The Freeway of Certain Death

August 18, 2008

*Note: Before I tell the following story, it’s important to know that I am not asking for pity or complaining in any way.  I just found the whole thing unusual and interesting to blog.

I had the strangest thing happen yesterday.  M and I were headed to run an errand in another part of town and had to take the freeway to get there.  We’d only been on the freeway a minute or two before I started to get terrified.  It was an awful feeling, like I was sure we were going to die.  I kept feeling the car slide off the side of the road as we went around curves or overpasses.  I had to keep my eyes closed, praying the whole time.

Normally freeways don’t bother me in the least.  I have a few weird irrational fears, but even they don’t instill this kind of terror in me.  I used to be a bit fearful of freeways back when I was learning to drive, but once I was driving them I was fine.  And I have never felt like I did yesterday when someone else was driving, especially M.  His driving is quite reasonable, just the right balance between cautious and aggressive, perfect for city driving.  I haven’t felt at all unsafe with him–well, since PJ was born, but that’s another story.

So I have no idea what happened yesterday, what could have caused that terror.  After suffering silently for quite some time, I finally let M know what was going on, even though I was embarrassed to admit it.  I wasn’t sure he understood the enormity of what I was feeling, but he kept mentioning it every so often while we were inside the store.

When we got back in the car, he told me about a time he had a similar fear about driving, one just as sudden and unexpected as mine.  Basically he had a strong urge not to drive anywhere that day.  He couldn’t avoid it, however, and ended up getting in an accident.  It was an accident caused by someone else that was completely unavoidable on his part and therefore was definitely not caused by that fear from earlier in the day.

Because of his own experience, M was not taking my irrational fear lightly.  We took a different route home that put us on the freeway about a third of the time.  I didn’t feel that awful feeling on the way home.  We’ll never know if what I felt was simply an irrational fear or if it may have been a premonition of something that never happened because of our precautions.

I think what strikes me most about the whole experience was how M reacted to it.  I was certain I was overreacting to the whole thing and tried to downplay it to him and let him know not to worry because I was coping with it.  He didn’t take my fear lightly, though.  He let me know it was okay to be feeling what I was feeling, even if it didn’t make any sense whatsoever.  He didn’t make me feel embarrassed about it at all; he was supportive to me instead.

I guess I should have expected as much from my awesome husband.  He loves me for all my crazy weirdness, not despite it, and I feel honored that he picked me to put up with instead of someone who doesn’t randomly flip out on him from time to time.

Living in the Moment

July 28, 2008

I am so happy, in that supreme blissful way.  I have a life to be envied, with two of the cutest boys ever and a husband who could be a model for all other men.

If you haven’t figured it out, I had a good weekend.  What did we do?  Nothing.  We bought groceries and chilled the rest of the weekend.  It was some awesome bonding time for all four of us and relaxed me enough that I feel prepared to take on the week ahead.

By the end of last week, I was starting to get annoyed with everyone.  PJ couldn’t do anything right, and M was irritating me at least once an hour (not that I let on).  I was worried that maybe things weren’t as perfect in my world as I’d assumed for the past few years.  I was letting insecurities in.

Then one weekend chock-full of quality time, and all is right in my world again.  It turns out that M really is as sweet and thoughtful as I remembered, and nothing can go wrong if he’s holding me.  My kids are hilarious and really pretty well-behaved, considering their ages.  (Well, PJ is.  BabyN is astoundingly obedient and easygoing.  Yeah, everyone should want this baby.)

So this morning I woke up content.  I always worry a little that this kind of happiness is an omen of bad luck in my future, but I’m not going to worry about that right now.  I’m planning to just let this happiness overwhelm me as I bask in it.  The future can take care of itself when it happens, but I won’t be able to get this moment of supreme bliss back.

So excuse me as I go enjoy my children, one of whom is walking around with a sock on his hand (“sock puppet”) and the other of whom is cooing at the top of his lungs (“ga ga googoo GA”).

