I feel trapped.

Motherhood is painful.

It’s a very weird feeling these days… I’m busy and there is no shortage of things to be done, but I am bored. It’s constantly supervising and never being able to leave the youngest unattended, but near-constant refereeing of the older two.

I am losing my mind.

Saturday we did a little hike around Yellow Lake. Took Bailey with us. Pretty fun, puppy did great. Kids complained a bit, but wasn’t too much. That was a good day. Except for the rug burn the littlest got on her cheek 🤦‍♀️😔

But today… I just felt overwhelmed. Lack of sleep has not helped. B is almost weaned fully… we are nursing like once every other day. She’s managed to sleep the the night once or twice, but there is still work to do. Fortunately for all of us, Steven picks up the slack and fills in for me when I have to just retreat to our room for a bit… I mean once he’s done with work.

The toddler is constantly getting into the school stuff. Trying to climb up and get things off the counters, getting into anything not locked down. I know it’s a phase. It is still a pain.

I want to get our of the house more and do more hiking. With three kids, though, that is a bit more daunting than it has been in previous years. B rides on my back. C and P are generally good sports, minus the bickering. It is still a significant undertaking to get everyone out there.

Vegas and Zion soon. It will be a welcome break. I look forward to sleep and not having to look after anyone else for a few days. The Alask trip I had planned with C and B will have to be rescheduled. Too much Covid still around. 🤷‍♀️ I’m not too upset about making the decision to postpone… it will be more fun when we do get to go.

Puppy starts up the whining at about 4 or 4am and I take her out real quick. Benny whines around 5 or 6. Its generally easier to just take them all out, feed them, and go back to bed for a bit. Sometimes that works.

Sometimes I can’t get back to sleep.

Sometimes I doze on the couch.

I need a better routine.

Thank goodness for hubby… he saves my sanity.

Lookie, my kitchen was clean one day… this didn’t last long, so yeah must document.

We might take the rest of this week off school. I love doing homeschool, but the younger kids sometimes seem just bent on making it impossible. But we press on. I’m excited to finish HBL B with the 7 yr old and start HBL C. We’ve already leveled up in math. P even requested his own homeschool math to do with me, so he got a workbook too ❤

Lately so many days are just overwhelming. I am still blessed… just feeling unfit to manage my blessings.

Been a while.

I’m alive.

I think.

So ready to be done with this Covid thing. I’m over it. I hate the masks, the everyone being paranoid, the take-out only. I’m thankful that, overall, this whole pandemic has really just been one big inconvenience for our family. Others haven’t been so fortunate. But still. I’m ready for it to go away.

Pretty sure I’ve gained the “covid 19” haha… I don’t actually know how much I weighed before it started – I might have a number somewhere in my Fitbit account. But either way. Food has been a comfort… haha. We’ve baked quite a bit, and enjoyed all kinds of yummies around Christmas and Thanksgiving. I’m still nursing B, but not as much. She’s pretty into cow milk and lots of different foods. She’s getting some words too. She isn’t saying “yes”, yet, but she will clearly nod her head when she wants to say yes to something.

Puppy is growing so fast. I can no longer fit her into the tiny puppy crate. I’ve got her in the 24″ crate these days, and even that is definitely none too big. Housebreaking is going fairly well. with occasional accidents, but not a lot of them. Usually it’s my fault too. I lose track of time and then… oops. *shrug* happens. Cassie and Benny have been such good mentor dogs. They are fairly gentle with little Bailey. Benny does give her a good correction every so often, and I’ve heard her yip in response a few times, but not very often. Last week I got together with a couple of the other owners in our litter and we had a puppy play date. Went really well. The three girl puppies wore each other out and they all had good long naps afterward, ha.

