Archive for the ‘mommyhood’ Category

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

August 16, 2012

I often struggle with the idea of blogging about my life because the things I’m willing to talk about are probably not all that interesting. It’s not that my life is dull or boring, it’s just, well, normal? I struggle with the idea of normality. It’s not a concept I’ve ever been all that familiar with. But to those of you who may know me, this is simply not news. I can be completely addle-brained or completely serious at any given moment. My kids are doomed to die of confusion and embarrassment.

Take the other night. It was a late night and we were driving home. Lucinda started to fuss because it was past her bedtime and she is one of those weird children who won’t sleep anywhere but her own bed unless she merely passes out from exhaustion. (Side-note: trying to get her to sleep in a hotel room was an exercise in futility) I decided the easiest way to entertain her and make her happy was to sing to her. So Rob and I took turns singing various kiddie songs to her but her clear favourite was Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. In this way, she is just like her big brother.

I used to sing to James at bedtime, in this order, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Jesus Loves Me, Mary Had a Little Lamb (all 6 verses that I knew) and then he would look up at me and ask for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star one more time, please? Every night, without fail. I would kneel down beside his bed, stroke his tummy, and happily oblige. He would pull his favourite blanket up over his tummy and turn on his side when I was finished. Then I would kiss his forehead, ruffle his hair, and say goodnight. He would say back to me, in almost a sing-song voice “I’ll see you in the morrrrning!”. Lucinda is still not too interested in being sung to before bedtime, She’d much rather you read Goodnight Moon, turn out her light, and leave. But in the car when it’s past bedtime, singing is pretty boss. So we started to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star all together, James, Daddy, and me. We went a few rounds before James started suggesting “styles” for his parents to sing the song. Loud, quiet, fast, slow. Pretty standard requests. It was when James requested that we sing it “Cool” that we were briefly stumped.

Now, I don’t know if it’s because at that point I’d been awake for 21 hours, or if I’m just significantly weirder than I think I am. But I instructed Rob to start singing it sort of like a rap song, so he did his best. And I beat-boxed the whole way through. Much to the delight of my children. At the very end of the song, my husband looked over at me and said “I had no idea you could beatbox like that.” Neither did I. So you see? you learn something new every day.

I’m a little sad tonight. We had such a great summer together while Rob was on summer vacation. It’s always hard when he starts going back to work, but for some reason, it just seems so much worse this year. I think I’d gotten used to having the silly ol’ hubs around when I was off of work on a Tuesday. Tomorrow is his first day back and I know all of us are going to take it to heart. We did our best today to make a good day for the kids. We went to Sea Center Texas, and then followed that with Chuck E. Cheese. Both kids came home and napped despite James insisting he just wasn’t tired. He was so not tired that he fell asleep on the sofa while playing Storm in a Teacup.


(photo by Angela Galli Photography)

My children are growing. I wish they could stay this age but their physical and emotional growth are inevitable. James is going to be 5 years old soon, and Lucinda will be 2 years old even sooner. Baby photos of her are only one page back on this blog. Which not only is a testament to how fast she’s grown, but also to how little I write. They are both becoming more independent in their own way, and someday the idea of Goodnight Moon before bed will seem old hat. I’m not excited about those routines being thrown away. But I have hope. Because every once in a while, James still requests his songs before bed. And he still almost always wants Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, just one more time.

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Catching up with myself.

October 19, 2010

The past 12 days have been a complete blur. After spending 4 days in the hospital, I feel like I’m 4 days behind on my own life. (which means today would be friday. Awesome.) And I guess that feeling is a little hard to describe. It’s not like my 4 days in hospital were unproductive. I brought my beautiful baby girl into the world and I’m head over heels for her. I don’t know how you can love someone you just met so much, but you can. I worked on recovering from the c-section, had visitors, started walking again. I hated being stuck in bed but all in all my hospital stay was the complete polar opposite of my experience with James.

