Tuesday, July 29, 2008

So when are you going to have kids?

Deciding to have kids, for me, was a tough decision. Even though Doug and I had said we would have kids, it was still an enormous decision that I wasn't sure I was ready to make. My mom will tell you she didn't think she'd ever have grandkids (surprise!). So after a couple of years of marriage, we finally decided to start trying for a baby. Two months later, we were pregnant. Doug still laments we didn't get enough practice time in. It was a relatively uneventful pregnancy early on and we told people right away. Why not? We were excited, and I had all the partners of my law firm to tell, so that they could plot and plan my eventual replacement (oh that is such another story, for another day). We had one little scare at about 13 weeks (tear in the placenta, healed on its own) and the rest was a great pregnancy. Really. Except for the baby being up so high that I couldn't breathe and barely eat, I felt good most of the time. Meg was born, on her due date, after two days of start and stop labor.

Life went along, and I finally felt ready for another child. It was a huge responsibility, adding to our family. I knew it would mean that I would most likely have to leave my job because of the cost of daycare for two, but we figured we would cross that bridge when we came to it. This time, getting pregnant was not as easy. Months went by, no baby. We started with the ovulation predictors; still no baby. Then finally about 8 months into trying, I got pregnant. We were thrilled. We told some people, including Meg (who was only 2 1/2). That day, I had some spotting, so we went to the doctor for an ultrasound. No heartbeat. It was devastating. Having to tell my parents, my co-workers, friends, was heartbreaking. We told Meg, and thank goodness she neither understood, nor remembers.

Six months later, we were pregnant again. I distinctly remember going to the doctor on New Year's Eve for what was now an early ultrasound because I was considered a bit high risk due to the first miscarriage. Again, no heartbeat. This time, not only was I heartbroken, I was angry. We hadn't told anyone outright, although the ladies in my office had figured it out. I actually went back to work after the appointment, because I had left a ton of work, and it was the last day of the year. I also remember having plans to go to a hockey game with Meg, and wishing the entire time I could go home and die. So, we did the tests which found nothing wrong, and we figured we'd try again when we (meaning I) were ready.

I was a wreck when I found out I was pregnant again. But I remember that my body felt differently than with the previous two pregnancies. Physically, I had felt off somehow with those miscarried babies. We knew at 7 weeks that we were pregnant, and had early ultrasounds again. Again, at about 13 or so weeks, I started spotting. I was totally pissed off at that point. We had just been to the doctor, seen the heartbeat, everything was golden. I had to call the same boss who watched me go through the first two miscarriages and tell him I thought I was having another one, and I'd be in to work when I could. Karen was our ultrasound tech that day. Our baby was fine. By some sort of miracle or something that I can't explain, the baby was fine, but I had a blood clot that had to bleed out. I should have known then that Drew would give me trouble. He was born 3 days after Christmas, barely an hour after arriving at the hospital. He and Meg are almost 4 years apart.

Imagine my surprise when I found out I was pregnant again. Ok, I wasn't totally surprised, because we had said if it happened, ok, but we weren't trying. Because of my risk of miscarriages, we had an ultrasound early, again. Two heartbeats. Karen was our ultrasound tech again that day. She was our tech for every monthly ultrasound with the girls. She promised us that no, there weren't more than two, and after 20 weeks, that yes, they were still girls. Given the high risk nature of a multiple pregnancy, it was the most normal of them all. I was blessed with no bed rest, no premature deliveries, no preterm labor. I had to BEG to have the induction at 38 1/2 weeks. BEG I tell you. Annabelle and Isabelle were born a good 11 minutes apart, exactly two weeks before Meg's 6th birthday. Did I mention all the birthdays are 2 weeks apart?

I've been asked if we're going to have more children. NO.WAY.IN.HELL. Not because I don't love my children. Because we're DONE WITH THAT, thank you very much. And while I blog about how my children cause me grief, they are the light of my life. I cannot imagine my life without them.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Happy Things

Given that I've been a bit (ok, a LOT) bitchy lately, I thought I'd post the things that make me smile. Really, I do smile.