I went back to the gym for the first time in a very long time last night. Just did some light leg strengthening stuff and a little treadmill time, just to wake up the muscles a little bit. I am definitely very out of shape, ha. But that can be remedied. I’m looking forward to the day – which isn’t that far off – when I can cease thinking about how my activities or food choices will impact my ability to nurse. Last baby is a year and a half already! How did that happen? It’ll be a bittersweet transition, but I think we’re about ready. I enjoy nursing, but I don’t think I’ll be too upset when it’s over. I’ve been nursing for a cumulative total of over 5 years of my life. I’m very proud of that. After weaning, B will be sharing a room with C… she wants bunk beds. I’m good with that. I think it’ll be good for C to have her little sister in there with her. And I will enjoy having my space back.

I did a 3 hour hike with the kids a couple weeks ago. I’m amazed they did so well… given that I had forgotten to bring any snacks along. So they were truly troopers. It was muddy but we had fun. We didn’t go all the way to the end of the hike, as some other hikers told us it was pretty slippery up ahead and I had B in the Osprey carrier on my back. I wasn’t comfortable taking the risk that could mean her getting hurt if I slipped. So we turned back, and it was a good thing we did. I think the next hike I do with the kids will be a bit more tame and closer to home.

I’m headed to Alaska next month, Vegas the month after, and then I’m matron of honor in Amy’s wedding in May. Then hopefully we’ll get to do the Alaska cruise we have planned for July. I mean Covid could still mess that up, but I’m being optimistic. Actually Covid could mess up any of it… ugh. Optimism!

Feeling overwhelmed.

I am just so done. My youngest just will not let me do anything without holding her. It’s too hot in the house to be able to wear her in the carrier and still move around and accomplish things.

At the moment I am trying to get her to stay asleep for her first nap so I can get up and DO something. Alread tried to disengage once, but no she popped awake and would not settle without a boob. I am hostage. And my home is a true disaster.

Older kids are downstairs watching tv I guess. I can smell cat pee somewhere. I now have 4 cats in the house, now that I’ve brought home Charlie, from Hannah’s family. Charlie is a nice cat and I think she will settle in well.

I just have to clean up some cat pee somewhere…

Ok I did get the upstairs litterbox changed out and the laundry room vacuumed this morning. That counts as progress.

I am hungry.

This kid needs to go back to sleep. Ugh I am tired.

I spent the last few days at my parent’s house. B would barely let me put her down. We were basics a unit the whole time we were there. It was 90ish degrees and uncomfortable outside. I stayed inside.

Got my Lou Malnati’s, Portillo’s, and Oberweis fixes. Can’t have that stuff out here on the west coast.

B slept most of both the flight out and the flight back. Cat was quiet.

Well, baby is awake. Not a real good nap.

Productivity???

Did today happen? Did I manage to get all our homeschool stuff done, catch up the dishes, get my running assignment *and* my strength assignment both done today, play some fetch with the dogs, take a shower, and *not* totally binge on sugar at some point?

Huh. Maybe. I guess I didn’t really have time to binge the sugar though… I was fairly busy. C and I startes our new astronomy unit for school. We are both learning 🥰 She has the younger kids notebook and I have the older kids notebook. I hope we get some good activities to do. She wants to do everything with me… I love it. She’s the sweetest kid. It’s overwhelming sometimes but I would not change her ❤

I think our next dog might be a dalmatian.

I did a light running workout today. It was plenty for me, though. I am so out of shape.

No matter what.
So I downloaded an interval training app. I was eager to try it out, so I went out at like 10p, after kiddos were asleep, to try it out. It was raining, ha. I got a good soak! And a good session!

There is protesting going on, and so of course opportunistic crimes have to show up and cause chaos. It’s going on in Seattle and Bellevue and many other places. The world is crazy. COVID19 is still spreading around. We’ve been fortunate to be able to stay in the house pretty much. Kids are doing fine staying home. Me? Well I may go crazy. Definitely feeling the isolation.

Hoping for another productive day tomorrow. And snuggles with my kids ❤ I love getting exercise time. It seems to be good for my body and mind 😁😃

Worst birthday. Worst Mothers Day.

This quarantine thing is getting ridiculous.

