Why I Need to Baby-Proof My Husband

Childproofing is a bitch.

We were pretty lax about it when we started because L didn’t seem to have much interest in things that weren’t HER things. Or, you know, my hair. So, we covered the outlets, and she figured out how to pull the little things out of the plugs and bring them to me. She unplugged all of the night lights. She seemed, not so much to want to play with the outlets themselves, but that anything that was in them should be brought straight to me. So, obviously, those little white plug things didn’t really help with anything. Really, the only thing that did any good was watching her round the clock so that she didn’t electrocute herself. We didn’t pad the corners of the tables and we didn’t put those SUPER ANNOYING plastic cabinet locks on everything because I found that she really only gets into the tupperware and, lets be honest, I doubt that a plastic bowl will be the cause of her first major injury. (We have them on SOME cabinets, but only the ones that contain any sort of cleaning chemicals and things of the like but I think that I actually have a harder time getting past them than she would. Parent-proof.) Then she started climbing on everything. Nothing is safe. How do you childproof for that? They don’t make a baby spray that repels babies away from dangerous things. You know, like that spray they make for pets that makes them not want to climb on/pee on things? (They really should develop this for babies. Because, aside from smearing peas on everything she could climb on, I can’t think of anything that would deter her.)

I can tell that I am going to have to, very soon, start re-evaluating this whole “baby-proofing” thing because Baby O is getting there. And by “getting there” I mean he is mobile enough to GET to things that are small enough to put in his mouth, however, not yet mobile enough to climb onto the dining room table and take a flying leap from it. And I have this feeling that it won’t be long before he will discover plugs. And cabinets. And…all sorts of potentially dangerous things…

Which brings me to my point: I can handle baby-proofing the house. Because I am home with the kids all day and I have developed a pretty good sense of what they can and WILL get into. I can see the little twinkle in their eyes when they see something intriguing. Like…anything that they can swallow and/or choke themselves with. I am getting SO good at spotting these things before they become an issue, you guys. SO GOOD. But I think I need to figure out how to childproof my husband.

MB seems completely oblivious to the fact that we have one kid who would love nothing more than for our entire house to be a climbing wall and another who would love for it to be made of tiny, brightly colored things that he can “taste”. So, he comes home from work, empties the day’s worth of tiny metal screws, nuts, and other weird stuff, pieces of wire, you name it, out of his pockets and onto a placemat on the kitchen table. We have a high table. No problem, right? Wrong, MB. You could not be more wrong. L can reach the place mat. She can reach it and she can pull it down, spilling tiny pieces of metal all over the kitchen floor. And even on my best day, I cannot guarantee that I got every speck of everything that has landed on the kitchen floor. So those little pieces travel into the living room. And become little potential killers of our baby. I tell him and I tell him and I tell him. And he cannot seem to wrap his head around the idea that he could just leave it in his work truck and then there would be no such issue.

I don’t know if this is a daddy thing or a parent who works outside the home thing or what…It just seems like none of this ever occurs to him. How can that be? After all the crazy he went about those stupid little plug things…

I googled “How to baby-proof your husband” but all I got was a bunch of relationship advice for new parents. Hell…maybe I should read that too? I am pretty sure killing your husband because he leaves tiny metal things all over the place isn’t the way to go…

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Lather, Rinse, Repeat

I don’t know if I mentioned to you, internet, that we finally got Baby L sleeping through the night. Alone. In her own room. It happened about two weeks ago, while MB wasn’t working and we were no longer willing to wake up 35 times per night to tend to one of the kids (Baby O is not really a problem but between the two of them, it was a little ridiculous). It started out pretty rocky. She hated me. She hated MB. And she cried like she was being murdered. But within two days of us being seriously adamant about her sleeping in her bed, she accepted her fate. She would sleep from 8 pm until around 6 am, usually waking once or twice, at most, and then NOT being a total asshole when we kissed her little forehead and laid her down again.

And that lasted TEN DAYS.

And then she became some sort of mutant baby. She went right back to screaming her head off, sometimes refusing FOR HOURS to nap and waking in the middle of the night and playing the “PUT ME IN YOUR BED” game for at least an hour until one of us gave in for the sake of our eardrums and our sanity, and let her sleep in our room. And two days ago, I almost ran away from home. To some place where no one interrupts your sleep.

