Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Two more days of maternity pants

Woohoo! My OB scheduled me for an induction on Friday morning, 6am. I can't tell you how glad I am that I will:

1. likely not have a baby born on April 1st, and

2. be able to burn pack up all my maternity clothing mere hours from now.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Everyone likes a new toy [edited for more info]

We finally decided on a vacuum yesterday, after months of hemming and hawing about which one to get. The winner: Kenmore Progressive 28614 canister vac. So far we love it. And the surprise bonus: Kate loves to vacuum. Yes!

*[edit]* I, too, grew up with a dreaded canister vacuum, and I hated it. Dragging the canister around everywhere I went, banging it into things, getting it stuck around the corner - it was such a pain. The reasons I love it now mostly revolve around the fact that the actual vacuuming part is easier; the vacuum is lighter and the hose is 7 feet long, so I don't feel like I'm dragging it around every 2 seconds. It's also about 20 years later than my first experience with the canister vac, and this vacuum is brand-spankin'-new. Maybe they make them better now? Maybe I'm just bigger and have less trouble pulling it around.

This one sits upright if you want it to, so you can reach ceiling fans with the hose and attachments (Tim swears by vacuuming as a form of dusting, and although I disagree on its effectiveness, he does the dusting so I can't complain), and it has this little lip that 'hooks' the canister onto stairs when you are vacuuming them. Which is also a huge reason we got the canister - stairs. We have 17 of them in a row, and let me tell you how often I vacuumed those suckers with my upright: twice. Gross, I know. That vacuum was such a pain to haul to each step, though, that I never did it. Now with this one, I can just carry the vacuum part to each step and it's so lightweight. I can reach (theoretically; I haven't actually tested this out, since my belly would protest greatly) about half-way up the stairs from the bottom, and then put the canister at the top and reach the other half from there. Voila: easy stairs.

Other nice things: the noise level is very good - much quieter than our old upright. I can vacuum under beds and sofas (cheerios, anyone?). The brush on the vacuum goes all the way to the ends of the vacuum (I've seen plenty others where the brush stops an inch from each wheel, so you think you are vacuuming up against a piece of furniture, but you really aren't). There's this toe-lever thing that you push with your foot to extend the handle - awesome for tall people who don't want to bend over (why don't strollers do this??) or if you want to reach something way under the sofa. An easy on/off button on the handle of the vacuum so you don't have to bend over (can you tell this is an extremely difficult task for me right now, this bending thing?). A bag-full light (haven't tested that one yet). A toe-lever to easily suck the cord back into the canister. The vacuum part self-propels, so as if it wasn't light enough already, it's now easy enough for Kate to use. See above.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Two is not my favorite age on you, Claire

After yesterday's successful painting experience, I thought I'd give it another go. Except this time, both children were painting at the same time. This, I believe, was where I went horribly wrong.

It started out innocently enough.

Then Claire apparently started flinging paint, while I was cleaning paintbrushes across the room. For 30 seconds.


The end result: paint on 2 walls, 3 chairs, 2 children, the floor, and 2 newish chair cushions. Claire is cut off from painting.
It's only 10:15am. I'm doomed.

Getting used to doing nothing

Several times in the past few weeks, Kate has asked me, "Mommy, what are we doing today? Is today the day we're going to the park?" She looks sad and extremely disappointed when I tell her that no, today is not the day we are going to the park. I think the kids are starting to live for the weekends when Tim is home and we can actually do something. There has been a lot of TV lately, and the girls are getting really good at playing by themselves together. (Is it really 'by themselves' if they're together?) I guess this is good preparation for what is likely to be happening for the next couple of months, but I feel guilty! Yesterday I felt proud that both the girls painted a picture. Look, art! They did something today! They were also over-excited by their accomplishments, a sure sign of boredom.

