Monday, April 28, 2008

Does food taste better when it's eaten directly off the floor?

I really wanna know the answer to that...I just gave the babies lunch...a grilled cheese sandwich, mixed veggies, strawberries, diced apples and sliced turkey. Well-rounded, healthy meal, right?? They ate some of it but mostly just enjoyed throwing the food on the floor and mashing it into their hair, while laughing at each other. Oh and mashing strawberries into any part of their clothes that were NOT covered with the bib....I really should buy stock in Shout stain remover.

So I got them all cleaned up and before I could sweep up the mess on the floor, they both come flying out of nowhere and swoop down on all the food that they threw off their highchair trays. And yes, they gobbled up everything...all the food they didn't want 10 minutes prior to that. And if that's not bad enough...I had thrown their bibs in the laundry room in a basket and Landon went in the laundry room, dug in the laundry basket, pulled out his bib and managed to find a piece of grilled cheese in there and ate that too. Can someone please explain to me why food tastes better after it's considered "garbage"???

Oh, the other thing I wanna know is how many times can a child hit his/her head and not suffer brain damage? Seriously, Garrett has bonked his head 5 times already today....he'll just be walking along, happy as a clam, and then suddenly lose his balance and fall over (and of course there's usually a chair or a table nearby that he hits his head on). The kid has bruises and red marks all over his head. He cries for maybe 30 seconds and I give him hugs and kisses and then he's off on his next adventure...well, until he falls down and bangs his head again. He's so accident prone...just like Cole. I think things literally fall out of the sky and hit Cole.....he's always got some kind of scrape on his knees or on his knuckles, a bruise here and there....and he could care less.

Here are a couple of cute pics I got of the boys yesterday scouring the fridge for treats....too bad I foiled their plan before they actually swiped something. We were in the kitchen and Bella called me into the bathroom to help her and I thought I shut the door to the fridge but I guess it swung back open. The "dynamic duo" swarmed in...these guys do not miss an opportunity when they see one. When I got back into the kitchen, I had to take the pics b/c they were just too cute and so totally unaware I caught them red-handed. It's funny b/c it looks like Garrett is hoisting Landon up to the shelf and guiding him but I'm sure in reality Garrett was actually trying to pull Landon down so HE could get up there. After I took the pics, I made them get out of the fridge and they both had the biggest meltdown, as if I've been starving them and it was the first time they had seen food in days or something.




I had to put this pic of Cole and Bella in b/c I just love it! We took the kids to Marine World on Sunday (yes, we are total gluttons for punishment...WHO in their right mind takes 4 kids, ages 3 and under, to a theme park??) I love the pic b/c it totally captures their personalities....Cole all smiling and silly and Bella, a total diva in her own right ("wait, Mommy, let me pose for the pic")





Tonight after I gave them a bath, I decided to let them play in the tub while I washed my face. They had a funny conversation.
Cole: Hey, Bella ask your mom if it's okay

Bella: Ask MY mom? Or YOUR mom?

Cole: YOUR mom

Bella: But MY mom is YOUR mom

Cole: Huh? What you mean?

Bella: She is MY mom and YOUR mom...she says we were in her belly at the same time and then the dr took us out after he ripped a big hole inside of her

Cole: Yeah I know

Bella: So, YOUR mom is MY mom, okay?

Cole: Okay....

Bella: Hey, Cole, sing the ABC's with me

Cole: Okay...

Bella: A B C D E F....Hey, Cole, sing with me....

Cole: No, now I don't want to

Bella: Why? You tired?

Cole: Yeah, I'm tired....and I'm gonna be a baseball player when I'm all growed up

Bella: I'm gonna be Dora....but my hair needs to grow...I think I'll grow it long in 2 weeks

Cole: In time for Halloween

Bella: Yup

Where do they come up with these things??? Good God, they keep me in hysterics....

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mommy, my hoo-haw hurts inside....

Isn't that a great thing to wake up to in the morning?? That's the first thing Bella said to me this morning, "Mommy, my hoo-haw hurts inside". I noticed she's been scratching at it here and there so I figured she either had a yeast infection or a urinary tract infection. So off to the dr's office we went...me and all 4 kids, as if the other 3 had a choice. Well, actually, upon learning Bella had a dr's appt Cole said "my foot hurts". I said "and I suppose the eyelashes on your left eye hurt too?" and he said "yeah they hurt too".

I thought Bella would freak out about the dr looking at her private area and I forewarned her ahead of time that she would be asked to show it to the dr but that I'd be in the room with her, right next to her. She seemed fine with it and actually let him examine her without a problem. He said it seemed like a common yeast infection but he wanted to do a pee sample just in case it was something else. I wanted to slap myself for making her go pee before we left for the dr's office. But she said she could go again so we went to the bathroom in his office and I held the cup in between her legs and she tried....oh, she really tried but then she said "I can't go". So I gave her my water bottle and said "here, drink this...all of it". I asked her if she thought she'd be able to go pee by the time we walked over to the lab, which was in the next building. She said she thought she could pee then.

We get into the bathroom at the lab and again she couldn't go. I held the cup in between her legs and she kept trying and saying "okay, Mommy, now I'm gonna pee" but nothing would come out. The whole time, Cole is touching everything in the bathroom stall and the babies are starting to wig out about being in their stroller longer than they had anticipated. And I'm trying my best not to show her that I'm about to lose my patience....

