Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tidbits

It's difficult to blog as much as I would like to. The evenings after the girls are in bed is usually my blogging time...but lately that's also when Lily is most fussy and I'm holding, nursing, shushing, rocking, swaying, bouncing, burping and doing whatever else it takes to make her happy. I'm up later than I should be tonight and Bean is holding her (she's asleep!) so here are some tidbits.

Yes...I've decided to just call the baby Lily on my blog. The other girls go by nicknames--partially for anonymity, partially because they have somewhat uncommon names and I am rather possessive of them! But Lily is just Lily...

Miss Rose is on round 2 of antibiotics for a nasty sinus infection. When the girls had sinus infections at Christmas time, Gracie needed two rounds--this time it's Miss Rose's turn. The first antibiotic she was on seems to have caused an allergic reaction and we've been fighting hives for over a week now.

And the sickness just never ends! Lily has had a cold for at least 3 weeks. Last week I took her in and the dr. felt like it would probably work itself through but gave me some guidelines for monitoring her. She developed a fever this afternoon--so into Urgent Care we went. The diagnosis is an ear infection and antibiotics. I feel terrible that my 9-week old is having her first introduction to antibiotics, but I guess that's what happens when you have two older sisters. Unfortunately I know a few families who are fighting illness after illness like we are.

The 30-Day Shred starts tomorrow! I'm scared and excited. I think it's majorly going to kick my behind...but I thrive on being sore from exercise. I just hope my pregnancy-weakened back holds up. Of course I would choose a Wednesday--my busiest day--to start. Which means I must drag myself out of bed at 5:30am to make sure I fit it in.

Life with three kids still continues to challenge us. Nights are a whirlwind. When I got home from Urgent Care tonight Bean said "I got a taste of your life tonight, and it's hard!" Our top priority is being good parents--which means some of the other things slide, and that's what we are having to get used to. Bean and I are typical oldest children who like our ducks in a row. But we're lucky if all the ducks (the children and other things of life) are just in our line of vision.

I can't believe Lily is already two months old. And Gracie turns 2 on Sunday. Next week I'll make sure to share some new photos.

Life is zooming by.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Can we get that "to go" please?

Apparently we STILL haven't learned the limitations of three small children. You'd think after the Costco and picture fiascos--I'd know to just stay home where the craziness can be contained.

But oh no, when Miss Rose requested a dinner out last night, and we had a coupon to a sit-down pizza place, we were blinded by our fatigue at the end of a week and the thought of someone serving us and cleaning up after us. We piled the kids in the minivan and headed to Sammy's Woodfired Pizza.

I must preface this story with the fact that LC has had a difficult week. It seems mostly digestive and I'll be talking to the dr. next week about reflux and the possibility that she needs medication. I am not a fan of medicating such a small baby, but the girl has been miserable. Long periods of inconsolable crying and obvious pain. Even though she's been going to the chiropractor and even though I've been adjusting my diet.

It seemed that LC fell asleep in the car. Well, she did. And she stayed asleep as we were seated and ordered. Miss Rose, who wanted to go in the first place, became impatient for her food. Gracie wanted to sit with me rather than in the highchair.

The baby woke...and was once again inconsolable. Bean took her outside to walk and hopefully calm her while I wrangled the other girls. He returned not long after, and LC was still crying. He says it was 20 minutes later. I guess the time flew as I drew pictures with Gracie, had Miss Rose write the alphabet, retrieved dropped crayons and the like.

LC calmed for a bit in my arms, but it didn't last. So it was my turn to go outside. Meanwhile Miss Rose spilled her Sprite and Gracie was yelling for me. I could hear her through the glass door calling "Mommy." I went back inside and the decision was quickly made to just get our food to go.

Gracie, LC and I went to the van while Bean and Miss Rose waited a few more minutes for the food to be packaged up. I will say, in spite of it all, we remained rather calm and were able to laugh as we drove home.

Apparantly you shouldn't venture to an actual restaurant with three small children, especially a new baby who is having tummy problems. We won't be making that mistake again for a long time. We'll stick to Rubios and Pick Up Stix for our dinners "out" and even then, we'll probably eat it at home.

So, we've joined the ranks of those with crying, out of control children who had to leave a restaurant. At least most of it was a baby who can't help herself yet. It's still pretty funny though.

Here's to hoping I WON'T have a similar story next week. I WILL learn my lesson!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Praying...

Prayers for Stellan


This is just one family's journey that happens to be very public. Just think of how many other families are walking through similar shadowed valley's. Each time I check for an update and pray for Stellen, I say a pray for all the sick babies and children in this world and their families.



Won't you be so glad when we all join together in that wonderful place where there are no more tears? I certainly can't wait.



Hug your little ones and kiss your babies. We are blessed.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Bit of a Bust

I will admit that I haven't gotten very good at planning things that involve three children. I don't seem to allot enough time or always think through. I guess I still think I have two children!!

