Maybe Not Picture Perfect…

Yesterday was one of those parenting days where I felt completely “with it”. I was the mom with energy, ready to play and clean and get all kinds of stuff done. I actually woke up on time, warmed up breakfast (Cinnabon, yum), made coffee and played with the kids before 10 AM! (We’re all late risers; I’m not that bad.)

After I got Olivia down for her first nap, Noah helped me clean. He always wants to but I’m a perfectionist so I haven’t really taken the time to show him how to do stuff around the house. He cleans his room (with an argument and lengthy discussion) but that’s about it. I realized that he is five years old now, though, and therefore it’s time for him to start learning these things while he’s still eager and can form good habits. After all, I expect him to do his share of the housework, just like Daddy!

He learned how to fold towels and let me just say, we both deserve medals for that one. I lost my patience once, probably kind of rudely, and owed him an apology. He gave me a hug, because that’s the kind of awesome kid he is. Then we tried again and I did so, so well just telling him he did a good job when he didn’t match the corners of the towels exactly. *twitch* Actually, with each towel he folded, he did a better job, and I was also able to chill out and remember that perfectionism is only one short step away from going insane.

I’m working on it.

About halfway through the towels he started whining, of course. The novelty wore off and he kept saying he was SO tired and SO exhausted, complete with eye rubbing. Good grief. What did I do, though? Miss “with it Mom of yesterday”? I reminded him that if he wanted more time to play with me, I had to have help with housework, so the more he did, the more time we could play. He asked if we could play Ben 10 on the Wii so I said yes, and he finished the towels. (I did play Ben 10 and I kicked the first level boss’s ass, booyah. Look of adoration on a five year old’s face? Priceless.)

Noah also managed to sort all of the laundry for me so we could start a load. He liked that part, because he likes throwing clothes into the washing machine and pouring in the powdered detergent. We had a mini lesson about how the washing machine works, how much water to use and when to add more. Awesome.

It wasn’t a perfect day, though. I organized ALL of the kids’ books…because Olivia threw them on the floor. I walked into their room to find books strewn everywhere, sidewalk chalk in her hands and both kids shrugging their shoulders. Conspirators. We put up ALL of the clean laundry… and ended up with two loads worth that I still have to put up tonight, preferably while catching up on a tv show. I even did all of the dishes before dinner time, so we could cook!

We ordered a pizza. Oops. Still, I count that as “with it”. A cleaner house, kids that had mom time, lessons being learned and family time in the evening is pretty much my perfect day. I’ll let go the random messes and temper tantrums and moments of lost patience because asking for movie perfect days is just setting myself up to fail. I’ve learned a lot in 2013 already.

Today, on the other hand…today was today. Crabby kids (Olivia’s teething and cutting 4 more teeth after 2 popped out last week), literally sick and tired Mom… no one killed each other, we all played together and then they had a wonderful visit with Grandma while Joshua and I ran away off for two hours. Now both kids are sound asleep and there’s a bottle of Mike’s in the fridge with my name on it. I’m going to go ahead and call today a win too.

Blogging, Teething and Reading.

The archival quality of a blog has already proved useful. I ended up reading through older entries last night, particularly the ones about Noah’s progress in decluttering his toys, and I was surprised by how well we had actually done. I was pretty impressed with us at the time but even more so when looking back. It was very inspirational and has me working on getting more “junk” out of our home. I also am able to let go of more sentimental things, like Olivia’s clothes that she is quickly outgrowing. I actually have a friend that is due in March with a baby girl so I have a good place to pass on the nicer stuff that I wish got more wear. :) Definitely works for me!

Also, as far as Olivia’s growing goes: she’s now 13 months old, an expert crawler and a ham! She loves to laugh and loves to make people laugh. It is rare that people look at Liv and not see her either smiling or ready to break one out. Her smiles are also still very gummy…oddly, she didn’t cut her first tooth until very close to her birthday last month. She’s actively cutting 6 teeth right now (4 on top, 2 on the bottom) and getting ready to get her first year molars in. Poor girl has been fussy (for her) for a few days now and she’s not sleeping as soundly as she was. She’s also nursing all day long and frequently through the night even though she eats solids regularly.

She’s not walking yet, either. She’s almost ready, has it down physically, but mentally she will not let go. If she realizes she’s standing independently, she deliberately leans forward to put her weight on something. Instead of hitting this milestone and taking off with it, she’s decided to pick up words. Baby sign, verbal, whatever. She was very quiet before and now she’s absorbing whatever words she can. Whether she repeats them or not is entirely up to her (mostly, she doesn’t) but understanding the meaning behind them and expanding her vocabulary is something else.

Noah isn’t letting her be the only impressive one in the house, though. He’s picked up reading through phonics (no program, just me teaching him the way I was taught by my mother). What we – Joshua and I – didn’t expect was for him to grasp the concepts so quickly. He went from reading 3 letter words to reading whatever he sees. It is not unusual to find him in his bed, reading a book. He also reads the names of episodes on Netflix, signs, instructions, etc. If it has words, he reads it. This does mean that all internet browsing is SFW (Which it generally is anyway, but we’re Redditors and stuff tends to pop up.) because he has been known to read our monitors over our shoulders.

