Monday, December 29, 2014

Third Place

I came in third place in the BabyCenter Baby Bump Blogging Contest!  It was so fun to be part of.  I truly appreciate all the sharing and voting and encouraging that people gave me.  I was even fortunate to have someone write an article about me in the local online newspaper!  How cool is that? 

You can see my online video submission at BabyCenter here

Thank you all again and expect to see a weekly blog post from me over at BabyCenter starting in mid-January. 

Now to go freak out about what to write and publish for the whole world to see...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"Would you like to see your cervix?"

I'm so excited to be one of BabyCenter's Blogger Contest Finalists!  You can view my submission here.  The blog I submitted was edited for contest requirements, so I'm publishing the expanded version here.  I hope you enjoy and feel free to vote for me Dec. 16-22! 



“Would you like to see your cervix?”  

The birthing center where I plan to give birth rotates the OB doctors at each appointment.  In this way, expectant mothers have the chance to meet all the potential people who could assist in the birth of the baby.  It seems like a good idea.  You will already know one of the faces that will be staring (and then some) at your hoo-ha on your delivery date.  Makes the introductions a little quicker and easier, I suppose.  It’s not a big deal to me, though.  My baby is coming out no matter what.  I don’t really care about the relationship between me and the person down there.  As long as he or she catches the baby, I’m good.     

I just had my second prenatal appointment at this facility.  Thus, I met a new doctor.  Dr. Stevens* reminded me of Jamie Lee Curtis from the movie “True Lies.”  You know, the one with Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Jamie Lee Curtis gets fooled into doing this amazing striptease for him?  That movie.  Granted, Dr. Stevens did not do a striptease for me, thank goodness, but her appearance was reminiscent of this Jamie Lee Curtis with her short hair and slim figure.  

Then she opened her mouth and I was transported to Mrs. Doubtfire.  

“Hi, honey!”  she greeted me with falsetto tones and a grandmotherly  manner.  

“Uh, hi,” I replied, thinking she couldn’t actually be serious.  

But yes, she really was.  I had an entire, intimate, prenatal appointment performed by Jamie Lee Curtis as Mrs. Doubtfire.  

During this appointment I was scheduled to have a pap smear and a complete physical.  Dr. Jamie Lee Curtis Doubtfire started at the top.  

 “OK, now honey I’m going to check your neck and your thyroids to make sure everything is ok,”  she smiled sweetly at me while pressing on my throat. Then she opened the front of my gown and spent an inordinately long time making sure there were no lumps on the girls.  All is well, in case you were wondering.  I bet my Husband could have told Jamie Lee Doubtfire that as well.  

After that was the dreaded pap smear.  “Alright, honey, put your feet up here and I’m going to get out my speculum.  You’ll probably feel pressure.”  Dr. Jamie Lee then pulls out the Q-tip on steroids and lets me know I might feel a little twinge.  Then she stops and looks at me.  

“Would you like to see your cervix?”  

Um, what?    

“What?” I ask.  I mean, I’ve never heard this question before in my life.  

“Have you ever seen your cervix before?  Would you like to see it?”  asks Dr. Doubtfire sweetly.  

“Yes?”  I respond.  Seriously, I have not seen my cervix before.  Have you?  Do you even know where it is?  It’s going to thin and stretch in order to push a baby out.  I figured I wanted to take a looksee.  

“Well, honey,”  says Jamie Lee thoughtfully, looking me intently in the eyes, “it looks like the tip of a penis.  You’ll see it down the end there with a red dot in the middle.”  She pulls out a handheld mirror and hands it to me.  

I awkwardly hold the mirror and lo’ and behold, there’s my cervix.  Right there at the end of my vagina, exactly as she had described it.   That tiny thing has to stretch to ten centimeters to let my baby through.  It’s no wonder labor is painful.  

After that she told me to get dressed back in my “warm, cozy clothes”  (it was jeans and a t-shirt) and she would be back to chat and answer any questions I might have about my pregnancy.  

Later I said my goodbyes to Dr. Jamie Lee Curtis Doubtfire and hightailed it out to the parking lot to text my best friend about the weirdest prenatal appointment I had ever had.  

I wonder which doctor I will see next.   

   

*Name changed to protect privacy


Monday, December 8, 2014

Poison Control


Have you heard of Poison Control?  Their name is listed on pretty much every household cleaner, medicine, beauty products, and any other item that might be mistaken as food.  It's the place you call when you think (or know) your child has eaten something they are not supposed to have consumed.  Then Poison Control can advise you on whether or not your child needs to be rushed to the hospital and get his or her stomach pumped (or worse), or whether or not your child will be perfectly fine.

