So I'm a Liar ...

You wouldn't believe the amount of time I spent shaving last night. And exfoliating. And lotioning. And washing, blow-drying, and straightening my hair. And checking and re-checking my hospital bag. And making sure everything was in order, in general.

Because today? I was gonna have a baby.

I didn't even sleep last night. I tried, like seriously tried, but everything kept waking me up. Excitement, nerves, farts (literally ... thanks, Curtis). And so at 4 o'clock, I finally just gave it up and went in to take a bath. I couldn't contain my excitement.

I was gonna have a baby. TODAY. 

By just after five o'clock, Curtis and I were headed out, both of us anxious. We didn't have to be at the hospital until 6:30, but they'd told me to eat breakfast before checking in, so we cruised on over to Denny's for a nice, quiet, let's-get-prepared-to-meet-our-newest-son breakfast. One hour and one "Moons Over My Hammy" later, we were on the road to the hospital.

I reached into my hospital bag to grab my phone. I was going to post a Facebook status update. And that's when I noticed my phone was illuminated.

I had missed a call.

From a local number.

At 6:10 am.

And I had a voicemail.

My heart sank. Nobody would call me at that hour unless it was the hospital. With trepidation, I listened to the message.

"We're terribly sorry for the inconvenience, but we're going to have to postpone your induction ..." said the voice on the other end.

And I couldn't even listen to the rest of the message. I just hung up the phone, and the waterworks started. I was bawling so hard that Curtis had to call them back - I couldn't even talk. The disappointment was beyond words.

So yeah. Here I am. At home. Still pregnant. So I lied to y'all - yesterday was not, in fact, my last pregnant day. But they have promised - P-R-O-M-I-S-E-D - that I will have a priority bed tomorrow.

Looks like it's going to be another sleepless night.

And I'll have to shave again, damn it.


My Last Pregnant Day


This is it: my last full day of pregnancy, ever. Tomorrow morning at this time, I'll be all checked into the hospital and in the early stages of labor. And by tomorrow afternoon, my newest son - Corbin Daniel - will be snuggled in my arms instead of in my abdomen (and my ribs, and my pelvic bone). I can't wait.

I'm not gonna lie, though: it's bittersweet. As uncomfortable as I am, I'm definitely a little sad that this is the very last time I'll get to experience pregnancy. After Corbin, this baby factory is officially shutting down, and I will never again feel the anticipation and excitement of each pregnancy milestone (or a well-placed roundhouse kick to the bladder). And while I'm excited to walk without feeling like a wishbone about to split in half, and to be able to get up and down from the bed or couch without needing the assistance of heavy machinery, a small part of me almost wants to hold onto it. Because pregnancy means babies. And no more pregnancy means ... no more babies. And no more babies makes me sad. And I think I'd feel that way whether this was my fourth or my fourteenth.

I am trying to get a grip on this, though; I really want to make sure that it doesn't affect Corbin in the long run. I've seen what happens sometimes with youngest children when their mothers don't want to accept that there are no more babies. It isn't pretty, leading to things like butt-wiping well beyond the necessary butt-wiping years and spoon-feeding cereal to eight-year-olds.

And Lord knows I don't wanna wipe butts any longer than I absolutely have to.

So I have to accept this whole "no more baby" thing.

I have lots of help around the house at the moment, and I'll be spending today focusing mostly on myself for the first time - and what will probably be the last time - in quite a while. I'm going to give myself a manicure and a pedicure, deep-condition my hair, and spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to remove stubble from places I can't see, let alone effectively reach. I'll make sure my hospital bag is packed and ready to go. I'll worry about pooping in front of people I don't know (and in front of my husband, who I do know but don't necessarily enjoy pooping in front of), and about pushing out a baby that I am certain is like 23 pounds by now.

And by tomorrow afternoon, I'll be un-pregnant. Forever.

Wish me luck, y'all.




(And PS - click on the Giveaways and Reviews tab to enter the eShakti clothing giveaway ... only two more days to go!)

Who Pooped on the Pug?

If you've read my blog with any sort of regularity, y'all know that I deal with an insane amount of poop (actually, disgusting fluids in general). Thanks to our three kids and our expanding animal menagerie - the tally is up to two dogs, three cats, and a fish now - and their various bodily functions (and malfunctions), I go through more paper towels and carpet cleaner and sanitizing products than a janitorial service.

You'd think I'd be used to it, and I guess for the most part, I'm as "used to it" as I'm ever gonna get ... until something ridiculous happens. Do any of you remember the Phantom Pooper? Or the Phantom Pooper's revenge? Or the time someone (or something) defiled my pillow?

Anyway, lately the ridiculousness has been in full swing. Because Coby, my two year old, was doing really well at the whole potty training thing ... until a few days ago. And then there was a swift and complete and surprising regression, with a twist: he's now taken to doing his business on the floor.