Since coming home, I’ve been working on getting myself back to normal. It’s going to take longer for some things than for other. For example, getting back to my pre-pregnancy shape. I believe I’m sentenced to a holiday season in stretch pants. wah wah. I’ll have to resist the temptation to succumb to the holiday eats i’ll inevitably be surrounded by. I digress. I still have a pile of thank you cards for my baby shower that are unmailed. I have dozens of emails that I need to return. I probably have a few important phone calls I’ve forgotten to make. My concept of time has been completely disrupted. I can’t completely blame this on my hospital stay. I’ve been doing my best to adjust to being a mother of two. Juggling a 3 year old and a newborn so far hasn’t been as difficult as i expected but my physical state over the next month or so will prove to be an obstacle.

I have my good days and my bad days. Today has been kind of a bad day so far. I feel like the interrupted sleep and the various other postpartum processes may have caught up with me. But I take pleasure in the small things. My kids napping at the same time means i get some Me Time that doesn’t occur in the wee hours of the morning. Curling up with Lucinda in the recliner and nodding off for 5 minutes. Having tickle fights with James. Cuddling up with my husband in the middle of the night when Lucinda goes back to sleep. Being able to sleep on my stomach. Every day I inch closer to feeling like myself again and less like a science project.

And one day I will wake up and I will recognize myself in the mirror again. But for now, I think I’ll be fine being a big zero.

mommy and lu

Introducing…

October 12, 2010

Introducing Lucinda Maria!

princess

Thursday October 7, 2010 at 8:43 am.
7lbs, 6oz. 20 inches long.

After a 36 hour stay in the NICU for TTN, Little miss Lu was given the clear to move to the regular nursery and we were able to have her in my room. She is doing very well and is well on her way to being spoiled rotten. We arrived home on Sunday October 10th!

She is named for her maternal great grandmother and her paternal grandmother.

James isn’t quite sure what to think yet. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

Random Tuesday (Or “I’m starting to worry my toddler may be smarter than me”)

September 28, 2010

randomtuesday

My husband is a smart man. Very smart. He doesn’t update his blog with sentence fragments. He doesn’t have a blog. That latter point there is pretty much the proof pudding that he is smarter than I am.

I remember when I was pregnant with James that I fondly remarked that I hoped he would be smart like his daddy. Rob remarked that his mommy is smart too. Fair enough. My son, however, seems to be sharp as a tack in a way he could only inherit from his father.

Bring to mind the incident a few weeks ago with the unguarded bottle of Tums and the exchange James and I shared before I realized I’d been had. I’d like to tell another story about the sly cleverness that my son chooses to randomly exhibit.

James is well aware his mommy works at the grocery store. He knows we go to the grocery store to buy things that we need. the other day he was messing about with a toy he hadn’t played with in some time. As a result, the batteries were dead. When we explained to him that we couldn’t fix it because we didn’t have any batteries, he brought us our shoes and explained we needed to go to the grocery store so we could fix his toy.

Painfully cute.

But I digress.

Rob and James were at the store picking me up from work (we only have one vehicle), and as usual we needed to pick up a few things. We needed to pick up some fish food because James had gotten his hands on the bottle we already had and decided to redecorate the living room. Glad I wasn’t the one in charge when that occurred, that must have been smelly hell to clean up. So we are in the pet aisle trying to determine if there was anything else we needed when we remembered the batteries. I’m walking with James, holding his hand, while discussing with Rob whether they were C batteries or D batteries that we needed. Suddenly I noticed that we seemed to be making a dingle noise. James was holding my hand but in his other hand, he’d picked up a set of cat toy balls. I laughed and say “James, you don’t need those. You are not a cat!”

He looks up at me with his big brown eyes and says “Meow! Meow!”

Should I be concerned?

The other day I was sitting down on the floor so I could change his diaper (smart, but not smart enough to use the potty) and I kind of groaned in the process of sitting down. We then had the following exchange.
James: “Mommy tired?”
Me:”Yes sweetie, your baby sister makes mommy tired sometimes.”
“Yeah. me too.”
“You’re right, you make mommy tired sometimes too.”
“I’m sorry.”
“You used to be in mommy’s tummy too, do you know that?”
“yeah. It was dark.”
“It was dark in there?”
“yeah. Dark.”
“Was it quiet in there?”
“Yeah. Dark and quiet.”
“I bet it was boring in there.”
“I had books.”
“Wait, you had books in mommy’s tummy?”
“Yeah. Hungry Caterpillar.”

