Saturday, May 31, 2008

A diva in the making....

Yes, those are Bella's hands with fake nails...ugh! My mom thought it would be cute to buy some little girlie-girl fake nails for her and you'd think my mom had handed Bella a million donuts or something...she was so excited and immediately wanted to put them on. Then she walked around in total diva fashion, being careful that the nails didn't fall off. The nails finally fell off and I managed to gather them all up and toss them when she wasn't home one day. I was hoping she'd forget about them but last night she said to me "hey Mommy, I need new nails" and then she waved her hands in my face. The irony here is that my mom wouldn't even let me wear nailpolish until I was 16 yrs old....yes, 16 yrs old!! I don't even know what her reasoning was, except to maybe embarrass me in front of my friends when I had a slumber party when I was 12 and one of my friends brought over a bunch of different polishes for us to try and my mom walked in the room, gasped at the sight of the nail polish, and said "absolutely not....no nail polish until you're 16 yrs old"....talk about wanting the ground to open up and swallow you whole. Now that I think back, I think that was the last time those 2 friends hung out with me.

But my mom has no problems buying fake nails for my 3 yr old daughter...go figure! So my little girl is already training to be a diva....she needs new fake nails ("with bright red polish this time") and she'd like to accompany me next time I get a pedicure.

The dr's appt for the boys went well yesterday...I have to say how amazed I was at how well they behaved. They are very well behaved boys actually, for the most part, but they're not ones in favor of being confined in a stroller for longer than 5 minutes (unless we're actually walking and the stroller is moving). But for them to sit perfectly still in a motionless stroller is completely unheard of. However, yesterday, they sat still like little dolls....many people commented on how well-behaved and quiet they were. I knew they didn't feel well for that exact reason...they were too still and too quiet. But they let the dr poke and prod them and turns out Garrett has an infected left ear...surprise, surprise?? No, not really...I had a feeling since he's prone to ear infections. So he gets a scrip of antibiotics...yet again. The dr couldn't find anything wrong with Landon and was actually surprised that his fevers have been so high, even though he should still have some zithromax in his system from his bout with pneumonia. So we'll keep an eye on Landon...something may be developing or maybe it's just a viral infection somewhere in his little body.

I had to wait a little while at the pharmacy so I entertained them by letting them feed me Honeycombs. They are much more interested in feeding food to someone else than eating the food themselves..they get such a kick out of it. The minute they put a piece of food in my mouth, they laugh hysterically. It's just funny the little things that make them laugh...this morning Bella was wearing her winter gloves (perhaps to cover up her hands since she didn't have any fake nails on) and she told Landon "give me a high-5" and he did but he couldn't stop laughing. There's something about a child's laughter that makes you forget all your problems...it's like pure music to my ears.

Tomorrow we're taking Cole and Bella to Marine World. They've been talking about it for weeks so they're very excited...Bella has already told me all the rides she's gonna go on. We're leaving the babies at home with my mom and stepdad so we'll have more freedom to do things with the older kids. One of Bella's favorite things there is the butterfly exhibit. You walk around this extremely humid glass house where butterflies fly around freely and if you're lucky, one may actually land directly on you. Bella is always sad when this doesn't happen and she walks around all mopy afterwards whining "the butterflies didn't land on me". That's about the time we buy her cotton candy and that helps her snap out of her depression over the butterflies. Cole's favorite thing is Thomas town...where we ride Thomas over and over and over and over....until we can finally convince him to go over to the shark exhibit.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sickness, fevers and nightmares...oh my!

When is all this freakin illness gonna end in our house??? I thought Landon was getting better from his bout with pneumonia but yesterday he spiked a fever out of nowhere and he was cranky all evening. Garrett was cranky as well....they both woke up a few times in the night and both woke up in tears this morning. So not typical for my usually happy, outgoing little men. I don't want to go into the weekend not knowing what's going on with them (if anything) so I made an appt with one of our pedi's partners (since he's out today...the nerve of him to take a day off when one of my kids might be sick!!). Bella asked me last night "Mommy, are you sick too?" and I said "Yes, Mommy's sick of you all being sick"...she said "huh? what does that mean"....guess she's a little too young to understand sarcasm at its best.

I just want my kids to go one month without being sick...is that really too much to ask (God, are you listening? Or are you still laughing at me?) I feel bad for being so frustrated about this. But I'm being honest. I feel bad that the kids don't feel well....I'm exhausted....and I'm dying to get out of the house!!! How long can one stare at the same 4 walls before they are clinically diagnosed as insane?

Speaking of insane, a friend of mine who has a foster family agency here in town has called me again to see if I'm interested in coming back to work. He's willing to be flexible with my schedule....and the money would be good. Part of me feels excited about this possiblity....but part of me feels guilty about it. Mainly I don't even know if I want to return to social work/counseling/child advocate etc....it was a little bit easier to do the job when I didn't have kids. I could remain unbiased and sympathetic...but now that I have kids, I just don't think I'd be able to remain unbiased with those bio parents who have abused or neglected their kids. And then of course there's the guilt of having someone else watch my kids so I can return to work....I feel like it's selfish on my part to even have that desire. There's something so thrilling about being the first one to see my children smile, walk, talk....watching them discover something new that I might take for granted, like watching them catch a ladybug in their hands and letting it crawl all over them until it takes flight (and watching in total amazement as they scream "ladybugs can fly???"). I feel like it's such a privilege to stay home with them and be able to enjoy them now at this young age but part of me has a little craving to return to work....guilt, guilt, guilt....

