Thursday, August 12, 2010

This and That

The days and weeks and months just seem to fly at warp speed and I have a hard time justifying spending time blogging when there is so much left undone at the end of each day.

I find that I keep staying up later and later and telling myself I MUST get to bed earlier so I can get more sleep and it just doesn't seem to happen.

Took the kids camping last weekend and we all had a great time. There were 4 adults, 2 teenagers, and my 3. I see more of it in my future, but decided I need at least 2 extra adults to go with my kids. Luckily, both my sister and cousin (who expected to hate it) also had a great time and want to do more as well. Need to get something planned.

The kids are fine. Max is in summer camp and liking it. He turns 5 next week and I'm taking the day of and we are going to Disneyland for the day (while the twins stay home with the nanny), then a small party for him next weekend. Max is funny and clever and such a good negotiator. He loves to win and so completely doesn't get it when I tell him that having fun and playing fair/nice is more important than winning. He has 4 weeks of swim lessons this summer and did great, but validated my decision to keep him in the early 5's pre school this year. He's not immature, but will benefit from another year of maturity (if that makes sense). He's still so young and yet so grown at the same time. It can be such a contrast. He'll go from board baby and toddler books to chapter books and back in various stages. All of a sudden, I no longer have to get him up every night before bed to prevent an accident.

I'm taking the week off before school starts. We aren't going to go anywhere, but do day trips to the beach, maybe the zoo, travel town, and other fun things that are hard to do on weekends or solo with the kids (as the nanny won't be on vacation and I can drag her along). It will all probably play a bit of havoc on the twins naps, but I think they will be like Max and drop them on the earlier side.

R loves him some trains, which he calls "Percy", especially the Thomas one. Heaven forbid you don't put a fish or shark "nemo" shirt/pants on him with the actual nemo shirt being his favorite. It is getting washed every morning and back on him every afternoon. I almost put it back on him dirty the other day just to avoid the tears and tantrum and "no, nemo. no, no, no, no. NEMO" as only a true terrific two can go on without distraction. He is talking a lot and most of the time even understandable. He has mostly been out of his crazy distructo who are you bad attitude grumpy kid and is actually pleasant to be around most of the time as long as you aren't N.

N is starting to hold her own with her bro's who still like to grab and push her around. The sibling without rivalry book is often in my mind, especially with her, when it talks about not always going to the rescue of the "victim". This morning during speech, she actually told Max, no mine, pushed him away and held on when Max tried to take it away. The therapist and I were so proud. The girl cries so much more than Max or R ever did or would think about (but R is a much bigger whiner). Most of the time, I think it is even real. Tonight, R got hurt and got up on my lap for snuggles. N wanted up. She went to where R got hurt, started crying just like he had and saying owwie, just so she could get up. Note to self (as I saw it all), N can be a total faker to get her way. Watch out for this. She is still receiving speech, OT, and early intervention. She's doing great and starting to talk a lot more. She is just so much slower and methodical about things than her run off half cocked full speed brothers. She has the most radiant smile. I don't usually wear or even have much makeup so she isn't seeing me put it on...maybe ever...yet, she is in my makeup drawer every day pulling things out, trying to figure out what they are and trying to talk me into putting "it" on her. Today, the "it" was mascara. She pitched a fit and threw it into the tub when I wouldn't. :) The girl has a temper, but usually gets over it fast.

Work is fine, busy and going well. Still a bit too busy and stressful, but NOTHING like the last job. If I could just muster energy for a bit more overtime I would be in better shape, but I'm just so tired at the end of the day because I've stayed up far to late the night before and the cycle continues.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Burnt out

Have you ever been rush rush rush, then go on vacation and get sick once you finally have time to sit for a minute? That's about how I've been the last two years are catching up with me. I still can't get done everything I need to in a day. Work is WAY less stressful, but not without some stress. The kids are all basically fine. We are out of the turn over the dog/cat water bowl phase or drop dog food into water bowl for fun, or spin all the TP off the roll because it is fun phase. We are more into the climb up the toilet and turn on the water and use all the soap to "wash" and if it is Ms. N not turn it off and go wander off. :) Probably another year off, but I'm really looking forward to being out of diapers. I don't mind them per se, but Mr. R is a PITA to change. He makes it such a physical struggle every single time. It's exhausting and I wake up feeling tired most of the time. The dog has me/us out walking more. He's getting twice a days. Not as long as I would like at times, especially during the week, but better than none. With the old job, it would not have even been conceivable. Nothing major going on, yet lots of little things. Made Bee Feeders in Max's class today. Seeing him so excited and happy makes it all worth it. What is a Bee Feeder you ask? Pollen/Flowers from the garden glued on pine cones with honey. A take off of the Bird Feeder. An original Max idea/creation. All the kids loved it. Max started swimming lessons today of the official variety. Watching him affirmed for me that putting him in the early 5's instead of K was the way to go. He just doesn't follow direction well. N is starting to talk more. She was a major crabby girl this weekend which is quite out of character for her, but now is back to normal with the addition of a snot nose. R is R. Lovable, challenging, exhausting, utterly charming and smart as a whip. He's starting to talk so you can actually understand him. I'm hosting a summer SMC pool party this weekend. Had only a small family party for the twins last month for there b-day. May not have one at all for Max, but taking him to Disneyland for the first time for his big 5 birthday on his birthday next month. Trying to get at least one camping trip scheduled for the summer. Like I said, nothing big, just lots of little things.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The stats

The official two year stats are as follows:

Weight - 25 lbs, 25%
Height - 33 1/2 in, 40%
Head - 18 3/4in, 50%

Weight - 26 lbs, 25%
Height - 33 7/8 in, 28%
Head - 19 1/8 in, 49%

Of course, we didn't actually discuss the stats and talk about adjusted vs. not adjusted. And, the fact that they were preemie never came up. How great it that?

Usually, the appointment goes something like, with all three kids are led back with two of the three screaming like they are being tortured. There maybe occasional lulls in wailing while no medical personnel are in the exam room. The nurses, doctor and I try to carry on a conversation while the two smaller children are in hysterics and Max tells them random things or asks questions near and dear to his heart at the moment.

