Brain Dump

1. Yesterday was my due date!

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The hat was a gift from Martha Jefferson. Apparently they got box-loads of these little knit hats for their premies and newborns, donated by various church groups. The blanket is from her Granny and the sweater was made for her big brother and might be my favorite hand-me-down.

2. Two of the kids are still excited about their baby sister. And I quote: “I love her so much I could punch her!”. Also heard: “She is so cute I want to squish her!”.

Love hurts, baby sister!

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Yes, I said “two”. The third doesn’t care much about her either way.

3. I get why parents just give up on certain things with their kids. Or their selves. I have never skipped my own showers so much or let my toddler wear his pj’s (all day) so much as in these past few weeks.

When it comes down to shower or 20 more minutes of rest, I choose rest. When it comes down to pj’s or wrestling the angry toddler into play clothes, I choose pj’s. Because you know what? It just doesn’t matter that much.

That’s what deodorant and a little extra make up are for.

I don’t think I’ve been this grungy or permissive with the pj’s with any other newborn stage. I just don’t care enough to fight certain battles. Shockingly, the world keeps spinning.

That being said, it is time for my weekly shower so peace out.

(Kidding about “weekly”. I’m more at “bimonthly”. Hahahahaha.)

When Poppies is in Charge

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When I went into labor a few weeks ago, I immediately called my neighbor to see if we could throw three kids her way. I didn’t know if labor would take off at a fast clip at any second, and I needed to know where to put the kids so we could get ourselves to the hospital. My neighbor was game and hosted them all for the morning and afternoon. I called my dad second, so he could be on alert to come down and take over for the long haul, should this really be “it”.

(Pause to consider that- yes- I was in some state of denial that I was in actual labor. Even though I was 99% sure my water had just broke. I still had the tiniest glimmer that maybe the hospital would send me back home?)

Dad came down that afternoon and managed the kids for the next three days. I wrote an extensive Google doc from the hospital bed, outlining school locations and rides and bedtime routines and anything else I could think of. He rolled with all of it extremely well, especially considering he was totally on his own.

I just want the world wide web to enjoy this account of dinner together, on his first night in town. I have changed my kids’ names (as I tend to do) to their internet nicknames because one day when they google their own names I want to preserve some shred of anonymity. Identities are as follows:
Chicken (girl, 6)
Monkey (boy, 4)
Turkey (boy, 2)

Here is my dad’s email:

I thought I was being a real hero tonight when I asked the kids where they wanted to go for dinner. They said CiCi’s pizza. I envisioned a highchair for the little one, crayons and a cold beer. My vision was shattered as soon as I walked in the door. A self-serve buffet with kids all over the place.

I put Turkey down long enough to pay for our entrance fee and looked up in time to see him in an uncleared booth drinking out of a glass which someone had left. I got him before he put any of the food in his mouth.

We laid claim to an empty booth and then I set about to help the kids get their food while holding Turkey. I don’t know how you do it, Katherine.
About 15 minutes into the meal Monkey advised that he had to go to the bathroom. I put Chicken in charge of Turkey and dutifully followed Monkey who then announced it was a number two, and that I could stand outside the stall, thank you very much. What followed was an extended period of contemplative musing including a dialogue on the merits of having two rolls of toilet paper in the holder and a complaint that his mother sometimes takes him into the women’s bathroom.

After a while I was little concerned about Turkey and went out to find Chicken attempting to contain him as he gotten out of his booster seat. I returned with Turkey in arms to assume the guard position just outside the stall door. At this point I gently asked Monkey if he could finish the rest of this job at home, as to which he was nonresponsive.

We did make it through the evening, the kids enjoyed the brownies and were wonderfully behaved.

I am a thankful and proud grandfather.

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Life at Home

After eleven days in the hospital, our littlest baby was discharged to come home on Thanksgiving! Appropriate, no?

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She is gaining weight well and sleeping like a champ, with the exception of some evening hours here and there when she is restless and discontent. Or maybe I don’t notice her restlessness as much during the day, like I do at night? It is hard to say. But I’m not complaining. (Yet- check back in with me in a few weeks and the evening thing may be less tolerable).

I have not unsubscribed to BabyCenter yet, so I still get my weekly emails to inform me about my 37th week of pregnancy. Also: what to pack for the hospital and what to expect during labor. Too little, too late BabyCenter!

For anyone who is curious, four kids is a lot of kids.

Just in case you were curious.

What I have been thankful for this week (among other things):
1. Friends who bring me ice cream, lattes, and bring my kids home from school for me. I have awesome friends.
2. Neighbors who text me when they are going to Kroger, Trader Joes, CVS, etc. and ask if they can pick anything up for me. Every time, the answer has been yes. Again- awesome friends.
3. Meals from friends.
4. A baby that sleeps a lot.
5. Healthy kids that don’t freak me out when they smooch all over their baby sister.

It is not all rainbows and sparkles and gratitude. Tonight two of the kids melted down at the exact same time, and I am sure passers-by thought I was beating them mercilessly. Their screams were pretty incredible. I wasn’t– beating them, that is. I had just made one of them give away a piece of shiny paper and the other one come inside because it was cold out. TORTURE.

This choppy, rambling post brought to you by a baby who is starting to fuss and a slightly tired mom. Laaaaaater.