Watching my babies sleep

Reading books to Meg (we're reading By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder)

Watching Drew play with his cars

Blowing bubbles for the babies

Reading (reading Dark Horse by Tami Hoag)

Scrapbooking with friends

Watching the Red Sox and/or Deadliest Catch with Doug (sigh.....no DC until next spring)



Hugs and kisses from my kids

What makes you smile?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Well bitching isn't helpful

Well, that last post was a tad bitchy, now wasn't it? I sound like a pretty horrible person. I really don't hate my children. I just don't enjoy them when they're fighting/hitting/yelling/barfing. I mean, really, who enjoys their kids when they're doing all that, all the time?

And that is what is going on here in my house. My two older kids fight all the time. I know, kids fight, yadda, yadda, yadda. I know I fought with my brother. But I feel like the fighting periods are seriously outweighing the non-fighting periods and my psyche cannot handle that. I made THE LIST and am constantly referring to it to get my point across to the kids. "Number 5 says be helpful. Throwing your toys on the floor when I ask you to clean them up is NOT helpful. Number one says no hitting or pushing. You must sit in timeout if you push me or your brother/sisters." Since THE LIST is in writing, posted on the basement door, with the punishment of a TIMEOUT listed on THE LIST, why for the love of all that is good in the world, will they fight me on a timeout? It's black and white (really, white paper with black writing!), we've gone over it all, and yet we're in a constant battle. Sigh. I just want to have more happy moments than pissy moments every day. Is that really too much to ask?

Barforama is still raging here. I have so had enough of it all. I can't do anything for the girls except the BRAT diet, and it is working a bit. Annie looked horrible all day today. Those big brown eyes were just so sad. Izzie seemed to have come around a bit tonight before bed (am knocking on wood now). I can only hope that there is no barfing in the night tonight and that tomorrow is a better day for them.

Did I mention that my kids have all but driven away my babysitter? Oh yes, that all happened last week, but I was so caught up with the barfing and fighting that I neglected to mention it. I have help in the form of the lovely Erika on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (hence the lack of blogging on those days, since I feel totally guilty for blogging when I should be PRODUCTIVE), which is a new thing for me. Even when the twins were born and I had a 2 year old (Meg was in kindergarten, full time), I was flying solo. My mother-in-law came on Tuesdays for awhile, weather dependent and that did help a bit, but for the most part, I did it all, all the time (ooh, except for my dad picking Meg up at the bus twice a week, which was awesome!). So it's been an adjustment for me having someone here that can help me do the things that don't get done on the days she isn't here (laundry, dishes, vacuuming!). However, the behavior of my big kids has been hellish when she's here, and last week they completely went all psycho on her while I was out for a whole 45 minutes. I am pretty sure there was head spinning and talking backwards. Needless to say I wouldn't blame her if she didn't want to come anymore, because why should she be treated that way. We'll see what Tuesday brings.

I am going to go into tomorrow with a clean slate and hope that I can make it thru the day without wanting to run. And of course there are only 5 more weeks until school starts again. At least I have that to look forward to.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The post where I bitch

I am going to say this out loud, right now: I do not like my kids very much today. There. Love them to pieces, but could SERIOUSLY do without them for say, a few days. And that means ALL of them, not just the older ones. Does this make me a bad mama? Nope. Just a tired/overworked/underpaid/notfeelingverylovedtoday mama. Today I am tired of giving, giving, giving and getting screamed at, or smacked, or have things thrown at me. I am tired of arranging playdates only to have the kids fall apart when they're over. I am tired of Barforama. I am tired of the messy house, the list of rules that my kids refuse to follow, the laundry. I am tired of questioning whether I made a big mistake a) having kids and b) having so many kids. I am tired of just about everything today. I am tired of the days being the same all the time. I am tired of being too tired to enjoy any free time at night that I have. I am tired of repeating myself all day long and never getting ahead. I am tired of summer and humidity and not wanting to go outside.

