Mama Miller Parenting

Passionate parenting and homemaking.

Life with three kids

I’ve had a lot of people ask me how I’m doing lately.

How am I coping with three kids?

How am I feeling?

Well, here it is. My uncensored, sleep deprived version of the past four weeks.

● We found a waffle in the fish tank last night.

● I absolutely adore watching K and E interact with the baby. They love to hold him and kiss him.

● E also loves to sniff him and try to decide if he is poopy…

● I am no longer shy about nursing. Being poked in the boob repeatedly by a two year old saying, “Mommy booby milk” will do it. With K I had to be in a separate room and completely covered. With E I used the big tent cover and felt dangerous when I nursed in the mall play area. Now I use a thin muslin blanket to cover the goods, but not his head. No one has been flashed (outside of family) or made any rude comments.

● There are toys everywhere. The house has settled into a state of clean, but cluttered chaos.

● After hours of nursing and being used as a jungle gym by the big kids, I get ‘touched out’ and desperately crave personal space. Husband usually takes over soothing and listening for kids when he gets off work so I can have a few hours of quiet sleep.

● I thought I’d still be crazy sore, but I’m moving around pretty well. Sometimes I do too much and end up super sore though.

● I’m often torn between the need for privacy while I pee and knowing where the big kids are. Peeing alone means yelling, “Do not touch baby!”… Repeatedly.

● I’m sick to death of strangers commenting on how I have my hands full. It is like asking a tall person, “How’s the weather up there?” It is expected and I’m used to it, but it doesn’t make it any less irksome.

● I squirted myself in the face with milk once and K thought it was hilarious.

● I eat an unprecedented amount of cream of wheat. It is easy, warm, and can be spooned into my mouth with one free hand.

● My pits smell like pancakes all the time. Fenugreek supplements (for milk supply) give you a lovely maple smell.

● We call Baby F our little spider monkey because he is all limbs.

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Life in the Miller house.

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Baby F’s Birth Story

Disclaimer: This is a birth story, and birth stories often contain information that some may find icky. There is nothing too traumatic in this story, but still…

My sweet husband and I had thought our little family was complete. We had one boy and one girl. I just felt incredibly lucky to have children at all.

With the birth of K I found out that I had an ovarian condition. One of my ovaries had been taken over by a large cystic tumor and had to be removed. I had a 30-50% chance of developing one on the other side. I was told not to wait too long if I wanted another baby.

E was born 2 years and 3 months after K. Her birth had been a much easier c-section than my first. Although I am totally supportive of VBACs, I knew it was safer with my ovarian condition to continue with cesarean births.

When E was about 15 months old our little world was turned upside down. I went to the doctor thinking I had an UTI and found out instead that we were pregnant! I had just been up on a ladder painting in our renovation house. We really had no clue.

The pregnancy went by very quickly this time. We moved into our house. We adopted Miri the big red dog. We found out we were having another boy.

I had some blood pressure issues toward the end of both my previous pregnancies, but not this time. We scheduled my c-section for September 26th- exactly ten days after E’s second birthday.

The day before I was still driving and getting things ready.

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Oh so very pregnant...

The big kids went to spend the night with my in-laws and we got up super bright and early to head to the hospital.

I had heard from a laction consultant friend that my hospital was now offering more family centered c-sections. I had discussed with my doctor being able to have skin to skin with the baby while still in the OR. He was fine with it but said to remind the nurses when we got there.

I was very worried when the first nurse I talked to wasn’t sure about the new policy. She said she would ask our ‘baby catcher’ nurse. Luckily, we had the best baby catcher ever. She was very excited and willing to adhere to our wishes.

At about 7:30am I left my parents, in-laws, and big kids in the recovery room to go back. I had a fairly smooth spinal block and epidural. Soon I was ready to go and had Andy by my side.

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My mom and dad waiting with the kids.