So what's the latest with my munchkins, besides illness all over the place....Cole and Bella are learning so much lately. A friend of mine recommended I buy a DVD made by Leapfrog (or whatever it's called ) named Letter Factory so I did and they watch it every single day and now they recognize all their letters and the sounds that each letter makes. Why am I paying almost $600/month for preschool 3 days a week when they learn more from watching a DVD??? And some of the things that come out of their mouths just throw me for a loop....I don't think a day goes by that they don't ask something that makes me think "um, I better consult ask.com for the answer on that one"....thank God for the internet!!

Garrett and Landon are growing like weeds too....but Landon is obviously the bigger of the two. It's very noticeable when they're standing next to one another. Even though they're still not talking or making many verbalizations that make any sense, I can see their little minds at work. Landon loves to build things and put things together, esp legos. When he sees me bringing the legos out, he comes running over, screaming with excitement. Garrett just loves banging things together so he can hear the different noises they make. He also loves to knock over a tower of blocks that Landon took 10 minutes to stack.

The funny thing about them though is that they NEVER fight. At this point with Cole and Bella, I was pretty much playing referee all the time. They were biting each other, pulling each other's hair, scratching each other...not a day would go by where one of them didn't have a bite mark on some part of their body. And they very rarely listened to me....I'd take them to the park and they'd run away from me and I'd run after them screaming "come back here" while they laughed at me and continued to run. But Garrett and Landon completely listen to everything I say...if they touch something that they shouldn't all I have to do is say "no touching" and they're cool about it (most of the time). If I say "let's go bye bye", they let me put their shoes on and they head to the door, all anxious to leave, whereas with Cole and Bella it would take me 20 minutes to chase them down just to put their shoes on. And cleaning up toys??? These babies are masters!! All I have to say is "clean up, clean up, time to clean up" in a stupid sing-songy voice and they both help me put the toys away.

Well, gotta go get them up from their nap to head to the dr's office...I hate waking them up from a nap....little grumps....

Sunday, May 25, 2008

If I only had the memory of a 3 year old!

This morning the kids wanted to watch Monsters Inc so instead of listening to them whine and nag me about it, I put the movie on for them. Halfway through, Bella starts freaking out about something but I can't understand a word she's saying. Her bottom lip is quivering and she's on the verge of tears and she keeps pointing at the tv where the movie is playing and saying something completely in toddlerese. I finally said "Bella, I can't understand you...stop crying and tell me what's wrong". So she says "Roz didn't talk to me" so I keep saying "what??" and she keeps repeating that Roz didn't talk to her. I said "she's in the movie, how can she talk to you?" and Bella said "no, not in the movie...she didn't talk to me when I saw her". Now I'm starting to become slightly irritated because she obviously knows what she's talking about but I have no freakin clue. We're both becoming increasingly frustrated over this inability to communicate with one another.

Then she says "next time, I want Roz to talk to me" and I said "where did you see Roz?" and she looks at me like I'm a complete idiot and screams "at Disneyland...on the Monsters Inc ride...remember Roz talked to Cole but not me? I want her to talk to me next time". Oh geez...is that all this was about?? Why didn't she just come right out and say that the first time?? Back in November when we took Cole and Bella to Disneyland, they rode the Monsters Inc ride at California Adventure and at the end of the ride, the cars stop and Roz talks to the "person in the 3rd row"...well, that happened to be Cole. So Cole felt honored that Roz spoke with him and Bella was in tears the rest of the day that Roz ignored her. She STILL remembers this obviously. Will this be something she talks about with her therapist in the future?? Probably and I'm sure she'll find some way to pin the blame on me..."my mom made me get in the 2nd row with her but I wanted to get in the 3rd row so it's all her fault and I've never forgiven her for it".

In the meantime, Landon is just now starting to feel better from his bout with pneumona but he still wants to be held 24/7. Funny thing is he's fine around Tim but the minute he sees me, he's running to me with arms outstretched and whining "uh, uh, uh", which I'm assuming means "up".

The last 3 days Cole has had a fever...go figure! He was starting to get better too but then he came down with a fever and it stuck around for the last few days. There seems to be no other symptoms so I'm just betting as soon as the fever breaks, he'll break out into a wierd rash....and then the illness cycle will start all over again. I don't know what's worse...having all 4 kids sick at the same time or having them get sick 1 by 1. The advantage of having them all sick at the same time is that it lasts about a week and then everyone's healthy again but dealing with 4 sick kids at the same time is NOT fun...I don't recommend that to anyone...well, unless you want the fast pass to the nut house.

I've been trying to really pay attention to the foods I've been buying that my kids are eating. In all my spare time (yeah, that was meant as a joke), I've been reading about pesticides, toxings, chemicals, perservatives, additives, high fructose corn syrup.....all the kinds of things shouldn't be eating but have been eating. I've been reading labels on the boxes of things I've been buying and I'm learning that it's extremely difficult to avoid most of these things....if something doesn't have one thing, it has another. I've been buying some new things at Trader Joe's, with the hopes that the kids would say "Mommy, this is the best tasting food ever" but their little taste buds are used to the junk and so I guess it'll take some time to retrain them to like healthier versions of the foods they eat. The natural peanut butter and whole grain bread went over like a fart in church....so I'm working on organic cereal without all the crap in it...Bella and the babies ate some this morning...yeah! Cole took one look at it and ran away from me so I made myself feel better by telling myself "well, he's been sick...he'll eat it when he's feeling better". This is gonna be a long, grueling process....but I gotta do what I gotta do and hope that it's one more things my kids thank me for in the future instead of having one more thing to bitch about in future therapy sessions...."the reason we all have eating disorders is because our mom suddenly went nutso on us and refused to buy Apple Jacks and peanut butter loaded with sugar and hydrogenated oils...."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Do you ever get the feeling that God is testing you?

