Friday, May 30, 2008

Lessons I've learned this week

I've learned some things this week. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. I have had too many migraines lately. It's time to go back on those lovely drugs that make me feel awful, but take the pain away. With needles and everything. Joy.

2. I am the least important person in this family. No matter what I say, the opposite results. i.e. if I tell Drew NOT to hit the girls, he hits them anyway. Why I even bother speaking is beyond me.

3. I really dislike fowl of any kind. See here if you are new and unaware of my dislike. Now I have a new reason to dislike fowl. We have wild turkeys. They muck up my gardens and eat my seedlings. I live on the "wildlife preserve" side of the road, which means I cannot ask my neighbor to come shoot them. I need to learn how to use a bow and arrow. Stat.

4. I shouldn't blog when my children are awake. Things like children climbing furniture and pulling small children across the floor occur when I blog. Harkens back to #2.

5. The sound of children screaming is like a hot knife in my eye. Doesn't bother me so much when I don't have a migraine. Today I would like to pull my eyes out.

6. Apparently I've learned many things, since I'm already up to #6. Too bad I have to go deal with #4.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The naptime dance

I am waiting, rather impatiently, for Annabelle and Isabelle to fall asleep. What I am hearing is my name said over and over and a lot of banging in the cribs, not blissful silence. Naptime here has become some sort of crazy dance. The girls are forcing me to only put them down once a day, but so far WHEN that time of day is hasn't been established. I rue the end of two solid naps a day. Because Meg was a daycare kid at the twins' age, she was used to a nap every day after lunch, and took one until she was 3 1/2. Drew fought me on naps and rarely takes one anymore, although he appears to be sleeping as I type because a small person just can't get up before 6 every day and not eventually crash. I would love to get the girls on some sort of a routine to minimize the insanity of only one nap a day, but I'm not there yet. I want them to nap twice a day, damnit. But I think I have to resign myself to an afternoon nap schedule here soon.

The main reason I want them to nap today is because I haven't been home all morning. I drove Meg to school today, drove Drew to school, then as I was about to unload the girls for a snack and nap, Doug called. He had gone to the other house on a way back from a meeting, and found that the washer hookup had been slowly leaking since the washer was removed Saturday morning. So, I emptied the dehumidifier, loaded it into the van and drove to the other house. After getting that all settled, we drove to the school my mom works at to pay them all a surprise visit. I hadn't brought the girls in there since the day I was discharged from the hospital after they were born, so it was a fun little visit. After a trip home in which the girls took a small snooze, they fought lunch and are now apparently going to fight a real nap. I am tired and crabby. I want everyone to rest so I can maybe accomplish SOMETHING, ANYTHING before Meg comes home and we do the softball practice shuffle.

As the girls are still making way too much noise, I ought to knock some heads together go settle them down. Then maybe I'll take a nap too. Ha.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Monday Tuesday

My day started off much like hers, with a massive migraine that was a holdover from yesterday. And the stupid thunderstorms that we are supposed to be getting, which would relieve said migraine, are going all around us. HELLO! I need a thunderstorm. Please. Thank you.

But anyway, we had a really lovely weekend here. Doug met his father at our other house Saturday morning and they took the old tenants' junk to the dump. Hooray for that chapter being over. Our new tenants move in this coming weekend. Saturday afternoon friends from our old neighborhood came up to visit. We hung out in the yard, getting eaten alive by black flies, even with our fire pit going. It was nice to visit, catch up and have the kids play nicely together. It's always a bonus when that happens.

Sunday was our family cookout. My parents, my in-laws, and my brother-in-law and his family came to spend some time out in the yard with us. We joked that is was awfully nice of us to have twin babies so that the grammies each had one to push on the swings! Thank goodness our families get along so well. It certainly would make things awkward if they didn't.

Yesterday we went to the town "parade". It is a bit of a joke, as it is very small and literally lasts only a couple of minutes. But, we saw friends and it was nice to feel like we belong here in this little town. Part of the reason we moved here is that Doug has worked here in town for almost 10 years and is established here. It's nice to be on our own and making our own friends and we can start to establish ourselves in the community. It feels good doing that for ourselves and our kids. After the parade we worked hard in the yard, mulching and planting dahlia bulbs.

