Last night was Jennie Wednesday, which means that my sister and friend came over and we watched the premiere of America’s Next Top Model (yes, I watch, and yes, I love). We had Shannon dye our hair, ate manicotti (YUM), and discovered that I have a urinary tract infection. Go meeeee! I started feeling like I had to pee an awful lot, then it hurt when I peed, and then it BLED when I peed. Score. It was 11:00 at night, past the hours of urgent care, and I wasn’t going to make a trip to the ER for this. So Shannon and I went down to the local grocery store to stock up on cranberry juice. I figured at the very least, being hydrated can’t be a negative point. So, cranberry juice and woe-is-me feelings for moi last night. And now? It’s off to urgent care to hope that they’ll give me some fast, hard drugs to make this thing leave me alone. Something that I can take that will make me all better, and hopefully not poison my breastfeeding infant, like the last time they tried to give me medicine there. GAH.

Off to pee in a cup…

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Our long weekend (or really, our week, since Andrew took some time off) was pretty kicked-back and relaxed, which was much needed. Somewhere in that week we celebrated our 2-year marriage anniversary, saw The Dark Knight (awesome, amazing, run to your nearest theater), and took the kidlets to the boardwalk. We had lunch at a little Mexican place, walked around downtown Santa Cruz, the mall, and downtown Capitola, drove around and listened to music and went to Dairy Queen (Snickers-Butterfinger Blizzard = heaven in a cup) all CHILD-FREE. I really needed that. I miss spending time alone with Andrew, when we can just enjoy one another without having to wipe boogers/change diapers/raise little humans. We get along so nicely at those times… it gives me hope that maybe when the kids are grown and gone, my husband won’t have died years before from blunt force trauma mysteriously poisoned dinner um, stress? The hope is that we will still get along and will be able to enjoy the rest of our lives. Days to ourselves really remind us that we care about one another, and that there was a time (before babies and bills) when our love was simple. I’m thinking we should definitely implement a Date Day. At least once a month, because the days following are blissful, and the stress relief is unimaginable. Unless you have two (or however many) small children of your own, and then you likely know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.

So, rambling aside, this last week was a pretty good one. The kids had a blast and I am not plotting my husband’s demise at present (this is subject to change). Back to work for everyone today! Back to laundry and exploding poop diapers. To dishes and grocery shopping and chicken nuggets on the run. My sister came over after work and came with us to Target and Winco, and that was pretty awesome. An extra pair of hands to baby-wrangle or toddler-threaten is always a plus.

Side note: Hypothetically, if your mother-in-law was terrifyingly like Marie Barone a la Everybody Loves Raymond, what would you do? Hypothetically?

P.S. This post was really all over the place, because my thoughts are mostly fragmented at present. Thank you, Firefox spell check, for keeping me from looking like a TOTAL idiot. Instead, I’m only sort of an idiot.

P.S.S. More coherent thoughts brewing. I think. I hope! While you wait, gaze upon my way-cute children.

Sweet Lia Bee Cheeeese!

So, after yesterday’s touch of insanity, I’m feeling a bit better today. I no longer have the violent urge to throw one of my children like a lawn dart, nor the urge to beat my husband beyond recognition. Yay! It’s much nicer to NOT feel like at any moment, I could combust. I think my uterus is a little angrier today, though. Cramps galore! Fun! The kids have been WAY less screechy and whiny today, which makes for a much happier mama. Much less likely to throw one of them, lawn dart style.

(What? I would NEVER throw one of my kids. Maybe.)

Julianna has started solids, full speed ahead. She started waking up during the night again for a little midnight snack, so I assumed she wasn’t getting enough anymore to keep her satisfied through the night. The pediatrician said at her four month visit that her body was READY for cereal, but to hold out as long as I could (for allergy reasons). Well, this whole “holding out” thing I was doing was beginning to cut into my precious sleep time, so rice cereal was introduced. At first she made a lot of “yuck” faces, and even did The Full-Body Shiver of Disgust. She had a few more feedings, and got to the point where she couldn’t get enough. So I gave her some bananas, and life was good. She loved it, no reactions, just a happy, well-fed chub, who slept through the night, praise jeebus. Until the next day, when she unleashed that banana/rice cereal combo from the other end. Her purple butterfly outfit will never be the same.

