Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Call me Princess Hypocritica

I am about to backpedal on something I said awhile ago, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I had said that I don't let Meg watch Hannah Montana on tv, even though every.single.girl in her class watches. She listens to the Hannah Montana soundtrack, which we all like (including Drew, who sings right along!) and she has Miley Cyrus' new CD and loves it. I've been hesitant to let her watch the show, quite frankly, because I am not ready for her to grow up. Of course I tell her to grow up all the time, but when it boils down to it, I know she's only 8 and the last thing she should be thinking about is boys and dating. Ugh.

So....on April 10th there is a new Hannah Montana movie coming out. And I want to take her. Just the two of us. I saw previews last night and it looks good. I've never taken her to the movies before. In fact, she's only ever been to two or three movies in the theater before, and never with me or Doug. She's never been a fan of loud music or noise so the movies was not a place I wanted to spend my money for her to want to go home. I digress. I really want to take her to this movie. Does that make me a hypocrite? I feel like one. I let her wear Hannah socks, jammies, underwear (yes, really, they have Hannah underwear), she sleeps on Hannah sheets and has a Hannah calendar. I'm starting to think that having her live in my overprotective bubble isn't good for her and I should just GIVE a little more.

What do you think? Does it make me a hypocrite to take her to the movie?

Monday, March 30, 2009

And now back to my regularly scheduled programming

I had a weekend away this weekend. I left at 4 on Friday and met up with my family at 10 yesterday morning at the ice rink. I got together with some friends at a condo and scrapbooked. All weekend. It was a really nice weekend. We ate. We drank. We ate some more. We watched some movies while we scrapbooked. We stayed up much too late. It was just a lot of fun and I got quite a bit accomplished in 2006 family album. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

With that said, I was so happy to come home and see my family that I practically ran out of there yesterday morning. I was up before everyone else, so I packed up my things, tidied up the place and made coffee. I showered quickly and left right on time so that I could be to the ice rink in time to see Meg play her game. Drew, the twins and my parents were waiting for me to arrive, and it was so awesome to have Drew run into my arms and hug me so tightly. The girls squealed my name when they saw me. I went down to the locker room to hug Meg, and she announced she was going to score a goal for me. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that she scored 4 goals yesterday! It was a phenomenal way to see my family.

Today I'm trying to make up for being away. The dishwasher has been run and needs to be emptied. The first load of laundry for the day is in the washer. I'm working on figuring out dinner for tonight. I've dealt with an issue pertaining to our closing on the other house for tomorrow. And while it's my normal routine, I feel a little bit more relaxed with it today. I don't feel ready to take on the world, but I do feel rested enough to tackle whatever today throws at me. While it was nice to get away, it was so nice to come home too.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Like the sound of bubble wrap

I went to my doctor yesterday. It was kind of an emergency visit. I had an appointment for RIGHT NOW actually, but because I had CHEST PAINS (OMG I'm only 36, no heart attacks thankyouverymuch!) they fit me in. I've had a stiff neck for about a month and changing my pillow didn't help. I couldn't turn my head (hence how the children get so much by me these days!) and my left shoulder was throbbing. Generally, I was a mess.

I'm blessed that my primary care doctor is a DO, not an MD, which means that when my back needs an alignment, I can see him for it. It's been awhile since he's done much to my back because of my lower back issues that make me scream when he touches it. But yesterday was a different story. With every manipulation that he did, it was like listening to someone play with bubble wrap. Snap, crackle, pop. Over and over again. Only my hips refused to work themselves back into place, which is ok since that would force him to really work my lower back and with no cartilege in between a couple of vertebrea, the pain would have been too intense.

Anyway, today I'm feeling a bit better. No more chest pains. The muscles around my spine are SORE. My left shoulder still hurts, but I'm hoping in a day or so it feels better. He must have done something because today my fingers aren't numb. I may go back again Friday before I go scrapbooking for the weekend. Then again, I may wait. At least I wasn't having a heart attack.