At 8:08am we heard him cry for the first time. Our amazing baby catcher, Monika, quickly wiped him down, suctioned his nose and mouth, and promptly placed him on my chest.

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She really was the best nurse ever. She helped us hold him on my chest and eventually worked all the blankets down enough to help him latch. I got to nurse in the OR!

It was the best cesarean experience I could have asked for. Everything went by so quickly with him to focus on. It was much more personal than the swaddled kiss I had with my other births.

He stayed with me until right before they moved me to the transport bed. She took him to measure and weigh while I was moved.

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8lbs 8oz and 20 inches long

He rode on my chest to the recovery room for more nursing and meeting his family.

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I had supply issues with both K and E. I desperately wanted to make it work better this time around. I think our early skin to skin definitely helped. We had some serious cluster feeding marathons while in the hospital. He lost over a pound, but was wetting, pooping, and feeding well. He wasn’t overly jaundice. I had some great lactation consultants visit with me and show me how to use a supplemental nursing system if needed.

(It is a canister that attaches to a thin tube. The tube is slipped into the corner of baby’s mouth while nursing. They get the expressed milk or formula while still nursing. No bottles or nipple confusion. I highly recommend looking into one instead of bottle supplements.)

My hospital stay was tiring, but fairly uneventful. I was walking to the restroom later that night. I took a shower the next morning and was able to slowly walk to the nurses station and back. We got the ok to head home Sunday morning.

He is nursing well and slowly gaining weight back. He isn’t quite up to birth weight, but because he is so healthy our pediatrician isn’t worried. I offer formula in the supplemental nursing system a few times a day after feedings, but he rarely takes any.

I couldn’t have made it through the first couple of weeks without my parents and in-laws. They helped us so much with the kids and transportation. We also had some amazing church family send us meals.

I’m still sore, but I’m driving now and I’ve even made a couple of outings with all the kids. I even got to go to my 10 year high school reunion this weekend (with the baby).

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Baby F is here!

I know it has been a while dear friends. Baby F did, in fact, make a safe healthy debut. I’ve had a hard time blogging during this pregnancy.

In many ways this pregnancy was the easiest. I knew what to expect. I had no weight gain (lost 25+lbs and gained back about 15-20lbs). I never had high blood pressure…

It was also the hardest in many ways. Chasing two kids while pregnant is not easy. We also renovated a house and moved. I also made the choice (along with my OB) to go through this pregnancy without my anxiety medicine.

After E was born, postpartum depression and anxiety hit fairly hard and I had been on a low dose mild medication since she was five months old.

There are so many wrong assumptions about what depression looks like. I never laid in bed and cried all day. I didn’t look like a little cartoon with a storm cloud over my head. I just didn’t feel right. Little things would make the stress resonate in my shoulder blades. I was moody and didn’t cope with things as well. I would want to write or visit friends or do something, but a weirdness would wash over me and I’d hold back.

I was still me. I still got up every day and made breakfast for my kids. I could still joke and visit family. Please remember that if a friend or family member ever approaches you about depression. They may not look depressed or anxious. It can be a silent affliction that lurks in the shadows.

I made a plan with my doctor and pediatrician to start a new breastfeeding safe medication while in the hospital. I don’t regret waiting out my pregnancy, but I feel much more like myself now. Adjusting to three kids is much easier when you don’t feel like you are drowning in stress.

Baby F is almost 4 weeks old now. E and K are over the moon for their baby brother. They both like to hold him and both help grab things for mama. We are well. I’m hopefully back.. As much as a newborn will let me be.

Stay tuned for his birth story with more pictures!

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You know you’re 9 months pregnant when…

I apologize for my absence. Our house has been invaded by ants and we’re currently staying at my parents. I’m slowly getting over being ill, but I’m still exhausted. I hope to get back into my reading and commenting soon. Just popping in for a quick post…

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Brother love!

I’m officially a few days shy of 9 months pregnant. As I said before, we are staying at my parents until after the exterminator comes tomorrow. Husband went to the house to move our clothes out of the closet before they come tomorrow. Yes, we have ants all up in our closet. Ugh.

