Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Dear Friends and Family,

As you may know, this has been quite a busy year for us. We started 2007 with Melody pregnant and Maya turning two. Jeff began his final semester at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. We also began to pack up everything in hopes to move to Ohio in the summer.

Melody went with her friend, Fauna, to Arizona in the Spring to see their friends, Petra, Tessa, and Kathy. She then went to Chicago to meet up with friends from Birmingham, Cortney, Jane, Katie, and Angie.

Jeff graduated with honors in May with a Bachelor of Science in Materials Engineering. Melody (finally) received her degree with honors with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science.

We sold our house in Vestavia Hills and began our hunt for one near Dayton, OH. We decided to stay with Mom Kingsley in Lexington, KY while we searched. Because of all the heavy moving, Melody began labor a tad too early and had to go to the hospital and be put on temporary bed rest. She recovered after a couple of weeks of rest and the baby stayed put!

Jeff was able to join the Boy Scouts, from our home church in Birmingham, to attend a High Adventure Camp in the Florida Keys! He was able to travel out to sea (during a tropical storm) and use his scouting skills as well. He loved being with the scouts and miss them terribly.

Melody also did some traveling to Florida to see her friend, Laura, marry Lance King. Because of the bedrest, she missed her dear friend Debra's wedding in Alabama to (her former high school sweetheart) Bill Whittaker. When Melody was feeling better, she also went to Vermont with her best friend, friend Tami, to see their college friend Rachel, get married to her longtime boyfriend (10 years!!) Jonathan Taylor. Lots of traveling and lots of weddings!!

After all the traveling was over, we all moved to Medway, Ohio (near Dayton) to be close to Jeff's new position as an engineer with the US Government. He loves his job and couldn't have dreamed of anything more. We had to give away our dogs, Missy and Koda, but they are both in great hands. We miss them so much.

Maya has blossomed this year. She knows so much and we are so proud of her. (See previous posts for wonderful stories!) She was most excited when she received her baby, Reili. Reili was born by c-section on August 14th at 11:24am. She was 7 pounds 10 ounces and 19 inches long.

Right after Reili's birth, Jeff injured his knee by tearing his ACL and Meniscus! He underwent knee surgery a few weeks later. He is recovering well. (We feel like we are getting old because we are mentioning our ailments in this letter.)

Melody began working for two health and wellness companies as a per diem wellness consultant. She usually works a couple of days a week and loves working in the healthcare field.

Jeff and Melody are both going to begin working on their Master's degrees in the Spring. Jeff will pursue a Master of Materials Engineering and Melody will pursue a Master of Public Health. Maya will pursue a pre-school education (hopefully) and Reili will pursue bigger things such as learning to crawl and sit up.

We hope you are enjoying this glorious holiday season. We love our Savior, Jesus Christ, and hope you enjoy celebrating his birth this Christmas Day. God bless!

Jeff, Melody, Maya, and Reili Kingsley

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Earning her keep.

Signs I'm Getting Older

I recently went on a trip for work to Kentucky and Indiana. On the way, I realized that I am not the youngest person in the room anymore. It is a tough transition from being young and vibrant to being the woman who talks about breast milk and diapers.

I got in the car, which was pre-warmed so I wouldn't be cold, and cranked up my music... which for once was not the Wiggles. In my pensive face (see previous post), I began to think about the following things:

1. The loud music was too loud thus I progressively turned it down throughout my drive.
2. The loud "music" was NPR and John Mayer.
3. I had the car completely packed the night before so I wouldn't forget anything in my sleepy stupor.
4. The seat heater in my car not only warms me, but comforts my achy muscles.
5. 5 miles over the speed limit would get me there fast enough. No need to raise my insurance premiums by getting a ticket!
6. Sensible shoes are underrated.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pensive Maya

"You're looking very pensive."
"No, I'm just thinking." -The Thiedemans

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sugar Hangover

I don't feel so good. Yesterday was a yucky, icy, snowy day. We stayed inside all day and made it a nice family day. I suggested to Jeff that I wanted to make cookies. He put in a request for sugar cookies with frosting. I like cookies but not super sweet cookies. We made a batch of sugar cookies and I got a recipe for frosting that called for 4 cups of confectioner's sugar. I ate a few cookies and think I may have OD'ed on sugar. I have a headache and feel lethargic. Maybe I can rinse out my system with a lot of water. Don't you just love the holidays?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Jeff vs. Netflix... Who would win??

My dad was a happy go lucky, laid back, easy going kind of guy. His nickname was "Smiley" because he always seemed to have a big smile on his face. He served in the Air Force for 20 years and never made it to a high rank because he was pretty content where he was. I would have to say he was an Omega Male. This terminology doesn't really exist, but there you have it.

They say that girls want to marry a man like their father. I guess I'm the exception to that rule. I think I wanted to marry the opposite of my dad. My husband is extremely competitive. He will compete with me at any game (even though he's the only one competing). He works hard day in and day out. He is always at the top of his class, was close to my dad's rank when he left the Navy after only 4 years, and excels and anything he does. He is the alpha male... he is not an alpha male... he is the alpha male.

We decided to get Netflix. Netflix is a fun way of renting movies because you choose a plan where you can have x amount of movies at a time and you are able to watch the movies when you want and return them when you want. Jeff decided to do the math. He's an engineer, so everything we do somehow merits the need for him to pull out his massive graphing calculator. Anyhoo, he figured that if we watched the movie the day we got it and put it in the mail the next day, it would only cost blah blah amount per movie if we got the blah blah amount per month plan. "Sure," I said, "that plan sounds good to me." So that's what we did.

To give you a little insight into my life, you must read previous posts. Not that anyone I know has an easygoing stress-free life, but I just want to say that I barely have time to shower, much less watch a movie. No, seriously, I don't have time to shower.

Now, if I get a movie that Jeff doesn't want to watch with me...which happens on a regular basis, then Jeff will attempt to schedule my movie(s) arriving when he is on a business trip. I say attempt because that would entail me watching the movies when I receive them and returning them the next day. I, in my non-competitive nature, do not care to beat the Netflix 'system'. I watch movies when I have time. I got Netflix because of the luxury of not having late fees, watching them at my leisure, etc.

If I do not watch the movie that I want to see in what Jeff deems sufficient time, my movie (unwatched, mind you) will go back into the mail. This is the kind of thing that helps my husband have peace of mind. This is the kind of thing that stresses me out.

To all those who love math, engineering, or even have a competitive nature, can you please tell me if this makes sense?


I have been working hard as a biometric screener/health educator/wellness consultant. There is really no official title for what I do, I just do it, enjoy it and get paid for it. I decided to work a bit extra this week because I will be off for the next three weeks. I work at different companies checking on the employees' health to kind of give them an idea of where they are physically. We check blood pressures, cholesterol, body fat, bone density, and things of that sort. Since most people take time off for the holidays, these companies don't usually schedule health screenings during those times. It is good for me because I get three weeks off without having to request it. It is bad for me because I don't get paid. I had the bright idea of working extra to make up for that time.... so, back to the fun title of this post....

