Monday, July 15, 2013

Creativity is only fun if you're not the one cleaning things up

Anyone who's raised or babysat young children know that it's very important to think out of the box. This is because toddlers are not known to have a "box" to think inside of, or if they have a box they are likely to either be eating the flaps or pooping inside of it.

Today was one of those days where it was hot, we don't have a playground or pool nearby, and while we totally have a car with lovely air conditioning I could drive somewhere, that requires me to have enough energy to get us fed, dressed, diaper bag packed with diapers and snacks and etc. in an apartment without air conditioning. Also, we already ran errands this morning and one errand run per day is about all I can handle. 

So Ms. Toddler (whom I think I shall call Lainey on this blog, because it's kind of a derivative of her nickname which is good enough for me) woke up from her nap, ate lunch, then, uh-oh--boredom started to set in. Want to draw? No. Read a book? Kind of, but sitting in Mama's lap is too hot. Play-Dough? She hates play-dough. Do you want SECOND LUNCH...? Yeah no, Mama, your desperation is starting to show. 

That's when my gaze fell on the brand new tent sitting by the door we haven't had a chance to use or even open yet. Ah-HA, think I, I can kill two birds with one stone (even though that sounds quite violent and not good behavior to model to a 1 year old) by setting up the tent so I know all the parts are there and not broken AND Lainey has something new to play with. Genius! Right? 

This is not a review for a Coleman Instant Tent. However, I will say that any tent that a pregnant person with wicked carpel tunnel can manage to mostly set up in a cramped apartment in less than fifteen minutes with a shrieking 1 year old trying to help is designed fairly well.  Of course the real test is replicating this success at an actual campsite.
Pros to this idea:
1. Lainey happily danced around for half an hour inside the tent

Cons to this idea:

1. I lost the use of my entire living room
2. Taking down the tent in a living room with no space is much harder than setting it up
3. I lost the use of my entire living room. And the rest of the apartment, really, since the damn tent blocked off all access to the kitchen, bedrooms, and bathroom. 

It doesn't help that 1 year olds have little patience, so when Lainey was done with the tent she wanted to do something else RIGHT THEN but I had to squint at the instructions and try to disassemble it as fast as possible so we could access the rest of our lives, and seriously "reverse setup steps" is kind of the least helpful disassembling instructions ever, with Lainey stamping her tiny feet in frustration and trying to crawl over me. 

Basically, the lesson I learned today was don't set up a freaking 6 person tent inside a tiny apartment living room. Sometimes creativity is overrated.

On the other hand, after the tent was put away she decided Second Lunch was a good idea after all. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Glow of Pregnancy is a lie

So I am 21 weeks pregnant. More than one site and book say something along the lines of, "You're probably feeling the glow of pregnancy now that the discomforts of the first trimester are behind you and you aren't as large as you will be in the third trimester."

Ha. Ha ha ha.

With my daughter I know I had lower back pain at this point. I remember because I stole the comfiest chair at work and was always sitting down in it, and my coworkers would give me angry glares when they thought I wasn't looking and I was like, "Glare all you want in those hard plastic chairs, ha ha ha." This time it's like REVENGE OF THE LOWER BACK PAIN. We went to Ikea this past weekend and bought a ton of furniture to furnish our new apartment, and I put a couple of 20lb boxes on the cart and thought I was going to collapse and never walk again. My back was simply all, "YEAH NO. CUT THIS IKEA STUFF OUT." It's even more lame than it sounds because before I had kids I was super into weightlifting. I could deadlift 150 lbs with very little effort. But post-kids, a 21 lb bookcase? Nearly takes me out for a week.

Never mind the flabby, stretch-mark laden tummy and wider hips and blah blah blah. I want my strength back. You'd think hauling a 25 lb toddler around would help out with that but the only "pregnancy glow" I have is a beet red face embarrassingly oozing sweat as I waddle at my top speed of 0.4 mph towards my toddler who can run 100x faster than me (150x faster when we're in a shopping mall because malls give toddlers the superpowers of speed and vanishing in the blink of an eye. This is a well-known fact). In my experience, no trimester is "better" than another one. They all suck equally. Differently, but equally.

19 more weeks to go!

(Here is a picture of one of my cats, because I'm sure I will mention them at some point. They were a lot more visible before we had a baby; now they hide 99% of the day and SURELY it is not because the toddler runs towards them screaming "A DITTY!" every time she sees them which she SURELY did not learn from me. Also the Elmo DVD is undeniable proof I have a toddler.)

Everything lies. Except me.

Hi, I'm Natalie.

When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I was super excited. I read all the parenting books, all the baby websites, devoured each promise and reassurance about everything from how many kicks per hour I should feel to how long I'd be in labor for a first pregnancy.

They all lied.

Of course, not EVERYTHING was a total lie. "This week you are 12 weeks pregnant!"...well yeah, of course that's true. But, "Your water will most likely not break until you are in the hospital. If it breaks before that, it will be a tiny trickle"? Yeah no. It was like Old Faithful in my pants so bad my cats skidded away from me yowling (to be fair, I was also running through the apartment yowling because I had no idea what the heck was happening).

Every pregnancy is different. Every kid is different. Every site will reassure you of this, then launch into a 5 page article about how "It's okay if your 5 month old kid hasn't hit this milestone yet...BUT REALLY GO SEE A SPECIALIST TO RULE OUT DYSLEXIA, DEAFNESS, TUMORS, PARAPLEGIA, ALZHEIMER'S AND AURORA BOREALIS."

This is about all those books and sites, and me. I won't lie to you. Not much anyway.

Oh, except the stretch marks. Those weren't a lie.