Monday, August 31, 2009

Trouble

For the last few weeks of summer, ("Mom, I'm bored!"  "There's no one to play with!" "Do we have to?"  "Mom, she's teasing me!"  "It's hooooot!") I've been looking forward to school starting with a Christmas Eve-like anticipation.  Don't get me wrong.  My kids are my life, and I adore my girls.  I have loved the sleeping in, the relaxed days, and the girlies running around the neighborhood like free-range heathens.  Honestly though, I'm ready for a change in routine.  For weeks, I've thought blissfully of the hours I would have with just me and Baby Max.  I have grand plans to excercise daily, fold and put away all the laundry in a timely fashion, write and publish articles and keep a house that would make Better Homes and Gardens jealous.

Problem is?  I forgot to run all these ideas by my baby son, who today, took it upon himself to show me what the next few months were going  to be like.

It took him less than two minutes this morning to unroll the toilet paper and start throwing wads of used kleenex around the room.  I should be glad he didn't empty the entire trash can, or start ingesting the cleaner that some brilliant soul left on the floor.  And I should start remembering to put the lid of the toilet seat down before he learns to flush all of creation down the potty.

Then, a few minutes after my first violin lesson of the day left, Abby brought Max down exclaiming, "He's stinky."  Then the crying shrieking began because the baby brother, in all of his unselflessness, had shared some of the contents of his stinky diaper with her.  All over her white shorts.  Silly Abby.  Here Max was being so kind and giving, and all she could do was scream about how gross it was.   And of course, Max was still in a sharing kind of mood, so his poop ended up all over the carpet in my violin studio, all over his clothes, all over the living room carpet, (is it strange that my 9 month old can do situps while I'm changing his diaper) and all over me.

While I was practicing with Abby and Max was entertaining himself, (and distracting his sister) I noticed something even more disturbing than poop all over the carpet.  Max has been pulling himself to standing on things for a while now, but today I looked over to see him standing next to the chair, holding on with one hand.  Then letting go.  And standing.  By himself.  With no support.  At nine months old.  Naughty boy.  Each time he did it, he giggled gleefully, thrilled with his new trick.  He was able to balance himself for 30-45 seconds at a time.  Sigh.  Didn't I just give birth to him yesterday? We are SO not ready for a walking baby!

A few violin lessons later, I was picking up scattered baby toys while Max was crawling happily down the hall.  A couple of random giggles from him made me curious, so I peeked my head out to find that Max had found the cat's dishes, and had poured all the water out, making himself an improvised swimming pool.  He was thrilled to splash in the water, roll around covering himself in water and cat fur, and eating the cat food.  Yummy.  Another diaper change, and another complete outfit change.  No wonder I'm never caught up on laundry.

I brought him upstairs to wash my hands and he proceeded to gleefully empty out dvds from the cabinet all over the floor.  I tried to distract him and he started pulling clothes out of the laundry basket and tossing them all over the living room.  Dinner preparations were interrupted by him clearing out the entire bottom of my pantry, dumping a bag of potatoes all over the floor and banging them together in his hands like cymbals. So today was Max's reality check.  Somehow, I don't think I'll have an entirely clean house this year, or have the laundry folded and put away as soon as the dryer beeps.  Nope.  I may be sending the girls off to school, but it looks like my little man is going to triple his mischief to make up for their absense. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why I choose homebirth

There are lots of reasons why I both choose to homebirth and attend homebirths as a doula. There's nothing that compares to the magic of having a baby in the peace and comfort of your own home.

My favorite midwife- the one I attended births with and the one who helped deliver Max- put together this video. I think it shows exactly what homebirth is all about. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Girls Night Out

We schedule it at 8:30 on a Friday night, so the hasbands can be home and in charge, and the kiddos can (theoretically) be in bed. We leave the men, the kids, ("Mom, where are you going? Why can't I go with you?") and even the nursing babies.

We bring lots of sugary snacks; doesn't matter if they're store bought as long as there's plenty of chocolate. And homemade apple pie was an unexpected treat. Someone brings a veggie tray, because a few bites of baby carrots and cucumbers cancels out the Keebler cookies and the Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.

To the astonishment of our husbands, we don't need an xbox, a wii, or movies to keep us entertained.

We sit and talk and giggle, we commiserate and empathize and laugh.

I learn I'm not the only one annoyed by dirty socks all over the floor. We all learn that we wish we got regular visits from the laundry fairy instead of being the laundry fairy.

We talk about first kisses and worst kisses, about what drew us to our husbands and what annoys us about our husbands.

We sit and swap birth stories. (Which I am convinced is a requirement whenever you have two or more LDS women in a room at the same time...) When I get a text at midnight, just as the girls are asking me about Max's birth, I go home, get him and bring him back because I can't quite face going home yet.

