Sunday, December 31, 2006

I have just spent the holiday season discovering from visiting relatives how much I annoy them. I have just been told by various other people in my immediate family and in my household how I annoy them. I feel completely taken apart, and like I need to stay away from everyone. Somehow without intending too, I make everyone around me miserable. I feel worthless. Happy 2007 to me! My resolution is to discover how to become a quiet mouse.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Christmas from Hell

This Christmas is turning out to be AWFUL. I am recovering from bronchitis. Charlie has a double ear infection, sinus infection, eye infection, and bronchitis. This means he screams and cries all the time. Sam has taken to not sleeping at night. Jeff and I are going stir crazy and are sick of looking at the same walls and hearing the same cries. Jeff is being his usual rock star self and is shooing me out of the house tonight with just Evan to spend Christmas Eve with my family while he is staying home with both babies. How did I get sd lucky to have such an awesome husband? I can't wait to get past this holiday and on to next year. I can't wait for my kids to be older. I can't wait for them to be HEALTHY!!! I can't wait to sleep again. UGH.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Unbelievable

I was feeding Sam in the living room at about 5:15 this morning, when someone began ringing the doorbell repeatedly. When I went to the window by the door, I saw a Douglas County Sheriff's Officer outside. Apparently a group of silly teenagers were going through our neighborhood breaking out the windows of cars parked outside by throwing rocks at them. Jeff's car had been parked outside, and they had broken out the rear and driver's side windows. There was body damage as well from the rock. We filed a police report with the officer working on our street and luckily, the windows are replaced already. The company came out and fixed things right at ConAgra which was great. However, it's just one more disaster before Christmas. Some gremlin has it out for the Kleffman family!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Aren't They Cute?

My New So Called Life

Sam is two weeks old today. In some ways I can hardly believe he has only been here for two weeks, and in others that it has been that long. I really felt more like myself physically yesterday and Saturday, so I got a lot done around the house (well, a lot for having two babies around), I took Evan and Charlie to Walmart, returned a stroller to Christi, and ventured out of the house for the first time with all three kids to have dinner at my parent's house. By Sunday night, I was paying for it!! I REALLY overdid it, so today Sam and I are laying low trying to recover.

I am starting to get the hang of dealing with everyone at once. Things aren't always smooth, but at least everyone gets fed, diapered, and bathed, with some love in between. I think I will be able to make it through the next year.

The day I got released from the hospital, I can't tell you how many people told me that God doesn't give you any more than you can handle. I must be Superwoman because God thinks that on top of the two infants and Evan I care for, that I can handle a broken washing machine and a broken microwave. At the same time. What does He know that I don't?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Sam's Birth Story

It all started out on Sunday evening November 26th. We had had such a normal day that if you had told me that morning I would be going into labor I would have laughed at you!! We went out to breakfast with my parents, I went grocery shopping, and that afternoon I sent Jeff out of the house to get some “without children” time. That turned out to be fortunate! I spent some time alone with the boys and then we headed over to my parent’s house for our weekly family dinner. I didn’t feel too hungry, which I guess was a sign, and luckily didn’t eat too much. I wasn’t even really having any contractions, which was strange because I had been having terrible ones for weeks. Anyway, I got home, gave Charlie a bath, and put the boys to bed. I took a shower, and sat down on the couch next to Jeff for what I thought would be a little bit before turning in early for work the next morning. As soon as I sat down, I had a pretty good contraction, but that wasn’t unusual, so I ignored it. We watched Days of Our Lives (on Soapnet) and I noticed that they weren’t going away. Still not unusual, but I started timing them for the heck of it, and they were six minutes apart. I got up to use the bathroom to see if they would stop, and when I sat down they got worse. I decided not to go to bed yet, and see what happened. By halfway through the second espisode, I was curled up next to Jeff having to breathe through them. By then I was starting to get a little nervous, because this was not in my game plan for the week! Jeff suggested I go lay down and try to get some sleep, since this had made them stop in the past. So, I laid down, and then they went to every 4 minutes, and got a bit stronger. Jeff convinced me to call the doctor at 11:30, who suggested I go in to the hospital to be monitored for an hour. Me, being the stubborn person I am, thought, I am not going into the hospital until I am sure I am not going to be sent home!!! So, I sent Jeff to bed and went into the living room to walk around to see what would happen. By 12:30 I had to sit down through them, and I finally called my parents and said “I think it’s time!!” (The first time I have had the opportunity to say this!) They rushed over, Jeff and I threw stuff in our hospital bag, which I stupidly had still not packed, and then I sat down on the couch and cried. Partly from pain, but a lot from nerves. My parents arrived at 1:15, and my dad stayed at the house with the boys while they slept and Jeff and my Mom and I headed for the hospital. Jeff is the most careful driver I know, and on the way he even went past the speed limit and turned left on a red arrow. He must have been nervous too. We got all checked into the hospital through the emergency entrance and then they put me on the monitors. They had to work for about an hour and a half to get my IV started. They said I have crooked veins, which apparently makes things really difficult. They tried 6 different times, and each time they blew the vein out (painful!) so they finally called the house supervisor. She was pretty cocky, but at least she got my IV started. When I got to the hospital I was at 7 cm dialated, but Sam’s head was still really posterior. We found out later that this was because he was being cushioned by a large pocket of amniotic fluid, and he couldn’t move down. They decided to keep me since I was so far dialated, but I don’t think I believed them until I was actually pushing. I remember asking over and over again if they were going to send me home. Because Sam was still so high up, he was able to move around quite a bit, and wouldn’t stay on the heart monitor (they need to monitor the baby’s heartbeat for 20 minutes out of every hour). So, I only got to walk around for about 40 minutes with my mom in the hallway from about 4:00-4:40. I feel so much better standing up in labor, so this was hard for me. I had to stay in bed the rest of the time so they could fiddle with the monitor. Most of the time a nurse had to hold it in the right spot. At 7:00 the doctor on call came in to check me and I was then dialated to 9 cm, but Sam’s head hadn’t come down any, and the contractions weren’t as strong as when I had first come in. He also told me that my regular OB was off for the day, and that Dr. Eric Shulte would be delivering Sam. I was so disappointed! When I heard his head hadn’t come down any, I got really scared, because I am terrified of having a c-section. I asked for pitocin to help with contractions, and then I asked for the epidural. I knew it wouldn’t get any better until I had some pain relief down there. His head was so high, I couldn’t even stand for them to break my water. I had my mom call Christi about then. I hadn’t wanted to wake anyone up during the middle of the night. Poor Jeff was just exhausted. Neither of us had gotten any sleep that night. The epidural was probably the worst part. By this time, I was feeling pretty frustrated, since so many things had been like a comedy of errors. Jeff got me through them putting in the needle. I really cried for this part, and thank goodness I have an all star husband. He is such a rock for delivery. As soon as it took effect, they broke my water, and thankfully his head starting moving down right away. I had talked with the anesthesiologist about my extreme sensitivity to epidural’s, but as usual, he didn’t believe me and insisted on giving me the regular dose. So, about 45 minutes after it started, my blood pressure dropped really low, and I started feeling like I was going to pass out. Luckily Christi arrived about then, and I felt so much better just knowing she was there. It was so great to talk to her and distract myself, which helped a lot since my blood pressure dropped three different times causing me to vomit, and for them to need to give me a medication that increased my hear rate. Finally the dumb doctor believed me, and he turned it down to the lowest dose possible. This turned out to be fantastic. I wish I had had an epidural like this each time. It was just enough to cut out a lot of the pain, but I was still feeling everything, and I was still in control. By 10:45, I was ready to push. The nurse had me do 2 practice pushes, and she realized he was going to come fast, so she called the doctor, but he was finishing with a patient, so I had to breathe through about 4 or 5 contractions before he arrived without pushing. This was SOOO hard to do!!! I had this incredible need to push and everyone was telling me to wait. Argh! Luckily, once again Jeff was my rock, and got me through it. As soon as the doctor slid in, 6 pushes and Sam was out. It was a little surreal for me, as there was this metallic panel in the ceiling above my bed, which had something to do with the lights, but reflected everything to me like a mirror. I was able to see everything, and I’ve never wanted to watch before. It was really neat though. Sam’s head is perfectly round, so that part was tough, but it was so neat to see him being brought into the world. They put him on my chest as soon as he was born, and I finally knew that this little boy would steal my heart just like my other two. I think I said something dumb like “I DO like him!!” I had been so worried I wouldn’t. I did have to get the episiotomy to get his head through, but otherwise, no tearing or anything. Another special part of Sam’s birth was that Evan was here for this one. He came with my dad at about 8:00, and he was so sweet! He couched me through the whole thing, and kept saying “You’re doing such a good job Mom! Here he comes!” Afterwards, he stood next to my bed and gave me a kiss and said “He’s just beautiful Mom!” What a sweet child. I will always remember Jeff and Evan standing next to Sam in the baby warmer looking at the newest member of our family. I love my boys so much!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Nursery




I thought I would post some pictures of our finished nursery for the babies. The theme is frog princes, which I thought was perfect for my little princes!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

37 Weeks


I realized that I haven't posted any preggo pictures this time around (actually I haven't taken many this time around) so I thought I would gross all of you out with this doozy! This is me at 37 weeks with my 3rd child (GOSH it feels weird to say that!).

I went back to work for full days on Monday, and immediately regretted the decision. I was okay in the mornings, but by the afternoons I was in so much pain I was ready to perform a c-section on myself with a pair of blunt scissors! Next week I will be doing half days in the mornings, and then the next week is the big day! Unless Sam has other plans. Knowing this may be my last time being pregnant, I thought I would be really sad here at the end, by God is making it easier to give up this state of being by providing me with some EXTREME discomfort.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

D-Day

Sorry to bore all of you with the mundane details of my doctor's appointments, but that is really all that is going on in my life, and it is all my hormone overloaded brain can think about.

I went back yet again on Friday to the doctor. It was Evan's worst nightmare come true. Evan came home from school on Thursday with a 102.5 degree fever, and so he had to stay home from school on Friday. I couldn't miss the appointment, so I had to take him with me. He has been to many appointments before to listen to the heartbeat, etc. but he has never been to one (for obvious reasons) where they have had to check out the down below parts. He sat in a chair by my head while all the excitement went on, but I could hear him whispering to himself "I can't BELIEVE this!" I have officially scarred my child for life.

