Thursday, January 23, 2014

I Don't Go To These Things, But I'm Going. So I Guess I Go To These Things.

I always only ever feel like writing, blogging if you will, when it's late and when I have to be up in a pre-determined amount of hours. 6 in this case. I know full well that Baby Ruth will likely wake up a few times between now and then so basically this all just means I'm a glutton for punishment and will be praying to the caffeine gods around the same time I should be taking a nap to make up for it. Naps, I miss those.

Tomorrow I'm going to a conference for people who design and create things and run blogs professionally amongst other endeavors. I've been a part of this world for 2 years now on the back end of things, and though I'm not sure how exactly I got there, I've been grateful for the work and thankful for the friendships and things I've learned and am still learning. I'm intimidated at the prospect of attending this conference because I am not artistic nor creative, in the way that people normally think about being artistic and creative that is. I don't draw pictures, I hate throwing parties, I am pretty damn good at taking iPhone pictures but my DSLR sits in a cupboard most of the time and I pull it out to take pictures of my kids every now and then because you know, THEY GROW UP SO FAST. And really, spending two days with people who create things, and wear nice clothes, and take beautiful pictures of those things and themselves and put it all on the internet for sale or inspiration or what have you…(I assume they don't sell themselves on the internet because that type of conference would be a horse of a different color), two days with people of such interests sounds like something I'd usually avoid and even roll an eye at. I'm good at that. I'm also good at sweatpants and watching network television, and eating, hooray!

But I'm going because I was gifted a ticket very generously, and I'm going to be friendly and meet people and fight the introverted extrovert urge to run and hide in a bathroom. The thing is, I'm good at what I do right now, but I feel like I have the potential to do some other pretty amazing things with my life eventually. While I have no clue what those things are, I keep waiting for inspiration to strike and I know that someday it will, and in the meantime, listening and learning from other people who've taken the leap and found success is probably a step in a progressive direction. You know how much I love progress, right? Sure.  

Plus, my mom always says that I need to give new things a chance and to stop being so negative all the time. Whatever, Mom. Not like you know what you're talking about ever.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

1 PM Church Is The Worst

Sunday dinner. Is there anything better? I submit, no.

Paul's parents gifted us some Omaha Steaks and other sundry goods for Christmas. We made quick work of them tonight, like the starving carnivores we are. Today was Fast Sunday, except I haven't fasted properly in years. Pregnant, nursing, hungry, I'm full of good reasons why not! Also, our church time went from 11 am to 1 pm, a completely a-hole move if you ask me. 1 pm church is 3 hours of torture for the families with small children of unusual size, like us. It's nap time, they're hungry, we should all be at home watching football. Paul says the church isn't true after 1 o'clock. I'm starting to agree. Oh well, I guess I love Jesus enough to stuff myself into a skirt (or pants if I feel like it) and go anyway. Connie would be so proud.

I have approximately one skirt I can tug up over my supple hips. Despite the fact that I've been working 'dat booty in the gym pretty regularly, most of my wardrobe still doesn't fit. Not even a little bit. Oh I'm strong, like bull, I just have a layer of winter insulation on top of it all. And sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night to feed Baby Ruth, I realize that I've been sweating up under my neck and hairline. My body temp is all out of whack. I blame the hormonees.

I realize I've made this same complaint with all three of my postpartum bodies now. I get it, I just had a baby. He's 4 months old (and about to move up to size 4 diapers, naturally). I've been here before, I know it ends eventually. The thing I can't remember is how long this lasted before I could zip my pants up comfortably again. All my leggings are getting friction holes from where my thighs rub together. And I know there are people out there who are all "leggings aren't pants" and I'm all, "they are if you squeezed out a giant baby and can't fit into anything else, so bite me." I text my friends who probably all wish I'd shut the hell up about it, and then I bake a batch of cookies.


Tomorrow it's back to the routine. Nub goes to preschool, Paul back to work, me and the two littles to the gym. I'm glad for routine, I thrive on routine. It makes me feel contained and in control. These winter days are too long, and too indoors. Is it spring yet? You let me know.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Out Like A Lion

10:25 on New Year's Eve.

