Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A little bit of drowning.

A few of you have reminded me that there are no blog posts since Mar 22. Well that was the day I returned to work, and my new normal changed. So that's the reason there are no posts. Because today is that last day of the quarter, and because I have no time to share the good the bad, and the ugly with you all, I'm going to to give you a "little things" list, JCH style (her style is way more articulate and spunky than what I have time or energy to do)!

Going back to work hasn't been as bad as I thought
Going back to work has been a million times harder than I thought
Got walked in on at work while pumping by male coworker = humiliating
Milk supply isn't the best, but I'm making due. One bottle of formula per day.
Sabine is in Miami today to meet one of her BFFs from Germany who came to see her- SO excited for her.
Mom came to watch the kids
Mom's car broke down 25 miles outside of Portland (she lives 6 hrs away so it could be worse)
Mom's car can't be fixed
Used car shopping with mom this week
New work out goal is 5 days out of 7 per week
Last week I did 6 days! Love extra credit.
This weekend I get to go jean shopping.
With a gift card from Xmas. Wahoo!
My friend Julie has cancer again. For the third time. After an 11 month "break". I'm pissed! Devastated! Grrr. Words can't describe how much I wish she didn't have to rally her troops and get her fighting gloves on. AGAIN!
Damn Chemo is getting in the way of a super fabulous vacation she had planned though, and that BITES!
Riding in a car with my mom driving is enough to make me wanna drink
Riding with my mom driving in a stranger's car, in the city, while they sit in the back seat = priceless thrill ride (of course, no offense mom!)
Keep "forgetting" to eat or drink water all day and that is no good - but where to fit it in.
B at work, was on vacation at work for 3 days last week. SHE DOES A LOT OF WORK. I know, cause I did her job while she was out. I'm not good at her job. I'd rather review that work, not DO it.
I'm glad she's back, and will make sure to treat her like the GEM she is from now on!
I scrapbooked last Friday and Sunday - I'm up to June 2009!
Shred on-line boards has added 4 members looking for accountability partners; positive energy from great women supporting each other is essential for a lovely life
I can't stop wondering if being "brave" for posting before and after pics on this blog is a compliment or not?
I miss Robin Cummings!
Why are we so hard on ourselves, moms? STOP IT!!!
My friend Melinda came from Boise during the week to recycle some maternity clothes and cloth diapers passed on by another friend. Only a few minutes to chat, but great to see her. Found out her hubby is going to "the yucky place" with my brother next year. He's going, Matt's going, might be in the same unit, however all that works.
I'm getting to bed too late and getting up too early.
This is the first time I've set an alarm clock since having children.
BUT...Bryson is sleeping through the night.
Addie is going through the hardest time with me returning to work. Bedtime battles = understatement.
Lily has been doing awesome. She isn't getting the credit she deserves because I keep being too busy with the other two to notice properly. I'm working on that.
Seriously, my baby has the best smile can't help but get a little tickle in your heart when he squeals and smiles at the sight of you. Yummy!
My girls have started fighting with each other like sisters. A lot! It was a good ride...
We went to church on Sunday and I felt so loved by God. Especially during the singing.
Sabine came too, I liked having her there.
Passover is this week, we talked about it a lot and then hid the Matzah - Addie found it and got a dollar, then we hid it for fun. No one knows why we hide the afikomen, but we did it because that's what you do.
Saturday the Powers came over for a BBQ. It was great, the 3 girls played good. I love them and the friendship they bring. So excited their family is growing! Yep you heard that right? !!
Lawrence got to go skiing on Sunday, with a friend, he forgot what a good skiier he was with out me or kids to hold him back. HE DESERVED IT!!!
I'M SO SO SO SO SO SO thankful for how great Sabine did with my three children last week. She can totally do this. She can do it well.
I hate to think of the day when she will leave our family. I don't know yet when that is, but no matter when it is, it will be too soon!
Uncle Matt is on the way this morning so Gma Lanie "Yanie" as Addie says, doesn't have to go it alone. He has only been home for 3 days after drilling for a month in AZ, so I REALLY appreciate being able to count on him in a pinch.
Thanks to Heather too!
I haven't found my "organized" rhythm that makes me feel sane. No balance yet. Not sure what to do when I have a free minute because there are too many things to choose from.
So I chase my tail a lot. Sometime for 20 full minutes.
My husband has been amazing lately. He's really stepping it up with a smile. Our marriage feels SO strong and on the same wave length for several months now. Boy is that a good thing!
Date night is a MUST this weekend. A MUST!
We both need to dig a little deeper for patience and a good discipline strategy for our nutty 2.5 year old. Kinda going through the noneffective, inconsistent motions right now...with a dash of doing it right here and there.
This is my "me" time for the day. I'm drowning. Last day of the month and the quarter. Can't close until I finish my review of the year end closing that happened while I was on leave.
I'm still in a good mood. A good drowning mood.
I am blessed.

