Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Days of Old

Rarely do I miss WORKING. But today, for whatever reason, I miss my job.

Now, don't get me wrong, I LOOOOVE what I am doing.  The other day I asked my husband what would be his dream job and in return he asked me.  My answer was, "Exactly what I'm doing."  And it is the God's honest truth.

And today has been fantastic!  The kids and I played outside, the older ones ate popsicles, we've had a lot of fun.  It's perfect weather today, no humidity, no bugs that make you itchy, and a sky full of sunshine.

So, why today?  Not sure.  But I kind of miss putting on the heels and work outfit, doing my make up, and meeting insanely interesting people.  The job I had was perfect for me for 7 years.  If I had to write a job description, besides SAHM, that'd be it.  I felt the mission of the University. I understand that my role was an important one and that what I was doing mattered.  Plus, I got to meet experts in their fields, talk to people from various backgrounds, and walk around a University I loved.

Even though I am the happiest I've ever been, and at one point today I thought "Life, is perfect", I still miss my buds in HR and at UVa.

Not enough to ever go back though!

By tomorrow I will have forgotten all about this little pang I have (except for this here blog post) and be right back to being glad I left that place.  For right now though, I will smile as I think about a pretty fantastic job.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Yesterday each and every child in this house developed a stuffy, runny nose.

The worst?!  You guessed it, the youngest Pat R Ouch.

So maybe she has been awful the past two nights BECAUSE SHE CANNOT BREATHE.

Mommy fail.

Postscript to this postscript she REALLY hates the bulb syringe, is too little to blow her nose, so we battle. Cage match kind of battle to get the snot out.

And I've officially crossed the line on what I put on my blog.  But I just knew EVERYONE was curious.

Finally, one more postscript, I'm still going to try the suggestions given to me about Harper's sleeping situation.  I think the cold is making it worse, but she still needs to be taught how to sleep through the night.  Wish me luck, friends!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wits' End

You know that quote "you can sleep when you're dead"?  I loathe that quote.  It's dumb.  I'd really like to sleep now so that others might enjoy my company.

I don't know what to do about the youngest Pat R Ouch.  She goes to sleep fairly well on her own, but man, she is still getting up a few times a night.

I've tried feeding more during the day.  I've tried letting her cry.  Both have not worked.

I'm sure that I just need to suck it up and really let her cry at night, but it hurts.  It hurts bad.  She seems so little.  And so sad.  And it's pathetic. I'm pathetic.

But really...if I go in and get her back to sleep either with a pacifier or rubbing her back, whatever, she's up again within 30-60 minutes.  So, do I just keep doing it and hope it sticks the next night?!  Or do I, like always, relent and feed her?  Feeding her takes all of five minutes and then she's out for a few hours.

Plus, there are times, like last night, when her crying wakes the boy.  Then he's crying and awake and no one is happy.

With the first two I really don't remember what I did.  Isn't that crazy since they were JUST babies?!

I'm sort of crossing my fingers that right now she is waking because of teeth.  I do believe she has a set of dentures coming in the way she's chewing on her hands.

What to do, what to do?!  I'm tired.  When I'm tired I don't think rationally, so I'm lost.

Help! Anyone?!  Just tell me what to do and I'll do it!!

Thank you kindly.

Monday, March 19, 2012

You're My Baby Blue

"Into your blue blue eyes in
Your blue blue world
You're my baby blue"

I've been thinking about what to write for Carter's birthday blog for days now.  But words seem so small for what I've been feeling.

She's my first.

She's my pal.

She's my heartbeat.

She's the one that taught me love is everything.

Our little CJ, the girl that took her time entering the world, the girl that let us know she's boss, is three.  Three seems so big to me.  She seems so big to me.  Chubby cheeks that use to wiggle when she ran are now narrowing in to a young lady's face.  Her round, bald head is covered with gorgeous blonde hair with the prettiest curls at the bottom.  Her big smile, still present, is full of teeth.  Words, full sentences, thoughts and stories, come pouring out.

She's not a baby.

She's not that 8 pound 11 1/2 ounce baby they handed to me on March 17, 2009.

I didn't know it then, and I probably don't fully know it now, but that girl, that gem of a baby, is who taught me about unconditional love.  She taught me compassion, empathy, patience, understanding, how to bite my tongue, how to laugh, how to be joyous.  All that is good about me is in her.  All that is good about Marc is in her.  Her tiny little body holds so much potential.  So much love.  I couldn't have designed a better child.

I may not have been an Olympic athlete, or the class president, prettiest girl in school, or the smartest, I may not have had the most friends, or the best job, but gosh darn did I win the "Best Kid" award.  Her laugh makes me laugh, her tears make me cry, her heartbeat makes me smile.

