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October 2011

Sugar high

Not even nine o'clock and Halloween is boxed up and put away. THE END. I am so sick of those costumes! Or, rather, I am so sick of being asked to WEAR the costumes and then helping them put the costumes ON and then picking up the various elements of the costumes once they've been discarded all over the house. 

I'm kind of excited because I have a ton of room in the new house to STORE stuff. But there's no way I can sit down and organize all my stuff, right? I have a lot of stuff. So Halloween is kind of the first holiday where I have STUFF: decorations, costumes, candy buckets, etc. So I collected all that stuff from all the half-unpacked boxes in the garage and the closet downstairs, it spent a few weeks cluttering up my house, and now it's all in its OWN BOX. Labeled: HALLOWEEN. In the closet. On a shelf. Ready for next year. I can't really explain how giddy this makes me. I positively cannot wait to put the CHRISTMAS things away. It will be an organization PARTY! 

The morning was a little crazy. Jack in a costume, Molly in regular clothes, no snack for Jack, lunch for Molly, orange frosting for Jack's Halloween party, picture money for Molly, does Emma need to eat? no? can I just stuff this pacifier in her mouth and hope for the best? Excellent! Then it turns out that Jack (and his mother) forgot his backpack in the entry way, the backpack containing the orange frosting for the pumpkin cookies for the Halloween party. Which meant an EXTRA trip this morning. GAH. 

But then... instead of rushing right back to the school, I decided to just stop at Jack's school on the way to drop off Molly. So NOT an extra trip. I just waited about a half hour longer and I KNOW you guys are all "SO?" but the fact that it even occurred to me that I could WAIT and tack it on to the next trip, instead of rushing back full of apologies for forgetting it the first place... this is progress, you guys! Perhaps by the time I am seventy-five I'll have learned how to break a rule or two! 

Emma and I, as per usual, passed out on the couch after eating. (Emma: milk. Me: Halloween candy.) Then it was back to pick up the kids, then some laundry and dish washing, and oh look! Time to trick or treat! AM EXHAUSTED. 

I'm also thinking I should probably pump and dump on account of the 1) glass and a half of wine I drank with dinner and 2) the nineteen bags of candy floating around in my system. I'm SO glad I spent all last week avoiding sugar and simple carbs. Diet: destroyed. Good thing I weighed in this morning, eh? 

I am wearing a black maternity turtleneck. An hour or so after I changed into it I realized I was going as Steve Jobs for Halloween. I just didn't KNOW it. 

Phillip does not think this is as funny as I think it is. 

And here's the one barely-acceptable Halloween photo we have of all three children. TA-DA:

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That would be Batman, a butterfly, and a ladybug in a ladybug coma. Happy Halloween! 

There was a baptism, also siu mai

We baptized Emma today, full immersion, the whole shebang, no more pagan baby. I am SO TIRED. And not just, like, new parent tired, just TIRED. My muscles ache, my brain hurts, and I cannot remember if Molly gets to wear her costume to preschool tomorrow or not. I'm thinking not. It's a nice Christian preschool and I overheard a lady in the office say that they just pretend Halloween doesn't happen. I guess except for those bat art projects they have hanging from the hallway ceilings and that coloring page of a jack-o-lantern I found in her backpack last week, HMM? 

Eh. Whatever. I'm too tired to care about this. 

I'm realizing I'd set up Emma's Baptism as this passage-of-time marker. Somehow. Now we're into NOVEMBER (almost) and that's a whole new chunk of life I haven't quite grasped yet. Where I already have a baby and she's not as newborny as she was in October and I am gradually getting my act together. Perhaps that's why I feel so worn out - act: not together. 

I'm still doing only what needs to be done that minute. Which is FINE. This is often how I operate when I DON'T have a newborn. But it frustrates me that that is ONLY what I can do, because I have to feed the baby every ten minutes, instead of what I CHOOSE to do, because I'm lazy. Let's face it, I'm not saying I'm distraught because I can't get the dishes done or the laundry folded. (This happens OCCASIONALLY. Not that often.) No, right now I'm CONSUMED with the need to set up a super cool playroom and move the kids into the much bigger bedroom downstairs. But as far as I've come with this project is scoping out pictures of playrooms on Pinterest. 

