I’m alive, and I have some (unimportant) updates.

Oh hey there. So I’m actually not dead. I feel like maybe people could be wondering. Like the other day, I was texting with some friends, and there’s this baby loss mom who hadn’t blogged or posted on Instagram in quite some time or whatever, so we were literally fearing the worst (until we found her), so I’m hoping no one has been searching for my obituary, but who the hell knows? But, on second thought, I’ve been posting on Instagram, so this isn’t an apples to apples comparison.

Anyway, I’ve just been BUSY. Life has been steamrolling me like every single second of every single day, and I’m basically getting my ass handed to me every time I turn around.

I have a very serious question… Like HOW, HOW, HOW does one successfully get two kids under age two to nap? Because it seems there are frequent situations when one is tired and the other is screaming, rendering it impossible for the tired one to sleep. I mean, does one need to live in a 10,000 square foot mansion? Have more soft surfaces (read: less hardwood floors) that would prevent the house from carrying so much sound? Have kids who are quieter than mine? Be smarter than I apparently am? Asking for a friend…

Mark purchased new wheels (rims?) for my ride (and for his ride). He spent too much money on them, and he made me come to the garage for the big reveal, and I didn’t notice any difference whatsoever, which was so irritating to me (and to Mark).

I’m kind of bitter when it comes to Mark lately. I feel like I’m the only one in the house who has any anxiety, and, in some ways, this is a good thing, but, in other ways, it’s why I need my anxiety – because if I don’t worry about things, it’s obvious that no one else will. (And some of my worries are valid and necessary.) Like tonight, for example, I was putting Fredrik to bed, and it took me like an hour, and no one came to check on me (which I noticed because I was needing to go work or blog or something). Then I started thinking, if roles were reversed, I would begin to fear that Fredrik had fallen asleep in an unsafe position on Mark’s chest, and I would peer around the corner and ask, “Is everything okay?” But #nope, apparently everyone else can just trust that things will be fine in life, even after the worst has happened.

Fredrik is proving to be even bigger than Joel, which I didn’t even know was possible. He’s under three and a half months old and 18 pounds. He is doing well and is super smiley and chatty. I’m pretty sure he isn’t going to roll over any time soon, because he weighs more than a heavy sack of potatoes, but I’ve learned not to stress over such things, as Joel was the same, and he seems fine.

I’ve decided that I don’t like my short hair, so I’ll be growing it long again.

Lately I feel a shift in how people (even those closest to me) react when I mention Matthew. Now days, when I mention him, nearly everyone looks at me like, “Why would you ruin this happy (or even neutral) moment with such a sad, sad thought?” I don’t know, because I’m ALWAYS thinking about him? He may have died nearly three years ago, but he’s MY SON, and many times it still feels as though he died yesterday.

But yet it also does not feel this way… I have now had TWO babies since Matthew died. TWO. Fredrik’s arrival makes me feel even further removed from Matthew, and, as thankful as I am for all the joy that has entered my life since Matthew’s passing, I hate that he just keeps fading more and more into the past. It is the saddest thing in the world that he is missing out on so much, including another earthly brother. And that his brothers (and we) are missing out on him and all that he could have been.

So I’m trying to be a SAHM (with some help here and there, so like a pseudo-SAHM) and work when I can fit it in (which is almost never), and I feel like it’s killing me slowly (the work part – I mostly love being at home). I mean, who wants to calculate international corporate taxes at 4:30am??? Also, it seems my “free time” is being totally sucked up by said work, which is robbing me of whatever personality I once had… So WHY (besides financial reasons) am I putting myself through this?

Well who knows, but a week prior to the date that my maternity leave was scheduled to end, my boss sent me an email… In it she suggested that she was at least half way anxiously anticipating my return, and then a co-worker said the same, and these meager communications excited me – like the possibility that there were still a couple of adults out there (besides my own family) who were potentially interested in me (even if only for my spreadsheet skills) was enough to seal the deal and keep me attempting to juggle this impossible schedule. I’ve realized that my company is like this (dysfunctional) family that I couldn’t ever (voluntarily) leave. But WHY do I even feel like this? It’s just a company.

Easter was snowy and icy, so Joel and Fredrik didn’t wear cute Easter clothes. We went to church, which was held downtown at an alternative venue to accommodate larger crowds, and, although the service was nice, there were so many people there that it was overwhelming with two young kids. At one point, I had to feed Fredrik, and this super old man (who worked at the event center) stood like two feet from me and was like, “I can’t stop you from doing this (breastfeeding), because it’s the law.” But I know he wanted to stop me. But there were like NO people around, and I was completely covered with a huge scarf, so he could have just gone away. Breastfeeding is sooooo awkward sometimes. But Fredrik refuses to take a bottle, so not all of the awkwardness is my fault.

Joel loved opening Easter eggs and hearing Mark’s mom tell the Easter story, and Joel’s also been extra interested in our sump pump lately.

We recently held a joint surprise 60th birthday party for Mark’s parents. We invited like 70 of their closest friends, and almost all invitees attended, so we had a full house. When Mark’s mom entered our house, she melted into a sobbing heap, so this was fun. I’m so glad Mark’s parents were surprised and had the time of their lives.

I recently discovered that I’m allergic to almond milk.

We’ve been using the Shipt app (getting our groceries delivered to our doorstep for a small fee). I feel like I’m a bit extra doing this, but I’m having trouble making it to the store these days, so I’m going with it for now…

This season of life (parenting two living kids with frequent family and sometimes outside help) has me thinking about the design of our house (alluded to above), with which we were very involved (by way of helping our architect)… Our master bathroom is connected to our master bedroom and there’s one shared door to both spaces with a small, lit, almost landing area outside. Said shared door is visible from the living room. Also visible from the living room is the large mirror above the bathroom sink, which means, if someone is getting dressed/undressed, and the door isn’t completely closed, their naked body is reflected, by the mirror, into the living room. (If anyone needs help designing a custom home, I’m available.)

