Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The wedding I'm not excited for

My BIL's wedding is coming up on the 10th. Way back when they got engaged, I'd thought I'd be really excited for this wedding when it finally came around. But frankly, I'm not. I wouldn't even consider not going - but there's a part of me that sort of wishes I could just skip it. I'm feeling less and less like the bride would even give a crap if I were there anyway.

Bitter, much? Perhaps. Hormonal? Most certainly.

My BIL finally decided to ask my husband to be a groomsman in the wedding. This is after months of NOT asking, and us hearing twice that he'd asked someone who for one reason or another couldn't do it. So what, his big brother is the last resort? Apparently it has more to do with his fiance. He told my husband, and I quote, "I wanted to ask you from the beginning, but A said I could only have a select few in the wedding." Select few? A select few that apparently included his younger brother and loser drinking buddies, but not his older brother. Why A would not want him in the wedding, I can't fathom. Unless she's secretly mad at us from a conversation we had with her OVER A YEAR AGO where we talked her down from declaring she'll never go to my IL's again, especially for the holidays. That's the only thing I can think of that she'd be holding a grudge over. Of course, every time we've seen her or hung out with her since then, she's been fine. We've hung out, they've stayed weekends at our house, we've played games, watched movies, stayed up all hours of the night talking. But clearly there is something there that we're unaware of, because she clearly didn't want my husband in her wedding. That fact alone is sending my mama-bear instinct into overdrive.

This weekend is the bachelor and bachelorette parties. Apparently they are both in the town where my ILs live (and why my BIL and his fiance's social life is all centered around a little, podunk and rather redneck town where neither of them actually live, I don't know - but that's another story); the girls are doing their thing on Friday, the boys on Saturday. My husband is going down for the bachelor party. Guess who is not invited to the bachelorette party? That would be me. Apparently the future sister-in-law isn't cool enough for an invite. My SIL (my husband and BIL's sister) IS invited, of course - and that's partially how I know I am in fact not invited. She has all the details, and has for a couple of weeks. I've heard nothing, even though I have talked to A at least twice since they set up the party. I even asked her about it last time I saw her, and admittedly I was fishing to see if she was going to invite me. I asked her what she was planning and she said something about hanging out and having a girls night. But that's the last I've heard of it, except through my SIL.

Think that rubs me wrong? You bet it does.

So my future SIL didn't (or perhaps still doesn't) want my husband in her wedding and she didn't bother to invite me, her future SIL, to her bachelorette party. Of course I was cool enough to be invited to her bridal shower, but that meant I was bringing a gift.

I realize I'm hormonal right now. I got cut off in a parking lot the other day and went from gripping the steering wheel so as not to fly out of my car and launch myself at the person, to almost balling my eyes out in the space of about 15 seconds. But still. I'm really insulted by everything. She doesn't seem to give a crap whether she's a part of this family or not. For a time, I'd assumed that she and I had become friends; that despite the fact that she's 9 years younger and in a very different stage of her life, that we could be friends. Heck, even sisterly. But this feels like a slap in the face.

I will admit that even were I invited to the party, i couldn't go. But that's not the point. A courtesy invite would have been appropriate, I think. So much for being family.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tired already

I suffered from pretty extreme fatigue in my first pregnancy. I got a really bad cold at about 5 1/2 weeks and from then until about 11 or 12 weeks, I was barely functional. I'd get up late, drag myself to work, do my best not to fall asleep at my desk, leave early, come home and fall asleep on the couch, wake up to eat dinner, then go to bed.

Second pregnancy was much better. I attribute it to an easier pregnancy overall, as well as not being put on a mega-dose of progesterone supplements. I needed progesterone both times, but with my second pregnancy the dose was about 1/3 of what my old doctor had put me on, and I think it made a big difference in the severity of the side effects.

I'm approximately 4 1/2 weeks right now, and I'm feeling extra tired already. I really hope that doesn't mean I'm in for a rough couple of months (although I'll take fatigue over morning sickness any day!). G is at such a tough age right now and I don't know how I'll keep up with him if I get too fatigued, not to mention my slightly high-maintenance 4 year old. Obviously, I'll manage, but I'm hoping the fact that the first trimester tiredness is setting in early (for me) isn't a bad sign.

I think I'm in for a couple months of extra early bedtimes! Or at least I will if I'm smart. Sometimes getting to bed early is so much easier said than done.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I'm not crazy.

Nope, not crazy. I'm pregnant.

After several days of living in crazy-land, wondering if the mild cramping, the achiness, the full sensation was all in my head, I caved under the pressure and took an HPT. My husband and I had talked about waiting until Christmas morning (and that certainly would have been cool), but Tuesday night we agreed that Christmas Eve morning would do, given how anxious I was getting. However, just minutes after having that conversation, I ran to the bathroom and ripped into the box of First Response. I felt like I'd never be able to sleep, waiting to test in the morning and although I might regret testing at 11:00 at night (since I wasn't using trusty FMU), I couldn't take the suspense any longer.

As I sat there waiting for the results, I felt more and more like I was about to be disappointed. Maybe it was my defense mechanism against the sadness I knew I'd feel if there had been just one line. I'd been trying to protect myself from it, telling myself there was no way it could turn out this perfect - to get pregnant the first cycle trying (again!) AND find out at Christmas... No one is that lucky, right?

Apparently we are.

The two lines were dark pink, leaving no room to wonder if I was seeing things, if I was crazy. Not crazy - pregnant! Well, perhaps pregnant and crazy go hand in hand, but it was such a vindicating feeling to know that all the things I'd been feeling were real; not only real, but indications that I am in fact pregnant. For days I'd been wanting to say, "I feel pregnant," but fear of being wrong kept me from saying it out loud and fear of disappointment kept me from saying it even to myself.

So I'm pregnant! I'm over the moon. Something about this feels so right. I never thought I'd have three kids quite this close together; three years always seemed like a nice age gap, whereas D and G are 2 1/2 years apart and G and this baby will be closer still. Even so, this feels perfect. We've wanted three, we're certain we're done after this and it feels good to have things in motion. I can stop wondering, stop worrying and just enjoy what should be my last pregnancy.

I feel so blessed. I know how lucky we are and I'm SO grateful.

Monday, December 22, 2008

She would have known

As I sat down at the computer just now, it occurred to me for apparently no rational reason, that my mother-in-law Marilyn would have known if I was pregnant. Marilyn isn't with us anymore; she died right after Thanksgiving in 1997. But she was one of those people with a really big personality; the mark she left on those around her was pretty intense. More time than I have on this earth would have to pass before I could forget her.

She had one of those crazy radars that seemed to pick up on everything; especially things you want to keep secret. For example, she was impossible to surprise at Christmas. Every year my poor husband would try, and every year she somehow knew what he'd gotten her. One year he got her a bottle of Chanel #5, wrapped the little box, then placed that box in a much larger box filled with several old books for added weight. He tried to let slip hints that he'd gotten her something that would explain the size and weight of the box (I can't remember what he was trying to convince her it was, but he had a plan). Still, she knew exactly what was in there.

I will never forget the first time we saw her after we had slept together for the first time. He wasn't living with her then (he'd moved out at about age 16), but for some reason we'd gone to her house. She instantly knew. She got this huge smile on her face, the one we always knew meant trouble, and she said something to the affect of, "You guys had sex, didn't you!" She wasn't mad, and maybe not even surprised. We'd been dating for over two years at that point and amongst most of the people we knew then, we seemed like long time hold outs in the virginity department. How she knew, I have no idea. Maybe she saw something in her son; maybe she saw it in me. Maybe both. But she had a tendency to know those kinds of things, especially when you didn't want her to.

I think that if she were alive today, we'd have a hard time putting anything past her. If I was pregnant, she'd take one look at me and know. And she wouldn't hesitate to ask, probably in front of other people. And it would be impossible to lie to her; she'd know that too.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Two week wait, take one

And here we are, the dreaded two-week-wait.

This is certainly not my favorite part of TTC. I've done well this time to stay calm, keep from obsessing too much, let thoughts of "am I pregnant?" dominate my mind. Mostly. I'm not even 100% sure that I ovulated at all, yet as the days go by, the anxiety mounts and I start to wonder - did we strike gold again?

I can't shake the notion that I feel *something* going on in there. What that something is, could be a variety of things. It could be that after spending the last several years either pregnant or on birth control for the most part, I'm simply feeling the sensations of having an actual cycle (which in and of itself would be a good thing, pregnant or not). It could be that I'm a little constipated and it's leaving me a bit bloated and uncomfortable. Or it could be that it's all in my head and my mind is making me believe that I'm feeling a fullness in my pelvic region, a little bit of cramping, and an overall awareness of my uterine area that I just can't explain. And of course I can't forget how constipation was the first symptom I had when I was pregnant with G.

But then logic kicks in and I feel sort of sheepish. How could I feel something so early? Even if I ovulated on CD14, I'm days from when I'd even be able to test with any reasonable accuracy, and I'm not certain of if/when I ovulated. And I've been down this road many, many times; thinking the little cramps and twinges I convince myself I'm feeling might be the first signs of pregnancy. And many, many times, I've been wrong.

In fact, the two times I've been pregnant, I had no idea until the day I actually tested. With D, we hadn't been actively trying for many months and didn't really think we'd get pregnant without medical intervention; I tested on a whim, thinking my period should have shown up by then. With G, I was totally convinced that I wasn't pregnant that month, since I felt too "normal" (except for the constipation, but I brushed that off as being unrelated) and only tested when I knew my period should have started, and hadn't. How could I know so early this time, when my pregnancy radar is so clearly unreliable?

