Monday, February 28, 2011

13 weeks pregnant and almost ready to dip into the maternity clothes

OMG. My freaking clothes are starting to rebel, and I have only gained 3 pounds. (Well, as of Friday. I am not going to weigh myself at the gym in a little while because Ben and I had the mist delicious Indian takeout last night, and it was soooo salty. I think I have guzzled 2 gallons of water today).

Today, struggling into my favorite (former favorite, the bastards) skinny jeans, I RIPPED a HUGE HOLE in them while squeezing my hips together so I could zip the fly. Last week, I realized that my favorite skinny cords have a broken zipper (although I do not think that was my fat's fault. I am blaming an aggressive washing machine (shut up). I have a pair of "ankle" length skinnies that are suddenly too tight in the freaking CALVES, and my favorite boyfriend jeans give me big time muffin top. That means I am down to some black skinny jeans, some cream skinny jeans, a really old pair of Gap skinny jeans that have faded to a decidedly mom color, some missing Old Navy skinny jeans that I bet would fit awesome IF I COULD FIND THEM, some high-waisted H&M acid washed jeans that look dumb, trouser jeans that I can only wear with heels, and some super low-rise Gap jeans from back in the day when that was cool that accommodate my beer belly (or "wine bottle belly" as Harry bafflingly calls it). Oh! And a lone pair of plain old jeans from Old Navy that I love for their vanity sizing and the fact that they still fit me and are not skinnies. None of these options is terribly okay for work, but since all of my high waisted skirts and pencil skirts are out, casual is in, I guess.

I so do not want to buy bigger clothes because everyone tells me I will never bounce back from #3 (thanks a lot EVERYONE), and if I have a closet full of fat pants, this will probably be true. I am praying the snow magically melts, and I can wear dresses and ballet flats for the next 5 weeks when I will be pregnant enough for maternity clothes.

SPeaking of! Holy crap! Ben and I were done having kids, so I GOT RID OF THEM ALL. Except for like 3 winer shirts, a maternity suit (blech), a formal dress (sooooo practical) and a couple pairs of sad, saggy jeans. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

As you can see, I have no belly yet, so the whole clothes-don't-fit thing is likely the result of EATING LIKE A CRAZED GIANT.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Notes from the house hunt

We saw 6 houses in 2 hours today and except for the place with some dog crap in the living room (!), we were pleasantly surprised by everything-- most of it looked better in person than it does on the internet. The dog crap place and this other house that was on an awesome street in a great neighborhood (walking distance to an elementary school, a junior high, and a high school AND a fantastic neighborhood pool) but needed some major cosmetic updates and had some pretty significant structural damage were at the bottom of our list because they both needed some pretty major work.

Also near the bottom was a small-ish tri-level with 3 bedrooms and 2 small bathrooms. Even though it was also on a terrific street in a terrific neighborhood and even though Ben liked it a lot (he went to an open house and then brought us all back today for a second look) and even though it was not the smallest house we saw, I just didn't like it. I think I was just hungry and crabby because it was house #6. And for some reason, even though I watch tons of house shows and know the rules of engagement when it comes to house hunting, I could NOT look past the owners' stuff to imagine ourselves living there. Harry really wanted me to look at the hamster in one of the kid rooms. I didn't want to, and he was all, "But Mama, you'll LOVE it!" That's when I realized I was being an asshole, and we all cheered up and went to McDonalds where neither kid ate a dam thing, but Harry was stoked about the Barbie fairy toys. God that place is nasty. But I do love a filet o'fish.

Anywho, number three on our list was the cutest little house in the world. Close to campus, near a huge park, big back yard. And really small. Only 3 bedrooms. A finished basement, though, that would hold a lot of toys. Really pretty wood floors and woodwork throughout, lots of cute built-ins in the living room, dining room, and attic master bedroom. It looked like a dollhouse inside and out. BUT, the people moving out were clearly cramped for space (the closets were BURSTING), and they only had one kid. How long could we be comfortable there with 3? (But we could add on-- the back yard was HUGE and the neighborhood is very desirable).

My number one/Ben's number 2 house was a 5 bedroom, 3.5 bath colonial (I LOVE the curb appeal of a colonial) walking distance from another terrific pool. It was great-- sunny, lots of space, a full unfinished basement (well, unfinished except for a really awkward full bathroom in the middle of nowhere). One of the bedrooms was on the main floor, and it had a teeny closet, making it a perfect office/guest room and meaning all the kids could have their own rooms upstairs. It also had a full master bath which is something I want because I am pretty sure this baby is a boy, and I so do not want to share my bathroom with 3 teenage boys. Yuck. BUT, without a basement playroom, we'd probably end up using either the formal living room or the formal dining room as a playroom, which is awkward because both rooms are the first ones you see upon entering the house. Although the street itself was a quiet culdesac, it was right off a busy street, and the kids would have to walk/ride bikes on the busy street to access any more than the 5-ish houses in the immediate vicinity. The biggest drawback was that the house is 19 years old, and so are all the appliances, mechanicals, and the roof. It needs some paint and carpet (but what DOESN'T?), maybe some new light fixtures, but really, we cold move in tomorrow.

