Thursday, November 21, 2013

Needing a Break

Y'all. Is it Christmas yet? I'm not sure I've ever needed a break so badly. I had a total breakdown Monday. I mean an absolute and total meltdown. I held back every ounce of loneliness, anger, frustration, sadness, and resentment that had been slowly accumulating until that night when I spoke with Chad. I finally heard his voice for the first time in 5 days, and I just lost it.

Do you ever just really, desperately need to have a pity party? Well, I do. I'm a selfish, jealous human being. And you are, too, even if you won't admit it. I've had such a hard time lately balancing everything. Between work and motherhood, my day is full. I completely understand why people get divorced after being married for 30 years. It's because they've spent that entire time working, parenting, and keeping up with household obligations and one day wake up to retirement and an empty nest. They don't even know their spouse anymore. Isn't that horrible? To just go through the motions? I literally end my day with a gold star if my children are alive, the dog has been fed, I've had a bath, and the house isn't a TOTAL disaster (only slightly:).

Our household motto is "people do it every day." And it's true. I'll make a remark like "I just wish I had time to do something for myself. ANYTHING for myself." And Chad will say... "Well, you don't. People work and raise children every day." He keeps me in check because most people do work full time, raise children, participate in community events, and keep up a house. And guess what? They survive. But I don't want to just survive. I want to LIVE. Three days this week MaryCollis has asked to go to the park, and every day I've had to tell her "Maybe tomorrow, baby." And I want to die because we both know I'm lying every time I say it. We won't have time tomorrow.... or the next day.

That brings me back to the source of my irrational meltdown. I had been home alone with the kids for 5 days (which is nothing new, but it really takes a toll on me when he's gone on the weekends, not weekdays), I had a super bad day at work, and MaryCollis wanted nothing more than to have a tea party. "Give me just a minute, darling.... I've got to feed Buddy" was followed by "Hold on... I'm making bottles for tomorrow, then I've got to make dinner" then "Not right now.... it's bath time" then "Let me get Penn down, and we'll go to the playroom for tea" and finally "Uh-oh, it's 8:30! Way past your bedtime." I read her a bedtime story, cuddled for an unreasonable amount of time, and initiated prayers. I cried all through doing laundry, loading dishes, and my bath. Please, God, don't let her see me as a too-busy parent who never spends time with her. I can't bear it.

I know the "best thing" is for me to work and accumulate retirement, and the best thing for Chad is to stay with the job that keeps him from us 80% of the time because that's what is financially responsible and stable for our family... but is it really the best thing? It doesn't feel like the best thing. In fact, it feels very wrong. I know lots of women who stay home - and I was one of those people for a bit - and I find myself filled with jealousy... Resentment toward them for my having to work while they get to enjoy "Pancakes with Parents" and field trips with their kids. 

I'm angry at people who get to eat dinner with their entire family each night. I'm frustrated that I wake up at 5am, get kids to school, work until 3, run whatever errands I can get done in an hour's time, pick kids up, put Penn down for a nap while I wash bottles from today/prepare for tomorrow and make dinner, feed and bathe kids before putting them down and having a bath of my own, then do as much dishes/laundry as I can muster (it never ends!), grade papers, prepare tomorrow's lesson, etc. Saturdays aren't much better. When is the down time? When will I get to spend time with my kids? 

I am blessed. I have a job, precious children, food and shelter, a generous spouse, a family and support system, and fantastic friends. I've got absolutely nothing to complain about, but I just feel like life is meant to be enjoyed, and there's no time to enjoy it. Please tell me y'all feel like that sometimes and I'm not completely selfish and irrational?? No? Just me, then? Okay.

Well, we are looking forward to a much-needed BREAK. I have big plans to spend time with my big girl. We're going to bake things, stay in our pajamas all day, play at the park, have as many tea parties as she wants, go for nature walks, and laugh a lot. :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Penn at 9 months + MC Update

Doc tried to buckle him in. Bless it.

Bam-Bam in action. Opening drawers and throwing things out.

Penn is 9 months old! This month, he...

- Weighs about 19.5 pounds. NO IDEA how tall (we'll see at our next checkup)
- Feeding schedule: oatmeal + 6-8 oz. at 7am; fruit + 8 oz. at 11am; snacks + 8 oz. at 3pm; finger foods + veggie when we eat dinner (around 6pm) and 8 oz. at 6:30pm
- Sleeps 6:45pm to 6:45am
- Size 3-4 diapers (This really upsets me because size 4 was the last size MC ever wore before pull-ups. Boo hoo.)
- Just moved up to 9-12 clothes (except in pants - those are 6-9 or even 3-6!)
- Size 3 shoe (but takes them off)
- LOVES to be outside and LOVES any type of ball
- Crawling, pulling up on everything, climbing, you name it
- Has done standing with "no hands" a few times
- Getting better with the sippy cup. MC was a pro by this point, but I was home to work with her.
- 2 teeth on bottom
- He is a WIGGLE WORM. Diaper changes are a real struggle.
- Major Bam-Bam. Throws, hits, bangs everything.
- Says "dadadadadadada" and jibbers
- Can climb stairs. Obviously, this is a very parent-supervised activity, but he's really good at it!

God love it. Sick wittle thing.

