Welcome to our blog for keeping family and friends up to date on the latest Clemmer-family news, and all the ramblings of a stay-at-home mom trying to stay sane among all the craziness!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Beginning to baby-proof

With the days flying by, I've started to realize that the bulk of my 9-month wait is nearing an end. Although I'm not yet worried that we don't have a nursery set up (we plan to use a co-sleeper in our room for the first few months), I have begun to realize that we've done nothing to baby-proof our house, or our stuff. Granted, it will be many months before our baby is crawling into places that need attention, but having my 3-year-old nephew over more and more often really shows me how much we haven't thought of.

Okay, so we've got some of the basics down - I mean, who hasn't heard of the outlet covers or cabinet locks? But, no one told us when we bought new furniture that we may want to consider how sharp the edges of our coffee table was, or how fragile the decorative edging on our sofa table would be beneath a toddler's fingers. Oh, and honey, you know that "universal remote?" Now would be a good time to start programming it so we don't have multiple remotes laying out. I've found that nothing calls a 3-year-old's name like a remote (or anything with buttons for that matter! )

So far, our to-do list keeps growing. I have to make a cover for our death-trap of a coffee table and clean the table edge guard I got at a baby consignment shop and pray it fits our table. We have to buy enough baby gate to surround our TV and media center to keep busy fingers at bay. And let's not even get started on the mess we have to clean up and get out of the way! Right now it works when we have company to simply close the door to certain rooms, and I suppose that until we have a walking, door-opening child we can continue that tradition... but something tells me that won't work forever.

One thing we learned real quick with a new puppy years ago was that if it’s laying out, it’s fair game. Since she’s now almost 7 years old, she’s gotten better about knowing what’s hers and what’s not, but maybe we’ll have to go back to that rule – if we leave it laying out, we can’t complain if something happens to it.

No, the real fun part will begin when we start the battle of, "No, you don't touch that. That's mommy's stuff." Or, in our case it will most likely be "daddy's stuff." There's just something about computer parts, all those wires and cords and buttons that really say "play with me!" Of course I'm sure that craft supplies - like markers, stamp pads, glitter, glue and yarn - will all be temptations as well. I really don't want to keep our craft and computer rooms on lockdown, but short of installing an alarm system to let us know when our kids are getting into our stuff, what can we do? I know that in theory, if you teach your children respect and they learn to really obey you, this shouldn't be a problem, but come on, I'm trying to be realistic. There are going to be times, especially in the early years, when it just doesn’t work the way you think it should.

I plan to get some Rubbermaid stackable drawers from Wal-mart for my craft room. I know that will help me personally with organization, but just how child-proof they are has yet to be seen. My husband is on his own when it comes to protecting his stuff. I try to mess with the computer "stuff" as little as possible. As for my craft supplies, I wonder if they sell Rubbermaid with locks...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Literal translation!

Kids amaze me. They also crack me up. They are so literal in what they understand and know. My mom had bought a container full of matchbox cars for my nephew at a yard sale, and when he was showing them to us we were going through and exclaiming, "oh look, a school bus," or "oh, here's an airplane!"

My husband picked up a Voltswagon Beetle and showed it to me and said, "look, a bug!"

My nephew gave him a look and said, "No, Car!"

Silly uncle Brian - can't tell an insect from a car!

Childlike understanding

My nephew ,who's almost 3, has reached the stage where he's really talking (even though we can't always understand him), and he's constantly asking questions. Usually they're the typical "why?" or "what you doin'?" over and over again. Last night when he was up to visit, someone told me "you'll have to get used to that!" and it made me a little sad to realize that as adults, we quickly get frustrated with the endless questions and don't want to bother to take the time to answer (again and again).

I just read something recently about children and how they're born with innate curiosity - that they learn continually because they're so fascinated with the world around them. However, that curiosity doesn't seem to last and kids quickly go from asking questions to hating school, making learning a chore and reading something that many kids dread. I wonder how much of that has to do with our role in fostering their interest. When we, frustrated and exhausted with the "why's" and "how's," turn to them and say "I've told you already!" or "just because!" instead of taking a deep breath and responding with a real answer, I wonder how quickly that helps children learn to shut off their inquisitive nature.

So, while right now I can seem to answer the unending questions of my nephew, I hope I remember when my own starts in on me with "why, why, why," that I can take the time to really listen and hear not just an annoying question, but an opportunity to open a world of learning for my son. As parents, we have the chance to influence the type of people our kids grow up to be, and I would much rather create a child who takes a hold of their own education and learns to love learning!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Old magazines DO come in handy!

