Friday, February 29, 2008

Fridays aren't all they're cracked up to be

It's Friday! Hooray! My oldest does a "Friday Dance" in first grade. Lots of hip shaking and general happiness about Friday having finally arrived. Very cute. I remember when I used to LOVE Fridays, especially when I was working outside of the home. That meant time with Meg, time with Doug and time in my house instead of traveling to work, daycare, home, etc. Fridays aren't such a big deal anymore. Yes, it guarantees me a little bit more time with Doug, but other than that, nothing of my day is different from say, Tuesday (ok, well, on Tuesdays I have two kids in school, but you get my drift, don't you?). The weekend doesn't bring any relaxation; there's work to be done! Groceries to be bought! Laundry to be washed (and maybe folded!) and all that other stuff that I cannot do by myself during the week. Yes, I know, Doug is home with me and I should be grateful. You have no idea how grateful I am that he's home with me on the weekends. But, it seems, as a family of 6, that all we do during the weekends is chores and just general, un-fun stuff. As a family of 6, we can't just go out to eat. It takes military precision to get us out the door to say, Friendly's. Bibs, check. Sippy cups, check. Kids (oh yeah, them), check. Then the whole out-at-a-restaurant wrangling of babies who don't want to be in their seats, and big kids who have no patience for waiting for their dinners. And by the time we get home, I'm exhausted and in need of a big fat drink. Which I'm too exhausted to pour for myself.

And guess what this weekend is bringing? Can you guess? Yes, MORE ($#*)($*#&&*^ SNOW! According to the weather map, another 6-10 inches for us, and we always get the 10, and maybe a couple more, just for fun. We are close to 100 inches of snow for this winter, and that only includes December thru February. We started getting considerable snow in November. It's down there on the ground, somewhere. That means we will be STUCK IN THIS HOUSE, at least for tomorrow. Now don't get me wrong, I love my house. It's only 1 1/2 years old. We designed it and had it built. I will be paying for it for the rest of my life, so I need to love it. The problem for me is that I spend all my other days stuck in the house, and the monotony is starting to get to me in a rather large way. I long for a vacation, even a mini one, without my kids and just my husband. Just a little chance to get away from the daily grind and recharge. But remember, we're a family of 6 now, which means that we have 4 (count em, 1, 2, 3, 4!) kids to find care for. We have wonderful families who are local and love spending time with their grandkids. BUT, taking all 4 at once poses challenges and responsibities that can be too much for those who don't spend all day taking care of 4 kids. And we have a wonderful babysitter, Erika, who will watch all 4 kids (you are a goddess Erika!), but an overnight is just too much to ask of her. So, for now, I long for a break and hope it will come soon. But for now, I hear babies crying and must go get them up from their ridiculously long nap.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I am looking at the mountain of snow outside my window here, and thinking that there are about a million other things I could/should be doing right now, but I'd rather write. This blogging thing can get dangerous. I could write/rant/vent/ponder all day long, but then I'd never get anything done (hey, which must mean that I get something done, sometimes) or spend any time with my kids. And the kids need me. Even though the boy child tells me he doesn't want me here, and the babies writhe and scream when I change their diapers, they all still need me. And Meg, she is 7 going on 25 and acts like she doesn't need me, but she really does, even if I can't convince her of that. And the dishes need to be put away, and the laundry folded (LOVE Swistle's post), and good lord when did I run a vacuum over the living room floor last? And here I am, sitting in my totally chaotic computer room that doubles as a catch-all depository for all the other junk that no one wants to put away, doing nothing. Ahhh, guilt. That is what I am feeling right now~guilt for blogging instead of being a productive, happy homemaker. I am thinking that if I blog enough, maybe I will feel better. But no, it's not working. I can SEE the kitchen, and all the dishes that didn't make it into the dishwasher last night, and I can SEE the messy floors. And no, I cannot close a door to hide it, because when we designed this house, I insisted on having a nice archway going from this room to the kitchen. So, it's truly all my fault. And all I really want is another cup of coffee. And a housekeeper.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The fog is lifting?

