Category Archives: Parenthood

Survival Mode

Working title: I am really too tired to be assembling a string of coherent thoughts right now but whatever I am going to put this on the internet forever anyway.

Marcus was on a business trip this week and he comes home today and I am (surprise!) tired. This is week two of a three week long thing (for lack of a better scientific term) in which I am the primary parent, which is fine but HEY THE END IS IN SIGHT.

I will also take a brief moment to complain that I have had the tiniest, most obnoxious cold that has made me extra draggy and most offensive is that it is a summer cold. It can be gone now please.

My sister-in-law and my Dad have saved my life by being bedtime helpers and taking Critter to T-Ball and bringing dinner (though I also actioned a survival egg bake for the week so I wouldn’t have to cook).

Also life saving, my whole mom tribe, keeping our lives full of playdates and adventures to get us out of the house. Oddly, the most touching act of the whole week was when we were at an early evening pool party (yes feel free to ask the question how do you even go to a pool party alone with a toddler and an eight month old and a chlorine allergy) and one of the dads in attendance offered to take Critter swimming if he wanted to get in.

We have experienced every combination of sleep this week: Glitter wakes up at 5:20 AM, Critter wakes up first – Glitter wakes up second, and today’s latest iteration, it is 6:30 AM and the children are still asleep. We have also had Glitter sleeps through the whole night, Glitter wakes up once and Glitter wakes up twice (last night! so fun!). It is impossible to overstate how much I am looking forward to the day where Glitter sleeps through the night all of the time and has a consistent morning wake-up time.

There is no moral to this story, mostly just that however your week is going, I’m in the trenches with you.

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Up North at the Cabin (with two!)

Critter’s daycare was closed this week and it was my turn to take time off from work (Marcus and I try to share time-off between holidays and sicknesses) so we packed up the kids and headed up north to join the rest of my family.

A brief summary: Glitter HATED the pack and play and we are deep into the eight month sleep regression so I mostly did not do a lot of sleeping (God bless my Mom for helping me to get afternoon naps in because I needed them). Critter is now an expert at riding on the pontoon and is probably turning into a human sprinkle because between donuts and ice cream he ate ALL of them.

We caught some fish.

Uncle Billy leveled up his Uncle-ing game.

We saw where the beavers live. We learned about moss. We walked in the “forest” (on a paved path with tall trees).

We played outside a lot. Since we were having such a heat wave in the cities, even a five degree temperature change was WELCOME.

I will also say that vacationing with kids is WORK y’all. Marcus went home after the first night so it is safe to say that once our merry little band (all of us in serious need of a bath) gets home, I will need some time to myself to recover.

That isn’t to say that we didn’t have a wonderful time. It is so special to bring the littles to the exact same place I have been coming since I was their age.

7 Months!

Glitter, honestly I didn’t even realize it until someone asked your age last weekend and your Nana responded with 7 months!

You are such a cuddly, gentle, well-behaved baby. Everywhere we go, you give out smiles and people ask to hold you. I’d say about 40% of the time you sleep through the night, the rest of the time you wake up once at 3 AM. On the weekends, you and I both get to sleep in (in our own beds!) while the boys are up at dawn and I call it Operation Beauty Sleep.

You are an expert army crawler. It is so fun to see you explore the world on your own terms but now, none of Critter’s toys are safe from you! He is less than excited about this most recent development.

You got your second flu vaccine dose (heyyy herd immunity!).

You have eaten rice cereal, sweet potato, butternut squash, banana, avocado and plain yogurt. If I had to name your favorites, they are squash and avocado.

You just started babbling “Dada.”

Now that it’s warm enough, you have gotten to go to the park a few times and have tried the swing! You seem unsure about it, but have the tiniest of tiny smiles.

You have started napping in your crib!

You continue to adore Critter. If he is doing something, you want to know about it.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider gives you the greatest joy.

It’s so crazy to think we are now closer to you being a year old than farther away! We love you so.

Ten Minute Catch-Up

Basically, I want to write a post but I have other things to do tonight.

Also, I lost some time to the fact that our treadmill is broken. The maintenance people came out last week to do its annual maintenance and they must have neglected to hook up some part of the computer or something because the incline works, but the belt will not run. How incensing.

So that left me scrambling for a workout to do in the basement. Marcus distinguished himself and quickly hooked up the DVD player but then we could not find the DVDs. Foiled again.

Thankfully I remembered that Laura shared some of her favorite 20 minute POPSUGAR videos here. I did this one. It was exhausting, I have no core strength.

I am pretty much winning in the competition to be The World’s Most Okayest Mom.

We are signed up for another round of tball, soccer (these sports each last 6 weeks) and an art class.

Also, Critter has to bring his lunch to school this week (which we have not done all year) and I will note the following: we do not own a lunchbox of any kind so I sent him with a personal sized Coleman cooler, I also packed five baby carrot sticks that I knew he would not eat so that the teachers would know I am a good mom.

And with that, good night.

Mom Life Updates.

I have children, did you know?

Where has the time gone? Critter has a memory for EVENTS now. The other day, he told my mom the sex of a friend’s baby on the way when I mentioned our playdate to her. He loves when I retell what, exactly, we saw when we visited the zoo a few weeks ago.

He had another haircut last weekend and even though Marcus took him, he makes me recall (repeatedly) the events that took place at the salon – sitting in the special chair, wearing the smock, having his hair sprayed down, the whole thing. And after the 45 second tale concludes WE TELL IT AGAIN.