The doctor agreed to let me try work again on Monday and Tuesday (we only have a two day week because of the holiday). If I can handle it, she will let me work the week after Thanksgiving too. At this point, if I go into labor, everythings a go. She did want to schedule an induction early the week after Thanksgiving, but we negotiated, and she let me pick the 6th of December. So if things don't happen on their own before that, the 6tth (St. Nicholas Day) is D-Day. The most important thing that happened though was that I finally got up enough courage to be honest with the doctor and talk to her about post-partum depression. I had what I knew was a bigger dose of the baby blues after Charlie than was normal, but I had felt like it was going away when I got pregnant with Sam. Things went downhill from there. It was really bad over the summer, and it really affected my marriage and my relationship with my kids. I felt a bit better once school started, but things have really been bad again over the last couple of weeks. I mean really bad. I was so embarrassed to admit it to anyone, even the doctor. I was scared too, because it makes me nervous to have anything on my medical records about mental instabililty in case anything ever went wrong with Dan again, but I knew I was at the breaking point. Have you ever read the book The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood? (If not you should, it is EXCELLENT). In it the main character Vivi describes a motherhood mental breakdown, which she calls "dropping her basket". At one point she runs away from her family for several days and dissapears. I was never able to understand this aspect of her character. Then one Saturday a couple of weeks ago, I was running an errand without the kids in the car, and I had the strongest urge to just keep driving, and leave everyone behind. Later in the day, I just lost it for no good reason and was so depressed I can't even describe it. Ironically, one of the first thoughts that popped into my mind was "You're about to drop your basket!" which scared me to death. So, after an honest and supportive discussion with Jeff, I spilled my guts to the doctor in a big tear fest. She thought I was definitely dealing with a moderate case of post-partum depression, and she reccomended treatment immediately, since it would only get worse after Sam is born, which was another of my worries. So, I have just started an anti-depressent. I feel so much better talking to people about it and admitting it here, that I wish I had done it sooner, but hind sight is 20/20 right? I would give anything to feel normal, and get "myself" back, and I am so hopeful that this will work.

Today was also a big day for Evan...he made his First Reconciliation- the first step to making his First Communion in March. He was so excited (and nervous)and I was so proud of him as he completed this sacrament. My little guy is not so little anymore!

Friday, November 17, 2006

My Personality

I got this from Amber's blog...

Apparently I am a Type A personality. Anyone surprised? I didn't think so. For example, as I was having dinner with my parents last night (we were eating pancakes) to tease me my dad said to my mom, "Don't put syrup on your pancakes!!! You have to ask Christy if it's okay first!" I guess I do tend to micromanage.




You Have A Type A Personality



You are hyper, energetic, and always on the mood

You tend to succeed at everything you attempt

And if you don't succeed at first, you quickly climb your way to the top!



You could be called a workaholic, but you also make time for fun

As long as it's high energy and competitive, you're interested

You have the perfect personality for business and atheltic success

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Today's Ultrasound

I went in today for what will probably be my last ultrasound with Sam. We found out a couple of interesting things. They measured the amount of amniotic fluid first, and that was all normal. Then they did several measurements of his bones and girth, and after the computer had combined all of these together it predicted that he is currently between 8 and 9 pounds. It also estimated him to be in the 95 percentile for his height. So, for a kid that is only 36 weeks gestation, and theoretically has about 3 weeks left to cook (during which babies typically add a pound a week) it looks like he is WELL on his way to being as big as his brother. This was disapointing to me, not because I will have to push out another big bean, but because I think this means the doctor is going to really want to induce me early. Which I really do not want to do. On the other hand, do I want to deliver an 11 pounder? Not especially. I don't know what to do. I don't know how much choice I will have in the matter. I realized on the way down to the office that I was really hoping someone would say, "Oh! We made a mistake! This one is actually a girl!!" No such luck. Big old boy parts were immediately apparent in a sweep past that area. She also determined that Sam's head is directly on my cervix, which is what is causing things to move along. Externally I am dialated to 5 cm, but internally it is just to 1 cm. Which I guess is good, but then she told me with his head so far down in wouldn't take much. Then the interesting thing happened. She called in one of the doctors in the practice to check over the results. It wasn't my own doctor since I had to go to the office down on 42nd and Farnam. He wanted to check the cervix results again, since that was the main thing they were concerned about. So, while he has the wand stuck up you know where (they couldn't do this part just by waving the wand over my stomach like usual) he strikes up this conversation. He says, "So, I notice from your chart you're a teacher at SVdP. I think you had a Paul ____ in your class a couple of years ago." I did, and so I told him so, all the while thinking, oh no...where is this going? Then he says, "____ and ____, Paul's parents, are our neighbors, and my wife and I's best friends!!! I can't wait to tell them I saw you today!!" Now, it is one thing to have an anonymous guy holding something in your down below parts, but when you find out he is connected to people you work with professionally, it makes you want to gag. I could just imagine him describing the whole situation in detail at dinner. "Hey guys! I checked Christy Kleffman's cervix out the other day!!" This is the really bad part about being a teacher. You run into people EVERYWHERE that you have worked with. I am terrified that one day I will need to go to the ER for emergency surgery and be stark naked when the doctor will say, "Hey guys! This is Mrs. Kleffman my old teacher!!" Ugh.

Ryan Returns

My cousin Ryan, who has spent the last year in Iraq, made it home safely to his home base in Germany! When we were growing up, he and his brothers Jeremy and Chris were like extra siblings to my sister and I. I haven't seen him in 2 years (last Christmas he was in Iraq, the Christmas before he was training to be in Iraq and they wouldn't let him return home) and I was SOOO excited to hear that he will be back on December 23rd, just in time for Christmas. It is so strange to think about, but since the last time we have seen each other, both of us have gotten married, and I will have added 2 children! He hasn't ever met Charlie. My class wrote letters to him and his wife Ashley while he was away, and we sent him prayer bouquets and gifts. I wish I was at school so that he could make a visit to my kiddos from last year. They loved hearing about the animals he saw in the desert, how his room was like a box of tin, and how there was a Burger Kind and Pizza Hut for the soldiers to visit on base (that also looked like boxes of tin). I wish we were going to have more free time at Christmas that I could spend with them, but alas! The joys of parenthood.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Yesterday's Doctor Appointment

I realize that this whole drama here with the baby and my doctor appoinments is probably not interesting to many people beyond myself, but I feel like my life revolves around the couch and the doctor's office. I went in again yesterday for yet another check. At the very least, this is helping me to become so immune to people seeing me without my pants on that labor should not even phase me.


She checked my cervix, and luckily I hadn't dialated any more past the 5 cm I already was on Friday. This cheered me because I have this vision of myself walking around with such a large hole down there that one day the baby will just fall out on it's own accord. The bladder infection is still raging, so they are concerned about that. They want to get it under control so it doesn't progress into a kidney infection. I am going to go in for an ultrasound on Thursday where they will measure the baby's size and see how he is progressing, and also get an internal view of the cervix. Then I have to go back to the doctor yet again on Friday where she will discuss the results with me. I will get to see if they will let me return to school next week since this Sunday I reach the magic number of 37 weeks pregnant, meaning that Sam is officially a term baby. I will also get to see if they think he is huge like good old Charlie was, and if so, they will induce me some time the week after Thanksgiving. I laughed when she said this, because here I am working so hard to keep this kid inside of me, and now we are talking about making him leave Hotel Christy early! Poor Sam. He never gets to be in control here.


I have felt so blessed to be married to Jeff lately. I can't get out of the couch by myself, I can't do anything involving touching my own feet (like putting on my socks), and it's hard for me to get a lot of things done at home. He has been SOOO helpful and loving about everything. Jeff is really a star during the end of pregnancies and in labor and delivery. He has also been putting up with me as I wig out frequently during the last couple of weeks. I am trying so hard to be excited about this baby coming, and I really am not. I am scared, nervous, anxious, and dreading it, but I just can't get over the fact that I really don't want a baby right now. I feel DISGUSTING saying that, and I know it really bothers others when I do. I have tried talking with my family about this over the last nine months and they just look horrified and then change the subject. I think they assumed (and I did as well) that as I got used to the idea and closer to the event that my feelings would change. They haven't. I know there are so many in the world who would love a child, and it makes me feel guilty to walk around like a baby making machine, and to not even feel excitement about it. Jeff has been awesome, and let me be totally honest about how I feel, and he still likes me anyway. I think I might be horrified myself if he said the same things to me, but he has been so understanding and supportive. I am really praying that once Sam is born, that my maternal instincts will take over, and that God sends me an angel to watch over us (hopefully one with a lot of experience in the motherhood department). I am reading a book right now in which one of the main characters is an English profressor who is teaching Dante's Inferno. She tells the class she thinks that the deepest level of hell is the complete absence of free will, and the inability to have the time or energy or ability to do anything for oneself. I was struck when I read the sentence that this is much like the definition of motherhood. I have found that I am a much better mother to Charlie and Evan when I have some time to myself, when I still feel like I contribute to the world in a way that has nothing to do with me being their mother. This has been difficult to do over the last 10 months with the addition of Charlie, especially over the summer months when it was mostly just me handling everything about the kids. I do manage to find a few moments here and there, but how in the world will I do that once Sam comes? I almost feel like in order to take care of your kids, for about 20 years, a woman's own "self" disappears to care for those around her. Why in the world are men the ones always having mid life crisis? It should be the women. But, maybe we are just zombies and too damn tired to do anything by the time we get to that point. Not that my kids aren't an enormous accomplishment or something that I am not really proud of giving to the world. I am, truly. But I feel like there is more to me than motherhood too, and it is really depressing me right now to know I might have to supress that. On the other hand, I love my kids to death and I feel huge amounts of guilt when I do take too much time away. Jeff had the enormous insight to tell me that I should consider these feelings when I decide about working or staying home with the kids, and I will, but right now I think I am in such a hormone haze I can't make a rational decision to save my life.


