Different ways to Diaper bag

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Wednesday I’d written a good n’ ugly post full of mom whine about how having a 4 year old son with Autism whose primary means of communication is screaming like a banshee, all day. all. day. Sometimes, all day for consecutive days, and I can’t simply drop him off with a random sitter because hello non-verbal-yet-screaming-Autism and what untrained person is supposed to be able to handle that, and woe is me all day long. Woe, woe, woe. I didn’t post it, which goes against why I blog (to overshare all the mom lyfe things), but I guess I’m like growing up or something because I decided to sit on the post for a day and instead I grammed it with a one liner.

Your responses in solidarity and encouragement were just lovely and what I believe every mom needs to hear/read during really bad days.  I thank you mamas from the bottom of my still-cringing ears and now full mama heart. Today has at least started off much better, and that’s a grand improvement. See, I didn’t need to post a 1500+ word essay for you to get it.  YOU GET IT. I’m saving the ugly post I didn’t publish, I’ll revise it and share it another day– I’m guessing this is what veteran mom bloggers do, oh wise ladies, you.  If we all lived in a commune, I’d suffocate my introvert and have you all over for baked confections and coffees, because at this juncture in parenthood, getting through the day is a sufficient Lenten sacrifice. I’d leave off the sprinkles.

SO! Lesser things! Diaper bags!

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

I’ve had this one for 4 years straight.  Karen’s a fine old gal and truly shows no signs of aging or wear. Really, she’s classic and I should just keep it up with her until she gives out, but:
1. I love this bag and would like to have it as a secondary, hopefully prolonging its life.
2. I just plain want a new one.

Something my mom does for her grandchildren after they turn a year old is gives them each a backpack for Christmas.  When we go out, diapers, wipes and sippy cups go in the backpacks and I carry a spare diaper, extra wipes and then emergency mom stuff in my bag.  The older the boys get, the less I need to haul, and the responsibility of taking what they need goes to them and their backpacks. I’m all about giving away responsibilities. Collin put his sock on by himself today, so now that’s his job. :)

But hey there’s a new baby coming in April and I get to go overboard on bringing plan B outfits, and baggies to hold poopy, puke-y clothing, and burp cloths, and nursing covers, and nursing pads, and extra socks, and an extra shirt for me because baby fluids, and and and and and!

So here I am with my iron fourth child know-it-all mom fist to demand you follow these practical rules when picking out a diaper bag.  Kidding. Actually, I’m having a hard time finding one I like right now, so I’m open for suggestions!  In the mean time, these are my basic guidelines I consider when I’m giving a potential candidate the once over.  Enjoy!  Feel free to add your own tips in the comments :)

How does this bag make you feel?

A lot of times, I feel like I need to get something RIGHTNOW.  Something that’ll do the job.  But if I settle for a bag I don’t really love, I end up hating it, and then I want another, and then I’ve wasted money.  The Karen is only my second diaper bag I’ve ever owned. That’s because when I put it on my shoulder, the angels sang and my eyes sparkled and I felt like a woman and then my brain played a Beyoncé song.  I shopped patiently and waited (and waited) to find something that made me feel like I could carry the bag without children in tow. I’ve found that truly, in mom-dom, the little things matter so much as far as how it makes me feel …or maybe that’s only if you’re a mother of three males.  If I feel like a woman, instead of the cable guy and his utility belt full of dipes, wipes and pacifiers, it goes a long way toward a happier outlook on the motherlife. Yes, I look at a diaper bag as an investment in my well being.  Whether that’s a sad, shallow thing or not, it works for me.

Consider the fabric.

Am I thinking about paying over a hundo, over two hundo –for POLYESTER? non, Je refuse. Rien de rien. Am I paying upwards of $100 for a lovely cotton bag that will be stained forever the moment I bring it home and my newborn promptly vomits on it (cause they will. They always do.)? Always consider the make of the bag.  Is it going to pill and get grimy after it rubs repeatedly on my carrying hip? Can I easily wipe off bodily fluids and spilled coffee splatters?  Or will it soak up moisture and eventually reek of motherhood? What is the maintenance? Can I wash it, can I wipe it?  My first diaper bag was beautiful, yellow, cheery– and made of a sateen blend with a leather trim.  Anything that stained the sateen was only aggravated by me trying to wipe it off.  The material was so soft that it snagged on various obstacles I encounter in the daily mom safari.  A melted mixture of jolly ranchers and chewing gum lured a trail of ants to the deep corners, excessive pockets, and in the end, I felt I had no other option than to wash the entire bag.  Most likely a bad call on my end, but the oils from the leather trim stained the sateen eternally. and awfully. This bag was more high maintenance than I could take care of.  In my humble opinion, I’ve grown to appreciate easily wipeable nylon and a patent leather combo- they both repel water and look great.  My Black Beauty is proof.

