Rita's Big Problem

For my birthday, we celebrated by going out to lunch. (Oh, the excitement!) Right away I knew it would be a fantastic experience - we got right in even though the place was packed. They were probably just worrried that I was gonna give birth on their floor, so they wanted to hustle us along.

But "fantastic" quickly turned into "humiliating" when they tried to seat us in a booth ... and I didn't fit. OMG, you guys. How embarrassing. I mean, I could slide into the seat, but my belly pressed so uncomfortably against the edge of the table that I couldn't fathom eating a meal like that. So we had to relocate to a table. In the meantime, the tables surrounding us - all full, of course - were smiling and snickering. To top it off, the table next to ours just happened to be a guy Curtis works with. And a superior, at that. So his first and only impression of me is "the pregnant fatty who couldn't even fit into a booth."

Awesome.

To give you some reference, this is what I look like from my own vantage point. Note the absence of feet.


(Yes, my boobs are like ten miles apart. They'd have to be the size of watermelons in order for me to have the kind of cleavage that touches. And right now they're only, ohh, about the size of grapefruits. And once I'm not pregnant or breastfeeding, they'll be the size - and shape - of deflated raisins. But someday, mark my words, I will BUY cleavage ... bwahaha!)

*ahem*

This is what I looked like from the side ... two or more weeks ago. So you can only imagine me right now.So after we relocated to a table, our waitress comes up. And you know how waitresses are supposed to be friendly and helpful? Well, she wasn't. At least not in the sense of bolstering my ego.

"Ohmigod!" she gasped upon seeing my gargantuan gut. "Is there just one in there?"

"Yes, just one," I said politely with, like, the fakest smile ever.

"I was huge like that too," she gushed. "But I had twins."

Um, thanks.


(... Bitch.)

All this is to say nothing of the stares, the bugged-out "I-can't-believe-I'm-seeing-this" eyes, the openmouthed gapes. I'm not exaggerating one iota when I tell you that people will literally stop what they're doing - or stop dead in their tracks while walking - to do a double take as I pass by. It's as if I've suddenly grown a Siamese twin. With a hunchback. And a mullet.

If I were not hugely pregnant, but grossly obese instead, would people have the audacity to say, "Whoa, is that a glandular problem or just too many Twinkies?" ... No. They wouldn't. (God, at least I hope they wouldn't!) At least not to my face. So why is incubating a Thanksgiving turkey baby different? I know I'm big ... bigger than 99.9% of most pregnant women. I know I look miserable - I am miserable right now. Do you need to point it out? No. I'm quite aware, thankyouverymuch. If you need to say something about my not-so-delicate condition, whisper it to your companion when you think I don't notice, like everybody else does.

I keep telling myself: I'm in the home stretch. I'm in the home stretch. I'm in the home stretch.

PS - If all goes according to plan, I'm going to *attempt* to keep everyone posted during my labor via Twitter. (I'd tweet during the pushing phase too, but I can only do so many things at once, y'all.) Anyway, if you want in on the excitement (does Rita poop on the birthing table this time?) you'll need to follow me on Twitter. And it would help greatly if you could vote in my poll (check the right-hand sidebar of the blog) ... my Twitter page looks crazy on some screens, but to others it looks just fine - so I'm trying to decide whether it's worth going to all the trouble to change it.

"Stuff I Like" Sunday: Stuff That ... Sucks?

Usually when we say something "sucks," it means we dislike said object. But when I tell you my vacuum sucks, I mean in it the best way possible - because, like, that's what vacuums are supposed to do.

I don't know why, but I have an insane amount of crap on my floor (not literally. Well, okay, sometimes I do actually have crap on my floor and in other places, but usually it's just hair and crumbs and weird pieces of ... whatever). It's like my floor is this infinite dirt trap, and I have spent countless hours wondering where the hell it all comes from. Through the years I've gone through several cheapie vacuum cleaners that worked okay for the first six months and then somehow, poof. Kaput. They're like, "Wow, screw this, I didn't know you'd work me so hard" and they just die, or go on strike, or otherwise fail to pick up the crap.

Anyway, one day last year a door-to-door vacuum salesman came by. Normally I wouldn't even answer the door because a.) I hate sales pressure, and b.) I always look like a hot mess, but that day I decided I'd just answer and tell him to get the hell off my porch (tactfully, of course). Like the sales pitch sucka that I am, though, he was in my house before I knew it, doing a demonstration of his wares: the Kirby Sentria. And I was reeled in, hook, line, and sinker, standing slack-jawed in amazement of how much ick this thing was picking up.

