IMG_0512My new baby boy, Griffin Lee Saye.  He came into this world on Thursday, February 24 at 12:45PM.

He weighed in at a whopping 9 pounds and 12 ounces!!  And he’s 19-1/2 inches long.

Yeah, a big baby.


With just a couple of days before this kid makes his debut, I’m trying to be appreciative of things.

This was a completely unplanned pregnancy – Moo says it wasn’t since we weren’t doing anything to prevent it – but as you know, I didn’t think I could get pregnant again without drugs and crazy calendars and doctors involved.  But this is definitely the last pregnancy for me.

I will be getting my tubes tied during Thursday’s surgery.  Mainly because of one of my mother’s friends.  She didn’t think she could get pregnant – she was 50.  In fact, when she missed a couple of periods she just thought she was entering menopause.

What took her to the doctor was the overwhelming tiredness she felt.  At that time, hormone replacement therapy was in full swing and all the menopausal women in my acquaintance were taking hormones to help deal with the symptoms. 

She went to her doctor in hopes of getting something to help with the fatigue and they ran a pregnancy test “just in case” and found out she was pregnant.  That child, a daughter, was a blessing to them, but I do not want to be walking around, 50 years old, being surprised by a pregnancy.

So this is my last pregnancy and I am trying to enjoy these last few days.  There’s much to be done: cleaning, preparing the nursery, getting ready for a visit from Grandma, last minute packing and a million little tasks that “just have to be done”.  But there’s also the moments of laying in bed with Moo as he rubs my belly and we talk.  There’s the moments of having Phoebe pat my belly and ask about the baby.  There’s feeling this baby move around and remind me of his presence almost constantly.

There’s the tiredness I feel after walking through Target.  The heaviness of my belly, my hand supporting my back, the glances I get from people.

I’m still fighting a cold and my throat hurts and I can’t take a damn thing for it except plain Sudafed and Tylenol, but I’m appreciative of that.  Not being able to take something and just crash because of this life I’m cultivating.

The Braxton-Hicks contractions remind me that my body is preparing for his arrival.  I’ve been dilated at about 3 cm for about 2 weeks now.  My body knows he’s almost ready and I am appreciative of that.

I am appreciative of the friends and family who have rallied around me.  One friend has kept Phoebe for me on Thursdays while I was at the perinatologist’s office.  My aunt and her sister have kept Phoebe while I went to the doctor on some of the Mondays and another friend has kept her on another Monday.  My husband has used his days off to watch her other days.  Another friend sent me 4 giant boxes of little boy clothing.  Another friend gave us her gently used but still serviceable infant car seat while another has given us a high chair that’s barely been used.  My mom’s club has already arranged the delivery of several meals after the birth of this kid.

How thankful I am for all of them!

How thankful I am for experiencing all this!

38 Weeks: The day is nigh…

So I’ve not felt real good since Saturday.  Oh I wasn’t sick or anything over the weekend.  That was later.

I’ve had what I call “Kitty Litter Nose” since the snow back in January.  You know, you feel like your nose is full of tiny rocks or glass or something?  And you blow it and it looks like a bloody mosaic?  (Sorry I can get a bit gross sometimes)

I get this off and on and it’s mostly that my nose gets so DRY and if I’d just use the saline spray it would be better?  I even asked my ENT Chester about it and he told me to use the saline spray too.

Oh well.

Over the weekend, the kitty litter nose just felt a little dryer, a little more stuffy but nothing too terrible and I felt ok.

Monday, I went for an OB appointment and I felt ok then, but by the time I got back home, I felt vaguely like dog crap.  Nugget is right under my boobs and I feel a little breathless most of the time anyway but I felt a little more breathless Monday afternoon.

I chalked everything up to just being hugely and gigantically pregnant and went on with my business.

Tuesday, I didn’t feel very well but I had a plumber coming out to replace ALL OF OUR TOILETS so I had to keep it together…

Now I am pretty damn handy with a toilet, if I say so myself.  I am an expert plunger and will confidently open up that tank and replace all of it’s innards if it gives me any trouble.

Our potties are all original to our 20+ year old house and I’ve completely rebuilt one, partially rebuilt another and the third one did that “tinkle tinkle” sound all the time which means it needs to be tightened but I’d tightened it so much that I was afraid if I tightened it anymore, I’d crack the porcelain.

Additionally, our water bill was getting ridiculous.

So the plumber finally gets to the house about noon just as I’m sitting Phoebe down to lunch.  I get him started and finish lunch with the kiddo. 

