Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Where the hell is my pot of gold?

Oh I am sorry my one dear and loyal reader, but I have nothing good to say will instead be a blog of complaining, however I really hope to return to a more optimistic viewpoint tomorrow.

We drove to NC on Saturday to see my parents, the visit was OK except that I was so very sick the last night there and did not get to go with my kids to get ice cream, which is all I wanted to do that day, and the Rita's there was closed.

We then left yesterday to drive home with the two smallest kids, the girls were staying on a few extra days, and after being so sick, not eating all morning, I was a wreck by the time we finally stopped to eat at 2:30...however the food we had was pretty good at some random restaurant we found.

Made it home in decent time, kids were good on the ride and I about keeled over when I walked in the door from the stench.  Now we had left the dog under the care of our sitter, who was coming to let her out, however something went awry and the dog peed and pooped all over the WHITE living room rug.  The smell was awful and I am not sure the carpet can be saved.  We steam cleaned it last night, but I am not sure it is going to work.  Just what I did not want to have to do, buy new carpet.

While I was waiting for Ry to bring the industrial steam cleaner from the store, I found a letter in our mail from the mortgage company.  To put it mildly, we were screwed a few years back in a refinance, and we are still being screwed now...and they have upped their screwiness in recent months but we are trapped in this house until the market improves or we become independently wealthy, and I am starting to believe that both of these are sumply never going to happen. I am fighting them now on their shenanigans, and will go to the top of the line if needed, but it is stressful when your husband is facing a layoff and they are screwing you around and you are doing all the right things.  Damn them, I will make sure they fix THEIR mistake so it doesn't keep making a mess of my credit!

So that is it in a nutshell, I am a wreck since I cannot look for new work until the baby is born, Ryan may be laid off today, tomorrow, next month or never, the housing market bites and my mortgage company is staffed by incompetent idiots and my rug still smells like pee.  I think I will go make cookies now.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The bright spot

The new schedule has been tough.  By five I feel like crawling under the couch to hide from the children's requests, and the dinner/cleanup/bath period is very overwhelming and when I miss having Ryan home the most.  However, come 7:30, a small miracle happens.  The kids all come upstairs while I put Teagan to bed.  They play in their rooms or finish up brushing teeth, and when the baby is asleep, I come out of her room and head to mine to relax with a little mindless TV.  It is during this time, that the three big kids trickle in and out, and I am loving the time we are having together.  Tonight Brittan came right in, snuggled under a blanket on my bed and we chatted. The other two kids came in a little while later and we all talked and they played and it was really nice. Last night Haven and I spent some time together, and it was so relaxing and such a special moment that I would have missed if we hadn't moved to the new routine. 

It has been hard, but there have been some really great moments that have come out of it.  The kids said that they really like the time in the evenings and that they like that they can read, watch a movie, play or visit with pressure.  In a house full of people, these small talks, these one on one connections, really matter.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

And the days fly by

Wow, it has been a crazy few days.  Ryan worked a four day week last week, and with the end of school, and everyone being crazed, I was in tears many an evening as we tried to adjust to the new schedule.  For him, he works his rear off all week working 12 hr days with 4 hrs of commuting and no time with the family, for me, I juggle kids and work in 24 hr shifts without a single break.  On the bright side, he took today off, and it is his short week, so he only works Thursday and Friday :)

The kids had their combined birthday swim party on Sunday and it was perfect.  It was really hot, 95, but not humid at all so the kids really enjoyed the pool.  We also avoided the often common dinnertime thunderstorms, so that was a relief.  We followed the party with dinner out and dragged out exhausted crew home.  It was worth all the time, effort and sleepiness and I think we will repeat the triple threat party next year :)

I am starting to feel some bumps and wiggles from the new baby.  Not all the time yet, and not consistently, but Baby Five Alive is beginning to may his (?) presence known.  I am getting excited to meet him, and curious as to where our very full household will end up in a few years!  Hoping Ryan can secure a contract position here in VA for two years allowing us some breathing room, but again, time will tell!

Today is a chore day, kids have laundry to deal with and packing for their trip to see my parents.  I have a playroom to prime and paint and Ryan needs to do some work on the bathroom.  Always tasks to complete around here, but they get done...slowly but surely.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Baby guesses and the last day of school

It has been a busy few days here.  Yesterday I saw the perinatologist and they did a ridiculously long ultrasound to which we found out that the baby is healthy and looking good :)  Both the doc and the tech think that it looks like we have a little boy coming in December, but we will confirm everything at the next ultrasound in a few no buying boy gear until then.