That's how I've been feeling the last few days. I seriously think God is testing me...I always refer to the saying "God doesn't give us more than we can handle" but I'm starting to think I'm wrong on that one. The kid have been sick, my hormones are causing horrible mood swings, and there's lots of family drama to top it all off. I figure I'll tackle the things I can control, like the family drama...I've adopted a "just let it roll of my back" attitude about it all. I'm just keeping my mouth shut, keeping my opinion to my self and not stirring the pot anymore than it's already been stirred.

The kids being sick...well, I can't really control that but it's been very stressful, especially because Tim's been out of town on business. What a really crappy time for him to be gone, right? I ended up taking Landon to the pedi yesterday because he's had a fever for the last 3 days and he started wheezing Tuesday morning...the pedi thought it was just a typical cold but he sent him for a chest x-ray to make sure it wasn't anything more than that. Turns out it's more than a cold, it's pneumonia!! My poor little chicken baby! He and Cole are always gonna be the ones who get the worst of everything...Landon just got over RSV like a month ago and now he has pneumonia. So he's being treated with antibiotics and lots of TLC and I can tell after just one day of being on the meds, he's doing better. He's starting to eat now...he went a good 24 hours without eating anything, which was concerning to me. And he didn't sleep...how can a baby go for days on end without sleep??? I was ready to pull my hair out....and then I would feel extremely guilty because he's sick and he can't help it, he just wants to be held and feel comforted, which under normal circumstances would be fine but I was all alone with all 4 kids, who are all sick! On Tuesday and Wednesday, I was pretty much running around like a chicken with my head cut off all day taking care of them...and at one point I forgot who had what medicine when and that really threw me for a loop. I started to write things down from that point.....it just sucked, plain and simple.

My hormones....what a mess! I'm convinced now that maybe I'm no longer suffering from depression but maybe a simple case of hormonal imbalance. Well, I guess that wouldn't be considered "simple" but at least I'd know what the hell is going on with me. I was doing fine for awhile there but now I just feel "off" again....I have horrible mood swings, I'm in a rage over the littlest things, my skin is incredibly dry to the point where it hurts and it's itchy, my hair is falling out in clumps, my tummy hurts all the time (I've dropped 15 pounds in the last month), and that's only the half of it. I won't even getting into the nitty gritty of my screwed up cycles. I started suspecting something was wrong when out of nowhere I just started feeling like crap again, like I did when I was first diagnosed with PPD. And I'm taking the anti-depressant and I was doing fine so I started wondering if it was something more. Perhaps just diving further into peri-menopause?? So I started doing some reading and I think it boils down to hormonal imbalance....and I was happy to learn from all my reading that I don't have to put more medicine into my body to fix it. I have to change my diet in a huge way and start taking more vitamins and supplements. I'm hoping that will be the answer, anyway. I have an appt with my ob/gyn in July to talk more about it...in the meantime, I really need to get in touch with my regular dr for a thyroid panel again. It's been a year since I've had one done and I wouldn't be surprised if that was contributing to some of how I've been feeling.

On a final note, Cole and Bella's preschool promotion was today....not really graduation since they'll still be in preschool next year but it'll be pre-K, the last year before kindergarten. But they're being promoted to the pre-K class from the 3's class so the school made a big deal out of it. At the start of the ceremony, they showed a slide show of pictures taken throughout the school year to the song "A Friend's a Friend Forever" and I was near tears throughout the whole thing. Just seeing how much Cole and Bella have grown in the last year and seeing them with their friends in the pictures...it was heart warming. And then they put on a little performance, singing 3 songs and then getting their little "diplomas"....I can't even begin to imagine how difficult they're high school graduation will be if I get this emotional over a little preschool promotion ceremony. I just can't get over how quickly the last 3.5 years have gone by...and soon my babies will be off to kindergarten in fall 2009.

I have to keep reminding myself to slow down and enjoy this time with them. I often find myself cleaning or doing something that could wait instead of spending quality time with them. The other day I was sweeping the floor and Cole and Bella wanted me to dance with them and I kept saying "in a minute, in a minute". Then it was like a light bulb went off above my head...an Oprah "aha moment"....I better take advantage of this time with them before they're older and they don't want me for a dancing partner anymore. I better take advantage of tucking them in bed and laying with them for 10 minutes until they fall asleep because someday they won't want me laying in bed with them....the time will be upon me soon enough and I don't want to look back and think "I should've spent more time with them instead of cleaning the house". I just need to find a happy balance somewhere because between the 4 of them, I feel like I run an assembly line all day long....the feeding loop, the diaper changing loop, the potty break loop, the nap loop...then the feeding loop happens all over again....but somewhere in there I need to squeeze in some "fun time", even if that means leaving food crumbs on the floor so I can go dance with them!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Cheerio face painting, eating lizards and other fun stuff...

Yes, this is what I do when I'm bored....well, can one actually be bored while caring for 4 kids?? That's one hell of an oxymoron right there - bored SAHM. I gave the boys Cheerios for a snack today and they were taking so long eating that I was actually becoming bored so I started decorating Garrett's face with cheerios. He didn't seem to mind....


