Thursday, July 31, 2008

Conversation with my 3 yr olds....

Last night, I was just so exhausted so I joked around with Cole and Bella, saying "can you all just read yourselves some bedtime stories and put yourselves to bed?". They looked at me very seriously and said:

Cole: We can't read ourselves bedtime stories because we're not parents.

Bella: Yeah, we're just little kids AND I don't know how to read.

Me: When will you know how to read?

Cole: In about 50 hours...no wait, not quite 50 hours. Maybe 10 minutes.

Bella: It's gonna take me 2 weeks to learn how to read.

Cole: Shut-up Bella

Bella: No, you shut up...

Cole: I'm not your friend

Bella: Well, I'm not your twin anymore

Cole: I don't care...maybe then you'll shut up

Then, while trying really hard to not laugh, I had to explain to them that telling each other to "shut up" wasn't nice. So Cole told Bella "shut your pie hole" and then turned to me and said "that was okay, I didn't say shut up, I just told her to shut her pie hole". Who knew 3 yrs old could reason and justify?

BTW, thanks for the comments yesterday about being world's worst mother. I'm comforted to know I'm not the only one who is challenged by parenthood on a daily basis!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

And the award for the Worst Mother in the World goes to....

ME?! Oh really, no you shouldn't have....what an honor! Four years in a row now!!! I'm so humbled. I guess my acceptance speech would be something like, "Well, let me start off by thanking my 4 kids for making it so easy for me to be 'worst mother in the world'. Not a day goes by that I don't question my mothering abilities and I have them to thank for it. I'd also like to thank my husband, who offers as much support and encouragement as he can but also realizes it's an endless and thankless task. And, last but not least, my mother and my MIL deserve recognition, with their constant unsolicited advice and judgement. Thank you for always knocking me down when I could really use a lift up."

Okay, so I don't really consider myself the World's Worst Mother all the time, mainly because I'm not beating my kids senseless or starving them. But sometimes I just do dumb things and then I feel like I've traumatized my kids in some way.

For example, a couple days ago, I gave Cole and Bella some milk to drink before bedtime. Cole took a sip and insisted it didn't taste good but Bella said hers was fine. I figured he was just being difficult and I told him to stop fooling around and just drink the milk already. He tried another sip and said "it's yucky". I didn't bother to try the milk because I don't like milk and just the tiniest taste of it would make me wretch. So I asked Bella again if her milk tasted okay and she said yes and she drank all of it. Later that night, Bella had a bit of tummy-ache but then she went potty and said she felt better. The next morning Cole is still refusing to drink the milk and I smelled it and it smelled okay. Bella drank her milk just fine again. I felt, at that point, that Cole was just trying to manipulate me and avoid drinking his milk so I pretty much sat there with him until he drank all of it. And he made faces the whole time like he was gonna pass out or puke. Same thing that night....I told him he needed to drink his milk before bed. The next morning, Tim got them each a glass of milk and noticed that the milk was clumpy...OMG, I had been making my kid drink bad milk!!! Because Bella never complained about it (yet had little tummy aches a few hours after drinking each cup), I never gave it much thought the milk could be bad and it did smell okay. It was probably in the process of turning bad and then finally it just curdled on day 3. I apologized profusely to Cole and Tim just stood there shaking his head as I cried to him, "I can't believe I made him drink bad milk...I sat there and forced him to swallow each sip....I totally suck as a mother". Strike #1 on my record....

Today while we were at the park, Garrett pooped (thank God I had thought to throw a couple diapers in the bottom of the stroller!) and so I put him on the grass and started to change him. He kept trying to wriggle away from me and he would NOT stop crying. I was getting frustrated and the more frustrated I got, the more he'd try to wriggle away from me. I had to also try to keep an eye on Landon, who was still in the sand pit playing with some other kids. Another mother walked by me and she said "I think he's crying because you have his legs lifted up and the sand from his shoes is falling into his eyes". Sure enough, she was right. No wonder the lil guy was crying and trying to get away from me. Strike #2 on my record....

We have a few different types of sunscreen that we use and one of them happens to be a spray. Yesterday, before we went outside to play in the blow-up pools, I was putting sunscreen on the kids. Cole grabbed the spray bottle from the floor while I was busy finishing putting sunscreen on Landon. I should've told him to put the spray bottle down but I didn't and just as I thought "I should probably take that away from him before he sprays himself or someone else in the eye", he sprayed himself in the eyes. And as I quickly tried to splash water into his eyes, he cried saying, "I was just trying to spray my arm, not my face". In the meantime, while I was tied up in the bathroom with him, I had forgotten to pick up the sunscreen spray bottle because I was in such a hurry to get Cole's eyes cleaned and....yeah, we all know where this is going, don't we....Bella picked up the bottle and sprayed Landon in the face. Strike #3 and #4 on my record....

So maybe 4 strikes isn't so bad in general but this was all in a matter of TWO DAYS. Sometimes I wonder if things like this happen because I'm spread so thin between the 4 of them. Okay, the milk thing...well, I guess I can't use that excuse....but the other things clearly happened because I was trying to do something quickly, while keeping an eye on the others, and it just totally backfired on me. Mommies are the ones who are supposed to make their children feel safe and protected, not be the ones who actually make things worse, which is what I feel I do most of the time.

Alright, sob story over....I guess all I can do is slow down and THINK before I do things. And try not to beat myself up over the things I have done. Motherhood is a learning process....no one starts off as Supermom, right?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Why didn't I do this sooner?

I finally joined a gym....well, I signed the whole family up, regardless of whether Tim wanted to go or not. I figure maybe if he sees me working out, he'll start too (and give up the nasty habit of drinking 5 cokes a day). I'd been hesitant to join a gym for many reasons....a) the money it would cost, b) dropping the kids off at the gym's daycare made me feel guilty and c) pure and total intimidation of just being at the gym with others who are in better shape than me.

