28 Weeks

Today marks week 28 of pregnancy.  I find myself very busy!  I have several writing contracts to complete during this abbreviated week.  When it rains and all that.  I am by no means complaining because this means I will hit my goal for this month!  Let me get a high five for that!  But, back to being pregnant.

New this month:

Well, not much is new this month.  I feel like I’m really going to regret saying this, but everything seems to kind of mellowed out.  My belly is larger, but it isn’t killing me anymore.  The baby is kicking and moving and rolling and tumbling, but he isn’t really causing much hardship with his movements.  My left sacral-iliac joint issue is still there, but the yoga seems to be managing it along with the occasional massage from my husband.  Wednesday morning, we go to the obstetrician and we get another ultrasound.  The last ultrasound, he was laying in such a way that the technician couldn’t get a clear picture of each chamber and valve in his little heart.  So, they will be checking out his heart as well as his spine and skull.  My family is quite familiar with neural tube defects, unfortunately, so we are taking another look to be safe.  We are also getting some 3D prints from this ultrasound which my husband is really excited about.

Not new this month:

I still need to pee when I need to pee, which is frequent.  I’m still moody as well, no surprise there!

Only 84 more days until my estimated due date!

While we were at Wal-Mart last night buying some coffee for the new Keurig, I happened to find some flexible silicone baby food storage trays with lids.  I have been looking for these, convinced I would have to buy them online.  I plan to store breast milk in these long enough to freeze it solid and then move it to a ziplock bag.  I was also happy to see that the trays were on sale!

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Baby Brain

Eva’s grandparents on her father’s side are great people.  I always say I got them in the divorce because we have maintained a good relationship while Eva’s father had a difference of opinion with them and no longer speaks to them.  We spend Christmas Eve with these grandparents and their extended family.  Eva knows all of her cousins (that are in Missouri, anyway) as a result, and she has a fantastic relationship with her grandparents.  Her grandparents (she used to call them her other parents because she preferred to abbreviate grandparents) and my husband and I always exchange gifts.  This year, they got my husband and I a joint gift of a Keurig 2.0!

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Being the pregnant lady that I am, I thought first about my caffeine restriction.  Next, as my thoughts shifted to hot cocoa, I mentally reminded myself of my sugar restriction due to gestational diabetes.  I was ready to relegate myself to waiting to seriously enjoy this Keurig until after the baby is born when it occurred to me–this is the best bottle warmer ever!  A little hot water in a cup, add the bottle, and voila!  I just about danced with glee I think.  I have already enjoyed it with a cup of tea last night, and a cup of Hazelnut coffee this morning, and my husband acts like a kid with a new toy (after he about teared up while unplugging his trusty coffee maker).  I have some pretty thoughtful people in my life.

Now, I just need to find the cheapest place to order K-cups.  A reusable filter is already on order!

Building The Baby Registry

In the original post, I forgot to mention a Boppy pillow.  I found a Boppy pillow to be invaluable.  It wasn’t even a brand name pillow, but it was horse-shoe shaped.  It worked great to help cushion my arm when holding Eva, or lay her on it next to me.  I used it every day for her.  I got one second-hand this time around, and I am very excited about it!

Well, the baby is due to be here in a short 13 weeks.  Lord only knows if we will make it to the due date or if my due date will come and go without event.  I spent some time going over baby registry items and then registering.  After a lot of frustration (Wal-Mart only does online gift registries now is the short story), I finally registered at Target.  I also discovered everything I registered for at Target is slightly more expensive than the items I had chosen at Wal-Mart.  It doesn’t really matter, though, since the only way to access a Wal-Mart registry is online now.  I have too many people in my family that wouldn’t even dream of purchasing online.

So, I have two lists that I’m going to share with you all.  One is my list for new items, and the other is a list for items that I will be looking to purchase second-hand.

New:

