Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More and less

I've realized that I AM nesting.

You see, I have this thing about beds all of a sudden...

I have become obsessed with the notion that I must have all the sleeping arrangements finalized NOW for all of my children. This is despite my 1) being the proud owner of 2 cribs, 2 toddler beds, a twin bed, and a set of bunk beds, and 2) only having four children (on the outside, as some of my former co-workers would have said). Discounting the top bunk of the bunk bed (babies too young to trust on ladder), I still have FOUR places for a toddler/pre-schooler to sleep and TWO places for a baby to sleep. Right now.

So I found another set of bunks beds.

And I'm looking for another toddler bed.

Oh, did I mention bullet point three? 3) Fiver will sleep upstairs close to me (or more specifically close to my boobies) until s/he is 4-6 months old. That's like next August. A year from now.

Am I nesting or what?!

-----

In other news, my Genetic Councellor has taken a powder. I am in a total panic.

This is the lady who has held my other hand through all four of my amnios, who calmly advised me on testing, who would answer all my scatterbrained questions and who knew, when ringing me with the results, to say: "Hi, Blue! ThisisClaireEVERYTHING'SJUSTFINE!" in a rush before saying anything else.

I actually rang the head of the department over at the university in a tizzy and left her a breathless message (which, to her credit, she returned immediately). She was very understanding and calm (this must be a class genetic councellors take: SERENITY 111, Room 312, 11a.m. Dr. Tran Quille) but i still have an urge to stalk the place. Drive up unexpectedly and quiz the doctors ("How many of these have you done? Just estimate. A hundred? A thousand?! TELL ME!")

So I'm trying to be reasonable and relaxed (*SNORT!*) about this amnio. I mean, bad stuff happens (note I didn't say: to good people). There could be something wrong with Fiver. She could have Down Syndrome or worse. She could have a cleft lip or a nerual tube problem. I could fall down the ladder that masquerades as steps in my house or crash my car. Or something could go wrong at the amnio.

A thousand things could happen, but most likely ... won't. I shall endevour to be calm.

*hyperventilates*

----

PS: for giggles, check out Evil Genius Husband's antics in the barnyard in his underpants on Open Wound Monday! (Thank you Heather for the bad link heads up! *mwah*)

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 11:49 am   3 comments

Monday, August 28, 2006

Pente ... vent, eh?

Have you noticed how things seem to be packaged for even numbers? Specifically: four?

Is this because everyone knows that anyone who is anyone has the perfect family of two kids (one boy and one girl *simper* of course!)?

Seriously. Plates and glasses, picnic sets, round-trip-tickets-for-fabulous-all-expense-paid-vacations, all seem to come in fours. Meat is packaged in twos and fours, snack bars in eights. Even the cardboard drink holders at McDonald's come with four holes.

There are occupancy rules for rental property that prohibit more than two children per room regardless of the size of the room and disallow two parents having more than two kids in a hotel room with them. It's getting harder to find restaurant seating for five or more without moving tables. There are new SUVs that only seat four.

Now, I'm not suggesting that everyone adapt to MY family of (hopefully) seven and have things for kids in multiples of five, but it's irritating and thought provoking. Everything in the world seems geared to that 'ideal' family of four. What if you have no kids? Or one? Or 10?

And while I'm venting about this perceived family ideal, let me ask you this: why do modern people react with such disdain at families with over three children? This makes no sense to me and I suspect it's a money prejudice, a result of our selfish materialistic/consumeristic society.

It's as if modern people can only see the child raising equation as: More Money Equals Better Parents! Have fewer kids and spend more and more money on them, that's the ticket! There's no way the average person could spend obscene dosh on four (or more) kids! They must be baaaaaaaad parents!

Why is it OK to drive your Breighlynn and Zaquery around in an enormous, gas guzzling 8-seater Suburban, and spend insane amounts of money on personal electronics and brand name clothes for them, but your neighbour having four or more children is distastefully excessive?

Why is it OK (and newly fashionable!) to be a 'at home mom' and acceptable to have a cleaning lady, a lawn-care service, and a nanny (so that you can go shopping, hit the gym/spa, stop at Starbucks ... get some YOU time away from the kids) but at the same time women -- whether they work or not, whether they have one child or six -- who actually clean their own toilets, make lunches, and put the kids to bed are jeered at as hopelessly low class?

What's up with the new money-centric parents? They work harder, longer, make more money, get into more debt ... and spend less time with their kids.

I don't know how you feel, but to me, 20 minutes in the car with Mom fighting traffic, little Camryn absorbed in his Gameboy, and Emilee Grayce watching a DVD, on the way to the soccer field is NOT family time!

