E’s Birth Story

I posted C’s birth story the day he turned 1 year old. In keeping with the second child tradition of slacker-ness, E’s birth story is being posted when he turns 2 years and 2 days old. As a second child myself, I feel for him but eh, what are you going to do?

So here it is.

First of all, E’s birth story starts on a Sunday, November 18 really. I was 41 weeks 3 days pregnant and C had been born at 38 weeks 3 days. So I’d actually been waiting about 3 weeks for this kid to come but it turned out that he of course had other plans for his arrival. My midwife and I were perfectly fine waiting until E was ready to be born, in fact I hadn’t even asked her what the next step would be should he decide to wait until 42+ weeks to come out. For some reason this new little boy just needed to grow in his mama longer than C did.

 

The only thing I was worried about was having a big baby because (being my last baby) I wanted this one to be tiny and kissable for as long as possible. I was sure I could birth a 9 pound baby which E could very well be after being in me for the length he was. 9 pounds was definitely do-able though I’d love another little 7-8 pounder.

 

Also, I was still feeling pretty good (for being 10 months pregnant!). I think this was due a lot to seeing a chiropractor weekly for the last half of my pregnancy. C’s birth was long and hard since he was positioned asynclitic and I was doing everything I could to avoid that this time. Though no matter how good I felt, I was getting a bit tired of waking every 2 hours all night long to pee, sleeping upright to ease heartburn, not being able to play easily with my toddler or cuddle with my husband, and just generally ready to meet my baby. I loved being pregnant (to a degree) and feeling my sweet baby moving inside me. But dang, I wanted this kid out too!

 

So on Sunday November 18, we put up the Christmas tree, invited my BIL over for the day, went on a hike in the woods and hills behind our house, relaxed some, then cleaned the house. Of course I’d been doing strenuous activities like this daily for weeks so I had no idea if it would actually start labor this time but it was worth a try!

 

Sunday night I went to bed early, around 8:30. Was hitting another “I’m so tired of being pregnant” moods. Sat in bed and read for a little while and realized the baby wasn’t moving. I managed to get him to move a little after a while. Waiting on him for almost 42 weeks was hard and this spell of slow movement scared me. I just wanted him out, safe and sound in my arms. I was getting so tired holding back my worries. My sister and mom both had late term stillbirths, something that never left my mind as a possibility with my babies.

 

I eventually slept until about 11 pm, and then woke to go to the restroom. Didn’t want to go back to sleep, just wanted a distraction from the exhaustion I was feeling so I took my pillows and went to the couch. I watched some Frasier on Netflix, cuddled C back to sleep a couple of times, then finally fell asleep with him in his twin bed around 12:30-1:00. Next thing I knew, I felt a pop in my sleep! I immediately awoke, my first thought was that was my water breaking! I rolled out of the bed (because at that point I HAD to roll off a bed to get out!) and felt liquid gush when I stood. Hobbled to the bathroom and double-checked. Yep! It was my water! WOOHOO!!!! THE BABY WAS COMING!!!

 

At that point I was so ecstatic and thrilled that I started to tremble and laugh. This kid was FINALLY coming! I would be holding my new little boy by that evening! YES! Woke up my husband J, looked at the clock (1:50 AM) and we started getting things ready. I called and texted my support people (midwife, doula, sister, mom) to give them a heads up and then tried to sit and rest. This was going to be a long day and I hadn’t slept much. I really needed to try to get some sleep if at all possible. After all, contractions could take a little while to get started and they would be slow for several hours.

 

Insert: sarcastic laugh.

 

As soon as I relaxed the first contraction hit, small and easy to handle, at about 2:00 am. The next few were okay and about 5-6 minutes apart, then I started to have to focus and they got 3-4 minutes apart, and finally by 2:30 I was making some pretty loud noises to keep my focus and control during a wave. I laughed to J that I sure hoped his brother, who had ended up staying the night at our house, didn’t think we were having sex this loudly!