My oldest is three.  I can't believe it.  No matter how many times I say it, it still amazes me.

We have our battles.  We see who is tougher.  But at the end of every day,  I kiss her, tell her I love her and tell her goodnight.  And then one more "I love you" before bed, so she knows I mean it.

All the gold in the world isn't as precious as Carter Jean.

I love you baby girl.  With my entire soul.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Momumentary - Sarah Rothschild aka "Mommy Comedienne"

Another edition of Momumentary!

In life I love a first time mom.  Especially a funny one!!  Well this lady right here fits both.  Let me introduce to you, Sarah Rothschild.  I met Sarah in the cult like organization known as Charlottesville Rec Volleyball.  From the second I met her I knew we would be good friends.  I just liked her.  She was easy to talk to, she was insanely hilarious, and a really good-hearted person.   (Of course, she is still all those things!) We developed a friendship on and off the court.  I often had meetings in her building, so we’d run in to each other all the time. We’d also meet for lunch at Aroma’s probably once a month.  (Fantastic couscous, PS.)  We became friends right before I got married, so she was around before any babies.  And my husband and I were actually there for one of her and her now husband’s first dates. It was a night of Catch Phrase and it was awesome!  Eventually we both would be married and moved to places other than Charlottesville, but we’ve remained in touch.  I can honestly say that Sarah is one of the things I miss most about living in my hometown.  I really really like her as a person and I’ve loved watching her grow in to the role of mommy.  If you are lucky enough to be her friend on facebook you’ve witnessed her hilarious updates about her daughter.  Also about living in Arkansas.  The woman should write a book composed of her status updates.  She has a neighbor that walks a pig, on a leash, down their street.  So freaking funny.

Anyhoo, here are Sarah’s answers to my questions.  In true Sarah form she managed to be funny and heart warming.  I teared up, can’t lie.   Her little family makes me smile and I am thrilled for all three of them!  Now if we can just get them back to Virginia.  I’d even settle for the Charlotte/Greensboro area of NC!!

1. Please give a quick bio about yourself (your name, husband’s name, kid’s name, and your job, ages welcome but not necessary!).

Or Rothschild is a Strategy Project Manager in Walmart's Information Systems Division.

Sarah Rothschild is raising their infant daughter and pursuing her Master's Degree in Higher Education Administration at the University of Arkansas.

Noa Rothschild is an eight-month-old who lives by the motto, "it's my way or the highway."

2. What is your favorite part about being a momma?

I love watching Noa explore the world around her and being a part of her discoveries.

3. What is your least favorite?

The gripping fear of the "what ifs" in life.  What if Noa rides in the car with someone who is texting while driving?  What if she experiences discrimination?  What if something happens to me and I can't be there to watch her grow up?  Okay, now I'm crying.

4. What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

16 and Pregnant.  If ever I'm feeling like my parenting decisions might be permanently scarring Noa, I can always count on the poor decisions of those girls to make me feel better about myself.

5. Best advice ever given to you?

This too shall pass.  This is true of the good and the bad and helps keep things in perspective.

6. What advice do you give to new moms?

Accept help!  My BFF came to help when my daughter was born and bless her heart, she did everything from weeding our garden to making lunch to holding the baby so I could shower.  I'm not sure what I would have done without her!

7. Favorite memories of your kid?

The first time I fed Noa a banana--her first real food--she quivered with excitement and screamed with frustration if the spoon did not reach her mouth in a timely manner.  It is difficult to recall a time when I was as excited about something as she was about a sweet spoonful of banana.

8. Favorite memories of you and your husband?

My husband is a serious person.  I fell in love with his intellect and insatiable curiosity.  That said, I will forever cherish the memory of him hearing Noa laugh for the first time and his reaction to her little giggles.  He did everything he could think of to elicit a repeat performance.  It melted my heart to see how much he loved her and how quickly she had broken down his barriers with the small act of laughing.

9. What hopes/dreams do you have for your kid?

I hope Noa is happy.  I hope she makes the world a better place than she found it.  I hope she finds a partner in life who deserves her.  I hope she has friends who support her through thick and thin.  I hope she lives in a place where she can appreciate nature.  I hope she helps those less fortunate than her. 

10. If you had a day all to yourself, what would you do?

I would wake up when my body was ready and enjoy some mindless television while I ate breakfast.  I'd go to the gym and take a long hot shower (alone!).  I'd read--not a parenting magazine or a textbook--I'd read a real book.  I would make reservations at a nice restaurant for me and my husband to enjoy an evening out.  We'd finish the evening with margaritas and movies on the couch.  Bliss.

