Posts Tagged ‘things I love’

Life With 3: Update 1

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

It is 11:25 am and I am watching The Price is Right, which means life is really good right now. That’s how I judge my level of happiness: am I able to be home, eating a sandwich, between the hours of 11 and 12 so I can watch Drew Carey give away cars? Yes? Success!!

Tomorrow Linc will be 1 month old, and I’ll start doing monthday updates again. I have big plans to do a same-spot monthly photo like I did with Caroline’s tutu, but I am TERRIBLE at following through with stuff like that so we’ll see.

It turns out the hardest part of having three kids isn’t the third kid – it’s the first two. I thought I had done a really good job teaching Evan and Caroline to play on their own without needing me to intervene or referee much. But in reality I just didn’t realize how often I had to step in until I was stuck on the couch under a sleeping or nursing baby and couldn’t break up their squabbles. There has been a LOT more yelling than I like (and I’m not even strictly anti-yelling) just because I CAN’T walk into the other room and deal with them calmly. Caroline has started shouting “Moooooom Evan is TORTURING ME again!” and Evan shouts “DON’T COME UP HERE!” and then I have to stomp up the stairs while they both shout “NOOOOOO! We’ll be good! We promise!!!!” It’s fairly exhausting just to listen to them all day, plus the stomping is really rough on my knees.

Luckily, I only have everyone home for one more week before school starts. School itself is going to be a challenge – Evan’s bus comes REALLY early and I’m kind of nervous about how he’ll behave during a long ride to school – but the quiet I’m going to get while both big kids are gone is going to be life-changing. I can start blogging again. I can edit photos. I can finish knitting one of the 5 baby hats I’ve started but not finished. I can start taking pictures for other people so I can start saving up for the new lens I want.

And I can do ALL that stuff because Linc is a super easy baby. I have absolutely NO delusions this has anything to do with me or my parenting whatsoever. It’s luck. Just luck. Maybe there’s a little truth to the idea that because I’m not tense and nervous and stressed the baby isn’t tense and nervous and stressed, but that’s anecdotal at best. I know plenty of people whose second or third baby was WAY more high-needs than the first one. I just got an easy one this time, for which I am unbelievably thankful. With E gone almost all the time I would be seriously, SERIOUSLY losing my mind if I had an inconsolable, colicky baby.

The day my mom left me alone with all 3 kids I looked around and realized my house was clean and organized, and if I could just MAINTAIN that current level I could avoid a disaster. I’ve been doing really well – right now there’s only one load of laundry not put away and all the dishes are in the dishwasher – but I’ve given up on the kids’ room. Until they go to school and I can spend a good 3+ hours in there purging it’s hopeless. Luckily the rest of the house is still in good shape, so I can just shut their door and ignore it. I’m also ALMOST done with Linc’s nursery – I still haven’t ordered the crib and I need my husband to build me a shelf – and I’m really excited to share it.

Now I have a very important episode of House Hunters: Where Are They Now? to watch while I make a grocery list and a meal plan and enjoy this slightly annoying update while I can. I feel like the next one (after the 6 am wake ups and lunch packing and school drama) will be…much less smug.

 

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Introducing: Baby Lincoln!

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Lincoln Scott Davis
July 23, 2014
12:52 am
9 lbs, 21.5 inches

annoucement

(Doesn’t that baby look like the baby model that came with the announcement? THAT’S MY ACTUAL BABY.)

Birth story disclaimer: It’s a birth story, read at your own risk. Also looooong.

I made it 6 days past my due date with my “oh you’ll definitely go early” baby, which was the longest 6 days of my life. It was actually more like the longest 3 weeks of my life, since I was thinking I was about to pop ANY SECOND since I hit 38 weeks. Literally every time I left the house I planned in my head what I would do when (not if) my water broke. I had started psyching myself up for having a baby in the car or in my bathroom or at Target because obviously once my water broke the baby would basically fall out, right? I mean, I was huge. There was a ton of water. It was my 3rd baby and things are supposed to go faster.

NOT QUITE. I had an induction scheduled and then canceled because it was “elective” and the maternity floor was too full. Luckily E’s schedule was pushed back a few days (again) so I wasn’t AS panicked but I was still HUGELY PREGNANT. People who are hugely pregnant don’t like to be told they have to remain hugely pregnant indefinitely.

