Friday, December 25, 2009

Have Yourself...

A Merry Little Christmas. Or Happy Holidays if you prefer. We're headed East - catch you in 2010!

(And wow, I can remember being in grade school and having a conversation - or maybe it was writing a paper - on where we'd be in 2010. I think I wrote "old". Sigh.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


A few scenes from Christmas in CA...Ornament & decor storage. A gift from Uncle Bud the year we got married.
Angels. Made with love from Uncle Bud :)This years photo ornament.
This year's mini-tree. Being East, I was not sure I'd decorate at all, but then I decided that the kids needed some spirit so we opted for the small tree :)
Mantle Angels.
...and on to Christmas in DC!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Photography Maybe

I can remember getting our wedding photos back and finding one that was marked "photographers favorite" on the back. It was a simple shot of Brooks' parents looking at him and at the time I didn't at ALL get why it was a "favorite" picture. I mean, I guess I thought it captured a nice moment, but no one was looking at the camera, it was completely unposed and nothing I'd ever want to frame. And don't forget that we got married before the era of digital photography and light years ahead of the journalistic narrative style that is popular today.

All of a sudden, lately, I get it. My love of photography grows daily and with it my interest in photographing things other than my kids. Ok, so more often than not, it's just other people's kids, but still. And I'm finding more and more that I like the shots that are off-kilter, not so sharp, not perfectly exposed and certainly not anything you'd frame. And since I am still a few weeks ahead of my new years resolution to keep up with, well, life better, I thought it might be a good time and place for a photo share. So here are a few of my favorite recent snaps.
My 50mm lens sometimes decides that it wants what it wants. And it wanted to focus on the chair. And I agreed.
This face? I just love this face. Little Briar is just the sweetest and when her Mama asked me to catch some pictures of her, I jumped at the chance. The only problem was what a hard time I had taking pictures of anything BUT her face :)
But I did get this one, which I love. Little girl, new to the walking scene and ready to take on the world.

The next three are from a party where SANTA came to visit! So much fun to watch the kids meet the Big Man and get to hear all his stories... joy...
Dashel getting ready to open his meticulously wrapped gift from Santa.
And oh how I love this one. Jenna stepped up at dang near the last minute to host the shindig and here she is, looking relaxed and having fun. I love the wrapping paper stuck to her leg and the children mulling about. If you ever saw a picture of me on a day where I had 22 (or more?) children running around my house, assorted parents, an array of sweets to be consumed and spilled and SANTA, I can PROMISE you I would not look anywhere near this composed. I can also promise you that the above scenario would likely never happen :)

By the way, that picture, the "photographer's favorite"? I framed it a few years ago.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

'Tis the Season

So I know, I'm totally sucking at blogging. But I HAVE THREE KIDS PEOPLES!!! On that note, if we're friends and you feel like I blow you off or never call you...for the love of all that is holy, please do not take it personally. I HAVE THREE KIDS! And they know that Mom is much less likely to scream or swat if she's on the phone. I swear it takes all of two seconds while I'm on the phone for them to do something awful and rotten.

Also, it's Christmastime so I've been busting ass to get stuff done. Which is a challenge when you HAVE THREE KIDS!! Did I mention that Dash is still not over the whole "wow it's fun to run and hide from mommy in stores" thing? Yeah. And wrapping presents while holding Kell? Not enjoyable either.

Over the past few weeks, one thing has become glaringly obvious - some people need a refresher course in holiday etiquette. So today, I present some simple holiday guidelines.

It's the season to be jolly, and thankful, and for those who are religious, to celebrate the birth of our Savior. It is NOT the season to drive like an asshat. Speed limits exist for a reason. As do laws against cell phone use and texting while driving. And that makeup? You'll be sorry when the eyeliner pencil has to be surgically removed from your eyeball. Tailgating does not, in fact, cause the person in front of you to speed up. That car you bought, it came with this super cool function called a turn signal. It magically lets people know when you intend to - get this - make a turn. You should totally try it. Amazing, I know.

While we're on the subject of driving, it's important to remember that no parking spot is worth risking your life. I think after Thanksgiving (and in preparation for Christmas cookies) we could all use a little more walking in our daily lives. Plus, you're probably going to SAVE time by just taking the spot that's open but a little farther away. If you must try for a closer spot, remember that the "expectant mothers" or "mothers with small children" spots are for..."EXPECTANT MOTHERS" or "MOTHERS WITH SMALL CHILDREN". So if you're a dude, I'm pretty sure you don't qualify. And being fat doesn't qualify you either. Some people seem awfully fond of stalking. If there is a trail of 200 cars behind you and there are available spaces father away, just fucking take one. Also, if you're stalking a woman with lots of bags, kids, or maybe even a woman with three kids who look young enough to require carseats and a stroller AND lots of bags, you DO NOT get to be PISSED OFF when it takes more than a few minutes to load the car. I will not jepordize my kids safety by rushing so that you get my spot sooner. As a matter of fact, if I see you getting huffy while waiting, I will take longer. Intentionally. And if you get increasingly irritated, I will get EVERYONE BACK OUT OF THE CAR just to be a bitch. I can always find something to go back and shop for.

