Parenting


Wow … seven months since my last post. I’ve been a bad, bad blogger of late.

It’s not that I haven’t thought about it. Or haven’t missed it. I have and I have. It’s just that I can barely seem to find the time these days to brush my teeth (kidding), let alone use a keyboard for more than a 3 minute span.

I think I may be too old for this motherhood thing. I certainly feel old.

My little lady is now 10 months old. She’s a really, really easy baby so I have nothing to complain about. I guess the bottom line is that I am missing me time. A friend was telling me about her weekend this morning and – with the non-stop rain we had on Saturday, she just hung out on her sofa in her pj’s and watched tv all day. A nice, lazy day of lounge. I miss those days.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids and I love being a mom. It’s just that I miss the ability to do whatever I want, when I want, how I want, with whom I want, with no one depending on me for their well-being.

Lately I’ve been dreading the weekends. The pressure to have “plans” so that V doesn’t get bored hanging around the house is enough to send me in to a tail spin. And even if we hang around the house, we still have to have “stuff” to do so the tv doesn’t become the babysitter. But why is it me that has to make the “plans” and select the “stuff”? Where’s The Husband in all of this?

The Husband and I try to each get out with our friends one night a week – but more often than not, I stay home all week with the kids because I feel guilty going out (and frankly, am too tired) after working all day. Last week was a bit unusual in that The Husband had plans Wednesday night, Friday night and Saturday. Come Sunday, I really wanted to get out of the house. By. Myself. And do some grocery shopping, errands. etc. But for some reason, The Husband really wanted to join me. With the kids, which meant zero alone time for me.

While we were shopping, I received a phone call from the mom of one of V’s former pre-schoolmates inviting us to former pre-schoolmates’ birthday party. In two hours. This was one of V’s bestest friends, so we cut our errands short, went home, grabbed our socks and headed to the bounce house place. But not before dropping off The Husband. You see, he had “stuff” to do at the house. And when his response to my suggestion that he take care of the little lady while I took V to the party was a huge SIGH, I took that as a sign and took her with us to the party.

Big mistake.

Somewhere along the line V has developed a shyness. He didn’t know any of the other kids at the party, and hadn’t seen his friend in more than a month, so he was stuck at my hip. And he was too frightened to go on the bounce house thingies without me. But with a ten-month old stuck on my hip – and knowing no other parents there that could help me – I was unable to join V to help him feel more comfortable.

Enter: meltdown.

After 15 minutes of trying to calm him down, I finally just packed up and left. Both V and I were in tears the entire drive home. His tears were because I made him leave the party. Mine were because I was done. Finished. Over. Finito. I needed an immediate break from parental responsibility.

I walked in the house, handed over the kids, ran to my bedroom, shut the door and stayed there for nearly two and a half hours. Me time. And thankfully, no one bothered me.

Six weeks ago today, my little girl was born. It really does feel like it was just yesterday. And I know I’ll be saying the same thing while I help her plan her wedding. Unless, of course, she takes after her mother and elopes.

I don’t enjoy the infant stage. There. I said it. I’m actually comfortable saying it. It is what it is. I love my children with a love I’ve never before experienced. A deep, joyful, painful, sweet, amazing, terrifying kind of love. But I don’t love the infant stage. I’m doing a bit better with it this time around because I now know the payoff. And I also know that in the grand scheme of things, the infant stage of things lasts such a short period of time. Time flies.

I must also admit that I’m struggling with taking care of two kids. I feel a little embarrased to admit that because there are millions upon millions of moms that have raised not only two, but many more than two children and survived. Even look back upon it with great joy. And they did it without any help – back in the day when dad’s were mere providers and never changed a diaper. My own mother-in-law raised seven.

I have a husband who is a tremendous help. I have family that comes to help. Friends that help. Yet I still feel like I’m drowning sometimes. Perhaps it’s a hormonal thing that will improve once my system returns to normal? I certainly hope so. Or perhaps it’s because I’m old and set in my ways, thus less flexible to the demands of parenting. I’ve noticed this trait in loved ones – especially my dad. The older he gets, the less flexible he is – even unwilling to spend an evening in his favorite city, San Francisco, because of the traffic, the crowds and the complicated parking.

If I’m struggling this much with an infant who is fairly predictable and easy – how in the world will I manage when I have an active four year old coupled with an active toddler? Oi.

