Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Life...12 Weeks Later

As I sit here, watching Michael smile and try to talk to me, it blows me away to think that, in 12 short weeks, we've gone from this:
Delivery Day @ 36w5d: 7/2/13

to this:
12 weeks old: 9/24/13
Michael remains such a sweet baby. He is strong and tries to stand; he also makes noises, as though he is trying to chit chat.  And the smiles... oh the smiles!  He's a great eater and sleeper, and he has the growing thing down pat (his outfit in the pick? A 6mo one.  I'm not sure Doc will fit into his 'Baby's First ..." outfits!)

My mom arrives in 2 days (EEK!!!!) and Michael's Christening is Sunday! I am so excited. As the days pass and we get closer to St. Michael's Day, I grow more and more anxious.  The Christening gown is in the closet, tables and chairs (and a moon bounce for the monkeys!) are rented and scheduled for delivery, the food has been ordered, and the prayer card favors are on their way.

I love that St. Michael is on the cover and that the Prayer of St. Dimitri (or Rostov) is on the back.  I had searched for an icon of the Archangel that we liked and the company was able to use it; then Peter found the prayer of St. Dimitri and how perfect for a baptism!
Open, O doors and bolts of my heart, that Christ the King of Glory may enter!
Enter, O my Light, and enlighten my darkness;
Enter, O my Life, and resurrect my deadness;
Enter, O my Physician, and heal my wounds;
Enter, O Divine Fire, and burn up the thorns of my sins;
Ignite my inward parts and my heart with the flame of Thy love;
Enter, O my King, and destroy in me the kingdom of sin;
Sit on the throne of my heart and alone reign in me, O Thou, my King and Lord!

It's almost here!

For my part, 12 weeks has seen me lose 30 of the 55 pounds I gained with Mr. Michael.  I'm finally back at the place I was around January 2011 in the weight department, having finally busted through the plateau I've been stuck on for a few weeks.  I feel like I'm finally getting my mojo back; I'm running a few times a week, eating in a way that is back to normal, and starting to really feel like myself again.  It was tough; those middle weeks were unexpected. 

Peter and I are having a date night tomorrow; it will be our first time out sans all the kids.  The twins are hanging out with my in-laws and Michael is chilling with his godmother.  As I spoke with Barbara this morning about it, it struck me just how different of a parent I am this time around.

It was so hard for me to step away from Bobby and Maya.  They were well over a year before I willingly left them alone and, even then, it was one of those terrifying, waiting-for-the-phone-to-ring situations.  I cried when I dropped them for several hours at my in-laws.  The idea that they were without me...Oh, it was hard to handle.  If they cried, I was on them like white on rice.  They slept next to us and then, around this age, when we moved them into their nursery (cosleeping together), I couldn't sleep.  It took quite a while to be comfortable with that transition.

Michael started sleeping in his crib; he sleeps long stretches and I'm only up once to feed him.  We put him down while we are all awake, so it is easier to put him in his room... and he stays there.  I keep the monitor, of course, so that I can wake quickly when he does to eat, but (other than the first night when I stayed on the couch and did struggle with sleep), he's in his room.  And tomorrow? I'm looking forward to dinner with Peter... alone... without my boob out of my shirt for a bit! :)

This is also the point with Bobby and Maya where breastfeeding came to an end.  It was hard and heartbreaking.  I pumped- for both of them, for the day- the same amount I pump when Michael naps to supplement him when I'm coaching or out for a run.  That's kind of crazy.  Back then,  I was doing everything I could think of to up my supply.  Now?  Nothing.  Just feeding my little guy and pumping once a day (if that).  There are days where I don't pump at all; it's at the point where the pump is usually in a drawer and I pull it out when I need it.

His pregnancy was so different from anything I ever expected after losing Nicholas and Sophia (and later, Alexander).  It was the polar opposite of Bobby and Maya's.   His life, too, has been his own.  You expect that you'll be different when parenting a younger child, but I don't think I ever realized just how different it would be. 

