Monday, January 31, 2011

Much more peaceful

Almost like clockwork, Finn turned 8 weeks old and my postpartum anxiety subsided for the most part.  i still have my moments, but most of the time I am able to see how lucky I am and that the things that bug me, namely the house, is not that big of a deal and I can always tackle things tomorrow.  This couldn't have come at a better time since I am now back to work everywhere and last week I had Teagan and Brittan sick, plus some school delays/snow days to contend with and now I am sick again and Finn is sick!  It looks like we all just have a nasty virus, Brittan has an awful cough and sinus infection and is on breathing treatments and an antibiotic, but she is doing better and went to school today.  Teagie has a yucky cough too, is on breathing treatments as needed and an antibiotic for an ear infection.  Haven  has a cough but seems OK right now and Finn and I have stuffy noses and I have a sore throat (he may too I guess) and he has a little cough and a fever.  He has a well check this week so I am hoping he gets better so I don't need to bring him in twice this week like I did Teagan two weeks ago!

OK, off to get some work done before leaving for PT gig, really hoping the ice holds off until I get home!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I have a house full of VERY excited children

I just told them how many more weeks until we head back to Disney and they are SO SO SO excited.  We haven't been since January 2008 and were scheduled for this January but then we had Finn and bumped it a few months.  Today they were pouring over Disney park maps, looking at attractions, talking about what they want to do and when and trying to figure out how to schedule everything.

Being that we have the two babies this trip, we will plan more than I usually do.  We stay in a timeshare so we have a full kitchen and laundry which means I can pack really light (3 outfits/1 PJ/1 bathing suit per person) and just run a load of laundry each night.  I know where the grocery store is and will hit it when we arrive, and we ALWAYS eat breakfast in the room.  This time around, we will eat either lunch or dinner in the parks each day and the other in the room, plus most days we will have to come back for a nap for the babies unless Teagan is holding up well and Finn is sleeping in the sling. I need to get a new double stroller before we go, I am guessing a side by side version since it takes up less space and is easier to travel with, and we will use our handy dandy roof rack thing for all the clothes.

Being the kids are older, and as all moms and dads know souvenirs can be  hassle, I decided to give each of them a Disney card with a set amount of money on it.  That is theirs to spend, but when they are done, they are done.  We will still buy them a sweatshirt or shirt and a few other items, but this will solve the problem of  all the little trinkety things they will want.

I am now working on locating a character meal, we may skip it and just go to Rainforest instead...we like Rainforest and I think the food is better and the "show" is more fun!

Friday, January 28, 2011

so far so good

OK, I am currently encouraging each and every one of my children to become weathermen/weatherwoman.  It is the only job I know of where you can be wrong almost all the time and people still look to you as an authority and expert.  Today we had a 30% chance of flurries, instead we got 4 hours of snow...WTH?

Anyway, while the snow fell I was busy loading five kids into the car.  The new seat arrangement is going OK, although every time I have all the kids getting in and out of the car, the 15 passenger van looks looks more and more appealing.  Anywho, the kids and I were venturing out to Target since I was in need of a few key items including a nice peppermint mocha from Starbucks, and then off to the pediatrician to have Teagan and Brittan looked at.  I was attempting all this after going to sleep at midnight and starting my day at the glorious hour of 3 am thanks to a piggyback effort made by Finn (3-6 am) and Teagan ( 6:15 wake up).  Made it through Target and the harrowing walk to the car with an infant seat, a toddler and three bigger kids who seemed oblivious to the very slippery parking lot.  Got to the doctor's office and it was PACKED.  Saw the doc who determined Brittan who is never sick has a sinus infection and something going on in her lungs, and Teagan has a yucky cough and an ear infection.  That puts two kids on antibiotics and breathing treatments...and Finn is a crab and seems "off" and Haven just started coughing, so we will see where that lands us. 

