Thursday, January 30, 2014

The countdown to 4 has begun...

This time four years ago I was sitting in a hospital room on the ante partum ward slowly counting down the days until Garrett and Gavin's planned arrival.  I was hooked up to monitors multiple times a day to check the boys' status and safety and took a shot each morning and night to help prevent blood clots since I spent most of my time in bed.  The earthquake in Haiti had just happened; lots of snow fell that year, school days were sporadic, many friends sympathetically said they could relate to my stir craziness....haha, they had no idea but meant well; and the 2010 Winter Olympics were in full swing. 

Among many things I did to pass the time, one was to make "countdown chains" for every two weeks of my hospital stay (small, attainable goals:)).  I made three chains during my six week stay and every seventh day was marked with a patterned paper ring, signifying the boys had stayed put for one more important week. 

I guess you could say things have come full circle because here we are four years later and I found myself the other day making these paper ring countdown chains once again.  But this time I had the boys to help me.  They have a great grasp of time, can tell me the days of the week, what yesterday was, and what tomorrow will be.  They constantly ask about the seasons ("Mommy, this is winter because there is snow outside?  And then comes spring?  And then we can eat watermelon and go to the beach?  And then it's summer?  My favorite is fall!") and we frequently talk about the months of the year.  They can tell you their birth date and know it's fast approaching, but in their minds it might as well be in three days.  Enter craft time.  They decorated the paper, helped me cut it into strips with the paper cutter, used the stapler, and selected stickers for decorating.  They've revisited their chains multiple times to make sure they are decorated just enough.  Minus finding stickers stuck all over the dining room, this has been the best [quiet] activity to hep curb our cabin fever AND each morning we have a little counting lesson to see how many more 'wake ups' until my babies are FOUR.  4?!?!?!?!?! 
Where     has     the     time     gone?  

They are so proud and can't wait to celebrate...with a trip to the monster truck show, no less!


And simply for good measure...these sweet gems from the week...

In between mastering how to get into and out of our snow gear in less than 30 minutes, I've dearly enjoyed our downtime in pjs with extra snuggles and cups of hot chocolate.

Monday, January 27, 2014

And then there was light...

Dare I admit I saw light today... I saw light in the fact that for the first time in a long time my night wasn't miserably foggy or tired.  I can't say I slept much, but it was more than I've been used to lately!  I saw light in the fact that I felt present today and didn't want to snap someone's head off or crawl in a hole to sleep!  I saw light in the fact that it wasn't chill-you-to-the-bone-burn-your-skin cold (although tomorrow it's supposed to return to the 20s or lower), so we went outside for a walk and didn't have to adorn 3 layers and top off with hats and gloves!  Maybe it was just the sunshine, maybe my eyes were actually open enough to take everything in, but oh thank goodness for the good days (exhibit A, exhibit B).

Today I wrote this instead
to a few dear friends with whom I frequently share "venting" texts ...they are to remind me of the good next time $&#! hits the fan:

Certainly I'm about to jinx things, but sleep training for K is in full effect and last night went great!  This morning she woke up right as scheduled and then went down for her naps like clockwork withOUT needing to be nursed and only fussed for 7 minutes.  Just having a plan in place makes things so much better! (I desperately escaped to Panera yesterday and read a sleep book cover to cover.)  The boys are playing nicely and imaginatively upstairs and I just made some coffee while responding to a few emails...what?!?!?!  AND we had green smoothies for breakfast and a walk is in order once the roof inspection guy leaves.
6 months and this little lady finally MIGHT like a pacifier!
The rest of our week has a pretty full line up, so when things go awry (because they will) I can come back to today's successes.  

And maybe open some wine.  

Or pull out the jar of Nutella.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Snowpocalypse + Grocery Store + 3 Kids...

Today is Friday...

We're on snow day #4 around here even though the white stuff didn't actually start falling until Tuesday night.  Thankfully, our routine hasn't changed much since the boys' preschool never closed, but we have spent a lot more time at home, perfecting our system of getting into and out of all the snow gear, and coming up with ways to stay busy (enter fort building and laundry fights).  Not going to lie, though, I'm glad it's Friday: the weekend means I get a little reprieve.  It's 1:48pm and I just made a second cup of coffee, although, I'll be honest I was tempted to open a bottle of wine instead.  However, the moving company guy that will be here any minute would probably look at me a little cross.  After all, I'm about to take him through my house that's a wreck (remember, fort building and laundry fights!); my unshowered hair is disheveled; and I'm still in my pjs.  Whatever.  I bet he wasn't pooped on and spit up on twice before 6am today.  Let's just hope he gives me a reasonable moving quote. 


