Friday, August 29, 2008

Almost there

I know you all want to see pictures of the remodeling and I promise I will post some soon. But I want everything to be done and put away down there before I take my bee-you-tee-full photos.

And we're not even close right now as the bathroom is still torn up and empty. As in, there's nothing in there but the tub and the subfloor. We waited all day for the guy to show up to start working on it and he called at 6 p.m. to say he got stuck in traffic and would be here tomorrow instead.

Thanks for the notice. I love waiting around for nothing.

So bear with me. Just think, in a few more days I won't have anything else to crab about because it will be done. Then I guess I can start complaining about the upstairs bathroom, which is the last bastion of untouched wilderness in the house. One that will remain untouched until we forget how painful this remodel was and get sucked in again.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

They'll need to learn to love me

We had two preschool events this week. First, we took Jack to see his classroom and meet his teacher and hang out with some of his classmates on Monday.

There were three other moms there who I didn't know and then our good friends (Jack's girlfriend is in his class) were also there. They asked where Emmie was and Josh and I simultaneously replied, "We left her in the car."

The other three moms and the teacher may or may not have audibly gasped and looked at us like we had just killed the class rabbit.

"I'm kidding!" I explained. I told them we left her with her aunt. My friend rolled her eyes and whispered, "Clearly, you're not the funny mommy here."

Which, what the hell? That's my thing. I am the funny mommy! I will make them laugh! They will want to hang out and be BFFs!

Last night, we had a parents-only orientation with the same people, plus a few more. I didn't speak, for fear of alienating anyone. In fact, I communicated with hand signals and charades. You should see my acting out of "potty training" -- it's inspired.

Since our children will be spending the next nine months together, I really hope these people find their senses of humor soon. Or it's going to be a long year for me at the drop off and pick up.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's a miracle

We have carpet.

It is even better than the initial color.

I think I might weep.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Color me pissed off

So after bringing the wrong color carpeting to my house on Friday, Empire assured me they would bring the correct color the very next morning. The installer's exact words were, "We can pick it up at the warehouse at 7:30 and be here right after that."

Imagine my surprise when at 9, 10 and 11 a.m., there were no installers at my house. I finally got on the phone at 11 to find out what was going on and was informed by a phone operator that my account had a notation that the new carpet they picked up at the warehouse was also the same (wrong) color, so they didn't even bother loading it on the truck. They also didn't bother calling me to tell me that.

Because it was a Saturday, my sales guy was not answering the phone and there was no one who could do anything to alleviate my situation. Translation: there was no one who would listen to me bitch.

After many phone calls and assurances of money being rebated (yes, I just made a new word) and a call to a general manager, it was decided the carpet would be installed this morning.

I met the installer at the door and told him we might as well start this event at the truck because I needed to see the carpet first. I joked on the way there that if it was wrong, I would be causing great bodily harm to him.

Hot damn, it wasn't the right color AGAIN.

I couldn't make this stuff up, people.

Because we need this carpeting and we just can't stomach screwing around with it anymore, we had them send over a salesguy with the samples and we picked something entirely different.

So help me God, if that carpet comes tomorrow morning and it is wrong, I am going to physically shove the entire roll up the salesperson's ass.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Even more mindless drivel

Have you ever thought to yourself, "Self, I wonder what exotic and life-changing thing Amy is doing right now?" And you ran to check my blog, but realized I only update at night after the kids go to bed because that's the only peace and quiet I have? And you wept, because you needed something more in your life? And you weren't sure why I was phrasing everything as a question? Like an up-talker?

Have I got some fabulous news for you.

I have up and joined Twitter. Now you too can subscribe to my Tweets and read about my adventures as they happen. In real time. Because trust me, there are some things that can't wait for the evening. I mean who isn't going to want to see updates from the timeout mat where I have to employ a leglock to keep my 2-year-old from running away? Or the bench at the playground where all the nannies are texting God knows who on their phones for 45 minutes while their charges throw sand? Or the bathroom where I am trying to pee by myself but my toddler keeps opening the door asking if he can flush it for me?