On the bright side, I got an email that my Chapter 1 is approved by my committee and Chapter 2 should be sent off soon for review.  It is amazing to me that it is happening, I completed my doctoral coursework, I passed my Comp Exams and now I am writing my dissertation all while still having the family I wanted.  I am so lucky that I did not have to sacrifice my career, my family or my education and that I got to have them all!  Now all I need to do is get my rear in shape after having all these kids so I ordered a Wii Fit and I am going to start it tomorrow.  I would love to drop about 20 pounds and have been eating pretty well, so this may be all I need to drop the last of that weight.  I am thinking 2011 may be my best year yet :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Love me some snow!!!

Yesterday I had my first Wednesday at PT school and the sitter did great with my two littles :)  I let my class out early since they were calling for some serious winter weather, and it was a wreck getting home.  Took me over 2 hours to make a 45 minute drive and it was well before rush hour.  During the drive I saw everything from rain, to sleet, to freezing rain, to some weird slush stuff to snow.  Got home and settled in and we watched the snow fall.

Ryan worked from home last night and I cannot tell you how much I love when he does that.  He ate dinner with us, and this morning when I got up with the kids he had done the dishes, roasted some coffee beans for me and made steel cut oats for the crew.  He is now at the grocery store and shoveled the walkway and driveway....none of this would have happened if he had to do the commute :)  Thankfully he is getting everything we need for the weekend, so the kids and I plan to hole up, make a fire and enjoy the snow days! 

I feel like I am turning the corner on my post partum anxiety.  I am still feeling overwhelmed and the state of the house still gets to me, but I am able to deal with it easier and I understand that it doesn't need to be perfect.  I am also feeling a lot more energetic, guess I have all the energy I was using to stress back now.  Today I am moving laundry through, cleaned the kitchen, will vacuum after lunch and have plans to make broccoli cheddar soup and BLTs for dinner!  I also promised the kiddos we can make cookies.  Busy busy!

Monday, January 24, 2011

and so it begins again

I am back to PT school tonight and I am less than pleased, but I will go and once I am there I will fall back into my role.  Ryan and I know that this extra job needs to go, soon.  I have been juggling the kids, the house, school, the FT job and the PT job going on six long years and I am tired of it.  Part of our grand plan is that when we move, I get to step back to just my one FT job and that I will begin writing articles and journal publications and possibly a book.  There is also talk of me doing some speaking, I have been asked in the past and declined, and being that my research focus applies well both to academics and consumers, there is some potential there for me to do some work speaking.  I am anxiously awaiting our move, I know it is coming soon and cannot wait...each day we get a little closer and it is getting exciting as it is no longer "if" but "when"

My husband is back in school too and is kicking ass!  I am so proud of him since school has never been his thing, but he went into it guns blazing and is doing really well.  He should be done before the big move too and the degree will help with the new job search.  We have again decided to allow fate to guide us.  We want to live in Upstate NY.  The weather is in line with our desires and we would be near NYC. However we really like Ryan's company and all the vacation he gets now after so many years of working the benefits are great and we know that if he ever lost his job, the severance is fantastic.  The company headquarters are here in a town about an hour and a half north of us.  If he transferred to that facility, we could live out by my sister. We could still get the land we wanted, but the weather would still be weird VA weather and obviously NYC is not nearby, but family is.  It is a hard choice for us.  My sister's kids are the only cousins my kids have, and my kids are the only cousins they have.  Ryan's family is not involved with us at all, and we enjoy spending time with my sister and her crew.  For me, living up near them is best for us, but I understand Ryan's desire to live back in NY and we both simply cannot choose one over the other, family or locale.  So again, we are back to fate.  Ryan is applying for jobs internally again.  If he gets a job at the company headquarters and he likes it, we will stay here in VA and move in two years or so.  If he doesn't get a job internally he will start looking in NY in a year and we will move.  It is all up to fate.

