Thursday, August 28, 2008

For the love of dad

Today I feel for my kids. Doug has been gone since Tuesday morning, and at this moment is somewhere in the air, nearing New Hampshire. He has a two plus hour drive after he lands, so he'll be coming up our road somewhere around 11 tonight.

To say that the kids miss him is a huge understatement. This morning at precisely 7 am, Drew came into my room and wanted to know why Daddy didn't kiss him last night. It's so hard to explain to a three and a half year old with no sense of time that Daddy wasn't coming home until today, not last night. I think I went thru the scenario about a zillion times today, but I still got the same question~will Daddy be home for lunch today? It was frustrating on the one hand, but perfectly understandable on the other. Doug doesn't have a job that requires much travel. Most of his travel is done during work hours. If he attends planning board meetings, they are after dinner, so for the most part the kids see him before they go to bed. The last time he went away for any length of time was when Drew was an infant. So this three day trip has been pretty traumatic for them.

Even Meg, who is conscious of time is still up, at 8 pm (yes, my kids go to bed early), hoping against hope that Daddy will walk in the door. I just explained to her that Daddy is still flying, and that staying up isn't going to make him get here faster. I can hear her flopping around in her bed above me, not resting and thinking of her dad.

I wonder sometimes if my kids feel the same way about me that they do about Doug. They see him for just a few short hours each day, sometimes even less, but I am a permanent presence here. Drew wants snuggle time with just Daddy most of the time. And while I understand that, it makes me sad too. We don't get that kind of one on one time during the day very often, so his connection with Doug makes me a bit jealous I guess. Meg is not a cuddly child; never has been and probably never will be. But she wants big hugs from Doug when he's around. I barely get a pat on the back when she's giving me a hug. Even the twins hold onto him tighter when he's home. Maybe they all understand that their time with Doug is precious, fleeting time, and they need to take advantage of it while they can. And maybe they're just thrilled to see a different face after looking at mine for ten or more hours a day. Whatever it is, I'm glad that they have a dad they love so much. I know that he loves them too. What more could I ask for.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I didn't have my A game today

I would not make a good single parent. I tip my hat to those single parents out there, because holy crap is it hard being alone 24/7. Now granted, unless I came into some serious money, I wouldn't be home all day long as a single parent, because I would have to be out of the home working to pay for food, and clothes, and other such sundries. I just didn't have my A game today. I didn't know how to occupy the twins so that they wouldn't climb the couches and run, or open up drawers and slam them shut. I missed my older kids, even though a part of me was glad they weren't home. It took me all day to empty the dishwasher, because when the twins did finally nap it was all I could do to make myself a sandwich and watch some tv. I never turn the tv on during the day for myself. I have one more full day alone, with all four kids, and I have absolutely no idea how I am going to manage.

I never thought I would say that I don't like being a stay at home parent. It was something I wished for so often when I was working and hated my job and just wanted to be with my baby girl. My mom stayed home until I was 12 and old enough to watch my brother for a bit after school and I really loved it. I just don't know why I don't feel that way about it all now. I am certain that a lot of my issues with being at home has to do with the age differences of the kids. Only the twins are in the same place, and of course that is a busy place for me and I don't get to give the other kids any kind of time or attention. I see those words, I understand them, but there isn't anything I can DO about it. I want to enjoy my chaotic life, but instead it makes me cringe and want to lash out. I want peace and quiet and when I get it, I don't know what to do with it. There are days when leaving it all behind and never coming back never sounded so good.

It's sad for me to realize that what I thought was my dream isn't working out as well as I'd hoped. I know that's why I butt heads with the kids so often. I'm not mad at them, but mad at myself that I don't get to give them the best of me. I don't know where that person went, or who she even is anymore. That is so unfair to my children. I just want to change things, yet I don't even know where to begin. I'm not asking for the perfect life; I'm just asking for something better than this.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Two years

It's been two years today since we moved into this home. It's our "forever" home. As in, I won't be moving ever again, unless you take my cold, dead body out of here. This is the third home we've owned since we got married. We built it ourselves. We designed every facet of the house. It was a labor of love. We picked out flooring, paint colors, cabinetry, countertops. We picked out appliances, General Electric of course (my dad worked for GE for 33 years, as an appliance salesman). We looked at sinks, toilets, hardware. It was fun, yet stressful. We had a deadline to meet. Meg was to start kindergarten in September of 2006, and we needed to be in the house at least a week before school started. We didn't want to register her in our old city, have her start there, then move. That wouldn't have been fair. We got into the house with just a few days to spare.

