Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year? Whoopee.

That Whoopee, please note, is not followed by an exclamation mark. Just a period. Because I can't muster up too much excitement for 2008 when I am this tired and grumpy. Dick Clark, Ryan Seacrest and Fergie will be partying without me tuning in. I will likely be up at the stroke of midnight anyway but not because I wanna be.

G is still sleeping like crap, and N has been waking up too, so I'm getting very poor sleep. I have been having lots and lots of "2 Baby Days," as in days where all I can think is, "I've had my 2 babies so I think I'm done."

When I am this tired, I start thinking things like, "This is NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER GONNA END." G is NEVER EVER EVER going to have a predictable schedule. G is NEVER EVER EVER going to take naps longer than 20 seconds. I will NEVER EVER EVER be able to take both kids to someplace fun that N would like to visit because I can't handle keeping up with her and having him suckling at the same time. When my brain is operating in this mode, it is plenty hard to look forward to 2008.

But then I remember that just a little while ago, G was waking every 2-3 hours religiously all night long. Within the last 2 weeks he has mostly had 5 hour stretches, and 1 night even had a 6-hour stretch. So things will get better. Things will improve. He is only 3 months old.

So I will try to will myself positive thoughts about 2008 because it is gonna fly...even the times when I am tired and grumpy.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Santa Didn't Bring Me Jack Shit

Santa is an ass-hole, really. I asked for 1 thing. 1 measly little thing, and he didn't come through.

All I wanted for Christmas was for G to sleep through the night. Didn't happen. In fact, last night he slept horribly, waking up every 2-3 hours. He is at the 3-month mark so perhaps this is that alleged growth spurt babies are supposed to have around this time.

I am trying hard to accept that G is not N (the perfect sleeping 8 hours a night at 4-weeks of age baby). He has his own design and plan.

But damn, Momma needs some sleep, boy!

Maybe the Easter Bunny will answer my prayer.

I'm Drowning...

...In a sea of toys.

So Christmas is over, and I am glad. Today I took down the decorations from the family room and shoved it all in the basement. I could not wait to get it out of my sight. D says I was so sick of it because I put it all up the weekend after Thanksgiving. My reasoning is that if I wait until mid-December to put up decorations, I might as well forget it. I am still gonna want to take it down immediately after Christmas, so why bother putting it up for only 2 weeks' time??

And then there were the piles of gifts. Some people can leave their presents under the tree for days and days and eventually find homes for them. Not me. Christmas Day after breakfast I started organizing stuff and putting items into their new homes. It is just too much chaos for my brain to handle. It makes me anxious knowing that things don't have a home. I've read about drug addicts getting the creepy crawlies (like bugs under their skin), which describes exactly how I feel when looking at stuff just lining the walls of my home in gift bags and boxes.

I have also started a yard sale stack---all of the things I no longer want or gifts I can't use or don't like.

Now I am biting at the bit to get a small bookshelf for the family room to store toys. I have been pulling out every clear Rubbermaid container and wicker basket I own for storing Polly Pockets and Barbie clothes and Little Pet Shop animals.

I told D to say to me next year, "Remember that N and G are gonna get gifts from Mamaw, Nana and Pa, cousins, aunts & uncles and great aunts & uncles, so do not go crazy on the gifts." I could not believe how much she got in 2 days' time. Unbelievable. It sorta makes me feel sick. Although I just blogged about having fun buying toys for her (which I did), it is kinda like a one-night stand. You enjoy it while you are doing it, but after it's over, you feel pretty weird and gross and think, "Why did I do that?"

In general, I am not a person who loves to shop. I rarely buy clothes or shoes because I have my favorite 5 shirts and 2 pants that I wear for a couple days and then wash --- although now that I'm being spit up on on a regular basis I am having to wear some not-so-favorite shirts. My joke is that my clothes can walk themselves to the hamper by the time I wear them a couple days and decide to put on something clean.

I have very few chatchkies or "pretties" in the house, and most of the ones I do have were given to at our wedding 10 years ago....which means I may not even like them but I can't see spending money on decorative stuff. I love those Pier1 tall vases and think a couple of those would look so cool on my entertainment center, but I ain't gonna pay $30 + for empty vases that I'm just gonna look at at.

