Saturday, December 26, 2009

Bestill my heart

Time with Max can be challenging sometimes. He tests and pushes it and can argue and debate at 4 with the best of them. I think he has really enjoyed the downtime and hanging out with the family, but is also starting to miss his friends and school. A play date with his best friend didn't work out for today. He was mostly good, with periods of silly's. One of his favorite things to do these days it egg his brother and sister on OR copy their bad behavior when I correct them...as in R we don't throw food on the floor; N sit down; R sit down; R, N doesn't like to get run over with the shopping cart. It hurts!; N we don't hit, it hurts; etc. and then he will get in the mix. Or, to start trouble will get them going with some such antics. He got sent to time out today because he wanted candy and I had told him he had enough and "no" he said if I didn't let him he would hit me and I responded that would get him a 4 minute time out and I didn't like to be hit, it hurts. And, he hit (very softly) my back...got sent to time out, tried and succeeded in luring his brother and sister in to "play" with him which I didn't allow, got two additional minutes added on for 1) coming out 2) taking down the baby gate and letting N and R back in. Just wanted to set the stage that he isn't an angel. He isn't BAD, just have to stay on your toes, be very consistent, and make sure the lines of appropriate and inappropriate are very clear.

All that to lead to one of my proudest moments as a mom today. After I put the twins down for afternoon nap today (which 85% of the time they boycott these days, but still get/need some rest/down time), Max wanted me to play with him. However, I hadn't had a chance to get the dishwasher emptied or done dishes all day and explained to him that I needed to get my work down first (cuddled and played with him for the entire morning nap for the twins) and he gets his fair share or more of my time (lest you think he is deprived of it...NOT). Anyway, he came up, started helping me unload the dishwasher telling me that with teamwork it would get done faster. He was rewarded by me sitting down and playing with him for a nice long time after we finished emptying the dishwasher and my mom (who has been staying for the holiday, but not helping too much because her knee is really bothering her and she is in a lot of pain) got up and loaded/washed the dishes. I've been getting the random "mom, I love you" and other really nice comments like "thank you for my talking telescope, I love it" and "thank you for making these {my grandma's cinnamon twist}, they are delicious", and he's helped to carry in some light grocery items after asked when unloading, but this is the first time completely unprompted that he did something like this.

Wow, I was so impressed and proud. Makes me feel like I really am doing something right and even when or especially when the going gets tough to stick with it and my convictions.

God, I love that kid so.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Talk, Talk, Talk, Talk, Talk

One of the things I notice, when I spend a lot of time with Max, especially if we are in a car or traveling is....the kid never shuts up. On Monday, we were going to go to the zoo as a family, but the twins woke early and were a tad cranky and Max's listening was not that great and I just put the twins to an early nap and told Max no can do. Plans B and C after a bit of research didn't pan out so I moved up our trip to the aquarium by a day and off we went with my mom along for company. Instead of driving like normal people, we take the metro which involves about 2.5 hours travel one way and one bus way, and two train lines. We spend more time traveling than visiting the fish and sharks and rays and sea lions, but oh...the joy and look on his face is worth it all for little things like being able to pull the cord to request a stop or go over a bridge or underground. He loves it and I don't hate it and when we have the time like on a vacation week, I try to carve out a day for us. But, boy, am I tired after it. Not just because of the travel and effort of being out and about and paying attention to surroundings, but because he is always talking. And, it is difficult to totally tune him out because he seeks input or will ask if you agree or if it is okay and I've learned that I really need to make sure I know what I'm agreeing. Most of the time, I don't mind. Occasionally, it is annoying. Often, I find it facinating to get a glimpse on how his mind works and how he thinks and plays and how he can jump topics (need to watch out extra for that one) and what he can and does pick up on. Mostly, it reminds me of my grandpa calling me a chatterbox. Methinks I must have been the same way when I was young.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The pictures that weren't


The other day, I got all the kids bathed and dressed and headed out to get professional pictures. It was a nightmare. I ended up walking away almost in tears. A lesser woman I think would have been. It was a place I had used before, since Max was an infant, and have always been amazed and pleased with the shots they got and gave them lots of my money. It was a total waste of time and effort and I'm still really disappointed and bitter. They changed over management and photographers and I will not be giving them a dime. Before we left, I snapped a shot of Nora. Here is the one picture I have for much planning and effort. I don't know what I'm going to do because I really do want some updated professional shots of us. I really want one with me included. Maybe in a few months, the disappointment around this will have faded and I'll try again elsewhere. I don't even need them all looking and smiling at this point. Just ones where they aren't screaming their head off and crying rivers would be nice. Granted, they won't be Christmas shots. I'll never get those or that time back and that makes me very, very sad.

Before and After

BEFORE




AFTER:




Where did my baby go? For the record, I hate it. And, not just because it was his first cut and way shorter than I wanted or ask. It changes his whole look. To me, now, he just looks like any other little boy rather than the mischievous imp that he is. Yes, I don't like Max's hair after it has just been cut because they always do it too short. In fact, when I told my cousin that I got R's hair cut, she said, you don't like it and it is too short. All true. But, I feel traumatized in a way I never did with Max's first or any other hair cut. Oh well, it will grow. I think I may have to learn to cut hair. Seriously. I think it may only be the way to get the cuts I want. Of course, I can't get them to sit still for a picture so not sure how I'd manage. Maybe I can find a straight jacket to hold them, or at least their arms. I'm not going to wish tomorrow away, but I will be happy when it grows. I want, for him, one length just over the ears. Blah.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

18 months and counting

The twins had their 18 months peds appointment today. It went reasonably well if you don't count the fact that the twins started crying as soon as we got in the office, stopped while they played in the waiting area, started again through most of the appointment, up to and including the parting shot. And, yes, I was there solo with all three. And, yes, I did forget a few things, the biggest of which was asking to get the twins lead tested. And, yes, I did bribe Max with fast food for good listening and good behavior while there. Next appointment not until 2 years...6 whole months...for the next well baby and with any luck (not likely) any sick visits.

The stats, and considering they spent the weekend puking and still have diarrhea (thankfully not while out), are good and Dr. H said all looks well, especially for 29 week preemies, which he says he wouldn't know if he didn't know.

R
Height 31 3/4 30%
Weight 22 lbs 1 oz 20%
Head 18 7/8 50%

N
Height 31'' 30%
Weight 20 lbs 14 oz 10%
Head 18 1/2 60%

% uncorrected

Life is just busy. I've been back to work and it is long days with early and late meetings. The Noemi leaving at 3 pm is going okay. Some days easier than others. I feel like I have so little time to just play with the kids. The twins, especially N, has not taken well going from full time mom for 2 weeks to going back to work and them all being sick hasn't helped.

I'm on countdown to Friday when I will be off again until next year. It won't be the same since Noemi will still come many of the days, but will allow some flexibility so we can do a zoo trip and maybe hit the aquarium (although I think I will leave the twins and just take Max on this one) and do a few other things I just can't do solo with them.

Work is work. Had my yearly review today and it went as expected and we didn't even talk about my personal performance since I wrote my own review (because I am just that kind of a gal) before I took vacation in November, but still left me feeling down. I don't feel trapped per se and like the flexibility and working from home, but it is not the company I hired into. For 19 years, I loved my job. I loved and respected the company I worked for. This last year, I haven't and it has little to nothing to do with the kids. I'm sure I will change at some point and am happy in this economy that I do have a job, but I just wished I liked it more.

Christmas is just going to be a small affair. My mom and the kids and I as both my local sisters are going out of town and a part of me is sad and the other glad.

All and all, things are just fine. Just normal life and kid stuff. And, at the end of the day and the end of the week and then end of the weekend. I'm just tired. And, I did something to my sholder and it hurts, especially when using the mouse or holding the steering wheel. And, I pulled the skin away from under my finger nails on three fingers...while of all things making Christmas cookies in Max's classroom on Monday and it really hurts. Both of these on my right side. And, I've been sick along with the kids...no puking for me, only do that when pregnant you know, but cold, cough, stuffy nose, diarrhea, so tired you ache kind of thing.

Did I mention the heat stopped working last week, on the coldest day of the year (33 degrees outside, high 50's/low 60's inside), but it was restored for a reasonable fee? Did I mention that the twins puked all weekend and still have diarrhea? Nothing like waking up to two cribs filled with vomit with chunks in the hair that several washings don't get out? Or getting puked on. Several times. Or having two cling on children, no make that three, when you just want to get the laundry going to get the stench out of the house.

I haven't cooked since I was on vacation. I haven't even pulled out any of the frozen meals I made as planned. We've been on a dry toast, cheeroes, bland boring diet around here. However, all of this did not stop me from making cookies and my grandma's cinniman twist (for Christmas) this weekend because I wanted to.