Or when I finally drop Molly at preschool - three hours! To browse a fancy shopping mall! To buy paint! To read a book! Or hey, TO DO THE DISHES! But you know what I've ended up doing every preschool morning instead? SITTING. I sit while I feed the baby and then I sit some more while the two of us drift off to sleep. Sometimes I have a TV show blaring in the background. I suppose I can say I am caught up on network television. 

And yet I wouldn't say Project Third Baby is kicking my butt. See, I always have to THINK about statements like that, because I'm extraordinarily good at never thinking anything is bad or wrong or hard. I can be eyeball deep in suckitude and still say, "It's all good! Everything's fine!" So I have to take my own self with a grain of salt, but REALLY, I have THOUGHT ABOUT IT, and I really do think everything Third Baby-related is going pretty well. Most of the credit goes to her, obviously, for being an Easy Baby. It's true that the preschool thing is annoying and she eats all night long and spits most of it back up twenty minutes after every feeding and I'm running out of clean clothes for both of us OKAY MAYBE THAT PART IS A LITTLE ANNOYING. But otherwise... fine? Fine. Just tired. 

If you're wondering, the baptism was really nice. Our reserved pew was right up front, which was neat because I kind of always want to sit right up front (shut up, am recovering teacher's pet) but I never do because, you know, that's weird. Emma wore the dress I wore when my parents took me home from the hospital and the baptismal gown I wore and my siblings wore (and Molly, but not Jack because I thought it was too girly, which I now think was a stupid thing to think.) The baptism families do a sort of receiving line in the vestibule afterwards and several Ladies I Only Know By Sight came up to me and said I had Such A Nice Family, they love seeing us at church. (And instead of just feeling flattered like a normal person, I was all WOO! I GET AN A+!) Afterwards we dim summed it up with friends and family and I totally "forgot" about the whole diet thing. Heh. 

I also got my hair cut yesterday, because I was beginning to look like a stringy straggly mushroom. The problem with short hair is that you must be cutting it, ALWAYS. Anyway, at the last minute I decided that I was not going to ask for "just a trim!" because I'm "growing it out!" and now it's all Bieberish again. (I like it that way.) ALSO. Even though I'd rejected absolutely everything in my closet PLUS the expensive nursing clothes I purchased online PLUS the cheap "transition" clothes I'd purchased THE NIGHT BEFORE, I found something to wear. Finally. (And I had to open a packed-and-ready-to-return-to-the-online-store box to do it.) 

I wore this nursing top I was going to send back:

Nursing top

with these maternity pants I already owned:


and a long, thin, black cardigan I have no hope of buttoning ever again. It was blacker and pantsier than I wanted to be, but whatever, I found something to wear and my husband said, "Finally, something that FITS you." Apparently he has something against long baggy sweaters and shapeless t-shirts? (Apparently he thinks he has a SAY?)

Three kiddos

Things are moderately better in the Transitioning To Big Brother- and Sisterhood. I think. At least I am not noticing it so much anymore. Jack is still climbing the walls and Molly is still weepy when she goes to bed and I am still beyond irritated when they hover around me while I'm feeding the baby BUT. It seems better. 

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Dear Mom. We've discussed it and we've decided to throw you a bone. 

Jack is saying this thing now that cracks me up every single time, even though I should probably put him in the corner. I believe I've told you before how choices were sort of pointless with this kid because he would always - ALWAYS - come up with a third unlisted choice. So now it's just funny the way he frames it. I'll say, "What sounds good for a snack? A cheese stick? Some apple?" And he will say, "Ummm, I will have fruit snacks."

Like, no thank you First Footman! I shall turn down your offer of crumpets and I will have the cucumber sandwiches instead!

And he sort of cocks his head and raises his eyebrows and THINKS before he responds, and then he says it JUST LIKE I am his housemaid. "Not the gold frock this evening, Cheung! I will have the red silk!" 

"What should we eat for breakfast, kiddos?"


JACK: "I will have waffle."

"We're going to have meatloaf for dinner!"


JACK: "I don't like meatloaf. I will have macaroni and cheese."

See? Should totally sit in the corner. Instead I am writing about it on my website. 

Molly is adorable. She just IS. And again, I should probably be DOING something about the fact that she distinguishes her preschool classmates by what they are wearing (notably shoes, dresses, or backpacks) and that she still has way too many opinions on not only her wardrobe but mine. But I am not. Because I think it's ADORABLE. She had preschool pictures yesterday and the preschool director was telling me how cute she was. Because, OBVS, she is. But then the preschool director was telling me that she POSED. When no one ASKED HER TO POSE. And when Molly finally came out of the classroom I asked her how pictures went and if she smiled and she said, "Yes Mommy. I did like this:" AND SHE POSED. 