He had tubes surgery October 22, and it went well. We went for the 2-week follow up on the 7th, and everything looked great. He's been super sick the past 2 weeks, but it wasn't ears this time! Hallelujar. He was swabbed for flu and strep, but both were negative. He's on antibiotic for runny nose, high fever, and inflamed throat. And MC is sick, too. Joy. I have officially used up all of my sick AND personal days on these kids. And it's only November.

MC was feeding her sick baby while I fed mine


And what do you think Miss Priss was doing the whole time? Moving things, teaching school, hiding in the "firetruck," using the "warmometer" to listen to our hearts, etc.

Follow up at Ear, Nose and Throat

Penn started finger foods recently and is loving it. He has had banana, avocado, Club minis, baby cheetos, Cheerios, yogurt melts, mum mums, french fries (sorry not sorry), carrots, ripe pear, and soft-baked apples. He adores banana and Club minis.

Baby Whisperer in action

"Grandma said yes." Imagine that.....

Possibly the best photo I've ever gotten of this little rascal

Headed to see the Naders play!

Every diva eats hamburger sliders with jewels on.

I had some girlfriends over Saturday, so the kids got ultra-spoiled. We even took MC to eat sushi for the first time!

Wiggle worm

Chester and Sara gave MC a wooden sushi set and book for her birthday, and she adores it. She requests it every night before bed. Here's a video of her reading the book. "Shushi and shoy shauce." Hehe.

"Miso in my sippy cup, tofu in my bowl...."

So Saturday we took her to Sake Cafe to give it a try. I knew she wouldn't eat it, but it was fun anyway. She only ate a bite of rice off the outside of the California roll, but she did have some tempura chicken and fried rice. Her favorite part was jotting down orders from neighboring tables and using the chopsticks.

"Come give me a bath, JuJu. It's really easy... you just dunk and play!"

MaryCollis loves church. A lot. Every other day she asks if it's Sunday yet. Last Sunday I had to be there early to block "Ruth" for the Christmas drama, so she went with me so she could play with her best friend Emma Kate. Those girls are thick as thieves... but I'm glad they're so close because EK is just as bossy as MC, so at least MC gets bossed around a little instead of always doing the bossing! As I finished blocking in the sanctuary, I spotted two little monkeys in the choir loft. Stinkers!

She is also really into teaching school. She lines up her "three-year-olds" and gives them treats as they answer her questions. She also puts them in time out when they don't listen to her. Last week Teddy was her prize student:

I stayed home with Penn three days last week while he battled high fever, inflamed throat, and runny nose. He is still on antibiotic for cold symptoms, but we finally got the fever down. I was hoping it would miss MC, but the Patricks have no such luck. She's got it this week. I know it's horrible to say, but I kind of love when she's puny. She's so cuddly and sweet. Exhibit A:

She was feeling a bit better last night, so we made french bread pizza. She was a BIG help and even asked to do the dishes after.

"Push my sleeves up, Mama. I've gotta clean."

She ate half a piece before asking me to remove the "broccoli" (peppers) and "black circles" (olives).

And y'all...... please look at this kid. I can't even deal with the cuteness.

I went on a little cleaning rampage and demanded Janie take all of the baby clothes she could fit into her car.... and she did, y'all. She really, really did.

MC wearing my baby sun hat - couldn't part with any of my things!

Trying on shoes that are 4 sizes too small while Auntie Jane sorts.


MC has been WAY into "helping" recently: cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, whatever.

Painting her train, which she is WAY too big for but refuses to give up

Making Daddy a salad (of tomatoes)

Both kids still sound horrible, and I feel myself getting sick. Hoping the Patricks get well soon and enjoy a nice, long, much-needed Thanksgiving BREAK.

PS. MaryCollis at 9 months. Such a little chubster.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fall Happenings 2013

October was IN.sane. Each year we celebrate breast cancer awareness month with "Pink Out the Jungle." I left Penn with Tyler, and I loaded MC up for her first NEJ football game. We decked out in pink and had a blast with our family and friends.

She was tickled to death to see Caroline, her schoolmate whose mother I work with. They played babies, shared snacks, and giggle incessantly. She didn't want to leave at halftime, but LaLa was coming to town and we had to go meet her.

The rest of the weekend I was really bad with taking pictures, which is unfortunate because it was my 10-year high school reunion. These are the only ones I got... I didn't even get one of my hot date, Lauren.

We've had some really pleasant weather, so I've been spending lots of time outside with the kiddos. Penn is learning to deal with his fear of grass.

October, of course, brought the South Mississippi Fair. We didn't get to spend very long there because we went on a Friday evening, but the kids had a great time. MaryCollis rode several rides, licked the ketchup off my corndog, ate a nutty bar while watching the sea lions, and hitched a ride to the car on Daddy's shoulders. Can't ask for a better night than that. And Penn? Well.... he was just along for the ride. Happy to be outside.

We went to Fall Festival at Kids Kingdom but didn't stay very long because it was getting to be bath time (Bite me! I'm a schedule freak!). We did several rounds at the Cake Walk, played a few games, and had snacks.

MC and Caroline

Fishing for treasure

Penn started with a few finger foods this month, and we might have given him his first french fry. Loved it.


Forget the bites. I want the whole nanner!

Doc tried to buckle him in. Poor buddy.

Of course we had Halloween in October, which was a separate post, and we ended the month with Open House at Southern Antiques. We got to visit with lots of friends, and we sold several things in our booth.

Orange Day at School

Looking forward to a nice, relaxing break in a few weeks. Bring on the turkey!


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