Monday, December 31, 2007

Best Christmas Moment.

In case it's not clear, my girl's going to see Hannah Montana.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Memory #1057

The Year was 1991. I was excited for 1992 because I would be graduating from college. ROb and I had been dating a little over a year, and the topic of marriage had come up from time to time. One day we were talking about Christmas gifts and Rob said, "You'll know what it is the second you see it.". Well, of course, I knew it was going to be a ring. I told everyone I was getting engaged for Christmas. I told all of my friends, my family. Everyone. To confirm my suspicions, Rob had planned to make me a nice dinner at his house to exchange Christmas presents. What else could it possibly be?

Well, the day came and the dinner was lovely. It was time. Rob pulled out his Christmas gift to me, and sure enough, I knew exactly what it was the second I saw it. It was hairspray. 2 cans. Now, it was the expensive hairspray that I liked to use and could not always afford on my college budget, so it was a nice gift, it was just not a ring. The next day, everyone called to hear about my engagement and I told them I got...hairspray.

And, that is Christmas Memory #1057

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Secret Confession

Have you seen this website?? It's pretty cool. www.postsecret.com. It's a on-going art project, it says, where people mail in their secrets on one side of a post-card. One of them today said, "I'm 22 and I'm incontinent." Big deal. Anyways, I thought I'd post my own little secret confessions right here.


** Sometimes, when no one else is in the car, I'll listen to Radio Disney...and sing along. Loudly.

** I need a little fabulous, is that so wrong?

** I'm still wearing maternity clothes.

** I'm 37 and incontinent.

** I have, on occassion, gone a whole month without changing my sheets.

** I've spent waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy too much money this Christmas.

** If it were possible, I'd be wanting another baby already.

** I wanted to kiss the girl at the store who helped me find a pair of jeans that fit. The jeans even have a button and a zipper.

I feel much better now.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

5 months old!

The big news here at our house is that at 5 months old, Hayleigh can sit!!
What a Big Girl :)




Since she can also roll and pivot around on the floor, she doesn't stay in one place long, unless she has something to look at. Someone left me a cute present under the tree!




Cute little baby!! There was a cuter picture of her, but it also showed my messy house. Wouldn't want any of you dear readers to have to see that!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Keeping Things Fair

WARNING: INCESSANT BRAGGING AHEAD! IF YOU DO NOT CARE TO HEAR ABOUT MY AMAZINGLY BRILLIANT CHILDREN, PLEASE READ NO FURTHER!

Ok, I got a call from Ryan's teacher yesterday. For a few short moments between her telling me who was on the phone and her telling me the reason for her call, I was thinking of all of the ways I was going to punish Ryan for whatever offense obviously precipitated this phone call. However, it was good news. Based on preliminary testing that was done on all 2nd and 4th graders, Ryan has qualified to be tested for the gifted program. This should make me happy, right? WRONG!

You see, Trisha and Jonathan are already in the gifted program (you were warned!) and if Ryan gets in, well that means that Jaden is the only one left out, and I feel badly about that. And, I don't know what to do about it. It certainly wouldn't be fair to Ryan to say that he can't have that chance because I'm afraid that it will hurt Jaden's feelings or make him feel bad about himself. I mean I could ask that Jaden be tested, he is on the borderline, but I doubt he'll get in. And, even if he did, he just doesn't have the organizational skills to handle the extra work.

We don't make a big deal about it. In fact, since Jaden is in a diffferent class from everyone else, it's not like it's regularly thrown in his face that the other kids are pulled out for special classes. When he has brought it up, we just bring up the fact that he has special skills that the other kids don't have, like being able to beat everyone in the family (besides Daddy) at arm wrestling.

I consider the fact that Jaden can even attend a regular school a true miracle. If the Spina Bifida weren't enough, he has had two near death experiences. Then, there's his shunt and the learning disabilities that are often associated with that, along with the motor planning and other issues that come with spina bifida. Add to that the fact that he has to work hard, I mean really hard, at things we take for granted, like walking or sharpening his pencil, or getting things out of his book bag. So, I think the level at which he learns is miraculous and I couldn't be prouder. I just know that he is going to be sad. I guess I need to remember that my job isn't to keep them from experiencing things that are sad, but to help them through the things that are sad, and to help them to see in them the things that I and God see in them.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Sometimes I forget that I have triplets

Sometimes I forget that I have triplets.

Oh, I know that I have plenty of school related projects that require my assistance and time. And, given that they are all in seperate class rooms, they all have seperate projects. And, I know that with sports and school things, my checkbook is always warm from being handled. And, I know that this time of the year, money is flying out of my bank account faster than you can say "Jiminy Christmas".

In times past, I couldn't leave the house without remembering that I had triplets. Three bald little baby heads travelling along in one gigantic stroller always got us lots of attention.
Stranger: "Oh are those triplets!"
Me: "Yes" (Here we go.....)
Stranger: "Three boys?"
Me: "No, the one with the dress and pink bow on her head is a girl."
Stranger: "Oh, do triplets run in your family?"
Me: "No."
Stranger: "Oh...you took fertility drugs then?"

But, now that they are older and soooooooooo different, it's more like they are three kids that are the same age rather than being triplets. Everyone at their school knows they are triplets and have gotten over the novelty of it. Since they are more self-sufficient, the logisitics of getting from point A to point B are much easier. It just feels like we are normal, whatever that means. It feels like our family is just like every other family.

Next year, for fifth grade, the triplets (I never even call them that anymore!) will be going to a new school. We'll have orientation. They'll be in three seperate classes, so I will have to try and split myself three ways. I'm betting then I'll remember I have triplets :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lots of Milestones

It was a big weekend for Hayleigh:

She found her feet and likes to play with them. She also like to be naked. Apparently this is soothing to her. Her brothers seem to think so also. Yesterday Trisha had a friend over all day and when she left, Jonathan and Ryan said "Finally!". I thought they were just sick of having a girl around. NOPE! They were sick of wearing clothes. Off came the shirts and pants. You don't want to stop by here unexpectedly!!



And, we had our first cereal. Trisha got to feed her and of course, Hayleigh is wearing her "I love my Big Sister" bib.



And then here she is rolling over. Actually, she's been doing that for about a month, but I just now got it on tape. Excuse me cheering for her. I'm loud, I know. Jonathan tells me this all of the time after his soccer games :)




She's also using the exersaucer now. Does this seem to be going fast to anyone else??

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Black Friday

I did a little shopping yesterday. Several stores in my area were opening at 4am. I had to laugh at the JCPenney ad which said it was opening at 4am, except where prohibited by law. Evidentally, getting up at 4 am to go shopping is so obscene some places have outlawed it. I did not get up that early, but I did go before it was light out and I noticed while waiting in line at Toys R Us that there are a few different types of shoppers out early in the morning on Black Friday.

First, there's Jolly Joe. Joe is just loud and happy and who really knows why. Joe is always cracking some sort of stupid joke about how cold it is outside or how early it is while jingling change in his pocket. Joe even started whistling a little Christmas Carol while he's at it. I just smile and nod at Jolly Joe.

Then, there's the cranky grandma. I always seem to fall in line behind cranky Grandma. She complains that the line is too slow or that they need more workers or how her daughter had to go and have five kids and now she has to shop for them! Her life just sucks so bad, because not only is it Christmas, she has three birthdays to buy for too.

There's also Pete the Pervert. I don't really think that Pete is a pervert, it's just that he's only buying one gift, and well, who gets up at ungoldy hours just to buy one gift? Just to make sure no one really thinks he's a pervert, he's telling everyone who makes eye contact that the toy he has if for his nephew.

Then there is Molly Mom. Molly Mom has a Starbucks half the size of her head and a list half as long as she is. She is dressed so nicely for such an hour and her hair looks as id she actually combed it before she left. She has a plan and she is sticking to it. I'm hating Molly Mom, but it's only because I'm sort of envious of her.

Finally, there's Hurry-Up Henry. Hurry-Up Henry is literally running through the store to get what he needs. He runs to line and then tells his wife to wait there and pay while he goes to get the car. There is no time to waste for Hurry-Up Henry. He has many more stops to make before the sun comes up.

There's also me. But, I'm totally normal!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Grab youself a hunk of cheese...

...because here comes a whole lotta whine!