Oh, and I'm watching my cousins dog for a few weeks while she is out of town. Just the older one. Not the puppy thank God! Dog arrived on Saturday, amid the height of the sickness. Other than eating the cats food, peeing on the floor, wanting attention, and looking like he is depressed and can't beleive he has to stay here without his family, need to be walked, and just one more thing.

All this to say, none of it is truly bad, just busy and a lot going on which is why I haven't had an ounce of time or energy to spend too long on the computer. Not to mention that my computer sucks and is so slow and locks up regularily. And, the shoulder pain thing and the sore fingers. And, the long work hours. But, I am here and around and life is maybe not exactly good, but not bad either.

And, the twins are 18 months, N is walking like a pro and doing great. Delayed, yes, especially N, but ultimatly, I think just fine.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Suzie Homemaker

I call this time of year "when the seasons collide". For my own sanity and the enjoyment of the kids, the last few years we have gone straight from Halloween to Christmas decor. This pumpkin we finally got carved last weekend.

Week 1 of vacation is coming to an end and I've been Suzie Homemaker. I've been busting my butt and really, it's been no vacation as I think the only time I've really sat is when giving breathing treatments and on rare occasion to eat, but I'm feeling so proud, in control, and happy with where I'm at and what I have accomplished. The inside and outside of the house are decorated for Christmas, which was no easy feat and involved some major house rearranging. Max's train table that has lived in the family room the last two years is now in his room along with the garage he got from Santa last year. The rocker that was in the family room is now in the twins room (had to swap out because in order to make room for the tree it would have been open with no back wall support and I didn't want to chance one of the kids standing in it and tipping it and doing a face plant into the tile) which involved moving the glider in the twins room into the office and the chair in the office into the family room with its matching partner. I've also done things like moved the excersaucers to the garage moved around toy shelves and taken the leaf out of the kitchen table and moved two chairs to the garage to make the table round. The last few meals the four of us have sat together with the twins in the high chairs without the trays pushed up to the table to eat. I've also had company which helped as my cousin did all the outside lights and her daughter was a big help in decorating the tree and the inside. But, it is also more work in more to cook for, clean up, and more mess. Plus, there was Thanksgiving and cooking/pie baking for that even if I didn't host. The house is far from spotless, but it's looking so much better. I did a deep dive on the floors (meaning rugs pulled up and vacuumed/mopped under) in the family room/kitchen today testing out the new Shark steam mop my cousin bought this week on my behalf that the PT had recommended (because we stay strictly on topic...NOT) that my cousin has and also recommended that was not only on sale, but at a place where I had a 20% coupon. I loved it. I am under no delusions that it will stay that way past 7:30 am tomorrow morning. Yet, tonight while the kids sleep, it looks great.

The majority of all this was done while the kiddo's slept so I could still give them some quality time. And, it was all done with us all under the weather with colds and coughs. I had some flashbacks of last Thanksgiving weekend in the hospital with R as he had croup and strider earlier in the week, but I was extremely aggressive with breathing treatments and he is on the up swing as am I after a much needed nap on Saturday morning while the twins slept and Aunt Terri took Max on an adventure.

Week 2 of vacation I do not plan to rest on my laurels. I want to do a clean up/de-clutter of Max's room and rearrange the twins room to make things better fit after the bigger rocker has been added. I'd also like to get clothes sorted with the right sizes and a deep dive in my room, but I'm counting that as too ambitious as I'm flying solo all week and will really only have when the twins nap and after bedtime.

I'm a bit surprised as being home with the kids is harder and much more physical than the day job I get paid to do, but as crazy and busy as the week has been it has left me wishing I was and could afford to be a say at home mom. I'd have to pace myself more than the sprint of last week, but it would be easier to keep up I think. Noemi works hard, but she isn't as fast and efficient as I am and she would never/could never do the major reworking and organizing that has been needed. I'm tired. I ache. I have a cough and running nose. And, I haven't felt this good and in control since way before the twins were born maybe/probably since they were concieved.

So, next week, week 2 of vacation will be another sprint where I tackle a few rooms and do some more internet Christmas shopping with at least one grocery/Costco run with the twins and schlepping the twins to and fro running Max to school. Then, a two week sprint of work, then hopefully a real vacation to enjoy the holiday. There is really no reason to push myself so hard except personal satisfaction and that is more than enough for me. It just make me happy to feel so caught up.

ps. Thanks for all the recipes. I've been fitting them in as I can. Tomorrow will likely be CoCo's manicotti for supper and the day after the Cabbage dish left in the "Eats" post.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

That's why

As much as our nanny drives me crazy a good portion of the time, I have no intention of making a change because my primary criteria is that I trust the children will be safe in their care (letting Max rule the roost issue aside). Case in point. Today. I had to be out of the house all day for a business meeting, where inciently, I slipped and fell...lovely...yes, it has been awhile...like maybe only twice since I've had kids... since I have worn heals and not only were they a bit tight in the toes, it turns out the rubber heal was missing, but anyway, I digress. I come home to Noemi cleaning N up because she vomited because Noemi needed to do the Heimlich because N was chocking on a piece random plastic from a bead necklace. I'm glad I wasn't here when it happened. And, of course, that all is well that ends well.

Thanks everyone for the recipe and menu ideas. I'm going to try them...next week (or the week after, or maybe in December :)...when I only have to be a mom and not work full time and be a mom. Oh, and thanks to the Menu Monday link. I need to check that out more, but I did browse it and then click on one then clicked someplace else end ended up on this knitting sight where some lovely ladies on a forum gave me pointers on where and how to find someone to knit Christmas Stockings to match the ones Max and I have. Mine, my grandma made for me when I was a wee lad. Max's, my sister found a friends mom make some for her kids and Max when she lived there but she isn't interested any longer.

Long, long day. Long week. I'm tired. I'm achy and sore. I have a lot of work to do, but in 2 days. I'm off for two weeks. I need the break even though I will pay dearly when I return.

ps. Those shoes are now in the trash so that I don't forget next time I need them what a hazard they are to my health.

ETA: And, while someone might make the argument that maybe N shouldn't have choked in the first place, there really is only so much one can do. The entire house is a choking hazard for toddlers with all Max's little things and whatnots. And, with R's propensity to walk around two fisted with sharp pointy objects it's amazing he hasn't poked out an eye yet. They are eagle eyes for one and every breach and are like a magnet...drawn to each and every item you don't want them to have and get distracted for one second and they will be up on the kitchen table (R just because and N to eat the cat food, regardless if she just finished a snack or a meal). They are so used to getting things taken away they see you coming and just hand it over with a grin, happy for the time they had with the contraband item.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Most Frequent Eats?

I'm trying to add more variety, when I get a chance, into our meals. I've found quite a few excellent recipes on cooks.com and my sister gave me a few of her kid friendly stand by's. What are a few of your favorite or most frequent meals? Not necessarily the recipe per se, unless you think it is spectacular, but just a general title or idea.

Tonight I made, this Alfredo sauce from cooks (http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1855,140166-232207,00.html) that I served with some penne left over from last night mixed with bacon bits and broccoli. Everyone loved it and there were no left overs. It was as good an easy as advertised. I used milk instead of half and half.

The other night I made chili served with sour cream, shredded cheese, and Frettos (sp?, the corn chips). Again, no left overs. We spoon fed the twins to avoid a compete mess. I can't find the recipe I used as a base, but was basically ground beef cooked with sweet onion and a mild chili packet (McCormick I think) mixed with 2 cans of Italian seasoned tomatoes (because that's what I had) and maybe that's it.

I've made ground beef stroganoff a few times. From cooks.com, I read through several recipes and printed two that I kind of combine.

From my sister, I got an easy backed Ziti recipe along with a chicken pot pie one. I also got one that she calls Chicken Roll, where you chop chicken and mix it with mayo, cooked broccoli, cheese, and maybe a few other things/spices, and wrap in cressant rolls that I've only made once so far, but was good. Also, a tater tot casserole that I think R loved and Max/N were luke warm to cold over.

I made chicken/cheese enchiladas last week that were a big hit. Again, I pulled from a few different recipes from cooks.com and altered based on what I had/like. I did both green and red sauce, but think I will stick to just green the next time.

I attempted Spaghetti Carbonara (noodles, egg, Canadian bacon or bacon, Parmesan, basil). It wasn't horrible, but I need a better or actual recipe as I was using a few from cooks and from memory from a friend and didn't have everything.

