Welcome to motherhood

When the kids are finally in bed, the lunches are packed, the dishes are washed, and the laundry is done, and this is how you spend your free time:

Bonus points if you can spot the Jumperoo, the TK worksheet, and the seed packets all in the background. 

 

At least Mermaid’s cosmetic result won’t be adversely affected (too much) by my having a beer during the head-reattachment procedure.

Let’s do this like a Band-Aid

It’s been so long since I’ve posted anything that it keeps getting harder and harder to actually post something. Like a phone call or a text message that you keep meaning to return and keep meaning to return until so much time has passed that you’re more embarrassed to return the call or text than you are to just forget it.

So let’s just do this as quickly, briefly, and painlessly as possible, just like taking off a bandage. Let’s get an update out there and then I’ll be able to work on longer posts without the guilt.

Here’s a quick picture recap of what we’ve been up to lately:

Building and filling a new raspberry bed -an ordeal which deserves an enormous post of its own!

Taking our second annual (we hope!) trip to Hilton Head and introducing Itty Bitty to the joys of the pool

Getting to be such a big girl! 6 months old tomorrow!!

Sister love in Hilton Head

Getting the garden ready for spring

Practicing bike skills

Spending quality time with Daddy looking for grubs

First tutu! I die from cuteness.

As you can see, we’ve been pretty busy. But a garden update is forthcoming. As are ones on the girls, because they’ve been up to some pretty awesome stuff lately.

And now that I’ve taken the first step and finally posted something, hopefully the next post won’t be quite so daunting.

Tooting my own horn

I’m just proud of myself – the big girls and I ran the Colin Cancer Coalition’s Get Your Rear in Gear 5K this morning. 


And I actually managed to jog the whole thing! I finished in a little over 39 minutes, which isn’t too damn bad considering I was pushing a double stroller with nearly 80 lbs of kid. 

(For reference, my first post-Itty Bitty 5K on February 12 was about 31 minutes.) 

Everyone was super supportive and cheered when they saw us coming, which was so nice. 

I am working on updates for all of the kids and the garden and the brewing – or lack thereof- but it’s a slow process. Stay tuned! 

2016 Calendars are here!

I am so excited to say that the girls’ 2016 calendars are here!!!! 😀 It was rough trying to get pictures of everyone, particularly towards the end of my pregnancy when I was super tired, stressed, and frazzled but there are far fewer missed days for the year than I expected.

For those of you who don’t actually have any idea what I’m talking about, let me explain. When the Littlest Brewster was teeny tiny, I was obsessed with taking pictures of her. I’m pretty sure most first time parents are obsessed with taking pictures of their children. However, I decided that I wanted to do something with the gajillions of photos, rather than just have them languish on our hard drive forever. But I didn’t want just a photo album, I wanted something interesting and fun. I thought about trying to do a photo book or something like that but quickly realized upon attempting one that it would be a ton of work and money. Then, I came up with the idea of doing a calendar.

Shutterfly lets you put any picture you want on any day you want, which works out really really well if you’re as anal retentive as I am and you meticulously label and file your digital photos. For example, if I were to take 2 photos today, the first would be labeled Jan.22.17.1 and the second would be labeled Jan.22.17.2. And then they would be sorted into month and year folders under each child’s name, with the understanding that if there is more than one child in the photo, it will go into the oldest girl’s file. (i.e. a picture of LB and BIT from today would go into LB’s Jan 2017 folder.) I know this sounds like a ton of work but I find it very soothing to sit with my laptop and “do my pictures” as I call it. Especially if I can do so with a glass of wine…

After I get all the photos for a month labeled and sorted, I upload them to Shutterfly and get that month done for the year. Sometimes I’ll get a few months behind but it’s not really that big of a deal, as I can usually knock out a calendar month of picture placement in 30-45 minutes.

So when you look at the girls’ calendars, you know that the picture placed on Jan 16, 2016 was actually taken on Jan 16, 2016. And so on and so forth, for the whole year. If there’s a day that I missed, I just leave it blank. For the big picture of the month, I just pick my favorite picture of each girl for that month.

And everyone said that I could do it with one kid, but I’d never be able to do it with two.

But I did.

And then everyone said I could do it with two kids, but I’d never be able to do it with three.

But I did.

Granted, Itty Bitty only had 3 months of 2016 to cover but I am still damn proud of myself for having kept this up. I think that it is one of the projects I am most proud of and one of the neatest keepsakes that we have.

But enough tooting my own horn. Here are some snaps from our 2016 calendars!

