I’m NOT an old lady!

All I wanted was a new wallet. My current one was so sad – seams falling to pieces everywhere. So I began the search. I started where I start every search – Target.

So cute! So fun! So NOT PRACTICAL. I have three check cards alone. Two checkbooks. Three ID cards. Not to mention all the other random crap you pick up from stores (buy 10 at Which Wich, get one free!). This didn’t all fit in these tiny little paisley wallets.

Crap.

So I ran to Kohl’s. About six months ago I had found the perfect wallet there. Then I didn’t buy it. I will probably regret it forever. It was a Relic brand wallet, which I admittedly have a weakness for.  Something about their prints just makes me want to buy all the purses.  Nope, not an expensive purse girl here!

I began searching through the racks.

Hello cutie pie!  You look adorable, and pretty much would look good no matter which Relic purse I had with me.  I love you.  Until I open you up.  Does no one use checkbooks anymore????

Yep!  Love you.  Love the price.  Love the print.  DO NOT LOVE THE LACK OF CHECKBOOK SLOT.

Boring.  Plain.  Has a million card slots and most likely could hold two checkbooks.  $48.  And I hate it.  When the hell did I become old?  Does having two checkbooks make me old???

I gave up.  I had to go pick up my kids in my SUV since I was done with my day at the office and I had to go worry about things like putting dinner on the table and what my son should take to Show and Share at school the next day.

Wait a minute… am I old?

*Sobs*

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Minor Rant About Having Children

I follow a number of birth boards. And a number of them cause strong emotions to erupt from me on occassion. And while this overall is pretty innocent, there is one line that just grates on me.

“I think she went to get away from all the craziness at home.”

So backtrack to a few days ago, when I began reading “The Strong-Willed Child” (insert all your praise here – I’ve heard it all, trust me). The introduction refers to a woman boarding a bus in L.A. with seven “rambunctious” children in tow. When asked if they were all hers or if there was some kind of picnic going on, she replies “They’re all mine, and believe me, it’s no picnic!”

Okay, here’s my problem. I have two kids. I love pregnancy. If I could be pregnant all the time, I probably would. Yet there is a cold, hard reality after the pregnancy – you have to raise them, too.

So my first question is why on Earth would you have this many kids? I mean, let’s think about this logically. If you have a baby every 12 months – which you shouldn’t be doing anyway (insert remark about higher rates of autism in babies closer than 24 months apart) – your oldest will be 7 when you had that last one. Really, in seven years, with 7 kids, it didn’t suddenly dawn on you “Wait… this is a lot of work. Perhaps I should not have any more right now”????

Yet maybe you wanted a big family, and you appreciate your big family. So insert my other rant. Please, by all means, tell me if this isn’t fair. If you go to the hospital to get away from the “craziness” of your kids to have another kid, should you be having more kids? I understand needing a few hours to yourself. I still don’t get the taking-a-vacation-by-myself-to-get-away-from-the-kids thing. I’m a firm believer in the “you had kids and now you get to take care of them” theory.

Before you say “but you don’t understand, my kid is so hard to handle”, remember – I’m reading Dobson. My kid is insane. While he may not trump everyone’s kid, he trumps most in level of activity, general naughtiness, and sassing. He also suffers from RAV, or “random acts of violence”. (Yes, I created that term myself.) He’s equal to approximately four of my little girl, who is not yet two – and I figure probably at least two of any “normal” boy. So I get it – kids can be hard.

So at this point I will repeat – I love pregnancy. I’d have a million babies if I could. But I know that I cannot be a devoted mother right now to more than two. If I have more than two, I might just become clinically insane (extended vacation) or get pregnant to have more babies so I can go to the hospital (vacation), or simply duct tape them all to the walls. Okay, not really on the duct tape.

Does this mean I will never have more? I do not know. All I know is right now I cannot handle it, right now it is too much to think about, and right now it would lead to my certain demise.

My point is that if you are going to have kids, I feel you should be committed to having them, not then looking for excuses to get away because you can’t handle it. And if you are lucky, like me, and have an insane one (or more, you poor soul!), then it’s probably a wise idea to obtain a good, sturdy, reliable method of birth control and take one day at a time for a while until you’re sure that you won’t be seeking hospital visits for a break (not a relaxing place, anyway!) and grumbling about how your life is no “picnic” with the kids you have.

The Evolution of Date Night

A random Tuesday, 2007:

“Should we have Hamburger Helper for dinner?”

