Another Day in the Crazy House: Surviving and Thriving in the Life of a Stay At Home Mom

Another day of Simultaneous Nap Time (SNT) had been achieved! (and the crowd goes wild!)  This is starting to become dare I say…a routine!  I’m afraid to say it out loud in case I jinx it.  Typing doesn’t count as saying it out loud.  At least I hope it doesn’t or else I am backspacing immediately!

Mr. 7 months is getting 3 top teeth!  (Yes, three! We have an unsymmetrical smile in our future!)  He had a fussy night needing to be held and nursed.  Miss 18 months also had a rough night.  Well, it’s our fault really.  She’s just getting over a nasty stomach virus.  I will spare the details.  Let’s just say I was definitely premature in my blog about dealing with poop everywhere.  I now have so much more to share!  Anyway, while she was down and out, we had set up the ipad outside of her crib to play “Dora the Explorer.”  This worked to distract her and she would forget about her own misery and fall asleep.  However, she has gotten into the routine of waking up in the middle of the night.  She doesn’t usually wake up at the same time as her little brother.  Normally, it’s just as I lay his sleeping head down in his crib and think to myself “Victory!  Mama is off to bed!”  It’s as if they plan it this way.  Last night, she woke up but was crying unenthusiastic cries.  I had just laid down in bed.  Hubby offered “Do you want me to go get her?”  I looked at the baby monitor and she is sitting there half asleep and half crying out.  I say no, figuring that while sick, she had gotten into the habit of getting up in the middle of the night and coming into bed with us for a cuddle and a drink.  We need to get her back into the routine of sleeping through the night because we need sleep too.  We know the dangers of sleep deprivation far too well.  It is very much like severe mental illness.  No joke!

I don’t even want to use the term “Cry It Out” since the term itself is a common cause for debate but I decided that we needed to let her settle herself while we laid in bed glued to the video monitor watching her every move and reassuring ourselves that we were doing the right thing.  After a couple minutes of crying, she wasn’t settling.  When I heard “Mama!!!” as she stood up looking over the rails of her crib, I had to get up.  I decided I would just go and check to confirm that she is fine and just needs to settle back down and go to sleep.  I walked into her room and immediately saw that her entire sleeper and crib sheets were soaked.  Of course, I decide to let her “soothe herself” on a night where she wakes up literally up to her shoulders in pee.  What an asshole I am!  I pick her up and ask Hubby to hold on to her so we don’t get pee (or who knows what other post-stomach virus liquids might be inside that diaper) everywhere while I grab her another diaper, sleeper, etc.  He does and then I clean her up and wrestle her into another sleeper while he strips her bed down and changes her sheets.  We put her back to bed both feeling like the biggest jerks on earth for ignoring her cries for help while she sat freezing cold in a puddle of urine.  Worst. Parents. Ever.  She still wouldn’t settle.  She starts crying “Deeee!”  Normally she calls “Beee!” which is her word for “blanket.”  “D” is a new one.  She’s clean, she’s dry, she has her Cloud B giraffe pumping out the white noise, her light is on dim, she has her favourite blanket.  What the heck is “D?”  We finally piece together that she’s crying “D” as in “Dora.”  Crap!  We’ve created a monster!  She wants Dora set up in her room again.  Crap! Crap! Crap!  We’ve created a bad habit.  Because it is the middle of the night and we are both exhausted, we cave and set up the ipad up with an episode of Dora and she immediately settles down and eventually falls asleep.  We’ll tackle this addiction another day.  Hopefully before she is 18, addicted to Dora at bedtime and on an episode of “Intervention.”  For now, we must sleep.