I don't know what happened. Perhaps it's the impending baby. Or the fact that we've had company (yes, for nearly a week already) and our typical schedule has been thrown for a loop. But whatever the reason, I've been cleaning up more than my share of disgustingness lately. The other day, when I thought he was playing quietly in his brothers' bedroom? He was actually playing Poop Picasso (warning: scroll down with your eyes closed if you're eating and/or exceptionally squeamish).


Nice, huh? Did I mention that he scooped it off the (freshly professionally steam-cleaned) carpet before smearing it all over the closet door?

But this was just the beginning. Because the very next day, Colin yelled, "Peeeeeee!" (The gleeful way in which he announces these incidents makes me want to slap him silly, by the way.)

I looked, and sure enough, Coby had whipped off his Pull-Up and peed on the floor in our bedroom. So I dealt with the mess, and I dealt with him, and thought it was over. Only it wasn't. Because then, I hear Colin yell, "Pooooooop!"

Sure enough, there's a couple of random spots in the hallway. Not actual turds, just ... spots. Weird. I cleaned that up, and then checked Coby's butt for smears. But there was nothing. He was clean as a whistle.

And then our pug wandered into my line of sight. And she smelled funny. And I realized that the reason she smelled funny was that her back was splattered with poop. As though someone had, like, squatted over her and sharted (if you don't know what a "shart" is, do yourself a favor and look it up. It's very important terminology, especially if you've got kids).

So I had to bathe her. And wash her collar. And wonder, as I so often do, what the hell happened and why am I the one destined to take care of the situation.

Wanna know what's ironic? As I was writing this very post, Coby was sitting behind me at the kitchen table, peacefully eating his eggs. Naked, of course, because the first thing he did this morning was remove his Pull-Up. And he was being so quiet, and so sweet, and eating so well, that I turned around and said over my shoulder, "I love you, baby."

And he whispered guiltily, "I love you too. Now turn around please."

And why did he want me to turn around?

So I wouldn't see that he had peed all over his chair.

... At least it wasn't poop.

PS - If you haven't already, don't forget to click on the "Giveaways and Reviews" tab for your chance to win some cute and customized clothing from eShakti.com! Woot!


Labor Lunacy (and a New Giveaway!)


Ten days from now (if not before since I am trying every. single. possible labor-inducing technique known to woman), I will officially be in charge of four - F-O-U-R - children. Labor is being induced on the 31st, and I'm getting a serious case of cold feet over here, y'all. I've heard that handling four kids is not much different than handling three, but still - if anybody could mess it up, it'd be me.

Anyway, because I'm busy obsessing planning for Corbin's impending arrival, any blog posts between now and then will be completely baby-centric and possibly full of crazy, ranty blathering. Since that's, you know, what the inside of my head sounds like lately. Kinda like this: babybabybabyeatbabybabybabysleepbabybabybabybathroombabybabybabycleanbabybabybabylaundrybabybabybabyohcrapIhavethreeotherkidsdon'tI.


So. To make up for the totally infant-centered tone of the blog of late, I'm having a SWEET customzied clothing giveaway from eShakti.com! Click on the "Giveaways and Reviews" tab at the top of this page to find out more ... and to enter, because it is a completely great deal and I for one am jealous that I can't just award the prize to myself.

Now it's time to stuff my face with fresh pineapple and douse my breakfast in hot sauce and bounce relentlessly on an exercise ball while tweaking my nipples and walk until I feel like I'm going to split in half and smear evening primrose oil caplets in places I can barely reach (y'all get my drift), in hopes that I'll go into labor on my own and won't have to do this for another ten days.

Wish me luck - and go check out that giveaway!

Can I Get a Stork Up in Here?


So have I mentioned before how ready I am to get this baby OUT?

... Oh, only like 8,537 times?

Sorry.

But I am. I really, really, am. I want to hold him already. I want to be able to walk without feeling like a wishbone being split in half. I want to be able to go to Walmart without feeling like a sideshow spectacle. (I'm considering getting a T-shirt printed up that says Yes, there's only one. No, I'm not overdue. Yes, it's extremely uncomfortable. Yes, I know I'm huge. Now leave me the eff alone.)

Yesterday I went to my regularly scheduled doctor's appointment, where they did an ultrasound to estimate his weight. And y'all? He weighs over eight pounds already. His head alone is measuring 41 weeks gestation by one calculation (um, ouch?). But they refuse to induce me for two more weeks. Can you imagine what a behemoth he's going to be two weeks from now? Hello, I realize the vagina is a remarkably elastic thing, but my nether-regions are not made of Silly Putty.

I seriously almost cried sitting there in the doctor's office. "The 31st?" I said, trying hard not to sound too dismayed. "But ... but ... that's two more weeks. And he's already over eight pounds. And ..." my voice broke "... I'm ready to just get him out."

