Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Week in the Life: Monday

Monday, April 23, 2012

My night of sleep is a blur, but I know I spent a good portion of it sitting up in bed, propped up by pillows, dozing on and off while nursing a baby. It is an understatement to say I am tired.

I do know that at 4:55 AM I wake up sweating, nauseous, and light-headed, with Louie asleep on my lap. I put him in his bassinet and lay down, feeling some relief to the dizziness, but he starts stirring almost immediately, then audibly poops and wakes up fully. I sit up feeling ready to cry, and beg Dan to change his diaper so I can go get a drink of water.

I literally feel like I’m about to either hurl, or pass out. It is a familiar feeling, but I can’t quite put my finger on it… hmmm… that’s it! I feel HUNGOVER! But I didn’t drink anything last night, of course, so what the hell? In the kitchen I chug my water and then start pounding strawberries down my throat. It makes me feel better. That was weird.

I go back to bed, nurse a freshly diapered Louie back to sleep, and drift off myself until Dan kisses me goodbye at 6:00. At 6:15 I hear Gus yelling for me on the monitor. Blergh. It’s my day off child! I quick jump out of bed to turn it off so he doesn’t wake up the baby, and head up there armed with his milk and climb into his bed. I tell him, “Mommy’s tired, let’s snuggle”, and he pretty much obliges for another 30 minutes or so, a few times when he starts to get restless I grab a book from the night stand and toss it at him. Finally he gets tired of lounging in bed and letting me doze, and climbs down, grabs a diaper, and tells me, “New diaper mommy, go downstairs.”


We have ECFE today at 9:00, so I can’t doddle too much. Less than two hours to accomplish breakfast for Gus, get in a pumping session and a nursing session, get both kids dressed, pack a bag for Louie at my mom’s, and get my own self presentable. Good times.

Needless to say, I was running around super stressed out at 8:45 trying to get everyone out of the house No matter how early I start, if there’s a specific time that I need to be somewhere, it always ends with frantic pacing of the house and yelling at the crazy excitable dog and pushing Gus out the door.

I don’t know how to fix this about myself.

I drop Louie off at my mom’s around 8:55 (thank goodness she lives about two minutes away from me) and drive another five minutes to the school. We end up arriving in the parking lot only a few minutes late, which is good for us, but per usual I never account for the extra time it takes to walk into the school. Gus walks soooooo slowly through the parking lot, and has to point out every stop sign on every bus.

Today he stops every few steps and says, “Huh?! Oh! I hear a train! Mommy! I hear a train!”

“Yes, I hear that train too, it’s far away, we can’t see it buddy. Keep walking, it’s time to go to school and see teacher Ann and all your friends.”

“Look, a stop sign! It’s a stop sign on the bus!”

“I see the stop signs, yes! Look at all the kids getting off the bus for school! Come on buddy, keep walking.”

“Oh! A train! I hear it!”

We have this same conversation about 12 times on our walk across the parking lot.

Finally we are in the building, free of motor vehicles, and I can let go of his hand. He knows exactly where to go and walks down the hall to the lockers. We used to put our jackets in the “W” locker, because it’s Gus’s favorite letter (who knows?), but over the last month or so it’s always full of someone else’s stuff! Frustrating! Gus picks “O” this time, and Eureka! The “O” locker is empty.

We wash and dry our hands and run into the classroom. We’re late, but not the latest, so that makes me feel good. The first fifteen minutes of class is just free play anyway, but still, I always feel guilty rushing Gus around and giving him less time with the toys before circle time.

Teacher Ann starts singing, “Come, come, come, together…” which means it’s circle time. Gus gets a carpet square from the basket and joins the circle that is forming and sits down.

Then he gets up to go get his favorite red car.

He brings it over to the circle and sits down again.

And then he gets up and runs around the room and sneaks back behind the teacher’s desk and starts messing with her computer.

I go get him and join the circle again, sitting him down on my lap.