With the schedule that MB is currently working, my day is starting earlier in order to be able to get the kids changed, fed and happy. You know, simultaneously. And with enough precision that no one is screaming first thing in the morning. For the most part, I am successful. But only if I time things perfectly. I spend all day just trying to keep the house in the same state it was in when I woke up. That state, you ask? Total disarray. But no more disarray at the end of the day than when I woke up. Because if it were any worse, I would feel like a complete failure. I follow Baby L around, cleaning up the remnants of the mini-tornado that she is, only to have another one created on the other side of the room as I do so. I diaper, feed, chase, rock, diaper, feed, rock, chase, clean, panic. Lather, rinse, repeat. All day. And then I bathe babies. And then I attempt a bedtime routine with Baby L as quickly as possible while Baby O is in his swing. HOPEFULLY resting quietly. Usually NOT. Because if there is ONE time of the day when Baby O is loud and pissed, it is when it is Baby L’s bath/bedtime. Once the fight about the lotioning and the tooth brushing is over, I put Baby L to bed. And usually, this isn’t so bad. Until that 3 am wake up call, which usually is as high-pitched and annoying as a pterodactyl, when I am ripped out of a semi-decent sleep (which is usually taking place on the couch) to calm her and start the process of getting her to sleep all over again. ALL OVER AGAIN.

I usually fail miserably at this.

And then I dump her into the bed with MB because I can’t take any more. And then Baby O wakes up. And I change him. And then I feed him. And then I put HIM back to sleep. And then, if I am lucky, I can sleep for another hour before MB wakes up and leaves for work. Again. Abandoning me with angry, demanding little people who are out for blood. The blood of Mommy.

I’m not complaining, internet. Well, maybe a little. But mostly just because it is really hard NOT to complain when you haven’t slept in your bed in weeks and you can’t remember if you brushed your teeth this morning. Come to think of it, you can’t remember if you brushed your teeth last night either. And when it is hard to tell if your husband is at work…or if he has moved out…

I really still do love being home with the kids. Because, even though they can be monsters, they are MY monsters and I MADE them. And they are beautiful and funny and seriously entertaining and I love them to pieces.

I just wish they came with pause buttons. Or, I like, I could put them on vibrate.

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35 Weeks and a Reminder of Things to Come

Last night, I decided to stay up a little later than usual to get some “me time” and watch a little “SVU” and play Candy Crush Saga (you might be familiar and if you are, you know that playing this game might as well be a full time job and that it will take over your whole life if you let it) so that I didn’t go completely insane from all the baby-chasing I’ve been doing. So, I took an hour. I relaxed. I watched some good TV drama and I headed to bed. And then, as I was lying down next to my snoring hubby, it hit me.

I have to deliver a fucking baby again. In, like, FIVE weeks. And I don’t want to deliver a baby, you guys. I know, I know. I have done this before. And I rocked it. But I also REMEMBER it. So, that whole, having experienced it thing? Not such a comfort. I am not necessarily scared. But I am not necessarily NOT scared either. I don’t want to vomit into that weird green container again. And I don’t want to spend 22 hours sleeping in 4 minute increments between contractions. And I don’t want to eat nothing but ice chips (which will make me vomit MORE).

I started having these horrible flashbacks of gushing water and hospital beds. And pitocin. And nurses who made me want to break things. (Namely, their faces.) And I guess this has all started to set in now because I usually am so preoccupied with trying to lasso Baby L into standing still for 45 seconds so that I can hoist my fat ass off of the floor that I forget that I am actually going to have to DO THIS THING. The fact that I have to hoist my fat ass off of the floor in the first place is somewhat of a reminder, but it is fleeting. Because I have a 25 pound outside-the-body baby to attend to.

But, I have definitely entered crunch time. I have also definitely realized, despite having just done this less than a year ago and knowing what to expect, I am totally not ready for this new meatloaf. I don’t have my bag packed. I don’t have a plan on what to do with Baby L when I am in the hospital (besides, you know, freaking out that she won’t be with me for SEVERAL DAYS! What the hell will I do?!). I haven’t toured this hospital that I have to deliver in. I don’t even know where the maternity unit IS. I need to get ON this, internet. I need a big slap in the face and a “GET IT TOGETHER, WOMAN!”

First, I’m going to have a cup of coffee.

Until I return, if you need a refresher on my first birthing experience, you can read it all here, here and here.

A Happy Lack of Monkeys (Party Time!)

