31 March 2011

Big nest, small amount of energy.

My children have been little shining stars today. They have played nicely all day long, they ate all of their breakfast and all of their lunch, 3 hour naps, they've cooperated with all of my requests, I think I could just go on and on. Shining stars. While they were off being perfect, I was doing...

I may not have much...

...but I DO have a weekend of flip flops and sunbathing ahead of me. This baby will be cut from a sun-kissed belly if it kills me.
Yesterday was one of the most exhausting days we've had in months. We had a great time, but the girls were positively tripping over themselves when they finally got to bed an hour late. By the same token, I thought I was just going to pass straight into the hereafter by the time I passes out on the couch an hour after they went to bed.
It's now 4am and Lucy's been up three times in the past 45 minutes with "scary things." Everytime she starts screaming, I have to hurtle out of bed to console her, which also means consoling Molly too, because Molly's got at least another 4 hours of sleep in her and is starting to get a little peeved by all the emotion. I'd normally just bring Lucy into bed with me, but that gets Molly into fairness mode, which opens up a new can of worms. The worst part is that I keep thinking Lucy's back to sleep, and then she winds up again. I would really like to just burrow back under my flannel comforter and go back to sleep, but getting out of bed over and over is painful and more tiring than just sitting at the end of my bed and blogging from my phone. I would send Andrew, but eventually he'll get tired of consoling and in his sleepy stupor will grab her to bring her to our bed, not at all aware of the Molly-quences of such an action. (read: fairness alert!)
"From your phone?" you think? Why, yes. My hard drive decided that it could no longer continue to do all that hard work I was requiring. You know, checking email? So I had to take it in (a mere 2 weeks after that warranty expired) and have the hard drive replaced and cloned, and I bought some more ram while we were at it. I just live on the edge, I suppose. So that's been gone a week and I've been doing everything from my phone...which is why I haven't blogged a picture or video in what may seem like light years. Sit tight, folks. Better days are ahead.
I can't decide if it's safe to go back to sleep yet. The longer I'm awake, however, the more I realize that I haven't eaten in quite some time. Doing the math, I'd say it's about 8 hours. For a pregnant snacker, that's really not ideal. Every minute I'm awake is another I'm thinking about apple cinnamon cheerios. But if I crinkle the bag, one of my crumb-crunchers will definitely have some sort of issue and all I'll have to show for my efforts will be a bowl of cheerios minus the crunch. The laws of parenting say that if I put my head on that pillow, I'm going to be answering a wail.

...I was right. Freakout #4. I ran like crazy and grabbed Lucy and put my hand over her mouth like a child-napper. I pretty much threw her out the bedroom door action-movie style and then arranged her remaining blankets to look like a sleeping child and closed the door enough to confuse a wakeful 2-year-old, should she come to and realize she's been duped by the entire family.

Y'all, this deceptive parenting thing is wearing me out.

28 March 2011


This house is worse than the funny farm sometimes. You know those movies where one guy in the mental hospital gets riled up and suddenly everyone is screaming and yelling and running in circles? That's bedtime at our house. 

About an hour after we put the girls down, they had finally drifted off and we were watching The Fighter. (good movie, FYI) We hear Lucy whimper and call out for us. Knowing that's the 10pm potty call, Andrew jumps up and runs across the house. The potty call turns from routine to bed puddle by the time he reaches the door, or so Lucy thinks. In her hazy sleepy potty break, she's telling Andrew that the bed's wet. He's checking, promising it's dry, and she's passed out on the potty, getting mad at him. This wakes Molly up. Molly is a light sleeper, and while she always goes the distance time-wise, she's easily roused for middle of the night drama. She hears the word "pee" and is suddenly standing in her bed, holding her diaper with both hands and repeating "Pee pee? Pee pee? Pee pee?" over and over. Andrew is still dealing with Lucy. I'm telling Molly that she can go back to sleep, but she insists. Andrew dresses Lucy again and puts her back in bed, and grabs Mo, who does indeed have to go. I get her a new diaper and begin folding the towels I grabbed when I thought I needed them for Lucy. Andrew and I are both hysterical, trying not to wake the girls with our snorting and giggling. How this place goes from unconscious to three-ring circus in less than 30 seconds always escapes me. 

_~*~_ Elwood P. Dowd: I'd just put Ed Hickey into a taxi. Ed had been mixing his rye with his gin, and I just felt that he needed conveying. Well, anyway, I was walking down along the street and I heard this voice saying, "Good evening, Mr. Dowd." Well, I turned around and here was this big six-foot rabbit leaning up against a lamp-post. Well, I thought nothing of that because when you've lived in a town as long as I've lived in this one, you get used to the fact that everybody knows your name. And naturally I went over to chat with him. And he said to me... he said, "Ed Hickey was a little spiffed this evening, or could I be mistaken?" Well, of course, he was not mistaken. I think the world and all of Ed, but he was spiffed. Well, we talked like that for awhile and then I said to him, I said, "You have the advantage on me. You know my name and I don't know yours." And, and right back at me he said, "What name do you like?" Well, I didn't even have to think twice about that. Harvey's always been my favorite name. So I said to him, I said, "Harvey." And, uh, this is the interesting thing about the whole thing: He said, "What a coincidence. My name happens to be Harvey." _~*~_

Oh Norah...

I tell you what- there isn't a member of this family who isn't totally hypnotized when it comes to Norah Jones' music. Trouble falling asleep? 2 songs and they're out cold. Lucy was having trouble falling asleep for her nap, and all it took was a little Norah and the girl was knocked out in about a song and a half. And now I'm going too...can't...help...my...self....

Dear Monday, please be gentle.

My children woke up at 6:15. AM.

My computer is BROKEN. It's now in the shop a mere THREE WEEKS after my AppleCare warranty expired. Fail.

Molly drew all over my kitchen table with a black marker.

My house is a MESS.

My baby turned around and is kicking the crap out of me in the opposite direction.

Lucy has been telling me the same story for 20 minutes.

I am dying for a nap.

My kids had to wear socks today. That's how cold it is.