Years ago I started subscribing to Health Magazine. I never stopped to think about it, but every so often I would receive a renewal notice in the mail. Since I enjoyed the magazine, I would fill it out and send it in. Before I knew it, Brian pointed out to me that I had pre-paid for a subscription that would last me until 2007! Well, I haven't made that mistake again, and although I enjoy the magazine, with baby Seth on the way, it makes more sense to let the subscription run out and pick up a new magazine like Parenting or MomSense. Not to mention that I hardly have time to read them anyway!

Speaking of not having time... since my old Health magazines have been piling up, I've been trying to go through them and get rid of them when I'm done. If there's an article I like, I'll tear it out to keep but toss the magazine in full. Big space saver. Haven't quite figured out how to neatly store the torn out articles though, but that's another issue entirely!

When I was going through an old July/August 2005 issue (I know, I'm a little behind), I found a little blurb that made me think "Hallelujah!" Here is what it said:

Note to doc: Pain-relief, please, and step on it
Women giving birth sometimes hold off on asking for an epidual because of warnings that the pain-relieving procedure may prolong labor or make a C-section more likely. But that isn't true. According to a new North-western University study of 750 women, patients who get epidurals at the first request for a pain relief actually seem to have shorter labors (by roughly 80 minutes) than those who get morphine-like painkillers - the usual remedy to tide women over until an epidural. In other words, unless a natural birth is important to you, there's no need to grimace and bear it.

Now, as much as I admire those who can do it without an epidural, I'm not brave enough to see if I can make it without. The way I see it, God gave us the smarts to think up this wonderful medicine, and as long as there's no bad side effects or horrible risks, I'm afraid I'm still rooting for the epidural. Now you watch, since I've said that, the anesthesiologist will be busy and won't be able to get to me until it's too late...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A name for baby at last!

Finally, Baby Clemmer can stop being called "to-be" or "it" or just "baby!" We've finally decided on a first name. (Don't ask about a middle name - we're doing good to have part of the name done already - lucky for us the last name was a no-brainer!)

So, get ready to welcome baby Seth Clemmer! I know, a lot of you are probably wondering why? or something like that. Well, other than the fact that we liked the name, there were a few reasons we decided on this one.

First, it's a biblical name. Seth was Adam and Eve's third son. Genesis 5:3 says, "When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth." This was something that really struck us because if you remember your creation history, Adam was created in God's image. (Genesis 1:26 says, "Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness..." and again in 1:27, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him;...") Which means that Seth, made in Adam's image, was also made in God's image. This isn't said about any of his other sons.

Not that we're trying to be conceited and say that our baby was specifically created by God to be in the image of God, but ultimately, yes, God did create out baby. And ultimately, he did intend for mankind to all be in his image. We just got ourselves a little off track with our sinful nature...

Also, the next thing that really spoke to us about the name Seth is that the name is thought to mean "granted" or "appointed." Genesis 4:25 says "...and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, "God has granted me another child in place of Abel..." For Adam and Eve, Seth was a gift from God to replace the son they had lost. Without any intention of sounding depressing, we felt this was especially meaningful to us after having lost our first baby early this year.

So, now you know why we've chosen Seth for the name of our son. Hopefully we'll find something perfect to go with it for a middle name. When we do figure it out, we'll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, we're enjoying learning to call "baby" by his new name!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bargain baby shopping

This past weekend, a girlfriend of mine called to let me know that a consignment baby sale was ending and that Saturday was going to be 50% off and Sunday was going to drop to 75% off. Typically I try not to shop on Sunday, but I really couldn't pass this up!

She knew I had been looking for a co-sleeper - something I'd seen in magazines but not in any stores. You know what that means - expensive! She called Friday to tell me that they had one - in good shape - for $90. That meant that I could go on Saturday and pick it up for $45. That's a deal if I ever heard of one! I met her there on Saturday AM shortly after they opened. I even got Brian out of bed to go with me. We didn't have to look at it long to decide to go ahead and pick it up. I hated to do that, knowing that Sunday it would be an additional 25% off, but we didn't want to risk it not being there.

There were a few other items we picked up while we were there, but we mostly looked around and I planned to go back after church on Sunday. They didn't open until 1, so that gave me plenty of time to get there after church. The funny thing was that I have only rarely been anywhere early enough to stand in line, but I stood outside with a growing group of other women for about 20 minutes waiting for them to open the doors!