"Go into labor then," my doctor said coyly.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

If I could go into labor, I would. I so would. I would "poof" myself into labor right this very minute if I were able, even in my present undressed, un-showered, house-not-company-ready state. I have tried all the "at home labor induction" techniques - and I won't enumerate them here, but there are a lot of them, and none of them work. I swear I'm going to just have to coax Corbin out with a pork chop.

But, as ready as I am, at least the end is in sight. My induction is scheduled for 7 a.m. on May 31st. That means I'll have thirteen days from today to finish preparing, which will feel better in the long run, anyway. Yesterday I spent like five hours on my kitchen and laundry room floors: mopping them twice, going over the grungy perimeters with Clorox wipes, and then slapping on double-coats of Mop & Glo. And what do you know? This morning I woke up to a river-sized puddle of Labrador piss and an equally huge pile of crap on the laundry room floor. When I got that cleaned up, I came into the kitchen, and - whaddaya know? - stepped right into a mess of cat barf. ON MY FRESHLY MOPPED FLOORS.

I can't keep anything clean.

At least I have two more weeks to try ...


A Fart on the Chart



Yesterday morning when I woke up, I was all, "Ugggghhhhhh" and "Urrrrrrrrghh" and "Blaaaaaahhhh." I seriously could not move more than a few steps before my heart would start to pound out of my chest and I'd be gasping for breath as if I were suffocating. My peripheral vision would blacken like I was going to pass out, and I would get lightheaded. Curtis had already gone to work, so I moved through my usual morning routine this way - getting the kids and myself fed and dressed, tending to our ridiculous animal menagerie, starting a load of laundry. It was all punctuated with me having to sit down every two minutes or less. It sucked.

By the time I came home from taking Colin from school, I couldn't even make it up the eight steps from the garage to the main floor. I had to sit until I was physically able to climb up the rest of the way. So I did the unthinkable: I called my doctor.

This is a really uncommon occurrence for me, y'all. I hate going to the doctor unnecessarily; I think it stems from my childhood when I felt like I was at the doctor all the time for one reason or another. (The last time I was really sick, I stayed at home for two days with a 105-degree fever and a raging strep infection before grudgingly consenting to be dragged to the Urgent Care clinic.) So now that I'm an adult and can actually choose when I go ... well, I never go. Except when I'm pregnant. Or dying. And yesterday I was thinking that maybe both of those criteria applied.

As I thought, they wanted me to come in. So I did. And after they checked me out at the doctor's office, they sent me to the hospital, up to the labor and delivery floor to monitor the baby. "The baby's fine!" I wanted to say. "I'm the one who's all jacked up!" But when you're pregnant, the one in utero is the one who takes top priority. So labor and delivery it was.

I got into one of those stupid flimsy backless gowns. They took a urine sample. They started an IV. They tested my glucose. But as unpleasant as all that was, there was one awesome surprise. One of the nurses came in (shoutout to Crystal!) and was like, "I know you!"

I was thinking oh Lord, am I supposed to know her? Because I don't think I do. She doesn't look familiar at all. Has she introduced herself to me at one of my Zumba classes, and I'm such a flake that I don't even remember? Should I pretend like I know her too?


And then she said, "You're the 'Fighting off Frumpy' blogger!"

Y'all? I just about fell off my little hospital bed. Someone knew me. Exclusively from my blog. It was awesome. Except for, you know, the meeting-her-while-half-naked part.

I so hope she's on duty when I actually deliver. Maybe she can hook me up with a celebrity birthing suite a la Beyonce.

... Or, you know, a hospital mug full of ice water or something.

Anyway, with all the monitoring, there was a lot of sitting around. Curtis had the kids and they were getting restless, so he took them home and fed them before finding someone to watch them for an hour or so (thanks Erica!). So I was alone in the little room a lot of the time. I watched my baby boy's heart beating away on the monitor, and watched my intermittent contractions register. Every time Corbin would move, I would hear it, and it would register as a little "blip" on the printout.

And then? I farted.

And I could hear it on the monitor, just like Corbin's movements. Frrrrrrp. Frrrrrrrrrrrrp.

And I was all, OMG did that just register on that paper? Is there a printout of my fart? Are the nurses going to look at it and be like, "Tee hee, did you see this? She must have farted right here."

I've never had documentation of a fart. Evidence in the form of a lingering odor, perhaps - but never an actual, tangible printout of the deed. I'm surprised the little squiggly lines on the paper didn't spell out "FART."

It's bad enough that passing gas in private is usually a surefire way to get someone to come in. I can personally attest to this phenomenon: in my early twenties, I worked stocking the freezer section of a grocery store at night. I'd be in there at 3 o'clock in the morning and not see another soul for an hour or more at a time - until I had to slip out a little somethin' somethin'. And then inevitably, it would be like a beacon calling everyone within a ten-aisle radius to suddenly come over to my section.

