So I’m adjusting to life with two kiddos. Today I thought we’d venture out with daddy to the grocery store. I got Stormy ready and then went to get myself ready. I grabbed a dress and pair of leggings from on top of a basket of clean laundry. I put the leggings on, which felt cold and then prepared to put on the dress. That’s when I got a whiff of it…cat urine. I feel like there’s a distinct “cat urine” smell, it’s kind of like chewing gum with pineapple flavoring…not the taste, I’ve never tasted it because I don’t like gum and because it smells like cat urine to me. Anywho, I threw the dress into the dirty laundry and then realized the awful truth about the leggings, they weren’t cold, they were wet. As I had just added both items to the top of clean laundry (yeah, yeah, I’m behind on putting it away) I know the urination happened during the night. A night where the baby kept me up for hours and the cat consistently tried to smother me in my sleep.
I peeled off the leggings and washed my legs. Then I had to find something else comfortable enough to wear. I finally got dressed and then grabbed Gertie to put her in her car seat. Right before I put her in the seat she spit up, lots of it, all over both of us. So back to the bedroom we went. I changed her and then changed myself (after finding something else I’d feel comfortable in – the postpartum belly is worse than anything). Oh yeah, during all of this I’m trying to keep the cat in the office because he is officially banned from the rest of the house but Chewy was in there for something and so he kept escaping. It was a mad house here. But we made it – for the grocery shopping done and the laundry but my goodness, I guess this is just a taste of what’s to come.
And for those who care – here is the birth story in a nutshell.
We scheduled an induction on her due date because I’m selfish and was tired to being pregnant…I started my day at 4:30 Thursday morning, after hitting the snooze button several times and also after several aniexty dreams – one which involved going to check on my son at grandma’s house to discover that she woke him up two hours after he fell asleep because she practices the Susan B Anthony method. Don’t research that, it’s not real. But in dreamland we both knew what it meant and I got upset and raised my voice at her, telling her that the Susan B. Anthony method was outdated and she needed to get with the times. Apparently my son’s sleep is very important to me and I would even snap at my mother-in-law to protect it.
I realized as soon as I woke up how ridiculous that was. Anyway, Chewy and I got to the hospital at 5:45. My doctor said he would break my water and things would progress “quickly” from there. I’m not sure what “quickly” actually means. To me it means there’s no time for anything else after that! Urgent, urgent, urgent! You know – like in TV shows where the woman all of a sudden says, “it’s time!” and they’re zipping through the streets trying to get to the hospital before the baby decides to enter the world. That’s quick – in the real world I think those experiences are extremely rare (my sister has had one so I can’t completely eliminate them as probable).
Anywho – over here, let’s finish the story. So I’m prepped and ready to go when the doctor gets there sometime between 7 and 8 to break the waters. I won’t go in to detail but that was quite possibly more painful than delivery (I refer to Stormy’s delivery since my epidural had worn off). The worst part, he wasn’t able to do it because my body hates me and likes to cause emotional damage as often as possible. He decided to wait until I’d had my epidural. But reassured me that once the water broke it would go quickly.
So they started me on pitocin and then we waited. My contractions gradually grew but nothing I couldn’t handle. It was only after Chewy fell asleep and my mom started to do stuff for work that they got worse. I didn’t want to bother anyone so I just grit my teeth and squeezed the handle of the hospital bed. A nurse came in and asked how I was doing and kind of answered for me – it was like, “how ya doing? Everything good?” and so I nodded my head in agreement. I don’t think clearly sometimes. Anyway, before the nurse returned the next time my mom had noticed, Chewy sat up and did his hand holding job and when the nurse came back we upgraded my pain level from a three to a five and I told her I wanted the epidural. When she left to get that set up my mom said, “you say 5 but your face said 7″…as if I really understand these pain numbers anyway.
I got the epidural, which hurt but after it started to take effect everything and everyone was absolutely agreeable. I noticed I could still kind of move after my epidural, which I couldn’t move at all the last time I had gotten one. The doctor returned to break the water, I tensed at the memory of the first arrempt but this time I didn’t feel anything, he said I was dilated to an 8 and then said, “things should move quickly now” and I said, “you’re done?!” So like that – my water was broken.
It was within an hour that I was ready to push, in fact I wasn’t too sure the baby would wait for me to push, I could actually feel the pressure of her getting ready. I got nervous about that because for some reason a baby slipping out on their own freaks me out and I never want to see or hear of that actually happening.
The doctor came back not a moment too soon, they got me ready to push and then I remembered the instructions from the first time I gave birth and tried to push. I couldn’t feel a thing though so I wasn’t sure it was even working. With Stormy it had hurt so much, but I could tell I was doing my part. With Gertie (that’s her fetal name) I “pushed” and then looked at the doctor as if to ask, “did it work?” then he’d tell me to push again, once more…and wallah! I had a daughter. I didn’t feel a thing, I pushed maybe three times in 7 minutes and there was a baby (Stormy was an hour of pushing). Born at 5:59 pm – which made my mom the winner of the bet that she, Chewy and I had over what time she’d be born.