In all it was a great weekend and I was sad to have it end. Doug isn't on vacation again until early July so that's a long time for me to be doing most of this on my own. I will have our babysitter starting to work 2 days a week in a couple of weeks, and that will alleviate some of my stress (I hope!).

Here are some of our weekend photos:
(The playset!)
(Drew at the parade)
(Meg at the parade)
(Seriously hot and tired babies, at the parade)

Friday, May 23, 2008

A good day

Yesterday was a good day, despite the gray clouds and the distinct chill in the air.

At 7 am the Lowe's delivery man arrived via pickup truck to deliver the parts for the playset. I was glad they didn't come in a Lowe's truck, as we live on a bumpy dirt road and have neighbors. We didn't want to wake them up. The long bar for the playset was NOT in the truck. Nice delivery man made a call and said he'd head back to get the long bar. BUT, when awesome installer man Roland arrived, he had the long bar with him! A good sign. Roland spent from 7:30 to 4:30 at my house yesterday putting up the playset. It's missing a swing and the parts to put together the kids little table with awning, but for the most part, it's done. I'll post pictures soon, I promise.

Drew had a field trip to the Maine Wildlife Park yesterday, which I chaperoned with the twins. This park is 10 minutes from my house. Even though we were cold, we had a good time wandering the park with some of his friends from preschool and looking for the animals. Annie and Izzie were gaga over the "deahdeahdeah" and the bears. The male peacocks were strutting their stuff and showing off; there is even a white peacock which is pretty amazing.

After prying Meg and Drew from the playset, Meg had a softball game last night. For a surprise, my in-laws came, along with my niece and brother-in-law (he was picking her up from the University of New Hampshire and we told him he MUST come see Meg play). After confusion as to who we were playing (the team on the schedule didn't show, so we played another team whose team didn't show; weird) the game got underway. Meg was 2 for 2. She was 0 for 3 Tuesday night and really frustrated, so she was wicked excited to get 2 hits and have a huge cheering section. And at the end of the game, she got the game ball! She was over the moon. She is 7 and the ages on her team go up to age 12, so we were so incredibly proud. Her coach signed the ball and it's on her bureau in her room. We borrowed a bat and some balls so she can practice this weekend too. I'm glad she enjoys this sport so much. She seems to be a pretty good player so far.

We collapsed at 8:30 after getting the kids to bed, had a dinner of bagel, egg, cheese and bacon and watched some of the Celtics game. Too bad they didn't win. I'll have to give my Garnett bobble-head a talking to today. Now I'm off to take pictures of the playset and watch Drew swing like a fool.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The incompetence of people

I'm not going to sugarcoat it; people as a whole are incompetent. Customer service is horrible and if you want to talk with someone on the phone, well good luck to you.

It is 6:54pm EST. Let me explain why this matters. I am waiting for a delivery from Lowe's. Yes, the new playset for my children was to be delivered "this afternoon". In that vein, I waited here ALL AFTERNOON for the delivery. The only time I left my house was to drive 1300 feet to the end of my road to pick up Meg from the bus. And when I picked her up, I promptly turned around and drove home again. Still, no delivery. At 4 pm I tried calling the department at Lowe's that handles our playset, but I had two screeching 16 month olds, one of whom unplugged the phone while I was on hold! At 4:30 I asked my darling husband to make a call for me since I obviously had my hands full. He spoke with the sales manager, who said he'd call the delivery driver and find out the scoop.

We are STILL waiting for someone to call and let us know where the playset is (6:59 pm). Now, this wouldn't be such an enormous issue if the ONE AND ONLY playset installer in all of Lowe's wasn't arriving on our doorstep at 8 am tomorrow to put together said playset. Hard to install something that we don't have in our possession. Doug and I are taking bets about where our playset is. See, we live on a private road that we named ourselves (ok, I had no say in it, but that is totally beside the point). There is another road, in another town, with the SAME NAME (and this is not a common name. It's a sports name. A hockey name. But that's all I can tell you). When we moved here, Time Warner Cable actually sent the cable installer to the street in the OTHER TOWN. Do you know what is on that street, in that town? A HOCKEY RINK! Not a residence. For the love of Pete. So, we fully expect that the lovely people at Lowe's will tell us that when they went to deliver said playset to that other road, lo and behold, there was no house. Hi. I have a PHONE. One that rings and everything. If you are confused, call ME. I will be glad to set you straight. I might even be polite if you call me 7 hours ago to let me know where the playset it. Again, beside the point.

