Feb 28, 2012

the crazy mess of hormones monster

I have officially been taken over by the crazy-mess-of-hormones-monster.  (The real Jessica is watching Hawaiian sunsets with Angie.)  Yesterday, I resolved that I was going to cook dinner, which sounds like such a simple task, one that I typically undertake with very little difficulty.  I am also not typically 39 weeks pregnant.  All I really wanted was to taste a little bit of mommy/wife success.  I have felt like such a wimpy mommy lately; I can't even pick Cara up sometimes because IT'S ALL JUST TOO HARD.  Wahhhh!

I ended up staying at work a little too late, and of course, I picked the absolute wrong things to try to cook quickly, and suddenly, it was 7 pm and no one had eaten dinner.  I admitted defeat and bawled.  (Did I mention that the crazy-mess-of-hormones-monster is a bit of an overdramatic diva?)  It seemed like everywhere I looked stood more evidence of my failure as a mommy and wife.  Piles of junk mail here, piles of toys there, and way over there, a few piles of laundry.  Dirty or clean?  Who knows??  I don't even think my house has been vaccuumed since my mom visited us over TWO WEEKS AGO.

Not only is my house a disaster, but my child doesn't want to play with me anymore.  Granted, the best I can do right now is read a story or maybe do a puzzle while sprawled out on the floor.  Cara wants a buddy she can drag around everywhere, someone who can help her jump really high, who will run around with her on his shoulders.  Mom is not working for these games lately. 

I suppose all of these things hit me at the very same time and stole whatever logic and reasoning I had left.  My poor husband.  He is truly a saint.

I know now that I reacted to the whole situation last night a little a lot irrationally.  For example, Cara demanded that both daddy and mommy hang out in the bathroom while she took a bath tonight, and we did have some quality cuddle time on the couch, so it's obviously not the end of mommy/daughter fun.  And, honestly, the last few weeks of pregnancy are taxing on the body.  I mean, I am carrying around an extra 25 pounds pretty much all in one place, and it does make lifting, moving, and staying upright a leetle more difficult.  I was blinded by self-pity and tears last night, but all that crying has provided me with a touch of perspective today.  It's unlikely that all of the laundry will be clean and folded when the baby comes, and that's okay because it has to be okay.  There will be piles of toys in every corner, and that's just life.  I am the only one who will care.  (If you come visit us after Colin makes his arrival, you have to promise not to care.)

Feb 24, 2012

vintage country dress

I think someone was not interested in having her picture taken this morning...

You may (or may not) remember that after I made Cara's Christmas outfits, I decided that I needed to expand my sewing wings a bit and try out some new patterns.  I had made a thousand variations of pretty much the same couple of dresses and skirts, and it was definitely time to move on to a new challenge.  Enter the Oliver and S Tea Party Dress!

I actually bought this pattern because 1) it would force me to work with some buttonholes, and 2) it has a playsuit/john john pattern with it.  And yes, I have every intention of making some matching outfits for these children...poor Colin!  :-) 

Even though the pattern says that it should be easy, I decided to use fabric I didn't spend any money on for my first attempt.  I found a cute fabric combination in my stacks of scraps, and I think that red farmhouse print might be old enough to qualify as "vintage."  Anyway, I'm really, really glad I did a test run on this one because this pattern was not very forgiving.  There is no elastic or gathering to hide mistakes, and the pattern directions stress being precise and not getting frustrated.  It was hard not to get frustrated the third time I attempted to sew the skirt to the bodice without getting a lot of puckering, and in the end, I decided it was good enough.  I'm sure it will get easier the next time I try this one!

Yay for buttonholes!  Boo for puckering!

Feb 18, 2012

random news

  • Last week's doctor visit was awesome.  Baby boy is in the perfect position for an easy delivery...let's hope he stays there!  No real progress yet, but I'm actually thankful for that.  No rush, little buddy.  I was sick all last week, so I managed to lose two pounds, but my doctor was not concerned.  In fact, he asked me what I had been doing to keep my weight in check, walking, exercising, or something like that.  I told him that I am on the lay-on-the-couch-because-I-am-EXHAUSTED plan, which is clearly the best way to maintain a healthy weight.
  •  The wonderful girls from my ABF showered baby Colin with all kinds of goodies last week.  He desperately needed some clothes and diapers, and boy did they hook him up.  Now his dresser looks a lot less sad when you open the drawers. 
  • My mom came to visit this weekend to help me finish up Cara's quilt, and she brought me a new sewing machine for my birthday!!  I haven't quite gotten the tension all figured out yet, but I am super excited to play around with it.  It will be amazing to have a machine that will do more than a straight stitch and a zigzag.
  • Speaking of quilts, Cara's is all put together.  In fact, all that's left is the actually quilting part, which I am going to do by hand.  In an embroidery hoop.  Like an Amish grandma.
  • Poor Cara just cannot seem to get well.  I'm sure we're all passing around the same sickness over here, and it looks like she has gotten it again, in addition to some of those horrible MRSA bumps (see previous experience with that here).  Anyone else have a child who has had these?  Anyway, the doctor sent me to hang out in his office while he drained the bump because he didn't want me passing out.  I knew Cara was in good hands with her daddy, but it was almost worse to sit in the office, listening to all the babies crying, and then be able to pick out my own child's screams. 
  • The doctor's office experience was redeemed when I went back into the exam room to snuggle my baby, and she was okay.  She was sad, don't get me wrong ("Cara's so sad, Mommy!"), but she was recovering quickly.  After some mommy snuggles, she wanted to go back to her daddy.  He lifted her up and she said, "My Daddy's so big and strong."  This is a common refrain around our house these days, and I DIE every time.  It's exactly what she should think of her daddy.