He is three weeks into toddler t-ball through our local parks and rec program that we signed up for with some friends from ECFE. I would say mostly he just runs around the field but he achieves at least one thing each week – participating in a drill, running all of the bases instead of running off, and frankly the fact that we can just go somewhere contained where he can RUN for 30 minutes is great for me. We will sign him up for more toddler t-ball this summer as well because I am a believer in recreational youth sports and it will give him something “different” to do once per week.

His language is really just off the charts at this point. He can tell us exactly what he wants and hit a seven word sentence which was mostly really scary. He has also started intentionally mangling some words which is precious. Examples: catty (cat+kitty), triangle-trangles, jajamas.

And honestly the thing that I adore the most is how when we are in the car or before he naps, sometimes he’ll sigh and say “good boy.” He is the best boy.

Glitter is in 12 month clothing.

She persists in being the sweetest lady and charming to all people.

Sleeping continues to organize itself. Most nights by the time it is bedtime I lay her in her crib and she just…goes to bed. She wakes up once per night which is fine.

She is going to crawl soon. She can rotate her body and go backwards but when she gets onto her hands and knees she is just not organized enough to move forward. This is terrifying.

Critter continues to be her favorite person in the whole world. She is always the happiest to see him.

Snow Days and Some Other Things

Just consider the photo above a reminder that camouflage SPANX leggings have improved my life in every way since I obtained them. And with that, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

This is the winter where I wish my children were just a little bit older so that they could really PLAY in the snow that has been dumped on us since January. Generally it has not been problematic except for the storm we got a few weeks ago where the entire state shut down at noon, and the storm that started building on Sunday night leading schools to cancel on Monday. Subsequently there was No Snow until late afternoon which meant a delayed start today for kids because you know, it was still snowing. I know our littles are not yet in actual school but daycare was cancelled on Monday and ECFE was cancelled today so we are just REALLY off of our schedule.

I will not complain about the chance to spend more time with the littles but based on the number of time outs I had to give Critter this AM (he was throwing toys, this is an automatic time out, now you know more about my parenting style), he would really like to be back with his little friends and observing some semblance of a normal routine tomorrow.

Otherwise, some other thoughts and updates I cannot organize into a full post for whatever reason.

I am still exercising at least three times per week. I’ve done a better job in the last two weeks of organizing my evenings so that on workout nights I don’t also have to fold laundry or mend clothing (okay so I actually did that tonight AND I walked but there was no choice). This allows me some post-workout time to just sit down and unwind.

I’ve also found that doing one AM workout on the weekend makes it so much easier for me to fit in two more workouts throughout the week without having to stress.

Exhibit A: Barre Class on Sunday morning. I have seven more classes to work through in the next two months before they expire and once I have used them all, I’ll try to decide what, exactly, I see happening this spring/summer. Like, maybe a walk by myself in the morning? Maybe more classes? The weekend AM workouts are just as much about having some time all to myself as much as they are about…the fitness.

This is a hair tie.

I received a four pack of them at a favorite things party and was SUPER suspicious. Those elastic-y no dent hair ties do not hold my hair up and they leave a dent. These? Hold my hair up (like, all day with kids) AND THEY DON’T LEAVE A DENT. RUN, DO NOT WALK PEOPLE.

And with that, my very early Cool Mom bedtime calls.

Post-Partum Anxiety!

I love writing for the outlet it gives. However, the most important thing I have learned is that if through my story I am able to help even one friend or stranger to feel less alone, or do something that will change their life for the better (i.e. go see the dermatologist and get a scary mole removed, seek help for post-partum mood disorders, start using a budget!) then all of this has been worth it.

SO. Here we are.

Since September, I have had another baby, returned to work. Seen friends get married. Celebrated babies on the way. Mourned with friends who have lost babies. Attended three funerals, the most recent being the death of Marcus’ 91 year old grandfather. I try to be very honest here and portray my life accurately but there are just some stories that are not mine to tell. Like a lot of stories actually.

Anyway. About three weeks ago I started experiencing some occasional shortness of breath. By last Monday, I was like…having to strain to breathe all day. I went to urgent care after work and they told me I had post-partum asthma. Weird, but apparently a thing that can flare up if you had asthma in the past. They sent me home with an inhaler that I took regularly for the next two days and did not do a damn thing. So I went back to urgent care on Wednesday. They of course ran tests to be sure I did not have a blood clot or post-partum heart failure (which is actually the first thing that pops up when you Google post-partum breathlessness hello scary af). After these came back negative (praise hands) the doctor turned to me and asked, Do you feel anxious?

Me: EVERYTHING IS COMPLETELY FINE I DO NOT FEEL ANXIOUS AT ALL. (Seriously, I did not “feel” anxious in the way that I normally do.)

Her: Try taking a Xanax anyway. You have a lot going on in your life right now and shortness of breath is a very common symptom of anxiety.

Y’all I was super skeptical but then I took that pill and yes, yes it was anxiety because I could breathe again. I didn’t have a clue about how tight/tense my chest was until it relaxed. Also taking this in the evening for a few days helped me to get “back on track.” Obviously this works differently for everyone, but for me, if it recurs or worsens, I will need to go back to the doctor to find a more appropriate regular medication. For the here and now, I know I need to be using the coping techniques I have practiced in the past and that I need to take a step back from…everything.

Sometimes you see this stuff coming, sometimes you don’t. As some of you may know, I experienced this after Critter was born and since I wasn’t having the same symptoms this time around I just thought everything was fine.

I wasn’t but I am glad to be on the way back to fine now.

All of this is to say if you’re reading this right now and you do not feel fine, you are not alone. For the rest of the group, thank you for coming along for the ride.