The “safe zone” of pregnancy…

It’s a girl…or was a girl I guess…

They think she just stopped growing. But she was there, actually she still is there-everything that is “supposed” to be there is there- I have the picture as “proof”. The grainy baby shaped white “blob” against the black background. She looked just like the other ones. Just like the other “pictures” I saved (to some day make the kids each a baby book-like the one for my firstborn…).

Everything was perfect…but then it wasn’t. All the tests show positive right away (the pink plus signs, the two parallel lines, the word “yes” and the actual word “pregnant”) with the first drop… and continue to do so…even after…

There were no tell tale signs or bleeding and everything looked completely normal…until it didn’t.

I just never expected this…everything started like it did with my other beautiful healthy children. I have lost pregnancies before-when we were trying and then succeed…but then I ended up with a heavy bleed… but I have never been to a doctor’s appointment before where the baby had no heartbeat.

How could it be fine and all there and progressing and then not?

How could you go weeks and weeks expecting, hoping, planning- happy, excited, involved. And then the nothingness…

Lots of women go through this everyday-most before the “safe zone” of 12 weeks (1 in 4 they say), but many even further along, and then there are the few who have to suffer through the unimaginable devastation of stillborns and infant loss.

We went weeks, months actually still hoping, praying for a detectable heartbeat and growth-it was there-and then it wasn’t…

We planned room arrangements, a new car, we found out the gender…

Perhaps everything was planned prematurely but we were so close to the safety zone…

I ordered a “gender reveal” princess cake…
A cake we never picked up…

I had lots of hopes and dreams for this child…a child that will now never be…

You can argue that it was still a fetus, that there had been signs (for example there was no severe nausea in the first trimester like with the others). That there was no “baby” yet. That nature got rid of a “defected” fetus…

But try telling a pregnant momma that-a momma who has known about the pregnancy from week 5…

Then the bleeding started…so close to the second trimester and the safe week. The doctor even said light bleeding does not necessarily mean…

But I knew…

But hope is a funny thing…

I had borrowed a heart monitor from a friend…it was pink and promised that you should be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat from week 10 (but you could try from week 8). I felt pathetic trying to locate my baby girl’s heart on my own-when professionals hadn’t been able to at our last appointment…

The dread when you feel the ultrasound technician’s fear, worry and sympathy is excruciating. I like being prepared, and even though you can never prepare for something like this, I was in complete and utter shock and disbelief.

Anything but that…I just wasn’t expecting it – at all…

We were supposed to go on vacation. We had been excitingly packing…now this.

My doctor said not to loose hope-that it was still “50/50”. We planned to still go on the tropical “all inclusive” vacation. We needed it. I needed it.

We hadn’t told the kids yet (but I think our oldest might have been suspicious). We were going to tell them that weekend…before this happened.

There was no blood the day before our trip, we hadn’t told anybody…

A baby for Halloween THIS year. A baby coming with us home for Christmas-everyone who knew were excited…

I told my hairdresser the baby had stopped growing…that there was no heartbeat…

I might be walking around with something dead inside me…

I felt uncomfortable, down, awkward, sick, like a failure…

This is how being in “limbo” feels”.

She encouraged me to go, to get away, to think about something else (even though the thought of “her” were all consuming).

Everybody encouraged us to go…
The white, sandy beaches, the sun, the food the service- it would be good for me-for us.

The kids were excited, they packed their own little backpacks-everything was done and ready to go…

Then my body started to betray me- the beginning of the end of this journey started…

 

Monster Trucks and Insomnia

Has anyone else been woken up in the middle of the night (especially during pregnancy when sleep is so hard to come by) of a monster voice (completely loud, scary and distorted)? Been forced to face your fears (toddler in tow) sneaking around the house (slightly terrified and not so slightly exhausted) just to find the source of this hellish sound? No? Doesn’t ring a bell? Hmm,
Well…
What if I tell you the source was a battery operated (freaking) toy!!! Maybe now you follow me??
I seriously looked everywhere- EVERYWHERE before I found it, tripping on boxes and random stuff (did I mention we are moving??) and stepped on my fair share of little Legos (ouch! Why will they be the last thing we pack?)
Guess where I found this Devils device?
In the completely natural, as well as logical, place for a black and orange toy truck…- in the shower!

That was my night last night, unable to fall back asleep, even if my princess (no way that was her nickname in the pitch black house where everyone else seemed to be sleeping just fine) eventually did. I laid their cursing my inability to relax my body enough to just slip away- and then- as usual the thoughts come. The scare that is pregnancy, the lack of control, the worry, the fear of history repeating itself- except this time way, way worse…

It had been kind of a weird week, it started with something really odd happening. I felt that I at least had to mention it to my nurse but like I told her the “story” was kinda hard to explain without the Lego cars and Duplo people (that is how I explained to mom over Skype and hubby after work).