Feb 14, 2012

happy valentine's day

This girlie brings us so much joy.

My heart melts. 

Feb 13, 2012

toddler battles 2.5

Sometimes, I feel like a broken record.

Move your cup away from the edge of the table.

No picking nose.

Do you have to go potty?



Be quiet inside.

You have to hold hands in the parking lot.

Let's go potty.



I have been wondering if my new sense of frustration with Cara is because we've all been passing around sicknesses for the past month, or because I can't handle Cara physically the way I could before, or because she's two and a half.  I think it might be a combination of all three.  The perfect toddler storm.

Don't get me wrong, Cara is a very easy child, all things considered.  But she is exactly like me.  Things must be done her way on her timeline which means that, lately, everything takes twice as long.  She wants to climb into her carseat, but she can't quite reach.  She wants to sit on the big potty all by herself, but she can't quite reach.  She wants to do everything all by herself, but she can't. quite. reach.  Letting her try makes her frustrated, but helping her leads to yelling and kicking and that limp thing that toddlers do. 

Sometimes, I feel like anything I ask Cara to do will get an automatic "NO." 

"Let Mommy fix your hair."  "No, I have to brush my teeth!" 
"Ok, let's brush your teeth." "No, I have to fix my hair!" 

Kind of like that.  I hate how frustrated this makes me, and I really hate when I allow this frustration to manifest itself to my girl.  Daddy had to run a bit of interference this morning after Cara flipped out when I tried to wash her face.  I think I actually said something to the effect of "fine, go to school with boogers on your face." Really??  Who is the toddler here and who is the adult?  Thank goodness Daddy can remain adult-like.

So, we find ourselves snuggling a lot.  Because when Cara and Mommy have a battle of wills, we both end up sad.  Cara's usually sad because she didn't get her way, she didn't win, and Mommy's usually sad because she didn't show enough patience, she could have done better.  We both need those snuggles at that moment.  We need to comfort each other, love each other, forgive each other.

Man, this Mommy-gig is a tough one.

Feb 11, 2012

36 weeks

 When Cara says, "Take a picture with me, mom," we always oblige.

So, here we are at 36 weeks, one month to go.  I'm not gonna lie.  I'm tired, grumpy, and achy.  And a little loopy.  Yesterday, I took away what I thought was a rock from Cara.  She was licking it and putting it in and out of her mouth, and obviously, licking rocks is not allowed over here.  She immediately started crying and ran to find Daddy.  This is not an unusual reaction when one of us takes something away from her, but when PJ brought her back to me, she was crying "Mommy took my vitamin!"  Um...yeah.  That rock was actually a purple Flintstones vitamin.  Don't worry, I apologized. 

I think my maternity leave at work is pretty much taken care of, which is a nice feeling.  I should probably start writing some sub plans soon.  Like very soon.  I'm planning to go back to work for the last two weeks of school to take care of any issues that arise and close up shop.  It's only 11 days, and then I'll be out for the summer.  In my head, I keep telling myself that I'm actually off for five months minus 11 days.  It sounds good to me.  I'm really hoping that having a longer break before I really go back to my full time work schedule will help me avoid some of that pesky postpartum depression.  Plus, I have a slightly better idea of what expect this go around, although I freely admit that I have no idea what to expect from Cara.

In the meantime, all I want to do is crunch on ice and eat clementimes, which I suppose isn't so bad.  At least I'm not crunching on potato chips and eating candy bars all day long.  The ice thing is probably due to my iron levels, but I justify it by telling myself that it's keeping me hydrated.

We've made a little, tiny bit of progress in the nursery department.  I'll save that for another post, but it eases my mind a lot.  The crib might still be in a box, but at least it's in the house! :-)  I'm not sure if I'm making any progress in other ways (I head to the doctor this week for that...oh joy), but according to my instagram pictures, maybe things are in fact moving in the right direction.

34 weeks vs. 36 weeks

Feb 7, 2012

the haircut that (finally) was

This is what Cara thinks of haircuts, even the ones that take place in our kitchen.  She was crying and saying over and over "but I need long hair!"  This child thinks she is Rapunzel.

The scene in the kitchen.  I was holding Cara's hand, trying to talk her off the ledge, reassuring her that she would still have long, beautiful princess hair when we were finished.  Kaz worked some serious magic, especially considering that she was dealing with a wailing, wiggly toddler.

Full haircut recovery.  Hair still as gorgeous as ever.

Feb 3, 2012

random news

  • The level of foot swelling around these parts is borderline ridiculous.  My TOMS are pretty much the last pair of comfortable shoes that I have.  *sigh*
  • I met up with my two favorite girlfriends for dinner last night.  It had been a few weeks since our last girls' dinner, and they LAUGHED AT ME when they saw me.  Yes, my belly is that huge.
  • Cara has started pooping in the potty! (cue celebration music)  Is that TMI?  If you have ever potty-trained a child, then you know what a huge victory this is.  Huge.  Huge.
  • One of the moms at Cara's school handed her a birthday party invitation in an envelope today, and Cara said, "look, Mom!  It's my email!" 
  • We scored five hardback Dr. Suess books at TJ Maxx the other night.  I never realized exactly how hard it is to read Fox in Socks at any kind of normal speed.
  • Cara and I got have some quality girl time while Daddy was at Bible study one night this week.  We watched Sleeping Beauty in our jammies snuggled up under a fuzzy blanket.  Every now and then, she would look up and say "I a snuggly bear, Mom." 
  • Baby boy's name is set.  We told Cara our top three names, and she picked Colin.  So, Colin Gray Cooper it is.  So perfect.
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