Friday, April 27, 2007

Welcome to the Jungle

Didn't think I'd have a spare second to blog again for another 3 years but a small window has opened up and I wanted to share about our homecoming. First of all, the nurse came into my room yesterday morning and cheerfully said "You ready to go home? We can discharge you anytime this morning." I burst into tears. I looked at my tray of food they had just brought me, Regis and Kelly on the TV, and the trail of the bassinet as the nursery was taking him back until the next feeding. Can I get a late checkout, I asked? We managed to stay until lunch.

We walked in the door of the house, with a screaming hungry baby. I immediately took him into our room to feed him but forgot to lock the doors and push chairs under them to keep everyone out. Within moments of settling down to nurse my newborn as I'd done the past 2 days, William came rushing in, then Catherine after him, and then Psycho Dog. They all jumped up on the bed and William started showing me his new new trick, which was doing summersaults across the bed and landing with his feet in Stuart's face. Catherine kept patting the baby on the head, yelling over and over "sweet baby." And Psycho Dog was trying to dig out a spot under the pillow on which the baby was resting his head.

Oh Lord....hep me, hep me please.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I Have Arrived

Stuart Andrew arrived at 12:45 pm on Tuesday, April 24. 9 pounds, 2 oz. and 22 inches long. Those milkshakes really packed on the pounds...on both of us!

He came into the world sucking on his thumb and the baby nurse told us that of all the babies in the nursery, Stuart was the most content and calm, just lying there sucking his thumb. I told her that with 3 babies under the age of 3 1/2, we needed a self soother in the bunch.

We are thrilled and feel thrice blessed.

Monday, April 23, 2007


William at just a few hours old. September 12, 2003
Catherine at just a few minutes old. August 9, 2005

On my last day as a Mom of two, I can't help but look back over the past 3 1/2 years and reflect on how quickly they have passed. It seems like yesterday that William was born, yet I look at him now as a little boy and I have a hard time remembering that precious tiny baby I held in my arms. I hold him now (when he lets me!) and his long arms and skinny long legs hang halfway down my own body. Those tiny fingers I stared at and counted over and over are now long enough to intertwine with my own when we hold hands. Where did that baby go?

Then Catherine came along and I tried to cherish every moment, knowing how fast they fade away. I would stare at her and try to memorize every crease and line on her face, every expression, and hold on to every little sound she made. But even trying to hold on with all my might, those moments passed too quickly and are now only a faint memory. I will remind myself of this in the coming days and weeks when I'm cross-eyed from sleep deprivation and exhausted beyond ability to string coherent words together....and will try to cherish even those 3 am moments because they just don't last forever.

Last night after dinner we were all out on the patio, enjoying the nice weather and watching the kids blow bubbles and run and play. For just a second I wondered how we were going to make room in our hearts and home for this new little one. But I know in less than 24 hours, when that precious baby is finally here, we will wonder what we ever did without him or her.

Just when you think your heart can't hold any more love, God opens it up to hold more than you ever imagined. It's happened to me twice before. And will happen again tomorrow. Now that's a miracle.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Guess who's still around? It's ok though. I ended up getting to run last minute errands, stock up on yet even more toilet paper and buy the kids some treats so they'll have a goody bag while we are gone. I guess I figure somehow a few Wiggles board books and some bubbles will make a new little screaming crying baby taking all Mama and Daddy's attention worth it!

We've tried to prepare them the best we can. We've told William that he needs to be Mommy's big helper when the new baby gets here. He agreed and said that he will change the baby's diaper. Really, I said. Then the very next words out of his mouth were after he himself finished in the bathroom and he hollered "Mama....I'm done....come wipe me!" Hmmmmm. Somehow I sense that I'll still be up close and personal to all of my children's backsides for quite a while longer.

Funny thing happened yesterday on my errand outing. I decided to treat myself to Starbucks. I waddled inside and as I approached the little frat boy working behind the counter he said loudly "We were just saying how pregnant you are!" Wow, and how observant YOU are, I thought. But I said "You have no idea, man. In fact, I could have this baby right here so hurry up with my frappuccino will ya?" You've never seen faster service.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Yep, Still Here

The Mexican food I had the other night didn't do anything but give me heartburn. It was a sad attempt to smoke the baby out with jalapenos.

The long walk around the neighborhood didn't do it either. It was quite a scene though so it did serve as amusement to our neighbors. There I was the other day, waddling along, with William walking next to me in his T-ball t-shirt, 3 sizes too big sandals and school bus packpack that he insisted on carrying. Andy was pushing Catherine in the stroller, along with her queen sized fleece Frosty the Snowman blanket she wouldn't let go of despite the humidity and 75+ temps. Andy was also holding on to the leash of Psycho Dog who was still stoned from the tranquilizer we'd given her earlier that morning during the storm. She was zig-zagging from side to side. Andy looked around at all of us and announced that he was the only normal looking one in the whole bunch. Now that was really something to be proud of.

