Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it's off to....

Work I go-tomorrow!!!!

It may surprise you, but I'm not actually that upset that I'm going back to work.  
Maternity leave hasn't been a walk in the park.
Hannah cries-in her carseat, in her swing, on the play mat, in the mamaroo, in the car...
She's pretty needy and while I don't mind sitting at the computer all day-the novelty has worn off and this mama has things she needs to do!
Laundry
Cleaning 
Cooking
Organizing

The list goes on and on....

So yes, I am sad that I won't spend my entire day with Hannah, and I'll definitely miss the casual mornings of eating oatmeal and drinking coffee while perusing the interwebs, but I'm hoping the new routine will create some normalcy for me and allow me to better run my house.  

Currently it has been just Hannah and I since 11 am this morning-I've successfully run the 3 errands I needed to take care of, and of course I've indulged in some fat free chocolate yogurt a long the way, but since I've been home for about 5 hours-I don't have much to show for it.  
Two suitcases unpacked
1 load of laundry completed 
Hard boiled eggs
Soup boiling 

Sounds great but there's still a lot to be done before I venture back to work tomorrow! 

My babysitter will be with us until 6pm Monday-Friday, so I'm hoping from 3-6, my alone time, will be super productive.  
And along the lines of productive-I received some great advice when I was home this weekend (more on that in another post) but she said that once you accept that you're no longer living in museum, your life will get so much better! 
Let go of needing to be perfect-laundry, dishes, cleaning-just let it go.  
It sucks-and those were her words, but once you accept that, things will improve. 

Now, I don't want to let it go and I definitely cannot live without a clean and organized house, so for starters-a cleaning lady will be coming twice a month to deep clean my bathrooms.
I just do not  clean bathrooms.  
And if twice a month grosses you out, send some money my way so I can have her more often!
My babysitter will pick up on the smaller, easier cleaning tasks-like putting away clothes, vacuuming, dusting, surface cleaning.  

But the most important thing for me-is putting a limit on myself.  
I need to be upstairs going to sleep at 10 pm-no matter what is left unfinished.  
If that means dirty dishes in the morning, heck even dirty underwear, I don't care.  
There just isn't enough time in the day to get everything done that I want, and I know that.
The To Do list will never be complete.
But I also know that pushing myself to extreme limits will mean that the things I really care about will be compromised.  
If I stay up late doing things that are not make it or break it-I won't get up in the morning to exercise.  
I won't put in the time and effort to provide my kids with healthy, wholesome meals.
The overflow will be crammed into the free time I will have, but that free time shouldn't be for the necessities all the time.
The necessities have a time and a place, it's the extra stuff, although it makes a huge difference in my mood and in my house-it's just extra, and it will have to take a back seat.  
The cute crafts, the list of organizational tasks, picture albums, facebook, it will all have to wait.  
The only way I can manage a house with three kids and work full time is if I have my priorities straight.  

Tonight, I will be setting my alarm for 5 am.
Tomorrow, I'll let you know how it goes!
Wish me luck!  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Managing 3...




Not only did I finally have my first day with all 3, but we actually made it out-and survived!

Just after this one outing, I have some survival tips.

1.  Always have food and water-not just for the kiddos, but for you too.  Last thing you need is a dip in your blood sugar, to then have to eat some of an already claimed granola bar which will only lead to tears and tantrums.   
Ever read the book, Give a Mouse a Cookie?
Well kids are like that...
They want something to eat, then they need something to drink-but they don't want to share, so you end up buying at least 2 drinks-and we all know grocery store drinks are waaay overpriced.  I speak from experience.  Sorry mom, yes, I do run out of the house without a water bottle, and yes, I usually do buy a drink for myself while I'm out.  

2.  Have a plan-a serious, detail every minute plan.  That way you know what your goal is, you are then able to give your kids direction and you're able to lay out the day for them so they know what to expect.  
It's always worth it to spend a little bit of extra time in the evening to get as much organized as you can.  
It's just not worth it trying to pack and organize while the kiddos are awake, and needing you, or dumping toys, or tormenting each other. 

