Friday, November 27, 2009

Giving Thanks

I have so much to be thankful for. I'm very aware of how lucky I am. I know I use this space to complain and vent and try out my crazy on you guys ;) But I have no one else to complain to, so it may seem like that's all I do... Anyway, here is a list of what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving...

~~I am so thankful for my children :) My life would be nothing without them.
~~I am truly thankful to my husband for giving me all of these beautiful children. I just can't take all the credit on their looks.
~~I am thankful that we all have our health.
~~I am thankful that Lazy Baby's colic seems to be waning.
~~I am thankful that my husband decided to stay home and help me cook yesterday instead of going hunting! Otherwise we probably wouldn't have had any food!
~~I am thankful that I have a man who knows how to cook a turkey! AND make the gravy like a pro!!!
~~I am thankful that this year we decided to do the low key just our little family Thanksgiving. No pressure, no having to run around and clean like a mad woman while trying to cook. No having to load up the kids to go anywhere. When we lived close to family we were obligated to attend 2 Thanksgiving dinners... and that was always just too hectic! And for the past few years we have invited my husband's brothers and sister. Last year none were going to come, but some of them came anyway, which I was grateful for (even if it was only because they couldn't figure out how to work their newfangled digital oven). But this year I was too overwhelmed and the house was just too messy!
~~I am thankful to have a genius for a husband. If something's broke he knows how to fix it. If something happens, he knows what to do. If we have a problem, he usually knows how to solve it or knows how to find the solution. Back in October something happened to our antenna. We lost our NBC channel and were stuck with only PBS. We are too rural for cable, and we can't afford satellite. My husband had the wonderful idea of hooking up our computer to the television so we can watch full episodes online!! Now we are not limited to watching only shows on NBC and PBS! Now we can watch Glee! And shows on FOX, ABC and CBS as well as some of the cable channel stuff that they have online! The only drawback is that none of the somewhat local news channels stream live at 10pm. And of course none of the national news programs stream live... so we have to get all our news online... But we were able to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade streamed live by some people from their apartment windows! It was awesome and the kids loved it!!! :)

It was a good Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Addicted to Babies

I have a problem. Yep, you guessed it. Oh, the title gave it away? I have a complete and total addiction to wanting to have babies.

Lazy Baby got the label of my last baby. And I really meant it. For many reasons.

~~I just turned 40!! I know, people are having babies later in life, but seriously, I will be 60!! when Lazy Baby is 20!! My husband will be one year from retiring. He thought 40 was old to be having a baby (he turned 40 one month before our first Little Man was born).

~~I will most likely have gestational diabetes again. From the start. And that totally sucked!! That alone should be enough to make me be done!

~~My hands are overly full these days. Truth be told, I was overwhelmed with 2 little ones. And now here I am overly overwhelmed with 3. It wouldn't be so bad if I had friends or family or lived in an actual city with actual neighbors. And if I didn't have to drive at least 25 miles to get diapers and milk.

But in theory I would love to have another. I always wanted lots of kids. Of course the reality is: no way should I even be seriously considering having another. Really, I would be too embarrassed to even tell anyone if I was pregnant again. Everyone thought I was a tad on the crazy side last time. There would be no question in their minds if I did this whole thing one more time.

I was 2 days late this month (ordinarily it wouldn't be a big deal, but I had been starting 3 and 4 days early). I had 2 whole days to sit around and worry and think about it. I was terrified. But the thing was that when I finally started I was both relieved and disappointed. I was really taken aback by the whole disappointment thing. What the hell is my brain and body up to?? ;) I mean really, disappointed?? Hello ovaries, I know that you are so glad to finally be able to work and all...but lets not overdo it here.

I have spent most of my adult life trying to get pregnant. I started wanting babies when I was somewhere between 18-20. I started seriously trying to get pregnant around the age of 23. I guess a habit like that doesn't just die easy. It was more than a habit. It was a way of life. It was the guiding force in my life for all those years I was unable to conceive.

And now? I don't know how to quit. I don't know how to let my brain and body know that I'm done having babies. I'm done trying to get pregnant.

But the other day I was going through some baby clothes. Putting away the ones Lazy Baby has outgrown, going through Little Man's baby clothes, and going back through Baby Girl's clothes to pull out the unisex and Christmas stuff... It seems like such a waste. I had so many baby girl clothes. So many cute things. I found a few things that still had tags on them. I found some adorable outfits that she only wore once or twice. I found stuff I never put on her. For a few minutes I thought it would be nice to have another girl. And really, my OCD is all about evenness. In a way things are all even at home now, we have 2 girls and 2 boys full time. When step-tweenie comes it's uneven because we have 3 girls and 2 boys. So if anything we are short a boy sometimes. But on the other hand: I've given birth to an uneven number. 2 boys and 1 girl. Oh well. Some things are just meant to be uneven. And I'll just have to get over it. Because there is just no way I could possibly handle another. I have to recognize my limits and stick to them.