So tonight I'm going to visit with a friend, do a little scrapbooking, and try to regroup for the weekend.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Barforama Redux

Oops, I did it again (thank you Britney Spears). No, not me, but Barforama has struck, again. OMG when will it end? We have been battling this stomach thing since June 21st. And now we're going thru it again and again. Drew is finally better. Now Izzie has it again. And Annie, minus the barfing (so bumorama?). There is pretty much nothing worse in the world than seeing your kid sick, and really not being able to do a damn thing to make them feel better. Except clean up the barfy clothes/sheets/stuffed animals and move on. Needless to say, I may ramble a bit here and there, seeing as I was up at 2:30 for the day pretty much (omg run-on sentence).

If you don't follow me on Twitter (why don't you? ha), then let me update you~we're having a TORNADO warning here in Maine right now. We get hurricanes, but usually just remnants. We get Nor'easters, both rain and snow versions. But tornadoes (which I misspelled on Twitter due to lack of sleep and coffee) are not very common here. It has been raining cats, dogs, buckets, sheets, etc. pretty much all day. My lovely gravel road is flooding and the rain is creating new paths down the road. If and when the sun ever shines again, my lawn will grow 3 feet almost immediately. On the bright side, I don't have to water my gardens. Have I mentioned that I hate summer?

Some of my blogging friends have been having a tough go of it lately and I don't know what to say to make them feel better. I try to say the right thing on their blogs, or on emails, but sometimes it just isn't enough. I have a friend who is a blogger and I want to go visit her and hug her because it's been MUCH TOO LONG but remember those four kids? I want to visit with JUST HER. She knows who she is and I'm sending a shout out that I miss her and love her.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer stinks

So I hate summer. Let me clarify~I hate heat and humidity. So, that in turn, means I hate summer. Aren't I a total drag? I love fall. I love being able to leave my windows open and the smell of the air and falling leaves. I love mums on my farmer's porch and pumpkins on the steps. I love the colors of fall.

Anyway, I had an ok weekend. I did go for a haircut, and it's new and different and I'm still trying to figure out how to make it work. So no photos for now. Sorry. I also spent a bit of time at Border's wandering around looking for new books. I did pick out 3 for myself and have started on Jody Picoult's Vanishing Acts. It's very good, and I want to read it all day long. Oh, but those darn kids always NEED stuff, like snacks, or diapers, or timeouts. Reading is relegated to the evenings.

Yesterday I took Meg over to her school so she could play on the playground with her friend Benton. His mom and I sat under a tree, drinking coffee. It was really quite lovely. And even though it was raining, the kids had a blast. There was no fighting, no yelling, just fun. There is something to be said for playdates on neutral ground. So of course she is having another friend here at the end of the week. I hope the weather holds so they can go outside.

I've been battling with Meg's IPod Shuffle. When I open ITunes and plug in the Shuffle, ITunes doesn't recognize it. I don't know what to do, and the "help" section on the Apple site doesn't help at all. The poor kid just wants some Hannah Montana and Van Morrison on her IPod (I know, weird for a 7 year old, but she just loves "Brown Eyed Girl"). Anyone have any suggestions?

Oh darn, my "free" hour is up. The kids' tv show is over and I guess that means I need to find a way to keep them quiet while the twins nap. Must be storytime.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wanna Get Personal?

I don't talk about stuff that is too personal on this blog. I rant and rave about my life as a stay at home mom, sometimes I complain about my husband, but that's about all. If you want to see what I look like, then you have to take a trip over to Life After Baby as that is the first place I've posted my picture. Like the haircolor? I love it. Too bad I have to wait until November to get it done again; it will bleach out in the sun and that is a total waste of $65.

I have spoken a bit about being a lawyer. I hated it. Which is a pisser, since I owe LOTS of money in student loans. At one point in time, my student loan payments were larger than the mortgage payments on my home. How ridiculous is that? I borrowed all that money for what? It still bothers me that I did that to myself.

