Monday, February 28, 2005

If wishes were pennies

I wish I could say I have never second-guessed our decision to have another child. But I have to be honest here and tell you that I have, more than once, been terrified we've made some sort of horrible mistake. Don't get me wrong, I love this baby already, and I'm beyond excited at the thought of giving Sam a baby brother and having a family of four. But there are times when I wonder about our willingness to deliberately add to the drama already handed us in the universe.

So I thought it was time for some perspective.

I think about all the time I spent waiting until things were "perfect." I spent a year in this job, waiting for FMLA to kick in, before committing to another child. I made sure our finances were under control before committing to another child. I made sure we were all emotionally prepared to handle it before committing to another child. I planned so we would be potty-trained (or at least somewhat on the way) before committing to another child. I did all those things you're SUPPOSED to do.

Now here I sit, with the distinct probability that I will either lose my job, or have my hours cut by at least 20%. All that planning down the drain. And I feel like I should have planned more...or better...or longer. I feel like somehow I didn't do ENOUGH. Somehow I failed.

But then I stop and really look at my life and realize that no matter what I did or didn't do, stuff happens. It's as if God says, "Hey...you think YOU'RE in control? HA! Watch this." And I'm not an overly religious person, but I know that He doesn't dish out more than you can handle. You're supposed to learn and grow through the tough times.

And I have to admit that I've learned a lot the past month or so...

No matter how old you are, your mom will always love you and give you a posey on your birthday.
No matter what happens to your career, your husband will still love you and surprise you with a supportive email that makes you cry or laugh...whatever you need that day.
No matter whether you can afford daycare or not, your son will love you...and will most likely love spending time with you (as long as you sit and watch The Wiggles with him a half dozen times).
No matter whether you talk to them every day or only email every now and then, friends understand and share all those special moments with you.

There are days when I feel not so optimistic and the doubts creep back in. But then there are days when I hear from an old friend and make plans for lunch and I realize that I have not failed, I am not worthless, and I am most certainly not alone. It's time to count the blessings and rank myself on the hopeless scale. There are many out there who do more with less...I can make it too.

And no matter what happens...this baby is not a mistake...ever.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Newborn smell

My friend from work came in yesterday to visit with her three week old baby boy, Tyler. He is BEAUTIFUL! And I am soooooo not ready for this baby to be born! eeks!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

A "theme"

OK...so I've given up on finding anything I like for a theme for the "nursery." But I found this comforter on eBay and loved it, so I bought it and I think we'll work around it.

We're thinking alphabet. Genius, huh?

We did stars and moons in Sam's room...with constellations on the walls that represent family members. So we think maybe we'll do Alphabet/Words on the walls that say names and important family things. Like "A" for animals, "B" for B, "C" for C...etc.

Does that sound stupid?

Get me my whistle

I have something to add to the list of things nobody told me about parenting. And I blame you moms who have been there for not sharing this little tidbit with me.

When did my husband regress into a child himself? And when did it become necessary for me to have to referee the fights and arguments between him and our son? I think it was somewhere after Sam learned to talk and somewhere before he learned he could really pitch a temper tantrum to get under Daddy's skin. I'm just guessing here, because I never really noticed it before today.

It seems I'm spending more and more of my time reminding my husband that our son is two-and-a-half and acting as such. I find myself saying things like, "You're 33...why don't you act like it and stop stooping to his level?" Why didn't anyone tell me I would have to say things like that?!?!?!

This morning, Sam was feeling particularly uncooperative about everything. And Steve acts like Sam is doing it deliberately just to make him late for work. Uh...yeah...that's the reason. This two-and-a-half-year-old has formulated a plot to stand screaming in the living room, "I want to wear the Wiggles (pjs)," JUST to make you late for work. oy!

They finally head out the door with Sam still screaming...only to return a few moments later with my husband yelling at me, "You have got to work this out with him, because I just CAN'T get him to stay put in his booster seat in the car...he keeps taking the belt off." He's yelling at ME! Excuse me?!?! I told him to take a step outside because I didn't want to listen to the both of them yell. And he actually looked shocked! lol

I try my best...but the two of them have fed off of each other long enough that Sam is now beyond reasoning. The solution? He's still screaming...but the convertible car seat is in the van...use it...he doesn't know how to undo those buckles.