  1. Car seat/stroller combo.  My husband’s grandma has insisted she wants to purchase a combo stroller and car seat with the base for the car for convenience’s sake.  If she wasn’t adamant about this specific item, we would be getting just a car seat and base.  We chose a three-wheeled stroller that has slightly larger wheels, also known as a jogging stroller.  The larger wheels allow for driving on uneven surfaces which will work well when we visit grandparents (lots of outdoor fun at each grandparents’ house).  The wheels also made it more comfortable for my husband to push the stroller.  He is over six feet tall, and obviously his stride is a bit long, especially compared to mine.  The wheels are a little further to the side than some strollers, so he doesn’t kick them with each step.  We have changed our minds again, though, because the bottom line is a jogging stroller is just too big to fit in my car.  Since I will be the primary care giver, it doesn’t make much sense to get something that won’t even fit in my car.  We are researching smaller strollers, but we will probably end up not getting one so long as his grandma will be okay with this.  If you knew the lady and situation, you would understand why her feelings on the matter are extremely important to us both.  She is a fantastic lady, and I’m sure this won’t be a problem for her, but her feelings are important to us both.
  2. Crib.  My mother has already declared she will be purchasing the crib (bless her).  I chose a basic model that will convert to a twin size head board and foot board.  I still have a toddler bed from Eva that is gender neutral enough for use with our baby boy.  I’m going to miss the drop-side crib, though.  It sure made getting the baby out of the crib less of a strain.
  3. Linens.  Flannel receiving blankets are awesome.  I was given somewhere around a dozen when I had Eva, and I thought for sure there was no possible way I would use all of them before I could do a load of laundry.  Ha!  I certainly did, many times over.  You can’t have too many receiving blankets, especially with a newborn.  Spit up, explosive poops, spilled milk during feedings–the list goes on and on as to why you can go through seven or eight in a day.  These receiving blankets make great day-time swaddler, especially if the baby is getting passed around a lot from warm body to warm body.  Also, on the list is a 3 pack of swaddlers.  I could probably double this amount, though, but I know this will only be used for about the first three months so I would prefer to be conservative.  Burp cloths are so awesome, too.  The old school cloth diaper that can be purchased cheaply in the three or six pack can double for burp cloths that also happen to be more absorbent than the average burp cloth.  Fitted crib sheets, a minimum of five, are also essential.  Three crib mattress pads come in handy as well, to keep the baby insulated from the sweat-inducing plastic of the crib mattress.
  4. Bath time accessories.  Head-to-toe, scent-free and dye-free baby wash in a pump, a 3 pack of hooded towels, a 6 pack of wash cloths, and a baby tub that is designed to fit over my kitchen sink made the list.  The tub, towels, and even wash cloths can be purchased second-hand, for sure, because each can either be bleached or soaked in vinegar for antibacterial purposes.
  5. Feeding accessories.  Bottles, nipples, breast milk storage pouches, spare membranes for my breast pump, gel soothies for my nipples, lanolin, breast pads, a nursing cover-up and bibs are all on the list.  Specifically, 9 5 ounce Playtex Ventaire bottles and 5 9 ounce bottles are what I added.  I hesitate to add bottles because some babies are particular, but I need some on hand either way to try.  So, I will only open one package of bottles until I know if they will work for this baby boy.  A bottle brush that has a removable nipple brush and a little cage-looking thing to put bottle accesories in the dishwasher (dishwasher basket is the more official name) are also essential.  The basket doesn’t have to be new, by any means, but they are fairly cheap and I have never seen one used for sale anywhere.  Also, the microwavable bags to steam clean the parts on the breast pump were recommended to me.  I will give them a try.  It was recently recommended in the comments on this post that I give silicone baby food storage trays a try.  The trays have lids, and each little reservoir is 2 ounces in size.  Add breast milk, put the lid on, and freeze was the suggestion.  The frozen breast milk cubes can be easily removed and then put into a freezer bag.  I will be purchasing these online since I can’t seem to find them anywhere locally.  I can use them later on for storing home made baby food (I already own a Ninja chopper/puree thingy).  I also registered for some silicone-tipped baby spoons.
  6. Travel needs.  A Moby wrap made the list, but it isn’t essential.  It is more of a wish.  I made a wrap out of a sheet with Eva when she was little and colicky.  I couldn’t get anything done the mornings after the nights filled with colic crying because she would cry every time I set her down for more than two minutes.  I did a lot of things one handed, as I held her with the other hand.  I finally made the wrap as a solution to the problem–keeping her close while freeing my hands for other things.  I would also prefer to use a wrap while shopping.  A dispenser with little plastic bags that reminds me of the bags people use to pick up dog poop definitely comes in handy.  A poopy diaper in an enclosed space, such as a car, is an awful thing.  You can change the baby and throw the diaper in one of these bags and then tie it shut, sealing off the source of smell, until you can find a trash can.  I also used these when we were at someone else’s home as a courtesy so their home didn’t begin to smell of poop every time someone opened the trash can.  A backpack diaper bag is also very useful for hauling about diapers, wipes, a changing pad, bottles, a change of clothes (for baby and you), food for me and baby (snacks and a bottle of water for mom is essential in my opinion), etc.  I prefer the backpack because a shoulder bag tends to fall off the shoulder.  It ends up in the crook of my arm, or I end up with a back ache from leaning to keep it on my shoulder.
  7. Diapers and scent free wipes.  I have registered for sizes 1 through 3, skipping newborn completely because they only fit babies up to 8 lbs.  The diapers sent home with us from the hospital were sufficient for Eva.  By the time we needed more diapers, she was already big enough for size 1.
  8. Diaper rash cream.  Purple-boxed Desitin, or the off-brand store version, is the only diaper ointment I ever needed for Eva.  If you read the label, it will have 40% zinc oxide.  Most other creams, including the blue-boxed Desitin, only have 14% zinc oxide.  I registered for a giant tub of the 40% zinc oxide as well as a smaller tube for the diaper bag.
  9.  Diaper pail.  I found a diaper pail at Target that is only $29.99 and it will fit any type of trash bags, which will save me a ton of money in the long run.
  10. A portable white noise maker made the list.  This was especially helpful during nap times with Eva.
  11. The cheapest baby monitor I could find.  I just need to hear him.
  12. Playtime accessories.  I registered for a walker and a doorway jumper.  The walker can certainly be purchased second-hand, but I am a little paranoid about the doorway jumper.
  13. Storage tubs.  I already have one storage tub full of diapers, and I need several more to divide up the baby clothes we have to put in the basement to store so we have room for other things.

Used:

  1. A bouncer/swing.
  2. A bassinet if it is the right price.  We can live without it so long as I don’t have a c-section.  If I do have a c-section, then it is a must in my book.  My husband’s sister has already offered her bassinet up to us, so I imagine we will have one.
  3. A high chair/booster seat of some sort.  We were very lucky to find one on sale during the black Friday sales.  We spent $20.00 on an item that is usually $40.00.
  4. Stroller.
  5. Clothes, except that we already have all the clothes we need.  My brother found a large lot of used boy clothes sizes newborn to 18 months in the appropriate seasons.  In the same lot was all the same sized clothes, but in the opposite seasons as well.  This is helpful because if our baby grows more quickly or more slowly than average, we will have other clothing options.  He purchased all of these items, shoes included, for $150.00.
  6. Dresser.

An odd thing that doesn’t fit on my registry with Target is an Amazon gift card.  I would like to work on a playlist that will help me distract myself a bit during labor.  This is something I will mention to the one or two people that will specifically ask me what I want that isn’t on the list.  My brothers usually just ask me to tell them what to buy.  As for a changing table, I had one with Eva and I think I used it maybe a dozen times or less.  I know there is probably a lot more gear out there these days, but I think Eva and I did really well with what we had and this list isn’t that much different.  I also made sure that not only did each item, like wipes and baby wash and lotion, said hypo-allergenic, but I also made it a point to look for scent-free.  I am sensitive to scents, and Eva would get a rash anytime I used a scented anything on her until she was around two.

If any of you have any insight in to something that I have listed or something that I have not listed but you found to be invaluable, I would love to hear about it.  Please leave me a comment!

There is an entire list of other things I will need that I won’t be putting on the registry.  Things like a hospital nightgown, nursing bras, new undies (because I will probably ruin many after birth), scent-free dye-free laundry soap, industrial-absorbency pads, freezer bags, absorbent bed pads are all things I will purchase here and there as we get closer to my due date.  I also will start cooking meals to be frozen around the 36 week mark, or at least that is my plan.  My mom will help me make some diaper changing pads that are waterproof using flannel and some special type of iron-on effacing stuff she uses, too.  So there is my list!

The Day After

Is it possible to have a Christmas hangover without having consumed a single drop of alcohol?  If so, I believe I have one.  My head aches, my eyes squint at any bright light, my ears beg for the television (and my family) to be quiet, and my stomach turns at the thought of eating.  Now I know, this probably means I have a migraine, but I don’t get migraines (at least not the kind that causes any of these symptoms).  I’m blaming Christmas.  The yuletide joy has overloaded my neurons.