There are times where I feel not grateful enough, as though I should shelter him more, hover more, follow more of the "recommendations" that are everywhere you look.  That somehow the feeling of "If it's his time then I can only be thankful for the time I had and let him go" that followed me during pregnancy makes me less vigilant of a mother since it has followed me throughout these last 12 weeks.  Don't get me wrong; just as I do for Bobby and Maya (and Peter, as well), I pray every day that I have a long, healthy life with all of them, that they will be protected and watched over.  But Michael's pregnancy took all sense of control away from me from the moment he was conceived.  And, for that, I'm actually most grateful.  Feeling like I had to just Let go and Let God as the saying goes took my focus away from the fear, and that has made me a different parent to not just Michael, but the twins as well.  I know that I can only do so much, only be so many places.  I can love them fully and completely and hope that they know just how much they mean to me so that, should their time come and we are apart, they feel my love and know that I will always be with them.  It doesn't remove the heartbreaking thoughts of what if, but it does make it easier to let them live without a mother who smothers and stifles them (even when, at times, I want to). 

This morning, I went to school early so that I could by SCRIP (a fundraiser that lowers tuition by purchasing gift cards to local supermarkets and stores that the school buys discounted at face value).  As I chatted with the school folks, it came up that, in 3 years, Michael will be joining the twins at MDCS. When we were preparing to send Bobby and Maya to school, I ached.  I didn't want it.  There was a part of me that felt like it wasn't needed, but the bigger part was that I didn't want to let them go.  I didn't want to no longer be their main influence.  I didn't want to risk them getting hurt and me not being there.  I just didn't want them be that far away (it's a mile and a half away... yeah... very far.) It will be bittersweet when Michael goes because my baby will have transformed overnight into a preschooler, but I know I'll let him go...and it will be alright.  He will be alright.

12 weeks...and yet a lifetime away from anywhere I ever thought I'd be.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

11 Weeks Old

Look who found their smile!!!
Playing Peekaboo: 10w6d

Morning Walk: 11w

With Passion

Today is the Feast of St. Robert Bellarmine, and as such we celebrate Bobby's name day!  Happy Name Day, Bobby!  Cupcakes (chocolate!) are in the oven, and the kids are excited to come home and have a special "lunch dessert" if they are lunchtime winners.

This morning, the 2014 Mass Intentions Book opened at our parish.  For those who may be unfamiliar with this practice, each Mass that is celebrated can have a special intention.  Each year, we try to arrange the intention of Nicholas, Sophia, and Alexander's birthdays in their memories (we also do this for my brother-in-law, Robert, and for my uncle, Christopher Michael, who was stillborn).  Every parish does the process different, and our current one puts numbers in a basket and you pick one up for the number in which you will be called.  The basket goes out immediately following the 6:30am Mass.

I've been wanting to get out with Michael in the mornings for a walk or run, and today posed a great opportunity.  He and I are up, since he usually gets up around 4am-5am to eat, and I love to make Mass on the name days of our kids (especially special for Michael this year since both his (and my!) name day is his Christening day!).  So, we left the house in the chilly morning and walked to the church, about a mile and a half away.  It was a beautiful morning and we made it a few minutes before Mass started.

Michael was great (even if he and I were the youngest- by far!- of any of the attendees), and I only stepped out once to nurse.  (I normally have a cover and will nurse during Sunday Mass in the church proper, but morning Mass is held in the chapel and, since I was in workout gear, I didn't have a cover (and couldn't really have easily used one even if I did).  I stepped out into an enclave, where I could still hear Mass but was hidden, and it worked out really well!)  After Mass, we got our number (#6!) and headed home to see the kids off to school (and so I could grab a shower).  Michael was a trooper, and I may attempt morning Mass more often!  (On a side note, when we went back for the Mass book opening at 8:30, I did get the Intentions for their birthdays! Yay!)

Our pastor celebrated Mass this morning and, while I knew the story of St. Robert, it was nice to hear him discuss St. R's biography and to have him tie that into the reading.  There are several saints who bear the name "Robert", but this is the one that always reminds me of my Bobby... compassionate and empathetic.