Can I tell you how stressed I was at the thought that I was having a heart attack? I was completely FREAKED OUT. I kept hugging and kissing my kids yesterday and tried to keep my yelling to a minimum. I had all sorts of scenarios running through my head that were so depressing. It was almost too much to deal with. I can't imagine not being here to see them grow up. As much as they are making my hair much too gray, I can't even think about not being here for them.

On the up side of things, my husband will be home on Thursday and Friday which gives me a little time to myself. I'm chaperoning Drew's field trip to the Planetarium, getting a haircut (ALONE) and going away for the weekend with some girlfriends to scrapbook. A little rest will soothe the soul. Not sure what it will do for the back muscles though!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Put on your dancing shoes!

Tonight is the 3rd annual Daddy-Daughter Dance in our town. Meg has been blessed to be able to attend the dance since it's inception, when she was just a kindergartner. She spent the day reading a book (Nancy Drew!) and napping after an hour of ice hockey at 8:20 this morning, where she was double and triple shifted due to small numbers on her team. I am sure she and Doug are having a terrific time.

And for those of you who guessed that I got the dress at Target, you were right. I'm totally biased, but I think she looks beautiful:

I can't wait to hear all about it when they get home!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Come on Barbie, Let's Go Party!

I'm joining Five Minutes for Mom's Ultimate Blog Party. See? (For newer posts, scroll down!)

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Seems like fun, and there are prizes. I haven't even had a chance to look at what's available for prizes yet.

A little about me: I'm a former real estate lawyer turned stay-at-home mom to four kids~my daughter Meg is 8. She is a voracious reader, a hockey player, a softball player, and a handful. My son Drew is 4. He loves dogs, books, trucks, cars, hockey and taunting his sisters. And the twins, Annabelle and Isabelle (Annie and Izzie for short) are busy 2 year olds who keep me hopping with broken bones, lots of running around, and big smiles. We live in the woods on 13 acres of land, near to my husband of 10 years Doug's office. We're native Mainers and wouldn't have it any other way. I blog to share my joys and frustrations of raising four kids.

Join me? Head on over to the website, sign Mr. Linky and join!

Oh, I looked at the prizes, and I would love these:

58 – Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer
Provided by: Moms Who Think
Prize details: From Amish Friendship Bread to Decadent Cheesecake and all the meals in between dessert, Moms Who Think has recipes you’ll love. We would like to donate a Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer to help make one lucky winner’s home cooking even easier. (winner’s choice of color, $349.99 retail value)

16 — $20 gift certificate to Ladybug Limited
Provided by: Ladybug Limited
Prize details: Ladybug Limited has hair accessories for lucky bugs! The winner of this $20 gift certificate can choose from any of the no-slip clippies, fabric button clips or ponies, or hand-printed custom clips or ponies.

118 — $25.00 Old Navy Gift Card
Provided by: Manic Mother
Prize details: Buy something fun for yourself or the little ones.

122 — personalized minkee toddler pillow from Dillyhearts
Provided by: Dillyhearts
Prize details: Does your busy toddler need a little down time? Our top-selling personalized minkee toddler pillows are ultra-soft and hugable. Custom, handmade, and just the right size for your little one (designed for ages 2 and up). Visit our website to see all the fabulous color swatches to choose from, and to see which famous celebrities’ twins have our pillows!

Monday, March 16, 2009

And so ends my life of leisure

Have I mentioned that I lead a rather spoiled life? No? Well, I do. My husband works 5 minutes from home. He comes home for lunch. He picks Drew up from preschool twice a week. He can pick up Meg for me if the girls are still sleeping. He takes her to school on Fridays. Spoiled.

Well that life of leisure ended this morning. Starting today Doug is no longer working in the office for the next several months. He'll be in another town, working as a construction inspector while a road is being ripped up, the sewer lines replaced, and the road redone. He'll be leaving the house at 6:30 every day and coming home at 5. He won't be home for lunch. He won't be picking Drew up from preschool, or able to get Meg if the girls take a late nap. Because I am a big baby, I am finding this sudden thrust into the real world devastating. Ok, I'm not really but after two years of being spoiled by his presence, I'm going to miss him tons. The kids are going to miss him too. They're also spoiled by having Daddy join us for lunch every day, and Drew adores having Daddy pick him up at preschool. I'm sure once we get through this week we'll be fine, but just let me wallow in my sadness for a minute or two.

