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I Am a Domestic Goddess!

When the Pookie was about 5 weeks old, my husband and my SIL asked me how I was doing within days of each other. Actually, my SIL asked if I was looking forward to going back to work and that lead to how I was doing. I didn't have a firm answer for either of them. How was I doing? I was getting by. I was in survival mode. I was healing, taking care of the newborn and trying to make sure that the toddler was being adequately taken care of either by me or others (mostly others). Mentally (which was the true intent of their questions)? I couldn't even figure that out myself, let alone tell anyone else.

I truly was in survival mode. I was living in a gray fog, waiting for that 6-8 week postpartum point. This gray fog was nothing compared to my rough winter and pregnancy. I wasn't depressed or feeling constantly miserable. It was more just that I couldn't think straight or feel straight. Survival Mode. If you've ever been in that mode, you know what I'm talking about. I knew that by 8 weeks, things should be better to some degree.

What I wasn't prepared for was just how much better everything would be by 8 weeks postpartum. In my seventh week postpartum, my good friend came to stay the week with us to help with the kids and to visit with me. I am sure that her visit was essential to my mental healing. There is just nothing like spending good, quality time with a close friend, chatting about everything, laughing over the good and the bad, knowing there is someone there for you who understands (besides your partner, who is going through it all with you and in survival mode, too). And she was such a help with the Pookie and the Pumpkin, which enabled me to take care of myself a little more.

After she left (boo hoo!), the Pookie turned 8 weeks old. And my world changed. He was through a growth spurt and just at the tale end of a fussy period. My body, though not perfect, was really healing up well from the c-section. Mentally, I was feeling like I was doing pretty well. It was like the fog cleared up. It was like I finally had made it out of a year long series of fogs, and I was finally starting to feel like myself again. Really, truly myself. My Summer Self.

I finally started to clean up the spots in the house that had gathered up piles of stuff that neither Londo or I could get to while in survival mode (I was able to start this while my friend watched the baby). I finally made personal business calls to the insurance companies and doctors and whoever else I'd had on hold until I could think straight again. I brought the Pookie into my office and visited with my coworkers. I got the laundry and dishes under control. I put away the clothes the kids had outgrown and put out the ones that will fit (including the new ones bought while outlet shopping with my friend while she was in town). I've gotten back into rearranging the rooms on our main floor to work for our lives now. (I packed up almost all the china and breakables that were in our dining room and front room, and I was putting up more breakables from the hutch so that the space in the hutch can now be used to house Playdoh and other kids stuff. It just doesn't make sense to have a formal dining room when we have young kids and need the space for their stuff, or to have a formal "parlor" in our front room when we have a gazillion books removed from what is now the Pumpkin's big girl room and need to store them somewhere; so the parlor will become the library as soon as we can afford to buy some shelves or find some for free somewhere.)

But it doesn't end there. Not only have I been cleaning and rearranging, I've started baking and cooking again! I think Londo forgot I that I used to love to cook and did it pretty frequently. I think he forgot I even knew how! For the last year, Londo has done almost all of the cooking. Between my 6 months of pregnancy nausea, winter and pregnancy full of exhaustion and the year long fog, I just couldn't handle any part of cooking--from figuring out what to make to shopping for the food to actually cooking. Over the last few weeks, I've baked quite a few things and made 3 or 4 dinners.

Last Sunday morning, I had approved Londo's plans to go out and do some fun things with my dad. We had a rough night, with the toddler awake in the night and early morning. Londo was ready to scrap the plans, as he was concerned about leaving me alone for hours with the two kids after a rough night and morning. I talked him into going, and he finally did. And you know what? I did great with the two kids!

It takes 2 hours for me to get the toddler, baby and myself fed breakfast and ready in our Sunday finest to go out of the house. I had smartly planned on it taking 2 hours, so we weren't rushed and were able to get out the door without any meltdowns! Not even one from me! We made it to church on time, where I dropped the Pumpkin off in the childcare room (hurray for the babysitters and the playroom there!) and put the Pookie in my sling, where he slept for the next hour+. My mom and grandma met me there, and we enjoyed a lovely service. After the service, my mom helped us to our car and we drove back to her house. Londo and my dad met us there, and we all had a nice lunch. I really only had the two kids by myself for just over 2 hours, but I was so proud that I handled it fine. No, great!

