Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Three days with the new hair

So I've had my new hair for three days and it looks better now that it's a little more curly.

I still like it, but it has one distinct pregnancy drawback. Prepare for Too Much Information: It does not independently get out of the way while vomiting. With really long hair, it's always either pulled back or is long enough to dangle outside the toilet bowl, safely out of the way.

On the other hand, it's easy to rinse out in the sink.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Prepare yourself!!

To get the full effect, we'll start back in August with the first major hair cutting I'd had in quite a while. And it was the first haircut I'd had at all in over a year.

Results: sent to Pantene Beautiful Lengths and Mom
And now here we are 2 months before the arrival of baby boy #2.
And after:

And the resulting two ponytails will be sent to Pantene Beautiful Lengths again.

I had thought about it for a long time and realized that I needed to simplify my hair before little Rastus showed up. I've been dreading and putting off washing my hair for the last few months and that's not a good habit to be in when you have a new baby. So far, I really like it!

I don't think my hair has been this short since my sophomore year of high school when I grew out my bangs. No more buns for me and no more braids. But ponytails will now be light enough to be possible!

Oh! And the maternity shirt I'm wearing is one that Mom made for me! It has sparkles all over it and makes me feel like a birthday cake with sparkler candles. Pretty cool!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Temporary Employment!!


Earlier this week, I signed up with Randstad, a temp agency that has kept me busy in the past and is also how I became permanently employed in the past. Monday, I interviewed with them, and she wanted me to fill out paperwork as if I were a new employee (including filling out a W-4). Tuesday, I went to orientation. Wednesday, at 5pm, they called me back to offer me a temporary gig making $5 more per hour than H&R Block. Full time. I think it took me about 10 seconds to process all that and accept. "When do I start?" I asked. Tomorrow at 8:30am.

*cue the mental cogs whirling*


Good thing I'd gotten a bunch of weird errands done that day! I didn't have work at H&R for Thursday or Friday, so I was planning on organizing and arranging the yard sale, gathering more to sell, sorting and putting away newborn laundry, sweeping out the garage, hiding the new toys for a rainy day that I had bought at the consignment sale, maybe keeping Quint home one day to suck extra quality time out of being unemployed, etc. So, I had to ditch all that and re-prioritize. A process that took, oddly, about 12 hours, but I managed it in the end.

I did still wake up at 4:30 like I have for a couple of weeks now. And as a result, I was horribly sleepy that first morning on my new job. The people are plenty friendly, the environment is OK, the work is repetitive, but not difficult (I will be charging my MP3 player this weekend). It's an alright place to be for now. It is definitely a job I can do. The money brings a sense of relief to our finances. In 2 days, I've earned nearly $200. I hadn't realized that my eyebrows had been living in my hairline, but I have noticed in the last 24 hours that my eyebrows have lowered to regular levels and my shoulders sit a little lower than my ears.

Both Hubby and I are sad that I can't be with Quint as much. And with the commute during rush hour and a 40 hour work week (my old job was 37.25) Quint will be in daycare nearly 10 hours a day. Which is painful to me. But we can keep Priscilla and maybe something wonderful will change and I can stay home after Rastus is born. Maybe this other scenario. Or maybe this scenario... I'm still hopeful.

But in the mean time, we won't be going into debt for regular expenses during April, despite us owing income taxes this year. There is absolutely no word on how long this temp job will last, but even if it only lasts 5 weeks, April will be solvent. If I only work the first two weeks of May, May will be solvent.

There is still a ray of hope on the unemployment benefit subject. Too detailed to go into, but we've made an appeal.

Things are looking up.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Purging progress

I'm having a yard sale April 2nd to get rid of all of the stuff I'm purging from the house. This must be a nesting instinct that has seriously taken hold of me and will not let me go! Yesterday, I spent just one hour in the attic and found six or seven boxes of stuff I can either sell or throw away. I'm trying to get a lot of this purging done while Quint is still at daycare. There's nothing worse than trying to clean out the attic with a pitifully crying baby at the foot of the attic steps, wanting to climb up there with me.

Why, you might ask, was there stuff in the attic that was just trash? With time, comes perspective, and with that perspective, things become trash. One is the large product of a childhood hobby I haven't touched since college. Another is a box of 3-ring binders containing all my notes from my religion classes from college. The only small debate about these things is do I keep the binders and emptied page protectors. I bet they just get pitched.

