Laundry Woes

Laundry.

Some loathe it. I never have. Until now.

Before Sweet Pea, Friday was laundry day. I would gather all our laundry from the week and keep the washer and dryer going and, most Fridays, I’d have all the laundry washed, folded and put away by the day’s end.

And then came Sweet Pea. Bless her little heart.

That child alone requires me to do laundry at least every other day!

But, since her birth this is what my laundry room looks like most of the time:

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I can get them washed and dried, but folded??

Ugh! It’s a never ending mountain of clothes it seems… that just end up on the laundry room floor!

I’d always heard, “Just wait till you have a kid!”, in reference to laundry woes. There really was no difference whatsoever when Little Bug came along.

I still was able to get the laundry done in one day once a week.

Not anymore!!

I have got to figure out a system! Suggestions??

My New “Normal”

I didn’t think two children ages two and under would be a piece of cake (which is why if I had had it my way, my children would be closer to 3-4 years apart!), so the challenges that have come my way really are no surprise.

But in these 2 months of being a mother to two, I have already learned many valuable lessons that I know I will take with me the rest of my life. And I am thankful for this, and as my wonderful husband reminds me all of the time, “This [Sweet Pea’s tummy troubles] will only get better!”. We often think about what life is going to be like with two little girls running around playing together. That time will be here before we know it…and this challenging season will be a distant memory.

Here is what I’ve learned (so far):

  • Choose to have a positive attitude. That goes a long way. I tell Little Bug to “Choose to be happy.” when she is being a crankypants for no apparent reason other than the fact that she is 2. I tell myself that too. Choosing a positive attitude changes everything. It makes my home a happy home despite the fact that it feels very circus-like right now. And, like it or not, since I am “wife/mom” my attitude on things plays a HUGE role in my entire family’s attitude. So, I might as well choose to laugh at the craziness instead of let it get me frustrated or upset! A laughing family is way better than an upset family!
  • Embrace today for what it is. I love what my brother posted as his Facebook status this week: It’s good to be content wherever you are, cause that’s where you’re always going to be. I choose to embrace my Circus Life, because it is life right now! There are no guarantees for tomorrow and yesterday is a done deal, sealed away in the memories. I want to make good memories with my girls from the very beginning – even in this survival mode phase, because…
  • The days are long but the years are short! Some days seem like they are actually a week long, but I know that I am going to one day very soon realize this phase has passed and a new phase will be upon me. My daughters won’t always be this young and I won’t always face these particular challenges that I face today with them. There will be new joys and new challenges. In the grand scheme of things, these days are just a short chapter in our story. Soon the chapter will be over and a new one will begin.
  • Make time with the Lord a daily priority. I put Little Bug in her room for Independent Playtime and then I come straight to my bedroom for my time with the Lord. I used to do my Quiet Time with the Lord whenever I felt like fitting it in. Sometimes it was during IP, sometimes during naptime and sometimes before going to bed and sometimes, I just didn’t get around to it. I have found I am a much better wife and mother when I make this time priority in the morning while Little Bug does IP. It sets my focus and perspective where it should be and it turns my heart to the Lord. The verse I kept repeating to myself during the 48 hours we waited for TPR to be signed after Sweet Pea’s birth was James 4:7-8, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.” By making my time with God priority every morning, I am submitting myself to God. This plan certainly isn’t fool proof because some mornings we get up and have to be out of the house early and on those mornings I don’t do my Quiet Time with God during IP and most days like that I am dragging by the days end and sometimes I am not a very nice person to be around! I have found making that time with God priority every day makes all the difference in the world in how I respond to the day’s challenges.
  • Choose contentment. Life is constantly changing. The season of life I am in now will not stick around forever. And as much as I despise the “newborn phase”, it is a very precious season when you factor out the challenging aspects of it. And, every season and phase of life has challenging aspects. Some seasons are a little more challenging than others, but there will always be challenges in life. Why else would God tell us in His word that “There will be troubles! But take heart! I have overcome the world.”? Choosing to be content through life just makes life that much sweeter. I choose to focus on the positive aspects of every season of my life, which makes the challenging aspects easier to manage. If there is some aspect of my life that I don’t particularly like now (i.e. a baby in pain and middle of night feedings!), I can rest assured, this season of life will eventually pass…and another challenge will be come my way so I might as well be choose to be happy where I am today!