Now let's talk about shopping. Do everyone a favor and GET OFF THE PHONE when you get to the checkout. These people are providing you a service and you're being an ass. McDonalds even as a sign up in the drive through asking you to get off the phone while ordering. If McDonalds knows better than you, you should be ashamed. I personally think that everyone should have to work some kind of food service and some kind of retail in their lives. I think those experiences would definitely cut back the number of people who scream at workers for little reason. If only "Santa is watching you" worked on adults. Experience should also alert everyone to the fact that inventory runs low close to the holidays. If little Jimmy really HAD to have one of those, you should have bought it sooner. Screaming at a store employee is not going to make whatever it is you want magically appear. For those of you who don't have kids, you should know that it is dangerous to walk in front of a moving stroller. I mean, if you value your ankles. Especially if it's a double stroller. I haven't had the electric cattle prod attached to the front of mine yet, so you may consider this your grace period.

I also feel the need to discuss restroom issues. Hands? Let's wash 'em. Doors? Don't forget to lock them please. Pregnant Ladies? Front of the line. And if you're not handicapped, and there are options available, DO NOT TAKE THE HANDICAPPED STALL! If you have a stroller, go for it but don't take too long since there might just be an actual handicapped person who has to go. Just because you'd like some more space while taking your daily constitutional, does NOT mean it's acceptable to take the larger stall. If I walk into another restroom where the only occupied stall is the handicapped one and the inhabitant is NOT handicapped, I will "forget" to control my small man children who think sneaking under the stalls is great fun. And you will have asked for it.

Now get out there and have a great holiday!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Glimpses of the Future

So I take a lot of pictures of my boys. A lot...

Even I can admit that it sometimes borders on obsessive. But there's a reason. Well, three reasons I guess...

First, they're adorable. I mean really, have you ever seen cuter boys? I may be just a tad biased on that one, I know. But clearly, they beg to have their pictures taken and shared with the world...

Second, I enjoy it. I did have someone suggest that I take pictures of other peoples children as a side job, but really, I just like my own. (That and I don't take criticism well so I'd need a very good PR manager to handle any clients else I bite their head off for not liking the same pictures I did). And as much as I love taking them, I love love love looking at them...

And finally, I'm trying to figure them out. I'm looking for those glimpses of the future. The ones where I'll get a feel for the men that these boys will become. The pictures I'll look back on someday, maybe even after they've made their own homes many miles away, and I'll be able to see the buds of who they are.

The pictures I'll look back on and be able to say, "yeah, that picture is SO you."

But that's the problem you see...

I don't know who they're going to be yet, so I don't know when or how to catch that on film.

So for now, I'll just stick to taking lots and lots of pictures...

Hope you like them too :)

Friday, November 06, 2009

A Lazy Blog

My parents are in town and this month feels like it's beating me already. But I did have a few things I wanted to share...

Because I was in Target this week and they already had their Christmas stuff out. And that made me think of how much joy this clip brought me last year.

And this because I'm working on finishing my Christmas shopping. Not that this was on my list.

And this because my parents are only here for the weekend which makes me sad enough to need a pick-me-up. And this always does it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Underwear & A Dream

I have this dream. And it involves diapers. Throwing them out, never buying them again, never changing them, never having to think about get the idea. I'm reaaaallly tired of diapers. Dash? Dash is not tired of diapers. Not one bit. I actually think he enjoys having me at his beck and call when his pants need to be, um, "refreshed". I have tried every trick in the book, from candy to harping on being a big boy and NOTHING seems to make him at all interested in the process. That stinker will sit on the potty for 20 minutes and get off only to soil his britches within minutes. So thinking back to Fin's (very easy) potty training, I remembered something. I remembered the power of underpants...
The power of underpants with your friends on them. Underpants you can't WAIT to wear...
Underpants with Toodee...
...and Foofa...
...and Wubzy. Wow Wow.

Here's hoping that they actually work. He asked to wear them right away, but over his diaper. I said no and so he's just been looking at them longingly for the past two days...Baby steps, baby steps...

Monday, October 26, 2009


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Those Eyes...

IMG_3917, originally uploaded by maggiefielding.

And you can see what keeps me away...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Am Not My Mother (& Repeat)

I am not my mother. Sounds so simple and obvious, but sometimes I need to say it. Out loud.

I am not my mother.

We're alike in many ways - we both have a pretty mean sense of humor and a low threshold of embarrassment, we're both good dancers, we can both be pretty stubborn, we've both been known to break into song for no reason...

But there are also more than a few areas where we're different. And I need to learn that that's ok.

Cause I am not my mother.

I know, you're saying "duh". But I think we all grow up wanting our children to enjoy all of the advantages we had as kids. And when we can't provide that, it's hard not feeling like you've somehow failed them. I had the house people always wanted to come to - my kids would rather go to Monika's house than Disneyland. My mother always had a hot dinner ready - I can NOT cook. I'm working on it, but progress is slow and really, you're either a natural or you're not. And as a child, my mother (and by extension I) took great pride in never donning a store-bought Halloween Costume.

