A Tail of Two Fishies

(Oh man, I think I’m hilarious. Come on. That’s a good title, right?? Laugh with me, folks, not at me.)

For April Fool’s Day one of my guard girls (“C”) put a bunch of paper fish cut outs around the band room, saying that’s what they do in France. She thought it would be funny (and I suspect she thought it would bug my husband a bit, which it kind of did. So… mission accomplished?). Ches said he doesn’t really care what they do in France.

A few weeks later “C” and another girl bought a live goldfish for Ches, but it was probably just one of those cheap Wal-Mart fish that aren’t taken care of at all and it quickly died. So they tried again, buying another fish and leaving it in a jar on Ches’ desk. At the beginning of the day when Ches has to teach for several hours straight. With the lid securely on the jar. So yeah, that fish died, too. They tried one more time.

This time they bought a beautiful purple beta fish and Ches opened the jar while it sat in his office. He brought the fish home and while Ches wasn’t too pleased with bringing home a pet (seriously, don’t try to give us a kitten or a puppy. Ches will kill you.), the boys were ecstatic and we got out our fishbowl (back when we had Brenden the goldfish and then Darth Fish, the beta fish) and started discussing names. Ches got the final say because it’s his fish, after all.

Doc Severinsen. That’s right. Our fish is named after Doc Severinsen. It’s Ches’ fish. Are you at all shocked?

The boys love him. I think he’s beautiful. Ches tolerates the idea of a pet (I think he enjoys it more than he’ll admit. I see how carefully he feeds the fish and makes sure the water is just right…). And Collin goes nuts for the “fishy” (I’m trying to teach him to sign or say “fish”, but all I get are smiles and giggles. I’ll take it.).

On Saturday, Dallin got a “gold” fish (it’s actually brown) from a birthday party. We all know how likely goldfish are to live long, but this is a living being and Dallin is excited. We can’t put the new fish in with the beta fish because Doc Severinsen would try to eat the gold fish or something. Kill it, seriously maim it, something. So we just kept it in the jar for the time being. (Ches got a good laugh when he saw Doc Severinsen trying to get to the new fish, who’s jar was placed right next to Doc’s fishbowl.)

Yesterday Ches discovered the “gold”fish in his jar, very still, near the top. Oh no! He quickly got out a bigger jar (the one we received Doc in, actually), put in some fresh water, and switched the fish to the new jar. After a couple of minutes, he was swimming around, just fine! Yay! Resurrection!! We almost lost the fish, but Ches saved the day. What a great dad!!

Dallin still needs a name for his fish. So I suggested Lazarus. I thought it particularly apropos, however Dallin pointed out, “But he wasn’t all the way dead!” That immediately made me suggest naming him Westley. Because “you’ve been mostly dead all day!”. Then, you know, the boys can yell “Aaaaas yoooooouuuu fiiiiiiish!!!” while feeding Westley. Hey, at least Westley got a laugh from Dallin. I think it’s a real contender.

Reflections

15 years.

I’ve been married for 15 years. WOW. On the one hand it feels like forever because we have been together long enough that we know each other and are used to each other and this is our life and there is nothing else, yet on the other hand, I still often feel like that young, naive newlywed who’s heart skips a beat when she sees her groom and who giggles a little when he smiles at her just right.

I’m extremely happy in my marriage. Is it perfect? Oh, heck no! Remember, I’m a little bit (or a whole lot) of crazy. And we’re still two different people with two different minds and two different ways of going about things. Sometimes we don’t see eye to eye and sometimes we argue (or just sit in silence and stew. Or maybe that’s just me again.). That’s just life. But I really do love my husband. I’m so glad I married Ches. There has never ever ever been a regret in marrying him. He is absolutely wonderful and perfect for me.

15 years. It does sound like a long time, doesn’t it? And yet… years from now when I’m saying “We’ve been married for 25 years… 35 years… 45 years…” 15 really won’t seem like that long, will it?

1 year.

