Friday, January 28, 2011


The ever elusive, highly desired, wonderful thing called sleep, that parents of newborns lack. Sigh.

The saying they tell new moms, "Sleep when baby sleeps?" Yeah. That's a good one. Wise advice. You really should do that. If you can. And I can't. Usually.

Since my older children don't nap, there are no naps for mama. However, I do need to learn to go to bed when everyone else does. But it's that struggle between 1. finally having some quiet moments to yourself, and not wanting to "waste" them sleeping, 2. getting caught up in all the things you need or want to do (Facebook, laundry, blogging, watching Grey's Anatomy), and 3. realizing that you need to go to bed, but being so tired that you do not (have the capability to realize it). (And why am I writing a blog post at 11 pm instead of going to bed? Oh, yeah, that quiet/to-do/realizing thing.)

What happens if you do not get enough sleep? For me, I am a monster. Today, I am a monster. And it sucks. I hate being that way. It's a Dr Jekyll - Mr. Hyde thing for me. One minute I'm fine, next I'm some crazy, screaming lunatic. It really is scary.

At the same time, it's predictable. As is the mommy guilt of an afternoon/evening of having blown it. Multiple times. ugh. sigh. Then you get people who say, "oh, you're such a great mom" while you're sitting there reviewing the day's terrors and thinking "no, I'm really not." So then there's this weird awkward silence. Yippee.

I remember one time after George was born, him being the king of long mid-night stretches of fussiness or awake-ness from 2 to 4 am. I didn't always do well during those times, being so doggone tired. Frazzled doesn't even begin to describe it. Lots of tears and gnashing of teeth were known to happen. This one time, I had done my doody in the bathroom, but the toilet had previously been clogged and not properly unclogged by the previous user. Also, our plunger sucked (or rather, didn't suck) so bad and I couldn't get it to work. And I freaked. Poor Kong was rudely awakened by his screaming, frantic, lunatic of a wife shouting up the stairs at him to "come down here right now and fix this *&^% toilet." Did I mention it was 4am? Yeah. Good times.

So all you new mom's, tired moms, overworked moms, and any other kind of mom, dad or person responsible for children, my BEST advice to you is to get your sleep. It's the best thing you can do for yourself and your family, and it may just be the difference between Child Protective Services getting called on you or not. Srlsy.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

How do you know when to potty train your child?

When they start to train themselves is probably a pretty good time.

Yup. Here's your sign.

I found Boots in the bathroom last night, which is not unusual, sitting on the toilet, also not unusual. What was unusual was that he actually was intentionally trying to take a whiz. And... he was successful!!! We did the happy potty dance. Celebrate every success. He tried again this morning after successfully pooping on the floor in his sisters' room, but hey, again, celebrate every success. Nevermind the pile-o-poo. He peed in the potty!

I'm seriously in a time warp. My plan was to take the kids to the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota in the morning and be home for lunch, then George could finally call his friend who has been begging to come over to play. Uh, yeah. More like leave after lunch. I checked the clock at 9:13. Next thing I know it's 10:55. Say whaaa? "All" I did was take a shower and feed kids. I'm not sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing that the friend only got to come over for a little over an hour. But it was cute to watch them play the wii together.

Back to the time warp. So now, I put the kids to bed. That was done by 9. Suddenly it's 11:33. Dang!

Lately Koko has been saying a lot, "when I grow up, I'm going to be..." An artist, a fashion designer. Tonight a friend came over to "play make-up" and teach this out of the loop mama how to apply eye shadow (I seem to have forgotten). She made my eye black. She even told me to wash it off, I looked like I got punched. Koko liked it. I hope she's not going to tell me "I want to be a make-up artist." I'd hate to have to break it to her - the beat up look is not in. (It's not, right? ;D)

It was really cute, though, when my friend was getting ready to leave. The kids apparently didn't want her to go. Even Boots said in his super cute voice with his big eyes and long eye lashes batting, "you can't go yet." Aaawww. Melt. She wasn't swayed.

I had better go to bed before I fall into another black hole of time and wind up at 2 am. I need the black hole of slumber, not the black hole of over-tired, which quickly becomes the black hole of screaming crazed mama. Yikes!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

5 Minute Friday

I figure since I'm not very good a being regular about posting (partially because it takes me hours to wrote one post, with all the interruptions and whatnot) I'll try this. Whatever I can write in five minutes.

Ready. Set. Go -->

My baby is making noises, which means my time is going to end soon. (type faster)

While everyone else is starting their weekend, we're just ending ours.

I hate it when Kong leaves for work. I miss him. A lot. Sometimes I cry. I don't like being lonely. THat's also why I'm a FB addict. But, it also is like a reminder that I love him. Just his presence is comforting.

Or, maybe I cry because I know I'll be.. gasp!... left alone with all. these. children. AHHHHHH.

But I always survive. :D

When we were praying for him at bible study tonight, he called. Right then. The timing was uncanny. No mere coincidence, in my thinking. God knows what he's doing. Which is a good thing. Cuz I don't.