I drove my kids to my son’s school as usual in the morning- kinda late- also as usual. When I park I see that someone is sitting in the car next to me, she appeared to be on her phone and without kids in the car- obviously she hadn’t been late. As I rush my 4 year old and his “why questions” out of the car armed with his latest art project, lunch boxes (snack AND lunch), going back to the front seat for the “lunch bunch ticket”, putting shoes back on (at least I didn’t forget them), I see in the corner of my eye that the mom in the next car puts her phone down and turns her car on. I am late so I attempt to catch her eye. Maintaining eye contact, assuming that we get each other I move my way into the tight space (remember I’m not exactly skinny mini nowadays…not that I ever was…but…just saying). She is in one of those ginormous SUVs (black and hard to distinguish from all the rest) sitting very high up. I judge that I can still get darling daughter out of her car seat (and in my arms) but I did NOT count on her starting to back out. I must say I have a split second to panic slightly- she sees us right? Again I think we are on the same page as I signal to her that I will move me and my son out of the way so that she can pull out. As I close the door on my girl I realize that the driver and I are not on the same page- AT ALL…

I push my (luckily very skinny) son flush against the car while I turn towards the huge car in the very tight space as she rapidly reverses-taking the corner- AND my stomach with some speed. I actually scream, flailing my arms for her stop as my big tummy pretty much gets smashed by the left front of her vehicle…

She does see my then- looking surprised and slightly confused…did she not see the whale with feet trying to safely get her kids to school on time?

She then tries to pull forward again, making it worse by squishing my baby bump yet again. I yell for her to stop and she comes to an abrupt halt- actually looking appropriately scared now.

I managed to squeeze myself (not easy people) as I push my son (who is completely fine by the way) back towards the back of my own car. As soon as my sore stomach, son and I have reached the back of our car she reversed again and speeds away…

I get my daughter and we speed away ourselves- by foot that is- towards class.

Hours later I can actually feel the pain. I google the heck out of what I had just experienced but I think google is even more confused than myself.

What the heck happened this morning??
I know however that baby is probably perfectly fine in her (his?)  cushiony cocoon- me- not so much.

Later on both my sister and my mom agree that baby should be okay but that I should ask the nurse just in case, that the mom driver probably sat up too high to see my huge belly…but why oh why did I not even take her license plate number…? (I guess that was the last thing on my mind…and anyways what would that help?!?)

The week continues with another urinary tract infection and I wouldn’t even be worried except during my last pregnancy  a UTI developed into a full blown kidney infection…which might have been what caused my water to break prematurely…so yeah- worried!
We had to stop by the pharmacy to pick up my prescription on the way back from my son’s school.

Both kids are in rare form. My daughter refuses the cart and decides to run around pushing everything off the shelves while my son is whiny and super loud- asking (yelling) for some cookies. I rather not hold my girl too much right now but the adorable toddler turned shoplifting maniac doesn’t give me much choice as she stuffs her clothes with chocolate and some random medication (wait are those…condoms?). Returning the stuff is challenging while holding the squirming animal, bending and lifting while simultaneously managing a preschooler who screams that I am leaving him and that I’m being a bad mama! (Pleasant isn’t he!?). As we stand in line (kind of- at least I am trying) to finally pick up the antibiotics I can both see and feel the stares. This man actually goes as far as asking the old guy in front of him “can you even stand these screaming kids?” I want to snap back but I’m all out of energy, besides they are both being REALLY annoying. Even the pharmacist promises several times that we are almost done with the transaction and that I absolutely don’t need a consultation on how to take these pills. Who is he trying to convince me or himself. As my son screams for me to stop pushing him when I simply try to steer him towards the automatic doors I see the mixed looks of pity, understanding and pure irritation. They are all probably looking at my huge belly, thinking I can’t even handle the two I already have!!

To round up my week- my big ultrasound followed by my regular obgyn check up imagedidn’t exactly go as expected…

 

Nauseaus insurance apt and fun movie night at the park!!

It’s not that I’m nervous, because I’m not anymore (no, really!). I’m feeling physically nauseous, the room is actually spinning. I had a mommy-son date day with my 4 year old this morning (eh noo I wasn’t drinking). It was great fun as we watched a movie and then grabbed lunch and did some book shopping, but maybe that was the problem 9not the books). I didn’t really have breakfast and all those popcorn before lunch. Anyways there are about five minutes before the stern (rude) insurance lady is due (no doubt she will be right on time if not early) and my stomach is doing backflips. I look so pale (with a weird shade of green) as I look in the mirror trying to decide if I have to throw up. So typical, either I’m coming down with something or it was those darn popcorn and then lunch on top of it- way to plan when I knew I had this important meeting. Now I’m not even nervous about answering the stupid questions (do you hang glide, skydive, parachute out of jet planes on a regular basis?) but about not getting good lab results because of how I’m feeling lightheaded and faint.