It appears that my children are finally well. I say appears, because there are still two children who haven't gotten the evil flu virus that befelled the twins and killed winter vacation for us all. I am knocking on my fake wood desk in hopes that we are done with the evil flu. Not only did my children run high fevers and lay around crying all day, but they turned spotted. Yep, like the measles or something else fun like that (if you can call measles fun, that is). A head-to-bum rash on Annie, and a head-to-toe rash on Izzie. Not pretty at all. It just added another dimension to the pathetic nature of this flu. The girls just looked awful.

BUT, today, the fog is lifting. School is back in session! For Meg anyway. For one more day, because tomorrow there is another storm coming and we're due to get 5-10 inches of snow tomorrow into Wednesday. But, I digress.... today was almost.....normal? We went to the bus at 8 and it was the first time in 10 days the girls had been outside of the house. This morning they went down to nap at a normal time and are just waking up as I type. I actually got to spend a bit of time playing Sesame Street with Drew on the computer, and perusing the blogs I read and reading the news (hence knowing about the dreaded storm). I almost feel like me again. I walked to no place in particular on my treadmill at 6 am listening to loud music on my IPod (Do you have one of those? It's my new favorite toy I never get to use).

So, the fog is lifting and the sun is shining and I am hoping that this week brings nicer things than the evil flu, and more snow. What do you hope for?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

An update

I felt the need to post an update about our flu family. Luckily, it appears that Meg and Drew have managed to avoid the flu at this point (or, as children are apt to do, are waiting until 6pm on Sunday night at the end of vacation, hence needing to stay home all next week). Annie and Izzie on the other hand, are still quite unwell. You know what an al dente noodle looks like, right? That is Izzie. She's all limp and whimpery and just wants to be held. By whom do you ask? Of course the Mama! And all the time too. Literally, if she is awake, I am holding her. And that has put Annie right out. She looks at me and sobs, with big, fat crocodile tears streaming down here face (note to self: I must Google why they are called "crocodile tears"), because she too, wants to be held. However, they do not, I repeat, DO NOT, want me to hold them simultaneously. If I do, they smack each other in the face, poke each other's eyes and cry harder. What is a Mama to do? Nothing. I can't do anything. Took me all day to put the dishes away. I just hold babies, try to get babies to eat something, and lug babies up to bed (I should be so strong, carrying 40 pounds of baby several times a day). Oh, and every once in a while, I break up fights among the older two, who are quite sick of vacation and each other. It really is all quite pathetic.

But, there must be a bright light or something to look forward to, and I have found it~school starts again in 4 days!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

School vacation week=sick children?!?!?!?

So, it's school vacation week here in Gray. And as it turns out, that means that my children have to get sick. During Christmas vacation, the twins had some sort of nasty viral thing accompanied by nasty ear infections that left them limp, whimpering babies with horribly runny noses. We held them all week long, fed them juice and fruit, and pumped more Tylenol/Motrin/Dimetapp/Amoxicillin into them than should be humane to do. I felt like a nurse~4 syringes per baby, 3 or 4 times a day. It was awful. And now we're doing it ALL OVER AGAIN! Ok, so this time their noses aren't running, but they've contracted whatever strain of the flu or ick is going around this time, and they're limp, whimpering babies with high fevers. And today, just to add to the joys of vacation, Meg and Drew appeared to be coming down with it too. Which leads me to ask this question......when do I get my vacation?