Friday, I had a distastrous few hours. We were in desparate need of diapers and wipes. I decided to make a quick trip to Costco before I picked Miss Rose up from school. By the time I picked up a few snack items, diapers and wipes and made my way to the front, everyone in the city had decided to check out at Costco at 11am on a Friday morning. Every line was at least 4 carts deep and the carts were full. There was no way I was going to make it out of there in time to pick up Miss Rose.

I had already given Gracie a snack bar from a box I was purchasing. So I HAD to pay. LC was screaming and in my arms, Gracie was in the cart--yelling or singing, which are her favorite things to do in stores lately. People were looking at me with such sympathy and a few even offered to let me go ahead of them--bless their hearts! I found a manager who agreed to save my cart so I could return for my purchases.

Rushed to pick up Miss Rose, returned to Costco where I had to nurse LC in the parking lot while the girls watched a DVD in the minvan. (I never really wanted a DVD player in our van, but I do admit there have been several times it's come in very handy, though I do limit it's use.) Made our purchases, and headed to the food court for lunch because it was getting late. I was so fried after all that!!

Today I attempted to get portraits taken of the kids. Miss Rose just turned 5, Gracie turns 2 in a few weeks and I love newborn photos. LC was not cooperating. The big girls did well on their own, but due to LC's crying and the girls losing their attention span--the photos I wanted of the three of them didn't turn out. Nor did the photos of the three girls and I. All my makeup and hair-fixing for nothing!

I settled for a portrait enhancement featuring an individual photo of each girl with a nice border. I guess I'll be going back in a month or two when LC will be more comfortable laying in the various poses.

Did I mention Miss Rose and Gracie running around like crazy hyenas while we tried to get LC's photos done? The photographer suggested I nurse her for a bit to see if she would calm down--meanwhile Gracie was jetting toward the escalator at full speed. For a 2-yr old, she can run pretty fast. The photographer chased her down for me. I'm pretty sure I was providing birth control to all who were observing the circus.

But it's my circus, and I love it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Reunited and it feels so good (mostly)

No, I'm not talking about that.

I'm talking about running. I actually ran 3 times last week! My doctor said I could start back to exercising again, so you know I jumped on that train fast! I started walking a few miles at a time about three weeks after my c-section. Just trying to keep my body moving and limber.

My runs were just 30 minutes or so. But that was enough! I can definately tell I haven't run in about 8 weeks. But I ran 3 miles in about 35min. at the lake last week, which isn't bad considering. I did some intervals (run 2min, walk 1min) the last half of that 3 miles.

I still absolutely love running, but I have a new appreciation for it. I understand again why some people don't care for it, or have trouble staying motivated. It's HARD when your body isn't used to it. Mentally it felt great for me, but my body screamed at me a bit. I was surprised at how sore my legs were after just a few miles.

It's also amazing to be able to go out my front door and go for a neighborhood run. Our former home was in a hilly, unsafe area--so I always had to drive to the lake to run. Yesterday I had a 30 minute window to exercise and I just walked out the door, ran for 30 minutes and was home (greeted by a crying baby who woke early to eat!) The lake is just a 10min drive, so I'll still run there. But in a pinch, the neighborhood will do.

Now I just need a new Nano so I can use my Nike+ I recieved for Christmas. Of course the iPod decided to start malfunctioning around the same time. Come on tax return!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Back to Work

Obviously I've been a bit absent this past week. It was my first week back to my full work schedule. It actually went really well--but didn't leave much blogging time. Which is a shame because I have some great material.

Although it was a full week and tiring at times, I confirmed that I thrive on routine. Hmmm...that must be why my kids have routines and don't do well when we deviate! My state of mind was much better this past week and my fatigue levels weren't as high. I didn't really miss taking naps.

Baby LC was pretty well behaved with Mama at work. Although I don't think she'll spend 6 months with me at work like Gracie did, I think we can hang for several more weeks--which means the world to me. A huge blessing is for the first time I'm actually able to pump more than she needs in a bottle right now. She's getting a few bottles of Mama's milk each week as there are times I have meetings and a bottle feeding is more appropriate--or my busy Sunday mornings. I've been a rather poor pumper with the other girls. I usually had to pump twice to get enough for one bottle. I didn't start pumping quite as soon with them, so I hope my supply is getting established and I can continue the trend. I'm trying to get a stash in the freezer for when LC isn't with me.

The big girls (I can't believe I have to consider Gracie a "big" girl) have sinus infections and are on antibiotics. I learned something interesting from my pediatrician. Infants don't develop sinuses until after three months and it's very rare for a newborn to get this sort of infection because she still has my antibodies. I wonder if I could get a 5yr old and a 2yr old to use a Neti pot.

