Sunday

According to my phone, it’s Sunday. Feels like a Tuesday or Friday. Everyday feels similar lately. The weekends don’t stand out, being Eric works most of them, this one included.

The only reason I’m writing is because both girls are napping, at the same time, which happens about once a month lately, so I needed to take advantage. I’m convinced Nadia’s heart medication is what messes with her sleep, basically eliminating her daytime naps… We are weaning her off it, so the naps are becoming a bit more regular, but still far from anything I’d consider normal for a child her age.

I didn’t have a sitter this past week. Don’t even get me started. I know, it was a holiday, so I expected her to take some time off, but I thought I was at least going to have her Friday and then she texted me Thursday that they were staying out-of-town through the weekend. I feel like that’s the issue with someone coming to your home, or taking your kids to their home… The dependability just isn’t there, it just doesn’t compare to a center. And while yes, I am a stay-at-home mom, I have a ton of crap planned, mostly doctors appointments for the girls multiple times a week now, and some outings for me as well, and it’s hard to rearrange everything at the last-minute. I feel like I’m that person, who is always cancelling appointments and rescheduling. And August is even a bigger mess with a sitter, as the one I love isn’t available as much as I thought, although she will be back in town for the school year. It’s probably time to place another ad on care.com and start the process of finding a sitter all over again. Even the idea terrifies me.

Which brings me to opening my own daycare center… Still in the research phase. Looking more into Goddard currently, although I’m scared it’s a bit too upscale for this area. My research so far is pointing to our previous city being a better fit. Of course. Of course! The same things I hate about this city are still biting me in the butt! There are definitely enough people here on wait-lists wanting childcare… I’m just not yet convinced there are enough families with enough disposable income to spend well above average for such a service. Granted, they would getting more than just childcare, but it’s getting families to want that, and pay for that, and see the value in it, which might be the issue here.

No word from the sellers of the house we made an offer on… A little part of me thought they might come back to us by now, but nothing yet. I do know they are having an open house today though.

I should be napping… I’m exhausted. I got our little pool out for Nora again this morning. It wears her out and thus she takes a good nap, but it wears me out too! It’s a ton of work to get it out, blow it up, with the pump thing, find all the pool toys, fill it with water, get her in a swim diaper and suit, find a blanket for Nadia and I to sit on, carry each of them down the 10 steep stairs into our backyard, slather them both with sunscreen, then make 17 more trips up and down the stairs for everything else I forgot, then bring everything in an hour later, remove wet suits and wash, re-clothe them in dry clothing and real diapers, drain the pool, blah blah blah. You get the idea. It’s so much work! Why are kids so much work?? I mean, I think I’m a pretty well-adjusted adult with lots of resources. How do younger moms with no help and fewer resources handle this?? And then I was taking Nadia’s infant carrier car seat and rock-n-play into the basement for storage and thought, we have way too much baby stuff not to have another kid. OMG, but it’s so much work!

Do I try to do too much at once? While all the pool stuff was going on, I was also doing laundry and general cleanup of the house. Still doing laundry. I’m still in my swimsuit, as no time to take that off. Just grabbing lunch for myself now… I miss work, where I felt like I was able to focus, and actually finish tasks. I still believe Eric thinks staying with the girls is easy, and maybe in some ways it is easier than working outside the home. But then how come I never seem to actually accomplish anything? Like making dinner while watching the girls… It feels impossible! Maybe Eric should try watching the girls in his operating room while he’s performing surgery. Yes! He should have to get them snacks, turn on the next “Daniel Tiger” episode, change their diapers, etc. And no help from the OR nurses or scrub techs either! That is how this feels to me. Like I’m doing several jobs as once. It’s so draining, and frustrating.

Park Play Date

Remember the Mom’s Club I joined almost a year ago? We go to a few meet-ups every now and again. Today they held a park playdate. And I want to say it was fun. I mean, it was, but it was so stressful for me. I had a sitter today, as Nadia had the PT appointment in the afternoon, so this morning I left Nadia home and just took Nora to the park.

 

People, she clung to me for the entire first hour!

