- Heading home in rush hour Memphis traffic. Thankfully, I’m not driving. My Mom thrived in Memphis traffic, but I’ve never been a fan of risking my life. I used to drive in the DC, Metro area traffic and I didn’t like that either. I still recall my first day in rush hour there on the Beltway. I began to cry and beat my hands against the windshield. Then I noticed the poor guy next to me. I really had him worried for my sanity. Anyway, I keep peeking over at the baby in her seat, who currently remains awake and I keep saying little prayers under my breath that she’ll fall asleep before she decides she’s done with not being held. She’s starting to make inpatient little grunts, so it will really be a miracle for her to fall peacefully asleep in this stop and go. Chloe is also without nap. I can see her rubbing at her eyes and bouncing around as best she can in her carseat to fight off the evil hands of the sandman trying to drag her under. She amazes me. She could give James Bond a run for his money, if fighting sleep is anything like resisting torture tactics to elicit information. But, alas, even a warrior can only fight so long. She has given up the fight and gone the way of the nap. Bailey, on the other hand, went full on shrieking eels from Princess Bride. I had to employ the pacifier. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes she acts like I’m sticking a baseball bat down her throat and gags and sputters. Other times she suckles it like the sweet, purple, rubber nipple it is. Thankfully, today it worked and she is suckling her way to drowsy town.
- Why Memphis rush hour you ask. We are coming back from a fun filled day at a place called Incredible Pizza. It was a lot of fun. I’m glad we went. When invited, I almost said no. You never know how a young baby will react to a long car ride and a day out away from familiar routine, but I really wanted Chloe to go. They offered to just take Chloe, but the thing is, I really enjoy seeing her have a good time. The excitement on her face makes any struggles worth while to me. She did have a good time. The trip was different with two, instead of one. But I recall it being different before one, as well. I love playing games. When I used to go to kid’s parties at places like this, I would run around with tokens, getting tons of tickets, just like one of the kids. I even worked at Chuck E Cheese in my early twenties as a game room attendant. All I had to do was go around playing the games and winning lots of tickets to inspire little patrons to spend more tokens. After you have a child, you still get to play, but you spend more time playing games that are fun for them and they get all the tickets! Sorry basketball game and skee-ball. A majority of your tokens will now go to a pink car that jostles it’s tiny rider up and down, but not too fast thankfully. Today was even more of a transition. Bailey couldn’t play at all. Can you imagine?! All she could do was lay in her 800 lb infant carrier and nap intermittently. In between brief naps, she insisted on eating quite frequently. And since she’s so darn cute, I couldn’t just sit her down and take off. I had to keep an ever present eye on her. I joke. She actually did really well. She never got fussy. She ate and napped. And don’t be fooled. I got to play too. Others watched her while I rocked out at laser tag. Talk about fun!
- At one point, my Mother-in-Law watched Bailey while I took off after Chloe. We were out of $ on our play card, but she was happy to just run around from game to game, testing out each one. At one point, she sat in every seat of each race car game, turning the steering wheel and changing gears. There were like 20 of them in a row. It’s amazing what you’ll put up with when you see your kid is having fun. After the extensive test drive session, I suggested we go get something to drink. We took off for the dining area and got some fountain drinks. I also got us each a slice of pizza from the buffet. As we sat down together to enjoy our snack, it hit me what a nice moment it was. It was just the two of us, and I had really missed that. I love the baby, but Chloe will always be my first little baby. I hated for the moment to end, but as I saw her chomp on the last bite, I knew we better head back. It made me realize that I’ll have to make time for more moments like that in the future. The only thing missing from the day was my best friend’s presence. I know Ben would have had a blast. I love how he’s such a kid at heart. We love to play and I will definitely be returning there with him, if only to kick his butt at laser tag!
That is all 🙂
- I’ve been busy as a bee the past hour or so doing my absolute favorite thing: cleaning house. You may insert sarcasm here. It’s not like I want to do it. I feel like I have to! The house is kinda like how you’ve heard me describe the kitchen. One meal causes a mound of dishes that spills out of the tiny sink and litters every single space of counter. Well, the rest of the house is the same. It doesn’t take long with 4-5 people living here for small messes to multiple into an episode of Hoarders. Every single area of unoccupied space begins to vomit up piles of baby stuff: bassinet, blankets, burp clothes. They multiply. Toddler items underfoot: toys, tiny shoes, half eaten pieces of string cheese, and a collection of sippy cups. My discarded shirts that are covered in spit up and snot trail out of the overflowing laundry basket. Ben’s massive collection of shoes (all covered in flour) and competing collection of toboggans cover the sofa and open floor spaces beneath. It all begins to pile up together and close in on you as you walk by. You begin to fear for your safety and sanity. You could swear the pile of laundry grew arms, shook an angered fist, and growled at you as you threw another pair of undies on top. Did that talking Dora doll really just say “Brie, are you ever gonna wash your hair?”