So…now that the sprinkle is over and the dust has settled from all the crazy of the move and the party and the finally coming to terms with being a pregnant lady again, it is time to start planning Baby L’s first birthday party. Which will take place in exactly 26 days. TWENTY-SIX DAYS, you guys! Are you paying attention? That means that in less than ONE MONTH, I am going to have a ONE-YEAR-OLD.

 

Oh. My. GOD.

 

I have to admit, I am not even sure where to start. I mean, we are obviously, being that we are a single-income household and everything, on a budget and not able to hire performers or rent a bounce house. (Which, let’s face it, I am terrified of anyway…and no, I am not going to get into the story about how one time, after too much Patron, I almost died in a bounce house…because this is a family blog, for fuck’s sake.) I know that I want a totally rad cake (which I am hoping to get from this lady, here, because she is an old friend and she makes some pretty fancy-pants cakes, these days). Said cake will obviously involve owls. Because I love them. And because if I let Baby L pick, it would probably be a monkey theme. And I strongly dislike monkeys. (And no, I won’t get into why. Because it involves poop-slinging. Because most stories involving monkeys, evidently, DO involve poop-slinging. I am not a fan.) I also know that we are going to have the party in our giant back yard. Which means that I am thinking that we should keep the food simple and able to be cooked OUTSIDE. (You know, and preggo-lady friendly. BURGERS AND HOT DOGS…YES.) Because I am pretty sure that, at 9+ months pregnant, I am not going to want to clean up the kitchen. Because, I can tell you, I did an event page on Facebook for the party and invited 50 people and many, many more family members do not have Facebook accounts. (In fairness, a bunch of these people live very far away and will not attend, but I felt the need to invite them anyway…) So, I’ll be damned if I am going to cook things. Like, in my house. Like, that I have to clean up later. Oh hells no.

But I am overwhelmed thinking about decorations and favors and things like that. And how much food to buy. And, holy god, why can’t I be craftier so that I can just make some awesomeness?! WHY!?

So, I ask you, interweb, do you know of any good places to get unique and supremely awesome party stuff? Better yet, any supremely awesome owl themed birthday stuff?

 

 

The Countdown has Begun

So, I’ve made it to week 33. And we have already established that I feel gigantic. And you can probably tell that I am over this whole being pregnant thing, that I have been doing for the last two freaking years. (Here is a little glimpse into 33 weeks during the LAST TIME…)

I am tired. Overwhelmed. Crampy. Irritated. Irrational. Impatient. You know, all of those things that will likely get worse in the next 7 weeks until this whole thing is over and I get to see our new meatloaf.

But I am hanging in there. I had a checkup yesterday and, it appears, I am stellar at being pregnant. My bloodwork is always perfect, my blood pressure, better than it ever was before pregnancy and I have gained a total of only 11 pounds. (Which some of my friends seem to think makes me some kind of freak. But let me assure you, this lady doesn’t go ONE DAY without a bowl of ice cream and a ferocious chocolate craving. And yesterday, to celebrate my 1 pound gain in the last 5 weeks, I had a McDouble. And some pizza. AND THEN ICE CREAM.) Baby O’s heartbeat sounds glorious and he moves around much like his sister did at this point. Only he isn’t quite as intent on actually hurting me. The doc says “boys are lazy” so exerting themselves that much is more of an annoyance. Which is a nice change of pace considering that Baby L, I’m convinced, might have been trying to somehow turn me inside out. But now she is on the outside. Kicking the shit out of me from a whole different direction. Good times.

I know that, at this point, it probably should have totally sunken in that I am about to have a baby. And some days, I can totally get all excited about nibbling on his tiny toes and smelling the top of his head (something that I still do to Baby L CONSTANTLY) but most days it just seems too surreal. I am SO excited about the prospect of not being pregnant anymore that sometimes I get happier about THAT part than the actual little munchkin that I am currently cooking. (Yesterday, I was sitting here thinking that after this seven weeks is over, I will never have to be pregnant again. And I literally started to cry like a total basketcase because I was so excited to feel normal again. My husband thought this was hysterically funny. But that is because he doesn’t have a uterus and has NO IDEA how much this body has gone through and how desperate I am to just feel like ONE person. Not a person growing another person, holding another person on her hip. Ugggghhhh.) But then, you know, reality sets in and I remember that yes, soon I will be UN-pregnant (empty) again and it will be so nice to have a glass of white wine. But then I will scarcely have time to drink said wine because I will be cleaning up spit up. And making bottles. And changing newborn diapers. And then I just don’t know how to feel anymore. Because I want this pregnancy to be over, but holy crap, I don’t think I am ready for this yet.