7 thoughts on “I’m alive, and I have some (unimportant) updates.

  1. Glad you are alive. Thank goodness for Instagram. I have plenty to say but I’ll comment now about naps with two little ones. My first two are 20 months apart. I remember needing to frequently give the baby attention but also make sure big brother was safe as well as quiet.

    What we tried first was turning my oldest’s door into a dutch door so I could lock the bottom and keep the top open. I then baby proofed as well as possible and installed wifi security camera so I could spy on him if I had to be in the nursery with the baby. The problem was he was pretty bad at playing without me so he wasn’t very quiet. In retrospect I could have tried a white noise machine to block his protests and let him figure it out.

    Otherwise we did a lot of naps for the baby on the go. Sometimes I’d do naps for everyone on the go and I’d drive until they were both asleep, drive home, pull into the garage and sit in the car until they woke up.

    We also did a bit of screen time for my eldest once he turned two. It was just the easiest way to keep him quiet and safe during naptime. He got to watch Daniel Tiger or play Endless Alphabet while his younger brother napped. He learned to read very early.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Warning long comment:

    I can relate to wishing my husband was a more anxious parent. I guess I have enough anxiety for the both of us. He never worries about things like the cord on the blinds or the other million ways our kids could die. He also refuses to read stuff about child development or sleep and just trusts that since I’m super type A about this kind of stuff that I’m already more than on top of it and will just fill him in as needed. I just wish he’d do it so he’d have his own informed frame of reference for when I need to bounce ideas off of him.

    Our pediatrician said that bigger, heavier babies take longer to roll so our five month old just barely started. I’m fine with her taking her sweet time getting her movement milestones because I’m nervous about keeping all of the big kid toys away from her. I figure I’m just going to have to follow her around so she doesn’t choke on anything. And of course I’m worried already that she will choke to death on something.

    I’ve tried short-ish hair a couple of times, each time thinking it will be easier and each time finding out that it either needs daily styling, or daily bobby pinning. Neither of which are easier than a ponytail or messy bun.

    Returning to work is weird. I’m simultaneously happy for the more adult time and being appreciated for my non-child rearing skills and missing my baby. Fortunately part-time seems to be the right balance for me but sometimes I feel like I’m just half-assing everything and being worn ragged the whole time. I can relate to feeling like work is like family. Mine was so good to me and supported me through the whole arc of pregnancy with S3, his death, my miscarriage, pregnancy after loss, and the birth of D1. And now I just got a job offer that is closer to home with twice the pay and I find myself dragging my heels to take it and resign from my other job because I will miss those relationships and the understanding about what happened with me and my third son. They truly mourned with me and felt the loss with me. I won’t be able to replace that.

    Also, don’t feel guilty about being “extra.” I’m extra. My therapist always wants me to be more extra. I think we’ve earned extra. I have a house cleaner and a lawn mowing service. I often order my groceries online and do curbside pickup. My therapist wants me to hire a mother’s helper to come over in the late afternoon. I don’t think I will, but I’d love to hire someone to fold and put away my laundry. Laundry sucks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have thought the same thing about Kenny and not checking in on me with Artie. I check in on him all the time, and thank goodness he doesn’t take that to mean I don’t trust him with Artie. But he doesn’t check in on me as much. Or ever lately. Lol. The other day Artie and I were out when kenny got home from work and he just text me to say that he was home. Had Kenny and Artie been out when I got home, I would have immediately called to see what was going on. Lol.

    But I’m glad to read this update and just sending hugs and good luck with figuring out the nap schedule and everything! ❤️❤️ you are a wonderful mother to all three of your boys.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m happy to hear you’re still alive and loved all your (unimportant) updates 🙂
    I, too, would not have noticed a difference in “rims on the ride”. And I totally get my groceries delivered at least once a month and a half or so, budget be damned. Some conveniences are worth it because we’re worth it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My first born was still born. I was 5 months pregnant and developed severe Pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome. I lost him right before mother’s day in 2011. I got pregnant again about 6 months later and gave birth to my health little man who is now 5. I too find that when I tell someone that he is my surviving son, they seem to not want to talk. I don’t say it to make people feel bad. I say it because I gave birth to two children. My LJ was the first to give me the honor of calling myself mother, even though he never laid eyes on me. I love him just as I do my living son.

    Sometimes I wish people would just understand. Yes, its a memory of the night my heart broke and my world changed. That doesn’t mean I want to forget it. That doesn’t mean his existence doesn’t mean the world to me. I’m still his momma and he will always be my son. And no amount of their awkward foot shuffling and averted gazes will make me stop referring to him as my son.

    I also totally get you in regards to feeling like you almost lose your sense of self or personality as a stay at home mom sometimes. I became a stay at home mom with my little man turned 9 months. I have had no paying jobs in that time, but I did take care of a lot of friends and family. Now I’m at a point where I’m trying to find some sort of side income and I’m literally feeling like I don’t know who the heck I am. I used to be a medical biller and a Group Insurance Specialist before I stopped working. I was always a hard worker and always had my bosses notice me early on with my need to learn and expand my skills. Now I’m sitting her trying to think of anything I’m good at. LOL. My brain up and decided to just clean house without asking my permission and now I feel like I don’t have enough knowledge on any one thing to even say I have a niche. Its ridiculous! I find myself smiling like a loon when someone tells me my rice and gravy came out good because it makes me feel like at least I got that ONE FLIPPING MEAL right. Yeesh!

    Liked by 1 person

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