December really punched me in the face this year, to cap off what I guess were 11 previous months of backwoods style survival. Assuming the backwoods have grocery stores, fountain Dr. Pepper, the city pool, iPhones and Target. I realize I've come a long way since the Wyoming ranch upbringing of my youth...

It's been a good year, and a hard year. But I don't know a lot of good things that aren't generally earned the hard way so I guess I came by it honest. It was the year of Baby Ruth, barfing through the first 1/3, watching and feeling my bod contort to magnificently round proportions in the second 1/3, and finishing out the final 1/3 with a perfect new baby, a crap load of lonely days and long nights, and a holiday season that felt like it was never going to end. I'm grateful, I am. Mostly that it's over. I'm also glad that I know that these seasons in our lives pass just as quick as the real ones. Paul won't be in school forever (I hope), we will see each other before the sun goes down again. I will, someday, sleep in more than 3 hour increments, and pee won't always be puddled on the floor in one or all of the bathrooms of this house. Or maybe it will. I'll pray about it.

Here are things I'm thankful for:
1. My car. Old Blazey keeps plugging along with the check engine light burning bright and the front differential leak dripping solid as ever. We just can't quit each other and that's all right with me. The kids are a little crammed but I've never been so grateful to have her paid for as I have been this year. She/He (I'm not really sure on the gender) treats me good.

2. Financial Aid. Ah, the benefits of heading back to school with a wife and three kids in tow.

3. Baby Ruth. That baby is solid gold, or maybe I'm just enamored enough to look past all the typical exhaustion/sleepless/babies are work stuff. I love him so much, my Instagram feed proves it.

4. Those other two children. They're pretty great too. Can you believe the Nub goes to kindergarten this year? I say that like you care, because I do. I'm too young to have a kid in kindergarten. Guess it's time for my midlife crisis. Triple, if he doesn't give me a stroke before I turn 40, I'll be a monkey's uncle. But I sure love him, and the blueberries he smeared all over my couch while I was in the shower.

5. These parents and in-laws and siblings of mine.

6. Friends. Such good friends. I've waited my whole life to have the kind of friends I have right now and I feel just lucky. They feed me, clothe me, love my kids, care for them if needed, and basically just show up, sometimes with a frosty bev. That's love.

7. Paul. He works hard, he rides the train, he goes to school, works on the weekends too, teaches Gospel Doctrine, and still has time to do the dishes before he passes out cold every night, dead to the world style. I love him. I'm proud of him.

There's lots more to add but my eyes are burning and I need to put myself to bed before my golden baby wakes up and yells at me for food or comfort. Babies are such selfish jerks sometimes.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Hello, 2014! I hope this is the year I finally get rich and skinny. HERE'S TO THE POWER OF THE SECRET, I'm coming for you.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

One Morning In August

What is it about a newborn that makes time move in absurd directions? One minute it's way too fast, and the next it's like you're all in the middle of slow-mo replay. But here we are, almost 4 months later and maybe I'm ready to talk about the day my Ruthie was born.

Simply? It was pretty magical and seven different kinds of speedy. The details have lost their sharp edges, but somehow that privileged feeling of having a new baby in my arms hasn't faded at all. I worried after I got pregnant, I worried about how this would all shake out. Paul is deep into school, taking time off from that or work just wasn't an option. He needed to push through and get it done so I knew I'd be doing a lot of the heavy lifting at home on my own. I prayed with the pleading heart of a desperate soul that this baby would be what I needed, that I could do this without losing my mental health or descending into the Hunger Games of motherhood and survival of the fittest. And then I made up my mind that I could, and so far I have.

All of my babies have been inductions. One by necessity, high blood pressure, the other two by choice. I guess I lack the patience or maybe even the ability to actually go into labor by myself. I walk around dilated to a 4 or 5 weeks ahead of my due date. Each time praying that this will be the one time I'll do it by myself. The hospital I deliver at is a good 45 minutes away (thanks insurance), I have a history of speedy births (Triple was 3 hours start to finish), and I so did not want to do this in the front seat of a car on the side of the freeway, or on my bathroom floor at home. Nope. Plus, Paul had work and school requirements which made that day a particularly appealing one to have a baby. So, I did.

