The After Birth Party

Oh, you know, I’m just over here obsessing about giving birth as all big pregnant ladies do near THE END.  I got into comparing the birth “after party” photos following each of our children’s births and the blatant theme I noticed is knowledge. …or lack thereof.

Chuckle heartily with me, if you will:

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BAM.
Insert meme caption: PARENT’D.
Alternative caption: CHOLASMA’D
“HOSPITAL’D” also comes to mind.
I have no idea where newborn Lexington is, probably getting poked by multiple nurses. But that’s first time parenting/birthing for you.  Moving on…

 

HOSPITAL’D, to the rescue.  This was my first attempted non-medicated birth.  -Ended up with a misplaced epidural, blacking out, almost barfing, an I.V. which sent searing pain down my arm the entire time but the nurses wouldn’t listen to me, being loaded up on other drugs I don’t know what they were, being numb from my neck to my belly button, and not to my birth canal, the OB cutting Emmett’s head repeatedly in attempts to break my water, and partially feeling the whole birth.  Serious HOSPITAL’D.

And then…

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The triumphant natural birth. But don’t let this photograph fool you, I was a rabid, foaming mess.  I couldn’t get comfortable, the OB kept pestering me to do vaginal checks, they wouldn’t let me stay in the bathroom, and the birthing bed transformed into a huge stepladder monster with a really intimidating birthing bar attached and I locked up and lost my mind.  But!  The job got done. …and I had no voice for the next 24 hours.

And this time?

I changed OBs, changed hospitals, and found a hospital with a Birthing Center attached, and while I have the benefit of an assigned OB (and all hospital tech/medicine) in case of emergency, it’s midwife and nurse/doula run.  As it turns out, I’ve been told there are only 3 birthing centers in all the USA which are located within a hospital, which are certified for water births.  This hospital is apparently the Mothership.

I walked in for my orientation and the nurses are all talking about Essential oils, diffusers, dim lighting, low intervention, floating in a big ol’ LED lit birthing tub woosah –all dat crazy, hippy dippy baloney and I’m like THESE ARE MY PEOPLE.

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hello, living room for mothers to come out and nurse their babies and visit with family.

 

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Hello, kitchen for mama and fam’s personal use.

 

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HELLO, CRUSHED HOSPITAL ICE.

And la pièce de résistance:

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Hello, gorgeous un-hospitalesque birthing room. I love you.

One more of the bathroom, because you know ladies and their bathrooms:

The plan? Well first, to give birth in one of these rooms.  There are only 3 rooms available in the birthing center here.  And we get the vibe that there are a lot of lady preggers due the first week of April.  So I might end up down the hall in a regular hospital room.  With my fortune, that’s probably what will happen.  The happy news about that is that the nurses there have inflatable tubs available and will adhere to the birthing center natural birth (and my birth plan’s) standards.  But still. I want in this tub.

My question to me is HOW did it take me until the 4th child to find this hospital?!  Dunno.  Probably because I’m a stubborn mule and don’t listen to people who have probably suggested this place to me in the past.

Oh well.  Anyone have hilarious After Birth Party photos they want to share with me?  Tag me up on the Gram!

 

 

 

 

 

 

One man’s business trip is another mother’s luxurious vacation.

About once a year, Craig takes a business trip to the coast (sometimes east, but mostly west), to visit multiple clients and talk about fruit and peppers and produce because that’s what he deals with and I hold a bitter grudge against him for leaving me to wipe three children’s bums while he sleeps 8 hours a night for a 4 day weekend in hotels where people come in and MAKE HIS BED for him and he eats complimentary hotel breakfasts and enjoys long, uninterrupted hot showers, costal temperatures, and tons of vitamin D SUNSHINE, and ocean air.

So when I realized he was planning to go last month and this was the first and only narrow window of time I’d ever (or so it feels) be able to leave the children with my parents and in-laws for an extended period of time, I was like TAKE ME! TAKE ME! because in a few weeks I’ll be in what my friend Jessica affectionately refers to as “breastfeeding jail” and won’t be leaving the house, won’t be leaving the couch for the next ten years (or so it feels).  So Craig was like, ok.

