What a Day

Photo by Viktor Hanacek. From http://www.picjumbo.com

Before I start, just a little disclaimer: this is not the post I planned to publish today. Instead, I needed to vent a little bit about my day so far. I will warn you, I do get a little graphic, so I’m sorry.

I woke up to the sound of my husband’s alarm clock at 6:00 a.m. because mine didn’t go off at 5:00 a.m. When I tried to roll out of bed (rolling my rotund form is easier than trying to sit up these days) I was struck by an awful leg cramp. Holy moly, that hurt. I limped my to the kitchen to start coffee and begin breakfast. Both my husband and daughter took three attempts to rouse them out of bed, so they also were late to get up, late to get ready.

As I was getting ready for work after my shower, brushing my teeth made me feel sick to my stomach. A few minutes later I puked up all of my breakfast and coffee. Yay, oatmeal with raisins- Not going to eat that again for a long while. I am a very violent vomiter (is that even a real word?) and when I looked in the mirror I noticed that I had broken several blood vessels in my face and have red spots all over my cheeks and around my eyes. Soon I get sick again and this time puke so hard that I pee on the floor. Ugh. Being pregnant is great sometimes. I gave in to my emotions and sat and cried for a few minutes.

After quickly taking another shower I get dressed and begin applying makeup. At this point I feel like I have something stuck in my throat and keep coughing. I drink water but it doesn’t help. Abby has to go potty so I sit her on the toilet and then the coughing makes me sick again. I quickly run for the other bathroom, luckily only steps away, as I try to cover my mouth and yell to her to stay on the potty at the same time. I lose the rest of my breakfast and clean up again. After placing Abby back on the potty (she got off to see where I was headed to so quickly), helping her put on a pull up, and then washing her hands, I look in the mirror to fix my hair, only to notice that my mascara has run and I now look like a cross between Alice Cooper and Humpty Dumpty.

By this point we are late and I try to make myself as presentable as possible. Abby has zero interest in being helpful as I try to get her socks and shoes on, saying that she does not want to go to the babysitter, she wants to stay home. When we get in the car she screams and acts like her car seat harness is too tight. She whines about not having her Moana doll for the next fifteen blocks as we drive to daycare. When we arrive she complains that we are at daycare and tells me I am mean. We go inside and she immediately runs to the babysitter for hugs and wants nothing to do with me. That feels great; woohoo, I feel like Mom of the Year.

I get to my office almost twenty minutes late. In less than an hour three different people ask me if I am feeling OK today, so I must look like a hot mess.

What else can go wrong today?


Our Family Weekend Activities

Weekends are always our family’s favorite part of the week. They are a time where we get to spend time together, relax, and have fun.

Let’s face it- life is expensive, having kids is expensive, everything is expensive these days- and our family is growing so we are trying to save money wherever we can. We try to fill our weekends with free or low cost activities that the whole family can enjoy.

Here is a list of some of our family’s favorite weekend activities.

1. Cooking breakfast – Abby and I enjoy making muffins together. She likes to “help” me stir the batter. Blueberry are our favorite.

2. Playing outside – We love to play outside. Unfortunately, the current degree Kansas summer weather doesn’t always allow us to do this. Abby loves to blow bubbles, draw with sidewalk chalk, look for bunnies in the yard, kick a ball around, or go to the park. This last weekend we gave her a play house for her birthday, so I know we will spend plenty of time in the backyard.

3. Library time – Saturday mornings are great for a trip to the library. Our local library has a wonderful children’s floor that lends books, music, movies, video games, and more.

4. Swimming pool – The local Aquatic Center charges $3.00 for adult admission and Abby is able to get in for free, so we can pay $6.00 for an afternoon of fun splashing around in the water on a hot day. There is a great children’s pool with a small frog-shaped slide and a fountain that sprays water down that she loves. We have lots of fun sitting in a double innnertube floating down the “lazy river” together.

5. Reading books – Abby is a bookworm and we spend a lot of time reading books out loud.

6. Art – We spend lots of time with coloring books, stickers, painting, and drawing. I love to watch her artistic skills develop.

