Sunday, November 18, 2012

I'm tired. "Can't you see she's pooped!?" -- Mel Brooks, I'm Tired

I've kind of given up and that's not where a woman, wife, mother and worker bee should be just before the holidays.
I'm tired.
That's the whole truth.
I'm really tired.
In my family I am responsible for guiding our family through our family values and rules.
I'm responsible for ensuring we eat nutritious and healthy brain fueling food.
I'm responsible for trying to follow our routines that include appropriate bedtimes and naptimes.
I'm responsible for remembering social calendars and professional events.
I'm responsible for knowing where glasses, wallets, keys etc are for the family.
I'm responsible for keeping the master supply list and remembering to pick up our weekly staples.
I'm responsible for remembering where important documents are even if they've been removed from our filing system.
I'm just so tired and want a break.
Why do I need to know all this stuff?
Why am I the one responsible to remember everyone's schedule?
I know. I know. I'm the mom. It's the job description.
It's just, it's getting really hard to keep this up.
I have a laundry list of to dos when the kids are asleep. I don't most of these things so I can attend to the children's needs.
When they are finally asleep I try to work on them and many times I get guff for it. Why don't you rest? You've been battling a cold for two weeks now. (Yes, I know my immune system is low.)
Why don't you this?
Why don't you that?
Well, because spending time with my children, quality time, not time on the phone, computer or what not is important to me. It's finite time. Making the shopping list can happen when they are asleep or when I'm showering or on the loo.
But now I'm at a point where the Christmas season is going into high gear and I'm done already.
I need to make a Christmas list for presents.
I need to make a Christmas list of ideas for not only the kids but my husband because his family always asks me what he needs/wants.
I need to purchase Christmas presents for my kids from my in-laws because gosh darnit, using and purchasing from the wishlist is too high tech.
I need to make a Christmas list for my husband because gosh darnit, he has no clue what to get me.
I need to make a list of all the Christmas bonuses and tips we give to our building staff and support.
I need to make a list of Christmas todos and purchase tickets for our annual traditions.
I need to make the Christmas cards.
I need to make the Christmas sweets.
I need to plan the Christmas breakfast and dinner menus.
I need to figure out how to stash all the Christmas presents and when I'm going to be able to wrap them.
I know. I know. First World Problems.
Truly, I am thankful and blessed and know others would die to have these problems.
Like I said, I'm just tired.
Right now, my kids are at the playground while I'm planning the Thanksgiving timeline and taking some ibuprofen. My son has bit me again and my nipples are throbbing.
Add to the stress that I suppose, I'd want, I have the stress of trying to find time to pump my already sore breasts so he has milk while I'm in the office.

Again, I'm not asking for these minute stresses to go away. I am very blessed.
I'm just tired.
Since Hurricane Sandy, the days have quickly passed. I have had little to no rest. Last week alone I had to commute 6 hours total to Washington DC for a meeting. That night, I rushed home to attend a meeting on the budget for our local parks and playground. Every other night is a meeting for our community boards. Every week there is at least one school tour I need to attend. Every other week there is an admission interview my daughter attends. Every day, I'm trying to squeeze in quality time and enrichment time with her while trying to make this whole kindergarten process fun and easy going for her. I don't want her to feel my stress.

And then there are the late nights in the office. It got to the point a two weeks ago my daughter during our afterschool cell phone conversation asked her dad to drive to my office and pick me up. I told her I had to stay longer to work and she said she'd wait in the car downstairs for me. (Kids really know how to guilt you, even at the age of 4.)

I now this is fleeting and I'm going to look back and smile at these moments and forget some of the emotional and physical stresses but for now, I just need to shut down and that's what is scaring me.
I can't shut down the eve of Christmas season.
I can't.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Breastfeeding and the pump

The hardest part of breastfeeding once you get into a routine and learn your child's cues is finding time to pump.

It's the hardest thing for me these days.
I have to force myself to wake up or to physically get the pump ready to pump.

My son is going through a growth spurt too so I'm trying to pump but it's been difficult.
Small steps I keep telling me.

I did it for #1. I can do it for #2.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Happy Birthday to my gentle giant

Today my son turned 1 year old.

Honestly from his first moment of life in this world I felt he had an
older soul that his age. Developmentally he appears to be hitting his
milestones as usual (aside from knowing my name at the age of 4 mths)
but there has been something about him that seems older.

His birthday was a purposeful quiet affair.

The one request from my husband was a cake for DS. Since DD's 1st
birthday, I have always made a mini cake for our kids. It's their very
own special cake.

My request was a family photo and my own birthday present. (More on that later.)

I took my traditional birthday hour photo of him. He was crying at the
time this year. Inside I thought of how I will not be able to keep
this tradition up when he goes to school. A little piece of my cried
at the thought.

DD said DS was crying because he wanted his balloon present. DD wanted
her present to DS to be helium balloons so we planned for her to go to
the party shop after school to pick some up with her Dad. Honestly, I
think she was pretty proud and felt like a great big sister.
The pictures from my husband of her holding onto the balloons tightly
through the windy street shows it.

DS loved the balloons and had a jolly time swatting them.
DD was uber adorable. When she came home with the balloons she said
she wanted to let the free float. I explained we should tie them to
the chairs. She became concerned and said,"but then DS will float
away!"  DH & I explained that as long as the object holding the
balloons is heavier I would be ok.

When it as cake time it was my own personal version of Young Frankenstein.
During a solo rendition of Happy Birthday (DH & DD went silent.) DS
decides to attempt to grab the fire.
My son is going to have some weird sensory memories to the Happy birthday song.

Once that was settled, my daughter ran to the kitchen and returned
with a spoon and said she wanted to feed DS. Feed she did. One
spoonful to DS. Two to herself. Watching DS follow the spoon with his
mouth open was hysterical. After the second time he started grunting
and when that didn't stop DD he started swatting her with his mitts.

At the end of the night with bellies filled with sugar fee apple cake,
the kids went to bed and Mom grabbed a bottle of {insert beer} and
started work on kindergarten admissions. That's right. Parenting does
not allot time for rest. Forget about Halloween. Our next big to do is
kindergarten admissions.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Work Life Balance

Can you not have the computer around the kids for today only?
If I can get this done, then I won't have to have the computer around the kids.

I just want him to focus on the kids. He does most of the time but since his funk, he hasn't focused his attention on them.

If I push him, I'm afraid he'll drop back in the funk. If I don't I hear my kid say, "Daddy is on the computer."

I had parents that worked very hard to provide the best they could for us. I appreciate it. I want the best but also know how important it is to focus on the children and to give them the time they need.
Parenting is such a balancing act and I know it continues throughout.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Just once, may I come home to a clean home.

After a very long day at work, I always come home to a freaking cyclone aftermath.
I'm ok with this as I understand spending time with the kids is more important than keeping the house in a semi-livable state.

What really pisses me off though is how after the kids are asleep, I'm the only one cleaning up.

Listen, I understand the day has been long but it's been long for me too.

In in some magical way, I've been able to find the toothpaste by the front door and the wipes under the dining room table.

I have no idea how to broach this subject because his un-diagnosed ADHD will only inhibit me from cleaning up in a timely manner.

So I suck it up and I do as much tidying up as possible quietly to avoid waking everyone up and as quickly as possible so I can do the things I planned/need to do before one of the kidlets wake up.

In all honesty, it's one of the main reasons why I'm reluctant to move to a bigger place. I can barely keep up with the freaking post-aftermath cleanup by myself.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Shutting down now...

I'm not always the strong one. In all relationships, there needs to be a see sawing to allow each person to be human.
For months now I've been trying to be the strong one and I've hit my breaking point.
I'm done.
I'm am tired of walking on egg shells.
I'm tired of saying one word and then hearing a tirade with a "I'm just telling you how I feel, can I not tell you how I feel?" guilt.
I know when I'd rather be anywhere but home that I've hit the wall.
My head is all cloudy.
I have a million projects for work.
I have a million projects I actually want to do for home and the support I get nowadays is, "Yes you are the only one who wants to do that. How long do you want to do that anyway?"
There are only a few things I want to do for myself and although they may not be what other's consider their happy zone, they are mine.
I don't belittle your happy zone, don't belittle mine.
Support my interests as I support yours. That's all I'm asking.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

No more mucus, please

For the past two weeks my house has been filled with sick children and adults and a dog.
It has been mucus this and mucus that.
By Friday of last week I had it. I started scrubbing and cleaning everything top and bottom.
I was done. Now scrubbing nowadays does not entail the labor and time that I used to have.
Nowadays I'm happy that I can scrub it to a presentable appearance.
I have kids now. There are crayons on the wall.
I have a dog that ate my pre-war wall.
I'm just happy that the floor isn't sticky and the fingerprints on my stainless steel fridge make a pretty pattern.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

We're all yellow, kid.

