February 22, 2008

Gosh, I’m tired this morning.  I stayed up too late last night, between the good book I couldn’t put down and the fact that even when I did, the joint pain was bad enough it would keep me awake anyway.  (By the way, it got better for a few days, so I figured it was okay.  Then we got some rain the other day and it’s been bad ever since.)  Then both boys woke up at the same time this morning.  It was really a reasonable time, especially since it was BabyN’s first feeding in over twelve hours, but less reasonable when you consider how late I fell asleep.

Maybe I’ll get a nap when the boys go down for one.  I can always hope, right?

In other news, recently we decided to drop a big chunk of money on a new computer for M.  It’s really nice; I particularly love his monitor.  We decided that there was no need to get rid of his old computer either, as we didn’t need the money and it still works great.  That has become my desktop–and I still have the laptop for blogging, etc.  We are so lucky!  The problem is that when we rearranged our study to accommodate two desktop computers, something about the new configuration has rendered our old computer’s wireless card ineffective.  In fact, the whole computer seems unstable now.  I can’t play around on it for more than a few minutes without the wireless signal disappearing or the whole thing crashing.  M’s ordered a new, better wireless card for it, but it’s kind of a pain in the butt until then.  We got a couple of good laughs out of the situation, joking that the computer just missed him and didn’t like me.  Why else would it suddenly start freaking out for only me?

There’s not much else to talk about today.  I’m starting to get the writing bug again, so if I disappear for a few days, it’s because I’m focusing on writing silly stuff for me again.  I wish I could tell you this stuff is good and going to be published someday, but it makes for a good hobby if nothing else.  At least I know it’s not really good and haven’t set my hopes on it or anything.

And yay.  It’s Friday.  It may have been a short week, but I am so ready for the weekend.

Family Matters

February 21, 2008

Wow, talk about crazy stuff happening around here.  Well, technically it’s happening with our families and we’re not even affected, but crazy nevertheless.

First, we heard on Tuesday that my nephew’s homecoming from the hospital is imminent.  At the time he had one or two simple tests to pass, which were pretty much givens, and then he could be released.  They were saying by the end of the week, so maybe tomorrow even.  When M was talking to his brother, the brother was freaking out.  They feel totally unprepared to have the baby at home already.  I remember that feeling all too well.  Do you ever feel completely ready for your first child, not knowing for sure what exactly you need to take care of it?  I kind of doubt that is just a preemie thing.

That exciting news comes on the heels of a massive event affecting the town where my MIL and FIL live (just a few miles away from my BIL and SIL).  I’m not going to give too many details because it’s made the national news, and I’d prefer to keep a little privacy about locations here.  Because of the massive event, though, my in-laws were evacuated from their house and were just recently allowed to return.  Their house was damaged as a result of the event, and now M’s doing his best to convince his father it’s worth getting the house officially inspected for insurance purposes.  It’s possible the house was damaged enough that it will be condemned.  They’ve just put lots of money in remodeling the house, too, so that would be disappointing to have to start over.

Then I talked to my mom yesterday and she updated me about what’s going on with my siblings.  My older brother and his family have been fighting the flu for weeks now, and it’s now on its second round through the family.  Fortunately the baby has gotten the weakest case of it, but it stinks to have to care for a young baby when you’re sick as well.  I feel bad for them.

But not as bad as I feel for my little brother.  It turns out that he is also sick, but not with the flu.  He has shingles.  I didn’t know too much about the disease before yesterday, except that it normally affects older people, is connected somehow with chicken pox, and can cause excruciating pain.  Apparently it can also cause blister-like skin problems.  My brother has these on his face and is terribly embarrassed by them.  Also, because it is a result of the chicken pox virus, he has been advised to avoid anyone who has not had chicken pox or the vaccination for it.  Like young children.  Like his baby girl.  And the virus can stick around for months and months at a time.  Even if he avoids the worst of the pain, he’ll still suffer quite a bit from not being able to be very close to his daughter at all during that time.  I know I’ve recently admitted to not liking my brother quite as much as I did growing up, but I still feel awful for him right now.  Even if he’s been kind of a jerk lately, he doesn’t deserve to go through this.

