Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Four Year Old and Christmas Lights.

I still remember when Kate was a toddler and every house or tree was something of wonder.  Similar now her younger sister walks up the everything and says "Tee, Tee, pret TEE", which is translated to "Tree, Tree, pretty Tree."  We would pack Kate up in the car and drive around to see the lights, and she would awe and ohh over every single house.

This year it was unseasonably warm on Thanksgiving and we were home.  The day before was the same, and I had hauled out all the Christmas lights and checked their functioning in the garage while Kate was at preschool.  Of course in typical style half the lights weren't working and I rushed out to buy more lights on  the day before Thanksgiving.  I felt the urgency of coming rain, and not having another adult around to help me.  I was going to be the weather, and it was going to be marvelous.

Up go our lights, with the typical hassle and small amount of adult tension.  But, there they are up and pretty.  I have the timer set up so they would be on when everybody leaves from Thanksgiving dinner.  A beautiful moment, of preparation and holiday wonder.

Enter the four year old.  While, we were setting up the lights she asked if all our lights were white.  Well, yes they are all white.  I could see on her face this wasn't' exactly up to her standards.  She even clarified that all the lights were white, yes all the lights are white.  So, then once it was night and everything was all a glow we headed outside to take a look.

Time for the glowing remarks, the joy of the holidays, maybe even a you are a great mom type statement.

"See Mom, other people have colored lights.  You don't have to have just white lights."  Pointing to our neighbors lights and exiting stage left.

Classic.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Premature Awareness Month: Life after a Preemie, the Second Pregnancy?

November is premature birth awareness month, and many of the activities were held last week.  I still wanted to help spread some more awareness of what life is like after a premature birth.  One area that I find often on support boards, and in conversations with other people is should you have another child after you have a preemie?  I think beyond the trauma of the event, and the health needs of your preemie this is the issue that strikes a cord with  a lot premature parents.

"Do we risk it all to have another child?"  "Could we do this all over again?"  "What are the chances?"
And the questions and fears go on and on.  I hope to give a little advice on things that I found to be helpful during my second pregnancy.  This is not an all inclusive list, and as with everything in my blog I am not an expert.  I try to spread a few tid-bits that might help you along.  Discussing specifics of your pregnancies and risks are really something to be done with a doctor.

I am a planner, an organizer and I will admit that the word 'anal' has even been used to describe me.  So of course a to-do list for a second pregnancy makes total sense to me.

Step 1:  Gather information.
I recommend that you call and get all your medical records from the hospital and your obgyn office.  This may feel awkward and you may even feel embarrassed.  Don't they are YOUR medical records.  It is the law that these are made available to you, within a reasonable amount of time.  It might take a phone call or few, and some time.  You might have to pick them up or have them mailed.  I still think this is important.  I read mine, and because I have a medical background I understood them.  More importantly I took them to other doctors with me.

I had my first child 300 miles from home, on vacation.  My NICU team, and maternal fetal specialist were not going to be part of my second pregnancy.  So, I met with multiple doctors PRIOR to getting pregnant getting their opinions on my case and the 'what ifs' of my possible next pregnancy.  For the doctors to give you answers about your pregnancy they need to look at your previous medical records.

I interviewed about four different doctors for my second pregnancy.  I ended up using my original obgyn, with phone consultations with a high risk maternal specialist.  I basically set up appointments that involved us talking, I asked questions they gave me answers.  One doctor actually asked me if I considered adoption because she thought that would be a better option for me.  Obviously, the other three doctors I talked to did not share that view and I left her office upset but glad I had talked with other doctors prior.

I wanted to know what my risks were for having another premature child.  They were high.  Factors that impact this were explained to me, in the that the more premature you have a child (i.e. how early where they delivered) the more likely you are to have another premature child.  Also, why did you have a premature birth?  This question is not always easily answered and in some cases not at all.  Unfortunately sometimes it occurs quickly, without warning and no outward symptoms.  Based on my case, there was suspicion that my cervix was dynamic or incompetent.  Making me at high  risk for future complications.

I wanted to know how they would manage my pregnancy.  What would be my treatment plan, and the logistics of that plan.  Could I have these test locally, or would I have to travel to another hospital.  A year prior to getting pregnant with our second child I had a rough outline of what would need to happen in my next pregnancy.  My plan changed a bit during the pregnancy, but even the bed rest, emergency cerclage and  minor hospital stay weren't not completely unexpected because we had discussed them before they happened (years before).

Step 2:  Gather support.
Once, I had talked with doctors about my concerns and our risks.  I then needed to sit down with my husband and decide if this was something we could do.  And I really do mean "WE".  I know that during pregnancy it is often very mother focused, but I think that with a high risk pregnancy you really need to make sure that the whole family is on the same page.

I suggest that you might get some counseling as well, prior to getting pregnant.  Alone and maybe as a couple.  Again talking about your fears and possible outcomes, is important and once you are pregnant and the hormones and stress are occurring well, conversations get all the more difficult.

We kept this a private matter, and I did not tell people outside the family much.  I am the type that would have liked to keep my entire pregnancy to myself if I could have but unfortunately I couldn't.  I still wanted this second child to be our families decision and didn't really want the added pressure from other people.  That being said, you may find a great amount of support and strength from outside you family.

We also had to get our finances organized.  I got disability insurance (STRONGLY encourage), as it was highly likely that I would have bed rest.  Having a preemie, can be very expensive.  The medical bills, and follow up bills and services combined with a cut in your ability to work can really add to the stress.  Saving for a second baby is always a good idea, and if there is a good chance that you will have another preemie I think  it is essential.

Step 3:  Jump into the deep end, and don't be surprised when you panic!
We were discussing a second child during my hospitalization with our first daughter.  When deciding different medical options for my treatment, I would always ask what impact it would have on future pregnancies.  Then I spent the next two years of my preemies life talking with people and planning for the next pregnancy.  My poor husband had more conversations with me, then he probably ever wanted to determine when we would have another child, and listening to all my 'what if' fears.

At some point it was time to jump. Stop talking and start living.  It was time to move forward and do what we had planned. Luckily for us, getting pregnant is not a problem at all and so I couldn't over analyze or plan that portion out too much.

I do think you need to realize though that you will panic during your pregnancy.  You will have some real scares, even if your pregnancy goes great.  I just don't think there is anyway around it.  And the closer you get to when you had complications or your had your first child, well that is when the really blank will hit the fan.  I mean I know there are a few people out there that are able to just cruise through and put all their fears aside, but I really don't think that is how most people feel.

Being pregnant is such a unique period of time.  The feelings of how your body changes, how the baby feels kicking, and unfortunately for those of us with preterm labor issues the way that everything feels like a contraction.  During a second pregnancy, it is like being on hyper alert  all the time.  It is exhausting for everyone.  My doctor retired after my pregnancy (seriously, my second daughter was one of the last babies he delivered), and I am sure he was thrilled when I wasn't either in his office or on the phone anymore.

I actually gave up sleeping from about 23 weeks until 34 weeks during my pregnancy.  Which is really interesting when you are on bedrest, and not something I recommend.  I had contractions constantly at times, but became a master at taking my medications, laying down, talking to the nurses, and talking myself off the cliff of full panic. I had a countdown sheet that I crossed off every day that I was pregnant.

