Project Third Baby

About to go to bed at eight

This is the most uncomfortable day I've had yet. PERHAPS it is due to the fact that I POSSIBLY overdid it yesterday - painting, errand-running, no nap. I mean, I have sore muscles. I can't remember the last time I had sore muscles. I meant to finish painting my kitchen while the kids were in preschool, but I ended up on the couch watching The New Girl and reading Faithful Place. (I have to give both of these a thumbs up, which is somewhat surprising re: the TV show and obvious re: the book.) 

Anyway, absolutely everything hurt, and then I realized I was having BH contractions as well (I THINK, I'm still not super sure about those suckers) and then I allowed myself a few minutes to hope that maybe things were, you know, PROGRESSING. But no. I'm just Hugely Pregnant But Not ENOUGH Pregnant. So I'm sorry, I know I'm whining about this a lot suddenly. I did try to put most of my whining over at Parenting today, but it appears I still had a little bit saved up for this spot. Oops! 

I also feel like pregnancy is maybe clouding my perspective and judgment on things. It's weird, you know, because I FEEL LIKE ME. Except for my intense anxiety while pregnant with Molly, I've never considered myself to be super affected by pregnancy hormones. (And at the time I wouldn't have blamed the anxiety on hormones either.) I don't get super weepy or ragey or any of the stereotypical things I hear/read about. But I'm now wondering if... well, it's either pregnancy-related stupidness/unawareness or just the fact that maybe I think I'm only suffering from the physicalness of it and not the psychologicalness... oh wow, I don't even know if that makes sense. But I still feel like I can DO anything. 

FOR EXAMPLE: stand on a ladder to paint my freakishly tall walls. It's like I know I probably shouldn't do this? But I am doing it anyway, because I can, and I'm not THAT unbalanced, right? It took some imagining of what FIL would say, plus a bit of worry from my mother to make me realize that, um, yeah, won't be doing that anymore. (Sorry Phillip, I still have a couple high spots left.) 

FOR EXAMPLE: intense stress and feelings of failure when I skip out on the coffee and pastries Molly's preschool kindly put out for the moms in order to foster some socializing. I mean, not that this is my thing anyway, but I REALLY DO want to get to know some of the other moms and it's not like I had anything else to do. (See: on my couch for three hours.) So here I am giving myself a really hard time for not Trying and then I remember: 8.5 months pregnant. Why WOULDN'T I prefer my couch?

FOR EXAMPLE: feeling totally overwhelmed when a handful of other parents are standing around waiting to pick up their kids from J's preschool and talking about how unimpressed they are with the teacher and the stuff their kids are bringing home. And I know it's totally obnoxious to say this about preschool, but I'm of the same mind. That said, I don't really feel like doing anything about it, and Jack seems very happy, and because of that I should probably just quit comparing this preschool to last year's. Done and done. But these other parents are, like, PLOTTING, and should I be more concerned? Should I be doing something? Am I a terrible parent because I am thinking we will just skate by for now? Then I remember: VERY PREGNANT. Please to give myself a break. 

What's sad is that this is probably a Very Good Lesson for me, but I will have a new baby soon-ish and I won't remember. I might go through a spate of For Goodness' Sake, You Have A New Baby, You Cannot Be Expected To Run Three Miles Immediately sort of lessons, but chances are I won't take those to heart either. Bleargh. 



Things That Are Going Well-Ish:

1. Potty training. There are still accidents, some traumatic moments, and I don't trust her to tell her teachers at preschool, but over the last handful of weeks, things seemed signficantly easier. I kept hoping for a generally positive trend and I think we're on one at last. 

2. Pregnancy weight gain. When I tell you I have *only* gained 44 pounds you will not be impressed, but this is a whole 18 pounds less than I gained with Molly. So I say: HURRAY FOR ME. I mean, I still have three weeks to go, but even I am doubtful of my ability to gain 18 pounds in three weeks. 

3. Preschool for the kids. So far so good. Everyone's happy. No one appears to like the snacks/lunches I pack, but for some reason it's a lot less antagonizing to open a lunch box and see that someone hasn't eaten, as opposed to sitting there watching them not eat. I still think Jack's preschool last year is way cooler than either of the preschools we're in now, but C'EST LA VIE. 

4. No more grad school. I am trying really really hard to NOTICE the not-grad-school-ness of our life right now. I want to appreciate it as long as I can! Every once in a while I remind myself that Phillip was never home on Saturdays, just so I can appreciate it MORE. 

5. Family stuff. My brother got engaged! Is it okay to be totally jealous of my SIL-to-be's ring? Because I am. Well done, Brother Of Mine. I still don't get what this awesome chick sees in you, but eh! We all win!