It's taken time to make this "our" home. We don't have window treatments in all the windows, still. The kids have done a good job of leaving dirty fingerprints on the walls, and dirt on the floors, so we know they feel at home. We're still trying to make good use of the space that we have, as our last home was small and we were overcrowded. I'm used to the quiet now. When we first moved in, it was so eerily quiet here that it was almost too much to handle. We can see the stars so much easier now, since we're away from the lights from the city. We are quite accustomed to the fauna that traipse through our yard.

I still can't believe how quickly the two years have gone by. Meg is going to be a 2nd grader next week. The twins weren't even born when we moved in. They are the same age now that Drew was back then. We've had Christmases, birthdays, Thanksgivings, cookouts and bonfires. We've had lost teeth, snakes, tears and smiles. It's been a good two years here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Missing: One Snake and a Vacation

Our Black Mamba is gone. It's not really a Black Mamba, because of course those are deadly, poisonous snakes and they don't live in Maine (thank goodness). It was a Black Racer, which is an endangered species around these parts. The day we called Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to ask about it, it slithered away somewhere. Or, it's hiding under the front step birthing more little Black Mambas. I'm hoping for the former.

Doug went back to work today. I was very sad. Sad because I had to get up and shower before 7 am. Sad because that means tomorrow he goes to North Carolina for 3 days. Sad because I took full advantage of him being around last week and did very little and now I have to do it all by myself (wow, run on sentence I'm sure). At one point I actually felt a bit guilty about hanging out on the couch while he diapered kids, or broke up tantrums or made me food. Granted, I was sick (and still am dammit) and felt awful most of the week. But a part of me actually powered down last week and let him take over a bit. I don't think he resented it, but if he did, he didn't say anything to me about it. We are a team though, even though it feels like I do so much on my own. When he's here, he's HERE. He makes dinner, he changes diapers, he reads books and plays with the kids. He does laundry, cleans, rubs my head when it hurts. So I'm sad that after a nice week together he has to go earn that paycheck that keeps us fed, and has to go away to boot. I'll be so glad when he's back Thursday night.

I am getting a bit of relief this week though. My mother-in-law called yesterday to see if she could take Meg and Drew overnight tomorrow night since school starts next week and we get too busy for that kind of stuff. I nearly jumped thru the phone to hug her and say yes. So I will have a little over 24 hours of just the twins to deal with, and when the kids get home Wednesday we have the Ice Cream Social at Meg's school. We'll get to see her classroom, meet her teacher, and see her friends. Granted, I have to take 4 kids to that, but I have friends there that know I'm flying solo and they'll help me out. I love my friends.

I'll do a post soon about my roller coaster experience. Just a note: I used to love roller coasters. Notice that special phrase~used to. Here are some vacation pics:

You like the look?

So, what do you think of my new blog look? I LOVE it! Many thanks to AndreAnna for working on this last night. I am much too chicken to leave Blogger, which leaves me a bit limited in what I can do for a nice blog. However, when you are talented like AndreAnna, you can do just about anything!

WHOOPS! How could I forget to thank Delicious Design Studios for the awesome header! Go check them out!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Yep, another meme

Remember when I said that Jill at Charming and Delightful tagged me for a meme? Well, here goes.