Today, my cousin and her daughter stayed until tonight and went along. Max and CC (who is now 13) stayed on the waiting room for most of the visit. My cousin and I took the twins back to room 5. She learned I wasn't kidding when I thought the previous kids reluctance to be led back was mild compared to the twins. Ah, she learned quickly, as they both instantaneously started crying (very loudly) when the nurse called their name. Continued to scream through the torture of the "measuring" phase of the appointment. She valiantly tried to sooth. While I laughed, knowing it was a vain attempt. One measuring was complete, she took one back to the waiting room. Doc H came in examined the first victim. We took a short break while I switched kids. He examined the second victim. He suggested I take victim 2 to rejoin victim 1 in waiting room. Then, he and I had a very pleasant 10 min or so to chat sans children. Oh, it was so pleasant. Then, everyone returned to room 5 for the shots, where Max made it very clear that HE was not their for shots, only his brother and sister. Then, I sent everyone out to the car where I used the restroom and checked out in peace. Very early in the appointment, my cousin (who commented a few times that her kids never acted like this) said that she now saw why I asked her to come and help. I just laugh thinking about it.

Anyway, since we had no children to talk over or interrupt, I find it a bit funny in hindsight that we never did talk about "the stats", but really, they are fine and growing well.

We covered all of what I would consider the basics. R can now move to an inhaler. N needs something before dental exams (have the script for the dentist). No major behavioral or milestone issues either of us were worried about. Talked a bit about regional center and their lack of funding pretty much anything and how lucky (knock on wood) that ours hasn't been cut.

He recommends sun screens which block instead of use chemicals (discussed in response to my question) that have Dtanial (sp?) Dioxide and Zinc Oxide with a specific recommendation for Neutrogena Sensitive or Blue Lizard to avoid the rash that Max and N tend to get with many lotions or sun screens.

Stopping by Travel Town for a quick train ride, dinner, a swim, a walk rounded out the rest of the afternoon and evening before the kids went to bed and my cousin hit the road.

And, tomorrow is another day where Max starts summer school and I try to catch up on missing 3 hours of work.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ray and Nora are 2

Can you believe it? Happy Birthday to you!

Jenny - Wishing ultimate success in your upcoming cycle. Please leave your email so we can chat.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Life's a blur

Life just seems to be happening so fast. The days and weeks and months are blending together and I'm not quite sure how I have gotten to Memorial Day weekend (with still my taxes not done and needing that money for summer school for Max and other things) and summer.

I've started the new job and it is fine. Busy, but not crazy busy. I only worked like 45 hours last week and 42.5 the week before. I should have an could have worked more, but I'm burnt out and have had other personal things going on. I used to love my job, now I don't hate it most days and it is fine. I don't love it. It's not just the kids, although that is part of it. I would love to be a full time stay at home mom, even more so now that the twins are older and it isn't all about changing diapers, bottles, pumping. There have just been so many changes and the culture that I loved and the values that were important to me when I joined and the reason I stayed for almost 20 years just aren't there anymore.

I had a 2 day work trip to meet the new client and it was fine. It would have actually been nice had my childcare cost that week been so high and the fact that on the second day I got my monthly "flow". Thank heaven I was home on Day 2 as OH MY WORD did I bleed and bleed and bleed. Every hour or so I needed a complete change of underwear and clothes. I actually looked up hemorrhage and thought about calling my OB, but alas it passed.

We've had exciting things going on the last few weeks with the kids like first R getting the stomach bug, then Max causing him to miss school for a few days (and that last afternoon when he was actually starting to feel better was enough to validate that I made the right decision to keep him in summer school and camps), then N, then me. The twins are still having loose stool and a bit of diarrhea on and off from that bug. At one point, N and Max were in the bath and N puked all over Max (good times, let me tell you) and Max said "oh, this is just horrible" in the funnest tone of voice. Other than that, he did well with the situation and let me drain off the water, clean off N, then clean off him, then the toys. We moved right from that into dripping snot noses and colds/coughs this week.

Under the insane category, a new puppy joined our family last week. He's a 9 month old black lab/German Shepard rescue. Yes, yes, I swore no puppy's until the kids were older. I have been keeping my eye open for the right dog for awhile now and had actually indicated interest in a few other rescues that didn't pan out and Speedy/Woof (still debating names, but think Speedy is going to win even if it is quite adorable how the twins follow him around and call him Woof. He is really quite good with his biggest downfall in my book this ability to stand on his back paws and reach my counter. He hasn't gotten anything from it yet except for a few peas and corn the other night missing the chicken a bit back from that. This is trainable and he has such a fun, lovely personality. At first, I was just going to foster him until we met him and Max came home and told his Nana (who was watching the twins) that we went to heaven and found another Shadow (our other dog who also happened to be a black lab/German Shepard mix who died after the twins were born between when R and N came home from the hospital). My heart melted and here he stays.

If I said getting a dog was all for the kids, I'd be lying. I've missed having a dog in our family. The thing I've missed the most from my pre-kid days is my early morning hikes with the dogs before work. I'm getting a teeny tiny smidge of that with Speedy. With the new job, I have the nanny working from 8 to 4:30. If I have everything ready by 8 and can dash out the door with Max and drop him off at the school, I can almost fit in a 20 minute walk at the park and get back to be sitting down and working by 9 am. Then, at night, after dinner and a bit of outside play, I've been putting the twins in the stroller and Max has been riding his bike and we've been taking a walk before baths and bed. It's not much, but it is much better than nothing. I'm feeling healthier and happier. He really is a love and doesn't really seem like all that much extra work, but that could be I'm just so used to a crazy caotic life by this point.

During all this, I've had to switch from a central time schedule to a pacific time schedule and it's taken awhile. The twins moved bedtime and wake time back a bit at a time with only minor issues mixed in with sickness and diaper rashes and diarrhea and maybe a back tooth or so. Max was much harder and is his MO going to bed later causing an even earlier rise time. This is getting better and a few times we have gotten up around 6:30 am which was my old start work time. Mostly, it is still around 5:30 - 6 am. I'm going to bed later because the kids are going to bed later and I just need a bit of time alone to veg out with the TV and/or on the computer.