Things That Are Going Not So Well-Ish:

1. Tired. I am still SO TIRED. I am guessing I am still anemic. I am also 37 weeks. At this point I just feel entitled to naps and turning on a movie for the kids when I can't deal and entire mornings when I cannot get going. 

2. Preschool for ME. Speaking of tired, these preschool mornings are murder. We aren't waking up any earlier, but I have to get everyone MOVING a lot earlier and every preschool morning we just barely make it out of the house in time. And I thought we would be walking to school! HA! I'm pretty much a basic training instructor until we drop off Jack, but then I have 45 minutes until I have to drop off Molly. So we've been going to coffee shops, which sounds nice, but I am SO TIRED. And then I have three hours which also sounds nice, but I've been running errands in those three hours and then I have to pick up Jack at noon, eat lunch with him, and pick up Molly at one. Today I was all, "WHY DID I NOT PUT THEM IN THE SAME CLASS???" And I had to tell myself, "1) because you wanted to separate them and 2) you wanted to check out the Catholic school" but MAN do those reasons sound REALLY STUPID right now. Then I'm going to have a third baby and I will NEVER SHOWER AGAIN.

3. The Internet. I have nothing to say here that isn't whiny and/or repetitive (SORRY). Twitter is full of Blathering tweets that make me mopey. Parenting switched commenting systems so now everything must be done via Facebook and I'm sure you know how I feel about THAT. 

4. Making decisions about schools. I have SOME time but not a LOT of time. I think the solution to this is to stop hanging out with other moms of preschoolers because this is ALL WE TALK ABOUT. Catholic school, public school, switching parishes, proximity, buses, class sizes, INSTA-HIVES.

Things That Have Made Me Feel Better About Life In General:

1. I got a haircut. It's short again. Maybe too short. Also I have Pregnant Face and Pregnant Neck and perhaps it was not so wise to go super short. HOWEVER. I can leave the house without feeling like I require the use of a flat iron, volumizer, and pins for my godawful bangs. 

2. Thanks to friends who give gift certificates, I got a pedicure at the fancy pedicure place. It was lovely.

3. My car. I don't care what you say, I AM IN LOVE WITH MY VAAAAAANNNNNN.

4. The pair of maternity leggings I bought six months ago that I can still wear without wanting to die. Someone on Project Runway said leggings were over. I DON'T CARE.

5. When Jack told me that God lived on Mars and all the planets go around the sun, except the sun goes around Mars, because that's where God lives, and God WOULD live on the sun, but it's too hot and he'd get burned. And you KNOW I didn't correct him. 

Actual Real Life Dilemma That I Do Not Think I Am Blowing Out Of Proportion For Once

Here's something I learned in the last year - last fall, to be precise: my body will turn on me, in the form of anxiety, EVEN IF I am 1) eating well and exercising as regularly as I can manage 2) not experiencing any larger-than-average outside stressors 3) everything is going well in my family life 4) everything is going well in the REST of my life. Even when I am at the height of my healthy game, even after training myself to notice and manage/conquer anxiety triggers, even when there is really nothing going on that would naturally make me anxious I WILL GET ANXIOUS. Especially in the fall. Huh!

This is why I decided, after eight years of doing it on my own, to bypass the stigma and the sense of failure, and go straight to the meds. And AMEN. And once I got pregnant? After two pregnancies that verified my own personal health fact that I will be nuttier during pregnancy than at any point in the six months after I give birth? MORE PILLS, PLEASE. To hell with stigma; the difference between my raving, loonypants, irrational fears Molly pregnancy and this simply-physically-uncomfortable pregnancy is HUGE.

But now I am trying to figure out if I should wean myself off of them before/around-ish Third Baby's birth. WHAT DO YOU THINK? 

I've been fine taking them during pregnancy because 1) my doctor says it's fine and 2) I know I'd be a mess. I am LESS fine with taking them while breastfeeding because 1) people generally seem to frown on that and 2) I'm pretty sure I WOULDN'T be a mess. The last two times I had a kid was an Instant Anxiety Fix, I'm not exaggerating at all. With Jack it stayed away for a good six months, with Molly it was two YEARS (I think because I was running. Just a theory.) 

I wouldn't worry about the breastfeeding thing. I'd be fairly confident in my hormones for a while. I also think I would have an easier time losing weight/not eating everything in sight if I weren't on meds. (Shallow? Perhaps.) I could see how long it takes this time to revert to, uh, normal. And if I felt anxious again there is no doubt I would go racing back for a prescription, because I am OVER doing this on my own OVER OVER OVER. 