Ok, so I was cleaning out the closets this past weekend, when I came across THAT section in my closet. I'm sure you have THAT section also. It's clothes that used to fit me, but no longer do. I have kept them because they used to be sort of a reminder of what I once was and what I could once again achieve. I was most fond of this plum colored suit. The plum colored suit was in a size 10 and looked oh so good on me. Last time I wore that was before I got pg with Ryan. Which is sad. It has been 8 years since I've looked in a mirror and thought "Dang, Girl...you got it goin on!". 8 years. Now the suit is just depressing to me. It doesn't encourage me to do anything, except maybe emotionally eat over the fact that I used to be thin* and now I am not.

* Sidebar: I realize that to some people size 10 seems huge. In fact, I have a friend who has borrowed a lot of my size 10 clothes to be her post-pregnancy fat clothes. So, my skinny clothes are someone else's fat clothes...pathetic!!

Anyway, to continue whining, I never, ever, ever, thought I would ever weigh as much as I do. 40 extra pounds from Ryan, 20 from Hayleigh and there you have it. I told my fat rolls to go away but they seem to like it here. I suppose I could make myself feel better by thinking of all of the wonderful growth and positive character qualities I have obtained in these 8 years. From being more patient, to being able to multitask, to being less selfish, etc, etc. Right now, though, I'd give my left a** cheek to fit in that plum suit again...and, in fact, I'd have to.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hand Turkeys

I'm sure you've seen these things. You know, when you put your hand on a piece of paper and trace your fingers to make the wings of a turkey. I have many, many, many of these in scrapbooks and safe places. They are neat because, if nothing else, they note the size of the kids' hands when they were such-and-such an age. Today I have received, from Ryan, a picture with a brand new twist on the hand turkey. Oh sure, there's the hand in the middle of the picture with the fingers brightly colored to represent feathers. And, then, well, there's a picture of a gun with brown bullets headed toward the turkey. Jaden says it's a very good drawing of a gun. I'm so proud :)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Oh yeah, I've got my s*** together!

As you can see, I've made lots of progress on my "profanity problem".

Here is a list of all of the things that I have forgotten lately, telling more and more people all over town, that I do, in fact, not have my s*** together:

Notes to school telling the teachers that someone is coming home with us or one of my kids is going somewhere. Three times in the past two weeks School Secretary has had to call me to see if I had forgotten a note. "Mrs. K, this is school secretary. Valerie has a note here that Trisha is supposed to come home with her." "Oh, yeah. Ha, ha, I forgot my note again, sorry." Big long sigh from school secretary.

Then, I got two collection notices today on medical bills. You know it's not that we don't have the money. We have plenty of money (by plenty, I mean NOT plenty). I just can't ever remember to pay the darn things.

Similarly, Ryan has a -$8.75 balance on his lunch card. Again, it's not that we don't have the money. It's that I don't have any checks. I keep forgetting to order them.

I've no-showed to 2, count them, 2 doctors appointments recently.

I totally skipped a therapy appointment. Jaden's physical therapy that is, not psycho-therapy for me, although, sure thanks, I'll take some.

Library books. These suckers were due in July. Nice. At least I know that I am personally building a wing of the new community library with my overdue fees.

I keep forgetting to buy dishwashing soap. I've been to the store four times for it. I buy lots of other things, but I still don't have the dishwasher soap. Side note: the huge piles of bubbles on my floor tells me that it is not a good idea to substitute liquid hand soap for dishwashing soap.

I'm sure there are more, but I can't remember what they are!

All of this irresponsibility is frustrating. ROb says I just have too many balls in the air. Yeah, well, that's what she said.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Aqua Dots



Another China recall. This one has a substance in it that metabolizes into the "date rape" drug. I do think China is trying to kill us by poisoning our toys. I will not buy anything made in China anymore. Which basically means, I won't be buying anything anymore.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tales from my job

The following is an actual series of events that occurred at my job last week:

Brrrrring! Brrrring!
"Hello Dr. Dentist's Dental Office, how can I help you?"
"Hi there. This is Ms. Patient. I am trying to figure out how much money to put in my pretax account for next year and I think I am supposed to have a crown done, do you know how much that will be?"
I figure it out. "About $325 just to be safe.""OK. Thanks. Bye."

5 minutes later...

Brrrring! Brrrrrrring!
"Hello Dr. Dentist's Dental Office, how can I help you?"
"This is Ms. Patient again. Why do you sound like Alaina?" (A former hygienist).
"Oh. Do I?? That's funny."
"Yeah. Why do you sound like her?"
"Hmmm. I'm not sure, how can I help you?"
"Well, I forgot to ask if my husband needs to have any work done."
So I check. "The Doctor does not have any work indicated at this time."
"Seriously you sound like Alaina. Why do you sound like Alaina?"
"I guess we must have similar vocal cords. Is there anything else?"
"No. thank you. bye"

5 minutes later....

Brrrrring! Brrrrrrring!
"Hello Dr. Dentist's Dental Office, how may I help you?"
"This is Ms. Patient again. Do you know how many cavities I'll have this year?"
I laugh. Like ha-ha "It would be nice if we could predict that, huh?"
"No. I need to know how many cavities I am going to have next year. Me and my whole family."
"Well, there are lots of variables involved like genetics, oral hygiene, diet. It's really hard to predict."
"You have my chart, can't you just look at that and guess how many cavities I'll have."
"No, not really. I can't".
"Alaina would have."

hmmmmm.....

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This is Halloween!

I have to say I love. love. love that we change our clocks back after Halloween now...I didn't have to worry once about anyone getting run over!!








The lady playing Dorothy is Miss Pop. She was Jaden's teacher last year.



I was Ryan's party mom, so I got to get this pic of him playing the toilet paper game.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Everyone loves a baby!

I had forgotten about this part. The part where everyone and their germ-infested brother wants to come up and breathe/touch your baby. And, Hayleigh, who is very, very social with her smiling and cooing and trying to sit up to see them better, just prolongs the contact. I think my favorite people have to be the ones who feel that they have to give advice. "It's chilly out, shouldn't she have a hat on?" Of course, I need to be light and love and represent Jesus, so I hold in what I really want to say and go for a Fantasy Island type script: "Smiles, everyone, smiles."

In addition to this, or perhaps, because of this I am developing what I like to call a "profanity problem". This is not good. Here are a few examples. Today, at Walmart when I was putting Hayleigh and her carseat into the shopping cart, I somehow managed to smash my boob in between the cart and the carseat. Don't ask. Suffice it to say, they're droopy. I actually needed to release the carseat in order to free my boob. This was painful and I muttered a short string of profanities. Of course someone was walking up beside their car and heard me. And, then there was the time a few days ago when I smashed my finger in Jaden's wheelchair. This time a loud string of profanities. If it wasn't bad enough that my children heard this, the front door was open and, since the bus stop is in our driveway, other people's children also got to hear this. So much for the light, love and representing! I'm going to work on my "profanity problem" and I'm going to work on walking faster through stores and not stopping to let people see my baby. That ought to work!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Trying something new

Due to the sheer volume of requests coming into my brain at one time, I will now have to install an automatic phone system for my children to use. I imagine it will go something like this:

"Thank you for calling Mom's brain, please listen carefully to the following menu options. Para espanol, esquedar numero uno. For help with homework, please press 2. To summon the taxi service, please press 3. For the chef, please press 4. If you'd like poop cleaned out from your diaper, please press 5. If you need help finding some lost item, please press 6. For money, please press 7. For more money, please hang up and try a different number. If this is a life threatening medical emergency please bypass the phone system by screaming really loud. All other callers please remain on the line until the next available brain cell can answer your call. Thank you."

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Wild, Wild World of Sports

I've been wanting to post for some time now about the crazy world of little league sports. The problem is: I'm not really sure what I want to say, I have so many mixed feelings regarding it. It used to be that I loved watching my boys play, win or lose. I loved watching them get better at skills and the pride on their faces as they achieved certain things. Sure, they would mess up and make mistakes, but that was part of it too and it was OK. But, as I sit at baseball games where grown men fight over where to put chalk lines, I can't help but wonder what we are even doing being involved. Rob even overheard two coached talking about parents who ask why their kid never gets to play such and such a position. The coach says, "I think to myself, your kid is never going to be a 1st baseman, so why should I put him in 1st base". He's talking about 7 & 8 year olds of course.