7. Napping – Who doesn’t like to take a nap? Abby takes one each day and I like to get one when I can too. Sometimes we have an afternoon “snuggle nap” – I take advantage of cuddling my little one when I can, she won’t be little or want to snuggle with Mom forever.

8. Shopping/Window shopping – While shopping isn’t a free or often a low-cost activity, we often go shopping to get groceries as a family on the weekends. We also like to go window shopping and walk around the mall or Hobby Lobby for awhile.

9. Watching a movie – We often watch movies together. I try to pick something new each time, if given a choice, Abby would watch Moana, Trolls, Zootopia, or a few other movies over and over again.

10. Chores – This isn’t the most enjoyable item on my list, but we often do chores together. I think it is important for kids to learn and help out. Usually we pick up toys together or she “helps” me fold laundry.

What does your family do on weekends? How do you spend time together?

A Baby “Sprinkle”

Photo by Rodion Kustaev.  From www.unsplash.com

Having a baby “sprinkle,” or second baby shower- is it tacky or a fun idea?

A few years ago I was researching ideas for my sister’s baby shower on Pinterest when I first saw pins about baby sprinkles. They are called a “sprinkle” to differentiate them from a “shower.” They are supposed to be given for parents who have previously had a baby shower for a child of another gender or to celebrate a second (or more) pregnancy. Often they are limited to a smaller number of attendees, usually just close family and friends.

Online it seems that opinions are mixes on the appropriateness of having a second baby shower. Many people call it “greedy,” “rude,” and “tacky.” Others thought it was a “fun” or “sweet” idea to show how much you care. I don’t know anyone who has had one, where I live I never seen it done. But, opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one; some people like to show them off and others keep theirs hidden.

Three years ago I hosted a baby shower for my sister-in-law, Casey, when she was pregnant with her fourth child, Missy. While technically it was her second baby shower, she’d had her last child ten years before and had not planned on having more, so she was basically starting all over again and needed everything.

While pregnant with Abby, I had two showers, one for family and friends given by my sister and one at work put together and attended by my and my husband’s coworkers. They were both very nice and I am very grateful for everyone’s generosity and everything we received, which helped out so much when Abby arrived and as she grew. Being that it was only two years ago, I have much of what I will need for baby boy, except essentials like diapers and clothes.

A couple of weeks ago Casey asked me if I would mind if she threw me a sprinkle next month, since I had given her a shower. I told her that would be lovely, but secretly wondered how many people would come or feel like I thought I was acting entitled and asking for more presents? She seemed so excited about it that I didn’t want to tell her no. She asked me to register online and to give her a list of attendees and their addresses.

I gave her a list with my friends, sister, mom, and aunts. I registered online at Target and Wal-Mart, adding diapers in two sizes, wipes, Diaper Genie refills, and onesies and sleepers in size 0-3 and 3-6 months. I didn’t feel right adding other more “frivolous” feeling items.

I decided not to care what other people think. I know it will be fun. Even if no one but my mom, sister, mother-in-law, and Casey come, we will celebrate my new little man and have a good time.

Have you ever been to a baby shower for someone who is having a second child? What are your thoughts?

Getting Ready for my Little Monster: Decorating Baby’s Bedroom

I have been anxious to get baby boy’s bedroom decorated and ready for him to come home to, or as my husband said recently, “nesting like crazy.” Part of it is because I am excited, part of it is because I want it to be done if he were to be born early. My cousin recently had a baby girl born several weeks premature due to preeclampsia, so not having things done or close to done for him makes me feel nervous.

The room has been used for the past two years as a guest room, so we had to do some rearranging and take all of the furniture that was in the room downstairs to an extra room in the basement that we had previously used for storage.

When we moved into our house this room had been wallpapered with a tacky striped paper and a sports-themed border. We removed both and painted the room a greige color. I didn’t want to repaint the room since we had so recently painted it, so we left the walls as they were. I found some cute vinyl decals of monsters on Wal-Mart’s website.