N finally started speech therapy (at the lovely hour of 7:30 am once a week). The early intervention specialist that has been coming since the twins were babes has resigned and a new one starts next week. That should go over well -- NOT. N is getting better about change, but it is still hard for her. She is very distrustful/reserved with new people. I like to call it slow to warm. N still has OT. With them coming up on 2 in a few weeks...CAN YOU JUST BELIEVE THAT?...they've had progress evaluations. Once again they are going to recommend OT and speech for R. We will see if we can get it added. While N tends to be more sensory seeking and slow to talk. R tends to be more sensory avoiding and loves to talk and say new words and shout "Mom, Mom, MOM, MOM...cah" for car. Mom, Mom, Mom...Mak for where is Max. Etc. Imagine the MOM part being shouted at the top of his lungs. I really do need to get some video of him and Max sing "Woof, Woof, who let the dogs out".

After having the consult well over a year ago and dropping off the paper work a year ago, I got a call from the lawyer saying the living will trust was finally prepared and in the mail. This was, of course, after countless, countless emails and finally last week telling the receptionist who instantly recognizes my name I've called so much I either wanted the paper work by the end of the month or I was terminating our relationship and filing a complaint. In her defense, she has some sort of health issue or accident or something. Hey, I can understand busy and behind with the best of them, but my patience had run out. Since I've actually been left messages twice before saying I would be getting the paperwork and haven't, I'll believe it when it shows up. But, this time I'm hopeful because I actually talked to the lawyer who confirmed my address and said it was done and only had to be mailed.

There is still rarely time to catch up with a friend via email or phone let along in person. And, I really, really, need to find the time and energy to get my taxes done...not to worry an extension was filed. I don't think I can remember the last time I went out. And, think it is sad that things are so crazy that I don't even mind that much.

I'm sure there is more, but who can remember and it is getting late. I've got company in town and am hosting a family event tomorrow with 2 of my cousins, 1 of my sisters, and my mom.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


No, no, not done with the old job yet. Yes, yes, was supposed to be on new job full time on the 16th. The end is in sight. Hopefully tonight was my last night working or at least having a work meeting in awhile. I'll probably have to put in extra hours to catch up more on the new job. I'm tired. I am not stress free, but I do feel the stress reducing.

We are in the process of moving off of central time zone and I'm trying to get my mind around what our new schedule and Noemi's hours should be. This week, we moved from 6:30 am - 3 pm to 7 am - 3:30. I think next week I will go to 8 am - 4:30 pm. And, probably the week after 8:30 am to 5 pm. As hard as it was to go to the early schedule, I guess we all got used to it and have been in a good routine. As much as I was not looking forward to going solo with the kids in the afternoon, it mostly goes okay.

3 pm Take twins to pick up Max
3:15 pm Max fuss at school and pout because he wants to stay and play longer (his closest friend is in a different class most of the rest of the day and he only gets to see him after snack in the afternoon and a bit when they both have afternoon play outside in the morning)
3:30 pm Kids play while I pull together something for dinner or put last minute touches
4 pm Eat Dinner
4:15 - 4:30 pm Start outside play
5 pm Baths
5:30 pm Twins in bed
6:30 pm Max in bed, I resume work

Working until 5 pm is going to kill this schedule. I tested with moving bedtimes back a bit this weekend. The twins actually did okay if you could get back Rmelting down cause he just can't hang tired. The kid looses it. The big problem is Max. When you push his back, same as when he was a babe, he wakes up earlier as in the 4 am early hour. If I could manage to put him to bed first, it may work, but no way, no how will that work. What I've done this week is shorten the amount of time between their bedtimes so he has gotten less 1:1 time then and that has gone okay. BUT, since he is getting up earlier he is getting more 1:1 time in the morning cuddling and watching TV will I groan and try to doze.

I think ultimately for the morning schedule, I'm going to try to leave the house at 8 am with the twins to take Max to school and start work at 8:30 am when I get back/Noemi arrives with next week practicing that schedule of leaving with Max at 8 am without the twins. With me working at 6:30 am and taking him at random times depending on the day of the week and my work schedule, there has been too much TV watching and lallygagging. He will be spending longer at school, but he has been literally crying or getting teary eyed or at least complaining daily about wanting to stay longer so I have only minimal guilt.

I'll probably have Noemi pick up Max in the afternoon with the twins around 4:30 while I wrap up work and get dinner done. Then, maybe 5:15 pm dinner. Then, right into baths and bed. I just don't see how I can get in outdoor after dinner play with this schedule. We will have to see how it goes.

I'm probably going to have to travel next Wednesday and the Tuesday/Wednesday the week after. I'm going to try to get out of the travel for next week if I commit to the 2 day trip the week after. I really do need to make a few trips soon, meet people, but it is just such a pain, is tiring, and just messes havoc with an already changing schedule. Not to mention that I'm feeling so fat and frumpy and unstylish that I really am not looking forward to that internal discomfort and trying to find work clothes that I feel comfortable in, are appropriate, and if not exactly stylish at least not too outdated. I've been working from home full time for almost 10 years now. I have nice dress pants that are fine. It's the tops and uppers that just need some help.

The kids are fine. Another cold/snot noses over the last few days just in time for N;s recheck of ears at the peds on Monday. Reminds me that I meant to put some eye drops in Max before bed as it was looking a tad irritated, but alas...tonight was not one of those smooth bath/bed times. R lost it in the tub because Max started playing with the motorcycle that he had stopped playing. He was throwing such a fit I had to actually run and put him in the crib real quick and then get N and Max out, then go back and get PJ's on everyone. I've learned and what works well on most days is take towels and diapers in and have on hand. Take one twin out, dry and diaper then place behind and encourage to leave bathroom; take second twin out, dry and diaper then encourage to leave bathroom; then get Max out and dried. Since no one has left the bathroom at this time and everyone is getting into trouble (i.e. pulling trash out, climbing on the toilet, playing on the toilet, turning on the sink faucet), I usually end up shouting "OUT, EVERYONE OUT!" as I drain the tub, pull the clothes, diapers, shoes, out and close the door. Or, at least get everyone out and close door to hopefully remember to return later to pick up.

