andbabymakes3imean4

One mom's adventures while tap dancing on the brink of insanity with 2 babies, 11 months apart

"Nobody sleeps until the unicorn gets a goodnight kiss!"


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Stubborn & Sleepless “Swuggles”…The Resident 2 Year Old is Running this Place…into the Ground

These days, just the thought of bedtime makes me cringe.  Crazy, right?  Bedtime has turned into such a stressful and exhausting process in our home.  We have had the same bedtime routine since the beginning of “bedtimes” in this house.  We bathe both kiddos with a delicious smelling homemade baby wash that I make myself with chamomile-infused coconut oil, lavender essential oils and a few other all-natural ingredients designed to gently clean and relax our little love bugs.  Then we brush teeth.  I just bought both kiddos new battery-operated toothbrushes.  This has changed  our lives for the better.  Now instead of the screaming fits in protests of brushing teeth, 2.5 year old Miss M and 18 month old Mr. C are excited to brush their teeth and giggle as the spinning head on the toothbrush tickles their gums.  Then we do diapers and pajamas and stories.  Normally, I rock Mr. C and listen to “Beautiful Boy” and then return to Miss M’s room to read her a couple more books then tuck her in and say goodnight.  The whole routine normally takes 30-45 minutes from bath to bed and then Hubby and I have a short, adult-only evening before retiring to bed ourselves.

I’m not sure exactly when or why it happened as the days and nights have all blended together into one hazy, sleep-deprived period of time but approximately one month ago, Miss M decided that she is no longer interested in sleeping in her bed.  She started waking up in the middle of the night crying out “Mommy!” and I would run across the hall, scoop her up, bring her back to bed with me and she would snuggle in and fall back asleep.  This quickly became a regular occurrence.  Every night between 2am and 4am, I would wake up to a panicked little girl who seemed scared.  I wondered if she was having nightmares but wasn’t sure what to do about it.  Over the past few weeks, Miss M has become very cuddly and has needed a lot of one-on-one time with me which I don’t mind at all.  I have been working a lot and have been under a lot of pressure and I think she senses that and needs some undivided attention.  I make a big deal of talking to her at bedtime and asking about her day and talking about our hopes and dreams like pooping on the potty someday and sleeping in on the weekend.  Then we read our books and we say goodnight to all 15 or so of her dolls and stuffed animals that share her bed and then I kiss her goodnight.  At some point over the past few weeks, she decided that she was no longer interested in this routine.  She wanted to sleep in Mommy and Daddy’s bed.  She is incredibly smart.  For the past couple of weeks, the second her wet, little feet are out of the tub, she bolts for our bedroom and tucks herself into our bed.  For being such a tiny person, she is able to anchor herself to the bed and it takes a lot of maneuvering and coaxing just to get her dressed in her pajamas.  She will look up at us from the middle of our bed and ask to be snuggled, which in her words is “Swuggle? Swuggle! Swuggle Mommy!  Mommy Swuggle! Swuggle!”  So, I climb into bed and cuddle her, play with her hair and tell her that I love her very much and that she needs to go sleep in her own room.  As soon as I say those words, she jumps up screaming and crying, climbing on top of me, wrapping her arms around my neck like a baby koala and demands more swuggles.

Compromises are off the table.  I have tried snuggling with her in our bed and then bringing her to her bed.  She screams and cries at the baby gate at her doorway until we give in to her.  She is a very emotional little girl and can make herself sick from crying so we are cautious about not letting her get too upset but at the same time we wonder if we are being manipulated a little bit.  Is she throwing these hysterical fits because she knows they will “break us?”  Or is she just going through a phase where she needs more cuddles and attention and swuggles?  We have no idea.  What we do know is that the never-ending bedtime is really impacting all of us.

When Miss M cries at her baby gate when we try to put her in her room, she wakes up Mr. C so then I have to free her (at which point she miraculously shuts off the waterworks, takes a deep breath and smiles) so she can happily run across the hall and jump into our bed while I go in and start all over with Mr. C, picking him up, wrapping his blanket around him with his favourite remote control (Yes, he sleeps with a full-sized remote control.  He doesn’t leave the house without it.  No teddy bears needed for this guy!) and rocking him while singing lullabies then tucking him back in only to return to start all over with Miss M.  Because our bedtime routine now takes hours, Hubby and I really don’t get any time to talk to each other or even just sit and watch a TV show before going to bed…unless I give in and let Miss M watch an episode of Dora the Explorer in our bed.  Most nights, Hubby is hanging out in the living room by himself while I swuggle Miss M.  By the time she finally settles (into our bed, sprawled out horizontally like a starfish), I am exhausted and just fall asleep myself.

Besides not having any time to spend together, I am also going a little bit bonkers because I don’t get any time alone.  Ever.  I drive home from work, pick the kids up, drive home, unpack the car, make dinner, play with the kids, bathe them and then start the bedtime routine around 7pm which over the past 3 weeks hasn’t finished until well after 10pm.  Then I fall asleep and deal with kicks in the nose and knees in the back from my new, tiny, tossing and turning bedmate as I try to catch a few zzz’s.  This routine is not working but I don’t know how to fix it.  It seems to only get worse.  I want “bedtime” back.  I miss it.  I miss having a couple of hours at the end of the day to take my “Mommy hat” off and unwind.  Right now as I write this blog in my bed, it is 9:52pm on a Sunday night and Miss M is sitting beside me, making her sock monkeys dance across my keyboard.  Sometimes I think I am going crazy but convince myself that I’m not crazy simply because if I was crazy, I wouldn’t know, so my awareness of my mental state must mean that I’m not.  (I don’t get much sleep so this theory makes complete sense to me!)  I’m just tired.

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Tonight was no different.  We finished baths and before I even had a chance to get Miss M’s pajamas out of her drawer, she was gone.  I peeked across the hall into our bedroom and there she was, tucked into our bed.  I told her she had to sleep in her bed tonight like we had talked about all day.  She threw a fit screaming “Swuggle! Swuggle Mommy!”  I brought her into her room and read her a book even though she just screamed “Swuggle! Open Gate! Open!” at the baby gate in her doorway and ignored me.  I picked her up, placed her in her bed, tucked her in, told her I loved her and walked away and closed the baby gate behind me.  I knew she would be following right behind me, still screaming so I decided to have a nice, hot shower to try to relax and unwind (and have one less thing to do in the morning since it’s more than likely going to be another long, sleepless night.)  She screamed and cried.  I tried to stay strong and let her settle herself down.  She had to give up and go to sleep tonight.  She was exhausted.  She nodded off at the dinner table tonight because she didn’t have an afternoon nap today because she pulled these exact same stunts at naptime.  As the whining stopped, I felt a pressure lift from my shoulders and I felt victorious.  I was proud of her.  What a big girl!  I got out of the shower, wrapped myself in a towel and tiptoed to her door and peeked in expecting to see my sweet little angel, cuddled up, sleeping soundly.  Instead I saw Hubby lying next to her on her bed.  Miss M was wide awake, walking her sock monkeys up and down his chest as he laid beside her trying to convince her to go to sleep.  “What was I supposed to do?  She was hysterical!  She was going to make herself sick!”  Ugh.  As frustrated as I was, I don’t blame him.  It’s hard to leave your baby to cry but what we are doing isn’t working so we need to try being strong and tough tonight.  We have no choice.  She needs to get some sleep, we need to spend some time together without a sock monkey kissing our foreheads while we talk or having to kiss a unicorn mid-sentence and plus we have other things to do.  The never-ending bedtime routine has caused me to fall incredibly behind on laundry, baby sock matching and floor destickifiying.  It’s a downward spiral.

When Hubby tucked her in and left her room, Miss M screamed at the gate again.  He was ready to relax and have some down time and I had some homework to do for a course I am taking so I needed some time alone to do it.  We agreed that while we don’t agree with the “Cry It Out” method, we have to just let her soothe herself.  I said goodnight to her, gave her a hug and a kiss and then retreated across the hall to our bedroom and closed the door.  I attempted to do my reading assignment for my course tomorrow.  I read all of the words but my brain was not concentrating enough to make sense of them.  Miss M was screaming and calling out for me and demanding swuggles and demanding that the gate be opened.  She must have cried out “Mommy! Daddy!” over 200 times.  I am not exaggerating.  We had to stay strong.  We had no choice.  We have tried everything and exhausted all other options.  We need to fix this issue.  I have to prep for this course.  Miss M has to go to sleep.  I tried to send her telepathic messages to beg her to stop crying and go to sleep.  My nerves were shot.  My patience had run dry.  My head was pounding from her screaming.  My heart was fluttering.  I was burned out and frustrated.  I put down my reading assignment and started to cry myself then told myself to “get it together.”  More crying wasn’t going to resolve the crying.

