Friday, November 13, 2009

Southern Hospitality-schmality

One thing I knew about moving to FL from OH was the fact that I had excellent prenatal care in the Midwest and had heard less than rave reviews about Southern care. I loved my crazy, cowboy, singing doctor in OH that gave me at least five ultrasounds and told me to go eat milkshakes and candy bars. We referred to the hospital where I gave birth as the country club as well. It's aesthetically-pleasing, clean, cherry wood piano-player-in-the-lobby facilities only had private rooms, and the day after leaving the hospital (which also offered mommy massages for the new mom) your very own nurse comes to your house to check on mom and baby. She was also a lactation consultant who came back twice to help me when I was having trouble with breastfeeding. I had a really great experience and was warned that it probably would not be the case here in FL. It seemed like we were always hearing about someone getting life-threatening infections in the hospital where I would likely have my next child. This was less than thrilling to me.

Yesterday, I finally had my first visit with my new OB (my first with Em was at six weeks, I'm now at ten weeks). I went in with a good attitude, excited to finally get this process started, and tried not to think back on how good I had it in OH. From the moment I walked in, things went downhill. I first had to meet with some new patient accounts person who told me that I would have to pay $719 by my fifth month of pregnancy, with adjustments made if I have to have more than one ultrasound. Ew. Our insurance at my husband's last company covered all but $250, which we were billed for after Emma was born. Makes sense to pay after the service is actually rendered.

Strike one.

I went up to the waiting room, where I waited...and waited...and then waited some more. After almost an hour of waiting, a nurse came out and apologized for the wait, there was an emergency. From what I could tell, someone had gotten sick in the back. Fine. I can handle that. But then I watched as every single person in the room was called before me. There were people there that had come in a good hour after me and went in before me.

So. Dang. Annoying.

Now, this was pretty much my first time out since I've been sick, and I had a sick little Emma at home that I wanted to get back to. As I watched the time tick by, the more annoyed I was. To top things off, I had an early lunch and wasn't feeling great. I reached my breaking point when the receptionist told me after my hour and a half wait, I would still have about thirty more minutes.


I tried to control the tears as I called Matt to explain my woes, but there was no holding them back. This was not how my first appointment was supposed to be. FL, you suck. I think the receptionist overheard my breaking voice because five minutes later I was in the back, now having to explain to the nurse that really, I was fine, and didn't even know why I was crying. Ugg, except for the fact that the reason I was crying was that it's depressing being stuck in your house sick for a week and now my baby's sick and I miss my family and just want to go home for the holidays, dangit. I figured this wasn't the time to go into that, however.

So I waited some more.

Aaand had to pee.

That would be one of the first things I would do before an internal ultrasound, right, after pregnantly waiting for so long? Well that would just make too much sense. I asked for my pee cup and was given two alcohol sheets to wipe with. Whhaaat?? Um, strike twelve. Who makes a person wipe down there with an alcohol swab?? Not OH. Since the lab at this office was downstairs, I had to carry my cup around until after my ultrasound too. Thankfully, after asking about this, one of the nurses stole the cup while I was talking with the doctor and put it in a bag. Plus one point for her.

I finally undressed in the freezing room, and told the doctor that I hoped he had some warming gel because if not, we may have some problems getting this exam done. I was feeling pretty sassy at that point. He gave me an extra sheet cover. Finally, I got to see my little alien growing inside me and hear the little heartbeat. At ten weeks he/she has two arms and two legs, which is a good sign. I got my pics and headed downstairs to give my five vials of blood and call it a day. Three hours and ten minutes from when I arrived, I headed out into the now dark parking lot.

Ohio, there aren't a whole lot of things I miss about you, but when it comes to having a baby, you win hands down. With thirty more weeks to go, FL, you have a lot of catching up to do. Win me over, baby. Win me over.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I'm Pregnant..and am Surviving the Swine Flu

Now that I’m a survivor, I prefer to call the disease H1N1 because really, of all the nasty names you can come up with for a disease, throwing the word swine in front of it really trumps anything. I mean really, oh you have measles, mumps, gonorrhea (ok now that’s pretty nasty)?? Oh, well I have SWINE flu. You know, it originated with pigs. And to top it off, I just read that it not only has pig genes but bird genes, along with human genes making it a "quadruple reassortant." So really, I have the pig, dirty bird flu. Eeewwww.

