"One of Those Days" Leads to One of Those Nights...

Warning:  Zombie typing on computer... Many of you were in contact with me yesterday via text, and it seems I was not alone in having "one of those days".  Something about a 2 hour delay here in blustery Central Indiana just seemed to set everyone's day off on the wrong boot.  After a real adventure-of-a-day, I decided I better get to bed early to avoid having anything else ridiculous happen.  The last thing I thought about before lights out at 9:00pm was a sleepless night I had back in October of 2013.  I chuckled to myself, "Hah. Good thing I don't have to worry about nights like that anymore!" Not so fast lady...

I was up. all. night.  People were crying, laughing in their sleep, coming into my room to tell me they had to pee.  The wind was howling as the Polar Vortex settled over the Midwest and created a "monster" noise here in our new house(we've checked and have yet to find a beast of any kind chained in the basement.)  Babies were beating on their cribs with pacis, people needed re-tucked in. Again.  I was starving around 3am.  So on and so forth...

Funny how things work out!  Just when I am confident I have a cozy deep slumber ahead of me, life has other plans.  This is that night from long ago which originally appeared on another blog I used to write pregnantcrazylady.wordpress.com  I don't update it anymore since I am no longer pregnant.  Still crazy though.  Read if you dare.  Just don't jinx yourself like I did.

Good Night and Good Luck.  Good Luck Sleeping.

October 15, 2013

Aaaaahhhh, bedtime.  A warm bath, a little story, a quiet song.  The children nestled all snug in their beds.

Yeah, well it’s nothing like that at my house.  It’s more like someone is face down on the floor refusing to go potty one last time and the other someone is scrubbing toothpaste all over the hallway since I didn’t put enough on their toothbrush.

Eventually they do fall asleep and stay asleep.  I feel very fortunate to usually be the only mouse about the house, most nights.  I believe I have established a beneficial bedtime routine.   Which I feel I have the  maturity level to actually handle like a responsible adult.  Others may disagree.  Since my bladder is under assault right now from a very active little boy or girl, I start my evening routine by eliminating most liquids after 6pm.  I eat a healthy dinner.  Light candles.  Go for a walk.  Unwind with some television.  20 minutes of relaxing yoga poses.  Lightly spray my sheets with lavender.  Say my prayers.  Read briefly.  And out I go.  And then up I go.  To the bathroom.  But some nights, it’s not just the loo calling my name.  Here is what happened last night during the wee hours…

10:45pm Lay down in bed.

10:46pm Open my book to read.

10:47pm I’m sound asleep.

11:30pm  I am up for bathroom break #1.

12:30am  Bathroom break #2

1:22am  Quiet “Mommys” coming from Little Brother’s room.  I go in and administer a breathing treatment for his wheezing and asthma symptoms that have been acting up.

2:49am  “It hurt!!!!!  It hurts!!!!”  coming from Little Brother’s room.  I run in his room assuming he has a dresser or ceiling fan laying across him.  Nope.  He is just laying in a pool of pee.  I change his sheets as quickly as my carpo tunnel fingers will let me.  He sits there watching me drop the sheets over and over.  An older man would assume I was drunk, not just a numb-handed zombie.

3:39am  “Hoot.  Hoot.” The giant barn owl my kids were harassing earlier this evening is back to haunt me.  I turn my sound machine up louder, but not too loud.  I wish it could be “too loud”.

4:01am  Bathroom break.  Might as well go in and do Little Brother’s breathing treatment early since I’m up.

4:30am  “MOMMY!!!!!!!!!”  “HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  Big Brother this time.  He tells me he had a bad dream and that if you “play quietly in your room the sun will actually come up faster”.  Nice try.

4:35am  I nestle myself back in bed and hope I can get a wee bit of slumber before my alarm goes off.

4:44am  “Woof.  Woof”  Not you too dog!  I get up and look at him at the foot of my bed.  He is requesting that I lift him onto the bed even though he has a step stool.  Is there a conspiracy against me?

4:45am  Finally, I hope finally, back in bed next to my snoozing husband.  Did I mention there has been a peacefully snoozing husband this whole time?