Eva had a fantastic Christmas.  She opened her presents, getting many things that she didn’t request but loving each item anyway.  She got a Zoomer Dino, which is a big hit.  She also got a fort kit I made (a sheet with loops and the kit included some rope and clothes pins).  She had that up in no time with the help of my husband.  Shortly after every present had been opened, there were new toys and things strewn across the floor in every room of the house.  It was a trail to happiness because at the end of each trail of mess a very happy, content Eva could be found busily engaged in exploring the new possibilities of each gift.

For my Christmas present, my husband and Eva cleaned the house (except for the clean up of Christmas gifts).  They did a thorough cleaning of the bathroom and the kitchen, allowing me to take a nap.  I also got a massage from my husband; I just need to schedule it.  I think the baby flipped from facing my spine to facing my belly button overnight as well, his belated Christmas present to me I suppose.  I’m hoping I can convince him to flip back again, since this is not an ideal position for birth.  I can feel what I think are his hands and feet flapping about all over at once every twenty minutes or so.

It is our family policy to stay home Christmas day.  We don’t go see anyone or go anywhere.  All the grandparents know where to find us if they would like to see us.  My parents came over in the evening and ate dinner with us and played with Eva.  She got Uno and Junior Scrabble for Christmas so we broke those out to enjoy with grandma while grandpa dosed while watching form the recliner.  It was a fun day and a peaceful Christmas.

I hope all of you had a wonderful day as well!  Here’s to the coming new year (I say with a raised glass of water in my hand)!

14 Things Every Woman Going Through Divorce Should Hear

Within the last couple of weeks, there have been a couple of women in my life that are looking at divorce.  One of them asked me to write this for her.  I hope others can benefit from my experience.

  1. Isolation sucks.  I know for me, I wasn’t really ever alone while in the midst of my divorce.  I had friends, family, and I always had Eva.  The physical presence and even emotional support of those I love didn’t do anything to lessen my feeling of isolation, though.  I felt like I was on an island, all by myself, experiencing something that I couldn’t explain and they couldn’t understand.  This may sound very self-focused, knowing that something like 50% of marriages end in divorce so surely there are others that feel this way, but this is a feeling that can’t be reasoned away.  I let others in on what I was feeling as much as I could, but there was always a point that was like a secret passage, and unless they are you at that moment in time they cannot enter to experience the same things.
  2. Independence sucks.  As modern women, most of us never become completely dependent on a partner financially speaking.  There is always a factor of financial reconfiguration after a separation or divorce, sometimes minor or sometimes extreme.  Most of us are fully capable of being completely independent financially, physically and emotionally without much effort.  Compared to 1950’s women…well, I can’t even really compare myself to the 1950’s woman.  It is like apples to oranges.  The expectations for a woman in the 1950’s to a woman today just aren’t comparable.  I have said all of this to say that as women, we are expected to be independent and yes, we are quite capable.  But, it doesn’t mean that that independence doesn’t suck.  It’s nice to have a partner to share your struggles with, whether they be emotional, financial, or physical.  It is okay to mourn the loss of this partnership.  It doesn’t make you less of a feminist.
  3. You can’t change anything. You cannot change him, his heart, his mind, or his will.  You can’t change you in such a way that suddenly means you won’t have to go through this experience.  You can’t change the past in any way, shape, or form.  I will repeat–you can’t change anything.  This part definitely sucked the most for me, I think.  No matter what I did or how hard I tried, I couldn’t change a single, damn thing.  I had never felt more out-of-control before in my life.  This brings me to my next point.
  4. You can’t control everything.  I know, this one sounds so obvious.  We all know this, right?  Well, knowing something intellectually and putting it in to practice are two different things.  The greatest lesson I got from my divorce is having a much better sense of when to let go of a situation, emotion, or person.  If there are children involved, this need to control seems to be so much stronger.  It certainly was for me.  I finally came up with something to help me stop for a moment to examine my motives.  I would ask myself (and still do before every conversation I have with my ex concerning Eva), what do I want to gain from this conversation, action, etc.?  The follow-up question to that was always, is that a realistic expectation?  If the answer to the first question ever had anything to do with my emotions, like I felt he needed to know how I felt, or I felt like I would get some peace if I could say such and such, then I would stop in my tracks.  It was not realistic for my situation to think that any conversation with him would gain me anything emotionally.  His complete disregard for all things concerning my emotional well-being was well-established before the initial divorce paperwork was ever filed.  My focus shifted from what I needed from him to what Eva needed from him.  Even that required a careful examination of my motives and expectations, though.  Here is my next point:
  5. (For women with children involved) You can’t make him be a good father!  It will never happen.  The more you push, generally, the worse it becomes.  Of course your child deserves a good father, but chances are if he was a bad father when you were married, he will be a bad father after you are divorced, too.  I have focused my time and energy on helping my child to understand that the situation is not ideal, and that his actions are HIS actions and not a result of his feelings for her.  I have taught her to speak her mind, to speak up when something hurts her feelings or makes her angry.  When he asks me something about her, I usually tell him to ask her.  I try to take myself out of the middle of their relationship as much as possible.  He is a bad father, not an abuser.  I can’t excise him from her life no matter how great that sounds.  I can’t change my choice in procreating with him (not that I want to because I wouldn’t have Eva exactly as she is otherwise), which is my emotional burden as I watch her struggle with her relationship with him, but I can help her have a relationship with him on her own terms in a way that is most meaningful to her given the situation.  He responds better when he hears her say no versus hearing me say no.  With me, it is a fight.  With her, he takes it as a fact.  When she expresses herself, he understands that is how she feels.  When I express how she feels, he thinks I’m planted that emotion on her, coached her, and that I am just trying to control his relationship with her.
  6. It is okay to go on a date when YOU are ready, not when a piece of paper or anything else says you are ready!  I didn’t realize it would be an issue with my family that I was open and ready to go on a date before my divorce was final.  It took a year and a half for our divorce to be finalized.  He had a girlfriend before he left, and he had bought a house with her around the six-month mark.  None of that mattered to my family, who thought that by going on a date, I was jeopardizing my bid for joint custody.  I realize that this scenario is based on my family’s ignorance, but I was surprised how many people in my life had the same point of view.  My aunt, my godparents, and even coworkers thought that I couldn’t be seen going out with a man until my divorce was final without possible consequences.  I know for me, I desperately needed someone to take me out and tell me I am fantastic, even if he only said it to get in my pants.  I needed to know that being married, giving birth and then being rejected as a spouse had not somehow changed my desirability.  My self-esteem had taken a nose dive like never before.  Only so much of that can be restored in therapy and self-help.
  7. Be mindful of the calendar.  I didn’t anticipate feeling anything on days that had previously held some importance in my marriage.  I didn’t think I would feel like crying or punching something.  Surprise!  I felt a lot of things on the first anniversary after our divorce.  I felt a lot of things on my first birthday alone.  I didn’t think Thanksgiving or Christmas would be hard because we never developed our own traditions as a family.  I felt a lot of anger, mostly, because he seemed to make it a point to be in contact with me on those days.  He announced his engagement to his girlfriend on my birthday.  He didn’t announce it to Facebook, or his family, or even to our daughter–he announced it to me.  After the involuntary laugh/snort left my mouth, I believe my next words were about the upcoming pick-up arrangement for our daughter.  I was very committed to restraining myself from giving him any sort of reaction to all of the ridiculousness he made a point to tell me.
  8. Holidays suck.  What else do I need to say?  It doesn’t matter how Christmas-y you two were as a couple, it will still suck.  I see nothing wrong with some wine on those holidays, but be careful.
  9. Alcohol will only serve to humiliate you.  I say this to you, but I’m really speaking to myself.  I would be holding it together quite well, the picture of calm, until I added a certain amount of alcohol.  Then the tears were unstoppable.  Just one glass too many would result in the unleashing of a dam of tears that definitely needed to come out, but it didn’t need to come out all at once.
  10. It is okay to cry!  Cry a lot and cry often, otherwise look at #9 above.  If I hadn’t been so determined to be so calm ALL the time, I doubt there would have been a reservoir of tears dammed up backed by emotions that rarely got to see the light of day.  I was determined to be fine, immediately.  I wasn’t fine!  I wasn’t anywhere near fine!  I don’t think I was fooling anyone, either.
  11. Accept the sympathy and well-wishes and empathy.  Sometimes, friends and family need to grieve, too.  Sometimes, they feel betrayed, too.  Since they don’t have contact with the ex anymore (in most cases, that is), the only way for them to find closure is through you.  I was not open and honest about my feelings with anyone except for a couple of close friends.  Everyone else around me did not receive from me a gracious acceptance of their well-wishes.  Instead, I would usually make a joke about it and change the subject.  What better way to show I was fine than to make jokes?  Ha!
  12. You are the only person inside your head.  You are the only person who can give you good advice.  You know what you want, what you need, and what you should do.  No one else can validate these things for you.  You have to trust yourself, scary as that may be.  Everyone always says not to make big decisions after a divorce/breakup, death, or job loss.  That sounds great in theory, as in that would only work if the world suddenly came to a stand-still.  The world doesn’t, though.  Life goes on.  You can’t stop life.  You can’t avoid important decisions or try to get someone else to make those decisions because you don’t trust your grief-addled brain.  Be a big girl, listen to yourself, cry about it, and then make the decision.  Take a cue from Nike, just do it!
  13. Be easy on yourself.  This has to be the single-most important thing I learned the hard way.  I am not to blame for every problem in my life.  Yes, I may be the common denominator to each failure in my life.  But, that’s because it is MY life.  Of course I am the common denominator!  It can be so tempting to fall into this pit of self-pity, this view that everything you do is wrong, that every choice you make leads to failure and misery, and on and on and on.  There may be plausible evidence to back up this theory, even.  The thing is this, though–you weren’t married to yourself.  For it to be a marriage that requires a divorce in a court, as in the real world, you couldn’t have possibly married yourself.  There is another party to this marriage, and that party is just as much to blame for the marriage failure.  Quit trying to place blame on anyone.  It doesn’t fill any holes or satisfy any needs.  See #3 for further clarification on why blaming yourself or him or anyone else is an absolutely pointless endeavor.
  14. It really does get easier, time heals all wounds, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, you can’t know good without bad–I could think of a million cliches that were thrown at me when I was in the midst of my divorce.  Most of them were true, but I hated hearing every last one of them.  Quit trying to get over it.  Now, I know, that sounds counter-productive, but just listen for a minute.  What you feel while you are right smack-dab in the middle of all of this emotional catastrophe is something that will change you and shape your future.  No matter how much you want to hide or run from all of these overwhelming emotions, they will find you, usually when it is most inconvenient.  In the middle of nutrition mid-term exam, for example, would be a bad place to suddenly begin crying.  Or, in the middle of a game of patty-cake with a one and a half year-old would be another inconvenient time to have all of those emotions catch up with you.  Trust me.  Quit trying to just move on, get over it, or whatever other cliche you are using to try to sound sane and embrace it.  Cry it out.  Scream it out (preferably not if you are my neighbor, though).  Dance it out.  Run it out.  Break things.  Listen to angry music.  Watch that movie about that couple that makes you feel like your heart is going to break all over again.