Obviously, I did not heed the CDC’s warning to get myself vaccinated. I debated whether or not to. Given more time, I may have even been convinced, but saying you’ll be vaccinated and actually doing it is a different story when the vaccine seems nowhere to be found. Really, I don’t know a single person in my area who has actually received the shot. Chances are you’ve already had this pesky little flu or will get it sometime in the future, so to help you better prepare, let me share with you what it’s like. I’m sure you’re dying to know.

After returning from a run a few nights ago, I complained to Matt of discomfort in my chest, which we attributed to running in the cold. I mean, it had dipped into the sixties. Other than that I felt fine, went to bed and awoke the next morning to meet a friend at the gym. I felt a little weird when I woke up but figured exercise would do me good. The closer I got to the gym the worse I felt, and had to text my friend that I wouldn’t be coming and call my mother-in-law to see if she could take Emma while I slept this off. I was overcome with nausea and was sure it was just pregnancy hormones finally catching up with me. I dropped Emma off, went straight to sleep, and woke up throwing up and miserable. I couldn’t stop coughing (and puking) and suddenly my body was aching and I had awful chills (even though it was 80 degrees in my house). I threw on a sweatshirt and blankets and fell back asleep. Emma came back home to nap, as I fell back asleep and realized that this probably was a little more than just pregnancy hormones. I gave the doctor a call, and my symptoms and pregnant state gave me a free pass to an appointment (turns out they’re diagnosing most people over the phone). That evening when Emma awoke from her nap I was almost in tears at the thought of taking care of her feeling like this. Thankfully my mother-in-law is just a few minutes down the road and was able to take her (and still has her might I add). I slept most of the evening away and went to bed early. The next morning I felt quite a bit better and was off to the doctor. I was directed by my mom and pharmaceutical rep friend to demand a swab test, but thankfully they gave it to me willingly. So, my nose was violated with two long swabs, and I was told that even if the test comes back negative it doesn’t mean I don’t have the flu because it only shows up 50% of the time.


I went back to sleep and awoke from my slumber to find out that I indeed did have the dreaded swine flu. Gross. I headed to the pharmacy to fill my prescription for Tamiflu (after reading about it on the Internet and calling my OB for more confirmation that it was safe). By this time I was starting to feel pretty bad again, so I was thankful to get my meds from the nice pharmacist who also assured me that the CDC recommends that all swine-flued pregnant women take Tamiflu. Ok then. I took my pill and headed back to bed only to wake up an hour later to an awful afternoon of yacking my guts out. I went back to the pharmacy with the anti-nausea prescription that the doc had prescribed me but didn’t think I needed and proceeded to repeatedly vomit at the nice pharmacist's window. Embarrassing? I’d say so.

So, now I’m on day three and think I’m on my way back to the land of the living. I still get achy and tired and have coughing fits here and there, but the nausea/vomiting has subsided. I’ve been slowly trying to disinfect the house before Emma comes back home and sleeping a lot still. I woke up from an afternoon nap wanting food other than crackers or chicken noodle soup for the first time. A cold chocolate shake sounded so good, so I threw on a bra and headed out with my greasy hair to grab one. Unfortunately, I came home bawling because it didn’t taste good at all and fell asleep on the couch to my husband’s understandable confusion. After I woke up we headed over to his parents' house to pick up some soup, and I gazed in the window from the back porch to watch Em play. Turns out she’s doing fine without me. Tomorrow I think I’ll be ready and hopefully de-germed enough to pick up my daughter. Though now Matt is complaining of not feeling good. Ehhh, so it goes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Keep Ten in Real Life, Shave If Off in Photos

At the gym yesterday, I read this article (not in Self, we'll come back to that though) about how when you're in your 60's it's actually healthy to carry around that extra ten pounds, making your BMI between 25-29%. I don't really remember the details, but something about how the skinny, um, mature ladies, were 23% more likely to die. I imagine there's probably a bit more to it than that though (details, shmetails). But anyways...