Step 4:  ENJOY!
All the issues aside, you do want to enjoy your life and your decisions.  And maybe you don't find any of the second pregnancy enjoyable. Maybe even you decide that you can not go through having another child, or despite all your planning that pregnancy won't come.  At some point you have to let a breath out and gather your family close and smile.  Having a premature child, and a high risk pregnancy(ies), has taught me more about myself than really any other life event.  I learned that I was able to survive and do more than I ever though tpossible.  I earned each of my children through a lot of work and tears, and I do not take them for granted.   And at the end of day, I am happy that I did dare to take the plunge
  My most pregnant picture with my first daughter, taken at 22 +weeks, I was hospitalized later that week.
.My most pregnant picture with my second daughter, taken a day before my due date.  17 weeks of bedrest.
                                   One born at 1 lb 14 oz, the other at 7 lbs 7 oz.   Worth it all.

Previous Premature Awareness Posts

I am a few days late, but all of Novemember is Prematurity Awareness month.  I just wanted to highlight the post from the past few years that I have done to help promote awareness.

2012:
Remembering those we left behind.
http://tailsfromtheedge.blogspot.com/2012/11/prematurity-awareness-day-remembering.html

2011:
What to do for a parent of a preemie
http://tailsfromtheedge.blogspot.com/2011/11/what-to-do-for-parent-of-preemie.html

2010:
Symptoms of Premature Labor
http://tailsfromtheedge.blogspot.com/2010/11/premature-labor.html

 I also wanted to share this beautiful video I watched recently during this month of awareness.  I found it so beautiful and such a good example of the having a preemie.  I could barely watch the first parts, and which reminds me that even though I have come so far certain images can take you back in a second.

http://tailsfromtheedge.blogspot.com/2010/11/premature-labor.html

And then the next post will be my addition for this year...

Having another baby after a Preemie!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Whose to blame for a premature birth?

Almost every week I run a six to seven mile loop around a lake in the woods.  It is one of my most favorite places in the world.  I rarely meet up with anyone else, and it close enough that I can get there all year round.  I have run it in snow, rain and sun.  I have been doing this weekly run for about seven years.  I ran it every week of my first pregnancy, until week 23 when I went into preterm labor.

And that is where the pause is.  I ran it every week of my first pregnancy.  I ran it in the snow, I ran it in the rain, and I ran it completely pregnant.  I remember running down a fairly steep hill, with a hand on my small belly and my other hand with my dogs leashes.  My little growing baby would kick, and I would say to myself we are having a fun little run Kate (I had her name picked out from the moment I knew she was girl). I was hoping to run around that lake every week until at least the third trimester.

I didn't blame many people for the having a premature baby.  Really I didn't blame anyone except one person.  I had some slightly angry feelings at the nurse I talked to about the strange feeling I had earlier in the week, and again when I talked to somebody about changes in discharge.   I was generous with everybody though, and realized that they didn't have all the information and they did the best they could.  No, I let everyone else off the hook.  I was the only person I blamed.

I blamed myself for every aspect of it.  My body had failed me.  My mind and decisions had been poor.  I had not said the right description on the phone.  I had worked too hard during my pregnancy.  I didn't ask the right questions or read the right books prior to my pregnancy.  These and countless other thoughts are what I have and had thought for the last four years.

Funny the stories we tell ourselves.  And how we believe them.  I have quieted the blame voice in my mind a lot in the last year.  Honestly I thought that I had made peace with myself over a lot of it.  Then I realized that once a week, I let the story replay over and over.  On my run.

There I was on my run, like I do every week.  I realized that every time I get to that steep hill, I don't smile and think of a nice little memory of my baby kicking as I run down it with my dogs.  I think, SHOULD I HAVE BEEN RUNNING?  DID I CAUSE PRETERM LABOR BECAUSE OF THIS DAMN WEEKLY RUN I LOVE?  I DID.  I DID. I DID.

Every week I have been turning part of a great pleasure into a way to blame myself.  I bend what could be a happy memory from my first pregnancy (which lets be honest there aren't a lot of happy memories there) into a way to villainize myself.

I have decided this story needs to stop.  I have to forgive myself.  I have to run my run  and say that it was okay maybe even great that I ran that run every week.  I have to remember that my daughter was born at 25 weeks, 1 lb 14 oz and was able to breath without a ventilator or surfactant.  She came out screaming.  She developed those strong lungs during my runs.  My daughter learned to fight on trail runs that her mother loves.

The stories we tell ourselves sometimes are all we have.  Often there isn't the answer to why something happens.  We get to fill in the answers. Like the choose your own adventure books, does she continue to beat herself up for the next forty years or does she decide to forgive herself for being human and move one.  Does she jump into the underwater cave or does she finish the laundry?  Everyday we are choosing how we live and replay the stories of  our lives.

The blame story isn't working well for me.  Takes me directly to the end of the book, and the books is depressingly over.  I want to decide to go in another way,  I think that most people would agree that even if you are to blame for a situation at some point in time you have to forgive yourself.  You have to accept that this is the journey you are one, and it is good place to be no matter how you got there.

 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Witches Tea Party

I think a secret to life is to adjust your dreams.  Not exactly a Hallmark card statement.   All the same you can sometimes adjust your dreams and be as happy if not happier than you ever imagined.  For example, I always wanted to have a child with a birthday near Halloween.  I thought having a Halloween Birthday themed party (every year) would be great, since I love Halloween and it could be a win win for everyone.

Of course my children were born in June and February, no where near Halloween.  I really tried with Kate, as she was due in late September.  But between a crazy ability to get pregnant quickly and have my babies even quicker there was no chance for my Halloween Birthday dream to happen.

It is a slightly silly dream in the world of aspirations.  All the same I wanted it to happen.
 Time to adjust the dream.  No Birthday Needed.  And we arrive at the 'Witches Tea Party'.  I invited a group of both big and little witches for fun games, finger foods and a tea party though at this age group it was more like a juice party.  Mimosa with witches fingers were available for the big witches.
 Kate and I had a lot of fun getting ready for the party.  Since it wasn't for one of the girls Birthdays it felt a little bit more relaxed for me, and I didn't have the whole 'fair' or will we do this for the other daughter stress hanging over my head.  I have lots of decorations from pre-kids life when my husband and I used to host an adult Halloween party.
 No party is complete, especially when little girls are coming without cupcakes.  In our house it is chocolate that is greatly appreciated, so no need to go Martha Stewart, we just whipped up some from a box with pre-made frosting.  Good friends don't notice or care when you cut corners to have fun.
It would have been easy to sit around and feel sorry for myself, that I would never have my Halloween Birthday bashes.  It really was even easier though  to adjust my dream, and come up with a fun way to have it all. Throwing a fun kid and adult party without a Birthday involved was really a great way to spend time with the girls and also enjoy a holiday I love.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

November.

The cold, the dark, with wind and rain has officially showed up.  My favorite quote I heard today was from Kate, "Papa lets get cozy and cuddle on the couch together."  I couldn't help but smile on my way off to work, seeing my big husband coffee in hand with two itty bitty girls in pj's cuddled up on the love-seat together.

I am going to try and embrace the dark winter season this year.  I can't change it, so I am going to really try and embrace it.  Cozy, cuddle and all.  Don't remind me of this post in January
.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Finding yourself on the trail.