My number 2/ Ben's number one is a 5 bedroom, 2 bathroom ranch on a big lot. It's pink on the outside, which is funny to both of us and has been extensively renovated (roof, furnace, AC, etc). The kitchen hasn't been touched for at least 20 years, but in its defense, when it was redone, everything was super trendy and top-of-the-line. Now? Lost of wood paneled appliances (think: a fridge like the Golden Girls). But that didn't bother us at all. Everything appears to be functioning fine, and it would be fun to remodel a kitchen exactly like we wanted in a few years. The cool thing about this house was all of the incredible built in storage-- huge closets, tons of shelves. We both knew we loved the house when we commented how much we liked the wood paneled basement (Because we did. For some reason, the knotty pine was charming in this place). 2 big things sucked about this house for me: 1. 2 of the 5 bedrooms are on the lower level (which I called a basement, but it is not technically-- it walks out to the back yard and has full-size windows, so they're not basement-y bedrooms at all), and our kids are not big enough to have bedrooms in another part of the house, so H&J would have to share. This is not a huge deal because they share now, but it would be better if they could have their own rooms. 2. NO master bath. There's a full bath on the main level and another full bath on the lower level. No half bath, which is also kind of awkward. We'd either have to send guests downstairs or into the hall bathroom, which could never be a pigsty (not that it would be, but still. My bathroom upstairs now is not always company-ready because I have 2 gross boys. And with 3? You get the idea). I really wanted a master bath in our next house, but I know we probably won't get everything on our wishlist, and this house had a lot going for it.

Luckily, our life is not an episode of House Hunters, so we don't have to pick something that we saw today (probably the ranch with the Golden Girls kitchen-- the more I write about it, the more I know I really, really liked it).

I remember when we saw our current townhouse on a random Sunday spent trolling open houses, we just sort of loved it and felt at home. How did you know your house was "the one"?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sometimes HMO inefficiency is cool

I had another ultrasound yesterday, which seems odd but really wasn't. My HMO orders a dating ultrasound for every pregnancy, but the u/s clinic has been really backed up due to snow days (which makes this city sound like SUCH a small town), so I couldn't get in until yesterday.

In the meantime, my NT scan (which takes place not at my dr's clinic but at the hospital where I delivered Harry and Jack) was scheduled for Tuesday, 2 days before my dating ultrasound.

In the end, I am glad I kept both appointments because they were concerned with very different things. The NT scan just wanted to measure the baby's nuchal fold (1mm). That was it. The perinatologist mentioned that the baby was measuring bigger than my estimated date of 11 weeks 2 days, but she didn't really care, telling me to go with my September 11th due date.

The dating ultrasound, though, took all kinds of measurements of the baby and its parts (like its teeny little head!) and checked out my ovaries and the placenta and everything-- much more thorough. According to yesterday's tech and radiologist, I am actually 12 weeks and 6 days today! Giving me a new estimated due date of September 3! Woo-hoo! Also, I was amazed at how high up she was pressing on my stomach, which means this fat? Is a little bit baby and a little bit Candy Cane Joe-Joe's (thank you Sarah for sending me the last box in the world-- I ate most of them myself and with only a little guilt), not ALL Joe-Joe's like I initially thought.

I have already gained 3 pounds, but all my clothes still fit. Poorly. Except for a couple of pairs of jeans that are stupid anyway. (Not really stupid, but I am annoyed with them). I have a whole cart full of maternity clothes ready to buy at Old Navy and Gap and Japanese Weekend, but I am waiting to see if our personal economy is decimated along with the state's before I hit the order button.

Oh! The best part! I got another creepy grainy ultrasound picture and LOOK! You can see the baby's tiny baby foot! SO cute!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What's tiny and fuzzy and looks like Ben?


We had our first trimester screen today, and the doctor said even though I am measuring a full week ahead of my last menstrual period due date, they're going to stick with that date anyway. September 11. Yes, seriously.

I am twelve weeks today and have acne and am fat. Pregnancy is dreamy.

We could not be more excited, and it has been hard to keep the lid on it for the past 8.5 weeks (yeah-- I peed on a stick really early. Abut 60 sticks actually. It's a problem). We found out the day before Ben bought a car that only seats 4. Oops. (Minivan here I come).

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mega weekend

Our mega-weekend started on Friday, which felt very lazy and weekend-y and saw the kids and me tramping around the freezing cold zoo because we are so sick of sitting inside our house but are also scared to hit the germy mall playground during cold and flu season.