But the reality is: no matter how crazy and hectic my days are, no matter how much I complain, no matter how little time I have for myself, at the end of the day, when I kiss my little ones good night and crawl into bed with Lazy Baby to nurse him to sleep I feel blessed. I feel like I could do it a million times over. There just aren't words enough to convey the beauty and joy and wonder and amazement. There are so many moments in each day that I just look at one of my children and feel overwhelmed with emotional bliss. Is it any wonder I'm addicted?

OK now I know pregnant brain lasts while nursing.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

And Now We've Discovered the Screaming!

Lazy Baby has taken to screaming.

A week or so ago he started screaming in delight. It was beautiful. He would watch Baby Girl or Little Man whiz by his exersaucer and scream because he was so excited. I'm sure he can't wait to join them in their running through the living rooms like banshees.

Then he started offering up a little scream or two when he was getting bored or tired or just wanted to be picked up. It was kind of cute, a little funny. It was like a little warning signal. Um, get me now or I'm going to start really crying!

Now, he has realized the full power of the scream.

Over the past few days he has used that power pretty much exclusively.

He will fuss a little, for about ten seconds or so, and then move right on to the scream.

And I'm not talking little scream.

I'm talking ear-splitting, blood-curdling, I'm being axe-murdered scream.

Thank God we don't have neighbors.

Otherwise I'm sure they would have called the authorities. Because screams like that could only indicate mass carnage.

It's amazing how ear-piercing a scream from an almost 5 month old can be.

Lazy Baby totally has my number.

And he sure doesn't hesitate to use it.

He's absolutely incorporated that shrill scream into his nightly colic episodes. At least they aren't lasting as long these days.

I feel like such a meanie when I laugh at him. But who could help laughing at such serious screams coming from such a little guy.

He's just lucky he's so darn cute ;) Wouldn't trade my screaming banshee for anything :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's My Birthday and I'll Vent If I Want To!!

I'm not one of those who get all excited about birthdays or anything. And my husband just doesn't do shopping by himself. So generally my birthday consists of going to Wal-Mart and getting whatever decent movie came out that week. And I'm fine with that.

But here's what happened yesterday - on my 40th birthday...
Someone (the husband) decides to wake me up at 5am poking me in the back with his you know what. Anyone who even marginally knows me, knows that I love sleep and I'm very much lacking it. I wouldn't appreciate being woken up at 5am on ANY day, let alone on my birthday! If you love me, give me an extra 15minutes of sleep!!

So all morning he was mad. To clarify: HE was mad because I wouldn't do HIM a favor on MY birthday. Hmmm.

He tripped over a laundry basket in the kitchen and started bitching, I picked it up and took it to the bedroom and slammed the door on my way out - which knocked a photo off the shelf above the door, which flew to the ground and broke all over the living room floor. Score, I also get to clean up broken glass and vacuum on my birthday. I will admit, it was my fault.

We had to take a 45-50 mile road trip to renew my license (he had the day off due to Veteran's Day). He didn't say 2 words to me the whole way.

After I got my new license he asked where I wanted to go. I said Wal-Mart because that's kind of been our tradition. He asked why I wanted to go there. So I just said forget it, let's get some lunch and go home. Instead he drove to the 5 store mall. Why? To go to the sporting goods store (so he can check out all the hunting gear). Whereupon he suggests I buy myself some long underwear or sweatpants for my birthday. I picked out a pair of pajama pants. I do spend most of my time in my jammies anyway.

So then we get lunch and go home.

And on the deserted backroads roads that take us back home...he has the nerve to suggest I give him a you know what while he's driving. ????? As if it was his birthday or something. Unbelievable. Worst birthday ever.

On the way I realized that I really had meant to go to Wal-Mart to at least buy myself a birthday cake. I had a cake mix at home, but no frosting. There was no place to stop on the way home. I told him to go to the gas station past our house. He felt a little bad then, but no where near bad enough.

So we get home, all the kids are cranky, baby is screamy... and I'm trying to get the cake mix done... amazingly he picked up the baby, but then 2 minutes later says he has to poop! UGH!! He does that every single time he is holding the baby. I've been pooping with babies on my lap since about 2005!! So the cake was on hold for an hour or so while I took care of the baby.