I asked Josh if he wanted to be my first follower. He said no. I told him it would be fun! With an exclamation point! And he said no, again. Because he hates fun. And puppies. And rainbows.

So I invite you to follow me and my tweeting on Twitter. There's a little thingy in the sidebar over on yonder to the right and you can click it to subscribe. I'll try to bring my A-game. Maybe Josh will jump on the bandwagon eventually.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Of course it's not right

We ordered carpet from Empire (yes, the annoying "588-2300 Emmmmmpiiiire" jingle people) for the basement, with the guarantee it would be installed three days from when we ordered it. We specifically told them we wanted it today. It was the whole reason we went with them versus the other guy.

The told us they would arrive anytime between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Of course, we waited all day and they showed up at 4:30 p.m.

AND OF COURSE, THE CARPET WAS THE WRONG COLOR. Of course it was. Because nothing about this godforsaken remodeling project ever goes right.

So now they have to bring the correct carpet tomorrow morning. Can you sense my love for this development?

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

He said, she said

Last night I had book club, so Josh was in charge of the children and bathtime and bedtimes. As I was running out the door with my book and bottle of wine in hand, I reminded him to thaw out a bag of milk for Emmie. I had fed her around 7 p.m., so I figured she would be squawking for food again before I got back.

When I arrived home at 10:45 p.m., she had not yet woken up. Josh had already thawed the milk out, so I told him to just give her a bottle when she woke up because it's only good for 24 hours after it's thawed. He argued that he was going downstairs to paint (yes, the remodeling is STILL ongoing) and that I should just give it to her myself.

I don't give her bottles because I don't want her to get confused by the boob in such close proximity, so I told him he was going to do it, by God, and I retreated upstairs. I may or may not have included the phrase "Just do it. You're freaking killing me." Because I am mature like that.

I went to bed and thought I heard her fuss for a few minutes around midnight and then stop. I smugly went back to sleep because HA, I had won. When she woke up at 3 a.m., I brought her into bed and fed her and all was well.

This morning, I asked Josh what exact time he had given her the bottle. He looked at me like I had a squirrel perched on my head and asked what time I gave her the bottle. I said I didn't give her anything except the boob at 3 a.m.

Sure as shit, there in the fridge was the bottle of milk. Meaning, my daughter slept from 8:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. -- an unprecedented six-and-a-half hours.

Sweet jesus, she slept almost through the night and I didn't even realize it was happening.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Taking a look

Today I had to take Emmie in for her abdominal ultrasound. You know, one of tests she doesn't need to have done because there's nothing wrong with her except being skinny.

It was funny because I am used to seeing her on ultrasound, not seeing ultrasounds done on her. I half expected to see a fetus pop up on the screen and wave it's little skeletor arm at me.

The technician said everything looked fine. Emmie was talking and twisting and trying to grab the ultrasound wand and generally acting like a thriving seven-month old. Well, a seven-month old with a cold. A pathetic runny nose and little cough. Poor kid.

She didn't even cry when they stuck the needle in her arm for the blood draw. She was super interested in the Snoopy bandaid afterward, however.

Not so successful was the attempt to collect her urine sample. With wee babies, they use this plastic bag contraption that gets taped in place and is supposed to collect the urine. Except Emmie somehow successfully peed around the bag. Twice. I have to take the stealth pee-er back for one more test on Friday, so I can just keep trying until then.

I plan to have her sit in a bowl until she has to go. I figure she can't outsmart me then.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Do, re, mememe

I was tagged by both Sarah and Bailey for this meme, so I figured since I had nothing better to bore you all with today, I could bore you with "Six unspectacular quirks about myself."

1. I eat one thing at a time on my plate because I hate taking bites of different things and mixing up all the flavors. So, for example, I will eat all my fries and then all of my burger. Or I will eat all of my steak and then all of my potato and then all of my veggies. It's even influencing my child's eating habits since I only serve him one thing at a time, because that's how I eat so that's how I serve. If we give him more than one thing at once, he gets overwhelmed and won't eat anything.

