Much Better, Thank You

Thank you all for the outpouring of love and care in tweets, texts, Facebook messages, phone calls, and e-mails. I had no idea how many people read this blog.

Today was a quiet, wonderful day. There was some poo, quite a lot of pee, and I nursed, nursed, nursed some more, and nursed yet again. But it was pretty uneventful over all. We spent all afternoon at Shelby’s with Jessica and all our kids. They play together so nicely, except for the occasional bonk on the head (“Mamaaaa, he hit meeeeeee!”) and the ensuing crying.

There were many of those little fleeting moments that are so precious and so rarely noted. Every day, several times a day, when Prester starts fussing a little bit and then sees me coming towards him with a wrap in my hands, he laughs out loud, flapping his arms and kicking wildly in anticipation of being flipped on to my back and wrapped on. I love those few seconds. And I love the total calm when he relaxes on my back and falls asleep there, safe and secure. Usually I have Prester on my back but Thane does the same. They know it is where they belong.

If I say so myself, I can totally rock a ruck with confidence now. I have mainly been doing a Ruck TUB with my size 2 and 3 shorties. The pic below is of Prester in a DH with a size 6 Papaya Indio. All that info for the few wrapping geek friends I have.

Prester goes on my back every time I go shopping so I have hands free to chase Thane down in the grocery store as I throw things in the cart. I like it when he runs around. He is having an adventure exploring things (he knows now not to touch anything) and I love that he gets nice and tired from running so hard. Rinah and Buddy love it, too, and are becoming quite helpful remembering what we need and suggesting what we might want.

I know some people think it’s crazy to take that many kids around with me everywhere but I figure they need to get out of the house as much as I do and they will never learn to behave in public if they are never in public. It was really hard for a while but lately they have all been doing pretty well.

And just for the fun of it, Shilowe did a makeover for me last week and posted before and after pictures on her site. If you click on that, make sure you scroll down past the icky before picture!

Not Glamorous At All But Certainly Blessed

Some people like to say that blogging is dishonest because it portrays an unrealistic, glamorous lifestyle instead of telling about real life. Every time I hear that, I find it totally absurd. There are plenty of bloggers out there who blog about real life just as it is. Those are generally the blogs I like to read.

And here is my real life story for today. I need to write this to calm myself down. If I don’t write, I think I will lose my mind.

I don’t even know where to start. Buddy peed all over himself AGAIN today. And on his underwear. And his legs and feet. And my feet. He’s done this for I don’t know how many days in a row. He’s fully potty-trained and does fine most of the time and then out of nowhere has a bunch of accidents for days in a row. I don’t know why he’s doing it. I’ve heard it’s a developmental stage. Whatever it is, I hope he gets past it soon. ‘Cause I don’t know how much more pee I can handle. At least he’s done with his eating-his-own-poop-and-smearing-it-everywhere-possible phase. That lasted for a few miserable months. I don’t know how many times I cleaned poop out of his fingernails.

I was told once by a mother of very sick children that at least my kids pee and poo. She would love to have the kind of problems I do. I’m glad I have pee and poo to clean up even though sometimes I feel like I’m in it to my ankles … or knees … or like today, up to my ears in it.

As I’m typing this, I just noticed that one of the kids kindly took a wet cloth diaper and put it on the computer desk on top of our yet unwatched Netflix DVDs. So now the red paper Netflix covers are soaked in pee. Lovely.

Thane is having an awful allergic reaction to something this week. I have no idea what and we don’t have our next allergy appointment till Monday. The doctor has been on vacation this week. And of course this is the week he’s been screaming, crying, waking up about 20 times a night scratching his skin raw. He’s a sweet boy when he’s feeling well but when he’s having an allergic reaction he becomes really violent, scratching, biting, hitting, kicking constantly. He’s been like this all week. The back of his legs is all raw. When we give him Benadryl and Zyrtec before he goes to sleep, he sleeps an unnaturally sound sleep for a couple of hours. He doesn’t move AT ALL from the position he fell asleep in. Not a muscle moves. He looks dead. Then after the first 2-3 hours of dead sleep, he wakes up over and over again, crying and scratching.

