Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Aftermath

So I have been up since 5 :30 AM,drinking coffee, and watching Handy Manny with 2 children who are going to be so miserable by 10 AM that I am thinking about crawling back in bed and hiding.

My kids used to sleep until 7 AM, pretty much no matter what. Occasionally they were up earlier, or would even give me the gift of an extra 30 minutes, which upon discovering I would smile and then freak out that they must be dead since I actually got a good night's sleep. But the past few months we have gotten earlier and earlier with our regular wake-up time, and I am desperate to get them back to 7 AM. I don't really want to sleep that long, I just want to be able to wake up, feed the baby, and shower in relative peace, without feeling like I am running in this race to finish before someone is screaming and crying. We have tried going to bed a bit later, which only leads to them getting up earlier. We have blackout shades. Even in Florida, where we were outside swimming and playing for 4-5 hours a day, they were up between 6 and 6:30. I am hurting, since I am also up at some point in the night to feed Sam. And since we have a dog, I can't go to bed too early, or I will wake up to a crate full of crap to clean up. I am stuck.....and I really can figure out what else to try. I also refuse to go out and buy anymore books on kids and sleep. I just wonder if I will ever get the IV drip of Dunkin Donuts coffee out of my arm anytime soon.

On a different note, a short update after my last entry. So M and L read my blog, and promptly informed me of their awareness. Needles to say, they were not so happy. So we had a big blow-up, several discussions with various members of the family, and a much more stressful vacation than we bargained for. Things are not great right now, but I think they are getting there. I am most concerned about having a good relationship with Alex's parents, but I think it will get worked out with his brother as well. L is very upset, and informed me of her feelings in a not-so-subtle way. She was not willing to talk about anything while we were down there, so we will see where things go with her.

I have been thinking a lot about what happened, my actions, others' reactions, etc. over the past week. I am so grateful for this blog, and having a place to let out my feelings before they really get to me. It really does make me feel better and help me process a lot of things. But I have always known that somewhere along this journey, someone might now like what I have to say. So here is how I feel now. I am not sorry that Alex's family is now aware of my feelings on this whole situation. I am sorry that M and L read my words instead of hearing them in a face-to-face conversation, and I have apologized to them for that. In the future I will confront them directly about anything that I have issues with. But I feel this explosion was a long time coming, and at least it finally happened and we are not all sitting around still waiting for it to happen. And I am eternally grateful for an amazing husband who stood by me and my actions through it all. Now we just have to let things run their course and go on with our lives.

That's about it for now. We have family coming in for the weekend, and I am really looking forward to sitting outside, grilling some good food, and having quite a few margaritas. Hopefully I will get a few more hours of sleep in the next few days, but I am not very optimistic. Oh, and I apologize for not keeping up on the Project 365 website. I have all the pics uploaded from my camera and just need to put them up on the site. I am going to try to get it done this afternoon, so check back later.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

So we are midway through the week and the drama just keeps coming. After teasing me with a halfway-decent night's sleep Monday night, I was rewarded with another crappy one last night. Sam actually did awesome. We have upped the Zantac dose and added rice cereal to his bottles, in addition to switching him back to the regular formula. All of that has led him to sleeping 5-6 hour stretches at night. So this has been a huge step in the right direction, and has helped me get better quality sleep, even if it is still only 6 hours a night.

Last night Georgia was the thief again. She woke up at 4:30, just as I was finishing up with Sam's feeding. She was crying and complaining of leg pain, which I attributed to growing pains. She came into bed with me, and eventually we both fell back asleep for about 45 minutes. But when she woke up, she still had the pain and she refused to walk on it. She actually fell down when she tried to stand up. So instead of going to the Philadelphia Zoo today, we went to the pediatricians office and finished up at the hospital with some bloodwork. They think she has some inflammation of the hip that happens only in kids after a mild viral infection. But they also tested her for lyme's disease, and that test will be back on Friday. Hopefully, it is just the first thing, and it will clear up in a week or so.

So with all of this added craziness this week, I have been a little on the edge. Of many things, actually. The edge of insanity, of uncontrollable crying, of exhaustion, of letting all the pieces fall to the floor.

And so I say a HUGE "thank you" to all my friends out there.