I remembered that my grandma had a Kirby vacuum that's, like, forty-something years old and still works like a charm. So before I could say "easy target," I was signing on the dotted line, the proud owner of a new vacuum. And it was expensive, y'all. You know what, though? It works so well that I don't even mind (too much) forking over the monthly payments. Word to the wise, though: if you ever buy one, DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST. I could've gotten mine for waaaaay cheaper, had I been given adequate time to scour the Internet first.

Be that as it may, it was worth it. I LOVE this thing. And, like the true dork that I am, I actually wrote a poem about it. A few of you may have read it before on a previous blog, but I thought I'd dust it off and share it for those of you I've just met.

(PS - It's pronounced "sen-TREE-uh," not "SENTRY-uh." Just letting you know, so the poem flows properly. Because if it doesn't, I sound like a non-rhyming idiot.)

*ahem* Here goes ...


My life changed for the better when the salesman rang the bell;
He offered me a demo, and I thought, "Sure, what the hell."
Right then I heard the calling of your lovely siren song
When he showed me how my old vacuum had done my family wrong.

As your sleek and shiny body slid across my bedroom floor,
You picked up things from deep within, and still came back for more.
With every new attachment, you sucked me right on in
Your performance had me mesmerized; you got beneath my skin.

Oh Sentria, my Sentria,
You're a wonder to behold;
With your brushes, belts and hoses,
You're worth your weight in gold.

Oh Sentria, my Sentria,
What a difference you've made!
I can even clean my house without the arm and leg I paid.

Thanks to you, I've got no cobwebs in the highest-up of places,
I can reach in tiny crevices
And awkward squeezy spaces
My upholstery is hairless, my surfaces dust-free;
I dare someone to try and find a speckle of debris!

Oh Sentria, my Sentria,
My old vacuum had me bitter -
But you came and won the battle
Over dog hair and cat litter.

Oh Sentria, my Sentria,
My old vacuum had me hurt,
But you picked up the pieces -
And the crumbs, and dust, and dirt.

Some may say you're a suck-up,
With your fancy-schmancy tools;
But your brush roll is a beauty,
Your chrome a sparkling jewel.

My life changed for the better when you swept into my world,
Now this disillusioned housewife
Is a happier, cleaner girl!


Now that's about as heartfelt as it gets. And it explains why I can love something that sucks so much. :)


You Say It's Your Birthday?

... It's my birthday too! Well, okay, it's tomorrow (shoutout to Meg, my b-day sharing buddy!). Whereupon I will officially enter the last year of my '20s. And, like, OMG! How is it that I've gotten to be 29 and still feel like a dumb bumbling kid sometimes? I feel ridiculous to label myself a "woman" because to me, women are pulled-together. They've got direction, they're getting things done, they're self-assured, they're mature. I, on the other hand, have no idea what I'm doing half the time, can get lost turning a corner (I'm serious, y'all) and think toilet humor is funny. That doesn't sound like any "woman" I envision. I'm an adult in that I can legally drink, vote, and order things off the TV (you know, because "you must be 18 to call"). But in my mind, it pretty much stops there. Even though no one considers me a kid any more, and I've even got kids of my own to screw up raise, I don't feel like I imagine a 29-year-old should feel. It's like I'm walking in boots that are too big for me, ya dig?

So when will I ever feel grown up? Will I hit some magical age - say, 30 maybe - where I think I'm right where I should be? Or does that only happen to the rare and lucky few whose lives have, in fact, gone exactly as planned?

I do know one thing, speaking of plans: I'm gonna do my best to make my 29th year the most awesome year EVER. Because sadly, for numerous reasons I won't bore you with here, my 28th year has been the worst of my life. And I'm sick of it. So as soon as I pop this baby boy out (send labor vibes!), I'm on a mission to fulfill the name of my blog once and for all and stop the terrifying descent into full-time frumpiness. I'm bringing sexy back, for real. Just you watch.

You need inspiration? Allow me.

I promise.



But first ... birthday cake.



I've Had Too Much Whine

Seriously. WHAT is with the WHINING? I think every word out of Colin's mouth this morning - and I mean that literally, every-single-effing-word, has been said in the kind of tone that makes me think of abusive ways to use duct tape.