 

Seriously! All the other kids were off playing together, and she was crying unless I was carrying her around. What am I doing wrong?? Is it because I stay home with her, because she isn’t around other kids enough? After the first hour passed she finally opened up a bit and started to play, although she still tended to shy away from most of the other kids… Ugh.

 

Here are a few pictures I was able to get of her finally playing!

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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!

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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.

Long Time, No Write

The days keep getting away from me…  Today I didn’t even leave the house, and still the day seemed to fly.  I’m sure I have text messages on my phone I haven’t responded to!

I think I’m settling into motherhood, although I still don’t always know exactly what to do with sweet little Nora.  As I type she’s wiggling around next to me…  

Eric had the past two weeks off work and was a huge help during the days.  The nights, not so much.  Nothing wakes that man.  I fear I’ll never be able to trust him for an overnight with Nora.  Even though I’ve been taking all the night feedings, and most of the day ones too, I can’t complain, Nora is a very content baby.  She only cries while she’s eating.  Yes, during her bottles or breastfeeding.  We started Zantac a few days ago as her doctor believes it’s reflux.  I’m  so hoping she feels better soon.  In my quest to figure out why she was crying during feedings I purchased a few items.  Okay, a lot of items.  I’m now the proud owner of pretty much every brand of baby bottles on the market.  And different flow nipples for each as well.  And OMG some bottles have a ton of parts!  I think we’ve decided the Avent Natural are the best for Nora.  They seem to fit her mouth the best, as many others tended to leaked out the corners.  And bonus, they are easy to clean!

As for breastfeeding, I’m not giving up, but golly it seems more difficult than pumping and feeding with bottles since she’s currently crying through her feedings.  Like today I only nursed her for one feeding, well, part of one feeding, five minutes on each side and then I gave up and warmed a bottle.  I think if we weren’t fortifying her bottles feedings would be easier, even with pumping.  I’m convinced the fortifier is causing her reflux and AWFUL gas.  So aside from the Zantac, we’re also adding gas drops to each of her bottles.  I need to ask the doctor at our next appointment how long we need to fortify my milk…  I’m still making more than twice what Nora can eat each day, so I usually make one bottle for her from each pumping session and then freeze the remaining.  I’m going to have more milk than I know what to do with!  I assume there will be a day when Nora can eat as much as I produce though… currently she is only taking 1.5-2 oz every 4-6 hours.  I feel like 6 hours is a long time for technically a newborn, but my doctor doesn’t really want me to wake her much, as it’s when she’s sleeping that she is growing.  Apparently eating often uses a lot of calories and we want to conserve as many as possible.

The only other thing Nora is supposed to be taking is her multi-vitamin with iron.  I’m bad, I haven’t given in to her in several days, but she already seems happier without it…  She actually poops on the days I don’t give it to her, so of course she’s happier!  The fortifier has all the same vitamins and iron, so I’m not sure why we need to be giving both…  And plus, the vitamin tastes terrible and therefore it’s hard to get her to take it.  And it stains, so I pretty much have to strip her unless I want all her cute clothing ruined.  Hey, no laughing, I’m sick of the extra laundry already!

Tomorrow Eric goes back to work and thus starts my official life as a stay-at-home mom.  I’m not sure exactly how I feel about this…  I’m not at all concerned about taking care of Nora alone, as I’ve been alone with her plenty already.  It’s more the realization of what my life will be, at least for the next year perhaps.  Even with Eric home I’ve felt like all the days are now the same.  And all the days involve are cleaning and laundry.  I guess I’m just not sure how to make my days feel exciting, have a purpose.  Right now my time is consumed with feeding, pumping, washing bottles and pump parts, and then doing that all over again.  But I assume at some point I’ll find I have more time, and then what will I do?  I understand that taking care of Nora and watching her grow will be far more fulfilling than I can imagine right now, but what if I need more?

Alright, more later, as I need to shorten Nora’s talons before she scratches more skin off her face!

Oh, two pictures I want to share first, another proof of Nora I received, and my Monte glider/recliner that finally arrived from Canada!!

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