Compassion.  There is so much contained in such a small word.  The word originates in 14th century Latin (although it dates in some histories to as early as 12th century French) from compounding "com", meaning "with", and "passion".  Passion...  what an interesting word.  We often associate it with a personality trait (that person is so passionate about the subject that they can't see the forest for the trees) or with a love interest (their romance was so deeply passionate, their honeymoon was full of passionate lovemaking).  But the word is oftentimes misunderstood.

The word "Passion" originates from (once again) Old French and Latin and relates to the suffering of Jesus on the Cross (hence our understanding of the Mass of the Passion of the Christ).  The word means suffering. 

Compassion.  With Suffering.

When we talk about someone being compassionate, we often say it as a means to express how they endured with us (or someone else).  In my time of sadness, you were so compassionate; you endured my grief with me.  And, truly, the people we call compassionate are ones who carry on through great suffering: think of Mother Theresa, living a life of poverty and caring for those unable to care for themselves.  Compassionate.  Suffering with those who suffered around her.

When I came home, I told Peter that I was inspired by our Monsignor's homily, and that I thought he really explained St. Robert's life well for those who may have been unfamiliar with the 15th-16th century saint.  As I discussed the word "compassion", Peter shared a story that he said, finally, clicked for him in a way it had never before.

A fan of the video game Ultima, (yep, Stones came from this game) Peter has a strategy guide that includes a few tales of different virtues embodied by some of the characters.  He said that he never had really understood the story that embodied the virtue of compassion, known as the Tale of Iolo and the Brigand.

A murder is rampaging a town and the people ask Iolo to help.  He hears their pleas and vows to remove the murder, Edric, from the land.  Finally, they meet and, as he tries to escape, Edric destroys a town.  Rather than pursue him at all ends, Iolo helps dig out the living and the dead, and then resumes chase.  Once again, they meet and, once again, Edric destroys a town (this time by poisoning the water supply) so that Iolo will stop and help. Finally, they meet up in a place of desolation and Edric falls into a pit.   When Iolo arrives, he finds Edric, crying out for help from the pit, into which he has fallen and broken his leg.  Having no rope, Iolo tells Edric that he can go get one, but it will take him a week to get it and return.  Edric, terrified, begs Iolo to not leave him and instead, to climb down and help him.  Iolo refuses, but cuts him down a branch so that he can hobble around, and then he waits with the dying man for three days.

Compassion.  With passion. To suffer with.  To endure alongside of.

Like St. Robert, may we all be touched with the virtue of compassion, even to those who hate us, who destroy that which we hold dear and for whom we believe don't deserve our love.  And may others hold us in their own compassion during our struggles.

St. Robert Bellarmine, pray for us.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bobby and Maya are 4!

We were in the car, on our way home from Bobby and Maya's birthday dinner at their (and our!) favorite pizzeria, when the clock hit 7:20pm and I was reminded of that moment, four years ago, when they were delivered.  They were so big to me and yet, so tiny, at just over 2 pounds each.  I remember wanting, so desperately, to hear them cry, but their lungs just couldn't.  Reading over their birth story, I had forgotten that, while Maya was breathing on her own, they intubated Bobby for the elevator ride upstairs (thankfully, they both went to CPAP right away and were fine).  I'll confess: it's hard to see pictures of them, so fragile.  At the time, they were rock stars and amazing... now, four years out, I can look back and see just how tough it was for them. I'll always be grateful and they'll always have been beautiful from the start, but it is still just so hard to know how rocky their early lives were.
Bobby's first hold: 9/13/09

Maya's first hold: 9/13/09
I can look back on each year and remember just how magical their lives have been.  From their first birthday, when they saw the beach for the first time,
Happy 1st Birthday! September 2010, Spring Lake, NJ

to their second birthday, when they had a juice box for the first time, tried out a classroom experience for the first time (FAIL!), and were learning how to read,
2nd Annual Robert's Run of ALSF's Lemon Run, November 2011

to their third birthday, when they started preschool (gulp) and we began letting them find themselves in the world,
3rd Birthday Party, September 2012

to their fourth birthday: twins in PreK with minds of their own who can read, who love to dance and sing, who are nearly as proficient in ASL as I am in spoken English!, and who light up our lives every second of every day.
Waiting for Michael... May 2013

We've had our ups and downs, but I wouldn't change them or the road we're walking with them for anything.  They light up my life and give me purpose.  I love watching them grow and change, and I can't wait to see what the next 4 years will hold for us.