I really didn't want to go all the way home and have her pee in the cup and then have to gather everyone back up to drive back over to the lab again so I asked her if we walked around the medical building for a little while, if she thought she'd be able to go then and she said yes. And I had her drink Landon's juice...and we walked, and we walked, and we walked, and then we rode the elevator, and then we walked, and we walked and we walked, then rode the elevator up to the 3rd floor and we walked, and we walked.....almost every person I passed would smile and say "all they all yours?", "twins? both sets?", and the oh-so-famous "you have your hands full" but I've made a deal with myself now when people say that to me I'm gonna smile and say "better than having them empty". One little old lady that I said that to smiled back and said "you are SO right and what a great attitude you have"....that was all I needed to hear to muster up enough patience to walk around for another 10 minutes until Bella promised me she could pee. Another lady made a comment that was completely new to me...she asked "and what was in the water you were drinking??"....I actually found that comment funny.

Finally, Bella said to me, all excited, "I think I can pee now". So we find another bathroom and I hold the cup in between her legs. She says "Mommy, I promise I'm gonna pee this time" and I said "good...I'll do a happy dance for you after you pee". She pees...half of it misses the cup but she peed...thank God she finally peed. And she expected me to do a happy dance right there in the bathroom. Then we went over to the lab to drop her sample off and she had a conversation with the lab tech at the counter about what they were gonna do with her pee...she was very interested in this, as if she didn't want any of her pee to go to waste. The lady assured her they would take "very good care" of her pee and Bella seemed satisfied with that. As we walked back to the mini-van, she said "I hope my pee is doing okay" and Cole said "that was fun"....I'm not sure if he was being sarcastic or if he really did have fun. I would imagine he was being serious, considering I was gonna drag them all grocery shopping with me before I decided Bella needed to go to the dr.

It turns out she doesn't have a UTI but just a typical yeast infection, which we're to treat with special cream 2x a day for the next week. Tonight after I put the cream on her, she said "Mommy, my hoo-haw is happy". Now that's something I never expected to hear as a mother but I'll take anything I can get....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

So I got up this morning and watched the weather report and saw that it was gonna be a cold day (compared to how it has been, in the 70's and 80's....the 60's seem cold). I think the kids and I are getting a little bored with the park so I decided I would take them to the indoor play area at the mall. I must have been smoking someone's crack pipe to think this would be fun. Well, it was fun until the little ones realized there was no gate or door preventing them from leaving the play area (who the hell designed this???). It was Garrett who realized it first, which really surprised me b/c he's my clingy baby...he generally doesn't leave my side for anything. And then of course....monkey see, monkey do...Landon saw Garrett leave the area and he figured he'd do it too. I spent a majority of my time chasing after them each time they'd try to escape...the funny thing was they never really ran off or anything once they were out of the play area. They just kind of stood there and looked back at me to make sure I was chasing them and it was like "game on".

I had told Cole and Bella we could eat at the food court at the mall so I kept checking my watch, praying that it would be lunch time every time I checked the time. That was the longest 60 minutes of my life. And the other moms were just politely smiling at me the whole time and some were daring enough to make comments like "you sure have your hands full" and "you're brave to come here without help" which I translated as "lady, you're higher than a kite to think you can bring 4 kids, ages 3 and under, to the mall by yourself". But I kept telling myself...I can do this, I can do this, I can do this....I think I might have even said it outloud at some point.

Finally, it was lunchtime...and I figured the best thing to do was grab a table close to the McDonald's area and get it all situated (grab 2 highchairs, clean them off, get the table cleaned off, get the kids' hands clean with antibacterial gel). And then I went to wait in line while Cole and Bella stayed at the table with the babies, who were still in the stroller, happily munching on goldfish while they waited. I was only like a few feet away from them and I had my eye on them the whole time (and the mall wasn't crowded at all) but for some reason, it just didn't feel safe to me. I kept envisioning taking my eye off them for a second to place our order and someone coming up and taking off with the babies in the stroller or luring Cole and Bella away from the table.

So I got out of line and grabbed the stroller and told Cole and Bella to come wait in line with me...it just felt more comfortable to me this way. In the meantime, as I'm getting ready to place my order and I took my eyes off the table for maybe 2 minutes and when I looked back, someone had taken off with my highchairs...the 2 highchairs I took the time to sanitize thoroughly with antibacterial wipes!!!! At the same time, even though I was very annoyed, I realized it was probably a good call to bring the kids in line with me, seeing how fast someone was able to swipe our highchairs without me even noticing.

I got the kids all back to the table with our order and all hell broke loose...as soon as they all saw the food, it's like they were starving orphans from Africa. I couldn't put the food in front of them fast enough...and then Cole needed ketchup, Bella was mad b/c there were pickles on her cheeseburger, the babies didn't want their cheeseburgers (thank God, I brought a back-up container of ravioli, just in case), Cole and Bella were fighting over the fries, Garrett managed to grab Cole's lemonade and spill it, then Landon pushed all his food on the floor....I could feel my face becoming more flushed by the minute. I looked over at the next table and noticed the 2 ladies were staring at me and when they noticed me looking at them, they quickly looked away and started whispering, sending me even further into embarrassment.

But thankfully after a few minutes of getting settled, things were fine and I actually enjoyed about 10 minutes of conversation with Cole and Bella while we all ate...oh wait, did I say "we all ate".....let me change that....while "they" ate. It was at this point that I realized I never got anything for myself so Bella was kind enough to give me her "disgusting pickles" and a few sips of her lemonade and then I snagged a few french fries from them when they weren't looking.

Then Cole and Bella wanted to ride this little tiny carousel near the arcade so we all walked over there and I cleaned the babies up while they rode that.

And finally we left....we got home, I put the little ones down for a nap, and told Cole and Bella they could stay downstairs instead of going upstairs for a nap as long as they laid down on the sofa and watched a movie so we could all get some rest. That lasted about 20 minutes...

So yeah it seemed like a good idea at the time....I was telling Tim about how it went and I said "I'd love for you to take the kids to the mall by yourself and feed them lunch at the food court sometime"....he said "I'm not crazy"....but apparently I AM!!!

