Almost Sunk

I just reread all my previous posts.  It’s so much fun to go back in time and laugh at the memories or remember what I overcame.  The last one was two years ago.  That’s ridiculous.  I was reminded last week that I used to blog when I had a few extra minutes and it would always have a calming effect on me.  I want to have that again.  So… here I am.

I went through A LOT of shit in the last year.  More than I’ll be able to get through tonight.  But I’m starting to work with a therapist who is actually making me think about all of it in a different way so I can start to heal.  Healing is good.  I had gotten so depressed I felt like I was sinking with no way out.  Now I’m back to treading water.  And I might be able to swim again soon.

Rather than starting from the beginning, I’ll share some posts I had the privilege of writing for ctworkingmoms.com last year.

1.  How Did I Get Here?

2.  Baby Hangover

3.  Rule 28

4.  Don’t Forget to Remember Me

Quick updates on topics in these posts:  My dad has moved to an assisted living facility and is now also getting treatments for prostate cancer.  My husband and I have not been doing too well with following our rules.  One of my friends just had a baby and I have MAJOR baby hangover – but I get to visit all the time and get tons of baby cuddles so it’s awesome.  And I still wonder how I got here… but I’m getting closer to answers.  The more important question I’m focusing on now is “Who am I?”  Sure, I’m a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter, but those are all who I am to other people.  I’ve been so driven by what others need in the past several years I found myself feeling very lost about who I really am.  It’s time to find out.

The Fancy Dive

I was talking to someone a couple weeks ago about how hard it is to work full time and take care of two kids.  We are extremely busy at work, so while I’m there I’m totally focused and drained by the time I leave.  Then I pick up the boys, bring them home, Scott wants to eat, Matt wants a drink, the dog needs to go out, Matt still wants a drink, I have to pee.  Somehow I make it through the next hour and then Doug comes home.  Yay!  Two more hands to help  It’s so good to see you honey!

Now we go to a man-to-man defense to get Scott fed (again) and Matthew bathed.  I might start some laundry (to be forgotten later) or attempt to pick up a little, but I don’t get very far.  Matt needs teeth brushed and to get tucked in, which sounds like it should take 2 minutes but usually lasts at least 10.  Then I get Scott comfy and wait for him to fall asleep.

By the time he’s in his crib I am usually beyond tired and have to make myself brush my teeth.  I do a brief run through of the next day to make sure I don’t have to do anything else.  The dishes pile up all week, but I’ve decided it doesn’t reflect poorly on me… at least it shows I’ve been cooking (yes, pasta is cooking).

I’m just waiting for the moment that I forget to send Matthew with his lunch, or my boss calls and asks if I’m ready to go a meeting that I forgot about, or I get a phone call that I missed an appointment.  I feel like little Elsa trying to build the snow pile for Ana to jump on, but she’s going too fast and Elsa can’t keep up.  It’s only a matter of time before I give someone a frozen head, or just let them crash to the ground completely.

So, I was telling someone about this exhausting routine, and she said to me “Well of course you’re tired.  Look at all you’re doing.  You would be the person doing the fancy dive if you were in the Olympics.”  I smiled and thought about it a minute.  It’s true isn’t it?  When you see that diver up there, concentrating, balancing, you kind of hold your breath for them.  And then they jump up, do some inhuman like twisty flip things and hit the water with such accuracy they hardly make a splash.  You let out your sigh of relief and might even clap at the TV.  They’re impressive.  And so are moms.

One More Suck

I will never forget the story my friend told me about when she was weaning her son off of the pacifier.  He was around 3 years old and had been told he could only have his binky when he was in bed.  One day she had some family over and they were all visiting in the backyard.  She looked around and didn’t see him anywhere, so she went inside to track him down.  She found him sitting on his bedroom floor, his back to the door, next to his bed.  When he heard her he turned around, pacifier in mouth, and said he just needed one more suck.  He took his “one more suck”, put the pacifier back in bed, and rejoined the gathering.