2016-cal-1 2016-cal-2 2016-cal-3 2016-cal-4 2016-cal-5

 

It’s the final countdown!

It absolutely boggles my mind to say it out loud, but I go back to work a week from today.

I have no idea where my maternity leave and the first twelve weeks of Itty Bitty’s life have gone. It truly seems like it was just yesterday that maternity leave stretched infinitely before me and I was never going to get to go back to work and I was going to lose my mind before the end. Don’t get me wrong – I am so very glad and grateful that I have been able to stay home with my babies for 12 weeks each time. I love not having to put them in daycare until they are a little bit older and sturdier.

But having spent time as a stay-at-home mom and spent time as a working mom, I can tell you that I think being a working mom is much easier than staying home with my kids. Being a stay-at-home mom is, in my opinion, the most difficult job on the planet and one which I am not mentally equipped to undertake. Perhaps it would be easier if my children were older and I wouldn’t find it to be so excruciatingly isolating and difficult if I stuck at it for months and years, but I doubt it. When patients frequently tell me that they’re sorry I have to work and that my kids go to preschool, I always want to reply, “Why? I get leave my girls with people who have nothing to do all day but interact with them and teach them and care for them while I get to come and do a job that I absolutely adore and I’m actually pretty damn good at. If we were all home together, they would not be getting my undivided attention because I would still have laundry and dishes and cooking and cleaning to do, in addition to taking care of them.”

But I digress. This wasn’t actually supposed to be a foray onto my soapbox of “Staying at home with kids is really hard and those parents don’t get enough credit.” This is supposed to be a brief update on Itty Bitty and life in general with three amazing girls.

Itty Bitty is, without a doubt, the smiliest baby ever.

jan-10-17-1 jan-1-17-1

She gets so incredibly excited anytime anyone comes and talks to her or interacts with her. She particularly adores the Littlest Brewster, a feeling that is mutual as LB thinks that her littlest sister is the bee’s knees. Itty Bitty is pretty laid back for the most part, cycling through eat, be awake for a bit, sleep for a bit most of the day without much crying or fussing. Like most babies, she gets pretty frotchety from 4:30 or so onward and doesn’t want to be put down; though as long as she’s being toted around or is on someone’s lap, she’s a happy camper.

I feel like we have been exceedingly lax at trying to get her on a schedule re: naps and bedtimes. I need to go back and look at the monthly updates I did for LB and BIT (something you’ll notice I did not do for IBB) and see if they were on more of a schedule by now or if I’m misremembering. Granted, I know I haven’t really pushed the schedule issue because 1) with the bigger two being in school and having to get picked up and dropped off daily (I don’t do both but I do at least one or the other every day), Itty Bitty and I were rarely home for an entire day, 2) with the holidays and travel, it’s super difficult to maintain kids’ schedules and 3) I knew that whatever schedule I managed to get IBB on would go to pot as soon as she went to daycare. So I sort of went with the “sleep whenever you’re tired for as long as you feel the need” schedule during the day. Nights, we mostly try to do bath, bottle, bed between 6 and 7. She will typically be up once or twice a night and then up for the day between 6 and 7 in the morning. I’m usually pretty accepting of still being up with her during the night, though I get kind of frantic when she has the occasional “bad” night and is up more than that and I convince myself we are doing something wrong and she will never sleep through the night, ever, and I will never be well rested again, ever. Thankfully, she rarely has more than one difficult night in a row and I breathe a sigh of relief the next night, secure once more in the knowledge that we haven’t ruined her sleeping forever through our erroneous attempts at parenting.

On the whole, I feel like life with three kids is going pretty well. It helps that the Littlest Brewster is now old enough to be sort of helpful and sort of autonomous. And both LB and BIT really love Itty Bitty and we’ve been blessed that there has been no actual anger or malicious jealousy over how much of my time and attention she gets. The DreadBrewer, while always an incredibly involved father, has started doing even more with the big girls (if possible), which has definitely helped with the transition. He does baths about half the week and bedtime most of the week for them. They love doing things with Daddy as he is definitely more fun and rough-house-y than Mommy is. (I just don’t play like that. I’ve tried and I can’t do it. I also have serious guilt issues that I can’t take care of everyone in the family all on my own but that’s just my own insecurities talking.) All in all, I feel like we’re settling into our groove as a family of five. Though I’m sure that will all go out the window when I go back to work next week and we have to establish a new routine all over again.

But it’ll be worth it. I could use a break. 😛