Sunday, August 03, 2014

dusting everything off

Egads, how long has it been since I posted? I almost can't remember how you do this! I've been keeping a paper and pen journal these days, so all my thoughts aren't just disappearing, but I regularly lament the lack of blog. Looking back on blog posts from Gabe and Josie's babyhoods almost makes me want to cry! There are so many things that I would have forgotten if it weren't for this blog. Let's give this a try since I have lots of memories I'm hoping to keep this summer!

Gabe is 7.5 years old, Josie is 5.5 and Sebastian is 2 years and 3 months, and because I'm a lunatic, we decided to give the whole Spanish immersion another try. The kids and I are spending the summer in Madrid, Spain, and Josh is meeting us for the last three weeks.


It's crazy and not crazy at the same time. We rented a three bedroom apartment for 6 weeks right in the center of the city, close to everything, and the total for all 6 weeks is still less than a week on Cape Cod. I'm sending the big two to camp while we're here, so they are forced to speak Spanish with other kids without me helping, and the cost for that camp is less than what we'd pay at home. Food has turned out to be quite a bit more expensive than home, but we can probably manage that. I'll eat nothing this fall when we're back, probably.

Psychologically, it has been an adventure. Gabe was really reluctant to come, asking me to change my mind, following me around and whining while I was packing, saying he hated speaking Spanish. It was upsetting to me every time he'd bring it up because he sounded so spoiled! Of course, he had no idea what he was talking about, but still, I would get all worked up every time he'd begin his complaints. I'm always up for an adventure, so the decision was easy for me, but I'll admit that as the days neared our departure I became increasingly overwhelmed. So much packing! Then, doctor's appointments, dentist appointments, worries about Gabe's asthma and Josie's ears. Paperwork, passports, medical forms, etc. Finding a camp for them was stressful, and right before we left Sebastian started climbing out of his crib, and I went crazy trying to figure out where he'd sleep if his pack and play didn't work.

I'm so so so so SO glad we came though. The flight was easy (shockingly), but the jet lag was brutal (way worse than I'd anticipated). Once we overcame those two things, the trip has been amazing. I love Madrid. I think it is gorgeous, totally underrated. There are restaurants and caf├ęs with outdoor seating everyone, people out walking constantly, the city is vibrant and interesting. The kids are loving the abundance of parks and playgrounds, and ice cream, of course. Every day necessitates ice cream, at one point or another. The camp for the big two has been totally amazing, and they beg me to stay longer every day! I signed them up until 3:30, thinking they'd be exhausted, and Josie actually cried when I came to get them, asking why they couldn't stay until 5pm! My days with Sebastian have been relaxing and fun, jumping on the subway in the morning and exploring the city, stopping for coffee, and meandering when I've let him out of the stroller to run and hop. My parents are here with us for the first three weeks, so my mom has been helpful with morning drop off and dishes and folding laundry, and a wonderful companion with which to explore. My dad broke his foot in June, so he hasn't been able to join us as much as he would have liked.

It hasn't all been easy, of course. I chose Madrid because it had excellent hospitals. Seriously. And the big two both got a nasty stomach bug. Then Josie got an ear infection with blood pouring out of her ear (she has ear tubes so it wasn't as alarming as it sounds). Sebastian got a cut on his foot that looked infected, then didn't, then did, then didn't. It's been a bit of the seven plagues around here. At least I know, however, that I have good medical care if I need it.

Best of all, the kids are speaking Spanish!!! True to their personalities, Josie jumped right in, speaking full sentences, even if they are incorrect grammatically. Gabe says less, but his sentences are usually right. No matter, though, hearing them order food or buy gum or answer kids at the playground is thrilling!!! We have a few more weeks, so we're plugging away at learning. The hardest part is for me to remember to say everything in Spanish. Fingers crossed, I hope this is worth it! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

not giving up yet!

Josh sent me an email yesterday entitled, "Help! I'm being neglected!" and the blog address was enclosed. I'm going to go ahead and agree with him. The worst part is that I don't WANT to neglect the blog! It's just that three kids is crazy! Wonderful and fun and love-filled and CRAZY! I'm happy to report I've kept everyone alive for 8 whole months now, and I'm still sane. Mostly sane, anyway.

