Saturday, June 25, 2011

Figuring it out

We are having some of Phillip's former students over for a cookout tonight and I should be helping to get a few last minute things done. But, the girls are BOTH napping so the work is going to have to wait while I write.

I've spent the last week looking deep inside myself and trying to unlock where my negative energy is coming from and how I'm going to go about fixing it. I know it will be a long journey but I'm on the trail at least. I have started journaling again. Bought a cheap made from recycled paper and sugar cane notebook and a great bright blue pen to write with. You have to have a fun pen! I went grocery shopping today and bought some wholesome organic eggs, milk, strawberries, apples and whole wheat pitas and Wasa. You are what you eat. And I know my stomach is YELLING at me to change my ways.

And I started to pray. I was raised Catholic and self-swapped to Episcopalian when Phillip and I met. We are practicing Episcopalian's and go to church regularly but I always feel distracted there because the kids can't sit still and really listen. So I haven't felt like I've really prayed in a while. Under the beating hot water of the shower while both girls and husband were occupied I found a quiet space that was all mine. I sent a prayer to God.

I'm looking forward to this sort of reinvention of myself. It feels like a challenge and a journey well worth the time and expense.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Chakra Is Out of Balance

I don't really know what it means to have my chakra out of balance but that is the best way I can describe what I have been thinking and feeling lately. I feel like I'm going in many different directions while none of them make sense. I feel like I'm maintaining the status quo as a woman, wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend. I'm not depressed just not the me I want to be right now.

When I was a teenager I can remember on many occasions bursting into the room where my mom was to tell her the most exciting thing ever or share something I had learned at school or just laugh about the most insignificant thing ever. She would often tell me to always maintain that zest for life and light hearted but deeply connected spirit.

One time after walking home from school in middle school I had to go to the bathroom so bad. The door to the house was locked. Mom came to answer my knock and as I did the potty dance on the front porch indicating how bad I needed to go Mom just kept mimicking me and jokingly indicate she couldn't open the door. Well after a few moments of this...I just couldn't wait anymore. I wet my pants on the front porch. A 14-year old girl peed her pants. Publicly. Most daughters would NEVER SPEAK TO THEIR MOTHER AGAIN! Me? I laughed. We laughed. Hysterically. Mom didn't realize just how bad I needed to go to the bathroom.

I want to experience this all again. Well I can skip public urination but its the feeling of those moments-not caring about being seen. The endorphins rushing my body from laughing so hard. I don't laugh nearly as much as I used to. I don't see or feel the little things in life as I once did. I don't dance in the rain and splash in the puddles. I'm not pushing myself mentally, physically, or spiritually and it is wearing me down.

I have such a strong desire to be a better person-a better mother to my two beautiful daughters, a better wife to my husband, a better sister and daughter to my family, and a better friend to my friends. Hell, I even want to be a better person to complete strangers!

As I sort all of this out my sister has turned me on to an incredible blog, Smile With Your Heart. (How great is that?!?) I have been reading her most recent "challenge" entries and find myself nearly brimming over with tears each time I read it. She is so insightful, intuitive, inspirational, rational and brilliant. Reading her blog has helped me to start deeply reflecting on many of my layers that I want to fix, heal, strengthen. I tear up thinking of the things I know I can achieve and the excitement of the journey I must embark on to get there.

I think one of the reasons I find myself fantasizing about my next pregnancy and birth so much is because of the journey it takes to get there. For me pregnancy is the ultimate journey. Like hiking a trail that you haven't been able to conquer before. The birth is reaching the summit. Emma's birth was remarkable for me because of how different it was from Sophia's birth. I had so much freedom and personal control. And so much excitement and exhilaration. It was also a time of great inner peace and spiritual connection to not only Emma but Sophia, Phillip, and my family. What I'm lacking in life now is that risk and reward. I can't give birth to a baby everyday-so now I need to seek that challenge and excitement in other ways.

I may decide to start a new blog to report on my journey but for now I'll just use this one. "Adventures with Doodle" is part of the journey after all!