Anyway, I am obviously someone with too much time on her hands, as I have been typing for forever. Hopefully no one is too disgusted with me, but if you are, you can join the club. Myself and my family will be there right along with you!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Stupid

During my pregnancies with both Charlie and Sam, I have been a member of Pregnancy Weekly, which includes a website, Mom's group for people delivering in my month, a weekly newsletter, and weekly pregnancy tips. I have always really enjoyed it, and thought the tips and newsletter to be really helpful. Although today I read my Weekly Tip for Week #36, and it was..."For optimal sleeping comfort during these last difficult weeks of pregnancy, avoid sleeping on your belly." What the heck? Are there really some pregnant women out there who can achieve this feat? I haven't been able to sleep on my belly for MONTHS! My head wouldn't even reach the pillow if I tried. I would be like one of those weeble people toys. They must be running out of things to say to me after two years.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Update

I went back in to the doctor on Friday afternoon, because even though the contractions have not been regular since Saturday, on Thursday I began feeling an intense feeling of pressure in my lower pelvis. They discovered that I am now dialated to 5 cm, but the good news is that Sam's head is still very posterior. She did warn me though that once things started they should go extremely fast, and that I need to get to the hospital right away. She stressed carrying a cell phone in case I need to call 911. Gosh, now I feel better! They also discovered that instead of getting better, my bladder infection is getting worse. They changed me to a stronger antibiotic, and added a medication that numbs everything down there ti help with the pain.

I will be continuing to hang out at home next week. I have had so many offers from friends for company, and I feel bad not taking anyone up on it, but I just can't stay awake! Yesterday I slept from 7:30 until 12:30, and only woke up because the doctor called. I had no problems going to sleep that night either, which is crazy. Maybe it is because of the infection. I guess the good thing is that I had my TA send home all of my plans and things with Evan, and I did manage to stay awake long enough to finish all of my maternity plans this week. So at least as far as school is concerened, Sam is allowed to show up.

Evan's First Reconciliation is next weekend, so I am hoping to make it to church for that. He is excited but nervous, and I would hate to not be there with him. We'll see how it goes I guess. I am really ready to have my body back. I am tired of pain and hurting. It is making me so grumpy, and I just feel so sorry for my family. I know I end up taking it out on them, and it's not fair.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Extreme Exhaustion

I know this sounds ridiculous since all I am doing during the day is sitting on the couch making friends with Oprah and Dr. Phil, but I am completely exhausted! I don't remember ever feeling this tired. Today I slept from 7:30 to 10:30AM, and then fell asleep again from 1:30 to 3:30! (And now I am still tired!) I am so excited to see my boys when they come home from school, but after just a couple of hours with them I am ready to be comatose. What in the world is wrong with me?

I guess in some ways this break is a blessing. I can't remember the last time I had hours available to myself during the day to nap. It was certainly pre-Evan! Maybe God is just giving me some time to charge up before the craziness of two babies in one year arrives. It's too bad I can't put all of this me time/free time to some good use other than the TV. I was hoping to catch up on my reading, but that just makes me fall asleep again. I tip my hat to all of those mothers of multiples who are on bed rest for months.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Boredom

I have spent the last two days with my butt on the couch. Normally, this sounds like a very good idea to me...so why am I bored silly? This bed rest thing is not all it's cracked up to be. I did get to watch a very good movie on TV today though. It was called Hoosiers, and it was about a basketball team in the 50's. Normally I can't stand sports, but this was really good. Maybe it's just being surrounded by boys all of the time. I go back to the doctor tomorrow for a check up to make sure I haven't progressed any further, and to monitor Sam and my contractions. I have had my usual heart problems with this pregnancy, and an unfortunate side effect of the medicines that they give you to stop contractions is that they increase your heart rate, so the doctor was reluctant to start me on the pill form after they gave me the shot in the hospital. They should be checking that out tomorrow too. I am anxious to hear what she says. While I am completely ready to not be pregnant for the first time in about 2 years, I want Sam to have as much time as he needs to be healthy in utero. Wish me luck tomorrow!!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Pre-Term Labor

Jeff and spent a lot of the day today in Labor and Delivery at Lakeside Hospital. For the past two weeks I have had a lot of Braxton-Hicks contractions, but nothing serious. But, at about 8:00 this morning, I noticed that they were pretty strong, (I had to breathe through them)and were coming pretty frequently. I started timing, and they were every 5 minutes on the dot. I walked around the house and did some laundry to see if that would help them stop since they suggested this in our birth class. They just kept right on going through everything, so I called the doctor at 10:00 after two hours of contractions and they sent me to the hospital. They admitted me, gave me IV fluids, and a medication to stop contractions since I am only 35 weeks. I guess 36 is the magic number where they start to feel more comfortable about you being in labor. They spent awhile observing things and checking me for dialation. The medicine helped to stop the cramping I was having, and the contractions aren't regular anymore, but I am still have some REALLY strong ones. This is a completely new experience for me. Usually I am completely overdue or they are inducing me. I've never done anything early before. Pretty stressful. Especially since Charlie is sick...he started having diarrhea and vomitting yesterday. Also, Jeff was supposed to make a long awaited trip to Harlan to visit family today, and my little adventure ruined that plan. Jeff was so awesome. He really is a star in these labor situations. Despite being squeamish about a lot of this stuff, he is such a trooper. There is no one I would rather have at my side during all of this.

They have put me on what the nurse called "Couch Potato Bed Rest". Not strict bed rest, but I am supposed to hang out on the couch for the next few days, and then be checked by my regular doctor early next week. Just what I didn't want to hear when my original goal for today was to get to school and finish my darn maternity leave plans. I am never going to be ready for this baby, and now he has the nerve to come early!!! I guess I am just really going to concentrate on helping Sam get through the next two weeks, and then the goal will be to have him come as he pleases. So Christi...you are officially on Labor Watch!

We are so blessed to have my mom around. She came over and watched the kids today, despite Charlie puking on her yesterday, helped with dinner and laundry, etc. What would I do without her close by?

All prayers and good wishes would be appreciated for our little guy over the next couple of weeks!!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Happy 8th Birthday Evan!

I know that this is such a cliche, but I really did blink and all of a sudden my toddler is and 8 year old wearing deodorant! How did he get to be this big? I don't know if it is the hectic schedule kids have once they hit school age, but I really feel like once Evan entered Kindergarten we have been flying through his life at warp speed. I try so much to stop and treasure little moments with him, but the more people we add to this crazy family, the harder it gets! Maybe that is the difference too...for so long it was just me and Ev, and I could concentrate all of my energy on him.

Anyway, he has a big weekend planned for himself! Today (his actual birthday) we are having what we call a "campout" in our family. Of course, with me as his mother, this does not actually involve sleeping outdoors or bugs of any kind. We set up in the living room with a good movie, some popcorn, and the dog...and we just have fun spending time together. Then we get to have a sleepover in mom and dad's room, which is a treat for Evan. Tomorrow we are having family over to celebrate (not enough energy or funds for a friend party this year!!). The big event there will be that his Grandma Liem and Grandpa Marvin (Dan's parents) will be coming over. Evan has not seen them in 2 years, and he is so excited. I hope that they are too. He is really looking forward to having everyone over and his birthday dinner for which he picked fried chicken, scalloped potatoes, and peas. (That's right! My kid LOVES peas!)

It's nice to end our sad, stressful week on a high note. Charlie stayed home from school again on Tuesday (this time with Jeff) after being diagnosed by the doctor with a sinus infection and bronchitis. They increased his asthma medications, and put him on his third broad spectrum antibiotic in only 6 weeks. We have to give him this special medicine called Culterelle once a day to help prevent cholitis because of this. I guess the antibiotics have killed off all of the good bacteria in his intestines, and he is at risk for bloody diarrhea. Would it be too much to ask for Sam to be born with good health???

On Monday afternoon, we did put Tekla, our sweet dog, to sleep. Trudy's vet provides an awesome service where they will come out to your home to do this, so that the dog can be at home, and comfortable through the whole thing. So, we picked out her favorite spot in the family room, and I held her while she died. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life. Afterwards, the vet quietly let himself out of the house, and we were able to have a lot of time with her before we buried her, which helped everyone. I think my parent's were shocked by how much they are grieving. My dad keeps saying he can't believe how much he loved and is missing her. She was such a smart, sweet little girl. We will miss her always.

Then on Wednesday, my dad's Aunt Ceil passed away unexpectedly. She was the closest sibling to my Grandma Sophie, and so close to all of us. My poor father!! It's been a sad week for everyone. So, having Evan's birthday today has been a welcome relief.

Monday, October 16, 2006

It's Just Not Right

I've just finished watching an episode of Sesame Street with Charlie. I have been absent from this show for awhile, but I never thought things could have degraded this much in the 4 years since I have been a regular viewer. Cookie Monster was the star of one of the "skits" and he was eating a bowl of fruit!!! Granted, he did eat a cookie for desert, but really. Does everything have to be so politically correct? I want my good old fashioned Sesame Street from the 70s where it was okay for Bert and Ernie to live together, nobody but Big Bird could see Mr. Snuffleupagus, there was no goofy red monster named Elmo who was checking his email, and Cookie Monster ate COOKIES!!!

Weekend From Hell

I have just had the WORST weekend. It all actually started before the weekend on Thursday afternoon. When I picked up Charlie from daycare, he was pretty congested in his chest, and that night had a pretty scary asthma attack. Since he had no other symptoms, I assumed it was purely his asthma that was bothering him. By Friday morning he was running a low grade temp (not high enough to stay home from daycare) and he had a strange rash on his cheeks. Not seeing anything else wrong with him, I took him to school since I had a conference to attend. My mom was sick and gone from work that day with pink eye, but I told the other workers there that he did have a low grade temp, I showed them the rash, and I said if ANYTHING seems weird, or if his temp goes up, call me and I will come get him. They didn't, but nonetheless by the time I picked him up he had a temp of 101.5. (Made me realize how nice it is to have my mom the nurse there!!!) He proceeded to get worse all day Saturday until 11:00 when we progressed to the "I am so miserable all I can do is scream" stage. His fever was 102, he had thick green snot, his cheeks were so irritated they were bleeding in places, and he had a constant cough that was affecting his asthma. He literally didn't sleep Saturday night, or at all during the day Sunday, which of course means I didn't either. Too top it off, on Sunday I started running a fever too, and today I feel like crap. So Charlie and I are both home from school today (so much for not using up my leave days before Sam is born). The thing that really scares me is I can't get him to drink more than a couple swallows at a time, and yesterday he only had 2 wet diapers. We are going in to the doctor at 1:15. Then, to top of my day, Tekla (my parent's dog) is being put to sleep this afternoon. At least Charlie has finally given in, and is now taking a nap. I think I will go take one too.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Week 30 Appointment

I went in yesterday afternoon for my 30 week appointment. As I was driving home, I was thinking about how much more I wrote about Charlie in my blog when I was pregnant with him, and how I excitedly posted tummy pictures and talked about how excited we were. I decided it was time to stop giving poor Same the short end of the stick. I need to somehow stop being terrified of this poor little boy and get excited, so this blog entry is my first step.

