The Not-So Simple Life

Monday, March 30, 2015

Every so often I find myself thinking, "Holy shit. WHY the HELL is this happening right now?" Well, who am I kidding. It's more like 20 times a day. Everyday.
The thing is, life before Lucca was simple.

Going to the store? Get dressed, grab your keys, and out the door. 
Going out to eat? Pick a restaurant, make a reservation, order food and drinks and stay as long as you please.
Out of town for the weekend? Pack your clothes and toiletries and get on the road. 
We don't live a simple life anymore. And if you have a baby/toddler/child/teenager then I'm sure you can relate. Things just aren't get-up-and-go. What used to be a two-step process now has 263 steps in between. Instead of an ETA to go anywhere, it's more like "I'll get there whenever the hell I get myself halfway together and my kid on the same wavelength."
When I tried to make my quick, weekly Target-run last week, it was yet another reminder that things have to be difficult (or at least more of an effort) to be done. Lucca did what I like to call the "Spiderman" when I attempted to buckle him in his carseat. Picture it: I try to set him down in the seat and all four limbs have stretched themselves out to the sides of the seat to where he is hovering just mere inches above where his butt is supposed to touch down. Much like how Spiderman uses this same technique to navigate in between two buildings. And then he hops out and makes a jump for the front seat of the car when he senses a moment of weakness. Really dude, REALLY? 
I looked around and just thought "WHY? Why can't going to Target be a simple task?" And instead, for the next 5 minutes we fight each other until he finally gave up and I was sweating profusely, too tired at that point to even go anywhere. This has become our daily struggle. Now, I dread having to go anywhere because of the Spiderman situation I have going on. For such a little human, he sure does put up a fight. I mean come on, man. You're supposed to love Target.
I'm learning so many things about being a mother to a toddler. It's not simple. It's very, very complicated. It's fast. It's slow. It's a million tiny battles fought over the course of 24 hours. Will it get easier? Probably. But it's in moments like this I just wish the simple tasks weren't the most difficult ones.

Jeesh. I think we'll stay in our pajamas today and not even attempt to leave the house. That will be our best bet.

A Damn Good Friday

Friday, March 13, 2015

Today was a good day.
I say that, amidst all the craziness, the chaotic moments, the times of near exhaustion. But you know what? Today was a pretty damn good day.
I consider myself to be pretty lucky to work from home at a flexible pace while also being with Lucca. No, it's not easy. In fact, each day seems to be more difficult than the first with his increasing talents (climbing) and knowledge (he knows where I've hidden everything). It's not easy, but somehow, for now, we make it work. 
Yes, I feel guilty for the time he spends zoned out watching Handy Manny in between playing with his zillion toys in the playroom. Everyday I think I'm going to shut the TV off completely. But the reality is-- he's preoccupied and far enough away from me that I can get some work done. He's not hitting the back of the chair, pulling out the computer cords, or climbing in my lap-for now. When it fades and he gets bored, that's when I go on my own personal guilt trip. I'm telling you, It's a constant battle in my head of "I can do this and make this work" to "This shit sucks, I want to quit." 
When we took a break in the morning to head to the gym (I needed to get my Zumba on) I felt good. He loves the daycare at the gym, and he's old enough now to participate in their activities. He was happy. He was with friends and teachers. He ran away from me when I came to pick him up. I don't feel guilty dropping him off to play for 2 hours, but I feel guilty when he's with me while I'm working. I find this to be completely ass-backwards, if you ask me. 
Before heading home, we stopped at the park to play while the sun was out and the playground was clear. He went on the swings, down the slide, played in the dirt, and ran nonstop for 45 minutes. There was a brief moment when he let me hold him and I thought, "I want this. All the time." 
The rest of the afternoon was spent logging in, logging out, making lunch, cleaning up, settling down for naptime, up again for a snack. I finally finished working and could not get out of the door again fast enough. We headed out for a walk with the dog and made a pitstop at a gated area at the top of a hill. I let them both out-- Brooklyn and Lucca. Unleashed. They ran and played and before I realized there was still mud on the ground, it was too late. Using the "what the hell" approach, I let them play and dig to their hearts content. But I knew what was coming.
When we got in the door, I wiped down B and sent her upstairs. I turned our shower on and she stepped right in by herself. I had intended on this cleanup to be a quick rinse down and we're done, but Lucca had other plans. He started stripping himself down, bringing in all his toys and wanted to get in with her. Gross, right? Probably. But, again, "what the hell". 
An hour later-- a wet dog, giant puddles in the bathroom, a second bath for Lucca-- and I'm beyond spent. I had solo bedtime duty, and as I look back on this day in this quiet house on a Friday night, I think that today was a pretty damn good day. It definitely had it's moments. I felt guilty and happy and guilty all over again. But he laughed more than he cried, he wore himself out playing, we did things out of our routine, and it was good. It was really good...