But it was worth it. In the end, my mom and sister met me there and we really got some great deals. I had seen a baby swing there that was marked at $24 that, even though it wasn't the one I really wanted, at 75% off was like $6, so I picked it up to have for the basement. And, if we don't get the one we register for, we can use this one to make due until we can afford it. I also picked up a glider/rocker with a matching ottoman for $10 - can you believe $10? It's not an awesome one; it needs to be washed pretty seriously, and it's certainly not as nice as the almost $400 set we want that reclines and locks positions and everything, but it's definitely more financially practical. And again, it gives us something to make due until we can get what we really want.

I can't wait until their sale next year - apparently they do this twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. What an awesome way to save money!

Nursery themes

I've had several people ask what theme we're planning for the nursery. I used to think that having a theme was overrated, but I've since decided that maybe it's not so much... Before we knew what we were expecting, I knew I wanted to do butterflies for a little girl or puppies for a little boy, so now we have a good idea of where to start with our puppy dog theme.

However, the thing I keep coming back to is my old childhood favorite, and one my mother-in-law expressed surprise that I hadn't chosen: Winnie-the-Pooh. Growing up, and even now, he was one of my favorites. When I discovered Classic Pooh, that made it all the worse. As much as I enjoy the new "Disney-fied" Pooh, there's just something about the older version that tugs at my heart.

I still want to stick to puppies for the overall theme of the baby's room, but I can't help but sneak a little bit of Winnie-the-Pooh and friends in here and there. So, I guess maybe we'll end up with an hodge-podge baby room after all. Oh well, the rest of our house doesn't really "match," so why start with the baby's room?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

If men got pregnant...

Don't get me wrong - my husband has been very supportive and very sympathetic so far during my pregnancy, but you have to admit that there's only so much a man can understand... maybe that's why lists like this are so funny...

If Men Got Pregnant:

  • Maternity leave would last two years - with full pay
  • There would be a cure for stretch marks.
  • Natural childbirth would become obsolete.*
  • Morning sickness would rank as the nation's #1 health problem.
  • Children would be kept in the hospital until toilet trained.
  • Sons would have to be home from dates by 10 PM.
  • Briefcases would be used as diaper bags.
  • Paternity suits would be a fashion line of clothes.
  • Restaurants would include ice cream and pickles as main entrees.

*I have to say, I used to be terrified of going into labor. For years, even when I was very young, I would get nauseous just thinking about the process of having a baby. However, with many, many thanks to my sister, after being able to be present when she had her first son, I'm happy to say that I'm now more excited than anything about having a baby. (Although I'm still all for the epidural...)

Blog change

Yes, I know it's probably not the best thing in the world to go changing your blog, or at least the way it looks, but I did feel a little guilty having a pink blog to keep family and friends updated on the coming baby - when that baby is a boy. So, after a little feet-dragging, I did decide to change it to something a little more appropriate, and now when baby Clemmer is older, he won't be totally embarrassed that a blog about him was a "girly" color! (I'm sure as a mother I'll find plenty of other ways to embarrass him!)

So, sorry if the color change threw you - but yes, it's still us. I don't think anything else about the setup changed, although I did lose all my blog sites and I had to update those... so check out some of the other blogs I visit - you won't be disappointed!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Battling breast rejection in public

(With apologies to my sister)
I have several girlfriends, as well as my sister, who have chosen to breastfeed their babies. Although most of them make is look so easy it's second nature, granted one of them has 4 children, I wonder just how easy it really will be... My sister breastfed her first for a month or two, and now that she's just had her second (a July 4th baby), she's decided to breastfeed him as well.

He's now a little over 4 months old and is still breastfed exclusively. From what I understand, he is the typical hungry boy at home, but when we go out it becomes a different story. For whatever the reason, he gets over-excited and won't nurse properly. I guess maybe it's just the temperament of the baby, the same way one of my girlfriend's babies will sleep anywhere but the other won't go to bed unless she's at home in her own bed. However, I was pleased to find that it's not an unusual occurrence for a baby to be distracted while out of their regular setting.

A post of the breastfeeding 1-2-3 blog poses a question from a woman who has a baby who is uncooperative in public. Angela's response is practical and encouraging - and helps give me a glimpse of what I might have in store. As much as I want encouragement that everything is going to go smoothly and I'm going to be an awesome parent, it's nice to have realistic reminders every now and then... And in the meantime, maybe my sister can try out some of her suggestions and let me know if anything helps!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Family weekend

Just got back from a weekend in NC with relatives and boy am I exhausted! It's always fun to go see family, to have a weekend away, and to go out to eat and shopping, but I didn't realize how tiring it was. I guess the fact that I'm carrying around a little more weight than usual and that fatigue comes with pregnancy anyway doesn't help!