Cha-CHING!! Hello, guess who can't wait for her 60's now!? I think that's reason enough for 60 to be the new 20.

Because you know, I love how celebrities that are in their 40's and up are always saying, "Oooohh, I love who I am now. I'm so much more confident in my (enter old age) than in my 20's. I feel beautiful and so much better about myself now." Blah, blah, blah. Well hello, of course you're more confident now. As the ladies around you keep aging, you remarkably stay the same. There's a confidence booster for ya. A little nip and a little tuck. Silly celebrities.

Now to Self magazine.

Awhile ago, Kelly Clarkson was their cover model looking beautiful and confident and...skinny. It was quite obvious that the admittedly non-twiggy Kelly had been skinnified (it's a Hollywood insider term, thank you). Okay, this wasn't a surprise to me. Whatev. What really blew me away was the editor's response. If you want to read it, go to

It's pretty long but worth reading if you don't mind your blood boiling a bit. I'll just give you the jist of it. Basically, she said that cover pictures are not meant to be accurate representations of reality but a projection of what your best self could be. She went on to say how she ran a marathon five years ago where she worked her butt off, but then would only put up pictures with her hips a little "shaved off." Awesome. Way to add to the ridiculous insecurities that women deal with on a daily basis, Self magazine. Instead of focusing on her hard work, shave off those dang hippos.

Ug, the madness.

So, the moral of the story and my new pregnancy goal:

Do not let myself get to the point where I have to Photoshop off chunks of my body.

Ohhh, to be 60.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Day at the Museum: Battle of the Besties

Last night, as I was putting Emma to bed, I told her that we were going to the Children's Museum tomorrow and would get to see all her little friends. To this she responded with her customary hand-clap and,"Yeeeaaayyy!!" I love it.

This morning I got her all decked out in her sweet butterfly-fairy costume and headed over to the museum. Not to brag buuut Emma is usually very good at playing with other kids. I mean, she's pretty even-tempered, and shares, well kind of, but generally, she does a good job. Of course, today (in honor of Halloween) when the museum is packed full of people, she chose to explore her, um, inner-devil-woman. Kids would brush against her and she would just scream at them. If they came even close to her toy, watch out. Then, on the slide, she was the terror-child cutting in front of all the other patient angels (and elmos...ahhaha) waiting their turn. So, I was that mom, intermittently disciplining and apologizing for my kid. Gotta love being on the other side of the my-child-that-you-don't-know is pushing your kid over fake, "That's okay..heh, " smile. Ehh. Oh well, such is life mothering an 18-month old.

She also had her first fight with her bestie. I mean, really, it wasn't her fault. She was just eating pizza with another boy at lunch. So, when D got up from his lunch to walk over to see her, little A got the glare that only jealous 2-year olds can give (who knew??). He proceeded to throw a tempter-tantrum or two, while Em played coy. Can't blame her though. I mean, a girl's gotta play hard to get once in a while. She was just reminding him what a catch she is.

Some pics?


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Patches and Palm Trees

Last week I got really excited when I heard a commercial for a fall festival complete with a pumpkin patch, corn-maze, and pony rides. Woo hoo-an opportunity to pretend that we actually have more than one season here in FL! We rounded up some friends and made the hour and a half trek to the farm by the beach.

The temperature was supposed to be in the mid to upper eighties, but I refused to wear anything but jeans. It just didn't seem right to be in a tank top and shorts. Good thing for me, I sweated so much that I didn't have to use the restroom all day because I think it would have been reminiscent of the Friends episode with Ross and the leather pants.

We pulled up and the first thing we saw was this:

Whoa- this ain't yo mama's punkin fest. This was complete with dirt bike jumpers and pumpkin tank launchers. Hey, I was just happy to see the tank flying an American flag instead of a the "Dixie Pride." In other words,

It. Was. Awesome.

I mean, I had to suspend my disbelief walking through the waist-high, green corn-maze, but other than that, it was fantastic. I mean, if you're into hillbilly bands, frog-jumping, and fire-juggling men on six-foot unicycles (which I am) than this is the place to be.

Actually, it can be quite scary being in a corn maze in FL. So scary, in fact, that it made moms go wild.

