Friday, April 29, 2011

Just Plain Pooped

All I can say is that I am just so very, very tired. T is now over two months old and, when added on to the months of no sleeping due to itchiness, it’s been a long time since I have had a good night’s sleep. I know I really shouldn’t complain, T is a good sleeper, only up once a night around 2 or 3, but still, I daydream about when I will be able to sleep for 8 hours straight (something I fear may not happen for the next 18 or so years).

Add on to this not sleeping, working full time, single parenthood (only 2 more weeks!), and general nonsense and you end up with one tired lady. I keep trying to think of ways to streamline, but nothing realistically can be cut. J suggested switching to formula, but I think that might actually be harder (it involves water procurement, measurement, blech). The pups and kitties are getting seriously neglected so there really isn’t anything I can streamline there. B needs full time attention, the stuff I have found him eating lately is highly concerning, so I can’t let him out of my sight for a second.

I am sure that people who see me at work and on the street must think I spend my nights in the ditch. My hair can only be described as a hot mess, my glasses are broken, I constantly have spit up on me somewhere…motherhood just isn’t pretty. I constantly forget what I am supposed to be doing, I have left my keys in the front door multiple times.

But, the nice thing is, I’m really enjoying my life. I love the funny things that B does and watching just how darn smart he is getting (too smart sometimes). I love the great big gummy smiles and giggles that little T gives me. The puppies are being so well behaved and are B’s best buddies. The only thing that could make all of this better is the rapidly approaching return of Dad! So even though I live in a three ring circus and my appearance shows it, I can’t complain too much (I still will though!).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Little Caveman

I came to an interesting realization when B and I were battling last night. I was approaching him as I would approach an adult. I wasn’t really reasoning with him, per say, but I was expecting him to use logic that he clearly doesn’t possess. He’s nearly two and a boy (double whammy) and trying to get him to understand why he has to clean something up just wasn’t working.

I have to admit, B and I have really been at it lately. He gets frustrated when I don’t understand him or I won’t give him something that he wants. He responds to these situations by striking an inanimate object and making this horrible “aaannnhhh” noise at you. I have broken him of hitting people, but still he hits. He KNOWS that it aggravates me and will look directly at me while he does it. He has moments where he seems to be mad for no reason, just randomly striking out at things in frustration.

Anyway, last night, we were really going at it, it was bath time and B wasn’t ready to stop playing with this gear game he has. Here I was, directing him to do something, expecting him to understand that time was up, and he just wasn’t. He started throwing his toys on the floor and hitting the table. It was that moment I remembered a book I had read Happiest Toddler on the Block. In it, the author describes toddlers as cavemen (and women) that we as parents are supposed to civilize. B is a caveman. He language skills aren’t great, he is impulse and pleasure driven, and seems to have no higher level reasoning.

So, instead of battling and expecting him to make the decision for himself to behave, I simply picked him up and stated firmly that we were going to the bath and weren’t playing anymore. Sure, this lead to much crying and gnashing of teeth, but I wasn’t as frustrated and, in the end, the experience was much more pleasant all around.

Now, I’m no expert and certainly not parent of the century, but I sometimes think that parents (I am sure I do this) think too much of our children’s ability to reason and make decisions for themselves at such a young age. There have been countless times where I have seen parents trying unsuccessfully to reason with their cavemen. No more for this mommy, well at least not until he is older.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Back to Work!

6 weeks have gone by far too quickly and I find myself back at work. I have made it through 3 days so far and it hasn’t been horrible, but it hasn’t been great either. Thankfully, we have some big events upcoming (J coming home!!!!) that have made the transition a little easier for me. Having something to look forward to makes the pain of working a little bit less.

The biggest challenge I have had so far is settling back into my routines, both at home and at work. The morning is going fairly smoothly so far. Wake up, nurse, shower, feed B, leave. I have it timed out pretty well and can reasonably be out of the house within an hour, however, any hiccup could seriously derail me. Once I get home, it’s nurse again, then playtime, dinner, baths and bedtime. This 2 to 3 hour period is generally pure chaos. Last night, I intercepted B coloring on the walls with crayon, all I can say is thank God for washable paint! Someone is generally crying or angry at any moment, but we are getting better. I have successfully gotten both boys to bed by 7(ish) clean and fed, which is really all one can hope for. Then, I get all the chores done for the day and take a few short moments to watch TV or read before I fall asleep (if I make it to 9:30, it’s a win!).

At work, I am settling back into all the mess of a million emails and trying to catch up on all that has changed. We have some big events coming up that have kept me very busy to make sure I’m not the dodo. I have hit the gym 2 out of 3 days so far with the plan to get back there on Thursday and Friday. One bonus of J’s return is the supreme motivation to not look busted on the pier, so I have been highly focused on weight loss. I am hoping to be more or less caught up by the end of the week.

One of the most significant changes at work has been pumping. I drag in my pump every day and have had great success so far. I do three pumps a day, which matches up to T’s eating schedule at home. I don’t feel like my supply has lessened at all and it’s actually nice to not have someone hanging on me every 3 hours. I have to admit, it hasn’t been the horrible experience that I was expecting.

So, 3 days in, we are surviving. Only 33 days to go until Dad comes home to change all the diapers, clean up all the messes and give Mom a break!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Back to Working Mom

The last few weeks have been a blur and now I find myself one week away from returning to work full time. It seems that 6 weeks has flown by and I simply am not ready. I mean, technically, I am ready. I have a freezer stocked with pumped milk, T will willing take bottles, the nanny has been here getting settled into her own schedule with the boys. But, I’m not ready to leave them yet. With B, I was at home for nearly 6 months (I was in school, never gone for more than a few hours at a time) before I had to go back to real work. This time, 6 weeks! This is compounded by the fact that I got my next assignment last week and it’s going to be tough and it’s back at sea. Like, mega tough, if I make it home while in port, that’s a win for the day.

At the same time, I am kind of ready to go back to work. I miss being intellectually challenged beyond block building and car racing. I miss not having to hear constant crying from multiple children. Most of all, I want a break from changing diapers. I enjoy my work for the break that it gives me, I know that I am a better parent not staying home.

But, it isn’t a good feeling to place your 6 week old in someone else’s arms and walk away from them. Last time, I felt more ready. B was stronger and more established. I didn’t check his breathing constantly while sleeping, I didn’t worry about how much food he was getting because he was already so solid. To me, T just doesn’t seem sturdy enough yet for me to head out. But, go back to work, I must. I’ll just have to enjoy these last few days at home all the more.