But I got over those concerns pretty quickly my first day at the gym. I walked in with all 4 kids and dropped them off at the daycare. I held my breath as I handed Garrett and Landon over to one of the young girls working there. Landon took off to play with some cars he saw, Cole and Bella immediately ran over to the climbing structure and Garrett cried...figures, I knew he would. He's such a mama's boy and it broke my heart to see him crying to the point where I was ready to just say "this isn't gonna work" and take the kids and leave. But the girl convinced me that he would be fine once I left (and he was which makes me wonder if the lil guy is just manipulating me with all the fuss and tears).

I met with a trainer, which was a joke. He yawned his way through the appointment and at one point I said "I'm sorry, am I boring you?" and he told me some lame story about how his roommates had "forced" him to go to Reno the night before to gamble since he's everyone's good luck charm so he was incredibly tired. He couldn't resist staring at himself in the mirror the whole time he was supposed to be working with me. Think he's a little arrogant? In love with himself perhaps? And he kept telling me how he used to be 100 lbs overweight. I started to wonder if he had dementia because he had mentioned the same story over and over and over to the point where I started to yawn.

The whole 50 minutes was really a waste of time and I really just wanted to hop on a treadmill and try to fit in 45 minutes of jogging before I needed to get the kids from the daycare when I heard my name of the pager..."Helene, you're needed in the Kid's Club". I just knew one of the babies had pooped (they don't change dirty diapers and who can blame them for having that rule?) but I also knew once I stepped foot in there and Mama's Boy saw me, it was over...my workout for the day was done. And so it goes...

Before I left the gym, the trainer wanted to set up another appt. I really didn't want to but I didn't have guts to come right out and say it. I figured I'd just cancel it later that week. And I did and I told the girl I'd have to call back to reschedule.

So I've been going to the gym almost every day now and bringing the kids with me and it's worked out really great. Why didn't I do this sooner? I could kick myself for not doing this 6 months ago!! Cole, Bella and Landon always have a blast and never want to leave. I actually had to chase Landon around the daycare the other day because he didn't want to leave. I tried to coax him out by saying "okay, Mommy's leaving....bye-bye" and pretend to walk out the door and he just waved goodbye to me and went back to playing. Garrett has a hard time adjusting at first but he's fine after I leave. Today, the girl watching all the kids couldn't stop gushing about how affectionate both Garrett and Landon are. My little lovebugs...they really are very affectionate babies, esp Garrett who will grab onto you like he's a baby monkey and he's depending on you not to drop him.

My biggest challenge remains to be how to fit a shower in after a workout. Sometimes I've been lucky that Tim is still at home when I get home and I can grab a quick shower. But days like today he wasn't home so I had to sneak in the shower while the kids read books. That was probably the quickest shower of my life because everytime the kids went quiet, I envisioned one of them getting stuck inside one of the closets or figuring out how to open the gate at the top of the stairs. I could shower at the gym but somehow that takes me back to the whole P.E. experience in 8th grade when you have to be naked in front of 20 other girls and you know they're all staring at you, trying to see if you have more boobage than them. Although being naked in front of my kids isn't any less painful, especially the babies who totally eye my boobs which is kinda creepy. Like they are starting to realize they might have missed out on a really good time if I had been able to successfully breast feed them. They get this look on their faces like "we totally got a bum deal having to eat from the bottle...."

Anyway, so the gym is working out and I'm feeling so much more energetic and like I'm really taking good care of myself, finally. And it makes me happy that the kids enjoy the daycare at the gym. Everybody wins!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Restaurant Disaster #243 but at least I looked good!

On Saturday morning, Tim said to me "why don't you take off for a few hours today while I watch the kids?". Hell, yeah!!! I remembered that he had given me a gift card on Mother's Day to a local salon and spa that I had forgotten about. How could I forget about that?!

So I managed to get an appt that same day and found myself saying to the stylist, as she pulled my hair out of my signature hairstyle, The Mommy Ponytail, "just cut it all off....and could you throw in some highlights while you're at it". She said, "are you sure?" and I said "just do it before I wimp out and change my mind".

2 hours later and I look like a completely different person..or maybe it's just that I feel like a completely different person. While she went to mix the color for my highlights, I stared at my reflection and thought "you look SO freakin tired...and old...let's not forget old". I looked like such a....hmmmmm....like such a mother. You know, the hair in a ponytail (still wet from never having blow dried it but I guess I should consider myself lucky that I had time for a shower), very little or no makeup at all, a tank top with a child's dirty handprint on it and a pair of shorts that are all wrinkled and probably have stains too.

But after the 2 hours, I felt so much lighter without all the hair hanging down my back and with some pretty blonde highlights that brought life to my face. The stylist admired her work afterwards and said "who knew?" and I said "who knew what?" and she said "that a change in hairstyle and some highlights could make you look like a completely different person". Then I wondered if Tim and the kids would be freaked out by my new look?? The kids very rarely saw me with my hair down because I always wear it in a ponytail. The one time I did wear it down, Garrett and Landon did a double-take and started crying.

Turns out everyone liked the hair, esp Bella, who kept saying "Mommy, I like the green streaks in your hair". Huh? Green streaks? I really should have her tested to see if she's color blind. And Tim, who very rarely speaks up about anything, actually said he liked it. His exact words were "I like it, it's really cute". I felt flattered but I was also a little suspicious...what man uses the words "really cute" to describe something. All I could figure was that he must have spent the 2 hours I was gone online googling "ways to compliment your wife on a new hairstyle...learn WHAT to say and HOW to say it without pissing her off".

