Wow has it been 10 weeks already?
Apparently it has. I have one chunky 10 week old baby and a full-on 3-year-old (as opposed to an almost 3-year-old, which was the case as of my last post).
I chose to take a brief leave of absense from blogging…not for lack of post inspiration, because believe me there was plenty to write about, there just wasn’t much time. Sure I probably could have skipped an episode or two of Dexter and written a post, but seriously I made it all the way up to Season 6 and shit is getting soooo crazy!
Besides watching Dexter (and you know eating Bon-Bons with my feet up all day) I also got a lot of shiz done. Thanks in no small part to my MIL, I was able to tackle quite a few self-inflicted to do items. Now my first maternity leave I would never have thought to make a to do list. I was content staring at Jack for hours on end and going for walks and what not. Not that I didn’t still do those things with Drew. It is just I also realized what an amazing opportunity I had (and most likely would never have again) of a huge chunk of time around my house to actually accomplish things.
Another big difference is I decided to sleep train right away with Drew. Not like “officially” sleep train. Just go with that whole Sleep-Eat-Play thingy-ma-bobber that I didn’t read about until Jack was almost 6 months old and then the whole – lay your baby down to fall asleep in their crib rather than hold them for all their naps thing….which I most definitely did a ton with Jack. I just couldn’t resist having him in my arms. Not that it is easy to resist having Drew in my arms and he definitely spent a nap or two everyday on my chest (listening to Dexter). But IF, and this is crazy, you lay your baby down for one or two naps a day, then you can use that 30-60 minutes to get something done! Can you believe it? if you told me 3 years ago I wouldn’t have believed you.
So anyway, I abandoned my baby in his crib for a couple of naps and was able to knock out a few items. Granted I definitely would have been able to do SOOOooo much more around the house if I had had 10 weeks off with no kids, but it was the best of both worlds really.
Another big difference is I was much more equipped this time to get out of the house fairly often. Don’t get me wrong, that first trip with two kids by myself was stressful as shit! But then I started giving myself pep-talks. Por ejemplo (the culture is back!): “you can do this Natalie, it’s just two kids, it’s not rocket science! who cares if you are wearing yoga pants, have throw up on your shoulder and look like you’ve been electrocuted (thanks for that extra touch hair!), gawddammit you get out there and see some sunlight!”. And it worked! I took the kids to the zoo (had my MIL for that one, thankthebebegeezus), we went to the park a shit ton (by myself woohoo…..breastfeeding when there is wind is really difficult, FYI), went fine dining….um okay it was McDonalds….don’t judge, there is a play area, went to the rich-folks mall (I got “dressed” for that one!)…also for the indoor play area (yes, play areas are the theme here – 3-yr-olds are insanely energetic), and IKEA, where we not only ate! but also walked through the entire store with zero incidents….well except for trying to get him out of the kids slide/tunnel area, but ice cream is an insanely successful bribery technique.
Why yes, I do bribe my kid. More now than ever….again 3-year-olds…insane. I am not proud of it, but bribery is sometimes the only way to get something done without wanting to stab my own eyes out from tantrums and whining…..gawd how I hate the whining! I bribe with episodes of superheroes; with apples/oranges/bananas (hahah suckah!); and when it is time to bring out the big guns, I go for the ice cream/fruit snacks/suckers/loose change/20s/small countries/whatever is necessary – it all really depends on the level of escalation we are talking about.
So in addition to outings together, I also tackled a few things around the house. We broke down and bought a new washer and dryer….I hated to spend the money (especially while on unpaid leave), but our dryer was eating, on average, one article of clothing per load. And that fucker always chose the cute stuff. Like the moose antler hat that went with Drew’s moose outfit, or the monster truck shirt that Andy had just bought Jack for his birthday. How did it always know?….how? Anyway, we’d been dealing with it for more than a year and then we realized eventually we would run out of clothing to wear.
Once the new washer and dryer was in place it was washin’ time! Ooooohhh yeeeaaaaaahh! I washed so much shit. It is amazing that adding one kid actually exponentially increases your laundry duty and not just multiplies it….little math sentence there for ya! You’re welcome. Also we bought a washer that has a glass window in the lid and I scoffed at the store “why would anyone want a window in their washing machine lid?…that’s so silly”. But let me tell you, that first load of laundry I stood there like an asshat watching that shit. The barrel spun around “assessing” the weight and size of the load and redistributing it evenly, then it started gently adding water while spinning slowly to soak the clothes equally (wouldn’t want any of those clothes to get wet faster than the others…there would be hell to pay). It also has a detergent and softener tray that you slide out and then the water that comes out is being sprayed through that tray, because again, you wouldn’t want to just dump detergent on top of your clothes and then have some clothes elsewhere in the load not get soapy to a correct proportion! Apparently washing technology has gotten cray-cray advanced! So there was washing.
Then there was organizing. I organized our walk-in closet and put together my first week’s worth of work outfits for getting ready quick. We cleaned out and organized Andy’s garage. I raked up all the weeds, leaves, and dog poop that accumulates when you are pregnant in the Fall and don’t want to do shit….besides the snow covers most of that up anyway. Winning! I filled 8 of those giant paper yard waste bags and I still have a lower section of the yard to work on!….ahem…I mean no, our yard was in pristine condition…forget I said anything. That was the back yard.
Then I built a garden/retaining wall in the front of the house (FYI this causes a few days of backpain….not winning), again raked and got rid of debris, and got our garden beds prepped for planting (which I need to do like this week!).
I managed to rotate Drew out of NB-3month stuff (*tear*) and into his 3-6month clothes…I still need to finish rotating Jack into more of his 3T stuff…although that skinny boy still barely fills his 2T pant waistbands….so might just be 3T shirts and 2T pants for a while.
The biggest feat for the 10 week period was that I managed to go get groceries, do some cooking (GASP! whhaaaaattt?) and keep the house reasonable clean (which is like an hourly effort with said 3-year-old).
Also I managed to throw him a small Monster-Truck-Themed birthday party, do some sewing (not as much as I had planned), painted a room and touched up some scratches…and where a 3-yr-old drew all over the walls with marker. Awesome. Did our taxes…figured out health insurance for the boys….lots of other crap too. You know life stuff.
Now I know if you look back on that stuff you are like ‘Pshaw Natalie, I could get all that done in 3 days off!’. But believe me, when you are working with tiny sporadic spans of time and also getting nourishment in your face, going to the bathroom, and sometimes showering, that is a looooonnnnggg list of things for 10 weeks off.
There was a ton more I wanted to do, but I am just happy where things stand. So there, now you are caught up on the “what I did
last summer on my maternity leave” and now we can pick up where we left off!