The Baby Shower

I am feeling pretty darn good right now.

I have been stressed to the max about today and now it’s finally over and I can say that I honestly feel like I pulled it off well.

I successfully threw a Baby Shower.

My sister-in-law is pregnant. She had a baby shower out-of-state with her family a couple months ago, but apparently it didn’t go well. Her mother invited all of her own friends and only a couple of my SIL’s so it wound up being a flop from what I hear.

I felt bad and decided that I would throw a shower here for two reasons.

  • One: it would make her happy, and
  • two: our family (my brother’s family) could be a part of it.

I never had a baby shower, nor have I ever attended one so I had NO idea how to go about this. My knowledge of showers consists only of what I have seen in movies. Of course, I had my moments of “it’s not fair that I should do all this when nobody did this for me” but I tried to avoid the Pity Party thoughts and focused on what I WOULD have wanted had I been given one. I was young when I had my first so obviously my brothers (being younger than me) couldn’t do anything, my mother was dealing with her own issues at the time and I didn’t have many (any) friends so… Anyway, we are all older and in a better place right now and if I were pregnant I’m sure they WOULD do something for me. So, that is how I came to be  throwing a Baby Shower in the middle of my second to last semester of Nursing School while my husband is deployed.

My brother was beyond excited that I wanted  to do this which made me very happy since we haven’t always had the best relationship. Fortunately, he has a lot of friends because I don’t, and the party would have been a real flop if invitations had been left up to me. He invited a whole bunch of people who I didn’t know, but I trust his judgement so I wasn’t worried about any weirdos coming to my house.

In theory it was a great idea, but when it came down to it I may have bitten off more than I could chew. Well, I was starting to think that. As I said, I pulled it off so apparently I can chew a lot.

Here’s how it went down, of course, in true Me fashion, I waited until the last minute to do everything so I basically started yesterday afternoon.

First thing I did was the Diaper Cake, now, I had never even HEARD of a Diaper Cake until I googled “Baby Showers” to get ideas for decorations. It’s a neat idea, and everything but the ribbons can be used later. This is the final product.

diapers are rolled around bottles for strength and held together with ribbons and rubber bands.

Her color scheme for the baby’s room is pink, green and black so that is what I tried to go with for the party.

I was lucky because Valentine’s Day is over and now all the stores have the stuff discounted. I found milk chocolate roses 75% off! I bought a dozen! I also picked up a 2 liter bottle of every type of soda I could find because I didn’t know what everyone liked.

After I finished with the diaper cake the kids and I worked on cleaning the house while I started baking the cakes for the 3 tier that I had decided to attempt (for the first time EVER).

First problem of the night: I thought I had 2 dozen eggs in the fridge. WRONG! I had 6… eggs, not dozens. It was already getting late and I didn’t want to run to the store so I decided to work on decorations for the rest of the night and just head to Sam’s Club early in the morning.

My boys were totally grossed out by all the pink decorations; they said I should have just used the black tablecloths, lol.

of course, every single bottle was opened yet less than half of each was consumed. Can we say "flat soda"?

 

This is what I had accomplished as of about 8pm. Not bad, but not nearly done. I was already getting tired because I had been up all night the night before (that’s another story, geesh). The boys were arguing at this point and I was starting to lose my patience with them so I began working on the first tier of the cake since that was all I could make due to the egg situation.

That’s when C told me that the toilet was “still clogged”. Yeah, that’s right, I had forgotten that he had told me it was clogged hours ago.

Problem #2: I have no plunger. After the last incident with a clogged toilet I put the plunger outside; we then had a snow storm that dropped 3 feet of snow and I haven’t seen the plunger since.

I wound up having to go to the hardware store to buy a plunger. I walked in, found the nearest associate and (with what I can only imagine was a crazed/stressed out look on my face) asked him to point me toward the “biggest, baddest plungers” he had. He laughed and walked me down to them. I asked him if there was something I could pour down the drain just in case the plunger didn’t work (past experience told me that I can’t always rely on a plunger with three boys in the house. We’ve had to have the septic company out here more than once). He said the next best thing would be a snake.