Today was the last day of school, and I am looking forward to skipping the morning rush during the week.  My kids are awesome about getting up and getting breakfast, and heck, they girls will even get Teagan and give her some Cheerios or yogurt to let me get a few extra minutes, so I am looking forward to a little break.  I need the break with Ryan's new schedule, which is really causing us both stress.  He is working a four day week, 12 hr days alternating with a 3 day week, 12 hr days....sounds good except when you add in the two extra hours of work along with the now two extra commuting hours due to double rush hours and that means on work days, it is a 16 hour time to spend with us :(  He leaves before dinner now, so the kids miss having him do bedtime, and I miss getting any break at all during the day....but we are trying to adjust. The days he is home will be awesome, but the work days are long and tiring for a preggo mama who has to work as well. 

Today the girls had early release, so this morning Gray, Teagan and I had breakfast out, when the girls came home I took them to get their summer haircuts and then because I was tired and wanted to celebrate the end of school, we hit our favorite Mexican place for was well worth it and really cheered up the mama who was a bit down in the dumps.

So we are adjusting and excited about the new maybe baby boy and nervous about what the future is a time of great flux in our little tribe, and I hope on the other side we have nothing but joy and happiness.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

GPS is down

I have to admit, the not knowing about Ryan's job has got me on edge.  I am a planner, an evaluator, someone who weighs the options.  We knew that we wanted to move in two years and we were deciding on NY and the west side of VA.  In two years financially we were going to be in a good place to move, we were hopeful the housing market would have come back enough for us to sell the house, and we knew that I would be done with school.  That is in two years.....not now.

Now we need my income from the PT teaching gig and we won't have the cash we need to buy another house.  The current house is not worth enough to sell, and rent wouldn't cover the mortgage.  It is frustrating because Ryan will need a new job, so does he look here or in NY?  A job in NY means I am here all week with the kids, working my two jobs and writing my dissertation.  I would need to hire the sitter to help more, and it would be hard on me and the kids to make this work.  In the end, it would be the best choice as he would be established up there and we could determine what to do about the housing situation when the time comes....but a year and a half of him being gone all week is a lot to swallow.  He cannot even begin looking for work up north until the baby is born, because god forbid he got a job, I would be here alone and very, very pregnant!

I hate when other forces affect our plans.  We had a great plan, one where everything we wanted could happen on our schedule and we would all be together, and now that may change.  I am hopeful that he does not get laid off and we can keep going on track, or that the lay off doesn't happen until after the end of the year which would mean we may only be apart a year or less.  So difficult to imagine and it makes me sad that we have been working for so long towards this goal, and it may get squashed.  Double sigh.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Date night

Tonight the hubby and I are escaping the brood for a dinner out.  Sitter arrives at 5 and then we are high tailing it to the Thai place to indulge in Pad Thai and sticky mango rice and all the yummness that comes with a quiet Thai dinner.

In other news, saw the doc today and heard Baby Five Alive's healthy lttle heartbeat.  See the specialist on Thursday and will get an ultrasound to peek at the little bugger.  I will be nearly 15 weeks then, so we may even be able to see the gender, but will go back at 19-20 weeks for the big ole ultrasound followed by the fetal echocardiogram at 24 weeks...whew that is a lot of doctor visits!

We have just about narrowed the baby names down, and I am very sad that I will have to choose!  The boy name was Griffin, but that is in negotiation for another good Irish name that I love, but the hubby does not.  The girl name we agreed on pretty quickly, and it is not our "usual" name.  Five points for anyone who can guess is German in origin and is in the title of one of The Seeker's songs.....

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Pit of Despair

No I have not fallen in :)

Hubby tried to make good...I will forgive him because really, do I want to raise five kids alone?  Plus, most of the time he is pretty swell, so I will just use this to blackmail him so I can name Baby Five Alive the name I like and he doesn't.