Update: M talked to both his mom and brother earlier today.  Assuming the baby’s wee-wee surgery goes without a hitch, the baby should be home later today.  We heard the disappointing news that he’s on an apnea monitor, but M’s brother doesn’t think it’s a big deal.  I hope they don’t have the experience we had with it and that he turns out to be right.  It also seems odd to me that although my SIL is planning to breastfeed, she has yet to even try.  Don’t you think that would have been a good thing to get the baby used to before he left the hospital?  Whatever.  Apparently they do things differently there.  They’re happy, their baby is coming home today, and he’s healthy.  Everything else will resolve itself in time.

The Downside

February 20, 2008

It was early morning, just about the time the sun started to rise.  BabyN woke up hungry and proceeded to cry to let me know of his desperate need for milk.  I stumble bleary-eyed into the boys’ room to rescue BabyN from his bed before he wakes up his big brother.  As I open the door, I am greeted with a happy squeal and a toddler rushing towards me.  Ignoring him and still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, I proceed to BabyN’s crib where I grab him and make a mad rush for the door.  PJ follows.

I have to make a split-second decision using my sleep-deprived judgment skills.  Do I let PJ out to play, several hours before he usually gets up?  Can I handle my extra-stubborn and -mischievious toddler when we’re both short on sleep?  Both of us being cranky is a recipe for disaster.  Would it be better to leave him in his room, hoping beyond all hope that he’ll break his own rule for once and go back to sleep after dawn?  Can I handle the screaming that will ensue when I do so?

I mumble something to PJ about how he needs to go back to sleep and swiftly close the door behind me, trapping him in his room.  Immediately, loud screams emanate from the room, barely muffled by the door.  Guilt eats at me as I head back to my room to nurse BabyN from bed.  It’s bad enough that I expect to give up and live with a ticked-off toddler as soon as BabyN quits eating.  I hate being forced into such a position–either doing what I know is probably best for the situation and feeling guilty about it or doing what I think other people might think is right and giving in to PJ’s every whim and suffering for it.  I hate feeling like either a bad mom or a martyr.

Eventually the screaming stops.  I occasionally hear a happy squeal or some chattering from the boys’ room, but nothing to indicate he’s truly unhappy about my decision.  Then BabyN dozes off in my arms.  Reluctant to move him, I give in to my original decision and relish the moments with my youngest.  After some time, I drifted off as well.

Did PJ go back to sleep?  I have no idea.  He’s defying every rule he’s ever been given this morning, often only seconds after I remind him of it, and he’s had to go to time-out twice already (usually a last resort).  I have every reason to suspect he’s been awake since dawn.  Yes, I feel a bit guilty for leaving him in his room awake for all that time, but it was with the intention of getting him to fall back asleep.  And it’s not as though he was unhappy about it. 

But I’m still questioning my wisdom in that decision.  I feel like I was forced to make a bad decision or a worse one.  Did I do the right thing?  I wish I knew.  But apparently I’m the only one worse for the wear by it, and that’s only in my insistence upon reliving that moment at the door, whether or not I closed the door on my firstborn.  Sometimes this mommying business can be difficult.

Two Boys in One Room

February 19, 2008

Sorry about taking a few days off from writing.  I decided to spend more time with the family, since M had a long three-day weekend.  I didn’t have anything pressing to write about anyway, so I just enjoyed a short break.

And now I’m back.  I’m back with a little more sleep under my belt as well, even after a weekend of staying up WAY too late.  BabyN is still sleeping in the same room with PJ.  That doesn’t necessarily contribute to my well-rested state, but it’s a good, exciting transition nevertheless.

Actually, at the moment, I think having them share a room is still costing me sleep.  I go to bed each night holding my breath that everything goes well that night, that PJ doesn’t wake up BabyN or that his crying doesn’t wake up PJ, that by some miracle they will both sleep late the next morning.  Slowly, though, I am learning to trust my boys.  BabyN has woken up at least once each night (last night because the neighbors got up crazy early this morning, and the light from their bathroom shines right into the boys’ room), and once or twice PJ woke up as well.  PJ is a champion sleeper, though, and manages to go right back to sleep as long as the sun hasn’t come up yet.  If BabyN wakes him up after sunrise, I’m out of luck, but that’s only happened once so far.