Everyone has been practicing sleep deprivation, in preparation for the big event next week. Last night, Kate came into our room at 12:30 crying about the bees in her room and how she was scared. Tim went back to bed with her, and proceeded to get kicked for the next four hours, while listening to Claire thrash around in the toddler bed across the room. I, who ought to have gotten hours of uninterrupted sleep, tossed and turned, trying in vain to roll myself out of the crater my butt has made in our bed. I'm afraid the bed will never be the same. Then Claire woke up crying just before 6am, and there was no more sleep for the adults in the family. I know that starting next week, we'll be getting a lot less sleep than we are getting now. But I am looking forward to the fact that when I'm sleeping, I will be able to lie on my back, rise out of bed without huffing and puffing, and won't be waking up to pee every two hours. It's the little things.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sooner than expected

I had my weekly OB appointment this morning (child-free, due to Tim flying tonight!), and after my doctor told me that he was glad I went to the hospital last week ("you are in what I call 'latent labor', meaning that you're having contractions without actually progressing towards actual delivery" ??), he mentioned that he'd like to move my induction date up.

I immediately sat up straighter and my eyes brightened. Earlier? His concern: he will be gone during the window he would really like to induce me (April 4-8), and is thinking that if I don't have the baby before he leaves, I will have it while he's gone. [Thoughts of crazy Dr. Kuni running through my mind here...] His solution: induce me next Friday, April 3rd.

I'm torn! The thought of delivering next week is causing me great excitement and anxiety.

  • One less week of being pregnant! Everyone by now is fully aware how much I dislike the last few weeks of pregnancy.
  • A planned date and time that I am more likely to make it to; less worrying about going into labor at 2am on Monday, having to call our neighbor at such an ungodly hour.
  • Having Sheila here the 2nd week of the baby's birth, which if I remember correctly, can be more challenging than the first week when the baby may (or may not) sleep a lot.
  • One less week of maternity pants! I know you're thinking, "Wow, that's a big one, Jen," but I hate maternity pants. This is a serious pro for me.
  • One less week of being pregnant! Did I already mention that?


  • Sheila won't arrive until April 8th, so we still need to find childcare for the girls.
  • Will being induced a week earlier make labor more difficult?
  • I'll be 38 weeks, which is full-term, but the baby will have one less week in the womb. Of course, Kate was born at 37 1/2 weeks and was just fine.

In any case, I have an appointment next Tuesday to determine if he will move my induction date forward.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kate likes to sing

Oh, and our new car, finally clean.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I'm fine. Sadly, I am not in labor, although I swore I was for a few hours yesterday. Tim is convinced that I am doing too many things (but if I didn't do them, the state of our household would be even worse than what it currently is! I have no good solution for this besides hiring a nanny. Would one of you like to nanny for me?). I am frustrated because I hate to be That Person. I try not to freak out and take my children to the ER at every ailment. I try to take care of the family without intervention whenever possible, yet I have been to labor and delivery twice with this baby! That seems ridiculous to me.

When I wrote yesterday's post, I was having some major back pain while sitting on the sofa, and painful contractions. I did call the OB's office, and the nurse told me that it was possible it was false labor, but that my OB would want me to head to the hospital. So we did. And the pain lessened and the contractions slowed and after a couple of hours they sent me home. Again. I did find out that I'm 60% effaced, which is some sign of progression, but I wasn't going to have the baby last night (obviously, as I sit at my desk and type this!). What was all that back pain about? I do not know. Clearly, I am losing it.

So, hopefully I will not be That Woman who gives birth at home because she waited too long, thinking it was false labor yet again. Seriously, though, in all likelihood, y'all will stop reading about my labor pains and just wait for picture evidence that a baby has been born. Which, at the latest, will be April 9th. Countdown!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I should be better at this

Can watching Knocked Up cause one to go into pre-term labor?

Having given birth to two children already, you would think that I would have a firm grasp on when I am in true labor and when I am in, as they call it, false labor. But I Don't Know! Our shopping trip to the commissary this morning was...challenging, and since we've been home, I've felt the need to once again write down contraction times. When I can breathe through them, that is. I'm planning to call the OB as soon as I get done blogging (addicted much?), and Tim is on alert. If this is indeed another false alarm, I promise not to cry wolf on my blog about labor again. Riiiiiight.

