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Operation: Don’t Burn the House Down

Last week I got hit by a brick wall out of nowhere – a migraine struck around 11am. Dun, dun, dun. Meaning I was on my own for at least six more hours until Felix came home. I don’t know where it came from. I don’t have a history of them, which makes them even harder to deal with. It struck when I had the boys playing outside toys all over, heat beating down, sunlight in my eyes. I packed up everything and everyone as soon as I could and headed inside. In the time it took me to make Dylan and myself lunch I was in tears, and it hurt to blink. I tried to make myself eat and drink thinking maybe that would help, and it made me so sick, since I was already nauseous. Dylan was now finishing up an episode of SpongeBob, and let me say that obnoxious laugh is a million times worse with a migraine.

I rushed Dylan off to bed once his cartoon finished even though he had some of his lunch left.  After putting Tillman in his crib and hoping the little he had just ate would last at least an hour, I finally crawled into bed and tried so hard to calm down so I could go to sleep. This is when it turned into one of those awful “how does that even happen” moments…again!

I was dozing off to sleep finally able to get past the pounding in my head, and Tillman started fussing. I reluctantly opened my eyes, and even though I had closed the shades in hopes of shutting off the sun it still was agony. I pulled him into bed with me to stuff him full, and not even five minutes after we settle in he throws up! All over himself, my duvet, my pillow, and me. All I could think was, “Why NOW!?”

I don’t know how I made it through a diaper and clothes change for Tillman, stripping and putting my bedding to wash, and changing myself without throwing up and my eyes falling out of my head, but we managed just barely. I was able to get Tillman back down, suck up all the tears I had cried and finally get to sleep, and those two little adorable terrors slept two whole hours, and I slept right along with them.

I woke with a severe headache, but the worst was over. Unfortunately, since I was out of commission for most of the day my house practically fell apart. All I asked of the boys was to not burn the house down, which I monitored from a fetal position on the couch for several hours. The house was still standing at the end of the day, but my goodness can things get out of hand! Luckily, I have a very understanding husband because it took every bit of the next 24 hours to catch up. Who knew? It does make me feel a little important though to know so much of our daily lives depend on me. Who says being a stay at home mom is easy? I used to until I became one. How about that for a big piece of humble pie!

Frazzle, Dazzle

I have found myself in completely new territory with my three year old lately. What happened to my sweet little baby boy? He has moments where I can still see him, but most of the time it’s some combination of an overemotional, high strung, yelling, ignoring, mean little person! I told my husband the other day, “I was prepared for diapers, bottles, sleepless nights, and the sweet ‘waa’ crying of a baby, but I didn’t sign up for shouting matches, kicking and screaming tantrums, and the endless ‘no’ that seems to answer every question I have. When things are mellow it’s heaven, but lately I even dread having to transition to another activity because a melt down is inevitable. On the rare occasion that we make a smooth transition I find that I’m still holding my breath expecting the worse.

I don’t walk on eggshells by any means, but because we have the same hard-headed personality (couldn’t he have just got my eyes?) it makes for quite a struggle. I’m finding that I spend too much of my time nagging or punishing rather than having fun. Now with my days running together I’m left with the chicken or the egg question – does he act up and then a nag or do I nag and then he acts up? I honestly can’t say, and either way I feel awful.

I also worry about this being a way of acting out with a new baby around. He’s been great with Tillman. Occasionally, he’ll push he’s swing faster than he should and wake him up, and recently we’ve found him pinching him, which I don’t understand, but considering what I expected it’s low key. I’m wondering if he’s channeling some of his feelings in a different direction that ends with him shouting and throwing things?

I feel that parenting is one question after the other, and the minute you find what works to answer the first question it stops working and you’re on to the next question. As stressed as I may be right now I know that this will pass, and I will come out stronger and smarter than I was, but Lord give me the patience and grace to see clearly to make it through.

These are the moments that I’ve realized in the past that have changed my life, and have given me such a new perspective on myself. From the very beginning I have felt love and excitement from my children stronger than anything I could’ve imagined, and it continues to grow. It’s those shouting matches that end with us both in tears hugging each other that have taught me the most. That breakdown in the supermarket has made me a humble person. I have found that I need work on my patience from the pumpkin carving and egg coloring he wanted to do by himself. I need to let go and have fun more often so that I may experience the joy that comes with blowing hundreds of bubbles for hours on end. I have learned the importance of being nurturing and understanding because when he comes crying into our bed at night there’s no better feeling in the world than being the only thing that can call him down. I suppose this is what I should be thinking about during the difficult times, but I can hardly here anything over the echoing “NO.”

