Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wow. I mean, WOW.

So, that whole baby brain thing?  You know, where supposedly you suddenly forget little things (or big things).  Can't remember where you place things.  Constantly wondering why you called your friend, or mom, or whoever you called.  Have a hard time orgnaizing thought.  I always think it's a myth.  Not possible.  A silly term.  Until, I am pregnant.  Then, it all comes flooding back, ah, yes, "Baby Brain" is a thing. 

Well, I think today, I did it.  I reached the epitome of baby brainededness.  I am snowed in, at Truman Hospital Hill.  Where I know no one.  Our ICU list is down to 4 patients.  Everyone, except the on-call residents went home.  So, I thought, what better time than now, to go through my phone and update my contacts?  I have had a few people call or text over the past few months, who's number had not been reassigned to a name.  I start by scrolling through my call log, and get to an 816-729-#### number.  I can instantly narrow it down to a couple people, because, I myself have a 816-729-#### number, so I notice it when someone else shares this pattern.  I decided, the best way to narrow it down completely, is to just text the number, and ask "Is this Molly?"  Bizarrely, no sooner had I sent that text, then did I receive a text, stating, "Is this Molly?"  After a split second of confusion, then a solid second of embarrassment, then a few seconds of laughter to myself.  I realized, that 816-729-#### number, was, in fact, my very own cell phone number.  The one I have had since freshman year of college.  The one that all of my family, and some of my friends can recite, because I had it back when people still called from touch tone phones periodically.  In fact, it is such an old number, the oldest one on my mother's family plan, that it is FREE.  Yup, after dealing with Sprint and their many mistakes for 12+ years, they just don't charge for that line anymore, to compensate for the past (and future) issues, and thank us for being such loyal customers. 

Even after making this discovery, I continued to stare at the number on my phone, and it remained somewhat unfamiliar.  I began to wonder if I had been giving out the correct phone number when people asked for it, all these years.  Perhaps, I've had a mini stroke.  Oh well.  No harm done, I guess.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Today was a good day.

As I get ready for bed, I reflect on my day. It's this habit I've had since, I don't know, birth, likely. Most days, like 98% of days, I go to bed happy. Approving. Satisfied, yet motivated. Eager for the new day. Most days were fun. Educational. Filled with joy from my boys. Today was no exception. In fact, today, theoretically, was more fun than usual. Today was the kind of day that usually, I write about to remember its perfection, fun, to shout to everyone, I love life!

Today, I finally got my teeth cleaned. I caught up with friends and hung out with their children as well as watched my own boys play, in Baby group. I went to lunch and a movie with my husband. On a weekday! My kids were fed, bathed and put to bed all in a relatively smooth manner and before 8pm. A recipe for a fun. Unique. Perfect day. Yet, I go to bed exhausted and drained. DREADING tomorrow. Just praying I can get through these next few weeks. Utterly overjoyed to lay my head on the pillow. Finally. Because, despite my wonderful day filled with fun involving all of my favorite people, all I really wanted to do all day is get back to bed. Or sit. Not move. Not eat. Not drink. Just lay.

The entire day was an act. A guise, so as to let the others around me continue enjoying their day. A tiring, disheartening, sad attempt at appearing normal, while internally feeling nothing but misery. Perhaps this sounds dramatic. Perhaps it is. But this is how I feel. 8 weeks pregnant. My once unbending, genuine love of the day, the opportunities it affords. My true positive attitude, and constant fire to seize the day. Do more. Do EVERYTHING. Has been extinguished and taken over by fatigue. Constant nausea and the never-ending question, am I going to vomit? Now, it's purely survival mode. With a little extra energy to try to keep a smile on my face.

I will love this munchkin with all of my heart when he's here. Really, I already do. The amazement, awe, wonder and excitement for participating in the creation of another human never fades. I have no ill feelings toward this child, whatsoever. And perhaps I was given this course in pregnancy, now for the fourth time, as a safeguard against having too many kids. Because, if pregnancy were easy, I might not be on just #4...goodnight.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A day for the George.

February has been a rough month this year.  Really tough.  Usually, it's one of my faves.  It is the window into Spring.  Days are getting longer.  I started dating Matt this month, 12 years ago.  I married Matt in this month 6 years ago.  I had a teeny {huge} baby on this day, in this month, 1 year ago. Though I despise the whole Valentine's day, thoughtlessly giving cards and gifts, as favors that should be done sporadically throughout the year, not just when one is obliged, kind of defeats the purpose, thing.  I do like that everyone appreciates their loved ones for a moment.  I am happy, for others happiness.  Not everyone can be like me, and gush constantly on a blog how much they love their husband, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, friends.  Oh wait...they kind of can.  Anyway, 2013 February, sucks.  Half due to Matt's recent unemployment, half due to my horrid first trimester symptoms.

But a beautiful, glimmering, happy instant of this month?  George.  He continues to provide me with joy I would have never experienced without his surprise existence.  (I hope he doesn't grow a complex, upon reading constantly that he was somewhat unexpected.  Really, he was just a year ahead of schedule. A bit impatient, I wager.)  We celebrated his first birthday today.  I got to see friends and family, after a long night working in the ICU.  All were in great spirits.  Despite my horrid nausea.  Sheer exhaustion.  Slight headache.  I was happy.

