Friday, August 28, 2015

Daily frustrations

We didn't have a great morning around here, and I've been sitting here surfing the net and eating ice cream to cheer myself up.  But I'm feeling a bit better now.

We live about .75 miles from our local elementary, and so we've been trying to bike.  The nice thing is that there are no streets the cross, except the one we live on, so it's extremely safe.  The hard thing is that there are no streets to cross because there is a pedestrian/bike bridge that is a bit hard for 5-year-olds to get up on their bikes.  Yesterday, Tadpole came with me on my cargo bike and Turtle rode his own bike, and had to get off and walk.  When hubby's with us, he can give Turtle a big push and that gets him enough momentum to finish the climb, but I can't do that, especially when I'm balancing the cargo bike with Tadpole on it.  Turtle was really upset and cried for a bit, but then he made it to the top, stopped crying, and off we went.

Today, though, man.  I made the kids practice violin  Turtle is really good at it, he has the right personality.  There is a lot involved in playing the violin - how you hold the bow, where you place it on the strings, how you move your bow arm (bend at the elbow, not the shoulder), how you hold the neck of the violin, where you place your fingers on the fingerboard, keeping your wrist straight, etc. Turtle has a ton of focus, can keep track of all those things at once, and can anticipate the notes and prepare his fingers to play them.  We whiz through practice together, and he makes me proud.

Tadpole, not so much.  She's constantly distracted.  When I fix one thing, something else falls apart.  She has a great ear, much better than Turtle's, but can't really translate it into the physical mechanics of playing the violin.  She's falling farther and farther behind him during their lessons, and practice is a torture for both of us.  Turtle gets through more material in 15 minutes than Tadpole does in 45, and 45 minutes is way too long for her to focus.  I have a hard time knowing when to call it quits, and trying to end on a positive note, though. Today was no exception - I was annoyed, frustrated, and starting to take it out on her.  Honestly, I would let her quit, but she has to go along to the lessons anyway, at this point, so it seems worthwhile for her to at least get a basis in music while she's there.  If/when we get an au pair, I may look for other options for her.  She would love voice and dance lessons, so I will eventually look into that.

Anyway.  Violin practice took most of the morning, and I barely had time to heat up leftovers for lunch.  Turtle decided at the last minute to wear his new sneakers, and he can't get them on by himself, so I needed to help him.  We ended up leaving barely on time.  I put Tadpole's balance bike on the cargo bike, and we rode to the top of our bike bridge, and I took it off for her to ride down.  Balance bikes don't have brakes (or at least ours doesn't), so she tends to take even the downhills slowly.  I tried to split the difference, not letting Turtle get too far ahead while trying to wait for Tadpole, but she wasn't happy to be so far behind.  By the time we got to school, she was crying because I hadn't waited for her, even though she was close behind me most of the way.  She cried for the first 10 minutes of class, while I sat with her outside, trying to calm her down.

The problem is, once Tadpole gets going, it's hard to get her to stop.  I try to get her to take deep breaths, I explain that the bike path is too narrow for us to all ride side by side, I tried to cheer her up by telling her about the kindergarten ice cream social tonight, anything I could think of, but she wouldn't stop crying, and I was feeling desperate because we could see all the students inside starting their hello song and I didn't know what to do.  I finally got her to at least stop crying, although she was looking pretty pouty still, and I sent her in to join the class.  I knew she'd snap out of it quickly, once she got over it, and I suspected that my trying to calm her down was really having the opposite effect that I wanted.  I'm sure she'll be cheerful when I pick her up, but I'm feeling bad about the whole morning.  I'm planning to drive to pick them up, I can't take another bike ride today.  We've decided we'll go on a family bike ride this weekend and try to get her more comfortable on her real bike.

In the meantime, I've got less than an hour to go, and a TON of work to do, so it's time for me to stop feeling bad, start planning for better mornings, and get on with my day.

Just a note, though - I like 5 half days better than 3 full days of school, for sure, although it's not a ton of time to get anything done.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

30 weeks, and brand-new kindergarteners

Wow, it's been quite a week.  My brother is visiting with his family, and we hung out with them all day yesterday.  My kids LOVE their cousins, so it was a lot of fun.  But we had a late night, so it was hard to prepare for kindergarten today.  My kids are in afternoon kindergarten, from 11:45 to 3.  It takes us about 15 minutes to bike there, so we need to start getting ready to go around 11:25, so we need to eat lunch at 11.  Which is really early for us.

