Thursday, May 14, 2015

Rule of three

Are you familiar with the Rule of Three? Basically, bad things come in sets of three. For example, one year we had three people in our family lose their jobs.

We bought a television a couple years ago. It was a decent television, although not one of the major brands you would immediately think of. We cobbled together some funds for it through Amazon gift cards so that we could see the score during sports games again. Within the first couple months, the back started growing what looked like a plastic mold. The husband researched it, and it turns out that sometimes the fire retardant leaks out of the plastic and forms crystals when it meets the air. The husband stated, "It's probably not good for you," but we left it at that. Since getting pregnant, I'd been avoiding cleaning around the TV so I wouldn't disrupt the "crystals," which also fall off the TV occasionally and created a nice layer of dandruffy-looking dust on the console.

Well, the day I come home from the hospital, the husband took it upon himself to clean around the TV. I complained - "I've been avoiding touching that stuff for 9 months, and the day I bring the baby home and sit next to it, you stir it all up?" So the husband re-researched it and was horrified. He suddenly insisted that the television be evicted immediately. He treated it with more disdain and caution than our asbestos floor tiles, to put it in perspective. He wrapped it in saran wrap while we were outside of the house and quarantined it in the basement under wraps until he could decide what to do with it.

So we had to buy a new television. Even though ours worked perfectly fine.

A few days later, the husband attempted to mow the lawn. But the lawnmower will not run for more than a minute. It is probably the battery, but a new battery is 2/3 the price of a whole new lawnmower.

So we have to buy a new lawnmower. Even though ours MIGHT work perfectly fine.

The next day, I got in my car to see if I was recovered enough from my Mr. Smee Section to drive the kids to school. My car would not start. The battery was completely dead. It would appear it does not like to sit idle for two weeks, the fickle machine. So the husband attempted to jump the battery. He had not yet succeeded when our awesome neighbor gave him a jump with one of those battery pack jumper thingies (real name). Husband then attempted to drive around town to recharge the battery but stalled the vehicle because he is not an experienced stick shift driver.

Now the vehicle would not start again. The husband called me and told me we need a new car. I called AAA. They could not find the husband or the car - probably because we told them the wrong town. I called AAA with the correct address. They told me they'd be there in the next three hours. The husband walked home and we all got in our other car - me, Baby Z, a very sleepy E, and T. He drove to the "bad" car and spent almost half an hour trying to jump it. Hallelujah, it worked.

So for now... we don't have to buy a new car. Since ours works mostly fine. If you drive it often.
Knock on wood. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

My archenemies returned

The ants are back in my kitchen. Just like always, it started with one on Friday. Then there were a couple on Saturday. And three more Sunday. And today they're coming in droves - I've already killed about ten.

I don't mess around with ants. I called the Ant Man. (I'm myrmecophobic) This will be his third visit to our house in four years. The first visit, he determined we had a satellite nest actually in our house. The next year we found its remnants under our side stairs. The second visit, last year, he thought we might have a nest starting in the attic. No idea what their deal is this year; they seem to be coming in from about the kitchen window. I will let Ant Man be the judge. Typically after his visits, they immediately stop entering the house.

Tomorrow he'll do his inspection. I don't know how I'll manage until he can do the treatment. Disgusting six-legged freaks. Until they are gone I live with a constant uneasy feeling, waiting for them to creep or dash suddenly out of nowhere. *shudder*

Friday, May 8, 2015

Life with baby

Baby Z and I have now been home for a week together, getting used to things and recovering from last week's escapades. This is a lot less exciting than it sounds (in case you didn't gather from the previous post). While adorable and cuddly, newborns are not the greatest companions. I downloaded an app to track feedings, diapers, etc. and here is what an average day looks like:

  • Wake up at 7:30. Eat for 12 minutes. Pass out.
  • Wake up needing to burp. Sleep for 10 minutes.
  • Wake up hungry; eat for 10 minutes. Pass out.
  • Wake up needing to burp. Get clean diaper. Sleep for two hours.
  • Wake up hungry. Eat for 10 minutes. Pass out.
  • Wake up and burp. Get clean diaper. Eat for another 7 minutes.
  • Pass out for twenty minutes and wake up hungry. Eat more. Pass out again.
  • Wake up to burp and get clean diaper. Pass out for an hour and a half.

... that takes us into the afternoon, anyhow. You get the picture. I just use the app so when the husband comes home I pull it out and say, "Look what we did today!"

Meanwhile, since I'm recovering from what my children now refer to as my "Mr. Smee Section," I am just getting to the point where I can bend over and pick things up, or get into and out of bed smoothly (almost there!) - things that I have been looking forward to for months.

We're getting there, one day at a time.  Next week we even get to drive again...

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Oh, you're making a poop for me... exciting.

That's been my day today with Baby Z.

Monday, May 4, 2015

One week later

Last Monday at this time, I was in the hospital with contractions, debating how soon I would need an epidural. One week later, I'm sitting here with Baby 3 - now officially Baby Z - asleep in the swing. The surreal part is that Baby Z's birth wound up being the most dramatic yet. After a textbook 41 weeks of pregnancy, right down to even being Group B Strep negative, my body even started having contractions on its own Sunday night - no Pitocin required!

