Monday, March 15, 2010


A friend recently asked what was so hard about having a newborn. She wanted a detailed specific answer. Unfortunately twitter only lets you use 140 characters. I've been thinking about it ever since. 

The quickest obvious answer is the sleep deprivation. 

But that's not it.

There's crying. Explosive poop. Constant feeding. 

But that's not it.

I kept thinking of my own recent experience and what was hard was trying to meet her demands while also taking care  of two other children. I had to think way back, 5 1/2 years back, to when SkyWalker was a newborn to realize what was really so hard about newborns. 

All the self-doubt. The second-guessing. The not knowing if I was making the right decisions or not. The floundering without a plan. Am I feeding enough or too much? Should I wake him or let him sleep? Is this poop normal? 

I think that's why I was so attracted to The Baby Whisperer. It gave me the plan. The framework I could use to better understand him and know what he wanted. And when things started to fall into place it gave me the confidence to continue. When the Princess was a newborn it was hard juggling two kids and we didn't really do all that much. I was a new SAHM (and I stayed at home), so I was adjusting to being home with my son, having a new baby, and my best friend moving a million miles away. But I was somewhat confident in myself by then (with her, not so much with SkyWalker). With Chewie I knew what I had to do I just couldn't necessarily do it because I had two older children who needed to leave the house and be entertained. Or needed to be taken care of. It was frustrating. Annoying. And yes, it was hard. But not in the same way. If I had other people to entertain my kids (which I sometimes did) the newborn was "easy." 

I'm not saying that your 3rd or 4th newborn experience is a piece of cake, but I knew she would sleep, I knew I could breastfeed, I knew poop came in all different shapes, sizes & colors. I had faith in my skills. And that makes a world of difference. Even when Chewie was napping for only 45 minutes I knew the likely reasons (overtired, undertired, or hungry) and just had to tweak things to fix it. Sometimes tweaking wasn't always possible because of the other two, so we just dealt with it the best we could.

Once you have faith and confidence in yourself, all of the newborn stress and problems are just inconveniences. I'll take newborns over big kids and their crazy half-logical thinking anyday!

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Running... and no one is chasing me

I set out on Monday to make this week my bitch (really, it was my facebook status) and I think I did okay. It's amazing how perception and perspective and some other per word really affects our day to day lives. My children didn't act any differently this week than they have in the past. We had some good napping days and some bad ones. Had some fun & some tantrums. But because I got up when I wanted to all week long (for the most part) and because I changed my reactions, everything was okay. I changed. Not them. I set small goals for myself and I completed them. And because I wasn't stressed out about trying to do more I wasn't snapping at anyone and they weren't picking up on my stress and reacting to it. Sure, my house is a mess, but who cares? I think that I need to focus on things that I can actually DO and get DONE. The Princess and I made a magazine holder out of an old cereal box today. It was a nice little project and now it's DONE. (Sure, I'll make more, but that one is done.) There is no point in me cleaning the back glass door when I have 3 kids and 2 dogs. It will never be done. I will always have to do it again and again and again (insert cleaning toilets, scrubbing cabinets, etc.). I would rather do the things that I can finish and then leave other stuff for when we're having company. I said on twitter once that when I started to feel like I wasn't has-it-together-girl that I was going to just change my definition of together. I think that's really been the key this week. I'm not going to get EVERYTHING done. I'll get the important stuff done and anything else is just extra. 

One of the things I did do this week was get on the treadmill. I've been using it but not as regularly as I should have. This week because of my change in the napping department & my more relaxed attitude I was actually able to use it 3 days. On Monday I walked for 20 minutes and ran for 5. On Wednesday I walked for 20 minutes and ran for 10 (walk, run, walk, run. Not consecutive.). Today, Friday, I walked for 20 minutes and ran for 15! For those that are scoffing, remember that A) I have 3 kids so getting 35 minutes on a treadmill is amazing and B) I failed gym class in high school. And I am now RUNNING. On a treadmill. 

A bunch of my mom friends are all training to run one of the local 5ks in June. They're being led by one of friends who is an amazing runner. I can't do it. Partly because I know I'm not going to get the time on the weekends to really train with them, partly because I can't run the race anyway (it's June 5, and I will either be at the Belmont with my father or at home with a visiting Shinesalot ), and partly because I am doing so well with everything that if I failed at this and embarrassed myself it would really set me back. But here's the thing. This friend, this capital R Runner, makes me WANT to run. She loves it so much and is just so inspiring that I find myself really wanting to do it. Go back to that last paragraph. I FAILED GYM CLASS. And this friend has me wanting to run! So, even though I am not really a part of the group, I am using them as inspiration and I am thinking of them as I spur myself on through each minute and I like to think I'm running with them in spirit.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Two days? In a row?