Baby girl refuses to go with nanny (and when I say refuse…I mean refuse) so I have to get blood drawn, answer questions and pee, all with her on my arm. She (not baby) also checks my heart rate, elliptical is extra fun the way I’m feeling!, and of course blood pressure. She is at least not telling me to go check myself in to a hospital right away and I do make it until the end. Only 7-10 days until we get the results back. No biggie!

So that weekend, the one before school starts we go to the very last “movies at the park” before summer ends. What a great initiative for our community to get people together for some (free!!) fun for kids and adults! There is face painting, balloon animals, popcorn and hotdogs. We have packed our own picnic and brought blankets and pillows. This was going to be a great family night! We are catching a “penguin movie” and our big boy sure is excited! Baby girl is not sure what is going on, she is just happy to be hanging out with her whole family…and then there are the bouncy houses! Why oh why did we ever decide that it was okay for her to try jumping in one?. We probably thought she would bounce with her brother for a while and then move on to the next activity without any fuss. Gosh were we wrong about this strong willed little one. She can be kind of feisty at times and as she looooved to bounce, there was no stopping her!

When we first let her jump, we had the whole bouncer to ourselves. She was alone in there with her brother (and we stupidly thought he would be the bigger problem). Once other kids started to climb in we immediately decided to take her out… Except she clearly had other plans. She refused to come even close to us as we awkwardly reached for her in the slim opening of the bouncer, she just giggled and kept bouncing. She is way to young, I kept thinking, she will get hurt. As her big brother and two other older kids were jumping she would just fly around in there, laughing but seconds- according to paranoid mommy- from getting seriously hurt. I begged the other kids to stop bouncing just for a moment so we could get in there and grab her. What a buzz kill! I let daddy do the honer and he did catch her but her disappointment was huge. She was livid, screaming and kicking us, waving her little arms, throwing her head back in protest “whyyyy?? Would you do that to me” she seemed to be yelling (and let me tell you she was yelling) “that was sooo much fun!!!”

Well, the night, although fun overall kind of went downhill from there. Princess is crazy focused on those bouncy houses and won’t let it go (she actually escapes us both once almost making it all the way in!). Our son has a major meltdown because first he wants his face painted like a dinosaur (T-Rex duh!) and then well…he doesn’t. Daddy gets his boy a balloon animal but not his girl – that didn’t go over well…lets just say he had to stand in line all over again…for almost an hour…missing the start of the movie…oh and also his food got cold!

Speaking of food, as we dig out our picnic from the cooler someone forgot the potatoes (mama is not happy) and someone forgot his favorite pillow (ahhh). As the movie starts, little girl thinks it’s okay walking around socializing. Surprisingly it’s NOT okay with most people trying to watch the movie in quiet with their families. She screams however when I try to haul her back to our blanket- we didn’t bring lawn chairs because the website clearly states “no lawn chairs”…of course everyone brought lawn chairs. And here I was under the delusion that she would cuddle up and sleep in my arms since hello! It’s way past her bedtime. I was even ready to offer up some nursing, I brought the cover (which she hates) and everything. She just keeps biting me with an evil laugh and off she goes. Nobody is enjoying her antics so I leave dad and son to watch the movie in peace while I take her for a walk. Except it’s pitch black anywhere that’s not lit up by the giant screen and I can’t even see where I’m walking.

The walking does not put this little independent diva to sleep, she wants to WALK! So we walk around and around and then we nurse in the park bathroom, at least the lights are on in here. Until they are NOT. It is darker than outside if possible and I hear people leaving, hoping that we are not locked in here for good and that in that case people will start looking for us…eventually…

I find my way out following the walls while holding the now sleepy little madam AND we find our way back to the correct blanket and the rest of our family. Puh! That was not easy let me tell you!

As soon as I settle in with baby girl, my husband’s arm around us and our boy in between us, something happens and the huge blow up screen falls apart, slumping like a sad popped balloon. Maybe it’s time to leave now (we gave it our best effort after all) we suggest this to our son. He gets so upset it’s not even worth getting up, so we sink back down again only to quiet him down. Problem is…

Little lady is yet again wide awake because all of the drama…

Another walk around, shorter this time because frankly the park in the dark away from all the people is not that tempting. Luckily little man announces after about ten more minutes that his little sister is now scared of the movie!

And that is that folks! Summer movie fun at the park!

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Huge Christmas Trees, Potato Tacos and a little bit of life insurance…

We’ve had a busy week after coming home from my sister’s (the heat alone makes everything harder). I asked my son if he missed her and to my surprise he continue to answer no repeatedly (even if he cried when we left). So I ask again and he yells “NO mama, stop asking, it’s too hard to talk about”!!
He also keeps talking abut her house, horse and dog and now he even has a pretend horse and a pretend dog named the same names!

We had to get our dog back, we had to stock up the fridge and pantry, we had play dates and soccer and swimming. On Monday, I had to go to school to hand in grades and return final exams and had to bring both kiddos along, which was interesting with all the questions my son asked EVERYONE and how little my baby girl wanted to hang out in the baby carrier.
I had to go all the way back to get the stroller- turns out she liked that even less!