Before trying to expand, it was just basics like meatloaf, baked chicken served with rice or noodles, sausage served with rice or noodles, pork chops served with rice or noodles, spaghetti, lazagna (frozen), PJ Sandwich (since Max can't take to school about once a week it is served for either breakfast or dinner or a weekend lunch). About once a month I'll do mac n cheese with tuna salad (one the side, not mixed). Occasionally a crock pot roast. I'm sure there is more.

I'm trying to get a list of about/at least 30 standby recipes that are relatively easy/simple to make that I can rotate. Ideally, plenty left to freeze so I can actually cook about 3 times a week (one week night, weekends) and pull from the freezer the other nights.

What works for you/your family or is a fond childhood dinner?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Just life

I attempted to make light spaghetti pie* for dinner tonight. Except when I went to go pull out the whole wheat spaghetti, I found out that a child had previously dumped it all over the floor and it was no longer available for consumption. So, I decided to move on and used Zitti noodles instead...because they are so similar -- NOT. As I poured in my chunky pasta sauce that I had made last month and frozen for future use on top of the cubed Canadian bacon, I realized they probably meant a MARINARA sauce not a meat sauce on top of the Canadian bacon. I had no black olives and only seasoned bread crumbs. This all took about 20 or so minutes longer than normal because for some odd reason, Noemi decided she needed to clean my bathroom instead of watch the twins (yes, it had been awhile, but it wasn't THAT bad and would have been nice if she would have asked instead of just disappearing) which involved every few minutes stopping to wash my hands and fetch N off the top of the kitchen table. So, it all got in the oven much later than anticipated...in a regular pie plate instead of caste iron pan because I don't have one. By then Noemi was finished with the bathroom cleaning...and I rushed off to pick up Max from school (not having time to get back to my work and get something done I needed) asking Noemi to take it out and turn off the oven when the timer went off. I come home to find out that she had turned off the timer, but left both the oven on and the dish IN the oven which was on its way to burning. Not to be mean, but sometimes I wonder what she is thinking or not thinking and if she is really just that stupid or is being passive aggressive. Anyway, in spite of all that, the kids loved it. They all ate generous portions and seemed to love it. Go figure.

One of the other things I accomplished today was to sort through the mounds of paper work in various places around the house to find this parking ticket that came in the mail from this summer that I quickly glanced at months ago then misplaced and followed up to the extent that I mentioned it to my cousin/her husband who had borrowed my car while they were moving until their cars arrived with all their worldly possessions. I had minor fears of the fine tripling and getting pulled over (with the kids in the car) and hauled into jail (putting them into temporary state custody) because a warrant was out for my arrest because it had not been dealt with it in a timely manner. While being slighty irritated that this even had to take up space in my brain to remember and occassionally think I must really deal with this after helping someone out and then when feeling slightly irritated also remember that the car came back missing one of the hub caps and some jerk put a piece of gum up against one of the exposed bolts. Anyway, finally, I decided today was the day and this really truly needed to be resolved. I planned on just paying whatever the amount was and then email my cousin the amount for her to pay back or not at some point in the future. I read the fine print and found a web page I could find the total amount due and pay on-line and when I got there, I found out that it had been paid on 9/1/09 two days before the fine would have doubled. Good to know. Once less thing to worry about/deal with and yes it would have been nice to know this months ago.

Just life.

*Light Spaghetti Pie

Makes: 6 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Light Spaghetti Pie
Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 2 cups chunky pasta sauce
  • 1 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 ounces (1/4 pound) Canadian bacon, diced
  • 1/4 cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350°F.

2. Break spaghetti into thirds and cook 8 minutes. Drain and add back to pot.

3. Stir in the pasta sauce, mozzarella, Canadian bacon and olives. Add the eggs; stir mixture until combined.

4. Coat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or oven-proof nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Sprinkle the inside of the skillet with the bread crumbs.

5. Spoon the spaghetti mixture into the skillet. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Top with the Parmesan cheese and bake for 10 minutes.

6. Cut into 6 wedges. Serve with a green salad tossed with reduced-fat dressing, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts

  • Servings Per Recipe 6 servings
  • Calories 349,
  • Total Fat (g) 10,
  • Saturated Fat (g) 4,
  • Cholesterol (mg) 166,
  • Sodium (mg) 820,
  • Carbohydrate (g) 44,
  • Fiber (g) 7,
  • Protein (g) 21,
  • Vitamin A (DV%) 0,
  • Vitamin C (DV%) 0,
  • Calcium (DV%) 0,
  • Iron (DV%) 0,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Nary a skirmish

Everyone, except me of course and sadly, slept in today. Max climbed in my bed about 2 am saying he had a scary dream and it was too scary to tell me about, ever. Later in the day, he told me the dream was about N and R getting arrested, then started laughing and said "just joking". Ah, that kid. Like many things, I guess I'll never know...and yes, I'm curious! At least I did doze back off after he joined me, but woke up quite a bit because he had to be touching me and reached out for me to touch me or hold my PJ on and off.

Anyway, I wouldn't go so far as to say Max's behavior was perfect today, cause whose behavior ever is really, but everything just seemed to flow and it was markedly improved. The only time we came close was outside clean-up after dinner/before bed. He had hauled all the "equipment" onto the grass to make an obsticale course agreeing that he would put it all back when the day was done. Then, of course, he didn't want to. Instead of going into battle, I used his competitiveness (which was in the forefront of my mind after playing numerous board games with him today..egads, not sure where the kid got it from, but not me) against him and told him to take his time and NOT do it because I wanted to win and clean up the inside/family room first. That got him going. And, yes, I did make sure to let him win.

So, who knows, probably a bit tired and off, something on his mind/bothering him (scary dream), and cuddling and connecting with me while he slept it off. Days like today are so much nicer than days like yesterday.

Switching gears, just a little funny from today. Max is big and strong enough and the twins tolerant enough that when the moods are in alignment like they were today, they will allow him to drag them about. R, typically being more tolerant than N in general. Max gave N a "roller coaster" ride in one of our patio chairs that spins. After she tired of this (which took quite awhile actually), Max went to find R for his turn. He's hauling him across the back yard with his arms under R's armpits and R's feet just above the ground. R kept trying to touch, but was perfectly content to let Max manhandle him that way. Actually, he looked a bit pleased. They get to the chair and Max starts shoving him up into it by his butt and then R figures out what he wants and climbs up, turns around and enjoyed his turn. It was so funny to watch. Then, Max did the same thing to N after dinner for a different reason and she just went with it as well. She lets Max get away with far less than R and will let her temper fly at him having him back away quickly with apologize if she doesn't like what's going on. Today, they just all seemed mellow and tolerant and played nicely. Several times, R and N had some twin game thing going on and just cracking each other up for no apparent reason. One of those times R was at the top of the slide and N at the bottom and I swear R was telling N to move or he'd run her over and she was daring him to try and they just burst out in laughter. Or, not...whose to say.

Oh, and allegedly, N's taken a few independent steps...not that I've seen any of them. Neomi reported that N took two steps Friday afternoon. My mom reported that N took one step at the party yesterday. I have seen nary a one, but she's about to take off and then I think we are all going to need to watch out.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Battling it out

We are coming out of a really good run of behavior from Max's part. The big issue right now is listening or rather not listening. Based on a comment from Max's teachers in our parent/teacher conference last month and the fact that I'm having to repeatedly ask Max to do some basic things like brush his teeth, get dressed...or to not do things, like help himself to a muffin the other night for dinner, or decide to make himself a smoothy, or to not turn on the misters this morning in low 50 degree weather, or whatever....and based on an incident that happened one morning this week while I was in a work meeting and come out to find Noemi with the twins in their room with the door closed and Max completely unsupervised in the living room because Max told her he didn't want to play or be around his brother and sister so she should either take them outside or in their room (and yes, I DID talk to both of them about this and how unacceptable it is on many levels), I've realized that I need to nip this in the butt. Max and I talked about it last night and he said the consequence should be a time out. He had two today. Both were battles. He could have easily had at least two more. I really hate to be at such odds, but I also think he needs to learn that he can not always have his own way and he does need to listen even if he doesn't agree. It's not all him, I've realized I am not as consistent in this area as I should be. He can just wear me down sometimes or I get side tracked and forget. The whole day wasn't a battle. We finally carved his pumpkin (interestingly enough or not he wanted the pumpkin to have an angry face and was happy with the end result), roasted the seeds, and made a pumpkin pie...then we had a birthday party, but there were far too many times where I was having to really get on him. I'm sure it has been or at least seems a bit worse right now because we are both tired due to our trip last weekend, the time change/reduced sleep, and a busy week. Or, at least those things haven't help. However, trying to crack down on it all just left me feeling like there has to be a better way. I'm not thrilled with time outs. I guess I need to go find and crack out that book from that parenting class I took last year at the preschool as it all seems very hazy. From what I do remember, when you are feeling angry the misbehavior is about control and that sure is ringing true right now. And, it seems like the more I'm cracking down, the worse it is...but that could be the tired talking. I'm all about independence and think it is important for kids to have some control and lots of choices, but I do not want a kid who fights tooth and nail for his own way all the time and doesn't think he needs to listen. As I told Noemi, he is 4, he is not in charge and should not be ruling the roost. I know this is just a phase and the battles now are needed to draw the line in the sand and help him understand what is acceptable and what isn't, but my word it is painful having to live it.

