Posts Tagged ‘Life’

You did it.  You fooled me.  Well, to be fair I think you believed it was true too but it wasn’t.  You convinced me that our precious little baby Adam wouldn’t take a bottle.

I believed you because I’ve tasted Isomil or whatever it is the doctor has him drinking now and guess what, it’s really, really, REALLY gross.  You believed you because you didn’t really want to give the baby a bottle for me–especially if it might take actual work.  In an effort to find enough time to do anything other than nurse this baby, however, I resolved to try a two-ounce bottle a day until I could get him to agree.

I succeeded on day one.  For future reference, here’s how it works.

The baby is crying and hungry.  You mix and warm up the bottle–not too hot.  Afterwards, you pick him up and put the bottle in his mouth.  He doesn’t like it too much because it’s a little bitter and, let’s face it, it’s rubber.  I mean how many sane men, young or old, ever said to themselves, “What I really want right now is a fake nipple”?  None, that’s how many.

Nevertheless, you keep the fake nipple in the baby’s mouth and you hold him gently.  Eventually he gets the idea that something that will cure his hunger pangs is dripping from it.  He begins to suck.

After a few minutes he may reject the bottle again.  Try burping him.  Whether he belches or not offer him the bottle in another minute or so.  He will probably protest but you will overcome!  Hold him close almost like you could nurse him yourself.  Give him a couple kisses on the head and a nuzzle while keeping said synthetic nipple full of bitter formula in his mouth.  In a second he’ll take it and you will have succeeded in giving your mother or wife a break.

For Pete’s sake.

If that’s not enough incentive think about how much sooner your own dinner will be on the table if I don’t need to drop what I’m doing every two hours to feed “The Gullet.”

Thank you.


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Adam John, content on Mom's lap at the computer.

My latest distraction and the answer to, “Are you still doing your blog?” 

Alas, mostly no. 

I sit on this fence so much.  Do I have time to blog?  I don’t know.  I would like to.  On the other hand, here’s little number eight.

He was 9lbs even at birth.  He is 12.5lbs at four months.  He’s not much for putting on weight.  The pediatrician offered to donate some fat for him but that’s not allowed.  I, however, am encouraged to give to the cause.

Now that Mr. Adam is below the 10th percentile for weight I get to hold him almost all day long.  The good doctor told me to feed him eight to ten times a day.  With the exception of a six-hour rest at night and two two-hour naps a day  that means I cannot waiver on offering him sustenance every two hours.

But wait, there’s more!  He’s sensitive to cow’s milk AND soy and he’s justifiably disgusted by hypoallergenic formulas.  (They taste like paint thinner if you ask me.)  Nutramigen made him break out anyway.  So there’s only one milk truck for Adam and her name begins with E. 

Will I be blogging more?  Maybe.  I have another entry started.

Stay tuned to see if I finish…

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I guess today the answer is to blog.

I’ve been spending some time thinking about where I want to go with this.  Do I publish whatever it is I write on my little-read/unpaid blog or do I spend time trying to publish my writing for pay?  Ultimately, I think the answer is both.

It looks like my last blog post was in March and honestly, I’m shocked to see that I still have people checking in here and there.  Wow, hi!

Since then I’ve been, you know, pregnant.  That’s a lot of work.  I’ve also been a slave to the phenomenon that is youth baseball.  We had four boys playing on five different teams this year.  It was fun!  It was oh so much fun!  The only thing I can say to that is I’m eternally grateful it wasn’t four girls dancing in five different dance troupes.  I think that would have killed me.

And lest you find yourself wondering why five baseball teams should be a burden, let me assure you there was more.  There was also girl’s JV tennis, flute lessons and all of the stuff that comes with the end of the school year–art fairs, very cute preschool plays, field trips, concerts, recitals and mommy guilt.  I’m afraid to say I’ve continued to fail at getting 1,000 lap-hours of reading in for my preschoolers.  I’ve also asked my big kids to babysit too much.


Basically, I barely had time to think.  And I needed to think for many reasons, not the least of which was to figure out where I’m going with this writing thing.