I have worked every day this week. You may think that is no big deal, but for a mom of an infant and an almost 3 yr old, it is VERY hard. I have also only been working 1-3 days a week for roughly 4 hours at a time. This week I was working long days, driving all over Ohio and waking up WAY before the sun. Somewhere around Wednesday night I started falling apart. I was completely exhausted and wanted to go to bed at 7:30pm. Needless to say, this never happened. I got up the next morning and was so tired. I was still pretty clean, I thought, so I slept a little more and skipped the shower. We have all done this, but it CAN backfire.

In my sleepy stupor, I forgot to put on deodorant. I went to work at a corporate site. I thought all was good but I occasionally smelled some B.O. Odd, I thought. These people bathe regularly (I often work at places where people only bathe on occasion). I went on with my day and got home only to realize that it was me. What? Just one day of skipping a shower? How could I be that stinky? Ah, I forgot to put on my deodorant. This is key on a skip shower day. I hope I didn't offend anyone or gross anyone out.

Once again, I was completely exhausted when I got home. I worked all day, drove all over and just wanted to go to bed. I did not make dinner, but somehow we all ate something. I skipped Maya's bath. She seemed to still be good... it is winter, you know? (This is all part of the rationalization that comes with being tired) So, I didn't bathe, Maya didn't bathe and we would all get to bed at a reasonable hour. Then Jeff, who is strangely obsessed with 'beating the system' of Netflix (story to come soon), wanted to watch a DVD on his laptop in our bed when I wanted to go to sleep. Mind you, it was only 7:30pm. I asked him to please put on some headphones and I would go to sleep. I didn't. I watched it.

The next morning I needed to be in a city 1 hour 15 minutes away at 6am. If I got up around 4am, I could leave in time. My alarm went off and Reili wanted to be fed. I fed my bed...while I was laying down. I woke up again and it was 5am. I had to leave because the event started at 6:30am. I had no time to eat, shower, or do much of anything. Why oh why did I skip my shower yesterday?????

I changed my undies (VERY important) slapped on Jeff's man deodorant (serious stuff), sprayed myself down with body spray, brushed my teeth, changed and ran out the door. I cleaned my face with a baby wipe, brushed my hair and put on makeup in the car and made it to my job just as the health screening was beginning. We are encouraged to be there one hour before the event. I was there 2 minutes after it had begun. Wow.

I would like to take this time to relay an important message:
1. Never skip a shower simply because you are could and will probably backfire.
2. If you are over 30, go to bed when you are tired. You aren't a spring chicken. Accept it.

Monday, November 26, 2007

More about small town life...

Growing up in Piedmont was funny... at least now when I look back at it. I often felt as though I was in The Twilight Zone and the only other person who felt as out of place as me was my brother. Here are some of the (now) funny questions I was often asked by others from Piedmont.

"What are you?" (translation: what is your ethnic background? I found it amusing to say "human" when asked that question)
"Where are you from?" (translation: you can't be from Piedmont because you don't have an accent and you don't look like you are black or white.)
"You're going to college in Vermont? What state is that in?" (No comment.)
"Is your dad Japanese?" (believe it or not, I was asked that question a lot b/c my dad had black hair, but is Caucasian and my mom had white/blondish hair and she is Japanese but albino)
"I heard that you eat dog." (Common misconception about Japanese, but it is not true. Plus people didn't realize that everybody in Asia isn't related.)
"Aren't you that girl that goes to that smart school?" (I moved from Piedmont at 16 to go to a math & science magnet school in Mobile, AL. People knew me from this fact only, it seemed.)

It is sad, yet funny. Most of my friends who left Piedmont after high school talk about our town as if it was a prison sentence and we escaped.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Piedmont Journal

Living in a small town can sometimes make life a little difficult. For one thing, there is no anonymity; everyone knows all your business and the business of your parents, grandparents, and so on. I didn't like that too much when I lived in Piedmont, AL. Now that I have moved from there, I have found humor in that small town life. When I go to my mom's house, I immediately have to catch up on all the great news from the weekly "Piedmont Journal." The Journal has improved in the past years, but there are still remnants of the old journal left now and then.

For example, it is commonplace to see things such as: "Lordy! Lordy! Linda is 40!" or an article about how the Wolf family took an Alaskan cruise during the summer, or a little too much detail written into the Obituaries, Wedding Announcements, and children's birthdays. My favorite article to date goes a little something like this (names and details have been changed to protect the innocent):

"Jerome Johnson Came to Visit Piedmont Here Lately"
After moving from Piedmont 25 years ago, Mr. Jerome Johnson decided it was time to come home for a visit. Mr. Johnson has been living in Tennessee since 1983. His family and about 15 of his old friends met up at Hardee's for coffee Sunday morning. Mr. Johnson stayed in town for a week or so and then went back to his new home in Tennessee.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Summer Olympics

I'm from this small town in northeast Alabama called Piedmont. I say I'm from this town because I lived there from the age of 6 to 16. I kind of loathed the town, the people, the accent, and almost every aspect of living there. Now, when I return for a visit, like a bad relationship, I only seem to remember all of the good things about living there. I remember my neighborhood where all the boys (and me) would have our own version of the Summer Olympics. Rob was in charge. He was always in charge of the neighborhood sports. He was the coolest guy in the world. He taught me how to play basketball, tag football, Whiffle ball, and he even had a golf cart he would drive around the block like any other cool kid would. We would all line up waiting for him to pick us to ride with him on that awesome cruise.

Rob mapped out the paths we would take for the cycling event. I had a pretty bike with huge handle bars with red fringes hanging from them. My brother Clarence, Curtis, and Rob had BMX bikes. I could barely keep up. For the medals, we used discarded beer cans we found in a nearby field (this is the kind of redneck town I grew up in) and used the different colors- Gold (Michelobe) and Silver (Bud Light)and Bronze (Coors, I think) to represent each prize. Since I was the tag-a-long little sister, I was almost always in 4th place. Rob was kind enough to let me have my own prize for 4th place because he was super cool like that. He looked around our carport and found a wet sponge and that became our last medal.

One race will always stick with me in my fond memory. I remember we all took off on our bikes down the street. Rob was in first place, as usual, and Clarence and Curtis were neck and neck until they reached the curve at the end of the street. Like the Talladega 500, there was a nasty wreck at this sharp turn and the two became tangled up in BMX bikes. I remember peddling so hard to catch up...and my dreams.. I was able to pass my brother and Curtis as they tried so desperately to pick themselves up. Rob was waiting at the finish line and, for the first time, I got that silver medal. What a momentous occasion. I got the Bud Light can! It meant so much to me. When I see Rob now, we still joke about that wet sponge. I remind him that I didn't get it every time.

Answers to "Guess Who?"

A. Maya
B. Reili
C. Maya
D. Maya

The Latest...

I have been working quite a bit since I came back from Alabama. Man, working outside of the home is harder in a sense but easier in another. I guess the whole "sticking to a schedule" thing is hard for me in my day to day life but much easier for me when I'm getting paid for it. I am extremely neat, organized, and can keep a chipper appearance at work but pretty much none of that at home. Now, if I could just figure out a way of getting paid at home.

