The magical month of July!!

How come the magical and arguably the best month of summer July,no school; end OR start, no stress, (wait was the “no stress” part before having children!?) always go so fast?. It races away in a haze.

Our July doesn’t start great with illness and almost unbearable heat. We are trying to save by not turning on the AC as much in the house but with our many large windows framing the family and living room it creates a vacuum of heat and you can hardly breathe. The kids have swimming three days a week (and are making great advances-when they listen to the swim instructor that is) and no camps. I signed my daughter up for dance Friday mornings and have the nanny come entertain my oldest (or is it the other way around?!).

I’m keeping baby girl out of the pool the first week due to some “diaper issues” (those swim diapers are not really built for holding anything, now are they) and I’m trying to save our pool (and myself from a major clean up) and my daughter from embarrassment (she totally wouldn’t care) even though she is feeling better. She is very mad that brother gets to swim and very curious about the swim instructor. We (meaning my daughter) watch brother every lesson in full on swim gear even though only toes (and feet) can go in the pool. Every time my son needs to work towards a promise of a favorite thing in order to listen to instructions (since he doesn’t like most food the options are limited and pretty much narrowed down to “Subway” , frozen yoghurt (ice cream) or a cookie at Starbucks (don’t judge). I also promised him a small toy if he will swim by the end of the four weeks. His listening skills are improved by constant reminders but he tends to forget very frequently and has been known to do “his own thing”. The instructor who apparently used to be an elite swimmer gets very frustrated-seemingly much better at swimming than dealing with small kids.

All the lessons means less social time outside of the house, especially if you add soccer Mondays and dance Fridays but we are still able to steal some ice cream dates with close friends. By the end of that first week the kids are all feeling like themselves again and I am beyond relieved to be out of the bad diapers/added laundry (gross) trenches!

I finally think the leaking of various body fluids (I know major yuck! …oddly enough less so if you are a parent of little kids…or maybe not so odd considering the frequency of said fluids..) is over. I venture out to Target. With the oldest (still recovering somewhat) safely at home with daddy (watching football) , I bring the other two.

Since I am the youngest’s walking, talking food source (and since hubby is not quite comfortable with him yet) he is coming too!
He is all smiles so it clearly (almost…eh not fully) make up for the two year old’s whining.

I know she has been sick and all and that she is tired but come on…everything is “no”.
Are you hungry, tired, need diaper change, hug…new shoes? No, no, no!
She is in full on 2 year mode, and of course everything I do is wrong-and she complains about it-loudly!!

I’m barely hanging on as I scroll down my “iPhone reminder list” of stuff we really need (and you know a few… occasional extras) as my toddler is reduced to tears after not getting a new “Peppa Pig” toy! In my head I mentally repeat “avoid the toy aisle…always always avoid the toy aisle…even if it means getting creative with diversion strategies and round about ways to get to the things you want. Even if you need something in the aisle next to the toys- do not, I repeat, do NOT pass them!!”
No shortcuts parents-this is serious mental planning. Think I should suck it up and take the whining, crying, melt down, “tantruming”?
Let me tell you many of time-I have and let’s just say it’s so not worth it, but today she spied this toy and being in the mood she is in; its all over…

I briefly distract her with some new shiny shoes but let’s face it- they are no Peppa pig’s dream house substitute…
At least the full on drama tears have subsided into heavy sobs and violent hiccups, not (barely) facing this brave mama! But here we are back to full on tantrum tears (aren’t they the most fun “people are officially starring and judging” kind”). Wait, what the heck happened now???
Oh, I see who was the complete idiot putting “Doc McStuffin’s” Lego set amongst the shoes huh, huh??

It’s clearly time to escape this place before my perfect little angel of a baby boy wakes up too- not so perfect…and far from an angel.

It’s Sunday-therefore all lines are long. When we are up next and I think we made it, guess who wakes up…?

The not so sympathetic cashier ring up my items painfully slow as both my kiddos wail, scream, yell and cry in a potpourri of scorned, disappointed, ignored, hurtful (as well as hungry) emotions. They are clearly being unfairly treated (according to everyone but me. This is when the cashier holds up a pink and purple Peppa Pig set (well…you know…) with some suspicious brown stains on them. I match her disgusted look at first genuinely confused …until I look down at the cart…and the seat occupied by my daughter…

 

 

Happy friggin 4th!!!