I manage to get all the paperwork in and books returned with the school still standing (two years ago my son tugged a giant Christmas tree down in the main office while I was still a student hoping to graduate- fortunately no one was hurt- unfortunately the giant tree WITH lots of ornaments took down a desk, a couple of chairs and some paintings off of the walls as it went down- I wonder why they declined our offer to stay and help clean up…!??) and everyone in one piece!

Since everything went so well and since we were starving I decided to make the (very bad) decision that we would have lunch right there in Old Town at an actual restaurant. I don’t know about your kids but mine are certainly not what you would call well behaved at restaurants (or any place where sitting down quietly for an extended period of time is required) so I’m not sure what I was thinking? Wait, yes I do!
You will think I’m crazy…but knowing how much I like potatoes…and Mexican food maybe you would understand! They have these potato tacos that are seriously to die for. I went to this little place several times when I was pregnant with my daughter- it was always like “dinner for two…” Or “two or more sets of plastic ware to go…?) nop! Just for ONE, at least I could indicate my stomach then and blame my pregnancy. Now – not so much but I was really craving them and we were right there…so…

Of course it ended up a disaster, the rice, the salsa…the guacamole… in the water fountain (ehm, yes!) and two kids wilder than ever. It was “check please!” pretty much as soon as we had gotten the food- despite my preparation of “chips right away”, apple juice (any measures) and a brand new dinosaur coloring book…
At least I managed to scarf down one potato taco (hey, they are just not the same heated up).

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On Tuesday I had my appointment with the insurance lady that I have been trying to avoid for quit some time. It just didn’t feel like a very fun thing to do despite the needed end result of life insurance (besides she sounded super rude on the phone- maybe because it was slightly difficult to get me scheduled). There was talk of blood draws and running on the treadmill, urine samples and  blood pressure readings. I guess that is all fine- pretty much what we women do on a regular basis during pregnancy, am I right!? (Well maybe not the treadmill- which in my case was the elliptical we have at home). But this “check-up” seems so nerve-racking like a test you have to pass and it is for something so depressing and unthinkable as life insurance. Who wants to even think of that? Especially when you have young children. But I guess it’s a necessary evil.

So I did schedule with the rude nurse even if I did “white-lie” (also called “flat out lying”…but I did feel bad…at least a little bit, I never lie) telling her we wouldn’t be back from my sisters until today- trying to postpone the inevitable. For a while before, I was convinced they would run all the tests on me and find some incurable disease, I actually could physically feel the fear of having to leave my children. I know I’m being ridiculous and ungrateful and a worry wart but everything is just so good right now (and I am actually extremely grateful) which is always scary… (Am I the only one feeling this way?)

Days before the date I had come to terms with it- I swear I really had (it was something that wasn’t to be avoided and it’s good to get the reassurance that you are healthy and getting life-insurance is the mature, responsible thing to do). So at the time of the appointment I was feeling fine until…I wasn’t

Sisterly Love and Adulthood

Last week we made (the long overdue) trip to see my little sister (in my eyes she is still 15…or more like 5…but she is not anymore..). So much has happened in her life lately and is seems like I’m missing so much. Actually we are missing so much in each other’s lives and I can’t help feeling sad about it. I mean I know that is what happens and that its natural and even a normal, healthy progression of life but it doesn’t mean it’s easy.

We were once so close and I now treasure those years that we both took for granted, looking back we seemed to have it all but of course we were then too young and dumb to realize that. We grew up close but with 4 and a half years between us, she was always so much younger. In our twenties however the gap wasn’t so big and we started enjoying the same things.

The moment my sister decided to extend her summer trip in the sun visiting me to actually starting school here and moving in with me was one of my luckiest! We had years of fun, bonding time that neither one of us will ever forget. Sure it was the heartaches and the lack of money and the exams and some hardcore studying (partying) and numerous disappointments but overall it was our years in paradise. Basically no responsibilities, we were in our prime, pretty, blonde, smart, tanned, carefree and overall happy. Our biggest problems included “when will that cute guy call?” “where should we go out tonight?” “how to ace the next test”, “what movie should we watch?” “this dress or that one?” and “what to eat for dinner?”

It’s not like we just fluttered around supported and without ambition and goals, we were both in school full time and we both worked having rent and bills and “hobbies” to pay for (with tremendous help from our parents of course). How lucky were we to have each other? Sisters who didn’t only love each other because we were family, but honestly best friends! We seriously were almost always on the same page and got along better than anyone could or would have expected. We made new friends, bought and sold cars, saved up for special shopping trips, spent holidays in a foreign country away from the rest of our family, lived on little, cooked for each other and helped each other out with everything from school work to nannying to being the “designated driver”.