But what made it all worth it was tonight when Cole and Bella were getting ready for bed....I said to Bella "I had fun with you today" and she said "I couldn't have done it if you weren't there" and I said "done what?" and she said "climb up the bridge and slide down". There was a bridge in the play area that she needed help getting up and down on and I had helped her (when I wasn't chasing the escaped convicts). I said "well, I was happy to help you" and she said "I'm glad we went...you made me happy". Awwww, how sweet is that....what mother's heart wouldn't melt upon hearing that???

However, don't be mistaken...it will be a VERY VERY long time before I take all 4 kids to the mall's play area and food court by myself again. For some reason, the outdoor park is much easier for me....that's where we'll be from now on....

Thursday, April 17, 2008

So where does God live?

Even though Cole and Bella are extremely strong-willed children, I completely enjoy having conversations with them about various things in life that they find interesting. Every Wednesday at preschool, they attend chapel where they learn Bible verses and sing songs and learn about Jesus.

Last night at dinner, Cole wanted to talk about chapel and he sang a song to me that they learned called "God is Good". And then we had the following conversation:

Me: So where does God live?
Cole: Um, at the zoo....
Me: The zoo? Why the zoo?
Cole: Cuz he likes the animals
Me: What does God look like?
Cole: He's black with blue eyes and no hair
Me: What does God do all day?
Cole: He feeds the animals
Me: Where does Jesus live?
Cole: (looking at me as if I'm from another planet)...at the zoo with God, Mommy. Jesus is God's son so they have to be together. And they walk around all day feeding the animals and watching the lions.

And then I asked Bella where she thought God lived and she said "He lives in the song 'God is Good'".

I find their thoughts on life and other things so refreshing and innocent. I love asking them questions about things and hearing what they have to say. This morning, after the babies woke up from their nap, they rode their bikes in front of me while I pushed the babies in the stroller on our way to the park. I told them that I had wanted to do a "nature walk" with them on the way to the park so we could collect various things to do artwork with later but I had forgotten a bag to put everything in and we were already 3/4 of the way to the park.

So Cole asked "what kinds of things do we want?" and I said "things like rocks, flowers, grass, leaves....whatever you find interesting". And then I mentioned when I was younger that I used to collect rocks and paint them. It was my pet rock collection. For some reason, they found this hilarious....I told them how I would wash the rocks and then decorate them with paint and keep them in a box. They were still laughing hysterically over this and then Bella said "why....you didn't have any friends to play with?"....then I couldn't stop laughing hysterically.

I can't believe how well Garrett and Landon are walking these days. Garrett is running...literally running everywhere. Landon actually walks like a big boy...he walks heel to toe and doesn't waddle like the typical toddler just starting to walk. They still aren't saying any real words, except "mama" and they've recently both started saying "dada". Their receptive language, though, is really good. They understand what I'm saying to them and I can now say "go get your ball" or ask them if they want something to drink. The other day I asked Landon if he wanted some milk and he shook his head no...then I said "I suppose you want juice with water" and he nodded his head and walked over to the fridge.

Landon's favorite thing to do right now is anything that he's not supposed to do. He kept going over to the channel tuner next to the tv and turning the tv off and changing the channels. Everytime he would do it, I'd say "Landon, don't do that" and he'd shake his head no and laugh. Then the minute I took my eyes off of him, he'd run right back over there and do it again. And he does the same thing with the stairs...anytime he sees the baby gate is open, he heads right over there and climbs a couple steps and then looks to see if I'm watching him. If I even start to move towards him, he starts climbing as fast as he can, looking back every few seconds to see if I'm coming after him. The other thing he does that cracks me up is if I ask him if he has poop in his pants, he'll smile real sly and shake his head no and run away from me. That's how I know he pooped...well, that and the God-awful smell....

They both have discovered if they bend over, they can see everything upside down in between their legs. They think this is the funniest thing and they can entertain themselves for at least a few minutes doing this.

It seems like everyday they are discovering something new, which is amazing to watch. Garrett finally realized if he takes 2 blocks and hits them together that they make a loud noise. So now he walks around the house banging things together.

Well, I gotta wrap this up because as I write this, Cole and Bella have dumped the balls from the ball pit all over the house....it's mind boggling how two 3 yr olds can create such mayhem in just a matter of minutes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Putting things into perspective....

Yesterday, a friend of mine lost her son. He and his twin brother were born at 31 weeks and at the young age of 4 months, Jack came down with an infection in his heart and needed a transplant. Recently, my friend, Robin, and her husband learned that Jack's transplanted heart was also failing and he would need another transplant. He was at the top of the list but apparently it didn't happen soon enough for him. Jack died yesterday just 2 months shy of his 4th birthday.

My heart breaks for what his family is going through, my heart breaks for Jack's twin brother. Those of us who have multiples understand the strong bond between them and I would imagine that his twin will always feel some kind of void. I can't imagine either of my sets of twins losing their twin. The pain and grief is unimaginable.

The other day I posted about how rough a day I had with the kids. But when I learned of Jack's death, I felt ashamed for my complaints. It fails in comparison to what Robin and her family are going through. Yesterday I hugged each of my kids a little bit tighter than normal. I can't say enough prayers for Robin, Todd and Cooper....I can't even begin to imagine the pain they are feeling.

If you could include them in your prayers, I know it would be appreciated. The link to Jack's website is at the end of this post if you'd like to read more about him. He was a special little boy who touched so many lives.

http://www.caringbridge.org/mn/corboboys/index.htm

Friday, April 11, 2008

I'm still tired...follow up to yesterday....