Friday, January 21, 2011

It's all about the little things

OK, the car is in the shop and I am mentally prepared for the repair cost, just waiting for the phone call with the actual quote.  Once returned we then will drop Ryan's car off for two more tires.  I am thankful we can afford this, usually January is a bear for us, but we can do it this year and it isn't too painful :)

I think I have Teagan's cold and she sounds even worse today.  My fingers and toes are crossed that all the hacking she is doing is a good thing and that she is moving the junk out, I really don't want to deal with pneumonia with her.  She and Finn took turns waking and crying last night, and combined with my cold, I was not a happy camper, but we survived.  My wonderful husband took one for the team and drove to the farm straight from work (that is an extra hour on top of his two hour commute) and then took me to drop off my car...awesome awesome husband. He has to work tonight too so I am going to try to make sure he has a really good dinner to take, wonder what I will order :)

I am finding that if at the end of the day everyone has been fed, things are sort of clean, the dishes are put away and I made it through with happy kids, I feel pretty accomplished.  I am still anxious to get the dining room put back together so I can finish the rest of my list, but I am rolling with it better than I thought I could.  I head back to PT school Monday night and I am a little sad.  I don't mind teaching the class and I like seeing students face to face, but the long drive just wastes time I could have with my family and it irks me.  To put in in perspective though, I have to actually go to campus 24 times a semester total for the two classes if I give the second exam and the final online, which I do.  From leaving the house to walking back in the door, I am gone about 4 1/2 hours.  That is 108 hours I am away from my family for the whole semester, which is equal to what most people with a full time job work in 2 1/2 weeks not including commute time.  OK, I will stop whining now.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Musical Chairs

Busy morning today.  Got the big kids off to school then took Finn and Teagan to the pediatrician for Teagan's 18 month check up.  Seems she is not as small as we thought, they said she was 93% for height but i think they mis-measured since there is no way she is that the 75% for weight I can see, her thighs are chuuuuuuby!  We also had then listen to her chest again since she is still sick and still running a fever.  When we go there her oxygen levels were pretty low, only about 91% but we got them back up.  I am hoping the fever and cough let up before Monday or we have to go back to the doctor.

After the doctor we headed to Target.  I forgot my sling so I had to throw Teagie in the basket area and put Finn's car seat up front since it didn't fit in the basket.  Teagan was NOT happy with the arrangement, but she was good and behaved which was all I could ask for.  I also scored her a ton of jeans that were clearanced for $3.50!  I got her a few sizes at those prices, so we have jeans to last at least a year!  As we headed out and I struggled to get Teagan in her car seat which is in the third row, behind the other seat and is a pain for me to get her into and out of, I decided it is time to revisit the car seat arrangement.  We have an extended Trailblazer so I have Finnian behind the driver seat, Brittan in the middle seat and Haven on the end of the middle row (the girls no longer need boosters).  In the third row I have Teagan on the passenger seat side and Grayson in his booster on the driver side.  The problem is I need to fold down the seat, half climb in and sort of toss Teagie into her seat and then get the straps is a huge pain!  The baby is in his infant carrier and will be for awhile, so I think I am going to put Teagan back behind the driver seat, leave Brittan in the middle and put Finn behind the passenger seat with Gray and Haven in the back.  The two in the back will need to climb over the seat, but it will be so much easier on my back and other then when it is raining, it shouldn't be a big problem and I can throw a towel in the back to wipe down the seat for those occasions.  I figure by summer Teagan will be able to climb into her seat in her own and get her arms through the straps and when that happens I can put her back in the third row, but for now, I need something easier!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

24 hours is not the same as 72 hours

So......we finally got the floors finished last night and as a result I have a china cabinet in the foyer, china in the living room and my dining room table in the middle of my small kitchen.  Navigating through the house is nearly impossible right now, as are eating any meals at the table since we can fit the chairs in with the table, but then no one can walk through the kitchen, so we pull the chairs in when we need them, and then out when we are done.  I thought we would only be like this for 24 hours, that is what I get for skimming the instructions on the polyurethane, in fact we need to keep the furniture out for 72 hours and cannot put the rug back for SEVEN days.  So basically sometime in the wee hours of Saturday morning I can move the furniture in but not the rug-and we all know I will get up for a feeding and then go move the furniture.  We will survive this, and thankfully during the day it is just me and the babies and we don't spend any time in the dining room usually, so it is just the kitchen that is a major pain in the rear, especially when trying to cook.