2. I must have more than one pillow to sleep well. I take one and lay it the correct way at the top of the bed and then I take another one and turn it the long way and sort of hug it and put it under the side of my head. Josh only sleeps with one pillow and throws his second one on the floor and I just don't understand how we can even be compatible. On the nights he is out of town every week, I also take his pillows and do the same thing, giving me four pillows in my configuration, no matter which way I face. It's heavenly.

3. I talk to my mom every day, sometimes multiple times per day. Usually, it's something mindless or something I need to bitch about. Example: today I called her to tell her that I got screwed with my bridesmaid dress alterations. The local dry cleaner charged me $88 freaking dollars to take the dress in and shorten it. I almost had a heart attack. They said it was because the top of the dress had horizontal pleats and they had to take it in a full size. (I ordered a size too big because I was 11 weeks postpartum and a fatass when I had to order it. I wasn't 100 percent sure I would lose enough weight, so I went bigger. Apparently, that was a costly mistake.) But that phone call to complain to my mom was our third conversation of the day. And for the record, she felt bad for me.

3. I hate bananas. Don't like the smell. Don't like the texture. Don't like the peel. Don't like anything about them. Hate them in smoothies and can taste even the tiniest amount in anything. Banana bread might be the grossest idea ever. But of course I have to hide this from the children. Emmie eats a mushed-up banana every morning and Jack made me share a banana with him the other day. Oh. My. God. The horror.

4. I make the bed every day. I can't stand the sight of messed-up sheets and just knowing the bed was unmade while I was gone from the house would send me into a panic. I used to make it before I even got in the shower in the morning, but now I tend to get out of the shower and make the bed before I even get dressed. I like a neat start to my day and I like to feel like I am getting into a fresh bed at night. Josh does a good job of at least making it look like he made the bed, but he just pulls the sheet up willy nilly and then covers it with the comforter. And he refuses to do the throw pillows the way I like them. But I let it slide because he makes an effort and I can just fix it my way later.

5. I don't know how to swim (as in stroke, kick and breathe). As a matter of fact, I am not that big of a fan of water. Instead I just paddle and keep myself afloat. I am such a baby about deep water that I must have one of those wacky noodle/tube/floaty things and/or a lifejacket. I even wear a lufejacket when I snorkle. You can't be too careful in the open water, in my opinion.

6. No matter how few or many items we need from the grocery store, I always wander around the store looking at stuff. It drives Josh insane to the point he won't go with me and will instead tell me to make a list and he'll just go himself. But I like poking around and you just never know when an item on the shelf might jog your memory that you need more of whatever it is. This also results in a lot of off-listing and extra money spent.

I am supposed to tag six other people, but I am too lazy. Instead, I invite all you readers to share one unspectacular quirk about yourself in the comments.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Emmie: Seven months

Dear Emmie,

Today you are seven months old and I am pretty sure someone somewhere is skipping days on my calendar and not telling me because there is no way that much time could possibly have gone by.

We spent much of the last month on vacation, which coincided nicely with a major remodeling of the house. But as always, you were so laid-back and easy -- no matter where we dragged you. You spent time splashing in the lake, taking boat rides, playing with toys and hanging out with both sides of the family. You went on your first road trip, driving six hours to the North Woods of Wisconsin, and you braved it like a champ. You slept a lot and amused yourself in the carseat and were generally chill.

You started giving us a little baby wave this month, opening and closing your tiny hand, while staring at it in amazement. For a few days it was all you wanted to do, but then you kind of moved on and we get little waves every once in a while now. Just this past week you also started clapping. I wasn't sure you knew what you were doing, but we would clap and say, "Yay Emmie!" and you would stretch your arms out in front of you and start flapping your arms until your hands were clapping. You looked so proud of yourself, which made us laugh and clap even more, which made you laugh and clap more. Hours of entertainment, I tell you.

Your hands are still a source of great amusement to you. Every once in a while, you will be waving your little arms around and catch site of your hand and it stops you in your tracks. You will stare and turn your hand to examine it from every angle and start talking to it. I remember your brother doing the same thing, and it's no less cute the second time around with you.

