Summer Struggle Bus

Lately, when I’ve had free time, I’ve preferred to sit in front of the TV and check out.  I mean, do you know how many hours of Bachelor in Paradise I have to catch up on?  You really can’t let that shit slip or things get out of control.

But today, with my precious few kid-free moments, I thought I might sit down and write some things out.  Because if I keep ignoring this, it may never go away.

The truth is, lately, I’ve been feeling down.  Like shit, actually.  I’ve been in a funk and I just can’t seem to climb out of it on my own.

It’s supremely frustrating, because all winter long, I dreamed about how much better everything would be in summer.  (Insert requisite Olaf meme here).  I planned to live it up and enjoy every last ounce before winter returned again, but things just didn’t turn out like that.  I’ve been too depressed, anxious, and tired to appreciate the season.

I really think part of the problem is that I spent so much energy just trying to survive this winter.  My fragile sanity was stitched together by barely a few threads once the weather started to warm up, and all I could do was realize how truly exhausted I was.  And then I took a few disastrous, solo-parenting, cross-country trips that took weeks to recover from.  And I swear to god Hubby has worked more overnights this summer than any other resident in his program.

At the same time, I’m having a bit of an identity crisis and feeling somewhat professionally unfulfilled.  What I would really, truly, love … is about 10 hours of work a week, preferably something that I can do remotely.  But that kind of work doesn’t come easily in my field — or maybe it does, but I just don’t know how or where to look.

I’m having a crisis of confidence about being a stay-at-home-mom.  I know how hard the work is, and I’m proud of myself for sticking with it for more than a year now.  But I also know that there are a lot of people who look down on what I do.  And as much as I would love to rise above that, I can’t help but feel insecure about it.  I miss being the bad-ass lawyer who covered all of the household expenses and put her husband through medical school.  But … I also really don’t want to go back to that lifestyle.  Can you even imagine how our house would stay afloat if I worked 60-80 hours a week while my husband carried on with his emergency medicine residency?  I mean, would we ever even see each other?  Would we eat anything other than takeout every night?  Would the kitties die from the inevitably unchanged litter?  Would we forget to pick our kids up from daycare?  I know there are plenty of families where both parents juggle high stress, high demand jobs, but I also know that I’m not cut out for it.  I’m just not that good at multitasking.

So basically, I’m just confused and dissatisfied all around.  I know I need to talk to someone, I know that therapy would help.  Or at least, it’s helped in the past.  But can we talk about how hard it is to figure out therapy when you’re responsible for two little munchkins all day? Can we also talk about how I am a complete noob and still don’t know how to find or use a babysitter?

On the bright side, I think my kids have still had an okay time the past few months.  Though it’s felt like pulling my own teeth out, I’ve made an effort to get them outside, go places, do fun summer things almost every day.  I know (and hate) that they’ve sensed that I’m sad from time to time, but I also feel like they’re doing ok.  They’re really good kids.

Until next time,

Vee

 

 

Shout out to Single Moms on the Weekend

I. Am. Exhausted.

I feel like I have been mom-ing non-stop for ages without a break.  Well duh, why would there be a break?  But you guys, it’s just been really hard mom-ing.

For whatever reason, K-Man and Ell-Bell were both in a really bad mood for like, a month?

And then I took the kids to Missouri by myself for a few days, which was not nearly the catastrophe that Oregon was, thank goodness.  But still, being solely responsible for two kids while traveling is maybe the most draining thing I can imagine.  It took a full week to recover.

We returned from Missouri to … an empty house.  Hubby has basically been MIA these past two weeks, working the most horrendous schedule his chief residents could dream up.  6 days on, 1 day off.  6 days on, 1 day off.  Of course, the 6 days on are all night shifts, so I’m on my own for bedtime every single night.  And the 1 day off is completely consumed by Hubby catching up on patient notes.

There’s this awful direct relationship between Hubby’s level of exhaustion and my level of exhaustion.  When he’s working a crazy schedule, it means I’m working a crazy schedule.  And we somehow have to find a way to squeeze both of our needs for free time into his paltry days off.