Molly is still so cute I could eat her.

27 March 2011

The end is near...

Well, another weekend wrapped up and done. We went to church this morning and then did some shopping so I won't have to leave the house for a few days. I really don't have any plans this week, so we're going to keep things low-key and quiet. We stopped at Michaels for some craft supplies, and Lucy and I are going to make a garden with tissue paper flowers. Fantastic.

We spent most of the afternoon working on the guest room. So far, it looks beautiful! I love to entertain and host guests, and I love staying at someone's house and feeling like I could spend an entire week in their guest room. I mean, if they're spending their vacation here, I want them to feel like they're on vacation! Our colors are turquoise and black with green accents and it's coming along great. Andrew says it's gothic, but he always reserves judgement until the final sigh, so I'm not worried about him. :-) We got the bed back together and the artwork is almost completely hung. I'm working on a special little treat for one last corner, and I would really like a cute rug for it, and then I'll be just about done! (I'm also looking for a zebra print super soft throw. Any ideas?) so yeah, we're almost ready for...


This is absolutely my favorite part of pregnancy. All those baby parts are big and fun to push around, just enough time left to relax and still know the end is near, burning enough calories to eat like a prisoner on death row, baby is responding and showing his/her personality and the days are all full enough to know that I'll be nice and busy right up to B-Day. Most women tend to get really psycho at this point, but it's sort of like December for me. The big day is coming, and each day on the calendar is fun, happy and getting closer to a joyful noise. The last month is by far the best. And knowing the day I'll be delivering really helps, because I don't have to wonder if I'll be going another 4 weeks past that. I had Lucy at 41.5 weeks. This baby is coming out at 38. That's almost a month more of hard time, so I know this is, by far, a much better deal.

I just can't wait to meet this little person. Seeing how much Molly and Lucy have shocked and surprised us in so many was makes the wait so hard. We're dying to see who's in there! I think the anticipation must get harder with every baby. Once you really see how awesome it is to get to know a little person you've created, it's really hard to stop making people...we have been so blessed by our fertility and openness to children - I just pray that we're smart enough to listen to the Lord where our family is concerned. He hasn't steered us wrong so far - each pregnancy and baby has turned out to be so amazing. If my uterus wasn't a ticking time bomb, I'd probably have 40 of the little cherubs. (this has to be proof of just how blessed/crazy we really are. 33-week pregnant women aren't usually yapping about openness to life at this point. If I can do it, anyone can!)

I'm feeling...okay? My back and hips have been MIA for weeks and weeks, but there is just nothing I can do about it at this point. There is so much comfort in knowing that I only have a few weeks to go. The baby is about 5 pounds now and really pays close attention to what's going on out here. S/he seems to recognize Molly's voice and appears to cover his/her neck and head in self-defense with speed and without hesitation, so we may still have 3 children in a year or so. I doubt any younger sibling of hers will ever truly leave the fetal position, so starting out as a fetus is definitely a good first step. Otherwise, this is by far the most active tenant my little people-greenhouse has ever seen. My pregnancy with Molly pales in comparison to this one. I'm a little scared of what I'm up against, but #3 absolutely needs to be able to outrun #2. It's very much the survival of the fittest around here. Lucy is bigger than Molly, and she's still more evolved at this point. She can usually outwit her, but Molly is starting to show signs of lapping her in that department in just a few more months. I just hope this baby can learn to hunt and stalk before Molly loses all her spots.

It looks like I've escaped gestational diabetes, so that's a huge relief. How I'd get through another month without a steady stream of sugar is beyond me. I've gained about ten pounds this time around, and expect to gain another 5 or so before sundown on the 2nd. A total weight gain of 15 would be perfect for this pregnancy, as I was finally getting into really good shape before I got pregnant. Then again, all of that massive cycling muscle I was toting around has now turned to fat since having to leave the gym, so the first order of business post-baby will be a spin bike and an hour a day to get some good exercise in. (Because we all know that adding more children to your life also makes the days longer and gives you tons of time to work out...) I really haven't even thought about weight or the post-baby plan throughout my pregnancy. Finding spinning before I got pregnant was amazing. Not only did it start to make great changes and give me a really positive feel for fitness, but it completely gives me hope that my post-baby weight loss is doable and completely attainable. That peace of mind has made this pregnancy so fun and stress-free.

You really don't have to read all of this idle prattle. I just like to be able to look back on my pregnancies and babies, and I'm winding down to an early bedtime from a pretty relaxing weekend, so I have major mind to burn.

Well, I'm off to catch up on some blog reading and to make a couple moves in Words With Friends. My life is nothing but an adventure, I tell you...

26 March 2011

The hostess with the mostest.

So because I'm 33 weeks pregnant and nesting, I have decided to do a makeover on the guest room. After all, new babies mean lots of guests!

Andrew may or may not support my ambitions, but he'd never tell me either way, the little dear. So this morning he took the guest bed apart and hauled it outside for a new coat of black satin paint. It's now sexier than even myself. I know, I know...HOW is that possible??

I spent most of my day re-painting odds and ends and transforming trash into treasure. The neighbor kids were kind enough to come over and let me know that they know I'm pregnant and not just really fat. This is what happens when you leave the garage door open too long. Raccoons, stray cats and neighbor kids.

As a result of emptying 6 bottles of spray paint onto my belongings, my left arm is cramped up beyond belief and I'm in bed with an ice pack, typing one-handed.

Tomorrow we'll begin the process of reassembling the room. Epic.

25 March 2011

Friday I'm in love with Lucy

Someone please tell me why my whackadoo nearly-4-year-old is in her bed at 10:40pm, singing about sharks licking her hands and dolphins eating apples. This girl drives me to utter confusion.

Tonight we were in the car and I was playing the "I'm going to grab your legs and eat them" game while Andrew drove. The girls were enjoying the little game and Lucy was, of course, curled up in a tiny ball where I couldn't reach her. I told her I was going to use my stretchy arms to get her and she scoffed and said, "Come on and try." I could just feel her little head wagging from side to side. She is one kid who never has an attitude of any kind, so when she does it just about kills me.

