Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Little Things I Am Thankful For This Thanksgiving

Aaron warming up my side of the bed each night before I crawl in bed.

Grace saying hilarious, random stuff like, "Aarie, your butt crack is showing," and "Mama, are you coming to see The Nutcrapper with me?" and "Everyone has a butt and some people's are stinky."

2% milk and pasteurized egg nog...mmm...creamy.

Finding my Decemberists CD's after months of searching.

My comfy chair at work that I stole from the conference room several months ago. Also thankful that no one has noticed that the chair is missing from the conference room.

My friend Michele leaving random candies on my desk at work throughout the day to cheer me up.

Kisses on the nose and big unsolicited hugs from Grace.

Laughter, and lots of it. Luckily, laughter abounds in my home.

Baby kicks.

Date nights.

Sundays at home, especially when a nap on the couch with Gracie is included.

Grace sleeping in her room all night long for the past several nights in a row. (!)

Aaron taking good care of me.

Aaron's sympathy symptoms because they show me that he is emotionally invested in this pregnancy and committed to me.

Good talks on the phone with my parents and my sister.

Knowing that next Thanksgiving, we will have another family member to celebrate with.

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I am thinking that next year I am going to take an out-of-state vacation during hunting season. Hunting season is in full swing here in the land of cheese and on the drive back to Milwaukee from Madison today, I saw at least ten bloody deer carcasses hanging off the back of various vehicles and was thoroughly disgusted. Maybe it's because I'm pregnant and no longer have neither a stomach of steel nor the patience for gore, but seriously, can't hunters cover those carcasses up with a plastic bag or something before they strap them to your vehicles? I get the whole hunting thing...blah, blah, thinning out the herd....blah, blah, blah, Chronic Wasting Disease...yadda, yadda, yadda, male camaraderie...but the whole thing is just irritating to me this year. And my husband isn't even a hunter.

I'm going to eat a pound of cheese and have a good cry now. Toodles.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dr. Fabulous is Leaving

I had my monthly prenatal visit last week, and at the end of the visit (which was very good overall, apart from hearing that I gained SIX POUNDS last month--and the holidays haven't even arrived yet), Dr. Fabulous announced that as of January 1st, she will be leaving Froedtert Hospital for another practice. She will be seeing patients at a clinic on the north side of Milwaukee and her obstetric patients will deliver at Community Memorial Hospital waaaaaaaaaaaaaay up in Menomonee Falls. She told me that I could either choose to follow her to the new clinic and deliver in Menomonee Falls, or I could choose to stay with the practice at Froedtert and she would refer me to one of her current partners. And then I laid down on the floor, wrapped myself around Dr. Fabulous' ankles, and began to wail, "Noooooooooooo!! Please don't go!!!!!" Aaron was so embarrassed that he had to leave the room. Also, security had to be called.

Seriously, though, I love my doctor. After having a horrible experience with an equally horrible doctor earlier this year, I was so excited to find my current obstetrician. She is caring, compassionate, competent, available, and willing to spend as much time with me as I need her to each and every visit. She remembers little details about our lives and she makes me feel as if I am her only patient, even though I know she has more than a full schedule of preggos. Finding a good doctor like her has been a challenge, and now that I have found her, I don't really want to let her go.

However, delivering at Froedtert has some distinct advantages and I feel very torn between staying with Dr. Fabulous and having to travel a bit or staying at Froedtert and gambling on a new obstetrician. Froedtert is one of the top hospitals in the state and every interaction I have had with anyone in the OB/GYN department, from the receptionists to the nurses, has been positive. There is a good chance I would find another very good doctor at Froedtert. Also, the Birth Center at Froedtert is located immediately adjacent to Childrens' Hospital of Wisconsin, which is one of the top pediatric medical facilities in the nation, so if something was to go wrong with our baby, we would have access to some of the best medical care around. And, there is the proximity factor--Froedtert is a fifteen-minute drive from our house, while the hospital in Menomonee Falls is a thirty-minute drive in the best of circumstances.

That last point is pretty weak--we all know that when I do go in to labor, I'm going to be in labor for more than thirty minutes. I'm just saying Froedtert is closer...just sayin'.