But thankfully our fearless leaders lead us out of the wilderness in time to catch

this rough and tumble group perform.

Emma danced her pretty little heart out and took time to share a laugh with her bff.

We saw some real dead-beats

and got spit at (we could have, at least).

After a long day, we rested in a pumpkin patch, which wasn't really a pumpkin patch but a tent with pumpkins placed under it.

Emma asked the nearest woman, "What the heck...doesn't a pumpkin patch imply that the pumpkins will be growing from the ground, waiting for me to pluck them from the vine?"

The woman kept her mouth shut and only blushed,

which sent Emma running back home to where the palm trees and pumpkins know their places.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Main Events

Here's the thing. I haven't blogged in a couple weeks. It's not because we haven't had anything going on. Nope. Quite the opposite. We've been going and going and going and...well, you catch my drift. I've missed out on maaaany bloggy opportunities. Here's the problem- I'm so effing tired all the time! If I'm in the house, I feel like I'm going to drop dead unless I "just put my head down." So I've been "just putting my head down" a lot lately. Uggg. I feel so worthless. There's a million things that I have to do, I think, but I haven't really identified what they are. Um, is that a problem? Am I just going psycho? Could be. And my husband says I'm grouchy, which I can admit to here and there but really, I think he's extra touchy these days. Oh, and I want peanut M&M's like it's my job. I mean, I'm ravenous for them. In fact, as soon as Em wakes up, we're heading over to Publix to get some. I keep getting these weird craving for veggies too. I had an absurd amount of asparagus for lunch today. Yup, just asparagus. Who does that?? Oh, and to top it all off, I realized that I'm currently doing nothing to change the world. Awesome.

So, while I dwell on all my woes, here's some pictures of our last few weeks...

I spent a weekend with my three best friends of all time. We've been friends since 4th grade, (Colleen and I since we were 5) and I know it's the type of friendship that'll last till death do us part. Haha. But really. Even though we're so far apart, I know I could count on these girls to be there in an instant if I really needed them.

Two weeks later we headed out to the freezing state of Michigan for Matt's brother's wedding. We arrived at 11:00 PM and then drove two hours from Flint to Grand Rapids. Good thing I've molded Emma into such a good little traveler.

We put together many-a-programs and caught up on our reading.

And took time to check out the fall foliage on four-wheelers.

Emma practiced being a cute, well-dressed Finnish citizen with her studly daddy.

And took time to hang out with her funcle.

She was surprised to see Mickey and Minnie in Michigan!

And dreamed of being a beautiful bride...

while dancing the night away with her Prince Charming.

When the clock struck midnight she looked like this:

Ah hahaha...she's going to love this someday. :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sign Posts

From the time I was a little girl I've had this innate desire for something outside myself, a yearning that has made me realize that there's more to this life than just what I can see or touch. Sometimes it manifests itself through simple things like sunsets or being in a beautiful place. I think that's why I love traveling and nature so much. It reminds me of a greater story and makes me yearn to know the Author of this story. Literature, film, and music have always had this effect on me as well. Hence my reason for being an English teacher. All of these things are sign posts for me that point to the pursuing of a loving Creator.

Friday night we sat up in the nose-bleed section of a U2 concert, which was just an incredible event. Whether or not you like U2 I think it would be nearly impossible to attend their concert and not leave loving them. They just put on a fantastic show. I consider them a sign post band, and not only because of my love of all things Bono. Though I think his tinted-glasses and leather jacket are uber cool, I know his cool guy image can be annoying. I usually get annoyed by celebrities that use their status as a platform for whatever cause they choose to support because really, I don't care if their one-million-square-foot home is completely green and they own ten hybrid cars. It nauseates me. While I'm sure Bono is as big of a hypocrite as any other human, I do respect him for the work he has done on things such as the One campaign. From interviews I've read I think it's obvious where his passion for justice and unity come from. But, Bono is not why U2 is a sign post band for me. Yes, part of their sign post status does come from the plethora of biblical allusion and general themes of hope, redemption, and reconciliation that their lyrics offer. However, last night it wasn't about that. Sitting among thousands of people with music pounding throughout my body awakened that yearning for God and the reminder that He is working in our world. The reminder that He is a God that pursues us and sets us free. Maybe part of it was being in a stadium of over 70,000 people from all walks of life with all different stories, all singing "Amazing Grace." Did they all believe what they were singing? Nope. But someday. Someday, all will be made right. Someday there will be no injustice or hurt or pain or tears. Someday all knees will bow before my Jesus. Someday...

