A Dare

So, I haven’t really written in awhile, about how life is as a mother of two UNDER TWO. And that is mostly because, as a mother of two under two, I have  ZERO time to do so. Which, I am sure you might have expected.

I am, by no means, some type of domestic goddess. In fact, I am quite the opposite. I hate dirty dishes, but if I use my muffin pan to make the delicious and healthy oatmeal cups (for which, the liners will not work) for my daughter so that she doesn’t have to eat crap food for breakfast, I will pretend not to see the muffin pan sitting in the sink for days and use the excuse that “it needs to soak” to avoid scrubbing the shit out of it. I do assloads of laundry but frequently leave clean clothes in baskets until I can no longer stand to look at them. I sweep 471 times per day but can never seem to get everything. And I routinely bribe my husband with anything I can think of to scrub the bathtub because I fucking hate doing it.

When and if my kids take naps at the same time, I prefer to spend that hour (USUALLY LESS) watching the reality TV on my DVR and playing Candy Crush. Because, we all have our guilty pleasures. And while I wish I could say that I bust my ass during that time, I would be lying. Because it rarely happens and Mama needs her Mob Wives fix. And I won’t apologize. Because, as chaotic as I knew all of this “mother of two” shit was going to be, I HAD NO IDEA what I was getting myself into.

I have a friend who was pregnant with her second child when I was pregnant with L. Her kids are about 17 or 18 months apart. I always marvel at her because, though we share a bunch of frustrated, “WHY WON’T THESE FUCKING KIDS SLEEP” texts (DAILY), she seems to handle it all so much better than I feel I do. I mean, it could just be that I am more willing to say things like, “Seriously. My kids are being assholes and they are trying to kill me” or “If they don’t STOP THIS RIGHT NOW, I am making them sleep in the yard”. It just seems to me that, through the frustration, she finds grace. And I find myself wanting to bang my head against hard things.

Being a SAHM is completely ridiculous. I mean, there are moments that I am SO grateful for. Like, when the kids interact with each other and I get to catch what seems like this private, brother-sister moment. Or when L says something really awesome like the other day when she said, “Hot mess!” when I was trying to scrub syrup off of her chin. I am grateful that, in her, I can see so much of myself. She speaks with my inflection (and hopefully doesn’t start integrating my HORRIBLE language! FUUUUUCK, I have to stop swearing so much!) and it is all because I am the one she hears the most. And that is pretty awesome. Dangerous. But totally awesome. I would say that about 85% of the time, I really enjoy my time with my kids. But that other 15% makes me want to run screaming from my house and never come back. I don’t know if it is okay to admit that. But screw it. There it is. If my bosses in the workforce ever worked me like this, I would have stabbed them in the neck with my staple remover. But, you know…my little slavedrivers are the loves of my life. So, that’s like, a get out of jail free card. Lucky them.

I am more patient than I have ever been (although, my husband might tell you differently, but what does he know about anything? He gets to leave the house without two tiny people hanging on him.) and I am mostly happy with the decision I have made to become this person. Mostly. I miss interacting with people who can utter at least four-word sentences (we’re so close!) and drinking coffee while it is still hot. I miss lunch breaks. I even sometimes miss waking up to an alarm and not an infant demanding food. (I never thought I would say that I miss my alarm. Seriously. Who says shit like that?)

But this shit is hard. I am exhausted and am currently nursing L back to health from strep throat and dealing with Baby O’s third round of teething. I am averaging 3 solid hours of sleep per night and eating frozen food while I make 17 different dishes for L who is entering the terrible twos. I drink entirely too much coffee and spend entirely too little time with my husband. (who is currently out of town for work for two weeks. Just in time for the strep and teething. Lucky bastard.) I haven’t painted my toenails in weeks and my hair desperately needs a trim. I need to lose the last ten pounds I gained during my last pregnancy (plus about 30 more) and I need to take better care of my skin. But the kids. Oh my god, the kids. They are so much fun and so adorable and so time consuming that I barely remember that these things are…well…things.

It is a balancing act. And I am working on it.

So, there you go, internet. Go ahead, have two kids in the span of 13 months. I dare you!