I can halfway understand the need to whine about something frustrating. Can't get your underwear back on straight after you pee? Sure, I can see a whine coming from that. Baby brother sprinkles you with milk from his sippy cup and then laughs? Yeah, that might merit a little complaint. I would be willing to overlook - and not gripe to the world on my blog about - minor, reasonable infractions of the "no-whining" code like those. But it's the stuff that Colin could totally say in a regular tone of voice, yet doesn't, that has me wishing he were equipped with a "mute" button:

"I'm dooooone with my eeeeeeeeeeggs!"
"I need to poooooop!"
"When does 'The Fresh Beat Band' come ooooooooonnnnn?"
"Can I help you water the plaaaaaaants?"

It irritates me to no end. It makes no sense. Those phrases needed to be whined why?

I swear, the kid's going for some kind of award today - like "Most Syllables in the Word 'Mommy'" or "Longest Complaint Without Drawing a Breath." But if I can make it through the day - no no, the next few hours - without donning a pair of heavy-duty earplugs and actually hiding from him, I think it's me who deserves the award.



Half the Fun is Trying

Whew! I'm tired from all the babymaking I've been doing. *wink wink, nudge nudge* Y'know? Because making the babies is half the fun, right? ... Eh?

Okay, so I'm talking about Internet babymaking ... a.k.a. "wasting valuable time on a website." (Ironically, the fact that I actually am making a baby is precisely why I haven't been doing any *ahem* ... well, you know.) But I came across this time sucker site called Make Me Babies last night, and couldn't stop virtually procreating - I was like a digital Michelle Duggar. I made babies with celebrities, and even - yes - a couple with my actual husband. So without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to some of my kids.

First, if Curtis and I ever had a little girl (which I'm beginning to think is impossible, given the fact that we're on our THIRD boy), she'd apparently look like this:

Cute enough, but her forehead is more like a "five-head." Maybe I should cut her some bangs to break up that big ol' blank space? Just sayin' ...

Then there's Baby Beckham. Not too shabby. Eat your heart out, Posh.

And then there's my baby with Brad Pitt (whose last name would be Templeton-Pitt since he obviously digs the hyphenation):

(One question, though: why does Baby Templeton-Pitt remind me of Halle Berry's daughter Nahla Aubry?)


Oh yeah - it must be because I'm a (paler, fatter) dead ringer for Halle herself. Right?


...*cricket, cricket*...



Speaking of questionable ... WHY does my child with Jude Law look black ...


... while my child with Rick James looks white?


Let's try it with a different photo of me ...

Yep, still black. Craziness.

And while we're on the subject of craziness: y'know who I make surprisingly cute babies with? Yeah - Marilyn Manson.


His real name is Brian Warner and he's originally from Ohio. So even if he is a freak, his sperm must totally still be all-American, midwestern stock. Hence the Macaulay Culkin lookalike that our little Internet dalliance created.

So what are you all waiting for? Go waste some time make some babies.



The Phantom Pooper

Poop: it's an all-too-frequent occurrence in our house. I'm all for regularity, but when I'm in charge of tidying up after others' regular bowels - namely those of Cameron, our dog Andy, and our cats Thurman and Ava - I wish somebody would get constipated once in a while. Seriously. Because the amount of turds I wipe, scoop, or pick up (not to mention smell, ugh) on a daily basis would probably qualify for some sort of record. I don't even want to think about how much baby Coby will contribute once he gets here. I'll have to start wearing head-to-toe rubber protective gear.

Anyway, Cameron took his regular run-of-the-mill morning dump at about 10 AM. Nothing special, nothing squishing wetly out of the diaper, no abnormally huge messes. Fast-forward to about an hour later, and I keep smelling poop - yet his diaper is still clean, and there's no sign of poo anywhere on him. But there's that unmistakable smell hanging in the air: faint enough so that I can't exactly tell where it's coming from, yet strong enough to be noticeable.

That's when I came across the weird spots. They began inexplicably in the middle of the hallway. Brown smudges, perfectly round, about five or six of them in a series of uniformly-sized-and-shaped dots spaced evenly apart. Describing it to Curtis, I said, "Picture if a Weeble hopped through a pile of poo and then across the carpet." For those of you unfamiliar with Weebles, here's a picture:

(I don't know why I thought of Weebles hopping through poo, it's just the image that came to mind. So anyway, picture the prints that such a thing would make.)

The poopy Weeble-prints led just inside the door of our bedroom, then ended as mysteriously as they began. Oh yeah, and there were two smaller, equally unexplainable smudges on Curtis's freshly laundered shirts which were laid out on the bed.

There's only one fitting acronym for this phenomenon: WTF?

To recap ...

