Saturday, July 30, 2011

I admit

I admit that I wish I had more free time, but I go a tad cuckoo when I have too much downtime.

I admit that I want to move back to NY or up by my sister, but I will miss our town and the people we know here.

I admit I hate our house, it is just not a good layout for our family, but I am thankful every day that we got "trapped" here and not in our tiny townhouse.

I admit I love my kids, but having everyone here in the summer and trying to work is really difficult.

I admit I like working from home, but I miss having an office to go to where I could work with minimal distraction.

I admit I am sick of my dissertation, but know I need to finish it.

I admit I love my husband, but wish we could spend more time together doing fun things and not chore/work things.

I admit I know that my body can not handle another pregnancy and birth, but I am sad that I will never be a part of the miracle and wonder of bringing a life into the world again.

I admit that we are totally planning to adopt and/or foster, but we need a bigger house first.

I admit I am far from perfect, but I keep trying nonetheless.

I admit I am nervous about Finnian, but I know that we are loved and supported.

With that, I admit the little guy is up to eat to cuddle him and soak up his baby sweetness.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I did not drop dead

I did it.  I did the first day of the Couch 2 5K and I survived.  I did the workout as designed with music in my ears on my treadmill and it felt great.  Even though I am terribly out of shape, I have five baby belly, I am exhausted 99% of the time and my stress levels are through the roof, I still forced myself to do it and I am glad.  It felt great.  I feel great and I am looking forward to doing it again Saturday!  I am hoping that this will help with my stress since we were just dealt a new card with Finn on Wednesday so my levels were topped off a bit.  It will be a hard few weeks, but we will get through like we always do.

I do have to give some credit to my kiddos for letting me escape for 30 minutes to my room to get in my workout.  Teagan was tucked in bed and the three biggies were kind enough to watch Finny downstairs for me so I could have the time I needed.  I am positive that the ice cream I promised them had nothing to do with it :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Time to get a grip

OK, it has been almost a full week since I blogged and that usually means I am stressed, and I am.  I have too much going on as usual, and when things begin to feel out of control, every little thing makes me crazy.  It is time to get a grip, so here is what I am trying.

1. I am getting work done.  It sucks to work all day and all night, but I want these work projects done.
2. I am making time with the kids.  My work schedule is nuts, and then when I have free time I am dealing with everyone's needs (food, laundry, errands, listening to stories, etc.)  We aren't having as much fun as I want, so I have scheduled time for that too.  We went to my sister's last weekend, swam in their new pool and had a great time stress free.  Tonight will be ice cream out.  Ryan's brothers are supposed to come in two weeks so we will go out and have fun with them, and I am trying to throw a camping trip together for the week of the 15th.
3.  Doctors and dentist-Getting the kids in for check ups at both the dentist and ped. in the next few weeks to check these needed tasks off my list before school starts.
4.  I have my new fancy socks for the treadmill.  I have the lubricant for the treadmill.  I have my iPod. I am starting the Couch25K today.  Do I believe I will run a 5K anytime soon, nope.  But I WILL have 30 minutes to myself three times a week with my iPod stuck in my ears and my music or an audio book playing, and I need that.
5. Breath.  I am trying to breath and understand that all of it doesn't eed to be done right now.  The house  tasks don't all need to be done while I am writing a course, writing a dissertation, teaching two extra classes, doing my FT job and all the kids are home for summer.  I have a hard time seeing the small steps, but I am working on it.

So that is where I am.  I know that I need down time to be productive, and I am trying to fit personal and fun time into an unforgiving schedule. Sometimes it just seems so hard to make 15 minutes for myself a day to recharge.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sharing is caring

Like anyone else with a public blog, I struggle sometimes with what to share.  Whenever I share something the kids did, whether naughty or cute, I consider how they will feel down the road if they read what I wrote.  If I think they would be upset, embarrassed, angry, etc, it doesn't get included.  The stuff related to the kids is the easy part, deciding what to say about how I feel, what I am going through or dealing with at a given moment, my true inner workings is harder to balance.  Sometimes I overshare, and sometimes I don't share it at all, and most of the time it falls somewhere in the middle.  For me, sharing the hard, the scary, the frustrating will often come after the fact, after I have sorted and muddled through, I share.

I am mid muddle on a few things...hoping to gain more insight next week so I can share more.

Monday, July 18, 2011

See Mama Run

So I have been thinking of doing the Couch 2 5K training.  Ok stop laughing now.  Really, stop.

Here is the back story....ages ago I used to be healthy and fairly fit, even with my heart condition I could run and would run taking a few minutes of walking to catch my breath only to run again.  I liked running, and while I was somewhat limited due to my heart, I did it anyway and I miss it.