Ryan plays on a team that is undefeated. He will most likely win the championship this weekend without ever once losing a game. Great, right? The only problem is that the coach is so focused on winning, that Ryan isn't given a chance to try out new positions and he's so nervous up to bat, he can hardly hit the ball. I like Ryan's coach, really. But, I think it's so unfortunate. This is only his second season of ever playing baseball, and his confidence is shot. He doesn't even really look forward to going. And, inside my heart breaks for him. He's 7 years old for heaven's sake! Taking this thing too seriously is terrible. Listen, maybe 1 or 2 of these kids will get a baseball scholarship to college. Maybe. But, the self esteem blows to the others, who are told at 7, "you'll never be a first baseman" will last much, much longer.

Jonathan moved up to a travel soccer league this year. For the past several seasons, Jonathan has been one of the most valuable players on his in-house team and has gotten a lot of playing time. It has made him a better player. In travel, everyone is good, so he subs like everyone else. That was an adjustment for me, but it's OK now. Jonathan's team is 1-3-1. Probably not going to win any championships, but his coaches are committed to player development and realize that these kids are 10, and have lots of growth ahead of them. Jonathan's skills have improved alot. But, some parents wonder why we don't win more games and are starting to flap their gums a little bit about what should be done differently. Like Jonathan's coach said, "It shouldn't be that way [competitive to the point of leaving players behind], but parents want to win."

I don't know I guess I'd rather just have my boys learn some new skills, learn sportsmanship, have fun, make friends, learn to work as a team, learn to hang in there and work hard despite the score, learn to do your best, and then, maybe after all of that, win some games. I would rather have my son feel good about himself on a losing team, then feel stressed out on a winning team. I know I sound like a softie, afterall as men they will have to learn to compete and win in the business world, right? Maybe...but, I guess at 10 and 7, I'm leaning more toward letting them be boys, then making them be men. My sons are more than the sum total of their athletic abilities. I'll close with this poem:

He pulls on a helmet, picks up the bat,
and walks to the plate, "gotta hit and that's that."
The crowd starts to yell, the game's on the line,
last inning, two outs, the score's nine to nine.

Dad yells, "Go get it," Mom wrings her hands,
coach hollers, "hit it," but alone there he stands.

Heros are made in seconds such as this,
but he's just a little boy, what if he should miss?
Years after this game's ended and he's little no more,
will he remember the outcome or even the score?

No he'll have forgotten if he was out, hit, or a run,
he'll only look back on his friends and, hopefully, the fun.

So cheer this boy on, alone with his fate;
help him remember with fondness this stand at the plate.
And when the game's over, this boy can stand tall,
for you've helped him prepare to give it his all!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

3 months old

Already...it's so sad!



Here she is showing us this new thing she found in her mouth.



Showing off her great neck strength.



Sucking her thumb. Yes, another one we'll have to get orthodontia for.



Smily Girl!



Just a cute, chubby little baby :)

She's smiling, laughing, squealing, cooing, sleeping through the night. Like Ryan said, "It's like she's finally growing some brains!"

Monday, October 08, 2007

McDonald's

I have two things I want to say about McDonald's:
1. Their iced coffee is very good. For about $2.25 you can get a huge cup of coffee that is actually pretty good. If you got that size of coffee at Starbucks, you would need a second mortgage on your home. Downside: It's 6 WW points :(.

2. Have you seen this thing about the McDonald's worker who was "forced" into taking off all of her clothes. Apparently, some man called claiming to be a police officer and told the manager to bring her into the office because some customers had filed a complaint that she had stolen from them. SO, to prove it, the manager had to have the girl take off all of her clothes. That is somewhat bizarre, but it didn't stop there. Throughout the course of several hours, the girl was "forced" to perform sex acts on herself and on the manager's fiance. This was all through the "direction" of some man on the phone claiming to be a police officer. Anyway, teh girl sued McDonald's of all things, and won $5 million.

I think two things about this. One is that this illustrates clearly to me why parents can not and should not in this day and age teach our children a blanket philosophy of obeying authority no matter what. It would be a much easier job if we could do that, but instead we have to teach them how to discern when to obey and when not. I find this to be much trickier. The other thing I think is that just when I think maybe, as a society, we are turning away from ridiculous lawsuits, this girls wins $5 million from McDonald's...please! BTW, when I say girl, I mean woman...she was 18. It's a bizarre, bizarre case.

Oh, and the other thing I think is that I wish Rob would stop walking around with a phone pretending like there is an officer on the other end wondering what I've done with someone's money!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

What I'm thinking about today

Hannah Montana. If you do not know who this is, then you obviously don't have a tweenaged daughter. Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus is just about the biggest thing around if you are of a certain age, and it just so happens she is coming to my town right after Christmas. I remember that desperate time I once had, being in 8th grade when Michael Jackson came to town. We didn't or couldn't get tickets, I don't know. I can't even remember how many times I tried to be "Caller #12" into WDRQ. No luck. So, I decide that I will try my hardest to get tickets to this concert of a lifetime for my daughter. Except...

Except, that there happens to be a software company that sells software that makes it easy for scalpers to bypass the internet line and scoop up all the tickets. And, then these scalpers, after getting the tickets, sell them for an astronomical amount of money, and this seriously pisses me off.

I know there are grave atrocities that happen in this world. Babies are starving, left orphaned, forced into sex-slavery rings. I realize that this does not rank up there with that, but to purposefully buy up tickets and then sell them for over 5-6x the face value is wrong. They know they can do it because there will always be a silly parent willing to pay this amount of money to try and make their child's dream come true. I am seriously tempted myself. Town after town, concert after concert, this is what is happening. Anyone who does this simply does not have one shred of decency or morality in them...I'm sorry.

And, that's what I'm thinking about today.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Eddie Cohorst

I'm sure that most of you right now are saying "Who?".

I know that you do not know who Eddie Cohorst is, but I know that all of you went to school with a kid like Eddie. He was the kid that always got into trouble. Was just always doing something bad. Teachers rolled their eyes when they found out Eddie was going to be in their class, and so did we students. Eddie's antics started out in grade school innocently enough. I remember in middle school shop class, he laid himself on his stomach on top of a table and proceeding to roll himself back and forth on the table yelling "rollerballs!" I had no idea what that meant, but I could only assume it was some sort of reference to his testicles. As Eddie grew, his antics which started out as social became more and more anti-social. I guess since Eddie had heard so many times that he was bad and was a trouble maker, he decided to be bad and be a trouble maker.

I've been thinking alot about Eddie Cohorst lately. Or rather, I've been thinking alot about Mrs. Cohorst. What did she think about all of this? Did she try her hardest to work with Eddie or did she just not care? Did it break her heart that he was sort of an outcast and that teachers gave him a hard time or did she just decide to throw her hands up in exasperation? Did the fact that Eddie couldn't behave in school keep her up at night? Did she fight with school authorities for people to let up on him? Did she have him medicated?

I wonder because Ryan has been getting into trouble at school. And, the last thing I want is for him to be an Eddie. He's smart. It seems like it would be such a waste f he were to end up hating school because he's always in trouble. He's social. It would be a shame if he were to end up being anti-social because he's sick of people telling him he's bad. That's why I want to know about Mrs. Cohorst...I want a different result than with Eddie. Sometimes there is a very thin line between the class clown that becomes president and turns out to be CEO of this and that company and the class weirdo who ends up dealing drugs and in jail. I would obviously prefer the CEO scenario. We've been working with his teacher and with Ryan and I think things are improving. Good thing he's cute...

I think I'm going to google Eddie Cohorst to see if I can ever find out what happened to that kid...I hope, for my own sanity's sake, that I find something good!

Monday, September 24, 2007

It's the little things...(Part 2)

That make everything worth it.

We had open house tonight. The 4th graders wrote up a little newspaper thing-y. Trisha wrote her main article about Hayleigh and her thoughts and feelings about her birth. SHe said she was nervous because she didn't know what it would be like to have a baby around. She said she was excited because she was waiting her whole life for a sister. She said I was her hero because I always listened to her and helped her. The last line in her Hayleigh story was that she looked at Hayleigh and I said "She loves you" and Trisha said "I know". It was just beautiful...not only what she said, but the eloquance with which she said it. She may one day have a blog herself.

As it turned out, Trisha wasn't the only one who said I was their hero. Jaden also said I was his hero because I got married and if I didn't get married, he wouldn't be born. Rob got some props as he was Jonathan's hero.

There's not a lot of immediate gratification in being a parent. It's not like at work when I work really hard on the receivables and the next week, I see percentages go where I want them to go. Often times, I don't see the effects of my work as a mother....or, instead I should say I only seem to see the bad effects. Like, so-and-so is doing that thing again...must be because I'm not doing this-and-that. That's what makes nights like tonight so special. I guess the work that I, and all of us parents are doing does pay have its rewards. In the hallway of an elementary school hangs at least some validation and the stamina to keep giving this motherhood thing my best shot.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's the little things...