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Granted, this was a business trip, so not all play, but for a mother of three young children, I was good to go after sitting out in the rental car for 30 minutes letting the California sun scorch my face as Craig met with his first client.
Like, best vacation ever, sitting in a silent car for half an hour. Ever.

Craig was worried about me finding “something to do” while he met with his clients and I kept assuring him “You don’t understand. I DON’T WANT TO DO ANYTHING.”  Nothing.

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…except to explore the art of airport bathroom selfies…

 

The paradox of being a parent and struggling for sanity during the months of ludicrous, relentless, dreary, colorless, STUPID, frigid weather in the midwest (or anywhere else covered in snow and ice and rain) is that as soon as I went to say goodbye to my children, I was sobbing and regretting the purchase of airfare for a 34 week pregnant woman.  I was weepy the whole trip, actually, and could only just listen on the other side when Craig Facetimed them to talk.

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…and airplane selfies…

As I listened to Craig speak with his clients (I sat in on some of his meetings like a big ol rhino.) I thought about how huge life is, how big and stretched out the world is, and how it’s filled with important things and people and history and sights everywhere, that someday our boys will be able to experience and learn from.  I forget this so easily because I’m busy loathing the relentless diaper changings at home.  I’m busy clawing the walls inside my brain for sanity as Emmett struggles with the challenges of having Autism and not able to verbally communicate the way he’d like to. I’m busy being begged for a snack every half hour.

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…and Original Starbucks selfies… (this is the face I make when I know you’re not calculating for harsh backlight but I can’t correct you because you’re a stranger)

 

The lives of our little boys are so small right now. All they need are their snacks, their LEGOS, their “trainies”, their letters
…and their mom and dad.

And I’d left them with me on the brink of mental collapse all because I’d lost sight of it.
And guess what? That’s normal. There’s nothing really wrong with any of that.

I think every single parent, whether they have one child or many will go through times (years perhaps) of exhaustion with their mundane vocation.  That’s okay.  I think the problem is when we believe that it’s not okay and that it’s not normal to want to be alone or away from our children for a while. The problem is when we think we’re supposed to do this alone.

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…and Seattle selfies…

 

There are tons and tons of excellently written blog posts dedicated to making mom aware that she needs to take time for herself and for her husband– I’ve read them, nodding in solidarity.  But sometimes, when your personal situation in life requires you really can’t make that time, that’s when the exhaustion hits.  That’s when a parent loses it.  Not every parent can simply hire a random sitter.  Not every parent has reliable family 10 minutes away to come watch the children while mom runs to Target solo.

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…and a semi-disturbed spa ceiling photo after being lead to a back, hidden room when all I signed up for was a “classic pedicure” which by west coast standards must be extremely different because it was the best, most excellent for-an-introvert pedicure ever because I was taken to a separate, lowly lit room with ONE pillow covered chair, elevated and reclined so I could fall asleep and mouth breathe/drool while a lady silently grated the 5 inch layer off the bottoms of my feet.

 

I was worried about leaving Collin- he’s never spent a night without sleeping by my side.
I was super worried about Emmett. Super worried.  Emmett is in a screaming phase which has driven me to tear-filled headaches and ugly angry thoughts at the end of the day.  Something triggers him and there’s absolutely nothing I, or anyone else can do to calm him down.  So he just screams.  He thrashes.  He kicks.  And he screams tirelessly more. There’s no rational explaining him out of the situation– because he’s screaming so loud he can’t hear me.  And when I seize a moment where he’s inhaling for the next scream, the sound of my voice doesn’t register with him.  So trying to shush him or do the typical parental persuasion with a treat “if you’re quiet” is utterly fruitless. Totally and completely fruitless.  He screams louder and more intensely. When it’s really bad, I put him in our bed, lock the door, and stand there on the other side, crying, as I listen to him thrash and scream himself to sleep 45 minutes later.