I work at health screenings checking blood pressures, cholesterol, body fat/BMI, and other fun stuff. It is interesting to see what kind of shape an average American is in. Most people are doing well with their blood pressure, but not so well in pretty much every other area. We live a very sedentary life style. It is such a contrast to my relatives in Japan. I remember visiting my family a few years ago and riding down one of those huge alpine slides with my aunt who was then in her mid 50s. She laughed so hard and had a lot of fun with me. We would hike up this huge mountain, ride down the slide and do it over and over again. Japanese women view this time in their lives as a bit of a second youth/childhood except this time around, they have money, time and no kids at home. They take care of their bodies, eat healthily, and try their best to look great, too.

I'm working on the whole early to bed early to rise bit this week and next. Most of my jobs begin around 5-7am and I usually travel one or more hours to get to the event site. I like the early mornings. My house is quiet and I don't have to beat any morning traffic. I've been going to bed right after I put Maya to bed lately. Does this mean I'm getting old? Next thing you know I will be eating the early bird special dinner at 4pm with all the other old people.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tagged by Mikelle

My friend Mikelle tagged me for this little game so I thought I would give it a try.
Here’s the rules:
A. Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves.
B. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog, for these rules.

1. I sucked my thumb until I was in kindergarten. Yes, I had to wear braces to fix the damage.
2. I have dated 5 guys named Jason: Jason Crook, Jason Bass, Jason Smith, Jason Ryder, Jason Tanner and now I live on a street called Jason Drive. Yes, weird, I know.
3. I'm liberal to a Mormon but conservative to a liberal. I listed my political views as moderate because I don't know what else I am.
4. I'm strangely obsessed with celebrity gossip ( is my fave) and I go to the library to 'relax' by reading magazines (not books!)
5. I marched in the Million Dollar Band as a mellophone player. Not that exciting unless you are a Bama fan or a band nerd.
6. I met my husband on, an internet site for single Mormons. I wanted to meet/date/marry a guy that was a member of my church, had an appreciation for Japanese culture, and would live in Alabama (at least at the time). Jeff was stationed in Japan with the Navy, was LDS (Latter-day Saints), served his mission with one of my best friends (character reference), and grew up in Alabama. Ah, even works with online dating.

So now I tag Kim, Jamie, Glittersmama, Fauna, and Michelle.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I'm going home, ya'll!

I'm packing and cleaning and getting the girls ready for a trip to my hometown, Piedmont, Alabama. Jeff is away on business to southern Cal for two weeks. He actually served a mission for our church in Anaheim, California. He is hoping to see some of his old friends while he is out there. Life is tough without him here, that is for sure. I'm excited about going to see my mom and brother. This is his first time to meet Reili and of course, Maya is his pride and joy and he can't wait to see her. I'm also trying to meet up with my dear friends there, too. I never thought I'd say this, but I miss Alabama. I miss good BBQ, southern hospitality, and knowing where everything is. I'll see ya'll next week!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


The "Arthur" Theme Song

Maya loves the show, "Arthur," which airs on PBS. This is her version of the theme song. Here are the actual words (as sung by Ziggy Marley):

Every day when you're
Walking down the street,
Everybody that you meet
Has an original point of view.
And I say - Hey! (Hey!)
What a wonderful kind of day
If we could learn to work and play
And get along with each other.

Maya's Version:
And I say - Hey! (Hey!)
What a wonderful bind a hay
If we could learn to work and play
And get a piece a bear.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"There will be sleeping enough in the grave." ~Benjamin Franklin

I don't sleep much. Sleep is overrated. I'm up early(ish) when Maya wakes up and I go to bed somewhere between midnight and 2am so that I can have some "me" time before the noisy day begins again. I used to nap when she (Maya, child #1, napped). That's what all the books say. Nap when they nap, yeah right. I napped with her often, even to the end of my pregnancy with Reili (child #2). Then, without warning, Maya STOPPED taking naps! Any pregnant woman could tell you that naps are ESSENTIAL. My nights consisted of waking up every 1-2 hours to either pee, blow my nose, or eat/drink something. I was usually so extremely exhausted during the day but could no longer get a nap with Maya. So, I thought I had beat the system by placing Maya in her front of a good DVD (I know, I know, I'm a bad mom) and sneaking off in order to get a little nap during the day. I was SO pregnant, SO large and uncomfortable, that the only place I could get some good sleep was in my bed with my body pillow.

The first time I did this trick, Maya would come and get me whenever she needed something. I thought, "What a responsible two year old" and thus I tried it again a few days later. I would say, "Come and get me if you need anything." I fell asleep and was even a little bit relaxed knowing that my sweet, responsible little girl would awaken me if anything terrible should happen. Well, the sneaky evil spirit-demon that possesses my child on occasion decided to pay a visit that day. Maya found a black permanent marker, decided to paint her toenails and a little bit on her legs, face, arms, and some clothes. She also decided that she wanted to shave like Daddy did. She got the razor (from the bathroom in the room where I was sleeping, and cut her lip while trying to shave her "mustache." I never took a nap again.

So, fast forward a few months. Maya is now 2 1/2. Reili is 9 weeks old. I get about 4-6 hours of extremely interrupted sleep at night and no naps....ever. Today I was exhausted as usual. Jeff had just left for a business trip for a couple of weeks. I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open. Maya was being pleasant and playing quietly. I took Reili in my bed to feed her and while Maya sat on the bed and played. I started dozing off and Maya kept playing. She likes to talk to me when I'm sleeping. I would incoherently respond to her and then drift off again. She got a picture by the bed and took it out of the frame. I glanced over and saw her holding some glass. I took it from her and tucked it under my pillow. "Dangerous," I thought. "Glad I caught that one in time." I dozed off again. Next thing I know, Maya is shaking something out all over the bed. I don't think much about it and fall asleep again. I wake up a couple of minutes later when I realize what is going on. Maya had gotten a bag of BBs from Jeff's nightstand. (He got a BB gun when he went with our church's scouts to their high adventure camp this summer and for who knows why had a bag of BBs, opened of course, in his nightstand.) Maya said, "Mommy, I swallowed one."

I let my little girl play with small plastic objects which she managed to strew across the bed AND swallow one of. What was I thinking? Was I really thinking I could get a nap even after the permanent marker/razor incident??? Hmm... I like to think of myself as a good mom at times, but this was not one of them. I let my guard down. NEVER let your guard down. Sleep is overrated. There will be sleeping enough in the grave.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Guess Who?

Children in the same family often look alike. I find it interesting how much these two actually do.

Is it Maya or Reili? You decide. (answers coming soon)





You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

I was taking Maya to the babysitters today so I could get some training done for work. She obviously was having some anxiety about going. The conversation went a little like this:

Maya: Mommy, my tummy hurts.
Me: It does? What's wrong?
Maya: Mommy, I have a fever.
Me: (starting to fall for it) You have a fever? Your tummy hurts?
(in realization) Wait, Maya, what is a fever?
Maya: (trying to use some mind trickery) Mommy, I have a fever in my tummy.
Me: Maya, I don't think you are really sick.
Maya: *Chuckles*

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Body of a Mom

When is it that we are finally what we strive to be? I wannabe healthy, fit, patient, wise, wealthy, righteous, and so on. I constantly read self help books in order to help myself, but I actually feel kind of lazy reading and not doing. Do you know what I mean?

Right now, I want to lose weight and get in shape. I start out each morning eating really healthy... maybe too healthy. Around lunch time, I get REALLY hungry. I mean breast feeding mommy hungry. I eat what I make and then whatever Maya doesn't eat. So, there goes the diet for the day. The answer to losing weight is a combination of eating healthy and exercising. We all know this but few of us actually do it well. I feel that I am eating healthy but when 4 servings turn into one, it doesn't really count now does it?