That can really drive a person to drink. Let's just take yesterday for an example.

Annoyance #1 For the sake of complete accuracy, I will start yesterday at 12:00 am meaning midnight. Hayleigh awakens at her usual time between 3 and 4 am. I do not know what actual time it is because I am 75% asleep. I trip over my breast pump, the laundry basket, and two pairs of shoes on my way out the bedroom door. Feed Hayleigh as usual. Rock her to sleep. Put her in crib. She wakes up. Repeat. 3 times.

Annoyance #2 Jonathan has decided to play the drum this year. I think that's all I need to say about that.

Annoyance #3 Work. My job is to handle all of the billing. I was off for two months and now upon my return there are patients whose accounts have gone into arrears and are in danger of being turned over to collections. I try to be nice and call these people. Here's a conversation I had: "Hi, I'm going to turn you over to collections." "OK". "OK? I mean if you can pay anything today, I will not turn you over." "No, you can just turn me over." What?!?!? I made her wish come true later that day.

Annoyance #4 My cat. We still for some reason (well because Rob keeps feeding the darn thing!) have Kosmo the cat. He (Kosmo) left me a little present yesterday of a dead chipmunk right on the welcome mat. What made this particular gift so unusual was that it was decapitated. Thanks, Kosmo. Why, oh why must I live with this cat. I swept it( the chipmunk) into the bushes where it will begin to reek to high heaven in just a few days...goodie!

Annoyance #5 Insomnia. Yes, folks if it wasn't bad enough that I have to get up to feed Hayleigh, I can't sleep. Last night I couldn't fall asleep because my feet were itchy. Why you might ask? Because I made the mistake of going to a bonfire wearing Crocs. Everywhere there is a hole in the croc, there is some sort of bug bite on my foot. It literally matches up hole for bite. If it were on someone else's feet I would find it amusing.

It's days like this that I understand what Jesus meant when he said not to worry about tomorrow because today has enough trouble of it's own. Amen! Today, so far, the only annoying thing is that I stayed the same at my weigh-in. 6.2 pounds lost though. Take that, fat rolls!

Monday, September 17, 2007

2 months old

Late again! But, I'm having a hard time finding time to even go to the bathroom, so I feel like one week late is pretty good!!




Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Breakup

Dear Fat Rolls,

I have decided that it is time for us to take a break from each other. I know it's sudden, but I have decided that I no longer like you hanging around. Sure, we've had some good times. Like the time I laid down on my bed to get my zipper all the way up. But then you got the last laugh because when I stood up you sort of flopped over the top like a mushroom. Oh, we laughed and laughed over that one. I think I will miss the way you always said "hello" to me everytime I lifted my shirt to feed Hayleigh. That was nice to know I wasn't alone in the middle of the night. With you, I have been so lucky. Most women only have one set of boobs, but because of you, fat rolls, I have two, one in the front and one in the back. I'll miss my back boobs. Despite all of these good times, I think I need to let you go. I hope that losing you will be quick and painless. Besides, I know that you will move on and find some other woman to hang out with. If you get lonely, try the OB office. I know I've picked up several of you there over the years myself. I wish you well, fat rolls. Goodbye~

Me

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Back to School (already)



So, the kids are back at school. It seems like maybe they had a month off. It went quick. To the kids, this will probably be known as the most boring summer ever, and I do feel bad for them. In June, they pretty much sat around and watched me be miserable adn pregnant and then after July 10th, they pretty much sat around and watched me nurse. Not too exciting. Case in point: Jaden was asked to bring in something to share with his classmates that would be symbolic of something he did over summer vacation. He wanted to bring in a baseball bat. Why?? To tell everyone about how he got in the head with it. That, apparently was the most exciting thing about the summer. Thankfully, I remembered that that actually happened at the end of last year, and thus, does not count. I think he ended up bringing in a Webkinz because that was his favorite thing that he got from his summer birthday.

Something exciting did happen this summer though for the older kids. Since we didn't go anywhere or do anything, the kids were forced to pay with each other. And, they did. During the school year when they are each running to soccer or baseball or basketball or drama, they really don't spend much time together. There were actually times this summer when I heard them laughing and playing together. It was nice. Of course, this changed during the last few weeks of vacation when it was all I could do to kick them out for fighting so much! But, for awhile there, it was nice.

It is always hard to say goodbye to them and it always seems like the house is a little bit too quiet without them around. Surprisingly, even having a baby didn't change that. But, I think they are each going to have a great year.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Decadians

The date was August 27, 1997. It was before President Clinton "did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinski", and when Princess Diana was still alive (if only for a few days). There were still two twin towers and relative peace in the middle east. Locally, we were excited to start a new Steelers season with Kordell, Yancey Thigpen, and that new guy, Jerome Bettis. I don't remember what gas prices were, but I can guarantee the words "hmmmm 2.63 a gallon, that's pretty good" never came out of my mouth. And, in three short minutes my life changed forever with the birth of three precious little souls.

Those precious little souls turned 10 today. 10. That's almost unbelievable. Many moments of these 10 years are such a blur. But, I do remember the sleepless nights and trying to keep in mind that seasoned mothers of multiples told me the first year was the hardest. Then, when they got to be arounud 18 months, I realized the mothers of multiples lied to new mothers...the second year is the hardest. I remember snuggles and bedtime kisses. I remember firsts: walking, talking, preschool, kindergarten. I remember them loving Barney, Sesame Street, and the Teletubbies. I remember seeing God in a fresh perspective that only young children can bring. Oh, it's been tiring and stressful and hard, but it has been rewarding and exciting and wonderful.

Now, Barney and Teltubbies have given way to Hannah Montana and High School Musical. The firsts we have to look forward to are more scary: crushes, kisses, heartbreaks. Lucky for me, I still get plenty of snuggles and bedtime kisses. The long, lonely days of being home with toddlers has given way to days that go by far too quickly. I am so proud of who my children are at this age. I really give most of this credit to God. I love who each one of them is and are turning into.

I can't beleive my babies are 10. Sure, the world may have changed a lot since this date 10 years ago, but not nearly as much as those teeny tiny babies changed my world and stole my heart. Happy Birthday guys, I love you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

La La Land

There's where I must have been a few short months ago. You see, I imagined that by 6 weeks, Hayleigh would be sleeping through the night, I would be back in my pre-pg clothing and I would be back volunteering at church and school just like before. Instead, we are still up twice a night, my maternity clothing is now my regular clothing and I am lucky if I can shower daily, much less help someone else do something. What was I thinking???


Speaking of La La Land, sleep deprivation does strange things to people. I remember with the trips this little exchange happened:

Jaden's NICU nurse: "You look so well rested Mrs. Klan, I know you can't be getting much sleep."

Me: (At least what I thought I said or meant to say)"Well, caffeine does wonders."
Me: (What I actually said) "Cocaine does wonders".

Nice...

This time:
Me:"Hi, Trisha's othodontic applaince is loose, she needs to see the doctor."
receptionist: "Well, the doctor is out of town this week. The soones we can get her is next Tuesday."
Me: "Ok, that will be fine...is it OK if she eats" ?
Receptionist: (LONG PAUSE) "Well it probably wouldn't be good for her to eat nothing for the next week."
Me: Yeah...

Also, I tend to stop mid sentence and never finish, like this example

Me:"Hi. can you babysit for me on Tuesday. Just the four older kids, I'll take the baby."
Babysitter:"Sure. What time?"
Me:"Well if you could be here at 5 till 9 .........."
Babysitter: "OK"
Well, when she didn't show up at 8:55, I called her mom. SHe thought I wanted her from 5-9 pm. And, since I didn't finish my sentence, well who could blame her.

And then there was this really funny one involving the mailman and a pair of socks.........................................................................................................

Monday, August 20, 2007

Pony League World Series and Some Laughs

So, a few days ago Jaden participated in what has become a yearly event for him: The "Friends" game that opens the Pony League World Series. This is something that is very exciting for Jaden. And, for some reason, every year I always get emotional watching it. I'm not always sure why. I thought perhaps it was because I was so happy to see Jaden so excited...that could be. I thought perhaps it was because of the contrasts. I mean here are some of the best 13 and 14 year old players in the world, and then there's Jaden, which although extremely athletic and wonderful, a Pony league player he will never be. Maybe that's it, but heck, Jonathan or Ryan are mostl likely never going to play in the Pony League World Series, and that doesn't upset me. So, for some years now I haven't been able to put my finger on it. Until this year.