Anyway, when Curtis joined me at the hospital, I told him about it. And he was like, "I MUST see this printout." He was poring over it, looking for "the incident," when I started laughing so hard I couldn't stop, and the printout of that was all over the place, and then my monitoring belt nearly slipped off my belly. Oops.

Fun times in labor & delivery.

(And now Crystal is probably gonna see my scheduled induction on the charts and make SURE she takes that day off.)

They didn't find anything wrong. I guess that's a good thing, although I wish I would've known what the hell caused me to feel that way. And today I feel a little better - still exhausted, but that's normal when you're twelve hundred months pregnant and the size of a barn.

I've got an ultrasound scheduled for this afternoon to peep out how big Corbin is, and after that I see the doctor. Hopefully he'll be like, "Let's just get this mammoth kid out of there today!"

Hey, a girl can hope, right?

Car-pet Peeve


There was some hot, steamy action going on in my house over the weekend. In fact, it went on in almost every room of my house. Not just the bedroom, but the living room, the kids' room ... even the hallway. Oh, and the stairs. I'd been wanting it for a long time, and boy, did I get it good. I feel SO much better.

What? It was my Mother's Day present from Curtis. And frankly, I could celebrate every holiday that way. Awwwww yeaaaahhh.

Flip your "dirty-minded" switches to the off position, you pervs ... I'm talking about having my carpet cleaned. And no, "having my carpet cleaned" is not some euphemism for an X-rated activity (although I guess it could be. I mean if you can have your salad tossed ...). I'm not talking about carpet of the does the carpet match the drapes variety: I'm talking about my actual carpet. The dingy, stained, ripped-in-some-places-thanks-to-a-certain-destructive-dog carpet that stretches its dismal, discolored way across my floor.

Yeah, I'm not too happy with it. Can you tell?

It wasn't all that great when we moved in almost five years ago, but oh my Lord ... what three boys, two dogs, and three cats will do to floor coverings! Ugh! And what's worse, I swear it stains when you look at it wrong. You can literally spill a little bit of water and guess what? You've got a stain. From water

It was so embarrassing. I'm weird about people judging my house when they come in anyway (is that a cobweb in the corner?) and I always envisioned someone coming in and secretly being all, "Oh my goodness, this carpet is so gross I'm afraid to walk on it lest I contract some sort of exotic foot fungus from the random stains."

So when Curtis told me that for Mother's Day he was going to have the Stanley Steemer peeps come in and take care of the carpet, I was ecstatic. Ecstatic in the way that most women would be if they were presented with, say, some sort of sparkling diamond or a really expensive pair of shoes. Seriously, that man knows the way to my heart.

Anyway, they did a fantastic job. The carpet is much cleaner. (And no, this is not some sort of paid endorsement, although hey Stanley Steemer ... call me.) Not all the stains came up, but the overall grossness went away; I can look at it without shuddering now. And if somebody came over I wouldn't be embarrassed.*


*Unless they looked at my boys' bathroom because OMG. Gross.

But since they left? I've gone all carpet-commando on my poor family. I swear I spend a good portion of my day now yelping, "Get that off the carpet! No more eating or drinking in the living room! Get back into the kitchen with that!" Also, I'm doing something that I actually reeeeally dislike: making everyone take their shoes off at the door. Not houseguests, because I just think that's excessive and we don't really have guests all that often anyway, but my dirty-footed kids who track through mud and poop and who knows what else. I mean, they run around naked most of the time anyway, so it's not that much of a change. And my husband, who for the record does not run around naked, but who works in an industrial facility with dust and oil and crap all over its floor.

I just hope I can keep it looking decent for more than, like, a week. Anybody got any tips for me? Do any of y'all have as many issues keeping your carpet nice as I do?

Labor and Duh-livery

Baby Corbin is full-term, so theoretically I could drop him at any time. And I'm huge enough to be a circus spectacle. The other day, while I was walking across the parking lot of my doctor's office, a lady slowed down in her car and was all, "Whoa, ma'am, are you in labor?" Over the weekend, when we took the kids to the playground, I passed by a woman who gawked visibly and said, "WOW!" And that's not all. During trips to Kohl's and Walmart, in addition to the usual gasps and exclamations, I heard, "That looks like it hurts," and "Is there only one in there?" and "You've got to be overdue," and, "Oh, bless your heart!" I'm soooo over being a walking freakshow, y'all. 

That being said, I wouldn't really mind if Corbin decided to make his appearance. And last night, I thought maaaaaaybe I was going into labor.

Problem is, I'm not sure what "going into labor" actually feels like.

Yes, I'm aware that this is my fourth child. I've been in labor before, multiple times. But I've always been induced. With my oldest, Colin, the induction was because I had developed pre-eclampsia (for which delivery is the only cure). With Cameron and Coby, I actually asked to be induced because, well, it was so much more convenient. I mean, with an induction, I know when I'm supposed to be at the hospital and I just show up at an appointed time: showered and shaven, completely packed, with childcare secured at home and my house left in decent order. It's actually pretty nice for a control freak  person like me who likes to have her ducks in a row.