Hubby and I chatted via text while he sat on the couch downstairs and I sat behind a closed door on our bed upstairs.

Hubby: She’s stubborn.

Me: I know.

Hubby:  She’s just like her mother.

Me: I KNOW.

Miss M cried and carried on then would get tired and I would think that she might have given up but then she would start up again.  She was delirious at this point but still refused to sleep.  She continued to whine at the gate then scream at the gate then babble away to herself then start all over.  She did this for exactly one hour.  ONE HOUR.  I could not believe it.  I felt trapped inside our room.  The second I open the door and she sees me standing there, things are going to dramatically escalate.  I texted Hubby:

Me:  Can you unlock the back door?  I’m thirsty but can’t cross M’s doorway so I’m thinking about jumping out of our bedroom window and then walking around back to get a drink.

Hubby: Ok

Me: ??????

And then I heard him unlock the back door.  I laughed out loud.  He actually opened the back door.  I was joking.  I was definitely not going to jump from our second-floor window for a glass of water.  Neither of us can think with all of the screaming happening in the background and our hearts breaking into a million pieces from leaving our little girl to cry alone in her beautiful room with her warm, cozy double bed that she refuses to sleep in.  I finished my assignment.  I think I did anyway.  My brain hurts so I give up.  I opened the door.  I opened the baby gate.  I took a deep breath and gave Miss M a big hug.  I didn’t know what to say.  She caught her breath and looked up at me through puffy, red eyes and said “Swuggle!” then ran across the hall and climbed up on to our bed where she has been for the past 2 hours….NOT SLEEPING.  How is this child not sleeping?  We started the bedtime routine at 6:30pm.  It is now 10:37pm and she is still up.  4 hours and counting.  We played Good Cop.  We played Bad Cop.  We compromised.  We negotiated.  We swuggled.  We had a nice bath.  We drank warm milk.  We read stories.  We sang lullabies.  We talked about going to sleep.  We swuggled some more.  I am completely out of ideas and patience and energy.  I honestly don’t know what to do but we need to do something.

Suggestions are welcome.  There is nothing we won’t try.  Seriously.  Help me.  I’m begging.

Goodnight.

Sincerely,

The Mama with the dark, puffy eyes and grey hair

swuggle

andbabymakes3imean4 is one mom’s adventures while tap dancing on the brink of insanity with 2 babies, 11 months apart.  If you liked this post, please subscribe to my blog to be notified of future posts.  You can also like my page on facebook by clicking here!  Thanks for reading! xo

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Tuesday in Toddler Town: a Bumped Head, a Man Cold and a bunch of Chaos in Between

Today it is officially winter.  I am shocked.  I really am.  I was really hoping that winter wouldn’t come this year but it did and it’s -15 with wind chill and those chilly winds are extremely strong.  They are so strong that as I was taking 2.5 year old Miss M out of her carseat tonight, a gust of wind caught the back door and slammed it full force into the back of my head.  I saw stars and bit my lower lip and grunted to avoid dropping an “F bomb” in my daughter’s face.  It hurt like hell.  I bundled her up in her poncho and ran her into the house where Hubby intercepted and grabbed her from my arms so I could run back for Baby #2.  Hubby came home sick today.  This is extremely unusual for him.  He is never sick.  He is never sick to the point that it annoys me a little bit. I try to eat healthy, take vitamins, drink tons of water, use as many natural products as possible, diffuse essential oils, etc.  He eats crap, never drinks water, smokes yet is never sick and never gains weight in spite of his regular late night snack sessions at “the trough” which is what I have renamed our pantry.  Anyway, I ran back out to get 18 month old Mr. C from the car as I thought about how yummy it smelled inside.

Hubby made dinner tonight.  I had sent him a recipe to reference so he could throw the ingredients in the crockpot for me this morning since I had to be at work for an early meeting.  Crockpot season is here.  Yay! Crockpots are an essential tool for any working mama… but I am not into crockpot casseroles and stews in the summer so this is one advantage to the cold weather arriving.  Hubby called me at work for instructions on how to set the crockpot timer but other than that, no questions were asked.  The chicken casserole recipe called for rice but I asked him to add egg noodles instead.  Our kids like rice a lot but they are both currently obsessed with eating with forks and rice is tricky.  They will not touch their meals without a fork these days.  I didn’t realize how complex the whole “fork” thing was until we introduced them  to our kiddos.  It is very confusing to teach them to use a fork but then serve them a piece of pizza, a grilled cheese sandwich or a banana and try to explain to them that they don’t have to use a fork and to use their hands.  They look at us like we are savage animals…and then proceed to hold a piece of pizza on a fork and gnaw around the edges of it.  So yes, egg noodles will be easier for fork-stabbing than rice.  When I called Hubby on the way home to see how he was feeling, he reminded me that dinner would be ready when we got home.  What a treat!

I ran outside to grab Mr. C from the car.  My head was pounding from the beating it took from the car door.  I could hear my heart thumping inside of my head.  Naturally, I opened the back door to find 18 month old Mr. C had taken his hat, poncho, boots and socks off on the 7 minute drive home. I quickly redressed him while holding the door open with my hip this time to avoid another head injury and then ran inside holding him tight against my
body to shield him from the wind.

When I walked into the kitchen, Hubby was slicing up chicken in toddler-friendly chunks so it could cool down.  It smelled divine.  I ran down to the freezer to grab him a bag of homemade spicy chicken noodle soup that I had made a few weeks ago and frozen for occasions like today.  The perfect remedy for the “man cold.” Smart right?  Not really.  While I had portioned off the soup in freezer bags, I had not made sure the bags were dry before I put them in a grocery bag and dropped them into the freezer.  The bags of soup came out in one giant iceberg of soup.  It was impossible to separate a single bag from the rest.  I lugged the whole block of bagged soup upstairs with me as I enthusiastically shouted “On your mark…Get Set! Go!” which is my new found trick for getting Miss M and Mr. C to stop what they are doing (which in this case was pressing every button on the washer and dryer) and run towards me.  It has been working like a charm.

By this time, the chicken was cool and my head was about to explode.  I threw the soup iceberg in the sink under hot water, told Hubby to go lie down until it is ready and strapped the kiddos into their booster seats for dinner.  They both immediately start chanting “Fork! Fork!”  I handed them each a fork.  I put the cooled chicken on their plates and opened the crockpot to serve the egg noodles and veggies.  I don’t see them.  I spoon around the pot before asking Hubby “Did you not put any pasta or egg noodles in the crockpot?”  No, I didn’t think there was enough liquid so I left it out.  Okay… wonderful.  This would have been good to know before the kids were starving and ready to eat.  I quickly scan the kitchen trying to think of a quick side.  Avocados!  Like a good friend, avocados are always there.  Avocados are nature’s fast food.  They are so quick and easy and extremely healthy.  Both of our kids love them.  I quickly peeled them, plated them next to the chicken and added some cucumber slices with hummus for dipping.  Dinner complete!  Crisis averted!  Hubby adds from the living room “Sorry!  I was going to add the pasta and peas later but then I really wasn’t feeling good.”  Yes, the man cold is a serious thing.  This is completely understandable.

