Worry Wort

I know that as a parent I will always worry about my kids.  But I wonder, will I always have the crazy and irrational catastrophic scenarios play in my

My imagined scenarios are just as outlandish as J.D.'s.

My imagined scenarios are just as outlandish as J.D.’s.

head like Zach Braff’s character did in “Scrubs?”  I know that I teeter on the edge of insanity each day.  I’m a mom.  But will I continue to be this way once my boys are no longer in danger of falling out of bed at night?

All four of us have been sick over the last couple of weeks.  Thank goodness I was the only one who woke up one Saturday with a headache, sore throat, chills, sore hips and knees and large amounts of phlegm being created by my sinuses.  But both boys have had head colds that then turned into chest colds.  Over the weekend, I thought I was out of the woods.  The boys had been fever free for several days and when I picked up Andrew yesterday he was really warm.  YAY!  Another fever.  I’m terrified that he has the enterovirus D-68.  Last night I was convinced that he was going to die in his sleep.

Each time we left Chase and or Andrew with a new caregiver, I would have these flashes of horrible thoughts enter my mind: (Insert Name Here) is going to pack up Chase/Andrew and drive to the border and never come back. Or, worse, we come home from whatever took us out in the first place and the house is engulfed in flames and everyone is trapped inside.  Sick? I know.  This is what I think about!  Other people have these irrational fears right?  We’ve never had any issues with any of our caregivers and yet these thoughts creep into my mind.

After becoming a parent I now know what my mom felt like the night that I went out with a friend I met in a Summer class at Indiana University.  I took a course between my Sophomore and Junior years of high school.  Being the very mature 16 year old student I was, I made friends with the college kids and got myself invited to a party.  We went to several and I completely ignored my curfew and when I got home, my mother was sitting in the kitchen, furious.  She was probably terrified.  I now get it.  I’m sorry Mom.  Luckily, I wasn’t drunk, I probably had a couple of Coor’s Lights, which to a seasoned boarding school drinker like me, was nothing.

I know that for a short period of time before they become teenagers, I will not have to worry about drunk driving or Chase and Andrew sneaking out, so that helps.  But, until then, I will continue to conjure outlandish and improbable situations in my head.

Siggy-Q

Courting My In-Laws

My in-laws are visiting right now and Ryan and I have been calm about the fact that they are considering moving here.  Of course we want them here but at the end of the day, it has to be their choice to move here.

They have looked at houses, my FIL is interviewing for a job, and we’re taking them to restaurants that have been pretty impressive!  My MIL is going to Barre3 each day and I think she is finding the classes challenging, which is good because she is a heck of an athlete.  I feel blessed that I get along with and enjoy my in-laws.  Not everybody does.

I think their heartstrings are pulled by the affection Chase and Andrew show them.  And, I hope they want to be around the boys.  I know the boys want them in their lives.  I know that we won’t see them every day.  Once they live here, they will have their own lives and schedules.  But it will be nice to have them over for family dinners.  It will be fun for the boys to stay overnight at their house.

We have been to two great restaurants so far: Tavolino Ristorante and Downtown Kitchen.  Both were fantastic!  I look forward to our next adventure: Cafe Poca Cosa.  More on that little gem later.

Come on Tucson, impress the pants off my in-laws…well wait.  I don’t need to see them in their underwear.

Siggy-Q

It’s Over…But Really The Fun Has Just Begun

It started with a mental countdown in June of 2013.  I started to long for the freedom of not having to nurse Andrew anymore.  My goal was a year.  I did the same amount of time with Chase.  By the time we took our trip to Hawaii, he was doing just fine with four feedings a day at scheduled times.

Week 1 was a breeze.  I dropped the feeding that occurred either right before or right after his morning nap.  He didn’t skip a beat.  I felt good.  It gave me a little more freedom on the days we have our nanny come.  I was able to schedule a couple of meetings and not have to race back home for a feeding.

As I entered the second week of weaning, the guilt set in.  I don’t know if it was hormones or what, but I couldn’t help feeling like I was doing something wrong.  Guilt is a debilitating feeling.  I know logically that my decision and plan for action are right.  I followed the same plan with Chase.  Oh the reality of being a mother.

The third and fourth weeks were easy.  I could tell my milk supply was waning.  It was more of a comfort thing for him and a really effective way to relax him at the the end of the day.  He went to sleep right away after nursing and then putting him in his crib.

Now that Andrew is reaching the 2 year mark and he hasn’t nursed since he was 13 months, it doesn’t even phase me…or him.  He doesn’t grab at my chest.  He still cuddles, which is what I was hoping he would do.  He’s now climbing on things, which terrifies me.  We were at a play date yesterday with a friend of Chase’s and all 3 kids were playing really well together.  I then hear Drew start to cry.  It was a wail of fear.  I go into the playroom right off the kitchen and find Drew STANDING on top of the “play kitchen” 3 feet off the ground.  The child climbed all of the way up to find a cash register and freaked out when he obviously could not get back down.  Poor guy.