Think about closures and hardware.

Ohhh!  OH I LOVE THIS BAG!!! –but wtf is this enormous strip of VELCRO doing there?  Velcro??? Why any diaper bag designer thought that putting an enormous velcro strip on a bag which will be opened and closed and opened and closed repeatedly while in the silence of Mass, or while baby may be sleeping leaves me incredulous, furious, even. I have lamented the beautiful diaper bag enslaved by common velcro.  Stay away from the velcro, you will regret it …unless you don’t.  I like minimal, shiny hardware, if the bag has to have any at all.  It makes me feel fancy.  Brushed, dull, chunky hardware on a baby bag make me feel crummy, they add to the weight of what I’m carrying, and I already suffer chronic neck pain. They make me feel like I’m carrying shackles. I’m already carrying a baby, why throw myself to the dungeon? I kid you not, I will reject a bag based solely on its hardware.

That print… can you handle that for 12 months?

Maybe you’re different than I.  Maybe you have a budget that allows you to buy a new bag each season, but like I said, for me picking a diaper bag is an investment.  Generally, I swerve from the printed stuff.  I see you, designers, thinking that throwing the secret garden on there will aid in disguising dirt, you tricksters. It doesn’t really. Honestly, I love a floral print. I LOVE IT. But if I’m looking for a bag to have and to hold for a number of years, my scrupulous artsy eyes notice how quickly a printed design dates, and how much I’m sooo not feeling it during the different seasons of the year.  This is just me though.  I choose something plain or solid, something versatile, so that my bag is forever a staple.  If I want floral or tribal or whatever, I’ll find it in the form of an inexpensive scarf, or in a pair of leggings during one of my Tarjay Vacays.

Look for the un-diaper bag version.

So, wow, diaper bags are stupidly expensive.   Yes, they’re larger.  Yes, they have pockets.  omgsh pockets!!! But does a mom truly need to carry an extra child in the form of a bag?  Does she really need 50 pockets?  For me, no, if I am smart about what I pack. Also- older kids: backpacks, carry their own stuff, right? Right. Mom doesn’t have to carry the whole house for everyone if her children are able to help.
Just because it isn’t found under the category “diaper bag” doesn’t mean you can’t use it like one.  Once I realized this, a whole new world of bags opened up for me. The one I’ve used for years is not a diaper bag! It’s a regular purse, and it’s still huge.  I cannot imagine carrying the larger (ridiculously more expensive) diaper bag version of it.  Are there 50 pockets? No. But in my purse dump post, you’ll see that I have separate containers to hold all my hard-to-fish-around-for items, and if I’ve tolerated it for this long, I’d say it’s worth the money saved.

Extra tip: Shop the outlets.

Yes, shop the outlets, shop the sales, shop the outlet sales online, check ebay, check second hand stores. Check check check all the places. You might find a treasure.  Usually the bag I’ve got my eye on goes on sale, and eventually to the outlet store, if I can wait an extra month or two. Instagram is actually a source to shop sales and giveaways, too.  Find your favorite brand, then find your favorite blogger who is a rep of that brand (is she always talking about one particular brand? Yep, she’s probably their brand rep), and enter some giveaways or use their discount codes they offer.  It’s great for you, and it helps the blogger, too.  I’m not saying you’ll win a free bag every time, because you won’t, along with the surplus of moms hoping to do the same, but it can’t hurt to try while you’re patiently searching for your bag-to-be.


Kay, thanks.
Now it’s your turn to hit me with your best tips!  I’m numbering this one so I can qualify for 7 Quick Takes with Kelly, cause it’s been way too long.

It’s an “A Day in The Life” post from Carolyn! Wahoo!