3.  Make sure there is something interesting at each destination.  
Here were our stops and why it was enticing to the kids.  All of these places had "treats" that were inherit to them.
For example, I needed to get the kids fitted for shoes at Nordstrom.  The seasons are changing, and they've been wearing their Toms without socks.  In the end, they are both between sizes, but the kids shoe department gives out balloons!  My kids love balloons!  They also love pressing all the different door and elevator buttons, and they would have loved to ride the escalator had I not had the stroller.
Next was to Children's Place because I wanted to buy them jean jackets.  Both of my kids wear a fedora almost every day.  The ones they currently wear are from awhile ago and are for the summer season, so I told them we would go and get them new hats!
Our next stop was to Home Depot for a DIY project.  Moshe had actually requested to go there so they could ride the car carts.  That was a major score.  I always find Home Depot a hassle, but their price on spray paint is totally worth it.  My kids would have been content to ride that cart all afternoon.  Now, what would have worked out even better was if the cart actually had 2 steering wheels like it was supposed to.
Our final destination was the grocery store so I could pick up some needed groceries but my kids also knew they could pick out a treat from the bakery. 

4.  Have a real reward at the end, or in the middle to hold them to that point, but then it's something to hold over their head.  They talked about their cookie all day!  They also couldn't wait to go home and take a bath and try out this new volcano I bought Moshe as a birthday present.  
See, treats and rewards don't have to be food...

5. Just remember, tantrums and tears are ok.  They happen, quite frequently I might add.  
Think of them this way: If your kid is having a tantrum, chances are you're doing something right.  
My kids happen to throw quite a bit of tantrums.  My downstairs neighbors don't like it-they have told me I don't know how to control my kids.  But it's actually the opposite.  My kids have tantrums in response to my discipline and giving them boundaries.  If I didn't do that, there would be no screaming because my kids would be eating suckers and treats for dinner and wash it down with some pop! 
They also would stay up all night watching DVDs.  
See what I mean? 

Here are some of my favorite grab and go snacks

 
 
What are some of your go to snacks when you're out and about?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hannah's Birth


It's 10:15 at night and I am finally sitting down to have my cup of coffee...yeah, it was that kind of day.
That day where you spend 3 hours at the mechanic, only for them to tell you nothing is wrong!
 Then I returned home, with only minimal time to spare, to find the electricity was out!

Anyway, onto my precious Hannah...I still can't believe I get to say that!  In fact, it's still so foreign, one of my friends pointed out to me that when asked how she's doing, I responded with, "he's fine..."  
Whoops!  

Here's goes:

I was told to report to the hospital on the 13th at 9am.  
That was the perfect time-early enough to have things move along and most likely be finished at a reasonable hour, but late enough for me to have my babysitter come at her regular time and be with my kids as they entered into their last day of having mommy and daddy all to themselves!  
But the day before, I got a call that the person who was scheduled first thing in the morning had actually delivered Friday before, and I was being moved up to the first procedure of the morning.  
I was to be at the hospital at 7:30.
In the end that actually was ok because I had to stop eating and drinking after midnight in case of a c-section.

We arrived about half an hour late-but that was ok because they had a busy night and didn't have a prep room for me anyway...off we went to the waiting room-for almost two hours.  

Eventually I was brought to my triage room, spoke with the anesthesiologist, had my vitals taken, changed into my beautiful hospital gown-anyone here gone the route of bringing your own pretty gown?  I thought about it...maybe next time...

In the end, the team of doctors changed their plan.  
Initially I was told I would receive an epidural before the procedure so I would be ready to go in case of an emergency.
Now, they told me that this is an outpatient procedure and they didn't want to give me an epidural because if I was going to be induced, it might be too premature and slow down labor.  
I was ok with it-because if I was going to be induced, I wanted to have the chance to eat before beginning the no eating or drinking.  