That's not possible. We've had two really good days in a row. Shocking. Today was a stay home day, which can always go either way. Either I get a lot done, but the kids are whiny, or the kids are fine but I get nothing done. I think the difference today is that I've stopped trying to get A LOT done. Yesterday my goal was to get on the treadmill and I made it happen. Today my goal was to write an article. Since we were home I was able to get Chewie down for a morning nap. And because she woke up at 6:30 (she cooed in her crib for an hour until I got her at 7:30) she went down for that nap pretty easily. The Princess played with her lego people and entertained herself and I actually got an article written before 11 am! Madness! I played a game with the Princess, fed Chewie, we all had lunch, and then because I had gotten my one goal done, instead of putting the girls upstairs immediately after lunch so I could run around like a maniac, I took them outside and we enjoyed some "warm" spring-like weather. When we got back inside I got them down for naps. I only had a little bit of time before I needed to get SkyWalker, but it was okay. And once again, the Princess fell asleep after SkyWalker got home. And stayed asleep until almost 5:30! SkyWalker and I did some work on my next preschool playdate and did his homework and it was a relaxing afternoon. 

I always have such long lists of things I need to get done. There are the daily things like laundry and dishes and cooking and feeding children. But then I have other things I'm always working on--preschool playdates and articles and special projects. I try to get everything done at once and then I wind up getting stressed out because I haven't written anything or I have a flannelboard to cut out. I think focusing on getting just one thing done a day and accepting that the girls are going to nap later so I'm going to have to find other time to get that one thing done, will really help me in getting more done. 

Right now my goal is watching Lost in 7 minutes.

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Monday, March 8, 2010


This was going to be a post about how hard it is to balance everything and how DGPMs* need time off too and when Dads disappear and nap while you're running around trying to cook and clean for THEM it's really annoying. 

But this turned out to be a really good day.**

I've been beating myself up about getting up at 6:30... today I bit the bullet and got up at 5:30. I showered. I had time to myself. When I got Chewie up at 7:30 I was relaxed and ready to face the day. We got to the library on time, saw great friends, the Princess left my lap and played. She cried leaving the library because we didn't get a new book, but I kept my cool and it was over before we left the parking lot. She cried when we got home because of something so ridiculous I can't even remember but once again I just ignored her and it stopped. Chewie went down for her nap later than I liked. The Princess was still awake and playing in their room but luckily Chewie slept. I brushed the dogs and paid attention to them and had no time at all to use the treadmill before I had to get SkyWalker off the bus. When we walked in the house the Princess was still awake and I thought I was screwed. But a miracle happened. SkyWalker and I went downstairs, I got on the treadmill, he got on the computer, and the girls both slept! I managed 25 minutes on the treadmill which was unbelievable. SkyWalker did tell me to "slow it up" because he couldn't hear Mr. Rogers on the computer very well. But it was almost surreal how things worked out. I was all done when Chewie woke up, the Princess slept a little longer so I was done feeding Chewie when she did wake up and didn't have to deal with her whining because I couldn't get her right away. We had a good dinner and bedtime and everything was okay. 

I'm always joking that the planets have to be aligned for things to work out but today I think I aligned them myself. I took everything in stride and just made what I had work. I've been trying to get the girls to nap before SkyWalker gets home and use the treadmill then, but it's not working anymore. But he seems to be much less needy now than he was when he first started school. He didn't need me to pay immediate attention to him. He had a snack and was fine using the computer while I was on the treadmill. I didn't have to worry about cutting it short because I had to race to get him off the bus. It was so much less stressful I was able to jog and just not worry.

I've been trying to squeeze too much into my nap times and then when I don't get a nap time I get nothing done and I get cranky. I really REALLY need to get up wicked early and start my day off with the right frame of mind and then use my nap times as a bonus. If I'm not worrying about what I'm going to do during nap time I won't feel so pressured to get the girls sleeping before SkyWalker gets home.  

And now, because I was up at 5:30 I am falling asleep at 9:30. PERFECT.

*What? You don't remember what DGPM is? You suck.
*Although it was a really good day in our universe, a friend had something really rotten happen today and as happy as I was with all of us, it was tinged with a sadness for her loss. It was a very very sad day for her.

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