Lessons learned or any BTDT or good strategies to attempt?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

A big long moan....

I almost cried when I did it and I think she almost cried when she heard it. I've been putting it off. Avoiding "the talk", but it had to be done and today was the day. I cut Noemi's hours/pay effective December 7th when she returns from vacation. She will now leave at 3 pm instead of 5 pm. This means I will have to take the twins with me each day to pick up Max, make dinner, have dinner, clean up, get baths and books and bed solo pretty much every single night. I keep telling myself that lots of women/mom's do it all the time and it is just life. I haven't convinced myself as I tell myself that those same mom's don't have a 6:30 am meeting every weekday and a 7:30 pm 3 nights a week most weeks and a 50 hour week + job. It's hard enough during that time with both of us. It really pisses me off and makes me angry that money is so tight right now. One of the big reasons I waited having children was because I didn't want things to be that much of a financial struggle. And it is, and I hate that it is. It does not make me feel beholden to my new employer. I'm tying not to, but am harboring resentment. I don't mind the work so much, but the hours suck right now and I'm pissed that I'm making less money dealing with all the BS that I have to deal with each day. The self talk telling myself that I have choices is only moderately successful because while I have been keeping my eye open, I don't have the time or energy to do a full scale job search right now and I know too many good people struggling and looking for a job for too long now.

I've been thinking about it for awhile, made changes and cuts elsewhere where I could, but it just doesn't seem to be enough. I wanted to give her some time to plan for less money and also wanted her to know before she went on vacation. Plus, this way I'll have been taking care of them all 24/7 for something like 16 days straight so maybe it won't seem so bad. That of course rings hollow because I'll be going back to work after being out for 2 weeks and be so far behind it isn't funny and have to stop to take care of the kids and then bust my butt after they are asleep back at work and I need to stop talking or thinking about it because I feel like crying again.

It almost feels like it is all too much right now. The kids are still adjusting to the time change with Max, as always, being the worst. He was up in the late 3 am/early 4 am hour. Even with Noemi's help I was fried at 5 pm when she left and trying not to shout at Max who through a hissy fit because I wouldn't let him have an English muffin and screamed/bawled through dinner. And, R who hasn't been out of the bath for 5 minutes taking the lid off his sippy cup and spilling milk all over himself and the floor, then slipping in it on the tile, and then screaming while I tried to clean it up so no one else slipped when he wanted more milk that very second already. All I really want is just a little break and really there isn't one in sight for the foreseeable future.

Waa waa waa, cry me a river. It's not so much the kids as everything else. I wish I could "just" take care of the kids. I had lunch the other day with a close SAHM friend that had been far too long since we've seen each other. She has 6 year old twins and was saying how overwhelmed and how hard it is, how she doesn't have any time, doesn't seem to get a minute to herself, and how the kids (who are in kindergarten) are only gone 4 hours and I agreed and just silently added especially when you add on no spouse to help (even if it is minimal) with the kids, bring home the bacon, and a stressful job to balance it all. Maybe I get a few hours a week after the kids are in bed when I don't have a work meeting and by then I'm just too tired to do much of anything and while it is better than nothing it just isn't enough.

It's all going to work out. Somehow. It IS manageable, just exhausting and just barely. I think it may just take everything I have to do it with as good an attitude as possible. And, I already feel like everything is taking everything I have so I don't have more to give. My children deserve a mom who isn't frustrated, impatient, or crabby every afternoon/night so I need to figure this out and just get over it. I've got a month to mentally plan a new routine and work on the needed attitude adjustment and convince myself that it is just more opportunity to spend and bond with the kids.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Home Sweet Home


All told, the trip away this weekend was a success. It went so well, I'm thinking about going back again after Thanksgiving. First night went as expected. Got little sleep. N freaked about sleeping in a new place. Day/night two went better than expected. Twins napped and slept well. Everyone had a wonderful Halloween.

The twins went to the beach for the first time yesterday. R love, love, loved it. It's scary. The kid has no fear. N liked it as long as you didn't put her feet in the water. She liked a bit of distance from the water and playing in the sand and with her sand shadow.













































Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the time change?

Someone in the house we were visiting said FUCK the other day. I was hoping Max hadn't heard it. Ah, no such luck. It was repeated back today. Lovely.

Max and I shared a bed flanked with pack in plays on either side.

As glad as I am that we went and as good a time as we had. I"m glad to be sleeping in my own bed tonight with each kid properly tucked into their own beds and bedrooms.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Randoms


Max had teacher in-service one day last week. I had to work, but took some time to run him to McD's for a special lunch, do a puzzle with him, let him play in my office for a bit when I didn't have meetings. When I asked him what he enjoyed most about the day...."playing with my brother and sister".

Life is more than 2 or 3 times busy and stressful, especially in this economy, but I never ever regret having the twins/more kids. I knew to my core that Max and I both needed more. That is confirmed all the time in big and small ways.

"Beep Beep" is R's favorite and clearest word. He is an imp that one. Oh my, rules and boundaries...physical or verbal...are clearly just there to be tested in his mind.

R can mimic almost any word you say to him although he isn't really talking too much and many of his words aren't all that clear unless you know him and the context.

R oozes charm to go with his defiance. He will pitch a fit at the slightest if he thinks it will help him get his way, but equally or more often he will smile and flirt to do so. He has started saying "momma" and when I turn to look at him and make eye contact, make kisses with his mouth. Oh, my...(not to label or anything)...but, this one is trouble.

N is very observant. She sees the stuff that gets R attention or just plain looks fun and copies. Thinks like pitching a fit because her milk isn't there soon enough, pitching her water off the highchair tray for grins...you know...all the things you wouldn't want copied.

N isn't yet walking solo, but she is darn darn close. She's just missing some balance. She'sactually frustrated and wants you to walk with her all around the house so she doesn't have to crawl. She is able to walk a push toy all around the pool in the back (with some help adjusting the toy around the corners since she really only has straight) which is like a race track around here and that her brothers do with free abandonment. She was so proud. Her grin and squeal when she is proud is just amazing.

N isn't yet talking, but her sign language is amazing. She makes noises and is very verbal, just no real words. The therapist say that language is tied to walking, which I didn't know and had never heard, and that it is rare that a child will start talking before they walk. I'm really not worried cause she may be delayed, but when she gets there...she perfects fast.

We got inoculated with the N1H1 on Saturday. LA County was having "clinics" so we went on what was supposed to be on the way back to the pumpkin patch. We never made it to the pumpkin patch. The line was incredible and it took 2.5 hours total. This could have been worse in so many ways. My cousin was in town so she dropped us off to get in line then went to park. Since there was another adult and a 12 year old helper and the "clinic" was at a large park with a big gym...we could take the kids off to play and trade off. Glad it's done. Not looking forward to having to do another round next month for the booster, but my cousin says she'll come back again.

It's really nice having my cousin within such a short drive.

Because I knew about the county vacination clinic I was able to pass it on to a few other people who needed it, which made me happy.

I taught Max a new potty word....defecate...deification. He was thrilled. He says he is going to share it will all this preschool potty word loving friends. I figured I may as well increase the caliber of the words since stopping them altogether just isn't in the cards. Although he tries to be funny, is getting the fact that in public and when there is company are not appropriate.

The picture is from the church/elementary school carnival. Max loved it. R tolerated it (because he had to be in the stroller instead of running wild). N hated it. Pretty much par for the course.

Over the weekend, we took a walk around the block. Max and N rode. R walked. He couldn't believe his good fortune. He was happy, happy kid. He made for the street twice. Not sure how much he really understand sometimes, but think more than I realize. Each time, I told him NO and that if he went to the street he would be put in the stroller for the rest of the walk. Although uncharacteristic of him, he didn't push it. He was not about to give up some of this new found freedom.

We are traveling for the first time next weekend as a family to go my cousins way for Halloween. I'm both looking forward to it and exhausted just thinking about it.

It is going to be a busy week capped off by our first trip instead of a quiet weekend at home. Yikes!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What have I done?