I really did exercise for a few weeks there... ugh, this is so tough. "I'll start Monday, " I often think to myself. I kind of wish I had been extremely obese so that I would have a rack full of stretchy pants to fit into right now. I do fit in my old clothes now, but it's not a pretty sight. I fit in my pants only after doing squats for half an hour and fit in my shirts after stretching out the booby part.

Ah, motherhood. It's worth the stretch marks, nursing boobs, tormented self image... it is all worth it, I promise.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Somewhere around the time I got married, I quit trying to keep up with what was cool. Around the time I had Maya, I was very uncool and in addition to my uncoolness, I also had no idea what was going on in the world. I didn't know what bands were "in" or "out", I wasn't quite sure how to use MySpace, and I still don't use text messaging on my phone. Now, years after its inception, I have finally learned how to blog.

One would think blogging was very simple. You write about your life and blah blah is basically an online journal. Well, it is nice to write about your life, but it isn't nice that only two of your friends actually reads what you write. In my case, one of the two is my own husband and the other one is me.

Ah, but, much like Ego Surfing (a.k.a. "Googling" one's own name), the blog does give a little boost to the old self image. You find out that some of your friends have blogs and they put a link to you on their blog. That brings my total up to five. You get comments on occasion and then you begin to feel like maybe you are writing to an actual audience. You write more often, check your counter a couple of times a day (or a dozen) and tweak your blog incessantly.

Now, I'm reading other blogs...getting ideas...learning what not to do... finding blog 'groups'...learning things about others before I actually meet them in person (a.k.a. stalking)... and I find myself wasting hours at a time on blogs...that link to other blogs...that link to... What? It's already 3 am? I don't have a problem. I promise, it's totally under control. I can quit blogging at any time...cold turkey.

To Work or Not to Work...

I've been working part-time lately. I haven't worked regularly since February. I didn't mind not working because I was pregnant and sick and tired and all that lovely jazz that comes with it. I never viewed myself as one who would stay at home with her kids full-time. I totally respect all the parents who can do that, but I often wonder if I have the personality/endurance to do so. I also never viewed myself as someone who had her children in full-time day care. The solution, I think, is to work part-time. If I work part-time, I have a little extra money and a lot more sanity. I have read a few books about money and how to save it, etc. One of my favorite books is The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn.

In her life transforming book, she discusses the matter of working outside the home. She look at how much a mother actually "makes" when she works at a job. There is the cost of gas, car maintenance, convenience foods, childcare, clothing, etc. When you look at it that way, which most Americans don't, it is not very profitable to work out side the home.... well, financially at least.

My need to feel smart is overwhelming at the moment. My IQ has been dropping (see 'Fart Express' blog entry) as each day passes. Talking, interacting, and working with other adults helps me stay sane. As you could probably tell from my previous posts, I am not very sane of late. I may only make about 15 cents an hour working, but it does seem like an extremely well paid 15 cents.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

All Aboard the Fart Express! (patent pending)

All moms have struggled with their baby having gas, colic, indigestion... you name it. Now, we have put an end to the old techniques: the old pump and putter, the manual cheese squeeze, and various colic remedies.

Introducing the Fart Express tm.

1) Just place your baby into the seat with feet elevated.
2) Turn on swing.
3) Listen to the thunder clap!

The baby's position along with the centrifugal force expels the gas at light speed!

Your baby will soon stop crying, feel relief, and fall fast asleep!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Is this girl gorgeous or what? Sometimes, when she is asleep, I look at her and admire her utter radiance. How did I help create such a wondrous being? I think those thoughts are fleeting when she is awake.

I have lately felt that she is a bit of an energy vampire, sucking me dry of what little caffeine-infused life I have left. I love her dearly and often reminisce of the days when I viewed her as an angel sent from Heaven. I thought she could do no wrong and everyone else's child couldn't even compare (no offense to my dear friends). But those days of self righteousness are long gone. I have been truly humbled. Maybe it is a lesson that the Lord wanted me to learn. Apparently He feels I haven't learned it well enough yet.

Today, as Jeff had to physically remove her from our church meeting so that others could hear the speaker and not Maya's screaming, I realized that she is only two and this too shall pass. I then looked down at my angelic two month old and said a little prayer to Heavenly Father. I mentioned to him that I think I got know...the life lesson he is trying to teach me...I just pray I don't have to learn it twice.

Missing in Action

You may be wondering if I've gone MIA. I haven't posted in a while and as you could probably tell from the last few posts, I've had my hands full with a baby, a terrible 2 yr old, and an injured hubby. Today, like many other days, I felt like I lost my mind. My mind has been disintegrating ever since I became pregnant with Maya. I began to forget things, misplace things, and call people by the wrong name. When Maya was born, my IQ was lowered by reading baby books instead of intriguing non-fiction, watching Baby Einstein (though informative for children, it may actually make adults less intelligent), and singing the ABCs instead of Baroque chamber music. Now that Reili is here, I have found myself feeding her in the middle of the night while at the same time being summoned by Maya to her room because she had a nightmare. Nighttime is supposed to be a time to rest, recuperate, and maybe even sleep. Nighttime for me is just like the day, but darker.

Today, Jeff went to watch the Alabama football game at a friend's house. He took Maya and I took Reili. Reili and I went to the library and had plans to do the grocery shopping, too. On the way to the library, she began to cry. I'm driving Jeff's stick shift, so comforting Reili was quite a feat. I think I stuck a bottle in front of her face and stuffed a blanket under it in hopes that she would be able to eat and stop crying. We got the library and she didn't stop. I returned everything at the front desk, rushed to get some DVDs and books for Maya, and came right back to checkout. Yes, all the DVDs started with the letter D and the books were all by the same author, but I did get some things for her. The librarian looked at my checkout stack and said, "Wow, that was quick!" I realized I had to throw my pickiness out the window when I have a baby in tow.

We got out to the car and Reili continued to cry. We were stuck on the highway as one lane was closed because they were repaving the road. Instead of making it to the grocery store or joining Jeff to watch the game, I headed home in stressed out and in tears. I fed Reili (not from seemingly well positioned bottle), she seemed content, and we both took a nice nap. When Jeff got home, I vented, cried some more and then listened to Jeff make a phone call. He called my friend, Glittersmama, and asked her to help his struggling wife. She and I made plans to go out later and eat something with chocolate in it.

She was busy with something until later on in the evening and so I was able to venture to the evil Wal-Mart and do my grocery shopping in peace. In my mind, Wal-Mart has always seemed like a dark cloud . It kills small businesses, it attracts WTs (as my friend Petra so politely acronymed them), and it is ALWAYS crowded. Now, whenever I need to go to get groceries, Jeff watches the girls and I spend about two hours there. It is freedom. I walk around the store oblivious to the evils around me. I find myself alone...independent...doing my shopping... no one calling one needing me. I now sadly equate Wal-Mart with peace. Wal-Mart is my happy place. I know if there were a Super Target here, I would be even happier....but it is all kinda sad any way you look at it.

