Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Is Anyone Out There?




Oh, my are we ever still stuck in the newborn baby hole over here. The verdict on Miles is still that he is very sweet, but boy oh boy is he a nurser. He nurses and he nurses and he nurses. If I hadn't broken down and gotten out a pacifier the kid would be nursing right now.

He nurses for hours. And hours. And hours. When I say he nurses for five hours straight with fifteen minute breaks every hour and a half, I'm not even kidding. And the breaks are mandated by me, so that I can use the bathroom or shower or eat something. He even nurses IN HIS SLEEP.

I realize zealous nursing is not something I should really complain about, especially given the fact that Oscar was such a poor nurser in the first month. But it is so exhausting. And with the mastitis I've just been flat out the past week.

But really, I am loving this baby, every single second of it. The tiny fingers and toes, the little coos and squeaks, the neck nuzzles. And the co-sleeping, oh, how I missed having a little tiny baby in my bed. There will be no bassinet for Miles, oh no, only Mommy and Daddy's bed will do.

It is different this time around, so, so different. When Oscar was this small I couldn't wait for him to get bigger to DO something other than eat, sleep, and poop. But this time, I'm enjoying every single minute of his sweet infanthood.

And, you know what else? Everyone told me I wouldn't get lucky twice. Oscar was a good baby, a great baby even. He slept well, he rarely cried, he was cuddly, he was mellow, he was gorgeous, he smiled, he was easy going. But everyone was WRONG. Miles is an even better baby. He sleeps even better (3.5 to four hours a row at night at two weeks!), he cries even less, he's just as cuddly, just as mellow and easy going, and the kid has been smiling since he was two days old.

Oh, and Oscar could not be any sweeting, kissing Miles every chance he gets. And do you know what he calls his little brother? He calls him You. "Ni Ni, You!" he says at bed time. "You! Youuuu!" Oscar says in the morning. It's the cutest freaking thing ever.
So, we are drowning in laundry, unbelievably exhausted, loving Miles, loving Oscar, loving each other. I know in another month I'll be tearing my hair out but right now all is bliss.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Moore, Roger Moore - Part Deux

So, like I was saying, something had to be done.

Let me just say, really quickly, that apart from him name obsession, Roger Moore was not a bad guy. He'd always lend you his notes and was a good study partner and would proof your papers and help you come up with topic ideas. I would have considered him an acquaintance - we didn't go out for beers, but we talked before and in between classes, helped each other out, he was a decent writer and a decent guy. You totally wanted him to be on your team for group projects. But his name obsession overrode all that. It was that bad.

For some reason, no one in the College of Journalism ever discussed his name obsession, even though everyone visibly cringed every time he announced himself as Roger Moore. It was something of a taboo, although I'm not sure why.

Well, his name obsession was not the only "thing" about Roger. There was something else, something physical. Something you could not miss about him if you were one of the three blind mice, looking at him from across a football field, through dirty binoculars.

Roger had a big ass.

Scratch that. Roger had a HUGE ass. I mean, it was so big, he clearly had difficulty walking. It was a serious badunkadunk.

Now, I'm not one to hate on people with big asses. My is currently the size of a continent, and when I'm not pregnant, it's still pretty round and full. Always has been, even when I was a painfully thin teenager I had very present and curvy behind. It's just part of my genetic make up.

And I LIKE asses. I think it is way better to have a big ass than no ass at all. But, the thing is, you don't often see a man with an enormous ass. I mean, maybe if all of him is enormous, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about an ass that is disproportionally large in comparison to the rest of his body. You've seen these asses. You've stared at them. Admit it. They are a rarity, an oddity, you want to know more. Even if you are not ass obsessed, you can't help but take a gander when you see a man with a disproportionately enormous backside. You just can't. It's physically impossible.

So, anyways. Roger and his ass.

I was telling a friend of mine all about Roger and how annoying he was and how obsessed with his name he was and she was like, "Wait. Does he have a big ass? Because he totally goes to my church. And he has an identical twin brother (!!)."

I immediately started laughing my ass off (excuse the pun), because although I knew Roger had a large ass, I'd never articulated this fact and neither had anyone else in our mutual acquaintance.

When I caught my breath, I said, "What?? And IDENTICAL twin? As in identical asses?"

Yes, she claimed it was true. I thought it was strange that I'd know him for three years and he'd never mentioned his identical twin (although I was kind of glad because I think identical twins are kind of creepy) but he went to a different university and I guess they were trying to be "individuals" or something.

Well, I decided that I had to report back to some of my J School buddies about this previously unknown twin.

So, I told a few people - Sandee, Kevin, Lou, Jamie, Dan - and they were all like, "Do you mean IDENTICAL IDENTICAL?" And I had to tell them Yes, identical, right down to the ginormous ass.

And then, the ass was out there, so to speak. All of a sudden, we could speak freely of the ass, and of Roger's obsession with is own name. In fact, it was all we could speak of. The jokes, oh, the jokes. It got a little out of hand.

"Hey, have you seen Roger?"

"No, but I saw his ass at happy hour last night."

"Roger made it to class on time today, but his ass was 10 minutes late."

"Roger didn't make it to staff meeting today. He must have been feeling a little assy."

"I'm Moore, Roger Moore. And behind me is my ass."

"Roger though he was being followed but it was just his ass."

"Stand back, my ass has a license to kill."

And on, and on, and on.

Now, understand this was like three years of pent up annoyance about Roger's obsession with his name. I'm not saying we were right, but it was like letting steam out of radiator vent. It felt soooo good.

And, not one of us EVER said anything to Roger about his ass, or to anyone outside of our little group. It was more of a way to cope with his annoying "Moore, Roger Moore" introductions and I honestly believe it is what allowed us to remain on speaking terms with him.

But, I've always felt bad about it. I mean, his ass had to make him feel self conscious. He must have know about it's size and worried that people mocked him for it. And, for years and years after college, I felt guilty about all the teasing I did behind his back.

Then, maybe five, six years after graduation, I ran into him at a bar in DC during happy hour. He spotted me from across the room and approached. I felt nervous, guilty. What if he'd heard about the ass jokes? Would he confront me? But, I was intent on making this reunion go smoothly. I could not help but notice his ass was still intact.

"Jenni? Hey! Do you remember me? Moore, Roger Moore, from J School."

I know I must have visible cringed.

"Oh yeah, I remember you."

AND YOUR ASS!!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Miles, Day Four







Things are going well. Little Miles was quite jaundice, but he's such a fantastic eater it is clearing up nicely.

The breastfeeding has been like a dream. He latched on within moments of his birth and pretty much hasn't stopped nursing since then. Unfortunately I've come down with a nasty case of mastitis derailing my recovery, which was going really well.

Miles is, in a word, sweet. He is snugly. He is positively lovely. I had no idea I could fall in love with another baby so completely. Oh, the perfection. And he's soooooo different from baby Oscar. And also, so exactly the same.

Oscar is adjusting. He misses his mom tending to his every need and Nelson is struggling at times with caring for him on his own but I think he's doing a great job.

Okay, that's all for now. I hope to be back to blogging and reading YOUR blogs in the next week. I feel so out of the loop. I'd love to hear some updates in my comments section (hint, hint.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Worth the Wait

Only ten days late, introducing:

Miles William
Born December 16, 2008 at 6:58AM
8lbs 12 oz
22 3/4 inches long



Birth story to follow in a few days..

Moore, Roger Moore

Okay, so while on "maternity leave" I got the urge to write. So, here's a completely non-baby related post for you.

I was a Journalism Major. Did you know that about me? I doubt it. I was also a Women's Studies Major, but a Journalism Major first and foremost.

However, I am not a journalist. My senior year, I became jaded with the media machine and realized I could never be someones lackey like that. I wanted to make an impact in a way I didn't feel I could if I were a professional journalist. And that's not to say professional journalists don't make an impact - they absolutely do - I just didn't see myself as someone who could.

ANYWAYS, although I went to a very large state university, the College of Journalism (or, J School, as the super nerds called it) was quite small. We all knew each other, had classes together, worked at the paper together. It was pretty competitive to get into the college, but once you were in, they wanted to keep you there so there was a real sense of community.

Also, there were some real assholes. And some really amazing people. And some really weird people. I'm going to tell you about one of the weird ones today.

His name was Moore, Roger Moore. Okay, that was NOT his name. BUT he has a very famous name and it is the same name as Roger Moore's most famous on screen personality. The personality with a license to kill, if you know what I mean. Really it was guys, and that was totally awesome. It was his real name. I'm not using it here because he is absolutely the type of person to google himself and he's a lawyer now and I don't want to get sued. For libel, right Roger?

Anyways, Roger Moore and I had many, many classes together over the years. So, here's the thing. I absolutely have to admit that it is very, very cool that his name is Roger Moore. But, the thing is, he also though it was very, very cool. And it was annoying as hell.

Like, when he introduced himself to people, instead of saying, "Hi, I'm Roger" he'd say, "Hi, I'm Moore, Roger Moore." Seriously, he did. It was funny the first time, but it began to wear thin after four years.

In some of our larger survey classes (with like 400-500 students), like media law or economics, students were supposed to say their names when they were called on. So, if I raised my hand and was called on, I would say, "Jenni. Blah, blah, blah, genius answer, blah," so the professor could respond to me by name. But when Roger was called on, he'd always say, "Roger Moore, blah, blah, blah, mediocre answer, blah."

