Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Two Months

Gone.

 Today Bebe is 2 months old - I can't believe how fast the time has gone!  She has already grown 2 1/2 inches, and gained almost 4 pounds!  I guess we know why she is so hungry all the time!  She remains a really good baby, sleeping through the night pretty much every night.  I moved her from the bassinet into her crib two nights ago and she slept from 9pm until 8am both nights!  I've also begun putting her into her crib at noon for a real nap instead of just allowing cat naps in her bouncy chair in preparation for our school schedule, which is starting in three weeks!  Crazy.  Unfortunately, just because school is starting does NOT mean it is fall, and I'm sure we get to look forward to tons of 100 degree days at school pick up.  Super fun.

Anyway, back to Beatrice: she is a great sleeper, a fine eater (maybe TOO fine, since she starts gnawing her hands barely an hour after eating sometimes, and god forbid you go past the two hour mark) and generally just a delight.  As long as you are holding her.  She might be fine for a short time in her chair or on the floor on the baby mat, but after about 15-20 minutes, just best finish whatever you are doing and go get her.  She screams and screams if you leave her alone, and if you hold her she wiggles and squirms and grunts and generally ensures that you do absolutely nothing except attend to her.  This is a two hand kid - my days of one handed reading with my Nook are long gone; forget completely about a real book or magazine!  We've done a little bit of baby wearing if I have to do something active like clean or prepare dinner, and she does ok.  The Ergo makes her fall asleep, but I can barely get into it (how the hell do you hook that clasp right behind the shoulder blades?  I'm really flexible and I can barely reach it), and while I prefer the Moby wrap she squirms around so much I'm worried she'll give herself whiplash unless I keep a hand behind her head.

Basically she is just a supreme diva and attention hog.  Which is probably a good thing since as the fourth kid I could easily get distracted and forget about her, lol. 

I've started going back to the gym, which I'm enjoying and will probably do even more than usual since it is virtually the only time I'm not holding the baby and staring into space.  And although I've planned to begin blogging more, we'll just have to see how much that happens.  I only get a couple hours a day with all hands free and there is a lot to cram into that time!

But I'll take it if it means she stays little!


Friday, July 27, 2012

You've Got To Win To Lose

I am not a winner.  Not in the general, oh I'm such a loser sense (I hope at least), but when it comes to contests or raffles - big time loser.  I have actually played games of Bingo where someone wins and I haven't even gotten a single space covered.  Multiple times.  So my hopes of winning the lottery one day are pretty dim.  (my mom wins EVERYTHING she enters - but won't buy a lottery ticket.  Annoying, haha)

I get offers for blogging opportunities, and I almost always respond, but I am hardly ever chosen - due to my lousy luck and my small blog no doubt.  And in general I don't really mind because I don't want this blog to become all sponsored material, although having something to write about might be nice once in a while!  Anyway, imagine my surprise when I was selected out of over 200 people to win a free 3 month membership to weightlossguru.com!  I get to follow the program, lose all this baby weight, and blog about it, all for free!

Needless to say, I'm pretty excited to have won this opportunity.  And I'm heading out to buy a lottery ticket right now in case my luck has changed!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wet And Wild

Despite the fact that Bebe is probably only around 10lbs, she is getting a little too heavy for me to carry easily in the car seat basket (plus she HATES being in it), so when we go to swimming I've been transferring her into the stroller and rolling her in.  I toss my water, phone, keys, her bottle and burp cloth in the bottom and we are set for the hour or so we are at the pool.  Easy peasy.

Except that today, on the way back to the car, my water somehow spilled out completely, filling up the bottom of the stroller which is apparently water tight.  lately I've been using my hospital water bottle, and while it isn't completely spill proof, it rarely does more than drip a bit when turned upside down, so when I saw the water pooled in the stroller I thought "huh, how did that happen?" Until I started taking everything out to dump the water and saw my iphone completely submerged. Then I had a lovely jolt of adrenaline.

Crap.

I quickly dried it off and everything seemed to be working fine (rule #1 when your phone gets wet is apparently don't turn it on, which I didn't know then- whoops) so I thought maybe all crisis had been averted.  Huge sigh of relief.  And then a while later at home I noticed that it was on the full power shut down screen, and when I cancelled out and tried to access another function, that screen just kept coming up.

Double crap.

I immediately put my phone in a bag of rice like you always hear suggested for wet electronics, and went to google wet iphone.  Which was when I learned I shouldn't have even tried using it after it got wet, and also that it has to be in the rice for at least 24 hours.