They slept in relatively late this morning, we read some books, had breakfast, and played for a bit.  Then we practiced violin.  With Tadpole, this takes FOREVER.  She's very frustrating  The violin teacher manages it with grace, although even she can't keep Tadpole on task and Turtle is moving ahead much more quickly.  So it took us between 45 minutes and an hour to practice (which I'd really like to limit to more like 15-20 minutes), and then Turtle took another 15-20 minutes, and it was almost 10:30.  And I hadn't made lunch or packed backpacks.

We had a quick sandwich lunch, then rushed out to our bikes to leave for school.  It was an uneventful ride, and we arrived a few minutes early, which was great for taking a couple pictures before the teacher let all the kids in for the afternoon.  There is a morning class that gets dismissed as the afternoon class is arriving, so we didn't get a chance to go in early and get the kids settled, but I think that's fine.

Today is also our first day of fall swim team.  After I pick up the kids, we have 45 minutes until swim practice starts.  Since the pool is only a few minutes walk from school, we also have about 30 minutes to kill.  I'm trying to decide if I'll bring a few books to read, or if we should visit the nearby playground for a bit.

Soccer should be starting really soon as well ... Turtle has his first practice next Monday, and I haven't heard anything about Tadpole's team or coach yet.  I hope I'll be able to manage all of it!  We'll see how this fall goes and how things are when the new baby arrives, but I'm thinking that we won't be doing two sports at the same time again in the future.  It's sort of a shame that I like swimming so much and think it's so valuable as a lifetime sport, because it requires 5 days per week of practice!  And so much time for meets, as well

So that's that.  I have about an hour (actually less) until I have to go pick up the kids and we won't be home until at least 4:30.  Hubby won't be home for dinner, so I need to start planning that a bit early, too, so I have time to cook.

Oh, and yeah.  30 weeks yesterday.  The first of my twice-monthly prenatal visits next week.  Luckily I've found a babysitter who seems pretty reliable to pick up the kids from school on the days I have appointments, and take them to swimming, where I'll meet them when my appointment is over.  And no real news on au pairs, I am sorry that I didn't get on top of that earlier so we'd have someone getting ready to move in already.  Ah well, I'm sure it will all end well, one way or another.  Mostly at this point I'm worried about the first few days/weeks/months with a brand new baby, lack of sleep, and getting the twins to and from school and any other activities.  We should have my in-laws visit at some point, though for a much needed break.

OK, I've got to go work on my coffee table before I run out of time.  Cheers!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


I can't sleep.  Again.  Man, I wish I didn't have this problem.  My brain is just going nuts with all the stuff going on.

These are some crazy stressful days.  My kids start school tomorrow (!!!!).  We went and checked out their kindergarten room yesterday evening, and they seem really excited about it.  I am bogged down in all the details, though - what will I pack for snacks?  Since Tadpole's still not really riding her bike, what will be the long-term plan for getting her to and from school?  I just hired a new babysitter to pick up the kids from school when I have prenatal appointments and take them to swimming, but how will that work?  How do I get her on our emergency contact list?  What is this "kindergarten social" on Friday evening?  What do I do about the dental and health forms I never turned in, since at the time of registration in the spring, we hadn't yet had our dentist appointment (and still haven't had the yearly doctor check-up)?  I didn't sign up for any sort of volunteering, since Baby #3 is due in two months, which is when a lot of that stuff starts or gears up - I hope that's ok?

I've also put off tons of errands and chores until the kids start school, and now it's time to start planning and carrying them out.  I just made an appointment to get our oil changed and get new tires.  I also have a dentist appointment and eye doctor appointment in the next couple weeks.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg.  I need to take care of our home insurance, giant piles of paperwork, house cleaners, taxes (yikes), work for my husband's company, and plenty of other things.  It's pretty overwhelming.