The kids were off school Monday for MLK Day and yesterday because we had some serious overnight icing.  Now they are threatening overnight snow Thursday into Friday...if they are out of school Friday I may lose my mind since we are already needing to make up days and it is only January 19th!  I need to get my car into the shop, it is making a noise like it did when my bearing was bad last time and I want to get it fixed.  Being we don't fit in Ryan's car, we planned to drop the car off yesterday, but the kids were here and there was that ice issue.  The revised plan was to drop it off Friday...but we will have to see if the weather cooperates.   For as many days as the kids have missed school, you would think we would have had some decent snow by now...nope, almost always ice issues.  I am wishing we were back in NY this year, they have been bombarded with snow!

Trying to get some chicken corn chowder made for tonight, it is gray and damp out and a warm up is needed.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I have a bunch of things I want to talk about, but they are super random so I am just making a list...

1. Hubby seems better, hoping enough so that we can finally get the floors done and I can put my house back together.

2. Every time the Kinectimals commercial comes on, Teagan lays on the floor like they do in the is funny.

3.  Finn is the sweetest baby around, very alert and reasonably calm.

4.  The Woombie is the best invention ever, Finn can escape any swaddle and the Miracle Blanket and always knocks out his pacifier....not in the Woombie!

5. I wonder if other parents of a brood every feel like they can stop moving and cleaning up or if that is my own craziness.  I feel like I clean all day, every day and it bites.

6.  My kids are Wipeout junkies

7. Made the best sweet yeast rolls last night for dinner.  Tonight I am making spicy Italian beef sandwiches and need to make more rolls.  Good thing they were easy to make!

8. Confused about the changes I need to make to my Chapter 1 of my dissertation, chair had minimal comments. one committee member had a TON of comments and changes and other committee member had only a few changes and loved it....*sigh*

9.  Really excited that Big Love starts tonight and that the hubby and I have decided that once a month we are having an official date night.  Some months we will go out, some months we will just snuggle up with a nice just for grownups dinner and watch a movie, but we need to make sure we make time for each other in this crazy house.

10. I am thankful for the friends I have in life, and wish I had more time to spend with them.  I am making this a new priority as I have neglected myself too much in recent years and I need to make time for myself too.

11.  Think I am finally feeling like we will make all this work, although adding in my PT and FT jobs may be rough, I am feeling like we will pull it together and everything will be a-ok.

12.  Even though he thinks I am crazy, my husband promised to get me an iPhone when they are available for Verizon customers.  I HATE my Blackberry, so he is getting it for me even though he believes I should get a Droid.

13.  I love, love, love, love my kids, they are awesome...just wish they were getting along better today.

14.  Incredibly excited that we are planning to go NH in June to see my cousin graduate.  It has been too long since I have seen that side of the family, and cannot wait to celebrate Tim' accomplishments.  Should be fun and we are planning a trip into Boston while we are there...with my parents...and all the kids, that should be interesting!

OK, I think those are all the random thoughts in my head!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Forced rest

I don't sit well, especially when already stressed and anxious, but the kids and I need a down day.  Ryan made pancakes this morning since he worked from home, it was nice and I wish he would work from home more, I like seeing him in the morning and the evenings.  Since this week went well, maybe I can convince him to work one day a week from home on the long weeks, it really makes everything easier.

