Friday, August 31, 2012

I hope that I never forget...

... the weight of my baby girl sleeping on my chest.

... the patient way that Gavin explains things to his little brother.

... how quickly two little boys can morph into tiny dinosaurs.

... the way that Mason identifies things by the sounds that they make - beep beeps, vroom vrooms, meows and woof woofs.

... hearing all of the things that a four-year-old notices about the world around him.

... how long it takes to bake a loaf of bread with two tiny helpers.

... the way that it feels to scoop a swaddled, sleeping baby from her bassinet.

... this ache in my heart that I feel when I pause to think about how quickly these days are going by.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

When Your Super Boobs are Broken

From the time I was pregnant with my first son, there was really no question that I would breastfeed my babies. We all know about the health benefits, immunities, blah blah blah (though I would like to interject that the whole "weight loss" thing is a lie).

Yes, those are part of the reason that I decided to nurse my little ones. But if I am being honest, I did it because it was easy. It's pretty much a given that your baby will wake up at night. Who wants to actually get out of bed and go downstairs to measure out a bottle? Your baby will undoubtedly leave the house. Who wants to lug bottles and water and powder formula around in their already-crowded diaper bag? Babies puke all over you, all the time. Breastmilk puke does not stain - no extra laundry!

I am lazy. I like easy and simple - breastfeeding, for me, was perfect.

When you are a nursing mom, your boobs are instantly transformed into "Super Boobs". Hungry baby? Insert boob. Tired baby? Insert boob. Overstimulated baby? Insert boob. Sick baby? Insert boob. You have the the perfect feeding/comforting/put-cranky-baby-to-sleep tool right there in your plastic-clip voodoo bra.

With Emmy - my super boobs are clearly broken. She cries. A lot. Red in the face, body clenched, high-pitched SCREAMING cries. And she has recently given up napping for some reason unbeknownst to me. Nowadays, the only way she will sleep at night is on my chest. My back aches. I'm tired. My stress level is through.the.roof.

Super boob tricks do not work with Emmy. Nursing doesn't calm her. Sometimes, she starts her fits mid-feeding. (This probably breaks some sort of breastfeeding law, I am sure.) Nursing does not allow her to drift off to dreamland and stay there for hours. Super boobs do work for her when she is bored, however. I cannot wear her in a sling without her trying to latch on, even if I just fed her before putting her in there.

Nothing to see while wandering around with mom at the park? Hey... where did I put that boob?

For those moms with more than one baby - you know that this is less than ideal. Chasing a toddler and preschooler while wearing your baby is hard enough... chasing a toddler and a preschooler while wearing a baby attached to your most tender appendage is downright exhausting.

So what is a mama to do when the #1 tool in her baby care arsenal is not working?

Anyone? :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Texting with Jen - Days 1 and 2

Jen is one of my best friends. She is hilarious and creative and has two amazing kids. She is also the kind of friend that you can call and complain and cry about your husband, kids, mom, etc... and she won't think that the target of your complaints is a total ass, no matter what you say.

Jen is joining me in my "No Yelling for a Week" challenge. Instead of losing our tempers or yelling at our kids, we've decided to text each other with exactly what we want to scream, when we want to scream it. Our conversation this week has been pretty hilarious so far.


2:46 pm M: I yelled at Masey. But not loud.

3:18 pm J: I just yelled NO!!! at Raymond. BUT, I think I get a pass on that one because he was trying to eat Windex??
3:19 pm M: Pass granted.

5:29 pm M: Insert generalized scream here. I am done.
5:30 pm J: LOL
5:30 pm M: Two hours til bed time.
5:32 pm J: I'm countin too, sista!!!

5:43 pm J: OMG
5:43 pm J: I *almost* just lost it
5:43 pm J: M put f--king princess stickers on the TV screen

6:45 pm J: So, M wouldn't eat her dinner and tried to guzzle her milk instead
6:45 pm J: Now she has water
6:45 pm J: And she refuses to eat
6:45 pm J: So she's having water for dinner
6:46 pm J: And I'm kind of glad about it

9:01 am M: I fail. I've been yelling all damn morning.

