Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Snot, snot, snot and more snot....

Good God, I'm drowning in snot over here. First off, Landon has a case of RSV...thankfully a mild case that didn't require hospitalization. During his appt, the dr asked me to take him to radiology for a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia and she forewarned me that she was gonna ask them to put him in a harness. I said "yeah, that's no big deal" and she said "No, it is....it looks very barbaric but it's necessary so I can get a good look at his chest...I don't want you holding his arms or hands, he needs to be in this harness". I figured after everything I had been through with Bella and her hemangioma that NOTHING could possibly freak me out (and trust me, nothing compares to watching your child scream in pain while a dr is injecting steroids into a bleeding, ulcerated hemangioma).

The guy in X-ray shows me the "barbaric" device and I have to admit I asked "and how exactly am I supposed to put him in this?". It was an upright plastic device with a chair in it...kinda like an exercauser with a plastic encasement around it. The x-ray tech helped me put Landon into the harness and had me hold his arms upright so he could encase Landon in the device. I actually started laughing at how silly Landon looked, which thankfully prompted him to laugh. And everytime he started to look like he might start crying, I'd start singing The Wheels on the Bus to him and then I'd end up hysterically laughing...aren't I horrible? Afterwards, the tech said he couldn't believe how well Landon did...he said "he's actually the first baby I've ever seen in that thing who laughed". My little trooper....

Although he wasn't such a trooper during his breathing treatment that the dr insisted we do right there in her office....he flailed, he screamed, he ripped the breathing mask out of my hands, he tugged at the tubing attached to the nebulizer. All I could wonder is what IS wrong with this child...he doesn't mind being totally immobilized in some wierd plastic harness for a chest x-ray but he refuses to wear a mask for a breathing treatment??

And if the RSV isn't bad enough, his ear infection in his left ear was actually worse after 8 days of antibiotics so she switched him to a different medicine. Wonderful, huh? Oh and he's getting 2 more baby teeth and 1 molar....good times.

So he's all snotty and congested....then yesterday morning I wake up to Garrett who has so much snot pouring out of his nose, that he's actually licking it off with his tongue. Cole was impressed and said "next time my nose is running, I'm gonna try that". Boys will be boys. Oh and I suspect he has an ear infection again, as he's been fussy and tugging on his ears. So he'll be going to the dr today....I honestly think my ped's office is SICK of seeing us, although they are always friendly and helpful when we walk in the office but I can't help but wonder if they're rolling their eyes the minute they see me with my 4 demon spawn. To top it all off, I caught the cold too and every time I bend over, my face feels like it's gonna fall off because there is so much pain and pressure in my sinuses.

Cole and Bella are still getting over the mild colds they've had for a couple weeks now.....I'm so sick of snot. That's definitely one of the things they should've taught us in the birthing class in preparation for our babies....that having a baby means you'll forever be drowning in snot. And poop. And pee. And let's not forget the constant puking....formula puke is not nearly as bad as regular whole milk puke. I had forgotten all about that until recently when the babies started whole milk.

Well, besides the snot and possible ear infection, the babies are doing well. Landon is walking more, although he's still doing the whole drunken Frankenstein walk. Garrett is running....his legs are shorter than his entire body but that lil guy can run, esp when he's just gotten caught getting into something he shouldn't be getting into. Tim and I finally stepped out of denial that we didn't need a gate for the stairwell....both babies have mastered climbing the stairs and they would freak me out every single time by standing up on a stair and looking back down at me, while wobbling back and forth as if they might fall any minute. I couldn't deal with having mini heart attacks 40 times a day so I convinced Tim that putting the gate back up would be better for my well-being and sanity.

They are communicating more too...well, not actually talking in actual words but their receptive language seems to be developing well. They understand what I say to them and I think that's a good start to some kind of communication. They also can wave "hi", "bye" and shake their heads "no", which they do constantly, by the way.

