Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Day in the Life...

When I decided to start this blog I said I would never do this, I thought it would be way to boring for anyone to want to read it. But after the day I had last Monday I just have to share. At the time I thought I was going to loose my mind, but even now it's already almost funny to look back on. It was really more like something you would see in a movie or on t.v. than what life with kids is normally like day to day. A normal day, with just a little organization and consistency, runs pretty smoothly. Of course there's the occasional melt down or tantrum, sometimes in the middle of Target, the kind that cause people to look at you like you're the worst parent on the planet or even, heaven forbid, offer advice or criticism. These people usually don't have children of their own and I'm usually able to resist the urge to criticize back, well some of the time...ok at least I say it in love, that really is true. The little bumps in the road are hardly newsworthy, but occasionally there's a day that's more like a minefield and I am feeling obligated to share because the most comforting thing to most moms on a bad day or in a bad moment is that we are not alone and other moms go through the same thing more regularly that we realize.
Monday was my second day alone with all three kids. While most of the 2 people who will probably read this already know my children's ages, let me restate just in case...Gracie turned 3 in December, Will is going to be 2 in June and Walker was a day shy of 3 weeks old. People who know me, or see me in public with the kids are quick to point out that I have my hands kidding?? It reminds me a little of when I used to take our Great Dane, Charlie, out anywhere and couldn't get three steps without hearing someone make some joke about having a horse for a pet. It did get me out of a ticket once though,"Ya know they make trailers for those things, ha ha ha"... Really, though, it's not as bad as people seem to think. Even more surprising is that it has been easier to go from 2 to 3 than it was from 1 to 2. I didn't say it's easy, just easier!
Monday started only slightly differently than most for us. For one I was running on 2 or 3 1 1/2 to 2 hour naps and looking forward to the kid's nap time before I was out of bed. Usually on a Monday(and Fridays too) we stay home and the kids play, paint, play outside, and rest. It's my day to catch up from the weekend and get some things done around the house and one of 2 days the kids get to stay home all day and make their own schedule (besides meals and sleep which are always the same) and I am usually very flexible about it. We sometimes even stay in our pjs till noon and unless I'm up by 6 or 630 I don't get a shower till nap time. Needless to say, on such little sleep, that was to be the case this day. It's all kind of a blur now, but what I do remember is that after breakfast everything went south. Gracie and Will were at each others throats, verbally and physically abusing one another to the point that I had to drag them to their rooms to separate them on more than one occasion. I know a lot of brothers and sisters regularly fight like this, but that is not usually the norm for us. I'm not supposed to be lifting anything more than 10 pounds for another 3 weeks, they each weigh around 30 plus whatever difficulty they choose to add by either kicking and flailing about or falling limp in a pile on the floor (Gracie's recent specialty). Needless to say, I forgot to eat breakfast which my body choose to remind me loud and clear with an almost fainting spell standing at Walker's changing table that I am nursing a baby and can't go that long without eating. Just when I thought things had settled down a little, Gracie and Will were playing contently together in the living room, and I had a minute to make their lunch (Disney Princess Spaghettio's were the choice of the day) I got it on the table just in time to hear Gracie say "Mama come look what Will did" which is never good and usually translates "come look what Will AND I did that I know we shouldn't have." I took a deep breath and walked into the living room to find that the wall above the entire length of the couch had been decorated with crayon. Walker was screaming and nap time was a mere hour or so away, so with all the self control I could muster I took away the crayons and gave a mild verbal warning and sent them to eat lunch. I am the last person to claim that my children behave perfectly even part of the time, but I usually can trust them to sit at the table and eat their lunch neatly and peacefully with minimal supervision (yes, even spaghettio's). So I got them settled and went to change Walker in an attempt to calm him only to come back and find milk and spaghettio's all over the kitchen table, floor, and the kids. After they "helped" me clean up their mess and finished their lunch (all while listening to Walker scream from his swing) I gave them the usual "you have x minutes to play before nap time" and added "stay where I can see you." I sat down to nurse Walker while they created an obstacle course out of their little soft "reading" chairs. It's not the first time nor will it be the last that they have climbed and jumped and played on them, they are made of foam and cotton and in and of themselves pretty safe. Our living room, being very open in the center with no coffee table could also potentially be a safe place on any other day. On this day, however, after 2 warnings not to play so close to the furniture and one "ok, no more climbing on the chairs" Gracie turned her chair on it's side and jumped on top of it and proceeded to fall face first into the TV console. She was crying, obviously hurt, and bleeding and in my exasperation what was the first thing out of my mouth? Not concern for my poor child or worry over her injuries, no I said "Do you see why I didn't want you climbing on your chair?" Of course I instantly felt guilty and picked her up and panicked as I saw the cut under her eye swell up like a marshmallow in a campfire.
 I'll spare you the details of the next couple of hours except to say that I loaded all three tired and very cranky kids into the car to take Gracie to the doctor. John left work at Ft. Knox and met me there to help with the kids. Gracie's injury turned out to be relatively minor and thankfully didn't need stitches, just a steri strip (which she somehow ripped off the next day) but it's healing fine. The kids didn't get a nap that day, but my sweet husband, who came home from the doctor's office with us since it was too late for him to return to work, allowed me to take a short nap and shower while he and the kids picked up AND vacuumed the house. We had a frozen pizza for dinner and the kids went to bed a little early and so did I. The days since then have gone much more smoothly, but it is still exhausting to keep up with all the responsibilities of caring for 3 young children. I am taking it one day at a time, reminding myself to be thankful for small blessings, and looking forward to the day Walker begins to sleep for longer periods at night. And the truth is, even on days like that, I am so blessed to be a mother :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Catching Up

I started this last Saturday and never got around to posting it...
Wow I'm having a hard time getting caught up! I guess it's no surprise considering all the major changes that have taken place in the last month and the serious lack of sleep from having 3 kids 3 and under including a less than 3 week old baby. I wouldn't trade it for the world, though, and I say that with all the sincerity I can muster on such little sleep. These early weeks with a new baby are when  I most wish I was a coffee drinker. I've had 2 cups of tea and I'm already working on a diet coke which I don't usually do before noon or more than once a day.  In an effort to have something for myself in the midst of changing diapers and feeding children and cleaning up after them then starting over I'm spending some time on this rainy Derby saturday catching up on blog posts I've missed and trying to update mine in between facilitating the play-doh project going on behind me. Then I'm looking forward to a shower and some alone time by way of a hot chai from Starbucks and a short trip to Kroger. Quite a contrast I'm sure to what people who don't have young children look forward to on a Saturday! :) I'll readily admit that there is a part of me who misses being able to sleep in and enjoy the things I used to on my own schedule, though I sometimes have a hard time recalling what I did with my time before kids. Mostly I think the hardest thing is always having to plan things around someone else's schedule which is especially hard right now with a baby who needs to nurse every three hours around the clock. BUT how lucky am I to be able to be home with them all the time?? I know a lot of moms judge each other for lots of different reasons, the biggest one is usually the debate between stay at home moms and working moms, but I really don't understand why. Moms should support and encourage one another, though I suppose this dynamic is true about most human relationships unfortunately. Anyway, I really admire working moms, and I know there are many who want to be home with their kiddos and can't for various reasons, so whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed and exhausted like I am right now  it really helps to remember how lucky I am to be able to focus 100% on my family without other responsibilities to worry about.