Thursday, January 24, 2008

Catch up.... or not?

I have been wanting to post forever, but I feel like there is so much to cover. Here is just a smidgen:

--the wicked Billy Joel concert we attended

--Christmas/New Years stuff--goodwill and resolutions and all that stuff

--The trip to Park City

--Our awesome trip to Disneyland

--The sewage saga. Will it ever end? Who knows.......

--MLK Day. I have some strong feelings about this. Apparently not strong enough.

--being pregnant

--our impending minivan purchase

--Jacob resisting potty training unless he gets "Diet Coke" as his potty treat

--The "I promise it is coming" Down Syndrome post

--Norah's development and health--new big and scary stuff coming down the pike

--The other children (yes, they exist and are pretty funny)

--Our visit with Jacob's family

And the list goes on. I want to post about these things b/c this is my journal and I don't want to miss recording these things. I feel like I need to sit down and write a BIG entry about it. When that doesn't happen, it just doesn't get done at all. Maybe this is like what they always tell you about scrap booking (not that I do that either). Just start where you are.

So, where we are today is pretty mellow. Yesterday I got a pedicure and had lunch with my dear friend Suzi (who will forever remain blog-less, which is sad b/c she has a LOT of great things to offer). Red toes and all the Thai food I could eat, and these days that is a lot. Yum. It was very good for my soul. I had hoped that it would mean I would come home and be motivated to attack the laundry, before it attacked me. Sadly, all it made me want to do is take a nap. So I did. Today the laundry and I are going to have a little talk.

It is still raining here and it hasn't been above 50 degrees all week and apparently it won't go above that for the next week or so. Now, I know that many of you are languishing in the snow and much colder temperatures than that. You are shoveling driveways and scraping cars. That stinks, it really does. But frankly, I don't want to hear about it. If you live somewhere with snow you EXPECT it to get cold there, so you own things like coats and scarves and shoes that require socks. There is a reason why I live where I do. I want to be able to take my kids to the park all year long. I don't want to bundle them into long pants, shoes, coats, etc, etc. Everyone here pays approximately one hundred kajillion dollars to live here. The thing that we always tell each other to make us feel better about the fact that no one has a yard and that we will always live in a condo is "well, the weather really is great... and you can't beat the parks". When the weather is cold and rainy, we all start to get a little bit bitter about our rent/mortgage payment. There isn't enough room in my house for Jacob to get his wiggles out. That is why, right now I am letting him cut apart a bag of peperoni with scissors while watching "Buzz Lightyears". What else is he supposed to do? (OK, relax, I do entertain him and they are not big kid scissors, I am just making a point).

OK, I just felt guilty enough to send him out to the back porch where he is now playing in the rain and rotting leaves. MUCH better.

Actually not. It is 15 minutes later and he has returned covered with a strange silvery, glitter like powder. Let's hope it isn't toxic. I better go investigate and decide if I need to call poison control yet again.....

Whew, it was only (only!!) Lauren's makeup kit. And there is lip gloss involved too. Good times.
Don't think that I am being a downer or am grumpy, I actually am not. Things are going pretty well. I am feeling great. I don't think that I am too big, pregnancy wise. I have gained more than I would have liked, but that is because I never stop eating, so it is only to be expected. In fact, right now, we are eating a breakfast of baby back ribs. They are leftover from a football party last week. I toss the almost cleaned bones to Norah in her chair and Jacob (when he isn't cutting the peperoni) at the table and they clean off the bones for me. EVERYONE WINS. Norah has even rubbled some bar-b-que sauce in her hair. This should make brushing it out later a little bit more fun. Have you ever brushed sauce out of a 6 inch afro? It is slightly more fun than cleaning the closet and less fun that wrestling a bobcat. Come on over if you want to give it a shot.

I have a great babysitter who loves my kids. I trust her with them and they love her. She is black and does great things with Norah's hair. There is only one tiny problem. She only shows up half the time. Other times, she shows up on days that I didn't schedule her. We have liked her so much we have not been too harsh about it, but that has to change. I keep missing doctor appointments and have to scramble to reschedule and find last minute sitters. I hate doing that. So, back on the nanny hunt. The irony is that we pay top salary AND we used an agency to find her. We aren't trying to nickle and dime here. We want to pay someone that will stick around, love our kids and compensate them in a way that makes them have some loyalty to us. Here comes the irony, NO ONE WANTS TO DO IT!! My standards are very low. In fact, I told the agency that I was looking for someone who would 1) show up and 2) keep the kids alive. I told you. I would have thought that low standards and top dollar would be a winning combination.

