Saturday, January 30, 2010

When did I move to Infanticide Town???

I don't know what the fuck is going on around here, but some people have gone and lost their ever-loving minds.  

Within the past 3 weeks, the news has been littered with reports of infant abuse and infanticide.  A 4-month-old died after being thrown against a couch and shaken, and a 6-week-old was killed by his father (who killed another infant son of his some twenty years ago).  Two days ago, an 8-month-old baby drowned after his mother left him in the tub to go fix him some food.  And another baby was thrown 3 feet onto the floor by his mother but didn't die.  

I'd say god needs to reevaluate whom on this planet has to deal with infertility.

Having a baby is stressful, no doubt about it.  There were plenty of times when I was nursing M in those early weeks, when my raw nipples were nearly detaching from my body and he would swat at them with his flailing baby hands, that I felt the urge to launch him across the room because the pain was so intense.  

But I didn't.  

And I have felt like beating the hell out of my kindergartener when she mouths off at me in that sassy way of hers.  

But I don't.

I can totally understand the urge to harm a child because babies and children have the innate ability to drive a person to the brink of sanity.  And the fact that I understand this is one of the main reasons I do not spank my children---it is just too easy for it to go too far. 

After hearing these reports, it makes me think about abortion.  I don't think abortion is right, and I would never make the choice to have an abortion.  But I sure as heck wish these babies had been aborted at 8 weeks gestation than to suffer an incredibly painful death at the hands of people who are supposed to love and protect them.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My idea of heaven

As a totally non-religious person, I don't know if there is a heaven, but if there is one, I have an idea of what I want it to be like.

Tonight, I was rocking M to sleep, holding him close in my arms, feeling his round little bottom and watching him suck on his pacifier.  And even though there are a million things I want to do to decompress from being with the kids all day, I felt the need to savor that time with him.  Because I can't recall the feel of rocking N or G to sleep.

I listen to G talk in his sweet 2-year-old voice, and I can't remember the sound of N's voice when she was his age.  In a couple years, I will listen to M's voice and not be able to recall the sound of G's.

So my heaven is to be able to re-feel all of these wonderful, delightful, cherished moments with my children.  To hear their childhood laughs and voices.  To smell their baby smells.  To touch their fat, wrinkly rolls of skin.  To feel their bodies against mine in nighttime embraces.

I want my senses to be able to live in these little moments forever.

Doing what feels right and doubting it anyway

Let me begin by saying I love Dr. Sears and have since my friend T turned me onto him when N was a baby.  I am an attachment parent---the whole breastfeeding, bonding, blah, blah, blah.   Lord knows I screw up on a daily basis as a parent, but I am overall pleased with my parenting philosophy.

Still, I find myself doubting myself, and so I pick up parenting books that friends recommend.  Because there is always something for me to learn. 

K mentioned the book Saving Childhood by Michael and Diane Medved.  I have skimmed it, reading more deeply in certain areas than others.  And overall I like the message---that we should do more to protect our children's innocence, to keep them children longer.  Three of the things they suggest parents should do is provide security, encourage a sense of wonder, and instill optimism.  

I think I am the type of parent who tries to do these things, although I probably let my kids watch too much tv and the point that they completely lack imaginations.  I have often worried about N's lack of imagination compared to other children.  But I think that is more of a genetic thing than a tv thing because I was never terribly imaginative as a child, or as an adult for that matter.  (In college my creative writing teacher more or less told me my ideas suck, but my writing is great.).  

My biggest problem with this book was that it just made me feel inadequate, especially since the Medveds really talk a lot about the influence of the media.

For example, over Christmas break, N's Mamaw took her to see Alvin & the Chipmunks:  The Squeakquel.  Last week, I heard N singing, "If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it."  I asked where she heard it, and she said the movie.  So I googled the song lyrics (since I personally live in freaking bubble), and found that it was a Beyonce song.  I found the video on YouTube and let N watch it.  

Now I have always loved dance, so I enjoyed watching Beyonce's video because of the beat and the dancing.  Yes, the moves and outfits are a little "sexy," but it was great watching N dance, in her kindergarten flailing kind of way, to the song.  And now she and G both are singing the song.  There are few things funnier than one's 2-year-old son repeating the phrase, "All the single ladies" in his carseat and wobbling back and forth.  