The other day in the elevator, my daughter exclaimed there were brown people and that she was yellow.
My immediate reaction was to ask who told her that she was yellow but withheld myself.
I asked her to clarify.
me: You are yellow?
DD: Yes and so are you.
me: Oh.
DD: And so is Daddy. See, our skin is yellow.
me: Oh, yes, our skin is yellow.

I'd like to think that she's still very young and has not been subjected to this derogatory statement. Still it made me pause and wonder what other kids may say to her and how it's important to let her know how her parents felt on the subject. Afterall, we are a strong influence on the opinions she will make.

Then it made me think of an incident at the playground a few weeks prior.
DH is like the pied piper for kids. He treats kids like they are human beings and not beneath an adult, which is one of the reasons why he's an awesome at home dad.
Anyway, two children of a eastern european background were talking to him and asking him questions about our dog and he was showing them how to approach a strange dog and how they should ask the owner of a pet permission before approching a dog.
The conversation somehow shifted and the youngest kid made a statement that he has to lock his doors so the 'black people' don't break into his apartment. His older sister shot him a death stare.
DH chuckled a little and mentioned that it would be advisable to lock the door in general to be safe to which the boy corrected himself and said, yes.

I know parent's opinions, stereotypes and bigotry can perpetuate. Offspring look to them to see what is acceptable in their circle and they emulate it in their growing circle.

I'm not the type of person that believes we should be 'blind' to differences. I tell my kids that everyone is different and unique and that's what makes us special. I explain that everyone is different and that we can learn from each other which makes life fun and interesting.
Once my daughter asked me why things are different. I thought long and hard and I said, "Because life would be boring if we were all alike and the same. We are all the same as God made us but we are each made a tad different to help each other and to help spread God's love."
I don't know if that was the answer but I suppose as with everything in parenting, I won't know.
I do know that the questions will only get harder and I continue to pray that my children continue to be surrounded by those who have the love of God in their hearts and that they do not accept bigotry as acceptable.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A new leaf

My husband did something wonderful for me today.
He doesn't know it but he did.
He succintly expressed his frustrations and his funk to me.
I know this probably makes not sense but by him being able to express it verbally, it was a bit cathartic for me.
I'm not sure how he feels after he let it out but I feel better.
Now, I don't have a solution nor should I as he needs to get himself out of it but I now can better understand a bit what he might be going through.
Sometimes just being able to put things in words can turn the page and start the new chapter.
I will keep praying and trying my best to be strong.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Let it Go. Just Let it Go.

I'm feeling tired. Not the tired that a nap or sleep would cure.
I'm tired. I'm tired of juggling. I'm tired of trying to appease everyone and try to make things right or easier or manageable for others.
I'm spent.
Can I shut down? No.
I must go on for my kids and my husband and my family.
I'm tired though and the hardest part is to not let this get the better of me, not let my children become effected by this.
For a long time, I've been trying to find solutions to a problem that I cannot solve. I need to let it go.
It's easier said than done.
I'm trying though for my own sanity, I need to relinquish and free myself from the angst.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sacred Space, or how the Bathroom has become our social club

I just sat here and had a 15 minute conversation with two fellow moms about how privacy in the bathroom does not exist for a mother.
For some reason, the bathroom is open forum for kids to come and go and discuss whatever with their moms. It doesn't matter the age either.

Mom#1: I'll be sitting there with my drawers on my ankles and they just come in to talk to me as if this is acceptable social behaviour.

Me: This morning, my infant son stood by the edge of the tub watching me shower. At least I knew he was safe. Then my daughter knocks on the door and asks if she can 'watch me shower'. Apparently I'm performance art.

Do men have these issues?
My husband doesn't. He locks the bathroom door.
Last time I tried that, I had to try to relieve myself with ongoing banging and a conversation between a door that I'm sure our neighbors heard.

DD: Mom, why did you lock the door?
Me: Because I need some privacy.
DD: But I'm not allowed to lock the door.
Me: Yes, but for Mommy it is ok sometimes to lock the door.
DD: Are you peeing or pooping?
Me: What?
DD: Are you peeing or pooping?
Me: Pooping.
DD: Is is stinky? Is it hard poops? Did you eat your vegetables?
Me: Why don't you check out the new puzzle book and I'll be out soon.
DD: {loud noises of items being dragged to and fro}
Me: Honey, what are you doing?
DD: {silence}

That's the kind of silence you don't like. That's the kind of silence that causes your natural body functions to completely shut down as your body knows you must get out there to see what destruction awaits you.
It's the kind of silence that leads to you going out to find she's dragged her chalkboard through the hallway, pulling all the rugs with it and scuffing the wooden floor underneath.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Society of Parental Knowledge

Anyone who thinks they couldn't benefit from shared experiences with others, is building a wall and causing stagnation.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Night Light

My daughter has started to use a night light.
She's fascinated with flashlights and since she was little but never used a nightlight per say.
We've use a headlight to read during cuddle time.
We have had this lantern by her bed for nighttime potting since she was 2.
Well, now it's now her nightlight. She leaves it on, closes her door now. I check on her every 10-15 minutes and when she falls asleep, I turn the flashlight off.
I have to leave it on her bed though. In the middle of the night, she will turn it on and make her way to the bathroom. 
She no longer has the entourage of 100 stuffed animals on her bed. She now just has her nightlight, mommy giraffe and daddy giraffe. Brother and sister giraffe stay on her nightstand with her headlamp.

It's actually quite cute. She's a huge robot fan and for as long as I can remember she calls the lego people robots.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Save, Spend and Share and a little Spanish lesson

So my daughter has shown interest in piggy banks. so now we're making our 3 banks and emphasizing saving, spending and sharing.  She still is learning the denominations but we think it's never to early to instill the 3s.
We explain sharing as being similar to what we do with our weekly tithing. I'm not sure if that's correct but it seems to work for her.

Oh and she asked how to say pee and poop in Spanish. Just in case you were wondering where the 4 year old is, she threw that in for good measure. :-)

Friday, September 14, 2012

I Beam

I feel like my husband has been in a funk lately and it's more than just his normal pre-birthday funk.
What's awful about it is I don't know how to get him out of it.
I know. I know.
It's not my call to get him out of it.
Still, as a wife, I wonder and ponder what could I do to help.
We all go through our funks.
I'll tell you those first few months with #1 was a major funk for me. I loved my daughter dearly but my world was rocked hard and it really caused me to reevaluate things.
Through it, my husband was pretty much optimistic.
I know things come. Things ebb and flow. That's life.
Maybe we are just going through another one these rides.
I try to be strong but my husband is the stronger of the two in reality but I'll be steadfast and brave for him. We are team and a family and we support each other.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What happens in preschool stays in preschool.

Bean had her first day of school.

Honestly, I don't consider this school for whatever reason.

I'm sure if I had, I'd be more emotional.

The grandparents seem more emotional over it.

Still, we picked out a lovely backpack, robots.
We picked out a snack bag.

We made our snacks together and every evening at bedtime she gives me a request for her snack the next day.

She's at school for 2.5 hours a day.

She has been hush about what goes on.
I've only been able to extract they read a book about how dinosaurs go to school and she likes to play with the puzzles alot.

She even came home with an artwork in her backpack yesterday. Actually it was her name written in crayon. She doesn't write her name from left to right. From what we gather as long as all the letters are on the page somewhere, she says that's her name.

I asked her about it and she said, "I don't want to talk about it."

And so it begins. Just like her music class. What happens in preschool stays in preschool.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Where have I been?

