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! 😉
Traveling with 4 kids is no easy feat. We checked in fine, and it was nice to unload the giant bags and only have our four rolling carry-on bags, backpacks, stroller, car seats, and children to deal with. My biggest fears for this trip were security, and boarding. The actual flight and getting everybody off the plane and into the car was a concern, but I feel like checking bags and clearing security is such a hurdle, but once that’s behind us I can breathe a bit.
Going through security, at one point Tiffany was showing her ID behind me and a TSA agent asked me with great concern if I was alone with the kids because that’s what it looked like at the moment. She was very relieved for me when I told her that I did indeed have help. The kids were not required to take off their shoes through security-SCORE! I was able to quickly collapse the stroller and place it on the belt, the girls were very good listeners and they put their own bags on the belt, then held the babies hands for us on the side while we finished loading the belt with bags, car seat, shoes, etc. Nobody wanted to line up behind us, of course, but I must say, we were very efficient! We got through as quickly as possible, with no hang ups, and the security personnel were extremely cheerful and helpful, and the other passengers were very kind and friendly. Once we were through, we even got a big round of applause! It was awesome.
Once we got settled at the gate, I took the girls and Atticus with me to get some Starbucks. The line was a good 20 minutes long, but we made it through with coffee for me, and some juice, yogurt, donuts, and muffins, as requested by the girls… so I thought. Apparently Aurora wanted a chocolate muffin, but i got her a banana nut muffin and I couldn’t hear her because it was so loud but she didn’t make it really known until we were done with our transaction and walking out of Starbucks. Aurora is our middle child, and while she is a bright, wonderful, sweet, loving, happy child most of the time, she has a dark side that reared its ugly head once the twins were born and she had to compete for the attention that she once had in abundance… for which i have a lot of guilt mixed with frustration. So, sometimes when she doesn’t get her way, she has a complete “possessed-by-Satan” meltdown that nothing can stop once it’s started. Nothing.
So there I was, halfway out of Starbucks, baby strapped to me, Ariel by my side, hands full of coffee and baked goods, and Aurora begins to scream “I HATE BANANA MUFFINS!!! I WANT A CHOCOLATE MUFFIN!!!!!” Shit. I was essentially trapped because my hands were full. Tiffany was at our seats in the terminal with Bea and couldn’t hear us, everybody’s staring at the lady with all the kids and Starbucks coffee and bags, Aurora is crying, and screaming “NO! I WANT A CHOCOLATE MUFFIN NOW!!” across the terminal. I asked Ariel to hold the bags of food while I tried grabbing Aurora’s arm and coaxing her out of Starbucks but she wasn’t having it. It looked really bad. I could feel everybody’s eyes burning into me. I finally had no choice but to leave Aurora, run over to our seats and toss all the crap down next to Tiffany, leave Ariel with her with no time to remove Atticus from the Ergo because Aurora was now alone, screaming her tushie off in front of Starbucks, and I’m sure people were concerned and security wasn’t far from intervening. All I could think about was the family who was kicked off of a Jet Blue flight just the week before because their 2 year old was having a tantrum. I had been mostly worried about the twins, but they were being perfect, even Atticus who was strapped to me as I raced across the terminal! He happily bounced along with me, a little confused, but just enjoying the ride. I finally got back to Aurora and picked her screaming little body up, and carried her into a bathroom stall. She was still screaming about the chocolate muffin, and at this point, I definitely couldn’t give in because I would be rewarding her naughty behavior. So… I lied and told her that She could no longer go to New York, and that I was calling grandma to come pick her up. I felt kind of bad about it even as I was saying it- even now I still do a little, but I was desperate… and at first it didn’t even work, and then I got worried because I really believe in following through with threats so they know I mean business, but then again, it never even really works with Aurora, no matter how good my track record is with following through. It took about 10 minutes of fake calls to grandma to get her to stop crying, and once she was calmed down, we entered the terminal, and joined the rest of our group.