So this time next year, can someone please look at me, remind me "You are not your mother" and send my ass to Target?? Oh, and make sure it's the one with the Pizza Hut so I can bring back dinner too.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Know, I Know...

Dust is collecting. I get it. BlogHer even took all my pretty ads away.

But let me say that having three small boys sometimes feels more like 9. They're just exponential like that. So here's what has been keeping us busy...

1. Kell is nursing every two hours at least. Yes, around the clock. And he has a constant need to be held. Sometimes, he'll let me put him in the swing, but I never know if I have two minutes or two hours.
2. On a positive note, Kell is also making tons of eye contact and wants to make faces back and forth as often as possible. Yay for cuteness!
3. Dash has developed this terrible screeching noise that I can't figure out how to stop. Any advice appreciated.
4. Dash has also decided that he neeeeeeds a three hour nap. This is problematic on school days.
5. On a positive note, Dash is the loviest little guy on the planet so even as he's screeching or protesting the sudden early end to a nap, you can't help but wanna love on him anyway. And you're rewarded with "I love you mommy" at every turn.
6. His other favorite thing to say is "Wanna go Mon-Ka's house!". And I oblige him every chance she allows I get. I like it there too.
7. Fin has school Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. So our mornings consist of running around trying to get the house in order, get dressed, have lunch and get out the door. Then I come home and try and get Dash down for his nap (see #4) and I nap too (see #1)
8. Fin has soccer practice on Fridays and games Saturdays and some Wednesdays.
9. Fin has decided that he constantly needs to irritate Dash in any way humanly possible. Which results in #3. Often.
10. On a positive note, Fin is a terrific helper and has been my savior (with diapers, water, burp cloths, etc) more times than I can count.
11. We, Mom and Dad, decided to make their Halloween costumes this year. Expect a long post on this later with pictures and expletives and a LONG explanation on why we will never do this again.
12. Dad started a new job, Yippee! But it's busy. And he's busy. Which means Mom is extra busy.

And Kell looks sleepy so he's about to be fed and all to bed. But there's the shortlist as to why I've been MIA. Again. But I promise a good post soon (see #11)!

Friday, September 18, 2009

MIA, and A Story.

So I now know that you officially cross the threshold of crazy when you hit three kids. I'm sure someone will say that it's because they're so close in age. And I'm sure my response to that person would be expletive heavy. So between Kell's arrival, the start of school and soccer, Dash entering the terrible 2's and Brooks starting a new job, it's been a little hectic around here.

I have some pretty good stories to share, but as it turns out it also takes three kids to master the whole sleep-when-the-baby-sleeps deal too. And then, this one couldn't wait. And I want to save anyone who thinks that maybe they too can grocery shop with three under 4. Fin, the good child of yesterday, is walking next to the cart. Kell, in his bucket, is in the front basket. Dash is in the big part of the basket. Kell's seat is so tall I can't see Dash. As I put things in the cart, Dash is trying to open and eat everything (before you tell me I'm an awful mother for bringing a hungry child to the store, understand that Dash is ALWAYS hungry. Or, more accurately, will always try and eat whatever is around.) Then I hear Fin yell that Dash has the eggs. I immediately stop and run around to the front, picturing him moving the carton of eggs. Nope. He has ACTUAL EGGS. IN HIS HANDS. Looking very full of intent-to-toss, he starts yelling EGGS, EGGS. Thanks kid.

I guess it would have helped the visual to acknowledge that the kids are in LAX shorts and crapola tees, Fin is covered in paint (from school), and Dash's shoes are on the wrong feet (DASH DO IT MYSELF!), and Kell is in an old onesie (it was 104).

I'm thinking we should just go ahead and have another one.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


It's been a rough start to fire season here in SoCal. For us that meant a LOT of time spent indoors this past week (which in my current state wasn't necessarily such a bad thing). Admittedly, I did very little venturing outside, so when I finally did get around to taking the trash out today, I was shocked to see the remnants of the far had spread this far away. By the Woob's calculation the nearest fire front was about 7 miles from us...

The good news is that it's getting under control quickly and our air quality should be much improved by this weekend.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A Special Pillowcase

When I was pregnant with Fin, I completed a long-overdue cleaning of our linen cabinet. In that process, I found a pillowcase my mom had embroidered for me with my initials and as I did, I realized that Fin would have the same initials as I did before I was married. I put it aside but kept that in mind. When it was time to go in for my induction, I grabbed my favorite pillow and put that case on it thinking it would be nice for him to have someday. When I was pregnant with Dash, I asked my mom to make one for him and she happily obliged. I realized somewhere about mid-July that I hadn't asked her to make one for Kell - DOH! I called her in a panic and asked if she could make one FAST. I'd hate to have my last little boy left out! She acted put out but agreed. A week later, this beauty arrived. Anticipating my needs, as she always has done so well, she had been working on it for weeks before I even asked.

Isn't it breathtaking? Can you believe she did all that completely by hand? I know, amazing.*

*I'm sure she'd want me to add: DON'T ASK FOR ONE! THE ANSWER IS NO :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Great Birth Story - Now With Pictures!

