87 degrees, 28 weeks pregnant

--Day 1--

Thought Process:  Our air isn't working.  Oh well!  We'll get it fixed soon, I'm sure. I am brave and not high maintenance and kind of like a pregnant Wonder Woman and this is no big deal!  Wheee!

How I spend my day:  Moving furniture and doing laundry and cooking things in the oven.

--Day 2--

Thought Process: Okay, it's kind of cute that Luke thinks we can fix this ourselves.  He will come around! He will see how hot it gets tonight when our old windows won't open!.  Ha!  He is so funny and makes me laugh.

How I spend my day:  Out running errands so I can ignore the problem.  Come home briefly, and then leave again in search of an Icee.

--Day 3--

Thought Process: Seriously Luke?  Seriously?  Can I call someone to come fix this now?  I know you think you can fix it yourself, but you cannot.  You are an arborist not a heating and cooling guy. THIS REMINDS ME OF LIVING IN A DORM AND I AM NOT A TEENAGER ANYMORE.  I am pregnant and miserable and please excuse me, I am going to cry. 

How I spend my day:  At Target purchasing maternity swimsuit and cherry Icee, followed by a few hours on the deck in baby pool full of cold water.  At nighttime I sleep three non-consecutive hours with a large fan that just isn't cutting it.  It gets down to 70 outside, but our house refuses to drop below 81.

--Day 4--

Thought Process:  Okay, finally making the appropriate calls, ho hum, it's going to get fixed!!! Oh... wait.  No one can come fix it until next week?  Is this a joke?  Should I play the pregnant card and try to speed things up?

How I spend my day:  Trying really hard not to get a ticket from the drama police.  And trying to laugh about the situation.  And eating a lot of ice cream.  This is the plan, anyway.  It is only 11am.

Now here are some cute photos of our time outside to offset the complaining.





arrest this woman

Have you ever noticed that I tag some of my posts with "drama police"?  Have you wondered what it meant?

Often when I am acting emotional or overreacting about something or needlessly fretting, Luke cuts me off and starts singing, "dra-ma po-lice, arrest this wo-man..." to the tune of "Karma Police" into a fake microphone in his hand.  I would imagine some wives would not appreciate this, but I laugh every time.  This is how he jokes.  And I need a dose of reality injected into whatever I am all flustered about.

I have had a lot of "drama police" type posts lately.  And "drama police" type feelings. I am going to go ahead and blame the almost-28 weeks of pregnancy. It is wearing me out to feel things this much.  I am remembering what it felt like to be a teenager. (UNSTABLE.)

Today during a "drama police" moment where I was crying because of the food all over the floor and something else I can't remember, we put the kids in the car and went for a little drive.  Luke didn't tell me where we were going, but after Clark and Alice fell asleep he drove us to my favorite thrift store and told me to go inside and take my time.  And it was the Saturday Madness 48¢ Sale so, you know, I could GO TO TOWN.

I filled my arms with vintage children's books and commemorative Apollo 13 drinking glasses and pillow cases and (angels singing) the perfect lampshade for a lamp I purchased at this same thrift store like eight months ago. I was so worked up when I found the lampshade that I couldn't help smiling like an idiot.  I know.  My life is a ball of excitement.  BUT LOOK AT IT!  It is old and has pom-poms and dotted swiss and subtle lace and it was 48¢. I think I felt the same coy smiley way eight months ago when I found the lamp, even though the little German guy is missing his guitar and the cat's tail falls off all the time.


(I'm not sure this photo captures the charm of the lamp/shade combo, but I promise, it's cute and fun and the kids like to rock the knitting rocking-chair lady back and forth and it is perfect for a baby girl's room.)

I love my husband for a lot of reasons.

I love that he knows what cheers me up (lucky for him it is cheap crap from the Salvation Army).

I love that he ran out and got me two takeout entrees from Thai Cafe last night and I got to eat them for three meals and two snacks.

I love that he knows how to make fun of me in a way that makes me laugh at myself.
He tells it like it is. 
I guess sometimes I do too.

(This is what you get when you mess with us*)

*I had to edit and add this disclosure just in case someone out there doesn't know the song -- this is a line from "Karma Police", not like a threat. Okay I feel better now. Phew.


trinkets and garbage

First of all, thank you so much for your encouraging comments yesterday.  Gretchen hit the nail on the head when she said, "some days just transcend the word bad."  Yes.  That is what happened.

When I was a teenager and full of teenager turmoil I had this reoccurring image in my head, an image of a room.  It was so vivid it was suffocating and I can picture it, even now. It was a room that was dark and crowded and filled with sharp and burning things.  There wasn't an easy exit; there was nowhere to turn that wasn't painful.  When I would get upset, I could picture myself in this room turning around and around looking for a path.  There wasn't one.  There was one safe chair and I would sit back down, knowing I was going to be stuck there in that safe-chair for awhile.  I was stuck in that room and that chair for years. 