As the plumber works, I feel worse and worse.  Not about his work, that was great.  He was quiet, not too chatty, which I appreciated since my throat was beginning to really hurt.  I kept the kiddo out of his way and busy until he was done with the upstairs bathrooms and then I put her down for a nap.

He finished up with the guest bath downstairs right at 4PM and I was about dead.  I mean, I was REALLY sick.  I managed to keep it together long enough to get him paid and out of my house but then I crashed on the couch until 5:30 when Phoebe woke up from her nap.

After cooking a more complex dinner than I should have (Coca Cola chicken, mac and cheese and green beans) and watching a few minutes of TV, we put Phoebe to bed and I got in the tub.

I rarely go to bed before 11 or so, but Tuesday, I was so sick I just wanted to go myself.  But my head was so stuffy that I decided that a warm bath might help.  I also used the Neti pot about 4 times that day and I did it once before I went to bed.

IF you’ve never used a Neti pot before, you are missing an interesting experience.  It’s not unpleasant but I wouldn’t say it’s the best thing in the world I’ve done either.  However, the results are worth a few minutes of discomfort.

As a kid, I never liked diving because the water went straight up my nose and gagged me.  Using the neti pot is basically forcing that water up my nose on purpose.  Not exactly something I’m going to enjoy under any circumstance. 

I use the Neilmed neti pot not because I like the pot itself but because the saline mixture that comes with it is AWESOME! 

It doesn’t burn my nose like other mixes.  I’ve tried a couple of different ones and they all say that you may need to work up to full strength mix but the one doesn’t burn at all and it’s easy to mix.

So Tuesday night I feel like absolutely dog crap.  Wednesday morning, I actually felt a lot better.

By today, Thursday, I feel human again and gladly went to my LAST PERINATOLOGIST appointment.  I got to see THE PERINATOLOGIST again and he said that I had done wonderfully and I should be proud of myself for the control I had.  I haven’t felt like I’ve had the GD under control very well but he says I have and since he’s been birthing babies since I was BORN, I’m gonna trust him.

The last ultrasound was a full scan so we got to look at all the organs again and did measurements of the little guy.  Right now, he’s an estimated 8 pounds 15 ounces – which is what Phoebe weighed when she was born at 38 weeks, 2 days.

With another week, he should gain somewhere around another 1/2 pound or so which will bring him in around 9-1/2 pounds.

So that’s where we are.  Waiting.

If baby boy decides to come now, they will pause labor long enough to do a c-section.  Otherwise, we wait.

How I’m learning to FLY

About 5 years ago, I found this chick online who calls herself Flylady. She can be found here and you can sign up for her daily emails and podcasts and watch videos and sign up for her branded version of a calendar program, etc. She’s also got products that she sells like special timers and scrubbers and books.

Oh I hear you.. “But Amanda, it all looks like a big scam to sell me cleaning supplies” and I’ll admit that she’s definitely figured out a way to monetize the advice she gives. But at the heart of all of the gadgets and gizmos and buzzwords that you’ll find, you will find something very interesting.

She’s offering real advice on how to make your house your sanctuary and she’s offering a real way to do it. And there’s no judgment, but there’s also no excuses.

FlyLady has broken down the first 31 days of her system down into a list of easy to complete list of tasks that she recommends for folks new to her system. I fully embraced it about five years ago and went through most of the steps, but found myself reverting back to my old habits. It’s taken me 5 years of misery in my house to really appreciate what Flylady has to say. It’s taken me 5 years to stop being a perfectionist in my housekeeping.

A perfectionist, you say? Yep, Flylady helped me realize that it was perfectionism that made me not want to clean. That it was my mother’s and grandmother’s perfectionism that drove me crazy and that I am walking down the same path. And like other crazy stuff passed down in my family – which will be another post – the CRAZY PERFECTIONIST STUFF STOPS WITH ME.

Here’s some of the logic for you: I see that the kitchen is a mess. I guestimate how long it will take me to clean the kitchen to my perfectionist mindset and I ALWAYS overestimate – usually by several hours. Then, because it seems so big, I PROCRASTINATE because, come on, who’s got 4 hours to clean one room?

The truth is that the kitchen only needs maybe 20 minutes of real work. However, my mind is saying that there is a lot more work. It’s saying that I also need to clean out the junk drawer and change the baking soda in the refrigerator and bleach the countertops and wash the tray thing in the silverware drawer and sanitize the trash can and reorganize the pantry and suck the lint out of the lint trap in the dryer and a million other things that NEED to be done before I will declare the kitchen clean.

