Wednesday, July 31, 2013

And the baby pool almost killed me.

No baby yet, but HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL did I hurt myself yesterday.  I have been asking the boys to help me drain the baby pool since Saturday, so I could move it to the other side of the porch, away from the adult seating area under the roof.  Since none of the kids would help me (Ryan would like me to point out that I never directly *asked* him to do it for me, so he didn't know I needed help), I set out to do it myself yesterday morning.

Wes was pretty helpful, getting a bucket and bailing out the water while I held my foot down on the side and let the water drain out (it's a huge pool and it was VERY full), but James kept turning on the hose and adding more water, which was super productive.

Finally I got almost all the water out and was able to drag it over to the new location, but while I was doing that I noticed that it had the gross fish tank smell it gets when the water has been in there too long.  Like six hours.  So I ran inside (HA with the running) and got some 409 and a towel and headed out to the porch to clean it.

I stepped over the side of the pool and onto the bottom, where my foot went out from under me (due to all of the MOLD) and I screamed like I had been stabbed.

I managed not to go all the way down, but have I told you about my pelvis problem?  The one that makes walking and having my legs further than about twenty degrees apart extremely painful?  It's called symphysis pubic dysfunction, which sounds freaking hilarious when you say it with a Borat voice.  So suddenly doing the splits in a algae covered baby pool was... inadvisable?

I spent a few minutes leaned over with my elbows on my knees, deep breathing and swearing and reassuring Wes and James that I was not seriously hurt (I actually have no idea if this is true, because it hurts like a sonofabitch still, twenty-four hours later).

And then, because I didn't want the kids to slip, I crawled around the outside of the pool and 409ed it as best I could (without moving my legs too much, obviously).

When I stood up from doing that I knew that it was time to go sit down.  For a while.

So I went in and sat on "the lifeguard chair" which is a big upholstered chair Ryan pulled into the dining room for me so I could watch the kids in the back yard without actually going out in the back yard.  Pretty soon Wes and James started beating the crap out of each other so I hobbled over to the back door and called out "Who wants to watch a MOVIE?!!"

Then collapsed on the couch and cried.  Charlie set up the movie.  Wes brought me some water and an ice pack.  So I could ice down my crotch pelvis.

And then I layed there very, very still until our babysitter arrived to take the kids to the pool about an hour later.

A day of rest and a night of sleep have helped considerably, but I'm not breaking any land speed records today.  I had to go to the Y to pay Charlie's camp tuition this morning and a nice man held the door for me which he probably regretted since it took nearly two full minutes for me to cross the five yards that originally separated me from the door, which is obviously more than he bargained for when he thought he'd be considerate of the giant-ass pregnant woman (I mean that literally and figuratively).

And getting out of the car is also special because I require a short rest between getting my first and second legs out.  After I get my feet on the ground, I like to close my eyes for a minute and catch my breath before attempting to walk.

But the best news of all is that, thanks to what appears to be a freakishly large baby and the fact that I sobbed through my last OB check (due to the pelvis pain status BEFORE the baby pool slippage incident), I am scheduled for an eviction induction on FRIDAY, which means I go into the hospital Thursday night, where I will be asking for something to help me sleep and also the strongest thing they can give me for pain without a trip to Mexico.  I cannot wait.

Friday, July 26, 2013

I have no idea what I just typed, but my back still hurts and probably will for a while yelling or no

Well! Being thirty-eight weeks pregnant has done WONDERS for my maternal warmth and patience, as you might imagine.

Today James wouldn't stop yelling at me while I was trying to load the dishwasher. He wanted more Cheerios an hour after breakfast and I wouldn't give him any because he had left the table without finishing despite at least three warnings about future hunger from me and that is one of my Things right now, wasting food, since we go through almost a gallon of milk a day as it is. I'd been deflecting him calmly for about ten minutes but he continued to YELL at my back and bang his bowl on the table. "CEEE-ROL! CEEEE-ROL! CEEEE-ROL!" I finally turned around and said "STOP!" very firmly and loudly, but certainly not out-of-control yell-y and immediately he dissolved into a puddle of (fake) tears.

And then our babysitter walked in.

And then Charlie said "Mom! Don't you remember what we talked about?"