Ugh, so it is residency weekend, otherwise known as, sit all day for multiple days getting the beejeezes scared out of you regarding your comps (mine are done yeah!) and dissertation...with a closing class of "Yeah you are so smart and lucky and elite and blah blah blah" which does NOT make up for all the fear they dished out!  At least I got to ignore the comp exam stress and watched the people around me sweat about it. I also met with my dissertation chair, Dr. Bob,  and he is really great, seems interested in my topic and seeing me succeed and seems like an all around great guy. I am sure in about 15 months when I am gearing up to defend, I will think he is the devil :)

Cramming in 12 hours of meetings/driving, plus regular work, plus my family wasn't is also recital weekend, wooohoooo.  So tomorrow after waking at 5 am, leaving at 7 am, getting out of classes at 4:30 pm and needing to drive two hours home....I instead will go to a HS to see my girls dance, and then get ice cream and then come home and work.  Did I mention that Sunday's session starts at 8, so I get to leave at 6 am, **sigh**.  I will happily nap on Monday and dream of dissertation fairies that look like Dr. Bob dancing in my head :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It is my birthday

and just like all other has totally, and completely sucked. I can't even go into the depths of suckage, just imagine your worst birthday, and I am sure you will be close.

Onwards and upwards I guess.  Tonight is the girls dress rehearsal for their recital.  Sounds like fun to be in a HS auditorium with all four kids until way past bedtime....oh and we need to leave before dinner time.  To combat the angry, hungry child syndrome, I made some oven baked honey mustard chicken strips, pasta salad and strawberries to combat the hungry crazies.  I will pack it up and bring it with us, and I hope it will ease the beasts.

Tomorrow I get to spend the day cleaning up, and then Friday I need to be out the door by 7 am to go to a conference.  I am just hoping to make it home by bedtime for the kids :(

Saturday is recital day, but again I need to leave at 7 am to go to a conference then leave there at 4:30 and rush to the show hopefully in time to see my girls.  Ugh...did i mention I need to go on Sunday too?  And that grades are due?  And my normal work?  BLECK...I need this weekend to be over, today to be over, and I am skipping my birthday and all other holidays from now on, they are just a huge disappointment.  Oh I wish my husband could just be thoughtful once.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

When life is stressful...I cook

I am anxious today.  I had a weird night filled with bizarro dreams (thanks pregnancy hormones!) and I woke just feeling off.  I tried to talk with the husband when he got home, but he was too tired ti engage me, so I vented to a good friend who let me complain about how I hate my house, and I hate my yard and I hate not knowing what is going to happen with Ryan's job and how I hate not having a plan....and then she helped me see that our house is big and roomy and while not ideal for me, comfortable will fit our tribe, that the yard is spacious and exciting for the kids who can explore the creek and the woods, that if Ryan lost his job and somehow could not locate another one in IT we would be comfortable for well over a year and if he did find an IT job out of state, we would somehow make it work until we could all be together.  She is a good friend and I feel much better.

However, once those anxiety fibers are in an uproar, I have nervous energy to burn off, so I decided to make a huge Italian feast for dinner,  Thankfully the Aerogarden was well overgrown with parsley and basil, so I made a batch of meatballs, and then started a pot of homemade sauce filled with veggies that will simmer the day away.  The homemade pasta dough will be made, rolled and cut when Ryan gets up around 3:30...he is the resident pasta cutter, and I have my recipe for foccacia sitting on the counter waiting for 1:30 when it will be time to make the dough.  The house smells fantastic, and while I fully expect to be exhausted by 3:30, it will be well worth it to enjoy this dinner with my family, and to be thankful for all we do have.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Humans, as a species, adapt well.  We adapt to changing schedules, environments, lifestyles, amount of sleep, etc.  As a mom of four (soon to be five) I have had to adapt.  When I first moved to VA I had a two bed/two bath apartment that I shared with my dog.  In the three months I lived there alone, before Ryan moved down, I had a cleaning routine.  Every Friday night after work, I would order a pizza and I would start at the bedroom and work my way towards the front door cleaning.  Usually by the time the pizza arrived, the apartment was clean.  Then Ryan moved in and I had to adapt.  He was messy...actually back then he was a SLOB!  He also liked to leave the TV on (I hate the extra noise) he liked to sleep a lot, he was just not on the same page as me.