Now, for all of you girly girls out there (such as myself) a “snake” is a long piece of metal that you shove down the toilet to free up a clog. It is the most disgusting thing EVER!

I bought it, all the while crossing every finger I have that I wouldn’t have to use it.

Well, you guessed it, the plunger didn’t do a damned thing. I wound up snaking my toilet and I am not ashamed to admit that I was practically crying, screaming and dry heaving all at the same time, but it worked. When that toilet flushed I wanted to shout it from my rooftop!

After scrubbing my hands until they were almost raw from the hot water, I allowed myself to take a short break from cleaning and baking. I jumped on the computer with my feet up and began typing up a shopping list for the morning. I decided to buy premade appetizers rather than making everything from scratch. That would save a lot of time and stress. That’s when I realized problem #3 of the night. It was Saturday, which meant that I was planning to go to the store on Sunday morning. Woops! Nothing opens early on Sunday! It was now too late to go to Sam’s Club and they weren’t opening until 10am (3 hours before the festivities were scheduled to begin).

I spent the rest of the night cleaning and preparing everything I possibly could because I knew I would be rushing today to get everything done since I couldn’t even BUY the ingredients until 10am.

I wound up crawling into bed around 3am. I set the alarm for 6:30, but hit the snooze until 7:45am.

Problem #4: SNOW!!! Will somebody please tell Mother nature that I’ve had enough of winter this year? I woke up to 5 inches of snow on my very steep driveway. Great! That’s just one MORE thing I have to do before 1pm. Nobody is going to get up my driveway unless I clear it and salt it. I decided to wait until it had finished snowing before even attempting to snowblow. I cleared off my truck, jammed that sucker in 4 wheel drive and backed down the driveway; packing that snow down as I went.

I headed to WalMart and picked up some last minute decorations, then decided to go to the grocery store for the appetizers rather than waiting for Sam’s even though I knew I would spend more.

Luckily, the temps rose quickly and the snow was easy to shovel. I salted, and by the time everyone arrived the driveway was almost clear.

I baked all the cakes and managed to put together my very first double layered, three-tiered cake.

I tried to put a "G" on the cake for the baby's name, but it didn't come out well.

the cake, before I put it on the pedestal

Leaning Tower of Cake

Yes, the cake is leaning. There are wooden pegs supporting it, so it is sturdy but lopsided.

frozen appetizers and turkey sandwiches

I think I did pretty well, considering I pulled it all together in such a short amount of time. I was running like a crazed woman right up until the last minute, in fact, I was still running crazy even after the guests arrived but luckily everyone was very understanding. Not everyone showed, and that was fine by me because fewer people meant less food. Enough people showed that the party was successful though, so all is well.

When my Sister in Law showed up, she was so surprised. She started crying and hugged me. Totally worth all the stress, well, almost, haha.

chocolate fountain with fruit and Bar-B-Q meatballs

I’ll leave you with a few pics from the party!

There were also cars on the street up the road because I live on a curve so it wasn't safe to park in front of the house.

The saying on the mirror is something my Dad used to say.

Z got a little out of hand so my Bro had to put him in his place.

 

How can you SAY that?

What a day it’s been. First off, I have to tell you all that I failed at my latest attempt to quit smoking. Yeah, yeah, bad me, but that’s not what this post is about. This is about my complete and total frustration with the situation I am in with my mother in law.

She is very demanding, she keeps track of when she sees the kids and will hold it against me during each and every phone call, which is why I sometimes (accidentally) don’t get to the phone in time to answer before voice mail picks up. Ooops!
We are busy, with three boys, sleepovers, school projects, dentists, orthodontists, nursing school, etc. it leaves very little spare time. Yet she doesn’t understand why I can’t spend a day driving the kids out to her house on the weekends! I have offered to have her come over for dinner, explaining that her coming to our house is much easier to arrange then an outing to a museum two hours away. Her reasoning for not wanting to come to our house is because we live on a mountain and the “curves are quite scary” and she’s too nervous to make the drive up here more than once in a while. This is why she makes me meet her in the grocery store parking lot (at the bottom of the hill) anytime she wants to “give” me something such as a newspaper clipping or a box of sugar cookies for the kids.  She complains to my husband every chance she has and tells him that she hopes “he can straighten things out” when he gets home, meaning bring the boys to see her.

