Friday, March 31, 2006

Before the Storm

I love my parents. Last week my mom came up on Wednesday morning to help paint trim for the new house. On Thursday she went to my doctor appointment with me and then helped me straighten up my house because we were having people over. Friday morning she went home, and she took my children with her. Easy and I were meeting a friend in Houston Monday night, so I went to Baytown to get them after that. We all came home Tuesday morning.

I can't remember the last time my house was so quiet. I didn't even turn the TV on until Sunday night so Easy and I could watch our soaps together. I don't remember if the saying is the "quiet" before the storm or the "calm" before the storm. Either way it occured to me about half way through the weekend that surely that must be what I was experiencing. I spent almost two whole days in silence - speaking only on the phone and then to my Smooch when he got home after dark. It was blissful!

Now, before you go thinking I was eating bon-bons all weekend, let me assure you that a lot of work got done. I repainted two pieces of furniture that will be in Tripp's room at the new house. I (with some muscle help from Smooch) moved the children into Paris' bedroom. They will be sharing until we move. I put together the crib and got all of Vivian's linenes and clothes washed and prepared for her arrival. I packed a bin of toys and two boxes of "stuff" for Paris and Tripp's respective new rooms. And....I slept. That was my indulgence. No alarms. No chattering children at 6:40 AM to start my day. On Monday I didn't even open my eyes until 9:00 AM and then I stayed in bed another hour because I could. It was heavenly!

I also got a bit of much needed quality time with my Smooch. We went out to dinner Friday night and Saturday night. We had grown-up food and conversation. We didn't worry about getting home early or if we remembered to put up the baby gate when we went to bed. We actually choose to wait an hour for a table at the Olive Garden. Had I not been about to pass out due to hunger when we sat down to eat in a booth I wasn't sure I would fit in with this big baby in my tummy it would have seemed like the old days...before we had kids. It was wonderful!!

Then I brought my kids home. Paris got sick the afternoon we got home and ran a fever for 48 hours. Tripp is having a hard time adjusting to napping in his (Paris') room so I'm having to sit on the floor to make him stay in bed until he goes to sleep. Then Paris got well and spent all day yesterday checking to see if the rules were still the same at home. Tripp is teething I think and has been clingy and crabby. I've done more laundry than I thought I could do in an effort to not have Paris' virus make the rounds this time.

And as I'm doing all this I am constantly aware that Vivian is still sitting perfectly straight with her head in my rib cage. That is not where her head should be at this stage in the game. If she is still sitting there in a week my doctor is going to try and turn her over....from the outside. Sounds fun, huh? Chances are real that just having that procedure could reslut in bringing home baby a few weeks early.

So, it's not storming here yet, but I'd say the winds are picking up and it's starting to cloud over. I think I even felt a few sprinkles yesterday. I may have a few more calm/quiet days before the downpour starts, but I think I'm ready. My children are currently running manic through the house, my kitchen needs to be cleaned and there is still more laundry to be done. Paris insists on hugging Tripp until he screams in frustration and Cowboy (our dog) keeps giving me that look that says "can't you send them back to Baytown?" I am healthy, my family is healthy, we are building a new house, my husband brings me home Big Read Vanilla Float sodas because he loves me and life is....well, blissful, heavenly, and wonderful!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Mostly Good News

I say mostly because the topic of the house construction sends me into to serious stress mode. This in turn makes me have Braxton-Hicks contractions which stress me out even more. It is not a pleasant cycle in which to find oneself. However, thanks to a MUCH NEEDED mommy-chat this morning I am feeling better. It is so nice to have my mom back on her own turf (she just got to go home from caring for Nana!) because I don't feel near as guilty when I call to whine and cry and ask her to cheer me up. In turth, chatting with her this morning just sort of affirmed that I am not insane, my logical thinking skills still work, and despite the pregnancy hormones that are ruling my life I can indeed still function as a productive member of society. Thanks Mom for helping me feel normal again!