A wonderful weekend of friends, fun and time with family.  Monday feels like a cold hard slap in the face. A hang-over, with no alchohol involved. We all have our jobs to do, places to go yet we move slow and heavy like we've had a long sleep we don't wish to wake from.  Little sad faces at daycare, as I walk away knowing I am already late when the day has only barely begun.  Four years in, and yet Monday morning drop off still pulls at my heart strings.  'Stay with us, Mom', I hear over and over in my head as I fake a smile and wave from outside the classroom. Act cheerful and don't make a big deal out of goodbye, they are always fine the 'good' mom whispers in one ear.  You are late, late, late the 'stressed' mom on my other shoulder hisses.
 Calls to make, clients and patients to see, and so much paperwork I can't seem to get my footing on this morning.  Heart racing, head spinning.  Breath and drink my tea, the only anchor to the boat of  my anxiety.  The to-do lists seem to be all around.  Wonder if the girls are doing better with their day?  Have they already bounced into their Monday, and are they having fun with their friends?  How when I work so hard, does it never seem that I am caught up or even above the drowning level.
Lunch and time to run.  Oh, the woods.  My blessed safe place to be.  Earth, dirt and leaves.  On and on my chest aches with the cool air, but finally my mind starts to settle down to a hum of my breathing.  Earth, dirt and leaves.  No one can find me here, no lists, no calls, no pressures except for my own desire to run faster and faster.  Over the down logs, the small puddles, around the twigs.  Earth, dirt and leaves.  I made it. There is the lake smooth and empty.  Quiet and silken it waits for me to remind me that peace does exist.  I find myself for a moment on those trails, among the earth, dirt and leaves.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

What I didn't know before I was a Mom.

This is a list that has been rolling around in my head for awhile and by no means a complete list. They come in and out of my head on a daily (sometimes moment by moment basis), like waves crashing on the beach. I think, boy I wish I had known that. Over all though, I know it wouldn't have changed anything and is now just part of my reality. Still all the same I think of them.

 1. How loud children are. All the time.

 I mean really really loud. Sure, infant days they are crying and screaming, and heaven forbid you have a colicky baby but after that time ends, the real noise begins. My girls are a loud happy, loud sad and loud all times in between. If you are trying to talk on the phone, and say they are reading a book well even that is a bit loud. They listen to us, and can tone it down (most of the time) when asked. Currently K is into singing. I am not sure you could technically call this singing. At times, I have actually thought she was injured in another bedroom. No she is just singing in a high pitched kind of wail. I don't say anything, how can I? She is happy and singing. All the same, by the end of the day I crave a little quiet. Just a little peace and quiet.

 2. How much work is involved.

 I don't live on a farm. I live a pretty nice middle class, working mom life-style. It is still an unrelenting amount of work. Day-in-Day-out. Laundry, diapers, dishes, pick up toys, drop off kids, pick up kids, dinners and on and on. I wish you could say that you just think, its all worth it and every action is one filled with love. The unicorns, rainbows and sprinkles and sunshine fill your heart as you wipe your fifth bum for the day. No, not really it is hard and long days of tedious work. I did have the revelation the other day though, that this is also exactly what your children need. They need that stability. They need to know that parents are there for them, that is what instills you with a sense of safety in this world. Food in the kitchen, a clean home and bed to sleep in, and parent that clean, wipe and love you all the while. Growing little people isn't easy, and it isn't for the weak of heart but somebody has to be there so the children can chase rainbows, play with sprinkles and dream of unicorns.

 3. How often they are sick. And thus how often you are sick.

 Germ bugs, that is my pet name for my children. Not the very motherly really. Honest all the same. They are filthy little germ balls. I do my best with hand washing. Good sleep and nutrition, and of course vaccinations and modern medicine. I have the guilt that they go to childcare, where they play with other germ balls. A good week is when the whole family is healthy. Those are pretty rare, so I actually would say a good week is when one of the girls only has minor amount of snot dripping from their noses. In the last three years, I was pretty sure I needed to be admitted to the hospital for the amount of vomiting that had occurred (more than once) and I have also felt delirious with fever (several times).

 4. How proud you can feel when something goes well.

 We went to the dentist the other day. My little K, who has sensory issue always. Who used to scream and shake when I tried to put spoons in her mouth, and always dry heaves if something got to far in her mouth. She has been known to rock almost like a mental health patient when a situation gets to out of control and people are coming at her head. She sat in that dentist chair, and had a full exam with cleaning with a smile on her face. She was polite, nice and enjoyed it. I thought it was going to be dreadful, like it had been previously. But, it wasn't it was one of those blissful parenting moments of pride and pure satisfaction. I never knew that it would feel so much better to watch my daughter accomplishments than my own.

 5. It is still impossible for me to have the outside of my home and the inside of my house organized and cleaned up at the same time. Similar things then are that it seems impossible for me to have two children happy and healthy at the same time. Or I can be doing well at work, or at home but typically not at the same time.

 Nothing more to add to that one. It is life, a continual game of doing the best you can do. A game I will gladly keep playing.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mommy Wars, Social Media, and a dose of reality.

I went to a professional conference last weekend.  I happened to bump into a classmate I hadn't seen in nearly ten years.  We have children the same age, obviously are the same profession.  We seem to have big difference on our outlook on life though.  Granted this was a brief conversation but it went something like this:

"I see all you guys doing all your running, and exercising and just don't know how you do it."
"Hmm", I say quietly.  Thinking to myself, who is all you guys?  And how did my running come into this conversation at all.
"I have a hard enough time getting to work, and taking care of my son.  I have long hours, and a not much help."
"I can see where that would be really hard.  I have a lot of support from my family."
"I have no support.  Like I said I just don't how you all do it"
Luckily at that point the lecture was about to start.  I said my quick good-bye, still wondering who was she talking about.

That is when I realized it was case of believing social media is reality.  We may not have talked in the last ten years, but I know that she is on that darn friends list on Facebook.  The group of people she was most likely talking about are the people I went to veterinary school that I do talk to on a regular basis and that also seem to work out and we may a few pictures in running events.

I really left the conversation feeling frustrated.  I have a like-hate relationship with social media.  I like it at times so I can keep up with friends that live far away, or to share pictures and events with relatives that we don't see all the time.  Bedrest, and   the NICU were a little more enjoyable with some cyber-friends to cheer us along the way.  I like that it gives me a little break in the day occasionally.  Mostly though I just think the whole thing could blow up and we (as in the universe) would be better off.  It isn't going to happen, so because of that I feel that I just don't take it too seriously (most of the time).

I will admit on a tired night, when my house is a disaster and girls have run over me all day long I will glance at facebook and think "Geez, how are they doing all that!"  "How can they look that good!"  and eventually, "What is wrong with me!"  Then I turn off the computer, pick up my book and realize that is just a little (slightly fake) snippet of peoples best life and it is time to relax.

I post the cute pictures of my girls.  I don't post pictures of them when their hair is all a mess from waking up, and they are screaming at each other with dried food on their faces and pj's--- with my slightly filthy pet filled house in the background.  I will make a status update, about a fun weekend with the family or a silly thing I have done that day.  I don't tell you about my splitting head-aches or how many times I have eaten lean cuisines for lunch at work.

I am a real person,  I try to present a honest picture of myself.  That said, the 'mommy wars' are so silly, and I truly hope that my classmate take a bit of time for herself and realizes not to believe everything she sees.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sister Love or not so much....


