Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Ovary Ovation #AtoZChallenge

I'm participating in the Blogging from A-Z Challenge again this year. Today's post is brought to you by the letter O.


I have been lucky to have had my ovaries function 3 times and each time, the human they helped create was healthy and beautiful and cooked to perfection.  Today was the first really clear look we got at Sawyer's handsome face and it got me thinking about my girls and what they looked like in their 4D ultrasounds.  With Trin, the technology was very new and they only used it for high risk pregnancies.  Fortunately I wasn't high risk, but I got one anyway because the tech couldn't get a clear picture of all the ventricles of her heart with the normal ultrasound machine.  By the time I was pregnant with Presley, 4D ultrasounds were commonplace.  

Trinity in utero. Such a petite little thing!

Presley in utero. She had such a grumpy, squishy little face.
Sawyer in utero. He was practicing breathing in the 2nd picutre. It was really cool to watch on the screen.

Give these ovaries a hand, people! They do good work!!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Nesting #AtoZChallenge

I'm participating in the Blogging from A-Z Challenge again this year. Today's post is brought to you by the letter N.


Most pregnant women can tell you a zillion stories about the nesting instinct and just how insane it can be when it hits.  I nested with Trinity, but with an unhelpful husband and extremely limited budget, it didn't go very far.  Not to mention, we were renting a duplex and couldn't do anything major.  So I hung a few pictures and called it a day.  With Presley, we were literally shoulders-deep in boxes of our stuff mixed with my mother-in-law's stuff, trying to just make a path to the bathroom most days.  That frantic urge to clean and organize never came, and the idea of decorating was almost laughable.  But, just like "they" always say, every pregnancy is different.  As I enter the 3rd trimester, the urge to nest has taken hold...BIG TIME!  Though our budget is still an issue, I'm finding ways to make things work and at least try to appease the little domestic goddess within. 

As I've posted about before, we recently replaced all 13 windows and 2 sliding glass doors in our house.  This was something that was more out of neccessity than it was vanity.  (A $700 electric bill was all the motivation we needed.)  The fairly simple act of swapping out 1970s era aluminum frame windows for something modern and functional lit a fire under my tush.  I promptly made a list of projects I absolutely want to finish before Sawyer gets here, or before I get too large to accomplish anything.

First on the list is the laundry room.  The floor desperately needed replaced, so once that was done, I set my sights on window treatments.  There are a zillion and one different diy no-sew curtain tutorials online, so pinterest became my best friend.  A little fabric, adhesive, and hooks turned into some fairly decent little cafe curtains made by yours truly.  Martha Stewart would probably balk, but I'm happy with how they turned out. 

I've also been eyeing the fireplace hearth in our living room.  The thing is an eyesore, but it would be way too expensive to take out completely.  Once again turning to ye trusty olde pinterest, I found an idea for making a wash out of chalk paint to lighten the old-ass rocks and modernize it slightly.  The hubs says that will only look good once the living room walls are painted.  So that's another project on the to-do list.

And finally, there's Presley and Sawyer's shared room.  This one is going to be a challenge and I'm still not sure how up for it I am, but none-the-less, it needs to be handled.  Toys need to be downsized, organization needs to reign, and somehow I have to make it a fun and functional space for a toddler and baby of opposite genders to share comfortably for at least a few years.  Once Trin is grown and out of the house, one of them can take over her room, but I'm in no rush for that day to come, so I have to make this work.  There are ideas galore to be found online, but there are several aspects to this room that make most of those impossible.  The built-in cabinets, reading nook, and desk area are the biggest issue.  Then there's the closet and the sheer amount of crap it contains.  In the grand scheme of things, this one is the most important, but it's also one of the most overwhelming so I find all sorts of reasons to do other things first.

I have a ton of pictures that need to be hung and just the usual spring cleaning tasks that I can accomplish.  Little by little, this house is feeling more like MY home.  For so long it has felt like a museum.  Each bit of progress makes me feel better and makes me want to do more.  We'll see just how much of that I can get done in the next 2 months.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Managing, mostly #AtoZChallenge

I'm participating in the Blogging from A-Z Challenge again this year. Today's post is brought to you by the letter M.


There are moments when I feel like I really have my shit together.  I'm on top of my to-do list, my house is clean, my kids are well taken care of, my marriage is smooth sailing, everyone is happy and life is perfect.

