Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why the Face?

Who can guess why I've been thinking about the following scripture lately?

Genesis 3:16 "Unto [Eve] he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."

Let's ignore the last clause, shall we? That's not where I'm focused today. Rather, I'm looking at the statement wherein women's sorrows are multiplied and we're told that women will bring forth children in sorrow. I thought we weren't supposed to be punished for Adam's (or Eve's) transgression.

I guess I just don't understand why women were given this "punishment." I'm not saying I don't want to bear children, but why does it have to be in "sorrow?" Because really, right about now (35 weeks), I'm definitely sorrowful. My hands hurt (the carpal tunnel is migrating to the right hand as well), my torso hurts (uterus jammed into rib cage anyone?), my back hurts, my belly is heavy and tight, my back is acne-filled, I am quickly running out of clothes that cover my belly, my body is under-exercised and exhausted. Like I said, I'm sorrowful. I usually blame a lot of this on being short, but I'm pretty sure tall women get sorrowful during pregnancy too. And let's be honest. The sorrow doesn't end right after delivery. I'm not leaving the hospital in my size 2 jeans (hahaha--did you catch that hilarious joke?! Size 2. I kill me.). The sorrow continues for a long time. Childbirth is just not easy.

But here's my beef: Why does childbearing have to be this way? Why can't I lay an egg, Chuck fertilize it, we watch it for a couple of months, and VOILA! A baby! Or, why can't the baby develop faster than 40 weeks? Say a 30-week gestation? I felt okay at 30 weeks and would have been happy to deliver at that time if I knew the baby would be healthy. I just think that God, in all His wisdom, could have figured out some other baby-making method. But right now, I am left feeling punished and sorrowful, maybe just a little bit picked on because I'm a woman.

In an effort to understand this, I asked Chuck his thoughts on this scripture. Here's what he came up with.

Chuck: Maybe it's to build a bond between mom and baby.
Erin: Nope; sorry. I don't buy it. I mean, you bonded with Rhett and you didn't have to carry him for nine months. And look at all the moms who adopt and bond with those children. Most of those moms weren't around for the nine months at all, and yet, still bonded. DEBUNKED.

Chuck: Well, if you keep reading. God also gives a punishment to Adam, namely, "cursed is the ground for thy sake." So Adam gets his curse too.
Erin: Oooookay, but isn't this really a punishment on both Adam and Eve? To me, this curse is one that is saying instead of God providing all the food as He did in Eden, He was going to make Adam work for it. Taking a traditional view, men may be the ones harvesting, but aren't women the ones cooking it? If Eve wasn't cooking before, she certainly was after. Where's the Adam-only punishment? Not fair. DEBUNKED.

Chuck: That's all I got.
Erin: AHA! See. There's no good reason why this experience has to be sorrowful. Well, at least not one that I can see. In my world, it won't be this way. At a minimum, men will be the gestating ones. Time will tell if I decide to make their gestation a sorrowful one or not.

P.S. If you think I'm being a baby and a complainer, you're right. So no need to leave a nasty comment. If, however, you have some insight into this, please share. Otherwise just feel free to gloat in your head that you're better than I am.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Potty Training

Oy. Not my favorite week parenting, and I've been at work for most of it. Seriously, Chuck was a superstar for doing this. I'm not sure if it's just my inability to do this, or the fact that I'm feeling quite pregnant; either way, let's just say I struggled. But I will say this hopefully-not-perverted thought: little boy bums in underwear are the cutest. Seriously. Okay, here's the recap:

Day 0: Although we hadn't planned on starting Sunday, we had been prepping Rhett for the potty training that would begin the next day. And for whatever reason, Rhett was up for going to the bathroom on the toilet before church. And not just once, but like four times. And not just pee either. It was semi-miraculous. But with church and a visit to grandparents' house after church, we weren't going to go full-steam quite yet.

Day 1: Here we go! Underwear on and diapers off. Rhett is really excited and enjoys sitting on the toilet. Or at least, he loves getting M&Ms every time he does. Chuck has him on a timer so that he visits the bathroom every ten minutes, just to see if he has to go. And for some reason (M&Ms?), he is down with this. We mark his charts (all three of them: one for just sitting on the toilet, one for pee, and one for poo). Our rewards are for every 20 visits, he chooses two new books; for every 20 pees, he gets a new toy; and for every 20 poos, he gets an ice cream cone. Also, for every bathroom visit, he gets an M&M. Don't ask why those M&Ms are disappearing at an alarming rate, one much faster than his visits. Nighttime definitely involves a diaper.

