Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

J, A, B

All week I've been wondering where my Halloween spirit is. I love decorating and last year looked forward to dressing up the kids like crazy. This year? I barely stuck some pumpkins on the front step. As Daddy struggled to get J in to his Giraffe costume (which every other day of the week J asks to be put into but on this night is was like dressing him in live stinging bees) I thought, why are we doing this? It's really for the grown ups. Not the kids at this age. So why do we do this?

Well I'm glad we did. Our neighborhood was in great form. We finally have people participating in the holidays and the street was full of friends and friendly faces. The kids did great and I had fun. And I'm the most important one, right? I guess I had a happy Halloween after all.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This is how they kill you

Inch by inch, night by night, they kill you.

First, B gets sick and spends an hour screaming even with Motrin in his system and everything you can think of to do does nothing. Three days later as your throat is progressively getting more scratchy yourself A has her night before her first day of being sick. I don't know why her night before is worse than her nights during, but there it is. Every hour or two she wakes up moaning and crying like she's lost her puppy. The first few times you check on her, she's satisfied with a pat and a tuck in. Perhaps you give her some Motrin because it's pretty predictable that her throat hurts like yours does. By 3 am you give up and lay in bed listening to your daughter moan and sob and whimper and cry. Every hour.

Then you have to wake up and make it through a day full of appointments and errands and at nap time you are too congested and sore throated to nap yourself. But you make it through that day.

Then it's J's turn that night. By mid afternoon he's pulling on his already previously infected ear that should be mostly healed by now. The doctor tells you it's likely he got a second infection due to the cold and needs to come in tomorrow because it's going to be resistant to the current course of antibiotics. So you head to bed and starting at 11, he's up every hour hollering and crying. Oh yes, they all cry differently. Different heartstrings to pull at you know. Different types of misery.

Every hour, maybe hour and a half he's up yelling and whimpering. You know that trying to give him Motrin at night is like trying to medicate a greased weasel so you whip out the ear numbing drops the dr gave you last week and squeeze some in to both ears. For an hour and half you think you've solved the problem. Until he's crying again. At the 2 hour mark you can give him more drops. Doesn't work.

At 6 am you know you're dead. Today you have a dentist appointment, music class, no afternoon help, crazy mom coming over to visit and you have to find a way to get J to the doctor to check his ear and then likely get to the pharmacy to get meds for him too.

This is how they kill you. Because you haven't yet recovered from the three colds they had a week and a half ago. And before that there was only a day between the cold they had before that one. And you can only pray they don't catch a 4th cold right after this one because you might just hunt yourself down something so bad for pregnant women to catch that you end up in the hospital for a few days of someone taking care of you. Anyone got some swine flu?

Monday, October 26, 2009

A night of learning and trampolines

I did it. I survived a night in a hotel with triplets with only minor injuries, and those were created by trying to plug my ears too vigerously. (why won't it accept that word? Is it not one?)

Yes, I am a proud single momma today. While the husband is away for a full week, I'm a single mom. Meanwhile, Great Grandpa and Great Aunt on the in-laws side were visiting in Petaluma where the in-laws live. Instead of driving up there two days in a row, a royal pain in the arse, I decided to spend the night at a hotel nearby. This would do two things, perhaps more, 1. keep me from having to drag them all the way home and up and down stairs at home two days in a row and 2. show me it can be done and if things don't go perfectly the world wouldn't end.

See I've been training myself about letting things go. For 20 months I've been scheduling these kids to within an inch of their lives. It was critical, or so it seemed, that everything go as planned or else I pick up the pieces the next day. When they were little and they missed a nap, it did seem like the world might end. Can you imagine three overtired infants? Not good. But these days? Three overtired toddlers are a pain the butt but it's survivable isn't it?

