I thought I was done for yesterday. I feel asleep tired the night before and I definitely woke up tired. Tired and grumpy. I don’t like being grumpy, but life with a newborn and toddler is a bit challenging sometimes. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, but some days I find that it is hard to get things done around the house, take care of both the girls, shower, make meals, and still feel like I’ve had some adult conversation without ‘somebody’ in the background either yelling, crying or telling me to ‘say bye-bye!’
After my grumpy attitude followed me around most of the day yesterday, I went to bed with hopes that I’d wake up in a much better mood. A good night’s sleep (what exactly is that with a newborn, I’m not sure…but I did sleep) helped and I woke up today feeling more refreshed and less concerned about things like showering and cleaning up the house. Actually, I played Monsters with Maggie and convinced her that my monster was really strong and could fly and put laundry away. I also convinced her to put everybody’s socks away, which meant that she ran from room to room flinging sock balls onto beds. It worked and the laundry got put away. Win-win if you ask me.
The last couple days have been rainy and gross and it dampens my mood to look out and see the rain cloud hovering. I am so looking forward to the day that I realize it’s warm enough to fling our back door and windows open. For now, we’ll keep going out in the rain and coming inside to peel everything off, only to put on another set of clothes that’ll get wet if we venture out. Today on our morning walk, Maggie rode in the stroller all bundled up, commentating the entire way, and I wore Audrey in her snowsuit and hat. As I looked down at Audrey’s little face, as we turned to head back home, I wondered if she’d be bothered by falling rain. The answer? Nope, she slept through each and every drop on her face and only woke up when we got home and I put her down.
I read this post and it made me feel a bit better about being a grumpy human. I can’t be happy all the time, the ‘perfect’ mother that is just so happy to wake up and zip though a day where getting a moment alone might mean a walk to the mailbox. Sometimes it is just a simple thing that makes me feel rejuvenated and centered again. Lara was recently referencing her alone time away from being a mother and said the she was vacuuming out their car to get a few minutes….it truly is the little things.
About a year ago Maggie picked out some pink duct tape to give to my dad for his birthday and since then, Maggie has had a standing love affair with tape. We’ve had so many different things taped to walls, windows and other areas of our house. We’ve taught Maggie how to cut the pieces of tape she needs and she has spent hours working on different ‘projects’ around the house. Some people have questioned our willingness to let Maggie use the tape as needed, but I figure she could have more expensive hobbies and some day she probably will. Plus, she’s pretty creative with where she sticks it. Charlyn, who remembers her boys’ tape phase, showed up a few weeks ago and gifted Maggie with special removable tape. Mags spent a good part of yesterday working on a ‘project’ in our dining room with that tape.
On one hand, I think to myself that having Alone Time isn’t all that important, but then I think to Grumpy Mom and realized that when I’m Grumpy Mom the time that I need the most is alone. I don’t aspire to be the perfect mother. I want my children to understand what it means to live in a household where they are involved, included and encouraged. I also want them to live in a home where they can entertain themselves with creative projects without total adult supervision and guidance. So when Maggie picked up the tape and started covering the dining room chair, I could have freaked out that she wasn’t putting it on paper or some other surface that tape is ‘supposed’ to be used on. I chose to let her go to town with that tape, nursed Audrey to sleep and took a few minutes to myself.
It only took a few minutes of me in the other room by myself, probably checking my e-mail or sending a text, to feel a bit less isolated and grumpy. I grabbed my camera and snapped a few pictures of Maggie and continued on our dinner prep that we’d started an hour or so before. (By the way, lasagna takes a long time to make sometimes.)
I don’t feel guilty about taking a few minutes for myself, but I do feel guilty admitting that I feel challenged sometimes with day-to-day tasks with two kids. I thought I wanted to be one of those people that had it all together in the traditional sense…but there is always laundry to be done, a table to be wiped down, a diaper to change, a shower to be had, a hand to hold, a cheek to kiss, a meal to prep….and the list goes on and on. Having it all together does not mean that my house sparkles with cleanliness, that I’m wearing an actual outfit (do I even have ‘outfits’?), or that the laundry is done.
I am choosing to have it all together by raising a toddler that feels like she has a mother that includes her, talks to her and patiently answers most questions. I am choosing to have it all together by taking care of myself….walking, bathing, reading, keeping in touch with friends, sleeping, and laughing. I am choosing to have it all together by doing what I can to keep my house tidy….getting rid of what we don’t need, deep cleaning when I can. I am choosing to have it all together by communicating with Barry about all things…the highs, lows and everything in between. I’m deciding right now that having it all together means it is time to stop trying to be something that I’m not. Having it all together means that just being me is enough.
The littlest one stirs, so this is where the writing ends and the snuggles begin….because having it all together means that I’m available for midnight snuggles.
ABM , complaints , friends , life , love & marriage , MMM
The fog is lifting and I feel myself assimilating with the rest of the world slowly but surely. I haven’t been too gun shy about getting out with my two little chickens, but I think my brain can finally handle some additional information beyond making sure we’re all safe and sound. For example, this past weekend I went to my cousin Danielle’s baby shower and Audrey and I carpooled with Cora and Sue. On the drive home we talked about some good music and bands and I realized that I pretty much have missed out on the past year in terms of music. I love me some Rolling Stone magazine, but apparently my reading comprehension skills failed me as well. I am no fully aware that Mumford and Sons are not new to the rest of the world, but I’m in love with both their albums and have them on constant repeat. AND…I’m counting down the days to this. Cora says that I should just download it, but I kind of want to go to an actual store and buy it.