But I did get the one thing I wanted: to experience my water breaking spontaneously, like in a movie. Oh no, my water broke! Must be time to head to the hospital! Look at that adorable little puddle!

LIES! All lies. I don’t recommend it.

On Tuesday morning I woke up to a gush and thought “Oh! So that’s what that feels like!” And then I sat up and water poured out of me like a river and thought “Oh man, this is kind of unpleasant.” And then I shoved the towel I was keeping next to the bed between my legs and tried to waddle to the bathroom, still leaking everywhere but now with contractions on top of it and thought “Nope nope nope nope”. I ended up using every spare towel we had to half-heartedly clean up fluid before taking a shower and just hoping most of it was done draining out. (It wasn’t. I went to the hospital with a hand towel in my pants. I threw it away.) If it had happened in public you wouldn’t be reading this right now because I would have willed the earth to open up and swallow me whole.

Once we got to the hospital nothing happened. I had a non-stress test scheduled for that morning anyway, so they put me on the monitors. I should have stayed home longer so I could eat and walk around and lie on my couch, but again, I was pretty much expecting the baby to FALL OUT so when we got there and I was at 2 cm I was both shocked and disappointed. Since my water was broken (they didn’t even check, the doctor said “Yeah, you had so much water if you said it broke I BELIEVE YOU”) they did want to keep me though. so I tried to get comfortable and just enjoy the last few hours with my inside baby.

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It was pretty boring. E and I played cribbage, just like we did when I was in labor with Evan. He beat me every time, just like when I was in labor with Evan. By the afternoon I was still mostly just sitting there, contracting but not super painfully, and they asked if I wanted to start pitocin. I told them that was fine but I would need the matching epidural. The very nice anesthesiologist came and stuck me with needles and then the magic epidural made me feel totally drunk and I was MUCH HAPPIER. It was exactly the right amount of numb, where I can move my legs and feet but feel no pain. I think I updated Facebook and made a bunch of jokes. It’s sort of a blur.

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For a while (OMINOUS DUM-DUM-DUM). Now that baby didn’t have a swimming pool to play in, he started playing with the cord instead and every couple of contractions the monitor would register a deceleration in his heart rate. A few times it dipped really low and I got a rush of nurses in to rearrange me and ask me to roll on one side or another. It was sort of stressful on everyone and I started to get pretty worried I’d end up with an emergency c-section, although when I mentioned that to my nurse she said I wasn’t even allowed to THINK that word.

They eventually found a spot on my right side where the baby’s heart was happy but it meant that my epi started to wear off on the left. A lady from anesthesiology came and hung a new bottle and gave me a bump, but warned us lying on one side meant the other side might always get less medicine. My left side hurt more. And more. And more. AND THEN A LOT REALLY A LOT IT REALLY REALLY HURT. Then the baby’s heart rate deceled again and they made me get up on my knees and hang over the bed and I realized I wasn’t numb AT ALL on the left and it was wearing off on the right and my epidural had officially failed and OMG HOW DO PEOPLE EVEN DO THIS WITHOUT MEDS?!?!?!

No, for real, it sucked. Snaps for anyone who does even 5 minutes of natural/pitocin labor.

E fed me a delicious Italian ice to distract me, but when I started to actually cry during a contraction my nurse decided to page anesthesiology again. The first nice doctor who put the epi in came up to check on it. He ripped all the tape off my back to check the needle and was getting ready to give me another bump when I heard him say “The pump isn’t on.”

YOU GUYS. THEY TURNED OFF MY EPIDURAL. The woman who hung up the new bottle NEVER TURNED IT ON, so I hadn’t had any meds in HOURS. And my pitocin was at a 16 (on a scale of 2 being “meh” and 20 being “WARNING: BABY MAY SHOOT OUT LIKE A CANON BALL”). They turned the pump back on. Literally 5 minutes later I was fine again.

I have no sense of time from when the epidural stopped working until I started thinking “Hey, there’s that pushy-feeling! I should get the nurse!” but it was probably around 11:30 pm when the doctor came in to check me. Unfortunately, my giant baby refused to move down into my pelvis AT ALL, so I was at -1 and only 9cm.  It looked like I was still HOURS away from delivering.