Day 2: The day started out okay at first, but when it's clear that the kid needs to poo and he won't, he starts avoiding the toilet at all costs. He won't drink anything because he knows where he'll end up if he does. Although he has no accidents, we don't see much success either. Rhett and Chuck take their first trip out of the house to Chuck's parents' house. Nighttime is sans diaper--we'll see how that goes!

Day 3: A (mostly) dry morning! Sure, there was some pee, but not too bad. Considering the a diaper that he used to wake up with, you know, the one that hung to his knees, we were pleased with this outcome. Starts out pretty badly, Rhett still needing to poo and all. But once we got that out of him, he does great. He has one accident, but I blame that more on me (just waiting too long between visits). We definitely lengthened the time between bathroom visits compared to the first day. One time he starts to pee in his underwear, but I told him to try to hold it. Which he does! I get him to the toilet and he goes. We even practice stopping and starting: work that sphincter muscle, Rhett! He resumes his drinking and has his second dry nap.

Day 4: Chuck and Rhett got out of the house a bit and had no accidents. We did run into some minor resistance when needing to poo again, but once that was out, he was totally fine.

Pretty much our days continue like this. We've had no serious accidents and found that he can successfully go to the bathroom in places other than our house. He still hasn't perfected the "I need to go to the bathroom" yet, but the potty dancing and holding of the crotch tend to tell us when he needs to go. Maybe Chuck and Rhett will even get out of the house this week!

Please forgive the foray into complete mommy-blogging. Sometimes it can't be helped. I am a mom, after all.

Oh my. This is hysterical.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Things Rhett Says

Rhett started prepping us on what he's going to say for his prayers. For example, he'll say, "I'll say the prayer but I'll only say 'Dear Heavenly Father. Thank you for the day. Amen.'" So he said that the other night for dinner prayer but when he actually said the prayer, he kept going. "Thank you for our drinks and our milk. But we don't thank you for dad's soda." Pretty awesome, eh?! Especially since Chuck wasn't even drinking soda.

[Rhett's in bed; I thought he was sleeping so I took advantage of the time by sweeping.]
Rhett: [Starts crying out--something he never does, so I go right in.]
Me: What's wrong, bubba?
Rhett: Who is sweeping?
Me: I was sweeping. Is that okay?
Rhett: I thought it was a monster sweeping.
If monsters came to sweep, I'd probably let them stay.

[Said while looking down my shirt]
Rhett: Why don't you have your boobs on, Mom?
I found out later that by "boobs" he meant bra. How did I find out? I was getting dressed and my bra was sitting on the bed and he repeated the above question. Then he wrapped my "boobs" around his neck.

[Rhett and I were talking about other names for me, his mom.]
Rhett: You can also be "babe."
Me: Really? I've never heard you call me that. Oh Rhett, I like you.
Rhett: I like you too, babe.

[Rhett's sitting on the toilet learning to go pee while talking to me on the phone.]
Me: Hi buddy.
Rhett: Hi Mom. I wish you were here and that you brought the weather page.
Me: Oh honey, I'm sorry I went to work with the paper and didn't leave the weather page for you.
Rhett: Can you bring it home?
Me: Yes, buddy, I will.

Rhett began this weird thing wherein he'll "pause" us whilst doing something. For example, yesterday I was singing the alphabet and when I got to M, Rhett puts up his hand and says, "Pause. Mom, I have to tell you something." When he's done telling me the something, he says, "Unpause" and I'm expected to resume my singing at N. We are living in a TiVo world, I guess.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Call it Nesting, Call it Whatever; I Just Call it AWESOME

Of course I don't feel like I'm "nesting," but I guess because I'm pregnant and I want to organize stuff, that's what it gets labeled. But whatever it is, it's been awesome. We cleaned out Chuck's closet (any bets on how long before it's a disaster again?). We cleaned out the Goon Room (soon to be the boys' room, you know, once we have boys-plural). But the best one, in my opinion, was the cleaning and organizing of two closets in my basement storage nook.

One of these closets held all of my sewing stuff; the second one contained random stuff. We switched them because it made more sense and I find myself just opening the doors to look inside at the results.

This is the before pic of the sewing closet. Stuff is two-deep which means I can't even see a lot of the fabric I have. Which means I can't use it or I re-buy it. Dumb.

This is the random stuff closet and it's just yucky. I get bad feelings just opening the door.

And here's the after shot of the random stuff closet. All the packaging/wrapping stuff on the bottom two shelves, scrapbooks above them, and Chuck's stuff on the very top. It's just so nice.

And then, of course, the new and improved sewing closet. I love it. I found fabric I don't remember buying and now have projects for it! It's lovely being able to see everything I have (and don't have...).

