Friday, June 18, 2010


Suggestions needed:

I have a class reunion coming up soon. I will still be nursing Emmy then, so that extra ten or fifteen pounds will still be hanging around, mocking me. Also, my belly skin has not regained its tautness yet (will it ever?), so everything is just lumpy and weird. And guess what EVERY SINGLE DRESS IN EXISTENCE is made out of? Rayon. Rayon, which might as well be made of thousands of tiny neon signs flashing, "FAT ROLL HERE FAT ROLL HERE FAT ROLL HERE!"

I went to Target last week to find a shirt for a wedding shower. Everything is made for really skinny women. Skinny women with great arms and no cellulite. I'm not plus-size, and I'm not skinny. I look like a woman who just hand two babies and is trying to work the weight off but hasn't quite succeeded. Folks, I am by no means obsessed with my weight, but that doesn't mean I want to expose my upper arms and thighs to the piercing gaze of former classmates who have somehow not gained a pound in the last ten years.

Emmy has learned to roll over. Not quite on purpose yet. I lay her on her back, and she gets really interested in something next to her, and before you know it, oops! I'm on my stomach! Waaaaaah! Or I lay her on her stomach, and she knows that sometimes if she thrashes about wildly enough, the world eventually rights itself, and she is comfortable again, but doesn't know exactly how it happens.

Wednesday I went out to fiddle with the lawnmower and came back in to find her face-down on our scratchy carpet, thumb in mouth, sound asleep. When she was a newborn, she gave us a lot more trouble learning to sleep through the night than Grace did, but now I think I could hang her by her toes from the ceiling fan, and she'd doze off within ten minutes. I don't even know how they share the same DNA.

Cat is, I think, on her last legs. Maybe. I don't know much about cats. But she's been listless and weird this last week. She was *wheezing over in the corner the other night, and the pangs of sympathy and worry for her shocked me. It was a bit alarming, this tiny bit of empathy for a creature I've always found annoying and far too hairy. And now when she meows, it sounds hoarse, like a little old lady who's been smoking for 70 years.

She doesn't seem truly miserable, just lethargic and whiny. I do hope if she's near the end, that it's quick. I don't like her, she doesn't like me, but still, nothing kills me more than animals in pain.

*It was very brief. If she'd kept it up, I wouldn't be quite so meh about it. But it was also definitely not a hairball noise.

We have crazy thunderstorms due any minute. I'm hoping a tornado comes through and destroys our house, but miraculously spares me and the girls and the computers and piano. Then we would get to build a bigger house with all-new materials. I already have plans. First item: a cement porch that will not attract anywhere near as many spiders and crawling horrors as the one we now have. Our porch now is wooden and up off the ground. I don't even want to know what's in there, or I'd probably never go out the front door again. I'd just out one of our windows. Which would be bad because our house is built on an incline, and all of our windows are several feet off the ground. Plus, that would be awkward with a car seat and a toddler.

Naptime is over. Sigh. Time to wake the beasts.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

PhotoBooth is better than nothing, I guess.

Emmy likes my laptop. A whole lot. She was not upset when it joined her in her crib:

Hey, hey, good-lookin'! You look just like this baby I always see in the bathroom. Maybe a little creepy.

Then it had to go away:

Wait, I did not mean that about the creepy. Please come back.

Sorry, Emmy. Not for babies.

Crappy photos, but better than nothing. Also, you know how the camera adds ten pounds most of the time? Yeah, I think it subtracted this time. She looks thinner than in real life. Yes, thinner.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I can't remember what this entry is about.

I know a lot of you have been clamoring for pictures of Emmy. I, too, would like photographic evidence of her early existence so she doesn't think she was secretly adopted. However, we have now lost the power cable to the stupid camera. And cell phone pictures are never good unless it's outdoors in blazing sunlight.

I don't know what's with me and losing things. I often think that I have mild ADD, but then I meet someone with actual ADD and realize that it's probably just really poor mental discipline on my part.

I have lately become incredibly flaky. While I'd love to blame it on the Spawn, I can't. They sleep fifteen and eighteen hours a day, respectively, and are both very low maintenance when they are awake (well, low maintenance as far as small children go).

I've forgotten to RSVP to something like five different events in the last two months. I've invited people over and then completely forgotten they were coming until they showed up at my door. The other day I almost walked out the front door without a shirt on (I so wish I were joking).

Since Emmy was born I have found no fewer than five unsent thank-you notes for baby gifts. And one of them was a note that got sent with a bunch of others, except that I forgot to put a stamp on it, so it go sent back and sat on our dining room table for two months.

I just found a pile of birth announcements that never went out. I know you have six months to send them, but more than half got sent months ago, so there are probably more than a few people out there wondering why they weren't good enough to get an announcement when everyone and their brother did already.