Tonight, after dinner with a great friend and her kids, I felt a little more at ease with where things are right now. We still had some stress and chaos getting through bedtime, but I felt like I had things much more under control. Or at least I had myself more under control. And I realized what a wonderful gift I have been given with the friends I have in my life. Spending time talking with a true friend is one of my most treasured "me" time activities. And it has to be a friend that I can just let it all out to, the good, the bad, and the really ugly. I don't have time anymore in my life to be worried about what a "friend" is going to think of me, what I did, what I said, or what I am feeling. I spent enough of my teenage years worrying about that crap, and my time is too precious now to waste it on people that judge me. Tonight I happened to have some great conversation in my own kitchen, with kids thankfully entertaining themselves in the playroom. But it doesn't always have to be in person, sometimes a half hour phone call to someone I haven't talked to in a few months is the best therapy out there. I love the ladies in my life that live far away enough that we don't really get to see each other much, but I know are there for me unconditionally. And after an hour on the phone it feels like we just saw each other last week, like no time has passed at all since we were hanging out having a drink together. Even the friends that I mainly talk to on Facebook have been a godsend some days. The fact that someone has commented on what I am dealing with, offered advice, or just some words of encouragement is a lifesaver. I am truly thankful that I have been able to reconnect with some treasured friends from my past through this network.

So I guess after all of this rambling, what I really mean to say is that I love my friends. I really do. My family is awesome. And some of my family members are also some of my closest friends. But the people out there that have come into my life by chance, these are the ones that I am grateful for tonight. The wonderful women out there who put themselves out there for me, who support me, encourage me, comfort me. I thank you all for the unbelievable gifts you give to me. I don't know how I would make it through all this crap without you all.

And to Dee, a special thanks. You have become an amazing part of my life....one that I can't imagine not having ever again. You have become a part of my family. Thank you for all that you do for me and my kids. We really appreciate it. And I hope you know that you will never be able to get rid of us now!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mondays Suck

So here we are. Another Monday morning. The start of another week on my own. It is around 5:45 AM and Alex just left a few minutes ago to drive down to Virginia for the week. I am almost finished my first cup of coffee and just may finish a pot by the time 8:00 rolls around. I have been up since about 3:45, when Sam woke up to eat. Around 4, just as I was starting to fall asleep, Georgia came in, very upset that Daddy needed to check on her before he left. She was crying, afraid that Alex would forget to say goodbye to her. Trying to preserve his sleep, I went to lie down with her in her room for a bit. But we have been back and forth for a while. She is still not back asleep, and if she doesn't drift off soon, we will have a very unpleasant day, to put it mildly.

However, as much as I would love to be annoyed at the fact that my daughter has stolen 2 precious hours of sleep from me, I just can't hold onto it. I saw this morning just how much this new living situation is affecting her. She broke my heart this morning, and her daddy's too, I am sure. Alex told her last night that he would come check on her at 4:30. She happened to wake up around 4:10 AM, and came into our room crying, very afraid that daddy had left without seeing her. I had gotten her calmed down, told her daddy would be in when he woke up, when she came back in at 4:29. She rubbed Alex's face, and said, "Look, it's almost 4:30. Daddy needs to come check on me." Off he went to cuddle for a few minutes before getting himself ready. Once he was in the shower, I started to drift off, but Georgia kept crying off and on, so I gave up on sleep a little after 5.

All this is sad, but the worst part came a little later. I walked past her room to Alex's office to ask him something. I glanced at her when I went by and thought she was asleep. But a few minutes later we heard sobbing. When I went in she was hysterical, terrified that Alex had left. She wanted to go to Virginia with him. She wanted daddy to be able to check on her every day. She missed him. It went on until Alex came in one last time, and I promised to stay with her for a while. I welled up with tears, and couldn't hold it in. My baby was hurting, and I knew how she felt. It is hard enough for me to say goodbye to Alex every week.....I still tear up. And I think that is a good thing, because it means that I am still sad about him not being here during the week. I get used to falling asleep and eating dinner by myself, to not having him here during the many wake-ups throughout the night. But I still miss him. And I still think this situation sucks. I guess we think kids are more resilient than we are, and this is true in many ways. But it doesn't mean they aren't affected. I know Noah is feeling the absence of his daddy. Every night he asks for him, and asks me to "Go get daddy in your car and bring him home to give me cuddles, please?" But Georgia has seemed to deal with it better, until this morning. It really hit me, just how much my little girl misses her daddy. And it hurt, way down in my gut, it hurt me to see her in such pain.

