To Sleep Perchance to Dream

Really, I’d settle for sleep. When I do catch some z’s, I’ve actually been dreaming about sleep. I think that’s a bad sign.

Pumpkin lulled me early on into a luxurious sleep routine of seven to eight hour stretches at night. I knew to be humble about my good little sleeper – no mom pals want to hear how a two month old is sleeping through the night when their three year old is still waking up in the middle of the night demanding a blanket replacement. I knew my nights of uninterrupted shut-eye were limited, but on the inside, I couldn’t help doing a little alleluia happy dance at my good fortune.
Then Pumpkin turned three months old and all our good sleeping mojo went the way of the pacifier – REJECTED. Now, at six months and change, he’s still waking several times a night. I’m smart enough to know he can’t possibly be hungry each time he’s waking up, but what to do about the other times? We’re still working it out.
We’ve reached the tipping point. The point where there is no turning back. The point where I refuse to whip out a boob every several hours to pacify him. The point where I ditch the swaddle. The point where I may just lose my mind!
Tuesday night was a particularly bad night. Wednesday’s naps weren’t much better. There was lots of screaming. There were a lot of tears (mine and the baby’s). There wasn’t much napping. There were cranky babies, cranky mamas, cranky preschoolers.
With the crankies came a lot of guilt. Second child guilt. With Peanut, I had this nap thing figured out by now. I knew his rhythms. I anticipated his drowsiness. I accommodated those nap needs and planned errands, outings, showers around those naps. I may have felt like a captive in my own home, but we had routines, routines Peanut seemed to thrive on. And so it went and it was good.
Now? Now, I feel like we’re still a slave to Peanut’s routines. There’s preschool drop-offs and pick-ups. There’s play dates, playgrounds and play time. There’s errands to run and outings to go on. Poor Pumpkin rarely has a day where he can actually take two naps in a crib, instead catching snoozes in the car seat, the stroller, the Ergo. And while that’s okay, I feel like it might be biting me a bit in the bottom right now when it comes to expecting quiet, peaceful nights.
For the past few days, I’ve been a woman obsessed. Obsessed with watching Pumpkin for signs of daytime sleepiness and attempting to time those with a snack and a snooze. Obsessed with any whimper in the night coming from the boys’ room. Obsessed with checking his gums to see if he’s teething because what other reason could he be screaming his fool head off for no reason at 4am? Obsessed with figuring out how to juggle the needs of both my kids without driving myself insane.
And one day, when it’s good again (because I know we’ll get there, I can already see we’re starting to turn a corner), I will snuggle myself deep into the covers, fall asleep and not wake up for eight hours.
If that bed happens to also have an ocean front view, room service, a maid and champagne on ice, well, that’s a dream worth dreaming.

Three Months

It happened Friday. I knew it was coming. Yet, somehow, it feels different now that it’s here. I admit, I’m slightly anxious. I mean, I’m excited about the opportunities, but can I really do it? Can I really be creative enough to impress? How will I make it work?

School’s out.
The summer is stretching, long and languid, in front of us. Long and languid translates to interminable and stressful when I think about keeping a three going on four year old entertained and a six going on seven, eight and nine month old on some kind of routine. Every day. For the next three months. ACK!
A friend chronicled her summer with her preschooler last year. Every day was a different adventure. I don’t know how she did it, but I was in complete awe of the outings, the activities, the baking, and all of it with this incredible make the mundane magical attitude.
It is that attitude that I’m hoping to harness this summer. Between all our awesome memberships to local museums, play dates with friends, play ground time, pool time and maybe a few crafty projects, I’ll hopefully be able to channel my inner super mama and not only keep everyone entertained all summer but, more importantly, keep everyone sane.
I’m sure I’ll be sharing some of our misadventures here. After all, Peanut is not exactly at an agreeable age and Pumpkin is still trying to figure out when and how long he needs to nap and I’m blindly groping my way through this two-kid mothering thing. Hm, sounds more like a recipe for disaster than the secret to a successful summer.
Time will tell. Until then, I’m taking a deep breath, breaking out the flip flops and bookmarking the weather forecast. Now if only I could figure out what we’re going to do tomorrow…

A: Exhausted Mama

Q: How do you describe 11 days away from home with two kids and a husband who leaves for a business trip smack in the middle?