Since I'm having my second little boy, and we will probably stop having babies at that point, I can part with a lot of things I've been saving for my daughter or decorating her room while she's small enough to not get a say. My sons will never be interested in my adolescent chapter books involving three female best friends who just can't live without each other. So half of those books are going bye-bye.

Christmas decorations we were given several years ago that we have never used. GONE! Knick-knacks that I didn't remember I had. Part of my angel collection which is not sentimental and I haven't used in decorating in years. And they just aren't me any more. I went through the books in my office/peach room/baby's room and pulled out all the books I know I will never read again. My fetish with Claude Monet has passed so all those huge coffee table books can go. Roller blades I might not use again for 5 years? OK, I couldn't part with the implications of that just yet - those went into the attic. They are the only thing that has gone INTO the attic though.

Yesterday, a friend heard that I was having a yard sale and gave me a huge TV and two boxes of stuff to sell, saying I could keep the money. Cool! Though we might switch it out with one of our own and sell our old one instead. She asked me to come back Sunday and haul away other stuff in her attic.

OK, it's now 6am. Let's see if I can catch an hour of sleep before Quint wakes up!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Double stroller awesomness

Sunday, I bought a double stroller off Craigslist. Previously, I had only wanted a specific double stroller that went with our infant car seats. But then it occurred to me that it never, not once, was a problem to move a sleeping baby from the stroller to the car or the car to the stroller when Quint was a baby. (Did I really just type "when Quint was a baby?!") So don't need that one specific stroller.

So, of course, to Craigslist I went. And I was willing to be patient instead of drive 30 miles for a stroller. But within 2 days, I saw a good deal. A very good deal, it turned out. Sixty dollars!!

Here's the whole stretch limo thing. (Hey, my entryway looks clean! Wow!)

Both food & drink trays pop off. Both seats can recline to laying flat. Quint can crawl into the front seat by himself. Both canopies pop off. Storage can be accessed from the back or from between the seats. Closing it up is incredibly easy. While technically it's a one hand close, the reality is that it's huge and weighs a lot and you're gonna need two hands or maybe a friend to get it into your trunk - where there will no longer be room for more than 3 bags of groceries.

I've even got my OWN cup holder and junk catcher! It hardly looks used, and the previous owner was a little nuts about germs and had recently taken off all the cloth, washed it, washed the frame, and put it all back together.

So I talked myself out of the $170 stroller I thought I had to have, and spent $60 instead. Am I good or what!!

In other news, I'm gathering crap for a yard sale on April 2nd. We sold the tiny blue love seat for $40 this weekend. My unemployment claim has officially been denied so I'm going to have to give up Priscilla soon. Hopefully just for a while. She has two spots opening up in August when two kids start regular school. So maybe I can put my boys with her in August if I find a job! Don't ask me to talk about having to give up Priscilla because, yes, I will immediately burst into tears.

Here they are again: Priscilla and Uncle Vester. The best daycare on the planet.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I must tout my own awesomness!

With the variety of consignment sales going on in my area right now, I thought I would probably be getting Quint's next round of clothes at these sales. The problem is that I'm continually surprised at what other people refer to as "great deals". Footed PJs for $2.50 is really only a dollar off a Target two pack. To me, spending $4 on a single shirt or pair of pants, even in the 3T size, is an OK deal, but it's still expensive compared to what I can usually find on Craigslist. And I'm one of those people who has (so far) refused to go into an Old Navy store looking for new toddler's clothing. Aside from the knees of pants, he's going to outgrow it before it's worn out.

My son is currently in 18 mo - 2T size shirts and pants and around 24 month PJs. There's still a large box with some larger 2T size things in the loft that still seem a little big. My point is that he's got plenty of clothes for right now. Except shorts. It was 83 degrees outside today, and while I really love my collection of cords and jeans for him, shorts might be a good idea soon.

So I've been scouting through the Craigslist pages for a couple weeks now, looking for that irresistible, huge lot of 3T boys clothes for nearly nothing. Oh, and they had to be local. Not the "local" that means a 30 mile drive. I realized I was being picky, but I also have time to be patient. Like all summer.

But this week: it happened. I saw this listing: Boys clothes sizes 24months - 3T. It is a whole trash bag full of stuff all in good condition. No holes or stains that I noticed. I would be willing to send you pictures of some of the items or everything if you are interested. Just send me an email on here!

List price $30!

I'm the second to respond but the first person is a no-show. Tonight I picked up a large black trash bag of toddler clothes. The lady had washed them all yesterday and when I arrived, was still pulling them out of the dryer because she wanted to give them to me unwrinkled. What a golden idea! I had to chuckle when she told me that. I gladly paid her $30 for a bag I had trouble lifting.