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To Work, Or Not to Work

Yo Gabba Gabba!

Yo Gabba Gabba! (Photo credit: Faceless Librarian)

I’ve been thinking a lot about going back to work.

Not because I am not enjoying being puked on and yelled at by tiny people all day or anything. And not because I don’t love “Yo Gabba Gabba” or waking up in the middle of the night with L to play. Or doing 37 daily loads of laundry. Because these things are fine. And the baby snuggles make all of that totally worth it.

Honestly, though, I think that, with MB working the schedule that he currently is, we’re just stretching ourselves too thin. We would both like to go back to school as soon as possible and we would like to have a lot more time to spend together and with the kids as a family. But right now, there just isn’t any time. I see MB for no more than one hour per night (usually at around 9 PM) and then one day per week, he is off. (And that doesn’t happen EVERY week.) So, that ONE DAY, we have to squeeze in all of the chores that we haven’t gotten to during the week, any family time we want to have, fun things with the kids, any alone time we might get, sleeping, and visiting with other members of the family. I don’t know if anyone told you, internet, but days only contain 24 hours. And that’s not a whole lot of hours for all that stuff. Considering that I haven’t yet figured out how to do anything else while also sleeping. (Which, seriously, you guys, would be amazeballs and I would be SUCH A ROCKSTAR if I could learn how to do that.) MB gets to spend so little time with the kids and I know that it is killing him to miss all the fun stuff that they are learning to do every day. But it is stressful on me too. And I am sure those of you who are SAHMs can agree that this job is super hard in and of itself. And I am sure that you will also agree that having a partner, even just in the evenings and on weekends doesn’t relieve all of the stress of the day, but it helps Mommy to be sane. And that, my friends, is important. Because if Mommy is wearing a straight-jacket, who is going to make the mac and cheese?

MB’s job is demanding. The pay is pretty good. But it is hardly worth having to sacrifice our time as a family to have a few extra dollars that we don’t have time to spend. It has been really hard on all of us.  But I really don’t know what the solution is at this point.

I am really not at all interested in putting my kids in daycare. In fact, I am super opposed to it. Not because all daycares are bad or scary or whatever, but because of my own experience in childhood. I have almost ZERO memories of hanging out with either of my parents when I was small. I remember my grandparents. And my uncle. And a daycare. And it wasn’t a bad childhood and that is not at all what I am saying. I just want my kids to have memories of…you know…ME. Playing with them. Taking them to the zoo. Playing hopscotch on the driveway. Not doing all of those things solely with other people. I want to be the one they remember. Or, I at least want to play a larger role than my parents did in my early years. (This was not their fault. My dad was in culinary school in New York and my mom was working full-time for next to nothing to keep us fed…) And I wouldn’t even mind so much if I was a close second to their dad. Because, obvs, that is equally important.

So, I am back on the hunt for a job. Ideally, one of us will work and the other will stay home with the kids and go to school. And I guess, what it comes down to, is that whichever one of us can make the most money will work, and the other will stay home and possibly work part-time if need be. I just don’t want to settle for some job that sucks all of the life out of me and leaves nothing for my littles. Because I am doing everything for them. I don’t want them to have memories of an overworked, miserable lady. And I don’t want MB to be that guy either. In a perfect world, I would be working from home, MB would work part-time and stay home with the kids while taking some classes on-line and we could just…SPEND SOME EFFING TIME TOGETHER. Hell, I’ve almost forgotten what he looks like.

Send us some good juju, internet. We just have to figure it all out. I just want my family. Together.

 

Elvis was Booked This Year

Elvis-impersonator-martin-fox-01-1-

Elvis-impersonator-martin-fox-01-1- (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, internet, one year ago yesterday, MB and I got married. In Vegas. With an Elvis impersonator. Yep.

I can hardly believe that we have been married for a whole year. Not to say that this year has been particularly easy. Because it has been a total mindfuck. Right after we got married (L was 5 months old), we found out we were expecting ANOTHER baby. Then we moved into a house, had a baby boy, MB changed jobs, I had to learn how to be a mother of two (still working on this one) and we have had to combat a LOT of hard shit. With MB working more at this new place, he is gone more than he is present. He misses things that the kids do every day. He missed the first time L gave a kiss (which was the cutest thing ever), the first time Baby O laughed, and COUNTLESS things already in the two months that he has been working this new schedule. And it is heartbreaking for him. And for me.