Mommy Brain

There is a constant battle that happens in my house around 12pm everyday. Dylan has just went down for his nap. Tillman is either asleep or getting ready for a nap as well, and I am about to have an hour or maybe if I’m really lucky two to myself. What to do? What to do? Craft? Blog? Internet? Read? Clean? Cook? Sleep? Usually it’s one of the first two, occasionally it’s cooking and cleaning, but almost never is it the last one. Sleep. It’s hard to believe that just a short three months ago I was enjoying a great mid-day slumber. I was so tired throughout my second pregnancy that I decided to share in Dylan’s naptime every day. These days I probably need that nap more than I did then, but when I only have one or two hours of quiet time to myself I feel like I should be doing something productive.

I’m definitely more on a night owl and find it hard to get to bed at a decent time. Most of the time some of the things I didn’t get to do in the afternoon I try to stuff them in somewhere between my husband falling asleep and midnight. This isn’t all that great when morning rolls around, and Tillman’s calling for food at 6am and Dylan’s bouncing around talking about breakfast at 7am. I am able to have one day to sleep in – Saturday. Oh how I love my Saturdays. Felix gets up with the boys, and makes breakfast. I get to sleep in until 9am (those couple hours definitely help), and take a normal person shower…quietly.

Unfortunately, that one Saturday is not enough for me to catch up as I found out recently. I have accepted that operating on less sleep has it’s consequences. I realized this when I was checking my email one afternoon during “me time” and in the subject line I read “binkie sale” looked over to the sender column and it was from Victoria’s Secret. Confused. Did a double take and of course it was “bikini sale.” I’m not sure if it was the mom in me who doesn’t even register the idea of a bikini or it was the exhaustion that prevented me from clear understanding. Maybe the exhausted mom in me that was forming random baby words, since I’m pretty sure a “binkie” is correctly referred to as a pacifier in the business world. These little mishaps occur more frequently now, and finding pepper in the fridge isn’t all that uncommon anymore.

We have developed a loose schedule around here, and I know the sequence of things, but often the timing is off. I’m wondering if this contributes to my loss of sleep as well. I came across this blog which I have come to really like. It’s refreshing, and suggests ways to be the best you. The series they are taking about now is focused on making the most of your mornings. It makes sense, staying up late regardless of what you’re doing “borrows from the quality of the next day,” although it’s not always easy to fix. In an attempt to seize each day, and fix these “mommy brain” frustrations I am looking into myself. I’m trying to figure out what I need and want personally, so that I may be the most effective ‘me’ each day for my husband and for my children, and that may mean going to bed earlier to wake up earlier. Seems easy enough, now if I could just do it!

Never Grow Up

I believe that having children magnifies every emotion you feel from the very moment you hold that new little baby. The love felt truly is watching your heart walk outside of your chest. The overwhelming emotions literally take my breath away. I cry because I’m happy, excited, sad, worried, scared – Let’s face it I’m a mess, and I never used to be a crier. While this was a surprise to me, even more of a surprise it how my husband has been affected. I agree with the statement, “A woman becomes a mother from the day she finds out she’s pregnant, a man becomes a father when he holds his child.” There’s nothing wrong with it, and it makes sense. Felix thought it was cool when he felt the boys move in my belly, but was awestruck, teary-eyed and speechless (which doesn’t happen very often) when he held them.

Felix is a special man, and an amazing father – mindful, patient, playful, and loving just perfect. When we had out first son he was so excited, but anxious to get to those “sidekick” days, when Dylan would be following him around, playing outside, fish, hunting, camping, watching the game, if nothing else at least talking. Now that school is over and he’s home every night he hasn’t missed one beat or one opportunity to do every one of those things with him. He doesn’t have it in him to tell his boys no, because he’s afraid of the days when they may not want to hang out with him. Although he does believe that they are going to WANT to come home during their summers from college and help him build a cabin.

Our second go ‘round with Tillman. I find my husband becoming a much more emotional version of himself. I think now that he has an infant again, and he sees just how much Dylan has grown up and changed in so little time he is being affected more. I’m not quite sure why he tears up during girlie movies now. I watched them play at the park the other day, and even though everything was Dylan’s size and very safe he couldn’t bring himself to let Dylan play by himself. It probably didn’t help that I told him Dylan fell off one of the higher platforms a few days before, but he didn’t get hurt or cry he just kept playing lol! Dylan is at a place right not where he’s testing out his boundaries (with or without our permission), and he wants to do things himself, and I know Felix is having a hard time giving him that space. I am as well, but at times now that we have Tillman I need him to be a little more self-sufficient. It’s a double-edge sword I suppose. Dylan still thinks he’s Daddy hung the moon and does everything in his power to be just like him (right down to his matching FSU hat), and Felix loves every minute, although I think he’s wanting Tillman’s baby days to last as long as possible. Changing diapers doesn’t seem too bad all of sudden.

Writing all of this remind me of this song. *SIGH*