So the plan was to get over it if they didn't sleep well, or on time, or at all. Sure I was risking my amount of sleep too but I'm a big girl now. I can deal with that. Or else I'd better learn how, as an infant is on the way and probably determined to keep me sleepless for at least a couple of months. I got a suite at a local hotel so I could close the door on them and read in my bed after I put them down. Everything went ok with the exception of the triplets finding the pack n plays to be sorta like trampolines. Methinks we need a different sleeping option for future trips?

I was pleased to find that J and A fell asleep by 8, I had given myself a sanity deadline of 9 since they are never up that late. Sadly, that was not the end of the story. Apparently B got lonely? Scared? Insane? And cried for an hour from 8 to 9. I tried the sweet approach, after all, he had a cold starting and I gave him motrin in case his throat was scratchy. Although the way he was screeching would be more to blame if that was his problem. No dice. As soon as I left the room he was back at it. And it wasn't just crying. It was insane screaming, tantrum quality yelling, banging, rolling around and throwing himself from side to side with varying volumes, pitches and qualities of screeching/screaming.

It was impressive. Had there not been other children in the room, not to mention other guests in the hotel.

After the soft touch I tried the mean mommy approach. "You stop crying right now mister!" No workee. That boy? Thought he could get me to stand by his crib until he fell asleep. You think I was up for that? Yeah, no. So then I gave up. That boy screeched himself to sleep. Nothing worse than laying in bed trying not to listen to your kid scream. Sure doesn't work. Can make a person crazy I think. And B sure is good at it.

Not a talent I'm going to appreciate during his lifetime. Unless it gets him out of some kidnapper's grasp. Not to think about such things, but it's the only way I can think it might pay off.

Anyway, other than that weird tantrum business, we did ok. I feel like a successful single mom! I'm not saying I didn't have help, but I did 48 hours straight with the kids and survived. Yay me! The kids were a little off the day after, but overall, it was ok! Yes, the kids can miss some sleep, stay in a strange place, change up their routine, and they will do ok. In fact they had the best night's sleep ever the night after. I love it when they sleep well! Obviously.

Momma slept well too. Funny how not having a snoring, bed hogging, elbow possessing partner in bed with you augments the lack of toddler wake ups to give me a brilliant night's sleep. Today I felt rested! Woo hoo! Would that tonight could be so peaceful. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 23, 2009


My baby's famous! At least famous-er than he was on my sad little ill-read blog. Go read Dumb Mom's hilarious post but don't miss the picture at the bottom! It'll look familiar!

Does this get me out of blogging for today? Good, cuz I'm off to get a long awaited massage from the one dude on the planet who knows how to dig his elbows into my arse just right so that I can actually sleep on the left side for a few nights. Who knew that the hip pain from ONE baby growing in my belly would far surpass that I had with three? My hips and ass have gotten so tight you probably can imagine the size of the stick up there just watching me walk down the street. I can't hide it any more people! I'm a tight ass!

More later!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Peppery passion

Question of the day, or rather writers prompt provided by Mama Kat over at Mama's Losin it:

Describe what makes you want to live life with a passion.

Well duh. The kids. I am a lazy bag of poop. I loooove sitting every night watching tv and reading email and newspaper and doing puzzles. I will work my mind out until I drop from exhaustion, but my body? Lazy. Couch potato. No motivation. Not an ounce of inspiration.

No passion. I used to have a job filled with passion. Animal rescue. Not much more inspiring than helpless, neglected or in pain animals. The passion came from either releasing rehabilitated wild animals back into the wild or adopting cats into loving homes. I loved what I did and loved being so busy I couldn't sit down. So then I came home and would crash every evening. Not a huge deal because I was young and had a metabolism at the time and I was so active all day.

Then I got wrapped up trying to get pregnant. The depression and the treatment itself got me sitting all day on the sofa watching tv and eating. My passion I felt was being denied to me because all I wanted to do was be a mother. I knew it was my new 'calling' in life. So my passion was all sucked up trying to get those babies.

And here I am. A house full of 'em. A house full of reasons to find passion for me and for them. I want to be the mom who shows them how full of joy life can be. I want to be the mom who shows them how to have fun riding bikes and running through the woods instead of sitting in front of the tv. I want to be the mom who raises healthy, vibrant, energetic, children full of life.

