Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bait and switch

I know, last time I promised I would post something funny, or crafty or give updated pictures. Sorry!

I'm just gonna catch you all up on the latest.

God's been providing in amazing ways for us financially (and otherwise) during my husband's surgery recovery. Tom's back to work now, and I'm struggling to curb my reaction to buy everything I couldn't buy on the "No discretionary spending, period." Budget. You know the one, where if it costs money, you can't have it, even if it's almost, nearly free? or name-brand and 95% off? Not even if it's an emergency? (define emergency? can you LIVE without it? Yes? Not an emergency.) Yeah, that one. Keeping myself from wild spending is especially difficult considering I have 7 weeks to my due date, and maternity leave that may or may not end. If it does end, it will merely be to get us onto the "so little discretionary income that you might as well not do any discretionary spending." Budget. (under which, you can get the emergency items, like when Eve doesn't have any pants that fit, or when I run out of prenatal vitamins. Or when I really, really need ice cream--but hopefully after the baby arrives, I'll stop having those kind of cravings) The baby still needs a bed, and my wists, bookmarks, and Amazon wish list are filled with items for Peanut, Eve, and myself that seem like rather reasonable wants, if not outright needs. I'd also love to upgrade our Netflix from 2 a month to 1-at-a-time unlimited, oh! The luxury. And what I wouldn't give for a cute, comfortable pair of black boot-cut yoga pants for postpartum lounging, instead of the oh-so-lovely sweats I'm sure I'll be in.

I'm not sure I was genetically designed for frugal living, but I've been doing it now to one degree or another since my first pregnancy. And actually, I find myself no less happy (if not more so) than when I could go shopping for myself(!!!) at the drop of a hat. I'll even go so far as to say I've noticed no real increase in unfulfilled purchasing desires--my unfulfilled purchasing desires have changed drastically, so much of what was on the list 4 years ago wouldn't even make my "large amounts of discretionary income" Budget these days. Because, really, who has time or energy to go shoe shopping at Nordstrom every few months? Shopping for myself has become torture, so I just don't want to do it.

Speaking of shoe shopping, I bought new shoes! I really wanted a fun red pair that would "spice up" my boring maternity wardrobe and make me feel a little more cheerful when I'm still wearing this stuff at too-many-weeks postpartum. I ended up with a nice light-ish brown pair of fashion sneakers. They didn't have the pink and brown ones in my size, and I couldn't just not buy anything, since I was using a gift certificate, and Tom had come along to keep Eve happy. It would have been a terrible slap in his face for me to go home empty handed after he worked so hard to keep Eve out of my way for the forever it took me to find something even reasonably cute and comfy.

And speaking of Tom, after his knee surgeon released him for work, the surgeon's assistant who's been working with Tom on his hip and back (diagnosing if there's an indication for surgery or not) told him he needs another MRI on his hip with likely surgery there as well, if they find what they think they will on the MRI. I just hope that he's either fully recovered from this second surgery by the time I go into labor, or he doesn't have surgery until a few weeks after the baby arrives. All the more reason, I suppose, for me to save instead of spend. This working stint of Tom's may be short-lived. Just imagine the cool stuff God will have to do to continue to provide for us if both Tom and I are off work at the same time! Exciting times, I tell you.

Eve. She's swung a bit from the bratty and clingy to the sweet and sassy. She's frequently told me that she loves me, with no prompting and without my having it said it first. That just melts my heart. That, coupled with spontaneous hugs and kisses, and how can I complain about a few instances of defiance or tantrums when my little girl loves me? I can't. And, having only spent a few days trying to puzzle things out, I have discovered that Eve is much more likely to be grumpy, clingy and disobedient when tired (duh) or hungry (hmmm). One would think that an hour after breakfast, there would be no immediate, emergent need for sustenance, but when one recalls that someone has only consumed the thin layer of cream cheese from the top of half a bagel, complimented by two small bites of said bagel, it becomes a bit more clear that a snack is required.

Eve Got to take a small zip-lock bag filled with raisins, Cheerios, and Honey Bee Grahams in the car on the way to church this past Sunday, and then into Nursery with her, and reportedly (since I gave Tom the ultimatum that if he could descend and climb the stairs at home, he could descend and climb the nursery stairs at church just as well, and that, as such, I would no longer take Eve to nursery. Ever.) she went easily and without complaint. And several times over the weekend, food solved whatever ills were causing her to whine and cling desperately. I've decided that's one important key to keeping her compliant and cheerful, or at least making those behaviors somewhat more likely.

Potty training is basically dead with us. She hasn't willingly gone except right before bedtime to prolong her right to remain out of bed for as long as possible. We have, though, wasted several hours waiting for her to go when Tom is sure she will go as soon as we put a diaper back on her. This usually follows us hearing Eve shut her bedroom door, only to check on her and find her hiding at the far end of her bunk bed and yelling at us to go out--a sure sign she's about to fill her diaper with an odiferous surprise. It's just as well, as the imminent arrival of Peanut will no doubt reverse any progress we make in the next 7 weeks.

Sleeping is going fairly well. For Eve that is. I won't even start on how torturous both Tom and I are finding night time these days (I, due to Peanut, and he due to the re-institution of Vicodin as a night-cap, since working is much more painful for Tom than simply watching Eve during the day). Eve sleeps until 5 or 6 in the morning very consistently these days (and sometimes much later), and joins us in our bed until 7 or 8, depending on the day. She is also going to sleep more easily and quickly. This may be due to the horrid make-shift light-blocking sheets and table clothes we've hung up (I will take a picture, but it may be years before I upload it), or it may be due to the fact that we've been putting her to bed later because of social obligations or mere absentmindedness (on my part). Or it may be a combo. I definitely credit her sleeping in the morning to the light-blocking, but since the days continue to grow longer, and it's light until 10 or so each night now, her room is still fairly bright at bedtime (8:00 PM if we get it done on time). My spending impulse is rearing its ugly head every time I look at what I've done to those windows. Oh for the ease and appearance of some actual curtains.

Despite the improvement in discipline, and my commitment not to go hog-wild with my husband's bigger paychecks (which admittedly haven't yet started rolling in) I did take the opportunity today to buy a few discipline books off Amazon when I made my required prenatal vitamin purchase. Combining shipping, you know. If any of you have read Grace-Based Parenting or Heartfelt Discipline please let me know what you think of them. I should be getting them in the mail just in time to read a few chapters before Peanut arrives. ;)

Ooh, and speaking of reading, from the library (which is stocked in a rather friendly manner toward natural childbirth, at least when compared to Christian parenting) I've been enjoying Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and Creating your Birth Plan. Both are very informative, although I'm definitely getting more out of the Birth Plan book at the moment, as I'm still in the mother-written birth stories section of Ina May's book. I don't mind the birth stories, but I am rather particular about writing style, and have never enjoyed birth stories more than those written by Peggy Vincent in Baby Catcher. If you are at all interested in birth stories, or natural birth, I highly recommend this book.

So there you go, all caught up.

Oh! I almost forgot. My latest online addiction (must get in as much as I can before I'm tied to a chair and a breastfeeding baby for hours and hours and... hours and....) is Sk*rt! a new Digg-esque social news site for women. I find endless ways to distract and entertain myself, and I've added at least a dozen new and interesting blogs to my Bloglines account, so if there's ever a slow news day on sk*rt, I can catch up on my ever-increasing RSS feeds. Anyway, this post is being submitted there in a late attempt to enter a contest their running with fun prizes that would be perfect for Peanut and I (and that just might reduce my list of unfulfilled purchasing desires to boot!) so if you're reading this, please go join sk*rt (if you haven't already) and vote for my link!