And money. I don't often talk about money. Mostly because money issues suck. I own two homes, not by choice, so I pay two mortgages. We own two vehicles with loan payments. We cannot go down to one car, as Doug is on the road quite often, and I cannot be stuck at home without a car in case of emergencies. But money is a huge stressor in my life, as I'm sure it is for most people. Our 10th wedding anniversary is in two months, and I wanted to do something special, as a family. So, I thought that taking a short trip to Disney would be great fun for us and the kids. We went on our honeymoon there, so how great would that be to take the kids and show them around. Annie and Izzie would fly for free (until they turn two, that is) and for the most part, our big costs would be for us and Meg, as the other kids cost quite a bit less. But even with those benefits, it's still too expensive for us to go. And I'm angry about that, because once January rolls around and the twins are two, the costs skyrocket because they both require seats on the plane, and that basically puts Disney on the backburner until the kids are much older. I'm not angry with Doug because he doesn't make more money, don't get me wrong. He works hard at his job and puts in long hours (10 in the office, then also at home every night as well) and he gets a nice paycheck. I'm angry that our costs of living are such that we can't afford to do something nice like that as a family just this once. This post isn't going political, because I don't think you'll ever read a post like that from me. I just wish things were different for us.

I will fully admit that I don't take enough time for myself. Yes, I blog, but I sneak that in during the twins' nap and if I give the older kids tv time, or after everyone is in bed. I scrapbook, but usually only on Friday nights. I don't often get out by myself, because with such a large family, there isn't the time for that. I know I need to do those things for myself, and maybe that time will come as the twins get older and life in the house settles down. For now, I live mostly vicariously through all the blogs I read.

I don't know the exact vision I had for how my life would go; I don't always think ahead like that. Maybe, as my mom says, I wore some rose colored glasses when I thought of how my life would be. I certainly didn't think I'd actually have 4 kids, even though I wanted them. I also didn't think that there would be such a big gap in their births, but I had no control over that. I had hoped that I would be a calmer mother, but I am not. I am a high strung, impatient person. I think I had a little Pollyanna vision of how my kids would behave. It is in sharp contrast to reality and that bothers me (hence the Super Nanny list).

Life goes on and I try to adapt to the reality of how my life is turning out. Would I change things? Yes. Absolutely. Will I change things? I don't know. Maybe things will just iron themselves out as my children get older, and maybe I will be blessed with the ability to mellow out a little and enjoy the ride. Who the hell knows.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This and That

Remember my declaration that I was going to go all Super Nanny on my kids and create a list? Well I did tonight. It's a "House Rules" list. It's a list of things that the kids MUST comply with, such as "no running in the house" and "use an INDOOR voice". They aren't incredibly difficult rules, but such simple, basic things that my kids JUST DON'T GET that having it in writing may help. If they break a rule, they get a timeout. And damnit, if this doesn't work, I'm calling Jo Frost herself to straighten them out.


I need a book to read. I am supposed to be reading Mike Lowell's book (Red Sox 3rd baseman who looks like my husband) but I need something else to read at the same time. I love mysteries. Any suggestions?


I am all over the place today. I stayed up until midnight watching the All Star game (J.D. Drew rocks!) for no reason other than it was on tv. Then I got up to a vomiting child for the 2nd day in a row. Poor little Drew has viral gastroenteritis and just can't keep anything other than water in his body. Dragged him to the doctor today to make sure he didn't have a blockage or anything like that. Can't wait for the sickness to go away.


Argh, I don't have anything else to say (Auntie Nettie, shush!).

Do you want more of me?

Have you noticed on my sidebar that I have a couple of other blogs that I write for? No? Well, I do~I write over at Mommy 4-1-1, and have just joined Life After Baby. Come check us out. Because I know you really want to read more of me.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Post Vacation Letdown

You know what it's like, right? You have a lovely vacation week, and then WHAM, it's back to reality. For me, that reality is a rainy Monday and bored kids. Oh, and 100% humidity that requires an air conditioner. Blech.

