June 1, 2012

Child + Sniffles + Paranoia = Hypo-mom-driac

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , at 11:41 pm by Tamara

A couple nights ago Bear got a cold.  Nothing serious, just a stuffy/runny nose.  So I plugged in the humidifier when I put him in bed, hoping it would help him breathe.  In the morning it was stifling hot in there, so the next night I adjusted things.  Last night was night three of his cold, and the set up in his bedroom was as follows:

  • Humidifier to make it more humid
  • Door open to keep it from getting too humid
  • Window cracked to make it cooler
  • Space heater plugged in to keep it from getting too cold
  • Couple drops of tea tree oil in humidifier to help him breathe
  • Way fewer drops than recommended in case he has an allergic reaction and can’t breathe
  • Lightweight pajamas in case he gets too hot
  • Sleepsack in case he gets too cold
  • White noise machine on to keep it from being too quiet
  • Me, tiptoeing like a cat burglar to keep from being too loud as I check all this to make sure he’s still alive.

Parenting is funny.  ;)


September 21, 2011

Avoiding Psychological Torture (aka Jeans Shopping)

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , at 3:34 pm by Tamara

Usually in the past when I’ve bought new jeans it hasn’t been because my old ones are worn out, but because the hem is frayed.  I’m average height, but the back hem usually drags a little, which means the hems get worn out long before the jeans are.  See exhibit A:

Oh, what a horrible way for a favorite pair of jeans to die.

I can’t stand the ratty look, so I used to buy new ones once the hems were shot.  This, of course, usually required hours and/or days of psychological torture as I went to store after store trying to find a pair that didn’t make me feel fat, fall off my hips, fit everywhere but in one spot, display the color of my underwear (or worse) whenever I sat down, have strange bedazzling/rips/acid wash, cost a fortune, give me a muffin top, pool around my ankles, look dated, give me camel toe, or require liposuction.  This search usually ended with me curled up in the fetal position in the corner of a dressing room on top of a two foot pile of rejected jeans, weeping like a baby.

Last year I decided something MUST be done to stop this cycle, or I was going to need serious therapy.  So I tried an experiment and was surprised how well it worked: I used clear nail polish to paint the very tip of the hem.  It binds the fibers together and if the hem drags now it rubs on the nail polish barrier instead of wearing down the fibers.  It works great!  You only need to paint the very edge–don’t make it too thick or the hem will be stiff.  I re-paint it on every few months if I see it’s wearing off, and it is making my jeans last so much longer!  Jeans are usually one of the most expensive clothing items I buy, so I’m thrilled that mine are lasting longer.

These are the maternity jeans I bought last year.  I wore them for about six months, and they look almost as good as new!

Tada! These are in such good shape, I'm saving them for pregnancy #2. Too bad they'll undoubtedly be out of style by then....

When I come up with a solution for having to buy new jeans because of weight gain/loss and jeans going out of style, I’ll be sure to post about that, too…

September 2, 2011

A Poopie Afternoon (or “Baby and Poo, Doggie and Poo, Mommy and Poo” or perhaps “Too Much Information”)

Posted in Water Droplets tagged , at 8:18 pm by Tamara

When this afternoon’s events started happening I planned to post the story on my mom’s Facebook, because almost nothing is too much information to share with Mom/Grandma, right?  However, as the events progressed it became clear that this story was way too long for the character limit.  Hence this post.  If you are not my mom and/or have no interest in will-be-funny-to-me-someday baby poop stories, feel free to forgo!

I’ve been mildly sick the past few days—just enough of a head cold to make me tired and yucky feeling.  Today added, erm, mild digestive issues.  So I put Berean in his jumperoo (mistake #1) and went to the bathroom.  It was almost naptime, and I was dreaming that maybe I could crawl in bed with my box of tissues and sleep for a while, too.  While I was in the bathroom, Rean of course started crying like he was dying, so I went to rescue him and discovered a massive diaper leak.  It had run down both his legs and he was standing in a puddle of it (on the carpet, of course).  This is the third time in a week and a half he’s had a diaper leak in that darn jumperoo.  Wah wah wah.