Fast forward and I am not in running shape, in fact I am not sure what shape you would call me.  I look like I have had five kids and well, I don't want to look like I have had five kids.  I still have the heart condition so I will need to work around that, and I have no plans to actually run a 5K, but I want to feel fit again so I am thinking of giving it a whirl.  My guess is, I will do each week for two weeks and hopefully I will get where I want to go.  Now I just need to get the husband to oil the treadmill for me, download some good audio books and find 30 minutes a few times a week to get on the treadmill.  Fingers crossed right?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Our Brittan

Our Brittan, kidlet #2, Bubbles and the sweetest child on earth turns 9 today...NINE, where oh where has the time go.  It seems like yesterday she was staring back at me with her huge eyes, smiling from her highchair or playmat or swing, you know a nice safe distance :)  I am happy that she has come out of her shell and Brittan can hold her own in this noisy house.  She is our baby holder and lover, quick with open arms to grab a baby without a request. The little ones adore her and run to her when she comes home from school.  Britt is growing into an amazing young lady, she is sweet, kind, smart and most of the time, a very easy child to be around. I am anxious to see what the next year holds for our girl, and am so thankful that the powers that be sent her to live in our family, she brings an amazing balance to everything and we would be lost without her.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Tornado turns Two

Tomorrow my sweet baby girl, my crazy little mischief maker, my singing and dancing fool turns two!  I cannot believe that it has been two years since we met our Teagan.  She is such a joy, silly and sweet, quick with a hug, so smart and such a happy little soul...except when she's not, because she can be stubborn too :)

Oh my Teagan, we love you so much!  I knew I wanted a fourth child but could not have imagined how much we needed you, how much love and joy you bring us everyday and how blessed we are to get to call you our girl.  The big girls and Grayson fight for your attention, Finn lights up when you walk in a room, you make me laugh every single day and you can make your Daddy's day with a hug and smile.  Happy Birthday Teagie Jayne, we love you so much!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


We have been wanting to move, dreaming of moving, pining to move for years but now that we are actually planning to move I am getting butterflies.  Should the housing market keep moving in the right direction, our house could be on the market in less than a year, and that scares the bejeezus out of me!  Everything looks good on paper.  We know what we need to sell for to move.  We have the very long list of house repairs we need to do before we list the house, from small things like touching up paint or painting some of the ceilings, to big things like replacing the front door and finishing the master bathroom renovation (and this one is BIG).  It is doable, but figuring out how much of everything to do is mindboggling.  We need a new front door, but do we just buy a new door and paint the frame and leave the current sidelights (not expensive) or do we put in a brand new door and brand new sidelights to the tune of 2-4K (VERY expensive).  What will give us the best return on our investment?  Given the rocky state of the housing market, how much should we put in to get out what we want.

The process is frustrating, but also exciting.  We know where we want to go and it is beautiful there.  We have researched homes and think we can get what we want.  My jobs come with us, and Ryan will be looking for a new job or may actually be able to do his current job remotely which would be awesome.  I have run figures and it all works out great on paper, but we are still waiting and it makes my insides feel shaky and I get nervous.  This is a big leap for us.  We are taking three kids from their friends and schools and moving them to a whole new state.  We are changing everything and hoping that we will get everything on our "need" list and most things on the "want" list.  This is what we have been working for all these years, and I just want it to go smoothly and for all seven of us to get there happy and in one piece.  However, there are two HUGE stressers that I must overcome.  How do you show a house when you work from home, your husband works nights and you have five kids AND OMG how do you pack a family of seven!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Great day

We had a great day today, super busy, but great!

The babies got up super early this morning, but Teagan was happy to lay on my bed next to Finny and watch Sesame Street while we waited for the big kids to stir.  Fed the masses and touched base with the hubby who was on his way home and got everyone ready for swim.  Ryan got home and got the new grill assembled before we had to leave and then we were out the door.  The first stop was at Target to get new swim goggles for the girls since theirs have been missing since the NC trip.  I also grabbed an iced coffee for me and iced tea for Ryan.  Then we ran to the pool for swim lessons.  The three big kids had great lessons and we made sure they were set up for August too.  We LOVE the place we do lessons!  They are so good with the kids and the groups are super small, Grayson has 1 on 1 lessons and my girls are the only one working with their teacher, it is awesome.  I offered the kids different activities for Fall, but they all wanted to keep swimming, so we will be there until basketball starts for Brittan.