The boys don’t want to go to her house any more than I want to drive out there because she has difficulty dealing with all of them at once. She only had one child and has no idea how to handle three brothers who can a bit rowdy sometimes.
OK, so here’s what happened. Last night I had to go to class. C babysits his brothers; he is very good about it and he thinks he is completely in charge. What he doesn’t know is that my brother (who lives 2 minutes down the road) is pretty much “on call” and will do drive by’s or drop in’s periodically just to make sure things are going smoothly.

What I hadn’t anticipated was the mother in law taking advantage of my school schedule to call and harass the kids.

When I got home last night I got an earful from Z and B. They told me how she repeatedly asked them who they liked better her or their other grandmother.

Which of their brothers were their favorites.

Which uncle bought them the most gifts.

And last but not least; who they loved more, me or DH!

Yeah! I couldn’t believe it either. Who DOES that?

The boys refused to answer and apparently my 9 y/o told her that they were “inappropriate questions” and he “doesn’t have a favorite because we are all family”. So mature, I’m so proud of him.

After this conversation I went looking for C and found him asleep in his room. Strange! This kid NEVER goes to bed early. I figured maybe he didn’t feel well and let him sleep.

Today I find out that he was really upset by the conversation that he had with his grandmother and was so worried about the idea that he was disappointing his father and that when he came home he was going to force him to spend weekends with her; that he went to bed early. That’s really saying something.

I talked to my brother about it and he said he wouldn’t be able to keep his mouth shut. He said he’s tempted to call her himself and give her an earful because you can’t do that to kids. You can’t call them after consuming enough alcohol to intoxicate a football team and ask ridiculous questions and threaten them with “you just wait until your father comes home”. Their FATHER would NEVER force them to put up with this and if he had any idea what she did/said to them he’d probably handle it himself.

I’m just so over this situation with her. I have tried to be mature, I’ve tried to compromise with her but she wants it her way or no way. The thing is she probably won’t even remember the conversation with the kids so talking to her about it does no good. The sad part is that the kids WILL remember and she thinks it’s ME brainwashing them. HA! I don’t have to say a word, she does all the damage herself.

I just don’t want her making the kids feel bad about hurting their father or letting him down because that is not even close to being the case. He, of all people, knows how she is and would NEVER put her before his children’s feelings. He’s too good of a father.

OK, enough of my ranting for tonight.

Please speak louder, I can’t hear you!

I ran to Walgreens today to pick up a prescription and I found Junior Mints on sale. A big box of them for $0.69! AWESOMENESS!

So I picked up 10. Yeah, that’s right TEN.
I’m trying to quit smoking, plus I have kids who want everything I have so, yeah, 10.
Anyway, I’m at the check out and I felt the need to explain my large purchase. So, I told the guy “I’m quitting smoking, can ya tell”? I gave a little laugh to show that I can see the humor in this and was surprised when he said “from this? No”.
Hmmmmm, ok, no sense of humor.
As he begins ringing everything up he starts teliing me about a friend of his who quit. He said I should try doing it the way his friend did….. cutting down week by week. I explained that I went cold turkey, and he said that was great if I could do it like that. Way to motivate me, dude!
As I’m picking up my bags to leave he, VERY LOUDLY, tells me that “CIGARETTES AND CHOCOLATE AREN’T THE BEST COMBINATION”. As I turned around and realized that the entire line was staring at me I couldn’t think of anything to say so I just ducked out the door. But I’m sitting here thinking “what the heck”? Did he not hear me? I said I’m quitting. So there is no combo! It’s just chocolate!
So, that was my embarrassing moment of the day.
And for my “I’m feeling old” moment of the day. We had freshman orientation for my oldest son at the high school tonight. It feels like just yesterday that I was in high school, it’s so weird to have a kid getting ready to go.
Well, I’m going to go play some Dance Central with the kids to work off the Junior Mints that I have eaten so many of…. maybe the pharmacist was right. Ughhhh.