Despite drowning this week, I can also say that I haven't been this strong, mind, body, and soul for a really long time. There isn't time to blog about it because I'm sinking most days with so much more to do than what is possible. There is a whole blog to write on each of these sentences. Maybe I will, maybe I won't.

Thanks for your support this week Jenn, Sabine, Kirstin, Lawrence, and Mom...can't believe the overflow of love that keeps me afloat.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Choosing to love it

I survived my first day back in the office. I've been very focused the last few weeks on staying joyful and not getting down about the situation. Bryson is 14 weeks old today. I wish I could have stayed home longer with him, but since that wasn't possible I've just been focused on the awesome company I work for, on the great job that I have to go back to and for this wonderful life that I have. I get to come home each day to three healthy children and know that they are in good hands with Sabine, someone who loves them, and is a member of our family.

I left this morning feeling completely at peace. On the drive to work, I felt a little bit bad that I wasn't crying, as I was the prior two mornings I left my other babies and headed downtown to the office for the first time. It's all okay. In fact, it's all better than okay. Sometimes we just have to stop being bitter about all that we do not have, or all that is not the way we wished it was, and just love the things we do, and enjoy the way that it is. This is our one chance.

That's easy for me to say because I'm not facing anything that is horrible. I'm just going back to work, and for that I am grateful. And time at work flew, I barely had time to pee or eat lunch. My staff did a great job filling in during my absence and there is a lot to do for a quarterly closing. I pumped three times, and realized I do not like that experience as much now that I have an office with a window. It's on the 13th floor facing the river and Mt. Hood. But still. Window Washers?

When I came home today, I was holding Bryson, who was so happy to see me, and he laughed (FOR THE FIRST TIME) at Addie. It was THE sweetest sound I've ever heard. My cheeks felt like they were going to break because I was smiling so big. Lawrence got to hear it too and Lily and Addie were so happy about it. Addie definitely had the hardest time today, she is having the hardest time with life in general. Being two and a half and becoming the middle child all at the same time isn't easy on my little darling. She's doing okay, just seems really off and goes through every emotion in the book in a span of 2 minutes. Lawrence did SO much this weekend to help me get ready for the week ahead, he let me sleep in, he planned meals ahead, he grilled chicken for me to take for lunches, he carried my bags to the car. (Pack mule: I had a breast pump with bottles, coolie bag for milk with ice packs, groceries for lunches, workout clothes, and purse/wallet). We had a fabulous family weekend of hiking to the top of Multnomah Falls. We drank beers and watched Basketball. We played UpWords and taught Lily Blokus. We read books and worked out. It was just a great weekend.

And even though I had to go to work today, it's a pretty great life that we are living right now. And I came home to smiles, laughs, and jammies.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Dear Legos

One of Lawrence's favorite things to do with the kids is Legos. Always has been, probably always will be. We even bought a tub of Legos when we lived in a one bedroom apartment with no children. This is the tub of legos you'll see 25% of the time spilled out on our carpet. Lily can build more things than I can and Addie's well on her way.
So you can imagine how excited he was to intoduce Bryson to some of the Herman family Daddy fun.
Dear Legos,
If you are looking for a new poster child, I've got him right here. If you could get over the whole, you know, choking hazard, then we'd be happy to make a deal with you. Because it doesn't get much cuter. And as a disclaimer, even though this baby looks massive, he is only 3 months old and can't yet get the legos into his mouth.
Thanks, it's a deal then, yes?

Daddy made a lego version of Bryson in this outfit, and the girls COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE THRILLED about it. It is pretty funny.
Addie with Lego Bryson
Something is wrong with you if you don't want to eat these toes. Okay, maybe not really, but how could you not?
This is Lily, Bryson, and Lego Bryson, I mean really, could she look more thrilled to be holding both of them? She had to wait three days for this picture because he spit up on this outfit and I had him in his PJs before the Lego Bryson was finished. Every day she was asking if it was washed and if we could get that picture of the three of them together. Obviously it was well worth the wait!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The four girly-girls!!