I have been cleared to start exercising--whoo hoo!! I've been out (in my new neighborhood!) for a few short runs. I can definately tell I haven't run in two months, but it felt so good to be out there. I think this weekend I may try for a 4-miler.

Dairy is no longer a part of my diet :( LC is doing much better since I've eliminated it. I'm finding it challenging to eat enough calories from healthful foods. At the end of the night tonight I needed at least 500 more calories. I settled for a bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar. I miss ice cream!!

We are excited that Bean's schedule at his 2nd job has changed. He's only working Friday and Sunday nights for longer shifts. It's going to make a huge difference to have him home all the weeknights.

Maybe I'll have more blogging time with him home!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sunrise, Sunset

Do you remember the movie, Fiddler on the Roof? I'm sure we've all seen it or parts of it. Probably the most well-known song from the movie is "Sunrise, Sunset" where parents sing about their children who are now grown up and it seems like just yesterday they were little. I really only know one line from the song--actually just part of a song, "Is this the little girl I used to..." I don't know the rest.

But I look at Miss Rose and think--is this the little girl I used to dress cute and dream of her playing dolls and house just like I did? Granted yes--she's grown a lot in 5 years--she's Amazon Child, remember? She was only "little" for about 6 months!

What I didn't expect was for her to so whole-heartedly embrace a tomboy status. I'm the first to admit I'm NOT a girly-girl, nor do I treat my daughters that way. Sometimes I think maybe that's why God gave me daughters to raise. He knew I would raise them with balance, to be realistic and not over-emotional or dramatic. Or at least I would attempt to. I do "cute" but not frilly with my girls.

A friend at church yesterday commented that Gracie was so "girly" and Miss Rose was so "not"!

Somehow, Miss Rose has taken this to the extreme. Until she was about 4, I could pick out her clothes each day and her Sunday dresses. She didn't have much of an opinion. This past summer she developed an opinion. Shorts and tank tops are the wardrobe of choice...regardless of the weather. Miss Rose detests jeans. She'd much rather wear "comfy" pants with elastic waistbands.

Sundays are a HUGE fight in our house. I don't want to make her wear "church clothes" every week. I figure that would only make her fight me more and for longer. But I do insist upon nice clothes--not play clothes. Sometimes I commit the crime of insisting on jeans. (She has the CUTEST pair from the GAP outlet. I think it's a crime she won't wear them more often).

Oh, and don't even think about doing anything with her hair. Miss Rose has beautiful (albeit a bit crazy) long, curly hair. She consents to a daily spritzing of water and gel to calm it down. But again, barrettes and rubber bands are fuel for an argument. Although I do insist upon it once or twice a week. I've gotta remind her who is in charge, right?

I was a tomboy, partially because my brother was just 18 months younger and my constant playmate. I loved my baby dolls though! I would make my brother play baby dolls for a while, then I'd go outside and get dirty with him. Although I was a tomboy, I loved dressing up for church on Sundays. I do not remember being adamant about nothing girl like Miss Rose.

We must ask for the Boy Happy Meal at McD's. And any stickers or character band-aids or themed toys must be Spiderman or Batman. Bike helmet--black please. Her favorite pasttime lately--shooting dart shotguns with our 9-yr old neighbor. Thanks to her Uncle for getting her the dart double barrel shotgun for Christmas.

I know that she will grow out of it. Last summer she was wearing just her underware almost every day (that combined with her crazy hair = the "Mowgli" nickname bestoyed by one of her aunts) and now she is VERY private. So things do change. At least I have two other girls to dress cute for church. I have at least a good 3-4 years before ALL of them have their own opinions!

Cick photo to view slideshow!
Miss Rose!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Will every Wednesday be like this?

We ventured back to church last night as a family of 5. What an adventure. Seriously. If every Wednesday is like this, I think Bean and I may deconstruct one of these weeks!

The church serves a dinner before everything starts for $2/person--which makes going to church easier. After we ate dinner Bean took LC in the stroller to get our group ready. The girls took off with their cousins and uncle and I followed shortly after.

When I got to the children's wing...no Gracie.

Ran back over and searched all over...still no Gracie. Someone saw me looking and pointed me in the direction of the sound booth. Gracie had apparently gone to find a private place to take care of her business...as well as adjust some levels and push buttons.

Thought I lost my cell phone...Bean went on a hunt for it, only to find that it was still in the van.

Changed the diaper, got everyone situated. About halfway through our small group, LC began to fuss. Bean took her out so I could continue. Saw him through the large windows walking back and forth, he came in for a diaper. Found out he had one of the nursery workers change it (he can't usually get her diaper on again before she pee's everywhere!). LC was having none of it though.

Went to the nursery and fed LC. Got the kids. Who ran around like crazy with the cousins. Finally gathered the children, their artwork from class, a few baby gifts and other paraphenalia. Made our way to the van. LC was NOT happy to be in the carseat again. She's used to being home at that time of night having her individual time with us.