Once at home, I got them all out to look at them. And more importantly COUNT them. Sixty-eight pieces! Forty-four cents each! And out of this huge bag, there were only about 4 shirts that looked old or faded, and I suspect they were designed to look like that. Marvel comics with distressed images and whatnot. There were 8 or 10 pairs of long pants, about the same number of really cute shorts. Some of the pants were the fantastic adjustable waist kind. Three pairs of swim trunks. One puffy, warm winter vest thingy. One pair of overalls. The remaining 40+ shirts were about half long sleeve and half short sleeve. And over half the short sleeves were polo shirts which I really seem to like on him. They're all in wonderful shape. They're all freshly washed in what Hubby determined was "Lara's family's detergent". AND they're all wrinkle free and still warm from the dryer! I feel like I won the lottery! An entire wardrobe, no matter the season, for $30!

Now, whenever Quint outgrows half his clothes at once (that's how it always seems to happen) I can just go shopping in a plastic bin in the loft!

This is the huge pile from two different angles.

I don't think I could have done any better! Perhaps I need to keep her number handy and just call her every few months to see if she needs to sell some of her son's clothes!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

29 weeks pregnant & 18 months old

Who's that dark side bad guy with the shriveled face in the third prequel of Star Wars? Here's my son as him. Here's my son as the adorable wizard from Middle Earth.And here he is as the adorable baby Rocky Balboa. (Cue the Rocky theme music.)
Here's the funniest shot of my belly button.

I'm 29 weeks pregnant and little Rastus has learned how to use his heels! He seems to be trying to expand all his edges at once to take over the world in there. He'll be tapping on my left hip bone, and a millisecond later, tapping on my right ribs. Two minutes later, he punches my left ribs and kicks straight down into my guts. More than once a day, he gives me an "ooff" worthy shove. He also seems to just vibrate sometimes. But as with Quint, when his daddy tells him to calm down and let me sleep, he DOES!

Here's the best shot of my hair.

The last two days, I've been more comfortable and happier, but then again, I've refilled my Zoloft and haven't been actively nesting as much and therefore being too active. Also, Hubby and I went ahead and had the very un-fun conversation about our finances, so I'm no longer dreading that. Also, the doctor said my blood pressure was still looking good yesterday.

Quint was 18 months old yesterday! And I even thought to mark his height on the door frame and date it. He's learning more day by day and is saying more and more as well. Our current frustrating word seems to be "hot" which he also calls my hat. He will point to hot food and say hot. He will pat the end table surface and say hot. He will point to cold food and say hot. So I'm sure we'll have a breakthrough in the next few days, but it's a little frustrating right now. The last time we were at an impass like this, he seemed to be pointing to everything and saying "kitty" including the cat. Finally, it dawned on me that he was saying "get it" and he looked so relieved when I finally got it for him.

The other day, I was putting lotion on his legs and saying, "lotion feels gooooood" and he said quite clearly, "yes it does."

Last Thursday, I went to daycare with him to learn things from Priscilla. If we have to give her up, I'd like to mine her for all the advice possible before we have to part with her. I wanted to see how she did messy things like paint and play-doh and keep her carpet clean. I wanted to see how she got the kids to eat broccoli and fresh spinach and other unlikely pre-school kid foods. I learned a great deal, but the process was rather traumatic for little Quint.

He was incredibly jealous and just sobbed for a lot of the day. Priscilla finally told me around lunch time that, while she appreciated me voluntering help at the daycare, she said I couldn't come back until Quint was at least 3 years old. Even if I had Quint on one leg and another child on my other leg, reading them a book, Quint did not look comfortable. And when I fed the 4 month old a bottle! OMG! His little lip poked out and he cried big fat tears the whole time. Let me tell you - this summer is going to be FUN!

We went home after lunch and before naptime and it was nearly bedtime before he was acting like himself again. I told him several times once we were home that the next day he was going to Priscilla's and I was not going to stay with him. He was fine the next morning when I dropped him off.

But since I went to Priscilla's and read countless books to Jacob, Quint has been really interested in his books and I bet we read 5 books a day now! Or rather, three books, with some twice through. Also in the last week, he can sit and pay attention through a whole lot of flash cards. Upstairs, we have the colors and shapes cards and downstairs we have the animal alphabet cards. Usually, we can get through 2/3 of the 52 animal alphabet cards before he looses interest or has more fun scattering them. With the colors and shapes cards, I can get through all of them, and then re-present some of them by collecting all the reds together, and all the greens together, etc. We know he knows yellow and green, so far. With his new found attention span, if anyone would like to buy him some new books or flash cards, you can click here to go to and have them shipped to the house!