I grabbed the peas from the freezer and put them on the back of my head to numb the pain from my car door collision.  Then I got up and started banging my soup iceberg against the floor.  The kids thought it was hilarious.  Finally one bag was freed.  I peeled the plastic off of the cube of soup and threw it in a pot on the stove.  Hubby told me not to worry about the soup because he doesn’t really have much of an appetite anyway… after I got it separated and into the soup pot. When the kids were finished their dinner, they had a couple of clementines for dessert.  Mr. C happily added his orange slices to his cup of milk then drank the milk and ate the milk-soaked oranges.  Gross.  He did it with a smile on his face so maybe he is on to something!  Miss M asked for a cookie.  I opened the pantry and scanned it looking for the Oreos.  The kids just tried oreos for the first time on Sunday and loved them so I thought it would be a nice treat.  I told Miss M I was looking for cookies.  She repeatedly said “Rye Dare! Rye Dare!” (Right there!) to try to help me.  Hubby made his way into the kitchen and asked what I was looking for.  “The Oreos!”  They’re gone.  “What do you mean they’re gone?  We just bought them 2 days ago!”  I’m telling you, they are gone!  I don’ t know what happened!  Wow.  Here I was feeling sorry for him for being so sick that he didn’t have an appetite.  I wouldn’t have an appetite either if I had eaten an entire box of oreos in one afternoon.  Arrowroots it is, kids!

As I poured a bath for the kids, Hubby had to leave for a meeting.  Again, I said “On your mark!  Get set! Go!” and both kids followed me up the stairs to the bathroom.  I stripped them down to their diapers as we waited for the bath tub to fill.  “Stuck! Stuck!”  Miss M yelled while pulling on her diaper and grunting because I hadn’t taken it off yet.  I picked up Mr. C with one arm and pulled his diaper off with the other.  Then I made a terrible mistake.  I plopped him down on my lap without checking for the poop factor.  I hate when that happens.  He just poop-stamped my dress pants!  I jumped up, carrying Mr. C under one arm and holding Miss M’s hand with the other arm to guide her out of the bathroom, shutting the door behind me to keep them out while the bathtub was filling with water.  We just installed a childproofing gadget on the bathroom door which prevents them from getting into the bathroom unsupervised.  Of course, there are baby wipes in every room of the house except on the change table.  I found a package of wipes under Mr. C’s crib (right where I must have left them) and tried to wipe the poop off of my pants.  This was unsuccessful so I just took my pants off and carried on in my underwear.  Time is of the essence here! I turned around with baby wipes in hand to see that Mr. C was in Miss M’s room and had butt-stamped her floor and her bed.  Delightful.  I scooped him up, wiped his bum and her floor then ran to the bathroom remembering that the bathtub was still running.  The door was locked.  Crap.  One of the kids must have locked the door before I pulled it shut.

I hopped the baby gate at the top of the stairs like a race horse while praying that I had shut the blinds downstairs since I was in my underwear galavanting down the stairs.  I grabbed a butter knife from the kitchen drawer then raced back upstairs where Miss M was still grunting and yelling “Stuck!” as she pulled on her diaper, trying to get it off.  I jimmied the lock and got the door open just in time before the tub overflowed.  Phewwwf. 

I threw the kids in the tub and lathered them up then ran out to the linen closet to grab towels.  As I did, they turned the bath tub into a wave pool, splashing and giggling.  It was heartwarming to see.  They were having the time of their lives kicking and splashing and throwing tidal waves over the side of the bath tub.  I don’t really mind the splashing.  Some weeks, the overflow of bathtub water is the only “wash” my bathroom floor sees.  Time escapes me constantly and my to-do list only ever gets longer.  I sat down on the toilet next to the tub and watched them splash.  Then I start ed to think about my still pounding head.  Note to Self:  Put ice on head after kids are in bed.  As Miss M and Mr. C start to wind down, I start singing the “Clean Up” song to get them to put all of their bath toys away as I turn to load their toothbrushes up with toothpaste.  In the corner of my eye, I notice Mr. C stand up in the tub.  As I turn to tell him to sit down, I realize that he is actually peeing into the bath water at the exact same time as Miss M has her face in the water, drinking it.  Bleck!  No words come to my throbbing head so I just silently scoop both of them out of the tub at the same time and decide it’s best to just pretend that didn’t happen.

I dressed them, brushed their teeth and hair, changed Miss M’s bedding, read their bedtime stories, sang our bedtime stories and cuddled them.  Life is always exciting and unpredictable.  Once they were tucked into bed and sound asleep (which even though i started at 7pm, didn’t happen until almost 10pm for my little night owl, Miss M) I decided I needed ice…for my head and for a very stiff drink.  Cheers to Tuesday!

andbabymakes3imean4 is one mom’s adventures while tap-dancing on the brink of insanity with 2 babies, 11 months apart.  To be the first to know of future posts, please subscribe to my blog or like my page on facebook.  Thanks for reading! xo

 

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Mama’s on Vacation: Choosing Blanket Tents and Paddy Cake over Clean Floors and Elaborate Meals. The Rest can Wait!

Today is my last day of vacation.  Boohoo!  I have had 4 glorious days off this week to spend time with my little ones and get caught up on things around the house.  I was looking forward to unstickifying our house and getting caught up on laundry.  (I’m a dreamer, I know!) I had big plans for this week.  In addition to hanging with two my favourite little people, I was planning to cook up a storm and freeze a whole bunch of homemade, delicious meals for easy dinners when I go back to work, buy a bushel of apples to make homemade applesauce for my little applesauce addicts, organize our office that has been repurposed as a storage room for the better part of 6 months, organize our closets, put away clothes the kiddos have outgrown, rake all of our leaves, get our Christmas stuff out and if time permitted, repaint our baseboards that have received quite a few scrapes and bumps from all kinds of collisions with riding toys.  (Two and a half years into this whole motherhood thing and I am still completely delusional when it comes to expectations for things that can be accomplished in a day with my dynamic duo in tow.)  It is safe to say (with 3 hours left of vacation) that I did not accomplish a single one of these tasks.  Unless you count picking up a tray of pizza from the bakery as a “homemade, delicious meal” and wiping up spills with baby wipes as cleaning the house.

Adding two toddlers to any situation is unpredictable, exciting and exhausting.  They are two tiny, wild cards.  18 month old Mr. C is teething and a little more needy than usual and 2.5 year old Miss M is dealing with some separation anxiety these days so she basically lives in my shadow.  Prior to taking these days off, I have been working a lot.  Early mornings, late nights, weekends and very few days off.  It has taken its toll on my little ones.  And me.  Miss M will not go to sleep without me and very rarely sleeps in her own bed.  I read to her in her bed and just as I begin to think about getting up to leave her to sleep, she jumps on me and wraps her arms and legs around my body like a koala bear and screams “No Mommy! Mommy! Swuggle! Swuggle!”  Swuggle is her word for snuggle which to her, means cuddling up in my arms in my bed as I comb my fingers through her hair until she falls asleep.  It doesn’t get much cuter than that!  Every night as we try to bring her to bed, she screams “Swuggle! Swuggle please!”  I had feared that this separation anxiety was caused by me working so much and not being around as much as usual. I hoped it was just age-related and coincidental but 2 weeks ago, I had the privilege of spending the entire day with Miss M, one-on-one.  I had to work for a bit on a Saturday and there was no way she was going to let me leave without throwing a fit so I brought her to work with me, took her out for lunch then came home to join our boys for dinner and a movie.  We literally spent every second of the day together.  That night, she went to bed in her own bed without any fight or trouble.  I cried.  While I was so happy that she was in a good place emotionally after our awesome “girls’ day,” I felt awful knowing that my absence had been hurting her.  I knew I was responsible for her separation anxiety.  Suffering from anxiety myself, I feel so guilty for causing my little one to feel that way.  It’s so hard at this age.  I can’t explain to them that I have to work early or work late.  To them, sometimes when they wake up, I’m not there and sometimes I don’t pick them up at the end of the day and they don’t see me before bed and they have no idea why.  It’s hard.  Really hard.