>Smoking Cessation – Day #03

>Day #03

19 FEB 2011 – 20 FEB 2011 @2100

Waking up today my chest feels terrible. I have a cough and and the only way I can describe the feeling is “dusty”. My lungs feel dusty. I’ve never been good with words, can ya tell?

I’m going to take some more cough suppressant today, I know I shouldn’t keep doing this but I hate coughing and if I don’t stop it I will use it as an excuse to smoke again. At some point I need to allow my body to rid itself of the “smoke residue” but today is a little early to be testing my willpower. It won’t take much to push me toward a cigarette.

That’s another thing. I’m trying to stay away from my family. They all smoke. Being near them now and watching them smoke would almost certainly be an end to my cessation attempt. Therefore I have kind of locked myself in the house with the kids. I just have to keep thinking about how happy this is going to make DH at Homecoming.

@ 2100 – I am now at 72 hours. Supposedly my body is now officially 100% nicotine-free That means that from here on out it is a psychological game. The hardest thing will be this weekend when I have a bunch of people over for Bro #2’s baby shower. Everyone smokes. I am going to need a lot of willpower.

>Smoking Cessation – Day #02

>Day #02
18 FEB 2011 @ 2100 – 19 FEB 2011 @ 2100

@1200 – Today seems harder than yesterday. DH called this morning, his first question was “how’s The Quit going”? I told him I hadn’t smoked at all and he sounded surprised. I think he was expecting me to tell him that I couldn’t do it; not that he wants me to fail, just that he wants me to quit so bad I think he was preparing himself for bad news. I liked being able to tell him that I was succeeding. So far, each time I have a craving I think about him and how much he wants me to quit.

When I woke up this morning I felt like I had smoked 3 packs of cigarettes yesterday. My chest was heavy and I was out of breath. It was a nasty feeling. Luckily it went away within 15 minutes but it was not pleasant. So far I’m doing OK. I have homework that I need to get started on. I’ve been putting it off because I typically smoke when I get stumped on a difficult assignment.

@ 2100 – 48 hours! I have made it to 48 hours. I won’t lie, I did make an attempt to find an old pack of cigarettes earlier when the Mother In Law called. She was going on and on about how she never gets to see the kids and a GOOD mother would FORCE the kids to go see her. I went outside to the truck, looked under the seats and in the glove compartment.. nothing. That was a good thing though. I could have gone to the gas station if I really needed to. I didn’t.

My nose feels like I have to sneeze, almost like I’m coming down with a cold.

At 48 hours they say “the nerve endings have started to regrow and sense of smell and taste are beginning to return to normal. Anger and irritability are at their peak”. Fantastic, this is not going to be good for my diet. Not tasting my food has been a definite help with losing weight.


>Smoking Cessation – Day #01

>Day #01
17 FEB 2011 @ 2100 – 18 FEB 2011 @ 2100


My reasons for quitting

a. I don’t want my kids to see me smoking, they know the dangers of smoking and can’t understand why I continue to do it. I was Z’s age when I started, I can’t imagine him smoking.

b. Another reason is that I don’t want to get sick/die, I am 32 y/o and it is not unheard of for middle aged women to suffer strokes and heart attacks. I don’t want to be sick. A couple years ago in A&P lab we had a set of lungs from a smoker and a healthy set, it was amazing the difference. The smoker’s lungs had no elasticity and just felt “sick”. Gross. I can still remember the feel of those lungs.

c. Money! As if $8 isn’t enough for a pack of cigarettes, the prices will only go up. We could use that money somewhere else, for something more fun. Like a new car.

d. And one of my biggest pushes to be smoke free is my husband. He hates that I smoke, and wants nothing more than for me to have quit by Homecoming. I promised him I would and the time is fast approaching.

