Life Lately, Vol. 2

Hi. It's quiet around here, no? I suppose that is completely expected during this head-spinning-adjustment of being a working mom to three. But blog, I just can't quit you and feel the need to bookmark life's happenings lately. It's like I can hear these days whoosh past me in a giant blur of highs and lows and emotions. This whoosh always makes me want to stop, breathe, and type it all out a bit--even if blogs are 'out' and I've barely made time to read one myself. I still feel pulled to make the time for these updates. Not 'find' the time but make it. Right?

Things are good, kids are good, Nate is good, work is good, life is good. It's just a freaking roller coaster and that feeling of being TOTALLY FRAZZLED is currently a 7 out of a possible 10. Yes, I'm plastering a number to make my overwhelmed-ness objective. You'd expect this of me, I hope. Yesterday I was rocking a 2/10 with self-professed frazzlement because it was a great day at home, kick-butt productivity with my To Do list, especially happy children, and extra fun times as a mom were had. I mean, Porter laughed for the first time and I almost died from the cute and almost cried from how amazing that sound was to my ears. Emotions. Not short on those around here lately. Also, Truman took a nap on the couch after his first field trip at school, and I cannot remember the last time he napped. Not only that, but he happened to snooze at the exact same time as his younger siblings. Triple nap for the win, because that hour in itself was enough to stamp yesterday as a major success.

Seriously? We made these kids? How are we so lucky? Triple smiles. OMG.
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Also, if baby flannel is wrong then I don't want to be right.
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So anyway, today is less of a 'I can conquer the world as a mom' feeling and more of a 'holy man, I cannot possibly stretch myself any thinner. Gumby doesn't have anything on me.' And stuff. Defeated mommy rears her ugly head.

Sleep (or lack thereof) and also Nursing (or lack thereof) are the main sources of my 'on the brink of disaster' feelings. Let's discuss. SLEEP: The other night, I decided to try a dream feed for Porter with a big bottle of milk right before I went to bed. I mean, waking up 3+ times per night is becoming torture, although not a shock seeing as how I just really don't breed good sleepers. The first night it worked great, as he made it from bedtime at 7:30 (nursing down), bottle at 10:30, and then didn't peep until 2:45am when I nursed him (and again at 5:00). Two wake ups = good night by my standards. And a 7 hour stretch is ideal.

Last night I gave him the bottle at bedtime because he was NOT having the boob, so then I pumped and went to bed without a dream feed. He woke at 11:30, just an hour after I laid my bagged eyes to rest. I nursed him then and also every 1.5 hours there after (ugggggghhhhh) until he fa-REAKED at 4 am and I gave him a bottle. I slept on the couch from 5-6:30 because Nate was snoring and it was just a rough night of (pathetic) sleep. And then it was a work day and pretending to be professional running on a few hours of very broken sleep is a game I will surely lose soon.

Little sleep and dwindling nursing are a potent combination, guys. A combination that can send me straight to the depths of 'what am I doing wrong? You must hate me, children.' Followed up by 'whatever, I'm just rolling with it. Look at me being all zen and non-control-y.' Because Porter is seriously the best thing ever, and I refuse to let this nursing drama/lack of sleep tarnish my time with this quickly growing babe. MY LAST BABE. Sob.

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(how can anything in life be bad when he is so cute?)
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We are doing bottles during the day to solidify a routine of sorts and take some of the weight of the unknown off my shoulders. I pump when I can, even on days at home, and usually end up a cow hooked up to my udder sucker 3-4 times every day. It feels like 40 times per day, for real, because every time I'm pumping I have three children that need all of my arms plus an additional appendage I have yet to grow. It's a lot but whatever, I can be stubborn enough to do it. Plus, I gave Porter his first formula bottle at home yesterday, although I'm still *mostly* keeping up with his intake pumping. The world did not end. Go figure.