We decided to go out for dinner that night. Usually we go to Applebee's but we're all growing quite bored with that. Bella had tried some sushi I had earlier in the week and absolutely loved it so when I asked her what she felt like for dinner she immediately said "I want sushi" but Tim and Cole hate sushi so we compromised and went to a Japanese restaurant that also serves other foods, like chicken teriyaki and steak and such (kinda like a Benihana where they cook the food in front of you). We thought the kids would do okay because of the little show that the cook puts on, esp the little exploding onion volcano.

Upon arriving, we were sat at our own little table and then the waitress showed another family to the same table. Garrett started fussing immediately upon me putting him in the highchair and next thing I knew, they were moving to another table. The waitress politely said "I think you'll have a lot more room if you have the table to yourself"....yeah, whatever....I don't blame that other family for wanting to move, esp if they were expecting to have a quiet, peaceful dinner. Then Tim took Cole and Bella to the bathroom, and while he was there, both Garrett and Landon started having a meltdown. I was breaking a sweat trying to keep them quiet and I felt people staring at me. As soon as I saw Tim come out of the bathroom, I said "we can't stay...we're gonna ruin everyone else's dinner so let's just go home".

With that, Cole and Bella started crying because they wanted to see the exploding onion volcano. I apologized to the waitress, who was already coming to the table with our drinks, and she offered us a table in the front part of the restaurant, where there were less people. I told Tim I thought it was a really bad idea but he wanted to stay and offered to hold Garrett instead of putting him in the highchair.

There we sat, hidden away from other people, in a tiny corner of the restaurant's bar area behind a huge fish tank. It was still a disaster. Cole and Bella were so intrigued with the fish in the fish tank that we could barely get them to sit still long enough to eat. The only one who seemed somewhat happy was Landon, until he no longer wanted to eat anymore and proceeded to take his plate and dump it all over our extremely tiny table. Tim and I ate our food so fast that I don't think either of us really tasted it.

So that was Restaurant Disaster #243...and the thing is, neither Tim and I have learned from any of this. We'll attempt it again next Saturday because we figure at some point it has to be successful. We desperately long to be that family that we always stare at and think "how on earth do they get their kids to sit still and eat quietly?" And then maybe, just maybe, we'll have Restaurant Success #1.

As we ran out of the restaurant (literally), I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirrored windows of the restaurant and thought "well, at least I looked good while Restaurant Disaster #243 went down"....

Friday, July 25, 2008

Take my uterus...please! Um, I think...

I had an appt this morning with a new ob/gyn. Nothing greater than having to expose my private parts once again to a complete stranger. As I sat in the exam room with the paper gown wrapped around my waist (with me constantly checking the back of it to make sure the first thing the dr wouldn't see was my butt crack peeking out from the sheet), I did a count in my head of all the doctors who've seen my private parts in the last 4 years and I was saddened to realize that it was more than 10....way more than 10 (between all the infertility treatments, 3 miscarriages, and 2 twin pregnancies). Something about being in that office always takes me back to those times...the good and the bad.

The nurse really loved me when she was going over my history and asked "how many pregnancies?" and I said "5". Then she said "how many children?" and I said "4". She said "and 1 miscarriage". I said "no, 3 miscarriages...a total of 5 pregnancies with 2 being successful and 3 ending in miscarriage". She said "but you said you had 4 children, right? Or was it 5?" and I said, "4 children from 2 pregnancies". She looked at me as if I were from another planet. So I said "twins". Again, I got the blank stare from her so I finally said "2 sets of twins". She was still confused and she stopped asking me questions but I saw her write something on the chart, probably "patient should be tested for drug use". Was it really that confusing? I guess maybe it was. Not exactly something I'm sure she runs into everyday.

Anyway, she was very nice and easy to talk to. My purpose in going in today was to discuss with her my irregular periods and to find out if there was anything I could do about it. When I do have my period, it's horrible....the pain compares to labor pains, seriously. And the bleeding....well, it's better left to the imagination but it's pretty bad. I cannot leave the house for the first 2-3 days of my period. So I'm thinking "enough is enough"...let's just deal with this.

She didn't shock me when she listened to a whole list of symptoms I've been having, aside from the irregular periods, and she said "sounds like peri-menopause". We talked about mood swings (oh yeah, I can go from 0 to bitch in 10 seconds, no problem), fatigue (with 4 kids...ya think?), vaginal dryness (which actually made me laugh because I said "wouldn't I actually have to be having sex to know that?") so she chalked that symptom up to lack of sexual desire, hot flashes (as I'm using a pamphlet I found in the exam room to fan my face) and some other things.

She ordered some bloodwork for me to have done on day 3 of my next period, whenever that should be. God only knows. And then we discussed the NovaSure procedure and a hysterectomy. She asked if I was definitely done having kids. I think my laughter answered her question. She recommended the NovaSure procedure and described it to me. She said a hysterectomy would be fine too but it's obviously more of an invasive procedure and the recovery time is much longer and much more painful. My feeling was if I'm heading into menopause, why have a uterus? Wouldn't I be better off just dealing with it head-on and avoiding the whole grueling menopause process? But then for some reason I felt like that was just so permanent...obviously. My tubes are tied and I realize that's pretty permanent as well but having my uterus removed....well, that's just the final deal, isn't it? I know we're not having anymore kids but there's a sadness associated with it I suppose. Even making the decision to have my tubes tied was difficult for me. After going through infertility treatments, it just seemed so backwards to now be worried about a permanent means of birth control.

Anyway, so that's what I have to think about it until my period arrives. The most logical thing would be to do the NovaSure procedure and then see how that goes. But part of me just wants to be done with all this "female stuff"...I dunno.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Creepy crawlies...

Cole and Bella wanted this cute little bug catching kit when I took them to Target recently. No big deal...I thought maybe Tim would enjoy catching bugs with them but I was mistaken. He took one look at the kit and was like "yeah right...go have fun".

