Keep Writing…?

I’m not sure the point of this blog anymore… It used to be therapy for me. Now it feels like one more thing I’m supposed to make time for, time I don’t have. I enjoy writing though. And please don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m not sure what I’m getting back from this blog. I soooo appreciate your comments and advice, I honestly do. But don’t we all need to feel like what we do is worthwhile? I used to get a sense of calm by writing down my feelings, especially when we were going through IVF and our NICU stays. Now I’m not sure though. I know some people have made their blogs into a business, but I’m not sure that’s where I want to take this, or even how I would. Write a book maybe? Who would read it?? What would I write about, that thousands of SAHMs haven’t already written? A NICU survival guide? Am I qualified to write such a thing? I feel like my preemies weren’t born early enough or tiny enough to really know what it’s like to have to survive the NICU. Or maybe feeling that way is a huge problem in itself. It was traumatic for me, but who wants to keep hearing that again and again and again? Start a non-profit to raise money? We need no more money. I should just donate more to worthy causes.


This morning I made a comment to Eric that it must be nice to wake up, shower, and think only of oneself. I meant, not to have to think about getting our girls up and ready, feed them, get them off to school, etc. It probably came out the wrong way, as he was instantly a bit defensive, stating how he wasn’t heading off to a vacation, and reminding me he has to drive 60 miles before he can even begin his day. Still, to me, those things seem somehow easier than trying to get a two and three year-old to eat breakfast and go potty…

I realize there are parts of Eric’s job he doesn’t love. He loves operating, he doesn’t love clinic as much as he loves operating. Today is a clinic day for him. But… he chose his career. Did I choose to be a SAHM? I don’t recall making that choice. I recall the NICU telling us, with both our girls, to keep them out of daycare for the first year of life…

I’m at a point in my life where I know my strengths and weaknesses from a professional standpoint. I’m afraid to say though, that if I saw an advertisement showing the duties of a SAHM, I probably wouldn’t apply…

For now, I’ll leave you with a few photos of Nora… she discovered the selfie!

Do I always have to title these posts…? This one is random….

Sitter is back today, so finally a minute alone after a week. Ah… So nice! My book club I started meets later today, but for now I’m catching up on emails at a coffee shop. I need to schedule nanny interviews as our current is finished this Friday, fill out some paperwork for Nadia’s insurance, and possibly order baptism invites. Well, if I knew where the party was being held. And who was being invited. Don’t even get me started. It’s still not settled. Drama, I tell ya. And my blood boils every time I even think about it. I originally thought maybe I would combine the baptism and Nadia’s first birthday party, but now I’m thinking maybe it would be better to focus on each separately.


Way back when, when Nadia first started physical and speech therapy, Eric asked me if I wanted to hire someone to come to our home to work with her. At the time I was like, oh heck no, we don’t need that. Now, weeks later, and with the addition of Nora’s feeding therapy, I’m wondering if maybe that was a good idea. I’m not sure how that works though. I assume we just pay for it outside of insurance, which isn’t a problem. But how does one find such qualified people? We would still go to the official appointments too, right? Anyone know a lot about all this? I certainly don’t!

But there is a caveat to this… I would feel incredibly guilty hiring someone to help the girls. I guess I have in my head that’s it’s my job as their mom to do everything I can to support and help them, including working on our therapy ‘homework’. But honestly, this is so far from my natural talents. I have no training in this area, and let’s face it, I’m not one of those SAHM who is down on the floor with their kids every minute, dreaming up new ways to entertain and grow their children’s young minds. It’s just not me.

 

MOMs Club

I survived my first MOMs Club event!

And I have to say, it was a good experience. We got to the rec center around 9:30am and were greeted by one of the club organizers. She showed us around, where we could dump all our ‘stuff’, like coats and shoes, and then showed us to the gymnasium where all the toys were set up. It was a fairly large area with lots of different stations, like one area had ride-on toys, another had a bouncy house, another had plastic houses with slides and such… Nora was afraid at first, she wanted me to hold her, and then she wanted to just walk around and hold my hand, but finally she gave up her blanket and pacifier and played with the other kids. It was probably a little intimidating, as there were quite a few moms and kids there, maybe 25 moms with 1-2 kids each. I chatted with a few of the moms, mainly the group’s organizers, and but for the most part, they seemed fairly normal. Which has been hard to find in this town!