I went from completing my Masters program to starting my journey towards becoming a doctor of psychology while my sister worked on completing her bachelor degree in business by both working at the school and nannying. I went from nannying to internships to actually small but legit psychology jobs. We shared everything from food to jobs to laughs and most importantly friendship (and in some cases boys… kidding…sort of…).

Now we have been a part for well over five years first surviving her moving back to Sweden for a while and then to a completely different state- very far away while I met my man (had to stay for this one…) here and put down roots-becoming an American myself and everything!

My sister has been here of course but when you work and is a horse and dog mommy (read that right: my sister is not a horse…) you have REAL responsibilities you all of a sudden can’t ignore, it gets more difficult to leave your life for constant trips back and forth. When you get married, get a house, a dog and kid(s) – forget about it. We haven’t missed the huge stuff like her moving into a new house, my firstborn’s homecoming, my bed rest as well as random celebrations of Christmas and birthdays but it’s not the same as seeing each other and being there for each other every single day!

I get sad when I know I’m about to miss some crucial milestones in her life (me being older I know I pretty much have the big ones out of the way!) I was devastated that it took us a year to introduce my sister to my baby daughter… but I know that is life. As an adult you have to work and be responsible and you can’t just drop everything at the drop of a hat. I appreciate my adult life, I really do(wouldn’t change it for the world) and as a big sister, I’m immensely proud of hers!

I’ve always felt some responsibility in being the older sister and before I had kids (and even now I must admit) I worry about my little sister a lot, and I think about her and I naturally only want what is best for her! I can’t believe she made herself into the strong, ambitious and beautiful woman that she is today. Quite the careers lady with a horse and a dog to take care of, a house and a huge white truck!

She had planned an amazing stay for us in one of  the coziest and most charming little village part of her big city, where she now lives. With boat and bus tours for the kids downtown, amazing restaurants, yummy ice cream and treats and endless entertainment. We really, truly had a wonderful time (even the kids “semi” behaved. Me and my husband joked that a couple of days are plenty and very much enough with our kids- maybe you will even still like them at the end of the stay!).
The constant diaper changes (and blow-outs), car seats and strollers, wants and needs, potty breaks (and potty humor), picky eating, toys and tantrums wear you down after a while (but it’s good practice guys!)

Asking my little sister if she was ready for babies (and don’t you just love mine!!? – as they were running like crazy at a rather fancy restaurant) she looked at me with a (very) hesitant look, taking her time to answer…
– well maybe, I think….it’s different when you have your own!

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I just hope I can be there for her now as she embarks on the journey of “real” adulthood and all the huge and great milestones that lay ahead!

Love you Sis!

Ode to the Wipe (wipe wars)

You know the moment when you ask your husband to get a wipe and he turns into a confused alien life form without the ability to understand you…or you know, move!

You are feeding your precious newborn and she spits up all over you and it’s dripping done towards the couch and your fancy pillows and throws…and you yell for your husband (who by the way is already up on his feet, baby less and way closer to the much needed wipes) to get you some wipes!

First the confusion occurs “wipes?” “What wipes?”

“Eh, only the wipes we use everyday, ALL THE TIME” (stay calm, breathe, he will get them very soon).

Enter alien life form, head spins around, walks slowly around in circles, muttering inaudible.

“The wipes, the wipes, the freaking WIPES!!!” You can’t help yelling to emphasize the urgency here!

“Uh, where?”

“Uh” (you have surrendered to mockingly imitate which you really didn’t mean to but the baby is falling asleep and you rather not wake the monster…eh hmm little angel and you are pretty darn fond of those pillows…)
“Right there, right there, where they always are, right by you HURRY”

Confused expression, looking in the general direction of where I’m painstakingly pointing; “okay, okay, no need to yell! I’m going!” Walking in slow motion. It is brutally painful to watch and no matter how hard I’m tilting the baby in different angels and soaking spit-up up with my shirt sleeves (nice, I know!), the first pillow is now soaked (just one more thing to add to the to do list! Yay!)

“Eh, which kind of wipes again??”

“What kind, WHAT KIND???”

“Yeah, you know there are the purple or the blue”

“WHITE, WHITE, they are all WHITE and all the SAME!!!!” I’m already getting up, hoping against hope not to wake the baby, regurgitated thick whitish milk dripping down my black yoga pants (what? Gross?? Just pop out a baby and see what you are wearing or what mess is currently dripping done your stretchy pants!)

“No they do have different color on the outside, some are butt wipes, I thought…and some are…”

Getting almost stampeded by furious new mom with a frantically screaming baby on her way to her much needed wipes.

Getting them right in front of my husband who exclaims “oh those! I could have gotten those for you”, falters … slightly terrified at my expression…

“Well, I would have gotten them, no need to get so upset”…

This little anecdote is mean to make you knowingly nod your head…(not think b*tch to yourself) because the truth is you can change out the word “wipes” with almost anything I ask my husband to get fast!