A not-so-random Tuesday, 2011:

“You know, it would be nice to go on a date this weekend.  It’s been months.”

The following Wednesday, 2007:

“Since we had Cheesy Hashbrowns last night, do you want Cheeseburger Macaroni tonight? Or tacos?”

The following Wednesday, 2011:

“About that date idea…. are there any particular movies you want to see?”

The following Friday, 2007:

“I feel like popcorn.  And Taco Bell.  Let’s go to the movies.  Is there anything we haven’t seen yet?”

The following Friday, 2011:

N: “I read all of the movie reviews for everything in the three nearest theaters.” J: “Me, too.  Did anything stand out?” 

2007:

“Which one is the longest?  We might as well get our money’s worth!”

2011:

“Well, movie A had a rating of B+ with critics and B with Yahoo users.  Movie B only had a C+ with Yahoo users.  Out of all the movies, movie C had the highest rating.  Let’s see that.”

2007:

In the sedan, on the way to the theater, we blab about work, friends, family.

2011:

In the SUV, we first drop off the kids at Grandma’s house, then are on the way to the theater, and we blab about the kids and home improvement projects.

2007: 

Jump out excitedly at Taco Bell.  It may be all we can afford, but that’s okay, we don’t think anything is better.

2011:

Slide out of the SUV at Taco Bell.  Wish we had left earlier so we had time to eat a real meal, and try to figure out exactly who is to blame for that – me, or my husband.  I order the same meal as always, but now find it salty and not that appealing.

2007:

Late to the movie.  Buy tickets with scrounged up cash.  Share a pop and a large popcorn.  If we’re feeling rich, we might get candy, too.

2011:

Early to the movie.  Buy tickets with check card.  Share a large popcorn, but refuse to share a pop with my husband, because he always drinks it all.  Glance at candy, but just don’t have the room for the extra food.

2007: 

30 minutes into the movie, one of us heads back out to the lobby to get a refill on the popcorn.

2011:

30 minutes into the movie our popcorn is still over half full, but has been set in a seat next to us.

2007:

Still in the longest movie that was showing.  (Most for the money!)

2011:

Leaving our probably short but high quality movie.

2007:

“Hey, wanna go try $20 on blackjack before we head home?”

2011:

“Are you going to be able to stay awake to drive home?” and “Let’s hurry home.  I miss the kids.”

2007:

Walk away with $100 on blackjack.  Walk past the bar, but don’t get anything.  Go to the arcade.

2011:

Pick up the kids.  Chat briefly with my parents.  Head home.

2007:

Get home.  Scrounge cupboards for more food.

2011:

Get home.  Pin kids down long enough to get them into pajamas.  Put them to bed, sneak in leftover popcorn for Ollie the next day.  Glance at the cold wine in the fridge, but decide we are just too tired to even stay up and have a glass.

2007:

Put in a movie and stay up for a while under a bazillion blankets because the house temp is 60 degrees.

2011:

Climb into the pre-heated bed (love the mattress pad!) and shut the bedroom door to keep the heat out because the house is so warm.  Instant snoring.

So if anyone ever tells you that your life will change once you have kids, it’s true.  It will.  Is it bad?  I personally see nothing wrong with not eating a bazillion calories in one evening, not enjoying excessive salt, and enjoying time with my husband while missing my kids for a few hours.  Sure, I think the last time I played blackjack probably was 2007, and I think I’ve been to a bar once since Ollie was born.  Do I miss it?  No.  I personally find Emmie’s first steps and playing John Deere dominoes with Ollie much more fun.  And waiting until the movie comes out on Netflix so I can enjoy it on my couch in my pajamas with my husband is nice, too.



Holy crap holy crap holy crap!

Wow, it’s been some crazy time since I’ve blogged.

First, the most exciting thing. I went to get the mail today, and my student loans were successfully consolidated into a program so that I can go back to school. Yippee-kyeyay!

I was running into town, and Nick was home with the contractors (more on that shortly), so I called him to tell him the good news. He was super excited, congratulated me, and then sternly informed me that if I didn’t finish a degree program he was going to kill me. Okay, I don’t think he actually threatened to kill me, but it was a threat of some sort.

It’s scary to me, like any commitment is. Not sure why I’m so terrified of commitment. I told myself today that I need to get the degree, and even if it’s not what I end up doing, at least I have a degree for cryin‘ out loud. Besides, a nursing degree right now would be fantastic, while the real estate market is poo.

