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Monday, August 18, 2014

Some venting

I don't have a specific topic in mind but I wanted to write anyway.  We upped Carter's calories with his Pediasure because he hasn't gained weight in awhile.  He starts preschool next Wednesday, which I'm sure he'll be excited about once he's back there and sees his teacher and friends.  He has enjoyed his summer with Brenda- she helps him color, walk and play with toys.  It has given him somewhere to go and new things to do.  Carter has a cold right now so is fussier and he gave it to the other kids.  Sierra deals with it well, but the poor baby has been congested and has made for a little bit more sleepless nights.  I think things have been catching up with me, I'm getting more tired and a bit ornery lately.  I think once you've gone without enough sleep for enough time you think you're used to it, but then you hit this spot where you start to get ornery about it.  At least I do.  Who doesn't love sleep and function better with it, right?  I love having Keaton, he is such a good baby, but it still wears on you.  He does love being held, which baby doesn't, so by the end of the day I really need a break.  I am changing like 15-16 diapers a day between the 3 kids and let's see...4 meals for Carter, 3-4 for Sierra, and about 8 for Keaton.  Once you add everything up just getting through the necessities of a day starts to sound a little depressing.

I think in life it's normal that the day to day stuff just starts to bum us out.  We have our routines and such which is normal and necessary, but as a Mom sometimes it just gets a bit much.  I know I have a newborn so it's expected, but I guess I'm at that point I wanted to vent a little.  My post partum depression has gotten better as I've bonded with Keaton and gotten to know him more.  But I still have my hard days like lately, or get stressed or bummed out.  I tend to let my mind run with me once I'm bummed out which only makes it worse.  I start to compile lists in my head of things I need to do, or worries about the future and things that I wish were better or that I could change, etc.  I start getting down on myself for not doing better, and think about potty training Sierra or thinking I should do more with Carter and then I just start feeling tired, which I already know, that pity party roller coaster that gets nobody anywhere.  But we all do it sometimes, right?  I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad for me, just like to express and share stuff.  I'm a girl:)  Chris will be going back to school in 2-3 weeks so I know that is coming, which means things will only get worse.  I joked with a friend that I will probably start drinking then.  Seriously no, but I foresee a lot more Dr. Pepper in my future and tears.

Sierra has definitely been in her terrible 2's which has just added to things.  Keaton will be good one day but then she is terrible.  Or vice versa; guess that happens once you have multiple kids.  I've had a few mornings where all three kids are crying and need something.  Fun.  I've had to learn to move faster and multi task even more.  With Sierra when she can't communicate to me what she wants/needs I try to get her to show me.  It doesn't always work, but at least we are trying to solve the problem.  She likes to scream a lot, hit, spit and throw things.  We are trying to be consistent with time outs and listing consequences.  I have no idea if she is listening or learning anything, but we have to do something.  I try not to get frustrated with her but it isn't easy.  Some days I wonder why people even have kids.  Oh boy.  I tell people I had kids just so I will have grand kids one day.  Haha.  I hear it's the reward and so fun so I look forward to that:)  Don't get me wrong there are great things with kids, but it's not all rainbows.  Let's not kid ourselves here.  I have a disabled kid, a terrible 2's and a newborn- that speaks for itself some days.  It's hard as a woman and parent to not get down on yourself at the end of the day and think I can do better or should have.  But thankfully, we get a new start everyday and hopefully it will be better and easier.  Sometimes it won't, but I have chocolate and Dr. Pepper for that.

I've also realized something about myself over time- that I have high expectations for people in my life.  It's not the same for everyone and it can change depending on my mood, but I do.  I say it's because I would do it for them, if that makes sense.  I feel like I have a lot to offer and am willing to do for those I love, even if never given the chance, so I expect it of people.  There are friends I expect little of because I understand their situation, and others I've learned to not expect much because our lives are in different places.  I have to be realistic so I don't feel let down.  But with family, I do expect a lot.  And most of the time, we get a lot.  With Carter being disabled and the new baby I felt like we should be the top of every one's list.  I don't know if that sounds cocky or weird, but that's how I felt.  We can't have anyone babysit Carter because of his feeding and meds, and with a newborn you should expect more help.  I have received a lot of help and have recognized and been thankful for that, but it's been hard still.  With summer people have had vacations and other obligations, and sometimes communication isn't always understood how you thought it would be.  I try to make my expectations clear so people don't have to read my mind.  It was hard too because my mom had surgery and her own things she needed to deal with, which is understandable.  When I had Sierra I really wanted the time to bond with her so we had help with Carter everyday for like two months.  I've had help with Carter because of the funds we received, which is huge, but I wanted help more with Sierra so I could focus on healing and the baby.  It has worked in some ways and not in others.  I've had to tell myself to be grateful for what help I've received and to move on.  

