In case you missed me, I’ve been out because I had DS2 two weeks ago today. I’ll have to write the birth story later, but suffice to say, our house has been topsy turvy in terms of the adjustment, but we love the little guy so much already.

Today, though, I want to write about how ashamed I am that I’ve not been more sensitive to DS1 and DD. 😦 I keep forgetting that they are real people (albeit, very small) and have real feelings that are separate from me. That not only is DS2 disrupting DH and my life, he is putting quite a kink in DS1 and DD’s lives, too.

It’s been particularly hard because we’ve had to go back to the hospital a few times for DS2’s jaundice and the older two miss me a lot. The kids have been very sensitive and any reprimand (no matter how harsh or soft) sends them into tears.

This morning was bad. 😦 I was super tired and cranky and already annoyed at DH. Then I had to deal with a bunch of crap for DS2’s jaundice and I was throwing pens and pissy and being a general jerk. Somewhere in there, DS spilled some milk and when I looked up finally and noticed him, his lip was quivering and he was about to burst into tears because he thought I was mad at him.

In tears, I scooped him up and started to sob. My poor boy. I never want to see that look on his face again. He is so small and so little and such a good boy! I felt so low and so small and so utterly shitty.

I know I am only human but all I could think about was how I am just like my father: violent, full of temper, and to be feared. I know it is not the same, but it felt the same. 😦

I still want to cry just thinking about it.

I just have to constantly remind myself that they are still babies yet. Not even four and two. They have been doing remarkably well.

Sigh.

I know in a month or two that we’ll all adjust and have a new normal. But it just feels so awful in the interim.

I just need to remember to give myself grace and to accept DS’s full embrace and forgiveness when I apologize. How he can still love me, I am full of wonder and gratefulness.

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Seriously, I have too many of these stories just lurking in the back of my brain that if I don’t get them down soon, I will forget them.

1) One time, DD accidentally hit my stomach but DS thought she hit my breast. He said, “Mama, DD hit you in the milk!”

2) DD keeps trying to jump but unsuccessfully. It’s really cute though because she gets on her tip-toes and raises her hands in the air. Then she whooshes her hands and arms down trying to “push off” or take off the ground. heehee.

3) Last week, I had a total parenting fail moment when DS insisted on staying in his PJs and his pullup and refused to get dressed for school. I must’ve spent at least 20 minutes spanking him or wrestling with him. (Let me just tell you, a 3.5 year old who kicks and screams is really hard to dress – even if your husband is helping. We did not win.) He ended up going to school in his PJs. DH changed him at school. I was beyond pissed.

4) Lately, DD is obsessed with her doll. She feeds her, changers her diapers, gives her naps, makes her play the piano. She even gives the doll time outs! Then she hugs the “baby.” heehee. Well, I had texted DH’s brother the pictures and he had to ruin it by saying, “She’s becoming a little girl!” Because you know, girls only play with dolls. Not trains or anything else. FFS. I realize that he meant well, but seriously? That’s just fucking stupid.

5) DD had been saying, “Jajija” or “Jija” for vagina. Recently, it morphed into, “Gina.” Super cute. I don’t know what it is about kids saying the correct names for genitalia – it is HILARIOUS.

6) Now, part of our bedtime ritual is for the kids to talk to (but mostly blow raspberries on my tummy) their little brother. DS2 REALLY loves to respond to his big brother and sister. As soon as they start up, he rolls and kicks and does all manner of wizardry. The kids love to put their hands on my tummy and feel DS2 doing his stuff. So cute.

7) DS likes to quiz me on all the Thomas the Trains and the different engines and to see which tender belongs to which engine. He thinks it’s hilarious when I’m wrong. (That’s his idea of a joke – to have wrong answers.)

8) A few weeks ago, I broke another toilet seat. This is the 3rd toilet seat we’ve broken (I broke the first, DH broke the second, I broke the third) in a year. I mentioned this on FB and a HS acquaintance said that he always thought I had a “big booty” but “dayum!” Seriously, I almost decked him. (Well, figuratively.) I just hate it when people try and so fail to be funny. I would be mildly offended if it were remotely true, but I barely hit puberty in HS – I certainly didn’t have any junk in the trunk. But seriously? Who says that to a 7 month pregnant woman? ONLY AN ASSHOLE.

9) DD has been a holy terror these past few weeks. She throws tantrums and screams and is totally defiant. I just have to remember that DS went through this phase around this age as well. It’s just that he could barely talk so we didn’t know EXACTLY what was on his mind. We have no such problem with DD.

So last Monday, I bought a twin bed for DD and put it next to DS’s twin in his room (so it now forms a king). DS was so excited that he demanded to “Sleep together” with DD in their new big bed. We lay with them until the fell asleep and we left. But every night, we get less sleep than when the kids were sleeping with us because of several reasons:

1) The kids take FOREVER to fall asleep in their room because there is so much fun stuff in there and I get exasperated.

2) When they wake up in the middle of the night, I have to go in and lay with them until they fall back asleep. Of course, they wake up at different times so I have turned into a zombie.

3) The other night, DD was up from midnight to 3am. Thank goodness DH took part of the shift but we were both super cranky and tired the next day.

Finally, DH couldn’t take it anymore and he said we had to do something. So, back to sleep training. *sigh* Everyone’s favorite thing to do in the house. I looked up my Ferber book, briefed DH on the plan last night, and then told the kids that we were not going to sleep with them in their room. DS was very upset and from bath time on, tried to convince me to sleep in his room. DD didn’t really understand what was going on until we left the kids’ room.