Kellan Thomas
08/20/09 10:34 am
8lbs 4oz, 20.5 inches long

Ok, so remember what I told you about being honest and graphic - yeah you might want to stop right there unless you want to hear it all :)

After my Dr. visit on Tuesday, I had some show and a few contractions, but by midday Wednesday I was starting to worry that it might come down to an induction. Wednesday afternoon I started to have more show and more contractions and sure enough by midnight Wednesday night the contractions were strong enough to keep me awake. I got in a warm tub to try and relax them a little and was hoping I could get back in bed. By 3am I had to wake up Brooks because I knew this was the real deal and didn't want to be alone. We called Yvonne, our doula (who was there for both Fin and Dash's births) and gave her a heads up. By 4:30 Yvonne was here and we were working through labor by sitting on the birthing ball in the family room and doing some laps around the block. The contractions were tough but I felt like I could cope with them pretty easily.

Sometime after 5am I realized that the boys would be getting up soon and started to worry about them seeing me in pain. I wasn't ready to go to the hospital yet so Yvonne suggested that we head to her house (which is right next to the hospital) for a few more hours. We hung out there until just after 7 am when I felt things were getting rougher. We arrived at the hospital, got right into our room and by the time I was finally cooperative enough to get into my gown etc. and let them check me, I was already at 7 cms. Honestly, I was blown away! The contractions were painful but I was totally able to manage them and they were consistent but I felt like I had time to catch my breath in between. For the next two hours I walked and worked through things but was starting to feel a little worn down. The Dr. had suggested breaking my water to get things progressing and since Kell was still at a -2 station. When the nurse checked me again just before 10 am and I was still sitting at a 7, I agreed to speed things up. I was totally terrified of things getting more painful, but I was also loosing energy fast.

The Dr. was in fast and broke my water just after 10 and the next contraction hit me like a ton of bricks. I had to stay in bed and on the monitors for the first three contractions while Kell adjusted to life without water and I felt like I was going to lose my mind. When I was finally told I could stand, I felt better but the contractions were really brutal. I think I only had three contractions standing up before I felt pushy. The nurse came in at maybe 10:15 and said Kell was still at a -1 almost 0 and I was only 8 - 9 cms. Yvonne quickly reminded me that since this was my third, things could change in a minute. But she didn't need to say anything since I knew that my body was working on getting him out ASAP. All of a sudden I started screaming and I knew he'd be here in moments. The nurse asked me to sit on the bed so she could check me again and I think at that point I was screaming about sitting on his head. I was in so much pain I couldn't articulate anything but I vaguely remember laying on my back and wondering why no one was paying attention to the fact that he was coming NOW! As a matter of fact, Brooks took a picture. Of me. Mid contraction. Sitting on the baby's head. Here it is...

And note the timestamps...
Yeah, I told you I was going to get a little graphic :)

So the nurse starts screaming and the Dr. is nowhere and then, lo and behold, the one Dr. I wanted to avoid, the Butcher, was sitting at the nurses station checking his email. (Sidenote: WHO DOES THAT?!?! YOU'RE NOT ON DUTY?!?!) And by the time he walked in, Kell's head was out (poor nurse didn't even have time to get gloves on!) and he escorted the rest of Kell into the world. There was a scuffle over the umbilical cord (I guess the dr. tried to cut it and Brooks was all hells no). And then the Dr. on duty came in and was screaming that he had just left, what happened. It was pretty funny to watch everyone running around all crazy wondering how all that happened - I was just wondering why no one had listened to me!

They left us all to bond for a while and then came in to weigh Kell and give him his bath. By noon we were in our recovery room and since I was first birth of the day we got an awesome single room with a pull out bed for Dad. Brooks went home and picked up the boys and Nanny and some burgers and we had a nice picnic dinner in the room. Fin was enthralled with his new brother and Dash said hi and then wanted to run around the room. I think it went well! I was planning on coming straight home, but it was so nice we decided to stay for the night. Then Brooks decided to snore. Alot. So I sent him home to sleep. Daddy came back to get us the next morning and we were checked out and on our way home before Kell was 24 hours old!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Just Might Be The First

Woman to be pregnant forever. Or maybe it just feels that way.

And here's my disclaimer...If you don't want to read graphic things about pregnancy/birth etc, you best click away. This is my spot and I'll overshare if I want to. Click on the kids blog and oogle their adorable faces instead.

So I saw Dr. Tuso yesterday - I am 4 cms and he stripped my membranes. And still, no baby. Lots of bloody show (see, overshare) and some solid contractions, but nothing amounting to anything. WHO SITS IDLE AT 4 CMS?!? I mean, I watch enough Baby TV to know that there are plenty of bitches who are getting their epidurals at that point. As a matter of fact, I saw a show today where two chicks were admitted and anesthetized at 3 cms. Made me almost consider just going in and getting one now. And if rushing to answer a thousand phone calls were enough to send you into labor, I would be there by now. Sadly, I'm not. And yes, in case you couldn't tell, I'm more than a little disappointed by this.