You are starting to talk quite a bit now. We hear screeching and a lot of "ahhh" and "baaa" and of course, your first real-sounding word was "da." Come on! I am the one who feeds you, gets up with you multiple times a night and doesn't make you cry it out. What about some love for mama? Your daddy was quite proud of himself and said it was clearly because he is your favorite.

I can't dispute that as the evidence is mounting. Whenever you look at him, you smile and wiggle and talk and generally act like a smitten girl. I might be the food source and the one you want in the middle of the night, but if he's in the room while you are awake, I am chopped liver. I think you might be turning into a Daddy's Girl, but we'll see how that works out for you when you're 16 and late for curfew and a boy drops you off outside the house.

The last month was also kind of worrisome. We took you in for your six-month pediatrician visit and they were concerned you weren't gaining enough weight. Apparently, the tall-skinny genes from your father are kicking into full effect. We suspected a little silent reflux, so we gave you Zantac for a few weeks, with no improvement. They wanted to make sure there weren't any underlying issues, so they sent you to see a pedicatric GI specialist. His advice was to start feeding you three or four solid meals per day in addition to breastfeeding on demand. So you went from a little oatmeal with fruit once a day to eating three meals with either banana and avocado mixed in to pump up the fat content. They asked me how committed I was to breastfeeding on a scale of 1 to 10 and I said definitely a 10. I don't want to give you formula if I don't have to, so I am happy to not eat dairy to keep your tummy happy. I am convinced you're just skinny, and they noted you are meeting all your milestones and are such a happy baby, so I am not worrying about it. You'll gain weight on your own pace.

Now that you have mastered sitting up and you can roll to the location of your choice in the room, things are getting interesting with your brother. You are a lot more into toys and inevitably, you both want the same one. I hear a lot of "No, Emmie, no!" coming out his mouth these days. It's mostly him ripping interesting toys out of your hands, which he then substitues with some discarded toy he doesn't want to play with, but every time it happens I feel bad for you because you always look so surprised as if to say, "Wait! What happened?" But you're also starting to become a little more grabby, and he's not so fond of it. Now when you get close enough to him, you usually end up grabbing his shirt or his hair and trying to bring yourself as close to him as possible. I hear a lot of "No touch! No touch, Emmie!" coming from Jack these days -- what I can only imagine is the beginning of years of me saying, "Nobody is touching anybody else, at all, ever again."

Speaking of not doing things ever again, I think sleep falls into that category. As you have for the last seven months, you still refuse to sleep through the night. And you don't wake up to eat just once, or even twice, but four or five times a night. It's gotten to the point I have declared it the new normal. Your GI doctor said once you gain a little weight and start loading up on the calories, you should start to sleep better. I had a hearty laugh at that notion, because I am convinced you will never sleep through the night and someday your poor husband will be getting up multiple times per night to get you a drink of water or a snack.

Your daddy and I spent a few days away from you and Jack recently and by the time the weekend was over, I was really looking forward to seeing both of your little faces. When we arrived to pick you up from Grandma and Grandpa, you were sleeping on Grandma's lap. You stirred a little when you heard my voice and you opened your eyes slightly and when you saw me, your eyes opened wide and you stared at me as if to say, "Is it really you Mommy?" I grabbed you and hugged you and you were so glad to see me. In the coming years, there will probably be tons of moments like this, except you will be all "Mooooooommmmmmm, stop kissing me. My friends are watching." Complete with eye rolls and slumping shoulders. But I will always, always be happy to see you.


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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Nice boy! Nice boy!

Last night my mother-in-law and I made the mistake of taking Jack out to dinner. A few weeks ago, we took him with the whole family to a nicer place and it was a disaster of epic proportions that saw one half of this parenting team dragging a laughing/hitting/jello-legging toddler into the lobby and the other half sitting with same child in the car while everyone else shoveled food into his or her mouth in an attempt to get the hell out of there with a minimum of embarrassment.

