Let me preface this by saying that I love my kids and I wouldn't trade the opportunity to stay at home and raise them for anything. That said...the last 24 hours--well, the last couple of weeks really--have been something else.
First of all, Wes has been working until midnight or later every night for the past couple of weeks. He comes home after I'm asleep and is gone before I wake up. This means that I have 24/7 childcare duty with not so much as someone to supervise the baby in her swing while I take a shower. It's exhausting. I didn't think it would be a big deal...I mean, I deal with the kids alone all day by myself...but I find that I'm surprisingly lonely and stressed out with him gone in the evenings.
Throw in that I pulled my back out a few weeks back and have a herniated disc, so moving around is not easy. And don't forget the colicky three-month-old baby who recently had a tongue-tie procedure and spends half of her life spitting up. Add in the extremely demanding and very stubborn and disobedient 4-year-old, and the whiniest 2-year-old on the planet, and you have my life in a nutshell. (Literally, Cache whines at the beginning of every sentence no matter what it is.)
Like I said, don't get me wrong--I love being a mom. But sometimes, seriously, it's comical how ridiculous things are at my house.
Let me just paint you a (long and detailed) picture of the past 24 hours....
Last night, 6pm: I call Wes and tell him he has to come home and help me get the kids to bed and then go back to work. He says he will. (Bless his heart.)
7pm: He comes home, stuffs some leftover dinner in his face, and takes Cache up for his nightly nebulizer treatment. I nurse the baby and attempt for the hundredth time in the past couple of hours to get her to take a nap. It doesn't really work. I tell Chloe approximately 20 times to get her pajamas on and go to bed. After several threats, she finally wanders upstairs. Wes tucks the kids in and heads back to work.
8pm: Hazel finally decides sleep might be a good idea. I lay her down in the swing, and carefully plan out my evening. If I take her upstairs and lay her on the bed, I MIGHT be able to shower really quick before she's awake. If I'm SUPER lucky, I'll get to pump too.
8:15pm: I take her up and lay her on my bed. I get overly optimistic and decide I probably could chance a bath. I get in. Three minutes goes by. Hazel is crying. I hurry and wash my hair and get out while she screams some more. I get out, get dressed, throw a load of laundry in (in between sticking her binky in her mouth a hundred times).
9:00pm: I feed her. I decide she smells like cheese. I take her up and bath her. My mom calls to discuss some Christmas things. For unknown reasons, Hazel decides to cry all through her bath...even though historically she never makes a peep. Certainly it's because I was on the phone and there's no way I could possibly be allowed to have a conversation with another person without a child screaming in the background.
9:30pm: Hazel is in her pajamas. I swaddle her and rock her. She falls asleep. I lay her in the swing. I optimistically get out the pump. She wakes up.
10:30pm: She's finally asleep again after a diaper change and another quick nursing session. I get out the pump stuff again. I pump.
11:30pm: My sister texts and asks if I'm up. (Not sure what kind of question that is, of course I'm up.) She calls me. We discuss Christmas stuff....which in our family is quite the tangled, complicated web.
12:00am: Still on with my sister. I decide to go clean up the kitchen and unload/load the dishwasher.
12:15am: Chloe wanders down (of course, right in the middle of me telling my sister about one of her Christmas presents). I don't think she noticed. She decides to "help" me with the dishes. While I'm not looking she unloads random things from the dishwasher and sets them in random places.
12:30am: Still loading. Every 20 seconds I pull Chloe's hands out of the sink of dishwater and say, "STOP! There are knives in there--don't reach in the water!" She tries again... Repeat.
12:40am: Chloe finally gets her feelings hurt (WHY IS SHE EVEN UP?!?!) and goes off to the other room monologuing about how her life is so hard and her mommy is so mean and she'll never get to do the dishes. (Oh honey...your day will come!)
1:15am: Hazel is screaming. Chloe is gabbing. Cache is now crying from his room. Go figure. I convince Chloe it's in her best interest to go to bed (some sort of threat, I'm sure), Cache quiets down from his room, Hazel gets fed again. (Does she ever stop eating?!?!)
2:00am: I finally turn out the lights. Still no Wes.
