Friday, April 29, 2011

Choppy water

It has been a rough and trying couple of days.  Relationships are work, they are compromise, they are putting your foot down when needed, they are tears, and fears and at the end of it all, if what you have is a whole lot of love, you are damn lucky.

So the waters got choppy, things were unstable, but thankfully everyone has emerged, intact and ok.  Just a lesson to never get complacent.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I am too old for this shit

Seriously, I am no longer putting up with people acting in a way that makes me feel bad about myself, not when I am in with both feet, working my ass off and being a good person.  I am REALLY not putting up with my kids paying for it, no way, no how.  You want to act like an ass, fine.  You want to behave like a child, go for it.  You want to choose to act in a way that disrespects me, be my guest, but know I am not dealing with it anymore and the consequences are yours to work through.  We are a valuable commodity the kids and I, treat us as such or risk losing us, I am way too old to play the HS bullshit games.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Leaps of Faith

I always look before I leap, I plan, I obsess, I work through every scenario.  Change is hard for me, yet I constantly crave it and it create inner chaos.  We are trying to move in the next few years and our plan had been to move on the husband's job as my FT gig is from home, but we have started to reconsider.  Ryan's job has become more flexible, so much so that he could probably telecommute exclusively.  My FT gig allows for me to work another FT job, and I miss being "at" work, having coworkers I see and being in the industry.  I will have to step back in soon or I will forever be labeled an academic and not be able to get back in.  I also have great earning potential in the field, something we have known and had in our back pocket, but not something I am ready to move on...or so I thought.

In the last two weeks two jobs have cropped up that are perfect for me.  One combines my background in tourism with my specialization in eco-consumerism and marketing.  This is the one I really love, it is for a non-profit in upstate NY and would be a great move for me and the family.  The main issue is housing.  We cannot sell our house here yet, although we could probably rent it out for most of our monthly mortgage payment.  We could rent up there, and it would be OK, but we are a big family and I would prefer to move once into *our* house.  The other job is based in NYC and also combines marketing and eco-consumerism, this time with recruitment which is something I have done in the past as well.  Another good fit, it would get us back to LI but again the housing issue is a concern.  I also would need to work at least PT from home, my kids are used to that and deserve it, and it makes me a better employee. I applied for both, I guess we will see what happens.  If it is meant to be, we could be moving by the end of summer which is both terrifying and exciting all at once.  Please keep your fingers crossed that we will make good and wise choices because I don't like jumping in blindly!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Wish our Easter Bunny pooped cash

We had a good Easter overall.  The bunny went way overboard and there was way too much "stuff" for th kids, EB must be overtired and easily confused :)

The kids had some fab outfits and I would love to share a picture, but they would not sit still for one!  Thankfully I am planning to have a photoshoot of the kids and these are the outfits they will be wearing, so someday I will have pictures of them :)

My PT gig is wrapping up soon, which is a huge relief.  Ryan and I have started moving on some of our big plans to move, we are actually at a point that if something works out we could move by end of summer, although it really is best for us to wait until next spring, but we are leaving it to fate.  Kids are great, I am still ridiculously exhausted, same old same old around here :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Best welcome home ever

It was the most craptastified ride home from PA.  It was super swell most of the way, and I knew I was cutting it close to evening rush, so when I stopped to get gas on the turnpike I didn't go inside and get coffee or pee in an attempt to beat the traffic some...major mistake. 

I hit traffic in Maryland and it took over 45 minutes to go 1/2 mile!  Holy hell, then the beltway was a giant mess of wrecked cars and construction.  By the time I passed Tyson's I was going to wet my pants if I didn't stop, so I swung by PT school and ran into the McDonalds to use the facilities.  Then back on the road to sit in more traffic.  The extra 2 1/2 hours was NOT fun, and while I stopped to avoid having my bladder explode, I hadn't pumped since 11:30 am and it was horribly painful.


As I turned the corner onto our street I saw two maniacs running about.  Brittan and Grayson we running, jumping and waving their arms to welcome me home, and I was so happy to see them.  Got out of the car and Ryan had come out with Teagan who was so excited to see me and once I held her she wrapped her little arms around my neck and held on, tight.  Came inside and found Haven and Finn and said hello and gave them all big hugs and kisses.

The Westin may have pretty rooms and fancy sheets, but nothing was better than climbing into my own bed last night in my house filled with all these crazy people I love.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My iPod defines my life history

So I left for my work trip Monday afternoon, settled into the car and plugged my phone in so I could listen to some music. About an hour into the trip I realized that each song had some significance in my life and as I thought more about it I determined that they all applied to one of three important relationships I have had in my life.