…so the thought of leaving these two youngest with even my mom and mom-in-law gave me the anxiety.  But you know what?  These guys are brothers, and Lexington, my non-stop chatty Lexington is so helpful and knows his brothers so well, that the report was everyone had a great and good time, with little outbursts from Emmett, and since they already sleep together in one bed, everyone slept quite well …because they had each other.   That’s what Craig and I were told, anyway…  ;)
I can’t thank God enough for my parents, my in-laws, and my siblings and sister-in-law who love (and spoil) our boys and make themselves available to be with them so that mom can remember where her head is every once in a while.

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and Russian pastries.

 

It was a lovely, refreshing, once in a lifetime (or so it felt) getaway.  It was just dandy to take long showers, to curl my hair, to take a ridiculous amount of time on my eyelashes, to put body lotion on more places than just my hands, and moroccan oil in my hair, and smell like Nefretiri from The Ten Commandments, but I totally cried like a baby when we walked through the door to the best words I’ve ever heard:

“MOM! DAD!”

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And this from our 2 year old, Collin:  “I’m so proud of you for coming home!”
Back to wiping bums and looking at this all day!  :)

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Seriously, March, come on.

For more colors from our trip, check out my Instagram.

Different ways to Diaper bag

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Wednesday I’d written a good n’ ugly post full of mom whine about how having a 4 year old son with Autism whose primary means of communication is screaming like a banshee, all day. all. day. Sometimes, all day for consecutive days, and I can’t simply drop him off with a random sitter because hello non-verbal-yet-screaming-Autism and what untrained person is supposed to be able to handle that, and woe is me all day long. Woe, woe, woe. I didn’t post it, which goes against why I blog (to overshare all the mom lyfe things), but I guess I’m like growing up or something because I decided to sit on the post for a day and instead I grammed it with a one liner.

Your responses in solidarity and encouragement were just lovely and what I believe every mom needs to hear/read during really bad days.  I thank you mamas from the bottom of my still-cringing ears and now full mama heart. Today has at least started off much better, and that’s a grand improvement. See, I didn’t need to post a 1500+ word essay for you to get it.  YOU GET IT. I’m saving the ugly post I didn’t publish, I’ll revise it and share it another day– I’m guessing this is what veteran mom bloggers do, oh wise ladies, you.  If we all lived in a commune, I’d suffocate my introvert and have you all over for baked confections and coffees, because at this juncture in parenthood, getting through the day is a sufficient Lenten sacrifice. I’d leave off the sprinkles.

SO! Lesser things! Diaper bags!

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I’ve had this one for 4 years straight.  Karen’s a fine old gal and truly shows no signs of aging or wear. Really, she’s classic and I should just keep it up with her until she gives out, but:
1. I love this bag and would like to have it as a secondary, hopefully prolonging its life.
2. I just plain want a new one.

Something my mom does for her grandchildren after they turn a year old is gives them each a backpack for Christmas.  When we go out, diapers, wipes and sippy cups go in the backpacks and I carry a spare diaper, extra wipes and then emergency mom stuff in my bag.  The older the boys get, the less I need to haul, and the responsibility of taking what they need goes to them and their backpacks. I’m all about giving away responsibilities. Collin put his sock on by himself today, so now that’s his job. :)

But hey there’s a new baby coming in April and I get to go overboard on bringing plan B outfits, and baggies to hold poopy, puke-y clothing, and burp cloths, and nursing covers, and nursing pads, and extra socks, and an extra shirt for me because baby fluids, and and and and and!

So here I am with my iron fourth child know-it-all mom fist to demand you follow these practical rules when picking out a diaper bag.  Kidding. Actually, I’m having a hard time finding one I like right now, so I’m open for suggestions!  In the mean time, these are my basic guidelines I consider when I’m giving a potential candidate the once over.  Enjoy!  Feel free to add your own tips in the comments :)

–1–
How does this bag make you feel?