We enjoyed good food.  George made plenty of his usual faces.  He entertained us all with his cake eating...I thought I was bloated, you should have seen his belly!!  Though slightly baffled by the attention, George powered through that cake.  My brain is too tired to say much beyond this; I love George.  I could never kiss him enough.  He sleeps too long and goes to bed too early, so I miss his a lot on rotations where I leave before 6am and get home well after 7pm.  I feel as though I learn something new about this vibrant child, every day.  He fits in so perfectly with us.  He is us.  We would be a totally different family without the George.  So, the day of his birth is a celebrations indeed! 

His doctor's visit continues to prove, that despite being our largest out the shoot, he is our smallest boy.  His height being 30.25'' (a full inch shorter than his brothers at this age, and hovering in the 75th %ile) and 22lbs (which might actually be a bit more than Brock, and nearing the 50th %ile).  He has been shockingly healthy, as he has 2 older brothers who attend school, and a daily playmate, who's mother is a pediatrician (therefore, constantly immersed in children's bugs).  He loves strawberries and any type of bean.  He will wrestle anyone that appears to be an easy target, including the cat and Taties.  He fake laughs.  He walks on his knees most of the time.  And walks on his feet, only when not paying attention.  He loves his Pottery Barn name chair.  Loves it.  And his "stink face" will make anybody laugh.  So, thank you George, for making my day brighter.  My life richer.  And this moment, wonderful.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Can't blame 'em.

Recently, on Facebook or Pinterest or somewhere, I saw this quote: "that awkward moment when you realize you punished your kid for acting exactly like you.". On countless occasions, one of the boys will do something, and Matt or I will instantly look to the other making a facial expression that says, "that's all you, babe". And it's not just the times I punish them for this behavior that I notice, but more frequently, it's that I let a behavior go unpunished or allow something I probably shouldn't because I can empathize with their condition.

Matt was in charge of teeth brushing tonight. On most nights, Brock brushes his teeth first, then a parent finishes up. He prefers this. He's a bit paranoid about his teeth turning black and falling out...which I credit to a first time parenting mistake. How was I to know he would take that statement so seriously!? Don't have to worry about tooth hygiene with that one. Anyhow, tonight was a long night, I don't feel good, we went to my mom's for dinner to celebrate Xander's 7th birthday; Matt didn't feel like brushing his teeth. I get it. Well, Brock doesn't. This was an unexpected change. He panicked. He began to cry and point to various regions of his mouth that he did not feel we're thoroughly brushed. Matt insisted it was fine and suggested he get over it. But I couldn't stand to watch the poor thing fret. I know what it's like. I go from side to side, front to back, etc constantly until every tooth feels clean and equally brushed. I get annoyed, impatient and want to stop, but can't. Some nights, when I am REALLY exhausted, I will even give my self a little tooth brushing brevity pep talk. Bargaining with myself that if I just do a quick once over now, I will be sure to brush extra long in the morning. I did not want to undermine Matt's ruling, but it was hard to hold my tongue. Very hard. Trust me Brock, I get it. More often than not, I get it.

Tough love ain't no joke. And you have to retrain a lot of your own habits that are acceptable from adults, but not from kids. I am quickly finding, the word "hate" sounds horrendous from a 4 year old. But he gets it from his momma. I frequently express how I love or hate things. Not in any aggressive way, I just simply say, I hate popcorn flavored jelly beans. Or I hate the smell of burnt toast. But what I really hate, is my baby boy using that word. So I will continue trying not to use that word. And I will continue to punish my child for saying exactly what I might have said...because its wrong, inappropriate and vulgar.  I guess, I will just continue to try and do what I think is right for my kids.  I will try to retrain myself to be a good example.  And I will hope that, someday, they will appreciate my discipline and effort.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

To each his own.

 I sometimes try to remember each child as a baby.  Or a little toddler.  But it's really hard.  I can envision snippets.  I can remember emotions, and stories.  But I really cannot remember each child as anyone other than who they are today.  Just like your own memories.  You remember them through your head as you are now, not as a little 5 year old or a high school-er.  After all, it was always you.  You've always had the same brain, it's just your physical appearance and size changes somewhat. Well, I do remember having to slide the kitchen chairs across the floor to climb on the counter to reach the cereal I guess SOME memories are to scale.  But not many.
From day one, there were two comments that remained consistent from anyone who met Brock for more than a brief moment; "look at those eyes, he is so alert" and, "that boy is busy".  And guess what?  This has not changed a bit.  Brock has been Brock since he joined us in the hospital that November 23rd afternoon. No detail goes unnoticed.  My mom once tried to play a trick on him with food, before he could even speak...likely, by food, I mean some kind of sugary chewy candy...where she pretended to switch it from one hand to another. Or she pretended to eat it while leaving it in her hand.  Or something along those lines.  Something that a child his age should have easily been fooled by, due to the lack of object permanence. He wouldn't believe it.  He knew EXACTLY which hand continued to hold that candy.  And he was not going anywhere without her opening her hand and revealing the prize.  To this day, Brock has constant tabs on the household. Where things go, how much battery is left on the iPad, what kind of cereal selection we currently offer.  If things change on him, unexpectedly, it creates a lot of anxiety, a bit of obsessing, and a miserable day for us all. He is alert.  And in order to keep up on all of these goings ons, he must be busy.  End of story.