At least the anticipation is continuing to build as we await the arrival of this sweet little unknown. So glad now we didn't find out whether boy or girl because it's been fun to guess and make predictions. The other night I asked William if he thought it was a girl baby or a boy baby. He shrugged his shoulders and said, "Probly."

I sure hope he's right!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I Got Nothing

Well nothing to report this morning. Other than I did sleep last night so my mood has improved dramatically. This is a good thing for my poor family. Still having contractions but I haven't seen the U-haul pull up yet so I'm guessing Number 3 isn't moving anytime soon.

I imagine if the baby could send me a letter in response to my eviction notice it would read something like "Dear Mom, Technically I still have a few days left on my lease. So back off on your eviction threats please. Love, Number 3."

So we wait. And I am trying to enjoy my last days dividing my attention only 2 ways between the sweet babies already here. And telling myself it all goes by too fast. So no need to rush it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Watching Paint Dry

Woke up at midnight last night with what I believed - but not altogether sure - to be contractions. Woke up is a term I use loosely since I'd only been asleep about 45 minutes at that point. You'd think by the third time around I'd be somewhat knowledgable about these things but truth is I still don't know nothin' bout birthin' no babies.

William's birth was textbook. At just shy of 38 weeks, early in the morning, my water broke. It was kind of like the movies. "Honey, my water broke. It's time." And off we went to the hospital. After a relatively short and painless labor (thanks to the epidural I got as we were walking in the door) our sweet boy came quickly into the world. I even had on lipstick. He had a perfectly formed head, beautiful pink skin and they wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in my arms. It was just sweet.

Catherine's birth was a little stressful to say the least, but the actual delivery was fine. I was induced, so I never had contractions to begin with. After an 8 hour labor, somewhat miraculously and despite what doctors had prepared us for, our sweet girl was born breathing, crying, and as healthy as we could have imagined.

This time, however, I'm at a loss. I went back to the Dr. this morning, sure that my all night long contractions had made some progress and I was positive I was in labor. But no. Was told to go back home and wait. And wait. And wait some more. And don't come back until it's the real thing. I thought it was. What do I know.

So here I sit, waiting and wondering if my eviction notice was effective. And it's about as exciting as watching paint dry. All this on about 3 hours sleep. I'm so much fun to be around right now.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Imminent Arrival of Number 3

Went to the Dr. today. Correction. Waddled to the Dr. today, in a foul mood and with high blood pressure as a result of the 15 rounds I went with my 3 year old before I could even get out of the door. I think the whole household is sensing the impending change and each of us is reacting differently. William is throwing tantrums. Catherine is getting clingier. And Andy is frantically squeezing in final moments of golf, travel and sleep. I'm just drafting the eviction notice I am posting for Number 3. Precious thing. Can't wait for him or her to relocate. These all night parties keeping me up at all hours are getting old.

We moved the induction date back to Tuesday, the 24th. I will go into the hospital on Monday night, about 10:00, and they will induce me early Tuesday morning. How sad is it that I'm excited beyond words that I'll have an extra night in the hospital. It's like I've won a cruise! Room service. Maid service. 24 hour child care. And a big DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door. (actually I think hospital terminology is something like ISOLATION FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE....but whatever works).

Bring it on!

That Aint Right

I made a feeble and ultimately futile attempt this past weekend to see if Catherine was ready to be potty trained. The idea of only having one size of diapers to buy was too appealing, so I pulled out the little plastic potty, dressed her in nothing but a long t-shirt and told her that for the rest of the day she would use the potty! Wouldn't that be fun????? She nodded her head yes.

William told me first thing that he would teach her how to tee tee in the potty since he was a big boy and had been doing it for so long. So for about an hour she was fascinated with the idea, and kept sitting down and getting up from the potty, but accomplishing nothing. Finally, after a big cup of water, I asked her if she had to tee tee and she nodded yes. So we all ran over to the potty, Catherine plopped down and William announced, "Cafrin, you HAVE to push your willy down so you don't get tee tee everywhere" as he was peering into the potty. Then *gasp* he looked up at me horrified and shrieked "MAMA, Cafrin's willy is GONE!" (No comments please on our body part works for us).

"Well, William, girls have different private parts than boys and Catherine doesn't have the same parts as you do. But she can still tee tee and do just fine." He just looked horrified. Sad almost. I was biting my lip the whole time to keep from laughing.