Not that much later I was still feeling REALLY REALLY PUSHY. It also sort of hurt and I could feeling the burning ring-of-fire thing people describe so I told the nurse again I was probably about to have a baby. She called the doctor back to check again…and again I was at -1 and not fully dialated. I was the laboring woman who cried wolf, but no matter WHAT the doctor said I know what pushing feels like. I KNOW. So when I got the pushy feeling I might have pushed a little.

Me to nurse: It still feels like I should push.
Nurse: Don’t push yet.
Me to nurse (totally pushing): Ok, I won’t. But it really feels like I want to.
Nurse: If you’re not fully dialated your cervix can get all swollen and labor can be harder.
Me to nurse: Right, of course, I know. I’m not pushing. (MORE PUSHING)

Literally FIVE MINUTES after the doctor said I was at -1 I grabbed my nurse and said very seriously “LOOK, I’M ABOUT TO HAVE THIS BABY. FOR REAL. CHECK ME.” So she called the doctor back.

Guess who was right? I went from a -1 to a +3 in less than 5 minutes. My secret pushing worked (or, you know, just like my other 2 births when I get to the end babies come flying out of me). Luckily my doctor was aware of my short pushing history and everyone moved fast.

Then everyone tried to tell me how to push and I ignored them because y’all, I got this part. Four pushes later I had a baby. Then E said “IT’S A BOY” and my only response was “…..REALLY?!” Then they gave me my baby boy and I was like “Of course you’re a boy, I knew that. I know you!”

I really love that part at the end when you get a baby.

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And now I’m going to brag a little bit about maybe the weirdest thing anyone has ever bragged about – they took the baby to weigh him and said “Whoa, NINE POUNDS” and then the doctor (assistant doctor? midwife in training? Whatever, the chick that caught my baby under my doctor’s supervision) said “You didn’t tear at all! No stitches!” I’m pretty proud of my no stitches. I got up to pee like 10 minutes after I gave birth and it didn’t hurt.

E went and got the kids and my mom in the morning so they could meet their new brother. They were both excited…for about 2 minutes. Evan got bored because he didn’t do anything and Caroline just wanted to be the center of attention. She did a lot of dancing.

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The next day I entertained myself by taking pictures until we got to go home. For a minute.

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Just like his brother, Baby Linc ended up a little bit jaundiced. I dragged him all over creation trying to get blood work done on Saturday only to end up back in the hospital overnight. I’m not going to lie, that really sucked. I had a bad night staring at my baby under the lights (he loved them) and ended up asking the nursery to watch him so I could get a little sleep. It’s easier to mentally beat myself up for not doing MORE to force my newborn to eat and poop when I’m not quite so tired.

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But his numbers came up fast and now we’re home for good (fingers crossed).

And that is the LONGEST POST I’VE WRITTEN IN YEARS. If you finished it I probably owe you $14 and a drink for the time it took out of your life. Seriously, I can’t even bring myself to read it again for typos. But I had a baby 6 days ago so my brain is fried anyway. TOTALLY worth it.

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Dance Mom

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Caroline had her first ballet recital on Friday night. She’s taken 13 weeks of classes and she’s only three and half, which means about 75% of the performance was her staring into the wings to watch the teacher and 25% was her screaming the words to “Deep In The Heart Of Texas” with a giant, dramatic point at the audience for every “Texas!!!!!!!”

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That was pretty standard for the entire class, although there were a couple of girls who you can imagine on So You Think You Can Dance in 15 years (or whatever the 2030 equivalent is – So You Managed  To Not Let Technology and Common Core Ruin Your Life And Are Capable Of Expressing Emotion With Your Movement Directly Into Our Brains??). They’ll say things like “I’ve always loved being on the stage” and “I can just feel the music and connect with it naturally.”

Caroline will probably not be that girl. I mean, this is a really early prediction and far be it from me to crush her dreams in any way and if she wanted to spend the next decade in dance classes I will be NOTHING but supportive. But I do not thing dance is going to be her thing.

Dress rehearsal was…long. And a little stressful. The class is through a local town’s parks & rec department but the instructor REALLY wants the kids to do a good job so she can be capital-I Intense. There may have been some yelling because the 3 year olds didn’t have the laces on their ballet shoes tucked in. There was some public scolding about an improper hair clip. The teacher is basically a SAINT for dealing with. like, 100 kids whose parents don’t care enough to pay for fancy dance but want a recital anyway, but even saints lose their shit a little bit right before curtain.