I also barely had time to eat, which means I was subsisting on PB&J and that, it turns out, makes me into a very, very low-energy pregnant woman.  When it was finally time for school to get out and about time for me to take my one-hour glucose test I started eating much more sensibly and voila!  I had a normal amount of pregnant-lady energy again.  I also had a lot less back pain, which I find surprising.  I still failed the one-hour glucose test though.  I find out tomorrow if I passed the three-hour test.  I hesitate to hazard a guess.

Nevertheless, all of that is behind us now.  The kids opted out of summer baseball and I opted out of signing them up for any other summer activities.  That has left us with six weeks of blessed boredom.  So far we’ve managed to fill this boredom with three pool parties (two of our own and one elsewhere), gardening, yard work and long neglected household projects.  Each day feels freer when one of those household project suckers gets checked off the list.

Today will apparently be a day for moving bedrooms around in anticipation of the little one’s September arrival.  I think I may even begin the job of painting Marie’s new girly bedroom.

The next several weeks of boredom will include a trip to the White Mountains, more painting and decorating newly reconfigured bedrooms, more neglected household projects, lots of summer reading, hopefully lots of writing, some crocheting of the new baby’s crib-blanket-from-Mom, waiting for crayons to go on sale for 20-cents a box at WalMart and getting the back-to-school shopping/scavenging through hand-me-downs under control.

All in all it leaves me wondering how all you people with zero to three children manage to make it through a single day without dying of boredom.  Really, how do you DO it?!

At any rate, back to the thinking about writing thing.  It seems to me I can both blog and write for profit.  Lots of people do it, right?  I can at least try.  (I say try because it’s not exactly the golden age of writing for profit at the moment right now, is it?)

For the past little bit I’ve been working on getting some fiction going.  I took a creative writing workshop a few years ago and I think I was pretty successful.  The instructor encouraged me to enter some contests and maybe I’ll do that again.  The idea of forging ahead on my own is a little scary though.  Finding out what’s buried in my head is a little scary too.  It’s always so dark.  We’ll see where it goes.

This morning I started working on some personal essays too.  That was easier though it’s where I get stuck on the idea of separating professional work from blogging.  For now I’m going to give it a try and see how it shakes out.  There’s lots from our daily life that can find a home here.

So, here’s to beginning again.  We’ll see how long I can keep it going!

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When you own a front loading washer with easy-to-push control buttons just above the door and you have small children you should never, ever put a load of towels and underwear in to wash at bedtime.

What happens when you have little kids and start a load of towels and underwear at bedtime is that you congratulate yourself for getting a jump on the morning.  You smuggly tell yourself that because of your forethought you’ll finish the 8-foot pile of laundry still waiting on the floor by dinner the next day.  You know you’re not being terribly honest.  You know it will really take until Wednesday but you still feel good.

In the morning you take your bad self to the laundry room and remove the clothes from the dryer because in addition to putting that one last load in to wash before bed you actually completed about four loads of clothes and diapers the day before.   Afterwards you turn to the washing machine.  That’s when the real fun begins.

You open the washer and stare for a moment of incomprehension.  Being old and pregnant (Don’t tell me it’s not true.  In medical circles I’m referred to as “geriatric OB”) and partially lobotomized from the raising of brain-sucker-outers you notice right away that something’s not right.  You just can’t put your finger on it.

Then you see the puddle of dingy, greasy water coming up to the edge of the washer door. 

Then the odor hits.

Then you know.

One of your precious little cherubs used one of their sweet, sticky fingers to press the power button mid-wash.  After allowing it to fill with hot water and spin around just enough to mix all the stuff leaky diapers left on the onesies, all the junk from the underpants belonging to pre-schoolers who haven’t mastered the fine art of wiping, all the flotsam and jetsam from kitchen rags that were used to clean things like milk spills and puddles of chicken juice, he or she shut it off.  Then, because you put it in and went to bed, it sat there souring for over twelve hours.

In a moment of homemaking insanity you turn the machine back on and choose all the same settings you picked for this particular load of laundry the night before–stain cycle, hot water, heavy soil, extra rinse.  You press the start button and take the opportunity to panic because NOTHING HAPPENS.  You press it a couple times more.  You stand there and wonder how much it’s going to cost to fix it and if you’re supposed to deal with the fetid pile of fabric and bacteria inside before someone can repair it or if that’s part of the fee.  You are surprised when it suddenly starts working.  You realize that you’re not the only confused one.   The machine also took a minute to comprehend being full of water before being powered-up.  As a result it just starts washing your laundry in The Stinkiest Water Ever ™.