So we all went to the park and the kids broke out the kit and said "Mommy, help us find bugs". Now if there's one thing to know about me it's my huge fear of anything creepy crawly. I literally feel like I could puke when I see a spider. The hair on my arms actually stands up. But because I love my children and because I want them to be "one with nature", I decided I could put my fears aside and do this with them. I kept convincing myself "this is a memory in the making...something they'll always remember".

I managed to catch an ant the first time around. No big deal....it was tiny and harmless but it took me forever and a day to get that darn thing into the plastic cup. Finally he was trapped and I closed the cap and attached the magnifying glass to the cap so the kids could examine the ant close up. They weren't really that impressed. Cole said, "I don't like ants. Let's find a really big spider". I could feel a lump developing in my throat. As we walked around the park, I was praying like a crazy woman that we would not come across any spiders.

Apparently, God was off that day and didn't hear my prayers (either that or He did hear my prayers but was still laughing at me....) and Cole managed to find a fat, juicy, hairy spider. Just looking at it made me wanna hurl. Then I looked at both my kids and saw them looking at the spider with anticipation, just itching to get it in the cup so they could examine it close up. But I just couldn't do it...yuck. So I made up a story that went something like this, "You guys, listen, if I capture the spider and I put him in this cup, his family will wonder where he is. He's the Daddy of the family and his family is depending on him to bring dinner home so that's why he's sitting here on this web, waiting for a fly or two to stick to it so he can bring food home for his family....so, see, we should just let him be". I held my breath waiting for a response from them. Would they buy it? Or would they be able to see through my chirade...that I was really a huge wimp when it came to creepy crawlie things even when it came to a good learning experience for them??

They fell for it hook, line and sinker! Instead they settled for a dead bee laying on the sidewalk. They enjoyed staring at it through the magnifying glass and pointing out its wings, its stinger and how ugly it was close up (yeah, I agree)...and then they shook the poor thing and all I could think was "thank God the bee is already dead".

So not exactly the "memory in the making" experience I wanted to have with them but it was good enough.

Just a quick mention: Garrett and Landon have now mastered going down the stairs. Is it bad that when I need to cook dinner or do something that requires my full attention that I open the gate on the stairs and let them run up and down until they get worn out?

Monday, July 21, 2008

The difference between Moms and Dads....

It seems that whenever I think Tim has done something completely idiotic, I'll mention it to a friend or two and inevitably they laugh and say "oh, my husband has done that too". I'm not sure if that makes my husband normal or if all our husbands are just idiots. I'm mostly referring to things he's done as a father and it just makes me realize how different most moms and dads are from one another.

Let me just say for the record that Tim is a wonderful father. He's very involved and he's stepped up a lot since Garrett and Landon were born (well, he kinda didn't have a choice really). The kids adore him. Plain and simple. Why do the kids adore him? Mostly because he's a great dad...he's affectionate, he tells them often that he loves them, he reads them bedtime stories and he wrestles with them on the floor. But the kids also adore him because he lets them do things or get away with things that I would never do. It's not odd for me to hear almost on a daily basis from Cole or Bella, "But Daddy let's us do it" which makes me just a huge Meanie in their eyes.

Here are some examples of just how different he and I are as parents:

Tim: Lets the kids put the keys in the ignition and start the car. He thinks it's perfectly fine...no big deal...he claims they'll never figure out how to actually DRIVE the car.
Me: Are you freakin kidding me?! Cole and Bella have been conspiring with one another since birth and I've learned to NEVER underestimate those two. I keep telling Tim that it's not safe for them to even play in the car (which he lets them do while he's cleaning the garage), let alone starting the car. I've said on more than one occasion, "Have you never heard the story of that kid who always played in his parent's car and then one day he locked himself in the trunk and no one knew where he was for hours and he suffocated to death?!" to which Tim always says "sweetie, we have a mini-van and an SUV...there's no trunk for them to suffocate in"....he totally misses the point, once again.

Tim: He gives the kids snacks BEFORE breakfast. Does that make any sense? It doesn't to me. Why not just feed them breakfast?
Me: The first meal of the day should be breakfast...not a handful of goldfish.

Tim: Thinks if he puts the kids to bed as late as possible that they'll sleep later in the morning.
Me: Yeah, that always goes over like a fart in church. We put them to bed late and they end up waking up earlier than usual and then they're cranky all day long...no worries for him though because he just skips out the door to go to work while I'm left with 4 whiny, cranky, tired kids.

Tim: He thinks there's nothing wrong with letting the kids watch Sponge Bob and other inappropriate cartoons (Scooby Doo went over great...Cole and Bella had nightmares for days that there was a mummy in their closet). Hey, at least they're all sitting still doing something quiet.
Me: Where's the educational aspect in cartoons like that? Sure I let my kids watch tv but things like Sesame Street, Super Why and Hi-5 all teach them things at least.

Okay, so those are just a few of the examples that shows how different Tim and I are as Mom and Dad. And now it's probably easy to see why the kids adore him so much. Daddy let's them start the car and play in the car just for fun, he lets them stay up late, he lets them watch anything they want on tv and they can have a snack virtually any time of day with no problem. I'm married to Disneyland Dad.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sure I feel okay 80% of the time but PLEASE renew my scrip for Wellbutrin!