I will manage. I will survive. And I will benefit greatly. I know this … I’m just trying to patiently wait for time to fly right on through the infant stage.

This posting will likely make little sense, will surely jump around aimlessly from topic to topic, and more than likely will be posted before it’s actually finished. You see, there’s very little I can finish these days – other than feedings and diaper changes.

I realize I’m likely preaching to the choir here – but I seriously don’t remember it being this difficult with the first child. This all-consuming. This exhausting. Of course, I didn’t already have a child when V was born. Now there’s two little ones wanting and needing my attention. All of my attention. All of the time.

More wine, please.

A perfect example … I started typing this over 1/2 hour ago and look how far I’ve gotten. How foolish of me to think I could steal ten minutes of me-time. I did get a shower today – albeit no time for shaving the legs – it’s too bad I’m past my hippie stage. But a shower and computer time? No way, baby … not uninterrupted, anyhow.

Subject change. Let’s talk about push presents. I don’t know how I missed out on this with my first child – but I certainly worked it with the birth of SOF. When some good friends of ours had their first child back in May, they asked my Husband what he got me for a push present when I had V. Answer? Nothing … he’d never heard about the push present. So when the Husband asked me why I never told him about the “tradition”, I told him not to worry as he now had his chance to make it up to me!!

Here’s the link to Betty, Push Present #1. Mine’s the black and pink one. And she’s purrty!!

And here’s Push Present #2. Me-ow!

CF Shoe

When I drop V off at pre-school, I always stay and hang out with him until he’s completely comfortable and tells me I can leave. It’s important to me that he never feels like I just drop him and go.

Most mornings, I sit down while he sets his table, grabs some breakfast and then we chat while he eats. Not long in to his meal he decides he’s comfortable and tells me to have a good day at work. My little man just melts my heart.

This morning while trying to decide where to sit for breakfast (each small table only sits 2-4 kids) V eagerly and excitedly said hello to Diego, a little boy with whom he typically runs around with while at school. Scowling, Diego responded by telling V “you’re not my friend”. The mom in me came out quickly, and I informed Diego that that wasn’t a very nice thing to say.

I held my breath for a moment. V didn’t seem bothered – he just kept walking, trying to decide where to sit and eat his yogurt. After finally selecting a spot, he sat down his place mat, his spoon and his yogurt and looked up to me with the saddest eyes.

“Nobody wants to be my friend, Mama”

“That’s not true V. I’m your friend!”, I said while trying not to make a big deal out of it

“But I want kid friends!” he informed me.

My heart broke. While we all know Diego was just being a kid – and V has certainly said these same words to other kids – it still broke my heart just a little.

Just then, Eva came bouncing up to V and started a conversation that made him forget all about Diego.

If my heart gets this heavy over a little pre-school banter, then I think I’m in big trouble when middle school and high school comes around …

This post is going to be about random and odd things floating around in my head right now – so be prepared.

First off, thank you to all you who have given name suggestions! I, too, love the name Olivia – but two of my longest and closest friends have daughters named Olivia, so no go with that.

I’ve shared these suggestions with the Husband – and although we love, love most of the suggestions, quite a few won’t work for a variety or reasons – most of which have to do with siblings, cousins, and kids of close friends using the same names!! But the names we’ve now added to our list, thanks to all of you, include Francesca and Nadia! We’ll see …

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On the way home from pre-school yesterday – out of the clear blue sky – V asked me a question and I was stumped. The question? How do cats laugh? I can honestly say I’ve never, ever thought about that.

Struggling to find an answer that wouldn’t lead us in to the game of “WHY?”, I gave up and threw the question right back at him. He giggled, made a darling little high-pitched noise that sounded like “mmmmm” and then promptly changed the subject … to breast feeding.

My lucky day!

He wanted to know why babies suck on their mommies. Oi. He’s three, I’m thinking. How the hell am I going to tackle this one? But as luck would have it, I didn’t have to. He was quickly distracted by some construction going on by our home and forgot all about his question.

Thank you, dear construction men. You all deserve big raises.

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This Friday I am in charge of our annual team building event at work and I have to tell you, I’m so excited I think of little else! We always keep it a secret from the staff, telling them only what time to arrive at work and how to dress.

This year, we’re doing the Amazing Race. We have five teams of six and each team will have to complete five tasks. We have them running all over town to several parks, and our local minor league baseball stadium, finishing with lunch and an awards ceremony at a local brewery. Can not wait!!!

