Thursday, March 31, 2011

I am a machine baby

Today was C R A Z Y!  After getting the three big kiddos off to school I nursed Finn and we were off to the doctor.  Thankfully he just has a wicked cold, and we have his well check on Monday so they will double check him just to make sure he is a-ok.  After the doc, I loaded Teagan and Finn back in the car with a plan to go to Target, buy a coffee at Starbucks and meander about checking out the wares.  When I called the hubby to tell him the good news about Finn, he informed me that the switches he bought to fix the light that crapped out last night in our only usable bathroom weren't going to work.  He was going all fancy and trying to put in a motion sensor light since our kids are allergic to turning the bathroom light off but the old wiring we have just wouldn't work.  He asked that I get a new switch at Target and hurry home...bye bye meandering time.  Of course Target did not have the switch, so I loaded the babies back into the car after grabbing what we needed and headed to Lowes where I got the switch.  On the way home I realized I forgot to buy lasagna noodles, you know, for the lasagna I was making for dinner.  Drove home, threw the switch at the husband and then headed back out with two babies to the grocery store.  Let's just say I walked into the store with happy babies and out with crying babies.  We ran home, I threw some lunch at Teagan and nursed Finn and Teagan has been passed out for over 2 hours and Finn napped and I made a veggie lasagna and a meat lasagna.  Just have some cleaning to do today and have to grab Haven from the mural painting club, and hoping for some good sleep tonight.

Tomorrow should be fun, we are having some friends for lunch so Teagan will get to play and I will get to chat with another grownup :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Follow up...

Thank you for those of you who expressed that you too are a tad crazy...nice to know I am not alone.  Being a mom is a tough job, and can be overwhelming on the best day, so it is always nice to know we all lose our minds from time to time.

Today started rough when we found out the dog peed on the brand new rug I bought for the foyer.  Seriously, I bought it on Friday after braving dinner out alone with all five kids and a trip to Target, that is so not the anointing I wanted.  It helped that I took the husband's car to work so I could plug my phone in and blast music. It helped a lot.  On my way home I stopped at the pet store to get something to clean the rug and the sweet cashier flashed me a smile and cheerfully asked me how my day was going as she scanned the bottle of Urine B Gone, seriously who could be having a great day AND be buying Urine B Gone?? Silly cashier.

Got home and had a good evening with the kiddos.  Husband left for work and the sitter stayed until bedtime which made the evening rush a little less stressful and I managed to get a little down time.  We did have some excitement since currently two of the three bathrooms are being renovated, the kids and I only have the one half bath to use and of course the lights blew and even with new bulbs it won't work so we pee by flashlight now.  I cannot wait to have our bathrooms back!

Tomorrow I need to bring Finn to the doctor since he is still sick and needs to be checked out, and then I need to start planning the summer garden stuff.  Still on the fence about chickens...should we get them??

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sometimes you just have to scream!

I have been married just over 11 years and I have never hidden the fact that it has not always been easy.  See here is the thing, I am crazy.  Yep, crazy and I fully admit it to anyone and everyone.  I have wicked OCD and anxiety.  I have loads of baggage, I think my mother hates me or at the very least is disappointed in me, I have trust issues and I am the classic overachiever to a fault.  I work FT at the online school, PT at the onground school, I have five kids, I am writing my dissertation, I work and clean constantly and I am perpetually exhausted, and it is my own fault.  I remember the days when I had down time, I remember that I would relax, but I just cannot anymore because I have too much going on.  In fact, I am thankful for my crazy most days because without the OCD I couldn't juggle it all.

But here is the downside...there is a breaking point.  Once I hit the point of being too tired or too overwhelmed, all the OCDish anxiety stuff that I have been managing, like ignoring the mess in the playroom or the wall that needs to be painted or the bathroom that has been disabled for a year (OK that one is hard to overlook most days) and it all falls apart.  I lose my mind, I feel it all falling on me, I cannot prioritize, I cannot figure out how to get out from under the mental pile and get a plan, and without a plan I am one lost soul.