Do you know what there aren't many of at the freezing cold zoo? Animals. We saw seals, the ass-end of a napping polar bear and some penguins. Then we headed into the reptile house which smells like crap but offers a few cool things to touch.

Saturday, we hung out with Max, Lucy, and Jacob, and all the kids had a blast. Harry was so hyper we thought he might spontaneously combust.

Then my brother Jon flew in from New Jersey for the weekend, and Harry and Jack were beyond excited to see him

Clearly my dad had a blast

Not sure what was going on here

There was a wicked ice storm, which ended up being fun because my parents hung around for awhile, and we all ate pizza and donuts and did nothing together.

Today, I went with Harry and his class to see a production of Ferdinand the Bull, which was adorable (the play and the field trip experience).

This week promises to be exciting, too, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Revolution in Wisconsin

Read about our governor Scott Walker and his terrible budget plan? You should.

This was the scene on Monday at the capitol when the TA union, the TAA, held a rally. It doesn't look like a lot of people, but the TAA is one tenacious union, and lots of members were inside and outside the capitol chanting and waving signs.

On Tuesday, buses of union members and public workers started to flood the square

A neighboring town's firefighters marched in solidarity, even though Walker's bill allows firefighters and police officers to keep their collective bargaining rights.

This town is always prepared for a nonviolent demonstration.

Yesterday afternoon, the joint finance committee held a public hearing on Walker's budget "repair" bill where members of the public could testify about the bill. The hearing lasted from 10:00 am on Tuesday -3:30 am on Wednesday reconvening a few hours later, and my Facebook feed assured me that no one spoke in favor of the bill after 1:15 pm on Tuesday. A citizen's filibuster.

Today, 30,000 people crowded the square, playing music, holding signs, chanting, marching. We joined them.

Right now, there are TAs sleeping in the Capitol rotunda. A teach out/walk out is planned for tomorrow, and our local schools may be shut down for the second day in a row while teachers protest the threat of an 8% pay cut and a busted union.

On Wisconsin!

Monday, February 14, 2011


I have always loved Valentines Day, probably because I love flowers, candy, jewelry, and restaurants and have been happily coupled for at least the last 12-ish years.

Harry and Jack like it too because it's SUCH a commercial holiday that they get tons of cards, candy, and toys. Like a mini-Christmas to hold them over until Easter.

I got to go to Jack's V-Day party today (Harrys class took a field trip to a bakery to make cookies and exchange class-made cards, but I stayed behind with jack because I am a room mom for his class, and I have yet to do ANYTHING room-mom-like. Go me), and it was adorable, of course. Lots of kids' moms made cute V-day cards. Not me. I made Jack scribble on each Tangled card with a dull pencil, though. (All I could find was dry erase markers and dull pencils). Harry had to sign his name himself on the Star Wars cards he picked out to augment the cards he made in class, and he was surprisingly efficient about it. He also took great joy in slapping as many heart stickers as he could on each card. I am such a V-Day slacker.

But only in the kid-card area. I have already made impressive inroads into my giant Fannie May heart of assorted candies. In fact, I can see it now on the kitchen counter, calling my name and assuring me it will still be there when the kids are in bed and we've fired up the DVR.

From the V-day party, I went straight to the capitol for some protesting. Seriously. Have you heard about our governor? OMFG. Here, read this. So. Yeah. This town knows how to protest, though, and the next few days promise to be exciting.

The gov has propsoed some budget cuts that will directly affect my family, since both of us are state workers, but that's another post for another day.

Today is a day to celebrate love! And Harry and Jack were actually nice to each other this morning (and lately, in fact).

Here they are playing Star Wars before school:

And enjoying a rousing game of leap frog the other day

Friday, February 11, 2011

High Tide. Or Maybe Drought? Not sure.

I know I just wrote this whole coffee-buzz fueled post about ebb and flow in terms of my work life and my personal life, but sometimes, it feels like high tide or a freaking drought (I think my metaphor just fell the hell apart, but you get what I am saying. Extremes. It's all about extremes.)

Tuesday night into the whole day Wednesday, I had absolutely 100% enough alone time with the kiddos and when Ben came home at the (late for him) hour of 3:30, I shut myself in my room for some HGTV and a nap while he cooked (the) dinner (that I prepped-- we're partners, remember?)

Thursday, though, I did not see Harry and Jack from the time Ben took them to school at 8:30, and I stayed at work until they were tucked in bed. And OMG did I miss them! Their paint stained hands and their lisped recounting of their days at school. Their joyous welcome when I drag my huge book bag through the door. Even their screechy fights over Star Wars guys. Geez. Did I just say that? Only one day after the longest day ever, and I already miss their fighting? Crazy.