Collin turned 1 year old yesterday. I can hardly believe it. On the one hand he is just a natural part of the family and we can hardly remember our family life without him. I can look at pictures from a couple of years ago and think, “Who are we missing? Oh, Collin wasn’t born yet!” On the other hand, this was the fastest year! Collin is my last baby and I really enjoy the little baby stage that most people seem to find annoying. I really do love to hold a tiny sleeping baby and just sit on the couch for hours. I could do that forever. I love the little sounds that only a newborn makes. I love how soft their skin is. I love the smell right after a bath. And yet…

I love how Collin smiles whenever I walk into a room. How he spent the first couple of weeks making tentative steps only to me. How he holds my hand to walk down the hallway. How he splashes me on purpose during bath time. How he has dirty legs and skinned knees from crawling outside. How he picks up the comb and stabs me in the head as he attempts to comb my hair. How he wants whatever food I’m eating. How he wants me to read “Barnyard Dance” to him 15 times in a row. How he is so ticklish and laughs and laughs and laughs. How he gives me huge hugs and bites me when he kisses. How he stands at the front window and gets excited when he sees his dad come home. How happy he gets when I say, “Want to go get your brothers?” How he babbles and screeches and sings. How he bangs on the piano or uses a drumstick to bang on the floor. How he wants me to watch Blue’s Clues with him because I sing along with Steve. How he will smile for the camera once, then try to grab it out of my hands.

I am the luckiest woman in the world. I have Ches for a husband. Ches gave me Aiden, Dallin, Parker, and Collin. I have everything. EVERYTHING.

Working Conditions of a SAHM

So you know that whole “No yelling” rule? Yeah. Not going so well. I keep trying not to yell, but the last few days especially I just don’t feel like I have any other course of action. I’m letting the yelling and screaming take over. It has to stop and I will start over… AGAIN. Eventually I’ll make it. It’s going to take a while.

Here’s the thing. I’m a stay at home mom. Sure, I teach color guard and winter guard, but that’s in the evenings and many weekends. It doesn’t pay much (not even enough to buy groceries). It’s more like a hobby that I get a couple of bucks. Don’t get me wrong: I love it. I do! But it’s not a career. Not for me. My job; my career is being a mom. And I have to tell you… it pretty much sucks.

I love my children and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be at home with them. Really. But this is THE loneliest job in the world. I don’t have close friends. I go for days without actually speaking to another adult (no, my husband doesn’t count because when I’m doing guard I only see him as he’s saying “goodnight”) about something other than my children.

The working conditions of a stay at home mom is the worst. This is a 24 hour job. This is a 365 days of the year job. I do not get vacations. When we have days off school or actually get to GO somewhere (which my husband and kids would call a vacation), it’s actually more work for me. I’m the one planning and organizing the majority of what’s going on. I’m making sure everyone has clothes and eats food and isn’t bored in the car and has their favorite pillow, etc. When someone else in the family gets sick, they get to stay home. They get to stay in bed and sleep or lay on the couch and watch TV. I bring them fluids and toast, medicine, a cool compress, Kleenex, or whatever they need. If they need sleep, I keep the rest of the house quiet. When I get sick, everyone else still does their thing and I get to fend for myself. On top of that, I still have to take care of the baby (the joys of being a nursing mother!). No one takes care of me except for me, but I get to always take care of everyone else.

(Side note: This makes it sound like my husband doesn’t do anything. That’s so NOT TRUE. He’s amazing. He also does laundry and cleans the house and cooks meals. He takes care of the kids constantly and is my biggest supporter and cheerleader. I just feel so alone because he and I have to run in opposite directions and work opposite schedules on a regular basis just to keep our house running. Ches is the most awesome man I know. The BEST husband. The BEST father. This is in no way meant to bash him. This post is about me.)

I do the laundry. I make the meals. I clean the house. I drive everyone to the places they need to go. I volunteer at the school. I go on field trips. I help with homework. I read books/stories. I organize play dates. I find babysitters for those times that Ches and I both have to be gone and can’t have the kids with us. I feel like a house elf who is just hoping someone will accidentally present me with a sock.

If I could, I would totally have a Girl’s Night Out. Or a weekend away with my husband or my girlfriends. But you have to have friends to go do that with. And you have to have money to pay for it. I don’t. I don’t get paid for this job, and my husband is “only” a teacher. We all know how well they are compensated.  We have made the decision for me to stay home at this time because of how important it is to us that the kids have a parent at home. Besides, if I worked, the majority of my paycheck would go to childcare and what’s the point in that? Also, I have tried working part time and I do not do well trying to have a “real” job and still take care of my family. It just doesn’t work for me.

