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Friday, December 12, 2014

My Three Ring Circus


Alright kids, you win.  You outnumber, out-energy, out-chaos me.  Clearly I had no chance tonight.  Daddy is out of town and Mommy’s autopilot function is out of commission until a minimum of 4 hours of consecutive sleep happens.  We cruised through the day with such success!  I was so pleased to accomplish all that I intended!  I brought Molli to school on time and even remembered to pick her up, got the car washed, did some grocery shopping, started thank you notes, cleaned the kitchen, did a few loads of laundry from start to finish, fed everyone at all the appropriate eating times and even remembered to distribute vitamins. A winner of a day!

Then came dinner, which was delicious.  Molli loved each thing included in her dinner but had me pulling out my hair with her refusal to eat it.  All the usual distractions and excuses such as “standing is more fun than sitting,” “I want to touch everything in a 10’ radius,” or, my personal favorite, “the baby is too cute, I need to look.” Plus some meal specific ones; “forks are too hard with bowls,” “it’s getting cold,” “I need help.” I don’t know how many times I had to say something along the lines of “Eat, Molli. Sit down. Put a bite in your mouth. Etc.”  I even pulled out the meanest mommy in the world card and Gavin and I had a delicious piece of chocolate, chocolate chip cake right there at the table with her.  It made her cry, but alas, it did not make her finish eating.  Eventually, an hour and a half later, she decided her arms were too tired for dinner or cake and she declared it bath time.  Fine by me. 

I got everyone all washed up, teeth brushed and jammies on while Baylor napped happily in the bouncer.  Alrighty, off to bed!  Never mind that it’s only 7:15.  I cheated and turned their “OK to wake” clock blue prematurely and they’re none the wiser.  This was when I was still pretty confident that I was winning the day.  It wasn’t long until I was proven wrong. You see, I’m human and make mistakes from time to time.  I had a temporary lapse in judgment and deemed this moment an appropriate one to trim my hair.  It’s growing out and looking a bit like a mullet in the back, so it needed to happen.  Immediately, apparently. 

Rule #1 in parenthood: be leery of impulsivity- it often backfires.

And backfire, it did.  I stripped down to my hair cutting outfit, which isn’t much. Got my hair wet and made the first snip. As if on queue, Baylor started to cry.  Uh-oh… Let’s see if I can get some of the way done before helping him.  Snip, snip, snip.  Each time the scissors closed, the crying got progressively louder and more frantic.  Ok fine, you win, baby.  It wasn’t my finest moment, but I rescued Baylor and nursed him sitting on the closed toilet in all my haircutting outfit glory, covered in pieces of trimmed off hair.  We sat there, he and I, doing our thing when a terrible THUD interrupted the giggles from the big kid’s room and reverberated through the floors. Then the crying came through the monitor and walls.  It was Molli.  Falling off the bed.  Oh, did I mention her bed is the top bunk? Well it is, and she fell off it.  I was unavoidably detained and had to debrief with her through the monitor speaker function.  She was fine but angry with Gavin for “making her fall off the bed.” I didn’t get the full story, but enough to send her back to bed, a little bit in trouble for messing around.

I put a sleepy Baylor back to bed and left to check on the big kids who were not even pretending to be asleep. The little turds were running around, wearing Gavin’s swimming gear over their pajamas with everything strewn about the bedroom.  Laundry basket emptied, a brand new container of wipes also emptied, all the pillows, blankets, stuffed animals and books on the floor.  Just a mess.  


I let them know I meant business, made them both cry and put them back in their beds. (Which is another whole issue as Gavin is barricaded in his bed with a rail and gates. Apparently he can squeeze between the rail and top bunk and plop himself to the floor.) I made threats and left. Not long later I walked back in and about flipped out at them.  I watched Gavin nosedive back into his bed shouting “NOOO MOMMY!” and Molli threw herself backwards onto her bed, pulling the covers over her entire body.  As though that would make me believe she’s sleeping???

I pulled out the big guns because at this point, it’s going on ten and I’m over the shenanigans. I stayed true to my threats and sent Molli to bed in a tent in the play-room and put a gate up in the doorway where Gavin remained.  I’m not interested in him coming in and destroying my precious sleep before “clock is lellow.”



