Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Simple (and exciting) updates...and a rant about announcing pregnancy

The entertainment factor in my family has been at a peak during the past few days. Bug's developing speech (which, for a while there, I thought he would never be able to speak in complete sentences) has been creating moments of laughter for months now. I wish there was some way to capture and share every little thing that he says (and also the manner in which he says them). But, I'm afraid there really is no way to really share my own personal show of "Bug says the darnedest things!"

Gizmo has also started testing out his vocal abilities. Mostly to yell "no" at everybody, and to say "Meeeeee!" when he wants something. (He also says crazy stuff like, "vitamin" and...uhm...ok, maybe that is the biggest, most crazy word in his vocabulary right now.) Gizmo also likes to wander around the house singing his own little made up song, "Hap-py. Hap-py. Hap-py. Happy! Happy!! Happy!!!" It's very adorable. (Until he escalates into a demonic, screeching form of the same song. Then it sounds like something from a horror movie.)

This week, we have been able to have the Hubby home from work (until Friday), thanks to Labor Day on Monday, and then DNC is in Charlotte this year for the rest of the week. (For security reasons, especially since the Hubs works so close to the convention center, a lot of people have been asked to work from home.) I have a suspicion, though, that the Hubby isn't really cut out for working from home. You know, with all the noise and chaos going on with two young hooligans. I finally asked if he would mind shutting himself up in our room to get his work done, so he didn't ruin our fun down in the living room. Maybe he'll gain a bit more appreciation to the crazy that I am, now that he knows the conditions I find myself in every day!! (Or maybe not, it's just as likely that he'll be more solidly convinced that we have awful, rotten children...but it's nice to think about!)

 In other news, I am pleased to announce that I am expecting our third child this coming May! It's been a long time coming, as we have been trying to have another baby for over six months! Perhaps I need to readjust my expectations about -when- my body is ready and able to have another baby. You may recall (depending on how long you have been reading my blog) a post I wrote and posted around the time I found out I was pregnant with Gizmo: Hope during Infertility. I'm not really sure if I have ever really and truly qualified as being "infertile", but having a strong desire to have another baby, and not being able to actually achieve that, can be very disheartening. It is especially discouraging when you are charting your cycles, and you can clearly see that you are ovulating, but things just aren't working.

I am obviously very early in my pregnancy still. And I have not hesitated to share my news with anyone. Because of that, I have received some questioning comments (that bordered on ridicule) about why I have shared the news already. My younger sister asked me, "Don't most women wait until about 12 weeks to tell people that they are pregnant?" Yes, that is true. Most women wait, because miscarriage is most likely in the first trimester. And I guess they don't want to share news of a pregnancy and then also a miscarriage.

However, I find that reasoning interesting and sad. Most women have a network, however small or large, of friends and family (other women) that are willing to offer love and support during both emotional highs and lows. That is the nature of humans...we have other humans to offer social support. Discovering a pregnancy is (usually) an emotional high. It brings excitement, and a desire to share the news! A miscarriage is an emotional low. It often brings a desire to retreat and mourn. But if we have a friend in mourning, don't we want to offer help, love, support, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a loaf of bread? How can we receive social support in our trials (such as miscarriage), if we don't let our friends know. And in the case of miscarriage, it makes sense to let our friends know that we were first pregnant! (Unless, of course, you would prefer to have privacy to grieve during the event of a miscarriage. In which case, it makes sense to wait the socially acceptable 12 or so weeks.)

Another sentiment I have perceived is that there is a time that is "too early" to tell people about a pregnancy. Which I don't understand at all. Is there ever a time (past a known conception) when you are not pregnant enough? Of course not! And women find out about their pregnancies at all different times. Most over the counter pregnancies tests can detect a pregnancy around 14 days past ovulation, which is usually the earliest a pregnancy can be detected (by urine pregnancy tests). According to a 40 week pregnancy, a woman 14 days past ovulation is 4 weeks pregnant. But she is only two weeks conceived. If a woman is charting her cycles, and knows her usually luteal phase, she could detect a pregnancy by that alone. And depending on how long her cycles normally are, and according to her last menstrual cycle, a doctor may estimate her pregnancy to be farther (or not as far) along than she really is. For myself, announcing a baby due in May, could indicate I am anywhere from not even pregnant yet (which would mean I would have no pregnancy to announce), to nearly 7 weeks (according to the standard 40 week pregnancy) depending on when exactly my due date is in the month of May, as well as the other factors that I have mentioned.