Early the morning of August 26th, I woke up, got my hairs did. Took care of the last minute stuff. My mom showed up, my boys woke up, we snapped a picture on our front steps:

And then we were off. Only a half an hour late. The skies were overcast again, just like the last morning I'd made this same drive three years earlier, the day that Triple was born. We checked into our room. Took one more photo to document the grandiosity that was my super hot bod. Exhibit A below:

I changed into my hospital gown, got hooked up and an i.v. placed. My doctor came and we laughed a little, I really love my doctor. The giant crochet hook came out and boom, my water was broken and I was again grossed out. Game time, 9:00 am. Walking back out the door Dr. Watts looked at the clock and said "12:30 is my guess, see you in a bit!" I was pretty convinced I wouldn't need pitocin after my last childbirth experience and those contractions sure did start rolling in low and slow. The thing about being dilated that far and then having your water broken is that you're pretty much in the middle of the active stage of labor with no build up and that can be super not fun. It's like getting on a roller coaster in the middle of a loop. I am so good at analogies! That first hour seemed like it took for.ever to pass, especially when those contractions starting picking up in intensity. Finally at around 10:30 I was over it and told Paul to go hunt my nurse down so she could call for the nice epidural doctor. Of course that took another 20 minutes and then the tiniest Asian lady anesthesiologist came into the room and took her sweet time getting that blessed pipeline of numbness placed. 

Let's just all admit that hard contractions and trying to hold still don't really jam so well. I must have been gripping Paul's hand something fierce because I looked up and his face was white and he had crazy eyes. He looked over at the nurse and said, "I think I need to sit down" and then he was gone, down like a tranquilized water buffalo. The nurse somehow kept him from hitting his head on the monitoring station. I told her to get out of the way because comatose water buffalo were heavy and I didn't want her to get hurt. She laid him out somehow and she and tiny anesthesiologist were hovering around him when he came to about 30 seconds later. I just laughed, because really, who passes out during that part? He couldn't even see the needle! Thanks Paul and your low blood sugar/hangry problem. Maybe you should have eaten before we walked out the door. A few crackers and some juice and he was right as rain. Everyone left the room, Paul went to get some breakfast, and I was alone. Except for that stabbing pain on the left side of my body because that epidural was most definitely not working. Paul came back fresh full of pancakes and I was gripping the rail of the bed in extreme pain with flashbacks of Triple's freight train birth. I just kept thinking, I don't want to do this again, not this way! I want to push and be happy and not feel like dying instead! Things get a little dramatic when you're in the middle of labor, am I right? I'm right. 

Paul chases down my nurse who comes in and clicks my epidural button again and says she'll be back in 10 to see if we need to get the anesthesiologist. 10 awful minutes later she comes back, no change, still dying. She looks at me and decides that maybe I'm just progressing really fast and decides to check for confirmation of that. Guess what, I'm complete. Let's have a baby. Dr. Watts comes back, the big mirror on the ceiling came out, hello lady bits-nice to see you again

Two big pushes and this time I watched eyes wide open as my sweet Baby Ruth made his way on out into this world and onto my chest. 

That moment, when your child takes his first breath, that moment is so full of sacred I can't even describe. And it was. And it's why I love having babies. The feeling in that room is palpable, I love it so much. 

Welcome my handsome boy, all 9 lbs 4.2 oz and 20 inches of you. We're so happy you're here. You've been an absolute joy and a bright light in our home. You maybe even softened my intense dislike for the the newborn stage because I've actually found myself relishing this time with you like no other. You're perfect. I love you. Thanks for choosing me. 

August 26th, 2013, born at 11:27 am

*p.s., beat Triple's birth by a full half hour. 2.5 hours start to finish. I'm awesome.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Holiday Cards Are My Favorite

You know I love me a good Christmas card. Getting snail mail any time of the year is my favorite, but getting a whole grip of snail mail is even more my favorite, which is why the holidays are the friggin' happiest time EVER. Okay, maybe not ever. But they are in the top quadrant of my happy times configuration.

