Tate 7 Months

Little Tater man turned 7 months old two weeks ago.  I am behind on my updates.  I’m fairly certain this is in direct relation to the fact that he never sleeps, so I never sleep.  I am a zombie most if the time.  I honestly don’t know what is going on with him.  The last three weeks have been a real struggle.

He is weighing somewhere around 19 lbs.  This kid loves food so much.  Honestly it is the complete opposite than it was with Arlie.  Tate wants to nurse all the time and in between the nursing sessions, he wants solid food, or whatever I am eating.  It actually shocks and worries me a bit how much he wants to eat, but one of my older mommy friends told me that her son ate so much more than her daughter and it freaked her out at first, so that made me feel better.

Tate crawls like a champ.  He uses his fists for some reason instead of spreading his hands out, but it doesn’t seem to affect his movement.  He is also now pulling up on things, and has discovered that if he stands behind a laundry basket he can push that around and walk behind it.  I seriously don’t know what to do with him, I mean 7 months is too young to start all these things.  I just want him to slow down a little.

He officially has two little teeth in the front on the bottom.  I was so worried that this would affect our nursing, but he has been really good about not biting me, which honestly surprises me.  We are still going strong with nursing.  I am determined to nurse him as long as possible, so hopefully we can keep this up for another year or even longer.  Arlie was never this attached to me, or the boob, so this could get interesting as times goes on.

I am hoping that my happy little bugger comes back and this cranky, clingy mess will go away.  I miss my sweet little boy, but there are still glimpses of him there.  He is still pretty giggly and happy in between his cranky times.  It’s been a rough few weeks.  Hopefully our 8 month report is better in this area.

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A Two Year Old

Arlie is officially two.  I seriously can’t believe it.  She is such a big girl now and it makes me all weepy for when she was a little tiny baby.  I am shocked at how much she has changed in the last few months.  She has always been busy, sassy, and a bit wild, and it just seems even more evident now that she is all of these things.  And smart too!  Like crazy smart.  She surprises me sometimes how quickly she gets the concepts of things.  I don’t even really feel like I am trying to teach her stuff, we just have conversations and she asks questions and then all of a sudden she has a concept down completely.  She’s just an amazing little person.

We had her two year check up this week and she is 35 inches (!) tall and 30 lbs.  That puts her in the 86th percentile for height and 87th for weight.  She is tall and lean, just like her dad.  She’s lucky she got his good genes or she would be short and squatty like me.  We had to fill out this little survey about what she can and can’t do and she was pretty much able to do all of the things.  It was actually kind of fun trying all the activities with her.  She surprised me by being able to kick a ball without holding onto anything and she can stack blocks crazy high.  Its so weird that there are things she can do that I have never really seen (or maybe noticed?) her do.

We had a small birthday party for her with grandparents, M’s sister, and Arlie’s old babysitter, who brought three of her boys.  It was loud and fun and crazy.  I did some basic decorations and made her a blue velvet cake.  She was thrilled to have so many people all around and she spent the two hours going crazy with the boys.

I’ve really noticed an explosion in her speech in the last few weeks.  She is speaking in sentences, and she picks up new words every day.  She is able to identify shapes, colors, some numbers, some letters and she is starting to use people’s names when she talks about them.  It is just so fun to watch her grow.  I think the best part of all of this is how affectionate she has become.  She asks for hugs and kisses all the time and she loves doling them out just as much.  She encourages Tate to play with her and is always concerned with his well being.  I just can’t say enough positive things about her.  She is a miracle and a pleasure every day.  We love this girl so much!

My Life Before M

I mentioned in a post a long time ago that I was married once before.  I think it is important to discuss this now, especially with my last post.

I was young when I first met J and I hadn’t really been in a grown up relationship ever before him, so when we started hanging out and dating, I wasn’t really thinking long term with him.  I was only 20 and he was 17, still in high school.  It wasn’t really love at first sight or anything like that but I liked him and I thought he was pretty fun.  We had a lot in common and I really liked how much he liked me.  I felt special and it was a change from the casual dating I had done in the past.

We got pretty serious about 6 months in and he was looking at colleges.  I was already enrolled in college in our town and I was happy there, but he was looking elsewhere and we decided that we would try long distance dating, which in hindsight was one of the stupidest decisions I had ever made.  Anyway, he decided to go to college in Chicago, which was incredibly far away (4 hour plane ride) and I supported it, but I was devastated that he was leaving.  At the time, I felt like I didn’t have a say in where he chose to go to school because we were only dating with no real commitment to each other.

We dated long distance for the year he was gone and after his freshman year was over, he decided to transfer back to our area and attend a junior college to play baseball.  I was pretty thrilled, and we resumed our dating, but after a year, he decided to go to the mid-west to play baseball for a small school there.  I was again, upset and annoyed, but again decided to stay together with him.  Looking back, I do not recognize the person I was when I dated him.  I was weak and stupid and I hate myself for that.