I have to say, that while I truly thought this dude was going to arrive early (I mean, hello, I was having serious contractions MONTHS ago!?!), my "fear date" has always been tomorrow. You see, Fin and Dash were both born on Thursdays. Not that weird, but both of those Thursdays also happened to be New Moons. Tomorrow? The day before my official due date? Thursday. New Moon. Yep. So now what was once the date I feared I might go to has become...the day I hope not to go past!

And please, no more suggestions of nipple stimulation. Not gonna happen.

If tomorrow passes, and I haven't given up and hurled my behemoth of a body down the stairs, I go back to the Dr. on Friday for a NST and another stripping. And some induction talk. Sigh.

My one VERY positive note? The Butcher is not on call again until September and there's NO WAY I'll go that far :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hopefully My Last...

Belly shot!

39 Weeks and 1 Day...

So I had another Dr. visit today and after discovering that the bad Dr. (aka "the Butcher") is on duty all weekend, I refused to take my pants off :) Aside from the fact that I'd sooner deliver at home then deal with that man, my mom arrives on Sunday and I don't think I'd ever be able to live down her missing another birth by a mere day or two. So this babe is now on hold till at least Monday at noon when my mom is settled and the next Dr. takes over. Everything looked good, although the little guy had a slow heart-rate which the Dr. assured me was normal for being so close to birth.

Up next, Tuesday I go to see Dr. Tuso (who got the party started AND delivered Dash) in the hopes that he can send me into labor for Dr. Marter (who delivered Fin) to catch the baby Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. So that's the plan - wish us luck!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

39 Week Holy Hell I'm Still Pregnant Update

So yeah, I'm still here...Despite everyone's assurance that "you'll go sometime this week" I in fact, have not.


At this point with Dash I was running around the pumpkin patch and laughing about how maybe my third turn on the hayride would get things started...This time? I can barely make it twice around the block without clutching my who-ha and cringing. So not good. I'll have an hour or two of solid contractions and then, just when I've called all the troops to put them on high alert, NOTHING. To say that I'm frustrated would be the understatement of the century.

Last night was brutal. Woke up at 1am with horrible cramps and pain (almost like pulled muscle pain) an couldn't get comfortable. Went into the office and messed around on the computer and then ended up in the bathtub by 2am in a last-ditch attempt to relax. By 3am I felt like I might be able to sleep, and blessedly I was able to get back in bed and get a few hours in before Dash woke up at 7 (again thank God, not his usual 6:30). Feeling like dead lady walking, I begged Brooks to stay home and help today. Not only did he agree, but he endorsed an afternoon prenatal massage appointment with enthusiasm. I have to say, before you remind me that I'm a brat, that this was exactly the third massage I've EVER had (and my first prenatal one) and the first time I've actually asked for one. I had a spa gift certificate still from my parents from Christmas - I had been waiting to use it once I could take full advantage of the sauna, hot tub and everything else preggos can't do. But I just felt like if I didn't do SOMETHING today to make myself feel better, I might just crack.

Oh, My, Bliss.

Why did I wait till the last days of my last pregnancy to do this?!?! I feel better than I have in WEEKS, maybe even months. I can walk. I feel human. And why doesn't the spa have nap rooms for after your appts?!?

So now my plan is to get a good nights sleep, do some fun things with the boys tomorrow morning, go to the Dr. in the afternoon, movies in the evening, Concert in the Park on Saturday, and my mom arrives Sunday...I'll give you the goods after my Dr. appt tomorrow!

Friday, August 07, 2009

38 Week Update

Saw Dr. Marter - who delivered Fin - this morning for my 38 week appt. Baby was measuring right on, great heart rate and my BP etc was great. He asked if I wanted him to check me and I agreed. Although I was totally bummed to hear that I was making no progress last week, this week I was fully effaced and 3 cms dialated. Whee! He told me he'd be on duty all weekend and "would love to deliver this baby for me" so I told him to go ahead and um, help things along.

I came home full of hope that SOMETHING would happen soon - but so far no dice! I was hoping to start contracting tonight and have this little guy by tomorrow, but I don't think that's in the cards. I wouldn't be surprised to go another week at this rate, but at the same time at least I know I'm making SOME progress so that's reassuring...

Friday, July 31, 2009

37 Week Update

So here we are at 37 weeks (well, today is 37 and one day). I had the obligatory Dr.'s appt this morning with the practices newest Dr. and he seemed nice. EXTREMELY young, but nice :) He asked me if we were planning on having more children after this one - which is only amazing because every other Dr. has just asked when I'm having my tubes tied. And usually only AFTER asking if this was an intentional pregnancy. Sigh.

Anyway, my BP and weight etc were all good; Snoopy's HR was great and he's measuring right on track so that was great to hear. I had to endure the beta strep test (ick) and so hopefully all goes well with that. He also did a surprise cervical check - I'm starting to efface and still not dialated at all. I'd be lying if I said that didn't take the wind out of my sails! I was hoping to hear that there was more going on. Of course, Yvonne, our doula, reminded me that these are all things that can change in a minute, so I'm hanging on to that! On a positive note, Snoopy is firmly lodged in my pelvis so that's very good. Fin was at a -2 station till I started pushing and I think Dash was close, so it's good to hear that this guy is at least getting ready for his grand entrance.