We've had a tough few months, starting around late September when Sebastian caught a cold from the kids. The cold turned into a fever for several days, then a cough, then another fever, then an ear infection, then bronchiolitis, then another double ear infection that wouldn't clear up with the first antibiotic, then more bronchiolitis, 6 weeks of nebulizers, then my parents' house burnt down (I know!), then ANOTHER double ear infection, and then my parents came to visit and picked up the flu on the plane. My mom ended up in the ER for dehydration, and before the week was out, I'd caught the flu too. Gabe's 6th birthday was spent with me shuttling back and forth from the hospital and feeling that I was definitely getting sick. I had 5 days of 103.5 fevers, then Josh got sick, then poor sweet Sebastian got sick, and as of Friday, Gabe and Josie tested positive for influenza A. Woooweeee, it has been quite a fall and beginning of winter. I have been tearful quite a few times over lack of sleep and worry for the baby. The hardest part is having two other children who need you also, and not being able to be there for them and be the mom I want to be to each of them because I'm spending hours comforting one baby.

Not to mention, prior to October, Sebastian could perhaps have qualified for easiest baby ever but oh ho ho, noooooo longer. He doesn't sleep well, eat well, or feel well anymore. But enough complaining... I'm confident 2013 is going to turn things around!

Besides illnesses and my parents' house burning down (also a crazy story for later), life has actually been great! Seriously! We've settled into kindergarten with Gabe (more on that later), and Josie is thrilled with preschool, and everyone is in love with Sebastian. Josh had his annual holiday party in Germany, so Sebastian and I met him in Paris for 8 days (also more on that later). We went right before Christmas which in retrospect was a leeeetle bit stressful, you know, what with our two December birthdays and Hanukkah and new year's and all that, but it was AMAZING. We spent thanksgiving with family in Florida, and even fit in a quick trip to Disney World for 3 days and had a great time. In October, we had an impromptu 9 year law school reunion with some of my favorite girlfriends, which is always a blast.

So really, life has been generally wonderful. I'm doing a little bit of private tutoring, just a few hours a week, but enough to keep my brain functioning and give us a bit of extra spending money. The rest of my days are spent snuggling my kids and spending time with Josh and trying to slow the days down. I'm STILL trying to figure out how to keep these babies from growing up so fast. I've threatened to stop feeding them, but they're whiny when they're hungry. Suggestions welcome.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

highs and lows

Having a third baby, having Sebastian, has been wondrous, amazing, thrilling, and over the top happiness inducing. I am madly, deeply, disgustingly in love. We all are. The way Gabe talks to him is hilarious- all goopy and silly in a husky baby talk voice he reserves only for Sebastian. Josie can't get enough of him, and 90% of the time it is the sweetest thing I've ever seen. She calls him "my baby" or "mac and cheese" (because that's her favorite food and he's her favorite baby) and she wants to touch him constantly. His arms, his belly, his face, she loves to smother him with kisses. I say 90% because she almost can't contain her love, so she wakes him up when he's sleeping or disturbs him when he's feeding, and God forbid she have a cold, it is actual physical and psychological torture to keep her away from him. And Josh... Josh is enjoying him in a way I haven't seen him enjoy a baby before. He is singing and laughing and rocking and kissing and snuggling. It helps that all Sebastian does is smile and coo and laugh. He's easy to love.

But what I didn't know, couldn't have realized, is that for every ounce of joy, there is a tiny, heartbreakingly painful bit of sadness because he is probably my last baby. I hate the thought of him growing up, even as I'm rejoicing every smile, every laugh, every swipe at a toy. I think that what makes the growing up even harder is that I have a real, live, funny, smart and engaging 5 and a half year old across the room. That 5 year old was JUST BORN. Was it yesterday? Because it feels like yesterday. There are days that go by where I realize I only hugged Gabe twice, in the morning and at bedtime, and for the rest of the day we played and swam and read and talked, but it only brings the passage of time into sharper focus.

I lie in bed at night and think about the fact that it is August and summer is almost over and I get out of bed to go stare at my three children in each of their beds (and bassinets) and lie down next to them and press my face into their hair and against their cheeks. I wish for them to grow up slower. I wish to be able to enjoy every day instead of getting caught up in chores and errands and our busy lives. And then I usually cry for a little while, because for all my wishing, they just keep growing and changing and I can't get enough of them.

I waited and prepared and planned for so long for this baby to arrive and now he is three months old and Gabe is starting kindergarten and Josie is going to a second year of preschool and HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? Tell me this gets easier please, because I don't know if I can do this for the next 25 years.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

proof that love really does multiply

Sebastian Eli was born on May 3rd at 4:15pm, weighing 8 pounds, 10 ounces (!!!!!!!) and measuring 20 inches long.

The labor was amazing and calm and easy and all the things you wouldn't expect labor to be, although a bit long for a third baby at 10.5 hours.