The last few days I have been here, in this wacky crazy anxiety driven hell and it totally sucks.  Add to it that Finn is sick and has a yucky cough and some serious digestive issues and I am not sleeping at all and there were two days where I needed to nap and didn't and well, I fell apart today and my husband got the brunt of it.  To be fair, the bathroom is his issue, he started it and then left it.  I don't have time to outline his baggage, but lets just say that starting and abandoning is part of his family tree so when he gets stressed about a task and I am a raving lunatic he just stops doing it, and yes it is as infuriating as you think. 

So I melted and cried and screamed and my super awesome neighbor picked me up and let me steal a smoke from her even though I must have looked nuts running barefoot into the street flailing as she drove by, but she still picked me up and I vented and smoked that awesome smoke and felt calmer walking in the door.  So what did I get for all my hysterics?  Two, yes TWO bathrooms with no floors. *sigh*  Thankfully the kid's bathroom is just in progress, hubby removed the existing floors and vanity and will lay a new subfloor tomorrow and a new bathroom floor and then install the new vanity that is waiting in the garage.  Then next week the new playroom carpet is going in and then his one and only job is to FIX MY BATHROOM.  Thank God today is over...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Who me slack?

Life is crazy busy, busy and cold, it is also wicked cold for the end of March.

I am now seeing how raising five kids is a full time job, and what sucks is I also have a full time job, plus a part time job, plus school.  I am wiped the hell out, but I am trekking along.  I have a work trip in three weeks and while it is a bit of a drive I am looking forward to the quiet time in the car. I am also looking forward to seeing other grownups, eating a hot meal and sleeping all alone in a dark room....heaven I tell you!  I am hoping the three days away will bring me back recharged.  Once I return, I only have a few more weeks at PT school and then we are on summer break which will be very, very nice. 

Adding to my misery is the fact that my darling husband has picked up an OT shift for every short week in April, so that is three OT shifts that will be a long month.  May looks to be quiet, just kid activities, and then June we have the trip to NH and a potential trip to NC, then my ass will be here in VA until we head to Disney in the Fall. 

Speaking of Fall, I am stepping down to one class at PT school.  It is a senior level class, and meets twice a week but only for an hour and fifteen minutes and in the middle of the day.  I need to finagle the childcare for Thursdays, but Tuesday Ryan is home and I will be back before the big kids return from school which is awesome.  Stepping down is hard, especially since I like the extra cash, but it is necessary.  Currently I have almost 100 students a term at PT school, for this class it will be about 25, much easier to manage along with my other commitments.  I am hoping this provides me the extra time to be with the kids and work on my dissertation.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday already?

There is something about lack of sleep that makes all the days kind of mesh together.

I am currently sleep deprived on a level that is dangerous and I am shocked that somehow I am still left alone with little people, lighters and a stove.  I need Finn to sleep on his own while NOT nursing during the night, that is 11 pm-6 am or so.  Currently he naps awesome on his own.  Sleeps like a champ from 7-11 pm and then something goes all Hulk in him and he starts screaming and clawing until I nurse him.  This begins at round 11 pm and goes until 5 am, and yes, he wants to nurse that whole time and always in some weird position so I can't even sleep through it.  Guess what time I fell asleep last night...go ahead and guess.....if you said 10:45 you hit the nail on the head.  Guess what time Finn was up, yeppers, 11.  I went back to sleep at 5:30 and Haven was kind enough to wake me at 6 am when she got up.  Sweet.

Then I planned my whole afternoon around a nap, and I am NOT a napper.  I worked, I had a neighbor over, I fed Teagan and planned her nap time.  I also had the dishwasher repair guy scheduled for 8-12, but he never came, NEVER even after I waited and held Teagan's nap!  Jerk.  So now she went down late and is snoozing, Finn is snoozing and I am on the phone with Sears for the 4th time ripping them a new one. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Too tired for pictures

We got home tonight from a quick jaunt to Williamsburg/Jamestown/Yorktown for two days.  We had planned to go to Great Wolf Lodge, but my kids asked to go to Williamsburg instead the little crazies!  I mean, what kids turn down the indoor water park for history?  Mine and I couldn't be happier.