Anyway, following the Christmas holiday I always begin this weird purging thing where I go through my house and select the items I really don't like anymore, never did like to begin with, or just want to get rid of because they are taking up space. It drives D nuts because I make him go through his closet and drawers. We've been doing this 10 years now--he should be used to it. One day I will get him to sell these huge ass speakers he has. It is on my list of things I want to accomplish before I die along with going on an African safari.

Of course I type all this about not liking to shop and what-not, but my mom and I plan to hit the mall tomorrow so I can look for a Mikasa crystal frame, spatulas, potholders, my desired bookshelf, and some other items I "need."

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Father freak out

D said he wasn't freaking out when G wouldn't settle down. D said he was just frustrated. D said he knew I'd blog about it and say he was freaking out. Yep--D was right.

D is a good dad, especially this 2nd time around. He is much more hands-on. Part of this is because he is more experienced. Part of this is also because I am not so anal and "all about the baby" like I was with N. But D is still a dad, and there is, in most cases, a definite way a dad will handle things as opposed to mom.

Case in point: A fussing baby. Now every mom I know is a really good baby dancer. The dance is always the same: the baby sway. Even if mom wants to sit and watch HGTV on the couch, she will perform the baby sway in order to calm the baby. A dad is different. A dad will try desperately to stay sitting on the couch watching a ballgame or sci-fi show or movie (which usually results in baby getting more fussy). Dad will reluctantly walk with the baby around the house, all the while being a little ticked that he can't stay seated on the couch and do baby-duty.

Case in point: Kid at the playground or pool. (NOTE: There are some mom exceptions to this case; see my summer blog about pool moms). I have seen dads "watching" their kids at playgrounds, the zoo or pools. Most of the watching is alleged watching. In truth, the dad is reading a book or sleeping but because his body is in the vicinity of the child(ren) then he can say he is watching them. Yesterday at the zoo I saw a dad reading a book while his kid pestered my kid and tried to start conversations with D, who was actually watching N as she maneauvered the playground equipment.

That is probably the worst thing about dads (and moms) who allegedly watch their kids---the conversations their kids try to start with anyone who is breathing. They are so hard-up for attention from any adult, they jabber away at another parent who is tired from actually watching his/her own kid. I used to feel compelled to talk to these kids, but now I just ignore them or say something glib and then ignore them. Sometimes I even say, "Why don't you go bug your mom or dad?" But they usually just keep on blathering about frogs or chapstick or alien spaceships.

Everyone knows that dads are just different. Evolution sets them up to not be so kid-oriented, really. The whole premise is to "hit it and quit it"---spread seed far and wide, and then go off with the other men and hunt monkeys. They don't adjust well to the women's role of childcare. Of course, there are some men who love being in the caretending role and some women who aren't hands-on mommas.

My brother is the most hands-on dad I know. I guess what makes him seem more mom-like than dad-like is the fact that he doesn't ask, "What do I do?" or wait to be told. If the kids need a bath, he just does it.

I used to get so pissed when I'd hear a mom say, "My husband is babysitting the kids." But then I had kids, and I realized that most dads are, in fact, just babysitting their own kids.

So I know D wasn't freaking out, although I have to admit I was wondering whether I'd go to the basement and find a dead G after having been shaken to death or thrown into the wall. I know my tolerance for crying spells and tantrums and lolly-gagging is much higher than D's because I live it every day, although there have been plenty of occasions when D has come home from work to find a VERY grouchy wife.

It takes a momma, daddy, village and lots of alcohol to raise a child.

House envy

This past week I developed house envy after playing bunco at a friend's new home. It is a REALLY nice pad--it even has built in bookshelves and cabinets in the family room (a dream I've long held).

My house is nice but we've been here nearly 7 years so the newness and excitement has worn off. I've been here long enough to decide what I would absolutely change if I was able -- 4 bedrooms all upstairs, bigger garage, larger family room. We've also been here long enough to have shabbed up the carpet and fixed the roof and furnace. So seeing a new house makes me green.

I always think of D as being the big spender in our home but I think I truly deserve the title because if given the opportunity I would do the following: 1. have a 3rd child and 2. move into a new house, both of which cost FAR, FAR more than any tv or technological gizmo D has ever purchased. I'd also throw in a mini-van to make the debt truly unbearable.

