Monday, November 21, 2016

"Embrace the Crazy"

That is what a coworker told me this morning, and what a true statement. Sometimes it is easy to get bogged down in how crazy life is, or how tired I am. I am SO tired. You would think that having 2 children would kind of prepare you for 3 children, but it seems like of like this exponential doubling effect. One child changes your life and your schedules. Then you have two. But it seems like three times the work, rather than double the work. Then you have a third, and it seems like three times the work again, rather than just adding one more.

To be fair, a significant portion of the "tired" could be due to the fact that we are still in this baby stage, which is beautiful and wonderful and tender, but tiring. Bethany is sleeping really very well for her age; she goes to bed at 8 and wakes up sometimes not until 6 a.m., but other times she wakes up at 2 or 3 a.m. It's still 6 or 7 hours of sleep in a row, but it is still up in the middle of the night. Last night, for example, she got up at 3:30. Great amount of sleep for a little body and little belly, but I didn't go to bed until 11 p.m. so that's a good 4 hours into my sleeping, and since my alarm goes off at 5 a.m. it's pretty much set that I won't get much more sleep (I know, I know, I need to get to bed earlier... but here we are again with the "tired" struggle, because the dishes have to get done at some point!)

So, this morning my alarm went off and my tired body just wasn't ready to accept it I guess. After the third "snooze" I must have chosen to ignore the alarm, because I woke up at 6:07. I have to leave my house by 6:30 with the girls. 23 minutes is not really enough time to get 4 people ready, especially not if the baby is going to nurse (which I normally try to do before work so I am not exploding). So, I threw work clothes on and fixed my hair, grabbed coats and shoes and outfits for the girls (didn't try dressing them) and unzipped Bethany from her sleeping sack and snuggled her in her car seat blanket.

And then I grabbed my manual pump, and pumped a fresh bottle in the car on the way to Sherri's house (who is very gracious) so that she didn't have to thaw a bottle in case Bethany wanted to eat right away since she last ate at 3:30 a.m. Straight from the cow *insert mildly amused but also tired face*.

I was telling Linda at work about it, and she reminded me that you just have to enjoy it and embrace it, because the crazy is life right now. That's what it is. And it's great. But it's crazy. But it's great. And it's going to go by so fast. She said "that's hilarious, you have to step back and laugh at it, because pumping in the car on the way to work is hilarious". And it's true. I'm sitting there driving with my shirt half way up, using a manual pump to take milk out of my body to feed my newborn, and singing Christmas music with my kids. And I'm also so glad that my car is tall and that it's dark out so that the entire world can't see me expressing milk.

Thanksgiving is this week already, on Thursday. I'm going to enjoy the holiday with my girls, and I am so looking forward to getting out the Christmas decorations together and for the first time, decorating our new house for Christmas. I can't wait to put up twinkling lights, set up a tree, have stockings on the mantle. Soon, my family will be here. Time is flying by, and I am going to work to cherish and enjoy every bit of crazy with my beautiful girls.

I'll throw in a quick update on the house in here, because that is certainly part of the crazy. We fixed our closet this week so that it has more hanging space and I really wish I had a before/after picture because it looks so much better. Bob came by and he and Chris got it all squared away, and then my in-laws surprised us with a new kitchen faucet, which I am crazy in love with. The last one was insistent on making my life difficult, because the hose would get stuck so when I would try to pull out the sprayer it wouldn't come out, and then the spray function on the nuzzle would go all over the place, and the handle was loose so sometimes when I turned it on, it would turn itself off, especially when the garbage disposal was running. So, anyway, love the new one!!
Sisters playing together.

Crazy girl sat with all her stuffed animals and asked me to take a picture

Heidi reading "K is for Knifeball" - joke book from my cousin Andrew. Oops. Will have to hide those!

Freshly organized closet.

Three Months!

Today my little Bethany Grace is 3 months old. One quarter of the way through her first year of life outside of the womb. The last month of her life has been a crazy busy one, but she seems to handle busy-ness very well (perhaps the benefit of two older sisters that are close in age to her!).

One the day that she turned 2 months old we bought our house. She was a great sport and "helped" mommy and daddy with the wallpaper removal. I did a lot of painting and wallpaper removal while I was holding and feeding a baby. She does like to stretch out though, and sometimes she was quite happy to lay down on the carpet and watch us do work. Sometimes I think she might be an active girl like Heidi is, because she doesn't always like to be in and snuggled with me but seems to prefer lying on back her, watching the action and sometimes trying to kick her legs and be part of the action herself.

I love tickling her ribs. She bunches her legs up like a little frog and starts to make a grunting/laughing sound. She hasn't had a full-on belly laugh yet but she's getting close. Smiles come easily to this kid too, and if she is fed and with a clean diaper, she will smile at me until she falls asleep. If I am next to her, for example if she is on her playmat and I am sitting on the floor next to her working on my laptop or talking to her, she will eventually just fall asleep happy.

Her sisters makes her smile lots too. Heidi loves to hold and tickle her (though the holding doesn't usually last longer than 10-15 seconds). Sophia takes the big sister responsibility very seriously and will sing to Bethany and rock her if she is upset, and will play with her and smile at her. They'll sing "I love you so much" or "Jesus Loves Me" with her all of the time.