I had always prided myself on not having to call Poison Control.  I (used to) keep a pretty close eye on my children.  We are usually in close proximity to each other and I can monitor them fairly carefully.  Then I became pregnant and proximity moved further and further away.  It's not easy to keep track of multiple, active, curious and very strong-willed small people while one is in the bathroom throwing up, or laying on the couch trying not to throw up.

Thus, I had my first opportunity to call Poison Control.  For future reference, their number is 1-800-222-1222 from anywhere in the US.  You might want to program that into your phone.  

Any guesses as to who ate what?  If I had to guess, I would have guessed someone mistakenly thought one of the cleaning supplies that I had left out during mid-bathroom clean would have been ingested.  But nope, that's not it.

Or the supplies under the cupboard (that should have babyproof locks on them by now but don't because I just keep forgetting.  I mean, the locks are sitting there in the cupboard, waiting to be installed.  Somehow I don't think that's a viable excuse.  Note to self:  get on that.).  Anyway, nope, all cleaning supplies are still present and accounted for.

Well, what was ingested?  You might ask.  And who done it?

It was the little four year old Princess in the bedroom with the chewable gummy vitamins.



Here's the story:

Every night Princess gets a chewable gummy vitamin.  Hers are the princess kind, of course.  She gets a bath, brushes her teeth, then gets her gummy.  She also likes to share with Mommy and Daddy and proudly tell  that she's not old enough yet.

The other night I went to give Princess her gummy and realized that the container was empty, save for about twenty gummies on the bottom.  There were originally 180 and I had just purchased it that past week.  If my pregnant brain math is correct, there were not 160 days, give or take a few, in the past week.

Me: "Where did all your gummies go?"
Princess: "I don't know."
Me: "I'm pretty sure you do know.  Did you eat them?"
Princess: "It was a ghost.  It snuck up the stairs and it was a very quiet ghost because you couldn't hear the baby gate squeak when it came up. And it ate all the gummies."
Me: "Really, a ghost?"
Princess: "Uh huh."
Me:  "I don't think we have any ghosts that come visit in this house.  You need to tell Mommy what really happened to your gummies.  Did you eat them?"
Princess: "Well...."
Me: "So you did eat them?  When did you eat them all?"
Princess:  "I don't know."

Sigh.

So I called Poison Control.  The lady who spoke to me was very nice.  She said that happens all the time.  Those gummies are way too much like candy and very tempting to all the children.  Luckily, there was no iron in this gummy kind, so we didn't have to rush her to the hospital to worry about iron poisoning.  There is a chance of them all conglomerating in her stomach and causing a big, gooey intestinal blockage, so we just had to watch her to make sure she was still eating and not complaining about her tummy hurting.  Also, she doesn't get any gummies for a few months now.   

It's been a week or so and she seems to be fine.  I can't believe she ate them all, though.  The childproof lock on them is a joke, by the way.  Now I need to invest in a safe for all yummy  medications, or that quiet ghost might sneak in and eat them.    

 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Looking Good (on social media)


On Social Media:

I look like a really good mom.  Other people might be a little jealous, even.  My children usually have their clothes on correctly, their hair is done one creative way or another.  The pictures of any food that I take have been meticulously plated.  The crafts that I do are put in just the right lighting, placed just the right way so that you can't see any flaws.

Any posts of quoting the children are usually politically correct.  I make sure the background is clear of any items that might be perceived as harmful.  The food they are pictured with is appropriate and healthy.  Usually the pictures are of a fun family activity or a normal childhood action that is not offensive in any way.

The pages that I "follow" and "like" are proactive, be-a-great-mom sites.  They picture crafts and activities to do with the kids that go along with the holidays or seasons.  They feature articles on connecting with the children on an emotional level, being a positive parent who doesn't have to yell or intimidate their children in any way.

In Reality:

I am far from looking good.  Sometimes multiple pieces of clothing are missing or piled on; Flower has discovered how to take her clothes off and likes to do so at any given moment, or she decides she wants to wear everything at once.  Princess absolutely hates having her hair done so it is quite frequently a tangled mess.  Plus, she dresses herself and is often not dressed appropriately for the weather or the outing.  

