Saturday, March 21, 2015

Hi, I'm alive!

If you read my last post back in October, you might think that I died on the operating table.  Great news, I didn't!  Only my will to function as a normal, contributing member of society.  And honestly, you might not hear from me again for another 5 months after this.

Michael Ronan McCullough (Mac) was born on October 21, 2014 at 8:30am-ish (I imagine a lot of the details of this poor kid's life will be forgotten from here on out).

Everything went exactly as planned, which was really nice for a change.  If I had to guess, I'd say that not having gone through 40 hours of pointless labor before the c-section definitely helped my physical & emotional state.

I even took the liberty of pushing the nurse's button whenever I felt like it this time.  If I needed help getting the baby out of the bassinet, I pushed it.  If I wanted little Mac to take a trip to the nursery so I could get a whopping 2 hour stretch of sleep, I pushed it.  If I needed a 14th apple juice since I couldn't eat real food for 48 hours, I pushed it.  And when my other 2 boys started wearing out their welcome, I pushed it... turns out, they don't respond to this type of request.

But eventually, all good things must come to an end, and I had to leave the wonderful Shady Grove Maternity Resort & Spa.  So, when I got home, shizzle hit the fizzle.

My theory about when your children outnumber your limbs... spot on.  What used to take me a ridiculous hour and a half to get out of the house with just Niall and B, now takes me almost 2 1/2 hours.  And that is assuming I skip breakfast... which I do.

I've decided it's easier this way, because if I attempt to scarf something down in the 5 minutes before we are running out the door, the older ones like to pretend that they haven't actually eaten breakfast and beg for bites of mine until I eventually give up... OR Mac decides, right at the moment the spoon hits my lips, that he needs to be held at all times and, under no circumstances, may I sit down while holding him.  You know... while we're at it, mom, you better do some serious bouncing while you're holding me.  It's kind of like a sick joke but right when you are about to start crying, you are reminded of how joyful and fleeting this time is.

Yes, I'll admit, I am starting to realize through all of the frustration of babies screaming, toddlers throwing tantrums and big boys not listening... the whole childhood thing is just so quick.  And maybe, just maybe, I think I'm really going to miss all of this one day very soon.

Now that I have a kid who no longer asks for a bedtime song before I leave the room, I have become better at snuggling one seriously fussy baby and doing it with a genuine smile on my face, knowing that he will only be a baby for so long.

It has taken some time to adjust to 3, but all things considered, we are finally getting into a nice groove.  I'd give this time period a solid 72% joyful, which, if I can remember how to do math (no promises), is more joy than misery.  For anyone thinking about a having a third, remember: JOY > MISERY. Yay!


a) don't quote me on that


b) you have to come up with a solid survival plan

Let's call this segment "Things I no longer care about"  (AKA "My Survival Plan")

  • Pajamas that don't match.  Why did I ever care about this?  Seriously.  In fact, let's make that "all things pajamas."  Babies do not need to be changed out of their perfectly comfortable little outfits to be put into a "sleeper outfit."  ALL baby clothes are sleeper outfits.  And if my boys want to wear pajamas instead of real clothes during the day, or real clothes to bed instead of pajamas... have at it, my friend.  I no longer care.  I'm certainly not going to engage in an hour long battle about why you have to wear "hard pants."

  • Potty Training.  Oh potty training.... I hate you so much.  It's becoming apparent that my plague, as a mother, is poop.  Kids in this house either poop in their pants or don't poop for a week, which I would consider to be a pretty serious medical condition.  Both are very annoying to deal with.  Kids in this house also conspire to all poop at the same time right when I'm in the middle of shuffling 3 pots on the stove.  The point is, I will be the one mom who defies the ol' saying "Hey, at least you know he'll be potty trained by kindergarten, right?"  No... no, I don't, but thanks for trying to make me feel better. 
  • The people at the local bakery now know me by name.  Since I have to skip breakfast now, I have found myself wandering into JennyCakes on a semi-daily basis to grab a muffin to hold me over til lunch.  I end up walking out with a BOX, not a bag, of assorted cookies, bars, and cupcakes.  Then, I tell myself that these will be treats for the entire family over the course of that week.  When I get home, I proceed to eat everything in that box and then destroy the evidence, like it never even happened.  But the good news?  I don't care.  
  • I unkowingly joined a seniors' zumba class... and I'm still in it.  FYI, if an exercise class has the word "Gold" in it, that doesn't mean it's really awesome;  that means it is full of old people. Sadly, it is coincidentally right at the level of fitness exertion I can handle right now.  Plus, I made a commitment to my zumba peeps and they are my new best friends.
  • Messes of epic proportions.  Pictures on my wall have been smashed in battles against bad guys; crayons have been smushed into the beige carpet (note: if you have kids, don't get beige carpet), and toys have been put away in the WRONG BINS.  I never thought I would see the day!  And shockingly... I don't care.  It feels kind of good, this not caring thing.  
But then there are the things I do care about....

These guys loving on their new baby brother, who became initiated into this clan from the day he came home; no questions asked and no hesitations, whatsoever.

Sometimes, maybe a little too much love.

We like to torture this little cutie with accessories, and I have to say he is a pretty good sport about it.

I remember when Brendan was born, it not only took a little adjusting for Niall, but there was also a lot of hesitation, on my part, letting them be together.  I was so worried that Niall would hurt the baby (not on purpose); just because he wouldn't understand how to act with a baby.  This time around, Mac starts crying and I yell to the boys "Can you jump in the crib with him?"  Seriously, when they do, he immediately stops crying and it's all smiles.  He has also recently taken an interest in archery and rocket launchers from lessons with the big bros.

In the 5 months since this little nugget has graced this earth, I feel like I blinked and he is suddenly not a newborn anymore.  I blinked and my other boys are now playing together like real kids, not needing me to facilitate.  I blinked and my oldest is going to start REAL school this fall. So the main thing I've learned in all this craziness is to say "yes" more to the things that really matter and "no" to the things that I think matter, but really don't.

Yes to playing superheroes when I really need to fold the laundry.
Yes to extra hugs and stories to prolong the dreaded bedtime.
Yes to a dance party while I'm trying to make dinner.
Yes to really, truly listening to a ridiculously long story that makes absolutely no sense instead of tuning it out and thinking about my never-ending to-do lists.
And Yes to cuddling & kissing a sweet little baby in the middle of the night when all I want to do is sleep.

It takes time and patience, the whole surrendering thing-- but I'm getting there, and no matter how much I gripe and groan, I truly love being a mom to these 3 guys.