That is my passion and they are my passion.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mother of all....

In case you haven't had enough stories about the crazy crap that comes out of my mom's mouth, here's more! I'm actually wondering what's going on here, because she has clearly not given me anything to write about in months and suddenly she's an every day topic. Makes you wonder if she's winding up for the next round of 'How Crazy Can She Be?" starring herself.

So, very typically, B was throwing himself around today any time he didn't get what he wanted or his way or possibly, every time he just plain felt like it. Mom says "It bothers me when he does that." I said, well, welcome to toddlerhood mom. She replies "he shouldn't" do it. Good lord, here's that list of rules she has in her head. I have to wonder how she dealt with me as I am quite certain I was as independent and headstrong as any of my children when I was 20 months old. How else would she like my children to express their displeasure? "Oh mother, I dare say that upsets me a tad."???

Thank god she never had a pet of her own to care for. She can not do high maintenance. I suppose it's probably unsurprising that a high maintenance woman can't deal with high maintenance toddlers but it's the shocking lack of clue that has me reeling. But then it got darker.

A hands her a book and then walks away, right? Mom says "she does that deliberately." I clarified did she mean act like she wanted mom to read to her and then walk away? She said yes so I said "it's not personal mom." "Yes it is."

Oh, so my toddler child is out to get you now is it?

No mom, it's not personal. Just like the hundreds of times A has acted like she's about to give you a cracker and then pops it in her mouth. What would she have against you? I mean I haven't sat there and given her a hundred reasons like I could have, but she's a baby lady! How evil can she be?

So I am getting a few really good clues as to my own toddler years. It's pretty clear that around the age of 18 months I started disappointing her, turning against her and behaving inappropriately according to her book of rules. Doesn't really speak well for my happiness during this period. May explain my utter stubborn independence that borders on stupidity when I refuse to ask for help but am 7 months pregnant with triplets. Or foreseeably 9 months pregnant with one kid and do the same. A likely possibility.  Because if I learned at the age of 20 months that the one person who was supposed to love me unconditionally had that many problems with me? And if she thought I turned against her and developed feelings in return? Well that would explain a lot. Because she never thought I loved her enough as long as I can remember. And it's pretty clear that it doesn't take her much to come to that conclusion.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mama Mia

My mother, queen of the 'grass-is-greener' mentality, is moving again. Yes, the third time in a year. Now she's certain she's found the perfect place to live: Rhoda Goldman Plaza. Well as perfect as assisted living can be. I'm certain that no matter where she is, misery will follow. Both of us.

The major difference between where she is now and where she wants to go is religious. One is run by Catholics and one by Jews. Admittedly, my mom's dad was Jewish but when the directors indicated that perhaps mom would enjoy that Friday Seder would be performed every week I laughed. My mom has not been Jewish a day in her life. Not only did we celebrate Christmas every year of my life, but my mom denies she even believes in God. My response has always been that it's pretty hard to be as angry at God as she is if there is no God. Who is she actually angry with? I think she's spiritual but she lived with my adamantly atheist father for so long that she lost her own feelings on the matter. Sure, she's suffered a lot, but she still has some spiritual underpinnings. How else do you survive?

So, my feeling is that what she really means is that there are more Europeans or Russians there. She has the fantasy that this means she'll make friends. Naturally, little miss snarky within me says "there were plenty of Europeans and Russians in Washington DC and she didn't make friends there."

Can you blame me?

The back story makes my bitterness make more sense. A year ago my dad settled on Rhoda Goldman as the perfect place to send my mom, perhaps even before he died just to get her out of his hair. Then he up and died quicker than you could turn around and we were stuck finishing up the process of applying for her. We were all in and then BAM! Mom decided to try to end her life. She popped a bunch of pills and lay down to die and ended up in the psych ward. Well, naturally, when Rhoda Goldman got wind of this, by hearing from mom's psychiatrist, they politely declined to house her. So, who had to pick up the pieces and find her another place to live? Oh yes me. And when that first place turned out to not be ideal for mom? I found her a better place. And moved her. And did everything necessary to settle her in and make her happy.