Also, if these contractions are fake, I am in serious TRUH-BULL for the real thing, because: OUCH.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dr. Mom


  • bossy, slightly indignant 3 1/2 year old tells her mother in loud voice to "come ON", in attempt to get mother to pick up her sweatshirt and leave already from school
  • has minor tantrum on way to car when mother tells her she can have glitter-encrusted shamrock back when we get home, and that no, she may not hold it in the brand new car
  • has major tantrum when said adult takes previously mentioned shamrock from her at brand new car
  • won't get into car without high-pitched screaming fit
  • inspires younger sibling to join in the noise; extremely loud crying from both children ensues on way home; mother becomes certain she will be sent into labor by own previously-born children
  • eldest daughter refuses to get out of car once home, despite promises that she can go straight to bed if she would prefer to disobey
  • mother finally removes children from car, begins making lunch amidst crying children who stand in way and impede progress
  • youngest daughter finally calms down when given milk; oldest daughter continues to cry for her father
  • after approximately 2 bites of sandwich, eldest daughter refuses to eat another morsel of food; mother sends her to bed
  • all is quiet within 45 seconds


  • numerous nights of "sleepovers" during which the children play, giggle and talk until approximately 9pm, followed by morning awakenings of 7am and minimal naps, have caused this phenomenon to occur


  • immediate naps for all children, and mother (if she can stop nesting long enough to rest)
  • glass of wine for mother, with potential for reisling-flavored sippy cup drinks for children if chaos does not dissipate*

*CPS: totally kidding on the alcoholic drinks for children. Hey, you never know who might be waiting to come take your children away.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Last week when my sister was here, we were having a nice, respectable dinner together when Claire tooted rather loudly. My sister tried to hide her smile, asking, "Is there an elephant under your chair?!" The kids spent the rest of dinner trying to find the elephant. Kate swore she spotted it several times.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Single-handedly keeping Spray 'N Wash in business

Otherwise entitled: why I feel like I can never get anything done around here.
They were supposedly napping.

Claire works on her pointilism technique, using my make-up.

My little German dictator gets an afternoon bath.

I guess all kids go through this stage?

Lost: 2 weeks of pre-baby time

Warning! Pissed off pregnant chick here! Two weeks ago I spent 30 minutes (thirty minutes!) on the phone with Ikea trying to order 3 pieces of furniture. I would have ordered it online, because that is always easier, but their website wouldn't accept my address. Said the zip code didn't match the address or something asinine like that. So I called them up and tried over and over to place the order. Their computer ate my order at least 3 times. Tim was in the other room wondering why I kept trying. The furniture was CUTE, that's why. And it was cheap, compared to other options we had tried. FINALLY the woman gave me a confirmation number and said a delivery company would be calling us to schedule a time to bring the furniture.

Fast forward two weeks to yesterday when I began to doubt that my furniture was coming to Las Vegas. I got online to track my order, but there is no way to do that online. Wha? Is it 2009, or is it just me? So I emailed customer service, and got an email back this morning telling me that I needed to call their 800 number, because they couldn't help me over email, either. OMG. After going round and round on phone tree hell, I finally got connected to a sales person, who abruptly transferred me to someone else when she apparently got confused. I gave the new woman my confirmation number 4 times (the first 3 times resulted in other people's orders: "Uh, no, I'm not John Hornblower in Detroit...") after which she confirmed that my order had been cancelled. Lovely. Back to square one. I have always loved Ikea, but will never order anything online (or on the phone, since my address doesn't exist!) from them again.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The best part about living in Las Vegas

The visitors! In the past week, we've had more friends and family visit us than anywhere else we have ever lived. My sister and her daughters were here for ten days, Tim's aunt and uncle stopped by overnight on their way back to Oregon last week, his Uncle Bob was here for dinner tonight, and my friend Dana is here from Tucson (I haven't even had a chance to see her yet, we've been so busy!). My friend Kristen will also be here in about ten days for a conference. Life is good.

Uncle Bob and the girls in front of his truck. He's headed back to Portland tomorrow, but we enjoyed dinner with him tonight while he had some free time.

Very exciting.

This is the BEST!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How to pre-register at labor and delivery the long way

1. Have numerous contractions each hour over the course of several days.

2. Hem and haw about going to the hospital or calling your OB. Surely at 34 1/2 weeks, this can't be true labor, right?

3. Begin to doubt self after reading several online articles about the signs of labor and when to go to the hospital. Realize you have been ignoring 3 major signs for days, including specific instructions from OB about going to the hospital if having more than 6 contractions in one hour.

