Friday, June 6, 2014

Last Day of School and Mommy Guilt

Today was Annabeth’s last day of Kindergarten.  As I look back on this past year, I can’t believe how much she has grown up.  When we dropped her off on that first day, we walked her all the way inside her classroom and left feeling so worried that she would feel alone or afraid.  Today when I dropped her off, she didn’t even need me to walk her all the way to the building.  Last night, after the girls were all in bed, I had a chance to flip through her school journal.  Therein lies the highlights from the past year documented in her own sweet handwriting. Phrases like:  “I’m going to visit Grandma tomorrow!” “I have a wiggly tooth!”  “The tooth fairy left me 2 dollars!” “Tomorrow I turn 6 years old!”  “I am going to have another baby sister!”  “Yesterday, I held my baby Scarlett for the first time!” I remember being so proud that I hadn’t cried on her first day of school, but as I flipped through the pages I couldn’t hold back the tears.  My baby is a “big kid” now.  And I notice that on nearly every other page, she has written something about me.  “I love Mommy!”  “Mommy is the best!”  “My mommy is so ‘beaudiful’!”  What did I ever do to deserve such a great kid??

Ever since Scarlett arrived, I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t been the best mom to my girls.  I am super irritable and easily annoyed by every little thing they do.  In fact, I started googling “postpartum anger” to see if that was an actual thing. In hindsight, I suspect it has something to do with the fact that I wasn’t sleeping much.  Whether it’s due to lack of sleep or crazy hormones, I can’t help feeling angry when Annabeth wants to kiss the baby after I’ve worked tirelessly to get her to sleep, angry at Camilla for intentionally accidentally whacking her on the head, angry at the baby for crying hours on end, and angry at Brent for getting home late from work. I’m angry that I can’t do the things that need to get done around the house.  Angry that my body isn’t what it used to be, and angrier that I have zero time to work out these days. Angry when my 3 year old throws herself against me and whines for things as I try to nurse the baby. Angry that baby refuses to take a pacifier.  Why??!  To sum it all up, I feel like I’ve been really pissed off for the past 2 months.

For one thing, I feel like the walls of our small house are not big enough to contain all of their endless toys.  I clean up all day long and they seem to follow right behind me dragging out more of their crap.   Most days feel like an endless, monotonous cycle of cleaning, changing diapers, feeding everyone, cleaning, repeat, etc.   Add to that the fact that I feel like a cow leaking milk all the time, and my breasts which are always in the worst kind of pain are the EXACT spot where they like to run into me. Oh – and I sweat like a pig (thank you post-pregnancy hormones!). Then at the end of the day, when they are all in bed – it hits me… the guilt.  Why didn’t I play that silly game that Annabeth wanted me to play?  I should have spent more time with Camilla instead of worrying about cleaning the house.  I didn’t enjoy snuggling Scarlett enough and couldn’t wait to put her down for bed. She will only be this little once! I feel I have wasted the day being mad at everyone, even the dog – ESPECIALLY the dog (but that’s another story).  I am the worst mom in the world! 

And so, it feels bitter sweet to read all the wonderful things my 6 year old has written about me while she was at school because I feel completely undeserving and inadequate.  But that’s the great thing about kids.  They love you no matter what.  They forget that you yelled at them yesterday or that they spent most of the day in time out.  They forget how you had a meltdown on the middle of Target because they kept running away from you.  They forget that you threatened to throw away a beloved toy when they refused to go to bed.  They remember all the good things – that I read with them, that I took them to the park, that I let them have ice cream for dessert, that we go swimming almost every day, that I bought them a strawberry slushy.  And when they fall down, you’re still the first person they want to hold them and kiss the hurt away.  I hope that as the years go on, they will keep remembering the good things about mom.  Not that I was a total spaz for those few months after having a baby.  J I’ve often been told that having your third child is the roughest transition.  Since this is our third and last one, I will whole-heartedly agree with that!  I am so grateful for my sweet girls and for their easy willingness to forgive their stressed out mama!  Things are getting easier every day and I’m slowly regaining pieces of my sanity. Thank goodness for Tylenol and Dr. Pepper!  Not sure how I could have survived without them (and lots and lots of chocolate).