By the end of rehearsal, when all Caroline had left to do was the Hokey Pokey with the rest of the little kid classes, she lost it. She was the kid – the only kid – who ran off stage crying that she wanted her mommy and didn’t like dance anymore. I left Evan to misbehave in the audience while I tried to coax Caroline back on stage.

When I say “coax”, I mean I tried every single thing I could think of that didn’t involve physically dragging her on stage and leaving her there. I told her she needed to be a big girl. I told her she could quit if she wanted to and we could go home. I told her she was being ridiculous. I promised her ice cream if she would JUST STOP freaking out. I told her everyone got scared before they went on stage and it was totally OK and I loved her no matter what. I told her dancing was FUN and she LOVED dancing and why didn’t she want to do some FUN DANCING on the stage?

I don’t really know what my parenting style might be called, but it is definitely not “consistent”. I have no idea what I am doing.

The next night, before the actual performance, she threw a fit again. I was supposed to drop her off with her class back stage but every time I tried to leave her eyes filled with tears. There was an incident with her hair bow (apparently it was on the wrong side and needed to be moved despite the fact that no one had EVER said ANYTHING about WHICH SIDE it needed to be on before WHATEVER I DON’T CARE) and she started crying again. I went back to comfort her (mistake!) and she started the clinging/crying/yet insisting she DID want to dance cycle all over.

I left. I sat in the audience with all my crossables crossed that she at least WENT on stage, even if she just stood there.

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And she did great! Once she was out on the stage under the lights she performed and hammed it up and blew kisses. She loved the applause and the cheering and being the center of attention. She did both routines as perfectly as I could have hoped from a 3 year old. It was adorable.

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But even though it ended well, I’m not sure how I feel about signing her for more classes. I don’t want to be the mom who pushes her kid to perform when she doesn’t want to. I didn’t like snapping at her not to mess up her hair or smush her skirt. I am embarrassed that I was embarrassed when she was upset and even though she knows I am SO proud of her I don’t want her to feel disappointed in herself if she messes up. I loved dance class when I was a kid but never really loved the recital part. To this day I have that nightmare where you show up backstage and realize you have NO idea how the routine goes.

I am probably (definitely) overthinking this. Caroline is 3. If she says she wants to take ballet again in the fall, she can take ballet again in the fall. If she DOESN’T want to do the recital next June, she doesn’t have to do the recital. I do not have to have a philosophical discussion with myself over Intro Ballet or Beginner Tap and whether or not I am turning into a crazy Dance Mom after ONE recital. If you ask Caroline right now if she liked performing she will say “YES!” and shout at you about the stars at night and their largeness and brightness. That’s really what matters. But I think I learned something about myself and my parenting I am not sure I’m totally sure I like what I learned.

Let’s ignore my poor parenting and just squee over how adorable my daughter is instead.

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Adorable cowgirl themed finale costume handmade by me…HAHAHAHAHA NO, I bought it on Etsy. I could have tried to find her some jeans and a bandanna but this was easier to do from the couch.

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Monday, June 9th, 2014

While I was at Mom 2.0 at the beginning of May, I ended up in a bunch of photos. And since this is 2014, some of those photos ended up on Facebook. And because it’s Facebook, I ended up tagged, which meant all my friends – from my 4th grade classmates to the girl who lived on my floor in college to my mother’s second cousin who lives in Sweden – saw them.

I did not like it. They were not flattering. They were candid, and that is what I look like in candid photos, but they made me sad.

**insert literally 1000 words I wrote then deleted about how being fat sucks here**

You know what’s a huge waste of my time? Being sad about being fat while pregnant. I feel a compulsive need to mention my doctor is unconcerned – I don’t have high blood pressure or gestational diabetes or any other weight-related complications – so all my sadness is purely vanity-related right now.

I do a lot of maternity photo sessions and my clients are always GORGEOUS. Because that’s who wants maternity photos – people who look adorable even at 8 months pregnant. People who look like me spend 5 minutes on Pinterest and realize no lacy dress and oversized sun hat will ever change the size of their arms or shape of their face. But this is what I look like. This is what I look like right now while growing baby #3 and walking around in the world and there is nothing wrong with wanting photos of myself OR with showing those photos to other people.