Having had a few electrical impulses burst through your brain by now you’re quicker on the draw.  Without even walking away in confusion first you realize you can’t allow your intimates or the towels you’ll wipe your face with to be washed in pure bacteria.  You turn the whole thing off again and reset it to a 20-minute rinse and spin cycle to eliminate as much gross as possible.

At this point you think you’re approaching the end of this problem when you realize that draining the water causes the odor to permeate your entire house.  It was sealed in the machine when you woke up.  Now it’s being spit from a hose to a semi-open drain pipe and it’s lovely.  It lasts for hours

Finally, it’s time to start the wash load from scratch again.  You program the settings, add  the maximum amount of detergent and a half cup of Borax just to be SURE you won’t smell anything next time you open the washer door.  And you don’t, thank goodness, because if you did you’d be about to start your third hour-and-a-half cycle for this one stinking (literally) load of laundry.

You will not reach the bottom of the eight-foot laundry pile today but there is a bright side–and believe me, I’m the master of finding a bright side.  Instead of the usual three, you will only have to fold and put away one load of laundry this day.  Now tomorrow, that’s another story.

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I got a cool new camera (which I picked out myself and, hey, Nugents who can read, SSSSHHHH! We’re keeping up the illusion that Dad picked out an absolutely perfect gift for me.)

I also got an appletini and I have to ask, what the heck did Todd make this thing with, absinthe? I’ve been sipping it on and off for hours and I’m definitely feeling it. I think the loud, moist shushing above is actually due to the very stiff drink.


I haven’t even finished it yet (Okay, well NOW I’ve finished it.) and if we weren’t on day three of a blizzard suffice it to say I wouldn’t be able to drive. Though, you know, I have been known to drive in blizzards.

I saw the football coach driving past my house Friday (Hi coach! We HAWKS got your Christmas greeting–well, Andrew, being the only HAWK, he got it.) and as he was driving by I was pulling out in the thick of the storm to take myself and three children for haircuts. Yeah, it’s that important.

Um, no, wait.  It’s not.

I called the salon by the end of a mile to say, “Hey! What the heck were you doing calling us to rush down there NOW to get our hair cut? It’s a blizzard out here! I’m going home.” They said okay.

I’ve been summoned for cake twice now though so I have to hang it up here (after much backtracking and fixing a la Todd’s insanely potent appletini) but I’ll be back later with pictures from the cool, new camera.

Yay camera!

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I know people just love Jon and Kate Plus Eight. Some are downright rabid fans. If there are any of those among you, I’m sorry. I have to get this off my chest.

Why don’t I like poor Jon and Kate, you ask? Why don’t I have a feeling of jovial solidarity with them?

It’s because watching their program is a busman’s holiday for me. I flipped it on the other night to see the Gosselin’s having movie night, with the non-stop talking. And the fidgeting. And the crying. And the fighting. And the popcorn. And the spilling. (Spilling even though it’s Kate’s house.) Then there was the threatening and cajoling and the fact that they had to watch an animal movie. Kate might still think it’s fun to watch kids’ fare but I’ve been at this for fourteen years and I am OVER it. Plus, I know that no matter how you keep saying it’s FUN because it’s family time, it’s not fun. It totally stressed me out.

And then there’s this… Great, she had six kids at once. So what? I’m sure that was a grueling pregnancy. I truly believe it was a marathon of a first year. But, I’ve been pregnant seven times! Even discounting the weeks I missed because all my children were early I’ve spent 1/3 of my fifteen-year marriage prengant. I’ve spent more of it nursing, and nursing = sleep deprived. Isn’t THAT amazing?

With the exception of the hospitalization, the diapers and the bottles I don’t see how what they’re doing is harder than what we’re doing. So there are six three year olds in their house but when the Gosselins decide to play t-ball, for example, there will be eight Gosselins playing on maybe three teams but at the same level and on the same fields. Next spring I will have five children playing baseball and lacrosse on five or six different teams at all different places and with all different schedules. As much as I enjoy watching my children playing whatever sport they’re playing, that kind of schedule is overwhelming. It just is. It takes apblomb! It takes heroism! It’s not that interesting though, not for TLC anyway.