I'd like to say the potty training with Catherine was a success. It was not. I learned she is just not ready for it yet. After sitting on the potty all morning and doing nothing she got up and walked a few feet away and went in the floor. Then as if that wasn't discouraging enough, and because he either just wanted attention or was still in shock that his sister was missing what he obviously considers a very important piece of equipment, for the first time since I can remember William wet HIS pants!

Then psycho dog, in response to the gale force winds and dark clouds outside, peed in her bed.

Argh! Now that just aint right.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

He Will Be Called....Crawfish Slayer

Andy is so excited that he got William to eat crawfish last night. He says it is one of his prouder moments.

Next time I get him to eat a bean I'll take a picture and post it.

Don't hold your breath.

Friday, April 13, 2007

What's My Name?

One of the sweetest sounds I've ever heard was the first time my children said "Mommy," or "Mama." It's one of the moments you live for, dream of, and know that you will cherish forever. You may even always remember the exact moment...what you were doing, what you were wearing. It's like one of those Mastercard commercials. Baby furniture and custom bedding $2,000.00, two year supply of diapers, $5,000.00 (I'm guessing here, and assuming it's only for TWO years), average cost of raising a child until he turns 18, $200,000.00. Hearing that sweet angel say your name for the first time: PRICELESS.

I know with William, I was really never Mommy, but Mama was easy for him to say and just stuck. So Mama it is. Or was. And I love it. I'm used to it. I answer to it. A few months ago though I heard him talking to one of his little friends and he said something like "Well......I'll go ask my Mom." MOM? When did I become Mom? It sounded so old. He's only 3! I'm not ready to be Mom. Not yet at least.

Then one night I was walking out of his bedroom after kissing him goodnight and he said "Hey Hon, can you turn out the light?" Hon? Kinda sweet, but a little annoying. But not nearly as annoying as the time he hollered at me from across the house: "JULIE......JULIE.....where ARE you?" Fortunately (for him), it was a solitary occurence. We actually got a pretty good laugh from it.

But then last night. Last night he was bathing and I walked in to check on him and he said "Watch this, Ba-by." Then he slid clear across the tub and all of the water splashed out on the floor.

Baby just walked out and left it for Daddy to clean up.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

This is Kinda Sad

This is the first born's room. Darling ocean scene mural on the wall....matching bedding and sea creatures rug, rocking horse and numerous toys, books, etc.

The second born's room. Beautiful crib bedding, carefully chosen matching accessories and even a custom made bunny chandelier. Darling.

This is Number 3's room. A basket. Lovingly pulled out of the closet and placed carefully in the floor of the spare bedroom.

I have spent months torturing myself over where to put this baby. Catherine still needs the baby crib. It would do more harm to Catherine at this point to rip her out of her crib and disrupt her (and our) good night's sleep and put her in a big bed. Besides, by the third go round you realize that all a tiny baby needs is food (assuming Dairy Queen opens, check), a place to lay its head (check check) and clean pants (thanks to our Sunday School class and the diaper shower, check check check). So we're set. I'm sure when we get home with Number 3 we'll point out the basket, the clean towels in the bathroom and tell him/her to make him/herself at home. Holler if you need anything.

And I'm sure he/she will.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Thanks, Easter Bunny

William and Catherine thought it was funny all day long to pick up the phone and say "Oh Hello Easter Bunny. Thanks, Easter Bunny. Bwok. Bwok."

Here are a few pictures from our day. Don't you think black is so slimming on me?

(Not So) Good Friday

The delay in posting is due to a raging stomach virus that swarmed through our entire family, including grandparents, after poor little Catherine came down with it last week. To give you the most adequate picture of my week's end, and to quote Ouiser Boudreaux from Steel Magnolias: This is it, I've found it. I am in hell.

Catherine got sick on Tuesday but was much better by Thursday. So I loaded the kids that afternoon in the minivan to head to William's T-ball game where Andy was going to meet us. We got about 10 minutes from the house and I had one of those Mom moments where I had an uncanny premonition that William was sick. I glanced in the rear view mirror and there it was: sick. Sick sick sick. All over the van. All over him. My poor sweet helpless baby and I couldn't do anything but make a drastic u-turn and book it back to the house, where Andy arrived shortly after we did following a not so calm call from me that went something like "GET HOME RIGHT NOW. RIGHT NOW. HURRY HURRY HURRY NOW NOW NOW."

Let's just say I spent the next few hours holding William's head over a bowl, then the rest of the night holding my own head over a bowl. Andy wasn't spared either but I'll respect his privacy and not share details. But it was ugly. So ugly that I called Mom first thing in the morning crying and said something like: This is it, I've found it. I am in hell. Please come get Catherine. And she did. And William and Andy and I spent the next 24 hours comatose.