And then last night, at 10pm, I heard from an acquaintance.  This is sad and tragic, and I suspect it's what has me sleepless.  I don't know this woman well, but we are neighbors, and her middle child is around the same age as my kids.  I know her mostly because we have a lot of mutual friends, although I suspect they are also more like acquaintances to her.  Under ordinary circumstances, she and I probably wouldn't be close friends ... we have very different personalities and lifestyles.  I ran into her at the library last fall and she broke down crying and telling me about her miscarriage she had just suffered at 10 weeks.  I was a little uncomfortable, because as I said, I don't know her that well, and she took me off guard and it was a very public place, and I didn't know what to say, but it was ok.  Then I found out she was pregnant again, and due just before me, which means she must be around 7 months by now, if not more.

Last night she messaged me to tell me that she just found out that the baby has multiple anomalies indicating serious birth defects that will, if the pregnancy is even viable, have a major impact on all their lives, require many expensive surgeries over a period of years, and result in a child that will need life-long care.  I don't know her family almost at all, but I don't think they are wealthy.  They already have three children, at least one of whom sounds like he is a handful.  I can totally understand how she must be completely falling apart, but I don't know what I should do about it.  I feel for her, as a fellow mother, and a neighbor.  I think she started chatting with me last night because her father is coaching soccer, and they got the team rosters and Turtle will be on a team with her son (the one who is quite a handful, I'm a bit nervous about that, too).  I don't really know the whole story, and how she discovered about the problems with the baby only now, so very late in the pregnancy.  I hope for her sake and for her family's sake that the pregnancy is not viable, and it ends in a way that is acceptable to the family, but of course I have no idea what will happen in the end.  And in the meantime, I am carrying a presumably healthy baby, and that seems awkward, too.

The whole situation is just, well ... tragic.  And I'm sure I will stress over it much more than is strictly necessary, but I really don't know what to do, except nothing and wait to see what happens.  Soccer will be starting soon, in any case, so I'll be seeing a lot more of this family.  And I heard from the parents of Turtle's other close friends, and they're all on a different team together without him.  I'm worried he's going to be terribly disappointed when he finds out.  I'm starting to regret signing up for soccer this fall, but I'm trying to keep an open mind about it.

I'm also having knee problems - twice now when I stand up, my knee pops really loudly, and I'm in pain for the next few hours.  The first time it happened, I freaked out, thinking I had re-injured the knee I had surgery on 6 years ago, but after a few hours on the couch, I was able to get up and walk again, and the soreness went away the next morning.  It happened again last night, but feels fine now.  I'm just nervous about it.  I assume it's the ligaments loosening up to get ready for birth, but I have a couple months to go still!  I guess I need to start being more careful, but I wasn't really doing anything out of the ordinary when it happened.  I'm considering calling the doctor, but I'm not sure if I should start with the midwife, my regular doctor, or go straight to the orthopedist.  I'll ponder it, I guess.

Today is going to be a loooooong day, and I woke up at 4:30, after going to sleep really late because I couldn't fall asleep.  I'm not even sure it's worth trying to sleep more at this point, since I will feel worse when I wake up, so I'm considering going and starting to sort the giant piles of paperwork in our home office.  On the other hand, the cleaners will be here this morning, and the kids will probably be up in an hour, so starting something that major might not be a good idea either.  Maybe I'll go for a walk before the kids get up ... good idea!  Off I go.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Notes from the beginning of the third trimester

I've been wanting to write a little about this pregnancy.  I don't remember nearly as much as I thought I would from the previous pregnancy, and I wanted to have a record.  I'm already at 29 weeks, although I just caught a glance at my pregnancy ticker and it says 76 days left, which sounds like a lot.  I hope it'll be a few less (although not Halloween!).

So.  I think I've been having a lot of braxton hicks contractions.  I don't really know, I don't remember it much from last time, but they feel more uncomfortable than I would think they should.  They feel a bit more like real contractions, although no where near as painful.  Just really uncomfortable.

I also feel a lot more movement than I remember from last time.  It started quite early, and now, at about 6.5 months, I feel the baby move a ton.  When I wake during the night, it feels like he's having a dance party, and at regular intervals during the day there's just a ton of movement.  It's actually really cool, and I'm enjoying it a lot, especially knowing that we're not having any more and this is my last chance to feel it.