He is still pretty laid up, and as a result of doing all the physical labor, my back is hurting so today I have decided to lay low.  I did a few loads of laundry already and vacuumed, and will make the kids some lunch in a bit, but other than that and making dinner, my tush will be riding the couch.  Tonight I am making a nice roast chicken, it has been awhile since we have had one and I am looking forward to it.  Of course no roast chicken is complete without stuffing and I plan to make roasted acorn squash as well. I found a recipe for sweet yeast rolls that I am going to get started when Teagan heads for a nap, and by midday my house should smell delicious!

I have one more week off for leave and then it is back to the grind.  I don't mind returning to the FT gig since it is from home, it is the PT job where I have to leave the house twice a week that is causing me stress.  I know I am lucky to only have to be somewhere twice a week, but I really would rather not ever have to "go" to work and just work from home.  Hopefully in the next few years that will become a reality.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I think we may need an intervention, Teagan is addicted to two things, Fraggle Rock and kissing her baby brother.  The first addiction is super cute, we tape Fraggle Rock for her and she screams "Fraaa Rock!" when she hears the intro music and then she tries to clap when the Fraggles Clap.  She dances, "sings" and generally adores the Fraggles, and as kid shows go, it is one of the least offensive.  Fraggles also give me about 20 minutes to do something I need to do.  I usually save it for when I am trying to prep dinner.

The second addiction sounds good and positive...but she is almost 18 months old and not exactly the most gentle creature.  She LOVES Finn, and wants to kiss on him, hug him, touch him, rub his head etc but she can't do it that gently.  So when she tries to kiss him, she often climbs on top of him, and when she tries to hug him, she squeezes, etc.  It is hard to tell her no since she is trying to be sweet, but we have to balance protecting Finn and encouraging a good relationship between them and minimize jealousy.  It can be quite an adventure, but I am thankful that Teagan loves Finn, just wish she could love him more gently.  I do have to say, the face Finn makes when Teagan is coming in for a kiss is priceless, it is a mix of fear and joy that only a baby could conjure up.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sometimes it sucks, then you look around and get over yourself

That was a big title, but it was the best way to sum things up.

Hubby went to the foot doctor, they put him on prednisone so I fully expect him to be a raving lunatic by the weekend :)  They also put him in a boot and told him to come back in a week.  I feel bad for him since not only is he in pain, but he is unable to move around easily and has to navigate through our house which is a maze of rooms with numerous hazards on the floor-toys, bouncy seats, gates, kids, a giant dog, etc.  In addition, he knows that all the lifting and dragging and general physical labor is causing me a ton of pain, my incision is throbbing again and my back where the epidural was placed feels like someone punched it, all day, every day.  Being this started when I was five weeks out from surgery, the timing sucked and right now we need to balance each others pain so that neither of us does any additional damage.  I do have to say, I cannot remember Ryan EVER going to the doctor because he was sick or hurt in our entire relationship, so I know he is really hurting badly.

So last night I had a good cry to him that I am tired and I hurt and I am overwhelmed by the extra mess in the house due to the dining room being dismantled and my hormones are crazed and I go back to work in two weeks and and and and.....  Well, he got a piece of paper and wrote down the five most important things I needed done to feel like the house was in order and that would help settle my OCD.  He then told me that he knew how hard things were, the end of the pregnancy was a bit rough, then getting over the c-section and just when I thought we could tackle some projects, he goes down with his foot and that all of this  screws with my anxiety and makes me overwhelmed.  He totally rocks and gets that I can't help how I feel, that I wish I could let it slide but sometimes I can't and that I need him and the kids to help me tackle these things that have been piling up through two pregnancies and births plus our usual crazy lives and jobs.

He is working from home this week since he can't drive, so I am hoping the rest and the medicine will help his foot so on his days off this week we can tackle those five things.  The first is to do the dining room floor so I can put that room back together.  The second is to finish straightening the living room, that is where the dining room is living right now so I need that stuff out and just need to finish straightening after Christmas and it will be done. I use the living room as my quiet spot, when I need a moment I go in there since it is on the far side of the house....I miss that room since it has been the Christmas room since November.  Next he needs to go through all his clothes and sort them so I can buy him a new dresser...they have been living in two laundry baskets and it is making me crazed.  After that is the mantle, it needs new molding which is a simple and quick fix.  The last thing is we need to have the carpet installed in the playroom so I can organize that room and make an area for Teagan's toys.  Currently her toys are in the family room, but I need a place to safely put Finn and her stuff is getting too big and taking over, so she is getting a dedicated space in the playroom for her new kitchen, market, baby dolls, etc.