Today at naptime, I told her I was going to put Molly down and then come to my bed where she was so I could nap with her. Silence. A few seconds later, "Uhhh...why don't you just cuddle up on the couch? I really can't sleep when you snore, and you snore every time you fall asleep." Even Andrew doesn't shoot me down THAT directly. She obviously has her mother's diplomacy...So I slept on the couch. Motherhood is truly an exercise in humility.

We just got in from a date night. The little folks went to the gym. Molly, who is certainly NOT potty-trained at home, needs to be potty-trained to attend Parents Night Out. So I stuck her in a pullup and said, "Make sure you use the big potty tonight!" What does my superstar do? She does exactly what I've told her to do. Not only does she stay dry, but she remembers to tell her coach when she needs to go potty and actually DOES it. Apparently she's on the ball enough to be potty trained for four hours once a month. Until I had Molly, I had no idea that God gives you some children just to leave your mouth hanging open. Molly would be that child. She puzzles me about 85% of the time. The other 15%, I'm just trying to hide the fact that I'm aware of what she's doing so I don't have to react. Choosing your battles with Mo means letting her completely run the show. How we've managed to end up with an incredibly polite and well-behaved kid who still manages to completely run the house can only be attributed to the fact that she's Andrew's carbon copy. Andrew manages to keep complete control of everything with extreme calm and patience, while he makes you believe it was all your own idea. Molly actually does the exact same thing, at the age of two. No bad behavior. Just 24/7 charm. It's going to kill me.

Molly aside, we had a fun date night. We saw The Adjustment Bureau and had dinner at On The Border. OTB just happens to be next to the theater, so we just did that to make it easy on ourselves. Since they don't have a restaurant out there that serves bowls of cereal, Tex Mex had to do. What it is about cereal and pregnancy, I'll never understand. The movie was a great diversion, but I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. I do much better with witty comedies, but Matt Damon makes almost anything okay by me. I mean, the concept of the movie was interesting, but I just wanted to grab poor Matt by the shoulders and shake him and scream, "Is this really what Jason Bourne would do?!?!?"

Well baby Tex is still trying to work out the plot and kicking the stuffin' out of me in the process, so I'm going lie down and see if I can't convince the little trapeze artist to take a little rest. If this baby comes out with that same freaky streak of orange hair that Molly has right on the top of her head, I'm going to have to be taken to a secure floor before they even staple me up. I know they say lightning never strikes in the same place twice, but...

Look out, Mo. You've met your match.

Seriously. This baby gets moving so hard that when s/he starts kicking in bed, the kicks move me and I move the bed. I'm getting to that point where the big movements make me nauseous. I had no idea a 5.5 lb baby could move like this.
I thought Molly was an active baby. It turns out Molly was a mere amateur compared to this person/contortionist inside me. I don't know if I can actually handle a baby that turns out to be more physical than Molly. I just keep reminding myself that when I'm not pregnant, I'm almost always blessed with limitless energy and endurance. I just hope I fully recover from the c-section before this one is breaking out of the Swaddle and torturing it's sisters...

24 March 2011

I think...

...I'd like to write a book. Non-fiction. But from there I'm a bit lost. Maybe something inspirational. What should I write?
I know I should just stay home today. I have no real reason to go out and going out would just lead me to spend money. Then again, I'm not sure what to do with my day here. The house is relatively clean, which is fantastic. I'd love to get some sewing done, but I really need a table for that. I could move it all out to the dining room, but then it sits there for days. Ick.
Hm. If I go to Walmart for the cheap folding table I saw back in the day, I'll come home with more than a folding table. I always do. But I really need one...
I'm still in bed, but my minutes are definitely numbered. Molly has been waking up closer to 7 than 8 lately. And it's starting to get a little old.
The weather is supposed to be awesome today, so we may take a little walk or go to the playground for a bit. It would be better to drive to the playground, though, as walking on cement is truly the fastest way to put my back out this far along in my pregnancy. I have no idea why.
I think we've chosen baby names, officially. Of course, we do have 5 more weeks, so who knows. I like what we've come up with and I'd love to bang the gavel on this one, but we'll have to see how they look on the bathroom mirror over the weekend. Everything we think of gets written in expo markers on our massive bathroom mirror. It looks a little like Sheldon Cooper's white board.
You know what? I'm going to Walmart. I'm going to look for that stupid table. Then I'm drop a check at the bank and stop to vacuum the car. (which is totally free.) If I don't find the table, I'll be back, and I'll bring all my money home. Even just a little card table would work. I just need something I can put a little tablecloth on and put in the corner of the guest room. Even a side table would be fine, if the height is right. It really just needs to hold the stinking machine at dining room table height...

Why on earth am I typing all of this?

23 March 2011

Hump Day Happiness

I love Wednesday when we have absolutely nothing to do. Bliss. We may or may not have friends coming for a playmate in a bit, but that's really it for our day.

I have about two hours worth of housework in me every day. I used the entire time up this morning, and my back is already starting to hurt. The problem for me is that I like a sparkling clean house. I enjoy cleaning and organizing, and I love seeing everything in it's place. It's not a chore to me, because I know the end result will give me so much peace. I love giving Andrew a clean, peaceful home when he walks in the door. I just feel like he works hard enough that he deserves to come home to find things in their places and where he left them. And I absolutely hate walking through the house in the dark and hoping I'm not going to step on anything. There is nothing worse than stepping on something and screaming out an expletive in the middle of an otherwise quiet night.

The problem right now is that keeping house is a full-time job and at best, I'm a part-time worker. It's not that I'm scrubbing all day long, because who does that? Ick. I just like things picked up. But picking up requires bending, and I only have about 200 good bends in me a day. I would say the average stay-at-home mom with toddlers bends, squats and twists well over 700 times a day. Not to mention picking up babies, vacuuming, sweeping and laundry. That's just an estimate, of course. When I add in gym time and playdates, I'm betting I bend about 1000 times a day. I'm missing about 800 bends a day right now. You can only imagine. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks about bending this much, but I'm betting most very pregnant mamas give it a fair amount of thought.