Some of my favorite blog posts I’ve ever read are the ones by moms who lay out the timeline of what a typical day in their life looks like.  The wonderful thing I’ve found in every post I read from each blogger is that we’re all so similar, and these phases of getting NOTHING done, of being tired, of wanting to roll our eyes, are so normal.  It’s refreshing, and relieving, and encouraging.

I’ve wanted to do this forever and in an effort to complain about my pregnancy ailments only passively, today’s the day!

What I’ve done is written out a typical day, based mostly off of yesterday’s experience, but not in exact detail.
Some days are filled with much less diaper changing.  Some days are filled with much more. Some days, I won’t touch anyone’s diaper until noon.  Some days, I let the boys graze and consume an entire bag of pretzels throughout the day and I crochet as if my sanity depended on each stitch because Craig won’t be home until after 10pm. Others (albeit far and few between) I jump up, shower, and we GO somewhere.
We are living with my parents while we house hunt so I have the invaluable benefit of my mother (who works part-time) being present for many hours of the week, available to watch the boys as I stumble to the grocery store. But it hasn’t always been this way, and it won’t always be this way.

This is a glimpse into our current phase of life, but not the whole picture. More days than not, yes, I’m super tired and super frustrated that I can’t get finished what I want, but I am overwhelmingly filled with gratitude and joy to have a hard-working and supportive husband, a supportive, encouraging sister, mother, and mother-in-law who ignore my flaws and love me anyway, and of course, little hellions who depend on me so much for comfort and love.

Warm fuzzies aside, begin!


9pm Monday night   Everyone brushes teeth, I change diapers.  We lay in bed and watch Curious George on Netflix until 10. I’d always sworn off a television in the bedroom until we had Emmett.

10pm   TV goes off. Emmett protests in the form of screaming, crying, leg and arm flailing, and tossing his body recklessly in the bed. Lexington and Collin are sleeping, blessedly oblivious.

10:20  Craig holds Emmett while he continues to wail and flail.

10:30  Emmett has fallen asleep. So has Craig. I get up to pee.

1am  Collin wakes up crying and scratching his eczema.  I reapply his ointment.

2am   I get up to pee

4am  I get up to pee

7am I get up to pee.  Craig gets up and leaves for work.

7:30am  Lexington gets up and preps breakfast bars and “juice” cups for himself and his brothers.  He plays with LEGOS quietly/watches Curious George on Netflix. We watch a lot of Curious George.

8am-8:30am Collin wakes “HI MOMMY!”  I get up with him.

8:35 I change Collin’s diaper. I make coffee. Eat breakfast. Collin and Lexington play together with LEGOS, or they color.

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9am  Emmett emerges.  I direct him to the granola bar and drink Lexington has prepared. This piques Collin and Lexington’s hunger for second breakfast.  I get them fruit.

9:15 I sip coffee, check email, and browse through my social media outlets (post this pic on Instagram) while the boys finish eating.

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9:30 Change Emmett’s diaper. (Emmett’s 4 years old, with autism and nowhere near ready for potty training.)

9:45 I get my drawing supplies out to work on something I needed to start last week. I wish to blog, but I’ve got to start this first.

10am Collin: poop #1

10:05 I suddenly remember I’d bought a roast to cook for dinner today.  If I don’t get it in the crockpot now, it’ll be too late and then I’ll need a plan B for dinner.  Don’t have plan B. Toss roast in crockpot.  (Mom and I typically take turns making/planning dinner)

10:30 Mom’s home from daily Mass/errands.  I get side tracked in conversation with her.

10:32 Emmett: poop #1. Requires wardrobe change

10:45  I sit to re-begin my drawing. Get sidetracked by emails/social media notifications.

11am  Collin is begging for “elevensies” -aka: third breakfast. I tell him no. He falls to the floor in dramatic disappointment.

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11:05 Lexington is hungry too. I tell him no.

11:10 Bathroom break for me.

11:15 I remember I need to make an appointment for Collin for allergy testing, and a hospital orientation for me because I’m delivering at a different hospital this time around. It’s at the only accredited midwife-run, water birthing center inside a hospital in the entire state, and I’m so excited and can’t believe I didn’t research this with my past three pregnancies.

11:16 Get distracted looking online for an outfit to wear while giving birth. And nursing bras.  I desperately need new nursing bras.