To be honest, I’m selling stuff. I’m just making a LOT less money than last year. Instead of $130,000 houses, it’s $30,000 houses.

I’m also a little terrified, too, because not this semester, but some upcoming ones, I will just simply have to be away from Ollie. Working while he’s in school isn’t so bad, but before then… I just worry, and I miss him so bad. But it will be just half days, or two whole days a week… something not terrible. I just rarely go anywhere without him.

Anyway, I’m pretty pumped. Still debating programs. Now I’m thinking of just doing the Associate’s degree, then getting a job as an RN, and taking the ADNBSN classes at St. Scholastica’s St. Cloud campus. This way I’ll finish the BSN in 4.5 years, and will have a year’s worth of RN experience, so I can go straight to the University of Cincinnati for midwifery (or another midwifery school, but I’m thinking that’s the one for me….) and finish that in two years. Two and a half if I want the double certification.

Joslyn Panka, CNM, WHNP. Now how freakin‘ cool does THAT look? (Certified nurse midwife, women’s health nurse practitioner.)

Of course, Joslyn Panka, Realtor looks pretty spiffy, too. But I’m not giving up that title, either.

Anyway, so contractors. It has always seemed that we heat and heat and heat and this house never stays warm. Very frustrating. And as you know, heat costs are up. (Does anyone understand why gasoline has gone down in price but propane remains high? It dropped a little, but still…) So we had some testing and repairs done on the house. They fixed leaky duct work. (The duct ends at Ollie’s room, and there was a 2 inch hole in the duct work! We were literally heating the outdoors!) We sealed doors. We super insulated. (Our tub drain froze this weekend… cured!) We replaced a window pane. My house has been torn all apart to get to things, besides the fact that both mornings the contractors have shown up at 8 AM. Not such a big deal, except the traffic wakes Ollie, who normally sleeps until 10-10:30. So then I have super crabby dude on my hands, and I’m trying to keep him happier than normal because there’s people who probably don’t want to listen to super-lungs screaming every time I do something other than pay attention to him. Not fun, considering I’ve done 4 BPO’s in the last two days as well. I love the kid, I really do, but it is SO hard to get ANY work done some days. Some days I think I’m insane for trying to be a stay at home mommy and a full time working mommy at the same time. There should be some sort of special ceremony for those of us who do it, with a mini-break as a reward. Not that all other mommies don’t work hard, or deserve to be praised and rewarded, but oh man. Oh man.

Mr. Oliver. He is changing a little too fast for my liking. If he is anywhere near you and you attempt to drink something, he will grab it. At first it was just water, which I was fine with, but now he grabs any glass. He wants Nick’s coffee, my hot chocolate, my once-a-day orange soda… he’s insane! He also stares at you while you’re eating as if you are the worst person to ever walk the face of the Earth and he’s absolutely starving and WHY THE HELL ARE YOU NOT GIVING HIM ALL OF YOUR FOOD!?!?!?!?!?! It’s… stressful.

He’s mastered the hard stop in the jumper. Know what I’m talking about? Where he’s bouncing bouncing bouncing and all of a sudden he locks his legs up and STOPS. Just like that. It’s funny.

His 2nd foods are going well. Current favorite? Blueberries and apples.

He’s rolling. Purposely rolling. He rolled quite a few times after we brought him home from the hospital, but it wasn’t something he was TRYING to do. Now he’s doing it purposefully. He’s up on hands and knees, too.

I need to buy that gate… now.

He’s sitting up by himself when he’s awake and energetic. He gets “lazy” when he gets tired, won’t walk, jump, sit… but he fights sleep as hard as he possibly can. I beg and plead, because that one nap a day is a much needed break for me. I’m worried, though, because nap time is becoming later and later in the day. He generally is waking up around 5-5:30, and then going to bed at 7. This has happened before, and pretty soon naps merge with bedtime. I’m afraid that he’ll be going to bed at like 6 and sleeping until 10 in the morning. I love the long nights I have now, but I really need that break during the day to get things done.

Tonight was my company Christmas party. I just have to give some props. First of all, total props to Judy, but don’t you be using her as your Realtor! 🙂 for hosting us at her bed and breakfast. It was GORGEOUS, and always IS gorgeous. I want to go to there. (Did you see that episode of 30 Rock? Nick said it creeped him out because she sounds just like me when it comes to food. Someone mentions Outback Steakhouse and she goes into a trance and says “I want to go to there.” My new favorite phrase.)