I am so over it. My birthday was last week and then Mothers Day today… and both were pretty anti climactic. S decided that bedtime was a good time to be on the phone with his parents. I found that irritating. The tiniest one was fussy and hard to soothe to sleep tonight. That was also irritating. C decided to leave her toothbrush and toothpaste in a mess in the bathroom tonight. Also irritating. S took the baby this morning and – I suppose – let me sleep in this morning… but he didn’t bother to take the dogs out. Just let them stew in their crates until I asked if he had fed them this morning and he said no… gee thanks. Guess I should have gotten up at the same time anyway. Again, irritating.

So I am currently stewing in a hot mess of irritation out in the living room. I am too upset to sleep. Thankfully, the baby is asleep. Not sure how tomorrow will go. Kids didn’t get to bed until after 9:30p, and I usually want lights out at 9. But no. Grrrr.

On a happier note: S did a fantastic job of clearing out the garage. I want to figure out how to use our gym stuff with baby in tow. She gets quite upset when she can’t see me… this morning, when I got up and went to find everyone downstairs, baby was at the gate we have on the bottom stair, I could see her little hand clutching the top, and she was getting fussy. She knew where I was ❤ It was time for her nap ❤ She is so soft and cuddly.

Annnnnd we are homeschooling!

So that happened. A few years ago, if someone told me we would become a homeschooling family, I would have said, “no way.”

But…here we are! And not just until the stay-at-home orders are lifted. I’ve obtained an entire 2nd grade curriculum for C. She’s pretty excited to start. And since we are stuck home for now anyways, I figure we will just start our 2nd grade year in May. Will give plenty of time for possible tweaks to our program and allow for some fumbling around as I figure out what I’m doing!

I have a variety of preschool/prek activities for P to do. He can sit and do school with us if he wants… and I will have plenty for him to do. If not, he can go play. The kids don’t know it yet, but I have a little 4′ trampoline on the way to help burn off energy while we are stuck in the house. Between the trampoline and the swing… I’m hoping some of the bickering over the swing will stop. We’ll see.

Little B is working on walking. 💕🥰❤ I’m not ready! I’ve seen her take up to 7 little unassisted steps. She is fast approaching 10 mos old. I can’t believe how fast this is going by. Though… the first few months did not fly by. There were some long days. But now she is crawling around so fast, getting into so many things, and I can even let her play with the other two some and not have to be overseeing 100% of the time. C and P are so good and gentle with their baby sister ❤❤❤

I am one very lucky mommy.

Daddy trying out the new school board! Kids love it.
Having fun at home during “isolation”

We are the very fortunate. Yes, we are basically stuck at home, but it’s not so bad. Even on days like today, where we had zero screen time, we did fine and had fun learning.

I should sleep. Tomorrow, I will regret staying up this late.

Isolation ups and downs

Oh man. I do not know what just happened this evening, but I think maybe this whole stay-home life is getting to me. I lost it at my oldest over a fairly trivial matter, and went on a – highly disorganized – “almost-cleaning” rampage around the house at 10p… Baby had woken up while I was taking the dogs out, so I left her crying with S while I rampaged. I was minimally productive and she cried and hollered the whole time. He didn’t do much to try and console her, mostly just kept playing his game, which of course fueled my anger.

I think I have calmed down for now. I am back in bed with baby B. She has nursed back to sleep and the house is quiet and dark.

Pictures are good.

Boxes are the best toys.
Daddy and baby B.
C seems to like our new homeschool curriculum. We are excited to switch to homeschooling.

We’ve done some “social distancing” picnics. In the van in the parking lot of one of our favorite restaurants!

Life is flying by!! Pics galore!!

…how????

Little baby B was not mobile before Christmas… but within a few weeks, she has mastered sitting up unassisted, crawling, and now pulling up on furniture. This has escalated very quickly haha 🤣

I must say that since my last entry, I have learned an important truth about Benny – he is leash reactive to other dogs. Learned this the hard way at a dog park. We won’t be teying that again, possibly ever. Haha… no one was hurt, but man he’s a lot of dog. And with B in the carrier on my front… ugh that was a challenge!