The worst part is that I have this crippling depression to deal with. Other people can just “make the best of it” and they are okay with the hand they are dealt. They make it work. They are happy. I am not happy. I can’t be happy. There is no way to just make myself happy. I have coping strategies so I have happy moments and I’m not constantly hiding in my bed under my covers, but believe me. I’d rather be in bed, hiding. I don’t want to face the messy house and the children asking me for help finding a t-shirt or what to make for dinner tonight when all we have is some frozen chicken and nothing to go with it.

I get frustrated and sad and angry and anxious and overwhelmed. I question my very existence. Constantly. And I have to remind myself that not everyone on Facebook is as happy and perfect as they appear.

I go to bed every night, disappointed in myself again, but promising myself that I’ll do better tomorrow. And I start fresh every morning. Some days work, some days don’t.

Today, it’s not working.

So… be kind. Realize that I’m not the only one out there that feels like this. Know that we are all fighting our own inner demons and just trying to stay afloat most of the time. And let me whine sometimes when I say how much this sucks and I dream of some ME time.

No More Yelling!!

Hello, blog. How are you? I know, I know. It’s been a while. So much has happened to me, and most of it has been internal. It’s a daily struggle for me to find myself and be myself. I’ve let you suffer, dear blog, and for that, I am sorry. But I have to tell you some exciting news:

I am not yelling at my kids anymore. This is not a yelling house. Not anymore.

I read an article the other day where this woman described how she thought she was alone with her kids and was caught by the handyman. She was caught screaming and yelling, red in the face, completely out of control. And she was humiliated. It dawned on her that she doesn’t act that way when she knows others are around, so why does she do it when she is alone with the kids? She decided she wasn’t going to yell for a year. That’s right. One full year of *no* yelling. 365 days of keeping herself in check.

A lightbulb went off in my head. I don’t know if I can do a full year, but I decided I’m going to do a month. One month and let’s see where it goes from there. Here is what I hope to gain:

1. Control of my own temper. If I’m in a bad mood, why do I have to take it out on my kids?

2. A happier home. Sure, the kids will have their moments that drive me insane, but I am going to find a better way to reach them.

3. More conversations. When we’re upset and yelling, no one is listening. When we are talking we can take turns talking and listening and then understanding.

4. A happier me. I am so often pretty miserable and unhappy with myself. I want to be a more positive person. I want that to reflect on my children. I don’t want them growing up and remembering that Mom was an angry, sad person. I want them to remember my smiles and laughter. I want them to remember *good* things about their mom. Which brings me to…

5. Happy memories. They will have a good childhood with more positive influences. Where do those influences come from? Me. I want them to think fondly on their childhood and the home I am raising them in. Aiden only has 7 years left in the home. They are going to be the best 7 years I can make them.

So… one month. I can do it. One month and I’m pretty sure it’s going to change our lives.

Phishing For Some Common Ground

I was having a conversation the other day with three people who are in their early 20’s. We were talking about Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and how they have yummy flavors and cool names. I mentioned “Phish Food”. One person said she really liked that particular flavor with the yummy “fish” in them. Another person said something about how funny the name is spelled.

“Well, yeah,” I replied. “It’s named after the band.”

The three people looked at me blankly. There was a long pause.

“You know? The band? Phish?”

Again, blank stares. Another long pause, then, “Who?”

I feel really, really old now.

Reading To My Kids

I have been told that there are a few ways to make sure your kids are readers. 1. Read to them. 2. Encourage them to read on their own with books that interest them. 3. Let them see you, as a parent, reading on your own.

Ches and I are pretty big readers. I know I have a bit of a reputation for devouring books rather quickly (I’m a very fast reader) and I tend to read anything that is recommended to me. I love books! That’s not a secret.

I decided recently I needed to make a change in our bedtime routine. It’s too chaotic and getting the kids to settle down at bedtime was insane. Lots of yelling and screaming and crying (and that was just me!). I hated it. Ches was gone (as usual) one evening and I had had enough. I decided to try something new. I pulled a book off the bookshelf, had the kids get in their beds (all three boys share a room), and I started to read.

The first book we read was “Holes” by Louis Sachar. I’ve read it before and so has Aiden. We have all seen the movie and really enjoyed it. I couldn’t believe how much all three boys enjoyed not just the book, but having me read to them. They would snuggle into bed and look at me expectantly with smiles on their faces, ready for me to read. Normally it is difficult to get the boys to get in bed. They are playing or watching TV or whatever and just don’t want to go to bed. However, when I said, “Get in bed… I’m going to read ‘Holes’ tonight!” they would run to their room right away. When we finished the book, we borrowed the movie from a friend and had a special “Holes” viewing night.