- The impending storm brought me a wonderful, unexpected present: a night off for my husband. Then the baby decided to nap for 2 hours outside of the comfort of my arms! These grand surprises allowed me to clean up the above mentioned mayhem. Ben did the kitchen which helped me tremendously and gave him “man bragging rights” for completing housework. Chloe helped by continuing to bring toys into the living room as I picked them up and put them away. She didn’t want me to not feel challenged enough. I discovered that a swiffer sweeper is great for homes without kids only. It does not work well on picking up play do, chicken nuggets, fruit snacks, or small plastic beads. Now where did those come from?! I discovered I need a new vacuum. I discovered that Ben fusses just as much as I do when cleaning the kitchen. That made me feel better. I discovered the pile of clean clothes didn’t take near as long to fold as I thought. I discovered I forgot to pre-treat the stains from the recent mud puddle incident and fear the stain is now set in. Dang. I discovered that after we finished, Ben and I could joyfully laugh about how in a day, the mess would return.
- I’m about to make tacos and sufficiently mess up the kitchen. Haha. For what has turned out to be such a nice day; it didn’t start that way. I found myself feeling extremely stressed out this morning. My day started with simultaneous visits from the pest control man and the cable guy. The joys of maintaining a happy home continue with keeping bugs out and Internet and Dora in. Then I discovered that my step-daughters siblings had been diagnosed with RSV. She had just spent the weekend with us, so I immediately feared re-infection of the girls. I thought, no way I can handle any more sickness. Then I noticed the air vents were blowing out bone cold air while the heat was on. I wondered why my heat would decide to go out on such a cold day as this. Bailey wouldn’t stay down for a nap on her own. She of course woke right when I was getting a wet Chloe out of the tub. The mounds of growing mess were closing in on me and starting to threaten my sanity. I questioned how I could tackle such a mess. I felt myself being grumpy and short tempered. Thankfully, before I let it get the best of me and yell too much at Chloe, I prayed for God to help me. I said “help me!” That simple. I prayed for Him to settle my nerves and calm my fears. I recalled verses that speak against fear and proclaimed them out loud. I don’t think a full five minutes even went by before I realized that a weight had been lifted. No fear. No anxiety. No anger. Only joy remained. My day could truly start. And I must say, it’s been a great one. On a side note to those concerned: my house is staying warm, so not sure what the vent thing was about.
That is all 🙂
- It is so quiet right now. I’m at home with the baby and she’s asleep. Ben took Chloe and Marlie with him to the store. He said he was gonna take them so I could get some quiet time. Yes, my husband is amazing. Marlie got out of school early due to freezing rain. Chloe had no nap today. Put those two together and it’s full on shenanigans! They love each other to pieces, but they fuss like cats and dogs. They share a room and it is right next to the living room. You don’t want them closing the door because there’s no telling what terrors would occur if left unsupervised. But the noise from the room is unprecedented. There’s a constant “nooooo Marlie!!!” Or “stop it!!” Both of these are punctuated with a whine. While Chloe is constantly whining no, even if Marlie is not in the wrong; Marlie, in turn, is instigating Chloe’s tantrum. Anyone who had a sibling remembers the old “don’t touch me” followed by your sibling pointing a finger inches from your face and taunting “I’m not touching you.” That’s how it is here. Chloe screams “don’t touch my cheese.” I see Marlie continuing to touch the cheese with a sneaky smirk. Don’t think Chloe is innocent though. She bugs the “you know what” out of Marlie. And now Chloe has learned potty humor and the laugh it elicits from sis. I heard her from the room singing “doodoo, doodoo, doodoo balls!” I’m savoring the quiet while it lasts. Thank you dear husband. I owe you one.