What the fljhadvockvnxxjalkbclauf?!?!?!??!

Do you have ANY idea how much time I spend on my phone?  Every time I sit down with Bee to feed her (every two hours) or have to hold her because she is feeling lonesome in her chair (which is A LOT) I grab my phone.  I peruse Pinterest, look for Facebook updates, scan Instagram and Twitter, and check my email every time I get a ding in case this is the one time I get an actual email instead of just sales offers (nope).  I browse Ebay and Etsy too in case there aren't enough updates on everything else to keep me entertained. Not to mention I text my husband, which is our primary method of interacting when he is out of town.  We probably go several days without speaking on the phone but we are in constant communication via text.  I make lists of to do and to get and to remember and I put them all in my phone.  And yes, my attachment to my phone is probably a bit too severe, but there it is, what can you do?  And now it is gone.

All day I've felt so disconnected and weird.  I keep thinking, oh I need to look up this one thing, and I reach behind me, but my phone isn't there.  And I can't exactly drag my laptop out very easily when I'm holding the baby, so I figure I'll wait, and then of course I forget, and then five minutes later I think of something else I want to look up, and I remember I already had something I had thought of, oh what was that first thing?  wait, and now what is the second thing?  lather rinse repeat All. Day. Long.

Frustrating.

So I'm sure that my phone is going to recover, although I am now super paranoid about rice dust getting into it and ruining it more than the water did (thanks Google!), but I'm having the hardest time not grabbing it and checking to see if it is working again yet.

Withdrawal is a bitch.

ps: I bet my husband is equally sad that I don't have my phone - he must be missing all of my delightful, non sequitur texts!

Friday, July 20, 2012

It's Time

I'm running out of excuses for not going to the gym or eating like a normal person:

-I've run out of Twizzlers and sea salt caramel gelato.
- Beatrice is old enough for the gym playroom (by a week now)
- swimming lesson are over next week

I find it really easy to lose weight after having a baby.  The feeling you get from dropping all that weight the first week after being a blimp for so long works wonders on inspiring you to keep at the weight loss.  Unfortunately, I totally squandered all of my momentum this time by being lazy and falling deep into an extremely disturbing Twizzler addiction.  Which is why I'm stuck back at the weight I've been for the past three years, instead of my pre-pregnancy weight which was ten pounds lighter thanks to some hard work last summer.  So I guess it's time to get back in the swing of things and stop acting (and eating) like a pregnant woman.  There is a pilates/yoga class at my gym tomorrow morning, and I've set up an appointment with my trainer for next week.

It's time to end the holiday and get back to work.  (Or to say fuck all and head back to the store for more candy. Hah!)

Man I wish  there was a magic 20 lb weight loss pill.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Love Bites. And Maybe So Does Our Couch

So, the past two days Isabelle has gotten a bunch of bug bites on her face and hairline.  I noticed the first yesterday morning above her ear, and then in the afternoon she had one on her cheek and several more above the same ear as well as the other one.  Today she was fine until about bedtime, when she got one on each cheek and another on her neck.  They swell up fairly big and get red in a way bigger area than just the welt, but I put a little tea tree oil on them and the swelling goes right down and they aren't noticeable anymore.  The spots above her ears are still red, but everything on her face has disappeared almost immediately (thank god).  She never notices it happening until I see the spot and react, so they don't hurt or itch much, but the poor thing cries and gets so upset about being bitten.  She keeps saying she has fleas.

(she also waved her hand in front of her face and said "THIS" *insert hand circle* "cannot have spots."  LOL)

So, obviously bug bites are no fun in the best circumstances, but they can be par for the course in the summer.  Except no one else has a single bite, and she hasn't gotten anything that isn't on her face.  So wtf?  The bites she got tonight came after she had been laying on our couch, which was also what she was doing yesterday afternoon as well, leading me to of course freakout that our couch is infested with something, but Sophie and Jack sit and lay all over that couch as well and nothing is biting them.  And wouldn't there be bites on the other kids, not to mention on arms and legs as well?  I'm fine with replacing the couch if that really is the problem (well, not fine with spending the money since that was earmarked for my ipad, but I am fine getting rid of at least one of our ugly couches), but I really don't want to throw out my couch and buy a new one if she is going to continue getting bitten.