So now, if you’ll excuse me, tonight’s chicken pot pie dinner is cementing itself to the dishes. I may not win the whole day, but at least the dishes don’t talk back. 







Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Welcome to the world Baylor Michael Sansotta!


In just over two weeks I’ve fallen in love and lived an eternity in the blink of an eye.  It’s indescribable what adding to the family does to a mother but, for the third time, I’m here. I’m here staring down at deep blue eyes, tiny fingernails and little tucked up froggy baby legs.  Sometimes all I can do is stare.  This boy is perfect.  This child, so precious, was created and grew inside me into a real life, gorgeous little being.  All his miniature parts are perfect and functioning. I’m just amazed!

Amidst the admiration of my beautiful new baby and routine-lacking life I’m here, ready to share something.  But where on earth does one begin?! How can I capture and express everything I’m feeling in a simple blog? I suppose the answer is that I can’t, and I don’t have to.  But if I’m going to start somewhere, let’s start at the very beginning (it’s a very good place to start).  

The day a child is born is one that is etched into the memory forever.  There are details that I will surely never forget but many that will fade over time.  The emotions connected to these details however, are etched on a mommy’s heart and although words are insufficient to describe them, every mom knows that breathtaking moment in time where a connection is made.

The baby has hair, dark hair! Just one more push, the baby is almost here! Oh it’s a boy and he’s gorgeous! Did they just say Baylor’s a boy? Yes! And he’s perfect.
The first cry fills the room- a beautiful sound of life.
Laying on my chest, breaths evening out and color fading to a healthy pink.
I melt beneath the weight of this tiny soul in my arms.
He’s absolutely perfect, and he’s mine.

Welcome to the world Baylor Michael Sansotta!

Since that moment my life has changed. As we get to know Baylor, we are adjusting to a new normal. I’m awake more at night and less productive during the day.  The house isn’t as clean and no one notices if I forgo showering, mostly because nobody but my family sees me anyway. My big kids don’t get quite the attention I was previously able to offer, but they are loved and happy.  I’m tired, deeply tired, but I'm even more deeply full.



Monday, December 8, 2014

Baylor's birth story

I went to the doctor on Monday, November 24th in the morning.  I had Dr. Lee check me, hoping that the Braxton hicks contractions I’d been having were helping my body progress, even if it’s not a real indicator of impending labor.  She checked me and said that there wasn’t much membrane to sweep but that I was 2cm, almost 3cm.  Throughout the day I felt contractions but they didn’t disrupt anything for my daily routine. 
            That night we put the kids to bed and were watching House when I realized that the contractions were becoming more and more consistent.  I decided it might be a good idea to start timing them around 9:00pm.  At that point they were 10-15 minutes apart, then closer to 10:00pm-12:00am they got closer to 5-7 minutes apart then stayed that way with a few irregularities.  Around 2am I was sick of laying in bed next to Myles, who was sound asleep, so I decided to relax in the bath tub.  It eased the discomfort substantially, although I was very tired afterward.  From there I went downstairs and laid on the couch, hoping to get some rest, but was too uncomfortable and ended up sitting on the couch with the heating pad on my lower back, which felt amazing.  I did a little bit of laundry and moved to sitting on the yoga ball.  I realized once I was sitting there that I was really looking for pain relief and things were getting more intense.  I decided it was time to make a move toward the hospital.
            I texted Myles, who was sleeping upstairs, but he didn’t respond, waited a couple minutes and called him to say let’s get moving.  Then I called Mom and told her it’s time and she said Dad would be on his way asap.  I went upstairs and woke Myles up for real and told him we need to get going.  He decided to take a shower while we waited for my dad to come.  Dad came, told me to “have fun” and we were on our way with a roughly thrown together hospital bag.
            We got in the car and pretty much immediately the low fuel light came on.  That's one of the last things you ever want to see when you're in labor! Luckily we made it to the hospital around 5am, Myles dropped me off at the ER, where I checked in and then went to Maternity from there. I was initially put in a triage room where I was asked some basic questions and Rhonda checked me.  I was 4cm, almost 5cm and was definitely going to be having a baby.  We got settled into the labor and delivery room shortly after that.  I was already exhausted from having been up laboring all night long so I decided that I would like to have an epidural in hopes of getting some rest.  They started me on a bag of saline right away (with an IV in my wrist, ow!), and monitored me and the baby from a yoga ball.  Baylor was wiggling and low so it was hard to keep track of the heartbeat on the monitors.  Myles pushed hard on my back through the contractions and Rhonda pushed against my knees.  The counter pressure really took the edge off! The contractions were quite intense by the time the anesthesiologist arrived.  She was efficient, which I appreciated. 
(Already exhausted, sitting on the yoga ball. Clearly between contractions)