When I shared this thought with D, he said, "Yeah, and I just wanted an Xbox." Of course, he has the Xbox-- we'll see whether I get a 3rd child, new home or minivan.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Keeping Baby Off the Pole

After N was born, D and I watched a Chris Rock comedy show where he said his job as a daddy of 2 daughters is to, "Keep his baby off the pole." D and I joke about that, especially when N shakes her booty at us or, even more endearing, when she turns around, wiggles her bottom at us, and then spreads her butt cheeks with her hands.

I have decided my role as momma is to keep N from becoming like either of the Spears girls. Good night! Lord knows there are plenty of train-wreck families in the world but none so public and pathetic as the Spears.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Playing dress up

There is nothing that makes Christmas more fun than having an almost 4-year-old!

Poor G. Already subjected to being a drag queen by his older sister.

Overboard spending

I have a history of being TIGHT with money. My father-in-law used to make fun of me constantly because of it. I think he usually referred to me being so tight I squeaked when I walked.

Well, this Christmas I have gone spending crazy on things for N...well, crazy for me, which for many people would just be a drop in the bucket. I started looking up stats on the Internet to see how much parents spend on their kids on average. I read anywhere from $100 per kid to $400 per kid. I nearly swallowed my tongue when I read the $400 amount. Maybe I haven't gone as hog wild as I thought???

N is just at that great age when she loves such cute toys--Barbie and Disney Princess toys and Polly Pocket. Everything is pink and purple and just sickly sweet. As a female, it has just been alot of fun to walk through the toy store aisles at all the girly things.

I guess it balances out because I have spent hardly anything on G. I mean, he's nearly 3 months so he doesn't care--the best toy for him is his fingers. I wasn't going to get him anything but I figured he'd have to wait until September for birthday so I got him some 6-9 month toys.

After purchasing a toy for a 5-year-old male neighborhood friend of N's this fall, I have decided that D is responsible for purchasing all gift items for G once he gets into decidedly boy toys. I will give him a set amount of cash and tell him to knock himself out. Boy toys do not look fun AT ALL. Everything is black or brown or orange (yes, I know every girl toy is pink or purple--but I like those colors). There is nothing appealing to me about cars, dump trucks, or Transformers. Mostly it all gives me a headache.

I guess despite my worries about developing cash-flow problems, I should really savor this time. All too soon I will be trying to persuade N to ask for something not so slutty from the mall boutiques and trying to find one gizmo for G that costs less than the GDP of a small African nation.

Preschool "rules"

With this being N's first year in preschool, I don't know the rules of engagement so I always feel like a putz. There have been any number of occasions when I seem to have crossed some invisible preschool "etiquette" line.

Ex 1: One day while dropping N off, the mom in the car in front of me got out to help her son into the building with the snack box. There wasn't a car in front of her, so I pulled in front of her leaving plenty of space behind me for someone else to also be able to drop off. Although there were about 6 cars waiting, NO ONE moved, which left me wondering whether it is incorrect to "cut" in line for drop-off when someone is helping his/her kid in.

Ex 2: Awhile back, N had an upper respiratory thing--fever, running nose, stuffiness. She started ailing on a Wednesday, but was fever free by Friday. So on Monday I sent her to school. At pickup, her teacher tells me her nose was running alot that day. Was that her nice and subtle way of telling me to keep my kid home? Hell, if I wait for N to get rid of a runny nose (clear mucus, mind you), I would send her to school the first and last days and that would be it.

Ex 3: Every child periodically brings a snack to school. N gets to pick what she wants to take (although I push fruits and veggies). This time she opted for carrot sticks. Since I have never found individual single-serving baggies of carrot sticks, I put 4 carrots in each little plastic snack bag. When I picked N up, she said they had had carrot sticks, Goldfish and chocolate chip cookies for snack. Her teacher had made the cookies, but I wasn't sure if the Goldfish was because some kids hate carrot sticks or because I didn't put enough sticks in each bag?

I'm sure I'm making a deal out of something that is totally not, but I just feel like such a dweeb when it comes to a lot of this preschool parenting business.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Melt my heart

Last night when I was laying in bed with N before she fell off to sleep, she said, "You're the best mommy in the whole world." Dang...and I was such a grouch all day to her. I wish I could be as forgiving of myself as what she is of me.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Crap Mom Award

Today---after 2 evenings of poor sleep coupled with the mental stress of what I "should" be doing to make G a good sleeper---I could win the Crap Mom of the Day Award.