9:03 am M: I'm so pissed off
9:06 am J: Me too
9:06 am J: What are your kids doing?

9:43 am M: I swear, the boys have eaten 7 times. Gavin had the nerve to steal my toast off my plate. I'm running on coke.
9:46 am J: Well, when's nap time?
9:46 am M: 12
9:46 am J: Fuel up like a camel!!!

6:00 pm J: I seriously cannot tell where I end and my kids begin

7:05 pm J: Meg, if I make it through this day it will be a miracle
7:07 pm M: It's almost bed time! Hold on!

7:54 pm J: (She has the nerve to send me a picture of her glass of wine!) Cheers to bedtime!!!
8:02 pm J: Just the smell of it makes me sooooo happy

Monday, July 16, 2012

No Yelling for a Week

Okay, I admit it. I am a yeller. To be honest, there are days where I don't yell at all. And there are other days where I yell so much that, by the time Jordan gets home, I am tired of hearing my own voice.

Last night, Gavin (my four year old) had me out of bed more times than I could count. The last time, he was screaming like he had a firey dagger shoved in his eyeball. Turns out, he just had to pee. I actually muttered the old mom-age, "If you want to scream like that because you have to use the bathroom - I'll give you something to scream about!". Sigh.

I want to have infinite patience. I really do. But I am human. I am a human who does not sleep enough and who does not eat as often as she should. I get hungry. I get tired. I get impatient.

So - I am starting my Monday morning off with a challenge. Anyone want to join me?

I will not yell at my kids. At least until Friday at 5pm when the challenge is over. I hereby reserve the right to shout and call them by name (we go to the park a few times a week and I am often calling for them). I will not yell out of anger. I will speak kindly and have a patient heart.

I think I can. I think I can.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

You Are Doing Something...

I am always with my children. ALWAYS. Sometimes it's awesome, and other times it's.... not so awesome. My "breaks" consist of running to the store alone. Sometimes, the second Jordan walks in the door, I tell him I quickly say, "We are out of milk!", slip on my flip flops and RUN to my car. So I think I have the "twice as much time" part down.

But then, I stopped to think about it. Yes, I am physically with my children all.the.damn.time. But - am I mentally with them? Do they have my attention? I was kind of disappointed to realize that a lot of the time, I am focused on "doing" something else. We all know the feeling. You need to fold the laundry that is piled on the chair, check your email, pay bills online, sweep up the Goldfish crumbs. You have things to DO! You can't simply sit and build a Lincoln Log house.

In my own effort to stop being overwhelmed by my three monsters kids, I haven't been focusing on the house so much. I sweep once a day, and sometimes that is not until after dinner when Jordan is home to occupy the little ones. My goal is to do one load of laundry a day (though I really MUST wash those diapers today!), and load and run the dishwasher. Other than that, I just want to focus on the kids.

The urge to "do something" is a hard one to break. As I sat on the floor today, Emmy on my shoulder and Mason in my lap, my thought instantly turned to the fact that I should be "doing something" with my time. But you know what? I AM doing something!

I am cuddling my baby. She is five weeks old, and all she has ever known is her mama. Snuggling and holding her close is important to both of us. AND -  look at me go - I was multitasking! Mason was "cooking" me food and together we were "eating" it. I was playing a fun game with my sweet boy. The kids had my complete attention. And that is the way I want it.

As they say, the days are long but the years are short. Before I know it, my baby won't be a baby. I won't feel the weight of her little body against my chest, or smell her sweet milk breath. Soon enough, my toddler won't want to cook his mommy pretend food and run off excitedly yelling "More!" before bringing me a delicious plastic strawberry. And some day, my hysterical preschooler will not spend 40 minutes swinging with me and telling me everything he knows about pink spotted tree-climbing butterflies.

Time is going by too fast. I had better go and do something.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Emmy's Birth Story

Emersyn Paige was born on June 5, 2012 at 1:03 in the morning.

I wrote out both of the boys' birth stories, to share with mom friends who are interested (yes, us moms like to hear these things!) and to help me remember them more clearly.
So - for those who are interested in birth stories - keep reading. If not, you might want to skip to the next post!