Now, as he has aged a bit, I can see where this alert, busy-ness is headed.  To control-freak land.  He gets it from his momma. I feel bad as I watch him at his friend's bounce house birthday party.  It's all too crazy, new, unknown.  He cannot loosen up and have fun. I watch Brock with his internal struggle to let go and just be a wild, silly, fun-loving 4-year-old, yet remain in control of his surroundings and everyone in them at the same time.  If this cannot be accomplished, then there is no point.  It's overload, meltdown, anxiety attack time.  All of this, while his little brother, who has no problem taking advantage of a fun situation, is running about, showing other kids how it's really done. No fear there.  No foe either.
Curtis.  Though he has definitely reached the terrible two stage with "Mine" being his all time favorite word currently (or, as I once read on Pinterest, "the only reason it's called "terrible two's" is because "fucking awful" doesn't begin with a 't'." Pardon my language, what? It's a quote, alright.) It's all kind of hilarious.  At 6:25am, 5 minutes before my alarm is set to sound, with Brock and Curtis sauntering into our room, and invading our bed.  I hear, "My phone!" repeated, over and over and over, as Curtis tries to play with MY phone.  I just laugh. This little baby legitimately thinks that the louder and more insistently and more frequently he yells that something very obviously not his, is MINE, than it will become that way? And all before the sun is up!?  You just have to laugh.  And that is always what we've done with this one.  There is no manipulation behind his ways, it's all genuine, heartfelt emotion.  He wears his heart on his sleeve. He smiles at everyone and he will join in any game.  From day one, "Is he always that happy?"  Still rings true, even in his tantrums. 
Speaking of tantrums, our curious George, the sponge, has decided that Curtis' little dramatic events are quite fun to replicate. He does this while also making his little stink face, or one of the many other expressions he exhibits.  Like his oldest brother, he is quite observant, pointing out any interesting sight or sound with an extended arm and a high pitched, "Eh?"  But like the middle child, he is generally content most of the time, happy even. He manages to keep up with those older two, it's quite remarkable.  He has begun blowing raspberries, as learned from Curtis.  He instantaneously dances to anything resembling music, even if it's a creepy noise coming from a toy low on battery life. He says Taties, and Mamma, Dadda, Bye bye, Uh uh (Uh oh), Thank you, and repeats any boy sound from his brothers.  No question he's inquisitive and bright.  If his behaviors didn't indicate these traits...that huge noggin sure did.  All fore-brain.  All genius. 

I observe, evaluate, hug, kiss, wrestle these boys constantly.  When I am working all day, I randomly imagine one of their funny faces or humorous comments or silly actions, and I just smile. Perhaps even laugh to myself.  If I think about them too much, I will miss them.  Just after a couple hours away.  Twelve years ago, I had this problem only with Matt.  Now there are 4 boys distracting me from my day.  It's a wonder I ever get anything done, besides blogging about how much I love these stinkers that had my heart since day one.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Rodeo

It's not like this is my first go, in fact it's my fourth.  Nothing that has happened in these past 6 weeks is a surprise or unexpected. And because it's not my first rodeo, I almost feel as though I am not allowed to admit to the misery that is early pregnancy.  But alas, like the 3 before him, I am really tired.  And food is not appetizing.

Almost immediately after seeing the extra line on that pregnancy test, thus validating the symptoms I was noticing for the past week yet trying to ignore so as not to get my hopes up that I might be expecting, I think,'s only going to get worse.  What have I done!?  This thought comes only after the instant, heart-warming happiness and excitement of creating and meeting a new, wonderful family member.  Unfortunately, to deliver, hold, and raise those tiny little clones of Matt and myself, I have to go through 9 months of pregnancy.  With every passing day, I am reassured that the little peanut is doing quite well, as I try not to vomit in the grocery aisle while shopping.  Or I hit snooze 6 times. And the bloating. And the bad skin. All of this, wonderful, and grand.  In September, we will welcome Baby O #4. I just could not be happier.

Matt regularly asks me, when will this stop?  When will you not want to have another baby?  And I just have no answer, except that I already feel like the crazy lady.  At work, it's been a joke that I am always pregnant, and for real, I will have been pregnant for half of residency.  I feel kind of old this time. Like my body is getting too worn out for this. I have never been in worse physical condition, in my life!  For my own health, mental & physical, and the health of those around me, I think the end is near.  Or, at least, I can see myself having an end point.  But for now, I am ecstatic.  I am impatient to meet the little guy.  I am glowing (as much as one can in the first trimester).  And I cannot wait to share yet another O'Laughlin baby [boy, right?] journey into the world with my friends and family.