Friday, November 30, 2007

Dear Baby,

Get out.

Love, Mom

Dear Friends,

I appreciate your concern.


This week . . . .

This week I have felt the whisper from the breath of madness on the back of my neck. More than once. I have felt the brush of angels and the hack of the devil. I've learned that as joyful as it is to feel fetal movement and be the vessel for life, it's truly terrifying when it's absent. I think I knew this before, but now, I know it on a cellular and much more intimate level than I ever would have hoped or dreamt for.

This week, I learned that it's hard to feel nutso -- mostly because people around you, even those closest, do what comes naturally. For example, you feel nutso, borderline psycho, emotionally gonzo -- and contemplate that internally for some time. Perhaps weeks, days or months. And you spend an inordinate amount of time talking yourself back off of cliffs (because this is what normal people do, right?) Then, those whispers from hell sneak up on you in your most tender moments: naked in the shower, exhausted at day's end. And when you finally muster the nerve to confide these feelings of borderline psychosis to someone, they say, "It's gonna be fine", "don't worry about a thing", "you're a pro at this".

Um, guess what folks, only sometimes and definately not always.

And, I've confirmed what I knew: Pregancy is a lonely time. It's hard anway. Sheesh, in swollen tatas and general grumpiness alone, then add overal fatigue and 4 pm exhaustion to that -- it's a rough go. It's isolating because you don't want to complain and bitch, but also desperately need to vent. It's isolating because those around you try to support you -- but fail in ways you can't even describe. Whether it's simply not acknowledging the impending birth or flat out telling you that having a child is a mistake -- things tend you piss you off when there's a fetus within. It just IS. It just is part of the deal.

Also on my bitch list this week is being babysat. Today, I'm not answering the phone. I don't need supervision. I don't need hand holding. Even in the throws of God-awful labor when pain blinds you and rips through every cell -- I (personally) prefer to suffer in silence. Please don't touch me and don't ask how I am. I suck, obviously, Einstein.

This week, I also learned that amniocentesis kind of hurts. Looking down at my big belly -- yee-haw -- now, THAT's a needle.

Okay, I just read that again -- wow, I'm bitchy.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Letters to Santa

They are done.

I strongly recommend that they put no more than 3 things on their list to Santa. Three wise men -- three gifts. Santa is a very busy man. So far, this has worked.

Big: Kids digital camera, educational game or toy, and a watch.
Middle: Kids digital camera, a telescope and a healthy baby sister.
Little: Superman "action figure" -- (he really says this . . . becasue an action figure IS different than a toy or a DOLL), the mac playset and a big silver surfer.

I'm so happy. I can totally do this!! So, this week, before The Baby One escapes uterine entrapment, I'm on the hunt for digital cameras and a telescope -- the rest is done!! I'm so happy that my "mom" crystal ball worked!! Any suggestions on kid's digital cameras that don't break the bank, but aren't a piece of crap??

She loves Jingle Bells

Yesterday, we got our the red and green tubs and totes. We unpacked Christmas stuff. We paperclipped "hornaments" up, and put new strings on old things.

I think I'll know when my kids are big, because "ornaments" will be pronounced properly. They say "hornaments". This year, they are still little. Thank goodness, I think.

Middle loves Jingle Bells. It's the best part of Christmas for her. I'm not certain exactly WHAT the draw is, I only know that she adores them. We have several jingle bell ornaments from years past. She plucked those out first and dangled them carefully in spots where she could both admire and reach them. Before an hour's time has passed, she had taken them off of the tree, loaded them into a stroller, and was talking to them, organizing them and caring for them.

Jingle Bells. I think the obsession is in the sound. She loves them always. I have a small bowl of them by the laundry closet. Why? I bet you are wondering -- because I seldom wash a pair of pants but one or two don't come through the laundry. Tough buggers, they are. They make an awful racket in the dryer -- and she's come to recognize it. They begin to tumble, clatter and clack, and she wants to empty the dryer to retrive her treasures. So, I have a small bowl of jingle bells in the laundry cabinet, becasue they are a precious commodidty to her, and when I rescue them, I'm her hero.

My gift suggestion to my sister in law for this lovely rings-when-she-walks-child, is a mason jar full of jingle bells, all sizes and colors please. I'm willing to bet it will be a hit gift.


Thanksgiving. This was the first year in several that I haven't done anything for the supper part. The first time I haven't had my hand up the ass end of a dead bird dangling in the kitchen sink in the pre-dawn hours. The first time in several years I haven't chopped celery, mixed dough, or prepped anything. It was nice, in a sick sort of way. But what I'm really THANKFUL for -- is that it's over.

Thanksgiving was hosted by my mother-in-law. My sister-in-law and her boyfriend were there. My mother was invited. Great Gradma was there. MRFE, my sis-in-law's 70 pound brindle boxer and my children held center stage. Sister-in-law and I took bets over which of the 4 would knock over the giant pot of real (and beautiful) calla lillies in the center of the room, and when it did go over, which child would be blamed. As token boy in the crowd, Little won that one, even though the pot managed to stay erect.

