Monday, June 23, 2014

Your second child's birthday

With your first child, everything is new. The major milestones are touted to anyone within hearing range. "MY CHILD CAN SIT UP!!" is major headline news. Videos of crawling in permeate your phone, your Facebook feed is nothing but baby photos, calls to the grandparents listening to baby babble are a nightly thing.

The first year is an amazing trip and lets face it the first birthday party is more for the parents than the kid. It's a celebration of 'yes, we made it! We survived our first year as parents, high five!' All the stops are pulled out, the party is huge, everyone and anyone is invited. You throw this huge massive party for someone that will have no memory of the day, but that's ok the million page photo album will make memories. You move to the toddler stage and things start to flow into a routine.

Then you decide to have another child.

This time around, you know what to expect so nothing's new. Major milestones come and go and you forget to call the grandparents. Heck you forget to take photos of most of them. Your Facebook feed is complaining about your lack of sleep between both kids and how the oldest is driving you crazy while you try to balance the second child's needs. Baby babble phone calls turn into cries for help so you can get two seconds of peace. Somehow you settle into a grove and bam. Suddenly, a year has past and it's time for that first birthday party again. This time though, you don't see the need for a huge party. After all the kid will have no memory of it. If you could get away with it, you wouldn't even have a party.

Except that's when the parent guilt hits you.

So you throw a party. A much smaller one with an open invite for everyone to come but no expectations. It's really a just a gathering of family and friends with food and the birthday is a sideshow item. Gifts are not thought of because this child has hand-me-downs from everyone else. Plus you don't need the clutter. The party itself is a balancing act of you making child #1 feel important too and child #2 needing you. You basically let things happen during the party and try really hard not to be upset at the lack of family members attending. After all, its kid #2.

I feel sorry for second, third, and so on children in a family because they kinda get the short end of the stick when it comes to them. I just hope Ben knows that his mom, dad, sister, and grandparents love him.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Grumpy and Hating It

That was last Monday. I didn't get a chance to finish my thoughts last week. I spent it trying not to be petty and get over being grumpy but as of today nothing has helped. Yesterday I did get Izzy's winter clothes sorted and put in a vacuum bag. If I get a chance, Ben's will be tonight. I've been sleeping a lot or wanting to sleep a lot. Not really sure what is up with that. I've been exhausted too, like I'm not sleeping well or perhaps I'm getting too much sleep. Who can say?

That box of toys for not my house? Izzy found the box and insisted on playing with every little thing she could find. The Toys R Us 'radio' thing I threw it across the room after she got mad at Ben playing with it. I couldn't take the song anymore. "I don't want to grow up" - I don't either but you don't get a choice.

I've been grumpy and irritable this past week. It pretty much all stems from Mother's Day - or lack there of. How do you get over trying not to be petty? I mean, it really doesn't matter but it still is a thorn in my side. UGH. I need to go work out for an hour or something where I zone out and don't think about anything. But that didn't help last week so I don't have hopes for it this week. Maybe I'll go swimming tomorrow and wear myself out. That sounds like a plan. 15mins of trying to do laps just sounds like heaven right now.

I had high hopes for this weekend but now I'm concerned. We were going camping with my parents, aunt and uncle, and others. That is still happening, but my dad screwed up the dates and now we do not have our own campsite. So we're tent camping, with a 1 year old. The up side is my tent is still in good shape. And our little tent is perfect for us to play in this summer in the back yard. The down side is that we're tent camping with a 1 year old. So if he screams, he wakes up the whole camp site/ground. Hopefully it will be a good time. I need a break.

Room Cleaning

Yesterday was Mother's Day. As a mother of two, you would assume I did something special. You'd be wrong.

I finally had enough of the mountain of laundry and folded it. I tried to organize the winter clothes and summer clothes so I can put things away but ran out of storage bags so that did not go too well. The kids clothes are folded - just sitting in their rooms in the laundry baskets. The plan was to go through their drawers and pull out the winter/too small clothes and do something with them. But that was put on hold.

Instead we (I guess I should say I) cleaned their room. I organized the books, the diapers, the shoes, the toys, went through the toy box and pulled out all the My Little Pony's and castle pieces and put them in different boxes. Pulled out books for Ben to 'read' and chew, organized the toy shelf and put the stuffed animals in the basket.

I am fully aware that this will not last long. Kid organization never does, but I did get a box of toys to 'donate' to "Somewhere not my house." I hate to say it, but they are kids meals toys that are just junk. I personally love getting kids meals from KFC because they do not have a toy. The bucket is the toy and it comes with stickers. (Not to mention the meal of actual chicken, mashed potatoes, and applesauce.) No pointless plastic movie related crap or blinking shoe. We actually have two blinking shoes, what the heck is that from? Yes, flashing lights plastic shoe key chain like things are so much fun!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I am a terrible writer.

As with most families, when the baby comes life gets busy. Imagine a 4 yr old, a mobile infant, husband on 2nd shift (3 pm-11 pm, or as I like to call it - normal time for kids to go crazy), a full time job, holidays, and a graduate level accounting class and you might have an idea of what my life has been like recently. Basically the typical life of a family of four.