After having a few days where I felt like I could go on being pregnant forever if I had to, I'm now back to feeling pretty crappy. I have zero energy, probably because I can't remember the last time I actually got a decent nights sleep. I'm nauseous throughout most of the day and can't eat at all past about 5pm or I pay a mean price. My pelvis, predictably, feels like it's being pulverized by a large bowling ball and my belly is really starting to get itchy. But I have no swelling still, despite the continuing heat wave, so there's something. I've got a few things I'd like to see get done before this little guy arrives, but mostly we're just ready and waiting! I go back to the Dr. next Friday and I'll be seeing Dr. Marter who delivered Fin.

I realized this morning that 37 weeks was the last belly shot I took with Dash. And I feel so much bigger this time that I had to don the same duds and compare...

Only a touch bigger this time if that, but I definitely feel that he's lower. And then dressed to go to the Dr.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Blankies and Buddies

As anyone with children will tell you, there is NO WAY to predict what will become their security blankets! You know, those special loveys that they can't sleep without and of which you will need to stock up on at least one back-up for the inevitable occasion where they vomit on one, lose one, or you just find yourself so disgusted that you need to wash the dang thing. When Fin was a born, my cousin Jerry sent him a blanket that had a fluffy frogs head attached. It was just the perfect size for him to snuggle up underneath and he decided almost immediately that it was his favorite. When he was a few months old, Brooks had to go to Vegas for a conference. He brought back a stuffed Steiff puppy for Fin. Puppy and Frogger were immediately those comfort items for Fin. We haven't been on a single trip without them - in fact he's never spent a night apart from them.

When I was pregnant with Dash, I saw a matching duck blankie in a store. And likewise, not long after he was born Brooks was on another trip to Vegas (although if memory serves, this was a fun one!) and brought back Bear (from the same stuffie family as Puppy). Dash's affections for Bear and Ducker are unsurprisingly nearly identical to his brothers.

So of course this baby had to have his own set of loveys. And we chose Giraffe and Pig.

And here's the family photo. I promise a more complete one when I can capture all three boys with their favorite things.

Friday, July 24, 2009

36 Week Update

Appropriately, I had my 36 week appointment today. From now on I go weekly - how the hell did that happen!? Everything looked good. Still no swelling for me, my BP and weight were all good, little guy is head snugly down and measuring right on schedule. I'm even feeling somewhat decent this week (knock on wood). I mean, I'm huge, sleeping is no easy feat and I long to just feel "normal" again, but I don't have too much back or pelvic pain so I'm not complaining!

However, I am definitely at the point in this pregnancy where I don't want to wear pants (eh, I hate pants even when I'm not pregnant, so maybe that's not saying much anyway). But being on the large end of the game, I also only have a few pairs that fit comfortably. That being said, by the time Brooks is home I am more often than not clad in one of my favorite tees and undies. Doesn't sound so bad, right? Well, let me tell you something about these can only get them at the beach and they look like old sweatshirts that have had the sleeves, neck and bottom chopped off (which if I remember correctly actually was in style at one point in my high school career). But they're super comfy and don't irritate the belly...mostly because they don't cover it! And I won't even tell you how many of these I've collected. One day this week the boys were being AWFUL and Brooks made a joke about working late and I threatened to get in the car immediately and head to his office to drop them off. Part of this threat was that I wasn't going to bother to get dressed/change. He asked if I was wearing one of my favorite shirts and I said duh! And NO PANTS! We both had a good laugh at how his coworkers would respond to my crop-top-sans-pants entrance and I figured I should let you all in on the joke.

So here's my 36 week belly. In my favorite shirt, and I put pants on just for you. And yes, I am aware that it says "Ocean Rescue". I'm seriously considering wearing one of these for the main event ;)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Getting There...

I was thinking this morning that it's now practical to measure the remainder of this pregnancy in days. In the unfortunate event that I actually make it to my due date, I'll have 28 days left. Why is it that four weeks sounds so long to me and 28 days seems totally reasonable? I'm feeling very torn between wanting it over and also not being ready yet. Sure I'm huge and miserable, but the closer to the end it gets, the more I feel strengthened to last as long as I need to.

And this pregnancy is different. This one will be my last.

Two boys are a handful and there are plenty of days that I have serious doubts about my ability to handle this third. But I know I'll be fine in the end. But three boys is, well, a lot. Initially we had talked about waiting a few years after Dash and then having two more children close in age. This little guy jumped the gun quite a bit. I can confidently say that having four children wham-bam would be more than I could deal with. And while I've been told that it could be fun to have another later-in-life child down the road, that doesn't appeal to me in the slightest. I just don't think it would be fair to have three boys so close and then a fourth far behind, always struggling to keep up. Not to mention that I'm looking forward to someday being able to have a life again for myself and being able to enjoy my husband more. Don't get me wrong, I want these boys to grow up as slowly as possible, but at the same time it's nice to be able to imagine a time in the future where Brooks and I can decide to go to a movie or dinner alone without having to plan weeks in advance and get a babysitter etc. And maybe even a night away...