Brian and I left Friday around 4 PM to drive about 3.5 hours down to NC to stay the weekend with his dad and to visit with his family but hit bad traffic just outside of Charlotte, so we were delayed in getting there. It turned out okay since we were able just to meet them at the restaurant, On the Border - yum! - and we were able to eat pretty quickly. (Sure wish we had one of those restaurants here!)

Saturday AM I got up and went shopping - I had no idea that walking the stores would tire me out so easily. I'm usually the girl that puts the meaning in "shop till you drop" but on Saturday I was ready to call it quits after only 9 stores. Still, we managed to be out almost all day, and I am really grateful for the generosity of my inlaws for the maternity clothes we picked up. Although once again I am reminded that they don't make maternity clothes for short people - what is wrong with these designers? - and I have to have all but a few pairs of pants hemmed. (It's not like I'm that short - I'm average at 5'4" - what is so hard about providing "short" length in pants?) *sorry for the venting*

We also had the chance to have lunch with the whole family, which was nice. It's hard having family spread out all over the place, but we did a really good job of getting everyone together - we had family from NC, VA, and GA all together. I don't think I've seen everyone that was there that Saturday together since, well, I don't remember when. Maybe it was our wedding over 7 years ago?

On Sunday, before we got on the road to go home, we stopped by the home of some old friends that Brian used to play in a band with. It was really neat to see them all again - they were all gathered for family lunch after church. I know 3 years is a long time, but it didn't really hit me how long it really was until we met one of the girl's husbands and their 2-year-old son and we didn't even know she was married! I had met the daughter of one of the other family members, but she was a little bitty thing and now she's 3 1/2. It's amazing how much can happen and change in 3 years!

Fortunately our drive home was uneventful and we got home early, but heaven knows that didn't mean we got in bed at a decent hour! Now I need a weekend to recuperate from my weekend! Calling in sick to work this morning sounded mighty tempting....

B5 Media blog on mothers

Check me out - I'm getting around!
The B5 Media site Inside Motherhood has a special post on work at home moms - and seeing that you've got 9 months (10 really, but we won't get into that) to decide if you're going to stay at home or continue working, I think it's safe to say that many of us probably started out with a job to consider.

This post takes a look at several women's stories on how they deal with the everyday life of being a mom.
Check it out!

Friday, October 13, 2006

10 lessons on having a boy

A girlfriend of mine sent me this email list - and although it's funny, it makes me think uh-oh because behind all jokes of this kind is the person who actually experienced it. Note to self; don't assume these won't ever happen to me!

  1. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house4 inches deep.
  2. If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.
  3. A 3-year old boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
  4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 ft. room.
  5. You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.
  6. The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.
  7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh", it's already too late.
  8. Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.
  9. A six-year old boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old man says they can only do it in the movies.
  10. Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4- year old boy.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Pumpkin Pictures

This is another photo - it was just too cute to not post. For those of you who haven't seen him in a while, hasn't K grown! He's such a big boy now! I find it hard to believe he'll be 3 this November. How the time flies - and it seems be going faster as I get older...

Fun at the Pumpkin Patch

This past Sunday after church we took my mom and my sister and her two boys to a Pumpkin Patch. I was really worried as the day began because it looked really nasty outside. The Friday and Saturday before had been really dreary and had rained off and on. I was really hoping and praying that it would clear up, but Sunday morning didn't look promising.

Fortunately, we were blessed with sunshine as the day went on, and after we had lunch, it was starting to clear up. By the time we got to the pumpkin patch, it was a little chilly, but nothing a jacket couldn't fix! Brian and I had been to the same place a few years earlier - ironically enough it was also dreary weather then also and much of what they had to offer was not open. This time, they had different booths with crafts and food, there was a corn maze, and a petting area with farm animals.

My family had never been before, and I think they were surprised at the size of the pumpkin patch itself. It seemed to stretch on forever! (Not really, but you can see by the picture it wasn't just a small bunch of pumpkins piled up to pick through!)

The walk down the hill wasn't so bad, it was going back up that was tough. At least they had a "hay ride" on a tractor you could take advantage of to get to and from the patch. I'd hate to have had to carry the pumpkins all the way back!

Here is my husband and nephew trying to pick out a pumpkin...