Taking both kids to an event was hard though, I’m not going to lie. It probably took me two hours to get us all ready, and then we were only at the event for about two hours before Nora was worn out and Nadia was cranky. It was worth it, but still, a lot of work. In the future I will make a point to wear Nadia to such events, as she sat in her car seat along one wall with all the other babies. She napped most of the time, but it was nerve-racking, having to go check on her, making sure she wasn’t crying, as there was no way I would have been able to hear her…

I’m definitely looking forward to more MOMs Club events! Below are a few pictures of Nora from our morning out!

img_3288 img_3291 img_3290 img_3289 img_3287 img_3285

Getting More Involved

If one more person tells me to volunteer…

I know, you all mean well, and maybe that is the key to my happiness, volunteering I mean… but I kind of doubt it. And you’re all right, unhappiness with being a stay-at-home mom has been a recurring theme of this blog for months, dare I say years. I do want to thank all of you for your comments and suggestions. Even though I might not respond to all of you, I read every single comment and ponder it, sometimes for days or even weeks. Many of you seem to know me better than some in my ‘real’ life. And thus, I’ve come to some conclusions…

  • I care what others think. Maybe I shouldn’t, but not caring what others think is so much easier said than done. Maybe I want to fit in, or feel normal, or I base normal off of what others think and do, I don’t know… I just know I care.
  • I’m sick of caring what others think. I spend so much time feeling guilty for what I want, or sometimes what I think I want or should want, that I can’t even always separate what I want from what I think others want from me.
  • I haven’t yet figured out how to make myself happy. I appreciate the suggestions, and please, keep them coming. So far I’ve considered going back to work. That would be hard being there weren’t a lot of finance opportunities here the times I have looked. But… openings are always being posted. It would also involve a more full-time childcare situation. Again, we are still on a center’s waitlist, but I could investigate other options, such as in-home or hire someone to come into our home full-time. For now though, I’m putting the idea of a job on hold. I feel like it might create more stress for me, being the girls still have several appointments each per month in Iowa City.
  • MOPs is starting back up soon, next week I think, and I’m hoping that reconnecting with other moms, even for just three hours once a week, will help me relax and feel a sense of calm in my life. The Christmas break from MOPs was difficult for me, so I’m glad it’s over.
  • I joined a MOMs club through Meetup. No idea if anyone will be someone I will really connect with, but I’m trying. I made plans to attend a playgroup Thursday morning at the rec center here with a few of those ladies. I think the rec centers activities will be geared more toward Nora, but Nadia will have to come as well, since I don’t have a sitter on Thursdays. I know this will be good for us, but taking two kids out in the cold, alone, well, I’m already kind of dreading it. From the looks of the groups calendar, they have something planned almost everyday. We’ll see how much is of interest to me.
  • I think I’m going to register Nora for Kindermusik. Anyone familiar? The video terrified me. No seriously, check this out. I’m not entirely sure this is for me, but… maybe we’ll meet some good people, and it will get Nora some socialization. I just hope I survive! A look at Kindermusik
  • Ultimately, I just don’t think I’m meant to stay home with my girls. Many people keep telling me that I’m fortunate to have the opportunity, and while that may be true, if it’s not what makes me happy, than it’s not a good thing for me. I’m not quite sure how to describe it any better… I just wish some in my life would realize that what they think would be a wonderful life doesn’t translate to a wonderful life for everyone. I don’t want to act ungrateful for the opportunity to stay home with my girls. I am grateful that I don’t have to work, but I need those close to me to realize that they might not know what is right for me. I welcome suggestions, but I also need support when I make my own choices.
  • The idea of me and the girls moving to a larger city is still in the back of my mind. Eric commuting 45 minutes each way doesn’t really sound like the end of the world to me. Yes, I realize there are major downsides, like the fact that I would be alone with the girls even more, Eric would be home 45 minutes later than he already is… But there are upsides too. I’m not sure how to say this in a polite way as not to offend those who live in small towns and enjoy it, so I’ll just say it. There is an entire world out there… Don’t I deserve to live in a place that has a bit more to offer me? Nothing wrong with those who don’t want to live in a larger area, but I’m just beginning to realize that a smaller community with fewer opportunities is just not for me.
  • Ultimately, I feel like the reoccurring theme in my life is waiting for the next stage… Before I had kids I felt like I was waiting to be a mom for my life to start. Now everyone keeps telling me that this stage is hard and that I should just wait, that things will get easier and better once my girls are a little older. Can I just say, I’M SO SICK OF WAITING FOR MY LIFE TO START. This is my life, right now. I don’t want another day to pass while I wait for something to make me happy. I know I need to make myself happy, and now. Doing that though, well, thats another story. I need to think some more, consider more options… For the time being, I’m going to leave this calm relaxing Starbucks, go home, cuddle my beautiful babies, and the enjoy the chaos that is 4-7pm each evening waiting for Eric is arrive home 🙂

Stir Crazy

I know what you’re all going to say… You’re so lucky to stay home with your girls. It’s so wonderful you have the opportunity to spend these years with your daughters. If you were working you would miss all these wonderful moments at home.