These three relationships are my defining moments and made me who I am. They are how I came to be the person I am today. Of course one of those defining relationships is with my husband, but the story begins many many years before I met him. 

The summer after I graduated from HS I met this guy.  He was fun, interesting, different and sweet.  He was my first real relationship, one where we had real ups and downs and experienced life as adults.  He was a great introduction into the real world, he helped me define myself, he let me try on so many hats to see which fit best and allowed me to be creative and adventurous. I explored the world and myself, learned about who I wanted to become and made a million mistakes.  I learned so much from that relationship and while I was sad when it ended, I left so much stronger, wiser, and confident because of who I became within the safety of that cocoon.  The songs I associate with that relationship are all about dreaming, thinking, being and loving yourself. They are songs of youthful daydreams and finding oneself, and when I hear them I think back on a much younger me and remember all the silly fun we had, and the feeling that the world was at my fingertips.

After we broke up, the next major relationship was when I was a few years into college.  It was hard and intense.  Everything about that time makes my shoulder hunch up a bit and gives me a knot in my stomach.  This was the relationship where I laid it all out, I was in with both feet and wanted it to go somewhere. I wanted there to be a future, but there wasn't and it was for the best although i couldn't see that at the time.  I said it was intense, which is an understatement,  it was also so incredibly draining...we were either head over heels and all over each other or ready to kill each other.  There was no comfortable spot, there was no safe place to fall and the pain was very real when it ended.  I left that relationship broken, truly destroyed and shattered as a result of the dynamics, the situations we dealt with, how we dealt with them and the constant ups and downs.  All that confidence I had after the first relationship, the feeling of security and strength was gone and I was a sad little heap on the floor.  Those were hard, hard times for me.  My darkest days. The next year was spent just trying to put myself back together and finish school. The songs from those times are sad and angry, they make me want to cry out and wish I could remove some of the really bad memories.  I hear them and I feel so sad for the young me, so sad for how I felt and that I allowed myself to get so very hurt by it all.

Interestingly enough during that time my ex from the first relationship and I were friends and I swear he saved me from myself.  He was my date to my sister's wedding just months after the horrific break up so I didn't have to go alone and face everything and everyone.  He made me laugh so I didn't feel all the pain and sadness.  I would go over to his house and just sit on the couch with him, and he made me feel OK again.  That friendship made me feel worthwhile again, made me feel like I was going to be OK and that I was lovable and would find my way. 

About a year after the horrible break up, my now husband and I struck up a friendship at work, then started dating.  He was going to be my rebound, my toe in the dating pool, my re-entry into the world, but somehow he was my beginning and end.  We had a rough go the first few years, but we both decided that the other one was worth fighting for, worth holding onto, worth loving regardless of how damaged and here we are now-loved, happy, supported and strong. The songs that remind me of my husband are the love songs, the strong songs, the safe and secure in your arms songs, because I am home with him.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Tomorrow I leave for an annual three day conference in Pittsburgh.  I am not packed.  I am no where near ready to go and I booked Teagan's follow up at the doctor for 8:30 am tomorrow and I leave at noon, that should give me just enough time to feed Finn one last time before I go. I have to hustle tonight and get everything packed up!

I am looking forward to the conference in some ways, I really need a good nights sleep and I will get one sleeping alone for three nights.  I like my coworkers and enjoy spending time with them.  A mental break from juggling the five kids and the housework will be nice.  Two long drives, alone, with MY music playing...bliss.

However....I am going to miss the kids like crazy, especially the two babies.  I love the biggies but they are busy, have school and are pretty independent, and while I will miss them, they will do ok with calls before school and before bed.  My babies, oh how my heart aches when I think of leaving them.  They are still so little, and Teagie still feels yucky and I am not sure how Finn will do getting all his meals via the bottle for three days.  I have stored plenty of milk for him, and he has take a bottle every Monday and Wednesday when I taught at PT school, but it was only one bottle and the boy likes to nurse. I worry he won't eat enough.  I will leave tomorrow because I have to, and I will enjoy my moments of freedom, but I will miss my kiddies and be happy to be home, well until I see the mess they left me :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

We have hard days too

It's funny, when I had two kids it was perfectly acceptable to complain when you had a rough day, to ask for help and to whinge and whine about the hard moments and lets face it, when there are kids, there are always hard moments. 