Santa is getting the twins this play kitchen, a shopping cart, and various food and pantry items. The kitchen and cart need assembly. Where, how, and when I am going to do this assembly and where I shall store said assembled items is a mystery. Box of un-assembled kitchen arrived today. Box had big picture of product inside. Max was home due to teacher in service. Thank goodness I saw it before he did and hid it in the garage for now. He IS smart enough that if he sees it now or before the big day around here and then it comes from Santa he will question it. He's only 4 and loves, loves, loves him some Christmas. He likes Halloween because it means Christmas is closer. He likes Thanksgiving because you get to see family, Christmas is even closer and we put up our tree and decorations around then. A few weeks ago when we were outside, he looked at the chimney and asked about Santa's ability to get down it and reminded me that we need to move the gate and toys from in front of the fireplace before Christmas. Tonight, he wanted to read The Night Before Christmas and played with his Christmas Tree Train that his Nanna got him last year that never got put away because come on...it has two of his favorite things. A Christmas Tree. A Train. Other than throwing in a full conversation or song or nothing but "potty words", it doesn't get any better in the eyes of my eldest. Anyway, not quite sure how I am going to pull this off. The pressure is on.

Santa does not yet know what she is going to get Max. She has a few ideas.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Annoying

My nanny annoys me. Some days more than others. Today is a more day. Definitely a more day.

I'm sure I annoy her too.

As tempting as it is to find someone new, I trust her with the kids. They are attached. Plus, someone else would just annoy me as well. In different things ways probably.

I do count the time until the twins are in preschool and I don't need someone.

I wish I was independently wealthy and didn't need to work. I dreamed about being independently wealthy on not needing to work last night.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Scary

Had a big scare today and not of the Halloween variety even though it did happen at the Pumpkin Patch/Fall Harvest Festival and a (relatively local) farm. Let me start by saying everyone is physically fine, but Max and I will have some emotional scars for awhile. Even with 2 sets of helping hands in my cousin and her 13 year old daughter, we lost Max. He was there one second and gone the next. My cousin had the presence of mind to find a worker and they handled the whole situation very well. T, my cousin, says that the one worker got another worker who radioed the front and back and got the word out fast. My recollection is a bit hazy as I was loosing the battle of remaining calm. We were in a play area waiting for my cousin to get a drink and I bent down to get the camera and he was gone. He says he didn't see us and thought we had left him so he went back to where we had just been listening to the music. Then, he got scared and went and told someone his name and that he couldn't find his mom. They in turn got a worker and were headed back with him to we were as they got the word. We were both in tears and shared lots of hugs and kisses for awhile. He was lost probably at least 5 minutes, but no more than 10. If felt like an entire lifetime. There are few times in my life I have been that shaken and I know that was the scariest time in his life.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Milestones and Due Diligence

We hit a pretty big milestone over the weekend. I took all three kids, solo, out to dinner. It went suprisingly well. Granted, the restaurant was only McD's, but Max was quick to point out how well it went, that he had been a very good listener, and wanted to ensure that we could do it again. For good measure, he made sure to let me know the next day how much he enjoyed his dinner the night before. We've had some really low key PJ weekends the last few weeks. Max literally didn't get out of his PJ's, even for the dinner out walk/event. The extra good news about this that it means he and his bed were dry. We go through phases about that, but overall staying dry at night is happening more and more often. Anyway, with everyone just feeling tired and a bit sickly, we just chilled out. My mom didn't even come on Saturday like she normally would since she was feeling sick with a nasty cold/cough. It was nice to just hang out and bond as a family with nothing that really had to get done and no where we really had to go. This weekend, my cousin will be making the drive so we will have company and we are equally looking forward to that.

One of the big things I've been pondering lately is whether to send Max to kindergarten next year or keep him a year. I have not yet made a final decision, but am leaning towards putting him in the early 5's class at his preschool instead. Talking with his teachers this week in parent/teacher conference, that would be their recommendation....if I want to send him to the elementary associated with the church we attend (or haven't attended lately) and the preschool. The main reason would be fine motor skills and lack there of. The secondary and maybe of equal importance has to do with general maturity and the desire to do things his way/ability to listen and follow instructions. It's not that he can't listen and follow directions or do a task in question. It is whether he will choose to at any given moment without question or debate. In a preschool setting, it is no issue or problem. With the high demands of kindergarten and the high standards of the elementary school in question, it may be an issue. Part of the teachers comments makes me sad because it has to do with loosing some of his independence and individuality. An example given is that he likes to wear two different shoes. Another factor is that if I do send him, he will be the youngest and a full year younger than at least some, if not the majority, of his peers. If i don't go/stay private, it would be the wrong decision. If I do, I think it will be the right. So, I need to do my due diligence two fold. I need to go visit the school, again, and talk to the principle and get a better feel for a few big questions I have. And, I need to go visit and talk to a few charter schools in the area to compare. Our local elementary school is not an option. The other thing I really need to do is take a long hard look at finances to see if and how I can commit to this. My common thinking is that it could work because what I pay in nanny fee's should be more or equal to what tuition would be for all three kids. Money has been tight. Really tight. And, I'm thinking about cutting Noemi's hours again cause things are just not adding up on the expense vs. income columns. Things just keep up like the fact that I'm now $500 poorer as of yesterday because the master toilet tank just decided to crack open in grand style flooding my bathroom and room. Yes, the new toilet is nice and all, but the other toilet was fine and mostly did his job.

Why am I up in the middle of the night not sleeping? No good reason. The third time this week actually. I'm tired. I'm still coughing and fighting the end of this lingering cold. But, I'm waking up and just can't get back to sleep. Sucks. Once woke up because of a bad/strange dream. The other times, like tonight, no reason to wake up. Maybe a kid cried out once that woke me, but no other sounds. Just silence. All is as it should be, except it is prime sleep time and I'm awake.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rain Play

We've had rain the last few days. Not sure how much, but a fair amount for here and this time a year. I've gotten disapproving looks from the nanny, but have let the kids go out and play and get wet and dirty after dinner. My mom was here tonight and she made some comment about not believing, especially since we are on the tail ends...still...of colds, that I'd let them out. I reminded her that colds don't come from being cold and wet, they come from germs. Then, she saw the joy and fun they had. Especially after being inside and sterile all day. Although like when it is too hot or smoky from fires, I have brought in the big climbing slides and swing. And, we brought in a push toy. N is getting good at them and think she will join the ranks of solo walking soon. Anyway, I digress. I often wonder at the disapproving looks and criticism. It is not as if they will melt in the rain. It's not really cold, just wet. N just held her hand up and laughed at the rain. The all loved splashing in the water puddles. N had a wild wet ride on the horse. Max and R and I had some nice games of chase. And, they all loved the warm bath, snuggly PJ's, and milk after the outdoor fun. We get rain so rarely around here, I'm glad that they are getting a chance to feel and experience it. Yes, I know not for everyone, but we've enjoyed it here. Fresh air, outside time, even or especially wet (since it is a bit of a novelty) does the body and heart good, in my not so humble opinion.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Helicopter (and other ramblings)

Have you ever heard the term Helicopter mom? I never have until recently and now I've heard it a lot. So, either I've been completely oblivious, which is entirely possible. Or, it is a relatively new term.

I'm not a helicopter mom, by they way. I'm not negligent either. I just give the kids lots of room to practice and grow and develop. And, I firmly believe in natural consequences.

R, I think, is probably going to be the most athletic of my kids. He's got balance and coordination and energy and drive. We will see how that plays out with his asthma and lung issues. We had just weaned off breathing treatments and ramped back up due to the next round of sickness. He doesn't let a little thing like not being able to catch a breath or breath fully slow him down. Although, he is sitting better and quite calmly and quietly for treatments these days. He's quite fond of the TV and only gets to watch during treatment time.

N, is not so steady, but getting better all the time. She's so proud of herself. I have some pictures of last weekend with the proud look I need to post. Anyway, when she was first getting started, I was right there to show her how to turn around and go feet first to come down, to make sure she didn't loose her balance, or get pushed off by her brother. But, she has it now. She's more cautious. She is slower to pick things up and reach milestones than R, but she watches both of her brothers and when she has a few minutes of peace and quiet to herself she practices. But, when she gets it, she gets it and becomes proficient fast.

It's amazing having twins and control subjects with each other. R's behavior so typical of "boy" behavior and N's so typical of "girls". N can spend a good 10 minutes or so multiple times per day trying to fasten the buckles on a stroller or highchair. Her fine motor skills are amazing compared to either of the boys actually. R probably barely sees the straps and I don't think it would ever occur to him to actually try to fasten the torture restraint that keeps him from go go going.