*blink*

Did that really happen? Yes it did. I’m in as much disbelief as you are. He’s screwing with me, isn’t he?

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Rainy Day version.

September 7, 2010

randomtuesday

I was up half of the night (re: 2:47 am to 4:34am) because I was so hopelessly uncomfortable. Were I not nine months pregnant, it would be easier to relieve what ailed me. Take a fistful of different stomach discomfort relievers and call it a night. But no. At this juncture I am left with no options but to sit up in bed, cross my fingers and hope like hell I burp or something. Pregnancy is super awesome. Over the course of the two hours, I was eventually relieved enough (or exhausted enough) to go back to sleep. The next time I woke was 6:15am. DH was already out of bed which meant I could rearrange all pillows and take over the entirety of the bed.

Success.

A combination of the pouring rain and my son muttering to himself in his room is what woke me. Can I say I love when it rains like this in the morning on my days off? The sky stays dark and the pitter patter of the rainfall keeps my toddler asleep longer than usual. Which means I get to sleep longer. Which means that even though I’ll have a headache later from sleeping too long, I don’t really care.

Does anyone want to wash my dishes? No? Just checking.

I’m wearing James’ favorite pajamas. Before you think I wrestled myself into a pair of size 3t pajamas with sharks on them, I’m referring to my own pajamas that have baked goods on them. He loves to point out the cookies and cupcakes and ice cream. “Mmmm. Ice cream! Delicious!” He’ll say as he rubs his belly and licks his lips. Okay the first time he licked his lips, I had no idea what he was doing. Clumsy and awkward? thy name is toddler.

Speaking of toddler. Last…thursday? James managed to get into my bedroom while I was in the bathroom (and I’m always in the bathroom these days) and while I was in there, I guess James helped himself to the very last 3 tums in the bottle on my bedside table. I didn’t find out until hours later, when I discovered the empty bottle behind my bedroom door. All I could do was knit my brows together and do my best not to laugh. Am I basically admitting I’m a bad mom? No. I have a reason for stifling laughter. You see, when I came out of the bathroom, I fetched James out of my room and we went to the living room. I thought I saw something in his mouth. So I asked him. James, what’s in your mouth? His reply?

“Teeth, mommy.”

How could I argue with that?

I brought the empty bottle with me to the computer and consulted my trusty friend Google. It turns out that my son is definitely not the first toddler to get his hands on tums and he definitely won’t be the last. After reading about many other experiences with toddlers and tums and phone calls to poison control, I determined that three tums in my mammoth toddler would be nothing more than a blip on his stomach’s radar. Especially considering hours passed, along with 2 soiled diapers, a snack, and 2 drinks of water.

If this is the worst thing he ever gets into, I would call that a success.

When I was a toddler, I drank a bottle of floor wax. It’s why I’m so bright and shiny. And demented.

The point of the matter though, is that I was cursing my inability to have eyes in the back of my head at about 3:01am this morning. “Dammit. If I was a better mother and had made sure my bedroom door was closed all the way, I might still have some tums and maybe that would make my stomach feel better.”

I really brought it on myself, yet again.

What has your child gotten into when your back was turned for a second? What did YOU get into when your parent’s backs were turned?

ADDENDUM: I found James playing with my cell phone. It was about to send some kind of mass photo message of James’ foot. I asked for my phone back and he gave it up without a fight. I noticed I’d received about 5 text messages. From my mother. In a panic. Evidently, James had sent her 2 text messages. One read “O” and the other read “T”. She was concerned this was my very shorthanded and insane way of informing her I’d gone into labor. Oh James, you’ve done it again.

I’m officially a member of…

August 27, 2010

…the “Worst Mommy Ever” club!

James has reached a point in his speech where he can clearly and concisely ask me for the things he wants and needs. “Mommy, Juice please?” “Mommy, Cheerios please?” “Mommy, Blanket fort please?”
But sometimes he’ll regress to pointing and whining. Pointing and whining drives me bonkers not only because I don’t know what he wants, but because he possesses the ability to ask properly but is just choosing not to.