 

During that 30 minutes, I asked J to get me something to eat and to hurry since I didn’t know how much longer I’d be able to hold down food. I asked him to fill the birth tub quickly since I wanted to get in it very soon. I asked him to get his brother to watch C since I was worried I’d wake him with my noises. I asked him to get me water since I needed to stay hydrated. Oh, and could he bring up some of the birthing supplies from downstairs? And poor J was running around getting everything he could together as quickly as he could.

 

Worked through a few more contractions, mostly alone since J was busy, then I realized I needed him at 2:50. I needed someone to be beside me when the contractions came so I texted Anna the Doula to please come, but not to hurry. Worked through a few more contractions, and told J I needed him to stop working and to help me now. I remember when each contraction hit, I’d get up from leaning over C’s spare mattress (on the floor in my bedroom), grab the bed post of my bed, hold on while kneeling there, and work through it. At this point, due to C’s 20 hour birth, I was thinking, hey! We’ll have a baby tonight! I can do this until this dinnertime! Go me!

 

About an hour after they started, at 3:15, I got a contraction that felt different, stronger, it felt SERIOUS. I felt like pooping. WTF?!?! I knew what that meant! Really, I felt like PUSHING. Oh my freaking gosh. Already???? I was thinking all of that mid contraction, while also yelling to J: CALL THE MIDWIFE. CALL HER NOW. TELL HER TO COME NOW. Things were moving really fast and I knew what I was feeling meant I was a lot closer to having this baby than a normal birthing timeline would predict. Okay, maybe a baby by lunchtime? I could work this hard until lunchtime.

 

We moved to the bathroom for a few minutes and I threw up in my pre-designated puke bowl. I tried so hard not to throw up because when I did, I leaked more amniotic fluid all over the floor. J, being sensible and not in labor, put a towel under me so I could vomit freely while leaning over the sink. And wham, I was officially in transition. So I decided to stop recording contractions on my phone at 3:15, about an hour after they started. Wowie.

 

At this time, I started to go into laborland and things get a bit fuzzier. My mom came around 4:00 am to watch C and began to carry up all the birthing supplies. My magical doula Anna arrived and all I remember was that in my dim bedroom, she was a sweetly calming light. She held my hand, checked me quickly, and then I vaguely remember her asking my mom to bring in the baby blankets and hats from our supplies. What in the world? I wondered, why? Later she told me that when she got there, I was fully dilated with only a cervical lip. She said she was pretty grateful for that lip since without it, she would have had to help me deliver our baby!

 

Somewhere during this time I got in the pool after insisting to J that I needed more water in it faster, faster! I had reached that point in labor where what I wanted was the most important thing in the world and if it wasn’t delivered within seconds, I became anxious and half crazed. Also somewhere in there I needed (just as I did with C’s birth) to be holding TWO hands during each contraction. When my midwife got there occasionally the hand would be gloved, but most of the time it was J’s and Anna’s comforting grip that carried me through contractions. Also I needed a lot of hip squeezing, just like with C’s birth.

 

The strength of my uterus and body was overpowering! I hadn’t experienced this with C’s birth. With C I wanted my body to work harder than I was working and this time it happened that way. I could control my voice and keep it low, I could control my feelings and stay focused, but I couldn’t stop my uterus from pushing, pushing, pushing from the top down, all over. It was mind-boggling how strong it was! I would be leaning my head on the pool wall, resting and dozing, feel a contraction slowly beginning, and would call for hands. Then wham!, it would hit and WOW, I had to just climbclimbclimb it as fast and strong as I could, pushing along with it, working with it to stay together.

 

I think it was at this point that they told me to feel my baby’s head and dang, it was so tiny! That awful tiny bit of a head that I thought was giant and ALLLL the way out but really was only just starting to peek out. Kinda depressing and I told them so but they apparently thought it was awesome progress. I suppose for having been in labor for only 2-3 hours it actually was pretty wonderful but in the moment it was just disappointing!

 

I labored in the birth pool for a while, and then moved to the bathroom for a position change and to try to pee. J says I was in there for an hour but I think it was more like 10 minutes… Crazy how I lost my sense of time when in labor. Of course J has a bad sense of time anyway so we’ll settle on 30 minutes. ;) All I really remember is trying very hard to keep my voice low and deep every time I worked through a contraction. If I lost control when the pain and intensity got to me, my moans would go higher and louder but I was able to keep things under MY control by staying low and loud. As much control as I was able to have with birth!