Later that day, I did dishes and grocery shopping. That evening, I made baked citrus fish, garlic butter asparagus and couscous (from a mix, but still) for dinner, with lemon squares for desert. The Pumpkin helped me do the dishes and make the couscous and lemon squares. I felt so accomplished!

So the next morning, when my nanny called in sick, I was ready to try a full day of caring for both children on my own! We had no real plans or time table. I thought we'd try going to the playground that the nanny usually takes the Pumpkin to, even though it was across the neighborhood. It was going to be a hot day so I had hoped to start out early, but we didn't make it out of the house until after 10 (it took 2 hours to get fed and dressed to go out of the house). The morning was pretty smooth. The Pumpkin requested pancakes for breakfast, and I happened to have a couple still in the freezer from the last time I made them. The Pookie slept in the swing during the morning, so the Pumpkin and I were able to get ready for the day without my having to juggle him... mostly.

I got both kids in the Baby Jogger City Mini double stroller (I love this thing!), and we started off! Unfortunately, it was already REALLY hot out. The Pumpkin was doing fine with her water and goldfish, singing songs with me. The Pookie, however, started fussing but wasn't appeased with a pacifier or a toy shaking in front of him or his sister singing. Then the fussing became real crying.

But we made it to the playground. No one else was there. The Pumpkin is a complete extrovert and doesn't seem to have much fun lately if no one else is at the playground. She went down each slide once, but then was bored. I couldn't run around with her, because I was holding and bouncing the still crying Pookie. It was hot, and there was not enough shade. I was still doing alright though, so I thought we'd try the swing set just a block away where there might be kids, there would definitely be shade, and I wouldn't have to worry about the Pumpkin running off (I sit her in the confined infant swing).

There was shade, but no other kids. There was no good place to nurse the Pookie, either, and he was still totally crying. It was only getting hotter. So we were done. I put the Pumpkin back in the stroller, and I put the Pookie in sling. And get this: I nursed him in the sling! I figured out how to do it, and I was able to drape my shirt around him so that no one could see anything. So I nursed the Pookie in the sling the whole way home while I pushed the Pumpkin. Everyone was now happy, although still hot and tired. And I thought to myself, I know what I'm calling the post I'm writing about this!*

After we got back, I got everyone fed, colored with the Pumpkin, got the Pookie to sleep in his swing and laid down in the Pumpkin's bed with her to try to get her to nap. (She didn't, of course, because she doesn't nap for me or Londo. But we did have a nice quiet time resting for a bit.) Then we watched some TV shows while resting on the couch and played Playdoh. It was a good day, made possible by my pre-schooler who is able to understand more directions and loves to help and my infant who I'm able to put down and sometimes sleeps for big chunks of time without being held.

Not only am I feeling like myself again, I'm feeling like myself able to handle two kids! I'm feeling like a mom of two. Who is able to cook, clean, grocery shop and do laundry. Who is reorganizing the house to work for the whole family. Who is making doctor appointments, dealing with insurance companies and getting ready to go back to work. Who is even spending time in the evenings with her husband after the kids go to sleep!

A woman who is a domestic goddess!!!!

Just don't ask me how my Tuesday, Wednesday or this morning went. Turns out, I'm less of a goddess when I don't get good sleep. hehe.

*Perhaps the walk wasn't the best idea just yet. My incision and all my ab muscles have been incredibly sore, getting worse each day I do my normal activity. I realized yesterday that I need to take it extremely easy for a few days, including not picking up the Pumpkin and using my hands to get myself up from a prone position. Umm, right. I had major abdominal surgery 9 weeks ago. I'm still recovering. Oops!


Cloud said…
Yeah, you!

Its too bad we live on opposite coasts. We have several bookcases we're going to have to ditch as part of the "squish guest room and office into one room so that we have a room for the new baby" plan.
MommyEm said…
That is awesome and I am very happy that I was able to help you out as much as you helped me during our move. Dorothy and I have had a fantastic week after several weeks of being off schedule, lots of attitude, and general crankiness and it feels great. It is the experiences like these that get me through the tough times of teething, growth spurts and tantrums. Also, after my week away, I have been more relaxed and groovy and that makes all the difference.

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