the days are long…

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Time is flying by, but the days crawl at a snail’s pace. I have a three year old now and the honeymoon phase of the new baby sister is over. I am exhausted.

I have been struggling with basic jobs of keeping my house clean and having well balanced meals for my family. For every step forward, I am forced to take two steps back. I am tired and frustrated.

I don’t even want to list the ways this week has sucked so far and made me want to go hide in a hole. That’s just life, I guess. I know others have it much worse but to be honest I don’t have the energy to take their sorrows on my shoulders too.

I have no words

On a positive note, it’s gorgeous outside. The mosquitoes still are bad around my yard, so we haven’t spent much time outside (especially with a newborn and reports of people in my area getting West Nile Virus). But I’ve been trying to take Savannah to parks. Today we had a picnic at a park where we’ve only been once before. We had to leave because the yellow jackets were so bad. (And let’s face it, I’m afraid of getting stung!) The same thing happened last time we went to that park, about a year ago. No wonder it’s usually empty! I guess we won’t go back there.

I can’t believe it’s almost November. I’ll have to share about Christmas plans, since I have a child old enough this year to understand advent! So exciting!

Well I am going to get some things done on the birth center website… Hopefully it won’t be too much time before I blog again. ;-)


dear Caroline: three months

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Caroline

Dear Caroline,

Today you are three months old! This newborn period has just flown by – I can’t believe you are a quarter of the way through your first year already. You are growing so much. We moved you into the three month clothes already, and it’s with some sadness that I pack away all your newborn outfits. I took you to the pediatrician about halfway through the month you weighed in at 12lbs 9.5oz. You’re doing great – nice and healthy!

You have been seeing the chiropractor regularly and your torticollis is almost completely gone. You hold your head up so straight now. You’re getting so much stronger and in control of your muscles. You don’t mind being on your tummy at all, and you even start pushing up with your arms. You have discovered your thumb and enjoy sucking on it when you’re trying to fall asleep. I hope this doesn’t become a habit! You also have discovered how to grab a hold on things, and you particularly like your older sister’s hair. I’m sure this is just the beginning of her getting used to having a younger sister. :-)

Caroline getting adjusted

This month you went on two little road trips. The first was to Alabama to visit Maddie for her 4th birthday! You did really well in the car, for which we were grateful. Maddie’s brother Alex is about 4 months older than you. We look forward to you getting to play with him when you’re both older. The other road trip was up to Blue Ridge, Georgia where we went apple picking. You were pretty happy to ride around in the Ergo while we picked apples. It was a lovely day and we hope to do it every fall.

Another fall tradition that you got to participate in was the Atlanta Greek Festival! We go every year to enjoy yummy Greek food and celebrate the Greek culture. Your daddy wore you in the Ergo, and at one point you, Daddy, and Savannah were all dancing to the live band. You seemed to enjoy yourself.

Sisters

You also got to meet your Aunt Mamie for the first time! She made a special trip here from Florida just to meet you. She loved getting to hold you and spend time with you. We spent time walking around a mall, and she carried you in the sling the whole time. You seemed pretty cozy with the arrangement. Aunt Mamie is my younger sister, just like you’re Savannah’s younger sister. I hope one day you have a good relationship with your sister like I have with mine!

Mamie and Caroline

Personality-wise, you are surprising me by being fairly easy-going. You have your fussy moments, but overall you’re pretty content to just ride along to whatever adventure we’re on. You’ve been to two birth events already – the first was a film screening called “Freedom for Birth”, and the second was a play about birth and an expo. You helped me run the Atlanta Birth Center table and sell t-shirts. You were a great ice breaker for the people who came by, since I’m not very good at the small talk. You also joined me at an ICAN of Atlanta meeting, where we talked about birthy stuff.

You are a fairly serious baby, so we have to work harder to see your grins, but when you do flash them it’s worth the wait! I also heard you full-out giggle the other day, which warmed my heart. You still have the most adorable coos and generally make it easy to just look at you and make faces until you grin, giggle, or coo. You also LOVE baths. You think it’s great fun to splash in the water, and you grin and coo the whole time. You usually take baths with your sister, which she thinks is extra special.

As you’re getting older, you’re looking less like your big sister and more like your own person. Everyone says you look like me, so we’ll see! I think you have my eyes, whereas your sister has your father’s eyes. Right now your eyes are a deep blue and very pretty. We’ll see if they change!

I can’t wait to see what next month brings!
Love, Mommy

Representing Atlanta Birth Center


a day in the life of a SAHM

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I’ve been wanting to do a “Day in the Life” post… I was planning on taking pics with my cell phone throughout the day to accompany the writing, but that didn’t happen. Maybe next time. ;-)

*Warning: Poop mentioned. That is my life. I don’t like it any more than you do.*

9:00am
I wake up groggily and see Savannah sound asleep on one side of me, and Caroline fussing on the other side. Paul had already left for work. I stroke Savannah’s face – she’s so cute when she’s sleeping! – and roll over to nurse Caroline. I fall back asleep fairly quickly. I had been up to about 3am the night before, working on a post for the birth center blog. I am glad that Savannah was still asleep at 9am.