A. Attached or single? Attached. Together for 17 years, married for 10 next month.

B. Best friend? Auntie Nettie at Auntie Nettie's Attic. We met the very first day of college 18 years ago.

C. Cake or pie? Ooh, that depends on the time of year, but I'm always up for cake.

D. Day of Choice? Any day that my husband is home with me.

E. Essential Item? My cell phone (because I don't wear a watch anymore).

F. Favorite Color? Purple

G. Gummy Bears or Worms? Neither. Swedish fish

H. Hometown? Grew up in city in Maine, now living in the country in Maine.

I. Indulgences? Pedicures.

J. January or July? January. The girls (all 3) were born in January.

K. Kids? Four, ages 19 months (twins) to 7 1/2 years. One boy, age 3 1/2.

L. Life isn't complete without? My family.

M. Marriage Date? September 26th.

N. Number of Brothers & Sister? One brother.

O. Oranges or Apples? Apples

P. Phobias? Not really sure. I don't like snakes. Is there a phobia for that?

Q. Quotes? "Let's kill all the lawyers".

R. Reasons to smile? My kids on a good day. Good friends. Good food. Family.

S. Season of Choice? FALL

T. Tag Peeps: I just tagged people, I can't do it again.

U. Unknown facts about me? I'm a musician on hiatus. I used to be able to type 80 words a minute. I hate to fly.

V. Vegetables? Beets, sweet corn

W. Worst Habits? I'm messy.

X. X-ray or Ultrasound? Ultrasound; kept me sane with all those pregnancies.

Y. Your Favorite food? Fish.

Z. Zodiac sign? Cancer.

There. Anyone who wants to partake can.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

That's what blogs are for, right?

First off, I know that Jill over at Charming and Delightful tagged me for a meme, and I will get to it, I promise. I just couldn't do two memes in a row.

I have been sick for a week. A nasty, lousy cold that has had me down and out. Which really stinks when my husband is on vacation. I've managed to get up and about and we've done a few things, but I'm still feeling pretty rotten. I wish it would up and go away now, ok, thanks.

It has occurred to me this week that I am not particularly happy these days. I am not enjoying my children like I should. Taking them places stresses me out, the amount of messes they make stresses me out, and I am just generally bitchy all the time. I do not want to feel this way all the time. I am inwardly FREAKING OUT over my husband being gone for 3 full days next week, because I am most certain that I will blow a gasket while he's gone. The twins are a royal handful these days; there is no way to contain them short of putting them in their cribs or high chairs. And while having them in bed all day might solve some of my stress, I'm pretty certain that is downright bad parenting. Bad I tell you. And Meg and Drew. Those two make me lose my shit at least once an hour. Drew is Megan's punching bag (and if I interfere, so am I); he is currently sporting a bruise on his right cheek from her throwing him to the floor, as well as a mark under his right eye from her smacking him in the car today. The spend the majority of their days screeching at each other and playing nicely together does not last long. With no husband to come home at lunch and soothe my nerves, and no husband to come home at night and tell me it's ok, I may certainly go bonkers. I would love to say that this is a relatively new phenomenon, but it isn't and I see no end in sight. I do not have any control in my house at all. I make rules, and they are mocked. I dole out punishments, and the same behavior happens again, almost immediately. In short, things here really blow and I'm so very tired of dealing with it.

There. I said it. I'm unhappy. I guess that doesn't really make me a good mom or wife, now does it? I'd love for it to go away, but it isn't going away. I haven't wanted to blog about it, because really who wants to hear me whine, even if it is my blog. Gah.

Anyway, I fried myself at the lake today. I sun screened everyone before we left, but forgot to pack it to do myself once we got there. I'm sure I'll be paying for it later.

And our Black Mamba is STILL living under our front porch. A call to the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department confirmed what we already knew~leave it alone and educate the kids about it. It's baby time for the snakes, so we may have snake babies before too long. Oh lucky me (if you missed the story about the Black Mamba, go here).

Someone stole our road sign. A sign that we paid for. A sign on a very large metal post. They stole the post too. Bastards. Considering that we cannot be found on Mapquest or Google Maps because we are a private road, it makes getting people here just that much more difficult now. Bastards.

I just re-read my blog and despite the fact that I want to delete this post, I'm not going to. Instead, I'm going to find some tissues and blow my nose for the zillionth time today and rest my weary head.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What Say You?

I've been at a loss for a post topic (I know, really, me, with nothing to say!) and thankfully AndreAnna rescued me with a meme.

Finish the sentence.