And plus? I have huge babies. At three weeks early, Colin was 8 lbs. 9 oz. At two weeks early, Cameron was 8 lbs. 14 oz. ... and at one week early, Coby weighed a whopping 9 lbs. 2 oz. So honestly? The less poundage I have to force through my you-know-what, the better.

But the issue with inductions is that - like I said - I'm afraid I wouldn't know "natural" (i.e., un-induced) labor if it kicked me in the cervix. In the movies it's so sudden and sure: the broad is shopping or walking down the street and then suddenly she's gripping her abdomen and is like, "Ouch! I'm in labor!" I'm pretty sure that in real life, it's not that cut-and-dried. Consequently, I'm petrified that I'll go into labor on my own, wait too long, and then give birth in the car or something. Because that's another thing - my labors have been shorter with each child: 10, 7, and 5 hours, respectively. I'm scared that I'll be the woman you see on TV who stays at home too long and then tries to get to the hospital with an infant in her pants.

Anyway, last night I just felt ... weird. I was mildly nauseated. I was shivering periodically for no apparent reason. The baby was moving around a LOT, which is a little unusual lately since he's gotten so cramped in there. I kept having those misleading Braxton-Hicks contractions, coming every three to five minutes for quite a while. And I just had a general feeling of unease. I laid in the bed, trying to get comfortable enough to sleep, but the weirdness in my body just kept waking me up. I kept thinking, my bag is not packed. My mom is not here to watch the kids as planned. I haven't shaved in a week. I didn't finish cleaning.


I did my best to shrug it off, because the last thing I needed was to wake the neighbors so I could make a trip to the hospital, only to have it be nothing. So I finally ended up going to sleep. But I woke up like every hour. Once, I was so hot that I stripped off all my clothes and waddled marched naked into the hall to change the thermostat to 68 degrees. Air conditioning in May? Hell yes.

This morning I feel a little more normal. Still having a few mild contractions here and there, but nothing alarming. I have to admit I'm a little disappointed - because as largely unprepared as I feel, it was kind of exciting to have that "this is it" feeling. But I guess it's still possible.

Maybe I should pack that bag ...




PS - Click on the "Giveaways and Reviews" tab if you want an AWESOME deal on some cute new eyewear!!

For My Mom ...

Dear Mom,

As I'm sure you're aware, it's almost Mother's Day. And since I have all these children now and am too broke to buy you flowers or jewelry live four hours away from you, I thought I'd write you a nice heartfelt blog post in lieu of a fancy present.

First of all, thanks for giving me some of your best traits: charm and wit. (That almost - almost - makes up for the fact that you also gave me small boobs and frizzy hair. Oh, and the propensity to gain like a zillion pounds while pregnant.) And your eye shape. We've always been told we have pretty eyes, and now my boys' eyes have the same shape - so when I look at them, I see not only myself, but you. I hope I look like you when I'm your age; you've always looked so young. This was not a great thing when you'd substitute-teach at my high school and my guy friends would comment about how hot you were (barf!) but now that I'm hurtling at warp-speed toward middle age, I guess that wouldn't be the most terrible thing that could happen.

Also ... I forgive you for the bleach-blonde helmet and frosted blue eyeshadow (and those practically-nonexistent shorts! And that orange tan-in-a-bottle! And that cigarette!) you sported in the '80s:

Nice couch, too, by the way.

I forgive you for the brunette 'fro (it's like you were channeling Cher) and super-high-waisted jeans (oh my gawd, they're eating your boobs!) of the '90s:

I can't say much about those black leggings and turtle-print T-shirt I'm wearing, but hey, we're talking about you ... not me. 


In all seriousness, though ... when I think about you, Mom, I think of your grit and fortitude and determination. I watched you go through a lot with my father, who was just plain heartless most of the time, culminating in a messy divorce. You raised me, the last child left in the house, as a single mom. You worked two jobs and went back to college, all at the same time. You worked your ass off to better our lives. You taught me how welfare is supposed to be used: as a hand-up, not a hand-out. We may have been on food stamps and Medicaid, but your goal was clearly to use it while we desperately needed it, and then give it up the second we didn't. (Plus you refused to use the food stamps to buy anything but healthy stuff instead of the soda and junk food that I wanted - which I hated at the time, but now I see you were setting a good example. Remember the time you grudgingly let me use them to buy a Lunchable on my birthday? Hehe. It's the little things.) And on top of all that, no matter what kind of apartment or house we lived in, you always kept it neat and tidy and cute. ALL. THE. TIME. (Which actually kind of gives me a complex now about why I can't seem to keep my house that way.)