And come later this week if my period shows, or if I break down and take a test that comes up negative, I'll sure feel silly for thinking what I'm thinking right now. There you go again, convincing yourself of something that wasn't there. It seems so impossible that we'd get pregnant on the first try yet again. That just isn't fair, really. How could one couple hit the jackpot twice? And when we decided to start trying this month, it certainly didn't escape me that we'd likely be finding out one way or another right around Christmas. That would just be too much, to find out at Christmas that our third baby is coming. How could that be possible? We couldn't be THAT lucky.

Could we?

I don't know. Right now, I don't know if it's all in my head, if I'm feeling something genuine that isn't pregnancy, or if we're just plain lucky. Really lucky.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Understanding Santa

I love that D really "gets" Santa this year. He knows the stories and the songs; he gets the naughty/nice idea and loves the idea that this mysterious, magical man will be bringing presents to our house on Christmas. Last year he sort of got it, and definitely understood the Christmas = presents connection. But this year there is so much more magic to it - it's fun!

All on his own he decided we need to make cookies to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve, and asks daily if we can make them. He very willingly sat on Santa's lap, which is a HUGE first. And he's been rather concerned, since he asked Santa for a big Hulk toy and he got one for his birthday shortly after we saw Santa; so now he's worried that Santa won't know what to bring him. I've assured him that Santa is a pretty smart guy and he probably has a good idea of what he wants for Christmas.

He also asked if it's ok for him to come in our room and let us know if he hears a "clatter" or a "racket" on the roof Christmas Eve. He likes using those words and I think he assumes they're only associated with the noise of Santa landing on the roof.

However, some of his questions about Santa have been a little harder to answer. He's asked several times how Santa will get in, since we don't have a regular fireplace and big chimney. We do have a gas fireplace, but as he insightfully pointed out, it has a glass door on the front. We've told him Santa is magic and can get around those kinds of things really easily. He's only partially convinced.

I can't wait for his eyes to light up Christmas morning when he comes down and sees all the presents under the tree! We usually don't put all the presents under there until late Christmas Eve, so when the boys get up it looks really magical. And he'll see some bites taken out of the cookies we'll make and the carrots we leave out for the reigndeer will be gone too. He's going to freak!

I love Christmas and it takes on a whole new dimension of fun when you have kids!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Held hostage by the gift exchange

I love Christmas. LOVE it. It's my favorite time of year, and I actually really like all the shopping and wrapping and such. I love buying presents for everyone; the only bummer every year is that we don't have more money. Back when we were DINKs (double income, no kids) we'd go to each family gathering with armloads of presents and it was AWESOME.

Anyway, even though we can't get loads of gifts these days, it's still fun to pick things out for people and see their faces when they open them. I love that part. I think that's part of why the "plan" with my in-laws this year is bugging me so much.

They decided, and by "they" I mean my step-MIL Maria and her daughter Amy, that instead of everyone buying gifts for everyone else, we'd do a gift exchange. Each adult is supposed to bring a gift that is, "something you'd want," whatever that means. We draw numbers, and pick gifts in order. Each person can either pick a gift from under the tree or "steal" a gift from someone who has already picked. We've played this type of game before and it can be really fun - and granted, it might be really fun when we do it this year.

The problem is, this means that we're not "supposed" to buy gifts for my in-laws, nor my SIL who lives with us, my BIL or his fiance. So instead of taking the time to pick something we think they'd really like, we just buy two random gifts and we don't even know who will end up with them. No strolling the aisles thinking, "Sam would love this!" And speaking of Sam, my SIL really gets the shaft. She's a single college student. Usually it's her parents, my ILs, who buy her a bunch of Christmas presents - you know, how parents do. She doesn't have a boyfriend, fiance or husband to spoil her on Christmas. This year, because of this gift exchange, instead of getting a bunch of cool stuff from her parents, all she's getting is some generic, random gift that she ends up with at the end of the game. Now, it isn't all about the gifts and she's the least selfish person I know in the whole world, seriously. But even she is really bummed.

The purpose, I'm sure, is to allow everyone to save money, and that is totally fine with me. Our budget is tight this year too and I can totally appreciate that. But it's annoying that we weren't even consulted on this decision. In fact, we were only told as an afterthought. During Thanksgiving dinner, Sam asked Amy about it and asked if Amy had told us yet. It was obvious from the look on her face that it hadn't even occurred to Amy that we should know about it. Gee, thanks, glad to feel a part of the family.

The real kicker is, instead of saving us money, this is going to cost us more. My husband said screw it to the not buying other gifts part, so we're still buying something for my ILs, my SIL, and my BIL and fiance - which we would have done already - plus the two gifts for the gift exchange. So that kind of sucks. Obviously we don't have to, but he's adamant about it. So instead of saving us money, it really means we have to buy two extra gifts.

Not only that, but because Sam isn't getting any "real" presents from her parents, we're trying to squeeze the budget a bit more and buy her some extra stuff so she has more presents to open. I'm happy to do it; goodness knows I love her dearly and she deserves it. But ouch. I'm trying to keep track of the Christmas spending and I want to throw my hands in the air, pull out the credit card and say screw it.

So I guess the bottom line is, I'm annoyed that two people got to dictate what the rest of us do for Christmas without consulting any of us, I feel bad for my SIL because she's pretty disappointed about it all, and I'm frustrated that this is going to actually end up costing us more money, not less.

And I have no clue what to do for the gifts... Sigh.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy birthday to my little man

You are four today. How it has come to be four years since you were born, I almost can't imagine. And yet so much has changed in that time, it feels like so long ago.

You are such a fun, smart, silly, rambunctious boy. You love school and the teachers tell me you are friends with everybody. That doesn't surprise me much; you don't have a shy bone in your body. You recently discovered you have some pretty sweet dance moves and you love to sing. Right now your favorite things are skeletons, dinosaurs, and superhero action figures. You love to build things, play with playdough and do art projects. You're learning and growing so much, it's amazing to watch. You recently wrote your name by yourself and you're right on the cusp of learning to read a little.

You take my breath away with your sensitivity and love. You tell me and your dad how much you love us at least twenty times a day. Today you called me beautiful. It was hard not to cry. You love your brother and insist on giving him about thirty hugs before bedtime every night. He loves you back and tries to do everything just like you. I don't think you appreciate that much right now, but someday you'll look back and realize how cool it is to have a little brother who looks up to you.

You make the silliest faces and your stories are wonderful. You tell me stories about skeleton monsters fighting fires in big houses, of superheros fighting bad guys and sending them to "big giant time outs". Your imagination is limitless. The living room floor is often hot lava, or the ocean. We chase each other around pretending to be sharks and your brother follows along behind, laughing.

It is such an honor to be your mommy. I love you so much it almost hurts. There was such a long time when we didn't know if we'd ever have you and I have to say, you were worth the wait. Ten times over, you were worth it. Every day that you have been with us has been an enormous blessing from God. I'm thankful for every moment we have with you, even the hard ones. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Hard as it is to believe you are four, it's a wonder and a blessing to watch you grow up. Parenting is such a bittersweet endeavor; we have this short period of time when our children are ours, when they are here in our home, dependent on us. And we love them so much, we can't stand the thought of them leaving. Yet every day, that is what we are preparing them to do. The goal is to have to let them go, release them into the world and hope we did a good enough job.

I pray to our Father in Heaven that I have the strength, courage, wisdom, patience and understanding to be a good mother to you. I pray for your health, safety and well being as you grow. And I pray that He will give us many more years of laughter, fun, games, and love.

I'm so proud of you and I love you so much. Happy birthday my sweet little man.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I guess this is it

I'm officially not taking birth control. Yikes!

I think I'm over the "am I crazy?" worry. Obviously the answer is yes; however, that isn't deterring either of us from going down this road again. It is what it is - we both believe we're meant to have three. Yes, I'll have to get fat, and yes, I'll have to give up my freedom, my body, my boobs, my time, my schedule, my sleep.

Ah, sleep. I remember sleep.

But I digress... I'm sick of thinking and worrying and talking about my weight - the relevance here being whether or not I'll even be able to get pregnant at this weight, which might be a no. And the fact that I'm still holding onto half of the weight I gained with G and am going to try to get pregnant again and gain more weight... well, ick. But like I said, I'm sick of talking about it. I feel like all year I've been worrying about my weight almost to the point of obsession, yet I haven't actually done anything constructive about it for long enough to make a difference. So I'm over it. I'm doing what I have to do about it now and I guess better late than never. But I don't want to prattle on about it endlessly here; I already cringe looking back at some of my posts this year on the subject. So that's that. I'm heavier than I should be but I'm hopefully going to take care of some of that - in other words, I'm going to diet like crazy until I actually get pregnant and hope that will be good enough for my f'ed up hormones. (and when I say diet like crazy, I don't mean crash diet or something unhealthy - I don't do "diets". But I am keeping my food intake to a target number of calories, reducing my carbs and food logging everything I put in my mouth - basically what worked for me before and what I should have done months ago...).

So here we go again, hopping on the TTC train for what should be the last time. I hope it isn't a long ride; I don't know that I have it in me to go through the infertility nightmare again. But I don't really know what to expect from my body right now. Time will tell, I suppose. I'll try not to obsess and worry a whole lot, but let's be honest, that probably isn't going to happen.

Wish me luck, I guess!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nothing like a little aversion therapy

Since my husband and I are thinking about trying for another baby not too long from now, I decided to go ahead and go back on metformin (and if there is anyone other than my cyster friends who ever see this, I'm going on metformin because I have PCOS and it helps - short answer). I've been on met twice before, both times when we were trying to get pregnant.

Met is famous for wrecking havoc with your tummy. Lovely side effects, but they usually go away once your body is more or less used to it. Usually, they have you start on a small dose for a week, then add to it each week until you get to your full dose. The first time I started it, I was essentially nauseous for a month as I ramped up to my full dose. The second time, it gave me low blood sugars, especially in the middle of the night (so not pleasant). This time, I'm having my share of tummy troubles, some of the bathroom variety.

