Is It Like Riding a Bike? And Other Ridiculously Stupid, Hormone-Driven Questions

As I approach my eighth (holy carp!) month of pregnancy, I am constantly fighting back hormonal rushes of irrational behavior. For example, I know we still have two months to finish the nursery, but as I stare at the half-painted room with nothing in it but a plastic-covered crib, I get so twitchy, I could jump out of my skin.

So far this week, I’ve cried about dropping a pile of folded laundry and having to re-fold it, the driver in front of me who was too busy texting to drive until the light was yellow…of course he made it and I didn’t, and let’s not even get into my epic battle of wills with AT&T. At any given moment, I may go from perfectly fine to unstable weirdo in two seconds flat.

When this pregnancy-induced madness hits, I do pretty well with chanting the “it’s just hormones” mantra in the back of my mind, lest I unleash the power of my insanity on unsuspecting bystanders. However, I am also dealing with the increasingly loud voice in the back of my mind that reminds me it’s been eight whole years since I’ve dealt with this:

Or this:

Logic tells me that, two boys later, I should be a pro at this whole motherhood thing. The psycho-woman in my brain, however, keeps reminding me that it’s been EIGHT, LONG years since I’ve dealt with an infant. I took the LSAT eight years ago too…that doesn’t mean I’d have a clue what to do if I had to take it tomorrow. Some information is still ingrained, I’m sure. The basics like changing diapers and burping, are like riding a bike; they’ll come right back to me. It’s the complicated stuff I’m worried about.

When we have that first bad night, will I “know” what to do, or will I be stricken with the desperate panic I felt during Demon-Baby’s reign of terror? Does it make me a moron that I’ll have to look up how often Bean should be eating, because I can’t for the life of me remember how frequently a newborn is supposed to eat? Will her umbilical stump give us the heebie-jeebies as badly as the boys’ did? Will I fret over every damn thing, or am I to the point that I’ll be a more confident, laid-back mom?

Yes, there is a crazy woman in my head who is starting to annoy me greatly. Time to silence her with King Cake.

A Blanket for Bean—Or Worrying that I’m Not Worried About My Persistent Procrastination

Wooooweee.

I’ve been a bit under the weather recently, which wouldn’t be so bad if I could just stop time for a day. But, alas, school projects, homework, hungry heathens and a house that won’t clean itself mean that I’ve been running pretty much from sun-up to sun-down lately. Of, course, then there’s that whole “growing a person” thing, but whose counting?

In the midst of juggling the day-to-day, I managed to finish Bean’s first blanket:

So, now, she has a bed and a blanket. Considering that I’m giving birth in two months, I probably better get on the stick and come up with more than that. Seriously, I’m seven months pregnant, and my kid has a blanket and a bed. In fact, Bean wouldn’t even have the bed if her grandparents hadn’t gifted us the most gorgeous crib ever. I keep waiting for the day that panic sets in, but every time I go to buy something baby-related, my slacker/procrastination tendencies convince my commonsense that it’s way tooooo early…I have PLENTY of time left to worry about stuff like that.

Riiiiggghhhtt.

Procrastination may not be my best maneuver where childbirth is concerned.

Budgetary Panic Attack—Or Step 1 of Plugging the Financial Leaks

I got a call from the doctor’s office today. And let’s just say the news was not good.

Don’t worry, Bean’s fine. It’s my budget that is in need of life support.

You see, despite the fact that we pay a substantial amount of our expendable income for health insurance, I still will be required to pre-pay a boatload of money to the doctor…like ASAP. I’ve tried figuring out why this is, but my eyes crossed after less than two minutes of the nurse attempting to explain the complexities of healthcare to me. The moral of the story is that I owe a bunch of money we don’t have, and I need to start saving it…like yesterday.

Thus, I am now challenging myself to plug the holes in my hemorrhaging budget, and my goal for this month is tackle our excessive tendency for eating out.

I am embarrassed to admit that we drop a huge chunk of change in restaurants. I’ve become a total slacker in the cooking and meal planning department, and I am the first person to toss self-control into the wind when I get tired and cranky. For months, I’ve been saying we really need to eat out less, only to break down a few days later when I’m confronted with hungry heathens, no energy and no plan. Even after grocery shopping on Monday, my refrigerator is embarrassingly empty, because I’ve become a disorganized mom who just grabs enough to “get by,” only to be surprised later when I don’t have anything in the pantry to make a full meal.

What’s so stupid about this situation is that the meals portion of my budget has easily been within my control…I’ve just been a lazy dork about it. With a huge financial setbacks brewing, I need to snap the hell out of it, and get things under control.

I’ve broken many bad habits in my time, and in the next few weeks, I’m determined to break this one too.

Curbing our restaurant addiction is not as simple as “just say no.” For this plan to work, I need an extensive menu plan and not just for weeknight meals, either. Weekends have been my biggest downfall, so my plan better include all meals and snacks for the FULL week, not just enough until Friday.

Instead of my recent inertia in regards to meal planning and cooking, I’m going to take some time tomorrow to actually make a real, long overdue plan. I want to make sure I have plenty of menus, including a couple of easy stand-bys for those really bad days. I vow to be responsible and accountable.

I can’t change the ridiculous health care system, but I may be able to use this reality check to get back into being the kind of financially responsible chick I want to be.

Designing the Nursery—Part 1

As you may know, Bean needs a room. After 10 years of living with all boys, I am bound and determined to exercise my right to girly-fy something in my house. I’ve already got the inspiration; it’s the execution that is proving to be elusive.

After an inordinate amount of internet surfing, I fell absolutely in love with this bedding from Polka Tot designs, and thought I found my jumping-off point.

And then, I had a much-needed budget reality check, and decided that I better start back at square one.

