Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mommy Moment

Mommy Brain. It's a real thing. Whether it's due to the hormones, the lack of sleep, or the brain-dessicating effects of 3 highly-verbal kids who need to ask questions every 23 seconds, Mommy Brain is a real life problem. And it can be seriously debilitating.

If you know me, you know I'm not one to only post Pinterest-worthy images of my daily life. I will not insist that raising 3, now 4, children is all sunshine and roses. I have no problem telling it like it is. I post pictures of laundry piles that swallow entire beds. Pictures of things in my house generally have chaos in the background. And at least one dog that probably is overdue for a grooming. I'm fine with admitting my failings, and frequent feelings of failure. So I'm sharing my biggest fail for the day to help you feel better about yourself. 

Today's Mommy Brain Moment:  I drove to the wrong dentist's office. I took myself for a scheduled cleaning. To our family's pediatric dentist. I figured it out before actually pulling into a parking spot. And the dentists are actually in the same town. I would have been on time if I'd gone to the right place. That's a huge accomplishment for me. But I would have failed part of the cognitive test I give my patients on a daily basis. Where am I? Oh crap. I'm not sure...

Yesterday's Mommy Brain Moment:  I burned a pot of breastmilk. Huh? Yup. I did. I have to scald anything I pump because I make extra lipase, which makes the milk smell soapy. So I scald the milk briefly before freezing it away. The scalding takes only a few minutes. You can't walk away from the pot, because it heats up very quickly. So if you walk downstairs to do laundry and get distracted by other household stuff, you end up with a brown pot of what used to be 3 ounces of liquid gold. I didn't spill it, and I didn't cry over it. But I stupidly destroyed 3 ounces of preciousness that I'm carefully collecting to earn myself a child-free date night this Friday. Dang.

Tomorrrow's Mommy Brain Moment:  It could be anything. Really. Anything's possible. 

Hope your week is free of Mommy Brain Moments. Unfortunately, conditions are favorable in our household for many many more.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Two Weeks and a Day

This child in my arms is two weeks and a day old today. She's celebrating this milestone by refusing to sleep unless she's being held. And she's fighting the process of falling asleep like her life depends on it.

She's helped dress me for the occasion by adorning my sleeves with eye boogers, and my shoulders and hair with spitup.

We've learned a lot about LittleFritter in the last few weeks:

  • She's a hungry girl. She really likes to eat. She gained a full pound in the week after we brought her home.
  • She likes to be upright, with a view of the world. Especially the people in it.
  • She likes to be the center of attention. She got passed around at the church Easter Breakfast like a hot potato, and loved every minute of it. I swear she turned on the charm. She was a dangerously tempting baby, and caused visions of larger families to dance in multiple heads...
  • She's got quite the range of facial expressions. The nurse at the hospital who bathed her on Day 1 reported that LittleFritter gave her a suspicious side-eye for the entirety of the bath. The nurse of 30+ years said she never felt so judged in her entire career. Fritter has thankfully added "surprise", "sly smirk", and "full grin" to her repertoire. "Eye roll" was an early accomplishment. I guess that gives me 13 years to prep for the teen years.
  • She's outgrowing her 0-3 month clothes as we speak. I ordered a bunch of 3-6 month stuff last week. It won't be here for a few more days. We're doing laundry very frequently for the 3 sleepers that currently fit her.

We're adjusting to having a larger family. With 4 adults around to manage it all, we're doing well. But in a week, my parents head back to Texas. Then the real fun begins...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Not Such A Little Fritter...

So LittleFritter made her grand entrance Sunday morning. After keeping us in suspense for over 4 days past her due date, we were just happy she didn't need a medicinal eviction notice. 

She upheld my Fishtank Theory. You know how fish will grow according to the size of their tank? My children have gotten successively larger with each pregnancy, as my "tank" has been stretched out of shape. 

HeyMama started out right under 7 lbs. MeToo started out right over 7 lbs. HurricaneDebbie started out at 8 lbs. and LittleFritter tipped the scales at 9 lbs 7 ounces. And 22.25 inches long. I have to say I'm a bit gratified that she's that large. I was getting rather uncomfortable, and actually asked my midwife if it was possible that the baby could be bruising my internal organs. 

She's lovely and perfect, and I'm thrilled to have her off my bladder and in my arms. She feels a lot lighter that way...

Friday, March 11, 2016

Yup, stiiiilllll pregnant...

40 weeks and 3 days. 
And I'm still pregnant.