A Hard Look at the American Economy

July 26, 2008

A few days ago, M and I were having a stimulating conversation about the episode of Blue’s Clues that was playing.  In particular, we were remarking how the price of gas on the show in Blue dollars was cheaper than normal dollars.

I laughed hard at M’s comment: “It’s sad when even the Blue dollar is stronger than the American dollar.”

So true.


July 3, 2008

BabyN is totally talking.  I decided that for sure this morning when he was babbling randomly–until the dog showed up.  He got really happy and repeated her name over and over.  I think he also says, “Dada” when he wants his dad and his brother’s nickname for him when he wants PJ.  I could also swear that he said “PJ” the other day when PJ was crying.

And now he’s trying to crawl.  He’s really doing a good job of army crawling around in a circle, and I suspect it won’t be long before he decides to get up on those knees and take off.

All of this is happening while he’s still fighting the cold, too.  Now it’s settled into his chest.  He sounds pretty bad even if he doesn’t act like he feels that awful.  I guess that means I’ll be spending my 4th making sure we don’t need to make a trip to the ER for breathing issues.  (Yes, I already called his doctor, and we all agreed he wasn’t bad enough to be seen.  I’m just hoping he stays that way.)

Other than that, there’s very little going on around here.

Oh!  That’s not all.  I can’t believe I forgot that M and I made yet another resolution to start working out again.  We’re going to make ourselves do some sort of video workout as soon as we put the boys to bed.  I hope we actually stick with it this time, since I’m feeling awfully fat these days.  I’m a full ten pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight now, which is a lot more than it sounds when you’re as small as I am.  Maybe getting a regular workout will help give me more energy, too.  I’m tired of being so tired all the time.  So wish us luck–and motivation–that we’ll actually stick to our plan this time.

A Change of Heart?

June 4, 2008

At last, the post I’ve been eager to write ever since it happened.

About a week ago now, M and I saw our nephew for the first time.  I mentioned some of what that was like yesterday, but I skipped over the most interesting part of that encounter–M’s face when he held that little, tiny baby.  It was decidedly baby lust, possibly even worse than most women and new and prospective moms I’ve seen.

How funny is that?  The man who has been totally deadset against another baby ever since finding out we were pregnant with BabyN, the man I had to fight to keep from getting my tubes tied, is now getting starry-eyed over babies.  It’s a wittle-bitty baby, and he’s so cute, and look at those tiny fingers, and look, he stopped crying when I picked him up!

We had about a thirty-second conversation about it shortly after the fact, and he admitted that what I thought I saw is exactly what I saw.  His only hesitation about another right now is financial.  Frankly, we’ve had a good few months and a good year.  We could easily afford another at the moment.  Of course, that might not be the case in a few months or years when we decide the time would otherwise be right, so before discussing trying again seriously, we’ve set some stringent financial landmarks for ourselves, landmarks that I’m sure will change as time goes on as well (and our desire for another kid grows or lessens).

I have a feeling that despite the financial discussion, if I was totally ready right now, M would be okay with that, even thrilled.  How funny is it that I’m probably the reason for delaying trying again right now?

Of course, it seems a little silly that we’re still going through with our plans to get rid of all our baby stuff as BabyN outgrows it.  We took a small load of stuff to the local consignment shop on Monday, and since then I’ve found several more things I can probably part with.  Before we took the load, though, I asked him if he was sure he wanted to get rid of all that baby stuff.  You know, just in case…

He immediately answered that we would buy new; this stuff would be pretty outdated anyway.  He’d already thought about it.  He also didn’t laugh about the possibility of another in our future.

I’m not getting my hopes up one way or another right now, though.  I am most certainly not ready for another child yet.  Some days I’m not sure I’m ready for the two I have (especially days when the toddler screams all the way through breakfast because I had the gall to give him exactly what he asked for to eat).  I’m a bit undecided about what I want in the future still, but it’s good to see that M is open to the possibility of a third child in our future.

I suspect we have a lot of discussions about this in our future, as we constantly evaluate our feelings on the subject.  But at least these discussions can be open and less hesitant–and they don’t end with a firm and quick, “NO!”