6:00am  My alarm goes off.  Shower and head downstairs.  Tiptoe downstairs.  Make kid’s school lunches, unload dishwasher, lay out everyone’s medicine, make coffee, get breakfast ready, start a load of laundry, etc, etc, and so on…

7:23am  Down comes sleeping beauty.  Husband performs an overly dramatic stretch/yawn combination.  I swear he is standing extra close to me, showing off that he doesn’t have dark circles or even a hint of a bag under his eyes.  He scans the kitchen, appears satisfied with himself and asks,

“Did you elbow me last night because I was snoring?”

“Yep.  That’s it.  That’s all that happened last night”.

goodnightpost

Last Thursday, Uncensored.

So, here is the thing about life with little ones and a mom who suffers from perpetual "mom brain".  Some days seem as smooth as glass, and some days, well, go a little something like this... 3:30am Suddenly wake up from a deep sleep with a surge of design ideas for new house we will be moving to in a couple of months.

4:15am  Fabulous design ideas are replaced by dark, looming thoughts about how much work we have to do before moving.

4:35am  Dark, looming thoughts are replaced by frustration that I cannot go back to sleep.

4:55am Fall back asleep.

5:02am Baby girls cries out.

5:05 Decide to move alarm clock time from 6am to 6:15am.  Every little bit helps, right?

6:15am Tear myself out of my super cozy, comfy bed and begin working on packing up the house, clean base boards, drink coffee, do yoga in the garage, shower, feed baby, check email, and play with Baby Girl.

9:00am Leave a little early to meet my in-laws and pick up Big Brother and Little Brother who had a sleepover.  So early in fact, I have time for Starbucks.

9:11am Pick up a steaming cup of Starbucks, turn up the radio so I can sing to Baby Girl since she doesn't complain, and hit the road.  Life is good.

9:12am  Glance at gas tank.

9:13am Interrupt singing to begin swearing at myself.  The tank is on empty.

9:28am Roll in on fumes to closest gas station.

9:29am  Realize my purse and wallet are at home.  Of course, I didn't notice this earlier since I used a gift card I have conveniently stowed in my car.

9:30am  Call Mother in Law and begin lamenting about how uncooperative my brain is.  In-Laws decide it would be fastest (and probably safest) for them to just drive all the way to my house.

11:02am The Brothers are safely home and already outside trying to capture birds with their empty laundry baskets.

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11:14am  While changing Baby Girl's diaper on the couch, I find myself lost in deep thoughts about kitchen wall colors in our new house.

11:15am  Something wet is running down my leg.

11:16am  Snap out of my interior design fantasy and realize Baby Girl has peed all over herself, the couch, me, and it has dribbled down to the carpet.  She thinks this is hilarious and I am wondering why I was changing a diaper on a couch.

11:20am Clean up, lunch, feed Baby Girl, pack, home-staging, bribe everyone into the car with the promise of playing with new bubble machine this afternoon.

12:12pm  Pull into a parking spot in our quaint little downtown.  Husband is going to take the boys for ice cream while I run to a doctor's appointment with Baby Girl.

12:13pm  As Big Brother hops out of the car, he announces "Beautiful day!  Sure is a nice breeze!"  A group of women look up from their Bible study and smile.

12:15pm  As I pull Baby Girl out of the car, the women respond with, "Oooohh!  Aaaah!  Adorable!"

12:16pm  Then comes Little Brother.  As he jumps out of the van, his red hair gleaming in the sun, he excitedly shouts, "Let's pretend we are big kids and that we love beer!"  The women gasp.  I see their eyes narrow and turn to look at me, Mother Of The Year.

12:43pm  While waiting on the doctor I receive text from husband explaining that Big Brother was licking the glass barrier over the ice cream bins and informed the staff that he was spelling his name with his tongue.

1:47pm  After a quick trip to the library that involved only a small incident of The Brothers making a shuffleboard game with DVDs, all kids are home and preparing for "quiet time".  I even tell Little Brother that he can rest on the couch today instead of napping in his room.

2:08pm  Little Brother begins moaning and groaning that we are being too loud.  He sounds like an old man as he grunts and tries to get comfortable on the couch.

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2:24pm  Little Brother continues his complaining as he tries to get comfortable on the floor, "Are you kidding me!?  C'mon.  Are you kidding me?!  Everything is so loud!"

