September 28, 2011

The Week that Wasn't

I had a plan for this week: a thought-out, filled to the brim kinda plan. Every hour was accounted for and every day had achievable goals.

Sound nuts? Well, I knew this week would be nuts. We're finishing up house projects before Mac's party Saturday and preparing for the celebration itself. I also had a busy work week ahead with an extra (fun!) project on my plate.

Then Mac got fussy on Sunday. And feverish Sunday night. And refused to be put down for hours at a time. He wanted our arms around him at all times, our faces right next to him. Our sweet boy just wasn't himself.

Monday morning we found out why: In addition to cutting four canine teeth, he has an ear infection and hand, foot and mouth disease. We came home with a prescription to treat the ear infection and were told that only Tylenol and time could cure the rest.

By Tuesday afternoon Mac was so much worse that B took him back to the doctor for a stronger antibiotic and another look. Sure enough, the HFM had become the worst the doctor had seen in years - red bumps all over his sweet body. Miserable spots down into his throat and all over the inside of his mouth. And a double ear infection on top of everything.

B rarely takes Mac to the doctor; that's my gig. I, however, was at home curled up in bed with a bottle of Gatorade in one hand and some ginger ale in the other. It hasn't been pretty. (Neither have I.) What a week - and it was only Tuesday.

Bradley took Mac outside to swing last night, as it was the only suggestion that managed a smile out of our unhappy boy. Sadly, ten minutes outside turned into four mosquito bites on his face, bites that have since become welts. WELTS. On top of everything. My boy can't catch a break.

Mac at the doc - and not nude, though it sure looks that way here!

He's old enough to tell me his mouth hurts, his ears hurt, his knee hurts. (That last part he's just making up to get kisses, but he's so pitiful I don't blame him.)

He's young enough to be clingier than Downy-less laundry. And at nearly 34 pounds, it's an act of sacrificial love to haul this handsome hunk of a mini-man around. But I'm doing it.

I'm also emailing and phone calling and to-do listing and eagerly counting down his return to school tomorrow and grandparents' arrival on Friday. We are ready to have extra hands on deck!

Boy oh boy, I had big plans for this week. Few items have made it to fruition, but I'm thankful for a husband who goes to the pharmacy for meds and comes home with ginger ale, Gatorade and a bag of candy corn for me. (I can't eat it quite yet, but just the sight of it makes me smile.)

And our second baby (wow that's crazy to say!) is just fine. My doctor assures me that a day of liquids only won't hurt her, and heaven knows I have enough fat in reserve to sustain this child through Labor Day 2015. They did ask me to refrain from kissing our infected little guy, but that warning came days too late.

The worst is over, I hope, and the contagious days are definitely behind us. I cringe thinking about the symptom-less days before he became sick when we spread our germs unknowingly all over town. Eep.

For now, forgive our radio silence in real life and in the blog world. I hope to return with some fun pre-birthday pictures later this week and some party fun after his shindig Saturday.

Funny how a small, simple and sweet get-together becomes quite an ordeal at the end of a week like this one. Even laying out a PB&J dinner for three would be a struggle at this moment.

I'm focusing on Lysol and staying germ-free 'til Mac blows out those candles. Red spots or no spots, the boy deserves to celebrate his second year with a bang.

September 20, 2011

It's A....

We caught a peek of our baby this week! To say we are excited would be an uncharacteristic understatement.

Everything looks healthy and perfect; we couldn't be more grateful.

As far as gender goes...

...Mac will be having a little SISTER!

Yes, friends, it's a girl. (And we already think she's gorgeous!) In less than five months, we hope to see this sweet face for ourselves.

What a tremendous, precious blessing. We're over the moon!

Now could someone tell me what little girls do, exactly? It's all tractors and trucks over here...

September 13, 2011


Duchess Catherine, formerly known as Kate Middleton, has been a style for some time now, even before that big, sparkly sapphire was on her left hand. Add in a title and an over-the-top royal wedding and you've got a formula for a full-on fashion plate.

Some disagree, calling the former Miss Middleton more style follower than trendsetter. In fact, Nordstrom's fashion director Gregg Andrews has suggested she wouldn't turn heads in New York City if she wasn't on Prince William's arm.Link
I may be the wrong person to ask, as I've never aspired the style of Kate Moss, someone Mr. Andrews finds to be the epitome of a style icon. In my opinion, though, the return of "princess style" is a wonderful thing.