- The above fact reminded me of a story. I never had an older sibling. I was the eldest. But growing up I had a first cousin who was like my brother. Before I had siblings, he and I were it. My Mom and Aunt use to trade us back and forth, each watching the others’ child. Even when we lived far apart we still made time for visits. We would make a trip and stay at the others’ house for a couple of weeks. He sadly wasn’t always the best influence. He was 5 years older than me, and therefore more experienced in stuff. He taught me my first cuss word. He told me to say it. I did. Then he went and told my Aunt and she washed my mouth out with soap. He taught me how to stuff my toys under the bed and in the closet when my Mom told us to clean my room. He taught me how to ride a bike. He had to after crashing my bike and tearing up my training wheels. I still recall being pushed down that steep asphalt hill with a major highway at the bottom. Yep, I learned to pedal and brake. He taught me interesting games. One I remember vividly was called “Heaven and Hell.” It went like this. He was God. I was dead. He told me I had been bad and couldn’t stay in Heaven. He would put me in the closet which served as the elevator to Heaven and Hell. I would go down to Hell where he was the devil. He would then put me in a corner and tell me I couldn’t leave the corner as I was surrounded by a ring of invisible fire. I was five. Then he would open the window of our third floor apartment and throw my dolls out to his buddies down below to toss back and forth. And my poor little brother wonders why I was so mean to him growing up. I’ll have to warn Bailey that it often rolls down hill.
- Speaking of Bailey; we took her to a follow up appt. today. The Dr. gave her a clean bill of health. I’m so happy. I haven’t heard her cough all day. Since I had Ben with me, I suggested a grocery shopping trip. He didn’t seem super excited. I can’t imagine why. But he agreed. So picture this. We have one of those car buggies with Marlie and Chloe in the drivers seat and Ben pushing. I’m following him with a regular basket with Bailey’s infant car seat in it. Of course she’s not in it. I’m holding her since she started crying right when we got inside. She’s quiet and happy in my arms, but that doesn’t stop a stranger from noticing her and making a comment that I couldn’t help but take as a stab at my parenting. She snidely commented, “that’s a little bittie baby you have out in this weather.” I smoothly replied, “yeah, we almost left her at home by herself, but thought better of it.” Anyway, back to the caravan. I held Bailey in one hand and pushed my cart with the other. You really need two carts anyway. Those car carts are awesome at keeping young kids occupied, but they don’t have as much room. Also, they are a hassle to push through the store, but so worth the distraction they provide. I always meet up with some other parent pushing their own car cart with a toddler driving, and as we barely get past each other in the aisle, we comment on how the pros outweigh the cons of this cumbersome buggy. I had to chuckle to myself as I would stop and point to Ben what item to pick up and place in the basket. I usually do the shopping by myself, so I almost felt like I had my own personal assistant. When he gets back with the girls, he’s gonna make pancakes and sausage for dinner. Yes. I think I’ll keep him.
That is all 🙂
- Today is Sunday. This you already know. What you may not know is that today is my last Sunday at home for a while. Next weekend I start back to work. It’s hard to believe that 6 weeks will be up this coming Saturday. I’ve enjoyed the time off. I’ve enjoyed being able to attend church on Sunday. I will once again start listening to the sermons on CD. I was apprehensive about missing church on Sunday when I first accepted my weekend position. I prayed about it, along with my spouse. I weighed the pros and cons. We agreed that the extra time with the children that working strictly weekends allowed me was worth it. I worried about missing the spiritual growth I received on Sunday, but I recently realized something interesting. During the 11 previous months that I missed church on Sunday, my relationship with The Lord grew exponentially. I don’t know if it was the extra free time during the week or my concerns of loosing out on time with Him on Sunday, or perhaps a combination of both. Somehow, missing Sunday caused me to seek Him out more ferociously at all other times. Surprisingly, during the almost year of missing church, I found myself reading my Bible, reading devotionals, praying, and spending more quiet time with Him than ever before. I listened to the Sunday sermons on CD and chose to listen to them when Chloe was napping. So I ended up hearing more of the sermon than my husband had, who had been there, but had received frequent interruptions with Chloe in tow. I suppose this has taught me that if you seek God, you will find Him. I do still desire a way to attend church on Sunday and still work part-time and get to spend so much time at home taking care of my babies. The great thing is that God knows our desires. I will do what I need to do right now and pray that I can always approach it with a joyful heart. I’m pleased that I’m able to take care of my family, and that my relationship with The Lord continues to grow.
- Despite trying to arrive timely on my last Sunday, we were late. I’ve discovered that I can’t stress out about being late. If I do, I only find myself yelling at my children and nagging my husband. Both of these things are not of the nature of Christ and would therefore be counter-productive for a Sunday. God impressed this upon me one morning and I try to consistently remember that. I was pleased, though, that we did make it in time to enjoy a few songs in worship. I like that me and God are close enough that I don’t feel uncomfortable with worship. Therefore, I can immediately and easily fall into worshipping Him. Upon arrival, a song started called “How Great is Our God”. The words are quite simple, but sometimes those are the best ones. It basically consists of the title, with you proclaiming how great our God is. As I sang the simple chorus, yet felt the immense emotions in my heart, I saw the song played out around me. I saw my beautiful little girl dancing in her apple jumper in front of me. How great is our God! I saw a man in front of me put his arm around his wife and kiss her cheek. How wonderful a loving marriage is. How great is our God! Then I looked back at my spouse, standing in the back, bouncing the baby back to sleep so I could worship. How I love him! How great is our God! I felt the Holy Spirit filling my heart. How great is our God!!
