I lost myself somewhere along the way, these past 12 years. I know it sounds so cliché to say such a thing but it’s true. I mean, my kids are my everything and I am theirs. That’s how it should be though, right? Maternal instinct is a real thing, yo! I’ve been the stay-at-home-mom driving the minivan, covered in spit-up, poop, or breastmilk for so long that I’m having a hard time identifying what my role in this world is now. I don’t really know who I am anymore…
Okay, maybe I sound a little dramatic (cue sad music)..
My husband travels a lot. He’s gone for weeks or months at a time and I’ll admit I get a little woe is me over that. But, hello! He gets a first-class-traveling-break and I’m here wrangling kids by myself day after day.
So, recently while drinking margaritas with my family my brother exclaimed “Lisa! You need a break! You should go visit Aunt Kathy in Hawaii!” and I was like “Yeah! you’re right, I totally do and I totally should!” and we were all “yeah!” and that was the very well thought out way that this trip was planned.
Monte was totally supportive! He said that I deserved a trip away, and that he would have everything under control and before you knew it I was on my way to Hawaii. I have a cousin who is a flight attendant and she was nice enough to give me a Buddy Pass to fly (so I could scratch off the guilt over the cost of a plane ticket off my list) and I was staying with family on the island so that wasn’t going to be an issue either. Boom!
I just got back from my trip a few days ago. I had the best time in the world, but… um… I was totally missing my kids while I was there. I expected to miss them, of course, but… like… my heart was aching for those little rascals. I wanted them there with me and said as much to Monte via text, so then he would FaceTime me and I would see them and it was all “awwww I miss you so much!” and then they would start whining and fighting and then I was like “nah, I’m good.”
My aunt and uncle were the best hosts and made this trip the most perfect experience. They took me to beautiful dinners in Waikiki, my aunt took me around to explore the island, I hiked, shopped- it was glorious.
However, I had never flown standby before, so that was a whole new experience for me. Flying there was basically a tease because the plane was so empty that I had a whole aisle to myself. But getting back? Um… I was almost stuck in Hawaii. Which sounds awesome if you’re not at the airport, but, like… I could not get on a plane to LA. I got to the airport at 5am hoping to get on the 7am and I did not. I did not get on the 11:50am plane, the 2:52 pm plane nor did I get on the 8:45pm plane.
By noon I was ready to throw in the towel and head back to my aunt’s house, but I was informed by a flight attendant that a Seattle flight got delayed and a ton of seats opened up so I had a good chance of getting on it and then flying to LA from there! It was at 5pm, but I didn’t care. I would wait another 5 hours to get to the Mainland because I was terrified I would be stuck there for another week. It honestly would have been a very pleasant stay because, like I said, I have the most amazing auntie and uncle who had taken me in and they were willing to put up with me for however long it took to get me back to LA, but I didn’t want to over stay my welcome with them, and I really missed my babies. I suddenly felt like Kevin Mcallister’s mom in Home alone when she’s trying to get home from France and she can’t get a flight because it’s Christmas and all she wants to do is be with her son. Legit panic.
Somewhere between 5am and noon I threw out my neck, and then my slightly stuffy nose managed to turn into a raging head cold and lung infection. I was quite a sight to see with my crooked neck and red nose, I was hacking up pieces of lung and I’m sure nobody wanted to sit next to me for the 6 hour trek to Seattle, but twelve hours after arriving at the Honolulu airport, I was on an airplane to the mainland and nothing was going to stop me! So many seats had opened up on this delayed flight, that I didn’t have to subject anybody directly next to me to my coughing fits because the seat was empty, so that worked out nicely.
I can’t sleep on planes. I don’t understand how people can sleep on planes unless you are in first class and your seats lay way back. I cannot sleep sitting up. My husband can, and I’ll never understand it. Ever. I was really tired by the time I arrived in Seattle which was just before 2am. I even tried sleeping on the floor of the quiet airport terminal right outside my gate. Or what I hoped would be my gate, I wouldn’t know until 7am when the plane would already be loaded. Sleeping on the floor did not work out. I can’t sleep in weird places, I was worried about my computer which was in my carryon bag next to me, and honestly the floor of the airport should be reason enough! I had six hours to go, and Starbucks wouldn’t open for another two hours.
Long story long, I got on the flight by the hair of my chinny chin chin. It was a freaking miracle. I have never been so happy to see my husband and children. Overall, I grew a greater appreciation for what Monte goes through when he travels away from his family. I can’t imagine being away from the kids for months at a time when I could hardly handle a week.
Monte did a great job keeping the house together, I was pleasantly surprised at the laundry and dishes being done, homework was turned in, playdates had been coordinated, after school activities were not missed (grandma was a big help there), so it was a great success!