Again...two-and-a-half...and thirty-three...shouldn't the older one have SOME control over the situation without having to make it my problem? Why didn't anyone tell me I was turning into a referee? Shouldn't a black and white striped shirt and a whistle been given at the baby shower? That way at least I would KNOW?

You have all failed me...all you moms who went before. Or maybe this was just your little joke? To see how long it would take before I cracked? Not funny.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Officially ticked off

When I was hired, my boss said he started all Assistant Prosecutors at my wage. Comes to find out, that's not true. Big surprise, huh?

I find out that Assistant Prosecutors in other counties, doing my EXACT job, are making more than me...smaller counties with less responsibilities. Big surprise,huh?

NOW I find out that the Health Department Sanitarians that I represent are making more than me.

DOES EVERYONE MAKE MORE THAN I DO????????

And why am I facing layoff when I'm apparently the lowest paid Assistant Prosecutor in the entire State of Ohio?!?!?! Heck, I'm apparently the lowest paid county employee in the entire State of Ohio!

I've kept it in for long enough...now I'm pissed!

...off to look for a different job!

Have a nice day.

(I think this wouldn't bother me so much if I hadn't had a Sam-screaming, "I want to stay home with mommy" morning. But today I'm wondering why in the heck I even bother.)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Some observations from the past couple days...

--The brakes on the minivan are great...and Steve's reflexes are excellent. We avoided hitting those two deer on our way to Tractor Supply Company...with room to spare.
--When dogs are quiet, they are getting into trouble. Deja the foster dog ate all the valentines treats received for the dogs and for Sam that were left on the kitchen table. Luckily, Sam doesn't know any better yet. I figure this is about the time he's going to start realizing when things go missing, so I'd better learn to police the dogs a little better.
--We are experienced farmers now. We notice when the price of any of our farm supplies goes up or down by even a few pennies. In case you're interested, the price of pine bedding went up by almost a dollar a bag!
--We can lay a laminate floor but are clueless how to fix a garage door.
--No matter how cold it gets, if your husband is too stubborn to buy a propane tank the barn heater isn't going to turn on.
--There is no rhyme or reason to hormonal mood swings when you're pregnant. Everyone should just forgive you and stay the heck out of your way. It's only the polite thing to do.
--There is nothing better than snuggling in bed with your two-and-a-half-year-old son and watching Blue's Clues. I know what you're thinking...Blue's Clues? Really? But I'm telling you, if you invest in a tape with four episodes on it, it runs long enough that it doesn't seem all that repetitive. And you can't match the joy on your son's face when he proudly points out, "That silly mailbox is being a crazy monkey."

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Stay tuned...

The boss is back from his three-week vacation in Mexico. The job news should be forthcoming shortly. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Be careful what you wish for...

Just when I was waxing poetic about the joys of staying home with Sam...he gets sick and I HAVE to stay home with him. Thank you to whatever higher power gave me that reality smack in the head.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Baby Queen

Turn up your sound...This is too cute.

But I've been told to warn you not to watch it in the presence of toddlers, as it may induce the repeated "again, again, again" chant.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

I need inspiration!

We've painted the walls a light green...the carpet is a darker green, though not what you would call a "dark green." Now what "theme" do I use to decorate the baby's room? I was inspired with Sam's room. I have NO GOOD IDEAS for this one. HELP!

No...you haven't entered an alternate universe

I was just playing around with the blog style and I think this one is a little easier on the eyes.

Now I see what they see

My son always gets good reports from daycare. He's a great kid and he does well with other kids. But lately Steve and I have been wondering what we're doing wrong that we always seem to get nothing but attitude at home (or at Lowe's).

Then yesterday, Steve stayed home for the day with Sam because he (Steve) wasn't feeling well. By lunchtime he felt well enough to bring Sam up to visit me at the office and we went to Hardee's for lunch.

We finally got to see the happy, friendly kid that everyone at daycare gets to see. He was a JOY to be around. It would appear that we're normally getting the tired and cranky version of the kid who runs around all day impressing others.

Now I wish I didn't have to work so I could soak that all up myself and not share it with anyone. I stayed home with him for the first 15 months and we did a LOT during that time. But he was still a baby and it just wasn't the same. He now can explore and communicate...and I feel like I'm missing it.

