Monday, November 26, 2007

How clean is your fridge?

I was rooting through the leftovers after the baby's late-night feed, and I came across a bowl of something scary. I don't know when it went in there, and I am sad it is a glass bowl because if it was plastic I would just toss it. So I root around, tossing out-of-date and near-empty items, and I notice that the shelves are kind of scummy. So I took everything out and removed the shelves. I got to know those shelves very well with some hot, soapy water. Steve will be so surprised in the morning! And I was able to get it all cleaned & washed between feeds. I just have to put the drawers back in the bottom. Little Miss Fat Cheeks would not wait one. more. minute. when she woke up hungry, so I had to abandon the last of my task.

She was very antsy during her feed and is taking forever to fall asleep. She is in my arms, swaddled, but she has her days and nights turned around and is more wakeful than sleepy. Sigh.

I am tired, and tomorrow will be busy. Jonathan and Katie have well-child visits directly after school and have to be picked up early from school. The doctor's office claims it never got the kids' shot records despite the fact that we have been going there for a year and a half, including last year's well-child visit. So I have to go to each child's school and ask their nurses for copies of their shot records, which the doctors should have because *I* don't have them, and obviously they are running around somewhere since I was able to enroll my kids in school. Grrrr!

I also have to make Katie's cake for her birthday on Tuesday. We will do a family-only cake on her special day, and then she has requested the tea party so I have to make reservations at the tea room tomorrow too. And Stephanie has a well-baby visit on Friday, complete with shots. Poor baby! And I need to get my car inspected! I cannot forget that! And the oil needs changing.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Christmas card angst

So I decided to make our Christmas cards this year.

Some people make a few cards all year, either all different, or the same, a few at a time. Some start in July or August, making all the same card and in small batches. That makes it easy on a budget, I suppose. Not me. I never do anything in half-measures.

So I have card blanks, colored inks, a few holiday stamps, pretty papers, adhesives, and some extra frills if need be. And that's it. No creativity, no spark, no originality, no talent, no idea to make a pretty card. *cries*

After two days of gathering my supplies, looking online and stewing, I found a card that has potential. I can copy the style of the card and use my own stuff. I am not copying it exactly. It should not take too long to make.

We already has a humorous-yet-disastrous attempt at taking a holiday photo where I second-guessed myself about everything. The girls were in matching dresses, and Jonathan was dressed in a nice shirt and khakis but was it enough? Or should it have been holiday dressy-dressy clothes? Or any kind of clothes, so long as they were holiday colors? Because they weren't. Perfect poses, or was informality ok? Smiles? No fake ones, please. Hey! Look at ME! The camera is over here! *sigh* If one child didn't blink, the other did. Should we put the dogs in the picture? They like to lick the baby.

I ended up choosing a picture to print that I think represents like at my house. Not perfect, a little chaotic, but real.

In the end, I think I can churn out a nice card, even if it is not the professional caliber that I see on a stamping board that I visit. Those ladies rock! And I can take the picture that makes me smile, (even through its imperfections) and zoom it in, edit out the red-eye, and print out a load of copies to put in the cards. I give myself 10 days, and I can have the handmade cards with family pics sent out to be received well in time for Christmas. I think the most time consuming part will be rounding up addresses.

Why am I still online? I have cards to make!

Friday, November 23, 2007


So, late Wednesday night I remembered that I had forgotten to make my pies. So between the baby sleeping and needing another feed, I baked two deep dish pies--pumpkin and cherry. Then I set my alarm to insure that I'd wake up in time to start cooking. I had a very strict schedule to keep to wake, cook, and juggle feeding the baby. Plus I was trying two new recipes so I had to have it down to the minute.

I ended up turning the alarm off in my tired stupor and woke up an hour past my time. Steve already fed the baby and I had to pump. Ugh, now I would be behind another 30 minutes. I ended up getting the turkey in the oven three hours past when I had planned to, but no worries.

I know now there was no way to keep to my schedule. I couldn't have gotten that bird in the oven and that stuffing in the crock pot in such a short amout of time. But it turned out quite funny because I was so tired. I kept going into the living room to read the recipe off the compter, and then going back into the kitchen to cook. It didn't occur to me to bring the computer into the kitchen. I browned the sausage and set it aside. I began to chop the celery and onions but instead of putting it into the pan to saute, I put it in the sausage bowl?? Then I added it to the pan without melting the butter first. It doesn't sound so funny, but it was. My momma called to wish us a Happy Thanksgiving right when I had started laughing. It was just hilarious that I couldn't concentrate. And rather than get all mad, I realized there was no way I could keep to a schedule. And I started laughing as Steve started scooping little piles of minced celery out of the sausage bowl.