- No overt piles of poop anywhere, just weird circular "poop-stamps" on the carpet and Curtis's shirts

- All the same size, shape, and distance apart; leading from mid-hallway into our bedroom

- The kids and animals were all free of any telltale poo smears

- I know I didn't do it, and Curtis was in bed at the time (not that either of us are usually responsible if there's fecal matter on the floor, but hey, there's a first time for everything)

So yeah ... I have no idea where the poop came from. All I know is that I had the pleasure of scrubbing it out of the carpet.

Any ideas, dirty detectives?

Dear Boys ...


Dear Colin and Cameron,

Just because the sun is up doesn't mean you have to get out of bed. You know? You could lay there and enjoy the early-morning peace and solitude, waking up in a nice leisurely manner. Or heck, be a little rebellious and catch a few extra minutes of shut-eye.

Oh wait ... that's what I want to do. And, boys, it would be ever so much easier to do that if you didn't see the sunrise as a signal to come bounding into my bedroom, shouting, "Good morning! It's wake-up time!"

And that breakfast you're treated to every morning? It doesn't fix itself. In fact, it's me that has to fix it. After being summoned from my cozy bed in an urgent manner. Do you realize it takes me a little while to "come to," boys? If you'd let me snap out of my near-zombielike state for a few minutes first, I promise I wouldn't scorch your pancakes. It would really benefit us both. Also: the whining. I know when you ate last, and that you are in absolutely no real danger of starving.

And finally, guys, it would be great if you could wait at least an hour - or, dare I say, even two - before trashing the place. I spend a chunk of valuable time tidying up this joint every night after you mini-tornadoes go to bed, just so we won't have to wake up to a cluttered mess, and I'd really like it if I could enjoy the absence of sticky fingerprints/toys/pieces of trash you call toys for more than like ten minutes.

If you keep all this stuff in mind, our mornings would go much more smoothly. And I would feel like I had at least a little more grip on my sanity.

Thanks for understanding,
MOMMY

"Stuff I Like" Sunday: The Best. Flip-Flops. EVER.


I realize it's late in the year to be talking about flip-flops (here in the States, anyway), but I figure, why not? It's probably a good time to snag a pair from an end-of-season clearance! Which, coincidentally, is exactly what I plan to do. Because, you guys? The shoes I'm about to share with you - my Nike flip-flops - get across-the-board rave reviews from me. And I'm a picky biatch, so that says a lot.

(Before I start: Nike in no way coerced or compensated me for endorsing these flips. Although - I totally wish they would've. So to any high-powered Nike execs that are reading this (LOL) : if you'd like to hook me up with, like, a lifetime supply of free flip-flops, please do. ... Please?)

*ahem*

I heard a ton about these flip-flops before I ever bought them. My sister has a pair that she actually calls "My Precious." My girl Denni has a couple of pairs that she has always spoken of in glowing terms. So when we went to Cancun last July, and I found a pair of these flips on sale, I snatched 'em up. (I *think* their technical name might be "Nike Celso Women's Thong," if you want to Google them or something; I just call 'em "Ahhhhh ...") It was a match made in heaven, and they've rarely left my feet since. Seriously. Even in weather when it's just stupid to wear flip-flops.

They were pricier than I'm used to when it comes to that type of footwear, because previously, I was all about the $3 flips from Old Navy. I think I paid about $17 on sale for these, but OMG were they ever worth it. They're the squishiest, cushiest shoes you'll ever walk on. In fact, I wear them around the house in lieu of slippers - they're that comfy. (After a while, they kind of mold to your feet, too, which just increases their comfort.) And as much as flip-flops can be considered "fashionable," these are: except for a tiny, non-invasive little white Nike symbol on the strap, they're basic black which makes them pretty versatile.

I think I like them best for their durability, though. I've had mine for over a year and have worn them more times than I can count - especially this summer, during my pregnancy, when I've literally worn them everysingleday. Not only that, but I wear them for everything; I'm far from careful with them. I even mow in them - which gets them filthy (I have a little game I play with myself called "mud or shit," where I try to guess what I've just stepped in) and grass-stained - but I just wear them into the shower with me and they easily rinse clean, as good as new. And they're still in nearly the same condition they were in when I bought them, despite my rough treatment.

I can only think of one tiny gripe ... they do get a little bit slippery if you're walking around with them wet. Like, poolside. Or through puddles or wet grass. Not so much that I've ever actually fallen while wearing them, but I've slid a couple of times. Still, their complete awesomeness totally eclipses any negative points.

Here's a picture of me in Cancun with them on. (And PS - I promise you it's not the shoes that make my feet look so big. They really ARE that huge and clownlike.)