Yes. I do remember that conversation quite clearly. The one in which I'd spent more than twenty minutes trying to cajole you and your brothers into the car TO GO TO THE POOL and you said, with one shoe on, nowhere near the car, "Maybe your back wouldn't hurt all the time if you didn't yell so much."

I think I responded with an eerily calm "Go. Get. In. The. Car. Please."

Instead of what I wanted to say, which was "I am asking you to get in the car to go to the pool, not to board a transport to Gitmo. I would much rather stay here and lock you in the back yard but then I would go to jail, or be up all night feeling guilty. Again. SOGETINTHEEFFINGCARRIGHTNOW. And if you don't want third degree burns on your feet, I suggest you put your shoes on."

Interestingly, I have not yelled at anyone since that incident with James this morning and my back STILL HURTS.

The good news is that despite three nights of almost zero sleep this week (due to I have no idea what) and the labor-breathing-worthy pain caused by my freaking desk chair, I am feeling about 90% good about the abstract my students and I are preparing for an August 1st submission deadline. Note that August 1st falls BETWEEN two of my possible induction dates next week. I am not sure I am effectively communicating the urgency of FINISHING THE FREAKING ABSTRACT ALREADY to my students, but it will be OK. It will be OK. It will be OK. The hospital has wifi and it WILL be OK and possibly make a great story for the memoir I will write one day entitled "EVERYONE STOP ASKING ME TO DO THINGS."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

This Kid....


...He is awesome.

Yesterday he brought me a cup while I was outside on the porch watching James and Wes swim in the baby pool and said "Would you like milk or water?" When I said I wanted water he asked me "Ice or no ice?" Then brought me a glass of water. As he handed it to me he said "Now, can I get you your Kindle?" I told him thanks, but that I would rather talk to him and he snuggled into my side and rested his head on my chest.

Later we had "chapter book time" in the big bed, where we read our chapter books silently together and when he was ready to turn off the light and go to sleep he made sure to pass my Tums to me from my nightstand. When Ryan and I were downstairs thirty minutes after bedtime Charlie appeared at the top of the stairs AGAIN. I was momentarily frustrated, but then Ryan returned with my heating pad and a CD of Christmas music Charlie thought would make me feel better.

This morning we started our day snuggled in bed while he read Wes a chapter out of his Henry Huggins book. I had to tear him away to eat breakfast so we could get to camp on time, but secretly I wanted to let him read in bed as long as he wanted.

Love that kid.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Having had two inductions and a ton of work/school obligations at the end of my first three pregnancies, I've never noticed the classic "nesting" phenomenon they tell you about in the books.  It would have been great, because late pregnancy is usually when I start behaving like a queen ant, parking myself in the ass-print I've been making on the couch for the last five months and demanding Ryan bring me cookies and glasses of water.  This does not mean good things for the general state of cleanliness into which we bring a new life (and all the chaos associated with that).

Usually sometime around the time the baby is six months old I wake up to the slovenly surroundings and morph into a crazed drill sergeant for a weekend until the laundry is under control, the kitchen has been Mr. Clean-ed within an inch of its life, the flower beds are pristine, and my entire family is annoyed with me and suddenly very busy with that thing they had to do in another part of the house with the thing.

But this time is different.  I don't know if it was because I handed the entirety of the month of June over to work and travel or if it's actually nesting, but the last week has been incredibly productive (by my, admittedly low, standards).

Don't get me wrong, I still feel like ass almost all the time, but suddenly it's like that doesn't really matter because what DOES matter is that giant pee stain behind the kids' potty upstairs (which I knocked out with a little bit of Comet and a lot of grunting yesterday).  Or the disgusting toothpaste buildup on the master bathroom vanity (I was en fuego with the Comet yesterday).  Or the fire hazard conditions in the big boys' room (I had to skip Sunday school, but managed to take out two bags of trash and three loads of laundry).  Or the situation with all the sheets upstairs, which have now been changed and the extra sets washed on the boiling water, beaten against a rock setting on the washer, dried on hot, and put away. Toilets, drip marks on the kitchen floor, handprints on windows, one inexplicable FOOT print on the wall-mounted bathroom mirror, nothing has been spared.