First Smackrel First Smackrel

I love my family, I really do. Lately though, I get the feeling that if I don’t get some breathing room, this will all end unhappily. And you may hear about it on the news. Is it fair that men don’t really have the same responsibilities as women when it comes to raising kids? I’m sure some do, some lucky girls who found Mr. Mom and who is as giving as can be. My husband thinks that he worked all week, so he has earned two days off to do whatever he wants (aka, fishing). I disagree. I get NO days off, EVER. I want to SLEEP IN, dammit. Do something BY MYSELF. Seriously, you know it’s bad when you go to your annual pap smear appointment and actually enjoy it, because for one beautiful hour, you weren’t mom, you weren’t wife, you were just YOU.

Okay, enough bitching and talking in the third person. I just have my plate piled high from the shit buffet right now. Andrew got into a car accident (everyone is fine) and now we’re dealing with the insurance garbage about that. A good friend of mine recently had a baby who passed away a short 13
days after being born. Another friend of mine has something wrong with her, it’s pretty serious but we don’t know what it actually IS yet. I got one of those Mirena IUC deals installed in my poor, unsuspecting uterus, who is 100% pissed off, making me crampy and bloaty and gross. Bills. Kids. Husband. Anniversary in one week and completely unprepared. And Hallmark. FUCKING Hallmark. They have their stupid Christmas ornaments out. Already. Since July. JULY. Don’t they know that this makes me psychotic and neurotic and… crazy?! I can’t even really handle that Halloween is bearing down on me, much less effing Christmas. The universe can just go ahead and stop crapping on my life now. Really. Anytime now.

*Exhale*

And to make this not a completely horrible post, how about some pictures of my way cute children?

Sunday at the Park
Julianna, being adorable a giggly and sweet. Seriously, it’s a good thing I had a (mostly) happy baby. Because otherwise? My head may have exploded. For reals.

Sunday at the Park
And here’s my little monster, being a little monster on the swings at the park. This girl has so much attitude, I just… agh! Mom, all your curses were not in vain. I have a child at LEAST as patience trying as I was.

Today marks a monumental step for me as a cook. I am right now, at this very minute, boiling a whole chicken. The reasons that this is such a big deal are threefold: one, every kind of meat I’ve ever cooked before has been of the frozen, processed variety; two, I’m a big wuss and there is a WHOLE DEAD BIRD in my pot; and three, it actually may come out of said pot edible. Yes, that was the whole point, but I have this incredible knack for messing up food. When it’s as simple as boil a chicken in water, if I were to somehow inject my usual dose of folly into the situation, the results could be disastrous.

My grandma happened to call right after I put the chicken into the pot, and had been freshly icked-out by the chicken. She laughed and laughed as I told her that I was supposed to purchase a whole CUT UP fryer, not a whole fryer. Then how I was really, REALLY hoping that this little bird wouldn’t be like a turkey – hollowed out with only the tasty organs left inside. Much to my dismay, it was. I rinsed the chicken in cold water as instructed, and was horrified when what appeared to be this poor bird’s NECK fell out of it’s… um… cavity. (Would it be inappropriate to call it the bird’s ass? Yes? Okay.) I finished rinsing the chicken and put it in a pot of water boiling on the stove. As water filled the uh, cavity, it bubbled and gurgled and pooped out another organ. I fetched a spoon, fished out what appeared to be a tiny liver, and flung it into the garbage disposal as if it were infecting my hand via the spoon. My grandma just laughed as I recounted my tale of horror and anguish, told me I was a big baby, and then congratulated me for not just chucking the whole thing into the garbage and reverting to frozen breasts as my own mother would have done. Which made me feel proud of myself until the chicken was done, and I had to fish it out of the pot again.

