Birthday Season

Holy Sh*t my baby is 1 year old today.

My little Smushy is 1.

I can’t believe it.

The year went too fast.

I’m not ready to write her 1 year post yet.

Instead I’ll say this:

For those of you who can plan when to have your kids, STAGGER THEM.  Also – DON’T HAVE THEIR BIRTHDAYS ALL FALL DURING THAT 4 WEEK BREAK BETWEEN CAMP AND SCHOOL.

Birthday season + Camp Mommy is KILLING ME.

I spend every spare second during the day working on their birthday parties / birthday presents.  They are awake from 6am – 8pm so I am not spending time after they go to sleep doing this.

Smushy is not having a big party.  Tonight we are having cupcakes after dinner.  But it requires making cupcakes.  And decorating them.  And also we made her a big card and a crown, because making her birthday special is more about teaching my big kids to make something special for someone else, obviously Smush won’t remember it.

But then there’s my big kids’ birthday.

I am buying their present – new big kid beds!  Beds that can be on the floor separate for now and then when they’re old enough they can be bunked!  Also bought all their new bed linens include duvet covers that are both PINK but not outlandishly girly, more like a gender-neutral pink if that exists.  I found some great geometric patterned pink, brown, and green duvet covers.  I hope they are happy with them.  And I got them sheets and pillow cases.

Also, I am planning their birthday party.  Which will be at home, because why.  I guess because we missed the boat on the gym birthday parties, but also I don’t think they would enjoy one of those.  But home birthday means acquiring all the supplies, and the babysitters, and whatnot.

We are tie-dying for their birthday because WHY.

All of this prep is happening while also entertaining and keeping 3 kids alive ALL DAY LONG.

Fertile friends, stagger your children’s birthdays.

Infertile friends who are wishing to have many kids, I hope that this is a problem you may one day have.  It is hard but I am so grateful to be planning for my three children to be another year older.

Ah, and now my 10 minutes of quiet have ended, and it’s time to get back to business.

Pink and pigtails

My boy is wearing all pink and pigtails every day.

I think he wants to be like his sister for a variety of reasons.  She makes friends easily and he wants to join in.  She’s very charismatic.  He is trying to be more like her to fit in.  He only wants to wear pink and he wants to wear pigtails like her.  He says he likes her clothes better than his clothes, and calls himself a girl.

He has no boy friends.  In school I’m not sure he plays with other kids.  I think if he’s not playing with his sister then he is by himself.  He tries to be a part of her groups.

We went on a playdate with boy girl twins.  The other girl wanted Banana to play with her and then she goes, YOU CAN’T PLAY, YOU’RE A BOY, to my sweet sensitive boy who does not like being excluded.  He cried.  (The boy of this boy/girl twin set has some social anxiety and often disappears while we are there, so this is doubly hard for Apple because he can’t even go to play with the other kid, and he really wants to be one of the girls because Banana is one of the girls).

Banana says, You can’t say that, that’s mean!  And Apple is once again rescued by his sister.

I honestly feel bad for both of them.  I feel bad that Apple always has to tag along and is often being excluded and waiting for Banana to pull him into the group.  Sometimes she doesn’t, sometimes she teams up with the other kid and is mean to him.  I guess it depends on her mood.

But I feel bad for her too.  It’s not fair she always has to do the rescuing.  It’s not fair she always has to look out for him.  Sure, it’s not nice sometimes she is mean to him, but she is almost-4.  She’s not a saint, she is a child.  It breaks my heart when she does it and I don’t stand for it, but you know there’s only so much I can do.

We decided to separate them this year.  We thought it would be perfect.  They had a meeting with all the twin families going into the 4s (there are SIX twin families in the 4s!!).  We discussed it with a social worker.  They said this is a great time because it’s a familiar setting, it’s only a few hours a day, they would still be together on the playground and in any after care programs.  So really it would only be 2-3 non-consecutive hours apart.  They could branch out and meet other kids and learn to grow and thrive as individuals.

Then we got the class list.  Four weeks before school starts we see who is in what classes.

Banana is in a class with every child they know in the entire school.  Somehow all their friends ended up in one class with Banana.  Not only their school friends but their synagogue friends all ended up in this class.