And here's a pic of me sporting them on the 4th of July, with a patriotically correct pedi.

If you need further proof of my undying love and adoration for my beloved Nike flip-flops, check this out: my rad (I'm so bringing that word back, BTW) flip-flop tan.

#1.) Yes, my toenails ARE painted - they're just painted in a very neutral, toenail-like color.

#2.) Yes, I did it myself. Why do you think it looks so craptastic?

So there it is: the latest thing I'm loving for "Stuff I Like" Sunday. And I've even fetched you a helpful link to the "Nike Celso" section of a site called TheFind, where you can view a whole bunch of different colors and styles and compare prices. It's like the mother lode.

Do you have a pair? Do you love them obsessively like I do? Let's talk.



Don't Have a Cow, Man

Today we took the boys to a special Kids' Day at the library. There were all kinds of fun things for them to do, and it was FREE - so you know I was on it like white on rice. (I love me some free stuff, y'all.)

Even better, the kids were good, which is always a bonus. The only agitating thing about the day was the exchange Colin had at the balloon animal booth, for which we had waited in line like twenty (whiny, impatient) minutes.

Balloon-Animal-Making-Dude: What'll it be, buddy? I can make a butterfly, a giraffe, a dog, a cat, a snail, a flower, or a bunny.

Colin (after mulling this over for, like, thirty seconds): I'll take a praying mantis, please.

B.A.M.D.: Sorry, buddy, but I'm not that good. I can make a butterfly a giraffe a dog a cat a snail a flower or a bunny.

Colin (after another long period of deliberation): I guess I'd like a ladybug.

B.A.M.D. (getting exasperated): I can make abutterflyagiraffeadogacatasnailaflowerorabunny.

Me (witheringly): Just surprise us, please.

Colin ended up with a snail. Which he played with for all of two minutes before Cameron accidentally popped it.

Oops.

My favorite part of the day, despite the immersion of my feet (and my kids' relatively-new, as-yet-unstained white tennis shoes ... *cringe*) in baby animal urine, was the petting zoo. Because it allowed me to capture adorable moments like Cameron's first experience with a cow.


Donation for hand sanitizing wipes: 25 cents
Food for the petting-zoo animals: $1
Kids' white tennis shoes: $22
Two babies checking each other out, captured on film: priceless.

Tomater' Hater

I'm such an infomercial nerd - suckas like me are why they make those damn things. I'm the one who's glued to the TV at 2 AM, positively convinced that I need to chop veggies perfectly every time, make smoothies in seconds, add volume to my hair, or clean up spills lightening-fast.

Thank goodness I can resist the urge to order everything I want. Because otherwise I'd end up one of those compulsive hoarders that you see on Dr. Phil who orders more stuff than they know what to do with and it piles up in their house until they can barely make a path through and they cry and say how miserable it makes them but they just can't seem to help themselves.

Whew.

Anyway, I'm still waiting on an AeroGarden and some Bumpits (btw, that's a hair accessory, not the reeking underarms of a homeless dude). But there's one thing I had to have when I saw it, and that was a Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter.

My awesome sister Amy, who is an equally gullible infomercial junkie (and who could also use some Bumpits) bought me one at Home Depot. Not for $40, not for $30, not even for $20 - but for the low, low price of just ten dollars!

*applause*


I couldn't wait to get it growing, but the death of my grandmother in May - and a subseqent long, looooong trip to my home state (Missouri, woot woot!) - postponed it a bit. Still, when I got home I was determined to get my Topsy Turvy up and running, so I went to the farmers' market to buy a good-quality tomato plant. When I told the lady who was selling them that I was buying it for a Topsy Turvy, she literally scoffed at me.


"Hmmph. I've heard those things don't work," she said with a disdainful snort. And then she acted almost like she didn't even want to sell it to me because of that fact. Like she was giving me a puppy that I'd just said I planned to starve and beat into submission every day.


Just take my money and give me the goods, you hateful tomato-plant-peddling biatch.


Anyway, I bought the damn plant despite her snobby objections. Curtis hung the Topsy Turvy on the back deck, and I have watered it faithfully every day, tending to it, worrying over it. And it did produce a gorgeous, full, green plant. But this summer has been extremely mild temperature-and-sun-wise. And while that's fantastic news for my huge, child-incubating self, it's not all that great for tomatoes.