So, does anyone have any ideas?  Have you ever had anything weird happen like this?  Given the fact that the bites go away so quickly and don't hurt or itch they clearly aren't that serious - aside from the whole, some kind of creature is in my house biting my child thing.  And just on the face?  Ick.  I started the kids on garlic pills, which I took as a child to keep mosquitos away from me because I got huge reactions to bites, so hopefully that will work and she won't be bitten anymore.  But how can I figure out where it is coming from?  Is there even any way to do that?

Ok.  I'm off to shower and wash my hair because I've been itching ever since it occurred to me the biting perpetrators might be in my sofa.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thanks For The Vote of Confidence

Yesterday evening the kids and I drove my mom the the airport.  She had been here for a few days helping me with some projects around the house - mainly painting Jack's room and getting the nursery more set up (I'll do picture posts when its all finished).  She got here the day before Brett left for work trip last week, and apparently the few times we had her or my mother in law fly in the help during my pregnancy made quite an impression because on Sunday Izzy asked me how many days until daddy would be home and when I said four she took a moment to think about the difference between when GeeGee was leaving and Daddy coming home and said

"I guess you can take care of us on your own that long."

Gee, thanks kid.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Life Well Lived: Asking for/Giving Fashion Advice

Having no sisters, no real life friends, and only one mother, I have very little experience with giving fashion advice.  I primarily go shopping alone, talking to  myself like a crazy person the whole time.  But of course I have gone shopping with my mom before, and any time she asks how something looks I try to give an honest answer without criticism.  Fortunately, she is way more critical than I could ever be, so I don't have to steer her away from items with unflattering fit very often.  I usually spend more time trying to get her to see when something really is flattering, but maybe a little tighter or form fitted than her comfort zone - I am not usually successful.

Basically my approach is to give any advice if asked, but never offer it unsolicited.  Except here on my blog - whenever I have any kind of tip I might think other people could find useful I share it on my blog - that way people can accept it or not and I won't ever really know.

As for taking advice, i rely on the blogosphere and fashion magazines for that.  I try to find people whose style I admire and *cough cough* copy what they are doing.  Pinterest is a great tool for this as well - I pin pictures of outfits I love and then try to recreate them in my own wardrobe.  And if I see someone out and about in something i think is great, I will ask where they got it or what brand it is.  Some people are weird about answering, but most women are happy to help - we all love a good compliment!

I think the most important thing to remember about fashion advice is that no one has to take it - feel free to turn down any advice given to you if it just doesn't suit your style, and don't get offended if a person you are trying to help stylistically chooses to ignore you.

To read others' opinions on this topic, check out Life Well lived on BlogHer

And don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Beeber Fever (Six Weeks)



I can't believe Bebe is six weeks old already!  She has outgrown all of her newborn outfits, which means that in addition to packing up all of my boxes and boxes of boy clothes for donation I also had to part with the teensy tiny little onesies with adorable polka dots and hearts all over them.  Amazingly I did not cry, but it was sad holding every darling outfit up and remembering my babies in them and knowing there will never be another baby in the family to wear those clothes.  I'm finding it almost impossible to accept any sort of finality to my baby having years, so I have chosen to continue thinking "if I ever get pregnant again..." thoughts rather than endure the cognitive dissonance of reminding myself I'm done with all that so I can move on without depression.  This exercise really challenged my ability to do that though, so I'm glad for now it's over.

Beatrice is still pretty much an idyllic baby - eats great, sleeps great, farts like a champ and primarily makes no noise at all (aside from said farting) unless you are late with dinner.  Oh, and she is still super easy on the eyes.  She has gotten so much bigger, and I'm kind of bummed out that she doesn't go back to the pediatrician for a few more weeks because everyone keeps asking how much she weighs now and I'm dying to have an answer to that question.  I know it's a fair amount more though because she has chubbed up quite nicely.  Her ears are still pointy, and she has a perfect 'X' in the creases on the bottom of each foot.  She also has that fabulous soft baby skin (especially her heels - I rub them constantly!), and that nice sour milk baby smell.

I have the privilege of being her most favoritest person in the world so far; I kind of like her too.  I hold her until she falls asleep on my chest every night and it is so nice to cuddle a tiny baby all I want and listen to her little baby snoring.  I just love that feeling when she is sleeping and then goes completely slack and I know she is finally deep enough asleep to move into her bassinet.  Not that I ever want to put her down; but sometimes I do have to eat.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cock-Eyed

This post is about boobs.  MY boobs.  So Dad, Husband, you may want to just click away to some other more dude-friendly site and come back tomorrow.