Human life is all about our experiences.  We gain knowledge with every new experience.  How we deal with each experience usually sets us up to use this knowledge and experience to deal with the next crisis or tough event.  If you spend your time and emotional energy running from this experience and challenge, you will have missed out on some very valuable lessons.  I spent a year and a half waiting for my divorce to be finalized, and a good portion of that time was spent running.  I was avoiding all of those emotions as much as I could.  Some days, it really was necessary to avoid my feelings just so I could do things like go to work, or go to college, or care for my daughter.  Mostly, though, in the moments that I could be still and just be, I avoided my emotions then, too.  Eventually, I dealt with my feelings and I found myself becoming a little happier each time I actually let myself feel.  I came out of it all with a much different perspective on life.  I am stronger, healthier, happier and much wiser than I ever could have been before the divorce, before that season of struggle.  I greatly empathize with anyone in the midst of divorce, especially the spouse that didn’t see it coming because that was me.  Life is not the sum of one major life event like a marriage or a divorce or a birth or a death, but life is definitely the sum of what we do with all of those events.

The Dinosaurs Strike Again

This morning, Eva woke up with a smile.  She exclaimed to me, “It’s Christmas Eve!”  She nudged me because, of course, I didn’t have quite the enthusiastic response she was looking for.  My response was somewhere between a grunt and a yawn.

She then climbed back off my bed and off she went.  About thirty seconds later, she bellowed for me.  I knew what she had found before she said anything.  You see, some elves might have needed assistance finding the tape and wrapping paper and wrapping presents last night in to the late night, and I might have been the one up helping them.  Before I went to bed, I noticed the dinosaurs had created more mess and mischief.  This is the sight I beheld before going to sleep.

