Ask Poops, Please

Putting my two cents in.

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Location: Belmont, New Hampshire, United States

Born and bred in a small New England town, I am convinced that I know something about everything, and that my opinion matters. If only to me. Well, you'll see what I mean. And I love to knit, so you'll see what kind of things I'm doing when I should be vacuuming the living room.

Monday, June 30, 2008

In All the Excitement, I Nearly Missed a Milestone

I was reminded yesterday that I failed to blog about the extravaganza that was the Bug's 8th birthday! It came and went with nary a blog mention!

It was celebrated in grand fashion as always, and by pleading for my induction on Tuesday I was able to be home and feeling rested (mostly) for the party on Sunday. When he talked about not inducing me until Friday, I admit I panicked a bit. There were way to many people coming to my house on Sunday for me to be still in the hospital!

As it was, I hadn't really thought out the food part too much before going in on Tuesday, so while I was getting my epidural and my support team waited in the hall, they planned the menu for me. Which worked out and left me little to do in the way of party prep when I got home.

Turns out that Bug's birthday party day was the hottest day of the summer. And humid, which really makes it all worse, doesn't it?

Baboo, in spectacular Baboo style, arranged for the entertanment. This year we got to enjoy a bouncy house! They come and set it up and take it down at the end of the party, and the kids bounced all day long, so if you're thinking of getting one, it's well worth the money. Plus, to make it even sweeter, he rented a popcorn machine too. And as all the kids loved the popcorn, we didn't really have to feed them.

As if the bouncy house and popcorn machine weren't enough, to keep them from overheating my mom's friend Kathy sent the girls a new Slip 'n Slide as a "Big Sister" gift, and that ran almost non-stop all day too. They'd go from the bouncy house to the S&S to the wading pool (from Tanta) and back again all day, stopping for drinks and the occasional bag of popcorn or piece of cake.
I'm not a bad mother for not taking more pictures of the party. Here's Bug and Bo and Bug's best friend posing with their complementary Red Sox inflatable bat that they rode down the S&S like a pony. DH took this one and I didn't get any, but between seeing to the guests and keeping an eye on Dave to make sure he wasn't overheating (or me), I didn't have much time. Oh, and I certainly tried to sit and rest myself as well, being all of four days post-partum at the time. Not to worry, though. The day was documented by other family members. I just don't have their memory cards handy at the mo.

Check the pose on Bobo. Honestly, I fully expect to see her in a magazine someday. One can only hope it's Vogue and not Hustler...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dressing Myself

So, you know how it is a few weeks after a baby when you're no longer round and full of life, but sort of flabby and weak and tired? And you find yourself schlepping around the house in whatever is mostly clean, and maybe it fits and maybe it doesn't? And you feel like your life is about spit up and poop, and as long as the kids look good when you go out no one will notice what you're wearing?

Well, I'd reached that point.

My "best" t-shirts are too big and starting to fray around the cuffs and collar. My "best" pants are nearly see-through from age and washing. I have two shirts, one pair of pants and one skirt suitable for wearing to church.

That was the truth, until yesterday.

I don't get excited about clothes shopping, and here's why.

On Friday when Mr. Poops got home from work, I popped over to the outlet mall. I got a gift card for the Lane Bryant outlet so I decided to see if they had any pants, since pants is where I'm hurting most. I like knit pants. I have huge thighs and a huge ass, but a comparatively small waist, even with the saggy baby gut parts. Knits are my friend. They don't bind when I sit or ride when I walk and they never feel all pinchy in the crotch.

Not one pair of knit pants in the store.

Lane Bryant caters to big girls. They are a plus-size stores. Skinny girls need not darken our doorstep, thanks. Well, if you're an 18/20, you've got it made at the outlet store. I can see being out of the largest sizes in the clearance racks, but through the entire store? Every single thing I liked, every style I thought might flatter, had nothing in the larger sizes.

Really people. If I could wear a 14/16 or an 18/20, I wouldn't need Lane Bryant! I can buy those sizes ANYWHERE!

For fifty bucks, I came away with two t-shirts and a more dressy top. I felt better about having some clean shirts that fit me well, flattered me, and didn't have stains or frayed edges. And had resigned myself with a heavy sigh to looking online for pants.