I keep saying it over and over but it is so true: Maggie truly is the sweetest big sister. No matter what Maggie is in the middle of doing, if she passes Audrey in any capacity, she’ll stop and greet her little sister with a squeeze, smile and a sometimes aggressive nuzzle. “Maggie, too close!!” is on constant repeat around here, but it’s hard to be too hard on her when she’s just loving on Audrey. Once Audrey can do a bit more, it will be less of what Maggie can’t do and more of what she CAN. I look forward to that day.
Audrey is plumping out more and more. She’s got rolls started on her legs and I love me some rolls on baby legs, so I’m thrilled. She feels less fragile and more sturdy because her head control is improving as well. She’s moved out of the newborn snowsuit for our walks and into the 0-3month one. We’ve hit a huge streak with the weather and I’ve been able to get outside for a walk the past 10 days or so. Sadly, I do not ever bring my camera along because pushing a stroller, wearing a baby, and corralling a dog is far too much for me as it is. Eventually I’ll get there and be able to document our outings, as it stands now, I’m just proud that I’m getting outside. It feels like I’m the ring master of a 3 ring circus some mornings, and by the time we’re actually out the door I’ve already broken a sweat. It’s probably a combination of being out of shape and trying to get 3 little morsels ready at exactly the same time.
By the time we get back, I’m often ready for a break because I’ve spent the entire walk answering questions about Maggie’s observations and making sure that Sydney doesn’t drop a huge poop in the middle of somebody’s yard. Audrey is the easiest because she snoozes all bundled up next to me. There was a time where I had abandoned almost all hope for Maggie to get back into the stroller after she discovered the joys of being able to walk along with us. I’m not ashamed to say that I started to bribe her with ‘stroller treats’ to get back into the routine of striding out. We’re now contemplating upgrading our stroller or getting a double. Considering that we’ve got the very first B.O.B stroller ever made, I have a feeling any direction that we go will be an improvement. We’re a long ways off for Audrey to ride along, she’s content to be carried at this point.
When Barry gets home at the end of the day, we’re all excited and happy to see him. Life is so much easier with two parents around. In the past few weeks, at two seperate times, both Barry and I got sick. Like on the couch or lying in bed, dead to the world, sick. When I was sick, I slept for nearly 24 hours. I’d wake up, feed Audrey, pass her to Barry, and promptly go back to sleep. I also probably ate 99 popsicles and an entire liter of 7UP and cranberry juice. I was very worried about not being hydrated enough and the only thing that sounded good was cranberry juice and 7 up. (For whatever reason, I find cranberry juice to be comforting…I don’t drink juice often, but when I do I always pick cranberry juice. It’s what I wanted when I went into labor with Maggie…along with pudding. Ha!)
When Barry got sick, it conveniently was over a weekend, and I tried with all my might to get out of the house. He didn’t really have that luxury when I was sick since I needed to feed Audrey. I ran more errands and lolly-gagged at more places than I had since having Audrey. Barry is the type of person that doesn’t want to admit that he’s sick. Even when he was huddled under a quilt shivering, he was still trying to say that he felt fine. Poor guy. Anyhow, not having another adult to team up with during crucial times (bath, dinner, bed, feeding, diaper changes, etc.) really made me appreciate Barry all the more. I’m fine during the day, but doing an entire weekend all alone with a newborn and almost 3 year old is not my idea of fun.
I am not nearly as good at playing “Run/Tickle” as Barry is and quite frankly, I’m fine with that. I also don’t have as much stamina to jump on the bed as he does. Plus, Maggie really, really looks forward to that time of her day and practically asks to play the moment Barry changes out of his work clothes. We’re now back in the saddle in terms of happily greeting Barry as he comes thorough the door and filling our house with happy, joyful games of “Run/Tickle.”
ABM , complaints , Getting Outside , HJE , life , MMM , The Girls & Barry
Heartburn. I had it one time in college when I tried to eat a piece of pizza and wash it down with a Mike’s Hard Lemonade. I swore to Barry that I was having a heart attack and promptly fell to the floor holding my chest. Of course I didn’t have a heart attack, but I swore off the combo of pizza and Mike’s Hard Lemonade for a lifetime. Not something anyone really needs in their diet anyhow.
The heartburn returned with my pregnancy with Maggie and the running joke was about me carrying Tums in my purse to ward off the horrid feeling of my chest exploding. It worked out fine and I don’t remember the overwhelming feeling that I was dying or searching for something to give me relief.
This time. Oh, this time. The heartburn is back. And it shows up no matter what I’ve eaten (or haven’t eaten) and almost always in the middle of the night. I’ve tried a few different remedies and I’m back to relying on my Tums for now….Almost every night I’ll fall asleep and end up having a dream about being in pain and then slowly wake myself up that I really am in pain with heartburn. Poor Barry didn’t know what to think when this first started happening. Now we’re down to a routine and I pop some Tums and hope that I’ll fall asleep again.
I feel so much compassion for those in my life (who will not be mentioned) that suffer from heartburn on a regular basis. I’m confident that my heartburn will end in late January when I have this baby and also that she’ll have a full head of hair. And if you’ve never experienced heartburn, go try some pizza and Mike’s Hard Lemonade if you want to get a taste.
P.S. My friend over at Clove’s Corner wrote a beautiful letter to her daughter that just turned three. Check it out here.