I get it, I’m faster and better at finding things around the house, I know where I put things and I want them in a certain way but sometimes it’s comical (or it would be if it wasn’t so frustrating) how he (and now also my 4 year old) can’t find things right in front of him (them).

Wipes are an excellent example because they are so needed for everyday survival!

This is what I call “an ode to the wipe”

Wipes are indeed necessary items in any family with little kids. Sure they are a household staple but they are also under rated. Wipes are essential, no they are in fact crucial. They have a lot more functions than the most common “wipe butts” function. Think; drool, liquids, spit-up, vomit, sticky messy messes AND also include adult spills. They can be used for older kids as well, not just babies, they can also be used on and for dogs and their messes. They can wipe buggers, paint, apple juice, chocolate, little leaks, big leaks and even bloody noses and knees.

When I was a kid, we didn’t use wipes, not even for changing diapers. The only “wipe like” occurrence I can think of is the “wet wipes” we use to keep in the car on our European road trips.

Now when I forgot wipes at home (ahhh), am out of wipes or just took the last one, its a near disaster. I need wipes in my house (every room), car and purse almost as much as I need air (slight exaggeration but you know…).

Ever taken the last wipe, elbow deep in the century’s worse poopy diaper or as your toddler is a squirmy mess close to your light tan suede couches with chocolaty fingers?

You are in desperate need of a wipe (or several) as you get “spit uped” on, peed on (yes, really), spilled on, or when you bite your tongue so bad after being hit by a flying iPad (yes, this happened) so you are gushing blood everywhere.

No, this is not a wipe commercial…nor do I get any kick backs or incentives of any kinds to post this but come on, don’t you agree parents? wipes are a daily necessity (more like hourly…”minute-ly”).

The need for wipes (no, they are not just “butt wipes” as my husband calls them, they are everything wipes) do not stop once your babies turn into toddlers or even big kids.

Sharing wipes is caring. You need them everywhere, the playground, the store, the mall, the car, so when you are out…lets just say if someone hands you some, you are forever grateful!

I can’t believe I used to live and actually function without them in my life. I was wipe-less for far too long. How could I have missed the miracle of a simple wipe? I must admit, you need them waaay more with kids but wipes are not just for kids, they are for everyone.

Wipes are for everyone, everywhere! I don’t care how old you are even mommies and daddies..(I am a spiller myself!).even if you are not even a parent…you need them!

You are probably wondering where I’m going with this!

Nowhere in particular I most admit but to prove a point; more wipes to the people!

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A pretty medium, slightly stinky, criminal mom!

I actually have to wait a while with this Target guy watching me (apparently I was planning on stealing several items…and told him about it…despite my cart overflowing of stuff and the clever cover of my two whiny kids).

I just want to get out of there-after I pay of course (I promise) and so do my kids. I get increasingly annoyed but I also kind of feel for the guy. I know that in his head, he is just trying to do what is right.

By now though, I totally feel like abandoning my cart (well I would take my kids out first) and just leaving. But ever the polite one, I stand there for what seems like forever until an older women with big brown hair jogs over (she actually is jogging, not walking, not running, jogging!). Ah, so what now? Do I explain myself? I sigh as one of my kids screams for ice cream and the other one is trying to (repeatedly) manage a suicide bungee jump from the red shopping cart.

I actually don’t have to explain myself since first the guy does it for me (emphasizing the word “STEAL” several times) and then the bouncy (I assume it is the) manager apologizes…to me.

I mean of course I’m not surprised but I still get relieved, maybe I can take my kids and leave now, AFTER paying for all our other items of course!

The manager lady explains that (insert name here) he always takes things too literally but that he doesn’t mean anything by it, he is just trying to follow the rules…he is really very sweet (and to quote Seinfeld) yada, yada, yada…

We make it out of there (without being arrested), and all I’m thinking is …

That we could all use some ice cream!

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It all goes well and the ice cream does taste quite delicious until baby girl gets chocolate ice cream on her cute pink little jump suit…

A lot of chocolate ice cream…brown…stinky? Ice cream…

Except, of course it’s NOT ice cream, and of course we still have the cart with all the stuff (that we stole from Target…too soon? Ok, just kidding…) and of course this brilliant mama used the spare pants in the diaper bag at the last freaking poop explosion (sorry baby, not your fault…after all your criminal mommy is stuffing you with ice cream…should be illegal, okay, okay, I’m done!).

I decide that we first have to find our white rental car (whole other story trust me…I’ll give you a hint; brakes gave out…and up!) and then a restroom, in that order. Great plan because what would we do with all the stuff? Except baby is seriously leaky…and even strangers are starting to notice the smell (sorry strangers…and again, sorry baby girl) and of course I can’t find the dang car!

My son finds it for us, but unfortunately his mom is too dense to trust him, thinking “this car is too big to be the one we got…and how would a 4- year be able to find the right car anyways? (Only day two of driving it)”

Well, he could and he did…so while mommy wasted valuable time searching for a car her kid found…and found again, she (meaning me) could have avoided some serious leakage (on my own clothes included). Sorry Target, I’m just gonna go change this in your restroom… and then point me in the direction of the baby clothes please…
And oh I might need some of my returned clothes back!