On a high note, we had a good weekend of hockey. I have to post pictures, and let me explain the details behind them. Meg played goalie in her own hockey game on Saturday morning at the ungodly hour of 8:20 am. She did fabulous, despite letting up a ton of goals. She hadn't strapped the goalie equipment on in a year, so we were very proud of her hard work. Then, we went to Drew's final hockey practice of his season. We got permission to have Meg play goalie for Drew's game. I've never had them on the ice together, fully dressed in their equipment. It was so cool to see them out there together. Check it out:

( Top photo is Meg and Doug and I took it from the bench; second picture is DREW in goal!; third is Meg in goal and Drew skating, and then the fourth is them TOGETHER!!!)

So that's life here in a nutshell. It's going to be all kinds of crazy for a bit, so please pardon if I don't get to comment on blogs while I adjust.

Friday, March 13, 2009

It's enough to drive a bird batty

(If you knew that my title was Big Bird talking to Count from the Sesame Street 25th Anniversary DVD, kudos to you)

Thank you to all of you who had suggestions for me regarding the chores with the kids. I can tell you that Megan is no longer earning money for doing any chores. Last week I told her that I had washed, dried and folded all of her clothes and they were on my bed for her to gather and put away. Her response was "but you don't pay me to do that, so why should I?" Yes folks, this is what we're dealing with. So, no more money for her.

And it's not just the chores that are an issue for us. It's the general ATTITUDE of the kids around here these days. The bickering, the toy throwing, the hitting. The fighting generally starts with Meg and Drew before I'm even out of bed in the morning. Do you know what it's like to be awakened by screaming and/or slamming doors at 6:30? It's not pleasant, and it's a consistent theme in this house. It sets a tone for the day that is not easily overcome. The worst part is that whatever attitude Meg has starting the day hangs over the other three kids all day long too. I see Drew treating Annie and Izzie the way Meg treats him and I feel powerless to stop it. He actually just looks through me when I am talking to him about his behavior. I spend lots of my day reminding the kids that I am the mother, that I make the rules, and that they need to listen to me. It does no good though.

I used to think of myself as a generally happy person, but lately I feel like the Wicked Witch of the West. Or East. Who wants to be the parent that generally can't stand the sight of their kids because they're always fighting? Who actually wants to admit that they don't like their kids the majority of the time? Oh, we have the rare moment around here where the kids are playing nicely. Or sleeping. Or being helpful. But it seems that on the whole, things are just plain awful. I'm tired of yelling at the kids. I'm tired of being talked back to. I just want to be a happy Mama.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Good Stuff

I had a really decent weekend. Considering the tone of my last post, I was expecting a lousy weekend but in reality it was good. There was lots of good stuff, like the following:

  • Meg scored a goal in her hockey game Friday night. It was her last game of that hockey session and I was there, her grandparents were there, and as promised, she scored a goal. When she started playing hockey last year she wasn't comfortable on the ice at all; it's amazing how much she has progressed.
  • On Saturday Drew had hockey and was thrilled to have touched the puck with his stick during his hockey game. He is so much younger than most of the kids on the ice, so this was a huge accomplishment for him.
  • Check out this gorgeous dress we got for Meg for the Daddy-Daughter dance in two weeks:
Isn't it beautiful? I got a very lightweight long sleeve cardigan for her to wear with it. I nearly cried when she tried it on because she looked so grown up. Take a stab at where you think I got it.

  • I mopped my kitchen and dining room floors yesterday. It was such an accomplishment considering that it's still muddy and snowy and generally GROSS here. And while I was mopping I had windows open and was enjoying the lovely weather.
  • Izzie is feeling better which a big thing. When she felt awful she was a cranky little girl. It's much nicer to see her smile.
  • We watched a very trippy movie with the kids yesterday. The Last Unicorn. Weird shit.
  • If you don't have Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine, you should. I'm not a huge Martha fan but the food is awesome. We had the Roast Pork Loin with Carrots and Mustard Gravy last night. HEAVEN.
Of course now it's Monday and it's snowing, again. But, it's not a snow day. And that's good stuff!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Parenting Fail?