You were busy all the time, but I never doubted that you loved me. Of all the changes our mother-daughter relationship has undergone throughout the years, that's one thing that has always remained constant. I know you love me, and I know you're proud of me, unconditionally. Even when I'm not so proud of myself.

Now that I'm an adult, our relationship has been pretty awesome. You're still my friend, but now we can relate to each other as fellow mothers - and I get to watch you love my boys the same way I do.



And I like your hair better now, too.

So happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you more than words can say - on a blog or otherwise. Thank you for being an amazing mother. I can't wait to see you in a few weeks when I give you the ultimate Mother's Day gift of a new grandson to love!

Yeah, that's it ... the baby is your gift this year.

Sweet.



PS - Wanna give Mom some "specs appeal" for Mother's Day? Click on over to the "Giveaways and Reviews" tab for a sweet deal!

Dumb Mom Moments

Sometimes we all need a parenting manual. 

I'm super-excited to be the featured guest poster over at parenting BY dummies today! Dumb Mom is one of my absolute favorite bloggers, and she asked me to write about a "Dumb Mom Moment." (Probably because she knows that those moments make up 90% of my parenting.)

So which moment did I pick, since there were approximately 2,999,012 to choose from? Was it the time I seriously failed at taking the kids to a parade? Or the time my son caught me in a lie? Or maybe when I accidentally taught Colin a dirty slang word?

Nope. I wrote about my personal favorite: the time I nearly got my kids drunk. And if you click here, you can run on over to Dumb Mom's and check it out (and stay to browse through her stuff, natch, 'cause she's awesome).

If you're coming here from pBd, thanks for stopping by! I suggest you click over to yesterday's post ... if you're not afraid of a few F-bombs. Shewww, ka-pow! (← those are my bomb noises. No wonder my boys never want me to play with them.)


Stay the F**k in Your Own Bed: a Poem


Disclaimer: if you are uncomfortable with the f-bomb, or if you're somehow under the impression that I never use it (bless your delusional little heart!), you may want to click away now. Don't say I didn't warn you. 

I didn't set out to be one of those "crunchy" moms. You know, the breastfeeding, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, organic-eating, Birkenstock-sandal non-armpit-shaving type?

I mean, I don't even own a pair of Birks, y'all. And I do shave my armpits on a regular basis.*

*And by "regular basis" I  mean whenever the pit hair starts to snake out conspicuously from beneath my sleeve.

But the breastfeeding, the co-sleeping ... I do that. Not because of any strong convictions, necessarily (if you give your kids formula or Jack Daniels or whatever, I'm not hatin') but just because it's been what has worked for my kids.

So until last week, Coby, my two year old, had literally never slept in his own bed ... eh-ver. He has slept in my arms and under my covers and with his feet in my hair and his butt in my face since he was a newborn. But seeing as we've got another newborn on the way in just a few short weeks, who will likely also sleep in our bed (oh my gawd two more years!!), we figured it was time to give Coby a boost in the direction of his own room. So we set him up with a cool new "big boy bed" and a cowboy picture on the wall and an awesome rug and new comforter and all the sweet perks of independent sleeping. And he was excited. And so were Mommy and Daddy! Bed to ourselves if you don't count the multiple dogs and cats for the win!!

The first night went down like a dream. I mean, it was smooooooth sailing. We put him to sleep in his new bed and he didn't move a muscle until 6:30 the next morning. Then the next night, he woke up once, but only once - so I was still optimistic. But then the next night ... he woke up two or three times. And the next, five or six. And so it's been. And guess which lucky parent gets to heave her gargantuan pregnant arse out of bed and haul him back to his own?

Yeah. Yours truly.

Last night was an epic big-boy-bed fail, with me leaving the comfort of my bed to lead him back to his no fewer than eight or nine times during the night. He never cries or protests, but I can't leave him until he actually goes back to sleep or he'll just get right back up and follow me. So I totter on the edge of this teeny-tiny twin bed, waiting impatiently to hear his little snore.

It's maddening, y'all.

It was during one of these dragging-Coby-back-to-bed sessions that I (deliriously) came up with the following. I'm sure you've heard by now of the best adult-children's-book ever, "Go the F**k to Sleep" by Adam Mansbach? (If you haven't, do yourself a solid and pick it up for a good laugh. It's hilarious.) Anyway, this is a poem inspired by that classic piece of literature ... and I call it, "Stay the F**k in Your Own Bed." Mr. Mansbach, if you're reading this, I'm available to write a sequel. Call me.

*ahem*

It's 8:30, and you're getting sleepy,
The books have already been read.
We've done kisses, hugs, prayers, and tuck-ins;
Time to stay the f**k in your own bed.


The room is all darkened and cozy,
You've a pillow just right for your head.
Your blankets are so soft and snuggly, my dear,
So stay the f**k in your own bed.


I know that you like to be cuddled,
And you'd rather be with us instead. 
You just don't know the value of having some space
Now just stay the f**k in your own bed.