Of course this week I’m right back at Target returning stuff. I tell the lady “no there is nothing wrong with the items but these (work-out pants) are too big, and this one (matching work-out bra) is too small (would have been worse the other way around which has also happened…trust me). As she takes the items back, my four year old turns his big brown eyes up to me and says “one is too large, the other one too small, that means that you are in the middle because you are MEDIUM mama!” (Where does he get everything from…and who taught him that?) Well, there you have it! I’m in the middle…and quite medium!

Big tough mama thug…

Last week returning some stuff at Target (what is it with that store…? You go in for one thing or return a couple items only, and it lures you in with its magical powers and $200 later…) my kids were the least of my problems.

So I’m browsing, realizing that I MUST (urgently need really) some stuff like sparking water (a necessity), baby food pouches (always), little cute, sparkling headbands (well, you know…). My big kid is in the cart trying to hold on to the increasing number of items (I’m really not trying to cover him with household must-haves, baby essentials and crucial clothing items here… but am struggling) and baby in the cart seat.

As I’m strolling along, kids actually behaving (mostly due to the small placating toy and unhealthy snack item-hey I’m human!) my son decides he is dying for some “green stuff”. The green stuff are these dried (and probably fried…?) salted snap peas that he likes to munch on lately. Slightly excited he didn’t ask for candy or cookies (the dreaded “c-words” along with chips and chocolate) I head over to the produce section (because ironically that is where they keep them).

While I’m there I might as well get some apples (naturally) and some veggies for taco night (but of course) and hey, there is the dairy aisle and aren’t we almost out of yoghurt…and milk…? Most certainly milk (can’t be sure because nobody really drinks that stuff but hubby). I grab some stuff (watching my son disappear slowly- only his blond head popping up out of the growing merchandise mountain…it’s not that bad, besides I’m now in the healthy food section…what’s more important than that?) but have to stop my shopping dance in front of the “green stuff”. A Target employee is blocking them and some dried fruit (definitely better than candy) and some interesting looking bagels (so cute and wheat…pretty sure they’re wheat…at least they are sort of brownish looking…better take a closer look…

I’m on a roll here (trying not to impersonate the shopoholic but hey, this is good) so I inch closer to the guy working by the stuff I need and announce in a loud voice “I’m just going to steal some of these and a couple of those”…

As I reach over his arms (he is arranging the “green stuff”) he loudly clears his throat…
You seriously won’t believe what happens next…

The employee asks me why I said that I was going to steal multiple items (wait…what???). I’m so confused, why would he think that?

The target guy stops me as I’m about to back away (this man is clearly not sane…) and announces “that he isn’t comfortable with my statement “to steal” (I can barely remember saying that as it is a saying and I now suddenly wish I would have phrased it differently, very differently) as I unfortunately laugh (wait, is this the same as joking about bombs in airport security…its not, right!?)

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Apparently that was the wrong reaction (but come on!!! Really??) because he looks incredibly serious as he starts talking in his walker talkie thingy (yes this happened!). He tells me to stay put while he calls a manager. I hesitate as I stand with my overflowing cart and my two (now) whiny kids. I take a couple of steps towards him trying to explain that really “can I steal some of these” is really an expression and I never (honestly) meant to steal anything (I know my kid took something from the grocery store so you might be on this nutty guy’s side too… but seriously I didn’t see it AND we took it right back…remember!?). He puts his hands up in front of me (like I’m going to attack him or something…major eye roll…is this happening??) and tells me to please step back and to sit tight (maybe I should sit down too…to take him literally…) but I guess I feel kind of sorry for him at the same time as I’m too polite (and frankly feel a bit uneasy) so I  just stand there with my children at our local Target waiting for a manager because I said that I was going to steal…(only me…)…

Birthday Blues

Baby needs oxygen and gets to stay at the hospital for more tests. I know we are lucky because we don’t have to spend the night. I have both kids with me though and it’s quite exhausting dealing with the worry for the girl and the complete lack of patience or waiting skills of the boy. Baby’s kidneys look the same, thank God but we have to stay because of the diagnosed pneumonia. There are only so many snacks and YouTube videos. At one point, little guy takes his pants off and runs off towards the bathroom, announcing his “plans” proudly for anyone and everyone as I’m busy with baby. Too bad the nearest restroom is at the other end of a very long hallway (that would be my bare bottomed son running by). It must have looked funny with him first, pants around his ankles, triumphant because he remembered “all by himself” that he needed to go, me chasing after, trying to catch him with baby in tow.

My birthday is coming up and I just feel like celebrating, it’s a special year and I want to take my dear friends out for dinner. I know I need to take baby with but since she is the sweetest little thing, I don’t give it a second thought. I ask for nothing else for a gift but the dinner party. Of course the invitations don’t go as smoothly as I would have hoped but the end results seem promising.