Boo you, residency.  I miss my husband.

But you know what I’m having a really hard time with?  It’s the fact that Hubby is always working on the weekend.  Saturday and Sunday.  Like, pretty much every single weekend.

It’s not just that I have to mom alone on the weekends.  It’s that I have to mom alone while the whole rest of the fucking world is out and about as a family.  Being all “look how cute we are as a family” while I am miserably carrying both kids in my arms through the mall because neither one of them wants to be put down.

Ugh.  Shout out to single moms on the weekend.

Until next time,

Vee

 

 

Happy Monday

Let’s not forget that today is a solemn holiday here in the U.S.  I never want to disparage that because I really respect those who volunteered for their country and made the ultimate sacrifice.

That being said, I feel like I can simultaneously acknowledge the holiday and share this Monday funny.

About a month ago, my mother-in-law sent an email asking for my kids’ measurements — she had some leftover grey tencel fabric and wanted to make K-Man and Ell-Bell matching outfits with Paw Patrol patches on them.  Lord help me.  Like a good daughter-in-law, I ignored the email.  So she sent it again a few days later.  I ignored some more, and then I delayed, and then I went out of town, but she persisted, and eventually I sent her some measurements.

On Friday, these prison uniforms puppies arrived in the mail.

The mother-in-law never disappoints.  I just want to know why she hassled me so hard for measurements and then ultimately made my son’s and daughter’s shirts the exact same length.  K-Man had to wear a t-shirt under his outfit so as not to expose his belly button.

I guess I’ll just add these to the pile of clothing that my kids will never wear but I still have to keep for the rest of time.

Until next time,

Vee

We Scarred Him For Life

So this is embarrassing.

Disclaimer:  Things are about to get real personal.

It was a Friday.  Hubby had a rare early exit from work, and so was miraculously home before nap time.  And you know, Spring was in the air, so things were feeling a little –shall we say — frisky? between Hubby and I as we started to get the kids ready to go down for the afternoon.

(Did I mention that this is embarrassing?)

So I rocked Ell-Bell into sweet dreamland.  Baby girl is a piece of cake to put to sleep these days, thank god.  Meanwhile, Hubby set K-Man up in his own room with some Paw Patrol.  (Little dude has “quiet time” because he officially really truly doesn’t nap anymore.  I don’t want to talk about it ok?)

When K-Man is in his room for quiet time, he almost never comes out.  I mean, he’s watching TV, so he’s pretty much dead to the world, right?

Which, I guess, is why Hubby and I felt ok about acting on our adult urges in that moment.  I gave him my “meet me in the bedroom” eyes and he certainly wasted no time in following my lead.  We’ve got two young kids and he works 80-hour weeks, he wasn’t about to say no to a little mid-day love sesh!

So there we were, getting pretty tangled up in the sheets — and holy cow my face is burning as I type this — when we heard a noise.  A very distinct noise.  The sound of K-Man’s door knob turning.

Did I mention the door to K-Man’s room is approximately two feet away from the door to our master suite?

K-Man yelled, “Hey mom and dad!” as he started to push open our door.  And at honest-to-god-super-hero-speed, Hubby jumped out of bed and threw our comforter over my entire naked body.  Covered me from head to toe in one fell swoop.  (Pretty talented, no?)

So yeah, my son walked in to our room and encountered … my Hubby … standing seemingly alone in our room … naked.

K-Man said, “I need to pee.”

“Um, okay.”  Hubby said back.

“I need help taking my pants off,” said K-Man.

“Um, okay.”  Hubby said again.

Hubby then proceeded to help K-Man take his pants off.  Because, you know, he needed to pee.  Even though every other day of the week he took his own damned pants off when he needed to pee.

“I’m just going to leave these here.” K-man said, gesturing to his pants as he threw them in a heap on our bedroom floor. (Why tho?)

“Okay.” – Hubby.

“I’m just going to close the door now.” – K-Man

“Okay.” – Hubby.

And then K-Man disappeared back into the obscurity of his own Paw-Patrolled room.

So yeah, that happened.