We got up early Sunday and headed to IHOP for a big breakfast to fill our bellies.  We then started the drive down but needed to make a stop to change and feed Finn who was not on the same schedule as the rest of us.  Got down south and went straight to Jamestown where the kids had a blast.  We also made it to the glassblowers which was a huge treat and I got a starfish like the one we saw the glassblower making and Ryan surprised me with some beautiful green glass pieces that  plan to set out on a tray in our newly designed bedroom.  We then headed over to our hotel, well condo really, which incidentally my family stayed at the weekend my sister graduated from William & Mary (and the weekend Julia my cousin's daughter was born!)  We checked in and it was AMAZING.  Three levels, plenty of space for the kids, kitchen, living and dining room, additional living room space upstairs, it was awesome, and the best part was it cost us under 85 dollars for the night.  We got settled and then located a place for dinner, which incidentally was located right by Great Wolf Lodge.  Then we stopped at a grocer store to grab food for breakfast and I went back to work, but the internet wasn't working and there was an issue with a firewall and time ticked on and well, I ended up driving over to the business center at 11 pm to get the work done.  Slept not so great since Teagan and Finn were up and down, but morning came and we were off and running.

Today we headed to Williamsburg in the morning, had a delicious sandwich at the Cheese Shop in honor of my sister, and walked around checking things out.  After Williamsburg we headed to the Yankee Candle store which was crazy fun.  Kids dipped candles, there was a place in the building where it snowed, there was an animatronic show and a mini Dylan's Candy Bar. They even had retired scents and I scored my favorite, Country Linen.  I think we spent almost two hours at the store alone checking it out!

Then we were off to Yorktown which was much smaller than Jamestown but still fun.  We saw a cool artillery display where they shot the cannon and it was LOUD.  Visit the farm on site and got to meet some turkeys.  Finally the day was done and we loaded up and headed home.

We had so much fun and there was so much more that we want to do, so I think I will surprise the kids with another trip down either this summer or next fall.  It was busy, and tiring, but the kids had fun and it was well worth taking a day off from school for the kids to experience history.  Pics to come tomorrow after I get some sleep!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Living honestly

So I have been reviewing some of my old posts and back in August/September I talked a lot about changing paths, living for myself, focusing on my family and letting the negative people and things go.  In looking over these last seven months, I am happy that I have stuck to that plan even though it wasn't always easy.  I have reached out and made new friends and connections.  My life is no longer full of other people's drama and BS, instead I reserve my time for my own drama and BS :)  My marriage is great, my kids are great, I feel like we are all on the same page and heading in the right direction.  I feel good about myself and my choices, I feel no need to explain myself to others and I am especially happy to no longer allow others to cut me down under false pretenses.  Life is good, it is peaceful and it is positive.  Thankful every day for making those tough changes.

The Today Show made me drink

I saw on the Today Show that it is the parent' responsibility to teach their children how to drink responsibly.  Ryan and I really don't drink much, alcoholism runs in the family on both sides, so we of course worry about the kids having issues with drinking in the future.  So....we decided we just need to drink more, and I have to say, I am enjoying this "responsibility"  We bought some really cute glasses, they are the size of juice glasses so perfect for a smaller mixed drink.  I have fallen in love with sweet tea vodka mixed with lemon Italian soda, and I am planning to get some lemon syrup to add to our homemade seltzer and the vodka.  I have probably one or two drinks a week around dinner time and think the kids are going to learn how to not binge drink or drink to get the liquor is relaxing.  Now if only I could start to like wine more, for some reason I am not a huge fan.  Oh well, I will work on teaching the responsible way to drink Pina Coladas and Margarita's  come summer :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How I spend my time off

As I said in an earlier post, we are supposed to be in Disney this week since I am on Spring Break, but stayed back because Gray had the stomach bug.  No one else got the vomits, but there were some other issues going around the house and it was a good call especially since the babies and I had fevers most of the weekend.