I painted two pictures to hang in the room, based on a similar project I had seen on Pinterest.

I found a cute monster-themed alphabet print in Etsy and framed it.

A fingerpainting that my nephew had made and had given to me for Christmas was already hanging in the room and I decided to leave it because it is colorful.

I couldn’t find any fabric with monsters on it at Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby, but found some with a cute pattern at JoAnn’s on an out of town trip. I sewed a valance for the curtains using it. It turned out to be a little long, but it will do. The blue curtains had already been hanging in the room.


We brought in the crib and rocking chair formerly in Abby’s room. Before Abby was born I had recovered the rocking chair cushions in gray fleece. The bookshelf was my husband’s from when he was a kid.  I would like to paint it but I’m not sure I will get that done any time soon. I added a couple fabric storage cubes with monsters on them from Dollar General. The other I had and previously used in Abby’s room. The teal hamper I bought at Walmart.

Right now the room is a little bit crowded because the swing and Pack and Play are being stored in there until the baby arrives, then they will be moved to the living room for use.

Did you go through a nesting phase while you were expecting?

Potty Training Isn’t for Pussies, Part 2

Photo by Logan Ripley. From www.unsplash.com

Potty training… what a joy. Not.

Abby has been potty training for about a month and a half. I really went into this process with no expectations and no experience. I didn’t know how it was going to go. I will say that she has done very well, even though at times it has been extremely frustrating.

Just when it seemed like we had started forming some good routines and habits, last week we seemed to take a few steps backwards (or time-traveled a few weeks backwards). Each time I would sit her on the toilet she would say, “Done!” right away. She would refuse to try at all, then less than five minutes later pee or poop in her pull up. Over and over. Every couple of hours. Other times if I interrupted a cartoon or playtime to get her to sit on the potty she would run away and try to hide in bed or do everything she could to keep me from taking off her shorts and pull up or diaper.

This week has gone remarkably better. I don’t want to jinx myself, but she hasn’t had a wet diaper in three days. When my husband took her to the doctor two days ago she even told him that she had to go potty and did potty, in a strange restroom, no less.

Poop, on the other hand, is a different story. She had been doing so well at telling me when she had to poop, but then regressed to only telling me after she had dirtied her diaper. This week I’ve noticed that she has started to bend over or start to squat when she has to go number two. For instance, just five minutes ago she dropped a toy on the floor, bent over to pick it up, and then stood halfway up and turned her head to look at me with a far away look on her face. I took that as my cue to pick her up and run to the bathroom. She squeezed one turd out into her pull up and then finished doing her business on the toilet. I had to clean up a long smudge of poop that had smeared down her leg as she hastily yanked down her pull up before hopping onto the potty. Yuck.

I am so tired of diapers. I want to be done with cleaning this kid’s dirty diaper butt before the next one makes his appearance!

Keep Calm and Carry On

Photo by Viktor Hanacek. From http://www.picjumbo.com

I read somewhere once, I’m not sure where, that children get sick with a cold around thirty-two times a year on average.  When I read that I thought that it sounded absurd, surely there’s no way that a number that large is not a huge exaggeration.  Then I had a child and now, I think it is likely a true figure.  Kids are little germ factories.  I can’t imagine how bad it will be when she starts school and is exposed to even more children.  At daycare if one kid gets sick, they all get sick, they just pass it along like a popular toy.  My problem right now is not with colds, it is other illnesses.

Today it was just after 3:30 p.m. when my cell phone lit up and I saw that the babysitter was calling me.  Oh, great, I thought, what is it this time?  

“Sarah, I’m sorry to bother you at work.  The poor kid just can’t get a break,” Uh oh.  “Abby woke up from her nap this afternoon with her eye all swollen and matted shut.  I think she has pink eye.  Can you come pick her up?”

I asked my husband to pick Abby up and take her to the local urgent care clinic.  It turns out that she did have pink eye.  Because she is contagious until having been treated with antibiotics for at least twenty-four hours before she can return to daycare.

