Carb Loading and Other Parent Hacks

B hasn’t slept through the night in almost 6 weeks. We are talking newborn style wake-ups to no avail. I’m tired. He’s tired. He goes down like a ton of bricks at night, but two, yes TWO times per night (or more), he is up screaming. Teeth? Growth Spurt? Little dude has ONE tooth at almost 16 months old. One freaking tooth. Its been like this for 2 months now. A single bottom tooth. Thats it. But he eats #allthethings like he has a full set. Its kind of funny… he always has his mouth open and just looks like a big old baby running around with his gums hanging out. He eats like a beast all day until dinner when he is so tired. He eats, but not like the beast that I see all day long munching on cheese, lunchmeat, apples, cheddar bunnies, and yogurt. (That one tooth is like a super tooth!)

When B was 4 months old, the sleep regression hit him HARD. He was a mess. I tried everything. We ended up finding some relief in what we called the ‘Turducken’. We took B, put him in jammies, then into a zipadee zip, and finally into a nested bean sleep sack. He ended up in the turducken for about 4 months when we ditched the nested bean, and finally the zipadee zip 4 months after that. So to say the least, there is a delicate balance in what soothes him. 

Four nights ago, we started carb loading him. Like I’m talking a bowl of mac and cheese before bed. It worked. Unconventional? Yes, totally. But EFFECTIVE. Poor B must have been waking up hungry like a newborn  due to growing like a weed plus the world’s strongest teeth joining us within the next 4 calendar years. The last 4 nights, we have loaded that kid with #allthecarbs before bed, and what do you know? Everyone is sleeping until the morning. Parent hack? Totally gross? A fluke? DON’T CARE. Mama is getting her rest and B is sleeping well. 

Earlier today, our wonderful nanny was here and B has been having some really significant separation anxiety from me. He does this with anyone and everyone. He WAILS. (Meanwhile S wakes up and asks first thing if it is a preschool or a Miss M day– gee, good to see you too, sweet girl- can’t wait to not spend the day with you too. Sad face.) I even look at my shoes or coat and he knows! I left today and teared up in the car knowing B was so sad. I also felt awful leaving M with that mess. But I had to. Thank goodness a few minutes later, I got a text from M with a picture that showed my happy baby boy once again. 

The problem about working from home is that instances like this make transitioning from being in the field to back in the home office REALLY hard. Hard on the kids. Hard on M. Hard on me. Enter parent hack- when I pulled onto our street, I text M that I was pulling in soon. She corralled my feral kitten like children upstairs and I snuck into my office unnoticed while shushing the dogs and trying to walk with grace across the floor. I may or may have not cursed out my creaky office door when I went to close it. No kids noticed. Whew. Thank goodness. I call that a GENIUS parent/nanny hack. 

We all do it as parents. We army crawl out of the baby’s room in hopes that they don’t notice that we have left. We pull one arm out of the swaddle sack in hopes that they don’t notice their straightjacket is unhinged. We sneak medicine into that delicious chocolate syrup treat. We put bandaids on non-existent boo-boos. We give them enough snacks for 3 days on a 45 minute car ride. We load our kid with mac and cheese just before bed. Oh wait. Maybe not all of us do the mac and cheese. The important part is that we do it all out of love for these little humans- we need these sweet littles to be happy, healthy and sleeping well. What parent hacks do you use? 

Hustle Muscle

Some days, the time between dinner and bedtime feels like an 18 hour flight with a bad movie in subtitles only. Some days, it is a mad dash to get the kids bathed and in beds. Tonight, soul sister C and I decided to take the kiddos to dinner at the ever so #basic Panera. Thank goodness. We both were doing it alone for the night and DESPERATELY needed to get out of our houses. Correction. I needed somewhere to strap my kids into and the car is the best bet. They. Were. Insane. Prior to leaving, B had taken all 80 of my hair ties out of the package and thrown them all over the office (again), played in a tiny potty full of his sister’s pee, and S had put no less than 8 stickers on hard to reach places on the back of my shirt. She also pop fake-out-ed me about 4 times in the span of an hour. I need to build a bathroom in my office since I spend So. Much. Time. In. There. 