A lot of times, I feel like I need to get something RIGHTNOW.  Something that’ll do the job.  But if I settle for a bag I don’t really love, I end up hating it, and then I want another, and then I’ve wasted money.  The Karen is only my second diaper bag I’ve ever owned. That’s because when I put it on my shoulder, the angels sang and my eyes sparkled and I felt like a woman and then my brain played a Beyoncé song.  I shopped patiently and waited (and waited) to find something that made me feel like I could carry the bag without children in tow. I’ve found that truly, in mom-dom, the little things matter so much as far as how it makes me feel …or maybe that’s only if you’re a mother of three males.  If I feel like a woman, instead of the cable guy and his utility belt full of dipes, wipes and pacifiers, it goes a long way toward a happier outlook on the motherlife. Yes, I look at a diaper bag as an investment in my well being.  Whether that’s a sad, shallow thing or not, it works for me.

–2–
Consider the fabric.

Am I thinking about paying over a hundo, over two hundo –for POLYESTER? non, Je refuse. Rien de rien. Am I paying upwards of $100 for a lovely cotton bag that will be stained forever the moment I bring it home and my newborn promptly vomits on it (cause they will. They always do.)? Always consider the make of the bag.  Is it going to pill and get grimy after it rubs repeatedly on my carrying hip? Can I easily wipe off bodily fluids and spilled coffee splatters?  Or will it soak up moisture and eventually reek of motherhood? What is the maintenance? Can I wash it, can I wipe it?  My first diaper bag was beautiful, yellow, cheery– and made of a sateen blend with a leather trim.  Anything that stained the sateen was only aggravated by me trying to wipe it off.  The material was so soft that it snagged on various obstacles I encounter in the daily mom safari.  A melted mixture of jolly ranchers and chewing gum lured a trail of ants to the deep corners, excessive pockets, and in the end, I felt I had no other option than to wash the entire bag.  Most likely a bad call on my end, but the oils from the leather trim stained the sateen eternally. and awfully. This bag was more high maintenance than I could take care of.  In my humble opinion, I’ve grown to appreciate easily wipeable nylon and a patent leather combo- they both repel water and look great.  My Black Beauty is proof.

–3–
Think about closures and hardware.

Ohhh!  OH I LOVE THIS BAG!!! –but wtf is this enormous strip of VELCRO doing there?  Velcro??? Why any diaper bag designer thought that putting an enormous velcro strip on a bag which will be opened and closed and opened and closed repeatedly while in the silence of Mass, or while baby may be sleeping leaves me incredulous, furious, even. I have lamented the beautiful diaper bag enslaved by common velcro.  Stay away from the velcro, you will regret it …unless you don’t.  I like minimal, shiny hardware, if the bag has to have any at all.  It makes me feel fancy.  Brushed, dull, chunky hardware on a baby bag make me feel crummy, they add to the weight of what I’m carrying, and I already suffer chronic neck pain. They make me feel like I’m carrying shackles. I’m already carrying a baby, why throw myself to the dungeon? I kid you not, I will reject a bag based solely on its hardware.

–4–
That print… can you handle that for 12 months?

Maybe you’re different than I.  Maybe you have a budget that allows you to buy a new bag each season, but like I said, for me picking a diaper bag is an investment.  Generally, I swerve from the printed stuff.  I see you, designers, thinking that throwing the secret garden on there will aid in disguising dirt, you tricksters. It doesn’t really. Honestly, I love a floral print. I LOVE IT. But if I’m looking for a bag to have and to hold for a number of years, my scrupulous artsy eyes notice how quickly a printed design dates, and how much I’m sooo not feeling it during the different seasons of the year.  This is just me though.  I choose something plain or solid, something versatile, so that my bag is forever a staple.  If I want floral or tribal or whatever, I’ll find it in the form of an inexpensive scarf, or in a pair of leggings during one of my Tarjay Vacays.

–5–
Look for the un-diaper bag version.

So, wow, diaper bags are stupidly expensive.   Yes, they’re larger.  Yes, they have pockets.  omgsh pockets!!! But does a mom truly need to carry an extra child in the form of a bag?  Does she really need 50 pockets?  For me, no, if I am smart about what I pack. Also- older kids: backpacks, carry their own stuff, right? Right. Mom doesn’t have to carry the whole house for everyone if her children are able to help.
Just because it isn’t found under the category “diaper bag” doesn’t mean you can’t use it like one.  Once I realized this, a whole new world of bags opened up for me. The one I’ve used for years is not a diaper bag! It’s a regular purse, and it’s still huge.  I cannot imagine carrying the larger (ridiculously more expensive) diaper bag version of it.  Are there 50 pockets? No. But in my purse dump post, you’ll see that I have separate containers to hold all my hard-to-fish-around-for items, and if I’ve tolerated it for this long, I’d say it’s worth the money saved.