You'd think, having been on it twice before, I'd have no trouble remembering what is and isn't ok to eat. You'd think. But apparently I needed some reminding. The first day I felt rotten, but I expected that. Then a day or two later, I ate a candy bar. A whole one. Never mind that I have no business eating a whole candy bar anyway, on met, especially the first week of met, that's just bad. I felt AWFUL. It took me a bit to figure out what was going on and then it hit me - sugar. Sugar + met = BAD. At least for me.

So you'd think after that I'd be good to go, but NOOOOO. Apparently I needed to learn this the hard way. Two more times. DH brought home stuff to make root beer floats. I LOVE root beer floats and I can't remember the last time I had one. I paid dearly for it, but I don't know, that one might have been worth it. It was good. But then a day or two later I had a mocha. Apparently those are off the menu as well.

You know what's funny though - right now I don't have the slightest craving for anything sugary. Chocolate, ice cream, eclairs, donuts, milkshakes, even mochas - all sound horrid. All I can think about is the tummy dramatics that ensued when I ate anything with too much sugar and I have no desire to go there.

See, a little aversion therapy can't be too bad of a thing, right? Maybe that's why some people lose weight on metformin - it isn't that it does anything for their metabolism, it's that they have such rotten side effects whenever they eat bad, they quit eating bad real quick!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Saying goodbye to October

D went on his first field trip with his preschool to the pumpkin patch a couple of weeks ago. At the end, they all got to pick out a pumpkin to take home and he was beyond excited. He was mildly amused by the animals and other things at the farm, but what he really cared about were the pumpkins. And when they told him he could pick one to keep, that really made his day.

He walked amongst the rows of small pumpkins that were set aside for school groups while most of the other kids ran around and played. This was serious business, the choosing of a special pumpkin. He picked up several and eyed them before finally finding what he was looking for. What it was he saw in this particular pumpkin, I can't be sure, but it was most definitely the one.

On the way home, he decided to name it and after kicking around several names, including "Tree-monster," "Pumpkin-monster" and simply "Pumpkin" he settled on "October." "It's because this is October and October is for Halloween, Mom," he explained to me as we drove. I'm still tickled that he not only decided to name his pumpkin, but he came up with such a creative and appropriate one.

Thereafter, "October" was part of the family. We referred to the pumpkin by name, as if it were a new pet. He took it with him in the car when we ran errands and proudly showed it off to anyone around, interested or not. He'd excitedly ask anyone he saw if they had seen his pumpkin yet, and if not, happily make the introductions.

On Halloween we carved a couple of pumpkins to put out on our porch and he insisted that October be carved as well. We explained to him that this would mean October wouldn't last much longer and when he started to rot and get mushy, we'd have to throw him away. He asked "why?" a lot, but he asks that about everything, so we just explained it to him as best as we could. He was adamant - he wanted October to be a honest to goodness jack-o-lantern. And not just any jack-o-lantern - one with a "spooky-scary-mad face".

My husband obliged, after D did the honors of scooping out the "guts". D was very happy with the results and proudly displayed October on the porch for all trick-or-treaters to see.

Saturday morning he asked to bring October inside and we went ahead and lit his candle again so D could enjoy seeing his face glow a while longer. Since then, he'd been sitting on our kitchen island, right next to where D normally sits to eat his breakfast.

Today it became apparent that October's brief life would soon come to and end. The top around his stem was mushy and he was getting little black speckles inside and around the carved eyes and mouth. I was worried about how D would take it, but I also didn't want to throw him out without D knowing about it. So I showed him the spots, explaining to him again that pumpkins don't last forever and we'd need to throw him away. He thought about it for a few seconds, then declared, "Ok, I'll do it." I told him we'd need to throw him in the garbage in the garage, so he carried his pumpkin out and tossed him in the garbage can while I held the lid open.

No tears, no protests. He accepted what would happen, but he was adamant about doing it himself. There was something about his resolve that struck me today. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it was so sweet and yet a little sad.

As we came back inside from the garage I tried to dwell on the good things about October's brief stay in our family. I said, "It was fun having a cool pumpkin like October, wasn't it?" "Yeah," he replied quietly. "And remember, we have some pictures of October, so if you ever want to look at him, just let me know." "We do? We have pictures?" "Yep, do you want to go look at them?" "Yeah, Mommy. Let's go look at them...."

Bye, bye October.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The time change sucks

Both boys were up before 5am this morning. Obviously their little bodies haven't gotten the memo that it isn't 6am, it's 5... And why D woke at 4:45, I have no idea, but it's been an interesting day nonetheless. I'm seriously tired. When I put G down for bed I whispered to him to stay asleep until at least 6. You know it's bad when you'll be happy if you can "sleep in" until 6am.

D has gone to bed without getting up for two nights in a row. My husband is putting him to bed right now, so we'll see if it continues. It seems like we've turned the corner, but you never know with him. Hopefully by Thursday when I'll have to put him to bed (DH will be working late), he'll be solid enough that it won't matter whether it's Daddy or Mommy doing bedtime - he'll just plain stay in bed.

I know one day I'll look back on this time and laugh - when I'm trying to drag my teenage boys out of bed for school and they won't budge, LOL!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Last night the door remained unlocked.

Several things could have been a factor. One, my husband was the one to put him to bed. D absolutely pushes at me harder than my husband, so that could have been part of it. I sort of hope not, because I have to put him to bed some nights and so we have to get him to go to bed for me as well.

Two, and perhaps most importantly, D was uber exhausted. Friday was Halloween of course and he was a trick or treating maniac. He was out late, as we expected (although that night he still got up and threw a fit, although a short lived one, behind his locked door) and also as expected, didn't sleep in AT ALL on Saturday. Then we spent the entire day at my ILs on Saturday, getting home late again. He was super, duper tired. He'd slept some in the car, but woke up about 1/2 hour before we got home, so it wasn't like he was sleeping still and we just transfered him from the car to his bed.

Today he finally got a sticker on his sticker chart, he got to choose one toy to get out of time out, and he will get to read books again at bedtime. If he does another good bedtime, we'll start putting some of his things back in his room. I'll probably start with the lightbulbs from his overhead light. It's pain not having those in there, LOL.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

And another...

Blah, blah, blah... locked door. Blah, blah blah.. tantrum... Blah, blah, blah, about 30 minutes from door closing to silence... Blah, blah, blah...

Can you tell I'm sick of talking about bedtime?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another day, another bedtime post

Last night didn't ultimately go quite as smoothly as I'd originally thought. He woke up at about 10:45 and came out of his room; I'd unlocked the door before then, thinking I'd leave it unlocked for the night. I'm not sure why he woke up, although he did hear my husband leave - but normally, that kind of thing wouldn't wake him. At least, it never has before. In any case, he got up, and I tried to get him settled back into bed, but once I tried to leave, he decided he didn't want to stay in bed. Again. So I locked the door again. He had another fit, kicked the door quite a bit, but ultimately went back to bed. How G sleeps through all this is beyond me, but I'll take it; I'm super grateful that he's as easy as he is when it comes to bedtime right now!

He woke again around 2:30 because he fell out of bed. I think when he got himself back in bed after the second tantrum episode he was probably too close to the edge, so rolled off in his sleep. I got him settled again and he stayed in bed this time, so the door stayed unlocked until morning. He slept until about 7, which is actually pretty decent for him.

In any case, tonight rolled around and once again, he got up as I was leaving his room, so I locked the door. He kicked it half a dozen times, cried for a little while, then got himself into bed. He cried softly a little longer, but in the end, he was asleep before 7, which is earlier than he's been asleep in WEEKS! He SO needs this. I hope he sleeps all night, but I'm expecting him to wake and be mad that his door is locked at least once. We'll see.

Progress? I suppose so. After how things have gone so far, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The next step

Tonight went better than I thought it would.

Ultimately, we locked his door. We told him that we were going to put a lock on his door and if he stayed in bed, we wouldn't lock it. But if he got up, we would simply lock the door. We took him to the store and showed him what we were buying and he watched my husband install it (it's a new doorknob with a lock and we installed it backwards - so the locking part faces out). We explained it to him several times to make sure he understood, emphasizing that it was his choice - if he chose to stay in bed, we wouldn't lock the door; if he chose to get up, the door would be locked.

I also decided to try one last thing, in addition to the lock. At bedtime, I told him that if he stayed in bed, I would come back and check on him in three minutes and give him a hug and a kiss. I didn't really think that would work, but I was willing to give it a try, in the interest of trying everything to avoid actually locking his door.

Unfortunately, I was right and it didn't work. I told him several times that if he stayed in bed I would come back and check on him, but if he got up I'd lock the door. He was out of bed before I could even get to the door - and the distance is only a few feet. So I locked it.

I was literally sick to my stomach while I was putting him to bed, worrying about what he would do if I had to lock the door. I imagined him screaming and kicking the door for hours on end, finally collapsing in a heap on the floor from total exhaustion. What happened was not nearly as bad as I'd feared. He did scream and kick his door, but not for very long - less than 10 minutes. I don't know exactly what he was doing in there, but I did hear him moving around his room, crying loudly and yelling things for a bit after that. But then, it got quiet. Not completely quiet, I could still hear him crying, but it was softly. I think he'd crawled in bed and laid there crying for about another 15 minutes. And then all was quiet.

It took me a while before I would say it out loud to my husband - "I think he's actually asleep..."

Honestly, he was asleep earlier tonight than he has been in a long time. I hope he sleeps fine all night and gets some good rest; goodness knows he needs it.

I'm relieved that it wasn't the horrific disaster I'd feared, but still pretty amazed that it had to come to this. I really, really thought that the "silent return to sleep" was going to work. Isn't that supposed to work for every kid? This has been a good reminder that there isn't any one thing that works for every kid. Some kids need to be put back in bed over and over to set that clear boundary - mine needed to be shown in no uncertain terms that he would not be seeing us again after bedtime, so there's no point in getting up.