We finally call it a night (a morning?) about 1:30 am as the yawns become more frequent and sleep is threatening to overtake all of us.

I return home feeling like I've just taken a healthy dose of sanity for the soul. I don't feel as invisible- instead, I feel like I've been pumped full of enough energy and friendship to last me another few weeks.

We'll need to do it all again soon.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

You know you're done with your back-to-school shopping when...

You turn around to find your girls pulling the pants off the mannequins to find out if they are anatomically correct.

Just in case you're wondering, the mannequins at Old Navy are in fact, anatomically correct. (All the people doing their shopping got the pleasure of hearing "Abby, I can see his weiner!" being yelled at full volume across Old Navy. Yeah, we're done. Anything that isn't done is done now.)

Is it wrong that I couldn't stop laughing?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Invisible

I need a vacation.

Not the pack everything in sight into the minivan, jam as much into a weekend as possible, then do two days worth of laundry because of it vacation, but a real vacation.

I'm thinking a tropical beach, a fruity drink, an absorbing novel, and a personal concierge.

I'm thinking a variety of therapies- massage therapy for sure. Possibly hypnotherapy, aromatherapy, and any other kind of -therapy that can put me back together again.

In other words, I'm struggling.

My blogger friend Terresa has a sign on her blog that says "So this is my life. And I want you to know that I'm both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be." I cried when I read it because it resonated so deeply.

I'm wrapped up in a bundle of contradictions. I love my children desperately, but am aggravated all too frequently by their simple (and loud) childish behavior. Every day I make silent vows to myself to be more cheerful, happy, kind, patient and spontaneous; I end the day berating myself for rolled eyes, sarcastic remarks, barked demands, and a few too many four-letter words. I love being a mom, but this week I have been tempted many times to get a job as a shelver at the nearest Barnes and Noble and never look back.

I feel invisible. Like rather than being "Mom" the person, I'm "mom" the object. You know, the breakfast making, complaint listening, fight mediating, rule enforcing, toilet scrubbing, grocery shopping, appointment making, child chauferring, nursing, diapering person whose life belongs to everyone else in the house.

I don't blame my children. Children are, by their nature, inherently selfish. But the sheer monotony of the day-to-day routine is sucking me dry. The overwhelming neediness of those in my charge has left me empty and spent.

I feel as if I've lost so much of what makes me "me." Me the person, not me the mom, the wife, the violin teacher, or the doula.

I know that I would be lost without my husband and my kids. They are my life. They bring me purpose and joy. I can't fathom a life different from the one I have chosen and made for myself.

I look at the moms that surround me and wonder. Am I the only one? Is everyone else blissfully happy and satisfied? Do all the other moms have strategies to cope with the tedious and mundane of everyday life with young children? If I'm not the only one, (which I suspect...) why are we not talking about it more? Why aren't there support groups for this kind of thing?

I was pretty deep into my funk a few days ago. No sleep coupled with a teething baby, (four teeth in two weeks is inhumane for everyone involved!) combined with two bored children in the middle of August left me longing for an entirely different life. My good husband took some time to really listen to me yesterday, and just the simple fact that I was being heard made a world of difference.

I wonder if there are others that have felt this way. Who have looked at their life, wanting to cling to their kids and abandon them simultaneously. Who have wondered if they've given away the very best parts of themselves, wondering if they'll ever get them back. I wonder if there are others who would join me on a oceanside beach chair with a trashy novel, a fruity drink and a personal massage therapist for a week or two. Just be warned. If you come on this fantasy trip with me, you need to be prepared to stay up all night giggling like 13 year olds, to play a mean round of truth or dare, to sleep until 10 and then take a nap two hours later, and then to decide after a little while that you really do miss your family and are ready to go back to being a mom.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sweet Potatoes and Snot

So what do these two things have in common?

They were both all over my shirt this morning before 9am, courtesy of my teething, drooling, sweet potato for breakfast, nine month old boy.

Friday, August 7, 2009

You know things will never again be the same when...

video

Yes, we once again find ourselves in the world of waking up at 3:00 am to find the baby in the bed next to us finding the baby giggling while practicing his newly-acquired crawling skills all over us. Or the world of poop smeared all over the carpet while Max tries to escape the diaper changes. The world of reminding the older girls 200 times a day that Polly Pocket shoes, pennies, and stinky dirty flip-flops do not belong on the floor because they will go right into the crawling baby's mouth. And the world of being just a little melancholy because my tiny little six pound baby boy is now a twenty-pound crawling little man.

(Oh and you have to pardon the messy floor in the background. Once your baby starts crawling, you know that your floor will never again remain picked up. Or at least that's what I tell myself as an excuse!)

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