In all reality, this phase of independence and autonomy that we both have (at least temporarily) is wonderful.  I loved the baby stage but I am so glad to be on the other side.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel, with new challenges of course, and I will bask in its glory.

Siggy-Q

Class Reunion…

In a week, I will take Ryan to my 20 year high school reunion.  Many of you, our readers, will be there.  My co-blogger Sarah will be there.  I went to Ryan’s 20 year reunion last year and it was hilarious, fun, and enlightening.

I have nothing but feelings of excitement for our trip.  I am on the committee helping to organize the events of the Matriculationweekend, which has been fun.  I’ve been going through old photo albums to find APPROPRIATE pictures to post on the class Facebook page.  I have added a few from my time at Culver Academies.  Culver Girls Academy (CGA) coexists with Culver Military Academy (CMA), which was founded in 1894.

My experience there started as a camper during the summer.  From the moment I stepped on campus, I knew that I wanted to go to school there.  My brother and sister had gone there for camp and I was determined to do the same.  I felt at home there.  There are few places in the world where I have felt that immediate connection and a “knowing” that what I was doing at that very moment was right.

I spent four summers in specialty camp and 3 years of winter school and graduated in 1994.  I have a core group of friends that I have stayed connected with since graduation and I can’t wait to be back on Lake Maxincuckee with

From Left: Danielle "Dee" Adams, Isa Gallwas Magsamen, Amy Brown Mason, Quindaro E. C. Frieder, Sarah Hadraba Boecker, Sarah Swanger Givant

From Left: Danielle “Dee” Adams, Isa Gallwas Magsamen, Amy Brown Mason, Quindaro E. C. Frieder, Sarah Hadraba Boecker, Sarah Swanger Givant

them.   I am also excited to see and reconnect with other classmates that I haven’t seen either since our 10 year or even graduation!

We have all gone on different paths and succeeded in our own ways.  I look forward to sharing the beautiful campus with Ryan.  He already understands the “Culver Connection” that we all have and is impressed that though we are all very different as individuals and come from different backgrounds, we are all independent driven women who value similar things in life.

We won’t take the kiddos this time, but maybe we will for the next reunion.  I’m sure the time together with our classmates will create some new memories and possibly new opportunities.  Stay tuned!

Siggy-Q

 

I’m Not Having Any Fun

Sometimes I think to myself: “I’m not having any fun!”  I’m tired, stressed, wanting a cocktail at 9 in the morning.  Parenting is exhausting.

The Three Kiddos

Quinnie, John, and Ted (Circa 1979)

After having Chase, we got into a groove around 18 months and I felt normal again.  Chase slept like a champ, was really funny, and things were good.  Andrew is at that stage and I still feel like I have been run over by a truck on most days.

With two it is almost impossible to feel normal at any given time.  If one sleeps through the night, the other doesn’t.  Andrew is on what seems like a never-ending cycle of teething.  I have to remind myself that we are in a strange transition time though.  We sold our house, we moved out and are living with my in-laws.  On the surface it is fine.  We have plenty of room, my in-laws love having the boys around (at least I think they do) and it is only a temporary situation.  But I think subconsciously, it is wearing on us.

I AM on the backside of 30 and that could explain the length of time it is taking to shake off the weight and fatigue.  There are days when I feel so guilty for thinking to myself: “THIS SUCKS!!! I want to work and feel productive! I don’t want to wipe another butt! I want to watch a “Flipping Out” marathon while drinking bloody marys!”  Last night, while in bed listening to Chase breathe through his mouth, I was reading an Issue of The Week, a fabulous publication that really does a good job of pulling a wide range of articles on the issues of the day, I was reading the article: “The Last Word.”  It is an excerpt from either a longer article or a book.  This week’s “The Last Word” was an excerpt from the book: “All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood.”   It talked about the realities of parenthood.  The following passage hit home:

          “One day you are a paragon of self-determination, coming and going as you please; the next, you are a parent, laden with gear and unhooked from the rhythms of normal adult life.  It’s not an accident that the early years of parenting often register in studies as the least happy ones.”

FINALLY, someone said it!  Other people are unhappy too!

I love my kids.  I love my husband and our family.  We really do have a great dynamic.  Both boys are healthy, full of spunk and love.  I feel ok now admitting that sometimes I feel like I want to run away.  I would never do it, but there ARE other people who feel the same way.

