pray, with my mom. I am praying for her family though, as I know what they will be going through. The one thing I ask all of you is, in the words of Tim McGraw's song, please live your life like you're dying. Do not put off LIVING. You may live to be 100 years old, but so what, living a good life is what's important. That doesn't come from material goods. It comes from living life in its small moments. Hug your spouse, call a friend and just listen, play with your children. That's what it's all about. In memory, and honor, of my mom and Rita's lives, please stop what you are doing, and 'live your life like you're dying.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

A Boy and His Dog

I believe I have only mentioned having a crazy dog in my intro. Our dog is indeed crazy, and fits beautifully into our family. Our little pup's name is Madison, Maddy. She was named by my husband while we were honeymooning. No, we did not have her yet, hadn't even picked her out. We did know that we wanted a female Shih-Tzu.

We lived in an apartment in a historic town near the Burlington Northern train line when we first got married. Our apartment building was in-between two Victorian homes, and within walking distance of many restaurants, shops, and the train line. Jeff worked in downtown Chicago at the time, so this situation was ideal. This town personifies 'yuppy', and was even featured in the Sandra Bullock movie 'While You Were Sleeping'; think 'Home Alone'. I had my first teaching job in that area, and would watch all the kids being dropped off in their fancy cars. We never had a problem getting parents involved, in fact, they were too involved in my opinion. I still love this town. It is the 'ideal' place to raise your kids. You are very close to downtown, there are many unique stores to shop at right in town, and most things are within walking distance. There was many a time we'd meet friends at the local German pub. The cool thing was we could, and usually did, walk home. No need to worry about drinking too much and driving. We loved the area, but we knew we wanted a home when we got married.

Fast forward to the spring of 98'. We looked everywhere in that town, and surrounding towns, for a home to buy. Well, yuppieville was, and still is, very expensive. And while I would have loved an old home there, the maintenance was a killer. Anything that we could have comfortably afforded needed a lot of work done to it. I am not into that, especially while working full-time. We did find a house we could afford, but it only had ONE bathroom. Uh, no. One thing that appealed to me so much about leaving our beloved apartment was the fact that I would not have to share a bathroom with my loving, but messy husband anymore. So that one was out. It appeared we were going to have to look somewhere else.

Somewhere else is where we are living now. Our town has all the conveniences, but less of the charm of our old neighborhood. You have to drive pretty much everywhere. It does have excellent schools, programs, and our neighbors are awesome. The problem now is that this town is turning into our old neighborhood in that everything is becoming so expensive. Our neighbors have said they couldn't even afford to buy their own home anymore. The good thing is that means our house has appreciated fantastically especially since we remodeled the kitchen. The bad thing about it is that it is hard to find a house that is priced at the next level. One mom in our group told us all that a house in her area, more ritzy than ours, was going for $700,000. Yikes! Jeff and I would also like our kids to stay in an area that is like the one we grew up in. Right now we have that. The problem with our house is that there are only three bedrooms, two bathrooms. We now have to move our office to the utility room; the basement is Steve's playroom. If both babies had survived this pregnancy, we would have had to have moved. Even though my house is on the smaller side, I do love it. And I hate moving! So I am glad we are going to be able to stay, cramped as we may eventually be.

Well, back to the dog. We bought our little dog Maddy the day after we moved into our house. I LOVE animals and wanted to have one ASAP. We picked out our little beauty. She only weighed 2 pounds when we got her, and is now a whopping 8 pounds! Madison is a dog that has a tremendous amount of energy! She is calming down a bit now that she's 6 years old, but she's still a nut! Oh, but a nut that barely barks; no yappy dogs here.