And then there's Dash. Fin has always been "wiser than his years" and also far more his fathers child than mine. Don't get me wrong, we get along and where we don't get along is easy to chalk up to the fact that we're far too similar, and of course I love him in a way that I think maybe you can only love your firstborn. But I still vividly remember the shock of bringing Dash home and looking at Fin who had suddenly morphed from my baby into this giant man-child. Dash is still my baby in ways that maybe Fin never was. He's clingy where Fin was always independent. He lavishes his baby love on me with hourly "I love you mama's" (which are almost always said while holding my face or petting me in some way) and is constantly placing my arms around him and asking for security with "got me mama? Got me?" It's going to be extremely hard for him to make this adjustment and have to share me with a new baby. And there's a lingering part of me that's just not ready for him not to be my baby anymore.

So, here I am, sitting here larger than I can believe and still not entirely sure I'm ready for this pregnancy to end. And I only have 28 days or less to be ready.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Shoes and A Story

With three boys, I had high hopes that I would be able to pass down large quantities of clothes. So I was somewhat shocked to realize that Fin (between school and camp) had in fact destroyed his first pair of sneakers. I had to photograph it for posterity, but I also have to add that the picture doesn't really do justice to the carnage. His toes were about to pop through and the insides are thrashed and falling out. Then again, I don't think Fin's feet have grown in a year so at least the wear justifies the destruction...

In other news, I had waited until today to do a Target run to pick up a few things, most notably presents to sock away for the boys from their new little brother. Fin has been wanting this Matchbox Shark Attack Bay Set Thing for months now and I told him it was too big for just an any-day treat and he'd have to wait for some kind of occasion. Dash has become OBSESSED with Yo Gabba Gabba and so I figured I'd pick him up something relative to that.

As I made my way to the car, Dash had a complete meltdown and wedged his sobbing body between the garage door and it's frame demanding to go with me. With so little time left before our relationship is intruded upon, I just decided to take him with me. (In case you were wondering, Fin considers me chopped liver these days and was more than content to stay with Dad!) As I was wandering down the toy aisles, I walked past all the baby dolls and was reminded of some adjustment advice bestowed upon me by many when I was pregnant with Dash. Buying the sibling a baby doll of their own can ease the transition. I wasn't worried about how that would go with Fin, but Dash is a whole different ball game so I began to reevaluate my boys and babydolls stance. Maybe Dash would be into that? So I started looking at my options. Not sure of how this was going to go, I quickly bipassed any dolls over $20 (much to Dash's chagrin as there was a loud crawling one I think he wanted). There were a bunch of Cabbage Patch newborn dolls on clearance but when I started sifting through the boxes, turns out it was only African American dolls left. Thankfully, I then spotted a little bean bag style baby with a plastic head for the bargain price of $2 - SOLD! (I'll let you know how Dash takes to "his baby")

But the whole ordeal reminded me of a story I'd heard second hand that originated on NPR's This American Life. I was trying to relay it to Brooks and badly butchering the story when I decided to see if I could find it online. Once again, thank you internets for being there! Here it is, just wait for it to load and then fast forward to 40:17 in the show. With my already-compromised bladder, it was tough not to wet my pants through some of it. Enjoy ;)

ETA: Here's the site for the Middleton Dolls if you weren't creeped out enough already

Friday, July 17, 2009

35 Week Update

It's really hard to imagine that I could get any bigger, but it's totally possible that I could go a few more weeks!

I was telling Brooks this morning that Fin and Dash were both born the night of the new moon (which also happened to be Thursdays). Well, July's new moon is Tuesday (the 21) which feels a little soon. August's new moon is the 20th...which also happens to be a Thursday (as well as the day before my official due date). Brooks' face fell and he said "you CAN'T go that much longer!?!". Heh. I sure hope not! I'm feeling like I'll barely make it into August, but who knows! I've never made it even to 39 weeks before so that would be a record. But we've got everything ready for this little guy, I'd just like to make it to the 36 week mark. I'm feeling physically very ready for pregnancy to be over - my pelvis started "separating" this week, and yes, that is as painful as it sounds. The skin on my stomach feels like it could split open at any second and it's requiring a herculean effort to get up and down these days. I seem to be having contractions regularly every night and sometimes during the day as well and they HURT. Like seriously hurt! And that should mean something coming from someone who has never had a (working at least) epidural.

More next week after I see the Dr...

**And I had to edit this to add proof of how MOTHER TRUCKING hot it is here this week. Yeah, that shit says 112. UGH!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Because It's Always Something...