What do you do to stay inspired and motivated?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Back to work

So I survived my first week back to work. I didn't realize how much I had disconnected from work and connected to being a new mom again. I forgot several of my passwords for sites and programs that I use everyday! I even had to have our network administrator reset my network password - that also controls our email. Now I'm back on track.

I'm up at 4:30am to nurse and pump and get everything ready for my day. Some days this is easier than others. Emma had been doing GREAT sleeping (knock on wood, cross your fingers, do whatever you do to keep my good fortune coming) through the night. She was sleeping 8 or 9 pm to 4, 5, or 6 am. That is very manageable. And then the other shoe dropped. Most of the week she would wake at midnight, 1 or 2am...just to keep things interesting. We'll see if this pattern continues this week.

The girls were home last week with our super attentive, organized, Betty Crocker babysitter. This week and the remainder of the summer they get Papacare! It is taking them all to get a little used to the routine. I called home yesterday to see how it was going and Emma was crying and Sophia was clamoring for Phillip's attention. He seemed a little stressed out be managed to get things under control. I received a phone call when I was less than a mile from home with a stern warning to be very quiet when I came in...two babies were sleeping on the floor. Emma was in here chair and Sophia was indeed napping on the floor on her blankets. At 4pm....You win some you loose some.

I would rather be home with my girls but that's not an option for now. So I'll just keep on keeping on and rush home to my squishy babies.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Rebellion

I didn't think our kids started rebelling against us until they were at least 12 but apparently my daughter has decided 3 is a good age to start.

I thought we were POTTY TRAINED! Happy Dance! Down with Pull-Ups! Hail the Potty!

That was until yesterday...when she pissed her pants 5, FIVE, V, times! I say "pissed" because it wasn't accidental. It was on purpose and made me steaming mad.

I was willing to forgive the first "accident" that happened at daycare. She had gone potty before we left the house. Maybe she just didn't get it all out. She wet her pants right before she and Miss Ellen adventured out for the day. She didn't have any extra undies so they put her in a pull-up. I left the pull-up on for her "nap" which was more like quiet time in her room doing everything but napping. That included soaking the pull-up. Strike two.

After a jaunt through the sprinkler I got her dressed. While I was nursing Emma she yells from the bathroom "Mama, I need help." The bathmat, shorts, and undies are soaked. Strike three. New shorts and undies.

Maybe two hours later another cry for help from the bathroom. Puddle on the floor. Soaked shorts and undies. Strike four. This time I have to take Emma out of the baby carrier on my chest, take a pause from making dinner and mop the floor.

While doing laundry-ya know, all the soaking wet, pee smelling clothes- my husband goes into the play/work/exercise room and asks "did you spill water on the steps?" asking Sophie and I and no one in particular at the same time. No. Not that I know of. Meanwhile Sophia is standing on the steps below the landing and gleefully looks up at him and says "No, I peed my pants." Awesome. The husband was standing in a puddle of pee. Swell. Strike five.

She wasn't remorseful. She wasn't embarrassed. She wasn't mad. She didn't even make an effort to get to the bathroom.

I think she is trying to get attention because I have been spending a little more time with Emma the past few days. I've been nursing her more often as I think she is going through her 12 week growth spurt.

Heaven help me if Sophia has wet the bed over night.

The difficult thing about this is teaching the lesson. Do we punish her? Do we put her in Pull-ups for a few days? Do I do what she wants-give her more attention?

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Nursing

One of the things I like most about being a mother is nursing my baby. I love the closeness, the warmth, the connection, the ultimate power that I create the food that nourishes my baby.

I love the haphazard, carefree, soft caress of Emma's tiny hand on my breast while she nurses. It's as if she is saying "I love you mama and thanks for making food for me" as she runs her hand back and forth across my bare breast.

As I prepare to go back to work I have found myself starting to fret over my milk supply and miss this constant need she and I both have. I have already noticed a decrease in the amount I am able to pump after a nursing session. I've been vigilant about my water intake and have started fenugreek supplements. And pumping 3-4 times a day between sessions.