And it was like DUDE. We get that you have the same name as a legendary spy with a license to kill. Shut the crap up about it, will you?

Once, in media law, we were talking about copyright infringement (exciting stuff!) and Roger Moore raised his hand and was all, "Roger Moore. So, my name is Roger Moore. If I opened a security company and called it 'Roger Moore Security' would that be considered copyright infringement? Because, I know it's a well known name, but it's also MY given name." And then we had to spend a freaking hour talking about Roger Moore Security and his freaking name because it was a gray area.

It was too much. He was just soooo into his name. I couldn't take it any more. None of us could. Something had to be done. Something had to change.

To be continued...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Baby Jesus Due to Arrive on Christmas Day

Well goddamn my womb must be the motherf-ing Ritz Carlton.

So, yeah, I'm still pregnant. And no, I don't want to talk about it.

I'm nine days overdue. NINE. I've been having contractions 20-25 minutes apart for TWO DAYS. Enough is enough already.

When the Holidays get Heavy

This is my final gust poster, Crazy Loves Company. Her baby was due the same day as mine. Neither arrived promptly. Go check her out! Hopefully she's posted some photos of her little one by now.

My first guest post. Jenni is a brave woman on two fronts. She thought I'd come up with something entertaining for her readers, and she is betting that she has her baby before I have mine. Well Oscarelli readers, I'll do my best.


My family always took in the "stragglers" as we called them, for the holidays. Friends from college who were far from home. Friends left alone for whatever reason. Friends that were just in town that we haven't seen in 5 years... it didn't matter. Mom and dad always made everyone feel comfortable to have a bite to eat and hang out.


This Thanksgiving, husband and I were the stragglers and we celebrated with friends since both husband and I are without family nearby. There were 8 of us and we had an awesome time. Great food and even better conversation and company. The cast of characters included:


  • husband and me
  • our good friends, recently married, who were the hosts; we'll call them Kevin and Sara
  • the mom and sister of Kevin who both came from New England
  • 2 guys, friends of the married couple. Ed from Texas - I don't remember what he does for a living, and Alex, who came to America from Russia when he was 20, 20 years ago, an anesthesiologist who was on call that night. Their wives took the kids to visit family and left the husbands to fend for themselves. You know that can't be good.

    At first it was just the 6 of us, the guys were running late. While Kevin and Sara were finishing up in the kitchen I went to talk to the mom and sister. Both were super nice, but I had a hard time making conversation with the sister. She had to be in her late 20's and was nice enough, but we had nothing in common. I was struggling for conversation and could not be less interested in the football game playing in the corner. But at the same time I could not make myself get up from the director's chair I chose to sit in. It was either that or the couch and I know it would have taken at least one person to pull me up if I had planted myself there. God a vodka tonic would have been wonderful! Finally husband came into the room and the conversation flowed a little easier. I envy his ability to hold a conversation with anyone, anytime.

    The mom was pretty soft-spoken but we had this whole pregnancy thing to discuss. You know what I'm talking about moms. How are you feeling? Is it a girl or a boy? Oh, you're not finding out? How unusual. Why not? Are you working? Are you going back to work? Do you plan to nurse? Be prepared, it doesn't work for everyone. Let me tell you about my 72 hour labor with my first child and my unscheduled C-section with my second and all the horror I had to go through and then the nursing, OMG. At about this point I had to pee.

    I wander into the kitchen to help by sampling everything and we chat. Things are great, Kevin and Sara really are one of my favorite couples here, they've been such great friends to us.

    We sit down for dinner and the 2 guys arrive shortly thereafter, but not before I have to pee. I love good conversation, not just the 'how's the weather... weekend plans...' kind of conversations that are fine, but lets discuss something we all have an opinion on, whether we share or not. You have to get a picture of Alex in your head. He's dressed very European and reminds me of a Russian Billy Crystal in his speech and mannerisms. Got that?

    We are talking about the election, and we're clearly in the pro-Obama majority but it's not unanimous. We talk about promises made and that no one expects everything to be put into effect, clearly there are high hopes and expectations for the coming years. And then we get around to gun control. It becomes clear that Alex and the rest of us at the table have very different frames of reference. When Alex and I were talking we agreed that there should be stricter controls and laws. The difference is he owns a gun, and would never not own one, and I would never own a gun or have one in our house. It's a deal breaker. My rationale, however flawed, is that I understand if bad people want to get weapons, they will, whether legal or not. However, I don't believe I have ever heard a report about a burglar or murderer being shot by someone who owned a gun. What I do hear are the stories about the child that found a gun and accidently shot himself or someone else. Or the stories where an adult gets their gun and shoots someone, who turned out not to be a burglar. I know, there are safeties on most weapons, you can keep them in locked boxes, the ammunition in a separate place, training ....... all of that. But the possibility of an accident is too great for me.

    Here is where it gets interesting. One of my few personal gun related anecdotes takes place when I was in high school. Some friends and I were at a friends house and he says, look what my dad has. Classic right? He pulls a handgun out of a closet somewhere and shows us. He says it's not loaded. He's showing everyone and waving it around. He hands it to a friend and what happens? A shot goes off and shoots out the window. People, we're in suburbia in a middle class neighborhood. Everyone practically wets themselves and they guys scramble to replace the window glass. I freak out and go home.

    Alex's personal anecdote is this: He was in the USSR until he was 20 years old. When he was 12 years old, in the 1980s, all of the kids went through drills that included putting on a gas mask and then assembling and dis-assembling an AK-47. They did this all through high school to prepare for the imminent threat of war. He never felt safe as a kid growing up, people fought all the time and there was a lot of general violence. Now being in the U.S. for 20 years his neighborhood is 'up and coming', and his home has been broken into twice in 4 years. Now, I would move out of this neighborhood, probably wouldn't have chosen it to begin with, but it's where he and his family live. He is close to the hospital he works in and it's close to his wife's job as well. He feels that with a weapon at home, safety on, locked away, and an imposing dog, his family is much safer than without.

    I don't mean this to be a post about gun laws. More about perspective, frame of reference. This man grew up preparing for war when he was 12. They didn't know any differently. My background is so different, it's almost impossible for me to even imagine thinking like that.

    So, this holiday season when you find yourself talking with family, friends and stragglers, enjoy the conversation. Ask questions. We don't all have the same history.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Scratch That Last Post

So, there I am: lying in a hospital gown that is oh so flatteringly open in the back and won't even fully close due to the enormity of my belly; a very painful (and it turned our poorly inserted) IV in my arm; in a hospital bed with a two in thick foam mattress and plastic covered pillow when a resident comes in and asks if he can do an ultrasound.

That's the thing with teaching hospitals - residents are in and out constantly doing only somewhat necessary procedures. I'd only been in an hour and my health and pre-natal history had been taken twice by different doctors. Very annoying.

But, an ultrasound? Who doesn't want to see their baby swimming around inside? So, he asked why I was having a section and I told him because I'd been presenting breech since my 37th week.

"Umm, are you sure? Because that's a head in your pelvis. This baby is vertex," said Dr. Liu, and he spun the monitor over and showed Nelson and I.

And it WAS a head. Pointing down. In vertex. The ideal position for birth.

Nelson and I were shocked. Shocked. We still are.

My doctor arrived shortly after that and confirmed via pelvic that the baby is indeed head down.
"This is good news! If your midwives will still perform a home birth, you can go ahead with that now," he told me.

The did a non-stress test to make sure the baby was okay - my placenta is fine, my fluid level is good. So, that's where we stand. The midwives were ecstatic, as was my birth assistant. We are ON for a home birth, assuming the baby comes before I'm 42 weeks (next Saturday.)

And, in all seriousness, I don't think there has EVER been a woman more happy to be on the verge of 41 weeks pregnant.

Babies don't turn after 38 weeks? My ass!

40 Weeks, 5 Days


Okay, so this is IT people. IT. As you are reading this I am either being sliced open, stitched up, or enjoying my new baby. You know, those little tiny things that smell so good and feel so soft and take so much time to cook.

I'm writing this pre-surgery (obviously) and I am terrified. I have never had major surgery. This will be my first experience. I think I will be a wreck, so please think good thoughts for me. I mean, I have to have a catheter, people, a catheter. Do you know where those go? I wince just thinking about it. And lets not even discuss the layers of fat and blood and muscle and organ the doctor is going to have to slice through to get to the Sprout. FYI, vaginal birth really isn't very bloody. Like, maybe a cup or so of blood all together. I'm betting with a section there is WAY more.

I know I won't be able to FEEL him actually cutting, as in feel the pain. But, I'm told I will feel the pulling and prodding and tugging and that is just weird, okay? WEIRD.

Also, there is going to be a needle in my spine. And they won't let Nelson be in the room with me when they insert it and I have to be really still or I could become paralyzed. I mean, I could become paralyzed from it ANYWAYS, but you know, non-stillness increases the risks.

Okay, now I've got it all out. All my anxiety is above, for you, my dear readers, to feast on. Please, wish me luck. I'm hoping Nelson or I will post a photo and announcement tomorrow.

I'm off to become mother to two. Let the games begin.

P.S. Also a special thanks to many of you, my bloggy friends, that have been checking in on me on a regular basis these past few weeks and wishing me well these past few days. You have kept me sane. Or, more sane, I should say. Really, you guys rule. You know who you are.

