Saturday, March 29, 2014

Today, Layla buried her head in my lap and then enthusiastically declared, "I yuuuuv YOU, sweetie!!" :D


Israel, concernedly to Layla as she brought out her clothes to go outside in the falling snow, "Layla, you don't want to do that - there's going to be a wizard today!"


A common sentiment of Layla's lately: "Mommy, you're yittle!  You're my yittle mommy and Dad's my big daddy!"

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Excerpts of Life

When interacting with Caroline, Israel often says, almost in an expression of awe, "She is sooo PRECIOUS!!"  This morning after he said that he added, "I think she is the most preciousest one we've had for ever and ever!!"  After a little thought he added fondly, "Layla is pretty precious too..." :)

Tonight I took a quick trip into Walmart to pick up a prescription, and took an eager Zion along with me, as it was "his turn".  I usually try to pick them up a little doodad when they come along to make it special, and Zion snatched up a cheap laser pointer matching his older brothers and a box of chewable Jolly Ranchers.  As we came out of the store and began walking quickly to our vehicle, I felt the cold night air on my face , and looked down at my little Zion trotting along beside me in his green coat with the hood up, his treasures tucked close to his chest, and I felt his little hand slip into mine and hold on and I squeezed his hand and felt my love for him so intensely.  I love to have him little.  I'm going to miss his littleness and can hardly BELIEEEEVE that he is turning six this year.  Even though he's not the baby, he is still the baby of the boys.

Zion calls Dorito's "Burritos", and tonight he informed everyone, "I'm going to get some more Burrito's," and then burst into a round of "Joy to the Burrito..."  that his mama thoroughly enjoyed.  His brothers were very disturbed at this misprounciation and hastened to chastise it with great displeasure ("Mom!! If he goes to school and calls them Burritos everyone will make fun of him...") while their mother shook her head at them and rolled her eyes and told them to lighten up.  Seriously peoples around here.

Caroline has been doing A.M.A.Z.I.N.G lately in terms of going to sleep and staying asleep.  Tonight, though, she woke up at some point after I laid her down.  I nursed her mostly back to sleep, but her eyes were open when I took her into the bedroom to put her back to bed, and she was kind of looking around.  I thought, oh, she's up, and then had to lean in and kisskisskisskisskiss those sweet precious cheeks as she leaned her forehead tiredly against my face...and then her eyes drooped shut...and she fell fast asleep from her mommy kissing on her.  Awwwwwwwww sugar baby......


Zion: (with bemused interest while gingerly feeling his nose) "When I put that clothespin on my nose it made water come out of my eyes!"


I haven't blogged in....errrmmm...FOREVER largely because I felt like there wasn't much to say there for a few months that didn't involve ragged looks, throwing hands up into the air, and scurrying away from clinging screaming two-year-olds.  And rants about sleeplessness.  Lots and lots and lots of rants about sleep interruptions.  No worries.  My mom got to hear all of it.  ;)  Poor mom ears...

For a few months, especially Caroline's bedtime was waaaaayyy skewed to late late late night/early morning for far, far too long, and at the same time, Layla went through this thing where after we would get her to sleep, she would wake up during the night and be out of her gourd and off her rocker and all that and screaming inconsolably with fury and rage a for a good hour and a half to two hours.  And I would try the best I could to figure out what ON EARTH she was trying to communicate (things that included that she forgot to kiss the kitty cat goodnight or that she wanted to get out of bed) and then take care of the issue or deal with her fury when I denied her the option of getting up for the day at 4 AM and then I would lay in her bed with my eyes closed while she whaled away on me angrily...and then eventually it would all be over and she would be sweet and sleepy and cuddly and curl up next to me and go back to sleep.  Two hours later.  And then in the morning she would wake up and be all grouchy and clingy and during the day and then she also went through a stage where she would fight going to bed tooth and nail.  So after getting to bed at 1 or 2 with Caroline, I was up for two hours in the middle of the night basically every single night for FOREVER with the two year old - not to even mention the baby, who, by the grace of God is (once she gets to sleep) a woooonderful sleeper who sleeps soundly and does not wake up easily.  But you see how days and days and days of that run together along with the typical first-months-newborn-survival life make one sort of cross looking.