Babies were good during swim except Teagan drank almost all of Ry's iced tea :)  After swim we went to Subway for lunch and then headed to the farm where we met up with some friends to pick blackberries.  The patch just opened yesterday so it was tough finding enough berries, I am sure next week will be a different story, but we still picked over 5 lbs.  We also grabbed some fresh corn, eggs and our milk order.  It was HOT picking the berries especially with a sweaty Finn sleeping in the sling on my back, but the kids had fun and we now have yummy berries to eat.  We then headed to Sonic for some treats to cool down and Gray's friend came home with us.  The kids headed off to play and I prepped dinner, colby jack stuffed burgers and some of that corn on the cob from the farm.  (Dinner was amazing, loving the new grill!) Gray's friend's sister came over with their mom, they played some more and after they left we ate and got Teag off to bed.  Poor baby was so tired after no nap and a busy day that she screamed and cried when I brought her upstairs and took her to get a bath instead of going to bed.  She kept running to her room pointing to her crib asking to lay down :(  I bathed her quickly, dressed her and read her her book in the rocker and she practically leapt out of my arms into her crib.  The big kids roasted marshmallows over the warm coals in the grill and then everyone cleaned up and headed to bed.

My sweet husband is beyond exhausted after working last night and then staying up all day today, but he wanted to be with us today and enjoy the outing and he never complained once about not sleeping and played with the kids, helped lug stuff and helped make the burgers. He was super Dad today for sure.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Small moments

I am in this for the small moments, the glimpses, the mere seconds sometimes where you are able to step outside yourself and the craziness of motherhood and see those precious babies growing into people, good people.  No one slept well here last night, most of us were still up at 3 am and while we hung in bed until 8 I was still dreading today since we had outing we had to do.  I couldn't have been more wrong, my big kids totally rose to the occasion and when I talked to them about what needed to be done and how they set the tone for the day with their behavior, they totally got it.  They were helpful, with Britt and Gray working together to drag a box of toys were were donating to the car.  The girls helped get the babies in and out of the car multiple times.  They were helpful at Home Depot while I purchased a new grill, listening, asking well thought out questions and generally being good and kind to one another.  After Home Depot I took them to a little pizza buffet place for lunch since Britt had a coupon for a free meal from a school award.  They were awesome!  Britt helped Teagan with her food, Haven helped Gray, they walked and didn't run, no shouting just good kids sitting and eating their was awesome!

I decided to push my luck and run to the grocery store since we were out and again they were awesome.  It was so easy, we were in and out, Haven helped me pack the groceries while Grayson sat quietly, and if you know him that alone is amazing, and Britt stood with Teagan and the cart with Finn.  Came home and put babies down for naps and the kids cleaned up the playroom begrudingly, but it was done and we had an easy evening. 

I live for these days, when I see they big kids acting, well, big!  When I see all the years of hard work teaching them, talking to them, encouraging them to make good choices actually paying off.  I know they are growing up, I see their faces changing and they like music and video games now, not trucks and baby dolls.  I still have two babies here that have all those years ahead, but seeing my big kids pull it together today was so incredible, I can only hope the two little ones follow their example.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Payback is, well, you know

Holy hell yesterday was unpleasant!  I had a million work calls and I only got word on some new folks late Tuesday so I was trying to catch up with them, get my courses ready, do the coaching thing, be on a committee call and parent five kids and manage a household.  It was a long long day but the kids were pretty good, everyone was fed and everything was relatively organized.  Guess that is what I get for having such a lovely day on Tuesday!

Today is another work crazy day with two more calls and general tasks, but nothing as bad as yesterday.  Thankfully the hubby was kind enough to pick up our Quail Cove order this morning on his way home-just a small order of 36 lbs of chicken, 12 packs of bacon, four jars of juice and 2 lbs of Amish butter.  Add that to the quarter cow we just got and we are stocked full, which is a good thing since the kids eat a TON!  I had been dreading lunches with the kids, but they have been doing well eating the choices I have given.  Yesterday was grilled cheese, day before I used leftover meatballs to make meatball subs and today I am making taco salad bowls with taco meat, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese....just wish we have avocado which would make it perfect.  Then dinner will be roasted veggies with pasta and baked stuffed clams. Thank goodness I enjoy cooking, feeding these people is a full time job!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A much needed break

Today has been a good good day.  It is one of those calm days where everyone is getting stuff done, but it is leisurely and easy.  I am currently laying in my bed watching TV and blogging at 4 pm!  Dinner is in the oven-BBQ chicken, corn on the cob and baked beans, yum! Ry is downstairs with the babies and the three big kids just came inside after having a lemonade stand with the neighbors, everyone is content and the house is peaceful. feels good.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Give and Take

The last few weeks have been stressful with trips, heath concerns, more trips and schedule changes.  It has been so crazy that even my super even keeled husband was feeling some stress so we chatted about it today and I hope he was feeling better after our talk...especially since I had a total and complete meltdown later in the day. *sigh*  Why can't I ever have a little chat about my feelings, instead for me it all comes out in hyperventilating tears.  Thankfully he loves me when I am sane and when I am crazy, and I love him all the time too :)

We had big plans for the Fourth, we were taking the kids to dinner and then to a local park to watch fireworks.  Dinner went well but afterwards it was starting to rain...and it looked a bit ominous, and well, kids+park+rain=no go for us.  On our way home, we stopped at Target for a few things and let Teagan pick out a potty chair.  Then I ran into Old Navy since I had a Groupon to use and they had their Buy 2 get 1 free promo going on and I scored three shirts for me and three skorts for Teagan and used my 20 dollar Groupon and paid a whopping 5 bucks out of pocket.  That totally rocked :)

Came home and as we brought the new potty in Teagan started trying to get her shorts off telling us she wanted the potty.  Humoring her, we put her on and she peed within 30 seconds!  She will be two in two weeks so I was SHOCKED.  Guess potty training has begun!