I picked up her prescription for antibiotic eye drops on my way home.  When I got home we teamed up and gave her eye drops right away, which apparently according to a two year-old, is an act akin to torture.  She screamed, cried, and rolled around on the floor.  The pharmacist told me that the drops should not burn or hurt at all, so I’m not sure what all the hysterics were about.  

I feel bad for her- she can barely open her eye.  It is red, puffy, and goopy-looking.  When I first saw her I was taken aback because it looked as though she had gotten in a fight and was punched in the eye.  She had looked like her normal adorable self when I had dropped her off this morning; there had been no signs of pink eye then.  Hopefully it will clear up quickly.  Her birthday party is tomorrow and I would hate for her to be miserable.

Last Wednesday morning as I was getting Abby changed after breakfast and noticed that she had a red bumpy rash on her elbows, knees, knuckles, and big toes.  From the location of the rash I thought perhaps it was an allergic reaction from something she was exposed to while playing on the floor or in the grass.

I googled it and didn’t really come up with anything helpful.  I took pictures of it and sent it to my sister to see if her kids have ever had a similar rash.  She said no and thought maybe it was an allergic rash.  

I took Abby to urgent care and found out that she had the Hand, Foot, and Mouth virus.  I had considered that perhaps her rash was Hand, Foot, and Mouth, but it didn’t look like the photos I had seen and she didn’t have any rash on her palms or on the bottoms of her feet.  The doctor looked in her mouth and saw that she did have sores in her mouth.  I don’t know how she got it, none of the kids at daycare had it.   The only other places we had been was to Walmart and the park on Sunday morning.  

She had to stay home from daycare for three days.  Luckily, she had a mild case.  Other than being more tired than normal and not having a good appetite, she didn’t really act like it bothered her too much.  Hallelujah!  I was worried that it would be horrendous.  My sister, my mom, and my sister’s three kids all have had Hand, Foot, and Mouth and my sister told me that she was in more pain with it than when she was in a car accident and broke her leg.  My mom said that even drinking water hurt the sores in her mouth when she had it.

My poor kiddo.  She’s a trooper.  She’s taken all this in stride and marched forward like a big girl.  We’ll keep calm and carry on.   Who knows what will come along next, but I am confident that we will tackle it and keep on going like we always do. 

Delivery Uncertainty

Photo by Daan Stevens. From http://www.unsplash.com

When I was pregnant with Abby lab tests showed that I had low platelets in the last few weeks of my pregnancy.  I was warned that if my platelet count fell too low that I would not have the choice to get an epidural, as low platelet count affects the body’s ability to clot blood, and they didn’t want to give me an epidural and then have hard to control bleeding on my spine.  That was not a comforting thought, but I wanted a medication-free birth anyways, so I was OK with it.  

After almost 20 hours of contractions I changed my mind and I asked the anesthesiologist if I could have an epidural since I was exausted.  My platelet count was on the border of being too low, but he let me make the choice to get it or not and I did.  It was an immediate relief.

My OB/GYN has been monitoring my platelets closely during this pregnancy and I have been diagnosed with gestational thrombocytopenia.  Thrombocytopenia is a condition where blood does not clot notmally, caused by a low platelet count.  It is diagnosed by blood tests.  Gestational thrombocytopenia happens during pregnancy.   According to my doctor, it occurs in only 7 to 10% of pregnancies and generally appears in the mid-second to third trimester.  It poses no harm to the baby and should resolve by six weeks after the baby is born.

Since my hospital does not perform VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean) I will have to deliver via a planned c-section with a transfusion of platelets first.  My doctor has warned me that if my platelets are too low when I enter the hospital I will have to be put to sleep using general anesthesia, rather than being given an epidural or spinal anesthesia and being able to be awake for my child’s birth.  