The good news we heard yesterday was that Sam has finally flipped head down after many weeks of standing on my head at night before bed (I swear that neither Charlie or Sam will ever be able to repay me for what I have gone through to bring them into the world!) This is awesome, because it means no c-section for a breach baby (at least for now...his size which is already estimated at 6 1/2 pounds could do the trick later). The bad news is that Sam is so far head down he has already engaged in my pelvis, and his head is pushing on my cervic (Sorry Adam, I know you are blanching and screaming TMI!!) They are worried I am going to start dialating, and they think this is why I have been having so many contractions. She looked at me and said, "Now don't laugh when I tell you this, but you need to be off your feet for at least an hour a day!" At which point I laughed and cried, because a) I teach 30 six year olds on my feet all day long, and b) Charlie my precocious 9 month old is well on his way to taking his first steps. (He is cruising around furniture, loves walker toys, and is trying to stand independently in the middle of the room). I have 9 weeks to go, while putting my feet up? Not likely.

Other than that, everything looks very healthy and is progressing nicely!!! He is a big boy with a heart rate of 133. The wallpaper should be here soon, so I am excited to finish the nursery for my two baby boys.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Baby Progress and Dumb Priests

I have to rant about my church experience on Saturday. I was scheduled to help with Communion on Saturday and Jeff was out of town, so my mom met me at church and watched Charlie while I helped out. They were sitting in the back row, and Charlie had a very small toy that happened to have a VERY quiet rattle in it (actually the indsides of the toy are broken so it is very quiet, but it's his favorite so he can't live without it). He was happy, being quiet, and simply chewing on his toy. As the priest was waiting with the processional to enter church while the announcements were being read, he walked up to my mom, told her to take his toy away, and not let him play with anything during church. A 9 MONTH OLD BABY!!!! WHO WAS SITTING QUIETLY NOT MAKING A SOUND!!! Then, to top it all off, he proceeded to give a sermon on being pro-life, after making a family with a baby feel unwelcome at church!!!! Would Jesus have said that to my mom? I DON'T THINK SO!!! My Mom was livid,and will not be coming back to our parish. I am having second thoughts myself. THIS is why priests should be married, and have kids. They have no idea how to relate, and certainly this one does not know how to create a pro-life atmosphere. GRRRRR.

So, still riding on adrenaline from the previous night, I decided to attack Charlie and Sam's room. I picked out wallpaper, ordered it, and then bought paint. My saint of a dad came over and painted the ceiling and walls for me, and we will put up the wallpaper next weekend when it comes in. Scarily enough, I only have 10 weeks left before Sam is born. I need to start getting to those last minute details. Sadly, the monkeys were discontinued from Charlie's first, very cute room. I am keeping the new theme a secret until it is finished, and then I will post a picture. It is adorable! I can't wait to see the finished product!!!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Warning...Complaints Coming Up

So...I realize I do this a lot in my blog, but today I just can't avoid it. I NEED to complain for a bit. Pregnancy is just driving me nuts. I can't fit into any of my maternity clothes anymore. This would be okay if I could stay at home, but having to work is making life rough. I have exactly 2 pairs of pants that are comfortable and a couple of shirts. I have resorted to wearing Jeff clothes at home, but I don't know what to do the rest of the time. I went searching on Thursday for some bigger things, but nothing is big enough to accomodate Sam. This didn't happen to me with either Evan or Charlie. I am so frustrated sometimes I cry about it. Thursday I tried to just tough it out and wear a pair of khakis that I knew were too tight, but I was in agony by the time 1:00 rolled around. My underwear will NOT stay up, it just rolls right under my tummy. I constantly feel unprofessional and that my clothes are either going to fall right off my body or that I am walking around disgusting people because I look like a stuffed sausage. The big problem is...I HAVE 11 MORE WEEKS TO GO!!!! What in the heck am I going to look like then? I am already starting to retain so much fluid that the skin on my feet is cracking. I cannot possibly make it until December. God Bless Jeff. I am in tears constantly, I am always grumpy, and he is patiently just putting up with me. I also have the nesting thing starting to kick in and I have this contant urge to be close to him. I must drive him stir crazy. He has a trip coming up next weekend and then again on October 2nd, so I am a nervous wreck about him leaving.

My sister and brother-in-law were nice enough to let us borrow one of their cribs, since Colin has been sleeping in a twin bed for about the last two weeks (and the angel child has not tried to get up once! How did they make this kid?) I am so thankful that we won't have to spend the money on a second crib. Anyway, they put it up last weekend in Charlie's room and I hate it. The room is stuffed with furniture. I know it won't be forever, and that things will be better when we can get rid of the changing table and there are just 2 twin beds or even bunk beds, but for now I hate it. It is the perfectionist coming out in me.

I just feel totally out of control. I can barely have a conversation without crying this weekend. I know my mom is worried about me, because I have had to get off the phone with her a couple of times this weekend, because just hearing her voice makes me cry. What is wrong with me? I have a couple of friends I really want to call and talk to this weekend but I am afraid once they say hello I will burst into tears, and they will think a psycho stalker is calling them. My poor family. I know I am driving everyone else nuts, but that just makes it worse!!! HELP! I am stuck in pregnancy insanity land!!!!

Okay...I feel marginally better. Thanks for letting me vent.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Amityville

My favorite horror movie is The Amityville Horror (the original...NOT the remake). The other day when Jeff and I went downstairs to watch TV, we found a scene that was right out of that movie. There is a part where a priest comes to bless the house and a storm of flies surrounds him. Flying around our basement ceiling there were about 30 of them! There is obviously some place that they are getting in down there, but we haven't found it yet. I think with the cold temperatures, they are being driven indoors. I can't stand flies, so my mission for the weekend is to find the hole and caulk it up. Instead of watching the news that day, we spent our time smacking flies. There were so many we had to vacuum the carpet!UGH.

In other news, Charlie's cough and runny nose are back again today. He is pretty fussy, and is just not acting like himself again. He is 10 days into the stronger antibiotic. I am so completely frustrated with this!!! The only good thing is that he got me out of going to a wedding I didn't really want to be at today. I wish I knew what to do to make him healthy!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

And the Stress Continues...

We had some bad news today in a couple of different places...

The doctors have now found a mass in my Grandma Rose's spleen. They don't know for sure, but they are assuming it is malignant, and she will be having an operation in the next two weeks to have it removed and tested. If this is something that has spread from one of the other cancers, the outlook is not good. I have this intense fear that she won't make it until Sam is born.

My parents are putting their dog Tekla to sleep next Wednesday. We got Tekla when I was a junior in high school, right when I was going through my anorexia. She would sit next to me with her head on my lap as I would choke down meals after I went into treatment. She grew up with my brothers, and was like an extra sibling. I can't imagine having to say good bye to this dear friend. She is precious to all of us, and while we don't want to see her suffer anymore, I can't stand the thought of her not being at my parent's house.

I am off now to my 28 week appointment. Hopefully we will get better news there. This is my first every 2 weeks appointment. I can't believe I am at that stage of the game! I am SO NOT READY FOR THIS!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Charlie Goes Back to the Doctor-AGAIN!!

Yes, I had to take Charlie back to the pediatrician yesterday, since his nose was still not getting better, even after 8 days of a pretty hefty antibiotic. The doctor gave us a different medicine to try, and said that he wants to recheck him in 14 days. If he isn't without cough and drainage, then he wants to do a sinus x-ray. I had LOADS of sinus problems and operations growing up, so I have a sneaky suspicion that he has inherited it from me. The scary thing was that, when he tested he blood oxygen level it was low, only a 96% (normal people running 99%-100%). He said that this was much to low for a baby, and he put him indefinitely on a once a day lung medicine that he takes through the nebulizer machine to help him maintain a healthy lung function with his asthma. I guess his sinus infection was affecting it and I didn't even realize it, which made me feel stupid since I have asthma and so does Evan. He told me that babies don't always cough or wheeze though when they are having problems...sometimes the only way you can tell is if they are fussy. their lips or finger tips have a bluish tinge, or if their tummy muscles are working extra hard. Yikes! It scares me he was dealing with the effects of low oxygen and I didn't know!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Jeff Becomes an Old Man

Jeff celebrated the big three oh yesterday, officially stepping into middle age. How the heck did we get to be in our 30s? Don't you all just feel like we just turned 18, just graduated from high school? How can we be 30 when I still don't feel like a grown up yet? Okay, so obviously I am having a harder time with my husband being 30 than he is. It didn't seem to bother him at all, and he seemed to have a really good day! I personally will be freaking out next year as I approach this daunting number. Anyway, we celebrated with nothing big, just Jeff's favorite foods for dinner, and a cool present from me and the boys afterwards. (We gave him an iPod Nano!!!) He seemed to be really impressed and like it, and that is hard to do. He is a tough nut to crack. Hmmm. Now that I read this, maybe we are middle aged. We celebrated both our birthdays and our anniversary with quiet evenings at home with the kids. Yikes! We've lost all our verve!