Slightly funny scene though early Friday morning. I was the only one even remotely capable of putting one foot in front of the other so I went to the store to load up on gatorade (here's a tip....if you have kids, buy a container of powdered gatorade that will keep for a while because I can promise that you will thank me one day because kids will get you sick!) to keep us all hydrated. I crawled out of bed and wore my pajama bottoms, a sweatshirt and flip flops. I had a cart full of powdered gatorade, immodium and 5 different flavors of powerade. I was holding my huge pregnant sick self up by hanging over the cart as I approached the only line open. Dude in front of me had about 10 packs of ribs, a few 6 packs of beer and an extra large bag of M&M's. Now, which one of us do you think was sick? I think even Stevie Wonder would have been able to tell. It was quite OBVIOUS. It would have been nice to have been given a free pass to move ahead in the line. But no. And then I had to wait while he got a book of stamps too. And got a price check on the M's. I couldn't catch a break. Then Suzi Sunrise behind the register says "Good Morning!!!!! How are YOU today on this Good Friday?" Grrrrrr.

Anyway. We did survive. And we managed to make it to church this morning to celebrate the reason for the season. And to be thankful for our blessings. And thankful for that Good Friday and first Easter morning so many years ago, which made me wonder....why is it called Good Friday? It wasn't so good for Jesus either. But I'm grateful beyond measure for it.

Happy Easter! And so it was.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Runaway Mom

I left the other night. I couldn't help it. Tell me you wouldn't have done the same thing. Here's why.

After a long and very exhausting day, I had cooked dinner, set the table and called the family in. It didn't exactly start out a scene from Norman Rockwell. William took one look at his plate and pointed his little finger at each helping and whined "I don't liiiiiiiiiiiike this. Or this. Or this." And at once the battle was on. Andy telling him it's rude, disrespectful, blah blah blah and William whining until he gets sent to his room to rethink the situation. A common scene.

Next it was Catherine's, I mean Sybil's turn. She did eat, but then the demons took over and she basically went crazy. I jumped up, looked at the clock and realized that bathtime and bedtime had arrived not a moment too soon and put her in the bath. Got her out, dried her off, and began to put on her pajamas. Got the top on and as I was putting the bottoms on, the meltdown started back up (at least the 7th one that day) so I pulled her off the changing table and laid her in the floor to try to finish getting her dressed. Got one leg in but...and I know you don't believe this....I could NOT get that other pants leg on that little screaming, kicking, 25 pound girl. Something in me snapped and I just walked out of her room, went to the kitchen (where William had returned to eat his dinner), walked past Andy and William, picked up my keys and got in the car and left.

I drove for over an hour. Just drove, with the windows open and music blasting. Like I was young and free and cool. Although I was 9 months pregnant and in a mini van so it wasn't that cool. But at least I was alone. And listening to what I wanted to listen to and going where I wanted to go. It was nice. If just for an hour.

Don't get me wrong. I adore my family. But on those days when everything and everyone gets sideways it's good to find a place to clear your head. Even if that place is your big white mamamobile. And who knows...when you get back the kitchen might be cleaned, kids in bed, and husband waiting for you with a big hug.

And you might consider doing it more often.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Stick a Fork in Me, I'm Done!

Went to the Dr. yesterday. Was hoping I'd walk in and he'd take one look at me and say oh my are about to have that baby now...let's go. No such luck. He did schedule me for induction on April 26 though, which is 3 weeks away. Although my body is screaming THREE MORE WEEKS...ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I do however have a very important appointment on the 14th that I'd like to get my hair cut and a pedicure. Must have pretty feet and cute haircut to give birth. I feel like such a moose right now, that I thought it would do me good. Of course a moose with pretty feet and cute hair is still a moose.

My friend Kim warned me against doing anything drastic with my hair at this point. When I told her I was starting to look like a hippie and needed something cute and daring (haven't had a haircut in 10 months - no joke), she reminded me what Shelby did in Steel Magnolias. Felt like a change would be good, something lesser maintenance to keep up. Ended up looking like she stuck her head through a barbed wire fence and let a goat chew it off. Kim said that she believes Shelby's death was actually the result of a bad haircut. Sobering.

So....assuming I live through the most recent stomach bug to invade our house (Catherine was attacked by it yesterday...will spare details since my last several posts involved way too much poop talk), make it through Easter, keep my hair appointment and get the rest of my nest in order, April 26th will be the next family birthday to mark on your calendar. Truth is, I'm incredibly anxious to meet this little one and kiss on tiny little baby feet one last time.

Baby feet. Nothing sweeter. Makes a 9 month stint as a moose worth every minute.