N is getting quite entering an open bathroom door and any and every opportunity, playing on the toilet (Max went to pee this afternoon and comes out and tells me two of my spices had been thrown in and one of the cat's bowls was found in mine, along with cat food in the toilet, on the toilet seat, and on the floor..again), climbing on my bed and getting to my computer, the TV, the remote has now been missing for a few weeks, climbing on Max's bed and top bunk, climbing on an breaking Max's train table. Repeated 'NO' is met with a smile of pride in her accomplishments and been a zero deterrent. She has started talking some. She has "Mine, Mine, MINE, MINE, MINE" down and quite clearly. Good thing she is so charming and easy going. Unless you tick her off or hurt her.

R is talking more. He's smart as a whip. He's really been in to cars, and trains, and pushing and moving objects too and fro, and making car and train and engine noises. He really doesn't do tired or sick well. He gets whinny. He goes out of his way to cause trouble. For example, the other week we were at a family get together and the twins refused to nap. He starts getting into what I call the danger zone and out of the blue walks up to a table and swipes his hand across it basically dumping the contents onto the floor. Or, he will walk up to, N, Max and just randomly hit them. Just because. It can almost be comical to watch...if it weren't so annoying and cause such havoc with all three kids because he sure knows the triggers for all of us. Good thing he is so charming and eager to please the rest of the time. Plus, he is my cuddler. He just melts in and snuggles. On nights when things are really out of control or naps have been boycotted, I can suggest that Max go watch a TV show (or suggest he might not get one in later if at all depending on his mood and what will most motivate him) to take him out of the mix. N can 90% of the time be counted on to follow, hang out with him, and they almost 99.9% of the time can be counted on to get along and 90% of the time not get into too much trouble together. With them out of the mix, I can put on lullaby, rock R, and have him asleep in 10 -15 minutes. Then, go retrieve N, rock her for a bit, and get her relaxed and settled (very, very, very rarely will she fall asleep in my maybe 5 times in 23 months. Then, I can go tend to Max and get him to bed. It has been a fine tuned system.

Max is getting so darn big. He also is a smarty pants. Still likes to joke and play tricks. I do see him maturing a bit over the last month or two over all filled with regressions in baby behavior (i.e. going and grabbing a toy from his brother mostly or sister occasionally shouting MINE as R and then N have been doing); or wanting to read books he liked as a baby or toddler; or spending longer than one could think possible entertaining himself playing the Giggles Baby Time Shapes). I still need to get him up about 2 no more than 3 hours after he goes to bed to use the toilet or he will wet the bed. If that happens, we can go months without a bed wetting incident. Then, we will have a cluster of 2 -3 days in a row or 3 out of 5 days in a week for some reason. He loves to talk. His pants are constantly falling off his hinny giving everyone in the vicinity plenty of booty and butt crack views. Belts have not helped. Pants with the adjustable waists have not helped. He is really starting to play with the twins. He and R have more times where they can get along and play nicely for long stretches, unless Max isn't in the mood and then poor R is just yelled at, ignored, or grabbed from.

All and all, things are fine. Ready for work to not be such a drain and try to slowly get caught up on paying taxes (yes, a formal extension was submitted) and deciding on things for the summer. I'm going to put Max in school for the first 6 week session at his school, but am thinking about not for the second 3 week session. This will give a 5 week stretch before next year starts, which is too long. But, I want to see if I can find a summer camp that will have him in the water every day. I've found two that seemed okay, but the price of one week is almost the cost of the three weeks at his school so I'm pondering.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A light at the end of the tunnel

I see a light at the end of the tunnel and I'm pretty sure it isn't a train coming to hit me head on. I picked up my new job on the 1st, but don't give up my existing job until the 15th. New job should be MUCH, MUCH, MUCH better, but I will have to do a bit of travel in the beginning. Until then, I am trying to do existing job which is really 2 or 3 jobs and my new job which is a full time one. I'm stressed out to the max and I can handle a lot of stress. Now, that I'm going to hopefully be free of the madness of the last 9 months; that my friend who replaced my boss that took the hit for the sad state of affairs has come in and validated it hasn't been my imagination and after only 8 weeks is working to get herself out; that I can remember the way things should be done in the new assignment; I can admit to myself how much I hate what I have been doing and how unhappy I have been. I'm also angry at how this has interfered with my personal life in so many ways. I have carved out time for the kids, but so many things have suffered. I still need to get my taxes done. I would normally have taken this week off to spend with Max and the kids since Max is out of school and instead I'm working crazy long hours and it just pisses me off. The rest of this week and next are just going to suck and I hope and pray after that that it just gets better and better and I can stabilize out, de-stress, and get caught up on things.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Isn't it just the way of it

Doesn't it seem that often when you finally bring something up and express it outside of your mind, you almost jinx the situation? If you tell someone you don't have that problem with your kid, next thing you know...voila. If you mention that sleep is going well, ah well, your doomed for a few bad nights. And, because I mentioned I hadn't yet had a period here the other day...guess what is making an appearance. Pure coincidence already set in motion.

In other news, R is doing fine. Still did breathing treatments on him. N was really wheezing and not sounding so good so she got a few hersself. She tolerated the first two well, the third not so. I think she was happy to be in R's spot and "getting a turn".

The early intervention specialist (let's call him MP) told me today that R is counting as in MP: One R: Two MP: Three R: Four. When I or Noemi came around, R stops. MP and I laughed saying that R is dumming himself down so he can get away with more and both agreed there was a certain truth to that. R is scary. Max now knows how to work the cable box to get to his pre-recorded shows and can read enough to pick the show he wants and to save them instead of delete, restart, that kind of thing. Today, R did it. The exact right buttons in the exact right order. Scary. Not the OMG he can't catch a breath scary, but scary non the less.