My sister and I are training for the Columbus 1/2 marathon in October. Let me rephrase that, she is actively training, I keep debating it in my head. I did my first postpartum work out yesterday. I'm concerned that if I start running big time-like enough to actually commit to the marathon that my milk supply is going to tank.

So what is your advice for keeping up a good milk supply, going back to work, and exercise?

Maternity leave and transitions

This is my last week of maternity leave. As always, it has gone by way to fast. The days have been filled with a baby and toddler, lots of visitors, trips to Ohio and North Carolina, learning the balancing act, photos, snuggles, bubbles and sidewalk chalk, trips to the park and lots of love.

I hate this week because I have to face the fact that I am a full-time working mom. I wish our family/work/life situation allowed us to afford being a SAHM or WAHM but right now it doesn't it.

I sent Sophia to daycare for the full day today so Emma and I could hang out just the two of us. I wanted to spend the whole day just nursing her and staring at her. We did a lot of that but because she is pretty content just to be fed I had to do a lot of other household chores today too. Currently she is sound asleep in her swing sucking on her fingers and just generally being an angel. The love I have for my two girls overwhelms me sometimes.

The love I have for them breaks my heart that I have to leave them each day and go to work. But I realize that because of this love I MUST work.

I'm also having a difficult time with our transition for Sophia's daycare next year. She will be going to full day preschool where my husband works because they offer full tuition remission for the first child. This will save us a lot of money. Emma will go to the daycare Sophia is currently attending. I have struggled with the fact that Sophia will be in her fourth care/learning environment in three years. That she will be with new kids again and leaving her old friends behind at the daycare. That she won't be with her little sister during the day. That her little sister will be dropped off first and I fear she will be like "hey, why am I not going with her?" Sophia LOVES Miss Jackie and Miss Ellen so much!

We have the summer ahead of us and my husband will be with the girls nearly everyday but come fall I'm just not ready for the changes. Everyone keeps telling me that it is good for Sophie to be so flexible and adaptable but I'm having problems with it.

Well I guess I better go stare at Emma for a bit before we have to get Sophia. I'll enjoy the heck out of these next few days.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

In the eyes of a toddler

There are a few things I'm not proud of as a parent. I realize now more than ever that our kids really are sponges. And while still a little humorous it's not really that cute out of the mouth of a three year old.

I swear. I've cleaned up my potty mouth a lot and try very hard not to let the s word or heaven forbid the f word come flying out of my mouth. But crap and dammit? Those are harder to hold back. Spill something? Crap. Forget something? Crap? Toddler driving you nuts-0 and do something she should be doing? Dammit!

And then said toddler drops her favorite toy or can't get her pants on and you hear in the cute little voice a crap or dammit? Well dam nit! She shouldn't be saying those words. Crap. Now I need to be more vigilant about what I'm saying.
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Last week my sweet little Sophie peed in the bushes. She came bounding into the house with my husband and our freshly grilled dinner and proudly stated "I peed in the bushes mama."

You did what?

I looked at the husband and inquired.

"Well I knew we wouldn't have made it to the bathroom in time. Don't you want your daughter to learn how to pee outside?"

Yes, but in the appropriate situation...like camping!

I hope this doesn't start a trend.
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And then there are moments that I'm not ashamed to admit.

Sophia is learning the art of sharing. She just needs a little better judgment. Last week while munching some Goldfish she realized Dolly's (the dog) bowl was empty. In went the Goldfish! About 1/2 a bag worth. I commended her for sharing but also explained that sharing her snack, and it such a large quantity, was actually wasteful because Dolly doesn't need to eat that kid of food.
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Sophia's language skills continue to astound me. Each passing week she seems be have become more articulate, better able to express whole sentences, and understand new concepts. Some of my favorite things she has been saying lately:

"I think that is a perfect idea." This has been uttered about getting dressed, having a snack, or other normal, mundane activities.

"I think so." Said when asked questions like "Would you like butter on your corn?" or "Did you wash your hands?"

"Orange is my favorite color! What is your favorite color mama?"