Friday, December 31, 2010

This too will pass, and I will miss it

OK, so yesterday did not go as swimmingly as I had hoped. Teagan all out refused a nap, and Finn was very fussy all day which meant I spend most of my day trapped in baby jail with them holding someone.  I did not get as much cleaning up done as I wanted, but managed the basics of a few loads of laundry, vacuuming, dishes and I made dinner...buttermilk dipped chicken tenders, mashed sweet potatoes and broccoli.

Teagan was a wreck by five, so while she ate i bathed Finn and then threw her in once she was done since I knew she would be ready for bed by six given the lack of nap. After she went done, she was up a few more times since she was over tired, but thankfully Finn passed out around 5 and slept really well until his next feeding, and then conked back out.  After I fed him, I laid my head down for a moment with intentions of heading downstairs to switch laundry again and straighten up, and next thing I knew....he was crying to eat again, I had conked out too!  Overall, we had a good night, Finn is a good little sleeper and aside from being up for a bit around 1 am and Teagan waking at 7 am on the dot, we are getting decent sleep which makes the long days more manageable.

Right now things are a bit difficult, but having been here before I know it will pass, and quickly.  Before I know it, the two little ones will be in school too, and I will miss the days of holding them on the couch.

Today, right after breakfast, all the kids and I are running to the grocery store....wish us luck! 

Thursday, December 30, 2010


We have just begun our first long week, and so far so good!  Yesterday the whole crew went together to the farm to get the milk.  As we struggled to fit the milk crate in our very full car, it became clear that we are outgrowing the car quickly.  Every seat is filled and the cargo area has the when we are all together there is no room for anything else.  We ended up removing the stroller so we could fit the milk.  Thankfully, most of the time we run errands for groceries, etc, we are not all together or we plan ahead and can clear out the cargo space.  The truck is paid off in less than a year and I want to wait another year before we buy something bigger, probably a 12 or 15 passenger van or an airport shuttle, so we will just make do.

On our way home we decided to stop for a quick lunch.  We rarely go to buffet type places, but stopped at the local Ryan's Steakhouse so that everyone could eat quickly since Finn was coming due to eat and Ryan had to come home and get to bed before work.  It ended up being a huge success!  The kids were thrilled that they could pick whatever they wanted, I was happy they all picked salad as one of their items, they all ate well and it was quick and cheap...about 40 bucks for all of us to eat including tip! So while it isn't my favorite meal, it worked for yesterday and everyone was happy.

Came home and Ryan and Teagan took naps, I made stuffed rigatoni for dinner and off the hubby went.  Last night was good, got Teagan down just before 7, big kids and I headed up around 8 and everyone slept fairly well. We have no where to go today, so I am planning to use my spare moments to attack the post holiday clutter, do some laundry and general cleaning.  If all goes well, I will get a decent dinner ready before Ryan has to leave for work tonight and if all this happens I will count today as a grand success.  The 12 hour shifts that Ryan works, along with the long commute, means that his work days I have no help at all, there simply isn't time.  He will walk in this morning, hug and kiss the kids and go straight to bed.  When he wakes up, he eats some cereal, takes a shower, hugs the kids and goes to work.  The days and nights can be really long, but my big kids can be so much help and we have a schedule that allows them time to relax before bed and lets me get the babies settled.  Our life is ever changing, but I am am so thankful that they are positive changes!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

No resolutions here

I write every year that I do not do New Years Resolutions.  I think they are just a way for people to trick themselves into thinking they will change something, and then when they don't, it is OK because everyone drops their New Year's Resolutions.  Don't get me wrong, I believe that most people want to make the change, but it is hard and takes work and to be honest, it is probably easier to begin making a change on a random Tuesday in September than at the start of the new year...pressure and all :)

So, I will tell you what my family will continue to work on. These are nothing new and are ongoing changes, adaptations, accomplishments, etc. that we have been and will continue to strive for.