11:35 Totally frustrated that after raking through online birthing forums for an idea of what other women might wear for a water birth, I’m the only one who still prefers to be mostly covered even when giving birth without medical intervention. There seems to be nothing more than expensive sports bras, even more expensive nursing sports bras, and bathing suits. I want my bum covered.  I want something long but not loose and fabric-y. I might get out of the water, and if my bum’s not covered, it’ll wreck my birthing groove. YES. EVEN IN THE MIDDLE OF LABOR. Ask me how I know.  I am not a comfortable naked person. And NO, I am not into wearing a hospital gown. I’m stubborn and I know it, and this is all silly, but it really makes a huge difference for me.

11:45 Still searching.

NOON  Boys are threatening canibalism, Emmett is screeching his hungry screech.  I make them lunch.

12:15 I call offices to make the appointments I’d remembered an hour ago.  They’re both at lunch and won’t be in until 1pm.

12:20 I make myself lunch. I should shower, but we all know it’s not going to happen.

12:25 I attempt to work on drawings.

12:35 Emmett: poop #2. Requires bath.

12:50 Dress Emmett. Smell Collin: poop #2

12:51 Lexington announces he’s got to go, too. (He is currently learning the self-wiping skill, and doing very well, but I still need to check his work.)

1pm I sit down at my sketchbook. I’ve done nothing. I’ve made no progress. I am frustrated.

1:02 I become insistent that I won’t be bothered until I’ve made significant progress.

1:05 I remember it’s 1:00 and I make calls to schedule appointments.

1:20 I’m filling out online paperwork for Collin’s allergist registration (4 pages)

1:30 Boys are fighting. I bark at them to cut it out.

1:32 Still fighting.  Lexington goes to corner.  Collin goes (kicking and screaming) to corner. Emmett gets redirected to a different toy or a movie.

1:35 Collin begs for “sumfing else” to eat. Lexington chimes in. I tell them no, they whine a bunch.

1:37 I’m serving them second lunch.

1:55 Collin: poop #3.  Requires bath.

2:05 Collin is dressed.  I have to run to the grocery.  My mom’s home, so I can leave the boys with her.  Glory, glory hallelujah.

2:45 I’m standing in the kitchen with shoes and coat on, nappy mom-hair thrown into a ponytail (no, not a cute topknot.  A standard. pony. tail.) and keys in my hand, checking my email.  I notice a message from someone I’m creating a logo for, who is now asking for not one logo, but two logos, each more complex than previously planned. They want it in 5 days. I can’t do that. I can’t.  No.

2:46 I set keys down and reply to email, totally disappointed in myself and my inability to get things done. I want to do this. But I know myself, and I know it won’t get done and it won’t be done well if I rush. I send my regrets and apologies.  I’m totally bummed and I’m kind of relieved. How are those two sentiments possible to experience at the same time? I don’t know.

2:50 In car. Driving.  No music, no radio and I like it that way.


3:15 NOPE. No Canada Dry in all the land.

3:16 I check out, get to the car and realize I forgot to get like 3 items but I drive home anyway ’cause hello, heavy Braxton Hicks contractions + a new tearing/burning pain of upper abdomen muscles being ripped apart by growing baby in the womb.

3:45pm  Back home. Unload groceries. Wash Hands. Boys are hungry. I tell them no. They cry and hover around me while their little heads hilariously bounce off of my enormous pregnant belly.   I pull out pretzels and hummus and let them eat too much.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger
recycled photo, but you get it.


4:00 I help mom with dinner, chat, and learn that Emmett pooped again while I was gone. Is this pooping all day just a boy thing?  Because, HELL.

5pm Dinner is in final stages.  Pap (my dad) gets home.  The boys are rowdy/cranky/still hungry.

5:15 Serve dinner.

5:30-5:45 Battle Lexington over the slightly burnt part of his meat. Ask him to eat “three more bites” 5 more times. Threaten him by giving the ultimatum that he either make a significantly large dent in his dinner, or he goes straight to bed.  He finally eats. Emmett, meanwhile is up and down from his chair.  Maybe he eats everything, maybe he doesn’t. Collin always does well.

6pm I text Craig “Are you coming home yet? Are you coming home yet? Where are you now? Are you coming home?” Not yet.

