Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My kids aren't sleeping through the night and are waking up well before 6 am. And I am not dealing with it well. If each child wakes up 2 times per night (juliet- asking for milk, audrey- some recurring stomach/diarrhea issues), that doesn't sound so bad. But when combined, I am waking up 4x per night and not getting more than 2 hours of consecutive sleep. My body aches from the tiredness and my mind hurts, too. The lack of sleep is BY FAR the hardes part of parenting young children, for me. I just want to sleep. Oh, and being pregnant and growing another human being doesn't help either. I am so tired.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fake it til you make it

So much of parenting for me has been a constant process of learning, then re-learning, then un-learning, then learning the same thing all over again.

It's an unending stream of daily choices, and of re-evaluating my approach toward my children, tweaking it ever so gently to fit our family right. Am I being too soft? too stern? pushing too hard? not enough?

Parenting Audrey lately has come pretty naturally lately. It's my second time around, after all, so my feet feel a bit more firmly planted in how I want to mother a young toddler.

But for Juliet, here are a couple of the things I've been figuring out. It's probably a boring read to anyone but myself, but these are the things that occupy my mind these days. I am literally losing brain cells by the day between and I can't even tell you the name of Mitt Romney's running mate (seriously.) but every single detail of my childrens' well being runs through my mind day and night, such as:

Preschool: Juliet is in preschool 1 day per week, for 4 hours. The goal for me, was that she would enjoy the socialization and learn some of the structure of a classroom, while also allowing me a short time per week to "only" have one child to care for. I thought that this would come especially helpful once the new baby is born, so it would be best to start now and get her accustomed.

Well, I am just not sure if I've made the right decision. She cries so hard and desperately at drop-off every single time. This morning, all she could say in the car was, "Me want to go home. No school." It's heartbreaking. Her teacher assures me that the hysterics don't last long and then she enjoys the rest of the day. And sure enough, when I come pick her up, she is peacefully playing and following the teacher. So I wonder now, should I have waited to put her in? Or should I put her in 2 days per week instead of just 1, so it's not "new" every single week? Or should I just let it be? I want her to thrive in her environment. And I don't want to force the preschool atmosphere before she is ready (even if the other kids her age may be).

So there's that.

And then there's our milk fiasco.

Operation 'No More Milk': Juliet's comfort item is milk. And I have allowed that, and possibly even encouraged it. She goes to sleep with a sippy cup full of milk even though I really have always known that wasn't a good idea (dentally speaking, at least). Well, her sleeping habits in the last two months have gone from great to crap. Juliet has slept through the night since before she was 1 year old, unless she was very sick/teething. Well, lately she has been waking about 3 times per night and insisting on having her milk to go back to bed. If she gets the milk, she goes back to sleep. The trouble is that she has been drinking over 48 ounces of milk per day with this routine (24-32 during day, 16-24 during night). Whether the milk is organic or not, this is simply just too much milk.

So last night I began my Operation. When she went to bed, I gently reminded her that we don't drink milk at night anymore. She nodded sweetly. And then when she woke at midnight, and asked for her milk.  Long story short- the night was a nightmare. She was awake from midnight until 3 am, in absolute hysterics over the lack of milk. When she gave up asking for milk, she obsessively turned on her lights and asked to watch cartoons (at 2 in the morning! that's a new one for us). After a couple hours, I unscrewed all her lightbulbs. She eventually cried herself to sleep.

I feel so unsettled about this whole thing. I truly don't know the right way to handle it, and it's hard being the mean mom who's frantically unscrewing lightbulbs at 2 in the morning while her daughter clutches her leg and wails for milk. It just sucks.

I asked my Internet 'mom friends' and everyone has their own opinion. But in the end, I'm her mom, and I'm supposed to know best. But sometimes I don't know what that means, exactly. And I guess that's what being a parent is all about, right?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It's a Boy!

Our family will be welcoming a baby boy around March 4! I have been so remiss about blogging about this wondrous news and it feels a bit silly to recount it all again after it's been known for quite awhile, but for the sake of continuity for this blog, here's a bit of what's happening with my pregnancy journey with baby #3.

A baby boy is going to be such an exciting addition to our family. My mom's family has not welcomed a baby boy into the family for nearly 20 years! I have a feeling this little boy is going to be treated like a king.

I am nearly 20 weeks now and enjoying that sweet spot of pregnancy where the sickness is gone and my energy is returning. The first trimester was pretty rough and I survived by taking B6 and Unisom to quell the nausea. I started coming out of that fog around 15 weeks and am feeling good now.

I am making it a goal and a priority to exercise throughout this pregnancy, and it seems to be helping with my mood and energy levels. I am pretty obsessed with Stroller Strides at this point and hoping and anticipating that I can continue until the end. I'm still running and doing most of the resistance work except for the ab work, since my stupid hernia hurts like heck already. That stupid hernia is one of the worst parts of pregnancy for me.

Emotionally, I've been see sawing a little bit. Mostly good and enjoying our family in this special phase of life, but so very tired much of the time and sometimes feel overwhelmed by the endless tasks required as a mommy of a 2 year old and a 1 year old. Every day is long and full and I'm ready to collapse into bed soon after the girls are both tucked in!

Despite the continuous exhaustion, I am reminded every single day of how lucky and blessed I am to have a healthy, happy family. Some reminders lately have come like a slap in the face- the recent death of our dear friend' 5 year old son has been one of those huge, in-your-face moments that reminds Gary and I to hug our babies tight and never, ever take these precious moments with our young children for granted. We are on this earth for a short, precious time and I am determined to remember that and enjoy this beautiful journey.
Surprise cupcakes with my family to find out the baby's sex!

It's a BOY!! (notice the blue frosting)

17 weeks