But I have been filled with self-doubt, wondering whether I am smashing my children's delicate and innocent sensibilities by allowing them to watch the Beyonce video on YouTube.  

The second book was suggested by my friend C, and I looked to it because M is a crappy sleeper.  I mean, he's not even 4-months-old but he certainly ain't falling into that category of "sleeping through the night."  Not even close.  So the book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, sounded promising.  

Unfortunately, Weissbluth talks about allowing a baby ages 4 months and up to cry themselves to sleep, and I simply cannot do that.  I'd rather deal with being tired.  Plus, he says that a nap of under an hour doesn't even count, which may be true.  But some babies, including my son, take naps of under an hour.  So since reading that, I have been stewing when M takes one of these micro-naps rather than just accepting that this just may be the way M sleeps right now.  

I'm glad I'm an educated parent who reads parenting books, but I wish I could just read them, take the bits and pieces I like and want to try, and chuck the rest without feeling guilty or inadequate.  


In general, I try to be a compassionate person.  I spend a great deal of my life thinking, "There but for the grace of God go I."  I recognize that nothing is guaranteed, that I am extremely fortunate, that everything I have could be taken from me in an instant, and so I am very grateful.

But I also believe the idea that, "God helps those who help themselves."

Which is why is rankles me that twice now in less than two weeks I have been accosted by someone in a parking lot, when I am clearly in the process of getting my children into or out of the car, and asked if I can spare a few dollars for gas money.

The first time this happened, two Caucasian guys driving slowly in the parking lot stopped and asked for gas money.  I politely told them no.  I wanted to tell them that if they'd quit cruising the parking lot they'd have enough gas left to get their asses home.

Today it was an African-American woman with a cane.  And again, I politely refused.  Fortunately M was screaming his head-off so me saying, "I can't because I've got a screaming baby" wasn't just a way to get her to skidaddle.

I hate to think that these people are skammers, but, really, did you not look at your gas tank before you left the house?  Is there no one else on the planet, like family or friend, that you can contact?  Although I dislike being a suspicious kind of person, I think some people are suspicious.

It makes me want to type up a small list of local charitable organizations that these people can contact, so that when someone asks me for money, I can say, "No, I can't spare a dollar for gas, but I can give you this."  That would be along the lines of teaching a man to fish instead of handing him a grouper, right?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Weekends suck and my strategy for summer

Since having N almost 6 years ago, I have had "issues" with weekends, primarily because in the world of a stay-at-home mom there is no weekend.  D doesn't have to go to his day job on Saturdays and Sundays, but I still do.

There is no day of rest from the cooking, laundry, butt wiping, and other sundry mommy work.
Therefore, my panties usually get in a twist at least a couple times between Friday at 6:00 p.m. and Monday at 8:00 a.m.

Recently I have become aware of how much I harp on N during the weekends.  I feel like I'm constantly saying, "N, please don't....." and "N, I asked you to stop doing....."  And it finally dawned on me---now that she is in school full-time, she and D are the ones who upset my routine on the weekend.

I spend most of the week not being with her, so on the weekends I'm all out of sorts with her asking for stuff or whining or making demands.  She's not being particularly difficult, or more difficult than at any other time, but I just don't know what to do with over 48 hours of her being around.

The other thing is that as an almost 6-year-old, I guess I have some expectations about what she should be able to do.  Unfortunately, though, she has a serious case of the putzes.  The lollygags.  The dorking arounds.  I don't imagine she is any different from other kids, and I think I expect more of her simply because she is so much older than G and M (which is unfair).  She probably feels like I get on her more than G, which I do because he is 2, and I could say things to him all day long but as a relatively new 2-year-old, he just don't get it.

Today when G and M went down for their naps, she asked me to play Polly Pockets.  Last weekend I played Barbies with her.  Let me state that while I am "playing," D is in the basement with the Xbox, which is also called his time "unwinding."  Let me also state that I find it very difficult to play pretend dolls for very long because.....well, because I am 36-years-old.

A part of me wants to tell N, "I will play Polly Pockets with you for 20 minutes, and then you can play by yourself for awhile (so mommy's brain cells can re-grow a bit)," but I feel stingy saying that.  Stingy with my time.  But when I don't put a time limit on it, I zone out and am not a very good playmate anyway because I know I'm gonna be playing Barbies for 2 hours.

