Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Recently, Miss has been showing a real interest in helping me in the kitchen.  Every night she comes in and asks to help me make dinner.  I love this.

Not only does she learn some good stuff, about cooking and measuring and following a recipe (or not), but also about the joy of cooking and spending time together in the kitchen.  That's my favorite part.

That, and the pride she shows in the finished product, hearing her family tell her how delicious her dinner is and being able to taste a yummy dish she helped create.  Her proud smile is priceless.

Tonight, before making dinner, we got decked out in our aprons and baked cookies.

The girls helped measure and stir the dry ingredients,

then the wet ingredients,
Miss painted my finger nails this afternoon 

Lass is smelling the combination of maple syrup and vanilla 

This was her first time cracking eggs.  She loved the feeling of the shell and just kept squeezing and crumbling it.  I had to pry it out of her fingers, very carefully to keep the whole shell from going into the bowl.  I couldn't stop laughing as she just kept squeezing and squeezing it. 

Miss is a pro at the eggs now and just needs a little bit of help. 

And finally, the chocolate chips get added.  Of course, they have to be sampled first.

Lass was not pleased at having to wait her turn to stir the cookie dough once the chips were added.

Not happy at all.  Don't worry, she didn't draw blood.

And she did eventually get her turn.

Her face when she realized we had to bake the cookies before she could eat them:

Dessert after a yummy dinner.

Spending time in the kitchen with my girls is so fulfilling.  Admittedly, I am kind of neurotic about my kitchen, but I really do try to push myself to not worry about stuff and just let them have fun.  I want them to have great memories of cooking.  I certainly have some wonderful memories from today.

Friday, February 24, 2012

I'm Just a Mom

I had an ultrasound and doctor's appointment today.  Baby Sis is still breech.  At 36 weeks.  This is not news to me.  Or to you, I suspect, since I have mentioned it recently.

If you've read here much you're aware how much I dread the idea of having another c-section.  C-sections suck.  You can read a little bit about my thoughts on and experience with one here if you're so inclined.  I know not everyone shares my feelings on c-sections.  Some people think they're no big deal, and that's fine.  It's just that a c-section is a big deal to me.  When people here that Sis is breech and that I'm distressed about this and really worried about having another c-section, sometimes they say things like, "Well, just remember that having a healthy baby is the most important thing."  I think this is a well-meaning comment, but you know what I really want to say when someone says this to me?  "Duh."

Really.  I don't need to be reminded that having a healthy baby is the most important thing.  I have thought about that every moment for the last 30-ish weeks, since I knew of little Sis's existence.  I am very well aware of how lucky I am to have had two beautiful and perfect babies so far.  I know some people are not so fortunate.  I am a Mom. I put my children's health and wellbeing above my own all the time.  I'm not complaining about this, and I'm not suggesting in any way that this makes me special.  It just makes me a Mom.  Every decision I make, every day, all day, takes into consideration the health and wellbeing of my kids.  That's just what Moms do.  So yes, I know that having a healthy baby is the most important thing.  Please don't feel that you need to tell me that.

However, if you say to me (which some people have), "Having a healthy baby is the only thing that really matters, right?"  I will say, definitively, "No."  As I just said above, having a healthy baby is the very most important thing.  Yes.  But it is not the only thing that matters.  As a Mom, pretty much by definition I put my children before myself in almost all things.  Of course I'm not perfect.  I'm also not a martyr.  I'm just a Mom.  But I'm still an individual being.  I'm a person with feelings and wishes and fears, and I try not to feel guilty about my individual-ness.  I generally don't feel guilty about the fact that I get a babysitter sometimes and get pedicures or have coffee with a friend and that I love dates with my husband and my book clubs.  I try not to feel guilty about the fact that I sometimes even check my email or surf other websites a little bit when I should probably be playing with my girls.  I try not to feel guilty about this, but you'll notice I just typed "should."  Mom-guilt is a powerful thing.  I don't like it, and I try to stay away from it, but it does creep in from time to time.  And when someone says to me, "Of course having a healthy baby is the only thing that matters, right?," I feel that Mom-guilt surfacing.  Like what I'm really being told is, "how dare you think about your own desires when going through the majorly huge event of birthing a child?  What kind of mother are you?"

Then I take a deep breath and stop myself from going there.  Some people might judge me because I feel so strongly about not wanting to have another c-section.  I have certainly felt judged at times with respect to this issue both now and when I was in the same situation with Lass and when I chose to have a VBAC with her.  People judge, and that's okay.  Some people might just make comments like those above for lack of knowing what else to say.  That's okay too.  At the end of the day, I have carried and nurtured this precious baby girl for eight months so far.  I think it's natural for me to have a desire to be involved in her emergence into the world, rather than strapped to a table and relegated to the role of observer, which is what a c-section felt like to me.  So if I'm sometimes worried or distressed about Sis's continued breech-ness, that's okay.  Please try to refrain from telling me that I shouldn't think about my own wishes and instead should only think about the health of my baby.  I think about the health of this baby and my two older girls every minute of every day.  Keeping the welfare of my children at the forefront of my mind and having my own feelings, thoughts, desires, opinions, and wishes are not mutually exclusive things.  I'm not less of a Mom for wanting things to work out the way my heart desires.  I'm just a Mom.

And for the record, if it turns out that this baby girl doesn't flip and I do have to have another c-section, I will not be any less joyful about her birth.  I will cherish her and marvel over her and welcome her into our family with the happiest heart.  And, I will still be sad to have a c-section.  And that's okay. It will not take away one bit of the celebration of a new, wonderful baby.