I've done fun stuff too, like put away all the teensy little pastel-colored things in the nursery dresser.  After doing the sweet little soft flowery jammies and onesies I opened the pants drawer and discovered a hidden cache of navy and khaki boy pants that suddenly seemed absurdly large and heavy duty.  I stared at them in confusion for a moment and then almost threw the whole pile in the Goodwill bin before realizing that they belonged to James, who is only going to be a baby for two more weeks (SAD!).

But seriously, look at this room.


We got the bed, a wonderful solid oak sleigh bed with a barely used, incredibly comfy mattress, on Craigslist and it is now the nicest thing we own. If there is a wildfire and we have to evacuate, we will take the kids, Rossby, the deed to our house, and that bed.

And possibly also these ducks.


There is more "Make Way for Ducklings" themed art on its way from the magical land of Etsy (very tricky making you check out each item individually so that you have no clue how much money you've spent, veerrrrry clever).

The only thing that remains is vacuuming and ain't no way I'm going to attempt to get that thing up the stairs by myself. I'm limiting my self-induction strategies to carrying James around the house and walking more, not falling down the stairs.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Needless to say, we are no longer concerned for his speech

Saturday afternoons have been taking us to Home Depot and Sonic recently, now that we're knee deep in "the tile project", which is the euphemism that we use to describe the tile, paint, bathroom paint, bathroom vanity replacement, new light fixture, and new bathroom paint odyssey of never-ending work and upheaval we're in the middle of.  Today was no different, so we breezed in to Sonic five minutes before the end of happy hour and ordered a round of slushes for everyone.  Charlie came up from his seat in the way-back and passed everyone's drink out and then straws out.  It was incredibly hot today and we were all happy for the freezing cold drinks.

But then James's stopped coming up the straw.  Being the veteran Sonic slush drinker that I am, I turned in my seat and showed him how to "shake it" from side to side to reintegrate the juice portion of the drink with the ice.  The big boys already know how to do this.

"Shake it!" I said to him, encouragingly, "like this!"  I demonstrated with my own drink, it was pineapple.

Ryan turned around to watch.  "Shake it!" I said again.

Then James smiled sweetly and said "Oh!  Sh*t!"

And tentatively shook his cup from side to side.

But Ryan and I were already doubled over in the front seat, laughing with tears streaming down our faces.

Charlie and Wes wanted to know what was so funny but I was nearly suffocating.

James shook his cup again "SH*T!" he exclaimed gleefully.  "SH*T!"

I regained my composure for approximately ten seconds.  "That's right, buddy, SHHHAAAAAAAKKKEE IIIIIIT!  SHAKE IT!"

"SH*T!  SH**T!"  He was still shaking his cup.

I pulled out of the parking space, Ryan and I both having convulsions of laughter, tears, snot, the whole deal.  James had no mercy.

"SH*T!  SH*T!" he continued to shriek, delighted with his new power.

Then the A/C started blowing hot air and James took the words right out of my mouth.

"SH*T!  SH*T!"

Charlie demanded to know what was so funny.  He sounded concerned.  "When you laugh it has to be about something he said.  You can't just laugh like that.  What's so funny?"

I stopped in the middle of a parking lot aisle to try and fix the A/C, but James was still saying "SH*T" and the fact that what he was saying was completely appropriate to the situation made it even funnier.  Someone angry-honked at me for missing a long opportunity to turn right.

Charlie continued to ask, so I told him simply that "James used a naughty word."

The convulsions continued.  So did that random outbursts from James.  Charlie started to try and guess which naughty word it was, considerately spelling them out so Wes wouldn't hear.








"No, buddy, it was something else and I'm not going to tell you what it was.  Don't worry about it."

"SH*T!!" said James.  The explosion of laughter from the front seat gave it away.  We somehow limped into the Home Depot parking lot without losing control of the car then made the mistake of letting him bring his drink inside.

Near the end of our visit I was browsing the mirrors when Ryan rounded a corner, James in his arms, shaking his slush and narrating "Sh*t!  Sh*t!"  The other kids were crawling through the shelves and coming out on the next aisle before screech-laughing their way back around.  I could practically feel people taking in this magical family outing, spotting the giant belly, and making a mental note to write their congressman about comprehensive sex education the moment they got home.  I do what I can.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dear smug ninety pound Corner Bakery employee

You know what?!  Yes.  I AM hungry.  That's why I'm ordering a salad.  And that's also why I ordered a cookie an hour ago and why I ordered an egg and cheese sandwich when I came in two hours ago.