I die. I just... She still has the chompiest little cheeks and I love her uneven bangs and her little doll face and even how she follows me around wanting to do everything I do. I keep telling myself that one day she will be thirteen and hate my guts, so it's totally okay to totally love how much she totally loves me. 

As for Emma, she's another little doll baby. One that spits up nonstop and coughs like a ninety-five-year-old smoker, but pretty cute nonetheless. She's even getting a double chin. Go milk! 

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I'm half Chinese? Really? Are you SURE?

This kid so easy and I feel SO BAD because it seems like half the internet is dealing with NOT SO EASY BABIES right now. I'm just dealing with the average number of night wakings and I can almost always put her down. And if the big kids are around when I do? I'm GOLDEN. I know she's only four weeks old (wait, FIVE WEEKS, GAK) but she seems to already be enthralled by her big brother and sister. I approve.

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Overweight, half-crazy, post-partum blogger advertises her bloggerness

I have spent the entire day on the Internet. I need an Internet Break. But before I go...

1. I have a [YET ANOTHER!] new website! The newest version of Hot By Thirty is called Breaking Up With Bread and comes with a whole new blogger, my partner in weight loss suckitude: Princess Nebraska! Go cheer us on, please. 

2. I just googled our new blog name and oops, about ten thousand people thought of it before I did. OH WELL. 

3. I also have a weight-related post up at Parenting tomorrow. I don't have much imagination today. (see: ON INTERNET ALL DAY LONG.)

4. AND! AND! My neighbor came over with her two kids and it was super cute and an all around excellent way to kill those afternoon hours. Yay! Right? Except for the part where 1) I told her about my website and 2) she went home and looked up my website and 3) LEFT ME A COMMENT OMG on the 4) POST ABOUT MY NEIGHBOR COMING OVER. So now I am dead. Good night!


Where is my house elf

I would kill for some chocolate chips right now. Day Two of No Carbs and I'm already pining. I almost wish I were still pregnant, so I could justify sending my husband to the store for CHOCOLATE CHIPS. That's pretty bad, people. 

The only thing that is keeping me from publishing the new weight loss blog is the lack of a name. I'm so bad at names. Suggestions? Don't make me go with 'Fine By Summertime'. 

Anyway, GUESS WHAT. Our neighbors are coming over to play tomorrow. I KNOW. I'm so happy about neighbor friends I'm not even nervous about it. They HAVE to like us, the end. 

What I AM fidgety about is my house. It's a dump. No really. I was sitting on the couch feeding the baby tonight and looking at all the JUNK on the floor. Toys, papers, markers, baby stuff, Halloween costumes, books, socks, STUFF. I immediately go to the "why can't anyone put anything away!" place, the "why do I have to clean up after you people every single night!" place. But the real question is: why am I not making THEM clean up? HMM? 

Seriously, I do a super bad job at this and I think it's because 1) I'm impatient and 2) I'm lazy. I'm impatient and it's quicker for me to do the picking up myself. I'm lazy and it's easier for me to pick up than it is to fight my kids (cough andmyhusband cough) to pick up. Also it seems like whenever I make anyone clean up it's a huge huge fight and I get really obscenely angry and I don't LIKE being obscenely angry. 

But again, this seems to be MY fault. Perhaps I shouldn't wait until there's a giant disaster to initate the cleaning up. Perhaps I should be more consistent about it. Perhaps I could make it a THING: you always pick up before you go to bed. Boom. Done. 

It's harder to do lately with a baby. EJ likes to eat and eat and eat and eat beginning around 7 or 8pm, right when the kids are going to bed. So I'm not often on top of things right then. But really, the mess is beginning to screw with my mental health and I need to make some changes. 

Like one of the things that makes me the MOST angry is clothes on the floor. Clothes on the floor make me CRAAAAZY. Dirty clothes go in the hamper! Pajamas go under your pillow! When you change into your Batman costume, do not leave your pants flung over the couch! I swear, there are days when all I do is go around the entire house picking up everyone's CLOTHES off the various FLOORS. (This does not apply, of course, to the piles of clothes on my desk chair in my bedroom. Having nothing that fits requires many wardrobe changes, plus I don't have time to brush my teeth in the morning let alone put my clothes away. BUT I PUT THEM AWAY EVENTUALLY BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE ANYONE TO DO IT FOR ME.)

