Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A chance encounter

Often people stop me to ask if ALL the children are mine, which usually leads to me smiling and nodding politely while thinking, "go f*#k off." I have done this while listening to perfect strangers commenting on the state of the economy and how expensive it is to raise children, I have done this after being asked if I know how children are made, I have done this while stepping on my oldest child's toes to keep him from being rude to the stranger in question. Frankly, I dread strange people approaching me in public places.

Yesterday, while at Costco, I anticipated an exchange similar to the ones vaguely described above when an older gentleman stopped me in the food court and pointed to the kids and asked, "are all these yours?" I smiled and nodded, and he said, "I bet you think you've got a lot of kids don't you? But, you don't. These kids here are nothing. Me, I've got 19, we have five sets of twins. Now, 19 is a lot of kids. I don't want to have more."

I was so pleasantly surprised. Speechless. Heh! Talk about perspective.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A quiet weekend

Mommy and Jelly Bean after our lunch date. We had lunch today at Chili's, and then we had dessert at the coffee shop in the book store. It was a really fun time. We are wearing eco-conscious Mickey Mouse tees. Mine isn't exactly flattering, but, at $7 and $4 they were a bargain. LB and I went out for lunch yesterday. LB is more like me in that he is pretty conscious about what he eats, and he requested lunch at Whole Foods instead of a restaurant. We enjoyed the fare from their grill and topped our meal off with some overpriced gelato...I had the peanut butter and banana mixed...yummy!!!

Hercules, Little Boy, Jelly Bean, Hubby, Baby Girl, Big Boy, and The Little Lady waiting for ice cream. This was kind of a lazy weekend (for some of us more than others) so today we took the children out for ice cream before Daddy had to leave. At least one family moment was stolen before the weekend ended.

LB and JB reading her book. JB really loves horses and after looking at a giant horse book, we found her a fiction book about horses. Mommy is going to go back and pick up the giant horse book and hide it away until her birthday in August.

The Little Lady. I went shopping for clothes that could possibly fit me yesterday, and all I managed to find at the mall were clothes for the kids. This is one of TLL's new dresses. She is way cuter than I am anyway.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The award for Father of the Year

After waking my husband up from his nap this morning...

Me: I'm going out for a little bit.
Hubby: Who are you taking with you?
Me: I am going by myself.
Hubby: You mean you're going to leave all the kids for me to babysit?
Me: Yes. I'm tired, I am not feeling good, and I need a break. You don't seem inclined to give me one, so I'm going out for a bit.
Hubby: You think it is safe to leave six kids with just me?
Me: As safe as you think it is.

I have now been back for a couple of hours, he has since declared that we will be lucky if he lives another year before we kill him. Damn good thing Father's Day has already come and gone this year.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A few sour grapes

I am tired. I am also dizzy. This is not a winning combination. I still need to make a follow up appointment for next week with my OB/GYN. I have a suspicion that a kidney infection has remained from my recent *yuck* but, I am in no hurry to confirm my suspicion unless I start to run a fever. Fun, fun, fun.

In other news, my 11 month old has given up sleeping. She is now waking up around 1:00 in the morning and going strong until 4:00. Of course this overlaps with one of BG's feedings...which means that I get to listen to TLL scream at the top of her lungs until BG finishes her bottle. My kindness and compassion are much diminished in the middle of the night, and I am not going to win any parenting awards for loving conversations held during these hours.

My husband is home. I promptly went to sleep when he arrived this morning...until he woke me up to say he needed a nap. This is after arriving today, which meant staying an extra night at the hotel to rest up for his trip home. He *could* have been home by dinner time last night, but, he chose to stay and rest after his stressful week. Don't think that I am failing to understand how important it is for him to get his beauty sleep. Really. After all this is the man I love, the father of my children. *Fucker* Okay, so maybe there is a smidgen of latent bitterness.

My niece graduated from high school this week. I am so proud of her. She managed to stay out of trouble and keep her nose clean and walk away from high school with her diploma! This is no small feat in my family, where my sisters and myself found more trouble than we could handle before finishing school. *You go Sis, you did a damn fine job with your baby girl! I am so proud of you both!!!*

I'm ready for the summer fun to start in earnest...bring it on! We're going to rock this summer!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What we've been up to

The Little Lady in the bath at Nana's house. She didn't miss too many meals while I was sick.