What to read next? I decided to read something that every kid should probably read. Something that every person should probably read. A classic of literature. And something that I have never read myself. I chose J.R.R Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”.

That’s right. I’ve never read it. Well, all the way through. I’ve tried to read it many times, but something about it… I don’t know. It’s just not my style or something. I’ve started the first Lord of the Rings, too, but again. Never made it far. It just doesn’t capture my attention or something. However, I absolutely love The Lord of the Rings movies, and since the first Hobbit movie comes out in December, I wanted to actually read the book first this time. What could be better than reading an adventure/fantasy book to my little boys?

They. Love. It. That’s right. They adore the story. They laugh. They get scared. They get excited. The Hobbit is a huge success. Also.. I love it! I’m enjoying the story just as much as they are! We’re about 2/3 of the way through and I’m excited to read to them just so I know what’s going to happen next. I can’t believe how much I am enjoying it! Ches teases me every so often for mispronouncing a name (seriously, Bofur? Looks like Bow-fur to me, not Bah-fur!), but I think he enjoys me reading one of his all-time favorite books to his sons, too.

And when I was in the hospital? The boys would not allow Ches to read to them. They just waned Mom. It’s now our thing, our ritual. Mom reads and the boys listen (and sometimes fall asleep) and we discuss a little bit and the entire family is excited for December so we can all see the movie together.

The best part? That calm period, right before bed. Where we are just hanging out. I hope these are memories they will cherish into adulthood. I am cherishing them now.

(And we’re starting to make suggestions to each other on what book we should read next. We have tons of ideas floating around. I’ll let you know what we decide!)

The Birth Story

It’s funny how sometimes you can just know. You know something is going to happen. You have that feeling. You can’t quite describe it, and trying to tell anyone just makes you sound like you’re completely mental. But… you know.

When I had Aiden and Dallin, I didn’t know. They both came early, sure, but not so early it was anything to write home about. I didn’t even know earlier in the day I’d be going to the hospital that night (we go to the hospital only at night, apparently. My body needs all day to work itself up into labor or something). However, with Parker, I just knew. From the moment I found I was pregnant, I knew he was coming early. I didn’t think he would be premie early (3 days earlier, and he would have been!), but I knew he’d be early. I was totally right.

With this baby, I just figured he’d follow the pattern established by his brothers. Aiden was 3 days early, Dallin was 9 days early, Parker was 19 days early. I was due with Collin on May 20th (funny how we still haven’t gotten to his due date yet…). I figured he’d come in the end of April.

Almost…

My c-section was scheduled for May 13th (that’s today!). I finally got my mom to finalize her travel plans and she was set to arrive on May 5th (that way she could also attend Aiden’s class play/musical and his orchestra concert). My friends were throwing me a baby shower on April 28th (and Kim was very clear I was not to go into labor until after the shower. I could go into labor on the way home, but I was not to miss this shower! heh). I was keeping myself busy by going to church activities, volunteering in Aiden’s classroom, taking Parker to park days, holding winter guard rehearsals for the prom assembly, starting color guard workshops and auditions, and signing up for class field trips. I was exhausted and in pain, but tried to ignore it. I was busy and active all the way up until I gave birth with the others, so why couldn’t I do it this time, too?

I was set to go to the Science Center with Aiden’s class on May 1st. The closer that date came, the more I was filled with dread at going. My friend Kim also has a daughter in that class and she volunteered to take my place if I didn’t feel up to it (that says a lot about Kim. She hates field trips! Bus rides give her migraines, and she gets those often enough as it is. I didn’t want to put this on her, but she did volunteer…). Finally I gave in and said yes, please take my spot.

It was Monday, April 30th. I was feeling less stressed by the baby coming because everyone had been so generous at the baby shower. We had onesies and diapers and even a crib! I had finally gotten the Spare Oom to a decent place in cleanliness (although now it was full of gift bags… we still didn’t have any place to PUT the diapers and onesies…), so I relaxed quite a bit about the whole “are we ready??” bit. I sent emails to teachers, apologizing for not coming on the field trip and asking homework questions and so forth.  The night before I had not slept well. I tossed and turned, and when I did sleep, I had crazy dreams (I don’t recall what any of them were now. I just remember being confused). Every time I woke up I thought to myself, “I’m going to the hospital tonight.” I knew. So I spent Monday preparing. I cleaned more of the house. Got laundry done. I even packed my hospital bag. I finished some preparations for guard auditions (which started that afternoon). I had been having contractions off and on all day, but nothing regular.