A couple weeks ago, Tim bought Cole some fake lizards....he left them out where the babies could get to them. I walked into the room and saw Landon with this hanging out of his mouth and it freaked me out. I started yelling for Cole....I don't know why...did I really think that my 3 yr old son would willingly pry a live lizard out of his little brother's mouth?? I don't know but I certainly wasn't going to. So turns out it was one of the fake lizards but doesn't it look SO real?

This is how Cole entertains himself...by wearing a diaper on his head. Doesn't he look happy about having his picture taken? He looks like he just got caught wearing Mommy's high heels or something....
I love this picture of Garrett. We've decided that he looks way cooler with a mohawk so this is his new look (sometimes...when he actually cooperates and sits still long enough for me to mess with what little hair he has). He loves these sunglasses that actually belong to Cole. Between the mohawk and the sunglasses, I think he looks like a pretty cool little dude.


How thrilled does Bella look in this pic as she's about to leave for preschool? It reminds me of the type of smile that you only see in school pictures. You know...the one where you're in 5th grade and you're wearing some dorky shirt your mom picked out for you and made you wear even though you cried "I look like a dork in this shirt"....the picture where no matter how hard you tried, you just couldn't get that perfect Heather Locklear feathered hair look....and you barely have time to sit down on the stool before the photographer says "smile" and clicks your pic???? Or maybe I'm the only that happened to? I don't know but I have a feeling that a lot of Bella's future school pics are gonna look like this...
So the boys are into climbing, everything and anything. I walked into the kitchen the other day to make their lunch and turned my back for maybe 1 minute...not even 1 minute...and when I looked back over at them, this is what I saw....
Don't they look so proud of themselves? They climbed up on the sofa and then found their way to the end table, where Cole had mistakenly thought he could leave his trains and train track ("so the babies won't mess with them"). I've been telling Cole "don't underestimate what these little guys can do"....but what do I know? I think it may be time to get rid of the end table...


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

My Mother's Day got off to a rocky start, thanks to my MIL. But after tossing and turning and pretty much not sleeping last night stressing over it, I decided that I wasn't about to let her ruin my Mother's Day (or any more holidays for that matter). So instead of venting about her (which I was gonna do), I'm going to focus on the positive!!

I was greeted this morning at 6:30 am by Bella, who came into bed with me and cuddled for about 30 minutes. What a great way to start off Mother's Day! She asked "is it Mother's Day yet?" and I said "yes, today is Mother's Day?" and she said "when? right now?" and I said "yes, all day long" and she hugged me and laid with me for awhile. There's nothing better than laying with your child in total silence while watching them...I just marvel at what perfect creations they are. And isn't it funny how all sleeping children look like such sweet angels...my friend Jen once told me "you know why all children look like angels when they're sleeping? So you don't kill them when they're awake". I think all mothers would agree with that!

The kids and Tim gave me their cards and gifts. Well, Cole and Bella opened my cards and my gifts and then handed them to me. I got a digital picture keychain and Bella sat with me and helped me pick out pictures to put on it. And Tim got me a gift certificate to a spa for a massage...I can hardly wait to use it!!

Tim took care of the kids while I showered....a nice, long, hot leisurely shower where I actually had time to shave my legs...imagine that!!! We took the kids to the neighborhood pool and had a lot of fun! Although they changed the rules this year and they're no longer allowing any children to swim in the pool with swim diapers...WTH?? I'm sure they have good reason...perhaps something happened last year and hence the new rule. But it sure makes it difficult for any parents who have young kids who aren't potty trained. So Tim packed the babies up and walked across the street with them to the park and they played and had fun while I stayed at the pool with Cole and Bella. We swam for a good 3 hours and we were all wiped out and came home and took a nap!

This afternoon I made cookies with Cole and Bella. They're both getting really good at measuring and mixing. Oh and they can both crack eggs perfectly now. I like to think that these cooking/baking experiences will be happy memories for them when they're older. My mom never took the time to teach me how to bake or cook so I'm hoping that not only will these be memories to be treasured but they're also learning a skill they'll need when they are living on their own.

For dinner, Tim had offered to have us all go out to any restaurant I wanted but I just wanted to avoid the crowds so he took all the kids with him to go get take-out. There's a place here in town that has the BEST chicken wings and that's all I wanted so that's what he got me and he and the kids had KFC. Cole wanted to try one of the chicken wings and upon his first bite he said "Yum, that's like really tasty". But then the next chicken wing he said tasted "really creepy". I said "creepy, huh?" and he said "yeah, it's all creepy in my belly". I had no doubt his belly wasn't feeling too good after all the cookie dough he ate while we made cookies.

So all in all, it was a good day. Bella kept making it a point to repeatedly tell me "Happy Mother's Day, Mommy"....so sweet! I just really enjoyed them today and perhaps more so b/c it is Mother's Day and for awhile there a few years ago I wasn't sure I'd ever be celebrating this day as a mother. I feel extremely blessed.

On a sidetrack, Landon can eat with a spoon!!! Both boys have been showing an interest in eating with utensils so the other day instead of me feeding them applesauce I figured I'd just give them a little bowl of it and see what they did with it. I was shocked when Landon fed himself perfectly...very little mess!!! Garrett, on the other hand, wasn't very coordinated with it...so he decided to stick his finger down his throat and puke all over his highchair tray (oh and then he proceeded to play with it). He's been doing that lately...I must have the only 14-month old bulimic.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mom, do I have to tell you again?