N, of all my kids, needs time to herself to explore and check things out. Now and always, I need to carve out little times for her just for some alone time for herself. R, can not stand to be alone. From the very beginning, the moment he was brought home from the hospital. He needs someone else there. Don't even think if leaving him in a room by himself while you take N in the other room for something. Oh my word, the hysterics. The PT was telling me once that she was working with N in the twins room (often it works best and need to have them seperated during sessions because R just is too jealous and wants all the toys and attention) and Noemi went to the bathroom. This was before R was mobile (and I was doing a project with Max's class at the time so not home). R pitched such a fit that she ran out there thinking something major was going on. As soon as he saw her he was all smiles and happy. This is not atypical. Now that I think about it, R got almost all the drama for the family.

Anyway, speaking of the PT, that brings me to main point...she's a helicopter type. :) Don't get me wrong, I love her. She was briefly Max's PT for a few sessions because he was a toe walker. About the third session, she looks him in the eye and said "Max, stop walking on your toes." He did and that was the end of PT for Max. Anyway, we really clicked and she had said if I ever need any PT for the twins (was pregnant at the time Max was released) to request her. I took her up on the offer and it has worked well. But, it does make me laugh because she is so worried about them falling or getting hurt and that is part of being a kid and learning to climb and walk. She's told me about a friend of hers who was all upset because her (I think it was 5) year old had fallen and gotten his first bruise because she was so cautious and hovering and protective. I'm sorry. I don't even think that is healthy.

How do you ever get the proud look, that confidence, that self esteem if the child never gets a chance to try?

I understand the term and what it means to be a helicopter mom and read about a couple in some doctor's office magazine about a couple who was headed towards divorce because she was helicopter (actually used that term) and he overcompensated in the other direction.

I guess I don't understand the fear or the motivator for the behavior...the hover behavior. What are you trying to protect them from? The safety one I guess. To my philosophy (and I know we all have our own that works for us and our families..or not) it does more harm than good for a social and psychological perspective. We all have failures and falls and frustrations and disappointments in life. To me, my job isn't to prevent the failures and the falls and disappointments. It's to teach them how to deal with them. "Oh R, it sounds like you are frustrated because you can't push the toy over the rock (or through the chair or whatever), it may help if you pick it up or back it up a bit and go around". If I "fix" it every time, how does he learn to fix it for himself. Don't get me wrong. I'll show him. I'll help. But the saying holds true typically small kids small problems. Big kids, big problems. I want to teach them with the small stuff when the consequences are small.

Anyway, even I no longer remember the point. I need more sleep. I'm headed there now. The rythme was interrupted by Max who awoke coughing and crying with yet another nose bleed. He got the first one last month and had two or three then. He got one yesterday at school, one last night, one before bath tonight and one just a bit ago. Usually, he handles it quite well, being tired and woken from the cough and the blood had him a bit overwrought. He's calm and back to sleep hopefully for the night and without a bloody sheet/pillow mess to greet me at some awful hour or in the morning. I was left to try to regather my thoughts and am further rather than closer to sleep time myself.

Oh, and in the proud category. I got very little sleep last night. My own fault, the kids were all fine and slept through with no problems or pee accidents. And, I'm not feeling so hot myself, but today was the next possible 'be kind to yourself and get out and walk day'. I didn't want to. I didn't feel like it. I did it anyway. I'm proud of me. To me, working out every day at the same basic time is much easier. It is a habit and you can do it by rote without even thinking about it. Trying to fit it in when and how you can, feels much harder to me. Like making the commitment each and every time.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

FAT

The other night I was reading The Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle to the kids before bed. It hadn't come up in the book rotation in a year or so. I don't remember reading it since the twins were born. I was reading the page where it talks about how the caterpillar wasn't hungry anymore and he wasn't a little caterpillar any more, he was a big fat caterpillar. Max asked me what fat meant. I told him. Something like to be really big, round and pump. He asked me if I was fat. Ouch! I replied that yes, most people would consider me fat. I thought of myself as comfortable.* As only a little child could, he innocently replies that he didn't think I was fat. And, we moved on.

It made me a tad sad, because who wants to be thought about as fat. I've spent a lot of years coming to terms with my weight and who I am. I'm more sad about the prejudice and judgments...unfairly and incorrectly in my not so humble opinion...towards fat people. I'm tired of people assuming that fat people are lazy, eat poorly, don't exercise, etc. and so forth.

I'm not lazy. I'm not as productive and efficient as I was pre-kids, but I challenge anyone to do and accomplish what I typically do in any one given day.

By and large, I don't eat poorly. I'm not perfect, but I eat better and more balanced than at least 75% of everyone I know. I rarely eat fast food. I cook relatively healthy well balanced meals...not every night, but the majority. Those nights I don't "cook" I still serve well balanced meals. In the nanny compliance department, after years and years and years of correction and coaching, I still have to be more specific and repeat about basic nutrition to Noemi. They are served a vegetable, a protein, a starch, and usually a fruit with every meal. They don't have to eat it, but I do want them to get used to what it looks like to have well balanced meals.

Over the last year, year and a half, I have exercised the least ever in my life. I can feel the difference. Exercise improves how I feel. It doesn't significantly affect my size or weight. As I have stated many times, I miss most my early morning hikes from my pre-kid days. But, I wouldn't trade these days for those. Having the kids are worth it. I believe it is hard for most moms of young kids to get regular exercise. These days and this time is already going fast enough. I'm not going to wish it away. I'm just going to do the best I can.

I've thought and felt and discussed for awhile that for me and those in my family, that there is a big genetic component and there is a tie to hormones. My mom was never successful in loosing weight until the last 5 years or so as she aged. I eat now pretty much the same as I did when I was pregnant, after birth, during breastfeeding/pumping. Actually, I probably eat less and better now, yet struggle more. I have felt unheard by the medical profession and the doctors who causually mention the "weight". Actually, I tune it out at this point. I would like to trade bodies with them for a day, a week, a month and then have them dish out the same assvice.

I'm fed up with the assvice. I've come to love me for who I am no matter what size I am or what other people think about me and the size I am or am not.

All that to say, after a comment today on a random on my randoms post the other day, I found and watched the rest of that PBS obesity show I fell asleep to the other night. I saw/heard chapters 6 and 7. They were worth watching again. I watched the entire show tonight via the web, link below. I have to say. ... Finally, I feel heard. Finally, other people saying what I have felt and said. Finally, other people feeling like I feel. There is a line towards the end that says something like we need to get past blaming the individual and getting past our fat phobias and let the scientists research and come up with answers. It is a complex issue that if it were easy to solve would be solved already. AMEN! AMEN!

Another comment from the show that resonated was that health care professionals need to eat a bit of humble pie and try to better understand the issues and their complexities rather than just assuming the patient is a dumb, lazy asshole would would rather die than improve their lifestyle. Okay, so the humble pie part was there, I extrapolated a bit on the patient assumptions. I think all doctors and health care professionals should be mandated to watch this and do some targeted reading/study as part of their on-going learning/resertification. And, to Dr. B and other fat phoepic jerks with their high horse superiourity, up yours. Open your mind. Treat your patient, not your ego or your misguided opinions.

I want to live in a society that respects all people regardless of their color, religion (or lack there of), or their size. I want Max to understand what people mean by fat and skinny, but most importantly, I want him and the twins to grow up to realize that each and everyone of us are different. Short and tall. Black or white or brown. As they grow, I don't want them to be embarrassed by my size or just my size. I'm sure I will give plenty of other ammunition. I can't control any of that really. I can guide. I can coach. Most importantly, I can be happy with who I am. All of me. After all, at this point, there is just more of me to love. Don't get me wrong. I'd be happy with a little less. But, I don't have time (3 - 5 hours/day) to do the needed exercise or do more than what I am currently doing. I'm doing the best I can. I do better and more than most (and not as good and less that others).

I am who I am. I'm fat. I'm not proud of it. I don't mean to advocate that it is healthier or a desired state. I'm saying that people are dealt the cards they are dealt and given the choice, people need to be happy with the skin their in.

I am who I am. I'm fat. It is a part of who I am. It is not who I am.

Skinny people of the world who dare to judge others for not being as skinny as themselves or the "ideal". Fuck off. Don't even try to offer assvice on something you have no understanding and no first hand knowledge. When life is so much harder, do you think we would choose to live fat if their were reasonably and successful alternatives? Oh, right, we just need to have more self worth, end our addiction and emotional bond to food, excerize more, eat less and make better choices. If it were only so easy, it would be done.