I just barely pulled my shizz together and sent out Baby Ruth's birth announcements a few weeks ago. I should have just combined that business with holiday cards because I used all the best pictures of my children looking calm and angelic and now I'll have to figure out how to get more taken so I can further exacerbate that misrepresentation. But that's the whole point of holiday cards anyway, right? Yearly smuggery and showmanship? Look at us! My kids are the cutest! We are winning at all the things, me especially! I've had 3 babies and my thighs don't touch! (LIES LIES LIES). Oh bless, I don't care. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH ANYWAY! Get in my mailbox, cards. And just so you know, my thighs rub worse than ever thanks to the extra THIRTY pounds I seem to be storing for the long, hard winter ahead. If you need me I'll be in a cave hibernating (watching tv) with some carb laden baked goods and a frosty bev, and all your holiday cards to keep me company.

Anyway, you should check out the holiday card selection from Minted because they have about a million awesome options, none of which are lame thanks to their community of creative professionals who design, compete, and contribute some pretty amazing stuff.
I mean, actual gold foil? Bananas! 

You should read up about their story, it's pretty cool. Holiday cards are just the tip of the Minted iceberg, really!

I'd show you which ones I'm considering but that'd circumvent the whole point. Let's just hope I do a little proofreading this year after I slipped an extra vowel onto the end of Nub's name last year and didn't realize it until I pulled one out to start stuffing envelopes. Threat level: Genius.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bright And Sunny, Or Not

It's no big secret that I am the very opposite of a morning person.

Every morning my kids rudely wake me up demanding things like juice and breakfast foods, or sandwiches if your name is Triple. Sometimes I get lucky and they crawl in bed with me and watch Tom and Jerry and I get a good 30 to 40 minute buffer where I can stay them and their demands off before I have to drag myself out resentfully and do something productive. I'm only 5 years (and some change) into this motherhood thing, but more often than not, this is how most of our days begin.

This morning in particular, Triple curled up in the crook of my bent legs, his body soft, heavy and warm. The Nub was to my left occupying the spot his dad had vacated after leaving for work. It was dark outside, the drapes were shut, our house quiet and still. We stayed that way for the better part of an hour until the baby woke and forced us all from our nest and back into the routine of juice, breakfast, syrup, sticky, diapers and all the daily stuff. But that small slice of time?

I am not a morning person, except for mornings like that.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Every Day I'm Hustling

I'm so behind.

On this blog, on life in general if we're being honest.

Sweet Baby Ruth is 9 weeks old today. He's a nugget who enjoys in this particular order: boobs, pacifiers, extreme swaddling, the occasional bottle, and snuggling all the live long day. I'm deeply in love with him. Deeply. He's been smiling and making those baby sounds that are like napalm melting my face off because OH MY GOSH HE'S SMILING AND GURGLING AND I CAN'T TAKE IT!!!!!!!

Stand down, Mother.

It's taken me a week to write this post because my brain is broken and the only writing I do is for other people, mos def not for myself. I feel out of practice with this whole thing. Someday soon I'll catch up and write about the morning I brought another human being in the the world, again. Because it was amazing and it's over already and I feel a teensy bit sad about it because I don't know if I'm having any more babies, and maybe that's why my world is so wrapped up in this one. I can't quit him in the least bit. The other two are equal parts exhausting and just really awesome. 3 and 5 are some good ages (but 4 is probably still my favorite). Brothers are the best though, right? I love having boys. So much, so much.

I know that I'm tired every night, and I'm really happy. Having three kids is bonkers in all the right ways. My life is still sporadically crappy and average by some standards and almost always stressful, but I'm assuming it's that way for everyone so no top of the podium for me. I think maybe the trick is having a baby with a fuzzy head and blue blue eyes to make everything all better.

You should try it.

Ruthie, 8 weeks

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Play Today And A Giveaway!