We will continue to try to eat locally and grow more of our own.  The family will work to be good stewards of the earth and respect our neighbors and we will continue to try to improve the environment and not harm it.  I will continue work to build a sense of community in our home and to encourage the idea of "team" that we have built.  I will continue to branch out and explore new opportunities for learning, teaching and working and only seek to explore opportunities that align with my beliefs and what is best for my family.  The children will continue to explore their world, try new things, make new friends and work to define who they are as they grow up in our crazy little family. I will, of course, continue to love each person in my life with my whole heart, and try to be the wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter, teacher, neighbor, student and human being that I can be.

I wish everyone the best as they head into the holiday weekend.  I will celebrate as I usually do, with a house full of kids and a bedtime before the ball drops, which is just how I like it.  I hope that anyone out and about having fun is safe, stay aware of other drivers and of course don't drink when you need to drive.  If you are a resolution maker, then I sincerely hope that you meet every goal that you set for yourself and have a wonderful holiday.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Post Holiday

So the kids had a wonderful Christmas morning and it was declared the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER :)  Santa did well, and being that we are a cash only society and I had a baby on December 3rd, I was very happy that everyone got everything they wanted and more, and we have no debt to deal with in the aftermath!

My parents are here now and the visit is going fine, kids are enjoying opening every single thing they got and playing with it for five minutes and then taking something else out.  I am exhausted and need a nap, and will get one tomorrow if it kills me, the newborn schedule is not working with the toddler schedule and the mama likes staying up late schedule and three hours of sleep a night is getting old.  I am anxious for the kids to head back to school next week and then I will begin to get a plan and a schedule that will work for me and the little ones and finding my way of juggling everyone and everything.

Right now I am just ready for my parents to leave tomorrow, and then Ryan will go to work Wednesday and the kids and I will hopefully get some quiet time and rest while they are off.  The holidays have been deemed a grand success.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Found the joy

OK, the tree was a fiasco this year, and the hubby's work schedule kind of sucked and then was OK, and getting Christmas done with a three week old (today!) and three very excited and busy big kids and one 17 month old who is having some jealousy issues was an interesting ride, but here we are and it is good.

Christmas is not about presents, it is about here is what I am thankful for.

I am very thankful for my husband who deals with my craziness and knows when to make me stop.  He is unbelievably supportive of everything I want to do, and he manages to keep me moving in the right direction when I am losing my way.  He is the only person I will listen to when told to relax and stop "doing" and I always trust that he wants the best for me and the kids.  He is a hard worker and he loves our kids with his whole heart, I cannot imagine a better husband and father, he balances me in every way and I love him for it.

The kids-what can I say?  I am blessed with a diverse and unique bunch of kiddos.  They are all so different, it is so much fun to see them grow, change, learn and experience the world.  I know how lucky Ryan and I are to not only have been able to have five kids, but for them to all be healthy.  I love seeing how the dynamic of our family has changed since we added the two littlest members, to see my older children grow in their roles as big sisters and big brother, to see how deeply they love their siblings and how much their hearts have grown. Any worries I had about adding the babies and it having a negative effect on the big kids has long been erased as I have only seen a good and positive outcome for everyone.  I am one lucky mama to have these five glorious souls as my children, and while it may take us a long time to get out the door, and we may be a bit squished in the car, I cannot imagine any other life.

Tomorrow morning we will have a crazy time of opening presents, eating breakfast and then collapsing on the couch to watch the Christmas parade and Christmas movies.  We will have a warm fire in the fireplace, and food in our bellies all day long, and while I would love a day of no chores or duties, I will still do dishes and clean and vacuum as my little people tear through the house, and it will be a wonderful Christmas Day. 

My little tribe wishes you all a fun and festive day with those you love :)

Happy Hell?

God it has been a rough few days.  I have been working to clear up thrush in the baby and I, my hormones are a wreck and the husband returned to work on Wednesday.  We took our Christmas tree down Wednesday since it lost all it's needles and was a mess.  That night I made my first outing with all five kids alone and survived, and managed to get home, clean up all the needles and get the kids to was all going so well.