I've had some family relationships that I've had to kind of cut off and step back from for awhile, possibly indefinitely.  It was sad to have to make that decision but it sure helped with my stress.  A quote on Facebook inspired me because it said, "Either you invite drama, cause drama, or associate with people that cause drama..."  I don't remember the rest, but I realized I needed to not associate with certain people because of all the drama.  I'm not saying I have never caused drama, I have, but certain people certainly were causing a lot that was unnecessary.  It was hazardous to my well being and life.  I had a friend on Facebook that reassured me in my decision, and even though it still doesn't make sense to some family members, it was the right decision for me.  I believe that families can be forever, but I focus more on my family of five in that regard.  Our extended and even more extended family relationships are also important, but not as much.  So when I decided that, and focused more on my own family of five, I have felt much better.  Anyway, instead of venting anymore I am going to go hold my baby boy and count my blessings so I feel better.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Momma of 3 and Real Stuff

So Chris went back to work this week and I was a momma of three on my own.  No, not quite.  Since I am still healing from childbirth I can't lift anything heavier then the baby for six weeks.  Now, you tell me how that is supposed to work when you have a 4 1/2 year old that can't walk or do anything for himself.  So, once again I've had to enlist the help of my mother in law who lives across and over the street.  When Carter gets up in the morning, I call her and she comes over to get him out of bed and dressed.  Then she watches the kids while I feed Carter, do his meds then get myself ready for the day.  I have no idea how I'd be able to do that all by myself yet.  Once everyone is dressed and ready she goes back home until I need her again.  Carter's CNA Brenda still comes at 10 then drops him off at 4, giving me 6 hours from having him as well.  He will be starting school back up at the end of the month, and that might be tricky as well depending what time his bus comes.

My mom was able to help me two days this week with Sierra, and then my sister in law Heidi helped some on the other two days.  My mother in law is very busy with her church calling and helping others in the neighborhood, so she is able to help me mostly in the morning.  My mom recently had surgery right before I had Keaton, so she is also not able to lift anything over 10 lbs.  This makes things tricky as well as far as getting Sierra in and out of the car.  So far we've asked Brenda to help, and then my dad.  Now that I've shed some light into how we are handling three kids, I'll let you know how Keaton is doing.  He is a lot more awake during the day and likes to be held or lay on the floor looking around.  A dangerous place if Carter is around, so I have to keep a close eye on things.  He seems to eat really often and likes his binkie sometimes.  Once late afternoon approaches he seems to settle down some.  Sierra naps about 1-4 but Keaton seems to be awake during this time, so I always have someone to watch.  We try to feed him one last time about 8:30 or 9, then put him in pajamas and swaddle him.  Carter and Sierra are in bed between 7:30 and 8.  He will sleep anywhere from 3-6 hours, then wake up to eat.  This feeding takes about an hour because he's very hungry but also tired.  Once he's changed and burped (which takes times) he usually goes back to sleep again for another 2-3 hours.  Then we're pretty much up for the day because by then it's like 5:30.  Chris is up and gone to work and once Keaton is fed, Sierra and/or Carter are up for the day.  Even if Keaton goes back to sleep, the other kids are up and needing breakfast.  So I think we are averaging 5-6 hours of sleep.  Chris and I are taking turns feeding the baby right now until he goes back to school.  The night is the hardest part of having a baby by far.

Having three kids is hard and I don't know how long it will take to feel comfortable.  We have three in diapers (yikes!) and it's hard to go to the bathroom or eat when it's just me.  I'm almost always holding the baby which obviously makes it hard to do things- he will go in the swing for some time here and there- and Sierra loves to touch and kiss him a lot.  It's sweet, but sometimes wakes him up and agitates him.  I've heard from other people it takes a few months to adjust, so I'm trying to be patient.  It's hard for me because I'm very schedule-oriented, organized and like to know what to expect.  With a newborn it's pretty go with the flow for a while until you notice their habits and can develop a schedule.  Keaton has already smiled a lot in his sleep and even has laughed twice.  I know that sounds crazy since he isn't quite 3 weeks old, but it's true.  He seems to be a pretty good baby so far.  He is hard to burp sometimes and wiggles a lot in his sleep, even when swaddled, but hopefully that will get better with time.  We ran out of newborn diapers so he's in size 1 now.  They are a tad big but the newborn ones barely covered him anymore.  At his 2 week appointment he was 75% for height and weight and 80% for head.  He was back to birth weight with 1 more ounce, weighing at 9 lbs 8 oz.  
One more thing I wanted to touch on again, is post partum depression.  This time I've had it some, and for those that have never experienced it I wanted to share some of the feelings.  Having a baby causes your hormones to go all over the place, and even with a good baby it takes time to feel normal again.  Being sleep deprived obviously doesn't help, but goes with the territory.  It can cause feelings of loneliness even when others are around, feelings of sadness and darkness, feeling scared or nervous to be around the baby, not feeling confident in your abilities as a mother, wondering when things will get better, feeling bleh most of the time, having a hard time sleeping, over-thinking (my hugest problem), over-analyzing everything, being obsessed with the time, hating night time and when it gets dark, being hard on yourself, loss of appetite or having a hard time eating, heart racing or body tremors, crying often...etc.  I've had all or some of these with each kid I've had.  It's even possible to feel like running around, giving away the baby or even hurting yourself or the baby.  I have never wanted to hurt my children, but some people can really have a hard time.  I have had a hard time before so I am very empathetic to those that go through this.  What is helpful in these situations for those that want to help, is to be patient.  To listen, not to judge, and to help in anyway you can.  I am good at asking for help now and not expecting people to read my mind.  I am trying to be easy on myself, but I find myself overdoing things by cleaning too much or lifting things I shouldn't.  Being pregnant for so long made me impatient to get back and doing things again.

Having children is really hard but can also be fun.  For me, the fun stuff comes a little bit later when they can interact more and are sleeping better.  I wouldn't have had more children or made it this far without a wonderful, fantastic husband.  We got a few more pictures back from Keaton's photo shoot, and I will share my favorite one here.  A great book I like to review is Secrets of the Baby Whisperer.  It has good information on baby's signals and cues, and how to love the baby you were given and trying to figure them out.  If I don't blog for awhile you will know why!  Thanks for reading and feel free to share any thoughts.