Even though this leak blew the last leak I wrote about out of the water (and while we’re on that topic, why am I writing about poop so much?  Is this subject an unavoidable side effect of motherhood??), I didn’t have the heart to take pictures and Adam was at work, so I changed Berean’s diaper and got him wiped down well enough that I could set him down to get a bath ready.  When I carried him back out to the living room, what do I see but our little dog Lily crawling out from under the jumperoo.

Now, a little back story, we just paid $56 to get her groomed.  (Okay, in my defense, I have to add that we usually only pay $35, but I’d been looking for weeks for a coupon and she was getting so matted that we couldn’t put it off any longer).  So she came home from the groomers smelling like peaches with a bright white coat and little sparkly pink bows in her ears (and for 56 bucks she’d better!)

And now this afternoon, out she crawls from under the jumperoo, and I realize that she has been rolling in the poop puddle.  I don’t think there could be a more incongruous sight than this foofy little formerly-white-dog with pink sparkly bows who should be all dainty and girly and is instead covered from head to toe in mustard yellow baby diarrhea.  So here I am with a baby covered in poo, a carpet covered in poo, and now a doggie covered in poo.  Oh, horrors!

So I lock her in the kitchen and go to get Rean’s bath ready, which of course requires moving all the dirty dishes from the kitchen counters into the kitchen sink (it only occurred to me later that I could have put his tub in the bathtub.  Sigh.)  As I’m doing that I look down and see that the dogs are playing, which involves Knightley chewing on Lily, who is covered in baby poo.  Oh, horror!  So I kick Knightley out of the kitchen and give Berean his bath.

Next I put Rean in his crib, hoping he’ll take the aforementioned nap, and go bathe Lily, which requires moving all the dirty dishes out of the kitchen sink and onto the kitchen counters (which also could have been done in the bathtub, but my poo-traumatized brain didn’t think of it).  Of course, once I have a sopping wet, bedraggled and soapy dog, Rean starts wailing from the other room like he’s dying.

So I quickly finish rinsing Lily and go check on Rean, and thankfully this time it is only spit up and not poo.  I get him calmed down and cleaned up and come out to deal with the poo-covered carpet.  Of course, the carpet shampooer wasn’t cleaned out the last time it was used, so I have to do that.  And, of course, Berean starts crying again.  I get him settled down again and come to clean up the carpet, and of course, the shampooer isn’t working.  It was a sizable poo puddle to begin with, and Lily’s rolling has smeared it into a much bigger puddle, so I really don’t want to have to do this on my hands and knees (with my runny nose dripping all over the place).

I finally get the carpet cleaner to sort-of work, and am sweating (probably with a fever) by the time I’m done.  Thankfully by this time Rean is quiet.  Praise the Lord!  So I go to empty the dirty mustard yellow water into the toilet, and, of course, accidentally drop the reservoir itself into the toilet.  I mean, what else would I do at this point?  After cleaning that up, I let the dogs outside.  Lily decides that she doesn’t need to walk all the way to the grass and instead pees all over the deck landing, right where Knightley always jumps up to come inside.  So I clean that up.

By the mercy of God, Berean was still asleep at this point.  So, I sneak into the bedroom, curl up in the fetal position, and take at nap.


Ironically, he was not wearing the Poopie Onsie today.  But he WAS wearing the onesie that I always hang up next to the poopie onesie (yes, his closet is color-coordinated.  It makes me happy!)  So does this mean that Poopie Onesie is spreading its poopie-leak-inducing condition to the other innocent clothes in the closet?  Oh, Lord, save me!

I took this a few days ago. Good thing I have such a cute helper for all the poopie baby clothes!

Lily, post-grooming and pre-poopie. Too bad you can't see the sparkly pink bows very well.

August 22, 2011

Recipe for an Idyllic Morning

Posted in Water Droplets, Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , , at 1:01 pm by Tamara

Berean and I had a great morning.  Usually my mornings consist of feeding Rean while eating dry cereal with my fingers, drinking from the half-empty water bottle I forgot on the floor the last night, and wondering if Rean will fall asleep again long enough for me to take a frantic shower.  But this morning was particularly blissful, in spite of the fact that I was removed from another blissful state (sleep) a little earlier than I could have wanted. But still, it was rather idyllic, so I thought I’d document:

The first, and most important, ingredient is a happy baby. The recipe will most likely not succeed without it.