Well in a nutshell trying not to loss my Schmidt.
Five years of intense attachment parenting, a sucky economy, a tired husband juggling fatherhood, husbandry and a slew of family crazies inquisitive four year old and a fast moving infant have left little time for sleep.
I've been dealing with introspective questions too. I generally let them out here but I just haven't had the time.
I watched the DNC last night and Smooth Bill should folks how to rally.
The economy sucks now and I think a lot about how my parents did it during an even worse economic time in the 70's.
I know I'm blessed and am thankful every day but as a parent you can't help worry. It doesn't consume me thankfully but it's never a good feeling.
Family has also been a weight Ob or shoulders. Instead of support my husband has had to juggle alot these days. I won't go into it but the man deserved a mancation but got wait for it

>600 miles clocked driving back and. forth for more family obligations than relaxation.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Being a parent has a degree of guilt. The trick is to realize when the guilt is sane or insane.
Some folks cannot manage this.
Unfortunately these same folks will displace this guilt on their kids.
I know I'm a new mom. I know that there is more for me to learn. I also know parenting is different for everyone and one size does not fit all.
However guilt is universal. Folks need to be able to manage it better.
My family is being affected by a person's guilt and regret. This miffs me.
I've never been a one to live in regret. I believe things happen for a reason.
Sure it sometimes is cool to think 'what if' but for the most part, I'm happy for the here and now.
So when people try to drag my family down in their 'what if's' and regrets, it pisses me off.
Leave my family alone.
Don't suck us into your inner turmoil vortex.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Toilet Paper Roll Whisperer

I get asked once a week, why do you do this? Why don't you do nothing.
I can't. I'm a mom. I'm a wife. I'm a woman. We don't do nothing.

I really try not to multi-task. I know they say it's not good for you but bloody hell. Unless I have the magical ability to stop time, there is no way things can get done without it.

I am the woman that brushes her teeth and restocks the shampoos and soaps while showering.

I am the woman that makes dinner, washes dishes and makes grocery and menu lists while cooking.

I am the woman that wakes up early so she can sort trash and recyclables, sort laundry and review work emails.

It's just the way it has to be.
The one place I try not to multi-task is when playing with my kids.
I want them to know I have their attention. I expect theirs.

I also do things to help my family along. I will wake up early to start breakfast so that my husband doesn't have to worry about it while juggling two kids.

I will find his wallet, cellphone, keys, ids, etc and place them by the front door or charge them so they are fully charged the next morning.

I will refill the toilet paper and paper towels because I wouldn't want anyone to be in a bind.

I take the extra seconds to do the tiny things to avoid the annoyances or inconveniences yet I'm told either I am not prioritizing or when I do forget, it causes a cataclysmic eruption of "holy crap!"

What's the deal? Do I tell myself, suck it up, man. You got them into the habit of having toilet paper available. Just be glad you're not wiping their asses too.

Do I tell myself, stop? No, because I have to be all Christian and have a little voice that says, "Do unto other as you would have them do." By the way, that's when the human me says, "What I really like them to do is fill the damn toilet paper."

A few weeks ago, I noticed that empty toilet paper rolls were being left on a towel rack. Like little soldiers they were lined up to the point where they filled the length of the rack. What the hell is that about?
Honestly, is that a message to me to fill the damn toilet paper roll?

Anyone who knows me, knows that would not be me. Either I'd take the roll and stash it for some crazy arts and crafts project with the kids or I'd recycle it.

I left them there to see what would happen. Would anyone say anything to me? Would someone throw them out? I even had a girlfriend ask for a daily report. She'd text me, Don't recycle them no matter how much you want to.
So finally after several days of toilet paper soldiers staring at me as I peed, I asked my husband, "Ugh, what's up with the empty toilet paper holders?

DH: Huh? Oh, I thought you did that.
PG: Why would I do that?
DH: I don't know. I didn't notice them. You did.

WTH? How do you not notice 9 empty toilet paper rolls on the towel rack. Sure, you don't face that toilet rack when you go but still.

Honestly, does he just not see these things? Is it like male refrigerator blindness?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Augustus Gloop

I suppose the 'What if' question popped into my head because I've been wondering if men have the same feelings of guilt regarding ambition with their career.

Does everyone feel guilty for wanting more outside of the home?

There are few things I want to do but they will take me out of the home. Is that fair for the kids? Is that fair for me?

There seems to be alot of balancing that takes place in parenting.

I knew there was a lot of sacrificing but didn't expect the guilt and the balancing to be as large.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sliding Doors

For the first time in 5 years, I wondered what my life would be like without the kids.
Not that I wouldn't want them. I just wondered for a brief moment where I would be, how would my relationship with my husband be, how different would my career be.
I don't think I'd be in NY.

I'm not longing for a change or anything. It was funny to actually have my brain pop that 'What if?'.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Another Daddy

My husband now has reading glasses.

My mother thinks this makes her old.

My daughter thinks this makes her dad 'another daddy'.

As he was reading her a bedtime story, she kept staring at him and then burst into laughter for 10 minutes. He asked what was so funny.
Her response, "You look like another daddy."

Monday, July 02, 2012

Mommy Guilt

It's been a very long time.
It's not that I didn't have anything to share.
I have tons.
That's the problem, I suppose.
I had to let things slide in order to be the parent I want to be.
We have hit that point of having two kids where we are living off of fumes these days.
In the words of my husband, "I don't know what day it is anymore. It just meshes into each other. I just want a decent night's sleep. When does that happen?"
It's not like our kids are a handful in a horrible way either.
They are just kids.
They are awesome kids.
One is nearly 4 and every day her questions and inquisitions are becoming harder and harder to answer. "How does the army protect us? Why do we have to wear sunscreen? Why doesn't time wait?"
The other one is just beginning to physically attempt to explore. He's been inquisitive from the get go but now that he's sitting up and doing "the roll", he wants to see more. He wants to touch and explore and taste.
Since we last spoke, we've had to replace two mattresses, one very expensive one, I might add. We have had two teeth poke out of the bottom gum.
We' ve had a death in our family. We've had celebrations in our family. 
We've had a quick family vacation.
Our daughter is attempting to sound out words.
Our son is attempting to explore everything. We know he adores his sister (much to her chagrin sometimes) and our dog. (His smile at the sight of our dog turns a heart into a beaming summer sun.)
My husband obtained reading glasses and he's starting to cook. Yeah!
I've had a ton of work. I've been planning  a birthday. I have several impending business trips.
In short, I'm tired. My husband and I are tired.

I wish I had more energy and time to give to my husband. I wish I could give him the attention he used to get B.C. He deserves it. I know I told myself this year, I would try to give him more attention and dote on him a bit more. It hasn't been happening.
I was beginning to feel like we nagged each other too much and so I have been trying to just do and understand that God has put us together to help each other. I weight the importance of things and try to not sweat the small stuff.
Still, trying to find time to cuddle or just have some sit next to each other and glaze over as we watch the television is difficult to achieve. When we do have both kids asleep, we need to do our things. For him, he needs to decompress after being with the kids all day. For me, I have to do all the things that didn't get done because we were both doing the grown up things.
Sometimes that's where we start nagging. He would rather do the laundry in the morning and I'd rather do it at night so in the morning we start fresh. He would rather do the dishes in the morning and I would rather do it at night so breakfast routine runs smoothly.
He just wants to chill. I want to chill too but know it will lead to a harried morning or things not getting done. And so, after our daughter is asleep, I do the dishes, clean the breast pump parts, clean the counters, clean the stove, tidy the play areas and prep my bags and lunches for the next day. By the time that is done, I might have time to pump and simultaneously make our grocery list or another to do list.

I don't want to be the Mrs. Boring. I just know it needs to get done.

I'm also feeling guilty that my daughter has been asking to pretend play with me more these days and I just don't have the time.
As soon as I get home, "let's play dollhouse for ten minutes."
I want to say, Honey, I wish I could. I really do. I just need to get out of these dirty clothes, freshen up and start dinner. If I don't dinner doesn't get on the table until nearly your bedtime. I can't eat, because I have to put your brother to bed while you eat and then maybe come out in time to help you finish your meal and get ready for bed or have your Dad tell me you did the 3 Ps' (Potty, Pick Up & Pajamas) and am waiting for me in bed.
I try to make bedtime sacred time though. I try my darndest to do bedtime with her. I read her a story, we talk a little about our day. We do a few puzzles, prayer and I read her to sleep with our latest chapter book. (It's still Wizard of Oz. She asked me to restart it after a sabbatical.)

There is a bit of guilt about my son where I wish I could pump more so I'm not always worried about our stash. I also wish that I read and sang to him more like I did with his sister. We don't have as many conversations as I did with her. I feel like he's more the listener of conversations between the family.

