Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Funky Town

I have zero idea why Fort Worth is called Funky Town by some, but I've never really enjoyed the nickname.  But this post isn't about the beauty of Fort Worth--less about town, more about funk.  I'm in a funk.  There I said it.  Not depressed, exactly, just blah.  Exhausted.  I need to work-out and knowing I'm not a morning person, not to mention being responsible for getting the tribe out the door each morning, I feel like the evenings are doable.  I've worked-out successfully at this time before and it worked. Problem is that currently by 7:30 or 8:00, I'm done.  D-O-N-E.  Exhausted.  Antisocial.  It's like my job and parenting responsibilities have sucked every last ounce of energy out of me by 8pm.

I realize I have 3 small children and a full-time job, but seriously, I am chronically feeling sleep-deprived, even when I'm getting plenty of sleep.  I also realize this could just be life, could be stress, could be medical. I even took a pregnancy test, just to make sure, despite my husband having the big V last year.  Yeah, desperate, panicky measures.  I think I've now decided it would be prudent to actually find a PCP since I'm done bearing children & have been relying on my (wonderful) OB-GYN  for this job.  The last true physical I had was in 2011. . . and that was a well-woman check, no bloodwork.  Yeah.

So, hypochondriac?  Lazy?  Real disorder? I don't know.  This post is a total going-out-on-a-limb moment because if my mom reads this, she will ask me daily: a) "How are you feeee-ling?" and b) if I've actually made the appointment.  Sometimes my own policy of "it's always good to be honest" policy gets me into trouble.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Perspective. The Heart-Warming Kind.

This.  On days like today when I am overwhelmed with my piddly problems, I need some perspective, especially perspective that doesn't come with sound because I often seek perspective when I'm rocking a baby to sleep.  Today, this was the solution.  Well, this and rum & Diet Coke.

Working Moms, Unite! (Or just try to survive. . . )

Just when I'm all "I've got this" and am crafting a post on how I've survived working full-time with three kids ages four and under (hello, pat on the back), I have a day.  So yeah.  Let's keep it real.  I live in a house of cards that when the stars are aligned, works well.  However on off weeks days, things are cling-on-by-your-fingernails to survive with any semblance of health.

So today before today went all shit-show in my head, I say head because in actuality it was a fine day, but my mood was all testy.  BUT lately things have been a bit better than not.  I almost feel like a grown-up.  Almost.  As I've mentioned before, laundry and housework are my nemesis (is this also the plural form. . . nemeses? I dunno).  I have managed to keep all three of my children alive and well, mostly eating well without much planning.

I have spent much of my parenting life plotting and planning & then hoping someone else will do the work--you know, like a domestic mastermind.  I know this isn't logical, but I have persevered mightily with this escapade.  I've been known to walk over shizz on the floor for weeks, getting illogically angry that someone else (read: my husband) hadn't picked up the toy/napkin/sock.

We took a somewhat radical step a few months ago and canceled our cleaning service.*  We had dropped down to them only coming every 4 weeks and the results weren't super satisfying.  We used those funds instead to pay for a laundry service.  Yup.  My wonderful mother and rediscovered friend, Jeremy, got us a gift certificate for the service when we added bonus baby.  Laundry Mountain? No. Freaking. More.  (Please know our office couch is always often covered with laundry still to put away.)

Enter my next step of being a grown-up--each night we try to do at least one chore.  Chris always does the dishes (I know, I'm lucky); I always sweep.  Then I add bathrooms, dusting. . .  something in short bouts of 15 minutes or so.  It's helping.

In June we added a meal-planning service for real food, which I expected Chris to put into play.  I. Know.  Seriously, I know.

But I've changed! (For the moment.)  For the last 2 weeks, I have prepped the veggies for dinners so that Chris can start dinner when he gets home.

Veggies for last week's meals.  Chopped and ready to use.

Sauce prepared for the slow-cooker recipe of Meatball Arribiata last night, eaten tonight.

Meatballs ready for the Arribiata sauce & the other half prepped for tomorrow's meal.  

It's freaking working.  Really.  The process of meal-planning is completely overwhelming to me, which leads to ordering out or eating lots of sandwiches.  The $10/month for our meal plans is worth it for the whole-food recipes that are planned for us.  I can chop veggies.  I can.  