The next ingredients are French-pressed caffe verona and vanilla caramel creamer. Oh yum. I almost put the coffee grounds above the press' plunger by accident. Clearly I needed to stay in blissful state #1 a little longer this morning.

Adam brought me strawberry and blueberry mini-scones from Panera. Yum, yum, yum!

Yes...I'm a month behind. Um, plus a year. Heh. Nothing wrong with a 2-year reading plan! The point is to keep reading!

Next, my chronological Bible, complete with an "Emma" bookmark just to make me smile.

I'd probably get more read if Berean didn't make so many distractingly cute faces!

He was making smacking noises and opening and closing his mouth as if to say "Can I try that, Mommy?"

I also might get more read without cute-but-needy doggies. Exhibit A: Lily.

Exhibit B: Knightley. "I want in, I want out, I want food, I want out, I love you! I want in, I want out...."

The distracting view of the messy living room doesn't help, either....

Clearly, the nighttime pick-up routine did not get accomplished last night. Oi.

But, hey! Bible read, yummy breakfast eaten. Progress!

At this point, I listened to my dreams of a long, peaceful shower get cried away as Berean fought his nap.  When I picked him up to try to rock him to sleep on my shoulder he kept pushing back to look into my face as if to say, “Mommy, you are already beautiful and you smell fine to me–no need to shower!  Now, can we forget about this nap thing and go play?”

Oh well, you win some, you lose some. All in all, I think we have the makings of a great morning! Who needs a shower? On with the day! I love my life. :)

Update: as of this posting, I am glad to report that both a clean living room and a shower have been accomplished!  Now, Berean.  About that nap….

May 14, 2011

Ice Cream Adventure

Posted in Water Droplets tagged , at 10:31 pm by Tamara

Adam and I decided to take Berean on a walk today.  We thought we’d get lunch at an ice cream place a few blocks away that we’d never been to.  It was beautiful and sunny when we started and Rean was quite happy rumbling along.

Our city doesn’t believe in sidewalks (boo!) so we went off-roading a bit through some back lots and fields, but we made it there!

When we got to the ice cream place we discovered that they didn’t have any food food, so we decided to go get sandwiches at the deli next door, which was great!

When we finished we thought we’d walk to the Redbox and get a movie for tonight before getting our ice cream.  Some ominous black clouds rolled in about then and it started to sprinkle.  We’ve had some incredible thunder storms lately (the other night there was a thunderbolt that literally shook the floors of our house!), so we decided not to risk getting baby caught in the rain.  Rean and I ducked into Kohls (dangerous!) while Adam walked home to get the car.  Sure enough, when he was about half way home it started pouring.  He was absolutely soaked through when he got back, but he saved Rean and I!  What a great dad.  We never actually got our ice cream, but it was fun family time!  I love it when Adam has days off!

May 1, 2011

A New Kind of Date

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , at 10:55 pm by Tamara

After working seven days in a row (with 10-12 hour shifts) Adam finally got a day off today!  It was sooooooo nice to have him here.  I simply don’t know how single moms do it.  He went to church this morning, but we’ve been instructed by the pediatrician to not take Berean out until he’s a month old, so I stayed home.  Since we can’t take Rean places, we got creative for a date—we packed him into the car and went on a progressive drive-thru date: to Hardy’s for burgers, then McDonalds for fries and drinks, and Wendys for frosties.  Hehe.  The weather was nice, so we sat with the windows rolled down and talked.  It was fun, and really nice to get out of the house.  After we came home and fed Rean, Adam insisted on watching him while I went and ran a few errands.  What a sweet husband!  For some reason I love running errands—getting them done makes me feel like the world is in control!  Every time I left a store I had a horrible feeling that I was forgetting something, though (my keys?  wallet?); I realized I felt like I was forgetting baby!  It does feel like a piece of me is missing when I’m not with him.  To finish our date day we rented Tangled from Redbox, popped popcorn, poured soda, and watched the movie (with only a few breaks for diaper changing, feeding, and crying).  Our lives have definitely changed, and our definition of a date night might have to change for a while, but it’s a good change!