PBS - FAT: What no one is telling you




* We use the word comfortable a lot around here. For example, when cuddling or hugging..."you're so comfortable" or "this is so comfortable" or "this is nice and comfortable". Or, are those pants, shoes, underwear too tight or comfortable.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Action this weekend

Crane your neck if interested, as apparently, I had the camera sideways. N, not being bothered. R, walking. Max giving R a ride. And, if you listen really close, R with his cute...."bye"...finally. Then, R running over his sister and Max wanting my slippers and smelling "diet coke". The day before it was mint. The day after he was home with a fever.

Randoms

I wish I could find the remote control for the TV. It's been missing since Saturday. I've looked everywhere. Noemi looked today. I looked N straight in the eye and asked her. She smiled at me and held out her hand for me to hold. I asked R and he toddled off and came back with the grey DVD/VCR remote. I thanked him and asked him if now he would find the black TV one. He shrugged and walked off. I called my mom who lives 30 minutes away, but who was here Saturday and actually the last to use/touch/see the remote thinking maybe it got put in one of her bags. I've said a quick ditty to St. Christoper, patron saint of lost articles.

Max was home sick today. Fever. He layed in my bed all morning watching TV. Then, perked up good as new for the afternoon. He reminded me of the time last year when he had the fever and the mud movers (can you say hallusinations?) came and if I remembered it. I assured him I did, but was surprised he remembered. That kid has a memory on him.

Max's favorite expressing is "poop on your butt". He wrote (I scribed) and illustrated a book on poo and another on pee the other weekend. Very interesting and crazy stuff in that book. He's so proud of it that we took it in to show his teachers (who both read it and showed interest and laughed at the appropriate times). He's asked me to read it to him and his brother and sister many times.

Max has decided that he is only going to say potty words on preschool days and has pretty much stuck to that. Today, although he didn't go was a preschool day so he was going to use them. Yes, he does use them at preschool, but not when the teachers are around the hear him...he says with a smile.

R. What can I say about R? He has things rough trying to keep up and catch up and get the attention of his older brother while at the same time making sure his sister isn't playing with some toy he wants right at that moment. He's (another) smart one. Last weekend, we were out back and Max was riding a bike around the "track" around the pool and R was pushing a push toy and chasing him. After a few times of that, he realized he couldn't keep up...and at first I thought maybe it was coincidental, but watched and realized that no, it was calculated...so he would wait near the narrow part of the track. When he would see Max coming he'd start running, cut Max off, and turn and laugh and run in front of him to be chased. This weekend, he changed that game to just sitting down in the middle of the path so Max has to stop. That's just an example. He is a mischievous imp he is.

N. What can I say about N? She's been practicing her climbing and is so proud of herself. Her face just lights up with her smile and joy. She gives me long suffering looks when her brothers take away or push her off whatever toy she has that looks interesting. I've thought about and even interviewed once or twice, but after all the drama, she doesn't want it anymore. She just wants to get out of the path of the crazies to reduce the chance of getting hurt at their expense.

I also can't find the calendar. The one that hangs on the wall with appointments on it. Which is why I forgot the twins had a high risk follow up at the NICU this afternoon which I couldn't have made anyway due to Max's illness. It is also why I forgot that Noemi has a doctors appointment tomorrow morning and I have two very important meetings schedule. One I'm leading and one I'm going to attempt to listen to on mute while simultaneously feeding 3 kids and getting one off t o school. The other I'm going to pray the nap gods are with me and the twins actually sleep when and how they normally do.

Several more things are broken around here. I can't remember them all. One is the outside fridge where I store the extra gallons of milk to prevent so many trips to the store. Since the sink, nothing has been fixed. However, the sink is still not leaking again. I can't even tell you how happy that makes me. It has been such a problem.

A blog I read pointed to a horoscope type thing which indicates that while things have been tight financially, they should start easing up. Oh, please. Pretty please. Maybe someone will want to publish my children's book. Not the poo and pee one. The balloon one. It is quite good if I do say so myself.

I was watching/listening to this really interesting program last night on this PBS channel I didn't know that I had. It was about a second "brain" /processing center in your gut and how gastric bypass has been so successful, not because of the bypass, but because the nerves in the gut processing center have been cut through. It talked about things I have mentioned to so many doc's for myself about how it seems to be hormonal for me and tied to some IBS when not pregnant or lactating. Unfortunately, I fell asleep during it so now must search it out at some point in the future and see if I can record it...if and when I ever find my remote.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Hurt me so good

I decided yesterday morning that something, anything needed to be done. I've been slowly working back in things for me like a well woman, a physical, taking time to read a library book after the kids are down and to get me off the computer. But, I could hardly stand how I've been feeling, how blah I've been. How helpless to make a change or try to take on one more thing or put on one more ounce of pressure.

One of the things I've missed most about being a parent is my morning hikes with the dogs. I was actually able to keep this up for most of Max's first year before Lucky died and Shadow just didn't want to do it anymore without her friend. But, no way no how do I have the time for that right now. From the time I get up until I put the kids to bed, life is a sprint. Instead of leaving the house at 6:30 am to hike, I'm sitting down to work. Three nights a week I have a meeting that starts at 7:30 pm that lasts from 30 - 90 minutes and the nanny leaves at 5. On the nights I'm not working, I'm housebound and just too tired to make myself/motivate myself/even think about doing a home work out.

I went through my entire day evaluating for any time that I could carve out even a short amount of time for a walk around the neighborhood and from there my mind jumped to maybe walking even once around this park near Max's preschool that I used to go to with the dogs after I dropped of Max. It is a big park with a .6 mile walking path around with slight hills. I met several of my closest friends at that park pre-kids. My heart misses the nature. My body misses the endorphins.

I decided that maybe a few days a week I could take a detour for a power walk before home. No way could I do it every day as I can barely get Max to school between meetings. But, some days, maybe I could. Even if it is just one or two laps. And, I did it. Two days in a row. Not much. Just two laps around 30 minutes. Ran into an old acquaintance that i hadn't seen since before i was pregnant with the twins this morning. I so didn't feel like going today as that "not much" yesterday had me huffing and puffing and stiff and sore, but I turned left to the park instead of right home and just did it. Giving myself permission to do just one leisurely lap instead of two high powered ones if I just went knowing if I just went I'd go for it. And, I did.

Sadly, I am stiff enough after 2 days that I can barely walk tonight. But, I'm glad I've start it. I'm glad I've made the commitment to do what I can when I can and let the rest go. I haven't looked at all of next week, but think on average that I can probably at least work in 30 minutes 3 times a week which is better than nothing and oh so good for my soul. I can't commit to every day. I can't commit a longer time as I'm robbing peter to pay paul time wise to make it happen rationalizing that I will be a better more focused employee and a healthier happier mom.

I had thought I'd have to wait until the kids were older. I so miss having a dog, especially these last few days, but I'm still going to hold off as hard as it is for me to motivate myself to walk just for me instead of "the dogs". The time is still not right for a new k9 friend.

It's not much, but it's huge. It feels huge and it feels good....even if I can barely walk upon first standing at the moment.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Wondering, Thinking, and Being Annoyed

I've been wondering if I'm mildly depressed. I'm just so tired and just don't have the energy for anything extra. Then, I remind myself of my schedule and that I have valid reasons for being tired and not having energy.

I've been thinking about the fact that one of my children is annoying me and getting on my last nerve. Interestingly enough, it is my second child, my second born son, the middle one by two whole minutes and I've always heard and read and observed that the child in the same birth order as you is the one that tends to be the most like you and triggers more of a reaction. It's nothing major, just a lot of whining, being competitive and pushy with his siblings. He's a screamer and will throw a tantrum just because ...although he didn't want the swing until you put his sister in it, he does now that she's swinging. He's an instigator. He can get both Max and N going, just because. It is not just me that notices this...the early intervention specialist and the PT have as well and we've discussed it.

I've been thinking about how having twins, at least for me, is very different in how I handle things...especially sleep disturbances and crying in the night. My twins seem to be able to sleep through their sib screaming, but if I walk in the room...they are both up and wanting attention and to be soothed, especially more recently as they get more competitive with each other.

I've been finding our family time on the weekends both more enjoyable, easier, much needed and isolating. I'm not getting the joy and social aspects that I have in the past through work, which is a whole other depressing story. And, although it is easier to pick up the kids and go run an errand or quick trip to the store if needed, we haven't even made it to church recently because it is just too hard solo because I can't contain them the entire time and with a 3:1 ratio it is just too crazy even in a contained "cry" room space. I've been reminding myself that this part is just a phase and to enjoy the time and stage and next year it will be easier. Then, I hope and pray that I'm not deluding myself and that next year it does in fact get easier. I can't wait to be able to get up and go more.