She's only 29, sure, but Catherine's style can apply to just about anyone. Especially her habit of recycling memorable ensembles with just a few small changes. We can all implement that idea, whether our outfits are cocktail dresses or white jeans and cardigans.

Would I wear everything Kate has? Probably not. A few of her nautical and military ensembles (the two on the left above) look fabulous on her, but just aren't up my alley.

Lower hemlines, nipped-in waists, nude heels, classic coats, timeless jewelry and appropriate attire for every event - to me, that's the height of style. I don't rush to try new silhouettes or rebuild my entire wardrobe each season, so I take comfort in a stylish young royal whose taste seems so understated and tailored.

Call me a Copy-Kate, but had I the budget and the occasion to duplicate most anything Duchess Catherine has worn before and I'd be all over it.

Do you find Kate's style to be too staid and demure, or are you hopping on board the Repli-Kate train as well? Has she worn anything you adore - or would have to pass up?

September 12, 2011

Counting Down: One Week!

There are a lot of mini-countdowns when you're expecting.

The wait between finding out our happy news and hearing a heartbeat: 4 weeks

The time between hearing that sweet heartbeat and wrapping up my first trimester: 4 weeks

The silent weeks between wrapping up the first trimester and spilling the beans to the whole wide world. Or, more accurately, the whole wide internet: 2 weeks

The days left until our ultrasound: SEVEN

Mac's ultrasound day in May 2009 was beyond compare. B and I left giddy, agreeing that we'd rather relive the 30 minutes with that ultrasound screen than our entire wedding day. We watched the DVD over and over at home, in awe.

There is one week left between me and seeing baby #2. I think of it hourly, praying for a healthy baby, a strong heartbeat, lots of movement and beautiful, perfect little organs. I pray for peace and calm and patience; none of these has ever been my strong suit.

Everyone has an opinion about the gender of this little one, mostly thinking pink. I, on the other hand, am far less fixated on gender and more focused on getting a clean bill of healthy for our bean.

Of course I'm itching to know if "it" is a he or a she. How so many of our close friends have gone without knowing is beyond me. I'm anxious to use the right pronoun ("it" is getting old) and call the baby by name. That was my favorite moment in Mac's ultrasound, finding out he was a boy and saying out loud, "He's Mac!"

We all know a watched pot never boils, so I'm filling up this week with as much busy-ness as possible.

I've promised, as a mom, never to wish Mac's life away. I won't even beg to hurry through this week. I will, however, stay so busy that I hardly have time for the "is it Monday yet?" thoughts that pop up.

Next Monday morning, though, I'll be singing a different tune. "Are you in there, baby? Hope you're feeling immodest! We can work on your sense of propriety once you get here. For now, little bean, let it all hang out!"

In the meantime, care to distract me?

September 11, 2011

A Bit of Peace

We sang Your Great Name in service this morning and, despite the anniversary of an unspeakable tragedy, I felt a tremendous sense of peace.

All the weak find their strength at the sound of Your great name.
Hungry souls receive grace at the sound of Your great name.
The fatherless, they find their rest at the sound of Your great name.
Sick are healed and the dead are raised at the sound of Your great name.

Jesus, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain for us, Son of God and Man.
You are high and lifted up that all the world will praise Your great name.

Redeemer, My Healer, Lord Almighty.
My savior, Defender, You are My King...

I'm sure you're not shocked that, today of all days, these words had me in tears.

My prayer today has been that all who are hurting would feel a peace that passes all understanding, that they would be healed and know His hope.

September 8, 2011

Losing My Ever-Loving Mind

Evidently I'm losing my ever-loving mind. Cases in point:
  • I caused a buzz. A few weeks ago, when I was feeling less Anne-like and more zombie-like, Mac and I made an emergency run to Moe's because it was all I could imagine stomaching for supper. (Full disclosure: I'm picky as all get out and order tacos with just beans, beef and lettuce on them. A waste of eating out, I know.)