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Welcome Baby Scarlett

Soo...about 7 months ago, I meant to post that we are expecting!! Then in January, I meant to post that - surprise, it's another girl! Today, I finally decided that given the choice between sleeping or updating the blog, I would do the latter.  There is a pile of dishes in my sink, a tower of laundry to be folded, and 3 little girls to entertain, but I am doing it!  Go me!! 
Little Scarlett Rose came on March 27th and weighed in at 7 lbs and 19 inches long.  She is a doll, but a real fusser.  I can't do ANTYTHING without holding her or wearing her in the sling. I remember when Annabeth was born, I seemed to have loads of time to upload pictures of her and document every developmental milestone.  Poor Camilla and Scarlett! I hope they will know that I love them just as much!  We are drowning in little girls over here, just trying to keep our heads above water!
Here are a few pictures from the last few weeks.  Don't expect any labels!  :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First Day of Kindergarten!

Last Monday, we took Annabeth to school for her first day of Kindergarten.  As someone who has always had a tough time with change, I really thought I would cry.  But when the big day came, I actually held myself together pretty well.  Brent, on the other hand, had a really rough time with it.  I have to say, my husband is pretty much the sweetest dad in the whole world (with the exception of my own Dad).  He told me how much he was going to miss our lazy mornings together with her, how this was the first step to her leaving us, and how bitter sweet it is to watch her grow from a toddler into a "real kid".  He wants to be the one to walk her to school in the mornings which is just fine with me.  He usually doesn't see them very many nights out of the week because of work, so mornings have always been precious time with his girls.

When we dropped her off the first day, my only fear was that she wouldn't make a friend.  I never had a lot of friends at school, and I just couldn't stand the thought of her eating lunch alone or not having anyone to play with at recess.  Fortunately, she is doing just fine in the friend department and seems to really be enjoying school so far. :)  Even though part of me is sad to not have her at home with me, I know that she is so ready for this.  I can't wait for her teachers to discover how amazing and smart this kid is! Blow them all away, Annabeth!

Summer Photos

We had a great summer this year.  We went to Orange Beach with Brent's family in July.  The girls had a blast with all of their cousins at the beach.
Big Daddy and Gigi with Rylan, Eden, Ava, Camilla, and Annabeth

We tried desperately to get family photos taken on the beach, but the girls refused to cooperate. 

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Big Daddy and Gigi with most of their grandchildren.  We had NINE children there all under the age of 6.  It was a zoo, but the kids had so much fun with each other.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

One of the girls' favorite pastimes is finding roly polys in the dirt.  They build little houses for them with their blocks and send them tumbling down slides.  The poor things don't last that long as Camilla usually pokes them too hard and brings them to me saying "It broke." When I took this picture, they had just gotten lucky and found a ladybug.  I love how excited they get about simple things like that.

Every time they say something funny, I tell myself I need to write it down but never do.  Camilla talks ALL the time about pretty much anything and everything.  She knows lots of animals and we are working on  colors.  Here are a few phrases Camilla loves to say:

1.  "What's that sound?"  - Any time she hears a loud noise
2.  "Whatcha doin?"
3.  "Dat's a BIG TRUCK!"  - hilarious because she says it in such a low voice (sounds like Fox :)
3.  "I can't reach!" - we hear this a lot
4. "MINE" - our least favorite
5.  "Where Annabeth?"  any time she realizes that Annabeth is at school.  She loves her sister :)
6.  "Tickle me, Daddy!"
7. "Scratch my back!"  - she loves getting her back scratched before bed and is very demanding about it.

There are a hundred more of these that I can't remember right now.  She is such a little ham, always making us laugh.  Annabeth started telling knock knock jokes (not my favorite thing) and Camilla has picked up on it and tells her own!  Funny girl.  She's such a tom boy and would be content to live in the backyard naked, playing in mud and eating the dirt.  Seriously though, she really does like to eat dirt.

Annabeth has been having lots of fun taking gymnastics classes. She also loves to sit at the piano and pick out melodies that she knows.  We started piano lessons and she is doing really well with her sticker chart!  She also just started swimming lessons and has finally started putting her head under the water.  She has come such a long way and LOVES going to the pool.  We have also been working on her reading skills.  She is doing awesome and can read the lowest level books at the library - with a little help from us.  She is really excited to start Kindergarten and talks about her "new school" every time we drive by it.