I'm not naive and I know that one cannot have it all. I know this. It's just hard period being a parent. It's hard being a parent to two. It's hard being a spouse. It's hard being a person with interests outside of home. It's just hard these days.

I continue to solider on though. I'm not reinventing the wheel. There are many folks that have it better. There are many folks that have it worse. I'm no different. I just trust in God and believe and try not to let the Mommy guilt get to me.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Manicure Pedicure

So my daughter painted her nails today with a magic marker.
I'm guessing this is a sign that she wants to try her hand at nail polish.
We try to stay away from nail polishes with the big three (Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde & Toluene) and those that do not have natural colors. Call me whatever but I've had friends whose children did not take to well to all those additives and so we try our best to stay away when possible.
I figure this is bound to be off interest especially when you have little kids but DH probably is the most discouraged by this than me.
DD knows I wear minimal make up when I go to work. Otherwise, I generally stay makeup free. She pretends to put on eyeshadow and blush and I'm cool with that. I don't wear nailpolish but I know she'll see others with it and will ask. So I know that there will be a time when I or my husband will paint her nails. DH isn't into the whole made up thing but he doesn't outright say no to DD.
So this week, I suppose, I will ask her if she would like me to paint her nails. I have some earth friendly, non-toxic nail polish we can try and we'll see if she likes it.
Personally, I don't think she'll like the semi-permanance of it. She's very much into cleaning up even when we do face painting. After we face paint, she asks us to clean it off. I'm cool with that.
You are beautiful just the way you are, child. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Matter of Fact

DD: You need to close the cap of the marker when you are done.
UA: Yes, you are correct.
DD: Otherwise, the marker will dry.
UA's Mom: You tell him.
DD: I just did.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

While I am at it, shall I spin plates?

I suppose dads and moms are a bit different regarding nurturing and it's normal. I just don't like how I'll be cooking, DS starts crying and I feel as if I need to attend to him and dinner even when I'm not alone.
If it's ok for me to wear our son while I cook why isn't it ok to hold him while he does his work on the computer.
I know our kid will be fine and that a mixture of parenting styles is healthy but it sure is hard on me.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Don't Fence Me In

I know that nighttime parenting is mostly left for me.
I understand this and try to do this as best I can.
Lately though I have found when I need my husband's help juggling two kids and their needs I get a negative reaction. It's so negative, I sometimes find it better for me to leave him be and try to juggle both.

I hate when he throws at me that I'm waking him up.
He wakes me up every time I fall asleep while helping DD go to bed. Do I ever tell him he is waking me up? No. I get up and tend to DS' needs.
I abhor how he will sometimes wake up cussing when he hears our daughter calling for help.
She's a night pee-er. She wakes up a lot to pee. It is just the way it is. It's not her fault. He doesn't cuss in front of her but he does it nonetheless.
Many nights I stay up when the kids are asleep to plan and coordinate activities and events for the family. I also plan the days and pack and sometimes unpack diaper bags and lunch sacks. That doesn't mean that it's ok to assume I can juggle both kids in the middle of the night.
Do you know how many times I've had to nurse DS to bed while attending to DD?
Do you know how many times I've had to handle bedtime for both kids simulataneously and single handedly?
The moment I leave work I have to worry about tidying up the house, prepping the rooms for bedtime, making dinner, cleaning up after dinner and getting the kids to bed.
When I ask for assistance like starting pasta or rice I always come home before its done.
When I ask for dishes to be washed I'm told they will get done the next day maybe.
I am on overdrive from evening until midnight most days.
Still I don't yell or cuss when I'm awoken.
If I say something the response is I woke him up.
If I don't say something, occasionally I'll get an apology.
I know his grumpiness is because he's woken up but that does not excuse it. I'm not here to just take it.
I'm your spouse and you can vent but I am not a punching bag.

Sunday, April 08, 2012


I've been MIA.
I apologize.
I have a list of things I want to share.
I'll start with the most recent item that has been floating in my head.
My aunt died. Well, she's really my cousin, I think, but for clarity sake, we call her aunt. Well, she's my aunt by marriage to confuse it even more.
She had been diagnosed, well misdiagnosed with different types of cancer but it was the big C nonetheless.  She was diagnosed around Thanksgiving. By the timeline, you can tell this is brutal.
I wasn't close close to her but in a way I feel I was. I am close to one of her daughters, my cousin (again, it's really hard to keep track in a big family). 
The hardest thing about losing my aunt is not that she isn't with me anymore as her last months were painful. The hardest part was seeing a family go through what my family went through with my dad.
I can't even sum it up. The emotions run the gamut but it all boils down to love. It's love that makes us do the things we do. It's love that helps us endure what we must. It's love that helps us through some of the most painful experiences.
I don't want to go through all the memories that are now etched in my brain. I don't want to go through the memories these fresh ones are pulling up to the surface.
I now have an added milestone in my parenting road, explaining the circle of life. I know she's still young so I'm keeping it at baby steps.
DH and I opted to not bring the kids to the wake. We felt the open casket may be a bit too harsh of an introduction. I went to the afternoon wake and DH went to the evening wake.
At night during prayers, I explained that our Aunt was up with Jesus. I said that we were going to church to say goodbye. Since we've been talking about Easter she added that Jesus saved us and that Jesus saved our Aunt. I gave her a big hug.
The funeral mass we felt was similar enough to our weekly mass that DD and DS attended the mass. We escorted our Aunt to her resting place and DH and his mother attended the burial while the kids stayed with me in the car. I fed both kids and we read, played and talked. 
She asked about the coffin and she asked why we cried sometimes. I kept it simple and said the coffin was where her body was resting but that she was up in heaven looking after us. I told her we were crying because we were said to see her go but know she's always near us especially when we pray.
She was a real trooper. The day was very long for her and she held her own. They only time I saw the day was getting to her was during her usual naptime/quiettime. We were at the restaurant afterwards and she just hugged me and sat on my lap.
It was a tiring and emotional few days and I probably worried about how this life experience would effect her.
I recall my first experience with death and a family member when I was 5. My uncle passed away and I recall the church, the church parking lot, the open coffin, being in my Dad's arms saying goodbye to the body and waiting in the car with my Dad at the cemetery. It's little pops of events during the day. It isn't a smooth memory. The only smooth memory is my Dad carrying me to see the body and his voice telling me that my Uncle was in a deep sleep and we were saying goodbye.
I wonder what her memories will be of.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Little Mommy Engine That Could

I am exhausted.
I feel like I have to do everything.
I have Easter baskets to take care of.
I have Easter meals to prepare.
I have Easter clothing to plan.
Then I need to send out baptism invites, take care of the paperwork & booking the priest and chapel. We're not planning on a big get-together afterwards so we are going to bring some pastries and coffee for the after service gathering.
Then I have Father's Day, DD's birthday and potential trip to the midwest to plan.
All this while juggling the every day.
I know I can do it but I'm just so tired.
I have to find time to do everything while the kids are asleep. I'm constantly feeling as if I'm squeezing things in between the daily dos. It can get exhausting. 