The thing that's really gotten me lately, though, is the sheer exhaustion.  I mean, obviously, my last two posts have lamented it for sure.  It doesn't help that we've been traveling a lot, and my husband has been gone a lot and I don't sleep well when he's not here.  And we've just had a completely unsettled schedule and lots more changes coming in the next few weeks.  I don't really want to take medicine to sleep, but I may resort to it.

So otherwise - I feel pretty huge already, at 29 weeks.  I've got a lot more time to go, but really only about 6 more weeks before I should start prepping for labor and delivery, assuming that everything works out to attempt a VBAC.  I just hope that I don't end up laboring for a long time and then having an emergency c-section again.  I hope if I have a c-section, it's planned.

There's probably lots more to say, but hubby is home and I'm ... well ... exhausted.  And our power just went out and when it came back on, our dishwasher started working again.  So I'm going to celebrate by getting ready for bed (instead of folding the two loads of laundry I have waiting for me).

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

29 weeks

OMG, today has been rough.  We just got back from a 4-day camping trip to the high country in Yosemite National Park.  It was a really fun trip, but I definitely did not take it easy enough, and I didn't sleep well even though I brought some sleeping meds, so I need some recovery time.  Unfortunately, we came home to sweltering temperatures, busy schedules, and a hubby who left town the next morning for a conference, so I am just beat.

So.  To sum up Yosemite - it was a looooooong drive but a beautiful place.  We did several hikes and scrambles up granite domes.  The dads took the kids rock climbing while the moms went for a walk along the river.  The moms took the kids to the lake while the Dads did a classic backcountry multi-pitch climb.  It was freezing at night.  The park service decided to close the campground the day after we left because squirrels had died of the plague (?!).  And a forest fire started up the day before we left, too.  Fun times!  Actually, it WAS really fun.  Just tiring.  Very tiring.

Today, we had our group violin lesson, and then ran some errands.  We picked up a few piano books, so I can start trying to teach the kids to play.  We went grocery shopping.  We bought soccer shin guards, which I'm not totally sold on, I need to ask my soccer-playing friend.  And now I've been gradually trying to clean up the house, unpack from camping, and catch up on laundry and dishes.  We still don't have a working dishwasher, and I'm getting pretty tired of hand-washing everything.

My brother decided spontaneously that he and his family would visit next week, staying with my mom who lives about a 45-minute drive away.  My kids start school next Wednesday.  My mom wants me to have my kids skip one of their first days of school so they can spend extra time with their cousins.  I think that's outrageous, but it's hard to say - I tend to overreact to my mom's ideas, and the way she proposes them is also really offensive so I have a hard time being objective.  Her words were something like "See if they can skip a day of school, those kids REALLY need to see their cousins."  My mom never asks - she orders.

Anyway.  Outrage aside.  I'm exhausted.  I guess the third trimester exhaustion is setting in, combined with lack of sleep.  And a missing hubby.  And 5-year-old twins who've been home all summer.  I can't wait for school to start!  And now that the kids are settled down for the night (OMG it's after 9:30, how does bedtime get so out of control?!?!) I am going to get ready for bed soon, too.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

ramblings of a tired mom

I'm wiped out today.  It was actually a fun sort of day - nothing really over-the-top fun, but the kids had their group violin lesson, then we did a bit of back-to-school clothes and shoes shopping and lunch out including ice cream at my favorite ice cream shop.  But I slept badly last night, there was a lot of traffic, and the kids bickered a LOT today over really stupid things.  They slept in fairly late, too, so I don't think I can blame the crankiness on being tired.  I just don't know.

So yeah, today really started last night, after my husband's tablet woke me about 45 minutes after I went to sleep.  Once my sleep had already been disturbed, his preparations for bed kept me from drifting back, and eventually I was fully awake.  I've been trying not to take medicine for my insomnia because then I sleep late and I'm groggy when I get up, but without the medicine, I can't get back to sleep during the night when I'm woken up.  So I spent an hour or two surfing the net and catching up on a few chores and emails until I felt tired enough to fall back asleep.