You might wonder why I need a nanny. That is a good question. Almost everyone I know has as many (or more) kids than I do and they do it all by themselves. Some of them even manage to start businesses and do artistic things like paint or sew on the side. That amazes me. I have been accused of not wanting to spend time with my kids and even "why did you have kids anyway if you aren't going to spend time with them". To those people I always want to answer "Surely you know it is because I hate children". But I don't. I WANT to, but I don't. I have a nanny for many reasons. Not that I need anyone's permission or give to much thought to what others think, but I might as well put it out there. First of all, I never thought that I would be the SAH mom that had "help". I made fun of those moms. And like everything else I made fun of as a youngster, I have become it. At the beginning of the summer I found myself in a situation where I needed to be at least two places at once and NONE of those places was appropriate for children. Add to that the fact that the children needed to be places too, it just became clear that there wasn't enough of me to go around. I hired my fantastic "manny" for the summer (Hi, Julian) and I was hooked. Julians job was to make Jacob tired, mostly. He could have Norah on his hip and chase Jacob and take them swimming and on walks and basically occupy him while I went to various appointments and took Lauren to her camp/lessons, etc. It was heaven. Soon we moved back into our house and I still found myself needing to be in more than once place at once. Between myself and Norah, there are a lot of doctors to see. When the new one shows up she will have more appointements and theapies than the rest of us put together. Hence the nanny. Also, I consider it the ultimate luxury to go shopping (I am talking Target/Safeway shopping, not fun stuff like mall shopping) without children. It makes me happy. THAT, my friends is why I want a nanny. We are lucky that my husband's job provides us with enough income to provide this luxury. We are UN-lucky in the fact that he is not here from the hours of 4:00 am to 6:00 pm daily, and often travels. I also have house cleaners, but that is a post for another day...

So, that was long and rambling but it is the state of affairs in our home these days. We are crusing along. I am feeling the itch to be more creative, to sew or to read. This might be nesting (I am not the type that wants to clean when nesting....).

I also miss my blog. I haven't done it for a long time and there have been some great stories. When I walk into my kitchen, the computer looks at me like a neglected pet. Then I feel guilty ad yell at it and walk away.

I have been reading blogs and feel like I am totally caught up in blogland........ so that is something.
I'll be back soon. I promise.


compulsive writer said...

I love you.

I've missed you.

I know you're amazing.

I'm happy you had a pedicure and Thai food and a visit with a good friend.

It was good to catch up a bit.

I've been meaning to take a moment to write you a thank you note. It will come eventually, but in the meantime: Thank you.

Did I mention how amazing you are?

(p.s. I don't think you have to justify a nanny or a housecleaner or even cut-up packages of pepperoni ever or to anyone. Just so you know. )

citymama1 said...

Glad you're back.

I watched the Nanny Diaries last night (really dumb) and left thinking I need a Nanny sometimes. Not to go to the spa for days on end but to do errands, like you said, and have an occasional date with the hubby. I think it's great that you can afford to have help. Don't feel guilty, and people who harass you about it are probably just jealous!

P.S. Thai food and pedicures are two of my most favorite things. I insist on having pedicures regularly when I'm pregnant because a) I can't bend to groom my own toes and b) my toes are about the only part of me that feels pretty, while pregnant.

Enjoy your toes and your nanny!

Hi! I'm Laura & this is my blog. said...

first of all, YAAAAAAAY a new post. you are so funny. i am craking up at work! glad to hear what you had time to post and can't wait to hear more. go get that nanny and don't apologize for it! shoot, i'd need one for one child and i am a teacher and am used to entertaining 14!

AzĂșcar said...

If you can have a nanny and house cleaners, that means you are awesome.

That's just my opinion, of course, take it for what it's worth.


Queen Scarlett said...

ECHO CW's comment here. ;-)

AND... I'm so with you about the weather... for the love... I NEED MY SUN... and at least 60-70 degrees. That's exactly why I live here and not where it can get barren and frozen.

Thai food...mmmmm I love their mango/sticky rice desserts... mmmmm

I think it takes strength to know when you need help and ask for it. I suck at this. I'm learning ...but for now I suck at it and I'm so impressed that you ask for it. How cool to have a manny. have to raise your standards and pay the same top dollar...maybe that's the problem? The nannies that sign up to low standards... are nice...but aren't totally carpenters, contractors, painters... heheheh

Want to go to Disneyland next week?

Kathy's Korner said...

from one stay at home mother to another I totally get it!! there are lots of days there is not enough to go around. If I had to got to appts like you I'd be in a quandry. A once a year doctors requires great coordination (and begging) and a haircut once every 6 weeks a true blessing. If you can afford a nanny or a manny go for it!

I'm glad you are trying to get back. I enjoy your kids' stories. Haven't had to get BBQ sauce out of an afro....but it has to rank up there with sand. I fear sand.

big hugs!