I don't know what to expect tomorrow and the following nights. Nothing would surprise me at this point. Tomorrow might go great; we might not even have to lock the door. But I wouldn't be surprised if he threw a mega fit tomorrow, just to see if we're still serious. I have no idea. I wouldn't have predicted anything about the last month, so we'll just have to wait and see. For tonight, I'm just thankful he's getting some much needed rest and I have the slightest bit of hope that maybe we can see a faint bit of light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The battle rages on

I'm sick of blogging about this.

I think I've decided that the so-called "silent return to sleep" isn't going to work. I actually thought it would. I figured we'd have two or three bad nights, then progressively better ones as he realized his antics weren't going to work. I was ready to do it night after night, but I think my resolve hinged on the strategy doing some good and showing some progress. But that certainly isn't what has happened. Last night showed me that he'd keep this up forever, if there were no other consequences. He doesn't really care that I just put him back to bed anymore; he gets away with getting up over and over and so what if I put him back - it's more fun than going to bed, apparently. At least he gets to see me every minute or so.

Today I emptied his room of just about everything - toys, books, etc. I left him his pumpkin nightlight, his kitty, elephant and shark (the animals he sleeps with), his two extra blankets (superman blanket and monkey blanket), his monitor, fan, his lamp and his regular nightlight (that we don't use while the pumpkin one is on). Everything else is in the playroom.

I told him that if he got up once, he would not get books at bedtime tomorrow; twice, his pumpkin nightlight would go away; three times, his kitty; four, his shark; five, his elephant; six, his monkey blanket; seven, his superman blanket. After that, I said I would no longer tuck him in and he would have to pull up his covers by himself. I thought maybe, just maybe, when he was down to just one animal, he might actually stay in bed just so he could keep the elephant and have something to sleep with. What on earth was I thinking?

In the end, he lost his bedtime stories for tomorrow, his nightlight, his kitty, his shark, elephant, monkey blanket, and superman blanket - as well as his lamp, since he kept turning it on, and the light bulbs out of his overhead light, since he kept turning that on too. And still, he got up; he was just getting started.

After about 40 minutes, and one big throw up on his floor, I made an executive decision. In some extreme situations, we've put him in a time out in our van, in the garage. It's been reserved for those times when he's done something really bad, or escalated a situation so far we feel we have to do something pretty dramatic. I have to be honest, we've been discussing whether or not to spank him at this point, and generally, I'm not a fan of spanking. But this has gone on so long and to such an extreme level, we're actually talking about whether to try it. Anyway, I was thinking about that, and thinking about whether a time out in the van is any worse than a spanking, and decided to try a time out in the van again. My husband did that a few times when this whole mess first started, but it was the kind of thing he did out of anger. After D threw up all over himself in the van once, and I had to clean up the subsequent mess (and let me tell you, cleaning up puke off of a carseat is not easy at all), we decided not to use it as a consequence anymore. It left a bad taste in our mouths, not to mention the cleanup was awful (part of my problem with it was that my husband was leaving him out there for much longer than I felt he should). However, I know how much he hates it, and when used sparingly, it's been effective in the past (emphasis on used sparingly, and we went through a period where my husband got too van happy and would escalate to that almost immediately - it was the cause for some heated discussions between the two of us, but that was a while back).

In any case, since I'd taken away everything that I could, barring his covers (and if I did that, he'd get cold in the night and wake me up, which I don't need any more of that), his nightlight, which just seemed too mean, and his fan, which also seemed too mean since I know he can't sleep without it (I can't sleep without mine either, so I get how that feels), and I didn't want to start taking away things only to give them back if he promised to stay in bed ("Ok, I'll turn your nightlight back on if you stay in bed), because what do I do if he doesn't... Anyway, all that to say, i decided to put him in a time out in the van. I warned him that I would, that if he got up again, he would go sit in the van for two minutes. Of course, he got up, so we headed downstairs to the garage.

He had three van time outs tonight, before he finally decided to stay in bed. THAT is how stubborn this child is.

Right now, we're considering whether to put a lock on his door so he simply can't get out. I am running out of ideas and nothing seems to be making an impact on him. It's insanity, seriously. I don't really want to do it, but we're discussing it. I don't want to spank him either, but we're discussing it. I don't know what else to do. He's so overtired, he wakes up in the night every night now and it's hard to get him back to bed; and he wakes up ridiculously early in the morning, both signs that he's not getting enough sleep. I'm utterly exhausted, not to mention behind on work and pretty sick of the whole thing. I just do not understand.

It may sound like my calm is out the window, but I'm not angry. Yeah, I'm frustrated (who wouldn't be), and pretty perplexed at why this has gone on so long and why no consequence seems to be enough. But I'm staying calm about it and not letting it make me miserable all day long. At least I'm trying.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Consistency? Or Insanity?

The bedtime battle wages on. At this point, I'm not clear on who is winning. I thought by today (day 5 of me doing the "silent return to bed") it would definitely be me, although I expected it to continue for at least several more days, if not more. But tonight made me wonder at what point consistency becomes insanity, the definition of which is to do the same thing repeatedly expecting a different result.

Maybe D and I are both insane?

Tonight took 1 hour and 45 minutes. But the crazy thing is that it wasn't full of tantrums, crying, spitting, throwing up, spilling water, hitting, dropping to the floor, yelling and begging for a million different things. The first 10 minutes were the crying, asking for things phase; but even then, he didn't get nearly as upset as he did the first two nights. He calmed down so quickly I was silly enough to think tonight might only take 20 or 30 minutes. Boy, how wrong I was.

The rest of the night was spent with him quietly getting up and doing things like turning on his lamp, turning off his fan, turning on his overhead light, and then coming to open the door. Then he'd immediately go set things right again - turn his fan on and turn his light and lamp off, get into bed and wait for me to cover him up. Sometimes I'd hear him get up or see his lamp go on and then it would be quiet for a minute or more. I'd been waiting for him to open the door before doing anything, but once out of sheer curiosity I opened the door to see what he was up to. That time, he was playing with the Halloween window clings on his window. I promptly and silently took them out of the room.

Honestly, tonight was almost as maddening, if not more, than the two hours of screaming, crying and other obnoxious behavior was. This quiet getting up, doing something or other, and coming to the door for me went on for so long I seriously felt like I was going to lose my mind. Over and over and over he did it; it was just a game to him. And it wasn't as if he was stopping to play for long periods of time. He'd do something or other in his room (most of the time I don't know what he was doing), come to the door, open it, and get back in bed. Half the time he'd just lie down in front of the door and pound his legs on the floor. I wonder if those times he was trying to see if I'd come in.

Eventually, I did start going in before he'd open the door. I'd listen for his feet to hit the floor and then open the door and point him back to his bed. I don't know if that was the right call or not. On the one hand, he might have discovered "Cool, if I keep doing this, Mom comes in my room!" I'm hoping it was more that he realized he couldn't get up and play around anymore. I did it as much because I was sick of waiting for him every time he'd get up as anything. I knew he was up, I wanted him to realize I wasn't going to allow it.

Still, even with that, he kept it up and showed absolutely no signs of slowing. At one point he'd seemed like he was winding down, but after that it was like he got more and more energy. He'd run to his bed, jumping up and rolling around, getting his animals in place before I'd put the cover over him. I could tell he wasn't going to stop anytime soon.

Finally, I broke my silence and informed him that I would no longer be putting his covers over him; if he wanted to keep getting up, he could put his covers on himself. Once again, I'm not sure if it was a good call or not, at least in the long run. Maybe the whole time I should have kept to my silence, but I was so beyond done with it, I felt like I had to do something different or he'd be at it for another hour or more. I knew that kind of escalation would make him mad, and it definitely did. He got upset and started getting up quicker, pounding on the door and crying for me to put his covers on. I let him do that about a dozen times, not even going into his room, just standing in the doorway pointing to his bed, waiting for him to get back in, and closing the door. Finally I went in, told him calmly (although at this point, calm was the last thing I was feeling) that I would put his covers on one more time, but if he got out of bed again, he could do it himself and I would not be putting his covers on him again tonight. That was the last time he got up.

I think I'm going to have to add something to what I'm already doing. Tonight he was playing a game and more or less getting away with it. I think he honestly would rather do this than go to bed, so even if all that happens is I put him back to bed over and over, he figures it's more fun than actually going to bed. I'm going to have to impose some sort of consequences. However, I want to keep things fairly simple and all related to bedtime and his room.

Tomorrow during the day I'm going to clean out his room of just about everything - toys, books, animals, everything. He can keep his regular nightlight, the Halloween pumpkin nightlight he is currently using (the other one is in there, but not on), his shark, elephant and kitty that he sleeps with and I think that's it. That way there at least won't be anything to play or mess around with in there.

Then, tomorrow night I'm going to tell him that if he gets up out of bed, even once, he will not be getting stories at bedtime the next night. The hard thing about bedtime consequences is they're so hard to make immediate. I can't take away books right then and there because we read books before the shenanigans begin. So hopefully this will still have an impact; and I do know he's perfectly capable of understanding the connection between a consequence that is delayed and the behavior that caused it. I fully expect him to call me on it and I have no illusions that this will magically make him stay in bed tomorrow night. But the next night he will not get books. Maybe that will start to get his attention.

After that, I'll be taking away his Halloween nightlight and switching him back to his regular one. I'm reluctant to take away the nightlight entirely, although I'm well aware that I have a very limited number of bedtime things to take away. Once the Halloween nightlight and books are gone, I'm sort of out of options unless I take the nightlight and the animals he sleeps with. I'm not sure if I'll do that or not; at this point I don't want to, but I wonder if I'll have to. I have a couple of days to think about it, so we'll see.