Your silence makes mommy sleep soundly;
But your footsteps, they fill me with dread.
Because I know that means getting up, yet again,
PLEASE stay the f**k in your own bed!


12:30 ... you don't need a juice box.
1:20 ... you don't need to be fed.
2:12 ... yes I know you want to sleep with us ...
But stay the f**k in your own bed!!


Looky here, kid - your room is so awesome,
A sweet setup, brand new, blue and red; 
What's so great about our bed? Sagging mattress, old box springs?
Stay the f**k in your own awesome bed! 


Sometimes I just want to say "screw it,"
And give in, and forget what I said,
But each parenting expert I call on proclaims,
"Get that kid the f**k back to his bed!"


I know that someday, it'll work out,
I'll be able to sleep like the dead.
But before that day comes, I'll be up every hour
'Til you STAY THE F**K IN YOUR OWN BED!!!




People with Housekeepers Have It Maid

My house is never cleaner than it is right before I'm about to have a baby. I'm not talking about your standard dusting and vacuuming and mopping; I'm talking about an all-out, floor-to-ceiling scrubdown.

I hate to use the term "nesting" (if you've been around for a while, you'll know how much I dislike that word). I prefer to call it "the uncontrollable urge to get the joint super-clean before we have company so they'll be under the impression that it always looks this way." Because infants? They don't care so much about whether the inside of your microwave is splattered with some kind of unidentifiable orange crust. Or how dusty your ceiling fans are even though you just cleaned them like four months a few weeks ago. But along with infants come houseguests - especially when, like ours, your extended families live in another state. And I don't want any of those houseguests to come along and be all, "Oh my gosh. I was going to warm up this cup of tea but just look at this microwave ..."

So I've been making my (huge, waddly) way through the house, gradually attending to the stuff that hardly ever gets attention. Rearranging closets. Scrubbing out the insides of trash cans. Bleaching shower curtain liners. Washing shower curtains. Washing window curtains. Cleaning the aforementioned orange crust out of the microwave. Polishing light fixtures. Wiping down the top of the fridge. Disinfecting my silverware drawer. (I know. That's probably bordering on excessive.)

I've been standing on chairs and counters for days. My shoulders ache from constant scrubbing and reaching motions. And it's maddening. Because I see a spot of dirt, or a cobweb, and I must get it. It becomes an obsession. And y'all? We have cathedral ceilings in some places in our house.  *groan*

I wish I could stop. But it's a mission. A quest. (And, okay, a mild form of insanity.) Yesterday, I started washing the walls ... all of them.

You don't fully realize how grubby your walls are (or is it just mine?) until you start cleaning them. And then once you start cleaning them, you can't stop because check this out:



See the difference? It took a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (extra-strong!) to make me realize that holy balls my walls are filthy! Ugh!

I mean, yeah, we've lived here for nearly five years and I've never actually cleaned them before. But still. Who cleans walls?

Oh yeah, me. When I'm pregnant.

Since this is my last baby, they may never be clean again.


Marvel at my Superior Parenting Skillz

Photo from MyBadParent.com

So ... I just rolled my four-year-old's finger up in the car window. And then? I went kinda temporarily blank when he started screeching and froze for like three seconds because I didn't want to push the button the wrong way and roll it up more.

I know.

In all fairness, I've told him a bazillion times not to put his fingers there in case of just such an event. And did he listen to me? Obviously not.

It isn't broken, not swollen, just a little bruised ... at least so far. But still. I feel terrible about it.

I rushed him in the house and thrust a bag of frozen peas at him. "Here, Cameron!" I said. "Put this on your finger!" Because frozen peas are, like, high-grade first-aid equipment. (I'm pretty sure they carry them on ambulances.) Then I sat him on the couch and turned on some brightly-colored kids' show and soothed him with a cookie.

Because yesterday, when he had a fever? He told me that the only thing that sounded good to eat were "some of Mommy's delicious cookies." And how could I have resisted that kind of sweetness? Plus I wanted some cookies.


So we have cookies. And right now, my kids are sitting on the couch, shoveling cookie into their faces, watching a cartoon, with one of them nursing his poor mangled finger back to health on a bag of frozen peas.

I should have told him yesterday, "I know cookies sound good, but they aren't very good for your body, especially when you're sick. Let's eat orange slices instead!" But he was so sweet and pitiful, asking about them. And I totally wanted cookies too.

I should have looked into the back seat to ensure that nobody's fingers/other body parts (because with my boys this is totally possible) were going to get rolled up in the window. But I was in a hurry to roll up the windows as soon as we pulled into the garage because, well, thanks to the trash and the dog and cat food and all the other musty crap we store in there, the garage has this lingering funk and I didn't want it to permeate my Jeep's pristine* interior.