He’s only three, and I don’t even know if he knew I was in the room.  But he was super awkward and insisted on closing the door when he left.  So maybe he felt a weird vibe.

I actually still remember walking in on my parents having sex during nap time when I was 3 or 4.  So that’s good news, right?

Did we scar him for life?

Until next time,

Vee

 

 

Good Friday (Grateful Friday)

I’ve been super grouchy lately.  It could have something to do with the fact that we are still very much in the endless throes of winter here in Upstate NY — is it too much to ask for the thermometer to break 40F on Easter Sunday?  It could also have something to do with the fact that I got trolled hard in a mommy group on Facebook yesterday — why are virtual peeps so mean?  Or it could have everything to do with the fact that, after four years of sweet bliss, I am finally suffering from the girl flu again.  (But can I really complain about a four-year break?  Prolly not.  Thank you, back-to-back pregnancies and breastfeeding gods).

Regardless of my grump, today is Good Friday.  Now, I’m no religious scholar, but I’m pretty sure the “good” in Good Friday doesn’t have to do with good feels (because I googled it).  But, hey, I can take some creative liberties.  So, in the spirit of good-ness, and in an effort to boost my crappy mood, here are 5 things that I’m grateful for today:

  1. Easter is upon us.  Which means Easter candy is upon us.  Now, I told Hubby the same thing I tell him every year: all I want is a freaking peanut-butter-filled chocolate bunny.  Every year he forgets.  Every year I let it go, because come on, I have 32-year-old metabolism.  But this year … this year I was cleaning out some kitchen cabinets and stumbled upon it.  A peanut-butter-filled chocolate bunny that he must have purchased behind my back, and is hopefully saving to give to me on Easter morning.  I know it’s only March, so is it too early to award him Hubby of the Year?  (Please, for both our sakes, let the bunny actually be for me.)
  2. Zzzzzzz.  Because I have no regard for my well-being, I am going to go ahead and disrespect the sleep gods here:  Ever since last week’s bitch fest about Ell-Bell’s atrocious sleep habits, baby girl has been sleeping much better at night.  I mean you guys, last night honeyboo didn’t even wake up for the first time until 5:30 in the morning! What? Of course she’s just trolling me, lulling me into a false sense of security so that I fall that much harder when she wakes up 5 times tonight.  But still, I’ll take a few nights in a row of good sleep!
  3. Things are about to get romantical.  The in-laws are coming for a visit next week.  Ugh, I know, there’s nothing romantic about that.  But of course, the silver lining is that they provide free and relatively safe-ish child care, which means Hubby and I are about to go on our first date in four months!  I am way excited, and I don’t know if I’ve ever spent so much mental energy planning a 3-4 hour block of time in my life.  I’m thinking sushi and a movie, but my god, the possibilities are endless!  (Side note: can somebody teach me how to hire a real babysitter?  I’m guessing it would be a good thing to not wait four months between dates).
  4. I’m basically an Olympian.  Okay, I’m not, at all.  I am actually that mushy-armed person at the gym who only ever runs on the treadmill — the one who everyone looks at and says, “girlfriend, you need to get off that treadmill and do some actual push-ups.”  But hey, I’ve been back to running pretty consistently for the better part of a year now and I am feeling really good about it.  I’m getting faster, I’m running longer, and gosh darnit, I might even get brave enough to run outside one of these days.  I just need a babysitter real quick.
  5. I get to spectate all the sports.  I don’t care what you say, I like to watch golf on TV, ok?  It’s relaxing.  For me, April (snow) showers mean only one thing:  it’s time to watch some golf hotties navigate the Augusta greens at the Masters.  Of course, my in-laws will be in town during coverage because OF COURSE THEY HAVE TO COME during the Masters basically EVERY SINGLE YEAR.  But whatever.  I’m also giddy for NBA playoffs and more golf and tennis tourneys on the horizon, for those keeping track.  (Holler at me if you are also secretly in love with at least half of the men’s tennis field, we might have to be besties).