Then why am I so unhappy most of the time? I haven’t left the house since last Thursday, today is Tuesday, so going on a week. And last Thursdays outing was to Hy-Vee with the girls, so not exactly a relaxing picnic. And yes, I do have many moments with the girls each day that I love and will cherish always, but overall, my days are mentally draining, leaving me sad most nights. I feel like I need more balance in my life, more connection with adults, more time that doesn’t involve my duties as a mom… but I’m not sure how to make that happen. I miss my friends.

When I woke up this morning I told myself the girls and I were getting out of the house today, if only to pick up a few groceries. Already though, its daunting. We were up early, Nora went down for a nap at 10:45 and is still sleeping now, its 12:12. My plan was to shower once she was sleeping, but Nadia screamed the first hour Nora was down, and by the time Nadia was situated and napping, well, I was annoyed my day wasn’t going so well. So I sat down to write instead of showering, as writing usually puts me in a calmer mood. And now Nora is already stirring, so not sure a shower is possible anytime soon.

Eric has surgical cases scheduled all afternoon and then it’s one of his partner’s birthdays, so they (he and his two male partners) are going out for dinner/drinks. I know Eric works really, really hard, heck, he worked all weekend, and he deserves time out with his friends too… But just knowing that he is going out tonight, when I haven’t left the house in almost a week, well, it makes me more than slightly annoyed. Last night after work and the girls were in bed he went over to one of his partner’s homes and they worked out the call scheduled. Granted, it was sort of working, but I know chit chat and alcohol was also involved.

I know, I should just hire help, but then I feel guilty, like I should be able to handle all this. And really, what the crap would I even do here with more help? Run my errands? I guess that would get me out of the house at least, but it’s not exactly creating the real balance in my life I need. Our favorite sitter is still on Christmas break, so maybe I’m just burnt out from her being away. She comes back next week and plans to watch the girls on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9-5. A lot of this time will be spent taking one of the girls to Iowa City for appointments while she watches the other. Which is a huge help! But even on the days I’m free, what should I do? What would you do if you were home and had a sitter? Some days I don’t leave and just get stuff down around the house, as even laundry seems a challenge when both girls want my attention. It seems really silly though paying someone to watch the girls while I’m home…

Over the weekend my sister and her family went to see my mom and step-dad, just a day visit, as they live about 90 miles apart. If you remember, my mom lives in the city where I was considering moving with the girls, the location about 60 minutes from here where Eric would have to commute from on his non-call days. My sister invited me around 1 in the afternoon, I hadn’t showered, Eric was working so he couldn’t help me get the girls ready… It just felt like too late in the day to make those kind of plans, considering Nora’s bedtime is 7pm. So we didn’t go. But it reminded me of things being easier if we lived closer to my family, in a city with actual things to do, places to go, malls, coffee shops, restaurants, etc. So of course I’m back to wanting to move. But that opens up other issues, like me being alone with the girls even more. Eric could commute on the weeks he’s not on call, but he would have to stay here when he is, which right now is every other week/weekend. I would still need some hired help if we moved I think.

Often I feel like I’m missing out on the wonderfulness of being a SAHM. Everyone tells me it’s so glorious. But when? How? I feel like I need some time away to realize being with the girls is wonderful. I’m stuck in the hard parts all the time. I can’t see the good. I know it’s rewarding, but for the life of me, I can’t tell which parts. Maybe today I’ll put an ad on care.com. Any ideas for what I should be looking for? What my ad should say? What questions I should ask? What hours would be most helpful to me? Should this person be scheduled, or someone I call on whenever I need someone? I feel like I should already know these answers, but I don’t.