I realize that at five years old, reading is a pretty typical skill, but the genuine love for reading that Noah has brings me great joy. I hope that my kids will be readers for the span of their lives. Books are knowledge and adventures. Thanks to books, I’ve rarely been bored in my life. Hopefully they won’t be, either.

Post Partum Depression

PPD is not easy to deal with. It’s common, and yet most women feel ashamed of having it. We often forget that we just grew and delivered a little human inside of us and our hormones are completely out of whack – but of course they are!

I was definitely ashamed. I wouldn’t even admit that I might have PPD except that I started to feel like I needed help. Counting to 10 wasn’t doing it any more…even though I didn’t want to hurt my kids, I did think sometimes about terrible things that had to do with myself. Mostly, I just hated myself a lot. I would get snippy and raise my voice, which is not the type of mother I want to be, and then I would realize what I did and feel terrible. Then the guilt would set in, and that just started the whole cycle over.

Once I admitted to a group of local moms and to my husband that I thought I had PPD, I actually felt better. The weight of my “secret” was off of my shoulders. I could ask for advice and help. Then a (certified) midwife gave me some suggestions for supplements I could take and told me that a lot of times, PPD has more to do with deficiencies in the body. That sounded reasonable, so I thought it would be a good idea. If anything, I could use more vitamins, as I’m a nursing mother after all.

Since starting the supplements (a multivitamin, b complex, d3 and fish oil), I have noticed a marked difference. Even my husband says there is a difference on days that I take the supplements late…maybe that’s just his way of calling me crabby! ;) It’s helping, and my head feels like it is pulling out of a fog. I am returning to interests I couldn’t handle making time for, because when the PPD hit a peak, I fully admit that anything not immediately important kind of got shoved to the back burner really fast. I had to focus on my family and finding an inner balance in myself.

I’m still working through the depression. I have a feeling I will be for a little while yet, because guilt is a huge factor and I do feel guilty for nearly everything lately, even buying a cute diaper. Still, I’m feeling better now and I’m a little more okay with embracing the world.

I hope to blog again. I love blogging and I’ve been doing it for over 10 years now. (Wow, that just blows my mind!) I don’t think I’m going to force myself to write about any one thing, though. I just want to write, and I want to get to where I feel comfortable hitting “Publish” again and then I’ll go from there.

But I have missed this place.

Diaper Laundry Helpers

My next post about cloth diapering was going to be our “stash” but this was too cute not to post about.

This isn’t all of our diapers but it gives you an idea of what we use and what diaper laundry is like for us. There are sometimes threads on forums called “OTD/RTG” and the idea is that you post the pile of diapers that are fresh out of the diapers and then the pile “ready to go”. Since the kids were being really cute about helping me do diaper laundry, I thought I would snap a few pictures!

Here we have alll of the diapers in this load. No, this is not all of the diapers but yes, this is mostly prefolds, so that volume isn’t SO bad.

  
Noah was helping me stack the prefolds by color so I could either straighten them (the reds) or trifold them for stuffing (the yellows).

 

Olivia likes to chew on wipes so she got covered in wipes and flats. Very helpful cute.

Annnd, ready to go! Stacked so nice and pretty. :) Too bad they don’t stay that way, just like all laundry. They get used and then re-washed and the cycle starts all over again. *sigh* (Sidenote: some of these aren’t actually in rotation yet. There is a small stack of Swaddlebees Simplex that are size Large so they don’t fit Olivia, but we’ve been selling and buying lately. That Retail Therapy Bumgenius on top? New-to-us and I LOVE it.)

Oh well. At least they’re really cute on her, right?

Mother’s Day 2012 and a Decision

Quite unintentionally, I took a short hiatus from the blog. I have been really busy this week, yes, but not so busy that I couldn’t write. It was just that I couldn’t decide what to write. When I created themamageek.net, I had two different types of blogs in mind. Both are wonderful ideas but they don’t really mesh well into one website. So I had to take a few days to think about which direction I wanted to take this blog and how I wanted to make it work. I’ve decided, now, and I’m feeling very confident and excited about my decision but now I’m also behind on some blogging topics I meant to get down!

That’s okay; I’d rather have too many ideas than none. Olivia also serves to be a very efficient muse, while her brother usually likes to be the masterpiece. The two together make for some interesting journal entries, but until now, they’ve been private entries in my personal journal.

So from here on out, I’ll be a bit more productive. I have two reviews that are ready to go, and I’m excited about those. One is a local WAHM and the other is a bigger diaper company whose products I genuinely love and want to rave about. I also have in mind some things I want to write about cloth diapers for my family and friends who wonder just why I would return to the days of washing diapers instead of using disposables. Basically, I have plans!

This weekend, though, is Mother’s Day weekend and I will be spending it with my beautiful family. It has been exactly five years since I learned I was pregnant with Noah (Mother’s Day 2007, also May 13th) and that seems worth celebrating.