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The BAR

23 Jun

I’ll just go ahead and say it. I hate the BAR exam. Yep.  Hate.  It.

I thought law school was bad, but the time between law school and the BAR exam is filled with studying, stress, anxiety, and frustration, and is far, far worse.

There is an insane amount of work that Joel has to do to get ready for the exam, and that leaves me to manage literally everything else. I know he has to do it, but I can’t help feeling like all I want to do is run away and disappear until the first of August when the exam is over.

I hate to be complain-y, but I’m just being honest. I’m completely overwhelmed with life right now. I’m teetering right on the edge of a breakdown. Just about every day.

Clara has started preschool, which is helpful to me.  She’s also potty training, which is probably going about as well as can be expected, but is still stressful.  She seems to really like school – every day they send home a little sheet telling me what they did and how she was.  Every day they check the boxes beside: chatty, energetic, happy, cooperative, and friendly.  Sounds pretty accurate.

Lucy is sweet as ever. She’s about to be mobile though, which I am totally not ready for. She can pretty much roll across the room in the blink of an eye if I put her down on the floor.  She’s a wonderful baby – happy and quiet most of the time.  Only fussing when she is tired or dirty.  And she’ll fall asleep almost immediately if you put her head in your armpit and gently hold her arms down.  Quirky, I know.

So, here we are in the middle of summer that doesn’t feel much like summer.  I mean, it’s hot outside and all, but summer is supposed to be for fun and play and vacation.  And we are having anything but that.

We are going to head to the beach for a few days soon, which will be nice.  But Joel will still have to be studying, so I don’t know how much of a break it will really be.  And after that, I am strongly considering going to my parents’ every weekend until the exam is over.  My mom and I want to do things like pick peaches, blueberries, tomatoes, and cucumbers… and then can them, making pickles, jam, salsa, etc.  I’ve wanted to do that for a while, so this seems like as good a reason as any to do it.  The kids will love to spend time with Gigi and Grandad, and we’ll have a fun activity to keep us busy.  Anyway, we’ll see.  I’ve got to get out of here though.

I’m trying to make a list of things I want to do after the BAR is over.  I plan on taking all kinds of classes and getting out of the house by myself some.  I want to take a pottery wheel class again – I still have all the tools from the first time I took it.  And I want to do some cooking/baking classes.  Who wants to join me?

So…

1 Feb

I’ve written about 5 blog posts in the past week and published none of them.  I’m beyond being cheerful or positive.  That’s your fair warning…

I’m past my due date, and I’m not happy about it in the least.  There is nothing that will mess with your head like going past the date you thought for sure you would have a baby… and still not having one.  I guess she is just really cozy in there.  At least one of us is comfortable… cause I’m certainly not.

Every muscle in my body is sore, especially the ones she is using her feet on like a meat tenderizer.  I’m having contractions, but they’re not regular or time-able.  I’m getting phone calls and texts from people asking if I’ve had that baby yet… I promise you, at this point, everyone will know when I have “that baby.”  The whole world will know.  People who really do not care… they will know, too.

I’m hungry, but I have no room to put any food in my stomach.  For lunch I just ate a half of a thing of $0.20 ramen noodle soup.  That’s all I can manage.  The upside to this is that I haven’t gained any weight in the last 3-4 months.  So I don’t dread the weigh-in part of my doctor appointments.  We have eaten out every day this week, which is ridiculous, but the thought of cooking, not being able to eat, and then having to clean up the dishes just makes me angry.

I went to the doctor yesterday.  The poor lady walked in and said, “Yaay!  It’s your due date! Congratulations!” To which I responded by bawling.  She was very understanding and helpful, and said she would schedule me for an induction in 7 days.  February 7.  She checked everything out and only a little progress since last week – but the baby is in -3 station, which is super low, and I could have told you that from the way it hurts anytime she moves, but whatever.  So the doctor went to go call the hospital at the end of my appointment and came back with the news that their induction schedule for next Thursday is full.  But you know, 80% of people go into labor before their induction date once they’ve been scheduled, and she would call me today to give me a time to be there once someone else delivered.  Awesome.