So Cole has taken the big step of giving his paci to the Paci Fairy...finally!! This happened last week when I realized his paci had a huge hole in it and it just wasn't safe for him to be using anymore. I told him the paci fairy would come get his paci while he slept that night and she'd leave him a present, along with a nice note, and that she'd fix his paci up nice and new for a new baby who needs it. That's gone well but every once in awhile he does ask to "borrow" one of Garrett's paci's and we have to tell him no.

I had a funny conversation with Bella this morning and I had to write it down, while it was still fresh in my mind b/c it was just so funny.

Bella: Mommy, my paci has a hole in it so I think I need to have the paci fairy come and get it.

Me: Okay, we'll leave it for her tonight.

Bella: Well, where is she now? Can we call her?

Me: No, she's resting right now after a long night of collecting pacis from other big kids.

Bella: Where does she live?

Me: Where do YOU think she lives? (I actually only said this b/c I had no freakin clue what to say...um, with Santa Claus when Mrs Claus is on vacation??)

Bella: I don't know WHERE she lives but I know she sleeps on the floor.

Me: She sleeps on the floor? Is she comfortable sleeping on the floor?

Bella: Yes, it doesn't bother her. She has a blanket but no pillows.

Me: And she's comfortable sleeping like that?

Bella: Mom, do I have to tell you again? *Sighs* Okay, listen to me with both ears...the paci fairy is magic so she sleeps on the floor with a blanket, no pillows. She has brown hair like you and black eyes like God and she's very pretty.

Me: She sounds very nice.

Bella: She is nice because she gives us presents. What does she do with the pacis? Does she suck on them?

Me: No, she makes them new again and gives them to new babies.

Bella: Does she wash them first?

Me: Yes, of course she washes them and then she uses her magic wand to make them new again.

Bella: What babies are getting the pacis? Where are they?

Me: *thinking "oh crap, how long is this conversation gonna go on"* I don't know...new babies are born every minute of the day so the paci fairy decides which baby is closest to us and then she gives it to that baby.

Bella: I want to see that baby.

Me: We can't see that baby b/c we won't know who it is. It's like when we make donations at Goodwill. We give our stuff away but we don't know who's gonna get it but it makes us happy to know we're giving something to someone who needs it.

Bella: Oh, that's okay then.

Then we had an interesting (and very awkward) conversation about tampons when she went into my bathroom cabinet and pulled out a box of tampons. She wanted to know what they were for and then she pulled out the little instruction pamplet that comes with it.

Bella: Oh, look a coupon, Mom...so you can buy more tampons.

Me: Thanks...

Bella: Look at these pictures...the tampon goes in your hoo-haw

Me: Thanks for the tip...

Bella: I don't think I like tampons.

Me: Well, you're not gonna have to worry about them for a long, long time.

Bella: When I'm old?

Me: Yeah, sorta...you won't be an old woman but you'll be older than you are now when you need them.

Bella: But I don't like them. Why do you have to put it there?

Me: Where?

Bella: In your hoo-haw

Me: Can we have this conversation another time? Maybe when it's time for you to use tampons when you're older?

Bella: Oh Mom....you're silly.

Whew....all I could do was breathe a sigh of relief that the conversation ended quickly. She wants to know everything....I just know any day now she's gonna ask me where babies come from....I'm so not ready to explain all this stuff to a 3 year old...I have no clue how to even explain it in terms she'll understand. Isn't there a book out there or something...there has to be...I think I'll go to Borders today and look....

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Daddy, make sure you come back!

Tim left for work a few hours ago and that's what Bella said to him as he was leaving. He said "love you guys" and she screamed after him "Daddy, make sure you come back"....I couldn't stop laughing. I could hear Tim laughing too as he walked to his car.

I took her to see a dermatologist today to consult about surgery for her arm, where her hemangioma used to be. It was a quick appt and I wasn't so sure about what the dr recommended, which was to do laser surgery on parts of the hemangioma and then do plastic surgery on the part where she has a few deep scars and some extra skin. From what I know, laser won't help at this point...the skin is already so damaged that I would think it would take only plastic surgery to repair it. The dr recommended I find someone who can do laser surgery....I was like "isn't this an HMO...you're the dermatologist, don't YOU know someone in the network who you could recommend?" but she didn't and basically left it up to me to find someone. I told her I'm not comfortable just looking at dr bio's and then just choosing someone randomly so she said she'd look into it but I didn't leave with a very good feeling. I just felt like I wasn't being lead in the right direction.

Bella had laser surgery on her hemangioma when it became ulcerated so I'm not sure what good any more laser surgery would do now that she has such severe scars. A few weeks ago, I had e-mailed a woman who is an organizer of an MSN support group for parents whose children have vascular tumors and she recommended I get in touch with Dr Frieden in San Francisco, who we saw about 2 years ago. So that's my next step...I'm gonna research laser surgery on hemangioma scars and at the same time, e-mail Dr Frieden with pics of Bella's arm and see what her opinion is. We may just have to travel there and meet with her in person, which is fine with me.

I just can't stand to watch Bella have to explain time and time again to kids at the playground what happened to her arm. She's really good about it though and simply says "it's a birthmark" and only a couple of kids have made rude comments, which makes me wanna walk over to their mothers and slap them for raising such rude and inconsiderate children (we're talking kids of the age who should no better, not like little preschoolers or anything). I asked Bella once if she gets tired of having to explain what it is and she said yes. And I told her I was sorry but she smiled and said "It's okay, Mommy". She amazes me.