Now with my fab five I find that people really don't like it when I say anything aside from singing the praises of my brood.  I am not sure why that is, I don't complain more with five than I did with two or three, to be honest I probably complain less however it seems like I lost my right to have a bad day and say so!  I know I made the choice to have a larger than normal family, I know it is my choice to take them out places, but don't I get to have a rotten day once in a while too?  Is it not politically correct for us to have whiny kids that get to us, or be exhausted and say so? 

I believe parenting is hard hard work and regardless of how many kids you have, there are days that really suck.  Let the mamas with a brood whine too please, we happily lend a sympathetic ear when moms of two have a rough day,  give us the same courtesy. So who can guess what kid of day I had  :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Why hello sunshine

It is a glorious day, windows are open and I started dinner early so I can take the kids to the park after school.  Teagan is feeling better, she is still sleepy but all in all she is on the mend.  The babies and I ran errands this morning and I think I am almost ready for my trip, except my car is doing some weird braking thing.  Thankfully I am taking Ryan's car and he doesn't have much to do with the kids and the car next week, thinking we may even be able to drop it at the shop Monday before I go and he can get a ride from the sitter to pick it up.

I have a new venture up my sleeve, well if you are in FB and my friend then you already know, but I am SO excited about it and best of all, I get to partner with some of the best people in the world on it :)  Not trying to keep anyone hanging, but it is just getting started and I won't be ready to "launch" until early summer, so I am just going to keep it underwraps for awhile.

Off to open more windows and soak up some more of today, tomorrow is supposed to be rainy and stormy so I want to enjoy this while I can.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

We know how to party

Seriously you have not lived until you have woken up half your brood, put them in a car at 9:30 pm along with a toddler with a raging fever and high tailed it to the local Urgent Care.  Then, while at the Urgent Care, you MUST have your sick toddler wet through her diaper due to the massive amounts of fluids you have pushed on her only to find out you have NO diapers in her size or even her brother's size in the car and only have size 1 disposibles.  In an effort to win MacGyver Mom award, you take two size 1's and fashion a makeshift diaper for toddler planning to be back home within a half hour only to find that the Urgent Care cannot determine what is wrong with the feverish baby girl and that you will then be loading your fab 5 back into the car for a trip to the ER. 

Thankfully the diaper concoction held up until the hubby made it back from work an hour away with a diaper. Then he collected the three big kids and the baby and headed home around midnight leaving the toddler and I at the hospital.  Finally, after a chest x-ray, blood work and a urine sample (NOT fun to get) we left at 2:30 am, toddler still sporting a 102 fever on many, many, many high doses of motrin and tylenol with a diagnosis of a UTI and a script in hand.  It is never dull that is for sure!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Brain dump

Watch out folks I am about to brain dump and I don't want to slosh your shoes...or your bare feet, that would be icky.

I am so tired and so stressed and even more than that I am so.damn.mad at myself.  I HATE feeling the way I feel right now, I hate being over stressed and on edge and overwhelmed.  I hate caring that the house is messy and not being able to accept WHY it is messy...because the husband has been working his ass off on the bathroom so I haven't had help, I have one sick kid, one 4 month old baby that won't sleep, one 21 month old that needs my attention all the time, two jobs, and no sleep!  I get why I feel like things are out of control, but I wish I could accept that it is OK and it will all get done because it always does.

Here I sit just after midnight, I worked tonight and came home and straightened up, pumped so Finn will have milk when I am away next week and I graded.  I have two calls tomorrow, one that I am dreading plus another day of juggling babies, housework and regular work while Ryan tries to make more headway on the floor.  I KNOW it will get done, I KNOW it is OK that it is taking forever, everything takes forever with a houseful of kids and wacky jobs, but I get so damn anxious and crabby and I miss living my life.  I don't want to miss any more moments, any more minutes with my kids stressing over a stupid bathroom or a cluttered corner.  I want to have those moments back, I want to let it roll off my back, I want to care about keeping things nice but accept that sometimes I can only do so much.  I want to enjoy my life, to know I do my best every day and not feel like a failure because the laundry has piled up or the TV needs to be dusted. 

If anxiety is a bear, OCD and Anxiety are a rabid bear and they are infecting me and I am done with it all.  I know where I stand right now, I have stood here about 4 months after every birth and I am right on the edge of postpartum depression, or for me, postpartum anxiety.  I know there are meds, and I know they don't work for my anxiety.  I know that I can pull myself away from that edge, that I can make lists and organize what I can and control small things and throw myself into my family.  I know that I need to sleep and rest my old body and if I can do this I will feel better and I will have more control over my anxiousness.  I know where I am and I am DONE with feeling this way on the inside. I am going to try try try to get control. 