When James busts out the “point and whine” method, Robert and I do our best to correct him. The most effective way seems to be just to tell him we don’t understand. This doesn’t always work. About 40% of the time, James descends even further into the whining. Such was the case early this afternoon. James had just finished a snack of cheerios and it was only a matter of time before he asked for juice. Right on cue, he ran to the gate blocking off the kitchen and started in on pointing and whining. I asked him what he wanted. He pointed and whined.
What do you want, James?
point and whine.
Mommy doesn’t understand pointing and whining, you need to tell me what it is that you want!
Point! And! Whine!
Do you want a drink of water?
NO! POINT! AND! CRY!
What do you want?
POINT! JUMP! AND CRY!
You want some coffee?
*ceasefire* Yes please!
You can’t have coffee, silly!
*runs to his room and throws a tantrum*

Later, when he finished with his tantrum, he reappeared at the kitchen gate and asked “Mommy, coffee please?”

I brought this on myself, didn’t I?

Holy Schnikes!

August 22, 2010

32weeks

32 weeks.

friendly reminders.

August 6, 2010

kissykissy

After a bit of a long and frustrating day, James gave mommy a kiss while having a picnic at the park.

*clap clap* Defense! *clap clap* Defense!

August 5, 2010

This is a follow-up to my last post. You may want to read it here. Or not. Whatever.
————————

When Robert and I began trying for another child, I always knew in the back of my mind that chances were strong that I’d have another c-section. I mean, James was 2 days overdue when I was induced and he weighed in at almost 9 lbs. Nobody was really all that surprised that I needed the section considering how big he was, especially for a first child. But I was excited to work with Dr. Awesome. I felt like we could really have a dialogue about the probability of a VBAC. I admit I was a bit hesitant to ask about it, but when I finally asked her opinion on the matter, I got the honesty I was looking for. “I’m not a fan of them, I wouldn’t recommend it. But if it’s what you really want to do, I will let you try. I just want to make sure you know the risks.” That was all I needed to hear before agreeing to proceed with another cesarean.

For me, what it boiled down to was being able to make the choice. I chose what was likely the inevitable, sure, but it was my choice. When I sit and think about the worst thing that happened the day James was born, in reality it wasn’t that I had an emergency c-section. The worst thing about the whole day was how out of control everything was and how I can’t put the puzzle pieces together. Early in my labor, I was given a medication to help me relax and save my energy for the main event. It was not a painkiller. I still felt every last twinge of my induced contractions (and let me tell you…) but I would knock out in between them. I would be awake one moment, in the midst of a contraction, asking my mother for some ice chips or some chap stick, and she would turn around to give it to me and I would be gone. Knocked out. Unconscious for another 3 minutes. And I don’t remember any of this. This is all what I’ve been told by my husband and my mother. I remember waking up at some point later in the afternoon, and my legs felt weird. Or rather, they were numb. I pinched my skin and tugged and scratched and I didn’t feel any of it. When I frantically told Rob I couldn’t feel my legs? He said it was because of the epidural. Wait, what? I didn’t get an epidural, did I? I would surely remember that!!!

I didn’t.

I didn’t remember anything. I didn’t remember asking. I didn’t remember receiving. I didn’t remember that it took them nearly 30 minutes just to place it because it kept kinking and popping out every time they would try to lay me back down. Something the anesthesiologist said he’s only seen a handful of times. I have zero recollection of it.

I remember Dr. Phil was on tv when it was finally time for me to push. I remember coming to again and I was wearing an oxygen mask. Why am I wearing an oxygen mask? what the fuck is going on?

I barely even remember meeting my son for the first time.


Ultimately, making the decision to just go ahead and schedule another cesarean was surprisingly easy. My husband supported me, my mother supported me, anybody who was aware of what I went through with James supported me. But I wasn’t prepared for the fact that I’d have to defend my choice to members of the world at large. People would congratulate me on my pregnancy in one breath and chastise me for not trying for a VBAC in the next. As I would stammer out an explanation without getting too in depth, I’d legitimately start wondering if I’d made a mistake. Maybe I was doing the wrong thing. Maybe I was being selfish. Maybe James’ birth day wasn’t as bad as it seemed. I was confused. I didn’t really know what to do.

I felt so defeated. Maybe I really am a dud after all. Maybe the fact that I wasn’t willing to be aggressive in this matter was a plot point for my future parenting skills.