Happy 4th everyone, I hope your weather was better than ours, that your kids were good and that you are lucky to have a spouse that loves you no matter what.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I would make a crappy clown

Juggling, lately I feel like all I am doing is juggling, doing the best I can to sort of do everything that needs to be well enough to keep from dropping the ball.  The house, kids and my job(s) are not the main problem, although they do cause me stress and take up a lot of time, they are not what sets me on edge.  The one thing that is making me feel like I am about to drop the ball is my dissertation.  It is just not getting done.  It is taking forever and I don't have the time I need to just sit down, somewhere quiet, and write.  That will change this week because it has to change.  I think about it all day long, and while there are moments I *could* write something, I don't have the blocks of time I need to organize my thoughts.  I need to be able to sit down, reread what is written, review my notes and then write...that can't happen in 15 minute increments.  It is stressful, it is overwhelming and I understand now how people just stop at comps and take the ABD status.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Maybe and Might

Today we are home and not leaving this house no matter what!  I feel like I have been running around for the last three weeks and all I want to do today is clean, bake, cook and relax.  I have big plans to make a double batch of bread/rolls so I can freeze some, plus I am making empanadas for dinner and need to make the yummy spiced chicken filling which cooks all day long. 

I was going to slowly attack the cleaning this week since everything is a wreck from the back to back trips, but my MIL called yesterday and told my husband she *might* come for the 4th.  WTF?  Who says they *might* come to visit, especially since it has been nearly two years since she has come here, and she has not even met Finn yet!  Ugh.  We have a full house so to make room for a guest is a bit of an undertaking, plus the bathroom door upstairs is not on yet and she is a vegetarian which means I have to plan meatless meals and buy the ingredients.  We also had plans for the 4th and the kids will be bummed if we have to miss it because we are stuck waiting for her here, she is less than reliable or timely so we never know if/when she will show up.  I am really hoping she lets us know today if she is coming or not so I can either kill myself preparing or not....what a pain.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Herding cats in hell

I tell my kids all the time that when we are out and about it is sometimes like I am trying to herd cats as we move through a store.  One goes one way, another stops in front of the cart, another might be walking get the idea.  I know it is a bit crazy making when I go shopping with everyone, so I try to go when the stores are not packed, usually during the week.  Sadly we only rolled back into town last night and we were basically out of food except for rice, beef and chicken which I buy in super bulk, so I needed to go to the grocery store.  I then had the swell plan to go today...with all the kids...on the Friday before Fourth of LUNCHTIME!  OK, not my finest hour but I was trying to clean up some this morning and the hubby is in the midst of training/working hell and my brain was not functioning well.

On the agenda was Wegman's and the farm.  Wegman's was pure hell...pure H..E..L..L.  My kids were being good, they were listening and really trying to stick close by but it was so crowded and everyone there seemed to need to stand either in front of the item we needed or stepped between me and my cart with Finn and Britt and her cart with Teag.  Seriously, she is a teeny tiny almost 9 year old pushing a 2 year old, they didn't think maybe she was with someone, like the crazy lady with three other kids that look just like her?  So we kept having to try to get her back with the group or swing kids over people's shoulders trapeze style to get some broccoli or squash, but somehow we made it out with everything on the list and only a few small items that weren't and I wasn't too stressed.  Next up was the farm which is so much easier since the kids just sit in the car with the air conditioning while I  run in.  The sweet corn is in so I quickly grabbed a dozen and will probably get three or four dozen next week to freeze for winter.  Got our milk and cursed the fact that I left three bottles at my parent's house and had to pay the deposit on two bottles today and grabbed two dozen eggs, AKA two breakfasts, in our house.

The pantry is restocked with all the necessities, I just placed our Quail Cove order for 35 lbs of chicken, 12 packs of bacon, 10 lbs or sweet potatoes and two pounds of Amish butter (buying the case next time to freeze) so we should be set for awhile.  There is nothing I love more than a pantry stocked with good, wholesome, real food to fuel little bodies. 

Off to taste test the cheese I made this morning, prep the corn for dinner and make a batch of bread....gotta be prepared to feed the tribe now that school is out!