So, here's the thing - I've had four kids (and I almost typed three just there, whoops!).  We all know that pregnancy has a fair go at the female anatomy, and no matter how great of shape you snap back into when it's over, things just aren't where they used to be.  Even Heidi Klum has rearranged a bit after her kids, and trust me, I am no Heidi Klum.  And let me assure you that just because I wasn't able to breastfeed my breasts did not escape unscathed.  It is a fallacy that breastfeeding affects the breasts negatively - just the act of getting pregnant does that all on its own.  There is no escape.

So I'm not exactly surprised or even bummed out that my boobs no longer shine with their former brilliance.  Well, a little bummed, because if I can take a moment to pat myself on the back a wee bit, I will say that in their heyday the girls were quite fetching.  Too bad I always insisted on going about fully clothed and the world was denied their glory.  But cover them I did, so it was really no great loss to my overall staggering beauty when they began losing their looks.  After baby #1 all was remarkably unchanged, but baby #2 began to put the miles on, and baby #3 pretty much sealed the deal.  There was sagging and stretch marks and a sudden irregularity in aureola size between my formerly matched set.

But again, who really cares right?  Besides my own personal staring before and after each shower like both the specimen and spectator at a freak show, the only audience my boobs get is my kids when they barge in unannounced (and groan about how hideous the sight), and my husband - and I'm assuming he sees few enough boobs that mine are still at least vaguely appealing regardless of flaws.  So I reconciled myself to bearing a sad rack from now on and went about my life.

Enter baby #4, and my new found discovery that ol' Lefty is not only peering out of a larger "eye" than my still pretty much unaffected Righty, but now he is veering precariously off to the side as well. Like a drunken sailor.  How does this even happen?  If I was twisted and deformed and slanted to the left, I would think I'd be evenly affected, but no, Righty hangs firmly centered as expected.  So apparently the force of gravity is just skewed on the left side of my torso, pulling all freehanging appendages on that side ten degrees off center. It's like looking at your lazy eyed neighbor where you can't tell which eye is looking at you and which one is staring into the ether.  Perhaps I should consider bulking my left bicep up to full on Mr universe proportions to get him back in line.  I feel like I need some buck teeth, overalls, and an accent that is a little less Wisconsin-nasal and a little more "my brother's my cousin."

Be warned kiddos - pregnancy doesn't just leave you with a flabby stomach and the inability to run, jump, laugh or sneeze without peeing yourself.  It also leaves you looking like a wax figure that got left a little to close to the fire.  On a slant.

And The Winner Is...

ok, well, I have to confess I'm a little disappointed with the turnout, but we still must select a winner - and 6 entries sure makes the odds good!  According to random.org, the winning entries are #2 and #5 - which correlates to:

irishtwinsmommababybook for commenting second,

and @MariaMelee for retweeting on twitter

Congratulations ladies! Send me your information and I will get those books sent out to you asap!

And thanks for playing!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Baby Bumps






See that book right there?  I KNOW the author.  And not just kind of, I like, know her for real - as in, we've met in person (once) and are friends on Facebook.  So clearly, besties.  And while I would of course foist any friend's book upon the readers of my blog (all 6 of you), in this case I actually want to - because that book right up there?  Is really good!

As in, my email from Barnes and Noble with my receipt of purchase is dated this morning at 8:31am, and I just finished it because I haven't left the couch since I started.  Well, I have, but only to fix the occasional bottle and then return to reading while feeding the baby.  Good thing I can read one handed thanks to my Nook!

That's right folks, this an e-book - so you best hop on the techno bandwagon and get yourself some high tech readery because you need to in order to enjoy this book.

The story of a woman, pregnant with her first child and diagnosed with incompetent cervix and irritable uterus and forced onto bedrest early on in pregnancy, Baby Bumps is basically a thinly fictionalized version of the author's real life experiences, and are written in her singularly hysterical and sarcastic voice (check out her blog for a taste).  As a mother, especially one who so recently toyed with cervical excitement and was nearly put on bed rest myself, this book was especially fun for me to read, although reading it from the exact spot on the couch I spent so much of my time only a few short months ago was sort of reality bending.  I kept thinking I was back in that position, and several times I came close to making my husband get things for me because I wasn't supposed to get up, and when I did I was almost surprised that I no longer had a ginormous belly.  Hey - this isn't just a funny book, it's also a time machine! Bonus!

Anyway, the book is super funny, super engaging, and super informative in case you haven't already had the delightful mysteries of pregnancy and childbirth solved.  A must read for any mothers, moms-to-be, or people just looking for a laugh.  So go buy it and read it!