I made a roast turkey--the first year that I didn't brine it! I tried a new recipe. It had a nice flavor but I will probably brine again next year. I made stuffing in the crockpot, homemade mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, peas, carrots, roasted sweet potatoes with a brown suge glaze and toasted walnuts, cranberry sauce, rolls, and the 2 aforementioned pies. I think that's it.

We had a nice relaxed day. We didn't have to et up early or go anywhere. We didn't have to dress up, but the kids did so we could attempt our Christmas card photo. I had the girls in matching dresses. I love Hanna Anderson for making dresses that my seven year old and seven week old can wear, matching. Jonathan dressed in a nice shirt and khakis. I took at least 50 pictures in different poses. It was exasperating, because the baby woudl turn her head at the last minte, or Jonathan would blink, or Katie would make a fake smile. So I became part entertainer, part photographer, saying silly things to evoke some real smiles.

Now I am being critical of my pictures. Should I have set them up against a backdrop or was our living room ok? I wanted them to be cute but comfortable so they were barefoot. Is that too informal? Should I have dressed them in holiday clothes, or holiday colors? I am narrowing my selections down but I wonder if they are good enough?

Then I figure, who cares? People want to see the kids, so they'll see them. I am trying to pick a picture without hair sticking up, closed eyes, or vampire teeth, and I hope I can edit the red-eye right out of the picture.

So we had a nice, laid-back Thanksgiving. It was lovely. The parade was on, and later, football. We had a nice spread of yummy food. We got to just lay around the house, for which I am truly thankful.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Things to do when you're bored

So it's snowing today, and that means I am trapped, bored senseless in the house. The baby is asleep and yeah I could clean the house, but no. I call my neighbor and tell her to poke her head out the door. Why? To see if she can hear the music I have jacked up quite loudly in my car. I turned the car on, cranked it up, and shut the door. The trees are empty of the leaves which provided insulation from noise. The snow makes for nice acoustics also. You can hear your neighbors talking on their porch when all is still. So I thought for sure, she could hear my song. And she did.

Yes, I am a dork. The weird things you think of when you're bored, right? And she said her dog was cocking her head at the noise. She could hear it but had no idea where it was coming from. Sorry Lola-dog, Miss Jenn is crazy.

What song, you ask? Crank That/Soulja Boy. Hey, it said crank it, so I did. It has a nice beat that makes me want to shake my butt. Thankfully I do that behind closed curtains. My neighbors don't need to see a butt of my large size shaking, no matter how dance-worthy the song.

I like to put my mp3 player in my ears and shimmy around the house. It makes the kids laugh at me. I like to dance. However I am no good at it, hence the high comedy.

I made a new recipe last night and it tasted awful. No one complained, though, which makes me suspicious. How many other times has my family pretended to like my cooking? *sigh* Maybe they liked it? The kids ate it, they didn't just push it around on their plates or anything. So maybe I am the only one who thought it tasted like crap. I don't know if Steve ate since I was in the shower by the time he finally got home. When I got out of the shower, he had scraped the crockpot and put it to soak. So he probably thought it tasted like the smell of vomit, and cleaned the pot to avoid leftovers.

I knew I would be making crock pot meals and I bought crock pot liners for easy cleanup. Then I forgot to use one. Duh. In other news, my puppy started chewing my couch yesterday. Bad dog! She has tons of chew toys in a basket on the floor and she goes and pulls them out all the time. But yesterday I caught her gnawing away on my couch. Little dork. But today she pooped outside! Good girl! Never a dull moment.

The baby is going to want to eat soon, so I'll close this for now.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I miss the real Navy. Bad.

That is all.

Ok, maybe not.

I do miss the Navy though. This is like no shore duty I have ever encontered before. A horrible commute, terrible hours, being very remote, nowhere near a real base or commissary, working weekends, and a "command" spread so thin that there is no sense of cohesion, family, or belonging. I know one other nearby military family. They actually live on my street, so it is nice when I want to talk Navy at someone.

But I miss housing, and being surrounded by nosy neighbors. The ones who tell you that so and so came home at 2 am and speculate about where she'd been. The ones who call and ask what the UPS truck delivered to you today, since they saw the truck in your drive. The ones that you see again, at some point, since it is a small Navy.

I miss carriers. I was watching youtube and this feeling intensified. I miss the blue and white speckled floors. I miss the smell of jet fuel on Steve's clothes. I miss him carrying his seabag and wearing his big boots. I miss command functions, like the kids' holiday parties and the open houses on teh ship. I miss duty days--who would have thought that I'd miss duty? I miss bringing Steve dinner with the kids and visiting his in his office. I miss underways too. Making a ton of cookies to send Steve, and making the paper loop chain--one loop for every day Daddy's away.