Upon leaving that restaurant, I had aged 15 years and vowed that was the last time we were taking him anyplace besides Panera or Chipotle. But last night, I faltered in my reserve and was witness to some very nice behavior at the park, so I mistakenly thought I could trust him to handle it.

NOTE TO SELF: The toddler, he is the master of deception.

We arrive at the restaurant, J. Alexanders, and get both the kids situated in high chairs. I order Jack a grilled cheese and set about feeding Emmie her avocado and sweet potatoes. He takes three bites of his sandwich and flings his milk to the floor, screeching and trying to grab everything off the table. After several warnings, I told him we would be leaving and going home, where he would be going straight to bed. It was 6:20 p.m., but I was not backing down.

The waiter was literally bringing our food to the table at the moment I am dragging jello legs out of the high chair, so my mother-in-law gets the food to go and stays with Emmie while they pack it up.

If you were driving through Lincoln Park last night just before 6:30, that would be me you saw with the toddler who did nothing the whole way home but sob, "Nice boy! Nice boy! Jack nice boy!" over and over and over again. When we got home, I took his shoes off, marched him straight upstairs, put his pajamas on, read him his book and put him in bed.

I was downstairs by 6:30 p.m. and he was asleep by 6:40. He ended up sleeping 12 hours and was bright and chipper for oatmeal this morning.

Tonight, he kept unbuckling the straps on his carseat (a whole other post, but suffice it to say it raises my blood pressure by about 30 points every time he does it) and I told him if he did it again, we would have to go home. He looked me straight in the eye with a smile and said, "Right bed?"


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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Picture time

Jack is going to be in his aunt Marnie's wedding in a few weeks, so we needed to try his tuxedo on. I think he looks dashing. The fake smile here is a lot better than him crying, putting his hand in front of his face and yelling, "No picture! No picture!" like we're the paparazzi. We get that every time he sees us pull out the camera these days.

Emmie, on the other hand, is still our sweet little girl who obliges our daily incessant snapping of photos. The dimples will distract any pitchers who dare to pitch her inside. She's going yard.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Feeling like a failure

Today Emmie had her appointment with the pediatric gastroenterologist. The GI doc asked a lot of questions, examined her and of course measured and weighed her.

While she went from 13 lbs 11 ounces to 14 lbs 2 ounces in the last three weeks, she's still not where she should be in terms of weight. Her weigh-in today placed her in the 5th percentile, which also got her the official label of Failure To Thrive. Except, the GI doc said, she appears to be thriving. So he is saying it's in name only at this point.

We also found out our pediatrician mis-measured her at her last appointment and her height is only in the 50th percentile, not greater than the 95th. So she's apparently not going to be doing shoe endorsements for Nike any time soon. She's just average, I guess.

We discussed the silent reflux, and he said he does not think she has it. He told us to stop the Zantac, as it probably wasn't doing anything. Although I am sure she will miss the spectacular grape taste twice each day, we discontinued it tonight.

He also wants to run a few tests, specifically blood, sweat, stool and urine in addition to an ultrasound of her stomach. He said he doesn't expect to find anything, but it's better to have them done.

His most interesting question came in reference to her suspected milk protein intolerance. When I told him I had cut out all dairy and soy, he said I also need to cut out nuts and shellfish. Apparently, the shrimp skewers with peanut sauce are off the menu from now on. But I digress. After we discussed my limited diet, he asked how committed I was to breastfeeding on a scale of 1-10. I of course said 10 and that I would do whatever I needed to do to make it to a year. He was supportive and said that was fine, he just wanted to let me know we could try a hypoallergenic formula if I didn't want to be so restricted.

For now, he wants us giving her three or four meals of solids a day, following up with breastfeeding. He also said to feed her on demand, no matter what time of day or night. His exact words were, "Let her eat."

So we're going to bust out the avocado and applesauce mixture that Jack enjoyed so much, I am going to whip out the boob at the slightest whif of interest and we'll be back for a follow-up in a month. Until then, we'll just be being over here, failing to thrive.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Falling for you

Who is the asshole that lets her second child fall head first off a changing table while she stands literally three inches away and turns her head for one second?