And oh, we are very much looking forward to her arrival.  Over the past weekend at one point Miss began handing me all of the baby toys she could find and asking if I thought "Baby Sissy" would like each of them.  She talked about how she would play with her Baby Sissy and how much Baby Sissy would love her and what she would like about each of the toys.  Today, we used face paint crayons to draw a picture for Baby Sissy.

I pointed out to Miss a place on  my belly where you could see Sis moving, and she was amazed.  I told her "Baby Sissy is saying, 'who's out there poking me?'" and she got a big kick out of that.  She kept asking, "What else is Baby Sissy saying?"

She colored very intently right where she had seen her sister move.

Notice the concentration of blue just above and to the right of my (kind of disturbingly huge, sorry) belly button.  That's where Miss could see Sis moving.  It's also right where her head is.

Happily preparing to welcome home this little one soon.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

One of My Favorite Things Also Drives Me a Little Nuts

My junk drawer.  It is one of my favorite things, and also the bane of my existence.  Okay, I'll be honest.  I don't just have one junk drawer.

I have many, many junk drawers.

Oh, how I love junk drawers.  It's so great to have a place (many places) where it is easy to dump things you aren't sure you can get rid of but you don't know what to do with.  Camera charger?  Pretend grocery list that came with Miss's toy shopping cart?  Part of a toy set that was chewed on by our dog?  Instructional DVD for a sling carrier?  Book with a seriously obnoxious song that I had to hide from Miss or risk losing my mind?  Right on.  Pile it all right in there. 

Unfortunately, as much as I love my junk drawers (and cabinets, and cupboards...), they also drive me a little crazy every time I open one of them.  I mean, what the heck is this stuff??

So.  Recently I made a goal to clean out all of my junk drawers, cupboards, and cabinets, one at a time, over the next several months.  I started with my main junk drawer in the kitchen today.  Above is before.  After:

Admittedly, there is still some junk in there that I'm not sure what to do with, that could probably be thrown away or put in a more designated space.  But I wasn't sure about some of it because I cleaned the drawer when my husband was at work and some of the stuff is his.  So, I just took one of the organizer baskets and put all of his stuff into it.  Thus, it's organized, right?  And really, the whole purpose of a junk drawer is to contain random things for which there isn't another, better place.  That's the beauty of it, after all.

I was pretty proud of this little accomplishment today.  Now I just have to tackle about 6-10 more drawers and several cupboards and cabinets.  Yikes.  Is there a support group for this?

In other news, my girls are on the mend, finally.  The poor things still have runny noses and coughs, but they are perking up and seem to be feeling much better.  Especially Miss, who got sick first.

I'm so relieved they're feeling better.  I hate when they're sick.

Little Sis is still breech. I'm still trying things to help her flip.  I'm getting a little discouraged at this point, to be honest.  If she's as big as Lass was, she's probably already 8-8.5 pounds, so I'm not getting my hopes up that she'll turn without some help.  I'm still trying though.

Next week is my husband's big week off, when we will finally get the things done that we need to do before she arrives.  I'm so excited to see her room start to come together.  I started packing my hospital bag a little bit today.  Won't be long now!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Yesterday was Miss's third birthday.  She's three.  I can hardly believe it.  It seems like it couldn't have been that long ago that she came into my world and made me a Mama.

I wonder if I will have this incredulous feeling every year, as time flies by and my girls get older.  Holy cow, Miss is six! How is that possible?  and OMG, I just can't believe my little Lass is 10, and so on.  I suspect I will.  I suspect I will continue to cherish every new stage my girls reach, while simultaneously feeling just a little bit shocked, maybe a teeny bit sad, that they are growing up.  Each time one of my girls has a birthday, I think back on the day that she was born and I savor my memories of those first moments of seeing her, holding her, and marveling at every tiny detail of her.  I look at how much she has grown and I am amazed.  These girls amaze me in their new developments all the time.  I suspect they always will.

We were out of town visiting family this weekend, and unfortunately both of my girls had bad colds.  Miss woke from her nap shortly before her birthday party started, and it took her a little while to warm up.  She had been feeling yucky for a few days, and was resistant to the idea of even having a birthday party.  She did get into playing with her sister and cousins eventually.

We had a Care Bears themed party and I had been so excited for her to enjoy it, but she just wasn't feeling it.  When it came time to sing "Happy Birthday" and blow out her candles, she was not having any part of it. 

Poor thing refused to blow out her candles, so we had to ask one of her cousins to help.

I hated that she was feeling so badly.  She even said, at first, that she didn't want any cake or ice cream. After I got some and offered to share a bite with her, she changed her mind though.  She ate most of "my" piece of cake and almost all of my ice cream.
Notice her poor upper lip and under her nose.  She has been refusing to let me put anything on it but chapstick, and she wipes or licks that off almost right after I put it on. 

My birthday girl perked up a bit more when she started opening her gifts.

A few months ago, after she first saw the movie "Snow White" and we read books like "The Little Mermaid" and "Sleeping Beauty" a few times, she said that she wanted "A Snow White, a Sleeping Beauty, Ariel without her tail, a prince, a queen and a castle" for her birthday.  So that's what she got.

But the biggest gift hit?  The Yo Gabba Gabba beanie babies I had ordered for her for Christmas.  They were back ordered and didn't arrive until late January.  She is currently sleeping with all five of them.

Lass had a pretty good time at the party as well.

Overall the party was a success, I think, though I wish my girls had been feeling better.  I'm hoping they will be back to their energetic, happy selves very soon.

Speaking of very soon, in only about five weeks or so, we will expand again to a little family of five.

I'm so eager to meet little Sis.  Tonight I'm thinking about the Birth Day of my eldest, while happily anticipating the rapidly approaching Birth Day of our newest little one.