We’ll get though the next year or two, hopefully, unscathed.  I asked my mom at one point how she and my dad did it with three little kids and her reply was: “With Lisa (our nanny) and lots of alcohol.”  Thank goodness I’m not alone.

 

Siggy-Q

 

It’s Done: Nursing Recap

In the final weeks and days of nursing, Europe’s “Final Countdown” ran through my head on a loop.  I’m pretty excited to be done nursing.  It is a benchmark for Drew and for me.

For Drew it means meals of only food that we prepare for him, sippy cups and independence.

For me, it means I can restrict my calories, sippy cups of caffeine and alcohol and independence.  Wait.  It means those things but it also means that my body is mine again.  I can burn my nursing bras.  I loved them, but I’m ready for my beautiful Chantelle underpinnings.

I know I will miss the quiet respite that nursing offers, especially at night when I put Andrew to bed.  It is a quiet calm from Chase’s sometimes rambunctious behavior.  But now, Ryan will be able to enjoy that task when he is home at night.  There are so many days when I come downstairs from putting Andrew to bed only to walk straight into Chase’s room for the next phase.  It’s exhausting.  I realize that I will still be doing that most of the time.  But it will be nice when Ryan IS home that he will have the ability to go put Drew down, especially when Chase is in a needy mood.

Ryan and I get to go on an overnight trip this weekend!  It will be our first time away, alone, for more that 24 hours.  Our plans are simple: watch college football and eat wings on Saturday morning then go to our hotel and take a nap.  Then, we’ll wake up, go to dinner and a movie.  Sunday morning: we’ll wake up and run 13.1 miles. What? Yes, it’s the second one this year but it keeps us on track.

Speaking of on track, I’ve never looked more forward to be able to “diet”.  I don’t usually diet but we have a wedding to go to in January in the Cayman Islands and this girl wants to look acceptable in a swimsuit. Plus, I’m not having any more kiddos so, my body is mine!  I don’t intend to abuse my new found freedom in any way (well, maybe just a little) and I am thankful that I was able to give both boys the nutrition and bonding of breastfeeding.  But, I’m done.

Siggy-Q

What a month!

ImageI left for vacation almost a month ago.  I’ve been back for two weeks.  Though the vacation was phenomenal, I feel like I’m steeped in paper, laundry and cleaning.  Going on vacation requires planning and organization but coming back from it has been a beast!  What makes it worse, I don’t have an ounce of motivation.  I would much rather catch up on Princesses Long Island or The Real Housewives of (insert city here).

We just had friends in town visiting and we have another set coming in this weekend.  I love having house guests; so, that has been my source of motivation to get things ready in time.

I hope to get out of the rut of lack of motivation.  I haven’t had time to plan meals, go to the gym, or go through my mail.  This is the top of my microwave.  I realize that these are first world problems, so it isn’t as dramatic as it sounds.  But, it is still an issue for me.

I have a ton of things to write about for the blog and no time or motivation to write.  I’m tired.  Can anyone offer a kick in the arse for me?

Siggy-Q

A Few Things I Hate About Parenthood

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my kids. I love them so much sometimes it hurts. I might be a little biased, but I think they are three of the coolest people ever. I also love being a mom… It’s hard though, damn hard, but with great rewards.

All that being said, there are a few parts of the job I could do without. I knew for the most part what I was getting into when I decided I wanted kids, and I knew it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Over the last few days, some of the downsides of parenthood have reared their ugly heads, and here they are to name a few.

1. Bodily Fluids: I can handle diapers and the gag worthy things that end up in them. Getting pooped on and puked on though, is just wrong. The other night Adam woke up crying shortly after I had put him to bed. He couldn’t seem to comfort himself, so I went in to check on him and found he had puked in his crib. Gross, but whatever. I was talking to him as I picked him up, and he projectile vomited into my mouth. Sorry if that’s TMI, but seriously the grossest thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m gagging again just writing about it. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat mac & cheese again (which is probably a good thing).

2. The Guilt: Oh the mommy guilt. There’s nothing like some big blue eyes and crocodile tears to make me feel like the worst mommy ever. Lately my fuse has been a little short and this morning for no good reason I scolded Eli washing his hands for too long. Dumb, I know, but I was so irritated. After listening to the water run for what seemed like forever, I walked into the bathroom, slammed off the water, and screamed at him. After all, I’ve told him 4,826 times not to let the water run. Yes, it was an issue I had to deal with, but I totally overreacted. I screamed until I saw the tears well up. My sweet boy looked up, said “I’m sorry, Mommy. I love you.” Then wrapped his sweet little arms around me and squeezed me tight. Oy. The guilt makes my heart hurt.