We as parents do need a recharge every now and then, I find that I have much more patience for the kids since I’ve been back. I look forward to quality time with them like never before, and they seem to have gained some healthy independence in my absence.
Now I can’t wait to plan the next trip with the kids! I’m thinking ROADTRIP!
When the kids were little, I felt like I never got a moment of peace. I was nursing, cleaning, doing laundry, making food, entertaining them, reading books. It. was. non. stop.
But now I’m looking back at photos and I see that my house was on point! I was letting my creative juices flow in between the cleaning and the breastfeeding, and it gave me life! I was painting my walls, refinishing furniture, or planting flowers and foliage in my beautiful garden. I busted out the power sander and made that Venetian Plaster I applied in the dining room shine like a mirror. Painted the kids room with a fairytale castle, forest and clouds covered the walls. I even covered the guest room/office completely in harlequin diamonds!
I painted with a baby strapped to my chest in an Ergo, gardened while the twins rolled around on a blanket on the grass, and I knew all about annuals and perennials. I was always covered in paint, and looking back in pics and videos I can see that my house was pretty damn organized, and my garden was completely fabulous.
I even mowed my own damn lawn, m’kay, people?
Is it possible that ADD can get worse with age?
I feel like all I do once they’re dropped off is put on my workout clothes (in case I get the urge to exercise (highly unlikely)), clean the house, do laundry, maybe edit some pics, run to the grocery store, and then suddenly it’s time to pick up the kids (from two different schools, mind you). I race the clock from one pick-up to the next and then after school activities, homework, dinner, bath time and then it’s time to collapse into bed and catch up on mindless TV.
This blog has not been updated in almost 4 years because I’ve been so busy. The irony of being too busy to write about my busy life does not escape me.
I will say that I personally seem to be a bit more pulled together than I was back then. I get a shower every day, so that’s a big step up… so there’s that.
At this point in my life; 4 kids and 8 years in, I’m no stranger to gross. There’s a stomach bug making it’s way through the girls’ school right now and Aurora had it a few days ago, but it only lasted 24 hours so no big deal, right? She woke up in the morning and said her tummy hurt, then she barfed all over her bed (yeah, it was really gross) So, we obviously kept her home from school and (after changing her sheets) she laid in bed all day watching cartoons. I expected this to make it’s way through the rest of the kids at some point, but I was hoping it would be with the ease of Aurora’s case. Barf a few times in the morning after we’re all already awake, then spend the day cuddled up with stuffed animals in bed while watching Dog With A Blog.
So, as my nights often go, we start out with no kids in our bed and at some point in the night the twins almost always make their way into our room either to pee in our bed, or as in last night’s case, to barf all over our bed. Oh, yes, this is the life! Last night, it started with Atticus. He went from deep, peaceful sleep to a suddenly gagging barf-sprinkler. I rushed him to the bathroom to hold his head over the toilet when I noticed a horrible, foul, FOUL smell- cat shit! So there I am, helping Atticus balance his head over the toilet without falling completely in and I notice a pile of steaming fresh cat shit sitting on the bathroom rug. Then it dawns on me! I had scraped out and hosed out the cats’ litter box earlier, then left it outside to dry in the sun and I had forgotten to bring it back into the house. AWESOME! So here I was at 1am; sick toddler, cat shit, trail-o-barf through the hall… where to start?
I get Atticus back into bed, then Bea starts saying that she needs to throw up. Bea is really dramatic. REALLY dramatic, and often pretends to be hurt or sick so she gets attention. If somebody hits their head, suddenly she “hit” her head. If somebody’s toe hurts, suddenly her toe “hurts”. If I call her bluff, she can even shed convincing tears and cry “but, I looove yooou!” and make me feel extreme guilt. I didn’t know if she was lying last night, but I took her word for it (because who wants to take a chance with that??) and pulled her into the cat-shit bathroom, I then watched as she lightly coughed over the toilet and said “all done” then bounced back to the bed. I took a minute to pick up the bathroom rug and toss it out the back door into the rain (I get to deal with that today) then I wiped up the trail-o-barf, and got back into bed right when Atticus was ready to say hello to the toilet again. So, back we went. Then (surprise!) Bea joined us again with her little princess cough, and the three of us shuffled back into bed. Then, believe it or not, Bea said she had to throw up, and I reluctantly brought her back into the bathroom because, like I said, who wants to chance that?? And whadaya know? She barfed! So we spent the rest of the night and into the morning doing this dance. We’ve only got one kid left for it to hit, so I’m hoping the worst of it is in the day because I don’t know if I can handle another sleepless night- It felt like I was revisiting the newborn days- SUPER FUN! Not.
Now, off to hose cat shit off a rug!