He loves to be outside and walk circles around our cars. He's very good about coming back closer when we tell him he's gone too far. He knows that to go outside, he must have shoes and THEN a coat. So sometimes, he will bring us his shoes or his coat to try to get the process started. Or just repeat "shoes?" until we address the issue.

My little guy is growing up and seems less like a baby each day, which is kinda sad. On the other hand, it will be weird to have a completely helpless infant again this summer.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

28 weeks pregnant

I'm officially in my third trimester!! Why is it that it seems to be going so fast and so slowly at the same time?!
Here we are at week 28, or 7 months pregnant. That's little Quint with the blurry face. This is one of the maternity shirts Mom made me! You can't really see in the picture, but there are iridescent sparkles all over it. It makes me feel like a festive birthday cake. Which makes me crave sugary icing. Of course I crave all kinds of sugar recently. I wonder if vanilla flavored yogurt without aspertaim would satisfy my cheesecake craving?

Here's what says about week 28.

By this week, your baby weighs two and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of his head to his heels. He can blink her eyes, which now sport lashes. With his eyesight developing, he may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb. He's also developing billions of neurons in his brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

At my ultrasound last week, the technician estimated his weight at about 2.5 pounds. Because my ab muscles were in fantastic shape before I got pregnant with Quint and absolutely horrible shape when I got pregnant with Duce, Duce is a much bigger strain on my belly muscles. I'm wishing for flying buttresses at a much earlier stage this time around. If I fold my belly bands double and wear them at the same time, I get some relief from all that unsupported weight. Also, floating the belly in the tub is a wonderful thing.

*subject change*

I feel like I've gotten squat done today, so I'm going to list it off in the longest way possible:
extracted the broken bulb from the hall fixture and replace that bulb
replaced the dead bulb in the peach room
replaced the button battery in the scale (I weigh 144.4 pounds!)
fluffed and hung all Hubby's dress shirts
picked up all the stuff from around Hubby's desk!

sorted said junk into the following boxes: trash, trash, trash, unused cords, stuff that goes elsewhere, tapes-CDs-CB, important looking papers.

stored the three trash boxes in the garage and labeled them "Monday" (guess when trash day is!)

labeled and stored the non-trash boxes in the loft
made a list of things to sell at a yardsale
took Quint outside for a few minutes (in the mud and white pants)
left Hubby a note to vacuum under his desk
labeled boxes in the garage for ARC
wrote in my blog
took a pregnancy picture
napped twice
ate thrice

OK, so that looks pretty impressive! Keep in mind that most of those took 5 minutes or less. Neatening Hubby's office took 90 minutes.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Reverse nesting?

Perhaps I'm going through some reverse nesting. I'm not collecting things for the baby, but I'm getting rid of excess junk before the baby arrives.

This morning, after Hubby left with small fry, I darted up to the attic to find that box of Hubby's stuff that he didn't think worthy of a label. I quickly went through it and pulled out the handful of stuff that wasn't outdated (in a bad way), from a former employer (2 years past), or from clubs he is no longer is a member (yes, I know, we're all amazed that there IS a club that he has quit!). I took the majority of that box out to the curb for trash pick up. I was in a mental race against the trash pick up guys, due who knows when this morning.

Then I went back up there, and reduced three of my boxes of precious childhood memories down to one box! Ancient and horrible photos, negatives, cheap plastic empty photo albums, ceramics I didn't even remember, empty photo frames, extra copies of newspapers with legitimate memories, etc. I also found four large-ish things that simply are not my taste anymore and which could probably fetch some money off craigslist. And I pitched a rather huge box that only had some old scotch bottle canisters in it. I actually asked Hubby if I could pitch those several months ago and he wondered why we were keeping them.

So in just 90 minutes, I managed to seriously increase our trash pile out front, remove 6 boxes from the attic, find some things to sell, and a small box of things to give to goodwill or the ARC. I quit when I realized I was starving, I was hurting pregnancy-wise, and I'd gotten to the stage where I was thinking "oh, but we might have a daughter one day, I'll keep it" quite a lot.

One day, when we're moving, I hope to be able to pile up a stack of Hubby's precious junk next to my stack of precious junk and point out that my stack is 1/3 the size of his! Is that a mean-hearted goal? That will also be the time when we'll be marveling at our volume of junk anyway.