The one drawback to delivering at Froedtert is that Froedtert is a teaching hospital, and to be seen at the OB/GYN clinic, patients have to sign a waiver that basically states that we understand that there is a good chance our primary OB's won't deliver us--there is a really good chance a medical student will deliver our babies. While I'm not against the idea of a student delivering our baby, delivering in Menomonee Falls would seem to increase my chances of actually having Dr. Fabulous at the delivery, and that is appealing to me. I was very fortunate to have a close relationship with the obstetrician who delivered Grace, and I would love to have the same experience while delivering our son.

So, we're still deciding what to do--do we stick with a doctor that trust and really like, or do we change horses in midstream in order to deliver at Froedtert?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Seven Dwarves, Preggo Style

Busty--Ok, I know I have a good-sized rack when I'm not expecting, but whose jugs are these and can I have my normal ones back please? This is getting embarrassing.

Weepy--"The Biggest Loser" has never made me cry like this before. Neither has my favorite Ben Folds CD. Or watching Aaron and Grace play together. Heck, I'm a mess.

Pimply--I had better skin than this when I was a teenager. No acne cream in the world can tackle these robo-zits.

Forgetful--Wait, what was I saying?

Bingey--Today I ate two packets of oatmeal, almost a full pack of dried cherries, a bag of white cheddar popcorn, a bite sized Heath bar, a platter of fajitas, and a bowl of chips and queso. And that was before 1:00pm.

Chunky--Brought to you by Bingey.

Smiley--That goofy, dreamy smile on my face? It's because the baby just kicked.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Sometimes, I Wish Parenting Was Just a Bit Easier

I have a four and a half year-old daughter and I am five months pregnant with child number two. There are times I wonder what the hell I was thinking by deciding to have another child. Tonight was one of those nights when I looked at my daughter, looked at my rapidly growing midsection, and then looked up to the heavens and I swear I saw God pointing at me and laughing his ass off. Don't get me wrong--I love being a mother. I LOVE it and that fact, along with wanting Grace to have a sibling, was my motivation for deciding to have another child.

Ok Aaron, those weren't my ONLY motives for wanting to have a baby. Chill out homey.

Sometimes, parenting is a proverbial walk in the park--there are times when Grace is so well-behaved and so sweet and so grateful and so loving that I wonder how I produced such a wonderful human being, and I rub my belly and just CAN'T WAIT for my son to be born so he can join in on all of this wonderful-ness. During those times, I close my eyes and bask in the happiness of my perfect, perfect life.

Then there are nights like tonight. I have been doing this mom thing for a few years now so I should know better than to drag Grace to the mall on a Friday night. Grace is tired on Friday nights from a week of school, I'm tired from, well, everything, and even Aaron was tired tonight from working insane hours this week. And, even on a day when everyone is well-rested and on their best behavior, a trip to the mall can be a daunting thing. The mall is a place that I am certain is designed to turn small children into money hungry, begging, whining monsters and it really should be avoided at if all possible. You put an exhausted child, exhausted parents, and a trip to the mall together and stir them up, and you have a recipe for disaster.

The night started off innocent enough. I wanted to hit the Motherhood Maternity store so I could pick up a swim suit (I can't squeeze into mine anymore and I miss getting in the pool with Grace at swim class). And, since we were going to be there anyway, we figured we would grab some supper at the food court and then Aaron could pop into Old Navy for some new jeans. While we were eating dinner in the food court, Grace asked if we could go to the Disney Store too, and even though a small voice in the back of my head was screaming, "Danger! Danger!!" I agreed because Grace has been doing a good job with sleeping in her own room lately and I thought a small treat might be in order.

We decided to hit the Disney Store first to get it out of the way, and as soon as we entered the store, it was clear things were going to end badly. Grace immediately spotted about 8,000 things that she had to have RIGHT NOW, and so I morphed into the evil "no" machine, which made Grace cranky. I told her that she could pick out one small thing from the sales area as a reward for going to sleep in her own room, and she quickly agreed. After much hemming and hawing, Grace decided on a Princess Ariel pillow for her bed and we went to the counter to pay. However, during the very short walk to the counter, Grace saw another forty things that she wanted, and by the time we actually got to the counter, she was dragging her feet and pouting because we wouldn't buy her anything else. Her sadness was bolstered by watching other kids' parents lugging bags and bags and bags of Disney stuff out of the store just for their little angels. Grace was bordering on tears and at this point, I considered putting the pillow back on the shelf and going home. I told Grace this and she straightened up for the time being. We paid and left the store.