I will give you one guess. You'd think a second-time mom would know better. Not so much.

Emmie is fine. I think I just stopped shaking an hour later.

There's nothing quite like the sight of your child falling face-first into the carpet and hitting her face on the metal heating vent. I think I aged 10 years. Jack happened to be standing right there as well and while Emmie was screaming, I kept telling him it was OK, that he didn't do anything wrong, it was mommy's fault. He looked scared and kept yelling "Josh! Daddy! Josh!" down the stairs until Josh finally came back in the house from outside.

Stellar parenting today, folks, stellar.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Running on the pee platform

There has been an awful lot of talk on the blogs lately about urine on toilet seats.

This past weekend, I had my own experience at a Lollapalooza party that caused me to shout "GOD DAMN IT" from the stall, flounce out into the party and declare to my friends "you will be reading about this on my blog."

I am so sick of women peeing on toilet seats and not cleaning up after themselves. Not everyone is a hoverer. Some people, especially people who might or might not have had more than a couple drinks and aren't used to going out drinking because they have two kids at home, might not have the coordination to successfully hover and pee. Therefore, instead of peeing all over the seat like the disgusting people, some people just sit and pee. Like you are supposed to.

A few years ago, when I complained about a similiar situation, Josh was incredulous and said, "You don't build a nest?" I about fell over laughing at the seriousness of his face and had a vision of him spinning a roll of toilet paper over and over and using billowing piles of freshly-squeezed white quilted paper.

But no, I don't build a nest. Who wants to go to all that trouble? Instead, the backs of my thighs become sponges for other people's urine.

So for the love of God, can we please just all police ourselves and if you hover, please give a courtesy wipe.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

So happy together

On our recent vacation to the North Woods, one in which we saw an actual BEAR run across the road in front of us, Jack and Emmie spent some time playing together.

I managed to get their antics on camera. From her reaction, you can tell how much she adores him. I think he's starting to dig her, too.

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Monday, August 4, 2008

Lollapalooza and other fun

It's been a whirlwind couple of days.

Thursday: Our fourth anniversary and a dinner at Charlie Trotter's. For the cost of our dinner, we could have flown someplace and stayed in a hotel. But since we had a gift certificate for 2/3 of the cost, our house-poor asses got to eat at one of the top 50 restaurants in the world. Which, incidentally, is a mere six blocks from our home. We saved on cab fare!

Friday: Lollapalooza. We saw The Black Keys, The Raconteurs and Radiohead. We are HUGE Radiohead fans and it was amazing to see them with 75,000 other people with the Chicago skyline in the background. Afterward, we headed over to the Hard Rock Hotel where we had VIP passes to the Music Lounge (big shout out thanks to reader Ed and BMF Media). We're cool like that. We drank some free booze and hung out and got home at the rock-star hour of 3 a.m.

Saturday: Morning massage, lunch at the Music Lounge, Chicago architecture boat cruise, 6:30 showing of "The Dark Knight" and then we partied with Lindsay Lohan and Sam Ronson at the Music Lounge until 3 a.m. Lindsay asked me to make out, I politely declined. OK, maybe it was more like Lindsay sat to the side of the stage texting while she looked in our general direction with a curious expression on her face. But hey, her presence 15 feet from me was documented in People online today!

Sunday: Lunch at Fat Willy's barbecue joint, a trip to Home Depot to buy paint for the new basement and the drive from Chicago to Milwaukee to Peoria to wrap the weekend up. You can see we went from club-goers to parents in the blink of an eye. We're in Peoria this week while we anxiously await the completion of the remodeling. They assure me the house should be done by Thursday.

It was an exhausting, fun, crazy weekend that reminded us how we used to be three years ago. You would think we slept in and got plenty of rest in our child-free weekend, but you would be wrong. Well, one of us slept in. One of us had to get up and pump before that person's boobs exploded every morning. I will let you guess who that was.

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