Flower has discovered her sister's closet and is trying to wear what she can


Any food items that I've made are usually flops.  I'm really not too good in the kitchen, although if I think I was less distracted by fighting, screaming children, then I might be able to do a better job.  Thankfully, Husband will eat whatever I put on the table.  Lately, since I've been so sick due to pregnancy, I must confess that food has been of the instant microwaveable variety (i.e. chicken nuggets, corn dogs, etc).

Crafts?  I can crochet, but my children refuse to wear anything I make, so it's mostly for profit.  Kid crafts are a joke.  I tried, I really did.  However, most crafts call for some item that I have never heard of and therefore don't have and when I go to the store to try to find I end up leaving without it because somebody had a meltdown and I just needed to get out fast.

I did try a few simple ones with Princess once, back when I was a brand new stay at home mom.  I set everything up just like the instructions said to do.  One was an easy stained glass painting activity.  I was prepped and ready to go.  I put Princess in front of the activity and start giving her instructions.  As we already knew, she's pretty independent and wants to do things her way.  Needless to say, she just wanted to tear the whole thing apart and not do the painting.  I learned my lesson that day.  No more crafts that I have to take any time to set up.

My children say all kinds of crazy things.  I'm sure yours do, too.  However, for fear of looking like a bad mom, it stays off the internet. And the background of my pictures, the parts I carefully cut out, are an absolute disaster.  I have to laugh when I see other mom's cleaning schedules.  "Dusting" is a concept I am not familiar with.  Among that is the term "folding laundry."  I have a dirty pile and a clean pile that we dig items out of.  I give myself kudos for actually getting the stuff clean.  Huge accomplishment, there.  Reeally.

I'm also pretty forgetful.  I tend to leave scissors on the table, or markers or pens lying around.  Thus, most everything we have has been written on.  Or almost cut (usually Princess tells on her little sister if she gets hold of something she isn't supposed to have.  I swear, I do watch my children).  

I try really really hard to be a positive parent.  I mean, I've read the Facebook articles.  That counts for something, right?  However, when one child is beating up another and causing duress and lots of screaming, I might tend to jump right in and not be as positive as I hope to be.  My patience is worn thin many a days.

There's more, but I think I'll save it for another day.  I sometimes look at other moms pictures and posts and have a little jealousy going on.  But then I remember that people can look at me that way too, and then I have to laugh.

Don't try too hard, Moms.  Do what you can.  You're doing a great job, even if reality tells a completely different story than Facebook.             

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Lies and Deception

I have a very strong willed almost five year old.  She's my Princess.  She is very independent and has a mind of her own.  If she wants something, she will let you know.  If she doesn't want something, she will let you know that as well.  She's great at negotiating, not so great at accepting defeat.

Honestly, parenting her is new territory for me.  I have no idea what I am doing with her.  For some reason she wants to be her own little person and not do everything I want her to do.  But I'm the Mom!  (Imagine foot stomping and adult tantrum). 

A few days ago Flower (the 1.5 year old) was playing with one of my favorite toys that we own.  It's a little piano with a microphone.  It plays nursery rhymes and you can sing along into the microphone.  It's so much fun!  Both Princess and Flower love it.  Whenever one of them gets that toy out, the other one usually stops what she is doing to go and investigate and try to join in.

Anyway, Flower was playing with the toy and Princess came over to check it out.  Eventually Princess ended up taking over.  Princess was playing with it and asked me if she could cut off the microphone.  Apparently she "didn't like it."  Of course I told her no.  It's an electronic device and cutting off the microphone would break it.

She asked me again a few more times and I repeatedly told her no.

The other day she wanted scissors to practice cutting paper.  I made sure she had approved paper to cut, talked to her about only cutting paper that Mommy said was ok, and that was that.

Or so I thought.  (You can guess where I'm going with this.)

Fast forward to today. We were cleaning Princess's room when I discovered she had hidden the piano in there.  Guess what was neatly sliced off?  Yup, the microphone.  I couldn't believe it.  I had specifically told her no.  She had lied to me about what she was cutting.  She had been sneaky in taking the piano to her room.   



I'm feeling betrayed right now.  I'm waiting for Husband to come home so we can come up with an appropriate consequence.   

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Insanity

I read somewhere that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Well, this is the third time I've been pregnant and I was really, really hoping that my body would have learned that this whole morning sickness thing is not ok.  Ha.  One can hope, right?  If anything, this time around is just the same or even worse.

Three pregnancy tests from different pregnancies.  I even used the same brand each time! 


This time I started feeling nauseated right at week four.  That's how I knew.  I took a test and boom, there was that little plus sign.  I showed Husband and he didn't believe me (we weren't trying, remember?).  I took another test the next day and had the same results.  Anyway, it was all downhill from there.

