Kitty Time

Motherhood, babies, life, celebrities, politics…kitty’s claws come out when she’s in the mood.

Emailing at O’Dark Thirty June 17, 2009

Filed under: Baby Sleep,Husbands,Life with 2 kids,Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 7:15 pm

Look – don’t pretend like you’ve never done this. And if you haven’t, I bet you’ve thought about it. And if you’ve seriously never found yourself in this position – then that annoys me.

Are we all familiar with the enraged email that you bang out – usually to your spouse – at o’dark thirty? When you know that you probably shouldn’t be sending it and you know it definitely isn’t productive – and odds are it might not even be his fault – but really – he’s the one who got you pregnant and it’s therefore it’s his kid that has you up at that time- and he’s not there to help you deal – so really – isn’t it oh so cathartic?

It just  might be oh so wrong.

But it feels just so right.

And frankly – very little feels right at 4am. When you’ve been up for an hour already. And you don’t know when it’ll end but you know the sun comes up around 5:30am, therefore DD1 (who is also the child of said male you are sending threatening emails too, therefore it’s his fault) will be up – so really – your day began at 3am.

So why send the threatening email at o’dark thirty?

Why the hell not. KT might have found herself doing such a thing on Tuesday morning. I was all by my lonesome. This was the second hard night I’d had in a row with DD2, it was absurd that she had been up since 3am.Meanwhile DH was peacefully sawing logs back at home, with nary a care in the world, and an empty house facing him when he arose that morning. He could take his time, slumber around, do whatever the f he wanted before going to work, when he woke up.

But me? Oh hell no.

So is sending the threatening “get your ass to work early so that you can get home at a decent time and give me help or you are dead f’ing meat because I’ve already been up for an hour and it’s f’ing 4am” email a good idea?  I’m thinking YES because it just feels great to bang that out. Now doesn’t it?

Haven’t you done something similar?

I know that I cannot be alone in this, kittens. Fess up.

But see – this brings up another topic. The threat built into the email. Even if you haven’t sent your DH a threatening email at 4am, admit that you’ve sent him a threatening email. And the thing is, I really have found that when they know we really mean it, we finally get some action. Why do they respond to threats or yelling? Cause I know we don’t want to hear threats and yelling coming out of our mouths (well, actually, frankly, threats at 4am when I know he is sleeping elsewhere is exactly what I want to hear).

But seriously.

Example – yesterday DH left his office and got home by 4:30pm.

FOUR THIRTY.

Granted he read that email bright and early and actually went to work at 6am. But still. 4:30. It was like a christmas miracle. And it just teaches me that threats work.

Another example – we bought these beautiful number tiles in Provence in June 2007 (back when we had only one kid and we were in France. Alone. Without her. In other words, the glory days of June 2007).  Now, until 2 weeks ago, do you think those beautiful house tiles, that DH himself picked out, had been hung? Mais non! They had been pushed around and the topic of countless discussions and nagging sessions for TWO YEARS.

Well, I woke up with a real bee in my bonnet that morning and really laid into him. And you know what? Those tiles were hung that very day – he just quietly got to work and got it done (in like an hour, I might add, so if you count up all the time I’ve asked, pleaded, begged, nagged and most recently yelled, I spent more time asking than it took to complete). They look so great and now the front of my house looks how it’s supposed to look – dressed up with numbers from Provence.

So why do they respond to threats and yelling? Why? Why? Why? Cause the truth is, unless it is 4am, I really actually don’t want to do those things.

Yet between coming home at 4:30pm and hanging my French house numbers – you think I’m gonna refrain from a little yell or a threatening email again, when the opportunity presents itself?

Oh hell no.

Am I alone here, kittens?

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3,2,1….BLAST-OFF June 14, 2009

Filed under: Baby Sleep,Husbands,Life with 2 kids,Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 1:09 pm

That is how I feel as each day starts, as the sun is barely rising over the horizon……..it’s like we blast-off at mach 10 and there is barely a second to think until 14 hours have passed.

Life with two kids is exhausting.

Let me write that again – this time imagine it in 84 point font in bold – EXHAUSTING.

Lately I hear myself sound like that mom. You know that one that you hear at the park and you’re horrified and think to yourself, I will never bark at my kids like that and be so impatient. You know that one that you are rolling your eyes at in horror.

Remember one of the fight club rules at KT? Whenever you think you won’t be that person or it won’t happen to you – it will and it does – and usually worse than you think.

So clearly I need a break. I think two weeks of sick kids, including an emergency 24 hour hospitalization for DD1 (and yes, of course I was alone with both kids at the docs when we were rushed to the hospital) – hasn’t helped and has in fact, made me raw and beyond the point of exhausted. But still. Wow. This is hard.

At first, I really didn’t think adjusting to two was that big of a deal. Newborns are easy, I thought. And honestly, compared to an insane toddler and when you are doing it the second time around, newborns really are easy (with the exception of colicky babies or an illness). All they do is sleep. Sure they don’t sleep a lot and so you don’t either but that’s nothing new – so it’s not a hard transition.