I am going to go away on my trip next week, blast the radio the whole ride, sleep like the dead and enjoy every second I am away while still missing my tribe like mad.  I am going to come home with sleep under my belt, presents in my suitcase and a smile on my face, even if the house is trashed.  I will remember that every spring I feel this way as we approach the end of the term at PT school and I get ready to attack all the projects that have been pushed aside, and I will remember that in a few weeks, PT gig will be over and I will be able to cross things off the to-do list daily.

I am so far from perfect it is scary.  I am so lucky, it is unbelievable.  I am going to try and remember just how good I have it.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spoke too soon

So I published that last post on Friday night as I sat in my pretty new bed in my pretty new room and planned a fun Saturday of swim lessons with the kids, lunch out and a quick Target run. But then reality set in, at 3 am when Brittan walked in and told me her stomach hurt, REALLY REALLY hurt.  I told her to run downstairs (remember we have NO working upstairs bathrooms) and thankfully she made it and puked.  Yeah.  Meanwhile I was holding Finn who was woken up by everything and I quickly assessed the sick kid and realized she had a fever and she always pukes when she has a high fever.  Took the temp and she was over 103, double yeah.  Called the hubby and tried to figure out how I could be at the doctor with her and swim lessons with the other kids and it was determined I couldn't so I emailed the swim people to get a make up date.  Medicated poor Britt and got her to bed, settled Grayson who had a bad dream and settled Teagan who woke up from the noise and then tried to go back to bed with a very awake Finn.  Needless to say, that was pretty much when my day began. 

Hubby came home,  I checked Britt over and her fever had come down nicely with the meds and she wasn't complaining of anything in particular so we went about our day encouraging her to rest which she did.  Right as I was prepping a gourmet dinner of bacon and eggs, Britt came down from a nap and had a 104 fever while still well medicated...not good.  Hubby was getting ready for work, and was quickly told that I had to take her to the doctor, immediately, since Brittan is rarely sick and she was looking bad.  He called work and said he was working from home and finished serving dinner while Britt and I headed to the new walk in clinic in town.  Got there and checked in and paid the co-pay which is the same as at the ped (LOVE that) and got into a room.  They swabbed her for flu and strep right away and the strep came back positive.  She also has tonsillitis and an ear infection yet she says nothing hurts-weird kid!  Anyway, we finished up and they gave us her meds while we were there-double LOVE leaving with meds in hand! 

She is doing better today and played outside a bit but spiked a fever again tonight so she is home from school tomorrow.  Teagan was super fussy all day and had a 100 degree fever at bed and Haven had a 99.somethingorother, so those two are being watched since strep can run through a house pretty quickly.  So less got done then I wanted, and I am getting a wee bit stressed about my work trip in a week, but what can you do, kids get sick!

Friday, April 8, 2011


I am so at peace right now.  I am calm and collected and in an awesome mood.  I am one zen mama.  Wanna know why?  Because I have an AWESOME room!!  For too many years our bedroom resembled a dorm room, thrown together, no rhyme or reason, just stuff in a room.  I hated it.  I wanted a pretty room but we never really had the time or money, but this year we found both.

I have a bed, a real bed.  It is white wrought iron and I freakin' love it.  I got all new bedding, new sheets, and a ton of new throw pillows.  i bought two new end tables, that match, each other AND the room!  The room is all cleaned up, organized and rearranged and I finally feel like I have a grown up room.  I have a few small things left to do, we need to put the TV on the wall, I need to swap the table and the treadmill and we need to bring the pew up from the garage and put pillows on it, but right now it is totally peaceful and serene, which is great because the rest of the house makes me want to pull my hair out.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Today is good good good

Oh today, I love you so much!

It started off good, kids did their thing and were off without a hitch.  I got a ton done before they even left, laundry switched, floors vacuumed, bathroom cleaned, dishes done, towels folded....always good to start the day this way!  Girlies took the rolls I made for the teacher appreciation dinner which saved me a trip out and then I settled the babies into activities.  Ryan came home bearing boxes of goodies from our Quail Cove pick up and I sorted it out since a friend ordered too.  Then I hung with the hubby and my friend when she stopped by, chit chatting and having a nice visit. 