My fear with that is ... things are fine right NOW. I've read a lot of stories where people have a hard time going back on the meds (and to be honest, the whole first month or two BLOWS) and sometimes the original one doesn't work and blah blah blah. I know that even if I keep doing what I'm doing there's still the possibility that I will need to change it up, but it actually feels pretty frightening to start all over again. And I am pretty sure I will need to do that at some point. 

I could, perhaps, just decrease my dosage after the baby is born. I did increase it just a bit when I got pregnant (because I am from Opposite Land, where the post-partum insanity happens WHILE pregnant.) I suppose a missing piece of information is: how much WOULD it affect the baby? I am loathe to google this. I have a doctor appointment tomorrow, will ask then.

If I had good reason to think I would be anxious after giving birth I would happily - CHEERFULLY! - put this kid on formula and go on taking my meds. I have no issues with formula, other than it being Not Free and also Bottle Washing Sucks. Breastfeeding, even though I never really grew to love it, REALLY worked for my lazy butt. And it IS better for the baby and YES I want to do what is best for my baby, but what is REALLY best for my baby is to not be CRAZY. 

Right now I'm leaning towards going off the meds and Seeing What Happens. But I am not feeling particularly brave about it. I am pretty intimidated by the day, even if it is two years out, when I will be anxious again and have to go through this whole rigamarole again. I would love to know if you've found yourself in a similarish position and what you decided. Aaaaand GO!

Time to slow down and eat some cake

Phillip just left to play board games with a bunch of guys. Fun times, huh?! Okay, that was sarcastic. I am not the board game type. I have TRIED since we are friends with INTENSE BOARD GAMERS but alas, it is not to be. Partly because they are boring, partly because if I cannot win I do not want to play. Seriously. It's just better for EVERYONE if I am not deadset on having the longest train. 

It's all good because Phillip doesn't get to play with his friends very often. This is his own fault (and theirs) of course, because for whatever reason, Men Do Not Make Plans. Whenever he does have a chance to hang out with the guys I always think, "How NICE." Well, right after I think, "Not until the kids are in bed!" 

The other nice thing about when Phillip leaves to have fun with friends (as opposed to work travel or working late or school meetings or whatever) he does a little extra at home. As if to make sure I cannot possibly be upset with him for leaving. So all the trash is out and all his tools are cleaned up and YES, this makes me happy INDEED. Have fun with your game that requires action figures and ten different dice! 

Anyway, I am bumbling around doing my work. This involved updating my Google calendar with the kids' school calendars (and finding out that they have separate Spring Breaks, UGH.) I filled out another nine thousand forms for Molly's school. (A PERSONALITY PROFILE? What for?! I basically used it to warn them about Potty Anxiety.) I did some money stuff and consolidated preschool papers into their appropriate folders, I emailed absolutely everyone back (unless you didn't get an email from me and you were expecting one, which means I did not and OOPS, PLS LET ME KNOW). I updated MY calendar with doctor appointments and baby showers and when my MIL decided to take time off for the baby. My house is still kind of a disaster but my calendar is organized!

I am tired and moody about the house disasterness and slightly overwhelmed by the preschoolness, but I still feel really itchy about doing stuff to my house and it's frustrating. NOW I want to paint the little room off the kitchen. I want to go find a nightstand at a garage sale or Goodwill to paint and match my coral nightstand. I want to make a crib skirt for the new baby's mini crib. I want to head to Ikea and buy all the rest of the stuff we want for the living room. I stood in the playroom for a good half hour this afternoon deciding how to rearrange and paint and where will I put my mom's old sewing machine and sewing machine table because OH YES I'M GOING TO LEARN HOW TO DO THAT TOO. 

Then I remember I'm having a baby in four weeksish and, um, simmer down, Maggie. 

Can I just tell you one other thing that I'm obsessing over, which is TOTALLY STUPID and yet I CANNOT HELP IT? I hate my hair. Hate it. This is the problem with cutting all your hair off: an earlobe-length bob is suddenly WAY TOO LONG. It looks half decent if I take the time to blow dry it (with volumizer) and flat iron the ends. It's not like I could just leave it when it was super short either. I still had to blow dry, but the blow drying took, like, SECONDS and I LIKED it. So I want to go back and chop it off again, but two things: 1) You have to keep cutting it all the time and will I have time to do that with a new baby? I know I'll WANT to, but you know how it goes. And 2) I AM TOO FAT. I feel like my FACE is pregnant and super short hair will be even more unflattering than what I've got right now. I don't know. Perhaps this is stupid. And the people I've happened to timidly ask about it appear to be people who didn't like my super short hair in the first place SO WHATEVER. Shut up, me. And I know you are the internet which means you want a picture, but TOO BAD, INTERNET. Don't got one! Don't wanna take one! I'm just gonna shave my head!