I’m running out of things to do.  I’ve been on walks.  I’ve shopped at Target.  I’ve painted.  I’ve cleaned.  I’ve done the laundry and (GASP!) put it all away about 3 times.  I’ve started my taxes.  I’ve watched everything on the DVR.  I’ve had lunch with friends.  I could, and probably should go clean the house again.  That is not happening.  So, to anyone who comes to visit me, just know that about 2 weeks ago, my house was spotless.  Bathrooms were sparkling.  Floors were mopped.  Clutter was gone.  Toys were put away.  That’s not what my house looks like anymore.  I won’t apologize for it, but just know that it WAS clean at one point.

I’ve spent hours on pinterest picking out recipes I won’t make for months, crafts I won’t do for years, plants I will probably never be able to find, and quilts I have no clue how to make.

In short… I’m done.  My poor family – I’m probably making them miserable.  So, now that I’ve had my pity party and made you miserable, too – maybe you can help me out.  If there’s actually anyone who still reads this blog because I am terrible at keeping it updated…. Leave me a funny story, a joke, something to make me smile…

I’m going to go buy myself flowers and chocolate or something dumb like that.

The post I wrote, but got deleted somehow

27 Sep

So, there was this day, about 3 weeks ago, where I went to the doctor.  We were having our anatomy ultrasound, so Joel was there with me.  Ultrasounds are always fun – you get a peek at the little creature that’s causing so much change and insanity.

We’d already had an ultrasound saying that we were having a boy, so we were just expecting confirmation of that, along with seeing the heart beating, moving around, and various other things.

So, you can imagine my shock when we were informed that we are, in fact, having a GIRL, not a boy.

I wrote a long and emotional post about my feelings on the matter a couple of days later, but when I went back to edit and publish it, it was gone.  Maybe that’s for the best.

Basically, I was a complete and total disaster for about 3 days.  Crying.  Sitting at my kitchen table crying.  By myself.  Because right after the ultrasound, Joel had to leave me, still at the doctor’s office, to go to class.

I should mention, I have a ton of great friends and neighbors.  My neighbor, Sarah, came over to sit with me for a few minutes and make sure I was ok.  And our neighbors Jodi and Todd brought over chocolate for me after seeing a facebook post about how I couldn’t find any in the whole house.  I am so appreciative of the people who care enough to do things like that.  Thank you guys.

It wouldn’t have been so much of a shock, and certainly not a disappointment, except that we had already been told it was a boy.  I had set some expectations.  I had the little boy with a personality, a face, plans for a nursery… well, you get it.  So, when all that was shattered, I was crushed.  I kept repeating to myself that the important thing is that she is healthy.  And it is.

I had several friends who, absolutely correctly, reminded me that whatever this baby ends up being, it’s exactly who God intended to be in our family.  They are right.  I knew that.  But my heart was having a hard time catching up with my head.  And, if I’m completely honest, it’s still getting there.  I’m sure that this little girl will be beautiful, adorable, precious, and just what we need.  But I’m not quite to the point of excitement that I was when I thought we were having a boy.  I will get there.

I suppose there’s a good case here for not finding out what you’re having.  Maybe we’ll go that route if we have another.  I guess we’ll figure that out later.

Anyway, there have been other things going on, too.

We had Clara’s 2nd birthday party last weekend, which meant a ton of family in town to help celebrate.  Cake baking.  Decorating.  Cleaning.  Busy-ness.  It was a Sesame Street themed party, which turned out perfect.  When my parents got in on Friday night, I had already baked and prepped the cakes and was just waiting for the icing tip my mom was bringing.  Once they arrived, I got busy creating Cookie Monster cupcakes and an Elmo cake.

 

 

 

 

Before they got there, Joel put together Clara’s present from my Grammy.  She got her a trike – which is awesome.  This late-night assembly project just reminded me that we have entered yet another new phase in our lives.  I call this one the put-together-complicated-toys-and-riding-devices-the-night-before-a-big-event phase.

The next morning, we put out the rest of the food.  Seriously, the easiest party food/decorations I’ve ever done.  Meet Oscar, Big Bird, and Grover!

 

 

 

  

 

 

The cupcakes were a huge hit with the kids, and the cake (my rum cake) was a big hit with the adults.  I call it a success when the kids recognize the characters on the cupcakes and the food table.  And aside from a crazy tantrum and swatting off half of Elmo’s face before we got to sing happy birthday, everything pretty much went off without a hitch.