I wonder if I can mod podge over tin.

Last night I went out with my gal pals for confession and a night out. That was excellent. There is really no better way to start a girl's night out than with a little forgiveness and soul-baring. Our parish mission was last night with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal and they're just such a spectacular group. Confession was wonderful and I came away from it feeling so refreshed and excited for what's ahead. There is nothing better than getting things out. 

After confession, we went to the Baja Grill for Mexican food and margaritas. I watched them drink margaritas, which was almost as good as the real thing! Baby Tex and I enjoy a virgin drink and some quesadillas, so it's all good. 

Well, our playdate has been moved to Friday. That's all well and good, but now I'm totally stumped as to what to do with the rest of the day. I have $5. I think we're going to go over to Cabela's and feed the fish. We live a rockstar life, y'all. 

Sunrise 23Mar2011.jpg

I should really start carrying the Nikon in the mornings to work when I'm going to catch the sunrise. Nothing like hearing "DFW is going through another weak cold front this week but from the looks of it, we'll have our third consecutive 80 degree plus day."

Yeah weather lady, I'll take that "cold front" gladly. ;-)

22 March 2011

girls visit dad @ the office 21 March 2011

How stinking cute are these two?


So tonight I threw Poppers in the backpack for the walk around the block. I wasn't going through another walk where daddy-is-the-bad-guy like yesterday. That was exhausting. God Bless Kelty. I threw her in this thing and she loved it.

Lucy talked the entire time we were out, like usual. Lots of it was 3 y/o gibberish. Making up phrases like that rhyme with "going to the creek" (where we walked to) like, "Glowing to the pleak"; "Snowing with the sleek" or my personal favorite tonight "kabloomin' to the ball-eek".

On the way home, 1/2 way back, this occurred:
L: Tree, free, dee, that's a big one [points to a very small tree].
A: No it's not. That's a itsy bitsy little one.
L: No dad, that's a spider.
A: You are correct. Isty Bitsy is a spider, not a tree.
L: That one is big. That one is small. That's a medium one. That one is bigger than daddy. That one is like Molly. And THAT one is quesadilla-sized.
A: [after laughing my @$$ off w/ the neighbor who also heard this]... Excuse me? How big is that one? [pointing to the same shrub]
L: Oh, that one? [She shrugs a shoulder and lazily points to it again] Oh yeah, that one is quesadilla-sized.
A: [Holding back the laughter because her face was DEAD serious]... how big or small is "quesadilla-sized" exactly.
L: [walking well up into our neighbor's yard, placing her hand chin high and over the shrub], Clearly Dad, it's this high [and rolling her eyes like 'duh, you should be able to see this w/o me coming into the yard and SHOWING you!']

Oh boy... can't wait for the teenage years. "Kabloomin'", "Clearly" [with attitude] and "quesadilla-sized" all in one walk. This was a GOOD one.

I love you Lucy Cooke. I love you beyond belief. Also, you and your new pink scooter your Mom bought you are just a pair made in heaven. You love that thing even if you're well... let's just say "still figuring it out" ;-)

And Molly Pops, you rode in that Kelty the whole trip. I have bruises on my head and bite marks in my shoulders (you little monster); BUT you were definitely more kind than yesterday so THANKS for that ;-) I love you too... also beyond belief.

Love, Dad 22 March 2011

Also, we're on the countdown now final wks for Baby #3 and we're super-duper excited. Like "OMG" excited. Cannot stinkin' wait. Aunt Kasie and Mimi (Grandma Jen) are making plans to be in TX for the big day and surrounding day(s)! Yay!

21 March 2011

Gimme shelter, indeed.

I'm sure glad we're not under serious pressure to buy a home. It's so nice when we can take our time and really get what we envision.

The offer is still standing on the lakehouse. We'll know next week If the current contract closes. If it doesn't, we're next in line for the house. If it does, we're preparing a short list of houses we'd like to offer on instead. I think we have about a 60/40 shot at getting the lakehouse, but they may surprise us. The guy who's been making the decisions at the bank is a real gem and has been giving the opposing team all KINDS of extensions and helpful hints to try to get their deal through. Gag. If they went with us, it'd be a done deal. Please.

We found another house about 4 minutes (we're 10 min now - talk about a long commute...) from Andrew's office, and it's beyond gorgeous. We love the neighborhood and that particular area, and it's really just a matter of hoping that it sits on the market just one more week so that we can make sure the lakehouse falls through before we make an offer on it. His timing is always perfect, as they say.

The gals and I have been keeping very busy today, cleaning the house and arranging here and there to make ready for baby. Having had two previous c-sections, my focus is on the ease of recovery. So lots of the moving and organizing has to do with bending, twisting and lifting. I need to keep in mind that the more I stress my body, the longer my recovery will take. So I'm putting an emphasis on putting supplies and things I'll need to get for myself in places where I can grab them easily without a lot of strain.

Tomorrow we have a mom's meeting in the morning and we'll be neglecting the house all day otherwise. Home for naps, outside for the afternoon. I'm going to our parish mission tomorrow night, and at this point in my pregnancy, more than one activity in one day is a LOT for me. So my success at going out tomorrow night will depend on how much I can rest tomorrow during the day. :-/
I am tired. 6 weeks left. 6 weeks left. 6 weeks left.

19 March 2011

Happy 2am!

You know I love being pregnant. I don't even mind the incredible heartburn, the nausea that comes back once the baby is huge and rolling, the swelling, the contractions...I find it to be mostly doable.

What I can't handle is the excruciating shooting ligament pains in both sides of my inadequate pelvis every single time I want to roll over in bed. That couple with the fact that my hips and sciatic nerves are shot make the nights almost as painful as the evenings. Poor me. I just miss rolling over in bed with wanting to scream. It really makes everything pale in comparison.

Going house-browsing in 7 hours - gotta find our little piece of the American Dream before somebody else gets a better deal on it! Will update later - anything to keep me out of this bed. :-(

17 March 2011


Andrew and Laura are channel surfing and land on a show about the Jack Daniels distillery.