There are a few rules that preschool enforces so I do as well. One is picking up toys and the other is clearing the plate. Since R sees Max do this, it only took a bit of encouragement and praise to get him to do this himself. He has to stand on his tippies and slides it into the sink. He is so proud of himself. N doesn't seem to need or care about praise the way her brothers do, my first attempts to get her were met with looks like "are you crazy? I'm not doing that!" so I just left her be and lo and behold, she is starting to come around and will clap for R when he does it, then do it herself and get a big smile. Yes, I do use sibling rivalry and competition to my benefit on occasion. :) The thing is, they are both pretty good at it and neater about it than Max. Yes, sometime the plate falls or some stuff fall off, but not as much as you might expect.

Guess who isn't working (other than a quick email check after the kids are in bed to make sure nothing urgent has come in) nights this week? It feels good, but I almost don't know what to do with myself. Changes coming on the work front, but that's a topic for another day and should all end fine and maybe even good or better than good.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I have a friend that says I have post traumatic stress syndrome. Although, PTSS doesn't look like quite the right acronym. I know she is right about this. I've read and heard this is common of parents ... of mom's... who have survived a child/children in the NICU. I still can't really look at pictures of the twins from the hospital or think too much about that time other than the abstract.

The further out from the end and as the twins have grown and done better and all of the specialist follow up's have tapered off, the easier it has become.

Until....something happens that takes you back.

We've had a winter of normal kid sick stuff. Colds and coughs. Pink eye. Nothing that had me worried since Thanksgiving week when R had some strider/breathing difficulties, croup, and cough which made me remember the prior Thanksgiving weekend where we spent in the hospital, but with aggressive breathing treatments, it stayed in control. I've been so thankful that we were able to get the flu and H1N1 vacinese and boosters early in the season. Heck, we hasn't even been to the peds so far this year until yesterday when I took N in for pink eye and ear infection.

Last night was a rough night. N only had a short late nap on the way home from the peds. R was coughing and fussy and crying on and off. I thought he may also be getting an ear infection, but no fever. I tried to get them to sleep upright in the stroller, but they were only content there if I was in the room. They wouldn't fall asleep in it. N was in her night time diva mode where any attention, no matter how needed for her twin was ticking her off, which just makes it all more difficult. Finally, probably in complete exhaustion, they settled and we got a bit of sleep. Morning came all too soon and I had Noemi get aggressive with breathing treatments with R since it seemed like his cough was getting worse. By about 2 pm, I have Noemi do yet another treatment while I call the peds because he was getting worse. He was really struggling to breath and pulling and was just wanting to be held and lethargic. Peds said bypass them and go to ER.

I'm crying. Just like that. I'm back to the early trauma. Noemi's crying. And, we pack up and off we go. On the way, trying not to loose it and calling to get some plans in place in case he gets admitted. By the time I get there, thankfully, he was breathing much better. Finally the treatments started to kick in. Since we were there, I decided to go in and check in, but as we waited, he continued to improve. Net result is, I told them we were leaving, got home, gave him another treatment, and put them all to bed. My neighbor came down to help, watch the twins while I ran to the drugstore (because as luck would have it we were out of Albuteral and no way was I going into the night without having that on hand) and is such an sweety just called to say she had her clothes all set out and could be here in 2 minutes if problems should arise in the middle of the night.

Haven't heard a peep from the twins sent they went to bed. Not a cough. Sleeping solid, sound, and peaceful.

I'm so happy that we got it under control and we are all sleeping at home. And, praying it stays that way.

If I hadn't had to live it and seen it, one could think that I over reacted, but I have too much history and know better. Watching your kid not be able to catch a breath is not something you forget. Trust me on this.

Just another reminder of how fragile life is and the rocky beginning the twins had. I could have lived without it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Buried Under

I've just been buried under by life and responsibilities lately. Nothing too exiting or too terrible going on. Just working too much, too stressed, trying to enjoy the kids. Just mundane everyday stuff. One cold after another. Pink eye here. Pink eye there. Snot noses. Cough cough. Nothing serious, just annoying.

I've wondered on and off if I could be depressed, but think it is just situational. I'm starting work every weekday early (6:30 am). Working every night after the kids are in bed (from 6:30 pm - 9 or 10 pm). Breaking from 3 pm -6:30 pm to spend time with the kids. Then, have trouble falling asleep. I'm just tired and have nothing extra to give. The project I'm working on is in serious trouble. We are getting all kinds of "help" and some of it is helpful and some of it not. Out of the blue, I got called by an old colleague/friend with a job offer. I'm not sure I'm free to transfer out at this point, but if I am...I'll likely make the move. It will put me out of the house, but the office I would work out of it closer to my house than the grocery store or Max's school. Can't get much better than that, especially in LA.

I've wondered if I could be seriously ill, but had a physical and my labs were actually even better than they have been in recent past.

My hormones are whacked. No time or energy to do even basic research on menopause or peri-menopause. After I stopped pumping, I went on the pill (one of those seasonal ones where you go 3 months without having a period) that I quit in month 2 because the break through bleeding was driving me crazy. And, I haven't had a period since. My ovaries hurt every now and again. One of the benefits of so many failed fertility treatments is that I know it is just them trying to stim with no success (or I really am seriously ill :). The last week or two, I've been oozing oil and having to wash my hair and face twice as often as usual because I can't stand it.

Not to say that it is all drudgery and no fun. I'm getting out with all the kids more and more frequently. Heck, we did both Walgreen and Costco yesterday getting the twins to nap late, but we were out of milk so it had to be done. Last Monday, Max's school had a fundraiser at a local dinner that I took them to an early dinner. Last weekend, we went to a local single mom's get together and had a good time. I took Max to meet Sid the Science Kid. I've met up with a few friends for dinner. And, missed a few events due to sickness and total lack of energy. I'm only lasting tonight because I dozed off today when the twins were sleeping next to Max playing on my laptop.