I never thought that a shore duty would come along that I wouldn't relish. Savoring each day with Steve at home and not at sea, having him home for dinner every night, etc. I thought shore duty would fly by and be sorely missed. Instead, it is dragging and it is sea duty that's missed! Come on, July of 09!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My "baby" turned 11

I cannot believe it has been so long since he was born. I remember his birth. I was 17 and in high school. It was 6 weeks before my due date, so my mom was out of town caring for my sister's kids, whilst *she* was out of town. I went to work the day before, and I was a cleaning fool. It was cold, being half-November, and there I was in short sleeves, washing the windows! Outside, I mean. I worked at a restaurant and I can still see my reflection in the glass--brown hair pulled back into a bun, white buttoned workshirt, black pants and shoes, scrubbing away at those filthy windows, and any other surface in that restaurant that I thought needed cleaning. My manager Heidi even commented that she thought I was nesting.

I had a backache all that Saturday at work, but thought nothing of it. What third trimester lady doesn't have back pain? And I wasn't due for 6 weeks. I came home and completed my science project with my class partner Laura, and I remember joking, "Wouldn't it be funny if I wasn't at school on Monday because I had the baby early?" She did not think it was funny, because I was the one who was bringing the project itself to school. And I clearly remember my back hurting more frequently, and more sharply when we were working on the project. But I did not recognize them as contractions, merely backache, and they went away.

Laura went home and me, my dad and brother went out for dinner. IHOP, I think, and my brother made me laugh so much that I spit orange juice all over my plate. I was graceful. Later my brother went to a party. I didn't want him to go, and I begged him to stay home, which was odd. Who cared what he did, right? But for some reason, I wanted im home. He wasn't harsh or anything. Maybe he recognized my request as being out of character? He left a number where he'd be, and promised he'd be home in the morning.

I felt a little lousy and I went to bed. I left my dad asleep in his recliner. At 11 PM I woke up to use the toilet. When I wiped, the tissue was bloody and I groaned. Where were my pads? And how inconvenient was it to start my period in the middle of the night? Ugh.

But wait--my period?? Oh crap, this was that bloody show they were talking about in Lamaze class! But I had only taken 2 of those 6 classes and I still had six weeks! Disgruntled, I went downstairs and shook my dad awake. I told him about the bloody show--he had gone to the classes with me--and he asked if I was sure? Yes. Did I want to call my mom? We tried, no answer. I wanted to go lay down and I would wake him up if anything else happened. They told us in those Lamaze classes that one could lose one's mucus plug days prior to birth. OK.

I go to lay down, and the dog She is trying to drape herself across my belly and this, along with that nagging back pain, was making sleep difficult. I dozed off only to wake again at 4 AM to use the toilet again. And with the sound of a water balloon bursting, well, my water broke! And in my favorite sweatpants too! I had to change into my "ugly" ones to go to the hospital. I woke my dad and told him my water broke. We tried to call my mom again and finally there was an answer. It turns out that my sister's roommate turned the phone's ringer off while she was out for the evening, so any late callers would not disturb my mom. But she returned home at about 2 AM and turned the ringer back on, since she would be able to intercept any calls. So we got through to my mom, who freaked. My dad hopped in the shower. I called the doctor and packed a bag.

I threw in a book to read, in case I got bored between contractions, an apple in case I was hungry, some clothes for me and an outfit for my baby, who was supposed to be a girl. Stop laughing! Who knew what to pack? Not me!

We arrive at the hospital, I am admitted. I had a mean nurse who didn't like that I was unmarried. She started me on an IV, hooked me up to a monitor and started me on Pitocin. This was about 530 AM. I was stuck with the mean nurse until shift change, when I got a nice nurse named Jeri. I remember her eyes, which were my focal point.

I labored. We called my mom from the hospital and she tried to coach but she was in Florida. So Dad helped me, and chanted push-push-push-push in my ear at about 930 AM when I felt the urge. I held my legs back, knees to ears, chin to chest and pushed. All I had to deliver was the head and the doctor slid the baby's body out: a purple-skinned creature, covered in cream cheese, I mean vernix. His head was flopped to one side as the doctor held him, yes, HIM up to show me it was a boy. During delivery I had been grunting, "Come on Hannah!" Now I had a Jonathan, who was born at 10:12 AM, weighing a hefty 5 pounds, 12 ounces, measuring 18 inches. He was due December 30th and born November 17th. He had a little cap of black air at birth that quickly fell out. He had colic and would scream for hours. He liked to sleep rather than eat, and we had to fight to get him to eat. Once he outgrew his sleepiness he ate every three ours round the clock until the following June. He started sleeping through the night a week before final exams. I like to think it was a present for me.

I went back to school when he was 2 weeks old, and I took my SATs when he was 3 weeks old. 1310 isn't so bad for 3 weeks postpartum. And that science project? I called the school first thing Monday morning and left a message with the teacher that the project was completed, and I'd bring it in on Tuesday after I was discharged from the hospital. He later told me that Laura's face was priceless when she saw I was not in class.