 

In the bathroom I stood over the toilet backwards (it’s pretty dang hard to sit when you have a baby’s head coming out your vagina btw) and in between contractions I had this urge to look outside at the window in front of me. I wanted to see, to memorize the moment, to be able to connect this wild ferocity in my body to real life again one day. I saw my front yard in the darkness then slammed my eyes shut again as a contraction hit. It was still early, still dark outside. So we would have our new baby here by breakfast maybe?

 

Soon after that moment, during a rest, the oddest sensation I’d probably ever experienced happened when the baby started turning inside me. It felt like he was crawling and curling inside me, threatening to start another contraction, making me panic and cry out. Everyone around me (no idea who they were!) assured me that it was just the baby moving into position, getting ready to be born.

 

Oh shit, I thought. I’m not ready to actually PUSH this baby out! That’s going to hurt so freaking badly!! I don’t want to!

 

With C’s birth I don’t ever remember cussing. J said I did but I don’t remember it at all. With this little dude? I let loose pretty dang often, many time during a contraction. Sorry to those at my birth who don’t particularly like the words “Oh fuck” groaned in a long and drawn out way but that’s what helped me through.

 

After the baby repositioned himself, things grew even more intense and I made myself push harder. I was helped back to the birth pool even though I reeeeally didn’t want to move at all. I had previously told all my support people that the most important things to me with this birth were to birth in the water and to catch my own baby. And I guess they really listened because they were trying to convince me to get in the pool!

 

I managed to make it to the pool but then had to LIFT my legs to get in it! Shocker! And at that moment, getting in the pool was the hardest thing to accomplish in the entire world. No one in their right mind would ever attempt to do it so why were all these people telling me to?!?! Didn’t they understand that there was a baby coming OUT of me and it really freaking hurt! The burning! The stinging! It was so sharp and fierce! But they helped me and I did it, I lifted one leg, then the other and got in! WOW! Achievement of a lifetime! I was so proud of myself and the fact that I got in a pool.

 

Yeah. Being in labor changes everything that is important in life J

 

I was trying to go slow with pushing now, to let my body do the work so I wouldn’t tear (yeah, that didn’t work) but that baby’s head just kept coming. My body was pushing and nothing could stop The Head of E so I just decided to get it over with, after a while. I roared and I yelled and I worked. I pushed and didn’t push then pushed gently, then pushed as hard as I possibly could and after who knows how long, they told me to reach down and feel his head. No way, I wasn’t falling for that again but everyone called out to me to do it and HOLY CUHRAP, there was a HEAD!!! The entire head!!! All the way out!

 

That was one of the most fantastic and surreal moments in my life. There I sat, leaning back against J in the pool, a baby’s entire head sticking out of my vagina and me cradling it in my two hands.

 

Wow.

 

I had done it! I had finished the worst part of birth, I had pushed the entire giant head out!!! And what a big HUGE head! (He did end up having a 15.5 inch head so it was pretty dang big.) I had this picture in my mind of an oval shaped head but oval horizontally not vertically. All of this rushed over me in a flash and all I could do was laugh! Laugh and cry and laugh that my birthing was almost over! My sweet boy was almost here! I was almost done with my last birth ever and the hardest part was over, I had DONE IT!! I could totally finish this job. I could push the rest of this baby out with the next contraction!

 

So I laughed and cried and laughed some more, holding my baby’s head, calling out to my support people. It was such a joyful moment, something I will never forget.

 

And then the next contraction hit and I thought, hey, my baby will slide right out this time! Um, no, it took another enormous effort on my part to squeeze out those shoulders and chest (little dude ended up being 10 lb, 13 oz). But once the chest was out, I felt his little hands, legs, and feet slither straight and slip out and, still holding his head and with my midwife’s help, I pulled my sweet boy up to my chest.

 

Yep. I did it. I had caught my own baby. I had lifted him onto my chest. My body had worked, it had worked damn hard and oh so amazingly and I had DONE IT! I birthed my boy in the peace and calm of water, lifted him out, and hugged him to me.

