Saturday, November 17, 2012


This is a bluntly honest post. If you don't like it, tough- it's where I am at right now, and I am choosing to be honest and not hide.

I have to admit, Monday marks 6 weeks since I gave birth, and I am in a bit of a frenzy. I am not sure if I have a touch of the baby blues, or if I am just insanely on edge from being home all day with three kids under 6, only leaving the house to drive Micah to school or to go to church on Sunday, or once a week to the grocery store and the fruit stand.

It's not post-postpartum depression, it's more like post-postpartum rage. Or postpartum disgusted-with-everything. Or postpartum I-need-a-break.

After my first birth, I was frankly too exhausted after a 30+hour labor and having half the blood supply of a normal, healthy adult to have the baby blues. I went back to work after about 4 weeks, and back to nursing school at about 9 weeks. I went back to school originally at 3 weeks, but decided that it was too much to handle and too another 6 off for my sanity.

I didn't have the baby blues much after having Levi. I had a great 9 weeks off of work after delivery, and only went back 1 day a week for 2 months before deciding to stay home permanently. Breastfeeding was a great victory for me after my horrible experience with Micah, and I got to stay at home with my babies.

Fast forward to now. I have a boy turning 6 next month, a boy who is a 21 month bolt of lightening, and a boy who is almost 6 weeks old that wants to be nursing constantly and requires a lot of attention.

But so does the 21 monther. He needs me to be just as attentive (for his own safety and for our house to not be destroyed!), he needs me to be more loving then ever because he is dealing with jealousy and feeling like he has been put on the back burner, and he still wants to nurse for that comfort.

And the 6 year old needs me, too. Not as much as he used to- he is starting to flap his wings and fly a little further from mommy all the time. But he needs to know that he is not forgotten. And he needs to know that he is not mommy's constant helper; he needs to know that it's okay to just be a kid. And not to have to worry about what mommy needs help with, or have his little brother wanting every single thing that he touches. He needs to know that he is important to our family and that he is loved.

Not only do all of them need me, but my husband needs me, too. He has been working like a dog to provide for us. He was blessed with starting a new job last week at a cardiology office. It's a Monday-Friday, office hours kind of job. No weekends, no holidays, one week of being on call a year. But he is still working at the hospital, too. And he is trying to take some of the load off me when he gets home for work by taking the baby or letting me shower. But I know he is anxious to get his wife back. And not just in a sexual way, but to be able to spend time with me and have me be coherent.

So there is the baby stress, the exhaustion stress, one car, throw in a little bill and bank stress...  top it off with spit up in my hair, not showering in 4 days, driving Jose and Micah everywhere, breastfeeding someone every half hour it seems, and opening the fridge and figuring out what to make for dinner or bathing two kids while nursing the baby on a stool next to the tub... it's just a little taxing.

So when the kids start acting up, I have been tending to fly of the handle. It's bringing out the worst in me. Exhaustion has shortened my temper and taken away my grace, my mercy, and my patience. It has made me into a bear! I don't like yelling, much less bellowing, at my kids. I don't want my children to remember me as a person who disciplined out of anger; that's not a way to teach them respect, and I want children who respect who I am and how I raised them. That's not to say I don't discipline- they get spanked, but when they've earned it. It's become far to easy for me lately to lose my cool because of the circumstances around me and treat them unfairly because I am not handling things how I should be.

Jose's mom and dad came by and picked up Micah and Levi yesterday. By 4:00 pm, Levi had still never had a nap, Jordi was madder than a mosquito in a mannequin factory, I had only slept about 3 hours, and Micah was asking every 5 minutes to go on the computer, the xbox, or tell me a Ninjago fact. I was at my wits end, so I called Jose at work. I started crying on the phone because he wasn't taking me seriously that I was stressed out, and I hung up on him. He proceeded to, instead of call me back, call his mom and arrange them spending the night to give me a break.

I must have looked like a raging hormonal woman when I answered the door. The kids were all ready to go, but the dog was going bonkers and not listening to me call her when I tried to put her away. I had Jordi in my arms and a bag on the table that I was putting their things into. In my arms was also a zip-up wetbag. That's what we put our dirty diapers in- it's a waterproof cloth bag that you zip up until wash time so there is no smell. Everyone else is chatting and laughing. My father-in-law laughs and says, "these kids can't give you a hard time. What are you, tired?"  My mother-in-law took one look at me, and in all seriousness, said to me with a straight face, "You're not going to put the baby in the bag, are you?"

Right. Like I am going to put your grandson in a plastic bag and zip him up. In front of you. HOW STRESSED DO YOU THINK I AM?! DO I REALLY LOOK THAT BAD?!

I laughed it off and explained I was putting diapers in it for Levi. When they left, I started bawling like a baby. Finally alone, I laid Jordi on our bed, laid on my side next to him so I could nurse, and slept for the next hour.

Jose and I ordered take out for dinner (for the first time in almost 4 weeks- we have been really tight on spending), and watched some of our favorite shows. When we hit the sack early for Jose to go to work the next morning, Jordi slept for 4 1/2 hours before waking again. I have napped off and on all day knowing that the kids are safe and taken care of, and all I have to care for is myself and Jordi.

And I know it's all going to get better. These days don't last forever. I also just got off the phone with my sister's father-in-law; they are gifting us a Suburban that we get to pick up in two weeks. It's such an amazing answer to prayer. Jose's job is changing where he won't be away from the house from before dawn til after bedtime. I am constantly reminded that God has us in the palm of his hand. Today has been one of those Psalm 23 days, where He literally, thanks to my husband and mother-in-law, MAKES me lie down in green pastures to rest. I am going to go take another nap now, eat a piece of chocolate, smell my delicious baby's new baby smell, and just enjoy the quiet for a few more hours til the banshees come home.