I’m still cautious about going into the boys’ room.  That only happens when BabyN cries, and then I just swoop him up out of bed so that maybe he won’t disturb PJ.  One night I put him back into bed after a quick feeding, as it was still several hours until sunrise.  That worked great, and I don’t think PJ even realized his brother left his room during the night.  Last night, though, it was too late in the morning, so I just put him back down in his playard in our room.  He managed to go back to sleep, so I got several more hours of sleep as well.  I think if he’d gone back in his room, I would have been forced to get up to take care of PJ at least.

After the first two nights, I was starting to get disappointed about the new room arrangements.  Getting both boys up at the same time in the morning meant I missed that quiet morning time with BabyN, when I would nurse him in bed and curl up with him as we both dozed together for some time before getting upf or the day.  That’s been my favorite part of the day, and I was already missing it–not enough to delay the room change any longer, but I was sad about it anyway.

But then he woke up too late in the morning to go back to bed in his own room, so he slept a few hours in our room.  That took us back to our old wake-up routine the last few days.  I have gotten that snuggle time with BabyN after all.  I know it won’t happen every day, but I love knowing that it will still happen some days.  I will be able to cherish those days even more now because I know they’ll start to happen less and less frequently and that each morning could be the last like that.  It sounds kind of sad, but it’s much better than realizing after the fact that the last opportunity had come and gone and I wasted it.

And that’s something I’m doing a lot better about this time around–cherishing every moment I can with BabyN.  M and I were both so eager to push PJ to the next milestone, even when he would delay getting there as long as possible, that I feel like I missed out on a lot from his first year or so of life.  This time around, I really am making the effort to enjoy BabyN’s babyhood (although I am quite glad I’m not up every night with him anymore).  Unfortunately, I’m already expecting him to meet each milestone much earlier than PJ.  The one I want to grow up is taking his time, and the one I want to stay a baby forever will be graduating from high school and out of the house before I know it.

Big News

February 17, 2008

Well, M is home after an easy flight (and ridiculous drive from the airport), but that’s not the big news.  BabyN didn’t sleep quite through the night last night, the first time in five or six days, but I’ll let it slide this time because–you’ll never see this one coming!–he slept in his brother’s room last night!

M pointed out to me yesterday that it was pointless to move BabyN into his own room, our default plan, since the whole point in concocting that plan was to get him out of our room, both for our sanity and to hopefully push him into sleeping through the night if we were disturbing his sleep.  So why did he need his own room if he was already sleeping all night long?  It felt a little early to try it out, but at least we knew he could sleep all night long.

The boys did well.  BabyN didn’t crash right away, and I had to go comfort him about fifteen minutes after putting the boys down.  PJ hadn’t slept yet either, though, and he didn’t mind the intrusion at all.  After that, peace reigned until about 4:45 when BabyN woke up in an unfamiliar and darker room than usual.  Obviously he was going to be upset.  I fed and comforted him for another 45 minutes and put him back to bed where he dozed right off.  PJ rolled around a bit as I was returning BabyN to bed, but he didn’t wake up.  That was it until almost nine, a perfectly reasonable hour to be awake (even if I wanted more sleep because I let myself stay up way too late last night).

I’m again hesitantly optimistic that this is the start of something wonderful.  I can’t imagine that the transition could have happened just like that–that easily.  But if it went that well one night, what’s to say it can’t happen again tonight, and tomorrow, and the next day?  I have two big boys, and they are happily sharing a room.  Wow.

It’s a New Day

February 15, 2008

I gotta tell you, it was TOUGH to keep that positive attitude last night.  It’s very difficult to stay upbeat when you have two kids screaming at you at the top of their lungs, the pizza guy is an hour late, and your hubby can’t call on Valentine’s Day because all the phone lines are busy with people calling their loved ones to let them know they were not involved in the nearby school shooting.  It was pure chaos here.  PJ didn’t get a long nap and threw pretty much one long tantrum from the end of said naptime until I put him down for an early bedtime four hours later.  I also think BabyN is teething worse, so he spent much of yesterday screaming and not as much time sleeping.

But then bedtime came–a little early for the boys–and peace returned, and with it, my positive attitude.  It didn’t matter that I was in pain or that I still had a few chores to do around the house.  I could hear myself think again, and that’s all I needed.

And then I woke up at 7:45 this morning to realize that BabyN had slept through yet another night.  I guess the lack of sleep during the day makes him too groggy to wake up to eat at night.  He even went back to sleep after that feeding and snoozed until 11:00.  I had to get up and leave him in the bed where he’d been cuddling with me so that I could take care of PJ.  BabyN didn’t even notice.  (And I sure am glad he didn’t suddenly figure out how to roll over this morning.)