I always ask N if she wants to read books, or do a Pixo project, or draw in her doodle book (things that I would find more enjoyable than playing dolls), but she always pooh-poohs these suggestions.  And again, I feel like since it is her weekend, her "down-time," I should do what she wants to do.  But at the same time, I feel like if I was a child playmate, I would say so if I didn't want to play dolls every time I played with N.

So all this rumbling around in my head makes me think it is gonna be a LONG ASS SUMMER if I don't get a strategy together.  For over 2 months I will be out of my routine and lose whatever "me" time I get in the afternoons on the rare occasions that G and M nap simultaneously.

Therefore, I have decided to come up with an Activities Chart, listing all kinds of things N and I can do together both now on the weekends and in the summer.  She can pick anything she wants, but she can't repeat an activity until 7 days have passed.  So if she selects playing Barbies with me on a Monday, she has to pick another activity for the next 6 days, like painting, coloring, reading together, making cupcakes, playing card games, etc.  Now she can play with her Barbies by herself as much as she wants, but we are going to rotate her activities with me.

Because otherwise my brain will be even more addled than it already is.
And I will find myself resenting my girl.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Gimme Whipper

I discourage my children from getting the gimmes.  My refrain is, "You can ask for x, y or z for your birthday or Christmas."  Those are the times when you get stuff.

Lord knows, my kids don't do without.  They have clothes, and they can always finagle books out of me.  But I don't buy them toys or other things with any regularity.

Whipping the gimmes out of myself is also something I've done for years and years.  And I'm so good at it that when I do decide that I really, really, really want new flooring on my main floor of the is like a constant battle in my head.

The Gimme Whipper has plenty of ammo to discourage me from getting the floor.  The earthquake in Haiti is a constant reminder of how wasteful it is to get new flooring when so many people have nothing, absolutely nothing.

The Gimme Whipper also uses possible health care scenarios as fear tactics to make me reconsider flooring.  Like if M has to have tubes put in later this year (since at 3-months-old he is on his 2nd ear infection).  It would be more prudent to hang onto the money for surgery expenses than a new floor.

But I really want new flooring.  And I keep telling the GW that I'm not going into debt so I'm not being irresponsible.  And that getting rid of the carpet might actually help our allergies (since G and M are likely going to have problems with allergies as well, if they don't already).  And that I'm being very diligent about trying to really save so that I won't deplete every penny in our account to get new flooring.

Gimme Whipper doesn't care.  He just keeps beating and beating the desire right outta me.

Thank god for dairy cows

If it wasn't for dairy products, my 2-year-old would waste away to nothing.

I recently switched him back to whole milk and whole milk yogurt since he's lost a couple pounds since September.  Since he refuses to eat any vegetable and most fruits, I have resorted to V8 Fusion and yogurt- and chocolate-covered raisins, which are the bastard step-children of really healthy stuff, but I gotta do something.  He had been on Juice-Plus, but now he refuses that.  Sometimes I am able to mix some of the granular Juice-Plus (from a capsule) into his yogurt, but that is about as good as it gets.

He gets a multi-vitamin every day, and I've been on the lookout for sorta healthy foods that he might eat.  Or, hell, to be honest, any food that might put some meat on his bones.

Anyhoo, all this focus on G's diet got me thinking about how obsessed I am, and a lot of parents are, with getting our kids to eat healthy.  I certainly would rather be this way than buying junk food and not giving a darn what my kids eat, but I think I lose perspective in my quest to get my kids to eat an optimal diet.

For example, it is a recent phenomenon for people to be able to get fresh fruits and vegetables year-round.  Humanity has survived a long time on people eating very basic staples....not the vast variety of brightly-hued produce that will allow us all to live to be 100.

N and I have been reading a Unicef book about kids from around the world that our neighbor gave her.  Seeing how children in other countries dress, eat and live really makes me think about the goofy things I allow myself to stew over.  Like my kids eating 5 fruits/veggies a day.  People in other parts of the world eat the same bowl of rice and beans day-in and day-out and survive.

And that is the basic tenet of parenthood since the dawn of man.  Get the kids to survive.

Like his father and uncle, who barely eat any fruits/vegetables, G will probably be fairly healthy and grow to somewhere between 6'2" and 6'4".  On dairy products.  And air.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Why I used to not want kids and why I now do

One of my cousins friended me on Facebook and reminded me of how I always said I didn't want to have kids, or at the very least, didn't know if I wanted to have kids.  And it is true--when D and I married, we really didn't know if we wanted kids.  If we decided to have them, we knew we wanted to wait at least 5 years.