That’s all for now from the land of Chaos … I’ve got a ton to do, so I’d better get doin’!

Yesterday was our 2nd attempt at an amnio. The first attempt didn’t actually happen because my amniotic sac was not yet completely fused.

I took the earliest appointment they offered with the hopes that I wouldn’t have to wait over an hour with a full bladder, like I did last time. I went in with a plan. As soon as the lady behind the window asked me for my co-pay, I’d start drinking the 16oz of water that they asked me to bring with me. That was my plan – and I’m sure you can guess, it didn’t work.

The appointment was at 8:00am. To my surprise, the waiting room was already packed when I arrived. I sat down and began mentally preparing myself for another hour wait. Rather than start drinking the water when asked for my co-pay, I thought, I’d start drinking it after sitting in the waiting room for 20 minutes. Just in case. But before I knew it, the door opened up and they called my name! Before everyone else that was already sitting there when I had arrived … and before I had even been asked for my co-pay!!

A small amount of panic began to set in because I hadn’t even opened my bottle of water yet – and my bladder was completely empty.But guess what? They were still able to do the ultrasound anyways. I was too caught up in everything to think about asking why, then, do they want us to be incredibly uncomfortable with a full bladder if they don’t really need a full bladder??? Hmmmm???

Anyway – the amnio went smoothly with only a very mild amount of cramping. I followed directions like a good girl and sat on the sofa all day, reading, napping and watching horrible daytime TV. And, we did find out what we’re having.

A girl.

The Husband and I both cried. His were tears of joy. Mine were tears of terror.

Because he’s been obessed with picking a name, we spent the better part of the evening discussing options. And I’m at a loss. Our last name is very Italian, so our first preference would be to have an Italian name – or at the very least a name that sounds great with an Italian surname. Here’s where we are so far …

The no’s include Isabella (because we have a dog named Bella), Gabrielle (because the Husband can’t stand the nickname Gabi), Audrey, and Juliana.

When we were pregnant with V and didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl, we picked Sofia for our girls name. I love that name still – but I’m starting to question if perhaps it is becoming too common? Other girl name considerations right now include Adeline (named after a great aunt) and Victoria.

So, now it’s your turn. Suggestions? Anyone? Anyone?

Tuesday night, at the height of the emotional drama that has been going on in the previous 24 hours, I found myself at home … just V and I. The Husband is taking a class on Tuesday nights, so he was not home. And I was an emotional wreck.

I am known to have fairly good control of my emotions and can usually put off an impending break down until after V goes to bed. He knows when mommy is sad, but he’s never witnessed an endless river-of-tears kind of break down from me. Until Tuesday night.

When I started to feel the flood gates open, I went in to the bathroom to be alone in hopes of being able to get it all out of my system. I must have been in there too long because my tears were interrupted by a small little knock on the door. “Mommy?”

I regained as much composure as I could muster and went in to the living room with him, but not 30 seconds later and I was bawling like a baby once again. I was afraid of how V would react, but it wasn’t something I could stop. I didn’t expect the reaction I got.

He first asked me why I was sad. I told him that mommy couldn’t talk about it right now but he just needed to know that it had nothing to do with him. I hugged him tightly, showered him with kisses, and kept crying. He crawled under a blanket on the sofa and didn’t make a peep. He wouldn’t eat dinner, and much earlier than his normal bedtime, he told me he wanted to go upstairs and go to bed.

My first thought was that my poor child must be fighting a cold. I asked him if he was feeling okay, and he said no – but he couldn’t tell me what was wrong. He didn’t want a bath, didn’t want bedtime stories – which normally would have had me really, really worried but being that I could barely function myself, I didn’t argue. We put him in his jammies, laid down together on the bed and said a prayer. When I got up to leave the room, there was none of the usual attempt at negotiation, no pleads to have me stay a little bit longer. I was simultaneously shocked and grateful.

Yesterday was much better for me, emotionally – and last night I felt like I had to make it up to V by being the world’s funnest (I know, it’s not a real word) mom. We had a fantastic evening together –but there was something a bit different about last night. My son wouldn’t leave my side. He followed me everywhere I went – to change clothes, to use the bathroom, to make dinner, to get the mail – everywhere. I’m sure it was a result of the night before, so I welcomed the attention and showered him with love. It was, I believe, the first time my little man has ever truly experienced worry in his life.

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