Then the doctor lifted up this nasty little thing, covered in white something or other which came from inside of me…I just stared at it wondering what he wanted me to do about. Did he expect me to touch it? For reference – with Stormy, he was taken right away because he had already passed his first bowel movement so they had to check him and they went ahead and cleaned and weighed him before I had skin to skin time with him. So this was new for me. And it was gross. The nurse grabbed Gertie and laid her on my chest and it was no longer gross. …until that is, she peed on me…not once, not twice, but three times (at least I hope it was pee).
Gertie and I were able to stay skin to skin for quite some time as they finished everything with me (you know, stitching, pushing, poking, prodding). We were taken to our room around 8:30-9 pm with our sticky baby and were told all about our paperwork as if we hadn’t been up since 4:30 in the morning and just gone through a physically exhausting experience. They took Gertie away to clean her, then brought her back for some nursing. It was almost midnight before they came to take her back to the nursery and I was finally able to get a few hours sleep. With that long winded story (sorry, I know I promised a nutshell but I’m a wordy person) – here is the first picture of “Gertie” (they cleaned her face up while I held her).
This past Sunday my husband left early for a meeting at church. Stormy and I were playing in the living room when a noxious smell permeated the room. It doesn’t take a special degree to assess where the smell originated from. I took Stormy to change his diaper. Got him set up on the table and prepared for why I thought would be a routine diaper change.
I was unprepared for what I saw. It was super Ezra creamy and stuck to his bum like peanut butter to the roof of your mouth.
That wasn’t the worst of it though. Stormy’s little chunky hands first went for the diaper-I had to move it to the side with superhero speed. He didn’t seem to mind or care as his hands, in one fluid motion, changed direction to his bare, feces covered bum. His right hand struck the massive poo, sticking to his fingers like molasses. With one hand still holding his legs to reduce fecal damage to the changing mat, I tried to wipe his fingers but he yanked them away, getting poo on his other hand. Then he reached for me with his tainted fingers. I jumped away from my child as though he’d turned zombie, however I still managed to hold on to his legs. Knowing my backup for diaper changes was miles away and unable to help, I cried for mercy, “please! I’m all alone!”
I gave up on saving the changing pad, that could be washed. I cleaned up his fingers as much as he would allow and then focused on the source of the poo. It took hundreds of wipes.
I finally got the bum under control, then the fingers again before taking him to the bathroom to scrub him down. I removed the changing pad cover and replaced it with a clean one and then scrubbed my own hands several times more. Yet- the smell of poo haunted me the rest of the day.
I often feel like the bad guy from scary movies. You know, like Halloween. One of the normal characters is running away from Micheal and then you see him just walking like he’s on a Sunday stroll. In the end- Micheal wins. Somehow his walking is equivalent or better than their running.
That’s what it’s like some mornings when I’m trying to get Stormy dressed or to change his diaper. His heavy footed pitter patter echoes through the house and I walk silently behind, sure to catch up without breaking a sweat. Sometimes he gets away, but I always get my toddler in the end.
In keeping with my goals – here is my Pinterest project of the week (it won’t always be Pinterest…but considering how many pins I have it will mostly be Pinterest…have I said Pinterest enough in this post?)
I used self lamenting sheets I got at Target but also found on Amazon. And Velcro circles I got at Walmart. I already had the Velcro from when I made Stormy’s quiet book. One change I made was I put the words on the back so I could have them if I didn’t remember.
Also, this is my first time with set laminating sheets and I didn’t realize I needed to cut the print out how I wanted it before laminating it. But it’s okay because I’ve decided to put it in a binder with hopefully other Pinterest pins to come.
I also started Stormy’s PECS notebook. My nephew had one these when he was younger to help him with learning to speak so I figured we’d cut down on frustration at the house and give Stormy another form of communicating in addition to his limited verbal and sign. He already saw the picture of popcorn and asked (verbally) for popcorn at snack time. It’s so cute the way he says “popcorn” and “please”
I already have a ton more to add to the food page, but this is the start.