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The dinosaurs had tipped over Eva’s port-a-crib for her babies which contained weeks’ worth of cut up scrap materials.  She loves to cut things up that are slated for trash and make confetti.  The deal is, though, that I don’t find any of it spread around the house or it all goes in the trash.  Apparently, the dinosaurs don’t care about the rules.  The blinds are also off-limits.  Nothing seems off-limits to the dinosaurs.  The dinosaurs even recruited a few more mischief-makers this time, namely a giraffe, a zebra, an elephant, and a couple horses.

Eva couldn’t contain her smile and giggles as she told me what the dinosaurs had done.  I gave her the expected groan and sigh.  She reassured me she would clean up their mess and fix the blinds, which she did very quickly and with a smile.

One more memory made.

It’s A Liebster!

My Perfect Breakdown has very kindly nominated me for a Liebster award!  Mrs. MPB always inspires me!  Thank you very much!

Go take a look at My Perfect Breakdown.  She is a lady that has been through a lot, to put it mildly. Along with Mr. MPB, she is currently looking at adoption.  The best part about her blog (to me) is that she doesn’t focus on one particular thing.  I feel like I am really reading about someone’s life–sadness, complications, set-backs, happiness, triumphs, joy and all.

As for the Liebster rules given to me via her post here, I will now nominate 11 other bloggers with a following of fewer than 200 people.  In no particular order, I nominate the following blogs:

  1. Life Of A Triplet Mama
  2. Caroline.In.Iowa
  3. Not So Quiet Momma
  4. Eventual Momma
  5. Tales of An Empty Womb
  6. myivfstoryblog
  7. The Chronicles of The Unfruitfulness
  8. One Day At A Time
  9. The Empress and The Fool
  10. Written in Pen
  11. philosofikdad

Now, I am to answer 11 questions given to me by the wonderful person who nominated me.

1. What is your favourite song?  Well, that is a pretty difficult question to answer.  My favorite song changes with the seasons in my life.  In particularly difficult times, I usually gravitate to music.  I was very involved in singing in my junior high and high school days, even joining my school’s traveling ensemble.  If I am forced to give a song, then I suppose I will take one from my current playlist.  The song is Falling by The Civil Wars (who sadly disbanded shortly before the release of their most recent album).  The song reminds me that any relationship if neglected will eventually wither and die.  I am a very strong believer in being proactive in my relationships, especially with my husband and daughter.

2. Who is your favourite Disney character?  Aladdin was one of my favorites growing up.  I also dreamed of being Belle, though.  I suppose I would have to pick Belle because she was a good daughter, smart, and she was the first Disney female I remember that didn’t marry the first man that asked.

3. What do you put on the top of your Christmas tree?  We have a silver star.  We always had a star on top of our trees when I was growing up to signify the star that was the guiding light to the three wise men.  I want to continue this tradition.

4. Do you have any animals?  If yes, how many and what types?  Much to the disappointment of my daughter Eva, we only have fish.  I am terribly allergic to any animal with fur or feathers.  Supposedly hypoallergenic dogs and cats do not exist for me.  Any and every breed makes me miserable.  My allergies have only gotten worse with age.  As a child, I had dogs and cats (all outdoors because we lived in the woods and my mother had allergies) and never had much of an issue other than some itching and sneezing.  So, back to the fish.  We have two gold fish, one named Connor and the other named Blake.  Eva takes great joy in naming them.  I secretly despise them because their tank takes up a lot of space and it is awful to clean.  I also have to figure out a better solution for the fish before the new baby gets old enough to pull up.  I see bad things happening, like bottles or binkies or toys floating in the fish tank.

5. Winter, summer, spring, or fall?  Do you have a favourite?  I prefer fall.  The temperatures are moderate and the colorful leaves in the Missouri hills are just so beautiful.

6. What makes you smile on a bad day?  My family.  Luckily, they take turns testing the limits of my sanity.  So, whichever one isn’t driving me nuts usually succeeds in making me smile even on the worst of days!

7. What is your favourite holiday?  Christmas day is my favorite!  We stay home, we watch Eva open her presents, and we usually eat something yummy.  Sometimes grandma or grandpa come by to say hello.  It is a very relaxed day for us.

8. What is your favourite childhood memory?  There are a lot of them to sift through!  I think I will stick with my memories of the days preceding my 4th birthday.  My parents were scheming against me, and my father was building my birthday present right in front of my eyes.  He built me some chairs to go with a little table my mother found and painted.  She painted hearts on it, somehow without me ever seeing the table until my birthday.  My father was very insistent that he was building bird feeders, despite the fact that it was very obvious to me his bird feeders looked like chairs.  He even had me sit in one to try it out for size for “the birds”.  I remember walking back inside and looking at my mother thinking, “Did you see that?  Dad has lost it.”  She just laughed and recruited my help with dishes.

9. Why do you blog?  My blog has most definitely evolved since inception.  I began blogging because I needed a platform upon which to build and develop a career as a freelance writer.  After maybe a month, I quickly realized my writing sucked.  I was writing like I would for homework in college, or like I would for anything very not personal.  Instead of focusing on my purpose for writing, I began focusing on my story.  Now, I blog because I enjoy it.  I blog because I feel like I have something someone somewhere wants to hear.

10. If you had one piece of advice for your 15 year old self, what would it be?  Oh man.  Well, I would tell her to lighten up.  You are 15, for crying out loud.  You don’t need that job.  You don’t need to buy your own car yet.  You don’t need to get every last question on every last test right.  Go do something that could potentially get you in trouble with your parents!

11. What is one thing you want to accomplish in 2015?  I could list oodles of things I want to accomplish this coming year!  Do I really have to pick just one?  Well, I guess the most important thing for me this coming year is the birth of my son.  I want an intervention-free natural birth…in a hospital.  My freelance writing is also starting to pay more consistently, and I have several career goals for 2015 as well.

Now, fellow nominees, you are supposed to write a post with a link back to me, nominate 11 other blogs with less than 200 people following, and answer 11 questions.  Here are your questions:

  1. What memory from any point in your life stands out the most in your mind?
  2. If you had one piece of advice for your 15-year-old self, what would it be?
  3. What is your favorite television show of all time?
  4. Why do you blog?
  5. What is your favorite place on earth?
  6. Tell us one thing about yourself that doesn’t usually come up in a normal conversation.
  7. Do you have any fears or phobias (spiders, heights, etc.)?
  8. Imagine you are stranded on an island with no chance of leaving or rescue.  There is plenty of food on this island in the form of fruits, berries, and wildlife (think fish).  Only 5 things from your purse or luggage survived.  What are these things?
  9. Did you have an imaginary friend growing up?  If so, what kind of creature was it and did it have a name?
  10. What is your favorite Disney character?
  11. What would you like to accomplish in 2015?