6:30 I want to blog. I want to sketch.  The boys are cranky, loud, and gaining their second wind, which involves running the length of the house, someone falling down, and someone crying. I’m exhausted. I sit in the living room and doze as the boys thump around me and bicker over cars.

6:45 Collin is hungry. Lexington is hungry.  Emmett is hungry. Mom’s angry.

7:30 Craig walks through the door. Boys gain third wind. Craig eats dinner then wrestles on the floor with them.  They laugh and shriek at decibels which make me wince, but I’m so grateful Craig loves them so dearly.

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8:30 Craig announces it’s time for bed. Everyone cries. Lexington and Collin pick up toys (but mostly it’s Lexington).

8:40 Emmett sneaks into the toy room and dumps out half or all of the toys Lexington has put away while everyone else brushes their teeth.

8:45 Screeching and crying from Emmett and Collin. Change diapers. Jumping on bed. Final edict is issued to SETTLE DOWN.

9pm Everyone is in bed, watching Curious George.  Emmett continues to babble and screech and jump.

9:30 I sneak to the kitchen for tea. Maybe I can write a quick post! Maybe I can work a few minutes on my new-to-me editing program! I look and see the mess Emmett made, so I push it aside. Sometimes Craig sits with me and we chat or take 5 minutes to look through online listings, often interrupted by little heads poking into the kitchen asking what we’re doing. Sometimes none of this happens at all and we just crash.

10pm  TV off. Emmett is the only one awake, and now he wails and flails in protest OR he steals my phone and takes 500 of the same photos of himself.  I lay down with him.

10:15 Emmett is asleep.  I continue my fruitless search of birthing attire on my iPhone, catch up on the horrendous vaccine debates but mostly stay the heck out of it, read a few blog posts from my bloggy mamas, scroll through Instagram and Facebook.  Resolve that tomorrow, I will spring out of bed and shower and…

11pm Fall asleep.

Midnight I get up to pee.

Repeat to some varying degree.

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The Feral Cat stage of life right now.

Believe it or not, after I posted about Collin’s grand front teeth busting, and everyone getting sick, both Collin and myself got sick– again. For 2. more. weeks.  So that was fun.  And I’m gathering from my social media outlets that 90% of America and their children were sickly too, so I hope everyone else is on the mend.

This past weekend was the first time we exited the house as a family and the sensory overload sucked the life out of me, so I spent all of Sunday like an 80 year old woman bent over her yarn and crochet hook.  You can bet Mass was extra exciting for everyone sitting near us. I’m a really fun person, I promise, but mostly when I’m not in the third trimester, and more when I’m at Hobby Lobby in the pen and ink aisle, alone.

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How are Collin’s teeth, you ask? I still don’t have the heart to gross anyone out with photos, but he’s been great at chewing carefully and I can’t believe we’ve lived to see the day 2 weeks after the accident. So far, no discoloration of his worse-injured tooth so I have hopes he’ll get to hang on to those puppies til they fall out naturally.

Aside from wishing I could take off my legs and put them somewhere until I give birth in April (Maybe Easter Sunday!), everything’s looking good, baby-wise.  I’m in the irritated feral cat phase, and being pleasant is just hard to come by.  My children want in my personal space and I’m like GERROFFME!

It’s a great spiritual failing on my end and when I try to read some of the lovely, uplifting Christian books and posts on focusing on Christ, and contemplating Mary’s journey through her pregnancy, my eyes pretty much roll out of my head, up the street into a body of stagnant, muddy water because the fluffiness is too unreal for me to glaze over.  I usually settle for some to-the-point Peter Kreeft because feral, irritated cats DON’T WANT TO READ METAPHORS ABOUT DEEP VALLEYS AND ROLLING FLOWERY HILLS AND DOWNY PILLOWS.  Feel sorry for Craig, guys.

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Those who know me well will tell you that this is the face of total sarcasm.

There’s also Jen Fulwiler’s recent talk she gave at the 2015 SEEK event.