Now for the good stuff....Paris is having a great day! See, for a while we have been re-evaluating our discipline strategies with her. She has been pushing the limits to say the least. Easy and I have talked some things over and we (with the help of my best girlfriend who happens to be a Marriage and Famiy Therapist - we went to grad school together) made a pretty good plan - we think. Then I implented half of it. Things seemed better for about a week and then the insanity resumed. It occured to me this week that I never did the other half of our plan! So, today Paris helped me make her star chart. It simply includes a calendar and three color blocks - green, yellow, and red. We discussed what happens when she ends the day on which color. How she moves from green where she starts each day down the "stoplight" of colors. She seemed to get it and we had the most peacful rest time she has had in probably six months! She has had to move to yellow today, but she's also gotten a special green star in her square for obeying the very first time I told her to clean her room! You would think that with a degree in psychology and in marriage/family therapy I wouldn't need a reminder that incentives and rewards for good behavior are frequently much more effective than consequences for disobedience and "poor choices" as we say in our house. Who knows if this will make as great a difference in the coming days/months, but as of right now I feel like the light at the end of the tunnel is closer and we may indeed find a way to handle some of these parenting challenges that have plauged us the last few months.

And lastly....I started reading a great book. Captivating by John and Stasi Elderidge. If you are familiar with Wild at Heart, this is essentially the book John and Stasi cowrote for/about women. I've only read two chapters and I must say that I already feel more validated in my skin. I have been reminded that God did indeed make me the way I am for a reason and that some of the things society sees as weakness in a woman were put there by the Master himself. I'm looking forward to the rest of the book. With all the stress of the house and pending childbirth I think the timing could not be better to read something that puts me back in perspective in the world. I am a creation of God and as the bumber stickers say, "God Don't Make No Junk!"

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Toddler Bed, Ankle, and Bon Jovi

Yes, that sounds like an odd combination, but those are the things that have been happening in my life since I last blogged. So, here's the update:

We moved Tripp to a toddler bed a week and a half ago. The first few times he slept in it he went to sleep on the floor and we had to scoop him up and put him in bed. I guess waking up in it helped him realize it is for sleeping so he's gotten the hang of pretty well. We do still occasionally find him asleep in an odd place though. Easy found him sacked out on top of the cedar chest in his room and also caught a glimpse of him early one morning sleeping under his bed with only his feet sticking out. All in all it's been a good transition though. The worst part is that now that he can get up and play he's been getting up REALLY early. I'm talking 6:00 early. For those of you who know me well, you know this is not how I function. I'm trying to teach him that mommy doesn't get up until 7:00. but he really does not seem to care. The other quirk we've hit is some regression on Paris' part. Since Tripp went into the toddler bed she has refused to sleep in her twin bed. She has instead been sleeping on her fold-out Dora couch that is not even long enough to accomodate her length if she stretches out. It's not worth the fight though, so we've just been letting her sleep there. I think the "Dora bed" is going to get packed for the new house while she is at school tomorrow.

In other news, I tripped on a toy (the Leap Frong Cash Register) last week (monday) and sprained the fool out of my ankle. I was carrying Tripp when I fell. Fortunately we fell into the couch so nothing but my ankle suffered the impact. Tripp just looked at me like "Why did you throw me on the couch you crazy woman?!?!" Paris was a real trooper. She went and found my cell phone so I could call a friend for help - I seriously couldn't really get up. She then held me on the couch and told me she was sorry I was hurt and that Jesus could make it better. I don't think she'd ever seen my cry due to pain. She has such compassion. She will be a good mommy one day. Anyway, with a lot of help from friends I got to the doctor and got my instructions. I almost laughed out loud when he said to stay off of it. Seriously, I have two kids. But, I did my best and the Lord humbled me so that I called and asked for help when I needed it from others. I'm on the mend now - just some twinges every now and then and a slight limp. The aircast is off so I look normal again too. (except of course for the VERY large belly - someone has already said I look ready to pop! I have 8 weeks to go people!!)

The ankle injury was on Monday, the best concert ever was on Tuesday. That's right folks - it was Bon Jovi time! And yes, I ignored my doctor's orders and went. I did use crutches so I was as "off" the ankle as possible without sacrificing the best anniversary present ever. The concert was amazing. Bon Jovi still rocks, and they definitely know how to please their mostly female crowd! My husband is such a good sport. He just let me scream and squeal like a teenager and did nothing but shake his head. I even saw him singing along a few times. He went and got me water when I needed it and stopped to get me food on the way there and the way home. I think it was one of those he was happy that I was so happy kind of deals. And let me tell you - I was HAPPY! Our seats were great, my husbnad is great, and yes, Jon Bon Jovi (and Richie Samboa and the rest of the band) is...great!

So, there you have it - I'm now just trying to catch up on laundry and things that didn't get done last week while I was on the injured list. Funny how I pushed myself to the concert, but felt no inclination to push myself to do household chores. What can I say - I am only human....a very pregnant human who decided an bum ankle was a good excuse to get as much rest as possible. That's all I've got. I'll try to have a point to my next post.