The Third Trimester–The Final Frontier…And Eva

“These are the voyages of the starship” of a pregnant, crabby woman.

Ah hem.  Excuse me, my nerd was hanging out.  For those of you that had a life in the nineties, I am referencing the show Star Trek: The Next Generation.  I even recently taught my non-Trekkie husband “ugly bags of mostly water” is a great summary of a human one does not like.  But, back to the point of this post, if there is one.

My pregnancy app beeped at me yesterday to inform me that I have officially entered the third trimester of pregnancy.  I informed my husband later that evening that we had entered the third trimester, and he should really begin to give me many more massages.  So far, results have varied.  My husband showed me a meme on Facebook that summed up the three trimesters of pregnancy as:

1. I want to vomit!

2. Awww baby kicks!

3. Get this thing out of me now!

I haven’t (let me knock on some wood real fast before I finish this thought) reached the point where I am ready to get this baby out yet, but I am definitely getting uncomfortable.  My sacrum or sacroiliac joint on the left side is freaking out daily.  Yoga is still the only thing that seems to help.

The gestational diabetes has been interesting so far.  I am just as frequently too high as I am too low.  I have all the right foods and I am eating them, despite craving ice cream like crazy.  Eva has been the best part about this pregnancy (well, you know, other than my baby I am carrying).  She is so involved in the growth and development and all things baby.  It is nice to see her taking it all so naturally and with grace.  I hope that continues when there is a screaming baby in the house.  I want to share some Eva-isms that have popped up concerning my pregnancy.

I set an alarm on my phone for an hour after I have finished breakfast and lunch so I can see how my blood sugar is affected by certain foods.  Eva, my six-year-old, has gotten so used to this that she usually calls it right before the alarm goes off.  One slight hiccup is that she usually tells me it is time to check my blood pressure, not my blood sugar.  She somehow thinks they are the same and will not hear any arguments to the contrary.

I keep calling Eva my little know-it-all because she continues to instruct me in all things pregnancy.  I have been sharing with her the weekly video updates from my pregnancy app.  It covers everything from how the baby is developing this week to what I should expect as far as discomfort goes.  It even mentions things like not to worry if I hear an irregular heartbeat for the baby in the next few weeks because this is common in a developing heart.  Last week, as I was complaining to my husband about my sacrum pain, Eva reminded me that this pain was to be expected and the best solution was to stretch and participate in some moderate exercise.  She definitely had a I’m-smart-and-you’re-an-amateur tone to her words.  I just raised an eyebrow and turned to look at my husband who was trying very hard without much success to hide his smile and snickers, and then I continued my conversation.

At our last trip to a maternity clothing store, as we were checking out, Eva went over and grabbed one more item.  She was trying to get me to purchase one of the pregnancy pillows that is curved at the top and the bottom.  Again, my app suggested a body pillow would be a good idea.

Eva has now began to try to use my stethoscope to listen to the baby.  She is trying desperately to find his heart beat, or hear him kicking or flailing or anything.  Every once in a while, he will hit the stethoscope causing some noise, which she chooses to interpret as her baby brother being playful.

This morning, she got up, went to the bathroom, then crawled into my bed to snuggle for a bit before getting up.  She scooted close and then placed her hand on my belly.  She used the other hand to begin to poke (mostly gently) my belly.  She volunteered that she was trying to get her brother to kick so she could feel him.  She was successful, too.

Later in the afternoon, she asked me to lift my shift up so she could see my belly.  I reluctantly complied.  She then signaled my husband and both of them looked very eager.  It is usually a bad sign when they are conspiring together.  My husband then pulled out a flashlight and turned it on.  They pressed the flashlight to my belly and asked me to point out the baby’s current location.  They moved the flashlight a little closer and then sure enough, the baby began kicking.  They could see my belly moving, and they both giggled.  Eva had initiated this scheme when she informed my husband that the baby should be able to discern light from darkness at this point.

Eva informed me that I am stretching out my yoga ball when i sit on it.  She hastily added that it was just because the baby is making me so big.  Sigh.  She has said this now several times.  Mostly because she really likes my yoga ball and she is concerned I’m going to make it lopsided.

She has/had strep throat earlier in the week.  She seems to be recovering quite well, thankfully.  Amazing what antibiotics can do for a girl.  As she was feeling so incredibly miserable, she said at one point that she was very glad her brother wasn’t here yet because she would hate to see him so sick.  She is so sweet.  There is just no other way to say it.

To help her keep track of how long it takes for a baby to grow and develop over 40 weeks, we made a construction paper chain back when we still had a little over 200 days to go until due date.  She continues to tear a link off the chain every day to keep track of the days.  When we made the chain, we could stretch it out across two-thirds the length of our apartment.  Now it is about nine feet long.  We have 93 more days until the due date.

The chain at the end of August
The chain at the end of August

I am so thankful that Eva is so happy to have a little brother on the way.  I made sure by saying the words out loud that she knew that by having a baby I wasn’t going to love her any less or any differently.  I have made a conscious effort to make her feel involved in baby-related things, like the gift registry and ultrasound appointments.  She is the one who got to announce to Facebook via photos that we are expecting and later the gender (she reveled in that one because it involved a balloon and a box).  I have made sure to share with her baby kicks as soon as they could be seen and felt.  I show her the videos on the pregnancy app (which has been a blessing and a curse).  She even got to contribute to the pool of names from which we chose his name.  I have said the words to her that babies need a lot of care and attention, and they do not operate on the same schedule as the rest of us.  This was my attempt to prepare her to share her mother and to be more flexible with her schedule.  I will keep saying these words to her, too.  Now I just pray that I have done everything I can to prepare her for the shift a little brother will bring to her life.

My Mother, My Nurse

I remember being so sick multiple times as a child, always with the same ailment.  Streptococcal pharyngitis, or strep throat, was the bane of my existence at those times.  I would get it every three to six months from around age four until I was about ten, if my memory serves me right.  I wonder now if they should have removed my tonsils, or if that would have made any difference at all.  I remember laying on our couch, motionless except for the moments my mother made me drink something or get up to use the bathroom.  I think she used these moments as an assessment tool to see if it was time to go to the ER.  Luckily, we never had to go.  I remember her best friend coming over and trying to comfort me, but it was just too painful to even tell her thank you.  I remember laying in the back seat of our Ford Escort, dressed in layers and covered up, my head on a pillow, as my mom drove my oldest brother four hours away from our home back to college after Christmas break.  I slept quite a bit on that trip, seeing Chicago only in an inverted view through the small window at my head as I lay there miserable, picturing my little antibodies fighting the strep.  I had seen the cartoon depiction of the first time someone was treated for rabies or some such nonsense, and it showed white blood cells as white knights riding to fight the rabies virus.  It stuck in my mind.