We had N when we'd been married almost 6.5 years.

But I think the real truth is more complicated than just that I didn't want to.

Let me explain something about my personality.

When I was in high school, I dated the same guy from sophomore year on.  And many members of my family asked me if he and I would get married.  I HATED this question because I was a teenager.  I was going to go to college, not get married.  By the time senior year rolled around, I knew I didn't want to be with him forever.  Not because he was a bad guy--he was a good guy.  But I was 17-years-old and needed to play the field and grow the heck up (which I am still currently working on).  By second semester freshman year of college, I was so over being tied down and broke it off with him.

When D and I married, I opted to keep my maiden name, and the reason was because I HATED the assumption that I would turn into Mrs. D as soon as the ring was slipped onto my finger.  It felt to me like I was going to have to work really, really hard to keep my identity as Carrie once I married.  So keeping my maiden name felt like my way of thumbing my nose at becoming a "we" and losing "me."

Plus, it was such a hassle to change credit cards, Social Security cards, etc.  I wasn't up for all the paperwork.

Do you see a trend here?

So when D and I married, it wasn't 20 minutes before people started asking, "When are you gonna have babies?"  And I HATED this question because I was 24-years-old.  A baby myself, to be honest.  Maybe I was afraid of losing my identity as "Carrie" once I became a mother (which has certainly happened.)?

Maybe I was scared of the whole pregnancy and childbirth thing?  (True)

Or maybe I just really get off on saying I'm going to do the exact opposite of whatever it is I think people want me to do????

I'm a little ornery that way.

But having my kids.  Well, like the Grinch, my heart grew three sizes upon having my babies.  And I can't imagine my life without them.  Because without them I wouldn't experience things like.....

  • G pointing to me in the car and saying, "You kay-zy."
  • M spitting up after a nursing session and all of it running directly down my cleavage.
  • N singing "If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it."  

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Breastfeeding odds and ends and opinions

I have spent nearly 30 months of my life nursing a baby, and I still have (hopefully) many months to go before I end my reign as a breastfeeding momma.  And over the years, my perspectives on breastfeeding have changed.

When I first had N, I wanted to nurse her for 2 years.  Of course, I had never had a child so I really didn't know what a 2-year-old was like.  When she was 7 months old, I developed a ductal yeast infection and mastitis in my right breast, and the poor ole girl on the right side of my chest was never the same.  I had a rash on my nipple that didn't go away until months after I'd weaned N.  So breastfeeding from months 7-12 was a right royal PITA.  But I did it because 1. N wouldn't take a bottle, and 2. I am extremely cheap, and 3. I think breast is best.

I was a lot more militant about nursing than I am now.  Very judgmental of women who didn't nurse at all or who only nursed for a short period of time.  Time and age and having multiple children and medication have mellowed me out.

With G, I set 6 months as my goal because I just didn't know how things would go down.  The first 2-3 months of that time hurt due to my sensitive skin.  But eventually we got into a groove, my girls toughened up, and I nursed him for 14 months.

And now I am at entering the 4th month of nursing M.  He has finally learned how to nurse well, and, again, my girls have regrown new, tougher skin.  I haven't set a goal with M.  Whatever, ya know.  I'll wean eventually, and hopefully later rather than sooner.

I'd be lying if I said I still don't retain some judgment about women who chose not to breastfeed.  But I also make a judgment about women who get their baby girls' ears pierced when they are infants.  And women who circumcise their sons just to make their boys matchy/matchy with daddy, without actually researching the procedure.  And women who make their sons Juniors.  But my opinion is only really valuable to me.

Still I do think it is sad that more babies aren't nursed longer.
But I can understand why they are not.
Had I chosen to continue teaching or if I'd had to continue teaching, there would have been no way I could have nursed past maternity leave.  An office job is more conducive to pumping.  I don't see that it would be feasible to even attempt pumping as a teacher.

And most women aren't as eager to be in pain as long as I have been in my nursing adventures.  I have always enjoyed a challenge, and I have had my share of breastfeeding challenges.  The truth is I am either an extremely persevering individual or downright stupid.  For me, though, I was willing to put up with pain and ointments and such because of allergies on both sides (mine and hubby's) and my simple feeling that there is nothing better than mommy's milk for a baby.