Baby Girl in her Nana's loving hands.

The Little Lady very happy to see her Daddy. She didn't have anything on her Mommy in that department though.

Mommy holding Baby Girl (1 month and 1 day old) on her first 'train ride' and Hercules excited to get going on our ride!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Back home again

Yesterday BB, TLL, BG, and myself came home to stay. We had been staying with my grandparents so that I could have some help (they gave me lots) and rest (not so easy when you miss your own bed) but, it just felt like time to come home. After my first night since leaving the hospital, looking after the babies by myself...I feel pretty good. I got to spend some quality time with BB and the girls were actually pretty gentle on me last night. H will be home later today. I am looking forward to seeing him. I have missed my little devilish one quite a bit.

I didn't mean to sound so dire in my last post, I guess I am just still a little shaken up. Should be that I finish these fine antibiotics and live happily ever after. I was just astounded at the speed at which everything happened when I fell ill. I had made pancakes that morning and had been getting the kids ready to go to the mall, when the bottom dropped out and I was in pain and gravely ill. Glad that is over.

Thanks for your thoughts, well wishes, and prayers. It has helped enormously to know that there are people out there that said a little prayer for me and mine.

I have some awesome pictures of my girls getting baths at Nana's house, and I will try to post those later. Here is hoping for a good day...for all of us!

Monday, June 15, 2009

In the blink of an eye

I am feeling a little like death warmed over...literally. Last week I started having really severe abdominal pain. All at once it seemed like. It got worse until the pain made labor feel trivial, I gave in and called my Aunt to stay with the children and take me to the emergency room. The next few hours passed in a blur.

They admitted me to the hospital, where I've been hanging out in the ICU until last night. Last night, I finally managed to convince all of the doctors to let me go home. Of course, now I am feeling so bad, and am so scared of missing any indication of a relapse, and having symptoms that went away early in my hospital stay...that I'm a big bundle of nerves on the verge of tears.

So, if you are inclined, please say a little prayer for me and my family, pray that I will only get better from here on out. Pray that I will get to see my six beautiful children grow up...and please go hug yours. Please look at them them way I am looking at mine right now...not taking anything or any moment for granted.

Kids, I love you. You are my life.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Husbands and teaching moments

I don't mind helping my husband out with some of his work issues...usually. This one, takes the cake though. Due to reasons unknown by me, at the eleventh hour it became apparent that my husband would need a travel credit card for his upcoming temporary duty in Tampa. He is slated to arrive in Tampa on the 7th and remain there for a period of time between two weeks and five months.

Someone realized their mistake in not sending his card out sooner, and had it sent overnight...but, they mailed it me, instead of to my husband. So, I called Hubby to let him know that I had gotten the card. This is when the problems started. Frankly, I wish that I hadn't been home when UPS came a knocking.

My husband is an engineer. He is that guy that builds roads and bridges. A smart man. A book smart man. He has the common sense of a two year old child though, and depending on the two year old, I might just be insulting the kid. I called Hubby approximately 5,211 times yesterday (well, it DID feel like 5,211) and each time was told that he was working on his accident report from the scorpion sting and he would call me later. Later came only AFTER five o'clock. Ya know, that close of business time. That time by which if he needed me to overnight the card...the post office would be closed.

So, he called me after five to ask me to overnight the card. Knowing that I had just struck out on Plan A, I called FedEx and asked about their overnight delivery (a no go) and was referred to their same day service...which, thankfully I still have a sense of humor and was able to laugh and ask if they were going to fly it there first class for the $300 they wanted. So, I suggested that my husband appeal to the manager of the hotel for an option that wouldn't require him to have the card on his person at check in.

I should have saved my breath. He never did it. Instead he asked if I wanted to drive the card to the hotel for him. Hahahahahahahahahaha! Funnier than FedEx, I tell you. Today, after washing my hands of him yesterday, he calls in a panic wanting to know what he should do. I called the hotel myself, not because I really cared where he was going to sleep at this point, but, because he was starting to call every five minutes and whine...which I hate. The hotel said..."no problem, we'll fax you an authorization form to fill out and fax back to us."