No, I just need to be consistent about this. We WILL clean up the markers when we're doing coloring - EVERY SINGLE TIME. We WILL clean up the blocks and the papers and the puzzles before we go to bed. We WILL NOT leave our socks on the floor for days on end. 

I suspect I'm being a little passive aggressive here. Ahem. Also, my mother is probably laughing her face off.

I just... well, no one else feels mentally unbalanced by a house smothered in junk. I realize this. And I even think I have a relatively high threshold for junk. But it will hit me suddenly, you know. I will realize I live in a sty and then I get angry and then I write an angry blog post and then I... do nothing about it, apparently.

I just hate how angry it makes me, and I hate how angry I get at the kids/husband when I decide to DO something about it. 

I would go on. OH BELIEVE ME I WOULD GO ON. But this baby wants to eat AGAIN! I know! 

Starting all over

Hey Internet, I don't think I gave you the conclusion of the Great Weight Check Appointment - although pretty much every time I do not Conclude a Blog Storyline, you may assume all ended well. Because what's the fun in writing about POSITIVE stuff, eh? 

The doctor was hoping for a gain of seven ounces and EmJ delivered ELEVEN ounces. That's my little overachiever! If you're interested, one week of alternating breastfeeding and formula feeding was enough for me to heal, and now we're up to 90% breastfeeding. We'd be doing 100% if I kept pumping, but let's face it, pumping is lame. Also, every time I sit down to pump one of the older kids needs something. (The doctor recommended I pump after every feeding, but realistically I was able to pump once or twice a day. But that was enough! Problems = solved to my satisfaction.) 

While the baby fattens up, my goal is to slim down. LONG DRAWN OUT SIGH. Yesterday was my first attempt at Not Eating Everything In The Kitchen. It went moderately well, by which I mean I ate LESS but not necessarily items containing any nutrition. But I lost two pounds, so there's that. (Yes, I am at a weight where just not eating that fourth bowl of ice cream seems to make a difference.) I plan to set up a weight loss blawg this week to keep me accountable (that's your job) and also figure out how to fit in exercise. 

So... exercise. YEAH. This time around it's not a matter of hopping on the treadmill and walking and then realizing I COULD run if I WANTED to and maybe I should give it a TRY... see, now I know exactly how much running hurts, so I'm WAY less inclined to start. Does that make sense? The last time I did this was kind of a See How Far I Can Go type of thing. Now I know how far I can go AND I know what it takes to get there. PAIN AND SUFFERING. 

It's not like I'm NOT going to do it, I'm just not as gung ho. Even though it would be in the best interest of my relationship with my closet to get going as quickly as possible. I still have the maternity stuff, but maternity jeans, in my opinion, are just as saggy and falling down after pregnancy as they are during. Shirts that looked fine when I was pregnant now show off a different kind[s] of bump. And of course none of the old stuff fits. 

I've been trying to find something to wear to E's baptism (next Sunday) that isn't a maternity dress AND I could possibly nurse in it AND won't embarrass me in pictures. Such a thing does not exist. I've ordered expensive nursing dresses and hid out in a Target dressing room - both disasters. I really do hate this part. I don't feel like myself, but this IS my Self. Bleargh.

Anyway, I am up typing this at Way Too Early, Even Before The Kids Are Awake, because the baby woke up to eat and I couldn't go back to sleep. Mainly because I've caught my first Preschool Cold and couldn't stop coughing. I should make myself some hot water with lemon and honey, but I got distracted by the computer and now I'm thinking I could just go back to bed. Maybe. Shove the baby over, ignore her snuffling and grunting (because she has a cold too) and try to catch another twenty minutes before Jack and Molly wake up all, "MOMMY IT'S SEVEN I HUNGRY CAN I WATCH A SHOW WHAT WE DOING TODAY MOMMY." 

The perfect is the enemy of the good

The first chair I re-covered took me God knows how long because I was DETERMINED to have PERFECT CORNERS. By the sixth chair I was folding hospital corners and calling them good. 


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Stained hideousness.


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I may need an aqua intervention.