One of my closely-held theories of pregnancy is that the third trimester is designed to prepare you for childbirth. More specifically, the inconveniences and discomforts of the final weeks are designed to increase in a way to convince you that childbirth sounds like a relief. Ok, to be graphically specific, the final weeks of pregnancy are so unpleasant and wearying that the notion of squeezing a grapefruit-circumferenced creature through your girly bits actually sounds like a great idea. 

I am convinced. Even doing it again without drugs sounds like a step up from the status quo.

Baby, it's time for you to come out.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Gestational Narcolepsy

I feel another attack coming on. I need to leave the computer soon. 

When I was still working, I'd have to pull over to the side of the road. I'd try to get to a quiet neighborhood where I didn't have to worry about getting rear-ended or having someone call the cops. But the urge was so strong, I'd be forced to pull over. 

And take a nap.

There is something so heavy about pregnancy fatigue. It's like a giant weighted suit being placed on you. With more and more weight added until you submit and just lie down. 

I've tried to fight it with caffeine, extra sleep, and adrenaline-fueled work demands. But it doesn't make it go away. The attacks are always there. Sometimes you can hold them back for a little while. Sometimes you can't.

I used to feel bad about my need to nap. Not anymore. If I nap, I become functional again. If I don't, then I'm useless. So I just need to accept and adapt. Even 15 minutes makes a huge difference. 3 hours seems optimal. Especially when I only sleep in 2 hour increments at night. But life is not so accepting of gestational narcolepsy, and truly restorative sleep is rare.

I'm growing another human being here. And thanks to her, it's more difficult to move, digest, excrete, and even breathe. So excuse me as I need a few minutes to recharge. I think I've earned the right.

Monday, March 7, 2016

40 Weeks

I'm a few hours away from Baby Girl #4's due date. I'm not getting my hopes up, because none of my girls have come early. Or even on time. We tend to overbake them a bit in this household. Little Fritter seems to be pretty cozy still. Cozy, yet up to her mixed martial arts antics. (Good gracious child, can't you just leave my bladder and spinal nerves alone?)

I haven't blogged in months. Sorry. It's just been a bit nuts over the last year. The pace has not slowed one bit. Well, until my parents arrived a few days ago... Now there are other grownups in the house who have enthusiastically thrown themselves into meal prep, laundry management, and child herding. Wow. It's amazing.

But about a year ago, I started hunting for a new job. And a new house. 
I got new jobs. 3, cobbled together, to get the work hours I was looking for and pay for the childcare I needed.
We found a new house. We bought it.
We prepped our old condo. We sold it.
We moved. Only a mile and change away. But we moved 10 years of jointly-accumulated stuff to a new place.
We discovered the "joys" of owning a quirky fixer-upper. Will the basement light work today? Let's find out!
I got pregnant. And sick. And tired.
I worked more than I had previously. On less energy. 
BestestHusband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary by traveling to Turkey.
School started again, and the girls ramped up their extracurriculars a bit. We scheduled them all for weeknights, because our kindergartener had begged for "one day a week to sleep in." We go to 8am church services. Changing that is non-negotiable. So no more gymnastics or piano on Saturday.
BestestHusband found and started a new job somewhere in the whole sequence of things.
Our toddler morphed into a full-scale Tiny Tyrant. Holy Shmoleys. The screaming gave me high-frequency hearing loss. She also became increasingly more charming when she isn't screaming. God has a funny sense of humor...
We kept finding more things about our home that desperately need to be fixed. (Oh, when it's 5 degrees outside, our kitchen only gets up to 47 degrees with the heat running.)
We suffered a 2 month onslaught of stomach bugs, respiratory bugs, and a sinus infection.
We started potty training. And then backed off because I'm miserably pregnant and am tired of dealing with poop-filled undies.

But these last few weeks have been full of reminders of those who have sustained us over the last year. Our family has continuously prayed, called, and sent notes of encouragement the whole time. Friends have been steadfast in their offers of help, prayers, and kind words. Other parents at school have offered to help ferry the girls to birthday parties, events, and playdates. We're not the kind of people who like to fill up our lives with busy-ness. But that's what our life has become. Yet it's all an overabundance of good stuff. 

The next week will likely bring the arrival of Little Fritter. And a new level of mayhem. But I have no doubt that it will also bring more reminders of the wonderful family we have, and the wonderful friends that have become our family here. 

Now that I'm on maternity leave, I hope to blog more. Really. I do. And I'll be up feeding Little Fritter at 2am, and will need to do something to help me stay awake...