Our method was this: I would sit outside their open door. If they came outside their room, I would hold the door closed for 15 sec (1st offense), then 30 sec (2nd offense), 1 min, 2 min, then 3 min until they slept or stopped coming out. (This is the schedule for the first night.) Needless to say, both my children were unimpressed and terribly upset. They are stubborn and screamers and it was NOT awesome.

However, DS gave up screaming after 15 minutes and went to bed. (He couldn’t fall asleep for another 45 minutes though, due to his sister screaming her brains out for 1.5 hours.) I think it helped that he has gone through this before – but mostly, it’s because DH took him on a 3+ mile walk today to and from a park near our house.

DD seriously broke our cold, dark hearts. *sigh* She was so angry her little arms were trembling and she would just stamp her feet. She tried so hard to get as close to the doorway as possible without coming out. One time, she strained so hard to reach me without leaving the room that she fell over into my lap. Of course, she also left the room several times and there were lots of door holding moments. Awesome.

Finally, the last 15-30 minutes, she was so tired from screaming that she just stood there, sucking her index finger and swaying because she was so tired. I would ask her if she wanted to go to bed but DD would just shake her head and say, “No.” So I would go back to playing Sudoku. Then, she would stumble because she was about to fall asleep standing up. I asked her a few times and finally, she yawned and her head slumped and I asked her if she wanted to go to bed. She said nothing so I scooped her out and before her head even hit the pillow, she was out.

Since I’m writing this on Monday night, we’ll see how the night-wakings go. We get to repeat this until they learn to sleep on their own. YAY!

The other day, DD and DS had dumped all these goldfish crumbs on the stairs. When DS pointed the out to me he said, “It’s ok, Mama. 那個人會來清. (That person will come clean it.)”

We had a housekeeper until DH got laid off. It was a nice luxury – but I didn’t realize that DS thought that was the only person that would clean up the mess – especially since I am always vacuuming up their crap. 😦 We live a life of incredible privilege.

So sorry. Forgot to post yesterday. In my defense, I was busy being the worst mom ever. *sigh* I think other than my children eating some strawberries and tofu (not together) and maybe some yogurt, the majority of their diet yesterday consisted of chips, cookies, crackers, snacks, and whatever. I’m not sure I really interacted with my kids because my nose was buried in a book. They may have watched a lot of TV and played a lot with the iPhone. Had minimal naps. Ran amok in general and I really didn’t intervene until someone started crying. Hey, I’m fostering independence!

Then, I made them go to bed early because the night before, they had stayed up late because both DH and I were out at separate events and they didn’t want to listen to my mom. Then, I snuck downstairs, ate a bunch of chips for dinner, and watched the season finale for The Vampire Diaries. Then I felt guilty.

I’m sure THEY had a good time (I was also “babysitting” two other kids) running amok around the house screaming and playing and eating snacks. And I suppose as long as this isn’t an every day occurrence. it’s not horrible. But man, is it tempting to just check out while parenting. *sigh* I blame smartphones.

Today, I WILL BE A BETTER MOMMY. After I finish my new book.

I barely did anything today (other than the usual kid stuff) but for some reason, I am WORN OUT. And really cranky. It is an effort not to scream at kids who mean well and just want to play and do anything other than what I request. *sigh* Plus, my tummy hurts. I can’t tell if it’s because I’m hungry or because I’m too full. That’s an awkward situation, right? LOL.

My SIL must hate hearing my mom tell her and my brother not to spend so much money. I hear from my mom that she tells my brother and SIL to buy things used like I do on craigslist or use cloth diapers, or whatever. And personally, I thought nothing of it. But today, I went to check out some used cloth diapers for my brother and he mentioned that she was a little upset about him buying them without consulting her. (The diapers ended up not being what I wanted so no harm, no foul.)

When I thought it over, I felt so bad for my SIL. Here she is, pregnant with her first kid, and all she hears from her MIL (my mom) is all this stuff that I do and how she should do things like I am. Now, I don’t think that’s what my mom means to be doing, but if I were my SIL, I’d be super pissed. Like, shut up already. I get it. Your daughter is awesome. She buys everything used and has everything figured out. Blahbity, blah, blah.

Truly, how intimidating and awful. Who wants to compete with that? I’m surprised my SIL doesn’t hate me and want to punch me in the throat!

Well, here’s the truth. DB (Dear Brother), pass this along if you think necessary.

I am not a great mom. I merely survive. I yell at DS quite often. I full on bribe him to finish meals. I allow him to watch 2-3 hours of TV/YouTube/screen time a day. I check Facebook a lot. I am often texting. I comb craigslist because I like to buy stuff, and if that means I can buy MORE stuff with the same amount of money, so be it. I spend a shit-ton of money on crap we don’t need. Sometimes, my kids eat chips or fries for lunch. I use cloth diapers because I’m cheap. (Although, the idea of my kids’ poop stuck in a landfill doesn’t really make me feel good. But I still use disposables!) I give my kids a lot of sugar. And juice. And stuff I never thought I would because I have stopped caring. (Kinda.)

I make plenty of mistakes. And truly, who cares if you cloth diapers or not? In the end, do you love your kid? Do you make sure they know it? Are they alive and fed and cared for? Yeah? Then good job. That’s really all you need.