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2:55pm Still trying

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3:25pm And still trying

LastThursdayChach

4:00pm  Once Husband is home, run with Big Brother to CVS since the bubble machine didn't come with batteries.

4:05pm  Big Brother asks me at CVS checkout, "How in the world did the cash register guy get that big nasty ring in his nose?"

4:08pm  Engage in deep conversation with Big Brother about other people's feelings in the car.  I glance in rear view mirror for his reaction.  He is licking the window.

4:15pm  Walk into family room to find Little Brother sound asleep.

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5:00pm Begin trying to wake up Little Brother.

5:45pm  Little Brother is finally somewhat awake and laying on the floor mumbling, "C'mon, are you guys kidding me?!  C'mon!"

6:30pm  Pack the whole fam in the car and head to neighborhood concert.

7:00pm  Little Brother is laying face down on the blanket instead of running around like a crazy person.

7:15pm  Little Brother is still laying face down.  I check his forehead and he feels like he is burning up.

7:17pm   I inform Husband that I will be heading home with the younger 2 and he is in charge of Big Brother's well-being.  I ask where Big Brother is.  Husband is unsure.

7:20pm  A neighbor asks if the soaking wet, barefoot kid wrestling with his friend in a drainage ditch is Big Brother.  Husband and I reply, "Definitely" with our proudest smiles.

7:25pm Arrive home, discover Little Brother's temperature is 102!  Administer Tylenol, give baths, jammies, and get him in bed.

7:45pm  Baby Girl is starving!  I grab a bottle and can't find a burp cloth so I snatch the closest thing I can find... a pair of the boys' underwear.  At least they are clean.

8:20pm  Big Brother is calling from his room that he feels fine and wants to play.  Begin evening negotiations.

8:40pm Still negotiating with Little Brother who marches into the hallway, shouts, "Mommy!  I don't even know you anymore!"  and slams his bedroom door.  Darn Tylenol.

9:30pm  Husband and Big Brother arrive home after chasing a loose dog around the neighborhood.

10:00pm Finally have Big Brother in bed when I hear Little Brother announcing that he has to go poopy.

10:03pm Husband informs Little Brother that he will be wiping him tonight.  I am downstairs hiding in the hall closet with red wine.

10:07pm  Little Brother shouts that he appreciates that Daddy wiped him, but he has "Made another piece of poopy so that Mommy can wipe me because I love her so much!"

It sure is nice to be loved that much.  Now goodnight everybody and let's do this all over again tomorrow, with a little less "mom brain", limited bathroom and beer references, and a lot of love.

Thank You Mama. With Love... Your Baby.

Hi Mama, it's me, your 4 month old.  It's 6:00am and I know I usually sleep until 8:00am, but today I felt like getting up early and blowing bubbles and working on my new shriek noises.  I hope you don't mind.   You do look a little flustered, trying to get everybody's lunches made, and shower, and make breakfast, and pack up your computer for work, and get my brothers dressed for school on time.  I just wanted to see you because I love how you smell and I love YOU.  I think I will tell you why... 20140507-163227.jpg

Thank you for growing me in your tummy.  For letting it stretch and itch and not be able to fit behind the steering wheel.  Thank you for wearing that full-leg compression hose all last summer, pretty cute, right!?  Thanks for gaining all that weight and not really caring, since it was for me.  Thanks for giving up craft beer for 10 months.  Ouch, I know.

Thanks for letting me take my time being born.  I just wasn't really sure if I wanted to leave my quiet, peaceful water world.  Thanks for walking for 2 days.  Around the basement, the stairs, at Meijer, the mall, the hospital halls with a bag of apples.  Sorry my hand was above my head and I got stuck on your pubic bone.  I heard a lot of muffled yelling and shouting, but then I came out and I heard Daddy clearly screaming, "It's a girl!"  And then I heard you cry.  Happy cry.

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Thank you for all those diaper changes.  Sorry I had a blowout at 4am and it shot across the room.  I know you had to clean the picture frames in the dark.  I feel badly, but they were just of my brothers.

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Thank you for letting me have my own room.  I was getting kind of sick of everybody's snoring in your room.  No offense.  Now, how about my own bathroom?  I see you cleaning the toilet in my brothers' loo like everyday.  I hope their aim in sports is better.