So, needless to say, we’ve all had a cranky morning after a crappy night’s sleep.  This gig is tough enough well-rested (well, so I imagine it would be…  I have yet to do it on a full night’s sleep) so I’m feeling particularly proud of the fact that under the circumstances, I cooked two breakfasts, two lunches, dressed two babes, went for a walk, changed 6 diapers, played AND did about 5 loads of laundry. Victory!  I also realize that it is after 1pm and I have yet to consume anything myself except for a glass of water.  I boiled the kettle at least twice in hopes of making tea and burned a bagel in the toaster but other than  the end of the banana my kids didn’t eat for breakfast, nothing!  Now that I’ve stopped running around like a maniac, I realize that I’m starving!  I decided to reward myself with a frozen chicken fajita pizza.  (Yes, this is an award!  Those foods that we used to have in our freezer to throw in after a night at the bar or whatever for a late night snack are now deliciously, unhealthy treats to eat for lunch once and a while!)  I pull the pizza out of the freezer and immediately start to feel guilty.  I bought these pizzas on the weekend because I knew Hubby would like them.  They do after all, combine two of the most deliciously gooey foods ever, fajitas and pizza.  Should I eat it?  I convince myself that I won’t eat the whole thing anyway so Hubby can eat some later.  It doesn’t taste the same later but oh well.  Then I start thinking about the lunches he gets to eat out, the drinks he gets to go for, the humans he gets to see while I am chained to the crazy house singing Barney songs even though the babies are sleeping and the TV isn’t even on.  I deserve this pizza, dammit!  You know when my last lunch out was?  When I took Miss 18 months to Costco on a Sunday just before 11 and they were giving out samples!  Costco samples!  These samples are the reason we even have these pizzas.  They were one of the samples being handed out on the weekend so I picked up a box.  (3 pizzas for $10 – FYI!)  See what I did there?  I had a debate with myself to justify my actions.  This is what lack of time with other grown-ups can do.  If I was on a TV show, I would have had the ‘good me’ sitting on one shoulder and the ‘evil me’ sitting on the other.  Scary, right?

So after convincing myself that I shouldn’t feel guilty for making this pizza without Hubby here to eat it, I preheat the oven and glance across the counter and realize I have too many “systems.”  I really need to get my shit together.  I’m starting to go crazy.  I have a small, pint-sized Mason jar on the counter that now holds the opened packages of Baby Mum Mum rice rusk biscuits.  (They come in 2 packs.  Baby Boy only eats 1 at a time and I am forever forgetting that I already opened one the next time I offer him one.  So I have a jar where I put the opened ones so that I will hopefully look there first rather than eventually accumulate 5-6 opened packages.  I have a bowl of avocados and a separate bowl of bananas all separated because sometimes in the middle of the night while I’m up feeding Baby Boy, I look on Pinterest in search of ways to make bananas last longer (among other things.)  I’ve tried taping the ends, I’ve tried separating them all.  The only banana fact I know is that if we have a lot of them, the babies won’t want to eat them and they will go bad and if we have one left and I give it to Mr. 7 months, that will be the exact moment that Miss 18 months breaks her no-banana eating hiatus and freaks out wanting it.  I digress.  Half-eaten packages of Baby Mum Mums and the ripening process of bananas consume me.  No, really.  I get annoyed when Hubby doesn’t listen intently to me talking about this crap.  Man, I need to get a life!

As the oven preheats, it starts to smell like burning.  I just cleaned it last week.  I’m quite used to forgetting I put food in the oven and consequentially burning it but I haven’t even put my guilty pleasureful pizza in yet!  I run into the kitchen and open the oven door to discover the 2 sweet potatoes I had roasted earlier for Mr. 7 months old.  Doh!  Sometimes it’s hard to keep up.  These days, since learning just how real “Baby Brain” is, I always, always put the timer on whenever I do anything because otherwise, I get busy or distracted and forget.  I put the timer on to remind me that I boiled the kettle.  Otherwise I will forget and if I do ever remember, it will be once the water has cooled and I will have to start all over then probably forget again.  This morning, I put the timer on to remind me that I had put sweet potatoes in the oven but I had my hands full of babies and chaos when it went off so I shut it off, along with the oven and meant to take the sweet potatoes out of the oven once my hands were free.  That obviously didn’t happen.  Another one bites the dust.  Oh well.

I will enjoy the last few minutes of Simultaneous Nap Time with the window open to air out the sweet potato smoke as I fold laundry, match baby socks and eat a small piece of chicken fajita pizza.  (Only one piece because I was starving so ate a bagel and some carrot sticks while I was waiting for the pizza to cook.  Now, I’m not hungry but eating a piece of pizza anyway because I don’t want to have made it for nothing and waste it.  Don’t you hate that?)

Sometimes this life is crazy.  Well, it’s always crazy but sometimes it is crazier.  Even when it’s crazy I’m going to miss this chaos when I go back to work.  Returning to work is a tough thing to think about.  Sometimes I get excited thinking of getting out of the house, accomplishing bigger things than matching pairs of baby socks and seeing grown-ups but then I remember that it also means leaving my little ones behind.  I’m not looking forward to that…or wearing shoes, makeup and non-stretchy pants everyday either!

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