Garrett and Landon continue to amaze me too....I absolutely LOVE the age they're at. I love watching their little personalities develop. They are typical boys and love any kind of remote or anything with little buttons to push. Bella and Cole both have pretend cell phones and both boys love to walk around with the phones, holding them to their ears and pretending to talk. Landon is very into climbing now...climbing anything he can get to. He loves Cole's train table but Cole isn't feeling very brotherly about it. He had a track all set up and he left it alone one morning and he pushed Bella's princess treasure chest against the table to "insure" that Landon wouldn't be able to get to the track. What he really did was just give Landon something to climb on to get on the table...all of a sudden I heard Cole scream "Oh no...look at Landon" and there was Landon standing on the train table with 2 trains in his hand and smiling like the cat who ate the canary.

Still no real words yet but I can see them trying to imitate words we say. And they both want to eat with utensils all of a sudden....sometimes I just give them a child-sized plastic spoon to play with to keep them entertained and I saw Landon yesterday trying to scoop some of his food with it. Not successfully but I was happy he was showing an interest.

And Garrett is so sweet....every morning when Cole comes downstairs, Garrett runs up to him with his arms wide open and hugs Cole. It is the most adorable thing to watch and Cole I think secretly enjoys it. He acts like it's such a bother for him to hug Garrett back but I can see him smiling.

I do have a weird concern about Garrett...I get the sense that he's not growing. I know that sounds ridiculous but he is so light compared to Landon. I weighed them the other day and Landon has gained weight. He's around 25-26 lbs but Garrett seems to hover around 22-23 lbs. That in itself is not strange but he doesn't seem to gain weight. When I look at them standing next to one another, Landon just looks so huge...I'm just gonna keep an eye on him and weigh him once a week. If he hasn't gained any weight in the next couple of weeks, I'm gonna take him into the pedi. He eats just fine but of course the worry wart in me starts to worry that maybe he has some wierd metabolical disorder that's preventing him from growing. As if I don't enough stuff to keep me busy?? Just add "concerned about wierd medical disorders" to the list of daily stuff I worry about.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Does he think I'm an idiot?

I honestly think Tim thinks I'm an idiot. I don't know if it's a "man thing" or what but he always has to challenge me somehow or state facts that he doesn't think I know...I can't discuss politics with him, I can't discuss really anything in the news with him without him becoming extremely opinionated and just downright irritating.

For instance, I'm on a couple message boards and we've all been discussing the latest news on BPA....I mean, who hasn't??? I've even heard other moms at the park talking about it. So I've been reading various articles about it and I was stunned to learn that we had several sippy cups, plates, bowls and plastic tupperware that were not BPA-free. The other night I literally took all our stuff out of the kitchen cabinets and sat down with each item at the computer to find out whether it was BPA-free or not. I tossed the stuff that contained BPA and the stuff that I couldn't find any proof was BPA-free. Tim questioned why I was throwing it all away and when I told him, I sensed he was rolling his eyes.

Today at Target I bought some new sippy cups to replace the ones I threw away so Tim says "do they have BPA in them?"....um, no....does he REALLY think I'd go out and buy new sippy cups without having researched which ones contain BPA and which ones do not?? So I said "I checked and these do not have BPA in them" and then I went on to tell him some of the stuff I've been reading about this stuff and how irate I was that here we were trying to the best for our kids when we were actually poisoning them with this chemical. And we were actually washing the bottles and sippy cups in the dishwasher, using them in the microwave....all without having any idea the harm we were causing.

So he starts debating with me about it..."well, it hasn't actually been proven that it's harmful...they're just suggesting that it might be..." and then he goes on to say that it's actually a preservative...yadda, yadda, yadda...as if I don't know what BPA is and the harm that it can do. I said to him that the studies I've read that show that BPA is harmful (and the fact that Canada is now banning all items containing BPA) is enough evidence for me to want to not use anything containing BPA. Again, the rolling of the eyes....I just felt like he was belittling me and basically telling me that I was going overboard. It just pissed me off...he always has to have the upper-hand, always has to be right, always has to "prove" that he knows more. I ended up flying off the handle and yelling at him those exact words "why the hell do you always think you know best?" I couldn't believe that he's still in denial that this stuff could really harm our kids. I'm not taking a chance....I don't think I'm over-reacting at all. If anything, accuse me of being overprotective but don't accuse me of over-reacting, not when it comes to the well-being and safety of my children. Does Bella have to grow a freakin 3rd eye before he believes that BPA is bad for our kids? Do our kids have to endure the same excruciating pain we dealt with when it came to our fertility? Not if I can help it.

So yes I've been complaining about Tim an awful lot lately but this blog is a great place for me to vent. It helps me sort things out...it actually helps me calm down before I explode and hit him in the head with the heaviest frying pan I have.

Not to get off track but Cole and Bella were supposed to be in bed asleep and I heard them on the stairs so I told them to go to bed. Now they're both at the top of the stairs staring down at me. Bella said "I'm scared of my room" and Cole says "me too, I'm scared of my room too". They both have a string of lights on above their bed, they have a nightlight on in their room, and their bedroom door is open so they can hear us downstairs....I said "what's in your room that's scaring you" and they both looked at each other like "quick...think of something that's scary"...so they both said "The Hulk...we're scared of the Hulk". Well, I can never accuse these kids of not having any imagination....off to put them back to bed...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Landon loves the ladies!