A woman should be able to announce a pregnancy whenever it makes her feel comfortable, without any social stigma attached to the announcement. She should be able to announce a miscarriage without feeling ashamed, and she should have the support she needs to recover from her grief. And she shouldn't feel the need to justify her due date, or share intimate details about her pregnancy (including how far along in her pregnancy she is), unless she wants to share those things. Pregnancy is exciting, and if you have a hard time feeling excited for the pregnant woman....then ignore the announcement! (/rant)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

No Promises

It seems that I have the blogging bandwagon! I have no promises that I will be jumping back on with this post. But today I feel at least a little bit motivated to share bits and pieces from my life over the past 5 months. (I have still been reading the blogs that I love, via Google Reader on my tablet. That means that I haven't been able to comment, but I have been there!)

About two weeks after we moved to Charlotte, my genetic predisposition to depression kicked in and started making my life pretty miserable. I was so excited to live in a new place. To be able to establish my identity with my new family (far enough from parents and people who have known me since I was "yea high"). The weather was warm and beautiful. There was (still is) green everywhere...even more than I was used to back in Ohio.

But, I felt like I was having trouble making friends. I missed my family. I missed my grocery stores. I didn't know the roads. I got frustrated with the kids (who weren't handling the move very well). I got frustrated with my husband (who wasn't handling the move very well). And I realized maybe I wasn't handling the move very well.

I am too stubborn though, and I tried to just push through. I gained at least 10 pounds. I wore my throat out almost daily, yelling at the kids. I cried....a lot. I argued with my husband. My depression manifested as anger and irritability. (You know, in addition to poor eating habits, poor sleeping habits, unexplained crying, lack of motivation to do things like exercise/shower/brush teeth). I was in a bad place.

Finally, last month, I put down my foot and let the Hubby know that something needed to be done....before I did serious damage to myself or my family. (Of course, I just wanted the quickest med to fix my problem.) My wonderful husband, however, knew that his hippie of a wife would not want to be on medication, and started looking for an alternative. He quickly found a homeopathic doctor, scheduled an appointment for me, and took the day off work to accompany me to the appointment.

The doctor was great. She was cheerful and asked very thorough questions to be able to understand my depression. She gave me a homeopathic remedy and gave me some supplements to take, in addition to the vitamins I was already taking. Every morning, I take my remedy (lycopodium). With breakfast, I take a women's multi vitamin, EFA oil, Emergen-C, and 100mg of 5-htp. I take more 5-htp with lunch. And with dinner I take a B-complex and another 5-htp. If I am feeling pretty good, I skip my lunch dose.

Surprisingly, I noticed within a week that things were improving. I felt like myself again. I had more patience with my kids. More love for my husband. And a more positive outlook on all of my previous problems! I did notice though, that my routine only turns me into a normal person. It isn't a miracle "happy all the time" thing. And I am still subject to normal emotions (including mood swings, although much less frequently), especially during my normal PMS week. But being a normal person is a significant improvement on being a mopey, miserable, depressed person! I have started watching my calorie intake and exercising frequently (although the scale hasn't given me any encouragement). And I have even pulled out some of my crafts that I used to love working on.