P.P.S. I totally shaved my legs this morning.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Second Time Around

Yeah, yeah, I'm still pregnant. STILL. But I won't be for long. Tomorrow is the day, so stay tuned. Until then...

Do you read Veronica' s blog, Sleepless Nights? You probably do because she is a big, fancy, All Top blogger and she just happens to be my friend. I can smell your jealousy from here.

Actually, the truth is Veronica's kind of not fancy at all, which is my favorite thing about her. She's a SAHM down in Tazmania to a very precocious two-year-old and she's pregnant with number two. She is very funny, very honest, and her blog reminds me that I am not really going crazy. I just parent a toddler.

So in about 8 weeks I will be giving birth to our second baby – a little boy. Unlike Jenni was, I am planning a hospital birth.


Now several things went into my decision to give birth in a hospital.

1. Living in Tasmania I don’t have any choice.
2. Uhm. Uh. Well.

Which hey, maybe there wasn’t so much thinking involved in my decision at all.

So for me, choosing to give birth in a hospital wasn’t really a choice, more of an ‘I don’t have any other options’.

But you know what? I’m good with having to birth there. Our hospital has mostly midwife based care (with doctors available, obviously), they try and get you through your labour without drugs, failing that – ie: you request drugs - they start with the little stuff (gas, pethidine) rather than routinely giving every woman an epidural.

All healthy babies are placed on their mothers stomachs immediately after birth and both mother and baby are covered in warmed blankets, rather than taking the little one away to a warmer. Breastfeeding is generally initiated within an hour of giving birth and all that good stuff.

So really, not a terrible place to give birth.

But this time around I’m worried. See, when I was heavily pregnant with Amy, I lived 5 minutes from the hospital. I had no worries about not making it to the hospital in time or that Nathan would have been drinking and wouldn’t be able to drive. Our plan for Amy’s birth was to call a taxi to drive us down and when I went into labour at 8am, that’s what I did.


We actually only stayed at home long enough to call the hospital and wait 30 minutes to make sure the contractions weren’t going to stop. Unlike other women I have talked to, my contractions didn’t start at 8-10 minutes apart. Mine started at 2 minutes apart with a side dose of OMG I can’t talk or move or walk through theeeeeeeeese *insert breathing and nothing but breathing here*.

Needless to say, the taxi ride into the hospital wasn’t the most comfortable.


With this pregnancy though? We live an hour from the hospital, if we don’t have to drive through peak hour.


My labour with Amy was fast for a first labour, only 7 ¾ hours from first contraction to last. I have been assured by the midwives that second labours are even faster.

Now I’m sure that I will make it to the hospital on time and not give birth in the car yada yada, but apparently my subconscious doesn’t believe me because I have a continuing sequence of dreams that either involve me giving birth in the car, or giving birth in my kitchen.

Either way, I am a little more apprehensive about labour this time around. I find myself thinking about it an awful lot and planning things more than I did for my first.

I know what I’m in for and I know what I want to do differently and what I want to do the same.
I’m still planning to go in with an open mind though, to just go with it and see how we end up.

As for Nathan? Well he knows for sure that this time he wants to be standing near my head, or even better, behind me. Anywhere where he doesn’t have to see everything. Hehe.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Saying When

Have you met Moo? I'm sure you have, because she is totally awesome. She's a part-time SAHM to a two-year-old boy down in Atalanta and is expecting #2 early this spring. Her blog, Moo's Moo is funny and witty and honest. She keeps it real, y'all, and that is my favorite thing about her. That and the DRAMA!

I'm very honored to have Moo here guesting today (as I've been honored to have all my guest posters), but Moo is especially special to me. Moo is one of the "ones" for me, as a blogger. She is one of the very first bloggers that I did not know in real life to put me in her blog roll, and as you other bloggers know, that's a big deal.

So, thanks, Moo! Love you!

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I am "nosy."

I put nosy in quotes, because I think I'm less nosy and more ... well, let's say, "curious." I really want to know things about people. It was one of the biggest draws to psychology for me. I could ask as many nosy questions as I wanted to and -- get this! -- people would pay me for the privilege. It sounded perfect.

Then, of course, I am also bossy. I love telling people what to do. I think I'm right, all the time, even when I know I'm wrong. THAT trait is a problem, I must admit. It makes it difficult for me to swallow criticism, even constructive criticism, because HELLO, CORRECT HERE, ALL THE TIME. I've gotten better about it, I promise.

So!

I'm not shy about asking people about their personal life. And along those lines, I'm not shy about sharing stuff about my life, either. Pretty much ask me and I'll tell you what's up. It sometimes surprises me that 1.) people are shy about asking what they want to know and 2.) people are surprised that I would share so many things about myself. It's the drama-queen-attention-whore-nosy-bitch syndrome, I think.

No one around here yet has asked me the million dollar question that I'm sure at least SOME of you have thought in your heads, so I'm just going to go ahead and get the answer out there, without waiting for someone to be brave enough to ask.

This is going to be our last child.

After bob is born, we are done. Physically, financially, emotionally ... I am done. Lots of times during this pregnancy, I've wondered what in the world I am doing. If I wouldn't be a better parent to only one child than to two or more. Even when trying to get pregnant, I wondered what it would be like if we only ever had Grayson. I read books on it. I solicited advice. I hemmed and hawed.

Ultimately, I am going to be happy with my decision to have a second child. But I may not feel that way for years and years ... or maybe I'll feel that way about 5 minutes after I give birth. Because I am contrary like that. (point being ... I have no expectations, one way or the other.)

PK recently asked me, since we don't know the sex of bob, "so if bob is a boy, then what?"

"What do you mean, 'then what?'" I asked.

"I mean," he clarified, "then we'll have another one ...?"

"You want another one after bob?" I asked. I confess, I could not keep the incredulity out of my voice.

"If bob's a boy," he began, "then what?" He totally sidestepped the question.

"If bob's a boy," I said firmly, "then we will have two boys. The end."

"But what about a girl?" he questioned hesitantly.

"If bob is a boy," I told him, "then we can talk about having a girl in four or five years. And then we will adopt so that we will be sure to have a girl."

"So, I guess this means you're done, huh?" he asked, laughing.

"Oh yes," I replied without hesitation. Then I paused. "Is that ok?"

"That's fine, dolly," he admitted. "I just wanted to know what the plan was. Because in my house, growing up, that would never fly." (PK is the oldest of four ... his parents kept having babies until his mom had a girl)

But see, here's the thing ... I would like a daughter. An adult daughter. And a tiny baby girl to dress up and do her hair and take her to dance classes. Everything in between those two times? I'm not interested. That high school bullshit? NOT INTERESTED. So it's safe to say that I would be OK if I had two boys. I might have a regret 20 years from now ... but in between now and then ... really. I'd be okay.

And I'm only 32. So I still have time to Change My Mind.

So now it's MY turn to be nosy ... how many kids did you think you wanted, and how many do you have? Is that OK? Is your partner on board with that plan? How did you know you were done? Have you ever regretted that decision?

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Zamboni Incident

I'm very honored to have Anna from abdpbt guest posting on Oscarelli today. Anna is a fantastic writer and a mom with a little boy just about Oscar's age. She's from L.A. so that means she's basically famous so I'm obligated to stalk her. And so should you. Don't worry; she likes it.



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My father is a collector of names.


As far as I know, there is no official term for this practice, and perhaps he is its only practitioner, there's no real way of knowing. The collections he creates are not tangible: they exist only in his head, and in the folklore surrounding his life's experience. Once his mind is gone, a process I can see beginning even as I write these words, my brother and I will be the only ones around to keep the name-collecting memories alive for our own children. Which, you know, we probably won't do.


Name-collecting, as it is practiced by my father, consists of a man--short, bald, humor leaning heavily on the sarcastic side--going through his life and looking for names of things, people, places, what have you, that strike his fancy. I don't know how it started. But I have to assume growing up in a household with a Aspergian father and a former model mother had something to do with it. My father has always referred to his parents as Jack and Vi, not Dad and Mom, and when I've asked him for an explanation, all I've received is my grandmother's overly ornate non-sequitur explanation that my father, aged 12, walked into the room one night, performed Jacques' speech from As You Like It (i.e. "All the world's a stage . . ."), and forever after that they were "Jack and Vi." And I guess this was OK with them. Which is even more troubling, when you consider the fact that, were I to attempt to call my own parents by their first names, I'm pretty sure I'd get smacked across the face. Or something equally dramatic but less violent.


But the names, back to the names. My father would often answer questions to which he did not know the answer--the kind of questions a child asks, such as "Why is the sky blue?" "Why do I have to have a brother?" "Who is the admissions officer at Harvard?"--with a name. A weird name that he had picked up somewhere along the way. By way of example, I will tell you that one of his go-to names was Lance Rentzel. Lance Rentzel might come up as the answer to a Trivial Pursuit question, on the odd occasion that my father didn't know the answer, or if you asked him, "Hey, guess who sings this song/writes this show/is the star of this movie?" Who? Lance Rentzel.