I didn't start out the day as Crap Mom. I took N to see a musical for kids about Rudolph while my MIL watched G. I felt like a pretty decent mom. I even managed to do a couple puzzles with her when G took his 5 minute nap of the day.

But then when G wouldn't nap today long than said 5 minute interlude, I started to get panicky about him being a poor sleeper. Which made me irritable. Plus, as the day wore on I just kept feeling more tired. Plus, N woke up early today so she has been a little annoying as the day has worn on. If she said, "Mommy, watch this" once, she said it 10 BILLION times.

I had D bring home Chinese food. We finally put G in his swing and he slept for a bit. I put on some of my music and N threw a grand mal fit: "I don't want to listen to your music!" Then when I came down here for 4 minutes of peace, N followed me and wanted to sit on me while I typed and either look at family pictures on the computer or at the Disney Princess web site I sometimes take her to.

So I am grouchy as hell, tired as hell, which puts me in line to win a blue ribbon for crappiest mom of the day.

I gotta survive people!

I have been losing my mind for about the last 2 weeks, and here is why: G's whole sleep thing. Now the boy is doing alright for an 11-week-old. Most nights he has an early stretch of 4 hours, followed by another 3. He has had 3 nights in which his first stretch was between 5-6 hours--so technically, he has "slept through the night" 3 times. I have him sleeping in his car seat in the co-sleeper so I can get to him easily to nurse.

So what is the problem?

"Expert" advice, suggestions and opinion.

I took G last week for an evaluation of his torticollis. The PT told me I need to have him sleep on his back...not particularly for his neck but so he doesn't get into "bad" habits. G's pediatrician also said at his 2-month visit to try to get him sleeping on his back. So in my head I am hearing the SHOULDS: You should be putting him in his own crib. You should be taking him out of his carseat.

And those SHOULD voices just make me irritable because G sleeps horribly on his back, if he sleeps at all. And when G sleeps poorly, so do I. And I am the one who has to function during the day with G and N, not the PT, not the ped. Hell, the PT is due to deliver her 1st child on Monday--she knows SHIT about parenting. She doesn't know true tiredness yet. She doesn't know that despite her best efforts, her baby is gonna be the boss of her.

So I have decided to mentally tell the PT and the ped and all the sleep experts to go fuck themselves and the horses they rode in on because I need my goddamn sleep and if G ends up being 14 and pretzeling himself into a carseat then so be it. I'll pay his chiropractic bills.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A night out alone

Last night D and I went to his company's holiday party. Fortunately it was casual. Nothing gets my panties in a twist more than having to put on a dress, hose and heels. (Actually, lots of things get my panties in a twist so I don't know how accurate the above statement is).

I nearly fell asleep in the car on the way there. G had been up alot Thursday night so I wasn't sure how lively I'd be.

Once we got there, we met up with one of D's colleagues and his wife whom we socialize with outside of work. It was so nice being able to talk without being interrupted by N or having to pop my nipple in G's mouth. I blathered on the entire night... between being tired and having a small glass of wine my brain was definitely on autopilot. (Fortunately my friend S reads my blog so she knows just how bonkers I am).

Oh, yes, and add to that the wasabi. The company had food stations set up, and one was a sushi station. I got a little wild with the wasabi. After the burn had opened up a small hole in my sinus cavity and penetrated my brain, I remembered that I am a nursing mom. Holy crap! G is gonna hate me.

D and I didn't talk much. Well, D never talks, and I kinda got all of my "news" out in the first 6 minutes of the car ride. I have to say being a stay-at-home mom doesn't produce a whole lot of newsworthy topics for discussion with one's spouse.

But it was still nice to get out, be away from the kids, and get free food.

Easily amazed

I am forever amazed by N.

First, she knows the first stanza to the song Ro sings at the beginning of Barbie as the Island Princess. Now we don't own it, but on the two occasions we rented it she did watch it approximately 17 trillion times, but still. Today she started singing it...and it has been weeks since we last rented it. I realize she is able to remember it because, unlike her mother, she doesn't have to remember doctor appointments, grocery lists and when bills are due. Her head is just a giant sponge.

I am also amazed at how much she picks up from me. I'm not aware of much of what I say until I hear her say it. For example, the other night she was talking to D about movies. D teases her alot about her princess fetish. He tells her that he thinks princesses are really scary! Anyway, they were discussing movies that she liked. She said something to D about the movies he likes. She said, "You know, Spiderman, Cars, whatever."