Steve LOVES Maddy! He has to give her a hug and a kiss every morning. He constantly is talking about Maddy. Today the most amazing thing happened. To preface, one of Steve's 'jobs' has been to let Maddy out when needed and give her a treat. I have helped him with this for awhile. Well, today Maddy was doing the 'I have to go outside NOW' whine, so I said to Steve, while upstairs, "Go let Madison outside." He proceeds to go downstairs, open up the door, and yell,"MAH,MAH. GO OUTSIDE!" Now Maddy was very confused at first, and just kind-of looked at me as if to say,"Is he serious?" I told her to go on, and Steve yelled to her again. This time she listened. I quietly went downstairs and peeked over. Madison had gone out, come in, and now Steve was giving her a treat! I swear I saw a newfound respect for Steve in the dog's eyes. Steve was so proud of himself, and so was I. Madison has been an excellent fit to our family from day one. She's goofy, spunky, and surprisingly flexible. She also thinks she is a German Shepard, which is so cute. She has no idea that she is a very small dog; she's big on attitude. And she is so wonderful with Steve. She was our first baby for 4 years, and she really has done a great job letting Steve take on that title. Now let's just hope Steve is that good about giving that title to the newest baby.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I Was Never Crazy

'I'm not crazy, I'm just a little un-well;
I know, right now, you can't tell,
but soon enough you'll think of me and how I used to be. Me.
....All night, hearing voices telling me that I should get some sleep,
because tomorrow might be good for something.
.....Feeling like I'm headed for a breakdown,
and I don't know why.......' MatchBox 20----2003

That song was like an anthem of mine when I was going through my PPD. I knew I wasn't crazy, but I also knew I wasn't well. I also didn't feel like myself, and couldn't figure out how I was going to get back to me. The truth was, as I later found out, that there was no going back. No way to go back to life before a baby. You know. SLEEPING whenever you want, staying up late without a care in the world, or eating, going to the bathroom based on need and not based on convenience. I.e., the little bugger is now taking a nap, so I can go to the bathroom by myself and not have to watch the toilet paper being off the roll, or things being taken out of drawers that DO indeed have safety latches on them, but no longer work. Okay, back to the topic at hand. I learned there was a new me that needed to be formed, and it was hard to admit. Hard to admit that life ain't never goin' be the same again.

In many ways I was glad my life was different. I felt so much more purpose, at times, with being a mom. I definetly have an easier time standing up for myself. Oh, and I always have a shopping buddy. Steve is my buddy. At times I look at him and can't believe I had a hand in creating this beautiful child. More days than not, I feel I'm doing a pretty good job mothering him. Not perfect by any means, and some days I am filled with guilt, but more and more I feel I'm doing OK. And now...... I am having a second child. As happy, excited, and personally thrilled as I am about having this child, I must admit I am scared to death. You know, feeling that the waters finally got calm, and now I'm about to stir them all up again.

I am scared that maybe this time I will go crazy. I know my doctor said I will be on meds. right away this time, unlike last time, but I am terribly scared of my PPD returning. Scared to death. Seriously scared to death. Scared of losing myself again. I am a type A personality, and need to have control over my life, and as we all know, that is not possibe in the weeks following a child's birth. I hate surgery. I AM glad I'm having a c-section for many reasons, but I detest the way I feel the first week after having surgery. This will be my fourth surgery, and I have hated them all. I am not a wimp, I just hate feeling so achy and tired, and well, out of it. Oh, and this time I will have TWO children to take care of. Yikes! I know I can and will be able to do it after I've healed from the surgery, and if my baby doesn't cry ALL THE TIME like Steve did until he was three months old. Oh, wait. How likely is it that that will happen? To be honest, I started loving being a mom at about the three month mark. I also am not looking forward to using that baby carrier again, HEAVY, and holding onto an energetic toddler at the same time. I remember saying that my back always hurt when Steve was a baby, he was heavy, but just how bad will my back feel when I am taking care of two kids?