I suppose I should chalk this up to a consumeristic society where stuff is the key to happiness (and apparently good parenting). You deluge your kids with stuff (To prove you love them! To give them what you never had! 'Cause you can! Pick one!) and you fast track them into a myriad of games and activities and exclusive pre-schools so that they can get a head start and excel at their future jobs so that they can earn wodges of cash so they can buy MORE stuff!

Who cares if you haven't sat down as a family since the last winter holiday (and even then Cayleigh was talking to her friend on her cell and Brisyn had his iPod on at the table)? Who cares if you only use your $400,000 house to sleep in and store your (really fabulous!) things because the rest of the time you're at a restaurant, at the gym, at the mall, at a practice, at work, at school, or on the road in between?

This whole family ideal is ugly in my opinion. Who's to say what's perfect? As an only child I can assure you that folks are equally unkind to people who choose to (or can only) have one. This is another societal prejudice. I can't imagine what folks who can't have any (or choose not to) face.

The whole attitude is extraordinarily unfair to the infertile in my opinion. I have actually seen comments written by morons on infertility blogs to the effect of: "You are spending all your money on ART/foreign adoption now you won't have enough for the baby when she gets here!"

Remember, money equals happiness!

Also, what about the secondarily infertile? Those who desperately want a second (third, fourth, etc) but cannot have one? That must be a treat to hear: "When is Maysyn getting a little brother?" ten times a day.

I'm not for a second saying in this rant that any other arbitrary number of kids is better (or that having two is bad) or that having less money is somehow noble. I'm just saying that it sucks ass that there are ANY societal pressures on family make up and that so much of the pressure that there is seems to come directly from the ideals of the materialistic collective.

Parent how you want. Spend your money as you see fit. Have no kids, have one, have the fabled two, I don't care. But don't suggest to me that because I have five and a middle class income that I'm somehow slighting my children or that people who spend all their money on a bid for a single child through ART are putting that baby at a disadvantage.

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 2:32 pm   14 comments

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Aliens and underwear

What? Are we on? Erm ...

OK, ok ... as promised, a 24 hour turn around on this ultrasound pic!



Awwwww! Lookit the little alien! So cute.

What? More than 24 hours? I said 'yesterday'? NOoooooooo ...

OK, I did, and I suck (but you already know that). But, anyway, there's Fiver. She spent the whole ultrasound bopping around and holding her fists up in front of her face in a pugilistic manner. But she would NOT turn over for a profile. As I said, we finally got an oblique of the back of her neck and the tech said it 'looked fine' (and I love this tech and trust her) but I'm still worried ... we couldn't visualize the nasal bone or anything.

She measured 11 weeks 2 days (I'm actually 10 weeks 5 days -- or was on Wednesday -- but they're sticking to the March 13 due date, *sigh*, so now I get to fight with my OB about when to do the section) and I'll go for my level II u/s and amnio at about 18 weeks.

----

In totally cool other news, I made my first sale from my Cancer Awareness T-shirt shop!!! I haven't even advertised yet or anything, (I wanted to get at least two or three more shirts in before I did a full bore advertising onslaught) so I'm terribly pleased and excited.

I want you all to know how much I appreciate your suggestions on the organization to whom I should donate. I am still deciding and I have all your suggestions written down for consideration.

----

And finally, your funny baby story for the day:

See, all my children looooove to dress up. They are always donning various hats, capes, socks-as-gloves, etc and prancing about pretending to be this or that. They press anything into use. An empty Amazon box is a helmet, my dishtowel is a cape, the baby's blanket is a skirt, and they wear each other's and our clothes with abandon. Daddy's shirts make great robes or coats, a 2 year old's stretch pants make a funny hat on a 4 year old.

The Incredible Bulk, at 14 months, is just beginning to enjoy dressing up, but with his not-yet-great coordination he can't manage much more than dragging something over his head or shoulder. He does, however, already display his sibling's predilection for using objects in weird ways (just the other day, a baby wipe that was used to clean his sister's hands ended up on his upturned face with him giggling under it.)

So today I called everyone to get ready for naps. The oldest babes were already in their rooms and I could hear Bulk thumping determinedly down the hall toward me. What I wasn't ready for was the sight that almost made me laugh myself to death.

Bulk had apparently paused at the wooden clothes drying rack in the hall, plucked a pair of my best polka-dotted underpants off, and pulled them over his head before continuing on down the hall toward bed.

My own underpants were crawling toward me.

I'm sorry that I didn't get a pic, but there's only so much one can do while collapsed on the setee laughing helplessly.