A big THANK YOU to Pat, my broker, for the excellent food, catered by the Downtown Deli. I had chicken stuffed with tomatoes and bacon… it was to die for. There was salad and cake and buttered vegetables… it was DELICIOUS.

Not sure who sponsored the liquor… I have a feeling it was Judy, Dan, or both. But I appreciated the Pinot Grigio, White Zinfandel, and Bailey’s with dessert. My stomach, however, is rebelling approximately 6 hours later. It’s rumbling and I just kind of feel like puking. Of course, part of that could be the coffee that I put the Bailey’s in. Me and coffee just don’t mix.

And a big thank you to my whole office. Nearly everyone commented on my “great kid” who “never makes a peep” (HA! Come to our place!) and “should have been there tonight”. Judy says “I have a high chair here, and I got it out because I thought our youngest Realtor was coming, too!”

Nick and I sat with Karen Faust, Dick and Deb Schultz, Judy Tauber and Lee Olson. It was a great dinner with great friends. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and only had brief pangs where I missed Ollie terribly. I’m getting better… or was that distracted. Or just had that much White Zinfandel.

Omg, so it’s the next day, and I apparantly totally forgot to publish this. Oh well.

The Worst Week Ever

Okay, seriously, what did I do that karma feels the need to punish me for this week?

I was harassed about not being married a number of times. About 4 people today asked “what’s this?” and pointed to the engagement ring I’ve been wearing for NEARLY FIVE YEARS. And then… and then…

I stopped at the bank to pick up a Visa gift card. I’m standing in line and someone I used to work with at Coborn’s walks in. I haven’t seen her in probably two years. I say “Hey! Hi! How are you?” She replies that she’s doing well, and then points towards Ollie and says “how many?”. I smile, and look at Ollie, and say “just him.” She smiles back and says “Well, yeah, and that one” and points about waist level. At first I glance down, expecting to see someone else’s wee one standing next to me peeking at the baby or something. Then I realize with horror that she’s pointing at my stomach. My stomach, which is covered by a coat, and in my honest opinion, not looking pregnant. Still confused, I look up and say “No…. there’s no baby in there.” She smiles and says “Oh, it sure looks like it.” I turn around and say “Did you ever think maybe it was the pouch style pocket in my jacket?” (Sticking my hands in my jacket to demonstrate.) “I just had him four months ago, you could cut me some slack!” I felt bad instantly for snapping, and the bank teller, who knows me pretty well, said “Yeah, she’s looking really good. She deserves bonus points.”

So, to make the situation even worse, I leave and head over to the Little Bread Factory. I walk in, and Dawn peeks around the corner. I say “Dawn, I need a cookie. I mean, I NEED a cookie.” She grabs a wax paper and says “No problem hun… which one?” Then I lost it. “I need 2 cranberry white chocolate, and 2 chocolate chip, and 2 blueberry scruffins and…”

“WHOA WHOA WHOA!” She quickly grabs a bag. “I didn’t realize it was THIS serious!”

Needless to say, I left with ten dollars worth of cookies, scruffins, and one lone macaroon, which I promptly ate in the car before pulling away from the curb (the macaroon, not all of it!). And just because I told Dawn I was then on my way to kick someone out of their house and didn’t want to, I got some inspirational words and a free sugar cookie.

So a macaroon and a sugar cookie, some turkey pizza for dinner and then a blueberry scruffin. I lost a couple pounds, and now I’m probably packing it right back on. Sheesh.

I can’t get the image of the pregnant girl yesterday out of my mind. All of a sudden every time I see a pregnant woman I feel all warm and fuzzy and happy. Are other people like this? Or am I a bit of a freak?

I also do not cease to be amazed at what happens to us when we have children. All of a sudden there is this incredible bond. We nod understandingly when one’s child is screaming bloody murder in the store. We can relate to the woes of formula, gas reducing bottles, and picking out just the right baby food. And even if we weren’t friends before, or even slight enemies before, we now swap labor stories like trading cards instead of insults and glares. Women. Are. Amazing.

My dog is lying next to the bed snoring, and Nick has his legs wrapped around mine and is snoring on the other side. I’m trapped, and it’s like listening to someone snore in surround sound. How enjoyable. Ahhh, life is good. Luckily, there’s a cat lying immediately above my head on the pillows (which I rarely get to use because Harold feels that I put them there for him and him alone.), but at least I can hear him purring. That’s always a relaxing noise.