My poor mother couldn’t do anything to help me other than take me to the doctor and wait for the antibiotics to kick in.  She was, still is, a very squeamish lady.  Each illness I’m sure tested her and pushed her limits.  Trips to the doctor were comical, now that I look back.  At the time, each trip to see the doctor was a battle of wills.  I had already had my throat swabbed so many times by the time I was five, that by age six I wasn’t having it.  It was so painful, and I did not enjoy being gagged.  The nurses would always try to do it as quick as possible, but the quick method was actually much more painful for me.  I remember arguing with the nurse around age six or seven, telling her to give me the swab and a mirror and I would do it myself.  My mom wasn’t even in the room by this point because as soon as they said strep test she looked like she was going to faint.  The nurse finally compromised with me by letting me hold on to her hand as she did it.  My mother rejoined me and we waited while they checked the swab, tears silently streaming down my face because I was again sick and I was so incredibly miserable.  I never made noise when I cried.  It used to bother my mother so much because she wouldn’t be able to tell I was crying unless she was looking at me.  It’s not like I would tell her I was crying.  What was the point?  I was miserable and she couldn’t fix it.  The test that day came back positive for strep, as it always did when I felt that way.  Off to the pharmacy we would go.  I learned to swallow pills at a fairly young age because I could not stand liquid medication.  It wasn’t about taste for me; it was the texture.  I generally gagged and threw up all the antibiotic on the first try.  Another trial for my mother.  I don’t remember her getting angry with me over this except for once, but that was probably because I was pushing the issue.  I just wasn’t going to take it until I was good and ready.  I didn’t usually draw lines in the sand with my mom.  I loved her, and she was so good to me so I hated to disappoint her.  When I was sick, though, all bets were off.

I remember when I was about nine years old, and we changed doctors for some reason.  My mother took me to a doctor with a name I couldn’t even pronounce for a well visit.  The well visit went just fine, except that I could not understand the man at all.  He would speak to me, asking me a question, and I would look to my mother to translate before answering.  He was obviously frustrated with me by the end of the appointment, but I had never once met anyone with an accent that couldn’t be classified as a Southern drawl.  The next time we went, I was sick.  I informed my mother I had strep again so she had made the appointment and we went.  While we were there, the doctor said a lot of things I didn’t understand followed by two words that couldn’t have been more clear–strep test.  I stopped him mid-stride toward the door by saying his name (with poor pronunciation, I’m sure).  He turned and smiled at me, seemingly pleased that I was taking the direct approach in this visit.  I very calmly informed him that I would not be allowing a strep test to be performed and that he should take my word for it that I had strep.  He looked stunned.  I feel bad for him looking back now.  I’m not sure what I would have done in his shoes, but he stuttered for a moment before calmly bowing his head toward me in acknowledgement and leaving the room.  His nurse returned a moment later with a prescription for antibiotics.  I couldn’t believe my mother wasn’t angry with me for being so rude, but she seemed almost amused by me.  Looking back, I’m sure she was trying her best not to laugh.  She wasn’t any more eager to see them do a strep test than I was to receive a strep test.

All of these thoughts and memories are running through my mind tonight as I sit watch over my Eva.  She is so very sick.  She has a fever that has to be tackled with both acetaminophen and ibuprofen.  She started feeling poorly last night just before bed.  She declared that her throat hurt.  There was no sign of a fever or runny nose, but her throat hurt enough that she asked for some medicine.  Around six this morning, she woke me up by laying her head on my side.  She didn’t even need to speak because I could feel the heat radiating off of her in waves.  I told her to meet me in the kitchen, and off she went as I played turtle-on-its-back trying to get out of bed to follow her.  In case you aren’t familiar with this game, it is a pastime enjoyed by pregnant women everywhere around the six month mark until the end of pregnancy.  Eva paused on the way to the kitchen, finding her dinosaurs had made a mess (you can read about that here in case you are thoroughly confused).  She giggled slightly and then made sure I saw them, too.  We then continued to the kitchen where I took her temperature, which was at a horrible 103 degrees Fahrenheit, and promptly administered ibuprofen.  She returned to snuggle with me in my room, which was fine by me because I wanted to keep an eye on her until her temperature started to come down.  Then when her fever had only slightly reduced to 102.6 by 7:30 am, I gave her some acetaminophen as well.

I hate when Eva is so sick.  She doesn’t get this sick very often, but when she does it just hurts my heart.  My husband feels the same way.  He was ready to stay home from work even though he knew I would be here with her.  He even asked me if he needed to come home early.  He worries about her, too, which makes me love him even more.  Poor Eva laid on the couch all day, only moving when I made her for food or drink or bathroom, reminding me of the times that I felt the same way.  She didn’t eat much, turning down my offer of ice cream even.  She also said next year she would gladly get a flu shot if it meant she never felt this sick again.  This is so huge for her because she takes after my mother–she is terribly squeamish and absolutely petrified of needles in any form.  She squeals every time I check my blood sugar if she happens to be in the room.  We have been able to keep her drinking and keep her peeing and keep all her medicine down to keep the fever controlled, so far (I am rapidly knocking on wood right now, as quietly as possible so I don’t wake her) with only one incident of vomiting.  My fingers are crossed that this continues throughout the night.

Being the mom instead of the patient is quite different, for sure.  But, being the mom to my little patient has sure made me so much more appreciative of my mom.  She might have been squeamish, but she did the best she could for us.  She loved us and it showed in everything she did.  She was a stay at home mom, despite being a very capable and highly valued employee.  I remember thinking with pride that my mom was good at her job, but she chose to stay with me instead.  It wasn’t just me, it was my brothers, too, but we all know how self-centric the world seems at a young age.  I’m so grateful to my dad for working so hard, so much to give me my mom all the time.  It wasn’t easy for them, that is for sure.  I remember several different periods of time in which we didn’t have a car except for the one my father used for work.  I remember lean Christmases that probably made my mother cry, not that I would have ever seen it.  I remember, too, that we never missed a meal.  There might have been days or weeks or months that they worried about making a house payment or keeping the electric on, but I never would have known it by the way my mother acted.  I wonder now how often my mother felt panic, not just about bills, but about all kinds of things, like when I was sick.  She never let on, but I’m sure she panicked every once in a while when I was so so sick.