 

 

 

Anyway, other things… let’s see… I’m still doing Crossfit, about twice a week.  I love it there.  They’re really good about making sure I don’t push myself too terribly hard, but still get a good workout.  I’ve definitely gotten slower, but I think about it like this: if I can finish a workout, I call that a victory.  I don’t know whether it’s just that this pregnancy is so very different or if the fact that I’m keeping so active has something to do with it (the opposite of what I did with Clara), but I’m feeling really good.  I’m 22 weeks and just have a small bump, which is weird to me, and people keep asking me if I’m sure I’m pregnant.  That’s a weird question.  Are you sure you’re pregnant?  Just think about that for a couple of seconds.  Yep.  I’m sure.  I don’t really know how to answer those people, but I guess they mean it as a compliment.  Strange.

We’re about 1/4 of the way through Joel’s last year of law school.  I can’t tell you how happy I will be to see him walk across that graduation stage.  I’m not sure that I’ll have words for it.  But I do know this, they should put my name and Clara’s name on that diploma, too.  There’s a lot of uncertainty about what will happen after the bar exam.  We’re not sure what the job market is going to be like – without getting too political, I’d be inclined to say it will have a lot to do with the outcome of November’s election.  If you happen to know someone who does federal law enforcement, works in a DA’s office, or works for the US Attorney’s office, I would love to talk to you.  Joel would love to work in one of those fields and he has a law enforcement background.  Right now, I feel like all I can do is pray, iron his dress shirts on interview days, make sure he has a hair cut before an interview, and pray some more that there would be some job for him after graduation and passing the bar.  I guess we will see…

Look out later today (or maybe tomorrow) for a birthday post.  Today is Clara’s real birthday, and we are taking her to the children’s museum, out to lunch, and to get a milkshake (because she drank half of the one I got last night and totally loved it).  I’m bringing my camera, so I should have lots of fun things to share.

Dear Clara – 21 months

15 Jun

Almost 2.  I think you think you’re already there.

You’re asserting your opinion and will at every possible opportunity.  Keeping yourself awake, waking up early, making yourself throw up, telling us what you want to eat, drink, or wear, how you’d like your hair, what activity you want to be doing.

You love to color – but really, I think you love to hold as many crayons in your hands as possible.  I end up doing most of the coloring.

You have started singing a lot.  It’s really fun to see that.  I used to make up songs and sing all the time when I was little, so it’s funny to see you doing the same thing.  Sometimes you just hum. Sometimes it’s the ABC song.  When we sing about the Itsy Bitsy Spider, or Patty Cake, or Twinkle Twinkle, you want to sing it over and over and over again.

You’re getting really good at your numbers and your ABCs.  Several times now I’ve heard you count from 7-15 getting all the right numbers.  Now we just have to work on 1-7.  Usually it goes a little something like this: 2, 3 6, 2, 4, 7, 5… etc.

You’ve figured out how to turn on and unlock my phone.  Well, you’ve been doing that for a while… but you know you’re not supposed to, so now you get this look on your face when you get ahold of my phone.  It kinda looks like you don’t have any teeth, the way you go “OH” and curl your lips inside your mouth.  Its kind of hilarious.

You can identify a circle, square, star, heart, and triangle – though you call it a “tri-bl-bl-bl-bl-bl.”  Makes me laugh every time.  I think you know most of your colors, though your favorites right now are blue and purple.  Every time I ask you what color something is, blue or purple is your first answer.  But if there are crayons laying on the table and I ask you to pick up the red one or the yellow one, you always get it right.  You can draw a circle and a straight line.

You still love Sesame Street, and will sit for almost the whole hour just completely transfixed.  Sometimes you’ll sing or dance along with the songs, and you always name each character that comes on screen.

You love books – especially Blue Hat, Green Hat, Hippos go Berserk, Not the Hippopotamus, There’s a Wocket in My Pocket, and The Going to Bed Book.

You’re speaking in full sentences almost all the time now, which still kinda trips me out.

We just started a gymnastics class this week.  Tuesday mornings you get to go run and jump and act crazy with about 15 other kids your age.  I thought it would get some of your energy out, but this week it just made you totally hyper.  I’m excited though, to see if it helps you learn how to follow directions a little better, and I can’t wait until you get the courage to start trying some of the activities the other kids are doing – balance beam, swinging on the bars, somersaults.  Should be fun!