And then he would laugh. And then you would say, inevitably, "Who is Lance Rentzel?" Because it must be some joke that you're too young to get, right? And Dad would say something like, "Roger Staubach hit Lance Rentzel on the open fly pattern," another reference that you didn't get, but that was--apparently--even funnier than the name "Lance Rentzel" alone. And years later, you would find out that there was some kind of situation in which Lance Rentzel, a football player from the seventies who once dated Victoria Principal, had been in some public situation with his fly down. And vague references to this moment were--apparently--really funny, particularly if repeated to little children.


Slowly, painfully, over the course of my childhood, I would learn from these instances that what my father says is mostly bullshit. Especially when he says something that involves an unusual name. I knew that any unsolicited name he provided me with was likely to just be another dumb, arcane reference to the popular cultural imagination of yesteryear. Or worse, fabricated out of wholecloth, such as when my father kept saying, "Phoebe," and I was like, "What?" and then he said, "Phoebe Garbo." And I said, "Who is Phoebe Garbo, Dad?" And he said, "Greta Garbo's sister." And so I would go through my life thinking that Greta Garbo had a sister (named Phoebe), because why would anyone lie about something so retarded? Until one day I was with friends and Greta Garbo came up, and I would mention Phoebe Garbo, and they'd be like, "Who?"


And I'd think, "Dad!" Only it would sound in my head the way Jerry says "Newman!" on Seinfeld.


So, finally, there was the day at Rockefeller Center. We had been making visits to various colleges I had applied to, and were spending a couple of days in New York City. We were watching the people ice skating, because that is what tourists do, particularly when those tourists come from a place where there is no such thing as "weather," and like three ice skating rinks in their entire state. I had ice skated once before, and was way too cool and self-conscious to do it again this time. But we were standing there, waiting for my brother to finish, I believe, when suddenly everyone cleared the ice. I didn't hear any kind of announcement, but people were moving off the ice in one swift motion, so I asked my father what gave.


"The Zamboni man is going to come out now!""COME ON, DAD! Don't you think this name thing has run its course?! I mean, maybe it was funny when I was a little kid, but--"


And, mid sentence, I was interrupted by a large machine, not unlike a car, driving across the ice. On its hood was the word, "Zamboni."

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I Interrupt this Scheduled Guest Post to Bring You...

Okay, people, strangers are starting to call me fat. STRANGERS.

Scene: Baking isle of neighborhood grocery store (the irony here is not lost on me)

Jenni is perusing the birthday cake candle and decoration display, totally minding her own business, if not taking up more than her fair share of isle space.

Stranger: Oooooh, girl. How many months are you?

Jenni (turns, rubs belly): I'm due tomorrow. So, all of them.

Stranger (eye visibly widen, as if to take in my girth): Oh, my! Is it a boy?

Jenni (shrugs, smiles)

Stranger: I bet it's a boy. You always get REAL BIG with boys, don't you? I have two at home.

Jenni (trying not to beat stranger with five pound bag of sugar): I have a boy at home too. I didn't think I'd get any bigger than I got with him. But here I am.

Stranger (averting gaze, backing away slowly): But you carry it REAL well, though.

Jenni (putting down sugar, beginning to leave): Thanks. See ya.

Stranger (nervously scanning the isle for witnesses): See ya. Good luck.

************************

Strangers are calling me fat. The general public FEARS me. At dinner last night, every single person that walked by me said, "Excuse me," as though there was not enough room to pass me and my gigantic self.

I am no longer large and lovely. I'm just large. Frighteningly large.

Can I please be done now?

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Perfect Gift for Any Mom-to-Be

When I asked Jen from over at Steenky Bee to guest post for me while I was having number two, she jumped at the chance, and I'm absolutely honored that she agreed. She's funny and she's from Utah. And not Osmond funny, for real funny.

I was a little put off when she asked for my address, but I figured she just wanted to send a gift. I got a little suspicious when she asked for my mother's maiden name and my social security number, but I figured, what's the worst she could do? Hijack my identity as a stay-at-home-mom with poor hygiene, maxed out credit cards, three smelly dogs, two kids under two, and a husband who cuts the grass in a white tank top?

Wait a minute...am I Brittney Spears?

When Jenni over at Oscarelli asked me to guest post she mentioned that it might be nice to write about any advice I might have for her as a new mom of two children. I offered her my standard advice for every mom no matter if they are carrying their first or their fifth child; Take every precaution that there isn't some horrible mix up at the hospital and you take the wrong baby home. Jenni then reminded me that she was planning on having a home birth so my advice was no good to her. Even though the odds of Jenni mixing up her newborn with another newborn born the same day drop substantially because she'll have the baby at home, I maintain it's just sound advice for anyone no matter where you are.

So if I had no advice for my friend, the very least I could do was offer her some sort of gift as a consolation prize. So, in Jenni's honor, I have created two exciting offers for new moms everywhere. Presenting the Steenky Bee Precious Mama Package and the Steenky Bee Lavish Mama Package. Each package is hand assembled (and wrapped, not well) by me and is tailored to fit the unique personality and lifestyle of any mom. Supplies are limited so act fast! Package descriptions and pricing are listed below.


Steenky Bee Precious Mama Package - $399.99*


You'll delight in this unique mix of services and thoughtful gifts. Great for first-time moms or seventh-time moms alike!:
















  • Steenky will stay at your house for 3 days and 3 nights. (Special restrictions apply. Steenky is fine with sleeping on the couch, but Steenky will not sleep on a futon. You provide towels and linens as needed.)

  • Steenky assists with delivery of the baby (Includes motivational coaching, unorthodox breathing techniques, running of the television remote and maintaining a constant supply of ice chips.)Umbilical cord cutting (You supply the cord, Steenky supplies the scissors.)

  • 4 suggestions for baby names (Family names are subject to an extra charge.

  • Steenky will provide her expert handling of the boiled water and ripped sheets (You supply the water, pots, stove and sheets. Steenky brings her own pot holders.)

  • Professional 40 minute video of birth complete with director commentary (Shot with state of the art cell phone technology and set to Amy Grant‘s hit from the ‘90s, Baby, Baby, Baby. Youtube upload is subject to a $12 service charge.)

  • Steenky’s Signature Pedicure (Includes foot massage, mild exfoliation and your choice of whatever shade of polish you have lying around the house.)

  • 1 box of partially eaten crackers with cheese spread (Quantity of crackers dependant upon distance between your house and Steenky‘s house. Hey, a girl‘s got to eat.)

*Pricing according to costs associated with 1 birth only. Prices subject to increase in the event of multiple births.



Steenky Bee Lavish Mama Package - $599.99*


You'll not be sorry you upgraded your 'Precious' package to a more 'Lavish' experience. In addition to all of the items standard in the Steenky Bee Precious Package, you’ll also receive these exciting upgrades:



















  • 2 additional suggestions for baby names (Family names are subject to an extra charge.)

  • 4 issues of Steenky’s gently used Parents magazine subscription from 2007 (Condition of issues may vary.)

  • Use of Steenky’s first name as your child’s middle name (Subject to gender, or not, it's your call.)

  • Commemorative photo of you, Steenky and your precious newborn in solid oak frame (Sorry, no husbands allowed. Who else would take the photo?)

  • All you can eat Subway sandwiches for 3 days (Offer good for 6’ sandwiches only. Does not include chips or beverages. Extra charge for foot longs apply. That‘s what she said.)

*Pricing according to costs associated with 1 birth only. Prices subject to increase in the event of multiple births.



If you act now, I'm willing to discount both Steenky packages by 10%.


Disclaimers: Steenky Bee Precious and Lavish Mama Packages are intellectual property of Steenky Bee. Actually, not much intellect at all was involved when I created them. Recipients must sign a contract waving their right to any injury, intentional or unintentional against themselves by Steenky and her stay with them. Gifts are non-refundable and non-transferable. Gifts must be redeemed within 12 months of purchase.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

All You Need to Know About Parenting Two Children

This next guest poster was the FIRST to agree to write for me while I'm all healing from vaginal trauma and bleeding from my lady parts (even though I'm still pregnant, yes STILL.) And he's gonna be totally psyched that I'm mentioning "vaginal trauma" in his intro because let me tell you, "vaginal trauma" and Cameron's blog, Get the Stink Off are totally synonymous.

Okay, not really. Cameron's blog is waaaay more awesome than vaginal trauma, and definitely funnier. He's a father of two and a Midwesterner to boot - and who doesn't love a Midwesterner? He fully accepts the irony that is parenthood and battles it head on and I am totally honored that he agreed to post for me. Here's a bit of advice from Cameron on parenting two:

First of all, I would like to say congratulations to the proud momma and poppa, and big brother. Secondly, I would like to discuss my standard 'guest post compensation fees', my 'congratulatory surcharge', and my 'delivery fee' at your earliest convenience. I know you’re busy now, but maybe in a couple days.

What, you thought I was doing this out of the kindness of my heart?

Alright, tell you what? My agent is NOT gonna like this, but I will do your guest spot pro bono…this time.

Ok, ok...who am I kidding? I'm between agents now. The first one was imaginary and I haven't found the second one yet.

Alright, on to the post. Jenni has asked me to give her a little advice on parenting two children. I assume she did this because my children are very well adjusted fine upstanding young darlings. Or maybe it’s because I've painted them in that light, all the while hiding the fact that they are hate mongering devil children with horns that come out of their heads just before they spew their hatred. One or the other.