A few weeks ago at about 8pm, Beatrix suddenly got hit with a high fever. I’m not sure how high it was actually because our thermometers are always missing or broken, thanks to the twins’ charming ability to hide/lose/destroy any and all useful objects in the home, but she was very hot. Not long after the fever began, she started breathing rapidly, got lethargic, shakey, vomited, and complained of a headache. That’s what got me; when she started saying “Mommy, my head hurts” over and over, I knew I couldn’t brush that off. So… at about midnight on a Sunday, I took her to the ER. We got in right away, and while we were checking in with the nurse, I realized her fever was totally gone, and I started wondering if she maybe wasn’t as sick as she’d seemed an hour earlier. I was happy, of course, that she seemed better, but there was a small part of me that wanted her to show some symptoms, damn it! Not in a Munchausen sort of way, but I knew that she had been sick an hour earlier, and that she would probably be sick again an hour after we got home- so, show the Dr.’s while we’re here so they can do their job, kid!
The nurse took her temperature and it was a very normal 98.7. REALLY?? I started to get mad at myself. Did I over react? After all, this has happened before with her older siblings when they were babies, and I told myself back then that I wouldn’t jump to conclusions with another sick kid again. I had taken Aurora to the ER as a baby when she seemed to be having trouble breathing during a bad cold, and when we got to the hospital, she too, was “FINE”. Alert and smiley, only a slight fever, and clear lungs. I know it’s better to be safe than sorry, but frankly, I feel bad for wasting the Dr.’s and nurses time, for looking like a loon, AND for costing us over $800 for a dose of tylenol and a nebulizer treatment. So, when Bea threw up some neon green bile in front of the nurse, I couldn’t help but be excited! See? She’s really sick! Then, yes, I realized how insane that was, and continued on with being the awesome mom who wants her kid to be healthy. Which I do, but, like I said; a little green bile barfing doesn’t hurt when I don’t want the Dr’s to think I’m a nutty, overreacting mom. They gave her a popsicle and she was suddenly, totally fine- and even insisted on walking down the hall herself to get her X-rays, all the while clutching said popsicle. Her lungs were mostly clear, and before long, we were sent on our way. Bea with a big, blue popsicle smile on her face. Well played, Bea, well played. I hope you enjoyed your $800 popsicle.
I just realized that it’s been almost a year since I wrote my last blog entry. A lot has happened since then, and I often thought “Hmm… I should blog about this!”, but life has a way of keeping you so busy with life, that you can’t find the time to do the little things. Such as blogging about life.
Since my last entry, I’ve lived in New York for 2 months while Monte was there rehearsing for the Madonna tour. I brought the 4 rambunctious kids where there were plenty of adventures to be had… you would think that it would have been a great time and place to blog, eh? But, no. No, I did not blog in NYC about my daily adventures with 4 kids. Trying to squeeze 6 people into a cab, carrying a stroller up and down subway steps, our visit to the Statue of Liberty or Ground Zero, the incredible amount of walking we did because most cabs would avoid us like the plague. Good times.
I weaned the twins from breastfeeding in June, they were 25 months old. It was bittersweet because I know they are our last kids (um… ya think?), and as much as I was completely over nursing (I had officially been nursing for SEVEN years straight), it’s also such a sweet, loving bond, and I know I’ll never have that experience again *sniff sniff*. Oh, who am I kidding?? I am going to throw a party every year to celebrate the fact that I am DONE breastfeeding!
Then, this summer, we went to Yosemite and of course Monte was on tour all year, so I took the kids and went with my family without him. My parents and my sister, her husband and their 4 kids were there, so there were plenty of people to help and entertain. We’re trying to make it a tradition every year, so this year we’ve already got our reservations. Looking forward to the trip, the kids love it there, and so do Monte and I!
Monte was gone from January to December (with a handful of 2-3 day visits in between). I visited him in Nice, France for a week when they were there in September, and that was a really nice getaway for us together. He then came to play the Los angeles shows in October, and we had a weekend away together in Vegas right after that. I moved us in November to a house closer to my parents because I couldn’t stand being so far away from all that family help (20-30 min), so I hired some movers and away we went. Now we live on the same street as my parents, it’s awesome! I’m not sure my mom thinks it’s as awesome as I do, but tough cookies, grandma! I’ve got ya now! Muahahahaha!
Monte got off tour December 23rd, and we decided to get the kids a puppy for Christmas because we lost our precious Duke in October, they were heartbroken, and we were ready for a new doggie. It was awesome to watch them open the box on Christmas morning and there was an adorable puppy inside! She’s been a good dog so far, and is as cute as a button. Since then, Monte has only left to record his new album in Denmark for 2 weeks, and somehow I survived with the kids. It’s amazing how much harder it is to have him leave after he’d been home for a stint. I get so used to having him home!
I’m going to try to get better about blogging again. Wish me luck! 😉