And I'll have to think about the covers thing too. I might have to decide at some point to stop putting his covers back on him at all and just fight that one out with him. Maybe that will have an impact, I don't know. At this point, I honestly don't know what will ultimately get the message across.

In the meantime I'm exhausted because he's also getting up in the night at least once most nights. I'm hoping against hope that once he's going to bed well and starts getting more sleep again the night wakings will stop. That's what Weissbluth would have me believe, but we'll see. D apparently hasn't read the same books as I have so he doesn't know what is supposed to happen. I also ordered a book on "strong willed" children. I'm sure D hasn't read that book either (lol), but I'm hoping it might have some ideas, for bedtime and other issues. Another we'll see.

I feel like I say that a lot these days.

A little more progress and counting pills

We had a slightly better night last night, so I'm hoping that's a good sign. We went from 50 minutes of getting up to 40, so at least we're heading in the right direction. He did throw water on me from his little cup of water he gets at bedtime - he immediately insisted he didn't mean to get it on me, LOL. I just tossed the empty cup into the hall and left it at that. I guess if we go down by about 10 minutes a night, I have what, 4 or 5 nights left of this? I bet it will be more. I know my kid.

On another topic, my husband took my BCPs out of the medicine cabinet the other day to count them. The conversation went something like this:

DH: "Ok sweetie, just nine more pills!"
Me: "Nine more pills? Until what? Did you count my pills?"
DH: "Yeah. Nine more until we start trying again!"
Me: "Um, weird that you're counting my pills and no, I thought we said at least two more months."
DH: "Naw, let's just go for it now."
Me: "Hey, I have a good idea, how about two more months!"
DH: "What's the difference anyway? We both know we won't get pregnant right away. D took us 2 1/2 years!"
Me: "I realize that Mr. Selective Memory, but you do recall that G took only one month, right?"
DH: "Sure, but what are the chances that would happen again?"
Me: "Why are you in such a hurry that you can't wait until December?"
DH: "I just want to get it over with!"

He's driving me nuts. Our almost-four year old won't go to bed, gets me up in the middle of the night most nights and he wants me to get pregnant? Now? Just to get it over with? What is he thinking?

Have I mentioned that patience isn't one of his strongest virtues?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A small step forward

Tonight was better. It took about 50 minutes to get him to bed. That's certainly progress over 2 hours. Thank goodness! I've steeled myself to do what it takes to ride this out, but I certainly did not want a repeat of last night.

This time he added turning on his lamp to the drill. He was actually quite calm for about the last 10 minutes or so, just getting up, turning on his light and opening his door. Then he'd immediately turn around, climb back in bed and wait for me to pull up his covers. He probably did that a dozen times. It really begs the question, WHY? Why does he keep going when he KNOWS all I'm going to do is turn off the light and put him back in bed. He wasn't even trying to do anything else, just got back into bed without me so much as pointing. It makes me worry that he'd rather do this than go to bed and I'm in for a long, long run of this bedtime mess. Or maybe he really is THAT stubborn. Anyone know any good books about parenting strong-willed children?

At least I didn't have to clean up any puke tonight. That's always a bonus.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Two hours is a long time...

... when you're putting your preschooler back in bed over and over.

Tonight was one for the record books. It literally took me two hours to get him to bed. He pulled out all the stops tonight, doing anything and everything he could think of to get me to, well... I don't know. To let him out of bed? To let him out of his room? To give into whatever inane demand he'd thought of that moment? Or just to do something, because I think it was pissing him off that I wasn't talking to him as much as anything.

He hit, kicked, spit a lot (sometimes aiming for me, but mostly in his hands or on the floor), made himself puke three times, tried to run out the door as it would open, dropped to the floor to be dead weight, cried, screamed, kicked the door, threw things at me and basically behaved the way you see kids do on those nanny shows. I thought I felt like I was on the Supernanny before - that was nothing.

But, in an effort to see this play out as a comedy, rather than a horror movie with a subliminal theme designed to keep teenagers from having unprotected sex, here are a few of my favorite lines from this evening's festivities.

"Mom, I'm so angry at you!"
Oh kid, if you only knew...

"This is NOT good manners!"
I'm not sure what manners has to do with it, at least on my part, but ok.

"I'm not tired!"
Oh I know baby, you're not the least bit tired as you practically pass out while standing up.

"Mom, look it's morning!"
Right, because you're going to trick me into thinking it's time to get up.

"I want NOTHING!"
Then why do you keep getting up? I'll give you a whole lot of nothing while you're sleeping.

And my favorite of the night, "Mom, go away and go to bed!" and then he'd point to my room the way I've been pointing to his bed to make him get back in it.

Ah, good times with a three year old.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Bedtime is not better. Yet.

Last night I was upset and frustrated. I was exhausted and had a ridiculously hard time falling asleep. I was tense and agitated and felt like a big, fat failure.

I started thinking about the whole thing and was able to step backwards a little bit to gain some perspective. This parenting thing isn't easy. Rewarding, yes, but easy - no. There are always, always, always going to be things like this - whether it's sleep issues, problems at school, fights with friends, nightmares, tantrums, the list goes on and on. If I chose to, I could look at it like a trip from one crap situation to the next, always fighting my way through, always facing something stressful or waiting to face the next stressful thing.

OR. I could recognize that the reality of the situation is parenting is hard and there are always going to be situations like this that I have to handle. And I can choose to either be stressed and miserable, or I can suck it up, deal with the situation and let the stress go (as much as humanly possible). Yes, these things are frustrating, but indulging myself in that frustration and choosing to carry it around with me all day long certainly isn't helping the situation resolve more quickly. And it's making me miserable in the process.

So tonight, I was calm. I was a snow capped mountain, standing tall and firm. Resolute, unshakable, unemotional. I dispensed with the punishments, the negotiations, the threats. His Halloween costume sits, untouched, in his closet. I simply put him back in bed, each and every time. For over an hour, he'd get up, sometimes crying, sometimes asking for this or that, and I would point to his bed, he'd get in and I'd put the covers on him. I was gentle, calm and silent. Even when he again made himself throw up, I cleaned him up silently, taking off his bottom sheet, putting on fresh jammies, all without saying anything, without giving him a single crack to grip. And strangely enough, my calm was not an outward show. I wasn't mad, I wasn't upset. I didn't let myself go there. Even after the vomit, so clearly intentional, I didn't get angry.

I am annoyed that I wasted an hour of my evening. Goodness knows I have too much to do to spend that kind of time on his shenanigans. But it is what it is and I am feeling hopeful that if I stay the course, remain completely consistent and unshakable, this will end and he'll return to his former good bedtime self.

Ask me again if I'm so calm and confident a week or so from now if this is still going on. We shall see.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Almost four year old boy for sale

What do you do when you're at your wits end and you feel like you've tried everything? And nothing is working?

D is still not going to bed without a fight. At this point, whatever may have started it, it has simply become a battle of wills. He doesn't want to go to bed and he's going to fight me at every turn. He's totally fine through the whole bedtime routine, until I tell him it's time for his drink and hugs and kisses. Then he gets all wimpery and starts telling me he hates bedtime and doesn't want to go to bed, ever. He doesn't like to sleep and he doesn't like being in his bed. He wants me to stay in his room all night.

Sorry kid, not going to happen.

So every night we go through the same crap. He claims he's going to do a good bedtime, but when the time comes, tantrum city. We've tried putting him back in bed over and over, taking away various toys and privledges, and threatening to make him throw away his Halloween costume. After he keeps escalating the situation, we usually end up grabbing his beloved Halloween costume and handing it to him, telling him to go downstairs and throw it away if he's going to get up out of bed. He flips out more, begs to keep it, and usually that's more or less the end of it. Tonight he still threw up in bed, but only a tiny bit on one blanket. And he didn't get up, just started yelling "I threw up!"

Making my mood so much better is the fact that I've been awake since 2:30am this morning. D woke up then and was basically up and down until about 5:00, when again I had to hand him his Halloween costume and tell him we might as well just go downstairs and throw it away. He stayed in bed after that, but I never went back to sleep and G woke up bizarrely early this morning. So here I am, running on less than 4 hours of sleep and really pissed off about it.

I'm SICK OF THIS. I'm sick of every bedtime being a huge battle. This is so stupid and ridiculous and I have no idea how to make it stop. I'm sick of this being the only thing I feel like blogging about, sick of it making the rest of my day miserable. And I'm sick of not knowing what to do to end it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I'm angry tonight.

I'm angry that my son won't go to bed without a fight. We did the fighting, when he was younger, to get him to sleep well and I can't help but feel like we did things right, he shouldn't do this now. Yes, I know how silly that is. It isn't like you fix something once and it's forever fixed. They are always growing and changing and adding new challenges. But damnit, this has gone so far into the realm of ridiculous, I feel like I hardly remember what normal looks like. Unfortunately, I think he feels the same way.

I'm angry that my husband had to resort to telling D that if he got up one more time tonight, we'd be throwing away his Halloween costume and he would not go trick or treating. I'm a bit angry that he did it, although much less so for the fact that it actually worked. He was in full tantrum, freak out, almost making himself puke mode, and when DH laid that one on him, he was done. He didn't get up again. But my freaking goodness, why do we have to take it out to the furthest possible extreme of consequences? He is OBSESSED with Halloween this year (he's always liked it, but he's already beyond excited), so clearly this was the button to push. But I'm going to be utterly heartbroken if tomorrow night he flips out at bedtime and we actually have to throw the costume away. Because we will. And that's going to suck beyond belief.

