Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dear Baby Girl,

"God, I can't believe she's four!" I've been thinking about what I want to write to you this year, and that's all that echos in my head. You're four today. Four. I find myself just staring at you, hypnotized, more and more these days. It reminds me of our first few months together at home. When your Daddy and I first brought you home, we would just hold you and sigh and stare and smile and then sigh again. Just like in the movies. The staring was because we were just so amazed that you were here and ours. It baffled me that I had this whole little person, who was completely dependent on me for everything and I had no clue about what to do...other than stare. The sigh was because I had to let some of the pure joy out or I would burst. Kinda like when you are lying down and have too much energy, so your body just has to jump! That's where my sighs came from. I was too happy and some of it had to be shared or I'd burst. The smiles were because I had no words to explain the changes that you brought into my life, and I had to do something with my nervousness, so I just smiled. It kept my mouth busy and my heart calm. Four years later and here I am again. I just stare, sigh and smile. You amaze me.

In the last twelve months, you have slowly gone from being my little person to just a little person. Every day you are becoming who you are destine to be, more and more. All the little nudges I give to mold you into the person I want you to be are now met with your own desires pushing back. Lots of pushing back, which usually involves some screaming, crying and maybe whining. Your personality is so full and dominant that I'm slowly realizing that my existence in your life is not to mold you, but simply to witness. When I was holding you inside me and dreaming about your little face, I tried so hard to pick a name that you would cherish the way I do my own name. Finally, one day your name, Alejandra, sang to me. It was just you and I couldn't explain why or how, but it just had to be. Now I know. Your name means "protector of mankind" and I can not think of three words that describe you more fully. Every day that I have the joy of watching you with the friends and family in your life I know they are blessed to have you too. I don't think I have ever known another person in my lifetime that loves more and with their whole being like you. It scares me. You love with your whole self, without discrimination. On the playground, when someone falls, you are the first one there to help them up and offer help. At the store, you bring smiles to lonely or stressed shoppers. At the party, you are the official greeter and entertainer with hugs, kisses, dancing and all. It's almost as if you exist to bring joy to those around you. It amazes me; you amaze me.

This year you became a big sister for the second time and I think I could see your heart swell right along with my belly. When I would cuddle with you during naps or bedtime, you would gently wrap your arm around my belly and talk to your baby with such excitement and he would throw a few kicks to let me know he loved you too. In all the craziness of this year, you have been my sanity many days, helping with Benjamin by just lying next to him and making him smile or coo when even I couldn't. He loves you. I think we all love more because of you.

So today, you're four and in my grown up mind which is always conscious of time, this means that I have one more year with you all to myself, before I have to hand you over to school. I'm a little sad. I'll never let you know this, but I'm going to miss you so much. You have been the biggest change in my life and I'm a little scared to let you go. From the moment I knew you existed, everything I knew about the world and my purpose in it changed. Political issues, environmental issues, creative urges, food ingredients, friendships, family relationships... every aspect of my life is now molded by your existence. I wouldn't change a thing. You are my first born and there aren't enough words to describe how special that is to me. Not more or less than how special your brothers are to me... just different. So in this next year, the year of four, I'm going to try my damnedest to slow time down a little bit more and just bask in all that is you. Alejandra, protector of mankind!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Doing something really wrong?

Well I wasn't going to post today, but this one must be told...

I've gotta be messing up somewhere... I walked out of my room after having nursed and put the baby down, when I noticed that Martin was naked. Yeah, that's not the bad part...wait for it. Since it's not to uncommon for Martin to be naked, I didn't say anything. Allie and Martin were playing kitchen in her room... at first glance all seemed well aside from the airing out of little bits. Then upon closer scrutiny, I noticed Martin's diapers and wipes were strewn across the floor. Yup, he's still in diapers. Keep the comments to a whisper so I can't hear them. I heard the words, "Momma" and "Baby" somewhere there in the play talk, so I took a deep breath and asked, "Where's Martin's diaper?"

Why ask, you say? Well my gut instinct told me to walk away and pretend I didn't see anything. I could have enjoyed two kids playing and the baby asleep, but then I snapped out of it and realized that if indeed something was up, I should deal with it immediately, before I got all comfy doing something relaxing like laundry or cleaning. I would just have lost my mind later when I would have slipped on spilled water from kitchen play (did that later in the afternoon) or found half eaten peaches in the sofa ( did that later in the morning).