More than most of that, I am worried about how I will take giving birth to a child my mother will never see. She was my rock through my PPD. For example, I was giving Steve a bath EVERY night when he was a newborn. It was exhausting; he hated it, I hated it. Then I would read him a book before putting him down. I am here to tell you that babies that are only a few weeks old, don't particularly care for books. It was awful. I was putting so much pressure on myself to be the 'perfect' mother that I was miserable. Anyway, I was talking to my mom the next day, telling her about 'our routine'. My mother immediately said to me, "Bev, he is only two weeks old. You don't need to have a routine now." I know it doesn't sound like much, and if someone else said it I would not have believed it, but when my mom said it I immediately felt a sense of relief. If the queen of routine says it's too early for one, it must be. I can't tell you how much that helped. She told me I was putting too much pressure on myself. That I needed to let some things go. And she was right. Who will tell me that this time? I know myself. I will do the same thing this time, but in a different way. And I know I will struggle to make sure I'm treating my boys equally, which I don't believe you can always do.

So as my due date gets closer, I start worrying more. And I feel guilty about how much change Steve is going to be encountering and he doesn't even know it; doesn't have a say in it. I worry about him WANTING a sibling like I used to worry about him not HAVING one, and being angry about that. I guess I still have my fair share of guilt to work through. But I'm not crazy, and I hope I won't be in May.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

What Do You Think?

Jeff is going to be doing some work on a house that our church bought. Our church is getting it ready for a family that is in need. The house has been getting some major updates as it still appears to be the 70's on the inside. At any rate, Jeff is in a basketball group through our church, and their mission project is doing the necessary work to get this house in shape. It does make me kind-of laugh since Jeff is not handy at all, and cannot even paint! I'm not sure what he does, but whatever it is, is appreciated. Well, next Saturday they are scheduled to be there at the house all day. The cool thing about our church is that they always offer childcare. So Jeff volunteered to take Steve to church to be taken care of, and that way I could have the day to myself. Some background info. here: Jeff has been taking care of Steve on the weekends and has been really letting me get all the sleep I need; you rock honey! So anyway, I kind-of feel like I should watch my own kid since I am home, and let those who truly need the child-care have it. I would LOVE to have a day to myself, but feel that is selfish, especially when the provided child-care is free. I don't know what to do. The nursery attendants love Steve. He is one of the oldest kids in there, my church has a September 1st cut-off and Steve was born in October, and he can play very well independently. They don't have to do much with him, but still, I feel guilty. I almost feel like what would I DO all day? Anyway, I am conflicted. What do you think?

Friday, February 04, 2005

Sick of Being Tired!

It seems like I am tired now ALL THE TIME, no matter how much sleep I get. It is starting to get to me. I constantly feel like I am in a fog and no use to my son, who after all, just wants his mommy to play with him. I am also starting to get upset whenever Jeff mentions he is tired. I know he works hard, and probably is exhausted at the end of the week. However, I am sure no man will ever know what it feels like to be so exhausted that you can't even remember what day it is, or sometimes, where you are. When I take a nap, I often wake up so tired still, that I think it's already the next day.

I am also pissed at Jeff right now, because he was upset when I told him Steve needed a bath. Jeff has been great about taking on the bathtime activities now that it's so uncomfortable for me to bathe Steve. Lately, though, he has really been dramatic about not wanting to give Steve a bath; Jeff has acknowledged he hates giving baths. Anyway, and please do not judge me, but Jeff had not given Steve a bath since Sunday night. GASP! So one would think he would give him a bath tonight without hesitiation or the need to be reminded. No, not the case. So he's mad at me. I guess I am a freaking nag when it comes to a clean kid! Whatever! He was so dramatic about how tired he was. I do believe he is tired, but so am I and I still need to take care of our son no matter how tired I am. Believe me, making Cream of Wh*at with sliced bananas, getting his milk to him ASAP or else the whining starts, and oh, I better make sure he gets a cereal bar these day, all before 8:30 AM when I could use another say 24 HOURS of sleep because my sweet boy who is still in utero loves kicking me at midnight, are all things that I don't particularly enjoy, but that need to be done. I do them because I am happy he likes food that is good for him; I don't want to ruin that. Oh, and he needs to eat. Yah, I can be anal when it comes to clean clothes, a highchair tray that is wiped off EVERY day and not only when stuff has been stuck to it all weekend, and hands that are washed. But is giving the kid a bath such a freaking hard thing, or too much to ask. It's not like I am asking him to give ME a bath, course THAT he might LIKE.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Today turned out to be good, although yesterday was great. Steve and I went to tumbling where several of my mom friends also go. We decided to go out to lunch, which was good since I tend to get very sleepy after tumbling. At least having lunch would keep me awake. We all had a nice lunch, and a very honest discussion about how hard motherhood can be. One mom has a five week old, and is feeling very overwhelmed. Did I mention she also has a son who is not yet two years old? The baby is colicky, and her toddler won't nap anymore. I felt very bad for her. She feels like a bad mom because she is becoming short-tempered with her son. I will tell you that she is a good mother. No different than any of us, I suspect. But us mothers tend to feel guilt about everything child-related. Being short-tempered to your spouse may make you feel bad, but it will not evoke the guilt that being short-tempered with your child does.

