Friday, February 24, 2012

Parks and Rec

Erich and I enjoy watching the sitcom Parks and Recreation. If you are not in the know, it's a documentary-style show set in a fictional small city in Indiana. It's funny and clever enough to make its inaccuracies forgivable.

But as an adopted Hoosier by marriage, as someone who spent many long car rides in my life going back and forth between Illinois and Michigan, and as someone who lived in Indiana part time during my college years, I must set the record straight on a few issues.

First, the ways in which the Indiana setting is believable:

1. They mention real Indiana towns like Indianapolis, Gary, and Muncie.

2. Corn.

Ways in which the Indiana setting is not believable:

1. Asian people. Let's be honest; there aren't very many Asians in small town Indiana. They're all over the background in this show!

2. Small mid-century modern houses. Very California.

3. Beautiful weather all the time! Okay, I don't actually expect them to film in Indiana, but the lack of leafless trees and other marks of changing seasons is very noticeable.

4. The one that inspired this post came up in last night's episodes. One of the characters has a vacation home in "the foothills." THE FOOTHILLS?? Of what mountain range? Anything resembling foothills near Indiana would be far out of state and thus no one would be casually referring to them as "the foothills." Or driving to them in one evening.

Other than that, it's a top-notch, very funny show. Go Parks and Rec!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I haven't given a lot of thought into writing my birth story with Walter. Lily's was a marathon multi-post on my other, pretty much retired, blog. I'm going to keep everything here now, and it's not exactly the place for gory details.

The significance of Walter's birth was its status as a failed VBAC. That simple fact is extremely disappointing and hard to recover from, both physically and emotionally. The easiest part has been caring for and loving this delightful human, so I've been spending most of my time and emotional bandwidth on that.

So here is my birth non-story. First, a refresher of my experience with Lily: induced five days early for high (borderline, actually) blood pressure; cervadil, pitocin, water artificially broken early on, in labor for 14 hours, quickly dilated to 2-3 centimeters, no progress from there, c-section at 10:50pm. Healthy baby, 9lb 1oz, 22 in, never in any distress throughout labor.

Walter: went into labor naturally 8 days late with water breaking and very frequent contractions at 2 am. Admitted at 3 cm at 7am. 20 total hours of regular, intense contractions including pitocin augmentation in the late afternoon. Maximum progress: 3 cm. In other words, no progress. C-section around 11pm. Healthy baby, 8lb 12oz, 20 in, never in any distress throughout labor.

I don't think it takes a degree in obstetrics to see the probable issue here. Two labors which began vastly differently ended almost exactly the same way. Maybe there really is something wrong with my body that it can't birth babies. At least not biggish ones who may have had (at least in Walter's case, I believe) insurmountable positioning problems.

Then of course there are all the questions for next time. I spent nearly two years obsessed with my VBAC, and it never happened. Do I go on the hunt next time for a provider who would allow for a trial of labor after two c-sections, knowing it's pretty likely I'll fail again, or do I stick with what I know and like and simply plan for the best possible c-section? It is pretty darn tempting to just schedule a birth for a convenient time of day. Being post-op in the middle of the night is awful, and after a long day of hard work, no less. I was so exhausted but I could never sleep because of automatic compression boots, automatic blood pressure cuff, constant interruptions from nurses for who knows what. Would it be unwise to hope and plan for a VBAC only to throw in the towel after a few hours of no progress? To have gone on the hunt for a supportive provider and probably driven a great distance for prenatal visits only to have everything end the same yet again? Because I do have extremely supportive providers whom I love--they just don't do VBA2Cs. These are tough questions. It would be so much easier if only there were some way to definitively know why my babies can't seem to come out without a scalpel.

But it just isn't that easy, and I can put on my big girl pants and accept that. It doesn't mean that I wanna. :(

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Shopping Follies

It is not easy to have two kids! What I wouldn't give to have a third, older child to help me manage everyone when shopping. I guess I have to get through this before I can get to that.

I took both children shopping by myself for the first time the other day. Lily had a first, too: it was her first time at Target where she got to walk around because she was "too poopy for the cart!" That really messed up my plan to have her sit in the cart and Walter ride in the ERGObaby carrier. He actually messed up that plan as well by being a little fussy and needing to be held in one arm facing out.

Things to remember about that:

1. Always bring at least one diaper for each kid. Toddlers need fewer changes, but the ones they need are much more important.

2. If you didn't bring any size three diapers, JUST BUY SOME. YOU'RE AT TARGET, FOR GOODNESS' SAKE. Get that poop changed now.

Obviously, I did neither of the above. Instead, I allowed Lily to walk. When Walter was happy, I could hold her hand and push the cart with one hand. When he wasn't, I had to hold him with one hand and push the cart with the other, constantly looking around to keep track of Lily and firmly saying "STOP" approximately every 45 seconds. Luckily, with her constant chatter and singing, it wasn't too difficult to know that she was nearby.