Then the husband told me he had go to the office Christmas Eve and I fell apart since trying to juggle everything, getting Christmas set up alone, and having to stave off the kids on Christmas morning was just too overwhelming.  The kids were upset since they thought he would be home, and they had also expected to have dinner and cake with him on Christmas Eve for his birthday.  In one moment, we lost everything we were looking forward to, and yesterday stunk as a whole.  Somehow we pulled it together, the husband left for work and I got Teagan and the big kids to bed.  I was watching TV for a bit since I had really pulled my incision and it was becoming a concern, but at 9 I headed upstairs with Finn to wrap the last of the family gifts and work on stocking stuffers.  Got upstairs, fed and settled Finn and then I heard the crash....the new tree that Ryan had brought home that morning and that the girls and I had decorated had fallen down, and smashed a bunch of ornaments.  That was it and I called Ryan sobbing.  He made the decision to drive home and deal with the glass strewn all over the living room and the fallen tree, and he worked from home last night.  This morning, as I got ready to make a run to the store, he told me he was working from home tonight and I am so, so happy.  Now the kids and I can make a nice dinner for his birthday and the kids can sing to him and have cake.  He can put everything out tonight and we can do Christmas at 7 am instead of having to wait for him to make the almost two hour commute home so we will actually get to have a real Christmas morning.

For the rest of today I have a few small things to clean, we need to organize the playroom a bit more and I need to move some laundry through and do a load of dishes.  When Teagan naps today I hope to make a batch of cinnamon rolls that I will throw in the fridge so Ryan can put them in the oven in the morning and I will make the cream cheese frosting and put it in the fridge as well.  Then for dinner I picked up some wild caught salmon that we will have with couscous and wilted spinach, a favorite meal of Ryan's and then chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for dessert :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On my own

tonight the hubby returns to work and I am on my own....well sort of. The big kids are on winterbreak starting this afternoon, so I won't have to do the morning rush and can ease into the schedule with everyone.  I am feeling pretty confident about the coming weeks, and know that the days I have the two babies it will be the hardest when Teagan and Finn need something at the same time and I have work to do, but I have done this before and we will find out what does and doesn't work.

This morning Ryan, the babies and I went and ran a few quick errands. Made a quick stop at the grocery store while everyone waited in the car, then on to the farm for milk, eggs, honey and VA maple syrup then a stop at the drugstore.  Came home and Ryan got ready to head to bed and I fed the two littles, started a fire, did some clean up and prepped for tonight.  My big kids have a half day, so when they come home we need to undecorate our tree since it is almost out of needles, and then Ryan is bringing home a NEW tree tomorrow that we will decorate again.  We have never had an issue with our trees since we always go to the local tree farm and cut it fresh, but for some reason this year it is losing needles like mad and will never survive Christmas morning.

So the kids and I will be on our own for the night.  I am making buttermilk waffles for dinner for the kids since it is a favorite meal, and I am hoping we all get some sleep.  Tomorrow, in addition to redecorating a tree, I also plan to bake Ryan's birthday cake and start cleaning the house. Ryan did a good job of upkeep but we now have some areas that need to be deep cleaned again.  I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of life, although I must admit the idea of taking the five kids out on a busy weekend somewhere like the grocery store makes me a tad nervous, but we will do it and live to tell the tale :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

You will find me under the empty boxes

Well...only in VA would you have a two hour delay for three inches of snow FOUR days ago.  Sheesh!

Anyway, today my entire days goal was to make one of the kinds of cookies I need for the kid's school parties...and to wrap all the kids Christmas gifts.  Ryan pulled all the gifts down and we sorted them in the dining room, and quickly found, they filled the dining room.  The kitchen became filled with the empty shipping boxes since most of the stuff had been ordered online and the wrapping took four hours, and it was a non stop event.  To see what the gifts for five children looked like was overwhelming, and the two littlest kids had smaller piles than the big kids with Finn snagging only 4 or 5 gifts total!

