The frazzled, slightly lost and confused new mom…

As I slowly walk away from my brand new kindergartener’s school, feeling empty and a little lost, baby boy starts crying on cue!

Nothing like a gut wrenching hunger scream to take you back to reality. I quickly realize that all three of us (it does feel like I’m missing one) have to go all the way back to the car so I can feed the baby before the “coffee with the school moms”. So we start walking…

The restaurant across the street is beyond full of mingling mommas. My little daughter is trying to hold on to me for dear life as I try to maneuver her and the baby in the carrier .

There is hot coffee, giggling mamas and their legs everywhere- my two year old daughter is basically being swallowed by the crowd. I don’t think this is the place for me and my young to be right now. There are no other kids here and I come to the understanding that these moms are older (not that I am exactly young) and so are their kids. I challenge myself to talk to at least three different moms. They all seem nice but very different from myself and not quite what I’m used to. I try to introduce myself, give a compliment and ask a question. The planner in me feels like I’m checking off a check list not being genuine or trying to make friends. But I do want to be genuine and I do want to make new friends. I try to get out of my comfort zone and not think “I have all the friends I need”. This is not only for me but for my kids-my oldest and the other two following him! It just feels like this crowd has a secret I’m not in on … but I should make an effort to find out what it is. Some of them are very cold and stand off-ish but I must say, most of them do seem warm and approachable.

I make my rounds and manage to talk to three different woman- all of them with older kids, their youngest being in kindergarten. Not a lot of babies or toddlers beings seen or talk about diaper brands (organic, cloth or *gasp* plastic) or potty trading tips being heard. It makes sense now that they all seem to know each other since they have other kids in the same school. I feel like a lot of new information is being thrown at me and I feel totally unprepared, unpolished, and frankly like I’m left out of some “perfect manicured mom’s club”. I am that frazzled new mom who makes the mistake of bringing her smelly, whiny little kids to a classy event. Except my littlests are totally behaved (AND they smell delicious…at least I think so but I might be biased…then I remember the leggings) and I thought this was a “come as you are, casual coffee after drop off thing”…

I’m officially exhausted after discussions school safety and security as well as the kids cafeteria menus and meal plans with mom number 3 and have to excuse myself (who am I kidding? She is so bored by my input-or lack thereof she is already seeking a more gluten/dairy free, pro huge fenced in/gated school mom after a couple of sentences from me even if I’m totally pro healthy eating and school safety!)

Trying to avoid my little girl getting trampled, our little gang (feeling totally misplaced) head for the door.

For the first couple of weeks, we are supposed to walk our brand new school kids to their classroom and drop them off and walk to their classroom to pick them up. More seasoned moms with older kids get to pick their kids up by car-stopping (more like a rolling stop) by the side walk.

I oblige and walk my son back and forth with his little sister and little brother for weeks. I park at the church the first two weeks but get by week three that if I’m early enough I can snag a parking spot at the actual school, and I won’t get stuck in the line of cars dropping off and picking up (that lines up around the school’s back parking lot-sounds confusing? That is because it is!!! The school itself call drop off and pick up “an organized chaos”…)

After the initial weeks of a lot of walking a baby who just wants to eat and sleep and hates the in an out of his car seat and a hysterically grumpy (worst little morning person ever…gets it from me…very proud) toddler who is forced to walk in a rush several times a day…my oldest son and I decide to be brave…

We decide this on the same day as our very first kindergarten play date and we are both very excited…until we are actually stuck in that school line of cars at drop off…

lost boy and various leakage…

 

Talking about special moments, hubby and I have started our exercise regime again (they don’t call it “working” out for nothing).
Let me tell you, it is brutal. I’m so incredible sore after doing next to nothing and it’s just so disappointing!
On top of that I seem to have completely lost my abs. They are far gone, and I worked so hard to gain them back after our princess was born. I was actually in pretty good shape after becoming pregnant with number three…
Now he is sitting there in sister’s pink baby bouncer, happy as can be with his toothless grins, while we work out, so it is impossible not to think it’s worth it (a million times over of course).
If he would only sleep more at night as to not turn mommy into a day time zombie (read; for example only shaving one leg in the shower…twice in a row…and yes, unfortunately it WAS the same leg).

I’m worried about driving my kids around in this state of acute sleep deprivation but oldest has his adventure camp! That is going okay so far but I know it’s early yet and since it’s his first week, he is still charming everyone with his big brown eyes, blond (nearly white) hair, crooked smile and smooth talking (yep, he can charm his way out of everything – until you catch on). This is totally his honeymoon phase! (Camp leaders are still smiling…I’m not about to warn them but my insides are screaming “you just wait…” While on the outside I’m also smiling, thanking them for their compliments about my son…soaking it all in-while I can!)