So I asked, and Allie answered, "He just got poo poo." CRAP!! Yes, again!!! More crap!! I looked frantically around the room for the poop, in hopes that the 5 second rule works for turds too, if indeed it was a turd. I would be so lucky! If I could just get it off the ground soon enough then maybe it wouldn't transfer all the poopy germs to the carpet. I know... I know.. wishful thinking, but come on, I can't be the only mom that thinks like this. Ok, back to finding the poop... I bend Martin over to clean up and no evidence of any poop. Maybe, just maybe, they're still playing Mommy and Baby and she's just kidding about the poop. I walked into Martin's room and...nope they're not playing...I see the dirty diaper on the floor, but no poop. No poop on the floor. The next logical question to ask, "Well were is it, Allie?" So I'm walking around the house playing 'Where's Poop'. If only it were wearing a little red and white stripped shirt and hat, I could find it faster thank Waldo and rescue my carpet from saturation. "ALLIE, where is IT?" The two sweetest little faces look at me like I'm a two year old throwing a poop smearing fit and they just can't figure out why in the world I'm going crazy. "We flushed it in the potty, Momma!"

"Oh." I shut my mouth. Grabbed a clean diaper and put it on my two year old.
"...and Allie, next time Martin has poop, please let mommy change him."

Yes, ma'am. I'm the mom who so negligent that she let's her three (almost four) year old change her two year old brother's poopy diaper.

*On second thought, maybe I'm doing something right?!
**Do I get a prize for using the word 'poop' in a post more times than any post in the history of blogging?

Getting Ready

How about just a picture for today. My first born is turning four soon and we're in the throws of party making. Can you guess this year's theme?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

You asked...

Many, MANY people have asked me, "How's it with three kids?" And this is the moment, where I have to decide if I'm going to be the everything-is-perfect-I-can-handle-it-and-lie-out-my-arse-mom, OR the tell-it-like-it-is-scare-the-crap-out-of-you-mom. Both make people a little uncomfortable but, eh, that's what I'm here for. So, to be honest, it's hard. With help??? Still hard. Milk spraying, poop dripping, tear staining HARD! First six weeks were the hardest but it's getting easier. And I make sure to tell the horror stricken moms of two and pregnant with their third that it WOULD have been easier if I had planned my babies... any of them... even if I had just planned ONE of them and spaced it out so that at least the oldest was in school by now... it would have been easier. A little. But now that I'm coming off the first part of this ride, that magical thing is starting to happen where I forget how hard it is. I hear myself starting to say that it's not so bad. So, before I turn into it's-all-so-easy-I-did-it-why-can't-you, mom I thought I'd jot down my survival tips for a newborn, toddler and preschooler.

1. Don't sleep. Yup that right, just don't because then you'll want more and it ain't gonna happen, so don't get your hopes up. (yes, I said it just like that, run-on style, in my head)

2. Get all the help you can beg, borrow, steal, or pay for. My family (read: MOM) has been great. I know she's tired and worn to the bone, but I shamefully still ask for help because I know if I can survive these first couple of months with her help, I'll treat her to something very special. Aaaaand I'll be wiping her butt when she's too old. Love ya mom!

3. Find something to look forward to in the middle of the night. This goes back to the no sleeping thing. I remember being frustrated with the first two because I couldn't sleep at night. Then, I remembered a friend telling me that she read while she pumped. (Pumping sucks!! Sorry, I just gotta throw that in there whenever the moment allows) Now, this won't work with a first-time mom nursing, because you've seriously gotta focus. I know it seems simple to those of you who haven't shared your chi chis but really, boob in mouth=lots of focus. Anyway, I picked up a few cheesy, easy reads (ahem, the Twilight series) that I'd jump out of bed to read while nursing.

4. And my last tip... Get through the day. That's it... just get through it. Not it the sense that you rush and don't enjoy your babies, but get through the day, like survive!! If you guys don't bathe, get out of your pajamas, eat healthy food or see the sun that day, it's ok. There's always tomorrow... or next month. Just make sure everyone eats something and piddle around (not piddle like in the potty; piddle like, mess around without doing anything. Watch you preschooler for tips on how to piddle around). Sometimes I have a hard time slowing down and making life simple but this is exactly what we need with a new baby in house.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Time to kill

"Let's just kill some time at Target.", I said. "I have a few things to pick up and the kids can check out the toys." I thought... "It'll give us something to do..." phfffffft!!!!!

Get to Target. Not so bad. Benjamin didn't cry the whole way.

Put my wrap on, pop Benito in. Allie and Martin hold are holding onto the basket as I cruise into the store like a mom who's got her sh*t together.

Automatic doors part, and ahhhhh the cool sanctuary of Starbucks, gadgets, toys and shopping!

Allie sees the food court. Eyes bug. Martin chimes in. "I hungry."

No problem. I've got this. Walk up to the counter. Order two organic mac 'n cheese meals for the kids with milk and applesauce. Done. Mom of the year!

Scratch that. They're out of milk and applesauce. Icee and cookies. What was the point of the "organic" mac n' cheese, then, you ask. I have no clue.