I had to frost the cake and re-heat some leftover soup for dinner while the baby had a screamy fit. He was pretty much fine while we all ate dinner, but then got screamy again as soon as the cake and ice cream were out.

Anyway, the highlight was that tweenie had made me a card at school. She's so funny, it said "Happy 40th Birthday, may the insanity go down with your older age (if that's possible)" Haha!! And the card from my husband? It said "Turning 40? you can tell you've reached 40 when you wake up with that awful "morning after" feeling...and you didn't do anything the night before" and he wrote in "literally" underneath it!! Ugh. Men.

The worst thing about it all? While I don't expect much from a birthday, I at least expect it to be a marginally better day than most others. And it ended up being worse.

I always go out of my way to do something special for him on his birthdays. I've decided I'm just not going to next year. That is if I can remember all this for 10 months! I bet I can hold a grudge that long. But he will have totally forgotten all about it...

Friday, November 6, 2009

There is no "me" in Mommy

Nor in Mom. But there is one in Mother if you look hard enough. And it takes a little work. Some people are pretty successful at finding the "me" in Mother. Some aren't.

**If you are here for the award scroll down to yesterday's post (I know, 2 posts in 2 days is so unlike me!)

**digression here: my son insists that my name is "mommy," not "mom," not "mother," it's "mommy." He will correct people in the store. "No she's not my mom, she's my mommy."
He asked me what I was going to be for Halloween, I told him I was going to be a "mom." The day after Halloween he asked if I was "mommy" again since he was no longer an Astronaut, or whether I was still wearing my "mom" costume. Cute kid.

Anyway, back to the point. Anymommy had this post yesterday that really made me think (OK, she usually comes up with thought provoking posts, so that part is nothing new). She was talking about the fact that she doesn't cook. And she doesn't do scrapbooking, or crafty homemade stuff either and she's fine with that. She realizes, that as a mother of 4 small children, you simply can't do everything. Even if you're a stay at home mom who doesn't work outside the home. And she is so right on about that. Some mothers will think those kinds of things are expected from them, especially if they are a stay at home mom ('cause those mom's have all the time in the world don't they?). But it is one of the most unrealistic expectations.

My mom was one of those moms who had to do it all. We never had a store bought cake for our birthdays. Each of us had a specially baked (probably even from scratch!) and extraordinarily decorated cake. Whatever we were into at the moment was reflected on our birthday cakes. I wish I had some of those pictures! She made cookie monster, big bird, trains, care name it. She was such an artist. She sent us with home baked goods to share with our classes for our birthdays or for holiday parties. In my Halloween post I talked about how every year we had homemade costumes. She also sewed costumes for school plays and concerts.

She was in PTA, she was a homeroom mom for at least a couple of us at a time (there were 5 of us!). She was a den mother, cub scout leader, brownie/girl scout leader, soccer/softball coach... the list goes on. We were involved in absolutely everything and she was usually in charge of it.

Sounds perfect doesn't it? She knocked herself out. She stayed up late at night doing things, sometimes she was up all night finishing whatever her latest project was. There was always too much on her agenda. She never said "no" to anything. She aimed to please. And it was all for us kids. Or was it? Seems pretty selfless. She never did anything just for herself. She rarely even bought herself new clothes.

Once, when I was in high school and messing up royally (staying up late and not making it to school in the mornings), my step-father gave me this huge lecture on how much my mom had done for us kids and how much she sacrificed for us.

And I bought into it. Until many years later when, as an adult, I witnessed my sister being that mom with her children. I say with instead of for, because it's really not for the kids. Mothers may kid themselves into believing that, but it's false. My sister followed in the footsteps of my mother to a "t." She is involved in everything at the school. Her kids are involved in everything at the school. She is so busy doing everything that who gets left out? Yep, the kids. Who's losing out on this one? The kids.

When she's not busy planning and organizing for something at school or all of those athletic activities or brownies/girl scouts/boy scouts, she's busy gossiping with other mothers. Whenever I talk to her it's all about other families, the kids' friends etc... it's like her kids have taken a backseat to all the other things they are involved in and the families that are involved along with them.

I have never seen her just spend time with her kids. They never relax. They are always doing something. The time she spends with her children is when they are playing a soccer or softball game, when they are in brownies/girl scouts, when they are doing some school activity.

I can sit back and judge because I'm not that mom ;) and it's so much easier to judge someone else now isn't it? Honestly, I don't feel bad judging my sister like this. I know that she and my mother judge me for not letting my daughter do everything that she wants. They judge me for the type of parent I am all the time. Because I am not them. I'm not their type of ultra-involved do everything homemade mom.