I posted yesterday while the babies were taking their afternoon nap and Cole and Bella were "supposed" to be watching a movie. Right after I was done posting, Cole came over and asked for some more fig newtons. He had already had 8.....I can't even eat 8 fig newtons in one sitting. So I told him he could have only 1 more and that was it (Good God, with that much fig in him, the boy is gonna be crapping for days on end as it is). He flew off the handle and started screaming at me "I want 3 more". 3??? Why 3??? I had no idea but I figured he was doing it to push my buttons, which was working quite well. I handed him 1 fig newton and told him that was it....after that, he could have an apple or some fruit but no more fig newtons. He totally lost it, started screaming even louder and then threw the fig newton at me! All I could think was "what happened to my sweet little babies who used to look at me like I hung the moon?"....oh yeah, they're preschoolers now....he ended up on time out. And he continued to cry for the next 45 minutes, saying how mean I am, how he doesn't like me anymore, how he wants me to go back to work and for daddy to quit his job and stay home with them (hmmmm, I was thinking "now that's not a bad idea, kiddo")....finally I dialed Tim's cell phone and told Cole "why don't you call Daddy and tell him how horrible your day's been" and he did. He cried into the phone trying to tell Tim how mean I am, how horrible I am...yadda, yadda, yadda....Tim had no clue what he was saying and he finally said "Sweetie, what is wrong with him?" and I said "he wants 3 more fig newtons and I only offered him 1 more and now he's having a cow..." All Tim could do was laugh and say he'd be home soon. Soon??? Soon was in about 3 more hours....I don't think Tim understands the concept of "soon". Does he realize that 3 more hours is really 180 minutes that go by slower than molasses??? Maybe 3 hours passes quickly for him but it certainly doesn't for me.

Finally, at some point, Cole got tired of crying and he finally laid his head on my lap and said "I don't wanna cry anymore". I guess there is some validity to ignoring children when they're in meltdown mode. The babies were up from their naps by now and happy as little clams so while I had them eat their snack, I made brownies with Cole and Bella. They were actually really good about taking turns pouring and stirring and finally the brownies were in the oven....and then we went out in the backyard to play.

They fought over the swings, which I'm not sure why because we have 2 swings. They were mad at me that I wouldn't push them higher ("because it's not safe"..."we don't care...push us higher NOW"). When did they become Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde before my eyes? Weren't they just happily and playfully making brownies with me in the kitchen a few minutes before this??

After blowing bubbles with them and watching them fight yet again over the 10 different bubble blowers they have, I made them all come inside. I had to get dinner finished anyway....I had chicken going in the crock pot all day and I needed to throw some biscuits in there to make dumplings. Bella wanted to help me so I let her....then she must have turned the crockpot off when I was washing my hands (right next to her!!!)....it was maybe about 15 minutes later when I noticed the crockpot felt cooler and I saw it had been turned off. OMFG!!!! How much worse can this day get? So dinner clearly wasn't gonna be done in time to eat it.

By this time, Tim came home and I told him about dinner....I asked him to make some macaroni and cheese for the kids and told him I was going out for about an hour to take some space. Bella got all sad and I told her "Mommy needs another time out" and she said "but why? Did you say bad words?" and I said "no, but Mommy is taking her punishment before she does the crime" and I said that more for Tim's sake than her sake, obviously. Tim just laughed....I said to him "no, I'm serious...I could easily wring their necks right now with my bare hands so I'm just gonna step away for a little while, go to Barnes and Noble and chill out with a magazine for about an hour and then I'll come home". He was totally cool with it...I think he realizes now that when I say I'm unhappy and need to take a break, that he needs to step up or life is pretty much gonna suck for him. His answer to everything is "oh, we just need to have sex...you just need to blow off some steam". Ummm....no.....that's not exactly my idea of a break....that's just more work for me with someone else hanging all over me, even if it's him and not the kids, it's still someone else needing something from me.

So I did...I left....for only an hour but it was enough time for me to calm down and gather myself and focus on something else other than taking care of the kids. When I came home, Tim was upstairs putting the babies to bed and Cole and Bella were in the family room. Bella said "Mommy, you're home!!! Did you take your time out in your car?"

Today I'm doing better....they're off at preschool today but they didn't want to go. I told them "you pretty much would have to be bleeding from your eyes for me to let you stay home today, after the day we had yesterday". They both sulked but went to school. And I finally got to focus on the babies, who I felt were pretty much on their own yesterday with all the focus being on Cole and Bella with the way they were behaving.

I keep reminding myself that this stage with the kids is only temporary...we're at an awkward stage where they all still need for me one thing or another. And the problem is, as I've been saying all along, I'm only 1 person trying to take care of the needs of 4 children. When I start to think "I can't do this", I think of the other moms of multiple multiples that I know and realize some of them have it more challenging than I do...a couple of them have their sets of twins only 13 months apart!!! Soon enough, Cole and Bella will be more independent and able to do more things for themselves and the babies will too...and I won't feel like it's a constant juggling act for me. At lunch time, I ran around the kitchen like a chicken with my head cut off, fetching juice for one child, cleaning up the spill on the floor from another child, making sure the babies food was replenished on their trays each time they ate what I put on there, making sure they were drinking their milk, fetching more juice after yet another spill...and then after the lunchtime loop is the diaper change/bathroom loop...it's like Groundhog day over and over and over again.

But it is just temporary....this is probably the hardest time I'll ever experience with the kids (well, maybe....parents of teenagers assure me that the teenage years are gonna kick my ass). During the roughest points, I tell myself that before I know it, they'll all be off to college and I'll long for these crazy, chaotic days again. I know I will, as crazy as it seems to believe now...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Today, I'm tired....

And this is one reason I'm tired....look at them! Look at how happy and content they look covered in broccoli and spaghetti sauce. They both had broccoli in their diapers, up their noses, spaghetti sauce in their hair...