So that's how we are keeping our heads above water for the moment.  The laundry service might be saving my life, simply because I'm not tripping and sliding on laundry in the dark hallway.  

*I completely recognize this is a First-World Problem and that we are incredibly lucky to have any extra income for someone to help us survive.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

And What a Year It Was. . .

It's hard to believe this little man has been occupying space on this earth for over a year now (I am aware this picture says 10 months.  I can't seem to locate the 11 month pics & haven't taken the 12 month pics yet. Yeah.)  The Bonus Baby.  I wasn't sure I could love him the same way as the other two.  I was right.  I can't. (Totally not because he's the one I didn't have an epidural for)  He is a treasure all his own, full of cuddles, bashful smiles and special love for mommy.  No walking yet, predictable since his siblings didn't walk until 16 and 17 months old, respectively.  Actually, he has a crazy crawl propelled by one foot.  I am certain he has the strongest big toe in Texas.  I've often lamented that I never had kids that would sleep in crazy places.  Well, out of necessity, KP wins this race.  My dad says he has smiley eyes--his whole face lights up with joy. .  . unless there are loud noises or his parents walk out of his sight, then his bottom lip quivers, jutting out to express just how heart-broken he feels.  No worries, a thumb in the mouth solves everything.  

Seriously.  Face half in the water, half-out.  Asleep.  Clearly the best sleeper on vacation.

I love this picture.  Love.  This is my boy, in a nutshell.

Fifteen months or so ago I had no idea how we would survive.  How we would ever ever go on a vacation again.  How I would ever get out of the house on time for my job with four people to get ready.  Then Chris decided he needed a career change, exactly at the time this little boy was due to make his appearance.  No one else really understood our reasoning, but we just took it day-by-day.  Chris and I call it our own brand of chaos--dirty floors, sticky counters, toys everywhere, more laundry than I ever imagined, loud voices, hugs, tears, toys everywhere (seriously, everywhere).  I can officially say I survived working full-time as a mom of three.  We are a rare breed,I only know a handful of moms who have their own tribe and still work full-time, but with help of a laundry service & my generous co-parent, I have done it for one year.  Eighteen more to go.. . .although with current job stats, that may be more like twenty-one more to go.  I figure as longs as smiles out-number tears, hugs out-number hits, there is food on the table and healthy kids and parents, I'm ready to tackle the challenge.  

Saturday, September 14, 2013

So Maybe They Favor?

Cleaning out pictures on my hard drive and came across these photos.  All on the left are Ell & KP on the right.  Sometimes their resemblance catches me off guard.






Thursday, September 12, 2013

I'm Not Ready (The Hard Things)

Hard parental discussions are framed in my head by children than are ages 10 years old and older.  I figure my crowd, the under 5 crowd, should be filled with questions about where candy comes from, when can we ride a tractor and when can I get married.   Can I get an amen on this one?

Things I didn't bargain for?  A 4.5 year old that is far too perceptive and inquisitive for his own good.  So perceptive, in fact, that he asked me yesterday morning in the car why there were so many flags out.  Seriously?  This is where my commitment to be honest about all the things to the point it's appropriate seems questionable (I'm looking at you Mom, Ms. I-don't-know-what-bastard-means).  Turns out 9-11 is a tricky thing to explain to an anxious, perceptive, sensitive kid.

Time will tell on if I gave the right, or enough, or too much, information.  I told Ell that some bad guys killed a lot of people because they didn't like our country and that the flags are the way we can remember them. He accepted this, we moved on to discussion of Goofy throwing up in my car. . . until this morning.

"Mommy, why do some people have to die before us?"  Death is a common source of questions in the mind of a 4.5 year old, so I answered that we are all going to die someday and no one knows when that might be.  "Why did those bad guys have to kill all those people? What happened to the bad guys?"  Twenty-four hours later and his wheels still turning, trying to make sense of the unreasonable.  Raising children in a world of uncertainty is tough, but the world is no more uncertain than it has always been.  The question is how to balance protection and honesty, to raise bold & brave children not cowed by fear of coulds and might happens?  Right now my answer is simplified honesty.  I don't know that it's right, but it's right for right now.