I needed to get up relatively early because a technician was coming to diagnose our broken dishwasher.  You never discover that your dishwasher doesn't work until it has a full load of dishes in it.  In our case, we discovered it really late at night, too late to hand wash it all, so I didn't get around to washing anything until after dinner the following night, when there were TONS of dishes to do.  I powered through and got it done, and this morning the technician told me the pressure sensor had failed and it was going to cost $450 (roughly) to fix.  Great!  Plus another week to get the part.  Well, we're going on a 4-day camping trip this weekend, so at least we won't be here getting dishes dirty.

On the other hand, I need to pack for a 4-day camping trip.  I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with that.  I need to do laundry and figure out food and find all our stuff and replenish stuff that's been used and get bug spray and on and on .... but it'll be fun when it happens!  I hope.

So anyway, we went shopping, to Carters outlet and Stride Rite outlet and Old Navy.  It turned out ok.  We left our kids' sneakers in Hawaii (accidentally), so they needed new ones.  I also wanted to get them some winter PJs to take camping, since it will be cold at night, and I let Tadpole get a soccer outfit to convince her to wear something besides dresses all the time.  I owe Turtle some soccer shorts now.  I also got them each a fall/winter outfit.  But man, they have a lot of clothes.  Like, a TON of clothes.  Somehow I didn't really realize.  I should start trying to sell them, I guess.  And we still need to get shin guards and long socks for soccer.  I'm not going to get cleats this year, since they're not required.  In some ways, I'm happy we're having another kid because I feel like at least I can get more use out of some of this stuff!

And now it's almost time for dinner, and then I'll put the last coat of stain on my coffee table and it will hopefully be ready for final assembly tomorrow.  I will post some pictures when it's done - it's been a huge amount of work.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Mamma chores

We bought our house a few months before I gave birth to the twins, and moved in about two weeks before they were born, right after we started major renovations.  It was insane.  The house was from the 50's, and appeared to have been remodeled at least somewhat during the 70's.  The exterior walls were uncovered cinder-block and it appeared from the street to be something of a cold war bunker.  It had three bedrooms, two baths, no laundry room, and a strange one-car-garage-carport combo.  It also had horrible finishing materials - linoleum, cheap laminate flooring, and old dirty carpet.  It was situated right in the middle of its oddly-shaped lot, pretty far back from the street, and didn't have a fence separating it from one of its backyard neighbors.  It also had no working irrigation system and a pool that was decades old and, as we found, not worth updating.  Essentially, it had a ton of work that needed to be done to make it into the pretty darn nice house it is today.  (That might make you wonder why we even bought it, but the reason was the size and location of the property).

Because of some of the limitations the house had, we didn't have a ton of options in the remodeling process.  Since our great room is right in the middle, and we needed to add bedrooms, bathrooms, and a laundry room, these needed to be added to the far ends of the house (since you can't really stick your master bedroom in front of the entry!).  This makes our house appear really large from the street, since it is essentially just long and narrow.  It also makes the master bedroom extremely far from the front door, although it doesn't look unbalanced from the outside, since we have the garages on the other end of the house.

Practically speaking, though, some of these limitations make life a little harder, mostly having to do with noise levels and getting work done while people are sleeping.  We have a beautiful great room more or less at the center of the house, with the kitchen being at the end where the bedrooms branch off.  Since our kids sleep with the bedroom door open, and it's just down the hall from the kitchen, it's difficult to do much in the early morning when I get up for fear of waking them.  Unloading the dishwasher, washing leftover dishes from the night before, or prepping food tend to be chores that are too noisy for me to do when I'm up early.  This morning I was planning to finish making and canning tomato sauce, but when I got out my machine that peels and seeds the tomatoes, I remembered that it makes a sort of thwapping sound every time I turn the handle, and it would probably be too loud for a house that is otherwise completely silent.  Darn it!

Another issue is that since we had no laundry room, and there was no room to add it where we added the guest room (which is sort of by itself between the great room and garage), we had to add it where we added the master bedroom.  The washer and dryer are against the same wall that the head of our bed is against, on opposite sides, of course.  While my husband is a pretty sound sleeper, it would still be pretty mean of me to try to run any loads of laundry while he's trying to sleep in the morning.  I know I can't fall asleep at night if the dryer is still running when I go to bed.  So the two rooms in the house that are sort of the "workhorses" can't be used when I'm up early and able to tackle chores.  It's really inconvenient.

