April Fools!

Or as we like to call it, Natalie's Birthday! My baby is 4. This may require that I spend tomorrow in bed with a carton of ice cream reminiscing over her baby pictures and trying to figure out how to actually slow down the passing of time.

I remember very clearly 4 years ago today, when I had called the hospital to be induced and the nurses said "no thank you, maybe later." Which made me wonder what they'd do with me if I just went into labor. So I rehashed with my doctor, and he pretty much said don't ask tomorrow, just go, if you're sure you want to have the baby on April Fool's Day.

Do not leave it up to the enormously pregnant woman to choose the birthday. It falls in the IDon'tCareJustGetItOut category. When should the baby be born, Really Pregnant Lady? ASAP, thank you. April 1 was a Friday, it was that or wait til Monday. So because I wanted her out, she will now live the rest of her life the butt of April Fool's jokes. Love you, Nattie. Mommy was not in the right frame of mind.

Scheduling induction with my doctor was a little like scheduling getting tires changed. Let's just pick a day we're both free near the due date, April 9. Did I need to be induced that early? Probably not. I was uncomfortable -- sure -- what outrageously pregnant woman isn't? Honestly, I fought for early induction because I was absolutely petrified of going into labor and all it involves.

Oh, and my feet were swollen. Or something. And I have a vague memory of Natalie settling in on my sciatic nerve. But it's faded with time. Which is, I think, how God gets us to have more babies. Selective memory.

But thank you, sweet Jesus, that my doctor was for random inducing because little Natalie was 8 lbs. 2 oz. Another week and she would have broken me.

So I went in for inducing, I got the same room I'd had with Ella and the same nurse. I remember meeting her when I had Ella. I almost died. She's a sweet tiny YOUNG little Barbie Doll. She had no business helping me with what was about to happen and all that...stuff... But to my surprise she was Super Nurse. So very awesome. Almost worth having another baby. Don't tell Captain America.

Anyway, pitocin around 7:30 or 8 a.m., Natalie born around 12:30 p.m. Short & sweet. Then Super Nurse said they needed to move me to a C-section recovery room so somebody else could have a baby. And so Natalie and I hung out mostly by ourselves for the next couple days watching the Catholics get a new Pope. The nurses were busy with all the other mommies traipsing through, and Ella was only a month out from an overnight in the hospital for dehydration from the flu. She had NO DESIRE to set foot in the hospital. We didn't want her to feel abandoned, so Captain America stayed home with her, what with her not even being 2 and all. And Natalie and I watched for the smoke signal while I ate peanut butter toast to my heart's content.

Keeping it real, Natalie was not scheduled in for less than 2 years after Ella was born. And for TMI, it was sort of surprising what with all the fertility drugs required for Ella. But our schedule sucked. God's schedule was good. Really good. She is a treasure and a delight and oozes sweetness and a little trouble to keep us honest.

And I will spend the rest of my days apologizing to her for her April Fool's Birthday in addition to being named after a dead tormented actress and a baseball player.


Lakeshore Property, and The Economy Lives!

I live 2 blocks from a rather large lake. After a massive snow melt (although we've still got some patches even after nearly a week of temps above 32), and a week of forecasted rain perhaps I will live closer to the lake. In the meantime, I have to stay close to the sump pump today. It's running hourly.

Totally brings me back to when the cat used to shove stuff in the sump hole in the basement, and one particularly rainy week our pump died because ribbon had gotten wrapped into the motor. And I mopped up a whole lotta water with a week-old baby upstairs while my dad bought the last pump in town and got it in. Thanks, cat. Good times.

In other news, I declare the economy to be alive and well. I know this because I went to Ikea and the Mall of America on Saturday. At Ikea there were nearly 400 people in line to check out. Sincerely. Almost 20 registers open, and at least 20 people per line. Insanity. Glad we didn't promise the girls the tiny stuffed animals they liked because I would not have stood in line for an hour for them. Many tears would have been shed. People were abandoning full carts left and right.

Then we went over to the Mall of America with the munchkins. We'd had a later breakfast (Mom! The hotel has Lucky Charms! And doughnuts!), so we figured a later lunch would work. First we swung past Rainforest Café because it's the girls' favorite. Luckily we were able to get a photo op with Cha Cha the Frog, because at 12:45 or so we were told the earliest the 4 of us could eat would be 2:08. Next... We headed up to the top level for restaurants and settled on Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. with their 30 minute wait. I'll take it.

Delicious tilapia and shrimp on jasmine rice later, and we wandered through the masses. Everyone was holding numerous large shopping bags. We managed to make it out without a single purchase other than lunch. Because nothing was worth waiting in the lines to check out (that and I gave up spending on myself for lent - it took great restraint to just walk by Sephora). What luck! Saturday's characters at Nick Whatever (Camp Snoopy in my heart forever) were Dora & Diego. There was a 5 minute or less line for a photo op.

After that insanity we started to head home. Stopped at Cold Stone Creamery, but again, a very long wait. So we headed to the trusty DQ where Ella polished off a chocolate sundae in a heartbeat. And then, because we're apparently new, we expected them to crash (or at least sit somewhat calmly) for a 2 hour ride home. Have we not read the manual?

And now it is spring break. So I have two cranky children. Tired. But Ella is already reminiscing about our trip. "Mom? Remember the hotel had Lucky Charms? AND doughnuts? And remember we ate at Applebee's? I want to do it all over again!"

Lastly, thank you, Jesus, for the Wii. We WILL survive spring break.