I realized the reason I get so emotional is because of the condescension. Like the announcer continually saying how the "friends" are creaming the pony leaguers and how embarassing it is. I don't think Jaden knows any better. FOr now, I think he still believes that he legitimately beat a Pony League team. I'm not going to be the one to tell him, but I feel bad that one day he is going to figure it out and that might taint the memories he has of these games. I don't think he knows yet, that to the fans and the players, we are to be pitied. I don't know how he will feel when he figures that out.

ANYWAYS, to brighter topics...some recent quotes:

Ryan: "Jaden what was the final score?"
Jaden:"Like 10 to 0"
Ryan: "Whoa man you totally dominated!"
********************************************************
Trisha: "Mom, can I get hardwood floors in my bedroom for my birthday?"
Me: "No."
Trisha: "Ok. How abut hair extensions?"
********************************************************
Jonathan: "Jaden I know you want to be a professional basketball player when you grow up, but what if that doesn't work out. You need a Plan B."
********************************************************
Ryan: (while looking at Hayleigh's naked chest) "Pretty soon, Hayleigh, those are going to get really big."
********************************************************
Me: "I think I am going to need to buy Trisha some bras".
Rob: "Shut up"
Me: "well, you know, she is going into 4th grade, and I think I had my first bra in 4th grade. And, if you think of it, she could be in 5th grade, and heck, some girls had their periods when I was in 5th grade."
Rob: "No, really. Shut up."
*********************************************************

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

One Month Old






Ok, I lied..she's really five weeks old, but I did mean to put these pics up when she turned 1 month old.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Balance

It wasn't long after becoming a mother that I realized my main job was to keep life balanced in the home. Maybe many first time moms don't see that, maybe they do. But, because I had triplets and one with "special needs", I quickly saw that without some vigilance things could quickly get unbalanced.

For instance, I never have liked the term "special needs" when referring to a handicapped child. Because, really what does this mean?? I mean really all of us have special needs. I know that Trisha has a special need for cuddling and for one-on-one time...always has. I know that Jonathan has a special need to have his own space and to be warned of things that are going to be different from the norm. Ryan has a special need to have his sensitive side protected. And, to think for one instance that Jaden's special needs have anything to do with his inabiltiy to walk would be to not value him as a person. He has a special need to talk through anxious situations and to be given opportunities to act like any other child. So, you see they each have needs and no one is greater than the other or more legitimate than the other.

All of this to say, that I have decided to let up on myself and the breastfeeding. This comes after several days of near constant feeding. You see, Hayleigh's special needs right now are for nutrition and for physical touch. And, through breastfeeding her needs have usurped the needs of everyone else in the house and things have gotten terribly unbalanced. SO, I began thinking that if I could meet her need for nutrition and closeness in a way that doesn't take ALL DAY LONG then that might be a good idea for all of us, even if does mean (GASP!) that she may have to drink formula from time to time. If by doing that it can free up some of my time to meet the special needs of my other kids and hey, maybe even a need or two of my husband's and still meet Hayleigh's needs, I think it has to be a win/win.

Of course, I wish I was able to successfully EBF (exclusively breastfeed) at least one of my kids. Just not in the cards. I'm not sure I am willing to throw my entire family under the bus when there is a way that is easier and softer on all of us. It's more balanced. And, that's my job. To keep balance in the home, so that everyone here can find a place where there special needs are being met.

Friday, July 27, 2007

2 weeks old

Already. Wow. She is generally doing great. She still is not back to birthweight yet, which means I have been pumping and giving her bottles so that we can monitor her intake. I think I'll have to do this at least until her 1 month check-up and we'll see how much she weighs then. It's a PITA to say the least, but I really, really want to keep breastfeeding. Here's some more pics...



She's holding her nose. This is after I apologized to her for stinking so bad since I was not able to get a shower that day. Too funny!!



Here she is all dressed up for church.






She has a blocked tear duct in her left eye which you can see here. Poor thing.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Life with a Newborn

Other possible titles for this post included: "Sleeping is for losers!" or "The Hormone Swing: Not just a thrill ride anymore!" or "Oh, my aching nipples"!.

I am finding life with a newborn, so far, to be a bit like a Dickens novel: it is the best of times and the worst of times.

It's the best of times because Hayleigh is just so sweet. I love looking at her perfect little fingers and toes and ears and her skin is so soft and she makes sweet little squeaking noises. SHe is starting to have some awake time where she is just looking around and absorbing the crazy environment around her. She is just so perfect...I am often just overwhelmed with her miniature perfection. I also love seeing the children interact with her. I knew Trisha would be great, but I have to admit how surprised I am by Ryan. He is totally protective of her and just so cute. One morning, he came into my room, checked on the baby, nodded his head, and walked out of the room without saying a word.

Of course, it's also the worst of times. Not getting any sleep, nursing until I feel like my breasts are going to fall off, feeling guilty for neglecting the other children because Hayleigh's needs are so consuming, etc, etc, etc. Last night, Hayleigh nursed for three hours straight! Three hours, people. Just let that sink in for awhile. I'm committed to breast feeding. It has many, many benefits for both of us, not to mention, I think it might be my ticket to losing some of this baby weight. So, committed in fact, that I've called several lactation consultants, doulas, medela dealers, etc. (read:perfect strangers) to talk about my breasts. It's a pride-sucking experience.

I know things will get better, we'll get into a routine. I know I'm going to blink and Hayleigh is going to be in college. I am trying to enjoy every moment I have with her...even if it is 2 in the morning!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Hayleigh Alexandra

Join us in welcoming Hayleigh! She was born July 10th on Ryan's birthday. (Yes, 5 kids, 2 birthdays!) 2:33 pm after a wonderful 6.5 hour labor. She was 8 pounds, 3 ounces and 21 inches long.

We're in love!



Friday, July 06, 2007

Coulrophobia

NO, this is not the fear of never giving birth, although I think I am developing that as well. Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns. While my sister has a very long, documented case of such an issue, I first developed it just a few short days ago....

We were eating at a wonderful famiyl establishment where kids eat free on Tues. They also have a clown there for entertaining. For anonymity sake, we'll call her "Bubbles". "Bubbles" is known as the slowest clown known to humankind. YOu can wait in line for 20 minutes to get your face painted and a balloon animal, that is if only one person is ahead of you. So, Trisha gets in line and is finally ready to get her face painted. Here's the conversation that ensues:

Bubbles: Yup, there's lots of kids who have drove by here and left crying because they didn't see Bubbles van. You know why they don't see Bubbles van?
Trisha: Shrug
Bubbles: Because Bubbles was a bad, bad girl. Do you want to know why Bubbles was a bad, bad girl.
Trisha: looks at me for help
Bubbles: Because I brought my jeep. My van is in the shop. I took it in and the guy said it was my fuel pump. And I said what? And he said yeah. And I said what? And he said yeah. And I said I got my fuel pump fixed 2 years ago, and he said that'll be $500. And, that's why there are lots of kids crying tonight.
Trisha: looks at me for help

Now, if that weren't bad enough. 3 hours later after all of my kids had gotten their balloon animals and painted faces,we were ready to leave. TO leave, you have to pass Bubbles table. So, while Rob leaves the tip I am walking past with all of the kids. Bubbles has a line about 20 miles long. (Apparently, some parents had thought since they didn't see Bubbles van it was safe to go in.) As I am walking past, she yells out to me:

Bubbles: Hey lady! Whatcha got there? (Pointing at my belly)
Me: Yeah...I had a little too much to eat at the buffet tonight. (Keep walking)
Bubbles: No, really. Whatcha got there?
Me: Uh, it's a baby. (Somehow I thought that was a rheotrical question)
Bubbles: Haven't you learned what causes that yet? I could pull you aside and tell you?
Me: Ha. Ha. (Pulling out tazer gun.)
Bubbles: When are you due? Last week.

Unfortunately, Bubbles is no longer with us. But, I do wish her all of the best in eternity.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Getting from there to here

As I sit (hopefully) on the verge of ushering another little soul into the world, I can't help but think of the journey that has gotten me here.

