Monday, November 25, 2013

Grutz says, "On the whole, I'd rather be sleeping." or "Kids change fast."

What am I doing up at this hour?
My wife needs to sleeps.  So does Frances, so I'm wearing her in the moby typing away.  The floor in the kitchen is quite cold but it's not worth the trouble to disturb Baby Fig at the present moment.  So 3 whole days alone with the kids!!  As I posted earlier, when it's bad, wow!  Take your most stressful work related event and add your kids screaming to it.  But as bad as it seems, it is ever so brief and rather infrequent, like 5-10 minutes a day.  On the whole, I'd say things are going great!

We cook and clean.  Play games and sleep.  Nolan is turning into a sweet and smart little man.  And he's one hell of a singer.  Frances definitely turned the corner.  Literally waiting until the last moment to take a bottle, but she takes it now like a fiend!  And she's a baby now, no longer an infant.  She coos and giggles, smiles and blows bubbles.  She's really good for me, she only gets stinky when she's hungry or tired, piece of cake, right?  I think she takes it easy on me because I don't make mommy milk.  I can see her little mind working away, "No point being fussy with Dad, he doesn't have boobs."

I really enjoy being home with the kids.  We're getting into our routines and Nolan usually stays off the counters and only chases Arnie occasionally.  And it must be said that Arnie is very, very, very tolerant (in his own, Arnie-way) with Nolan.  It's pretty cold here, so I have yet to venture out with the 2+dog, but it's going to happen.

Ok, it's almost 1.  I have to be up in 4.75 hours to walk the dog.  Oh and Nolans up!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Grutz says, "Well, um, here's the new reality now. Whew." or "Kicking ass and taking names?"

Day 2 of Carleen's abandons family return to work.

It hasn't been this bad.  Well, not the entire time.
The good.
Frances is taking a bottle.  Sleeps for spells.  Nolan is great.  Getting a considerable amount of work done around the house, more than I anticipated.  Meals made.  Hell, I'm brining a chicken at the moment for dinner tonight. Hell yes I had dinner made and the laundry and the kids were fed, happy, and healthy!  BAM!  

And he kids are beautiful. 

The bad.
See photo above.  When the poop hits the fan, it is intense.  Like a perfect storm, a gut-wrenching, oh-my-god-how-did-Grandma-Barb-do-this type of storm.  Crying kids hurt the heart.  Screaming baby has poop streaming out her diaper, son is crying for Mom while systematically and dangerously pulling heavy non-fiction books off a shelf above his head (something very new) and something's burning on the stove, couch spontaneously combusts into flame, dog starts speaking in tongues, toilet explodes.  At times, very critical times it seems, Nolan is NOT great.  A understandable thing in lieu of the current state of things. Yesterday, our first day sans Mom, I'd say there was about a combined 45-60 minutes of chaos.  What's that Arnie?  Oh, yes, rough!  But it passes and things work out.  I wanted to congratulate myself as Carleen got home (from her own tough job) for a pretty successful day (IMO), but then a little voice in my head said, "This is what's supposed to happen now, the new norm.  Nothing special here big guy.  This is how it is now.  No big deal."  Oh, right.

The ugly.
Me.  Lack of sleep.  Time spent with wife.  Arnie's lack of walks.  I've had tougher jobs in the past, I just can't recall any at the moment.  Bitch, bitch, bitch.....

In conclusion...
Like any new change, it takes time to get into the swing of things.  I can't expect things to be hunky-dory right off the bat.  But it is going much, much better than I thought (at least for 1.5 days!).  We'll manage.  We have to.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


I'm going back to work on Wednesday. Nothing feels good right now.  Leaving Frances feels viscerally wrong. The idea of it hurts.  Momma instinct or evolution or survival, I am twisting up inside. I've made commitments to my job, people are counting on me, other peoples children will be affected if I don't go back. That sinks in and I want to follow through on my commitments. Ironically, money is the last thing on my mind.  How does anyone do this? She can't be the first cranky baby who refuses a bottle. Part of me wonders if it's physiological, and on some level I'm wondering if she's refusing it because she needs me, like really needs me for comfort and survival. She was induced (albeit acupuncture) to be born, she didn't entirely come on her own, and part of me is thinking that she wasn't ready, and isn't ready to face some things here on the outside.  She's always needed to be held close, and to this day she sleeps best on my chest.   I don't know, thoughts rolling around in my head, especially after reading about birth trauma (  We've also been working with a cranial sacral therapist who says sometimes we have to process things that happen, to unwind in order for everything to work right.  She's coming back tomorrow.

I'll take any thoughts anyone has about bottle feeding, (or cup or syringe), and how to deal with mommy guilt too.  

3 months old and very alert!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Memo to my future self: slow it down

November 1. 
Memo to my future self: stop trying to do things!  Everyone says it's supposed to be easy to travel and eat out and generally do lots of things with babies because newborns just sleep and eat. Do I need my memory jogged? Did Nolan do that? Does anyone's baby really do that?  I keep trying to be that mom/family.  And every time we attempt it we come home feeling particularly guilty, like we've put our baby through something awful for our benefit alone, exhausted, and in need of takeout and a beer.  It might be that Frances is a "high needs baby" or that she is just a baby and needs to have he needs met, and crying is how she communicates.   

November 7.

Fast forward a week or so, and I'm sitting and letting my girl snooze on me, in the way she does all night long. She sleeps so well on my chest, and I'm happy to keep her head and my heart together, regulating her breathing and tuning my response. 


 She loves cozying right up in the crook of my arm, she's warm and I can hear her breaths deepen and lengthen. 

My boys are at storytime at the library, and while I'd love to be there with Nolan on my lap, I can imagine his bright eyes listening to the reader, I'm here holding my girl, thinking about how fast time passes.  I go back to work in a few weeks, with dread and anticipation simultaneously. And when I do, these snuggles will be fleeting. Not over, but I can't remember the last time my busy toddler napped on my chest.  They grow up fast.  They are small for such a short time. I'm going to soak up and remember these next few weeks.