I am trying my very best to balance everything out but it is not easy at all.  Finding a balance between career and home is extremely difficult… especially when work is an hour away from home.  The commuting time kills me.  Every day when I sit in traffic, I think of how I could be spending this time with my kids.  I miss them all the time but also know that working hard at my career is necessary in order to provide a great future for them.  I have been under a lot of pressure at work lately and have been extremely overwhelmed, stressed out and anxious.  I do what I can to get through the day but often feel worn out before I even come home.  It can be a bit tough to snap back into “mommy mode.”  I would be lying if I said I didn’t think my kids picked up on my stress, which then stresses me out even more knowing that I am unintentionally transferring it to them.  I ended up at the E.R. last week when I woke up with severe chest pains in the middle of the night and thought it was my heart.  It turned out to be a panic attack.  A scary one.  My anxiety had gotten the best of me.  Not good.  I am glad it happened though because it was an eye-opening experience for me.  I have been on a downward spiral for months as I’ve struggled to manage work, marriage and motherhood.  I have done very little for myself and have basically woken up each morning trying to decide who I am going to disappoint today.  Will I disappoint work because I’m exhausted and overwhelmed and missing my kids?  Will I disappoint my kids because I’m dropping them off at daycare when they are crying to spend time with me and I am exhausted and not giving them my best?  I’ve been anticipating the “crash” happening and it did.  I am glad it did because it put things into perspective for me.  No offense to work but my family comes first.  The pressures that I have been under lately have been unmanageable to me and the worst part is that 99% of the time, I am applying the pressure to myself and being my own worst boss and worst critic.  It was time for change.

Taking this week off was just what the doctor ordered.  Even though I haven’t ticked a single item off of my to-do list and have barely managed to bathe, it has been awesome to just be home and play on the floor with my kiddos, make them laugh until they get the hiccups, run and jump in leaves, build towers out of blocks and swuggle.  It’s safe to say that it has also been crazy and overwhelming too.  Especially since I did have a pretty big to-do list that I was hoping to tackle.  Living in chaos is difficult.  When you find yourself counting down the days until you are off and can finally tackle that closet and organize this cupboard and get caught up on this and this and that only to find yourself at the end of your vacation with your house in worse shape than when you started simply because the kids have been home instead of at daycare, life can seem a bit daunting. At the end of my first day of vacation, when I found myself absolutely exhausted after a full day of cleaning and playing and yet my house was literally trashed, I was feeling a bit defeated (to say the least.). It took a while for me to realize that it didn’t matter.  None of it matters.  My kids are growing so quickly. 
In 10 years, I will remember the races across the living room on our hands and knees, the endless giggles, pulling them on blanket rides across the floor, baking and decorating cupcakes for no reason at all, reading story after story after story with the two of them cuddled up on my lap.  I won’t remember the fingerprints on the windows, the yogurt smears on the kitchen floor, the lasagna that was frozen from the grocery store instead of homemade, the crayon on the walls…and if I do, it will only be because I miss it all.

Life is short but sweet for certain.  Kids are only little for so long.  Today is my last day of vacation.  I could be binge-cooking healthy meals, scrubbing floors (again) and organizing closets but I’m not.  If you come to my door today, please excuse the mess.  Excuse the floor that looks like it hasn’t been washed in months even though it was washed this morning.  Excuse the pile of laundry on the couch waiting to be folded.  Excuse the mountain of dishes in the sink.  Excuse the fingerprints on the fridge, door, windows and walls.  Excuse the shoes that are all over the place.  Excuse the jewellery all over my bedroom floor after my jewellery box was emptied by my 18 month old son this morning.  Excuse the disassembled potty in the bathroom and the sippy cup sitting on top of it.  Please excuse it all because none of it matters.  Instead, look at my happy and healthy kids.  They have had an incredible day!  And although I might look like I haven’t slept in a week and haven’t bathed for longer, I’ve had a pretty damn good day too!  If you’re looking for us, you can find us in the blanket tent in the living room, jumping in the pile of leaves in the backyard or eating cupcakes for no reason at all because TODAY is worth celebrating.  The rest of it can wait.

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andbabymakes3imean4 is one mom’s adventures while tap dancing on the brink of insanity with 2 babies, 11 months apart.  I would be forever grateful if you would subscribe to my blog or like my page on facebook.  Thanks so much for reading! xo

 

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Take 5! Time to Recharge! This Mama is on Timeout!

Sometimes I feel like the worst mother on earth. Sometimes I feel like I am so stressed that I might explode. Sometimes I feel like I am so tired that if I lie down to go to sleep, I might sleep for 3 days straight. Today is one of those “sometimes.”

Don’t get be wrong. Being a stay-at-home mom is HARD. It is draining, overwhelming, exhausting, stressful and chaotic…. But I miss it. It’s ironic since I had many days while I was still on maternity leave that I would daydream about being back at work, wearing real clothes, accomplishing big things, having adult conversations, peeing when I needed to pee, drinking coffee while it was still hot, taking a break when I needed a break, etc. it seemed like a dream. It’s not.

Being a working mama is extremely difficult. With a 1 year old and 2 year old at home, sometimes just getting out of the door in the morning with all of us dressed and all of our gear packed is a small miracle. Showering, doing hair, doing makeup, getting dressed, packing a lunch, packing a laptop, packing a diaper bag, changing diapers, dressing kiddos, putting shoes on unwilling feet, loading kids into car seats and dropping them off at daycare is a huge list of tasks to accomplish every weekday before 7:30am… It’s only made harder when one or both of my kids scream and cry because they don’t want me to go. Talk about heartbreak. And all of this early morning commotion so I can jump on the highway and start my hour-long commute in rush-hour traffic. Ugh.

I treat myself to takeout coffee far more often that I should because dammit, I deserve it (and need it!). Oh… And I have yet to find a travel mug that doesn’t leak or make my coffee taste funny. (Side note: the bonus of being a mom is that I can blame any “bump in the road” spill on my kids.)

Work is challenging and demanding and far harder to do now since I have so many things juggling through my head all at once and rarely (never) go into work on more than 5 hours of sleep. I miss my kiddos when I’m at work and wish I could be home. I hope they are having a fun day. I wonder if I shut my flat iron off before I left. I hope I put the milk back in the fridge. I question whether or not I packed Tylenol in the diaper bag in case poor little teething Mr. C needs it, I contemplate quick dinner options and whether or not we need more diapers.

If I take a quick lunch break, I use it to buy things like diapers, wipes, baby shampoo, etc. I do my monthly Costco runs at lunchtime so that I don’t have to enter into the circus that is Costco on a weeknight or weekend since I can no longer go mid-week during the day when “everyone else” is working. The only downfall is that I can’t buy anything that needs to be refrigerated on my lunchtime runs. Not until winter at least when it will stay cold in the car all afternoon.

My drive home is always an hour or more of stop-and-go traffic. I rush to pick my babies up from daycare. Their reaction to seeing me walk through the door is always the highlight of my day. They have no idea just how bright their little faces shine as they look up and yell “Mommy!” as they run over offering the most incredible hugs that melt the stress off my body. This part of the day makes it all worth it.

I load them into the car, drive them home, unload their gear and my gear and bring it inside as I unlock the door. Then I unload Miss M and remind her to go to her brother’s car door. Then I unload Mr. C and either bring them into the backyard to play as I run in to start dinner while watching them from the kitchen window and running in and out to make sure they are okay…Or I carry them both inside with me so they can’t take off into the backyard as they both scream “Siiiide!” and pound in the door because they want to be outside.

Playtime. Dinner time. Dishes. Bath time. Teeth brushing time. Diaper time. Pajama time. Storytime. Bedtime. And then the night is over… Time to relax and fold a load or two of laundry before bed. Life is exhausting. Sometimes it’s too much.

Tonight as I was mid-bath stage, with both kids shampooed, washed and teeth brushed, I found myself holding back tears and telling myself (inside my head) that it was almost bedtime. Hubby came upstairs and could see that something was wrong. I was just tired. All I wanted to do was lie down in silence. Alone. From daycare runs to a rush-hour commute to a crazy work day, to another rush-hour dash to pick the kids up from daycare, I find myself pulling into the driveway to pick them up and forcing myself to take one quick, deep breath to give myself a chance to switch from career woman to Mommy.

My kids are so excited to see me, to play with me, to hug me, to love me, to babble away to me. They are also hungry and needy and tired and cranky and don’t want to eat their dinner and don’t want to share the swing and don’t want to brush their teeth and don’t want to go to bed. It can be a really tiring part of the day. And when I feel overwhelmed by this part of the day, I feel my entire body fill with guilt because my babies need me. Since returning to work, I only get a couple of precious hours to spend with them during the week. It’s not enough and it’s not fair. It’s also not fair that by the time I am able to finally spend time with the little loves of my life, I am spun up so tight with stress, exhaustion and anxiety. I feel so drained. It’s unfair to them. I want to be the best Mommy I can be to them but sometimes I am just too tired and that makes me sad.