One of my biggest struggles right now is not “having it all together”.

I am a very organized, orderly person. I’m a planner. And mistakes that are my fault and that involve my children don’t go over well with me. I give myself zero mercy.

The day I took Sweet Pea to the GI doctor I went off to the appointment and did not realize until we were already downtown and about to check in that I had gone off and left the bottle for her 11am feed in the fridge!

I was so mad at myself. How could I have gone off and left something so important??!

I know how. Getting a 2 year old and 8 week old ready to leave the house so I can drop the 2 year old off at Grandpa’s so that we can take the 8 week old to the doctor is no easy task! Even though I have things ready the night before, leaving the house with two is chaotic. I can’t imagine what it would be like if I didn’t do some preparations the night before. Impossible?!

I was too embarrassed to ask the nurse if they had any samples of formula there that I could give her so my mom asked and the nurse saved the day.

Um. I went off and left the house and now I am stuck downtown with no formula for my baby who will need to eat in 30 minutes. Yeah. I couldn’t quite make those words come out of my mouth.

I can’t keep up with everything right now. My house is not cleaned every week and the laundry is a constant battle that I never seem to win. There just isn’t time to get it all done because when I have a chance I either a) have a baby that just needs to be held because she is in pain or b) have a 2 year old that needs attention or c) I want to sit down and relax when I get half an hour to actually do so instead of clean a bathroom!

But, obviously, I choose to hold and comfort my baby and take a few moments for myself rather than have a spotless house. I quickly learned a spotless house is not important in this phase of my life. Life is dirty right now! It is full of dirty diapers and spit up.

I know that one day when Sweet Pea’s troubles subside, I’ll get a system back in place where I can accomplish all of this efficiently. And don’t try to tell me I won’t, because I will one day get back into my groove! But, not right now and maybe not until Sweet Pea is…a year?!

Fortunately, I have a very understanding husband who is not afraid to use the washing machine and I have a mother who comes over to help me with household chores so that I can somewhat keep up with things around here.

But…this is my new “normal” and I kinda like it.

Cause I choose to.

And it is good for my recovering perfectionist self, too.

contents of my head & heart

I have no idea where this post is headed. It is just the contents of my head and heart on this September morning…

It’s official. I dislike the “newborn phase”. I don’t know if it has to do with the fact that my newborns have been challenging and anything but “normal”, but I much prefer babies once they reach the age of crawling and scooting around. That is when the fog started to lift when Little Bug was a baby and I can remember telling myself before Sweet Pea’s birth that things would get easier once Sweet Pea hits 6 months.

I forced myself to enjoy Little Bug as a teeny tiny newborn and I am doing the same for Sweet Pea.

The lack of sleep really gets to me. I am like a baby myself because I require an unusual amount of sleep. My mother tells me I would come home from Kindergarten and take a nap every day. Kindergarten!! Most kids have long ago given up naptime by the time they go off to school. Not Miss Needs to Sleep A lot.

When Little Bug was a baby, we would wake up at 7ish for her to eat and then we would sleep the morning away together in my bed until she needed to eat again. I learned very quickly you don’t have that luxury with the second child! And I thought I was "sleep deprived”. Ha! I am so funny.

It seems like since we started down this road of infertility four years ago (it is crazy to me that four years have passed since those days) that life has been nothing but challenges for me with some being bigger than others but challenges for me, nonetheless.

Infertility and the failed IUI and IVF cycles…then Tracy drama as we waited for Little Bug’s birth…then Little Bug’s withdrawals and first time mom challenges…then, just when life seemed to be settling, Tracy winds up pregnant again and there we went with 6 more weeks of Tracy drama…then we uncover Tracy’s deceit and go on our merry way thinking we will begin adoption #2 after Little Bug turns two…God had other plans and before Little Bug turned two we were matched again…and now we are dealing with the tummy saga.

It has been a very blessed road, but a challenging road all the same.

I am ready to enjoy life with no challenges, no situations in life where God is trying to grow me and teach me more about Him!

I know. Welcome to real life, where challenges are just a part of living.

I guess when we started to try and have a family that is when I lost my carefree, innocent existence and I started to learn about life in the big city where everything isn’t all peaches and cream and bad things happen to good people all the time.

