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.
There are 11 days until baby number two is due. Am I ready? Who knows.
I’m a little nervous about having two kids. The one is a ton of work and as I recall he used to be a lot of work but in a different way….which means I’ll have two different types of “ton of work”. It’s a daunting thought.
And if it’s possible, which it is, I’m more nervous about labor with this one. Everything was so easy with the first one. I was scheduled to be induced so I had a date and then he came the day before, which was fine because I was already ready to go. Chewy hadn’t left for work yet when the things I had read to look for to indicate the start of labor started happening. I’m trying to be realistic that things won’t be exactly the same this time. Which I guess is what makes me nervous.
That and now there’s more to take care of. We know who will be watching Stormy, but we have to work out how to get him to that person and we have to have an overnight bag ready. The worst part – What if labor starts in the middle of the night?! That’s the worst thing to me. I hate to bother people and we’d have to bother everyone in the middle of the night. I just want this baby to come during business hours like her older brother did. And it’d be nice if she came sooner rather than later, she killing me.
So – that’s my update after a long absence. More to come soon.
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.
Wow – I’ve really dropped off the face of the earth, haven’t I? So I guess the best way to explain my absence is with this picture:
I’m not saying this excuses me – but, well, it kind of does. First the exhaustion set in, then the nausea. I’m starting to feel better and I haven’t thrown up in 4 days which is my new record. So I’m cautiously optimistic that I’m over that part.
In October I attended a writers conference here in RVA. It was great. I have to say though, not every panel came through as well as I had hoped, but that happens because it’s a panel of authors and sometimes they get sidetracked or they don’t completely understand their topic so they just modify it. There was one panel where one panelist kind of took over and she didn’t stay on topic, she said (and even stated that’s what she was doing) whatever came into her mind. I didn’t like that panel at all. But other than that it was good as usual. I was able to meet with an experienced author to go over the first page of my story. I was semi-nervous as I was sharing my writing with a complete stranger, but when a woman in my writing group found out I had signed up for that she called me brave (she knows the guy I was going to meet with). That’s when I became really nervous. I tried to calm down and when I met with him I was ready for the worst. But he was actually really nice, had great advice, and complimented my writing. I told that to the other woman in my writing group and she told me that I should feel very good about that because this man was known for his bluntness and if he didn’t like my writing he wouldn’t have hesitated to tell me so – or to even tell me that maybe I shouldn’t even be writing. So I felt pretty good the rest of the conference.
That being said – I haven’t written anything since. Book, blog or otherwise. So I’m trying to get back in to it. I want to write at least 100 words a day in my story – 1) because that was recommended at the writers conference to help develop the habit and keep moving forward and 2) 100 words seems doable and not overwhelming.
Also, my friend, Ashley has asked me to do a guest post at her blog about life as a single, LDS woman. Granted I’m not single anymore, I have spent more of my adult life single. I have no idea what to say or how it will turn out, but I figure if I started to write (blog and book) then I’d be better able to start writing something about those days as a single lass.
In the rest of my world – Stormy is doing well. He is so fast and crazy and I swear he undoes everything I do – BUT he is learning to help out too. I’ve got him throwing away his own diapers and cleaning up most of his own messes. It’s so fun to watch him learn and grow and develop. He’s more affectionate now and I like to tell myself it’s because I’m his best friend. When you think about it – I’m almost everywhere he goes, I play with him the most, and I give him all the good food when no one’s watching. We gave him his first haircut – in two parts because apparently it’s pretty traumatic. So for about twelve hours he was half done, but – with the exception of a wisp here and there, I think he looks pretty good now.
I’m not really sure what else to update on so I’ll leave you with some more recent pictures and hopefully I’ll be writing again before too long. Also – I’ll post a link when I finally get that guest blog over to Ashley.
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.