Earlier, after Eva had vomited, her fever seemed to take on a life of its own.  It was obviously increasing.  Her skin was mottled with angry red areas that looked closer to a sunburn than anything else.  I knew I had to get some fluid in her quickly to get her fever down or else we would be on our way to the hospital.  She hasn’t drank a lot today, so she didn’t have much to spare.  All the liquid left that wasn’t accounted for had come back up when she threw up.  So, with a lot of urging, I got her to drink quite a bit of water.  She wasn’t the most willing patient ever, but she did it anyway.  After five minutes, her temperature had not dropped.  At the seven minute mark, it was still sitting around 103, but my mother’s touch knew it was higher than that.  I knew we were approaching the 104 mark.  I felt a bubble of panic start to well its way up as I continued to encourage her to drink, waiting for her temperature to start to decrease.

Just as I was about to call to my husband who was in the other room dealing with household chores I had ignored in favor of watching my patient closely, she began to itch.  With the itching came an even more brilliant flush to her skin on her cheeks, neck, stomach and back.  The panic then really and truly forced its way to the surface.  I leaned over to touch her forehead as I opened my mouth to call to my husband.  Before any sound filled my throat, though, I realized she actually felt cooler.  Dare I say, she even felt a bit sweaty!  I’m withholding my glee for now and replacing it with a wait and see attitude.  Her little body appears to be adjusting its inflammatory response appropriately at the moment.  All my prayers are up that it continues to do so.

My precious Eva is snoring away on the couch right now as I type this.  Any variation in her breathing has me pausing to stare intently at her until her breathing returns to the natural rhythm of a sleeping child.  I look at her, and I wonder about my mother who was my nurse for so many years.  Did she know how miserable I was every time I had strep?  I didn’t complain about it.  I didn’t whine.  At most, I would lay there silently crying when I thought no one was looking.  Did she know?  How did she manage to give me my space and allow me to deal with my illness in my own way?  Did it bother her I didn’t reach out to her when I was sick?  I guess I will have to ask her one of these days.  How will I ever live up to the standard that she set for me as a mom?  She had her flaws, for sure, as we all do.  But she really did show us that she loved us in everything she did, even when she had to discipline us.  I hope I can be as amazing.  She carries on with her amazing-ness as a grandma even.

This evening, my mother stopped by with new markers and a coloring poster for Eva to work on as she convalesces.  I had told my mother this morning about Eva’s illness, knowing she would be very sympathetic to “the girl”, as my parents call her.  I used to be “the girl”,  That had been my official title for most of my life.  It is only fitting that this title was passed along to Eva shortly after she was born.  Now, my parents call me mom.  My mom also dropped off a card for me.  I didn’t open it until she left, and I’m glad because it brought tears to my eyes.  The card said that she is grateful that I share my life and my family with her and my father and that she can’t wait to meet my son once he is born and watch him grow.  She said that looking at the woman and mother I have become makes her realize that all the dreams she had for me as a child are real and living in me right now.  She said she was proud of me.  Now, how do I tell her I am proud of her, too?  She gave me every tool I needed to be a great mom.  Anything I am is because of her.  I hope now that someday Eva can say the same.

It’s time to check her temperature again.  Fingers crossed she sleeps right through.

Christmas Tradition

As anyone who is a regular reader here has probably already figured out, we are a little outside of the range of normal is many aspects.  By we, I mean us, my family and myself.  We spend most of our holidays traveling from one grandparents’ house to the next, or at least we have up to this point in our lives as a family.  I think next year we might be starting new traditions that include a lot of staying home and inviting grandparents to come to us.  While this is the holiday tradition (all the traveling back and forth) that is pretty typical for most U.S. families, we have another tradition I would like to share.  We don’t have an elf on a shelf; we have dinosaurs causing trouble.

Every year, beginning sometime in December, my daughter Eva’s plastic dinosaurs come to life.  They have a mind of their own, and they are always causing trouble.  She wakes up on random days in December to find that her dinosaurs were up to no good while we slept the night away.  Last year, I distinctly remember the dinosaurs got in our fridge and pulled out some veggies and some lunch meat.  They made a mess with the food!  Luckily, they remembered to shut the fridge at least.  A few days after that, Eva woke up to find that they had been taking a bubble bath in the bathroom sink.  There was water and bubbles everywhere, and one dinosaur was wrapped in toilet paper.  Another was suspended by the toilet paper, while yet another had obviously thoroughly enjoyed himself while shredding a few squares of the TP.  Their mischief continued throughout the month, the pinnacle of their mischief occurring on Christmas eve.  Eva woke up to find that the dinosaurs had partially opened one of her Christmas presents, and that her T-rex had tried eating some of the tree ornaments.

This year, the mischief has just begun.  I just happened to notice some mischief had occurred as I was getting ready for bed.  In Eva’s play room, I found quite a mess.

The dinosaurs had taken over her grocery store
The dinosaurs had taken over her grocery store.
Her alligator looks like he bit off more than he can chew.
Her alligator looks like he bit off more than he can chew.
Each dinosaur appears disappointed with the food this year.
Each dinosaur appears disappointed with the food this year.
T-Rex is either trying to climb (unsuccessfully) or he is trying to tear things apart.  I'm just glad he isn't taking his frustration out on his herbivore friends.
T-Rex is either trying to climb (unsuccessfully) or he is trying to tear things apart. I’m just glad he isn’t taking his frustration out on his herbivore friends.
This little flyer right here seems to be the key to the plan for tonight.  He flew up to the top and secured a rope for the others to climb to reach the food.  Obviously someone has managed to knock a lot of the food out of the bins for everyone to eat.
This little flyer right here seems to be the key to the plan for tonight. He flew up to the top and secured a rope for the others to climb to reach the food. Obviously someone has managed to knock a lot of the food out of the bins for everyone to eat.
It is possible that this little gal right here is the mastermind, except she appears to be stuck in the rope while trying to liberate that carrot.
It is possible that this little gal right here is the mastermind, except she appears to be stuck in the rope while trying to liberate that carrot.

I’m sure Eva will give them a stern talking-to when she wakes up in the morning, as is tradition.  She gets very frustrated with their inability to clean up after themselves!

As much as I would love to say I’m this creative to have thought of this on my own, I’m not.  I originally read a blog about another set of parents with some very naughty dinosaurs.  You can read that blog here.  My favorite picture of Refe’s (the author of the post I just linked) is the picture of the dinosaurs taking a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle hostage and making him sweat.