Little did I know infertility was just the first of a string of challenges headed my way.

As I look back on the past four years, I see God’s hand on it all. Each challenge was placed in my life for a specific purpose. Each challenge has grown my faith and strengthened my trust in my Heavenly Father.

Trials and challenges in life are really a blessing.

I am one very blessed woman.

To think four years ago I had just gotten my very first negative pregnancy test on September 20, 2007. There was so much hope, even though even then I had my suspicions that it might take a while. I had just taken the first step of my journey through infertility, although, at the time, I did not realize where I was and where I was headed.

It didn’t take me long to figure things out. By Christmas I knew something was up and just after the new year we started seeking medical help.

And now, four years later, I am the mother to two little girls and infertility is a season passed.

I can remember thinking as I walked that road that I would never be freed from the pain and sorrow. I could not see an end.

There was definitely an end. I cannot pin point a certain day that I stepped off that road, but I have.

One of the greatest blessings of my life is that I grew up dreaming of pregnancy and I have never experienced any of that and yet I am totally okay. There is nothing in me that desires to seek a pregnancy.

I am a mother. All along, that was really the cry of my heart. I just wanted to be a mother.

I’m a mother alright! My two little girls keep me hopping all day long! They are, in fact, quite challenging right now, but we are making memories and I know, one day (probably sooner than I think) I will look back on these first few months as a mother of two and laugh at the craziness of it all.

I never would have chosen to have my children two years apart, but I have learned full well in the past four years that God’s plan is always perfect and always best.

He has things to teach me during this challenging time of caring for a baby dealing with drug withdrawals and her very active 2 year old sister!

I don’t want a peaches and cream life because 1) I hate fruit and 2) it is during the challenging times of life when God teaches us the most and grows and strengthens our faith in Him.

I want to keep learning.

Stay tuned for Q&A #3 coming later today.

No sleep for no reason

Last night was interesting.

Dave does the 11pm feed, gets Sweet Pea settled (which means holding her upright until her tummy is calm and she can be laid down) and then they both come to our bedroom where I have already gone to bed.

Last night, I heard Sweet Pea at 2:30am. She let out a “I’m hungry, feed me NOW” cry and then, like a switch, she was completely quiet.

But then, of course, I am left WIDE AWAKE anticipating her to wake up for real at any moment.

I doze off and hear another “I’m hungry, feed me NOW” cry. I look at the time. It is 3:30. And, just like an hour before, the frantic 2-second plea for food is turned off like a switch…again.

And again there I am awake with a sleeping baby.

See, my problem is that I don’t just go back to sleep easily. I lay there in anticipation of her cry and before I know it another HOUR has gone by!

This time I decided I was feeding her whether she kept crying or not.

It was close to 5am. She hadn’t eaten since 11:30ish. I figured she would be starving.

Oh no.

I get up and make a bottle while she is frantically crying in the bedroom. I give her the bottle expecting her to suck like there is no tomorrow, but she just sips here and there and falls asleep.

Seriously?!

I passed the paton to Daddy because by this time, I was tired and frustrated.

Not a good combination!

Dave got her to eat about 3 ounces but he basically had to force her to eat.

I kept Little Bug in our bedroom for way longer than was necessary before moving her to her own bedroom in her crib.

She was 4 months old!

Once she was out of our bedroom, we ALL slept better!

Sweet Pea is five WEEKS old and I am ready to give her the boot. She is such a noisy sleeper and every.single.sound. she makes while sleeping wakes me up.

But the problem is that I feel she is still too little to be in her bedroom by herself, especially with her tummy troubles. If she spits up through her nose in the night, I need to be able to hear her.

On the other hand, a repeat of last night is not going to cut it. I need more than three hours of sleep a night to function properly!

Tomorrow is Day 1 of SAHMto2. I’m starting off easy, though.

Tuesdays we usually go to my parents around lunchtime so we will go there tomorrow. So if I can manage to get both girls fed, dressed and myself fed and dressed and out the door, it will be an accomplished day.

Wednesday will be interesting as it will be just me and the girls all day long!

I have several slings on hand that people have given/lent to me. I have a feeling Wednesday a sling will become a permanent part of my wardrobe from now until Sweet Pea’s tummy problems are resolved.

If you don’t hear from me after Wednesday, call in the troops. Smile