Thank you for coming in my nursery 4 times last night.  I know you don't like doing that, but I really wanted my paci so I cried a little bit.

Thank you for my Daddy, I just love it when he comes home.  Do you see how he likes it when I bat my eyes at him?  Last week he slow danced with me in the family room to "Daughter" by Loudon Wainwright III.  I hope he will dance with me to that song at my wedding some day.

Thank you for my big brothers.  Why do they spend so much time jumping off of furniture and taking their shirts off?  They say they will protect me from bad guys forever so I feel pretty lucky.  Even if they are always talking about potty stuff and building forts out of the couch cushions when you turn your back.  Whoops, did I say that?

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Thank you for packing all that stuff for me all the time.  Why do you think I need so many things every where we go?  Don't I just need you?  Umm, I thought you might need to know that Little Brother just took glue, a shoe horn, and 2 rolls of toilet paper out of the closet.  Not quite sure what that means.

Thanks for always laughing and talking to me in those crazy voices and making silly faces.  I do really like it, but you could tone it down a bit.  I'm just sayin.

Thank you for taking a billion pictures of me.  I'm just gonna say it... I look pretty much the same today as I did yesterday, so back off.  Plus, I am starting to think you are secretly taping me all night on the Dropcam thing.  I guess if I had a baby this cute I would be recording and preserving every single, adorable second too.

Thank you for all my grandparents and aunts and uncles.  I can't really eat much yet, but I heard from some certain older siblings that they pretty much let you eat whatever you want and shower you with gifts and let you stay up late.  Sounds pretty sweet.

Thank you for always feeding me.  Then you always hold me and say, "Never grow up!"  But, then I hear you talking about how happy you are I put on weight with the doctor.  So confusing.

Thank you for always singing those pretty songs to me.  Your voice is... mediocre at best.  But it's your voice.  So to me, it's the best voice in the whole world.

Thank you for all these play things and toys.  I really can't use half of them and the songs are getting pretty lame, but at least it's something to do when the boys aren't around.  Is there a reason they are all manufactured out of like 50 different colors?  Yikes!  Oh, by the way, I just saw Big Brother take an entire bag of pretzels and a can opener out of the pantry and head upstairs.

Thank you for holding me all the time.  I just really love it.  You are so cozy and always know just what I need.  I just love to pull on your hair and feel your skin.  You have to know that I am going to eventually grow up, right?!  I'll tell you what, let's make a deal.  You keep doing the best job you can being my Mommy, and I will grow up.  But, I will always be your baby.

"Deal."

Ok, deal too.  Now will you just hold me until I go to sleep Mommy?  Cuz if you don't I am probably going to start crying really loud and wake my brothers.

Ahhh, I love laying here in your arms.  You look pretty tired, maybe you should go to sleep too.  I will just be real quiet most of the night, but I might cry for my paci once or twice so that you come in to see me.  Because I love you.

 

"Mommy, Somebody Needs You."

by Megan Minneman Morton Ever since we brought our new daughter home, her older brothers have been the first to tell me when she is crying, whimpering, or smelling a little suspicious.  "Somebody needs you," they say.  I have no idea how this little saying started, but at first it sort of annoyed me.  I could be enjoying a quick shower... "Mommy, somebody needs you.  The baby is crying."  Or, sitting down for a second, quite aware that the baby was beginning to stir from a nap.... "Mama, somebody needs you!"  Okay!  I get it already!  And not to mention that the newborn's needs pale in comparison to the needs of 2 little boys.  Somebody always needs a snack, a band-aid, a different sock, ice cubes in their water, a NEW Paw Patrol, a stream of snot wiped, a hug, a story, a kiss.  Some days never seem to end, and the monotony of being "needed" can really take its toll. Then, it all started to hit me, they need ME.  Not anybody else.  Not a single other person in the whole world.  They need their Mommy.

The sooner I can accept that being Mommy means that I never go off the clock, the sooner I can find peace in this crazy stage of life.   That 'Mommy' is my duty, privilege and honor. I am ready to be there when somebody needs me, all day and all night.  Mommy means I just put the baby back down after her 4am feeding when a 3-year-old has a nightmare.  Mommy means I am surviving on coffee and toddler leftovers.  Mommy means my husband and I haven't had a real conversation in weeks.  Mommy means I put their needs before my own, without a thought.  Mommy means that my body is full of aches and my heart is full of love.