I guess these next weeks will be my prep time. I am really going to have to get READY for this. Like, mentally prepare myself for what is about to take place. I just really don’t even know where to begin. I mean, I don’t even know what things to buy! Like, since I have two kids, do I need two baby monitors? That might sound like an idiotic thing to panic about. But I am really, REALLY good at panic. So, I tend to do what I know.

I’m gonna try and get a handle on that. I swear.

An Open Letter to Baby L at 11 Months (Holy SHIT!)

Dear Lilah,

Tomorrow, you will be eleven months old. I can’t really wrap my head around how this has happened. I feel as though I just brought you home from the hospital. And you were all tiny and resembling an alien. (I can say that, because I am your mom and really, all newborns look sort of like aliens.) Your dad and I were looking at pictures yesterday of the day that we brought you home and I was so amazed at how much you have grown and turned, from my little meatloaf, into an honest-to-goodness person. Like, with a personality. And likes and dislikes. And a VOICE. Because, holy cow, do you like to use your voice. You are so beautiful and REAL and perfect and I can’t imagine my life without you. Even if you are a pain in the ass when it is time for you to sleep. Or for me to sleep. Or, like, if someone in the neighborhood is trying to sleep. (You have a serious grudge against sleeping. Which I may or may not have mentioned to you before.)

You have eight teeth now (possibly nine, but I will be DAMNED if I try to stick my fingers in your mouth right now as you have discovered, and seem to have an affinity for, BITING) and you like to eat. Like, more than anything EVER. You love puffs, and lil’ crunchies and pears and bananas and grapes, strawberries and paper towels. (You know, because they are totally delicious when covered in all the aforementioned fruits that I have just wiped from your face, hands and feet…) It cracks me up that you are JUST about as finicky as your dad is when it comes to food. (Meaning, simply, you don’t like peas. The end.) You will eat just about anything that gets close enough to your mouth. And you have the cheeks to prove it. Let me tell ya, little lady.

Just the other day, I was telling a friend of mine (who had one of her daughters just six days after you were born) that you have absolutely no desire to figure out your walker (or be placed in any other freestanding contraption, these days) and that you will allow me to place you into it. But that you will then stare at me with those sad little eyes and start to cry, because, “MOM! THIS THING DOESN”T DO ANYTHING!” and then I usually give you a little nudge and you like that until you realize that, in order to keep the momentum, you have to actually MOVE your chubby little legs. And then you get pissed again. SO, needless to say, the walker has not been a favorite of mine. But yesterday, after explaining this to said friend, I thought I might give it another try. You know, because I am a glutton for punishment. So I put you inside the walker. And you didn’t get upset. But you also didn’t move. You shifted your attention to Rachel Ray on TV (I think she was making some sort of buffalo chicken deliciousness, which explains why you were so interested) and seemed not to mind that I was actually DOING something on the laptop. (You hate it when I touch ANY electronic devices that you cannot pound on or throw on the ground.) I called to you a couple of times from across the room. And I even planted by gigantic, pregnant ass on the hardwood floor to possibly coerce you to come to me. And you didn’t. And you didn’t. And you didn’t.

Until you DID.

And then you attacked. And you rolled over my toes while I was trying to stand up and make room for you to roll about. Then you took a giant crap (which seemed to please you immensely), and then you knocked over about 50 XBOX games and broke the tower that they used to reside in. But, I wasn’t mad, my dear. In fact, I was so proud that I started to cry. Of course, at first it was pride that made me cry. And then I realized that, in order to remedy the mess that you had just made, I would not only have to deal with poop, but I would have to get back down onto the floor again. And I don’t know if you know, but I am 33 weeks pregnant today. And mommy doesn’t enjoy the floor. But you got the hang of it, and I was proud. And then it took me 35 minutes to get up.

You have also started to wake up at ungodly hours of the night and insist upon playtime. No one is a fan of this. Except for you. I am having a hard time adjusting to waking up at 3 and then playing until 5 and then you sleeping until 10. As much as I have wished to sleep until ten, this is not exactly what I had in mind. I hope that you stop this soon.

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This face made cleaning up that garlic butter disgustingness totally worth it.