Friday, April 06, 2012

Nurse Mommy on call

My son had an 102 fever all day Tuesday. It started Monday night. That night was brutal. Between his fever and my daughter constantly waking up asking for me, I was up all night. I didn't sleep or at least it didn't feel as if I did.
The next day, DS remained at a constant 102 all day and demanded to be held and nursed constantly.
I forgot how hot a 15 lb baby could feel against your skin. I was lugging around my own portable space heater.
I gave him a bath to relax and settle him and massaged him with Eucalpytus. By Wednesday morning, he was much better. He had some massive nose rockets but DH is the master of extracting those meteorites.
Throughout Tuesday, I kept a cool head until around 6pm when nighttime parenting began. That's when the lack of sleep and high pitched cries of discomfort hit me.
That's when my brain went into, should I review the symptoms again and see what's up? For a brief spell I contemplated the fever being more than a symptom of a cold.
The spell only lasted a brief moment but all moms do that. All moms at some point go, is it more than what I think it is?
I don't think dads do that. At least not the dads I know. My husband looked at DS and said, "He has a fever. Ok." and walked away.
In our family our general rule about fevers is simple, if it's a standard fever, don't panic. Assess other symptoms and rule out illnesses. If the fever is high (104+) and doesn't dissipate, then contact the doctor.
We don't panic about a fever. We take it as a sign our body is fighting something and needs fluids and rest to allow it to fight the fight.
We have also been blessed and are thankful.
The hardest thing about my kids and illness is at this young age, especially, they can't tell you what's going on and no matter what you tell them, they are still very young and do not quiet understand what's going on.
All DS knew was that he was achy and hurt and hot. When he woke up, he'd wake up with a high pitch wail that said, "What is going on?!"
I will say on Wednesday when he woke up with a big grin, it made the sleepless nights and trying day worth it. He grabbed my hair and pulled me close to him to kiss me and all was right with the world.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

My daughter's theory on tree leaves

All last year, we spoke about how in the Fall the leaves turn colors and fall to the ground. We spoke about how then during the winter the trees are bare and only have branches.
Now that it is spring, we have been talking about how the leaves sprout from the tree branches.
She's not buying it.
She says this is how the leaves get onto the branches (aka sticks).
The bumble bees drink nectar from the flowers that grow in the spring. Their feet get sticky and they use their feet to glue the leaves back onto the tree sticks.
It's a good hypothesis for a 3.5 year old.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Maybe we should raise a chicken

Memory that just popped into my head:

DH's response to #2 gestating in my womb:

He's making breakfast and stops and goes silent.

pg: Are you ok?
DH: Yes, I think. I just realized we are going to go through a lot of cartons of eggs. We go through 3 cartons a week already.
pg: Ok.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

My kid likes Darth Vader.

We gave our daughter a taste of Star Wars yesterday.
We put on a segment from The Empire Strikes Back.
She got immediately quiet.
I started to explain the characters to her starting with her favorite, robots, of course.
Then the music we all know started. dun du duuuuuuun duuuuuuun dun dun nun duuuuuuuun dun dun dun dun duuuuuuun duuun dun dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuun
Enter Darth Vader.
pg: That's Darth Vader. He's...
DD: Mommy, be quiet.

DH could not contain his laughter.
What should I expect from a Star Trek, robot, space loving preschooler.
I have a geekling in my hands.

Monday, April 02, 2012

I need an eyePhone

It's been awhile again and I'll explain it more later this week.
For now, I want to talk about fun stuff.
DD is at a point where she knows that her brother is fascinated with her.
She also knows that although he can't really play with her like she wants she knows that she has an ability to calm him down and entertain him.
Take this morning, I was trying to fit in a pump before work and he started to stir from his am quiet time (he likes looking out the window when he wakes up). DD lay in bed with him and kept him company and talked to him. He loved it.
It's really fascinating to see them interact.
I wish I had more time to interact with him as much as I did with DD when she was so young. I know that's the wish probably of most moms with more than one child.
It's a shame too. With number one, you are so bogged down in the first time experience that the second time around, you look forward to savoring it all. However, you can't stop to absorb it because you are juggling children of different ages, needs and desires.
Still, we all try hard to enjoy the time and not sweat the small stuff. I just wish they'd invent a implantable camera already. I'm missing out on some great photos and videos.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Nighttime is the right time for Momtime

I know there are studies that show that men and women react differently to the cries of a baby.
I know infant cries are like daggers to a women's heart.
I know that men will awake to an alarm moreso than the cries of an infant.
That doesn't console me though.
I don't recall my husband's reactions with DD are the same as DS's when it comes to crying.
It seems as if as soon as he cries and I'm around and it's nighttime, he comes to me to tell me that the kid is crying. We don't live in a mansion. I can hear him. I know he's crying. I've got my hands busy with your daughter who woke up crying too. I'm not some Indian goddess with multiple arms and breasts.
I asked him the other day if he can settle him down while I finish up with DD. When I get to DS, he's whimpering and flailing on DH's chest. "See. This is the best I can do to quiet him."
DS is arched back looking up at me with squinted wet eyes and I swear he's crying out, "Maaaaaaaaa!"
I pick him up and faithfully follow Dr. Karp's shushing technique while rubbing his back. He quiets down and I ask him if he startled himself awake again and needs help settling down. He then lets out a bowel deep burp that causes DH to crack up.
Don't get me wrong. DH is awesome with DS but at night he becomes this:

I notice it with the diaper changes too. I calmly talk to DS while changing his diaper even when he's upset. He seem to calm immediately. DH will just sit there in silence and change his diaper while DS is wailing the wails of a child who has woken up in the dark, wet and disoriented.
I remember back when I was pregnant with #1 and DH kept telling me how he'd be on nighttime parenting as he is a night owl. Well, with #1, DH wasn't home many nights so I handled it by default.
With #2, we juggle both kids but I primarily handle DS at night.
I don't mind I just mind that when I'm obviously busy or if I'm even asleep, there doesn't seem to be any attempt whatsoever to help soothe DS back to bed. I'm the goto.

Monday, March 05, 2012

It doesn't go to 11.

All day, I've been noticing my freezer isn't keeping things frozen.
I'm thinking, maybe DD left it open. She's done this in the past.
Maybe it's because it's not as full as it used to be and I read somewhere a packed freezer keeps things frozen better.
I figure, any moment, I'm going hear the whirring of the motors to start up the freezer.
I forget about it thinking I'm worrying too much.
Then DD asks for ice cream.
Since it's a special day in our house, I say sure.
I pull out our homemade ice cream we made together at the beginning of the week and it's soft serve.
I have breastmilk in the freezer. I can't have it defrost.
I begin to panic.
DH starts taking measurements to bring to the store.
I start kicking myself in the butt. 
Why didn't I check it after lunch?
What am I going to do about the breastmilk? Would it be weird if I ask my neighbor to hold my stash for me overnight until my new freezer gets to the optimal temperature?
What about our special dinner we were supposed to have tonight?
I'm feeling a little sullen.
I decide to do the obligatory turn the knobs one last time in the freezer just in case.
I slowly put all the stuff back and decide to keep the freezer door closed until the new freezer arrives.
DD asks for water. 
I open the fridge and touch the water.  It's cool but not cold.
How did I not notice that? 
Did I think it was because I just refilled the water pitcher?
Then I look up and see a knob.
It is a dial and it has numbers 1 through 8.
It's pointing to <1.
Or is it pointing to >8?
I turn the darn thing and the recognizable humming of the generator starts.
Holy crap.
The knob that time forgot but a 3 year old saw and decided, hey, wouldn't it be cool to turn it this way.
Bloody hell.
Is this the beginnings of the plot to prove Mom is off her rocker?

Friday, March 02, 2012


I tried to avoid it.
I fought a semi-hard battle.
I took my zinc.
I drank my fluids.
Alas the cold has won.
I officially have a cold.
Darn you, cold!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Big Wheels Keep on Turning

If I were given more time during the day, I still wouldn't be able to do what I want to get done in the day. It wouldn't be possible because I'd just add to my list of todos. That's the hard reality and I know this and so every day I do everything little by little.
I remind myself, think of what matters not what needs to get done. This gives me solace. It's more important to spend time with my kids and help them learn than to do an extra load of wash.
DH asks constantly, "How did so and so do it?"
Honestly, I don't think there is a set formula. You have to run with the punches. He's still in awe with so and so who had 5 kids all 18 mths apart.
I'm fairly certain that we are at a point with our youngest that the mere thought of adding another to our brood would kill my husband. He's exhausted. He's tired. He's in the thick of it.
It's funny to see it on this end. I'm tired. I'm exhausted but on another level. For me, I survived labor, delivery and the first 3 months post partum. Knowing I survived that level of exhaustion gives me that extra boost to keep going.
Oh and there's the offspring too. Having to care for young'uns keeps you living on fumes.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

You want me to do what?

Last night I had one of those parenting dawnings. I was nursing my son and the sudden thought of my kids grown and self sufficient human beings trying to make a difference in the world popped in my head. Now you would think I would be swollen with pride and admiration. Nope. Panic set in. I realized I have years, years of trying to make sure my children grow up to be self sufficient, compassionate human beings.
I nearly had an asthma attack.
I know this is just a random freak out and I shall recover but boy howdy! I'm glad God thinks I can do this because I sure need him for this ginormous task.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kicking and Screaming

I have a problem. I don't like being told what to do.
If/When I have downtime, I prefer to be at home. I know that sounds nuts but it's true.
DH thinks this homebody thing isn't healthy and that I need to go out more.
So every now and then he kicks me out literally kicking and screaming out the door.