Here are a few of my favorites over the last 4 years...

September 2009
September 2010
July 2011

August 2011

September 2012
October 2012

May 2013

September 2013

Happy Birthday, my sweets.  I love you more today than yesterday but never as much as I'll love you tomorrow.  You make my heart grow.  You teach me why God made me in the first place.  You give me a reason to get up every day.  To say that "I love you" doesn't convey nearly as much as I wish I could.  You'll always have my heart, and I'll always be yours.  Happy Birthday, Bobby.  Happy Birthday, Maya.  May this new year be your best one yet!

10 weeks old

If I say the words "time is flying" one more time, I might send myself flying off the roof!  But, really, it is.  Time, that is.  Michael is 2 and a half months old; he hit the double digits (10 weeks old) on Tuesday, the same day that Bobby and Maya turned 4 (a post on that is coming after this one!).

Michael is great.  He's still a chill little guy.  Unlike Bobby and Maya, who stayed on their 3 hour NICU routine (then evolved to a 4 hour routine as they got older), Michael is his own little man.  He rarely naps in the morning, except for the occasional doze at the boob (I guess breastfeeding is hard work!) or a periodic nap in the car (when he isn't yelling at me... not a car person!).  He's pretty much a one nap baby, beginning around 2pm-3pm (he just went down) and lasting anywhere from 3-4 hours.  Then, he's up, and back to sleep for bed between 7:30-8pm (closer to 8pm, and sometimes a bit later if things are crazy or we aren't at home).  He'll sleep until 7-7:30am, with a wake up to eat between 3 and 4am (depending on when he fell asleep for the night.  Until this week, Peter had been giving him a bottle when he woke up and I would pump, but as he's becoming more effective at milking, he's taking a bit longer between feedings in the late afternoon/evening and overnight, so I've been nursing him.  Usually, we both fall asleep together. :)  (I love nursing PJs... whoever came up with those clearly wanted more sleep at night!).  Depending on how close to 4am he wakes up, I usually just go to the couch and lay down, catching up on old Law and Order reruns.  My goal is to start putting him in his crib (he sleeps there for naps, but still not at night) and going out for a run.  But, I'm struggling to put him down.  I mean, really.  Do you know how hard it is to look at this face all day and not want to just snuggle him?

We're getting more and more smiles!  (and that's my shoulder- I promise!)
At his 2 month check up, he was closing in on 11 pounds and now, he has actually hit the 11 pound mark.  For comparison, Bobby was 4 months old and Maya was 6 months old when they were as big as Michael is now, at 2.5 months old.  When people say "Oh, he's so small," I cant help but want to say "You have no idea how BIG he is!".  To me, he's big.  And, we tried to fit "little" Doc into the outfit that Peter was baptized in (my MIL made this cute little "suit" onesie for Peter's Christening back in the late 70s and it still looks adorable!), and the chunkster didn't really fit.  It looked like some sort of hotpants on the lower half and we couldn't get the "belt" to close correctly; the neck was actually choking him.  Peter was only a tad younger when he was Christened and he didn't gain weight as quickly so... yeah, I don't call Michael small. :)

In Christening news, our little guy is being baptized at the end of the month!  I unpacked the Christening gown and every time I look at it, hanging in the closet, my heart flutters a little.  I need to take it to the cleaners to have it steamed and pressed, but really... it is ready to go!  I'm meeting with our pastor again on Monday to hand in the paperwork for the godparents (since they are parishioners at our old parish, they needed paperwork that states they are practicing Catholics in good standing) and to update Michael's birthday (we scheduled the Christening prior to his birth, so I didn't have the DOB to give them).  And, my mom is coming up!!!  Sadly, it will be just her as my (step)Dad, grandmother, nephew, and brother cant get away, but I'm so glad to have her!  She flies in the Thursday before the Christening and then leaves the Tuesday after.  And, lucky us, the kids are off from school that Monday, so they will get an entire day to love on her!