He picked up some more clothes for all of us. I ran up to his work to get them out of his truck. When I got back to my parents, what would fall out of the bag? Why, my bra of course.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant if you’ve ever kicked a bra up the sidewalk because bending over is not an option. (Yes, that happened.)

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when you bribe your son to pick something up for you with a cookie.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when people ask if you’re due any day now, but you’re still a month out.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant if you’ve ever had an emotional crisis over running out of lunch meat.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when you adopt a Hobbit eating plan. (Why yes, second breakfast sounds perfectly viable.)

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when water gives you heartburn.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when you are willing to let your kids sleep wherever they fall because carrying them to bed isn’t going to happen.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when you can’t even fit in half of your maternity pants anymore.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when you crave Reeses cups and cry because your husband gets the minis instead of the regular cups. (There is a different chocolate to peanut butter ratio, I swear!)

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when the only way sex sounds remotely appealing is the hope of jump starting labor.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when you go to the bathroom, wash you’re hands, and the sound of the running water makes you need to pee again.

You know you’re 9 months pregnant when switching positions while sleeping involves a bathroom trip and rearranging about 10 pillows.

Yep, I’m feeling it!

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The Clingy Kid

I’m using my blog for my own personal gain tonight…

Ok parents,

Who dealt with a super clingy toddler while getting ready for a new baby?

When we had E, both of us were working. So K was used to being comforted by either of us. It made our transition easier because we could easily divide and conquer. I got E because I had the goods to feed her. Husband took K. Everybody was happy, happy, happy.

Now I am staying home full time with both kids and my E is super attached to me. She loves daddy, but does not want to be rocked down by daddy. It is hard for both of us to listen to her fuss when daddy holds her, but she hurts my belly with her toddler wiggles. Plus I feel like she needs to start seeking daddy for comfort to get ready for Baby F.

The toddler bed transition has been a little difficult. We used to just lay her down, but now she can walk out. She is also finishing teething all four eye teeth. So she still lays down when almost asleep, but wants to be comforted for a while first.

Thoughts? Did you have a clingy kiddo that only wanted mom?

In other news, E got her first haircut today:

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Just a bang trim, but she still looks like such a big girl.

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Always my mom

Nothing incredibly profound tonight. I don’t have enough neurons firing for that at the moment; I just had to share something.

I posted this on Facebook this morning:

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I had been up all night with Braxton Hicks and a sniffing toddler, but I had to get some things done today.

I got to church for a ladies’ function and my mom handed me this as I walk in the door:

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She’ll always be my mommy. ♥

Oh, and I am happy to report K and I seemed to be back on the same page this morning. He and sister are spending the night with my in-laws. I think a truce and a day apart should help us reset.

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Spawn of Shelob

Fridays are family breakfast/brunch date day. Usually we do something cheap like donuts on non-payday Fridays and something that involves actual plates on payday Fridays.

Today was a fancy Friday. We decided to go to Cracker Barrel. Yep… Extra fancy.

We’d ask K a billion several times to get his shoes from the play room. He kept telling us there was a spider. I finally took a break from trying to chase down E with Husband and went to investigate.

K is not the bravest kid. It took me a while to convince him he could hold a doodle bug without contracting a fatal disease. So, I expected to see a tiny run-of-the-mill house spider. We live in rural area in Texas… Spiders happen.

This is what I found:

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Ok, so this is actually a picture of Aragog... But it is close!

Sweet nightmares! This thing was surely a descendant of Shelob, born from the depths of hell itself.

Me: HUSBAND!

Husband: What’s wron… OH SWEET JESUS!

Me: Do not squish that thing in my house! Take it out and kill it!

Husband was temporarily stunned.

Me: GET A CUUUUP! KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE!

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Husband the Brave battling the Shelob

Husband sprung into action, trapped it in a cup, and took it outside to vanquish.