Hubby is scheduled to fly out early morning on the Fourth of July and I’m not going to lie- it sucks!

But we are not going to let that keep us from the fun-oh no!

We have a full day of celebration planned this year. We are going to a parade (have never seen a real live American parade before and am really excited!!) in our neighborhood and fireworks by the beach (love fireworks) and we are bringing grandma and grandpa (and hopefully uncle, aunt and cousins as well) along! I have bought food for a family BBQ and festive paper plates, cups and utensils as well as quite a few Independence Day decorations! I have also laid out matching flag colored outfits for myself and all the three kids! The weather promises to be warm and sunny but not too hot. Maybe we can swim in the pool and grandparents can take the littlest baby so that I actually get to cool down and splash around as well. I can’t wait to spend some much needed quality play time with my kids!

I’m in high spirits; baby’s first fourth- lets do this!!!

And then darling daughter wakes up with a fever and then an extremely runny (smelly, leaky) diaper….
Which after breakfast leads to another…and another…with the mood to follow!
Can you say; complete toddler meltdown!

So yeah, we wave bye bye to daddy dearest (oh yeah; thanks for leaving me Hun!) as I rapidly begin to understand that nobody is going to want to hang out with us on this very special day…

Holiday or not, kids get sick and there is nothing you can do about it. I cancel all our plans with friends as well as family. It’s all good, we will make it work, it is just the crankiness and the overwhelming loneliness I feel when kid number two starts throwing up…

I order in food, but right now I only have one kid willing to eat and that would be the one without any teeth!

Its not like I have time to eat anything anyways, I’m running around like a mad woman, and strangely enough the idea of eating while people around me (and on me) are vomiting (and dry heaving) does not seem that appetizing…

I stream YouTube videos on the tv and keep changing diapers, smearing diaper rash cream, wiping butts as well as tears and pushing fluids.

I desperately stage some photos in memory of this “special” day of all my little kiddos in their outfits (good thing my “fancy” camera snaps dozens of photos in seconds because there are no willing participants and especially my daughter will not stand for it) on the patio- which turn out more sad than funny (keeping up the facade right…or not).

I change them out of their celebratory clothes right after our private little (disastrous) photo shoot scared any nasty fluids will make the nice outfits filthy (the washer and dryer already working overtime).
Of course my toddler throws another tantrum wanting to keep her red, white and blue Tommy Hilfiger dress on…

Let’s just say I’m in for a long night…

The kind of night where in between nightly nursing session (and they are plenty) I have to change sheets twice (we are now out of sheets that fit our bed), wrestle as well as share said bed with not one, not two, but three sweaty, germy kids (good thing I love them). I also have one of them throw up as I brush their teeth-after having thrown up…Hate when that happens!

I’m laying awake in our big bed (that suddenly feels small and cramped) when all the kiddos are finally asleep listening to each of their individual breathing patterns, (one arm around my beautiful daughter and another around my littlest man, while my big helper sleeps by my feet…for some reason) listening to their little whimpers and snores and my heart fills with so my love that I can hardly stand it…

Yes, they are a handful, and messy and smelly and oh so loud but at the end of the day I am just so so grateful to have them! Grateful that they are here with me, healthy and happy and whole (even with a nasty stomach bug) . They are my biggest accomplishments; who would have knows after my degrees and my diplomas that being a mommy would make me feel so important, so proud and so extraordinary!

Hope you had a great 4th of July this year everyone-I did despite it all (I have to admit it was pretty bad…and sad). I had a holiday I didn’t expect, one that I didn’t see coming and I was all alone to handle it all. But I think maybe that we have all been there one time or another and anyways; isn’t that what us mothers do…? We care and we fix…and we handle!

Too late I realize there in the pitch black room (while my five year old is mumbling something about Star Wars and transformers in his sleep) that I forgot to cancel the swim instructor-scheduled to come first thing in the morning…

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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!