Tonight was one of those “sometimes.” I was pushing through the whole day and pushing through dinner and being patient with a screaming one year old who threw his plate of Shepherd’s pie against the wall because his mouth hurt from teething and he was enraged from pain. I pulled together enough energy to enthusiastically run through my 2 year old’s flash cards so she could excitedly shout out all of her colours and numbers. She is such a smart cookie! She knows all of her numbers and colours at just 27 months old. I pushed myself to do the dishes and then clean out the fridge while the kids ate their dessert. It needed to be done. By the time I was finishing baths, I had nothing left. I was so tired. So drained. So exhausted. So starved for “me time.” I tried to keep pushing but I couldn’t. And I was mad at myself. Mad that I couldn’t drum up just another 30 minutes of “super mom.” Bedtime story reading is one of the highlights of my day. Today I couldn’t do it. For the first time ever, I accepted my husband’s offer to go and lie down. The pressure I was feeling was too much and I needed a break. I had nothing left.

I laid on my bed while Hubby got the kids diapered and into their pajamas. I heard them both yelling “Mommy! Mommy!” and tears trickled down my cheeks as I laid in silence and felt like I had let them down. We only get a couple of hours together each day after all and I was giving up the last half hour as they called for me wondering where I had gone. How awful. How selfish. How sad.

I refused to cry and just tried to regroup. It felt incredible to be alone. I could feel my entire body rejuvenating. It was only about 7 minutes before my 1 year-old son came running in yelling “Mommy!” with a huge victorious smile knowing he had “found me!” He climbed up on the bed all by himself and plunked himself down on my stomach wrapping his arms and legs around me and pushing his cheek into my chest, holding me as tight as he could. Then he bounced up smiling with his nose against my nose and squealed “Mommy!!! Yuh-you!” I love you too, Buddy.

Hubby finished reading Miss M her bedtime stories and then came in to bring Mr. C to bed. I kissed him goodnight and took a few deep breaths while listening to Miss M bang against the baby gate at her doorway screaming “Mommy!” A few more minutes. I breathed and let myself unwind for another 5 minutes then I got up and walked across the hall to Miss M’s room. “Mommy!” she squealed with excitement. I opened the gate and she reached for me to pick her up. “No. Let’s have a cuddle! Do you want to snuggle?” She immediately turned around and did this crazy,energetic little skippy jog that she does over to her bed. We climbed into her bed and she snuggled into me with a sweet little smile on her face. Then she poked my nose and said “nose!”, then my eye and squealed “eye!” Then my mouth and said “mouth!” She did the same thing for hair, ear, eyebrow and chin. Then she cracked me right up when she poked my chest and said “Boobie! One! Two!” Excellent counting, little one!

Lesson learned: a 15 minute timeout can go a long way. Life is busy. Being a Mommy is challenging, exhausting and demanding. We owe it to ourselves to take a quick intermission to regroup and recharge. 15 minutes of silence and solitude can go a long way. It makes it so you can function again, snuggle with your little love bugs, smile at their sweetness and enjoy their limitless love and affection. I will be taking the time to recharge my “mama batteries” more often. I’m not saying that this little break miraculously fixed everything and eliminated all of my stresses but it certainly helped me to refocus and enjoy the little things. Like a big hug and “yuh-you! from a tiny little boy and lying in bed listening to my 2 year old count to 10 as she plays with my hair. These little things truly are the big things. When you start only seeing the tasks and the to-do lists and the countdown to bedtime, take a quick timeout to refresh so you can appreciate the little bits of sweetness that life offers.

A special thank you to my Hubby for offering to cover for me so I could take a quick break. The only thing I am worse at than accepting help is asking for it. Thank you for offering (again.)

Andbabymakes3imean4 is one mom’s adventures while tap dancing on the brink of insanity with 2 babies, 11 months apart. Thank you for reason this post! Please consider following my blog or liking my page on Facebook by clicking here! xo

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A “Punkin” for our Pumpkin. $1.39 well spent!

Yesterday we took the kiddos south of the border for a trip to the aquarium, groceries, a gas run and new dance shoes for 2 year old Miss M’s first year of dance class.

Hubby elected to stay in the car with 1 year old Mr. C while I took Miss M into the store for dance shoes. (Random fact: Payless Shoesource Canada only carries toddler-sized ballet slippers in white and pink. Payless Shoesource USA carries them in black which is what she needed for jazz class. Second random fact: My Garmin GPS needs a speech path. It kept pronouncing “Shoesource” as “Shawse-urs”. I realize it’s poor grammar but come on!)

I brought Miss M into the store and picked up a pair of size 8 jazz slippers to try on for size. There was a little bench right behind us. I asked Miss M to sit down so we could try them on. Then I almost died of shock because when I let go of her hand she actually DID WHAT I ASKED. It was weird. (She is a highly active 2 year old after all. I was prepared to chase her the second I let go of her hand!). I took her Dora croc off her foot and almost passed out from the stench. This girl has stinky, sweaty feet. I bought her the Adidas version of crocs/sandals but they gave her blisters so we are back to the old stinkers. I put a little nylon sockette on her foot and she squealed and said “tickles!” This little one is picking up new words every day. It’s unreal. I realize that dance shoes run a little different than street shoes but I could not even get the size 8 on her foot. Her feet are so wide. We ended up settling for a size 10. I wasn’t sure if they were too big but when she took off sprinting through the store while wearing them, I figured they would be just fine. (If she can run around a store in them not listening to instructions, she should be able to do the same thing in a dance room. Hopefully she will also do a little but of listening, learning and dancing in them too!)

We returned to the car. Miss M did not want to get back into the car so she tightened her knees so her legs wouldn’t bend and refused to sit in her seat while she screamed and flailed. I tried everything to wrestle her back into her car seat but she wouldn’t give in. Finally I said “Would you like a cup of milk?” She instantly transformed into sweet little angel mode and piped up “Yes please!”

Off we went to the grocery store. The kiddos were hungry. I was not up for taking them to a restaurant so was hoping that Wegman’s would have a family chicken meal deal or something to feed them quickly. I hadn’t been to this store (or anywhere besides my laundry room and work) in a while and wow! Was I ever amazed! (I am fully aware that I have no life!). They had an incredible salad bar/ hot buffet station. Here I thought I would be settling for a rotisserie chicken and deep fried potato wedges! Instead we feasted on homemade macaroni and cheese, chicken breast topped with pesto and cherry tomatoes, kale Caesar salad, blanched green beans, roasted cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, a delicious tomato/bacon/ranch tortellini salad and sushi that tasted like it was from a sushi restaurant. Yum! We packed our containers and then did a quick run through the grocery store to grab our household staples: organic homogenized milk and craft beer.

The kids had a great time “driving” the super cool shopping cart complete with steering wheels in front of the kiddo seats. Little did we know, we really didn’t have to buy anything for lunch because we samples all kinds of delicious treats throughout the store.

About halfway through our trip, Miss M got restless. No bacon and cheddar burger sample was going to tame her. She unbuckled herself from her seat in the cart and refused to sit down (again.). I took her out and told her she could walk but would have to hold my hand. She did really well. At one point, after being handed a cheese sample, she started to take off on us but stopped herself, turned around, held up her arm and shouted “Hand!” as she reached for my hand. Once she got tired of walking, she happily sat back in the cart as we headed for the checkout.

Hubby and I were loading our loot on to the counter when Miss M suddenly shouted “PUNKINNNNNN!!!!!” We turned around to see her reaching over to the post at the end of the aisle and using it to leverage herself (and the cart) over towards a huge bin of candy bars at the end of the aisle. Before I could process what she was trying to do, she reached over into the bin of candy and pulled out a miniature pumpkin (one of those tiny gourd type of pumpkins) from the bin. With a huge smile on her face, she held it close to her chest while wiggling back and forth in her seat chanting “Punkin! Punkin! Punkin!” with glee.

