keep on trucking

23 October 2013


*this post's sentiment is sort of inspired by Rachael's but she'll always outwrite me. Every ding dang time!!

I mostly blame it on the rigors of Simon's schedule and the fact that we live near approximately zero family and the ever changing and evolving needs of the kids but I haven't felt in control of well - pretty much anything in a really long time.

But! There have been lots of glimmers of "is that a stride we're hitting?" lately and I don't want to jinx (Simon is big into jinxing things and he's made me paranoid) it so instead of biting off more than the child rearing, light (light!!) cleaning, and meal making that devours my days and evenings and middle of the nighting I'm just enjoying the little flashes of light that just might overcome the cloud of overwhelmed that seems to follow me and my melodramatics around all day every day.

I took the kids to Target this morning because my bottle of Excedrin was woefully empty (me + Excedrin are simpatico ... we all have our things) and even though Theo can't get the hang of sitting in those poorly engineered front seats (seriously - he is a solid sitter but the tilt along with the strangly seat belt is too much) so I had to carry him while holding Julia's hand and pushing the cart with my thorax -- it was okay. I almost eye-murdered the idiot that idled and watched me load and buckle each of the kids into their car seats and put the cart away so that he could get a spot two spaces closer to the store front but ... I refrained. I under-my-breath death wished him and gave him two angry pocket birds instead. Calm down, I'm like 23% kidding.

After a few fussy and frustrating weeks with Theo I finally figured out that he just wants to be around his peoples. His peoples not being his parents but his peoples being his siblings. He's content to sit in the basement and watch while they play game after riveting game of their current trifecta of favorites: sleepover, ballerina, and trucks - repeat.

Sebastian will stop hanging on my kneecaps if I give him something to clean - (a loaded Swiffer for the floors, a freshly Windexed mirror to muck up all over again, or a baby wipe to attack the pleather couch) - his second favorite pastime after playing trucks. The truck thing is endearing but out of hand - he eats only out of his dump truck, sleeps with ALL of his trucks, bathes with the truck that doesn't make noise, opts to cuddle with his herd over any blankies or warm bodied mothers in the morning, and heaven forbid I try to change a diaper if he isn't accompanied by at least one of his posse to hold his hand through the torturous process.

Oh, and he calls them, "truckies" - much to Julia's horror.

"No, Stub-bastian. They actually are called, 'trucks'" ...

And Julia is happy if she's wearing no fewer than four tutus (pictured at the tippy topy) at a time and has an audience of at least one for her ballet performances that involve a lot of graceful high kicks and dizzying twirl after twirl after twirl after twirl after twirl after twirl after twirl that make the rickety tilt-a-whirl at the parking lot carnival look downright pleasant.

This week is sandwiched by two call weekends and the rest of the year isn't looking much better and surprise! Simon has an extra week of night float to enjoy before Christmas but that's the name of the game for now. It won't kill us - I don't think.

Simon and the kids haven't kicked me out for introducing kale to our meals (smoothies for the kids, dressed with lots of flavor and fruit and smiles for Simon) and one of these days I swear I'm going to break out of the Annie's (¡Organic!) Crack and Cheese lunch rut that the kids have grown far too attached and accustomed to.

So we're trucking.


At an imperfect pace but it's really nice to finally feel like the world might not come crashing down around me the majority of the time.


You know? Tell me you do.


40 comments:

  1. Yay!!!!! Happy for any lightening of the load that is truckin' through the muddy trenches.

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  2. I see Sebastian's obsession also has found a way into his clothes (although, really, how could it not? I, ahem, I mean my kids have the same problem when shopping) :).

    And my go-to meal these days is Annie's Mac n Cheese, thanks to the giganto 12 packs at Costco. But it only works for 2/3 of my kids. How did I manage to get one who actually does NOT like mac n cheese? I will never know...

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    1. ha! sounds like Theo and bananas ... it drives me -- um -- bananas.

      My grandma bought Sebastian that John Deere hoodie for his birthday -- he loves it!! :)

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  3. I know! Strides are awesome! They happen!