I need to work on finding a comfortable place in the middle between feeling trapped in my house and logging abnormally long hours in my office. My week is kind of set up on a binge and purge schedule, though, so maybe I have little hope of finding a middle ground after all.

Harry's teachers send us pictures every night, so I know what he did today while I was working:

It is now 5:50 on Friday morning. Ben is off to teach. Both kids are awake and fighting already. I am already craving alone time...

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Despite the cute pictures in this post, I have to tell you guys that Wednesdays SUCK. SUCK. They SUCK.

Part of the problem is that the boys go to school on Mondays and Tuesdays, and they take naps at school. Long naps. Naps that they would never DREAM of taking at home. Monday night, they still go to bed fine and wake up lateish for them on Tuesday morning and are generally normal human beings. Tuesday night, though, they are jazzed up from 2 freaking days of naps, and it is so hard to put them to bed (even late). Harry and Jack are weird in that that the later they go to bed, the earlier they wake up. So, Jack was up at 5:45 yesterday. And from about 2:00 until bedtime, he was, um, fragile. He had at least 7 screaming snot-faced meltdowns over things like not being served pancakes for dinner and not being able to watch hour 8 of television (a slight exaggeration-- not about the tantrums, about the TV hours). I don't provide as much structure and fun as preschool, so Wednesdays probably feel really long to them, too. Maybe we need more circle time.

Jack is just so two lately, which is to say he has a total split personality-- so cute and then so terrible.

On Tuesday, a firefighter came to his classroom, and Jack was really excited about it. He kept telling us that a fireman was coming and he cold hardly wait to run in the classroom door that morning, giving Ben a quick "Bye Dada," over his shoulder. When I picked him up on Tuesday afternoon, I walked into his classroom to find him on the plastic phone talking to me and telling me to hurry up. When he saw me, he threw down the phone and barreled across the room into my arms like a 30-pound freight train. "Mama!" he screamed. "I try on firefighter's hat. Not a red hat either! Mama! Firefighter no bring his dog with him!" A little girl in his class heard Jack and screamed as if she was breaking some important news, "Firefighter! A firefighter come to my classroom." The teachers and I cracked up.

Then Wednesday, he was an inconsolable mess at Harry's swim lesson, screaming, twisting, running around the slippery pool deck, trying to throw Harry's towel in the water. I finally let him play with my iPad, much to the dismay of the crunchy mom next to me who was entertaining her daughter with some rousing choruses of "Where is Thumbkin" (and was doing a good job of it until Dora cried her siren's song from the iPad screen). He doesn't listen or follow directions, especially in public. He loves to run away from me in crowded rooms and parking lots. He hates to put on his coat. Refuses mittens even on subzero days. Bites the shit out of Harry.

And then, just when I am ready to let him jump in the damn pool already, he says apropos of nothing in his loudest and growliest baby voice, "Best! Mommy! Ever!"

Oh, two. Oh, Wednesdays. Both such a pain in the ass. At least two is also delightful.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


Harry and Jack have been totally entertaining lately. They are both totally into Star Wars, which is funny all by itself, especially since Jack's Jedis are frequent visitors at Dora's house.

Harry ate a quart of raspberries finger by finger the other night for dessert

Jack was a ginat cheese ball before school the other morning

The he posed a little more shyly with his (Harry's) Star Wars plane

I don't know what the heck Harry was doing, but I am sure it was intense

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Dude. You guys. The snow.

I don't like to complain about it because we live in Wisconsin, and I think it's kind of lame to complain about the winter. I mean. Duh. We live in Wisconsin. But this snow is just about too much to handle.

The kids, of course, LOVE it! But Ben and I (the people who have to bundle them up, wipe their snotty noses in the snow, clean up their puddles when they have flung their outerwear all over the house, and serve them their cocoa with cookies and marshmallows) are kind of totally over it.


Tonight, though, when the kids and I left the gym at 5, it was still sunny-- sunny enough for sunglasses even. And tomorrow when Jack wakes up at 5:55,(or earlier-- he is still awake right now, an hour past his usual bedtime, which means he'll be up at the crack) it will be a little bit light in one corner of the sky. So. Spring. It's coming, right?

Friday, February 04, 2011

Literary Harry

Ever since we have been working on writing and spelling, Harry has become much more interested in reading on his own. He is not there yet, but he is trying to sound out words and match descriptions to pictures. The other day, he tried his hand at writing a book.

Here are the results:

The first page says "Dog Eat Food" I tried to turn these pictures, but they won;t stay turned. But it doesn't matter, really, because you wouldn't be able to read them even if they were facing the right way.

Page 2 says "For 189 Days"

Page 3 concludes the saga with a "You Dog" and a "By Harry"

Definitely a literary masterpeice in the making.