Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bringing in the big guns

Two posts in one day--wow, I must have a lot of free time on my hands. HAHA!! It's just a rare moment of quiet here, though I can hear Stella squeaking so my time is nearly up...

Now I have someone lined up to help with the housework. This took a battle with my conscience, feeling as though I should be doing it all. But this weekend when the big girls were away, I spent the ENTIRETY of my "free time" cleaning. Seriously. Didn't even watch a TV show. And that's freakin' ridiculous because the house is STILL NOT CLEAN.

My tub has not seen the likes of a scrub brush since B.S. (Before Stella) and I just avoid taking a bath rather than actually clean it. There's so many other pressing issues--we need to have clean dishes, clean clothes, and food to eat, so there just doesn't seem to be time for "EXTRAS" like cleaning a big tub when you have a perfectly good shower right next to it.

So it's time to call in the reinforcements. I'm sure it will be awkward at first, having someone else doing the cleaning in your own house. I just can't take living n the mess anymore...

I've been taking the girls to do stuff OUTSIDE of the house every day because being stuck at home is more stressful--I am just surrounded by constant reminders of how short I fall from getting it all together. So if taking 3 kids under 4 out on the town daily is less stressful than being at home, then it is time to admit defeat!!! I just cannot do it all, and paying for these services is paying for a little shred of my sanity back.

Time to bring in the big guns...or big mops!

Sleep? What's that?

So Easy Street just took a turn onto Rip Your Hair Out Boulevard.

I really had been amazed how much easier managing 3 on my own had been than previously dreaded. Now granted, I knew the dynamic would change as Stella got more awake/alert/mobile, etc.

But seemingly overnight, my little sweetie started showing signs of the dreaded ACID REFLUX that we dealt with when Audrey was an infant. Audrey's first year is a complete haze to me, as I spent most of it in a sleep-deprived coma. Of course, I hadn't even HEARD of acid reflux in infants with her so I let it go on for weeks and weeks before calling the doctor out of desperation. I figured that all babies cried and all babies woke up during the night, and I would look like a nut calling in to the doc to complain about that. I just didn't realize that what was going on over here was BEYOND the norm until I had already not slept for about a month. And then you just never catch up...

So Stella started up with some of the SAME stuff last weekend, and we went to the doc RIGHT AWAY. Get the drugs in that baby, stat! Because dealing with 3 at once was doable with a little fatigue from getting up multiple times at night. But getting a few hours of sleep spread out over 100 little incriments is making managing "the crew" downright painful. I swear--I have NO patience when I'm this pooped and have been "crazy mama" all week. Poor girls--I try to keep The Rage on a leash, but internally I feel like I'm going to LOSE IT!

Now we have Zantac, so I pray to God that this cures what ails the child. She was SO RIDICULOUSLY EASY and then overnight became Needy Nelda--and seems to be in pain a lot--so please, PLEASE let this work.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Little Mary Mixup

Where trouble goes, Audrey follows...

My little Audrey Rose is the sweetest child. She is always giving kisses and hugs and often gives up what she is playing with to appease her less-flexible big sis. I swear, it floors me when Amber starts to screech because Audrey has a toy that she wants and Audrey HANDS IT OVER. In the midst of me telling Amber to wait her turn, Audrey just gives in to her. Hmm... maybe Audrey and I need to get on the same page when it comes to disciplining her big sis...

But my little Audrey Rose is also the queen of getting dirty and getting into things she shouldn't. I like to call her my little "Pigpen." I can be a mere two feet from the child and she gets into something RIGHT BEFORE MY EYES--something I didn't prevent because I NEVER THOUGHT SHE'D DO THAT!!

For example, while I was standing in the same room, she took a plastic chair and put it on the trampoline--and then proceeded to climb atop the whole mess. Never in my mind did I think she'd even COME UP with that, but that's Pigpen for you..

I have had to come up with a "BAN LIST" of things that Audrey is not allowed to have--a list that is constantly being updated. Of course, this doesn't include the OBVIOUS things she shouldn't have--like weapons and matches--but the "harmless" stuff she's made a colossal mess with.


1. Shredded cheese: Both girls adore cheese, and the shredded variety is probably the favorite. And if they sat and ate it at the table with a spoon, I wouldn't even mind that much. But Audrey likes to eat hers like she's taking a shot, and inevitably, half the cheese ends up all over the floor/table/dog/etc. When I had to scrape smashed cheese off the top of my sofa, this became the start of the ban list.

2. Fruity Pebbles (or similar cereals): Never again will I make the mistake of buying this cereal with its itsy bitsy pieces. She does to this what she does with shredded cheese. I hate walking across the kitchen and crunching.