Anyway, I would like to offer some advice without scaring the holy crap-olie out of Jenni. So here goes:

1. DO NOT make direct eye contact with either Sprout or Oscar for the first six months. If either one of them feels they can get your attention, the other one will become frustrated, agitated, and will lash out at you with a force that you have never before witnessed.

2. When Sprout gets a little older (I would say crawling age), DO NOT separate them when they fight. Let them figure out who the alpha dog is.

3. Screw Nelson as much as possible. No, no…not like that. I mean, make him responsible for diapers, feedings, laundry, garbage, and make him do as much as possible. When you had Oscar, you and Nelson were a precision team that could handle anything that came its way. Now that there are two children, there is no team; there is just survival of the fittest. You're looking out for #1 now.

4. There’s something to be said about playing possum. Pretending to be asleep can be a very strategic way of getting out of diaper changes, feedings, etc.

5. Alcohol can be far more consoling than even your best friend.

Pretty sound words of wisdom, if you ask me. Ok, alright, maybe there was a hint of sarcasm in there. On to my REAL advice:

6. Don't expect a repeat of Oscar. Sprout will be different in every imaginable way. From feedings to sleeping to the color of Sprout's poop, different, different, different. This is not necessarily a good or bad thing, it's just a thing. It's important NOT to be let down if things don't go quite the way they did before.

7. Having two kids isn’t twice as hard. It’s 7 times harder!! You will find that tasks that were once simple become very complex with two kids. Nap schedules, baths, trips to the grocery store. It’s important, especially early on, to delegate, to accept help, to sleep as much as possible, to take turns.

8. Ok, now that I’ve scared you to death, advantages: when Sprout gets a little older (around a year), Oscar and Sprout will be able to play by themselves, sometimes for quite a while, without adult interaction.

9. It doesn’t cost twice as much. You probably already have toys and some clothes, stroller, maybe a bassinet.

10. When they get older, you can put them to work cleaning the house, mowing the yard, and any other slave-like labor that you deem fit.

Ok, this is getting pretty long, better wrap it up. Again, congratulations to Jenni, Nelson, and Oscar. You are embarking on a journey which, while sometimes can be difficult and tedious, is more rewarding than you can imagine.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Here I Am, Still Pregnant. And I'm Okay With That. Except When I'm Not.

I left myself this little hole in between guest posts JUST IN CASE I still had not given birth, or so I could post super cute photos. And, here I am 300,000 weeks pregnant with my breech baby. And I'm kind of okay with that.

Truth? I'm more than a little terrified of bringing home number two. I mean, two is a whole new ball game. First, there is no way I'm going to get lucky the second time around and have a quiet, cuddly, good sleeping, non-crying baby like Oscar was. Little Breechy McBreecherton has already proven itself to be more difficult.

And, then there's just the whole numbers thing. Two. That's twice as many as one, for those of you keeping count. Um, there is still just one of me folks. I'm not multiplying. Only two hands and two legs and one chicken-fried brain. Yes, I have Nelson, but the guy is gone 12 hours a day for five days a week. Just imagining it makes my head spin.

Since I'm being honest here, I have to say, most days I feel like I barely cope with Oscar. I know it's a lot to do with my being pregnant and unable to interact with him as well and having a very short fuse these days, but even still. Toddlers are hard, significantly harder than a newborn. Newborns mostly just sit there in your arms or the swing and you feed and change them every few hours and yeah, it's a lot of work. But toddlers spend roughly 50 percent of their time trying to kill themselves and 50 percent of their time driving their parents insane. Constant rescuing and attempts to preserve ones sanity are way more difficult than a dozen dirty diapers a day. I can even imagine doing it all at once.

But, I'm starting to get sore. Not just my back, but my legs and my feet and my knees. I've already put on an extra 10lbs with this kid than I did with Oscar and my body is paying the price. I want to walk without waddling. I want to meet this baby, the one does the one legged tap dance on my cervix and punches me in the diaphragm 50 million times a day. I want to smell that new baby smell and snuggle a soft little head and marvel at teeny, tiny toes. I want to wrap it's little bottom in those itty bitty N sized diapers. Le sigh.

So, yeah. I'm mostly okay that I'm still pregnant. Except when I'm not. A walking, talking contradiction.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Two Under Two: We Might Survive but not Without Massive Head Injuries

Guess what! I'm still pregnant. But, as promised, I have some great guest posters lined up for you. Rest assured, I'll be posting photos and updates on my bleeding nipples intermittently (I wouldn't want you guys to miss a thing), but to hold you over, I've got good collection of funny, heartwarming, and heartbreaking posts to keep your interest.


This first guest post is from Casey over at Half as Good as You, and I am so lucky to have here today. Her babes are about 16 months apart - mine are about 17. Her blog assures me that having children this close together is completely insane, exhausting, and ear-shattering but never dull and, if you have a good sense of humor and aren't afraid to laugh at a little baby shit in your eye, it can even be fun. So here is a little advice on parenting two from Casey. Oh, and Casey, if you think that 1,000 miles is going to keep me from taking you up on your babysitting offer, you are sadly mistaken.

I’m honored to be posting over here while Jenni is popping out her second kid. I feel like I should be simultaneously holding one of her legs and telling her to push while I type this sentence. I’m pretty sure Nelson has that area covered so I’ll stick to the blogging part since I’m sure Jenni will be more comfortable pushing if she knows someone is holding down the blogging fort. Hey, I’d even offer to watch Oscar if it would help but the commute to FL might be a tad much for the little guy to handle.

When Jenni asked me to guest post, she suggested I give advice on bringing home baby number two. I think I actually laughed out loud when I read that. You see, my kids are a week short of sixteen months apart. They’re currently seven and twenty-three months old and we’re BARELY surviving. I’ll give it a shot though, here are some thoughts on bringing home baby number two:

When I was pregnant with Elliot (my youngest), we noticed that my son Graham had somehow turned into a grabby, selfish clepto. He would cruise by and grab ANYTHING out of our hands and claim it for himself. I’m talking about things he never even cared about before, a shoe or a spoon, he NEEDED immediately because WE had it. As parents of an only child, we never thought twice about handing over said item because it didn’t make a difference to us if he held the spoon or not. Or so we thought. We knew that baby number two was coming soon so we devised a plan to teach our then fourteen month old to learn to share. We refused to hand over things he grabbed until he patiently asked to share. “No, Mommy is using the book, you need to wait your turn. Ok, I’m done with the book now, Mommy will SHARE the book with you.” We were super cheesy for months, SHARE SHARE SHARE was the only thing on the menu. They could have filmed a new and improved episode of Barney at our house except that instead of a big purple dinosaur, I played the part of huge pregnant sharing whale.

We were pretty damn proud of ourselves the first time Graham asked to share. His baby-talk pronunciation for share sounded more like “sha! sha!” and we were more than happy to oblige. We gave each other a pat on the back and went along our merry sharing ways. Things were great for awhile, Elliot was born and we brought her home into our cheery universe. Graham tried to “share” a few toys with his new sister by throwing them full speed at her head. I’m pretty sure he was aiming for her soft spot but we had to praise him for sharing at all. A few months later, Elliot (who survived the dive-bombing toys) learned to grasp her own toys and later crawl to objects of interest. This didn’t go over so well with Graham. Elliot frequently gets pushed to the ground and screamed at. We’ve had to relearn “share” to teach Graham not to steal from his poor sister.

These days Graham uses the magic word on command. The problem is that sharing is a one-way street with him. He marches up and DEMANDS that we share with him and then grabs the item from our hands. We are promptly greeted with a big fat NO when we ask him to share his toys with us or his sister. We continue to remind him to be nice to his sister and to share his toys. It’s a learning process, we’ll get there someday. So my advice to Jenni on easing baby number two into the household? Buy a helmet. You’ll thank me later.

Monday, December 1, 2008

UPDATE: No Baby, No Cry

Nope, he hasn't turned. But, he hasn't been born yet either. Dr. Magic Hands agreed to let me wait another week, as I've had no cramping, back aches, the Sprout is not engaged, and my cervix is still high and to the back.

We are all healthy and well, and presuming I don't go into labor in the next seven days, we'll be scheduling my C-section for early next week.

I may check in periodically, but mostly I'm just going to relax, enjoy your blogs, and let this already large baby pack on the ounces.

I'm feeling okay about this. One of the main reasons we had a home birth with Oscar is that I believe in my body. I believe in the ability of a woman to deliver a baby; I believe that our bodies know what to do and so do the babies. I think birth is just a natural part of life and when I was pregnant with Oscar, I had faith in my body and faith in my baby.

For the same reason, I've decided I need to accept this breech baby. I don't know why it is breech. I don't know why it won't turn, why my body won't allow it to turn, but I'm just going to accept that if it is breech, it needs to be breech. I am going to trust my body and this baby the same why I did when I was pregnant with Oscar.

The situation may not be ideal, but it is what it is and I'm gonna roll with it.

I'll talk to you all soon!

D-Day

This is it, people. It. I go to the chiropractor at 8AM and then to Dr. Magic Hands at 9:45AM. I will know hours from now, HOURS, how I will be having this baby - at home as planned or via C-Section, as absolutely not planned.

I'm scared. I'm absolutely terrified of having to have major surgery. I don't like hospitals in the first place and the idea of needles and scalpels just freaks me out. Of feeling a doctor I barely know tug my child from my abdomen. I'm a total mess about it.