As I said, we were in the nose-bleed section of the stadium, so some of these pictures are taken by my friend, Rob Chestnut, who was lucky enough to be close enough to feel Bono's sweat drip from his leather jacket. Ridiculous.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Silver Bullets

Since I've never blogged about it before, I thought I'd share about getting pregnant with Emma (Don't worry, I'll spare you the details, haha). I ran out of birth control on a Saturday and wasn't supposed to get any refills without approval from the doctor's office, which unfortunately was closed on the weekend. So, Matt said, "Eh, why don't we just go off them." That was it. No big discussion. No anything because the next time my period came around, it didn't actually come.

Just. Like. That.

I mean, come on. Isn't it supposed to take a little effort at least? I had a dollar store pregnancy test that I had gotten from my bachelorette party two years previous that I decided to take. Imagine my surprise when there were two distinct lines. I remember freaking out a bit and calling my friend Nikki who was a new mother. I mean, what was I supposed to do?? Um, maybe call my husband. So, I called Matt at work and told him he should come home at lunch. I wanted to take a non-dollar store test, just to be sure. I bought a test and waited until Matt arrived home to take it. I did my business and promptly left the test on the bathroom counter. We were pretty sure it was going to be negative. I mean, a dollar store test gave me a positive, but there was no way we could actually be pregnant. Right? A couple minutes later I returned to check it out (Matt wouldn't). Sure enough, two distinct lines. That's when we had our "oh blankety blank" moment. We stared at each other for looong time. I seriously felt like a fifteen year old girl that had just found out that she was knocked up. I mean, I understood how it happened but just didn't really think it would happen. We were thrilled, eventually, but it took some time to get used to the idea. I mean, I had a little alien growing inside of me. At least that's how it initially felt. Of course, we can't imagine it any other way and were thrilled when Emma entered our lives.

Fast forward to now.

Matt and I had been toying with the idea of another kid. According to our timeline, it was prime-time. Was I ready? Nope. I love my life right now. I really have it made. I stay at home with Em and am surrounded by great friends that also stay home. We're literally always doing something fun. I'm finally at my pre-baby weight too. It feels so good to be back in shape and active. But, we knew we wanted a couple more kids, and a two year age difference seemed like a good idea. We decided to not-prevent. I knew what that meant, but at the same time I also knew that lots of people get pregnant right away the first time and then not so much the next time. Riiiiight. Two months ago we not-prevented (though I was out of town during the "window") and last month on the day of my period I counted out fourteen days. I told him during that ovulation window he'd get one try. Yup. One freaking try during ovulation.

This time I totally knew and started taking tests way too early, thinking that maybe I was off on when I was ovulating anyway. Nope. Saturday morning I was sitting around in D.C. with my girlfriends and took a test.

Two. Distinct. Lines.

Holy frickety-frick-frick. Once again, I was that fifteen year old girl, and again, I had to call my baby daddy to tell him I was preggo. Crraaazzzyy.

Yes, I realize that it is very early to announce this to the world, but that's okay with me. It's kind of one of those things that's our decision. So, as long as everything goes well, Baby #2 will make his/her grand entrance mid-June!!! Yeeaaayyy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What a Day. What. A. Day....

I put up this elusive tweet (since I'm a twitterer) this afternoon and am just now getting the chance to explain it...

First, can I just explain how I love snooze alarms? I LOVE them, I mean, how great is it to be woken up by a severe beep followed by ten minutes of silence and then another horrible beep? So fantastic. Especially at 5:00 in the morning. Especially two days in a row, especially when it goes off at least five times and especially when each beep is followed by a panicked," I'm sorry, sorry, sorry. I turned it off." Really?? Because you've said this Every. Time. It. Goes. Off. For the love, my dear husband, just don't use the freaking snooze!