Right now I am just happy the wrapping is done.  I still have stocking stuffers to deal with, but that can be done tomorrow night.  I am also really excited that it may snow of Christmas.  We have some white stuff on the ground, but to have snow falling on Christmas Day would be amazing and fun for the kiddos, and I would love to snuggle in our Christmas jammies eating cookies and watching the snow fall by the fire.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Out and about

Today I ventured out without my driver, aka Ryan.  Finn and I went to Target to get the last few items needed for the holidays and it was so nice to drive again and feel independent.  We began with a trip to the Starbucks in the store, then I meandered around the store getting what was needed while Finn slept soundly.  After finishing up at Target, I stopped off at Nathans to grab a hot dog since I have been wanting one for a few days and was happily surprised to find that I got a free scoop of ice cream from Brusters :) 

Made it home and started dinner.  We had a ton of fresh veggies left over from the delicious veggie tray my sister brought yesterday, so we are having vegetable beef soup for dinner.  Then I needed to treat Finn and I for thrush using Gentian Violet so we are very purple right now :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Emotions run wild

Well, I have been relatively quiet on the ole blog lately, mostly because I am in the postpartum state where I am a wreck of emotions.  Thankfully this time does not look as bad as after Teagan, but regardless I am struggling with the hormones that come at this stage, the baby blues and my old standby, OCD and anxiety.  That combo, with a dash of my mother's judgment and ever nasty comments (including one little diddy where she stated that she thought I thought no one would love Finn since he was a, yeah thanks that never crossed MY mind until you said that. Why would someone SAY something like that?).  Regardless, I have been trying not to feel like I am incompetent, which is hard when a bit laid up and are totally OCD but can't do what your head wants to do. Next week we begin flying solo so I guess time will tell if I am who I believe myself to be or not.

Anyway, we did have a good afternoon today.  My sister and her family came to meet Finnian and to celebrate Christmas with us.  We had an easy lunch of pizza and veggies and topped it all off with cocoa and Christmas cookies.  The kids loved playing with their cousins and of course they loved getting their presents :)  My sister and I are two really different people, but the last 10 years or so I have really enjoyed the relationship we have developed and I was so happy to see her playing with my two babies today while we chatted.  It was a nice start to the holiday week, I just hope I can survive the visit with my parents.  To say they left on a bad note after Finn was born is an understatement, and the only conversation I have had with my mom since was when she called to yell at me....yeah, not looking forward to the visit, but will bite my tongue and slap on a smile so the kids enjoy. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

No snow no school?

I am always amazed when they close school when there hasn't even been any snow.  Today we were set to get snow, possibly an inch up to five inches, however, it was not due to start until 9 am or so.  Yet they STILL closed school!  Snow began at 9 as forecasted and kids could have gone to school without an issue, maybe they would have given an early release, but seriously, they closed school before any snow fell!  Anyone taking bets on whether school will be delayed tomorrow and Gray will miss his field trip...yeah, I think so too.

Anyway, in an effort to make the best of the day, we got up and Ryan made a nice fire for us and I began baking off the gingerbread I made yesterday.  Then our babysitter, who lives next door, came by with presents for the kids and hung out here a few hours which was awesome since they were occupied with the gifts and playing with Steph.  Now I am going to rest a bit, then finish making the spiced chicken for tonight's dinner.  Not too bad for an unexpected day with everyone home.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pushing through

This recovery has been a touch harder, possibly because I am older, or because I just had a baby and c-section 16 months ago, or because the day I was released I pulled a bunch of my stitches.  Regardless of feeling a bit rough, I am getting around. Yesterday the husband, babies and I went to the grocery store, lunch at a local pub we wanted to try (yummy!), the farm and we picked up the Christmas Cards.  By the time we got home, I was very tired and sore but needed to wait until Ryan got Haven from her after school club before going to lay down, but thankfully around 5:30 I headed to my room with Finn.  While I am on leave from work, I still had some stuff to do on my dissertation and it was starting to feel like this weight on my shoulders, so I buckled down and finished what needed to be done and sent it off...and I am very relieved!

Today I am working on cleaning up a bit.  I have some baby laundry to fold and put away, I vacuumed and straightened up and cleaned the downstairs bathroom. I am also making gingerbread, but halfway through realized I didn't have enough molassas...poor hubby was sent out in the cold to get it, but will  be rewarded with homemade mac and cheese for dinner!  They are calling for snow tomorrow, nothing big, maybe an inch or two, but they are school delay and closing happy here so I want to be sure that I have something for them to do should they be home tomorrow.