After guard auditions, I sat at the dinner table, wondering if I should eat. I know I have to have surgery, and you’re not supposed to eat or drink anything for 8 hours before. Do I risk it? I was awfully hungry. I convinced myself I wasn’t going anywhere and ate a small chicken taco.

At 9:30 I was checking in to the hospital. A neighbor, Jeanetta,  came to spend the night with the boys. Ches just had to be home by 6:30 so she could get to work (Jeanetta is also a teacher). I figured that wouldn’t be a problem.

At first they were saying I wasn’t dilated enough, but they’d watch me for some progression. Let me tell you… I don’t progress. That’s why I had the c-section with Aiden in the first place. I’m having very real, very regular, and very painful contractions, but I just don’t progress.I was getting worried when, after a few hours, they were saying I hadn’t progressed enough. By then I was having horrible pains in my back with each contraction (that had never happened before. It felt like knives stabbing me in the back while I was totally cramped up in the front… turns out it all depends on the baby’s positioning. The nurse said he facing up, which gives those back pains. Ugh, that was NOT fun!). Finally, the nurse said “One more hour, and we’ll see if you have progressed and we can go from there.” I turned to Ches, tears in my eyes, and said, “I don’t want to go home! This is labor. I want to have the baby NOW.”

Thank goodness, after the hour I had progressed! I think I was up to a 3 by then. I was moved to a new room and they started prepping me for surgery. Even though I have been through it three times before, I was still scared out of my mind. I tried to keep calm, but once that spinal takes effect… yeah. Total panic attack, every time. I just felt like I couldn’t breathe and I was scared and I just wanted Ches (why do they make him stay out of the room for so long?? Don’t they understand how much I need him there, talking to me, holding my hand??) Finally, I was calm again, the sheet was up, and Ches was sitting there with me.

Everything went pretty much the same as it always has. Except this time I heard the doctor exclaim, “Wow. Wow! Would you look at that? Oh my gosh. It’s just so thin.” over and over again. She came to us and said, “Your uterus is so thin, it’s like looking through a window. We can see through it to the baby perfectly.” She confirmed that getting a tubal ligation after the c-section was, indeed, the right choice. This uterus cannot have more babies.

That was a major miracle, I think. Had the baby waited any longer, with that thin of a uterus, it could have ruptured.  I am so thankful to have an early baby.

Well, out came this screaming baby, with tons and tons of dark hair! He weighed in at 8 lbs, 2 oz, and we were shocked! He was SO much bigger than our other babies. A full pound bigger than Parker, who had been the biggest newborn so far. I suddenly realized the “going home” outfit I brought would not fit this baby. Ches was going to have to pick something else out at home!

Ches and the baby (who we had NO CLUE what to name at this point!) were taken away to do all the official weighing and scoring and cleaning and what ever else they do while the doctors performed my tubal and sewed me up. I had a lot of fun chatting with the nurses and it made the time go by a lot more quickly.

Soon, I was off to recovery. They immediately tried to get me to nurse (with no success). The baby fussed and cried. A lot. I mean… a lot. Ches would hold him and get him calmed down, and after a minute or two the baby would start crying again. Ches and I just looked at each other and I’m pretty sure we spoke to each other mentally. “We’ve never had such a fussy baby. What do we do? I can’t have a fussy baby! I don’t know how to deal with it!” I’m not kidding when I say this baby cried and fussed the first 3 hours of his life. Non stop.

Finally I was taken to my own room and the baby calmed down a bit. Ches was able to hang out just a little longer, then he had to go home to relieve the babysitter and get the boys off to school.

It was now Tuesday, May 1st. I didn’t have an April baby after all. And we (barely) missed having another baby on our anniversary (poor Dallin had to deal with Mom in the hospital on his birthday!).  The hospital stay felt long. I didn’t get to check out until Friday. I loved having all the visitors (I get so stinking bored and lonely in the hospital!) and the nurses at this hospital were pretty great, overall. No one was mean. (Can’t say the same about the lactation “expert”. I was ready to smack her!!).