It's now 7:43 pm EST and I have not seen a delivery truck, nor heard a single word from Lowe's. It's taken forever to get the swingset installation scheduled because my awesome parents had Lowe's order an extra long beam so all 4 kids can have swings. And that had to be specially manufactured in Virigina. And shipped by horse and buggy or some load of crap from Lowe's as to why it's taken so long to get it. When I was working as a lawyer and did something wrong, my boss let me have it (he didn't believe in sugarcoating either). I think Lowe's is going to get an earful.

Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?

Why do the twins feel the need to fill their diapers with toxic goo as soon as I put them down for a nap? Is it that the crib is so comforting to them? Or do they like to make me crazy? Crazy. I tell you.

Why do my kids REFUSE to put ANYTHING away? Is it a gene? Did I pass that gene on to them? Or can I blame Doug for that?

Where do all the baby socks go when I do the laundry? I have about a gazillion unmatched baby socks. I cannot find the matches to save my life.

Who created those annoying musical toys with no On/Off switch? They should be beaten about the head, or at least forced to listen to their obnoxious toy OVER AND OVER AGAIN like I have to.

Why isn't there a coffee IV yet?

When did my little girl grow up to be a big girl who can read anything you put in front of her?

What happens when you change the toxic baby goo? Babies finally nap. ahhh. You'd think I'd know enough to check the noise earlier than I do.

How can I have no chocolate in the house? How is that possible? I mean, there is a bag of lovely Ghiardelli chocolate chips and they're calling my name. How can I resist?

How can I get my house cleaned up without doing the work myself?

Where will I end this post? I could go on and on with these questions. Do you have any?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Much Ado About Nothing

After my blogging, and all the great advice from the internets, nothing came of it today. Not a word from Meg after school. I even asked leading questions to see if anything came up at school today, but she said no. After reading more information about the incident, it sounds like the woman and her kids had moved out of her boyfriend's house so Meg wouldn't have known them. But WE know the boyfriend (well, Doug does). Turns out he dated the office manager at Doug's office several years ago. I vaguely remember his name in conversations about what a JERK he was to this woman. Makes the situation even more freakish.

But to you dear internets. Thank you. I appreciate all the advice. I really hope I NEVER have to use it.

A little help from my friends

I tend to be overprotective of my kids. I don't let Meg watch Hannah Montana, even though ALL her friends watch, because while it may be entertaining, it's waaaay over her head. She hasn't seen High School Musical for the same reason. Yes, I guess I baby her too much, but as far as I'm concerned, some things can wait until she's older.

We don't watch the news because we don't want the kids to see all that is going on in the world. There is very little good out there to expose them to. Meg knows about hurricanes from Katrina, but nothing about September 11th. Not yet. This is the girl who has nightmares about the panther from the Little House books we're reading. I think she knows about the tsunami from 2004 because it happened right when Drew was born. But for the most part, we keep them sheltered from bad things. Maybe not the best way to handle things, but for now it works.

So here is where I need some help from my internet friends. This morning Doug called me to say there were several news trucks down the road from our house. So, I found online that a man murdered his wife, and then killed himself in a domestic violence episode. This is DOWN THE ROAD FROM MY HOUSE. Yes, I read about this all the time, but this happened in my backyard. The news trucks were still there when Meg had to go down that road, on her bus, to pick up the other kids living on that road to go to school. I know that the family had children, but I don't know if they were school-aged. I am sure that she will have questions when she gets home today. I am totally unsure what to say. Here's why. Do I just tell her that someone had an accident? My fear is that word will spread around school, she'll know I didn't tell her the truth, and then things will be worse. Or do I try to explain in simple terms what happened? Because I don't know why domestic violence happens. So how can I explain to my 7 year old that sometimes people do awful things to each other in the name of love?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Logistically speaking

It's not easy being a large family. We tend to do things as separate entities. For instance, Doug usually takes Meg and Drew to the grocery store while I stay home and the girls nap. Or, Doug will play outside with Meg and/or Drew and I putter around inside while the girls nap (I sense a pattern). But seriously, when we go places as a family, we have to plan ahead. If we are going somewhere that requires a purchasing anything bigger than a gallon of milk and the store does not have the double seated grocery/shopping cart, we can't all go together because of the behemoth double stroller we have for the twins. If we do require the use of the double stroller, then we must shop strategically. Therefore, we can go to BJs (which is like Sam's Club, but closer to our house) without the stroller as we did today, but we cannot go to the local grocery store.