However, on the way to Motherhood Maternity, Grace decided that she wanted to be the leader (this is a big thing for her) and threw a fit when I dared to walk in front of her. She started crying and it looked like we were headed for a full-on, child flinging herself on the floor tantrum, but Aaron quickly intervened and told her to pull it together RIGHT NOW or the Ariel pillow was going back to the store. Grace kept right on crying, except now she was saying, "Aarie hurt my feelings!" so I decided that we should probably end this whole fiasco and head home, but then Grace settled down quickly so we kept on shopping. We should have cut our losses and headed home--shouldn't I know better by now?

After an unsuccessful stop at Motherhood Maternity (maternity clothes are ridiculously overpriced and generally hideous), we decided to take advantage of the relatively calm situation and head to Old Navy. Another mistake. I spotted a display containing some lip gloss that was on clearance, so I headed over to pick some up. As soon as Grace saw that there was pink (pink!!) lip gloss, she was all, "But I can't have lip gloss, right?" which is her way of asking for something she wants because clearly I have somehow planted negative expectations in my child's brain. I told her no, she couldn't have her own tube (see, so negative) but she could share mommy's if she wanted to. Again, more crying, and I could see Aaron's pulse in his forehead, so I sent him off to shop by himself for a time while I attempted to distract Grace long enough for him to maybe find some jeans.

I should stop here to say that Grace really isn't a crier when she doesn't get stuff she wants. She is used to hearing "no". As a mom, part of me wants to give my child everything she wants, but then my reasonable side kicks in and reminds me that not only is it not feasible to give Grace everything she wants, but I believe that giving in to her every desire would be doing her a disservice. She needs to learn that she won't be able to get everything she wants to whenever she wants it and in general, when I tell Grace "no", she handles it well. No, Grace was crying tonight because she was just plain pooped.

Anyhoo, no jeans at Old Navy for Aaron, so we decided to make one last quick stop at Kohl's before heading home. No major blowups there, and happily, Aaron was able to find some stuff on clearance and I snagged two maternity tops that were less than $10 apiece. Woot, woot!! After we finished up at Kohl's we made our way back through the Food Court (where Grace asked for a Cinnabon and I said no---more crying) and headed home.

Grace was just about asleep when we got home, so I thought I would be able to get her upstairs and to bed without much trouble. I was wrong. Grace asked for a snack so I gave her a piece of string cheese, which she ate two bites of before deciding she wanted apple juice. However, I neglected to wait for Grace to watch me actually pour the juice in her cup, and because of this, Grace didn't see me throw away the empty juice container and cried because I didn't give her enough juice--she didn't see that I had given her all that we had left. Ugh. At this point, I decided that it was bed time, so I instructed Grace to go in the living room to get her jammies on. More foot dragging and pouting until I told her to get her butt in the living room to which she yelled, "Don't say 'butt'! It's a bad word!" Grace was reminded that she shouldn't talk back to her mother, and she promptly started crying again, wailing, "You hurt my feelings!!! You made me saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad!!"

Finally, we got Grace ready for bed and I marched her upstairs. Naturally, as soon as she hit the pillow, she was asleep and as I gazed at my angelic-looking, sleeping daughter, I wondered when I would learn that Friday nights are no longer for going out--Friday nights are for staying in. When I think about the past several Friday nights, each time we have decided to go out and do something, either Grace or I or both of us have ended up in tears. Those Fridays when we have stayed home, things have gone well for us.

What am I going to do with two kids? When it comes to Friday nights, I'm not going to do a darn thing.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Yay! Obama took Wisconsin!!

I am very interested in and participate in elections in general, but voting today sent shivers down my spine. I can't remember feeling this emotionally invested in an election and having a chance to go and vote with my daughter and seeing things turn out in Obama's favor (at least so far) has been an incredible experience. Makes me want to put on some red, white, and blue overalls, grab some sparklers and chant, "USA!!" It's corny, I know, but over the past eight years, I haven't had much opportunity to feel this good about my country.

OMG...they just called Ohio for's looking like a good night for my guys. And the biggest two reasons why this all means so much to me??


Sunday, November 02, 2008

My Halloween Princess

Surprise, surprise...Grace wanted to be Princess Ariel for Halloween. I'm hoping that next year we're able to convince her to at least dress up as a different princess--this is the second year in a row that Grace has insisted on an Ariel costume. At least she's consistent!!

Here are some photos that we took right before trick-or-treating (damn, she's cute):

Sheesh, look that that preggo belly. 20 weeks today, baby...we're halfway there!!