This crazy baby business

Yesterday was a bit of a weepy, emotional day for this girl. I think most of it was pregnancy hormones kicking in, but some of it was from legit frustrations.

We have a three year old. Those of you that have three year olds will be saying, “Ahh, yes.” Those of you that don’t or have in the past, well, you know. Olivia is a sweet, wonderful kid. She is also very independent and strong willed when she wants to be. And it can change at the snap of a finger. Or the blink of an eye. Some days we just don’t know what we’re going to get. She might be happily reading one minute and the next having a complete melt down because she didn’t like what we said. People say two is hard. Good grief. Two was a cake walk!

One of Olivia’s favorite lines right now is, “I don’t want to talk about it.” This comes up whenever we try to talk to her about something she doesn’t want to hear. Which is many times a day because, as I said, she’s got her own mind. I know she’s three and just exercising her little person independence, but wow, it’s exhausting some days. Most days.

And she’s very creative. By “creative” I mean that she likes to do all sorts of things that she shouldn’t be doing, and knows she shouldn’t be doing. Earlier in the week I noticed the salt shaker was missing as well as one of the frosty mugs I’d taken out of the freezer to make room. Found them in her room where she was “cooking”. This morning, after the alarm not going off and only literally having two minutes to get up and get down to the work yard I made breakfast. When she came to the table she had brown liquid all over her hands. She had taken the brand new, just opened this morning bottle of maple extract that I had used to make syrup to her room and “cooked” again, but this time it was everywhere. Sigh. I’m sure our parents are laughing right now.

Question…at what point do kids actually start weighing impending consequences with the action they are about to commit??? Because I’m pretty sure that at 3 it doesn’t even resonate on their radar. Time out? Again, for the 15th time today? Whatever.

I’ve been frustrated too with eating habits, but after doing some more reading realized that she’s a totally normal three year old and I need to just chill out a bit. And make some minor changes that might make us all happier.

Being pregnant is starting to take it’s toll on my body, which isn’t fun. Sleeping is harder because I wake up aching in one position and then have to shift or pee. If you’ve given birth you know the drill. Some days or, moments in the day, I feel super pregnant, and others not so much. Chris looked at me yesterday and said, “Wow, your belly is getting HUGE. What are you going to be like two months from now?” I have no idea, but I might need a forklift. Bending over is almost impossible right now, which is hard to explain to a 3 year old who thinks mom should bend over and pick up this or that.

I’m learning I need to ask for more help, which is a good thing for me. And I know there are things I need to just say no too and am trying. Like Easter dinner. We’re having our regular missionary meeting and having a fellowship dinner at our house. Normally I would want to do a lot, but this year I’m doing the roast beast and providing the house and leaving it at that. It’ll be fun and the other ladies are super happy to help out. Cleaning the house? We’ve had lots of discussions in the last week about how the distribution of labor needs to be more fairly distributed since I have just as much mission work, if not more most days, that my male counterpart, if you know what I mean. Yonese is amazing and has been a huge help and I’m getting more comfortable asking her for more help with stuff, which is a good exercise for me as well.

My brain has been moving down the road a few months and I’ll be honest, it’s a bit stressful. The whole birthing process is scary to me. There, I said it. The thing is, I know I can do this. I don’t really have a choice at this point! And I know that women all over the world are giving birth every. single. day. And many of them do it in dire conditions with no medical intervention. I know God created our bodies to do this and that is amazing to me. Still, it’s a bit scary to think of.

I keep thinking about coming back to the mission with a toddler, a new born and all the responsibilities that come with doing what we do. I know there are going to be changes and it probably doesn’t make sense to worry about those now, but rather to try and find our groove later. Barry will be here full time and I know there will be things he can take on and the rest will work itself out.

I am excited to start getting everything ready for my departure to Canada. We move stuff around in Olivia’s room a few weeks ago so she would get used to certain things being moved. Next week she’ll get moved into a twin bed so she gets used to sleeping in it before the baby comes and uses her bed/crib. We got new sheets for her and my Mom has been making her a light quilt to match so it’ll be special for her. We want her to feel like she’s moving up in the world, not being evicted. After our visitors that come Saturday are gone I’ll bring up all the baby stuff we have downstairs and get it washed and ready. My goal is to have stuff all set up and ready so when we come back I just need to put clean sheets on the beds and we’re good to go. I know doing all of this will make things feel a bit more real too.