Did I ever blog about the Bon Jovi concert? No? What is wrong with me? That was one hell of a show! All American Rejects opened up and they were very good. My poor husband knew none of their songs until my niece played some on her IPod on the way to Boston for him. He liked their music and he is PICKY about his music choices. Then Bon Jovi played a 2 hour show for us and it was just awesome. I could barely talk on the way home from all the screeching singing I did. Luckily my voice and my hearing returned within a day. It was so incredibly worth waiting 20 years to see them!

My Super Nanny schedule never got put together over vacation. Slacker mom. And we so totally need it, because when Doug leaves for work at 7:30, it's a really, really long morning until the babies nap at 10. The never ending requests for tv, the "Mom, I'm hungry" whines at 8 am (that is after breakfast at 7), the "playing" with the twins that results in in lots of crying (ok, mostly from me). There are days, many, many days, when I think about going back to work. No, not as a lawyer, but just something to get me out of the house. But oh, what would I do with three kids under 4? So the rational me says "no no, you must wait until all the kids are in school, because you'd having to make a mountain of money to make paying for daycare worth it". And of course that rational me is totally right, but what I wouldn't give to be someone other than "mama" every once in a while. Oh the battles I wage in my head.

Congrats to AndreAnna on the birth of Sawyer. Now we wait for Cass to announce the arrival of Lexi. Keeping my fingers crossed for you Cass!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ooh, let's play catchup, shall we?

Did you miss me? I've been here, reading bits and pieces of blogs, but have been too busy/tired/sick to write. So, now that Doug has headed off to hockey (yes, it's 10pm on a Tuesday night; he plays hockey at 10:40. Isn't that dumb?) I will play catchup, bullet style.
  • I didn't quite catch what the kids had during Barforama, but I didn't avoid it altogether, either. I spent the afternoon of the 3rd asleep. Yes, my awesome husband came home from work early so I could take a nap. It was nice. I never nap unless I'm under the weather.

  • I was better on the 4th, so we headed up the coast for the Bath Heritage Days. We got there in time for the parade, which was great, just really hot in the sun. After a bite to eat, we decided to drive further up the coast in hopes the kids would nap. Ummm, no. Meg and Drew were demon spawn in the car and only settled down under the threat of death no fireworks. It was indeed a hellacious day with them. The fireworks were good, except that we sat behind a building that caused us to miss some of the fireworks. And let me just say that I pointed this out to said awesome husband, who insisted that we were fine. Anyhoo, Meg LOVED the fireworks, Drew was too tired to deal with them, Izzie slept thru them and Annie fussed thru them. About right in my book.

  • We took the kids to Range Pond (pronounced "rang") on Sunday. It was a first for the twins, and to our surprise, they loved it. Last year they were only 6 months old and had to be kept in the shade, so while Doug and the kids played in the water, I sat watching babies. This time we ALL (yes, even me) went into the water and had a really good time. Of course no one wanted to go home, but in the end it was a good day.

  • Meg had her first eye checkup yesterday. I was a bad mama and didn't take her before she started kindergarten. But, turns out her eyes are fine and the eye doctor doesn't see any indication that she is going to have bad eyes like me. Thank goodness, because not being able to see without my contacts or glasses bites. Doug took Meg and Drew to the driving range yesterday morning as well, while I battled the Return of Barforama. I think I was just tired though.

  • Today Erika joined us for a trip on the Songo River Queen II. It was a nice 2 1/2 hour boat ride on Brandy Pond in Naples (Maine). Seriously, thank goodness for the breeze from the boat moving, because today was incredibly hot and sticky. The pond has a lock system, so the kids got to experience the locks. It's all done by hand, so it was really cool to watch.

  • Tomorrow we're going back to Range Pond in the morning. Oh, and then it's BON JOVI BABY tomorrow night, in Boston. Going to try to smuggle my camera in, but I don't think I'm sitting anywhere close to the stage in order to get good pictures. Because Jon Bon Jovi is smokin'.
Ok, so that was a lot. Now for the good stuff: pictures.

(at the parade)

(at the parade; Annie is on the left)

(waiting to ride some rides)

(I LOVE having a fireworks function!)