People, I'm losing my mind, and I don't know why. I started doing Sudoku puzzles, but they haven't helped. I just dream all night of giant man-eating numbers.

Maybe I inadvertently ate a human brain and contracted Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

(yes, I HAVE watched too much X-Files; why do you ask?)

Speaking of Crazy, Saturday night I woke up four times, certain that centipedes and spiders were invading my bed.

If I ever really do get attacked in bed at night, James will sleep right through it. And then he'll probably be the leading suspect in the murder investigation, and a jury will never believe that he slept through his wife's stabbing, poor man.

So, just in case, you heard it here first: Dear jury and policepeople, if I'm ever found stabbed to death in bed, it totally IS possible that my husband never woke up. He's become very desensitized to nighttime screams over the last seven years.

Is it weird that I really love our pediatrician and want to be her BFF? She's really pretty and has fabulous hair (no, really, it's GREAT hair). Also, she is very funny. Did I tell you about the time I took Grace in for an appointment after Haircut Fail #3 (wisps all over the place, like a glam rocker), and she made a joke involving David Bowie and The Labyrinth?

Anyway, we had an appointment today. Emmy is FREAKING ENORMOUS, but we knew that already. I know someone whose baby was something like 20 pounds at four months, but other than that, I've never seen such an enormous child that age. She's 17 pounds and 27 inches. And since she still has ultra-stumpy legs, about 21 of those inches are in the torso. She's wearing 12-month onesies (barely) and 3-month pants.

Also, we are done with swaddling, hallelujah! I love swaddling in the early months. I credit that and Baby Wise for my remaining sanity. But the continuing dependency on it is a royal pain. Now, if we could just get Emmy to take a bottle again, life would be perfect.

Yes, you read that right. Emmy Does Not Appreciate the bottle. It used to be, I'd give her one every night or every other night, and she'd slurp them down with no fuss. Obviously, the girl didn't care where her food was coming from, so long as she got it, and she got a lot of it.

But I was not vigilant enough. She took to them so readily and kept it up for so long that I figured we were in the clear. Pumping and then giving a bottle is such a pain that I slacked off. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to go out, so I had Jeremy try a test-run a couple days before, just in case things had changed.

That went over like a lead balloon.

If I went out often enough, or if I had a job, or if she didn't sleep eleven hours a night, we would definitely just let her go hungry for a day until she broke down and took the bottle. But it's just not worth it. I can get out of the house after she's gone to bed, and she only eats every 3.5 hours now, so it's not the horrible burden it was with Grace (who ate every 2.5 hours for MONTHS).

We're going to keep trying, though. It's like us getting a second car. I rarely use it; the van just sits in the driveway most days, but knowing it's there makes me feel so much better. I'd like to be able to know I can go out for an evening if I want to.

Oh my, it's 3:30. Emmy has been sleeping for almost three hours. I should go wake her.

PS If you would like a birth announcement, I have a few left over. I sent a few to some of you, and I meant to send a few to some of you but forgot to find addresses or get stamps, and still others I probably would have meant to send to you except I got distracted by something shiny.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The funniest person ever

I have a problem. The problem is my face.

Have any of you ever been flipping through a beauty magazine and stumbled across an article on how to choose the correct shape of frames or necklines or hairdos for your face shape? And the three options are oval, heart-shaped, and square? And the shapes look roughly like this:

Head Shapes

Mine kind of looks like this:

My Head

(Sister Dear, yes, I know you jaw is squarer than mine, but you have a fun hairline with a widow's peak to make it look good. All I have is forehead, acres and acres of forehead. With almost-bald spots at my temples where my hair is really fine and wispy, which is really cute on a toddler, but I'm 27.)

They don't sell glasses for women with faces like this, people. In fact, I found my last pair in the men's section.

So, I've been putting off getting new glasses for about four years now. The pair I found way back then was perfect for my face and I haven't found any like it since.

I eventually broke when my glasses got so scratched that putting them on almost made my vision worse. I was aggravated.

And the only place even remotely close to us that took our insurance was the Wal-mart vision center. Wal-mart. I was pretty sure I'd only find glasses like this:

Instead, I found these:

Oh, PhotoBooth. I love you and your crappy, flattering photos. Did you know that the one other picture of me in existence that I do not hate is also grainy? Hmmmm.

These glasses are almost identical to my old ones, only more flattering. It's a Christmas miracle! I love these glasses beyond all reason.

Also, I can see again. I suppose that's kind of cool, too.

I should mention that I recently discovered the funniest person on the Internet: Hyperbole and a Half. She does a lot of entries with lots of paint pictures, so it might look like I'm stealing ideas from her.