So I made Jonathan a cake, his Omnitrix cake just like he wanted. He blew out all the candles in one go. I bought his favorite ice cream and a few party snacks. I had a little craft as a time filler. We had 2 neighbor families in and it was very low key. He enjoyed his gifts because they were exactly what he'd asked for. And the kicker? He is having a sleepover at someone else's house! Happy Birthday Jonathan. I love you.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Things to do

So here I am, wide awake after feeding the baby at midnight. She is still awake too, but I put her in her bed so she can learn to self soothe and fall asleep herself. Yes I am a mean mommy. I have a laundry list of things that need to be done so I figured I would write it down here.

Jonathan's birthday is on Saturday and I am debating baking his cake now, since I am up. I will decorate it later but I can do the baking ahead of time.

I was cleaning the entryway to the house when the midnight feeding rolled around. I was washing the walls with my beloved Magic Eraser, and sweeping off the stairs and floor. We will have people in on Saturday for cake and I want them to see a nice house, starting with a shiny entryway. I had my floor cloths and scrubber for the entryway linoleum. I need to wash the eight tiny windows too. We have a coat rack and a shoe cube for organization, so that's good.

Side note--I want to slap the guy in the Campbell's Soup To Go commercial, who is eating meatballs in the elevator. He is annoying. Also, the baby fussed until I thought she was going to wake up Steve so I picked her up and put her in her swing. Minimal fuss and a sleeping baby. Finally, my cable keeps going in and out and it is annoying. I am about to put a movie on for background noise. We have recently acquired Knocked Up, I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry, Ratatouille, and I Thee Wed. Back to my list.

I want to shampoo my carpets but I don't want to do them while it is wet out because I like to open my windows for a cross breeze to help the carpet dry, and I think if it is wet out, the damp air won't help the carpet dry any faster. It has been wet for two days, but it will be dry for the next three. I wonder if I can squeeze in the carpets tomorrow? Eh, I will try. But if so, I should really bake that cake now.

Oh crap! I threw out one of my round cake pans! I said to myself, "Ew, it's gross, I'll buy another." And I threw it away, and now I have to make a double layer round cake. Hmm. Who says it has to be a double layer? I can make the round cake and then use the remaining batter for cupcakes.

What else? I don't need to scrub the kitchen floor but I do need to scrub the baseboards around the bar and under the dishwasher. I also need to do the regular tidying in the bathroom. I need to do some in-depth things and some regular maintenance cleaning things.

Be right back--odd noises. OK back now--something fell in the bathtub, no big deal.

Anyway, I need to close this and get to doing something worthwhile or maybe even going to sleep! I am kind of tired but it seems like such a waste to go to sleep when the baby will wake up to eat in about 2 hours. I also need to find Katie some jeans or pants because she thinks she is wearing capris tomorrow. At 40 degrees. Grrrr!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad

This evening was Parent-Teacher conferences, and Jonathan said that one team in the school was calling themselves the Soapy Bubbles. There was a sign and everything welcoming the Soapy Bubble Parents.

I asked what his team was called and he said they had just voted on a name, but not in time for the teacher to hang the banner saying (mutter mutter mutter).

"Animal Crackers," I asked? I got a LOOK for that and I asked what did I do?

"Emerald Geckos, Mom!" We all busted up laughing right there in the hall.

Well it was funny to me! :-)

In other news, my skin is so terribly itchy and has been since the baby was born. My stretch marks are itchy, especially around the waist, so I guess they're shrinking. But all my skin itches and it feels like there are bugs crawling under my skin. I can sit there and feel an itch, and look, convinced it is a bug on me. Lo and behold, nothing. I am losing it! I am also going to be slathering on the lotion.

The past two days, giant spiders have tried to sneak into my house. Ineffectually, I might add. They wait, huge and lurking, right by my door. I step up and put the key in the lock and freeze in horror. *Insert full body shiver* Do they think I am going to step aside and let them precede me? Ugh.

I am loving the Knifty Knitter looms for making things. They just seem to churn out the yarned goods. But I feel as if I am cheating or not really knitting. I want to learn more than how to make scarves, when just using needles. I enjoy my loom though, because I can work for just short spurts of tie with a new baby, and I can see results quickly.

Lastly, it is after midnight, so Happy 21st Anniversary to my Mom & Dad! I hope you guys have a great day!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hello little face!

The baby scared me today!

We were having a little ni-nite this morning, and I bolted awake to her fire engine scream, but it was different--she was panicking. She was all of two feet away from my bed in her bassinet and I flew over there, to find her covered in foam? She was foaming at the mouth and nose. I snatched her up and ran into the nursery. I used the bulb syringe to suction her. She was trying to cry but couldn't draw air because she was choking on her foam. So she would do this horrible gurgling noise until she drew enough air, then let out the fire engine scream of panic. It seemed like forever but it was maybe only three minutes until I had her calm again, and she was peering up at me, wide eyed and grabbing at my finger with her tiny hand. I was thoroughly freaked out. I called the pediatrician to see if they thought anything sounded off, or could tell me where the foam came from? She doesn't spit up so I was at a loss. Was she really sick?