Ok, I know, I am a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) of 4, so by very definition, I don't get vacations, say, for at least another 20 odd years or so, when they're all in college/married off/out of my house, whichever comes first. But geez, really, come on now. When do I get a chance to take some time off from the runny noses, high fevers, infighting from the older two? I am always telling Doug that he gets a vacation every day because he goes to work. There are some days when it feels like he practically skips out the door to the quiet sanctuary of his corner office (with window even!). I know it's not really like that for him and I know he'd love to be home with the kids, but because I am ranting and raving like a lunatic, I feel totally put-upon. And no, running errands by myself with my CD player or local radio station cranked REALLY REALLY LOUDLY is NOT A VACATION. I made the dumb mistake of signing up for emails from Sandals.....oh, beautiful, all-inclusive resorts, you have called to me. And I can't come to you now, or any time in the near future either. If I were smart, I would opt out of those darn emails, but for some reason, I enjoy the pain and pleasure of receiving them. A girl can dream, can't she?

So, since it's late and I have two, possibly four children sick with the flu bug, I should turn off the Celtics game (but Kevin is back and I love him!) and go to bed. Doug is off playing hockey (yes, at 10:30 at night. Isn't it ridiculous?) and I should get some rest before the babies wake up looking for more Tylenol. Yes, I know this is a very whiny post. Sometimes it feels good to vent.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Oh the weather outside....

Has been frightful! Maine weather is tricky, at best. We have 5 distinct seasons~winter, spring, summer, fall and MUD SEASON. That comes during spring. More on that later.

It is still winter and Mother Nature showed her nasty side on Wednesday. We had snow, then pouring rain for hours straight. Buckets, cats, dogs, whatever. Lots of rain. Then the power went out. Luckily for us, power was out for only a mere 2 1/2 hours. Our neighbors, who live a hop, skip and a jump up the road, just got their power back on today. We were without cable (which for me means NO INTERNET OR EMAIL!!!!) until today at 1. The little letter icon in the bottom right-hand corner of my computer screen was the most joyful thing I've seen in ages! Sixty-eight emails later, I am back among the 21st century. Phew. I was starting to have withdrawals.

The other nasty side of winter in Maine is ice. If you happen to Google "Maine Ice Storm 1998" I am sure you'd find a lot of articles about our famed ice storm. We got a mini-ice storm this week. The trees were so gorgeous, all decked out in the ice. However, they also broke apart, hung so low that they touched the road, and were a general nuisance. The weird thing is that the ice issues seem to be from Gray north. I was on the turnpike today traveling south and the trees were fine. But around here, everything is still all icy.

Even though the weather has been crazy, my two girlfriends are coming here tomorrow to scrapbook with me in my basement workshop. We were supposed to get together at Ang's house, but her family is sick, so I offered up my space. Doesn't matter to me where we crop, as long as we have fun. Oh, and getting something done in one of my myriad of projects would be good, too. Too bad I have no idea what I'm working on.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My little Houdini and other fun twin things

I have a little Houdini on my hands. You know Houdini, right? The "magician" or whatever you want to call him who could get out of anything, anytime, anywhere? Well, that's Izzie. Since experiencing the house outside of her little caged-in living room playspace (thanks Doug), she is flat-out refusing to stay put. I can't turn my back for more than a second before she is either diving head first over the dinosaur toy that keeps her in the living room, or trying to crawl underneath the table next to the dinosaur toy. It's maddening! And of course, when I put her back in the living room, she screams like I have just removed a limb with a butter knife. I know she's thinking "well, mommy has lots going on, what with Drew going this way and Annie going that way, so I'll just sneak out for a bit and she won't notice a thing." HA. WRONG! I am a Mommy dear Izzie. I have eyes in the back of my head. Just you wait.

So, Annie and Izzie have found another new way to make me, and Doug, go completely nutso. It's called the "Diaper Olympics". My mom coined the phrase way back when with Meg I think, but the twins have taken it to a new level. When we are both home, we each diaper and dress a girl in the morning. We really should take one at a time, because this is how it goes: chase either baby until you catch her; throw her on your lap; pin her down with elbows, bricks or other heavy objects because if you don't, she will twist, turn and do whatever she can to throw herself off your lap; if you're lucky, you get to clean her bottom (always tricky if it's a #2 diaper!); then wrestle her back into a clean diaper and try to put some clothes on her; why bother with socks, and she'll just remove them the minute you put her into a car seat. This is NOT a spectator sport by any means. Diapering an upside down baby is a total drag.