So old me would have said, I’ll just do what absolutely needs to be done right now for me to be able to cook a meal and leave everything else for another day. New me says that’s good, work on the 4 or 5 quick tasks that absolutely needs to be done but also set a 15 minute timer and do one of those other things. The next day, new me will do the things that absolutely be done (i.e. empty and fill the dishwasher and run it, wipe off the counters and stovetop, and empty the trash can if needed) which won’t take more than 15 minutes and then set a timer and do another 7-15 minutes on something else.

This very act has taken my house from a total wreck to a livable place that I LIKE in a matter of just a few weeks. And best of all, no one is stressed out. No one is being yelled at. No one is being driven bat shit crazy with crazy perfectionist attitudes.

I was beginning to think that we really needed a new house and now I am convinced that we just have too much damn stuff.

My house isn’t perfect and that’s ok. It’s clean enough that I don’t feel embarrassed to have a friend’s almost 1 year old crawling on my floors. My husband doesn’t complain about not having enough clean underwear because I’m keeping up with laundry. My daughter stays out of things better because there just isn’t as much clutter to get into. And I’m a lot happier because I don’t feel guilty when I play on the computer or take a nap because I am not looking at a cluttered house and thinking about how I should be working on that instead of taking care of me.

And isn’t loving yourself just as important as loving your family?

Why I hate housework

Most of us learn about house cleaning and maintenance from our mothers and I am no exception.  My mother was a crisis cleaner.  This means that generally the housework was left until either A) we had company coming over or B) it was time to put up the Christmas tree. 

There was also frantic panicked cleaning or stuffing things into cabinets and closets when my grandmother was coming – she wasn’t really considered company since she lived 2 doors away and was at the house 1-3 times a week. 

At these times, my mother would turn into a complete tyrant and would scream, yell, cajole, bribe, etc to get me and my father to help her in cleaning the house.

We would work furiously to get the house into shape.  We would often work late into the night getting the house into order because no one would rest until the house was to my mother’s idea of cleaning perfection.

I grew up with this and my only real idea of housekeeping was about this crisis cleaning.  There was no such thing as a weekly cleaning day, or areas of the home that needed daily attention.  And I grew to HATE the week of Thanksgiving because we’d put the Christmas tree up that weekend and my mother couldn’t consider putting it up unless the house was completely clean and tidy.  This is when my mother would do a version of Spring cleaning that would make everyone bat shit crazy. 

After all, we had hardwood floors and they needed to be stripped and waxed.  The rug in the living room needed to be shampooed.  The kitchen cabinets needed to have everything taken out and washed.  The bathroom needed to have every inch of floor space scrubbed with a small brush reserved just for this purpose.  The linen closet had to be completely emptied and all items categorized, rewashed if necessary, refolded and placed back into the closet.

What’s worse is my maternal grandmother – the one that lived two doors down? – was doing the same thing and would enlist my help.  I was volunteered to help grandmother and then I had to come home and do all the same things at my house.

I later found out that my grandmother had volunteered my mother’s help to HER grandmother when my mother was a girl – so this was just what you were supposed to do.  Besides, in my grandmother’s and mother’s eyes, I was young, I couldn’t get tired!

By the end of the week, I was exhausted, could care less if we ever put up the Christmas tree and just wanted to go back to school. 

After Moo and I got married, I refused to do the bat shit crazy cleaning but the house would have to be cleaned or it would be a complete pig sty.  In fact, while I was working, Moo and I would tackle the kitchen about once a week and we’d get the trash taken out in time for pickup.  But the other stuff like cleaning the toilets and bathtubs and vacuuming and mopping were left until CRISIS CLEANING TIME!

And of course, if it’s been – GASP! – a month since you cleaned your toilet, you know that’s not a fun job. It takes three times longer to get that sucker clean as it would if you just gave it a swipe every couple of days and then really scrub it out once a week.  But who can remember to swish it daily?

I believe that I have found a secret to keeping house without crazy long cleaning sessions.  What I have discovered keeps me and my family sane.  I’m not having to browbeat my husband into helping me because THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO AND I CANNOT POSSIBLY DO IT BY MYSELF!!!

Come back tomorrow to learn what I’m learning.

37 Weeks

So here we are.  Less than two weeks before my scheduled C-section.


I’m pooping my pants.  Hang on while I change them.