The ped office told me to come in to check her and make sure her lungs were clear. She had been snuffly for a few days and sneezing since yesterday, little rapid fire sneezes. We have had the humidifier going. Of course the instant I walked into the ped office she became all coos and smiles. I felt like an idiot and like I had never had a baby before! But the ped said no, it was good to come in and make sure her lungs were clear--the last thing we needed was to let some respiratory bug languish, undetected and untreated.

She now weighs 7 pounds, three ounces. She has gained eight ounces in the past six days! And she is nursing like it's her job. Well, I guess it is, huh? She is the little, tiny picture of health. See above!

Monday, November 12, 2007

A post before the baby wakes up

I signed up on one of my boards to do a post a day, and boy do I suck at it. I am teh Loser. Oh well. I forget, sometimes.

So I have been thinking about my kids' birthdays, which are this month and ten days apart. Katie wants to go to the beauty parlor for a hairdo and to get her nails painted. Since I enjoy torture, I will get my eyebrows waxed. Whee! Then she, I, the baby, Miss Meghan and Zoe are all going to a local tea room, full of frilly things and dainty tables, for a girls-only time. I am going to give them both little necklaces. Later, at home, we will eat whatever food she wants and then I will make a cake. I think I saw directions ot make a teapot shaped cake, so I might do that. She wants the Candyland cake I made for Miss Meghan but it was $50 to make that cake because of all the candy, so no. We are strapped as it is, for the rest of the year. Pick another cake, chica.

Jonathan wanted to go to a laser tag place, but now has changed his mind and wants a sleepover. We are going to tell him that he may have a one-person-only sleepover because of the baby. And he asked me months ago if I could make an Omnitrix cake--this little electronic bracelet thing, the watch/face part of the bracelet is round, and three colors. Oh, yes, I can make it, and easily, too. So we will do the cake at home thing, just like with Katie, and he wants a sleepover, so I can provide meal of choice, just like Katie, but I think she is getting more, and I am going nuts trying to think up another activity for him to do. I know he will do video games and movies and pizza or corn dogs and popcorn and stuff for the sleepover. It still seems like she is getting more, but he doesn't want to do a scavenger hunt, and there aren't any movies that he wants to see, and he is not into Build A Bear (which is what Katie wanted to do before she opted for a tea party). I don't know. I will think of something, I guess.

So I have been feeling "off" for a few days. It is hard to explain, but it weighs on me. I hate my house. I hate staring at the same four walls. You might think I am just housebound with a new baby, and that might be a small part of it, but not really. I have a car and can go where & when I need to. Yes it is hard since I have only been nursing for a week, and I cannot do it discreetly in public, so outings must revolve around the baby's feedings. But I can always bring a bottle of expressed milk if I need to be out longer. Stephie is a good baby. She is cute and sweet and doesn't cry much. She likes to sleep and doesn't demand much. I can just stare at her for a long time.

So I don't think my unhappiness is baby-related. We wanted her for over 3 years and are happy she is here, whole and healthy. It doesn't feel like it is about the baby. It is about the house. I don't like it here. I am remote and have few friends. One of my friends is moving next summer and I am dreading it because I will be left alone on this street full of townies with their demon kids.

I am stuck in this house. I have tried for two days to get out of the house and have not succeeded.

Friday I went to my six week check up and got my flu shot. Then we went out to dinner with MIL. We went to the store afterward, looking for a new coat for Katie and the store was closing and they kept announcing it over the loudspeaker, as if we would forget. We left, coatless, because the world as the Wal Mart workers knew it would end, if we didn't leave right.that.minute. Seriously we went in 30 minutes prior to closing and they were already announcing it. I hate that particular store, though. They always make us feel unwelcome.

I told Steve that I have started feeling here how I felt in Maryland-- I am trapped in the house and I dread going back to it. It doesn't help that the last few times we have tried to go out to shop or run errands, we have been rushed, either for stores closing, or to make sure we get home before the kids' bus drops them off, or because the baby needs to eat. I hate feeling so rushed, and it takes the joy right out of shopping for me. It's very frustrating. I told him it didn't matter that I was "only" shopping for groceries, and not getting anything for me. It was the rush factor. Especially rushing home. Ugh.

So what happened yesterday? I can't even remember. Well basically nothing. We didn't go anywhere. I sat in the same spot in my house, on my couch, with my nursing pillow and fed the baby every few hours. I did not do anything. I can't remember what I wore, or what time I woke up.