Turkey was moist and yummy. Side dishes were lovely. Pie was delicious. Coming home was awesome.

What they are thankful for:
Big, "I'm thankful for my family and my house."
Middle, "I'm thankful for my family and my friends, and jingle bells and our house."
Little, "I'm thankful for you and daddy because he's the coolest, and grandma donna, and middle and big. I also sure love my superheros."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My most recent cathartic moment

Today, in the doctor's office, I had a cathartic moment. These seem to be peppering my existance with some frequency lately, but this one came like a lightening bolt from the skies.

This moment was brought about my the running to-do list that meanders through my tired mind in "down time" (like while waiting at the doctor's office). On my list of baby basics remaining to go-get are the "tools" required for parenting in the early days -- mylicon, breast cream, pacifiers. When baby is cranky or your bosom is aching, there are plenty of tools that can help set you right.

But what to do when other grown-ups in your life are the ones who are cranky, whiny, and uncooperative??

I need a tool-kit for this.

And while I'm there, I need to complete the child-friendly cold weather kit, too -- plah doh and sugar cookie provisions; also puff balls, glue, pipe cleaners and a pack of construction paper. People think kids are so complicated. Not so much, I think. I think I should go back to kindergarten. I'm better with kids -- it's much easier to reason with a crabby toddler and say "use your words" (even if you have to say in 94 times over the course of an hour).

At your request . . . .

Here is the recipe for the most wonderful pumpkin bars (read: cake) in the whole world. The best part of them, of course is the fail-safe cream cheese frosting -- read below to see my favorite Sunday morning breakfast (w/ the cream cheese frosting).

Pumpkin Bars
1 cup oil
4 eggs
2 c. pumpkin (one 16 oz can)
2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder,
1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. cloves, 2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix this all up; put into a jelly role pan; bake at 350 x 30 minutes. Let cool before frosting.

Best ever cream cheese frosting
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 stick oleo
2 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Mix all up; spread on your cooled cake OR . .

We call this Sunday morning breakfast, because it's so good, all you say is "oh my God". This is a modified recipe for Monkey Bread (anyone who wants it, please request, I'm happy to share) -- instead of cutting up tubes of biscuits, you quarter tubes of cinnamon rolls (ready to bake ones, like Pillsbury) -- put them all in a bundt pan; bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes-ish. Timing depends on whether you use 3 or 4 rolls of rolls -- and that depends on if it's a "two for one" or "buy one get one" at the market that week -- or, of course, if it's Christmas morning --

Anyhoo-- bake that up, and give each kid a little dish of cream cheese frosting for dipping. They'll think you are a culinary goddess.

And I don't mean Tattoos

My body is a canvas -- and I don't mean tattoos.
So we passed some time with a tub of Pond's Cold Cream and a box of food coloring. I am certain that I have the softest belly on the block.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Last week, an angel went home to rest --

Last week, an Angel that we knew went home. He was the 25 year old son of close family friends of ours. He was diagnosed in infancy with a myriad of problems -- including but not limited to ADD, autistm and a cocktail of other illnesses that we read about in People and Time. He wore a helmet for years and ate selectively -- cheese-its and cheetos, mostly. He adored Shrek and Austin Powers. He said things over and over, like "Steve, what's your name, Steve?" He hollered out "gimme a hug" whenever he wanted to, and in wild repetition.

This Angel was not predicted to make it past his pre-school years. But he did. Not only did he make it past his pre-school years, with the loving support of his parents, he graduated from high school, went to the prom (with a date, no less), held down a job and had more friends than I have. He had spunk and spirit and lived right now, in the moment -- joyfully and wildly.

Last week, we attended his Celebration of Life, a memorial service of sorts, where I was touched and MOTH was moved. Big officially made a transition from child to adolescent thinking, Middle felt (on a level difficult to describe) the permanance of death. Little saw that moms and dads care. One speaker in his service asked everyone in attendance to perform one random act of kindness, in his memory. Open a car door, give away money, help someone - be there for someone. It's feeling good for me to do randomly kind things. I believe I will continue, and every time I do one, I'll think of Chris.

Something else to ponder: In closing, The Angel's Father spoke. Aside from the acute condition that actually precipitated his passing, he was a healthy young man. And an organ and tissue donor. 50. Fifty. The big 5-0. This is the number of people that he gave to, who received organ and tissue donations. How about that for a miracle?

Good News Today

The good news today is . . (in no particular order):

1. Baby Frankie the Fetus is no longer breech. All of your down and out thoughts worked, and I sincerely thank you for it -- please continue so she doen'st flip-er-oo again.
2. Fluid is up. Hooray.
3. Baby grew -- up almost a full pound!! This is a huge relief! Whew!!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Baby Food Jars

Seriously. I'm in need of baby food jars with lids. The original plan was to craft snowglobes . . that is still the plan, however, numbers are dwindling .. .

I'd love to have 40.
I'd be thrilled with 29.
At the least, I'd like 5.

Can anyone help?