I am sure there will come a day when no one needs me.  My babies will all be long gone and consumed with their own lives.  I may sit alone in some assisted living facility watching my body fade away.  No one will need me then.  I may even be a burden.  Sure, they will come visit, but my arms will no longer be their home.  My kisses no longer their cure.  There will be no more tiny boots to wipe the slush from or seat belts to be buckled.  I will have read my last bedtime story, 7 times in a row.  I will no longer enforce time outs.  There will be no more bags to pack and unpack or snack cups to fill.  I am sure my heart will yearn to hear those tiny voices calling out to me, "Mommy, somebody needs you!"

So for now, I find beauty in the peaceful 4am feedings in our cozy little nursery.  We are perched above the naked oak trees in our own lavender nest.  We watch the silent snow fall and a bunny scampering across its perfect white canvas.  It's just me and my little baby, the neighborhood is dark and still.  We alone are up to watch the pale moon rise and the shadows dance along the nursery wall.  She and I are the only ones to hear the barn owl hooting in the distance.  We snuggle together under a blanket and I rock her back to sleep.  It's 4am and I am exhausted and frustrated, but it's okay, she needs me.  Just me.  And maybe, I need her too.  Because she makes me Mommy.  Some day she will sleep through the night.  Some day I will sit in my wheelchair, my arms empty, dreaming of those quiet nights in the nursery.  When she needed me and we were the only two people in the world.

Can I enjoy being needed?  Sometimes, sure, but often it is tiring.  Exhausting.  But, it isn't meant to be enjoyed every moment.  It is a duty.  God made me their Mom.  It is a position I yearned for long before I would ever understand it.  Over a 3 day weekend my husband couldn't believe how many times our boys kept saying, "Mommy.  Mommy.  Mommy"!  "Are they always like this?" he asked not able to hide his terror, and sympathy.  "Yep.  All day, everyday.  That's my job."  And I have to admit that it is the toughest job I have ever had.  In a previous life I was a restaurant manager for a high volume and very popular chain in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.  A Saturday night at 7:30pm with the expo window overflowing with dishes, a 2 hour wait, and the electricity inexplicably going out has got nothing on a Tuesday, 5:00pm at the Morton house.  And let me tell ya, South Florida diners are some of the toughest to please.  But, they are a cake walk compared to sleep-deprived toddlers with low blood sugar.

Once upon a time, I had time.  For myself.  Now, my toe nails need some love.  My bra fits a little differently.  My curling iron might not even work anymore, I don't know.  I can't take a shower without an audience.  I've started using eye cream.  I don't get carded any more.  My proof of motherhood.  Proof that somebody needs me.  That right now, somebody always needs me.  Like last night...

At 3am I hear the little footsteps entering my room.  I lay still, barely breathing.  Maybe he will retreat to his room.  Yeah right.

"Mommy."

"Mommy."  A little louder.

"Yes".  I barely whisper.

He pauses, his giant eyes flashing in the dim light.

"I love you."

And just like that, he is gone.  Scampered back to his room.  But, his words still hang in the cool night air.  If I could reach out and snatch them, I would grab his words and hug them to my chest.  His soft voice whispering the best sentence in the world.  I love you.  A smile curls across my lips and I slowly exhale, almost afraid to blow the memory away.  I drift back to sleep and let his words settle into my heart.

One day that little boy will be a big man.  There will no longer be any sweet words whispered to me in the wee hours.  Just the whir of the sound machine and the snoring husband.  I will sleep peacefully through the night, never a worry of a sick child or a crying baby.  It will be but a memory.  These years of being needed are exhausting, yet fleeting.  I have to stop dreaming of "one day" when things will be easier.  Because, the truth is, it may get easier, but it will never be better than today.  Today, when I am covered in toddler snot and spit up.  Today, when I savor those chubby little arms around my neck.  Today is perfect.  "One day" I will get pedicures and showers alone.  "One day" I will get myself back.  But, today I give myself away, and I am tired, and dirty and loved SO much, and I gotta go.  Somebody needs me.

SomebodyNeedsYou

SomebodyNeedsYou