Over the past 5 months (since I last wrote on this blog), I have attended the wedding of one of my younger sisters. Celebrated Bug's 4th birthday. Celebrated Hubby's 27th birthday. Caught a lizard on my porch, and used it to teach Bug and Gizmo about reptiles. Cleaned up about a million messes (mostly courtesy of Gizmo...our resident Lord of Chaos). Gently encouraged Bug that he should let his "ahhhh...soooo cuuuute" spider live outside. Cleaned and bleached after our downstairs toilet flooded the bathroom, laundry room, pantry and half the kitchen. Received a nasty note from an anonymous neighbor about how our property is an "eyesore". Revamped the outside of our house (that we are only renting, by the way). Took Bug and Gizmo to visit family in Ohio for a week, all by myself (worst vacation ever). Talked to Bug about why he cannot put Gizmo in the garbage, just because Gizmo can be mean. Listened to a million hilariously mispronounced words (courtesy of Bug). Gained a nephew (the first on my side of the family....I seriously cannot wait to meet him in a few weeks). Listened to Bug sing a goodnight some to Gizmo: "I love you, Gizmo. I don't want to put you in the garbage. Sorry for saying that last night. I love you, Gizmo. Goodnight." Avoided cleaning our mess of a house a million times...and then actually cleaned it about half a million times. Had a million sleepless nights (courtesy of Gizmo, our resident Lord of Poor Sleeping Habits). Weaned Gizmo from nursing. Got on a supplement routine to treat my depression. Went to the beach for a single day (and got gloriously sunburned). Discovered Adele. Celebrated my 5th wedding anniversary with my wonderful husband. Celebrated Gizmo's 2nd birthday. Dealt with jealous envy of every pregnant woman in the world. Found a lost snuggle bear, which was received with a very heartwarming "thank you, mommy. I love you!" And cleaned a million more messes. 

(Thank you, FB timeline, for helping me remember all the stuff I've been doing lately!)

I know this post is a bit long and....erm....depressing-ish. And lacking the normal humor of my regular posts. But, maybe.....juuuuust maybe....I will start sharing stories again. Maybe. No promises!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bunk Buddies

Yesterday, the Hubby, the boys, and I went to our local Ikea in search for a shelf to fit in between our fridge and our wall (a 9" gap), so we could store our canned goods there (since there isn't really space for them anywhere else).

We walked around the whole place and checked the measurements of any self that looked a tiny bit promising. There was a DVD shelf that would fit, but there definitely wasn't enough room for the amount of canned goods we have. Then there was a wall mounted 7-shelf unit that would fit, but we weren't sure how it would handle the weight of so many canned foods. We noted the numbers to pick it up, in case we didn't find anything else, and continued on our way.

Soon, we were in the kids bedroom section. And there stood a sturdy bunk bed, that could either be two separate twin beds or a bunk. It's siren voice called to us. We had talked about getting bunk beds eventually, and we are hoping to get Gizmo into his own bed soon, and we don't really have a lot of room in our house, so a bunk bed is the best option. We looked at the price. We looked at each other. We looked around at the other beds. And then, I took down the numbers, as well as the numbers for another twin sized mattress.

And then we headed down to the warehouse section. For our canned goods, we ended up buying six single shelves (only $4.99 each!) and a dozen brackets (only .50 each!). Then, we headed to aisle 28 to pick up the bunk bed.

A couple dollars later (ok, it was a bit more than just a couple of dollars), we were packing it all into the back of the van and heading home.

And once we were home, and the boys' room was cleaned and prepped, and shelves were mounted in the kitchen, we opened the three boxes of bed and were all of the sudden overwhelmed with the complexity and enormity of the project before us. Scotty hefted two bags full of screws and dowels and brackets out of one box, and wordless instructions out of another. And we got started assembling dozens and dozens of black bed pieces. The tension was high. The kids were constantly in the way. Injuries were acquired. The tension was -really- high. Styrofoam was crumbled...everywhere. Tools and hardware were lost and found and lost and broken and found again. Dinner was late. Wishes of cheaper and easier to build beds were made. Tension was still high. But, after several hours of ridiculous labor,  we had assembled the beds, added the mattresses, sheeted them up, and were ready to put them to use.

Of course, by this point, the boys were both totally exhausted, annoyed at being ignored and snapped at while mommy and daddy worked, and also very excited about the new beds. Bug kept wanting to sleep on the bottom. "I wanta sleep with Gizmo!" And once Gizmo realized it wasn't a game to sleep in the new bed, he wanted nothing to do with it.

We were able to get Bug up on the top bunk, and settled on letting Gizmo sleep with us for at least one other night. We were too tired to fight with him after fighting with the bed all evening. But [hopefully] sooner, rather than later, our boys will be bunk buddies!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Bug has been potty trained for nearly a year now. It has been a wonderful, marvelous year that could probably make me sing. It definitely took time, but once he was ready, he transitioned from diapers to underwear very quickly and very well. Ok, he actually went from being "naked-butt" all day to underwear, but I was totally fine with that!