But anyway. In general, I am just tired. According to the sleep tracker on my Fitbit, I’m actually doing ok in the sleep department. Still nursing B, for which I am thankful. I am in no hurry to end this phase of life, but I don’t think I will be too sad when the “end of the nursing days” does get here. It’ll be a bittersweet thing I’m sure.

S is out of town tonight. His grandfather passed away and the funeral/burial was today. I will be so glad to have him home tomorrow. ❤ I manage when he’s away, doing all the evening kid stuff alone and bedtime and all. But man I’m always so glad to see him when he gets back! Just having his presence is good for my psyche and soul.

I let the kids stay up too late tonight. We played a game together after dinner, then I let them watch a movie while I went and nursed B to sleep. Well I think I dozed or zoned out or whatever… because by the time I went downstairs to herd them to bed it was after 9:30p! Ugh. C wasn’t asleep until after 10. They both have school tomorrow…

C has expressed interest in being homeschooled. Huh… I was never much interested in the whole homeschooling thing, but if she wants to learn that way I am willing to look into it. Next year I plan to enroll her in the Christian school at our church. P goes there for preschool now and I am happy to keep him there.

So since this hasn’t been updated since November… I definitely want to document that our holiday trip back East was quite possibly the most stressful trip S and I have ever done. Between a mix up and getting separated before boarding the flight to Chicago, a late night pick up at the airport by my mom (who I guess can’t read) and an aggressive bus driver, and my mom quite possibly not being able to drive at night anymore… and then the sicknesses started. C on the way out, and then all 4 of us between when we left Cinci and when we flew home from Nashville. Ugh. We are staying home next year.

January was just so… fast. I mean what happened??? C is taking riding lessons at a new place. I like it so far, but it is a pretty significant drive out there. A good 30 mins each way. I enjoy the drive, but it takes up half the day for her hour lesson. …this new barn has a couple of mini heelers residing there… hehe I think a heeler might be in my future 🤪🥰🤣

My brother’s wedding was the end of December. I only met his new bride a few days before the wedding. I like her and I think she is a good match for him though. C was a flower girl…well, she carried a sign, not really flowers, but it was ok with her I think. P was supposed to carry a little ring bearer sign but he was pretty contrary and S had to help him down the aisle. 😝😳🤣 All worked out though.

I am so tired. There is more to tell, of course… we hit Cincinnati and Knoxville and Nashville after the wedding… and man it was a ride. I was so glad to be home in my own bed.

C had her first piano performance at church. She played “Jesus Loves Me” with her teacher ❤ So proud of her.

Fun out in the drizzle with the dogs
Can’t believe this cutie is 7 months old
Found a Micro Machine Van City on ebay. My siblings and I had one growing up… little man loves it
C and I got our nails done for the wedding!
Most of my mom’s side of the family at my brother’s wedding
I’m keeping my sister’s cat while she is on work assignment away from home. I will probably have George for at least a year.
Raising the kiddos with pets – specifically cats and dogs – is important to me
Baby’s first book

I am beyond blessed. And tired 🥰🤪😴

Photo dump haha – I am so blessed 🥰

I wish I had somehow gotten a picture of tonight 💜 C and P and I walked both dogs for their bedtime potty walk this evening. C held Cassie’s leash and I held Benny’s. It just went so well to be out walking with them. It was a nice clear night. Chilly but not bad.

^ I like this picture of them 💜

Benny just got neutered and is recovering well. Cassie seems glad to have a canine friend in the house.

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My little baby B is rolling over both directions now! She got tummy-to-back in the last couple weeks and today she officially has back-to-tummy. She sits up in the bumbo seat so well. I love her little smiles and giggles and I am so happy just holding her and cuddling her. 💜💜 I am the most blessed mommy… my 6 yr old still wants me to come snuggle her every night, and most nights I do. I am ever looking for more ways to connect with her. I just love my kids personalities 🥰🥰🥰 Can’t wait to see what kind of personality little B has 💜

With two dogs now, I am getting more steps in each day. This is good. I think my (supposed) plantar fasciitis is starting to resolve, thank the Lord.