Grab the napkins and straws. Notice that the lady next to me is staring, mouth open in the direction of my kids. Martin is standing on the stool. Allie is sitting on the table.

Damn it.

Stay cool. "Hey you guys, sit in your chairs, please." "Mommy, is coming with lunch." (Why I talk in third person to my kids, I have NO idea. Really, someone please tell me why I do this, because I try to stop, since I sound like an idiot. But I just can't....Mommy says. )

This lady is taking f.o.r.e.v.e.r. to heat up the mac 'n cheese. Really how long can that take?

Ok. I underestimated.

Got the grub and the kids are kinda sitting and eating. I'm bribing them with the cookie. Am I an idiot. Really? What's the point of bribing them to eat MAC N CHEESE, and with a cookie? Is one really better than the other? Oh, well they do have the Icee to balance it out! gah. Whatever. Martin eats and I give him the cookie. Allie doesn't eat so I stick with my threat and don't give her the cookie and we're off to shop.

Benjamin starts to fuss a bit, so I start the mommy rock. While walking. Yeah you can see it now can't you. I'm pushing a basket and with every step I throw in two extra bounces. Step, bounce, bounce, push. Step, bounce, bounce, push. Cute.

Allie decides she wants to eat now. Throw her in the basket. Step, bounce, bounce, push....urgh puuuush. Step...

Martin is so into his cookie (or carb coma) that he runs into a display and drops the dang thing! Holy hell, the world just ended. Calm him down.

Some, probably very nice, Target employee sees Martin crying over the cookie and says, "Aw daddy, you're breakin' my heart." Yes. Nice man. Who apparently doesn't have kids and therefore doesn't know that you absolutely DO NOT talk to a kid in the middle of a tantrum. Never. Ever.

Go Directly to Jail! Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200.

Calm him down again. Give him Allie's cookie. Promise Allie a bigger cookie, ONLY if she eats her cheesy blob.

Race through isles and throw shit in the basket. May or may not be on my list.

Head for the toys to let the kids play like I promised. Ahh we're safe.

Kids play. Push buttons. Dinosaur roars. Every one's happy.

2 seconds later... Benjamin is not happy.

Ok. This is a grrreat opportunity for me to practice nursing in public, standing up, while watching a two and three year old, discreetly. (ha, yeah it was hard to even get through typing that). No problem. I have my wrap to cover me a bit, the big dinosaur is distracting the kids and Benito is big enough to not suffocate in my bosoms now.

Hey, I'm doing it. Not so bad. Except for the little teeny bopper couple who thinks it's cute to hang out in the toys while flirtting like a bunch of peacocks in heat.

Move to the next isle. They follow. Move back. Follow. Move two over, leaving my kids behind. They freakin' follow. WTH?? Are they playing chase? Think about just pulling Benjamin off and scaring the hell out of them! Go back for my kids.

For the LOVE of all things holy... what in the world is that? Did my... what the... yes....dammit, my dress just broke. How does that even happen?? Oh yeah, I know. Could it be because the little turds following me around to catch a glimpse of my chi chis, forced me to toss around my little Benito like a high school cheerleader which in turn pushed my poor, little, already really stressed out, spaghetti straps to their limit? Stupid kids.

Tuck, tie and hide the strap the best I can while still nursing Benjamin. Hope my other two are still in the store. Good. Giganto dino is still amusing them. Well that and that nice old man.

Oh God no. For the love of all sane mothers... please tell me that Allie's not holding herself. "Mom... I gotta go to the potty."

"Of course you do, honey."

Pop boob back into to broken dress. Pry two year old away from toy dinosaur. Screaming. Crying. Bring toy dinosaur. Run to the front of the store with basket, baby half way in the wrap, two year old crying while dragging dinosaur, and three year old hopping and holding.

We make it.

Standing in the bathroom nursing Benjamin. Martin is playing on the floor with the dinosaur. (I know some of you are saying.... Crisa, you're not supposed to take unpurchased items into the restroom. Yeah, well I'm also not supposed to feed my baby where people poop or let my kids play on the floor of a public restroom... shit happens. No, really I mean in this case... shit happens)

Come on, Allie. Let's be quick. Dangit, I should have never hoped, thought, wished for that. Today is obviously let's-laugh-at-Crisa day.

Excuse me... Sorry... Pardon me... No we're not waiting... REALLY???? Did everyone in Target have to come use the bathroom at THIS VERY MOMENT. What does it matter now? I've already flashed my boob to at least four people. (In case you're counting, 1 and 2 were the teeny boppers and 3 and 4 were the old man and his kid in the dinosaur isle) Martin's probably already eaten germs off the floor that haven't even been discovered yet and God only knows what Allie's doing in that stall that's taking so long.

Grab kids. Wash hand. Get OUT of the bathroom.

Go back to the toys. Drop off the dinosaur. Martin throws a fit. Toss him in the basket. Head over to the grocery section for a few more things on my list that I lost.