After our big adventurous outing yesterday to get the church pew, I was not planning to do a lot of running around today, but that got switched up.  Ryan had to get his car inspected and needed to go drop a paper off at his school, so the babies and I tagged along.  After we dropped the car and paper, we decided to head to the farm since we needed milk and had put the order on hold this week.  It was running close to lunch time and Teagan was getting grumpy and hungry so we decided Cracker Barrel was calling our name.  Oh how I love Cracker Barrel!  Teagan and I shared a big breakfast meal and Ry had a yummy burger and we were in and out super fast and back on the road where Teagie promptly passed out with a nice full belly.

After the farm run, I dropped Ryan off at Wegmans to go and get four things...FOUR...and almost forty minutes later he emerged with four BAGS.  That is the curse of Weggies, you go in for one thing and come out with bags and bags of stuff, good stuff.  We finally got home, I got diapers changed and fed Finn and started on a hearty dinner of chicken caccitore and polenta.  Kids came in, we did the crazy afterschool shenanigans, I worked, babies were played with and we ate dinner.  After dinner I had a treat planned for the kids.  We got a new ice cream maker a few days ago and I had the core all frozen and ready to go, so we got the ingredients out and mixed up some chocolate ice cream with white chocolate chips.  It was so good and the kids loved seeing it be made.  This is the solution to the HFCS in ice cream, we are just going to make our own with good milk and cream from the farm and fresh ingredients.  We can't wait until strawberry season to try our hands at strawberry ice cream.

Right now the kids are tucked in, the kitchen is cleaned up, well mostly cleaned up since I made some Irish soda bread that is baking and will be served for breakfast in the morning. I also packed the leftover chocolate ice cream up, washed the ice cream core and stashed it back in the freezer since I plan to make some special St. Patty's Day ice cream tomorrow for the kiddos.  Hopefully we will have some friends coming over to indulge with us...and if you are a local pal, feel free to come by around 6:30 after all the corned beef and shepards pie has been eaten.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I am starting my own church

OK, not really, but I did buy an awesome old church pew today.  It is from an African American church in  local historic town and is circa 1850, and it is so freakin awesome!  It is going in our bedroom once I finish rearranging furniture and will eventually get a seat pad and some fun pillows to make a long bench under the windows on the front of the house.  We also found a really cool dresser with a marble top from around the same era, but we were not totally in love with it so we are thinking it over.  Redoing our bedroom has been so much fun, I wish we had done it sooner.  Even though it isn't done yet, I am loving the results and love going upstairs to see everything we have been doing.  I still need to get a dresser, a new floor lamp, under bed storage boxes and curtains and then I think I will take a few pictures :)

After our outing today, Ryan dropped the babies and I off to wait for the big kids and he headed back to get the pew since it wouldn't fit in the car with the babies in the back.  While he was gone I went to switch laundry and found water dripping from the room above....the kid's bathroom that we are all using since mine is destroyed, ANYWAY, I got worried.  Thankfully it appears that the children flooded the bathroom last time they showered and it was leaking down.  After a lesson on how we avoid flooding the bathroom, Ryan and  examined the damage and decided we need to get a new vanity and floor in that bathroom.  So...I now need to get that into the schedule of "to-do's"  It is a never ending list when you have a home and kids!  Later this week I will book the playroom carpet installation, our bedroom is almost done, then we will get working on the outside and the kid's bathroom depending on weather.  At least there is a plan!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It may not be Disney....

but this was a pretty good weekend.

Yesterday we began the heavy cleaning and purging that will be taking place here for the next few months.  I had this corner of my living room where all my work stuff seemed to get dumped since I have no office and I finally went through and reorganized.  We also did some good cleaning of the main level and I began to gather stuff to go into the new storage unit I just reserved...hooray!

Today the whole crazy lot of us got in the car and went to Ikea, on a Sunday, all of us, and it was OK!  We got there later than planned since the whole time change thingy kind of screwed with us all, but we got there and went straight away to eat.  We got more food than we could eat for under 30 bucks which is why Ikea rocks, plus I had some wicked yummy broccoli souffle like thing and Swedish meatballs...tasty.  We traveled through ikea with only one major incidence of a kid needing to be yelled at, and a few minor "talking to's" but in the end we emerged triumphant and the kids even scored ice cream cones. 