Apple is in a class of strangers.  NOT ONLY are they all strangers, none of them go to our synagogue.  NOT ONLY do none of them go to our synagogue, THEY ARE ALL GIRLS.

They put him in a class with 9 girls and 3 boys (him included).  And one of the other boys is the boy from that boy / girl twin set who has some social anxiety and Apple finds him hard to play with.  The other boy is new to the school.

That’s it.

Banana’s class is 7 boys and 6 girls.  And everyone they know.  And all the kids they will encounter outside of the classroom, too.

They’ve set Banana up for success.  all the kids she knows everywhere we go.

They’ve set Apple up for disaster.  All strangers.  And also Banana will know all the kids at shul and he won’t.  He will be excluded from her even off hours.  When we go to someone’s house for a meal, she already is more comfortable going off to play than he is, imagine if she was in the same class as that kid?

And the one kid he does know in the class is someone I already know he doesn’t really get along well with, and we have tried.  They just don’t mesh.  But the teachers thought they did because they’re both quiet boys.  Just because they’re quiet doesn’t mean they like each other.  It just means that you don’t really know them personally because they are harder to know than the kids who shout and jump around and get your attention.

AND.

On top of ALL of that, they gave Banana the experienced teacher and Apple the new teacher.

I mean I was fucking livid.

I had a conversation with the director and Apple is being moved into Banana’s class.  We are not separating them under these conditions.  Not only is it a set up for disaster for this year, but it potentially can cause Apple to have a negative feeling about school that can last and last.  If he hates school because he’s alone and left out and the teachers don’t understand and ignore him, that feeling is going to persist.  I can’t have that happening.

I’m sad that we aren’t separating them.  I think this would have been a good year to do it.  I think they are settling into these patterns where he is trying to join in with her and she is always speaking up for him and rescuing him.

We are planning to try to get a meeting with their teachers to talk about how important it is not to let Banana speak for Apple.  How important it is to try to encourage him to make his own friends and use his own voice.  Try sitting them apart.  Make it a routine, maybe, that they don’t sit together for snack or lunch or something.  Try talking directly to Apple. Try paying attention when he comes over to you for something because he is the kind of kid who will try that once, and if you ignore him, he won’t try again.  He would rather figure something out for himself or go without than keep being rejected.

I don’t have a problem with him wanting to be in pink and pigtails.  I have bought him all the pink boys clothes I can find.  Pink t-shirts of various shades, and pink shorts, and pink baseball caps, and pink shoes.  He’s got it all.

When we’re out, everyone thinks he’s a girl.  I’m starting to get a lot of comments.  It bothers me more than I feel like it should and my progressive non-gender-stereotyping self is like WHO CARES … but I don’t want people to think he’s a girl.  But everyone who doesn’t know him calls him by female pronouns.  And I feel like correcting them, but usually I don’t.  It’s too complicated.  It’s easier to let them think I have 3 girls than to explain why my boy is wearing pigtails, someone once assumed it was Banana who forced him to dress up, not knowing that he has a tantrum when I don’t let him put his hair up like her.

I wanted them to be apart because I wanted them to grow and thrive as individuals.  He is very much a part of her and vice versa.  But one more year, we will see how this year goes.  And maybe in kindergarten they will be separate, we will do one big transition – new school, new kids, and separate classes.  Seems like too much but maybe this is the way we have to do it.

Frustrated at myself

I signed up to bring some food to people with a new baby.  They are friends of ours.  Our shul does this thing where you can either sign up to bring a whole meal during the week, or part of a Shabbat meal.  So I have always signed up for part of a Shabbat meal because it is easier to bring pieces of a meal than to try to make a whole extra meal.

It’s still too much work.

I signed up to bring roasted cauliflower, challah, and a salad.  I make challah every week anyway, so I would make extra.  Roasted cauliflower is not much work.  Salad is salad.

It became this huge mess.  I mean seriously.  It was so much work.  This is not the first time I’ve signed up to give a piece of a Shabbat meal and it’s always like this.  And this is not the first time I’ve signed up to bring food to someone who has a baby and it’s so stressful.  One time I didn’t even deliver it, I couldn’t manage.  I saw them on the street and was like oh my Gd I’m supposed to bring you some food tonight, can I bring it tonight so late because I can’t leave until my husband gets home and and and … she was like, you keep the food, you need it too, just don’t worry we have lots of food.