And then suddenly, Monday afternoon, everything took a bad turn. My blood pressure plummeted - the husband says it's a common problem with anesthesia, but it's never happened with my prior two epidurals - which several people ran in and out trying to correct. It stabilized for a bit, and then, when it came time to push, it started to go wonky again, AND Baby Z's heart rate dropped. And stayed down. So of course I am freaking out - and trying not to freak out, because surely that won't help the baby - and nurses and doctors keep appearing and reminding me to breathe and moving things around, and then they rush us down the halls to the OR so they can prep for a C-section. I'm trying to remember to breathe and praying I don't wind up delivering a dead baby. It's not a worry that's crossed my mind much this pregnancy, but now it's real and staring me in the face.

Thankfully, for whatever reason, Baby Z stabilized. He still couldn't come out, though; apparently he was in an awkward position and got stuck on my bladder, sunny side up. So they did wind up doing a C-section, and pulled out a very alive and pretty healthy Baby Z.

It's taken us a solid week to get settled at home. Last Monday at this time, I was thinking I'd deliver a healthy baby by 2, have some visitors in the evening, get home Wednesday, and be ready to take care of three kids by Monday. One week later, and nothing's gone "according to plan;" yet, I'm still a little in awe that we're both here - Z and I. There's a very good chance we might not have made it to see the sun rise this week without those doctors and nurses. And for that, I'll forever be grateful.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Eviction Day Tomorrow

For the third time, my body has refused to kick out the baby (or my baby has refused to listen; not sure which). So some synthetic "get the heck out" drugs (Pitocin) will be served tomorrow morning for breakfast.

This means I no longer have an excuse for not packing my hospital bag with the proper essentials (toothbrush, hairbrush, clothes, nursing pads, lanolin, phone charger, camera, deodorant, lotion), a task I have thus far ignored entirely for 41 weeks, telling myself I'd do it when I was actually having contractions.

This means I had to go grocery shopping one last time today, something I was desperately hoping to avoid all week. And buy extra muffins for the muffin monsters who devour them in my house. And think about what food I might want to cook at the end of the week when I've (hopefully) regained mobility enough to make a meal for the currently-walking three members of my family. (Freezer meals? You're joking, right? No one in my house eats reheated food. Just today, the husband found one of the three "meals" I made recently and said, "I took out this creepy looking food in a black dish. I think you want to throw it out." They will be ordering takeout or fast food until I return to forcing healthier alternatives onto their plates.)

This means I have no excuse for the house being a mess (at least for 24 hours), because I've had a week's warning of when I'll be going out of commission, so I should have taken care of the laundry/dishes/vacuuming/etc. - right? Instead of having a baby, I wonder if I should have hired a housekeeping service.

With my excuses gone and the baby still here, comfy cozy, I'm stuck cleaning and preparing without the excitement of whatever "nesting" is. The day has finally come- without water breaking dramatically; without seeing whatever a mucous plug is; without a race to the hospital; without a frantic phone call.

But then - everything about Baby 3 has been low-key. From the first "announcement" (sending the husband a text with a picture of the pee stick and the words this totally just happened) until now - the just-another-Sunday before tomorrow's scheduled induction.

And maybe that's okay. Because I didn't want Baby 3 to be life-altering, earth-shattering. I just want it to join us on our muffin-munching trek through the daily grind, where we continually adjust to the chaos the world throws our way until we find our new normal.

So, yeah. We're meeting Baby 3 tomorrow. You'd never know it by looking at any of us right now, but we're ready.        

Monday, April 13, 2015

Renovation time is here!

I did make it through last week without taking anyone's head off or having a sobbing marathon. On to this week - our home renovation project is finally on the official docket. The contractors are showing up tomorrow at 7 AM to get started! I am beyond thrilled. Allegedly they will even finish this week, so I can get started on the interior finish work if I wind up home without a baby next week.

Hopefully the contractors are better at framing than I am with Paint
This is like Phase 3 of our 4-Phase attic renovation.

Phase 1 was to completely refinish one third of the upstairs into a bedroom. That was completed two years ago, down to the trim. The only thing not done was the heat and the flooring (we left the old asbestos tile down).

Phase 2 was to gut the remainder of the area we wanted to finish for bedroom #2 and hallway. That was completed last year, with new wiring, ceiling and walls drywalled, leaving just one wall unfinished - the one that the new dormer window is going into this week!

Phase 3 is these windows. We are not knowledgeable enough to cut holes in our roof and frame in dormer windows.

Phase 4 will be finishing bedroom #2, the hallway, and fixing up the interior of bedroom #1 post-dormer framing (it is also getting a new window, so we'll have to do some touching up drywall and painting, and probably some flooring as well).

So when we're done we'll have FOUR bedrooms instead of the TWO we had when we bought the house. Also, T and E will each have their own room upstairs. Until Baby #3 is old enough to move up there and share with one of them.