And our relationship is sometimes strained. He goes to work, day in, day out and makes money so that I can stay home and be driven completely mad by raise the kids so that we don’t have to send them to daycare. (Daycare totally terrifies me. And I am not judging those of you who don’t have a choice in sending your kids there, I am just lucky enough, because of my husband, that I can be here with them myself.) Sometimes I feel resentful that he gets to leave the house and see adults and have conversations that don’t involve babbling or made-up words.  Sometimes, I get angry that I am here all alone with no support from him. And I am sure that sometimes he resents me for being able to stay home with the kids and be there with them while they learn and grow and discover. Because I know that has to sting.

But I am wrong in being resentful. And I do check myself when I feel that way. Because I appreciate him. For every single thing he does for me. For us. He makes this life possible and I love him infinitely. And I am so lucky. Sometimes I need to remind myself of that.

On our anniversary, we saw each other for about two hours when he got home from work before he passed out from exhaustion on the loveseat. I always regret not having the time to say the things to him that I think about when I have time to think about our relationship. And my gratitude. We get lost in a sea of to-do lists and last minute chores and taking the trash out before we forget. And our anniversary was no different.

He came home with a bottle of wine, a card, and flowers. After working a 13 hour day and not having had lunch. After sweating in the hot sun. All for us. All for me.

And I just love him, internet.

I have never met anyone so kind and gracious and generous and loving. IN. MY. LIFE. And he has made this life possible for me. And I am eternally grateful. Even if I rarely can find the time to say it.

He never has time to read this blog. And I am writing as a reminder to myself that he is amazing. And I am one lucky gal.

(Happy ONE YEAR, MB. I hope you read this sometime when you aren’t busy making our family work and know that you are my everything. I love you.)

Life Suckage

Since before I had Baby O, MB has been looking for a new job. One where he wasn’t working so hard that he was too sore/tired/dirty to hold the kids when he got home. One that paid a little more and would afford us the luxury of THE ZOO or THE MUSEUM on weekends. Not that we couldn’t do these things before, but recently, after his job didn’t pay him what they were supposed to for being home after the birth of our son, we were playing catch up. Like CRAZY. And it was too much. MB found another job, put in his notice, and then his previous employer of 5 years let him go. So, we had another two weeks of ZERO income. Which, by the way, was AWESOME. So, my stress level was off the charts. And for me, that could really just mean that its Tuesday, but…you know. Two weeks of CODE RED stress makes mommy a little…well…crazy-pants.

So, anyway, MB started his new job last Wednesday. They told him in the interview that he would be working about 60-70 hours per week. Obviously, this was a little disheartening, but also totally do-able. And the money was a pretty good motivation because he would be making about double what he was previously making for a lot less BS/injury. And we were excited. In fact, I was ELATED. I thought about these zoo trips and museum trips and weekends in Savannah, strolling around and eating delicious southern food on River Street. And then he went to work. And he was there, on his first day, for 15 hours. And day two wasn’t much better. And so on. And so on. And when they told him that, not only would he have to work 6 days per week, but he would have to work one Sunday a month, my heart sank a little (read: I envisioned myself stabbing his boss in the eye with my kitchen scissors) and all my zoo fantasies faded. So, today marks 7 straight days of MB working 15 hour days and leaving me home with the kids all day. Alone.

The kids take turns sleeping so that there is zero time for me to actually accomplish any sort of household duty for more than 30 seconds without being interrupted to change a diaper or administer a bottle or retrieve Baby L’s hand out of the trash can or stop her from trying to scale the kitchen counter. There are dishes in the sink ALL. THE. TIME. Because we are stupid and moved into a house that doesn’t have a dishwasher and there seems to be an endless consumption of food in this house for some reason. I’ve had to resort to letting Baby L watch two, back-to-back episodes of “Yo Gabba Gabba” at times, (despite feeling that if she is going to watch TV at all, it should be VERY infrequently) just so that I can pee without a toddler trying to climb into my lap. I have to shower at 5am or 10pm since the kids refuse to overlap their naps so that I can do so during the day. And showering may sound like no big deal, but it is the one thing that, I think would make me feel human. Besides coffee. And wine. But, sadly, I can’t drink wine all day or I would probably try to put mascara on the babies or something equally ridiculous.