I learned something about myself. I'm not a quitter. (That's why I start so few things.) I knew I could just abandon the effort, forget most of the stuff on my list and get the heck out of there. But no, I had made the trip and gotten myself into this situation. I wasn't going to be satisfied leaving it half-finished. Besides, the store was not crowded, and though we were getting looks from other shoppers everywhere we went, I was too busy to even notice or care about what kind of looks they were.

I got everything on my list. Next was checkout. I had no choice but to plop Walter in the cart on a bed of jackets. He spaced out and fell asleep within minutes. D'oh Moment #1: I should have tried that much earlier.

At the checkout lane, Lily made her first personal request of the trip: she wanted a small carton of Goldfish snack crackers. I really was proud of her behavior, which was no worse than any well-behaved two-year-old, and so I acquiesced. I then used that snack as a bribe to get her into the cart for the journey back to the car. D'oh Moment #2: I should have tried THAT much earlier.

It could have been worse. It was actually hardest when we got home and everyone was poopy and overtired. For that reason I realized it would have been way better to go at 10am than 3pm. Walter is finally in that stage where he won't readily sleep through everything, and I really think he wanted to sleep through this. I'll be playing this over in my head for weeks before I'm ready to try it again, and by then everything will be different!

Just a suburban mom on the go.

I Lose

I'm so tired.

It's all I can think about when I have to get up in the morning. The fatigue grows through the day as my task list starts to snowball. Just thinking about trying to make dinner for my family can make me want to cry.

I finally see the toddler off to bed. The baby settles in for a long night of much sleeping (he's seriously the best). I finally get a chance to spend some time unwinding with my dear husband.

9:00. I'm going to get to bed at such a decent time tonight!

9:36. It's still so decently early. I should get this laundry folded.

10:04. It's not late yet. I'm done with housework. Let's watch one more episode of TV.

10:40. I'm still going to get so much sleep tonight! See! I'm headed toward my bed right now!

11:45. What in the world just happened? My brain turned on and forgot I'm totally exhausted. So sad. I think I'll read for an hour.

And then I have both put off plenty of work for a day when I'm less tired AND helped ensure that I will never not be tired.

(Oh, and let's not forget the sleep-deficient toddler arising at the buttcrack of dawn, ready for a day of zombie-like mania. That's the nail in my rest coffin.)

It's time to turn this train around. I need to rebel against the curse of the night owl. But first I need a good night's sleep!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Lily walks up to me holding a crayon.

Lily: "I need a paper towel. For the wall. For the crayon."

Me: (slightly alarmed) "Did you color on the wall?"

Lily: "I make a circle. On the wall."

Me: "Lily, you never color on the wall! Only on paper."

Lily: "It's for the paper. It's a circle."

Me: "Where did you draw on the wall? Can you show me?"

Lily: "Okay!"

She shows me her art right next to the front door, highlighting its circle-ness. I explain again that she is not to use crayon on the walls.

Lily: "Only paper! I make a sun, I make a circle on the paper."

It seems my house is not safe. Good thing the walls are in bad shape anyway and are slated for new paint sometime this year. And I suppose I can be glad she originally came to find me in order to clean up her mess.

Kids. Amirite?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Do Like Breastfeeding

I'm holding little six-week-old Walter as he comes to the end of his three-hour nap. He doesn't wake up and start crying. No, he gradually starts to wiggle. He opens his mouth wide, eyes still closed, and starts shaking his head side to side. He wiggles some more and starts pecking. I shift his position and his eyes open; he looks surprised but calm. As his hands rapidly move up and down, he seems to realize that he's hungry. And then he's settled and feeding before his tummy ever growls.

I believe in Oxytocin: This routine generates liquid love that runs through my veins, feeding the motherly feeling and making me want to hold on as tightly as I can as long as this little chunky baby still fits in my arms. I know it won't be long enough.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Beauty and the Beast

Lily is now two and her capacity for pretend play has exploded. This coincides with her discovery of the awesomeness of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, which she requests nearly every day, often multiple times.

Inspired by this movie, her playtime has been heartbreakingly adorable lately.

1. She found a small basket and a hardcover book in the basement. After triumphantly declaring it's "like Beauty and the Beast!" (think Belle in the first song), she proceeded to dance around and sing with her basket and book. She now does this several times per day.

2. She's been heard to mournfully declare, "I need to help my father! He's sick. He's all alone!"

3. A few days ago we were eating soup for lunch. She started to chuckle and asked, "Can you do it?" "Do what?" "Like Beauty and the Beast!" When I realized she wanted me to eat faux-messily like the Beast and I obliged, I think I made her day.

I don't exactly love seeing here glued to a tv, but there are far worse and more annoying shows she could be watching, so I'm not complaining!

Excuse post

In the amount of time that's passed since I last posted, I gestated and was delivered of an entire new baby. Twitter and Facebook have been serving my social network needs. I've wanted to blog because there are some things that only a blog post can accomplish, but I haven't been using a computer much lately. Now that I have an iPhone, I almost never use a computer with anywhere near a full-size keyboard. But it's time. I downloaded the Blogger app and with this post am officially trying it out. This might be okay! My dear loyal readers (lol) will know for sure if they see more posts in the future.