Wrangled all the kids in the van, LC screaming, Miss Rose and Gracie trying to talk over them. Also managed several conversations with people who wanted to chat. LC screamed most of the way home. Miss Rose was hungry, Gracie was her wild self.

I think we managed to get the girls in bed within 20min of arriving home, which is pretty good. But they were in bed over an hour past their normal bedtime.

Really? Seriously now folks. This is why families give up on going to church mid-week. But it's kind of my job...and I like my kids going to their clubs...so we will make it work. But it's sure to provide some good material for my blog!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Frustrated!

I try to keep a good attitude and not complain much. But sometimes things just stack up that are bugging me. So here are my frustrations as of late...

I'm frustrated!!

...I'm trying to watch what I'm eating, but the scale hasn't changed in more than a week. I guess I'm watching myself eat too much.

...I have issues with sugar. I like it too much. I need to fast it or something, but frankly I'm a nursing mom and I don't want to deprive myself right now. Plus--I'd rather learn self-control that I can use over the course of my life because I realistically will not give sugar up forever.

...My body constantly feels sore. My muscles ache. It's from carrying a baby, nursing a baby, doing dishes 3x a day because we don't have a dishwasher, sleeping with a baby in my bed, not exercising.

...I want to start exercising. I need to exercise. I need the endorphins.

...Some days I feel a bit of the baby blues. It's normal and just my hormones regulating. But me and emotions don't get alone well (which is why I'm the No Crying Mama). Hence why I want to exercise, for the endorphins, which will lift my spirits.

...I'm impatient with myself. I want to just go go go and get things done and continue to accomplish more on our home. There is still much to go through and get rid of and organize. But I'm not even 6 weeks past having a baby, by c-section. My energy levels just aren't back to normal. Which is okay. I just don't like it.

...I'm nervous about returning to work and having three children. I wouldn't change it for the world and I signed up for it. But I don't have to like it. I like my job, but I like my kids more. I want to be a minivan mom and join playgroups and go to the library and volunteer in classrooms and do fun stuff with my kids. It frustrates me that on my days off, I need to rest and recover from the craziness and there is a house to clean, laundry to fold, errands to run.

...Gracie has a hanging cold/cough/congestion--AGAIN. This girl gets sick and stays sick so much. I used to think it was because she was a petite little thing---but she's grown a lot lately and is looking much heartier. If it doesn't start to clear up, it's another $15 co-pay where I'm afraid they'll tell me it's viral and nothing they can do.

...LC has the same cold. Her nose isn't pouring like Gracie's, but poor little baby is cough and phlegmy. But of course she doesn't know how to clear it. She hacks and coughs and chokes and spits up mucous. Hers isn't too bad. But I'm watching her like a hawk to make sure she doesn't get RSV or have compromised breathing.

...I'm frustrated that I'm frustrated!

It will pass. It always does. Hopefully it's theraputic for me to put it out there. For every frustration I have, I can think of ways it could be worse. My problems are nothing compared to what some face on a daily basis. But some days I need to give myself permission to complain. So today, I have.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Adjustments for the Middle Child.

Want to know what it's like to have a toddler in the house when you bring home a new baby? Here it is in photos.




Look Mama, the baby's hospital hat can fit me too! (notice the baby blankets piled at my feet on the floor. They are fun to play with)









How exactly does Mama use this to feed the baby? I love buckles and it has one, so let me try. (Mama did not capture the moment on film where I was using the pillow and nursing the stuffed lamb from my belly button)










Maybe I can use it for something else. A backrest while reading perhaps.










Some days I just want to hide. Or at least play hide and go seek.








It seems like just yesterday I was cuddled up in a baby seat. Just one more sit in the bouncer won't hurt, right? All covered up too, just like baby sister.



Let me get out all the doll paraphenalia. Clearly I don't fit IN the doll cradle, so I'll just lean against it and pile blankets all around.








Then again...maybe I'm too old for this baby stuff. I'll check out big sister's bike helmet. And Mama, I know you are busy with the new baby, but can you please dress me in pants that aren't highwaters? These are getting a bit small.




Even if I am adjusting, even if I am the middle child now...
I'm still the CUTEST thing ever!







(BTW...I apologize for the non-uniform spacing of the photos. I can never seem to get the photos to do what I want them to in Blogger...and that one photo just won't post the right way.)














Sunday, March 1, 2009

No more guilt for Mama's

Can you tell I'm feeling better? I've been a blogging maniac!

You simply must read the poem on MckMama's site.

You won't feel so guilty about the dishes in your sink, the laundry to be folded or the floors to be cleaned.

I'm not feeling guilty about the hour and a half I've spent web-surfing, because LC was snuggled up against my waist laying on a pillow.