I was so upset.  I just want to do this thing.  We have received so much food from people, first from strangers after we moved into a new community a month before Apple and Banana were born and people who didn’t know who we were kept bringing us food and it was amazing.  And then from this community after Smushy was born.

I just want to give back.  But oh.

And I am upset at myself because now we are almost a year into life with three kids and I can’t get my shit together.  I am barely hanging in.  Things are going as well as they can and I recognize that but it is so monumental.  Every task is so much.

Yesterday I went to return the library books and I could only do it with all the kids in the car.  Thank goodness our library has a drive up drop box.  But someone was sitting in front of it waiting for a parking spot.  And I waited.  And then I got there and dropped the books but was stuck waiting for this person to park in one of the 15 minute spots.  And Smushy has started fussing and crying, and the big kids are asking me too many questions (why aren’t we going mommy, what’s going on, can I have another granola bar, etc) and I’m like … can I just tap this guy’s bumper?  Is that appropriate?

I made a huuuuge mess in the kitchen.  Cauliflower everywhere.  It took forever to clean up and I just kept stepping in those stupid little pieces of cauliflower.  And then I crunched a cheerio with my heel and squished a blueberry between my toes and I LOST IT.

IF I STEP. ON ANOTHER BLUEBERRY. SO HELP ME.

And threw the bag of laundry across the living room and it slid on its side and everything fell out.  And the baby in the high chair started crying.

I don’t know why I’m so on edge.

Is it because Smushy has a procedure on Monday.  Is it because the kids are off camp for 4 weeks.  Is it because I went to bed late last night.

I feel like I can’t breathe.  My chest is so tight.  I just want to have it all together.  Or at least some of it.  Or at least I just don’t want to feel like things are only held together with gum and tape.  Where’s my routine.  Where’s my plan.  Where’s my whatever.

Dropped off the food on the way home from the last day of summer camp when I almost cried to say good bye to camp because that was it, that was it.  Family with new baby, I hope you enjoy my sweat and tears.  Maybe one day it won’t be such a herculean effort to make a little extra food to bring to someone’s house.

In which I am hard on myself

I’m not even sure what to write here right now but I have a need to write these thoughts out so …

I think I am tough on the grandparents, I think that I am tough for them, and I feel bad but I can’t change. I try and every time I end up the same.

I do not like my routine disrupted. I do not like to make lots of decisions.  That’s why I have my routine.  My day is supposed to unfold in a certain way. I can manage the kids’ needs changing and the tantrums and the frustration, because it all happens within the framework of my routine.

When the grandparents are here I am very irritable. This is not a post about the grandparents and my relationship with them. It is about me. I HAVE A HARD TIME WITH ROUTINE CHANGES. I have a hard time with people coming who want to help.  Even if they are helpful, it is hard.

My husband has learned that if he’s home in the morning on a week day he doesn’t get to help. He wants to help. He tries to help. But everything gets thrown off when he helps.  There are a few things he can do but mostly I just need everything to run the exact way that I run it every day.  Everyone knows what to expect and things go at the right time in the right order and nothing is forgotten.

But the thing that is so frustrating to me is WHY can’t I be more relaxed on teh weekend when we have guests. WHY can’t I let some things slide. WHY can’t I just … let go …

I CAN’T.

In the car this morning I was going over all the grouchy things I said and did. Probably too many, probably too harsh on myself, but that’s what I was doing. I shouldn’t have done this, I should have done that, now this is going to be like this forever …

There’s only so much I can do, I know.

I so so so desperately want to be one of those calm, centered Earth Mothers. I want it so bad. I want something to spill and I want to say “OHhhh it’s all right, here’s a towel.” I want to be 13 months in to potty training and my daughter is having accidents every day and I want to be like “OHHHhh it’s all right, these things take time.”  I want to not over analyze everyone’s relationship dynamic, I want to not count the minutes before this thing or that thing. I want to not write posts in which I am hard on myself.

BUT THAT IS NOT WHO I AM.

