Saturday, May 31, 2008

Signs Galore

Memphis has not officially started speech therapy yet because of some insurance glitches, but he will be soon. Even so, we were told that one of the first things they start with is teaching the kids sign language. We decided to be proactive and get started on that right away.

We began by looking up signs for his frequently used objects at, which was very helpful. But then our contact through early childhood intervention told us about the Signing Time dvds. I know this show comes on PBS, but we don't have cable for many reasons that I won't bore you with.

The benefit to these dvds is that everyone in the house is now learning Memphis's signs right along with him. He is proficient in cup, milk, more, blanket, I love you, ball, water, please and banana. Excitement overcomes him if we recognize his sign and respond with what he is asking for.

Sometimes he can't remember right away which sign he needs and comes at us with, "cup, cup, cup....more...milk, milk...blanket...cup, cup, cup" and we are standing there poised to get whatever it is if he can ever get it out. And other times he is trying to tell us something that he doesn't have a sign for yet and he gets frustrated and looks at his hands like, "Ok, guys come on. There's gotta be something you can do to show them what you want." It is nothing short of adorable.

Thankfully, we are seeing a decrease in his tantrums as his signing vocabulary increases. This just proves to us that we were correct when we suspected that he wanted very badly to communicate with us and was not able to. What a relief it is to be able to help him. It won't be long until we can't get him to stop talking.

**I held this post for a day so that I could try and get some pictures of Memphis doing some of his signs but, being the stubborn little man that he is, he would not cooperate. Maybe next time.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I'm not even going to mention what I should be doing today. Instead I will fulfill a promise from a while back to display some pictures of my favorite features in our new home.

The shelves inside my kitchen cabinets are a beautiful, rich wood that was covered with white contact paper! I will definitely need to protect them with some clear contact paper, but I love them just like they are.

All of the windows in the house (except the front and back picture windows) have these shutters on them. Most of them also have some pretty hideous valances above the shutters, but those are easily changed.

My kitchen is one of my favorite rooms. It is bright and spacious and I love the black hardware. I also have a great view of the backyard out of the window over the sink.

This growth chart is located on the door jamb just inside the pantry. I love it! The family who lived here before us were the original owners and this house was built in 1957. Some of the dates on this chart are from the early 1960s. I know I found one from 1958 at one point, but I cannot find it again. Anyway, it will definitely remain a fixture in this home.

Well, this isn't everything I love, but it's a good start.


Monday, May 26, 2008

A Good Day

My friends and family conspired together to give me a much needed day off today. My mom, the saint, watched the little kids this morning while Nicole treated me to a pedicure. Then we went to Red Lobster for lunch WITHOUT KIDS. We talked like real adults and ate our meal without having to stop for bathroom breaks or drink spills or un-restaurant-like behavior. And Nicole didn't even ask me to cut up her food. I do not know how to behave when I don't have to cut up anyone's food.

Then my wonderful husband took his shift with the kiddos while Nicole and I shopped like mad women. We were all over the place. I picked up some much needed post-pregnancy clothes and I can't wait to try them on.

During this time when my sanity is on the brink, it is incredibly comforting to know that I have such amazing family and friends who can recognize that I need them and somehow know exactly what it will take to help me. It has not just been the events of today, although it was extremely refreshing to get away. They have listened to my ranting, offered their shoulders and do-it-yourself induction ideas, and, in Brad's case, faced the rage that I feel toward my doctor.

And guess what? They're still here! Coaxing the baby out alongside me everyday. It is because of them that, here on the eve of my original induction date, I can say that I feel as peaceful as I can feel at 38 weeks pregnant. I can't tell you that I'm not still a little resentful that I'm not packing my bags and setting my alarm, but I do feel much better than I did last week. I can finally see the end of this thing and I know that everything will work out ok even if the circumstances aren't as ideal as they would have been.

Am I still anxious? Absolutely. Is my body still ready to be all mine again? Without a doubt. Am I ready to meet my child? Could not be more so.