 

I had DONE IT!!! I laughed and kissed him and cried in astonishment. What a moment of sweet bliss.

 

And our sweet boy just laid there, gentle and quiet, not opening his eyes but just relaxing (and probably relishing not being squeezed anymore)! Both my babies have been very calm and quiet at birth, just laying there and taking in their new world. Of course I marveled at him, kissed my wonderful husband, thanked my marvelous support team, and marveled at myself and my body’s ability to bring a new person to my world.

 

Baby E was born at 5:53, about 3.5 hours after my first contraction and 4 hours after my water broke. What a busy, busy 4 hours!! And hey, it was still so early that the sun wasn’t even up and my baby had arrived! What I assumed would take all day got shorter and shorter as things progressed and there I was, holding my new kid on a Monday morning before most people were even up and eating breakfast!

 

After a while we cut the cord, I delivered the placenta with a small push, and got out of the tub. Then we were busy for a few hours as I tried to pee, got stitched up (3 stitches), ate and drank, nursed and examined our new boy, and talked to my birth team. When we weighed him, after he had pooped all over himself and me, he was 10 pounds, 13 ounces and 23.25 inches long with a 15.5 inch head. Wowee! And I thought it would be tough to deliver a 9 pounder! I had birthed an almost 11 pound kid!! I felt amazing (and very tired).

 

Finally, when he was about 3-4 hours old, we called our family and friends to tell them about our new baby. After that we relaxed, named our new little person, napped, and then loved on our new little family.

 

E’s birth was mind-blowing, one of the best days of my life. Later that night though, the worst day of my life began. E is happy and healthy now but it was a rough start that I’ll post another day. Makes us extra grateful for our little red headed darling!

It’s FRIDAY! Which isn’t different than any other day anymore….

C is a climber and when we moved the boys into the master bedroom, he discovered he the closet was a mini jungle gym. I bought a few items at the hardware store today to secure the existing rods better and to add more rods to swing on. 11

 

E rediscovered his Halloween costume hat and drove his scooter around upstairs. Not sure how the scooter got up there since it usually resides in the kitchen….IMG_3738

We made it out of the house around 11 and bought a lot of lumber, stopped at the grocery store, and grabbed some deep fried cheese curds. Yuuuummmm, cheese. Blog20

E and C love this Easter basket and today, after much play, it finally hit the dust and lost its bottom.
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I finally (FINALLY) anchored the two dressers in the boys’ room to the walls. Nothing motivates me toward safety like walking in to find the 4 yo jumping off his dresser and onto his bed. Eeek! Upon trying out the now safer setup, C announced very happily: “I can read BOOKS up here now!” And “E, look at me! I will not die now, E!” Apparently I should tone down the “you will DIE if you do this” message….

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More jumping in the “bouncy balls”. This gives us lots of practice with respecting the other brother’s wishes on personal space and to NOT jump on one another. IMG_3761

 

E fell asleep with drill bits tonight. I’m learning how to accommodate a child who gets very attached to things. After having one kid who has pretty much no objects that he’s bonded with, the second one is throwing me for a loop. It shouldn’t be that difficult since I was a kid who had piles of treasures that I collected, hoarded, and adored. But now that I’m a pretty avid declutter-er, this is a new mindset for me. I’m learning I can’t take E’s possessions from him, nor should I, without a very important reason. Really, why the heck can’t my kid hold his drill bits (or spoons or dustpans) when he falls asleep? Why do I try to tear these things away from him? At the end of a long day though, my reasoning is waning and I join my kids in the land of Irrational and Grouchy Humans. Also, my head hurts. Must call the chiropractor on Monday for an appointment. IMG_3763

Another Thursday

The boys bidding their father farewell with “Goodbye raisin! Goodbye salad! Goodbye mango!” and cackling like crazy at their funny jokes.IMG_3698.JPG

 

 

E loves to turn on the ABC song on his fridge toy. He will dance and sing along to it 10 times in a row before he loses interest. IMG_3702.JPG

 

 