A Few Vacation Stories

June 3, 2008

Okay, ready for stories?  I’ll tell them in bulleted form with as little background as possible so that I don’t lose you before the end of the first one (no, me? I’m never long-winded!).  Oh, and they’re not going to be even close to chronological order.

–The very first night we were there, we put all three babies in the same room for bed (remember my niece who’s the same age as BabyN was there too).  She’s not used to sharing a room, so one of the boys disturbed her just as we were all going to bed, and she woke up crying.  Her crying woke up both boys as well, so we had three parents trying to calm three crying babies at midnight.  I took BabyN into the other room to nurse him back to sleep (something I rarely do), and put him back to bed close to one.  When I crawled back in my own bed exhausted, I felt something damp.  I smelled it: urine.  Apparently the dog peed on my side of the bed.  I ended up getting a very short, very interrupted night of sleep on the couch.  I also couldn’t nap the next day because the only available bed was ours, and it took all day to get the sheets washed.

–Two more nights were no-sleep nights due to one teething baby (as we realized on Saturday when he suddenly had another tooth).  I could go into all the gory details of walking a baby for hours and nursing him on and off all night, but I think you get the picture.

–And yet another night was no-sleep thanks to something else.  The night M and I were at the B&B, the one devoted to endless “marital activity,” started out great with some shopping, a nice dinner, and a movie together.  But about the time this marital activity would begin, I suddenly started getting some stomach cramps.  I spend most of the rest of the night on the toilet suffering what was most likely a nasty case of food poisoning.  What a waste of a nice, expensive room at the B&B!

–Oh, on our night away, we decided it would be romantic to share a bottle of wine.  M had these great hopes of getting me a little tipsy, thinking just about everything would be funnier with me that relaxed.  Since I’ve never had alcohol before and M has never tried wine, we got a recommendation from my parents that is supposedly the mildest wine ever, the first one my mom ever liked.  Turns out I hate it.  I had about ten tiny sips and each one was worse than the last.  M didn’t like it either, even though he made it through a whole glass before giving up.  I guess there’s not much chance of us becoming alcoholics.

–PJ totally showed off for his grandparents, trying just about any food we put in front of him.  He really likes tomato, which both M and I HATE.  He also seemed to like raw onion and mushrooms.  At least he wasn’t too fond of the fried okra; I don’t think I could stand to even have that in my house, even for my son.

–We went to the zoo this past Saturday (and it was crazy hot).  It was lots of fun watching PJ watch the animals.  He was repeating lots of the names of the animals.  He really liked the bears and the elephants, but our favorite was the ostrich.  He tried to say ostrich at first and then just insisted it was a ducky.  I thought it was pretty smart of him to make the connection between the birds, so we just agreed it was a big ducky.

–The last place we visited has this little-known park area that is done up like a Japanese tea garden, complete with a huge pond full of goldfish, a picturesque pagoda, and a waterfall.  It’s a great place for photos, so we went armed with our nice camera.  It turned out to be kind of annoying because it has steps everywhere, which is lots of fun with a 2-year-old who insists on taking each step one at a time and a baby.  It is NOT stroller-friendly.  And PJ was so excited about the steps that he wouldn’t stand still for a picture without throwing a fit (although the lack of an afternoon nap this day probably didn’t help).  Then finally I got him to the edge of the water and held him close while pointing at the fish.  He was awestruck.  “I see fishies!” he said–a full sentence.  We sat there for close to ten minutes pointing out the fish, the big ones and little ones, the slow ones and fast ones.  And I think that was probably my favorite part of the trip right there.

–While at my in-laws, one of the touristy things we did was go to the top of the “mountain” overlooking the town (okay, it’s just a big hill).  At the peak, they have a cute little park.  PJ had so much fun swinging and even more fun on the slide.  It was a really good time with those grandparents, and I got lots of great pictures.

–And oddly enough, I have no in-law stories to tell you.  The drama was minimal, and I actually enjoyed myself this time.  I’m not sure what was different, but I hope it continues for every trip from now on.