Phew, glad I got that off my chest. Moving right along...

Boot Camp this morning with Sergeant Senora Strange Sounds gave me sore muscles in places I didn't even know existed and left me dripping sweet sweat from my eyeballs. It's highly necessary for me to sweat a lot, you know, since I never do that as soon as I walk out my door. What gives FL?? We went over to a park after working out since the weather lady had promised a cold front coming through today. I about melted. But not really because I haven't jumped on board the FL plastic surgery train. Onto the highlight of my day...

So, I brought a couple extra kids with me to the park today (yes, I knew them) and after leaving we headed over to McDonald's to grab some lunch (don't judge me). One minute the kids were happily chanting screaming chicken nuggets, and the next there was a hissing sound like someone had slashed my tires and suddenly smoke was pouring in the window.

Oh dear.

Not good, not good at all.

Thankfully I was at the window, so there was no one in front of me, so I told the lady I wasn't going to get my food right now, thank you, but I would pull over. So, the smoke cleared quickly and I jumped out of the car to check things out. You know, with all my knowledge of cars. The McDonald's manager also came out to take a looksy with all his knolwedge of cars too. In the process I broke the stick thing that holds the hood up. Whoopsy.

I still had three kids in the car and since the car would longer turn on, it was pretty hot. Did I mention that I have not changed from my super sweaty clothes from this morning? We piled out to eat our lunch inside, but the kids were too distracted by the playland to eat, which worked to my advantage with the phone calls I had to make. Aaahhh, I love enclosed areas. Except at one point when Em was stuck in one of the tunnels and crying because she couldn't get out, and I had to crawl in after her and drag her through while on the phone with the AAA lady but whatev.

The kids eventually at least nibbled at their food and the dad of one of the kids came to get them. Phew, down to me and Em.

Enter Ricco Suave.

Yes, tow-truck man is actually quite the Casanova who lets me know several times that he is very good at his job. Perfect. He sees this all the time. Makes sense seeing as though he drives a tow-truck. My mother-in-law was coming to pick me up, so he could go ahead and get the car to the shop. But he didn't feel comfortable leaving me there. Um, thanks but I'm pretty sure my mother-in-law isn't going to ditch me and her granddaughter. But I need to go to the repair shop to do any paperwork that he couldn't do. Alright, it's on the way home so I'll give you that one, Mr Suave. He also told me that Emma was just "the purdiest lil thang he's ever see." Yup, I couldn't have scripted it better.

So, Ricco and I are chatting it up, waiting for my mother-in-law, and just as she arrives a friend pulls up, asking if we're okay. Whoa. Stop right there. This is NOT the thing to do in the Mickey D's parking lot. As she was taking pics of the incident on her phone, the not-so-gentleman behind her was getting pretty livid. He was probably at least eighty and the reason you do not stop and ask others if they need help in McDonald's parking lots. He gave her the best worst look ever and death stared her down as he passed by. I love this. Last time I was at McDonald's there was another old man yelling obsenities at the lady in front of me. He also told her she better be glad he didn't have his gun with him. I'm sure he totally had just cause to shoot her too. But, I digress...

That's my fun day in a nutshell. Emma never did get a nap in, and I'm still in my stinky, sweaty clothes. But, Matt's next to me and he's not coiling away so whatev. Just gotta roll with the punches.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

She's a good girl, crazy 'bout Elvis

After calling my girl a devil-child yesterday, I thought maybe it was necessary to post a little Emma cuteness because really, she's a sweet child, I swear. We've had great success with the transition from the crib to the toddler bed mattress on the floor. She generally stays in bed and yells, "Mooommmyyy," whenever she's ready to get up. She's at the point where she tries to distract us from bed time though. Right around when I tell her it's time to go night-night she gets very cuddly with her daddy, which probably buys her a good ten minutes. Then after our routine, as I'm kissing her goodnight, she takes my face in her little hands and strokes it saying, "Niiiice, niiiice." The girl knows how to lay it on thick. I tell her to close her eyes to which she squeezes them as tight as she can with this big goofy grin on her face. Ooooh Emma, she's a funny bird.