Ding ding ding. Time's up. Probably. Cuz I forgot to look at the clock.

G'night. Or, g'mornin, if that's when you're reading this.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Why buy toys?

Some parents spend a lot of money on toys.  We don't but we don't really have space for them, and they get enough gifts that it's more than enough. With 5 kids, that's easy. Actually, it's hard to not get repeats of things you already have.

It should also be said that I don't believe in entertaining kids. Leaving them to their own devices may lead to trouble but it also fosters creativity, imagination and experimentation.

If you watch kids play, most often times they can find something to play with. Kids are resourceful. So it need not even be toys. Take a crawling infant, for example. The are so much more interested in the Tupperware drawer, the pots and pans cupboard or the dog dish, than those cute little blocks or the Up Up Elm0 you got them. Or, they're just as happy to play with the box it came in.

So ... Wait.

Oh my gosh. We interrupt this programming to faint at how silent my kids are. Who knew Thomas the Train could be so fascinating? Thank you, PBS, for having alternate weekend programming. Cuz if I had to see that same episode of Cat in the Hat one. more. time. this week, I might have just... just... gotten cable.

Rabbit trail over. On with the story.

Oh, and it's important to point out how kids are like sponges, soaking up everything around them. It's when they get to be 4, 5, 6 that this gets a little dangerous. They start to pick up on things they didn't before - things in conversation, things in commercials. They also get more, uh, perceptive about "adult" things, but I won't go into that here.

So I was in the bathroom this morning and overhearing conversation of my kids playing in the next room. At first, they were playing "shots", taking turns injecting each other. A typical, innocent game of "doctor." Then Koko says, Hey, why don't we play waxing and you can surprise me by ripping it off."

Wait... What the??? Where did she get that from? (thinking, thinking) (suddenly dawning on me) Ohhhhh... Yeah. That commercial from The Bachelor about the Manscaper lady as she tortured waxed very hairy men. Good. Lord. Can we please get ratings on commercials?!?! I hate that they show these disgusting ones during non-prime time hours. And, the one from "V" with the lady and her scary fang teeth? Ew gross! Fortunately, even George said "I don't think I can watch that show, mom." I said, "Yeah, I don't think I can watch it either." Anyway. Back to toys.

I pop my head out of the bathroom and see the girls sitting on the couch playing with the manual pump parts of my breast pump, using them as syringes, while Boots was filling up my guitar case with "gas" using the tubes.

See? Who needs toys? Just give them a breast pump and they'll be entertained for hours.

Or, change the programming on PBS, as now they're watching Barney, and equally as silent.

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's not all bad

Ok, so I got some sleep and started a new day, (a babysitter helped too) and I'm not so crazy today. Or, I tried not to be.

God has been impressing upon me to "come unto me" so I've started praying out loud (cuz the huz usually is working) at 4:30 am, which is when I am usually awake nursing. Just telling God to have my day, to come in and meet me where I am, fill the gaps where I'm not, and deal with this little guy's dog gone tongue. It helps.

My attitude is also a tone-setting factor. This morning I heard the kids stirring in their beds, so I yelled out a cheerful "Good Morning." I got a couple takers who came to my bedside, and I greeted them with smiles and "hugs" (as much as you can when you are laying down and breast feeding a baby) and cheerful conversation, as a way to set the tone for the day. Just loving on them and giving them face time. It kinda worked. And the day has been all right. Not stellar, but not horrible.

It's ever so clear that we are all feeling the effects of having a new baby in the house, and we're all not getting something we need. I guess we just need to try a little harder and have a lot more grace.

But it's not all bad.

I do have a baby who is starting to get more alert and interactive, and has begun doing this funny little thing with his legs. I'll be holding him and he'll kick out his legs, together, and make this little grunting noise. Not the kind like he's pooping. More like an ugh. He'll just kick and kick. It's so funny. He's done it a couple times now. I love it. He's also smiling every now and then. Usually in the morning. That's the best. Parents are always waiting for those first smiles and coos. We are getting some "verbal" interaction going on, too. It's not really coos or goo's, sometimes it's just the way he breathes, but it's like he's talking to you. I have heard a few actual sounds coming from him, but you'd better be listening or you'll miss it.

Oh, and he likes music. If he's sitting with you at the computer and something comes on, he gets quiet and usually faces the screen. It's not working right now. Apparently he's not really into the Zac Brown Band. Oh well.

Boots is very funny with Huggyface. He is constantly saying "I wuv my brudder." Melt your heart sweet. He's very gentle when he touches him, caressing his face, talking to him, getting cheek to cheek. Hard to believe that the other side of his personality is so rough and drive me crazy destructive tumble.

George is having his first over-nighter tonight. Granted it's just at his cousin's house down the street, but it's exciting and his mama feels very comfortable with this arrangement. I thank God every day for my brother. I'm so glad that they live just down the street, and that the boys are best friends.