And then he jumps up again and starts pushing this huge yellow bus all over the room while I try to quietly entice him back to the circle.

I am unsuccessful.

As the teacher slowly goes around passing out little stuffed frogs for a song about frogs to all the little boys sitting on their mommies’ laps waiting their turn, he takes it upon himself to jump back into the middle of the circle and snatch his own frog from her basket, inspect it, give it to me, then reach back in and try to take another one.

Circle time is over, THANK GOD. That means it’s time for me to go to another room with the other moms and sit and relax for the first time today. For a whole hour! It feels luxurious.

Today we talk about our children’s self-esteem. Interesting stuff for sure, I love this class, and love that the curriculum is based on positive-discipline methodology. I really believe in the theory behind it all, but sometimes it’s SO HARD to follow through with the techniques. On good days I am able to stop, think, and be mindful about how I’m parenting. It is much more difficult on the bad days.

After class, when I walk back into the children’s class room, all the kids are jumping around to music shaking little bells. Gus is sitting smiling on the teacher’s lap.

Teacher’s lap = Gus was pushing. UGH.

She lets him off her lap when she sees us walk in, and he starts jumping around to the music and running crazily in circles and accidentally sort of runs into this other kid, then comes to a stop, look at him, and just flat out shoves the kid to the ground.


I practically leaped through the air as this was all happening in front of my eyes.

After making sure the little boy was ok, I pull Gus aside and I talk to him about what happened, about the pushing, but as usual, it doesn’t feel like I’m getting through to him. Every time we think we’re through this stage, there it is again, making me feel like my kid is that kid. But I don’t mean that how it sounds. It’s not about me being embarrassed, that’s not even it. I could care less about what other parents think of me, I am more concerned about my kid (and of course the kids who feel the brunt of his pushing). I don’t want him to be dismissed as that kid. It breaks my heart to think of him that way, because he is so loving, and kind, and funny, and smart, and jubilant, and curious…

…and aggressive.

I wish I could know that I’m doing everything I can to help him get through whatever is going on with him, and help him get past this.

He apologizes to the little boy, who is whimpering and being held by his daddy, and they assure me its ok, it was an accident. I say no. I saw it happen and it wasn’t an accident, but still, we’re sorry.

I talk to his teachers and they tell me it was quite a day, and not just for Gus, he was just getting sort of crazy manic there at the end. She tells me the whole class was a little kooky today, even the kids who aren’t usually aggressive were aggressive, and they went to the motor room to try to get some of their energy out, and they just got even crazier there, feeding off of each other’s excitement.

This makes me feel a little better, but still, he was the one on the teacher’s lap at the end of class. He was the one who made another kid cry.

Moving on.

It’s 10:45. We head to my mom’s to pick up Louie, and he’s hungry when I arrive. So I feed him, or try to at least, he is too distracted to eat these days anytime we’re out of the house, it’s quite frustrating. I’m also discovering that he’s not the kind of kid who can just be nursed to be comforted, or put to sleep. If he’s tired, he’s tired, not hungry. And he gets pissed if I try to feed him. This is crazy to me. He is SUCH a different baby from Gus, who would have nursed all the live long day forever and ever amen.

Not complaining, just have to adjust my expectations, and techniques.

It is beautiful out, so we go to the park across the street with my mom, since there’s some time left before lunch/nap.  Well, barely. I always overestimate the amount of time I have and always end up rushing and stressing. (See also: this morning.)

We meet a nice mom with two sweet little girls, the younger being a little younger than Louie, and the older about a year older than Gus. Gus has a great time playing with his new little friend, and I push both of them on the swing while her mom nurses her sister and my mom entertains Louie.

We head home about 15 minutes later than we should, and I immediately put Louie down for a much needed nap and get going on Gus’s lunch. He’s super hungry at this point, demanding things, so I give him some fruit to tide him over, which means he ends up eating some celery and the fruit and not touching the PB&J sandwich I throw together. I sit next to him and eat celery and peanut butter directly out of the jar.