Around 3:00 this morning I heard her saying "uh-oh" over and over again. She wasn't crying, but she did it long enough for curiousity to get the best of me. I went into her room to find her sitting up on her bed with her eyes closed saying "uh-oh." Weeeiiiirrd. Matt and I have been known to do some strange things in our sleep, so I wonder if she will follow in our steps. One can only hope. Though it would be awful if she was one of those kids that walked out of her house in the middle of the night. Thank goodness for the alarm system. Oh geez, I'm already getting myself thinking of the worst possible scenarios. Deep breath. Phew, ok I'm over it. Anyway, I sat in front of her for a couple minutes without her even noticing, so I scooped her up and put her back down in a more comfortable position. I can't imagine her back would feel too good if she slept sitting up all night. Then the sweet angel slept through her daddy setting off the alarm at 5:00 by mistake (who btw just finished mowing the lawn without a shirt and is looking like one fine piece of hotness) and slept all the way to 8:15. Love that girl.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Seriously...what's a momma to do?

Emma's first few months of life were rather difficult, as I've said before. Nothing serious, but the child just had a bad case of acid reflux that she inherited from her daddy. It made for long nights and crying fits that would last for hours at a time. Enter Zantac. It changed our lives. I know a lot of people say in jest that certain products changed their lives, but this literally changed our lives. Emma turned into this sweet little girl that smiled and cooed. No longer were her little hands constantly clutched in two tight fists. To this day, I swear the girl has great abs because of all the time she spent tightening and loosening those muscles screaming her head off. Anywho, all of that to say she has been a very easy (ok, so maybe a little vivacious) toddler. However, these last couple weeks she has morphed into this little devil-child. Overall she's still my sweet little girl, but man does she have a temper.

She's been throwing the most ridiculous tantrums I've ever seen for no apparent reason. Now, maybe I'm just still in new-mom-to-toddler mode and can't read the signals, but sheesh, I'm not a mind reader. For instance, she fell asleep in the car around 11ish today, so I took her up to bed where she slept for another thirty minutes. She woke up happy as a lark, yelling, "Mooooommmyyy, MOoOOmMMy!!!" Always a good sign. As I was folding laundry, I had her come into my room and hang out. I asked if she wanted to eat. "Nooooo," was her reply. Ok. I continued to fold my laundry. A few minutes later I asked her if she wanted to read a book to which she nodded her little head fervently. I grabbed three books and had her pick one out for us to read together. Annnnd, for some reason, this made her terribly angry. I mean, she grabbed a book and started thrashing it around and threw herself to the floor kicking her legs and tossing her head from side to side, all the while screaming at the top of her lungs.

What the heck?? Where'd that come from?

Being the super even-tempered mom that I am (for the first three minutes of a temper tantrum), I sat on the floor and gently asked her again to bring the book to me. The tantrum continued...and continued. I tried to coax her out of it, but she would have none of my mommy-nurturing. So, I continued my laundry. After finishing it up, I brought the screaming child downstairs to attempt a nice lunch. She calmed down as I put on a DVD that my mom had made of her cousins set to music. As I made the sandwiches it looked like we were heading towards a better day.

Until she walked over to me in the kitchen.

I offered her a sandwich bite to which she threw herself down on the floor and started banging her head on the linoleum. Lucky for her we can't afford tile. Seriously, where did that come from?? What am I missing here? This continued on for way too long until I brought her up to flip out in the comfort of her own room.

During this time, I went to the source of all parenting knowledge, Google, and looked up toddler tempter tantrums. Um, the main points, stay calm (got it), know the triggers (uumm, reading books and eating lunch??), and bring to a safe location such as a bedroom (yes!) and stay there with her (really?). This is all you've got for me, Google?? I left the computer disappointed, and checked on her a couple times while she continued her fit. Finally, I got her to climb into my arms and take a bottle, which she never takes in the middle of the day. So, now she sleeps and I write, while I should clean.

Yesterday we had a similar tantrumific day, and Matt looked around the messy house and asked, "Huh...what'd you do all day?" Obviously I must have done something since the house was such a mess. But nope, I had nothing. Apart from a trip to the Y, I stayed in all day to clean. In fact, I actually did clean the house, but crazy girl had interrupted enough projects with her tantrums for me to only half-finish everything. Eeeeh.