I took the boys for their 12-mos vaccines yesterday. I've been researching and reading and studying up on vaccines for the last 2 months. It's amazing how uneducated I was when it came to vaccinating Cole and Bella. I remember at the time asking my pedi if all vaccines were safe and he said "yes" and I asked him if all 4 of his kids received vaccines and he said "yes, absolutely...if there were anything in those vaccines that weren't safe, I wouldn't have had my kids vaccinated". I trusted and adored him so I never questioned anything more. Now when I look at their vaccination records and see how many vaccines they had received in one appt, it makes me feel sick to my stomach. I never even questioned the MMR, which they both received at 13 months (and considering they were both 2 months premature, they were more like 11 months when they were given this vaccine). But then again, even 3 years ago, I don't know that vaccines were being debated about to the degree that they are now...or perhaps they were and I jus wasn't aware. I was too overwhelmed at the time just trying to survive life with 2 babies!

With the boys, I decided to go with an alternate vaccination schedule...one that doesn't allow too many shots at once. And I also decided to hold off on a few of the shots until they're a little bit older, like the MMR. My pedi was cool about it, even though he said there was no problem with them getting 6 vaccines at once ...he even said "they've had all these shots before at the same time at 2, 4 and 6 months and they did fine". My answer was "yes, that's true; however, I wasn't as educated then as I am now and I've decided to do things differently at this point". He was very respectful about it, thankfully. And the boys had also been sick non-stop over the winter months, on antibiotics for what seemed like weeks at a time, which I wasn't thrilled about but just doing nothing didn't seem to be helping the double ear infections. I wanted to wait at least 4-6 weeks before giving them their vaccines to make sure their immune systems were 100% before going in for the shots. My pedi had said "oh I think 2 weeks is more than enough time"....but everything I had read said at least 4-6 weeks (and in addition to that we've been adding probiotic powder to their milk).

So yesterday was the day for shots....I went in to the injection clinic and the nurse came armed with tons of paperwork and started going over them all with me...DTap, chicken pox, MMR, HIB....I told her that I only wanted to do the DTap and that was it. I had been hemming and hawwing about the chicken pox but then decided to just do that one too (Tim had caught a case of chicken pox as an adult and he said it was excruciatingly painful).

Then it came down to actually giving the boys their shots...I had Landon go first, figuring he'd be the easier of the two. He didn't even cry with the first shot but with the 2nd one, he got very upset and then Garrett, who was sitting in the stroller watching us, started freaking out. That's when the nurse revealed to me that she has 8-yr old twins who were the same way...if one freaked out, the other freaked out without even knowing why the 1st one was freaking out. It was like some kind of warning system between them. Landon was very easy to calm down but upon hearing a baby crying, 2 nurses came out of nowhere and offered to hold him while Garrett had his shots. One of the nurses fell in love instantly with him and I think Landon flirting with her had a lot to do with it. He just kept smiling at her and then looking away and then looking back at her to see if she was looking at him. Then he did the same thing with the other nurse and she said "he sure knows how to work the ladies". While Garrett had his shots, the nurses told me they were gonna take Landon around the corner so he didn't get upset hearing Garrett getting his shots. After Garrett had his shots, I went looking for Landon and couldn't find him...I kept reminding myself "okay, he's fine...he's with the nurses...they wouldn't walk off with him" but I couldn't find him and I couldn't hear him, which concerned me. I walked back into the injection room and asked the nurse who had given the boys their shots "um, do you know where the nurse went with Landon?" and she asked "she's not in the next room??"...then I started panicking. Now I feel stupid for even suspecting she might have taken off with him but at the time that's all I could think about and I was so mad at myself for trusting a complete stranger with my baby, even if she was a nurse at our dr's office! Right then she came back and said "I had to go into the next office and show him off to the other nurses"...and then 3 other nurses came over and started cooing over Garrett, who was unimpressed and just plain pissed off.

Upon leaving, I put Landon in the stroller with Garrett and wheeled them out and he kept waving goodbye to all his fans...I mean, the nurses....they made quite an impression on him. I don't think I've ever seen a baby leave the injection clinic as happy as he was!

On a side note, I've been reading books a lot with the babies and they have one book called "My First Picture Book" and they love the food page and so I always point to each picture and say what it is. Yesterday I asked Garrett "where's the cookies?" and he pointed to them!!!! It's so much fun to see them learning!!! I'm loving this stage they're at!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Family pictures, funny conversations and such...

I've been debating having a family picture taken. The reason I was debating it was for several reasons....1) do we really have the money for pictures right now? (No, not really) and 2) is it gonna be stressful to try to get a semi-decent pic of all 4 kids? (Yes, probably) and 3) how are Tim and I gonna smile in a family pic and pretend like everything is peachy keen between us? (we'll just fake it, we're used to that).

A friend of Tim's recommended a photographer who supposedly works well with kids and he's relatively inexpensive. I don't have any professional pics of Garrett and Landon, with the exception of the beautiful pics my friend Bonnie took but that was over 9 months ago. I have professional pics of Cole and Bella at birth, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, and 2 yrs old....the guilt was eating me alive that I've rarely had pictures done of the boys during their 1st year.

So we sucked it up and did the pics...it was a complete nightmare. The photographer was good with the kids in terms of trying to get them to smile but he made absolutely no suggestions on poses or anything. Tim and I basically spent the whole time chasing the kids around the studio and pleading with them to sit still and just smile. Finally, out of desperation, I asked the photographer to just put a few props on the floor and just snap pics of the kids randomly as they played. I didn't even care if they smiled at the camera...I just wanted some nice pics of all 4 kids. And we did a few family pics...Tim and I definitely look like two parents who are extremely overwhelmed and trying to keep it together (oh and two people who cannot stand one another most of the time).