Now all three of us are in good moods after a good night’s sleep.  Tonight M is supposed to get back (pray for good weather in the midwest so that he won’t be delayed again).  Life is good, even before noon.

Now go read some of the blogs on my blogroll.  Some of these women have much more interesting lives than I do right now–Erin needs lots of support, Kristin just got some great news, and several others I don’t know well enough to link to made huge announcements yesterday.

What’s Been Going On

February 14, 2008

I know I should totally be doing something romantic for Valentine’s Day today, but there’s too much going on that I need to catch everyone up on.  This will likely end up long, so I’m sorry.  At least I’ll put it in list form so it doesn’t feel as long and rambling.

1. M is out of town again, hopefully for the last time for several months.  At least it’s a shorter trip.  He left yesterday afternoon and should be home tomorrow evening.  It stinks that he’s missing V-Day, but he does special stuff for me so often that it doesn’t matter that he can’t do anything today.  I miss him more just because he’s gone than that he’s gone on Valentine’s Day.

2. BabyN has slept through the night two nights in a row now.  He’s woken up just as I’ve been about to crash for a feeding and then slept through the rest of the night until 7 or 8 in the morning.  I’m hesitant to get my hopes up, but I’m starting to nurse this flicker of hope that this may be our new routine for a while.

3. We may have come up with a solution to get BabyN out of our room without putting him in with PJ and disturbing his sleep.  It would mean kind of giving up our guest room, but if guests showed up, we could move him back in our room temporarily.  We’re also thinking about making the guest room temporarily permanently BabyN’s room by spending our tax refund on new living room furniture that includes a fold-out couch.  When the boys are old enough to use bunk beds, we can shove them in the same room again and reclaim our guest room.  I’m excited about the plan, assuming we decide to go through with it.

4. PJ started potty training yesterday.  Go check out the other blog if you want to see why yesterday ended up being the chosen day.  I’m still not sure I’m ready for this new adventure, even if PJ is.

5. My nephew is continuing to improve, but the drama going on there is insane.  Remember how much I’ve whined about my own MIL?  Wow, she’s a saint compared to my BIL’s MIL.  At their baby shower last weekend, she and my MIL were discussing plans to see the baby over their spring break, when he should be home.  Horrible Grandmother (HG) told my MIL that she was taking him for the week and my MIL would not be allowed to see him.  “I don’t share my toys well” was the exact quote relayed to us.  This will likely be the first week he is home from the hospital, and because of an infection issue in the NICU, only parents are allowed to see the babies anymore.  That means that my MIL won’t have had a chance to see her grandbaby since his first week.  She’s never held him.

And HG is causing problems in the holding area too.  The baby was recently allowed to be held once a day, on a first-come-first-served basis.  My SIL got her opportunity a few days ago, and my BIL was to get his the next day.  When they got there, though, HG had just left (before the parents-only rule).  She’d made a point to get there before anybody else could so that she could hold the baby.  She knew the rule and that it would be my BIL’s first chance to hold his child, and went anyway, deliberately trying to hold the baby before his own father could.  When they called her after the visit to ask her about it, her response was again, “I told you, I don’t share my toys well.”  Yes, even with his own parents.

So that’s put a lot in perspective for me.  My MIL is selfish and immature, but she’s not evil.  In fact, she’s a saint when you look at how she could have turned out.  That doesn’t mean I won’t still share a MIL story from time to time–she’ll still annoy me and make me need to vent–but I think from now on I will at least be able to keep her antics in perspective.

6. I was reading this book the other day (not one you’ve ever heard of, I’m sure) and found myself identifying with one of the characters, even with her obvious flaws.  One of the worst was that she chose to be miserable all the time.  While I am certainly not that bad, I recognized that I tend to do that sometimes, revel in my unhappiness and misery and pain.  It was a cathartic moment for me.  I can choose not to show my misery and pain even if I can’t control when I feel it.  I am making a point to shove it to the side and focus on the positive whenever possible.  Hopefully you will notice a more positive slant to my posts in the near future, an outward show that things are changing on the inside.  But please also be patient with me as I slip up from time to time.  I know it’s going to be difficult for me to put my long-winded rants to the side; they’re much more fun to write than the moderately happy stuff.