I am redoing our bedroom...scratch that...I am FINALLY getting real furniture and decorating our bedroom so that it no longer resembles a dorm room.  I spend so much time up there in the evenings and at night when Ryan works that I want a nice, warm, comfortable space and for once have a little cash to spend on it.  Today I bought a new bed and a new quilt and a million odds and ends like candles and sheets.  I also have my eye on this chair in the Laxa blue cover...too cute!  Now I am on the hunt for some good sturdy dressers I can refinish, hopefully tomorrow I will go to a few local thrift shops and find something that works.  I cannot wait to have a cozy bedroom :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Inside yourself

I had one of those moments today in the car, one of those innocent glimpses inside yourself when you just feel your own strength.  They are fleeting, and they remind me a bit of the exhilaration of a new love and a first kiss.  For me today it was simple moment.  I had a good day at home with the babies and I was happy all day that my husband was home tonight to lend a hand.  I made dinner and Ryan served it up as I walked out the door to run to the store.  I was alone, blissfully alone, and grabbed some coffee for myself and donuts for the kids for later, then ran through the grocery store.  On the ride home my mind wandered and I thought about the last year, the surprise of Finn, the changes in our family, the tears, the laughter and the joyful peace that came with people coming in as friends, and those we needed to leave behind as we moved on.  I felt it well up as a favorite song came on the radio, the peaceful yet strong feeling from my gut that told me I was strong and I was fortunate and I was loved beyond measure.  I felt such sweet inner peace, no questioning if I was a good wife and mother, no worry about bills or schedules, no concern over what any one else thought, I knew, at that moment, that I was OK with who I am. 

As a mom and wife I often feel a little lost.  I find myself trying to be the right thing, say the right thing, clean the right thing :)  It is exhausting to worry about everything all the time, and there is a strange sense of peace knowing that tomorrow will still come even of you make a mistake.  So I drove home to the kitchen that is still a wreck from dinner and while my big kids put away the groceries, Ryan held a sleeping baby and I put a tired little toddler to bed.  Now they are all helping clean up, and I will finish my blog post, go in and dole out donuts and be thankful for all I have.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

See ya real soon Mickey

So, I can share that we were supposed to leave for Disney Friday.  We were set to drive down on Friday night and spend a week in Florida visiting the parks.  The kids were excited.  Ryan and I were excited.  Today we canceled the trip.

Well, technically we rescheduled the trip.  I had it all ready, new videos for the car ride, clothes laid out, we were set to go and then at 5 am Grayson started throwing up.  As a mom to five kids, that is a bad sign of things to come.  We live by the 72 hour rule of the stomach bug...usually the next kid goes down within 48-72 hours, which would put us in the car in the middle of the night on our way to Florida.  He was sick for awhile, so our concern was one kid might get sick on the way down, then another the next day, another the next, etc.  I can't think of anything that would be worse for a kid then being IN Orlando and right outside Disney and not be able to go to the parks.  Ryan and I had to make a decision, and we went with postponing the trip.  We are now set to go in October, and as a bonus my parents said they will also book and will come down to go with us and help. I am currently working on convincing my sister to come with her family, but they are probably not going to be able to come, but I will keep asking...daily :)  We have a trip planned for June with the my parents and sister and our extended family to a cousin's graduation, and I am booking a trip to Great Wolf Lodge in the next two weeks to help the kids deal with missing Disney.  They are sad, I am sad, but I am happy we can book in October, that my parents can come and that we are sneaking in a Great Wolf Lodge trip could be worse.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Shameless promotion

OK, so being "that" mom here....BUT please vote for Teagie here
She is such a cute little witch!

Oh....and vote everyday pretty please!

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Not much to say lately, work is busy, kids are busy, house is busy, it is the same old same old around here which means we just fall into the groove and live.  Still tired, but got a relatively down day today.  Made a big Greek feast with Haven, then didn't get to eat since I am not feeling so hot.  Did some grading, laid in bed some, basically tried for a quiet day. 