So today (Sunday) Steve woke me up and said if I wanted to go anywhere, I needed to wake up so we could get out the door and back before the birthday party that Jonathan had to attend. It was 10:30 AM. I had stayed up late with the baby and he did the morning feed so I could sleep in. So let's see, wake up, eat, feed the baby at some point, or pump. Dress and then make sure everyone else is dressed and clean. Then, where should we go? I had nowhere specific in mind. But by the time we got out the door, it would be yet another rush job. 30 minutes, minimum, to get anywhere from our house. Arrive at some as-yet-undecided location, then rush around to rush back home in time for the party. Yay. Isn't that fun? How 'bout no?

So we are going nowhere, at least until after the party's start time. We could drop Jonathan off and go...somewhere. Then we found out that the party was starting at 3, not two. So I was stuck in the house for another damn hour. And by the time the party rolled around, so had the baby's feeding time. Feed her, then it was nearing time-to-start-cooking-dinner time and supposed party ending time. I was going nowhere. Again. WTF?

I stared at the wall. Like I do every day, from my perch on the couch where I feed the baby. I stared at the striped curtains which look stupid. Who has striped and solid curtains in the same room? I am not an interior designer, and it shows. I hate those curtains. Steve asked what the matter was and I told him I was bored out my skull.

I went and put the baby in her bed and laid down in mine. If I was going to be bored to tears or bored to sleep, I could do it in my own bed. I cried. I slept. I woke up five hours later. Steve fed the kids. He also went out and got a paper. He fed the baby while I slept. I woke up and he went to sleep, and I have been awake ever since. I am waiting for the baby to wake up and eat, and then I'll go to bed. Yesterday I went to bed after 4 AM. Today should be about the same. I can see the baby stirring but I want her to wake up fully so it doesn't take forever to feed her. When she is sleepy it can take a while to make her eat.

So what will happen tomorrow? Who knows. But I didn't think I was going anywhere today. When I woke up and saw the time, and thought about what it would take to get us out the door, I just knew I wasn't going anywhere. It's not even about coordinating the effort to physically get out the door, it is the rushing. It is not worth all the get up and go, to rush to a destination, do whatever needs doing, and rush home. Why bother? It takes the fun out of shopping as well.

So I am stuck in the house that I cannot stand, because there is no point in leaving, because I won't enjoy wherever it is I am rushing to. This sucks.

And because I can't stand the house, why bother taking care of it? A piece of siding fell off during a storm. I stil haven't called the landlord to have it reaffixed. I have been meaning to either trim the shrubs in my mulch boxes, or hire a crew to do it for me, but I can't work up the give-a-damn to do either. I want to clean up the yard before winter hits, but not enough to do it. Does that make sense?

I could go on about the house, but I will just make myself feel like crap and I don't need that. I was thinking about my six week check, and they did a depression screening, asking some rather stupid and very broad questions. I even told Steve, they didn't ask the right questions. Who asks a new mother if they are tired? Or if they have trouble concentrating? Insert eyeroll here. Let's see, the baby wakes up round the clock to eat, but no, I'm not tired at all. And trouble concentrating? I couldn't remember my phone number the other day.

I really think their questions should be more specific. I feel like crap but I know if I need help, all I have to do is ask. But if I were some other woman and passed the depression screening, I woudn't understand why I feel the way I do. Because if I answered no to all their questions, I'm not depressed, right?

Well I passed their screening but I have no doubt that I am a little depressed. Do they (the doctors)have a clue? No. Not only because it predates my pregnancy, but also because they asked the wrong questions. Do I want to hurt myself or others? No. Am I tired? Yes. Do I have trouble concentrating? Yes, when I am sleep deprived. Do I feel like a failure to myself or others? I answered no, because I didn't, that day.

But I had some serious self-worth issues after the baby was born. I had screwed up again--my body rejects my babies too early and here I had given birth to a baby who had to stay in the hospital because my body didn't grow her well enough. Then I couldn't fed her, which was a huge, confusing blow. I was able to make milk but my breasts and her little mouth just couldn't meet in the middle. I think if I had a supply problem I would have lost it. But overall I felt that my body had betrayed me and it made me sad.

They should ask better questions, such as, "Are you disinterested in activities that you normally enjoy?" Or, in plainer language, "Do you just not give a damn?"

"Is getting dressed not worth the effort since you're not going anywhere anyway?"

"Do your days seem to stretch in front of you, an endless haze of the same boring crap?"

"Are you doing the bare minimum just to function?"

"Do you dread the phone ringng because it means you have to answer the phone and you want people just to leave you alone?"