            At about 7:15 I got an epirudal and was checked immediately after.  At that point I was 8cm, almost 9cm with my water still intact. At 8:45 the doctor came and broke my water because things weren’t really progressing with it intact. We expected things to be very fast at that point but I was losing energy from being up and without food for so long.  They said I needed to eat something to raise my blood sugar, and the baby’s, so I had a popsicle at 9:30.
(Relaxing with a popsicle)


Dr. Lee went back to the office to let my body work a little bit to move the baby into place.  The baby's body was turned slightly and had a little way to descend still since the water was in the way before. 
            Becky, my nurse, checked me and had me do a quick practice push and called the doctor over from the office in a hurry because the head was quite close with a push.  When Dr. Lee arrived she didn’t even want the bed transformed, she just sat on the end and had me push. I pushed through two contractions and had my sweet boy in my arms at 10:42!  He was quite purple but crying beautifully and pinked up quickly.  Myles cut the cord.

(Very first moment!)

(He came out kind of purpleish)

(First big cry! Let it rip!)


            It was a very tiring stay at the hospital but I really cannot speak highly enough of my nurses and doctor.  They were very calming and helpful throughout the whole process.  Baylor is a good nurser and a generally content baby so far!


(Love at first sight!)


(The perfect addition to our family)



(The boy has some lungs!)

We only stayed one night and went home in time for dinner the next day.  Our hospital allows things to be as organic as we desire, which I appreciate. I know some places whisk the baby away immediately, but we were able to have skin to skin time, delayed cord clamping, even no bath at the hospital. We were allowed to leave the same day if we wanted but I thought it would be beneficial to get a night's rest with the help of the nurses.  I think it was, but I don't expect to catch up on my sleep for about a year!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Third trimester pants.


When Myles and I were first married there were two pairs of pants I wore, only at home, that made us both happy because they were so ridiculous.  My bamboo pants, and my “jazz pants.” The bamboo pants were essentially a thermal layer, clearly intended to be worn under something else.  They were incredibly soft leggings made of bamboo and had images of bamboo leaves all over.  I have them still but let’s be honest, I’m no longer in the one-teen weight class anymore. The jazz pants, however, have no weight limit.  They would comfortably accommodate half a dozen people.  They were great!  I don’t remember specifically buying them, or getting rid of them, but I haven’t had them for a few years.  At this juncture I’d pretty much live in them if I still had them. 

You see, my body doesn’t do the third trimester very gracefully.  I get big.  I’m not one of those cute ladies who stay thin throughout their body and just have a cute little bump proving pregnancy, have the baby and sport a flat tummy the following week.  Unfortunately, I gain from head to toe, thicken up all over and my belly becomes astronomical.  It’s so big.  As in, fairly early on, I get questions about twins or being due any day. By this point most comments are about defying gravity and exploding. It’s really sweet.

If my jazz pants were still in my possession, I would wear them everyday.  I am a pajama girl (ask pretty much anyone who knows me).  My entire wardrobe seems to be shrinking as this belly, well, entire body, expands and yoga pants are my go-to style.  For a while, it’s all good, but these days the elastic in the waist of yoga pants feel more and more restricting. Let’s not talk about how stretchy tight pants surely aren’t doing my thighs any favors. I’ve found myself longing for those enormous jazz pants. Baggy?  That has not been an adjective for anything in my life for a long time. 