Our kids were relatively insane. S and D stood on the booth and made eyes at a lovely couple behind us who were so sweet. Thank goodness because anyone else, and we may have ruined their dinner. S was licking the top of the booth and trying to reach for them. Nothing says “I love my mom” quite like your child reaching for strangers at a Panera. D was yelling “No” at them as C and I were ducking and shaking out heads. Time to go. The Panera man came over to the table and was wiping it down. People use Panera to work for 8 hours some days, but we were getting the boot after 45 minutes of chaos and a smushed yogurt tube and macaroni under the table. 

7:03pm. I get home, get the kids upstairs and realize its 7:03pm. This is great; I don’t have to watch any more paw patrol or chase brooks around to prevent him from hitting the pillars of death in the dining room. Anyone who has been to my house knows those corners and has probably caught a hip on one. Hip > Head. Just saying. BUT wait. My kid is SO dirty. Like needed a bath yesterday but it was a long night and S had a bath on Wednesday. His feet, his sweet, sweet baby feet smell like a middle schooler’s PE uniform after not taking it home all semester. Ok. So rush bath. S wants in on the bath too. Pour all the baby wash all over all of the kids. Rinse. Diaper. Jammies. Done. 7:03pm (or really any time that shows a 7 as the first digit) gets me GOING. Like I’m going to be late to a wedding I’m standing up in or something. By 7:16pm, he was cradled and telling me to put him in bed. Phew. Onto S and her 37 minute routine. I read trolls again tonight. I almost have it memorized now and as I read it, I wanted to rip out all the pages and tell Princess Poppy to go find her true colors somewhere else. #imabergen

This is the mom hustle. Whip that butt into gear and Get. It. Done. If I had looked at my watch at 6:57pm, I wouldn’t have gotten him into bed until at least 7:25. Super weird, but man I love the spark 7 brings to my motivation. 

For me, the mom hustle kicks in at 4 distinct times: morning rush/breakfast, Lunch/naps, dinner, and bedtime. My personal ‘oh crap!’ times happen to be 8:40am, 12:00, 5pm, and 7pm. This is the dumb crap that goes through my head as these times approach…

8:41am. Why haven’t you eaten your dang waffle, S? B has yogurt all over his naked chest because dressing him before a meal is like crapping with your pants on. Pointless and just gross. I’m going to be that mom that brings their kid in last to preschool. I have to carry no less that 11 things to the car plus my two children who… OMG! where the heck is B? Ok, got them in the car. Where is my coffee? Oh, of the 11 things I brought to the car, my own coffee was not one of them. Of course. Did I even make coffee or was I dreaming about it?

12:00pm. The children will turn into hangry kittens when that clock strikes noon. They will go over the top of hanger and ruin their naps. My day is ruined. Crap. We have no clean knives. (contemplates using finger for peanut butter). Finds an old christmas themed butter knife. Sandwiches made. Kids could care less. S fights her nap because #three and B goes down like a ton of bricks but will probably get up and yell at me in like an hour. Phew. I now have like zero time to work, but I still try. I look at the monitors with pure fear. Please. Don’t. Light. Up. 

5pm. (Its way worse when it is dark at like 4:15 and the kids go nuts even earlier). Holy cow. I am only 4 minutes into making dinner and the kids are going to make me pull my hair out. Why is hubs not home yet? Oh yeah, he works late. And its only 5 but feels like 10pm. Rush through cooking and make the chicken dry. Give the kids #allthegoldfish in anticipation for the hanger to happen. Kids feed the goldfish to the dogs and then cry about the dogs eating the goldfish. Ignore. ‘Alexa, turn up the stupid Frozen soundtrack I am listening to’. Get dinner on the table. Kids look at me and tell me they want to watch paw patrol. Then feed the dry chicken to the dogs. I eat the dry chicken and enjoy it. Both kids are strapped into chairs. Hubs knows better than to mention the dry state of the chicken I made. Delicious. 

My kids aren’t nearly as high maintenance as I am terrified that they are. Its the mom hustle. You have these times and this drive for a reason. You make the world go around in an (not so) orderly fashion while multitasking like a mad woman. 

C and I just texted that neither of our kids were sleeping at well past 8pm. But we darn well hustled to get to the glorious hour that I have before I start falling asleep in my athleisurewear while standing at the sink trying to scrub dried yogurt off of a bowl from 7:30am. Thank goodness for that mom hustle, because I don’t even want to know what the end of the day would look like in here without it. Now, to finish that cup of coffee I started this morning….