In postpartum news, I'm doing better.  Peter got me a treadmill off of a FB yardsale sight I'm on, and I've been sneaking in a few minutes of running when I can.  Even if it is five minutes (and sometimes, that is all I can manage in the day until he gets home), I find that it is enough to up my mood.  I'm not dropping weight quickly, but that is okay.  When I start to have negative feelings invade, I just repeat to myself that I'm nourishing a human being, that I'm eating wholesome foods, and that it took me 9 months to gain, so I have 9 months to get back to my prebaby weight before I'm allowed to start focusing hardcore on it.  May sound a bit nuts, but the self pep-talk is working.  It's hard to not be able to run close to a 9 minute mile (which was what I was working on sustaining for a long distance before I got pregnant with Michael) or to fit into my size 8s (I'm sporting a 14 right now).  It's also tough to get on the scale and see a number I'm not happy with.  But the fact that Michael is growing and eating well, and I have milk now (when I was starting to run out at this point with Bobby and Maya), these are the things that I try to focus on.  Today, I used some Kohl's cash and a coupon to buy a dress for Michael's Christening.  When I put it on and it fit, I ignored the size label and just enjoyed the fact that it was comfortable (and that I'd be able to nurse in it easily). 

It's hard to imagine that, in 2 weeks, Michael will be 3 months old and that, a quarter of his first year will be over.  Every day, as we all fall in love with him over and over again, is such a neat part of this journey.
10 weeks old

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday, Bobby & Maya

It's hard to believe that four years have passed but, indeed, the twins are 4. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Today Is a New Day

Recovering addicts take each day as a new day. A day where you choose to not drink, not take drugs, or (in my case) not turn to food to fill the void. Each day is an opportunity for beauty and good choices, a chance to make the most of every second. Each moment, we have the choice to do the right thing, even through the struggle.

I did talk to Peter about Saturday. I do believe he is committed to trying to help me find the time I need each day to get back to where I am comfortable in my own skin. That being said, we have different thoughts on the issue, and I'm sure we will be working through that to what actually works.

But today is a new day. Negative self talk only hurts and I'm making the effort to be kind to myself. One step at a time... one bite at a time...one minute at a time.

9 Weeks

9w old

It's hard to believe, even now, that 9 weeks ago this time, I was checking into the hospital...less than 3 hours from meeting our little miracle. He is still just as sweet as he was then. :-)


Bobby loves to read and write (especially the latter on walls). This morning, while my MIL and I were chatting, he found a blank sheet of paper, picked up his favorite crayon, and said "red". I didn't realize until I heard him saying each letter that he was writing, killing time until I left!

Later, he busted out with this masterpiece!

Monday, September 2, 2013

50 Shades of Blue

How are you? You look great!

Well, that's a loaded bag. All in all, things are good.  I'm so grateful for the positive things in my life.  My kids are healthy and really wonderful.  Bobby is doing well and really advancing closer to his chronological age in development; Maya is my little mommy and always wants to help, be it with cooking, cleaning, or watching Michael play while I do something; and Michael, in addition to being a dream, relaxed baby, is a nursing champion! I love volunteering as an assistant coach with our CYO Cross Country team- those kids are extensions of my own.  The nights I am with them are so fulfilling and I get so excited to see them push towards their goals. As far as writing goes, holding the promotionals for one book (and the book itself!) and getting to work on the publisher editing of the second, is pretty cool, even if I wonder where I will ever find the time to actually do the edits!  Not to mention that I still have a project that I'm due to send them that I haven't quite finished.  (I need about 4 more hours in the day I think...)  But, that's all good stuff.  I cant complain.

But, don't worry, I can complain. Well, not really complain.  Obsess?  I don't know.  I'm 50 shades of blue over here at times.