I am like this. I pick my skin and nails. I count the minutes. I freak out when we are in the car at 8:49 instead of 8:46. IT MATTERS TOO MUCH TO ME.  (At 8:49 we catch all the reds and have to park far away, it costs us 10 minutes to be 3 minutes late in the car, I have timed it, ahhhh, and even Banana says “mommy it’s okay, we can walk fast.”  When your 4 year old is telling you to calm down …….)

I am wound up tight. So tight.

A part of me says, yes, I want all the childrens, I’m not done at 3, I want more and more and more childrens.  (As if I have much of a say.)

And a bigger part of me, after a weekend in which I feel like I have been particularly uptight and grouchy and counting minutes and maybe not as nice to people, I think. No. I am not as good of a person today as I have been on other days.  And maybe I am at my limit of logistics.

Is it because I’m not reliably sleeping? I don’t know.  Am I drinking too much caffeine?  Not enough?

I used to do yoga in the morning but I refuse to set my alarm before 7 until I am reliably sleeping at night.  Then I’ll wake up at 6:30 and do the morning stretching I used to do two summers ago. Did that make me feel centered?  I can’t remember.

I want to be that calm centered Earth Mother. I want to patiently and lovingly nurture all humans, animals, and plants.  I want to allow grandparents to have meaningful relationships with my children.  I want to accept help.

This is not who I am.

My children are fed and clothed and clean.  Success!

My indoor plants are mostly happy.  Success! (Outdoor plants … eh)

My house is relatively in order.  We run the dish washer every night.

But I’m getting angry wrinkles between my eyebrows, I just know it.  Do my kids want to tell me about their day?  Sometimes.  Do they want my hugs, do they give me hugs, yes, Thank Gd.

But still the angry wrinkles.

I don’t know if this post makes any sense.  I think if I weren’t me, and I was looking at me, I would say, Good Job.  But I am me.  And I pick my skin and nails.  And worry that I am letting someone down somewhere, or ruining something somehow, or not letting the grandparents be grandparents.  How are my kids going to treat me when (hopefully) it’s my turn to be a grandma?  I’m doing the best that I can, my model for grandparents was twice a year visits, so having very involved grandparents is not second nature and it is hard for me to relinquish routine and control.

I just … don’t even know what I need … maybe this is me, this is who I am, I don’t get to be the relaxed and centered Earth Mother.  (Do Scorpios get to be like that anyway?)

11 months WHAT?!

UMMMM.

How are we here?!  At almost a year old?! I can’t take it.  Why is everyone growing up?

Likes

  • Cruising, walking while pushing stuff, walking while holding my hands
  • Being in the carrier still❤
  • Taking stuff off the tables
  • THE POOL
  • Climbing up the stairs over and over
  • Crawling away from me VERY FAST
  • Getting into trouble in the bathroom for some reason, especially around the toilet, ugh!  Caught her flushing the toilet the other day, now the bathroom door has to stay closed!!!
  • Getting into trouble everywhere else, too! Like, EVERYWHERE ELSE.  Anywhere you think “oh that would be bad if a baby went there / did that” she finds that place/thing.
  • Giving me kisses❤❤❤
  • Her big siblings, and wants to do everything they do, and is devastated when they are doing something she can’t, like if they go up for a bubble bath without her …
  • Her new music class just for her!
  • Petting the cats
  • Her few minutes of aba time while I put the big kids to bed and before it’s her turn
  • Patting her belly when you say “WHERE’S YOUR BELLY?” she just loves showing it off!
  • Taking baths with the big kids
  • Eating! So much eating! Tonight for dinner she ate almost 2 whole chicken drumsticks, half a peach, lots of blueberries, half an ear of corn, and some noodles.
  • Reading! Suddenly so excited about books and not just about turning pages.

Dislikes

  • Bedtime
  • Sleeping through the night (UGH!)
  • Going to the doctor, which unfortunately we have been doing a lot of lately
  • Nail clipping
  • Not holding my phone
  • Being in the car seat or stroller
  • Being hot
  • Getting dressed
  • Diaper changes, even standing-up ones!
  • Anyone other than mommy or aba, except maybe one of the babysitters

This month has been busy with camp and doctors and pee samples … Poor baby we still can’t figure out what’s going on.  Last week she had an appointment to have an ultrasound done on her kidneys, next week we see a urologist.  Hopefully we will get good news.  I have spent two days trying to get a urine sample, do you all understand how hard it is to get a urine sample from a baby???