I came home happy and relieved and all I needed now was some girl time with Glittersmama and some chocolate to go with. She is super cool. She is a mom, too, and understood me and listened to me. She even ate chocolate with me. All in all, it was a good day.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Mom Jeans

Laura asked what "Mom Jeans" are...

...and Here is the infamous SNL clip:
Mom Jeans

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Potty Advice

Maya seems to be getting past this "evil" phase and now I feel the need to focus on potty training. No pre-school around here will take the kid until she is potty trained. What is that about? Doesn't it matter that she knows how to count to 10 and say her ABCs? Just because she's potty-tarded doesn't mean she shouldn't make the cut.

So, does anyone have any nifty tricks, ideas, methods for potty training???

Friday, October 5, 2007

Maya's Joke #2

Maya: Knock. Knock.
Me: Who's there?
Maya: Banana.
Me: Banana who?
Maya: Banana hunk.

Eh, she needs a little work on her comedy routine.

Two Grown Men

I often hear Jeff tell me that I need to take some time for myself. I decided to finally go and get a haircut after delaying it for many months. Jeff's father was visiting for a few days and I thought it would be a good time to set up my hair appointment. Jeff's dad went to pick up Jeff from work (Jeff is still recovering from his knee surgery). He took Maya with him so I could have a little bit of free time. It was about lunchtime and Maya wasn't hungry because she had a late breakfast. I sent Maya and her diaper bag with Grandpa to go get Jeff. When the three of them came home, I told them that Maya needed to eat lunch. Jeff's dad asked how he could help. I asked if he could make a sandwich for Maya and he said yes. I left Maya and Reili with them while I went to get my haircut. My appointment wasn't very long but I had to run a couple of errands before returning home. I finally got home about 5pm. When I walked in the door, Maya said, "Mommy, I peed in my diaper. I peed in my pants." I said, "Okay, let's change your diaper." I walked over and got a diaper and asked Maya to lay down. She said, "Mommy, I peed in my pants." I looked at her pants and they were wet. I thought that was a little strange until I pulled down her pants and saw the largest diaper I had ever seen. I think it weighed 3 pounds! I looked at Jeff and his dad and asked if they had changed her diaper. They looked a bit dumbfounded, pointed fingers at each other and finally admitted that her diaper hadn't been changed... since I had changed it around 11am. Six hours and no one had bothered to change her diaper. It had leaked out onto her pants. In addition to the wet pants, she had sticky brown stuff on her face and hands. Apparently, she had a few pieces of candy and no one bothered to clean that up, either.

Jeff's dad wanted to take us out to eat that night. We got to the restaurant and I got the salad bar and so did Grandpa. We were sharing our food with Maya. Maya was eating anything we would put in front of her. I couldn't believe how hungry she was. I then thought about the state in which I found her earlier that day and asked, "Did anyone feed Maya lunch?" Once again, the dumbfounded looks appeared and I heard a "No." "So, she hasn't eaten anything since breakfast?" Jeff readily blamed his dad for not making the sandwich. Jeff's dad said he didn't remember anything about a sandwich.... I could feel my eyes rolling (on the inside) while they discussed how they didn't feed her all day.

The next morning, Jeff and Grandpa told me to sleep in, that they would take care of everything. I was so tired (Reili was crying until 1 am) that I slept in until 9:30am. When I got up, Maya was in her high chair, eating a mini candy bar. (The Halloween candy had been raided already) I readily assumed that she was sitting there eating candy for breakfast and I said, "Has anyone even fed her breakfast?!?" Jeff looked at me, once again dumbfounded, and said "No." ...then I heard a laugh... he was pulling my leg...that time!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Funny Mom Videos

I never really thought of myself as "Mom" but I'm slowly evolving no matter how hard I try to be cool. Next, I will have to buy some mom jeans. These videos are for all those moms out there:

Mom Overture
Mom My Ride

What is a Dollar?

Jeff and I have decided to seriously focus on saving money and paying off debt (school loans that equal a mortgage). Dave Ramsey is a Christian financial 'guru' that we are currently following. He is really good at telling it like it is and helping you to realize where your money is really going. Since Jeff and I are finally out of school (kind of), we can focus on paying off debt instead of accruing it. Ramsey says that student loans are basically used for helping the student look good while going to school. I think that is a bit far, but it does have some truth to it.

I don't advocate going to Wal-Mart on principle. I don't agree with a lot of things about the corporation. I wish I could stop shopping there all together, but when you are trying to save money, it is almost unavoidable. So, I was at Wal-Mart yesterday (yes, I am a hypocrite) and I was very hungry. I was at a dental appointment/cleaning/new patient thingy that went from 11:30am to lunch hours. I thought about waiting until I got home to eat, which is what Dave recommends. He always says "beans and rice, rice and beans" and "you shouldn't see the inside of a restaurant until all your debt is paid off"...but Wal-Mart deli is technically not a restaurant. I got a sandwich and a drink for a little over $4. I thought that was pretty good. The thing is, the drink was over a dollar. For some reason, when you are really thirsty, those drinks at the cash register look very appealing. I guess I could've waited and gotten a "Sam's Choice" soda for a quarter or even a 2 liter for 58 cents, but I didn't...partially because they disgust me and partially because I was in a hurry and it wasn't as convenient as the expensive drinks lined up next to the sandwiches. (Smart marketing move on their part). So, I'm walking over to another aisle to pick up the one thing I came for. Who really gets ONE thing at Wal-Mart? I passed a bin of DVDs marked for a dollar. (These items near the register are dubbed "impulse items" for a reason) I looked over them, most of them really lame, and decided that I shouldn't spend an extra dollar on a DVD. What a waste, I thought.

Isn't it interesting how the mind works? A DVD that Maya could watch over and over seems frivolous while the drink, which will be gone in 5 minutes, is a good buy.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Life as we know it.

It has been tough having two kids under the age of three. Everyone keeps telling me "it will get easier." I try to believe them, but it is hard. I see why many couples stop at one or two kids. I got a taste of having three kids this week. Jeff was immobile and on he had diarrhea of the mouth (much like a small child). I found myself running between Reili, Maya, and Jeff. It was hard. I worked for four hours just to get the dishes washed! I mean, there were a lot of dishes, but not that many. I would change Maya's diaper, feed Reili, and then take Jeff his medicine and ice packs. I did manage to start exercising nonetheless.

I have two months to prep for this half marathon. I'm hoping it will also help me lose those last *ahem* few pounds. This is one of the only times I wish I was rich. I wish I had a personal trainer and a personal chef. I hear celebrities can lose the baby weight in 1-2 months with that cool trick.

Yesterday, my friend Crystal came to visit me. She and her husband, Jed, moved to KY and passed through here on their way to Niagara Falls. It was fun to see her and her family and to hear her say that that she struggles, just like me. She has kids roughly the same age as my kids. Her youngest is about 3 months older than Maya. She told me it really does get easier. Crystal is one of the kindest, happiest people I know. I can't imagine her getting stressed or feeling overwhelmed with motherhood, but she said she was at first. Now she feels she's getting the hang of things and is even thinking about having more kids.

Today has been nice, though. Reili is angelic (as usual), Jeff is feeling better and moving around a bit more, and Maya has a cold. Colds always seem to humble her. I've been hugging her so much because I feel like the demon that was possessing her has been exorcised. My sweet Maya is back. I guiltily wish she were sick more often.