But it's not a total failure because last night I picked this: *cue chorus of angels singing*
Yep, the ONE tomato that actually ripened. There's one more little guy on the vine, but he's still green and he's been there for, like, eons ... not doing anything. But my one single successful tomato, well ... it's a perfect and unblemished orb of homegrown goodness. So I'm calling my Topsy Turvy a success - lady at the farmers' market be damned!

As Good As Used

I come from a large family, but there's a big enough age gap between me and my closest sibling that I almost never had to wear hand-me-downs. But my boys, unfortunately, will not be able to say the same - especially Coby (son #3 who's due in a few short weeks, if you're new here or just out of the loop). A friend of mine sent me a few adorable little outfits the other day (shout-out to Elly!), and it dawned me that, for now at least, those are the only new things he has! Everything else - right down to his nursery bedding and decor - has been used by at least one, if not both, of my older boys.

It's really funny how that works: things just go downhill, fashionably speaking, when you've got more than one child. When we just had Colin, we decked the kid out. He wore better clothes than either of his parents. Only brand-name, only the best for our little prince. Allow me to share a few examples:



Then Cameron came along ... and though we weren't making any less money, there was less to spend on wardrobe when divided among two kids. Anything Cammie wore was either used or generic:



(Just pretend he isn't picking his nose in that last picture, k?)

And now there'll be Coby, who - chances are - will rarely see an item of clothing or pair of shoes that isn't "pre-owned" or off the clearance rack. But you know what? He'll still be adorable, hand-me-downs or not. To prove my point, let me show you one last picture of my boys (and before I get hate mail, I promise they're not stoned. Just non-photogenic, like their mother):

See? If not for my artfully applied labeling ('cause I've got mad photo-editing skillz, yo) you'd never be able to tell the difference!

A Smattering of Stuff

First things first: let me just give a huge and appreciative shout-out to all of you lovely ladies who chimed in with your breast - er, best advice in my last post. It never fails to amaze me how passionate people are about this topic ... and how eagerly everyone was willing to help a sista out. I didn't get a single snarky "you're a bad mom because you didn't looooove breastfeeding" response, just a whole lot of fabulous and helpful info. I'm so grateful. (And PS - just because I've moved on to the next post doesn't mean the last one's closed to comments: if you've got anything to add to the discussion, please do!)

Anyway, on to today's mundane awesome installment. I figure it's a good time to blog because "Wow Wow Wubbzy" is about to come on, and my kids will be glued to the TV.



I don't know why they like that show so much, but it guarantees me 20+ minutes of uninterrupted time every afternoon. Woot!

(Note to self: purchase Wubbzy DVD.)

I had an appointment with the midwife today - and like last time, it was relaxed and informative. (Except I had to get tested for Group B strep ... which involves a giant Q-Tip going you-know-where.) I tried to prepare my midwife, Pam, before she went in.

"Under normal circumstances," I explained, "I'm one of those women who has to be perfectly groomed and hairless and pedicured and all that. But you'll have to forgive me ... because these days I can barely reach anything below my waist." (Or what used to be my waist.) That's not to say I didn't try ... I did manage to trim it up enough so she wouldn't have to go in with a machete.

While she was down there, she gave me an impromptu internal exam to check Coby's positioning. He's head-down, and has dropped quite a bit since the last visit, but I'm only dilated to about 1 cm. Rats. I was hoping she'd probe around and be all, "Oh my gosh! You're dilated to 7 - let's get you to the hospital and have this baby right now!"

He is really big, though - I'm 36 weeks and he's measuring at 39. (Does that help explain the EIGHT FRIGGIN' POUNDS I've gained in the last TWO WEEKS? I sure as hell hope so.) Anyway, due to this fact, she said the magic word that made me want to hug her: INDUCTION. Seriously, at this point if she had suggested I go in tomorrow, I would have jumped for joy. (Okay, maybe not jumped since I probably couldn't get off the ground, but you know.) Of course, due to medical protocol, I can't be induced until I reach 39 weeks. But y'all. That means that, come hell or high water, I will have this baby in THREE MORE WEEKS. And Pam wants to do an ultrasound next week to determine just how big this "little" guy is ... so maybe he'll be, like, gargantuan and we can get him out even sooner.

Squeeee! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG.

I haven't even finished arranging Coby's closet.

I haven't even bought any teeny-tiny diapers.

I haven't even made an official list of all the things I haven't even done.

After all that fun and excitement, I went to the front desk to schedule my next appointment. While I was talking to the receptionist, a lady came up behind me to wait in line. When I turned around to leave, she looked at my belly and gasped loudly. That's all - just a very audible gasp. Like my freakishness had startled her.

She's lucky I was in a good mood.