Although, I will tell you now, the shortness will return. Sooner or later. I am NOT going to grow it all the way out only to lose two thirds of it 6 months post partum. GAH.


If only I could do the next 5 weeks pass/fail

I had hoped for a restful weekend, but I am just feeling SO PREGNANT. I'm not, like, MISERABLE or anything, and it's nothing I haven't experienced before, but MAN it's just a DRAG. I've completely run out of comfortable positions, both daytime and nighttime. This baby never stops moving. I'm either totally starving and stuffing my face or totally uninterested in food when everyone else wants to go to happy hour. All I really feel like doing, ever, is napping. 

And of course I've been so short with the kids. They're not being any more fighty or fidgety than usual, but my patience threshold is SO much lower and my clutter threshold is SO much higher. My zero-to-yell speed is something like ninety jillion times faster and half the time it's my fault because I'm not doing my JOB. Of COURSE they're listless and restless and wishing to get out and DO something. But our daily activities revolve around my energy level and I take every opportunity to sit down and close my eyes. I can't imagine that's much fun. And listlessness breeds arguments. Even if they're arguments like, "JACK WON'T PLAY OUTSIDE WITH MEEEEEE I WANT JACK TO PLAY WITH MEEEEEE WAAAAAHHHH." 


I'm not DOING anything either. I keep thinking of little things I'd like to do - that one more piece of Ikea furniture I want to buy for the living room, hanging some pictures in our bedroom, trying to make the playroom a more attractive place for the kids, cleaning up the outside toys, just random jobs here and there. But I'm so tired. And everything leaves me out of breath. I mean, these are things I WANT to do, not things I'm happy to put off. I feel really frustrated. I'm used to GETTIN' STUFF DONE.

We had friends stay with us over the weekend and I had Major Plans for the house. I got all the necessary stuff done, but towards the end I realized I was going to have to make some choices. I could not do everything. And I had to actually tell myself, out loud, that my friends would still love me if I waited to vacuum until Saturday morning after the kids were dropped off with grandparents. I KNOW. 

And even then... all we really DO with this group of friends during this particular weekend is sit on the couch, talk our faces off and eat too much. NOT THAT HARD. Thankfully I was engaged enough when everyone else was talking, but I felt like a total space cadet when it was my turn to talk and I gave up on a fun afternoon with the girls to nap. LAME. It wasn't even a good nap, and when I woke up it took me a good hour to snap out of the nap fog. 

That said, I felt taken care of. Phillip and I hosted, but our friends cooked and cleaned up and picked up the toys and basically ensured that I didn't lift a finger. 

I feel bad, because it was a great weekend and we had a great time Sunday night with my family and Molly's birthday party. I have some really great pictures and preschool on Friday went well and I'm just feeling so blessed right now to have such wonderful friends and family and a husband who let me sleep late this morning, but I am SO PREGNANT. I've got five-ish weeks, technically, and all day I had moments where I wondered how I was going to do it. I can't NOT engage with my kids for five weeks. I have to be present! I have to participate! I HAVE TO MAKE BREAKFAST!

I really want to write more about the stuff we talked about this weekend, and I really want to post some pictures, but I need to get the kids ready for bed (Phillip is crawling around in the rafters trying to finish his wiring project, do not ask me how I feel about this wiring project) and have I mentioned that I am LARGE and UNCOMFORTABLE and READY TO GO TO BED AT 8PM. 

I hope you had good weekends too. 

This is MUCH whinier than I intended. Oops.

Since the kids stayed with my in-laws last night and we weren't going to pick them up until the late afternoon, I had Big Plans. Sort of. They involved straightening up the house so I sort of knew off the bat that I wasn't going to get ALL of my Big Plans accomplished. 

But I got out of bed and drove Phillip to work, I drove to the dealership to drop off the money we did not pay them for the car yesterday (I KNOW), I went to the grocery store, I came home and paid some bills, I folded some laundry, and then I was, well, out. Next thing I knew it was time to pick up Phillip. 

(Perhaps I ate an entire personal size watermelon in there, at some point.) 

Anyway, you know how I was all, "Oh, this pregnancy is so BORING and EASY and BLAH BLAH BLAH." Okay, so the boring still holds true, but I am 34 weeksish and beginning to feel like I need a Hoyer lift to get me off the couch. 

(This is a Hoyer Lift. I know what a Hoyer Lift is because I once worked in an adult family home in which a Hoyer Lift was required for some residents and OH if only I'd had a blog during those eight or nine months of working, without any CPR or First Aid or nursing credentials whatsoever, in an adult family home owned by The Craziest Most Passive Aggressive Most Delusional Woman I Have Ever Met In My Life, Hands Down. THAT would have been a good blog.) 