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 2:45 pm   2 comments

Thursday, August 24, 2006

It's past my bedtime

OK, quickly:

The bad news is that I never got to the thrift store at all. I also just now got in and got the groceries unloaded.

The good news is that Fiver seemed to look fine.

The meh news is that she wouldn't roll over and give us a good profile so it's just a guess that she's OK. We got an oblique of the Nuchal Translucency and the tech measured .98mm which is a fab number but since she was in a bad position ...

Anyway ... more tomorrow with a pic.

(Yes, I HAVE decided that any baby this bad must be a girl. So she shall herefore be known as she until I see dangly bits at the 18 week ultrasound.)

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 9:44 pm   3 comments

Monday, August 21, 2006

Anti-nesting

When will this end?

Seriously. I have no motivation, no inclination to do anything at all but sit my broad arse on the couch and read. I don't want to go anywhere (and you, dear readers, know if *I* can't be arsed to go to the dump and scavenge joyfully amongst the lovely green boxes, then something's grievously wrong), I don't have any interest in working in the garden or the barnyard, and I certainly am NOT cleaning the house.

OK ... I didn't really clean the house before, but still!

I'm trying not to think of Thursday when I go for my Nuchal Translucency ultrasound - I'm torn between excitement at seeing Fiver and abject dread that they'll find indications of a defect, or worse ...

I have made some slight progress. I finished the pig pen yesterday, much to the delight of the pigs who raced about like puppies, tumbling over each other and squealing to the point of scaring the goats (which was the best part of the entertainment.)

I also cooked.

Well I ... erm ... attempted to cook. I screwed up everything except the bread. This is my public apology to Evil Genius Husband, who has a cold -- so he doesn't feel good -- but gamely tried to eat everything anyway.

My all-day-queasiness-morning-sickness seems to be subsiding here at 10 weeks 2 days (is it that, or is there something amiss with Fiver? she thinks, breaking into a cold sweat). My moodiness is much better (even if both Sharpie and Michele made me weep all over my keyboard today) although my paranoia continues unabated (my latest non-Fiver-related obsession? Boy going off to school next year.)

And so I sit, awaiting some motivation, some eagerness to do ... something. Or at least get another book from Amazon. Hopefully (and dreadfully) Thursday will be some sort of watershed day. I'll either feel much better or much worse.

Ideally, I'll be on time, not have to wait more than a half hour, find that Fiver's nuchal measurement is under 1mm, make it to my thrift store before they close, find something grand (and cheap), and miss the bad traffic getting home.

But what are the chances of all those things happening?

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:49 pm   4 comments

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Socializin'

I have become convinced that pregnant women should NOT be allowed on bulletin boards.

Too many hormones! Women are so snarky as it is, but pumped with pregnancy hormones? Forget it.

People are arguing on ever bulletin board that I'm on, I think*. (I'm not counting my Comic Book boards. People argue on there every day. Comic Book board regulars are an even triumverate of cool and interesting people, clueless under 25-year-olds who think they know everything and think what they have to say is the most interesting crap on the internet, and complete effin' morons who only shut their mouths to chew.)

Erm ... where was I? Oh, hormones!

So I just had to say it. I'm so sick of the sniping and 'hurt feelings' and not-enough-people-responded-to-my-thread, and I-never-said-that-even-though-you-can-quote-it-from-my-last-post, and the *sob* that's-it-I'm-leaving-don't-try-to-stop-me histrionics. They can all bite me.

*grumble*grumble*grumble*

----

On a brighter note, I had an appointment in Newberry today and got to take The Brood to 'our' park. It was blissfully (and typically) deserted, so I unleashed the hoard and made myself comfy in the shade.

I sat on a nearby bench, cellphone in hand under the gently swaying sycamore leaves, coolly multi-tasking (ME! Multitasking!) by apprising my insurance company rep of my pregnancy. I had just gotten done with her and had rung Dad when a high-end coupe pulled up. I glanced over my shoulder in time to see an adorable 18 month old named Ian (I found all that out later of course) and his rather closely hovering parents.

When they reached the play area and set Ian down, my Brood began closing in like cute pink sharks.

Ian -- as soon as his Stride Rites hit the sawdust -- toddled a beeline for the Incredible Bulk who rose, like a curious grizzly, awkwardly to his feet.

They eyeballed each other from a distance of inches: two sturdy, towheaded, blue-eyed little boys in stand-off.

Bulk stood maybe a half inch taller than Ian and outweighed him by five pounds but otherwise they could have been brothers. They scrutinized each other carefully while Ian's parents hovered overhead. (Was I that overprotective of Boy?)

After a moment, when it became apparent that Ian wasn't going to do anything spectacular Bulk grunted, sat down with a thud, spun, and crawled rapidly off to eat some dirt.