I keep getting baby website updates about where I’m at in the baby making process and it’s kind of crazy. My brain is having a hard time moving from the knowledge that there is this little thing growing in me to the fact that he’s almost three pounds now. That he’s not just this ball of cells, but is a really little person that could probably survive if he was born now. I think the fact that Olivia was only 5lb 4oz when we brought her home at 15 days old makes things resonate differently for me too. In a few weeks Junior will probably be close to the same size since he’s measuring big. The thought that he could be almost double the size of his sister is amazing and mind boggling to me.

So, my brain and heart have been all over the place lately, but I guess that’s to be expected!

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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

10 thoughts on “This crazy baby business

  1. how come you will be coming to Canada? for a visit or to have baby here? just wondering. still enjoy reading your blog. it means more since i met you at the alliance church too (during your last visit here)

    • We’re coming back to Canada to have the baby. Originally we were planning on having any bio-kids in Haiti, but when we were getting Olivia’s Canadian visa we asked our contact at the Embassy what the process was for getting citizenship for any kids born in country. She said, “Go back to Canada. Seriously.” We would have to get a Haitian birth certificate, then get the extract from Haitian archives, and then apply for Canadian citizenship and she said it could take more than a year for that to come through. The was NO WAY we were going to be stuck here again because of paperwork for one of our kids. We can go back to Canada, have the baby and probably have the birth certificate and passport in about 6 weeks. Also, this way the grandparents can all see Junior when he arrives.

      • ah, makes sense. I was thinking the same, grandparents will get to see baby while he is so new ;0) Good luck with everything and thanks for responding so quickly!

  2. I get the whole strong willed toddler challenges. With my second girl, I got a great book called “Raising the Spirited Child” after wanting to give up. It really was a blessing to my husband and I and also is a great book about different personality traits in kids and people and understanding how to work with them. Hang in there, not long to go!

  3. Ah, 3 was the hard time for my daughter as well. I would just mildly say, “Don’t touch that honey,” and she would scream and rant for two hours! She had always been so well behaved. It would be over nothing at all and I would feel like I could not handle it – and I wasn’t even pregnant! Finally it lessened and just went away for the most part, though she has remained a passionate child and still at 13 sometimes gets emotional and a bit out of control over something not that big, though thankfully it is rare! She is also a very bright social child.

    So good to know the boy is getting that big but I know it is scary to think of birthing – it still seems unlikely to me something so big has to pass through something that doesn’t seem nearly that big LOL! But you will do great and all will be forgotten when you hold that little bundle in your arms, as I’m sure you’ve been told multiple times, but it’s true!

  4. Reading of Olivia’s antics and innovative culinery efforts brought chuckles and fond memories of another very independent 3 yr old….many years ago…
    Liv is “testing the waters” like any normal 3 yr old, and that too shall pass, hang in there!
    So enjoy your “ponderings & musings” and love the new look of your blog. Hugs

  5. This is late, but three was SO HARD for us-its a hard age for a lot of kids and parents-take breaks when you can.

  6. Ahh Leslie,,, I so understand the frustrations and challenges! My thought is that someday they will have children of their own and then we can sit back and…dare I say it….LAUGH! I know our parents are doing this right now! As for wondering how things will be when you get back with a baby and a toddler, one thing I learned is how amazing our bodies and minds really are. We were just starting a business when we in the same position. I found it incredible to see the lack of sleep our bodies could get and still be mostly functional. It’s amazing but every thing still got done. God is so faithful and he does sustain us. A big thing for us (people who like lists) is to just take things one day at a time and scrap the lists for awhile. If there is no list then you don’t get defeated at the end of the day and you can just revel in the things that did get done! Love your blog and am thinking about you and your adventures with Olivia!

  7. Yep, I’d heard about terrible twos, but when my oldest daughter hit three it was Attitude Squared! …and to answer your question about how old do kids have to be to weigh consequences vs. actions—I have a thirteen year old son who is still working on that one. I’ve learned to just try to roll with it, and restrain myself from selling him to Gypsies ;)

    Congratulations on the new baby, and thank you for writing about how you are feeling encouraged by the other people coming to visit you. I shared your blog with some friends from you in-law’s church (Columbia Presbyterian) and I know it will definitely resonate with them.

    Warm wishes,
    Tanya Clapshaw

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