Someone remind me to never buy another picture frame ever, OK! I need to learn how to convert the ones I've got to hanging picture frames.

So now, I'm on to eating, putting my feet up and later posting some things on craigslist.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Potty time and piano playing - not simultaneously!

My son is not quite 18 months old and today he used the potty and went #2!!! We're so proud! Or at least I am. Hubby hasn't actually said that, but he did brag on the boy a whole lot.

We've been talking more and more about when he's going (when we can tell) and asking him if he knows what that felt like right before he went.

So today, he said, "I go?" and grabbed his diaper. I asked Hubby to go up and do something about that, not ever dreaming that anything would actually come of it. My belly was hurting and had the brownie box perched on my prone belly - I was occupied! I figured Hubby would put him on the potty, he would cry, and nothing really would happen. A minute later, Hubby hollered asking how to do this. I gave some dumb answer along the lines of "figure it out", until he said "this is really messy, I could use your help". Messy? It's never been messy before! I bolted up the stairs.

Sure enough, we had a mess on our hands. But some had landed IN the toilet!! So while Hubby and I were exclaiming about the mess, of course Quint started to cry. I shifted into calming, reassuring, you did so good type of things to calm us all down. At one point Hubby said, "HOW IS THIS OK?!" I calmly said, "because it is NOT the end of the world and this is actually fantastic progress." "OK, that's true."

We got everything and everyone cleaned up and calmed down, bragging about how good he did. I realize that if I had bolted off the couch at the first sign of "I go?" then we likely wouldn't have had a traumatic mess, but how on earth was I supposed to know?!

I'm frantically trying to think of a fantastic reward when he pats the tub and asks to play in the water in the tub. YES!! So we had a bath, or rather water play session, on a non-bath day and he played and laughed and played. I told him several times that he was getting to play in the water because he did so great with the potty.


This week, I sold a piece of exercise equipment and took the cash to the consignment sale at church. There, I bought a bucket of musical toys, a tiny wagon, a riding toy for outside, AND a small, musically correct piano! I had wanted a piano for Quint, but the funds don't appear to be in our future at this time. So a $15 piano was just perfect!

The very amazing thing, was that as soon as he played with it at home, he found two notes exactly one octave apart and kept playing them to hear them together! (E flat if anyone cares.) He had tapped around up and down the keyboard, but when he hit those two, he stopped, played them again, and looked at me! I said, "yeah, those sound the same don't they?" and he smiled!He has stopped and played at the piano many times now, and only knocked it over a time or two. It's a great thing for him to play with while I'm in the kitchen, too. We've been working on not pounding it (or the cat) but playing gently. It makes lots of other noises, and has a beat box which he loves to dance with. It also has an off switch and is light enough to hide in the loft if it starts to drive us crazy. All fantastic features - especially for $15!
He has also had much more success with the kid whistles within the bucket of musical instruments than with his daddy's fancy and expensive whistles. Daddy's whistles can actually play TUNES while Quint's can't but we certainly are not to the tune phase of Quint's whistle playing yet. We're to the "I made it go" phase of whistle playing.

So Quint has had some wonderful new developments this week!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

27 weeks pregnant

Yesterday, I had my glucola check, a ultrasound, and my rH shot. Yippie for efficiency! But there were a few good pictures of our second little boy.
And he's definitely a boy, by the way. No pictures of that, but here's his cute mug shot!

*subject change*

I've gotten a lot done today! I've cleaned out two boxes of our precious memory clothing and split them into piles to keep, toss, and give away. Mostly give away. The really unique ones, I photoed and then tossed or gave away. There were like 3 things out of two boxes that I thought we might actually use in the future.

I've also baked muffins which will keep me from missing my fruit bars which are more expensive. I've made brownies which will supply me in several days of my chocolate fix which seems to be a regular craving with this pregnancy. Normally I don't tolerate chocolate well, but all bets are off when I'm pregnant.

I've scanned all our 8x10 wedding pictures and other childhood 8x10s so that we now have a digital version of them. I also scanned in the ultrasound pictures and taken a belly shot.

I have gathered quite a bit of stuff for ARC to pick up tomorrow morning! There are three boxes of stuff for them and I only told them I'd have one. I'm so proud! AND I don't have to haul it to goodwill

Failures: Today, I have eaten muffins, muffin batter, brownie batter, brownies, and cheetos. And that is all.

Now. It's 2pm. Do I want to try to find some stuff in the attic for ARC or have a brownie and a nap before I pick up Quint. Decisions, decisions.... hey look, we've got milk....