(New bottle and pumping gear to make it more fun and less awful. Retail therapy DOES help, my friends)
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Wait. Are you counting the 'firsts' in this post so far? First triple nap, first laugh, first formula bottle I've ever mixed. Big timers! {Pausing to re-fill my wine glass here}

I'm like an exclusive pumper who still nurses before bed (most of the time), during the middle of the night (begrudgingly), and first thing in the morning. The LC had the fab idea of making 'pajama time' nursing time, since he does nurse the best when sleepy. But otherwise, it's his beloved bottle. And this set up is really working well for us since we both seem to crave routine and less wavering about whether or not to attempt nursing and have him freak. I honestly do feel at peace with nursing him just at night and doing bottles otherwise. It doesn't have to be all or none and hopefully he WILL continue to nurse a bit for me but if not, I just want him fed and happy. And to have no regrets but that may be asking too much from this crazy time of life. I want our breastfeeding journey to be a positive one and somehow end on a high note, without either of us crying. Crystal ball anyone?

Other updates not related to the boob or zzzzzzs: Cecelia seems to be leveling out her intense emotional peaks and valleys. She still neeeeeeeds me quite often but she is also showing signs of becoming a comedienne and has us rolling on the floor in laughter. She's just a goober and might be growing up a bit, which is alright if it means she's not trying to kill us with her meltdowns. Love my entertaining girl so much. Even when she is the queen of pout.

(This was during her re-telling of her day at Lori's, when she was only allowed one cup of juice. Was very distraught, obviously).
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New sweater leggings on her rival my love for Porter in flannel, FYI.
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Germ sharing...
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(I'm not sure…)
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(little princess balancing on daddy's hands)
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Truman is also rocking school's face off. We had our first parent teacher conference weeks ago and it was a pride-filled meeting while we discussed our rule-following, people-pleasing first born. The teacher said he is a joy to have in class and he's her big helper, her example of good behavior, and her great listener. I mean, come on----can parents bust open from being proud?

(his teacher emailed me this picture of Truman and his 'mat man.' Talk about pride---look at his face!)
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(napping mid-cookie takes talent)
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Work days are actually falling into more of a routine and are less jarring to the delicate balance of life with three kids. It's a given that work day mornings are n-u-t-s and work day evenings are r-i-d-i-c because we are all exhausted and ready for bed by 6pm. But it's getting better. And work itself is still enjoyable and rewarding and a place where I can actually be on top of my organizational game a bit. Nothing like bossing around helping my patients to make me feel like I'm making a difference in the the lives of others.

It's especially nice to hear positive affirmations that I'm doing a good job with my PT role, because the mom role is severely under appreciated as we all know. It's not like my children look me in my eyes and thank me for wiping their butts, making them food they will likely refuse to eat anyway, helping them sort out their feelings, exposing them to super-fun activities with friends, etc. Now more than ever, being a mom feels especially thankless but it feels like the best job in the world, too. Such a paradox and worth it, times a million. I think having three children and working outside of the home three days per week has simply amplified my over thinking about both roles.

What else? Nate will be traveling all weekend and into next week, but my mom and Memaw will be coming for a visit. PERFEC TIMING, ladies. ;) Seriously cannot wait. The kids, and especially that little Porter P, are changing at record speeds so the monthly visits from The Ladies are a must.

OH, and remember Henry? He was once the sole focus of blog fodder and of our lives. The old mutt turned nine last weekend. We still love him lots even when he's acting a fool (like the rest of our crew).
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To end this randomness, I will summarize in saying this: I'm stretched thin but I'm soaking in the beauty in being so incredibly needed by various aspects of my life. We are juggling. We are surviving and even enjoying the chaos in the process. I'm a giant cliche right now but I truly would not trade this time in my life for another….unless it somehow included more sleep and less of the 7/10 frazzlement rating I feel buzzing behind my eyes. Or maybe that's just my beloved coffee with the buzz. Either way, I'll take it!

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  1. Yay, glad a mom-visit is happening soon!! Hope Porter decides to sleep soon, that will likely bring you down to a 5/10 regularly on work days, hopefully at least.

