Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My perfect life. Unveiled.

I find it rather ironic that my last real post was all about my idyllic home birth. Yes, it was perfect. I couldn't have asked for better. But before you start thinking that just because a few hours of my life went according to plan and therefore my everyday life is full of peaches and flowers and sparkly clean floors, let me enlighten you. IT'S NOT.

My kids.
They fight. ALL.THE.TIME. No matter how consistent our discipline is, my two four-year-olds have made very loud tantrums and hitting each other their hobby. Which they practice multiple times daily. I've been potty training one of my two-year-olds since January and she still likes to grace me with bulging panties when she gets mad at me. Yes. She poops out of spite. My other two-year-old is sweet, but good gracious, she is a walking talking TORNADO! Her current favorite past time includes rubbing bars of soap all over her body and then flooding the bathroom floor in an effort to wash it off. Apparently she really likes being clean.
And my baby, God love him. My sweet nine-week-old son. He's adorable, really. But so crabby. SO cranky, when he's not in my arms 24/7. This might work out sweetly if he was my one and only. But let's not forget that I have four other (very dependent and needy) children to take care of. Yes, my days are anything but pretty.

My garden.
"How do you do it all?" They ask. My answer? I don't. Hence why there are no pictures on this post.
Back in February, I did all the preliminary planning. I ordered the seeds, planted the seeds, and watered them for weeks every day while they grew indoors. Once it was warm enough, I transplanted everything into the beds and started a watering routine.
And then my son was born.
Fast forward nine weeks.
I haven't touched the garden. Who are we kidding? I don't have a spare second! Even when my babysitter is here, I end up using all of that time for laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, endlessly nursing, and writing this whiny blog post. Eric is the man behind the amazing garden, friends. He has faithfully watered, weeded, harvested and reseeded ALL SUMMER. He's amazing, I know. He even made all those jars of pickles with me the entire month of July. If it wasn't for him, I would probably have given up on the garden this year and be back to eating squishy Aldi produce. Just sayin'.

My animals.
Again, Eric's territory. I only step in when he is out of town on business, which only happens a few days each month. Otherwise, I love the animals, but he is their man.

Our real food diet.
While Eric and I are in it together, I do most of the day to day cooking. Eric cooks breakfast for the kids each morning (usually whole grain oatmeal or eggs), and I am in charge of lunch, dinner, and snacks. I do the meal planning and shopping as well. Honestly, I've been cooking from scratch (aka, no tv dinners or pre-boxed meals) for so long that it isn't hard for me to whip up a healthy something for dinner. But if I don't plan well, we end up eating quesadillas or rice and beans a little more often than necessary. Which lately, has been a little wee bit more often than necessary! Aldi's take and bake pizzas are a little too tempting as well....

Eric and I have just recently decided that we would like to get away from commercialized food even more, which means that grocery store meat (which we hardly eat anyway) and my survival organic cheerios, need to go, among a few other things (Like, ahem, those take and bake pizzas...). It's a process, but it's been wonderful to eat all of our vegetables exclusively from our garden this summer. It's also nice to be raising non-picky eaters who say things like, "Mama, I LOVE this eggplant!" and "YAY! Lentils for dinner!" and "Tomato cucumber salad is my favorite!" Granted, my two-year-olds are not quite as enthusiastic about this (and usually one ends up throwing her plate on the floor and the other chooses to not eat at all), but they'll learn!

My marriage.
We're normal. We have problems. Some days are better than others. Most days are just plain exhausting with long work hours for both of us. Do we go out enough alone together? No. Do we wish we did? Yes. Do we get more than five minutes a day to chat without interruption? Not usually. Are we still best friends? Yes. Are we still figuring this whole marriage thing out? Yes, absolutely.

My personal life.
Um, do I have one right now? Sometimes I get to take a shower. That's always nice. Usually I'm paying a babysitter so I can revel in that little five minute treat before the baby starts screaming again. Let's just say there is rarely a few minutes in my day that I am not caring for someone else. If there are a few free minutes, I'm sleeping. Even now, my baby is laying on my lap while I type this. I know this is just a season, and babies don't keep and all, but friends, this season is just plain hard. Also, I just had a baby. So my wardrobe is difficult because nothing really fits yet. Let's just say that without frequent showers, no time for sleep or makeup (luxury!), and only gym shorts that fit, (not to mention the spit up!) I'm not much to look at. The good news is that my kids don't care. And probably Eric is too exhausted to notice much either. So we're good. I don't really go out in public anyway. And my art endeavors? I spent nine months making my latest creation, so I'm currently on sabbatical. ;-)

This kind of sounds whiny. It's not. I'm not unhappy at all. I love my kids, ALL of them. I don't dread waking up in the mornings and usually we have pretty good days, all things considered. But before anyone jumps to unrealistic conclusions about my life, sometimes we just need a reality check. Even me. And someday, when I am sitting around bored to death with my too clean house and manicured lawn, I will want to remember these days....(or not?).

When you hear moms say that they are "in the trenches" with all their littles, it's true. Parenting little ones is hard. Whether you have one or five.

So there you have it. I'm normal. Very imperfect. Very human.
Speaking of imperfect, I'm reading an awesome book right now called No More Perfect Moms, by Jill Savage. Give it a read. It's worth it.

If you're curious about how we plan to spend the weekend, we had this lovely GIANT branch break off from our resident tree last night... Let's just say we have our work cut out for us over here!

And now back to my fairy tale life of too many children who simultaneously burst into song and choreographed dances when going to bed every night. Maybe I'll even re-purpose those old curtains while they're sleeping! (totally kidding...)

Fall again

If you hadn't noticed, I took the summer off of writing. I didn't really plan it, but I had a baby. And after a rather idyllic birth, said baby decided to cry all the time....ALL THE TIME...for weeks....and WEEKS. Finally, at ten weeks (three weeks ago), Oliver woke up one morning, and was HAPPY. Smiles and giggles all around. Not only that, he began sleeping 6-8 hours straight. EVERY NIGHT. And he goes to sleep for the night at 8:30 or 9. He definitely still likes to be held most of the time during the day, but our crazy crying days and nights are (hopefully) over. More sleep = happier mom. And perhaps more productive mom (if you don't count the laundry that I am seriously avoiding).

Finally I feel more rested and physically recovered. And now it is September. I love my baby, I really do, but how did I miss the whole summer?! I'm finally back on my feet and ready to play and everyone is back in school and ordering pumpkin lattes and I am NOT happy about this.

I am not excited about Fall because Autumn means winter. And winter means freezing cold and always one lost mitten and leaky boots and being inside, always inside. And depression. Winter means depression.
At least it did last winter.
And I'm not ready for that. I don't want it and it's not welcome here. But somehow it always comes. I am dreading it.

So to get back to happy things...
This summer we didn't do any traveling, due to the baby's arrival, and, well, we have five kids four and under. So traveling is not necessarily fun or easy, and any sort of vacation is big bucks with all of us and probably more work than it's worth at this point in time. We spent our days playing at playgrounds and splash pads and in a little turtle sandbox-turned-pool in our yard. We grew vegetables and ate them, made jars and jars of pickles and fresh salsa, milked goats and made cheese, improved our animal's living areas, and day dreamed about moving to the country.

And that's pretty much it! The baby is getting chubbier by the day and the girls are growing out of their clothes and shoes faster than I can replace them. Preschool has started up again and we have entered back into a more structured routine. Although I'm not sure if you can ever call parenting five kids under five "structured," but we manage somehow!