I'm not saying that involvement is bad. As a matter of fact, I wish I could be more involved at the school. But really it's because I need a social life ;) No, seriously, I think some parental involvement is good. But too much is the opposite of good.

I limit my school age daughter to one extracurricular activity a school year. One year she played soccer, the next year she played softball, this year she wants to try basketball. I will do the same with all my children when they get to school. Children need down time. Why pressure them to be busy all the time? Maybe I just value relaxing too much ;) But why teach them to spread themselves too thin right from the start?

If my child doesn't have a homemade birthday cake on their birthday, I feel guilty, but then realize that I just can't do everything, and in the end it won't make that much of a difference. I really wanted to make their Halloween costumes this year, but in the end I realized that it would mean spending a couple of days working on their costumes instead of spending any time with them. And really, the $10 costumes we got them were so much more cost effective (my sister spent $50 on the materials for ONE of her kids' costumes).

I do what I can and try not to sweat the stuff I can't and pray that they will turn out the better for it ;)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Who Doesn't Love an Award?

One of my new bloggy buddies, Krimson, gave me this wonderful award!! She's so awesome!! Thank you Krimson! Totally go check out her blog, she's hilarious.

Here are the rules of the award:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link to their blog.
2. Share 10 honest things about yourself.
3. Present this award to 7 others whose blogs you find brilliant in design or content.
4. Tell those 7 people they have been awarded.

So onto the 10 honest things...
  1. I should totally be doing my dishes right now instead of this! Seriously, it's been 2 or 3 days and reaching the point of disgusting.
  2. I should also be taking control of my laundry... sadly, my husband had to go to work in dirty jeans again today. And I have a basket of clean clothes that have been sitting in my kitchen for 2 days waiting to be folded and put away, or at least taken to the bedroom they belong in...
  3. I will be turning 40 in less than a week. I just don't feel that old. I'm not that bothered by it though. I was more bothered about turning 30. Just because I wanted to have all my kids by the time I was 30, so that age hit me really hard. Well, a decade later I accomplished that goal. Evidence that I am in fact a total procrastinator.
  4. I totally pigged out on the kids' Halloween candy. Until I broke a tooth on a tootsie-roll and decided I'd better call it quits. Sad times :(
  5. I was entirely too amused by the fact that my baby girl's first words after mama and dada were "waw-mawt." And the fact that my son thinks absolutely everything can be bought at Wal-Mart.
  6. I'm trying to limit my computer time these days. I spend way too much time on Facebook... It's my homepage, so every time I turn on my computer I first have to see what everyone is up to, and then like 2 hours later realize I forgot what the heck I turned on the computer to do. I've actually gone 2 whole days without turning on the computer! That's a record.
  7. I suck at organization and planning. I think it's just too normal for me to be operating under chaos and disorder. And that just doesn't help things.
  8. I am usually the loser in the battles with my children... they know that I will eventually give in, so they just keep it up until I do. I totally need to find some patience and some energy - otherwise they will be walking all over me forever. It's hard though when you have a screaming baby and a determined 4 year old. I do stand firm on the important things though...
  9. I just realized today that I haven't taken my prenatal vitamins in about a month!! The crazy thing is that I've been pregnant or nursing since 2005, and have religiously taken them everyday since!
  10. I only get dressed if I'm going somewhere, which is about once a week. Otherwise you will find me and my kids in jammies all day.
Now comes the hard part: choosing only 7 people to award this to! :(

Becky from In The Trenches She's always got something interesting going on and has such beautiful children!

Helene from I'm Living Proof that God has a Sense of Humor Her kids are always up to wicked shenanigans! She makes my life seem somewhat sane ;)

Hattie from Warning: Just a Little Bitchy who also leads a crazy hectic life with 4 boys!!

Mel from The Bubble... she's got the cutest little man ;)

Yaya from Yaya Stuff. She's been one of my favorite bloggy buddies for a long time! I'm fairly certain that she's already gotten this award before, but I don't care ;)

Stacey from Is There Any Mommy Out There. We've also been bloggy buddies since about the time I started blogging. We had our last babies one day apart ;) and if you haven't checked out her blog you really should. She has beautiful and hilarious posts that are completely addictive. She's participating in National Blog Posting Month, so maybe this will help her out if she comes up blank someday ;) (which I super doubt)

That Girl from That Girl Blogs. She has herself a 3-ring circus too ;)
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