Thursday, March 31, 2011


I have a case of the blahs.

Part of it is that I am getting heavy. Like I mean I feel heavy. I have gained 7 pounds, and I will be 18 weeks pregnant tomorrow, and I feel like I am growing exponentially everyday, while the baby is still less than 6-inches long and the size of small produce.

We are starting to feel like we will never sell our condo and are exploring the possibility of renting it.

We had to pay the IRS more than I made as a grad student at Miami.

I think the barista made my latte with caffeine today because I am wicked jumpy.

But enough about me. I have kid pics.

Here they are mid-air at the park. My favorite thing to do at this part is sit on the pavement and try to catch Harry as he jumps.

Yesterday, Jack jumped, too, from a lower step. He looks like a baby in this picture with his short legs and clenched fists and chubby, determined face

Here they are in costume (I asked Harry what hula dancing is, and he said as if I am the dumbest person on the planet, "it's telling a story with my body.")

Jack wears this costume because he does not yet have a pink Power Ranger costume, which he is hoping to score for his birthday

The other day I took them to campus with me and we had lunch at the food court next to my office. Not pictured: Harry's bacon, turkey, and swiss club which he devoured. He eats like a man. Ben packed chicken legs in is lunch the other day (which I totally mocked him for-- such a dad thing to pack), and all Harry brought home was a ziploc of chicken bones.

We went to another favorite park yesterday because it was finally warm enough to be outside and dry enough to be outside without taking a mud bath. Harry was playing on the monkey bars and asked me to stand by him so I could catch him if he fell. So I stood there and watched him face-plant when he missed a rung. He looked up, shocked and betrayed with a face full of blood and said, "I can't believe you didn't catch me!" before he burst into tears. He's lucky he didn't lose a tooth or bite through his lip. He is SO PISSED at me for not catching him. The first thing he said to me this morning, in fact, was "I can't believe you didn't catch me." In my defense, he didn't look like he was going to fall-- I was s surprised as he was. Also, last summer he mastered the art of falling feet-first off the monkey bars, so the face-plant shocked us both. MOTY, I know.

He was also really mad because we JUST went to the dentist, and he was pretty stoked about his freshly polished teeth. He kept asking me if they were still white and shiny. Also! Anybody get their kids a fluoride treatment lately? We did it yesterday because we don't use fluoride toothpaste for the kids, and it's so cool-- just a varnish they paint on teeth that hardens and dissolves-- no more disgusting flavored trays to soak your teeth in-- anybody remember those? Still, I am sure it was horribly toxic. Ugh, I am so torn. Which brings me back to the blahs.


Monday, March 28, 2011


Monday is the one day of the week when Ben and I both work on our respective campuses a the same time (you hate us now, right?). On Monday morning, we both get up disgustingly early, him to drive $100-- I mean 45 minutes-- to work and me to do all the get-ready-for-the-week-crap I didn't do Sunday night because I was too busy eating cereal and sitting slack-jawed in front of Amazing Race (last night I was such a zombie that I forgot to fast forward through commercials, which totally defeats the purpose of DVR). Usually, when Ben raises and then lowers the garage door at 5:50 (told you it was disgusting-- that's the time he LEAVES the house, after running a load of laundry, so you can only imagine what time we actually get up), the kids spring out of bed like cranky little wind-up toys. By some blessed miracle (and I don't even know why I am writing this DOWN), they have recently started sleeping through the garage. But I would typically wake them up a few minutes later with my hair dryer. Today, despite a raging case of the Mondays (Ben's alarm sounds like really loud ducks quacking, and it is not a fun way to wake up. At 5:20), I figured out how to get a morning of coffee-dirnking, internet cruising solitude: LET MY HAIR AIR DRY. Sure I look like shit, but I am a cup of half-caf into my morning; my makeup is on; my bed is made, and the kids' breakfast is waiting on the table. Sure I could have done some work instead of wasting all my time, but this has been a fantastic morning! (And don't worry-- I still use my flat iron).