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11th

It was a pretty emotional day at school today. We did a lot of different activities to commemorate the events that happened 5 years ago. As I was sitting with my class this morning, listening to a prayer service, I thought about how all of the children I am teaching this year were realliy just babies when it happened, about a year old at the most. 5 years ago I was teaching 3rd grade and I can remember clearly how much the events of September 11th changed those 8 year old's perception of the world. We spent the school year talking through their feelings and helping them make sense of that day and the days that followed. In many ways, I feel closest to that class, my second ever, because we shared so much, and we changed so much together. It made me sad for my students today, that almost their entire lives have been spent in a world with terror threats, pictures of planes flying into buildings, and war in Afghanistan and Iraq. They've really never experienced that feeling of safety (alhough it turned out to be a naive feeling) that we all had before that day. When I was a child, it never would have occurred to me to think that someone could hurt me our my country. My own sons will not know what this is like. Evan was almost three that day, and we happened to be home from school together since he was sick. Even though he was so little, he deeply remembers the day and watching it on TV. I knew as it was happening Evan shouldn't be seeing it, but I couldn't turn the TV off. I just had to know what was going on, everything was so scary. Today as we were driving to school listening to the Today show on the radio, he wanted to know if it could or would happen again. Will our children ever get to feel safe again?


In a totally opposite train of thought...Charlie said his first word yesterday! At dinner he was pigging out on crackers, and he kept screaming every time he wanted another one. I thought, okay! Time to break out the baby sign language. Before I gave him the next cracker, I said more, showed him the sign for more, and helped him to make the sign too. By the fourth try he shocked the heck out of me. He yelled to get my attention, looked straight at me, said "More!" and grinned. Okie dokie! Let's bypass the signing and go straight for the talking! He even said it a few more times, until I had to cut off his cracker supply. GO CHARLIE!!!!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Slow Weekend

We have spent yet another weekend recuperating. Charlie went to the doctor on Wednesday, and was diagnosed with a sinus infection and a staph infection on his cheeks. The antibiotic seems to FINALLY be kicking in today. I am so glad to be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!! It has been such a long three weeks.


I did get two things accomplished this weekend that make me excited...we bought a freezer which we are keeping in our storage room. I have been wanting one of these for forever so that I can stock up on meat when it is on sale. Also, my sister took Evan to the apple orchard yesterday (one of his favorite activities). She picked up a bushel of apples for me, and today I cored and sliced them (with my rockin' Pampered Chef apple machine!!) and I put them in the freezer to use later for pies, deserts, etc.


I just heard that one of my good friends Katy is pregnant with her first child, due in April. Even though she never reads this, shout out to Katy and Dan!! I am really excited for them!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

No Sleep

I was looking back at past entries that I had made in my blog yesterday...and I found one from right after I got married that told how miserable Jeff and I were trying to share a bed. We kept kicking each other, stealing blankets, and getting in the other's way. I didn't think it would ever get better! Fast forward a year, to last night. Jeff didn't go to bed last night until after 1:00 since he took the day off today as an extra day of vacation. I could NOT fall asleep soundly until he was there!! I could only doze on and off, and I kept having these creepy feelings that something was wrong, like someone trying to get into the house or something. I am just pathetic I guess. My first graders are getting the better of me today since I am SOOOOO sleepy!!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Still Sick

Ugh!! I am sick of us being sick. I stayed home with Charlie from school on Monday, and Jeff stayed home with him on Tuesday. He ran a fever off and on for four days. On Tuesday I started to feel really strange. My skin hurt and ached all over. I can only describe it as a creepy crawly feeling. It got worse and worse until Thursday when I got extremely dizzy, and then started running a fever as well. Yesterday all of the same continued only then I got cold symptoms too like a sore throat, runny nose, and headache. This morning Charlie woke up with a rash and another fever. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!! I just want us to feel normal!! We were supposed to drive up to Harlan today to have lunch with Jeff's aunt and grandma, but we didn't since we didn't want to pass off all of our germs on to his Grandma, who is in her 80s. I feel so bad about cancelling....I really don't want them to think that I just didn't want to come. On the other hand, it is so nice today to do nothing but work on feeling better.

In happier news, I just bought Jeff's birthday present and I am SOOOOOOOO excited about it! I know he is going to love it! He turns 30 on September 12th, and he hates people to look at him or pay any attention to him at all on his birthday. So, since I couldn't do anything fun (or normal) like have a fun party, I knew I had to make the gift pretty exciting instead since it is his big 30. I can't wait to give it to him!!!!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Sick Sick Sick

There is a nasty cold going around school, and it has now hit all the members of our household as well. Evan got it first, he passed it to Jeff, Jeff passed it Charlie, and Charlie passed it to me. Charlie's asthma has really been affected by the whole thing. He was coughing and wheezing all evening. I can handle diarhea, vomitting, you name it, but when they have problems breathing, it scares the crap out of me. It's especially hard because I have asthma too and I know how scary it is, and that's as an adult. I can't imagine what it's like for Charlie, who doesn't understand. It has made for an exhausting first weekend in the school year. I am hoping things are better next week.

School was crazy this week. I have my most challenging class ever. Maybe I am just spoiled from last year, when I had a GREAT room. I know that eventually these kiddos will get whipped into shape too, but the 1 million dollar question this year is....Do I have the energy to get them that way?

Friday, August 18, 2006

I am finished with my first marathon week of school. It is always a tough week of trying to get things ready for the first week with kids while at the same time attending meetings and inservices. I think I have things ready to go. We had Open House last night from 5-7:00, and I got the chance to meet my new families and kiddos. I have 7 returning families (families where I have had other siblings in past classes) which is so nice. You form such close relationship during the year, it is hard to send them off to the next grade, so I love the chance to reconnect with kids and parents. My class seems to be packed with really nice kids this year, so I am excited to work with them. There have been some pretty stressful situations at work in other areas in the four days we have been back, so that has been more than frustrating, but hopefully as the school year gets off the ground we will be able to overcome these things.


Charlie popped out tooth number 8 this week at daycare, so I am hoping that had something to do with his not sleeping or eating while he was at school. Maybe next week as they settle into more of a regular routine, things will get better. Yesterday I was able to leave for a bit in the afternoon between work and Open House, so I took the kids to my parents house. When we got there, Charlie gobbled down 6 ounces and then crashed for 2 hours. It's almost like he waits to be at home so he can relax and eat and sleep.


Evan spent the week in After School Care, where he was completely disgusted. He was bummed about waking up early, the new teacher there, and about a new problem we are dealing with. A bully. Ugh...I have had so much training in this area as a teacher (a whole inservice on Tuesday in fact) since this is such a huge problem in schools, but it is completely different when it is your own kid. I forget everything I am supposed to say, and I want to go grab this kid and protect Evan from him. The other tough thing is that this bully is the child of a close friend. Such an akward situation!!! It has made him dread going in to school in the mornings. We did have some good news this week though. After searching all summer, I have FINALLY found a doctor who is willing to work with Evan, and who is on our insurance plan. Hallelujah! I am hopefully we can get some answers and treatment this year.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

MAJORLY Stressed Out

I went back to work on Monday, and I have been miserable ever since. There are some really ridiculously stressful situations happening at school that I wish I could write about (but don't want to end up like dooce so I won't) that are making me dread going in every in. Daycare for Charlie has also been really hard. He has really only been there for about 7 weeks prior to this, and it was at a point in his development when he wasn't super cognizant of what was going on, and he definitely hadn't gone into the whole stranger anxiety thing yet. This time it's a whole new story. His teacher Miss Mary is new to school, but she is doing an outstanding job. She is a natural with infants, and I can tell she is already in love with Charlie, which is exactly what you want in your child's caregiver. He seems to really enjoy her as well, as he goes to her willingly when we get there in the morning. Every time I pop in, she has been holding him, or playing with him, and my mom reports that she thinks the sun rises and sets on him. However, he won't eat while he's there, taking at the most 2 ounces at a time, and he won't sleep for more than a 30 minute stretch about twice a day. He is used to taking a 2 hour nap in the morning, and then again in the late afternoon. So, by the time I get him, he is ravenous and extremely cranky. It is a mad dash to get home, because he can barely stand the 20 minute car ride because he is so hungry. I am insanely missing him during the day, and I wish our time at home was filled with playtime and cuddles but it ends up being more damage control. I have tried visiting him during the day, which is something I love being able to do at school, but I think it just makes it worse for him because he screams when I leave, which then makes me burst into tears. I am so emotional about everything right now anyway, that I have cried at least once every night this week. I have also had tons of work to do at home every night, so I feel like I don't ever get a break or god forbid relaxation time because I am constantly taking care of the kids, at work, or doing work at home. I hate this. I am terrifed of Sam, because I have absolutely no idea how I am going to cope when he is born. Jeff is at work most days until 7:30 or 8:00, so I really feel like I am on my own with things. Is this worth it? I am making myself crazy, the kids crazy, and I don't have the time or energy to complete everything I need to do for everybody. I really feel over my head.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Exhausting Weekend

I am pooped! This is my last weekend before school starts, and I had wanted to take it easy and relax, maybe get in a Christi/Alyssa fix. Instead, my parents left for a weekend in Kansas City to help my Aunt Connie move into her new house. They deposited my brother Ben on my doorstep along with their dog Tekla. (Creighton was supposed to watch the dog but canceled on them at the last minute). Tekla is 13 years old and in the last stages of heart failure. Within 45 minutes of being here on Friday night, she peed 6 times on the carpet, and pooped all over the kids' toyroom, hitting several toys along the way. She continued to work her magic overnight, pooping and peeing ALL OVER Evan's bed, and bedroom. I spent all morning cleaning up after her. I felt bad, but I deposited her to my parent's porch with lots of water and food, and her bed. I know the heat isn't good for her, but between Charlie and Tekla, I was completely surrounded with bodily secretions. I also had to go to Wal-Mart (NOT Target!!!) to purchase all of Charlie's daycare supplies for Monday. Then I had to come home and label everything and pack it up. I feel like I am taking him to college to live in a dorm with all of the stuff we have to bring. Don't even ask me how we're getting into the building on Monday between my teaching stuff, his stuff, and the kids. I hyperventilate when I think about doing this with Charlie AND Sam. Tomorrow won't be much better...my sister is coming over so that we can turn her tomatoes from her garden into ketchup and spaghetti sauce and then can it. I am excited to spend time with her, since I never get too (which is a WHOLE other story) but it still means I can't sit down. I am tired just thinking about it.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Crap Has Officially Been Scared Out of Me