Today wasn’t too bad, I certainly wanted to smoke but the cravings weren’t too bad. I went to the store and bought junk food to munch on. Maybe I bought a little too much…

I am very irritable, I feel lightheaded and out of breath. Weird!





The coughing isn’t too bad because I took a cough suppressant earlier when I began to cough. I want to stay ahead of it because I know it’s going to give me an excuse to start smoking again.


I’m also drinking more water to flush the toxins and chemicals from my body.


The first 72 hours are the hardest, right? @ 2100 – I have officially completed my first full day as a non-smoker. The timeline says that at 24 hours “anxieties will peak in intensity” and “within 2 weeks will return to pre-cessation levels”. That means I can expect a lot of stress for the next couple weeks. Fantastic. That’s what makes me smoke in the first place. I’m headed to bed now because I like the idea of sleeping through the worst of the withdrawals.


 


>Move Over, Eli Whitney

>

I was going to become rich.
I was going to become a millionaire.

I have some great ideas, and these ideas were going to make me the most successful SAHM in the country.

Well, they WERE going to make me rich. That is, until I realized that I actually have to know how to MAKE these inventions before selling them. Apparently, people don’t really think ideas are as useful as the product itself. Geesh!

So, I am going to give you all my ideas and I can only hope that someone makes one of my inventions so that I can use them before I’m too old to appreciate them.

A splash shield for the toilet
If you have boys you know what a necessity this is.

A washing machine/dryer combo
You put the dirty clothes in; they come out clean and dry. Ta-Da! How come no body has thought of this yet? Can you imagine how much time it would save?
Water Proof Kitchen w/pressure nozzles.
OK, so I want to be able to seal off the kitchen so I can spray it down with a hose. I want to have the added feature of a pressure nozzle for those hard to get, stuck on messes.
Water Proof Vehicle interior.
Tell me you haven’t been sitting in a car wash and had the almost irresistible urge to roll down the windows to get the interior clean. Seriously, same idea as the kitchen, hosing down the car would make things so much easier.
Menus for any restaurant
As the years go by restaurants seem to add more and more options for children. While that may SEEM like a good thing… it’s not, at least for MY family. The boys could sit at the table for 2 hours deciding between the chicken nuggets and the mac n cheese, then when we finally order they will change their minds as soon as the waitress walk away. My idea? A customizable menu with 3 options, two of which they do NOT like.
And now, I’m going to go utilize an invention that already had a real positive influence on my sanity… NETFLIX. A couple clicks of the mouse, some microwave popcorn, and the kids are occupied for at least an hour.
Totally worth the $8/month.

>WARNING, I may not be very nice

>

Confession Time!

I am a smoker.
I hate it. I’m ashamed.
I don’t want my kids to see me smoking.
I don’t want my husband to worry about my health.
I don’t want to waste money anymore.
I don’t want to freeze my butt off half the night because I will still go outside to smoke even if it’s in the single digits.
I’m tired of it.
I’m done.
I. Want. To. Quit!
I have tried a few times over the past couple years. I failed each time obviously!
The funny thing is that I quit each time I found out I was pregnant. I didn’t smoke at all! Very few cravings, nothing I couldn’t handle, and the initial withdrawal wasn’t all that bad. It’s not that easy any more.
They say that one of the ways you can help yourself quit is by telling friends/family. I assume that the fear of letting them down is supposed to keep you from failing. I don’t know about that; I worry that the pressure may be enough to make me give in. I fear that it may have the opposite effect.
I figure, the next best thing is to put it on my blog; I don’t want to fail in front of any of you either but the pressure won’t be as intimidating and stressful… so this could work.
I came home today with less than a half pack of cigarettes, normally I would stop at the gas station and grab some so I didn’t run out tonight.
Today I drove right by.
I smoked while I completed some homework and an online quiz for school but I smoked my last one around 9pm. I briefly considered going out to get more because I really hadn’t intended to quit until the morning but I decided I may as well get a 12 hour jump start. I will be going to sleep soon anyway.
The few times that I have tried quitting recently I found that, while ultimately I wasn’t successful, one thing that did help me get through some tough times was looking at the cessation time lines. They are all over the Internet; some more detailed than others. Basically they tell you what changes your body is going through at different intervals.
At 20 minutes – blood pressure and pulse rate return to “normal”.
At 8 hours – the nicotine levels in my body will decrease by over 90%
Looking at this stuff helps me get through the rough times; it reminds me why I’m doing this. It reinforces the idea that I really am damaging my body by smoking. I’m hurting myself and everyone around me. I truly want to be successful this time.
I’m going to bed now and when I wake up I will be at 9 hours. We’ll see how this goes!