That was, until Saturday morning.

DH works for J. Jill. He works in the distribution center, which is a ginormous facility that employs somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 people. It's amazing. Clothes come in, clothes go out. DH works in replenishing, which is right in the middle of the clothes coming in and going back out. I used to work in pack/returns for awhile. I was the one sending them out.

Anyway, on Saturday from 8 to 3 they did a new thing. They took all the clothes that were unsellable and offered them to the employees at huge discounts. They used to give them for free, but since only the employees were allowed to take the clothes, the system wasn't great, and when they merged with Talbots, they did away with it all together. I suspect lots of abuses, like people filling garbage bags and selling them online.

What they did yesterday was take all the returned clothes and put them on racks in the cafeteria. They gave guest cards to the employees to give to friends and relatives. A good idea, since at least half of the employees are guys and could care less about high-end women's clothing. There were probably 50 or 60 racks of clothes all sorted by size and garment. And at deep, deep discounts. For instance, all knit tops were 8 dollars, pants and skirts were 12, blouses were 12, jackets and sweaters were 20, that kind of thing.

Granted, the clothes in there were not first quality. However, J. Jill has very exacting return standards. See the period at the end of the last sentence? If there is a spot of anything that size on the inside hem of a garment, it won't be resold. I shit you not a pantload. There were things marked as soiled or damaged and you would have to squint hard at the marked flaw before going "really?"

Anyway, I didn't expect much. I wear the largest size they make and figured there wouldn't be much in my size, but I was hoping to find a pair of pants or two, since my three favorite pairs of pants of all time came from The Jill.

Oh. My. God.

I wasn't there ten minutes and I had an armload of stuff.

I tried them on.

One pair of pants didn't fit, and that's because they were too big in the waist.

I nearly cried from joy in the fitting room. I put on a sweater and jacket that not only buttoned completely in the front but lay flat and smooth on my curves. Pants that fit in my thighs and my waist without looking painted on. Tops that flattered!

I put back the too-big pants and went back out and shopped some more.

At the end of about an hour, I came away with a total bill of 131.00. And that was because I made Sister take me out of there to save me from myself. Want to know what I got?

Two skirts, one brown and one black. Three pair of pants, two black and one green. A luscious cream angora/wool cardigan. A black jacket. A pink blouse and four knit tops in assorted colors. We added up the tags to see what the lot would have cost me full price from the store.

You want to know how much I saved for a whole new wardrobe?

Original prices: $881.50. I saved $750.50.

Not that I've have paid that anyway. DH gets 40% off the catalog and store as it is, and there is an outlet store with an additional 30% off right in Tilton, but still. You take 40% off of $881.50, and I'm still making out like a bandit.

The best part is twofold. One, I have clothes that fit me and make me look good. I don't look thin, but I look good, and that makes me feel better about the whole changing body thing. I'm used to being fat, but I'm tired of looking slovenly. Good clothes for big girls at reasonable prices are hard to find.

Two, these clothes are GOOD. Not like a Walmart top that will fray in a few months. Or pants that just don't fit right and never will. The fabrics are excellent and they're well-made. And the flaws are so minor as to not even be a factor.

I might write J. Jill a letter and tell them how happy I am. For someone like me on a fixed budget who has a hard enough time finding good, affordable clothing that fits, this was a Godsend. If they do this every year, which I'm going to urge they do, I'll look good forever!

Speaking of God, we had quite a dust-up at church last night too. Right as Fr. Albert was distributing communion to the Eucharistic ministers, after the Lamb of God, a woman got up and left the nave, only when she got to the double doors leading out to the narthex, apparently she decided to go through them without opening them. And these aren't like big glass patio doors that people walk through because they're nearly invisible. These have bars to push to open them and they're paned glass.

She just walked full-tilt-boogie right into them and knocked herself out.

Nothing draws attention from the sacred solemnity of the reception of communion like the rescue squad from the local FD.

Then there's this other lady sitting in the front row. I looked over once and she's got a scarf that she's wound around her head and face. I first thought "Muslim? Or leper?" Then she took it off. Then she got out a picture from someplace and was looking at it and appeared to be be talking to it. Praying, maybe. Then she started waving it back and forth in front of her while rocking.