I'm Such a Boob

I'm jealous of you, hardcore breastfeeding advocates. All you proud nursing moms who can feed your little nipple-clamper anywhere, at any time, without skipping a beat. Every mother who sits in a nursery, bathed radiantly in serene sunlight, feeling all gushy and bonding with the baby latched onto your chest. I envy you.

I envy you because, try as I might, I can't be you.

I've tried breastfeeding twice, with each of my kids. And I have to be completely honest here: I've hated it both times. The first time, with Colin, I managed to hold out for a miserable seven months or so. With poor Cameron, I managed a mere two weeks before "hitting the bottle," so to speak. Instead of viewing myself as my babies' source of nourishment, I felt like nothing more than a giant walking boob. Like that's all I was good for: a meal. I felt tethered by the frequency of nursing, especially with Cameron, who seemed to eat 24-7 - because I never got the hang of it well enough to multitask. I always had to drop everything when it was time for my babies to eat. And because I've never been comfortable with whipping out a breast in the presence of anyone but my husband - even under a blanket, though I'm far from prudish and modest - I always retreated to the bedroom or something, effectively isolating myself from anyone who happened to be around. It was lonely.

Not to mention my nipples always felt like they were on fire, and a few times they actually bled. Ouch.

But here I am, about to give birth again in a few short weeks. And I've got the nagging feeling that if I learned to do it right - if I went about it again, more prepared and educated this time - I could learn to like breastfeeding. My determination to try it for a third time, despite my previous dislike of the whole shebang, surprises me. There it is, though: I want to breastfeed my new son. I want to be one of those moms who loves it and promotes it and is comfortable with it. I want to see it as a bonding experience, not resent it as yet another huge child-rearing responsibility left solely up to me.

So I'm asking you, my wonderful friends, for your best breastfeeding tips and advice. This is the perfect opportunity for all you lurkers - you know who you are! - to come out of the woodwork and COMMENT ... because I soooo need your help, you guys!

I want to do this right. I want to feel like this ...


... instead of like this.


And PS - if you dish out some advice, you're gonna follow me to see how it turns out ... right? :)



"Stuff I Like" Sunday: PostSecret

I know, I know. This edition of "Stuff I Like" Sunday is unforgivably late. Sunday is nearly over for me, and I'm sure it has already come and gone for some of you. But it's one of those days when I've been endlessly sidetracked (like half an hour ago when I first sat down to write this, and Curtis comes at me all fired up with the out-of-the-blue idea of opening a restaurant. Dude ... WTF?).

Anyway, what I'm liking this Sunday - and for that matter, every single Sunday since I learned of its existence - is a website called PostSecret. (<-- Click there to see it.) The premise behind it is simple: people from all over the world decorate postcards with their anonymous secrets and send them in, and they're posted on the site. The secrets range from hilarious (confessions of embarrassing habits and situations) to heartfelt (unrestrained professions of love or hatred) to downright chilling (like the one a few weeks ago from a person who was burdened with the knowledge of a murder. Whoa).

Here are a couple of examples that I found amusing (both are from PostSecret). Be warned - as with many of the secrets, these are PG-13. ;)



Some of the secrets are jaw-dropping. Some will make you laugh until your sides are sore, some will make you cry and stick with you for days, and many you can identify with yourself (like the one today about picturing famous people taking a crap ... I totally do that). The site is updated with new secrets every Sunday, and I anxiously await each new installment. Now maybe you will too. Happy "Stuff I Like" Sunday, everyone!

Blah-gging

I haven't been feeling very well for the past couple days. I can't put my finger on what it is, exactly (except for, oh, this baby that seems like he should have been here two months ago). Could it be the incessant heartburn? The pounding headache? The children who act as if I've been feeding them crack-laced Kool-Aid? The husband who has a whopping three days off this entire month? Or the clutter that's piling up around me - which I ohhhh so do not feel like hobbling around on my swollen feet to tackle, but have no choice but to take care of myself? (Re-read previous sentence if you're thinking, "Where's Curtis in all this?)

I'm not exactly spry, y'know.

Anyway, since I feel so uninspired today, I'm giving my brain a break from my usual semi-coherent blathering posting style and replacing it with a few down and (really, really) dirty confessions.

- My legs (to say nothing of, um, other places) are in dire need of a shave. Unfortunate, since I can't really reach them.

- I have managed to almost-singlehandedly consume a batch of homemade frosting in three days.

- (With some cake.)

- Said frosting is my second batch in, like, two weeks. The first one, I also ate.