So, I called my husband and informed him of all our combined wasted time, energy, and patience (all lost patience was mine) because this issue wasn't an issue after all. So, he tells me he doesn't have access to a fax. So, seeing a 'teaching moment' I suggested he call the local office supply store and explain his predicament and see if they have any suggestions. I figure he'll either ignore me and call in a panic later today or tomorrow when he gets to the hotel, or he'll buy a fax and then call and ask how to set it up (no land line in his place down there) or maybe...he'll freaking call me with the fax number to his local Office Depot. Only time will tell.

Anyone else out there see the need for 'teaching moments' with their spouses? Is it just me?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

How could a week with so many cakes suck so bad?

I swear I've gained 10 pounds this week, well, more like a pound and half. Still though, bad news for the waist. Cake makes me really happy though, and this week we've had six of them. Six cakes in four days. Six different decadent ways to self medicate with butter cream frosting. Three cakes for class parties, one from us for BB's graduation, one from Nana and Papa for BB's graduation, and one from Nana and Papa for LB's [belated] birthday.*Sigh*, I'm already mourning for cake eaten. Thank goodness for the cake factor, because this week is not the most fun I've had lately...to put it mildly.

Hubby called to let me know that he was stung by a scorpion while working. BB is sick. TLL is covered in mosquito bites that look awful. Her bites are red, raised, huge, and plentiful. Poor baby. H seems to be coming down with BB's whateverthehell. JB got stung? bitten? by an unknown creepy crawly on the school bus today and now her leg is swollen and painful. I missed a step on my way down the stairs to make a bottle last night, then subsequently fell down the rest of the staircase. Baby Girl is all stuffy and I am terrified that she is coming down with BB/H's whateverthehell. LB is good...so far...knock on wood. Aack!

Tomorrow is Baby Girl's two week check up. She still hasn't lost her cord, though it is now hanging on by a [kinda thick] thread. Any movement irritates it and now she is bleeding a little bit. Thankfully, my aunt is going to watch the rest of the children, so it will just be TLL, Baby Girl, and me at the doctor's office tomorrow. Every diaper change has me whimpering for Xanax (of course, I don't actually have any) to stave off the panic attacks.

I bought my Mother's Day present today. The Keurig coffee maker is now mine. I made the decision to buy it last night after I took my Humpty Dumpty like fall. *I cannot survive without caffeine, I refuse to try any longer, because if I break a bone we are really screwed.* I am in love. I'm not sure if this machine is as fabulous as I think it is, or maybe that I'm easily impressed after my caffeine deprivation, but, this thing ROCKS! The kids keep trying to pour coffee down my throat because they like brewing it so much. Just wait until I show them the hot cocoa samples that came with it.

There have been various and sundry other calamities and catastrophes that have occurred this week, but, my mind is shutting down due to lack of sleep, so you all are spared the details. Cake and coffee, cake and coffee, cake and coffee...I'm chanting it over and over to myself and trying to find some inner peace. Now, it is time for me to clean up (not a pretty thought) and sterilize bottles, and not sleep.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Birth Story

It is often said that every child is different. The same can be said for the way they enter this world. My first child simply refused to be born, and so I was induced. Fifteen days after my due date, we met our first born. My daughter seemed to follow in her brother's footsteps. Her birth was also an induction. Then my middle son. Induced the Friday before Memorial Day (so Hubby didn't have to use too much of his vacation) which was my due date. Then, as I waited for H to need to be coaxed out, a funny thing happened. Labor. Of course, I knew my body by then, so I knew that I wasn't in labor. I was sure as I worked my ten hour shift that day, that I was fine. When I gathered up the cash deposit and hit the bank drive thru on my way home, I was positive that I wasn't having a baby. When I said good bye to my husband on his way to work, I wasn't worried. I might have been a tad panicked when I drove myself to the hospital an hour later. I began to believe that I was indeed in labor twenty minutes after getting to the hospital, when H was born. TLL was born in much the same fashion as H, but, with my husband in tow and my disbelief stored away.

