Viewing posts for the category parenting
I am that crazy mom who apparently keeps having babies. Yes I try contraception but no joke guys NOTHING WORKS! Out of the 5 years I've been married I've been pregnant 4 times, and three of the pregnancies resulted in little monsters, who are now three, two, and an infant.
I also wouldn't mind having more. Call me crazy, but I just LOVE being a mom. Don't get me wrong it's hard work, but totally worth it if you ask me.
Here are 5 survival tips, because when you have three kids three and under, every day is about SURVIVAL. These have worked out pretty well for me and sometimes I even fool myself in thinking that I have it all together.
My three year old is totally OCD and needs his things in a certain order. God forbid someone ruin the order - all hell will break loose!
So there are times in our life where for some reason or another we may not do the things above. The world doesn't fall apart BUT there tends to be more conflict, less fun and more stress. We find that doing these things makes life so much easier for all of us (but especially for mom and dad:) Many people think having three kids this small is really difficult, but it's really not too bad. I'm not saying it's a piece of cake, but it's no way as hard as I initially imagined. You just need to have a system that works for you. These tips might work great for some yet no so much for others. Always just do what works for you and your family.
My #1 necessity / mommy saver / mom hack are the use of:
What is better than a safe space?!! NOTHING is better than a safe space!!!! A safe space is an enclosed area where kids are free to roam and do whatever they like with no safety hazards and plenty of room to do what kids do best - play. Our best safe space in our home is our living room, which we have donated to the kids. The kids can be kids and play and run around and touch anything they want without hearing a "NO" or tripping and hurting themselves on a coffee table. It's a contained area with a wide gate that kind of makes it seem like they are in jail....but they are not in jail. They are in a fun and safe environment that they both enjoy and that promotes independence. AND it lets mommy enjoy some space and time to do mommy things without the interruption of one toddler holding onto each of my legs as I try to walk.
Here's a fun idea- a safe space for toddler eating time! We donated a corner of our dining room for their eating space, with toddler tables and chairs, and a matt underneath to catch all those crumbs. You won't find anything with sharp corners here! And our adult dining table is round so that makes for no worrying about eyes bumping into table corners.
I've made it easy for them to help themselves to however much food they want. I find that they eat more this way and it gives them a sense of independence which is EVERYTHING to a 2 and 3 year old. Oh and afterwards they put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher too, and Valentino has even begun to vacuum the crumbs with a little hand held vacuum cleaner. I can't handle the cuteness.
Another safe space area: THE BEDROOM. All our kids rooms are gated and fully toddler safety proof. I've lately been really into the KonMari method and have been on a major purging and organizing kick. I've gotten rid of most all clutter and find it so satisfying to be able to walk into my toddler's rooms without constantly tripping on toys. I put minimal furniture in each of their rooms too- only the absolute necessaties, and also replaced curtains with valances so they won't be able to pull them down. I find that the more "stuff" is in their rooms, the more prone to injury they are and the less safe it is. They do still have a lot of toys but I put them in bins and we have a rotating bin system that keeps them loving their "new" old toys that I rotate out.
The more kids I have, the more I realize how necessary these spaces are for my kids. Like how else would I be able to feed a baby away from the loud screaming toddlers? I cannot leave any kid fully unattended, however safe the "safe space" may be, so we made sure to install cameras in all our kid safe space areas. This way I can keep an eye on them playing in the living room while I'm upstairs feeding the baby. Or I can peek and make sure they are actually sleeping when it's nap time or bed time.
So my house isn't fancy and we don't have many expensive and nice things, but when having kids this small I feel this system we have is just perfect and functional for everyone.
These past two months have been challenging but not as bad as expected. They flew by so fast, and now that Persephone is close to two months old she's starting to sleep for longer spells during the night time, and that makes mommy VERY happy. During these past two months:
has been as sweet and lovable as can be! Compared to the boys she has by far been the easiest. During the first two weeks of her life she was constantly sleeping, so much so that I had to set an alarm for every two hours through the night to wake her up and feed her. She cries so rarely that I am constantly checking on her breathing to make sure she's ok, and her lucky brothers are getting a full nights sleep every night since she was born, uninterrupted!