Mind you, at first and to some extent now, I thought breastfeeding would cure all ills.  I thought my kids wouldn't get sick, like, ever.  They wouldn't have allergies or ear infections.  But breastfeeding can't negate a family history of sinus, ear and allergy problems.  But I like to believe that nursing my babies, even if they do have ear problems, don't have as severe of problems as they might have had I not nursed them as long as I did.  But who knows???

As my children get older, I realize that nursing, though important to me, is only one small piece of the things I do as a mom to help my children become independent, caring, responsible, decent human beings.  N knows she was breastfed and hopefully, if and when she becomes a mom she will opt to breastfeed her children for an extended period of time.  And my sons will know they were breastfed and will hopefully support their wives if they chose to breastfeed.

Despite my struggles with nursing, it is a cinch compared to the relationship and behavior challenges every momma faces when raising someone from infancy to adulthood.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

They're all my favorites

Sometimes I can't help but have my favorite child.  Of course I love them all with a fierce motherly adoration.  Still there are times, moments, days, even weeks, when one steals a special place in my heart. But today they are all my favorites.

My favorite almost 6-year-old girl

You're my favorite because.....

  • you got into a "fight" with the playground equipment and lost.
  • you are such a kind child to others (and got a Kind Acts Award as proof of that generosity of spirit).
  • you have such a funny giggle.
  • you are sometimes so sweet and thoughtful to G, like holding his hand going down the steps or hugging him when something on tv scares him.
  • you read me books and things you've written in school, and I am so proud that you are learning and becoming a reader.
  • you have been trying really hard to give up your paci.  

My favorite 2-year--old boy

You're my favorite because...

  • you've been sickly and whiney and have lost weight, and I can't help but feel sorry for you.
  • you are the middle child and feeling rivalry with your little brother (which explains your constant petition, "I wanna nurse.")
  • you are a little imp and tease.
  • you reply "Right dare" and point to it when I ask "How's your nose?"
  • you say, "My ear botherin you."
  • your love of and fascination with cars knows no bounds.

My favorite 3-month-old boy

You're my favorite because...
  • you have those wonderful rolls of fat.
  • you smile at me with such trust and joy.
  • you coo and squeal whenever I talk to you.
  • you were a surprise.
  • you are usually a very easy-going baby, happy to watch your brother and sister.
  • you kick your legs and are endlessly fascinated with your fingers.
There is no question.  I have been immensely blessed.  And I am immensely exhausted.

Monday, January 11, 2010


I won't go into the gory details, but by last night I was worried that D was going to leave me and the kids, which resulted in me designing my plan for sole custody and the world's biggest alimony and child support lawsuit known to man.

This weekend sucked major ass, to say the least.

I always think that everyone else's marriages don't have tremors like ours does, but I have to believe they do.  No one wants to come clean about it, though.

Like those magazine surveys about sex.  I'm sorry, but those people L.I.E.

Which is why it made me feel so much better today when a mommy friend mentioned that she sometimes has a fantasy during her and her husband's marital meltdowns of where she will live as a single mom with her kids when she divorces her husband.

And it made me think back to mine and D's first major argument as a married couple, which took place toward the end of our honeymoon when both of us said maybe we shouldn't have even gotten married.  Or shouldn't stay married.

I don't think that very often, which is a good thing, but it scares the daylights out of me on those rare occasions when I do contemplate the alternative.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I doan yike it

This is G's new favorite phrase, and I think I am going to adopt it as my new motto for all things related to my life at the moment.

I doan yike all this illness.  G was much better today than yesterday, but he fought his nap (which is either related to his illness or a new toddler phase) and still had numerous "I wan sit in momyap" (I want to sit in Mommy's lap) clingy moments.  Today would have rated as outstanding if I wasn't so darn wiped out emotionally from caring for sick kids for weeks and weeks and weeks.

I doan yike this cold and snow.  It will be great once the kids are all older and able to get out in it together.  But with G sickly and M a baby, it makes it quite difficult to get N outside, and she is biting at the fucking bit to get outside at least 40 times a day.  We managed 3 yesterday (with Nana and Pa's help) and 3 times today with Mommy or Daddy.