Then the girls do the most adorable things, and the Diaper Olympics are forgotten for a moment. Annie loves, loves, loves her blanket. She would carry it around all day if she could. She puts it on her head (Linus would be her best friend) and walks around bumping into things. And she has this cute little baby voice, and she looks at you with her big brown eyes, and has an entire conversation with you that sounds something like this: goo goo, blah blah blah, mamamamamamamamamama. We have no idea what she's saying, but we nod our heads and smile back. OH MY GOD it's just so cute. And Izzie is our thumb sucker. Now don't go telling me that it's bad and we should make her stop. She only puts that little thumb in her mouth when she naps (or while I'm trying to feed her lunch. grr.) while holding onto the ear of a little pink lamb. The thumb sucking is new to us~neither Meg or Drew ever sucked their thumbs. Izzie can't go to sleep without her lamb, which is why it amazes me that she chucks them so unceremoniously from her crib (yes honey, gravity DOES still work after all these years) and then stares at them and yells for them. I wonder if she thinks they'll just climb back in? Who knows.

Oh, and they kiss each other, on command. Big, open mouth sloppy kisses to each other. It's adorable. And they kiss Meg and Drew, on command. Annie kisses us more than Izzie does though. She is our huggy, kissy girl. She walks right over (oh yes, did I mention that she walks and has been since she was 10 months old) and puts her head on my knee and pats my leg. Izzie uses my legs as some sort of a mountain~she grabs onto them to pull herself up, then tries to use my shirt to pull herself onto my lap. I'd hold them all day if I could, but then the dishes wouldn't get done, the floors wouldn't get swept, and I'd never get to go to the bathroom.

And since they're finally napping, I should take this opportunity to do some housework.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Well, my friend Auntie Nettie (yes, of the famed holiday stockings) "tagged" me in her blog the other night. That means she has given me the fun task of stating 10 random things about myself. Here goes:

1) I love to vacuum. Yes, weird, I know. But, there is something almost Zen-like in moving the vacuum back and forth, making nice neat lines on my rug, and hearing that clicking noise of all the dirt zooming up the vacuum and out of my house.

2) My handwriting has gone to pot since computers invaded our lives. I cannot write cursive anymore~it's almost illegible. I print like a child most of the time now. How pathetic.

3) I love to read. Ok, anyone who knows that I graduated from college with a degree in English (with a concentration in American Literature) knows that, but I love to read just about anything. Well, except JRR Tolkein. I tried The Hobbit and nearly died of boredom. I love mysteries. I cannot wait until Meg is old enough to read my Nancy Drew books.

4) I have a Facebook page. I know, I know, that is a site for high school kids. Well, not so true anymore. And it allows me to keep up with 3 nieces and a nephew who are just so busy that they make my head spin. I wish I had a smidge of their energy. I'd be a new person.

5) My favorite lunch is a tuna sandwich (made with mayo and green relish) on wheat bread, with sweet pickles and coffee milk. This is my mom and brother's favorite lunch too. I rarely eat it anymore because my husband hates seafood (even if it does come from a can) and I don't have the coffee syrup anymore. I must put that on the grocery list.

6) I swore when I left for college that I'd never return to Maine, and I am so glad that I did. I grew up with no family in Maine. My grandparents and aunts and uncles all lived in Rhode Island and I didn't see any of them very often. I am grateful that my children have their grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins nearby. It is amazing to see them all interact.

7) I hate winter. Ok, so too bad for me (Junie B. Jones) since all it has done is SNOW here this winter, but I don't enjoy being cold. I also don't like the heat, so that doesn't leave me with much to work with.

8) I loved college. High school was where the mean girls roamed and I hated it. But college was wonderful. I met Auntie Nettie there (check out her blog~she is quite good!) and we're still friends.