At this exact moment, I knew we were not leaving the store without that pumpkin. I didn’t even know if we could bring it home. You’re not supposed to bring any type of produce over the border. Hmm. As I pushed the cart through the checkout, I attempted to explain to Miss M that she had to give the pumpkin to the cashier so we could pay for it. I tried to take it from her and she clenched it right screaming “PUNKINNNNNN!” The cashier offered to just scan the code on the bottom of it except there wasn’t one so I had to pry it out of her fingers one at a time so he could put in on the scale to weigh it. Miss M had the meltdown of the century. In an instant, she was wailing with real tears, snotty nose, bright red face and a broken heart. The cashier looked up at me and said “$1.39. Do you want it?” I looked at him and then looked at “horror and devastation personified” in my cart. Umm yes. $1.39 is a small price to pay for peace and quiet… And to make our little girl’s day. Mr. C stared at Miss M as if to say “what is your problem?” and then with a quivering lip as if to say “should I be crying too?” I turned to Hubby and said we had to find one for Mr. C too. Mr. C didn’t seem to care about the damn pumpkin though. He was still steering away at the shopping cart’s steering wheel. Fine. We will only get one.

I still didn’t know if we were even allowed to bring a frickin’ miniature pumpkin over the bridge. Since Miss M would not even put the stupid thing down so we could get her into her car seat, we decided there was only one way to find out.

We headed for the bridge. We declared having $70 worth of goods including a case of beer. The customs officer said “Is everything else food?” Hubby said “yes” and I jumped in “and dance shoes!” since Hubby had forgotten about the dance shoe purchase which seemed like a lifetime ago. We headed home enjoying the peace of 2 sleeping, beautiful babies in the backseat of the car.

It wasn’t until I opened the back door in the driveway that I remembered we had bought a miniature pumpkin and evidently smuggled it over the border. Miss M was fast asleep with her blanket in one hand and her pumpkin in the other.

It wasn’t until we unloaded the groceries that we realized we had left a bag at the store. Damn. We left our cheese and Sriacha hot sauce behind. Aw well. My guess is that this bag had slipped under the race car seats when we were dealing with the mayhem of loading 2 overtired kiddos into the car.

It has now been over 24 hours since our miniature pumpkin purchase. Miss M has not put it down yet. We gave it a good wash when we got home last night which wasn’t overly necessary since it ended up in the bathtub with her, tucked into bed with her and then started the day off with her at the breakfast table.

Miss M does not go anywhere without her blanket which she originally called “Bee” but then learned “Blankie” at daycare but now that she has grown up over night, she calls “Blanket.”

Tonight as I dressed her in pajamas after her bath and tucked her into bed, she immediately cried out “Blanket! PUNKIN “. Hubby, Miss M, Mr C and “Punkin” cuddled into Miss M’s bed and read at least 5 books. I brought A tired and adorable Mr. C to his room while Hubby tucked in Miss M and Punkin. This was the best $1.39 ice ever spent.

andbabymakes3imean4 is one mom’s adventures while tap-dancing on the brink of insanity with 2 babies, 11 months apart. Thank you for reading! If you could relate or laugh even just a little bit, please subscribe to my blog or like my page on Facebook<!
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One Less Crib in our Crib: Miss M’s Not-so-Smooth Transition to “Big Girl Bed”

Tonight I am writing this blog while lying on the far side of my bed so I am out of sight to my sweet little two-year old who is crying at the baby gate in her doorway. My heart is breaking but I am trying to stay strong. If I bring her into bed with me like I did last night and the night before, it will become a habit that we will not be able to break. A habit sort of like watching an episode of Dora the Explorer on the iPad from her crib when she isn’t feeling well which has now become a part of her bedtime routine. It is Miss M’s iPad. I know it. Hubby knows it. She knows it and even 14 month old Mr. C knows it… But he is willing to fight for that iPad. (We may need to invest in a second one soon.) Miss M can navigate through that iPad without issue. She knows how to open and play a video. She swipes her way through photos. She can open her preschool apps and play games.

Here’s a funny digression:  Last weekend, Hubby and I were at a wedding and my parents were watching the babes. I was in a deep conversation with the woman sitting next to me (about our kids… Obviously… Because that’s what mommies do when they are out sans babies… They talk about their kids, compare war stories and show pictures.) Just as my new-found mommy friend and I are realizing that her daughter and my son were born 2 days apart, Hubby taps me on the shoulder and says “You’re face timing me.” No I’m not.. I turned back to my conversation only to have him nudge me again, this time with his phone in his hand showing me the call display which shoes my name making a FaceTime call. My phone is in my purse under the table! There’s no way I am facetiming you! By the third nudge to show the third FaceTime call, I realized that I am signed in to itunes on the iPad at home. (How else would I access my newly purchased Bubble Guppies series?)  My parents would have put a show on it for Miss M when they put her to bed and she has reached it and has placed a FaceTime call to hubby. Answer it! I exclaimed. This is hilarious! After a couple calls and baby babble, Hubby called my parents to let them know they might need to take the iPad away. Amazing. Anyways, like I said, that was a huge digression but well worth it.

So here I am hiding out in my bedroom trying to be present enough for Miss M to know I am close by but distant enough that she doesn’t throw a fit wanting me to bring her into bed with me.  She is standing at the new baby gate in her doorway with her sippy cup and blanket in hand, ready to be rescued.  Last night, Hubby and I were sitting on the living room couch chatting while both kids were in bed when suddenly we heard someone run across the hall into our room. There was no thud. No sound. Just little feet running and then a little voice exclaiming “Mommy!!!” When she didn’t find me in our bedroom, she proudly ran down the stairs towards us. It is official. Miss M has figured out how to climb out of her crib. I feel responsible. This week I was just talking about how she climbs in her crib and in and out of her little brother’s crib but has never tried to climb out of her own no matter how much she is protesting bedtime. This has now changed.

We tried to put her back into her crib at least 27 times… Each time she would climb back out and run out of her room. She also ran right into Mr. C’s room to wake him up at least 4 times. This was not good. In order to keep her contained (and Mr. C undisturbed), we put a baby gate on her doorway. It was too late at night to convert her crib to a toddler bed. So we gave in and brought her to bed with us. She slept soundly between Hubby and me. At one point, she flipped upside down and had her feet touching Hubby’s face. Tomorrow would be toddler bed day.

The next morning I woke up with soaking wet pants and all I could smell was urine. What the heck! I have been battling a kidney infection for the past couple days. I have had to pee so frequently that I had to make a “pit stop” at Burger King on the way home from picking up my prescription.  I made it to the washroom just in time. As I washed my hands, I figured I should probably buy something to justify my toilet usage… But I really didn’t want anything there. So I ran back out the door like a weirdo and jumped into my car and peeled out of there anticipating the entire staff to come running out to chase me down. I felt like such a rebel. I’m badass, I know. Anyway, as I woke up soaked in urine (there’s a sentence you don’t type everyday,) I wondered if I had peed myself… Until I turned and saw Miss M sleeping like a baby (haha yeah right! That expression is so ridiculous and ironic!). Anyways there she was, sleeping like a daddy (that’s more like it!) and she had peed through her diaper and pajamas and on to my pajamas. She had wet the bed… in our bed.A wonderful way to start the day.

As I cleaned up Miss M and myself and stripped our bed linens, Mr. C woke up screaming at the top of his lungs. I opened his door to the worst stench ever expecting the hugest poop ever in his diaper but he was just wet. That is a lot of gas for one little dude. Boys are gross right from the beginning. The poor little man was hot with fever and miserable. He is cutting his molars and has been suffering. As I fed he and Miss M breakfast, Hubby excitedly took Miss M’s crib wall off and assembled the big girl toddler safety guard for her to try out this afternoon at nap time.

When nap time came along, we made a big deal out of Miss M going to bed in her “big girl bed.” We cuddled her in and told her how proud we were and wished her sweet dreams. Miss M did a lot in that 2 hour time frame. Sleeping was not one of them. She read books, ripped one book apart, emptied her toy bin and sat in it, pulled the register out of her vent, threw her blankets all over her room and even managed to pull the toddler safety guard off of her bed and throw it across the room. I told Hubby that they really should make them so they screw into the crib frame. He said it was screwed in. She pulled the part that wasn’t screwed off of the part that was. I don’t see this piece being our best option.

With no nap and a very busy day, Miss M was exhausted by the time bedtime came around. She cried in the bath tub because she just wanted to go to bed. Once she was out of the tub, she curled up on her big girl bed with her blanket. I diapered her and dressed her in pajamas as she laid there sucking her thumb. I had a feeling she would have no trouble falling asleep… And she didn’t….