I finally found the perfect pair of copy-cat jazz pants at Old Navy.  Yes they are pajamas, and yes, I wear them far more often than I’m proud to admit. I bought them two sizes bigger than what I’d normally wear and they barely touch me.  It’s glorious. Never mind the fact that I had to hem about 5 inches off the bottom just so I didn’t completely eat it each time I attempted the stairs. I may or may not have ordered another pair from Old Navy online, thus doubling the content of “pants I like wearing” category.

For preschool drop-off on Wednesday I was sporting these billowing beauties, paired with a sizable hoodie of Myles’ (because, you know, I’ve outgrown all mine) and I realized when I pulled into the parking lot that I hadn’t even looked in the mirror yet. I’m certainly not one to stay inside if I haven’t put makeup on, but my social acceptability conscience usually pipes up if I’m considering going out in public with bed head. It must have taken the day off because I totally went into the school looking a hot mess.  Clearly, I’m not out to impress anyone. At 37.5 weeks pregnant, with bed head and a fashionably challenged ensemble I left my (super awesome) van and brought Molli to her classroom.

By the time I got back to the car, I had three people comment on how I looked. The kindergarten teacher watched me for a second and told me, “You are just looking so incredible.  Not many people look as great as you this far along!” I was shocked!  Then Molli’s teacher enthusiastically commented on how cute I am looking.  I assumed I’d used up all the kind words the world had to offer but then another mom from the school, whom I don’t even know, stopped me and told me that she’s been enjoying watching me grow each week and even said that she wishes she looked half as good and fit as I do. It was refreshing to receive positive statements from unexpected people! There wasn’t one mention of “my goodness, can you get any bigger?!” “How are you not tipping over?!” or “Woah, still pregnant… you must be miserable.”

And for the record, yes I can apparently always get bigger, I haven’t tipped over since I hemmed my miracle pants, and yes I’m still pregnant but certainly not miserable.  In fact, I’m thrilled!  I feel pretty great physically (minus a head cold), I have a beautiful family and I’m preparing for another blessing to arrive in the very near future.  I have an imperfect, but fabulous life and I’m honestly basking in all these good things, including my fabulous third trimester pants.  

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Lots of new things!


It’s long overdue for a real and thorough update.  But let’s be honest, that’s not going to happen. Therefore, I’ll update, but it’ll be sporadic and probably brief. 

Baby number three is due in 7.5 weeks and we’ve done almost nothing to get ready for him/her.  Actually, that’s not entirely true, we bought paint for the nursery (once we finally get Gavin out of it!), I bought material to make curtains AND we stepped up our status as parents and bought a van! I can hear the snickering from here and I must confess, I once would have agreed that vans are not cool.They are mom-mobiles.  And you know what?  You’re partly right, they are mom-mobiles but they are very, very cool.  Especially mine.  It’s so wonderful! From the automatic sliding doors to the one million cup holders.  I can literally drive with 7 drinks in arms reach at any given time.  Toyota cares about my hydration, yo.  It has bells and whistles, some of which make me laugh, but some I’m just giddy about.  I’ve been welcomed to the swagger wagon club, now when do the parties start?!



Speaking of parties, Molli turned four last month.  Sometimes I’m still in shock that she’s already so old, but then other times I’m weirded out by her maturity and the conversations she initiates.  On Monday we picked her up from school and like usual, I quizzed her about her day, what she learned, who she played with etc. and she very casually told Myles and me that she spent recess hugging and kissing Ben.  On the mouth, she said! Heaven help me.  I tried not to make a big thing of it but we had a couple conversations about how kissing is ok with families, but not something we should really do at school. I also added a dose of practicality and explained that kissing spreads germs.  It must have been sufficient because on Wednesday she told Ben that they can’t kiss anymore.  Phew, bullet dodged! In her defense, Ben really is a sweet and cute boy and her teacher said they’ve held hands through story time before. I guess when you’re the only girl in the class, you have the pick of the litter.


(Everyone got into dressing up for the party!)