Cole and Bella continue to have the funniest conversations. Yesterday in the car Cole was looking at a Thomas the Train catologue and he was telling me the trains that he wants (yeah because money grows on trees) and Bella says to him "you can't have those trains cuz they're too expensive", which sent Cole into a rage of tears. And then we've been saying nightly prayers at bedtime and here I am thanking God for a good day, good weather, our family and friends.....what are they thankful for? Sleeping Beauty and Thomas the train. Oh, to live in a 3-yr old's word for only a day.....

I was reading Dr Sear's book "The Successful Child"......I really like Dr Sears and respect his opinion on a lot of things but all that book did was make me feel like shit....I don't think the guilt ever stops....

Friday, March 14, 2008

Whoever said kids are like sponges was right!

Cole and Bella are little sponges...they observe, listen and then eventually repeat back to me something I might have said one month ago. How do their little brains remember so much??

Take for instance the fact that everytime Cole hurts Bella, he instantly says "sorry" and thinks that makes everything okay. So one day I told him "look, 'sorry' doesn't mean anything unless you mean it...you have to say it from your heart and really feel sorry for what you did or doesn't mean anything". So last week Tim was gone all day at a conference out of town and Landon had been fussy all night and pretty much most of the day and grabbing at his left ear. Uh-oh....ear infection? I called the dr's office and found out I could get an appt for him at 2:45, the only appt that the dr had left that day and then he was going on vacation for 2 weeks. I looked at the clock....shit...it's already 2:20 and Garrett, Cole and Bella are all down for a nap. It takes 15 minutes just to drive over to the dr's office, let alone getting all the kids ready, out the door and into their carseats. But I really did have to get Landon checked out so I scrambled to get everyone up, apologizing profusely for waking them up out of such a peaceful sleep (although I was kinda tempted to say "hahahaha, how does it feel???") and by the time we were halfway to the dr's office, everyone was cheery and smiling, with the exception of Landon who just looked miserable and tired.
So yes, it turns out Landon does have an ear infection in his left ear....ugh....so off we go to the pharmacy, which isn't far of a walk from the dr's office. On the way there, Cole says "Mommy, you didn't say sorry for waking us up" and I said "yes, I did...I said 'sorry' like 10 times already". He was quiet for a minute and then he said "well, 'sorry' doesn't mean anything if you don't mean it". I kept telling him that I did mean it when I said "sorry" to them and then he said "did you say it with your heart?" and I said "yes, I felt very bad about having to wake you up but it was necessary". End of conversation.....but wow it amazed me that he had listened to me when I had talked to him about saying "sorry" and stored it away in his little brain.
Then there's the saying "it sucks"....everything "sucks" to the kids. Where did they learn that? One guess.....Tim! I forget what the kids and I were talking about but Cole said "that sucks" and of course we happened to be walking across a parking lot at the time and an older woman was getting out of her car right when he said it. She just looked at me like "you horrible mother....how could you let your child say such filth?"....you know the look I'm talking about, as if her children were all shining stars every minute of the day.
So I had to have a talk with the kids that "it sucks" is not a nice saying and we won't be saying it anymore. And all Bella can say is "but why?" every 5 seconds as I'm explaining things to her. She's hit the "why?" stage much sooner than I anticipated. And the most horrible part??? I say the same exact thing my mother said to me...."because, that's why". I hated when my mom would say it to me but with Bella I just run out of patience sometimes because she can go on and on and on for hours.
And lastly we have the discussion about "no one touches your private area without your permission". Cole and Bella refer to their private areas as "pirates" or "my piracy". I giggle everytime they say it....yes, it's immature but I can't help it. One evening as I was changing Garrett, Bella touched his pee-pee and I had to explain to her that those were Garrett's "privates" and that she shouldn't touch him there. Then a couple nights ago, in the tub, Cole touched her butt and she turned around and waved her finger in his face and said "don't touch my piracy...it's pirate and no one can touch me there...Mommy said so". So finally something good has come out of my discussions with them.....at least I know they know how to say "no" when it comes down to it.
The babies are doing great....gosh, actually they're not babies anymore. They are officially toddlers, with Garrett running all over the place and Landon finally becoming braver by the day as he takes more steps on his own. They are at a really fun stage right now....I love sitting on the floor with them and watching them play. We have a ball pit which they totally love and Garrett actually likes me tossing the plastic balls at his head and saying "bonk" when I do that. If I don't do it quickly enough for him, he starts hitting himself in the head with the balls. They don't interact often with one another the way Cole and Bella did. Cole would often bully Bella and use her as a step-stool or steal her food. But Garrett and Landon could care less about one another...sometimes I'll catch them smiling at one another or stealing a toy from the other one but for the most part, they don't seem to have that same relationship that Cole and Bella had at this stage. Hopefully they'll share a strong bond as they become older.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Happy 1st birthday, Garrett and Landon!