Bek said...

I am feeling the love...

Queen, we just got back from Disneyland (but we would go again.... alas, not that week)....

CW--I wrote you a long thank you note and it got TOO long and emotional and now is just another thing sitting in my "drafts" pile.

City Mamma. Amen. I saw your brother this week at church (that means I went to church!!). Funny and small world.

Laura...we just live about 20 minutes away. Someday we will meet. I am on pins and needles to find out about your job. I would love to talk to you sometime about teaching and how to best serve my special needs kids...

Azucar.... Amen. I am not really apologetic about having them, just that I know what people must think. But then I laugh at those people while I am shopping alone and getting pedicures. ;-) Also, I have had QUITE a month with Jacob. He has officially outdone El Guille. I thought we would be past this phase by now. I will post about it when I can stop crying (teaser--more stitches, more ruined carpet, many makeup mishaps, a broken water heater, the list goes on... all a la Jacob).

I am even (gasp) working on a new post. I might do some filler picture posts too. The extended family tom-toms tell me that we are in need of new photos...

Bek said...

Oh and Queen.. for me it is all about the fried banannas and coconut ice cream.

Lets get Thai food next time you are in town....

angie said...

Whoo hoo!! A post! I was about to email you and see what was going on with you girl! I want to hear about all of those events. I am waiting for the Downs 101 post and my housecleaner decided to not show up and never call me again. Were our bathrooms that dirty??? Good luck with finding a nanny. Have you asked that girl why she decides to flake? Could she be more responsible and stick around? Having her do Norah's hair must be so wonderful! Love ya- glad you're back!

wendy said...

Good. 'Cause I miss reading regular updates from you!

The kids are as cute as ever.

Wendy form Flippin' Sweet

Nellie said...

I am so glad to see your post -- tell Suzi hello from me -- I was wondering if she had a blog -- she's so great! Trust me, I feel your pain about the weather -- you are truly paying for it there. As for the m/nanny issue, no justification necessary . . . Chris just needs more income!:) It is great to have you back! XO

mak said...

Why do you feel like you have to justify your nanny? I think every SAHM mom (even the self-righteous ones) would LOVE a nanny (even part time) if they could have one. Besides- 1 Jacob = 6 regular kids :)

BTW- I'll totally quit my job and be your nanny! I'm glad to hear you are doing well!

Tablogger said...

Hey Bek -

Good to hear from you. Does me posting a comment on your blog mean that I can go a few more days without updating mine? (Did I just define blog-co-dependence?)

I loved your post about the weather, as that is one of the biggest things I miss about living in California. We've been lucky here for the last few days that it has not been raining...and we've had sun!! So of course nowthe kids get colds and flus and spend the week home from school!

And believe me, we can totally relate to not having enough space on rainy days! Going to 1/3 the amount of living space at 150% of the price stings a bit. At this rate, if we move to CA after this it will seem like a huge improvement in cost of living and the amount of space we could afford!

Anyway, glad to see you're back. Say hello to the fam from us.

wendysue said...

Bek, I missed you. (and that phone call never happened. . .it will, I promise)
But, my "ideas" about nanny's totally changed when my sister got an "au pair" with only one child. The sitter/friend watching/what the heck am I going to do with the kids scene is awful. I HATE it! Nannies totally make sense. I hope you can find one that likes to actually show up and be there!

I SO need a housecleaner (actually a junk picker-upper, organizer, plus all the other stuff. . .).

I've missed your Jacob stories. . .how about the little jolt he got?

Pep said...

Glad you're back! I think you have all the right ideas. Although I am a adoptive parent in waiting, that will be working, I can totally support you and high-five you for the choices you are making! :-)

For me, as a working parent, I plan have someone come in to clean house so that when I am home - I will have quality time for my family.

The choices we make are all beneficial to a healthy, happy Mom-which is so important to our families.

Hugs! Pep

cynthia said...

The Self-righteous SAHM are just jealous that they can't afford nannies!
You COULD always move to Utah and have lots of free childcare! What do you say?

(by the way, I promise your camera battery and L's shirt will be in the mail this week. Did the ipod surface?)

Heather said...

I wish we didn't live on opposite sides of the country! We could have some good times eating thai food (and/or all food) and comiserating over the self-righteous SAHMs who just loooooooove to pass judgement. In my mind the bottom line is this: Are our kids happy? If so, then whatever we're doing is good enough. I have not only a nanny and a housekeeper, but also someone who does a few hours of cooking a week -- and still I'm livin' on the edge of sanity. Granted, I also have a more-than full time career, but the whole house of cards is just a crazy, crazy life. But, like you say- Ignore the crazy!
Glad to see your post and can't wait for more!