Today she started hopping on one foot. At G's 2 month appointment, I had perused the 4-year developmental "skills" and saw hopping on one foot listed. I thought to myself, "She doesn't know how to do that." Uh, apparently she does.

It is just so funny to me to think that nearly 4 years ago she was a big blog of baby like her brother is now, and now she is this cool, mostly enjoyable little person.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

My day from HE Double Hockey Sticks

I should have known today would be on the sucky end of the spectrum because G slept nearly 5.5 hours straight last night before his first feeding. Nothing good ever follows an unexpected good night's sleep.

At 6:00 a.m. I nursed G for the second time during the night. I was freezing and had to cover both of us with the comforter. You know what is coming, right? At 8:00, D woke me to say the furnace had died. That is sucky happening numero uno.

Then, N fell down the entire flight of stairs on her way to breakfast. I was right behind her and saw the whole thing. I have never been so scared in my life. She was frightened but unharmed, thank goodness.

Then, my pictures from Olan Mills were supposed to be in today at 10:00, but were not, so I dragged both kids into Meijers for nothing.
Then, N's afternoon playdate with her neighborhood friend was canceled.

No---none of these things was horrible. We survived. We have money to pay for the new logic board for the furnace. N was unharmed by the fall. The pics will be in tomorrow. It just made for a whole lot of eye rolls and exasperated sighs from me.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Stream of consciousness post

Maybe it is all the holiday stuff going on...the lists of presents to buy, food to make, and so on, but my head is all over the map of late. So here goes:

Recently I saw the sister-in-law of a friend out at the grocery (during one of my Calgon moments). She said something on the order of she was a great mom when she had 1 child and only a so-so mom with 2 kids. Her statement really got me thinking about how I am and who I am as a mom.

There was a time when I might have agreed with my friend's SIL. When it was just me and N, especially when she was very young, I was all about reading to her constantly, and doing baby signs, and engaging in anything that might help her develop into a genius. G won't get even a half of the attention I slathered on his sister for 3.5 years. But I don't know that all of my "work" made me a good mom. It made me an involved, perhaps overly involved mom. A mom who didn't give her child the opportunity to figure out how to entertain herself. I imagine most first-time moms do similar things with their oldest child.

Ok, then my friend G's blog said something about how she let her son watch 3 hours of tv after he suffered through his 4-year-old shots. That got me thinking too.

When N was a baby I was the no-tv nazi. She watched nothing until she was over 2. Now the tv is on all the time...literally. Sure I can blame some of this on having a 10-week-old baby. That glorious run of 15 weeks during mid-pregnancy when I felt good, N and I were busy and the tv was hardly on. I imagine once I am getting better sleep and G is able to sit up, the tv will lose it's current place as "god of the living room." I read my friend's blog and thought, "God, I am a sucky mom." But then I thought, "Oh well. I don't care. N's brain hasn't turned to mush yet." In a year and a half, she will be in school all day and the tv won't be on because she'll have homework and early, early bedtime. She may as well enjoy it now.

So my posts are really dull right now because, as noted, my thoughts are all over the board and I can't concentrate well enough to have a decent, coherent run of them. Sleep deprivation does a number on one's online pursuits.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Passing too fast (and yet not)

Yep, it is already happening. I am starting to get sad that my baby G is growing up. He is 10 weeks old...smiling like crazy, starting little cooing conversations, putting on nice little rolls of baby fat. With N it seemed like forever getting to 1o weeks. Not so this time around.

And yet, I still "wish" for a time in the future when he can sleep without being held or sleep for 4+ hours (and I mean from the end of a nursing session, not the beginning). I am extremely frustrated with myself for thinking this. In all likelihood, G is my last child (as D told me, "I can't think of anything you can bribe me with that makes me want to have a 3rd child"), and so I want to cherish his babyhood.

But there is so much about babyhood that I simply find the insufficient snippets of sleep. Or not being able to do anything for myself or with Norah or to the house because I have to hold him in order for him to sleep longer than 10 minutes. The little "shoulds" come poking out..., "Carrie, you should enjoy this time since it passes so quickly." The shoulds are quickly followed by the guilts.

I think what I'm feeling is just part of the human condition...wishing for the next stage because of small aggravations and then looking back at how sublime even those aggravations were.