Please...to my mama friends...don't tell your kids they can have it ALL. They can't. If they're like most of us, they'll have to make choices that will let them have a lot...but it's impossible to have it all, no matter how hard you try.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Why do flowers make me smile?

I'm pregnant and hormonal and today is my birthday.

I started off the day with my son yelling, "Go away Mommy, I'm crabby." This would be funny if I weren't pregnant and hormonal and today wasn't my birthday.

I also started the day listening to Steve complain about his upset stomach (which he blamed on stale cake that apparently someone FORCED him to eat). I would be sympathetic if I weren't pregnant and hormonal and today wasn't my birthday.

But I'm pregnant and hormonal and today is my birthday. So this morning induced a meltdown where all I could sob was, "I just wanted someone to wish me a happy birthday and say they love me."

Then of course I get to work and everyone is so nice to me, wishing me a happy birthday and bringing me chocolate cherry cake that is so yummy...it only made me hide in the bathroom and cry some more.

Did I mention I'm pregnant and hormonal and today is my birthday?

And then my wonderful husband sends me flowers and it just makes me smile to look at them despite the fact that I'm pregnant and hormonal. Why? What is it about flowers that makes me smile? Is there some magical quality to these buds that induces the muscles of my face to curve upward? Or is it that after a rocky start to the day, I got my simple, "Happy Birthday honey...we love you," in the form of a beautiful bouquet?

I love you guys too...even if you are crabby and sick and didn't initially understand that I'm pregnant and hormonal and today is my birthday.

Monday, February 07, 2005

It should be illegal...

I'm going to start what I think will turn into a very powerful nationwide movement. Pregnant women of the world unite! It should be illegal to require pregnant women to get their driver's licenses renewed. As though driver's license photos aren't bad enough! Now I'm going to look like this for the next...what?...three...four years???

Sunday, February 06, 2005

It's not all bad

Lest you think our son has turned into some evil child that we can't stand...let me share an "awwwwww" story with you.

The other day we were in the car and Sam told us that he had a baby in his belly like mommy. We said, "You do? How nice." He smiles really big and says, "Mommy, I'm so excited you have your baby. I love the baby." It was such a sweet moment, and it was the first time Sam independently acknowledged the pending doom of his single childhood.

Today, while reading a book, Steve asked Sam if he would snuggle with the baby on the couch and read to him. Sam looks up and says with a smile, "Ummm...yeah."

I really hope he continues to adjust this well.

Terrible Parents shop at Lowe's

Today we returned some unneeded flooring products from our home improvement project (we're actually approaching a finished product, if you can believe it), and we entered into the realm of "that kind" of parent. I actually heard myself say, "That's IT! We're a leaving, I'm done dealing with you."

Now before you think I was overreacting, this was after two hours of repeatedly screaming the following...

"Up mommy!"

"Only Daddy can drive!"

"I want to go into the store!"

"I want Mommy to take them back!"

"I don't want to go back in the car!"

"I want a cheeseburger!"

I actually got that look from passers-by while my son was laying flat on the floor, pounding his fists, kicking his feet and yelling, "UP MOM-MEEEEEE." I know they were thinking, "Why doesn't she just pick him up? That poor baby boy." I always feel like I should unbutton my rather large winter coat so that my pregnant belly is sticking out there and providing me a valid excuse for why I'm not carting my 40 pound child all over creation and back. But since I was too cold to remove my coat, I had to instead try reason, threats, bribery, pleading...you get the picture.

And I'm afraid we can't go back to Arby's ever again. Immediately upon the cashier asking, "Can I help you?" our son launches into, "I want a CHEESEBURGER." (Which, of course, they don't sell at Arby's)

It has been a very long day. And even now, while trying to watch the Super Bowl, we hear, "I want to watch the Wiiiig-gles." And, "I want to watch Maaaaaiii-syyyyy."

{It is necessary to read all those 2 1/2 year old quotes in this post with a nasal whine...a la Fran Drescher...I'm about ready to dig out my ear plugs from my bar exam-taking days}

If those other Lowes shoppers could see me now they would think I was the WORST parent in the world. And I'm so tired, I'm beginning to think they might be right.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

We were so worried

Sam talked later than most of his friends. There was a period of time when Steve and I even worried that he was somehow developmentally delayed because he didn't seem to have the vocabulary someone his age was "supposed" to have. I am here to tell you that those days are long gone. We have now entered the stage where he NEVER STOPS talking.