>Super nice Clinical Instructor

>

It’s Thursday, which means I had clinical today n the school system. It was a VERY slow day; a lot of filing, twiddling of thumbs and inconspicious clock checks.
An hour before the end of the day I got a call from C’s school nurse. She said his inhaler wasn’t working well and she couldn’t give him any more. I asked if she had given him the nebulizer and she said no because she didn’t think the wheezing was all that bad. Funny thing about wheezing…. if you don’t stay on top of it… IT GETS WORSE! So, by the time I got there he was struggling pretty badly. The inhaler works BEFORE the attack, by the time he starts wheezing the nebulizer is the only thing that can help him. He has moderate to severe asthma, and has had it all his life so he knows what he needs. If only she had asked him rather than assuming she knew what would work. Obviously he needs it or the doctor wouldn’t have sent orders for the breathing machine.
My instructor was very cool about it though, she excused me from Post Conference. I sent her my Care Plan and Clinical Packet (nursing school homework) and decided to spend tonight organizing my thoughts for my term paper.
The paper has to be on a topic related to OB or Peds. It can be controversial (I like that) and needs to be 15 pages long. A lot of people are doing Breast Feeding/Formula, vaccinations, and new father support. I don’t want to do something everyone else is doing but I’m having trouble deciding on something that interests me. Maybe I’ll just google “controversial pediatric/OB topics” and see what comes up.
It’s almost dinnertime and I still haven’t started anything. In fact, our kitchen is looking a little light. I haven’t been grocery shopping in too long. We have no meat in the freezer, I think all I CAN make is pasta. Yuck.
I need a maid and a butler.

>Valentine’s Day

>

Last night I realized that two of my brothers are trying to tip toe around me regarding Valentine’s Day. Bro #1 stopped by yesterday afternoon with his girlfriend; she sat on the couch while he fixed my son’s RC truck. I then asked him to put my new license plates on and he and I started talking about how cool my new vanity plates were. His girlfriend interrupted and told him to hurry up because they had to leave. I hadn’t realized it then but I think they were celebrating Valentine’s Day yesterday because today is Monday. I said “oh, what are you guys doing tonight”? My bro responded with “nothing, just relaxing before work tomorrow”.
Later that night Bro #2 called me and asked me to do him a favor. He sounded nervous to ask me and said if I “didn’t feel like going out he would understand”. He wanted me to take his wife to her OB appointment. I didn’t understand why he would think I wouldn’t feel like going out!
It wasn’t until late last night that I realized both of my brothers thought I was going to be sad without DH here. It’s nice that they were being considerate but it wasn’t necessary. Not for this holiday at least. There are so many other days that are hard to get through; Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. The small holidays don’t bother me much. In fact, they aren’t a big deal to me even when he’s home! I’d rather make the big days bigger and have less of the novelty holidays. I don’t know, maybe it’s just my way of making myself feel better; but it works!
Last night I was up until 0200 addressing Valentines for the kids and making special gifts for Z and B’s girlfriends. I bought little $5 necklaces and a box of chocolates for each. B is also giving his girlfriend a Beanie Baby dog.
They are very cute, everything had to be perfect. I am running on little sleep right now but it was worth it to see them so excited with their little girly gifts in hand as they waited for the busses.