Here's the thing. I hate being told what to do.

When he does this, you would think I'd go get a haircut or something like that.
No. I go and do errands because errands compound and because I'm compulsive.
I've tried sitting at a bar having a beer or going to Starbucks for a latte but I hate it. I absolutely hate not feeling as if I'm doing something if I'm outside. When I'm home, it's fine. I can sit and get absorbed with plants vs zombies during my downtime.

Why can't I just relax when I'm not at home? Why must I have to be doing something or checking off something from my list of todos?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Busy Busy Busy

As with most parents, instead of winding down, I going into overdrive when the clock strikes 5p.
Our routine is fairly straightforward. It's a tag team dance of sorts where I'm usually following a practiced routine with room for ad libs here and there. It's like Dancing with the Stars without the sequins and judging.
My evening routine starts like this:

5p Rush home, Start dinner, Wash some dishes, Unpack breastmilk, Prep bedroom for nighttime (dim lights, fill water container, turn down bed), change into home clothes.
6p Feed kids, feed husband (maybe, sometimes we wait until after the kids are asleep), wash more dishes, prep nighttime routine part II (yogurt, toothbrush and wash cloth). DH walks the dog at some point here too.
7p DH helps with 3 Ps for bedtime (potty, pick up and pajamas) while I finish nursing son and getting him to sleep. Then I head into bedroom for nighttime (us map, puzzle time, story time/yogurt, brush teeth, wash face and prayers)

If all goes well, both kids are alseep by 8pm. I can then make dinner for DH and myself, tidy up, wash the dishes and prep for tomorrow morning (breakfast, lunches, breastpumping todos). If I'm really feeling fiesty, I can take a shower or risk it and try to take one in the AM.

I know. Doesn't that sound insane? It's what we do though. It's tiring, yes, but we also know if we do it this way, 6:7 nights we both get to rest a bit by 8pm.  Rest? Do you not see the list of todos on your 8p roster? Listen, nowadays anything that doesn't involve children underfoot is doable in a short period of time.

Plus, I have a compulsive need to have order or some type of order in my life. This drives my husband mad but if he knows what's best, he goes along or the wrath of Mothra appears.

With every season and every change in milestones and age, this routine changes.
Isn't parenting adventurous?

Friday, February 24, 2012

I've seen better days rant

Today did not start off well.
Well, it did start off well but then I got up.
After some cuddling with both kids, I got up and headed to the bathroom for my 5 minute 'me' time (aka brush teeth, wash face, try to be clean etc). DD, aka Superhero Reese, starts the let's knock on the door while Mom's in the bathroom game. She asks if I'm pooping or peeing and then she asks that I make French toast not Daddy. I say if Mommy can have time in the bathroom alone maybe we can make time for me to start it for Daddy. I suspect she prefers my recipe over DH's. She flys of and actually leaves me alone in the bathroom.
I continue to try to make myself presentable to the human race when ::knock knock::, someone needs to use the bathroom and they can't wait.
So I shuffle off to the kitchen in the hopes I can freshen up by the sink. I walk in hoping to sneak past DD who will think I'm done and want to help cook French toast, as promised.
I turn into the kitchen to see Superhero Reese sitting on the stool next to the refrigerator, "Hi Mom. I'm ready to help make French toast." Drat.
I tell her I still need to get ready but maybe soon.
She sits quietly kicking her legs out and in while fumbling with her superhero cape.
I hurriedly put some blush and mascara on and then pull out the eggs.
DH then tells DD, Superhero Reese, that Mommy cannot make French toast because she has to get ready and go to the office. This sets of Superhero Reese and the tears ensue. Full blown sobs and screams. "But Mama said we would try to make time. I didn't go to the bathroom! I'm waiting!"
The banter between father and daughter continue until threats of no French toast come out leading to more tears and sobs.
Finally DD asks to help walk the dog which leads to DH giving her a deadline of 2 minutes to get dressed, a near impossible task for a 3 year old. She asks for help off the stool and DH is obstinate. This isn't going to help make the 2 minute deadline. DD asks me and DH stops and says she cannot ask me for help. This leads to more balling. Now my kid is the color of a turnip.
All the while, all I wanted to do was make my smoothie, set the oven for dinner tonight and pack my lunch and breastmilk parts. Oh and entertain my child by having her crack and whisk the French toast egg while I do all these things. (Yes, my 3 year old can crack and egg and make her own French toast custard by herself as long as you set the mise en place for her.)
Now I'm standing in the kitchen having to appear to be a united front with my husband while waiting until the drama subsides so I can do the things I need to do.
There is another blow out crying session in the bedroom between DH and DD which I can only surmise is due to DH refusing to allow Superhero Reese walk the dog with him. (No capes outside)
By this time, I'm so frazzled, I'm not in a good state I don't know what to do or where to begin.
They leave for the walk and I franctically make my smoothie, pack my lunch and breastpumping accoutrements and realize, crap, I need to wrap a baby shower present for today. I search for some wrapping paper and tape, do a half ass job of wrapping it all while entertaining DS who has completed his morning babbling at the sun and sky session is staring at me for additional entertainment.
While they were out I also sliced some brioche and stuck it in some quick French toast custard.
DH and DD returns just as I'm packing up my lunch. As I'm heading out the door frazzled and not in the state I'd like ot be, DH mentions the following (not in a mean way):
1. I cut the bread too thick. (I think my daughter actually prefers it thick but eh)
2. His custard allows him to make scrambled eggs with the leftovers. He can't with my custard.

Now I'm sitting here realizing two things:
1. I forgot my ice pack to keep the pumped breastmilk cool.
2. I forgot to set the over for dinner tonight which means I've not only left the house frazzled, I get to come home to be frazzled again.

I'm so looking forward to it.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


How much anger displacement is acceptable and what am I teaching my child by my reaction?

This is a question I have been asking myself in the past few weeks.

Is it ok to accept anger displacement?

I know my relationship with others, children and adults, are being monitored and absorbed by my children.
They learn to interact with other by my example.
Therefore, when someone is angry and displacing his/her anger out at someone, is it acceptable?
Now I'm not talking about displacement in the form of verbal or physical abuse. That's always a no.

Lately, I've been trying to learn to bite my tongue.I know I said that I'm starting this on Ash Wednesday but I've been thinking about it alot prior to AW.

I know it isn't appropriate to displace on others but I also know we are all human and we all do it on occasion.
Do I let it slide?
Do I say something?
If I say something while the person is heated, it only fuels the fire. If that is the case, perhaps I should just keep quiet and say something later or nothing at all.
If I say something the irrational person is just only going to become more irrational causing my child to get upset and ask people not to yell or scream.
If I don't address it though, what does my child learn? That it is ok to displace?

This has been really irking me of late.
If I hold off and say something later, 1) does my child understand this? and 2) am I going to hear that I'm holding a grudge?

Argh! and folks wonder why I prefer to sit behind my computer.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Can I zip my lip?

Today is Ash Wednesday.
Aside from getting my ashes, it's also the day to consider something to sacrifice or work on throughout the Lenten season.
This year, I'm picking a doozy.
I'm going to work on holding my tongue.
When I feel the need to say something, I'm going to keep silent, nod my head and count to ten before I say a peep.
I'm finding more and more folks are stressed out these days. It's totally understandable.
It's not right to displace or lash out at someone because of the stress but I want to allot for the fact that we all have stressed moments.
Therefore, before a make a situation into a powder keg situation, I will try to be silent, hold my tongue, nod and count to ten before I say a word.
Perhaps this will give me time to re-evaluate the situation and determine if it's worth it or not to speak.
I know this is a big one.
I wonder if I can make it past the day let alone 40 days.
We shall see.