The current schedule is like this:

Wake for the day between 7-7:30
8am breakfast
8:45am in the car to camp
9am drop off
9:15 home to play
10:30 nap for baby
1:00 lunch
1:30 leave to pick up big kids
2:00 pick up
2:15 home again or afternoon activity
4:00 home if we went out / nap for baby
4:30 mommy starts going crazy trying to make dinner and baby wakes up ahhh!!!
5:30 dinner ??!?!
6:15 bath, toothbrush, jammies
7:30 big kids go to bed, baby has last nursing session
8pm baby goes to bed
8:05pm mommy crashes

With this schedule I spend my whole day doing drop off and pick up, or putting baby in crib or taking her out.  It means doing any kind of errands is basically out of the question unless someone is home while baby sleeps so I can go out.  Sometimes, if Smushy woke up late, I can squeeze in a quick errand before her nap.  But it is unreliable.

Life is VERY BUSY.

I am debating whether I want to pick them up at 2 during the school year.  I was planning on it but doing it this summer is making me a little nuts.  On the other hand, when I pick them up at 2, I know they can get a good nut-filled snack at home, plus I know they aren’t exhausted by the end of the week, plus Smushy can have her afternoon nap in the crib if we get home in time.  I DON’T KNOW I CAN’T EVEN THINK ABOUT SEPTEMBER AHH.

Smushy is a joyful baby. I just love her to pieces.  She is a mommy’s girl and I love it.  I won’t even pretend it’s annoying she won’t go to anyone but me.  I LOVE IT.

Still not sleeping through the night.  Though after a particularly bad night this week I decided that I’m not going to nurse before 5am.  If she wakes up after 5 but before 7ish, I’ll nurse and put her back.  If she wakes up before 5 then she’s just getting a pat and a song.  Because I am SO TIRED.  I am sad to night wean(ish) but I can’t keep this up.  And in August the kids will be home full time for FOUR WEEKS.  I will need some beauty sleep.

OK Time to not be thinking about the kids for a few minutes … I like these posts because I want to look back on them but it also gets stressful to write them because this is a few minutes of free time and I’m writing about the kids.  I NEED SOME NON KID TIME. I LOVE MY KIDS SO MUCH BUT I STILL WANT A DAY OFF …. SOME DAY ……!!!

Sleep

She’s 10.5mo and still not sleeping through but I haven’t done anything to make it happen.

Every time she cries in the middle of the night and I go to her, before I get in there I am grumbly and irritated at being disrupted again. When am I going to get a night’s sleep. Why are all the other babies sleeping through except mine (I know it’s not true it’s just what I’m thinking).

Then I get in there and pick up my last baby and snuggle her and she nurses and snuggles and hugs me and I think… My last baby!!!!!! Why wouldn’t I want to spend every moment with her? Why wouldn’t I sacrifice my sleep so I could have these snuggly sleepy moments with her?

But I am sooooo tired.

I said to myself, this has gone far enough. She was waking twice a night and I was going crazy.

Then she learned to crawl on hands and knees, not just army crawl. And pulled to stand. And cruised. And understood words and could sign “more” and “all done.” And she got sick again and again. And then went back to once a night.

But still, once a night! No complete night of sleep. I resolved to start night weaning ASAP. I’m so so tired.

Then tragedy struck a friend and that night she slept through and I was so sad. And I cuddled her so much when she woke up that she fell back to sleep on me. And she slept through two more times after that, and now we are back to once a night. And I’m so tired and now so terrified to miss even a second of her needing me. And maybe she needs me a lot. She’s all alone in the room. Maybe we should move her to the big kids, would I feel less bad about leaving her there at night if I knew she wasn’t alone?

My last baby….!

My husband joked, well then we need to have another baby so you will sleep train this one already! Aaahhhhhh I said well maybe we just need to SAY we are going to have another baby so it’s not every night of MY LAST BABYYYY and maybe I can relax and let /teach her to sleep through …

But probably not. Loves me some sleepy baby snuggles. And I believe she will get there on her own. But still soooooo tired…

So different

Banana has been begging me to let them stay later at camp. She comes home almost in tears because they have to leave at 2pm instead of 4. She doesn’t like missing the last two activities, she doesn’t like saying goodbye and seeing everyone else going on to do more fun things and then coming home to boring mommy and going to the grocery store and watching tv.