Hoping to nab a nap before the kids get home today, then up to make a good dinner of burgers, salad and homemade mac and cheese...warm food to fill everyone's bellies on this cold, cold day!

Monday, December 13, 2010

These people, here, they are my family

It has been a rough day.  I haven't finished writing out the information about Finn's arrival and our hospital stay since parts of it were really hard to discuss, and well, I am hormonal and having a hard time dealing with some of the actions of others. I will finish it up in the next few days and think i will just discuss the good stuff, the bad can be discarded and ignored.

Today has been hard, lots of family drama on both sides.  It is really lonely sometimes for Ryan and I, we have family, but they are not the warm and fuzzy types that we wish we had for the kids (my sister excluded since she is a great aunt).  We dream of family holidays, and everyone having a good time together celebrating birthdays and such, and well, it doesn't happen.  We really hope over the next few years that we will find a way to fill in some of the gaps for the kids, and we also know that what we have built here in our home is a strong family that I hope leads to all those big dinners and celebrations in the future when our kids grow and have families of their own.

So I decided to let it go, let the drama go, let the nasty comments and craziness and my inability to understand others perspectives go.  I have to remember that my family is made up of the other six people in the house, they are my days and nights, my love and heart, my support and my joy.  They are the ones I look to each and every day, we are one team, one group, one powerful force, and that is what matters.  In this house there are six other people I love dearly, and they, they are my family and what truly matters.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Major thanks to the husband

OK...I have to say that the last week my husband has been amazing.  The kids have been taken care of, the house has been kept up, the errands have been run and he has made sure that everything I need is there.  He has run to the store multiple times in an afternoon, up the stairs with tea, water and snacks.  he has juggled Teagan, who has a nasty cold, during the nights when she is up and crabby.  I have been up in bed most of the day since coming home from the hospital on Monday except to go to the doctor, one trip to Target, one attempt and failure to make dinner, and a trip to the kid's school for the pancake breakfast. He has handled everything else, and he has been simply amazing.  Birthday parties, trips up to the kids school to bring things, outings with multiple children in tow, a trip to get our beef order, emergency runs to the drug store...he has done them all and never complained. This has made this recovery, which was a bit rougher than the last c-section, so much easier on me emotionally.

Today is the first full day I have been downstairs with the family, although much of it has been spent sitting on the couch.  We vegged and ate a junky appetizer lunch while watching Christmas movies. Ryan made us a fire so we are all toasty and I threw the makings of spicy Italian beef in the crockpot so we can have Italian beef sandwiches for dinner with chips and salad.  The time taken for healing has been so helpful, and the coming week I plan to get back into the swing of things.  I need to go to the grocery store, with Ryan as my driver of course, and need to go to the pediatrician as well.  We are thinking of going to lunch on our way to get the milk and may take the two babies to see Santa Claus at the mall.  I even managed to get decent pictures for the Christmas card, so we will be picking that up as well.

So, a very special thank you to my husband for making me rest and allowing me to do so without worrying about the kids, house or anything have been amazing!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Let's start at the very beginning

OK, I am going to break up Finn's arrival in a few parts so it is easier to type out.

We were scheduled for a c-section on December 3rd at 10 am but they called a few days before and moved us up to 7:30 am which meant we needed to be at the hospital at 5:30 am...eek!  The 3rd came and I stayed up all night since I can never sleep before c-section, something about knowing you are going into surgery and will be awake during it sort of freaks me out a bit.  We got up and moving and got to the hospital on time.  We had never delivered at this hospital so we had no idea where anything was, found Labor and Delivery and we were put in a recovery room to wait for the section.  The normal pre-surgery stuff happened, blood draws, etc., then at 7:30 I headed into the OR to get prepped and Ryan waited for what should have been 20 minutes, but became more like an hour.  The anesthesiologist sort of freaked a bit and couldn't figure out if she should do an epidural or spinal due to my heart condition.  She then had to go consult with someone, then come back, and then decided to do the epidural, which was fine since I have had them before....BUT she wanted to put in an arterial line.  OK, well that totally sucked.  It hurt like hell, she couldn't get it in right, she had to keep trying and never could get it to work.   The whole time I am freezing to death since the OR is so cold and I was only in a gown, and I was upset since it hurt so much and nervous about the upcoming section and I just wanted my husband to come in but he couldn't yet and see where I am going, it totally sucked.  FINALLY she decided to give up on the line, I got the epidural and Ryan came in, and I was so so happy to see him since it had been so scary and painful.