Monday, February 20, 2012

My breastpump and me

There are some misconceptions I want to clear up about breast pumping.
I have culled these from years, yes years of experience.
With #1 I started pumping immediately under the advisement of my lactation consultant.
My relationship with Hans and Franz continued until my daughter turned 2. Yes, I pumped for 2 years straight.
I've started up my pumping relationship again but with a new pump as my old pump was worked to death.
So here I am starting up my pumping relationship again and can safely say the following:

1. Pumping is not fun.
2. I'm sure there are some folks out there but for me I find no pleasure whatsoever being hooked up to the milking machine.
3. Sometimes you need to squeeze your breast until just the right vacuum is created to allow for efficient pumping. Sometimes you need to hand express to get the right vacuum. This means a handsfree bra is great but that doesn't mean pumping is hands free.
4. My kids will wake up as soon as I turn off the damn pump and want to eat. No fail.
5. I would pay someone to wash my pump parts for me. Seriously. Pumping is such an emotional thing for most women. Most women have a love-hate relationship with it. We do it for our kids. For me, washing those parts is a reminder of how tied I am to pumping. Even when I'm not pumping, I have to care for my parts so that I have the ability to pump. 
6. It drives me insane when someone flippantly remarks, you can just pump. It's like, "What's the big deal?" The big deal is I have to find time to pump in between feedings, working and every day life. Not only to I have to find time to pump, I have to be precise about it. I have to have clean parts, I have to have all the parts, I have to measure out the liquid gold and store it appropriately. I have to be careful not to jostle the liquid gold too much during transport. I have to calculate how long I've had it out, if I have enough and how long it's good for. Let me know even go into the emotions that pumping elicits.
7. Even though I find no pleasure in pumping, I still do it, practically every day. Why? For my child and for other children. I do it with the knowledge how precious and special and beneficial that liquid love is.
8. As long as I can, I will continue to pump. I will continue to guesstimate how many ounces I may need. I will gingerly wash the parts, replace membranes, pack them lovingly.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

When you are sleep deprived, annoyances happen

As parents you shush a lot. For us we don't necessarily shush our kids but each other.
Most of the time it's in mocking seriousness like when it's 11:30pm and you accidentally drop something or bang into something. Your partner who has just spent 30 minutes aiding one of your children to slumberland will shush you.
It's not a vile or malevolent shush.
It's a for-the-love-of-all-things-holy-do-not-wake-the-child.
For me it's usually, for-the-love-of-all-things-holy-do-not-wake-the-child-I-just-want-to-pee/eat/shower-before-someone-wakes-up-again.
I know when things are a little too much though when that shush ellicits this reaction: "What?! I opened the door and it dropped. I didn't do anything."
I'm having one of those moments.
When this happens, it's like the freaking Princess and the Pea. It's best for to shut up and forget any chance of adult conversation for the night. Hope everyone gets to sleep and start fresh the next day.
Of course though, that's the best course. What is my normal reaction? Take the other road. 
"I wasn't trying to be mean or angry." What I should have said was nothing. What I meant to say was, "My statement was merely a light hearted attempt at levity after a long day of parenting."
"Well then why did you shush me?"
Again, I should have said nothing. What I wound up saying was, "Because I don't want to risk waking up DS as I need to tend to DD's needs now."
"Well, really, maybe I should have just shut up and taken care of DD."
"That wasn't the point."
It's a losing battle. 
I need to train my brain to just shut up when it's a clear case of The Long Day.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Harriet the Spy

I know sometimes I can be a bit too demanding of my kids.
I feel like some brutus when I do it.
For example, my kid loves the states. I'm not joking. Every night she's added to her bedtime routine states. I point to a state and she names it.
She doesn't know all the states. We have a handful but still I'm proud of her and I like to take her lead in learning what interests her.
Sometimes I feel like she says the wrong state to prolong the bedtime. Actually, I think she's prolonging the mommy and me time which is totally understandable with a 3 month old in the house.
Still, it gets to me. The first few times I'm ok but when she's consistent, when she constantly asks, "Give me a hint." before I even finish the question, I know she's better than that.
Now I know, she's not going to have a high concentration level.
I just don't like that she does that. I know you know the answer. Answer it.
I'm having a blast with you too kid but don't start going all, "I don't know." when you do know.
My new tactic is we have a timer for states. If we don't finish talking about the states before the timer goes off, we won't have time for her puzzle book. (I'm telling this bedtime puzzles, quizzes etc is great but I know it's also lengthening our bedtime.)
Today I started it. The robot timer went off and she frantically starting pointing to states and naming them, correctly! At one point she said to herself, "Think, think, think.  Nebraska! I found Nebraska!"
Afterwards, as I was tucking her in I told her that she just demonstrated to me that she did know the states and she didn't have to pretend she didn't know. I don't know if she gets it.
Girls do many foolish things during the hormone years. One thing I don't want her to do is dumb herself down for anyone. She's a bright and intelligent girl who should use her talents and be proud of them.
Am I being to harsh on her?
Am I displacing some personal childhood stuff on her?

Monday, February 13, 2012


A newlywed asked me if one can learn to be patient. He said, "I fear I won't have any patience with my kids."
With your kids, you gain extra patience. I don't know where it comes from but it does.
Now, there will be times where you think you are just going to lose your schmidt and that's normal but most folks find a way to displace that in a bowl of ice cream or what not.
The big driving force for me is what I see everyday.
Everyday, I see some stupidity or idiocy that makes me go, my kids cannot contribute to this ridiculousness. My kids need to be strong, confident and have a sense of common sense and logic. There is too much 'what the Whuck?' out there.
This morning, I must have made more moans and groans than acceptable in the workplace that doesn't reside in the desert somewhere in Nevada. With every email I opened, more inefficiencies were displayed.
I'm not an efficiency expert. I am an obsessive compulsive, anal retentive, logical person and apparently this sometimes leans itself to efficiency and streamlined processes (well, there are a few idiosyncractic items but that's for another post.)
I hate paper shuffling.
I hate meetings.
I hate unproductive to dos.
I desire my kids to be as productive as possible and a means in which I can try to steer them towards this is not only to be a role model but to also display patience. You need to patient to learn something. You need to be patient to be meticulous.
I don't want them to be like me in the sense that it can be a little ridiculous. (I went to work the week I gave birth because I had a compulsion to dot every i.)
So patience can be learned and in some shape or form it will appear. Everyone has a different driving force but as a parent, you will have that patience.
As for the newlywed, I told him to relax and just enjoy married life first.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Squeaky Voice

Do all preschool girls enjoy talking in a high pitched voice?
I had to bribe my kid (bribe!) to stop.
pg: If you can speak in your regular voice for 30 minutes, you can help me make a special snack time treat.

Oh, and if you ask my daughter to speak in a normal or lower voice, she'll attempt to speak like Barry White. She's a ham.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Potty Rock Anthem

I wish I could say that being a mom to a 3 year old has made me a seasoned parent.
It hasn't.
The wonderful thing about kids is that each age brings something new and exciting.
For us, it's peeing every 90 minutes at night. Seriously, she's like a camel. Where does she store it?
Now this might not seem like a big deal. Huzzah! The kid is old enough and knows that she needs to potty and she wakes up and goes.
Ah, but she's three. You can't trust a three year old to wipe just yet. A pediatrician friend told me me the horrible infections she's seen and it's been engrained in my head.
So when she wakes, a parent wakes.
It's simply wonderful waking up from a slumber to wipe someone.
It's a dream come true.
I know this too shall pass.
Last night was rough though.
This morning, I'm still feeling the effects of an unrestful night's sleep. I went to the basement to throw out the recycleables only to enter the elevator and head back up to my apartment instead of the lobby to head outside.
Why did America get rid of the siesta again?

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Just letting it out.

Sometimes a person can hit a nerve.
For me, don't you dare say anything to me about parenting in the heat of anger.
I become deeply insulted and although I know that isn't truly meant, it will be that much harder for me to forget and forgive.
It will sting because if there is anything I'm certain of is my parenting. All parents do what they believe is best for their child. Forget the labels. In the end it's all the same, we do what we deem best. Therefore, no one should question another's parenting. It's below the belt. It's childish. 
We are a team and we need to work as a team. We can become overwhelmed that we need a break. That's normal. We can become overwhelmed that we snap and release in a vent. Just don't let that vent become personal. Don't ever use parenting as a shard of glass.
I rarely say anything is right or wrong.  That is wrong.
In the same frame of mind, don't you ever dare say anything about my family.
A woman does more than anyone can imagine for their family.
They give up more willingly. They sacrifice and put their needs below their family.
"not seven times but seventy-seven times." When someone does the above to me, it makes it that much harder for me.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

When the whippoorwill, Whippoors in the wind, The wind can whippoor back, O nice and chubby baby!