Rob and I decided to start trying for children in the summer of 1995. I always had irregular cycles and knew that it might be a challenge, but I figured a little medicine and we'd be on our way. It took 18 months to get pregnant. Those times were not fun, to say the least. I learned all about charting and timing and other such mechanincs of babymaking. Every month, we upped the dose of hormones and every month was a failure. I can remember going in my car and screaming my head off, partly out of frustration and partly because of what the hormones were doing to me. I can also remember sitting on the floor of my shower bawling with the realization that this month was once again a failure. Finally, however, in Jan. 1997, I was pregnant. Such a thrill!! The pregnancy, however, was not the smoothest. Starting with the fact that I was having triplets. What would I ever do with three babies?? There was also the threatened miscarriage at 11 weeks, that had me bleeding off and on until 20 weeks, the amnios that left me leaking fluid for two weeks, a confirmed birth defect in one baby, bedrest, contractions, constant monitoring, Magnesium Sulfate to stop labor, all culminating in giving birth 8 weeks early to little pumpkins who spent time in the NICU (which is a horror all in it's own). The second I saw my babies, I knew I would do it again just to have them. I knew I would give my life for theirs in an instant. However, as I was discharged from the hospital without them, I couldn't help but feel jipped. This was not what I had pictured all of those months as I was trying to get pregnant.

Fast forward two years and two months and completely out of the blue, I find myself pregnant again. No drugs, no shots, just the old fashioned way. It was a bit overwhelming, frankly, at the time, given that the triplets were two and were a bit, um, well, two, and given the fact that our marriage was not in the best place at all. We had gone to a Family Life marriage weekend as truly a last ditch effort to save our marriage, and came home with a little souvenier. This pregnancy was awesome. Three of my close friends were also pregnant and due in July, 2000. Everything was so smooth and in the end, I had a wonderful 8 pound boy, delieverd spontaneously, with immediate bonding. It was perfect. I felt so blessed to be able to have experienced childbirth the way it "should" be and it wasn't long before I found myself wanting another baby.

People always ask me if this baby was planned and I find that a difficult question to answer. Rob had always been adamanatly opposed to another child, and, frankly, my cycles had gotten very wacky in my old age. I had gone all through 2004 and 2005 without a cycle on my own. FOr some reason, in 2006, things started to come back to some sort of normal, but I could never predict when I might ovulate. I could be 2 months, it could be 4. In September, I had a chemical pregnancy (positive pregnancy test, followed by a late period the day after), which I found to be devestating. Rob said we could try again, and I took him up on the offer. Of course, I had no idea if I would ovulate again. Imagine my surprise when in mid-October, I felt I was ovulating (all of that info from my infertle days paying off), and by Halloween I knew I was pregnant. I am now one of those who got pregnant on the first try!

All of this to say, even though I complain about how miserable I am, I know I am blessed. I think of women who, today even, are screaming in their cars or crying on the floor of their showers wishing to be in the place that I am in today. I feel very grateful that God has redeemed what I felt was taken from me in my first pregnancy/delivery experience. I know that I am blessed. God could have chosen any way to bring humans into the world, and for some reason, He chose to allow women the privelage of joining Him in creation. I am blessed.

Hopefully, my next post will be a birth announcement!!

Monday, June 25, 2007

38 weeks and counting....

In honor of my own personal misery, I've created another Top 10 list.

Top 10 Signs that your close to delivery:

10. You think fondly back to the early days of pregnancy when you only had to get up one or two times per night to pee.
9. The words "fingertip dialated" send you over the edge, because you know it's a euphamism for "see you next week still pregnant."
8. You begin thinking that the pain of labor will be a welcome reprieve from the pain of your sciatica.
7. You being thinking that being up all night with a newborn will be a welcome repreive from being up all night with heartburn.
6. You have to do moves that a contortionist would find amazing just to wipe your own butt.
5. You are willing to try any and every old wives tale out there to get baby to come out, including that terrible three letter word...J-O-G!
4. If one more person calls me and asks me if I've had the baby yet...I swear I'll explode.
3. You fantasize of carrying around a stun gun to tazer anyone who inadvertently pisses you off. Like the people mentioned in #4 or the worship leader at church who made me stand through 5 songs yesterday. Just as an example.
2. You are constantly smelling your underwear to see if what just leaked was urine (again!) or perhaps maybe, just maybe, please God let it be amniotic fluid.
1. You know the second you hold that precious little precious in your arms, all of this will be a distant memory and very much worth every minute of it!

I got an email today that said 95% of all babies arrive between 38 and 40 weeks, so here's hoping. But, don't call or email to ask me...you might just get tazered!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Incessant Bragging Part 2

I needed to post more pictures.



When Trisha wasn't Alice, she played many different parts, one was a flower. Oh, I can't forget to mention that she also won a $100 savings bond for coming in first place in our township's coloring contest for her grade level.




More Ryan playing baseball. Look at the skill with which he rounds third base. I think he gets his running skills from me!



Jaden ready to take a shot in wheelchair basketball. He plays once per month and loves it. Hence the desire to be the first Harlem Globetrotter in a wheelchair when he grows up.

Incessant Bragging

I haven't done much incessant bragging about my children lately, and since it is promised in the description of my blog, I thought I was due:



I already posted Jonathan in the talent show for Life Is a Highway, but he was also in a Suessical number that his entire third grade class did. It was adorable.



Jaden did some fancy basketball dribbling moves in the talent show. He did an act all by himself, and it was really good!




Jonathan with his soccer team on the day of the tournament. He wasn't on the best of teams, but he was one of the better players. I know the glasses look a little silly, but they sure help improved his play!



Trisha as Alice in Alice through the Looking Glass. She shared the lead with another girl. I am sure that I do not have to tell you who was better, by far, at the part. Trisha even looks like Alice for goodness sakes!



Ryan baseball shot. He loves, loves, loves baseball. And, for his first time playing the sport, I am so very impressed with how well he plays.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner

Not only is this a most excellent line from one of my favorite movies (Can you guess which movie?), it is also the theme I, personally, am giving to a baby shower that was thrown for me this past weekend. Not only did my wonderful friends not put baby in a corner, they celebrated her in a big way!! It was truly very humbling to have all of these people come to this shower and were so generous in their giving. Considering that not one of the people who came are related to me, and therefore, might feel obligates to come. I was quite humbled. I know that Hilary got a lot of flack for her "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child" book, but I do know that it is good for kids to know that there are other eyes watching them when their parents eyes are not. And, I have to say I am so thankful to be part of such an amazing village of families!



These were the wonderful hostesses. Have you ever seen such fabulous women in your life? Just hanging around their fabulousness makes me look good!




George Bush was kind enough to make it to my shower as well...even sporting some pink.




I got such wonderful stuff. As-Of-Yet-Unnamed-Baby-Girl-Klan is set up quite well. As Trisha said, "We've been overrun with cuteness!!".




Speaking of Trish...here we are. I can't really express enough how much I loathe pictures of me at this point. I had read in an article that if you turn to the side and put your leg up, it makes you look slimmer...well, I think I'm pretty much beyond help at this point, especially with the 90 degree weather that day blowing my legs and ankles up like balloons!

Overall a great time, and like I said I am so thankful for my wonderful friends!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Jonathan hamming it up

Here's Jonathan at the Talent Show...He's the one on the right.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Hooray! It's June!

The doctor who delivered Ryan said that the last few weeks of pregnancy are God's way of preparing you for childbirth, because you'll go through anything, including labor, just to get the darn thing out of you! Over the few years that my children have been in school, I have used the same analogy. The last few weeks of school with field trips, field days, talent shows, presentations, etc, etc, etc, are God's way of preparing you for summer vacation, because you'll go through anything, including having your children with you all day, everyday, just for the insanity to stop.

The question is, however; what is God trying to teach someone when these two occurances collide? And, when it is 90 degrees out? I'm not sure. In fact, I think that the collision of these three forces creates a very great evil. But, at least it's June, and with the exception of the heat, it will all be over soon!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

5 1/2 days!

This is what I heard this morning as my children were leaving for the bus stop. 5 1/2 days being the number of days left of school. Most people have said the school year has flown by...I assume they have not been pregnant for most of it. But, still, I can't help but think how much things have changed in my life since August, 2006.

Those first few days alone were horrible. The house was terribly quiet, and time dragged by terribly slow. I missed by kids by 11:00 every day. I begged my friends to invite me to lunch, to go walking, for coffee, anything. And, the kindly obliged. But, then, I volunteered up at school, and got a job, and then (surprise!) got pregnant. And, just like everyone said would happen, my time filled up and I ended up spending most of the year running around like a chicken wihtout a head.

My kids had great years...all of them. Phenomenal, really. Except for a little bit of girl stuff, but I'm beginning to think that is unavoidable.