After the session, the photographer said he'd have the proofs ready in 30 minutes but it was too early to take the kids anywhere for dinner. I asked Tim if he would mind if I came back to the studio to look at the proofs. My first mistake was ASKING him. Does he ask me for permission to leave when he needs to go get a haircut? Does he ask me for permission when he goes to play soccer every Monday night? I don't think so. And to make matters worse, we had a therapy appt scheduled for yesterday and I had a babysitter lined up to take care of the babies so I could meet Tim at the appt. I asked her to come over a couple hours earlier than our appt so I could run some errands by myself. Within 20 minutes of being out the door, she called me desperately saying her boyfriend hurt his back at work and needed to be taken to the dr so she had to leave. I had to come home....I called my stepdad to see if he could watch the babies during the appt but he couldn't. I called my sister....she couldn't either. So I missed the appt. Tim went to the appt and later told me "there wasn't much to talk about". Really??? If I had gone, our therapist would've heard a mouth full. How could there be nothing to talk about when we basically hate each other all the time? Then he mumbled something about how they talked about the best way for Tim to communicate with me, as he sat there chewing on his nails and avoiding eye contact. Whatever.

So I sat there in the car on the drive home from the photo session stewing over this....how dare he make me feel guilty about going to view the proofs!!! He admitted that he didn't want me to go and that he thought I was going to avoid the dinner rush with the kids. I yelled at him "I had intended on leaving AFTER the kids ate for your f****g information". And then I threw in "I don't even know why I'm ASKING you if I can go...I don't need your permission. I'm telling you I'm going...I'm so sick of having to line up a babysitter anytime I need to go to an appt...you just come and go as you please around here but I don't...if I want to do something, I have to get someone to watch the kids and if I can't find someone, then I don't go to my appts". I was pissed b/c this is the 2nd therapy in a row I've missed b/c I couldn't find someone to watch the kids...I desperately need to make an appt with my psychiatrist to do a meds review but I need to find a sitter. But if he needs to go to an appt, he simply makes a call to schedule it and then he goes.

Tim made a point to tell me that the kids are my full-time job...and he has a full-time job. Yeah, but he's forgetting that his job affords him the luxury to take time off whenever he wants without having to line up a replacement. My "job" doesn't afford me that luxury...it's a 14-hr day with little or no breaks and no ability to get out for appts unless I wanna drag the kids with me or find someone who can watch them while I get out. I don't think Tim understands how difficult it is to line up a babysitter. Why? Because he's never had to do it, that's why. Now I'm not complaining about being a stay-at-home mom at all, I love being able to spend this time with my kids while they're little and actually WANT to be with me. It's just that who can work 14-hr days every single day with no break or time for themselves. Tim fails to understand that I do this every single day, even on weekends. Every day is the same to me...he works his job Mon-Fri and then has the weekend with us. So it's different for him in a sense. I understand it must be really tough to sit at Panera Bread every day in front of his computer and work...it must be really hard to be able to socialize with other patrons who are also there doing their work...it must be really hard for him to drive that 75 minutes in peace and quiet to his dad's house to work and eat a huge sandwich from Togo's while he takes a lunch break. Lunch break??? What's that??? So my complaint isn't about the kids...it's about HIM and his refusal to understand where I'm coming from.

Anyway, so we got the kids home and got them set up for dinner and then Tim said "Why don't you go out and look at the pics and get yourself something to eat while you're out?". Maybe he was feeling guilty? Maybe that was his way of saying "yeah, I'm an asshole"? I dunno...I just said "I don't need your permission...I was gonna go regardless of what you said". And with that, I kissed the kids goodbye and left.

The pics actually came out better than I had anticipated and they were much cheaper than I had expected. Not a great time for us to be spending money on pics but I do have to admit I felt better now that they're done. I finally have a family pic of all 6 of us and I have pics of the kids together and I have pics of just Garrett and Landon. I figure we don't have to do professional pics again until next year so it was $$$ well spent. Now no more spending on things we asbolutely don't need at this point...the cost of gas is killing me!!!!! Almost $4.00 a gallon right now....okay, that's a whole 'nother subject....

On the way home from the photo session, Cole and Bella were in the backseat chattering away about this and that and then Cole hit Bella for God only knows why...maybe b/c she was breathing or looking in his direction...then she said:

Bella: Don't hit me. That's not okay. If you do that again, you're gonna have to get in my belly and wait for the dr to get you out. And you won't be able to eat your dinner.

Cole: I'm not getting in your belly.

Bella: Oh yeah you are, if you hit me again. You're gonna go right here (I'm assuming she pointed to her belly when she said this)

Cole: I can't fit in there.

Bella: Yeah you can. You were in mommy's belly so you can get in my belly too. And I'm not letting you out this time. You're not being nice.

I had to actually try to be quiet as I laughed while they talked. If I look at them while they're talking or try to butt in (unless I'm already involved in the conversation), they immediately stop chattering. They're obsessed with wanting to know details of when I was pregnant with them, like how did they both fit in my belly, why did the dr cut them out, why do I have a scar (which they always ask to see "can we see where the dr cut you to get us out?"), did it hurt....curious little boogers. Bella likes to hear how they were in my belly together but how some babies are all by themselves in their mommy's bellies. I say "God put you both in my belly at the same time so you could be best friends and always get along well with each other...imagine how fun it was to have each other to play with inside my belly when some babies are all by themselves and don't have another baby there to play with". She thinks that's really cool and she always asks "is that why Garrett and Landon are twins too...so they would have each other to play with?". She's a smart little cookie but so full of questions....I'm gonna run out of things to say to her one of these days.

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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