I've been finding things, in general annoying, and coaching myself to just let it go. Things like my resentment at my neighbors for throwing a party a few weekends ago with a live band that caused me to get no sleep that night. Things like the fact that someone couldn't follow the rules when our street was being resurfaced, and while a pain and even though barricaded couldn't just wait, drove on it anyway so that instead of a nice new surface you see tire marks ruining it. Every day, I've been getting annoyed. Every day, I tell myself to let it go. Let it go. I continue to find it annoying at the number of people who can not drive in their own lane as I take Max to and fro school on a mildly curvy road and that try to side swipe me on a regular basis.

While I am overall happy with our nanny and trust her and so happy I have not had to worry about some of the situations I have heard others, I find her annoying as well. After 4 years, you'd think I'd learn to live with the fact that she is not capable of organizing toys or putting the dishes away so that you can open and close the drawers/cupboards or zipping up a zippy so the cereal/crackers/whatever don't go stale. Now, especially with the OT and the PT being on vacation for two weeks at the same time and she is taking the kids to the park and out a bit more, that SHE NEEDS TO BE BACK IN TIME FOR THEM TO PROPERLY NAP and getting back at 1:05 or 1:10 when they go down at 1 is not acceptable because they still need fresh diapers and bottle (or rather sippy cup because we are done with bottles as of a few weekends ago) and they don't have time to unwind and you miss "the window" and then they don't nap. Fine for her, but then I need to hear them fuss in their crib while I try to work in the afternoon while she sits at the table and takes a much needed rest/lunch break. Then, she leaves and I'm left with tired crabby kids on my own who don't sleep well that night and I get less time because I have to put them to bed even earlier and the time I do get is crap because they are too tired to function. We have had this problem on and off since Max was little and she just doesn't get it. And, the truth is, at this point, I don't care if she gets it or not, she just needs to comply. I'll be happy when I don't need the help anymore.

Not only do I feel like my life is in a bit of a rut right now, I've felt like our dinners and what we eat have been so as well so I've gathered up a few recipes and been trying to do a better job of variety. Last night was Baked Ziti. Earlier in the week we had Tater Tot casserole and this chicken broccoli roll dish. I have a few more new ones to work in. I'm not taking it personal that Max is basically not eating dinner right now as the twins and I are enjoying the new tastes and changes.

All and all, I've just been saving my happy and time and energy for the kids and feeling down about work and lonely and sad I'm so out of touch with pretty much all of my friends right now because I just don't have it in my to be a friend right now and hoping and knowing that they are just as caught up in their own lives right now as well.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

15.5 month stats

Had the twins in earlier in the week for routine well baby. They got shots. They were not amused. Max came and got the sniff flu, which he was pleased with. Things are fine, but busy. My energy level is low.

R
Wt 20 lbs 15 oz, 6% --> 20% corrected
Ht 30 1/2, 25% --> 50% corrected
HC 18 3/8, 27%

N

wt 20 lbs 6 oz, 10% --> 25% corrected
Ht 29 3/4, 25% --> 50 corrected
Hc 17 5/8 --> 13%

R is walking. N is climbing.

Max is extremely impressed that R is walking and bragging to who will listen. They are actually starting to play nicely together for periods of time.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Just me?

Is it just me who has kids/babies such that when you try to change their diaper react like they are in a torture chamber and scream and contort themselves in such a way as one feels like they are wrestling a wet, slipper....ah...cat? beast? Egads, Max was this way, but now it is twice the fun. I actually shouted the other day at R to knock it off, it was just a diaper change. No, it wasn't effective.

Is it just me who spends the majority of each car trip with their 4 year old explaining the traffic rules, signs, and lines? Sample Questions: What does that sign with the 9 and 7 say? What is the 53? What are the yellow lines? So, if there are two and bigger you can go into it and one with dashes you can't? Those ones go onto the freeway? Why did you do that? Can you turn on red here? Can you turn on red here? How come we aren't turning right? Sample responses: That says, no parking between 7 and 9 am. That is the speed limit. It is 35 here and you're not supposed to go faster than that? The yellow line is always to the left. If it is a double yellow line, you can't cross it. If it is one solid yellow line and one dashed, you can go there if if you need to turn. A white line is a lane marker that you need to stay between to keep the cars from bonking. Yes, those lanes go onto the freeway. No, we are going to school not the freeway right now. Why did I do what? Yes, you can turn on red here. Yes, you can turn on red here. No, not here. We need to go straight not turn right now.

Is it just me where things seem to be breaking around the house in alarming speed, much more quickly than time and money allows to be fixed. Sample: Garage door, vacuum, ottoman, kitchen sink (was finally fixed...again). I'm sure there is more, but I've shut off the mental list to reduce stress.

Is it just me that seems to be working long crazy hours and finding a hard time balancing things, but making extra special effort to carve out time for the kids. We are continuing the practice of me doing a project a month in Max's classroom. Today, we are blowing up balloons. We have a heluim tank and wrote and illustrated a book on why balloons float and filled some balloons with rice and sand and flour and beans and water. We are both very excited.

Is it just me that just can't seem to cover all the bills these days?

Overall, life is good. Just trying to enjoy it and keep my head above water and deal with what I can and not stress out about the rest.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Conflicted

I sit here thinking that if money wasn't an issue and I could stay home and still have a bit of help, I'd do it again. I'd have another child or two. If things were different and I had a full time helpful partner, I'd add to the caos and crazies. While also knowing, I'm done. I have all I can handle and some days I'm stretched more on that than others. I'm sitting here with cramps with the period I knew was coming with such mixed feelings. I'm so so so happy and blessed to be on the other side of the fertility journey. I know with every fiber of my being that I have the family I was meant to have. I know that I'm where I need to be in life right now. The two embryos I had on ice are discarded and I'm okay with that although I will probably always wonder if they were really as bad quality and what would have happened if I was brave or crazy enough to transfer them back. I would have liked to know. The circles I went round and round in my mind about them...just transfer them back instead of discard, they won't take and you'll be done and know....but, what if they do. And, I just couldn't transfer them to anyone else legally as well as emotionally. Anyone who would want them would would have traveled to long and hard a road to get there and have another cycle fail. I just couldn't do that to someone. But, what if it worked, then they could be blessed like I have been. More circular thinking.

I've also been pondering these last few weeks about mommy isolation. I've heard talk of it, but really haven't experienced until lately. It was never really an issue when Max was small. We were out and about. And, even though I work from home, I have/had a lot of work friends I was in contact with on a regular basis. People I trusted and cared about and people who trusted me and cared about me. That's all changed and at a time where I can't really go out solo with all three just yet. And, I just don't have the time, energy, or money to be getting a sitter or hiring a mommies helper. So, I just try to enjoy the time I have with the kids and remind myself that this is just a phase. Soon enough they will be starting preschool and the crazies will be different.

They just amaze me. They are just something else. I love them and the stage they are in and watching them literally take their first steps in life and I'm in awe. While at the same time, wishing I had just a bit of time for me. I miss my morning hikes. I miss having a dog or two in my family. I miss having time and energy to talk and see my friends and actually to be a friend.

I sure can't say that life is perfect right now. It isn't even close. I can't say I wouldn't change a thing. Cause I would. But, I wouldn't change the important things.

Just life I guess. Not always clean or pretty or how we want it. It could be better. It could be worse. And, now that the bleeding has actually started, I'll start sleeping again. I'm seeing my OB this week for my annual (overdue) well woman. I'll be asking for BCP's to take me through and into menopause. One thing all the fertility treatments has done as enabled me to recognize is how my body reacts to the female hormones. That edgey, anxiety ridden, tense, tired, but can't sleep insomniac that always comes in the follecular stage where in theory my body produces an egg that could become a child. My body just doesn't do well with estrogen and follicle stimulating hormones. I haven't missed them. Made me almost wish I was still lactating. I'm not thrilled with the bleeding and cramps. I'm looking for the progesterone side of the cycle. I don't need the E2 of FSH. My ovaries are crap anyway. I'm done. I'm on the other side. Thank God!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Another day another dollar

Things always look brighter after a good night sleep....wait, I had a crap night sleep where little sleep was had and not restful....so, let's just say that things always look better during the light of a new day. Work still basically sucks, but I emailed an old team member who was let go to complain and called my old boss to chat and catch up. My mom is going to stay the weekend and we are going to take the kids to my sisters on Sunday so I will have help and plans. I'm sure there is more, but I'm fried. I also suspect that I'm having a hormone shift with too much estrogen and that a bleed may be headed my way. The trouble sleeping I've been having lately (hated stims for that reason), the acne, and greasy hair over the last few days causing me to hair wash every day instead of a few times a week as I have been plus the glum mood and near tears turn to anger yesterday added with the yucky bloated achy feeling in the nether region that started tonight all seem to be headed in that direction. I'm self prescribing two Tylenol PM and heading to bed.