9) I don't play the flute anymore and I miss it. I played up until 4 years ago. If you read Auntie Nettie's blog and see the famed Trio Non Sacra mentioned, I was a founding member. Ahh, the good old days.

10) I love to take photos and scrapbook. I am actually a Creative Memories consultant, so I guess you could say I do it for a "living". It is a fun hobby that I wish I had more time for, but with 4 kids, that doesn't happen much.

There you go. 10 Random things about me. Enjoy!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Friday nights

If you were here in my house, the only sounds you'd hear would be the click of my keyboard, the hum, of my CPU, and occasionally, the heat coming on. That's because it's Friday night and it's my quiet time.

Yes, it's true, I get a few moments of quiet time on Friday nights. How? Why you ask? Can it be true? Yes, it is amazing, and true. Meg plays hockey on Friday nights, and I do not attend. Doug takes Drew with him, the twins go to bed, and I get some much needed downtime. When Meg started hockey back in October, I did try to attend on Friday nights, and it became a strategic nightmare. So, I opted out of going on Friday nights, and have since enjoyed the bits of quiet. Sometimes I watch tv, other times I clean up, and there are some times where I have to get ready for a scrapbooking workshop. Tonight is not any of those nights. Well, that's not true. I'll probably clean up the living room and put away all the puzzles that fell over. But I'm tired and just want a break.

So, today I was playing cars with Drew and he showed me how amazingly observant he is. He has a playmat that shows a little city on and we were putting the firetrucks at the firestation, cars at the house (which he told me is our babysitter's house) and then I sent a car to the drivethru at the McDonald's-type place on the mat. He took the car from me, backed it up into a parking spot and said "Mommy, there are no babies in that car. They can go inside to get their food". I laughed right out loud, because he is well aware that if I want a coffee or to go to the bank, I have to use the drivethru. When Doug takes him out, they can actually GO INSIDE! I must say he is a very smart little 3 year old.
Well, the serenity of my evening has been interrupted by the ear-splitting screams of Annie, so I must check on her.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A long week

What day is it? I asked myself that question more than once today. Sadly, I realized it's only Wednesday and that means many more days until the weekend. Snow days, as I mentioned previously, put a crimp in plans. They also drag a week out to what seems like eternity (or to quote Buzz Lightyear, "to infinity, and beyond"). I am anticipating another snow day tomorrow, as another nasty storm is approaching from the west. And Doug said another weather system is due to arrive Saturday night. YIKES! Winter started in November here for the first time in a very long time. I don't know exactly how much snow we have received, but I know it's a lot. Just ask my checkbook; everytime we have more than a few inches of snow, our plow guy comes and plows our 1300 foot road. Yes, I actually employ a man to plow our road. He does a great job and has created a lovely hill out in the front yard which the kids slide down. But can you believe that I employ someone to maintain my road? It almost seems absurd, really. Why doesn't the town maintain my road, you may ask? Ah, that is because we live on a private road, one that we own and have to maintain ourselves. We have a neighbor now, and he shares in the cost of maintaining the road (which hasn't been a chore yet, but who knows how things will go over the years). So, all that snow and plowing and school being canceled can really drag a girl down.

My husband does know that I am keeping this blog. He asked me recently why I didn't sit down and write a novel or something. I'm chicken, mostly, and don't think I have many good ideas. But a blog, well that's another (or whole nother as so many people here in Maine are fond of saying) beast that I can work with. I only talk with children all day long, and there are many nights when Doug is busy working after the kids go to bed, so then I talk to no one. This is the perfect outlet. I can write, he can read it, and he'll know exactly what's going on in my mind. Ok, that sounds a bit sad doesn't it? It isn't really how things are between us. We actually talk quite often. We talk about silly things and important things. But I like the idea of being able to put my thoughts to paper, or shall we say, fingers to the keyboard. A sounding board, for my weird and wacky innermost thoughts. Oh boy.