Toss more crap in the basket. Miss Martin. Wait... what's that? Dear lord in heaven above, you didn't bless us with a Texas thunderstorm, did you? Yes, yes you did. And yes, it's so loud I can hear it in the middle of the store with a two year old screaming in my ear.

Start chanting my new mantra. Well not new, borrowed. (I'm reading Eat, Pray Love right now)

Yes We Can! (Step, bounce, bounce, push...)
Yes We Can! (Step, bounce, bounce, push...)
Yes We Can! (Step, bounce, bounce, push...)

I make it to check out.

I'm making taking a stand. If those idiots are going to put all that sweet, yummy, colorful crap, at a three year old's eye level and within arms reach, then I'm not going to flinch when I put the open bag of M&Ms back on the shelf. There I said it and yes I did.

Pack up all our... well I don't even know what's in my bags but we packed it all up and head for the car.

Rain washes off cookie, mac n' cheese, bathroom nasties and candy.

Kids are asleep.

All is right in the world, again.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dear Lord,

Please send down the toy angel...she does exist, doesn't she? because I've been using her in my most recent threats... sorry, anyway, can you send her down to come and take ALL of these freakity franken' toys!!! Oh and then can you work some of your God-mojo and make my kids completely happy playing with something small and simple like... oh a duster... ooo or a cleaning rag??



Allie November 2005

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Let's talk birth control"

Ahhh the six week follow up visit to the midwife. The sole purpose of this visit is to make sure everything found it's way back to it's orginal place even though we all know it's a little bigger, looser and still angry. This is not one of my favorite visits due to all the extra "prep" work needed for said exam. It does rank pretty high on Hubby's list... what? maybe second, we'll say. Right behind the "It's a boy OR It's not a boy" visit. So, when we were still waiting an hour later, I swear he was going to boost me up on the stirups and do the exam himself. Thank god she came in time, because I was going to have to explain to Hubby that some things you can't just tinker with and figure out... you need training!!!

Now, the last time I saw this lady our casual greeting was her hand up my hoo haa gown while she pretended to read her notes on "How not to make a vaginal exam uncomfortable" on the ceiling. I brace myself. Dear lord... you'd think it would be easier after birthing an almost 8 pound baby?!?! Nope. But I pass with flying colors and just when I think that we've overcome our barriers of all things embarrassing (really what could be left? I was just naked from the waist down with all of my glory within inches of this lady's face???) she asked the question that took me back to 10th grade!

"So what about birth control?"

Talk about an awkward conversation. I'm sitting there in my paper gown with my midwife, husband and the most recent product of our well planned out birth control method in my arms (the other two were at their Mimi's).
I'm stuttering, "" Thank god she's looking down at my file. Probably rechecking to see how many kids I have. 5?10?
"" I desperately try to get Hubby's attention, but he's conveniently soothing the baby. I hear no crying! Well not that other people can hear too. Ass. She glances at him and then me again, waiting for an answer.

All I can mutter out is, "Well, we just signed up for cable."

That's right folks, you read it right. Cable!! We cancelled it almost 5 years ago in October of 2004. Allie was born August 2005. Do you need a calendar? I'll give you some time... Ok, so if logic serves me right, I should be able to sign up for cable again and not have any babies. Right? Well the midwife wasn't following. She laughed a little and then realized I was serious. She looks up at me with that You-Can't-Be-That-Stupid-So-I-Must-Be-On-Punk'ed look and now I'm blushing!!

Yeah, I'm 29 years old, married with three kids and I'm blushing! All the while my mind is jumbled up... Do I want more kids? Can I handle more kids? Do I believe in birth control? Do I want to swell up like an Oompa Loompa on the pill again? Why won't my husband get neutered? I don't want surgery. Do I? Time off??No, no... too permanent. Well what in the hell does that leave me with?

We both blurt out, "Condoms?!"

16. A pimple just surfaced on my face. Hubby is hiding in the corner shifting around like he's contemplating jumping out the window. She tries to make us feel a little more grown up and says, "Condoms are a perfectly reasonable solution. Even for married people."

Yup, the lowly condom is usually not sophisticated enough for married people, but I guess in our case, it's better than cable.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

It's like telephone

Remember when you used to play that game. Someone says something absolutely ridiculous like "I went to the store for glue and paid with pennies " and the last person shouts out " a purple butt dinosaur ate a doo doo clown on kool-aid" Yeah, somehow poop and butts always ended up in there.

So Daddy has been telling the kids jokes. They're favorite...

"Why did the apple kiss the banana?"
"Because it had appeal!"
Yeah, I know. A little advanced for a 2 and 3 year old. Anyway, this is Martin's version of the joke, a la telephone.


Monday, August 3, 2009