Maybe I should call the doctor about this stupid cold I have. I think it morphed into a sinus infection.
I love the smell of bonfires and fresh cut grass.
People would say that I am a good friend.
I don’t understand why my children don't get along better.
I lost my sanity after the twins were born.
Life is hard but worth it.
My past is pretty tame. I'm kind of boring.
I get annoyed when I can't find something I know I put somewhere safe.
My idea of a good time is going out for dinner and drinks.
I wish I had more patience.
Twins are the best thing that ever happened to me, even if they make me insane.
Dust bunnies rule the roost here.
Tomorrow I’m going to spend time with my family on vacation.
I have low tolerance for the constant bickering of my older children.
I’m totally terrified of something happening to my husband or kids.
I wonder why I don't know how to relax.
Never in my life have I smoke a cigarette.
High school was the least favorite four years of my life.
When I’m nervous I talk too fast, too much and make an idiot out of myself.
One time at a family gathering my future brother-in-law made me too many fuzzy navels. I know hate peach Scnhaps.
Take my advice: Four kids is plenty.
Taking a good picture is my dream.
I’m almost always wishing I were a calmer, more sane person.
I’m addicted to coffee, blogging, scrapbooking, reading, hockey, baseball, my kids, my husband.
I want someone to send my family on an all-expense paid vacation somewhere (preferably Disney) so I can get it out of my system.

And now I'm tagging:

Astarte at The Muddle Sage
Creative Kerfuffle
Jennifer at The Laundry is Never Finished

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Damn that Michael Phelps

Why did the Olympics have to be in Beijing? I mean really, a 12 hour time difference? I haven't been up until 11 or 12 pm since the twins were little, for crying out loud! But if I want to see Michael Phelps win some more gold, I have to stay up. All. Night. Long. Argh. It doesn't help that I have a horrible cold (and one sexy voice, let me tell you) that I've been battling since last week, but then having to stay up to watch all that swimming. I couldn't handle the gymnastics and slept thru pretty much all of it. Thankfully the swimming is all over, and now what is on? I have no idea.

So my weekend was pretty much a wash. I became good friends with my couch, napping here and there. Lira (the cat) and I even took a good snooze in bed. What a sorry way to spend the beginning of vacation. But considering how sick the kids were most of the summer, I think I got off pretty easy with the cold. I'll just take it as a sign that the kids finally got the best of me and I need to slow down a bit. Forced rest always helps.

We found a snake in the yard today that we've named Black Mamba. It's really a Black Racer snake, and they're endangered. Our little Black Mamba seemed quite healthy as he downed a frog that didn't hop away fast enough. Here he is under my back porch:
Don't you wish you had a Black Mamba too?
Tomorrow we're taking the kids back to Range Pond (pronounced "rang" for some ungodly reason). It's really more of a lake, but I guess calling it a pond makes it cuter or something. I'm thrilled that the weather is going to be nice while Doug is on vacation. I can use a few days of nice weather and time out of the old homestead, as the following week he goes to North Carolina for 3 days and LEAVES ME ALONE WITH FOUR CHILDREN. Send vodka, chocolate, or other sundries that will help me survive. Oh, and chloroform and duct tape. Did I mention he's LEAVING ME ALONE WITH FOUR CHILDREN? For 3 solid days and nights. Holy shit I don't know how I am going to manage. Whenever I think about it I get a nervous twitch and want to go cry in my closet. So that's where I'm heading now.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Fun

Astarte tagged me for a fun little game. So, here goes.

8 TV Shows I love to Watch:
CSI (the original is still the best)
Deadliest Catch
(I can't come up with any more!)

8 Restaurants I love:
Flatbread Pizza
(apparently I don't get out much)

8 Things That Happened Today:
I had a migraine
I changed 10 diapers
I got lots of hugs
I fell asleep on the couch
I didn't do any laundry
I posted on my blog
I talked with my friend Angie
I was up at 2 am and posted on Twitter (how sad)

8 Things I am Looking Forward to:
Taking the kids to Pumpkinland
School starting
Feeling better so I can get back on my treadmill
Buying some clothes
Going to the Red Sox game next month
My 10th anniversary

8 Things I love about Summer:
Slowing down
Taking the kids to the pond
Doug's vacations
Knowing that fall is on its way
(I don't love summer)

8 Olympic Events I want to see:
Ice Hockey
Beach Volleyball
Curling (no, not really, but that was funny)

8 Things on my Wish List:
A new camera~SLR
A trip to Disney for my family
A weekend away with my husband
More time to myself
Kids that don't constantly fight
To sell the other house
To lose weight
Window treatments in the dining and living rooms

8 People I want to do the same thing:

Oh, anyone who wants to participate. Really. It's that simple

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mom Gone Mad?