I am super excited! We are going to this Spanish tapas restaurant I love. It is super cozy, hidden away by the beach, dark and romantic with a huge tall palm tree out front. The food is beyond delicious and I’m hoping my friends will agree! There is a mix of old a new and these ladies have proven to be the very definition of “true friends” this year. I’m glad they are bringing their husbands and that it is a real “couples’ dinner”, which makes me feel grown up and sophisticated without feeling old.

Finally something to celebrate! We are going all out. Darling husband has promised food and drinks and I order a couple of pitchers of sangria (hoping I get to nurse and then have a glass). We let the restaurant know that we want the back room which is my favorite spot at this restaurant to ourselves and they agree as long as we are twelve people total. We leave feeling like we are going out to an actual restaurant away from home as a couple, meeting people for the first time in years. I could dance with joy! Our son is with the nanny and our daughter seems calm and happy. She loves to meet people and see new places and she is truly such an easy baby. As long as she gets fed-she is all good!

The plan is for baby to nurse first thing, then I can greet my friends, then she’ll fall asleep in my arms and we can transfer her to the stroller (or worst case scenario, daddy’s arms-she is against sleeping alone after all).

Well, what is that saying about plans? I know I often write about my daughter crying…and how loud she can get, but really she is the calmest, sweetest, easiest little baby ever (honestly…not fair to compare with my first one-not at all). First off, she does her sleeping in the car. At the restaurant, she refuses to nurse and she seems to hate socializing at this dinner party for her dotting mother. Hello, some gratitude… She is being whiny and difficult, so unlike her.

My friends try to help by talking to her, even offering to take her, bounce her, cuddle her, distract her. Anything to snap her out of her bad mood – to no avail. She is being extremely antisocial and quite frankly-rude! Just when I think it can’t get much worse (since I don’t even get a second to eat OR drink and forget about any conversation), it does…

Baby girl starts hysterically crying first when hubby tries to take her so I can catch a break at my own party, and then when an old (not in age) helpful friend tries to sooth her. Ok, stranger anxiety kicking in and all that…but she cries just as much when I take her!

It pretty much goes downhill from there. Of course we are sharing the room with another party (even if we are twelve) where someone has the audacity to complain about my attempts to breastfeed (which makes my supportive friends very upset). I even tried to hide myself away on a random couch in between the two dining rooms. My attempts fail as baby girl does not want to eat (how is that even possible?) and they end when she bites me with her tiny and dangerously sharp teeth (actually drawing blood).  Hey, ok so I haven’t had the chance to talk to my friends, eat or drink at my own birthday party dinner and in addition I’m embarrassed. I try to hide with baby in the bathroom, thinking she’ll eat there, since it’s calmer and we don’t need to use a nursing cover (she hates anything draped over her face). That’s a no go! She is just plain mad! And then people start knocking on the door trying to use the one and only restroom in this place. I’m starting to regret having this dinner, it took planning and effort and it’s so important for me that my friends are having a good time.

I imagined it so totally and completely different. My husband is treating me and all my friends and now I just feel slightly disappointed. I know I’m being silly and unreasonable but I can’t help it. looked nice enough and smelled good when we left home, now I’m pretty sure I smell like breast milk and baby drool. I’m too fat, my baby is too young and I’m apparently not even “allowed” to have a good time.

I’m trying to decompress with my sobbing eight months old outside the restroom, but then I’m told by passing servers “we are in their way”. Say what??

Going back to the table, we try to get some pictures in but the waiters are getting antsy for us to leave (already? Didn’t we just get here?). All the delicious potatoes are gone (if you knew how good they are, you would understand my anguish). Baby keeps quiet for about five minutes and ends up chocking on a big piece of bread instead (nice going mama!).

I  love this restaurant, the food, the people, the ambiance. I have an amazing husband and wonderful friends who are all here for me tonight. It’s time to snap out of it. No more pity party. Because the truth is, there is no pity in the way I’m feeling. Digging deep, I discover I feel GOOD, content, satisfied, even happy! So what if my baby is crying? Babies cry! So what if I didn’t get to eat much or drink, or talk to my friends. I’m not a single girl, partying the night away. Nor do I want to be- at all! I’m a new mom, I’m not alone in the not being able to do… well, anything but be a mom. And to be honest, that is what I love. My friends are moms, they know, they can relate and they certainly all understand.

It is a nice warm, beautiful evening in December and I am amongst my closest friends with my husbands and baby girl. I’m beyond blessed and should never forget it. Wanting to celebrate my birthday after a tough year, wasn’t the wrong decision. I got to spend it with my favorite people!

Walking back to the car, talking, laughing, now holding a quiet young lady close, I’m convinced; it was a great night and little miss’ behavior will be nothing more than a funny story we’ll look back on fondly!

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