    Go Grace. Keep on truckin - we are all behind you! :)

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  4. Give up mac n cheese? Never!! haha. My son went through the truck phase and has moved onto the dinosaur obsession. As in sleeps with a t-rex and 300 of his mini dino friends. And the child is not above waking a sleeping mama up if...IF...one of those 300 mini things falls to the floor in the middle of the night. I feel your pain on the disappearing husband act, and the no family. Being up here in Alaska away from every single person I know is lonesome. But I am surrounded by my three singers trying to harmonize to the tune of a tantrum :)

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  5. Trucks! Have you done a "truck wash?" I do this with a plastic tub of about an inch of dish soapy water, arm them with a sponge and let the kiddos (Simon and neighbor) "wash" the toys. Then I tell myself it's also disinfecting the toys somehow (probably BS). Oh, and if they dump the water out, game over. "Maybe next time or tomorrow we can try again." They learn quickly.

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    1. Oh my gosh I need to do this! I just noticed some of the kids' trucks feel a bit sticky but I was feeling too lazy to do anything about it.

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  6. I know!! The parking spot thing drives me crazy. I never was one to slow down when people were tailgating me, but people who are (impatiently) waiting for my parking spot rather than take a nearby empty one when I clearly have a lengthy loading process to go through? You better believe I take my sweet time. My 2 year old wants to practice climbing into his car seat and buckle (and unbuckle and re-buckle) it all by himself? All the better. :)

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  7. you're golden! see I told you way WAAAAAY back in march that things would look better soon

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  8. Ugh. I hate hate hate when people do that in parking lots. Your kids are lucky - mine didn't get the organic Mac and cheese. We've swapped that habit out for pb&j a lot recently... Plus apple juice, which counts as fruit, right?

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  9. I just have one so far, so I guess really, I don't know...but I do. Some days I feel on top of it and other days I can't believe I'm supposed to be an adult. I love that you capture pictures of your children, not just staged happy ones, but every day ones. I really hope to be the mom that grabs the camera first, *before* melting down about flour being spread all over the house. Because right now, I would melt down first, clean it up, be angry, then be sad about the missed opportunity.

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  10. If someone did that to me in a parking lot I'd slow right down. Maybe even serve the kids a snack in the car while the guy waited and waited and waited. Then again, I slow down for tailgaters, including people who tailgate me with their shopping carts in the grocery mass exodus lane. (some people, like my husband, accuse me of being a misanthrope... ;) )

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  11. Glad you can see the light at the end of the tunnel! It always happens eventually, right? :)

    And "two angry pocket birds"? Priceless!!!

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  12. Kinda joking? Haha!! Love it!!!!

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  13. I finally figured out the same thing with our baby. He just wants to do whatever the big kids are doing. If I let them go upstairs and make him stay downstairs, woe is me.

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  14. I have a brother who went through a cat phase. He wore a cat costume, complete with eye pencil drawn on whiskers, everywhere we went. I was about 13 at the time so that wasn't mortifying AT ALL. He even ate his meals on the floor like a cat. He's now a high-powered attorney at a big-deal law firm in Manhattan, so there's hope for Bashy.

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  15. I cannot make it through one of your posts without laughing so hard it simultaneously annoys my husband and wakes the baby that I'm holding. Not a complaint.

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  16. John Deere hoodie ROCKS!! So do the four tutu's and sweet Theo smile. You are finding your rhythm, one day at a time my friend. Yay!!

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  17. Pocket birds! Brilliant.
    Julia's pigtails inspired me this week to break out of the little side-braid rut my toddler gets stuck in every day. Too adorable...man, I wish I was 3.

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  18. The rut and the stride just take on different forms as the kids get older! You're doing awesome! Love the tutus....!

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  19. Can I send J to spend some time with your kiddos for a while? He's a pro at dusting but refuses to eat Annies Mac and cheese and won't eat hot dogs either. Maybe bash and Julia can convince him otherwise haha

    And yes- forget about a schedule when night float is in progress. Triple ugh

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  20. Just when you think you can't handle the truck obsession for one. more. stinking. day. he will suddenly discover planes then trains then Transformers. Which is where we are on the continuum of obsession. I'll let you know what comes after that.

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  21. pushing the cart with your thorax. omg. lol.

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  22. You are a rock star. Hang in there.

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  23. I don't have anything clever or funny in my brain but I love this one.

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  24. You are awesome. You seriously make me feel bad about how I cry (most nights) about not coping with the 2 that I have. And my husb has a predictably shifted job. Seriously, add to your FAQ page: Whats your schedule in a day? How do you look so good, keep your kids occupied without copious amounts of TV and keep up with the cleaning. I am in serious need of advice from someone who has it so together.