We did have a family adventure yesterday.  The whole crew went to the local RV show and it was really fun.  Kids loved seeing, and climbing in, all the different types of RVs and campers.  Ryan and I looked at a few that we are really considering for next summer, including one super cool one that had a loft!  We would have bought the loft one on the spot since it was perfect for our family and a good price, except my truck couldn't quite pull it :(  I am pretty sure I know what we are getting next year and we are all excited to be able to travel around with the camper.  Financially we could have pulled it off this year, but our vacations are already planned and none were camping trips, so it really isn't needed until next year and I didn't want to buy it and then have it sit there for a year. After the RV show,  we capped off the night with a dinner out.  Kids were so well behaved, even Teagan who was up way past bedtime, and sweet Finn gave his tired mama a break and slept through the whole meal, it was great.

So, quiet here but a good kind of quiet.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

In spades

When people ask why we wanted a larger family, it can be so hard to explain.  We clarify it isn't for religious reasons, nor are we a mixed family through remarriage, it isn't because we don't know "how it happens" and we aren't stupid or uneducated.  We have a large family because.....well, because we just do!  Did we plan on five kids, no.  Are we thrilled to have them all, YES!  I will fully admit that many days are long and hard, that it can be exhausting especially with both parents working, and good sleep is hard to come by.  Financially you need to be frugal and smart, we live in a world where a stocked pantry, fridge, freezer, OTHER fridge and OTHER freezer is a necessity and still we somehow run out of things.  The house gets messy in mere moments if everyone is home, and the volume level can rise in seconds if everyone is wound up and playing.  It is worth it to us, the hard days, the long nights, the crazy schedules, because it is paid back to us in spades.  I get more "I love yous" a day from my brood, kisses all day long, huge smiles when I walk in the room and long, tight hugs around my neck. 

I am so happy with our family, I couldn't have picked a better group of people to call my own, and someday we hope to add to our group.  Ryan and I want to move the family and when we do we want a home that not only fits our current family, but one that will fit our family of the future.  We are seriously looking into adopting a child from Eastern Europe that has some medical issues.  We hope that we can do this when Finn is around 3 or 4 and that the child we adopt will be around the same ages as Teagan and Finn as we believe this will help the child develop, being surrounded by healthy normally developing children of similar ages.  At present we expect the child will have Down Syndrome as we know they are at greatest risk of being institutionalized and we feel very comfortable with the idea of dealing with some of the associated health concerns which include cardiac issues and seizure disorders.  Did I ever think we would consider adopting an at risk child from another country?  No, not until I was pregnant with Finn and realized what a gift we had in our ability to have and raise our kids, and that we would be able to take a child destined to live and die young in an institution and provide a better life.  I feel secure that that child would be loved and cared for by our whole family, and that one of his/her siblings would step in and provide care when we were no longer alive or able to if needed.  I love our big loud family, and I cannot wait to see how we change and grow over the next few years,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I am avoiding the beast

I am going to blog instead of write my dissertation.  As of right now, I have bout 4 more pages plus the citation to do and Chapter 2 will be on its way for review.  I think it is a good sign that I am seeing the same names show up in the articles I am reviewing, it makes me feel like I am on the right track.  I have begun to call it the Beast, kind of like the character from Beauty and the Beast, kinda mean and dark, but with a good side, that is what I think about the dissertation.  It is lovable in a mean and nasty kind of way :)

Had a nice morning, went and grabbed girl scout cookies and had a nice chat.  Love me some girl scout cookies, so i have stashed them away and will use them as rewards for tackling the beast.  After getting the cookies, I headed to meet a friend for a pedicure.  SO worth it!  Now I have pretty toes and a stash of cookies, wheeeee.

Right now Ryan and Teagan are on their way to the farm, I am finishing my lunch and will complete the section of the paper I am working on right now.  I think after I do that, I will go back and do all my citations so all I have left is the final section which I will work on after dinner.  Very very tired and I have a stack of stuff to grade, but once this chapter is sent off I will dedicate the end of the week to catching up on everything else. OK, back to taming the beast.