Persephone's eating schedule for the first two weeks of her life were 2 ounces of formula every two hours, right on the dot. Then for the remainder of the first month we increased it to 3 ounces of formula every 2 1/2 to 3 hours, and throughout her second month we increased it to 4 ounces every 3 hours and we let her sleep as much as she wants to overnight.
Persephone has also recently started turning over onto her tummy by herself, and is attempting to crawl. I put her on one side of the crib and I'll come back an hour later to find her on the far end of the other side of the crib. She does not co-sleep with us, from day 1 she has slept in her own crib. I want her to get used to it so that she will grow up to find sleeping in her own space as the norm. I've done this with all my children and it has worked out very well for us, could you imagine if all 3 kids wanted to sleep in our bed every night? That would be a disaster!!
Because Persephone is still so tiny and vulnerable, we keep her away from people, especially her brothers. She is so little and still needs more vaccines, so we are VERY careful to keep germs away from her. The boys are constantly coming home with all sorts of illnesses caught from school, and we are constantly wiping their noses, cleaning throw up and dealing with all sorts of colds and viruses. We prevent little Persephone from catching anything by keeping her away from the boys and literally washing our hands every 2 minutes. I remember Valentino's old pediatrician would firmly tell us NOT to take a newborn out anywhere, especially to restaurants- where the guy in the back making your salad could be from a south american country where they don't vaccinate and next thing you know your newborn could catch TB. How funny is he? Like, who says that? THANKS for making us paranoid doc :)
does understand that he has a "baby sister." Whenever she cries he looks concerned and tells me that she is hungry and that I should give her some pizza :) He has been adjusting to having a baby sister incredibly well. He sleeps, eats and goes about his normal daily routine really well. Because I have been recovering and preoccupied with everything baby related, hubby has really stepped up to the plate and has handled all things toddler related, therefore Valentino has really developed a special bond with daddy during these past few months. He has also matured a lot during these past few months and takes his daddy very seriously. If daddy asks Valentino to clean his room, he will instantly clean it with no questions asked. With me, on the other hand, he will play and ignore me and not take me seriously. How unfair!
also understands that he has a baby sister, but that's about all he understands. The first day Caspian met Persephone he patted her head and then just went about his business. He's not bothered by having a baby sister, and carries about his day normally. He ocassionally will say "bye bye baby!" His room is adjacent to Persephone's, and initially I thought that would be a problem and interrupt his sleep, but so far so good! Caspian is known as the family parrot because he will repeat everything he hears, and sometimes I even catch him imitating the baby crying!
Does realize that another human has joined the house, and seems to be curious and concerned about it. So the rule of the house is that he cannot come upstairs to the bedrooms. Sir Edward knows this and has never set foot upstairs. However after Persephone joined us, sometimes when she cries and isn't immediately soothed, Sir Edward will become very concerned and will run up the stairs and sit behind her gate, as if he is protecting her from some unknown predator who could be the cause of her distress :)
We haven't introduced him properly to Persephone yet, because she's still too little, but he has seen us walking around the house holding her. The nurses at the hospital gave us a worn hat of Persephone's and put it in a ziplock for us to take home so that he can sniff it. I thought that was really sweet of them to think of the family dog :)
has just been ecstatic and at the same time exhausted! He continues to work hard at his job and for the family, being responsible for most things toddler related and helping me also with the baby. Literally everything has fallen on his shoulders while I'm on this what we call "medical leave" that will last until May 1st, and then I'll take over all household and children responsibilities so that he can focus on his work more. He has been really enjoying spending more time with the toddlers though, and has developed new and fun routines with them that they all seem to enjoy. Amongst all this craziness he has even managed to get a promotion at work. He very nonchalantly told me this, like it was no big deal......I then started screaming hysterically whilst jumping up and down and just making a ruckus! He is just awesome!
I feel a million times better than I felt throughout my entire pregnancy! There is nothing more I hate than being pregnant, and there's nothing more I love than having a newborn. Every time I get pregnant I tell my husband, THIS IS IT! I AM NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN!!!!!! Then after the baby is born I completely forget those nine months of absolute torture and I'm like "hmmmm, well maybeee."
I have gained a ton of weight as expected. On June 1st me and hubby will start the Ketogenic way of life again to lose all this pregnancy weight. By this time next year I WILL have lost about 50 pounds and I will look amazing. Right now I just look like a fat mom. It is what it is!
