Monday, October 30, 2006

Good babies, bad timing

I'm incredibly blessed with good babies. Seriously. My kids are so good. I can only attribute it to their father's phlegmatic personality. The man's so laid back he's almost recumbent.

My bubs can entertain themselves for long stretches, are generally quiet and happy, can be taken out to restaurants and doctor's offices where they sit patiently without fuss. Almost every time I go out I hear: "They are SO quiet!" (or good, or well behaved, but usually 'quiet').

Of course I'm very strict about behaviour in public. At home they can run, crumb-sprinkled and naked, through the entire house, make a reasonable amount of noise, play with what they like (that belongs to them), etc.

In public it's a different matter. They do not get down from the table in restaurants, stand in chairs or shopping carts (MAN, it drive me MAD when I see someone let her kid stand in a shopping cart!), run in aisles, or touch merchandise. They must be quiet and stay close and stay out of other people's way.

Of course it helps that they're good babies. Did I mention how easy-going their dad is? He'd have to be to live with me. Can you imagine living with an already volatile person who's been pregnant for the last 5 years?

Yow!

Anyway, in an example of my low-key kids: one of the things I see on my baby boards all the time is mothers who say they can't leave their child alone for a second. In their own home.

I've seen the same plaintive question from moms of two, three, and four-year-olds as well as newborns: "What do you do if you need to put on a load of clothes or take a shower?!"

Uhh, I just do.

I have no qualms about leaving a newborn in a secure room alone. I mean, what's he gonna do? Roll out of a bouncy seat he's strapped into? Doubt it. Wake up and suffer psychological damage because I'm gone? Nuh-uh. How would he know, anyway? They can only see a foot in front of their face. Jeez.

And a floor baby is fine as well, for a minute. The worst thing they can do is slug over far enough to get jammed up against a piece of furniture.

Crawlers and toddlers are easiest - just take 'em with you everywhere. Just yesterday I needed to take a quick shower so I left the three oldest to their devices (dinosaur wars in the family room) and took the 16-month-old Bulk into the shower room with me. All it took was two soda crackers (one clutched in each pudgy fist) and the full-length mirror in there to entertain him for the few minutes it took.

I think kids need to learn independence. I think they need to be left alone with their own wee brains so they can learn to entertain themselves.

I don't mean abandoned or pushed away, of course. I just mean gotten used to making do themselves, without electronic games, television, or constant entertainment. Mine know I'm right there in an instant if they need me. I'm just not right on top of them all the time.

----

So tomorrow is Halloween, right? The biggest day of the year for me, a huge family fave, and one whose costumes I've been planning for months.

.... And the babies all woke up sick this morning.

Ugh.

If you celebrate xmas and you're ill, you can always open gifts later. Ditto your birthday. If something comes up at Thanksgiving a family can always come together earlier or later, another day. It's a pain, but it's do-able.

But you can onty trick or treat on Hallowe'en.

Crudnuggets.

And my children are almost never sick. Like, maybe once a year.

So not only do I feel kind of helpless and fish-out-of-water-ey, but I'm terrified they'll miss trick or treating. :(

We're currently on Red Alert (snot and cough watch). I'll keep you updated.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 1:56 pm   7 comments

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Meh

Well, I wrote this whole post yesterday about how blah I've been feeling lately (how blah can you be if you have the energy to write a long blog post?) but then I took the dogs out and discovered that it was fairly warm outside. So the babes and I went out for a romp in the garden. Well, they romped. I split wood.

So at least the whole day wasn't wasted.

But, seriously, I seem to be stuck in a rut.

Nothing earth-shattering: I just feel like doing nothing. Nothing!

Bleh.

I can't seem to muster up any enthusisam about anything. Perhaps it's the aftermath of the genetics testing: being on edge and strung like a guywire for days, then getting the good news. Kind of makes you slump into a thankful puddle.

Or maybe it's being halfway in the pregnancy. I'm exactly 20 weeks. Far enough removed from the anxiety and excitement of being newly preggers (oh, and the puking. Puking will take your mind off of anything), but ages and ages away from the best part of being pregnant: the baby.

I'll confess to being one who is not enamoured of the pregnancy part. Don't get me wrong, I have no complaints. i have great pregnancies. Except for the exhaustion and the large mass in front when I go to bend down, I wouldn't even know I was expecting. I just don't get into the little thrills of pregnancy like some. I don't shop. I don't decorate nurseries. I don't get keepsake 4D ultrasounds that will never get looked at in a few years. I dispise being treated by people as if I'm ill or infirm. I don't even have a unique delivery experience to anticipate and plan for. I go in, they crack me open and remove the alien spawn. Yawn.