- The other great thing about Sunday is time with family (I bet some of you were thinking football). Ben is always off on Sunday, so it’s a time with all of us together. As it’s rainy and cold, we came straight home. We haven’t done anything special, but that’s the great thing about spending time with the ones you love. You don’t have to do anything. Too many times, families fill up all their free time with activities. This can sometimes just exhaust everybody. We love going places and doing things, but sometimes you just need to spend the day together doing nothing. Take a nap. Hold hands with your sweetie on the couch as you watch a movie and eat popcorn. I personally recommend placing a 5 week old on your chest to nap (very fulfilling indeed). Build block castles. Give hugs. Dance. Play ball inside! Make cookies. Pretend. Laugh out loud many times. Read my blog, but then put your phone or iPad/laptop down.
That is all 🙂
- I often sit down to write this blog and have no idea exactly what will come out. I may have a general idea, but that may be it. I’ll have had a busy day, when I look at the time and realize I should put my thoughts down to share. Now is one of those times. I just got back from Walmart and I’m beat! While the trip outside of the house was much needed; it was also exhausting. My Aunt came with me. This was a big help. I told her as we were packing up the car, that a trip to the store with young children is like going on a long vacation. I don’t mean vacation as in a relaxing time at the beach. No, I’m referring to the packing and lugging of bags that’s required. A trip away from home with an infant requires taking along a mini-suitcase called a diaper bag. It’s not just diapers and wipes. You need a change of clothes in case of diaper leakage or excessive spit-up. Bring some burp clothes to clean up that spit up. An extra blanket is a good idea. Don’t forget the sling in case you need to carry little one in the store. You’ll also need the nursing cover for public breastfeeding. She’ll never make it till you’re back home and you don’t want to make that old man near layaway faint at the glimpse of your bare breast! She’s been sick, so bring along an arsenal of meds she probably won’t need, but just might. Then you gotta bring along that nasal aspirator. I’m lucky I breastfeed; otherwise I’d be packing bottles, formula, and sterile water too. Diaper rash cream. Pacifier. Gas drops. I’m sure I’m forgetting to list something, just like you inevitably forget to pack something in the bag. And guess what. That will likely be the item you need. And that’s just Bailey. Chloe still requires a bag too, but luckily smaller with less contents. Still, she requires a bag with diapers and wipes. Gotta bring along a cup of water. Snacks in little zip lock bags are always a good idea. Some little special toy to keep her occupied in case of emergency, never hurts to bring along. Then I insist on carrying my own diaper bag that most of us ladies refer to as a purse. I know my wallet, sunglasses, and Chapstick are requirements, but I think it’s all the Walmart receipts that I allow to collect in there that make it so heavy. As if my armloads of bags aren’t enough, I’ll also be lugging the infant car seat to hold Bailey in case by some small chance she remains asleep throughout the shopping journey. We all know she’ll end up in my arms before we even get to the dairy section. I suppose it’s a great exercise plan for early 2013 to get off the excess baby weight. Right?!
- Bailey is napping right now. She’s rested well today. I’m pretty sure that’s because she’s exhausted from keeping me occupied all night last night. Well, thankfully, it wasn’t all night. But it felt like it at the time. She is still a little sick, but I think other things were going on too. The fantabulous growth spurt! She nursed all day yesterday! I was worried at one point that I might be empty of milk. That’s saying a lot for this dairy cow. I make so much milk that I could feed triplets, donate some, and still probably have to worry about my excessive let-down choking my infant with the powerful spray that ejects during most feeding sessions. She ate that much. I think this caused a little tummy upset. She also had trouble sleeping all day. She never slept more than 20 minutes at a time. So by 5:30 yesterday evening she was fit to be tied (as my granny used to say)! She cried off and on until 1:00 am. More on than off I can assure you! It frayed my nerves a bit. Strike that. It frayed my nerves a lot. I felt like I had to pray for forgiveness before bed for getting so frazzled! Today she’s rested well, and I can assume from previous experience that this means she will sleep well tonight. It always seems like a bad night is followed by a good one. I’ve said that before and I still believe it to be true.