On the mental health front I also feel a million times better than I did throghout the entire pregnancy. This happens to me every time, and every time while I'm pregnant I get paranoid that I'll get postpartum depression....and then it never happens. The only thing that gets me hysterical is the day after the c section where they draw my blood and can't find the vein on the first try. With all three pregnancies I sobbed like a lunatic the day after the surgery while they were trying to draw my blood. The nurses looked at my husband completely shocked and tried to reason with me. All I wanted to do was to scream "B!tCH STOP POKING ME!!" I attribute that craziness to postpartum hormone fluctuations.
Regarding breastfeeding, that pretty much hasn't been an option for me. I produce 50% less milk than the average person, and my breasts never feel full or hurt. It's like they are the same as before pregnancy. WEIRD huh? The lactation consultants just tell me to pump whatever I can get and to just formula feed. During the first few weeks of pumping this was how much milk I pumped after an entire day of non-stop pumping:
I really wish I could just breastfeed as constantly pumping and sanitizing bottles is just irritating. Don't even get me started on the cost of formula! And the kids bathroom is overflowing with bottles and baby related stuff. I need a bigger house!
I am very excited to wrap up the 4th trimester and resume my normal daily routines and life. We are still figuring out how to make this work (with three kids and all) but if there's one thing I've learned it's that the seasons will continue to change and everything will eventually fall into place.
My main goal over the next few months is to figure out how to take care of three kids and a dog at the same time, kick the carbs and enter ketosis to get my body back.
Hold me accountable, ok? Thanks!
Introducing our new little bundle of joy- Persephone Shiraz Rahmanian. She was born on February 22nd and weighed 7 lbs 1 oz. She is named after the Greek mythology Goddess of Spring and Queen of the Underworld, who's story is one of love, grief, celebration and the changing of the seasons. Her middle name is after the city in Iran known for it's poets, literature, flowers and wine.
We are so thrilled this time to have a girl. She is so pleasant and wonderful, all I want to do all day is snuggle and squeeze her. Her nickname is garden gnome, because she's cute and funny looking like a garden gnome :) Hubby says she emits the same calm energy as I do, and she rarely cries. After two boys and a miscarriage, I didn't want to get too excited and jinx my luck. Having a girl in addition to the two boys seemed too good to be true! I was so happy for the boys to have a sister and it just seemed like the perfect addition to the family. To avoid any jinxing (as we are great believers in Sod's law) we didn't tell anyone the gender, due date or name. I didn't have a baby shower, didn't prepare the nursery until the night before her arrival, and only bought two outfits for her prior to her arrival.
Here's hubby staying up all night putting together her room the night before..... <3
The night before our scheduled c section I felt SO ready and excited to get this baby out. Pregnancy is such a pain in my backside that going to the hospital for a c section felt like going on a much needed vacation, where I could rest, sleep, sleep some more, and order room service. When we arrived at the hospital everything went like clockwork. Everything was as expected, timely and organized. It couldn't have gone smoother. We arrived at 5:30am, signed my life away on a bunch of forms, had an iv put in, got prepped for surgery, and the baby came out at 8:11am, crying kicking and screaming with a head full of hair and a body full of fuzz. I gave birth to a chunky monkey! We later found out that the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck twice! How terrifying! Everything turned out great though.
And here is that obligatory family c section pic. I had to force a smile as I felt like a ton of bricks were crushing my chest and shoulders. They then pumped me with meds that I spent the remainder of the day vomiting up. Apparently the more c sections you have the longer the surgery is and the worse you feel during it, or at least that's what happened to me. Oh so glad that is over :)
I still cannot believe I have a daughter. I kept staring at her after she was born like, did this just happen? Do we really have a GIRL and THREE kids now??? Holy $h!t!!!!!!!
Here she is in her coming home outfit!!!! We were so excited to introduce her to her big brothers :)
Valentino was totally welcoming and excited to have a baby join the family. Caspian was as well but he doesn't yet understand much. He thinks it's funny when she cries and imitates her cries. Valentino becomes concerned when he hears her crying and tells me that "baby is sad!!!" I have a feeling they will both be fantastic brothers.