And because today has been so full of … excitement … I decided to treat myself to a disposable diaper for Prester normally reserved for nighttime and weekend use instead of the cloth we use during the day. He pees a lot and gets very upset about being in a wet cloth diaper. If he’s awake, he will fuss a bit then cry if he is not changed right away. If he is asleep, he will wake up and cry until he gets a dry diaper on. Instead of getting up 10-15 times per night to change him (this is NOT hyperbole!), Ben and I decided to use disposables at night. Anyway. Disposables work fine for his pee. But no disposable can contain his poop. It’s a matter of velocity and absorption rate. He has never once had a blowout in cloth. If he happens to poop in a disposable, it’s a blowout EVERY SINGLE TIME. So guess what happened as soon as I put him in a disposable and went to wipe a butt on the potty. The carpet will need to be cleaned tonight. Another fun home date night for me and Ben after the kids go to bed.

Rinah is pretty good most of the time. No real problems with her at the moment. But the one thing I don’t understand is why she just stands there when she can tell that Thane is about to hit her. And then after he hits her the first time she cries and stands there letting him keep hitting her instead of running away. Or even taking a step to the side. Or stopping his blows. He is so much smaller and weaker than she is but she just stands there and cries and cries till I come stop him.

There are many days like today. Some days I can handle it better. Some days I can’t. Today is one of those days I am at my wits’ end.

The best days are the days I spend with friends and their children. The gross messes are mostly laughable and the cute and funny things the kids do and say are more enjoyable because there is someone to share them with. Mothers and children were never meant to be at home alone. I hate cars and how isolated they make people.

In the 5 years we’ve been married, Ben has matured about 20 years. It is amazing to see the transformation. He is such a good husband and father now. I honestly do not know what I would do without him every day. When he gets home, I know that no matter how bad things are, everything is going to be OK. He is firm without being controlling and kind without being a pushover. I realize more and more every day it is a truly rare combination. So many “nice” guys are just abdicating and so many “responsible” ones are way too controlling.

Have you watched Office Space? I do not remember much of anything about the movie except this line.

“So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.”

Since Prester has been born, every day has been the most exhausting day of my life. Every day I wake up in the morning, no matter how much or little I’ve slept, I feel more tired than the day before. This happened after Buddy was born, too. The exhaustion combined with the nausea and extreme hair loss points to the postpartum hypothyroidism I had before but I think there’s something else going on, too, because taking the thyroid stuff is not really helping. I need to make an appointment for myself.

Right now, with the two older kids in their room, Thane sleeping, and Prester falling asleep in my arms as I nurse him at the keyboard, I am way too caffeinated to even rest let alone nap while all the kids sleep. By the time the caffeine wears off and I crash, the kids will probably all be awake.

Often, I find myself thinking, “If there is no rest for the wicked, does that mean I’m wicked?” Every day, I wonder what I am doing to irrecoverably damage my children.

Yesterday afternoon I was especially tired after an extra rough night so I had a 16-oz Coca Cola and a 16-oz coffee (strong, home-brewed, French press black coffee, not a weak latte) one right after the other. I was super buzzed for about an hour. Then I was so tired I could barely stay awake. While I was driving, my eyes kept closing and I got really scared. I could feel myself weaving a little. So I kept talking to the kids to keep myself and them awake. The boys all fell asleep but Rinah and I stayed awake till we got home. And then I had more coffee. So I could stay awake for dinner and the kids’ bedtime.

I have a splitting headache and I’m sitting here swallowing tears I’m so emotionally and physically spent. Ben won’t be home for another couple of hours. I should go put that lamb in the oven. We have a special dinner planned for the two of us tonight. I’m bummed he’s working tomorrow … on a SATURDAY. I will miss him.

Oh, and on top of all this, our house is on the market again. So I need to keep it sparkling clean at all times. Yeah, right. Someone is coming to look at it tomorrow. Really gotta get that mustardy poo outta the off-white carpet.

This is the hardest job I’ve ever had. But there is nothing I would rather be doing. Nothing whatsoever.

My dear, sweet, gentle, kind, King of Pee & Poo turned 3 last week. It was so hard to see my baby becoming more and more a boy. He was very happy about it, though. I was, too, though it’s bittersweet. Here’s a happy picture from last week instead of a stressed-out, almost-crying picture of me from this week. I had a TON of coffee AND a 5-hour energy drink before this picture was taken. And I’m wearing make-up.

This is what I woke up to this morning. Peaceful, beautiful, wonderful, squishy, smooth baby.

I am looking forward to tomorrow. Every day is a new day. And no matter how hard it is, after I’ve had time to calm down and reflect, I love my life, I love my husband, I love my children. Thank you, God, for every day.

Kids are waking up. OK. I don’t think I can stop the flood. I’m going to go cry now. And then nurse the boys. And PUT THE LAMB IN THE OVEN. Ben will be home soon.