3:00am: Cache is screaming. I go in to check on him. He's hot. Like, super hot. I get the thermometer. 102 degrees. I get the Motrin. I rock him. He's delirious and grumpy. He finally agrees to go back to sleep.
3:30am: I'm back in bed. Hazel is stirring. I figure I might as well not even attempt to go back to sleep and decide to feed her. Wes is now there...not sure at what point he tiptoed in. I feed Hazel, change her diaper, and swaddle her back up. THANKFULLY, she goes right back to sleep.
4:00am: I get to sleep.
6:00am: Yes! Two full hours of sleep. Hazel is crying. I feed her.
6:15: Back to sleep.
8:30am: Wes kisses me goodbye. I guess I glare at him because he asks why I look so mad. I say, "I have no idea, I think I'm just delirious." I drift back off to sleep. Luckily, my feverish early-riser decides it's a good idea to sleep a bit longer.
9:00am: I call my physical therapy office to cancel my therapy session for the day, since Cache is sick. I text the nice lady from my neighborhood who was going to watch my kids while I went to tell them they aren't coming over. Let the day begin.
9:15am: Cache is crying and banging on his door. Hazel starts stirring. I get up. The kids come wandering in since Chloe has released Cache from his bedroom prison. They start fighting/begging for breakfast.
9:30am: We're downstairs. I get the kids some breakfast. I even let them choose a new kind from my stash. Lucky Charms! I make them promise to eat the cereal and not just the marshmallows. They promise.
9:40am: I'm feeding Hazel. Suspicious sounds are coming from the kids' high chairs. I turn around and see them throwing (yes, throwing) their dry cereal (because they've been banned from milk). They are throwing it in the air like confetti and letting it rain down on the ground. I yell. I get them out of their high chairs. They seem unphased, as usual. I'm apparently very un-scary.
10:00am: I'm pumping. I hear more suspicious sounds. They've found the box of Lucky Charms and are sitting where I can't see them devouring the marshmallows. I'm glued to the pump. I tell them to back away and go play upstairs. I can see the cereal littering the floor from where I'm sitting.
10:15: Still pumping. Cache comes in with his pajamas around his feet and his diaper attached to one ankle. He wants to use the potty. How convenient! I tell him to go sit on the potty. I try to wrap up the pumping situation.
10:20: He's on the potty. I survey the damage in the kitchen. No marshmallows to be found, but about half the box of Lucky Charms litters the floor. Oh look--also the rug. I get out the broom. I put kids in time out. I bustle around trying to get things under control.
11:00am: The kids are begging for lunch. I haven't had breakfast yet. Hazel's morning nap is next to over. I stuff a package of Poptarts in my face and spend the next hour fielding hunger complaints from the kids. (Perhaps it's because all they had for breakfast were leprechaun-themed marshmallows?)
12:00pm: I sit down to nurse her. She eats...then dozes...then cries....then eats...then dozes.
1:30pm: Now the kids are really hungry. Actually, they are Hangry. Chloe insists on leftover angel hair noodles from dinner the night before. Cache insists he will not eat a noodle to save his life.
I get out the noodles to heat up for Chloe, but when she realizes that the "white sauce" is gone, she wants more. I try to convince her I can make delicious noodles with butter and parmesan. She insists that "Noodles are so yucky unless they have sauce!" I cave and open another bottle of sauce. I heat it up and put it in front of her. Then I make Cache oatmeal. Chloe complains that her noodles don't have sauce because she can't see it.
"That's because I stirred it into the noodles, Chloe."
"But I can't see the sauce!"
"That's because the sauce is white and the noodles are white."
"But I can't see the sauce! I want oatmeal like Cache instead."
I refuse. She gets out of her high chair hungry. Cache picks at his oatmeal and sneaks out of his high chair too. Whatever.
2:00 pm: It's nap time and that's all that matters. Hazel is sleeping. It's time for a Diet Coke.
2:45pm: AS I'M TYPING THIS...Cache comes wandering downstairs because Chloe decided it was a good idea to unlock his door and wake her feverish brother up from his nap. Heaven. Help. Me.