See, I confuse myself. I want out of the house, yet stay in it. I want to be left alone, yet I do NOT want to feel lonely. I don't have a problem taking care of my kids, but I can't remember the last time I washed my hair. And I didn't get dressed today. I can't remember what I wore yesterday so I don't know if I got dressed. But my kids are clean, dressed, fed, play outdoors, go to bed on time, do well in school, and the baby doesn't go to school, but she's a bright-eyed girl.

I don't think I have full-blown PPD. I don't think I have PPD at all, because to me it implies blame on the baby, and she is not the source of my unhappiness. I blame the house. I think I have had mild depression that predated this pregnancy, stemmed from my infertility, and comes and goes. Sometimes I am fine. I get up, get dressed, do my daily routine, care for my kids, and have productive days. Most days are like that. Just not lately.

OK well I need to help the baby wake up and eat. She likes her swing too much. Don't worry y'all. I am fine. I just don't like my house.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Knotted knickers & throwing rank!

OK. My husband is a Chief. He is in the Navy and to me, it's a big deal. He didn't just take a test for promotion, or stand a board, he did both. And he had to do the initiation period, which was 6 weeks' worth of hard slog. I am proud of him and I lived through the misery that was Chief's Initiation with him, helping him when I could and supporting him as much as possible. It was emotionally trying, physically exhausting and... very rewarding. The pinning ceremony was one of the very few times that I drove the interstate. One of the other times was when I was in labor. So it ranks up there on my Big Deal-O-Meter.

So what has my knickers in a knot? A lady on a board I visit, in the military area of this board. She is irking me. What makes it worse is that she is a Navy wife as well. Sigh.

It started out innocently. The Navy ladies were talking about the Khaki Ball and one of the Army ladies asked what it was, and later, asked what a Chief was. Because Chiefs are unique to the Navy. So this lady comes and says that a Chief is an E7, which is basically the boss of E6 and below. Jaws dropped.

Yes, in payscale a Chief is an E7, and I suppose is also the boss of those under him. But what a simplistic and insulting answer. And I told her so. She objected to being told she was wrong and insinuated that I was throwing rank around.

Do what?

Well if she knows how to insult a Chief, why am I surprised when she insults a spouse? It is insulting to tell a Chief that they are an E7, and it's quite a slap to be accused of wearing your spouse's rank. Basically she is calling me a snob. She is accusing me of being "Navier-than-thou."

Ehhh, bite me. A bitch I may be. A snob, no.

A snob would be a past acquaintance of mine who, upon learning that her husband made Chief, decided she needed a new wardrobe. To quote her, she needed "Chief's wife's clothes." Really lady? I wasn't aware that your husband made Admiral. :eyeroll:

She was an uppity little thing and it galls me that I am being tarred with the same brush. I was simply illustrating to this lady that her answer was wrong, and all of a sudden I am a snob? She also said that her dad was a Chief and he wouldn't have batted an eyelash at being called an E7.

Well maybe her dad *was* simply an E7. Or maybe she is wrong about that, too.

Chiefs are special. Unique. The Navy is the only branch who has them. If they weren't special, they'd be in all branches. They act as a go-between for the enlistedmen and the officers. They act as mentors to the JO's. They are not promoted simply--it is a multi-step process and Chiefs are appointed by Congress. It is not a simple "you were an E6, now it's time for promotion, so you go to the next rung on the ladder: E7."

When this lady so cheaply defines a Chief, she minimizes the long road it takes to get there. She implies it is easily achievable, commonplace, and no big deal. I beg to differ. Becoming a Chief is an emotionally charged time for Selectees and their spouses.

Ok, so her dad was a Chief. Well I can tell you that my kids are not as affected as I am by my husband making Chief. Sure they're proud of their dad, but the enormity of the situation escapes them, and I am sure it escaped her, concerning her dad.

She just does *not* get it. Ehh, I will get off my blue and gold soapbox for now. Now I need a caricature of myself. Picture a hefty, angry woman with a large wedgie, throwing anchors to and fro. Bwahahahahahahaha!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Crap, it's after midnight!

I signed up on one of my boards to post every day and now I think have lost 3 days! Ugh! It is weird to say I have been too busy, but I have. Doing nothing, but still busy.

I still mean to shampoo my carpets and I actually got around to asking my neighbor to borrow the cleaner, and I vaccuumed the carpet in preparation. I even have cleaner fluid. I just need to go get the cleaner itself.

The baby decided to start nursing two days ago, and I am happy. My nipples burn like hellfire, but I am happy. I feel a little less like a failure now. I am retaining water like crazy again, since my supply has increased a ton. First I was making twice what she ate, then she started eating more and my supply appeared to be decreasing and I lamented. I increased my water intake and tried to pump more frequently. Then she decided to nurse. Supply issue apparently solved.

Here are some random thoghts. I have my six week check on Friday. Steve is working hard, preparing for an inspection at work. I spent too much money at the grocery store. I am making a hat to match the scarf I made for my recipient in the December Gift Exchange. After I nurse the baby, I am starving. I just finished feedign her before I started posting and my stomach HURTS. Sucking down water is not helping.