Today after picking him up from camp (after an early morning of getting three kids ready and a couple of hours of just having two kids-both refusing to nap with me) I have the brilliant idea of taking us all grocery shopping! (Well we are out of numerous essential, you know such as diapers and…Apple juice…my kids are “Apple juice-oholics” shush don’t tell the perfect “no juice mommies” not even the organic, “only sugar from fruit” kinds).

As I pull up to camp, both kids are sleeping (of course they are). The older one crying hysterically when I lift her out of the car brutally waking her. She is naturally refusing to walk claiming her “legs don’t work” but I need to get her little brother. As I carry her around the car, I try to explain this to her, hmm, yeah to a two-year old! I was on time, even slightly early but now I’m getting late (of course I am).

I run, half way dragging my “terrible two-er” while bouncing my little guy in the baby carrier, out of breath towards my son’s group leader. How weird, why isn’t she smiling today?
“Yes, okay, I understand, we will totally tell him about this at home and about the seriousness of staying with the group, not running away and to listen to the group leaders, yes, yes, of course, yes!”
Well, okay, hm!
As I walk, a little less bouncy back with my little loves another mom start sniffing around me announcing that somebody sure is smelly (sigh), while another mom chimes in “smelly belly” (big sigh), “someone has made a poo poo” (huge…)
Okay, I guiltily start smelling my two youngest kiddos. It’s the littlest one and I have to agree it does smell nasty (for only eating breastmilk this guy sure both poops and smells a lot).

I trek over to the restroom, only finding the men’s (oh well, while at camp!)
Of course there is no changing table and the floor is well, really dirty. I can’t go back out there with mr. Smelly pants, otherwise I would have changed him in my car (but not ready for that particular “walk of shame” at the moment).

I put my poor baby Bjorn carrier down on the bathroom floor after having wiped it off (the floor not the carrier-that WAS clean) with a wet paper towel (this is not easy mind you with three little ones in tow, infant boy hanging haphazardly while I mop the ground (not nearly good enough). Then I put the sheer dinosaur swaddle blanket on top of the carrier and finally the baby (who is not happy about this development).

Its not only a stinky one but a leaky one as well (great!) and it ends up being impossible not getting it all over the blanket…
I ask my older son if he needs to go potty, you know while we are here and sniff my daughters diaper too- but no, all good there!

Changing this diaper would go much faster if the toddler isn’t screaming in my ear while hitting her brother-who yells for me to hurry up because there are people waiting (really…) and that I really shouldn’t be in here because this is after all the MEN’S restroom (reeeaaallly)- the only thing appeasing my daughter is “to fix my hair” violently while I’m down on all fours-at a dirty men’s bathroom at a kid’s camp cleaning up poop…
Well you get it, right?

Almost all the way back to the car my oldest announces; I have to go poop!
Very pleased with himself…

We go all the way back, now finding the Women’s restroom a little closer but of course he won’t go there-oh no!
Then we wait for what seems like a really long time. How I manage to keep the little ones entertained beats me-all I know is littlest boy gets some milk and girly gets extremely muddy at the same time. I start thinking about whether I have an extra towel in the car I can put her on..and how bad she will look at the store (read dirty and neglected).

All the way back at the car, guess who smells awful?

Checking her, something brown is seeping thru her pants…and it’s NOT the mud…

The car now smells terrible because I refused to trek back to that restroom again (or any other restroom).

At the store they are all getting on my last nerve. Typically sweet and easy going baby boy has had enough, now loudly announcing that he hates the baby carrier…grocery shopping (apparently) and life in general with desperate wails and heartbreaking sobs in between, only to gain enough energy for more wails! The older kids do not want to be in the cart but drive it! – need I say more??
Such good helpers!!!

I leave my oldest son with the cart to go down the aisle to grab some rice (the good basmati kind…you know not laced with arsenic), holding my girl’s hand and trying to bounce and ignore my miserable baby at the same time.

While picking the rice I hear a store employer’s concerned voice “I’m so sorry your mom left you, we will do anything to help you find her, don’t worry my poor, sweet little man”. I have time to feel sorry for the mom, the kid probably was being a brat and ran away from her or something and this store employer is laying it on thick guilting that poor mom.

As I turn around I see that it IS my son chatting with the store worker, tears running down his face and all…

I raise my voice (scaring my two other kids)
“But I’m right here, I told you to watch the cart so I could go and get rice…
I’m in the SAME aisle”….

My face red-hot, I grab my son, mumble thanks to the confused women trying to help him, leaving the cart.