  2. So appreciate these honest posts from you!!! Your kids are adorable - and I don't know how you do it with 3 because I'm navigating working mom with 2 that are 2 yo and under and it's CRAZY!

  3. Gotta love those rule-following, people-pleasing first borns!!! Ours is exactly like that too. We keep joking about how much difference conferences and such will be when Jake is in school; not bad, just more of the..... well, he's very entertaining, haha :) The one thing I am not looking forward to with three kids is the transition on work days. I already feel stretched so thin with just two, I don't know how to bend myself anymore with three, especially on the nights when Andy works late and I'm responsible for nursing, dinner, bed, homework, etc. Ugh! Obviously, it will work and I'll be blessed to have three, but it's a little scary!

    Regarding the nursing, first off - I feel for you! You are doing an awesome job. I remember the pumping, bottles, nursing, pumping fiasco with my first... but that was my FIRST - I didn't have to worry about other children running around. I can't imagine doing it with two others underfoot. I do have possible one suggestion though - not sure if this will work or if you really want another suggestion, because I don't want you to feel like there's yet another thing you have to do. But, I just feel your pain through the words in your post about how much you want nursing to work, so I thought I would offer, hope you don't mind. Have you thought about using an at-breast supplementer? I know they are typically for people with low supply or even people trying just to have a nursing relationship if they adopted or something... but, what I'm thinking is the flow is a little more consistent (not as heavy as a bottle, but maintains consistency throughout whereas nursing slows down after that initial let down). Maybe Porter would be happy with that and you could continue nursing and then slowly wean him off the supplement. I realize you would still have to pump some, but maybe it would be less because he would be draining you more at each session which would keep your supply up and keep him nursing. Again, I'm not sure if this would work, but I thought it might be another little "tip" similar to the nursing while he's sleepy. Either way, good luck and you're doing an awesome job! He is one cute baby!

  4. SUCH a frizzily time! The frazzeliest, I dare say. It only goes up from her, girlfriend ;) Good for you for managing to pick out and focus on all the great stuff too though, especially while battling the anti-boob, anti-sleeping baby. I've been reading about so many 2nd and 3rd time moms lately whose babies are giving them trouble with nursing even after they've successfully nursed their previous children. Makes me nervous for #4 - easy breast-feeding was definitely something I took for granted and I pray this one doesn't give me grief with it! Just add it to the list of worries, ha!
    A little side note about the under appreciated role of mom... my husband always makes a big fuss at dinner thanking me for cooking and saying how good it is, which I had all but rolled my eyes at and totally ignored after years of hearing (he says it even when my dinners are a total fail), but my kids totally picked up on it and now every night at dinner time, even when he isn't home, my girls always say, "Thank you so much for making this wonderful dinner, Mama!" Many (many many!) times they still don't eat any of it, ha, but it always warms my heart that they think to appreciate my work for them. Even if they are just being polite :) Maybe tell Nate to start laying it on thick and the kids will pick up on it ;)
    Enjoy this weekend with your Ladies in town - always the BEST!

  5. I love this post for SO many reasons. I think frazzled is the word of the season. It's just that time of year when we're pulled in a hundred directions with so many things going on. Add a new kid to the mix and a new schedule and it's pure chaos. Hopefully things will just continue to improve in the sleep department, which makes everything SO much more bearable. Sleep deprivation is the absolute WORST and makes everything 10 times harder. But I am so loving all your awesome photos of your three little amigos. They look like such a happy clan.

  6. Lordy, I know about how that frazzled feeling goes up and down and all over the place and usually corresponds so closely to sleep. Even when I "only" wake up 2-3 times (even if Lily only gets up once the chance of the other kids waking me for random reasons remains I'm sure you understand!) I find I have that can't-put-my-finger-on-it feeling of forgetting something or just being off. That's it. I just feel off a lot. Thankfully I know this will pass like it did before (even if I forget some days...)

    You are doing fabulously and thank you for keeping all of us blog readers posted :)


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