Being a large family is different than what I'm used to. I come from a family of 4~my parents, me and my brother. Doug, on the other hand, is also from a family of 6. He is the youngest of 4 boys. How his mother survived is still beyond me. I digress. We take our kids everywhere we can, when we are both together. Meg's hockey; check. Meg's softball; check. But we aren't always together. Lots of times I'm doing things on my own, and Doug will meet me there. Even getting to a 5:30 softball practice requires military precision and logistics. All kids must be fed starting at 4:30. Meg must be done with eating and into softball uniform by 5:00. We must be out the door by 5:20. I feel a bit like a drill sargent. At times, I find myself almost yelling to keep some sort of order (actually, I yell. A. lot. I don't deny that).

We are finally coming into a saner time with the four though. The twins are more predictable and enjoy going outside. We still have to watch them like hawks, since rocks are tasty, and while we live far from a main road, we are in the woods and the girls like to wander. Meg and Drew can play outside for hours. And starting later this week, we'll probably have a hard time getting them to come in at all, as their new playset is arriving AND being installed (thank you Mom and Dad). I'll post pictures when it's set up.

I am hoping, as the twins grow, that life as a big family mellows out a little. However, as Meg plays soccer, hockey and softball, I have a feeling that we'll be running to and fro a lot more instead of slowing down. And I'm sure the logistics will get even more difficult to manage, or maybe easier as the kids are able to handle more on their own. My expectations need to mellow out too, I guess. I want things to run smoothly, and most of the time they don't. I have to learn to go with the flow. Because before I know it, it'll just be Doug and me here and what will I do then?

Friday, May 16, 2008

That clunk was me hitting the proverbial wall

Thank you to my new internet friends for making me feel a whole lot better about myself the other day. As my friend Auntie Nettie knows, I don't make friends easily. She has been my friend/put up with me since our first day of college almost 18 years ago. She has been there through just about everything important that has happened to me in those years, including being my maid of honor (horror, as she called it) at my wedding. So to Auntie Nettie and all my new internet friends, thank you for cheering me up when I was so very much down.

I think I've hit a wall. Annie and Izzie are fighting me hard on naps the past couple of days. When the girls don't nap, I don't get anything done. Drew doesn't nap anymore anyway unless we're in the car. And while I LOVE my boy, he's turned into a little whiney man these days and it's making me crazy. I'm tired of waking the girls up to go to the bus to get Meg. I think I'm just plain tired. We race around from the bus stop to quick dinners to softball or chorus concert. There are 4 huge loads of laundry waiting to be folded in my bedroom which I can't stand looking at, but have no desire to fold. I need a haircut, but to get one requires a)that my hairdresser work today and she doesn't or b)taking the kids with me tomorrow which is totally stressful. Wow, I can't even read what I wrote without thinking that I sound like a complete whiney brat. Sigh.

On a good note, Megan had her first grade choral concert last night. We bought a sweet outfit at The Children's Place for a mere $12 that she wore and she looked beautiful, and sang so sweetly. Last year at the kindergarten concert, we arrived late and coming in late was so stressful that she didn't sing a word. Last night we arrived 30 minutes early (which as you know, I am all for!) and good thing we did. The middle school gym was PACKED. It was so nice to see her singing and having fun. I took pictures but they're grayish. Here's one anyway (she's in the pink and her friend Samantha is in the yellowish-green). And yes, she really is super tall for a 7 year old.
I'm looking for ways to cheer myself up today. My darn good cup of coffee isn't helping. Any suggestions oh wise internets?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More Twists and Turns

A couple of days ago I posted about my turn as "that parent" (and honestly, if I could figure out how to link it here, I would, really). The story takes another interesting twist.