I have been exhausted. Surprisingly calm, however. I braced myself for long days and even though I didn’t expect them to be quite THIS long, I have managed to pull of bathtimes and bedtimes and night wakings with an amount of grace that is really shocking to me. Because I, my friends, am a crazy person. And calmness doesn’t come so easily. I am just not sure how long we can go on like this. MB hasn’t spent any time at all with the kids in a week and it is obvious to me that Baby L is really missing him. Her mood is different and she seems to be waiting for him. And it breaks my heart. And it breaks HIS heart. And that breaks my heart more. MORE! So, we are sucking it up, as they say, for the time being. You know, until I find a high paying, work from home job that wants to enlist me to write snarky things about being a parent. Or about celebrities who piss me off. Or…you know…whatever.

I just know that this 90+ hours per week business is not going to fly for long or MB will miss every new wonderfully amazing thing that Baby O does for the first time. And before we know it, Baby L will be reading “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” and going off to college and MB will have missed it all. So, the hunt begins again. Either for me, or for MB, to find a job that doesn’t suck the life out of us. Because the “life” part is the GOOD part.

Hateful

Family is weird. And when you have one of your own, and your primary focus is your kids, some of the family dynamics with “outside the home” members of the family change. This is important to note because, this week, my Father-in-Law has been visiting.  He called, a couple of weeks ago, to wish MB a happy birthday and then informed him that he would be coming to our house for a week. No dates set-in-stone. Just a generic, “after the 19th” kind of notice.

I was not thrilled.

When you first have a baby, as many of you know, things change a lot. Your sleep changes. WHERE you sleep might change. Your meal times change. Even WHAT you eat changes because, if you are in a similar situation to mine, you don’t really have so much time to think about feeding your own face when you are spending so much of your time concerned about feeding tiny faces. Things are chaotic. They are unscheduled and they are completely unpredictable. And if you are anything like me, being in a situation like this would be enough to leave you bald and hiding under your bed in the fetal position by the end of a regular day. Because the anxiety. Oh, the anxiety. Its a heinous bitch. And it can turn ME into a heinous bitch too.

It takes any mother (parents, really) a minute to adjust to a newborn. And their neediness. And the lack of normacly. Because. Well. Welcome to your new normal, new parents. Gone are the days of free time. For us, gone are the days of dinners before 8pm or watching a television show uninterrupted. Or sleeping together in the same bed. Gone. At least for now. Because we’re still figuring this “parents of two” thing out. And we are doing damn well if you ask me.

But then, when you get an uninvited houseguest who sleeps on the couch in the middle of the day and cuts watermelon (and you HATE the smell/taste/idea of watermelon)  in your kitchen and leaves it sitting there for hours while you nearly vomit because of the smell (which you can do nothing about, because you are busy wrangling a 14 month old and feeding a newborn and cooking dinner and washing dishes and sweeping up today’s lunch from under the high chair…you get the point), you might tend to spin a little (more) out of control. You know, if you have control issues/a hefty anxiety problem. And that, my internet friends, has been this week for me. I’m tired and stressed and ready for a serious break. But I’m a parent. And breaks don’t exist.

My FIL isn’t a bad person, if you ask me, although, I know some people who would disagree. He has done some things that he regrets to the people that he loves and spends most of his time with them trying to make them understand that he loves them. But also making them feel guilty that HE lives several states away from them. Yes, you read that right. Because he moved away after being a not-so-great person to them and now wants all of them to feel guilty that they aren’t where he is. Sometimes, there is even crying. And I used to feel bad. But then I started getting to know him. And hearing stories about the kinds of things that happened when he was “not-so-good” and I don’t feel bad anymore. In fact, I am annoyed. But I bite my tongue because I love my husband. I have bitten my tongue so much this week that it is currently hanging by a little muscly tongue thread.