I have never been to an operating room before, but let me tell you-those beds are small!  I thought I was going to fall right off!  

How the PUBS (percutaneous umbilical blood sampling) is performed is as follows:
An ultrasound is used to provide an image for the doctors so they know where the umbilical cord is located.  Once they have found their position, they kind of test it out so to speak just by precisely pushing on the stomach to make sure they see where they're pressing.  
Once everyone got their turn looking and pressing, they determined the area they were going to go in from.
I was given a local numbing shot, the sheet went up, and the lights went down.

Now, here's where it got tricky.  
Being 9 months pregnant and lying flat on your back is no bueno.  
I was grinning and bearing the pain, but finally mentioned quietly to my husband that my back was hurting.  
One of the nurses overheard and confirmed-"you're having a contraction."
Have you ever had one of those moments where you can hold it together until you find out what is actually going on?
Like today, I knew from the get go things were not going to go well at the mechanic, I just knew it.  Cars always cause drama.  But when they finally told me they found nothing wrong and I would just have to document what I said was wrong and keep bringing it back in until they figured it out, I almost burst into tears-even though I already suspected that was going to happen.

Anyway, once contractions were confirmed I burst into tears realizing just how awful the back labor was.  
The doctors knew it was from piercing the uterus, but here's where it gets really awful-that contraction-take note-one contraction
lasted 40 minutes!!!!

After the procedure was over
After I was catheterized and my bladder was drained 
It still continued...
At this time there was a brief moment when Hannah's heart rate went a little high, but things settled down eventually.  

While this was all going on, they were eventually able to get the blood sample they needed-although it was a little harder because of the contraction.
Then, it gets run, yes, someone runs it down the stairs, to the lab to do the platelet count.   

Here's where we had some heartbreak.  
There were five doctors in on this procedure and two nurses.
Every staff member in the maternity ward knew what was going on and who I was...
The platalets came back at 36,000, clumped.  
It was like deflating a balloon...no one could believe this outcome!  
After all that IVIG-how on earth, could we have possibly been so fooled into thinking there was no way this wasn't going to work out perfectly?
I burst into tears-partially from pain and partially from anger and being scared about an impending c-section.  
The Highest of Highs came to be and begged me to do another PUBS.
He was positive it was a fluke.
After speaking with a pediatrician in the NICU, she said that when the platelets come out clumped, it usually means they are actually a lot higher than they think-they are clumped together so you can't get an accurate count.  The lab actually tried to manually count, but they weren't able to do that in the end.  

I agreed to the second PUBS but only with medication.
The laughed and promptly sent the anesthesiologist in.  
I was given a spinal because it takes effect immediately, and I was also catheterized for an epidural in case of an induction.  
The epidural isn't terrible, but it definitely isn't pleasant.  However, I was not having contractions-getting an epidural while having contractions on top of it-that is craziness!       

The second go around was seamless-done in 10 minutes and a much better blood sample while yielded platelest over 200,000!!!  

With that we moved into our room for an induction.  

Did I mention I have terrible reactions to drugs?
Well I do...and the hospital staff didn't believe quite how bad my reaction would be...I tried to warn them!
Once the drugs hit-I had to have my eyes closed to help ease the room from spinning.  
This was around 10:30-I kept my eyes closed almost entirely until she was born at 7:30.  And it didn't end there!  It doesn't ease up until it's entirely out of my system.

Let me mention that at this point, I had not eaten since 9:30 the night before, so I was hungry.  But I was also feeling rather sick from the drugs.  All I kept saying was I have no idea how I am going to push like this. How am I going to do this? 
So.sick. 

There was puking
There was Zofran
There was oxygen
There were calls to the anesthesiologist

Ever watch A Baby Story?  
Epidurals definitely do not give me a pleasant, calm and relaxed birthing experience!  

The induction was somewhat interesting-not to me, but to the doctors...because they don't know my birthing history. 
After the PUBS, I was at 4, so they started me on a low dose of pitocin...but awhile later, the same doctor returned to tell me that my contractions had actually slowed down, even with the pitocin.  
So we increased it...and two hours later there was no progression.  
So she broke my water at 4:30.