The electric company had a couple vehicle parked in our driveway as they finished trimming trees along the power lines. We hardly made it to story time on time. This was E’s first time doing the parachute and he wasn’t sure about it but C is an old pro and followed Miss D’s directions, laughing with glee at the excitement of it all. Such new experiences for someone who has only been alive 4 years. Compared to my dull existence at 33 years old….. OH! The other day I watched a tiny spider catch a big fly with her JAWS and haul it into a window crack. It was pretty awesome! There, I’m not entirely jaded. IMG_3704.JPG

 

E basking in the fun that is piled precariously on our shelves. He’s always loved to “read” the books we keep here.IMG_3705.JPG

 

 

C and I made cookies and E made a mess with C’s forgotten egg and spices mixture. First he dripped it into the toaster and here he spilled on himself, the counter, chair, and floor. IMG_3707.JPG

Our cookies. Oooo! I should go eat one to carry me through another long day! Last night poor J worked until 11:30….  O.o  I think a few days off are in order when this deadline is met!

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E still hides in the refrigerator and freezer (brr!). Here he is grinning with happiness at how silly he is. IMG_3713.JPG

 

Then the kiddos had a long bath. IMG_3724.JPG

We finished out the day with dinner, reading books, chasing around the kitchen, dancing on the table, more chasing, more books, then bed.

C last night at bedtime: “Mama, I need some Mama lovin’ and a story to get sleepy.” And later when he gave me lots of good night kisses: “Oh no! My kissing mode is stuck on!” Oh my, these little kid creatures are adorable and delightful sometimes!

The house is such a wreck at the end of the day that I spend about an hour cleaning it after the boys go to bed. I’ve just accepted that in order to parent well, that’s how things go now. J used to take one evening off each week, for personal time, and I would always take that day a bit slower and not stick to my normal cleaning and work routines. With J being gone in the evening and most weekends for almost 3 weeks now, I’ve just accepted that my normal day should have less expectations. Otherwise I tend to lose patience with the boys way too quickly. We’re surviving fairly well at home. The house is reasonably clean (stay out of the project room) and we’re all eating decently and staying mostly calm.

I do really need to take a shower though….

Two Days

Yesterday E pulled out these little bean bag alphabet things we have. The boys have been using them to play story time, pretending that they were Miss Deborah or Miss Diana from out library. Here they are dancing and singing “shake, shake, shake your babies, shake em all down to the U R where” which is kid speak for “Shake, shake, shake it baby, shake it all across the USA”. IMG_3645.JPG

 

Later we met our school group at an indoor playground. C very carefully helped E for the first 1-2 hours, making sure E was following him up the 3 story climbing area and helping him whenever he needed it. C is very nurturing and gentle whenever we have small children or babies around. I so love watching him play and care for little people! Also, he discovered he loves climbing rock walls!IMG_3649.JPG

 

Before our school group we stopped for bagels (C read about them in a book and needed to try them) and after the school group we went to Costco. Busy day! The boys enjoyed many free samples and were very messy and happy after our hour browsing and enjoying the store. It was a rainy day so we needed to use both umbrellas! IMG_3650.JPG

E enjoys a “lementine”, as C calls them, on the way home. IMG_3652.JPG

C has really been using a lot of tape lately (omg, so much tape!) and yesterday started making marble mazes again. Also, E managed to somewhat overcome his fear of whoopee cushions and had fun blowing them up, setting them on his little toilet lid, then convincing J and I to sit on it. So hilarious. To a 1 year old. Oh, J came home for dinner last night! First time he’s been here for the boys’ bedtime in a while. And just as adjusting to his absence was tough, the evening with him finally at home was not smooth. Oh well! IMG_3662.JPG

 

Also, this is what the family room looks like:IMG_3665.JPG

And this is what E looked like going to bed. IMG_3668.JPG

E peeled his orange himself for lunch on Wednesday. C made the pbj sandwiches. IMG_3673.JPG

 

After lunch the boys watched Rube Goldberg machine videos and ate more food. Then we went to open gymnastics with our school group and WOW, C had such fun. Another little boy we know searched out C and the two kids played together the whole time. C had a blast and since he hasn’t made any close friends (beyond his very treasured cousins), it was nice to hear him asking on the way home to have K over to our house to play. Takes my kids a while to get warmed up to people, something they get from their parents. ;)IMG_3676.JPG