After the G&T teacher emailed me detailing what is keeping Megan out of the program, which was basically her inability to consistently go "above and beyond" in her work, I opted to just let things go. Doug and I talked, and while we agree with some of what the teacher said, we weren't going to fight the system just yet. After all, she is 7 and just figuring out the whole school thing and what is expected of her. So, when she came bombing off the bus this afternoon with a grin THIS wide, I knew something was up. Sure enough, she got asked to go with the group to the G&T teacher today. WTF? Either she is, or isn't, in the group. Not sometimes, but it's got to be either all or nothing. Now Meg doesn't know of my correspondence to this woman, but her teacher does. Maybe her teacher decided that it was time to have her try again. But HELLO! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be kept in the loop. Why now? Because I complained, or because all of a sudden they feel she's ready? I just don't get it. I wasn't about to burst her bubble so I just asked her if she was happy to go, and of course she was. She even brought home the project they made, with instructions for parents. Oh, and get this. The letter and instructions had missing words. From the Gifted and Talented Teacher! OMG! That was the first thing I noticed when I took the paper out of her backpack. Now I know that I'm in backwoods Maine here, but come on! I'm sure there will be more to tell of this tale.

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me. We sang that song as a kid and it's supposed to be true, right? RIGHT? Ummm. Not. So. Much.

This morning while waiting for the bus to come, Meg told me that her friend Abby called me fat. I asked Meg what she said to her, and she told me that she told Abby I was. not. fat. And I thanked her for standing up for me. Then while pretending to wipe a black fly out of my eye, I wiped away tears. Because I was proud of my daughter for standing up for me, but sad that what her friend said was pretty true.

Ok, so overweight is a word I'd rather use, but I suppose that 7 year olds don't think in such PC terms. I've always had a problem with my weight. I weighed barely 17 pounds at age one, which is unheard of these days (only Izzie weighed less than 20lbs at her year check up), but once I got older, weight was an issue for me. I am not athletic. I was a musician in high school and in college. I would rather sit and read or blog or scrapbook than exercise. I am well aware of this. I am also well aware that if I make an effort, I CAN lose weight. I am a Lifetime Member at Weight Watchers (if you've never done WW, a Lifetime Member is someone who gets to their goal weight, and maintains it for 6 weeks without going more than 2lbs over) and I've lost the weight more than once. But I get lazy I guess and stop paying attention. It's not that I get cocky, because I know how easily I put weight back on. Lazy is a good word to describe it. While I'm busy doing dishes and laundry and changing diapers, I don't get outside to do much other than water plants and hit the ball with Drew. I don't take the girls for a walk in the stroller right now because it's black fly season and those bites hurt. But I bought a treadmill and an IPod for a reason and I guess it's time to get back in the basement in the morning instead of pretending that I didn't hear the alarm and Doug telling me that it's 6am if I want to go walk. Because if my daughter's 7 year old friend thinks I'm overweight, I'm sure that's how I look to other people too. And while I'll try to tell you that I don't care what other people think, I do. Words sometimes hurt more than sticks and stones.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Punctuality counts

I cannot stand to be late. I would rather be 30 minutes early to something than late. It makes me crazy and sets the tone for the whole day. So, when my darling husband arrived at home at 9 am today so I could take Drew to his 9 am preschool, to say I was annoyed was an understatement. I know he was doing me a favor by watching the twins this morning, as his mom is away and she's my bi-weekly babysitter so I can volunteer at Meg's school. But I had a commitment and when I commit to something, I follow through. Thankfully, I got Drew to school only 10 minutes late, wasn't the last parent/grandparent/caregiver to arrive and got to Meg's school on time. But his blase "sorry" when I flew out the door got me thinking about my commitments versus his commitments, and how sometimes I feel like the things that I do aren't that important. Because honestly, I only get out twice a month to volunteer in Meg's classroom, and my Creative Memories events are either on Friday nights or Saturdays. I plan all of what I do around either his schedule or the kids' schedules and all I ask is that he be punctual. Is that really too much to ask? I would complain (I mean blog of course) more about my darling husband, but he's reading over my shoulder. And he reads this blog, so I have to temper my comments. Because there are days when he's late getting home (yesterday) or he's late getting here and I just want to blog about it to see if it will make me feel better. I know it really won't make me feel better and I need to just talk with him, but if he's not here/late getting here, then I just get cranky about it. And I hunt down some chocolate. Because of course chocolate soothes a cranky soul. Right?