3. Markers: I put these on the list a while ago, but became a softie and let her use them again recently. Then she totally took advantage and colored the entirety of her outer ears, face, scalp, and neck while I was feeding the baby on the sofa (and daddy was supposed to be supervising.) I don't know how she even got a marker that far into her ear, but it required several dampened Q-tips to get most of it out. Thank God we didn't have a doctor's appointment in the next couple of days.

4. Phones/iPod/remotes: Probably no explanation needed here. But she LOVES to take the batteries out of stuff and then attempt to put them back. And get mad when she can't. Not to mention I don't want the police showing up at my house for an inadvertent 911 call.

5. Non spill proof bubbles: I didn't realize the need for this one till this morning when she took a whole bottle of bubbles and dumped them out on the porch. And then walked through them and slipped and hit her head. Again this happened while feeding the baby and she was out of arm's reach. Then a few minutes later she got her sister's and dumped it on her legs, rubbing it in like massage oil.

I am sure there will be many updates to this list. Close contenders at this point are rocks and sand, which she continues to mouth and/or eat, but I hate to ban her from the sandbox. Just yet, anyway...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mall Meltdown

Well, the inevitable happened--our first public meltdown. I knew this day would come, so now I know we'll all survive the next time and be able to look back and laugh. One day. Maybe.

I decided to take the girls to the play area at the mall--our first "fun" outing with me + 3. I had taken them all with me to Stella's weight check at the pediatrician's office... but figured this would be a "step up" in the bravery dept. I thought the mall play area would be good because it was somewhat confined, but I'd still have to manage the getting everyone to and from the car without being run over, abducted, or any of my other great fears I have.

They did great! The "Dynamic Duo" played together and with the other kids so sweetly that I decided it would be alright if we also took a ride on the mall train. Unfortunately, the "loading dock" is on the other side of the mall by the food court, but we had nothing but time. It took us quite a while to get there, as the Duo was on foot with baby in stroller, but train ride went swimmingly as well. Everyone was in such a good mood, I decided to ALSO brave getting lunch at Chick Fil A. At this point, we were pushing naptime, and in hindsight, we should have gotten food to go. But instead we ate there, and then I got a couple little cookies for them to eat on the way home.

And I got a big case of premature excitation. In my mind, we were home free! We did all those things with NO meltdowns and were heading back to the car. This was beautiful. Why was I so worried?

WELL... when we got about halfway back to the car, Audrey got tired and sat down. No problem--I just picked her up with one arm and pushed the stroller with the other. We were seriously about 50 ft from the door when Amber declares she is too tired to walk any further and wants to be carried as well. Hmm... perhaps if mom was an octopus, I could have honored that request, but I was fresh out of arms at this point.

And THAT is when the howling began. If you didn't see this child, you would think I was sawing off her limbs with a plastic knife. It was RIDICULOUS. I tried to reason with her, but quickly realized you can't reason with hysterical. So I just kept walking... and eventually she'd get off the floor and run to catch up. She'd plop down and I'd keep walking and the cycle went on and on until we hit the car. Meanwhile, Stella started to scream because it was feeding time, and Audrey started to scream because the other two were screaming. It was classic.

At this point, I was felt ready to leave her little butt in Sears, drive away, and never look back. OH, but then I'd regret it later, so I put the howler monkey in the car.

We all made it home in one piece, and they all went directly to bed. It had all gone so well except that last 10 minutes when we were already heading for the door... it hasn't ruined me completely on outings with the whole crew. But I'm really hoping we don't get a repeat performance next time.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Why oh why...

Amber reached a charming phase this past week--the "WHY" line of questioning. This is a fun little phase where every tiniest thing I say or do is met with a "Why you do that, Mama?"

This is particularly poorly timed, as my level of patience is directly proportional to the amount of sleep I've gotten. And after a rough night, like last night--where 1.5 hours in a row was my longest "stretch" of sleep--I'm particularly strapped to not get snippy with the endless questioning.

It doesn't matter if she already knows the answer, she's going to ask me why anyway. This morning I sat down to feed Stella and she wants to know "why you feeding her, mama?" I try to turn it around and ask her back "well, why do you think I need to feed the baby?"--but I am doubtful this technique is going to save me from additional questioning...

I suppose I should be grateful, though, that she didn't start getting so inquisitive BEFORE I had the baby. I was dreading any line of questioning regarding how the baby got from inside mama to outside mama... wasn't sure how to answer that one!

Sunday, June 5, 2011


The day before I went into labor, I was seriously going down the slide at Kees park with the girls. I honestly just felt really, really good. Aside from being hot ALL THE FREAKING TIME and knocking over Audrey with my stomach all the time, I could actually forget from time to time that I was pregnant. I guess that's only fair since I felt like death for the first 20 weeks...

As I said in the prior post, I was on a big "carpe diem" kick in the weeks prior to delivery, thinking I'd be on house arrest for the better part of the next few months once I was outnumbered 3 to 1. So on Tuesday I was sliding at Kees Park, trimming the bushes in the front yard, and playing with the girls... Went to the doc Wednesday and he just advised me to "NOT GO OUT OF TOWN" but I was feeling so good I thought I might stay pregnant another month or so. Surely you'd have to feel lousy when you were about to give birth, right?