The other morning little T had a bad case of the 'Mondays'.  She didn't want to do much of anything to get ready to go to day-care.  In the world of a 19 month old this means a lot of crying, whining and falling on the ground like a dead fish.  Out of no where, K decided to start singing twinkle-twinkle little star.  This is T's favorite song (or at least top ten), then the sisters walked hand in hand got their shoes and headed out the door happy.  They even held hands to the car.

Alert the media!  Take a front page in the newspaper!  These girls can actually like each other and act like helpful sisters.

Unfortunately though, that afternoon they were back to their normal selves.  I never realized until now how children bickering with each other can slowly drive you to insanity.  "She is looking at me!!!!", "Ahhh, Ohh, Uhhh"  "Taylor just pushed me (or insert, pinch, hit, smacked)!"  And on and on it goes.

I have nothing profound to say about it, I think that I have lost some brain cells to bickering.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Due date, four years later.

I remember how hard and painful it was the first year when Kate's due date came.  Such a hard emotion to even describe.  We had just completed one of the most difficult times of our lives.  We were home with a newborn.  Finally together after months of being apart.  How could you be disappointed when you finally reached the finish line?  Well, it was pretty easy.  Good outcomes make the horrible easier to swallow but, it doesn't change everything.

This summer somebody asked me if we were 'over' everything that happened in the NICU?  One of those questions, you politely smile at though in my head I am thinking, really did you just ask me that?  Its like asking somebody if they were 'over' losing a loved one, or 'over' that nearly fatal car accident they were in a few years ago.   You don't get 'over' these type of life milestones.  You move on, but you don't get over them.

We have moved on.  I don't think about it all the time.  The flash backs, panics, and tears are pretty bottled up now a days.  I don't adjust her age anymore.  I really don't think of her being a preemie, all that much.  But, I don't forget.  It is all still there.  But, more than that I think that now it is part of who we are.

We have changed.  The experienced has changed us.  You can't separate us out as much, and with that has come more peace.  More acceptance of our path.

Today I still remember that this was the day I was supposed to have my fall baby.  I still wonder how things might have been different.  I don't cry about it though, because we are right were we are suppose to be.
Due date 9/2009

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Excuse Me? I think I lost myself.

good #quote

The title sounds dramatic.  I don't really think it is that dramatic and I think that it is pretty common among mothers.  One day you look around, and you scratch you head (which is in a messy bun, with bits of food remnants in it) and wonder who the heck am I?

This is a recent conversation I had with my significant other.

"I think I am having a mid-life crisis."
"What?"
"I think I am having a mid-life crisis, at least with how I look.  I look dreadful."
"Okay, well..." long pause here.
"Have you looked at any pictures lately.  Because I hate them, I look awful.  I look like I just woke up and rolled out of bed.  My face looks splotchy.  My clothes always look disheveled and tired."
"Well, honestly we don't have much time, and most of the time we do just wake up deal with the kids and then go.  I don't think that we really do put much time into ourselves."
Big sigh from me, "Yeah, you are right."  Crisis over.

It is just slow and steady, but continual slide into parenthood.  In my experiences with each pregnancy you don't really feel human again until the child is over a year old.  So after a year of being pregnant, then a year of doing nothing but being up all night and having a little munchkin stuck to you all the time you are two year into and in my case I then got pregnant and did it again.  Now four year out, done with being pregnant but deep still in diapers and screaming kids I look around and feel just a little bit lost.

My old self, who could go get her hair done at least every couple of months and actually did her hair daily is long gone.  I have had my hair cut once in the last 12 months.  Typically I have time to do my hair once a week but that is with at least one child in the bathroom with me.  Shopping for clothes is either done on-line or at Target when I am getting diapers, and neither very often.

It goes further than superficial things though.  I couldn't sleep the other night so I thought that I would make a bucket list in my head.  Things I wanted to do in my lifetime.  I couldn't come up with much.  I wanted to go skiing again.  Travel to Australia. Then I was pretty much blank.  I honestly wanted to get more sleep and have some quiet time.  Maybe have an organized desk. Not exactly bucket list items, sleep and quiet time.  The dreamer part of me, is definitely been taking a little time off (she may be buried under the pile of laundry that is sitting next to the dryer).

I am not hopeless though.  I know this is a stage or a period of life. It will be gone before I know it.  My girls won't need me to do everything for them forever.  I will learn how to fit a little more self care in there.  I will slowly remember what I want on a bucket list.  I may look tired for the next decade, hell for a long time but, hopefully we will all just remain happy and healthy.

All the same, if you see my weary old lost self in Target trying to find something remotely stylish to wear (that doesn't have to be ironed), give me a smile and a wave.  Heck, maybe even lie and tell me I look good.  We could all use a little encouragement in this journey.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Good Bye Summer, Hello Crazy Pants.

It has been a great summer.  Absolutely fantastic really, though I have to say my standards are low.  For about as many summers as I can remember I have been pregnant, breast feeding, NICU staying, or pregnant again.  This was the first summer in four years that I dug out all my summer clothes and was actually able to fit into all of them.

I also decided that just because I could fit into shorts from five years ago, maybe I shouldn't wear them out in public.  I actually had a few pairs from when I was 18, so nearly twenty years old.  They fit and not in a horrible way but, you know I just don't need to wear those anymore.

We had a garage sale, and now I feel like I could have another garage sale as I am addicted to getting rid of baby things and clearing space.  I don't miss anything that we got rid of.  I was exhausted though, and thus I will wait till next year.

We actually started and completed some house projects (crown molding, paint, stair remodel).  Anyone that has young children knows what a miracle this.  I feel like our yard was not completely neglected this year either.

And I transitioned the girls into full time 'school' or day-care.  This was major and we made it.  I now have both girls not sleeping in our room (I wouldn't say Taylor is a great sleeper yet, but better).  They are both doing well, it is not perfect.  I still worry (I always will) but I feel comfortable with what I have found for them.  I really pray that I don't have to change things for awhile for them.

Now the brag will end, because I always keep it real.  There is tons we didn't get to.  We were going to go camping.  There was much more on our project list that is still not done.  I didn't compete in as many races as I wanted.  I wish we had a few more 'fun times', and less run around time.    And if I ever have these kids figured out, well I'll probably will be in the old folks home.

Life is such a work in progress.  Sometimes I have to just stop and celebrate the ending of a beautiful season, and the little things we were able to enjoy and accomplish.  And even though we say good-bye to summer, really September is so nice around here I vow to fit in a few more fun times including hanging out with the little Ms. Crazy Pants and  Sassy Sister.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

When Kids are Mean.


I heard that 3 year olds are about pushing physical boundaries, and that four year olds are about pushing emotional boundaries.  I never really thought about how you have to learn to control your emotions, and learn that your words can hurt others.  Self awareness.  I also never really thought about how these fun loving, cuddly toddlers will eventually turn on you and learn to say hurtful things.

I should have known.  I was and am a daughter.  I am still learning all the time, how to control my emotions and also how to say the right thing (especially when angry).  To be honest communicating, especially with those you love, is a lifelong battle that you will always struggle with.  I also know that I practicularly do not always say the nicest things to my mother.  I love her dearly but, I am sure I don't show it with my words.

My surprise probably comes more at how much it hurts when my daughter tells me something is boring that I have worked hard on.  Or the frustration at my inability to get my point across, or have her change her behavior.  And how much I just don't want to be with her when she is grouchy and mean.  The separation and development of their own personalities is something that I will need to brace and work on for years.