Andrew: Ooh, barrel-making. That's so badass.

Laura: It really is.

Andrew: I want to make a boat.

Laura: Huh?

Andrew: A boat.

Laura: Oh, I guess that's pretty much the same as making a barrel. One holds water in, one keeps water out. I mean, a barrel is really just the opposite of a boat, right?

Andrew: ...I will never get that 20 seconds back. You owe me.

St. Patrick's Day

 Because I'm married to a wonderful boy. 
Because I'm a mama to two sweet little redheads. 
Because my womb is clearly the perfect place to grow leprechauns.
Because I have food to eat and a bed to sleep in.
Because I only have 6 more weeks of feeling like I'm the size of the Emerald Isle.
Because I exercise my freedoms every day. 
Because God is so good to this girl, who probably doesn't deserve half of what she has. 

Lucky, Lucky, Lucky.

texas trials

Well here's a little update on what's happening in Cookeland. Things took a bad turn for the worse on Tuesday night, as far as my whole crazy head pain ordeal went. I saw the ENT on Tuesday and he said, "Yep, just TMJ. Good luck to you!" I was still not convinced. I called my OB, whose office is turning out to be a complete waste of my time. They seemed fine with me staying on Vicodin until I delivered the little addict, so I decided to just go to bed and come at it all with a fresh start on Wednesday.

Around 2am on Weds morning, I woke up in the worst pain of my life. I could tell right away that it was a tooth issue. I emailed my dentist around 4 and took more pain meds, to get through the rest of the night. My dentist called by 7 and told me to come in right away. Let me just take a moment to express my undying love to Dr. B and her amazing staff. They have been calling me every 12 hours, available any time for anything, and are truly the most caring dental practice I've ever been to. I called my friend Raquel at the crack of dawn, and she told me to bring the girls right over. I would have left them with Andrew, but the poor guy was already in a meeting with his Dubai team to make up for one he'd missed the night before. Let's just say the performance of the entire family was a bit under par this week.

I got in to the dentist by 8:45 and we all already knew it was an abscess. I'd been in on Monday to look for just that, but they didn't do a full mouth xray because all of the pain was at the back of my head and we wanted to keep the xrays to a minimum because of the baby. The tooth that was having the problem was at the front of my mouth on top, and it had been filled twice and had been a problem for a long time. It really hadn't felt any different lately, though, so we were all surprised when it turned out to be the culprit.

Because of my pregnancy, the root canal was far more complicated than it should have been. Because I couldn't have laughing gas or epinephrine, they were stuck trying to use a simple local anesthetic that was wearing off faster than they could work. They tried to numb me well over 10 times and it just wasn't taking. The pain was truly like nothing I've ever felt in my life. I was screaming, the baby was going bonkers, the dentist was in agony over how to handle the pain, the poor assistant looked green, it was just a mess. When I finally got to my car, I just sobbed and sobbed. There is nothing worse than expecting pain over and over and over again and knowing that you just have to deal with it. I'm not usually an emotional pregnant woman, or really an emotional woman at all, butthat was far beyond what I was prepared for.

Andrew came home right away to switch cars with me, and he let me cry on him for awhile. Once I was past the emotional part of it, I took my pain meds just in case the recovery was going to be as bad as the procedure. BY the time he got back with the girls, I was much better and we all had lunch. The pain meds wore off by about 3 and I've been feeling awesome for over 24 hours now. I'll go back for the crown after the baby is born and they can use the right stuff. In the meantime, I'm REALLY hoping that that's the only medical emergency I face. I have never dealt with pain like that before, and I'd be really happy to put it behind me for awhile. I was so lucky that we found the problem as soon as we did. I'd much rather have a painful root canal than undetected sepsis and a premature baby!

Lucy and Mo have had a pretty rough week, just trying to wrap their heads around all of the ups and downs. They were really shuttled around a LOT this week, and seeing Mommy in pain totally throws Lucy. And when Lucy ain't right, Mo ain't right either. We did a short playdate this morning, and both girls were just tired and cranky and I'm pretty sure they thought I was going to leave them again. We cut it short and went to Walmart to buy toys, sand for the sandbox, and a new birdfeeder for our tree. They're napping now and may very well be completely knocked out until dinnertime...

We're going to try to have a quiet weekend and just spend some time the four of us. It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend in the 80's, so we'll be playing in the kiddie pool, making frozen drinks, lying in the hammock and maybe doing a little house hunting. If the mood strikes. :-) The one thing I won't be doing? Taking Vicodin.

Mo gets a closer look.

Working with Dad

On my right...

On my left...

My Thursday morning view.

16 March 2011

Molly's roar

With reference also to THIS POST ON P&B (LINK HERE), I FINALLY caught Molly's infamous "ROAR" on video!

Girls dance to Glee 15 March 2011

What do you think Mr. Buster? Have I successfully passed down my fantastic rhythm and dance moves to Lucy???? ;-)

15 March 2011

one sweet nap

Well, that was a fantastic afternoon nap. I am trying to get caught up on housework, but when I'm awake enough to actually DO the housework, it means the painkillers are wearing off and I'm in pain again. The girls are such fantastic kids and are really being so helpful and easygoing. I just couldn't imagine them not being here. It's more work having them around, but lots more smiling too.

I saw the ENT this morning and while he didn't have much to offer, he did say that he thinks we're on the right track trying to deal with the inflammation. The problem is, anti-inflammatories aren't safe in the third trimester. I have to get the inflammation under control to make the pain go away, but that's hard to do when nothing is safe. I can't do another 6 weeks of painkillers, so everyone is a little stumped at this point. I am going to do fish oil, and my chiro has suggested acupuncture, but it's pricey and there's no guarantee that it'll work. That could just be the 5 copays from the past two days talking, but I really don't know if I can handle $50 a pop to "try it and see what happens."

So I'll hear from my OB in the morning, and in the meantime I'm trying to power through and get some housework done! I'm SO well-rested, because the pain meds keep putting me to sleep SO well, and I know that if I'm feeling tired, it's probably just a side effect at this point. Staying on my feet and keeping active seems to help.