**Pause while I wake up the demons**
** Wow, that was crabbier than I thought it would be**

We had a hectic week last week. Jack left school on Monday with a fever, and he ran one EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK. The pediatrician told us Monday night that his ears were not infected YET, and sure enough, by yesterday, he was the proud recipient of a double ear infection. Ugh,

Nothing like having a kid out sick the whole 3-day school week to remind you how precarious your balance is, huh? Even though Monday is the only work day we overlap, Ben and I still sacrifice quite a bit of prep and work time to trade-off sick kid duty. It makes me really glad that we have an easer fall schedule (H in all day kindergarten and J at preschool 5 mornings a week) and need no care for the baby because that? Would be a a giant juggle. Not that it will be totally easy to insert infant care into our work from home days, but I figure screw it, at least this time around I am not writing a dissertation.

So, last week, Jack did a lot of this:

In a frenzy of public or private (public, thank goodness, public!) school angst, Ben and I toured a ton of schools the past couple of weeks. At the lovely public school where Harry will go next year (!!!), the librarian told me about and recommended it as an alternative to TV once in awhile. Harry LOVES it, and I highly recommend it as some screen time for a kid who is learning to read. Plus he looks so cute on my computer:

I have felt a few baby movements (even though Babycenter assures me the baby is only 5 inches long and the size of a turnip at 17 weeks gestation), so I bought a "Dear Baby" book, which is just a cute journal I write letters to the baby in. At the hospital, I will record the details of the birth and have the nurse put the baby's footprints on the last page. I am not sure I have time to journal about the wonders of pregnancy to my fetus, but I did it for H and J, and I am NOT going to let this baby lack pictures and mementos just because he or she (oh, who are we kidding, HE) was born 3rd. Yesterday, Harry wrote a note, too:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I look pregnant, not just fat

I am not actually as lumpy as I look in this picture, but my skirt was lumpy because it has a ton of "decorative" buttons. It's a low-rise pencil skirt from the Gap that I hiked up to my waist to accommodate my stomach. Sneaky. Also lumpy.

I got bangs again, real bangs, not the long, greasy side-swept bangs I have been sporting.

If you think I have worn this hair cut before, you'd be wrong. I used to have an angled bob that went from above the neck to chin -length. NOW, my bob is straight across right above the collar, and it's entirely blunt cut all the way around. Big difference.

The weather was both warm and sunny on the same day last week, and we finally got to go to the park:

In all of these pictures Jack looks like he is either about to inflict violence, surveying the results of his violence, or casting some sort of spell. What can I say? He's scrappy. They are both in love with Power Rangers Samurai, the new series on Nick, and they spent the whole morning playing Power Rangers. Jack was the pink ranger, and Harry was the red ranger.
Jack's into flashing his tummy.

Our spring break was lovely and lazy, and I am so happy that Ben also enjoys an academic calendar. In a few weeks, when the kids have spring break, I am sure we'll all be grumpy messes because Ben and I will be spending all of our free time covering the kid duty while the other one works. But last week it was fun.

Yesterday, I droppe the kids off at school and went to get a prenatal massage on my way to work. I was so excited to begin the meticulously scheduled massage series I have planned through August (it's hard to get in to see my massage therapist-- lots of advanced planning). I was in the massage room (which is at my HMO's complimentary medicine clinic, so even though there is a huge waterfall wall in the waiting room, it is a little more doctors office than zen paradise. They even use unscented lotion) undressed to my comfort level and ready to slip beneath the warmed blankets on the massage table when I decided to check my phone one more time before I was unreachable for one relaxing hour. OF COURSE, of course of course, of course I had a message from Jack's teacher telling me that he had a 101-degree fever and needed to be picked up ASAP.

On the one hand, thank goodness I checked my phone before slipping into bliss because I would have looked like one shitty mother arriving an hour later, all massaged and glowy. On the other hand, are you kidding me? Why did I check my damn phone?