***I love that Sarah included her husband in her answer about a day to herself.  That’s true love right there!***

11. How did you pick your kid’s name?

Baby Rothschild did not get her name until she was a few hours old.  We knew her middle name would be Adelia, after my great-grandmother, but decided to meet her before giving her a first name.  We looked at her little face and decided she was a Noa, which is Hebrew for movement.  It was a perfect name for our little mover and shaker.

12. What activities do you love to do with your family?

We love to go walking and hiking together.  Noa, a native of "The Nature State," is content to be in the great outdoors for hours and it gives us a little exercise since gone are the days of going to the gym as a couple.

13. If you could go back and tell your pre-mom self something, what would it be?

For the love of God, sleep while you can woman!

14. Which celebrity family do you want to be friends with?

I am not sure who I would want to befriend, but I recall having a vivid dream about wanting to help Britney Spears with her children during her meltdown.  In the dream, I fly from CHO to LAX, took a cab to her house, knocked on her door and said, "you don't know me, but I'm here to take your children for a few weeks so you can get your life together."  She handed over her kids (of course) and the three of us flew back to Charlottesville and had a grand time, while Britney worked on being a better person.

15. What has been the most surprising thing about being a mom?

I have been fortunate to have loved and been loved by many people throughout my life.  When I had Noa, however, I learned new depths of love.  I loved her from the time she was a gummy bear, but when I first laid eyes on her, I thought my heart would burst.

16. Which mom(s) had/have a big influence on you?

This list could go on and on.  My mother has been a huge influence on me, even though I recall saying, "I would NEVER do that to my children!" in a dramatic teenaged huff.  My sister, a single mother, amazes me with her resilience and love for her son.  My BFF, Kristen, has the greatest kids in the world--so smart and full of life.  I have relied on so many mothers throughout my life, but especially since having Noa.  I think I might have lost my mind without my 2:00 a.m. text messages from my friend Bree telling me a funny story about her son or just telling me that I wasn't the only one awake in the wee hours.  There are few things more important to a new mother than a supportive network of other mothers.

17.  Did you ever think talks about vomit and poop would become “normal”?

No.  Nor did I think I would ever use the expression, "oh, it's JUST vomit, we're good" when looking at a stain on my shirt.

18. What aspects of your husband’s parenting do you admire?

I admire how Or is ensuring that Noa understands she is half Israeli.  Thus far, she is showing signs of progress, babbling in what sounds like Hebrew and having an obsession with technology.  I also admire how protective Or is of Noa.  He researched car seats for HOURS before finally selecting one that could withstand a launch into space or a stampede of rhinos.

19. If you had to pick one movie for your kid to watch, that best describes your taste in movies, which would it be?

I have no idea.  I probably watched, "The Princess Bride" about 1,582 times as a child.  I hope she wants to watch it soon, so I have a good excuse to watch it again.

20. Quick, think of a band you love and write out one of your favorite lyrics of theirs!

The first thing that comes to mind is "Your Song" by Elton John, which I sing to Noa frequently.

"I hope you don't mind / I hope you don't mind / That I've put down in words / How wonderful life is while you're in the world."

*Since I forgot to ask permission to post a photo of Noa, I'm using one of Sarah and Or.  I think Sarah looks so pretty  here and so happy.  I just love it!*

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Best Friend For Life

Dear Alicia,

Instead of telling you to your face, I thought it be best to write you a letter.  I want to let you know that you are officially my "Best Friend for Life"!  Congrats!!  I hope you wear the title with pride.

You and I met as youngins way back in the spring of 99.  We were young, innocent?, bright eyed and bushy tailed.  The world was not ready for our relationship.  We would go through ups and downs, turns, and flips.  But through it all, we've remained friends.

You are the same gal I met so long ago and yet you are so different.  You are stronger, braver, and more loyal than ever before.  You moved off to a land where you knew no one.  You've had a few jobs and have started your own business.  This last adventure is the newest, but definitely the most exciting.  I can see the passion you have for it and wish you nothing but success.  I know you'll do great.  Hey, look what you've done with me!!!

When you make a life long friend you see them go through a lot.  The thing that makes me most happy is you marrying your dream man.  I'm pretty sure you introduce yourself like this, "Hi, I'm Alicia.  I love him and I will marry him one day."  Ok, maybe not exactly like that, but similar.  You had your eyes on him for so long and it finally worked out.  Even when I told you there wasn't a chance.  Oops!  You two are so great together.  I've loved every minute of hanging out with you two.  Even the ones you probably hated because he and I were debating some dumb thing.