I look at my son and reach my finger out to him to grasp.  His tiny chubby fingers and hand surround my finger and with that touch, I feel so much love and pride. His smile just sends me over the edge.
Seeing how he's growing, how his thighs have cute baby fat rolls, his feet are just chubby cuteness and his cheeks are plump and rosy, I swell with pride knowing my breastmilk has contributed to his growth.
Now I'm not going to go all breast is best now. I think everyone knows I'm pro mommy's milk whenever possible. 
I just can't believe this little human being is growing and thriving in some small part because of me. I know I said this before with my daughter but it's still ever amazing.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Hip Hip Hooray, It's Groundhog's Day!

I know this is late but I get a pass, I'm a mom (and a mom to two under 4 at that).
I love Bill Murray's film, "Groundhog Day."
I love it not because of the hilarity or plot although it's darn good.
I love it because it reminds me of my Dad. My Dad loved this movie. There are a handful of movies my Dad really really loved and got a kick out of. This one in particular has the added benefit of conjuring up memories of my brother as a kid and my own thoughts and memories of being a kid whose brain was sometimes too old for itself.
My Dad and brother got a kick out of this movie. I never got into it until after his death.
The banality of life, I just didn't get. I was too young to get the epiphany that Bill Murray's character receives to push the film to a happy ending. I was to angst filled.
Now I look back at that movie and I smile and laugh and wonder, would I want a do-over?
I know the actual holiday focuses on weather and the entertainment and folly of a rodent like animal but thanks to those memories, it will always remind me of that movie and how my Dad and brother would chuckle and laugh until their bellies ached.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Pump Parts, Oh how I abhor you

Now that I'm back in the office I've added another component to the ever growing pile of dishes we constantly have. (I'm fairly certain that cups and bowls hid just to appear once the sink is empty.) Not only do I have the thrilling honor to pump my breasts, I also have to contend with the darn pump parts and cleaning them.
I recall with #1, I begged my husband to wash the parts. The sight of them drove me nuts. Now we both do them whenever we see them. Sure I do them most of the time (male refrigerator blindess has a cousin, male kitchen sink blindness), but he tries to wash them too.
The problem though is with pumping comes the bottles of stashed liquid gold that need to be washed too.
This time around I've been stashing the milk not in milk bags but milk bottles. I figured DH can grab a bottle of milk, a nursing bottle and do his thing with the kids and when DS needs milk, pour the milk into the nurser and feed him.
I label each one with a removable sticker so he knows the expiration date of the milk. I only ask that he remove the sticker prior to washing to avoid that tackiness that happens once the adhesive gets wet.
Does he do that? No.
And then I lose my schmidt because I spend the precious time when the kids are asleep, not only prepping meals for the next day but also rubbing olive oil on the caps to remove the adhesive.
What does he say to my rant? "Why can't you just appreciate that I washed the parts."
This made me thing, am I going to be a thrill killer to my kids?
Should I appreciate more?
My mom was a bit a thrill killer but because that's what Chinese moms do. You got an A? You could have gotten an A+ if you did this.  It's all meant well.
Good grief, will I be like that?

Thursday, February 02, 2012


Our bedtime routine for DD has now morphed to this:
Supper, Bathtime, Storytime/Yogurt, Brush Teeth, Wash Face, Puzzle/Trivia, US Map (aka The United Space of America) then Prayers.
If she wakes up in the middle of the night, she gets one lullaby.
I know. I know.
It's just that her brain for some reason is super active and she asks to do a trivia/puzzle exercise. I'm really impressed because she's tired but she needs that tricky question to think about to settle her brain. We're focusing on ordinal numbers now.
Then we have the US Map. She can name 7 states. Once she recalls all her states, she picks another state and I tell her what it is and a fun fact. 
This activity really gives me insight to how her brain works to recall things. For example, one day I pointed to Georgia and she sat there thinking very hard and then she began to try to figure it out outloud. She said, "It's curious." I realized she was correlating George with Curious George.
Watching DS learn has also been fascinating. Just like with my daughter, I sing the vowels (English and romantic language) to him in the AM. He seems to try to sing the last sound each time. He smiles and bubbles with happiness.
He found his hands a month ago and every morning after our sing-a-long, she stares out the window and plays with his hands while I make breakfast or freshen up.
DD and DS seem to be getting along well. I've caught her kissing him and holding his hand. Then again, I've caught her tossing a ball (soft plush) at his head and giggling saying she's playing ball with him.
DH and I are doing well. We miss each other and would like more time together but it also makes us cherish our moments together. Since DS, I think our relationship has even gotten stronger and closer oddly enough. Maybe it's the fact that we are outnumbered and we need to stick together but who knows.
Now this doesn't mean we aren't at each other especially regarding the housework (which has not doubled but tripled). We still have our little fits but we're now at a point where we have our fits, we realize it's just a release and not personal and we move on. We also know that housework will always be there but the important thing is not that the walls are dusted but that the kids are fed, the dogs are walked and we are all doing ok. (Although it would be nice if our entranceway lightbulb was changed already.)

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

A Reboot of Sorts

It's been a really long time.
I needed a sabbatical.
Don't get me wrong.
I had a lot in my brain I wanted to say but with the kids, the dead of winter and several illnesses, putting my thoughts in here was not happening.
Well, I suppose I need to start fresh now as trying to recall all those random thoughts would be as unlikely as us having everyone in the house sleep through the night these days.
Let's try to catch up before I start anew.
DS is a happy baby which makes me a happy mommy. He smiles. He giggles. He plays with his hands and stares at it as if he's on some weird trip.
DD is going through the regression stage of having a new baby in the house. Top that off with her being 3 and it's good times all around. I can't complain though as she's not terrible. She's just going through the I'll be overdramatic for some added attention.
Oh and she's on the occasional, "I'm a baby" pretend play too. She's had DH swaddle her. I've worn her on the Ergo. (By the way, the Ergo is an awesome beast. I barely felt her on my back.)
We're also in full pretend mode. Every day, the entire family is someone/thing else. One day we will all be boys. The next day we are all girls. One day we are animals.
Now that I'm back at the office, DD is also doing alot of 'Heading to the office' play.
DH is doing well although I think he's feeling a bit overwhelmed. He's focusing on photography and videography to give him something outside of the family. (I strongly believe that every parent needs something outside of the family to keep their sanity.)
The dog is now physically fighting against walks. Have you heard of a dog that doesn't like to go out for a walk?!
Ok, back to what's hanging out in the pantry...
In January, there was a two week period where if I didn't have things to do outside with the kids, I became a hermit. It wasn't a depression stay at home thing. It felt more like a hibernation, storing my energy. Part of the cause was a cough that just wouldn't leave. Another part was the knowledge that I was returning to work. Another part was everyone I know is battling an illness, some mild some pretty heavy.
I'm not sure what's going on but I pray every day for my friends and family who are ill.
On the baptism front, DS is still not baptized although I'd like him to be already. MIL has asked to wait until she arrives which she has decided is not until the winter weather subsides. I'm trying my best to coordinate.
I'm back at work and I'm pretty psyched. It feels good to be back in the office even though I'm still dealing with poop. I suppose that's a part of life, you deal with poop in some shape or form whether you are a parent or a worker bee.
Sadly some things are still status quo which on one hand makes me feel as though I haven't missed much but at the same time, makes everything feel as though time has stood still. It's just darn odd.
My mommy guilt that was prevalant prior to DS' birth regarding changing DD's life has disappeared. I'm not feeling the mommy guiilt about 2nd child syndrom yet. I do have mommy guilt about DD and wondering if my expectations for her are too high. (A 3 year old should be able to regulate her emotions, right? JK)
We're practicing our "Treat others the way we would like to be treated." However it's compounded by the fact she's going through the 3 year old shy stage. I hate that word 'shy'. I try to tell folks it takes a while to warm up to a strange environment but I suppose that takes more effort to say. She's getting better.
Thing is, once she's comfortable with you, she's a giant ham.
At a parent day open house at one of her classes, they asked each kid to stand up and say their name and a talent. My kid gets up and spouts out a CV longer than her wishlist to Santa.
We're also still practicing "Time wait for no one." Now she's slowly learning that if she asks to do something that crosses into bedtime hour, we need to take something away from our bedtime routine. ie. She wants to finish playing pretend kitchen, that means that we skip the story today. (We have a super long bed routine. Partly my fault but it works so I'm not knocking it.)