- It’s still a learning experience taking care of a toddler and infant. I’ll think I’m making headway, then I get knocked down a peg or two! I’m certain if camera crews could film my day, it would make for an amusing reality TV show. If the baby is fast asleep and I put Chloe in the bath, I can rest assured that she will wake up right when the water is out of the tub and Chloe is wet and ready to get out. If I have just gotten the baby to sleep, I can rest assured that this will be a time that Chloe will call out to me from the other side of the house in a tone of voice that elicits concern that injury might be present. I decided to cook eggs for Marlie, Chloe, and myself this morning. Bailey was asleep. She woke once I had the skillet hot and ready and Chloe on a chair by the stove in front of a glass bowl of egg yolks and milk. Step one: remove toddler from chair by potential accident either from burn, cut, or fall. Step two: strap crying infant into from carrying pack to keep her occupied while breakfast is prepared. Step three: don’t bang her little head on refrigerator door! I didn’t get step three right. Don’t worry people. It wasn’t a hard bang, just a little knock, and not on her soft spot. Knocked me down a peg, for sure. Ben tells me I try to do too much. Maybe he’s right. Or maybe I just need more practice. By the time we’re ready to try for a boy; I’ll have it all figured out. Right?!
That is all 🙂
- Random thought for the day. I was watching ID channel (Investigation Discovery) and one of their stellar detective shows, when it occurred to me that instead of using planted listening devices for surveillance, that they should just employ kids. They could train them at the FBI Headquarters in Virginia and then use them throughout the world to infiltrate crime rings. I know what you’re thinking. Crazy, right? Just hear me out. Whenever you’re having a conversation with another adult and especially if it contains mature content; who hears every word, memorizes it, and proceeds to repeat it precisely as stated? Answer: your child. They’re like secret agents only better. They look completely innocent as they’re playing in depth with a toy, humming to themselves. You would never imagine that their superior recording mechanism of a brain is catching every morsel of your private convo. They’re desperately honest, so there’s no fear of distorting evidence for their own personal gain. You could pay them in candy and as long as Dora is on in the background, they’ll work a case as long as you need them to. I really think I’m onto something.
- I love pictures, and by this I mean photography. I love taking them. I love capturing moments. I love looking at them. I’m not the kind of person who just saves them on my computer either. I love to print them and put them in a photo album. Something about turning the pages of memories is unequaled. I suppose I got it from my mother. She took photos of us and placed them in numerous albums over the years. I’m proud to actually have a number of those precious memories she collected in my home now. I love pictures so much that for Christmas I actually asked Ben to print the pics off my phone as my present. That may not seem like a big present. Well it is when you have over 800 pictures, and that’s after three different sessions of trying to narrow them down and delete some. Last night and today, I’ve used baby nap time as an opportunity to put my photos in albums. It’s so enjoyable to me to look back on the moments in time I captured over the past year and a half. Chloe has grown so much! I do believe she has always done funny things. Seeing pics of her wearing my underwear or dusting the floor; remembering back when she was Bailey’s size! I see photos of her first Halloween costume and her first Christmas jumper. I see ones capturing her first messy meal of spaghetti. There’s one of her first Mohawk made by shampoo in the bathtub! I love my pictures. I love my memories. I might want to try to narrow them down though in the future if I’m gonna fit 20 years or so worth of photo albums in this house.
- I was thankful for the unseasonably mild weather. Today was proving to be stressful, just a little bit. Bailey remains congested and therefore fussy. I haven’t been able to put her down today. She wouldn’t stay asleep on her own more than 20 minutes. Chloe on the other hand, feeling much better, was climbing the walls. She insisted on following me all day. So if I left a room seeking silence to put the baby down, she would ultimately show up just as eyes were closing and burst out with “want some tea Momma?” Then she would line up an entire tea party set, complete with plates of dessert, on the arm of the rocking chair. I don’t know why Bailey couldn’t rest with a spout poking her head. I decided some fresh air might help the baby, and a walk would do wonders for my Tasmanian devil. We simply walked around the block, but after a week of solitary confinement in our germ bed, it was like a vacation to the beach. Bailey slept in the carrier strapped to my chest and Chloe ran, skipped, sang, and puddle jumped. After Chloe successfully soiled her pants and shoes, I went ahead and let her finish the day off in her sandbox. She’s now in the bath for the second time today, but it was well worth it. Come on Spring!
That is all 🙂
Life can often be punctuated by amusing, aggravating, and awe-inspiring moments. What follows are mine for today. They can often fit into all three categories, but I’ll attempt to group into most appropriate. Just know they’re interchangeable.