I bet you all are ready to read about something else, and that will happen soon, I promise. But first I had to say thank you to all of you who have stepped up instead of backing off. Thank you for loving me when I'm unlovable and irrational and unreasonable. Thank you for letting me vent. Again, and again, and again. Thank you for just being there. Thank God that pregnancy is temporary. I'm sure we can all agree upon that.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Random Ramblings

Cody seems to have picked up on my less than exuberant demeanor. She and Carson were pestering me about letting them help make brownies and helping them paint their nails. These are both activities that we always enjoy doing together, but this particular afternoon I was feeling extra sleepy. I half-heartedly asked Cody if she would mind if I took a nap first and her response totally shocked me.

"Sure Mom! Take as loooonnnngggg a nap as you need and when you wake up we will paint our nails and make brownies."

At first I thought that I must have already drifted off and was dreaming, but then I enjoyed a good hour and a half long nap. When I got up and we made brownies and did our nails. It was a wonderful afternoon.

Brad agreed that everyone's nails looked lovely...except for Memphis's toenails. I know, I shouldn't be painting his toenails, but he is so curious about what we are doing and he just puts his little boy feet in with his sisters' and can't understand why I wouldn't paint his too. At least he is satisfied with the toes and doesn't ask to have his fingernails done.

In unrelated news, today I installed the infant carseat into my car. It's actually an eight person SUV which is convenient because we are about to be a family of eight. Ridiculous is the word that comes to mind though, as I look around my monstrous vehicle and notice that literally half of the seats in it have carseats strapped into them. It is going to take us half an hour just to get in or out of the car.

As for Silas, he or she is still holding on to that umbilical cord for dear life. I am having contractions, but they are not regular and I have no reason to believe they are doing anything other than taunting me. I keep trying to will my water to break, but no luck there so far. I'll be sure to keep you posted on the happenings or lack thereof, the latter being the most likely.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Soon, please

I need to not go to the OB/GYN anymore. Fortunately, I get my wish. Today was my last office visit because when your doctor is in Alaska, he could care less if you get pre-eclamptic. But, the reason that I need to stay away from there has more to do with the fact that it is highly depressing for me.

I don't want to hear that I'm no more dilated than last week or that it is likely that I won't go into labor on my own before induction. How about a little hope? Maybe some compassion. Maybe I need to start the Zoloft now. No, that's not a joke.

I know that by definition post-partum depression begins post-partum, but is it possible that it could start before? I am already feeling that hopeless dread that overcame me after Memphis was born. This is supposed to be the time when I'm getting excited about having a new baby. Why can't I focus on that?

I know I just need to suck it up and power through. Well, I guess "need" isn't the right word as I don't have a choice but to suck it up and power through. I'm hoping that the light at the end of this tunnel begins to show itself soon. I know in my head that I have countless things to be thankful for; that my situation is not that bad; that feeling this way doesn't change or help anything. But I can't seem to make it stop. I feel the need to put on my happy face on a daily basis because I hate crying in front of other people and if I have to talk about it I will cry. There is evidence of that all over my keyboard right now.

I'm sure when the baby is here I will feel differently. I don't know that there is anything on this earth so precious as a newborn baby. Until then, I pray that everyday will race by, that I won't alienate everyone I know, and that my babies won't catch me crying because hearing, "what's wrong Mommy?" breaks my heart.

Please don't worry about me, I feel much better now.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

For Billy

My big brother turned the big 3-0 today. I called to see how he was handling it and found that he was reliving our youth through the music of the '80s and '90s. He and my sister-in-law are throwing a big party for him this evening and apparently he has made a huge compilation cd for the event.

He got me remembering events from our childhood, some I bet he doesn't remember. Like when we were very small and he used to beat me up and take my toys. Then as we got older he used to chase me around the back yard raking his fingers through my very long, tangled hair yelling, "chase, chase, chase!"