Ode to the Wipe (wipe wars)

You know the moment when you ask your husband to get a wipe and he turns into a confused alien life form without the ability to understand you…or you know, move!

You are feeding your precious newborn and she spits up all over you and it’s dripping done towards the couch and your fancy pillows and throws…and you yell for your husband (who by the way is already up on his feet, baby less and way closer to the much needed wipes) to get you some wipes!

First the confusion occurs “wipes?” “What wipes?”

“Eh, only the wipes we use everyday, ALL THE TIME” (stay calm, breathe, he will get them very soon).

Enter alien life form, head spins around, walks slowly around in circles, muttering inaudible.

“The wipes, the wipes, the freaking WIPES!!!” You can’t help yelling to emphasize the urgency here!

“Uh, where?”

“Uh” (you have surrendered to mockingly imitate which you really didn’t mean to but the baby is falling asleep and you rather not wake the monster…eh hmm little angel and you are pretty darn fond of those pillows…)
“Right there, right there, where they always are, right by you HURRY”

Confused expression, looking in the general direction of where I’m painstakingly pointing; “okay, okay, no need to yell! I’m going!” Walking in slow motion. It is brutally painful to watch and no matter how hard I’m tilting the baby in different angels and soaking spit-up up with my shirt sleeves (nice, I know!), the first pillow is now soaked (just one more thing to add to the to do list! Yay!)

“Eh, which kind of wipes again??”

“What kind, WHAT KIND???”

“Yeah, you know there are the purple or the blue”

“WHITE, WHITE, they are all WHITE and all the SAME!!!!” I’m already getting up, hoping against hope not to wake the baby, regurgitated thick whitish milk dripping down my black yoga pants (what? Gross?? Just pop out a baby and see what you are wearing or what mess is currently dripping done your stretchy pants!)

“No they do have different color on the outside, some are butt wipes, I thought…and some are…”

Getting almost stampeded by furious new mom with a frantically screaming baby on her way to her much needed wipes.

Getting them right in front of my husband who exclaims “oh those! I could have gotten those for you”, falters … slightly terrified at my expression…

“Well, I would have gotten them, no need to get so upset”…

This little anecdote is mean to make you knowingly nod your head…(not think b*tch to yourself) because the truth is you can change out the word “wipes” with almost anything I ask my husband to get fast!

I get it, I’m faster and better at finding things around the house, I know where I put things and I want them in a certain way but sometimes it’s comical (or it would be if it wasn’t so frustrating) how he (and now also my 4 year old) can’t find things right in front of him (them).

Wipes are an excellent example because they are so needed for everyday survival!

This is what I call “an ode to the wipe”

Wipes are indeed necessary items in any family with little kids. Sure they are a household staple but they are also under rated. Wipes are essential, no they are in fact crucial. They have a lot more functions than the most common “wipe butts” function. Think; drool, liquids, spit-up, vomit, sticky messy messes AND also include adult spills. They can be used for older kids as well, not just babies, they can also be used on and for dogs and their messes. They can wipe buggers, paint, apple juice, chocolate, little leaks, big leaks and even bloody noses and knees.

When I was a kid, we didn’t use wipes, not even for changing diapers. The only “wipe like” occurrence I can think of is the “wet wipes” we use to keep in the car on our European road trips.

Now when I forgot wipes at home (ahhh), am out of wipes or just took the last one, its a near disaster. I need wipes in my house (every room), car and purse almost as much as I need air (slight exaggeration but you know…).

Ever taken the last wipe, elbow deep in the century’s worse poopy diaper or as your toddler is a squirmy mess close to your light tan suede couches with chocolaty fingers?

You are in desperate need of a wipe (or several) as you get “spit uped” on, peed on (yes, really), spilled on, or when you bite your tongue so bad after being hit by a flying iPad (yes, this happened) so you are gushing blood everywhere.

No, this is not a wipe commercial…nor do I get any kick backs or incentives of any kinds to post this but come on, don’t you agree parents? wipes are a daily necessity (more like hourly…”minute-ly”).

The need for wipes (no, they are not just “butt wipes” as my husband calls them, they are everything wipes) do not stop once your babies turn into toddlers or even big kids.