1. Amusing: the drunken look on a baby’s face after they get a full tummy of milk, my toddler laughing out loud to Looney Toons cartoons just like I used to do, assisting a family member to suggest to their significant other to throw said family member a surprise party without letting on to significant other that above mentioned family member knows the whole plan (confused yet? It’s very tricky indeed!), my toddler’s obsession with Dora fruit snacks, infant passing of gas, how my husband makes his cup of coffee in the morning before work but then leaves and forgets it on the mantel (like every day), being unable to use the toilet by myself, toddler pig tails, monkeys on infant sleepers, how my husband can read my mind, taking a bath with my toddler, the questioning look on my infant’s face when she’s awake, the amount of telemarketer calls I get on my land line, my toddler’s ability to mess up her room in record time, how easily an infant can fall asleep sometimes, how my husband took toddler to store with him and she suckered him into buying her play-do, my toddler putting the baby’s diapers on her doll, seeing my toddler’s little frame perched on my husband’s night stand to watch TV, the grunting noise my infant makes when she’s hungry, how my boobs know my baby is waking up before I do, how my toddler constantly wants to help me cook or wash dishes and ironically is responsible for 90% of why I’m cooking or cleaning, how my toddler wants a band aid over invisible booboos but removes the band aid after 2 minutes, how we have 3 TVs and they’re all playing cartoons right now, how whatever room I may try to run away to I can be certain my toddler will find me, how my infant always takes a poop right after I change her diaper, and how I have so many amusing things in any given day that this doesn’t even scratch the surface.
2. Aggravating: toddler tears over little things like being out of chocolate milk, continued congestion in my infant, no creamer for my coffee, continued postpartum symptoms, my toddler’s new found ability to put movies in her DVD player but inability to do it without scratching or breaking DVDs, how difficult it is for an infant to fall asleep at times, my toddler’s uncanny ability to wake a sleeping infant after I just got them to sleep, play-do on the floor, a sink full of dishes and a fridge full of items to be discarded, when my husband can’t read my mind (mostly just kidding), how my toddler has the most to say when my husband and I are conversing, how I keep finding discarded baby wipes throughout the house from toddler using on her doll’s bottom (also wanted to put this under amusing), the amount of medicine I’m giving my baby.
3. Awe-inspiring: waking up with a precious child in each arm, when my husband left for work he called out “bye gorgeous”, how good it feels to help my baby get the congestion worked loose, being able to prepare meals for my toddler that she loves, an empty sink and cleaned out fridge, words of encouragement from another more experienced Mom who’s been in my shoes, how my husband and I can carry on conversations with each other and not get bored of the other’s opinions or stories, the peaceful look on a sleeping baby’s face, words of inspiration from a daily devotional, how despite rough times I know my God is always with me and has a grand plan in mind, how much easier rough times become when you believe the former, how on my husband’s break he goes to the store for chocolate milk and creamer so I don’t have to, when a toddler finally succumbs to a nap on her own, the fact that my toddler is better and I know my baby is getting there, how if my infant is inconsolable I can put her on her changing table and she stops crying and just stares at the painting on her wall of my Mother as a child, that one part of the day when both children are asleep (right now), how the amusing and awe-inspiring definitely outweigh the aggravating stuff, and how when I woke up this morning I dedicated my day to God and gave Him thanks for everything in my wonderfully crazy yet totally awesome life.
Thought I’d try something new. Let me know if you liked it.
That is all 🙂
- I sit here holding Chloe in my over-sized living room chair. I’ve always called it my blue’s clues chair. It looks especially large in my tiny living room, but it’s a great size for Mommas to hold their babies. Chloe was napping on her own, but woke up crying for me. She couldn’t seem to stop until I held her and rubbed her head as she fell back asleep. I had just made myself a bowl of popcorn after having put the baby down for a nap. I had put on a Lifetime movie. As I hold my big girl, and glance over at my sleeping infant on the sofa; I am at peace. Just half an hour earlier, I had rocked them both to sleep. After I had Chloe, or rather a little while after I had Chloe and was getting the hang of things; I remember thinking, “This is my calling.” I felt like I was made to be a Mommy. I wanted to do nothing more. These past four weeks have tried to shake me. I’ve felt like I faltered in my role as a Mom. I felt like I wasn’t doing that great. I felt frustrated. I wondered if I was perhaps not as good at “my calling” as I thought. I passed through a multitude of emotions. And the one thing I do know, is that I love my children. I may have a lot still to learn, but I truly enjoy the process. This is what I was meant to be. Mom.