You couldn't get these four apart if you wanted to, even though the live at opposites sides of the country, they remain close despite time and distance, and you'd also never know there was an age difference of 7 years between the oldest and the youngest...

When I was little my cousins were like my sisters (one of them still is). These girls are all fortunate to have sisters of their own, but the sisterly relationship is there for them among their cousins too.

Three cheers for your cousins!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

3 months

Today was a great and wonderful day. I wanted to write a big long post about it all, as well as an update on my THREE month old, complete with pictures. Unfortunately it is almost midnight and the goodness of the day took up all my time to write a good blog. Oh, I hate it when that happens! :) I spent the early morning with Bryson, then the late morning with Addie (out at Michael's picking a few special crafts for her and I to do together), then the afternoon skiing with Lawrence and Lily on Mt Hood, then the evening riding home with Lawrence, getting to talk with Lily asleep in the back. Sabine had an easy time with Addie and Bryson today, for bedtime and everything, and daylight savings Sunday has just been a really great day for me.

I just read that someone very dear to me is not having a good day, she is, in fact, struggling very much. It breaks my heart for her, and I want to take away pain that I can't take away. No one can. I feel so hurt for her that I almost didn't want to post about my lovely day. But then, I know she wouldn't want that either. She doesn't want others to feel down with her, she just wants herself to feel BETTER. I know she can get there. I know she can do it. She has endured so much more than her kind heart should have to endure. You know who you are, my friend, and I am here for you and will do anything I can...I want you to know that you matter to me. You matter very much.

I had to say that before I got on with my post because her troubles are really weighing on my heart.

I really logged on to my laptop to talk about:
My little Bryson is three months old today. And he is amazing. I think back to 6 weeks ago when I took him to the baby chiropractor and how that helped and changed him from an unhappy fussy baby to the baby I have now. He's huge, and happy, and smiley, and just a pleasure to be around. Except OH MY ACHIN' BACK. Seriously the kid is huge. He has been sleeping really great, and doing long stretches at night. He eats about every 2.5-3 hrs during the day, 5-6oz or so at a feeding, and takes 45 minute naps. He can't stay awake longer than an hour and 15 minutes, so he take a lot of naps a day still. But after 7 pm, he seems to know it is bed time and sleeps until 10-11 when I wake him for a dream feed, he then sleeps until...(other moms with babies older than him don't kill me)...5-6 (and today with the time change 7:20!!!).

I'm still nursing but have been struggling a bit with milk supply. When I pump, sometimes I get 3-4oz and he will eat 6oz. I was pumping and mixing in a bit of formula to supplement him, but that was kind of exhausting and sometimes he would eat a little less and I'd be mad that the exact amount of formula I'd added was how much he didn't eat. Anyway, then I tried giving him straight formula after nursing to see if he was still hungry. But he doesn't like formula by itself. And again that was more work. So NOW I know which two feedings I have much less milk than what he drinks, I pump and bottle those two feedings, and I give him ONE 6oz bottle of formula for his dream feed at 10-11pm. Since he is asleep, he takes it without problem. That also means I don't have to smell soy formula spit up. UGh. So I know this seems like a lot of boring information, but I'm mostly just documenting it for myself and his baby book anyway. What? You think this is a place for interesting information. Look elsewhere! haha. So after the dream feed, I pump and that milk, I either freeze for my going back to work time, or use it to supplement the two pumped bottles the following day. Yeah, it sounds like a disaster when I say it out loud, but like most of my madness, there is a method...and it's working...he's growing and I'm getting some sleep and still breast feeding. Right about now, those are the three most important things for me.

I'm still dairy free, and I think I could probably add dairy back into my diet but have decided to wait until 4 months to try because he is doing so well, why rock the boat. Nursing with him has been the most challenging of the 3, I think because of him getting the RSV at 5 weeks and all the pumping and bottling that went on then, it just affected my milk supply as well as his nursing. He acts like he is choking EVERY SINGLE TIME he starts nursing. I know my let down is really strong, but he just acts like he cannot handle it but coughing and burping and choking and crying. He's really kind of a drama king about it, I mean, dude, it's just milk spraying in your face, up your nose, and down your throat, deal with it!!! :) Anyway, all the pumping and formula and weirdness of schedule has come down to a daily routine that is working for both of us.