These past few weeks have been difficult to say the least.  As soon as I started back at work the stress aggravated an autoimmune condition I have which made me really sick.  After suffering for 3 weeks it got so bad that I became dehydrated and nearly fainted in the middle of the night while trying to change Scott’s diaper.  In addition to that ordeal, I got a breast infection that hurt like hell and made me feel even worse.  I alternated shivering with chills and sweating through my clothes.  I was falling apart.  I had to take care of myself.  I went to the ER to get IV fluids and antibiotics for the infection.  I had to stay home another day too just to get some strength back.  Next week I see the specialist to follow up, which will probably result in getting put on steroids for while.  And that means no more breastfeeding.

I’m so sad I have to give it up now.  It has been surprisingly comforting to pump at work.  At least if I had to be away from my baby I was still doing something that benefited him later that night.  And I feel so much more connected to him when he’s nursing than I did with Matthew.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe because I know this is my last baby. Maybe it’s just that I’m more relaxed with the second baby.  Whatever the reason, it makes me sad that I have to stop before I’m really ready to.

Here are some other practical reasons why I’ll miss nursing:

  • You can multitask.  Nursing only requires one arm to hold the baby’s head.  That means I can change the TV channel, browse my phone, and eat with the other hand.
  • You always have it.  As long as I have a blanket packed I know I can feed Scott basically anywhere.  Now I’ll have to be sure to pack bottles, water and formula, or those ready made bottle things.
  • No prep.  This is especially helpful in the middle of the night.  When he woke up crying I could pick him up and have him eating at lightening speed.  No going to the kitchen, waiting for the water to warm up, measure it out, add the scoops, shake it up… ok now you can eat.

So in a few days I will give Scott one more suck.  I will savor  it for as long as I can and keep telling myself that I did all I could.  If I can’t function, then I’m useless and not doing anyone any good.  I need to be able to take care of my family and myself, and that means giving my body a chance to heal and not demand so much from it.  It has created, nurtured, and carried two beautiful babies, and I need it to be in tip top shape so I can keep up with them for the next couple of decades at least.

Workin It

Today was the day I’ve been dreading.  No more morning naps from 6-8.  No more Live with Kelly and Michael.  No more bringing Matthew to school.  Not only did I have to get two kids ready and out the door by 7 am, I had to shower too!

The morning had a rough start… at 4 am.  As soon as I looked at the clock I knew I wouldn’t be getting back to sleep.  I fed the baby.  Before I put him back in his bed Matthew was calling me, asking if he could get up and play.  I said no (it wasn’t even 5 yet), so he came in our bed to snuggle.  I couldn’t turn that down.  Scott fell back to sleep for a little while, but then woke up again, at which point Matt decided he wanted out.  After spitting up on me Scott was asleep again, so I got up.

After getting the three of us dressed, two lunches packed, and all our bags packed I was looking for jackets.  The baby was crying in his car seat (probably hungry again) and Matthew was crying that he was going to miss the dog.  Really?  The good news was we were actually on time.  So we rolled up to daycare, eyes dry again.  It was definitely hard leaving them both, but I did it.  I got my Starbucks and went into the city.

As I was driving I was telling myself that everything will be fine.  He’s in good hands.  They’re even CPR certified; I’m not (although I admittedly have a false sense of ability because I saw that episode of Punky Brewster).   My first few hours were spent going through 300 of the 500+ emails.  I was doing alright, but I knew I was going to have to pump soon, and I was really not looking forward to it.  When I had my first son I hated everything about breastfeeding.  It was messy, painful, inconvenient, and just not what I imagined at all.  This time has been totally different though, which made me even sadder that I had to return to work after just 7 weeks because I didn’t know if I’d be able to keep it up.  Pumping was also hard with Matthew, so I had avoided it up to today.  But I couldn’t bring myself to wean Scott enough to get me through the whole day, so it was time.  I quietly slid into my soon-to-be-office and closed the door, sat down, and plugged in.  I waited a while and then checked out the bottles.  They were filling up!  I was doing it.  Woohoo!  I ended up with 4.5 ounces!  I looked at that milk and found myself smiling.  I could do this.  I. Could. DO. This!