4. When he arrives home that night, watch husband roll eyes at the fact that you are not already being checked out by labor and delivery. Listen meekly as he says, "At least call and ask!"

5. Run around house making sure the kids are settled in bed, apologize profusely to sister who must now be in charge of 3-year old, 2-year old, 22-mo old, and 3-mo old at bedtime, for God knows how long.

6. Tell funny stories to husband on way to hospital about my pregnancy brain, and listen as he alternates between certainty that I will have the baby when we get there (because he has 3 flights where he gets to drop live weapons over the next 3 days) and certainty that I will not have the baby (because I am *laughing* as I tell my stories).

7. Find labor and delivery in the hospital, repeat my social security number approximately 6 times, get hooked up to various monitors and lie in very uncomfortable position on my back as they call my OB.

8. Receive a shot of some sort to stop the contractions, and then get dismissed an hour later.

9. Arrive back home by 10:30, exhausted and ready to sleep for 12 hours. Sleep until 7:30 the next morning (!) and then run around like crazy person trying to get Kate ready for school, and myself ready for a timely OB appointment.

So, here we are. My doctor chastised me in a nice way this morning about not going in sooner, and said that had I been a few more weeks along, they wouldn't have given me the shot and would have kept me longer to see how things went. As it stands now, I have an induction date of April 9th, if I "last that long" (says OB).

We dropped my sister and her daughters off at the airport 2 hours ago, and we miss them dearly already. They were so fun to have around, and Jessica was such a huge help to me. Now it's nap time and I'm going to try to rest a bit. Thank you, everyone, for your calls and concern!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Trial run?

After the third day of a crazy number of contractions within one hour (today's count at lunchtime was 13; they did decrease when I sat down and rested, so I decided against calling my OB. Wise? Probably not), and increasing discomfort, I am dragging Tim to the hospital. Actually, the on call nurse (?) told me to go, after I called and told her the situation. I think her response was something like, "Honey, you just get yourself to labor and delivery now." This was not how I pictured my evening going, but I'm beginning to think I won't make it until my appointment tomorrow morning without severe repercussions.

I'll either be back posting tomorrow on the silliness of all this, or will be posting pictures of a new little baby.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Adding an adult to the chaos

We went back downtown today, this time taking Tim with us for reinforcement. The kids were still all over the place, but this time I didn't have to chase them! I waddled meandered slowly through the crowds with the stroller as Tim attempted to corral the children. It wasn't relaxing, but it was much more fun than the last trip. Since it was a gorgeous day (mid-60s), we opted for the outdoor dolphin exhibit and the Secret Garden at the Mirage, which the girls and I went to last year when Tim was deployed. This time, the girls were less impressed with the dolphins and the big kitties, and totally dismissive of the alpacas, making me glad all children were under 4 and therefore free. In September, Kate will cost $10 for admission and that's when we will no longer be taking trips to see the wildlife at the Mirage.

Somehow, although I was not solely responsible for tracking the children, I was unable to get a single good photo.

Taking over the Revolution Bar at the Mirage.

Claire adopts an unknown family at the baby leopard room.

When we had had our fill of the animals (which took about 30 minutes), we beelined for lunch at one of the casino restaurants, where we made too much noise and got in trouble for letting the children out of their chairs. ? The greeter told me that there were too many things for them to climb on and they could get hurt. As opposed to other restaurants? Whatevah.

Last night I got another abdomen cramp, at nearly the same time as the one the night before. This time, Tim's aunt and uncle's RV wasn't blocking the driveway, which had me slightly stressed the night before (how would I get around them without waking them up at 2am? this is probably a false alarm anyway. but how do I know?).