Everything else here is status quo - very quiet lately! My sewing machine is totally pooping out on me and we're not on speaking terms at this point. It's in pieces on the dining room table, so I'm going to go in there and talk nice to her for a bit. I really want to finish these nursing covers, and I really don't want to use the "other machine."

I'm using Grandma Susie's machine right now, and I have a mental block as far as using anything else. The grief seems to be getting worse as the days and weeks pass. I thought that the first few months would be the hardest, but I feel like every day gets a little more painful. My dryer sheets smell like her, and I have this paranoia of running out, so I only use them on the stuff I really like. Molly loves to help me do the laundry, which consists of her standing in front of the dryer and me handing her the wet clothes one piece at a time. When we're finally done, I hand her a Grandma Susie dryer sheet and she says, "Smell!" and inhales as deeply as she can. She always smiles and tosses it in as she exhales. Grandma Susie would adore Molly. She loved little "imps," as she called them, and Mo is definitely an imp. I'd like to think the hormones are what is making the grief so bad right now, and that it'll all be better once the baby's here. But I get the sense that maybe it'll be years before I can even talk about her for very long.

laura's kitchen pharmacy.

Well folks, no real news here. I went to the dentist yesterday morning. She said, "Well, the problem isn't dental, but here's some amoxicillin." I went to the chiro and he said, "Well, it's not chiropractic, but here's something homeopathic for that virus." I went to my PCP and she said, "Well, it's definitely your jaw. Here's some more Vicodin and some Flexoril."

So, I have lots of painkillers and whatnot, but no real answers. I'm headed to an ENT in 45 minutes. I can't just keep taking all the drugs without answers. If I'm not taking something around the clock, the pain is right back and a little worse every time. It's certainly not coming and going at ALL.

The girls are at Charlotte's this am, and I was hoping to be able to rest, but it looks like I'm headed out for yet another appointment instead. :-( I did get to sleep overnight, but I feel like I'm just never going to catch up. I'm. So. Tired. The painkillers make me drowsy and woozy, and they lower my blood pressure enough to make that interfere with my energy, too. It feels like I'm just trapped in this cycle of pain and narcotics, and it's making me worry like crazy. And I miss my girls! I had three appointments yesterday and didn't see them at all. I just want to pull them onto the couch and snuggle them like crazy. I'm not used to flying solo!

14 March 2011

a generous spread

Folks, I am so pooped. After two days of jaw pain, I ended up in the ER tonight, looking for answers. No answers yet, and the veritable buffet of painkillers isn't doing much of anything. I've actually never felt pain like this, and I can handle quite a bit. There were fewer tears with my 44 hour labor with Lucy. And really, anything that convinces me to pay an ER copay on a Sunday night has to be serious.

So, tomorrow will be a day of doctor visits and phone calls, trying to figure this out. At the moment I'm hoping that the last three things I took will kick in and let me sleep for a few hours.

Everyone seems to think it's my jaw, either grinding, clenching or bruxing. (that sounds like such a dirty word. "ma'am, your daughter was found bruxing with some ne'er do well in the park...") Andrew, who is actually the world's lightest sleeper, says that my jaw is very uninvolved in my resting, so I'm thinking it's something else. The ER doc just gave me a bottle of narcotics and said, "well, best of luck to you...and this will make your baby sleepy." She has obviously never met the Tex. S/he is just bopping away in there, thrilled that mommy grabbed a mountain dew from KFC on the way home. The pain may even be easing enough to get an hour or so of sleep, but anyone attached to this uterus is still wide awake and enjoying a super-fun fetal hoedown.

Otherwise, we had a great weekend. Productive Saturday, relaxing Sunday. We took both girls to mass this morning to avoid the nasty nursery germs that I've been hearing about. Mo always makes the Church experience feel a little like taking the funny farm on a field trip. Today she was drilling us on anatomy and treating the Body of Christ to the Body of Molly. She really never fails to add interest. Needless to say, 1/3 of the Mass was spent "getting some air."

Well folks, I think the Texter is finally settling down, so I'm going to wrap this up and sleep on my ice pack. At least the Vicodin is working for one of us. :-( I'll update tomorrow, if I'm not dead. How's that for optimism?

13 March 2011

Mo and I snoozing in the big bed. She rarely snuggles in our bed, but was totally game on Friday morning. As you can see, I am gestating what will probably be the size of a baby giraffe. 31 weeks, measuring 56 weeks and 4 days.

Here is a snapshot of a semi falling off the road near our house. Not a great day for that guy.

On faithfulness and simplicity

Well, it looks like we won't be getting the lake house. Not that I can really complain. With this bouncy, healthy baby inside me and two sweet little girls hanging from my legs all day, I have all I need. With Andrew tucking me in each night and laughing at this life of ours, I know I'm blessed beyond words.

Our current living quarters are ten times more beautiful and adequate than most people in this vast world could ever dream of - who am I to complain about missing out on something bigger and better? I know that even if our house was half the size it is now, it would still be more than we need, rental or not. What we NEED in this life is to love the people around us and to have faith that our simple lives will be richly rewarded when the time comes.

We went to Walmart today and bought groceries, on the way to Church. Andrew bought a few things for car maintenance and I bought a few household items. Each girl was rewarded with a little plastic spray bottle to play with outside. How BLESSED are we that I just pulled out my check card and bought those items? I do believe I thank God every day that I can buy a bag of cheetos when the mood strikes. Not because I love Cheetos, but because these tiny things we take for granted are the very things that should give us immense joy.

We spent yesterday cleaning the garage - wheeeee...it does, however, look amazing now. Molly kept running off around the side of the house. Not really a big deal in our neighborhood, where there are adults and children everywhere and everyone sort of runs wild, but I still freak when I lose sight of either of them, so we tend to call them back every single time they walk around the corner of the house.

Everytime Molly wandered off and one of us yelled for her, I couldn't help but think, "how awesome is it that my little girl is running off and getting into trouble?" I will NEVER complain about having a kid who's healthy enough to cause trouble.