And finally, I have no hired help but Kate Gosselin does. She can afford it because she gets paid for having had six children all at once. It wouldn’t matter though, because I remember one episode in which she described the different people who volunteer to help her just because. There were all kinds of people. Random women from church came over regularly to help with everyday stuff. They all saw her with those six babies and two toddlers and pitched right in. Somehow the same doesn’t happen when you have your babies one at a time and somehow Kate still manages to complain about how much work she has to do on every episode.

When you have your seven babies the old fashioned way you come home from the hospital just as tired and beat-up as you did with your first but you make dinner for the other six and you go to a birthday party. You get to do it yourself and while you made your own choices and take full responsibility for them, no, you don’t like watching Jon & Kate get extra credit and a paycheck for doing basically the same thing.

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People who know me and say things like “You’re so relaxed you’re like Xanax,” may be surprised to know I’m really a nervous wreck. (I have this nagging feeling I’ve blogged about this before.)  Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that while my internal dialogue is going like this:

Aaaahahahahahhaahhhhh! They’re using my car’s cigarette lighter to ignite napkins, tissues and football practice jerseys?! Holy crap! I am a terrible mother! What in the world was I thinking by procreating so many times? They’re all talking about me and what a terrible mother I am. Oh, God. That’s the least of my worries. DCFS is definitely going to come knocking at my door this time.

What comes out of my mouth is more like this:

Oh, my! Thank you so much for telling me about that Bill. (Walks quickly but calmly from the front of the van to the door.) David, get out of my car. Your coach is here and you can practice now. Ben, go play on the jungle gym. (Turning back to the other parents and pocketing the lighter with a mental note to never put it back.) They’re trying to kill me. (eye-roll) I guess I can just add this to the list of things I’m going to do to them and their things as payback when they grow up. How long until they move out?

Somehow, no matter what flippin’ insane things are going on around me I can’t bring myself to convey the flippin’ insane way I feel. Instead, I come across with a calm response or a joke or both. On the one hand, it’s probably good. On the other hand I don’t wonder why funny people like Chris Farley and John Belushi end up addicted and subsequently dead.

Anyway, that’s how it goes most days. Other days, not so much. The time I drove myself and four small boys to Boston for a postpartum doctor’s visit was one of the not-so-much days.

Ever the optimist I arranged for Todd to meet us in the parking lot so he could take care of the children in the waiting room. Of course he was late. Todd doesn’t do on time. This required me to lug two rowdy preschoolers, a toddler and a newborn into the office by myself.

It was lovely.

The waiting room was A SCENE. I seem to remember having to let other patients go in front of me as my appointment time came and went without Todd. I can’t say for sure. I’ve blocked out some of the more horrible parts. I know that when he finally did show up I was led away from the waiting room and seated in an orange plastic chair. Given the circumstances it was the most awesome orange plastic chair E.V.E.R.

As the nurse took my blood pressure she asked how things were going. I heard the doctor laugh out loud in his office when I responded that it was great if you like living in a frat house for little people.

Ten minutes later he walked into the exam room, sat down and started a conversation that went like this:

Doctor: Frat house for little people, ha?
Me: Yeah.  (Insert pathetic attempt at a chuckle.)  Didn’t you see them in the waiting room?   (Bursts into tears and begs for pharmaceuticals.)

Okay, it wasn’t EXACTLY like that but, sadly, it wasn’t all that much different either. Which brings me to my point.

I still live in a frat house for little people. Maybe more now than I did then since all the boys in question are now walking and talking and spending as much time as possible acquiring new and ever more creative ways to converse about body parts and their various functions. They’ve also broken my couch by diving onto it from an end table when they think they won’t get caught.

This very morning I was sitting on the broken end of the couch folding Mt. Laundry when Ben suggested I move.

Mom, he said. You shouldn’t sit there because you could break it worse with your big butt.

Oh, the tact.

I didn’t answer at first. I just continued folding and thinking about the fact that I really could lose some weight but, honestly, I don’t care. Then it dawned on me that hey, even if I have more to worry about than my weight at the moment, I don’t really want to hear comments about it from my five-year-old so I said, You know, Ben. Women don’t really like it when people tell them they have a big butt. His response? Well, you do.

Out of the mouths of babes, right?

I guess I should have known my college aversion to all things Greek would eventually come back to bite me in the ass.

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