So there you have it.  What’s on your grateful list this Good Friday?  Wishing everyone a happy passover, Easter, or whatever else you may be celebrating in the next few days.

Until next time,

Vee

 

 

Sweet Dreams ’til Sunbeams Find You . . . or Your Daughter Wakes You Up

You know that moment you’ve been looking forward to since you first woke up in the morning?  That moment when you finally crawl into bed and relax under your covers after a long day?  When your head hits the pillow and you prepare to surrender yourself to sweet sleepy bliss?  When every muscle in your body starts to give in, and your breathing gets deeper, deeper, and your eyelids get heavier, heavier . . .

Yeah.  That’s the exact moment that my daughter Ell-Bell wakes up screaming.  Every. single. night.  And it doesn’t even matter what time I go to bed.  She manages to pull it off whether it’s 10 p.m., midnight, or anywhere in between.  What on Earth did I ever do to her?

Am I embarrassed that my 15-month-old is still not sleeping through the night?  You betcha.  Do I feel guilty that I’m still nursing that sweet little demon back to sleep because it’s all I can do?  100%.  Is the end in sight?  God I hope so.

I remember with K-Man, we were sheepishly admitting to the pediatrician that he was still waking up in the night at his 18-month check-up.  But then a few weeks later, he miraculously started sleeping through.  And it was everything.  (Well, it was everything for four months, and then we had another baby.  That was dumb.)

So maybe my life is about to get a whole lot better?  I can do this for three more months, right?

Until next time,

Vee

Oral

My son K-Man was not an oral baby. I mean, sure, he was obsessed with his pacifier, but he was never one for putting foreign objects in his mouth. Which, I now realize, was a blessing. I never had to fuss about what potential choking hazard or foul object might be lying within his sticky little grasp.

Safe to say, I was not adequately prepared when my daughter Ell-Bell basically came out of the womb eating things off the floor.  She is orally fixated to the max and will try to put anything and everything in her big fat gob.  It’s cute, of course, but sometimes can be annoying as fuck! Like that time at 5 months old, when she pulled a pile of tacos off the table and onto my lap, because she was trying to snag a spicy bite.  Or that time (all the time) she was obsessed with her big brother’s super ball and carried it around in her mouth like a dog.

Or that time at the playground, yesterday, when I couldn’t let her roam free for one second because she insisted on trying to put every single wood chip from that wood-chip-laden plot directly into her pie hole.  It was exhausting chasing after her, prying wood chips out of her fists, and scolding “no no, icky, that’s not food!”

As I tiredly pulled my two chunks home from the playground in their little red wagon, I thought to myself, “maybe I could blog about this issue?” But alas, I resolved there wasn’t a ton of there there.

That all changed just two hours later.

Fast forward to dinner time. I let the kids run a little wild while I put everything together. As I was dishing up some baked chicken, rice, and flaccid broccoli stems (anybody else constantly duped by the luscious-looking broccoli florets on the cover of frozen produce bags?), I suddenly noticed that I hadn’t heard Ell-Bell for at least 45 seconds. Wuh oh.  I quickly sashayed towards the living room–where I thought she was–but a shadow caught my eye as I passed by the bathroom. I backed up — idiot! Of course she’s in the bathroom!

There she sat on the bathroom floor, next to the kitty litter. One hand holding a small brown object. The other hand batting at her tongue. A pile of other small brown objects scattered across the floor. Brown smudges all over the corners of her mouth. Do I need to say more, you guys? She was eating fucking cat poop! “Holy shit!” I thought as I scooped her up and batted the turd out of her hand.  I frantically grabbed about 200 wet wipes, crumpled them into a ball, and smashed them repeatedly against her face, tongue, and hands.  After texting with Hubby to confirm that Ell-Bell was not about to die, I set her down for dinner. What else was I supposed to do?

So what do you think, do I win the Mom of the Year award?

I guess, in spite of everything, there are some upsides to having an oral baby.  For instance, Ell-Bell absolutely devoured those broccoli stems at dinner.  That could have been a desperate attempt to wash the kitty poo taste out of her mouth, though. Who knows.

Until next time,

Vee