He was in the mid-west for two years, and at that point we had been together for 5 years, three of which were long distance.  He would come home for the summer, but he was always on a traveling baseball team, so he was rarely actually home.  In between his junior and senior year, he proposed to me in a very public way.  I accepted, but even then I knew it was a bad idea.  Honestly, and I have never said this to another person before, I knew he was going to propose and I even was involved in orchestrating the actual proposal.  It’s embarrassing to me now that I had a hand in it, especially with being so unsure about marrying him in the first place.

I spent his last year of college working full time and planning our wedding.  It was scheduled for fall and in the summer months leading up to it, he moved back home and we moved into an apartment together.  It was stressful and it didn’t allow me much time to think about what I was actually doing.  When October finally rolled around, we got married.  The wedding was fun, but I felt sick the day of at the thought of actually getting married and the night after the wedding was awful and depressing.

He started interning at a sports performance facility instead of getting a job and I was frustrated.  I remember sitting him down and showing him what all the expenses looked like in comparison to what I was making.  He never really seemed to understand why I was upset.  About 3 months into our marriage, he lied to me about having obtained a job and I didn’t find out until a month afterwards.  I was furious, but I still stayed with him.

The final straw came about three months later.  He informed me that he had applied, interviewed, and accepted a grad position at a school in Memphis.  I had no idea that he had even applied and I was completely blind-sided.  He told me he was going, no matter what, and that he would be leaving in three weeks time.  I remember calling my dad because I honestly didn’t know what to do.

I spent the next three weeks packing up my house, finding someplace new to live and sleeping in the separate bedroom.  About a week before he left, I woke up in the middle of the night because his dog was barking.  I went into the living room and J was passed out drunk on the couch, our front door was wide open and his blind and deaf dog was outside on the edge of the forest our apartment backed up to, barking frantically.  I lost my shit, got the dog back inside and locked myself, his dog, and my dog in the room.  I moved out the next morning.

The day he left, I cried.  Not out of sadness, but out of relief.  I couldn’t handle that I had spent so much of my life with this person who clearly didn’t care about me.  It was depressing.  A month after he left, I asked for a divorce and got all the paperwork ready for us to sign.  We had no assets to split and nothing to argue about, so we met one gloomy afternoon when he was back in town, signed the papers and went our separate ways.  I started casually dating M a few weeks later and the rest is our history.

I tell this story because I want to be clear that on any given day, the relationship I have with M is infinitely better than what I had before.  M cares about me in a way that I didn’t know was possible and even though we hot our rough patches sometimes, I know we will find our way back out again.

 

 

Where to Go From Here

I am going to be really honest here.  Like really honest.  I love M and I love being married to him but this time with a small child is really hard with him.  I remember feeling like this when Arlie was really little and I was just hoping that it would get better and it did eventually, but now with two littles, it is back at kind of a weird space.

We fight more than we used to and a lot of the time I feel let down by him.  I don’t in any way think that this is intentional on his part which actually saves us a lot, but it doesn’t necessarily make it any easier.  I think I should just come out and say that I am not sleeping very much.  Tate gets up at least four times per night to eat and that means that I haven’t had a three hour stretch of sleep since around April.  I am beyond exhausted.  M sleeps through almost all of these wake-ups and I find myself resentful that I am up so much and not getting enough sleep while he is sleeping peacefully beside me.

I rarely write about my frustrations with M because it feels unfair to him.  But I also think that if I pretend all the time on here that everything is perfect all the time, I am not actually being real.  Why does this matter?  Because I care about the fact that I have some readers here who have followed my story from the beginning and I also care that now I am writing elsewhere, I have to limit the truth I can write about.  I think I will probably write more of my reality there eventually, but for now, this can be my real, raw place and I like that.

So back to the business at hand…  I feel like I am alone a lot of the time.  I want more help, I want more sleep, I want more understanding about how physically and mentally exhausted I am.  It’s hard to have the person you want understanding from most in the world to not be able or willing to give it to you.  I wonder how he feels a lot of the time.  If I am this frustrated, how much is he?  And are his frustrations valid?  Does he get to be frustrated when I am doing the bulk of the work?

I am working full time, now going to school, and I do a large majority of the housework.  I am also doing a large majority of the childcare.  I don’t really know exactly where the disconnect is with M and why he is helping so little.  And honestly, I wonder if my expectations are too high.  Maybe they are, maybe this is me making a mountain out of something much tinier.

I know there are a million articles and posts about women frustrated with their husbands after having children.  I am definitely one of those women.  I expect more out of him.  I want him to want to help me.  And I want our children to be his first priority like they are mine, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.  I guess I just need to vent and to get it out of me so I can move on.  This whole family business is hard, that’s for sure.  Just when I think I have it together, something comes up and I am knocked back down trying to figure it all out.