It’s like that meme about how to get a bikini ready body: Buy a bikini, put it on your body. Done.

Here’s how to take plus size maternity photos. Be pregnant in front of a camera, get someone to press the shutter button. Done.

Plus-Size Maternity Photos

Plus-Size Maternity Photos

Plus-Size Maternity Photos

Plus-Size Maternity Photos

Plus-Size Maternity Photos

Plus-Size Maternity Photos

Plus Size Maternity Photos

Plus Size Maternity Photos

Plus-Size Maternity Photos

Plus-Size Maternity Photos

Plus-Size Maternity Photos

Plus Size Maternity Photos

Plus-Size Maternity Photos

I owe my husband a huge thanks for helping with these. He very patiently posed for all my pictures so I could adjust the manual camera settings and then I had to explain exactly what I wanted – “The sun should be shining behind us to make haze but not TOO much haze and don’t get the sun actually in the picture and try to get the focus point right on the kids and tell me if my bra is showing [it was ALWAYS showing] and does my arm look OK like this or should I hold it differently?” – and he did all of it standing in the buggy, snakey orchard without complaining. He doesn’t really understand WHY I wanted 400 photos of myself standing in an orchard, but he knew it was important so he helped. He’s a good guy.

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Five Is Not My Favorite

Thursday, May 1st, 2014
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His hair looks lopsided because his hair is lopsided. He trimmed it himself.

Someone at Evan’s school taught him a good way to annoy people is to repeat everything they say. So now he can take anyone in the house from calm to BLIND MURDEROUS RAGE in approximately 6 sentences.

Me: Evan can you please put your shoes on?
Evan: Evan can you please put your shoes on?
Me: Ha ha very funny. Knock it off.
Evan: Ha ha very funny knock it off.
Me: STOP DOING THAT RIGHT NOW.
Evan: Stop doing that right now.
Me: I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL THROW EVERY ONE OF YOUR TOYS IN THE TRASH AND YOU WON’T EVEN SEE AN IPAD FOR A MONTH IF YOU DO THAT EVEN ONE MORE TIME YOUNG MAN.
Evan: I…ok Mommy!
*Skips off oblivious to how close he was to being left at a the fire house*

At least once a week when his bus driver pulls up she has The Look on her face and I mentally add $5 to her end-of-the-year Dunkin Donut gift card. This week he was mad he had to sit next to someone and spent the whole ride home trying to push him out of the seat. They were buckled together, which made the pushing useless, but lead to a fair amount of screaming. “Pre-k bus driver” might be the worst job in the world, but being the parent who is constantly apologizing for their kid’s horrible behavior sucks too.

The other day I asked Evan if he wanted a turkey sandwich for lunch. He said “No thank you”. I made one for Caroline and put everything away. Less than 5 minutes later he was practically climbing the walls, wailing about how he would DIE if he didn’t get a turkey sandwich right now. I’m not even sure what I’m SUPPOSED to do in that situation. It was lunch time, he was definitely hungry. A turkey sandwich is a reasonable lunch request. But he said no! And I told him if he said no he didn’t get another chance! So which is the more important part of parenting here: following through with what I said or feeding my hungry child?

I made him a turkey sandwich.

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Five is basically the same as a teenager, but with way less impulse control and emotional maturity. He has SO MANY FEELINGS and deals with a lot of complicated social situations – friends and best friends and who can sit with who at school and whether or not they wear pink on Wednesdays – but for the very first time. It’s hard to even watch, it must be super hard to try to navigate as a little tiny person.

In the mornings, before he gets on the bus, we sit together on the front steps. Most mornings he still wants to sit on my quickly-disappearing-lap and snuggle a little, which is TOTALLY FINE with me. But it only takes one wrong question (Do you think you’ll have fruit for snack? Isn’t that flower a pretty color? Would you like your very own pony??) for him to go from cute and cuddly to the mayor of Grumpypants Town. I don’t even like driving through Grumpypants Town, let along socializing with its elected officials.

Luckily the times he’s not being impossible he’s amazing and super fun and likes me to play the radio loud in the car so we can both sing along badly. But five is not my favorite.

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