Saturday, February 28, 2009

Thank you, Kelly!

This morning there was a huge consignment sale hosted by FCMOM here in Virginia.  I actually hadn't heard anything about it until Kelly sent me an email (from Missouri!) telling me about the sale.

SO glad I went!  I found a double stroller that fits into the back of my Honda Civic for only $60! Most double strollers retail for $300-$600.  I also got a Graco playpen that has the bassinet- diaper station (our Rainforest play-yard was recalled so I needed another one), and a Boppy.  I saved a ton of money!  Thanks, Kelly!

I finally have the upstairs organized.  All boxes have now been unpacked.  STILL missing a box of Eric's clothes, it's the weirdest thing.  The office looks great, except for my scrap-booking space which is a built-in desk inside one of the closets.  I love the space, but right now it has pictures, CDs, paper, and a ton of other stuff just lying everywhere.  I really hope I get a nesting high before labor with Rachel so I can get that space organized.  I had no such burst of energy with Eric.  

I took pictures of the upstairs to add but haven't had a chance to add them yet.  I hope to soon... Maybe tomorrow?  

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The House Tour- Part 1

Eric, being the son of two former pep banders, is a total camera slut. :-) Every picture is a baby version of "Where's Waldo?"

The outside of the house. Thanks Emma! I don't know WHY it
escaped me to take a picture of the outside first!

Come into the hallway...

And see the stairs to your right. (I'll take pictures of the second floor later)

And see Eric's playroom to the right...

... and see Eric on top of mommy's old synth, waiting for dada to come home.

To be continued... (since blogspot only has so much space per post)

House Tour- Part 2

Eric has now mastered the art of going downstairs backwards. Unfortunately, he sometimes wants to try "forwards" so every time he heads for the stairs, 34-week pregnant mommy has to chase him down and has a minor heart attack.

Eric: "Come and see my basement, guys. Mom and Dad are under the impression that it's theirs...

"... but as you can see, it's not."

The guest bathroom, which is on the opposite end of the basement from the guest bedroom. Don't ask.

Taking a picture of the guest room would have required me to go through the laundry room, which I don't want Eric near, so... if you want to see the guest room, come on over and spend the night (and do some laundry while you're here). ;-)

And... waiting for dada to come home. :-)

House Tour- Part 3 (Last one for today, I swear!)

I would have gone outside, but when Eric sees a door open, he becomes euphoric and races to go out. And if I, God forbid, try and stop him he throws a tantrum like you've never seen.

So this is why there's a flash. :-) This is the right side of the deck. The left side is a covered, screened-in patio. And behind the patio outside is a great swing-set.

A better picture of the dining room and hutch.

A better picture of the kitchen. I wish I could show the granite counters-I love them! (And, yes, that's Eric eating magnets)

Our living room... no toys! Oh wait... Eric found my computer.

And he also found... what IS that?

OK, that's it. It takes a while for me to find the time to take the pictures, then upload them, then post them... Well, you guys understand. :-) Plus the upstairs has boxes [gasp!]. (Please John, get the office done!)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Some pics of the new house

This really doesn't do the kitchen justice, but...

Supposed to be a living room, but Eric's toys have taken over.

My hutch. Part of my birthday present from John.
I LOVE my hutch.

We finally have a formal dining room!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New House

I need to post pics, I know, but with things still in boxes, I don't feel comfortable with that. So... maybe in a week (month)? ;-)

We moved in yesterday, and although I love the house, I don't feel like it's "home" yet. I'm disappointed about this. Eric is also fussier than usual, but thankfully is sleeping well at least for now. His new trick is to try to open the beautiful, stainless steel refrigerator and climb the crisper drawers. We caught him doing this once, and then stopped him from climbing once we saw he was going to break all the drawers. You can imagine how well THAT went over. So now he walks to the fridge, tries to open it, turns to me or John and babbles (I translate it as "Hello? I want to climb inside the fridge now, and I can't seem to open the door, so I need you to open it"). And when we either ignore him or tell him we aren't going to open the fridge, he has a tantrum. (This whole 13 month tantrum phase is just lovely, let me tell you) [sigh] I should really get some sleep.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Sad Thought

First of all, I want to say that my husband rocks.  I received an early Valentine's Day gift today- a MacBook Air.  LOVE it.  And Eric is currently loving banging his little pudgies on my old imac even if that sad little machine no longer works.