Just one more of the many things I am learning by being a 'mom'.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

2nd Child Guilt

I was surprised when I had my 2nd child how fast my heart could grow and make room for another child.  I didn't think that it was possible to love my second as much as my first.  Of course I was wrong.  I love number two just as much as number 1.

The only problem is, I can't do and create the same experiences I did for first child.  Your first child is like your first love.  A first that is so special and new, and all consuming that it just can't be repeated.  With my first I was able to make sure we followed a perfect bedtime routine, that included three books every night and every morning.  She was in bed on time, and had her meals exactly when she needed them.  We had figured it out together, and it was such a neat little package of family.

I can't do that with the second.  I don't have the time.  I have the first child demanding things that takes away from the second child and visa versa.  I try to mix their schedules, but I can't make it perfect for each.  I do the best I can, it is easy to love them but hard to be there for each of them when they need me.   I feel guilty.

I worry that each child is suffering because of it.  Sometimes I think that I need things to worry about.  I just hope that the love I feel and try to express is enough, and will make up for the fewer books and less than perfect routine the second child has.  Eventually maybe when they are both a little older too, maybe their routines will match up a little better.

Addendum:  Not sure if people even use that word in 'regular writing' but in my medical records if something happens after I have written the record I will add an addendum.  Anyhow, I was thinking more about this after I published this original post.

I realized that I wasn't thinking of some of the positives.   And the biggest bonus of being the 2nd child is that your parents are already trained.  We are so much more relaxed and fun.  Plus you have your big sister to play with and entertain you. Not to mention all the great toys that are all over the place. I have no idea how Kate was ever entertained, probably why she is such a reader (that was the only thing to do with us).  And we are so much more adventurous now, and willing to let the girls try different things.  When you aren't so worried and inexperienced, you can sit back and enjoy the ride a little more.

Of course, what I really hope still is that they have a lifetime friend in each other too.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Summer Sabbatical

 I took a month off.  I wish I could say I took a month off from work, responsibilities, running, and went to stay by the ocean.  No I just took a month off from blogging.  I have been at it for four years, and with everything else on my plate I decided to just take a month off and come back fresh in August.  
 So we had to just buckle down and have fun.   Family visits, cars to wash, beaches to visits, playing at the sprinkler park, using the kiddie pool and slide out back, eating berries and sundaes, smiles, sun burns and occasionally a little napping too.

I am proud to say that we have no children sleeping in our closet anymore.  Both girls are currently sleeping through the night and the overall drama that had plagued us for awhile has subsided.  We actually are the most rested we have been in over a year and half.  Its not all sprinkles, rainbows and unicorns around here but for now we have come to a little more peaceful place.
Everyone and maybe everything needs a break from time to time.  A rest, and regrouping are needed for blogs and families too.  It is easy to get so busy and do things because you 'have' to or you 'always' have.  Stepping back and making sure that it is something that you want to do is important.  And though this blog may only be important to myself it is something that I enjoy and want to keep doing.  A little digital journal of our family, strengths and weakness.  And with a break and some sleep, I will keep on typing.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Dark Period...

In full disclosure, life is pretty good.  We are all healthy, friends and family are healthy.  We have jobs, we can pay our bills, we have food on our shelves.  It is summer.  That said, it been a long bleak period here.  I have written about it before and the mystery still continues.  Everybody is crabby and not doing all that stellar.

First of all we are in the worst case of sleep issues ever.  Solution to these problems seem impossible.  When our youngest wakes up and cries, the older daughter starts screaming at a very high volume, this wakes the youngest up further and round and round we go.  This happens for naps, and night time.  But, only when parents are home not when watched by somebody else.  Solution:  parents leave and never return home.

I thought that I would just let them cry it out last week, not that I like to do this but...  I felt this was an attention seeking behavior by the oldest and if we stopped giving her attention then we could move on.  Unfortunately I had no idea what was in store for me.  She decided to walk into her sisters room at 2 in the morning, turn on the light and start yelling.  At that point, her sister was hysterical and startled and she was howling at a horrible, horrible level.  I stopped the crying out solution.

We moved the oldest into our closet in a pack-n-play.  She slept great with the occasional wake up, but never got out of the pack-n-play.  We were able to sleep for five days, which was really needed as this has gone on for a better part of a month.  Problem is that we don't want to share a bedroom with a four year old in the closet in a pack-n-play.  Solution:  parents leave and never return home.

I should mention that I have tried all types of other things as well.  Positive attention, reward charts, taking away things when it happens.  Increased one on one attention, dream lights, music.  We will have what I think are great conversations about it, and then that night or that nap all hell breaks loss and screaming occurs.  At this point, we have decided to leave the four year old in our room and we have moved into her room.  We will see how this goes.  To be honest, I have really lost all hope and I am slightly pissed that I might have to switch all the bedrooms around if it works.

On top of that Taylor is still the most unpleasant toddler around.  She refuses to walk as you can see in the picture, she walks on her knees.  It is as if she is stuck in a developmental tar pit.  I don't know if she is frustrated, but I am.  I am tired of carrying her, which only occurs after several minutes of her clawing my legs and screaming.  I try to have her finger walk or be independent as possible, she really can throw a big fit when pushed.  She is so fast and capable on her knees there is not much of a need to get up on her feet.  Like her sister, she is a late talker as well so she is also frustrated because her communication is somewhat limited.  She understands a lot, has started to love books being read to her but still no major progress in the words department.

So despite as I stated above, I know that in the big picture I have more and everything that I need.  All the same, I don't think that I have been this depressed since maybe the just post postpartum phase when I thought that Kate was going to stab me in the night because I had another child, and my hormones had bottomed out.  It probably is just months and months of exhaustion.  Unfortunately, as what happens when you are depressed I really can't see a solution or positive coming.  We will keep at it and I still have some hope.

Friday, May 17, 2013

On the Verge...

Life has gotten a little bit better here.  At least that is what I am saying over and over, and over again.  I get the feeling, and maybe it is just hopeful thinking, that we are on the verge of some pretty big changes around here.  And that to get there we have to be really frustrated for a period of time.  You know what I am talking about?  That period of time when you just feel like something has to give, and then it does and you are in a new stage of life.

Little T ended up having an urinary tract infection, which we are treating and has greatly improved her sleeping at least.  Her attitude well that is only a little better.  She still feels that the best place for herself is next to me or in my arms.  She will knee walk and crawl really fast but still won't attempt to walk much solo.  And eating is still mostly for decorating with or playing.  And communication is mostly yelling or screaming.

Big K has been doing great lately, though I know when I have to change her childcare and possibly her school here in a few weeks that may all change.  We have also decided to be very afraid of the noise that running water makes.  She screams and acts as if she is being attacked by flesh eating wasps.  Just in time for summer, this water sound phobia can occur when you turn on a bath, the faucet to wash you hands, and also gardening hoses.

I am doing better than last week.  To be honest it would be hard to get much lower.  I still in general feel very burned out on all fronts.  My job has been frustratingly slow, and unchanging.  I spend my free time doing childcare interviews and searches, feeling frustrated that I just did this and obviously didn't do a very good job last time.  Looking for childcare always makes me feel inadequate anyway, working mother guilt at its best.  Then when your job isn't going stellar, it makes it all the harder to feel alright about leaving your children with somebody else during the day.  K is at the age where she tells me repeatedly that she wishes I stayed with her all the time, and that she misses me when I am gone.  Its sweet, but combine that with an baby who acts sometimes like she is being murdered when I leave a room and you feel a bit drained and overwhelmed.