I took Charlie to a Target photography studio today to have his 6 month photographs taken. The girl set up an infant positioner under the satin fabric on a table, since I told her he wasn't that great at sitting up himself yet. I put Charlie on top. As the girl stood in front of him with her hand on his knee and worked on getting him in focus on the digital screen, she asked me to shut the door to the studio so that he would stop looking at what was going on outside. I stepped away to shut the door, figuring he was okay because she was holding on to him. All of a sudden I heard her scream, "NOOOOO!" I turned around just in time to see Charlie mid-tumble from the table, and his head slam on the floor. The stupid photographer had stepped away from him. She had semi caught him by the back of the overalls, but not enough to stop his head from hitting. I cannot describe the level of fear that took over my entire body. I actually shoved the girl out of the way to get to my baby. This was not a thought out action, I just did it out of instinct. Charlie was so stunned and terrified, that it took him a few seconds to get his breath back in order to cry. I whisked him out of there, and called the doctor who told me what to watch for in case of concussion. He is going in tomorrow for an ear check, so they will be able to double check then. As soon as I was sure he was okay enough for me to take my eyes off of him long enough to drive home, I strapped him into his car seat. Evan and I both burst into tears at the same time when we sat down in our seats. We were both just horrified. Luckily, Charlie seems to be just fine, but from here on out, I am a loyal Wal-mart shopper.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Heavy Sleepers

There was a VERY loud thunderstorm last night...I swear that for some reason storms are bigger and louder at our new house. There was a HUGE clap of thunder at about 4:00 in the morning...you know the kind where the storm is so close that the lightening and thunder are about simultaneous? I jolted up into a sitting position with my heart racing. I was sure the kids would be freaked out, so I went to check them. They were both sound asleep and didn't look like they had even flinched! Why can't I sleep like that?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Random Thoughts

Not much in the way of big events happening around here...but some random things are flying around my head....

I switched Charlie into a "big boy" car seat today. Now that he is a hulking 23 pounds, it is just killing me to carry him around in his infant car seat/carrier. I was avoiding doing this, because he isn't the greatest at sitting up yet, especially if something catches his attention. He just makes a dive for it, and assumes that I will catch him. I love it that he trusts me that much, but this can be scary in a grocery cart. Plus, with his long limbs he has just plain outgrown his carrier. It is pretty cute to see him sitting up and looking around in the big boy seat.

I hate this week of summer. It is my very last week of summer vacation. I always feel so blah this week. Not just because it is my last week of freedom, but because for me summer is a magical snipit of time for me to spend with my children. It passes so quickly, and it makes me sad to think that so much will change for the kids by the time the next summer rolls around. Evan will be a grown up 8 year old next summer! His childhood is just speeding along...I wish I could slow things down. I know we have precious little time before I become his embarrassing mother that he doesn't want to be seen with. It's interesting for me to think how regulated my life has always been by this schedule of school and summers. Most adults leave this eb and flow of freedom behind, but my world continues to be regulated by it.

I took Trudy in for her shots today...our vet told me that she has three boys at home too, and that for that reason, her dogs will always be females. I totally agree with her. Sometimes Trudy will curl up on the couch with me after "we" have put the kids to bed (she follows me through this routine nightly, checking to make sure each one is in their rightful place-sometimes I think she thinks they are her children too) and she will look up at me with those big brown eyes and sigh like she is saying "what a day we've had!" I know I always want a dog in my life like this, and it will always be a girl. Sometimes, and I know this is crazy, I feel like it is me and Trudy against the world.

We are supposed to get up to 5 inches of rain tonight! I am looking forward to curling up with a good book tonight. There is nothing better than reading on a rainy night, curled up with your dog.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Introducing...

Samuel John Kleffman! We have FINALLY decided on a name for our third little boy, which is such a relief to me. It really helps me to bond with the baby. My sister suggested looking on the Social Securty website where they list the 1000 most popular names in the US. Out of those 1000, we could only agree on one...Hayden. We just didn't like it better than Sam though, which has been the front runner since the day we had our ultrasound. I love that John is his middle name, after both of his grandpas. So...in only around 18 weeks (yikes!) we will be able to see Sam's face.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Smarmy

The boys and I took a trip to midtown yesterday to visit the final days of the Rod Kush's store closing sale. We have needed a matress for our guest room since we moved in, but I couldn't see paying full price for one, and this seemed the perfect opportunity. As soon as we walked into the store, we were approached by a salesman (actually there were a crowd of them waiting to descend on any customer and he happened to run the fastest). It was apparent after looking at him for 3 seconds that Rod Kush has hired members of the mofia to liquidate his inventory. The man, who was extremely Italian, had oiled and slicked back hair. He was wearing a silk shirt with the first three buttons open, slacks, and leather pointed shoes. He had on a thick gold chain necklance, and had a box of Marlboro reds tucked into the waistband of his pants! As he swaggered towards us, he said (insert major mafia accent) "How 'ya doin' today? What can we getcha?" Charlie, who doesn't even cry when he has a double ear infection, is cutting three teeth and is constipated all at the same time, took one look at this smarmy man and let loose with his I am COMPLETELY terrified cry which he usually reserves for the likes of the evil vacuum. Evan looked at me questioningly like, "Who IS this man?" I love that my children are completely great judges of character.

At any rate, we did get a completely good deal on a Serta mattress so our guest room is complete. If anyone would like to spend some time with the Kleffmans, the inn is now open!!!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thank GOODNESS for Christi!!!

I have spent the past two days working like a madwoman in my classroom. My mom could only watch the boys for two days, so I only had two days to get everything set up. Normally, I just take Evan with me and he hangs out while I work, but it is impossible to get anything done with Charlie around. When I got there on Tuesday I was HORRIFIED. We bought a new reading series this year, which means lots of incoming boxes. Some very clever person delivered all of the reading boxes as well as supply boxes for the year to the middle of THE PREGNANT LADY'S CLASSROOM. Aargh! There were no less than 27 boxes sitting in the middle of my classroom floor. I couldn't just ignore them since they were smack dab in the middle of the room. To make matters worse, the air conditioning wasn't working. The outside temp was around 97, so it was sweltering. Just what I needed. I stuck it out though, and got a lot done. Wednesday was so much better! The air had kicked on, praise the lord, and the awesome Christi rocked my world by bringing lunch up and helping me for several hours. I think this is the only way I got done. Evan was insanely jealous that I got to see Christi and he didn't. He was seriously offended that he didn't get to hang out with one of his favorite people, and I got quite a disgusted look when found out. I am so relieved to have this major chore done. It's always an undertaking, but I have been so worried about it this year with the kids. I am really pleased with the way it turned out. I made a lot of changes to set up and boards. I have to keep it new and interesting so I don't get stuck in a rut!


When I went to pick up the kids from my Mom's house, she told me that she thought I looked full term already! YIKES! I have 19 weeks to go. What will I look like in December? Maybe the Michelin Man? The Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man? Scarier yet, who am I going to have to give birth to, Paul Bunyan?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Pregnancy Brain

My brain is so far gone after being pregnant for two years, it isn't even funny. Here is a prime example...


This morning I was driving home with the boys from having breakfast with my parents. I had been stopped at a four way stop sign for quite some time when Evan piped up from the back seat and said, "Mom? Why are we sitting here for so long? I think you can go now." And I said, "I'm waiting for the light to turn green." Lord! Evan, who is developing a hilarious sense of humor said, "Well, I guess we'll be here for quite awhile then." It was only then that I realized that THERE WAS NO LIGHT.

Friday, July 28, 2006

?

Yesterday I had a phone conversation with our life insurance guy. We wanted to make some changes to Jeff's policy, and when he asked why I mentioned baby #3 being on it's way in December. His reply was, "Boy, Jeff is really a tiger in bed, isn't he?" I was speechless. I am still not used to people making these weird comments to me about the babies being close together. The general public feels it has the right to comment on my sex life. What in the world do you say to crap like this? "You know what, he really is. I just can't be near him without him jumping me." I never know how to respond. When Jeff told someone at his job about the baby, they said "Can't you leave her alone?!" (Interesting though, isn't it, that everyone places the blame on Jeff?) How about "Congratulations!" Charlie had his six month check up earlier in the week, and I told our pediatrician that Charlie was going to be a big brother and God bless him, he did say congratulations! One more reason I think the kids' doctor is a saint, and I would follow him anywhere.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Political Angst

This morning I woke up and by a wonderful miracle, both boys were still asleep. I made myself a cup of coffee, and I was able to sit down and enjoy a leisurly breakfast with a good book. How blissful! I love my kiddos, but I am starting to look forward to work a bit to get my injection daily of adultness, and feeling like I am someone besides just Evan and Charlie's mom. I would SOOOO love to stay home with my guys, but sometimes I get these little niggles of doubt about whether or not my sanity would stand it. Sometimes I get so depressed about not having time for me or anything that I enjoy.


While I was feeding Charlie his breakfast, I was catching up on the morning news with Evan, and a commercial came on for Ben Nelson. It was one of those negative political attack ads that are always being shot around. Evan just cracked me up when he said, "Well for goodness sakes! What I am supposed to believe here? One says he's bad, one says he's good! How am I supposed to know who to vote for?" He was so cute! He acted just like he was going to head out to the polls in November. How insightful for him to pick up on the same stuff we adults wonder about. Who to believe? I just love this age. He is becoming so aware of the world around him.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pine Beach

We got home on Saturday evening from what was THE BEST trip/vacation that I have ever taken. Evan, Charlie, and I went with my parents and brother Ben to a place in Northern Minnesota called Pine Beach Resort. We had originally intended to take one van up there, but once we started loading up Saturday morning, it was immediately clear we weren’t going to fit everything plus passengers in one vehicle. So, we loaded up my parents van too. The drive up there is about 10 hours, and I was very proud to drive 8 hours up and 8 hours back (my mom took a turn at lunch time so I could nap a bit). That is the farthest and longest I have ever driven, and I was just fine! The rest of the time, my Mom hung out in the back with Charlie. Charlie was a SAINT on the way up! He didn’t cry one single time in 10 hours. He was doing better than I was! 6 hours is about my limit in the car, and then I start to go buggy.