-(By myself.)

- Almost every piece of my/my husband's/my children's clothing is dirty right now. And laying in a menacing heap on the laundry room floor, because it's such a daunting task I don't even want to deal with it.

- The same can be said for the dishes that are piling up in my kitchen sink. It all started with two pieces of stoneware that have to be washed by hand (damn you, non-dishwasher-safe pieces of crap). Now they've been joined by, like, everything else in my kitchen. All I have to do is unload the clean stuff in my dishwasher, reload it with the dirty stuff, and then hand-wash the rest ... but I seriously. Don't. Want. To do it.

- Because then there's the counter underneath to wipe. And the sink. And blahhhhh.

- It's after noon and I'm still wearing a nightgown.

- Said nightgown is ... prepare to laugh ... a red nylon hand-me-down from my mom. FROM THE EIGHTIES. In fact, the thing is soooo old that I remember using it to play dress-up as a child. But it's the only thing that fits my freak-of-nature pregnant belly. Even if it does make me look like a damn apple.

- I don't plan on taking it off any time soon. If at all.

- I am totally ignoring my kids to write this post, even though I hear something in Colin's room that sounds suspiciously like a pen or something similar scratching on his wall. I just have zero motivation to heave my big and uncomfortable self up out' this chair and waddle in there. Especially considering what I might find when I do. *sigh*

- I just heard, "STOP, Cameron!" followed by an indignant wail. Ugh. Time to get to heaving.

They Did a Bad, Bad Thing

If there's one thing Curtis and I love to do, it's go out to eat. Unfortunately, the more kids we have - and the older they get - the more difficult it becomes. Not only because they're beyond the age of sleeping quietly in their carriers while we eat in peace, but because now they're starting to eat a little more. And it's a crappy middle-of-the-road amount: they eat too much to share ('cause I'm stingy with my food, y'all), but not enough to warrant their own order. Still, for Colin at least, we (grudgingly) get him a separate meal. Which means it's more expensive - cha-ching! Kids' meals may be cheaper than their adult counterparts, but I still hate paying $5 for him to dismantle his cheeseburger and eat three fries.

Not too long ago, we went to a lunch buffet at a local restaurant. As we stood in line to pay, we scrutinized the big sign hanging over the cash register. "Kids 4 and up - $4.99," it said, and then in huge screaming letters: "KIDS 3 AND UNDER EAT FREE!"

I saw the look on Curtis's face even before his eyes met mine, and I knew exactly what he was thinking. Colin's only been four for two months, and everyone always thinks he's younger anyway because he's not all that big. Plus he eats like a bird ... hardly worth the $5 we'd pay for his buffet. My inner "good girl" (yes, she exists) cringed at the thought of lying to the restaurant peeps, but my inner tightwad quickly silenced her. So I just looked casually away, pretending to be otherwise occupied, when the cashier asked Curtis how old Colin was.

"Almost four," Curtis lied through his teeth. I was desperately hoping Colin wouldn't hear, because I just knew he'd dispute that statement. Loudly.

Sure enough, before the girl could even push a button on the register, Colin piped up helpfully: "But I'm already four!"

Curtis gave a tight-lipped smile and sort of pushed Colin behind him - but taking subtle hints obviously isn't Colin's strong suit. "Daddy, I'm already four!" he shrieked, in case the cooks back in the kitchen hadn't heard.

"Okay, son," Curtis mumbled and laughed nervously, glancing at the cashier with a contrived "I'm-just-appeasing-my-kid" look.

"BUT I'M ALREADY FOUR!!!!" Colin's high-pitched whine rose above the crowd and hung there in the air. At this point, the situation was unbelievably awkward. Curtis was trying his best to be nonchalant and stick to his story, despite feeling like a total idiot; I was trying my best not to laugh; and Colin was still insisting at the top of his lungs - to anyone within a three-mile radius - that Daddy had gotten his age wrong.

The girl finished ringing up our meal ticket and when we got to the table, we looked at it and saw that she had let him slide with the three-year-old rate - even though it had been pitifully, painfully obvious, at least in our perception, that we were straight-up lying. We felt so bad at that point that we ended up leaving a tip that was equivalent to what we would've paid for his meal - especially since, much to our surprise, Colin ended up eating like a grown man anyway. And we felt even worse thinking about what kind of an example we'd set for our son ... but we hadn't intended him to hear. We were just trying to save a little money! We're in a recession, damn it!

Like all stories worth reading, this one comes with a moral: don't try to short-change somebody, 'cause you'll pay extra for it in the end.

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