On this day, the day you entered the world, the day Earth met my curly haired Pisces, I wish you the happiest of birthdays.  I hate that I haven't been able to spend this day with you in many years, it used to be a yearly tradition that I very much looked forward to!  Now you get videos of babies being cute.  I guess that is a good substitute!

I love you Alicia Marianna.  You're an amazing gal and I'm lucky to know you!

And a special shout out to Momma Snyder who was in labor all those years ago.  And a happy birthday to Poppa Snyder who shares his birthday with his youngest.

March 10th is a beautiful day!

Love always and forever,

And a special video just for you!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mommy to the Rescue

For the first time ever I had to stay awake with a sick child, holding her hair back, changing clothes, washing sheets, wearing about three different outfits, giving sips of water, and watching/listening to her breath to make sure she was ok.   CJ has never been a "puker", but last night she made up for the past three years.

It was heartbreaking.

I know, I know, I shouldn't be blogging about my daughter throwing up, but last night confirmed what I've often wondered - I was born to be a mom.  I was born to rub heads, take temperatures, soothe cries, and hold babies when they don't feel well.  I was born to remain calm and patient when chaos is occurring.

In my "normal" life, I am not calm nor patient. I am hyper, and spastic, always going, always anxious. But when it comes to those babies of mine, in times of need, I am like a freaking Mother Theresa.

I felt awful for her.  I felt awful for not being able to take away the pain, take away the yuck, and put it in to my own body.  Her poor little eyes were dark and tired.  Her body was worn out.  I wanted to nestle her in my arms and never let her go.

Of course by 3 am  I had no more fight left in me.  I couldn't hang on any longer.  Guilt washed over me. But I knew I had two other little beings that needed me.  And I knew that she would need me the next day. So I tagged out.  Called in my partner and let him take over.  That's hard for me.  I think it's hard for most moms.  Not that I thought he would be bad at taking care of her, it's just that I wanted to be the one there for her.  I wanted to be the one to wipe away the tears.  I wanted to make her better.

But, like the awesome man he is, he wiped away the tears and comforted her.  Thank God for that man.

My sweet little baby is now sleeping.  I hope it helps her.

I miss the days of being pregnant when I knew she was safe.  When I knew she was ok.  When I knew nothing could hurt her.

Damn it's hard being a parent and seeing your child hurt.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Roller Coaster

Marc has a co-worker that just returned from his first paternity leave.  He talked to Marc about it and how he had no idea it would be such a change. That it would be so constant.  I won't go in to the whole conversation but the cutest part, to me, was Marc giving dad advice.  SERIOUSLY CUTE!  Marc and Curtis's conversation lead to a conversation between Marc and me about your feelings surrounding your first kid. It's such a huge freaking deal to bring that baby home and then have to take care of it. Just the two of you! And you have no clue what you are doing.  No clue.  Anyone that says they have a clue is a big, fat liar.

The timing is amazing because we are getting ready to celebrate our anniversary of being parents for three years.  Our first born is turning three and it shocks me.  Three years ago, today, we didn't know if we were having a boy or girl, what being a parent is all about, that it was going to take two days of labor and one surgery to get her here, or the enormous change that was about to take place.

Everything about your life changes.  And nothing at all changes.  Strange, huh?  Marc and I were still us, but different.  Our house was the same house, but different.  The world was the same, but not at all.  We can never go back to that time and truly remember what we were thinking or how we were feeling.  Now when we bring a baby home we just go for it.  We don't think about every little thing, we don't overanalyze, we just do.  There is a comfort that comes with being a seasoned newborn parent!!!

And the thing about parenting is that you are always facing new challenges, new ages, new milestones, it never ends.  You get through sleepless newborn nights and move on to toddler troubles.  From there you potty train and send your kid to school.  After that they are involved in after school activities, making and breaking friends, homework, tests, projects, school dances, boyfriends, girlfriends, hormonal teenage years.  And then, God willing, they are sent away to college, to be on their own, not to be seen or heard from for days.  After college the world is their oyster and they are out finding their pearl. And you are delegated to the back seat, to offer advice when asked, to not get too involved, but not stay too far away.  Parents have to find a balance of loving but not be suffocating.  Be involved, but not annoying.  To always make sure they know you love them and are supportive.

Sometimes I'd like to go back to that first week, with our first child, and document every feeling I had.  Document the excitement, joy, fear, anxiety and compare that with each child after.  Did I feel the same each time?

This parenthood thing is quite a ride.

From one of my favorite movie scenes of all time!