I wont say that I'm struggling with PPD (postpartum depression).  I know women who have gone through that and, from the outside looking in, I don't think that what I'm feeling comes close.  I've promised myself that, if I cant shake how I feel by the time I see Dr. B. in November, I'll talk to him about it.  (The body needs 8-12 weeks post delivery to get the out of whack hormones kind of back to normal, so I'm trying to keep that in mind.)  Not once have I thought negative thoughts about the kids- they are actually the one piece of perfection in the puzzle.  But about myself?  Oh man... I'm pretty much a full on self-loather at times.  (Most times?) 

The rational part of my mind knows that the things I'm beating myself up over should be non-issues.  I know that. And yet?  I cant stop.  And the not-stopping leads to self-hating which leads to self-punishment and so on... Vicious cycle.

So, what am I so hard on myself for? You guessed it: my weight.  Rational me says "It took 9 months to gain the 55 pounds, don't expect to lose them in 9 weeks."  Irrational part of me says "It's 9 weeks since Michael was born and you still are carrying around 30 extra pounds!" Rational me encourages my good eating and exercising whenever I can, understanding that, with a new person to care for, getting out for an hour run every day isn't really likely.  Irrational me beats myself up over not getting out and wants to reach for whatever is handy to shove in my mouth (like a second PB&J or a box of candy, etc).  Rational me gets that my body has changed and that, until I'm able to run like I was, getting into a pair of size 8s is not going to happen- and that's okay.  Rational me also understands that breastfeeding tatas aren't going to be comfortable in those medium tops and wont fit in some of them!  Hey! Viva Las Tatas!  Wear a bigger size and enjoy the fact that you are nourishing another human!  Be happy that you've packed away your maternity clothes because they were too big! Irrational me is so frustrated by the size 14s that I'm currently sporting and the large shirts that are hanging in my closet.  Rational me realizes that the number on the scale is going down and that going down slowly is the right way for it to go, both for me and for Michael.  Irrational me gets physically nauseous and has panic attacks when the "2" is the first number (even if the second number is a "0").

See what I mean?  Completely irrational craziness. 

Every comment of "You don't look like you just had a baby", "You look great for having just had a baby", "I cant believe you are running already", etc, should be something that helps my self confidence.  Instead, I hear the voice in my head coming back with awful things.  How could you let yourself top 200 pounds again- you promised yourself you'd never do that!  You are so slow... 12 minute miles?  You need to run FASTER.  Look at yourself in the mirror... All those fat rolls.  You need to work out harder.  And, when the negative thoughts come? The hand reaches for the proverbial cookie jar.  Because how better to deal with hating yourself that feeding into that hate- literally.

It is mostly manifesting as food related issues, but I've also had a fair amount of panic attacks with benign things, like the telephone.  I'm not really a talk-on-the-phone kind of girl.  I prefer texts and emails (or real letters), or even better, real life conversation over coffee! to chatting on the phone.  Recently, when my phone rings, I get an instant sense of panic. I know why it started and, now that the issue has been resolved, it should go away.  But it hasn't.  (We had to add Michael to our insurance- typical post-baby stuff.  Peter had 60 days to do so and, because he and I are complete opposites when it comes to due dates, he had no issue waiting until near the end of that period, while I would have done it while I was still in the Post Partum Unit!  Because of that delay, the hospital kept calling to find out when it was going to be done, etc., and because my number is always the primary (even though Peter handles all the insurance issues because it's through his employer), I was always the person dealing with them.  They were always nice and understanding (they get the whole 60 day thing) and were just doing their job to follow-up, but just talking to them would set me off on a food rampage because I'd be so stressed out by the phone call.  Hence, the panic attacks starting whenever the phone would ring.

I wrote a post years ago about the mind of an obese person. About the struggle of looking in the mirror and seeing the beauty of being me rather than the "fat person" I saw (regardless of my weight)... about the struggle of being an overeater even when I had that compulsion in check.  I knew, as I gained the weight during pregnancy, that the disfunction I have when it comes to food and weight would be here after Michael was born.  Yet, even knowing it would be here, I don't think I was prepared for just how loud the angry, anti-me voice would be.  It's hard.  It's awful.  There's no pill or quick fix.  I know that... I know it's something I have to work through and that it is a voice I have to be louder than to silence.  But damn... It's tough.  And I'm feeling it.