Anyway, so I'm just feeling very tired these days. Now that Cole and Bella are starting to discontinue their naps, on the days their home from preschool, it's a long 13 hour day for me. This morning, I took them all to the park...I gave Cole and Bella 2 choices....ride their bikes to the park or we could drive. Of course each of them chose something different. Finally, the both decided to ride their scooters...that wasn't even an option but by this time I was just tired of arguing with them and the babies were freaking out b/c they just wanted to get going. I warned them both that riding their scooters was going to be very exhausting but they both insisted....halfway to the park, Bella said "I can't go anymore" so I had to push the stroller with one hand and pull her along on her scooter. Then Cole said "I'm too tired"....I pretty much wanted to have a meltdown right there on the spot. Finally, we made it to the park...25 minutes later (it's normally a 10-15 minute walk, if even that). So I get the babies out of the stroller to play on their beloved climbing structure and I see Cole go hide behind a bench and bend over....I'm sure he's pooping in his pants. Dammit....I asked him before we left he had to poop and he said no. Then Bella comes up to me and says she has to poop....so I get the babies back in the stroller and off we go to the dirty, disgusting bathroom that has no soap...both of them sit on the toilets and then say "um, I don't have to go now"....I really wanted to rip both their heads off. I had them clean their hands with antibacterial wipes and head back to the playground....
that left them only 10 minutes to play before we had to head back home for lunch. Then Cole kicked Bella in the face for no reason that I could tell and I walked up to them as calmly as I could and, through gritted teeth, said "we are going home NOW....get your butt on your scooter". I think the wild, crazy look in my eyes must have been pretty easy to read considering how fast they got their bike helmets on and hopped on their scooters.
Now the babies are napping and Cole and Bella are watching a movie while I have a "time out". I told them on the way home from the park (as I took turns pulling them each on their freakin scooters) that after lunch while the babies napped, Mommy needed a time out...they kept saying "but why?"....I just kept saying "because Mommy is very tired". Again "but why?".....
I don't really have the energy to go anywhere this afternoon with them, even though it's a gorgeous day out. Cole and Bella want to make water balloons and then pop them in the grass so we may do that. I was thinking more along the lines of making oatmeal cookies....I really need to go to Costco but every time I think about dragging all 4 of them with me, I feel like I might just go insane. The babies actually are very good and love outings...Cole and Bella fight like cats and dogs. It's funny b/c people always come up to me when I have all 4 of them out by myself somewhere and they think the babies are the ones who must be overwhelming for me....but it's really the 3 yr olds who try my patience every minute of the day. A nurse at our pedi's office last week asked me "do you ever get a break?" and I said "having to care for just the little ones is my break"....honestly, the babies are EASY compared to Cole and Bella. I feel bad for saying that but it's true. They are both just so strong willed and full of opinions these days...I love that they are such strong, spirited individuals but some days I wish they would just give me a break and do what I say without asking so many questions or challenging me on everything.
So yeah, today I'm tired....I've been fantasizing that I can actually get away somewhere all by myself for a week and do nothing but read books and sleep. Somewhere on the beach, where it's really warm and the air smells of salt and ocean, where I hear nothing but the breeze of the air, the sound of the waves crashing against the shore and seagulls flying in the air.....but for now I'll have to settle for the smell of poop and the sound of little children screaming and whining and asking "but why?".....I do love being a mother more than anything but there are days like this where I just need a break to re-focus and re-energize.

Monday, April 7, 2008

To wean or not to wean...that is the question....

I have no more refills on my Wellbutrin and Tamazapam scrips. I know I can get another refill on both if I contact the psychiatrist who prescribed them for me....well, maybe not the sleeping pills because those were only meant to be a temporary fix for a temporary problem. But as I was warned, they have become an addiction. I seriously believe I need them in order to get a good night's sleep. When I had a cold a few weeks ago, I skipped taking the Tamazapam so I could take a cold pill to help me with congestion and I was a horrible mess during those days following.

As far as the Wellbutrin, I wonder how I'm supposed to know if I'm ready to wean off of them....maybe I'll just be on them forever?? Initially, my dr prescribed it for my PPD....it took a while for me to feel the difference and even then my dr had to play around with the dosage until I could start feeling more balanced. I'm doing well....I very rarely stress about things....I can't remember the last time I was actually driven to tears out of frustration or feeling overwhelmed....and, most importantly, I can't recall the last time I had an intrusive thought in the form of wanting to harm myself or the kids. I feel like that's the most important thing because it was incredibly scary to have those thoughts....I had no control over them. They would just randomly pop into my head and then I'd obsess about the thought, wondering what the hell was wrong with me.

Needless to say, I'm scared shitless to stop the meds....I'm so scared of going back to that dark, ugly place again. I had Garrett and Landon over a year ago so technically my hormones should be normal again....but I'm scared to test the waters I guess. I like who I am on the meds....I feel like I'm a better mother, a more productive, energetic and spirited mother. I like the fact that I don't dread each day....I like the fact that I can have fun with the kids and not have to fake every single smile....I like that I'm interested in socializing with friends and other moms (I even have a playdate scheduled for tomorrow, which is something I had avoided for so long!)....I like that my head feels clear and I can think straight, even when all the kids are whining about one thing or another. I'm rational and composed now.

So I guess, for now, I'll contact the psychiatrist and get another refill....I can't afford to have a breakdown now or to slip slowly back into depression again. Or maybe it would happen fast. Things spiraled out of control for me pretty quickly initially when I was diagnosed with PPD. Such a scary time for me...and for Tim and the kids.