–We finally got to meet our nephew for the first time, too.  If you remember he was born early, about a week farther along than PJ.  He’s four months old now.  He still looks and acts like a newborn.  The only area he’s caught up on at all is his weight.  I’m actually a little scared for him.  I remember PJ at that age (thanks in large part to pictures), and this little guy isn’t even close to where he was developmentally.  This baby doesn’t lift his head or smile (although they say he does–in response to some sort of physical stimulus).  M and I recommended they call ECI to get him checked out, without actually letting on that we were worried; it can’t hurt after all, and we do wish we had done it earlier.  I hope we just saw him on several bad days for him and that we’re dead wrong.

–The second best moment of vacation was the first night in the hotel room, with both boys within earshot as they went to sleep.  I knew PJ always chattered some as we left the room to put him to bed, but I never knew what he said or how long he talked.  Apparently, he talks to his brother, telling him sleep tight and even that he loves him (we think–he never says this to us).  He also says all sorts of things we can’t interpret yet.  He talks to him long after BabyN has fallen asleep.  It was the sweetest thing listening to him talk his brother to sleep.  I think they love each other after all.

And with that, I’ll finally quit talking.  I think I have more stories that I haven’t remembered just yet, so I may have more for you tomorrow.  I also have another post or two of deeper stuff that surfaced during the week (all good!) that I’ll delve into later this week.  So stay tuned!

Why Do I Bother?

May 19, 2008

I wish I had it in me to write a positive post this morning.  I had a pretty good weekend, sneaking in naps both days, going out shopping for a little while, and even making it to church yesterday.  The kids were good, and BabyN is sleeping well again (after three new teeth, and only one more imminent).

Unfortunately, I’m a bit upset about something, something that should be completely under my control.  You see, I feel fat.  I’m really not.  If I revealed my weight, many of you would fight the urge to tell me to shut up because the number itself is pretty enviable.  But on my tiny body, it hangs wrong.  So I look fat.

All those new clothes I got recently?  They aren’t enough to help me fight this awful body image.  Even the ones that are specifically designed to help conceal a post-baby belly aren’t enough to diminish my extra flab.  The only things that will help will be watching what I eat and exercising.

Oh, wait!  I’m already doing that!  I’m eating less than I have since I was early pregnant with BabyN and puking everything I ate.  I’m watching what it is that I eat as well.  In fact, I haven’t eaten this healthy since getting married.  And we’re going for loooong family walks almost every day.  Pushing 70+ pounds of stroller and baby only makes the workout that much more effective.

And still the weight gain continues.  I’m gaining about half a pound every couple of days.  It’s no wonder I’m getting depressed about it.  How can I be working this hard to end up with the opposite result?  I might as well turn back into a couch potato and eat everything I want and as much of it as I can force in.  Then I would have something to blame the weight gain on anyway.  I wouldn’t be working hard for nothing.

Last night, M and I even had a little tiff because I felt super awful in the sexy pajamas I chose to wear to bed, but he couldn’t keep away from me.  While it should have made me feel better that he was so turned on by me, I couldn’t get the image of what I’d just seen in the mirror out of my mind. 

I absolutely HAVE to get this body image problem under control if I can’t control the weight itself; it’s starting to affect my normal life.  But I don’t know what to do about that.  I guess venting about it is a start.  And maybe M will have some ideas for me too.

Attack of the Allergies

May 17, 2008

Yay!  BabyN let me sleep through the night!  He didn’t wake up at all until eight this morning, and then we both fell asleep again until after ten.  Aaah.  Relief.  I’m sure he’s thinking the same thing.

Unfortunately, I woke up to an allergy attack.  My wonderful husband has advised I take a Benadryl (one of the few sneezy meds that I feel comfortable taking while breastfeeding) and go sleep it off this afternoon.  He’ll watch the boys, when they’re awake, during that time.  Shoot, yeah, I’m taking him up on that offer!  As soon as BabyN wakes up, I’m feeding him and then crashing myself.