I'm sad. Sad that my birth may go nowhere near as planned. Sad that the Sprout may have to be born into a bright, cold hospital OR instead of our safe, warm, softly lit home. That they will whisk him or her away from me, that I will not be the first one to hold him or her.

I'm trying to to dwell on my fear and sadness. After all, I do not know how things will end up. And, fear and sadness aside, we are welcoming a new member to our family. We are giving Oscar a sibling. I'm about to be a mother of two, and I'm (terrified) excited about that.

I'll update later today, if possible, and certainly later this week. Either way, guest posts will start dropping tomorrow.

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hangin' Tough

Full Disclosure: I was a huge NKOTB fan in middle school. If you don't know who NKOTB is, you must have spent the early 90s in a tomb. I still know most of the lyrics of their more popular songs and I think it is just SUPER that they are back on tour. Donnie was my favorite - I've always loved me a bad boy. Sigh. I'm not even kidding about this.

Now that you've all lost whatever smidgen of respect you had for me, I wanted to let you all know I'm STILL PREGNANT and STILL BREECH. It's funny - a week ago I was all, "Let's have this baby," and now, I just want it to stay in there as long as possibly and turn it's little ass (literally) around.

So, I'm signing off for the holidays. Tomorrow is American Thanksgiving, also referred to by Americans as the Real Thanksgiving, and as is our tradition I plan to sit on my ass and eat tons of turkey and pie for the next four days. There are going to be no less than five different kinds of pie in my home. FIVE. There will be no time for blogging.

Monday is D-day. Well, kinda. I got back to Dr. Magic Hands to see if the baby has turned, if the baby can be turned, or if the baby can be delivered breech vaginally. If the answer to all of these scenarios is "no" I will be scheduled for a C-section, likely next week. So, I'll post on Monday to give you the low down, but starting Tuesday, you'll be treated to some really awesome guest posts from some of my favorite bloggers. I'll also post intermittently with updates on the birth, the baby, and me, but I don't expect to be back "full time" for at least two weeks.

I know, it will be hard for all of us. But, I'm leaving Oscarelli in very capable hands. Okay, moderately capable hands. I mean, they haven't destroyed any blogs that I know of.

Happy T-Day, folks! See you Monday!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

2 AM is as Good a Time as Any to Write a Letter to my Unborn Kid, Right?

Dear Sprout,

I've re-started this letter several times now trying to get it right. I'm hoping this is the witching hour and that I can it bring it home, so here goes.

I hate to start by talking about your big brother here, but it really seems impossible for me to separate the two of you in my brain. Your beginnings were so different, but also exactly the same. Oscar, we'd planned for over a year, waiting until the perfect moment, getting pregnant in one shot, and ten months later "BANG!" we were parents. Lives forever changed, lessons being learned on the fly, mistakes being made by the dozens.

You? Honestly, while you are not even one iota less loved and wanted than your brother, the planning was not so much. You are truly a child conceived of love, destine to be ours, exhausted parents and sleepless infant be damned. And, I knew almost instantly that I was pregnant with you. Waiting to take that stupid pregnancy test were the longest two weeks of my life. And then, "BANG!" everything changed just as quickly as it had nine months prior and we were on our way to being a family of four.

And, you know what? Even though I was still breastfeeding an infant that was waking at least twice a night for feedings and struggling to loose the last of my baby weight, when I saw that little pink line (after about six million tests) I was beyond thrilled. I knew it was right, that you were right, that the time was right, that you cannot plan love, that you cannot plan the force of life.

I am so excited to meet you little one. When I saw your little face on the ultrasound last week - bald head, rosebud mouth, dimpled chin, round cheeks, the very image of your older brother - I was in awe. There you were. We made you, your Daddy and I, and while your brother is walking, talking proof that we do good work together I was still in awe. My little Sprout, the actual product of our love, all but waving at us from that black and white screen.

And so now I wait. I wait for something to happen. Contractions to start, my water to break, for you to turn into the locked and downright position. I am trying to be ready for whatever you bring, however you bring it.

My mother predicts you will be my little devil. Maybe she is right, but I welcome that. A child full of mischief and daring, who marches to the beat of his or her own drum, who refuses to accept that status quo, who does things his or her own way, who plunges into life head first and lives with little regret but with as much compassion as passion. A child like me.

Until we meet, little Sprout, however that may be.

Love,

Mommy

Monday, November 24, 2008

Still Pregnant, Still Breech

First, let me just thank those of you that are still bothering to read this drivel, especially those of you that are bothering to click through and comment. I know how tedious a pregnant blogger's last few posts can be and mine are no exception. I really do appreciate your support. It does help to know you are all pulling for me and sending me your positive vibes.

I've met with my acupuncturist and had my first chiropractor appointment today. I'm doing everything I can to convince this baby that it needs to turn. I know ultimately that it is not up to me, that the baby will turn or that it won't. Period.

I've been trying to write a letter to the Sprout. I started it last week, when I started Oscar's letter. I can't seem to make anything come out. I want this baby to know it is loved and wanted and that we are waiting anxiously for it's arrival but it keeps coming out wrong, wrong, wrong. All I can think is "turn, baby, turn!"

I hate that this is how I will remember the last days of my pregnancy, how I'm filled with anxiety and fear and frustration. I am trying to accept that my home birth will likely not happen. Best case scenario, I'm probably going to end up with a vaginal breech delivery in a hospital. Worst case - an emergency C-section.

This week, I have to pack a bag for the hospital for me and the Sprout. I have to pre-register for my potential delivery. This may seem like par for the course to many of you, but it is a completely foreign experience to me. I didn't "go" anywhere to have Oscar and the idea of going somewhere to have the Sprout just feels wrong.

I have to write a birth plan. I always made fun of birth plans - you can't really PLAN a birth. And, you don't really need one at a home birth. A home birth is a birth plan - no IV, no constant fetal monitoring, no offers of medicinal pain relief, no pitocin, no hourly cervical checks, food and water at my request, no hospital gown ass exposure, no back delivery, no stirrups.

I am supposed to be able to do this, I've done it before, women do it every day. Having a baby is not an illness or a medical complication; it's part of life.

I feel like my body has failed me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Breech, Oh the Breech

We went to see this guy Dr. Magic Hands today to see if he would attempt an external version to turn the sprout. He would not - one leg is down and the other other leg is crossed over it, giving the version an estimated 25% success rate. He felt if he attempted it, I would end up with an emergency C-section today.

So, the plan is to stick with the plan. I'll continue seeing the midwives, at least through next week and hope the baby turns. I'll begin acupuncture treatments to help the baby turn this weekend and I hope to get a chiropractor appointment for next week. I'll be doing breech exercises all weekend as well.

If the sprout has not turned by my appointment on Tuesday, my care will be transferred to Dr. Magic Hands. I'll see him on December 1, where he'll determine if a)the baby has turned; or if b)I can attempt a vaginal breech delivery; or if c) I need to have a C-section.

So, it's all about position, position, position! Oh, and to add to the problem, he thinks the sprout is already around 8lbs, making the chance of him spontaneously turning even less because he's already large.

But, I'm hopeful. I'll be envisioning my baby turning and crossing my fingers. And my toes. And my legs.

You Like Me! You REALLY Like me!

So, last week I was the recipient of not one but two (2) blogging awards. My favorite things about these awards are that they prove how totally awesome I am and that I am totally popular and well liked.

I'm kidding (kinda) because my for real favorite thing about blogging awards is that they come from other bloggers who's blogs I read and love and totally respect and that, to me, is the highest form of flattery.

So, this first one comes from Cameron over at Get the Stink Off. Thank you, Cameron! If you haven't check him out yet, do it. He's got the funny down. And, he will be the very first male blogger to ever grace Oscarelli's sacred pages when he guest posts for me while I'm off pushing a watermelon out of my lady parts.As with most blogging awards, this puppy comes with rules:

- List six things that make you happy
- Pass the award on to 6 more kreativ bloggers
- Link back to the person who gave you the award
- Link to the people you are passing it on to and leave them a comment to let them know.
- Request scantily clad photos of your blogger friends of the opposite sex.

Okay, so I'm pretty sure Cameron made up that last rule because he's a perv and in any case, I don't want to see him (or any of the rest of you) scantily clad. So I'll be skipping that one.

Six things that make me happy:

1. Oscar's mischievous grin
2. Nelson's cheesy jokes
3. Chocolate
4. Sleep
5. Laughing with my boys
6. Money (Yeah, I said it.)

I'm going to pass this award on to my friends Monica at Susanica, Jenbo at Steenky Bee, Mrs. Kitty Kitty Concerto, Crazy Loves Company, Montana at Earnest Monkeys, and Jen at Blissfully Caffeinated. You guys rock my reader, and also my comments section. Much love to you all.

My second award comes from Blissfully Caffeinated and I am totally honored that such a witty badass would give little old me an award. Wait, didn't I just GIVE her an award? See how I did that?

And the rules:
1. Post the award on your blog.
2. Link to the awardifier
3. Link to the originating post
4. Pass the award on to five or more deserving people
5. Post the fight club award rules.



I'm going to send this bad boy on out to Casey at Half as Good as You, Martin at Xbox4nappyrash, Cameron at Get the Stink Off (see how I did that AGAIN?), Super Ninja Mommy at Two Under Two (she's new, she rules, and she can kill you in your sleep), and I think that's quite enough.