Electric company trimmed some of our trees. It sure was cold outside today! This is the view from my lap. IMG_3677.JPG

 

C boiled a couple of eggs and E found them cooling in the sink while C and I read in the family room. E ran in to us and gleefully announced that he’d peeled his egg and yep, he had done the whole thing almost completely by himself. Lots of peeling happening for E lately. :) I was grateful E stuck to one egg since a while ago he demolished half a dozen eggs that were waiting in a pot in the sink….IMG_3686.JPG

Then there was dinner and afterward battles with wooden spoons. We ended up playing Wild Architects, C’s newly invented game about fierce and wilds beasts…..IMG_3689.JPG

 

E simply HAD to take the wood spoons to bed with him. IMG_3696.JPG

 

Monday Monday, Long Fun Day

So since E and I were up so late, we slept until 7:00. C actually came down at 5:45 to the couch where E and I were sleeping and told me he was cold. I mumbled for him to get J and fell back to sleep. He returned some time later and told me he was cooking and I said whatever and again went back to sleep. SO RESPONSIBLE.

I awoke by 7:00 to this chocolate chip cake that C has made. J had found him putting in the oven and well, that’s what happens when your parents are both groggy and over worked! Fortunately I’ve taught C how to use our oven carefully and he cooks and bakes a lot with me BUT STILL. I’d much rather he NOT do this on his own. IMG_3496.JPG

 

 

 

E has always crossed his feet like this his whole little life. Sweet chubby feet! IMG_3641

Then C emptied the 3 bathroom trashcans into a trashbag, hid it, went outside to sneak and eat some Halloween candy (while E brushed his teeth and chatted with me), he wrote 3 letters all to his Geema (they had a theme of sweetly guilt tripping her into letting him spend the night again), did experiments with bubbles, then he and E both tied on capes and pretended they were Elsa and Anna from Frozen. I’d tell you what E did during all that but I have no idea other than the teeth brushing and sweet talking. I assume he stayed alive somehow.

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Here you see Anna and Elsa in their castle. IMG_3590.JPG

 

 

 

And here they are cuddling to keep each other warm. Afterwards they gave kisses to thaw their coldness. IMG_3642.JPG

 

Then there was castle building with couch cushions, arguing, screaming, changing, whatevering, and we left the house. They chased geese at the park and did not get chased back! IMG_3597.JPG

 

E ate and watched the birds. Also, he is using both hands again! Yay! Took about 1.5 weeks but we had a break through Saturday night at horrific place called Dave and Buster’s (or something like that). Among the shrill and offensively loud electronic games clanging all around us, E silently shoved both his open hands in my face. He started at them in wonder and it took me a second but YES!! He had opened his left hand!!! And he was delighted with it and we all rejoiced!! He still tends to have one or both hands closed but he uses them when he needs to! And wow, did that left hand stink like the sweaty and stifled fist it was…..IMG_3623.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

C enjoyed the creek at the park. The only logical outcome of this enjoyment and the 60 degree weather was him eventually stumbling into the water. IMG_3617.JPG

So he waded for a long time before getting cold. I don’t leave the house without spare clothes and today I grabbed shoes since park play tends to be messy. C and I both felt pretty happy with my planning! IMG_3620.JPG

 

 

Then we stopped by the local tractor place to return something and climb all their equipment. IMG_3625.JPG

 

Exploring plows. IMG_3630.JPG

After that we needed to go to the hardware store, a place the boys and I love. Sigh. :) We could buy it all!! But we didn’t. C did get lost for 30 seconds and every time this happens, I wonder if all my “when you get lost, do this…” training will actually be remembered. He tends to panic and cry (naturally) and I don’t know if he will be able to find help or speak to that person to tell them all our rehearsed info. IMG_3633.JPG

 

Home time was next. This was a big accomplishment for E! I cleaned the van and after wards asked him if he wanted to blow leaves. He hesitantly accepted and then had a marvelous time with it! Little dude really dislikes loud noises, especially the shop vac and it was nice to see him finally using it for something fun without freaking out. Perhaps he will one day suck his hair into silly shapes or clean my vehicle for me. IMG_3636.JPG

 

E later drew and quietly described while he worked: “E, I, O.” When we talk about letters, he has lately been saying “E is for (his name), E is for (C’s name), E is for Mama, E is for Dada.” It’s such fun watching him learn!IMG_3640.JPG

Also, it took a lot of convincing to get him to understand THERE ARE NO BUGS IN OUR BEDS. He is currently sleeping in the guest room with all the blankets stripped off (so no bugs can be hiding near him). After much screaming he calmed down, we read some books, and he nursed to sleep. Sigh. Poor kiddo was so worried.