The weather turning nice. The pictures are from today. We have entered what I call "Outdoor Bathing Season". It extends both outdoor time and bath time and is a big hit around here. I'm fortunate enough to have a hot water hookup to a hose outside so with warm water and warm enough temperatures outside a lot of fun is had and it is a lot less stressful for me. We have moved up to baths not quite every day, but close. I have learned to get one kid out of the tub at a time and towel and diaper before getting the next to avoid poo and pee cleanups, but still end up shouting by the end for Max to get out of the tub and "EVERYONE OUT. OUT OF THE BATHROOM THIS MINUTE." A lot of trouble can be had in a short period of time in the bathroom. Trust me on this one. We don't even bother to put the paper on the roll right now. It is too much of an enticing science experiment to unroll and unravel.

I'm still trying to cook as much as possible, mostly on the weekends as there just isn't the time during the week. Yesterday was pancakes, Costco pizza, and beef stroganoff. Today was french toast, PJ and pork/beans (yes, an odd combo, but it was by request), and what I'll call chicken roll (chopped chicken mixed with broccoli, mayo, cheese, dill, garlic salt wrapped in cressant roll dough except I apparently didn't have broccoli in the house so substituted corn and peas) with enchalatas made for tomorrows dinner as well. Almost any and all cooking really needs to be done (if it is going to get done) in the morning with or right after breakfast. The kids are usually content to play and get along well enough to get it made and set aside for later freeing up the rest of the day for fun and games.

However, dinner is at 4 pm right now (need to live on Central Time zone for work reasons and it seems to be a good schedule all around) with twins in bed by 5:30 pm and Max by 6:30 pm. The twins are taking one nap starting about 10 or 10:30 am depending on the day and wake up time and sleeping a good 3 hours usually (of course, longer last weekend when we had some place to be and when I couldn't enjoy it). The problem is that I'm hungry again before I go to bed so am eating another meal or snack too late and doing too much stress eating. I'm just trying to be aware and cut myself some slack. I can handle a lot of stress, but things have been even much for me. I actually started crying when I thought I got called for a jury panel, but ultimately got released because it would have just put too much strain on an already tight schedule. And, I've cried or gotten teary over other things that normally I could take in stride, but I'm just too tired, and too stressed with whacked hormones.

Taking the twins with me to pick up Max and doing the whole dinner bedtime solo is actually going fine most of the time other than the last bit of chaos getting the kids dried and diapered and out of the bathroom (which is why the outdoor bathing is extra nice as it takes away even that battle). I actually quit work early on Friday and could have left them with Noemi, but they like it so much and while a hassle, isn't horrible.

Max is at a fun stage with a lot of whit. The things that kid comes up with. He is a master negotiator. He makes me laugh. He also can get too silly and the potty talk gets old.

N was recommended for speech. In all my free time, I've pushed and pulled for that and expect Regional Center to fund any day now. Mental note, follow up on that. She still puts everything in her mouth, but we have moved from having to pry her mouth open to get it, to having her throw it on the ground in a huff, to her smiling and taking it out and handing it over (at least most of the time). If you can't find her, go check the bathrooms and she can be found in the one that was left open. She has mostly stopped eating the cat food and dumping the cat water, but has moved onto mixing them and putting them in the toilet. She looks sadly at the open toilet paper holders. She has been released from PT and can walk and climb with the best of them and has been faster than R as evidenced by her running away with glee with either some toy he had or tried to take.

R is really talking. Not that anyone would really understand him, but I can usually make out the intent. He can still get a bit whinny, especially if not feeling well. He recently cut all 4 canines at once. He was really hard to like there for a bit. He's my cuddler and he and I can usually carve out 5 or 10 minutes before bed to cuddle and rock while N is off playing solo or with Max. He loves playing kissy kissy smoochie smoochie. He has the most radiant smile. He's smart as a whip. And, as my mom says, watching and picking up like a sponge everything from Max. It's going to get a bit scary soon. Trouble with a capital T. He's been walking around the house saying "mine, mine, mine, MINE, MINE. MINE, mine". I was trying to coach some better behavior and Max came in and countered with "no, you should shout mine and grab". They both laughed and you can guess whose advice he took.

Sadly, another weekend has come to an end with another work week ahead. I wish it didn't fill me with dread.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Work has been kicking my butt. Long hours. Early starts. Late ends. A trip out of town. I think I've had 4 nights "off" in a row this weekend and I needed it.

I'm another year wiser today. Max was so excited and I think not just because of the cake and ice cream. He made me a cake (with a little help) white cake with fudge frosting with sprinkles on top and gumbiy's stuffed in the middle.

Biting into a gumby is a bit odd in a cake.

The kids are good. Need to off load pictures. Of them and the cake.

I've ventured out a few times solo recently. Dinner at a "real" restaurant...CoCo's mid afternoon for dinner. I went recently well. And, today to travel town. They were well and strategically planned.

Max has been on a side walk kick the last month or so. We have train tracks and bus ways all over the back yard. He is starting to "name" his bus and train stations and asking how to spell words.

Max informed me that N O R A is almost NO R A Y. He has a point.

They have all been mostly getting along after N knocked R on his butt a few times.

They were all cling ons and fighting for attention after "the trip", but after lots of time with me this weekend things are smoothing out.

The house is a wreck. Okay, just cluttered. Except for under the table which is gross, but I played on the computer and watched the Olympics. I need another vacation to just focus on reclaiming, but that isn't going to happen.

On weekends, I have all three kids who need some mommy time, plus need to cook up. I can either get the dishes done or the laundry almost done, but it stays in better shape during the week when Max is in school.

I wouldn't have washed dishes today except I needed clean plates for dinner.

Everyone has had snotty noses and some coughs, but nothing major. So glad we got both flu shots.

Things could be better. Things could be worse.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snot and Crabs

I lived in the house of snot and crabs this weekend. It wasn't one of our more fun weekends, but I'll still take it over the work I get paid to do. If only....sigh, the break from work in spite of it all was good and really, I'm not ready to start back at it tomorrow.