It's difficult because, while I can talk to Peter about it, he doesn't really "get it", or at least, it doesn't feel like he does.  He can tell me that I look great, that this isn't an issue, that I need to give myself time.  But I don't know that he really understands how much I need to run or exercise in order to keep the nasty internal dialogue at bay.  Funny enough, I don't mind the scale the day after I run because the number doesn't get to me. The simple act of getting out there and running keeps the self-loathing away.  The day that I don't work out? Or, worse, the day that I plan on doing so and then something comes up that I cant? It's awful. It's wanting to hurt myself (by eating- don't worry, nothing more sinister than that) awful.

Case in point: Saturday, post party.  I needed to run.  Michael was napping, the kids were eating lunch, and I asked Peter if he minded if I ran after I put them to nap.  No problem.  Thanks to the craziness that is twin 3-almost-4 year olds, the screaming banshees woke up Michael on their way to their bedroom to sleep.  Now, in my mind, Peter would handle the baby and I'd be able to steal a half hour for myself.  As soon as I'd gotten the twins down and was ready to go out, Peter hands me a fussy, hungry baby.  I wanted to cry. I pump milk so Michael has food when I'm coaching or running so, to me, there was an option.  But what made it worse was Peter going to take a nap.  I was through the roof, battling between wanting to cry because I needed that half hour run so badly and wanting to scream because I was so angry that he went to take a nap! (I was tired, too... Michael had actually had an all night nursing session from 1:30am on...)  While I was angry at Peter, the self-hatred was worse.  So, what did I do? I ate.  I held Michael on one arm, nursing, and rummaged through the kitchen for whatever I could easily find.  (I was actually hungry, since I hadn't eaten lunch in anticipation of running, so that just fueled the fire.)  By the time I woke up Sunday and stepped on the scale, 3 pounds heavier than Saturday's number, the events of Saturday just continued to push and push the loathing. 

Sounds nuts, doesn't it? 

The good thing is that I do realize what is going on and I know how to deal with it (keeping with positive eating, finding time to get in that half hour run regardless of what else is happening, making sure to get enough sleep even when we have the all-night diner routine because of growth spurts, continuing to volunteer with things like XC and racing (ALSF and the NICU run are coming up!) I just have to put on my big girl panties (realizing they'll be mediums again in no time!) and do it.

It's not about the weight- I knew that when I made the changes in my life a few years ago: it's about being healthy.  Being healthy post-partum is a completely different take on what it's like to be healthy outside of pregnancy.  It's something I never expected to deal with and the shock of the hormonal changes, nursing, and living with a newborn are all adding into the struggles of having an addictive, overeating personality. 

I haven't written here in a while because this struggle has left me feeling sad and, at times, like a fraud.  When I mentioned that to Peter, he encouraged me to open up and post about this.  Writing it has been difficult, but it's been cathartic too.  Hopefully, by putting this into words, I'll be better able to focus on enjoying being me, even in this part of the journey, and I'll stop looking so hard at the numbers on the scale when the woman in the mirror is, truly, happier than she has been in a long time.

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

I'm still here.  There are a multitude of reasons why I haven't been on here, the majority of which center around time.  There's so much to do and so little time in which to do it.  I feel terrible that I've neglected this space, but in my pursuit of "me" time, my blog takes second string to running (and I rarely have time to do that these days).

Life raising three children is, actually, considerably easier than I'd anticipated.  Perhaps it's because twins are more than twice as hard (I think, at least!) or because Michael is one chill little guy or because we are older and have some experience under our belts.  I actually have no idea.  But things get done, we make it to church on time, and we are still managing to do things with Bobby and Maya (together, one-on-one, and as a family).  But, there again, comes the whole "time" thing. In managing to do to keep the home together, there's not a lot of spare time and, what time I do seem to have, I spend sleeping or trying, desperately, to get a run in.