Sunday Shenanigans

The boys hit the ground running today (as always….). First they were dogs and had to eat their food on the floor. Then they OF COURSE needed water to lap up.

 

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And a doghouse that needed to be decorated. IMG_3488.JPG

 

And decorated some more with weeds and duck tape. IMG_3491.JPG

 

When some raisins spilled, they immediately started gobbling them up like dogs. But really, this isn’t different than how food is cleaned by them on any normal day….IMG_3495.JPG

 

E lined up puzzle pieces and counted them. IMG_3494.JPG

Later we babysat a couple of little friends, the house exploded with noise, toys and messes, little friends were picked up, the boys and I made campfire, J stopped working and joined us, and we had a nice dinner together.

After the boys wet to bed, I worked an hour or so to clean up and J worked upstairs. Finally, when everything was done I got some school planning accomplished, and was sitting down to a slice of pumpkin pie when E awoke. He tossed and slept lightly for about an hour until he finally awoke at 10:30 shrieking and scrambling off the bed. Apparently he had dreamt about bugs being all over him and so I had to deal with that until midnight. J checked the bed and room and we showed him everything was safe but nope, E wouldn’t have it. He and I ended up sleeping on the couch (with no pillow since it could have bugs on it) and wow. After all that he had me worried that there WERE bugs all over the bed.

Fun stuff.

Thursday and Friday

Here’s the 4 yo dancing in his pirate dress. IMG_3450.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here he is preparing to hide when it was E and my turn to count. Also, E is horrific at hide and seek since (while hiding) he continually shouts “Coming, Mama! Deedee coming!”. And OF COURSE C immediately knows where we are. Sigh. IMG_3474.JPG

 

We made chocolate chip cookies for afternoon snack time and ate lots of them since they had flaxseed and chia seeds in them. Perfectly understandable and healthy. Here is E, showing me that in addition to eating dessert, he can also eat “pertend food” such as the letter R. IMG_3425.JPG

 

 

C nursing his baby: Timber Plant Hiccup Saw. What a name….IMG_3414.JPG

Today was our homeschool group day and the kids played with chairs for about an hour before we moved on to Thanksgiving crafts time. We didn’t wan tot interrupt their deep enjoyment with moving around about 30 chairs to make intricate shapes, forts, and even hospitals. IMG_3452.JPG

 

 

E wrote on the dry erase board. IMG_3454.JPG

 

Later my sister came over with her dogs to give them some exercise in our woods and creek. My kids let off some steam too. E stomped in many mud puddles and in the creek before he fell in too many times and I had to carry 36 pounds of wet still-one-year-old up the hill to our house. IMG_3473.JPG

C enjoyed running ahead with my sister and her pups. His feet were wet the entire time since he waded too far in the creek before our walk began. He never complained once but did want a hot bath when we were all done. :)IMG_3472.JPG

Election Day

Tonight was my 7th (of 8) night of solo parenting at bedtime. And hot damn, it went decent! Just as last week when getting 4 kids to the library on time actually got me there more on time than having 2 kids, apparently being a single parent gets my kids to bed on time. It doesn’t do much for my sanity 14 hours a day but hey, bedtime has been a breezy routine for the last 2-3 nights.  Also, I got through a DST change alone, a pretty big deal to a parent with small kids.

Of course tomorrow night everything will explode or J will actually come home before 9:00….

And look, I’m posting on my blog 2 days in a row! I couldn’t do that at all last week.