We had planned a magical trip to Disney for their Halloween party a while back.  I was miserable the whole time.  I don't have many pictures of that trip because I spent most of the time being miserable in the hotel room.

The next few weeks were a blur of nausea and vomiting and trying to curl under the covers and sleep until I felt better (not even remotely possible with a preschooler and a toddler running around).

Luckily I have a great support system.  My dad has been amazing at taking Baby at least once a week for me so I can just hang out with Baby2 and rest.  Another friend has a great connection with Baby2 (she's a little finicky), so they have been hanging out together so I could rest and be miserable on my own.  Husband has been amazing about cooking dinners for the girls (Dinner time is the worst.  I live in the bathroom during dinner.  I can't even think about making food for the children). 

One thing I hate about throwing up (besides the act of throwing up itself) is it gives me flashbacks of being pregnant with the other two.  Not fun remembering the meals you ate whilst pregnant with them and recalling how they tasted and looked coming back up.

This time around I did more research and read up on magnesium intake and how our society is greatly lacking in magnesium.  Lack of magnesium may be related to morning sickness, so I bought some magnesium supplements to try to help.  Apparently magnesium lotion or oil is supposed to be better because it is absorbed more easily into the skin than in pill form.  However,  the nutrition shop didn't have the lotion or oil, so pills it was.  I also read how B6 is supposed to help with nausea.  I stocked up on that as well (when I say "I stocked up," I really mean Husband went out and got everything for me while I hibernated.  He's such a nice guy).

So did I notice a difference with taking the magnesium and B6?  Honestly, I don't really know.  I threw most of it up anyway, so I don't think it was super effective in that sense.  I've currently quit trying because it just doesn't seem worth it.  Another thing I have been doing (and did last time with Baby2) is taking Epsom salt baths.  While I'm in the tub, I actually feel human again.  Then I get out and throw up.  But while in the bath, it's great.

Other than the extra vitamins, I have been trying hard to have more protein.  I eat lots of eggs, chicken, and yogurt.  It really doesn't seem to matter too much what I eat, though.  It's more of a time of day thing.  I wake up feeling nauseated, then it builds and builds and the throwing up will start.  Then I'll go to bed and try to fall asleep so I don't feel sick again.  Fun, fun.

Overall, I honestly don't like being pregnant.  But I'm trying to be thankful and change my attitude.  This too shall pass and I'll have a wonderful little creature to hold and love.     

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Big Question

"Are you going to have a third?"


That's the big question we are often asked.  It's a  pretty serious question.  Going from two to three children is huge.  I mean, no more driving around in my compact Corolla.  Three carseats would not fit in the back of that.

I would always be one hand short to hold hands with my children.  You know, two hands, a child on each side.  Add a third and the balance is off.

Goodbye family fourpacks of tickets that are always given out as prizes.  Not that I win them, but if I did.  How would we decide who stays home?

Not to mention the trips to Disney.  With two children, everyone gets a buddy to ride on an attraction with.

Family board games?  We are set.  Four sides to a board, one person per side.    

Four bedroom house, everyone has their own room and Husband gets his office.  No need to worry about sharing a room.  Everyone has their own space.

I can clear out the toys, get rid of the clothes that are too small.  Goodbye piles of baby gear.  No need to save you.  We are moving on.

Seriously, Husband and I thought about it for a hot second.  It would mean a lot of changes.  I am not an easy pregnant person (see previous blogs for lovely stories of vomiting for weeks and weeks on end).  Do I really want to go through that again?  Do we really want to start over and grow another human being?   Would I be able to divide myself even more to take care of another little person?

Ultimately, we decided no.  We are done.  Two is perfect.  Life is fantastic.

But then that hot second came back to haunt us.

Baby number three will be arriving in May of next year.



Friday, April 25, 2014

Birthday Party Tips

Birthday Party Tips

1)  Combine all the kids' birthdays into one giant party.  The same people were going to be invited to multiple parties anyway, so why not save them the extra trips?

2)  Invite everyone you can possibly think of with children that would want to celebrate with you.  This includes entire preschool classes and daycares.  Don't exclude anyone, because they might read about it on Facebook and feel left out.  We want to teach our children not to let anyone feel left out.  I once read an article on that very topic: how some children were never invited to anything, so the mom started inviting the entire classes to their parties. (Also, stop telling your husband whenever new people are added to your invite list.  He might start freaking out about maximum capacity of building codes and extra costs of food).