We have, by God's grace, had incredible weather for the first three months of her life. We got snow and cold for the first time on Friday last week, and fortunately we didn't get more than a dusting of snow (but poor Erica up in Sauk Center got like a foot of snow). I have had to bundle her up in her carseat now, and she looks like the kid in A Christmas Story ("I can't put my arms down!")

Bethany is still a much "spittier" baby than the other two were, and I have had to get used to always carrying a burp cloth (or two) around. If I am home with the girls I generally wear a t-shirt and go through 2 or 3 of them after she is done spitting on them. Sophia does not like the spit-up, but she's my weak stomach kid and tends to get squeamish around any type of bodily fluid.

She is starting to discover her thumb, which I am okay with. I tried and tried the pacifier with her because it is supposed to help with spittier kids but she just didn't want it. Over the last week or two she has been more consistently finding and sucking on her thumb. It can be hard to break the habit of thumb sucking but I don't that she'll be able to self-soothe.

Over the past week I started work (officially on Nov. 14, one week before she was 3 months old). I've missed being home with her during the days. It isn't helpful to think this way but I find myself thinking "all she's known for 3 months of life is Mommy and here I am abandoning her!" But, of course, it is harder on Mommy than it is on Bethany, and she seems to be even taking a bottle well for Sherri now.

I am still bathing her in her little flower tub, which she enjoys. She likes her bath and massage time as much as I do and will be smiling at me during both. She's getting so big, it's hard to believe that 3 months and one day ago that little body was hanging out inside of mine. Kicking away and listening to a heartbeat, before deciding it was time to make a grand entrance.  I love her smiles, her sweet little personality is shining through already and it's only going to get better as time goes on.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Continuing Pitts Project

My girls have lately really been loving on each other and that is just so much fun for me to see. Not sure what the catalyst for this was, but lately Sophia and Heidi have been hugging each other and saying "we're best friends!" and it's just ridiculously adorable. Heidi will hug up to Chris or myself or her Pooh Bear and say the same thing. They will also hug up to Bethany and say the same thing, or give her kisses. And it's funny, like with Heidi before her, Sophia has the capability to just make Bethany smile when she is in her presence.

We've been getting back into the social swing of things too. Erica came by last week and again yesterday, which was really nice. The girls go crazy when they see her and just have a ton of fun, and we have Katie and Raelynn join in on the fun a lot as well. Yesterday we all trekked to The Biggest Candy Store in Minnesota together, and everybody fit in my car (4 car seats, 3 adults). That was cool. Way to go Honda Pilot. Last night was college care package night at church and Chris watched the older girls while I attended with Bethany. I brought a chili; Chris was a little possessive of the chili because I made it with leftover brisket, which is so far his favorite thing that he has made on the new smoker.

The smoker. Yes. That is actually pretty cool. I didn't think it would be as fun as it is, or as useful, I was skeptical, but it has been great. The girls' favorite thing so far has been "beer butt chicken" which they actually requested thirds of. I asked Sophia after she ate her dinner, "would you like dessert or more chicken?" and she said "more chicken!" The brisket cooked while we were at church on Sunday so that was fun, to come home to a big slab of meat being almost ready.

Progress on the house is coming along nicely. Next I am going to repaint either the dining/kitchen area or the living room and I am working on picking colors for those.  It's definitely getting settled now and feeling like home. The girls love their play room, and almost always drag visitors in to see it, and Chris likes his quiet office. Though we did discover fairly quickly (and the girls did too) that it is directly below their bedroom, so they can speak to him through the vents if they are in bed and he is in there working. My photo wall is making good progress too. One of my favorite things is getting pictures of my kids up.  In 6 days we have people coming to put the fence in, which will be an awesome change. For all of Copper's little life he has had to be chained up when he is outside, but we will finally be able to let him run free in the backyard and I am sure he can't wait to tell those squirrels who is boss. He is officially our senior dog now, as he turned 7 this month.

Little Bethany may turn into a thumb-sucker like her older sister. Yesterday I fed her, made the girls' lunches and my lunch, and laid her on the floor on her blanket/boppy pillow while I was eating and at one point I looked over to see a sleeping little girl, with her thumb in her mouth, happy as could be.

I just got an Amish friendship bread starter from a friend at church and I am actually really excited about making it. I remember loving friendship bread, though I haven't had it since I was a kid and my mom had a starter from somebody, so I am super excited about this. It's sitting on my kitchen counter, waiting for me to add the day 5 or 6 ingredients when I get home tonight.

Today at work we had a "team talk", where higher-ups in the corporate ladder come and meet with us and just discuss goings-on in the larger picture for Park Nicollet. The focus of the talk today was diversity, which made me happy because my coworker came in to tell me this morning that it reminded her of The Office episode, Diversity Day. So of course, me being the mature individual that I am, texted her memes and gifs from that episode of The Office during the meeting.

Remember when you were a kid and thought people grew up? I don't think they do. I think "grown up" just means there is a more subtle, sophisticated way of making light of life in the way a kid would. Except people do tend to tarnish innocence with age too.

This week will mark the third week of our pro-life Sunday school class. It's been really fun to work on this with Chris and as much as I know he is a better teacher than I am, I am very passionate about the material and enjoy researching it and reading about it. I am looking forward to the next 11 weeks of classwork.

That's all for now!
"We're best friends!"

Sophia climbs up there on her own

"I want to be next to the baby!" says Sophia

Heidi about to body slam Daddy

Refusing to wear pants...