My house is trashed. I really ought to clean something up. I have absolutely no desire to do any of that. It's only going to get trashed again tomorrow. Drew actually took three-quarters of his toys from the playroom today and carried them, bit by bit, to my kitchen and set up shop there. Cars, trucks, Little People, farm animals, zoo animals, gas station, farm. I could barely walk. He was as happy as could be. Our playroom is upstairs, at the opposite end of the house from where I spend all my time. I think there are days when he wants to be near me. And I am ok with that most of the time. But when he physically removes so many toys from the playroom, I see red. I know for a fact that he will refuse to put them away (and he did of course, refuse) and I will have to threaten, cajole or ignore. Unfortunatly, I cannot ignore that many toys. What's a mom to do? I've actually gathered up all the toys in garbage bags before and put them in the garage when he won't clean them up. Sometimes they stay out there for weeks. How sad that my kids have so many toys that they don't miss bags worth of toys?!

I guess I will go gather up the baby toys in the living room and make neat piles for them to tear apart tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Snow Days

Well, there is no school here in Gray today. First it was a two hour delay, then it was canceled all together. That means I have all four children home. I had PLANS for today! I was supposed to volunteer in Meg's classroom, then run some errands afterward, because my mother-in-law was going to be watching the twins while Drew was at school. PLANS.....dashed. It is still snowing and has been all morning. Now I have to clean up my kitchen. Darn. And I should do some laundry. Double darn.

On another note, my good friend Junetta read my blog! Hooray. She may be the only person who ever reads it, but at least she'll know what the heck is going on in my life. I read her blog too to catch up on her antics.....she's linked on the site (Auntie Nettie). Later I'll post a picture of the lovely Christmas stockings she has made for my kids (sorry Net, I still haven't sent that to you, have I?)

Well, my coffee is getting cold and the fairies haven't arrived to do the dishes, so that is all for now.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Well, this should be interesting

Please bear with me. I've never done something like this before. You know, blog. I'm pretty sure my husband would just laugh if I told him I had a blog. Like I don't have enough things to keep me busy....

Does the name of my blog invoke fear? I know before I had four kids, anytime I heard the words "she has four kids under...." I trembled! It didn't matter how old the kids were; just the thought of 4 children was incredibly overwhelming. Now mind you, I have 4 kids the cheater's way. Yep, I have twins. Darling, wonderful, stubborn twin 1 year old girls. Annie and Izzie are great. I couldn't imagine my life without them. But, when I asked for a third, I got double! Their older sister Megan (just turned 7, going on 15) and brother Drew (just turned 3) also keep me hopping. So, bear with me as I enter the world of blogs.

Well, if you read my bio you know that I stay at home with the kids. Meg is in first grade, so I actually don't see much of her during the day. Drew is in preschool two mornings a week which is incredibly helpful. He LOVES his baby sisters, most of the time too much. Annie is walking and has been since she was 10 months old and she does not appreciate all that brotherly love. Izzie is trying hard to walk. She actually took a few steps last week on Meg's birthday. Funny about that....Meg walked on her first birthday, Drew walked on Meg's 5th birthday and Izzie walked on Meg's 7th birthday. Something about January 30th is magical I guess!

I never anticipated that I'd stay at home with my children. I went to college, graduated, and went to law school. Oh, and racked up enormous debt (save that for another blog). So in theory I was to work, work, work to pay off that debt. So when we talked about having kids, we knew that I would be going back to work. Which I did 4 months after Meg was born, and I worked in a law firm until 3 weeks before Drew was born. Then I "retired" from the practice of law to stay home. It was partly because of the financial aspect of two in daycare, and partly because it was time. It was time to see what Meg did all day long. It was time to be a mom. And I'm a working mom, even though I rarely leave my house. We can save that discussion for another blog.

Well, it's after 10pm and my 4 cherubs rise before 6 (am that is).

I hope you'll come visit!