I was sitting on my in-laws couch tonight wondering if what I'm feeling lately are Braxton Hicks. I THOUGHT I had BH with Molly, probably a few weeks later than I am right now, and they were painful. And everyone says BH are not painful (though I try not to listen to Everyone). I think the contractions I felt were probably real (if completely USELESS) at that point, as they lasted about the two or three weeks before I had Molly (and she was 9 days early.) 

These are more... well, honestly, I've just been assuming the baby is moving around making things temporarily awful. I can tell where her butt and feet are and sometimes, I don't know, she bends farther to scratch her toe or something and BOOM, my belly juts out even farther and everything is tight and hard and I'm all DUDE, GO BACK TO SLEEP. It seems to coincide with movement, is what I'm saying. 

NOT THAT IT MATTERS. I mean, there's really no point in talking about any of it because either way, it's NORMAL and there's nothing you can DO except sit around until you have the baby. 

I got out all the baby clothes. I scrounged a book shelf from another room and stacked all the clothes and diapers on that. Sainted Blog Reader Renata sent me a pump, so I'm all set to submit myself to THAT particular brand of humiliation. (THANK YOU, RENATA. P.S. I SUCK AT EMAIL.) I've set up my Jack & Molly Watchers for when I have to go the hospital. I have to wash the bedding, take a tour of the hospital so my husband knows where to steer my hunched over shouting-for-the-epidural self, decide where we want the baby car seat in the new car, and find/wash all the bottles and their miserable little pieces. I know it's still early, but I keep looking at my calendar and Freaking The Heck Out over what all we've got coming up in the next several weeks. I am even thinking about hiring a babysitter for Friday, WHILE I AM AT HOME, because we are having guests all weekend and WHEN AM I GOING TO MAKE BEDS? CLEAN TOILETS? FIGURE OUT WHAT WE WILL EAT? 

Speaking of, can you recommend an excellent breakfast casserole? Of the savory or sweet variety? OR BOTH?

And don't say, "Oh, you just have to space all those things out over the course of the week and then you'll be all set for Friday," BECAAAAAAAUSE: 1) That's totally going to intrude on my nap schedule and 2) whatever I clean up/set up today is guaranteed to be filthy/destroyed by the following day. THEREFORE. It is best to do it all at once, hours before the guests arrive. Even if I won't get to see them until the NEXT day on account of being completely wiped out from the cleaning/setting up. GAH.

And what did YOU do today?!

We weren't PLANNING to buy a van. Well, for a while there, I suppose we were. My brain could not figure out how to put three small children and their ginormous car seats in a Mazda 5. And hadn't we put off the minivan long enough? 

Then Wonderful Jen emailed all about how THEY put three small children in THEIR Mazda 5 and I was all, YES. That is what we shall do, thereby staving off 1) the Minivan Stigma and 2) car payments, which are infinitely worse than Minivan Stigma. 

But then... we tried out that configuration one weekend (big kids in the back, baby seat in the middle row, the other middle row seat folded down) and it WORKED but it wasn't GREAT. Actually, I felt way better about it than Phillip. I felt cheered. Relieved. We could hold off the car payments for at LEAST a few years, right? It didn't matter that the backwards baby seat meant my knees would practically touch the glove compartment. And Jack would be moving into a booster seat one of these days, and that would free up some more room. But one thing you should know about my husband is he likes Whatever Is The Best. I mean, most people do, but there are certain things that Phillip just needs to be good. For example: our TiFaux. It is, perhaps, not functioning at its most impressive in the new house, and the amount of rage I've seen directed at that TiFaux is more rage than I've seen directed any other person, place, or thing. So stuff like that, right? Which includes cars. The Mazda 5 setup was Unsatisfactory. 

I talked him into it, though. NO CAR PAYMENT!!! 

Then a while back, a little girl was killed in a car accident not far from here (you may have heard about her) and suddenly I began to feel some of the Unsatisfactoryness. There is no latch system in the back! No airbags! It's a SMALL CAR! Nail biting, nail biting, nail biting. 

Then! Enter FIL, who in addition to being the most generous FIL alive, is also the most anxious. For about a month or two now, FIL has been asking for Car Buying Status Updates, and is never particularly pleased when we tell him that there is, uh, no update. He was car shopping for his own self, but OCCASIONALLY would get some information on a minivan as well and look! Here's a brochure! Or did we read this article? This link? Do we REALLY think the Sienna might be a better choice than the Odyssey? Did we check to make sure it would fit in the garage? Do we want to borrow his friend's Odyssey for a week JUST TO MAKE SURE?

We decided that, perhaps, we should buy a minivan. 