April 9, 2011

Happy Pregnant Pessimist

Posted in Water Droplets tagged , at 1:20 pm by Tamara

I am a happy pessimist.  I have long maintained that it’s better to be pessimistic and pleasantly surprised than optimistic and disappointed.  The logic is irrefutable!  I like being a pessimist, and I am quite happy being regularly pleasantly surprised when my dire dramatic predictions of doom fail to come true.  Pessimism is great!  (Oops, I mean, it’s horrible.)

I don’t know what possessed me, then, to be optimistic about when Baby would arrive.  Maybe it was the fact that I hate surprises, so I mentally prepared myself for the possibility of him being early.  Maybe it was the fact that my Mom’s first baby was three and a half weeks early.  Maybe it was the preeclampsia scare where they might have induced at 36 ½ weeks.  Maybe it was the fact that I’ve been having pre-labor contractions (weak, but real) for three weeks.  Maybe it was the fact that Mom’s schedule meant she had to come early, so we prayed for Baby to come early, too.

Whatever it was, I’ve spent about the past month optimistically thinking “He COULD come any day now.”  Which means that I’ve also spent the past month being disappointed!  Baby is now late, even later than the average late baby, and my case for the benefits of pessimism has been supported like never before.  Hence, I have come to a conclusion:

Baby is not coming.  He is going to live in my tummy until he is 18.  It is time, at long last, to break down and go buy summer maternity clothes, since I will be wearing them for the rest of my life.  It is time to embrace my huge stomach and go get a tattoo to cover the rapidly multiplying stretch marks.  Adam’s going to figure out how to turn Baby’s crib into an attachment to our bed so we can have a king size, I can sleep with my mountain of pillows, and he can sleep on more than six inches of mattress.  We’re going to buy an ultrasound machine so we’ll have pictures to post on Facebook as Baby grows up.  I’m enrolling myself in peewee soccer, kiddy choir, little fishies swim class, and finger painting class so Baby can have every opportunity in his childhood in my tummy.

Because, you see, Baby is not coming.

(Aaaaand…let the pleasant surprising begin!   …PLEASE??)

January 24, 2011

Spring Nesting

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , at 12:20 pm by Tamara

We keep hearing how this has been an unusually cold winter for South Carolina, and I have to agree that it has been pretty cold.  Not only has it snowed twice, but many mornings the temperature has only been in the teens when I’ve left for work.  Not exactly in the single digits with -40 degree wind chill, but still pretty cold.

Lately, though, we’ve had several days where temps have gotten close to the sixties, and to my Coloradan/Wisconsinite brain that can only mean one thing: SPRING!!  I really feel like it must be March or April, and then I’m disappointed when I realize it’s still January.  But, it’s got all sorts of Spring tasks on my brain.  For one, I desperately want to finish the wretched fence.  We’ve got half the posts up and about a fourth of the panels.  It’s so easy to nail up the panels once the posts are there, except for one thing: I can’t help Adam carry them anymore (last time I tried I almost fainted).  So, they sit in our garage.  We do have a wonderful friend who has volunteered to help, though, so maybe now that the weather is getting warmer we can finally finish the dumb thing!

I’m also back to mentally plotting flower and vegetable gardens.  Which is remarkable considering this is…well, ME.  The vegetable garden was a wah wah wah failure last year, in my opinion (except for the basil bush).  I think part of the problem was I planted too late and it got too hot and killed everything.  Again, I’m still thinking as though I’m in CO or WI, where you don’t dare plant until the last frost comes in, say, June.  Haha.  As for flowers, I really, really want to plant a purple crepe myrtle tree in the front yard, and some roses.  The problem is where to put roses—the front of the house never gets any sun, and I never go in the back yard.  Which might change if there was a fence!  And fewer burrs.  That’s another thing.  We have no front lawn, only a proliferation of wicked little burr-producing something.  I don’t know how you get rid of it, but I’m determined to find out.  I think we’re going to have to sod the front yard, but the back might be salvageable.  But one thing is for sure, those burrs are EVIL and must be destroyed!  Unfortunately, these pipe dreams also require another thing: money.  Wah wah waaaaaaaaaah.