I am sitting at my kitchen table using my piece of junk laptop. The ONLY sounds are the twins having lunch, and the click click of my fingernails on the keyboard. My older kids have gone for a playdate/sleepover with my in-laws. So riddle me this~why do I feel sort of sad that they're gone? I KNOW, right? Usually I'm bitching because they are too loud/messy/rude, but the minute they're gone, I miss them. And that my friends is the dichotomy of being a parent.

I am sure you're nodding your head in agreement, right? RIGHT? I am sure I'm not the only one who has days when you want to duct tape your children to the wall and chloroform them just for a moment's peace (or am I really the only one? Please don't call CDS if I am, thanks). And then your kids are gone, either to school or a playdate or something else, and you miss them like mad and want them home again ASAP thank-you-very-much. It's a strange sort of balance, being a parent. You want to take care of your children, but also want them to learn to think for themselves. You want them to go off to school to learn things, then lament the non-educational things they come home and teach you (like how to do a monkey bite). You dread telling them about the birds and the bees or smoking, but would rather they be informed than ignorant. You want to hold them close, but know you have to learn to set them free so they can grow into the person you know they can be.

It is amazing how much we can love, and loathe, our children at the same time. How they can make us cry, or laugh, or smile, by sometimes just a simple glance. So I'm going to miss Meg and Drew for the rest of today, and look forward to their arrival home tomorrow. And then I'm sure they'll be home for a few minutes and I'll be searching around for my duct tape.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Non-Sequitor Sunday

Sunday night. The Olympics are on in the background. The tv has been on for pretty much two days straight. I love the Olympics. We watched most of the opening ceremony Friday night, but had it on DVR for the kids to watch. We're glued to the basketball, swimming, beach volleyball, and in another week, the diving. We are huge winter Olympic fans, what with two ice hockey players in the family, but the summer is just as fun. But really, how did table tennis and badminton become Olympic sports? And if anyone can explain fencing to me, I'll be forever grateful. I just don't get it.

The sun finally returned this weekend. Except for Tuesday, it rained every other day this week. And by rain, I mean downpours all day long, with dark skies and thunderstorms. As you can imagine, we were all CRAZY by Friday. And by crazy I mean we put the kids to bed at 6:30 Friday night (all 4 of them) because I seriously couldn't look at them ONE.MORE.MINUTE or I would have gone right off the deep end. That is such a short walk for me these days that I figured them in their rooms was better than me in lockup. Ha. So, having the sun out yesterday was heaven. I went for a pedicure with friends yesterday and then all afternoon the kids played outside. Doug and I even got out for a quick dinner (thank you mommy and daddy!) without the kids. Of course the weather channel is predicting more ()*$#( rain for this week.

It's only 4 weeks until school starts again. We still don't have any idea who Meg has for a teacher. Her placement letter that came in June said "Teacher TBA". I know the school system had to hire a kindergarten, first and second grade teacher at her school (it is only a K-2 school), but I was hoping we'd know by now. We are required to provide quite a bit of her school supplies, but we have to wait for the letter from the unknown teacher. I HATE waiting until the last minute to do such things, and because I have to shop at WalMart (argh) to get our supplies (please Target, I beg you, come closer to my house), it's usually picked over by the time we know what they need. I really hope we hear this week.

While I'm sad the weekend is over, it means that I'm one week closer to having Doug home for vacation again. It's his last vacation until the end of the year. I don't think we're going to be as busy this vacation, as we need to get stuff ready for back to school, and I truly need a rest. This has been a long and arduous summer, with the kids being so sick, and the horrible weather. I always hoped that summers would be my kids outside, having loads of fun and me enjoying it all. This summer hasn't lived up to those dreams. So, I am looking forward to a little vacation week and maybe I'll do something for myself. Suggestions?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Something to talk about

Sorry I've been away. I figured you were tired of reading my blogs ranting about the weather or my children or Barforama. I was tired of writing them, that's for certain. Life isn't all roses here and I'm a little frustrated with things. So I took a little break and tried to find something worth talking about. I have two things on my mind, and they don't have anything to do with each other, so just go along. Please and thank you.