A) I'm not very good at Paint, whereas she is.
B) I've done entries before using Paint, but my Mac didn't have an equivalent program until now, which is why I haven't.
C) She inspired me to find a Mac Paint program so that I can go back to doing really crappy photo editing and diagrams for my entries.

Just so we're clear.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm sorry. Now I've lost the stupid camera power cord.

I know you people don't care, but we are in Phase II of Operation: Deswaddle. Phase I was one arm out. Now it's two arms out. Phase III will be no swaddle at all. That's next week.

I was shocked last night when she went to sleep on her own with both arms out. I thought this was going to be a battle. It took her a few extra minutes to settle down, but it was just intermittent bleats for about ten minutes. Tonight it's more of the same. Oh, and she found her thumb. I went in to wake her up this morning (yes, I had to wake her up), and she was sucking her thumb. This is odd because when she's a wake she tries SO HARD to get that thumb in there and is always poking herself in the eye or punching herself in the forehead instead.

I didn't know it was possible to have a baby easier than Grace.

If the trend continues, I will next give birth to a bean bag.

James is going away for a week pretty soon. Even with the two easiest babies in the entire world, I'm dreading it. Evenings are the hardest time of day; it's when Emmy's naps are the shortest and least reliable, it's when Emmy is the closest to grouchy she ever gets, it's when I have to get dinner together with a needy toddler hanging off my leg, it's when I'm completely worn out and short on patience. Feh.

Well, the first time he went away after Grace was born was nowhere near as hard as I'd expected, so maybe it will be that way this time.

When I was sick a few weeks ago, James was doing pretty much all the household work plus his own work for the last day and a half. He was ready to stay home from a birthday party that weekend, but he needed a break, and all I had was a stupid cold anyway.

I was dreading it. I felt like my limbs were made of hummus, and my face was packed with more of the same. So that night was not looking to be super awesome fun time with two small humans.

But! It was easy. I gave Grace a bath, Emmy stayed pretty content all on her own. Both of them went to bed without a fuss, and I laid in bed the rest of the evening

Really, life with two kids this small is not anywhere near as difficult as I'd imagined. I'm sure there will be another period of adjustment once Emmy gets mobile, but even that will be fine once I adapt.

I'm so scatterbrained and naturally lazy that I pictured a chaos-filled household, miserable children, and an alcoholic me. But it's been very good for me. I've fallen into a schedule of sorts that keeps me moving all morning, keeps the house clean, the kids happy(ish, most of the time), and homemade dinners on the table. I get a 40-minute workout every afternoon (when it's not twelve thousand degrees in here), and then have the rest of the day free to spend with family, or do a little extra picking up, or go for a walk, or whatever.

I'm more worn out by the end of the day, and it's much harder to get out of the house now, but I'd say, on the whole, I'm better off now than I was with just Grace. Having two of them keeps me on my toes, keeps me from lazing around all day. It's nice.

Speaking of working out, DUDE. STILL HAVE NOT LOST WEIGHT. I blame the breastfeeding. For most of the day, I'm not that hungry. For breakfast I'll have oatmeal, yogurt, and a banana, or something like it, and then not be hungry again until one or two. Even if I do get hungry, it doesn't bother me that much. I can wait until I have more time to throw something together.

And then evening comes, and I'm like an animal. I don't even need to be hungry to have this compulsion to eat, eat, eat (but if I am hungry, WATCH OUT).

I crave ice cream like it's the only thing on Earth that will keep me alive. If I can't get ice cream, it's glazed doughnuts. If I can't get glazed doughnuts, I'm pretty miserable for the last, oh, seven hours of the day (which is pretty much every day since I've all but banned such things from our home, knowing what I do to them).

I've never had a sweet tooth except while breastfeeding, so this is not a lifetime of ingrained eating habits. If that were it, I'd be shoveling in bricks of cheese and dill pickles and lettuce (yes, I know, I like weird things). I would very much like to know why healthy alternatives to ice cream are not at all satisfying, not in the least. What did frontier women do while breastfeeding? What do desert nomads do while breastfeeding? Do they all just go stark raving mad? Or do some humans actually eat their young? Why does my body compel me to want ice cream, yet completely reject delicious fruits and frozen yogurt?

I MUST KNOW. I am sick of hauling all this weight around. I feel heavy and tired and gross and BLAAAAGH.

(The good things is that, while my belly looks worse, my legs have not looked this close to fabulous since my sophomore year of college.)

(I will never actually have fabulous legs, because I am genetically predisposed to mutant cellulite awfulness, which started at the ripe old age of 12, when I was in 8th grade and had approximately 4% body fat.)

(Yes, I'm ANGRY.)