I’ve enjoyed this Christmas season more than the last couple of years. I think it’s because Stormy is getting older and I’m excited for him. That being said, he still doesn’t really get it. We’ve done Christmas family home evenings, decorated the tree, watched at least one Christmas movie together, but for now I’m the only really enjoying it. The other night I made the family go out and deliver cookies. I thought it would be fun, but almost immediately Stormy started to cry and I thought, “oh great, this is going to be terrible”. I almost gave up and took Stormy and Chewy home but Chewy said everything would be fine so we went ahead. We did doorbell ditching because neither of us wanted recognition for the cookies, we had just thought of people we felt needed a little extra Christmas cheer. Since I’m 4.5 months pregnant, Chewy to the ringing and running. Hearing his giggles as he ran back to the car and jumped in made it all worth it. On the last house, he said I had to do it because the pressure was just too much. I went to the front door, tried to position the container of cookies so it wouldn’t get overlooked when they answered the door (we worried that happened at the previous house). I kept stopping because it sounded like someone was coming. Then I finally rang the door bell and took off. The porch light came on before I could even get in the car. I slammed the door and closed my eyes hoping for the interior light to go off. I’m not sure if they saw us (ok, I’m pretty sure they saw us but I’m not sure they realized who it was). I was laughing because of the adrenaline and Chewy said, “that had to be the least stealthiest cookie drop ever.” It’s true. But what can you expect? I’m pregnant, so on top of the normal worry I would trip and fall, I’m not as fast as normal at the moment. But it was fun and I hope everyone got their cookies.
This morning I woke up early and couldn’t fall asleep, I was so excited for Stormy. It’s not his first Christmas but last year was kind of boring, he didn’t really get it. This year I started to show him how to unwrapped his present and he went crazy. Even unwrapping presents still under the tree before we could hand them back. It was a simple Christmas and I like it that way. I felt Stormy got plenty of new toys and Chewy and I are happy with our gifts. I keep wondering if Stormy just thinks this was a really cool day where he got to play with paper and got new toys. Next year he should really get it…right?
Sorry I’ve been a little MIA. I find it’s not so easy to get on the computer and type up a blog post when you have a 14 month old. I can’t leave him unsupervised too long as he has now tried to eat soap, took a bite out of deodorant and pulls open the oven (either on or off, baby don’t care). And if he’s not busy finding reasons for me to call poison control, he’s at the baby gate (which blocks him from the computer/kitty liter box room begging to come in and destroy everything…and maybe taste some cat liter). Anyway – the beastie is slumbering so I thought I’d take the chance to catch up a little on the blog.
Last week, Stormy and I were able to travel up to Philadelphia Pennsylvania with the young women at church for the temple open house up there. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the words I just typed – in our church we have meeting houses where we get together on Sundays and during the week for activities and then we have temples. There are far less temples than meeting houses and the temple is far more sacred. Near us, we have the D.C. Temple (where Chewy and I were married) and the Raleigh Temple and now the Philadelphia Temple. So you can see there aren’t as many. When a temple is first built they have an open house where anyone (member of our church or not) can go and get a tour. Then they dedicate the temple and once the temple is dedicated it’s closed to the public. Only members of our church who have a recommend can enter.
The PA temple will be dedicated sometime in September so until then, the public is welcome to go and tour.
Ok – with that out of the way, here’s our trip. The ride up went extremely well. We got there in four-five hours (we stopped for lunch). Stormy did really well. I had two of the young women with me and one sitting in the back keeping him entertained. We easily found the parking deck we wanted (I get anxious about city driving – mostly because of the parking situation in every city known to man). We met up with another young woman who recently moved from our ward to PA. It was great to see her and her mom again. Then we went exploring.
The heat index was at about 1,000 degrees that day and I had a backpack and a baby. Sweat literally dripped from me from the moment we we walked ten feet until ten minutes after we found air condition. How did people survive in the days before air conditioning?
We first went to the Liberty Bell. I have to say, I expected some elevation, a flight of stairs or an elevator ride…I don’t know why I thought this. It’s ground floor at the end of a hallway. There were lots of people but it wasn’t too crowded. We didn’t spend long there, probably because we didn’t want to lose any of the girls. So we took a picture and headed to Independence Hall.
For whatever reason we didn’t actually go to Independence Hall – we just took a picture. It started to remind me of my D.C. trip with my sisters a few years back where I was stuck driving and we drove by things taking pictures…and I hated it. Except I didn’t hate this, I just wanted to get inside. I was giving Stormy water like crazy because I was so worried he would dry out.
We made our way to a visitor center with a gift shop and information but most importantly, a water fountain and air conditioning.
We remained there until it was time to go to dinner.
The walk through the city wasn’t so bad, except that we had a hoard of teenage girls from Mechanicsville, VA-many of which had probably never been in a city before. They were distracted by shiny things, boys, homeless people mumbling. It was a challenge to keep them all moving along and not leaving any behind when they saw a window of shiny jewelry or a small bird in the middle of the road (no joke – had to tell her to stay on the sidewalk).
We did dinner at Chipotle where I ordered a cheese quasadilla and bowl with rice, chicken, cheese, beans, etc. The funny thing is – the employees probably though the qausadilla was for Stormy and the adult sized bowl was for me…not so. Stormy ate most of it, he really seemed to enjoy the mixture of the food. I’m so glad he eats more adult like than I do.