Bobby and Maya had their fourth birthday party on Saturday. I'll post pictures once they are downloaded, but, suffice it to say, it was a pretty awesome time.  Here are two of the pictures I do have.
48 cupcakes + 1 sheet cake + 2 hours at a local park = a good time!
Thanks to PawPaw, there were a number of happy face painted kids (including Aunt Sarah!)
The party was a blast and the kids had so much fun.  It's hard to believe that, in 8 days, they will be four years old.  The time has flown by.  And, even more difficult to believe, they will be in PreK come Wednesday!

Once again, the kiddos are going to our (AWESOME) parish school.  We had Bobby's IEP meeting last week and his new teacher joined us.  Once again, we are reminded of why our school is so awesome.  We adored their preschool teacher and I have a feeling we'll be adoring their new teacher as well.  I love how much these teachers love the kids.  It's amazing.  In good IEP news, Bobby was approved to continue speech and OT, and he was given 15 PCA hours, which is really what we were hoping for (I'll write more about this later in another post).  So, we are looking forward to a good year.  Camp was great (more on that in the other post) and the kids are very excited about school.

Thanks to so many great handmedowns combined with some giftcards, the kids are all decked out for the fall and winter. Talk about a sigh of relief!  These kids have GROWN.  Maya is a solid 4T (although her waist is still teeny tiny and I have to get those cinched waist pants for them to stay up!) and Bobby (gulp) is a 5T or even a 5/small in boys. Michael isn't one to be left out... Our scale puts him at around 10 pounds but he inherited his Daddy's length...  He's been in 3 month/3-6 month onesies for the last week and a half and I had to move out his 3 month sleepers for the 3-6 month and 6 month ones.  L-O-N-G.  Funny enough, he has Maya's waist.  His pants want to fall off of him.  He'd be great in Newborn pants...if they were long enough!  But, again, handmedowns are saving us.  We've had so many friends with kids who are older than ours or in larger sizes drop off clothes they were cleaning out.  I have crates of clothes for Michael and Bobby and Maya have a fair amount of their closet due to friends with older kids. I grew up in the handmedowns of my aunts and cousins, as did Peter. Bring them on! :)  Even some of Bobby and Maya's classmates from last year gave us baby items!  I joked with Peter that one of the perks of a Catholic school is that someone is always having a baby, so there is always someone else you can pass on your stuff too!  But, seriously, the kindness has been overwhelming.

And how is Mr Michael?  "Doc", as Sarah has nicknamed him due to his initials (MD), is amazing.  He is the most relaxed, happy baby.  He doesn't freak out when the kids want to get in his personal space and snuggle him.  He smiles and makes the most adorable little noises.  He cries only when he's hungry. And sleep? The kid is a great sleeper.  He even puts himself to sleep!  Of course, life isn't always sunshine and rainbows: he is quite a gassy baby and his diapers... well, let me just ask how someone so small can create something so big and nasty!  But, that's a good thing. :)  Today, he is 2 calendar months old... Wow.  Talk about time flying.  Tomorrow, he's 9 weeks old and I can't believe that, this time in July, we were getting the kids off to camp and getting ready to go to the hospital.
Yep, that's a boob.  Sorry, but it is one of my favorite pics of him (8/30/13)
When he wakes up, I'll get a "2 month old" picture. But, right now, I have the time to blog because he's sleeping from his first breakfast.  He's really quite awesome in the let-mom-and-dad-sleep department.  He goes to bed around 8pm, is up anywhere between 12-2am, then again between 4-6am.  I don't mind the 4am wake time, since I used to get up between 4-5am to run.  I take him to the couch, catch up on Law and Order reruns, and then usually doze off with him. But, I'm planning on trying to lay out my running clothes so that I can feed him, put him in his crib in the nursery (he sleeps in the cosleeper or with us at night (usually cosleeper, actually...) and his crib for his naps), and then go out for a run while the house is still asleep.  Havent gotten that far yet...)

Speaking of waking up... guess who thinks it's time to get dressed and have second breakfast!...