Seriously.  What are you still doing here?  GO!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 4th

Happy Independence day!!  I hope your neighborhood doesn't sound as much like a war zone as mine.  And I hope none of my idiot neighbors burns my house down with their fireworks.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What To Expect When You Are Expecting... A Giveaway!!



Is there any other item as universally gifted/ or purchased by the first time mother as the book What To Expect When You Are Expecting?  I'm pretty sure it is the first thing my mother got for me, although I also seem to remember that instead of actually giving it to me, she kept it for quite a while and read it herself (she only went through pregnancy once, and it was SO long ago, she had to refresh her memory).  Even now, as I was going through my fourth pregnancy and pretty much knew everything I could expect it was still fun to flip through.  My personal favorite section is the advice for the birth coach during labor - every single suggestion (offer reassurance and calming advice, massage her back or legs, etc) is followed by a version of "unless that totally pisses her off."  It is so funny to think of the writers trying to make suggestions that will help every single woman when she is probably at her most moody and cranky and unpredictable.  So funny.

Which of course is not to say that the rest of the book isn't full of super helpful advice (and the occasional helpful, but frightening image - episiotomy anyone?).  There is a reason it is a classic - they even made a movie about it (which was pretty amusing to go see 9 months pregnant - I totally hoped it would send me into labor).  However, as complete a volume as the first book is, and even though I knew there were follow up books for the first and second years, I never got them.

Until now.

Thanks to the very generous people behind the What To Expect books (and the equally information packed website www.whattoexpect.com), I have the complete set now.  The second book in the series, What To Expect The First Year, covers everything from birth until the first birthday - breastfeeding, bottle feeding, moving to solid food, mental and physical development, how to deal with older siblings.  Obviously, after four kids my personal knowledge is pretty thorough on what I need to do with a baby.  But all kids are different, and it has been over three years since I last had an infant, so it is nice to know I have this handy resource available for any questions I might have.  Plus, it is just kind of fun to read and learn all about how to handle certain situations, even if they never arise for me.




The second book, What To Expect The Second Year, covers all of the same topics for the year between the baby's first and second birthdays.  I look forward to reading this one even more, because that year can be one of the biggest struggles and I'll take any insight I can get into making it a smoother transition.



So, why am I telling you all this?  Well, those lovely people who were so generous in giving me a full set of brand new books are also graciously giving away not one but TWO full sets to my readers!  And lest you think you needn't enter because your childbearing days are over, or you know everything already, let me remind you that they make wonderful gifts as well!  So enter the giveaway!  Tell your friends!

How to enter:

-Leave a comment on this blog post.

-Like my page on Facebook

-Mention this blog post and giveaway on twitter (@lonek8 so I know you tweeted) - as long as you include my handle you don't need to leave extra comments here - I'll count every tweet as a separate entry

-Mention this giveaway on your blog, or Facebook page and leave a comment here with the link

- Pin this giveaway and leave the link in the comments here

-Send me gifts of pretty things*

*not really. Unless you really want to.  But no, not really.


Contest closes midnight Monday July 9th. Good luck!!


I was provided copies of the books mentioned for review but not compensated in any other way - all opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, July 2, 2012

One Month


Well, whether you count a month as four weeks from the day of birth, or 30 days, or the exact day of the next calendar month, any way you slice it Beatrice is one month old.  I will never cease to be amazed at how fast the time flies, and also how quickly you forget any previous reality.  She has only been in the family for a few short weeks (four, haha!), but I completely can't even imagine back to a time when she wasn't here.   Just like I can hardly remember being pregnant, whereas just a month ago I couldn't picture being anything but.  Weird.

She is still just a lovely little baby, very easy going, and EXTREMELY gassy.  She toots more than any baby I've ever heard of - she's like a musical instrument.  She loves to be held, is still eating great (although we had some overeating followed by explosive spit up last week that we have now learned to control), and at the risk of angering the blogging gods and jinxing myself, the past few nights she has only needed one feeding instead of two or three.  Pretty nice.

This month will be the real test since Brett is gone for almost all of it.  I've got to get a set schedule going and learn how to juggle commitments and errands with all four kids in tow so I'm ready for school starting in 6 weeks.  The summer sure flew by!  Can't say I'll be sorry to see it go either, what with the messes and general poor decision making my kids are exhibiting due to boredom. Oh, and the heat.  We all know how I love that!

I feel like this needs a wrap up conclusionary paragraph - but the baby is waking up to eat and I'm out of pithy phrases, so ciao!