Another issue is that the office, a room that might eventually become a third kid bedroom, shares a wall with the kitchen.  I know from experience when I've been working in there that it's practically like being IN the kitchen as far as noise levels.  That wall is where our stove is, and also a lot of large drawers where we store big heavy things like pots and pans.  It can get really noisy if anyone is cooking or putting dishes away.  Not to mention talking or listening to music.  So that might be a problem in the future.

Right now, I use the guest bedroom for my sewing (whenever I actually get around to doing sewing projects, anyway).  If/when we have an au pair in there, that won't be possible anymore, so that's going to be another issue.  Hopefully I can get our office cleaned up to the point where I could set up to sew in there - with the door closed, I could probably manage to that in the early morning while kids are sleeping. Although with the new baby coming, I don't know when I'll have time.

What this teaches me is that I need to better organize my chores so I do my loud ones during the day while everyone is awake, and my quieter ones late at night or early morning while others are sleeping - I guess this would be folding laundry, paying bills, computer work, etc.  And that maybe I need to find some crochet projects instead of sewing ones for a while - that might work while I'm nursing, too!

I titled this post "Mamma chores" because this really only pertains to me.  At the moment, my husband doesn't have much in the way of chores, and neither do the kids, but I hope to change that a bit.  I'm realizing how much work it's going to take on my part to actually get anyone in this house to help me with just about anything.  I also am realizing how much work it's going to take to get this household more organized - with everyone's papers, laundry, other belongings, activities, schedules, school and work, errands, and chores, I'm understanding now why SAHM's are considered to be CEOs.  Our lives this summer have been chaotic and our house has been in shambles and I'm wondering how we'll add a baby to the mix unless I get on top of things somehow, ASAP.  And with the kids home for the summer, and in school only a few hours a day this fall, plus a bunch of actual work coming up for me, I don't know how it's all going to happen.  Which is why I'm slowly working on all kinds of organizational projects.  I'll try to talk more about those in some upcoming posts.  Maybe just so I can laugh at my past self sometime down the road!

Friday, August 7, 2015

6 month prenatal group visit

Yesterday was my third (I think?) group prenatal visit.  It was pretty cool, I brought Turtle and Tadpole and they were excited to listen to the heartbeat, although I don't think they totally understood what they were hearing in the end.  I brought tablets for them to play on the rest of the time, and they were happy as clams, although I'm realizing that we're going to have to start severely limiting tablet time soon.  Turtle in particular is getting sooooooo addicted.

I am a bit ahead for weight gain this pregnancy, but not by too much (about 3 pounds over the high end of the range), so I'm hoping it's not a big deal.  I finally made it to swim practice today after several weeks off, and I'm now actively looking for a babysitter so I can go back to yoga.  Next week we'll be camping, but the following week would be great.  I might put the kids in the last week of their school's summer camp so they can start getting used to the school and meet some kids before school actually starts, plus it will give me a bit of free time before they go back to school to get everything ready, and do some exercise and shopping.

One of the things that happened at the prenatal visit yesterday was that the midwife told us we needed to get our glucose screening test done between 26 and 28 weeks, and she sort of dropped the ball with me (since my due date is right at the beginning of November) because I was already 27 weeks 2 days.  So I have that scheduled for Monday, one day before 28 weeks.  She told us we didn't need to fast, and the person I set up my appointment with said that I do, so I'm really hoping I can get an answer before I go in.  I am usually pretty hungry in the mornings, so I hope I don't have to fast!

Let's see, what else?  The kids are participating in a 3-day swim meet - yesterday they raced 25 yards with the kickboard, today they did something called "over-unders" (swimming across the lane lines, it's sort of a weird concept), and tomorrow they do 25 yards freestyle.  So far they're basically competing with each other not to be last place.  Which is fine, they don't seem to really mind.  They only have one race per day, so we just show up for their race and then we can leave after, so that's nice.