3. Teaching Kids to Drive: Abby recently got her permit. In Iowa one can get their permit at 14, then it’s up to their parents to provide a minimum of 20 (documented) hours of driving instruction before they can take a drivers ed course to get their license. We of course started out in an empty parking lot, but still. Our first lesson took at least 10 years off my life. Driving opens up a whole new can of worms. I’m not even sure where to start.  Driving is dangerous with very expensive consequences! I’m not just talking about money, I mean lives! Driving means within a couple of years she will be able to take this giant machine out on the streets with lots of other giant machines full of bad drivers. Just thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach. As our kids grow up, we constantly face new situations where we have to let them go be independent little by little. School, camp, sleepovers, etc. but for some reason driving seems different to me. And the process of teaching them to drive is so traumatic and awful…fearing for their lives as well as our own. Note to self… Don’t try to cut down on the amount of wine you consume while teaching your child to drive.

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The Final Countdown

The countdown has begun.  On September 21, 2013, Andrew turns 1.  That day will also mark the day I begin weaning him from breastfeeding.  I have mixed feelings about it.  At times, I love it and at other times, it feels very co

nfining.

We did the same thing with Chase.  By the time he turned one we only had 4 feeding sessions each day: 1) right when he woke up 2) either right before or right after he woke up from his morning nap 3) either right before or right after he woke up from his afternoon nap 4) before bed.  We dropped a feeding each week and left the last feeding of the day in place until the last week.  At that point, Ryan took over the bedtime routine.  At the end of the final week, Ryan and I spent a weekend away skiing.  It was a smooth transition and a great weekend.  Chase never looked back.  I hope to have similar luck with Drew.

I want my body back.  I am just done with it.  I’m sick of nursing bras, nursing pads, leaking, and engorgement.  I am sick of worrying about what I’ll wear because I have to be able to nurse in it.  I swear I’m going to stand in the back yard and have a bra burning session!  Who’s with me? Talk about a revolution!

Though I’m working hard to get back into shape, I still feel dowdy and fat.  Maybe my nursing bras are wearing out because the “girls” are sad and mopey.  I want my underwire over the shoulder boulder holder and I want it now!!!  I want the “girls” back where they should be: right under my chin!

Yet, I am so thankful for the bonding time nursing has allowed.  Though Drew is more often than not, a little distracted when he eats, it is still a respite at the end of the day.  If I weren’t nursing Drew, I guess it would be a little distressing if at 5:30 pm I just disappeared and sat in a dark room for 30 minutes.  Hmm, maybe I should do that anyway.  It is calm and quiet and if it has been a particularly challenging day, I sometimes fall asleep.

Being able to do this for Drew, and Chase before him, has created a wonderful bond.  The calm cuddle time is sweet and special and I am so glad to have experienced it.  Drew is our final baby, so part of me wants to cherish every second of the baby stage, including the breastfeeding.  Plus, it is easy, cheap, and so natural and fulfilling. 

But, let’s get on with it already!  I want to start the overnights with Grammie and Grandpa again!  I haven’t had a vacation in a year!  I have a bachelorette party to go to in November.  It can’t come soon enough!

Siggy-Q

 

Is there a Mommy Instinct?

In short: yes. And stick to it, it’s usually right.

When you start a family EVERYONE gives you advice. I’m guilty of it. I try to preface everything I say with: “This has been my experience…each child is different…smile, nod, and say thank you…ultimately, follow your gut.”

A dear friend: Tracy gave some of the best advice shortly after I had Chase: “You, as a mother are the only true advocate for your baby. It is your duty to follow your instincts and protect your child.” I keep that in mind when we are over at a friend’s house for the evening and I see that Chase and Drew have hit their peak and will soon be on the down side of happy. Yes, I would like to stay, socialize, DRINK. But I know that the world will not end if I go home and put my kiddos to bed. Besides, I will be getting up at 6 am the next day, regardless of what time I go to bed.

There was one time when I didn’t follow my instincts and I paid for it. Chase was 3 months old. He was starting to sleep a little longer and more regularly. One evening Chase fell asleep at 8pm or so. At 10:30 pm, as we were about go to bed, the suggestion was made that we should wake him up to feed him. Not being confident in my parenting skills at that point and though my instinct was to let him sleep, I woke him up and fed him. It was a TOTAL disaster. He was so angry that it took an hour to get him to go back to sleep and then to top it off, he woke up every hour the rest of the night. Now, who knows if he would have done that anyway, but maybe he would have slept until 2 am until his normal feeding time. I didn’t follow my instincts and I paid for it.

So, now, I always follow my gut and adhere to the schedule we have agreed upon as parents. Now, with Chase we can be a little more flexible with bed times but when it’s time. It’s time.

Share your story of when following your instincts has paid off, or when not following them has backfired.

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway! Tell us your favorite wine on the Sabrinah Chappell Interview comment section. You have until Saturday!

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Siggy-Q

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