I am a class act.

My brother calls while I’m trying to get lunch on the table and stresses me out with questions about work and news that something I thought I had until Tuesday afternoon to accomplish needs to be done today at 3:00.

It is 12:30.

Nap time feels rushed because I know Gus is over-tired and now I know I have work I NEED to get done while the kids sleep and I am distraction-free. I am stressed out, this is the exact opposite of yesterday when it was my favorite time of the day. Louie wakes up while I’m lying with Gus, so I bring him up and try to nurse him in Gus’s bed. He’s refusing to nurse side-lying and is getting fussy. I can tell he’s still tired.

I tell Gus to stay in bed and go to sleep, I will be right back. I’m going to go put Louie in his bed.

I go downstairs and Louie refuses to nurse, and freaks out when I put him in his bed. I hope he can settle himself, and I head back upstairs to climb in bed with Gus (who is now lying on the floor reading a book).

Louie starts to get really worked up downstairs, so I tell Gus again that I’m going to go deal with Louie, and he just smiles at me and giggles and gets that wry look in his eye.

I go downstairs and calm him down, and put him in the swing. He’s not happy about that either.

I head back to Gus’s room and he’s now rolling around on the floor laughing and thinking he’s hilarious. I have to pick him up and put him in bed. He kicks around and acts really annoying. I know he’s tired, but I have definitely missed the window during which he will go down easily.

Louie is being crabby in the swing downstairs, but isn’t really crying, so I continue to lay with Gus, telling him to go to sleep.

“Louie’s crying mommy.”

“Put your head down and go to sleep!”

Finally, Louie stops fussing long enough for Gus to stop talking about him and I feel him get very still. He’s asleep. I climb out of bed, go downstairs, and retrieve the baby from the swing. I bring him into our room, nurse him, and he falls asleep.

I go out to my kitchen, it is a DISASTER.

It is 2:00. Nap time ended up being an hour and a half ordeal, and I have one hour to get my work done.

The network is crazy slow and what would have taken me 20 minutes at the office takes almost an hour. I get everything done for my 3:00 deadline by 2:59. Seriously.

At 3:00 I start cleaning up my disastrous home and prepping dinner. I whip up a pasta dish (chicken ravioli from Costco with marinara and sautéed peppers) that we can throw in the oven at dinnertime. This will make getting dinner on the table when the time comes so much less stressful. I’m always proud of myself when I think about dinner before 6:00, when we’re all falling apart from hunger.

I begrudgingly wake Gus up at 4:00, when Dan gets home, lest he be up until 10:00 PM tonight.

He wakes up super crabby and takes some time warming up to the fact that he is awake. Louie wakes up soon after and in the end both boys ended up taking really long, good naps, but I’m still feeling drained from all the effort it took to make it happen. (sigh)

The boys play while I sit on the couch and catch my breath. I hate having to do any work at all on my day off, it takes up the precious little time I have to get anything done at home, or to relax a little.

These adorable shoes for our toddler came in the mail today, but of course were too small. I hate kids shoes sizing, every damn shoe fits so differently! ARGH.

We also got about 7 kajillion catalogs today. We get so many catalogs, and it is not by choice. I try to unsubscribe but then they just keep on coming! Such a waste of trees, but good bathroom reading.

The pasta is baking and Dan is prepping a salad, but Gus is super hungry, so we play some Curious George games on in an effort to distract him. This is a special treat for Gus, we don’t give in to his requests for computer games very often because when we do, he becomes a greedy little mother demanding them all the time and throwing tantrums when we say no.

Dinner is delicious, but hectic because Louie wants to be held. That’s ok, we take turns eating and holding the baby. Gus gets up and down from the table over and over and over and drives me a little insane.

Playtime after dinner. Mostly flying and crashing airplanes all over the living room. 

Louie snuggles his bird on the couch.