Soon after I fed Teagan lunch and managed to get my work work done while she ate, put her up for a nap and settled Finn and graded a bunch of papers for PT gig.  I still need to make dinner (buttermilk chicken fingers, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob) and go to the school to pick up Haven and have Grayson's parent-teacher conference, but I am not stressed at all and feel pretty at peace.  It has been a good day, and I hope it continues.  Windows open, candles lit and peaceful moments with sleeping babies, good good.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


We personally have made quite the contribution to my children's pediatric cardiologist's bank account.  Our adventure first began nearly 11 years ago when the Friday before Memorial Day weekend we rushed to the cardiologist's office straight from the hospital with our 2 day old baby girl.  After multiple visits and reviews, she was diagnosed and we followed up every month for a year, then every few months, eventually getting to annual reviews and now she is cleared for a few years at a time.

Then I got pregnant with #2, and my OB sent me to the same group for a fetal echocardiogram.  The test came back a-ok, however when baby girl #2 was a few years old, they heard a murmur so off we went and she was cleared having only a simple murmur with no defect.  Same office for the fetal echo for #3, all clear and so far, he has been a-ok. 

Fetal echo for #4 was a wreck.  She had a number of issues that showed up, her pulmonary valve was not correct, there was regurgitation, she had an abnormal rhythm and we had a number of rechecks.  When she was born, they gave her an echo and she was diagnosed with a "funky pulmonary valve" basically it was working but formed a bit strange.  At 6 months old, she was rechecked and it looked like the valve had corrected and we only needed to come back if her murmur could still be heard at 18 months old.

Fast forward to today.  We were in the doctor's office for Finn's 4 month check, Teagan needed shots that we had delayed from her 18 month check up since she was sick and Haven was getting meds for reflux that she gets from her other meds.  Doc gave Finn the once over and then asked me to hold him so she could listen again, and I knew right then and there....murmur.  Yep she is hearing a murmur on him and it is changing based on his position, sure sign of a defect of some kind.  I then remembered we forgot to check Teagan's heart at her 18 month since she was sick and sure enough, she is still loud and clear.  So, back to the cardiologist we go to get Finn and Teagan checked out next month. 

I am sure it is all going to be fine, we love our cardiologists and trust them immensely and of course we are thankful every day that what we deal with is minor compared to what so many others do.  I do, however, recommend that they revisit some statistics.  I was told that the likelihood I would have a child with any heart defect was 25% because I have a CHD....but we are now at 80%.  Thinking Gray will get a once over too while we are going, lets see if we are 5 for 5.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Falling into place

what a change from falling apart!

As a mom of a bunch of kids, you never know what each day will hold.  It could be awesome, it could suck, it could change on a dime, but you never, ever, expect that the entire day will go well, it just doesn't happen.

Today it did, and it came at the perfect time and made me feel fanfreakentastic.  Baby has been sick and I did not sleep last night but I was bound and determined to make it through the day.  Somehow, magically, we made it out the door on time and with everything we needed for the day...ok, not THAT magically, hubby did bring me home a huge coffee.  Got everyone loaded up including a little Finn who seemed pretty happy again and made it to the pool on time. Walking in a lady commented on how I got them all there on time...weird since it was 11 am, I sure as hell hope we have it together by 11 am!

Big kids had great swim lessons, Grayson's was one on one, Brittan's was two on one and Haven's was three on one, LOVE the small groups!  Babies and I sat there sweating while the biggies did their thing and then we were back in the car. Surprised the kids with lunch at Friendly's and of course we HAD to have ice cream!  Then back in the car again with a quick run through the Starbucks drive through to keep the mama energy up and off we went to the kid's Fine Arts Festival.  Made the rounds there, then back into the car to bring the very tired and very crabby troops home.  I even got my work done and ran to the grocery store and got home in time to hustle the kids upstairs so the hubby could get online to start work at 7.  It was a good day, a really good day, and tomorrow the husband is off and will work on the demolished bathroom, yippee!

Holy shnikies

I can blog from my phone, you guys are so in trouble now.

Friday, April 1, 2011

There is nothing sadder then a sick baby

My poor little Finny, he is really not feeling well.  The doctor told us it was just a cold, but he sounded worse last night and was up coughing quite a bit.  Today he slept a lot and when he was up all he did was cry and cough which is not like him, he is usually super happy and easy going.  Poor baby would wail and hack, wail and hack.  A friend stopped by tonight and I had her feel his chest and she could feel the congestion too.  My biggest concern is RSV or Pertussis, we vaccinate on an alternate schedule but he did have his first DTaP shot because of the recent outbreaks, but it probably would not protect him enough.  RSV he could just get.  He is eating OK and no real fever, occasionally low grade, but if he sounds just as bad tomorrow I am taking him back to the doctor to be safe, you don't want to mess about with a barely 4 month old baby.