I start back to work tomorrow half time from home for that week. Then back to the office 3 days a week and from home for 2 days as my normal schedule. I am dreading it. There has been a pit in my stomach each time I think of it. But since I don't have to "start" until 1:30 tomorrow afternoon to get my 4 hrs in for tomorrow, I refused to feel like today was the Sunday before I return to work. I will not be discontented. I will be grateful for a job that lets me ease in this way and for a boss who will allow my working from home time to continue.

Oh, but I love the lazy days with my Bryson. The foggy, wear pjs half the day, and work out clothes the other half days. The put my hair in a pony and change my pj bottoms to jeans and wala, I'm dressed for the day days. The laying and snuggling and napping and loving on him days. The I get smiled at every time I speak days!

I'm so thankful to have had Sabine here to be with the girls during these days. Bryson surely would have gotton lost in their shuffle had it not been for the time she devoted to them, so I could really get to know my little man. This is especially true since Lawrence wasn't able to take time off from his new job. I will be forever thankful that we decided to go out on a limb and get an au pair from Germany, and hold our breath that it wouldn't be terrible. And it isn't, it's wonderful and now she's an important part of our family. As the years go on and we have other au pairs, when I think of this special time when 4 became 5, I will think of her, and how much she contributed to my happiness and peace with my little guy during this time. Even though they NEVER seem to give her an easy time at the same time, both girls love and adore her too. She is their family and they love her very much. So thank you Bean-Bean for your 7 months (today!) with us, and especially thank you for making the last 3 months so much easier for me, and for being so nice to be at home with during my maternity leave.

Okay, I think I've covered all my bases here, minus the short and sweet entry, heh, and minus the 3 month photo and ski photos, and minus the coherent thought flow. But I got some of the important stuff I wanted to say. And for a good day like today (uh, yesterday since it is now 12:24am) that will just have to do!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

2 cousins, 1 uncle, and a grandma come to visit

Lawrence's brother, Mark, and his two daughters came from New Jersey to meet their new little cousin and nephew, and to celebrate Lawrence's 37th bday. Lawrence's mom came with them to enjoy some time with both her sons together, as well as some busy and fun grandma time.

The four girls stuck together like glue the entire weekend. Everyone got along so good. It felt like a daycare center exploded ALL.OVER.MY.HOUSE what with all the blankets, and coats, and shoes, and tutus, and sippy cups, and toys, and bibs, and clothes, and TOYS everywhere the whole weekend. Most of it belonged to us (don't worry Laureen, I was very impressed by Mark's organizational skills with the girls bags and suitcases!), but the house was craziness for the whole weekend. But good crazy.

I love the picture below because you can really see it here. Addie is playing behind the couch cushions, Lily is holding Bryson but not paying a bit of attention to him, everyone's looking at someone else, except for Jayme and Cassie who are smiling pretty for the camera. And you can see a bit of the riff raff off to the left. It's one of those pictures where you really WANTED everyone to look and smile at the same time-but they didn't, and years later you can look at it and actually feel the fun and chaos of the moment.

Lily, Cassie, & Addie waiting for Bday brownies
Lily, Cassie, & Addie dancing off the Birthday brownie sugar

Making Daddies Birthday Brownie's with Grandma. Bryson joined in too.
Double trouble in their matching shirts. It never seizes to amaze me how much little girls love love love to match each other!
Enjoying a few beers and some frisbee golf at McMenamins Forest Grove. It was awesome and almost 60 degrees that day, Lawrence took the day off work and we had so much fun.
Cousin Jayme with Bryson, the biggest cousin meeting the littlest cousin.
Uncle Mark meeting his little nephew.

Last year Grandma Carol, Uncle Mark, and cousin Tyler came to visit. We had a blast together then too. But this year, with one more child in our family here, and one more child in their family here, we could really feel that Ty was missing, since he was the only cousin not with us.