- My little baby, Bailey, continues to heal, but has a bit to go. Earlier, as I held her and nursed her, I could feel a little rattling from her chest as it resonated into the palm of my hand. I once again prayed for my baby. Pray without ceasing. Yes. He will continue the good work in my child. Before she was born, I felt like God had a special calling for her. I believe that will be fulfilled. I start with trusting Him for the small things, though, like a little wheeze. She is taking her medicine well now. There has been no vomiting in 24 hours. She is eating, peeing, and resting well. When she is awake and especially after a breathing treatment, she coughs a lot. It seems to upset her and she will make a little whimpering sound. I wish I could take it away, but I can’t. So I pat her back. I suction her. I sing to her. I pace. I rub her little head. Her beautiful face melts my heart and when I see her resting so peacefully, I am full to the point of overflowing with love for her.
- This morning, Ben went to Memphis and he took Chloe with him. Bailey and I had been awake for a couple of hours prior to them getting up. After Ben’s alarm, I put Bailey down to entertain herself for a bit. Chloe woke up then. Ben came to collect her and take her to the kitchen for chocolate milk. I said, “Wait, I’d like to hold her.” When they got back, I got my hug. Then she ran off to her room to play. I watched her from the doorway and realized I had not played with her in her room for a while. I missed playing with her. It’s been a little busy around here. (Understatement of the Year). Ben has really taken Chloe under his wing. They’ve become buddies. That’s what he calls her, my little buddy. On Tuesday whenever I was busy with the baby, she would say, “I want my Daddy.” He was at work. I find solace in knowing that things will settle down eventually. We will get in more of a natural rhythm. I will play with Chloe and I’ll be Daddy and Chloe’s buddy. Bailey will be our other little buddy. I’m so happy to have a husband who pitches in so much to help with the kids and the house. This has been a booming start to the New Year. I’m ready to be able to look back on some of it and laugh, though. Chloe is awake now and so, of course, Bailey is also starting to stir. It’s time for nursing, more medicine, breathing treatments, diaper changes, and Macaroni and Cheese. Bring it on!
That is all 🙂
- I’ll begin today with an update on Bailey. I do believe she is improving. We are home, and not in the hospital, for starters! She nursed very well after getting home, and still is. This, of course, increased her urine output. That made Nurse Mommy happy to feel the weight of full diapers. She also rested well throughout the night, and therefore, so did I. We still have some healing to go, but it’s progress. She still has a cough with a lot of congestion, but is having an easier time coughing it up. There’s been no choking or vomiting the past 24 hrs. When she is awake, she spends the majority of the time coughing and crying. Her cry remains hoarse and the character of it is almost like a pleading call for help. It hurts me to hear and I sing to her and tell her she will get better soon. She eventually falls back to sleep due to exhaustion.
- My dear Chloe has finally stopped coughing. She remains very needy of my attention. She asks a lot to be rocked in the rocking chair and as I hold her, she’ll say, “Sing me a song.” I do. Living with a two year old is constant entertainment, aggravation, and pride and joy. She’s always singing! If she’s not singing, then she’s talking non-stop. She tells me stories of what she’s seen on TV (or as she calls it, TB) or what she’s playing or something her Daddy told her or did (this second hand account is always amusing). These stories and songs are sometimes paused as she burps or poots and then explodes into laughter and let’s me know what she did like I didn’t hear it. Today she came running into the living room and proudly stated, “Look Mom! I broke my flashlight!” I mildly scolded her and asked her why. She replied, “So I can fix it Mom.” Yes, her first attempt at industry. She loves commercials and always wants the things she sees shown. Today during a commercial for fairy dolls she said “I want that Mom.” I assumed she meant the doll. In the commercial the girls playing with the dolls grow wings and fly around in their room, making a mess, and their Mother gets on to them about the mess. She then stated, “I want that. I wanna fly in my room and the Mom come in and say girls!” She thought that if you got the toy, you could fly. Nothing is just mine. I know this already, but seeing my nightstand reinforced that knowledge. It’s completely covered. And most of the stuff is not mine. There’s a lotion bottle, a nebulizer shaped like a penguin, a stack of children’s books, a sippy cup, a bottle of child’s cough medicine and sticky dropper, and a stuffed cat. At least I don’t have to worry about dusting it. I picked up a book from the floor and placed it in the bookshelf. Minutes later, Chloe came in, saw the book, pulled it off the shelf and excitedly said the title of the book. Then she dropped it in the floor and left the room. She’s been closing her bedroom door lately which I don’t like. I took an old shoe that doesn’t fit her and wedged it under the door. Minutes later she came in the living room and told me “Mom, this shoe doesn’t fit.” Then she dropped it on my living room floor, to add to all the toys that litter the rug. I can’t seem to convince her to stop picking her nose or drinking her bath water. A friend told me yesterday that she knows motherhood is often a bumpy road but is worth the journey. I told her that I was indeed enjoying the ride.