Mom Survey…

1. How long have you been a Mom? Nearly 15 weeks! Holy cow!

2. How many children call you Mommy? Ollie will someday

3. Girl? Boy? or both?: Boy

4. Did you know what you were having? Yep. I found out on purpose, Nick found out on accident when Ollie was “showing his stuff” during an ultrasound.

5. How old were you when you became a Mom? 25

6. How long were you in labor? 16 hours

7. What’s your favorite thing about being a Mom? When I go to get Ollie in the morning. I always walk in and peer over the crib and say “Good morning Ollie!” and he screeches and squirms and laughs and smiles…. it’s the best.

8. What’s your least favorite thing? Worrying about money

9. Do you want more kids? Heck yes. In fact, I’m now willing to go along with Nick… I’d have 4.

10. Do you plan on having more soon? Eh, I’m not committing us to anything yet.

11. How many times have you been pee’d on? 4, I think. Nick has had it wayyyyyyy worse.

12. Barfed on? A couple of times. Mostly times when he thinks he is starving, eats too fast despite my best efforts, and then projectiles – usually down my shirt.

13. Is your child named after anyone? Nope

14. How did you come up with their name? After 9 months of going through the name book, it randomly sounded good at 2 AM one night. I figured I’d hate it the next morning. I didn’t. When listing off names after Ollie was born, he made a disgusted face for every one until we said “Oliver”, and then he smiled. Our midwife tells that story to people all the time!

15. When your child gets in trouble, who is the bad guy? Not really applicable… yet. But it will be Nick. I’m sure of it.

16. What is the longest you have been away from your children? 4 hours? I think that’s all.

17. Bedtime routine? We eat cereal and fruit, wash up, have a bottle, change into pj’s and a night time diapie, play, another bottle, and zzzzz……

18. Are your toes painted? Nope.

19. Last movie you saw in the theater? Hmmm… Stepbrothers.

20. One thing you will not give up just because you’re a mom? Work!

21. One thing you did give up now that you’re a mom: Driving fast. I miss that.

22. Best Mom perk: Having live entertainment most of the time. Being busy. And of course, I like the extra stress of managing a household, a full time self-employment style career, and a baby.

23. Snack, you sneak bites from your child? I admit, I have taste tested rice cereal, applesauce, and sweet peas. By far, the peas were the worst. Rice cereal isn’t great either, but mixed with applesauce it is pretty tasty.

24. When the kid is napping, you are: Working, 95% of the time.

25. Where is your child(ren) now? Sleeping way in his toasty room, while I sleep in my cold one.

26. Favorite place to buy maternity clothes? I guess I really didn’t buy much, since I lost so much weight, but Target I guess.

27. If I could do it over… I wouldn’t be so worried.

28. Did it turn out the way you expected? Motherhood? I love it. Better than expected. And Ollie? He’s only the best baby ever…

Blargh. I Am Dead.

I’m exhausted. Considering I didn’t do that much today, I’m not quite sure why.
Going to the office on Saturdays is weird. This morning in particular I woke up at 8:30. I didn’t set an alarm, because Ollie IS my alarm, but because he was up late last night, he slept late this morning. I made a mad dash around the house and somehow managed to pull up next to the office 2 minutes to 9:00. Good job me. I looked a little ghetto, but seriously, who cares?
Anyway, I immediately open the back door to get the baby. But there is no baby. I experience a moment of terror, where I wonder if I left the baby home by himself. Then I remember it’s Saturday, and Nick is at home with him.
I smile, and say “Wow… I’m Ollie free!” I walk into the office feeling light as a feather. I plop down at my desk, get my computer set up, grab the phone, and settle in for my floor time.
Half an hour goes by. I blog, answer emails, do some paperwork. Then I realize I’m bored.
I mean REALLY BORED.
I want to talk to someone.
Play games with someone.
At least hold pointless, one way conversations with someone who thinks I’m entertaining.
Being Ollie-less blows.
I read about midwife careers some more. I blog on Active Rain, which I haven’t done in AGES. I play with photobucket. (Still trying to find a good photo sharing site.) I play some music on playlist.com.
I get virtually no work done. I mean it. Really.
Pat calls to mention that he bought stuff for our “consumer book” of listings. I find it, place it on my desk, and go back to doing nothing.
I just feel kind of lost without my little dude.
Am I alone in this? Or do others feel this way, too?

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