I'm angry that my husband isn't sticking to our new financial strategy. We've not been doing a good job of budgeting, or rather actually sticking to said budget. This has gone on for years, and although we're not experiencing financial hardship, we need to do better because we don't have a lot of leeway with just one income. So we decided to go all cash except for bills, which I either pay online or write checks for; gas, which we don't go over on anyway and it's so much easier to pay at the pump with a card; and groceries, since I do the shopping and I don't want to have to worry about whether I have enough cash on me (and we don't tend to go over on groceries anyway). But everything else - lunches, coffee, eating out, random trips to the store, anything, has to be from the stash of cash that I take out when I deposit his check. I've been sticking to it like glue, hoarding my last $2 so I could by myself a tea when I went to Bible study yesterday. Him, not so much. We were out of money this weekend and he knew it and he has since put $50 worth of purchases on the debit card. I'm furious about it, especially because the cash thing was HIS suggestion. But after the night we had with D, I don't know if bringing it up tonight will be very productive. I'm super edgy and I know he is too.

Pretty much I'm pissed off and this is a lot of complaining. Life is like that sometimes. Now I have to go attempt to write an article about something I don't give two shits about so I can make a little extra money and perhaps not charge half of what we spend on Christmas to our credit card.

Sorry for the bitterness. It's been one of those days. Weeks. More than that.

Just go to bed D, damnit.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I feel like I'm on the Supernanny

D is having another fabulous bedtime. Since this is typed and you can't hear my vocal inflection, I'll tell you that comment is dripping with sarcasm.

Once again, he was upset when I started to leave the room because he wanted another hug and to go potty. That would be no, and no. He absolutely does not need to go potty less than 10 minutes after he already went; it's just a stall tactic. The kid goes hours upon hours during the day and does not have accidents anymore - we're not buying it. And, as we've been doing the last several nights, we gave him a "warning" if you will - two more hugs and two more kisses and then bedtime is done. He knows what is coming, and decides to totally flip out.

It's been about half an hour so far and my husband (who is definitely getting some later, by the way) is handling it, Supernanny style. D gets up, hubby puts him back in bed. D gets up again, hubby puts him in bed. Rinse, repeat.

He's yelling that he wants his elephant (which is in his bed), that he wants his monitor light on (he still has a monitor in his room and it has a stupid nightlight on a timer - it's since gone off, but he knows perfectly well how to turn it on himself), he wants his covers fixed and he wants more hugs and kisses. Crying, crying, crying, yelling, banging on his door. How my husband is keeping his cool out there, I do not know. Patience and calmness are not usually his strongest virtues. But after talking about it, and after the last really bad night we had that resulted in a lot of vomit, we decided to change our tactics a little - he gets up, we put him back in bed. Tomorrow we'll talk to him about the consequences (as in, what he's losing for the next 24 hours) but for now, he's being put back in bed over and over. It's rather insane.

I wish I knew why this was happening. I don't know that we've ever had such a rough time with him at bedtime, well, ever. Or like I've said before, maybe I've just blocked out the details of the worst times. This is bad, though.

We had three decent nights - two where he cried when we left, but didn't bother getting up, and one where he got up once but my husband gently guided him back to bed and he went silent after that. Of course, he's also added waking up in the middle of the night and coming to our room to his antics. Last night was only once, at about 4:15, but the two previous nights he was up numerous times equalling both he and myself being awake for 2-3 hours in the night. I've been one cranky mommy.

I hope my husband can hold it together, because I think he's doing the best thing. If he loses it on D and starts yelling or goes back to a time out, the plan fails. He needs to realize bedtime is for bedtime and we're just not going to play his game anymore.

Wish us luck...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A tough week

We've had a tough week with D's bedtimes. The last two nights have improved, but the few nights before that were a nightmare. He's fine until we try to leave the room, then all hell breaks loose. He wants a drink, another hug, another kiss, fix my pillow, fix my covers.... etc. etc. etc. We've reached the point where we've had to say enough is enough and stop with all the extra requests, because he's so out of control. And we all know how much preschoolers like being told no, especially when you're raining on their bedtime stalling parade. I've been feeling like a demon has taken over my child at night.

D has such a strong will. It helps to know that will serve him well later in life, but it sure makes life hard on us sometimes. I'm determined to keep his boundaries in tact; this is a child who has the potential to be a total monster if we let him. As it is, he's pretty well behaved for an almost-four year old. But there are times, like now, when he decides to push back as hard as he can to see if those boundaries are still there and if they're going to stick. He wants to push down that wall, so he beats his head against it for a while to see what happens.

Kid, meet your parents - you've met your match.

The only people in this house more stubborn than D - probably the two of us, with my husband taking a slight lead. I think it's a good thing in this situation - he's not going to get his way and learn that he can throw mega-fits and get out of going to bed. But it's been exhausting, frustrating and downright maddening getting through this phase.

A few nights ago he was put in a time out and promptly threw up all over himself. On purpose. So the next night, my husband told him he was getting a time out and if he threw up, we'd take his jammies off and he could sleep naked. Yeah, he slept naked that night. My sweet darling boy gags himself so hard he vomits all over. See, strong willed. But he did learn that puking no longer gets him a free pass out of a time out. He sat in the puke until the time out was over before we stripped him.

That night we were both left feeling awful. It reminded me a lot of when he was younger and we let him cry it out in his crib to go to sleep. That same questioning, the same worry - did we do the right thing? Will this work? Are we horrible parents and somehow causing this mayhem?

Ultimately, I know we aren't really causing it and I don't think we're peramanently screwing him up. But these are the times that really test our abilities to handle stress. I'm grateful right now for my husband; he's assured me over and over that we're in this together and we will get through it in one piece. It's nice having that reassurance and acknowledgement that I'm not the only parent in the house.

The last two nights have been better and I'm optimistic we've turned the corner. Two nights ago he only got up once (in a fit of rage because he wanted his lion, which 5 minutes before he said he didn't want, and the freaking thing was on the end of his bed anyway), and last night he cried for us for about 10 minutes, insisting he needed a kiss on the hair, but gave up eventually and went to sleep. Since he didn't get up, we're calling it a victory. Hopefully some night soon he'll just go to bed and not flip out at all. One can hope.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The verdict

I went to the pharmacy today.

I figured out that if I went off BCPs now, had a reasonably normal cycle in that I ovulated somewhere around day 14 and actually got pregnant, despite the "not trying, not preventing" status we would have given ourselves, I'd be due in early July. If I'm going to stop birth control, I have to be prepared for that possibility, even with PCOS. After all, I have a 16 month old that did not take ages to conceive and there have been many times I've told people, "You really need to wait to try until you're truly ready, because you just never know!" Although I don't know what to expect when I hop on the TTC train yet again, I do know that I have to be prepared for one of three possibilities: one, that it will happen right away; two, that it will take a bit of time but not long enough to worry over; and three, that it will take forever and we'll be faced with a lot of big questions as to what to do. But it's the first possibility that concerns me right now.

In any case, I thought about the idea of having a baby next July. I wasn't so crazy about that idea. Right smack in the middle of the summer, when things are a little chaotic and our routine is flimsy; right about the time my family is planning a big vacation. I'm not ready for that, so to throw caution to the wind would end up being more of a stress for me than anything else.

It seems sort of silly that the difference of two or three months seems so significant to me, but it really does. The thought of having a baby in September versus July is a whole different thing. September, I can handle. It's about as soon as I can imagine it being ok, about the soonest I can imagine being prepared. Anything sooner feels well... too soon. Even the difference between being due in August and being due in September seems like a big deal. I don't know if I can even explain why, at least not in a way that anyone else might understand. It just doesn't feel right.

So there you have it. I picked up two more packs of BCPs and I guess the plan is to take those, then punch my ticket and board the train. Now, my feelings on opening that can of worms... that's another post entirely. For now I'm just praying that the roller coaster is small and short and I'm able to handle it with a bit of grace.

I feel better now that I have a plan. Of course, I've said it before - how do you make God laugh? Tell him your plans.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Here we go again.

I thought my husband and I had a plan in place with regards to trying for another baby. He thought we had a plan too. It turns out, however, that our plans aren't exactly the same. And forgive me, but this is going to be LONG.

Originally, he wanted to start trying in September. He had this thing about wanting all our kids to be two years apart in school. D and G will be, but due to the fact that G is a spring baby, our third kid would have to be two years younger or less in order to be only two years behind G in school. I guess if we had a summer baby it would be debatable, but I think most people these days are waiting until their kid is six for kindergarten if their bday is in the summer, rather than having them be really young for their grade.

In any case, that felt too soon for me, and we had a big conversation about it a few months ago, and I thought we worked it all out. I had a list of reasons that I wanted to wait longer and in the end, he actually agreed with me. We decided (I think) that we'd wait until after the new year to start trying, which would mean the earliest we'd be having baby #3 would be in the fall (if we get lucky enough to conceive easily again - that's always the wild card with my f'd up hormones).

Then we had another converstation. I think that's where things got screwy. He came away from the conversation thinking I was going to finish this month's cycle of BCPs, then go off of them; and while we wouldn't be actively trying until January, we wouldn't prevent either. I came away from the very same conversation thinking I would keep taking my BCPs for a few more months, but stop them one month early and have one cycle where we weren't really trying, but not preventing, so we could get the artificial hormones out of my system and see what my body does in terms of a cycle.

Over the last couple of weeks he's asked me more than once where I'm at in my cycle of pills. Last night he asked me again how many I have left, so I asked him why he kept asking me about it. That is when it came out that he thought I was going to stop taking them now. We were both sort of dumbfounded, because we thought we were on the same page, when he was actually about five pages ahead of me. He had no idea I wasn't thinking the same thing he was; and I felt the same.

So now I'm in the predicament of what to do. He'd like me to stop taking them now, throw caution to the wind for a few months, and then really start trying in January. He thinks it would be good to get the hormones out of my system, give my body a chance to rev up and start working, and lose a few more pounds which will hopefully make conception easier, and certainly make a pregnancy more comfortable.

Here's where my overthinking kicks in. And if anyone is actually still reading, I'll say for the record that I'm writing this more for my own good than because I think it will make an interesting post - many times writing all my thoughts out helps me make sense of it all.