We’ve been going to the gym pretty regularly again, and every time we turn the corner you get real excited because you get to see Miss Sandra.  She’s the one who hangs out with you while I work out, and she gets super excited to see you every time we go.  I am really thankful for Miss Sandra, because she just really likes you, and she makes it possible for me to go to the gym at all, since there’s not really childcare there.

We are going to plan some fun things to do together this summer.  I have one more wedding tomorrow, and then I get a bit of a break, which I’m very excited about.  We will have Saturdays to spend together as a family again!  At least for a little while.  I already know that we want to go to the Durham Farmers Market with Miss Heather and explore some of the fun places she’s found there.  Maybe we’ll do a few museums, too.  And the pool.  Hmm, the possibilities are endless!

You’re so tall now, too – you outgrow clothes faster than I can put you in them.  I went through all your clothes the other day, and everything in your drawers had to be put away in a bin to go to the attic – too small.  We really need to do some shopping, I think, or you’ll have nothing at all to wear!

Well, I’m sure there’s more, but nap time is almost over.

Dear Clara – 17 Months

1 Mar

Well, my munchkin, you’ve almost reached that giant milestone: The Year-And-A-Half.  One more month and you’ll be there.  Hard to believe.

You are so full of personality.  You make the most hilarious faces when we’re playing around.  And when you get mad… well, if looks could kill.

The other day, you fell asleep on my lap while we were watching the Food Network.  Alton Brown talking about peanuts apparently wasn’t too entertaining to you – but I don’t mind.  I enjoyed cuddling with you, and I can’t remember the last time you fell asleep in my arms.  It was sweet.

You’ve taken to growling whenever you see your stuffed lion or tiger.  And your new favorite thing is Elmo.  It’s kind of amazing how quickly you attached to him.  It must be something about the huge eyes, bright colors, and silly voice.  Cookie Monster is a close second, and I think Ernie is gaining ground as well.  You actually sit quietly for almost a whole hour when we watch Sesame Street.  We don’t watch it a lot, but usually you like to watch it in the morning while you eat your breakfast.  That’s cool.

When you get tired, oh man, you are hilarious.  You make silly noises and crack up at them, and walk around the room looking at the ceiling making silly faces.  I’m not sure what you’re doing, but it makes me laugh!

You’ve certainly mastered cause and effect… the other night I was giving you a bath, and you started splashing, so I jumped back and squealed and you cracked up.  After a while of doing that, you held out the bath crayon for me to help you write something on the wall, and as soon as I was close enough,  you started splashing again.  Little stinker.

You are trying to learn how to put on your coat, and you get really frustrated when you can’t figure it out.  I don’t know what we’re going to do when it gets really warm, because you seem to think that coats are a necessary accessory for leaving the house every single time.

You got some blocks for Christmas, and you still love playing with them.  At first it was to knock them down, but now you actually build towers, too.

That little spot on your head where you had surgery has healed up beautifully.  You can’t even tell it’s there unless you know already, and sometimes your Daddy and I even forget about it.

You have these super tight ringlets in the back of your hair, and the top is a bit of a looser curl.  I am never going to want to cut your hair.  It is long enough now for ponytails, but you don’t like to sit still for those.  You do, however, like it when I put little clips in your hair and you ask for them constantly, if only so you can pull them out and ask me to do it all over again.

I think you’ve outgrown all of your 18 month pajamas already – lengthwise.

You’ve started doing this funny little thing where you shrug your shoulder – just one of them.  I think you know that it’s cute.

You have a TON of words now – and probably more than I realize.  Sometimes you repeat the same thing over and over again, but I just can’t figure out what it means.  Favorites include: tree, house, home, car, truck, cup, fruit snacks (na nacks), grass, chair, turtle, lion (who is now named Yadi – your doing), elmo, cookie monster, ernie, off, on, go, bye bye, mine, and occasionally we’ll get a love you “wuv oo” and a thank you “tank oo.”

You remember people when they’re not here.  Every day when I get you up, you ask for your daddy.  And even people who you don’t see every day – you ask for your nani and papa and your grandad and gigi a lot.  We try to tell you where they are, but it’s hard because I don’t think you really get that, and all you want is to see them.  We’re going to have to start skyping and facetiming more often.

I’m pretty sure that you really grow inches at a time, and usually overnight.  I swear, sometimes you wear pajamas one night, and when I try to put them on you a few days later, they no longer fit.  What in the world!