And then I wake up from my magical dream land, probably because one of my kids is screaming bloody murder or complaining that they're starving.

The truth is, I never have it all together.  Some days are better than others, but most of the time, I'm just faking it or managing to juggle life the best I can.  Even people who grew up in "perfect" homes can say that being an adult is difficult.  Imagine being raised by addicts who had no business being responsible for little people, as well as a wide array of relatives and friends' parents who thankfully filled in where they could.  I just wasn't equipped with the skills to do this "grown up" thing.  Add kids to the mix, and it makes things even more complicated.

But somehow, I'm managing...mostly.  My kids are alive and not malnourished or neglected.  They live in a stable home, aren't exposed to an ever-changing cast of characters ala Faces of Meth, and their basic needs, and most wants, are met.  My marriage is exactly a month away from hitting the decade mark and I'd call it a success.  I don't forsee divorce or separation in our near or distant future.  It's not all roses, but it works and we make a good team when we remember to work together instead of letting our stubbornness get in the way.  Our debt to income ratio just took a turn toward the right direction, thanks to the recent refinance we did on our home, so that feels good.  We still live paycheck to paycheck, but we're finding ways to stretch it further, rather than digging the hole deeper.  To me, that's a pretty good sign that I'm not an epic failure.

Two days ago, I had the mother of all meltdowns and had to force myself to bed early and cry out my feelings.  In addition to the drama I was experiencing, there were thoughts of "what the hell am I thinking bringing another child into the world" swirling around my head.  All I could think was I am already screwing everything up with the two I have, why would I want to do that to another innocent soul?  

Yesterday was an improvement over the day before, but I still felt like I was drowning in quicksand.  

Today, I can breathe.  My house is still thrashed, but I have a better handle on my mommy and wifey duties.  I don't have that overwhelmed sensation or an urgent pull to run screaming from everything and everyone.  There are no tears. There are lots of smiles.  These are the days I have to store in my memory, to remind me that I don't have to be perfect and that when things get to be too much, it's only a matter of time before the strain eases.  I will be ok.  My kids will be ok.  My hubs will be ok.  Everything will be ok.  Perfect is a myth, but ok is just fine.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Laundry #AtoZChallenge

I'm participating in the Blogging from A-Z Challenge again this year. Today's post is brought to you by the letter L.


After coming in slighly under budget on the windows and doors, we decided to have the contractor stay here a little longer and tile our laundry room.  The floor in there was covered in the original vinyl from 1977.  When my in-laws tiled the kitchen a few years ago, they bought enough to do the laundry room, but never completed the project.  Yesterday, it was finally finished.

**BEFORE** The view of our laundry room from the door. Check out that lovely vinyl flooring!

**BEFORE** The view looking toward the door.  The green around the bottom is the original wall color that was hidden by the trim. 70s-licious!

**In process - Day 1**

**In process - Day 1** Check out that lovely green. We're purposely not painting inside the closet so our kids can see part of the house in it's original splendor. LOL

**In Process - Day 2**

**After** The view from the door got a whole lot prettier!

**After** View of the door. We will be putting in the trim ourselves soon, but it's all done otherwise.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Killing me softly #AtoZChallenge

I'm participating in the Blogging from A-Z Challenge again this year. Today's post is brought to you by the letter K.


I wasn't sure what I was going to write about today, but then by either really good luck or really bad luck, a topic fell into my lap.  As I sit here with a pounding head and throbbing gums, the song "Killing Me Softly" starting running through my brain.  And so, I'll whine a little about the pain that is currently killing me.  (Okay, "killing me" might be a bit of an exaggeration.)

I had a bit of tooth pain when Presley was first born and until yesterday, it had pretty much subsided.  I noticed yesterday morning that when I brushed my teeth, one of my upper right molars hurt pretty bad.  It was certainly a new and unwelcome sensation, but manageable.  In fact, I made it through the day without thinking twice about it.   This morning, there was no ignoring it.  The pain was intense, like an electric shock through my body.  The aching mouth that followed was hard to work through.  I hadn't been to the dentist since I was 8 or 9, but I was able to find a local dentist that accepted my insurance and could fit me in right away.