I need to focus on the good. This becomes hard to do when challenges come up, but that is precisely when you need to. Like a life raft, I need to cling to the good I can see rather than that which drags me down. This might mean I need to invest in some good ear plugs. Anyone have a good supplier?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Frustrations of a tired mom of 5

Real and raw vent session, coming up.

Yes, that was your warning.

**addendum: While I was taking a whole 20 minutes to write this little vent, Mr Pain in my ASS (yes, I'm frustrated with my dear beloved just not right now 2 yo) took the just filled pepper shaker off the counter and shook it all over the breakfast nook we call "the addition" which is really a crappy excuse of a playroom. Dumped it all over chair, table, floor, and into the dress-up clothes bin and another bin of cars. See?!?! This is my life. And while I was multi tasking by showering myself and my baby, he then crapped in the clean towel. Yay!

Sigh. I just can't win. Ever. And certainly not today.

You should stop reading now. This is basically just for my own theraputic reasons. (Mom? That means you.)

Motherhood is kicking my ass. Actually, life in general is. But it's mostly being a mom of 5 small children, one of them being a newborn. Man are they a LOT of frickin work - the kids. Newborn too. *drops to ground in exhaustion*

Mr. Mini-monkey is doing fine, but nursing continues to be a challenge. It's a tongue thing and that's where part of the raw (literally) comes in. Holy nipple pain! And yet he cries because he's just not quite satisfied. And because he loves is mama SO DANG MUCH he just wants me to hold him non-stop. Quite frequently I even hold him while sleeping. While I'M sleeping.

I know that this utterly exhausting phase is not forever, but drudging thru it royally sucks. It's a time fraught with feelings of inadequacy, selfishness, and being overwhelmed. I don't really feel overwhelmed like I have in the past, but I see how much there is to do, know that I'm not doing most of it and what I am doing is pretty shoddy, wanting to do more, and being unable. It's more than just setting unrealistic expectations for myself. I'm not. Some things are unavoidable, like laundry and meals and groceries and homework (though even that one slides WAY too often) and parenting. My laundry is piled so high right now I've had to stomp on the pile to get it smooshed down enough that it didn't dwarf my freezer. We've eaten so much pizza, mac-n-cheese and hot dogs that even the kids are getting bored of it (well, not the pizza), but I'm not even beating myself up about that. There's a lifetime left for healthy eating. A year or two of bad eating won't kill 'em. At least not right away. But I'm feeling bad about not being able to spend enough time with them. George need some serious time given to him in terms of academics. I have not once gone over his weekly sight words with him, and every time we do his reading assignments I am starkly reminded why I need to. Cheeks gets the least amount of time as she's the quiet contented one who just grabs her blankie and sucks her fingers when she needs some love. Koko even has gotten really weepy and saying she needs attention (No, that's not guilt inducing at ALL!), and Boots clearly needs more attention as he is Mr Destructo. There's not one damned thing in my house he hasn't left his mark on at least once. New scratches in the tv, marker over so many walls I'm contemplating painting everything black, ripping the sheetrock edges off the newly built and newly painted wall in the entry (because we haven't had neither time nor money to trim it yet) and today he was biting the corner. I just cried. I didn't know what else to do. Really, I just wanted to rip his head off. He even took a marker and drew all over George's bedsheet today. My anger is really coming to a forefront with mounting frustration and lack of sleep. I've been trying really hard to go to bed early, and have been successful for the most part, but have also been woken at 3:30 am... for the DAY on more than one occasion. And last night, I elected to stay up late just to watch a movie with the hubs since I haven't spent any time with him since.. uh... I'm thinking... uh... Oh yeah. My birthday, in July - the day my sd watched the kids, only to throw it back in our faces. But nevermind that. That one's not on my plate at the moment.

I'm having a hard time with getting my kids to take on responsibility. I just can't do it all. They need to be able to dress themselves, pack up their backpack for school and not forget things like shoes. They need to be able to clean their own rooms. To keep it cleaned. But then there's Mr. Destructo. And too many frickin little pieces of toys and markers and paperclips and legos. I feel bad about resenting Christmas but all the presents my children have gotten, that I recognize have given them hours of enjoyment, are making me crazy. There's just stuff everywhere. Like, can't walk thru a room everywhere. Ugh. And I'm totally being such a cleaning Nazi it's not funny. "Pick up your crap" can be heard being said by me at least 5 times a day to each child. So 5 times (X) 3 kids is (=) too many times.

I want to enjoy parenting. I want to enjoy my family. I want an organized home. I want to relax. I want to change my underwear daily. I want to cuddle with my husband without worrying about what he "needs" from me. Because one more person groping me is so not a turn-on right now. I just can't give any more than what I'm giving. Except, sadly, what I'm giving isn't enough.

And yes. You can say "well you shouldn't have had five children then." Well, PPPPBBBBBTTTT to you.

Here ends my rant vent for today.

Now I must go pick up my kids from school.

Thank you.