She said that she wanted some "LMNOs". I didn't realize what she was talking about. There is this cool video, one of the few children's videos I can tolerate, by They Might Be Giants. It's called "Here Come the ABCs." There is a song about "LMNO" and how it's four letters, not one word. Maya was talking about M&Ms instead. I thought that was awfully cute.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Odd Day

For all of you who wondered how Jeff's surgery went, I just wanted to let you know it went very smoothly. The doc talked to me when Jeff was in recovery and showed me some pictures that were taken of the inside of the knee. Jeff's ACL was completely gone. They had to graft in a new one. Crazy. I couldn't believe he had been walking around for a month without one. His meniscus was torn and they cut off about 40% of it. I asked the doc if Jeff would be fine with only 60%. He said yes but that Jeff will probably have arthritis in 10-15 years. The meniscus is sort of a shock absorber for the knee. Who needs one, right?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Stuff and Junk

I was beginning to feel like my brain was turning to mush because I watch children's videos and communicate with a two year old all day. Today I went back to work, kind of. I worked at an employee health fair doing body fat composition and BMIs for people. I subcontracted with a health and wellness company. It is a part-time gig that pays well, so I thought 'what the hey' and told them I would work for them. This is the first time in years that I was working with people and not cardiac cells. It was nice not to be at a lab bench or behind a microscope, but rather telling people that they have a high amount of body fat because they sit at a desk all day.

I enjoyed the people I worked with. I needed that adult interaction. I could talk about politics, science, and stuff like that... but I really ended up talking about Maya and Reili and how I'm trying to lose baby weight. Nonetheless, I felt smart again.

Tomorrow Jeff is going to have arthroscopic surgery on his knee. Please keep him in your prayers. He will have cadaver ligaments used to replace his. I hope the cadaver was a fit young person.

I promise to write more amusing posts after tomorrow. More to come...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My Mental Status, Part 2

Maya is going through the terrible twos, she has a new sister, and we have recently moved to another state. I would say that she is having a bit of a difficult time.

At the end of my pregnancy, I ached too much to be sociable or go outside to play with Maya or do anything of the sort. Poor Maya was cooped up inside with me with only the occasional trip to the library to get more DVDs and books for her. She got really comfortable hanging around inside and would often get hot and take off her pants and just walk around in a shirt and a diaper. I figured there was no harm in it because we were in our house and no one would see her. I just told her that she had to wear her pants/shorts whenever she went outside. Whenever she would come home from somewhere, she got to the point where she would immediately take off her shoes and then her pants. She thought that was just what you did when you got home.

I have almost given up on potty training her right now also. She has gotten to the point where she will pee or poop in her diaper, take her diaper off, and then tell me about what she did. I told her many times that this is just not what we do. This is probably one of those times I tell her that she is going to drive me crazy.

I didn't mean to make Maya socially retarded because of my semi-hermit status in late pregnancy. I figured she would bounce back and be the normal, sweet kid she once was after I had the baby.

So, yesterday the neighbors' boys asked if Maya could go outside and play. The boys are 3 and 6. I love that Maya has some friends to play with. Maya went out and played for hours with them. She played on their swing set and ran around with them. At one point, I heard a knock on the back door. It was Maya. She was standing there in a t-shirt....only a t-shirt. I rushed her inside and went next door. I found her shoes, shorts and diaper lying in a pile near the swing set. I apologized to the boys for the odd display.

After Jeff scolded her and we discussed the importance of clothes, we made Maya apologize to the boys. The older one didn't seem to care but the younger one looked like he was still in shock. Maya said, "I'm sorry, Jayden." Jayden just kept staring at her. Maya then said, "I said sorry Jayden. You say, it's okay." Well, Jayden didn't say it was okay. I don't think he wanted to talk at all. She gave him a lollipop and they were friends again.

My Mental Status, Part 1

When I was a little kid, I lived on an Air Force base in Montana. The neighborhoods were safe and parents didn't have to worry so much when their children went outside. I remember playing in my yard and with the other kids in the neighborhood without parental supervision. This was the late 70s/early 80s, back when we felt kind of safe in the world.

Even though we could play freely outside, I remember often hearing my mother say to us, (with a thick Japanese accent) "You're going to give me a nervous breakdown!" Maybe it was because we would climb on things we weren't supposed to, or we'd come home with scrapes and bruises, I'm not really sure. I just knew that my mom was going to have one of these and my brother and I would be the cause.
I honestly thought my mom would fall down on the floor (what I interpreted as a literal 'break' 'down') and either pass out, start shaking (what I thought 'nervous' meant) or something of the like.

Growing up, I always thought there was actually a time where I gave my mom one of these 'nervous break downs'. I was about four or five years old and I went somewhere to play and one of the Security Police officers picked me up in the police car. He said to me, "You've given your mom a nervous breakdown."
I don't really recall much else about the situation, just that I finally did it.

When I had grown up, I asked my mom about that time when I was a kid and the police officer picked me up because she had that fateful nervous breakdown. She told me she never had a nervous breakdown and was never in the hospital. What happened was that I decided to travel on my own somewhere in the neighborhood and my mom couldn't find me. She had to call the police to help her. They found me far away down the street playing, and so they picked me up and brought me home. All these years, I thought I had driven my mom to her mental breaking point. And all this time it was just a figure of speech!

While we were on our recent trip, Maya and I were playing and she said to me, "Mama, you're driving me crazy!" It was a bit random and didn't make a lot of sense. I told Jeff about it because it made me laugh. He said, "Where did she get that??" and I realized that she was just repeating a phrase that I must be saying pretty often.

I guess this is my watered down version of my mom's 'nervous breakdown'.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ikea Rocks!

Ikea is a wonderful, magical store. I have been raving about Ikea ever since we got one in Atlanta. It is a home goods store that originated in Europe. The design is sleek, tasteful, and simple and the prices are amazingly cheap. As a professional bargain shopper, I feel that Ikea is a paradise for those like me.

Jeff had a class he had to take for his job. It was in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. He asked if his family could go with him since he would be driving. They said, sure. On the way home from the business trip, I asked Jeff if we could go to Ikea. He had never been. He even suggested staying in the car with the girls so I could shop. I said, "Oh, no. Ikea is not like Target or Wal-Mart. It is huge. There is a playland, a cafe, a restaurant and three stories of products. It will take us hours to go through it!" Of course, like any husband would, he cringed knowing he would be shopping for hours.

Well, I converted Jeff. He loved the store, he loved the prices and he loved me for finding a table with four chairs (marked down from $120 b/c it was a floor model) to $70!!! Nice. Ikea rocks!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Rebel with an Unknown Cause

Maya is in the midst of the terrible twos. I don't know how to handle it. I never raised my voice to her until this age. I never had to punish her. I never wanted to give her away to the first person who would take her. She is too smart and thus she is mischevious. Look at this face.
I'm up at 1am right now just so I can take a shower and have some "me" time. Do I sound like I'm going crazy? I'm not going crazy. I'm fine. Being a mom is a cinch. No, really.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Baby Blues

"The Baby Blues" is the phrase used to describe sadness after a woman has a baby. It is a pleasant term, almost a euphemism, for the roller coaster of emotions that immediately follows birth. Basically, a ton of hormones leave your body once the baby is born. On top of the huge dip in the hormone level is the lack of sleep, body image issues, pain, and fear that you will somehow screw this child up, permanently.