Numero Uno:

Last night I went on a date with my husband. Yes, on a Tuesday night. We had Erika here, so we went out. Now, don't go getting all excited about it, because this is what we did. He had a men's league hockey game and I went along to watch. Did I mention the game was at 9:40 pm EST? I was happy to go though, because I don't often get to see him play, as his games are always after 9pm and what would I do with the children? He is a goalie. And he's quite an imposing presence on the ice. He stands 6ft 2in in shoes. He is a good 6ft 4in in skates. With all the padding to keep him from falling to pieces, he is quite large in net. He's a really good goalie. His team won 7-2 and really, if he hadn't given up those two crap goals (hi honey!) it would have been a shut out. But that's not what is on my mind. I was down on the bleachers at the far end of the rink at about 9:45 pm when I saw a VERY pregnant woman and a young boy about Drew's age (3) outside the rink near the restrooms. I watched for a bit and they came in, and took seats on the bleachers. When the period ended I moved back down to the other end of the bleachers and sat near them (yes, I follow the goalie folks). This little boy was adorable. His mother was feeding him chocolate. At 10pm. He made googlie eyes at me for awhile, and I back at him. But I wondered what possessed this woman to bring her child to this game to see his dad play. My kids do not under any circumstances see Doug play after 7:30 pm. We have to travel at least 20-30 minutes to get to the rink, then the games are an hour, then the travel back home. Take last night for instance. We left the house at 8:30 and arrived home at 11. Not something I'm putting my kids thru. I'm not criticizing her (ok, a little bit, but it's my blog, right?) but I was just really surprised. I understand having to take kids out for an emergency, but a men's league hockey game? I thought it odd.

Numero Dos:

I have a neighbor with twins. She lives just up the hill from me. No, there isn't anything in the water here, as I was living in my old house when I got pregnant with the twins. Anyway, she is the lucky recipient of all my baby clothes, save those pieces that I just can't part with. Today I was going thru the girls' clothes parsing out what to give away and what to keep and I got so incredibly sentimental. Annie and Izzie wore all of Meg's clothes, as I never got around to giving any of those away. Plus, their grandparents bought them enough clothes that I wouldn't have had to launder anything if I really didn't want to. But looking through all the infant clothes made my heart twinge just a bit. Of course I don't want more kids (who said Eight is Enough? Four is just plenty, thank you) but I felt like holding onto all the clothes just to keep a bit of the baby for myself. Does that make sense? I know it's not completely rational, but I can't help it. Of course I put aside special clothes like the outfit first Christmas, first birthdays, etc. but there was something so sentimental about almost every piece. When I put certain clothes that Meg wore on Annie especially, I am reminded of how Meg looked, or acted in that outfit. It's different with Drew of course, because we don't hand any of his clothes down to the girls. But there were outfits that he just looked so adorable in that I couldn't give away. Does anyone else feel this way?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Cage Fighting

Wonder how many Google hits I'll get with this post?

Annie and Izzie have figured out that they can climb on the furniture. That is all well and good, as climbing is great for them. What isn't all well and good is the fact that they run up and down the couch, together, launghing like the demon spawn that they are. And this usually transpires when I have turned my back on them to oh, say, read a blog/go to the bathroom/help the other children. I spent about solid hour yesterday afternoon yanking them off the furniture. The minute I take them down, the climb back on again, laughing at me like it's some great game.

Today I was at my wit's end (Fridays seem to give me a much shorter fuse; I can't imagine why). So, after the third time of yanking them off the couch, I devised this beauty:

That little cage usually keeps the girls in the dining area, but out of the kitchen. But today it was my salvation for a few minutes. They actually thought it was fun for a bit, and started pushing each other down and howling with laughter. Somehow they managed to miss the point though. I suppose since they're only 18 months old I should cut them some slack.