The rest of the pack then closed in.

My older three were fascinated with Ian. Here was a slightly smaller but four-month older (and thus walking v. well) version of their baby brother. They were charmed.

I was terrified. I mean the four of mine spend all day running, chasing, squealing, laughing, grabbing, wrestling, and yelling with each other. I was gripped with fear that they were going to fall on Ian - who wasn't used to being part of The Collective and who clearly had a teensy bit overprotective parents. (One of them accompanied him all over the elevated play area, walking inches behind, hands held behind him at the ready, and the other hovered anxiously around underneath as if the wee thing might phase through the 3 inch wide gaps in the slats and fall.)

It turned out alright in the end. I came over several times and made sure mine were being polite and aside from Bitty Girl, who tailed Ian everywhere, everything was fine.

In fact, the mom, who is due again in December (and looked fabulous, darn her to heck) said several times: "Your children are SO well behaved!"

I was pretty chuffed at that and hope we get to see them and Ian in future. Maybe when Bulk gets to walking well, he could show Ian how to sit on one's sibling's head.

Hey, that's a valuable skill!

*Except my June Fertility Friend Escapees board. I don't think anyone fights there, we all went through the horror that is Fertility Friend (Mod bitches as little despots! Money over community!)

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:14 pm   2 comments

Friday, August 11, 2006

In which many parenthetical clauses appear

What a crap day.

Another one of those non-specific crap days. Nothing terribly untoward happened. My dog didn't die. My car didn't break down. I just felt ill and tired, read the last of my books. The babes were particularly irritable today. I don't know what that was - like everyone, I guess, they have their peaceful days and their wound up days.

I know it doesn't help that I'm sick and dragging, that it's 97 bloody degrees outside, that I'm feeling particularly restless for some reason.

The bubs are normally quite good, actually. I guess today was simply a series of unfortunate events. Bulk kept turning the kitchen computer off, Boy and the Human Crash Test Dummy managed to find my BluKote (a veterinary antiseptic on the order of gentian violet - it is a bright, deep blue that stains everything it touches). Luckily, it was in the concrete floored mud room.

Not so lucky was Bitty Girl wandering about with a pair of scissors when I ducked out to the barnyard for a moment. I was gone, maybe, 20 minutes. When Evil Genius Husband finally noticed Bitty's dangerous toy he failed to notice that she'd also managed to remove a huge chunk of her hair - right in front.

So I returned (can I not leave the bloody house for a second?) to a group of small people and one big people who were bewildered at my wrath and got to sadly cut Bitty's gorgeous dark blond curls off as close as I dared in a (vain) attempt to match everything up.

-----

So, sans segue, let me ask you a question.

I often see fellow bloggers having Blog Crises of one sort or another - idiot commentors, family members discovering the blog, snarky bitches running off in secret and blogging nasty things, and so on - but I've never had one.

Now I do.

I've been feeling lately as if I can't be honest on my own blog. As a person who says what she means and means what she says, this is BIG for me.

But I'm in the first trimester and have what comes along with that state: morning sicknes, exhaustion, pre-baby blues, guilt, anxiety, paranoia, and so on. So mostly what I have to say is of a venting nature despite this being a much-wanted pregnancy.

But I feel hindered in doing so. I feel like my good blog friends (and I hope you know who you are) don't deserve to listen to what is essentially crap every post. I also feel like there are those readers who are judging me. Every time I want to post I hear this slightly snotty, masked-as-concern voice of some past annonymous commentors singing in an I-told-you-so way: "Well, you wanted this baby, you chose to have this baby, and now you're bitching ..."

(If you've read Harry Potter, try to imagine the toad-like Delores Umbridge here)

Well, guess what? Everybody needs a forum to vent. Even wonderous and joyous events come with their share of rant provoking downsides and I hate, hate, hate it that I feel like I can't write those thoughts down.

So what would you do? (See? There was eventually a question!) Get (yet another) blog elsewhere that is totally private? Get a notebook IRL? Get a life and get over it?

PS: yes, I know I'm hormonal and yes, I know that tomorrow will be a much better day. I'm going to the sale as a matter of fact. Perusing the dizzying array of FemMullets is bound to be cheering.

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:37 pm   11 comments

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Paranoia, they destroy ya

Hmm.

Absolutely nothing happening over here. Sorry. But I felt tlike I needed to blog something.

Poor Evil Genius Husband had to go back to work today. I had gotten really really spoiled by having a half naked sex machine lounging about my house all day (particularly during the babies' nap time, *ahem*). Someone to bring me a bottle of water, someone with whom I could watch films (I hate watching alone), someone to listen to my endless whinging about 1) morning sickness and fatigue, and 2) lack of morning sickness and fatigue and ohmygodIhopenothing'swrongwiththebaby!

