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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I know I did the right thing, so why is it so hard?

Running behind again, still searching for a morning routine that will get me to work by 9 and Charlotte in pre-school by 8:45.  We rush through our morning, packing bags, eating breakfast, dressing Charlotte and getting ready to leave.  Finally we are out the door when she looks at me in panic and says, “You forgot to wrap my arm”!

The cast has been off for 4 days; she’s had a splint through Sunday and all of Monday a simple wrap to cover the ugly Band-Aids, which I had finally removed in the evening bath.  She’s completely better, there is no need for wraps and in fact a wrap will only prevent her from flexing the arm, which she needs to do to regain motion!  I try to reason with her but she’s 4 and she will not be reasoned with.  She is certain that an exposed arm means the other kids will hurt Charlotte.  She’s angry with me for taking her out of the house without protection.

We make it to the car with her crying the entire five-minute walk.  I’m late for work, I’ve already paid for school, with her in this mood she’d be a terror for the rest of the family today, she’s going to school.  I get her into her car seat with some effort.  She glares at me and continues to complain that the other kids will hurt Charlotte.  She’s scared of pain.  She refuses to play with my phone and stares out the window with her little chin jutted out.

Oh the frustrations of four, to not have an adult understand and acquiesce!

In the half hour drive her face finally softens and anger slowly ebbs away.  We arrive to school and she runs ahead of me, I see some joy in her steps.  We arrive into the class and she demands a jacket before going into her class.  I agree but I brought the wrong jacket.  She wants it zipped up and the hood placed over her head.  I agree but refuse to remove her hair ties.   We finally walk into the classroom and the teacher exclaims, “What happened?”  Where do I start?  So I simply say, it was not an easy morning and Charlotte is worried her arm will get bumped today.  We say our goodbyes, Charlotte finally wanting a hug and kiss.  She smiles at me.  I ask the teacher to call me if Charlotte wants to leave. 

I drive to work knowing it was right to deny her the arm wrap but part of me wishing I had just given in one more day.  Poor Charlotte, to have a mom just as determined to do things her way must be frustrating.  Sometimes I wish I could be more relaxed about things but I’m not.  We are going to have quite a time in the teen years. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Daddy Time

For two years Charlotte had exclusive daddy time (my husband's a stay at home dad).  Then in 2010 we had Sam and she had to share time.  Then in 2012 we had Violette and time got spread even thinner.  She made up for that by playing hard with Sam - so hard that one day a month ago she fell in her room and broke her elbow.  It's been a difficult month for all of us as we deal with her pain and suffering.  When small children are hurting they get very grumpy so it's been an extremely stressful summer!

This past Thursday she got the cast off and just has to wear a splint for a few days.  She's almost better and we are so glad to get things back to normal around here!

Today I suggested she go see the movie "Brave" with her dad so they could have some special time together like they used to.  So off they went at 2pm while I stayed home with the younger two!  It's been so pleasant, Sam slept until 2:30, we cuddled while watching Shawn the Sheep and then I made his lunch which he ate while I fed Violette.

It's been a very quiet afternoon!  I've even gotten some bills done!! 

Maybe next month I'll take Charlotte out for a movie - I hear Ice Age 4 is coming out in July :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pre-school is VERY stressful - for me

I thought pre-school was going to be a really fun experience.  I read the brochures, they said summer time is full of fun and games - puppet day, water day, bounce house, pizza Friday's, etc.  How cool is that???  Then reality of the first week set in.

Not only do I have to get myself out the door and to work on time, I have to pack/dress/feed my high maintenance daughter!  Enter panic and hectic mornings that I've never known before.

New respect is born for the parent who works and puts their children in daycare.  I'll admit that I never quite realized or appreciated the luxury of saying goodbye to a family still in their pajamas with no set agenda for the day. 

This new schedule requires intense planning.  The night before school I organize Charlotte's backpack with blanket and spare outfit.  I pack both our lunches.  In the morning I pack my breast pump equipment and computer bag.  I get myself and Charlotte dressed for the day and feed Violette.  

All was going well until Water Wednesday rolled around.  This requires dressing Charlotte for a day of water play, she has one swim suit that she hasn't seen in a year and is mad about not having a selection to choose from.  It's a Christian school so she needs shorts, I slap the only pair of pink shorts I can find on her and she's NOT pleased.  I cover her in suntan lotion - just one more thing in a busy morning, and pack a plastic bag to tie over her arm cast.  Then - it rains - HARD.   And it's so late that I can't get to work on time and take her to school so husband loads all 3 kids in the van and takes Charlotte to school. 

I seriously want to cry from exhaustion of just getting to work and getting her in school!  Thank God I work at a simple office job and can just sit still and relax, read emails and drink hot tea. 

I'm sure this new routine will become easier.  Mom's do it every day.  I'm just so used to only taking care of myself on work days that I never realized what a luxury that was!