Only four more closets to go!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fathers' Day Thoughts

(Excuse the dour thoughts. It was one of those days. But I'll try to also look on the bright side of things.)

Downside: Don't count on Amazon to deliver things on time. Chuck's presents consisted of a paper banner, homemade apple pie, and matching outfits with Rhett (although I'm pretty sure that's just a present for me).
Upside: Fathers' Day just gets re-celebrated when the actual gifts arrive.

Downside: Rhett kinda blew the surprise of what he picked out for Chuck for Fathers' Day.
Upside: He surprised him with an even better present: going to the bathroom on the toilet! What the what?! This is absolutely amazing for our child. Tomorrow starts the official first day of potty training, but hey, we'll take this for sure. I'm pretty sure the M&M's as reward are working.

Downside: Just because your son goes to sleep two hours late on Saturday, does not mean he'll sleep in the next day. In fact, he'll likely get up at the same exact time as he normally would.
Upside: There is none.

Downside: I look like a professional bowler with my wrist brace.
Upside: I look like a professional bowler with my wrist brace!

Downside: My calling nearly made me go into early labor yesterday with the stress.
Upside: My calling nearly made me go into early labor yesterday with the stress! (Oh, do I have a post in the works about this calling. As soon as I'm released, so will the post be.)

Downside: I have to start full-time work tomorrow while these boys get to hang out and play and potty train...without me.
Upside: I'll have these lovely pictures to look at all day and remind me of the complete happiness that they bring me.

Do you think once I have two sons, I can stop including Chuck in this disgusting display of matchy-matchy? I kind of hope so.

Friday, June 17, 2011

An Interview with Me

Me: Thanks, erin, for joining us today.
Erin: No problem! Thanks for inviting me. I'm excited to be here.

Me: So, how are you feeling these days?
Erin: Well, I always say that it's about as good as it gets. Because I don't experience morning sickness, nor have I yet to be sentenced to bed rest, I feel pretty lucky. But that's quickly changing. As I did with Rhett, I'm starting to develop some severe pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel. It shows up when typing, driving, holding books, cooking, sewing, and the worst...sleeping. My hands go numb and wake me up about five times a night. Then I have to try to figure out how to get it to go away. It's extremely frustrating. However, at Wednesday's OB appointment, my doctor recommended visiting an orthopaedist who can get me a splint. Hooray! And hooray for not being in an HMO, because when I was pregnant with Rhett, the OB said there was nothing I could do for it. Man, I really really dislike HMOs.

Me: Is there anything positive about being pregnant during summer?
Erin: One thing. This week excepting, our weather has been pretty miserable: hot and humid. If I weren't pregnant, I'd still be running. Last week it's not likely I would have tried to run and I would have felt very guilty (and very fat). However, being seven months pregnant gives me an excuse to not run now, and I'm okay with that, and okay with feeling fat. We still try to get out often and walk Bruno, so I'm getting my pregnant-lady exercise.

Me: Are you feeling ready for this baby?
Erin: Nope. We've certainly talked about all the things we need (which isn't much, thankfully). We still need bottles, crib sheets, and a crib mattress, but that's about it. We're getting closer on the name front, so that's good. As for the reality of going from one child to two? No way do I feel ready. I'm scared to death. Scared to lose time with my little man, scared of taking care of two kids, scared of having a newborn in the house again. And no one's even tried to convince me I shouldn't be, which just scares me more.

Me: So this was Chuck's last week in school. How are you and Chuck feeling about your summer plans?
Erin: Pretty good. Given how exhausted am I now as a mom and pregnant lady (you women who do this multiple times, especially with multiple kids outside of the uterus, absolutely amaze me), work will be a welcomed environment. Blasted air conditioning and no running around chasing a toddler sounds dreamy right about now. I am sad that these are the last times we have as a family of three, though. I sure like that little man. Chuck is excited to start potty training on Monday. Wish them luck!

Me: Is there anything fun going on this summer?
Erin: Does sitting around waiting for the humidity to go and the baby to come count? No? Oh. Well we still have fun plans: we will be brushing up on our Algebra II. Chuck's teaching it for the first time this school year and neither of us has "used" it since we took it...21 years ago for me, probably 20 for Chuck! When you take as much math as I have, you can't remember what specific parts fit into which specific courses, so it'll be fun to find that out.

Me: How is Rhett doing?
Erin: Just fine. He really is a funny little dude. I am getting very tired of reading Berenstain Bears books, though. And telling stories about ceiling fans. But I do love him and am excited to see what type of big brother he'll be. He's so excited about his baby brother and is constantly telling us about all the things he'll do once the baby comes. For example, he's going to make him smile, feed him all by himself, hold him, play with him. He really is adorable about the whole thing--I hope it lasts!