Eventually epidural slightly wore off and I felt some pressure in my stomach, but nothing too painful.  
Around 7:00 pm I told my husband that I did not feel the need to push, but that the pressure was no longer only in my stomach, but I felt it in my pelvis, and I wanted him to find someone to come and check me.  
We called the nurse and they waltzed in, and to all of our amazement I was 10 cm, and her head was basically out.  

I cannot sing the praises of "laboring down" enough...I was not given that opportunity with my other two and what a difference it makes!

They prepped the room, and told me to give a push when I felt a contraction.  
I told the doctor that I didn't really feel a contraction, rather I felt, what I thought, was her hand, waiting for me to push-she told me that was the baby's head!  Whoops!!!!! 

All in all, it took 2 real pushes and a few mini pushes and out she came!!!!

   
The NICU made the decision to admit her-ultimately it appeared that it was just a lack of communication.
Based on the reports, on paper with all the medical jargon, things sounded a lot worse than they were.  So I think they had made the decision long before that she was going to go.  

Because I was so sick, I did not hold her in the delivery room.  
I actually spent two hours in the delivery room-more puking and more zofran.
When I was finally brought up to my recovery room, the NICU doctor came to talk with me about my feeding options.  
I was allowed into the NICU at all hours, I could receive a breast pump, they could feed her sugar water, or they could formula feed.  

All of my babies have roomed in with me.  
I will share my feelings on why that is another day.  
It was a guilt ridden decision to go ahead and consent to them feeding her formula when needed-but everyone agreed that it was most important for me to recover first.

At this point it was about 1 am...but with the full nights rest, I woke up feeling back to my normal self!  
I showered, we ate breakfast and my first time up and walking was to visit my baby girl.


          We observed them doing her head ultrasound, and it was at this time that we could finally breathe...no more holding our breath-Hannah Rose was here, healthy and beautiful.

 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tradition

As an observant Jew, there are plenty of "traditions" I partake in.  
I put them in quotes because "tradition" reminds me more of practices that were created on our own.
And that is definitely not the case here.

I didn't really grow up with many traditions that I can remember-other than the standard weekly meals.  
Sunday-pizza
Thursday-deli
Friday-Shabbos (Sabbath) dinner
Saturday-hamburgers 

I'm not sure why I can't remember Monday-Wednesday...

Anyway, I'm much more into the cutsey things in life, and matching and going all out, or as my mom likes to say spending money...

There are only a few times throughout the year that  I would like to really make an effort to establish some family traditions.  Birthdays being one of them.  
Sunday Moshe will turn 4!
Over the summer he went to his first real kid-themed birthday party.  A couple of weeks ago he went to his bestie's birthday party at a barn where they had pony rides!
I am not one to miss an excuse for a party-heck I even made sure Dovy got his own party, albeit small-but a party nonetheless in the hospital 1 day post delivery.  

I've been searching and stressing out about coming up with some reasonable traditions that can be carried on throughout the years.
My main requirements are that they aren't too expensive-because I will have to do it x3, at least, and it can't require too much prep time.  

One tradition I thought I would be implementing were the birthday cinnamon rolls


  

However, after making them once, I realized it was just too intensive of a recipe to whip together the night before.  

Moshe's birthday falls out on Sunday, my husband has off in the morning so do I need to tell you where we'll be?
Take a guess...
I'll give you 3 guesses.
1...
2...
3...
Ok you guessed, Dunkin Donuts!

I really love the idea of doing an interview each birthday

 

However, Moshe's birthday is right around the time of the new school year, and I want to do an interview at the beginning of each grade for everyone, and besides, doing it all at once will hopefully help keep me on track year after year!  