Yes, you'd think after FOUR, I'd be totally laid back about all this, but no. I'm consumed - as I have been with every pregnancy - with unreasoning fears. I'm terrified that something's happened to Fiver. My morning sickness comes and goes (which is totally normal) but it scares me. I lie awake at night dreading the nuchal scan (and later the amnio), not the proceedures themselves (even the amnio is a cakewalk), but the results. What if there's something wrong?

I actually drop into a fuge state at the computer, staring into the pixels, letting horror-movie-quality mental images flicker through my brain.

I've been unable to read for pleasure and unable to write (witness the derth of blog posts). I'm not sleeping but I'm tired all the time. I ask EGH over and over if I did this with the other babies and he eyeballs me for a moment and nods his head. Yep. Each one.

I am the mistress of paranoia, apparently.

*sigh*

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 1:11 pm   3 comments

Friday, August 04, 2006

Need advice/suggestions

I know you're all sick of my yakking excitedly on about my t-shirt shop, but bear with me, here ...

I'm opening up a shop devoted to cancer awareness (there's only one shirt in there right now - a riff on one of my infertility shirts that sells pretty well - but I have several more in mind).

I want to donate half of everything I get from that shop to the fight. My question is this: to whom do I donate? Obviously there's the American Cancer Society, but I'd love to focus any money I donate toward stamping out pediatric cancer and/or reproductive cancer (ovarian/breast/etc).

It's not that I feel like one type of cancer is more horrible than another and thus deserves my donation, it just feel appropriate that I donate that way at this time.

I'm Google-ly handicapped so I really need a hand with this.

Whom do you suggest? Is there a reputable organization that does research to fight pediatric cancer? Better yet is there some society who does things for kids with cancer? I love the thought of my money (and whoever buys my tees's money) going to actually improving the lives of kids with cancer right now.

If you have any suggestions or information I'd be very grateful!

Also, if any of you have any suggestions for t-shirt designs I'll be happy to sing your praises all over the 'net and the shop and give you full credit as designer.

Thanks, guys! I'm really excited about maybe making a difference.

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:57 am   7 comments

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Song of Frustration

If you're wondering why I don't post ... well, it's because nothing's happening!

I doubt anyone wants to hear about my all day morning sickness - worse with this one than any of my others - (except of course Evil Genius Husband, bless him, who's forced to listen. Poor thing, he could write a paper upon returning to school entitled: "How I spent my Summer Vacation with a sick, tired, and crabby woman in her first trimester"), or about how I'm so freakin' exhausted all the time.

Because of these two items, cooking supper is usually out and EGH has taken over ALL of the barnyard chores. Both of these make me feel v. useless and frustrated.

Add to all of this that it's been bloody hot and my internal thermostat is apparently on the fritz. I'm either burning up or freezing at any given moment and the two moments can be right next to each other.

Blah, blah, blah ...

Oh and in case you're brain is straying toward the thought: "Well, gee, she sounds miserable, why did she want another baby again?", you can secure that. I'm not miserable, I'm impatient. I have lovely pregnancies and this is just a normal part. What I hate is not having the energy (or the ability to keep from retching) to DO stuff. I have tonnes of things that want doing out in the barnyard (and in the house *koff*cleaning*koff*). I need to be driving poles and stringing electric fence. I have a pig pen that isn't finished and three little pigs camped out in my sick bay!

And yes, yes , I know that in six weeks or so I'll be fine: energetic and (hopefully) free from the pukes (one great thing about working outside ... if you need to yark, well, you just yark), but right now I feel bloody useless.

I have gotten addicted to this thanks to Mare. Seriously, it is soooo cool. Everyone needs one. You can even use it if you're exhausted and queasy! When I first got it I revved it up and dismissivly thought: "I wonder how much of a so-called 'work out' this thing is?". Well, within a few minutes my whole arm was tired up to my biceps. It's really cool!

Hey ... it's Self Portrait Tuesday, isn't it? Well, I'll post a pic of 'myself' and my powerball (assuming Blogger, - damnit I love you, Blogger, and this is the only effin' thing I've ever had to complain about but it happens ALL the time - will let me upload a pic ...

Nope ... no dice. Stand by ...

This really sucks arse, Blogger, having to FTP up my own images ...



OK, there we go! Get one. I guarantee that this will be one of your three favourite little balls ...

*Edited to add: Pics of Karen's baby! Eeeeeeee! Adorable chubby cutitude! I want it to be March NOW!

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:05 am   3 comments