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    1. I second this request for a schedule-y type post. My husband isn't even in residency (M3) and I only have one kid thus far... and his away rotations? His call nights? The fact that we live ninety bajillion miles away from anyone and everyone? Has done killed me dead. Except sometimes honestly, doesn't being dead require closed eyes and eternal rest? Because I definitely get no rest between my none sleeping child and being terrified of every creak of the floor.
      Now that I've made myself sound like a total nutcase, just wanted to tell you you really are awesome and kind of a role model for little old me. I may just well have three or four or even five kids throughout my husband's medical training alone, if God so chooses. And I PRAY to receive them and care for them with all the grace you have with your children.

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  25. Ah. At least I'm not the only one with three small people to care for who feels like she's DROWNING all the time. We also seem to be hitting some kind of stride-ish. Perhaps I will survive this after all. But feel better that I'm not alone!

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  26. I figured out the key to keeping kids from sliding/slumping all over the seat of the cart - non-skid rug padding. Sounds crazy but it works great. I carried a strip of it in the diaper bag. It was big enough to go under his butt and up the backrest and he stopped doing the awkward slump.

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  27. Your photog skills are really blowing up! In a good way. I keep coming back to this post to admire the way you captured the folds of J's tutu. Lovely!

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  28. Anytime we're at Target I am CURSING the kiddy seat slant and awful buckle. Cursing, I tell you.

    And Stub-bastian? I love it. You can't make this stuff up! :)

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  29. I can't say I have too much to add, but I just want to confirm in case you didn't know already that Theo is the cutest baby in the history of babies. He always seems to be laughing, and those cheeks!!! So darling too that he loves being around his siblings so much.

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  30. Our kids are in nearly the exact same stages (although P luurves his helicopters rather than trucks and N isn't quite sitting up independently yet). I'm holding out for that six month mark which is when I seem to get my mojo back. Almost there...almost there... But this waking up every hour thing that N has going is really wearing on me.
    We actually have rather a lot of family in town (and I hope that I don't underestimate what a blessing that is) but we just wrapped up 6 months of the WEDDING and I'm expecting that it will take another 6 months for everyone to recover and want to hang around with us again. Which actually good timing now that I think about it because at our current rate, I will be spending lots of quality time in the bathroom with our next baby right about then.

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  31. My bebe can't seem to sit in the new Target carts either, she always almost slides out. AND normal bucket car seats don't click onto the new carts :-( If I didn't hate my local Wal-mart's parking lot I would totally go there instead for pet food - which is pretty much the only thing I can't buy at a decent price at my local grocery store. Otherwise I'd never go anywhere but Kroger.

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  32. Sebastian loves trucks as much as my son loves Thomas the train. "Thomas" has been in family pictures, joins us for mealtime, bath time, Mass, bedtime....really "Thomas" has to be wherever Joseph is!

    And my daughter is really into being a "ballerina princess"

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  33. I'm sure you get oodles of comments and emails and other Internet-y type messages of this sort da-da-da-daily, but I'll just have to add to that pretty pile of love.

    GRACE! Your blog is fantastic. So fantastic that when I talk to my husband about it (wow, that's not incredibly creepy or anything, nope), he always says, "Oh right, the one who got in & out of Costco in 17 minutes with 3 kids." Domestic celebrity status, what.

    We have a little man Bash's age (Logan, 10/17/11) and a small gent Theo's age (Clark, 01/16/13). If you're ever down for a long distance play date (we're in Chicago), we have a mighty mega mess of monster trucks & a freshly purchased pack o' Annie's con queso chilling in the basement. It would be too fun, I can tell already.

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  34. Funny, I sat down to write a post like this earlier, but shelved it because I couldn't find an acceptable way to list "ain't nobody want to date a crazy mother" under my list of complaints. But yeah, how come nobody tells you that "completely swamped" will be the new baseline? I guess it wouldn't deter anyone anyway, but man. Also, and I hate to be a nudge and you probably already know this with your man being a doctor and all, but be careful with the Excedrin. My doctor-parent training always has me worried about excessive ibuprofen or acetaminophen use. Lecture over, I'm just a worry wart.

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  35. I just really loved this post, Grace! I haven't really had a rhythm yet, and I'm about to get even farther from one. But! I feel like there is a rhythm to not having a rhythm and it's kind of comforting, if that makes any sense?

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  36. Any chance you can load the kids up in the car and brave another road trip during the upcoming call weekends/night float? I do this sometimes when my husband travels or when he is just swamped with work (he works full time and is in grad school). It mixes things up for me so life alone with the littles doesn't get too monotonous and it gives my husband time to just focus on what he needs to get done (if he is home that is).

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