Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Day In The Life

5:30 Hear Bea calling for us on the monitor. Look at the clock and grimace.  Her usual wake up time is 6-6:30 but just for funsies she’s been getting up at 5: 30 the last week or so.  DMS gets her , puts her in bed with me, gets dressed  and leaves.  He gives himself a generous 8 minutes to get up, dressed and to the bus stop in the morning. It’s amazing but he makes his bus most mornings.  Bea cries that she doesn’t want more sleep.  I roll over.

5:55 Lou busts into my room, announces he’s hungry and jumps into the bed. His hair, per usual, is sticking straight up. He is one of those people that is AWAKE and READY FOR THE DAY as soon as his eyes open.  It can be a lot to handle if you aren’t one of those people.  Ahem.   The kids start playing and annoying each other so I shush them loudly and try to sleep 5 more minutes.

6:05 I give up and take everyone to the kitchen to start breakfast. I give Bea her food first (yogurt with cereal mixed in) and have Lou check his blood sugar while I weigh out his food.  We discuss what he wants to eat (cereal with milk, a banana that he will cut into his cereal) so I know how much insulin to give him.  One of our bar stools broke so Bea has been demoted to the booster and Lou doesn’t like the remaining bar stool so he eats at the dining room.  They are quieter in this set up but I actually like the camaraderie that the kitchen bar affords and make a mental note to order more stools. 

6:30 Go to my room, make the bed, get dressed in sweats because I’m just taking the big kids to school and I can’t wear pants with a button this early in the morning.  Its an affront to my sensibilities.  Hang up my clothes from last night, think about how closest needs to be organized and add that to the mental list of Things I Should Do. Bea calls for me and says she’s done eating. I go back to kitchen.

6:31 Go to take Bea out of the booster but realize she’s only “done” because her brother is done and she wants to play too. Lou eats like he’s in prison and someone will take his food if he leaves it too long.  He eats more than anyone I know (kid or adult) and he eats faster than anyone I know (kid or adult.) He’s also built like a whippet. I take her out knowing she will come back and eat two more times before we leave.  The kids play in living room because the baby still sleeping (all three kids share a room.)  I wash breakfast dishes, make a bottle for the baby.  Have a few moments of quiet, I watch the kids play some sort of animal/lego/pretend game that involves a lot of toys and all the couch pillows.

6:45 Hear the baby, Bea says she has to poop.

6:47 False alarm. “The poop isn’t ready, it still has to get dressed.” I feed the baby.  Lou barges in. If Charlie gets wind that any of his siblings are awake he refuses to eat and wants to watch/interact with them.  Lou’s interruption means Charlie is done and he starts squirming out of my hands.  He drank half an ounce and will be a delight because of this on the way home from carpool. (He won’t finish a bottle until the kids are out of the house.) I’m annoyed at Lou because he knows he not allowed in the room while I feed the baby. I hold on to this anger longer than I should.

6:48 Big kids get dressed/run around naked while I get the baby dressed. After much cajoling, all three are ready.  I attempt to help Bea with her sock that is twisted she gets upset.  I tell her to relax, I’m just fixing the toe part.  She tells me to chillax she wants to do it.

7:06 All kids dressed, hair and teeth brushed. I leave them to attack each other. Go make my breakfast.

7:08 Fiber One Honey Clusters with milk and my iphone. Catch up on social media. Listen for the kids to make sure they aren’t maiming the baby.

7:20 I hear too much noise. Mom radar says something is amiss.  I go into the kids room and find Bea has re-decorated the play kitchen and other furniture with Dora stickers.

7:25 We remove all the Dora stickers and I tell the big kids to start getting shoes and coats on.  I try to feed Charlie one more time and he ends up drinking 5 ounces.  Awesome!   Lou’s sneaker strap broke and I’m still waiting for his new pair to arrive from Zappos. In the meantime he’s wearing a pair that are way too small but he has PE and can’t wear boots today.  Bea opts for her sparkly mary janes even though she has PE too. For some people less is more, for Bea, more is more.  Charlie goes in the infant car seat.  I feel like he’s getting too big for it but he’s only 7 months and on the small side.  Can he really be outgrowing this?