I had my routine check up at 1pm on June 4th. It was my due date and I figured Emmy was going to make a late arrival, just like her brother had. (Mason was nearly a week late.) I mentioned to the nurse that I felt a bit leaky and I was having contractions, but nothing really regular or impressive. The doctor checked to see if I was leaking fluid. Man, was I surprised when he told me that my water broke! I think he was just as surprised as I was. I never would have guessed, because my "leaking" was not that bad. I have delivered three kids now and I never got my dream of having my water break in a big dramatic way, like while I was standing in the produce section of the grocery store. Maybe next time!

Anyway, he asked if I had to make arrangements at home before heading to the hospital, and I did, so I headed home to finish packing my bag and get the boys settled with my mom and sister. I called Jordan on my way home and told him that it was GO TIME! When I got home, I kind of went overboard with getting things ready for the boys. I pulled out their pajamas and clothes for the next day. Made sure they had a snack. Left them money (because 2 year olds and 4 year olds spend money). My mom and sister know where all of their things are and are more than capable of caring for them, but I was just so panicked - I wasn't ready for this! I was supposed to have more time! (I think. It was my due date after all.)

Jordan came home and got his things and we headed out. We stopped for a late lunch and got to the hospital around 4:30. Still, nothing exciting happened! I was having contractions every 7 or 8 minutes, but they were managable. The midwife came in around 5:30 and "finished" breaking my water, hoping that would jumpstart my labor. I walked around for a bit. Probably around 7 or 8 I was getting more uncomfortable, so I took a shower, and spent some time walking and sitting on the birthing ball, watching TV with Jordan. My contractions never got closer than 2 to 3 minutes apart, but they were effective. Around 12:45 the midwife checked me and I was at a 6. I was so tired and hoping to get some rest (Jordan had laid down at this point) but I had one big contraction and that was it - I paged the nurse and yelled to Jordan that I had to push.

The midwife rushed in and jokingly asked if he had time to get his scrubs on this time! (He is the same midwife who delivered Mason, in his sweater, because Mason arrived so quickly.)

Emmy was born after 3 pushes at 1:03 am.

Our sweet girl was 7lbs 1.6oz and 20.5 inches long. She is as healthy as can be. And - she is FEISTY! She screamed for the first hour after she was born. We spent the first few hours after birth nursing and napping together skin-to-skin. I did not get to do that with either of the boys (they were bathed, dressed and swaddled really quickly after they were born) and I highly recommend it to any new moms! It was such a relaxing, soothing time.

Where have I been?

Emmy has made her arrival! I have spent the last month in newborn bliss... or a groggy, busy state resembling what should be newborn bliss!

Emmy was born on June 5th, 2012 at 1:03 am. She missed her due date of June 4th by precisely one hour!

Here are a few pictures of our newest love.

Things around here have been busy to say the least! Jordan was home with us for the first week, but I have been on my own with all three kids for three weeks now. The first few days were too smooth - I thought things were going to be easy! Last week tested my patience and sanity in a way that I didn't think was possible. It was rough.

Today, however, starts a new week. I am jumping in with two feet and I am determined to make this week better than last. I am going to have more patience, try to take care of myself better, yell less, get everyone outside more, be more consistent with giving the boys (Gavin, especially!) consequences for their misbehavior and - in general - try to keep everyone alive, fed and HAPPY. Can I do it? I guess we will see!

Step one of trying to get back on track is to plan what we are having for dinner. At least then I won't fall into the witching-hour trap of wondering what the heck we are going to eat! So hear is our quick meal plan for the week:

Monday: Chicken Parmesean and fresh bread
Tuesday: Pineapple, brown rice and shrimp stir fry
Wednesday - July 4th! - grilled steak and chicken, roasted potatoes, steamed veggies and garlic bread
Thursday - pork chops in the crock pot, rice and veggies
Friday - hamburger hashbrowns, as requested by the hubby
Saturday - buffalo chicken sandwiches, fruit salad and fries
Sunday - spicy southwest chicken wraps with black beans and rice

Hopefully I will be back soon with more updates!