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…Until half an hour, seconds after I had finally got a cranky and teething Mr. C settled in to sleep when she fell out of her bed. Crap. She was terrified. I picked her up and comforted her and knew I had to do something or else she was going to fall out again and again all night. I was so mad at myself for being naive enough to think she wouldn’t fall out.

Hubby had gone out. I called to see if he could come back to relieve me for half an hour so I could run to the store and buy a better safety guard/bed rail contraption. No such luck. I could bring Miss M with me but I really didn’t want to have to wake Mr. C up after he had just settled to drag him out to the store.  I called my mom and she came over to snuggle with Miss M while I went on a late night toddler bed mission. On a Sunday night at 9pm, Walmart was my only option. Ugh.  Walmart did not have any safety guards or bed rails but they did have toddler beds. Cheap hunks of plastic available in either Disney’s Cars or Disney’s Minnie Mouse in order to force you, the buyer into defining your child by gender and making sure that no two brother/sister siblings can share anything. I read the “Easy to Assemble!” label on the boxes, grabbed the Minnie Mouse toddler bed and lugged it to the cash register.  $70 for a hunk of plastic with a Minnie Mouse sticker on it.  Miss M doesn’t even know who Minnie Mouse is… ah well, if it helps her to get some sleep, it is worth every penny.

I brought it home and my mom helped me to assemble it while Miss M ran away with the screwdriver every single time I needed it. We put it together and she was so excited. We brought it upstairs and put her crib mattress on it and she was even more excited. She hopped in and snuggled in for the night. Success! Phase 2 of “Miss M’s first night in a big girl bed” begins now!

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Twenty minutes later, she was up, she was screaming and she was scared. I got her up again.  She wanted to lie on our bed but there was a problem; our bed was not made because until this very moment, as I was ready to turn in for the night, I did not remember that all of our linens were still soaking wet in the washing machine from the pee incident of this morning. As Miss M screamed and followed me from the linen closet to our room, I quickly made up our bed with spare sheets and then tossed her on it. She sighed an instant sigh of relief. I brought up a cuddle of fleece blankets since our duvet would not be dry anytime soon.  We cuddled and watched an episode of Bubble Guppies. When we got to the second episode, I kissed her on the head and then sneaked into the bathroom to have a shower. It was now around 11pm.  I had to get up at 6am to go to work and had a feeling I was in for a long night.  If I wanted to bathe, I needed to do it now.  As I rinsed the conditioner from my hair, I felt the odd feeling that someone was watching me. I opened my eyes to the excited shouting of “Mommy!” Miss M was standing outside of the shower, blanket and sippy cup in hand, excited that she had found me with one foot over the side of the bath tub in attempts to climb in with me.  

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I got out of the shower, got dressed and then pulled the rocking chair next to Miss M’s new toddler bed and tucked her in as she cried. I reassured her that I was right here and read her some books. Then I tiptoed out of her room and closed the baby gate behind me.

Miss M leaped out of bed and screamed at the gate “Mommy!” Which brings me to where I am now where I am a prisoner in my own room trying to stay strong and not give in to her. She will be fine. This is a big step.  Approximately 20 minutes later, Miss M was quiet.  A few friends had shared stories of their little ones falling asleep at the gate in their door way in the first few days of transitioning from crib to bed.  I figured she was asleep.  I quietly shimmied across the bed to peek across the hall expecting to see her sweet little body curled up fast asleep.  I was caught completely off guard and couldn’t help but laugh when I looked across the hall to see her still standing at the doorway, wide awake holding her sippy cup and her blanket.  She yelled “Mommy!” with a big smile on her face when she saw me….and then we started all over.

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After lying on her floor next to her toddler bed for an hour singing songs as she laid in it making sure I didn’t leave, she finally fell asleep.  12:30am.  Here’s hoping this is the last time.  I pulled myself up on to my knees and crawled out of her room, shutting the gate behind me and collapsed on my bed. Within a minute of me lying down, I heard a key in the lock of the front door.  So did Miss M.  As Hubby opened the front door, Miss M jumped up squealing “Daddy!”  I tried not to cry.

Miss M was out of bed and at the gate hoping Daddy would rescue her from her room this time.  Hubby spent about 5 seconds trying to tuck her back in before deciding that he would just bring her into our bed.  Nice try.  Nuh-uh.  Not happening.  I would have done that approximately 5 hours ago if I wasn’t afraid of creating a habit that we would never, ever be able to break.  We both went into her room and started all over.  Miss M fell asleep and we tiptoed back out of her room.  I thought I was going to collapse with exhaustion.  I stumbled across the hall and pulled a fleece blanket from the couch downstairs over myself.

Hubby followed me into our room and then turned the light on and asked “Do we not have a comforter or anything?”

andbabymakes3imean4 is one mom’s adventures while tap dancing on the brink of insanity with 2 babies, 11 months apart.  If you liked this post, please click “subscribe” or follow my page on facebook to be the first to know of future posts.  Thanks for reading! :)


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Last night after working a 12 hour day that I drove an hour to and an hour home from, I was really excited to call Hubby and find out that Miss M had woken up and he was having trouble getting her back to sleep… not (entirely) because he was getting a taste of my battle but because I missed her (and Mr. C) and was excited that I would get to see her tonight!  It’s really hard working such long days.  I only see the kids when I wake them up, dress them and drop them off at daycare.  Hubby picks them up after work and they are in bed by the time I get home.  45 minutes/day with them just isn’t enough.  The babies agree.  They are always cranky the next day wondering how long I will be gone for this time after I drop them off.

I walked in the door to see Miss M snuggled right up with her Daddy.  She looked pale and felt clammy.  She wasn’t feeling well.  She had refused to nap all day and after almost causing me to have a heart attack earlier in the evening by texting me saying “M just passed out.  What should I do?”, Hubby had put her to bed early.  When you are an hour away from home, reading a text that says your kid just passed out makes you think “fainted” and “unconscious”, not “fallen asleep.”  I gladly took over the cuddle position with Miss M who gave me a big hug while smiling and cheering “Mommy! Mommy!” through tired eyes.  Hubby had to go to a late night meeting so Miss M and I cuddled in bed and watched a Dora.  She was extremely restless and was crying and holding her tummy.  Hubby said she had fallen asleep during dinner so could be hungry.  I carried her downstairs to make her a snack.  Just as I opened the fridge door, she turned towards me and threw up.  The vomit ran down both of our bodies and splashed onto the freshly washed porcelain tile.  I ran over to the counter, still holding Miss M on my hip who was now crying hysterically and pulled off approximately 1000 paper towels to clean us up.  I stripped her down then grabbed a washcloth and sponged her clean.  She unfortunately had puked all over her favourite blanket.  There was no way she would part with it for the night so I scrubbed the puke spots with dish soap in the kitchen sink to at least get some of the vomit out of it before I could wash it.  I turned to pick her back up to comfort her but realized I was still covered in puke myself.  I turned to grab some clothes but she screamed “MOMMMY!!!!!!”, not wanting me to leave.  No one else was home so I stripped down in the kitchen as well, mopped up the puke on the floor with a dish towel and threw all of our puked-on linens and clothes down to the laundry room then picked up my sick little baby and went back upstairs, me in my underwear and her in her diaper.  We both changed into fresh, clean pajamas.  Poor little Miss M cried and cried and cried, crying out “Mommy!” and holding her tummy.  I held her tightly in my arms, reading books and singing songs until she finally fell asleep on top of my arm with her head rested on my chest.  Sigh.  This is bliss.

Not wanting to move but desperate for some time to unwind, I reached for the remote and changed the channel to something other than “Bubble Guppies.”  Twenty minutes later she was snoring, I was unwinding from a long day and…. 1 year old Mr. C woke up and started crying.  Oh no!  Not him too!  I listened and sent him telepathic messages to go back to sleep.  There was no way I was going to get out of bed without disturbing Miss M.  A couple minutes later (which seemed like 100), I shoved a pillow under Miss M’s head and slithered out of bed without waking her.  I went into Mr. C’s room to see him standing up, crying with his arm outreached holding his empty bottle.  This little man is a tank.  He was hungry.  I picked him up, brought him downstairs, filled his bottle, changed his diaper, kissed him goodnight and laid him back in his crib.  As his sleepy head was just about to touch the crib mattress, his eyes shot open to the sound of Miss M screaming at the top of her lungs.  She had waken up and I wasn’t there.  I shushed Mr. C and he slowly fell asleep.  I pulled his door shut then ran into our bedroom to find Miss M covered in puke again.  Poor baby.  I stripped her down along with the pillow she had thrown up on and got her settled to sleep in my arms.