Has it really been 1 year already?? I honestly cannot believe how quickly time flies, esp when you're as busy as we've been the last year. It's been an amazing year, full of ups and downs....and leaving babyhood behind forever is bittersweet. I can't help but think where I was 5 years ago, childless and feeling hopeless. It's ironic because as I was getting dressed this morning, Bella came into our room (as she always does ) and she started going through my closet and she pulled out the memory box I've kept with all the momentos and keepsakes from my 3 miscarriages (God, I even kept the HPT's from each of those pregnancies). I haven't opened that box in a very long time. She had taken all the contents out and she was asking me about each picture and everything else and I couldn't help but get all teary-eyed because it's like God was saying "see, you've come full circle....you can see now why you had the trials and the tribulations, you can see that I had great things in store for you but you had to endure the struggle to get where you are today". At the time when we're in the midst of a struggle, regardless of what that struggle is, we don't understand why it's happening...it's so easy to think "why me?" but there's always a reason. You might not understand it at the time but in the future, you will. And I'd do everything all over again in a heartbeat with no regrets.

I posted Garrett and Landon's birth story when they were born but I wanted to reprint it in this post just for sentimental reasons. It feels like it happened just yesterday...it's still so clear in my mind. And now looking at them, they are healthy, pudgy, growing little 1 yr olds....they make my heart melt every time I look at them....

Birth Story....after many runs of false labor over the last 4 weeks, Garrett Ian and Landon Evan have finally arrived. They were born 7 hours shy of 34 weeks gestation...that's close enough to my goal!!! Here's their birth story and I also attached a link to a site where my friend Bonnie posted some pics she took of them in the NICU. The pics came out beautiful (thanks Bonnie!!!)I'll try to summarize in the most concise way so it's easier to read:

Friday, 3/9 - 3:30-5:30 pm Start having contractions every 8-10 minutes but I decided just to keep drinking fluids and stay on my left side and hope they start to minimize

Friday, 3/9 - 6:45-8:45 pmContractions are now coming every 4-6 minutes and I'm starting to feel crampy so I call L&D and the nurse remembered me from the week before (how BAD is that??) and said I better come in right away.....we call my sister and make arrangements for her to stay with the kids, thinking this is just another run of false labor and I'll get a shot of terb and be back home in a few hours

Friday, 3/9 - 10:00 pm I'm all set up on the monitors and the nurse, Natalie, is awesome...she says since the terb hasn't seemed to hold me in the past and the nifedipine obviously isn't holding me either, she'll just run a bag of IV fluids and see if that will slow down the contractions, due to possibly dehydration. At this point (being so close to 34 weeks), they don't do mag unless it's an extreme situation. If the bag of fluids runs out in an hour or two and I'm still contracting, they will just go ahead and do the c-section....Tim and I both look at her wide-eyed and say "REALLY??"...we were SO not prepared to meet our boys today!!!

Friday, 3/9 - 10:30 pm Natalie comes back and says Dr Mathis (OB on call) wants her to check my cervix...she does and says it's now dilated to between 1-2 cm. She says she has no doubt in her mind that I'll be having the c-section tonight and the OB will be in to speak with me.