    The food was delicious, Mac behaved himself superbly and we enjoyed a full view of entering and exiting guests, all of whom seemed to be making quizzical faces and casting curious glances towards the parking lot. We sat and people watched for a while after eating, trying to figure out what was going on. The reason revealed itself when we made our way out: I'd left my car running for the entire meal.

  • I shoplifted yesterday. I was at store number three in a seemingly endless search to find the right size envelopes for a project. A sales lady at Store Three suggested Store Four, so I high-tailed it out of there while I still had the motivation to keep looking. At Store Four, I realized I'd shoved the previous store's unwanted envelopes in my purse on my way out. Eep.

    Thankfully, Store Three's cashier didn't bat an eyelash when I returned them this morning. I didn't even claim pregnancy brain, just apologized profusely and sped home. I may never return.

  • I singlehandedly opened a restaurant. Two friends and I were meeting for lunch today with free pizza coupons (thanks, Mellow Mushroom!) and a desire to eat early and avoid the other lunchers clogging up the kitchen with their own free pizza orders.

    Evidently I was so eager to eat that I arrived a full forty five minutes early, opening the door as the first non-employee to show up - and thoroughly puzzling all in sight. (You know no one moves too quickly at the 'Shroom.) Either I can't tell time, I forgot when we were meeting or my brain is still celebrating the long weekend.

  • I got lost in time. Three times in the last week, once to a reporter and twice to dear friends, I have referred to the current year as 2010. Seriously.

  • I can't count. I requested the new season of Parks & Recreation be sent to us by Netflix - but somehow messed the order of the discs up. As such, we are now in possession of disc two and wondering what happened in the first third of the season. (It took a whole episode before I caught on that we'd jumped into the middle of the story...)

  • I cried at Sesame Street. I probably would have done so even without the assistance of pregnancy, but it must be stated: the extra hormones don't help.

    Do you get a lump in your throat when (the tear-jerkiest crooner of all time, right?) sings about your child being thoughtful? No? Okay then.

These aren't the first times I've acted like a dunce, and they sure won't be the last. But without a big round belly to prove I'm pregnant (and thus share some of the blame with my brain cell-stealing baby-to-be), I'm afraid the blame falls squarely on me.

Am I going plum crazy?

September 1, 2011

No Gifts, Please - Just Pass the Cake!

You may know of my addiction to all things etiquette and advice-related. I frequent the columns of Miss Manners, Carolyn Hax and Dear Prudence and sometimes wish I could join their ranks, but that's a story for another day.

This time I'm asking for insight from you.

The question: As Mac's second birthday approaches, how can I convey that gifts are not necessary at his party?

The background: Last year, we explicitly stated "no gifts, please" on the invite. No one complied, but we wanted the small group invited to know that their excitement was more than enough for our well-loved boy. (Obviously, Mac was overjoyed and "wrote" everyone thank you notes. But the hope was that they felt free to come empty-handed, too.)

Emily Post and Miss Manners, however, believe that just mentioning gifts, even if you are asking guests not to bring any, implies that they should have thought to bring one, or that they would have.

So this year, I left that clause off. (Invites have yet to go out.) But we still want our nearest and dearest to know they needn't bring anything but themselves.

We're inviting guests so we can have a few extra voices in the mix as we warble out "Happy Birthday!" and stuff ourselves with cake; I don't want them to feel compelled to bring a thing.

Side note: This is not a judgment against people who do want people to bring their children gifts. Who doesn't want their child celebrated? And it's not that gifts are entirely unwelcome or unappreciated, just unnecessary. Coming by means enough!

Mac isn't covered up in toys, as we have gone heavy on books and light on shiny things in his two years. But he has no need for anything in particular besides cake and candles.

So the goal is: if you want to swing over for a sweet treat and the blowing out of two candles, feel free to do that, sans the trip to the toy store.

Back to the point: How we should we let people know? Word of mouth? A note after the invite that conveys we'd love to see them, but they should feel welcome to bring only themselves?

How would you do it? And was there an age (for your children) at which you stopped saying "no gifts" or is that always an acceptable concept?

(Do fifth-graders rebel at such nonsense, or are overstretched parents even more thankful then for the reprieve?)

So looking forward to your thoughts!

A hostess planning two dinner parties thisveryminute to appease Miss Manners' "where has non-gift-related entertaining gone?!" voice pointing out her hypocrisy.


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