The afternoon was long.  I managed to find a problem already that was frustrating to work through.  I had to pump one more time – 3.5 more oz! – and then it was time to go home!  As I got out of my car at daycare there was a little boy on the way into his.  He smiled at me and said “I love Scott.”  What more could I ask for?  I made my way in, got my hugs and kisses, loaded up the mom-mobile and took ’em home.  Dinner was fast – leftover pizza.  That’s ok.  Scott nursed for an hour.  I kind of sort of watched the DVR’d episode of LIVE while also talking with Matt, and then Scott took the 4.5 oz bottle I had pumped too.  Hungry boy, and yes he ate just fine during the day too.  Now he’s sleeping, I have to go switch some laundry into the dryer, and then I’ll be in bed too.  Dishes can wait.

I made it.  Now… do I really have to do it all again tomorrow?

Inspired

Well.. it’s been a while.  Again.  But last night I received some inspiration in the form of a movie.  After I got my 4 year old to bed I started browsing the on demand menu on our TV to watch an actual movie instead of the same TV show reruns I’ve been tuning into each night. I picked Mom’s Night Out.  I hadn’t seen it advertised very much but my cousin had recommended it when it was in theaters so I decided to go for it.  It left me with an overwhelming feeling of pride in being a mom, and a strong desire to start blogging again.  I’m currently on maternity leave after having my second baby, so I actually have very little free time (he requires me to feed him almost every moment he’s awake), but I just got an ipad mini, so I should be able to use my lunch breaks when I return to work to draft a quick post (in true Super mom style, I can dream that I’ll be able to do it all seamlessly).

When I first started this blog I remember trying to come up with a catchy title.  I imagined the day that I would be able to change the tag line from “A tale of one mama and her little tadpole” to “A tale of one mama and her little tadpoleS”.  And now that day is here!  I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy 9 lb 1 oz baby boy last month.  There was a time I was ill (not super seriously, but enough to be a problem) and didn’t think I’d be able to go through another pregnancy, but I recovered nicely and am now Mommy to my two boys.  There are days that are overwhelming, when I feel like I’m not giving either of them the best version of me I could be.  I lose my patience.  I respond to my preschoolers never-ending questions with “Because that’s the way it is!” instead of actually trying to explain the topic at hand.  But after watching Mom’s Night Out, I know that that’s ok.  Truly OK.  Seriously, if you are a mom you need to see this movie.  I started thinking of all my friends I wanted to buy it for, but that got expensive pretty quickly, so I came up with another idea.  In Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants style, I’m going to mail a copy of the movie to one friend, and then have her pass it on to another mom, and so on.  Because I really think it gives moms a powerful message, and quite a few good laughs too.  Which I needed more than I realized.

Time to feed the baby again now, and try to get some lunch for myself.  Maybe even get in a shower.  Until next time… which hopefully will be soon.

He Did It!

Thank goodness for Bumble Bee!  He gave Matt the motivation to start potty training and I think it’s safe to say he is completely trained now!  He goes into the bathroom himself, tells us when he needs to go, and is so proud of himself when he goes!  The first few days were really rough (more on me than him) but we stuck with it, even though I totally considered just giving him diapers back.  The sticker chart was a big motivator too.  He would keep asking if his sheet was full so he could get another prize.

Once we got past the frustrating part, potty training was actually pretty funny.  One of my favorite parts was when Matt would be sitting on the pot, trying to poop, and he would let out a little gas.  He would look up at me and declare “just a wittle fart.”  It’s so stinking cute.  There have also been times he thought he pooped, but when he stood up there was nothing there.  He would say, “oops, its still in my butt,” and then sit back down!  Sometimes he’ll ask for some privacy – but it comes out more like “piracy”.  One time hubby walked by and asked Matt what he was doing, while he was trying, and he answered “Just hangin out.”

Most of his prizes have been from the preschool version of Transformers – Rescue Bots.  “Roll to the rescue” is said quite a few times a day in my house.  He earned so many I got him a Large utility tote from Thirty-One to keep them in (and keep the living room somewhat clean).

LUT rescue bots

LUT rescue bots 2

The “P” Word

Pee, Poop, and Potty.  Pick one.  We’ve been saying them all a lot around here lately.