Tomorrow can we stay longer please??

But they can only stay longer if both of them stay longer. 

Apple, do you want to stay later at camp?

I do NOT want to stay later at camp.

….

We have been accused of letting Apple rule the roost and I do see that sometimes it is like that. When he was a baby he was fussy and our meal schedules were on his tummy clock. We woke up Banana because it was time to eat because Apple was hungry (the reality is we often made Apple wait, hungry, fussing, so that Banana could get a few more minutes of sleep, but this is not what our critics have seen).

So here we are another decision basically up to Apple.

It’s not true that he rules the roost. Today I asked if they wanted to go to the farmers market or go home and sprinklers and Banana anted to go and Apple wanted to stay home. And Banana asked can we do both, and I said yes, so we went to the farmers market and then came home and did sprinklers. It was good we went. Banana always wants to go out and Apple always wants to stay in.

….

In a video that camp posted today, Banana is seen spontaneously dancing with another little girl. Therre was some kind of dance party going on during drop off that some of the kids were participating in, and Banana was right there third day of camp, dancing with another little girl. And I could see in the background Apple sitting quietly by himself.

They are so different.

….

Tonight at bed time I had a few seconds with just Apple while Banana and Smushy were playing and I asked him if he was having fun at summer camp. He said no. I said really, seriously, are you having fun. He said no.

I know that he is having fun. He can sometimes be a negative nelly when it comes to things, and likes being contradictory just for the sake of it (like his mommy). 

Are you sure you’re not having fun at camp?

No, just here with you, mommy.

Ad I thought about all the times i check the internet for all the validation from my internet friends and the pictures i post while we are still doing the activity. Like removing myself from these moments. And I think, my little boy, this is when he is having fun, he is overwhelmed at school and camp and he is having fun and I am removing myself from it.

It made me so sad and heartbroken.

….

I am lonely. I use the internet as a way to have adult contact during the day. My strength is interacting with people, I’m a therapist and my favorite was always group therapy. Before I was a therapist I was a. Youth leader and teacher. I need conversation. I need interaction.

So I do the best that I can. But I am still lonely.

And also, sometimes parenting is really intense, when it’s just me and the kids it can get too intense somehow. So I remove myself a little bit. Ad I regret it later. Lke why can’t I check in for a few minutes with the kids, why is it too intense for me.

But it is so intense. And so in many ways I am still scared to be totally present with my own children. And so I check out for a few seconds here and a few seconds there.

….

I’m not writing this to give myself some kind of resolution. I can’t promise myself anything. I’m a little disappointed in myself but I also know I am doing the best that I can. I am giving as much as I am able. I think it’s good enough. But I wish it could be more.

10 months

Smushy forgive me, all my devices are broken except my phone and the WordPress app has already crashed once so this will be brief…

10 months! I can’t believe it! Just a few minutes ago I was looking at your newborn pictures and I can’t believe how much you’ve changed…

At 10 months-

Likes

  • Kisses!
  • Getting into a sit from belly
  • Experimenting with all fours crawling instead of army crawling
  • Pulling up on everything and trying to do the stairs eeek
  • Walking! Well not by herself, but if I hold her hands she wants to walk everywhere. She wants to walk before she learns to crawl
  • Cruising… Slowly but definitely cruising. Gets sidetracked and tries to walk and plops on her tush
  • Strawberries. So. Many. Strawberries. Most of her diet seems to be strawberries and Cheerios and maybe scrambled eggs. But she will try basically anything, she had some broccoli from the Chinese food last night. 
  • Making a huge mess with her food! Spraying Cheerios or rice EVERYWHERE!
  • Knocking down her big siblings’ towers. I always know when she’s made her way into the play room by the shouts of “No! Baby no!!!”