We had a great time - even the baby did well! He ended up with a little pumpkin of his own, and we found a little bitty baby one for the yet-unnamed Clemmer baby! Now we just need to find the time to carve our pumpkin - which is sitting in our kitchen floor as I type... let's just hope that puppy leaves it along long enough for us to decorate!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Fat and Happy!

You know, it's amazing to me that even though the whole experience of pregnancy is that a baby is growing inside you, some people feel the need to point out how big you're getting. As if that wasn't the point! Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about my added weight - I'm rather excited about my expanding waistline - it's a reminder of a little boy that I can't wait to meet!

But still, it's hard to hear someone call you fat - even when you've got the excuse of being pregnant. I can't imagine that they'd feel it was okay to say that to someone who wasn't... it would be considered insensitive. So why is it okay to say it to a pregnant woman who's hormones are crazier than they've ever been? (I saw on a medical show that you create more hormones in the 9 months of pregnancy than you would in living 150 years without being pregnant - that's a pretty good reason to be hormonal if you ask me!)

Even with all the comments, I have to say that only a few have bothered me, and I know that none of them were meant to be hurtful. Although it is hard to forget the world's standard of "beautiful," I'm reminded often through BSF, church, small groups, and friends that man may look at the outside but God looks at the inside.

Check out the blog at For Better or For Worse called "I'm so Beautiful" - I thought this was a wonderful testimony to the innocence of children and also gave me a sense of sadness that our daughters (and sons) lose this to the world over time.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Me at 5 months!

Check me out!

For those of you who aren't close enough to enjoy seeing me get bigger and bigger... Sorry I wasn't more diligent in keeping up with the photo shoots - I honestly meant to get Brian to take pictures of 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, etc... If nothing else, I wanted the photos for the baby scrapbook, but I also wanted to see the differences from month to month. Oh well, hopefully I'll do better keeping up with the second half of pregnancy - and next time we'll catch it from the start.

The girls at work can't seem to get over how I look now. I suppose it is a bit of a difference from my usual look! It's funny, I had a stranger at a yard sale tell me just last weekend that I didn't look like I was 5 months - she thought I was earlier in the pregnancy. Then I have people tell me I look like I'm expecting twins. Go figure!

Unless our sonogram on Wednesday was wrong, or unless one is hiding behind the other in exactly the same position and making exactly the same movements, I think we've ruled out that possiblity!

Is it just me, or does my stomach make my butt look bigger?...

First baby photos

There's just nothing quite adequate to describe the feeling of seeing your baby for the first time - even if it is on a computer monitor! We went for our 20-month check-up on Wednesday, and apart from the reassurance that everything looks good, it was wonderful to finally "meet" our baby!

We did decide to find out what it is going to be, and most family probably knows by now, it is a boy. It's nice to know - now we can start to plan better, and more importantly, we can start trying to think of names! Wish us luck - so far, we have nothing!

As you can see here, it looks like we've got a "thumb-sucker!"

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sick while pregnant!

All I can say about this is YUCK! Even though my doctor has provided a list of medicines that are approved to take while pregnant, I can't help but be a little hesitating to take any of them. And being the worry-wart that I am, I did go without for two days, suffering from just a sore throat. However, when it finally hit me full force on the third day, I was ready to throw in the towel! But, just to be on the safe side, I went to the doctor first.

The reaction I got was a little humorous, although I can understand their position. I felt like they might as well have told me, "we don't want to deal with a pregnant woman! Come back only if you absolutely have to!" Basically, it was probably a viral sinus thing and would run it's course in about a week. In the meantime, they said, my OB-GYN should have given me a list of approved medicine to take for the symptoms.

Ah, I feel so much better having spent $60-$70 for someone to tell me to go by the list I already had! (Although I did get the reassurance that I did not have strep throat. But wait, that's another at least $50...) *Sigh*

So what's my next step? Off to Walgreens! Did you know that they have every possible combination of drugs under the sun except for what's listed on that sheet from the OB-GYN? I can take Tylenol Sinus, but they have Tylenol Cold & Flu, or Sinus Severe Pressure, or Cold & Sinus... It took me forever to pick something - and even then I had to get the pharmacist to tell me if it was the same as what was on my list! I ended up with a Tylenol Sinus Day & Night combo pack and a Sudafed. I figured this way I was covered; if one didn't work, I'd give the other a try.

So, now I'm about 6 days into this cold/sinus/head yuck stuff, and I'm praying that it's over SOON! I'm still trying to get by with taking as little medicine as I can - and I actually slept last night without any. (Yay!) Now if I could just stop grossing everyone at work out with my hacking and coughing...