Monday, September 15, 2008

Exhausted Ramblings

I'm really exhausted and I don't have anything coherent to write tonight. So I'll just ramble.

I'll be twenty-seven weeks pregnant on Friday. I usually deliver at around 38 weeks, so I'm looking at maybe eleven more weeks of this, hopefully bringing baby home around Dec. 8. From here on out, it gets pretty irritating to be so large and so busy. I feel huge, fat, having gained 20 pounds so far, going from 110 to 130. Twenty pounds is a lot on my 5'3'', small-boned frame. I really don't know how I've gained so much, since most of the time I feel hungry. Do any of you who parent toddlers and preschoolers ever get to eat hot food, finish your food, or at least manage to stay seated for a whole meal? What's your secret?

Don has been back on second shift for a few weeks now. I've been doing dinner, baths, and stories solo. I was hoping to work toward the boys being able to bathe or shower independently so that when our newborn arrives, the nighttime routine won't be so overwhelming. They've learned to do everything well, except shampooing and rinsing the soap out of their hair. We'll keep working on that. I may have to switch bathtime to morning, when Don can be home to help. It's not like they will be getting muddy or sweaty in December in Ohio. Although I do think they sleep better after a nighttime bath.

My current routine is to put the dinner dishes in the sink for later. Then I put Emily and Timmy in the tub, wash Timmy's hair, then bathe Emily and wash her hair, then get her out, dress her, brush her teeth, and put her in her crib for stories. After a few stories, I leave her in the crib to check on Timmy's progress with the rest of his body. Then I get him out, have Daniel get in for a quick hair washing, then leave Daniel alone to finish his body, while I finish Emily's stories.

All the while, I nag Timmy to get his pajamas on already. He gets easily distracted during two activities - eating and dressing. It's a fun part of my life, let me tell you. Lately I've been setting the kitchen timer during these two activities, so nobody has to listen to me nag. If he's not into his jammies by the bell, he doesn't get to pick his stories that night. I pick them. If he doesn't finish his food by the time the bell rings, he goes to his room for a timeout (no toys). It has been working to save my sanity, but I still wonder why he needs this. In all other areas of his life, he stays completely focused and productive. A little worrisome, since it isn't unusual to have one ADHD child, and at least one other who is ADD (easily distracted but not hyperactive). Only time will tell, but it is encouraging that he stays extremely focused for school work, puzzles and other play, reading, conversations, etc.

Anyway, back to the routine. After five to eight board books, I turn off Emily's lights, put on her air purifier (drowns out household voices and noise), sing two songs, rub her back a bit, tell her I love her, give her her dolly and her receiving blanket (finding the silky tag for her to rub - lol), and then I say goodnight.

The boys and I then read their chosen stories, do Daniel's church class devotions, and brush teeth (Daniel is getting independent with this, but Timmy still needs me to do it). I lay down with each of them in turn for about five minutes. We pray, cuddle, and I say goodnight and put on their lullaby CD.

Now, tell me how I will do ALL this with a newborn in tow, with probably at least one nursing session and diaper change in the middle of it all? I really don't know. The sling won't be that useful if I'm bending over the tub, etc. The bouncy seat will have to work, which will involve listening to some crying. Newborns, I remember, don't keep pacifiers in their mouths. Doesn't it all sound so relaxing?

The option of having the newborn sleep during the nighttime routine just isn't feasible. My babies do not sleep on their backs, and I'm too afraid to put them on their tummies. They nap in my sling or in my arms, and sleep in my arms all night. It's very hard this way, but they simply will NOT stay asleep on their backs. When they can roll over, around 3.5 to 4.5 months, they start sleeping in their cribs or bassinet, at least until the next nursing. Although Timmy, being the only prolonged cuddler, slept with us and nursed a lot through the night, until he was two. He never took to a crib. They've all been colicky, due to an overactive breastmilk letdown and oversupply, lasting around five months.

All I can say is, I can't wait! I'm so excited! It's a crazy ride, an exhausting ride, sometimes a tear-filled, frustrating ride, but always a joyous ride. Babies are my thing. My favorite. I love them! I'm one with them. I can't seem to stop having them. lol


Since I don't have time to keep up with baby books, I need to take time out to record special things about each child, periodically. My husband never uses the computer. He just has no interest whatsoever in technology. In order for this blog to be passed on to the kids (in the event of my death), I will have to put the log-on information on a card in his wallet. Otherwise they'll probably never see this.

Endearing things about Emily, September 15, 2008:
Two of your storybooks talk about toes. When we get to that page in both books, you stand up and put your toes over the rail of your crib. I laugh and kiss them, making you giggle. You really anticipate these pages. I love the twinkle in your eye, as you wait. I never get tired of kissing your sweet toes, or reading your favorite books.

You're not a hugger or a cuddler anymore, but you like to have your back rubbed, and you love to rub the silky tag of your receiving blanket on your cheek. You have a soft cotton dolly, with yarn hair. She has a satin ribbon on her apron, which you also love to rub. These are your bedtime comforts.

You're a good sleeper and you love to stay in your crib a while, even after you've woken up. Our house is noisy, so I guess that is your special, quiet, alone time.

You look at books on your own now. Although not a talker yet, you point to the pictures in the books and mumble something at each one. You know the names of most objects, so I guess you may be naming the pictures in your head.

Tonight we read a book that showed a pea pod, which you've been recently helping to pick from our garden. You actually love to eat the peas from the pod, raw. You got so excited at this picture of a pea pod. You pointed outside your bedroom toward the kitchen, I guess trying to tell me, "We have these!"

You love your brothers, but especially Daniel. He spends time with you - teaching you, carrying you, playing Playdoh with you, dancing and singing with you, and pulling you in our wagon outside. He loves babies, just like mommy does. And he has the heart of a teacher. You may play more with Timmy as you get older, since he is closer to your age. But right now, Daniel is very special to you.

We love you, Emily Rose. You are a wonderful blessing, and the sweetest, happiest daughter imaginable. Thank you for being you.


Fern said...

I LOVE this post! All of it.

When Helena was 6 weeks old, Jason moved up here for his new job while I stayed in Cincinnati with the kids and got the house ready to sell. The bedtime routine, specifically, I remember as being a difficult time because Helena frequently cried through the entire thing. Sometimes I was able to wear her in the sling until she fell asleep, ease her carefully into her crib, and then buy myself 20 minutes or so until she woke up.

What is certain is that things will be different then than they are now -- the boys will probably be more independent. You might feel better than you do now (I sure did). Maybe do a playing bath at bedtime with just body-washing, and then do morning hair-washing baths or showers every other day when Don can help a bit.

I am so excited to find out what you finally decide to name your new baby! So much excitement in your next few months. :)

Jodie Allen said...

I would love to talk/email with you about your breast feeding b/c I think that's what's happening to me. I am always full. Always. There is not one feeding when Grayson empties me completely and so without really knowing anything I tell myself i must have an "over supply". And when I letdown, which is at every feeding, I could hit a person across the room with the milk that squirts out! (too graphic?)

The baby is 3 months old and you mentioned yours lasted until 5 months and I'm just wondering how it changed? Did you regulate to the babies? I love nursing but being wet all the time is no fun at all!

Even though he's my third I'm new to breast feeding and would love any/all advice/thoughts/ideas/facts you could give me!


R.L.Scovens said...

I have one child who is 10. God's speed to you!lol