A million years ago in college I was the assistant to... I guess you could describe him as the West Coast representative of a national lobbying organization. It was just him, me, and his golden retriever in a tiny office in a nice building downtown. My job was to be Girl Friday. I answered the phones and wrote position papers. I filed newspaper clippings and organized events with elected officials. I made travel arrangements and built databases. (This was also the job where I discovered blogs, since the boss was OFTEN out of town and I was OFTEN very bored.) 

If nothing else, my job was to be the nitpickiest person on earth. Which, luckily, I am close. I edited everything he wrote, I kept track of his crazy calendar, and because my boss was also in the top five percent of nitpickers, we cackled over The Opposition's ugly flyers and typos and other administrative messes. Without a doubt, my aversion to imperfections was a huge HUGE reason he kept me around. 

AND YET. I don't know how many times he would stomp over to my desk, ask me where I was with something, and half-shout, "Maggie! Done is better than perfect!" 

This was... A TOTAL AFFRONT to my ENTIRE WORLD VIEW. I am not a true perfectionist, you know. There are many many trillions of things I am happy to do and perform imperfectly. Bathroom cleaning, anyone? But official documents and printed materials and any article I was given the opportunity to do myself - oh, I AGONIZED over those things. He'd tell me to draft up a press release about something completely boring, but boring or not, I was going to write the Best Damn Press Release EVER! ... until an hour later he'd march over, see that I was struggling over the opening sentence, and bark, "Maggie! Done is better than perfect!"

I'm better now. I still have arguments with Phillip about whether proofreading is next to Godliness and whether someone who uses the wrong 'their' in their resume deserves a job at all. (Phillip is MUCH nicer than me.) But whenever I'm doing something that I'm having trouble getting RIGHT, I have to think about whether it's more important to be PERFECT or mostly good and DONE. 

This weekend I met up with a friend and her brand new baby - remember when I said that right before my water broke I was texting a friend who thought she was going to the hospital to deliver that night? Our babies were born on the same day! (Mine was two weeks early, hers was one week late. NUTSO.) We finally found time to get together and spill all the gory details. It was interesting, because she'd always wanted to experience natural childbirth, whereas for me, the natural route wasn't something I ever REALLY considered. Turns out we both went epidural-free with these babies - something she chose, while I just didn't have the opportunity.

What was interesting was how my friend, in a way, seemed to give me more credit than she did herself, because I had the "primal" experience. Her labor was longer and involved a drug or two, and in describing her experience she would always QUALIFY things, reiterating that she DID have medicine in her system. But for ME, I felt like SHE had the more authentic experience, since she had to keep actively forgoing the epidural, CHOOSING to do it that way. It just HAPPENED to me, you know. Where's the bravery in that? 

I'm no longer obsessing over Emma's birth (and when I WAS obsessing over it, it wasn't BAD obsessing, more like I just had to PROCESS it). I'm not upset or bummed or really anything about it. It's just the way it happened and now we are moving on. (My baby is ONE MONTH OLD. !!!!!!!!)

But I did have to inject a whole lot of "Perfection is the Enemy of the Good" into my whole memory of it. I didn't do it perfectly, but I did it well enough. And that's all that matters. Is there really any way to give birth PERFECTLY anyway? Is there really any way to prepare PERFECTLY? To know PERFECTLY how to work with your nurse and your partner and to know exactly how to manage what you're feeling, both physically and emotionally? How can I possibly hold myself to such a standard? 

Your comments were so incredibly helpful in figuring this out. Just knowing that other people felt ambivalent too, that you weren't a bunch of rah rah natural birthers, that maybe you fought it too, that it didn't go quite how you expected, that you didn't get a high. One of the best comments was from Kimiko, who I haven't seen since ninth grade, but is still one of my very favorite people in the History of Me - SHE didn't get the natural birth high either. And because Kimiko IS perfect, this is such a relief to me. 

This weekend, in my attempts to ignore the whole Blathering Going On Without Me deal, I threw myself into house projects. Playroom! Extra bedroom! Toy purging! Picture hanging! But these chairs were bugging me. I didn't want to deal with them because I knew I couldn't get perfect corners. Soon I had a giant mess in every room in my house, because I was starting so much and not finishing. Then tonight I had to give myself an intervention and re-introduce myself to the chairs. And you know, hospital corners are not so bad. 