He is wonderful and so sweet and I'm madly in love and so regretting not blogging every day because I can't bear not to remember every moment of his babyhood and pregnancy. Gabe and Josie are obsessed with him and actually drive me crazy with the way they fawn over him and refuse to leave him alone. It's been two months and I'm still begging them to PLEASE GIVE HIM SPACE!

Other than that, the adjustment has been great. I'm loving motherhood times three and feeling beyond lucky and blessed and everything else you want to call it.

Life is very, very, very good these days. I could not ask for more.

Friday, November 11, 2011

poor neglected third child

This poor baby is already getting the shaft. We have less pictures, less information written down, and now even less blog posts! I can guarantee, however, that the one thing there is NOT less of, is love. The kids are obsessed with the baby and are constantly giving my rapidly expanding belly hugs and kisses. Josie, in particular, is attached to the idea of her baby. We didn't find out what we're having (as with Gabe and Josie) but Josie says she knows it is a girl. She talks often about what her baby is thinking and saying inside my belly, she gets extra lollipops for her baby, offers me food for the baby, asks if the baby is having a good day, and will become a little teary about how long she has to wait for her baby to come out.

I, on the other hand, am hysterically clinging to every day of this pregnancy and wishing for time to slow down. I'm 22 weeks and so incredibly aware of how quickly time is passing and that this will likely be my last pregnancy. The first trimester was a horror show, but these days I feel mostly well. The nausea is only sporadic (only if I touch sugar, which is a curse for a pregnant woman), my sciatica is tolerable, my patience is still here, I'm looking rounded and pregnant enough for a stranger to be able to tell, and my hair and skin are fabulous. Honestly, I've never had hair like this in my life, all lustrous and shiny and full. Best of all, the baby moves all the time and I'm struck with such awe and amazement that this little person is growing inside of me and I get to experience this again.

I feel gigantic, though, enormous, humongous, quite large. This is definitely my biggest pregnancy and the wealth is spread all over my body. My thighs, butt, belly and boobs are all growing excessively. I'm a bit panicked to tell you the truth, but there isn't much I can do besides eating reasonably and trying to keep walking and moving. I just worry what the end of this pregnancy will look like if there are 18 weeks to go. At our 18 week ultrasound, the baby was measuring almost twice as big as he or she was supposed to be, which explains the crazy gymnastics we can see from the outside. Everyone- Josh, the kids, my mom- have felt and seen the kicks from the outside. I suspect that although I ordered a calm shy baby this time around, I'm destined for another active character.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

happy halloween!

We're chugging along over here, trying valiantly to enjoy my most favoritest holiday ever while struggling with nausea. Things are improving, though, since I now have stretches of the day where I'm not begging for death. Baby steps, right?

I temper my guilt about not doing enough for the kids to celebrate by telling myself they (a) won't remember and (b) it's for a good cause and (c) they've already attended 3 other Halloween parties in the last two weeks. Good enough, right?

I had a 12 week ultrasound and there was a beautiful little baby in there, sucking on his or her hands and kicking up a storm in the 99th percentile. 99!!! Let's hope he or she weighs 9 pounds because that is how much weight I have gained, and no, I don't want to talk about it.

Besides that, things are great. My kids are being incredibly helpful and sweet, Josh is going to work late and leaving early to be here, and at 13.5 weeks, I'm counting the days and hoping we're almost done with the never-ending nausea.

At least I have an excuse to sit around all day and watch scary movies! Now if only this baby didn't make me projectile vomit every time I consume sugar and life would be perfect. Who ever heard of a pregnancy without sugar? What about all the peanut butter cups I stole from the kids?!

Hoping your Halloween is filled with lots of treats and no tricks!

Monday, October 03, 2011

thank you

Thank you so much for the well-wishes, I'm touched that you are still checking in, despite the sporadic blogging.

I wish I could say things are better, but they are most definitely not. In fact, these last few days have been the worst I've seen in any pregnancy. Things are just bad. Terrible. Horrid. I really, really, really feel like I can't throw up anymore, I can't feel sick anymore. I need a break.

Even in the nauseous gloom, though, there are moments of great joy. I wanted to keep the pregnancy a secret from the kids until much later because I hate the idea of them feeling anxious about it, but Gabe came up to me yesterday and shoved on my stomach. When I asked him why, he said he was checking to see if there was a baby in there. Josh and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows and knew we had to tell him. The response was fairly anticlimactic, but they've been full of questions today. How will it come out? What if it gets stuck? Where will it sleep? What will we name it? Does it have feet? Can I touch it?

I'm trying to downplay the whole thing, really, because May 4th is an eternity away. Even for me. I can't imagine what it must be to a 2 and 4 year old. One day at a time, I guess. And I'll keep wishing for a vomit free day. Sigh.