Originally, I thought it would make sense to start trying in January. If we did get pg right away (and I know I need to plan things that way, despite my past issues with infertility - we got pg right away the second time), the baby would be born in the fall at the earliest. That would give me all summer with just the boys, and they'll both be at great ages to play outside more independently. Last summer was hectic with a newborn, and this summer was spent with G mostly crawling, so hanging out outside a lot wasn't as fun or relaxing. My time was spent chasing G around as he crawled through anything and everything, getting filthy in the process and trying to eat lots of rocks. I love the idea of a summer where the boys can run around in the backyard and I can do more watching, rather than fishing rocks out of the mouth. If I have a newborn next summer, it's yet another summer where I feel like I can't relax as much.

If the baby is born in the fall or later, D will be in school and have more of a routine. Plus, I'll have time three times a week with just G and the baby. Granted, I'll have to juggle dropping D off and picking him up with G's schedule, as well as the non-schedule of a newborn, but that's basically inevitable.

We don't have 100% coverage of maternity care on our insurance, so we'll have a fairly large bill to pay. Waiting a bit longer will give me that many more months that I'm working, therefore that much longer to save up.

My family is planning a big vacation for July and I'd like to be able to go. Pregnant, I can go - with a newborn or too close to my due date, not so much.

As much as we might say we'd avoid my fertile times if we're not using BCPs, that's a little ridiculous. We don't usually go more than a day or two without having sex. And sperm lives for like 5 days, right? And I know we wouldn't use anything else. We just wouldn't.

When I first went off of BCPs to try for D, I gained a bunch of weight right off the bat. Of course, I didn't know I had PCOS, didn't know about the whole carb/blood sugar/insulin/hormone thing, so I'm sure I wasn't eating right. And I didn't have the same experience when I went off BCPs to try for G. But I worry that it's because I'd already lost enough weight that my hormones were good and not in weight gain spiral mode. This time, I'm not as overweight as I was when we were trying for D, but I'm not at the weight I was when we got pg with G either - so I just don't know what to expect from my body. And I'm trying to lose weight to make conception easier - not looking to jump up another 20.


I don't know how long this is really going to take, and the thought process starts down the "if we start trying sooner, it might happen sooner" path. I'd hate for a year to go by and we wish we would have just started trying sooner. Of course, I don't know that when you start has any bearing on how long it will take. Like, if we had started trying for D sooner, would we have actually gotten pg sooner, or would we have gotten pg at the same time and the amount of time we were trying simply have been longer? Or if we had started trying for G in say, July instead of September, would we have gotten pg in July instead, or would it have then just taken a few extra months and been in September anyway. Impossible questions, obviously, but still...

Maybe my body will do better with a longer break from BCPs and a chance to start having cycles. And it would give me some time to judge when I'm ovulating (assuming that does happen) so we can more effectively try when the time comes to really make the effort.

This is sort of hard for me to admit, but I have a hard time saying no to my husband. If he really, really wants me to go off of BCPs now, it will be hard for me to say no. If I was adamantly not ready, I would tell him no and that would be that - I'm the one potentially getting pregnant here. But obviously I'm considering it, so it isn't an out and out no - which means I'm feeling the pressure to say yes, even though he's made it clear to me that he's ok with whatever I decide to do.

This is harder for me to admit, but we've talked about doing some things to "try" for a girl - mostly timing of sex in relation to ovulation. We'd both like a girl (although I'll say again that we'll both be more than happy with another boy) and kind of figured, why the heck not? Why not do things a little differently in order to possibly increase the odds of having a girl next time. Neither of us think it's foolproof, nor would we be putting a lot of faith in it - just a "why not give it a shot" kind of thing. But if we are in "not trying, not preventing" mode, I wonder if we'll just end up having sex whenever, and not give ourselves the chance to try to throw the odds in favor of a girl. And if we do start timing sex that way, aren't we actually trying - not "not preventing"? Where is that line between "not trying, but not preventing" and "trying" anyway?

There's also the feeling of excitement over the possibility of getting pregnant again. Sort of like being on the verge of the Christmas season, but not quite there yet. Wouldn't it be fun to just jump the gun, break out the Christmas tree and enjoy the holiday season a little early? There's a tingling of excitement I get when I think about just going for it and going off the pill now and I think that has a lot to do with why I'm considering it.

Then I have this (probably irrational) fear that I'm messing with fate somehow, or with God's plan for me. That the reason my husband has pushed for this is because we're supposed to get pregnant sooner - that the baby we're meant to have is just on the cusp of coming into being and if I don't go ahead and go off of birth control, I'll be missing my chance. But on the other hand, maybe my original plan was right and if I go off of BCPs too soon, I'll be messing things up that way. (did I mention I'm a little bit insane?)

Complicating matters is that I'm out of pills and if I'm going to keep taking them, I have to decide by tomorrow so I can get a refill from the pharmacy. I need to start a new pack on Sunday if I'm going to start.

Today I've been thinking about it a lot and jumping positions faster than the most fickle politician. One minute I'm feeling confident that my original plan was the best thing and I'll take a couple more months of BCPs. Then the next minute I feel like it's only a couple extra months, it'll save me the copay on another round of pills and I probably won't get pregnant right away, anyway, so what's the harm.

I'm hoping that writing all this out will help me figure it all out. It usually does.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


We seem to go back and forth lately with D on bedtimes. Generally, he does fine - goes to bed without a lot of drama, sleeps all night, etc. But once in a while we start to go through an "I'm going to make bedtime really hard" phase. Apparently we're entering another one of those.

He's the king of stall tactics - wanting to get up and go potty even though he just went 5 minutes ago, one more book, one more hug, one more kiss, fix my covers, I need a drink.... On and on and on. And he is a child who epitomizes the whole "give them an inch and they take a mile" thing. If you start giving in on anything, he pushes HARD to see how much more he can get. There was a time when his naptime routine (back when he napped) had grown to include so many steps it would take 45 minutes just to get through all of it. It's like, if you do something he requests, even if it seems like a one time, no big deal thing, eventually it becomes a big deal.

Part of the problem lately is totally our fault. We haven't been great about getting him to bed on time. Realistically, he needs to be in bed by 7; we've been pushing it to 7:30 or later way too often. Once in a while is fine, but he's always been very sensitive to keeping his sleep schedule. Although he's become more flexible as he's gotten older, the fact still remains that when we don't do a good job getting him into bed on time, bedtime starts to get ugly.

Tonight... well, tonight isn't going so great. My husband is doing a good job handling it, but it is so frustrating. I keep telling myself he's going to bed early tonight, and like tonight, something comes up and it doesn't happen. He seriously needs like a week of early bedtimes to catch up so he'll quit acting like a monster when we try to put him to bed.

And I swear, if either of them wake up before 6am again tomorrow, I'm going to scream. But that's another story.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I hate being sick.

That's pretty much it. I have a ton of work to do, feel behind on everything and I have no energy. And I hate that all I want to do is whine about it.

I am so getting a flu shot this year.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What is up with my boobs?

My boobs get enormous when I breastfeed. Pre-pregnancy I was a solid C cup. During breastfeeding I went up a whopping 4 cup sizes to a G. A few years ago I didn't even know you could be a G. I thought D, DD, and DDD were the end all, be all of bra sizes. I guess I didn't think too much about women with mega-boobs and what size they might be - DDD? Um, yeah.

So here I am, a couple months since I last nursed and mine are still a lot bigger than I thought they'd be. The bras I have now are a DD and they definitely fit right. I guess if I lost this last 20lbs, maybe a lot of it would be boob, but good greif! I thought for sure I'd be at least a small D post-breastfeeding.

The reason I'm thinking of it at the moment is that my husband took a picture of me a couple days ago and it really shows how big the girls are. When I looked at the picture I was like, WOAH! They are still big!

My husband's response? A sly smile, and a "yeah, baby!" nod of his head with a thumbs up sign. He's such a man.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This isn't about me, but...

I know this is not about me. At least, not the worst of it.

My husband hurt his back, probably late last week. It's bad. He talked to a doctor about it, who described the injury as the equivalent of having a knife slice down the muscle fibers of the lower back. The muscle fibers are trying to heal, but every time he bends over, picks up something heavy, or just moves wrong, he tears it open again. She said these injuries are very painful and slow healing. He's doing what he can, but it isn't much - we just have to wait for it to heal.

This means he can't do much. He can go to work, because sitting is ok, although he's in a lot of pain by the time he gets home. And, of course, he winds up doing things he shouldn't when he's working; lifting something he shouldn't, being on his feet too long, whatever. He gets home and is in pain, exhausted and can't stand up for more than a few minutes at a time.

This leaves me without the small repreive I normally get when he gets home. He's trying so hard to still hang out with the boys, but he can't do much with them other than sit and read books and such. He can't help with much around the house either. Granted, he doesn't do a whole lot normally, but he can't even take out the garbage.

I know this isn't about me. I know he has it worse than I do, considering he's in pain all day. That's exhausting and I really feel for him. But here's where I need to complain about how it's affecting me. This is hard! I'm worn out by the end of the day too, and I still have to get dinner on, feed everyone, get G to bed, then get D to clean up his toys, then get him to bed. Usually I have some help with some of that, but my husband just can't do much. After that, I have to deal with the dishes and any other stuff around the house, plus fit in work. Maybe it's the fact that I can't ask him to help, but the last few days I've found myself really wishing I could ask him to take out the garbage, or to help me pick up or vacuum for me real quick.

Plus, I'm super worried about him and the toll this injury is going to take on him, both physically and emotionally. He's been so stable emotionally for a long time now, but he doesn't handle things like this well. Something messes up his routine and his motivation, and he has a tough time recovering. He can't workout (obviously) and that's not good. Working out is a lot of what keeps him on an even keel emotionally. And when he can't workout, he gets angry and eats. And then he puts on weight, feels worse, eats more, gets mad, eats more... etc. etc.