On Wednesday night I went to a moms night out at Bayou Ceramics, still feeling fine. And then I stood up to leave, and something was NOT fine. I had sprung a leak! I couldn't get to my car and home fast enough. I couldn't decide if I should go to the hospital or wait--didn't want another false alarm like I had with Audrey, when they basically told me the baby squished my bladder and I had involuntarily peed myself. LOVELY.

Still feeling great, so I opted to try to catch a little sleep and see how I felt in the morning. WELL, at about 3 AM, the contractions started, so I plopped my butt on the couch and watched TV while documenting the contractions. For about 2 hours they stayed 6 mins apart, so I decided to get all my stuff ready to roll and take a shower before waking anyone up. I DID NOT want to spend any extra time at the hospital than was necessary, and I hated to make people get up and come over in the middle of the night if it wasn't urgent. But by 5:30, I figured I'd better get Jay rolling and get over there JUST IN CASE. Because at this point, I still wasn't 100% it wasn't false labor. You'd think by kid #3 you'd have a better clue, right?

After a brief drive thru run to get breakfast at Burger King (because I knew they wouldn't let me eat once I got there) we made it to Cabrini. In fact, it was the real deal, and at 1:12 PM, little Stella Grace made her arrival on scene, all 5.5 pound of her! And it's a good thing she was a girl, because I STILL didn't have a boy name picked out. We had options, but I wasn't settled (and honestly, never had been even back to when I was in labor for Amber).

And to all those mamas who had their babies with no epidural, I don't know how you did it. I had the epidural all 3 times, but THIS time, it was not nearly strong enough. And by the time I realized we needed to amp up the meds, it was too late and she was RIGHT THERE. Holy mother of pearl... But thank goodness she came out quickly. Hats off to you that go it sans drugs. WOW.

New beginnings

Oh where, oh where has my little blog gone? So I knew it had been a while since I wrote anything here... but didn't realize it had been over THREE MONTHS! Shame, shame on me...

Perhaps trying to resuscitate this blog at the same time as bringing a brand new baby home from the hospital is not the best idea... but I figured that life is NOT going to be slowing down ANY TIME in the next 20 or so years, so I better just make the time to squeeze it in. I know I will be sad if I neglect to write about things and then forget them in the next months/years to come.

I already feel a little bit guilty because of how little I remember about Audrey's first year or so of life. Poor middle child--because you KNOW I had everything written down for Amber--all her firsts, growth at each doctor's visit, etc. I think I wrote down a few "firsts" in Audrey's baby book, but mostly I said "oh, I'll remember" and then promptly forgot.

So I am promising to do better by little Stella and the "big girls" from this point on...

In a nutshell, here's what's been going on B.S. (that's Before Stella, not bull s...):

1. Amber finally got potty trained. HOORAY! HOORAY!! We still have occasional accidents when she's too busy to be bothered, but at least I am not changing 3 butts a day!!

2. I was able to get back into playing and take several gigs. It was very, VERY hard for me to leave night after night for a few weeks there, but all in all, I think it was very good for us as a whole. I got to revisit being a REGULAR PERSON instead of just "mama" and the girls had to adjust to letting daddy do everything for them. And we're still reaping the benefits--it does my heart good to hear them insist that DADDY do something instead of me, as I used to be the go-to person for everything. And I think Daddy kind of enjoys getting top billing too :o)

3. After months of being in shock that I was pregnant AGAIN (and also sick as a dog), I was able to start preparing the best I could for mommyhood to 3. I actually liken the way I was acting to preparing for impending death. I realize that's kind of morbid and ridiculous, but I guess in my mind, when #3 got here, life as I knew it was OVER. So we went out and did stuff ALL THE TIME, making the most of every day. I really had visions of me being trapped in this house all summer, chronically sleep deprived and ready to lose my mind.

But you know what? It really hasn't been half bad... gets a little more hectic when everyone's clamoring for your attention or help at the same time, but generally, I feel MORE RELAXED than I did before. Which blows my mind. Perhaps it's because I have resigned myself to the fact that we're just not going to be moving fast and not to sweat the small stuff because I will LOSE MY MIND if I do. I'm sure I'll have many "blow a gasket" moments in the days to come, but perhaps it's just the relief of knowing that life has not come to a crashing halt because we have a new baby. I've been able to take them out by myself without a major disaster and the girls have adjusted pretty well to having to share mama with one other person.

Despite all my worries and concerns, things really have all worked out just fine... instead of feeling like my old life coming to an end, it truly does feel like a new beginning instead. I am excited to see these 3 grow up together, but I am also trying to take it slow and savor each little moment, as I know it will all pass too quickly!