To Mrs. B~I want to say thank you for creating a nurturing environment for Ryan. Thank you for seeing his "special energy", as we've come to call it, as an asset, rather than something that needed to be disciplined or drugged out of him. I am so thankful for you!

To Mrs. B~Thank you for being so creative. The way you encouraged Trisha's creativity made her like a pig in mud in your class. I will not forget your coming to see her play on a very cold December evening, when I am sure you had other things to do. I am so thankful for you!

To Miss P ~ I wasn't so sure about you at first, I will admit, but I appreciate your creativity and your ability to be consistent in your expectations. That is exactly what my Jaden needs and that is why he thrived in your class. I appreciate your willingness to think outside the box for solutions for him, and I admire the way you have stood your ground against the many parent complaints you received (unwarrantedly) this year. I am so thankful for you!

To Ms. Z ~ I want to thank you for a great year for Jonathan. I appreciate the way that you created such a warm atmosphere in your classroom where everyone was really friends. Case in point: having everyone from your class in a talent show routine. Jonathan leaves your classroom having gained a lot of knowledge and a lot of close frienships. I am so thankful for you!

It has been a good year. And, next year, I won't have to worry about the transition to having everyone gone, since I'll be busy with an infant. Plus, I know that time has a way of getting filled up, which is why I intend to make the most of every moment I have with my kids this summer!

Friday, May 25, 2007

If parenting is a competition, score 1 loss for me

So, yesterday turned out to be pretty exciting. Around 7:20 pm, Ryan hit Jaden in the head with a baseball bat. Nice. What's even better is that for a few minutes I heard some screaming outside and was getting all mad thinking that Jaden and Ryan were out there fighting again. I was just about to give them both a large piece of my mind, along with some consequence, when Ryan rushed through the door. "Mom, um, well, I was playing baseball, and it was an accident, and well, I accidentally hit Jaden in the head with my baseball bat (aluminum) accidentally." I ran out the door all the while screaming something about God...a prayer I'm sure, only to see that Jaden has a lump on the side of his head that is cartoon-like. Sort of like the kind Elmer Fudd would get when trying to catch Bugs Bunny. I never thought that was funny on TV, and I can assure you that I did not find it funny last night, either.

So, off to the ER. The Dr. comes in and tells Jaden he will be getting a CT Scan and she starts to explain what that is. Jaden says, "I know what it is. I just wish someone would tell me why it is called a CAT scan, because I have never once seen a cat!" part way through her little speech. Poor kid. As we are sitting there waiting for the results of the CT scan, all I can think besides "Dear God let everything be all right" is "I.CAN.NOT.DO.THIS." and by I can not do this, I mean have this new baby. It was insane to think that we could have another baby and deal with the insanity that happens around here on a regular basis. The other thing I was thinking of was how I kept thinking that maybe I should go outside and sit down while they were playing outside. I, obviously, never followed that motherly instinct. Nice.

Turns out he's fine. Minor concussion. had him home today watching and monitoring. He had a headache this morning and was slightly lethargic, but he's happily playing video games now. Another major crisis averted, thank God. There is a new rule here in our house, that there is no playing with baseball bats unless mom or dad is outside.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tripmom's Book Club



I don't really get an opportunity to do much reading, but when I visited my sister a few weeks back, I did some reading on the plane, and I am here to highly recommend this book: "Death by Suburb: How to Keep the Suburbs from Killing Your Soul" by David Goetz. I must warn you, this is a non-fiction book. However, I know the readers of Kiddyland to be very bright and learned people, so I am sure this is no problem. It gives 8 great tips to living a "thicker" life beyond lattes, SUVs and soccer. Not that those things are bad in and of themselves.

In one part, the author relays a story about an acquaintance whose wife was diagnosed with cancer. In addition to caring for her and their children and trying to keep up with the demands at work, he was scheduled to coach his son's little league soccer game. He noticeed halfway through the game that one of the playera had left the game. Afterwards, he found out why. The parents, upset that their daughter was not getting the playing time they felt she deserved pulled her from the game and went home. "He thought he had rotated all of the players through. He said he didn't say much to the wife when he called later for damamge control. Soccer is stupid when you think your wife is dying." p.48

Another quote:

"Successful children are the ultimate glory in today's Park District and Travel team culture. Children level the playing field. Whether from blue money, new money, or no money, each child represents real potential for glory in the here and now. They are the ultimate extension of ourselves. ...Parenting is hard these days, perhaps because it truly is today's most competitive sport."

I really could blog about this book all day. But, instead just read it for yourselves. And, if you happen to actually do that, let me know what you think!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I probably shouldn't be let out of the house...

Because I just can't be held responsible for my emotions lately. It's really bad. I just never know what is going to happen.

For example, I was watching my TiVo'd Desperate Housewives on Monday. And, I started crying when Lynette found out about her cancer. Fine, I'm sure that's probably in the realm of normal. My problem: I kept crying about it all day. All day, people. I suppose bursting into tears for no reason is nothing new to this pregnancy. A few weeks ago,the whole fam was playing hide and seek. I thought I had a totally great hiding place, but Rob found me right away. You guessed it...I started crying. It just seems to be happening alot lately.

Then, there's the other thing. You just never know when I might flip someone off. Not literally, but in my heart. I was at field day last week and I swore someone was staring at me. I know I am huge. I know it's kind of like a freak show, but c'mon. I thought I might punch her.

It's probably just better if I lock myself up at home...that way no one gets hurt! :)

Monday, May 07, 2007

That's 2 hours of my life I can't get back.

That's how I feel after watching The Departed. Didn't it win an Oscar or something? I thought it had and who doesn't like Matt Damon, Leo, and Jack Nicholson (who I sometimes get mixed up with Jack Nicklaus the famous golfer, but I digress). It.was.terrible. I mean it...terrible. I even stayed up to like 10:30 to watch it. It started out good. It was almost really good. It was as if they didn't know how to end it, so let's just kill everyone and that should do it. I feel like I want my $3.25 back. Do yourself a favor...if you haven't seen it...don't bother.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Miracle in Lane 2

Before there was "High School Musical" or "Jump In", The Disney Channel made a lovely movie called "Miracle in Lane 2". It's based on a true story of a boy with Spina Bifida who wants to win a trophy just like his older brother more than anything else. After unsuccessful attempts at mainstream sports, he befriends a neighbor who gets him into the soapbox derby. Of course, he wins a trophy bigger than any his brother had ever seen. I love, love, love this movie and everytime I watch it I cry through the whole thing. It's wonderful.

On Wednesday night, we (almost) had our own little miracle in lane 2. Jonathan and Jaden were competing in a little car race we had at church. In the third grade division, there were probably about 18 racers. Jonathan was quickly eliminated after two quick losses. Jaden, however, was a different story. 1st race...win. 2nd race...win. 3rd race...win. At this point, Jaden is nearly hyperventilating with joy. And, you know what...so is Jonathan. The winner of the next race would be guaranteed 3rd place and a medal. Best 2 out of 3. First run...win. Second run...lose. 3rd run...win. The final race was for 1st place. Best 2 out of 3. First run...lose. Second run...win. Thrid run...lose! 2nd place isn't too bad though and he did get a wonderful medal. Just as in the fiction story, I cried through the whole thing. It was wonderful!

Life isn't always fair for Jaden. Scratch that...life is hardly ever fair for Jaden. I just was so glad and grateful that he won something and was so excited and proud of himself. It was also very gratifing to see how excited Jonathan was for him. Although later we did have to have the "Everyone is a winner in our family" talk. :-)

Monday, April 23, 2007

9 year old boys!

I have just been thinking lately about how much I love 9 year old boys. I'm almost sad that they are almost 10 because I think 9 has to be the greatest age I've encountered so far. They are so independent and yet still so snuggly. I can see them already becoming gentlemen, wanting to take care of the ladies of the house. They can wrestle with their friends and act all cool, yet they aren't to shy to wave feverishly at their mom each morning as the bus pulls away from the stop. And, they don't have any of the hormonal/emotional stuff that comes with 9 year old girls that can be oh so challening. It's just a neat age. Half way to being a man, only half way from being a baby. It's a neat mix of characteristics that I enjoy alot!

As way of an example, here's a cute conversation I overheard the other day:

Jaden is talking about how he really wants this pirate alarm clock from the back of a cereal box for $4.95. HE says to Jonathan, "How can I get my hands on $4.95?". Then he says, "Mom, can you give me some chores so I can make $4.95?" I tell him that I can. Then he says to Jonathan, "Never mind, I'll just bet Josh." Jonathan:"Yeah, I bet Josh all of the time, he owes me like $6.00 now."