So please, help a crazy motha out. Why has my child been such a psycho lately, and what can I do??

Friday, September 11, 2009

Eight Years

Someday I'm sure Emma will have to do a project for school where she asks her parents what they were doing on Sept. 11, 2001. It's a day I'll never forget as terrorism became more than just an obscurity that happened in distant lands.

I was home on summer break before my junior year of college. We were still on the quarter system and didn't go back until the following week. I was sleeping when my brother called and told me to go turn on the t.v., the WTC had just been hit by a plane. Of course at that point we had no idea of what was to come. I watched live as the second plane hit tower two. I remember a sinking feeling coming over me as it was quite apparent that this was no accident and thinking over and over, "What the heck is happening and why?" Pictures of the Pentagon flashed across the screen and newscasters speculated about other targets and how every flight in America had been grounded, but there were still planes unaccounted for. I spent the next several hours glued to the t.v. and watched the world change, live before my eyes. I remember my mom calling to tell me not to go anywhere, but where would I have gone? I don't think anyone felt like a trip to the mall at that point. I tried walking on the treadmill while watching t.v. but kept stopping as I watched in horror all the crazy images of things that were not supposed to happen in my country. I remember going to church that evening like so many others just to pray because really, what else could we do? I remember giggling once that night with my dad as Congress broke out in an ackward impromptu of "God Bless America" on the steps of the Capitol. The commentator saw it as a great show of unity, but for some reason we saw it as comic relief.

So many important and mundane things have happened in those eight years that have passed, but it's a day forever etched in my memory; no matter how many years pass I'll always remember it with clarity.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

And We're Back...

I should be cleaning my house as Emma naps, but it's been way too long again since I've written. The last few weeks we've been going nonstop. My parents came to see us Emma for about a week, which was great! We actually got some painting done, and with the exception of the bathroom, everything downstairs is finally painted and decorated. Woo hoo! I don't anticipate ever finishing the upstairs. My parents also came to town to watch Emma for a weekend so Matt and I could head down to West Palm to celebrate a friend's 30th birthday. Seriously, when did we get so old?? Less than two years until I'm 30. Weird. Good thing I married such a young buck. :)

After West Palm, Matt was off to Chicago for a few days of work, and Em and I flew home to spend time with my whole family for a week. It's so fun watching Emma with all her cousins now that she can (sorta) communicate. She gets so excited to see them and jibber-jabs with them, holds their hands, and gives them lots of kisses. I treasure those moments that she has with my family; each time she sees them it's a little different. They change so much in such a short time. It's difficult not having day to day interaction, but I guess that makes it always exciting when they do see each other. I was hoping to spend some time by my parent's pool but only ended up being able to swim one day because of the weather. I really didn't mind trading in my swimsuit for my fleece jacket though. I'll take a break from FL summer heat any time, thank you.

We took the kids to Fantasy Island, which I haven't been to since Emma was a 1-2 week old fetus. Back then just my parents and I took Noah and Livvie because Isaiah wasn't big enough yet, and Abby (and obviously Josh) wasn't born yet. This time we had a whole slew of kids (and adults), and Emma got to ride rides outside the womb! We also went to the Fair a couple times. Not that it's so great (though it is the Great New York State Fair) but it's just a Syracuse staple. You know, like Wegman's and Hafner's and Dinosaur Barbeque and basically all those places that you'd never realize you'd miss until you're not around anymore.
So, anywho, I left go back home. Strange how that works. Syracuse will always be home, but Lakeland is becoming more familiar. I mean, I'm not at the point where I would leave and say, oh man, I really miss Publix (it will never, ever compete with Wegman's duuuh), but it's definitely more home than when I wrote this post. I guess there's two ways of looking at it. Either I'm never truly home because I'm always missing the other place and people, (which is really inevitable but...) or I can take my aunt's advice and see myself as the luckiest girl because of the fact that I will always have two homes where I am welcomed and loved. I mean, there's people out there that don't have any place to call home...and I get two. I guess I'm a pretty blessed girl.