–6–
Extra tip: Shop the outlets.

Yes, shop the outlets, shop the sales, shop the outlet sales online, check ebay, check second hand stores. Check check check all the places. You might find a treasure.  Usually the bag I’ve got my eye on goes on sale, and eventually to the outlet store, if I can wait an extra month or two. Instagram is actually a source to shop sales and giveaways, too.  Find your favorite brand, then find your favorite blogger who is a rep of that brand (is she always talking about one particular brand? Yep, she’s probably their brand rep), and enter some giveaways or use their discount codes they offer.  It’s great for you, and it helps the blogger, too.  I’m not saying you’ll win a free bag every time, because you won’t, along with the surplus of moms hoping to do the same, but it can’t hurt to try while you’re patiently searching for your bag-to-be.

–7–

Kay, thanks.
Now it’s your turn to hit me with your best tips!  I’m numbering this one so I can qualify for 7 Quick Takes with Kelly, cause it’s been way too long.

It’s an “A Day in The Life” post from Carolyn! Wahoo!

Some of my favorite blog posts I’ve ever read are the ones by moms who lay out the timeline of what a typical day in their life looks like.  The wonderful thing I’ve found in every post I read from each blogger is that we’re all so similar, and these phases of getting NOTHING done, of being tired, of wanting to roll our eyes, are so normal.  It’s refreshing, and relieving, and encouraging.

I’ve wanted to do this forever and in an effort to complain about my pregnancy ailments only passively, today’s the day!

What I’ve done is written out a typical day, based mostly off of yesterday’s experience, but not in exact detail.
Some days are filled with much less diaper changing.  Some days are filled with much more. Some days, I won’t touch anyone’s diaper until noon.  Some days, I let the boys graze and consume an entire bag of pretzels throughout the day and I crochet as if my sanity depended on each stitch because Craig won’t be home until after 10pm. Others (albeit far and few between) I jump up, shower, and we GO somewhere.
We are living with my parents while we house hunt so I have the invaluable benefit of my mother (who works part-time) being present for many hours of the week, available to watch the boys as I stumble to the grocery store. But it hasn’t always been this way, and it won’t always be this way.

This is a glimpse into our current phase of life, but not the whole picture. More days than not, yes, I’m super tired and super frustrated that I can’t get finished what I want, but I am overwhelmingly filled with gratitude and joy to have a hard-working and supportive husband, a supportive, encouraging sister, mother, and mother-in-law who ignore my flaws and love me anyway, and of course, little hellions who depend on me so much for comfort and love.

Warm fuzzies aside, begin!

 

9pm Monday night   Everyone brushes teeth, I change diapers.  We lay in bed and watch Curious George on Netflix until 10. I’d always sworn off a television in the bedroom until we had Emmett.

10pm   TV goes off. Emmett protests in the form of screaming, crying, leg and arm flailing, and tossing his body recklessly in the bed. Lexington and Collin are sleeping, blessedly oblivious.

10:20  Craig holds Emmett while he continues to wail and flail.

10:30  Emmett has fallen asleep. So has Craig. I get up to pee.

1am  Collin wakes up crying and scratching his eczema.  I reapply his ointment.

2am   I get up to pee

4am  I get up to pee

7am I get up to pee.  Craig gets up and leaves for work.

7:30am  Lexington gets up and preps breakfast bars and “juice” cups for himself and his brothers.  He plays with LEGOS quietly/watches Curious George on Netflix. We watch a lot of Curious George.

8am-8:30am Collin wakes “HI MOMMY!”  I get up with him.

8:35 I change Collin’s diaper. I make coffee. Eat breakfast. Collin and Lexington play together with LEGOS, or they color.

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9am  Emmett emerges.  I direct him to the granola bar and drink Lexington has prepared. This piques Collin and Lexington’s hunger for second breakfast.  I get them fruit.