Give me the baby!

So I've been seriously walking around in a numb daze. The babies are totally bored with me - and I don't blame them - and I've not been sleeping well, which doesn't help.

I need a jump. (You may interprate this as you wish. Heh. Heheheh.)

I usually find entertainment and general busy-work in my stores. There's only dozens of things that need doing every day. But I've not even been able to work up any enthusiasm for that. I'm not even designing (which is a bad thing. One of the fab things about the stores is that it gives me an artistic outlet - one I've not been able to use effectively since the presence of small children made any artisttic endevours difficult at best. Paint, collage scraps, and seed beads do NOT dwell well with curious toddlers!)

I keep hoping to be suddenly and mysteriously possessed of the inclination to polish my entire house to a high gloss.

...

Nope. Not happening.

Suggestions?

PS: I even pounced on a new hobby (Yeah. What my house needs is another unfinished arts/crafts project lying about): loom knitting. I'm actually enjoying it quite a bit. I'm one of these crafters who needs to see some quick results in order to stay interested and this fits quite well. One can also do it with a crowd of younglings at hand (with mutiple "Bulk, don't touch that!"s).

PPS: seeing as it's the end of October, check out out the new post over at the Evil Genius Stores Blog.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:39 pm   2 comments

Saturday, October 21, 2006

AND ... exhale!

Results back from amnio: chromosomally normal bad baby boy!

YAY!

One less of threehundredeightyfourmillion things a mother has to worry about. Hmmph. Thank you one and all for the well wishes!

He's kicking me as we speak, apparently enjoying the celebratory cheesecake had at dinner.

More later. I'm playing with a new 'toy' I got for the store.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 2:56 pm   4 comments

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Doctor, does this look like a pumpkin to you?

Question of the day: Why is it that if one stops for fast food for oneself one is likely to get food that is luke-warm or even cold, with fries like hard, greasy little twigs; but if one runs through the drivethrough to buy a meal for a hungry child (who's been kept out past her bedtime fetching, say, pigs, in her bare feet -- not that I'D do such a thing --) you get a complete meal that's piping, boiling, steaming HOT, so that the bag your fries are in burns your fingers when you get it out and you have to drive several miles hanging said bag of fries out the truck window to cool? Why is that? Is it one of those Universal Rules nobody bothered to brief me on?

Think about it and get back to me.

-----

Speaking of pigs, I managed a pic of the now famous Green. It's up on my Farm Blog.

Bet you had forgotten I had one of those, eh? (Blogs not boars)

----

Enough about pigs, Blue, what about the frickin' AMNIO?

Oh, yeah, that.

Well it went swimmingly. I had a different doc and a different sonographer. Everyone was friendly, warm, and efficient. Unlike the doctor last week who inserted the needle right above my pubic bone and through my c-section (times 4) scar, this bloke went in right beside my navel (as was done with all my other amnios). There was no pain and the whole stick took less than a minute.

The lovely new doctor was so concerned at my concern over the level II ultrasound last week that yeilded nothing, that he took a quick look after the amnio. Fiver was jammin' to Nickleback in her head, as usual, but we saw a few things. There's some pyelectasis (fluid in the kidneys) which is a soft marker for Down Syndrome but which both Boy and Bulk had in utero.

There was also this:





For those of you who have not spent as much time as I have squinting at ultrasound blobs: that, ladies and gentlemen, is a SCROTUM.

YES!

Mommy is a happy camper about that. Now to make it through till I get my test results. *Gnaws nails*

----

And now some gratuitus baby pics. Just because.


You can now get Bulk-In-A-Box for those who'd like to play the home game.


Or you could be invaded by hideous aliens from the planet Duplo who suck your will to clean and cause you serious foot injuries whilst trying to get to the toilet in the night.



Speaking of aliens, what the heck is this? When it first came up (it's a volunteer from our brush pile) I told Evil Genius Husband that it was a pumpkin, but then it bore this ginormous, almost-watermelon-shaped fruit that's DARK green (can you see it there in the middle?). Pumpkin? Mutant zuccini? What?!

----

PS: I uploaded a great pic of my two girls into the last post. Back up and check it out.

PPS: Sorry that this post is so very late, my ISP has been acting up all morning.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:53 pm   9 comments

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I'm here and we're Green

Ok, so ... yeah.

I'm still here for those of you who don't read my Mommy Blog. The farm is still chugging along albeit without much of my guidence since I'm preggers.

But I just wanted to post a few pics to prove that all was well. I'll be doing more farm bloggin' soon!