Last night, I was talking to my sister-in-law about being a parent. And I told her that, before I had Baby O, I was genuinely worried that I wouldn’t be able to love him as much as I love Baby L. This, I have heard from other moms with more than one child, is a very real fear. And very common. I mean, you give birth to someone, right? And they are your everything. They give you the motivation to be BETTER. And they expand your capacity for love and they fill up your WHOLE heart. Because that’s what happens when you have a child. And then you are faced with having another one. One that you haven’t met yet. And you wonder, “how will my heart expand enough for this new little one to fit in there with the first one?” Because it seems impossible to love ANOTHER person the way you love your first. But then you do. You just DO.

Anyway, I was talking to my SIL about this and FIL says with a snide roll of his eyes, “Well, that’s hateful.”

And, in my head, I said: “Well, I didn’t try and smother either of my kids with a pillow, did I? So, I guess you would know better than me about hateful.”

In real life, I said, “Well, I guess YOU wouldn’t understand, seeing as you’ve never carried a person in your BODY for months and months…”

“Well, I never had a problem loving my kids”, he says to me.

And in my head, I said, “Sure, if by loving your kids, you mean locking them outside and making them pick weeds in the hundred degree heat for hours on end.”

In real life, I said, “You couldn’t possibly understand any of it anyway.” And I walked out of the room.

MB and my SIL did back me up, because they GET it. It is a process. But I could have gone to prison last night, internet. PRISON.

I can show him hateful. I really can. I am REALLY good at hateful. I did it for years as a teenager. I got this. But I’m biting my tongue. Because he is leaving today. And after he is gone, my life can go back to a degree of chaos that doesn’t make it necessary for my husband to hide all the knives.

(Just FYI, I don’t know that the above things actually happened. I mean, I can only imagine that they did, because they were told to me BY his kids. But…I wasn’t there. I just thought I should say that.)

Obligatory Valentines Day Post

Cake on Valentine's Day

Cake on Valentine’s Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve never really understood the big deal about Valentine’s Day. I mean, I get all the love stuff. And I think all that stuff is really great. I do. But I think it is more important to be loving every day. Not just buy candy and flowers once a year and go out to dinner. I mean, come on.

MB and I have never really had a chance to have a proper V Day. The first year we were together, I had gotten my “friend” an interview at the place where I worked and she was coming in from out of town, so, naturally, she showed up on Valentines Night and was supremely obnoxious for the entirety of the night/her visit. (That’s sort of the norm for her…which explains why we aren’t friends anymore. Oh, that and that she called me her “best friend” for 10 years and hasn’t spoken to me since I lost my job. At the place that she now works. BECAUSE OF ME.) Last year was our second V Day together. And I was pregnant. And bitter. And probably vomiting all over the apartment. And, to be honest, I am pretty sure we sat on the couch and watched some idiotic reality show on TV or something. He probably got me flowers. There may have been ice cream.

This year, I wanted to put on a pretty dress and, despite my growing bump, attempt to feel attractive. I wanted to take off the yoga pants, put on some mascara,  slip into some fancy undies and have an adult dinner with adult conversation with my husband. Because it feels sometimes like we don’t do enough of any of that. And what better day that Valentines Day? Right?

Then we started getting on this “renting a house” thing. Which was due, mostly in part, to the fact that I was, on a daily basis, begging him to take this seriously and allow this nesting urge to rage and find us a place to live that does not come fully stocked with a five-year-old. And he did it. And now, a week before we move in, I am spending money left and right for deposits and rent and odds and ends that we will need to accomodate us and Baby L and then finally Baby O. And I looked him straight in the eye three days ago, after having arranged for a sitter for Baby L and planning to take my husband out to dinner, and told him to just forget it. That we just didn’t have the time. Or the money. And I’m out of mascara anyway. And part of my heart broke. Because I DO miss the times when going to dinner wasn’t such an ordeal. And when I wasn’t shelling out SO MUCH MONEY just to live somewhere peaceful. I DO miss wearing dresses and mascara. And I DO want to celebrate this ridiculous holiday. I DO.