1st day of school photo

Friday, June 22, 2012

Office "Toilet" Politics

I hate the women's toilet at work with a passion.  It has a weak flush and a tiny hole so anything more than a single strip of toilet tissue is reluctant to exit AND it doesn't want to refill completely leaving the next user to stare angrily at the toilet while it refuses to do it's job, wait a few minutes and reflush or utilize the handy plunger.  Don't worry this is not about to get graphic, this is more about how to deal with the situation in an office environment. 

I've advised office manager, who claims it's fine, you only need to jiggle the handle.  All that jiggling has caused the chain to fall off it's little handle.  Now the handle doesn't work AT ALL forcing the user to life the stupid lid off the back of the toilet, stick hand into the water to fish out chain and force flush the toilet. 

I've tried wrapping the chain around it's handle, I've tried inserting chain into hole of handle, nothing seems to last more than one or two flushes.  I've quietly asked the handiest guy in the office to fix it and he reported it looked fine (meaning the other lady in the office is also attempting to fix the toilet upon each visit and must have tried a temporary fix).


Finally it dawned on me!  A light bulb moment.  I could try using a paper clip to attach the chain to the handle!!  It works!  Now the toilet flushes.  Of course it still has a weak flush and temperamentally refuses to handle more then a single strip of toilet tissue thus requiring a plunger every other visit but at least the handle works!

And now I can return to more pressing matters like toy development and wondering if husband will survive the day with 3 kids because the doctor's appointment ran late and the pre-school doesn't take kids after 10:30am. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Charlotte's 4th Birthday

Birthday's are for planning parties and bigger better memories then the year before - right?  Not this year.  Overwhelmed with a month of doctor's appointments following Charlotte's broken arm and other complicated personal business we found ourselves completely unprepared to throw a party for Charlotte. 

I spent the Sunday before her birthday buying presents with her younger brother in tow.  I wrapped them after a long day of work on Monday and Charlotte's first day of school - this put me in bed by 11pm and up the next day at 6am while getting up to feed Violette at least twice.  We still managed to open a few presents that morning, husband ran out to Dunkin Donuts for Charlotte's favorite strawberry donut and we had a lovely morning.  I somehow managed to get to work on time, husband took Charlotte to school - yes she still wanted to go to school on her birthday - and that evening we had pizza and cupcakes (that I had managed to make on Sunday night while holding the baby). 

When I say these days are long and hectic I'm not joking!  These are seriously the longest days I've ever lived through!!

Charlotte was happy for her entire birthday, not once did she ask where was the party.  I was so worried that she'd notice we hadn't thrown her a party that I had a back up plan to manufacture one by the weekend and go knocking on our neighbors doors begging them to come on short notice.  She never once asked.  She enjoyed her day, the presents were spot on perfect.  A Dora dress she had been admiring at Target for weeks now, Princess pajamas, a pink Princess crown and wand (which she calls a Presto) and other gifts from the grandmothers made the day special.

I wonder how often I sweat bullets over what I think my kids expectations are and in the end, they are quite satisfied with what we provide.  I'm glad, I honestly didn't have enough steam left to throw a party for the weekend!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Violette, I hope you realize I DO have to work tomorrow

We settled down at 10, little Violette asleep in her tiny co-sleeper bed. Just as we were nodding off she woke up and launched into a one hour screaming fit that finally nursing her resolved and maybe the ocean sound from her "sleep sheep" playing in the background. Now husband is snoring and Violette is finally calm.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Random Tuesday


Hello Random Tuesday followers, I'm hanging in there with 6 week old, going back to the office and finding random blood stain on my semi-new shirt only worn once type week. Oldest is sick with a cold, add her waking me up at night and I feel sniffly myself.  Just need to get through this day hour by hour. 

Random contribution - I've finally given into Instagram and might become the most annoying Facebook poster yet with all my super creative photo uploads.  Oh well, hide me for a week, I'll be over it soon enough :)

Friday, June 01, 2012

Things I can get done while holding a baby

 Most of this done with baby in a sling.

1.  Make rice.
2.  Load the dishwasher.
3.  Write blog post.
4.  Load and unload laundry.
5.  Defuse volatile situations with older kids.
6.  Make spaghetti sauce
7.  Pick up dog poop (with a bag of course).
8.  Prepare older kids snacks which involves making toasted peanut butter & jelly along with two cuts of cheese.
9.  Iced Mocha
10. Lift 30lb Sam out of his high chair, I get him to stand first and then just have to grab him around the waist - okay tried once, not going to do this again
11. Lift Charlotte and Sam (separately) in and out of the shopping cart - although I don't think I'll be repeating this one.  I picked up the baby first to stop her from crying but not sure it's worth trying to lift two big kids into a shopping cart even with an infant in a sling.
12.  Push a shopping cart through Target with two big kids inside with one hand.
13.  Put away folded laundry.
14.  Clear the table, rinse dishes and stack dishwasher.

I just hope that I always remember to put my shirt back on after feeding the baby before taking the dog outside to potty.