Since it was far from my first rodeo, imagine my shock when my water broke, two weeks ago today. I woke up a little wet, and figured that after five children, with another on the way, I was probably lucky to have staved off incontinence issues as long as I had. I changed my clothes and laid back down to go back to sleep. Unfortunately, no sooner had I laid back down, that I was wet again. I got up and pondered the wisdom of googling 'amniotic fluid' as I sat at my computer. Moments later, my question was answered by my water breaking in earnest. Uh-oh.

I tried to calm myself down and to assure myself that everything was fine. Without contractions, I could wait until the sun started to come up before calling my Aunt to come over. I could even wait until I knew my husband would need to be up anyway to call him. I didn't however. Anxiety kicked in again I called my Aunt. Then I called my husband. Who actually complained about the awkward timing and how inconvenient a Tuesday birth was going to be for his work week. Nevertheless, they both started driving. My Aunt was here in a half an hour. She watched my little ones while I rested and prayed for no contractions until my husband made the six hour drive home.

The morning marched by slowly while my anxiety built. Never before had my water broken. Never before had a baby come early. The baby was quiet. Not kicking much. Finally, my husband was home and I said teary good byes to my two babies. We arrived at the hospital around 1:00 p.m. My panic mounted as a doctor I had never met made a comment about it being 'too late' to stop my labor. Why would they stop it? I asked myself over and over again. Finally the midwife arrived. I was so relieved.

She assured me that everything seemed fine. Hubby and I waited and waited...and waited. The contractions were about three minutes apart when I decided to have an epidural. LB, H, and TLL were all born completely naturally. I will say that I am glad to have done that at least once, but, I never received any medals in the mail for tolerating the pain, and I was so mentally exhausted this time that I caved. Whoa buddy. If I had ever before had an effective epidural, there probably would have been no chance of me ever trying a natural birth. Something like three pushes and a beautiful baby girl was placed on my chest...and it was absolutely pain free. My legs were a little tingly, but, within minutes of Leila's birth, they were fine.

Unlike my first five, when Leila was born they immediately placed her on my chest. Handing me a towel to wrap her in only after I was holding her. I was so surprised to be holding her so soon, that I nearly dropped her. It was wonderful. I was so happy to see my baby girl. Her pink fat cheeks, her head of black hair. She was perfect. Perfect fingers, perfect toes. Perfect baby. She is still perfect of course.

It was probably an hour or two before a nurse came into our room to give her a bath and shampoo her hair. A long time before she was swaddled. No Nurse Ratchet insisted that she lie under the warming light. It was a wonderful time. The most rewarding time I can remember, made so, primarily by the midwife (who is awesome) and the hospital staff. It was an excellent way to bring, probably my last baby into this world.

Perhaps to compensate in part for the difficulty of the pregnancy, Leila's birth was miraculously easy. No cuts, no tears, no stitches. I felt extremely blessed. Not just to have the daughter that I wanted so badly, but, to have my body feel ready to go home and jump right back into my role as Mom.

I am so tired these days, but, it is the kind of tired that I can cope with. It is the good tired. Not the bone deep pain and exhaustion I was feeling before my littlest angel was born. Granted everything is harder. Much harder. This is the last week of school for the big kids. Just this week I have taken my six to BB's graduation, JB's play, and LB's award ceremony. I have braved the store with my three babies each day this week. We have all survived. Maybe even had some fun.

I am really tired out by the difficulty of getting around with Hercules being expected to walk and listen. I am frustrated by babies that cry at the same time, needing me. Not because I am frustrated with the babies at all, more because I wish I could soothe them both. My babies' tears rip my heart out, they really do. It is hellish and upsetting to only be able to cuddle one of those babies at a time. I am having trouble adjusting to not having someone on deck to share those special baby moments with. I am deeply saddened by moments that pass that I wish I could capture in a photograph, only to find that I don't have enough hands to do so. I am also sad by the lack of pictures Leila will have with her parents. All the pictures I have taken seem lonely with only the baby, no beaming proud papa in them.

Still, we have been blessed with a beautiful daughter. What isn't to love about that?

When I started writing this yesterday, Leila was exactly two weeks old and Parmys was exactly eleven months old. Happy *sort of* Birthday girls!