7:30 We walk down a flight of stairs to pick up Lou’s best friend  who is also our carpool.  I leave Bea with them (they take the pre-school contingent, I get the big kids) and take the boys to the elevator.

7:40 Fitting 3 kids in the back of Accord is annoying but do-able.  It’s less annoying than car payments.

7:47 Hit the road. Its 5 exits on the highway to school, kids hop out and go into the building on their own, I drive back.

8:30 Back Home. Am sooooo tired.  So very tired.  Charlie is asleep in the back seat so I power nap in the garage for 10 minutes.  This is not an infrequent occurrence.

8:45 Made it home without waking up Charlie. The curse of high-rise living is that to get from the garage to our apartment 30 stories up involves going through three loud metal fire doors and an elevator ride with at least one dog.  I put Charlie in the kids room and shut the door.  I make my beloved coffee and wash Charlie’s bottle and Bea’s dishes. 

9:00 The nanny arrives.  We chit chat and then I head to my “office” aka the desk in my room. I really just want to spend the day reading Life After Life so I can finish before book club on Sunday but I have a grant update I need to finish by end of day Wednesday and a host of other kinda urgent work stuff so that’s not happen.

10:00 Phone meeting with my boss. Hear the nanny singing Gwen Stefani’s B-A-N-A-N-A  song to Charlie as she feeds him a banana. 

10:30 Phone meeting is over.  She has moved onto “bananas in pajamas dancing everywhere…”  I debate more coffee but know that if I do I won’t be able to have a diet coke this afternoon and decide to wait for the soda later.  I want a snack but don’t want to have to go out and see Charlie and the nanny. I should also focus on my project.  I think about the cookies in the cabinet. 

12:30 I’m annoyed at my project. I have too many screens open on the computer, my desk is messy 
and I feel disorganized. It feels like I’ve been working for years. I decide to break for lunch but am unhappy with my progress.  Mentally calculate how much I can still do before afternoon carpool and how much I will have to do tonight.  I go to the kitchen and make my salad (cucumber, bel  pepper, tomato, pistachio, tuna- no mayo, handful of shredded cheese) and head back to my desk.  Poke around on the internet while I eat.

2:10 I have to leave for carpool. Really I have to leave so I’ll have enough time to stop at Walgreens and then go get the big kids. This means I have to wear real pants. I do not like this idea. Legs ache a bit from sitting all day.  Regret my decision to drop out of bootcamp.

3:00 sitting in the carpool line and wishing I had Life After Life.  The 15 minutes in carpool with my book are one of my secret joys during the day.

3:15 boys are in the car chattering about their day. Its Dr. Seuss week and they read  green eggs and ham day and ate eggs with spinach, toast and jam.   We drive to their after-school program which is at Bea’s pre-school.  I stop at the produce market on the way and pick up 10lbs of sweet potato and some parsley.  The pre-school is co-op ish and all the parents have to bring in food for lunch a few times a year.  I have no idea what’s on the menu this week but now I know they’ll be getting sweet potato.

4:00 drop off the boys pick up Bea and head home.

4:30 Bea is weepy about something.  Unclear exactly what.  Perhaps 5:30 is too early a wake up? Hmmm? She watches Sophia the first and I take Charlie to the Bath. Bea announces she is not taking a bath today.

5:00 Nanny leaves, feed Bea dinner (leftover chicken, sliced bel pepper, leftover rice, water with ice) bring up the subject of her upcoming bath. Meet resistance.  Put on some Pandora (family folk songs station) and we sing along.  Charlie sits on the counter watching Bea eat.  We sing, he yells. 

5:30 Take a non-cooperative Bea to the bath, let her have playtime while I go make Charlie a bottle. Check in on Bea, she’s heavily soaping her arms.

5:45 Lou comes home, he gets the same dinner as Bea and eats in under 3 minutes.  Escapes the table to go play on the floor with Charlie.  Game soon devolves into him being some sort of animal that climbs. Charlie is unhappy that Lou moved on. Wash Bea, get her in PJs, brush her hair. She asks for more Sophia and I give in so I can put Charlie to bed.