I had an appt today with the psychiatrist at Kaiser to see if she would refill my scrip for Wellbutrin, which I've been on since October/November 2007. Since then she's been renewing my scrip via e-mail without having me come in. But this time when I e-mailed, she suggested I come in and see her since it had been 9 months since I've seen her. For some reason, I had this paranoid feeling she was gonna hit me up with "it's time to start weaning you off the Wellbutrin". Because I was only taking it for PPD, I guess I was just scared that she would think since I'm doing better (on most days) that I should start to discontinue it. Okay, that scared the shit out of me, honestly. I rely on my Wellbutrin like I rely on my heart beating every minute of the day. So what if I'm dependent on my little happy pill?? I'm not ashamed to admit that..it's honestly the one thing that I think keeps me from coming unglued most of the time. There's no way in hell I ever wanna go back to where I was mentally 9 months ago with my PPD.

Originally, I was going to ask Tim if he could work from home in the morning so I didn't have to bring the little twins with me (Cole and Bella have preschool today). But turns out he had an appointment already scheduled for work so I had to bring the little twins with me...I figured maybe that would work in my favor, though, if they happened to have a meltdown during my appointment. My plan was to burst into tears and say "See...do you see why I desperately NEED you to refill my scrip?"

So Dr P calls me back to her office and she says "oh, I see you have one set of twins with you today". Yup, I sure do. Then she comments on how well-behaved and adorable they are. Damn...I was hoping they'd be screaming bloody murder by now and that she'd immediately write me a scrip and say "go the pharmacy right now and fill your order....run, don't walk". But she just kept making googly-eyes at them and in return they were flirting back with her. Damn, damn, damn!! Why is it when I want them to be calm and easy-going they act like Demon Spawn but when I actually want them to be, um, spirited (yeah that's a more positive spin), they are little gentlemen acting as if they've never had a tantrum to save their lives.

She then asks how I'm doing and I reply "well, I'm doing okay 80% of the time but I do still have my moments and when I do, they're pretty bad...like I can't stop crying bad, like I wanna disappear into thin air bad". She says "oh". Then she looks at her computer and stares at it for what seemed like an eternity. I was already practicing in my head how I was gonna throw myself on my hands and knees before her and BEG for a new scrip. I'm sure that would make me look totally unstable and insane, right? Who on earth wants to be seen as unstable and insane? That in and of itself proves right there that I should stay on Wellbutrin.

Then after staring at her computer a really really really long time, she finally says "well, that's great that you feel good 80% of the time. And it's normal for you to have bad days here and there...that's just a normal part of motherhood and daily life. You seem to be handling your kids really well. Do you think you still NEED the Wellbutrin?" and without missing a beat I said "YES" and I admitted that I was scared to stop it....so scared of going back to that dark, ugly place I was at 9 months ago. She asked me if I thought going down to a lower dosage would be okay and I said no. So she agreed to refill my scrip and asked me if I would prefer a 1-month supply or a 100-day supply....duh! I asked for the 100-day supply and I agreed to have a follow-up appt with her after that 3 months to discuss weaning off the Wellbutrin. She said she likes to see her patients wean off of it after being on it for 12 months and she also pointed out that at that point I'll be 19 months post partum and SHOULD be well past the PPD.

So I walked out feeling as if I had won a victory of sorts. Maybe it's bad that I'm dependent on the Wellbutrin, I dunno. And perhaps I would be fine if I were to discontinue it right now. But something in my gut says I'm just not ready....and I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Arguing for the sake of arguing!

Cole and Bella fight like cats and dogs! Is it a twin thing, a sibling thing or just the plain fact that they are of different genders?

This morning the fighting began almost immediately upon them waking up. And the fights were over the littlest mundane things, like Cole being mad that Bella also wanted french toast for breakfast and Bella teasing Cole that he needs a haircut. Sometimes I think they fight for the pure enjoyment of fighting or, simply enough, to send me over the edge, as I was very close to being with them this morning.

Yesterday they had an argument while watching Sesame Street. There was a scene with Big Bird and the number 0 where the two were engaged in a conversation and Cole kept saying "letters can't talk". Bella insisted that letters obviously can talk because there it was plain as day that what they thought was the letter O was talking right there on the tv. Within 2 minutes, they were embroiled in a huge argument over this. It started all over again this morning when they happened to catch a little bit of Dora the Explorer on tv and Cole said "trees can't talk" and Bella again said "yeah they can...see", as she pointed to the talking tree.

On the drive over to their preschool, they were arguing again in the car. I had told each of them they could pick one class to sign up for that was being offered by the city's parks and recreation department. Cole chose soccer and Bella chose ballet class...surprise, surprise! Here's the argument that took place in the car:

Cole: I'm going to play soccer and you can't come and watch me

Bella: I don't care, I don't want to watch you play soccer. You can come watch me do ballet.

Cole: Okay, I'll watch you do ballet but you still can't watch me play soccer.

Bella: I want you to come watch me do ballet.

Cole: I said I would.

Bella: (starting to cry) I want you to watch me do ballet.

Cole: OKAY!

Bella: Mommy, Cole said he was gonna come watch me do ballet.

Me: You told him you wanted him to watch you and he said he would...and your problem is.....?

Bella: I want him to watch me

Cole: I said I would

Bella: See, Mommy, he's trying to get me mad and now I'm getting frustrated with him

Me: Bella, I don't understand....you said you wanted him to watch you and he agreed that he would so what's the problem?

Bella: I want him to come watch me and he said he would

Me: OMG, do you all just argue for the sake of arguing?

Cole and Bella (in twin unison): Yes

Okay, there it was broken down for me in simple terms...yes they argue for the sake of arguing. And the rest of the drive over to preschool, they continued to argue over everything under the sun. At one point, Bella stopped and said to Cole "stop arguing with me for the sake of arguing".

I asked them "do you both think you could get along for just 5 minutes?" and in unison they both said "NO". And then Bella told Cole that she no longer considered him her twin...he cried....she laughed....he cried harder....she laughed harder.

Do these kids ever stop? Will it always be like this? I thought the whole thing about twins is that they are supposed to best friends and have a bond that is indescribable. I suppose I shouldn've known it might be like this when each time we went in for an ultrasound when I was pregnant, they were even fighting in the womb.