3)  Rent out the largest building you can find.  Preferably some place with things for the kids to do.  You gotta put the people somewhere. Your house is not going to be large enough to hold the entire neighborhood, along with the preschool class and their families.  Plus, you don't have to worry about cleaning up your house before and after the party. 

4)  Don't stress about the decorations and Pinterest-y type stuff.  As a matter of fact, just go decoration free.  The kids won't notice, and if the adults do, then they should be polite enough not to say anything.  You invited them to your party, after all.  It will set the bar low for when you go to another birthday party and see all their wonderful decorations. 

5)  Attempt all the Pinterest-y stuff, just to say you did.  You can have the kids help you and take pictures along the way for memories.  If it doesn't work out, refer back to tip number 4. 

6)  Make your party at an ambiguous time so nobody knows whether or not to eat before they come.  One o'clock in the afternoon is a good time.  It's right after noon, which is the typical time to eat lunch.  That lets people decide if they want to eat before they come and risk being too full for party food, or if they want to starve themselves and their kids and be famished upon arrival. 

7)  Speaking of food, provide the most unhealthy, sugar packed items you can find so that the kids are happy and you provide an affordable feast.  The usual food items to include are pizzas and cupcakes. 

8)  To appease some of the healthier adults, maybe pick up a veggie or fruit tray.  Then you can say you offered some healthier alternatives. 

9)  Let the children and adults roam free in your rented location.  Hopefully it has some kid friendly things to do so everyone can chat and have a good time.  Make sure you and your children are circulating so as to make everyone feel included. 

10)  Forego any party games.  Have you tried to round up large groups of people to participate in organized activities?  It's a lot of work.  Let them entertain themselves. 

11)  Save gift opening for a later date.  See tip number ten about rounding up people.  Instead, take all gifts home to open and hope that everyone put a card or name tag on it so you can figure out who it came from.  

12)  As for party favors, they seem to be a big thing right now.  Perhaps try something simple, like a balloon.  Or do something Pinterest-y if it works out for you. 

13)  Make sure to send Thank-You cards.  It's important for kids to learn to say thank you.  Even if you have to write everything for them, make sure they are there with you learning gratitude. 

I hope you enjoyed my tips.  Baby just turned 4 in February and Baby2 turned 1 in March.  We threw a gigantic party for everyone I could possibly invite at a local gymnastics center.  There was only one present that I couldn't figure out the giver.  So, whoever you are, thanks for the coloring books!  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Beth Creates!


Hi.  I'm Beth.  One of those people who usually has a million things to do, likes to be organized, and thrives on interactions with others.

Eight months into my new Stay-At-Home-Mom Gig and I really had no idea what I was doing.  I think I'm searching for some sort of purpose or something.  I know my purpose right now is my children, but I needed something just for me.

Thus, I started a business of sorts.  I can sometimes do crafty things, so why not try to sell what I can make?  If it sells, it sells.  If it doesn't, then it doesn't.  In a whirlwind, I made a name for myself; Beth Creates.  I made a Facebook page, signed up for Paypal, ordered some business cards, and started advertising.  Husband (who went to Business school), half-jokingly told me I was doing everything wrong when it comes to start a business.  However, I ran with it. 

The first items I made were baby legwarmers.  I wanted to make a pair for Flower, discovered how easy they were, so I mass produced and listed them for sale.

Then I went back to my crochet roots.  A long, long time ago someone in my family (I seriously can't remember if it was my mother or my grandmother), taught me how to hold a crochet hook, twirl some yarn around it, and voila!  Something was created.

I saw some earwarmer headband things and thought, "I can make that."  So I did.  And I added flowers and buttons and listed those for sale.

I saw boot cuffs and thought, "How fun!"  So I made those.

I reached out to people doing craft fairs and finagled my way into selling a few of my items.  I perused Facebook and found every craft page I could find and requested to join.  (There are some amazing craft people out there!)

I grilled friends and family and received lots of input and advice on how to make and sell things. 

Currently I'm working on hats.

I'm having a blast, probably spending more than I'm making, but I'm feeling good about it.

You can view my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/seebethcreatestuff 

It's very, very rough, and I really have no idea what I'm doing.  Feel free to message or email me if you want me to try to create something for you.  I'm pretty good at looking at pictures and coming up with my own version. 

That's the story of where I've been the past couple of months.  Sitting on the couch during naptime or after bedtime and crocheting or sewing away.  I would like to get back to blogging again, soon.  Thanks for checking in on me!