And today, we did. We didn't PLAN on it, but we'd done enough homework, we knew exactly what kind of payment we could afford, we brought all our numbers and I was prepared to keep my mouth shut while Phillip, you know, played it cool. (Me: incapable of playing it cool. Can only keep quiet.) 

But I think we hit the perfect car buying combo today: a pleasant, cheerful salesman who didn't act like showing us every van on the lot was a huge affront to his sensibilities, the end of the day, the end of the month, the end of the season, and a very slow day at the dealership. I think those factors played into how much they dropped the price (more than we expected) and how much they gave us for the Mazda (more than we expected) and how much we had to put down (less than we expected) and then holy cats, we were moving the car seats from the mini minivan into the real one. And then I drove it home. 

I do not have Minivan Issues. I grew up riding in The Largest Civilian Vehicle On Base and if I wanted to share my distinctive maiden name on this website I could write a big list of all the nicknames my high school friends gave my family's van. I suppose that is to say I got over my Van Stigma early on. I think what I like about big houses is what I like about vans: there's room for everybody. It's not like we're carting around large groups on a regular basis, but now we CAN. There are room for cousins and friends and family and I just LIKE THAT. 

I also think sliding doors are God's gift to mothers, and I can't figure out why some of my friends would prefer an SUV to sliding doors. And now my sliding doors? ARE AUTOMATIC, BABY! 

So anyway. YESTERDAY I went to the mall with my mom and sister and spent a fortune on New Preschool Clothes. TODAY I spent the rest of our fortune on a car. We are going to celebrate tonight with the first of many many ramen suppers. 

All my babies

I was an attentive, cheerful, doting mother today, as evidenced by the four - FOUR - puzzles still in their put-together glory crowding up my living room floor. I thank God for puzzles, people, as my kids love them and they are pretty much the one kind of kid activity that I can do without wanting to stab myself in the eyes. 

Speaking of, what do your kids like to do? Out of curiosity? Jack right now is super into glue sticks and scissors and markers and entire forests' worth of paper. He writes random letters and asks me what they say (and gets mad when, nine times out of ten, they don't say anything. Sorry kid.) He draws rainbows and planets and family and he LOVES cutting all of his little creations into small pieces. Occasionally he glues them onto another sheet of paper, but usually he leaves them on the floor for me to grumble over later. He's still into his Trio blocks and whines at me to help him build the marble run. Other than that he is making up games with his willing assistant, Mollymoo, and running around the house in costume or building houses or setting up picnics or putting the stuffed animals and babies to bed. He will also sit and read his human body books (SNORE) or play Plants vs. Zombies on the iPad. And THANK THE LORD ALMIGHTY we have moved on from Busytown Mysteries. The preferred shows are now Fishtronaut (?) and Blue's Clues, both of which were found through unfettered iPad Netflix access. Sue me. 

Molly does whatever Jack does. Mostly. She also plays with the iPad but she's more likely to play one of the gazillion kid apps we downloaded. She's more into puzzles than her brother, but she prefers an adoring audience while she does them. She colors and cuts too, but mostly she's either doing whatever Jack is doing (therefore making it hard to tell what SHE especially likes to do) or hanging out with me. She likes to help unload the dishwasher and fold wash cloths and help me make the beds. She picks out clothes and watches me do my hair and loves getting the mail. I'm looking forward to seeing what a few hours of preschool separation does for Molly. Not that I think it's bad all this copycatting of her brother, but it will be fun to see what kinds of things she latches onto. It's super fun watching them play "airplane" or "haircut" or "mommy and daddy" but these are almost always Jack's ideas and Molly is second in command. Her one talent at these games seems to be starting a fight, alas. 

ANYWAY. I think my nice mommyness was largely due to the fact that Nai Nai and Ye Ye came over around lunchtime and watched the kids while I went to yet another doctor appointment. (Where I LOST two pounds! Ha! But I think that has more to do with sketchy weights than anything else. I mean, my rule during Hot By Thirty was Naked Morning Weight Is The Only One That Counts. Right?) And I "extended" my appointment hanging out at the library for a good hour. Refreshing! As for the appointment, it was, yet again, a thoroughly boring and pointless and I flat out said, "Do I REALLY have to come back so soon?" And my doctor, because she is awesome, cancelled my next appointment. Because REALLY. NOTHING IS HAPPENING. I don't have to go back until the 12th. I plan to gain lots of weight in the meantime, OBVS. 

I know that must sound so snobby and/or obnoxious to many of you, but there is honestly nothing much to talk about with my doctor. There's no reason to go over any of my complaints because I know they are all NORMAL and there's really nothing you can DO about having baby feet jammed in your ribcage except HAVE THE BABY. Right? I don't have anything serious to mention and all she does is measure me and tell me everything sounds great, so, yeah. That's that. I acknowledge my luckiness! But I am also going to complain about the baby feet. And the fact that I can no longer breathe. 