I’ve been talking about wanting to get out and do a little shopping without Gus, so Dan suggests I take Louie and go, since the little guy is getting tired he’ll likely sleep in the Babyhawk while I browse.  

Great idea. Louie and I head to Marshall's and Target and it is lovely. I score a whole bunch of new clothes (hoping they’ll fit) and pick out some cute baby things for our new nephew. (The picture has my finger in it, oops.  I was embarrassed to be taking a self-photo in public and sort of panicked and ran.) 

Gus is in the bath when we get home and it’s definitely bedtime for Louie as well, so I get him in his pajamas.

Louie is trying so hard to roll over these days, but I’m okay with him not hitting this milestone quite yet as it may bring with it some new sleep challenges. Though the last week he has been sleeping just terribly, so really, what do we have to lose?

The biggest challenge is that I think he’s growing out of the co-sleeper crib, and it would be really hard to fit a pack and play in our bedroom. I don’t yet feel ready to deal with putting him upstairs in the bedroom next to Gus’s and dealing with the potential for the two of them waking each other up. I’m just not sure where to go from here.

Ahh well. A decision for another day.

Bedtime for the boys, and I spend the next hour or more doing the dishes we left from dinner, pulling together everything for the daycare bag, and freezing all the pumped breast milk in our refrigerator that I have not dealt with. After all that I have a light snack (a bowl of applesauce, I am craving something sweet), watch a little TV, take a shower, and head to bed around 10:30 when I hear Louie starting to wake up, ready for another crappy night of sleep.

And that’s Monday. The end.


Berbs33 said...

I think I will be using a PTO day tomorrow to recover from reading that! Oh man, you are one busy woman and I honestly don't know how you do it! Love these posts and I think I might just have to do one sometime soon (although I spend 8 hours at my desk and another hour driving to and from work so mine will be far less interesting)!!

Erin said...

I love reading these - glad you are doing a whole week - so interesting to read the differences between weekends, weekdays at home and work days. I'm shaking in my boots thinking about going back to work and dealing with getting 2 ready for daycare (thankfully Ben will be handling that for the most part, although obviously I'll be nursing Luke before leaving) and mostly picking them both up and starting dinner. Thinking that's when our freezer meals will be used quite often!!

Your description of nursing Louie without pumping is exactly what I was hoping to avoid this time around but I think I'm setting myself up for the same situation as you once I go back to work since I know I'll pump more than Luke eats... ugh. Oh well, I guess it's not a huge deal but still annoying to have to pump every day!

val said...

What a great post.


I feel like I was there, and my heart was right with you at preschool when he pushed that kid.

Who cares what anyone thinks about me (or you), but how can we help him figure this out?

It's so completely baffling.

We love him entirely, and don't get it.

Kids grow up, and we should probably fall on our knees in thanks to heaven that he merely pushes children and does not bite them.

Biting is so much worse. My sister worked in a toddler daycare just out of college with her social work degree and she dealt with biters.

Any stress in the room? Biting.

Any hyper kids? Biting.

One kid got bit in the FACE and she had to call his parents and present this child at the end of the day with the big bruise.

And the parents of the biter were mortified, and somewhat angry at the daycare for not preventing it.

(Obviously they've never attempted to supervise toddlers.)

love you all so, Val

Heather said...

Hearing about how much you enjoy the 'parent side' of your ECFE really makes me want to sign us up for one. What age did you start with Gus?

AliRose said...

Heather, ECFE has been really great, i'd highly recommend it. Gus and I have been going since he was a tiny baby, 5 weeks or so. At Tory's age they don't usually "formally" separate the kids and parents, theres more time with mom and baby and then during the last 30 of class moms sit in a circle and do parent discussion while two teachers supervise the babies nearby. Really love it and its been nice to meet other moms that way.

Amy said...

That ECFE class sounds so interesting. And how funny that he has a favourite letter! Children are all kinds of random sometimes, aren't they?