9:15 I sip coffee, check email, and browse through my social media outlets (post this pic on Instagram) while the boys finish eating.

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9:30 Change Emmett’s diaper. (Emmett’s 4 years old, with autism and nowhere near ready for potty training.)

9:45 I get my drawing supplies out to work on something I needed to start last week. I wish to blog, but I’ve got to start this first.

10am Collin: poop #1

10:05 I suddenly remember I’d bought a roast to cook for dinner today.  If I don’t get it in the crockpot now, it’ll be too late and then I’ll need a plan B for dinner.  Don’t have plan B. Toss roast in crockpot.  (Mom and I typically take turns making/planning dinner)

10:30 Mom’s home from daily Mass/errands.  I get side tracked in conversation with her.

10:32 Emmett: poop #1. Requires wardrobe change

10:45  I sit to re-begin my drawing. Get sidetracked by emails/social media notifications.

11am  Collin is begging for “elevensies” -aka: third breakfast. I tell him no. He falls to the floor in dramatic disappointment.

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11:05 Lexington is hungry too. I tell him no.

11:10 Bathroom break for me.

11:15 I remember I need to make an appointment for Collin for allergy testing, and a hospital orientation for me because I’m delivering at a different hospital this time around. It’s at the only accredited midwife-run, water birthing center inside a hospital in the entire state, and I’m so excited and can’t believe I didn’t research this with my past three pregnancies.

11:16 Get distracted looking online for an outfit to wear while giving birth. And nursing bras.  I desperately need new nursing bras.

11:35 Totally frustrated that after raking through online birthing forums for an idea of what other women might wear for a water birth, I’m the only one who still prefers to be mostly covered even when giving birth without medical intervention. There seems to be nothing more than expensive sports bras, even more expensive nursing sports bras, and bathing suits. I want my bum covered.  I want something long but not loose and fabric-y. I might get out of the water, and if my bum’s not covered, it’ll wreck my birthing groove. YES. EVEN IN THE MIDDLE OF LABOR. Ask me how I know.  I am not a comfortable naked person. And NO, I am not into wearing a hospital gown. I’m stubborn and I know it, and this is all silly, but it really makes a huge difference for me.

11:45 Still searching.

NOON  Boys are threatening canibalism, Emmett is screeching his hungry screech.  I make them lunch.

12:15 I call offices to make the appointments I’d remembered an hour ago.  They’re both at lunch and won’t be in until 1pm.

12:20 I make myself lunch. I should shower, but we all know it’s not going to happen.

12:25 I attempt to work on drawings.

12:35 Emmett: poop #2. Requires bath.

12:50 Dress Emmett. Smell Collin: poop #2

12:51 Lexington announces he’s got to go, too. (He is currently learning the self-wiping skill, and doing very well, but I still need to check his work.)

1pm I sit down at my sketchbook. I’ve done nothing. I’ve made no progress. I am frustrated.

1:02 I become insistent that I won’t be bothered until I’ve made significant progress.

1:05 I remember it’s 1:00 and I make calls to schedule appointments.

1:20 I’m filling out online paperwork for Collin’s allergist registration (4 pages)

1:30 Boys are fighting. I bark at them to cut it out.

1:32 Still fighting.  Lexington goes to corner.  Collin goes (kicking and screaming) to corner. Emmett gets redirected to a different toy or a movie.

1:35 Collin begs for “sumfing else” to eat. Lexington chimes in. I tell them no, they whine a bunch.

1:37 I’m serving them second lunch.

1:55 Collin: poop #3.  Requires bath.

2:05 Collin is dressed.  I have to run to the grocery.  My mom’s home, so I can leave the boys with her.  Glory, glory hallelujah.

2:45 I’m standing in the kitchen with shoes and coat on, nappy mom-hair thrown into a ponytail (no, not a cute topknot.  A standard. pony. tail.) and keys in my hand, checking my email.  I notice a message from someone I’m creating a logo for, who is now asking for not one logo, but two logos, each more complex than previously planned. They want it in 5 days. I can’t do that. I can’t.  No.