All the same spring is here, and we have sunny days between rain showers.  I went for a run last night after the girls were in bed, and the flowers are blooming, people are outside enjoying themselves, and it is green everywhere.  After months of running with a headlight, in the cold rain it is a very needed break.  Now if the rest of my life could fall into order I would greatly appreciate it.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hanging On...

Scratch what I wrote last week.  Wonder weeks are crap.  We are trapped in a month of wonder hell.  I am not sure what is going on, but my once happy baby is a very clingy, cranky toddler.  I want the happy baby back.


 I know that she is teething, getting those back molars in.  I know that she is frustrated because she wants to talk and just can't get those words out.  I know that she is a late walker, and even though she can walk she is  just too cautious to let go and really go for it.  I really do understand all this, but I have to say this is one of the worst stages I have ever gone through with one of the girls.

Little T has always been a very needy, or attached baby.  She has demanded being carried and held so much more than her bigger sister.  At 15 months out, my back and arms are starting to say enough.  Little T is screaming, no, no and no you aren't putting me down.  I can't do anything when I am at home and she is awake.  I have attempted to put her in the ergo and just work on, but that leads to more screaming.  I have tried just letting her scream, but it gets ridiculous and poor K even asks me to pick her up.

She is hardly eating because of her teeth, she just mouths her food, fills her cheeks and then spits it all out on to the table, chair and her outfit.  And then returns to screaming.  She will nurse some of the time and other times it is a similar affair asking, refusing and then screaming.

She also has taken to hitting, grab pinching and of course screaming some more.

Honestly the newborn phase was easier than this.  I had less screaming, and more sleeping when she was a month old than I do lately.  I thought it was wonder week, but now we are on 2 1/2 weeks (who is counting, oh only me, every single second).


I am absolutely tired of being around her.  And then my childcare quit this week.  Which though I am sure this current stage wasn't helping, but her reasons had nothing to do with the girls.  All the same, put it on the pile of  'my life is currently a bit sucky'.  Childcare is a huge stress to me, and I just went through this four months ago.  Apparently a year commitment doesn't mean much to some people.

So, I cried on my way to work today.  I prayed.  I mean I really prayed that this is all part of forward progress of our lives.  Each part of it really isn't that bad, but the cumulative effect and the grind of organizing, cleaning, caring for, picking up after, wiping, scheduling, shuttling, feeding it just absolutely takes me to the edge a bit.  As well, you start to wonder what am I doing wrong?  What can I do to fix this or that?  Could I have prevented this or that?  Why am I so incomptent at all this?

Tomorrow is another day.  Another day to try and face the sun, and pray that maybe we push on to another phase.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Wonder Weeks.

If you haven't heard about 'Wonder Weeks', I am here to tell you they exists and can make your life fairly miserable.  With K I didn't really know about these and though we had periods of time of rocky transitions, I either just thought it was normal or it wasn't that bad.  Little T is a whole other story.

There are periods of time that I just really don't know what to do with this kid.  The clingy, whiny, falling apart if I leave the room dictator.  Not to mention just not sleeping well for over a week.  I will  start to questions everything, is it the food, her teeth, separation anxiety?  And I am sure it at lot of those things, but then I will look up on the wonder weeks graphs.  (http://25.media.tumblr.com/80fadd74a429cb9f3e72b2eeadb5a379/tumblr_mjx4btzCtr1rogvd6o1_500.jpg)  This a chart that list a babies 10 fussy periods, the linked graph is a shorter version it goes past year in other graphs.  But, anyway these wonder weeks are periods of time that your infant may be going through a large amount of development and thus be extra fussy.

Little T most have a copy of this graph in her crib that she consults regularly.  She follows it to the day practically.  I will always be questioning other things, look up the graph and there she will be right in the middle of a stormy week.  And then to the day, she will slowly turn into her normal happy baby self again.  I love it too because it gives me hope when we are in the thick of it, just a few more days left and it should get better.

Of course until the  next wonder week...


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Preemie in Preschool

When you have a preemie, you hear over and over that they catch up at 2 years.  Most doctors and parents stop doing the adjusted age at that point and from there on out your preemie is now all caught up with their peers.  Or are they?

I think that there are plenty of preemies that are all caught up.  I am sure there are some preemies that will never catch up and have disabilities all their lives.  And then I know there are preemies like mine that live in middle.  K is caught up to ahead in many things but, still has issues that are preemie.

When you see her in her preschool class, I don't think she sticks out.  Or at least doesn't stick out that much.  She is still really darn small. People are often very impressed with her vocabulary and her speech, which I will admit is impressive.  It is even more impressive to others though because I think they assume she is a 2 year old, because that is how big she is.  I seriously just stopped putting her in a few 18-24 months clothes.  And her feet, well they haven't grown in over a year, she still wears a size 6 shoe (sometimes).    I have been hoping to get her up to 30 lbs, but boy we can't seem to get anywhere near that.

Her other issues are more subtle.  Okay, most are more subtle.  The kid won't eat still.  Drives me insane.  Let me repeat, DRIVES ME INSANE.  She won't try anything, doesn't like any variety and is very opinionated about it all.  As well, she won't drink anything.  These are daily battles, that after four years have worn me out (to be honest it wore me out after a year and now I am utterly exhausted with it). I swear that I have the only child that you have to force to have juice, or try to get milkshake down her.  She still gags on her food (thank you reflux, and oral defensiveness).  She also bites her fingers a lot, which took me awhile to figure out.  Some of it is that she has sensory issues where she doesn't know or is unaware of where her fingers are but, mostly its because she has adapted to push food forward in her mouth when she is about to gag.

And not eating and drinking would be okay if it didn't make her into a grumpy and a constipated terror.  I know when she is acting out a lot, crying a ton, and just being difficult that it usually has to do with the lack of eating and or the need to get a poop out.  I've done about everything to help this situation.  I have reward charts, rules on what needs to be consumed in a day.  For a month this summer I just stopped doing everything, thinking that maybe I was creating the problem with negative attention.  She didn't poop for over two weeks, and we had some serious doctors time and work to get that all corrected.  I haven't even gone into the use of miralax, and so on that I have orchestrated to keep things moving.

As I mentioned this is her not subtle issues.  Her other issues or challenges are much more difficult to realize or see.  Most people may laugh it off or may just ask me casually about it. I have really become more away of them as I have watched her full term much younger sister develop and grow. I need to blog about some of these issues more to give them justice, but do a quick google search for sensory processing disorders, NICU syndrome,  gross motor planning issues.

She runs into everything, she falls when nothing is around her, she has a hard time still with some of the most simple containers to open.  She can't open the refrigerator.  She struggles getting dressed.  I sometimes think that she will never ride a bike or do anything that requires that much coordination.  And its gotten much better but she used to absolutely shut down in over stimulated situations.  Like if we had a big group of people over she would just go lay in her bed with the covers over her head.