I think as moms we tend to overemphasize how we treat our kids. We think we are just horrible if we occasionally yell, or grab their arm too hard, in our opinions anyway. I know I want to be the perfect mother. I, too, feel guilty when I am not smiling and playing on the floor with my son entertaining him. Nevermind that what I really want to do is zone out and read a book, or God-forbid, eat something that I want to eat. It just seems like if a mom does something that she wants to do, even if our child is watching Sesame Street and enjoying himself, that we are not a 'good' mother. I mean I remember saying myself that I was never going to let my child watch a video; that's just a babysitter. Well, I am here to say not only has my son watched a video, but when I was baking Christmas cookies this year, he watched three, IN A ROW. Damn me to hell.

I still feel guilty whenever Steve watches TV. To make myself feel like a 'good' mommy, I limit his intake to two shows on PBS in the morning. Period. Most mornings we go out; this is the best time for both of us to get things done. But if we are home, I feel better if I can say he only watched 1-1 1/2 hours of PBS. I read to him at least three books a day, and we interact constantly. I used to make the joke that I was always in his face. I think that comes from him being my miracle child as well as my fear that he was also going to be an only child. Steve has crayons, watercolor paints, fingerpaints, and Colorw*onder fingerpaints, markers, and an easel with which to use them all. You know, I believe a child should be well-rounded, so I must provide everything possible for him to be a budding artist:) Steve is only allowed to use these items when an adult is present, for good reason. Truth is, that I am so tired lately that I rarely get these things out for him anymore, and Jeff isn't as interested in them as I am. So, once again, I feel guilty. I try to remind myself that I take him to tumbling class each week, he was enrolled in a baby music class, he continues to go with me on Wednesdays while I have my one hour 'break' with adults---he goes in the nursery and LOVES it, he goes to MOPPETS---a program for toddlers while I attend a monthly MOPS---mothers of preschoolers meeting---and LOVES it, on alternate weeks we attend a playgroup with kids his age. This does not include spontaneous trips to his cousins or trips to stores; he loves to shop! So on paper, I feel like I'm doing OK, but in reality I often sit and wonder if I'm doing enough. Not scheduled events, but in the everyday 'Mommy and Steve together' time. I hate to say it, but playing with trains and trucks bores me to tears. I long for adult conversation. I laugh when I think how different my days are now compared to when I taught fourth grade. This is the time of year we'd discuss the Holocaust and WW2. Well, instead of talking about intolerance and cruelty, I am singing 'If You're Happy and You Know It'. Just a little different, don't you think?

Now I do not want to complain about staying at home, because honestly I am happy to have the opportunity to do it. And I am much happier this year than I was last year. Steve can now communicate with me, so now I don't feel so alone. Plus, he truly is my buddy; he goes everywhere with me and nothing makes me happier than to to see him smile and to hear his laugh. It's just that I didn't realize there was going to be so much guilt involved in mothering. It never lessens; it just changes, and no one likes to admit that they feel like a bad mother at times. It's like if you say it, you become it, or at least people will think that of you. And I feel particularly guilty when I feel this way, because we went through so much to have him. I should be better at this; I feel I'm a good mother, but I could be better.