As I dropped them off at preschool, they each greeted their friends who were already in the class. Bella immediately wanted to play dress up with her friends and Cole said "no one wants to play with you" and she said "Oh yeah they do...go play with your trains because no one likes you". I looked at the teacher and said "they're all YOURS...good luck".

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Well, that was fun....NOT!

So I attempted the library again yesterday with all 4 kids but this time I came prepared....I brought Tim with me! Was he a huge help? No, not really but I figured if he was there perhaps the kids would behave better. Did they? No, not really...Tim was just one more person to chase after them. We had the little twins in their stroller, held as prisoners against their will. Within 5 minutes of being in the library, they quickly realized that we had no intention of getting them out of the stroller (the memory of letting them out of the stroller last time I was at the library will forever be engraved in my brain...I may be crazy but I'm not stupid...well, maybe a little stupid....)

Of course, they both started screaming at the top of their lungs. If I could translate the screams, I would imagine they were saying "Get us out of this piece-of-crap stroller or we'll make your life a living hell". But awwww, have they forgotten that my life is already a living hell? It's actually not but at times like this it does actually feel like I've been condemned to a life of hell. During moments such as these, I have to quickly take myself back in my mind to a time when I was desperate for children and actually longed to hear screaming like that. I did say I was crazy, didn't I?

So Tim said "I'm getting the babies out of here" and with that, he left the library and walked up and down the front of the mall waiting for me to check all the books out. Last time I saw Cole and Bella, they were sitting at the computers that have access to the internet. They actually looked like little college students doing research for an upcoming assignment, perhaps "How to Get Into Mischief Without Looking Like You're Getting Into Mischief". They didn't seem to be bugging anyone and no one else was waiting for the computer so I figured no harm, no foul. After I checked our books out, I walked over towards them and I could hear Cole say, in a not-so-quiet library voice, "Hey Bella, see if you can type the word 'fart'?" to which she replied "Okay, and you see if you can type the word 'poop'".....is it a requirement that as soon as a child is 3 years old, they instantly become obsessed with farts and poop and every other bodily function that either makes noise or smells? I wonder what the 4 yr old stage will bring us....maybe an obsession with private parts?

I quickly grabbed them and hustled outta there and found Tim and we decided since it was still early to head over to the mall and let the kids roam around the play area. We are so fortunate that both the malls in our town each have a play area. At first, we were the only ones there but then within a matter of 10 minutes, the place was swarming with other parents and kids. Because I didn't expect to be going to the play area, I hadn't dressed all the kids in the same color shirts (our signature get-up is everyone in red shirts and blue jean shorts). After losing sight of Cole and Bella in a sea of blonde-haired children, Tim and I decided it was becoming too stressful to keep track of all the kids and we darted outta there and headed home.

Instead of listening to music the whole drive home, we were all treated to the sounds of Landon and Garrett screaming because a) they were tired, b) they were hungry and c) they were pissed about being stuck in their car seats after having a little taste of freedom at the mall's play area.

After lunch, came naptime....again, just another part of the day that went over like a fart in church. Cole and Bella wouldn't lay down and rest and they made so much noise, they woke the little twins up. And my in-laws were due over any minute and all the kids were up and crankier than a heroine addict going through withdrawals. Tim was pissed because the kids didn't nap....yeah, buddy, now you're getting a taste of what I deal with on an almost daily basis....no wonder he LOVES business trips.

We all went out for dinner at a nice, little Mexican restaurant overlooking a beautiful lake. It sounds romantic and peaceful, doesn't it? I'm sure that what's the other patrons expected when they decided to dine at this restaurant last night. HAHAHAHAHA! We got plenty of dirty looks as the little twins shrieked about having to sit still in their highchairs and as Bella and Cole talked at the top of their lungs to try and talk over each other. My MIL, at one point said, "do you really think it's a good idea to take them out to restaurants?" and I said "Look, Tim and I HAVE to get out of the house...the kids have to get used to eating out if we ever wanna have any attempt at a normal life so the more they're exposed to eating out, the better it will get". She gave me a look, as if to say, "and what kind of crack are you smoking today?" Yeah, lady, I know, I know....but I can strive for it to happen some day, can't I? Let me have my fantasies....

As we left the restaurant, with my IL's looking as if they both had been run over by 3 mack trucks and Tim looking as frustrated as ever, I smiled and said "Now that was my idea of a good time, how about you?".....as the kids ran out into the parking lot....I don't think my IL's will be coming back over any time soon.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Missing my pregnant belly....am I crazy?!


A good friend of mine just had a baby and the whole time she was pregnant every time I'd see her, I just had this urge to touch her belly. Normally I'm not a pregnant-belly-toucher-type-of-person but everytime I'd see this friend, her belly was just so beautiful that I could not resist touching it. Each time, I'd say "looking at you makes me miss being pregnant" and then I'd say "did I really just say that outloud?"

The first picture is when I was 29 weeks pregnant with Garrett and Landon. The second picture is when I was 32 weeks pregnant. When I look at both of these pictures now, I can't believe my belly was really that BIG! It looks so foreign to me. How is it that 2 babies fit in there at the same time?!
It completely boggles my mind!!