Now don't get me wrong, some of these things are normal toddler.  They are just a bit amplified in her.  Also, I haven't written about all the amazing and talented things she can do.  Her cognitive ability is almost scary.  She can read at least a kindergarten level, for example you hand her a book she has never seen from the library that is marked for 1st grade and she will read about 80-90% of the words.  She corrects me all the time when I read something wrong or don't tell the truth about something.  She has a memory that is amazing.  She asks me all about the patients I see in a day.  She will quote those patients, and treatments back to me several weeks later.  And, she can be so sweet and loving.  She really enjoys making everyone cards and crafts.  She also has this funny creative imagination, just yesterday she told me she had some cats in her room that were English and needed to make it back to England.  And on and on that story went.

I write this for a few reasons.  To vent a bit, because it is hard to deal with this.  I know there are parents that have far more to deal with but all the same it is a bit of a drain and even just the worrying wears on you.  I also write it because I want to show another side of the 'all caught up by 2' saying.  We aren't all caught up, I don't know if we will ever be all caught up.  Being a 25 week under 2 lb preemie just doesn't go away. She is an amazing gifted child, and I know that we will keep working on things to help her reach her full potentional.  We've come a long way to this point and I know that we will make it even further.






Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thoughts...

Chase your dreams!

I was driving to work the other morning rushed and late but thinking.  I was thinking of the saying, "What would you do if you weren't afraid of failing."  And the answer came to me instantly.  I knew exactly what I would want to do.  It scared me how clear it was, and yet what a big jump and change it would mean for my family.

Now that said, though I apologize in its ambiguity (not all things can be shared in the world of cyberspace), I have pondered this saying a lot more over the last week.  Because yes, I know what I would do if I wouldn't fail but does that really mean you should do it?  Fear does keep us alive, and failure though not life threatening can have different endings.

For example, I also made the statement this week, "If I was younger and had normal pregnancies, I would have more children."  Yes, I said this (even though I am totally sleep deprived, my house is a mess and I honestly feel that I can't handle my two children).  But lets look at this, I fear that I would fail as a mother but more so I would fail to and have another horrible complicated pregnancy that our family can not afford at all. So in this case, taking the jump, forgetting fear much like I did with the last pregnancy well, I would end up in the same boat (or in my case sitting on the same couch or bed for four months).

I know I am rambling, and since you only know about half of what I am talking about these are confusing ramblings at best.  All the same, "What would you do if you weren't afraid to fail?"  and then, "Would you actually do it?".

Monday, March 25, 2013

Scene:  Sunday Morning
Characters:  Mom, Big Sis (also referred to Katie Bug and Bug), Little Sis (also referred Sissy and TayTay)

Mom (while working on meal planning, and the weekly shopping list at that kitchen table, looking serious and slightly frazzled):  "Katie Bug, where is you sissy?"
Big Sis (eating a bannana, singing and wearing monkey sunglasses at the kitchen table):  "WHAT?"
Mom:  "Bug, where is your sissy at?"
Big Sis:  "Not sure."
Mom: "When did you see her last?"
Big Sis: "This is a good bannana."
Mom (starting to feel a little panic, but also just trying to get that grocery list done):  "Tay-Tay, where are you? Tay-Tay?"

 Little Sis (sitting calmly in the cabinet located next to the kitchen table, notice in above picture): "giggle, giggle, clap, clap"  (starts to shove plates and cups out onto the floor)
Mom (laughing and smiling):  "Classic, classic"

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sisters

Like spring weather, life lately has been unpredictable and challenging.  I honestly was so tired during the last blog post that I didn't remember a word I wrote of it.  I read it the next day, and it was like reading something for the first time.  I was a bit scared in that it felt like I had blacked out on part of day.  We have a wicked cold that has made our poor sleep habits ridiculous and then even when I do sleep I wake up coughing and struggling.  Combine that with a crazy work schedule, and I guess you black out during the things (note to self get more sleep and don't do any long drives until then).

 In spring there is rain one minute, hail the next moment and then sun.  Around here I have noticed a little sunshine around here.  As I have talked about before, the sister relationship has been Little T adores, and at best Big K ignores.  At its worst, K has been down right mean.  Typically there is only minor violence, but the acting out in other ways or jealous tantrum well those have been epic this year.

Slowly and surely though, I am catching more and more times when they are doing things together.  Reading a book, playing in the imaginary kitchen or just making our house into one giant mess.  I hear T laughing, and following behind and I hear K saying long diatribes about them being in a marching band (of course she is the leader and gets the best instruments).  Little T is learning how to reach back out and say, "Big Sis don't be so pushy and bossy all the time" (this sounds like a combination of baby growls and shouts, with a straight arm and pointy finger but not only amusing is effective and gets the point across).  They are starting to figure this sister thing out.

Being sisters is not the Hallmark card I imagined while I was pregnant.  I realize now that I am here to help them realize how important family and sisters are, and that sometimes that doesn't just come out naturally.  I am also realizing that this is an evolving relationship, like each of our relationships are and I will probably get to witness all type of phases in it.

Being spring who know what the weather will bring, or our health or family.  I think I will hold out hope for more sun.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Look who turned ONE!

 The big day was a few weeks ago, and after a scare last night were somebody deleted the pictures from the camera (but luckily he is very tech savy and figured out how to retrieve them all again) I felt that better share the fun day before it was too late again.  I did farm theme, and I absolutely loved decorating for this and I think that the girls liked it too.
 Taylor is a total ham, and I have way to much fun putting hats on her.  She will leave them on for a long time.  A few days later the hankercheif that she wears at her party became a hat at my party.
 Present were fun for both big and little sister, though Taylor mostly wanted eat everything...
 So cake time was perfect! There was no problem playing with her little cake, which
lead to smiles and sticky fun for all!  And even though I swear we aren't doing big parties each year, I am glad I did orgnaize this one and really celebrated this event!  Making it to year one is an acoomplisment for anyone, and whether it is your 1st child or your 6th I think that you should step back and enjoy. The amount of time and energy to get to that day, is a lot and a lot of pushing yourself harder than you thought possible.

It was a happy, relaxed day that left us a stinky mess and our beautiful girls.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Growing up...

Little T's birthday is only a week away.  She will officially be 1, and is much more of a toddler than a baby now.  This is the second year for me to have my birthday so close to one of my children.  It is the first time that I am really conscious of it.  When you are 5 days out from a cesarean, and just getting home with a 2 year old running around... lets just say life is a little fuzzy.

I am feeling very old and at the same time I don't want my baby to grow up.  I look in the mirror and see time marching right across my face, body and now my hair.  One crazy gray hair is next to another longer gray hair and so on.  Then pulling on my leg is my little baby, who looks up with a goofy toothy grin.

I have never really felt this way either about myself or my children.  Even with how challenging this last year has been, I still want to freeze it for a bit.  To just stay in this stage for a while longer.  To just be their mom, whom they need and love.  My body, face and hair could may go back five years and hold in that time period.

Of course there are other factors that add to this feeling.  K is in a Dad stage.  Everything is "Papa will do that for me, and Papa and I will do that."  Yesterday when we all got ready to go to the children's museum after I worked, she announced "I don't want you to come Mom."  followed by "Mom why don't you stay home."  Trust me after working all week, then Saturday the thought of staying at home by myself instead of hauling two kids to the children's museum was tempting.  Her words though do sting a little.

One of the hidden benefits of babies, though frustrating at times, is that they don't talk.  They need, and cry but they can not talk.  For me this is a little blissful.  K is so expressive.  I spent two years feeling like she would never talk, and now of course she is never not talking.  And the amount of discipline that goes into toddlers and onward, is really somewhat overwhelming.