Yesterday morning was truly terrible. I don't like to admit to myself or anyone else that I have really bad mom days because I don't like to dwell on them.  I like to get my act together and tra-la-la along.  I fast forward through the hard parts of what I do everyday and focus on the many wonderful parts. I do not do this to fake people or myself out.  I do it because I am not in that chair in that dark room anymore. I am in a different room full of pretty things and tangible love and sunny lemonade air and I like it here.

But still.  Yesterday.  It was terrible. 

One thing after another led to a perfect storm of frustration and lots of tears.  I tried to fix things.  I tried praying, I tried hiding in Clark's bed for a few minutes, I tried taking the kids outside. Each move led to a new bigger problem and the volume on the wailing and whining kept increasing. After a few hours I truly felt that I was undergoing some kind of torture and found myself yelling back at my three year old in a voice I have never used before, a voice that scared my one year old and made her cry and then made me cry.  I was done.  D-O-N-E done.

It was the very lowest low I have felt in the three and a half years I have been a mom.

I have never before felt that bad about myself and my ability to be in charge of these babies and run a house and keep up with everything and do a good job.  I felt like a giant red flashing failure.  A giant red flashing failure who is having another baby in 13 weeks.

And then an image popped into my head.  I felt myself spontaneously visualizing it and then it came clearly into focus. I remembered the room image that I couldn't chase away as a teenager and this felt just like that.  Except it wasn't a room.  It was a big heap of clay, like modeling clay or something. It was filled with garbage and trinkets and junk.  I could see it there in my mind, clear as a photo, and I somehow felt it was me and I was that stuff, all of it, trinkets and garbage and clay.  I prayed again and asked God to help me get all of my junk sorted out. I know He knew what I meant.


not so much

Forget what I said yesterday.  They aren't all so dreamy. 
Today is not the kind of day I want to remember.  I don't even want to remember it ten minutes from now.
I am going to put my kids in their carseats now and drive somewhere, anywhere.
That's all.


(and it is a really good movie)

Alice love love loves to draw and color.

She concentrates really hard and talks to herself while she fills her coloring books and her regular books and my regular books and our utility bills with "words" and circles and lines and oh my gosh, EVERYTHING IN MY HOUSE LOOKS LIKE THIS:


She'll be 21 months old tomorrow and I am 27 weeks pregnant and I really hope these months don't all blur together later like a really good movie with a plot I can't remember.

(She also loves Minnie Mouse and "Go, Dog. Go" and her big brother and she calls her pants "mants" and candy "nandy" and herself "Had-is" and answers yes or no questions with either, "Uh-huh" or "No way".  She has been using the potty for three months because I let her have a jellybean every time.  She is very motivated by nandy.)



so much more

Oh, pregnancy.  I've settled into it deep.  It isn't new and it isn't almost over.  It's just thick and normal and it sits in my mind, a default mental state of anticipation.  It takes over during quiet moments and buzzes louder and louder until someone asks me for help fastening their shoe or hair clip or superhero cape, interrupting the chatter in my head.

I've done this enough times to observe that I am going through a process. The questions that I keep asking myself (the who and when and how kind of questions) can't be answered -- not by my midwife, not by my mom, not by Google -- but I recognize now that asking them helps me feel ready, mentally, to labor, to deliver a baby, and to make a space in our family for someone we don't know yet.

I have stood in completed nurseries in other years, listening to the same buzzing, touching tiny blue and pink things, and trying to stretch my brain big enough to see into my stomach and glimpse the person who would live in that baby-room and wear that baby-stuff.  Of course it didn't work.  Clark and Alice were and are so much more than what I saw or felt or dreamed during those days.  I had a suspicion when I first saw their faces, and they keep proving it more and more with every passing day and every bit of unique complex personality that emerges.



I am stretching my brain again, grasping for invisible clues to what this boy will be like.  Fourteen weeks to go.



if i have to get fired, i'd rather it be from blogging than from my other job

If I read one more blog post where a blogger I like suddenly interrupts regular programming to tell other bloggers they need to blog every day and interact in a certain way or spend exactly 41% of your online time on twitter blah blah blah OR ELSE YOU WILL BE FIRED FROM BLOGGING OR UNSUBSCRIBED FROM IN DROVES OR SOMETHING I will pull all of my hair out. I get that you are trying to be helpful, but it isn't helpful to me.  It just stresses me out. 

I am really really glad that many others seem to be able to write every single day because I love reading what you all have to say.  I do.  I read your posts on my iPod while I'm doing other things and I love them and laugh and smile and wish I had time to comment on them all.