First, I tried using a big spoon and a fork. WRONG. Oh so wrong. It just made the bird fall into about a zillion pieces that I now had to fish for. I got a second large spoon and scooped up the main piece of chicken. Then I used a slotted spoon to fish out the smaller pieces, reserving the broth for another step in the recipe I was using. After the chicken cooled to temperatures that didn’t seer my flesh off (yes, I tried to pick it apart right away, I am blond), I pulled the chicken off of the bones and set it aside. Not before I had a fit over the spine and the discovery of yet another organ, which Hubby pointed out was probably the heart. In a word? Eww!

The end of this story is a happy one! I survived and turned out quite a yummy dish, if I do say so myself. And I can attribute this success to my solid-steel stomach and resolve (ha), and The Pioneer Woman, whom I love and adore.

Meal Stats!
Dinner Prepared: Chicken Spaghetti
Time: A loooong time, but only because I am disorganized and crazy and had to take a break to give my two year old a bath, who then pooped in the tub. The longest part was cooking the chicken and picking the meat off of the bones. Assembling the dish and chopping the veggies was simple and went together in a snap. You can get this dish cooked relatively quickly if you follow PW’s directions. I’m no good at following directions. I’m a rebel (again, HA).
Hubby said: Good… not fond of the fact that there are vegetables in this dish. Dislikes crunch and texture and just KNOWING they are there. Otherwise, yummy overall flavor and very filling.
Toddler said: Yummy! Except when she came across a veggie, which she pulled out of her mouth and declared, “Too yucky!”
Overall: I would definitely make this again. Next time I will either sauté the peppers and onions, or use a food processor to mince them away to nothing. Or maybe both, so there will still be delicious flavor, but less complaining from the peanut gallery.

I don’t know why I have a headache, but I do. I woke up with it and it’s just sort of continued to set in and be a bother. It’s one of those foggy, I feel weird, I may be getting sick sort of headaches. Oh my GOD, I can’t handle being sick again. I am still getting over being sick from 3 weeks ago when Andrew brought the plague home. I’m too pregnant for this. Don’t the germs recognize this?! Psh, it’s really quite inconsiderate. I’m bringing a whole new person into this world for germs to crawl all over.

Dear Germs,

Give me a break while I gestate your new playground, will you?

XO, Jennie

Maybe I shouldn’t have started scouring the whole house yesterday. I went to Target, bought a bunch of cleaning supplies and a shiny new bucket, and went to work cleaning the baseboards, the doors, the stair railings, the blinds, the windows… I need the house to be dirt free for the new baby. Apparently, I have lost my damn mind. I mean, having the house super-fantastically clean will be nice, but the fact that I have to do it all might end up hurting more than it’s worth. If I get sick right now, I have nothing and no one to blame except my cleaning panic, and maybe Shannon. I saw her for five whole minutes the other day, and she was getting sick. That would be just my luck. Gah.

For now, I’m going to go upstairs, put Alaina down for her nap, then take a shower and hope that burns off some of the yuck that I’m feeling right now. Then my sister and I are going to lunch, and maybe she’ll hang around and make Valentines with Alaina and I. Yesterday I thought I would clean the whole house AND make Valentines with a toddler and glitter glue, because why? Because I am apparently super Jennie these days. Hahaha, aren’t I funny? Now all I REALLY want to do is sleep.

As in, I am totally not one. Alaina just locked herself in her bedroom, and it took me an embarrassingly extended amount of time to get her out. I finally resorted to googling ‘how to unlock an interior door’, and after reading a four sentence paragraph, it was easy. I’m just glad she was locked in her bedroom, which is totally toddler-proof. It also helps to know that she sat in her room, on her bed the whole time, telling me that 1) no, she would not open the door, and 2) she wanted some ice cream. I think the emotional scarring is minimal (for her, at least).