Ok so this was a boring post. No one said I had to be scintillating, right? Next post will be better, I promise.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Dr. visit update, and some guilt

The baby will be 5 weeks on Sunday. At her appointment today she weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces and finally measured her original (incorrect) length of 18.5 inches. At her ultrasound, her hips were declared to be just fine, as her eyes were yesterday at the eye appt. And tonight she nursed enthusiastically for a few minutes on each side. It is a slow going but those few minutes did loads to make me feel like less of a failure.

I have had alot of guilt about a lot of things and I think it comes part & parcel with being a mom. I was supposed to carve pumpkins with my kids, the night before Halloween. And I fell asleep. So I had to carve them up quick Halloween afternoon, and I wasn't able to put a lot of effort into them and I felt like Halloween was rushed and not a lot of fun.

We went to a local mall to trick or treat since we live out in bumblehoo, and by the time we got there, most of the retailers were out of candy. And it was a small mall. So we had to take the kids to Target and let them choose a bag of candy for themselves. Seriously they might have gotten ten pieces of candy at the mall. So I felt bad about that.

I feel bad for being so tired, for not cleaning the house, for not wanting to cook dinner, for not having gone grocery shopping yesterday because we need more food in the house, because the house is messy, for meaning to shampoo the carpets for 10 days now but not having done it yet, or not being able to carry my babies to term, for not being able to nurse Stephie immediately & successfully, for being so tired that my dogs have to whine to go out, rather than me just being able to remember to take them out, etc. I just feel bad that I am so tired and I am not superhuman.

People tell me that I just had a baby and cut myself some slack but is there anyone who is easy on themselves? We are our own worst critic, right? I know I am. I have a lot of things that I want to do, but I have yet to put into practice and they weigh on me. Sigh. Well I am tired so I will close for now.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Sleep deprivation sets in

I was re-reading my last few blog entries and I saw that I didn't say when Stephanie came home. She has been home for a while, and I have posted pictures, but I never posted about being able to bring her home! Duh, me!

She was born on Sunday, September 30th and came home on Friday, October 12th. She was in the NICU for 5 days and then went to the CCN. She weighed 4 pounds, 11 ounces upon discharge, and the following Monday she had her first doctor's appointment, where she weighed 5 pounds even. She was incorrectly measured at 18.5 inches at birth, but only measured 16.5 inches at two weeks old. She has had her adorable fat cheeks since before she was born--we saw them on the 3D ultrasound!

We went to the eye doctor today and they put eye drops in her eyes to dilate the pupils and then put a numbing drop in each eye. Then he put some scary-looking, spring-loaded, tiny salad tongs on her eyelids to keep them open while he looked *in* her eye. I was horrified, but her eyes are healthy and we go back in a year for an eye checkup.

Tomorrow we go for 2 appointments--a well-baby check in the morning and then a hip ultrasound in the afternoon to check and make sure her Gumby legs are ok.

Life around the house is settling down a little. I have come to realize that if I do not write something down, it does not get remembered, or done. This includes taking my poor weenie dogs outside. They will be whining at me, fit to burst, and I stare at them, puzzled, until I get a clue and take them out. They normally stay close to me and the baby all day. They are good dogs and have adjusted well to the "new puppy."

Like the title says, sleep deprivation has set in. I try to clean something each day, in addition to caring for the dogs and the baby, and then keeping a routine with my older kids which includes an hour of outdoor play per day. But sometimes I can't think straight. Today a lady asked my husband's birthday. I stared at her, blank. Steve had to tell her himself.

This afternoon when we went outside to play it was a little windy so I grabbed my cape. Underneath the cape I had a hoodie fleece on, and when we got to the neighbor's house, I put my hood on to keep the wind from blowing my face. My legs were freezing because I thought it would be a good idea to wear capris today??? So imagine me, wearing capris with my legs that desperately need a shave, and wearing a black fleece with the hood pulled up, and a tan walking cape complete with (faux) fur trim around my neck. I carried a green canvas bag with various things like snacks for the kids and let me tell you , in that getup I looked like a bag lady. Who goes out in public that way? Sleep deprived me, apparently.

So what can I do? I write down the time when I pump or when the baby eats, so I can know when to expect to pump or feed the baby again. I think I am going to start setting a timer to take the dogs out every few hours. I can't really ask Steve to help me not look like a bag lady since he saw me leave the house, cape in hand, and said nothing. He is just as foggy as I am. Today we were in the store trying to decide whether or not to buy something. We stood there, hemming and hawing, staring at each other, both of us unable to make a decision.

Some days I am with it, or remember something without having it written down, and I impress ourselves. Then days like today happen, and I feel like a dork. Never a dull moment.