As I get my bearings, retrieving the cart, because you know we NEED those things, my breasts start to leak, spraying milk right through my dress (and it is not black), dripping down the front while I’m trying to juggle three kids AND pay for our groceries!

Monster Trucks and Insomnia

Has anyone else been woken up in the middle of the night (especially during pregnancy when sleep is so hard to come by) of a monster voice (completely loud, scary and distorted)? Been forced to face your fears (toddler in tow) sneaking around the house (slightly terrified and not so slightly exhausted) just to find the source of this hellish sound? No? Doesn’t ring a bell? Hmm,
Well…
What if I tell you the source was a battery operated (freaking) toy!!! Maybe now you follow me??
I seriously looked everywhere- EVERYWHERE before I found it, tripping on boxes and random stuff (did I mention we are moving??) and stepped on my fair share of little Legos (ouch! Why will they be the last thing we pack?)
Guess where I found this Devils device?
In the completely natural, as well as logical, place for a black and orange toy truck…- in the shower!

That was my night last night, unable to fall back asleep, even if my princess (no way that was her nickname in the pitch black house where everyone else seemed to be sleeping just fine) eventually did. I laid their cursing my inability to relax my body enough to just slip away- and then- as usual the thoughts come. The scare that is pregnancy, the lack of control, the worry, the fear of history repeating itself- except this time way, way worse…

It had been kind of a weird week, it started with something really odd happening. I felt that I at least had to mention it to my nurse but like I told her the “story” was kinda hard to explain without the Lego cars and Duplo people (that is how I explained to mom over Skype and hubby after work).

I drove my kids to my son’s school as usual in the morning- kinda late- also as usual. When I park I see that someone is sitting in the car next to me, she appeared to be on her phone and without kids in the car- obviously she hadn’t been late. As I rush my 4 year old and his “why questions” out of the car armed with his latest art project, lunch boxes (snack AND lunch), going back to the front seat for the “lunch bunch ticket”, putting shoes back on (at least I didn’t forget them), I see in the corner of my eye that the mom in the next car puts her phone down and turns her car on. I am late so I attempt to catch her eye. Maintaining eye contact, assuming that we get each other I move my way into the tight space (remember I’m not exactly skinny mini nowadays…not that I ever was…but…just saying). She is in one of those ginormous SUVs (black and hard to distinguish from all the rest) sitting very high up. I judge that I can still get darling daughter out of her car seat (and in my arms) but I did NOT count on her starting to back out. I must say I have a split second to panic slightly- she sees us right? Again I think we are on the same page as I signal to her that I will move me and my son out of the way so that she can pull out. As I close the door on my girl I realize that the driver and I are not on the same page- AT ALL…

I push my (luckily very skinny) son flush against the car while I turn towards the huge car in the very tight space as she rapidly reverses-taking the corner- AND my stomach with some speed. I actually scream, flailing my arms for her stop as my big tummy pretty much gets smashed by the left front of her vehicle…

She does see my then- looking surprised and slightly confused…did she not see the whale with feet trying to safely get her kids to school on time?

She then tries to pull forward again, making it worse by squishing my baby bump yet again. I yell for her to stop and she comes to an abrupt halt- actually looking appropriately scared now.

I managed to squeeze myself (not easy people) as I push my son (who is completely fine by the way) back towards the back of my own car. As soon as my sore stomach, son and I have reached the back of our car she reversed again and speeds away…

I get my daughter and we speed away ourselves- by foot that is- towards class.

Hours later I can actually feel the pain. I google the heck out of what I had just experienced but I think google is even more confused than myself.

What the heck happened this morning??
I know however that baby is probably perfectly fine in her (his?)  cushiony cocoon- me- not so much.

Later on both my sister and my mom agree that baby should be okay but that I should ask the nurse just in case, that the mom driver probably sat up too high to see my huge belly…but why oh why did I not even take her license plate number…? (I guess that was the last thing on my mind…and anyways what would that help?!?)

The week continues with another urinary tract infection and I wouldn’t even be worried except during my last pregnancy  a UTI developed into a full blown kidney infection…which might have been what caused my water to break prematurely…so yeah- worried!
We had to stop by the pharmacy to pick up my prescription on the way back from my son’s school.