Tonight, you noshed on a breadstick. I gave it to you against my better judgment, but it turned out to be pretty hilarious and I am glad that you enjoyed yourself. You know, I WAS glad, until I had to clean you up. And you were covered in buttery garlic mess. That was not so much fun. And I just found some of this mess behind my ear. So, there’s also that.

All in all, you are a lot of fun. And you keep your father and I laughing all the time. And, you know, we love you despite your non-sleeping, mess-making, toe-breaking antics. Because we made you. And because you are, quite possibly, the cutest, most amazing little girl I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Nay. You just ARE. You rock our faces off and we are excited about, next month, celebrating keeping you alive for an entire year. Because that, little one, is a big freaking deal for us. And you, I guess. Because, well…you’re the one who was in danger. After all, you got US as parents. But we are doing a damn fine job making you into all kinds of awesome. At least, I like to THINK we are helping with that. But it could just be all you. Whatever. You are one cool kiddo. And I ain’t afraid to say it.

Next month, when I write your ONE YEAR OLD letter, I will probably be a blubbering mess. And. for that, I will go ahead and apologize now. But hopefully, you will forgive me because you will see that it isn’t just the pregnancy hormones, but the fact that you are the best thing that has ever happened to me and I appreciate every miniscule thing that you do. Because you are my reason for getting up every morning. (Partially because if I didn’t get up, you would continue to pull my hair or kick me in the kidney.)

I love you, kiddo. I love you more than these letters will ever tell you.

Happy Eleven Months!

Love,

Mom

Sprinkling

So, that was pretty painless…

Yesterday was the “Sprinkle” for Baby O. I have to say, I was a little nervous about having another party for, yet another, baby. Because, you know, I didn’t want to seem greedy or like I have no desire to see people unless they are bringing me diapers or whatever. But, after a lot of thought about it, I was convinced that, since I don’t need a crib (already have it!) or a swing (check!) or any of the big stuff that you register for when you have your first baby, a “sprinkle” would be an acceptable kind of party. I didn’t register. And I honestly didn’t really even expect gifts. I just wanted to get some of my favorite people all in one place to see this gigantic belly-saurus-rex (because this is the last fucking time this is happening to me and that is ALL I have to say about that…) before it is all over. And, you know, this time I was a much better sport and I even encouraged beer drinking (not for the other two preggos who attended, though…duh.) because, I have accepted my fate as a non-drinker. Because I haven’t been able to enjoy cocktails, and I mean REALLY enjoy cocktails, in over a year. Because I am always pregnant. Because my husband has super human sperm that are, evidently, resistant to every kind of birth control known to man. Even when all of them are used simultaneously. But I digress…

Anyway, there was beer. And I coveted it. But not like I did last year at my shower. Not at all like that. There were munchies and there was BEAUTIFUL weather and there were good friends and I wasn’t the only one growing a baby. And I was happy. And now I am staring at a stack of boxes of diapers nearly as tall as I am and I am remembering that feeling of, “HOLY SHITBALLS. I’m about to expel a person from my body” Only this time, it is more like, “HOLY SHITBALLS. WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING?!” And it still doesn’t seem real. At least, not most of the time. Until there is a foot in my ribs. Then shit gets REALLY real. My due date is just under two months away. And it is surreal.

On the one hand, I can’t wait to see Baby O’s face and kiss his little toes. And on the other hand, I wish I could just take a month break from being pregnant, enjoy some un-pregnant lady sleep and some adult beverages and then go back to this after I have thoroughly prepared myself for what is about to go down. Because, internet, some serious MOTHERHOOD is about to take place on this here bloggy thang…FOR REALS. The sprinkle just made it seem like the beginning of the end. Which is great, because pregnancy SUCKS a whole lot of ASS but terrifying because if I am not pregnant, that means that there will be another CHILD. One who will only sleep two hours at a time and will spit up on me 74 times per day and make me smell horrible and behave like a mom zombie for the next several months. One who will care less than Baby L does about how exhausted I am or how long it has been since I have had a shower. (Not a baby shower, though, because I have those at least weekly, it seems…)

All in all, though, I am really glad we had the party. Mostly because, even though I am acutely aware that this baby is surely happening, moreso now than before the party, I got to spend some time with some really great people. And, you know, they brought diapers and didn’t at all seem to think I was a greedy bitch for having another party. (Thanks, guys. You really do rock my face off…)