Dislikes-

  • Doctors😦 poor baby has had two UTIs and a trip to the ER for high fever this month. It has been tough.
  • Diaper changes. This started around the time of the ER visit because every time I lay her on her back they did something awful to her😦. Now she just doesn’t like being on her back anymore at all. Mostly tolerates diaper changes with distraction.
  • Having her nails cut … I avoid it because she fights me so hard but I’m getting scratched up.
  • Being in the car … Just took a long road trip and she now screams when I load her into the car. She gets to choose a toy though and usually gets over her anger in a few seconds.
  • Sleeping …….. Arg …. I think she’s leaping because we are back to two wake ups and lots of grunting. If things don’t improve then when she’s finally done with this UTI and we have a stretch of routine days I am going to do night weaning. I’m so tired.

This has been an incredibly stressful month for me. The kids finished school and were home for two weeks. Smushy has had two UTIs, two rounds of antibiotics, one ER visit, a cold, and is obviously going through the a growth spurt. So she has been very clingy and fussy for me. We also went on a long drive to visit my parents and their a/c was broken which was a huge mess. My husband has been away twice. I’ve been getting headaches and in the last two weeks periodically gotten nauseous from anxiety and have had at least one mild panic attack. I went to the thyroid doctor for a check up and did some blood work, but when I look back at this month I guess it’s possible that this is just me feeling overloaded after a particularly hard month and it’s not quite over yet. I’m hoping for a smooth July. Ha.

But aside from that we have been doing some fun things. Just the kids and I – we have been to the beach and the pool and out to lunch. We have gone on play dates and gone to the playground. Sprinklers and bubbles in the yard. On our trip to my parents we went to a water park and did water slides, an arcade, and the zoo. So it has been a busy start to summer, good and also stressful.

The big kids are in camp now which means we can settle down a little again. I’m working on a schedule for smushy. I want to drop the kids at camp, come home and olay, then Smushy has her nap. We will see how it goes. If all goes well then I will get some break time again and that is good for everyone.

Smushy is just the sweetest baby and I love her to pieces. Every day I feel fortunate that I get a chance to have a singleton and experience all the love everyone talked about. With my twins of course I love them to pieces but it was always logistics and survival that overwhelmed me in the early days. I actually get to enjoy some down time with Smush (because feeding and cleaning her doesn’t take so much time!!) and it feels so great. And I love seeing how much my big kids love her too.

Ps can you believe my big kids are Almost four years old!!!! They are in the 4s group at camp! I need to write a post about them! So much to say! Maybe one day when either my computer or iPad isn’t broken and I can type coherently.

9 Months

My beautiful Smushy is 9 months old.  I decided to take some pictures with my nice camera this time, because now she has been out longer than in!

Likes

  • Making a big entrance (when we walk into a room with a lot of people she squeals and waves)
  • Poking things with her poker finger
  • Dancing while she eats
  • Songs with her name in them
  • Chasing the cats and trying to mimic their meows
  • Giving big slobbery kisses
  • Being held by mommy and MOMMY ONLY
  • Knocking down the big kids’ towers
  • Cheeeeeeriossss
  • Tossing food on the floor to see what happens
  • Her squishy rainbow ball and her plastic corn on the cob (favoritest toys)

Dislikes

  • Teething😦
  • Sleeping through the night
  • Taking reliable naps
  • Having me stick my fingers in her mouth to take out whatever gross / dangerous thing she just put in

The other night after I woke up at 1am for a feeding and then again at 5:30 for the day I decided I am reaching the end of my tolerance for night feedings.  I have not minded up until this point because usually when she wakes up in the night for a meal she will sleep later.  But if she’s going to wake up and still wake up for the day before 6am, then I can’t go on like this.

It’s not every night that she wakes up, and honestly I think I could probably easily stop feeding her.  So I might.  We’ll see.

She’s teething right now so this isn’t the right time to change a routine.  She gets fevers when she’s teething, like 101+, and is generally miserable.  Yay!   I don’t remember Apple and Banana getting fevers like this.  Poor Smush.