It's been about two weeks since we brought her home, and I've been taking it real easy, kicking my feet up and letting hubby take charge of everything. We have a great system where hubby is in charge of everything like the boys, taking them to and from school, feeding them, bathing them, doing bedtime routines, doing chores, running errands, helping me with baby feedings and bringing me breakfast lunch and dinner in bed :) In return, I try to do as many night feedings as I can so that he can get some sleep. I try to just sleep whenever baby does, but it's still hard and we are both so sleep deprived that we just look like zombies! I'm so lucky to have such an involved and helpful hubby who's mission it is to keep me as comfortable as can be! He's got this baby thing down!
Welcoming a third child has been much more relaxing than I thought it would be, and anxiety free. I was expecting chaos, stress and all hell to break loose. So far so good though. Welcoming Persephone has been one of the greatest things we have done. I feel so happy to become a mom again for the third time, and still in shock over having three kids. Knowing how fast they grow up, I spend my days holding her tight, snuggling, being grateful and just living in the moment.
Exactly one month ago we started potty training Valentino. He had just turned three and has made so much progress in all developmental areas that we thought he was definitely ready to take the plunge.
The night before we started, hubby went out and bought potty training necessities that included:
We already had a toilet training potty so we felt prepared and excited for how he will take to it. We had both thought that he would just be one walking accident, and that he would pee and poo all over the floor everywhere all day every day. We were a bit terrified, as our house is mostly carpet, so we removed Valentino's pricey pottery barn rug that was in his room and replaced it with a cheap hideous looking rug from Walmart that was only $22. Who knew you could buy a rug for $22??
During the first day of potty training, we took off his diaper and threw it away in front of him and said "Bye bye" to it. He waved at it and said bye bye. My heart melts.
Then we had him run around naked from waist down in his room, gave him a sippy cup of milk, and then we both sat and watched him drink his milk and run around his room for what seemed like hours. We put his potty on the Walmart rug and as soon as I saw him do a little tinkle, I RAN and quickly put him on the potty. He continued to pee, and I showed him how to point his wee wee down into the potty so his peepee doesn't spray everywhere. He completely took to it and thought it was the coolest thing!
After he was done we all did a happy dance around the potty, and kept pointing to the pee saying YAAAAAY and clapping and jumping up and down. Then we had him clean up his little tinkle that he did on the carpet.
That first day I watched him like a hawk, and I nearly spent the entire day in his room doing this. Hubby took charge of taking care of Caspian while me and Valentino worked on potty training. We sat on the potty and read lots of books and also watched Peppa Pig on the ipad. We spent time working on counting and on colors. He really enjoyed all this one on one time.
Whenever Valentino has a successful go on the adult toilet, he gets really excited about his accomplishment and immediately after washing his hands he goes and gives Caspian a big hug. Not me or daddy, just Caspian. He's so funny.
So Valentino has completely taken to helping clean up his accidents. It's the cutest thing. I love how OCD he is about cleanliness, if there is a drop of pee anywhere he gets really upset about it until it's all cleaned up. If he has an accident in his pants he also freaks out about that too. He knows his routine of washing his hands right after he goes potty.
On his second day of potty training I was having a lot of pregnancy issues, and I projectile vomited water all over the rug that Valentino was practicing his potty on. He politely came and helped me clean up all of mommy's vomit. He is my heart <3
After the first week of potty training, we were averaging about 1 to 2 accidents per day. Some days he would get by with no accidents, and then I would get excited and think he has completely got it, and then other days he would have 2 accidents and I would be crushed and defeated.
Now after a month has passed, he will only have an accident if they potty isn't nearby. He has completely got it and rarely has accidents now, and he's done so well in school that they have moved him up from the toddler class to the primary class. He's such a big boy now and I am so proud of him!!!
The only issue I'm having now is to get him to go potty when he is excited. He will only have accidents when he's having a great time playing with Caspian and is too excited to stop playing and go potty. I also haven't dared to take him out and about for fear of not having the potty close by. On average he goes potty 7 to 8 times per day; so you can imagine how much time I have to spend cleaning potty and constantly being on the lookout for him pottying. We put so much time and effort into this that it literally has been a month since we have gone anywhere (except to their school of course). With the new baby coming soon I think we won't be going anywhere until Spring! I really miss our family date nights with the boys dressed in their best suits. I think those nights won't happen now for a while :( My life right now revolves around the potty, AND preparing for baby #3!