I think I just need to pause for awhile.  I know I can't freeze time, or stop them from growing up.  I can try to  just enjoy a Sunday with them as they are right now.  And maybe enjoy my 'old' self a bit too.


Friday, February 15, 2013

The Things my little Sister Ate.


I have one child who won't eat anything.  Day in and day out, I struggle to get her to eat what I think is a normal amount.  Once she finds something she likes she will eat it for days and then one day stop.  And back we go.  Never ate a single jar of baby food.

With my second child, I should have been careful for what I wished for.  This one eats everything. K and I joke about it even.  We are going to write a book called, "What my baby sister ate."  We find her eating a toy and K will shout gleefully, "Another thing to add to our book Momma, she just ate my horse."

Teething of course makes it worse, but man oh man does this girl like to put things in her mouth.  Toilet paper.  Magazines.  Books.  Toys.  Shoes.  Socks.  Clothes. Her sisters clothes.  And this is all before preschool.

She eats food well, and amazingly compared to her sister but she is still genetically mine so she is fairly petite.  The chapters to our book though, they just keep going.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Good Bye January, oh and I hate this month!

 I dare you to tell me something wonderful about January.  Except that it is over.  I know, I know that if we get philosophical one could talk about how there needs to be a season of rest, recovery or a winter so that there can be a spring.  I guess.  But would it really be that bad to have summer everyday?  Would I really miss this time of year, hmm... I don't think so.

Why you may ask?   Let me just be a negative Nelly and tell you the reason I don't like January.  It is cold, and typically rainy.  It is also very dark, and yes fires and candles are nice but I like blue sky and some natural daylight.  On work days it is dark when I go to work, and dark when I come home.  I have spent the last two months doing most of my running with a headlight on.  Soon I am going to be developing some sonar so that I can be even more efficient in this low light.

Other reasons, the post holiday let down which was accelerated by the fact that we have been sick non-stop since about the second week of this month.  K and I had the stomach flu which included one of the worst 8 hours of non-stop vomiting, and a embarrassing public 'getting sick' episode at Old Navy I have ever had.  We have followed this up with a never ending, runny nose and are finishing the month strong with a hacking cough.
I know it could be worse.  But you know what, I am just glad to see this dark sick month in my review mirror!  Maybe next year I will have a month long conference somewhere.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Changing in 2013.

I am all about changing it up a bit this year.  I spent the better part of my weekend painting my bathroom gray.  I LOVE IT!  I was worried that gray was a mistake, too dark, not me.  I would miss the old blue.  Nope, it was about the most fun I have had in awhile.

I am on a roll.  Time to change the blog up a little too then.  I think I have about 3 faithful readers, one of which is my mother but oh well.  Its about changing the way I look at things, and by doing little things bringing a smile to my face and a new look.

Plus I usually change it up every year or so.  Now bear with me, the codes and things take me a bit.  I am not a computer person at all. I will get there, and it will look great (or I will ask for help).

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Being an Example.

 Being a parent is about being a good example.  Being a role model.  Helping a little being figure out how to behave in a situation.  Being a parent is darn hard.

We had a stomach bug visit this weekend.  One of those viruses that leaves you laying on the bathroom floor, unsure if  body fluids are going to be coming from the front or back.  More than once I had to do a baby shove off and toddler jump, to make a mad dash to fall into a heap in front of the toilet.

The good of a illness falling on a weekend is that we don't miss a lot of school, or work.  The bad is nothing got done in our 'down' time.  Groceries weren't purchased, life wasn't cleaned or organized.  Who am I kidding, lets just say life is less organized and less clean.  There are piles of vomit laundry and clothes everywhere, and well lets just not look at that 'contaminated' bathroom too close (thank-god we have two).

Anyway, on Monday I was home sick.  I stayed in bed, cramping and still producing grossness.  The girls had somebody looking after them, so I actually got some sleep and started to feel slightly human.  My mood was grim though, here I should have been in bliss.  I had quiet and rest, something I never get.  Unfortunately it was so much like when I was on bed rest last year.  Same time of year, same nausea feeling, same having others take care of my children.  Helpless, and somewhat useless.  It gave me time to stew in how much I hated bed-rest, and the months I spent laying in our downstairs.

My mood, combined with the stomach flu and not eating for two days continued to be dim.  K was in an equally sore mood that evening.  Her tummy hurt again.  We battled to get through the typical routine.  Finally she was in bed. Then the crying started, followed by whinny screams.  I went and layed down with her and rubbed her belly.  I knew how she felt, helpless and crummy with a aching belly.

I told her, "We couldn't dwell on how bad we feel.  We have to think of happy things.  What type of sprinkles do you like best?"

K was not going to budge.  Tears still streaming.  I rubbed the belly more. Finally she said,  "Don't want to talk about, sniff, sniff things I like.  I just want to cry and feel bad, sniff, sniff."

"Oh, come on K we really need to try even when we don't feel good.  We aren't going to feel any better by just thinking of unhappy thoughts."

"No."

"Okay, I'll rub your belly for a bit."  I then sang my 'mommy' songs that only my precious children find comforting.  I told her that I liked purple sprinkles.

As I rose from her bed, she sniffed a bit more and said just above a whisper, "Red, I think those are the best."
A few hours later she coated her bed, pj's and floor with more putrid vomit.  She then proclaimed that her vomit made the shape of a fish and we both smiled at each other.

Its not easy.  But, I don't like being a hypocrite.  I want to be that example for her.  Its easy to let your problems, memories  and thoughts cover you like a blanket, and even strangle the joy of each day.  And yes there are times to just cry and get it out.

I do think though that even in the face of days of stomach flu, one needs to think about what their favorite color of sprinkles are.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Plunge, 2013

Let me start by saying that I don't like to be cold.  My ideal vacation is on the beach and I love to be in the sun.  I also am not a funky, wacky person.  I don't wear crazy items even on holiday usually.  I tend to be more your standard type 'A', and now type 'A' mom from my head down to my socks.

For me to decide that I was going to dress silly and go plunge into a freezing cold lake on the first day of January was a bit different for me, and a very new experience.  I will say though once I put my mind to something, I will do it.

There I was running the double baby jogger as quick as I could to get down to the lake with my family (of course we were a little lake, parking was a nightmare, and K was being a challenge), where I then stripped down to my running closes, Wonder Woman socks (I love Wonder Woman), and K's borrowed cat fuzzy hat.  I stood with one of the oddest group of people I have been with in awhile, the man next to me had on pink skinny jeans and wig of blood braids.  Then at noon on the dot we all ran into a freezing cold lake, with a outdoor temperature of 30 something degrees.

What an experience!  First you feel the cold on your legs, and it feels a bit shocking.  Then it hits you, well you can imagine what comes next.  Now that takes your breath away.  I couldn't help but already be pondering what would be next because I vowed to go under the water.  My head and face, and that is when I think I stopped breathing for a minute.  Before I knew it I was running back to my family and wrapped up in our beach towel.

Its a great analogy for life though.  A mini example of taking a risk, or doing something a bit silly and unexpected.  You worry about it, you think that you shouldn't do it, you start to plan a way out of it.  Then get a little courage and do it!  And it was fun, silly and gave you new sensation and appreciations.

I want to have some positive changes in 2013, this I decided was just the way to start things off!