Before we get to all that, let’s take a look at the room in question. Bean’s room was our former office, which in some past life, was probably a bedroom. Technically, the room had a closet, but the former owners of our home converted the closet into the laundry, because it is deep enough for the stackable front-loading washers and dryers. I am eternally grateful that they did, because otherwise, it would be a trek to our detached garage and back for clean clothes, and my abject laziness would have rioted.

Here’s Wall 1:

 

It has great windows and built-ins, but has an extra door to the rear of our house, despite the fact that we also have an exterior door in our kitchen. To the left, you can see the aforementioned closet-now-laundry. The color scheme in this room is the same as the ENTIRE house (white walls, beige/brownish trim). Trust me, the previous owners were really into this color-scheme, down to the flowers in the landscaping. My husband and I have left it alone since we’ve moved in, mostly out of laziness. However, every room is the same, and we are getting kind of tired of it.

Here’s Wall 2:

This is the wall the crib will go on. The door pictured here leads to the kitchen.

Wall 3:

This is the weird wall. As you can see, the entire wall is built-in storage (and those cabinets are REALLY deep), so I’m not too concerned about the lack of closet issue. In fact, I can probably run a rod through one (or all) of them for hanging up clothes. However, those windows look into the dining room, so some type of curtains or window treatments will be necessary. The catch is ensuring whatever I put there looks good on BOTH sides, because I will be able to see it in the dining room.

Finally, Wall 4:

This wall is also tricky, because putting furniture on it that won’t hinder opening the cabinets on Wall 3 is a challenge. The small cabinet by the door is a former built-in ironing board thingie, but it now houses some very small shelves. Good storage, but limited uses. The door leads to the Heathen’s room, and you’ve already met the laundry closet.

Other than the gorgeous crib, this room is a weird, blank canvas.

Now, we just have to figure out what to do with it.

A Little Less Frantic

It’s been a busy time around our house. Thanksgiving was a big success, the holiday decorations are up and we’re ready to settle into the Christmas season. Our November felt almost frantic, and after a few pregnancy driven melt-downs, I finally realized that something just had to give. Despite what my OCD says, I just can’t get everything done, all at once, all of the time. If I don’t ease up on the clangor of the running “to-do” list in my head, I’ll go bonkers.

Also, for reasons that will remain unmentioned (mostly because the amount of swear words I may use would bump this blog above its’ usual PG-13 rating), I’ve had to switch doctors for Bean. Changing OB’s more than half way through my pregnancy is not exactly what I wanted to be doing, but with both Bean’s and my health on the line, I need to have a little faith in the person who will be playing grown-up Operation on me in a few short months.

The past couple of weeks have been an exercise in slowing down. My husband and I are making a big effort to inject more calm, family time into our weeks and weekends, even if it is just 45 minutes to watch a Christmas special with the heathens. It also helps that Mom is back in town (yay!), so I’ve had a huge helping hand around the home front. We’ve baked cookies, shopped, wrapped presents and indulged in hours of Christmas movies and music. I still have to be in bed absurdly early, but that’s just because Bean likes to tap dance the second I’m horizontal…sleep is fitful when there’s a dance party in your stomach.

As for my homemade Christmas gift plan, I am still on track, even if I am knitting like I’m on speed. Assuming I can finish up all the projects that are still outstanding, I will have concocted hand-crafted Christmas gifts for almost every person in our family over the age of 10.

Once I finish my Christmas crafting bonanza, I’ll be free to start all things Baby. At some point, the reality that I’ll be giving birth soon will hit us, and we’ll finally have to do some important things…like find Bean a place to sleep, or buy even the first onesie.

But that’s a post-Christmas concern. For now, I’m going to make some hot chocolate, turn on my favorite Hallmark Christmas movies and relax.

And knit, of course…

Trying to Snap Out of It

Fall weather FINALLY arrived this week, and after my first cup of hot chocolate, I feel like a new Mama.

The past month has been quite a challenge for me. While my pregnancy has been smooth sailing thus far, my one noticeable symptom is persistent, crippling exhaustion. People are starting to wonder if I’m narcoleptic, because I sleep like it’s an Olympic sport. Between work, kids, and trying to keep my house under some semblance of control, I collapse into bed by 8:00 every night, while my husband wonders what the heck happened to his previously insomniatic wife. It’s as if, as soon as I eat dinner, someone flips the energy switch in my body to “off,” and I’m ready to be horizontal.

Somewhere between all of the usual stuff, I also volunteered to head help with the school’s Halloween carnival. Brilliant, I know. My only excuse is that I volunteered long before I knew there was an energy-sucking embryo in my body. Though I love helping plan one of the biggest events of the year, I live each day in constant terror that my pregnancy-addled brain is going to forget something really important. I’ve taken to carrying a post-it pad around, so I can jot down all the random things I need to remember.

Speaking of Bean, I have an ultrasound next Friday, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that we can find out the gender. I plan on eating a handful of cookies, drinking some juice and dancing around a bit just prior to the scan, because I’m not above hedging my bets. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ridiculously excited.

In the meantime, I’ve developed an action-plan to get me out of my funk before Fall passes me by. I’m well out of my first trimester, and if the “pregnancy glow” won’t appear on its’ own, I will MAKE it manifest, by gosh! I’m going spend my weekend cleaning my house, getting caught up on all those things that have slipped through the cracks, and baking up some treats for the heathens.

In case you were wondering, I’m still trucking along with my homemade Christmas plan. This week’s project is a scarf for my brother-in-law:

I found the pattern on Ravelry, and with my craft store coupons, the yarn was less than $10 for the whole project. The colors are actually much darker and more muted than they appear in the picture, but my iPhone camera reacts badly to the fluorescent lights in my office. I hope to finish this by Monday, so I can stay on track for my frugal, crafty Christmas goals.