We arrived about 5 o’clock on Saturday evening, and we drove up to an adorable little yellow cabin. It had a deck in the back that was filled with lawn furniture, and it was RIGHT on the beautiful sand beach and about 6 feet from the crystal clear lake. The cabin was not luxurious, but it was cute, comfortable, and clean, and had everything we needed for an awesome week. The boys and I shared a room. There was a double bed that Evan and I used, and Charlie slept in a pack and play that the resort provided. It was so cozy to settle down for the evening with my kids around me and the sound of the water right outside our window.


The first night we got there, it was the middle of the heat wave. When we arrived it was 105 degrees outside, and since the cabin had been closed up all day, it was 120 inside(I am NOT exaggerating). Minnesota NEVER has heat like this, so they don’t have air conditioning. It was so hot inside you couldn’t stand it. So, we headed out for the lake and swam for a long time. We almost turned right around and came back home, but luckily we didn’t as the heat spell broke the next day. For the rest of the week, it didn’t get over 83, and at night it got down into the low 50s. It was sooooo nice. The water temperature was actually warmer than the air temp! We also made a trip to the local Pamida the next day to buy some fans, and we were very comfortable after that.

Evan had the best week. The resort had about three to four different activities every day that kids could participate in. He went on a hayrack ride, to a water balloon fight, painted a mural, and fed the animals that live on the resort (goats, rabbits, guinea pigs). The animals would come and eat right out of the kids’ hands! We had wanted to do the marshmallow roast and a sand sculpture contest as well but we spent one day at a neighboring lake called Leech Lake where my Aunt Julie and her family were staying. He’s also hoping next year to take some water skiing lessons that they offer throughout the week. There was a playhouse and swing set right behind our cabin and also a rec room that had a TV, some video games, board games, pinball, table tennis, etc. that wasn’t too far away. By Tuesday he felt comfortable going to these by himself, and it was so nice to see him feeling comfortable going places on his own, and to develop some independence. When we are at home, he won’t even ride his bike to the corner unless I am with him, so it made me so happy to see him venturing out on his own. There wasn’t any TV in the cabin, a shock to Evan’s system at first, but it was really nice. We spent the evenings sitting outside on the deck while Evan played in the sand and built sand castles while we watched the beautiful sunsets. Once it was dark we came in and had a card tournament, mostly Kings in the Corner, and Evan became quite the competitive player. It was nice to spend family time without the TV in the background.


Charlie also had an eventful week. He cut three teeth in 2 days, for a total of 6!! He celebrated his 6 month birthday; he started crawling, got constipated up to his eyeballs, and restarted an ear infection he has been battling since the last week in June. I ended up taking him to a doctor in Park Rapids, who prescribed an antibiotic for him on Friday. Despite it all, he warmed our hearts daily with his smiles. He loved having Grandma and Poppo around all the time, and he really loved the lake. He would get really excited first and kick and splash, and then he would get so relaxed that he would fall asleep in my arms. I even fed him his bottle in the lake, with him sleeping in my arms, a couple of times when the teething got particularly bad.


I loved being with my family, taking time out to relax, and being with my boys. I didn’t have one single migraine or heart episode the entire time I was there. I am not sure if it was the weather, the time I could spend just reading or in the water, or not having to do absolutely everything myself that did it. It was truly the best trip I have been on. It was pretty tough to come home. Evan was pretty disappointed to be headed back toward Omaha, and woke up in tears the Saturday morning we left. We had such a good time, my parents would like to make it an annual event, so I am thinking we will be heading up next year too. Probably not so relaxing with an 18 month old, and a 7 month old, but I guess that’s life. I don’t want Evan to miss out on his time just because of his brothers. I can’t wait to head back!!


It was also a time for me to have some reflection time. Things have been rough lately for Jeff and I, and I wanted some time to sort things out. The first 2 days, I just missed him like crazy. Then I began to see the other families around us. In the cabin next to us there was a family with 4 little boys, and they all trailed after the dad the entire week. It was adorable, but when I saw this I got incredibly angry. Usually when I start feeling like this I try to make excuses for Jeff, and I find a way to make it my fault or explain it away (not healthy I know...and one of the things that worry me. For some reason I have fallen back into some old patterns I established with Dan, and I hate it. I really want my self esteem and confidence back!!) But this time, I just let myself be furious with him. I deserved to have him there, and so did the boys. We all deserve to have a husband and a father, but as usual, he was opting out to be by himself. After I was angry for awhile, I calmed down a little and realized that no matter how much we love him or want him to participate in our family, I can't make that choice for him. I can't make him want to be with us, and I can't make him like having us for a family. What I can do, is try to protect myself and the kids from getting hurt from that behavior. I want to give him time to make that choice to love us, but I can't just let us get hurt forever. I did that with Dan, and I let my brain and my heart be at the mercy of someone else despite how unhealthy it was for me. I came away a completely damaged person but I pulled myself together for Evan. I was so proud of the work I had done to get myself back afterwards. It just kills me that I have let it happen again through my behavior. Don't get me wrong...I am NOT saying that Jeff is hitting me or is anything like Dan. I know in his heart he loves us. But I do think to totally pull away from people and act like they are invisible is damaging too.


The day I got back was our 1st wedding anniversary. I was excited to see Jeff, and to see if he had missed us. When we got home around 5 o'clock, he wasn't even home. He had cleaned the whole house, so that was really nice, but I guess I was hurt he wasn't there to meet us. He finally arrived at about 6:30. When he came in he just said hello and how was the trip. No hug, or kiss. He was pretty quiet the whole night. After the kids went to bed, he spent some time alone on the deck, and then he watched a movie. I was pretty tired, so I just gave up and went to bed. I was hoping that the time away would show him what a great thing he has going, but I think he just enjoyed the time alone. Yesterday night was much of the same. He always comes home from work and no matter how much I try to engage him in conversation, he just keeps to himself. I can't live like this. I wanted someone to be my partner, to support me, to love me. I feel completely invisible and taken for granted. I feel like Alice on the Brady Bunch. I take care of the house, the kids, my job, everything, but I don't get the support of anyone. It's really draining on me. He does come and kiss and hug Charlie and totally interacts with him. I am so embarrassed to feel jealous of my own child and the attention he receives from Jeff. I know all of us need to be in therapy, but we can't afford it, so I guess I am using this blog as a tool for getting it out and working through it. Today he came in and was just loving on Charlie, and I just started crying. I had to come downstairs to let it all out. I know Evan feels bad too, since he has made some comments lately. He is so excited to see him when he comes home and asks about every 5 minutes when he will be there, but then Jeff will just say hello to him and that is it. He always asks why Jeff doesn't like him. I wish Jeff could see what a great kid he has in Evan, and what a great wife I would like to be to him. Today we saw a friend who was asking Evan about the trip, and then she said, "I bet Jeff missed you bunches! I bet he gave you a huge hug when he saw you again." Evan looked at me, and then he said "No. Jeff never hugs me." and then these tears just started to fall down his face. I know my quilting friend felt so bad, but why wouldn't you assume that someone would be glad to see their family and hug them when they got back? It just made my heart break that much more.


I am working really hard to realize that while it affects us, this is Jeff's problem, and it is one I can't fix for him. He needs to decide to do that for himself. I also need to keep in mind that I am an okay person, and that I am not causing him to make these choices. I also need to protect myself, and most of all my kids, because they can't do that for themselves emotionally right now. I am just not sure how to do that yet.


In more bad news, we heard while we were in Minnesota that the lab results had come back from my grandmother's surgery. The tumors in each breast were from separate cancers. The one on the left, which we were waiting to hear about, was an extremely aggressive kind, usually genetic. She had a bone scan and a CAT scan done yesterday to see if it had spread to the bone, since they found cancer cells spreading in all of the tissue samples they took. She is having a second masectomy done on Thursday, and will then have to have radiation and chemo. Not what we wanted to hear.

Friday, July 14, 2006

In Hot Water

Yesterday morning as Evan and I were driving to Wal-Mart to pick up some things for our trip, a commercial came on the radio about the AIDS virus. Evan, ever the worrier, immediately began to worry about whether or not he had AIDS. So, I began to explain, in what I hoped were 7 year old terms, about drug use and unprotected sex. I even stuck in there that although not everyone choses to, sometimes it is safer for your health to not have sex until you are married. (Evan has already had some detailed birds and the bees discussions with the arrival of all of these babies. Because he asked, and was interested, I told him exactly how things work. I was never sure until yesterday how much he understood of that.) He was quiet for a few minutes, which is always a bad sign, and then he said, "Then why did you have me when you weren't married?" Yikes! I always knew this day was coming, and that I would look like a hypocrit to him, but I never thought it would happen when he was seven years old. At the same time, I was impressed that he made the jump all by himself from a brief talk about safe sex to his own birth situation. So, I got into the conversation I have been dreading since he was conceived about his dad and I's terrible relationship. It helped that Evan has known for a long time (from his own experience) that his dad is nutso, and we have always talked about how he has a sickness in his brain that makes him treat people meanly, and that this is why he left us. I told him about how we were engaged, and that I thought we really were getting married, and how I have always treasured that my relationship with his dad gave me him. By the time we got to Wal-Mart I was in tears. Who would dream you have to talk about this stuff with your about to be 2nd grader? I always pictured him as a teen ager asking this. I also think he has been mulling this over for awhile, because during the last month or so, he has been TERRIFIED that I am going to leave him. I'm talking he gets nervous if I am in the closet getting some shoes, and he doesn't know it. We talked about that too. He said he was nervous that since his dad left that I will too. It just broke my heart. It does drive me nuts sometimes when he wants to keep close tabs on me at all times, but to get a glimpse into this terror that he feels constantly took my breath away. I am not sure how to prove to him that I am here to stay. Maybe there isn't a way, and we just have to live through this stage. I am sure the people at the store thought I was crazy, but then again, aren't a lot of the people you see at that store? I guess I just fit in.