A little after 10:00am
Savannah wakes me up, standing next to the bed and wanting me to change her diaper. Caroline is still fast asleep. I am so sleepy; I am really struggling to get myself up. Savannah crawls into bed with a book and asks me to read to her, which I do. I then get up, use the restroom, and get dressed. Savannah and I go into her room and I exchange her diaper for panties. We’re potty training.

I pull out an outfit for her, and she puts it on readily. I get dressed myself, trying to find something that fits. I’m still in that weird postpartum stage where nothing really fits my body right, and I’m so tired of trying to put together outfits. Savannah sits on the bed while I contemplate my wardrobe. She’s obsessed with her baby sister, and it’s all I can do to keep her from smothering her. Caroline remains asleep, surprisingly. Once I’m dressed, I read another book to Savannah, and then she turns around and “reads” it back to me.

11:00am
I turn on an episode of Babar for Savannah while I sit at my laptop. I check my email, Facebook, and a couple of forums I’m active on. These are my mommy friends – I would be so lonely without them. We occasionally meet up for playdates, but being able to communicate online is a blessing for naptimes, screaming kids, and other things that take our attention and make playdates difficult.

It’s pouring rain – it has been since the night before. Savannah stares wistfully outside and asks to go play in the rain. Sometimes I let her if it’s warm, but today it’s not warm and we have a doctor’s appointment at 2. I want her to stay dry for that. She seems antsy so I decide to take her to the play area at Chick-Fil-A.

12:00pm
I pull myself away from the internet. I can’t believe Caroline’s still asleep. I go upstairs to get her, changing her diaper which wakes her up. I take her downstairs and go back to my laptop while I nurse her. I tell Savannah to go find her shoes because we’re leaving soon. She runs off, calling, “Oh, shoe? Where are you, shoe?”

When Caroline finishes, I go upstairs to grab diapers for the diaper bag. I also get new underwear and pants for Savannah. I try to get everything to fit in the diaper bag, unsuccessfully – Savannah’s clothes will have to stay in the car. Savannah is still walking around, shoes forgotten, so I go upstairs again where I thought I saw her shoes last. I can only find one. I look through her room and ours for the other shoe to no avail. I come back downstairs, and after looking for a bit I find a different pair of shoes that I convince her to wear.

12:45pm
We get to Chick-Fil-A and I order while Savannah plays in the play area. We come here a lot when it’s raining or too hot to play outside. All too soon, it’s time to go. She obeys readily, which relieves me. No fight leaving CFA today. We have about a 40 minute drive to the pediatrician. I started going to this ped when we lived in the area, and never switched when we moved. I like her, and she is comfortable letting me make the decisions about my kids’ vaccines. It’s worth the drive for me. It’s raining hard, so the drive is slow but we make it to the pediatrician right at 2pm.

3:30pm
We leave the pediatrician’s office. They were running a little behind, and I’m chatty. Both girls had their well-checkup and both are doing great. Savannah is 29lbs and 37 inches tall. She was very cooperative, which is really nice. (She hasn’t always been!) Caroline is 12lbs, 9oz and 22 inches tall. I think? I try to remember the details but it’s hard to keep all the numbers straight. I used to be able to do this no problem – I’m getting old.

Caroline got two shots today. Vaccines are something that stress me out. Which ones to give my children? All of them? None of them? Some of them? And if so, which ones should I give, and when? I try to do the research but I’m not medical minded and it all makes my eyes cross. These kinds of decisions are hard for every parent, I think. None of us want our choice to cause our child sickness or death.

I need to bring a meal to a friend from church, and I want to buy her daughter a birthday present so I decide to go to a shopping plaza with both stores I need next door to each other. It continues to drizzle rain, and I’m beginning to feel that we’re never going to dry out. I park between the two stores, congratulating myself on not having to load the kids back in the car between the two errands. We walk into Target and head to the clothes section. It takes me a while to pick out the clothes – Savannah entertains herself in the racks while I am choosing. I am sure Target hates that, but otherwise I’d never get a chance to buy anything. We start to go, and about halfway to the register, Savannah stops in the walkway and refuses to move. I ask her to come, and she starts crying. I am getting impatient and after trying all my tricks I lift her into the shopping cart. She’s crying, but stops when I promise she can walk in the next store provided she stays close to Mommy. I pay for my purchases and we’re on our way out (dropping off the cart), when Savannah stops again and refuses to move. When I get close to her to take her hand, I notice something suspicious. I put my hand on her backside and when I pull it away I realize she has pooped in her panties. Then it becomes another battle as I try to get her to follow me to the bathroom while having poopy hands. The baby is in the sling so I can’t pick Savannah up. Finally we get to the bathroom where I wash my hands REALLY well, and grab a bunch of paper towels. We will have to skip the grocery store and go straight home – no way am I changing poopy underwear in a Target bathroom. I put the paper towels on her car seat, and put her in. She isn’t thrilled with the idea, and I try to ease her mind a little by promising a bath when she gets home.