Sharing wipes is caring. You need them everywhere, the playground, the store, the mall, the car, so when you are out…lets just say if someone hands you some, you are forever grateful!

I can’t believe I used to live and actually function without them in my life. I was wipe-less for far too long. How could I have missed the miracle of a simple wipe? I must admit, you need them waaay more with kids but wipes are not just for kids, they are for everyone.

Wipes are for everyone, everywhere! I don’t care how old you are even mommies and daddies..(I am a spiller myself!).even if you are not even a parent…you need them!

You are probably wondering where I’m going with this!

Nowhere in particular I most admit but to prove a point; more wipes to the people!

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Apparently when you are a mom you just FIX IT…

After dinner, on our way to the car there is an unfortunate round, artsy fountain looking thing with water basically shooting out from the ground…

Yes, you guessed it, I told my son “we are not playing in the water, we are going straight to the car” several times before walking by it. His little friend was allowed to play near the water and run for a little bit (it is then so difficult to deny your son to do the same but the other boy’s behavior at dinner was definitely better than my boy’s, so he had earned some run and play time). That is exactly what he did; he ran and he played. I stood firm in my decision however, that we were saying bye and going to the car.

My son had other plans (what else is new?). He let go of my hand as I struggled to hold on to the squirming baby (you know how babies get) and he went straight for the water!

He was soaked and laughing by the time I got ahold of him. I wasn’t…

Laughing that is, I was more like…boiling…

What now? It’s not like I wanted to be “that mom” yelling and screaming at my son in a public place (in front of my friend and her kid) while juggling the baby and also trying to hold on to his slippery body to keep him from running right back to the water. I felt it though, the anger…oh how I felt it. The cones, the dinner, the obvious disobedience! But I swallowed it trying to remember that he is just a little boy wanting to have fun and not understanding why the rules are there… for a reason. In my head I frantically yell, no TV, no iPad, no Legos, no freaking dinosaurs…no fun!! EVER again!

I look at the reason I said “no water” though right now.  There was obviously no way he could just innocently play NEAR the water, casually watching it like his friend. Nop, of course not (that would be so out of character!) Now he is blue lipped and shivering, “mommy, I’m cold…Shirt and pants please”…

Back to the bad mama title…I did not have a change of clothes with me for him (baby yes! Four year old, no!)

This was quite the dilemma for multiple reasons; he was literally wet all the way through his clothes and I didn’t even have a towel that he could sit on in his car seat. He hates getting his clothes wet and wants to change out of them immediately (I know so ironic, right?!…I certainly didn’t get him into this situation but apparently when you are a mom it doesn’t matter…you are still suppose to make it right- you still have to be there to FIX IT, and I have a sneaking suspicion that will not end any time soon). The other issue was that we had to pick up some groceries on the way back home (in desperate need of some yoghurt, water and wipes…I know, bad mama planning…but to be fair to, well me…their dad forgot some stuff at his last grocery trip, and baby now drinks these drinkable yoghurts too… bottom line being, we now have to buy more).

I’m pretty sure they won’t allow a wet and NAKED boy at the grocery store (in one of the fancy neighborhoods too…not that that matters, but you know…), even if he is four!

Luckily my ever so resourceful friend had an old change of clothes (size 3 t) for her son that she lets us borrow!

What would I have done without these clothes? Probably driven home with a naked little guy strapped into his car seat, no yoghurt at nighttime for my littlest and no wipes for baby’s next poopy diaper…

What happens at the store is not even funny and I’m don’t want your pity anyways…

Well, okay maybe I do…a little.

Just so you do get an understanding of why I finally snapped I will give you a sneak peak into my Thursday night (turning way later than I planned and ended up way passed bedtime). Let’s just say it involved a tower of apples getting knocked down with what seemed like hundreds of bright red apples rolling frantically in all different directions of the store (you don’t have to tell me, I KNOW this has happened before), someone chocked on a bread roll and managed to throw up, someone got bit, someone got pinched (in retaliation), someone stole (don’t worry the item was returned…along with my sanity)

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and someone had a nervous breakdown!

Well there you have it! That’s all folks!

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