But, last week, he had an accident.

I'm pretty sure that our move has broken something in these little kids of mine. They don't seem to be happy very often anymore. And I mostly feel a desperate need to be able to keep them from crying for at least 3 hours, with low success. It's very discouraging at the best of times, and downright unbearable at the worst. (Like this morning, when I crawled out of bed at 4am for a shower, just to get away from an inconsolable Gizmo for 10 minutes.)

Anyway, Bug had been being goofy and defiant, as he so often is, playing around in the living room. I reminded him several times that he should probably go use the potty. He didn't listen to me.

Eventually, he ran past me in the kitchen, into the little half bathroom. Then I heard liquid hitting the floor, and an exclamation from Bug, "Uh-oh! Oh, no!"

I ran into the bathroom, to see Bug standing there, shorts still all the way up, right in front of the toilet. Peeing. And peeing. And peeing. And still, he just stood there, like there was nothing he could do. I told him to pull his pants down and pee in the toilet. (Probably not in the nicest way, considering most of my patience wore out last week, probably a day or two before the accident, and hasn't been replenished yet.)

He did pull down his shorts and peed a microscopic amount of urine into the toilet bowl. Of course, it's amazing that there was anything left. I'm pretty sure the kid had to have been full of pee up to his eyeballs. I can't imagine how such a large amount of pee fit inside such a little guy!

I helped him strip off his soiled clothes, and I gave him a wad of paper towels to help clean up the mess. Then I realized that there was way more mess than a wad of paper towels could handle, so I sent him away for a bath, and I tackled the ocean on the bathroom floor. After mopping and wiping and soaking and spraying, our little bathroom was (mostly) clean again.

Most people say that you should wait to potty train until you have time to do it without any interference from major life changes, so you don't have to worry about the trainee regressing. I'm beginning to think that it really doesn't matter. Because apparently, even supposedly well potty trained little boys will have accidents after a major life change.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Virtual Tour

Welcome to our humble home!
This post is probably more for my family and close friends than any other blog readers. I have had requests for pictures of our new place. So, here is a virtual tour (sorry the pictures are kind of wonky, I did my best getting them into a logical order, but I couldn't get them to all line up the way I wanted them to, and as soon as I added captions, everything got all messed up again!!):
There is a cute little porch...that currently has our ugly trash can on it.
This is what you see when you walk in the front door.
This is what you see if you turn around after walking in the front door.

Looking from the kitchen to the living room (including the evil dishwasher that made me hand wash everything for a week).
To the side of our kitchen, we have a laundry room. There are two doors to the left. The first is a pantry, the second a 1/2 bathroom.
Our kitchen/eat-in dining room/back door

The pantry
1/2 bathroom
Another view of the living room. Door on the left of the picture is the coat closet. The door on the right is the front door.
Up the stairs
Our lovely coat closet/storage closet. (I'm pretty sure if you walk in and keep going, you'll end up in Narnia.)

The upstairs hall

Boys' bathroom, as seen through the mirror, because the door opens into the bathroom, creating a total non-efficient use of space.

Linen closet. Gideon is trying to close bedroom #3, also known as "The Adventure Room".

Here are my models, showing us how fun it is in the Adventure Room.
Closet in the Adventure Room (it is currently the most un-unpacked and unorganized room in the house.)

Boys' bedroom. Which is 1,000,000,000x's cleaner than it was earlier this morning (I had to clean to vacuum...which was horrifying in its own way).
Kid's closet
Master bedroom

Door to the master bathroom (window is just to the right of this picture).

Our lovely garden tub...with a crack in the I won't be able to soak until that's fixed. Sad day.

Master closet. You would be able to walk in just a bit, if there weren't a million bags of blankets on the floor.

Our tiny, sloped back yard...full of prickles, mushrooms, and the smell of moth balls. (But it's warm out there!)
The back of our house, including our kiddie pool, mini grill (we've used it twice this past week), ginormo flower pots (that I hope to put to good use this year), recycling can, a mysterious black bin (that I don't know what to do with, but has awesome bugs underneath of it), and another trash can full of metal (that I also don't know what to do with).