I saw some pretty strange ideas, in my opinion.
Just because it's a birthday day, doesn't mean life stops.  
I get a special breakfast, or dinner-heck, even both-but I don't have all day to do 20 activities centered solely around the birthday child, and no, I don't want to do a year long scrapbook or a yearly time capsule

For instance- 
  Decorating the entire house with confetti, balloons, streamers, pictures from throughout the year
Having them make their own birthday cake
A birthday bath...(say what??)

Some traditions sound reasonable, but would just stress me out-
Taking a picture in the same place every year
Doing the same birthday activity every year
Going overboard with the decorations

In the end, I decided to go with the tradition my husband grew up with.  
 The birthday table. 
When you wake up in the morning you have a table by your bed filled with goodies.  
I don't have a table, so the trundle bed directly across from his bed will have to do.  
I will add balloons because I love balloons and I think it just adds amazingness to any occasion.  
What I really love about this is that it's low-pressure.  When you fill a table, or in my case a large Happy Birthday bag from Target, you can get away with one or two big gifts, but the rest is just filler.  
I shopped the clearance section at Target, looked for toys that Moshe would enjoy for under $10, and used this as an opportunity to buy him either educational toys like games, science experiments, math flashcards, some arts and crafts, but most importantly-underwear! 
Wow-I have turned in to my parents.  
Remember those days I cried about how terrible my gifts were-and you told me how lucky I was that I wasn't getting socks or underwear!  
Well, my poor child is receiving underwear for his birthday.  

On Tuesday I am taking cupcake cake to his classmates, and he will have an official birthday party in October or November with family, friends from school and friends that are not in his school, and of course Mommy will not miss the opportunity to make the party a little bit about her and invite her friends. 

What are some birthday traditions your family partakes in?  
What birthday traditions would you like to create for your family?


The night before your child’s birthday, decorate the house or his or her room with balloons, confetti, flowers or a homemade banner. - See more at: http://www.piedmontparent.com/articlemain.php?Birthday-Traditions-1697#sthash.bbQ0PNOl.dpuf
 
The night before your child’s birthday, decorate the house or his or her room with balloons, confetti, flowers or a homemade banner. - See more at: http://www.piedmontparent.com/articlemain.php?Birthday-Traditions-1697#sthash.bbQ0PNOl.dpuf

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Welcome back...

Welcome back to my space...
The longer I stay away, the harder it is to come back. 
I so desperately want to come back...
I hope I can get into a groove soon! On top of all the other things I must do-but I'm going on my third car mechanic in 2 days-oh, what a relaxing maternity leave.
Add a month of Jewish holidays on top of that.  

Anyway, how about an update?

Hannah is 4 weeks old tonight, but one month on Friday.  Anyone else always get confused?  First it was which weeks correlate to what month of pregnancy-where we have to remind ourselves that technically pregnancy is 10 months, and now it's this- 4 weeks does not = 1 month...
I was never one for math though.

The most common question I've been getting is how is life with three?
My answer: I don't really know.
My mom spent almost three weeks here, and I basically sat around at the computer all day, nursed Hannah and held her while she slept, all while racking up a hefty credit card bill from all of my on-line boredom shopping.  
My husband's right-working prevents me from spending money.  

Hannah is a really great baby-the one challenge we have is that she does take a pacifier and the difficulty keeping it in is pretty much our only issue.  She is not colic-y, she wakes minimally during the night and usually goes right back to sleep when she's done nursing.  Her feedings have greatly improved and she's nursing like a champ.  I am about to start pumping for work...oh the joys!  

The boys love her to pieces-Dovy loves to come and rub his cheek on her soft head of hair, and Moshe loves to tell her all about his day.  

I'm having a fabulous time shopping and dressing this baby girl.  Although she isn't quite a fan of the headbands...maybe one day!  

I plan to do a post partum post soon-but let's just say I do not enjoy getting dressed, Nordstrom doesn't carry my size in the bra I need, and I have 40 lbs to lose!  But since I haven't officially started weight watchers, and people still look at me and just see this precious newborn, at least I can get away with eating as much cake as I want come Moshe's birthday Sunday! 


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