Kids, man. Mine drive me insane all day long but really, they're pretty great I guess. Pictures like these make me feel alright about the fact that we managed to have a decent summer even though I was huge, sweaty, easily irritable, and basically useless for most of it. I hope they don't remember how much t.v. they watched (hours upon hours upon hours...) and instead hold onto those brother powered lawnmower rides and glowing nights at the ghetto fantastic drive-in when we were lucky enough to have the place practically to ourselves.  

There are negatives to living in this digital age, but at least my boys will never suffer for lack of photographic record of their childhood and I'm grateful, because they're ginormous already and getting smarter and taller and more big-people like every day. It's weird and sad and awesome all at the same time and I could probably get all sentimental and squeeze out a hot tear or two about it, but instead I'll point you toward this little vid done by Gymboree because kids-they grow up too fast! 

So, cherish those little nuggets even when they say things like "YOU'RE NOT A NICE MOM, I'M GONNA THROW YOU IN THE GARBAGE", when you tell them they can't have a piece of gum because pretty soon they grow up and leave you and you'll want to throw yourself into the garbage from all the loneliness instead. 

Here's what you can do while your kids are growing up and you're trying not to blink your eyes and stuff: leave a comment below if you want to win a $50 gift card to Gymboree and get your kids some clothes so they won't be starving and naked, unless they prefer to be starving and naked in which case, my sympathies because I feel that. Just one comment will do, and make sure your email address is included if it's not on your blogger profile, mmkeh? High five!

**Giveaway now closed**

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Baby #3 Is Borned

Listen, after the hottest summer, this sweet baby boy showed up (after a 2.5 hour labor, my personal best) weighing in at a substantial 9 lbs 4 oz. It's been 4.5 weeks now and so far, he's a total dream, except for the burning nips and constant vigil I have to keep to prevent Triple from "accidentally" poking his eyes out and feeding him granola for breakfast. 

We'll call him Baby Ruth, or Ruthie if you please, on this here blog because it just kind of fits. I love him so so much. I'll update more when I'm not nursing a baby or refereeing the other two knuckleheads. So, probably not anytime soon seeing as how it took me a month to post this in the first place. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Bargina-Dispatches From The Inside

Finding yourself approximately 272 months pregnant in the middle (beginning-ish) of August on the tail end of the hottest summer on record in years means that you sit down to work after putting your kids down for naps and practically start sweating to death with your heat emitting macbook on your lap and swollen sausage digit fingers.

I'm starting to get a mite crabby.

Other things I don't like about this stage: random strangers commenting on your "turkey timer". Because really D.I. worker, I just want you to take my bag of crap and let me be on my way to Sonic without talking due date and belly button status with you. See also, discussing cervical changes with neighbors, family members, church people, gas station clerks, and my grandma in particular. Oh, and Paul apparently does not care to differentiate between a cervix and a bargina (as my friend La Yen would say) and that dilation of one does not mean that both are grandly preparing themselves for the miracle that's about to take place. I'm just saying, I would appreciate it if you were able to stop telling others that my bargina is already dilated to a 4 and that the baby would be falling out any day now, because, nope. XOXO, I love you!

It is true that this season I've spent as a human duplex is coming rapidly to a close. And that in the next few weeks (days?), we'll be celebrating the 5th birthday of our first son, the birth of our third son, our 7th year of managing to stay married to each other, sending Paul back to school after having the summer "off" (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA), and sending aforementioned brand new 5 year old to pre-school for another year as well. Not to mention getting that damn basement finished, both of Paul's parents' birthdays, and then Triple's third birthday a few weeks after that, and oh yeah-a newborn sucking the very life out of me. What can I say, I know how to time things. For the next five years we'll probably be celibate monks during the months of November and December in hopes of avoiding this kind of nonsense in the future. FINE WITH ME!

It sounds a little overwhelming when I lay it all out like that, but I was built to handle this business and handle it I will. Plus, I'm about good and ready to do some serious sniffing of this baby's fuzzy head, a small reward for the damage inflicted upon my large bod for the last 9 months.

Pray for my bargina guys, I don't need no baby falling out in the middle of the street.

Now let's do this.