So sometimes it sucks, but then you have to look around, make a plan and get over it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Today is our 11th wedding anniversary, and I am happy to say we are still married, which given the last few days is quite the accomplishment :)

Finn is not sleeping at night again, well he is sleeping but waking every 45 minutes to fuss.  I know that this is normal at nearly 6 weeks, and that he is finding his sleep pattern, but geez it is wearing on me. I am tired, I am beyond tired, I am utterly exhausted and crabby and sleepy.  Three nights of no sleep in a row is pretty bad, but they coincide with the hubby's days off which should be good, except....he is on crutches and can't walk.  Yep, crutches.  No baby picking up, no baby carrying, no grocery lugging, no driving...crutches and pain.  Ugh.  He is a-ok, no worries, he has two heel spurs and it is causing him a ton of pain, we will go to the doctor tomorrow and hopefully they will give him a shot to help the inflammation.  I wish he wasn't in pain, and I am sorry he is hurting, but hell it sucks around here without the extra hands.  Add to this that we were supposed to refinish the cork floors on Sunday.  We cleared out the china cabinet and put everything in boxes in the living room, moved everything out except the china cabinet.  He was hurting so we put it off until Monday morning, but when he got up Monday, he couldn't stand at now my china is in boxes in the living room, and I have gated it off since it is just placed there not packed well.  The dining room is half empty, some stuff is in the foyer and some in the back hallway. I forgot to mention that Teagan has a cold and likes to just cry for extended periods of time-now THAT is a party! 

So lets add up:  No sleep + hubby out of commission+ house in disarray+ hormones+OCD+sick baby=one STRESSED out Mama. 

Anyway, after I broke down in hyperventilating tears this morning, Ryan sent me back to bed for an hour and a half and got the big kids off to school. That extra sleep made me feel semi functional so I got a few things done around the house.  We canceled our date out since, well, who is feeling romantic right now, but the kid's are getting out of school two hours early because it is *supposed* to snow (don't even get me started on that one) so we will be taking the whole family out to eat tonight.  I am sure we will be quite the sight since I am planning to wear clothes that could double as PJs, but oh well, we need dinner and I am not it is kid's night so kids eat super cheap!

Anyway, regardless of everything going on, the hurt hubby, lack of sleep, messy house, etc.  I am very happy that Ryan and I made the choice to marry each other 11 years ago today.  I love him, our kids and our life together even when it is a mess like it is today, because someday we will look back and remember these moments and know that we got through them together.  OK, now I need to shower because I am at least shooting for clean when we go out tonight!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It will never be perfect again

I have to accept that my house will never be perfect again, I lost that battle about three kids ago.  My body will never be perfect again, not that it ever was, but it is changed forever and that came courtesy of kid #1 and each that followed.  Nothing will ever be just "mine" which as a youngest child is hard to grasp and accept, but i share with a house full of people who always want my attention, my time, my lap to sit on, my ears to listen and they even want my chocolate stash :)

Most of these I accepted pretty readily, except the house still makes me crazy that as soon as I get something in order, it is thrown into chaos.  I clean and straighten all day, and on most days I am not happy with how things look at the end of the day but yet I keep truckin' mostly because I can only imagine what it would look like if I stopped cleaning up.  We are crazy busy, and our lives are far from perfect, my kids argue and fight, laundry piles up, floors get dirty, babies wet through, and we make mistakes as humans, children, friends, spouses and parents, but that is OK, because perfect is overrated.  I am so happy with my life and family and if I can chase away my aspirations of perfection and accept "good enough" I think I will be easier for them to live with.  I am trying every day to swallow it, to slow the anxiety and know that someday the house will be empty and then I can make it perfect, but now I need to accept that it will not be perfect and to love it as it is.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Slinging the baby