Monday, May 12, 2008

The weekend in review

What a weekend. It was so busy, but really nice too. I had my all-day scrapbooking event on Saturday and it went incredibly well. I did manage to pull it all together at the last minute and everyone had a good time. It was a long day and I was so beat when I got home, but my sales at the event boosted my spirit.

Mother's Day was very lovely. The older kids and my husband made me breakfast in bed, which was a first. I'd already received Drew's gift on Thursday when he got home from school; with the help of his teachers, he planted a flower in a pot that he decorated with his fingerprints and they made into ladybugs. It's sitting in my kitchen windowsill and I love it. Meg brought her gifts home on Friday. She made a card with a picture of me on the front, then there was a poem inside and a worksheet she filled out about me. It's so neat seeing her handwriting on things and what things about me make her happy (I read to her, and she mentioned that ALOT). Doug did take the kids Saturday to the mall and got me the Mike Lowell autobiography that I wanted. He also got me a Kevin Garnett t-shirt and get this....a very large Kevin Garnett bobblehead doll. It cracked me up so much that Kevin is on my bedside table. I have never been a big basketball fan, but since Garnett joined the Celtics, it's my reason for watching. I love him.

We headed to my parents to visit with my mom (my inlaws are away on a trip in the south, so we won't see them until they return). I always bring her a hanging plant and this year she returned the flora with some plants for my garden~a false indigo and shasta daisies. Then she dug up some more flowers from her gardens for me. We got them all planted yesterday afternoon. The kids had fun running around in my parents' backyard.
The rest of the day was a normal Sunday with laundry, groceries and baths. It was still nice to enjoy the day with my kids and hear them say they love me. And really that's what it's all about.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Why I need more coffee.

Our house saga continues. Ok, it's not so much a saga anymore. We're still dealing with the tenant issues~the loads of junk they left had to be stored and we had to send them a letter telling them that they have 14 days to come get it. Yes, we actually had to do that by law before we could toss it. Rather than risk a lawsuit in case we tossed something of "heirloom" quality, we complied. LOVE knowing lawyers who help me out. We had a neighbor with a lawn business clean up the yard (as the tenants never even bothered to rake the leaves!), our friendly painter repainted the most heinous rooms, and we had a cleaning service come last week to clean the rugs and the kitchen and bathroom (thank you Mom and Dad). Our open house on Sunday yielded a prospective tenant/buyer, and we have decided to work with her. She loves the house, her two kids love the house, and being there allows her kids to stay in their current schools come fall. I am hoping in the next several months to report that we're under contract to sell the home to her. That is our common goal, so I am breathing a little bit easier about it.

I became "that parent" yesterday. You know the one I mean. The one that the teachers cringe at because you take an interest in your child's eduation. The one that wants the best for her child and wants answers when it seems that isn't happening. But, sometimes you have to be "that parent". Megan has been evaluated on and off this year by the Gifted and Talented teacher at her school. We were not informed of this prior to her first meeting last fall. I don't know how many times Megan saw this particular woman before she even mentioned it to me very off-hand in the car one day. I didn't even know there was a Gifted and Talented teacher at the school. But anyway, I emailed Meg's teacher about it back then to see what the scoop was, and was happy to hear that they thought Meg warranted the evaluations. I mean, what parent wouldn't be excited? And of course we think she's incredibly smart and we're not at all biased (cough cough). Then one day Meg came home crying because the work with the teacher was hard and she didn't finish it. She told me she felt stupid. How do you explain to a 7 year old that they aren't stupid? That they just need to try, and all we ask is that they try? The invitations to work with the G&T teacher stopped coming after that. We were a bit frustrated, but what can you do about it? Then last week, the G&T teacher came to Meg's class to work with her G&T group individually and had Megan read to her. She told Meg that maybe she could come again this week (yesterday). No invite yesterday, again. Meg didn't say anything, but I could sense she was sad. So, I emailed the teacher. I wasn't harsh, just concerned that she is toying with my child. Her response to me today was quick. I won't bore you with the details of her response. Now I have some thinking to do. Do I let sleeping dogs lie, get Meg through the rest of first grade, and not make an issue out of it? Or do I push them to give her another chance, because I think she's matured over the course of the year? It's a hard issue for me, because I loved to learn (until I went to law school and it beat the love of learning out of me) and I want her to love it too. I want her to try her hardest and be proud of her work. She is of course only in first grade and maybe in another year she'll be a bit more mature and understand more of this. Sometimes I think I push too hard, and other times I think that I baby her too much. I don't know where to draw the line. And of course having three other children who need me means that I can't give her the 150% attention that she wants. Oh what fun this will be when all 4 of them are in school.