(We went to the pediatrician yesterday afternoon because Jack was complaining of ear pain, and after checking his ears and throat and swabbing him for strep, the doc gave us the Just a Virus diagnosis we have had a million times this winter. Jack slept about 12 hours last night and woke up feeling much better. Me? I can't see my massage therapist until mid-April.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Catching up

Finally! The snow is melting, and we have started to be able to go outside and play again. In our snow pants. But not because it is terribly cold; because it is terribly muddy, and it is easier for me to wash snow pants than have new outfits ready for everyone as soon as they come inside. (Note: In our next house, I need some kind of mudroom.) Sometimes, though, Harry in particular gets so wet and muddy that the gook actually leaks THROUGH his snow pants, and he needs all new clothes anyway. He has a talent for finding the biggest, messiest puddles.

W';ve even been able to go to the zoo again, although most of the animals are still inside. The lions had a baby this winter, so I can't wait to see it. The giraffes had a baby right around the time Jack was born, and now the lions and I are procreating together. (Not together like that. At the same time). How nice.

We had an open house on Ben's 32nd birthday (that only ONE PERSON) attended, so we got out of town and went to see Ben's parents and sister. It was fun for all the cousins to play. Jack enjoyed the birthday cake immensely, and Harry and Max dorked out to The Empire Strikes Back

Check out the poster that Harry made Ben (it says Happy Birthday Dad Love Harry)!

Jack has been working on his cheesy smile, with great success.

The whole family has been taking advantage of my carb/refined sugar cravings to make some questionable food choices.

Mostly, we have just been obsessed with our house hunt and increasingly desperate about selling our house. The good news? We figured out exactly what we want in our house, and we know exactly which items on our "must have" list are really must- haves. We also found the exact neighborhood we hope to buy in. So, those things are all good. Having a third kid in our 2-bedroom, 1200-square-foot townhouse? Um, not so much. Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My jeans are so tight I have heartburn

16 weeks pregnant and not wearing maternity clothes, although perhaps I should be (but actually I shouldn't because they are too big, but my real clothes are getting kind of awkward and WHEN WILL I LOOK PREGNANT, DAMNIT?)

Actually, I am in no hurry to look pregnant or to stop wearing my clothes because as I told the nice nurse practitioner (who gave me the roughest pap I have ever encountered-- seriously, I always roll my eyes at women who complain of discomfort at their annual OB visits or at internal exams toward the end of their pregnancies, but HOLY SHIT never again) who knows if I will ever wear them again. With every pound I gain (4 if you want to keep track at home), I am simultaneously hopeful that it will send me out of the fat-or-pregnant stage and sad because this could be the lightest I ever am again (you know, the whole bounce back thing).

Ben and I are on spring break, and THE KIDS AREN'T! We had 3 kid-free days, but because we are stodgy grown ups, all we did was work and tour private schools for next year and look at houses we can't buy until we sell our condo and speaking of condo? We SLASHED the price like Scott Walker slashed K-12 education in Wisconsin (see: private school search).

Not a lot of Spring, though.

Or all that much break.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It's jellybean season!

Ugh. You guys. I don't know what the hell is wrong with me that I can only blog like once a week. I'm working on it, I swear.

Today is Ben's birthday eve. I love Ben's birthday because it means we are the same age for the next 2 months (2 months exactly), and I don't feel so damn old.

Speaking of jellybeans, my Potbelly pregnancy craving has kicked in. Despite the healthy lunch in my office fridge on Thursday, I walked there after my office hours on autopilot and ordered a skinny mushroom melt with extra hot peppers and a chocolate malt. Also barbecue chips. Then I took the boys there again on Friday while we were evicted for a house showing (the people liked it; liked the price, hated that they had to walk up a flight of stairs from the garage to the main floor, so boo.) But don't worry. I still love hot dogs.

Pregnancy is weird. My jeans all fit just fine for the most part, but I need to wear maternity shirts at 15 weeks. Luckily Motherhood has a bunch of extra-smalls which they never did when I was pregnant with the boys, so I picked up a few things, many of them unfortunately horizontally striped. With the other kids, my jeans stopped fitting long before I had a belly. Weird.

Jack fell asleep after running errands, before taking off his coat, and while picking his nose.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Product Rave!