We are leaving bright and early tomorrow for a stay at Lake Bel Taine in Minnesota at a place called Pine Beach. I am hoping some fun in the sun is a major distraction for him and he can do a little bit of healing while we are away. It is more than a little depressing to realize that although Dan is physically out of our lives, he will never really be gone, and that we will be dealing with his negative effects for forever.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Dr. Phil

I was driving Evan to tutoring this morning, when Evan, my sweet little thinker and champion worrier pipes up from the back seat and says, "Mom, I think you need to go and see Dr. Phil." I was thinking about how we were running late for our 10:30 appointment, and noticing that the van desperately needed gas, so I wasn't quite following and said, "None of our doctors are named Phil, Evan. Who do you mean?" And he reminded me, "You know, the doctor on TV who fixes everyone's problems?" So, a little warrily I replied, "Why do you think I need to see Dr. Phil?" He was quiet for a second, so I knew this was something my little guy was thinking about seriously, and he said, "I think he could help you and Jeff fix all of your problems. I'm worried about you arguing all the time." You could have knocked me over with a toothpick at that moment. I really felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. What am I DOING to this poor child? I have the stupid audacity to give him a biological father who is one of the poorest excuses of a human being I have ever encountered. That situation made him go through enough. When I finally bring a father into the house for him, I am dumb enough to let him hear some of the things Jeff and I have been having trouble with lately. I am sooooo disapointed in myself. I know my parents disagreed about things when I was growing up, but only ONE TIME did this occur in front of us kids. I felt so safe and secure in their relationship, their love for each other, and hence, their love for me. I was very concious of this effort on their part as an older teen and young adult, and always told myself that I would do that for my kids. Where is my head? My seven year old does not need to deal with this adult stress. Ugh!


I went to the doctor today for my third appointment. I am 18 weeks this week. I had a lot to tell her while I was there. I have been having terrible migraines, and haven't been able to take my usual Imitrex or Ibuprofen, so she gave a prescription for something safe to take during pregnancy, bless her. I found out my AFP test, which tests for neural tube defects like spina bifida in the baby came back normal. I told her about my extreme exhaustion, which some days has been so much worse than regular pregnancy tiredness that I haven't been able to get out of bed, and I have had to call my mom to help with the kids. They did some extensive tests on my thyroid, so we'll see how those turn out. I also told her how bad my tachycardia (rapid heartrate for no reason) has been the last three weeks. It was so bad this morning before leaving the house that I was almost afraid to drive, because I was dizzy, and feeling terrible. She is sending me to an internist to have some tests done on my heart, and I am under strict orders to take it VERY easy and keep my feet up. Okay....this wasn't too hard to do when I was pregnant with Evan, but now that Evan and 6 month old Charlie are around? Who can put their feet up then? What will I do with 30 kids in my classroom in a couple of weeks? I can just picture myself saying, "Just a minute boys and girls! Mrs. Kleffman needs to put her feet up!" She also told me that I have a heart murmur. This would make sense I guess since both of my boys have one too. She said when I am my normal self, it probably is so slight you can't even detect it, which is why no one has noticed it yet. But when you are pregnant and are pumping around 40% more blood volume than usual, it can make small problems worse. She said many people have heart issues detected in pregnancy for this reason. She isn't sure this is what is causing the tachycardia, but I guess we will find out. The baby is also still measuring 3 weeks farther along than he should, so they told me to expect another BIG boy like Charlie. Sheesh! I sure can grow 'em good, huh!


In Charlie news, he popped out his 3rd tooth today. Top left front tooth. He was chewing on a toy today, and all of a sudden he screamed bloody murder. A little while later, I noticed it had popped through the gums!! He will look so cute with his top front teeth in! I can't wait until it comes further down.

Monday, July 10, 2006

What Kind of Sports Car Am I?

I'm a Dodge Viper!

You're all about raw power. You're tough, you're loud, and you don't take crap from anyone. Leave finesse to the other cars, the ones eating your dust.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.



Sunday, July 09, 2006

Yucky Weekend

Just wanted to update things on my Grandma Rose...she had her surgery on Friday. The right side was in fact malignant, and had matastisized to her lymph nodes. We are waiting on the tests from pathology to hear what stage of cancer it is, whether or not it is estrogen sensitive, and how agressive it is. On the left, the tumor was to small to biopsy right there, so they had to send it away to a different lab. They are assuming it is cancerous, but are not sure if it is a separate tumor or a matastisis. So, on the right side she had a full masectomy, and on the left, a generous lumpectomy. As they weren't sure about the left side though, if it tests positive, she may have to go back in a month for further surgery to get the lymph nodes and the masectomy on that side. Just the thing an 85 year old needs! She will probably be doing radiation treatments as well, but because of her age, no chemo, which I am relieved about for her sake. It was so nice to be at the hospital, as I got to see her twice before she went in to surgery, and also when she came out. My aunts were so nice too, and took me out for ice cream while we were waiting to make sure at least some part of my birthday was festive.

My weekend continued to be stupid on Saturday afternoon as the following conversation took place at our house. Jeff had teasingly used the duster to tickle Evan in the face while he was dusting his room. I said, "That's probably not a good idea, because it can realy set off asthma attacks for him." Jeff said, "Whatever. He can take it. I am so tired of your crap." I said, "I am not trying to be bossy, but Evan and I are allergic to dust, and it can really make our asthma bad. That's why we dust frequently." And then Jeff said, "One more week! I can't wait!" Referring to how the rest of us are leaving on Saturday for Minnesota and he is not. Which hurt my feelings on so many levels. It confirmed my suspicions that he doesn't want to come because he doesn't want to be with us. And of course, who wants to be told that others can't stand to be around you? Many people, especially men have told me that I am terrible to live with. I guess I am a complete failure at this wife thing. It has barely been a year, and my husband wants to get far and fast away from me. I also was hurt that he would say such a thing in front of the kids. I don't think that's healthy. I really don't know what to do.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

(Pre) Happy Birthday to Me

Sorry about what is going to be a long post...I haven't written anything in a long time because I guess to be truthful I have been avoiding it. I am not sure if can I express what I have to say without sounding like an ungrateful whiner, so if that is how it comes off, I apologize in advance, as that is not my intent. Yesterday, Jeff and I went in for our second ultrasound. We were sent to Methodist Hospital and the perinatologist program there. My brother Ben was born with birth defects that are genetic, so they have us do a level 2 (3-D) ultrasound so they can check carefully on the baby. We got to talk for an hour with a geneticist, which was interesting, as she also had some suggestions on the familial breast cancer worries we are having right now. Then we went in for the ultrasound where we found out we are having another boy. Here is where I am going to start sounding stupid. As soon as the doctor said the words "outdoor plumbing" I started crying. I continued crying for another two hours. I thought I was prepared to find out that it was another boy, and I really thought that I hadn't hoped too hard for a girl, but I was REALLY wrong about that. With my first two, I guess I always told myself well, maybe next time. Only now there is no next time. The realization that I will never have a daughter hit me like a ton of bricks. It makes me cry right now to think of it. There are so many things that I have always dreamed of doing with my little girl, like putting her hair in pigtails, talking about boys, seeing her in her dress at her wedding day, baking Christmas cookies, sharing a pregnancy. Who will I pass my quilts and recipes and jewelry on to? I am just so completely, utterly sad about this that I can't even explain it. I then had this weird dream last night where I was having a miscarriage. In all the mess, I found the body of a baby, dressed in frilly pink girl clothes. I just held her for the longest time, and stroked her hair, and I knew this was all I was going to get of my baby girl. I know that is so morbid, but I think it was my mind's way of dealing with things. I woke up sobbing, and I couldn't go back to sleep. To Jeff's credit, he kept his cool as his crazy hormonal wife cried her way out of the hospital and into the parking lot. He even took me out to lunch. I felt a little better afterwards. We even decided on a middle name, John, after both of his grandfathers. I hope we decide on a first name soon. I so need something like that to help me start bonding with this baby. I feel even more disconnected from it than I did before, and I really need to get into this before too much longer. I am so scared about having two this close together that my thought for a long time has been...if this is a girl, it will all be SOOO worth it. Now what? There is of course, the logical part of my brain that says I have so much to be thankful for. The baby is healthy, we are lucky enough to be able to get pregnant (a little too easily though), and we are so blessed with our wonderful family. I LOVE my Evan and Charlie, and my relationships with them. But sometimes, I guess the heart and feelings rule over the brain.


I called Christi last night to share the news, and it was so nice to tell someone who understood exactly how I felt. Then, this morning, she completely made my day. Christi and Alyssa came to kidnap me and the boys and we escaped to one of my favorite places, Harlan. There is a restaurant there called Mickels (or Wickies, as we call it at my house) that I LOVE. It is adorable...all the decor is yellow, orange, and green from the sixties. The food is unbelievably yummy down home cooking, and this is where we were treated to lunch. I have been craving grease like you wouldn't believe, and so for lunch we had fried cheeseballs, fried chicken, the most amazing hot rolls (also greasy), mashed potatoes and gravy, and salad. Charlie ate his first round of mashed potatoes ever. It took him awhile to get used to it, but then he went to town and ate almost all of one of my scoops. I am so proud he did it at Mickels! Then we headed over to her parent's house, who are the sweetest people. Jeff's dad lives across the street, so we waved to Grandpa John's house. It was actually Charlie's first trip to Harlan, and I am so glad it happened on such a fantastic day. Christi gave me a tour of downtown Harlan, and then we headed home. The drive back was so nice, since all three kids drifted off to sleep, and we got to just relax and talk. When we got back to Omaha, Christi and Alyssa joined us for a trip in the hot tub. It was the most perfect birthday gift slash pick me up. I am feeling lots better and more in perspective about things. I thank my lucky stars all the time that I have a friend like Christi, but especially after times like today. She always knows exactly what to say or do to make something better.

I am kind of considering today my official birthday, as tomorrow my grandma is having her double masectomy surgery. Jeff was a sweetie patutie husband and took the day off of work so that I can spend it at the hospital. What a way to turn 29! This morning I was thinking about everything that has happened to me since my last birthday...got married, had a baby, got pregnant again, got a van, got a new house. One of the most eventful years of my life. Probably THE most eventful. I am hoping for a more peaceful 29, but with three boys to keep up with, my guess is this won't happen.

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