I am supposed to be working on my big scrapbooking day for Saturday. I have 13 customers coming to scrapbook. I am not at all ready. I have been spending what free time I have playing baseball with Drew, or hanging out with the babies, or going to softball games, or stressing about the other home. Nothing like waiting until the last minute to do things. I'm sure it will pull itself all together, but since my plan was to be all ready by now, I'm a little freaked out.

On the upside, Izzie was better this morning. She ate and drank and didn't cry the minute I put her in the living room. Hooray!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Life with Isabelle

Isabelle is the baby of the family. She was born 11 minutes after Annabelle. So I guess it should not surprise me that she sometimes behave the worst of anyone. I know she's only 15 months old, but let's recap the last 6 days with Izzie. Turns out she doesn't like much of anything anymore. She....

Does not want to be picked up;

Does not want to be put down;

If put down, will roll around on the floor and wail like she has been beaten;

If put down, will throw herself to the ground, head first, roll around on the floor and wail like she has been beaten;

Does not want to eat;

Does not want to drink;

Does not want to go in her stroller;

Does not want to go in the car;

Does not want kisses; will scratch your face if you kiss her;

Does not want you to kiss her sister;

Does not want you to pick up her sister.

Actually, it turns out that none of those things apply when Daddy is home. Just fun times for Mama. The joys of parenting.

Monday, May 5, 2008

A contest!

No, I'm not having a contest. The fine ladies at Chop. Stir. Mix are having a contest! Do you like food? Of course you do! So check them out, tell them I sent you (did you see what they're giving away? I'd LOVE IT!), and maybe send in a recipe. I've already given them one, and plan to do another.

So, rush right over, because the contest ends Sunday night!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

One Step Forward, A Zillion Steps Back (EDITED)

Just when things might start to look up, they go downhill again. Let me start at the beginning.

We had our open house at our other home yesterday. When we had a broker and tried to sell the house before, no one ever came to the open houses. It was so depressing. So, we didn't have high hopes for an open house in the pouring rain yesterday. We were pleasantly surprised with the turnout though. We had people come with brokers, and some on their own. Most gave us their information so we could contact them, although one just left with barely a thank you. We have one person really interested in the house because it would keep her children in their current schools (the school system is being redistricted there), but we're not sure if she's ready to buy. While we're ok with a rent to own option, if the tenants opts out of the purchase, we're right back to where we are now, which is paying two mortgages. We'd rather sell the home outright. So internets, keep your fingers crossed for us. We could use some good luck.

So, that was the step forward. Listen to the step back. Last night, at 10:30 we were sitting down to watch Deadliest Catch on DVR from last week (I don't know why I enjoy chain smoking crab fishermen in Alaska, but it's riveting). We were enjoying some popcorn and relaxing when a loud clunk game from the garage. Doug disappeared out to check it out and didn't come back in. I finally hunted him down to see what was the matter, and he said it was his truck (a 2002 Ford Explorer) falling apart. The clunking we heard was a spring falling off the truck. This truck has been a nightmare. I won't bore you with the details, but we just had the wheel bearings on all 4 wheels replaced a couple of months ago. And it's had other issues too. So, this morning I am without a car as the Explorer just went off on a tow truck and Doug has my van. We'll go get a rental, again, later today. Argh. (EDIT: No rental. Truck will be fixed, to the tune of $600. Turns out, we only have the "basic" extended warranty, and the 2 springs that are being replaced fall under the "holy shit expensive" double dog dare extended warranty. GAH.)

To top it off, the twins have been IRRITABLE since Friday. Lots of crying and low grade fevers. I think it's just the molars they are getting but PUHLEASE....sometimes I have to leave the room and it would be swell if they wouldn't cry EVERY time. Too bad we can't go anywhere today to change their moods.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


My husband wants to get chickens. Yes, real, live fowl to live in our yard. Why you ask? For the cuteness? Um, not so much, because while they are cute as babies, they are ugly, ugly animals as adults. For the eggs of course. Yes, my city dwelling husband thinks that now that we own 13 acres of land we should have chickens. Good grief Charlie Brown.