Actually, I had to sort of sit down and tell myself today, "Self? No more projects. Do not even think about painting your entry way. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH." I mean, perhaps I will get around to organizing the pantry and I really do have to find a place for new baby's stuff, but no more of these grand home improvement projects. (Well, grand for ME, anyway.) When walking up my one rinky dink flight of stairs is enough to wind me (see: baby feet in ribs) it's clear that I need to, you know, stop some stuff. I've been feeling bad about being tired or napping or even things like dreading helping the kids maneuver on the playground and making lunch, because all I want to do is SIT. But I'm trying to remind myself that even though I am a lazy lazy girl, I am not by nature a SITTER, this is not the real ME, I am 7.5 months pregnant and if there is any time when I should do more sitting it's the next several weeks. I think this is okay. 

I got to skype with my college bff today and her brand new baby boy and OH he was SO SWEET. It was making me very moony-eyed. He's beautiful. WANT. 

ANYWAY. We're just sort of stuck in these next couple weeks of Summer and Nothing Much To Do, which I've been disliking more and more lately. But then there will be Labor Day and after that, PRESCHOOL (OMG, must discuss preschool tomorrow, I have the shakes), and then the baby comes and maybe I should just APPRECIATE my days of nothingness right now? You think? I will try. 

I've made it this far, and I'm feeling pretty good about it

There was a lot of talking today. Hence Thursday's post at Parenting: Talky talky talk talk talk aaaauuuggghhh. (I get to choose my own titles! Bet they regret that!) 

I FEEL like I did a lot today, but clearly nothing to do with my house. It's true that the mess expands to fit the space. It seems as though I can keep one room clean at a time, usually the kitchen (and right now, my bedroom, because I've become Martha Stewart The Dictator about my bedroom) but the living room? Forget it. The top of the stairs? Heh. The kids' room? I'm lucky if I pick the clothes off the floor by the time Phillip gets home. 

But I DID hang a curtain rod today. I DID buy more dish soap in order to keep the kitchen looking decent. I DID do some laundry. I DID clear off the dining room table. I DID feed the kids and fill up the baby pool and take them to the library and a coffee shop for a snack. None of those things, however, resulted in vacuuming the carpet. Which, well, I'd rather not have any of you over until I vacuum the carpet. 

And then when it was time to make dinner, I felt like I couldn't breathe. Not, like, OMG I CAN'T BREATHE WHY DIDN'T I TEACH THE CHILDREN TO DIAL 911, I'm just PREGNANT. This baby is either jammed into my pelvis requiring ninety trips to the bathroom, or jammed up in my rib cage making even STANDING an aerobic exercise. I was standing in the bedroom showing off my curtain rod to Phillip and I found myself out of breath. I had to SIT DOWN. While I was just standing there and TALKING. How many more weeks of this? 

A girl at church whose second baby is about a year old told me I should let her know how the third one goes. She said she's heard the second is the worst (I think she meant pregnancy/birth-wise.) I haven't heard that, but I can definitely get behind it! Have you guys heard that? Or something completely different? Like my mother and my SIL both say that their third babies were ridiculously easy, that the third one just "blends in". But then I have all these OTHER people saying that the third one is when the you know what really hit the fan. I'm sure it all DEPENDS. But in the meantime I'm perfectly happy to think the second pregnancy is the worst and the third baby is the easiest. Works for me!

As for the pregnancy part, so far, YES. I think a lot of my Molly misery had to do with being bat@#*% insane, but I KNOW I was also physically miserable at this point. I know that summer was much warmer - maybe that had something to do with it? But I also remember not being able to sleep on one side for very long because my hips were so sore, and having to sleep with something like eighty-seven pillows. I'm pretty sure I had gained more weight by this point. I'd already made numerous declarations that I was never doing this again. 

And this time feels easier. Not as easy as with Jack (though how much of that was just enjoying the NOVELTY of being pregnant, I wonder) but except for the shortness of breath and sharp pains if I walk too fast, I don't feel too bad. I usually sleep all right (except for the dreams, OMG THE DREAMS, I swear, my subconscious is WACKED OUT), the heartburn has sort of subsided, I'm not swollen, I don't have that sciatica pain so many people mention, I'm not nauseous or anything. I've had it pretty easy so far. Again, I have two months left and the fact that I just wrote positively on the internet means I am pretty much screwed by month 8, but whatever. I'm going to be thankful. 

ALSO. Two and a half pregnancies later I am still stretch mark free. I may have the sort of body that gains weight everywhere and triples in boob size and makes people think I've just eaten too many cheeseburgers (at a point where I feel I am OBVIOUSLY PREGNANT I still had two people who didn't know look totally surprised to find out, GAK) but I am totally going to brag about no stretch marks. GIVE ME THAT, INTERNET!