- This morning I read a verse from I Thessalonians: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I have tried to continue to be thankful and full of praise over the past three exhausting weeks of sickness in our home. I feel like most of the time I do pretty good. But sometimes my reaction to things makes me think I have a long way to go. I never get this blog written in one sitting, just so you know. I breastfed and rocked baby halfway through #1. Then I gave her some medicine during #2. I decided to give her first dose of antibiotic. She can’t take it on an empty stomach. She’d eaten and been burped. I gave it and she immediately projectile vomited. I’m supposed to give that twice a day and a steroid twice a day. I don’t put it in a bottle of formula. I breastfeed. I don’t know. I may try putting it in a bottle of my breast milk. I got very upset when that happened. I was like, not again! No more vomiting and the worry over dehydration that follows! I’m glad Chloe wasn’t here because I yelled obscenities when it first happened. What is wrong with me? That’s not the reaction I want to have! I find that I often have situations that show me that I have a long way to go to get to where I want to be. Then I remember how far I’ve come from where I used to be. And then I rejoice. And then I give thanksgiving. And I definitely pray continually.
That is all 🙂
- As I start to write this post, I’m sitting in the Pediatrician’s office. I feel spent. It has been a very trying past 30 hrs or so. After my post yesterday, I went to nurse Bailey and she wouldn’t latch on. Her past couple of nursing sessions had been poor quality anyway and when I felt her diaper, my heart sank a little (for the first time of what would be many). It wasn’t dry, but it wasn’t full either. And so began my internal clock, counting the hours until she would drink/pee.
- All day yesterday, Bailey seemed more congested. She would try to sleep, but could never truly rest because her constant coughing would wake her. It broke my heart to hear her racked with a cascade of terrible coughs, that still remained too weak to be productive yet would cause her to let out a pitiful, hoarse cry. The sound was like a knife in me and her cry spoke to me saying, “Mommy. Help. I can’t understand what’s happening.” After 5 hrs and no intention by her to nurse, I gave her my milk in a bottle. I’m assuming because a bottle is less work, she drank! I was so happy. Within 10 minutes, she vomited up a very large amount. It was mostly mucous and strung from her mouth, so thick. I was happy that she got that up. Then I fed her a little bit more since she had vomited her last feeding and her diaper was still dry. 20 minutes later, she projectile vomiting again, loosing all that milk and the medicine I had given her. Third time was a charm and she kept an ounce and a half down. She slept two hours then it started again. Terrible coughing was followed by more poor feeding, then more vomiting of all she’d taken in. Nearly dry diapers were coupled with inability to rest at all. Around 5 am, she started with a fever of 102.1. I had just given 2.5 ounces via bottle and bam; she projectile vomited again. I prayed. I cried. I actually pleaded with her, telling her we were going to have to go to the ER and get IV fluids. And then she turned her head and opened her mouth; the universal sign that she wanted to breastfeed. She did and she kept it down. We rested, me sitting up in a chair in the living room; her laying on my chest.
- Ben and I agreed that a visit back to the Dr was warranted. Our Pediatrician heard a slight wheeze and crackles in her left lung base. White count was elevated. He made a diagnosis of pneumonia. Her oxygen level was good. We all agreed that she could come back home tonight. She got a shot of decadron and rocephin. We’ll pick up breathing treatments and give those. The next 24 hours will be important. Like last night, we’ll be in a constant battle to insure she gets enough fluid in her. If her intake and output improve, we stay home. If it doesn’t, we get admitted to the hospital. After Bailey’s shot I had to wait around to insure no allergic reaction. Ben took Chloe to the car. As I sat there by myself, I began to cry. The worry that I had pushed aside for my baby came crashing on me. Before Ben left, he said, “I know God has a purpose for this or He would have healed her already.” It’s reassuring to have a relationship with Christ, where you know His character and understand His goodness. When you know this, you can have peace and faith even when things are not perfect, because you know He has a perfect plan in mind and you trust in that. It doesn’t mean it’s easy or without heartbreak. It just means you don’t feel helpless. You feel a measure of peace and hope that sustains you through your trial. I will take care of my baby tonight and God will give me the strength I need.
That is all 🙂