Friday, 3/9 - 11:00 pm Dr M comes in to speak with us....she notes I'm having contractions every 4-6 minutes and I'm now beginning to dilate so she says they'll just go ahead and do the c-section and she'll start the paperwork....yeah!!!! They'll probably be able to do it around 2:00 am.

Saturday, 3/10 - 12:00 am In doing the paperwork, Dr M realizes I'm on Heparin and she would prefer I go a full 24 hours off the Heparin before she delivers. I just happened to miss my 8:00 pm dose that night b/c I was dealing with the contractions. Usually you only have to wait 12 hours for Heparin to wear off but she wants to be extra cautious. She explains she'll deliver me first thing in the morning, probably around 6:30-7:30 am

Saturday, 3/10 - All Night The contractions continue to run the course of the night, some being very intense and painful that I have to remember to breathe through them. Dr M suggest I take my nifedipine to hopefully ease them up for the next few hours, even though she knows it won't completely stop them but at least I wouldn't be in as much pain. Around 4:30 am, Natalie comes to check on me and she offers me pain meds through my IV but I decline b/c I told her if she's sure I'm having a c-section, I don't want to be all dopey on meds so I can be alert during the c-section. I tell her I can manage the pain the best I can for the next couple hours...

Saturday, 3/10 - 5:30 amT he pain of the contractions is becoming pretty bad but I'm still so afraid of being dopey and nauseous during the c-section so I make Natalie swear that my c-section isn't too far off...she says Dr M has 2 other patients to deliver and then I'm next....Tim and I are still in shock that the boys will be delivered soon and we'll finally get to meet them!!

Saturday, 3/10 - 6:45 am Dr M comes in to check on me and she checks my cervix...it hasn't changed at all from the night before. Even through all the painful contractions coming every 4-6 minutes, she says it's probably just another run of false labor...she's not sure now that she wants to do a c-section b/c there is no medical necessity....in the middle of discussing this with us, another patient requires her immediate assistance and Dr M leaves us hanging....I'm near tears at this point, Tim is also just as emotional....having mentally prepared to finally meet our boys and then now learn that they just might send me home after a night of painful contractions is too much for me to swallow...

Saturday, 3/10 - 7:45 am Natalie has gone home for the day and my new nurse, Vanessa, comes in and says more than likely Dr M will send me home....I tell her what has gone on most of the night and she says that Natalie filled her in on all the details and she's very sweet and understanding about our frustration

Saturday, 3/10 - 8:30 am Dr M comes in to speak with us...she notices now that my contractions have actually slowed down and become less intense and with no more dilation, she explains that she can't perform a c-section at this point without any medical necessity. I'm on the verge of tears....and she's very understanding and says she wishes there was something she could do but she understands I'll probably end up back at L&D again tonight and maybe if I dilate further they can justify a c-section. Now I'm in tears....Tim is just downright angry.

Saturday, 3/10 - 8:45 am Dr M comes back in and says it just dawned on her that she's not sure what positions the boys are in and she'd like to do an u/s....if Baby A is breech and my contractions start back up again, enough to dilate me to 3 cm, she can do the c-section. She does an u/s and it looks like Garrett is breech but she's not completely sure so she says she wants to call in a sonographer to do a formal u/s and get an estimate on their weights and amniotic fluid levels. Tim ends up going home at this point, figuring it'll be awhile until they can find a sonographer to come in on a Saturday.

Saturday, 3/10 - 10:00 am The sonographer, Jori, comes in and does my scan right away. It takes about 45 minutes. She doesn't tell me much except that Garrett is breech.

Saturday, 3/10 - 11:30 am Vanessa comes in and gives me the basics of the results of the u/s...when she tells me the boys' weights (Garrett estimated at 4 lbs, 2 oz and Landon at 4 lbs, 14 oz), I become concerned and tell her that 2 weeks ago at my last u/s, Garrett weighed 4 lbs even....is it possible that he's only grown 2 ounces in 2 weeks? Either someone is way off in their measurements or we have a case of discordant growth. She's not sure but she'll have Dr M come talk to me....