But then they start to grow up. They sleep less, they regress in sleeping patterns, they learn more about what they want, they whine endlessly between 5-7pm, they become more demanding because well – they are older and wiser.

And your older one is still, well, demanding – because at least mine is 3.5. She’s old enough to assert her independence and want to do everything herself – but that can be very frustrating and time consuming and patience exhausting.

It’s funny – it’s like they play tag with you. DD2 is easy because she eats whatever I put in front of her. With DD1, most meals and even getting her to eat is a battle. An exhausting, draining one. But I won’t back down, she needs to eat and “healthy choices” is a constant phrase around my house.

Then it’s nap time. DD1 goes right to bed. DD2, she fights me and drags it out, then I get her to sleep, then she wakes up literally 45 minutes later and up I go again to get her back down, and so it goes. It’s always something.

Through this, don’t get me wrong. I love love love being home – I never once find myself missing work or feeling like I am missing out or wishing I could put on a suit. I would honestly tell you if I did. And I love our lazy afternoons at the park, watching DD1 and DD2 make each other laugh and giggle, or painting at 11am on a random Tuesday.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not tired to the bone and wondering when things will ease up. Most days I feel steamrolled.

I used to go to the gym at 6am because it was the only time of day I could workout. It still is the only time of day I can workout but now I go to the gym at that time because I need to get the f out of the house and be by myself and have quiet time. It gives me the strength to power through the next few hours.

I was the sleep police with DD1 and I still am with DD2. The reality of naps for the second child is that it revolves around the schedule of the older child. This kinda sucks for the second kid but whatever, if you have an active 3 year old in your house, you know you need to get the hell out and just hope the baby will sleep in the stroller (mine, as it turns out, refuses to do that). The good thing is that morning naps for DD2 are spotty but I’ve forced them both onto the same afternoon nap. Sometimes I do get 2 hours of quiet time at the same time. Not every day – DD2 often wakes up mid-way through her nap and needs help getting back down – but I stand firm. At least this time round, I know that these phases will pass and I remind myself of that over and over again as I am feeling raw and like I’m going to lose it.

Blast-off is really the only way for me to summarize life with a 3.5 year old and a six-month old. I was reading an entry on the Washington Post “On Parenting” blog and it’s what really spurred me to write this entry. The author wrote that when you add a second child to the house, you are adding a whole new set of needs and demands and wants but the number of parent hands stays the same. Indeed. And it means a whole lot more work for daddy, that second child.

DH is very helpful with the kids, I really cannot complain about that, and he can see when I am teetering on the edge and will suggest I get out. But I’ve also really worked hard at actively carving out time for myself on the weekends. I think it’s the key to my survival but also it’s important for him to be alone with them. Not because he doesn’t know how to care for them but because I think it’s important for them to just have daddy time.

At first, DH just had to take over care for DD1. I had a c-section with DD2 and physically couldn’t manage a 3-year old for at least the first three weeks. Before DD2 was born, I was the only one that DD1 wanted (I was the only one she wanted for basically the entire second year of her life. That can get old). The end of my pregnancy really changed that because I also couldn’t carry her upstairs anymore or manage wrestling her onto the potty. So she had to learn to accept daddy in her life. It was a battle. She really was only-mommy, all the time for so long, but I knew I needed to step back for her sake because I knew daddy was the best she could get once DD2 arrived. She eventually relented and realized that daddy was pretty awesome, so it was fine for her that daddy was on full-court press with DD1 with the arrival of DD2.

Now that I have been home for two months, she’s easing back into an only-mommy phase but she’s also older – so you can reason with her or frankly, just ignore it, much easier than you can with a 2-year-old. But daddy’s involvement and participation and help is more crucial than ever. I really have no idea how single moms do it.

So what is my point in all of this? Well, frankly, I just need to blurt it all out because I’m so tired and exhausted and I know it’ll get easier but just blurting it out makes me feel better. My point is also not to scare anyone having a second. Trust me – seeing the siblings laugh together and play together is amazing. It’s amazing like when you have your first and realize what true love is – you remember that feeling? Well, it’s amazing like that.

Everyone has an opinion. Some say the transition from 0-1 is the hardest. Others say the transition from 1-2 is harder because you are already in a routine with the one and it’s a big adjustment. The majority say adding a third isn’t even mentionable once you’ve got two. Right now, I think the transition from 0-1 was the hardest for me because it was just such a shock to my system.  I also know that having a baby and a 3 year old is just hard. It’s universally hard for anyone doing it. They both are so needy and dependent on you, it’s basically unrelenting.

I think the best way to summarize life with two kids is really and truly “BLAST-OFF.”  Strap yourselves in and try to enjoy the ride, kittens.

 

I will win the war May 18, 2009

Filed under: Baby Sleep,Husbands,Motherhood — Wired_Momma @ 3:22 pm

DD2 might be winning the battle…but mark my words kittens…..yours truly will win this war. We are currently on day 10. I earned my first point last night….but I will stand victorious at the end.