She distracted me to think about times when I’ve tried to avoid my own, authentic self in attempts to fill what I perceived was the ideal Christian woman, wife, mother, or PERSON in general; and of course after failing to fill those ideals, I’d become frustrated and perhaps bitter or resentful towards those who look like the sun shines from their every pore –and they’ve got checklists and goals and cute little knick-knacks hand-made for every milestone, hour, and quarter-birthday that each of her 27 children celebrate each week (Total made-up person, fyi. I don’t know anyone with 27 kids.).  Jen Fulwiler reminds us in her talk that without the diversity of each person, the Church would not be perfect.  That when we stop and look in the mirror and accept that this reflection could be just like Mary, the mother of God in the world today, we only need to choose how to move forward embracing our own unique gifts and talents, we are fulfilling precisely what the ideal Christian woman should be: YOU. ME.   Such a powerful talk- and boy, the weight of feeling like I have to fit into plastic pants is totally removed.  Shew.  Here’s her 30 minute talk, if you’re interested: Girl on Fire

That’s it. I’ve been working on a mountain of a post about Emmett (just turned 4, a year after he was diagnosed with Autism), but it’s so long, no one but my own mother will read it, so I’ve got to figure out how to break it up and make it readable. And yes, he put these words together without seeing them somewhere else in the room, and without my help.

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Until then, happy days to you.
OH! Also, if you’re looking for new blogs of varying styles to read, go visit Bonnie right now.  She’s got a wonderful list of Catholic bloggers (and a few non-Catholic) that I delight in exploring every year. It’s also kind of a blogger award thing, too.  And you can vote if you see my blog listed and are feeling nice. If not, no hard feelings- I’ll never know, and I’ll keep on clacking away at my keyboard regardless :)


The party don’t start ’til someone busts their teeth.

I feel like the new year is starting just this week for me and mine.  Beginning right after Emmett’s birthday, The family Svellinger kind of unraveled with a trip to the ER, fevers for everyone, and then a nice and gory busting of some two front teeth. It’s a photo documentary you want, you say? Well sure, iPhone-ready mom’s got one right up her sleeve. No one has time for reading these days anyway.  But just in case, you’ll find some words there, too.


So remember our Emmett, right?  He was diagnosed with autism one year ago, on par with the developmental level of an 18 month old (though we could have easily argued younger than that). And while the idea of celebrating a birthday party piques his excitement, we’re not sure he understood it was HIS birthday.

He’s not much interested in the idea of unwrapping presents, so we joined his cousins for a few hours at an indoor play place filled with enormous inflatable shark-slides and jump houses.  His cup of tea.Property of Carolyn Svellinger

Every child’s cup of tea, if you ask me.

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Then we annoyed the restaurant workers at a local pizza place decorated in vomitable carpet (as if the above is any better, really) by coming in on the Eve of Christmas Eve to eat a pizza, enjoy the BEST COOKIES EVER and sing happy birthday to our sweet 4 year old.  Apparently, no one goes for pizza the 23rd of December.
Except for us.

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All was fine and dandy. Christmas Eve came the next day and we spent the first half of the day with my Dad’s extended family.  But it was on the drive to Craig’s parent’s house that evening when I started feeling party-poop-ier than usual.

You’ll see no pictures of the boys joyfully opening presents here, because I was busy trying to understand a ridiculous pain that started piercing my lower chest, radiating through my back, in between my shoulder blades, down my arms, making them feel like rubber, and then aching up into my jaw. This sharp pain, accompanied by an intense headache, sudden, out of the blue cough, and a creeping fever.
What is this? Can’t be heartburn, I’ve been through three pregnancies and done bff’d the heartburn.
It’s not my stomach. It’s not muscular.
It felt like my lungs were the only parts left to consider. I couldn’t move any more, and started to hyperventilate and cry in anger and surprise.
I’m the typical mom- I don’t get sick, my children do, my husband does, but I generally don’t.  I was angry at myself for having a foreign pain.

We make it back home and suddenly I’m remembering Jennifer Fulwiler and her pulmonary embolisms, so I called my OB hotline and they told me to head into the ER because if I was dealing with a blood clot, I could drop dead at any moment, and that wouldn’t do well on Christmas Eve, or Christmas morning for that matter.
Re-cue photo documentary back into the story:

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I thanked every hospital worker for being there for crazies like me who came in on Christmas Eve– and the halls were buzzing with all sorts of shouting crazies. Seriously, doctors and nurses are heroes.
I tested negative for the flu, good-to-go on the EKG, negative for chest x-ray of my lungs, but then something funny came back in my blood work which couldn’t rule out the existence of blood clots.  Ugh.  So at 3am on Christmas morning, I was laying there like a crazy person, baby in my belly covered up, getting a cat scan of my chest.