They’re Both Napping

They’re both napping… So I shall type fast… While I quietly eat these potato chips and dip with black licorice for lunch…

  • I was productive today. I cleaned out and organized the panty and cabinets, and I might do the fridge and freezer later this afternoon! Oh, and I cleaned the entire house as well! Okay, well, the cleaners did, but lets just tell everyone I did.
  • A clean house relaxes me. I’m sitting here listening to Christmas music on my new Amazon Echo. Does anyone have one of these? So far I’m not seeing the value. I know it does a lot, but all I figure I’ll use it for is listening to my Audible books and Amazon Prime Music. Maybe Nora will enjoy talking with Alexa… Maybe Alexa can translate Nora’s Chinese (?). 
  • Last week I took Nadia to Iowa City for her cardiology appointment. Did I already write about it? I can’t remember, so skip this bullet if I did. The appointment took forever. First they wanted a blood pressure on each limb, with her calm, of course. Nice try people. Then they wanted a EKG, with her completely still and calm. HA! I guess both were fine as the doctor increased her dose of Propranolol to 0.3 ml of I’m not sure how strong of a dose, every eight hours based on her weight and sent us on our way. We follow up in three months for another EKG. This Friday, two days from now, Nadia has another appointment in Iowa City, this time for her immature eyes.
  • Speaking of Iowa City, we were there yesterday for Nora. She had an immune blood draw and then a follow-up with ortho for her hips since she was born breech. Nora’s IgG level in August was 226, and yesterday it was 305, so a huge increase, and great news! It’s still far from normal of around 600 for her age, but we’re getting closer. And Nora’s hip x-ray was normal, so now we don’t need to return for an ortho visit until she’s 5. OMG, I can’t even imagine Nora five years old…
  • I’m seriously exhausted from taking these two girls to appointments in Iowa City. Do full-term babies have this many appointments in their first years of life??? These don’t include any of their regular well-baby exams.
  • Our Christmas tree has been up for two days, but it’s still not decorated. Am I the only person that loves a decorated tree, but hates the process of decorating? I always imagine sitting around as a family happily putting the ornaments on the tree. Somehow it never happens that way. I probably should be doing it when the girls are napping… Maybe tonight Eric can help me.
  • I did set up our Nativity scene… And as I was setting it up I told Nora all about each statue. And then I realized that we’re horrible about teaching Nora about religion, we rarely even take her to church. Why do I dread attending mass each week? The hassle of taking two kids? Of getting up early? I feel guilty, like I should want to attend mass each week. But I don’t. Is something wrong with me? How do I teach my daughters about religion when I can’t even make myself attend?
  • I’ve only ordered two Christmas presents so far… No clue what to buy anyone on my list, including Nora and Nadia. They don’t need anything.. I’ve mentioned Santa to Nora, but I think she’s too young to understand, right?
  • I might need to give up on using those blocks for weekly/monthly pictures. It’s so hard getting Nadia to sit in a chair with them. I got a few cute pictures of her last night, and decided those would be her 13 week photos… 
  • I must be slightly (a lot) OCD, as it bothers me now that all weekly pictures won’t include the blocks.
  • It snowed here this morning. Not enough to stick, but the first real snowflakes of the year. I’m already counting down the days until spring when the girls and I can more easily get out of the house each day again.
  • I’m down to pumping just once or twice a day. Wow, I have so much more time in my life!
  • Nadia seems to be falling into a groove, she wakes just once each night around 2am to be fed. Granted, I feed her around 11pm before I go to bed, and she’s normally awake again around 6am for her breakfast… I’m tired, but it could be a lot worse. Eric hasn’t done any night feedings, even though he totally could since we’re using formula now. I think Eric believes that since I stay home with the kids, that it’s my job overnight as well. He makes comments about how he has to be up for work and needs his sleep… How do other families handle this if one partner stays home? Does the one who works outside the home since help during the night?
  • I’m still disliking where we live. The house yes, but more the city. You know how you can search and find Facebook events near you? Well, it appears as if there are tons of kid related Christmas events where we used to live, but little to none offered here. I’m just so scared that raising our kids here is not going to be the experience I wanted to give them.  This topic probably deserves a post of it’s own, if I ever find the time.
  • I now have $75 worth (1,000 grams of powdered) Hipp Hypoallergenic formula that we can’t use. I ordered more after the first couple feedings, when I still thought it was going well, as I knew it would take several days to arrive. Does anyone feed or want to feed their baby this? Make me an offer… It’s still sealed.
  • Instead of exchanging gifts this year, my family mentioned vacationing together, although Eric wouldn’t be able to join us… Knowing we live in Cedar Falls, Iowa and want to drive (with little kids) to the destination, does anyone have any recommendations? Again, feeling like there is so little around us…
  • I feel so horrible that I haven’t made time for friends in my life lately. I mean well, I think of them often, but time gets away from me. Or maybe I’m just really bad at making plans and reaching out to others. I’m here alone so much, and would love the company, but the idea of getting two little kids ready to go anywhere in the cold discourages me, and how can I really expect everyone to come to me? How do adults stay in touch when they don’t live in the same city and feel so busy with kids?

Nora is stirring so I must go for now. More another time… I’ll leave you with a picture of her from this morning.