I especially love my readers and wish I could leave you all super special comments that make you feel like you just got the biggest hug ever, every day.  I REALLY wish it.  I feel guilty that I am not able to do it.  Not being able to do that all the time (or even more than once in a blue moon) is the thing I like the least about blogging. My readers and the comments you leave me?  You matter to me.  You make this worth doing. I want to make sure you know that.

(Example: I just spent a great deal of time thinking about Chocolate Girl and how she is running the mini-marathon in my town this weekend and how I hope she has a great experience but will probably not ever get to leave her a comment indicating that I am even aware of this information because instead I have to vacuum up the broken bath bomb Clark crumbled all over his room and the living room and my bed.)

My kids are three years old and 20 months old and soon I will have THREE kids ages three and under.    Most mornings when I wake up, I pray and ask God to give me the energy to get everything necessary done.  It's a blissful job, but it takes every second of my time and every ounce of my energy.  (And a lot of prayers asking for said energy. Also, coffee.) I generally do not use the computer during the day. I just broke this rule and wrote the first half of this post while my kids took a bath.  It ended with four clean towels soaking in the bathtub and water splashed all over my laptop. I am sure there are others that are able to balance a clean house and hot meals and writing and commenting every day, but I can't right now.  My kids are too little.  My house is too small.  My belly is too big.

You will not see me rant very often because it is generally not my style and besides I like you all and don't want to piss you off, but please stop telling me how to blog or at least reconsider how you are wording your advice.  It makes me (and I'm sure many of your readers) feel like huge jerks.  If you only want to subscribe to bloggers who post every single day,then go ahead and unsubscribe from me right this second. THIS is how I blog. It's for the best.  Trust me.

And you?  You can blog HOWEVER YOU WANT.  I am just glad you're doing it and I get to read what you have to say.

Okay, now let's all hug it out.


The end.

Now I will get my naked kids dressed and wash and dry the four soaking wet towels and make lunch and clean up from lunch and vacuum up the bath bomb and hopefully find Clark's missing shoes and chase the kids into the car so we can go to the grocery store where I will be given weird looks and lots of "wow you have your hands full comments" and both kids will probably decide to poop on the potty at the grocery store, because you know.  I will get out of the store with a few groceries to get us through the weekend but will forget half of them and at least one thing purchased will be something different than what I thought it was when I put it in my cart.  Like toothpaste with weird mouthwash beads.  I may also discover I purchased something one of my kids put into the cart, like a $6 glitter ball. I will lift my 38 pound son and 30 pound daughter back into their carseats and get more comments about how I have my hands full from strangers who are watching.  I will buckle the kids in and Clark will be mad about something and Alice will fall asleep. I'll try to do the elusive car-to-bed transfer but we all know that never works and instead she will just be grouchy for the rest of the day. I will put the groceries away and make dinner and then it will be the weekend, I suppose.  TGIF or something.  And they and this life are so so worth it.  And I know all of you with kids know exactly what I mean.




on second thought (part one)

When Liberty of London debuted their stuff at Target a couple months ago, I was not wowed.  In fact, I think I said something like, "oh the color palettes are so tacky, it's not the classic Liberty look that I expected."  I said it in my snobbiest voice like a big jerky know-it-all with superior taste.  I gave most of the displays (especially big ticket items like bedding) my best skeptical face as I passed them. And passed them.  And passed them.  I go to Target a lot.  There was a lot of face-making and stuff-passing.

So, um, guess what?

(blush blush blush)

Over the last two days, I've spent hours driving my snobby self to three different Target locations, scrounging through the very last bit of Liberty inventory in and around the city, hoping to scrap together a bedding set.

I know! I know.

I am not sure what happened in my brain exactly, but as I stared at my bedroom on Sunday trying to figure out what needed to change, I thought of the (blue/black/white/off-white/yellow) wavy floral quilt and it all clicked. The color palette (ha, I know) would be kind of perfect in our blue/black/white/cold/blah bedroom, I thought to myself.  I thought about it some more.  I maybe sort of liked this new idea.  I maybe sort of liked the quilt?

So here we are, three days and lots of gas and a depleted gift card later. The bedding is on the bed.  I love it and stroke the quilt happily (and maybe a little crazily) and leave our bedroom door open all the time so I can peek at it and smile. The coziness in the room went up about six levels. This change of heart was for the best.  Never say never, you know?

I feel very much like a little kid who has just learned a lesson.  Or relearned a lesson.  I've learned this one before. 

(Part two is not about stuff you buy at the store but it is about how I changed my mind about something.  I will write it out tomorrow.)

(PS. Target is in no way paying me to mention them, TRUST ME.)

(PPS.  I actually warmed up to some other items first, like (ha!) the bag featured so prominently in my blog header.  And a wallet.  And a dress for Alice.  BUT I continued to evil-eye the other stuff, I swear.  Especially the bedding.  Dirty looks were cast toward it until the bitter game-changing end.)