Sunday, June 16, 2013

(Partly) Happy Father's Day

I am strugglin' here.  I started to think that the newest pregnancy symptom this time around, that I haven't experienced before, was compulsory spending (that straw sun hat for Julia?  I'd like to see you say no when she puts it on and smiles...).  But lately there seems to be a new, perhaps hormonal??, issue - the grumps.  My kids are driving me CRAZY this week!  They are like louder, faster, more intense versions of themselves.

When Jack does his typical I'm-not-getting-my-own-way wail, it's more piercing, of a longer duration, and ten times more aggravating.  Jude seems to need me more and more.  I feel like half my day is spent helping him get re-dressed after yet another potty trip.  Or fixing his flip-flop.  Or acknowledging his boo boo.  Or cutting another hang nail.  Or reaching his cup.  Or cleaning up spilled drink.  And Julia is suddenly the baby again.  Up at night needing to be comforted, up at 5:15am and then swiftly back to sleep, on my chest, snoring in my ear, drooling down my shoulder, oblivious to her sister's protesting kicks, while I lie wide awake for the next one and half hours...

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And we might as well not leave out Little Sister.  At 34 weeks I feel like I'm peaking.  Full-fledged swollen feet, the occasional kick that literally takes my breath away, that pressure on my joints and rib cage, that urgent need to pee every time I shift positions, and the sheer difficulty of keeping up with three small children and all their needs, messes, activities and volume ... when all I really want to do is curl up on the couch, watch "Sense and Sensibility," look at baby things on Etsy, and for heaven's sake find this child a dresser to keep her clothes in!!

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All I can say is, thank goodness vacation is right around the corner.

In fact, a lot of things are just around the corner.  It's exciting, and keeps us busy.  And just a little scary that it's all going to go by so fast and the next time I blink I'll be holding a newborn.  I've always wanted a summer baby, but clearly I wasn't think about family vacations, weddings, showers, and all the extra house guests that warmer months bring.

So unfortunately, I've got a major case of the grumps.  I guess you could say the good news is at least I'm aware.  And I so much want to rectify it.  I so want these last few weeks of pregnancy and last few weeks of mothering my precious three to be joy-filled and peaceful, it's been my prayer for the past few days and I'm hopeful we'll turn the corner soon.

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33 weeks.  Sadly, I've completely lost track and only know this because my calendar is sitting right in front of me.
And while I'm sure my current state has a lot to do with it, I'm not the only one who's noticed my kids have upgraded to their latest version.  I think Jon had a good taste of it this weekend as well.  And it all seemed to come to a climax on Father's Day morning.  I had a MOPS retreat all day Saturday, in which Jon had the kids to himself, and he went golfing with Uncle Jared that evening, in which I had the kids all to myself.  And so we all woke up for church this morning just plain OFF.  Of course, it went downhill from there.  With each boy alternately screaming/crying in the car.  Julia screaming as I dropped her off at the nursery.  Everybody yelling and fighting and picking and tripping when we got home.
Also, occurring this week - a tornado warning.  I corralled the kids in the basement and we danced until Twitter informed me all was clear.

I'd like to say that I packed a lovely Father's Day luncheon and we picnicked at the park and had special family time together.   That's partly true.  Father's Day actually slipped my mind until last night, when I took all three kids out to three different places trying to figure out what we were going to do.  And then spent a small fortune on prepared picnic food at the grocery store because I knew I wouldn't have the time or energy to plan it myself.  And then came home, passed out paint to the Littles for their project, only to realize soon thereafter that it was not washable paint.  Doh!  And then, after cleaning up all kids, putting them to bed, and answering Jude's potty/drink/boo-boo calls for the next hour after bedtime,  to feverishly scanning Pinterest well into the night for a Father's Day idea, any idea, that I could finish before Jon got home.

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Their "house". It's amazing what they can accomplish in the amount of time it takes me to switch out a load of laundry.
And so by the time we got home from church, and Jack and Jude had both been put in separate spaces at least three times.  And Julia had dumped out the contents of a kitchen drawer, my purse, and a box of toys, we were about ready to call it all off.  I mean, no one felt like celebrating anything.  But we persevered, got everybody buckled in, set off down the road, were about halfway there, and then Jon realized he forgot his wallet so we had to turn around and head back.

We did make it to the park.  And, if nothing else, the weather was perfect.  While our lunch started out a bit rocky, I decided to segue into cards/gifts and that soon lightened the mood.  I had turned the boys' painted artwork into tie "bookmarks" and then taped them on to a dress-shirt card.  But the best part was what the boys "wrote" to their daddy on the inside.  Well, I wrote.  They spoke and I transcribed.

Dear Daddy,
You're strong like a coyote.  You're a good uncle to my friends Aviel and Gabe.  Thank you for taking me to the beach.  I like your "moving high-fives" when you put me to bed.
I love you!

Dear Daddy,
I like it when we wrestle and play in the leaf piles.  I like to be waterboarded.  You have big muscles like me and big teeth, too.  I love you!

We were laughing so hard I'm sure the people around us thought that the world's best Father's Day was going down right at our little picnic table.  And just for clarification, when Jon puts the boys to bed and gets them a drink of water, Jack likes to lay on the floor and have Jon pour it in his mouth.  It's their new thing.  So no, we do not waterboard our children.  Although I have been trying to think of  a way to get them to tell the truth ...

One truth we know to be certain, Daddy is certainly as strong as a coyote and truly does have big muscles.  He's also the best Daddy we could ask for and we're so incredibly thankful he's ours.  Especially weeks when Mama is particularly grumpy and half-wishing she had asked the midwife to put her on modified bedrest at the last appointment.  Just kidding.  Maybe.  To quote my middle child, "Are we going to the beach yet??"


elizabeth mcclearycale lockwood said...

Hi Janine! My name is elizabeth and I am a graduate student at the London School of Economics. I’m currently writing my dissertation about military spouses and blogging, and would love to learn more about your blog. I was wondering if you might be willing to be interviewed for my research. I can give you more details via email, and would be happy to do so (I don't want to leave a ridiculously long comment!). If this sounds like something you might like to be involved with, please let me know! You can comment back here, or email me at eliz DOT lockwood [@] I look forward to hearing from you! All the best, elizabeth

Emma Banks said...

Hi Janine! I had a question for you about possibly collaborating on something and was hoping you could email me back to discuss? Thanks so much!

- Emma

emmabanks9 (at) gmail (dot) com

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