I knew I was in trouble last night when Steve walked in the door, set Sam down, looked at me, and said, "He's all yours...I think my ears are going to fall off." After a short giggle, I realized that nobody has shared any lessons with me on how to make a toddler be quiet. All the books and instruction I received when he was a wee baby were geared toward how to increase his verbal skills and teach him to effectively communicate. Well...now...where are all those people now?

I'm beginning this is all some sort of hazing experience that prior generations institute in order to torture us. I can see my parents now, sitting there laughing, "Yeah, they wanted him to talk...we'll show them."

Why is there nothing written about how to communicate the value of quiet time to a child? Why didn't anyone share with ME the concept that you need to teach silence as well as verbalization? I feel like I've got some catching up to do.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Pregnancy cravings in a small town

In a town where Main Street is lined with Walt's Barber Shop, Jeff's Flower Shop, and Phillip's Photography Studio...do you think the pregnant woman can find someone to sell her a strawberry milk to satisfy a craving? The answer is yes...if the pregnant woman is determined enough and the weather is nice enough. You can stroll through town until, as a last resort, you stumble into the Circle K (formerly Dairy Mart) and happen upon the dairy refrigerator (which is, oddly enough, the left half of the beer refrigerator), and find the holy grail...Strawberry Nesquik! Voila!

Now I know how those early explorers felt when they happened upon some unexpected treasure in our podunk little town.

Professionalism

What is is with Democrats? They get into positions of power and then shoot themselves in the foot by doing something utterly and unforgivably stupid. There is no other word to describe it...stupidity seems to run amuck in the Democratic party. The latest Dem to fall from grace...Ohio Supreme Court Justice Alice Resnick.

Drunk driving?!?! You have got to be kidding me!

Now let's forget that the women is 65 and shouldn't be acting like an irresponsible teenager. And let's forget that she makes enough money to buy and sell my measly little assistant prosecutor position several times over (which might be a good idea given our county's current budget crisis). And let's forget that she's a freakin State Supreme Court Justice. Let's just look at the facts...

She says things like...

"You don't have a good reason to stop me."
"It's not right. I was not weaving anywhere. … I really cannot tolerate this."
"This is terribly embarrassing. What are you going to do with me?"
"You are embarrassing me."
"I have not been drinking. You're really infringing on my [pause]. OK, I'm not going to argue."
"I've always said a Supreme Court justice should have a highway patrolman driving them."

She denied having had any alcohol or taken any medication. (She blew more than twice the legal limit.)

She could have killed someone...and this is what comes out of her mouth?!?!

I'm horrified.

A couple years back, when I was just embarking on my legal career, the Ohio Supreme Court felt that new lawyers needed a dose of professionalism and professional responsibility. So they created New Lawyer Training. A two-day program designed to pick up the slack where three years of law school seemed to have failed us in teaching new lawyers how to behave. It has now been my actual experience that new lawyers are the ones who behave the best in and around a courtroom. They're all so scared to do something wrong that they follow the rules to the letter...making sure they cross all the t's and dot all the i's.

However, in my two brief years of actual practice of the law, I have seen more bad behavior from older "experienced" attorneys than I care to admit. I have seen yelling, cursing, name-calling, game-playing, bending the rules, alleged drug abuse, theft of client money...and now drunk driving. I would suggest that perhaps those who have been in the practice of law for a few years should take a refresher course in professionalism and professional responsibility. It appears they need it. My guess would be, however, that as long as the Ohio Supreme Court is filled with those older "experienced" attorneys, young lawyers will continue to take the blame for bad behavior in and around the courthouse.

Perhaps us young Democrats should develop a new party platform? Hmmm...

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Observations while driving

I just LOVE it when I catch up to some minivan driving moron at a stop sign who had previously passed me going about 110 miles an hour. Makes me want to stick out my tongue and holler "nah-nee-nah-nee-boo-boo."

The mess is half gone...

So we haven't finished our flooring project yet...still have to replace some door trim and lay the last row of flooring. But we have enough done that we were able to move our furniture into our living room and enjoy some quiet time last night. There we sat eating popcorn and watching Medium on NBC, the three of us, on our new couch. Then it hit me...there's going to be four of us! gulp!