6:00 Charlie goes to bed, Lou takes a shower by himself, I read to Bea on the couch.  Check on Lou who will take a 40 steaming hot shower if I let him.  Remind him about soap. And rinsing. Remind him to come out. Go back 10 minutes later and remind him again.

6:30 Lou is in PJs. Kids playing in the living room. I clean up from dinner. Wash bottle.  Go through Lou’s back pack. Check the calendar for the next day. Give Bea a 10 minute warning for bed.

6:45 Start negotiating with Bea about bed.

7:00 Pick Bea up, have her fly like Superman to the bathroom and then to bed. When she first moved 
into the bottom bunk, she asked for a big poufy blanket and proceeded to only sleep on top of it which always makes me think of the princess and the pea story.  We say our prayers and I tell her how proud I am of her that she had such a wonderful day. She says she’s proud of me too. She rolls over and is asleep 30 seconds later. I check on Charlie, he’s horizontal in his crib but fast asleep so all is good. Go back to living room and Lou.

7:30 Have quiet time with Lou. Talk about his day, whatever is on his mind (animals, how to build things, cars, weather phenomena) and read a book. I would love for him to read to me but he only wants me to read to him.  He asks to sleep in my bed  but I tell him I have to work more tonight and he as to sleep in his bed.  We go to his room and he crawls up to the top bunk. I stand on a stool next to the bed and say prayers with him and rub his back for a minute. He says his bed is “like a desert” and therefore, too hot to sleep in. My bed however, is “lower down and much, much colder.” Nice try. He stays in his bed.

7:45 Lie on the couch and text DMS to see when he’s coming home. Try not to fall asleep. Think about making myself dinner. Lie on the couch more.

8:15 Wake up. Stumble to the kitchen and make myself dinner (leftover hamburgers from Monday.) Eat at the coffee table in front of the TV. Wait for  DMS.

8:30 DMS comes home we chit chat about the day. He lays on the sofa. We watch an episode of Chopped.

9:30 Putter around the house. Clean up a bit. DMS makes himself dinner. We talk about stuff we need to do, when we should have Lou’s birthday party, life stuff.

10:30 I start getting ready for bed. DMS makes Lou’s lunch for the next day and refills his back pack with his insulin supplies. I read a bit in bed and doze off. DMS comes to bed a few hours later. He stays up to do work and have some downtime. 

Hopefully none of the kids wake up.  Someone usually does- Bea needing water, Charlie wanting a bottle, Lou going to the bathroom.  A good night is just one kid waking up, a bad night is all three.
Here’s hoping for a good night….

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Three (short, unrelated) Thoughts

As part of my maternity leave I negotiated a work – from – home scenario for when I returned after leave.  My work often involves me working alone, on my computer.  Formerly, I was doing this in my office, in dressy work clothes with minimal interaction with others (doesn’t my job sound fabulous?) Now I do it at home, in sweatpants with minimal interaction with others.  This work – from – home scenario has enabled me to keep doing carpool for Lou, sit with her while she has a snack after school, kiss the baby when I want and on a slow day, even make dinner ahead of time. I like being able to do these things, it makes me feel like I can still participate in the little moments in the kids lives and keep our home-life from getting too out of control. The days my work is more intense, that home stuff waits and that’s cool because I know that its just a lower sweatpants  to dress pants ratio for that day or week.

I don’t know that I’ll be able to keep my job when we move in June. I’ve been making every effort to make this work – from – home scenario easy on my boss so the possibility of a work-from – an – out – of – state – home scenario is indeed a possibility.  Even the days where I wish my sweatpants ratio was 100% home and 0% work, in the back of my head I know that’s not the best scenario for me. I need some other, non-family thing to keep me happy.  Today when I emailed out a big project I felt great. I felt proud of what I produced and I felt happy that I could go into the kitchen and make lunch for myself before carpool.  Then, I felt very lucky that I had those two thoughts in tandem.   