This past Tuesday Matt came home talking about Transformers underwear.  After talking with Miss K, I got to the bottom of what he was trying to tell me.  One of the other boys in day care had Transformer underwear when he was learning to use the big boy potty, and Matt got very excited to hear that.  He wanted his own Bumble Bee and Optimus Prime undies.

Matt was first interested in peeing in a potty over a year ago.  We got a little pot for him to sit on, got some pull ups, but the excitement didn’t last too long.  He was back in diapers after a couple weeks, or maybe it was sooner.  And while I was getting a little tired of changing his diapers while he was kicking or trying to play, there’s something to be said for having reasonable assurance that his pants will stay dry while we are out and about or doing the dishes at home.  But I had heard enough from others to know that when he wanted to try to wear underwear I shouldn’t discourage it.  So Wednesday night we went to Target.  They had every character except Transformers.  Really?  There was Cars, Toy Story, Avengers, Spiderman, but none were good enough.  So on we went to Kohls.

Jackpot!  Found ’em.  Unfortunately, we had to pass the toy section to get to them.  Grrr.  In order to avoid a complete meltdown (it was now 6:00 and we hadn’t eaten dinner yet), we left with Transformers underwear and three new cars.  I tried pulling it off like I was planning to get the cars all along and he could earn them by peeing in the potty.  But that brought on the tears, and I totally caved.  Oh well.  That night I frantically read the potty training in 3 day book I had gotten a while ago.  It said not to use ANY diapers once you start with undies.  I am not ok with that yet.  The author will just have to deal with it haha.

The next day I got Matt up and dressed, complete with Bumble Bee.  He had one accident at day care, and a couple more at home.  I created a sticker chart to try and encourage more sitting on the potty.  Every time he tries he gets 1 sticker, peeing gets him 2, and poop earns 3.  After I explained this to Matt he declared “I want to poop!”  Yup, he understands numbers lol.

Friday he didn’t have any accidents with Miss K. Yay!  And he earned his first surprise with 10 stickers – a little Heatwave robot figure.  After peeing there, the other kids went over to check it out and said “He really peed.”!!  Some of the kids even told him, “Ok Matthew.  Now you have to keep Bumble Bee dry!”  This is the only time I will condone peer pressure 🙂 I’m also told another time he had been trying for a while, and then he just jumped up, flung out his arms and declared “I farted!!”  Too funny.

So feeling encouraged after a good report, I brought him home, had him try on the potty twice within a short time, with nothing to show for it, and then within a few minutes I heard “Mom, I got Optimus Prime wet.”  Wonderful.  Ugh.  It even went into his shoes.  Gross.  How bad would it be if I bought wrist sweat guard things and put them around his ankles? After his bath I was all ready to get him into a night time diaper and PJ’s, but when I went to put his diaper on he screamed “No Diaper!”  I was so torn.  Do I cry or celebrate?  I went with celebrate.  Then a half hour later he peed on the couch.  Time to cry.

Today I convinced him he needed to wear training pants over his underwear while we were at gymnastics.  Luckily he didn’t put up too much of a fight.  I did show him where the bathroom is there and made him try in preparation for another day, but he stayed dry the whole time.  While I was in the restroom with him I realized there will be places I’m going to have to take him into a women’s room.  That should be interesting… I have to say I have been very out of my element at times while trying to explain how to pee to a little boy.  For starters, I frequently have to tell him to let go of himself.  We’ll be in there forever with him trying to pee in .. eh hem.. that state.  But when I told him to leave it alone – and yes I called it “it” – he told me he likes squeezing it!!  What is a mom supposed to say to that??

There have also been times when I’m concentrating on getting him to pee so much, I almost pee my own pants!  I wonder if there is a record for how long a toddler has sat on a potty?  I feel so bad for him when he sits but can’t go.  He asks me if there’s something wrong with him!  Pouty lip and all.  It breaks my heart.  I just tell him he didn’t go this time, but maybe next time.  Poor guy.

Today he earned his second 10 sticker prize – a Chase car that actually transforms.  For those who don’t have 3 year old boys, he is a police car transformer.  So all night Matt his been making a siren noise.   He’s really good actually, but I have a bit of a headache now.  Probably should have saved that one for last.  Oh well, live and learn, and then get Luvs – wait we don’t need diapers anymore!!