what day is it?

I felt like I needed to have a recent picture of Ray up here. There we go. I took it with my phone a few days ago while I was sitting in the recliner just holding Ray. I find myself in this perdicament a lot lately. Just holding Ray. It’s so hard to do things with him in my arms, that finally I give up and just hold him and look at him and think, “I have so much to do right now. How are YOU ruling my life? You are a puney 14 lb thing that seems to take up every ounce of energy. How is that possible?”

Well, it is.

He’s 5 months now, so let’s do a review on what little Ray is like:

– needy. super needy. He doesn’t like it when I put him down. at all. He doesn’t like the swing, bouncer, tummy time, Daddy … anything or anyone for very long (and I mean more than 35 seconds when I say “very long”) other than me. That’s flattering and loving and all, but a little bit of a pain too. But it’s super hard not to love a face like his. He smiles almost everytime you look at him.

– I can tell he knows my voice and he sees me and knows me. If I happen to walk through the front room while he’s in Daniel’s arms, he sees me and makes dramatic noises (whimpers, whines, grunts, wails, cries, etc). Or if he hears my voice talking to Noah or Liam in the other room, he freaks out. It’s like he’s saying, “what?! She’s here and not holding me?? What???! GET IN HERE!”

– This kid will STILL not take a bottle, at all. Not having it. But I feel like my milk production is waning and he’s dropped from the 50 percentile in weight to the 28th percentile …. so I need to supplement somehow. I started him on solids about 3 weeks ago and he’s doing pretty well. So far he’s eaten bananas, pears and appleauce was introduced yesterday. But he needs liquids and nutrients and that only comes from either me or formula. This kid makes me nervous. Hopefully he will start chubbing up, but for now, he’s a tall skinny thing.

– He loves to rub soft things against his lips. This is something we recognize from Liam. Liam did the same thing to soothe himself to sleep or just whenever. Ray does it too. It is the cutest thing to see his jerky arms flail around and grab something soft, then he gets this concentrated look on his face as he tries to shove his fist towards his little sucking lips. He’s getting better at it, but sometimes he jerks his fist holding softness away from his lips or he smacks himself in the face. Then he looks super sad. It’s cute and sad and hilarious at the same time.

– We recently got him a “Bundle Me”. It’s basically a sleeping bag for his carseat. It fits inside the carseat and the buckles come through slots and you can zip the whole thing over the front of him … like a sleeping bag. It’s all soft and cozy on the inside and Ray looks so comfy inside. Plus, he gets to rub the soft inside against his little lips, which makes everything OK.

– he sleeps 12 hours at night. Bless him for this. He goes down around 7 or 7:30 pm and wakes up around 7 or 7:30 am. This saves our sanity. Now if we could only figure out naptimes during the days, I could keep us in clean underwear and take showers more regularly :)

– his hair is ridiculous. It’s all lucious and thick on top, right in the middle of his head, like a mohawk and he’s rubbing the sides and back off. The thick part doesn’t lay straight though. It kind of lays down and then sticks out at a 45 degree angle away from his head. It’s ridiculous.

– he’s very aware and alert and he loves to be in a front pack, facing out at the world around him. loves it. He wants to see everything and smile at it, from the comfort of mommy’s arms.

Bottom line – we love him like crazy. He is a perfect little man.

As for me – I’m totally falling apart, all the time. I really feel like I’ve found my limit and I guess it’s three kids. I am constantly worried. About all three of them. And it’s driving me crazy.

I worry about Noah because we don’t always get his homework done and piano practice in. If I’m not totally on top of it, sometimes it doesn’t get done and I feel like Noah’s teachers must think I’m an absentee parent, not caring about his learning and development. For instance – Noah was the “Kool Aid Kid” this week. He brought home a special bag with a package of kool aid, a posterboard and a book in it. Noah was supposed to make and enjoy the kool aid (did it, check), fill out the book about himself (did that, check) and make a posterboard all about him – not even close. The posterboard is still sitting on the art table downstairs and it’s Tuesday, which means IF we get to it today, maybe he’ll have it for Wednesday, which is the last day of this week because they don’t have school on Thursday and Friday for parent-teacher conferences and I think the posterboard was due ….. Monday?? I’m failing.