Just as I fell asleep, my phone rang…with the ringer on.  Dammit.  I reached for it on my nightstand but could not quite get my finger tips to reach it without waking up Miss M (again.)  I could see on the call display that it was Hubby.  I hoped everything was okay.  I quickly decided that if it was important, he would call back.  There was no use waking up our sick little two-year old.  Moments later, I heard the front door unlock.  Hubby must have been calling when he was close to home to see if I needed him to pick anything up from the store.  Milk.  The answer is always milk.  Even when we just bought 8 litres of milk yesterday, we still need milk.

Hubby came upstairs and commented on how adorable Miss M was cuddled up on my chest.  He asked if he should move her to her bed or if he should join us in our bed or if he should sleep downstairs so she doesn’t wake up.  In my delirium and after reading multiple kids’ books one after another, this sounded like a Dr. Suess book to me.  “Should I sleep here? Should I sleep there?  I will sleep anywhere.”  I don’t care…just do NOT wake her up.  She really needs her sleep.

Within 10 minutes of Hubby climbing into bed, he fell asleep and started to snore.  Miss M woke up screaming.  It was understandable.  It is quite terrifying that sounds like that can come out of a human being.  It may have been the snoring that woke her up but she was suffering with pain.  She arched her back and straightened her legs then curled up in a ball with her little belly pulsing.  She screamed in pain and discomfort.  I tried pumping her legs and rubbing her tummy.  I tried distracting her with books and an episode of Dora and songs and playing “This Little Piggy” with her toes.  She was in pain.  She seemed constipated.  I decided that rather than cause her to suffer anymore than she already had, I would give her a laxative suppository.  I bought these infant suppositories over a year ago but have never had to use them.  The night before, Mr. C was completely bound up and hysterical.  I gave him a suppository and he pooped within 10 minutes and went back to sleep.  Hopefully Miss M would have the same success.  Hubby turned away and cringed as I inserted it.  He can’t stomach these kind of things.  I put her diaper back on and pulled her pants up then brought her downstairs hoping a change in scenery might distract her from her discomfort and give her some relief while we waited for the suppository to take effect.

I tried playing with a puzzle but she screamed.  I tried putting her down to play with various toys but she would grab on to me and scream “Mommy!” until I picked her up.  I walked into the kitchen and read each of the letters out loud of her alphabet magnets.  Then I pointed to each one and said its colour.  This caught her attention for a few minutes until the pain would creep up and she would scream again.  She was really pushing down with her legs.  I hoped she hadn’t pushed the suppository out.  I opened a book to read.  We read each page then pointed out each of the different colours on each page and counted all of the objects on each page.  Then she lost interest again.  She was hysterical and was going to make herself sick if she didn’t settle down.  As a last resort, I opened the back door and took her outside.  We used to do this when she was a baby.  When she would cry non-stop and we couldn’t comfort her, we would take her outside and she would instantly be calm.  This worked again.  I walked around the patio with Miss M on my hip.  We counted the chairs.  We counted the flowers.  We counted the tomato plants.  We counted everything we could see in the dark.  Counting really keeps her interest.

Then we came back inside and I tried putting her in her crib.  I let her cry for 5 minutes (while watching the clock waiting for 5 minutes to be up so I could go back and get her) to see if she would settle.  She didn’t.  I brought her back into bed with me.  Then I brought her downstairs to the living room.  Then I tried sitting her in her chair in the kitchen to see if she would sit and have a drink and a snack.  Then back to bed.  Then back downstairs so she wouldn’t wake up Hubby and Mr. C.  (There was no reason for all of us to be exhausted.)  Finally she settled down into bed beside me.  She was almost asleep when she let out a cough and threw up a little bit with it.  I was so tired I could barely move.  I reached down and grabbed a towel out of the laundry basket beside me and cleaned it up.  Then wiped it with a baby wipe.  This would have to do until the morning.  It was only a spot the size of a baseball.  There was no way I could change the bed sheets right now.  Miss M cuddled back into my chest and fell asleep.  She was relaxed and calm and sleeping like a little angel.  Finally.  I was afraid to look at the clock but did just so I knew how much time I had left to sleep.  5:07am  Crap.  My alarm goes off at 5:50am.

I fell asleep with Miss M in my arms until my alarm went off less than an hour later.  I pressed snooze while I tried to decide what to do.  I hadn’t slept yet.  I have to drive 50 minutes to get to work and should not be driving while delirious.  Miss M was sick and shouldn’t be going to daycare when she is throwing up.  I was too tired to think.  I fell back asleep and woke up to Hubby telling me what time it was each time his alarm went off at 7:00, 7:10, 7:20 and 7:30.  At 7:30, I picked Miss M up and put her into her crib.  She was still really clammy and felt a bit warm too.  She laid down in her crib, put her thumb in her mouth and fell back to sleep.  I didn’t want to have to wake her up and bring her to daycare.  Plus, I was so tired I could barely stand myself.  My own skin felt sticky.  Then I realized that I hadn’t even had a chance to wash my face before going to bed yet.  I had to go to work but couldn’t.  I had to stay home with the kids but couldn’t.

Being a working mom is such a juggle.  You feel so torn, like you need to be in at least 2 places at once at all times.  You go into work tired from being Mommy then feel too tired to be a good Mommy after work.  There aren’t enough hours or enough “Mommy’ to go around.  The fact that I commute to work makes it even more stressful and exhausting.  I spend a minimum of 2 hours each day that I could be spending with my kids, sitting in the car by myself, navigating through highway traffic trying to get to work on time then trying to pick the kids up from daycare on time just to do it all again the next day.  There are a lot of unspoken pressures on moms in the workplace as well.  We mamas return to work feeling like we have to prove that we are there to work, that we are going to stick it out, that we are going to be just as productive and innovative as we were before we had children.  There is a strange stigma around new moms that makes us feel guiltier than we normally feel (as if that was even possible) where we don’t want to say we can’t come in early/work late/work weekends or can’t come in because we have kids.  There is this strange, unspoken expectation to prove that even though you have kids, your kids will not impact your work.  No one says a word.  It is just a feeling.

As much as I didn’t want to and as much as I had knots in my stomach as I did it, I called in sick this morning and said my baby was not feeling well so I had to stay home.  I immediately stressed wondering what the reprecussions would be for openly admitting that my kid was affecting my career.  I think I worry too much.  I find that in general, transitioning from workaholic to working mom who still wants to be a workaholic but still wants to be Mommy is extremely difficult.  At the end of the day, we working mamas need to accept that we can’t do it all.  We can only try our best to prioritize tasks and make the right decisions.  We have a ton of responsibilities and a ton of stresses.  We need to take care of ourselves and what is important and simply accept that sometimes, not everyone is going to be happy with our decision.  Sometimes sick babies go to daycare when they would rather be at home in Mommy’s arms and sometimes Mommy has to be Mommy and can’t go to work because there are little ones who need us to stay home.

I knew I had made the right decision when Miss M woke up this morning and her face lit up to see me standing beside her crib, ready to lift her out.  She exclaimed “Mommy!” through her sick little voice and cuddled into my shoulder.  She vomited all morning and spiked a fever of 102.7.  Staying home was the right decision.  She is one sick little girl today.  And if I needed any further affirmation, having her tiny arms wrap around my neck as she cuddles into my lap and looks up at me and coos “Mommy!  Yuv-You!” meaning “Love You!”

As for Mr. C, he is also happy to be at home chanting “Mommy! Mommy!” as he pries the vent cover off the floor vent and drops toys down the ducts knowing I can’t stop him with a sick little girl on my lap.  C’est la vie.

Mr. C fishing for lost toys

Mr. C fishing for lost toys

andbabymakes3imean4 is one mom’s adventure while tap-dancing on the brink of insanity with 2 babies, 11 months apart.  If you liked this blog post, please follow my blog or like my page on facebook.  Thanks for reading! xo

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