Go forth, bloggy friends! Bling out your blogs and nominate your own favorite bloggers.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Son. Of. A. BREECH!

Head down and in position my ass.

Sigh.

More on this later.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

37 Weeks, 4 Days

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

And, if you haven't already, place your bets on the baby's sex, weight, length, and day of arrival! (Yes, this is the same top from my last photo, for reference.)
And, because I'm not the only one that's growing:









To Oscar

Dear Oscar,

How's it going, little man? Here we are, in the midst's of our last days as a team of two. In a few short weeks, a new player will be joining our ranks. I've been waiting for our new teammate for months, but you, my little star, are going to be blindsided.

I'm not going to kid you, or myself. It's going to be tough. You know all those hours you spend in my lap on the couch, reading books? And the time you spend in my lap on the floor building towers? Well, that lap time is about to be severely compromised. My lap is going to be the property of a very small, loud, needy person for the next several months. Your new brother or sister. Yes, he or she will share, but not much. It's not going to be 50/50. You are going to get the shaft, my friend.

You are going to spend more time crying. Don't worry, so will I. Your needs may not be attended to immediately; you might have to wait for your water refill or for your apple to be sliced. I might not be able to read you Dinosaur Roar 12 times in a row. You are not going to like this. Not even a little.

Please know that as tough as this is going to be for you, it will be even more difficult for me. I have no idea how I am going to cope with not attending to your every need the second it crops up. With not being able to comfort you the second you need it, to tickle away your sadness and kiss away your tears. You have been my universe for 17 months. It's going to be a big change for both of us.

But also know Sprout will never, ever take your place in my heart. I anticipate loving Sprout just as much as I love you, but you will always be my first, my Bean, my little man, the one who made me a Mommy.

I know you won't remember this time. Heck, you won't even remember a time before your sibling existed. But I will remember for both of us. I will remember the time when you were my one and only. I will remind you.

Love you,

Mommy

Oscar and Mommy, the day after his birth.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

And Then There Was Me: A Story About My Mom

So all this talk of my impending new arrival had me thinking about my own birth story, as told to me by my mom. And, you guess it, it proves her complete insanity.


I was my mother second child. My sister is eight and a half years older than me. My mom labored with her for THREE DAYS before she was born. And, she was three weeks late to boot.


So, needless to say, when my mom went into labor with me two weeks before my due date, she though it would be a while.


She was wrong.


Her contractions began in the early morning. She got up, made breakfast, and got my sister off to school. By the time my sister left, she'd been laboring for maybe two hours. Her cousin, who lived upstairs (my family owned a two family home) had been with her most of the time, since they got their kids ready for school together.


Kathy (the cousin) was nervous. "You should wake up Paul," she told my mom.


But, my mom didn't want to wake my dad. See, he was working nights and had only been sleeping for a few hours. She didn't want to wake him needlessly.


Her contractions were intensifying and Kathy persisted in her encouragement for my mom to hit the freaking road already. But, as you know, my mother is notoriously difficult to get out of the house. However, she finally agreed. She just had to do one thing.


She just had to HOP IN THE SHOWER so she could SHAVE HER LEGS. Because who could possibly give birth with hairy legs? I mean I know when I was in labor, I was all "But am a I properly groomed for this experience?"


So, there she was, nine months pregnant, in labor, shaving her legs.


Then she woke my dad and they went to the hospital.


She was almost seven centimeters dilated, so he broke her water and called for the epidural. Her doctor told her he was going home to take a shower and he'd be back to deliver me in a couple of hours.


He never got is shower. The anesthesiologist gave my mom the epi and then he decided to check her. She was fully dilated.


I arrived not long after that, a mere five and a half hours after she felt her first contraction.

And the only things smoother than my newborn behind were my mother's gams.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Place Your Bets!

Two posts in one day? I know! But this is IMPORTANT.

With less than three weeks to go (due date = December 6), it's time to start placing your bets, fair readers. Please leave in the comments section your best guesses on Sprout's:

Sex
Date of arrival
Weight
Length

Some helpful hints:

Oscar weighed in at 8lbs 6oz and was 21.25 inches long. He arrived two days before his due date.

I was my mother's second child and I arrived two weeks early clocking in at 7lbs 13ozs and 21 inches long.

Nelson was also his mother's second child and he was 7lbs 11oz and 20 inches long. His mom can't remember if he was early or late, so he probably wasn't late. Late you don't forget.

So, come regular commenters and regular lurkers! Show your faces and place your bets, people! Winner gets eternal glory.


***************************
Also, go check out Baby Bunching. It's an awesome site by, for, and about those of us crazy enough to have two kids in less than two years.

Listless Mondays: Things Left to Do Before I Give Birth

I'm back for another installment of Anna's Listless Mondays!

Things Left to Do Before I Give Birth

1. Purchase high protein snacks and caffeinated/caloric beverages to keep up energy during birth
2. Purchase sealant for upstairs windows
3. Harass Nelson endlessly until he seals all the upstairs windows because "I CANNOT POSSIBLY GIVE BIRTH IN A DRAFTY HOUSE!"
4. Read books to Oscar while his sits on my lap for as many moments as humanly possibly
5. Scrub bathroom floor
6. Scrub every surface in my house
7. Chase Oscar around the house/yard/playground until he squeals with laughter for as many moments as humanly possible
8. Sleep
9. Obsess over appropriateness of chosen baby names, forcing Nelson to agree to change them at the last minute, only to change them back five minutes later.
10. Purchase a placenta bowl
11. See Twilight
12. Go out to dinner with just Nelson
13. Dilate
14. Start Christmas shopping
15. Finish Christmas shopping
16. Harass Nelson until he installs the infant car seat, because, "WHERE WILL THE BABY SIT? IT COULD BE BORN TOMORROW! AHHHH!"
17. Sniff baby layette and stare at teeny, tiny socks for the millionth time
18. At least 20 times declare myself finished with housework until after the birth and start dinner begin scouring the counters 10 minutes later
19. Clean out underneath the dry sink
20. Succumb to complete pregnancy insanity and completely lose my shit at Nelson a dozen or more times for absolutely no reason (I apologize in advance)
21. Break in to sobs a dozen or more times for loosing my shit at Nelson for no reason and apologize profusely

Friday, November 14, 2008

Yawn!

So, yeah, two days ago I was all "I will be posting every day until I give birth."

Okay, probably not because although my energy is surging for sure, by the time I actually have time to post I'm exhausted. Like today, for example. But I'm posting today to tell you that I probably won't be posting every day so, you know, yeah.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's Not Even Mine: A Story About My Mom

My mom has been dreading this story guys, dreading it. But, I'm going to be giving birth any day now so I decided to pull out all the stops for you. This story is a gem, one we retell at every holiday and family get together. It is my best Ann Johnson story. Here it goes.

Let me take you back, all the way back to 1993. Remember the 90s? They hey day of Perl Jam and flannel and my teen angst and questionable hygiene. Oh, the 90s. Anyways, one fine afternoon, after my mom's nap, my brother and I were actually able to get my mom out of the house and convinced her to take us to the mall. As I've said before, we lived in the sticks, so the mall was a schlep, but it was civilization - video game arcades and stores selling artificially distressed jeans. It was our mecca.

We'd been at the mall a while and were getting ready to go home. My mom insisted we stop at the food court so she could go to the bathroom. As you may recall, my mom's visits to the bathroom were not what one would call brief. So, 20 minutes later when she finally emerged, my brother and I began harassing her, "What were you DOING in there? What TOOK you so long?" Whine, whine, whine.

"Lets go!" was all she'd say and she turned to lead us out of the mall.

That's when we noticed it.

There was a smudge on the back of her pants.

"Um, MOM! WHAT IS THAT ON THE BACK OF YOUR PANTS?" one of us asked.

"What? Nothing. Let's go!"

Well, "nothing" was a brown, thumb-sized smudge almost dead center on the back of her pants.

"MOM! Is that POOP? Is that POOP on your PANTS?" we asked, thinking there was no way it could be poop, there was no way this could be happening to us right now. It was just too hilarious.

"No! Shut up! Come on, let's go!"

Author's note: Please keep in mind my brother and I are talking very loudly, as teenagers do, and we have not yet left the mall.

"IT IS!!!! It IS POOP! MOM has POOP ON HER PANTS! MOM has POOP ON HER PANTS! Oh my god, MOM POOPED in the MALL! She POOPED HERSELF! She POOPED herself in the MALL! BAWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!"

Oh, god, I'm in tears laughing just thinking about it (how juvenile am I that I still think this is hilarious 15 years later?)

"SHUT UP YOU GUYS! It's not even mine," was my mom's response.

My poor, poor, mother. She somehow though having a stranger's fecal matter on her pants was better than having her own fecal matter on her pants. Oh, how wrong she was.

"WHAT? SOMEONE ELSE's POOP is on your PANTS?! That's EVEN FUNNIER! SOMEONE ELSE crapped on YOUR PANTS! That's sooooooooo DISGUSTING!" We were screaming with laughter at this point. We could hardly breath we were laughing so hard.

We demanded an explanation. I mean, really, how does someone else's poop wind up on your pants? Unless you are the parent of a small child. Was there poop on the toilet seat? Poop on the floor? We had to know.