After x-rays and pictures, the dentist let me know that although my teeth were in really good shape considering the lack of professional dental care, my wisdom teeth and one molar needed to be extracted.  Typically they prefer doing root canals to save the teeth, but mine were in too bad of shape and the cost associated with saving them was way higher than it was worth.  The dentist said he could do the extraction today, too, so we agreed to just get it done.

After a good cleaning, my mouth was numbed.  Being my first time getting any kind of real dental work done, I wasn't sure what to expect.  The numbing shots left me with the oddest sensation.  Thankfully it kept me from feeling him rip my 4 wisdom teeth and that decayed molar out of my face.  The extraction itself actually went really fast.  I was at the dentist's office for exactly 2 hours, from start to finish.  I had planned to go back to work but the dentist put the kibosh on that right away.  

Until the shots wore off, I felt like I had a huge sagging lip, but no pain whatsoever.  The pain sort of crept in slowly at first, and then began to crescendo about 5 hours after the extraction.  Being pregnant, Tylenol is the only pain medication I can take safely.  I was worried it wouldn't be strong enough, but I can now tell you that it does take the edge off the headache, which is better than nothing.  I can eat soft foods today, real food tomorrow, and was given strict instructions to take it easy until Sunday.

This is now how I envisioned the day going, but even if I'm not feeling the greatest, I'm happy with the care I received and how quickly it all happened.  And I can tell you with all the confidence in the world that I will definitely not be waiting another 3 decades before my next dental visit.

Justin #AtoZChallenge

I'm participating in the Blogging from A-Z Challenge again this year. Today's post is brought to you by the letter J.


Since time has seemed to slip through my fingers lately, I thought it would be fun to just walk down memory lane w/ a few of my favorite pictures of one of my favorite people.  April 25th marks 11 years since our first date and May 16th is our 10th wedding anniversary.  So this seems as good a time as any to reminisce about my JJ Dyn-o-mite.

The Myspace profile pic that made me swoon

Keeping each other in line 2006

The first and last time we were at the coast w/out kids...June 2006
Um, he's just cute. What can I say?! 2008 or 2009

The saddest summer, but a great trip to Crater Lake...Aug 2013

Baby Daddy status

The night baby Sawyer was conceived.  Well, it was after this, but still...

I picked a good Daddy for my kids

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I Tunes #AtoZChallenge

I'm participating in the Blogging from A-Z Challenge again this year. Today's post is brought to you by the letter I.


We're currently 9 weeks from Sawyer's due date and I've had plenty of time to contemplate my final human delivery and how I want it to be the same and different from the last two.  Granted, this is all speculation because labor never goes as planned.  I already know I want to go epidural-free, I want it video taped, I want it photographed, and I want my hubs and besty by my side the whole time.  Those elements are all the same as Presley's delivery and mostly the same as Trinity's.

One of the bright ideas I have is to create a labor/delivery playlist and hopefully use that as a distraction from the complete mind-numbing agony I will be experiencing.  When I was pregnant with Trinity, I wanted music and I think I even took some CDs into the hospital with me, but never played them.  With Presley, I worked on a Pandora playlist for most of my pregnancy, but the commercials and the horrible songs that would still crop up from time to time bugged me.  Not to mention, once I was at the hospital I pretty much just wanted to die.  That labor was hell on Earth!!

This time, I'm going in prepared.  I am working on compiling a playlist and putting it on my phone so I can just use a little bluetooth speaker in the delivery room.  I want songs that will be inspiring and sweet, but stuff that will make me smile in spite of my pain.  I consulted ye olde interwebs and found a few ideas.

#1 on my list is Push It by Salt N Pepa...for obvious reasons.

Also on my list are a couple songs that pay homage to the name Sawyer.  For that, I've chosen Lumberjack by Jackyl, Tom Sawyer by Rush, and Monty Python's Lumberjack Song.  All cheese, all the time, baby.

To hit the sweet spot of the moment, I chose Here Comes The Sun by the Beatles, and Beautiful Boy by John Lennon.  

Aside from these few tunes, my list is still incomplete.  I want a wide array of songs that will enhance this final labor and delivery.  Whether they're cheesy, funny, sappy, or somewhere in between, I want to hear them and remember the exact moment they played as Sawyer was entering the world.

If it were your playlist, what would you choose?

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