They got started and I got the shakes from the anesthesia.  I think they were so bad due to the nerves and the stress leading up to the section, but I was shaking really badly.  The section went well, Finn came out screaming at 8:47 am, weighing in at 8 lbs 7 ozs an 21.5 inches long.  He scored a 9 on both Apgars and was the picture of health.  Ryan left my side to go see him, and then they brought him to me to look at.  As is the usual protocol, Ryan left with Finn to go to the nursery while they finished up, and the doctor was kind enough to shoot me with the sleepy relaxation drugs, so I was dozing off on the table while they finished :)  The closing took awhile it seemed, or it could have been the meds, but finally I was wheeled into recovery. 

The best part about the new hospital was that they brought Finn to me in recovery, in the other hospital I would have been in recovery for an hour or so then moved to a room where I would finally get to hold my baby.  This time, they brought him in and I got to hold him and nurse him right away.  They also turned off my epidural so I got my legs back pretty quickly, which is always nice since the dead leg thing is so weird and uncomfortable.  Finally after about an hour, Finn headed to the nursery to be checked over by the ped and I was wheeled to my room.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Kelley's come in sevens

Last night Brittan's homework included finding things that came in various groupings, pairs, dozens, etc.  She then need to find something that came in a group of seven....and her dad helped her with that answer, Kelley's come in a group of seven :)  Britt was thrilled with the answer and I am sure her class got a kick out of her unique response.

Feeling pretty good today, much more human.  Slept in a bit with the baby, ped called and said we were off the hook for the weight check which was a good thing since Finn had just wet through his diaper for the third time in a row, then he pooped, I changed him, and within 10 minutes he was soaked and pooped concerns over his eating :)

He was awake a bunch this morning and was so alert, looking around and checking everything out.  Teagan came up and sat on the bed a bit with him, she really likes to sit by him and doesn't grab at him or touch him much, except to try to give him his pacifier if it is not in his mouth.  It always amazes me how different it feels when they are finally on the outside.  I cannot imagine our lives without Finn, I cannot believe how easily we have settle in thus far and I am so excited to see what the future holds.  Life will be crazy with our full house, but I love seeing all the kids interact and love each other.  We are so very lucky.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I can only handle the surface

I simply cannot get too far into the last few days right now, the delivery went fine, the baby is healthy and I am healthy, that is all that really matters.  Emotionally there have been some other outside influences that have been causing stress, plus the baby has been dealing with jaundice and I have been doing too much due to the jaundice and therefore have a lot of pain. I am now confined to bed for the rest of the day since one side of my section is throbbing so badly I cry when I stand, and I just took the full dose of pain meds so I anticipate being sleepy most of the day.  It is OK with me since I get to share my bed with the cutest baby boy, even if he is glowing like an alien baby due to his bili-blanket!  Once some of the drama and emotional aspects have passed, I plan to write it all out, but instead I want to discuss the following....


OK when I was in the hospital I watched this show and it really disturbed me. In fact, the nurse I had that night and I watched a few minutes together and laughed at the absurdity of it all! I have no issues with plastic surgery, hell i am patiently waiting until I heal from Finn and lose another 20 lbs to get a tummy tuck.  However, I am not sure I would line up for multiple plastic surgeries BEFORE my wedding?  Maybe you want something small done, OK I get it, or maybe you lost a lot of weight and want a tuck, sure makes sense! However multiple procedures?  What does the fiance think?  Does he think she needs this?  It just seems weird to me that plastic surgeries are such a big deal for these women...anyone else think this is odd?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

He is here

Finn is here, we are all OK, it has been a bit of a ride but for the moment I simply cannot get into it.  Just happy that he is here and healthy.