But, alas, she would not tell us. In fact, she wouldn't even speak to us the whole ride home which was over an hour. Not that I can blame her. We were laughing like a couple of loons anyways.

And she told us to stop with the laughing. But we just couldn't, you know? When something that funny happens to you in real life, the laugh can go on for hours. And boy, did it.

In retrospect, I feel bad for my mom. Bad that she got some stranger's crap on her pants, bad that we mocked her mercilessly for it, bad that we mock her still.

But not so bad that I don't laugh my ass off every time I remember this story. I'm just not that remorseful of a person.

And, this is how I know my own children will torture me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Have You Heard? I'm Having a Baby!

Okay, so today's midwifery appointment confirmed that the baby has started to drop and is in the perfect position for birth. What does that mean? Well, it means I could have my baby tomorrow or I could have it five weeks from now. I know, it's such a science.

For me, it means I have to pee every three seconds and have really intense pelvic pressure, but on the upside, the kid is out of my ribs and I can breath and eat again. So, yeah.

Being that I've been officially put on "any day" status, I'll do my darnedest to update the blog daily from here on out so you're not all biting your fingernails in anticipation of any news.

I know what you're thinking, "But, what will we do when you have the baby? What will we read? How will we survive?"

No worries, friends! I'm working on lining up a cracker jack team of guest posters to help me out while I'm on "maternity leave." Have I asked you to post yet? Don't worry, I will, because if I read your blog and you read mine, I'm asking. Actually, I've asked people who aren't even bloggers to guest post. And, if you are interested in writing a guest post and haven't been asked by say, tomorrow, shoot me an email.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Labor is Magic

Remember how I talked about how much labor hurts, but I also said that the pain was not the defining factor or the most important part childbirth? Well, I meant that. Although it was incredibly painful, it was also the most amazing experience of my life for two reasons.

The first, obviously, is because at the end of it, I had Oscar in my arms. I cannot express how intensely gratifying it is to hold your newborn child and look into his/her eyes for the first time, and the way your heart is absolutely flooded with more love than you ever imagined was even possible. It is beyond perfect.

The second reason, was Nelson. Excerpted from an email to my friend Xbox, at his suggestion:

"The first 8 hours or so of my labor, Nelson and I laughed quite a bit. I mean, I was in a lot of pain during contractions, but for the 2 or 3 minutes between them, there was no pain at all and we so freaking excited that Oscar was finally going to come out of me and join us in the actual world. Also, Nelson was smiling the whole entire time I was in labor, he was so excited and so proud of me. The smiling actually started to piss me off toward the end, because I thought I was dying and he was grinning like a fool. It was actually very sweet though. He was an excellent labor support person. He totally kept my head in the game when I was feeling exhausted and defeated, which is exactly what I needed from him. "

I will tell you with absolute conviction that I could have NEVER, in a million years, had a successful and positive birth experience without Nelson. Nelson and I are closer and love each other more for having gone through Oscar's birth together, and, bad driving aside, I am extremely grateful for my husband every single day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Labor Hurts

Me in my 15th or 16th hour of labor with Oscar, supported by Nelson and Nebo.




Oscar with Nelson, a few hours after his birth

***NOTE: This is not recommended reading for first time moms. I NEVER tell first time moms about how much my labor hurt because it really isn't the defining factor of or the most imporant part of childbirth. Also, I think it's shitty to scare first time moms. So, if you don't want to know, stop reading here.

So, I've been thinking about labor a lot lately, and since I've been thinking about it you get to read about it. Not surprising considering I'll be full term in five days. I've been having some Braxton-Hicks contractions, some actual painful contractions, and my lack of continence has caused me to think my water has broken on more than one occasion.

I had Oscar naturally, at home. This means I did not have the option (benefit?) of any medically administered pain relief during my labor. That means no narcotics and no epidural. This was totally my choice and it is a choice that was right for me and a choice that I am glad I made. In fact, that is how we are planning this birth as well.

But, here's the thing. Pregnancy amnesia is a lie. Sorry to break it to folks, but I remember EXACTLY how painful my labor was when I had Oscar 17 short months ago. "Holy fucking shit I though I was dying" doesn't even cover it. Actually, that does about cover it. Sure, you forget for a little while, when you first see your baby. But the next day when your whole body feels like it was smashed with an asphalt roller? You recall.

In the weeks leading up to Oscar's birth I was excited and anxious. Excited to meet my baby at long last and anxious about what labor would bring. Because, really, no one can accurately describe what labor is like; no two people experience it exactly the same way. But, one thing all women who've labored can agree on is that it hurts. A lot.

So, I was preparing for this pain, a pain the most intense pain of my life. And, prior to labor, I'd never really had any painful experiences. Yeah, a minor broken bone, some stitches, a root canal, etc., but nothing MAJOR. I basically just told myself that it was going to hurt and it was going to hurt worse than I could ever imagine, but it wouldn't hurt more than I could bear because my body was designed for this. It would hurt 0nly as much as I could take.

And, the thing is, that was pretty much true. It hurt a lot and it hurt for a long time (I had prolonged labor). And then, I thought I was dying. Seriously. It hurt so bad, I was certain that I would not make it out alive. I was certain there was something wrong, something really, really wrong. I thought there was no way a person could possibly be in as much pain as I was in and survive. I know that sounds quite dramatic, but it really did hurt that bad. And this lasted for a little while, an hour, maybe?
And then, it stopped hurting. Like completely and totally stopped. And then, after the two hardest and most exhausting hours of my life, I was holding Oscar in my arms and ready to do it all over again.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Nelson Can't Drive

Okay, well technically he can drive. He has a license, a working vehicle, and is able bodied. But oh my god he must be the worst. driver. ever.

My complaints about Nelson's driving are many. When he is driving us somewhere, we almost aways get into an argument over his terrible driving skills. If we are going to a new location, somewhere we have never been, I have to be the one who drives. We both agree on this. This arrangement has probably saved our marriage.

So, what's wrong with Nelson's driving? Oh, where to begin. Let's start with my chief complaint: he's a late breaker. When the car in front of us breaks, Nelson waits a few seconds to make sure they are REALLY breaking. He always ends up having to SLAM the breaks because he does not break for them in time. We actually rear ended someone because of this once.

This late breaking happens multiple times every single time we go somewhere. I've asked him, why don't you break when you see the car in front of you breaking? His response, "Well, people ride their breaks." Um, SO WHAT? So, you should ram into them, or give your family whiplash by breaking late? Okay, NO. When the car in front of you slows, you should slow as well. That's just good driving. So you see break lights, you apply the break, you avoid accidents and injuries. What's so difficult about that?

Second complaint: He drives erratically when lost or mildly confused about our whereabouts. We've gotten lost in Baltimore multiple times. A normal person would just go back the way they came and try to start from scratch. Not Nelson. Nelson begins RANDOMLY making turns. Left! Right! Right! Left! Illegal U-turn! Left! And he does this until we end up in the worst neighborhoods imaginable, or in another state, or in some tunnel. Just last night we had to make a detour and he didn't want to follow our navigation system. He was annoyed that I wouldn't just let him drive around aimlessly until he figured out where we were going. We were in South East DC at 9pm people. You do NOT drive aimlessly in South East DC, especially not at night.

Third complaint: He is a terribly distracted driver. He pays more attention to what is going on around him then the road in front of him. This causes him to blow stop signs, nearly miss red lights, miss turns and land marks. He's just constantly checking out the landscape, fiddling with the radio, scoping highway construction. Nelson is so distracted, he has promised me he will no longer talk on the phone when driving. He made this promise because he almost killed us multiple times while chatting away on the telephone and not paying attention to the road. Oh, yeah, he is THAT driver.

Fourth complaint: He stops at green lights. Often. He thinks it's being cautions. I think it's being an idiot and is going to cause us to get rear ended one of these days. Green means go. So go, okay, go!

Fifth complaint: He drives slower than my mom. For realsies. The guy drives like a grandma. Hands at ten and two, exactly the speed limit. Refuses to pass cars that are going slower than the speed limit, or large trucks that prevent him from seeing traffic and directional signs. Except when he's getting $50 speeding tickets because he's running late to work. He like some kind of leisurely Sunday driver. It drives me nuts.

Sixth complaint: I have to alert him to red lights and remind him to STOP at them. As in, "NELSON!!! RED LIGHT! RED LIGHT! RED LIGHT! STOP! STOP! BREAKS! BREAKS!" All the while I'm squeezing my eyes closed and bracing myself for impact. Because he may drive slow and stop at green lights for "safety," but when he sees a red light? He actually speeds up and breaks late and gives me heart palpitations. Again, this happens almost every time we go somewhere.

Now, I recognize that I am also not a very good driver. I drive too fast, and I have a serious case of road rage. Serious. Like, have you ever seen that move 28 Days Later, about how some scientists infect monkeys with rage and then the monkeys escape and infect all the humans with rage and the infected humans turn into zombies that run really fast and try to eat all the non infected humans? Well, that's basically me behind the wheel of a car but with worse language. And I'm fully willing to admit that.

But, I think that being foul mouthed-rage-infected-fast-zombie-driver is way better than being a late breaking-erratic-when-lost-distracted-green-light-stopping-grandma-red-light-ignoring-driver. Or am I mistaken? Mabye neither of us should be driving.