I am so excited for this summer with you!  I’m planning lots of fun things for us to do together – going to the beach, swim lessons, field trips around Raleigh, and hopefully lots and lots of fun!

Well, my munchkin, there’s so much more to tell you – I think of things all day long, but when it comes time to write them down, I run out of time and I swear, every time I sit down to write this, you wake up from a nap, need a drink or a snack, or have a dirty diaper.  It’s kind of humorous actually.  But more than anything, I want you to know that we love you very very much.  I hope that you know that.  And I hope that your daddy and I are teaching you the right things to help you become the beautiful, caring, compassionate, loving girl that we know you can be.  We will definitely mess it up, I’m sure we have already, but hopefully you will cling to the good stuff.

January 08, 2012 at 08:43AM

8 Jan

1.8.12. Looking entirely too grown up. January 08, 2012 at 08:42AM

8 Jan

January 07, 2012 at 10:51AM

7 Jan

The city awaits…. January 07, 2012 at 10:51AM

7 Jan

Crazy Little Munchkin update

15 Dec

It has been a while since I’ve done a Clara update here, so I thought I’d write a few things down so I don’t forget.

– She is now wearing 18 month clothing.  Not because she needs the width… but she needs the length. Little munchkin is not so little anymore.
– There are these sweet little ringlet curls on the back of Clara’s head of hair.  I adore them, and I can only hope that they stick around for a while.  I’m a sucker for a blonde kid with curls.
– She’s still madly in love with Mr. Lion and Mr. Turtle.  They go everywhere with her.
– We are down to only using the binky in the crib.  When I get her up in the morning, I pick her up and tell her, “Binky stays in the crib.”  She will take it out of her mouth and drop in back in there.  Awesome.  Next, to get rid of it altogether.
– Dr. Seuss’s There’s a Wocket in my Pocket is her favorite book.  She particularly loves the page that says “Like the tellar and the nellar and the gellar and the dellar, and the bellar and the wellar and the zellar in the cellar!”
– She really loves knocking things over, and giggles inanely when she does.
– Outside.  That is where she wants to be.  She loves to run around and pick things up and try to eat sand, dirt, rocks, pinecones, acorns, or whatever other things she can find on the ground.
– Whenever we drive somewhere, she leans over so she can look out the front window from her car seat.  She really loves to see where we are going.  And often she will point at the other vehicles and say “car” or “truck.” She gets it right about 50% of the time.  And, in case you didn’t know, school buses are hilarious.
– She really loves the Frosty the Snowman song.  The other day we were in the car coming back from somewhere and she was freaking out in the back seat saying “boppy! Boppy!  BOPPY!!!” until Joel figured out that she was saying “Frosty.”  He asked her if she wanted me to sing that song, and she said yes and calmed down. So I sang it, and then all was right with the world again.
– Shoes are still a favorite.  She has taken to trying on my shoes and even Joel’s shoes.  It’s kind of hilarious.
– Also, she apparently has started to hide things.  I have yet to find her hiding spot.  Currently missing: 1 black glittery shoe.
– She has this little toy microphone that I got from Target’s dollar bin one day.  You know the kind – it echoes your voice and says for ages 3 and up (haven’t figured that one out yet).  But she absolutely LOVES it and walks around the house making crazy noises and singing.

– She knows the following body parts and can point them out: head, hair, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, chin, teeth, hands, fingers, belly button, belly, feet, toes.
– She is particularly interested in dogs, but only at a distance.  Our neighbors have some pretty cute little dogs, and she loves it when she sees them and gets all excited and wants to go over there.  But when we get there, she really doesn’t want to pet them.  When they come really close, she freaks out.  It’s kind of a hilarious little game.
– She still sticks that bottom lip out almost to the floor.
– She can make the animal noises for these animals: monkey, owl, birdie, duck, chicken, lion, bear, dog, cat… I feel like there are more, but I can’t remember right now.
– The word no now has more meaning to her.  And she has started to go after things she know she should have – and when we look at her, she wags her little finger at us and says, “nooooo!” Where did she learn the finger wagging??  I don’t think I do that….
– I would swear she is not my child if I didn’t give birth to her.  She is like her daddy in almost every way. A few people have told me in the past few weeks that she looks just like me.  But I’m convinced that’s just because they don’t know Joel.