Updates to come tomorrow (hopefully good ones!)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Day 4: Over it

Well, I had a good three-day run, but now I'm losing it. I'm sick of being home alone. I wish Baby #3 would just show up already so I at least have some reason for the monotony. I honestly thought I'd go longer than three days before starting to freak out, but I've spent the last hour binge eating cookies and Easter chocolate and all I want to do is curl up in bed and sleep - not because I'm tired, but just to make the time go by faster.

I don't have any other major projects I want to tackle, and doing the 800 million endless things that need to get done just sounds miserable. I need to do something so I don't feel like I've wasted an entire day, but that means somehow gathering the willpower to DO something, and after all the cookies and chocolate, I just don't want to do anything at all.

So yeah. This whole stay at home thing? I'm over it. Now what?

Friday, April 3, 2015

SAHM: Days 1-3

Today's my third day as a stay-at-home mom. The good news? I've survived, and I seem to be sane still. Rundown follows:

Day 1: Was home with E. Only let him watch two Handy Manny episodes. Took him with me to doctor's visit. Organized coupons and went grocery shopping - was nice to not have to deal with insane weekend-before-Easter-and-Passover lines. Took nap. I give myself a B.

Day 2: Sent children to daycare/school and mopped floor. Baby did not miraculously appear, but the floor is clean. Went shopping (did I mention Easter is Sunday? Had to go place a request with the Bunny). Failed to make pot roast for dinner; made Italian sausage instead. Found out E prefers daycare over staying home with me. Not really surprising, but not encouraging either. Downgrading yesterday to a C. Grade for Day 2 also a C.

Day 3: After husband came home yesterday, waste water pipe broke, spilling poowater into the basement. Spent this morning getting that resolved so we can use the toilet and shower and wash our hands and dishes and brush our teeth and do laundry... wow, we're really water-dependent. Took children (both T and E are home as it's Good Friday and there is no school) to Dunkin Donuts to use their toilets (also bought donuts for them). Once water pipe repair was completed (phew!), did some chores. It is now 3 and I want to nap. Feeling very un-accomplished. Day is not over but I would give it a B- because at least I repaired 3 barbies who had broken limbs.

Highlight so far: clean flooring

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

It's the Final Countdown

Baby #3 is expected to arrive in our household in T-8 weeks.

You'd think after having Baby #1 and Baby #2, Baby #3 would just be a piece of cake. But Baby #3 is causing more upheaval than either of its predecessors.

After deciding that this whole Baby #3 was a good idea, I sat down to do some actual math. And realized it makes no practical sense for me to continue working at my job. And no financial sense for me to work at all for at least 4-6 months. Part of this has to do with the timing of Baby #3's arrival (in late April, just before summer vacation - and full-time daycare for three kids is astronomical). Part of this has to do with the basic logistics of having a 7-year-old, 5-year-old and infant. Doctor's appointments. After school activities. Sick days, snow days, and pick-your-son-up-he's-biting-and-hitting days. Someone has to be on call to deal with the regular emergencies that having children entails. Since I'm the lower wage-earner in our two-income household... that someone has become me.

Some days, I think this will be a blessing. Other days, I'm not sure I'll survive. This week is a perfect example. Yesterday, I got a call from daycare. Did I notice that E has a rash? Can I come pick him up and get a doctor to check him out, because it looks like impetigo?

No - I can't come pick him up. I have two interviews scheduled for the afternoon for candidates to replace me at work. But I don't really have a choice, do I? I delay as long as possible so that I can chat with candidate #1, then leave to take E to the doctor. And of course it's impetigo, which means 24 hours before he can return to civilization. Clearly, not working would make this easier on everyone.
It looked like pimples. Or chicken pox.
Today I'm home with E. He's learning the letter M this week at school. I have no idea how to introduce enriching activities to children.  We watch some Sesame Street on the letter M. How the h-e-double hockey sticks am I going to provide him with enriching activities this summer? What if I'm home with #3 when it's a toddler?? My kids have learned letters, numbers, about animals, how to use scissors, etc. - all at daycare.  

I don't even know how to write an M. Do you do the sides first?
Then there's the issue of fulfilling activities for ME. Staying at home means my house will be cleaner, right? (we hope...) I abhor cleaning. You clean a dish, it gets dirty again. You vacuum, and two seconds later there are crumbs and cat hair everywhere. Least rewarding activity ever. And it never ends. Cooking and baking? My husband tells me not to bother, takeout is better. I love working outside the home - I accomplish tasks! Cross things off a to-do list! File applications, write press releases, send emails... I'm a competent individual! I solve problems! ... at home, I just see Christmas decorations that haven't been put away yet, piled up in the corner. A bathroom covered in soap and toothpaste. It's a disaster zone and all I want to do is play Candy Crush Saga. I have serious doubts about preserving my sanity in the months to come.

But it's too late to go back. With T-8 weeks, it's the Final Countdown. Baby #3 is about to turn my world upside down, and I have no idea what is going to happen to us.