Ok.. that’s better.

So Tuesday morning, I wake up and my left wrist is killing me.  I mean really really hurting.  When I was pregnant with Phoebe, I had the same thing for the last month or so before she was born, except it was the right wrist.

My hands and feet have been swelling a good bit and like a lot of preggos, the swelling is affecting the carpal tunnel in my left wrist.

So I wrapped it up and went on with my business.  The wrap reminded me to take it easy with that wrist and I did pretty well.

Well, Wednesday night/Thursday morning, I had a really bad night.  BOTH wrists hurt all night.  My fingers were swollen and hurting.  I even took off my wedding band because my hands were so swollen. 

By the time it was time to get up Thursday morning, I was in tears because I couldn’t figure out how to get dressed, much less drive myself to the doctor.

Moo was really concerned about me because I don’t usually do that.  I’m one of those stoic types when it comes to pain.  I will lie and say that I’m ok and just stay quiet while I’m in pain.  When I finally start talking about the pain, I’m generally beyond that.  If I start crying, well, then, I’m in a LOT of pain.

He was so concerned that he took me to my doctor’s appointment just to be certain that they weren’t going to keep me.  He also put the suitcase in the car – yeah, he was THAT concerned.

So blood pressure was good. I gained another two pounds.  Baby looked good.  And the swelling?  Well that’s just part of being 9 months pregnant.  Once I knew I was ok and the baby was ok, I calmed down and I could better deal with the pain in my wrists, which in turn, made Moo feel better about me.

I am pretty much an emotional mess right now.  I’m crying during commercials again which is pretty irritating. 

Also: effin’ Braxton Hicks contractions.  Anyone who calls them painless can kiss my ass.  They are highly uncomfortable and, of course, are annoying because if you stop doing the thing that is bringing them on, say, sitting in your favorite chair playing a computer game, then the bastards stop. 

Nugget’s room is 95% complete.  We still need to move some furniture around and we plan to do that sometime this weekend.  I have laundered all the gender neutral stuff I had for Phoebe and the stuff I got at a yard sale but still need to launder the new clothes I bought last weekend to fill in the gaps.

So all you mamas out there.. what irritated you the most in the last trimester?

Conversations with my toddler

I haven’t talked about Phoebe’s speech development in a while.

Truth is, there isn’t much to say.  Not that there’s no improvement.  There is.  She’s talking up a storm.  Perhaps not on level with her age, but her vocabulary has greatly expanded and nearly every day I hear her say something new.

Here’s a conversation we had this morning:

Phoebe: Mama, juice. (what she calls fruit cups)

Me: No, we’re going to have breakfast.

Phoebe:  Mama, juice.

Me:  No, let’s have cereal.

Phoebe:  Cereal?  (Thinks about this for a moment).  Juice?

Me:  No, we’re going to have cereal.

I open the refrigerator to get the milk and, of course, she sees the mandarin orange cups she’s jones’n for.

Phoebe: (pointing wildly)  MAMA JUICE!!  MAMA JUICE!! MAMA JUICE!!

I put her in the booster chair and pour the milk.

Me: Let’s eat cereal.

Phoebe now begins to cry with real tears and everything. 

Phoebe: (tearfully) Maaaamaaa… juice….

Whereupon, I open and drain a cup of mandarin oranges and give them to her.

Phoebe: (daintily placing one orange slice in her mouth) Mmmm… good juice.


My mother in law is coming to spend some time with us when Nugget makes his appearance so I wrote down a few of Phoebe’s words.

She knows a lot of words and you can understand most of them.  But sometimes the meanings are not the same as what you and I might think.

Words with multiple meanings
"Sauce" - some type of sauce, usually ketchup, but can also be salsa or grape jelly.
"Car" - can be a car, but can also mean the stroller
"Omnia" - usually means "banana" but can also refer to her Dumbo stuffed animal or elephants
"Cracker" - can be a cookie or cracker or chips - anything crunchy like that
"Cookie" - interchangeable with cracker... could be cookie, could be cracker, could be chips...
"Cow" - can be a cow but also a horse.
"Carow" - candy, carrots or my aunt Carole
"Juice" - can be juice but also any fruit in the refrigerator

Words and Phrases that have meaning to her but maybe not to you
"boo-boo" - boobs.  This is usually accompanied by her pointing to or patting your boobs.
"Ouchie" - a physical ailment like a scraped knee.
"Ahm" - Apple
"Tig" - Tigger stuffed animal