I feel that my blues are finally coming to an end. It is a good feeling to finally get some sleep, fit into regular clothes instead of maternity clothes, and not have to take ibuprofen on a daily basis. As far as the fear of screwing up my children goes... that will always be with me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New Pictures

Here are some updated pictures of Reili and Maya.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Case of the Missing Keys

Dora the Explorer is a kids' show on Nickelodeon. Maya has become a big fan of Dora. She has even learned quite a bit of Spanish from Dora. I thought watching Dora DVDs would be a good thing until Maya starting becoming more like Swiper. Swiper is a fox that Dora befriends. He has a bad habit of stealing things and then hiding them. In each episode of Dora, it is often a goal for the viewer to help find something that Swiper has swiped. He says in a sneaky voice, "Ha ha ha... you'll never find it now!" once something of Dora's has gone missing.

Maya starting "hiding" things at a very young age. Once, Jeff seemed to misplace his driver's license. It went missing and he eventually had to go to the DMV and have it replaced. I decided to clean out our dog's kennel one day and I found Jeff's license inside along with various other items that had disappeared. Maya was about 18 months old.

When we moved to Ohio, I was very pregnant and so I didn't unpack (and still haven't unpacked) everything. Maya's sippy cups seemed to become more sparse by the day. I knew I had unpacked a few of them at least. One day I opened up the drawer to the buffet and found all kinds of goodies, including some very yucky sippy cups.

When Reili was born, Maya started taking her little sister's pacifier and hiding it. One time we were in the car and she took the pacifier out of Reili's mouth and said, "Ha ha ha! You'll never find it now!" and then proceeded to throw the pacifier on the car floor, out of my reach. I couldn't believe what an evil sounding voice was coming from my little girl's mouth! Where did she get such an idea? Why did she think it was fun to hide Reili's pacifier? Ah, that darned Swiper!!! After that, whenever I would leave Reili alone with Maya, I would often come back to a crying baby with no pacifier.

The other night, around 10pm, Jeff told me he couldn't find his keys. I usually will look somewhere obvious, smirk, and hand Jeff whatever it is he is looking for. I said to him in a know-it-all kind of voice, "I'll go in the living room and find it for you." Well, my search for the 'obvious' item was fruitless. We started backtracking everything Jeff did when he got home. We went through cushions, looked everywhere possible until it dawned on me that our little "Swiper" had spent some time playing alone in her room earlier. I went into Maya's room, opened a cabinet where she likes to hide, and Voila! the missing keys were found.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Maya's Potty Mouth

Jeff served in the US Navy when we got married. Living a sailor's life is hard and thus the language reflects it also. Jeff had to change a lot about the way he talked when we got married. He is working even harder to clean up his act since we had kids. He tends to replace curse words with some harsh slang words. You will often hear him saying "dadgummit", "Judas Priest", and various others. Maya watches Jeff like a hawk. If he says the word, "stupid", she makes him to stand in time out.

We have noticed that Maya is picking up some of the things Jeff says nonetheless. Reili was crying and Maya said to her, "Take a chill pill, Reili!" We told her it was not nice to say that to her sister and Jeff made a mental note not to say that phrase again.

Sometimes we laugh on the inside and try not to make a big deal when Maya says some of the things she does. We realized that if you make it a big deal then she will just repeat it over and over.

One morning while eating her cereal, she said, "Daddy, this is my freggin' spoon."
Jeff replied, "No, I think that is your yellow spoon."
She hasn't said it since.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Well, That's a Huge Noggin.

One of my favorite quotes is from the movie, "So I Married an Axe Murderer" starring Mike Myers.

Stuart Mackenzie: Look at the size of that boy's heed.
Tony Giardino: Shhh!
Stuart Mackenzie: I'm not kidding, it's like an orange on a toothpick.
Tony Giardino: Shhh, you're going to give the boy a complex.
Stuart Mackenzie: Well, that's a huge noggin. That's a virtual planetoid.
Tony Giardino: Shh!
Stuart Mackenzie: Has it's own weather system.
Tony Giardino: Sh, sh, shh.
Stuart Mackenzie: HEAD! MOVE! Head! Paper! Now! Move that melon of yours and get the paper if you can! Haulin' that gargantuan cranium about! I'm not kidding, that boy's head's like Sputnik! Spherical, but quick pointy in parts. He'll be crying himself to sleep tonight on his huge pillow!

Jeff and I joke about the size of Reili's (or any baby's) head in relation to their bodies. We were watching Reili stretch her arms to have them only reach the top of her head. If adults had heads that size with arms that short, we would look very strange, or possibly like a T-Rex or Matthew McConaughey.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

TV kills your brain cells...but what about DVDs?

I strive to be this hippie, earth-loving, vegetarian, no TV person.... I always admired my dear friends from Marlboro College. You see, I went to this very small liberal arts school hidden in the hills of Vermont. There was no television and most people didn't wear make-up, carry a purse, or eat meat. I wanted so much to be like that but if you know anything about Alabama or where I grew up, you would laugh at the thought of me being a hippie or even knowing any.

I tried the no makeup thing for a few years. I tried the vegetarian thing for about 6 months. I try to recycle, but now I have no easy way of recycling. I don't carry a purse anymore, but now I carry an over the shoulder pack of some sort. I do associate with lots of hippies, though... Oh well. Ah, but I don't have television.

Well, I do own a TV, just no TV reception or cable. I never liked the TV but it is nice to watch movies (documentaries and independent films, of course). Now that we have Netflix, we end up watching TV shows by renting them on DVD. Does that count? I mean, I'm not subjected to the consumerism and the horrible press and other bad things that TV has. Have I lost any brain cells?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Maya's First Joke

Maya: "Knock knock."
Me: "Who's there?"
Maya: "Peach."
Me: "Peach who?"
Maya: "Peach hunk."
....I didn't get it either

This is Too Easy

I remember when Maya was born, how overwhelmed I felt. I couldn't sleep even when she slept because if she was asleep for more than an hour, I would have to wake up and check her breathing. Ah, good, she's still breathing... now I can rest... well, I never rested and never slept more than a couple of hours in a row unless Jeff took Maya early in the morning and let me sleep. I remember that I would often take showers late in the afternoon after Jeff was home because fear would consume me during that 10-15 minutes that I left Maya. Did I hear something? Why don't I hear anything? Oh, good, she's still breathing...

Now, Reili is here and Maya is 2 1/2 years old. My mother-in-law bought one of those sweet swings that rock back and forth. I didn't have one with Maya. I had to rock her manually. :) We put Reili in the swing yesterday and I realized that we could leave her there for hours and she would just sleep and sleep. I didn't have to hold her and I didn't even feel the need to check her breathing...

Friday, August 31, 2007


Did you like how I used the term 'deflating' in my last blog? I learned that from this documentary on a family with quadruplets or sextuplets or some huge number of children born at once. Anyhow, the husband referred to his wife's body as "deflated" after having all those children. Of course, I would kill Jeff if he called my body that, no matter how many children I had at once! Jeff so kindly tells me that I look great, especially only two weeks after having a baby, which I deeply appreciate.