----

We've aquired three very nice pigs as breeding stock, two Spot / Landrace / Hampshire (supposedly) sows and a lovely Spot / Duroc boar named Green by my Bitty girl. (I have no explaination. Read the story here.)




That's Ginger, the red sow on the left; Green, center; and Bunty, the other sow on the right. See how dark red Ginger is? There has GOT to be some Duroc or something in her background. Landrace / spot cross my foot.

The pony, Izzy, looks suspiciously out from his fave drowsing spot. He keeps an eye out for unsavoury persons coming up the drive. His definition of 'unsavoury person' is anyone not bearing food.

We also have new pigeons, four peafowl (currently at large since I built their pen but never built a gate for it.*rollseyes*), and some new girl goats.

This Saturday is the sale. More pics later!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:34 am   2 comments

Friday, October 06, 2006

Because she can.

I've decided to blog today about my two little firecrackers -- my girls -- since I've been voicing a preference that Fiver be a boy and lest some troll-O-riffic person interpret that as a dislike for my own girls.

I took Bitty Girl out with me yesterday to get a pig. I didn't choose her specifically, we rotate each baby going out for some alone time and Boy and The Human Crash Test Dummy will get to go to the sale next Saturday. That bumped Bitty into the pig-getting spot.

Both of my girls are the Babies Without Fear. It never occurs to them that, say, hanging by ones toes off of the deck may result in a fall or that walking up to a strange person, dog, or ... pig might be detrimental. By contrast, both my boys are cautious. I have to keep my eyes peeled around the girls.

When we got to the guy's place she leapt out of the truck, and after a brief spat with her shoes ("sand in my sandals!"*), after which she tore them off and flung them, she strode right up to the pig pen in her bare feet, ready to haggle.

We chose our little boar pig and Bitty proclaimed him immediately "MY pig!". Thinking I'd get no answer, I asked her as we were driving home what she wanted to name her pig. She replied immediately: "Gween!"

Me: "Queen?"
Bitty: "Gween!"
Me: (mystified) "What?"
Bitty: (angry now) "GWEEN, GWEEEEN!"
Me: "Green?"
Bitty: (smugly satisfied) "Gween."

So my boar pig (who is a Duroc/Spot cross and is red with black spots) is GREEN. Make a note.

-----

I have had people look startled when I call my oldest daughter The Human Crash Test Dummy but they just don't understand. Most kids are clumsy to a degree, some more so than others. The HCTD outperforms them all.

She stumbles, falls, bangs, crunches, twists, pulls, or otherwise harms herself roughly every 20 minutes.

Seriously.

She's pigeon-toed, which doesn't help, but she's also a fearless monkey girl. She has no qualms whatsoever about scaling furniture, doing flips off of chairs, hanging from trees, running with scissors, etc.

The other day was a classic example of nap-time with the HCTD:

First off, she rarely sleeps. This is not a problem. My only requirement is that everyone stay in one place (bed) and be quiet for the duration. Actual sleep is at their own discretion.

Because she is so ... busy and she disturbs the sleep of any sibling, she camps out in the parlour, on a toddler bed, at naptime. She plays, looks through books, messes with the cats (who conveniently come to her), and manages to bang her head, get scratched, or fall entirely out of bed at least twice every day. It's become almost routine: a crash and weeping followed by a tearful HCTD at the doorway telling me what happened in elaborate and dramatic detail.

The day in question started out no differently: I hear her talking to the cats in that high-pitched, sing-songy voice of hers, the squeak of the toddler bed frame, a thud, and a burst of crying.

I looked up calmly as she came to the doorway of the family room (I learned early on to barely react at all to these events. If you make too much of them the drama rises exponentially.)

Much weeping. I ascertain that she's not actually hurt as she prepares her statement. It is this:

"Momma ... momma, I, uh ... (points to head) ... I - I fell on my brain!" while I'm struggling to keep from laughing, she then indicates her foot and says: "... and I broked my bones!"

Yes, sometimes having this child is like living in the middle of a Monty Python skit.

Just today I (somehow -- not sure how this started) got into a convo with Boy about which body parts were appropriate to mention in public. He would ask about a certain part ("Can I show my feet? Are feet private?"), get a reply, and go on to another. At some point we arrived at nipples. For the sake of simplicity, I said that, no one didn't show one's nipples in public or talk about them in polite conversation.

While Boy digested this, the HCTD yanks up her shirt, points to her own chest and says, solemnly: "Yeah ... this is a very private nipple."

Now you know why I'm hoping Fiver is a boy. I've met my quota of cute-but-weird.