So yesterday I found out that Haven has a birthday party to attend tomorrow from 3-6 pm...which is all well and good except Grayson has a birthday party from 12:30-2:30 and it is about a half hour away.  Thankfully I was able to carpool for Gray's party and will be the drop off person and his friend's parents will be pick ups...hooray!  The real problem with the parties is that I needed to go get presents, today, with just the babies.  I had been trying to figure out how I would do this since I haven't bought a double stroller yet and Teagan cannot walk when we are out, so I busted out my Moby Wrap for our trip to Target.  I have a bunch of slings, two pouch style ones, a Mei Tai and the Moby.  I love the Moby when the kids are little since I can put it on at home, wear it in the car and just stick the baby in when we get to our destination.

So after the big kids left today, the babies and I headed out.  I parked right by a cart return with a cart in it, grabbed the cart and put Teagan in the seat and buckled and then went and got Finn out of his seat and put him in the sling.  The shopping trip went great, so great that I completed it while sucking down a Peppermint Mocha, pretty impressive while pushing a toddler in a cart and wearing a newborn :)  We got everything we needed and more and got out of the store easily.  The only issue I had was that when I parked next to the cart return I was a little too close and it made getting Teagan in and out a bit of a struggle as she sits in the third row and the door couldn't be opened all the way, but such a minor thing to deal with.  I was also sweating to death when we were done, I had a sweater on, the the wrap and Finn and my coat on top...I really should have taken off the coat!  Small successes every day.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Full arms, full house, full lap

We had another great night last night which is making this week so much more manageable!  Last night after I fed Finn at 9:30 I just turned everything off and went to sleep.  He was up 12:30, 3:30 and then for the day at 7 and after every feeding during the night he went right back to sleep and so did I.  It was glorious, well as glorious as waking up in the middle of the night to nurse a newborn can be :)

Mornings are crazy with the big kids getting ready for school, double diaper changes, breakfast for Teagan which equals a huge mess and feeding Finn, but it is getting done and everyone is getting where they need to go.  After the big kids leave, I clean up from breakfast and try to get something else done, vacuuming, laundry, dishes, etc and then i head into baby jail and hang with the littles.  Usually I end up under a pile of babies, Finn on one side and Teagan on the other, but it is usually fun and silly and loud.  Then nap time comes and I finally get to eat lunch and prep for dinner so it is easier to make once Teagan wakes up, plus any other chores I have left get tackled.  Then Teagie is up and soon after the big kids come storming in with snack requests, papers to review and homework to be done.

The hubby has been a great help, he kept the babies yesterday morning so I could run to the store and has been trying to lend a hand at dinner even though he has to get ready for work.  Even handing out plates can be a huge help some nights, so I will take what I can get!  He also was kind enough to grab our Quail Cove order this morning which was a huge help since I didn't have to bundle the babies and take them out in the cold and then drag 25lbs of chicken, 5 lbs sweet potatoes, 5 lbs steel cut oats, 3 dozen eggs and 2 packs of bacon in along with juggling the babies...thanks honey!

Tonight we will attempt dance with all the kids.  I plan to pack snacks and drop Haven off, then waste a little time driving to McDonald's to get myself a coffee, then back to the parking lot where I will turn on a movie and let the kids watch while we wait.  It isn't perfect, but it will get us through, and then when we get home somehow I will get Finn settled while I put Teagan to bed and hustle the big kids to bed too...should be interesting!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Constantly evolving

The best part about being human is that we can learn and adapt quickly to changing situations or experiences.  For our family 2010 was a year of great growth.  We learned we would be having our fifth child which was a bit of a surprise given that Teagan was only 8 months old at the time.  I was shocked and overwhelmed to say the least, and of course I found out the most stressful week of my life while working on my Comprehensive Exam for school.  I struggled initially to get used to the idea of another little one, I worried about how I would handle the two babies, the three big kids, my two jobs and writing my dissertation.  I was afraid of another pregnancy so soon and felt I had just finally recovered and felt "good" after Teagan's birth.  Of course I came around and saw what was right in front of me, saw the joy in the surprise, and fell in love with our little boy.  Of course today, at a month old, I feel like our family was never really complete without him and now know that we needed Finn to finish off our little tribe and make it complete.