I honestly think a lot of Layla's waking has had to do with her having to pee in the middle of the night and not understanding the source of her discomfort.  But gradually, for whatever reasons, this behavior has finally mostly stopped.  Some nights she will sleep all night without waking enough for me to have to go in, or if I do have to, she often settles back to sleep pretty easily.  And Caroline gradually, over a series of weeks, readjusted her sleeping schedule and now falls asleep around 8:30 or 9:00 PM.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Night

It is one of those nights.  Those horrible, exhausting, fraying nights that begins when the toddler alarms (as is often the case) right as I am starting to drift into a wearied mother-fresh-off-the-time-change exhaustion.  I dutifully peel myself out of bed and go into her room, where she sits up swaying tiredly in her bed, truculent and difficult.  We run through the gamut of her "needs", where she demands (PJ's unzipped, PJ's off, grapes, cookie, tissues located outside of her room, no I do not want you in my room, I want you) as I lay in her twin bed, tired, eyes closed, toddler demands and the occasional blow raining down steadily on my mother body.  Instead of drifting to a quick end, as is often the case, it continues.  For a long time.  About an hour and forty-five minutes into it, she is finally quiet, but still awake, tossing restlessly beside me, and I suddenly just can't do it anymore.  The night will soon turn into dawn and I have slept through none of it and I suddenly develop this resolute desperation for my own bed in my own room and I sit up abruptly and tell her, not un-gently, "Mommy is going to sleep in her own bed now.  You stay in your bed."
        And rage erupts in the wake of my speedy and unexpected exit and now I am dealing with a roaring toddler coming over into my darkened bedroom where the baby sleeps, and I have just had it.  She comes over, I return her firmly to her bed, warn her, leave, she comes back over, roaring. I, furious and desperate for sleep and peace, am ADAMANT that she remain in her room, and set her back into her bed.
       She roars that she wanted a tissue because she has snot.  I wildly march down the hall and grab a tissue that I fling into her room.  She shrieks in fury because she had wanted to get the tissue.  At 3:45 AM.  I return to my bed.  She bangs the door open into my room, crying loudly.  I place her back in her bed, deliver a very stern rebuke, and she shrieks anew for the bear she had spotted on the floor in my bedroom.  I march across the hall, grab the bear, toss it on her bed, and she screams at the top of her lungs that SHE WANTED TO GET THE BEAR!!!!!!
       I just don't know how to communicate the emotions of these moments.  I feel wild-eyed, half-crazed, a desperate woman craving the solitude and silence of her dark, still bedroom.  I cross back to my bed, scoop up the baby who has of course been woken in this process and is bleating tiredly, and nurse her, my heart beating quickly, my breaths shallow and quick.  Sometimes being a mother is just overwhelming.  The tireless need for you that continues around the clock some nights; the clutch, the suck of your life-blood.  Especially wearing when it is accompanied by noisy tears that won't be silenced and noisy demands that won't be satisfied.
       The door bangs open again and the small furious shadow framed by the lamp light from the other room hurls a small cloth bear across the threshold and then quickly retreats to her bed to weep out her fury.  I know across the hall she is sobbing wildly and brokenheartedly although I can't hear her, but my emotions are at full fray and numbed.  The fan whirs noisily in my bedroom and the cool air rests lightly on my arms and the darkness is like a cool calming cloth on my face.  I long with all my heart for sleep.  My husband half-sits in the bed beside me, groggy.  We both know that it is of no use for him to offer his presence to this girl of ours - she is fueled with mommy-only gasoline in the middle of the night and anything else sets off an explosion.
       The minutes tick by.  The husband has settled back into his sleep, and the baby's suckling has slowed, along with my breathing.  The door is slowly pushed open again, and light spills into the room, and I see her shadow, slow and sad, creep across my floor.  She comes to stand silently at my side as I sit, cradling the baby in the bed, and wordlessly takes my hand in hers in a tight grip with both of her hands and presses it to her face in a gesture that is both tender and vulnerable.  She stands there silently, her face buried in the back of my hand, a hiccuping sob escaping here and there - and all my resentment and desperation is gone; melts away just that fast.   She just can't help herself, her mommy-neediness, and she loves me desperately and it makes her so sad when I just can't take it any more.  And my few minutes of solitude and quiet have regenerated emotional energy and I am ready to deal with the understanding that this is part of what makes her up, and this is part of our stage together and right now she just needs me, and that we love one another, her and I.

       It's so messy, this mothering thing.  The sticky tentacles of need and necessity that wrap little humans to their mothers - especially some little humans.  I beckon her into our bed and she climbs in and waits as I return the baby to her bed.  She turns and tosses and wiggles like a puppy circling...and eventually sleeps pressed up tightly to my back...and so do I.  Another night in the life of a real-time parent.