K: I told you there was a spider…

Yes you did kid. Yes you did.

About that time something flung itself at me from behind the futon.

Me: AHHH! SPIDER ATTACK!

K: It’s a grasshopper mom.

I have become far wimpier during pregnancy…

We did eventually make it to Cracker Barrel. It was 11 when we got there. Husband and I pretended it was still breakfast time and soothed our frazzled spider battling nerves with pancakes. The kids chose macaroni.

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Pictured: Why I wish E was clingier to daddy.

Mmm, slimy cheese covered toddler.

Happy Friday! I’ll have a Friday Favorites up later this evening, provided I’m not eaten by hell-spiders.

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A Quiet Love Story

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Ok Hollywood, you can keep your big flashy love stories.

I don’t need running through a crowded airport.

I don’t need kissing in the rain.

I don’t need a dramatic fight scene.

Or a love triangle.

You can keep it all.

I like my quiet love story.

Sometimes love just looks like a husband of six years hanging diapers out to sun so you can rest your pregnant feet.

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Mom Tourette’s

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Mom Times 4’s post on motherhood and phone calls. It inspired today’s post…

Nicole over at Shephardology is one of my dear friends. We met in college and actually grew up in the same area, but at different schools. I have my two kids, K and E, and she has her son, J.

This is what a typical phone conversation between the two of us would look like:

Me: So, the doctor said STOP CHASING SISTER that baby F is looking DO NOT LICK YOUR BROTHER good.

Nicole: That is good. J, LEAVE THE CAT ALONE. Do you want to meet for a play date one day?

Me: That would be great. NO, I WILL NOT OPEN A CHEESE STICK. GO PUT IT BACK. How about Tuesday?

Nicole: Great. GO ASK DADDY. Let’s meet at the GET OFF MY FOOT mall.

Only a mom can appreciate the weird broken language of another mom. I have come to call this phenomenon Mom Tourette’s. I’m sure it drives non parents crazy. I don’t even realize I’m doing it anymore.

On a totally unrelated topic, I wanted to show you something awesomely nerdy…

I mentioned my friend’s at Houchin’s House of Wizarding Wares on my last Friday Favorites post. Well, a month or so back I won a gift certificate giveaway from them. I asked if they would be willing to make a custom wand as a gift for my husband’s birthday. I was actually able to keep it a secret from him. (Those that know me can stop gasping now.)

This is the awesomeness that we received yesterday:

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Yes, that is a handmade Dr. Who wand. How fun is that?! Now we have the coolest conversation starter ever on our shelf. It is nerdy and beautifully made.

**For those that have given me awards this week, I am planning to play catch-up later today. 🙂

****Also, not making lite of a serious condition. It is just what I imagine outsiders would think hearing me on the phone. 🙂

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The Cuteness Factor

Another short post. My kids are protesting sleep this week. They are up early, power nap (if they nap), and then fight sleep for hours.

I officially hate summer. It is bright for way too long… And hot… And sweaty… And it means I’m still pregnant. So very pregnant. Waddling pregnant. Afraid-to-stand-up-for-fear-of-peeing-myself pregnant.

Stores are evil, by the way. They already have out long sleeved things and Fall scented candles! Long sleeves! In August! In Texas! Why?!

I digress though.

My son used the eyelash flutter on me today. He asked me if he could spend the night with Nana and Poppy and then fluttered his eyelashes at me. It wasn’t an accident. He was purposely trying to be cute.

When did he learn that?

I did not fall for it…

In other cuteness related news, E had her first ever pedicure with Nana and I today. She sat in my lap and stuck her toes in the water with me. They even agreed to paint a squirmy not-yet 2 year old’s toes. K and Poppy did manly things together while all this girliness went down.

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Her little toes match my swollen pregnant toes.

Have a great night everyone! May you have cute kids, pretty toes, and not pee yourself (pregnant or otherwise).

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