I, for some reason just found this the cutest thing in the world...seeing how the mind of a nine year old works. Of course we had to have a conversation about how gambling isn't really a legitimate way to earn money...

Monday, April 09, 2007

Top 10 Signs You're Entering Your Third Trimester

10). When you drop something you really have to think about how badly you want it to determine whether you are going to bend over and pick it up.
9.) People are no longer afraid to ask you if you are pregnant.
8.) You ask your youngest son if he wants to feel the baby move, and he says,"I've already felt it like 100 times!".
7.) You stop worrying about losing the baby and start worrying about what you are going to do with it once it gets here.
6.) It takes 20 minutes to get into a comfortable sleeping position...that is only comfortable for 20 minutes.
5.) Ah, heck, I can't remember #5. Baby takes all the oxygen from my brain!
4.) You start feeling like a walking, talking Pepto Bismol commercial. (heartburn, nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea...)
3.) Two words: Urinary Incontinence.
2.) You look at your belly and wonder how in the world you are possibly going to get three months bigger.
1.) You are willing to disown any person who might respond to this post by saying 'Wow, your pregnancy is going by so fast!" or something similar. :-)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Something hilarious that you must see!

We went on a little mini-vacation and the triplets made this...it's pretty hilarious!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y11pWnDU2LI

I don't know how to make the link all blue so you just click it, so you'll have to cut and paste...sorry! :)

Grease pics are forthcoming...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

Today is my 14th wedding anniversary. It's been a great day. I went to lunch with Rob. We got Primantis and ate them at Mellon Square on a georgeous 70 degree day.

I can assure it was not 70 degrees or sunny on the day we got married. In fact, we were in the middle of a large snow storm. We went to Disneyworld for our honeymoon. That wasn't so great either. From walking (yes, walking) to MGM from our hotel to almost crashing and burning on the plane trip home to getting so sunburnt in the two hours of sun we actually had that I could not even stand to have anything touch me to watching NCAA basketball...it wasn't what I had dreamed.

A week later we moved to Pittsburgh. Neither one of us had a job. We had a few bucks from the wedding and we were young and adventerous, so why not? In our first apartment we had a TV, a card table and a second hand waterbed. We'd spend mornings sending out resumes and evenings playing rummy. I got so that I hated rummy. I still, to this day, have no desire whatsoever to play rummy. After a month, Rob found a job. I think we bought a couch to celebrate.

All of this to say, it really wasn't the greatest start to a marriage. But, I know people who had dream honeymoons and moved into their first homes fully furnished...and are now divorced. I love the life Rob and I have built together. I love our kids. I love our home. I love our past. I'm excited about our future. I love that we can spend $12.50 on an anniversary lunch eating downtown and it's one of the best dates ever. I love that he can predict most of the time, what I am going to do and say. And, I love that I can do the same with him. I even love that sometimes those things he does and says are a little annoying. (Like, why does he still have notebooks from computer classes in college in his closet?) I love that we started with nothing. I love that we have fought through some hard times and have come out the other side. I love that we are still together and with the help of God, we always will be.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The (dreaded) PSSAs

Now that my kisd are in third grade, they have officially entered the part of their schooliong lives where they get to take part in official standardized testing. My kids are pretty nervous, which is silly, considering their amazing brillance. But, I suppose it would be hard not to be. The school seems to keep saying over and over again, "Don't be nervous about this thing that we are making a super-huge deal about." And, for the school I suppose it is.

See, I am not one of those people who hates the No Child Left Behind legislation. I really think, in theory, it's very good. Yes, the school district should be teaching my children. And, yes, if they are not, I should be able to send my children elsewhere. I like that children who are in special education have to also be included in the testing results. I really do think no child should be left behind. And, I think the thing that I like the most about it is that teachers hate it. I always think accountability is a great thing, unless I am the one being held accountable.

In practice, though, is a somewhat different story, I feel. It's put wayyyyy too much emphasis on testing. Even my little 1st grader had to take some standardized tests this year, just to give him practice. After all, I can't imagine one of my kids sitting before a college entrance person telling them how wonderful they did on their 3rd grade PSSAs or their 1st grade Terra Novas. It is far more important for the school than it is for my child.

Which is why it is upsetting that my children are getting worked up over something that doesn't even really affect them. The school is doing lots things to make it seem like it's fun to take a teast, but it's sort of like this: suppose there was an elephant in my living room and I told my kids, "Don't be nervous about the elephant, in fact, don't even bother yourselves about it. It's a fine elephant and you don't need to worry about it at all." But, then, I did a cheer about the elephant, sang songs about the elephant and everyday I had them dress up the elephant and then just before the elephant was about to leave, I threw a big party for the elephant. It would be pretty hard not to concern oneself with that elephant.

It seems like maybe it would just be easier if we just gave the kids a stinking test with a simple sentence, "You'll be taking some tests next week." I don't know. Call me crazy. One thing I do know is this: the "good night's sleep" that I'm supposed to make sure my kids get next week is not bloody likely to happen given the pressure they seem to be feeling.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Saga of the Stomachache

So, for some time now, Ryan has had a stomachache. Not anything too major. He's still been able to jump around and express all of that "special energy" he has. But, when he is turning down ice cream, I know something is really up. So, of course, my first thought is: "He's upset about the baby." Why not, he's been the baby for so long, of course he might be having some issues with not being the baby anymore. Since I am Super-Mom, I am certain I can cure this without much problem. A day off school to spend time together, some extra snuggle time, maybe a special lunch here and there, along with reminding him that he will always be my baby BOY should've done the trick. It hasn't. Then enteres my second thought: stomach cancer. Because afterall, if it's not bad mothering that's messing him up, it has to be cancer...am I right? I looked up stomach cancer on the internet and given the fact that he is not over the age of 60 nor had a prolonged history of stomach problems I think he's probably OK. My third thought, after days of tracking at and looking at his poop (isn't motherhood glamorous) is that he is having some trouble with constipation. A little more fiber, a little more water and he's good as new. I should probably have it checked by a doctor, but what could they possibly tell me that I wouldn't already know ;-)

BTW, haven't heard anything about the house. I am guessing there are some sort of further shenanigans with the government and stuff. I think Tom Petty sang a song about the waiting is the hardest part. True dat, dawg!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Agents, and buyers, and loans...oh my!

So, here's what we've been up to: trying to buy a house. I know this information is probably upsetting to the Michigan folks who were hoping our next home purchase might be in that state. However, let me tell you about this house. It's next to one of Trisha's good friend's homes, so we knew back in October or so of 1995 that there was a druggie living there who had been arrested and that the house had been seized. Great! So, we looked into how we might purchase the house on Sheriff's sale. Of course, we found out that to buy a house a Sheriff's sale, you have to come up with the entire amount of the sale within a week of the auction. I'm sorry to say we were a few dollars shy of the needed $290,000. So, we thought it was our tough luck and someone else would get the house. Fortunately, however, no one bought it at the Sheriff's sale in April, 2006. Since then, apparently, the federal government and the bank have been haggling over who gets to sell it. Monday it went on the market. When we went in to see the house, there were three other people there at the same time. When we put our offer in at 10:30 this morning, our was the 15th offer. To be competitive, we overbid and we dropped the contigency of having to sell our current house first. Even still, I think it's a long shot that we will get this house. Which is a bummer. It's a huge house with a den that could be a bedroom for Jaden and a large first floor laundry which could easily be converted into a bathroom for Jaden. The kids would get to go to the same elementary school. It has a flat driveway. It's really perfect and I'm hoping and praying for some sort of strange miracle. (Like all bids over ours just happen to get misplaced or something). I think we should know something tomorrow or Thursday. If it's God's will... I also have to plug Beth Mastro here. She's a totally kick-butt agent and I highly recommend!

In the meantime, we have been busiing ourselves by trying to get our house ready to sell. Allow me to just say that it is amazing how much junk a family of 6 can collect. IN fact, it was so much we decided to have a junk person come and haul it away. You know the kind with the ad that says something like:"Will haul anything away but your mother-in-law". SO, Rob spent the day gathering all of the trash and putting it on the bottom of the driveway. I can only imagine what our neighbor must have been thinking. When the guy whose job it is is to deal with trash gets here, he says, without provocation might I add, "I've seen worse." I almost doubt that. Glad to have it all gone, though...whether we move or not.