What, pray tell, is going on, you wonder. Let me tell you. This is a tale as old as time. A scenario familiar to all of you. And if its not and you actually have a child at home, then don’t tell me.  No one here likes you for it.

You got it. The war against sleep that babies wage upon their innocent and beloved parents.

See, DD2 abruptly just decided to start waking up around 4am a week ago Saturday. Just out of the blue. So that first early morning – let’s be honest, it’s still the middle of the night – I considered it a fluke. I tried to get her back down, she wouldn’t settle back down, so I weighed my options. I could:

a. Leave her there and see what happens

b. Take her downstairs to our room.

Back when I was a parent of just one child, I stood firm with option A. There was no way in hell DD1 was ever going to think coming to our bed was an option..and as a result…she has hilarious space issues and never wants anyone near her in her bed, let alone would she consider cuddling in ours.

But see, the game is different now because to leave DD2 in her room gabbing as loud as she was creates new option C – which is the risk of waking DD1 at 4am. And see, I can deal with DD2 at 4am because she can eventually be coaxed back to sleep. Waking DD1, however, is a whole different can of worms…..as she would be cranky, pissed off, refuse to go back to sleep, then demand cartoons, company, and play time. Playing at 4am is torture.

SO, I opted for option B, brought DD2 downstairs, holding my breath on our creeky old loud stairs (who thought hardwood floors was a good idea? was it me?) praying that I wouldn’t wake DD1, and eventually coaxed DD2 back to sleep in our bed – right around the time DD1 arose for the day, as luck wouldn’t have it.

But little did I know that the very next night the same thing would happen. Hmm…..up again before 5am? Happy F’ing Mothers Day.

I began to think it wasn’t a fluke.

And so begins the wracking of the brain for reasons for the next week. Familiar with the below list?

Could it be teething? Does she need tylenol?

What did I feed her for dinner? I think she is gassy. She is definitely gassy – check out how she is arching her back.  Where is that mylicon?

Nope, it’s the nipple, chimed in my mom by Friday. Her medium flow nipple is too slow – she’s now about 6 months – she wants it faster, she’s swallowing too much air, she needs a faster nipple.

Even though I wasn’t sure how or why swallowing too much air during a 7pm feed would impact her around 4-5am, I bought a ticket on that bus and ransacked every store for new nipples and brought those into play.

Birds suggested another friend. Birds wake her daughter and lord knows I hate those f’ing birds (and on a sidenote – also the sun. Why can’t I control the sun? Why should it still be up at 8pm and up again before 6am? This is not convenient when trying to argue the case to a savvy preschooler that they need to go to sleep or not wake up yet. The sun is anti-parenthood at bed time and in the morning. Note to self – do not travel to Alaska in the summer with opinionated small children.)

So I shut all her windows, turned on fans, plugged in a loud humidifier.

Guess what?
Not the birds.

Are you with me here kittens? Are you familiar with said scenario?  Wracking your tired and sleep hungry brain for more ideas as to what could be causing this sudden change in sleep patterns.

By last night, I had drawn up my battle plans and was ready for action. I was going to counter her every move. I have my armour on, I am ready to beat her at this game. By week’s end, I will get her past her new found wake up time. Don’t doubt me. Never doubt me.

See, DD2 had me on my toes all last week and also had me really quite tired and cranky. I’ve since eliminated all reasonable possibilities and have reached the same conclusion…DD2 just wants to gab at 4am. She has a lot to say. I understand that because well, so do I. And she feels compelled to say it at 4am. Deliberate torture to inflict upon her parents?

Possibly.

A plot she cooked up with her older sister because they think it’s fun to tag team us already?

Perhaps.

A cruel desire to leave mommy with puffy eyes and circles from incomplete nights of sleep?

Me thinks so.

But that’s fine. Two can tango chez moi.

So this morning, I even woke up on my own minutes before DD2 began to gab at 4:16am. Naturally DH was snoring away. She gabbed. And she chatted. And she giggled. And she talked. But I didn’t cave. I was prepared for her to wake her sister (and that would have been DH’s problem because how dare he sleep while I wasn’t?). I could beat her at this game. And by 5am her gabs turned to whines, wimpers and cries.

Ah ha! I thought.

The little one is getting tired. She’s worn herself out and I didn’t go chat with her and bring her downstairs.

I snuck up, gave her the passie, noted that not only was she gabbing but she was also apparently going on a trip…taking a full tour of her crib and chose the opposite corner from where I placed her, to lay. Love that. And then I left.

And she fell blissfully back to sleep until 6:15am.

Meanwhile DH was sleeping the whole time and I basically never fell back asleep and then DD1 woke up (f’ing sun and birds)….but whatever…..DD2 has won several battles but oh…..I will win this war. Her new wake up time will be revised and improved by Thursday.

I promise.