Fin has the stomach flu. I knew it was going around, so I wasn't entirely caught off guard, but DAMN, I did NOT need this now! I'm in the home stretch, feeling miserable to begin with, and wondering what the odds are that I can be doused in barf and not become infected. Yeah, that's what I thought. So for right now I'm splitting my time between watching Fin to make sure he's not ready to blow again and also keeping an eye on Dash and looking for signs that he's going to follow suit. The funny thing is that I can remember being this pregnant with Fin, hearing that the flu was going around and wondering if there could possibly be anything worse than going into labor while having the stomach flu. Here's hoping I don't have to find out.

In baby news, I'm HUGE. I know, you're tired of hearing that, but seriously! My belly button is actually protruding which it has never done before and I can't say that I'm a fan either. I'm on the two-week visit schedule now so next week I see the endo AND the OB. Other than the typical end-of-pregnancy pains and complaints, I have little to add. Blood pressure, Blood sugar and everything else are right in the normal range and I actually have zero swelling which is great since it's triple digits daily now. I spent some time this weekend looking at baby pictures of Fin and Dash. It's so hard to grasp how fast they grow and I can't believe we're soon to welcome another one! I was also thinking it's funny that Brooks was 30 when Fin was born and I'll be 30 when this guy arrives. I like when things work out like that.

I'm going to leave you with two early-day favs...
& Dash

Friday, July 03, 2009

A Preview

I have to say, I'm sick and tired of being as big as a house. And yes, I'm actually starting to look forward to going back to the gym and doing more than just wheezing on the treadmill.

And then today I'm confronted with yet another image of a celebrity mama, holding a new-ish baby, while flaunting her "new post-baby physique" in a bikini. I actually don't think it would bother me as much if these women just owned up to the fact that they spend all day on the treadmill or other life-sucking contraption only to get off for a few minutes to spray tan and eat a few almonds or a slice of boneless, skinless chicken prepared by their personal chef all the while wearing their tauts cinched as tight as possible. I mean really, can I just get a little honesty here?

Well guess what, here's your preview of me in a few months...

Why are you laughing? Hey stop that! It could happen...

Thursday, July 02, 2009

33 Weeks

Well, I spent most of yesterday at the Dr.'s being evaluated for my early contractions. These are not braxton hicks! They're the biggies that require you to stop everything that you're doing and concentrate. Totally sucks. Anyway, all looked ok and I was told to just lay low and go straight to L&D if I had more than 6 an hour. I just love how people can tell a woman with a 20 mo old and a 3.5 year old to LAY LOW and TAKE IT EASY without busting a gut laughing! I mean, really...

So I'd be lying if I said I was feeling great cause the truth is that I feel like total crap. My back hurts and I feel like someone kicked me hard several times in the crotch, my belly is huge and itchy and seems to catch on everything that I walk past. Brooks asked me if there could be two in there it looked so big yesterday, but after comparing with my belly shots from Dash I think I'm pretty much the same place (in the belly at least, the hiney, now that's another story!). The Dr. told me to hold out till at least 36 weeks and I think I can do this for three more weeks. Seven more would be pushing it, but I know that they won't let me go past 38 weeks because the alleged GD could cause a 30lb baby. So worst case scenario is that I have 5 weeks left. That I can handle. Now if only someone would come handle these two other kids for me...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Nesting...and I Might Have a Problem

With the flurry of contractions this week, I realized that I am NOWHERE NEAR ready for this guy to arrive! Ok, that might be an understatement, but compared to how ready I was with Dash (forget that with Fin I was ready about 3 months in :) I have a LOT of work to do. So I informed Brooks that the next two weekends were all about baby-preparedness - the culminating event being next weekend where we get all the baby stuff out of the garage so I can wash it and inspect it. I'm sure I don't need to tell you how excited that made him!

I spent the better part of today getting organized. Birth plan is done, printed and laminated. We'll be meeting with our Doula, Yvonne, on Friday. I reorganized the emergency diaper supply bag in the car to include the new teeny ones we bought this week (Fin couldn't get over how little they were!). And my hospital bag is close to packed. Of course I need to qualify that with the fact that I HATE hospitals and only plan on spending one night if that so there really wasn't much to pack! I have long since moved Dash's stuff out of the nursery and into the room he'll be sharing with Fin, so I just had to straighten Snoopy's closet up a bit and that was done. I feel more ready now.

I think it's official - nesting has set in.

And in that vein, I have to admit, I have a problem. When I started off intending to sew a few burp cloths for this baby, I had no idea I'd go this far. I first picked up a pack of 12 cloth diapers. Then I saw an organic pack of 6 another place and they felt softer, so I bought those too. I bought a mess of material and sewed a few. But each time I would think I had sewn the last one, my eyes would catch the pile of sad, naked, empty cloth diapers and I'd realize I had material, what was one more...

Then I wandered into JoAnne's one day and found a bunch of new and pretty fabrics. Well, now I had more fabric and still some sad empty cloth diapers. So I made a few more...and some for a friend...and then I saw someone with a burp cloth and a matching blanket. Wait a minute! Did someone say matching blanket?!?
I loved this material. And the minky backing, sooo soft! And you didn't think I would stop at one set...
This green minky was even softer (and it shed and was a BITCH to sew). Now I have three more empty diapers and a small batch of material. After these, i WILL NOT go buy more. I WILL NOT go buy more...