Pregnant women get hungry.   Really hungry.  Like, you're lucky I didn't crawl over here to place my order while lying prone on the floor in front of the register hungry.  I'm creating an entire new human being WITH MY BODY and that takes CALORIES.  What are you doing later?  Texting someone while you read Us Magazine by the pool?  Yeah, I thought so.  I'll be making LUNGS.

And if you must know, I'm going to eat my salad LATER in my OFFICE, where I have to go because this restaurant didn't have the foresight to put any OUTLETS at NORMAL TABLES.  Have you ever sat on a barstool while pregnant?  There is a reason pregnant women shouldn't drink and it has nothing to do with alcohol.  Barstools will mess your pelvis and hips all to hell.  Think about it.

So next time why don't you keep the giggles and passive aggressive comments to your coworkers to yourself.  "WOW, she's HUNGRY!" isn't all that clever, anyway, since you work in a RESTAURANT.  Hungry people?  In a restaurant?  SHOCKING.  Some suggestions for future employment if you don't want to interact with hungry people: an office, a library, The Gap, Sears (but not the one by the food court).

Now please give me my salad without further commentary so I can leave before I actually say something out loud.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Pop Goes the Fourth

I started this post three days ago (Work! Friends over for dinner! Visiting Grandparents! Human being occupying much of my abdomen!), but haven't been able to finish it until now (I HOPE), but have I mentioned how much I love the Fourth of July? Like LOVE love. So does Charlie, apparently, who appeared in our bedroom at 6:00 on the nose on the 4th, fully dressed and ready to decorate his bike for the parade. Love that kid. He and Wes and Ryan spent the whole morning decorating their bikes.


I am kind of a princess right now and wasn't up for the six block walk straight uphill to the parade starting line, so I drove the car to the end of the parade route to wait for Ryan and the kids to pass by. I took a picture of my feet both to test out my camera and to commemorate the first time my ankles have tapered (almost) normally in six weeks.


And the parade began. Charlie was riding with his Cub Scout troop this year, which was SO EXCITING (!!!!!!!11!!!) for all of us. He didn't even notice me standing on the sidewalk because he was talking to his friends (in a voice at least half an octave lower than normal) on their bikes. It was really, really awesome. And adorable. But don't tell him that.


The rest of the family led up a pack of Cub Scout dads and siblings on bikes and a guy pulling a cooler of popsicles in a wagon. Wes thinks he's a Cub Scout too. Poor, sweet baby.


So exciting!


The tradition at the end of the parade route is for the hook and ladder fire truck to spray water up in the air so all the little Texas kids can remember what rain looks like. Charlie and Wes were hesitant last year, but this year they took off as soon as they saw the ladder going up.

I have no idea where my family is.

There's Charlie!


There's Wes!


There's James, looking like an extra from a post-apocalyptic summer blockbuster.


We had planned to go to the pancake breakfast right after the parade, but obviously we had to go home and change first. The reason we had to go to the pancake breakfast is because it's at the fire station and every year we take a picture of the kids on the bumper of the fire truck.

Starting with just Charlie in 2008.


And adding in Baby Wes in 2009.

Firetruck Brothers

Slightly more grown up Charlie and Wes in 2010.

Annual Firetruck Picture

2011 we missed because we were on an airplane to Maine, so this one is funny because SURPRISE! A TODDLER!


And this year we were all mad at each other due to low blood sugar, so there was no chummy arms around shoulders nonsense. Special memories!


Next year there will be an almost one year old baby girl up there with them (and probably some disembodied hands coming from the side of the frame to ensure she doesn't fling herself off the bumper/get pushed/dropped by a brother). My due date is one month from today! I am horribly uncomfortable! It's hot! So, in other words, a month sounds at the same time veeeeerrrrrrryyyy long and impossibly fast. We have the crib setup, the carseat installed, and diapers in the house (somewhere). So that leaves... finding someone to be our 3 AM call person, a changing table pad for the dresser in her room, sensitivity training for James, who keeps getting in the infant seat and refusing to get out when we get in the car.