This happened on Tuesday when we actually were out of the house for a reason other than going to school...

Want to be a glutton for punishment?

Need an excuse to drive yourself to drink? (I'm telling you, wine before 5pm today, Friday!)

Take all three kids grocery shopping on the cusp of a snowpocalypse. 
It's now near the top of my list of things that DON'T mix.

At the mere mention of the words 'snow' and/or 'ice' and this town freaks out.  We come by in honestly...we don't get slammed with snow very often and not many of us really know how to drive in it safely anyway.  Poor school officials are damned if they do and damned if they don't when it comes to staying open or closing for the day.  The milk and bread aisles are wiped clean in no time and people start to hunker down for the worst.
Shame on me for putting off my usual grocery run because today I was met with the "gotta get milk and bread shoppers" as I was crossing off numerous items from my weekly list to restock our fridge and pantry.  It also meant navigating crowded aisles with a behemoth shopping cart designed to accommodate three kids.  With preschool closing a bit early and Katharine actually taking a long morning nap, I had to resort to making this trip a group outing.  While our Little Miss cried her way through the last 1/3 of the trip, I have to say that the boys were patient, pleasant rock stars!  

Minus the fact that I was sweating under my coat; 

minus my smiles through clenched teeth at the sweet, old ladies taking
F  O   R   E   V   E   R  to find their canned goods while their carts blocked the ENTIRE aisle for other shoppers; 

minus Garrett's little mishap of falling off the cart and biting his tongue; 

and minus Gavin's exclamation through the checkout line, "Mommy I need to go potty.  NOW!"...

our trip was a success and nothing that I know of (yet) was forgotten.  However, today's lesson: go shopping ALONE next time.  At all costs make it happen.  My nerves, patience, and gray hairs will thank me.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

He's a catch!

Katharine is 6 months 2 weeks old.  This means I have not slept for more than 3 hours at a time in 6 months 2 weeks.  I     am     tired.  My eyes are sunken, my skin is dull, my hair is flat, my head usually hurts, and I'm lethargic.  I squeak each day out and keep the kids busy.  I trudge through a workout every now and then.  My brain is mush.  I want to take naps while driving.

On a good night she wakes every 3 hours.  She eats voraciously when she's up and then goes right back to sleep.  On a bad night she wakes every 45 minutes.  Sometimes she wants to eat.  Sometimes she wants to course not a pacifier.  Sometimes she just wants to rock or snuggle.  Oh, I do try to cherish those moments, but sometimes it's more "go the $%*@ to sleep" instead of being lovey, dovey, roses and unicorns.  Add to this routine that usually once a night one of the boys calls out to find a stuffed animal or to reposition the covers or fix an annoying tag on pjs.  On most nights  Joe sleeps through all of this.  And once I crawl back into bed, he's in fact, in such a deep sleep that his usual moaning/snoring/weird sleeptime breathing kicks in.  So I press my face hard into the pillow to drown it all out and will myself back to sleep for at least an hour.

Katharine also happens to be an early riser.  A morning person, myself, you'd think I wouldn't mind, but Little Lady, 5:45am is too early to start the day after only sleeping in short bursts throughout the night.  Every morning I tell myself I should go to the gym since I'm up.  I used to be that early morning gym rat.  I have friends that are still there before sunrise and I'm sure they didn't sleep well either.  Great for them.  More power to them.  I just can't make it happen anymore.

So this morning started out like any other...5:30am babbling from the other room that escalated to crying.  I stumble in the room, soothe, rock, change a diaper, keep it dark, don't talk much, lay her back down, and hope for the best.  20 minutes later we're back at it again.  Then the boys stir.  Then I hear footsteps going downstairs.  That means the day has really started.  Then I find Joe at the door.  Boom, handoff!  "Please just keep her quiet." I say and I crawl back into bed.  Upon stumbling downstairs an hour later Joe offers to take the boys to school, so Katharine can finish her morning nap and I can function in a quiet house for a bit.


Oh man, he's a catch I tell you.  A smart one too.  Because who knows what would have left my mouth had he asked, "How was the night?"  And dare he say again that he can relate to how tired I am after he has ONE fitful night's sleep.

Sleep training here we come.  Ugh.

And, Joe, THANK YOU:)

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