And when they get home, I am going to kiss them, because I have so missed them.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

October Tidbits

tid·bit (noun) \ˈtid-ˌbit\
1. a choice morsel of food
2. a choice or pleasing bit (as of information)

Today is Saturday. One of those gorgeous Florida-fall Saturdays, decorated with windows open, 72 degrees of sunshine blowing in, festivals and green markets and picnics galore. Saturday for me usually means the kiddos watching Saturday morning cartoons on the one channel that comes in with them- Micah adores them because it's Sonic the Hedgehog followed by Power Rangers, followed by the classy WWE "wrestling." It means baking, Jose at work, and one more day until seeing my church family. Today, it also means giving you the tidbits of my last few weeks. Life being changed by birth of Jordi means everyone has had to shift and accommodate to accept our newest family member. Here are a few of the tidbits of the last few weeks- enjoy the choice bits!

Micah and Levi participated in Halloween. We are not a huge Halloween family. As a child, my family didn't do a ton with Halloween, but Jose really enjoys it, so we let the kids participate. We have talked to Micah about the origins of Halloween and how it differs from the way people treat it today.  Not that I am going to get into a huge pro- or con- dissertation here, but we do allow our kids to take part. Micah was the red Power Ranger Samurai, which he hinted for months that he wanted to be and Jose and I saved up and the put it up to surprise him. He was so beyond excited! I love little moments like that. Levi was a soccer player for the Spain national squad, and Jordi was the token pumpkin that stayed in my Moby wrap the whole time- gotta love that thing!  We took them to a Trunk-or-Treat event at our old church the Sunday prior, and it was great to catch up with some friends we hadn't seen in a while, as well as show Jordi off. Jordi was circumcised the afternoon of actual Halloween, so their Aunt Tata and Uncle Dru took them trick or treating in a friend's neighborhood for a little while. She sent me this picture that had me tearing up- I love seeing Micah and Levi grow up together. 

On that note, we carved awesome pumpkins... Micah, with the help of Jose, carved a batman pumpkin and I did a Despicable Me rendition. Micah's pumpkin turned out to be a giant gourd that had to be carved with hammers, chisels, Dremmel tools, a saw, and of course, Jose's brut force. We toasted the seeds from 5 pumpkins (cajun, cinnamon spice, and sea salt), and I will be roasting and making pies from the last 2 later this week. 


Micah got his first report card of the first grade- and it was great! He only has actual letter grades in two subjects- spelling and math- and he had a high B and a low A, respectively. The remarks from his teacher were so positive, telling us that Micah "generally does very nice work in all subjects." We were SO proud of our oldest boy!

Levi and Micah are now sharing a room. This has happened over the last 2 weeks, and the first week was total insanity. Now we are down to maybe 3-4 minutes of crying at night by Levi. He absolutely hates the idea of bunk beds, preferring instead to stay in his crib. So Micah sleeps on the top or bottom bunk, depending on the night, and Levi lays in his bed, yelling, "Micah! Miiiiicah! MICAH!," until he gets some sort of response. Levi's pacifier was also taken away two days ago. He thinks it has just disappeared, and I am waiting for the day that he quits asking for it. 

Speaking of quitting asking for it, no, Levi has not weaned yet. I am asked almost daily by a friend, someone from church, or a family member if Levi has given up breastfeeding, if I have weaned him (which to answer that, I am not weaning him, he is weaning himself slowly), or the best one lately, "Have you taken his boob away yet?". The answer, though it's not anyone's business, is no! It's so crazy that the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, and the Center for Disease Control, and many other organizations recommend breastfeeding until at least two years of age, and then as long as mom and child are mutually okay with the breastfeeding relationship. Please don't think that is Levi's sole source of food or drink (any one around him knows he eats almost anything in sight), or that I just give in to him at his constant beck and call. We have established nursing manners (he has to ask please and say thank you), and he knows he has to wait sometimes for Jordi. It's not like I had a toddler dumped in my lap who strangely wants to nurse out of nowhere; he has been doing it every day of his 21-month life. There is nothing strange about it! The only thing strange, at times, is figuring out positions to tandem nurse in. To answer every one else's questions about if Jose cares: no, he doesn't. If he did, he probably wouldn't have taken this picture while I was nursing! 
Extreme multi-tasking: Breastfeeding two while reading The Hungry Hungry Caterpillar 
Jose and I are laughing almost every day about the "gross" factor that comes with having an all boy household... in the past week, we have witnessed (and this is just the highlights):

  • Levi throwing dog poop at Micah in the backyard
  • Levi licking Jordi's face after he spit up
  • Levi "washed" his hands in the toilet
  • Levi pooped in his potty (yay for potty training early!), and then took his potty to the dog...and, yeah... you can imagine...
Wait, there is a common theme here... LEVI! We joke that one child got all the gross-boy-genes for him and Micah, because Micah hates being dirty. He is such a little booger, my little worm, but he is such a lover, too. 

We had our first cold days of the year, and the boys are loving it. The only hard part about having one car, though, is that it has no heat- so that means bundling up for school in the morning!

Things are moving at warp speed over here in the Moli house. Being a mom of three is certainly crazy most of the time, but I am learning to steal those moments where I can catch a snooze in or throw a load of clothes in, and not get too worked up about the chaos the rest of the time. It's all a balancing act, and I thank God every day for Jose helping me balance it all- he is the only way I am making it through all this sanely!