 So there you have it! Our digs here in the Charlotte area! It's a little bit hard to believe that we have already been here for over a week. Things are definitely beginning to feel like home, though.

So, who wants to come visit???

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I will probably become a sweeping expert

I swept my kitchen and dining room yesterday. It was kind of an eye opener...and definitely a new experience for me. All of our other homes have had carpet where the table was, and just a little strip through the kitchen of laminate. So, I have never really needed to use a broom over such a large amount of space.

I'm here to tell you that, unless my kids magically became messier after our move, I possibly...maybe...probably...definitely...should have been vacuuming our floors more often.

It was atrocious. There were crackers. Crumbs. Cheerios. Crumbs. Dirt chunks. Crumbs. Dried cheese. Crumbs. And probably some more crumbs.

And the whole time, all I could think of was the fact that a similar mess (and worse) was hiding in my carpet at our old home in between vacuuming. Which...I guess meant that the floors didn't looks quite as dirty for a longer period of time. And when I did vacuum, I got that satisfying crackle while going over the worst parts.

But then I think of the spilled milk. Spilled yogurt. Spilled taco filling. Spilled spaghetti sauce. Spilled Jell-O. And I am ever so grateful for a floor that will need to be swept at least weekly.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Obviously, it is time for a blog revolution. Or maybe just a revival? Something! And, because of recent life changes (one in particular), I have finally...hopefully...found the motivation to jump back on the blog-wagon.

My little family just moved from Cincinnati, Ohio to Charlotte, North Carolina.

I have always lived within the Greater Cincinnati area. Always. As in, my whole freakin' life. (Ok, it's not like I'm just barely leaving the nest at the ripe, old age of 82, but it's still a big deal to me!)

And now I live in The South. Honestly, I never really thought much about North Carolina being part of the South. (Normally, when I think of the South, I think of the Deep South, which doesn't include NC. But geographically, culturally, demographically...NC -is- part of the South.)

Mostly, the area is just like any other. Except they don't have my favorite grocery store. But there are little things, cultural things, that do make it different. First off, spring has clearly arrived. Back in Cincinnati, we would still have a month of slightly-above-freezing-windy-gray days before spring really kicked into full gear. Here, there are already trees in bloom and yellow daffodils basking in the clear sunlight. I almost already need to mow the lawn.

Another difference is the racial makeup of the city. It is A LOT more diverse. In Cincinnati (I think this is going to become my catch phrase now! " Cincinnati...blah blah blah"), especially the places where I have, the country.... it is predominately white. Way predominately. Downtown had the higher concentration of blacks. Here, they are everywhere! It's probably still predominately white, but there are a lot more blacks here. There also seems to be a larger Latino community here in Charlotte, as well. I know this probably sounds bad, and I really hope I don't sound rude in saying it. It is just something that is very different from what I am used to, and is simply one of my stronger observations so far.

Next is the recycling. I like to identify myself with the green, crunchy people as much as possible, but I have always had a hard time recycling. Mostly because, (in Cincinnati) it isn't provided standard. Plus, I've always lived in apartments, where it seemed difficult enough to worry about normal garbage! But now, we have been provided with a recycling can. AND it is North Carolina state law that all aluminum and plastic numbers 1 and 2 are to be recycled. I really doubt that they are digging though your garbage to make sure you recycled everything that you were supposed to (and then sending you any proper fines), but I would like to try my best to keep my integrity with the recycling laws. I already have a small can inside full of recyclables (and not just the mandatory ones) to go into our big can for pickup next week!

I've been a little cautious about the kids, and wondering how they will handle this move. They are both really whiny and clingy. But at the same time, happy. It's weird. They both seem to understand that this is our home now, but it's still upping their little, tiny stress levels. Which, is totally understandable. I've had several people remind me that for children, a move has similar stress levels to a death in the family and divorce. That's a big eye opener, and I try to remember how difficult this might be for them when I feel like I'm losing my patience because of all the whining and tantrums. Hopefully, they will adjust quickly.

I should write a post or two detailing more about our move....that will go on my to-do list. I'm going to try to take this blog revival seriously (especially for my mom!)

So, here we go on this new adventure!