(The other little girl moved since this picture of Molli's preschool class was taken.  Ben is the little boy in the back row in the black sweatshirt)

Gavin is becoming quite the big boy too.  We experimented with potty training recently, and while it wasn't a complete disaster/failure, I certainly wouldn't call it a success.  He looks awfully cute in underwear though! The kid is exhausting me with his constant chatter!  I think he is taking after his cousin Jackson with the constant commentary.  The only difference is that his vocabulary isn't especially vast yet so he has to piece things together in a way that is very toddlerish and adorable.  Well, adorable except for the part that he repeats, repeats, repeats himself until he's acknowledged. 


About a month ago, Myles dad and step-mom came up to visit from Florida.  It was really nice seeing them and boy did they get put to work!  We had a leak situation in the kitchen, requiring us to replace our flooring.  We figured if we were going to replace the damaged parts, lets go all out and make it what we really want.  So we did.  We (please note that I use the term “we” very loosely) replaced the entire downstairs flooring with a lovely dark wood look, but the walls were too dark for dark floors so the downstairs got repainted- walls, ceiling and baseboards, then while the toilet was out for the new floors, we went ahead and replaced it and upgraded the counter, sink and fixtures.  We replaced the ugly light fixtures in the living-room and the kitchen AND decided to go ahead and upgrade the kitchen appliances!  My downstairs is so beautiful!  Poor Marc and Suzette were worked to the bone everyday.  Aint no rest for the weary! If they ever thought they’d escape the work, they were immediately conned into playing store, fashion show, dinosaurs, cars, dance party, dress up, or whatever the imaginations of my children could muster up.  These kids have their Papu and Nanette wrapped around their little fingers. I’m pretty sure they’d admit that an air mattress in the middle of a playroom never felt so good at the end of the day!


(I got this picnic table at a yard sale this summer.  It came in very handy while the inside of our house was turned upside down being remodeled! I also managed to let go of my OCD long enough to let the kids water color and ruin everything... paint mixing is not something I handle very well!)





I had the pleasure of participating in the women’s retreat through our church last weekend.  It was so refreshing to get out and be among women, and filling my mind with truth.  I don’t get out much, but when I do, it’s typically pretty mindless.  Occasionally I’ll manage to go grocery shopping solo, but it’s been years since I’ve gone somewhere with an intentional focus on spiritual growth.  The retreat started the day after Myles got home from a 2.5 week hitch on the slope and sleep is increasingly important to me so I opted not to spend the night, but I hope that one day I’ll be able to.  The church family I’m a part of has some really fantastic ladies that I’d love to get to know more deeply. While I absolutely value relationships, it seems like it takes me a long time to really be friends with people, and I’d like more of that going on in my life. (Not that I’m lonely, I just believe that everyone has much to offer and I want in on that!) It was a nice time of reflection and insight.


(Does it get any prettier than this?!)

For the most part life is good these days!  It’s turning into winter around here and I’m not quite excited about that. I can handle fall with the changing leaves, pumpkin muffins and whatnot, but beyond that it bums me out a little.  Icy roads, gray skies and darkness are rapidly approaching and I just don’t think I’m ready! For now though, I’ll enjoy the changing seasons and embrace all the upcoming changes in my life.  A new member of the family deserves my attention and excitement.  So this year, I’ll smile as the snow begins to make appearances and snuggle up with my growing family in this beautiful, cozy new house of mine.  God is good!

PS, Molli is playing outside with Myles and she just knocked on the door to tell me it's snowing.  Bummer!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

little update.

My kids crack me up each and every day.  They do/say the silliest things that make perfect sense to in their sweet little minds.  Whenever I tell my mom about these little things, she asks if I'm writing these things down.  The answer is always "no." Which is lame of me. I figured I could just start posting things here because, well, I'm not posting much else here these days!  Again, lame!


Why do I wait so long between updates?!  It’s impossible to go back and fill in all the gaps.  Sooo, for now, here’s a brief(ish) update on what’s going on with our family.

Molli (3): Somehow my baby girl is turning into a big girl!  She surprises me everyday with her new skills and expanding vocabulary. I don’t know where she comes up with half of the things she says these days. Yesterday she walked into the kitchen and saw a vase of fake eucalyptus and thought it was the most beautiful thing ever.  She stood there in there with her eyes wide and said, “It’s so pretty, I can’t even believe my face!”