Saturday, 3/10 - 12:00 pm Dr M finally comes in and says she's not concerned about their weights....she explains it's just an estimate anyway and can be off by a few ounces and chances are everything's just fine. She says I can get dressed and go home....I'm in tears AGAIN....

Saturday, 3/10 - 12:30 pm I call Tim to come get me...he's in a state of disbelief that we've been yanked back and forth constantly over the last 12 hours and he just wants it to be over with.

Saturday, 3/10 - 12:35 pm Dr M comes in....I'm already dressed and ready for Tim to pick me up....she says she was looking at the boys' weights on her charts and noted that Garrett is only in the 5th percentile, while Landon is in the 34th percentile (or something like that, she explained it in percentages). She says that is a pretty big discordance and she's not so sure now that she wants me to go home...she's going to call the perinatologist and see what she thinks....

Saturday, 3/10 - 12:45 pm Vanessa comes back and says I should get undressed and get hooked back up to the monitors but I tell her until Dr M comes in and tells me I'm staying, I'm not doing anything....again, I'm in tears, just so tired and wanting this to be over with, one way or another....

Saturday, 3/10 - 1:00 pm Dr M comes in and says she spoke with the perinatologist and there could be reason for concern but they need Jori to come back in and do a few more measurements on the u/s, specifically an exam on Garrett's umbilical cord blood flow. So now I have to wait for them to get back in touch with Jori again....I still refuse to get undressed and hook back up to the monitors until AFTER the u/s and I know more of what's going on....after a few minutes, Tim comes to get me and I explain what's going on and he's just as emotional as I am....we figure we'll probably get sent home and we start discussing what we can have for dinner...we decide on take out from Black Angus since I've been having a craving for fried zucchini....I haven't eaten or drinken anything for a good 19 hours at this point b/c they want my tummy empty in case they do find a reason to do the c-section. Those fried zucchini was all I could think about at this point....Tim makes a joke that now that I'm so focused on having those zucchini that I'll probably have the c-section. I tell him to bite his tongue....I'm no longer teary-eyed, just irritable and tired.

Saturday, 3/10 - 2:00 pm Jori comes back and does the u/s....she doesn't tell us anything but says she's going to make sure she has exactly what Dr M has requested before she goes home again this time. Vanessa tells me that the next OB on call is Dr Dixon, my beloved OB from when I was pregnant with Cole and Bella. He didn't get to deliver them b/c it was an emergency situation so we're excited at the thought that we'll get to see him again and there is a chance he may deliver these twins!!

Saturday, 3/10 - 2:30 pm Vanessa walks into the room with a gown and says "Happy Birthday, Babies".....Tim and I look at her in shock...."you mean, we're having the c-section???"....we're both very excited but then it dawns on me that there must be a problem with Garrett's umbilical cord and that's the reason why the babies are being delivered. I instantly go from feeling happy and excited to being overly worried and very concerned that something is terribly wrong with Garrett. Vanessa explains that they did find there is some restriction in his umbilical cord but that one of the OB's would be in to talk to us about that in more detail....

Saturday, 3/10 - 3:00 pm I'm now hooked back up to the monitors and Tim and I are just waiting for a more formal explanation....I can't stop worrying about Garrett and praying he's okay and that we haven't caught this problem too late. Vanessa comes back in to check on me and I tell her I can't stand it anymore and I have to know exactly what's wrong....she says that they like to see the pressure in the cord at this point in gestation under 3 and Garrett's is at a level of 6 so his blood flow is being compromised. She says there is no way I'm going home at this point and if they try to send me home she promises she'll raise hell and bring up the issue of liability if they don't deliver....she goes to check with Dr Dixon and finds that he's just waiting on a formal report from the radiologist, and not just the interpretation from the sonographer, before he makes a final decision. Vanessa tells Tim he has time to go home and get the camera and grab a bite to eat so he leaves and says he'll be back within an hour.

Saturday, 3/10 - 3:30 pm Dr Dixon comes in and says he has to the c-section right away....that there is too much pressure in Garrett's umbilical cord, compromising him of blood flow and oxygen. He's not sure if it's due to entanglement, a knot or just running out of room and he can't make any promises that Garrett will be okay....he says we just have to pray to God that He'll be watching over Garrett and take good care of him. He's planning the c-section for 4:15 but then notices Tim isn't there...he says call him and get him back here right away. Again, I'm very emotional and start crying....so Dr Dixon relies on his excellent sense of humor and says "well, while we're in there, we might as well deliver Baby B too".....I manage to still have sense of humor left at this point and I actually found his comment pretty funny. I call Tim and say "get back here right away, we're having the boys today"....he has a mouth full of burrito but says he'll be there as soon as he can.

Saturday, 3/10 - 4:00 pm Still no sign of Tim and Dr Dixon is becoming anxious, as he really doesn't want to wait any longer to start prepping. He says he'll have the anesthesiologist, Dr Cain, come in to talk to me in the meantime as they get the OR prepped and hope Tim walks in any minute, which he does fortunately. Dr Cain comes in a few minutes later and we talk about the spinal tap and he recommends using Demerol this time instead of Morphine since I had such a bad reaction to it with my last c-section. He says he thinks I'll do okay on the Demerol and they also give me an anti-nausea medication to cover the bases even more.

Saturday, 3/10 4:15 pm Vanessa comes in and asks if I can walk to the OR....she says "well, this is your last stroll as a pregnant woman"....she has been admiring my "beautiful pregnant twin belly" since she came on shift and has been telling all the nurses she can't believe I don't have any stretch marks after 2 twin pregnancies....I tell her if I wasn't already married to Tim, I'd want to marry HER!

Saturday, 3/10 - 4:30 pm Dr Cain gets me up on the table and starts working on the spinal....he's having a really hard time finding a good spot. He finally gets the needle in but can't get any spinal fluid...he draws the needle out and says he needs to try again in a different spot. I'm bent over, tight in a ball, with Vanessa standing in front of me reminding me to relax and take deep breaths....Dr Cain is pushing on my back so hard that I'm thankful Vanessa is in front of me b/c I fear falling off the table face first!! He does the 2nd spinal....again, he has the same problem...no spinal fluid. He says he's gonna try something else....again, he does it a 3rd time and has the same problem. 30 minutes has gone by and Dr Dixon comes over to check on the progress and says we need to get moving b/c he doesn't like me being all balled up in that same position with Garrett already having blood flow issues....they decide together that I need to be put under general anesthesia so they can get going....the minute I hear this I become very emotional and start crying a river....after all this, I realize I won't be awake when my boys are born and not only am I being robbed of that experience, but now Tim is being robbed of it since they won't let him come in the OR. But I quickly regain my composure when I realize it's more important for the boys to come out then it is for me to see them and hear them cry as they are born....I lay down on the table and Dr Cain puts the mask over me and says "early congratulations....we'll see you in a little while, Mama". Before I conk out, I hear one of the nurses talking to Dr Dixon about Landon's position in the womb and he says he may need her to push on my chest to push him towards the uterine opening....at this point, I'm thankful I won't be awake to experience that....

Saturday, 3/10 - 6:30 pm I wake up feeling groggy and with Dr Cain standing over me asking me how I feel. One of the nurses comes over and starts pushing on my belly and I hit her arms and tell her to get off me....I'm just so sleepy and I want to know how the babies are. Tim is sitting there next to me and telling me the boys are okay....Landon was very groggy and sluggish from the anesthesia and he needs oxygen but Garrett is healthy and appears to be fine, no affects from the umbilical cord.

He tells me the time they were born and their birth weights: Garrett - 5:21 pm; 3 lbs, 10 oz, 16.2 inches longLandon - 5:22 pm; 5 lbs, 1 oz, 19.5 inches long He shows me pics on the camera but I'm still kind of out of it and I don't remember even seeing them. As I continue to recover and wake up more, I see Dr Dixon come into the recovery room to do paperwork. He comes over and says that it appears that Garrett is doing well and hopefully will continue to do well. He mentions that his cord actually looked good so there was no knot but maybe just the positioning of where he was or just running out of room is what caused the problem. He also mentions that my uterus was paper thin and he had a hard time putting it back together....he says if I had stayed pregnant even another week or two, my uterus might have ruptured. We had decided to go ahead with the tubal ligation so he was happy to hear I'm done with future pregnancies, as he wouldn't recommend getting pregnant again. He said that between the 2 twin pregnancies, my uterus has been overly compromised and he's glad we put it into retirement.

I finally get wheeled into my post-partum room and by now I'm feeling awake and not loopy or nauseous at all....but b/c I have a catheter and I've been under general anesthesia, they want me to wait to see the boys until the next day. I can hardly stand to wait but I know they're in good hands in the NICU....Tim goes and checks on them one last time before we turn in for the night. They are both doing well....Landon is still on oxygen but otherwise both are hanging in there.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The shoe has dropped....

So today was an extremely LONG day....it began at 6:15 am when I could hear one of the babies babbling away in his crib. I suspected it was Garrett because ever since he started that new antibiotic last Saturday for his double ear infection, he's been crapping non-stop, usually beginning at 6:15 am and not stopping until bedtime. And for some reason today none of the kids could be easily pacified....they were all whiny, clingy and extremely sensitive about every little thing. And was it just yesterday where I was writing that things seemed to be going unusually well and I was waiting for the other shoe to drop??? The shoe has dropped....and it's dropped hard....

By 5:00 pm this evening, I was ready to grab a bottle of wine from the fridge and sneak upstairs to hide in our bathroom. I yelled at Tim "this day is dragging on forever...when is it going to end??".....by 6:00 pm, the babies were freakin losing all grips on reality, both screaming at the top of their lungs, wanting me to hold them and only ME. Anytime Tim tried to hold them, they'd scream even louder and reach their chubby little arms out to me and cry "mama, mama, mama", sending my guilt radar into overload. I finally asked him to finish the dishes (and what the hell is up with that anyway...I cooked dinner, why am I the one doing the dishes???) and I scooped the babies up and took them upstairs for a bath. Once they were up there and it was just me and them, they started to calm down and I sang "The Wheels on the Bus" and they were all smiles, completely unrecognizable from the little demon babies they had been only 10 minutes prior to that.

Then after they were dressed, Tim took them downstairs and I bathed Cole and Bella. Here's where things start to get much better....they've really been into washing each other lately. But tonight Cole said "Mommy, if you put your feet on the tub, I'll wash them for you". And Bella said "yeah, and I'll put lotion on them". So I laid on the floor and put my legs up over the tub and they actually did wash my feet and then lathered my feet and legs with lotion. I swear, I thought I died and went to heaven. Bella said "Mommy, are we making you happy?"...how sweet!! And then she made me laugh a few minutes after that when I thanked them for washing my feet and putting lotion on them, for taking such good care of me, she said "you're very welcome....it was my pleasure".

I've been considering switching preschools. Their preschool just raised their tuition again considerably, like a 10% increase!!! And then on top of that, they reduced their sibling discount from 25% to 10%!!! That's huge to us...like another $175 a month. And honestly I haven't been impressed with the school lately...I talked with Cole and Bella's teachers last week and told them that I was concerned that the kids have regressed and don't seem to be learning anything. When this new director took over, there suddenly was no curriculum anymore. I fell in love with the curriculum when I originally put the kids in this school but it seems to have fallen by the wayside lately. So with the increase in tuition, it's just given me that much more incentive to look into other schools for them, especially since next school year will be very imperative because they need to be prepared for kindergarten. I found out our district has free preschool but I'm not excited about the schools that are offering the program. But I'm still willing to go check them out and see what they have to offer. Then there are also 2 other schools I want to check out, one of which is the preschool where my sister sent her kids. I'm worried about how Cole and Bella will react to being moved and I'm not happy about having to move them the year before they enter kindergarten because it's just one more change they have to endure. I was hoping to keep them in the same preschool they've been attending since they were 2 until they went off to kindergarten but looks like that won't be happening now.

Well, it's my bedtime....10:00 pm! And I'm more than happy to go to bed....tomorrow is another long day and I need to put the finishing touches on the Garrett and Landon's b-day party for Saturday! I hope I don't cry my way through their party....the last of my babies are growing up....no more first smiles, no more first laughs, no more first time sitting up....but I know there will be a lot more firsts for us to enjoy, starting with our first professional family portrait next week. I asked the photographer if he thought he could handle 4 little kids and he didn't hesitate a bit before saying "oh sure, no problem".....I had to bite my lip to hold in my laughter.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mommy needs a time-out....

This is what Cole and Bella said to me a few days ago. And I was happy to go on time-out....when they told me I needed to go on time-out, I was overjoyed and said "really??? for how long?? Does Mommy get 38 minutes of time-out???". I honestly think I confused them by my excitement. They were looking at each other like "huh? this isn't how time-out works...there's supposed to be tears, darnit". So I did my time-out in the same place they do their time-outs but obviously not for the 38 minutes I was hoping for! They both stood in front of me with their arms crossed with little evil smiles on their faces and then after about 20 seconds, Bella said "okay, Mommy, you're done...do you know why you were on time-out?".

Okay, so here's the part that I'm ashamed to admit, the reason I was put on time-out, but hey I'm human....not one mother on God's green earth can tell me she's never done this. I got put on time-out because I said a bad word. I was pouring the kids some juice and it spilled and without thinking I said "oh shit". The minute it came out of my mouth, both Cole and Bella gasped and looked at me all wide-eyed like I had just committed the crime of the century. "Mommy, you said 'shit'"....I think they enjoyed that because it gave them permission to say the word back to me since technically they were pointing out something bad that I did. Could I argue with them....no, not really. So I said "yes, Mommy said a bad word...I'm sorry, I really need to watch what I say". Oh but by then, they were already one step ahead of me, planning my punishment, which they decided would be the 20-second time-out. Should I have begged and pleaded with them that Mommy needed more time in time-out? I kinda feel like I got ripped off....I mean, when they get time-outs, I set the timer for 3 minutes and God forbid they even try to get up before those 3 minutes are up.

Other than Mommy having a potty mouth, things are going well...unusually well. Like the kind of "well" where I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop. On Tuesday, I took all the kids to Costco with me....by myself....I had to get out of the house. Garrett and Landon were whiny and Cole and Bella were at each other's throats over every little thing and so all I could think of was to get us all out of the house and I had to make a run to Costco anyway.....it actually worked out well. The babies sat in the front of the cart, munching on cheerios, and Cole and Bella sat in the back of the cart and munched on samples.

And then in the afternoon, we went to the park. Cole and Bella rode their bikes in front of me while I pushed the babies in their stroller. Garrett walked next to me the whole time we were at the park and Landon, my little risk-taker, decided he was gonna climb up the toddler play structure and then fling himself down the slide, head first. Each time he did it, he would laugh hysterically.

I'm not sure why suddenly it seems easier...perhaps it's the nice mix of Wellbutrin and caffeine I take daily or the fact that I'm getting great sleep these days (thanks to my other drug, Temazapam). I just feel like I'm handling things better (well, besides my occasional slip of a bad word in front of the kids)...I'm in better spirits and I think it rubs off on the kids. We're finally at a point where we're having fun.

The babies 1st b-day party is on Saturday....wow, I can't believe they're gonna be 1 already. It's just crazy to me how fast this last year went by.

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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