And now I've jinxed it. But for today at least, it is Spring. Even in Minnesota. It is 51 degrees right now. Last Thursday when I took the girls to school it was -17. Welcome to Minnesota.

Captain America brought to my attention that some Southern Friends think that when you say "-17" you mean "17 degrees below freezing." I just want to make sure y'all understand (see how I'm trying to make you feel at home? Y'all?). When we say "-17" it means "negative 17 degrees." As in, below ZERO. Just as it was on March 12. That's Freeze Your Face Off cold, people.

In other news, it was an exciting weekend for me. It'll be boring to you, but I'm going to tell you anyway.

Saturday Ella and I ran some errands in Slightly Bigger Eastern Lake Wobegon while Natalie took a nap at home and Captain America worked on fantasy baseball. We dropped some things off at a thrift store. We drove around a little. Then we had ice cream at Dairy Queen. "MmmmmmmmMMMMM...Deeelishush!!" Then we went to a different SuperWal. We came home and I gave the girls baths after popping in a pan of enchiladas I made a couple weeks ago and had frozen. I felt like SuperMom.

Sunday I got up prior to the crack of the new daylight savings dawn. Had to be at church at 7:30. I got to go to Caribou inbetween practice & the contemporary services with some other music team peeps. I ate a youth-made cinnamon roll (or I inhaled it. I can keep it real.). When I was done around noon I headed home, ate a quick lunch (and, yes, another cinnamon roll. back off.). Then I loaded up the girls to take in the high school's Wizard of Oz while Captain America had the fantasy baseball draft he'd been preparing for lo these many days.

Which totally brought me back to my drama dept. days. Only I don't recall SELLING OUT THE SHOW. The girls and I were the last 3 in, and I'd venture they sent 25 or so home. Glad we made it in because the girls had started crying when I told them I didn't think we'd make it. Did I mention we were 20 minutes early? It's not like I got there at the last minute for once.

Anyhoo. I was so impressed. The kids did a great job (and made me feel old thinking of them as "kids"). And Toto? Really Dorothy's dog. Looked like Toto from the movie. The dog was like a well-trained movie dog. Even Natalie, who loses interest after an hour of a movie (even in the theater) was riveted the entire time. All 2 1/2 hrs of it. Luckily Ella had been to see it with her class on Thursday, so she knew when it was going to get loud and would tell Natalie to cover her ears.

After the movie I pushed my luck and we went to Target and McDonald's. But they were really pretty good the entire time.

Which kind of makes me want to take them on a vacation...


* sniff * {COUGH, COUGH} hack WHEEZE

I've got a horrible Spring cold. HA! That implies it might be Spring. Instead, we got another blizzard today. I'm not even exaggerating, weather.com says it's a blizzard. Underneath this new dump of snow is a nice layer of ice. Our ice melting salt is gone. Stores aren't selling it anymore. Because it's MARCH. Thank you, Minnesota.

Natalie went to preschool for a couple hours today, then they called and said when it started to snow could we please pick up our child? Sure enough, she had to be picked up about an hour early. Ella's school only went til 11:25, but it didn't matter. She was home "sick" today. She has caught my cold and was up all night coughing. Which means I was up all night with her. While Captain America and Natalie blissfully slept through it all. So I let her sleep this morning, and she looked tough for the first couple hours after she finally got up. But by afternoon she was tearing all over the house again. Occasionally stopping to cough up a lung.

This cold has beaten me down. The cough has been awful. Hack, hack, HACK, choking, CAN'T BREATHE!, hack, hack. I slept on the couch most of last week because it was the only way I could get propped up enough to sleep. So tired. From coughing? From not sleeping? Just from the cold itself? Went to the doctor Friday and she declared it a really bad cold, but not yet bronchitis. It's improved a bit since then so I've avoided antibiotics.

Captain America injured his elbow this weekend rough housing with Ella. So the shoveling was up to me today. March snow is much heavier than December's.

I'm thinking perhaps a couple of Tylenol PM and an early bedtime are in order.


Oh, March. Don't do me wrong.

It's March. Not that you'd know it looking around Minnesnowta.

Natalie needs a nap. But here's how that's going today.

"Mama? I need a warmer blanket."

"Mama? I'm too warm, I need shawts."

"Maaaaahhhm? Am I done yet?"
Me: Nope.

So I go in.
"Mama? Did you know that leprechauns hide gold from people? And if you catch one, you get to keep their gold! And Mama. Guess. What. Their favorite color. Is green."
Me: Ok, honey, go to sleep.

"Am I done yet?"
Me: Nope.

"Maaaaaahhm... I need you to come in here..."
Me: What's up?
"Mama, do you want me to tell you more about leprechauns?"
Me: Nope. After naptime.
"But Mama, I'm not tired."
Me: I know. Go to sleep.

Etc, etc.

Friday after the Big Snow and the Big Bus Scare, I got the most wonderful box in the mail. It was from Jessica over at Bits & Pieces. I'm lucky enough to know her in real life too. She sent me a Box of Sunshine.

How cute is this? That just made my week. A little note on Sunshine paper. And all those sunshiny yellow goodies. Wrapped in yellow tissue paper. Just because it's been so snowy & gloomy. I emailed Captain America and told him I'd be back the next day, because I needed to drive the 4 hours one way to go give that girl a hug. In real life I didn't go, but I did think about it. And if she lived 4 hours south of me instead of slightly north, you would have had to physically restrain me. Anyway, Jessica, you are a treasure -- here on the internet, and in real life too. Thank you!