I'm making tomato sauce!  With tomatoes from my garden.  I cooked the tomatoes today, then ran out of steam, so tomorrow I'll have to process and can them.  Not totally sure when.  We have a busy weekend.

Oh, I also signed up the kids for a sibling preparation class called "Little Helper" for kids ages 3-7 whose parents are expecting.  My husband will be visiting his family in Italy that weekend, and the class is near my mom's house, so it will be a nice way to spend some time when I don't have anyone at home to help out.

With the kids at home this summer, our house is totally trashed, all the time.  I never get a chance to clean it up.  We've also been pretty bad about practicing violin, and also at giving the kids baths, especially since they're ALWAYS IN THE POOL.  We've been very lax about many things, and I hope to improve a lot once school starts - things like chores, picking up toys, practicing violin (actually, I do a half-way decent job at this, but it could be better), regular baths, hand-washing (that's a long story), etc.

Anyway - it's late, and I need to get to bed.  I'm trying to write more, so hopefully these posts will get a bit shorter.  Off to bed so we can prepare for the swim meet tomorrow.  Wish Tadpole and Turtle luck!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

6 months/27 weeks and back-to-school

Yesterday, I guess, was 6 months, and today is 27 weeks in this pregnancy.  It still doesn't seem all that real, honestly.  I'm not sure I'm ready, although I still have three months to prepare.

In the meantime, a lot is happening.  My kids are starting kindergarten in just over 3 weeks.  We're flying home from a vacation in Hawaii in a few hours, and we'll be home for a week before we leave for Yosemite for 4 days.  After that, we only have a week and a half before school starts.  To say I'm excited is an understatement.  I've been reading articles and blog posts about the sadness of sending your kids off to school for the first time, and I don't really feel that.  I definitely felt it when I sent them to preschool, but I suspect I'm over it now.  I loved school as a kid, and I'm very excited for my kids to experience it, too.  They're going to a fantastic public school, about a half mile from our house, and I believe it's going to be a great experience for the whole family.

As I've mentioned before, they're also doing AYSO, swimming, and violin lessons, although I just discovered that all this will overlap for, at most, 8 weeks.  Swimming ends 2 weeks before soccer ends, and while I might choose to continue it, soccer will be over until spring, so during the later fall, it would just be swimming and violin.  So we'll see.  Swimming in late fall is actually for the real team, rather than just the little-kid version we've been doing, so it would be a bigger commitment in terms of practice time, there's additional volunteer time for parents (i.e. me), and I'm not even sure my kids will qualify.  And with the new baby coming and the holidays, too, it might be a good time for a break.  We'll just play it by ear.

I'm working on getting an au pair.  I've been interviewing people, which has helped me discover that I wouldn't be a good manager.  I feel bad for all the people I won't end up hiring.  I almost feel lucky that I had such a bad experience with the mother's helper I hired when the twins were born, because it keeps reminding me that I really need someone who is an excellent fit for our family.  I interviewed one guy, who I really like and was sweet and energetic and seemed like he'd be good with kids.  But I'm nervous about trying to breastfeed a newborn with a guy around, who I don't know well.  And I really want things to go well with breastfeeding this time around.  I'm nervous about having ANYONE around who is essentially a stranger while I'm trying to learn to breastfeed a newborn, actually.  Especially someone the age of an au pair - will they be staring at me?  I guess they'll get over it quickly, and they come from a country that is much less averse to nursing and toplessness in general.  Maybe I worry too much?  Well, I KNOW I worry too much.

At this point, I doubt we'd have an au pair in place before the baby comes, so possibly it wouldn't matter about breastfeeding a newborn - we might have either gotten breastfeeding established or given up by then.

Anyway.  Life goes on.  Sometimes rather quickly!  It's 4:30 in the morning in Hawaii, and we have to leave around 8 to catch our flight, and I can't sleep because I forgot to take my sleeping pills.  But it's probably a good thing, since my own local time is 7:30, and I shouldn't have too much trouble adjusting to the time change.  We had a great vacation - we snorkeled, swam with sea turtles, saw volcanoes, hiked several times, body surfed, ate tons of good food, and played in some awesome swimming pools.  Now I'm ready to go home and start getting our family ready for the end of summer and the start of school.