Today as John and I drove to get Eric's hair cut for the first time (long story short- his little curlies are gone and I cried), I had a sad thought.  I am almost 33 weeks pregnant.  Rachel Erin's due date is April 6th, though she will probably be born early like her brother.  When I was pregnant with Eric I had not one, not two, but SIX baby showers.  I know... overkill.  But it was so thoughtful, and I was grateful for every last one of them.  

I had one friend offer to throw a shower for Rachel upon finding out I was pregnant.  But she teaches at Virginia Tech and with the distance and lack of time, I doubt that will happen.  I haven't heard from her about it since the initial offer.  I'm not sad that I'm not "getting stuff" for a new baby.  My thought is- it seems that everyone was so quick to celebrate Eric's arrival into the world, but Rachel's arrival isn't worth the effort.  I feel responsible for this: Rachel wasn't planned and whenever anyone congratulates me about this pregnancy, I talk it down because I am so afraid of the strain her coming will have on my marriage and on me personally.  Two kids under two is an intimidating thought!

So, no, this is NOT a plea for someone to feel sorry for me and throw me an impromptu shower.  In fact, after telling John how guilty I felt, he suggested we throw a "Hello World" party for her once she arrives (for all computer geeks out there- you get the joke) where people can get things off the registry or just show up and meet her.  That cheered me up.  I don't ever want Rachel to know how afraid I was... how she was unplanned.  I want her to feel as welcome as Eric and see her birth as a joyous occasion for our family.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Jen's Brutal Honesty

I was "tagged" in Facebook to write those "25 Random Things" about myself that everyone else has written so well. I finally got around to it yesterday. I couldn't think of truly random things, so being the way I am, I opted for being completely honest about different stages of my life. I think number 25 has thrown some people for a loop, and I wanted to take the time here to clarify. Note- For all new moms out there, I think you'll be able to relate... at least a little.

I mentioned in number 25 that even though I had everything I thought I wanted from life, I'm not truly happy. But I don't think I'm alone in this. I remember thinking years ago that if I just went back to Japan, I would be happy. Then I thought maybe if I MOVED to Japan, I'd be happy. But that didn't work either, so then I started dating my amazing husband and thought surely that would make me happy. Nope. Then I thought it was time to start having kids, so THAT will definitely make me happy. HA! (All moms are at least having a chuckle over that one...).

A friend once described me as having the subtlety of a nuclear warhead. I hate phoniness and don't believe in faking how I feel. There are times when I have said that I hate my life. Those times are usually when I am utterly exhausted, Eric hasn't napped all day, and John has been watching t.v. or been on his computer for three hours straight, making me feel alone as a parent. I don't really mean that I hate my life during times like that. What I mean is: I want to give Eric about a fifth of whiskey so he'll sleep non-stop for 14 hours, scalp my husband, and take a vacation for at least 2 weeks.

I remember looking at women like me when I was single- women who had the financial capacity to stay home with their kids, who were in good marriages, had beautiful homes, beautiful kids. I thought to myself 'They have it all. They must be so happy.' As if their life was a bloody commercial for a week at the Magic F%$@ing Kingdom.

Having kids is the hardest thing I've ever done. I actually thought it would be easier than teaching. That thought literally makes me laugh out loud now. But I know I'm not alone. Every new mom I know is going through this. Maybe everyone goes through it, or maybe it's just those of us who stay at home with our kids and feel our youth and sanity draining from us.

I send out a plea to every mom out there- STOP trying to paint a picture of perfection to everyone. Be real about the ins and outs of your life, the good and the bad. Be real about the stress on your mind, body, your marriage. This is why I blog (cheap therapy) and read other blogs from moms like me. We need to know we're normal, that we're not bad mothers, and that we're not alone.

I have several friends right now who are either pregnant or will be getting pregnant sometime in the near future. I have been as real about the reality of motherhood as I can be. But I know nothing will prepare them. No book you read prepares you for the unique experience of navigating your relationships or marriage, right?

Of course, did I listen to the moms who tried to tell me how hard it was? Maybe it's something we all have to find out for ourselves. Experience is a hard teacher, but a fair one. I know I'm starting to ramble, so I'd better end this. I wish I had a concise, eloquent ending. :-)