*And by "pristine" I mean there are only a few stale French fries and old receipts and crumbs and used sucker sticks and fortune cookies and Legos and toy cars.

I should have properly doctored his finger with, like, a real live ice pack and elevation and compression and whatever else a nicely prepared mother would have. But I have frozen peas. I don't know what has become of my ice packs. They must have gone off to the faraway land which houses all the socks and spoons that also mysteriously disappear.

I should have turned on an educational program that would teach them about, like, the solar system or how to add and subtract. But instead I turned on something that was all, "Boink!" and "Zoing!" and "Wheeee!"

Also? I might as well get it all out now: I didn't comb anybody's hair this morning except for Colin's, because he was the only one who'll be seen in public. And they requested omelets for breakfast, but I gave them cereal. And it wasn't bran flakes or Cheerios ... it was Cookie Crisp.

*hides face*

Mother of the year right here, y'all.


Formerly-Infertile Myrtle

It's May. Oh my goodness. That means that by the end of this month - the 31st at the very latest - I'll be holding my newest (and last, sniff sniff) little man in my arms instead of in my grotesquely bulging abdomen.

Seeing as this is my last pregnancy, I'm really trying to enjoy it ... but, y'all? I can't sleep. I can't walk without feeling like a wishbone about to split in half. I can't climb four stairs without huffing and puffing. I'm hot and sweaty all the time. I have like two shirts left that still (kinda) cover my belly. And I'm getting the looks every time I go out in public - not to mention the comments. Literally everywhere I go, I'm asked a.) if there's more than one baby in there or b.) if I'm overdue. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

There isn't. And I'm not. I'm just huge, okay? Sheesh.

But when I feel extra-complainy (that is totally a word, by the way), I think about the years I spent wishing - more than anything in the world - that I could experience this. I think about the despair and desperation when, each month, for years on end, I wasn't pregnant yet again. The feeling of isolation when it seemed like everyone else was. The searing, involuntary jealousy every time I'd see a baby bump. The frustration at not being able to do what, as a woman, my body was designed to do. The inability to attend a baby shower, or even walk through the baby section of a store, without mourning something I thought I'd never be able to have. The sting of the well-meaning but hurtful comments and suggestions like, "Just relax," and "All my husband has to do is look at me and I get pregnant, har har."

Every month, I was pumped full of fertility-assisting drugs and monitored and poked and prodded in places that most women only have to expose to their doctors once a year. The bend of my right arm bears a permanent scar from the sheer volume of blood draws I underwent to check my hormone levels. I had exploratory surgery and injected syringes of medication into my abdomen on a daily basis. My brain, my emotions, sometimes felt like PMS times a thousand. My privacy and dignity, and my husband's, were handed to the fertility specialist on a sterilized stainless-steel tray as he tried to do in his office what most people can accomplish in their bedroom (or, you know, the couch).

And I prayed, ceaselessly. And I hoped, fervently, with every fiber of my being. And I thought about it all the time. And every month, I went through hell ... only to look down at a pregnancy test with one stark, lonely line; a cruel visual confirmation of my body's repeated failure. It was a crushing blow, equally hard each time. But every time I thought I couldn't take another poke or jab or comment or baby shower invitation or negative test, I thought about the purpose - my sole reason for going through all this in the first place - the chance to have a child.

Now I'm one of those women who, theoretically, could brag about my fertility. I mean, I'm about to give birth to my fourth child ... whose presence, although as joyous as any of the others, wasn't exactly planned. I never in a million years expected to be in this position, and I don't know how it happened. Not the pregnancy (I'm pretty sure I know exactly how that happened) but the fact that I could get pregnant at all after everything that we went through. The fact that my slow-learning body just happened to "get it" one day and was like, "Oh. So this is how you do it." No explanation has ever been offered, no solutions ever found. There was never a magic key, nothing I did that suddenly allowed me to get pregnant.

But however it happened, whatever miraculously "clicked" ... I have what I wanted most. Our amazing, beautiful, wonderful sons ... and one more to add to the mix in a matter of weeks.


So while I may be uncomfortable (and just as I typed that, I felt a tiny knee or elbow or foot scrape painfully against my bladder), I can't complain. Not really. Not legitimately. Not when there are countless women (and their partners) out there who would give anything - everything - to experience this. All of it. The simple physical discomfort I'm going through is laughable compared to the suffering they're feeling, every day, every week, throughout the whole never-ending cycle. Because I know that at the end of all this, I'll be holding a baby.

And they don't have the luxury of knowing that.

And that's the worst part of all.

If you know someone who's having trouble conceiving, hug them extra tightly as soon as you can. Offer no advice. Don't try to console, only commiserate. Just be a shoulder if they need one to cry on. And if you're pregnant, or can get pregnant without effort, or can tuck your kids in at night and watch them as they sleep peacefully ... be sure to count your blessings. Today and every day.


Sharethis

Blog Widget by LinkWithin