5:00pm
We get home and I bring in the clothes and the girls. I lay Caroline down on the bed and draw a bath for Savannah. When she’s clean and done playing, I dry her off and let her run around naked for a little bit. She tells me she’s hungry so I get her some yogurt. I go back to my computer while I nurse Caroline, while having a snack of yogurt myself. My phone rings as I’m finishing – it’s my friend for whom I’m bringing the meal. I had sent her an email earlier in the day asking her what time she wanted me to drop it off. She says to bring it anytime, so I get Savannah dressed again. I also get the clothes ready to be gifted, load the girls into the car, and hit the road. It’s pouring sheets of rain at this point – I can hardly see in front of me. I get to the store, get Savannah out of the car, get Caroline in the sling, and we run to the front door, getting soaked in the process.

I pick up the meal – Publix has these awesome fried chicken meals, complete with sides, that I like to get if I don’t have time to make something. I realize it’s 6:40pm by this point, and Savannah is telling me she’s hungry. I grab string cheese and fruit for her. A Publix employee helps us out to the car, even providing umbrellas. He helps Savannah out of the cart and into the car, puts my groceries in the car, and then holds the umbrella so I can get Caroline in her seat. I am so appreciative – this is one of the reasons I love Publix.

7:00pm
Paul texts to say he’s on his way home and due to arrive at the train station near our house in 15 minutes, but I still need to deliver the meal so I ask him to take the bus home. I get to my friend’s house and juggle the meal, the birthday present, the preschooler, and the baby. She invites us in and Savannah takes off to play with her son, who is one of her best friends. My friend and I chat for a little bit while she opens the present for her daughter. We finally leave around 7:45 and go home.

I am exhausted by this point, and can’t do much but collapse on the couch. Paul has already arrived home, and wants to know what’s for dinner. I meant to pull chicken out of the freezer before I left, but I forgot. Making dinner is the last thing I want to do. Paul gives Savannah some more food while I feed Caroline.

Close to 9pm I send Paul out to pick up some food, and I put Savannah to bed. I read for a bit in her room while I wait for her to fall asleep. I come back downstairs around 9:45pm, just in time to catch our favorite show, Castle, at 10pm.

I’m sure you can imagine the end of my day – reveling in the quiet, chatting with friends via instant message, having a discussion about gossip on Facebook, reading new posts on my forums. And of course, blogging. :-) I really should get to bed soon…


All is quiet

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I keep staying up until the wee hours of the morning. You’d think with a newborn, I’d be all about going to bed when both kids are asleep. Actually, I find I am craving the quietness and stillness of the night. All I hear right now is the sound of raindrops and crickets outside, and the running of the fridge inside. Caroline is asleep next to me on the couch. She is 10 weeks old now (I had to look it up – how did she get that old already???) and growing like crazy. People comment that she’s so small, but she seems so big to me! She still fits into most of the 0-3 month clothes, though I’ll probably pull out the 3 month clothes pretty soon!

It’s October, technically since it’s after midnight. How fast the end of the summer went! We’re getting into the swing of things. Summer always brings about a change in schedule, especially summers that bring new babies. Savannah has preschool twice a week, and she loves it. Every day she tells me, “I want to go to school!”

Being a big election year, Paul is incredibly busy at work. He put in 12+ hour days every day last week, which was hard on both of us. He has promised me that this upcoming week won’t be as bad… we’ll see!

We’ve been trying to fit fall-y things into the weekends. Last weekend we went apple picking at an orchard north of Atlanta. We had a really good time! I took some pictures, which I’ll upload to Flickr eventually. ;-) (I’m actually pretty good about uploading pictures to Flickr – much better than I am about blogging!!) Paul spent this weekend working on apple pies. He loves making pumpkin pie, and is trying to master apple pies now. Yum!

Next weekend is the Atlanta Greek Festival, which we go to every year. And maybe one of these weekends we’ll go camping before it gets too cold. We didn’t go camping at all this year – I was too tired to plan and execute a camping weekend, which makes me sad. I hope we don’t get out of the habit of camping. But once you have kids and a house, it IS a bit more complicated. We just need to find our new rhythm.

That’s about all that’s new these days. Now, should I go to bed, continue reading The Three Musketeers, or watch an episode of Law & Order? Hmm, decisions, decisions…