Both kids are in rare form. My daughter refuses the cart and decides to run around pushing everything off the shelves while my son is whiny and super loud- asking (yelling) for some cookies. I rather not hold my girl too much right now but the adorable toddler turned shoplifting maniac doesn’t give me much choice as she stuffs her clothes with chocolate and some random medication (wait are those…condoms?). Returning the stuff is challenging while holding the squirming animal, bending and lifting while simultaneously managing a preschooler who screams that I am leaving him and that I’m being a bad mama! (Pleasant isn’t he!?). As we stand in line (kind of- at least I am trying) to finally pick up the antibiotics I can both see and feel the stares. This man actually goes as far as asking the old guy in front of him “can you even stand these screaming kids?” I want to snap back but I’m all out of energy, besides they are both being REALLY annoying. Even the pharmacist promises several times that we are almost done with the transaction and that I absolutely don’t need a consultation on how to take these pills. Who is he trying to convince me or himself. As my son screams for me to stop pushing him when I simply try to steer him towards the automatic doors I see the mixed looks of pity, understanding and pure irritation. They are all probably looking at my huge belly, thinking I can’t even handle the two I already have!!

To round up my week- my big ultrasound followed by my regular obgyn check up imagedidn’t exactly go as expected…

 

One of those weeks…

It’s been one of those weeks- you know the ones that push you closer and closer towards the metaphorical cliff of a complete mommy meltdown (psychotic break more like it). Full of blow out diapers AND toddler as well as preschool tantrums. Forgotten lunches and late mornings. Fighting siblings (“head butted” and bit lil battlers) and cancelled play dates. Runny noses and coughing kids, escaping dogs and extreme lack of sleep (for moi- what else is new?- I do try to make sure my kids get THEIR sleep). More shots as well as bad news at the doctors’ – which is really what is the worst about this week- about everything…

Our son keeps getting into trouble at school because of the elaborate “fart noises”, four teacher meetings, three different teachers just this week. We thought he was over the hilarity of the sound- until we figured out that he was copying the Gringe, who apparently was sticking his butt out making that very sound in the Christmas play we took him to (so much for culture, right!?).

And oh yes, almost forgot (not quite) I dropped my kid off at preschool without shoes- barefoot! It was 52 degrees (that is believe it or not actually VERY cold here…being from Sweden I cringe slightly at this) and drizzling (of course it was).
You would not believe the judgy eyes penetrating me as I walk him into the classroom. Well does anyone care that one of those blowout diapers happened at the same time as a preschooler’s tantrum, a forgotten lunch box (remembered at the last minute) AND being late (er than normal)…? No, probably not. So it happened and I do feel like I deserve that bad mommy award more than ever BUT I DID tell him to put shoes on- repeatedly- I swear AND I went right back home to get them (even IF my toddler slept both ways in the car forgoing her nap-and my sanity…).

Of course that very same morning I put my new cellphone (the one sent to me by the insurance company because my daughter very lovingly threw my old one on the tiled bathroom floor TWICE) on the hood of the car, in the midst of the leaky (through her clothes AND mine) diaper, the four year old tantrum, the forgotten lunch AND being late and drove off with it. Aha! Yes, sure did…

I’m way too embarrassed to disclose anything else…except my very last insurance claim allowed for the next TWO years sounded like…”cellular telephone thrown out of a fast moving vehicle”.

My son didn’t get to go to the playground that morning because his very very bad mommy had forgotten his shoes (even though said son is fully capable of putting his own shoes on- and does so every morning…excuse me, every morning EXCEPT this one), looking forlorn sitting inside on a chair waiting for me.

By the end of the school week he explains he is in so much trouble his “face” (meaning a picture of his face) is not only NOT on the board in the classroom, on its way of making it up on the “super kid” chart, but not even in the running anymore. He is actually upset about it and I’m hoping the inappropriate noises will go away (Gringe noises or not). As I pick him up on Friday there is another incident report saying another kid scratched and pinched him (it’s a scratch pinch mama!) because (get this) he wouldn’t stop his…DINOSAUR noises!!

My pregnancy is progressing and the baby looks so much like a baby even on that black and white screen now! I just wish with all my heart and soul that someone could tell me for sure that everything is okay with our baby. Hello (can you hear me?) I’m already half way there…still meaning I have to suffer the worry of another twenty weeks give or take (if this baby decides to be full term) if there is something…not right (I refuse to say- or think WRONG) with this baby kicking around inside my belly. Because if there IS something wrong it will be of the unavoidable, unfixable, permanent kind…

Honestly this week has been dragging along with the dull background pain of “not knowing”. The fog of uncertainty is getting to me more than anything. All I can do though is believe…and pray and hope…and stay strong and positive. This is another layer I didn’t want this time around (who does?) but somehow I thought this pregnancy would be the easy one, like third is the charm or something…
Going into it with the preconcisting conditions of preeclampsia and premature rupture of membranes as well as strep B and reoccurring UTIs I knew it wasn’t going to be easy per say (but not that I would have all the complications of BOTH previous pregnancies present in this one) but at least I thought the problems and fears would be related to these issues…

BUT the odds are certainly in our favor and the risks extremely low (just not as low as we would have thought/imagined/expected/wanted/wished).