Then we made our way to the Temple for our scheduled tour. We just barely made it in time to sit down and wait…I guess the group waiting was too big so they split us. It was nice to be sitting in a comfy seat with AC, however Stormy was tired, it was his bedtime and he didn’t want to sit still. The open house was pretty awesome. I’ve been to one before in Utah (because they have a new temple about every six months – sarcasm…but I’m sure it’s close to that), but the young women hadn’t been to one before and the chances of being able to go to another on the east coast are pretty slim. That’s why we decided to do this, that and we had a place for all the girls to spend the night for free (see above – YW and her family moved recently). We first were taken to a room and shown a video which explains what happens in a temple, the different things done there such as baptisms, marriages, etc. One thing I thought interesting was the emphasis on the marriages being between a man and a woman – which makes sense since the civil definition of marriage has been expanded. It also stood out because there was totally a gay couple going through the tour with us – I get self conscious about that stuff because I don’t want to offend, but at the same time, it doesn’t change God’s law. I think I may have written before (or it’s in a draft somewhere) about how hard it can be to stand up for what I know is true when it’s telling someone they shouldn’t be with the person they love. But I know God’s stand on it and must defend it. Neither here nor there, just saying it stood out to me because of them. One of the men had really good questions (about temples in general) and I was curious to hear what he would ask next. He wasn’t confrontational or anything, and I really liked that about him because it was obvious he didn’t agree with some of the things said, but he didn’t bring those things up, like he understood there wasn’t a point in debating those things.
I’m digressing. The temple was beautiful…it had a LOT of stairs though, my legs were burning by the end (didn’t help that I was still carrying a backpack and baby). By the end though I had to get going, Stormy was fading. I had booked a hotel room for the two of us since I figured a house full of teenage girls wouldn’t offer much chance to sleep. So we took some pics and headed our own way.
When we got to the hotel there was a woman in front of us checking in. I had Stormy and he had his teddy bear and we were waiting to be assisted. The woman turned and stared at us…like the kind of stare where you refuse to make eye contact but you can feel it and kind of see it our the corner of your eye and it’s almost as though she wanted to say something. You know that kind of stare? I hate those kind of stares. Another employee came to the counter to help me check in. The woman was staring again. At one point she mentioned she had a cat with her – so she shall now be referred to as the creepy cat lady.
We got our room key and I went out to the car to grab our stuff, leaving creepy cat lady at the desk. I walked past her and her traveling companion in the parking lot on the way back. The hallway and elevator were not air conditioned – in case you were wondering. So I was back to dripping with sweat. We got into our room and I had brought a pack ‘n’ play but was considering leaving it in the car as we had a king sized bed. Certainly you can share a bed that size with a toddler. I put Stormy on the bed, got him in his pjs and had him ready for bed but he just whimpered on the bed, unsure what to do. So I grabbed him and headed back down to the car to get the pack ‘n’ play. When we got back to our room I saw Creepy Cat Lady a few doors down, going in to her room. I smiled and then turned my attention to everything else in the hallway. I saw her out the corner of my eye…staring…I got us in our room and deadbolted the door. I locked every feasible lock there was. Add to my list of fears – people who stare.
While I was struggling with the pack ‘n’ play someone tried to open our door! My thought of course, was the Creepy Cat Lady. Needless to say it took me a while to calm down. I mean, my child is adorable, you know this. As Chewy puts it, he’s a buttery concoction, so we have to be careful no one steals him. I wouldn’t put it past the cat lady to try and take him to feed her cat.
I finally got his bed set up, but it was totally uncomfortable, so I put a spare blanket down..then I put to pillows underneath. He lay down and drifted off. I went to take a shower and then I heard him crying. I ran into the room and found that the pillows didn’t cover the whole pack ‘n’ play and he had rolled into the gap they left. So I grabbed two rolled up towels from the bathroom and put those in the gap. He finally fell asleep – I finally got a shower.
The bed was the most comfortable bed I have ever laid down in…but I didn’t get a lot of sleep. Stormy kept waking up in the night, probably terrified that teh Creepy Cat Lady had entered the room. He finally fell asleep in the bed with me (meaning I didn’t sleep well because it turns out you can’t share any sized bed with a toddler). I woke up early and sat in the bathroom watching Netflix on my phone until it was time to wake up.
We ate breakfast at the hotel (which is never as good as you hope it will be) and he got lots of strangers talking to him. Then we rushed off to meet up with the girls and head home. I had a different girl ride back with me. The drive back was miserable, I won’t even regale you with the stories, needless to say, what should have been 4-5 hours turned into 9. His dancing was the only gem of the day.
Other than that – Stormy was miserable and as soon as we dropped our girl off at her house, he threw up. I worried it was heat stroke but then he was all snotty the next day, and the next, and then I had a sore throat and my other symptoms followed. So the past week Stormy and I have been quarantined at home.