I’ve been trying to find a ballet class for Bea.  I often feel that Bea is such the middle child- overlooked and dragged along.  Not quite old enough for a real social calendar or after school activities but not quite young enough that I need to pay attention to naps or bottles. She really never seems to mind, occasionally she asks “peas, I have playdate?” in her little muppet voice but mostly she’s happy to tag along and enjoy the ride.  I thought ballet would be nice for her.  A good way to get her moving a bit and also something that she would genuinely like (she’s never one to turn down a costume.) But its been so frustrating trying to find a class! There are so many options but I can’t make a single class fit in our schedule! Argh! I hate those people who are “so busy” all the time.  This isn’t really one of those cases, we’re not busy we are just rigidly scheduled.  Bea is in school until 1. Lou has to be picked up at 3. I work in the office on Wednesdays and one other day so there is no car for the nanny those days. I feel like this is life tetris and I can’t get out of this level.

We send Lou to school with 2 snacks and a lunch. We write his insulin dosage on a post it that lists what is for snack, what is for lunch and how much to dose.  Today the teacher gave the afternoon snack in the morning with the morning dose.  Lou had taken out the wrong snack from his bag and she didn’t pay attention to the list we sent in.  She didn’t realize until the afternoon when she saw him eating the wrong snack. She called but when we were discussing it she blamed it on Lou.  This really gets me upset.  He’s almost 6 and very responsible with his diabetes. However, we write the list FOR HER to read and check.  He is in Kindergarten.  She is not.  I understand that mistakes happen and this isn’t even the first this year. But I need to know that she is paying some modicum of attention to him and what he’s eating.  I would have so much less of an issue if she had owned the mistake. By blaming him, I’m more frustrated with her.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

I Nursed. I Pumped. I Stopped.

First I stopped nursing.  Now I stopped pumping.  I don’t know why this issue has me so defensive and emotional but I feel the need to to justify my decision to stop every time I tell people I’m done.

The baby was not good at nursing.  Fact.

I was also less into nursing, though I very much wanted to do it because I do think it’s beneficial.  But after nearly two years of nursing other kids my enthusiasm was a little low.

I exclusively nursed for 6 weeks.  I had mastitis.  I had cracked, bleeding, chewed up n!pples. I had an allergic reaction the hydrogels. I cried every time I nursed.  The baby gained wonderful weight and was happy as a clam. I met with a wonderful LC to try and help the baby nurse better. She couldn’t understand what he was doing while he nursed that was making things so awful. He looked like a great latcher.

I started pumping to give the ladies a break while they healed from the mastitis and breakage. It was so much better. The baby was happy with a bottle.  I pumped 5-6 times a day, even at 3am. I had plenty of milk. I got some Newman’s ointment and the n!pples healed. Situation solved.

I pumped. I drove carpool. I pumped. I worked. I pumped. I made dinner. I pumped. I showered. I pumped. I took care of the big kids. I pumped and bounced a baby. I pumped and I pumped and I pumped and I pumped. Then my milk started slowing down.  I pumped and drove carpool and worked and made dinner and then pumped.  I showered and took care of the bigs and then the baby and then pumped. Then there was even less milk. One day I pumped and there was no milk. 4 months of only pumping and I had no milk left. It was frustrating. Watching the output go from 13oz to 8 to 6 to 4 to 0. Fighting back by drinking litres of water, eating lots of protein, pumping after the milk stopped coming to up my supply but still watching the numbers slide down.

Finally I stopped. It wasn’t worth the 2oz  to have to pump in the morning while getting the kids ready for school. It wasn’t worth the 2oz to pump as I fell asleep at night. It feels selfish to say that I couldn’t be bothered to try and pump more. It feels like I gave up when I should have done more.  I somehow should have been more committed.

I stopped a week and a half ago.  I stopped slowly like they say but figured how painful could it be if there was barely any milk left? Apparently the ladies were hiding some. Its been really painful. I think I’m at that point in the cessation process where the hormones change and it feels like the world will end and all is lost. I believe Swistle wrote a post on this topic once. I’d link to it but the world is ending and you probably read already anyway.  I’m hoping this means that its over soon. That soon I will have my body back and I can make peace with all of this.  No it didn’t go as I’d hoped- life can be like that.  Focus on the positive: the baby is growing, he’s happy, he’s healthy. Will it really matter that I didn’t nurse him as long as I’d hope or that we tried to make a crappy situation work and it didn’t last as long as I thought it would? No, it doesn’t matter. It doesn't matter. I say the words but I don’t always believe them. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sundry's Year-End Quiz

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Had a 3rd baby! 