I’m a pretty big believer in “vent if you want to” and I’m actually really good/awful at just complaining for sympathy when I’m stressed. So I’m just going to tell you, yeah, I’d rather have J around and the last 8 days have been loooong. Being a verytemporary single parent (though my kids get to see J in the mornings sometimes) puts me in yet another place where I really can understand another situation other people live in for months or years at a time.

Back to the little kiddos in this life: This morning C wanted to cook eggs in a little wooden pot over a candle. We compromised by cooking them in the fondue pot.

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When they were finally ready, C divided them up and we all enjoyed a second breakfast consisting of a second helping of eggs. E fed them to his baby in the stroller and gave them a thumbs up. “Ummmy!” he said while holding the stroller handle with his still unusable left fist. Also, I had to feed E his lunch since BOTH hands were holding invisible jingle bells for a little while today. He looked at his sandwich and salad and then his balled fists, perplexed as to why they wouldn’t open. Eventually he asked me to feed him. SIGH. His pediatrician said to give it another week and call Monday to make an appointment if he’s not back to normal. SIGHSIGHSIGH. IMG_3373-0.JPG

 

 

Here he is making his lunch. IMG_3376.JPG

 

We finally made it out of the house at 2:00 pm and voted. C and E stood on a chair and helped me and C decided if the judges got to stay or go. We’re real serious about our voting around here…..IMG_3382.JPG

 

Play dough after dinner. This is C’s work. IMG_3390.JPG

 

He also made a campfire and roasted a marshmallow on it. IMG_3397.JPG

 

E’s work. He made lots of birthdays and sang Happy Birthday many times. He also can apparently count to 9? I thought he could only make it to 3, then today he independently counted to 4, then when putting “candles” in his “cake”, he counted to 9 (though not consistently or independently every single time). It’s so fun to see how much he absorbs and learns each day! IMG_3392.JPG

 

The Last Week in Review

Life has been pretty busy lately. J has been working a lot of hours, getting home around 9-10 pm and he worked 12 hours over the weekend. This project is due soon but it can’t happen soon enough for me! I always feel gratified when people not only empathize with J and his lack of free time, but also recognize the extra burden it puts on the boys and me. I’m pretty happy I have a spouse who knows solo parenting from 6 am until 8 pm isn’t an easy job, especially when I’ve been doing it for many days in a row. Staying patient with the boys isn’t a simple task after not having a break for nearly 2 weeks. There’s been more yelling (from all of us!) than normal. :(  I don’t know if it’s the after effects of Halloween candy or my parenting but the boys are both grouchier and fighting more than usual. Blurgh.

Anyway, life keeps going! The boys have been up to their normal antics such as playing in the rain before breakfast. And before the sun rises….

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I had a niece and a nephew staying Wednesday and Thursday. This was fun but added a few gray hairs to my head and a deep layer of toys covering the boys’ room. IMG_3335.JPG

 

C and I are working on following directions the first time (that really means him) and today I lost it at the end of the day. Blurgh again! But here’s the boy cleaning off the little table. Occasionally dishes drop and break since he prefers to pile everything and carry it teetering to the sink.IMG_3309.JPG

 

 

E was a chicken for Halloween and here he is playing with the dinosaurs at the library. “Oh no, I falled!!” is what they were saying. :)IMG_3334.JPG

 

C has been doing art. This one began as the sun and solar flares and ended up as Dada. IMG_3348.JPG

 

We marveled at everyday science with these stalactites. Another adventure before the sun has even risen when we ate our eggs in the candlelight. IMG_3364.JPG

 

Museum with friends and here are my boys! Doing stereotypical boy things! And ARGH! Today C made his first gender stereotyping comment when he saw a women with short hair “Look, she has short hair like a boy, Mama.” Whaaaaa??? I have short hair!! I sighed inwardly and quickly agreed but informed him of males in his life who have long hair and females in his life who have short hair LIKE HIS MOTHER. IMG_3360.JPG

 

Another library trip. Minecraft gave me a quiet moment when I wished I had my book and coffee but the moment vanished because, well. E. Kid has a super temper lately. And also won’t unclench his left fist for the entire day for the last 5 days. Sigh. In the middle of the night I wake and worry about him. IMG_3367.JPG

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