I worry about Liam because I feel like he’s getting lost in the shuffle. He doesn’t have pressing matters like homework or nursing needs, so Liam kind of floats, unattended in the middle of the pack. And my Liam needs so much more love than I give him. He’s always asking me, “what can I do?” or “can we play a game?” or “can I help you?” He’s a little love and he needs more attention, but I am swamped with daily chores, nursing, feeding, changing, and holding Ray, then homework, piano practice and dinner at night when Noah is home. Poor Liam. He wants to do projects and go to the library and help mommy. I am failing with him.

I worry about Ray. Is he eating enough? Peeing and pooping enough? He’s not gaining enough weight. He’s not on a regular nap schedule. When was the last time I bathed him? …. uh. And to try and remedy the whole wanting-to-be-held-all-the-time issue, I did some serious research on slings and baby carrying wraps and finally bought a “boba wrap” online and it came yesterday! …. and Ray hates it. The wrap feels sooooo much better on my back than the baby bjorn carrier I have, but Ray doesn’t like how tight the boba wrap keeps him to me. His little head is always whipping around trying to see what’s going on when he’s facing me, so I face him out and he looks super uncomfortable in it. The baby bjorn holds him better as a front pack, but it KILLS my back. I am still sore from last night, when I held him in the baby bjorn for 45 minutes while I made dinner. I am failing in the baby carrier department.

This past weekend Elder Dallin H. Oaks came to our stake conference. It was inspirational. Being in the same room with an apostle of the Lord while he speaks is powerful. You feel the truthfulness of his words. And of any of the apostles, I think Dallin H. Oaks is one of the most learned. He was on the Utah State Supreme Court before he resigned to become an apostle. He talked about how his first assignment as an apostle was to address the general authorities about justice, mercy and the atonement – so for 2 months, he read all of the gospels (Old and New Testaments, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price and Doctrine and Covenants) and highlighted every verse that talked about his topic. He read all of the gospels in 2 months! Everything he talked about was something I wanted to write down and put up on my walls at home, so I’d remember it and do it. I was renewed spiritually and resolved to do better in my church callings. And then I got a call and chastisement from a visiting teaching supervisor who told me I had really dropped the ball with my visiting teaching since I had my baby and that I needed to do better. It was like a punch in the stomach. I am failing in my church work.

And now it is time for Thanksgiving. I still have Halloween decorations up on my front porch and I leave to visit family in CA on Saturday and I’m so excited, but worried at the same time. I have so much to do. Packing for 4 people – me and all the boys. I want to make sure it’s all done by Friday night because I leave Saturday morning with Ray and Daniel leaves Saturday afternoon with Noah and Liam. I need to make sure Daniel, Noah and Liam are all prepped and taken care of before I leave and I should be doing that right now. But I stopped to sit and write and this is somewhat therapuetic for me.

And what day is it? yeah, it’s Tuesday. I can do it, I think. But I wish I were asking that question like I did when I was in Cancun with Daniel. I asked, “what day is it?” because one day of leisure was falling into the next and there were no committments or responsibilities to mark the days as they slipped peacefully by. But now I ask, “what day is it?” with worry and anxiety in my tone – wondering what the heck happened to Monday and what did I accomplish, because now it’s Tuesday and I still need to pack, work out, shower, do that poster with Noah, spend time with Liam, Ray is going to wake up any minute and I haven’t put away the 3 loads of clothes in my bedroom … what is going on around here?

Anyway, I always have to remember that beautiful quote by President Gordon B. Hinkley: “It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don’t worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. If you do your best, it will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us…He will hear our prayers.”