But I’m still wearing yoga pants. And I am totally making Sloppy Joes for dinner. Because I haven’t had them in years. And because I need to eat something that makes me feel happy.

I woke up this morning, though, to beautiful flowers, my favorite cashew turtles and a pretty hilarious card telling me that he loved me more and that I was a smokin’ hot wife. So, it isn’t all bad. And I love him so much, that I guess I don’t care about having to wear yoga pants. Maybe I will just wear the fancy new ones I just bought. Or maybe I’ll just jazz them up with some secret fancy panties underneath. Either way, I have a date with my wonderful man, my beautiful little lady, a box of turtles and some Sloppy Joes.

Happy Valentines Day, internet. I hope you stuff your faces with love and chocolate today.

I’m Not Homicidal, You Guys!

Image representing Woot as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

I know I have been a little distant. It’s not you, it’s me, internet. There has been a return of the snot over here in the Oopsie household. And it afflicted my spawn and then myself. Making things very messy and unbearable. But things are looking up. Both in the snot department and otherwise.

Here’s an update! Hooray!

On Sleep Training:
Okay, so do you guys remember when I was going insane because my kid wouldn’t sleep? And remember when I said that I desperately wanted to get her sleep trained so that I could sleep alone in my bed with my husband? And remember when I was concerned because I am knocked up and expanding (although, not as rapidly as expected) and soon won’t have ROOM to share a bed with my 8 month old? You do? Oh.

Let me first say that I have gotten my kid MUCH better at going to sleep in her crib at night. And she even naps. Most of the time, IN THE CRIB also…But then let me tell you that, over the course of the last (almost) two months of snuggling with my little nugget every night, I have kind of come to enjoy it. In fact, I actually miss her little baby face-slaps when she isn’t lying beside me. Needless to say, sleep training has worked. But it hasn’t worked all the way. On me, at least. I am pretty sure that if I weren’t so sappy and missing her, she would be sleeping alone all night, every night. But I let her go in the crib until about 3-4 in the morning and then I can’t take it anymore and I need a cuddle. It might be the hormones. Or because, and I hate to admit this, with the new baby coming soon, I am sad that I will no longer to devote all of my attention to my baby girl. But, we all seem to be sleeping better now. And Baby L and I wake every morning, warm and toasty and smiling. And that makes my whole day. (You know, unless she is teething…which she is…again…)

On The Living Situation:
We found a house to rent! This is amazing news. And not just because I am steadily nearing the point of homicide, but because, even though we were looking for a two-bedroom for now, to save on expenses, this house is less expensive than I would have expected AND it has three bedrooms and a GIGANTIC back yard. Woot!

And yes, I know I was just talking about BUYING a house. And believe me, MB and I are ON IT. We just can’t do everything as quickly as we need to with such a short amount of time to prepare for Baby O. So, we signed a year-long lease yesterday and we will save and be as frugal as possible until next year…and then we will re-evaluate and try again. I am actually not as upset about this as I thought I would be. Mostly, I think, because I am just happy to be getting out of this house so that I can finally get a few minutes of peace.

On My Mood:
This pregnancy is pretty boring, you guys. I’m not complaining. But you might be if you got all excited that I was going to get all super bitch like I did when I started this blog. Believe me, super bitch is alive and well. But I am not sure she is even worth blogging about. Because she sort of just gets pissed about no one ever doing the dishes. It is less about puking this time. And I know everyone would rather read about puking than lazy people. I mean…AmIRight?

Anyway, I feel strangely calm. I am terrified of the single income situation and adding in the expense of rent. But I am certain things will work out. I am not sure what has happened to me. Or why my anxiety hasn’t kicked in and caused some sort of mental break, but I am serene. I’m not gonna lie and tell you I don’t want to drink an entire bottle of Pinot by myself. But I can wait. I mean, maybe only until 30 seconds after I give birth. But still…that totally counts. I recently called my husband “an accidental master of the Tao” and I sort of feel like he might be rubbing off on me. I feel confident in our situation. Fat, but confident. And I mean, I guess I can deal with the fat thing…because, let’s face it, this is the last time I will ever have an excuse to gain a bunch of weight and eat copious amounts of cupcakes. So there.