We survived our tour of the old home state…but barely! Peanut’s in bear mode as he readjusts to life back at home. We’re working on breaking Pumpkin of his new three times a night wake-up routine he settled into while we were gone. I’m still trying to make up the sleep lost on a particularly bad night with Pumpkin while the hubby was on his business trip. The house is a disaster and we have guests coming over tomorrow. So, I’m dealing by taking this last morning while Peanut’s at preschool (can we not come up with year round preschool? Are you with me moms?) and Pumpkin’s napping to drink a second cup of coffee and visit this poor, neglected space instead of tackling those dust bunnies and that last bag I still haven’t unpacked.
Unfortunately, I’m too wiped and preoccupied to articulate much. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, so here you go! 11 days in a few key photos:

Graduation #1: Aunt M receives her MBA (graduating with a perfect 4.0! Nerd.)

Boys busy at the beach.

Mama’s water babies.

Graduation #2: Aunt J receives her Master’s of Health Sciences from Duke (she’s in there somewhere, I promise!)

Peanut sneaking in some cousin lovin’!

Not pictured:
  • Peanut’s busted lip from falling out of the bed at the beach house and hitting a table on the way down. I’m usually good with injuries, but this one went undetected by the hubby when he went to check on him after we heard the thunk. I awoke to peanut climbing into our bed the next morning covered in dried blood. I did not handle that well.
  • Our awesome day at the NC Museum of Life and Science. Trains, dinosaurs, water play, and holding a just hatched zebra butterfly. Doesn’t get much better.
  • A fun day with cousins at Kidzu. This little local children’s museum was great. Terrific play spaces and sponsorships by local small businesses. Plus, it was free with our reciprocal Children’s Museum membership. Score.
  • Family photo shoot in Chapel Hill courtesy of a good friend. Can’t wait to see the photos at the Old Well, Peanut hanging from a tree and Pumpkin all smiles on the park bench. They run me ragged, but gosh, my kids are cute.
Now we’re back to the grind only to switch gears again next week — school’s out for summer! Yikes! What to do with these two all day every day all summer? Stay tuned…

Half-Birthday

Pumpkin. Buggy-boo. Munchkin. You are six months old today. I don’t know where the last six months went. I see little nine week old babies and assume you are still the same little bundle instead of your 16+lbs of thigh rolls.

You roll over. You are sitting up more and more on your own. You grab. You eat and eat and eat. You’re beginning to learn that rice cereal ain’t nothing compared to the tantalizing tastes of bananas and sweet potatoes. You also seem to prefer the real food on our plates than the mashed up fruits and veggies we serve you, making a grab for anything within your reach and appearing insulted when we eat in front of you.
You love to play. Shaking and flailing objects with your arms is a favorite. You drool and chew on anything within reach. You want to know everything that your big brother is doing. Peanut is your everything and no matter how he tortures you by teasing you with things you can’t have or popping you on the head with a toy, you smile, giggle, laugh and squeal in his presence. In fact, you’ve started to imitate the annoying scream that we’ve been trying to break Peanut of – the two of you get going and you both think it’s hilarious. And don’t even get me started on how you egg each other on once you start splashing in the bath tub.
You smile, smile, smile. Full-face smiles full of drooly cheeks and shining eyes. You are beyond ticklish and I admit to selfishly tickling you for the giggles that result.
You are all baby. I used to comment on your older brother’s “big boy face” when he was a baby. So far, I haven’t seen yours. I don’t know if I’m simply holding onto your babyhood too tightly to see it, but I’m in love with your babyness. I nuzzle into it, wrap my mother’s heart in its warmth and never want to let it go.
I can’t believe we’re on the slippery slope to your first birthday. Somehow I’m going to keep you a baby forever. And some poor woman in your future will forever hate that I can’t see you as anything more than my little snuggle bug of sweet smelling baby goodness. I hope that you and this future mate will have children and one day lay cuddling in bed with your own young’uns between you. Kissing their heads and tickling their toes, you will finally understand.
And maybe that same day you will see your old mom and let her hug you a little longer than your adult self usually does knowing that you will always be my baby.

Excuses, Excuses

Wow. Where the heck have I been? Obviously not here. I’ve actually started three posts that have all resulted in writer’s block or were just plain not worth anyone’s time. Including my own, apparently. Not that this one is shaping up much better. Sorry about that.

We’ve had a series of house guests on top of work done on the house that has all left me a bit frazzled. Top that off with our 11 day trip to North Carolina next week and I’m all kinds of stressed. I somehow have to pack up two adults, one preschooler and an infant for two graduation ceremonies and related fetes, three days at the beach, photo shoot for the kiddos and a business trip in the middle for the hubby. I don’t think we have enough bags or trunk space for this trip.
Add to that my apprehension about going for a week. The last time I did that with just peanut, I left NC towing my own personal nervous breakdown. Not fun.
SO…if I’m a little missing in action, you’ll know why. But know that between family events, public graduation ceremonies and beach time, I’m bound to come back with a slew of stories for you.
Less the nervous breakdown.
I hope.