Of course, there’s one other thing that Spring makes me think of: Baby!  I’ve been thinking that we’re getting so close to the due date, but it’s really still ten weeks away.  Still, I figure I have to get all my Spring (and Summer) tasks done in the next ten weeks, or they’ll probably never get done.  We’ve begun “nesting” by cleaning and organizing things like closets and those horrible miscellaneous drawers and boxes that seem to multiply incessantly.  Unfortunately, whenever I organize/purge the house always looks way worse before it gets better.  It’s all the piles of can’t-toss-don’t-know-where-to-put stuff.  I hate those piles.  So, our nest looks a lot more like a pile of sticks than a nest right now, but hopefully it will be put in place before April 2nd!

And, last but not least, all these Spring-ish thoughts always make me want my mom.  She was the one who would jump up and down when she saw the first crocuses poking through the snow and exclaim “Yay, Spring!  Go, go, go!!”  Love you, Mom.


January 21, 2011


Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged at 10:37 pm by Tamara

Well, I made it four days before crying over statistics homework!  Not bad, considering my track record.  Although it was kind of the perfect storm for an emotional disaster of an evening: pregnant, getting over a cold, sleep deprived, doing math homework, researching sex trafficking, and discussing abortion.  What was I thinking??

I have also decided that math makes me feel dumb.  I consider this an unpleasant sensation.  Therefore, I officially relegate math to the category of “Things Which are Unpleasant.”  There are other things in life that make me feel dumb, but usually I can at least try to hide my dumbness.  Y’know, if I don’t get the joke I can just laugh anyway, but somehow teachers don’t feel inclined to up my grades when I laugh at them.  Hence, the only way to avoid the dumb feeling is to avoid math, which I have done quite faithfully for the past decade.  Alas, no more.  (And again I voice my age-old, unanswered question: “How can I have a rocket scientist for a dad and be so completely inept at math?  Where did the genes GO?!?!”)  I don’t like feeling dumb.

I keep hearing that we should sleep now because we won’t get any sleep once baby comes.  That is not so much happening.  Partly due to sickness (first me, then Adam), partly due to dogs, partly due to changed work schedules, etc, etc, and I don’t remember the last time I had an uninterrupted night’s sleep.  For a while I was waking up almost every hour on the hour, now I’ve just started waking up at 1am and 4am (and then getting up at 5:30).  Perhaps this is a disguised blessing getting me ready for 4am feedings, but I feel like it’s probably just going to result in physical and emotional instability….

All that to say, I’m tired.  And emotional.  And almost out of pink M&Ms!!  Whimper.

January 17, 2011

Statistics < Pink M&Ms

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged at 6:55 pm by Tamara

Well, as of today, my break from classes has officially (tragically?) ended.  I decided to take some hard classes so I don’t have to worry about them once Baby Bear comes and I’m sleep deprived, so I’m taking “Statistics and Probability” and “Healthy Sexuality” (interesting combination, no?)  They are both intensives, so two classes is considered full time.  My stats class syllabus informed me that I should expect to spend at least 12 hours a week on homework, and 20 hours if I struggle with math.  (Grrrrrreat!!  This is my “happy” face!  Is it cracking yet??)  Thankfully I like my professor already—she’s a grandma and has sent us about ten encouraging e-mails so far, encouraging us to trust God to help us through everything, even statistics!  And, also thankfully, it is VALENTINE M&Ms season!!  If anything can help me get through this, it will be multiple bags of pink, red, and white M&Ms, which have been proven (by me) to taste even better and bring exponentially more happiness than regular M&Ms.  I have two big bags sitting here as I speak, which should at least get me through today.  Maybe.  I hope.

In other semi-related news, I’ve decided that Lily’s goal in life is to give me a taste of what motherhood will be like.  It seems that, without fail, I no sooner sit down to do something important (like register my stats lab program) then she starts barking and crying from the kitchen.  Two choices then: ignore her yapping while I wade through the ridiculously long list of all the ways the program can use my personal information and clean up her pee once I’m done, or take her outside and stand for five minutes in the rain while she sniffs around and does NOT pee and Knightley gets himself and his tie out all tangled up in the holly bushes, forcing me to paw around getting stabbed by the holly leaves in the rain trying to untangle him and then come inside with two reeking wet dogs and then deal with the error message that has popped up on my registration form and start all over again.  The moral of this story?  I think I’m going to need more Valentine M&Ms.

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