I am cuddled up in bed with baby B. She is such a good snuggler.

Benny chases cats and bunnies but doesn’t seem interested in actually hurting them. He chased the bunny up onto the porch today oops… I guess P let him out on his way in from playing in the gravel on the side of the house. Thankfully no injuries to Hershey!

^ 4 mos old. C, P, and B. Love these babies so much 😍

^ I love just hanging out with her.

^ got this one day before school this week. These kiddos are fun and worth the stress they sometimes cause me haha 🤣

^ I have discovered bento boxes. Packing lunches has gotten to be a fun hobby 🤣

^ Harvest Party at church just might replace trick or treating for us! We had so much fun. P was a bit contrary at first, but eventually he came around and had a good time too 💙

^ I will always treasure these moments. I need to make some physical photo books so when I’m older I can look back and remember all these precise times.

^ Corn maze will hopefully be a family tradition going forward 💜💜

Wow how has it been so long since I last made a post? So much life, so much to remember. So many blessings 💜😄

Finally, some catching up!

Goodness, how long has it been? Over 2 months looks like.

What have I even been doing for 2 months?

Surviving. I have been surviving.

School has started. C rides the bus to school and then I pick her up in the afternoon. P goes to preschool 3 days a week. I have about an hour between picking up P and C that I haven’t quite figured out what to do with, but… one day at a time. Sometimes I can do a quick errand in that time, or go home for a bit and let P ride his bike for a bit. I do think it would be easier if C just rode the bus home, but she has indicated that wants me to pick her up, so I am doing so. There will likely come a day all too soon when she doesn’t want to be seen with me… for now I am thankful she wants me around.

The days kind of blur together. Things like dishes and laundry are just never-ending. Baby B spits up a lot so she goes through clothes quickly… her clothes are tiny but still.

I am getting outside and walking Cassie more again. I enjoy our walks and am trying to get out before the older kids wake up. P especially tends to get up around 7 so it’s getting harder to do this.

I seem to have chronic high blood pressure at this point. This is part of my motivation for getting more walks with pup. It was discovered in my pregnancy, but unlike my first two pregnancies, this time it hasn’t cleared up by 6 weeks postpartum. So I am seeing a primary care doc on Friday to adjust meds and make a plan. I assume that all the extra weight has a good bit to do with it. 🤷‍♀️🙄

B is a good baby. She, as with my other two, really just wants to be attached to me almost all the time. And I don’t mind. This is my last baby and I do think I am enjoying it and savoring this short phase of tiny-ness. She is holding her head up pretty well, and gaining weight on track – despite spitting up so much, ha! 🤣 I pump about 6 oz a day to donate… to give to Robyn for her baby due in February. I’m thankful I can make some extra and share like this ❤

I have a 5k coming up sometime soon I think… and I also think I may have some plantar fasciitis going on, so I’m having to be kind of careful with my feet. Probably caused by a combination of excessive weight gain and awful shoes worn in pregnancy… haha those crocs fit my swollen feet well enough, but provided no support at all. Combine that with an overly heavy bodyweight annnnnnd bad things haha. So much work to do.

Between just keeping dishes and laundry mostly caught up I am tired. Occasional I work on clearing off a counter. Bathrooms get wiped down… not enough. S had been great about cleaning the shower though ❤❤❤ And he doesn’t complain about the house, which is a relief.

Amy comes to town on Thursday, and we are doing s’mores on the deck on Saturday. I love entertaining. Just wish I had my act more together for it, ha! 🤣

Oh, how could I forget??? My little brother got engaged!!! Wedding will be end of December. C gets to be a flower girl and P will be a ring bearer 💙💙 Going to be so fun 💛 I haven’t met Ryan’s fiance yet, but I trust him 🤪

My Lord has bestowed so much blessing on my life ❤