As for Brent and I, we are doing great.  Work, church, and family are keeping us pretty busy these days.  I feel like such a bum-of-a-mom because I usually sleep on the couch while the girls watch their cartoons in the morning, but I can't help feeling tired all the time.  I really thought we'd all be sleeping through the night by now, but it seems someone is always up wanting water or having bad dreams.  Annabeth has recurring nightmares about bugs in her bed, and just last night Camilla woke up telling me there was a snake in her bed!  That one really did kind of freak me out, but it turned out to be just her vivid imagination at work.  I don't think we'll ever have a full night's sleep again.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Spring Photos

Lots has happened over the last couple of months, but I'm terrible about posting photos.  Here are a few from April and May.
We went to Annabeth's art show at school and watched her sing a few songs with her class.
Annabeth hunting Easter Eggs
Easter morning with the girls
Cute picture of Annabeth and Erin
Annabeth turned 5 years old last week! We had a cooking party with some of our friends and had a blast!  I can hardly believe she is getting so big.  Time flies!

Camilla's birthday was this week.  May is a crazy month for us since the girls are only a week apart.  We let her open her gift when she woke up in the morning.
She wasn't too thrilled about the candles on her cupcake and refused to blow them out.
This girl LOVES cupcakes. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Resolutions in April

I'm out of breath.  My heart is racing, sweat dripping from my forehead.  But I am delaying my shower because it is important to write down the way I feel RIGHT now, at THIS moment. Because if I don't, I'm afraid I'll forget how amazing I feel after working out. And I. feel. awesome.

When I'm running, I feel like I can do anything.  I'm a total rock star. Sometimes, I imagine that I'm outrunning a cheetah or a tornado, and I'm winning!  Other times, I imagine that someone tries to attack me while running, and I go all kung-fu on them and kick them so hard they don't have a clue what hit em. The cops come to the scene and congratulate me on my amazing ninja fighting skills.   I won't lie - when I'm listening to my workout music, I feel pretty dang bad-ass.  Especially when I'm jammin' to NSYNC or the Backstreet Boys.  Yea you read that right!  I work out to boy bands.  They make me feel good about myself.  Especially when One Direction calls me "baby" and tells me that I'm beautiful in my sweats.

Please don't think I'm kidding myself.  I am fully aware that I DO NOT look cool when I'm running...far from it.  In fact, I'm not even sure it counts as running.  To the teenage skateboarder that I passed tonight, I'm sure I looked to be near death - all bent over, holding my side, and gasping for air whilst still trying to hum the tune to "Raise Your Glass" with my my ear buds in.  I know I look ridiculous.....but I FEEL like a celebrity, and that's what's important.

I write this because tomorrow I will try to convince myself that today was a fluke, a mistake, a habit I knew I could never continue. When I eat that 2nd piece of chocolate cake that is sitting my refrigerator, I'll tell myself that it is pointless to go for a jog because I'd have to run to Oklahoma just to burn off a single piece.  And when I go a few days without working out, I'll try to convince myself that I was never really good at it, that it was never an attainable goal, that I was foolish to think I could keep up the act, that I was only pretending to be something I never was.

But that is total crap!  A few months ago, I gave up Facebook - something I thought I could never do because it was freaking hard.  And at first, it was.  But then, little by little, it got easier.  And each day that passed by without checking my newsfeed was one more small victory for me until eventually, I stopped thinking about it almost entirely.  I learned that I CAN DO HARD THINGS!  So here's to New Year's resolutions in April.  I vow to work out 3 times a week from this day forth.  Because, despite all the lies I will tell myself tomorrow,  I really do actually enjoy it.  And because it makes me feel good about myself, and because I want to be a healthy mom for my girls.  And because I need as many extra endorphins as I can rack up to help me stay happy for them throughout the day. :)  And of course, because I want to look hot in my swimsuit when June rolls around.

Writing this down makes me accountable.  No more excuses.  No more blaming others for my failure to act.  From now on, only action!  Here goes!

P.S.  What's your favorite song to work out to?  I'm taking suggestions!