As we grew I found myself dodging tennis balls that came from the back of the bus where he sat with his friends. Oh, and Bill, remember the time you chewed up a cracker and spit it onto another cracker and then gave it to me and told me it was "spread"? Really glad I didn't fall for that one.

I'll never forget the time he came sleep-walking into my room and crying when I had a friend spending the night and told me that he didn't know if he was awake or not. And I'll always delight in the memory of our step-brother, Brent, lying on the ground, seemingly unconscious, with the pieces of a broken baseball bat strategically placed on either side of his head by Billy.

Really, my brother and I get along very well these days, thank God. If he hadn't outgrown being such a brat I definitely would have had to disown him by now. He is the best uncle my kids could've asked for. He's their "Uco Bebe" and they love him very much.

The funny thing is that I see so many similarities between the way Billy was and the way Memphis is. My son is constantly on the lookout for mischief. He has no fear and an endless supply of energy with which to test his physical boundaries. Sometimes he pulls Carson's hair just for fun. Yep, that's Billy.

If Memphis grows up to be like his Uncle Billy, I'll be just fine with that. I just hope his sisters and I survive the journey.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Counted My Chickens

You know the first line of my last post? The one wherein I celebrated the fact that I only had two weeks to go? Yeah...about that...not gonna happen.

Why? Oh, because my doctor thinks Alaska is a better option for that week. Isn't that sweet of him?

So, as a result, I get another six days tacked on to my sentence, uhh...pregnancy, that is. Can you tell just how very excited I am about this?

Now I have to tell my mom that she cancelled her trip to Dallas for nothing and that she has to change the days she will be taking off from work to watch the other kids. And, I have to tell my brother that, while coming to visit at the end of May to see the baby was a good idea in theory, in reality he will only be able to see my ever-enlarging belly.

And, I have to call the sitter I hired to watch the little kids on "labor day" and see if she is even free on my new date. AND, I have to figure out a way to get this kid to slow down on the growing or she's gonna get stuck in there.

And, I have to figure out something to keep myself busy for six more days because I've been busting my butt to get this house ready before May 27th and now it's almost all done. And if I don't have something to do, some worthwhile project to work on, I WILL become even more irrational than I already am.

Can you tell I'm just a little bit bitter about this whole thing? While my doctor is wiling away the hours of relaxation on his special little cruise ship, I'll be here. Waiting. Doing everything I can possibly do to get things moving short of reaching up in there and breaking my own water...wwaaaiiitt, that's really not such a bad idea.

I know that this is just the lovely, whine-filled post you came here to read today. And, let me just stop you right there...I know that it could be much worse, and I know that it's not that much longer. But, I am almost 37 weeks huge and my right kidney is about to explode. In fact, if you come up behind me and slap me really hard on the back, it just might burst and I would turn around and kiss you on the mouth because a burst kidney? Honestly, that sounds less painful than one that is on the verge.

I warned all of you in the beginning of this thing that it was not going to be pretty. I tried to explain just how cranky I would get. And, you have to admit, I was doing a pretty good job of keeping myself in check until this latest bit of news shoved me over the edge of reason. So just think of this post as my way of fulfilling my promise to you, oh internet. I am everything I said I would be.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Our Baby's Name

Two weeks from today I will not be pregnant anymore. I will be physically exhausted, but I will welcome that exhaustion. Brad and I will be new parents again and new parents together for the first time. We will be holding our new addition and fighting over who she looks like. I promised to post our name choices here, so here goes:

If Memphis is to have a little brother, his name will be: Silas Christopher

If another daughter will be joining us, her name will be: Silas Nicole

Thank you all for your thoughts on names. All comments were thought over carefully. Carson tells me that she "just knows" it is going to be a girl. I agree with her, even though I have thought at times that it might be a boy. Having a boy would certainly simplify the room sharing situation around here, but girls are more fun to shop for. Of course, we will love our little Silas either way.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

More Tooth Trouble

I know we have more than our fair share of drama over tooth loss in this family. But, I guess if we must have some sort of drama, this is a relatively minor one. About a month ago I told the story of Cody losing her front tooth. Well, the other one has been loose since that time and, honestly, I was dreading the day it would be loose enough that we couldn't ignore it anymore.