At the end of mass right before the final blessing and recessional, Fr. points out that because of the medical emergency at the back of the nave to please use the side stairs in the sanctuary to exit the church, unless you need to use the ramp, in which case the ushers will get you out safely. As soon as he says that, the woman with the scarf gets up and walks toward the back. She gets to the middle of the center aisle, looks up and sees the melee at the doors, sighs deeply, audibly, and visibly, and trudges toward the back doors. Like she didn't know that inconvenience existed.
It was quite a show.

Anyway that was my weekend excitement thus far.

Oh, and on Monday evening I had my first full-body massage. My first professional one, anyway. *smirks laciviously*

My friend Jeanne is a massage therapist and my back and shoulders had been really sore from holding Dave. My abdominals are just starting to strengthen and do some of the work, but at that point my back was doing it all, and it was sore and tired. So she had me come and gave me a freebee.

It hurt, but in a good way.

Later this week, I'm supposed to go over for Margaritas. I might be looking forward to those more than the massage...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Quickie Update

We're still fine here. All is well. I'm just tired. Too tired to type most days, but once we've got a schedule working, things should get better.

As it is, Dave is a nearly perfect 3-6-9-12 baby. Those are the hours he eats, around the clock. There is much sleeping in between still, thank God. And he seems to get that nighttime is for sleeping and daytime is for figuring out ones hands and cluster feeding.

So he had his 2 week checkup on Tuesday and gained an ounce a day last week, bringing his weigh up to 9 lbs 6 oz. He's also ready for a tub bath anytime. I think he might get a quick scrub-up before bed tonight.

That's all for now. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I Haven't Broken Him Yet

Dave had his one week checkup yesterday and got a clean bill of health. It's appropriate that he's sitting in his rainforest swing in this picture. For the last few days it's felt like the rainforest around here. It's hot. Hot and wet. That's fine when you're with a lady, but not when you're in the jungle. It's hot enough in my underwear you could cook things in it. Do a little Crotch Pot cooking. (Name that movie!)

You should have seen my cankles. Unreal. They're puffy this morning, but much better thanks to cooler temps and diuretics.
But enough about me and my sausage toes. Dave is great. What an easy baby! If his sisters had been this well-behaved, we might well be on our sixth baby by now.
He's a great eater. He takes about two ounces at a time now and is sleeping for three-hour stretches. When he's awake, he's quite content and peaceful. He likes his swing and seems determined to figure out the great mystery that is his hands.
He's 21 inches long, but the nurse thinks that has less to do with growing and more that they didn't stretch him well in the hospital. No matter. He's back up to his birthweight plus a couple extra ounces for good measure: 8 lbs 15 oz. Heart and lungs sound fine, no sign of jaundice at all. He's peel-y from being a week overcooked, but she said that dry skin will clear up on its own in a few more weeks. His cord stump fell off on Monday and she said the button is just about all healed. His circumcision is almost all healed too. We go in next week for a quick once-over and another weight check.
I'm healing up nicely too. I don't feel quite as much like my private parts went ten rounds with the heavyweight champion of the world, but I'm still moving kind of slow. I have a lot more energy these days, too. Now, if I could just get my feet to shrink all the way back...
I've been doing a bit of knitting, but I didn't take any pictures yet. I made a cute baby hat that Dave will be happy to model now that it's not Africa hot in here. With my own homespun, no less! I started a pair of mittens yesterday that I couldn't work on because my hands were so sweaty! Summer knitting just isn't as satisfying.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that I discovered in the hospital that our pediatrician is a Knitter! I was doing a spot of knitting on my last day in the joint and she came in and we started talking yarn. I almost dropped her as a doctor because I felt that we just hadn't connected. I picked her from the practice after our much beloved pedi retired a couple years ago. But man, you put some yarn in the mix and suddenly we're on like a house afire!
She belongs to the Louet yarn-o-the-month deal and when she saw I was coming in with Dave she brought in her latest package to show me what she got. We totally bonded. Yarn is the great uniter after all!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

After the Ordeal....

Yeah, I know, he looks like he's sick of me already, doesn't he?