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
It wasn’t a resolution per se, but I really did want to have a better post-partum experience this time than I did with Bea.  I worked out a lot while pregnant and I think it helped with my recovery (I didn’t feel as broken physically as I did after Bea but it wasn’t all rainbows and puppies either) but there were still post-partum issues (nursing: I’m looking at you) that were hard to overcome.  It may always be like that though. 

I’m continuing with my “be healthful, be strong, be active” routine from last year.  It has so many positive impacts on my life and frankly, an hour working out without kids or home stuff is really awesome. Also, I’d like to wear my skinny jeans again. Truth. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Babies, babies, everywhere.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My Great Uncle Max. He was kindness personified.  He used to pick us up at the airport in his big, black Lincoln wearing a ship captains hat and pretending to be our chauffeur.  He was quiet and unassuming but was such a special person if you got to know him.  

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you didn’t have in 2012?
2012? Who the hell remembers 2012? What would I like to have in 2014? Hmm.  Patience. Movers that pack you. Trust that life will turn out okay. 

7. What dates from 2013 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
Is it sad that I remember the baby’s birthday as free slurpee day? 7-11 for life! 

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
Having 3 kids and not going bat-shit crazy. Having 3 kids, going back to work, having DMS work like crazy and planning an inter-state move and not go bat-shit crazy. 

9. What was your biggest failure?
Yelling at the kids. Not getting along with my mom. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
For myself? Bootcamp classes. 

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
DMS for putting up with me.  My kids for handling transition well. 

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My mom around the time the baby was born. My own sometimes. 

14. Where did most of your money go?
School tuition. 

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
You know, back in 2008 I had a paper planner and I could look back through the year and remember all the fun stuff we did or events that happened and now I’m all digital but I can’t remember a damn thing or look it up. Boo.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Roar. Also some song that the workout lady plays but I’m so bad at music I have no idea the name.  When I hear it on the radio I have some pavlovian response to start doing lunges though.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
A) Happier! All is well!
B) Thinner.  But also not pregnant.
C) Same.  

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I feel pretty good about 2013 but I could have probably relaxed a bit about the to-do list just hung out more. I do wish we traveled more.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

20. How did you spend Chanukah?
With my husband’s family.  Lots of people, lots of together time but truly lovely.

21. What was your favorite TV program?

22. What was the best thing you learned? (I changed this question.)
I can make dinner every night and the world will not end.

23. What was the best book you read?
Sadly, I’m one of those people who reads a book and then forgets the entire plot as soon as I finish it.  I’m sure I loved some books but can’t remember a damn one.

25. What was your greatest food discovery? (I changed this question.)

26. What did you want and get?
A healthy baby. Ability to work from home. 

27. What did you want and not get?
A more organized house.

28. What was your favorite film of 2013?
I saw one movie in the theaters this entire year and it was The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and I loved it. 

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 34.  We had ice cream cake that I bought myself. I was a little annoyed that DMS didn’t make the kids do anything special (or even tell them that it was my birthday) but otherwise it was low-key and nice, just as I wanted. 

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A gabillion dollars? A warm weather beach vacation with my little family?

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2013?
Does it fit? Yay! I’ll wear it!

32. What kept you sane?
A good cup of cold-brew coffee with half and half in the morning.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
I was so not into politics this year. Too many kids.

34. Who did you miss?
My friend who moved away.

35. Who was the best new person you met?
I’ve been trying to be more social with people I know; go out more, call people during the week to say hi and generally not be a hermit. Its sort of working. 

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
This too shall pass. The ice cream is always worth it. Always buy half and half when at the market.  Sleep is amazing.

37. Show us one of your favorite photos from the year. (I changed this question. It used to be about music. Which I don’t really listen to.)
I have a lot of photos I like but you’re getting one from my phone.

 Happy 2014!