By the way, speaking of breastfeeding (we were, weren’t we?), several people have mentioned casually to me that they assumed I would be weaning BabyN pretty soon now.  You know, now that he’s getting a mouthful of teeth, I won’t want them that close to such a sensitive area.  Especially since he’s shown sadistic biting tendencies in the past.

I answered those comments both times the same way: No, I’m not planning to wean anytime soon.  If BabyN decides to be stubborn and keep biting even with correction, then I may be forced to.  But I’m not planning to wean him until he’s at least a year old, and hopefully we can make it long past then.  I don’t feel like it is anywhere near time for that yet, and it’s not going to happen unless he chooses to self-wean or I’m forced to because he’s mutilating my chest (which by the way, he’s gotten much better about).

Oops, there’s BabyN awake from his nap.  Time to feed him and then take one of my own.  Yay for weekends!

Good Things Come in Threes

May 14, 2008

Yay!  Today is M’s and my third anniversary!  It started with M waking up to find his youngest son sharing the bed with us.  Again.  Things have got to get better soon.  In the meantime, I’m loving the snuggle time, that just feeling me close was enough to soothe him back to sleep last night.

In all the short spurts of sleep I got through the night, my mind managed to piece together a dream about a wedding.  I find this particularly coincidental because I hadn’t remembered what today was until I got a sweet e-mail from my husband a little while ago.  (I would have remembered eventually, I’m sure!)

I wish I could remember more from my own wedding day, though.  I remember lots, especially dropping the bomb of the baby growing in my belly on my sister just minutes before we walked down the aisle.  Hey, she asked, and I couldn’t lie to her.

I also remember how M and I were about to cry from the sappiness of the moment as I walked down the aisle–until the edge of my dress knocked over one of the aisle decoration thingies that had a lit candle on top.

Then I remember staring into M’s eyes through the rest of the ceremony.  It was like I didn’t even notice there were other people there watching me.

I felt like a princess that day, despite the nasty morning sickness that insisted on plaguing me even that special day, and M was the main reason for that, not even the perfect dress.  He made me feel so special.  I was clearly the only person in the room for him as well.

When my mom and I were doing wedding preparation stuff, the very first time we had to put down non-refundable money on something, she felt the need to encourage me to ignore my thrifty ways.  If my feelings changed between then and the wedding, even if it happened the day before, I needed to back out of the wedding without concern for all the cost or hassle involved.  She was worried that I’d knowingly make a mistake to avoid wasting money.

But I knew right then that I wasn’t making a mistake.  The day before the wedding came, then the day of the wedding, and not once did I question my decision to marry M.  And now, three years later, I still don’t regret it.  I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

If you’re reading today, M, happy third anniversary!

My Special Day

May 9, 2008

My birthday ended up being nice.  I didn’t get that nap or nearly any of the phone calls I expected, but they ended up not mattering in the long run.  My parents and hubby did a great job of making my birthday special.  M came home from work with a nasty headache and still made a point to do the things I wanted to do, even when he wanted to take a nap.

The most ironic part of the day was bedtime for the boys.  Of course, M and I had been looking forward to their bedtime, as always, and it had already been delayed because BabyN needed to eat one more time before bed and we had gotten home from eating out kind of late.  Anyway, the schedule was already off, and we were anxious for bedtime.  Then M said those magic words for PJ: “Sleep tight!”  He ran to collect his blankies and pillow, and as he did so, he stumbled and fell right into the coffee table.  Of course.

So we kept them up for another half an hour to make sure that nasty bruise above his left eye was not actually a concussion.  Thankfully it wasn’t.  Still, not exactly the most fun way to end my birthday.

At least we got my traditional birthday pictures before the nasty bruise happened! 🙂

Here are the pictures from yesterday.  (Remember that you will only be able to see them if you’ve been added to my friends on flickr.  E-mail me if that needs to happen.  If you’re on my blogroll or have commented before, then don’t hesitate to ask.  Please.)

I need some advice choosing one picture to use as my new profile photo for my blogger blog.  Any suggestions?