Me: Anything else you'd like to add?
Erin: You know, I've got a pretty great life and am excited to meet this little one taking up residence in my uterus. And really, any time he sees fit to come join us (after about 37 weeks, of course), I'm all for it.

Thanks for indulging me as I do a bit of journaling.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Great Falls

Maryland did, in fact, come through with weather on Monday: lower temperatures and a lot lower humidity. A couple of friends and our little ones got together and took a trip to Great Falls. I have to say, I love Great Falls. I love being on the C & O Canal; I love hearing the roar of the falls; I love seeing boats in the water. I also love seeing the poor people on the Virginia side, because clearly, the Maryland side is better.

Rhett seemed to enjoy it. He didn't want to spend as much time in the stroller as I insisted, but some of those bridges really, really scare me. And if you think I'm scared, you should see mom-me scared.

One of Rhett's favorite things there was the map of the area. He loves looking at maps these days (tear). I think he looks old in a ball cap.

Here is Rhett with two of his buddies. They all loved climbing on the rocks, maybe more than they loved looking at the water?

Me with my 1.8 sons. (And if you have eagle eyes, not to worry on the missing wedding rings. My fingers are quite chubby these days and the rings really hurt. I'm looking forward to the return to their normal size.)

Monday, June 13, 2011

More Projects

You know it's been miserable weather when the only pictures I have are "inside" pictures. Really, it's been pretty gross. But today is supposed to be another "Hey erin--it's Maryland here. Please give me another chance" day. We'll see.

So we've been indoors, and I've been doing more sewing. These skirts were inspired from my visits to the super awesome quilt shops in Utah. I made these from one pillowcase bought at the thrift store, so the fabric was less than 75 cents. And now that I know what I'm doing, I'd try it again with better fabric, although these are pretty cute.

Chuck's mom recently bought a blow-up pool for her backyard and after our visit on Thursday, I kept thinking that Rhett needed a pool robe (from this tutorial at Sew, Mama, Sew). Sewing the terry cloth was easier than I thought, but DANG does it shed (all those raw edges)! Hopefully that will stop once I wash it. But I'm still pleased, and kinda wanting a serger.

Rhett is a bib kid. We use them all the time, except when we go to restaurants or other peoples' homes and forget to bring one. When at the dentist I thought that the clips they use to hold the "adult bibs" (what are they called?!) would be perfect to hold a napkin around a child. I was inspired by one I saw on Etsy and just created this one. Now let's go out so I can use it!

And finally, Chuck's tie. The hardware proved so hard to find, but I finally did and that made all the difference. Now if Chuck's neck wasn't so thick... It fits, but just barely. I bet you can't wait for next Monday's post wherein their matching outfits are revealed!

What's next? How about some super sweet infant gowns?

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Thought that Counts

Remember when Rhett said he wanted to give me some "toy eyes" for Mothers' Day? Well, he definitely came through with these beauties.

As Fathers' Day is approaching, I asked him what we should get Chuck. Do you know what he said? Of course you don't; I'll tell you. A NEW OVEN. That's right: I get toy eyes and Rhett wants to give his dad a new oven. And telling me "it's the thought that counts" doesn't really help because still, he wanted to give me toy eyes. Toy eyes. A new oven. Not quite the same thing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Version of S.A.D.

I know I shouldn't be, but every Maryland summer I am amazed at how affected by the weather I am. Modern (wo)man likes to think that we have Mother Nature conquered, but alas, we do not. Air conditioning and heating help, but can't do everything. I mean, at some point, I have to go outside. Remember the storms of 2010? Certainly no conquering then.

So every June (or, worse, May, or very worst, April), I am forced to face the fact that I am a WIMP when it comes to summers in Maryland. The heat alone I could handle. But add the humidity? No non-swear word can express how I feel about it. Early last week we got our first taste of disgusting. It was hot (record-breaking hot, in fact) and humid (with humidity equaling temperature at times). This does not a good combination make. But care to make it worse? Add a three-year-old, a seven-month-pregnant woman, a ton of laundry, and grocery shopping to do (if I wanted to serve dinner, that is). It was, quite easily, the worst day I had in a long, long time. Clearly Bruno felt the same way.

I was afraid that this terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day would be indicative of the remaining 60-odd days of pregnancy. This did not make me feel good. I felt like a failure of a mother and wife because I could barely play with my son, nonetheless take care of everything else I had to do. I felt extremely guilty to all involved parties (Chuck, Rhett, and Bruno). I really didn't think I could blame it all on the weather...or could I?