As I type this, she's in her room, partying too hard to nap. As long as I get a short break to regroup, I really don't care if she naps or not. Andrew and Lucy are in the master bedroom, out cold. The only thing that really stinks is that because I have to monitor the Molly Monster, I'm missing the opportunity for a glorious Sunday nap. I do want to get outside to mow and weed the front bed, but a nap was high on my list. Ah, there he is now. LOL, Molly woke him up from across the house. Baby Tex better be a good coper, because this household really shows no mercy to the weak and light-sleeping. :-) just ask Andrew. Poor guy hasn't slept in over 5 years.

12 March 2011

This has to be a baby boom.

Do you know that I'm currently working on baby gifts for seven babies? And then there's my own baby, who needs all sorts of cute things, too...I am going to be sewing until my head falls off.

Today I'm working on nursing covers. I'm really opposed to the whole idea, but down here in the South, women tend to be a tad more modest. So, if I have to wear one, it's going to be as cute as it can possibly be. I went out yesterday and bought fabric and all the notions, and am currently working on 6 covers at once. It's just easier to do each step 6 times than to try to remember what comes next on each one, I think.

Yesterday it was burp cloths. I did 8 and then pretty much passed out. I'm really thinking that I'm going to be listing some stuff on my Etsy store, but my friends are going to have to stop having babies first! About half of them are too early in their pregnancies for me to really get serious about what exactly to make, so that's actually fantastic, timing-wise. If they were all 31 weeks like me, I'd just be mailing packages of diapers. I wish I'd known how to sew like this when I was having Lucy and Molly - it's so easy and SO fun, and I'm saving so much money making all of this myself. And it all looks so adorable I could just pass out from the cuteness.

In other news, we really didn't do a whole lot today. The girls went down for late naps and Molly is still out. I chose to let them trash the kitchen and play independently so that I could sew, and they ended up playing together until 2! We're going to go out tonight for dinner and a drive, so I suppose they'll be up late anyway.

We have a very open weekend ahead of us - thank the Lord! Nothing but relaxation, organization and some prayer on Sunday! I think we'll fix up a fancy dinner on Sunday night with all the fixins'. Gotta keep it real, you know.

Lent is going well, 3 days in. I did pop onto Facebook for a hot second yesterday, to find some information about our dear family friend, James, who's living in Japan right now. (I'm not even sure "right now" is correct, as he's been there for years now...) I just needed to message him/his sister and thankfully the first post I saw was that he's presumed to be safe and well, but may be without power/internet for quite awhile. Please keep James and his adopted home in your prayers - I can't imagine the devastation running through the entire country right now.

11 March 2011


Well of course I don't leave the lid on at night. Who wants to hear that?! Besides, as many Tums as I'm consuming, it would be a lot of lid-removing. It's just nicer to have them them there than that big bottle. After three pregnancies, the Tums bottle sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me...blech.

I posted a long post with my pic of Molly last night, and now none of the text is there. Not surprising. That's just how last night was going for me. Today will HAVE to be better.

10 March 2011

Yummy... Candy?

Dear blog, no. These are not candies hiding in a cute ceramic heart-shaped box on our bedside table. These, courtesy of my lovely Laura's pregnancy heartburn, are TUMS. She does dress 'em up nice though in this CUTE container! Lol.

"I thought you'd get tired of hearing the Tums bottle shake all night" she said. Such a cutie. And so thoughtful even in her growing ( no pun intended ) pains!

I don't have the heart to tell her the ceramic lid sliding cross the ceramic bowl is like fingernails on a chalkboard 2 me and I'd rather have the tums bottle rattling to accompany the melodious snoring than the ceramic scratching ;-)

Statue of Lucy!

Kitchen Gadet

09 March 2011


I love...

...the way Lucy says, "This soup is so good. I've never had it before!" even though she eats chicken noodle soup frequently.

08 March 2011

Little girls on swings.

Nothing sweeter.

A new perspective.

We were at this stoplight last week and Lucy said, "wow, that's a big family!"


She spent an entire day last week wearing one of daddy's socks. We had her 2-year appointment and her pediatrician was just tickled to see her in that sock!

Filthy, sweet napping girl.

Chef Molly

As if you don't use a pasta fork to make waffles? Amateurs.

Sweet threads!

Nothing cuter than a little girl who's proud of her whacky outfit. Tutu over pants, apron over tutu, necklaces on top, bucket of food on the stroller. She truly takes after her mother.

Sitting in the car...

...girls napping after big fun at Bear Creek Park. My garage is filthy, and the front flower bed needs weeding. Guess we'll do that today - too pretty to be inside!

It's so rare that I get both kids napping in the car at once. I just wish I wasn't so thirsty, because I can't find my waterbottle and if I get out, they wake up. Fail.

I could really stand to settle on some baby names...anyone?

Going to post some pictures now.

4:30 am

Heartburn. Bathroom trips. Sore hips. Aching back. Headaches. Crazy dreams. Moaning toddlers. Husband with pillow on his face. (his doing, not mine) House offer in total limbo.

Is it any wonder I'm wide awake and wondering why this night is dragging so slowly? Nights like tonight are the reason our children are adequately spaced. I honestly wake up at 4am and think, "There is no possible way I can ever do this again."

I try to think of a new baby in my arms in exactly 8 weeks. A tiny, squirmy, hot, nursing, swaddled, pink baby. I try to think of only looking 4 months pregnant instead of two million. I try to think of mixed drinks. Nothing seems to help. I'm seriously entering pity-party mode. It's the kind of night where I want to shake my painlessly snoozing baby-making partner in crime and yell, "YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I'M SACRIFICING FOR OUR FAMILY!!!!!!"

But that would be spiritually dead and a little rude. I am so glad Lent starts tomorrow. Funny how the last 8 weeks of this painful pregnancy will line up perfectly with the suffering and passion of the Lord. I'm going to need that perspective to get me through. I'm giving up facebook and forums for Lent, but more importantly, I know that the next 40 days will really be about maximum suffering, physically. Every day that passes seems to get more painful and exhausting, and some days I feel so alone - pregnancy can be so isolating when you feel like the only one who's moving slow and trying not to cry. My pelvis really wasn't made for this, and the horrible back pain it contributes to from here on out is a constant reminder that I'll never be able to push a baby out.