2:46 I set keys down and reply to email, totally disappointed in myself and my inability to get things done. I want to do this. But I know myself, and I know it won’t get done and it won’t be done well if I rush. I send my regrets and apologies.  I’m totally bummed and I’m kind of relieved. How are those two sentiments possible to experience at the same time? I don’t know.

2:50 In car. Driving.  No music, no radio and I like it that way.

3:05 Tear through grocery store– THEY ARE OUT OF CANADA DRY. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT A HUGE CHAIN GROCERY STORE HAS EVERY CARBONATED BEVERAGE UNDER THE SUN BUT THEY’RE OUT OF THE ONE UN-CAFFEINATED BEVERAGE THIS PREGNANT LADY LIKES RIGHT NOW?! I flag a worker and annoy the crap out of her by asking to check the back for more.

3:15 NOPE. No Canada Dry in all the land.

3:16 I check out, get to the car and realize I forgot to get like 3 items but I drive home anyway ’cause hello, heavy Braxton Hicks contractions + a new tearing/burning pain of upper abdomen muscles being ripped apart by growing baby in the womb.

3:45pm  Back home. Unload groceries. Wash Hands. Boys are hungry. I tell them no. They cry and hover around me while their little heads hilariously bounce off of my enormous pregnant belly.   I pull out pretzels and hummus and let them eat too much.

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recycled photo, but you get it.

 

4:00 I help mom with dinner, chat, and learn that Emmett pooped again while I was gone. Is this pooping all day just a boy thing?  Because, HELL.

5pm Dinner is in final stages.  Pap (my dad) gets home.  The boys are rowdy/cranky/still hungry.

5:15 Serve dinner.

5:30-5:45 Battle Lexington over the slightly burnt part of his meat. Ask him to eat “three more bites” 5 more times. Threaten him by giving the ultimatum that he either make a significantly large dent in his dinner, or he goes straight to bed.  He finally eats. Emmett, meanwhile is up and down from his chair.  Maybe he eats everything, maybe he doesn’t. Collin always does well.

6pm I text Craig “Are you coming home yet? Are you coming home yet? Where are you now? Are you coming home?” Not yet.

6:30 I want to blog. I want to sketch.  The boys are cranky, loud, and gaining their second wind, which involves running the length of the house, someone falling down, and someone crying. I’m exhausted. I sit in the living room and doze as the boys thump around me and bicker over cars.

6:45 Collin is hungry. Lexington is hungry.  Emmett is hungry. Mom’s angry.

7:30 Craig walks through the door. Boys gain third wind. Craig eats dinner then wrestles on the floor with them.  They laugh and shriek at decibels which make me wince, but I’m so grateful Craig loves them so dearly.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger

8:30 Craig announces it’s time for bed. Everyone cries. Lexington and Collin pick up toys (but mostly it’s Lexington).

8:40 Emmett sneaks into the toy room and dumps out half or all of the toys Lexington has put away while everyone else brushes their teeth.

8:45 Screeching and crying from Emmett and Collin. Change diapers. Jumping on bed. Final edict is issued to SETTLE DOWN.

9pm Everyone is in bed, watching Curious George.  Emmett continues to babble and screech and jump.

9:30 I sneak to the kitchen for tea. Maybe I can write a quick post! Maybe I can work a few minutes on my new-to-me editing program! I look and see the mess Emmett made, so I push it aside. Sometimes Craig sits with me and we chat or take 5 minutes to look through online listings, often interrupted by little heads poking into the kitchen asking what we’re doing. Sometimes none of this happens at all and we just crash.

10pm  TV off. Emmett is the only one awake, and now he wails and flails in protest OR he steals my phone and takes 500 of the same photos of himself.  I lay down with him.

10:15 Emmett is asleep.  I continue my fruitless search of birthing attire on my iPhone, catch up on the horrendous vaccine debates but mostly stay the heck out of it, read a few blog posts from my bloggy mamas, scroll through Instagram and Facebook.  Resolve that tomorrow, I will spring out of bed and shower and…

11pm Fall asleep.

Midnight I get up to pee.

Repeat to some varying degree.

Property of Carolyn Svellinger