N is starting to hold her own and fight back. R tried to push her off a toy and she pushed back hard enough he landed on his bum. He was put out. A bit later, he tried to take a toy and she turned and ran away laughing. And, she was faster than he was. He really didn't like that.

Last week, when N tried that, R grabbed her hair and pulled her down. She REALLY didn't like that. Yes, they have started going at it pretty good. I'm mostly trying to let them work it out themselves.

Max has decided that R can't play with him until he is 104. Or, 12 days from now. Or, when he is his age. Or, my age. R, bless him, likes any attention he can get from Max, even negative attention.

Crying kid. Sigh. Guess I got to go back on duty.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Finding the good

One of the highlights in recent days was N finding the remote control that has been missing for 3+ weeks. Now, if we can just find Max's missing shoe before picture day on Tuesday and R's missing slipper/Robbeze (or whatever they are called) we would be about caught up in the missing household items department.

It's been a long few weeks that has involved mild sickness for us all, whinny crabby kids, and me working lots of long days and nights. In fact, sadly, I am still working at 8:30 pm. Although I vow, I will not work tomorrow night like I did last week. It's going to be this way for awhile and that is just the way it is. I'm going to have to travel in a week or two and I'm both looking forward to it and dreading it in equal parts. The team is going to be there for a full week. I'm only going for 3 (or 2.5 workdays) long days which I feel guilt about but financially (child care extra hours and overnight pay) and emotionally I just can't be gone longer right now. Plus, Nomi's 90+ year old mom is here visiting and she will need to get someone to stay with her mom so she can stay with my kids. The logistics of single motherhood can get complex.

I kid you not. I have 1288 unread work emails right now. There just isn't enough time to keep up.

I have so many critical personal things that are just not getting done. Big things. Important things. Bills and paper work things. We won't even mention the Christmas Cards that haunt me every time I pass them, which is at least 20 times a day.

I can handle a lot of stress and I'm feeling pretty stressed out these days.

This weekend it will just be a low key family weekend with no plans. I can't really say no plans because I canceled a party invite to a good friend that I haven't seen in forever and talked to in so long I can't even remember to celebrate the adoption of her son and his birthday. I feel more than a small amount of guilt, but I'm sure everyone else will appreciate more not having the snot and coughs and buggers we would bring with us even more. And, we just need time to chill out and play. We all need a bit more cuddles and play. So, I think I am not even going to cook this weekend as much as "prepare" or maybe even do a big McD's treat one night and just "be".

I'm looking forward to it and we all need it. Now, back to work so I can get to sleep sometime tonight. That has also been lacking. Although, N was so knocked out last night and R up crying so much that he finally got that co-sleeping. Interestingly enough, without R in the room she slept much later than normal...or she is just sick and extra tired. At least someone around here got extra sleep. Right, back to work so I can at least get some.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The twin factor

If R was not a twin, he'd be co-sleeping with me tonight. If N, wasn't N, maybe the second choice would be for R to sleep on my chest in the rocking chair in their room. But, R isn't a singleton and N is his twin and nothing pisses her off more than R to get extra attention during the night. And, heaven forbid you take him from the room to give him medicine or do a breathing treatment or try to have him sleep in my room. Oh, the drama and fits that ensue. A month or two ago, I did it anyway thinking she would fall back to sleep. Nope. An hour later, she was still going strong even after I took poor R back. In fact, she was so pissed, she got out of her crib. When the screaming sounded louder, I went to check it out and found her in the middle of the kitchen. Now, they sleep in a crib tent and I'm almost positive that I had zipped it back up so not sure how exactly that happened, but she can be one determined and stubborn girl that one. She is going to be a force to be reckoned with as she grows. The funny thing is that she isn't so much that way during the day. She is more apt to be off doing her thing and her brothers are drawn to her like a magnet and she either revels in the attention or sets them straight depending on what type of attention they are doling out at the moment. She is mostly content to let R get all the attention while getting breathing treatments, probably because there is a show on and they usually only get TV/DVD's for that although if she does approach for attention, she does so cautiously and approaches from the opposite side R is on to avoid a kick to the head. But, at way, no how are you not giving her her due. She might not always scream. It's sometimes worse when she just stands at the edge of her crib or sits there mouthing her lovely watching you. She will not sleep with me in the room.* And, at this point, she will not sleep with R not in the room. So, poor R is feeling under the weather and for the better of the entire family is in his crib by himself in the room he shares with his sister/his twin. Hopefully, the Tylenol will bring that temperature down a bit and the fresh PJ tops (the one he had on was a bit damp as was his hair as he tried to sweat some of it out). And, as bad as I know he feels as I was changing him he smiled and said "ta da" like I have been doing when taking on/off shirts and getting hands out of sleeves. Because, that's the way he roles. At night, as long as his basic needs are met with milk, a change, medicine, a quick cuddle, he doesn't seem to mind letting it become the N show. Most often, they balance each other well.

* A few weeks ago, I had a rare night out with friends. I didn't think I was going to be able to make it since I hadn't been able to find a sitter, but it just so happened it was the night before grandparents day at Max's school so my mom staid over and watched the kids for me. R had woken up crying and when she went in to check it out. N did her fit thing and my mom held and rocked N for probably almost 2 hours. I found her there when I got home. I laughed when I heard this and called her a "sucker". N will cry ALWAYS to get her due, but as long as R is there, she will settle down after a minute or two. I took over for my mom, rocked N for a minute or two, kissed her, put her in the crib. She cried for about 30 seconds. The thing is N didn't fall asleep the whole time. She touched her face. She snuggled in. She loved it, but she won't sleep. My mom didn't seem to mind and probably good bonding for both of them. Neither twin usually gets that much 1:1 so I was fine with it. But, boy can she and will she work it at night. It's not even really that R woke her up. 98% of the time she will not fuss with him. She will let him do it all to get the attention in the door. Then, forget the fact that he was upset or sick or whatever, it's all about her. Her night and her day personality aren't complete opposites, but they are different.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Not all work

Life hasn't been ALL about work lately, but there hasn't been much time for the kids or play either. I knew January was going to be busy, but the reality of it is hard on me and the kids and Noemi as I think I've had late meetings that have run over almost every single day the last week or two. It is being exasperated by the fact that I (and my current boss) think he is going to be removed from his position with the question being whether he is put on a layoff list or moved to another assignment. We have a replanning activity underway and my boss's boss's boss has made it perfectly clear that I, instead of my boss, is on point to run and lead this. Now, my boss's boss's boss is the person I used to support directly in my prior job and he and my boss's boss moved me into this position this summer so we do have a direct working relationship. It's just a lot right now trying to balance it all. And, I have to fit in dinner and getting ready for bed in with my "quality" time with the kids. Then, go back to work and get the rest of my must have done things before I get to go to bed.