(at the pond)

(she wanted to be a mermaid when she grew up)

(the boat)

(Meg, with Erika)

(such manly men)

(silly girlies)

(yes, he is holding a garter snake found in our garden tonight)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I survived Barforama!

Phew. I think we're done with Barforama 2008. After one last barf ALL OVER DOUG Tuesday at lunch (and yes, I laughed, heartily~mean I know, but really, it always happens to just me), the girls have been better. No one is eating particularly well, but I'll take that over all the barfing. I have managed, so far, to avoid being sick. I'm sure that I'll wake up tomorrow sick because we have plans for the fourth. Crossing my fingers and toes that that doesn't happen.

It's been a really long week here. The "I hate summer" whines continue from Meg, even though she had Erika this week to occupy some of her time. They took two really long walks in the woods, just the two of them and had a nice time. But as soon as they rejoined the family fold, the attitudes started up again. We sent Meg to summer camp for a few days last summer, and it was a nightmare. It was just day camp, and we thought with all the activities, she'd have fun, but on the first day she lost her favorite sweatshirt, and then she was bullied by a couple of older kids, and even had her money taken from her at the roller rink. In all, it was a bad experience, so this summer she is staying home. She is ice skating Monday nights and loving it. We've had to cancel some play dates due to illness and her horrible attitude, so this week has basically sucked.

The bright side is that Doug is on vacation starting tomorrow. I need him here more than I can describe. Between the sick kids, the fighting between the older kids, the heat and humidity, my patience (ok, really, I'm a Type A personality so I have no patience whatsoever) has flown out the window. Tomorrow we're going to take the kids to Bath for Heritage Days and if they manage the day well, we'll try for the fireworks. I am highly doubtful that will happen, but maybe with the promise of that treat, they'll be good. We usually host the 4th (especially when we had our pool at the other house) but I basically told Doug I can't manage it this time. What with the cleaning, food shopping and preparing, I am just too worn down for it right now. Thank goodness our families were ok with it. Next week we're going to Naples (Maine, not Italy) for a ride on the Songo River Queen. We've never taken the kids, but Doug and I did the trip once many moons ago before we were married. I think the kids will have fun. And of course, next week is our trip to Boston with the niece and nephew to go see Bon Jovi (we got our 17 year old niece and 16 year old nephew tickets, which totally freaks us out, because they're old enough to go to an awesome concert with us). Woo hoo!

Right now I am looking around my "computer room" and thinking that a house cleaner is in order. I call it a "computer room" because it contains more than just the computer~the piano (yes, my grandparents' piano that I inherited. Wish I played it; I can play, I just don't), bookshelves, kids crap everywhere. The rule of putting things away after you're done with them just doesn't apply to my kids. Well, that's not true; it applies, they just refuse to follow it. I think next week we're taking a Super Nanny approach to our family life and making up a schedule for the kids to follow during the day. Somehow I'll have to fit cleaning up in there. Because in all honestly, I don't have the energy to clean up after them after changing diapers and trying to keep the girls from tearing apart the house all day. I haven't even had the energy to blog, or really comment on blogs this week.

One thing I did do was watch Baby Borrowers last night. Did anyone catch it? I was freaked out by the premise at first~5 teen couples get to "play house"~they get a home to live in, they have to get a job (one of them) and for the first two episodes, they were "parents" to someone else's child for 3 days. I was thrilled to see that the child's parents watched EVERYTHING on a closed circuit tv, and were close enough by to come over when things got bad. Doug and I sat there all on our soapbox saying things like this: "Welcome to the real world" and "That's what being a parent is all about". OMG. My mom says those things to me (hi Mom) and it makes me nutty, so to hear it come out of my own mouth was a tad bit horrifying. Because really, I don't handle my family as well as I could, so I have no right to be all judgmental. Good lord.

Ok, I have to stop blogging and do something productive. I was in the middle of putting laundry into the dryer when Drew decided to fall, smack his face on a table and split his lip. Guess I should get back to it. Blech.