I think her naps would be reliable if we didn’t have to deal with drop off and pick up.  I briefly toyed with the idea of hiring a babysitter to hang out with her for an hour every morning so I could do this, so that she could get to the crib for sleep instead of falling asleep on the way to school.  I don’t know if I will follow up.  We will see.  Maybe once we switch her out of the bucket seat and it becomes impossible to let her nap in the car because of the heat, which I guess is happening in a few weeks or whenever we decide to officially switch because ……

She’s growing and her belly is something beautiful to behold.  She is 22lb 4oz, and 29″.  She’s basically outgrown the bucket seat.  Which means we need to do some shifting around in the car, one of the big kids will have to move to the back.  I can’t get her in and out of the car through the back without the bucket seat.  Right now I climb in and out through the trunk with the bucket and just pop her in, but once I have to buckle and unbuckle her then I want her in easy access from one of the side doors.  We’ve been discussing it … not sure how it is going to end up.  Probably just another thing for the big kids to fight over (who has to sit in the back).

Part of me starts worrying she is falling behind, the way the big kids fell behind.  I feel that anxiety bubbling up whenever I find out about another baby crawling or standing already.  Smushy is pulling up but not all the way, and she doesn’t cruise.  She pulls herself on her belly still and isn’t super interested in crawling, like doesn’t really rock on her hands and knees or anything.  I’m trying to show her but I’m also trying to chill out a little about it.  She’s not behind … and also my big kids caught up and now they can pedal tricycles and climb like monkeys and run and jump and hang from the bars.  So whatever happens, right??

This is it for now, don’t want to use my whole precious nap break writing … I just know she’s about to wake up!!

Summer plans

I love what Four to Adore did last summer: she came up with a summer bucket list and I think she really accomplished them all!

This summer I am cutting back on the hours the big kids will be at camp.  Originally they were going to be at camp 9-4, Mon-Wed, and 9-2 Thurs-Fri (and Fri afternoon with a babysitter).  This is what their school schedule has been and it has worked out really nicely with me being home with the baby.  But now that Smushy is older, it kind of feels a little silly to have the kids in school all day. Smushy is happier when the big kids are around, and though it is in many ways more challenging for me to have them with me, I am happier too!  I miss spending time with them – when they come home at 4, I plop them in front of the TV, yell at them to stop fighting, and make dinner.  This is not quality time!

I couldn’t even imagine having the kids home before 4 even a few weeks ago, but now I guess I have settled into mommy-of-3-ness, and I am ready to have my big kids home with me again.

WHAT AM I GETTING MYSELF INTO.

Ohhhh yeah I am going to have a babysitter at least one afternoon a week.  Haha!  Mommy can’t do it all the time!  And we always have a babysitter on Friday afternoons so I can prepare for Shabbat.  So .. twice a week babysitters.  So really it will only be just-mommy three afternoons a week.  Totally doable.

There is a three week break in August between camp and school.  One of those weeks I’m essentially going to run a camp in the back yard.  It’s not really a camp but it is going to be a big playdate every day and I am hiring sitters to help keep the kids entertained.  But the other two weeks the kids will be with me all the time all day.  Plus one week in June between school and camp, but I am already programming us for that week with play dates.

On one hand it is really daunting to have all three kids with me for so much time.  But on the other hand, I am home, this is my full time job right now, and I won’t get another opportunity to play the games that we play.

There is a chance, if Smushy IS settling into a nap routine, though I hesitate to say that she has found a routine, but there is a chance that basically during the summer I will drop  the kids off at camp, put Smushy to bed, then wait until she wakes up and give her lunch and go pick up the kids again.  So definitely a lot of our summer activities will involve the errand-running that I won’t get to do, like grocery stores.  Good thing they enjoy going to the grocery store!

But aside from errands, I want to have a great summer with the kids.  I wanted last summer to be a great one, because it was going to be our last summer with just two kids.  But oh, it was so hot, I was so pregnant.  We watched a lot of TV.  Plus potty training.

So here I am TOTALLY copying, even copying many of the items from her list.  Amber I hope you can forgive me.

SUMMER LIST:

  • Pool
  • Toddler beach
  • BEACH beach
  • Ice cream
  • Zoo
  • Popscicles
  • Hiking
  • Splash park
  • Painting
  • Inflatable pool
  • Bikes at the dam
  • Fireworks MAYBE (4th is finally not on Shabbat!!)
  • Find new playgrounds
  • Farmer’s market

I hope it’s not a cold rainy summer.  We will see.  I don’t have a ton of indoor activity ideas!

As a side note, I’m also cutting back their school hours during the year.  I will have to come up with Fall, Winter, and Spring lists too.  But first let’s see how well the summer list works for us🙂