I doan yike it when M has a bad night, which he had last night.  I felt like a damn yo-yo.  Up and down with him.  He must be going through a growth spurt because he is nursing, nursing, nursing.  But, my god, he will be the size of a 3-year-old within a month if he keeps this up.  He is honking huge.  I wish I could give some of his chunkiness to his brother.

I doan yike feeling so blah.  Being stuck inside, sickness, cold, snow, little sunlight.

Heaven help me make it through the next 2 months.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Doctor visit....and a sigh

G has lost almost 2 lbs since the end of September.  He weighed in at 27.5 lbs today.  I explained the whole ordeal of the last 2+ weeks, with the Christmas RSV and H1N1 shot, to the doctor.  And I flat out told her I have anxiety and was freaking out that G has cancer or something worse than just a virus.  

The initial strep test came back negative, although the doctor said it could still show up in the 24- and 48-hour rechecks of the swab.  And his CBC came back mostly normal....nothing that would suggest cancer, only a virus or small infection.  So I was reassured by that although I won't stop fretting until G is acting well and has gained back some weight.  

It is very likely that he has a sinus infection since he is soooo congested and his throat is red.  

And she said to give him Pediasure or anything that he will eat that will put extra calories on him.  So we are now on the "Plump G Up Program."  

My mom came over today so I could take G to the doctor, and then she stayed most of the day.  It is sad when a 36-year-old has to have her 72-year-old mother "babysit" her, but given all the illness and my rampant anxiety of late, I just need my momma around to provide me company and help me manage the sick one (G), the baby (M), and the high maintenance female (N).  

I guess I can't fault G too much for wanting to cling to me because I want to cling to my momma when the chips are down.  

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cancer anxiety and my kids

Tonight G's fever spiked to 104.  He was miserable.  I gave him a bath thinking it might make him feel better.

I know he's a thin little boy, but I guess because of him being sick I noticed just how skinny he has become.  His shoulders are boney, and I can see all his ribs.  He doesn't eat much at all, and being sick off and on since October certainly doesn't help his appetite.  I know that he is not unlike many toddlers who eat crackers and.....crackers.

Unfortunately, my brain immediately jumped to "childhood cancer" as the culprit of the fever, even though with the runny nose my rational self (which doesn't stand a chance in this fight with my anxiety self) feels like it is likely that the RSV has become a sinus infection.

But all this sickness has clearly taken its toll on my mental faculties if I move so quickly to the "cancer" diagnosis.  I am in "pre-medication" territory here.....this is what I used to do all the time before I was on my AD.  Except I used to worry that I had cancer.  Now it is my boy.

I'm taking him to the pediatrician tomorrow.  And I'm going to ask for a CBC and a weight check.  Because that is the price I have to pay to make my anxiety (hopefully) go away.

Differences in torture tactics

Do you know what the difference is in torture tactics used by insurgents/military and those used by my two sons?

With the insurgents, you are worried that they are gonna kill you.
With my sons, I am worried that I am gonna kill them.  Particularly the toddler.  

Yes, today was one of those miserable days.  And it is not yet 3:00 pm, so I still have quite a ways to go.

As I mentioned, M had officially diagnosed RSV, and G had unofficial RSV.  G ran a fever only on Christmas Day, and his congestion and cough have been getting better.  No worse than a minor cold.  M ran a slight fever a couple days after Christmas and was very congested, but he has been back to excellent nursing for days and seems ok.  

So with everyone seemingly on the mend on Tuesday I took N and G to one of the free H1N1 clinics to get their boosters.  God knows we have had more than our fair share of illness this fall/winter, and I didn't want to chance the piggy flu on top of everything else.  

Of course, Tuesday evening, G started running a low-grade fever.  He ran it yesterday and has been battling a runny nose again and being even more whiney about "Tuffy Nose!!!!" than he usually is.  (Yesterday I called the H1N1 Hotline, and was told it is most likely in response to the shot, but if he's still running a fever on Friday to take him into the pediatrician.) 

Today has been a nonstop fuss-fest by G. A constant whine to "Wipe It" (his nose).  I put him down for his nap early, at 12:30, and he was awake and crying by 1:39.  No fever, but a drippy nose.  He is back up in bed now, hopefully to sleep for a good long time, because when I brought him down he just fussed and cried and screamed, wanting me to hold him, hold his cars, wipe his nose."  And I had M to deal with too.  Although he isn't sickly, he is a baby so holding, nursing, and some cooing is required to keep him somewhat happy and content.  