I round this week up with a disastrous Christmas party,getting locked out of my own bedroom by two very short little troublemakers and the unmistaken sound of sirens as I “run” a YELLOW light…

Before the Alarm rings… (by a very TIRED mama)

My alarm rings for the first time at 6:15 in the morning- 6:15…and I hate it- therefore I have a second alarm set for 6:45 (which I totally snooze until 7). I have been doing this since I was old enough to set my own alarm clock and in the midst of hating (I mean really hating) mornings, it kind of works. I mean it DID work…
Enters: kids!
I know it’s the same for everyone (which doesn’t seem entirely true by the way) and isn’t that the price to pay for parenthood (so worth it…right!?) but I really freaking value my sleep- OKAY!???
Then you shouldn’t have been a mom you say! Okay, first of all: who are you? And how dare you? Second of all; I know, I know- you have a point (huge sigh) but I am (barely) functioning here and I’m doing (pretty) fine!!! So there!
Go to bed earlier they say, well; ever heard of toddler sleep regression? No? Then stop talking (judging) right now! Besides I have this little thing called a part time job- I might only be a professor online but they do actually expect me to deliver university worthy courses and that people, means actual work and putting in the hours in between poppy diapers, grocery runs and preschool pick-ups! This is by the way my very round about way to tell you all that “I AM TIRED” really, really tired! So even if I signed up for this gig, I still really hate mornings!! Got it!

So this is what happens now BEFORE the alarm rings- yes you read right- before!!!
There are two kids in our bed. Husband has left (fled) already- and before you feel sorry for his early mornings consider this A. He actually likes mornings- yup! I married a freak! And B. He doesn’t get to be part of our lovely morning routine AKA hell (slight exaggeration here I know but still pretty much true) so yes he escapes and no; no need to feel sorry for him.
So there I am TRYING to sleep, trying to get those extra precious moments of zzz time while I usually have random fingers in my ears (no not mine), up my nose (again, I swear not mine), a butt in my face as well as a sliver of bed left to “sleep” on because at least one open mouthed snoring kid has decided to sleep diagonally on the bed (like it’s perfectly normal).

Even before the kicking starts (picking up in speed as well as frequency and intensity) aiming at stomach and face mostly (and other vulnerable parts), the slow twitching of eye lashes start (oh yes, I can hear them) and then the slow excruciating whining (worse than any chalk on any blackboard…truly). The older one awakens first with the words “MAMA ITS NOT NIGHTTIME”, the volume alone… and the words…the dreaded, dreaded words! My LEAST favorite moment of any day! Then we have the eyes, the bright, wide open eyes (kill me now) and the bouncing body (shuddering), next sentence is a toss up between “look, the sun is up” or the yelling of “what happens next mama?” “what happens NEEEXXXT?” Straight into my ear!

I am a pretty good mom, I promise and I love being a mom, adore my kids etc. etc. but the mornings…

Okay, said kid is being so extremely loud that of course he wakes his sister up (the bouncing alone) and she always wakes up crying! (Let’s face it, I would too if it was appropriate!) I console her as tear turns to hysterical laughter at her oh so hilarious brother (oh how I don’t agree- but she is his biggest fan after all).

Then the jumping starts…

I usually try to grab another couple minutes of shut eye- insert more hysterical laughter here…for anyone who thought I was being serious…or successful…

Well, I “try”, that part is true…

So before the alarm rings, I have a 4 year old screaming his head off that it is in fact “not nighttime”, a crying/laughing/jumping toddler, am sore from all the kicks and oh so so tired. I still refuse to get out of bed (obviously) so while holding a hand around my squirmy girl’s ankle and trying to ignore my screaming boy, at least I try to still rest my head on my pillow (until said pillow get snatched away and suddenly involved in an impromptu pillow fight).

And then the alarm rings (loudly).

This is what happens between the first alarm and the second (because being the most stubborn person stuck in her ways, and did I mention “morning hater” I still refuse to get out of bed); I rescue someone from falling off the bed, I dry tears, I send someone to the restroom, I turn on cartoons, I find iPad, water, missing sock, teddies, dinosaurs (all from bed), I defend myself from kicks, slaps, hits, bites, licks…even sloppy kisses and violent hugs!
I yell at someone, tell someone that I am sorry for yelling, rescue one from the other and the the other one from the first one…yeah! I think you get the idea. All the while, I’m trying to snooze like I always have since being able to set my own alarm…well, those were the days…before kids!

And then the second alarm rings (loudly)

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