As any couple does, we adapted.  He cleaned up more, I accepted some things, some very, very small things!  As kids came into the mix, I had to be willing to accept toys on the floor, clothes left in the bathroom, spills at the table and all that comes with having little people.  I would venture to say that anyone who walked in my house on a given day would not think it to be neat and orderly.  However, I always strive for clean.  I dust twice a week, I vacuum at least twice a day (combating Newfoundland hair and kid mess), I wipe the kitchen after every meal, the table after every meal, the bathrooms are cleaned multiple times a week and I pick up endlessly. We are not a show house.  At present we are a house in pieces with the master bathroom floor half torn up, the playroom in shambles and a few other small projects being completed, but the floors are vacuumed, the dishes clean, the bathrooms are presentable. It is all about adapting, and looking back now, I couldn't imagine not having all these glorious kids, and the messes they leave me!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

This post is brought to you by my shiny new Mac

Yes it arrived, and just in time since my PC laptop was nearly I just need the software that is required to do my job and we will be fully operational.  I cannot express how happy I am that my boss went to bat and got me the new system, I really need to be on the Mac to help when students have questions, plus Adobe works so much better on a Mac :)

Today was a good day that started rough. I woke the kids at 6:15 to go pick up our chicken/bacon order and they were less than thrilled with me.  Literally woke them and walked them right to the car, all of us in our PJs!  Thankfully the house we need to pick up from is just a few blocks away, not so thankfully the very nice hostess packed our stuff in coolers and I had a hell of a time getting one of the boxes out.  Came home, separated the stuff into two groups, mine and Emily's, put ours away and got on with the morning.  Kids were troopers, they ate and then the girls got ready for school, I grabbed a shower and then got Teagie and Gray ready.  I managed to even get some work work done and the dishes before hustling the girls out to the bus stop and getting Gray and Teagie in the car.

Off we headed to Emily's to drop off her chicken and bacon and pick her and Maggie up for a trip the the farm, when the hubby called and had that tone that made it clear that he either got a ticket, got in an accident or got bad news at work.  It was the last one.  Seems his company will be laying off 50% of his department on or around August 1st...yeah?  We talked and I think we will be OK.  First we don't know if he will be laid off.  Second, there are a bunch of positions available in other departments within his company (HUGE national company with headquarters in VA).  Third, the severance package is good, especially since he has been there seven years, we should get a full 5-6 months pay, and we can always get benefits through my company.  So WORST case scenario, he gets laid off, can't find an IT gig so takes some other job making less money while looking for work and we use the severance to help make up the difference, which should last us well over a year then.  So we moved on and made a short term plan.

Anywho.....Gray and Teagan and I grabbed Emily and Maggie and ran to Wegmans for a few staples then off to the farm.  Dropped them all off (except the baby!) and ran home to get into bathing suits for the first trip to the pool!  Met them up at the pool and we had a blast.  Teagan LOVES the water, she doesn't mind being splashed, she kicks and plays and loves being bounced in the water...such a little water baby!  Grayson did great and seems very interested in getting better at swimming, which bodes well for swim lessons this summer and I was thrilled to be in the sun, getting fresh air and the freckles on my face and shoulders are out in force, as is the very red sunburn I got today.

Day ended with a crazy thunderstorm during our delicious dinner of homemade blueberry pancakes and some of our new bacon, which was delicious in its nitrate-free, antibiotic-free, hormone-free glory!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Things we do for/to our kids

Tomorrow morning I will wake my four kids at 6:30 am to throw them in the car in their PJs so we can drive to a house at the back of our neighborhood.  At that house, I will then hop out of the car, grab two big boxes and bring my sleepy crew home where I will have the girls get ready for school as I put away the contents of the boxes.  What are we getting you ask?  Chicken and bacon.  Yep, tomorrow is our monthly pick up from Quail Cove Farms and we will be getting about 12 packages of chicken tenders and 6 packages of pork bacon...mmm bacon.  While the kids are not thrilled about the early pick up, they know that the food they are getting is the best we can find for them, and that it is important.

Once the girlies are off to school, Grayson and Teagan and I are off to the farm for our milk pick up.  The weekly drive is not one I look forward to, but knowing that the kids are all drinking hormone and antibiotic free milk is very important to us.  We also get the yogurt we feed Teagan there, as well as various fruits and veggies, honey, beef, eggs, occasionally cheese, ice cream (SO good) and other goodies.  Is the drive long-yes, but it is so worth it!

When Ry starts his new schedule in a few weeks, we will also begin a bi-weekly trip to the farmer's market on Sunday mornings. The treks, the hauls, the hard work is all worthwhile as we know that the food we put in our bodies is the healthiest available.  So tomorrow, off we go bright and early, and you bet your bippy there will be bacon for dinner in this house tomorrow!