Both Max and I had off on Monday and instead of staying in, cuddling up, and spending it as a family, we ditched the twins and took the metro to Exhibition Park downtown. As I was standing waiting for a bus getting drenched in pouring down rain reminding myself that I have not one, but two working cars sitting at home, I reminded myself I wasn't doing this for me as Max danced around trying to catch rain drops on his tongue.

I also managed to buy a new used waffle iron off ebay and give it a trial run this weekend. LOVE it and it is bigger so made it all go so much faster. I think Max ate 3 or 4 and the twins had seconds or thirds as well. I did some cooking this weekend...enchiladas made from left over slow cooked pork roast and slow cooked beef. Max requested meatballs yesterday (Coscto frozen put into crock pot with catchup and jelly on low all day...sounds a bit gross, but I haven't met anyone yet including my kids that don't love them...good for parties as well) and made slow cooked chili today. Truly, I don't remember Monday.

Last week, we had minor flu bugs where Max had a bad tummy ache one Morning. R vomited all over his crib. N vomited all over me. Pretty much par for the course. Max has never been one to have too many tummy troubles. In the last few months, R and N have puked more times each than Max has in his entire life. I think each and everyone of those times N has puked on me.

This week seems to be cold, cough, congestion week. R's been a bit wheezy and coughy, but not bad. We are doing breathing treatments, but haven't needed to be too aggressive. Max seems to have it the worst, but no fever. He's ended up in my bed (early) the last few nights which I really hate but have allowed because I know he isn't feeling well and because work has consumed some of our normal time so I figure he needs it. Last night wasn't as bad because he wasn't leaning into me and be right up against me all night. Also, with this sickness, we've had some bed wetting almost every night. If I get him up when I finish work, he is usually good, but the last few nights including tonight he's peed before that has happened or anyway. At least now I know that it is related somehow as the rest of the time (when he isn't sick) he and his bed stay dry.

Many days, I just wish it weren't so busy and I had a few minutes to breath or for basic hygiene like showering. Speaking of showering, I should have taken the chance tonight as I'm sadly overdue, but think I will have time in the morning after my 6:30 am meeting before I have to take Max to school. I'm just trying to remind myself to enjoy the time I can with the kids as much as I can.

We've been having rain and more rain and more rain this week. I've taken/let the kids go out and play in it or the puddles after dinner since they've had to spend so much more time indoors than normal and Noemi/the school don't. They've loved it and I remind myself once again that it isn't for me when I'm then rushed to get the kids dry, bathed, in PJ's and warm when there are three of them and one of me.

Overall, the Neomi leaving at 3 and taking the twins with me to pick up Max is going fine. There are days, especially bath days when I'm solo that things get a bit too crazy. Crazy as in, for example, R pee's on the floor before I can get a diaper on him. N pee's on the floor before I can get a diaper on her. R diaper gets off and he poo's on the table he has climbed on. While I'm trying to get him cleaned up first as it is all over his freshly bathed body, Max is laughing and trying to get N to go "play" in it and no amount of telling him that it isn't funny convinces him. So I've learned the hard way to not totally do one child, but to do one round of dry everyone off. Another round of getting diapers only on twins. A third round of getting PJ's on. It all wouldn't be so bad if once they were in bed, I was done. But, I just go back to the work I'm paid to do.

Somewhere in all of this my cousin came for the weekend because she left a bag here she needed and she/they (her husband and daughter) helped get Christmas put away, we had a party for her daughter who is a newly minted teen, and they watched the kids so I could have a rare and lovely night out with the girls.

This weekend, I think it is just us. No big plans. No birthday parties. I think we all need it. Some chill not frills time. I'm looking forward to it. I think the kids are as well. Only a few more days. Then, it starts all over again. I guess we are in a live for the weekends phase right now.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Less behind

When my cousin came last weekend, she left a bag here that has stuff in it she needed so back again they came this weekend. And, helped take down all the Christmas decorations, took the twins yesterday and Max today on long walks to give me a break, watch the kids last night so I could have a rare night out with some friends, and took Max to a birthday party for me today so I could have some twin time. Twins are napping. They aren't back = computer time for me. Yeah! Yes, the house is a wreck and I still need to get those Christmas cards out, but...hey...some biggies got done this weekend. Maybe, just maybe a short nap is calling. Could I be so lucky?

Friday, January 08, 2010

Just behind

I'm about 70% done with Christmas cards....meaning one has gone out in the mail, about half are written and addressed, but not yet mailed and I need to assemble the rest and get them in the mail.

Christmas decorations are up still. I made a choice not to spend my last few precious vacation days taking them down and doing fun stuff with the kids instead. I don't regret that. And, this weekend, I have company and the start of the birthday party circuit so it's not happening any time soon. They will get down at some point. Max is arguing for leaving it up all year. My hope is that by the end of the month I'll have eeked out time and gotten it done.

Vacation was great. We did some fun stuff like all go to the zoo and the Noah's Ark exhibit at the Skirball. Max and I took a metro trip to the Aquarium, and we had several PJ days. Christmas present were all enjoyed and a big hit

The hardest part about being back to work is how much the kids miss more of my time and attention. Especially N. And, work is really busy and will be probably all year, but especially from now until summer. I worked every night this week and that likely won't change for awhile. Unless by some miracle I become independently wealthy.