Plus, we have had snow dumped on us and it is below freezing, so there is to be no getting outside or out anywhere.  Again.  

So G has nothing, absolutely nothing, to distract him from the clear snot running out of his nose like a breach in a dam.

On top of it all,  in the back of my mind, I am worried that I have wreaked havoc on his poor immune system.  But we had had to wait almost 2 months since his first H1N1 shot.  And I don't know that I can take any more illnesses so soon.  Plus, everything I've read says a cold or minor illness is ok for getting the shot.  And with no fever and waning congestion, I figured we were in the minor illness category.  

There doesn't seem to be much of a difference between my home and Abu Ghraib at the moment.  

Monday, January 4, 2010

A day in the life

One thing I am learning about having 3 kids is the rhythm of the day.  We can have hours and hours of peace and calmness, but when the chaos hits, it hits hard and long.  And it totally wipes my ass out.

Another thing I'm learning is that Mommy Guilt doesn't ease up.  Ever.

The morning and early afternoon were really good.  I cleaned 2 bathrooms and G's closet.  I fed everyone, was able to keep up with everyone's butts and noses, and played a little bit with N in the afternoon.  G and N mostly played well while I was cleaning, and M took a longer than normal morning nap.

But then came 4:30, which is Child Crazy Time.  I don't know why, but both my kids go ape-shit at 4:30, and they don't settle down until about 4 minutes before they fall asleep.

G and M were fussy, fussy, fussy.  G kept hitting N and had to be put multiple times into the playpen.  M wouldn't settle down since he took a 20-second-long afternoon nap so he was ballistic during dinner preparation (which I had intended to do earlier in the afternoon but got side-tracked).  I did manage to get both G and N to help me make the fruit salad for dinner.

But then after supper I was trying to do something related to our new health insurance, and both the kids were on me like white on rice.   My patience had had it.  I ended up screaming at G because he would not leave me alone, which means I have been suffering unbearable guilt ever since.

I hate it when I lose it with the kids but it gets tiring having 10 straight hours of "I want this" and "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!"  Not being able to get out for weeks doesn't help with it being too cold to even walk to the mailbox, and everyone being snotty to boot.

On days like this I try to think of the good mommy things I did, like playing with N, like reading to G, like meeting all their basic needs (diapers clean, fed, dressed), like reading books with them on the couch after supper (and the screaming fit), like reading to them before bedtime.

But it never makes up for the yelling.  Or the frustration at them for just being kids.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The drudgery of a new year

So D may have caught N's strep throat.  Starting off the new year on the exact wrong foot but who is surprised?  I'm not happy about it, but I am certainly used to this whole sickness thang at this point.

Still, I am really feeling the January blues.  The drudgery that comes with this month is what, in the past, has made me eager to plan a vacation.  Have something in the works.  Something to look forward to.  Post-holidays are such a letdown.  Being in the house with the kids due to the cold weather (usually) and now RSV is tedious.  Today I had to go to Target for an hour.  Had. to.  Just to get away from them and the house.

Since we aren't doing a big vacation this year that means I need to find something to occupy my head while me and the kids wait out the cold weather until March.

I had a guy from a flooring place come out this past week to give me an estimate of installing hardwood on the main level of our home.  There is pre-finished hardwood in the foyer, hallway and powder room.  We want to extend it into the kitchen, dining room and family room.  I have no idea how much this is gonna cost but I'm hoping in the $3,000 range, although I am fairly certain I'm low-balling it.

With all the sickness, the DVDs I had purchased to get us through the winter only got us through Christmas break, so I ordered some more--the two Toy Story movies and Finding Nemo.  And I reorganized our Netflix queue.

And I have begun collecting baby clothing, maternity clothing and toys the kids never play with for the upcoming Spring/Summer consignment sales.

My anxiety upon getting so much new stuff at Christmas has me feeling antsy to purge kid items, which makes me sad.  I really don't want to rush this time away, but the clutter is sometimes more than I can stand.

And the clutter isn't just toys or clothes.  It is the clutter of children jabbering, needing me, wanting something from me at all hours.  It is because of the cold.  And the break from school.  And the sickness.  Sometimes I think the drudgery is because I have lost the essence of myself.  I know I am there, but there is just a mountain of stuff to get through before I can get to me.