Aside from that, things are going well. I took Garrett and Landon to the park 2 times today...the weather was just so beautiful and they are so much happier when they are outdoors and not cooped up inside with the same old boring toys. I had to laugh this evening while I was cooking dinner, Cole and Bella wanted to help as usual. Cole saw that I was cutting up zucchini to put in the spaghetti sauce and he said "I'm not eating that...I don't like zucchini" and I said "that's fine, you don't have to eat it then", as I giggled to myself because I had grated some zucchini earlier and threw it in the turkey meatballs when they weren't looking!! HAHAHAHAHA!! And then he gobbled up the meatballs saying "yum, these are good" but he picked out all the pieces of zucchini in the sauce. I'm so evil....I actually enjoy pulling one over on my kids....I will get them to eat their veggies one way or another dammit!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Who the hell is "Crappy-Doo"?

Cole asked me the other day if he could watch tv...he said "I wanna watch Crappy Doo". I had to ask him repeatedly "what show is that?" I kept insisting he had the name wrong but he kept saying "no, it's Crappy Doo". I had to really think about this because there are some wierd shows out there, like Boobah and Yo Gabba Gabba (which the kids are nuts about, BTW). I'm thinking "there can't seriously be a tv show on called 'Crappy Doo'???".....well, turns out he was talking about Scooby Doo. He had seen Scrappy Doo on one of the shows apparently. And who let him watch Scooby Doo?? Do I even need to say?? At least I have the kids watch educational shows....but Tim let's them watch Scooby Doo where these kids chase a bunch of scary ghosts and monsters on each episode. Now I see why Bella climbs into bed with me every night claiming monsters are watching her from her closet. And she's still freaked out by Elmo, claiming "Elmo's scary".

Speaking of tv shows, I know it's bad when I'm trying to convince the babies to try a new food and I start singing "try it, you'll like it" or when Landon walks halfway across the room and stumbles and I start singing "keep trying, keep trying, don't give up, never give up"....courtesy of Yo Gabba Gabba. These songs actually run through my head 24 hours a day....or the Super Why song that Cole and Bella sing all the time. Or the song at the end of the Hip Hop Harry show....no more Fergie or Gwen Stefani for me....Yo Gabba Gabba rocks.

So we took the kids to the park yesterday and at first we were the only family there...but as others would arrive, Garrett would walk up to them and babble to them and begin to rummage through their diaper bags, strollers, or whatever he could get his little hands on. He was hilarious....all the other moms thought he was adorable. My little future Wal-mart greeter....he makes his mama proud. And if any of the kids brought a bike into the park, he'd immediately go up to the bike and check it out. This kid LOVES bikes. A long time ago I thought it would be cute to throw him up on Cole's big boy bike and wheel him along and he's been obsessed ever since. Tim took all the kids to the bike store yesterday morning to get a new part for my bike and I said "be careful with Garrett...you're gonna have a hard time getting him to leave the store". When he came home, he said the minute they walked into the store, there was a little bike at the front of the shop that caught Garrett's attention and Tim couldn't pry him away from it. So he tells me "I asked Bella to keep an eye on him so I could go up the desk and get the part"....I was like "WHAT?? You asked our 3 yr old to watch our 1 yr old in a store that has a very busy street just a few feet away from the opening of the door???"....then he looks at me like "oh, did that seem like a bad idea??" Good God!! Or maybe it's just that as a mother, I tend to over-analyze things to death. I would've taken the 10 minutes it takes to get the babies out of the car, load them into the stroller, get Cole and Bella out of the car, threaten their lives if they dare to even think about walking away from me, only to go into the store for maybe 3 minutes....but Tim....no, he just got all the kids out, let them walk into the bike store and then practically said "have a great time wandering around the store while Daddy gets the part he needs"....he had no worries in the world. In the meantime, just hearing how the event went down almost gave me a heart attack.

I've been trying for weeks now to get a pic of all 4 kids together...it's virtually impossible. The babies don't wanna hold still, Cole and Bella don't wanna sit next to one another, someone's always crying....this last time, I thought I finally had it all together until Cole held out his finger and said "eeeeeww, I have a booger". In just that tiny minute that my attention was taken away, everyone bolted from the scene with me yelling after them "in the future when you all wanna know why there are NO pictures of the 4 of you together, I'll remind you that I made several attempts". They could've cared less....I've eaten their dust by that time.

Here's my most recent attempt....




Yeah, doesn't that look like it was an extremely painful experience?? But who was it more painful for....them or me?

And then of course I have to post these pics of Landon....both boys love anything that has doors that open. The minute they hear the dishwasher open, they make a beeline for it and try to climb in. Or they start unloading whatever I've just loaded into the dishwasher...thanks for the help, boys.



I think one of the reasons Bella won't sit still for the camera is because she wants to be the one taking the picture. She's very into cameras and taking pictures...everytime she visits with my in-laws, they buy her a disposable camera to take pics of anything she wants and they develop the film for her and she gets a kick out of it. Same with our digital camera...she could spend a whole day snapping pics and looking at at her "art work". Here's a pic that she wanted to take of me and Cole....poor Cole was pouting because he wanted to take a picture and Bella refused to give him the camera. I really didn't want to be in the picture either because I thought I looked like crap but Bella said "Mommy, you look good...really....now stand still, smile and let me take your picture"...spoken like a true professional, huh?


Friday, April 4, 2008

12-month checkup

Garrett and Landon had their 12-month check-up today...and they're doing well, right on target. Here are the stats:

Landon:
weight - 24 lbs
height - 28 1/4 inches

Garrett:
weight - 22 lbs, 8 oz
height - 28 inches

I think the nurse must have been a little off on their height b/c Garrett seems at least an inch shorter than Landon. Dr Chou checked their ears and said they look good...I actually breathed a sigh of relief on that one. We've been going round and round with ear infections in the last month with both of them and I'm glad to see we're finally on the mend.