I can see his point. We are a family of six. When we have say, scrambled eggs for breakfast or dinner, it takes a DOZEN eggs to feed us all. I am now buying the 18 pack of eggs. I don't even know how much it costs; I just grab them and put them in the cart. Given the economy, maybe having chickens is a good idea. It sounds like a great idea. But then I gave it some thought and came up with these objections.

1. Bird flu. Can we get bird flu from the chickens? Probably. Not something I want.

2. Who is going to care for the chickens? The husband who is working 10 hours a day, or the wife who is home all the time? Hmmmmmm.

3. Chickens get killed by weasels, coyotes, etc. A co-worker of his had 3 chickens killed recently by weasels. That isn't going to be easy to explain to my children.

4. Speaking of the children. I don't want them playing with the chickens, or in the chicken poop, or anything else disgusting like that. Eww. Granted, we'd build them a coop, but they'll still need exercise.

The list could go on. Our neighbors up the road are getting chickens too. That gave my husband even more reason to want the chickens. If Becky can get chickens, so can I, he reasoned. It was a look of glee in his eye while they chatted about chickens. I don't get it. I too am a city dweller, living in the country. I lived in Boston without chickens. I lived in New York without chickens. I grew up in Maine, WITHOUT CHICKENS. This is just something I can't wrap my head around. Now a cow for the milk.....that's a different story.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I love Maine, really, I do! And other stuff too.

I seem to complain a lot about the weather here in Maine, don't I? One would think I don't like it here, what with the 100 + inches of snow this winter, and mud season (which we haven't experienced this year!) and the flooding and whatnot. But, that is not correct. I love Maine. I was born and raised here. My parents are NOT native Mainers, but that doesn't matter. They've been here long enough I think to consider it all good. The snowfall we received this winter hadn't happened since the 1970s. I remember being a kid and having tons of snow to play in. The rain and flooding, well, those are issues that I've really only paid attention to as a homeowner because it affects me. Luckily, both of my homes are away from bodies of water so I am safe. But when I logged onto today, Maine was in the headlines because of the flooding up north. I can't imagine losing a home to floodwaters. Ick.

But I love being a Mainer (pronounced Main-ah). I love the mountains and the changing of the leaves in the fall. I love to look at the snow (and thankfully I don't have to shovel it anymore) and I couldn't imagine living where I didn't have four distinct seasons. Sure, summer is over on July 5th (and it only starts July 4th) but really, it's the place for me. So, even though I complain a lot about the weather, I'll just wait a minute and it will change. Not always for the better, but a change can't hurt, right?

Still no news on our other house. We're having an open house on Sunday to see what might happen. Since we'd still prefer to sell over rent, we may need to drop the price, again. The stress of it is starting to get the better of me. It's pretty much all I think about. Not good thoughts, I know.

Meg has her first softball game tonight. After only one practice. Should be interesting. She proclaimed this morning that she was going to hit a home run and I told her to concentrate on just getting a hit and running the right way on the bases. She always aims so high and then is disappointed when it doesn't happen. Maybe I'm a big fat downer to her, but I think sometimes that reality is better than rose colored glasses. I blame my husband for that. He is very much a "let's not sugarcoat it" kind of a person. Sometimes though, a little rose coloring is in order and we don't agree on that very much.

I had to dress up for the field trip yesterday. I don't dress up. I am at home in jeans and some sort of comfy shirt, every day, all day. Meg's teacher told them to wear "theater attire" and that was fine and dandy for them, but I figured that going in my jeans wasn't going to cut it. One little boy wore a suit! He looked so adorable. It was too bad that all the first and second graders didn't wear theater attire, because it was night and day between her class and the others from the school. Back to my need to dress up though. Oh my holy hell I was uncomfortable. Meg was wonderful, telling me how beautiful I looked, but I couldn't wait to get home and change out of my skirt. She was actually disappointed when she got off the bus yesterday and I was in my jeans. My inability to be comfortable with how I look is truly for another post, some day, maybe. I guess for now as long as my kids and husband think I'm beautiful, I'm good as gold.