We've been down a dark road in the past with his depression, anxiety attacks, and unhealthy escapism into food and computer games. I do not want to go there again! We've been talking about that the last few days, and he knows he needs to keep his head above water even in the midst of an injury, but he said it's already hard. Every fiber of his being wants to say, "F-it" and go eat french fries.

I really hope this thing heals - mostly for his sake, but for mine too. I'm doing my best not to let the stress of the situation get to me, but at the end of the day I'm tired and frustrated. I've spent a lot of time being his lifeboat, and I don't know if I have the energy to do it again. I'm pretty well spent by the time the boys are in bed (and then I have to go sit at my desk and work). And it's stressful to see him in pain and know there isn't anything I can do about it, other than go get him a fresh ice pack.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I signed myself up for a new class at the gym. This first fall session they have a whole bunch of new classes, mostly for the kids, but a few new adult classes too. The one I'm going to try is called "Stroke and turn conditioning" and no, I'm not making a dirty joke, so get your minds out of the gutter ;).

It's a swim class, designed for people who already know how to swim, but want some coaching to get better at it. Yeah, that would be me.

So why nerves? I'm very intimidated and have managed to overthink my way into worrying about how I'm going to do in this class. I hesitated to even sign up for it, because I'm nervous about it. Why? I guess I'm afraid I'll look like an idiot and the coach will wonder how on earth I manage to swim at all. I know, that's being silly - but still. I know I'm a slow swimmer and I'm afraid the coach is going to be frustrated and assume I'm not trying hard because I don't move faster.

I'm always a little nervous when it comes to physical stuff. I've turned myself into something of an athlete, but that label is still hard for me to wrap my head around. I'm a bookworm and was much more into academics and clubs in school than sports. I'm not the most uncoordinated person ever, but I'm not a natural either and I have to admit, I've tended to shy away from things that don't come naturally to me. That's why this whole triathlon thing has been so great for me. It's helped me to redefine who I am and what I can do - what my body can do.

But I still have those lingering picked-last-in-gym insecurities. And I'm not confident in my swimming - which is precisely why I need the class, and precisely why it makes me nervous. However, I'm going to suck it up and go and see what happens. I'm positive it won't be nearly as bad as I'm afraid of.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Damn skinny bitches

That's a mean title. The woman I'm thinking of is actually a very nice gal.

But she just had a baby, like a month ago, and I saw her today clearly wearing her prepregnancy jeans, with a cute little t-shirt tucked in. TUCKED IN. And she looked fabulous.

Here's where I get whiney. Why do some women look like THAT after having a baby, and fifteen months later I'm still carrying around at least 20lbs that I shouldn't have gained in the first place? COME ON. I tried so hard not to gain too much weight while I was pg last time, but apparently that's impossible for me. I gained over 50lbs both times, despite doing much better the second time of staying active and eating well. WTF? Seriously, what do I have to do to not gain a gazillion pounds when I'm pregnant?

And although I gained a lot of weight, for a long time I didn't worry too much about it. After all, I had great success losing weight before my last pregnancy. I was down in the low 130s, which is a pretty good range for me. I looked damn good, if I do say so myself. So I figured, I know how to lose weight, I can do it again.

Apparently I'm doing something wrong.

I actually weigh about 10lbs more than I did at the beginning of the year. Stupid blog posts. I wrote down my weight in an early post this year, and yep - I weighed 148.8 I think, and now I'm rocking about 156-157. And I have been for MONTHS. I keep trying to do what I did when I lost weight before, but apparently I'm not getting it right.

No, I'm not logging every bite of food that goes in my mouth, which I did before. I'd hoped that keeping rough track of my calories per meal would suffice. If I'm aiming for 1600 calories per day and I spread it out over my three meals and couple snacks, that should work out right? I guess not. Either that or I'm going over too often and not really realizing it. The whole, oh this one day won't hurt, or this one treat isn't a big deal. The food log takes care of that, if I do it accurately, so maybe that's where I'm missing the boat.

I'm frustrated that I have to be nothing less than perfect to lose even an ounce of weight. Thank you PCOS for that one. It's hard to be perfect when you're busy with two small children and have a husband who is notorious for bringing home little treats, desserts and pizza for dinner. And I rarely do anything but give in.

I'm feeling a weight loss time crunch. We want to try for another baby next year; and if I know my husband, he'll be chomping at the bit about the time the New Year's Eve ball drops. But I don't really want to get pregnant at this weight. I don't even know if I could, given the love affair my hormones have with my fat cells. I wasn't this heavy when I got pg with David, although in all fairness, my body composition must be better because I looked heavier then. But still. If I get pg at this weight and gain what is apparently my requisite 50lbs, I'm going to be huge. And it will be that much harder, and more depressing, when I go to lose weight again.

Yet I'm in this constant mental battle with myself over whether I should go balls to the wall and really cinch up my diet in order to drop the pounds, knowing I have just enough time to lose the weight I need before I go and get knocked up and gain it all back; or just live with it, try to lose a little, be a fatty preggo and deal with it all at once when all is said and done and my babymaking days are over.

I guess my biggest problem is just committing to it. It's hard and takes such mental discipline to do what I have to do to lose weight. I don't care what any diet book says - I have to be hungry most of the time in order to drop a pound. High protein, low protein, high carb, low carb, paleolithic, prehistoric, liquid, solid, whatever - there isn't a diet out there that would simultaneously keep me full and drop the fat. And that means I have to be committed to it day in and day out, and right now, that's harder than I thought it would be.

It's so hard to be motivated to lose weight when I feel like I'm just going to gain it all back again as soon as I hit my goal.

Oh, but this is assuming I can actually get pregnant in a reasonable amount of time again, and here's where I have to chuckle to myself. I'm one for two in the infertility department (one took 2 1/2 years, the other took one month), so I'm not too sure what to expect there. But I know I can't take anything for granted, and the logical part of me realizes losing weight now is an important step to insuring that I don't have to ride the infertility roller coaster again. Weight loss played an important role both times, so I know it's a big deal.

So why can't I just do what I need to do?

And why do I have to be around cute women who look freakishly good after having a baby?

Ok, evil green jealousy monster, you can leave now.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wedding weirdness

My brother-in-law is getting married this coming January. He is my husband's younger half brother on his dad's side. Siblings get a little complicated in my husband's family, with all the half, step and former-step kids running around. In any case, he's also the brother of my sister-in-law who lives with us now (versus my husband's other sister, who is his half-sister on his mom's side... but I digress).

I'm completely weirded out right now because my BIL is not having my husband as a groomsman in his wedding. BIL's other brother (BIL's half brother on his mom's side - my husband and BIL share a dad, but different moms...) is in it, as well as a cousin from his mom's side, two of his old high school friends and his current "best friend" (I guess, aka drinking buddy) is his best man. His fiance has her sister, my SIL and three of her friends.

And, our son D is a ring bearer.

How do you have one brother in your wedding and not have the other? It isn't as if he's closer to his younger brother than he is to my husband; arguably he's closer to DH. Granted, my husband is quite a bit older (his younger brother is only about 4 years younger than my BIL), but still - my BIL and his fiance come up to hang out pretty often and he and my husband have both enjoyed creating a closer relationship as BIL has become an adult. I thought for sure my husband would be in the wedding. I seriously can't fathom why he wouldn't be.

Oh, and my BIL was a groomsman at our wedding when he was like 14.

Now, I don't think that you are required to reciprocate if you're in someone's wedding. But these guys are BROTHERS. Come on! I honestly do not understand. At first I thought maybe it's because he thought you're supposed to have single people in your wedding party, but two of his groomsmen (his high school friends) are married, so that can't be it. Then I thought maybe they already felt like they had too many people, but they only have five on each side - adding one more groomsman shouldn't be that big of a deal and I'm sure they could come up with another bridesmaid - a cousin, another friend, somebody. And besides, who is more important, the dude you like to throw back beers with, or your older brother? He has three friends in this wedding, and the cousin is more of a friend too.

And BIL's younger brother is in it!

I'm sorry, I've gotten to the point where I'm pretty upset. For a while I thought it was an oversight - that BIL assumed my husband knew he was in the wedding, so hadn't talked to him about it. But I asked his fiance who was in the wedding party and she listed everybody - five people on each side, and definitely didn't mention my husband.

Seriously, WTF?

And what do you say? My husband is fishing with him today (along with my FIL and D), but I have no idea if he's going to try to bring it up. I know he doesn't want to make his brother feel bad, but he's pretty hurt that he's being left out of such an important occassion.

I really, really hope it doesn't have anything to do with the big talk we had with him and his fiance last fall. She went through a big drama-fest where she got mad at FIL's wife and declared she wasn't going to go to their house anymore, even during the holidays. We tried to help her realize that if she's going to be a part of this family, she can't take a stance like that - the only person she's hurting is her fiance. It was a good discussion, I thought. We listened to her side, and told her how we feel (honestly, I probably did most of the talking); it was very nonconfrontational, I thought. But maybe she was just putting on a happy face for us and actually harbors a grudge about it. I wouldn't put it past her - but it seems like there would be more tension and weirdness since then if that were the case. I don't know. I just hope she didn't decide after that, that she didn't want my husband in her wedding anymore and convince BIL not to ask him. If she were mad enough, I wouldn't put something like that past her.

However, the more I think about it... she gets upset easily and blows things out of proportion, but she gets over it quickly too. The aforementioned incident with FIL's wife blew over and there weren't any issues when the holidays rolled around. She was there with the rest of us. So if she had harbored any resentment about the talk we had, it seems like it would have faded by now.

I'm at a loss. I wish there was a way I could find out why - did he just forget? Did he think my husband wouldn't want to? Does he have resentment or anger towards my husband that we don't know about? It's put a very sour taste in my mouth and at the very least, I just wish I knew why.