We've had our terrible parent moments. Ben fell off my bed, Izzy actually can't hear us because we discovered she has an ear infection, not selective hearing (I still believe it's that too), the laundry hasn't been folded in over a week, dinners have consisted of fruit, cottage cheese, and noodles, and the list of "I keep meaning to" grows daily. I keep meaning to hang the hooks for the kids towels. I keep meaning to take that box of clothes to goodwill. I keep meaning to plant those seeds. I keep meaning to send pictures of Ben to my grandfather in Georgia - I still have the envelope ready just needs stamps! Of course, that was nearly a year ago now.

We've had our terrible adult moments too. Our anniversary came and went with no fanfare (which really is ok). The same with Valentine's Day. And I know I missed several birthdays and other important events because I just didn't think about it until it was too late. The oil in my van needs to be changed - roughly 1000 miles ago. Don't get mad at me! You think about how fun it would be with a 4 yr old and a mobile infant in a garage waiting room for at least 30 mins if not longer?!?! And don't forget it's dinner time for them too.

I've had my ups and downs. Tried for a different position, got turned down. My husband has tried for a couple of different positions - been turned down. Thought we found a good affordable house - it was a disaster inside. Deciding to stop pumping/breast feeding has been tougher for me with Ben than it was for Izzy - and more painful. Not doing as well as I expected in my graduate class has thrown me for a loop and made me question why I'm doing this. I've lost all my baby weight, and now some of my pre-baby weight too. Since I'm stopping pumping I'm going to pick up working out to keep my daily burned calories roughly the same.

But through all of this - my favorite times during the day are when I get to snuggle with my babies on my chair, hug them in the shower, run my hands through their hair when they are asleep. Seeing Ben's face light up when he sees me, hearing Izzy run through the house to get to the kitchen door because I'm home.

I may be a terrible adult. Bills may not get paid on time, maintenance schedules may be forgotten, things might take months to get done. But to my two kids - I'm one hell of a mom.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Breakfast at 5AM

I recently returned to work from "maternity leave," which was really just FMLA and unpaid time off but whatever. Thankfully after the first week, Ben started sleeping through the night.

That first week though, it was rough. 

Ben would wake up at 3am then again at 5am, slurp down two ounces of milk then promptly fall back asleep. This was great except Ben woke up Izzy. 

One particular night, Izzy fell asleep at 6pm. I tried to wake her up for dinner but she fell asleep trying to get out of bed and as the terrible adult that I am, I let her sleep. That morning she woke up at 3am with Ben and me and we had a party. That is Ben screamed, Izzy whined, and I frantically peed, warmed a bottle of milk, and tried to keep my breasts from soaking my nightgown. 

When I finally got everything situated, Izzy comes up to me and asks if she can have a Lunchable to eat because she was 'starving.' Now we just discovered that she will eat Lunchables. You know, the cracker, sandwich meat, and cheese trays that you probably got once or twice for lunch when you were a kid? Yeah, she eats the whole thing. And it really is great for a quick lunch for your four year old when you have a screaming baby.

As a breakfast meal though, it's a little iffy. I mean, it's not the best breakfast, but it sure as heck beats sugary cereal. So I said "Sure sweetie, go right ahead." Izzy promptly ate all the crackers, cheese, and meat then when those were done she ate the Oreo cookies. At 5am in the morning. 

Reminds me of the Bill Cosby skit where the kids ask for chocolate cake for breakfast and he agrees because of all the ingredients. 

Friday, August 23, 2013


We have sacrificed our first bottle to the Terrible Adult Gods.

We took the kids to the drive-in to see Despicable Me 2 and RIPD (which btw, don't waste your time on). It was raining just enough we didn't want to sit and get wet but not enough to leave so we just popped open the hatch of the van and watched the shows.
Ben took a bit of a bottle, more of a snack than anything, and we put the bottle in the cup holder so we wouldn't knock it over. When the show was done, we packed up and left pulling the perishables out when we got home. Had a good time really.

Three weeks later we were going to go out with the kids to eat and go grocery shopping. I opened the van to get the stuff out of the back: two strollers, reusable grocery bags, clothes for goodwill, and child carriers for Ben, etc. etc. Essentially taking the time to clean up the van of odd's N ends.

And that's when I found it.

A bottle, 3/4ths full of breast milk, capped, sitting in the cup holder in the back of the van. The nipple had turned pink and had a few splotches of mold growing on the outside. I was disgusted but accepting. Besides what are you going to do? Get angry? Things like this happen - especially to us. I didn't bother trying to sanitize it in any way and simply threw the thing in the recycling bin (I do care about the earth after all).

I must marvel at the wonders of Medela Bottles though. You would have thought the van would have had a terrible smell with the 80+ degree summer weather but no smell reached my nose. Or my daughters who is in that lovely stage of toddler-hood where stating the obvious comes right out of her mouth with no filter. High quality bottles for sure.