Now don't get me wrong...this in no way means I want another baby. Are you freakin kidding me? 4 kids is my limit for sure. I have no doubt in my mind about that! But I think what I miss the most is that feeling of being fully pregnant, knowing I was growing 2 lives inside me. I remember complaining plenty of times (okay, let's be honest here....complaining every waking minute was more like it) about how uncomfortable I was, especially when Garrett who was our Baby A kept kicking me in the cervix, repeatedly. When I was 14 weeks pregnant with them, I felt their first movements and I cried...just so thankful to be pregnant again and relieved that I could finally feel them moving, a inner sign that told me they were doing okay in there. But then there did come a time when it started to hurt every time they'd move or roll or kick me and I'd whine about it and a good friend of mine said "you just wait...there will come a time when you miss every minute of it". I knew she was right because she had said the same thing to me when I was pregnant with Cole and Bella. 18 months after I had them, I was already aching to remember what it felt like to have them inside me and to feel even their tiniest kicks.

Bella once asked me why we have belly buttons and I told her that it was our connection to one another when she was in my belly and I tried to explain to her in the simplest of terms that she had a cord that connected to her belly button, which was a way for me to provide life to her as she grew inside me. I remember she just stood there looking down at her belly button and touching it and she asked "Where's my cord now?" and I told her that the doctor cut it off when she was born and made her a belly button so she could always remember that physical connection we once had. Then she asked "so we're not connected anymore?" and all I could think of to say was "we're connected right here", pointing to my heart.

And perhaps that is what I miss the most about being pregnant....the babies were always safe inside me where I could listen to their heartbeats on my doppler all day long if I wanted to or I could lay still on the sofa with my hand on my belly and feel them moving. But now each of them are not part of my body anymore and as the saying goes "Having a child is accepting that your heart will forever walk outside your body".....every parent knows this to be true.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Dream big, my child...dream BIG!

That's what I said to Bella last night when she informed that she's going to have 8 children someday....first she's gonna have 5 babies (quinntuplets) and then she's gonna have 3 babies (triplets). She was very serious when she told me this and said "And you can help me, Mommy, because you can hold all the babies in both your hands" and then just as I was getting over that comment, Cole told me he's gonna have 4 babies, but not all at once. He wants 2 sets of twins "just like you, Mommy". Talk about BIG dreams, right? They're very into "twin" these days, probably because one of the books we got at the library is called "Twin to Twin" (about b/g twins) and at the end of the story I always say "Bella, who's your twin?" and she'll say Cole is her twin and then I ask Cole the same thing. Then I ask them both "what does it mean to be a twin?" and they both say "twins grow in their Mommy's belly together and they're born at the same time when the doctor takes them out".

Landon has been saying more words...so exciting!! He says "hi mama" or "hi dada" and he gets especially excited when he sees our kitty and he waves to her and says "hi, mow mow". Last night, as I was handing him a banana (the kid scarfs down 2 whole bananas every evening...where does he put it?), he said "banana". I was so giddy over it that I kept trying to get him to say it over and over again and I even whipped out the video camera and tried to capture him saying it on video but of course it didn't work out...it never does. They always do something cute when I don't have the camera near me.

Garrett has finally mastered the stairs. He's known how to climb up the stairs for awhile now but he just now figured out how to come down the stairs. He spent about 30 minutes yesterday walking up and down the stairs, obviously very proud of his new skill. When I finally peeled him off the stairs to eat lunch, he freaked out....he has a million toys to play with but he'd rather run up and down the stairs all day....go figure. He still isn't talking at all...he was saying "mama" but now all he does his scream and whine. It seems like that's all he does now and it works my last nerve after hearing it all day long. Landon just points and grunts to what he wants but Garrett will just scream and I have no clue what he wants.

Bella has been especially sweet lately. The other night she came up to me and out of the blue said "Mommy, your my bestest friend ever". It made me melt right there on the spot. And she loves to help....when I'm cooking dinner, she will often come into the kitchen and ask "Mommy, can I help?" and when I ask her if she wants to, say, put the sliced apples on the plates, she'll say "sure, I would love to". The girl makes me giggle out loud constantly.

We took all the kids to Marine World for the 4th of July. Usually when we take all 4 kids, it's stressful and overwhelming but we do it mainly to get out of the house and the trip takes all day so everyone's worn out in the evening and ready for bed by the time we get home. But this time, it wasn't as stressful, which really surprised us. The most stressful time is when we're attempting to get everyone settled for lunch because there are no high chairs there and the tables aren't exactly the best set up for little little kids like toddlers so we usually leave the little twins in the stroller and let them eat off their snack trays, which they really don't like. This time, we decided to let them sit at the table with us, provided we each had one arm around the back of each baby and they actually sat with us really well and ate their lunch. I think they were both just so thrilled to be sitting at the table with us and not in their stroller that they were willing to sit still and eat.

We ended up coming home in the early afternoon because the park started getting super crowded and the kids were more tired than usual. For dinner, we ran over to the local pizza place to have dinner (how bad is it that they know us there now?) and during dinner, Tim and I actually got to eat!!! We both sat there afterwards and said to each other "I think that was the most relaxing meal we've had in 15 months!!!!"

Now when people ask me "so is it getting any easier?" I think I can honestly answer "why, yes, it actually is"!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Taking care of ME...imagine that?!

I ask "imagine that?" because twice last week when I told two different people that I had a dr's appt scheduled for Wednesday, they each said "oh, are the kids sick again?", assuming that the appt was for the kids. I'm usually at our pedi's office with the kids about 3-4 times a month, especially during the winter months.

I made this appt for myself, just out of the blue really. My prescription for thyroid meds was about to run out and I usually just e-mail my dr and ask her for another refill and she happily obliges but for some reason I wanted to go in and see her (part of that might have been to have a break from the kids...how bad is that...going to the dr to get a break from the kids??) And it probably was a good thing I went in because she looked over my medical record and told me it had been at least 2 years since I had had a full complete physical, with the exception of being proked and prodded throughout my last twin pregnancy. She sent me to the lab for some blood work and, just as I thought, I'm in bad shape...my cholesterol levels are way too high (although my good cholesterol was fine, my bad cholesterol was outrageous) and my fasting glucose levels indicate being pre-diabetic. Guess it's time to snap out of fantasy land and back into reality and start taking better care of myself. Funny thing is that recently I have been panicking about Tim and I not keeping on top of our retirement accounts. If I don't start taking better care of myself, the retirement accounts won't matter. I'm so anal when it comes to saving money and "having a plan"....when our therapist suggested, in the midst of my PPD, that we hire a babysitter to watch the kids a few hours a week so I could blow off some steam and "find myself", I instantly panicked over the money it would take to pay a babysitter. He said "paying a babysitter is much cheaper than the deductible you're gonna have to pay for a bed in the psych ward if you don't start focusing on yourself".