In addition to adding Finn this year, the kids, Ryan and I grew in our lives and relationships.  Friends came and we feel lucky to share our lives with them, and friends left when we no longer could figure out how they fit positively into our world.  The kids are growing so fast, and I am so proud of the people they are becoming-loving, caring, compassionate and giving, what more could a mama want?  Ryan and I have grown too, we have such a strong marriage now and I cannot imagine anyone else living this life with me.  We have our sights set on the same goals and together we are pushing towards them, helping each other over the hurdles. 

I love my life, it may not be for everyone, but it is all I could have asked for.

Monday, January 3, 2011

One month old

Today my sweet little Finn turned one month old.  His personality has become more clear the last few weeks and we are all getting excited to discover more about him as he becomes more awake and aware.  He is a good baby, he doesn't cry much and is pretty easily appeased.  He is very aware of his surroundings and spends a good part of the day alert and observing the chaos around him.  He is not a bad sleeper and doesn't have his days and nights confused, but he is a bit of a night owl and doesn't settle well until around 11 and then is up a few times including a longer span between 3 and 5.  If he was my only child it would be no problem since he likes to sleep late until 9 or so, but sadly Teagan is up before 7 every day and the big kids also have to get up for school, so I am a little sleep deprived.  I am working on getting him on a schedule for bed, and moving up his sleep time to closer to 9 with his awake time being around midnight or 1 since I can work with that better and get more sleep once he settles.  Thankfully all my kids were night owls so we have done this many times before and within a few weeks it all works out.

Finn had his one month check up today and is up to 10 lbs 11 ozs and 22 inches, that is a gain of over 2 lbs and 2 inches since he was born a month ago...yippee for nursing!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Wanna go for a ride?

Come hang out with one sleep deprived mama with kids on winter break and the hubby on his long week.  So far we have made it through most of the week unscathed, although last night about did me in.  Finn was fussy until 11, then I went to sleep, Teagan was up crying just before midnight so I went and settled her and emerged after midnight (Happy New Year to me!) then back to sleep, up at 1 with Finn, back to sleep and up from 3-5 with Finn, up at 6:30 with Teagan.  Yeah...tired.  I guess the hardest part is that there is no opportunity for help from Ryan, and I know he feels bad about it but there is nothing we can do.  When they changed to the 12 hr shifts this summer we lost the chance I had for a break.  In the good ole days, he got up for dinner and then was able to hang with us for an hour or so before putting kids to bed for me and going to work.  Now he leaves at dinner time, so we don't really see him and I don't get those blessed few minutes to step away that I need, and it is hard.  The trade off is that he only works three days every other week, and those weeks are awesome...but right now I am counting the minutes until he gets home tomorrow, sleeps and then is available to help me out a little.

The good thing, the best thing, the only thing that helps me get through the exhausting days is that I know why we are doing this.  I know that we love our kids so much that we have arranged these crazy schedules and jobs so they have us here for them.  I know that we love them so much that we are busting our rears right now, working extra hours and jobs to afford the things they want and need and to save and prepare to make our big move in the next few years.  I know we are doing this so when we move, we will move to a huge lot of land where the kids have room to roam, where we can build our dream home and where we will stay forever and only have to work one job apiece, hopefully with the hubby working a standard shift for a change.  It is so hard some days, juggling the kids, school, work, etc can be wearing, but they are worth it, being here with them is worth is, and the life we continue to build is worth it.