We go to Florida next weekend, for a week-long family vacation. I am hoping that it will help things to have a lot of family time together. But I also worry that it will be that much harder when Alex has to go back to work the following week. I guess we will face that when the time comes. Right now I just have to focus on getting all of us through the next 4 days.

On a parting note, Georgia has not fallen back asleep. She and I will be facing the day as a sleep-deprived, emotionally unstable mother-daughter team. I am going to do my best today to hold on to every shred of patience that I have inside me. Hopefully, we can both catch a nap later.

Mondays really suck.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away.....

It is Friday, finally. I have survived another week, and I feel like that is a major thing to celebrate these days. Actually the week went pretty well, with the kids finally settling into a routine. Georgia and Noah also had their happy pants on, so we didn't have too many meltdowns. That is, until this evening. I never truly experienced the so-called "witching hour" with my children before. But I have now, and it was not pretty. At around 5:45 I started to get dinner ready for the kids. Same had finally fallen asleep and I laid him down in his bassinet. Within 5 minutes all hell had broken loose. Sam woke up screaming. Georgia and Noah started fighting over a Leapster game cartridge. That then progressed to them wrestling on the floor, with hands and feet flying at each other. The phone rang, and it was my mom trying to figure out why her iTunes didn't download an album correctly. And I still hadn't been able to get dinner together. It was pretty ugly for a while.

But we survived, and I shed not a single tear, nor did I raise my voice. (I did, however, use my "I mean business" tone!) I feel this is major accomplishment forme right now. We are all totally fried at the end of the day, and the fact that we make it to bedtime with everyone happy to have kisses and cuddles is no small feat. And now, at 8:15 pm, I have been enjoying the blissful silence of sleeping children for 45 minutes. It is my reward for making it through the day.

Thankfully, Alex will be home later this evening, and we can have a few nice days together before he heads out again on Sunday. I also give thanks to the weather forecast, which says this godforsaken rain should be overwith by tomorrow. Bring on the sun, so we can all be shiny happy people again.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I am a bit of a worrier. Nothing crazy, really. In fact, I think overall I am a pretty laid back person and mom. I have my moments, of course, many of which have already been shared, where I freak out, cry hysterically, and then pick it all up and move on. But I think in general I have faith that I am doing a pretty good job in raising some well-adjusted, well-mannered, pretty funny kids. But I do have a few things that scare me, and never really appeared until I had kids.

I think the things that scare me the most are things that threaten (or at least potentially threaten) the safety of my children. I have a terrible fear of heights. Not that big of a deal for me before kids. I just stayed off of hotel balconies, tops of tall buildings, and never leaned out of a window. After kids, this fear can paralyze me. Example: We are going to Florida in a couple of weeks to visit with my in-laws. They live in an apartment building on the 9th floor. I have almost reached the point of a full-blown anxiety attack thinking about my 2 monkeys being on balconies that are 9 stories high. I keep imagining these horrible things, and the fear just takes over.

Now Alex has no fears like this with our kids. He thinks I am a little crazy sometimes. I often get upset with him when he is pushing the kids on the swings. He pushes them so high that I swear they will fly right off. Of course, they love it, and are giggling and asking him to push them even higher. So I have learned to go inside when Daddy is doing the swings. That way I don't get too nervous, and I don't freak out on Alex.

But today, for just a moment, I set the fear aside. Our sitter Aimee had the kids outside to have a picnic lunch while I was inside trying to feed Sam. I stood up to go out on the deck to let her know I was going to leave in a few minutes. But when I looked out the door I stopped in my tracks. I saw Georgia swinging so high, pumping her legs all by herself, and leaning back to let her hair fly. I felt the nerves start up. I thought, "She's going to fall, she shouldn't be leaning back so far, she is going too high..."

But in a split second it all went away. I saw the look on my daughter's face, and I melted. The pure joy that she had was just overwhelming. I looked at Noah, sitting in the big-kid swing. He had his shoes off and was looking at his toes brushing in the grass. And I saw the world like they did. For just a moment, I remembered how amazing it felt to swing so high you felt like, if you just closed your eyes, you would be flying. And I knew how wonderful the grass feels between your toes on such a beautiful day.

And the worries just melted away. No one got hurt, no one fell down, no one was even rude to their sibling. They just had fun, and I learned a lesson. My kids are kids. They will get hurt, sometimes just a little, and sometimes a lot. But they will survive and so will I. But that is life. And without the risks, there would be no rewards. It felt so wonderful to let it all go. I need to do that more often.