So, not only have I been getting awkwardly fat without looking pregnant, but OMG you guys, my face has been a mess. At first, I thought I had acne because my whole face, from my forehead to my chin was covered with white-headed bumps. As if this were not dreamy enough, my mouth, nose, and chin were scarlet red-- so red that my NARS Orgasm blush was suddenly too pale, and my cheeks were shades lighter than the surrounding skin. It was ugly.

I got some Cetaphil cleanser and started caking on foundation, which I have never in my life worn before. But then my face looked really dull and beige (and you could still see all the bumps through the makeup, which was as lovely as you can imagine), so I stared mixing in some Stila illuminating tinted moisturizer for a bit of shimmer.

I have always dealt with some redness on my face, mainly the triangle area above my mouth and beside my nose and my chin. Since college, I have used concealer in my smile creases, under my nostrils, and on my chin, so this wasn't a brand new problem, but it was much, much worse than it has ever been, which I blamed on pregnancy hormones and a sudden rebellion against my usual skincare routine by hormone-addled skin.

In desperation, I stopped by the Walgreens next to my office last week after work because I left too late to hit the Clinique counter and Sephora like I'd been planning. I found this:

OH MY GOD! The Eucerin redness relief line has saved my face. I use the cleanser twice a day, the perfecting lotion with SPF (that's green to neutralize the red-- genius!) during the day, and the night cream at, um, night. It is AMAZING.

I've been using it for a week, and I have yet to use a drop of concealer, foundation, or tinted moisturizer for the first time in over 10 years! I wear eye makeup, mascara, and blush. That's it. My skin looks better than it has since high school (before I was old and wrinkly), and the whole line is only $45.

Just wanted to share because my skin was heinous, and now it's fabulous (even my pores are smaller!), and if you have any unwanted redness, this stuff works MIRACLES. I have not looked it up on the Skin Deep Database, so I have no idea if it is so toxic my skin will fall off, but if it is, I don't care.

But. My clothes are still really tight.

Friday, March 04, 2011

I take it back! HMO inefficiency is NOT cool at all.

Ugh. My doctor wrote the order for my big 20 week ultrasound (you know, the one where in addition to taking all sorts of measurements of the baby's vital organs and body parts, the ultrasound tech will reveal the baby's sex?) and faxed it to the ultrasound clinic. This is, in and of itself, a bit of HMO inefficiency. I see an OB at a different HMO than my regular one because my HMO does not have its own OB division. Ultrasounds, however, have to be done back at my own HMO in a very specific location. Major pain right there. But that's not usually the problem. When my doctor wrote the order, he said I needed to go in the week of April 18th. I was like oh no! My kids are on spring break at school that week, but my husband and I are not (we have our very own kid-free spring break the week after next-- woo-hoo!), and I won't have a kid-free second that week (kids under 5 cannot go in the ultrasound rooms). I asked if I could go earlier-- like April 14th or 15th. He pulled up his iPad pregnancy wheel app and said sure-- I'd be 19 weeks and 6 days on April 14th, so that would be fine.

I was super excited to get a peek a few days sooner than originally intended, so I called my clinic right away, happy that they had received the order fax by the time I made it to my car after my OB appointment. Nothing terribly inefficient yet, right? Well, the woman who answered the phone when I called (And that's her job, right? To answer the phone. She could be answering the phone at a library or a business office or a hair salon or a Jiffy Lube-- she's not a doctor, a nurse, or a medical professional, right?) told me that according to HER pregnancy wheel, I could not have the ultrasound until the 18th. We went back and forth for a few minutes with me getting increasingly agitated and her refusing to let me talk to a radiologist or a nurse. Finally, I was late to pick up the kids, so I was all, "Fine. I'll make an appointment for the 26th." The 26th?!? 13 days later than my doctor said I could go. Blech.

I know; I know. 13 days is not a bog deal. And I could go sooner were it not for spring break. But darn it! I think my doctor's pregnancy wheel and judgment about when would be a good time to have an ultrasound should trump the nonmedical decision of the front desk woman at the clinic lab. Pffffft. Protocol.