That day was yesterday. We were in the car, running errands for baby stuff. Before yesterday we didn't even have diapers. Anyway, we began to get weary so we pulled into Wendy's for a frosty. Upon receiving hers, Cody began to cry inconsolably. She was afraid that if she ate it, her tooth would come out and she would accidentally swallow it.

Of course, she was so hysterical that it took us a good five minutes to figure out that that was the problem. It may have been one of the most ridiculous scenes I have ever witnessed. My seven-year-old daughter holding ICE CREAM at arms length and sobbing.

I love that girl to no end, but OH. MY. GOSH. JUST EAT THE ICE CREAM!!!

I decided then that the tooth had to come out and as soon as we got home I sat on her. That'll teach her to freak out. No, really, she wanted to be restrained last time so I was just obliging her wishes. Until she changed her mind, grabbed the paper towel from me, and pulled it herself. I don't know that I've ever been so relieved.

Unfortunately, it doesn't end there. It was Sunday and neither Brad nor I had any cash. Her lonely little tooth sat under her pillow, untouched, all night. This morning I made a point of going right in and telling her that the Tooth Fairy had called me this morning and told me that she had not realized that we moved. She went to our old house! Silly Tooth Fairy!

Cody laughed and rolled her eyes and was content to know that the Tooth Fairy promised to come to our new house tonight. Whew, get it together Mom. One of these days she's going to call my bluff and I'll be standing there like an idiot with my mouth open and drooling because there just isn't any other reaction that would explain the shut down in my brain. Sorry kid, your Mom's a dud.


Saturday, May 10, 2008


Tonight I climbed into bed and started working on an essay for the class I'm taking (I'm enrolled with the University of Phoenix online and I'm 4/5 of the way through my first class). A little while later Brad came to bed and when he slid under the covers he was greeted by two Lightening McQueens and a Sally car.

We are not phased at all. This is just how things are. It seems that either Lightening McQueen or Buzz Lightyear know when we won't be expecting them and show up exactly at that time wherever we may be. It's part of what makes Memphis so precious to us. He even trusts us with his best buddies.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008


This is just a warning for any of you who may come in contact with me sometime in the next three weeks.

I am there. That point. The "if you so much as raise your eyebrow at me, I may snap" point. I find myself replying sharply to Brad quite often now and then two seconds later saying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm just too uncomfortable to be nice." And I really am sorry. I don't mean to snap, it just so happens that everything that comes out of my mouth at this point sounds that way.

The pressure on the inside of my body right now is equivalent to the amount of force that causes a bullet to leave a gun. And my mouth is that gun.

This kid is huge. A lot of people tell me that I don't look as pregnant as I am. That's because the baby has made him/herself at home right back up against my kidneys. My stomach doesn't have to get much bigger this time because the baby just keeps rearranging my organs to create a little pocket for his living room. I'm sure by now the feng shui placement in there is optimal for maximum flow of good chi. Too bad the baby is using it all up. I really could use some good chi right now. What is "chi" anyway? Guess I'll have to settle for a chocolate malt.

Yes, I want the baby to be born healthy. Yes, I know my induction date is only twenty days away. Yes, I know that whining is unflattering. I should be reveling in the last twenty days that I will EVER be pregnant. I should be memorizing the incredible miracle of feeling my unborn child's movements. I should be out buying diapers.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Moving Day!

Ok internet, here it is:

Our brand new home! Just posting really quickly to tell you the house is now officially ours (we're homeowners!!) and to let you see how beautiful it is. I'll post more later with some of my favorite features. Thanks to all who were pulling for us!