We came up with Collin’s name by Tuesday night, I believe. We just couldn’t come up with anything either of us really connected with. We were getting desperate. Aiden had been calling the baby James for weeks and weeks now, but neither Ches nor I wanted that name (it’s not that we don’t like it. We do… it just didn’t feel right. And we didn’t want a first name that ends in S.). Finally we started trying to think of the “rejected” names from when we had the other boys. Aiden was almost Collin when he was born, actually. I started to think of Collin more and more. And then I paired it with James. I liked it. And I actually thought we could call him C.J. Ches wasn’t too sure about the nickname, but after he went home that evening he texted me and said “I think that’s it. I really like it.” We had to decide between spelling it Colin or Collin (I don’t know why but we both like it with two Ls. I know it should properly be one L, but we both just liked the other way.)

So there you have it. Collin James. We absolutely adore him!

Introducing Collin

It’s only taken me 11 days to get to this, and I know all y’all are impatient to hear the whole story, so here goes…

Introducing to the world (through the blogosphere)

Collin James
Born May 1st, 2012 at 2:59 am

8 lbs, 2 oz. and 20 inches long.

Yes, that is a whole mess of dark hair you see all over his head. He has darker skin, too (so now we have a complete set: 2 light haired/ fair skinned boys and 2 dark haired/ olive skinned boys). He is absolutely perfect.

His big brothers all completely adore him. How could they not? They all just want to hold him and comfort him when he’s upset and talk to him about anything and everything. They have to say goodbye to him each morning and run into the house after school to say hello.

Collin sleeps really well all day long and loves to chill out all night long (which is why I’m writing this post at 3:30 in the morning. Just letting Collin lay here and stare at the ceiling while I type. Fun for us all!)

Collin hates diaper changes and sponge baths. He loves to have his hands up near his face, being wrapped up in a towel right after a bath, and sleeping on my chest.

He is such a perfect addition to our family. We’re all in love with him and I already can’t imagine what I was thinking just a year ago when I thought we were done and three boys was it for us. I am so, so happy to be wrong. 🙂

Well, Collin is asleep finally, so I’ll have to tell you the actual story later… after I’ve gotten some sleep. (I need to prop my eyes open just to finish this sentence!) Stay tuned…

End of the Road… Almost

We are now down to under 2 weeks until the baby is born. If the baby waits until the scheduled day, I will be going to the hospital at 530 am on Mother’s Day for a 730 surgery. Not too bad. If the baby comes early… well, I’ll just go in to the hospital and see what happens.

I hear the hospital I have chosen is a good one. You get to order your food like room service! Just call them up at any time and say, “May I have this please?” and they bring it to you. At. Any. Time. Not just “pick from this menu and here are the meal times.” And all the rooms have huge flat screens. AND free WiFi. My one friend said she blogged from the hospital. And something broke down in the middle of the night and they still came and fixed it right away. I asked about what the nurses were like (I thought the nurses when I had Parker were actually pretty mean), and was assured that they are all pretty great and you can just request a different nurse if you don’t get along. YAY. It’s going to be like a little vacation for me, apparently.

I had some friends throw me a baby shower, and we are feeling so blessed right now. Yes, this is our fourth baby, and yes, it is also a boy, so who would think I would get a baby shower, right? I should have everything I need, right? Wrong! It has been long enough since we had Parker that we actually thought we were done and we were in the process of getting rid of everything. I had just given away all the clothes. We got rid of most of our baby gear. It feels like we are starting over! Well, we have some amazing friends apparently, both near and far. I now have a car seat and stroller (not from the baby shower… just a really, really awesome and generous friend!), a swing (someone was just giving it away! Score!), a crib (astonished as this was presented to me as the group gift at the shower!), clothes (cutest outfits ever! And my friend who inherited all our previous clothes returned everything she borrowed! Double score!), pacifiers and bottles (yay for baby showers!) and oh my gosh I have never had so many diapers at one time in one place in my life. Ches and I both felt a huge weight come off our shoulders Saturday night as we went through everything. There are still a couple of things we need to get (diaper bag, breast pump, monitor), but overall we are ready for the baby.