Silver linings

I took the baby out tonight (out! oh no!) to see friends and eat giant chocolate parfaits from Whole Foods. Recommend. It didn't QUITE make up for missing dinner with my fellow Blathering organizers, but I hadn't seen THESE friends in forever either and it was nice to catch up. It also helps that they are only interested in my blawg and internet friends to the extent that they have to listen politely when I talk about it. 

AND! Molly went to bed without her pacifier for the first time tonight, and Phillip and I had nothing to do with it. So the whole pacifier thing... YES we are WELL AWARE that Three Plus is too old, it could mess up her teeth, blah blah blah. She only gets it when she sleeps and it generally falls out of her mouth, so I've never been worried about it. Also, I'm incredibly lazy and the thought of taking it away just made me weep with exhaustion. 

Before Emma was born we talked up The Passo Fairy a LOT. This is what we did with Jack - when he turned three we boxed up the pacifiers and told them the Passo Fairy would take them away and leave him a present. That went over pretty well and he never had a problem. But Molly seems to be as attached to her pacifier as Jack is to his teddy bear (which is funny, because I would have hacked off an arm to get Molly to take a pacifier when she was an infant). Then Emma arrived and taking the pacifier away just seemed like a rotten idea. Transitioning to big sisterhood AND no passo? 

But for some reason Molly brought it up on her own today. She wants to give all the pacifiers to Emma. She wanted to give HER pacifier to Emma. And I said fine! Except that meant she wouldn't get one for her nap or at bedtime. And Molly said fine! And I thought Yeah Right. 

It didn't work at naptime. Well, it might have, if I'd been stricter or had more energy, but honestly, these big kids are making me a little nuts and I am all about whatever makes the whining stop fastest. But then I went out to see friends and when I got home Phillip looked at me incredulously and said, "Molly! Gave up! Her passo!" 

We'll see how it goes. She's not asleep YET. And sometimes she'll wake up in the night asking for it. And tomorrow we're driving to the pumpkin patch near my parents and she almost always wants her pacifier when we're driving home at night. WE SHALL SEE. 

Emma continues to be a doll baby. I mean, she's kinda stinky and yesterday I gave up somewhere around the two dozenth wipe and finally stuck the kid under the bathtub faucet to clean her off. But she's generally quiet and goodnatured and eats and doesn't bug me much. And she was amenable to her older brother and sister treating her like one of the dolls earlier today. They got to play house with a REAL baby and when I finally snatched her away Jack said, "Mommy, that was SO MUCH FUN!" Hee!

She's grunting and tooting up a storm over here, so I better go see what that's about. I hope you have a great weekend - especially if you're at the Blathering. I'm so excited for you first timers. Super bummed I won't get to meet you, but so excited to read your blogs on Monday!

Instead of all this I should be on a plane to Texas

There's this thing my dad used to say every so often: "Oh my God, my children are filthy!" Only he said it in Yiddish, which makes it an even weirder Thing To Say, I realize. But Yiddish makes everything sound funny, at least to the five of us kids, and he would shout it in this Babushka Lady voice and we would burst into hysterics and it was just FUNNY.  

Sometimes, when the big kids are driving me to The Point Of Despair, there's this part of me that itches to bust out with a Yiddish Exclamation. Only it would probably be something mean, and I certainly wouldn't be saying it to get any laughs. I'm attracted to having a phrase. A thing to say that would let out some of the frustration. Kind of like that study that says shouting a swear word when you stub your toe somehow lessens the pain. 

Anyway, I was hunting for the right Yiddish Exclamation ALL AFTERNOON. (Note: I do not know any Yiddish.) My big kids are frustrating me SO much lately. I know it's not all them - like this evening I was acutely aware of the fact that they weren't being any different than usual, but if one of them hovered over the nursing baby one more time I was liable to shoot off the couch, break through the ceiling, and burst into flames over North Seattle - that is how much I did not want another small person invading my personal space.  

The rowdy boy and the bedtime-clingy girl persist. The rowdiness puts me over the edge on an hourly basis, and right when he goes to bed and I can finally reclaim my space and my quiet, the girl starts up with her nighttime neediness. There are days when I am understanding, days when I can be creative and redirect them, days when I have energy to join in, but not today. So not today.

Tonight we had friends drop by and bring us dinner, and my four- and three-year-olds did not give their three-year-old the time of day. She was playing BY HERSELF while my kids hovered and touched and climbed over me until I wanted to scream. Why were they not playing with the other KID? Why must they be RIGHT NEXT TO ME?