When it came time to discuss vaccinations, I told Dr C that I wanted to wait at least a few more weeks to get them done b/c the boys have been on antibiotics repeatedly over the last month and I want them to be at 100% before we do vaccines. And then I asked him which ones they do at 12 mos and he said the MMR, Prevnar and chicken pox. I told him I want to hold off on the MMR and asked him if we could separate the shots out and he said his office doesn't do that but he was fine with me waiting. I want to wait until the boys are 2 yrs old but he strongly recommended having it done by the time they're 18 months old. Just with the boys being premature and the fact that they're boys (making them more prone to autism) makes me want to wait as long as I can for that specific vaccine. He was concerned that I wasn't going to do it at all but I'm fine with the vaccine, I just wanna wait awhile longer. I also told him that I want to spread out the vaccines so they're not getting a bunch all at once and he was fine with that too and said he'd note it in our medical file so when I come in for the shots, the nurses will know what's going on.

I felt so relieved after talking to him about it, even though he's always been very respectful of my views and opinions, I just wasn't sure how he was gonna react. Then he threw me for a loop by saying he's leaving in June and we'll have to find another pediatrician...ugh!! It's so hard to find a good pediatrician and we've been very lucky to have had the 2 that we've had. We loved Dr Aguilar, who was Cole and Bella's first pediatrician and he also 2nd as a dermatologist so he really helped us get through the rough times with Bella's hemangioma. But when he left suddenly, he recommended Dr Chou to us and we've been with him ever since. It's almost like losing a close friend in a way...we've just really come to depend on him for such good medical care for our children and I trust him completely. I do love his staff though so I'm hoping we can find another pedi in his office that we trust just as much.

I taught Garrett how to clap today....it's so amazing watching them learn new things. He was sitting in his high chair and rubbing his hands together for some reason and I clapped my hands and said "Garrett, clap your hands too" and he did it!! After he finished his snack, we were playing on the floor and he would keep running up to me and clap his hands and then run away laughing. When he and Landon are feeling well, they are the happiest, most fun babies. I'm really enjoying my time with them, even more so than I did with Cole and Bella at this stage probably b/c I was so stressed out being a first time parent and not knowing what to expect.

Speaking of Bella, we had the funniest conversation tonight. I was laying on her bed while Tim read her and Cole a bedtime story and she came over to me and handed me her baby doll:

Bella: Mommy, this is my daughter...do you wanna know what her name is?
Me: Sure, what's her name?
Bella: Tori with the long hair
Me: That's her name? Tori with the long hair?
Bella: Yeah, I like the name Michelle too but she's Tori with the long hair
Me: That's a nice name...you could call her Tori Michelle if you like both names
Bella: No, she's just Tori with the long hair
Me: Oh okay, she's very pretty, like you
Bella: Yeah she is....and you know what, if I break her, I can get another daughter from over there (she points to her doll crib where she has 3 other baby dolls)
Me: But you're careful with her...you won't break her
Bella: I'll try not to but if I do break her, I'll just get another one. I need you to feed her a bottle because I'm busy...here (she hands me a pretend bottle)
Me: Okay, I'll feed her
Bella: And don't forget to burp her and don't let her puke all over you because then you'll smell like puke and that's disgusting. Puke is chunky and gross and it smells badder than farts
Me: But why aren't you feeding her if she's your daughter?
Bella: Because you need a baby too
Me: I'm done with babies...I need another baby like I need a hole in my head
Bella: Why do you want a hole in your head? What are you talking about? Just feed Tori with the long hair and don't ask any more questions....and don't break her...and don't let her puke on you

OMG, she cracks me up. And the funniest part is that she's so serious when she's having these conversations with me. I really should record some of them b/c even though I'm writing a lot of the things she says down, it's just not the same as actually hearing her in person.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Let's play a game of tag-team....

So Tim and I cleared the air about my birthday at our therapy session yesterday. I felt bad about not being more clear with him about what would make me happy and he felt bad about not doing anything. Even our therapist agreed that Tim screwed up (and the therapist is a MAN!!)...he said "Dude, you should have at least called a couple of her good friends and asked them for ideas". Tim agreed in the future, even if I say "oh I don't want anything in particular" that I do in fact still want to be made to feel special on my birthday. Our therapist told him he has a chance to make it up to me with Mother's Day coming up....so we'll see.

As for the tag teaming, Cole and Bella are at it again. They're always conspiring to get away with something...I always seem to catch them whispering to one another about this or that and smiling mischievously, as if they just solved figured out how to pull off the crime of the century. It's a total shit-eating grin too like "hahahaha, this is gonna be our BEST antic yet...Mommy will never know what hit her...hahahahaa".

For instance, a little while ago, they wanted to play with the playdough that I smartly keep in a cabinet in the laundry room high up on a shelf where they can't reach (unless they pull the stepstool up to the counter...yeah, can you already see where this is going?)

So Cole asks if they can play with the playdough and I told them no since I was getting the babies up from their nap in about 10 minutes and I didn't wanna deal with the mess if they only had a few minutes to play with it. Once the babies were up, we were gonna go to Target to pick up some things and then go look at the animals at PetSmart (our form of free entertainment!). It didn't matter that I told them no, apparently....once I was in the kitchen and cleaning up the counters from the mess that breakfast left, I heard whispering between them. I could barely make out Bella saying "Cole, let's go over to the baby gate and open it"....they both made they're way over to the CHILD-PROOF baby gate and managed to both put their feet on the pedal that pushes the door open. With enough weight, they were able to get that open. Then I could barely hear Bella muttering something to Cole like "go get the stepstool and push it over to the counter". Next thing I know, I see Bella just about to stand up on the counter and open the cabinet that has the playdough in it. This is about the time I yelled "hey you two...get down from there...I said no playdough".