She’s also been increasingly affectionate.  For quite a while, every night before bed she wanted me to snuggle with her for as long as possible, then throughout the day she’d climb on my lap to tell me she loves me.  She tells me, “you’re my best girl.”  She’s my best girl too.  What a sweetie pie!  That’s not to say, however, that she’s perfect.  She tests me daily and pushes buttons I didn’t even know I had.  The girl can really make me crazy!  I hope that as she grows up she uses all that spunk to be a leader among her peers.  Assuming I manage to guide her heart toward the desire to be a God-fearing young lady.  No pressure.

Gavin (2): Ah, what a funny little man!  I love this boy to pieces and am constantly entertained by him!  He’s a boy of few “real” words, but it’s so fun watching him explore this language.  He’s actually caught on to a lot more lately and some of it is really entertaining.
What was that- “Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah was daaat?”
I love you- “E too!”

I brought out the toddler bed for him when we first moved into this house and he wants nothing to do with it.  I thought it would be wise to get him used to it now so it’s less like the new baby is taking over all his things- his room, his crib etc. Today he fell asleep in the car so I carried him in and tried to trick him a little.  I laid him down on the toddler bed instead of the crib and he woke up just enough to tell me, “No, no big.  That one.” Meaning, not the big boy bed, put me in the crib. So I did.  I just bought them bunk beds but need my husband home to before they get to try them out.  They currently live in the garage.  I’m not pushing the bed thing until we can get their bunk beds going on and a more permanent set up.  No sense in making him get used to a toddler bed if it’s not going to be his sleeping residence, you know?

There are a lot of other things going on, but I figured I’d make a quick update, for my sake if nothing else. 




Saturday, February 22, 2014

Constant lessons


I’m sitting here with Molli’s entire drawer of pajamas and a wooden spoon.  What do these things have in common? It is her favorite thing and her least favorite thing.  We are having a lot of bedtime issues tonight.  I’m not sure if today’s diet of way too much sugar is finally catching up to her, if it’s Daddy being gone for going on 4 weeks, three year old attitude or what, but I’m about to wig out.  For real.  

What started tonight’s incident doesn’t even matter (it was over her beloved pajamas of all things), but I had the misfortune of my precious angel pointing her finger in my face shouting, “You can’t take that away from me!” Then switching the direction of the finger toward her chest, poking with each syllable “They’re MINE, MINE, MINE, MINE!” Then putting her hands down she demanded, “You go out of here.”

I don’t say any of this to brag on her rottenness, or to mortify her later.  I’m not flaunting misbehavior. I’m just here with a depleted repertoire of discipline.  No one told me when I held her for the first time, completely in love with each tiny feature, that those sweet eyes would ever glare at me, and that when they do, it will cut straight into my heart.  No one held my face and stared me down to ensure that I understood that just a few short years later, those parted lips would spout ugly words, a swift kick in the gut. The tiny human, my daughter, would bring me to my knees, defeated.

Anger bellowing from her bedroom, the screaming muted on the monitor but the stomping reverberates through the house. In these awful moments, my love for her is confirmed.  If I didn’t love her from the deepest part of my heart, I wouldn’t care about any of this behavior.  It would be annoying for sure; No one wants to hear a screaming kid.  But it wouldn’t hurt so badly.  I would have no reason to shed tears for the tiny heart making poor choices and exhibiting behavior worthy of discipline.

The lessons of parenting are endless.  It’s a miracle anyone makes it to adulthood.  So far the outlook is bleak for my firstborn. Kids are like mean little animals, feeding off of weaknesses and preying on the lost.  The aforementioned kick in the gut and the stab through the heart bring me down quickly when I’ve poured out all my energy. Created in the image of an almighty Father, my attempts to love, discipline, understand and forgive my children are feeble at best.  My prayer tonight is to be the example of self-control and love that my kids need. He will provide the strength to be a godly parent.  Tonight, I’ve made peace with my girl and I take refuge in the promise of new mercies!