Yes, the end result is not good as far as a woman's body goes, but the child is totally worth all the stretch marks, extra weight, deflation, etc. Although I was able to get back down to my normal weight after having Maya, I was not able to get down to my normal size of clothing. Oh, how fun it is to mail a huge box of clothes to your sister-in-law who can now fit into your 'old' size of clothes better than you can or ever will.

My friend Jane, who looks awesome after having kids, wants to do a half marathon in December. I've decided to try to take her up on this crazy idea because we both have had children in the past few months and it is the only way we can lose those final lingering ten pounds.

I am now wearing my transition clothing. Call it what you will... fat clothes, early maternity clothes, or even your husband's clothes... it is not flattering but it is functional and roomy. I have a job interview next week and I'm hoping to look great by then... does anyone have any tips?

While on the operating table, I was betting my OB that this baby just HAD to be huge because my belly stuck out WAY more (see last post pic) than with Maya, even though I weighed exactly the same. He quickly informed me that my body probably just stretched out more since I'm now "older" and that my body probably didn't have as much elasticity as it used to. Wow, thanks for the pep talk, Doc.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Before and After

You didn't think I would put an after picture of me, did you? (notice the moving boxes in the background ;))
Yes, the huge pregnant lady is in the process of deflating. Reili Hana Kingsley was born August 14th at 11:24am by c-section. I bet the doc that she would be 8.5 lbs and he guessed 7 lbs and 11 oz. She was 7 lbs and 10 oz. It was a much less traumatic experience than the emergency c-section I had with Maya. We were so happy that she was finally here. She is healthy and doing well.
(to see pictures of Reili, click the link to the right under Baby pics...)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My late night partying has been curtailed.

Pre-Op Instructions for C-section:
"Do not smoke the night before surgery or the morning of surgery."
"The night before surgery, nothing to eat after 9:00 pm. However, you may drink non-alcoholic beverages until midnight."

Monday, August 13, 2007

Nesting and New Talents

With the first child, you go into this weird nesting mode before the baby is born. I made sure we had a 6 month supply of everything...from food to toilet paper. The baby (Maya) had diapers, wipes, baby powder, soap, and even teething medicine before she was born.

So, on the Saturday before our second baby is born, I decide I better find the stuff I will need for her when we get back from the hospital. Jeff bought some diapers, we had some wipes... what else do we need... hmmm... oh, burp cloths and some clothes. I washed those with the 'special' dye-free, fragrance-free, etc. laundry detergent and we were set. I guess that was my nesting phase for baby #2 (Reili).

I guess I'll pack my bag tonight... much different than last time when it was packed one month before I had Maya.

So, Maya is very interested in "Charlie and Lola". They are a very cute brother and sister pair that are from England. Charlie is a sweet older brother that is always patient and kind with his kid sister, Lola. There is a TV show based on these books that I love. Maya pronounces Charlie like Lola does, with the British accent, "Chah-lee".

We checked out some Charlie and Lola books from the library and I have included them in our storytime at bedtime. I decided to read it in the voices of Charlie and Lola, with accent included. I was so impressed with myself and my accent that I made sure to read it around Jeff so he'd be impressed with my mad skills. He once said, "You read that VERY well" and I felt so good inside. My new talent has been appreciated.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Like Father, Like Daughter

I told Maya she had pretty hair, so she countered the compliment.
Maya: "You have pretty hair, Mommy."
Me: "What color is Mommy's hair?"
Maya: "Black."
Me: "What color is Maya's hair?"
Maya: "Black."
Me: "No, Maya has brown hair...just like Daddy."
Maya: "I have brown poop. Daddy has brown poop."

Friday, August 10, 2007

Insomnia, pregnancy, and two year olds

You know, you can get a lot done at 2 a.m. No one is awake, no one is interrupting you, and you can even eat ice cream in peace. I have been trying to be productive at those odd hours when I'm awake. Something fun always wakes me up... like feeling like I need to pee (or potty as I call it these days), blow my nose (because I have the dreaded pregnancy sinusitis), or maybe reflux is setting in. I wake up nightly about the same time. Now that I have found this secret time when the house is quiet and I have time to myself, Maya has found a way to wake up at the same exact time because of one of her fears (see list). I think she just senses that I'm awake. So she comes in the living room and instead of going back to bed, she lays down on a bean bag so that she is near me. I have just started throwing a blanket on her and letting her sleep there rather than wrestle with her to go back to her room. I keep wondering what in the world will I do next week when I have a baby to take care of too? Maya is supposed to be sleeping all night. She's supposed to be potty trained. She's supposed to be... you know... all grown up by now, right? Jeff and I joke around with that phrase. He said something about her being "immature" and I said, "Yeah, she just needs to grow up." 2 1/2 yrs old.... she should be able to take care of herself, right?
The doc moved my c-section up to August 14th. When he said something about moving it up, Jeff looked at me like "I don't have an extra day to take off work!" and I looked at him like, "I want this huge thing out as soon as possible so you'd better not object to this or else..." After a couple of loving glances, I said to the doctor, "That would be great. We'll do it that day."
4 more days until things are back to "normal"....

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Beginning of the End

I thought that now would be a good time to start a blog. We just moved to Ohio, Maya can watch Curious George for an hour straight, I'm at home all day, and we are about to have another little girl. I keep thinking it is a good time, but isn't this just the calm before the storm? In my mind I wonder how in the world I will handle two kids. Maya has been such an 'easy' child... until she turned two. Jeff wants 3 or 4 kids and I can't imagine more than one. I guess that one is not an option at this point.... baby #2, Reili Hana, is due in exactly 8 days. I say exactly because we need to have her by c-section.

I remember reading somewhere that you can get a good idea of the weight of your child by averaging what the parents weighed at their birth. I was around 6.5 pounds and so was Jeff. Somehow, we produced an 8 lb. 3 oz. baby that was too big for me to deliver. So... maybe I gained twice as much weight as my mom did when she was pregnant, so what? 8 and 9 pound babies are the norm these days, right? 6 pound babies is SO '70s. Bigger and better is way of the new millenium...

Since we moved I have been all nostalgic about pretty much everything. I think the pregnancy hormones might have something to do with it. I signed up on facebook and myspace. I searched for every friend I had ever known and so far, I have found a lot of them. I read an email from a childhood friend, Harisha, and just cried. I had missed her and didn't even know it. Ok, so weird things make me cry right now.

Jeff has started a new job. He works for the government. He is still working like he did when he was a student. It is so funny because that's just not how government workers work. They get 30 days of PAID time off. They get 3 hrs a week for "work out" time. Yes, you can exercise while on the clock AND get paid. They get so many days off for almost every little holiday, plus the AF commander makes up days as "family holidays" and gives it to everyone to take off. Jeff feels guilty if he takes a whole hour for lunch.... we'll make a government worker out of him before he retires!

Maya is anxiously anticipating her little sister's arrival. We decided to celebrate Reili's actual birthday by making a cake. Maya is just as excited about having cake as she is about having a little sister.

My mom is coming in a few days. I am excited to see her and more excited that I will have some help around the house. I'm too big and uncomfortable to do much these days. Maya calls her "Baba" which is short for the Japanese word "Obaasan" which means grandmother.

8 days. I think I can make it. I just want my body back. I know I'm doing all this for a good cause....I think I can make it...