Bek said...

If I DID care about what others thought, I wouldn't any more. I have a strangely high self confidence about stuff like this. I know what is right for my kids. After the year I have been through I have learned that there is no point in worrying about what others think...

I think it comes down to making choices that are right for our family. One thing that is really great about having "help' is that I get to spend more one on one time with each kid. I have really needed to help Jacob get on the right track behaviour wise. He is a typical three year old and needs me to be on him EVERY SECOND to have some consistant discipline. When I have him one on one out and about, I can do that. Otherwise, I am too distracted and tired.

Also, my helper comes in from 10:00to 2:00 three days a week. I know that I can always schedule every appointment during those times. I get the kids up and fed, I drop Lu off at school on the way. Voila. :-) I think that when the baby comes, I will have someone come early-ish (like 7:00) to get the kids up and about. D leaves for work at 4:00 am and I expect that I will be up at night A LOT with the baby. It would be nice to have someone get them up and out the door so I can sleep a bit.

It is good to hear from everyone. I have missed my online community. More posts on their way...

Bek said...

P.S. I haven't seen that many SAHM's that are critical. Mostly online. IRL, my friends are supportive (and frankly, where we live most people have helpers--cooks, cleaners, nanny's....etc).

Didn't want you to think I was getting it from ALL sides (in fact, my inlaws think that I should have someone every day, 9-5...but I don't need that really...)

Syd said...

Good to see another update. We miss you when you are super crazy with your life!! :) Yeah, I feel for you in the icky weather, but I need some sympathy for you, even if I KNOW the weather sucks in MI, I did NOT choose to live here and am counting the days until I can leave (although, really, is Utah any warmer, I don't think so...sigh). I just follow hubby around...and girl, I'm all about a Nanny. I used to be one and I would LOVE to have one. I keep saying if I had a housekeeper I'd be such a better Mom!! :) I had an adoptive Mom staying at our house for a couple of weeks, and it was so nice, just like being able to go pick up Maddy from school and leave Jordan at home. Yeah...I'm all about the Nanny. Oh, and we have our homevisit tomorrow. (Yes, I should be sweeping right now)...basically we'll be approved after that. I am hoping I can convince Hubby to let me share the news. We'll see!!

Syd said...

yeah, that's sympathy FROM you I need....I got it for you!!

Queen Scarlett said...

I laugh every time I visit and see "CA, Afghanistan".

Julie P said...

Just sayin'...

I've been impatiently waiting for the down syndrome post.

You're going to need a new header!

PediCURE, is how it should be seen. The best thing ever.

We miss you!

Anonymous said...

I happen to know that Jacob got 6 pretty little stitches in his forehead the other night and Bek a hard time finding someone to stay with the girls so they all weren't schlepped to the ER. I think 24 hour help wouldn't be too much!!!! To bad there isn't room for that!!!

Anonymous said...

I happen to know that Jacob got 6 pretty little stitches in his forehead the other night and Bek a hard time finding someone to stay with the girls so they all weren't schlepped to the ER. I think 24 hour help wouldn't be too much!!!! To bad there isn't room for that!!!

Bek said...

Thanks Mom!!

Queen, I keep forgetting how to change that. I didn't do it on purpose..

Julie... I would post the down syndrome one but you see, I am not having a baby. I just pretend it isn't happening. If there is no baby, there is no DS, right? Not that I don't want a baby or care that she will have an extra chromosome, I am just to busy, tired and overwhelmed potty training and getting Norah to walk that it is very easy to just pretend it isn't happening.

This week I am going to dig out the baby clothes and buy something for her to wear home from the hospital. We will ease into reality.... ;-)

Leisha said...

Just replace the word "judging" with "jealousy"! I know I'm jealous! Having had a son like your Jacob, THAT in and of itself is a full-time job! I'm still catching up on sleep from his toddler years!

rachel said...

Hi! I saw your post on Mormon Mommy Wars about your upcoming delivery to a little girl with T21. Three months ago, I delivered baby #6 and found out that he has Down Sydnrome. It's been a roller coaster - trying to enjoy the ride and hold on tight! The most helpful thing has been to not read books, the internet, etc...just talk to moms who've been there. Hugs to you and welcome to the club!

Miriam said...

Having help in no way equates to slacking off.

And I am pulling for you! Just a little while left, huh. It feels like forEVER, but then I remember when it's over there will be another kid to wrangle... which is another kettle of business.

I'll have to try the pepperoni trick... yesterday mine completely unspooled some purple thread (why is it always the one out of a hundred I was actually using?) while running around the house calling it "coffee" (??), but it bought me a good ten minutes, so he got no complaints from me.

angie said...

i really love your writing - one of your many talents!