Here, you can see that Emma Bo Cheeseball loves her baby brother. Her nose is a bit out of joint, however. Mama's attention is too much with the baby, methinks. But Tanta has been just the best Aunt ever. She jumps in and keeps Bo happy and occupied and lavishes the attention on her that she craves. She did the same thing for Bug when Bobo came along and Bug was feeling a bit "off to the side." It all works itself out in the wash, I find.
Bug, on the otherhand, sees Dave as a mere speedbump in the road of life. She thinks he's cute, but he's a baby and doesn't do much, and lets face it, she's eight (almost) and has a life of her own.

So, about the ordeal.

Monday morning, I started having contractions. I wasn't even sure they were contractions, to be honest. I had induced labors both times before and those are REAL contractions. This felt...crampy. I felt crampy all morning and finally called the doctor's office at noonish and asked what was up. (And I felt stupid, too. You'd think third time around I'd know what was going on. I mean, really.) She told me to time them. Time what? How does one time a cramp?

Long story short, I did my best to figure out when the stopped and started, and figured that after supper they were regular and about 8 minutes apart. The on call doctor told me to wait until they were five minutes apart and come on up to the hospital.

At ten o'clock we went up. I got examined and was told I was still only 2 cm dialted and not really effaced, which was what I'd been for the previous two weeks. I was sent home after two hours of monitoring and I wanted to cry. I was pretty sure at that moment that I'd be pregnant forever.

I woke up the next morning still crampy and went off to the hospital again for a scheduled fetal non-stress test. I was 5 days over at that point and thoroughly sick of lugging Dave around. I hurt all the time. I was exhausted. And the new cramps were no picnic either.

So they hooked me up to the fetal monitor again and examined me. No change since the night before, which is when I practically begged for an induction. I think my exact words were "Who do I have to blow to get a big, fat bag of Pitocin?"

Dave moved very little for the non-stress test, and since the baby moving is a big part of the test, Dr. T. opted to move on ahead to the fetal stress test and see what was up there.

So they gave me a wee bit of Pit. and I felt the contractions a whole lot better. What was vague crampiness turned more "squeezy" and like a trooper, his heart rate responded well to the test.

Now, Dr. T could have seen that by maybe 11 a.m. that Dave was tolerating the contractions just fine, but the insurance company (and/or hospital policy) dictated that I could be there until 2 for observation. So he decided to continue the test, upped the Pit a hair every hour and kept monitoring the heart rate. You know, just to be sure.

When he checked me at quarter to 2, I was 70% effaced and had dilated up to 4 cm. So, he admitted me. After all, I had gone into labor on my own because of the fetal stress test. It's a well-documented side effect of the test, after all.

Which is why I love him. He worked the system to make me happy. I might have to send him a muffin basket. Or a bottle of Scotch.

Cute break. Really, he's too pretty to be a boy.

Anyway, I was admitted at two and as I was already receiving IV fluids and Pitocin, they got the pain doc in to do my epidural tout de suite. It took a long time to get it in, but it worked great once it was and I dilated two cm. while he worked. I think the sitting still in one position while having contractions was the hardest part of the whole labor, really.

Once it was in and I was 6 cm, I lay back and contracted. Here's where I lose track of time. I can't tell you how relaxed I was at that point, just letting the contractions have their way with me. The nurse checked me at one point and said it was time to push so I grabbed the handles and did as I was told.

Know how long I pushed? Go on, guess.

Five minutes. If that. I pushed three times with the first contraction, rested for a minute, and then with the first push of the next contraction his head was out. He was sucker-bulbed, cried while still in me halfway (!) and then he slithered out. (No episiotomy, but a smallish tear. A bit ouchy.)

The rest of course, is cleanup. And picture taking.

So, here he is. David Thomas Lacey. Born June 3, 2008 at 6:08 pm. Weighing in at a dainty 8 lbs 13 oz and 19 1/2 inches long. His middle name is after his Dad's middle name, his grandfather's middle name, and his great-grandfather's first name and not the guy from Wendy's. Though if anyone asks, we picked the name because he was conceived in the Wendy's parking lot.

We got home today. I feel like a million bucks, though still a bit like someone beat my nether regions with a stick. But it still feels WAY better than I did on Monday. I can move again. I can breathe again. I can pick up things I drop on the floor.

There will be many more pics of the blessed event forthcoming, but they're on other cameras at the moment. My mom got some great ones.

And baby makes five.

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