Aaaand nothing.
I was given some Tylenol (for the first time in my entire pregnancy! For some reason, I’m proud of that.) and the chest pains subsided.

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I knew I could never marry a man who wasn’t still handsome at 3am.  I’m glad his standards are different, however.

4:30am Christmas morning, we crashed into bed with our sleeping babies, and I was told I simply had some random virus and unexplained chest pains. The next morning, the pains returned but went away with some more Tylenol –and slowly but surely, heartburn started rearing its little pissy head.


Probably. Spawn of satan, that indigestion. Seriously, what IS THAT? Who gets that on a regular basis? Because it’s awful.
Unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
No thank you.
Regardless, thank YOU, hospital workers, for being there on Christmas Eve for ludicrous pregnant women like me who don’t know indigestion when it hits her.

So with that drama under our belt, we missed Christmas day mass, sleepily opened unwrapped presents and made a mess in my parent’s living room.

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Then, Collin got the sickness love as I continued to feel tired and head-cold-y. Commence super-cling-on-whiny mode from Collin for 24/7.

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Then New Years Eve we partied hard down the gargantuan aisles of Costco in search of gargantuan pillows because I’ve reached the sleep-sitting phase of my pregnancy, else I wake jolting upright to save myself from choking on my own bile. Costco provided some good fluffy-yet-supportive ones.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

Happy 2015 (live from my pajamas at 8:30pm):

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

We made it to Mass (hooray!) for New Year’s day and I got to wear my green maternity dress I’d saved for Chirstmas- but no photographic evidence because Emmett was audibly not happy about being there at all, and Collin was continuing his newborn cling-to-mom thing, so that was kind of a circus act and we tore out of there in a hurry.

Then guess who came down with nice n’ hot fevers that afternoon? Sirs Lexington and Emmett, naturally.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

Baths and bedtime came, and I prepared to be up nursing fevers that night, but not before blood-curdling screams were filling my ears and I find Collin face down on the floor, blood pouring from his mouth. Flowing. 

Yes, we busted our two front teeth and made them all wiggly, and made mom so nauseous that she became utterly useless and pathetically ill –and the blood and the smell of the blood. Everywhere blood. I’ll spare you the photos that I couldn’t muster to take, but Craig could.

Craig consulted with his mom, and my parents, as I could scarce utter a word without my ears ringing and feeling like I would pass out, and we decided to leave a message with the dentist –of course the next day was a Saturday and the dentist office would be closed–, and sleep it out.

Collin passed out, and mouth breathed his bloody breath on me all night, and Emmett and Lexington ran a boiling fever and night time anxiety and nausea got the best of me as I sat in bed on the brink of consciousness thinking about what might become of Collin and his potentially dead teeth. It took me a while, but I realized I must have a psychological hyper-sensitivity to mouth injuries: lengthy personal history of tooth injuries and orthodontia work.

The next morning, Craig took Collin to the dentist and I continued to be light-headed just thinking of it, but dentist summary short, everyone thinks he’ll be okay.  It’s a regimen of mushy foods and eating like a 6 month old for the next few weeks- and we’re trying to capitalize on the achy teeth and the head colds by weaning our C & E from their beloved pacifiers.

Today’s Monday, and the blood’s gone -my mom’s sick now- but the blood’s gone. Collin’s not as clingy, Emmett’s still sickly, but his fever’s down, and Lexington’s back to “work” on his LEGOs and I feel like the new year is just beginning for us.

property of Carolyn Svellinger

In the grand picture, I know these are tiny events of dust. I’ve got to toughen my mama skin because, HELLO THREE BOYS WHO LIKE TO RUN AND JUMP, and there are others among us morning the loss of their beloved angels.

Anyway, I’m gettin’ back to it, late as usual.
Here’s our virtual Christmas card I never got to share-  I can’t convince myself to do the real thing, like with the stamps, and the mail.  I hope YOU are starting your year off counting your blessings, or at least finding a place to re-start it slowly and refreshed.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger