Thursday, January 31, 2008

There's FOUR of them and only ONE of me!

Hmmmm, okay, so I've been trying to figure out activities (outside the home) that I can do with all 4 kids when I have Cole and Bella home from preschool on Tues and Thurs. Here are the drawbacks: the babies still nap 2x a day (10:00 and 2:00), Cole and Bella are starting to drop their afternoon nap (they maybe need an hour of rest/sleep), and...let's not forget the HUGEST drawback, there's only ONE of me and FOUR of them.

The closest library to us has a weekly storytime on Thursdsays at 10:15. Since it's only once a week, I was thinking I could just have the babies catnap in the car for that morning nap (since it's usually only a short nap anyway) and bring the babies into the library with the double stroller. Ideally, they would sit happily in the stroller while listening to the story and Cole and Bella would behave and stay quiet and enjoy the stories as well. That's ideal, right? But here's what I think would really happen....within 10 minutes of storytime, Bella will tell me she has to pee/poop (which she doesn't really have to, but she has this really wierd need to see the inside of every public restroom in the world) so I'll ask her repeatedly "do you REALLY have to go or are we gonna get in there and you're gonna tell me you don't have to go anymore?", she'll say "No, Mommy, I really have to go". I'll drag all 4 kids with me to the bathroom. How fun will this be??? All the while, telling Cole "don't touch anything, remember public bathroom's are dirty", the babies will be screaming by now I'm sure. Then we get back to storytime...by now the babies are just tired of sitting in the double stroller so I'll take them out and put them on my lap. Unfortunately by this point, Cole and Bella have also lost interest and they're starting to run around the room. I hate to be a pessimist but honestly I think this is what would happen. So let's forget storytime at the library....

Onto my next great idea...how about Gymboree??? A bunch of moms in my SAHM's playgroup go there and rave about it. But I have a unique situation, 2 sets of twins...most of them either have 1 or 2 children. So my first thing was is Gymboree affordable for us....I check out the prices online and I'm completely confused by all the pricing. So I call the place and speak with a very nice lady who upon learning I have 2 sets of twins, ages 10 months and 3 years old, she pauses and says "hmmm, let me think about this....I'm sure we can figure something out so all your kids can do some classes and we can make it affordable for you". She gives me a list of classes and says that Cole and Bella qualify for the school readiness program, where I can drop them off for 2 hours and they'll do activities like art, gymnastics and other learning activities. But unfortunately there isn't a class for the babies at those same times. And they have a rule that for each child, there must be 1 accompanying adult (with the exception of the school readiness program where the kids are dropped off and don't need a parent to stay with them). At this point I laugh and say to her "you see where my problem is then...there's only 1 of me and 4 of them...how am I gonna do this?". Then she mentions that they do have a family gymboree class designed specifically for families with children of varying ages but she says "you know, we've never had this situation before, 2 sets of twins, but I'm sure we can figure something out" and she mentions a Saturday class. Then I tell her I'm sure I can get Tim to participate in the class but we still have the predicament of being outnumbered by the kids. But then I quickly tell her that Cole and Bella will probably just fall in line quickly with what the other children are doing and they won't need as much supervision as the babies will, obviously. She agrees and says the Saturday family class is our best option OR I can enroll Cole and Bella in the school readiness program where they are dropped off and then I can bring the babies to a separate class on the days Cole and Bella are in preschool. So then we talk prices...the most economical plan is $75 per month for 2 of the kids, so a total of $150 for all 4 kids with a $25 one-time enrollment fee for the family program. If I'd rather do the school readiness program for just Cole and Bella, that's $85 per month per child. OUCH!!! Tim and I are trying to stick to a strict budget so I'm not sure how we'd swing this. And if we do the family class which is on Saturday, I'm still left with 10 hours to fill each Tues and Thurs. The lady invites me to bring everyone to the class this Sat and just try it out...she says we can sit down and take a look at the class schedule and prices and work something out, since it is a "unique situation". I'm getting used to that word to describe our family...."a unique situation". Maybe I should get a bumper sticker on my mini-van says reads that..."Forgive me for cutting you off but I have a unique situation" or "I nap at read lights b/c I have a unique situation".

Alright, so maybe Gymboree will work for us somehow...maybe...hopefully?? Then I go and check out our SAHM's message board to see what activities are going on for February....I look at the calendar and actually laugh outloud. There are no activities really where I can bring all 4 kids without wanting to kill myself at the end of the day. There's the Valentine's Day party at someone's house, which looks like a lot of fun, but is it really worth the hassle it's gonna cause me?? I think the babies would be overwhelmed with the amount of kids/adults there and I'd probably lose track of Cole and Bella at some point and then I'd hear someone say "can you believe there are 2 kids playing in the toilet and their mother could care less??" I just don't wanna be "that mom" who everyone is talking about...."can you believe 'that mom' would actually bring 4 kids to a party like this all by herself?"

Now I used to be very active in this group last summer when I only had Cole and Bella, pre-pregnancy with Garrett and Landon. We had a blast...we'd go to a couple events a week. We would do things privately with other moms and their kids outside the group on the days there were no events. And on the days we didn't get together with other kids/adults, I'd simply take them to the neighborhood pool. Just when I was starting to think "I can do this...I can handle this...", God goes and throws me a curve ball. Not that I don't appreciate the miracle that Garrett and Landon are to our family...in fact, I'm so appreciative of my "unique situation" but at the same time, I now realize that every little thing takes more planning and more thought on how to go about it without wanting to throw my head in the oven at the end of the day.

The pool, this summer, is definitely not an option with all 4 kids, although they are putting in a water park so I may be able to do that, provided Garrett and Landon are walking well by then and if I can convince Cole and Bella that running through spraying water is much more fun than swimming in the sparkly, inviting pool. For swimming, I'll have to take the kids up to my mom's house b/c she has a pool and beg her or my stepdad to go swimming with us so I'm not completely outnumbered by kids.

So ultimately what I'm left with is the park and the indoor play area at the mall. I figure maybe I can just map out all the parks in our town and visit a different one each week. That should mix things up a bit, right? I'm out of ideas....geez, just walking around Target would be fun, at this point. I've got THAT all figured out....I put one baby in the front of the shopping cart, put the other baby in a side hip carrier slingie-thingie I just bought (they have outgrown the Baby Bjorn!), put either Cole or Bella in the back of the cart and threaten their life if they even think about standing up in the cart, and the other child who isn't in the cart gets to either hold one of my free hands or hold onto the cart (yes, that child gets their life threatened too if they let go of the cart or my hand while shopping).

The other day while shopping, I saw a mom desperately trying to figure out how to put her baby (who was in an infant carrier) in the front of the shopping cart...she looked so frustrated. I figured she must have been a new mom, nervous going on her first outing with her baby by herself. For a minute, I was envious....look at her with her ONE baby...oh, must be nice....but then I was brought back to the place I was 5 years ago, when we were struggling to get pregnant and I believed I'd never be a mother to even 1 child, let alone 4 children. And I used to look at those moms shopping with their babies and think "oh, must be nice" but I was on the other side of the fence back then, just jealous that they even had that 1 child. So yeah my "unique situation" keeps me on my toes, constantly making long drawn-out plans of how I'm gonna manage all 4 kids at the library or doing whatever fun activity we attempt....but having my "hands full" as the saying goes sure beats "empty arms" by a long shot.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The latest....

Well, let's talk about the kiddos...they're growing up so quickly! Although I have to say when people tell me to enjoy the "babyhood stage" b/c it passes quickly, I just laugh, literally outloud. While I was waiting in line at Toys R Us one day with the babies, one mom said to me "my son will be leaving for college in September and it makes me so sad...I miss when he was a baby...enjoy this babyhood stage as much as you can b/c before you know it, they'll be grown up"...I said, as sympathetically as I could manage, "you know, this last year has been hard...amazing but hard...I'll just be thrilled when they can all finally take a shower by themselves and brush their own teeth".

I'll start with the oldest of our clan...Cole! He's tall and thin and SO handsome, of course I'm a little biased here, but he gets compliments all the time, even from complete strangers. He's got white-blonde hair, stunning blue eyes and a cute little button nose. He's as hyper as boys come though....give that kid the tiniest bit of sugar and he's bouncing off the wall for hours. He's finally completely potty trained, 100%. I know this b/c the director at the preschool he and Bella attend said we now qualify for the "potty-trained tuition rate". We'll save a whole $30/month now....hey, that's a box of 100 diapers for Garrett and Landon right there. Cole has an amazing sense of humor and his laughter is enough to send me into laughter. I could just sit there and stare at him for hours...he's very good with his hands and loves to build things and put things together. He has a Cars puzzle that we got him for Christmas and he can put the whole thing together by himself. He is still obsessed with Cars and Thomas the train. His favorite past-time is to go on E-Bay with me and bid on auctions selling anything related to Thomas. He's been wanting the Mavis die-cast train, which has been discontinued, so we finally won an auction and he asks everyday when will it arrive in the mail. He doesn't forget a thing....in fact, he can tell you something that happened a year ago that still seems fresh in his mind. At bedtime, he enjoys reading books to us now, which I absolutely love. His 2 favorite books to read to us are "The Very Hungry Catapillar" and "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See?". The 2 biggest problems we seem to have with Cole is his constant whining and his "I want, I want, I want" attitude. When he whines now, I imitate him, obviously making it sound worse than it really is, and then I say "that's what you sound like...I can't understand a word you say when you whine" or I'll say "awww, what kind of cheese would you like with your 'whine'?". Usually he laughs and then he'll say what he's trying to tell me in his big boy voice. The "I want" attitude, in all honesty, is b/c Tim and I have spoiled him rotten. He has no patience and doesn't understand that the whole world does not revolve around him. We're quickly trying fix this problem, by being more consistent and telling him "no" more often to things he wants and trying to explain why he can't everything in the world on a silver plate. Sometimes when he asks why he can't have something, I'll say "because money doesn't grow on trees" and he'll say "but apples do". Okay, son, well as soon as Target starts accepting apples as payment, you can have anything your little heart desires...Oh, the other thing he does is imitates everything we say and I mean EVERYTHING. The other day Tim said "dumbass" and now that's Cole's new word about everything..."this movie is a dumbass", "this train is a dumbass". Lovely, right?

Bella, next in line, is as cute as they come. And the thing is, she KNOWS she's cute. We have a closet in our bedroom which has a huge mirror on it and she'll be talking to me but I'll see her actually watching herself in the mirror. When she notices that I've noticed her looking at herself, she gets embarrassed. She has the sweetest voice and she says the funniest things. Gosh, I don't know how she comes up with some of the things she says. She's a little love bug, very affectionate, always wanting hugs and kisses or to sit on our laps. She, too, loves to read books to us at bedtime and Tim and I just look at each other and smile as she reads b/c her little voice is just so sweet (and she messes up some of the words in the books which cracks us up...like black sheet, black sheet, what do you see, instead of black sheep, black sheep). She adores the babies and loves to help me with them...she must be involved with every feeding and every diaper change. She likes to carry them from room to room, while the babies laugh, never realizing for one minute the danger they're in, until I catch her and ask her to put them down. And Bella is a total girlie-girl...very into purses, nailpolish, make-up, shoes. She loves to watch me get ready in the morning, asking about every item of make-up I apply or asking me how I'm gonna wear my hair that day. Last night, I was getting ready to go out with some girlfriends and she was watching me...she wanted me to put some powder and lipstick on her too. Then she watched me flip my hair upside down, fluff it a little with my fingers and then spray some hairspray. She thought that was really cool and insisted on doing the same thing and she absolutely had to have hairspray too. Then she said "Mommy, you look really cute...I bet your friends will think you're cute too..and they're gonna like your hair b/c it's really long...longer than any hair I know".

Then there's Garrett....my sweet, little cuddlebug of a baby. He's as pudgy as they come, with rolls that go on forever...serious rolls that I have to take time to pry apart each time I bathe him. Anyone who finds baby buns adorable would be in love with his little butt...it's so pinchable!!! He loves to be held and cuddled with, in fact so much that he reminds me of a baby monkey clinging to its Mama. If I have him in my arms and I bend down to pick something up, he digs his fingers into me and pulls himself closer to my body. If I try to put him down, he grips me with a death-grip and will not let go. I'm constantly having to make sure his nails are clipped down to the core b/c the boy has scratched me so hard a few times by trying to stay clung to me that it draws blood. He babbles all the time and can now say "mama", which he mostly says when he's crying and wants me. He's a great crawler and has now mastered pulling himself up into a standing position and coasting along the furniture. He's recently started to let go and stand on his own for about a minute or so before he loses his balance. He also really enjoys walking with the push toy. I think he'll be walking by his 1st birthday, if not before. He used to be my good eater when it came to pureed baby foods. He'd eat everything and anything I gave him, with the exception of the pureed mac-n-cheese (that stuff is pukey, I don't blame him). But now that he's on regular table food, he's showing his picky side. However, he does love Puffs and Cheerios...he could live off of those 2 foods if I let him. He weighs about 22 pounds and I'm not sure how tall he is at this point but he's gonna be just like Bella in terms of physical features. Short and pudgy!! He's starting to get more, which is all blonde, and he has the biggest blue eyes, just like Cole. Definitely has Tim's coloring but he looks just like me when I was a baby in terms of features.

Landon....he's the most laid back of them all BUT when he's pissed about something, he screams this ugly high-pitched sound that could shatter glass. And God forbid I'm holding him when he does this right in my ear...there have been a few times I've wanted to literally drop him on his ass when he does it b/c it's so painful to hear directly in my ear. He has a great sense of humor...he laughs about everything. Always smiling too. He's crawling too and standing up on things but he's nowhere as interested as Garrett is in trying to walk with the push toy. I think once Garrett starts to walk, that's when Landon will want to. He's tall and thin, like Cole, but has my coloring (brown hair and brown eyes) and looks just like me. He's a great eater...he'll eat anything put in front of him. He especially loves dino chicken nuggets and mac-n-cheese. The one surefire way to calm him down if he gets hurt or he's upset about something is for me to sing that song by the Plain White T's "Hey There Delilah" but I change the name Delilah to "Little Chicken". Yes, of course, my 2 littlest onces have to have funky nicknames just like Cole and Bella. When Landon was a newborn, b/c he was a preemie, he was all scrawny and his skin just kinda hung on him. My stepdad came to the NICU to visit with us and the babies and Landon was only wearing a diaper and I handed him to my stepdad and Landon was kinda all curled up in the fetal position on his belly and my stepdad said "I've eaten chickens bigger than this guy". And that's what Landon looked like...one of those little 5-lb fryer chickens you buy in the store. So the name "Chicken" has stuck with him.

Well, Bella has just informed me that she has to pee and I "must" accompany her to the bathroom so I'll write more another time.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We have nothing to be ashamed of!

Since I recently started writing in this blog again, beginning with my LONG, very detailed post about my experience of PPD, I've received several e-mails from ladies talking about their PPD. Ladies, it's okay to write about it openly...if there's anything I've learned from my experience is that we are not alone...tens of thousands of women suffer from PPD, most of them in silence. I was one of them...I suffered needlessly for months before I realized I HAD to get help or I was gonna hurt myself, hurt my children, or drive off of a bridge off Highway 4 in the middle of the night. But there's nothing to be ashamed of...in fact, I think the more we talk about it and share our experiences, the better off we are...it's hard to talk about, esp once you're "better". I mean, who wants to go back to that ugly, dark place again?? However, it helps to connect with other moms who've been there. No one, and I mean no one, can tell you "I know what you mean" unless they've been through it, unless they have walked through hell too.

It's a scary place to be...the sad thing is that I used to look at people who were depressed and think "why can't they control it? why can't they just be happy and feel blessed with what they DO have, rather than focus on what they DON'T have?"...well, now I understand, now I get it. You literally have no control over your own brain, your own thoughts. It's like you're stuck on the ceiling looking down at yourself, but it's not really YOU you're looking at. I found myself doing really odd things, like obsessing about how Marie Osmond planned her get-away when she had PPD. I read about her constantly wondering how did she make arrangements for someone to watch her children...did she plan it or did she just do it spur of the moment...did she take cash with her or did she use credit cards, in which her husband would be able to track where she was...did she plan on coming back at some point or did she plan to stay away forever....I wanted to know everything about what was going on in her head when she ran away from home. I found myself staring out our bedroom window from upstairs, quite often, and wondering if I could actually die from just jumping from the 2nd floor...well, maybe if I planned to land on the cement instead of the grass but how would I actually make sure I landed on the cement. I would actually get engrossed in thoughts like that. I'd do google searches online looking for the least painful way to kill myself but each time I'd do a search I'd end up at sites on God and Jesus and how killing yourself is not the answer. That just made me even angrier...and feeling like no one in the world could understand. I didn't even understand...I just knew I hated my life and wondered why God was punishing me. I started to believe that God had made a mistake in sending me my 2nd set of twins...He must have meant to send those 2 miracles to someone else who was desperate for them and made a mistake by sending them to me. And by the time He realized it, it was too late and He must have just laughed and said "well, they say I don't give people more than they can handle...let's see how true that is..." And then I felt all alone...like everytime I prayed to God for more patience, more strength, more sanity, it just got worse...I never heard Him answer me back. In the past, I could see signs or feel lead by God to make certain choices but this time I heard nothing, I felt lead to nowhere...I felt like He simple vanished out of my life.

And in my setbacks of PPD, I got even more scared....I think sometimes the setbacks are worse than the actual onset of PPD, b/c you're good days start to outnumber your bad days. You start to feel strong again, you start to feel more patient, you start to feel like you can handle anything...life is good again...and then you get sucked back in for no apparent reason. During one setback, at 2:00 am when Landon had cried for hours and hours and nothing I did seem to appease him, Tim said "oh just let him cry...we've already tried everything and nothing's working". So I went back to bed and all I could hear was Landon crying, as if he was saying "you're a terrible mother, nothing you do is good enough, you make me so unhappy"...I went downstairs (where Tim was sleeping on the sofa...how the hell could he sleep with a baby screaming in the house, anyway??) and told Tim "please help me through this..it's taking everything I have in me to not go into his room and smother him...I seriously want to hurt him right now and if I don't hurt him, I'm gonna hurt myself"...but he didn't get it. I think he thought I wanted him to try and rock Landon asleep again so there would be quiet again...but what I wanted was for him to sit with me in the darkness and hold my hand and help me through each minute that passed. I was afraid if he left me alone to tend to Landon that I was gonna slit my wrists or overdose on some Vicodin I had been taking for my back....my thoughts were racing and all I wanted to do was not hurt anymore...I was surprised by how quickly things had spiraled out of control in just a matter of a few hours. That day, things were fine, I was fine....but somehow I ended up right back where I was a few months earlier. And that's when I thought I was gonna be banished to a life of setbacks and I couldn't deal with it...I didn't wanna put Tim through that again or my kids. I ended up grabbing the car keys and sitting in the mini-van in the garage with the engine running, waiting to die....I must have sat there for a good 20 minutes just waiting and waiting (later, come to find out, I would have had to have the windows OPEN with the engine running for it to actually kill me...one of the things I forgot to google I guess)....but somehow in the darkness and finally the quiet I came to my senses and thought "what the hell am I doing???" and I got out of the car and went back upstairs and went to bed. It scared the shit out of me, it really did. But now I expect the setbacks...I know they'll happen but I also know I'll get through it. No need to hurl myself off of a bridge, no need to sit in our mini-van with the engine running in the middle of the night....I just have to remember that it's temporary and maybe 6 months from now, maybe even 1 year from now, I'll have no setbacks at all and I'll have survived....I'll have survived PPD.

So ultimately what I'm saying is that we shouldn't be ashamed of what we've been through...if you can help one person...just one person...by sharing your PPD experience with someone else, you may just be saving a life....

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A day in the life....

The last 24 hours in our home has been completely nuts. Garrett has been really fussy and suffering from a fever off and on the last couple of days. I felt like such an idiot yesterday when I noticed him tugging on his ears and I instantly thought "I wonder if he has an ear infection"....so I grabbed our Ear Check Monitor (I read about this in a friend's blog and it is the BEST device, IMO) and sure enough, it signaled that he probably does have an ear infection, esp in his left ear. So I call the dr's office and they can get him in at 6:30 pm....yeah, great, right in the middle of our bedtime routine...but I felt it was urgent for him to be seen so our bedtime routine got all screwed up. I left Tim home with the 3 kids and took Garrett to the dr's office....I got out of the car and started to get the double stroller, when instantly I thought "wait a minute, I only have 1 baby with me...screw the double stroller, I'm just gonna carry him on my shoulder". Yes, I talk to myself a lot these days....oh hell, who am I kidding....I've been talking to myself since I became a mother. Again, as I've said before, 1 child is such a breeze...now I realize that if I only had 1 child, it might seem difficult. But after having to juggle 4 children all at once at the dr's office plenty of times, just having 1 child with me seems so EASY! As I sat in the dr's office, waiting for the dr to come into the room, I fed Garrett a bottle and I think he was just confused as I was...he just had this perplexed look on his face, as if to say "hey, I think I'm missing my right arm...". That's how I felt too, like I was missing a few limbs by not having the other 3 kids with me.

Sure enough, he has a double ear infection so we went down to the pharmacy and got his scrip, while the pharmacist who looked to be about 25 years old (and probably has NO kids) tried to give his best explanation for how to give a baby medicine. He said "sometimes first time moms are a little confused on how to give their baby medicine"....when I stopped laughing hysterically, I said "what makes you think I'm a first-time mom?" and he said "well, you just look young I guess and a little nervous". Again came the laughter...so I said "thank you...you just gave me the compliment of the century...but I'm not nervous, I'm just freakin tired....and, no, he's not my first child. In fact, he's my 3rd child out of 4....2 sets of twins. I have plenty of experience with giving babies medicine". And with that, he didn't say much...I mean, really, what could he say at that point? I practically ripped his head off. The poor guy....

So then this morning, we all get up...Landon's right eye is all red and swollen shut and his left eye is starting to swell too. But he seems in good spirits otherwise but I figured I had better call the dr's office and get him in. I swear, between all 4 kids, I'm at the dr's office at least once a week. I have my own personal parking spot right in front..."Reserved for Run Down, Ragged, Overwhelmed, and Extremely Tired Mom of 4 Very Needy, Very Whiny Kids...Don't Even Think of Parking Here"

While I'm on the phone with the advice nurse, I'm holding Landon trying to answer her questions (are his eyes filled with green gunk, can he see, did he get hit in the eye, are his eyeballs still in tact....I had to laugh at that question...I said "where would his eyeballs be if they weren't in tact" and she said "ma'am, that's a serious question"....well, excuse me for trying to have a sense of humor. In the meantime, I hear Cole screaming in the living room and then he runs into the kitchen, with his nose pouring blood all over the place. Bella's crying because she's upset that Cole's hurt. Tim is trying to ask Cole what happened and I'm like "just stop the bleeding and worry about what happened after it stops"....the nurse is still asking me questions about Landon's eyes. Poor Garrett's sitting on the floor watching all the commotion with a look on his face like "HELLO, is anyone gonna give me a bottle?".....I guess he figured that wasn't gonna happen within the next few seconds and he broke out into hysterical crying, which prompted Landon to start crying, right in my ear. So now we have 4 kids, all crying....1 child with blood pouring out of his nose, 1 child crying b/c she's afraid she's gonna get busted for getting her brother hurt, 1 child with red, swollen eyes who's crying b/c he sees his twin brother crying and 1 child crying just for the hell of it. Yeah, a day in the life....anyone wanna trade???

Okay, so it turns out Cole and Bella were jumping off the sofa onto the floor when Cole bonked his nose on the coffee table, causing it to bleed. Bella had convinced Cole that jumping would be "really cool". The advice nurse told us to give Landon some Benadryl and see if the swelling goes down. If it does, then we know maybe it's an allergy to some kind of food he's eaten. If it doesn't, then it's some kind of eye infection. So the swelling goes down considerably within the 1st 30 minutes of giving it to him but even now his right eye is still a little swollen. Beats the crap outta me what's wrong with him...the only thing we can figure is that we've been giving him and Garrett some yogurt recently and the one he ate yesterday had a little bit of strawberry flavoring in it. So no more yogurt for him until we can figure this out. Thankfully, he's not in any discomfort and doesn't even seem to notice his eye is a little swollen.

Tonight we went to Denny's for dinner.....wanna know why? B/c kids eat free at Denny's on Saturday nights. I know every restaurant in town that offers free dinners for kids and on which nights. I felt so bad for our waitress...the table was a complete mess and so was the floor. Garrett and Landon, who are now eating table food, had thrown most of their food on the floor....Cole spilled his cup of juice all over the table and Bella, who had syrup all over hands, had left sticky handprints all over the chairs. When the waitress handed us our bill, she said "can I get you anything else?" Tim and I laughed. He said, "yeah, how about some sanity?" and I said "how about a babysitter?". She said "the sanity I can't help you with but I could help you with babysitting". I'm kicking myself in the butt now for not taking her seriously and getting her number. I need all the babysitters I can get these days....

Well, the kids are all in bed and Tim just got back from the store with some ice cream. And I need to figure out how to work my new coffee maker b/c Starbucks is getting rather expensive for me to go to every day. My new vice is coffee....and Wellbutrin....let's not forget my beloved Wellbutrin....I simply couldn't live without it....

"God is not happy with Daddy, is he?"

I'm in the process of getting pics uploaded so those will be coming shortly...I promise! My favorite thing to do these days is record Cole and Bella's conversations b/c they are hilarious. I have to say I love the stage they're at b/c they are so curious about everything and learning new things every day.

The other day I had them in the car with me as we drove to go pick up Chinese food for dinner. I had the stereo on and a song that I liked came on so I turned the radio up and said to the kids "I like this song". And here's what happened from there...

Me: Oh, I like this song...
Cole: Mommy, is this your song?
Me: My song?
Cole: Yeah, your song? Everyone have a song..
Me: Yes, I suppose you could call this "my" song b/c I like it so much.
Cole: Daddy has a song
Me: He does? What song is that?
Cole: The "oh shit" song...
Me: the WHAT song? (I'm thinking...OMG, did he really just say "shit")????
Cole: It's called "oh shit", that's Daddy's song
Bella: Yeah it's by that lady on the CD
Cole: Yeah that's Daddy's song
Bella: It's a London Bridge song but not like the one we sing at school
Me: London Bridge song?
Bella: Yeah, but it's got a bad word in it, not like the one we sing at school
Cole: Yeah it's the London Bridge song that is Daddy's song, I sing it for you..Oh, shit, oh shit, oh shit
Me: *Now I'm realizing which song they're talking about...it's a song of the Fergie CD we have*...Cole, that's a bad word and I don't like you saying it. Daddy shouldn't be listening to that CD while you guys are in the car. I'll talk to him about that.
Cole: But it's Daddy's song
Me: Well, then Daddy can listen to it when he's alone in the car
Bella: God is not happy with Daddy, is he?
Me: Why?
Bella: Because Daddy's song has a bad word in it and Miss Debbie says that God doesn't be happy when you say bad words
Me: Yes, that's right...but God forgives all the time as long as Daddy doesn't listen to that song around you guys.
Bella: Well, if God doesn't be happy with bad words, then Daddy shouldn't listen to the song ever again...he needs to find a new song that has no bad words in it, I'll tell him later when God's not around

How hilarious is that???!!! I just find the things they say so humorous.

And here's a conversation that happened this morning in my bed at 6:45 am (Tim has been banished to sleeping downstairs on the sofa since he snores like a pig):

Cole: Morning Mommy, lemme get in bed with you and Bella
Me: Guys, it's Saturday...can't you sleep a little later than 6:45 am
Bella: No, no way, Jose
Cole: Hahahahaha, you have to get up (and then he proceeds to bang the back of his head against the headboard and says "ow" every time he does it)
Me: If it hurts, why do you keep doing that?
Bella: You gonna break your head like Humpy Dumpy
Me: You mean, Humpty Dumpty?
Bella: No Humpy Dumpy....that's they guy who broke his head when he fell...he has an egg
Me: You mean, he IS an egg
Bella: No, he can't be an egg..he's just a guy and he has a egg and it broke when he fell
Me: Okay..whatever you say...
**Sometimes we joke with the kids about being 1 of 4, or 2 of 4, in the order they were born when we're so freakin sleep deprived that we can't keep their names straight**
Cole: (to Bella) Hey, you number 2 and I number 1
Bella: You number 1, like pee
Cole: And you number 2, like poop
Me: Where did you guys learn that?
Cole: From Dominic at school...he say number 1 is pee and number 2 is poop.
Me: Lovely....this is what you're learning at school?
Bella: Yeah that's what we learn...it's lovely, huh?
Me: I meant that sarcastically
Bella: Sarastically? What's that?
Me: Bella, can we talk about this later, like over breakfast when I'm more awake..
Bella: Sure, what you want for breakfast?
Me: Tell you what, why don't you and Cole drive over to IHOP and get me some pancakes
Bella: I can't do that, I don't know how to drive
Cole: Yeah, we get in trouble
Bella: And I can't have pancakes b/c they make me puke (*she had puked after eating at IHOP with my in-laws last weekend)
Cole: And puke is gross, like when I puked at Red Lobster.
Bella: Yeah, that's gross
Cole: Oh I hear one of the babies....time to get up Mommy...now, get up, now, I said NOW

So you see who's really in charge around here?? The kids...yes, the kids run our house. I often joke with Tim that he's the lucky one to have a job outside the house b/c at least he works for his dad, who's a kind, understanding boss. I always say "well, my bosses are the 4 kids..they decide when I nap, when I wake up, when I eat, when I pee, when I leave the house...they don't let me have any sick days, no vacation days unless they come along, attached to my legs and I've never had a raise since I can remember. Oh and my benefits include being puked on at least 4 times a day, getting poop under my fingernails at least 2 times a day, washing my hands about 20 times a day until they bleed and crack".

Okay, in the time it took me to write all this, Cole and Bella have completely destroyed the family room....awww, yes, just another benefit....cleaning up the family room 10 times a day....I'll update with pics later....I promise...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Say cheese....

A loving moment between Cole and Bella (but don't let this fool you...it took me literally 10 minutes and about 25 pics to get this ONE pic)



I just love this pic...yet another moment of bliss, when they weren't trying to strangle each other or lick each other's faces. Sometimes I think I'm raising wild animals...



Someday, Cole will deny he ever wore a Princess Tiara but I'll just whip out this picture as proof that he did (and he enjoyed it too!!) This pic is a must-see for his future prom date...



The kids on their bikes they got for Christmas...yeah, they think they're hot stuff (they have no clue it's the training wheels that are keeping the bikes upright!)



Landon...all smiles....the boy is always smiling!



Garrett thinks he's hot stuff b/c he can stand up now...he's gonna be a computer geek like his dad...



Boys will be boys...Cole is NOT happy with the fact that Garrett and Landon LOVE his Thomas the train collection. I had to take this pic when Cole wasn't around so he wouldn't know the babies were messing with his stuff!



The boys are finally big enough to ride in the double wagon...yeah! It makes a life a lot easier when we just wanna go on quick walks without having to break out the double stroller.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Where, oh where has my sanity gone? Oh where, oh where could it be??

Okay, it's been a LONG time since I've updated this blog. In all honesty, I had forgotten about it until recently. I went back and read through all the entries...I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more and and then I cried again and then finally started guzzling some wine. Well, that's not entirely true but I WANTED to guzzle that wine, does that count?

So how have the last 7 months treated me? Not too kindly, unfortunately. I'm not really sure where to begin but I'll try to piece it all together as best I can. Seems post-partum depression got a hold of me and I didn't even recognize myself anymore. Now, looking back, I can see that I had a touch of it after I had Cole and Bella. But I convinced myself at the time that it couldn't possibly be PPD. I made myself believe that I was just overwhelmed with the responsibility of being a 1st time mom of twins. After having Garrett and Landon, the PPD was far worse...and even in the midst of it, I still didn't believe it was PPD. Probably because it didn't hit me immediately after giving birth. It was a few months later when just getting through a 24-hr day was excruciating, it was downright painful. Oh but I was really good at putting on a smile and telling everyone I was "just fine". I'd be out shopping with the kids and people would come up to me and tell me how blessed I was and I'd smile and thank them and then cry all the way home, thinking why don't I feel blessed? Why am I not happy? Why do I feel like slitting my wrists every minute of every day? I tried to convince myself that I was overwhelmed, way in over my head yet again but somehow it felt much worse. I couldn't imagine surviving another day. The worst part of it all was the thoughts I would have that would just pop into my head at any given time for no reason. I'd be carrying the babies upstairs to their room and think "what if I dropped one down the stairs?" or I would be giving one a bath in the kitchen sink and think "what if I put one of his limbs down the drain and turn on the garbage disposal?" These thoughts were frightening and scared me, yet I never told anyone about them. I'd try to dismiss the thoughts as quickly as they came into my head, knowing I'd never actually act on those thoughts but they still scared me nonetheless. I wondered why I didn't feel that strong motherly bond with Garrett and Landon...there were times in the middle of the night that they would be crying endlessly and all I wanted to do was smother them. I would cry right along with them and then when Tim would come into their room to see what was wrong I'd start screaming at him that I wanted to die. I walked around in a rage all the time, angry at the world. I kept myself pretty hidden in the house, too afraid to socialize with friends who might ask me how I was doing and so fearful that if I opened my mouth, I'd let everything out. My only connection with the outside world during this time was a couple online message boards that I belonged to. It was easy to hide what I was going through because no one could see me, no one expected anything from me.

At some point, my mom hooked me up with my former therapist, who immediately diagnosed me with PPD as soon as I opened my mouth and told him what was going on. I think my first reaction was relief....relief that I wasn't actually going crazy, relief that finally there was a reason for how I was feeling. He urged me to contact my dr for anti-depressants and continue therapy with him. I did contact my dr and filled my scrip for anti-depressants but for some reason I kept telling myself that I could get through this without the use of meds. I was scared of the meds for some reason. But things were spiraling out of control quickly....most of the time I was in a rage over the littlest things and then other times I'd just start crying for no apparent reason. I remember one time I was fixing dinner, just standing in the kitchen stirring the spaghetti boiling in the pot and I could hear all the kids in the family room. Tim was playing with them but the noise was getting to me and I ended up bursting into tears, running up the stairs and planting myself on the floor of our bathroom where I laid for the next hour, wishing there was some magical way I could disintegrate into a cloud of dust and be sucked up into the air vent on the ceiling. Also, during this time, I had convinced myself that Tim was part of my problem, that I didn't love him anymore and I should probably just divorce him. But everytime I tried to plan things out in my head, I knew I couldn't make a realistic plan and that lead me to feeling trapped. Then I started having anxiety attacks and all I could think of was to run away...seriously, just pack my bags one day and get the hell out of here.

From there, I decided I need to start the meds. I had to let go of the belief that I could do this on my own. I knew I would end up hurting myself, or worse, hurting the kids if I didn't do something to help myself. Or I would actually run away and never come back. My therapist said it would take about 4-6 weeks for me to really feel a difference from the meds and in the meantime, I started taking Omega 3's since I had heard that there have been studies showing that Omega 3's can help with depression.

I had been suffering from horrible insomnia. It was so ironic...the babies were finally sleeping through the night but I wasn't. I was in a constant state of alert, always thinking, always planning, always on alert. My mind just wouldn't stop running, 24 hours a day. And it didn't help that Bella still had the habit of crawling into bed with us in the middle of the night. So after being awake for a good 5 hours....tossing, turning, thinking, planning....I decided I was gonna get up in the morning and wait for Tim to take Cole and Bella to preschool and while he was gone, I'd pack my bags and put them in the car, so he wouldn't be aware of it. I had no idea where I was gonna go...just figured I'd get in the car and just drive until I felt like stopping. I knew I had a dr's appt that day so my plan was to have Tim keep an eye on the babies while he worked at home and I simply just wouldn't return home. I knew he'd be worried but I didn't care. But my plans backfired on me....I was so tired and irritable that when I went to change Garrett at some point that morning, he was crying....no, actually he was screaming bloody murder. I couldn't take it anymore and next thing I knew I was yelling at him, screaming "shut up, shut up, shut up...will you please shut up?"....and the more I yelled at him, the more he screamed. Then I put my hand over his mouth and yelled even louder "please shut up...I can't take this anymore". Tim came flying in out of nowhere and I said to him "I can't do this anymore...I just want to die" and he said "get out...just leave". And I did....

Of course I ended up coming home that night.....and just continued to take my meds and go to therapy and pray with each passing day that I'd feel better. And pretty soon the good days outnumbered the bad days. I have had a few setbacks here and there but thankfully I'm no longer completely irrational when it happens. I don't want to go flying out the door in a rage, threatening to kill myself or anyone who gets in my way anymore. I still can't believe I let myself get to that point...I can't believe I was so afraid to get help. It's so easy to feel so alone and isolated when suffering from PPD...you think no one could possibly understand how you feel, especially because you don't even understand yourself why you feel the way you do. You just know you're not yourself.

I remember while I was in the midst of the worst part of my PPD, reading an article online about a woman who jumped to her death from an apartment building a couple months after having her baby. The scary part is that I immediately thought how brave she was to actually act on her feelings, I envied her that she had the guts to do it. I wondered what went through her mind as she jumped. All I could do was be relieved for her that she was no longer suffering. How sad is that??? Now I feel completely ashamed for feeling the way I did...my heart breaks for what her family must have gone through. Now, with my rational sense of mind, I can see how devastating it must have been her family....and I totally understand the pain she felt and what would cause her to throw herself out a window. I get it....I understand it....at the time, I wished I had the guts to do it...plain and simple.

In thinking I was alone, I realized I wasn't....I managed to find a book one day called Postpartum Depression for Dummies written by Dr Shoshanna Bennett. Anyone suffering from PPD needs to read this book....it touched my heart and helped me to understand that there are SO many women suffering from PPD. I mean, there it was, right there in print everything I was feeling and it made sense, finally something made sense. That book got me through an especially rough day, on the day I found it. It was one of those days where I was feeling extremely overwhelmed, ready to crumble and I grabbed my purse and my keys and told Tim "I'm outta here" and I drove off....the poor guy had no clue where I was going or when I was coming back but I didn't care. I just needed to get out, I needed to hear my own thoughts. I honestly wanted to find the nearest cliff and just drive off of it. But instead I drove to Borders and stumbled upon the book and practically cried while I read it. I sent an e-mail to Dr Bennett after that, thanking her for the book and telling her how much it meant to me.

Okay, so enough of that....I'm doing much better...I'm starting to feel like the old "me" again. It's such a huge relief. I'm enjoying being with my kids, I'm enjoying life again. Unfortunately, though, our marriage has suffered a great deal and now we go to therapy sessions together to repair the damage. Not all the problems stem from my PPD but the PPD didn't help an already stressed and miserably failing marriage. But Tim and I are on the same page again and dedicated to do whatever it takes to make this work, esp for the sake of our kids who deserve that.

This is such a long post...I didn't mean for it to be but it's been months since I've updated so I wanted to put down everything that has happened in the last 7 months. Tomorrow when/if I get time, I'll update on everything going on with the kids and post pics!

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



 
Blog Design by Likely Lola