If we can only come up with a name…

It’s still shocking to me that we are having another baby. We used to say we wanted four, but we had accepted that we had 3 wonderful boys and felt complete. Life is funny that way, though. Just when I think I have things figured out, I get thrown a curve ball. It’s been a hard adjustment for me to make in my mind, and I’m not quite there. Maybe when he makes his appearance I’ll be able to reconcile it. I don’t know. I’m happy about it though. I feel ready for whatever mental games happens, too. Having gone through PPD twice before, we know exactly what to look for. In fact, at my next doctor’s appointment, I’m going to ask how quickly I can be put on medication just because it was something I was looking at doing before I got pregnant anyway. I’m not sure I’m ready for the middle of the night feedings and the constant diaper changing… but I’m ready for another person to be added to our family.

We have so much going on in our lives right now. It’s the tail end of the school year, which means concerts, class plays, more concerts, guard and drumline auditions, banquets, concerts, field trips, graduations, concerts… If only the baby was due in June… But we’ll work it out just fine.

I didn’t sleep well last night. I hurt all over. I had a huge headache. When I did sleep, I had crazy dreams. Mostly I just had the overwhelming feeling that I needed to wake up and pack my bag and make all the arrangements necessary for the baby to come. I felt like the baby is going to come TODAY. I don’t know how valid the feeling is, really. I more than likely won’t be having a baby today. However, it is best to be prepared, so that’s what I’m doing. Well, right after I hit “publish”, that is. 😀

I’ll blog from the hospital. Just because I can.

I’m Cranky And I Know It

I’m 36 weeks and 2 days today. I am scheduled for a c-section when I am exactly 39 weeks. All three of my boys came early, so I fully expect this one to come early, too. Thank goodness, because I’m SO done. I’m cranky. About stupid things. Lots of them. If you don’t mind, I’m going to list the things that are truly bothering me (and reduce me to tears… well, everything makes me cry these days. By they way… pregnancy SUCKS.)

People who drive faster than the posted speed limit in a school zone. I don’t care if it looks like no one is around because it’s the middle of the day and the kids are all in class. I don’t care if it’s still half a block from the school. It’s still a school zone. Freaking pay attention to the signs. And don’t give me bad looks or speed around me just because I’m actually following the law.

People who haven’t figured out that my name is SARIAH, not Sarah, and Ches is CHESLEY, not Chelsey. Even after repeated corrections. What’s worse is that Ches has been working for the same school in the same district for 5 years and they still can’t get it right.

People who have to give me all kinds of unasked for advice on how to recover from my upcoming c-section. Yeah. Because I haven’t done this three times already. Pretty sure I know how it goes.

People who say, “At least you’re not pregnant over the summer!” I live in Arizona. Our winters are your summers. It’s the same freaking thing. I did not retain water or have swollen feet with any of my previous pregnancies (and two of the three were truly summer pregnancies), but I have had swollen feet for probably 5 months now. It’s getting worse. They kinda hurt now. It’s too freaking hot.

People who tell me what gear I do or do not need for my new baby. Again… my fourth baby. I kinda know what I’m doing now. (This does not apply to people telling me about gear that wasn’t around when I had my other kids. For example… Bumpo chairs. Yay or nay??)

8th grade girls. I learned when I was student teaching in a middle school that 8th grade girls only see what is going on inside their mirror. This was proven to me again this weekend. Gah.

Health insurance. We have been paying out the nose for the past year so we could be on the group plan offered through the school district. Ches and I decided that we just can’t afford to keep the kids and me on this plan another year (Ches is covered by the district, so it makes sense to keep him on it), so we started to look around. To get the SAME coverage by the SAME insurance company (but go through someone else), we will be paying over HALF the amount. We have been ripped off and it pisses me off. No more group plans for me!

The heated pool in my neighborhood is just too cold. You call that heated?? Pshaw! I should be able to comfortably just jump in the pool. No shock.

Stupid birds that sing too loudly every morning outside my window. We actually have a large, grassy, courtyard like area in front of our house. So there are lots of birds, and they are holding some kind of rally out there at 530 am. Sick of it. I want to sleep.

Baby is too high and I can’t breathe.

Baby is too low and I have to go to the bathroom. Again.

I hate dusting.

I hate laundry. It’s never ending. Crap… that reminds me… I gotta throw in another load because I’m down to like two pairs of shorts that fit and 3 shirts that cover my belly.

My hair color is SO BORING. I hate my hair.

People who don’t RSVP to invitations. It’s not that hard. Click yes or no. Call the number. Email the address. It’s easy to do, so DO IT.

People who drive super slow in the far left lane on the freeway. Do not go under the speed limit in that lane. Move over to the right so I can be on my way, thank you very much.