*translated from the BittySpeak

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:28 pm   3 comments

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Nothin'

Well I have naught for you today.

I went for my amniocentesis yesterday, got (and paid for) genetic counseling which I didn't need (my genome hasn't changed since last year ... or the year before or the year before that, etc -- although the new genetics councilor was quite nice). Then I got a level II ultrasound that yielded nothing.

Fiver would not flip over -- she bopped around, punched the amnion, stretched her legs, but would not roll over. Despite several minutes of the tech agonizingly grinding the transducer into my c-section scar we didn't get the heart, the kidneys, or the sex (although we're leaning toward 'boy' as no lines were seen and all of us thought we saw a flash of parts for a millisecond. This was the only bright spot in a horrible day. I'm pretty much betting now that she's a girl.)

So with such an 'inconclusive ultrasound' neither the genetics councilor or the doctor would say at all what the odds were now of Down Syndrome. We did get a few peeks at the spine (that's all Fiver showed us) and it seemed OK.

Then the amnio. The doctor stuck me three times (let me say that again: three times) while moaning about my weight, my c-section scarring, Fiver's age (only 17 weeks), and the needle would not pass into the amnion. It kept pushing the membrane away from the wall of the uterus instead of going through.

This is a Bad Thing.

So a general retreat was called and the amnio is rescheduled for next week.

Not taking into account my now astronomical anxiety level, I am sore, and I am frustrated. I feel like breaking things (preferably glass). I wasted an entire day, scads of money (don't even want to think about it), Evil Genius Husband's day, my mother's day, and got nothing. AND we have to go do it all again.

Just to top it off, I can't shag for 48 hours, or lift anything heavy (if I had the energy, I'd insert a naughty tie-in here between shagging and lifting heavy objects *nudge*nudge* but I'm too tired), which means I can't heft any of my children. Of course, the first thing the Incredible Bulk did upon my return home was to take a swan dive off of the arm of the couch, landing with a horrible wet crunch on the concrete floor, which required my picking his 32 lb self up for much cuddling.

Argh. Is it next week yet?

PS: Kudos to everyone who got the Serenity reference! I'm a HUGE Firefly/Serenity fan. Joss Whedon makes my life shiny.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 5:46 am   4 comments

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Can't stop the signal, Mal

O sweet, blessed DSL ...

And now prepare yourself to hear a tale so chilling that it will freeze your very bones and fill your heart with dread ...

(cue really creepy music)

I've been without the INTERNET! Since FRIDAY!

(screams, crashes, eerie laugh)

I'd love to tell you the whole terrifying tale but, frankly, I'm too embarrassed. Suffice to say that the word STOOPID springs to mind upon hearing it and that baby brain doesn't excuses me.

*sigh*

So, anyway, how was your week-end?

I'd love to also tell you that with the additional free time afforded by being WITHOUT THE INTERNET was spent cleaning my house or designing hot, new, t-shirts, but I basically vegetated, stupified to inactivity by being without.

Ya know, it's a bit stunning how much one depends on being on the 'net. I don't generally use it for entertainment -- I don't have time. I am online in dribs and drabs between normal Mommying stuff, so I have to make every second count. But I seem to use it a LOT for everyday stuff. I look up words on MW.com at least a few times a day; visit IMdB for a film quote, or an actor's name; pick up a free font or a public domain pic for a t-shirt.

I look up calorie content of foods, recipes, news stories I hear about, dosages for medicine.

I put books on my Amazon list that the babes have torn up beyond repair, reorder my Netflix queue, get directions to places I've never been, order stamps, pay bills, check my account balances.

It's maddening to have that great resource unavailable! I can't imagine how someone who uses the 'net for entertainment -- plays games online, reads all their news, ildy surfs porn, etc -- feels if their internet is down. It about drove me mad. Is it possible to die of lack of internet?

On the upside, I've been grazing on that healthiest of healthfoods: Brach's Mellowcreme Pumpkins, listening to Weird Al's newest DVD which includes my themesong White and Nerdy, and trying not to think too much about the Amnio tomorrow.

I'll be gone most of the day, but I'll try to get on and update you (and post the ultrasound pics). Meantime here's some song lyrics for you:

I wanna roll with the gangstas
But so far they all think I'm too white and nerdy
Think I'm just too white and nerdy
Think I'm just too white and nerdy
I'm just too white and nerdy.
Really really white and nerdy.

(Copyright 2006 Al Yankovic)



PS: points for anyone who gets the reference in the post title. C'mon ... it's easy!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 8:51 am   5 comments