So it's high time I get my butt in gear and start focusing on a healthier diet (no more nibbling on the leftovers from the kids lunches and considering that MY lunch) and getting more active (I guess chasing 4 kids around the house all day, including up and down a flight of stairs several times a day, doesn't exactly count as consistent exercise). Cole and Bella will be switching preschools next month and because the school is part of our district, there is no cost for them to attend so we'll be saving about $600/month just in preschool costs alone! My original plan with that money was to use some of it to pay down our HELOC and put the rest away in retirement savings for me and Tim and in education savings for the kids (just the thought of the cost of 4 kids in college AT THE SAME TIME is enough to fry my nerves).

But then after getting the disturbing results of my blood work, I told a friend that I was thinking of using some of that money to join a gym but that I was feeling guilty. She said "what is this thing between you and Guilt? You need to break up with Guilt and tell him you're seeing Selfish now". Ain't that the truth? And then she pointed out how great a gym would be because while I'm getting a work out (and rejuvenating myself both emotionally and physically), the kids can go play at the daycare program, which I've heard great things about. I know a mom in our playgroup who sometimes drops her kids off at the gym's daycare and then she goes and reads a book in the sauna and then takes an hour after that to shower and blow dry her hair and put on make-up!!! TWO WHOLE HOURS to do nothing but take care of herself!!! I wonder if I'm capable of doing it without feeling any sense of guilt....probably not, but it's something I can strive to work on.

As I'm typing this, Cole and Bella are fighting over a blanket, Garrett is running all over the house shrieking just for the hell of it and Landon is pulling the cat's tail and Tim's upstairs in the shower (how come it takes him 30 minutes to take a shower but it only takes me 10 minutes...and I shave my legs too in that time!).....maybe I'll go visit the gym today and talk to someone about membership!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The dinner dilemma...

So it's 4:30 in the afternoon and I have YET to think of what to make for dinner! I'm a planner so for me not to have any clue as to what to make tonight is very unusual. Actually, to be honest, I'm simply just tired of the same old thing. Seems I get stuck in a rotation of the same foods....BORING! But my kids are so picky and so is Tim, which really doesn't help things. Every once in awhile, I'll take the time to look up a new and exciting recipe online (I love www.allrecipes.com ) I've actually managed to find a few new recipes that everyone likes, like the turkey chili and the baby back ribs (yeah, go figure...my toddlers actually like ribs!) But then I get stuck back in the same rotation, which kinda looks like this:

Monday - meat loaf

Tuesday - chicken w/ some kind of pasta

Wednesday - quesadillas (or some kind of Mexican concoction, maybe enchiladas)

Thursday - turkey meatballs w/ spaghetti

Friday - pork chops

Those are our typical meals each week. We're not a huge red meat family and Tim refuses to eat fish, which I crave all the time but just the smell alone of fish cooking in the house makes him dry heave. Sometimes I'll just wimp out and make sandwiches (hmmmm, maybe not a bad idea for tonight....I do have some tuna fish in the pantry)

I'm not someone who enjoys cooking but I think I figured out why....because I have FOUR rugrats hanging on me while I'm scrambling to get dinner ready. Yesterday, afternoon I had the kids outside playing in their little plastic pools and Tim came home from work and I said "I'm gonna go cook dinner....don't let anyone in the house, okay?"....I can't even begin to describe how peaceful and calm it was making dinner without 4 kids hanging on me and having to break up fights every 5 minutes or pour someone a glass of water, or wipe someone's nose, or clean up a spill, or pry a crayon out of Garrett's hands, only to realize he's already eaten 3/4 of it already. Or there was that one time that I was cooking chicken breasts on the stove and I had to change 2 poopy diapers and then help Bella in the bathroom....let's just say I ended up having to call Tim to ask him to pick up a pizza on the way home. It took 2 days of soaking the pan for it to be completely clean again. Oh, I used to be so much better than this though...when it was just me, Tim, Cole and Bella, I'd make meals ahead of time and freeze them or I'd just double the recipe and freeze the extra to defrost the following week. But for some reason, I've gotten out of this habit and I find myself at night thinking "what the hell should I make for dinner tomorrow night?"....I've even been desperate enough to say to Tim "why am I in charge of planning meals? why is it my responsiblity? why don't YOU cook every once in awhile", to which he just laughs and says "because YOU are the one who chose to stay home so meals are YOUR thing". Plus, the man can't even boil water to save his life...don't even get me started on the one time I asked him to make grilled cheese sandwiches for the kids and our house nearly burned down.

Sometimes when we're at Costco, I'll take the kids through the samples and let them eat whatever they want. If at least 3 of them like a particular sample, I'm completely sold...I'll buy it. All 4 of them fell desperately in love with these apple and chicken sausages made by Aidells so that has become a weekly staple for lunches.

So I need some new recipes to include in my dinner rotation....recipes that are simple and don't require me to stand at the stove for more than 10 minutes. If a recipe has more than 5 items in it, I won't even bother with it. If anyone reading this has a really good kid-friendly, picky-husband-friendly, easy-for-mom-to-cook recipe that they want to share, I'd be eternally grateful!!

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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