Do you think that was enough to deter them? No...they continued to conspire to find a way to get the playdough. All they do all day long is tag-team me...I say no to something and then they spend the next few minutes working up a plan to do it anyway somehow. I can only imagine how bad it's gonna be once Garrett and Landon are old enough to get in on the planning....4 against 1....I better start gearing up for it now, mentally and physically.

Speaking of Garrett and Landon, they are the best babies....well, toddlers now I suppose. They definitely have different personalities with Garrett being the feisty, vocal one and Landon being the easy, laid-back one. We're down to 1 bottle a day, which is the bedtime bottle. We're now doing milk in sippies for breakfast and lunch...yeah! It was a harder transition than I thought it would be but we're muddling through. They eat everything and anything but they mostly love fruit. Apples, pears, pineapple, oranges, bananas, strawberries, peaches....it's the first thing they'll gobble up on their plate before anything else. Landon loves cheese too. Both of them really enjoy being outdoors and on most afternoons when the weather is nice I'll take all of the kids to the park and just let them run free. I need to take my camera sometime and get some pics of them playing. One of their favorite things at the park is the toddler climbing structure...Garrett likes to climb to the top and then just hang out. But Landon is a risk-taker...he flings himself down the slide in any position he can manage, laughing the whole way down. And then he gets up and walks back over to the steps and climbs right back up and flings himself down the slide over and over and over. Oh and they also eat dirt....they refuse to eat ritz crackers with peanut butter but they'll eat dirt. I'll never figure that out. How can dirt taste good?? And they also like putting those little bark pieces in their mouths...Landon always chomps on them and then spits them out. Why bother? I handed him some cheerios the other day when he did this and he pushed my hand away and shoved more bark into his mouth. When Cole and Bella were babies, this would have totally freaked me out and I would've been rinsing their mouths out and doing everything short of wiping antibacterial sanitizers over their tongues. But with these guys, I'm like "oh well...." It's amazing how being a 2nd time-around parent changes you....the things that I was so anal about before are simply no big deal to me now.

Well, I got about 50 water balloons to fill up....I made the mistake of telling Cole and Bella they could pick anything they wanted out of the dollar bins at Target and they both picked water balloons. Once the babies are up from their afternoon nap, we're gonna head to the park and have a water balloon fight. This should get me through until dinner time and then Tim comes home...then tomorrow's Friday...yeah!!!! And I'm tired, tired, and even more tired than that....if that's possible. At Target today a woman came up to me and asked "are these all yours?", pointing at the kids and I said yes. And her eyes opened wide and she said "oh my....are you gonna have anymore?" and I said "no, I think I've done my fair share of populating the earth"....I'm just plain tired....

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Well, happy freakin birthday to me....

Why is that if we want something from our husbands, we actually have to come right out and spell it out for them??? It's like if I want Tim to say the right things or do the right things, I need to write a script for him. I used to watch soap operas with jealousy thinking all those actors were so romantic until I realized that someone else was writing their lines and they were probably crappy husbands as well. Or maybe not but it certainly made me feel better to think that....

So today I turn 39....I can't believe I'm almost at the end of the 30th decade. I guess I don't picture myself being almost 40. I don't feel that old...well, sometimes I do, particularly when I'm at the park and I see all those young moms with the energy of the Energizer Bunny on crack chasing after their kids. Me?? I'm panting and huffing and puffing, screaming to my kids who are already 3 miles ahead of me "wait for the old fart, please".

Tim asked me the other day what I wanted for my birthday. It was my mistake to assume that he'd actually think of something on his own. I simply said "I don't know...I can't think of anything in particular". But I did mention that I was going to use the birthday $$ my dad sent me to have my hair highlighted. I guess I should've said to Tim "What I'd like is for you to take a couple hours off from work and stay with the kids so I can go get my hair highlighted on my birthday and maybe go out to lunch with my sister", who actually did call and offer to take me to lunch but figuring it would be too much work with all 4 kids, she's bringing lunch to me at home.

I don't understand why Tim thinks birthday presents have to be about material items. I don't want anything in particular, except to feel special. That's what birthdays are all about...celebrating your life and making you feel special, just this one day of the year (oh and Mother's Day, which he managed to royally screw up for me last year by again not planning anything or even saying "Happy Mother's Day"). Is it really too much for him to think of asking someone to watch the kids so maybe HE could take me out for lunch or dinner? Or offering to watch the kids so I can get out by myself for a little while?

He actually left for work this morning without even saying he was leaving. He said "happy birthday" and then walked out the door. No goodbye, no "don't worry about cooking dinner tonight, let me get take out so you don't have to cook"....nope...nada...zilch...and to think, I was actually planning on throwing him a surprise b-day party this year for his 40th birthday....I'm honestly second guessing my good intentions now.

And has my mother even bothered to call to wish me a happy birthday? No...she's usually the first one to call me bright and early. But not this year....I really think she forgot. But how does one actually forget their child's birthday??? Is it really possible?? I guess I was hoping she'd call and say "hey, would you like me to come over and help you with the kids today?".

Maybe it's my fault for having high hopes or even high expectations of my loved ones. Is it bad that I want to feel special just for one freakin day of the year? The only ones that seem excited about my birthday are Cole and Bella, who keep asking me to share their birthday with them. Kinda funny because I'm always telling them they share their birthday because their twins. Bella even keeps saying "Mommy, listen to my words...you have to share your birthday with me and if you don't I'm gonna take your birthday away and you'll never have it again". I want to say to her "please, be my guest...then I won't have to feel like shit that even my own mom doesn't think my birthday is special".

Oh woe is me....break out the violin.....

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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