We are really looking forward to August when Tyler, Aunt Laureen, and Grandpa Steve will join all of us at SunRiver for what is sure to be a great family vacation!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

I love you foreva

Today I was holding Bryson and he was looking at Addie. He kept smiling at her and would not stop staring at her, so I pretended I was his voice and I said,

"You look pretty, Addie"
"And you look smart"
"I know"
"I love you, Addie"
"I love you Bwyson...foreva"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Today's negative nap

I'm sick with a cold. Today was one of those days that you are just PRAYING for a nap, from the second before you get out of bed you are thinking about when you can get back in bed. Sabine is in Hawaii, and I'm sick and exhausted. After lunch was eaten and Lily was off to school, it looked as if things might be aligning in kids schedule to allow for a nap. Meaning, Bryson and Addie *might* be asleep at the same time. But here's what happened:

12:30 walk in the door with Addie and Bryson. Get hands washed and go potty, hang up coats, put away shoes. Oh...and get Bryson out of his carseat.

12:45 put Addie down for her nap with Bryson, read a book, tuck her in, pray that it takes as I shut her door

12:50 return a call to my friend R. talk for a bit while Bryson plays and when he looks like he might be getting tired, I tell her I have to wrap it up, almost nap time.

1:20 Bryson is down
1:30 Call Lawrence to tell him I'm napping, don't call
1:32 I'm all tucked in with tissues and nodding off fast

1:44 Addie's door opens. It's been 59 minutes since I shut her door hoping for her normal 2 hr nap. I've been laying down for TWELVE MINUTES? That's worse than a NO nap, that's a negative nap. I'm more tired now then when I laid down! She wonders around the house calling for me, I put the covers over my head. She finds me anyway! :)

2:04 I'm back in bed, I've gotten her a drink and snack and taken her potty then put in a Clifford DVD for her. 3 episodes. That's one hour. I've put the chain lock on the front door just to be sure she doesn't try anything funny. I'm nodding off quick, not even feeling a little guilty.

2:10 I hear Bryson crying. His usual 45 minutes. SHIT! 6 minutes. Now I'm even more tired than the time before. I do not "do" power naps. I pull the blankets over my head. First I say a prayer that he will go back to sleep. God denies. Then I say a prayer that I will have the energy to deal with it. Again, no luck.

2:15 I'm back in bed with Bryson, after peaking on Addie ENTHRALLED with Big Red C. She's just starting episode 2 - if I can nurse Bryson to sleep (something I usually try to avoid), I have 40 minutes. I try to nurse him while we both lay down. We haven't done this for a while so he was confused at first and we both got a little milky. Then he did it. And we both fell asleep, milky and all.

2:45 Bryson wakes up LAUGHING. I'm startled. He is in his sleep but it is the cutest sound, even though I feel awful, I'm amused by his sleepy giggle. I muster a smile. It beats being woken up by crying. I look at the clock and am pleased with my 30 minutes of half asleep with my baby nursing nap. I'll take what I can get. Hey, takes care of a feeding too, one less thing. He ate the entire time. And it's time to get Lily anyway.

3:00 Go get Lils from school after making a monster cup of tea and gulping it down quickly. Followed by some V8 and Airbornne.

Sometimes when people say, sleep when the baby sleeps, but this is the reality, especially when you have more than one child. And when you aren't sick, there are lots of days when it's just not worth even trying. I've found that a cup of coffee and 24 minutes of shred, does much better for me that trying to catch a nap that will never be. It's a lot less frustrating too...

Speaking of, I DID shred today, even though I feel like crap. I didn't push hard and went through the motions. But I did it. So with that I must now collapse. Let's hope the night wakes me again with giggles and not cries. Is that asking for too much? :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Grateful Romping

I had a REALLY great post in mind for our 3rd Romp to Stomp event and first one with our kids. Unfortunately time marches on and life is too full right now to write the eloquent blog that I imagine while nursing Bryson or playing restaurant with the girls or driving Lily to preschool. Lawrence's brother, mom, and two nieces arrived from NJ today, so I'll have PLENTY more to post and I needed to get this one off my drafts make room for new fun

We had an amazing time last Saturday at Romp to Stomp to raise money for Breast Cancer. The weather was beautiful and the mountain was majestic. Once again I was thankful for my healthy breasts and reflected on those I know who have battled breast cancer.

Lawrence was DETERMINED to bring all the kids with us, even though I wasn't as sure about it. He zipped and strapped and dressed and pottied and pulled and carried and SMILED the entire day. What a good man I married, and what an even better father. It was one of those days that I was just SO grateful for all I had, all I could see, and everyone I was with. And I watched Lawrence thinking, man I married the right man.