So I did what any woman would do. I asked my mother.

She confirmed that James’ birth day was really as terrible as I suspected.

I asked Robert.

He told me that the day James was born was one of the most emotionally exhausting and terrifying days of his life. And most of that had nothing to do with the fact that he was becoming a father.

It was all I needed to hear.

I thought about the two of them holding my hands, trying to keep me calm while the OR was prepared. I was so scared. At that point I had no pain medication in my body (my epidural catheter was shut off because they thought it was interfering with me knowing when to push). I was in the final stage of labor, my contractions on top of each other, and I’d been instructed to stay calm and don’t push. In other words, go against your instincts no matter how strong they are. My mom was crying. Rob was stone-faced. The 30 minutes it took to prep the OR was the longest 30 minutes of our lives.

I couldn’t put all of us through that again.

How could I even justify taking that risk? How could anyone?

I started to realize that the women who chose to berate me for making my choice had no idea of my personal story. Nor would they really care. I started to remember the lesson I’ve had to learn time and time again. I can’t please everyone. It doesn’t make sense to try. In the end I was able to confirm that I am making the best choice for myself and for my family. And nobody can really tell me otherwise.

Nine weeks from today, I may already be holding my newborn daughter. She’s my light at the end of the tunnel. And I can’t wait to see how brightly she shines.

Fear.

August 2, 2010

So I’m scheduled to have a c-section to bring Lucinda into the world on Thursday October 7th. That’s nearly nine weeks away.

In the beginning, I was apprehensive to the idea of simply having another c-section without trying for a VBAC. I remember feeling so robbed of the experience when I was in labor with James. It was awful and I felt like a failure when my doctor announced we no longer had any choice but to have an emergency c-section. Maybe it’s because I was in the irrational throes of labor, but I was devastated. What should have been one of the happiest days of my life, in essence, became one of the worst memories I have. My son was born perfectly healthy and I made a pretty quick recovery. Both things I am grateful for, but in the long run, that feeling of failure was pretty hard to shake. I’ve come to terms with it. I know I can’t change anything about what happened.

But it took me a long time to come to grips with that.

And now here’s the part where I talk about something I’ve almost never mentioned out loud.

After James was born, and after I struggled with breastfeeding to no avail, I was emotionally crushed. I would take James, sit in the rocking chair (or on the bed), cradle him in my arms and just weep. I cried for all the things that went wrong. I apologized to my newborn son for being such a dud, such a failure. I didn’t want anyone to know about it. I was certain I was being ridiculous and over-dramatic. Truth be told, I wasn’t prepared for any of it. I wasn’t prepared for things to go wrong. I wasn’t prepared to recover from major surgery. I wasn’t prepared to be unsuccessful at breastfeeding (clear proof I was doomed to be a bad mother).

Eventually the hurt subsided and I was able to pay my undivided attention to the new joys I had in my life.

James and I learned how to smile together.

Though that’s not to say that I was back in tip-top emotional shape by the time James was two months old, I was much more stable and much less likely to profess apologies over being a terrible mother due to things ultimately beyond my control.

In a little over nine weeks, I will have another c-section. I’m trying not to be terrified. I’m taking the time to mentally and emotionally prepare myself for the recovery. I have some amount of confidence that being prepared will aid me greatly. I have some amount of confidence that Dr. Awesome will assist me in my recovery to a greater extent than my previous doctor. I admit that I’m still concerned that I will have some small amount of postpartum depression (again). It’s something I hadn’t really thought about until somebody recently asked me point blank if I’d had trouble with it when I had my son. I realize that seems like an extremely personal question, and it is, but I wasn’t bothered by it. I was more bothered by the fact that when I got to talking about it with him, his wife and I pretty much have the same birth story. I confessed that the bulk of my depression was related to my feeling like a failure and my lack of control over the situation. But ultimately, I can’t speak for his wife.

In the past year or so, I’ve come to know some really great people through the blogosphere and the twittersphere. I find myself wishing I knew these people when I was in recovery the first time around. Maybe I would not have felt so alone. Maybe I would have reached out. I have some amount of confidence that should I find myself in the dumps again, I will have all of you to help pull me back out.