Turns out, yes, yes I could. When Friday was gorgeous (high of 81 with almost no humidity), and I could suddenly do things again, oh the relief! And since weather was the only thing I could blame on the change, that's exactly what I did. We ended up having two of these gorgeous days (in a row!) wherein we played in the sandbox, swam in our baby pool, walked the dog, walked the dog again but went way farther than I should have, gave the boy a haircut, took in a birthday party, and even went on a date. It was awesome. Truly awesome.

So as long as the universe sees fit to throw me reasonably-warm summer days, I think I'll survive the pregnancy. Otherwise I'll just have to be thankful for a job that is uber-air-conditioned and a husband who will stay home and do the laundry everything but the laundry.

P.S. What did we do on our date? We went swimming! How awesome is that?! To go child-less swimming was such a joy. The only downside is doing it with contacts. Argh. will be mine.

P.P.S. Have you watched "The I.T. Crowd" yet? You can get it on Netflix (even the play it now version of Netflix). So if you have Netflix, do it. I don't do general media recommendations often, so when I do, you know it's For. Rills.

P.P.P.S. Today is going to be another scorcher. Ugh.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Year in "Max and Whiskers"

This fabric line has definitely dominated my sewing year. I think this is the end of the projects I'll do from it for awhile, except for Chuck's tie which has been killing me due to hardware.

Oooh, maybe me using this line to death is a sign that the baby's name should be Max (the fabric line is named "Max and Whiskers").  Remember, Max is the genesis of the pseudonym "Betamax" after all. Hey, if it helps us make a decision, it helps. Who am I to say that baby-naming inspiration can't come from fabric? I am no one; no one I, tell you.

Anyway, here are the projects for Betamax from the line: pseudo-rag quilt, banner, and onesie to to match his brother and dad. (You know, for when they wear their appliqued onesies.)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Random Thoughts

We had no terrible 2s in our house. Seriously, he was a lovely, lovely two-year-old. But three? Oh my. Soooo not the case. The most annoying thing he does? When we tell him that if does X [say, put his feet on the bathroom sink counter], then we won't do Y [tell him his bedtime stories]. His response is almost always, "Yes you will." Do you know how infuriating that is to have a three-year-old tell you what you will or won't do?! (Probably as infuriating it is to have parents telling you what to do all the time, but that's beside the point.) It's a good thing I'm pregnant and holding in all this extra hair because I'm pulling it out to compensate. This does not bode well for post-pregnancy, however.

If money didn't matter, at what temperature would you set your thermostat in the summer? Winter?

Rhett has really been into "little kid music" recently. So much so, that when we turn it on, he sits on the couch and stares at the stereo. I tell myself this is better than watching TV, but is it? Am I just deluding myself?

Could you name a child you like, but don't absolutely love? We have a bunch of names that are all good, solid names. However, not one pulls me toward it like I've got a rope around my stomach and it's doing that funny dance move. Rhett's name did that. But now? Nothing. Does that mean we keep looking for the one or do we just go with one we like but don't love?

Awkward Pregnancy Comment Counter is now at 2 with this one: "Do you have twins in there?" It gets zero points for originality but 10 points for being one of the worst questions you can ask a pregnant woman.

Finally: after a couple days of complete miserability, Maryland goes and gives me yesterday ...and TOTALLY redeems itself! Marylanders, am I right, or am I right? Holy moly it was gorgeous last night and today looks to be just as lovely.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Curse You Michaels!

It looks like the theiving ATM card user and PIN stealer (possibly) got my information from machines erroneously placed in Michael's craft stores. The information on their website indicates that the two Michael's stores I frequent were both given the bad machines wherein debit card numbers and PINs were obtained. Yikes! Already I didn't feel good about Michael's and now I just feel worse. Too bad I don't have many options out here.

In good news, it's June! In bad news, we're already sweating it out in the 90s with high humidity. But at least now I have something to look forward to during the summer: not being pregnant any more!

Random: Don't you love when things don't turn out like you expected and it's awesome?! Last night I was supposed to go out with the missionaries. This would have been fine and I'm sure I would have enjoyed it once I got there, but after working and commuting, I don't love going back out in the evenings. But wouldn't you know, 15 minutes before I'm supposed to leave, I get a call from the Sisters cancelling! Yippee! So then I got to spend the evening finishing Betamax's quilt AND working on the summer budget. This was preceded by Oreo pie. And I got to do it all wearing my new favorite pajama shirt. It was a lovely evening after all.