I am so excited about this baby, but the fact that I only have c-sections always makes me feel like I'm on borrowed time and that each pregnancy may be my last. It's so bittersweet when I'm in this much pain and still loving the movement and baby tickles. I'm just a mess, and 4am doesn't help.

Oh look, it's almost 5! Well, better than nothing. Would it be wrong to eat a bowl of cereal now? I've been awake so long that my stomach and my baby are both rallying for breakfast. This is going to be a very long day.

03 March 2011

probably shouldn't be blogging right now...

I am so incredibly tired and cranky. I've kind of had a cranky week. I'm just running out of steam and feel very, very restless and unsettled...
This will be an unsettled and restless post. You've been warned.
So I guess we're househunting again? Our lease is up in August and it being March now, it's time to open our eyes and make a list of what we want in a home. That's tiring to me, but starting now means we have time. We've narrowed it down to a neighborhood/area we love, and I think that'll really help this time around. When we thought we were going to buy last summer, our search was incredibly scattered and disorganized. This time, we know we want to be near the water and we want to live in a home that feels like we're always on vacation. Luckily, North Texas home prices can make that a reality for us. What else do we want?
2000 sf +
Big lot/acreage
Large kitchen/chef's kitchen
4+ bedrooms
Two living areas
Mature trees
Quiet street
Unique house/old neighborhood
Construction prior to 1977, if possible
One level
No pool

We've found a few houses that have most, if not all, of these wishes. I want the kids to have plenty of room to run and play as safely as possible. And Andrew wants to fish. The area we love is a longer commute for him to work, and a longer drive for us to get to our friends and activities. It is, however, close to our beloved YMCA, varied shopping and nearer to Jenny and Paul. All good things.
It already feels like narrowing the search to a smaller area and waiting for "our house" is the better choice for us. If we get closer to our lease being up/Autumn and still haven't found the lake house we're looking for, we may expand the search area and possibly alter our wishes more. In the meantime, we save our pennies and say our prayers.

In other news, Molly has decided that she prefers to be naked 107% of the time now. She will be moving to the lake area before the rest of us, I think. Surely someone has some use for a scraggly-looking, lawn-ornament-sized, cantankerous 2-year-old. Anybody? No? Tough crowd...

02 March 2011

Mystery Pterosaur in Texas Takes Flight - Discovery News

This thrills me, FYI.


Don't mess with Texas Pterosaurs! They are the oldest yet found in North America. One recently found specimen may even be the oldest Pteranodon in the world.

The mystery flying reptile a type of pterosaur, took a final plunge 89 million years ago into the waters of the inland sea that once covered the central United States. It sank to the bottom, fossilized, and lay there until amateur fossil hunter Gary Byrd found the ancient aviator's bones. They were uncovered during the excavation of a culvert in a new subdivision north of Dallas.

BLOG: Pterosaur Windsurfed Across Surface of Prehistoric Seas

"I found a couple parts of a fish, and then when I saw these my initial thought was that they weren't fish," Byrd, a roofing contractor by day, said in a Southern Methodist University press release. "I kind of knew it was something different — a birdlike thing. It's very rare you find those thin, long bones."

Byrd already has a species of duckbill dinosaur, Protohadros byrdi, named after him in 1994. He donated the fossils to Southern Methodist University's Shuler Museum of Paleontology.

At the museum, Timothy Myers identified the bones as belonging to the left wing of a pterosaur, most likely a Pteranodon.

BLOG: New Dino-Eating Pterosaur Evolved in Unusual Way

"If it wasn't crushed so badly, it would be possible to determine if it really is Pteranodon," Myers said in a SMU press release. "These bones are easily flattened. They are hollow inside, because they have to be lightweight to allow a pterosaur to fly. So they compress like a pancake as they're embedded in layers of rock."

But certain structures on the bone suggest this was indeed a Pteranodon. It had, for example, a "prominent warped deltopectoral crest" characteristic of members of the Pteranodontidae family, Myers said.

Pteranodontid Wing 2

"This new specimen adds a lot more information about pterosaurs in North America," Myers said.

Before this find, Pteranodons had only been found in the north in Kansas, Wyoming, and South Dakota. Byrd's flying reptile is also the oldest specimen found in the U.S. by 1 to 2 million years. An older species of pteranodon-type dinosaur, Ornithostoma, hails from England.

If this Texas fossils proves to be an actual Pteranodon, it will be the oldest example of the species in the world.

"Any pterosaur material is fairly rare to find unless you have exceptional preservation conditions. They are frail, fragile bones, and they require rapid burial to be well preserved," Myers said.

"The SMU specimen was deposited relatively far offshore in deep water, perhaps 50 to 80 feet deep. It's fairly exceptional because of the number of elements. Typically you'll only find one piece, or one part of a piece in the local rock," Myers said.

BLOG: Pterosaurs Flew Long, Slow

This new specimen also lived at an important time of transition for pterosaurs. In the early to mid Cretaceous, around 80-90 million years ago, the winged reptiles were diversifying from toothed forms to toothless varieties like Pteranodon.

"This new specimen adds a lot more information about pterosaurs in North America," Myers said. "It helps constrain the timing of the transition from toothed to toothless because there's only a few million years separating this specimen and Aetodactylus."

Aetodactylus, also described by Myers, lived 95 million years ago, and had teeth. The toothless Texas Pteranodon lived only about six million years later.

BLOG: Pterosaurs 10 Times Heavier than Biggest Birds

Pterosaurs lived at the same time as dinosaurs, and died out at the same time, but were not dinosaurs. They dominated the ancient skies from about 100 million to 65 million years ago.


IMAGE 1: Pteranodon painting by Heinrich Harder 1916 (Wikimedia Commons)

IMAGE 2: Diagram of Texas Pteranodon fossil from SMU press release (Southern Methodist University)