This second round of pain caused different stresses: why is this happening again? is this labor? do I need to go to the hospital? we were going to talk more about names, but still haven't narrowed things down entirely. I haven't transferred any of Claire's clothes to Kate's room yet, and we still don't have the new furniture we ordered. who will take my sister to the airport if this IS labor? You know, important things to think about in the middle of the night. The 8 contractions within an hour around dinner time, along with some moderate low back pain and general crampiness have me wondering if I'm going to make it to April. I'm glad I have an OB appointment on Tuesday to answer some of these questions.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Paint and contractions

Jessica and I took the girls to the MGM Grand to see the lions yesterday. It was chaos. I will never do that again: the next time we all go downtown, Tim will be with us to help maintain order. Two adults, a three-year old, a two-year old, a 22-mo old, and a 3-mo old...the ratio of adults to children was not nearly high enough, and at the end I was concerned I was going to go into labor at the Rainforest Cafe.

Right after we got to the lions, Lucy decided she needed to eat, so we all hiked over to some tables and set up shop. Then a waitress informed us that we couldn't sit there because some of us were clearly under 21. She mentioned that we could sit on the "wall" near the Rainforest Cafe just around the corner. The wall turned out to be not entirely sit-on-able, so Jess fed Lucy her bottle while standing up. She's talented, and Lucy is a patient baby.

During Lucy's lunch, Kate pretended she could no longer hear a word I said and disobeyed all commands. Claire was not much better, and I had a lot of difficulty trying to be in two places at once and maintain sight of both children. We decided that we needed to just eat lunch at the Rainforest Cafe to save our sanity, and all was well for a short time. Claire and Tempie were very interested in the surroundings, and loved waving at the butterflies and leopards on the walls and in the trees. Kate, not so much. She kept getting out of her chair and wandering around the restaurant. At the end of lunch, I'd had enough and strapped her into the stroller. This caused much shrieking (the kind where all patrons look at you, embarrassed) and yelling by Kate.

Last night I woke up at 1am with a severe abdomen cramp, and began to worry that I was going into labor. It finally subsided about 20 minutes later, and I slept okay the rest of the night. We were supposed to all go to Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef today, but I'm still feeling a little weird, so we're hanging out at home.

Now for the paint:

Kate and Claire's room.

Nursery. I went with 'Treasured Jade' on the accent wall. I LOVE it.

Our room. The wall behind the headboard is a darker shade of brown (Fawn's Leap by Ralph Lauren) than the other walls, but it's sort of hard to tell in pictures.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Where do they get this stuff?

No baby, just crazy busy

My sister and her daughters got here a week ago and we've been non-stop busy since then. We've been to the park several times to enjoy the 70* weather (these have also been fruitless attempts to wear out the children). We've been stuck in the house a fair amount, too, as we try to get the kitchen/bathroom/bedroom disaster worked out. The painters are here today and everything should be back to normal (better, really; you should SEE the paint, it's so cool) soon.

Claire's favorite thing lately is to come into our bedroom at approximately too early (6:15am) and declare that she wants up in bed with me. She quietly hands me her blanket, then her puppy, then her bunny, and then demands I help pull her up and get her settled under the covers. She is much more relaxed than Kate was at this age, and will lay there quietly enough that I am often able to go back to sleep, snuggling with her. I love it, but wish it would happen about an hour later.

Kate is thoroughly enjoying being a big sister/cousin, and has been pretty good with baby Lucy. I am so thankful for this, as it's really a dry run for us. We are still working on not touching the baby's face and hands, but both Kate and Claire have been very lovey towards Lucy. As for Tempie, who is 22mo, I think Kate sees her as another little sister to boss around. Tempie plays into this by declaring that everything is "MINE", and sets Kate off occasionally. Mostly things are going well, though. I, for one, am so very happy to have my sister here for such a long stay, and wish fervently that she lived closer. Sadly, they leave on Tuesday, and Jessica heads back to work not long after that.

We have plans to fly my sister-in-law and her youngest daughter out to help us with the kids during the baby/hospital stay. I have an OB appointment next Tuesday at which we should be able to set a date for the delivery. Then I can let the countdown really begin.

I am trying so very hard to enjoy these last few weeks of pregnancy, since it will be my last, and there truly are amazing things about being pregnant. But I really just don't enjoy pregnancy; in particular, I dislike the last 6-8 weeks. I am very impatient, and I hate being so big and uncomfortable. And it is very frustrating not being able to play with the girls and be as active as I would like to be. That being said, I do love feeling the baby kick and knowing that we will soon have a tiny bundle of joy to love and hold. And that should be happening in approximately 30-some days.