I told my husband yesterday at lunchtime (why yes, he comes home for lunch almost every day) that a monkey could do a better job parenting our kids than I do. Everything with the kids these days is a battle~no one puts away toys, they're constantly fighting, the twins fight me on every diaper change or clothing change. It's enough to make me want to curl up into the fetal position and stay in bed all day. Instead I eat a lot of chocolate, drink too much coffee and count the hours until Doug is home and I can put the kids to bed and have a drink or two. Mother of the Year I am not.

Which belies the question~am I a parenting failure? Do I expect so much of my kids that I'm setting them up for failure? Am I so overwhelmed at the sheer volume of WORK it takes to raise these kids that I am screwing them up so much they'll need therapy when they're adults? Of course I don't have those answers, because if I did I wouldn't be writing this post and I'd be RICH RICH RICH from writing parenting books and going on talk shows like Ellen and Oprah.

We have been trying to encourage the older kids to help out around the house because quite frankly, we just can't do it all. By encourage I mean bribing them with money for doing certain chores. And it's a colossal failure. Instead of doing the chores on the chore chart, Meg will just pick A chore to do, and of course it's the one that just involves scooping four litter boxes. If you ask her to clean up her room (the deal is for every day her room STAYS clean she earns money), she throws herself on the floor and screams at you. We're not neat freaks by any stretch of the imagination, but we cannot walk in her room and neither can she.

So, should I just take on that chore for myself during naptimes? Or do I let her room rot under all the crap she refuses to put away? If I take on the chore myself, am I just teaching her that if she is lazy enough, Mama will do it all for her? Or is it just easier on my sanity to realize that she is lazy and that to save myself from further torture, I should just clean it myself? Or maybe that she isn't lazy, but the task is just too overwhelming for her very smart 8 year old mind to handle. Again, if I had the answers, I wouldn't be here.

All I do know is that I feel like I'm failing my kids. I don't want to be constantly stressed out. I want to have a harmonious house and maybe even a clean one at that. I want my kids to respect my decisions instead of telling me no all the time. Am I just asking too much? Should I just let it go and realize that I'm never going to get what I want? I think I'll have some more chocolate and try to figure it out.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Move along, nothing to see here

I don't think I'll ever manage NaBloPoMo. It's been a week since my last post; I can't imagine posting every day. You'd think with four kids I would have excitement. Or thrills. Or more broken bones. But really, my life is SSDD (that's same shit, different day).

Since our lack of electricity excitement last week, I've spent the majority of my time trying to tidy up my house, doing laundry, taking kids to the doctor. I have spent lots of time being yelled at by my eight year old because "I never help her with her homework" or because I make her do chores. Lots of time. Being yelled at. I can't wait for the teenage years.

We got another 8 inches of snow on Monday. That makes almost THREE FEET of new snow in a week. I can picture us on Memorial Day with a snow pile on the front lawn. Last year during April vacation we were shoveling down the pile to melt, while we were planting our vegetable garden. How's that for irony?

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday for my annual exam. How's that for fun? She asked me how it's going, being home with all the kids. I looked at her and said "it's incredibly difficult." I used to be all "oh it's great" but in all honesty, being home with three kids under 4 every day is just plain difficult. It's exhausting. That doesn't mean I don't love them. It just means I could really do with some more free time, away from them. I did spend all day Saturday out with friends, scrapbooking, and it was sheer bliss. Doug said I was a bit giddy before I left and that wasn't very fair. I think I'm allowed a bit of giddiness when I know I'm going to get 9 hours to myself. He only gets to spend a few hours each day with the kids; actually, probably only 3 hours out of the day does he get to see them (oh that was grammatically poor, now wasn't it?). I think I could use more 9 hour days to myself.

So that's a tidy little roundup of the boringness (apparently that's a word!) that is my life. Anyone have anything exciting going on?