(Watch. I'll see my first one when I wake up tomorrow morning.) 

I feel like we've got a lot going on still - three more family birthdays, friends staying with us for our couples' weekend, packing in a few more outside-on-the-deck dinners, the start of PRESCHOOL! - and I'm exhausted but thankful at the same time. This third pregnancy went quickly. Again, two more months, but I'm thinking ONLY TWO MORE MONTHS? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? But everything going on will make those two months go quickly too, and that's fine with me. I'm getting awfully tired of looking at all the super cute outfits on Pinterest and not being able to wear them. Of course, all the super cute outfits on Pinterest are for girls with five-inch-circumference thighs and God knows even starving myself won't get me long skinny legs. ALAS. I'll have to settle for no stretch marks, eh? 

I was okay with Phillip being out of town until I realized there's a mosquito in my bedroom

I was talking to my mom tonight and she said something like, "You are decorating your bedroom in lieu of a nursery." And fine. I SUPPOSE SHE'S RIGHT. Here I am thinking I am on my way to AB Chao greatness, but really, it's just nesting. After this baby is born I'll never touch a paintbrush again. PROBABLY.

Speaking of baby, I had an appointment today. That is how I know I am 31 weeks and UM, EXCUSE ME, 31 WEEKS? That seems... soonish. I don't know. I suppose I need to get going on things like the hospital tour, since this hospital is new to me, and turning in my paperwork. Actually I don't really think there's anything else I need to do. I think I have figured out where the baby's stuff will go - we bought this tall wardrobe when Molly was born for HER stuff and I think we have room for it/it will look nice in our bedroom. For now. I can hang stuff in there, plus it has two shelves and a drawer. Not totally ideal for onesie storage, but good enough. So I'm all fixed up, right? 

Also! I gained seven pounds in 3 weeks! I AM SO GOOD AT THIS! But, like I told my doctor, "I'm eating just as much as I was BEFORE." So I don't know. I even think I've had more exercise in the last three weeks. Then my doctor told me I am up 35 pounds total, which may sound like a lot to you, but to ME it sounded FABULOUS. Let's just not think about the fact that I still have 10 weeks to go and, at this rate, it's entirely possible I will gain another 30. Jack was 50, Molly was 60 (go ahead and gasp why don't you) and 35 just sounds like so much LESS. Even though it's still a ways out. Shut up. It made me feel better. The other thing that made me feel better: when my doctor said, "Well, it just looks like this is what your body DOES." Then I declared I would kiss her on the mouth right then and there. 

Other than that, there is nothing to note. Nothing. This is, possibly, the boringest pregnancy in the world, right up there with Jack's. Other than the usual irritations, I am perfectly fine, perfectly mobile, and not in any real hurry to HAVE the baby. EVEN SO. I am still required to return to the doctor in another two weeks, and after that, EVERY WEEK. Does that seem unreasonable? I honestly don't remember going every week with the other two kids, not until the very very end. And since Jack was right on time and Molly was early, I'm not sure I even made it to those weekly appointments. Am I remembering wrong? Is this just how it's done? Are they just anxious to bill insurance like Cynical Me suspects? Also, one of these appointments promises to be the Invasive Type and I don't see the reason for that either. I miss my family practice doctor who pretty much waved me off each time and never checked me until I was actually IN labor. I know you are going to say, "WHY DIDN'T YOU SEE A MIDWIFE?" but the thing is, did you see how my doctor didn't care about my seven pounds? And the numerous posts that include the words I LOVE MY DR DO YOU THINK SHE WILL BE MY BFF?

So. That is that. Weekly appointments. At least it's a reason to get out of the house? Today, for the first time ever, I swear, my doctor was way behind and they told me it would be a while and I seriously didn't even care. I brought my Kindle with me and, this is true, I fell asleep reading while waiting for her. AND IT WAS LOVELY. 

La la la I really want to tell you about the nifty bedside table lamps I picked up at Target today (I am spending all the money I WOULD have spent on fun summer clothes and fun summer cocktails on Things For My House) but I shall RESTRAIN myself. I really want to post one of those super shocking Before/After photos and I feel as though the shockingness will be less if I show you all the After elements before everything is DONE. And besides, you are not going to be all that shocked anyway, at least not in a good way, so I need to keep everything to my advantage. 

My kids were good! They were nice to their grandparents! Friends came over in the afternoon and stayed for dinner! They didn't wake up at all last night! Everything's good in single parent land! 

I'll now sign off before one of the children realizes I've written a POSITIVE BLOG POST and decides to teach me a lesson.