This actually isn't all that unusual for Molly. She's a lot less social than Jack (which is funny because Jack used to be SO timid) - this was partly why I didn't want them to be in the same preschool class. I wanted Molly to play with other kids on her own, or just be AROUND other kids on her own. With Jack around, Molly almost always participates. If he's not there, it's questionable. The other kid has to be just the RIGHT sort of kid - ideally an older girl who wants to drag her around by the hand (ie: another Jack.)

A few days ago a friend and HER three-year-old daughter dropped by (WITH MORE FOOD, WE ARE SO SPOILED) and Molly pretty much ignored my friend's daughter the entire time. She would not WOULD NOT play with this girl, she wouldn't even show her where the toys were. It was so embarrassing. Later on that day she got a stuffy runny nose and had a hard night, so maybe part of it was being sick and out of sorts. BUT STILL. I was mortified. I mean, she's a Mommy's girl, but she's never quite so RUDE. 

And I'm just not handling it very well. I need my space even when I'm not nursing a newborn on demand. It's frustrating when it's just us at home, and BEYOND FRUSTRATING when people come over to PLAY and my kids won't PLAY. [INSERT YIDDISH PHRASE OF FRUSTRATION!]

Overheard at Goodwill

After we dropped Molly at preschool, Emma and I went to Goodwill. I bought these candleholders at a friend's yard sale a while back and I wanted to glue some glass plates to the tops and spray paint them red. I thought they'd be pretty at my Christmas party over which I am, shut up, already obsessing. I found some plates and we poked around for a while. I almost bought Phillip a padded "muscle" shirt for Halloween. Except Phillip is NOT the person in our family who keeps feather boas and hats and sparkly fabric and fake glasses and a frilly apron and other costume accoutrement in a giant box in the closet, so I thought he wouldn't APPRECIATE the muscle shirt as much as OTHER people. So then I almost bought myself a wig. ALMOST. 

I decided just the glass plates would do and went to pay for them. An older lady was standing behind me in line and started making googly eyes over my baby. "How old is she?!" "So precious!" "So sweet!" "What a darling face!" You know, all sorts of things to make me Beam With Pride and also Smugness. But then! Right as Emma and I were wheeling the cart to the door I heard the lady say to the clerk, "These young mothers today, taking their babies out so EARLY..." and not in a gentle chiding sort of voice either, but a Harsh! Judgmental! voice! The kind of voice that makes my little rule-following people-pleasing heart start to bite its fingernails. 

Although - and I'm realizing this is sort of a trend in my life right now - I was more annoyed that she said it WHILE I COULD HEAR HER instead of saving it for when I was out of hearing distance, like any normal person would do. Seriously. If you're going to talk about someone, at LEAST do it behind their back! 

Okay, so maybe that's not the proper thing to do either. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. 

Emma's got her weight check tomorrow and I would appreciate any and all Fattening Up thoughts. I am not sure what they will advise if she's not fattened up, though. I am nursing her ALL THE TIME and if I'm at all concerned that she didn't get enough/is still hungry, I top her off with formula. I am not afraid of the formula. So I wouldn't say she's ever going hungry, you know, and spends her not-eating time sitting around looking contented and sort of frog-faced. There's no screeching and keening and rooting for more more more. I don't FEEL like anything is wrong and I am just hoping the scale backs me up on that. 

The other kids are sick, which is super fun. Jack woke up crying last night and when I asked him what was wrong he said, "I WOKE UP!" like DUH, MOM. Jack, in case I haven't made it clear, is a Sensitive Sleeper. Anyway, I told him to just close his eyes and try going back to sleep then, but he was still upset so I held him for a while. Maybe five minutes, until he said, "I want to try again!" in a little whimpery voice that only his mom would think is the sweetest most adorable thing in the world. 

He was fine in the morning, but zonked out on the couch right when Molly was due to wake up from HER nap. So of course they're both still awake at 9:30 at night but, eh. What are you going to do? 

Phillip just said, "The baby would like to eat some more" and... I think I could write an entire snit-filled post on Husbands Informing Wives That The Babies Would Like To Eat [Again] but you probably don't want to read it (I KNOW my husband doesn't) and I really DO have to feed the baby again (WEIGHT CHECK!), so, uh, happy Tuesday, folks! One day closer to fun-size candy bars!