The Non-Sleep Chronicles

Thursday, March 5, 2015

It's 4:46 a.m., I'm up with all of the animals, including my son, who right now is not a cheerful happy little boy but yet has turned into some nocturnal banshee who wails throughout the wee hours of the night.
This is one of those moments when people will say cliche things like "This too shall pass". Let's just state the obvious, alright? Let's not sugarcoat the situation here, people. I don't expect my kid to cry every night until his 18th birthday (God, I hope not...) but right now this sleeping situation F-ing sucks. He goes down for naps and bedtime without a fight at all, slipping peacefully into a deep slumber. He reads his books to himself, points out his family and friends in his photo album, babbles and is on his way to dreamland. 
At this point, I feel that Greg and I have tried literally everything under the sun to eradicate this problem. We've Ferberized, rocked and patted so much that we have a pretty solid rotation going every single night. Is he getting a tooth? He might be. Is he having separation anxiety? Probably so. All I know is, it's been a long friggin' time since I've seen the back of my eyelids. Wait, do I have eyelids anymore?
If there is any parenting "advice" that is true, its that you will never, ever sleep ever again. Of course, I would never say that to parents-to-be, they'll just find that out on their own. I remember when Lucca was 3 months old and we'd hold back from saying how great of a sleeper he was. We didn't want to jinx it. We've been jinxed. Turns out, you shouldn't even think that your baby is a good sleeper.
Here's how a typical night of no-sleeping goes:
7:45 p.m. - Lucca has second (or third or fourth) wind. He is running through the house like a tornado, kicking every single ball in sight, and pulling out toys he doesn't have any intention of playing with.
8:00 p.m. - Greg takes Lucca upstairs to get ready for bed. These days, Lucca will only read certain books. Right now, it's Dinosaur Train. One or two books, switch on the sound machine, turn off the light, and it's snooze time.
8:30-9:30 p.m. - Greg and I try to catch up on our overflowing DVR of TV shows. We usually can only make it through one episode and then it's lights out for us too. We're not stupid. We know what's coming.
9:30 p.m. -12:30 a.m. - Ahhhh, sleep. The dog is at the end of the bed. My 20lb cat half suffocating my face. Life is good.
12:30-1:30 a.m. If this is a gonna be a double shift kind of night, this is when the first round of wailing begins. This one always catches me off guard as it literally comes out of nowhere. Snoring and then screaming. How does it escalate that quickly? I look with one eyeball open at the monitor to assess the situation. Maybe he'll go back down. Maybe. Please God lay back down. Nope. Not a chance. He's standing, stomping and screaming. Our first session hopefully concludes with going back to sleep after G and I rotate entering his room and laying him down.
1:30-3:30 a.m. - "Oh my God this is the best sleep of my life. I'm so glad he went back down."
3:30 a.m.- The immediate screeching and screaming that occurs at this hour is enough to give anyone a heart attack. Newborn cries are one thing, but that sounds more like a squeaky toy. There is nothing quite like a toddler cry/scream/wail. Throw in a few "mammmmaaaa" cries here and there in between the most God-awful sounds you've ever heard.
3:30 a.m.- God knows when a.m. - It's during this time that there are a million expletives that are flying through the air, sometimes a punch to the pillow, a few mumblings about "Oh my God what are we going to do? We need to talk to the pediatrician. I can't do this anymore". Back and forth from his room to ours. Now the animals are all awake, running in and out of the bedrooms. Don't pick him up. Pick him up. Rock him. Don't rock him. Oh shit. He's bringing him in here. 
Let me interject real quick about co-sleeping. If that's your thing, power to you. High-five. Snuggle on. You're definitely sleeping blissfully and I am not. However, this is not my thing. My bed is my bed. I toss and turn 23482349 a night. I've tried snuggling with Lucca but I'm so worried I'm going to wake him up or (worse) squish him, so I can't ever sleep this way.
Lucca rolls back and forth in the giant space in the middle of our King size bed, rolls completely over until his back is on my face and I can't breathe. He goes back to his belly. Slaps my face. Then it's suddenly like a barnacle has latched on to my neck, with an unintended kick to the gut. Oh hellll no, this is not happening. Nope. 
And so, the crying, screaming, wailing and back and forth continues until someone taps out. 
6:00 a.m. - Babbling first, then wailing. "COME GET ME. I'M AWAKE NOW, MAMA . TIME TO WAKE UP!" Oh. My. God. 
So there you have it folks. This is no laughing matter. This is a serious situation. I can't continue this cycle and expect to be a happy, polite, productive adult every day of my life if this continues. We're going to need a serious intervention soon before I lose my shit on every person I encounter.
And now, 5:45 a..m. and silence. I'm going to go take a nap.