I am hoping that I don’t have to have general anesthesia; I want to be awake and witness my baby boy’s first moments of life.  I want to be able to do immediate skin-to-skin and breastfeed right away, I don’t want to be groggy and tired and miss such an important event.  Plus, anesthesia often makes me nauseous, and I don’t even want to imagine puking with an incision in my abdomen.  Don’t get me wrong, the hour of chills and shaking after my precious c-section sucked.  I felt so cold, even with several heated blankets on me.  The anesthesia made me shake so hard that I was afraid that I would drop my baby when she was placed in my arms in Recovery.

I have already told my husband that if I do have to sleep through delivery I want him to do immediate skin-to-skin with our son until I am awake and able to myself.   

 So much of pregnancy is waiting.  I have already waited twenty-nine weeks to get this far.  I can wait longer, but the more I wait, the more anxious I become.  I just hate the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen.   I hate waiting another ten weeks to know.

The Name Game

Photo by Drew Hays. From http://www.unsplash.com

Decisions, decisions.  

When I asked Abby what her ideas for baby names were, she said Elmo and Coco.  Sorry, kid, those aren’t going to make th cut.  With only ten weeks left before delivery, my husband and I have finally gotten serious about picking out a name for our new baby.  

Well, maybe.  Last week he finally wrote out a list of boy names that he likes.  I had to restrain myself and wait a week before asking him if he was trying to play a long-running joke on me, as he included some pretty far out names on the list, like Apollo, Ulysses, and Magnus.  No offense to anyone who likes those names, of course,  but they seem a little grandiose for me.  He swears he is not trying to play a joke on me, although I still have my doubts… 

Coming up with names is difficult!  We didn’t want to go down the road of using family names, unless they were middle names.  Multiple names on our combined list just scream “nerd parents!” Because there are comic book character names, more than one Star Trek character names, and musician names.  

It is so hard for me to narrow down the list.  There are only three names on the list that I actually really like.  I never put too much thought into picking boy names over the years; you might remember that I have mentioned that I naively always believed that I would only have girls.  The name I am most attached to, Julian, is a name that my husband used to like but now says he feels like it is a name our kid will get picked on for having.  My second favorite is Oliver, which he for not care for.  My third is Liam, which he says is only so-so.  My husband favors Logan, which I just don’t like at all.

In order to weed out a lot of duds we took turns using each name in a sentence, like, “Quentin, quit picking on your sister,” Or, “Carter, just close your eyes and go to sleep.”  There were many names I couldn’t picture saying or just didn’t sound right.  Finally we were able to cut the list down to six.

Now it’s time to get down and dirty as the real discussion and debate begins.  I have no idea how long it will take us to settle on one, but hopefully it will be soon, or before we head to the hospital anyway!


Mom Needs a Vacation

Photo by Sergei Akulich. From http://www.unsplash.com.

Mom needs a vacation.  Or maybe just fifteen minutes locked alone in the quiet bathroom.  I will take what I can get.  

It seems lately I am one step away from losing my shit.  I keep waiting for that one thing each day that will send me over the edge.  If you see me sitting in the middle of the floor crying somewhere, just move along.

Will it be kicking the bedpost?  (Seriously, how do I have toes left at this point?) Watching Finding Dory for the one hundred and fiftieth time?  Crying over not getting a second cookie as a snack?  Getting cut off in traffic?  Are we out of butter again?  Being growled at by Ursula,  the evil sea with at work?  Spilling my hot coffee on my belly?  Hearing “Eww, yuck!” twenty times at supper?  Going to the bathroom with a kid on my lap because she won’t let me have a minute to pee?

Work has been very stressful.  I feel like I don’t have enough time to spend with my husband and child.  I feel like I don’t have enough time to take care of household duties.  I don’t have any time to spend on myself, let alone time to dedicate to blog or paint or read.  I feel so exhausted at the end of the evening that I just want to sleep.
I love being a wife.  I love being a mom.  I love my job.  I love being pregnant.  I love getting ready for the new baby.  It has been extremely difficult to balance it all and stay sane.  I can’t even imagine what it will be like when there is a newborn in the mix.

How do all you mommas out there do it?