So here we are, almost a year after the first application, 7 months after the 2nd time I moved mom, and I'm back in hell. Filling out applications, emailing, phoning, faxing stuff everywhere. Mom's fantasy must be entertained. She is absolutely positive that she will be happier in this place. She will suddenly make friends and have fun and have things to do and 'fit in.' I can promise you that my mom never fits in anywhere. She is an anomaly. Not necessarily a fault of her own, she grew up in an orphanage. She is prone to fantasies of how life should be and rarely does anyone live up. Rarely does anything in life measure up to the fantasies of a lonely orphan.

Will she be happy? Will she move 800 more times just to kill me? Will we make it through a holiday season without her crashing? And, since she has gotten sick enough to die both times she moved before, will she get sick again?

And why, when she has handed the entire application process to me to handle, did she turn in her 30 days notice to her current living abode when I EXPRESSLY TOLD HER NOT TO? For goodness' sake woman are you trying to give me fits? I have told her three times that she is not officially accepted and does not have a guaranteed place to live at RG until the application is completed. Last year we got kicked out on the basis of the doctor's note so we do not burn our bridge at our current place until we are in officially. But does she listen? No.

Stubborn much? Thank goodness the people at her current place called me to see what was up. It's not like mom's not competent but she is just so irritatingly sure she knows what's what that she keeps screwing things up with her independence. It took me 4 months to fix the mess she made of her prescription coverage when she took it upon herself to deal with a denial of coverage by herself. Do I not have a personal assistant covering her paperwork? And she has to ask someone where she lives to help her type up a letter so she can print it off and turn it in. While I'm paying (well really, she's paying) someone $40 an hour to pay her bills and keep her papers in order.

Every time I think I've got everything, and particularly her, under control I find out differently like a smack to the forehead. Why don't I get it by now? She is going to find ways to piss me off no matter how hard I run, how fast I try to move, how many bases I try to cover. It is just a fact.

So, here we are again. She will likely be accepted. I will get her moved. And the circus goes on.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Slacker Sunday photo

It's beginning to look a lot like Halloween!

I'm also entering this photo in a contest over on Parenting by Dummies so check it out!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Books again.

Ah books. Such perverters of good intentions. Back in the old days I could stay up late reading a good book and compensate by sleeping in or taking a nap. Not so much these days. I've lost the right to sleep in and apparently lost my napping mojo. I lay down and the brain kicks in. As does the fetus in my belly.

And with the triplets coming off of back to back colds, we are not getting great nights. At least 3 wake ups every night. I'd ignore it but we also just had two nights in a row of double diaper failures so one feels somewhat obligated to run in, feel up waists and legs for wetness and then run out at the very least. I can't expect them to sleep in wet pjs right? But extinguishing night wake ups begins again, or began again last night with B. After the requisite wet check he was roundly ignored by the mommy in her bed when he continued to screech for another 20 to 30 min. Off and on mind you, the most annoying sort, since you get all drowsy and then "wah!" and then you get all drowsy and "wah!"

But such is the nature of the beast. Or beasts, as there are three. But back to the book. It is so imperative that I not buy books people! Every time I have one in my possession and dare to read it I exhaust myself and ignore my responsibilities while I finish it. Bad plan mommy. But reading just feels so nice. And NORMAL. Kind of like sleeping.

Right now I'm reading a book about mormon polygamy (The 19th Wife) which is actually pretty good and may actually make me feel better about my situation, mightn't it? Although having another wife or two around to share childcare and house chores....

And the hubby would sure get more attention.

Eh, what can I do but sit around this last morning of the week where I get some free time and enjoy my book. It's grey and cold outside (great SF weather this week! Monsoon, fog, rain, cold, grey.) so I might as well enjoy hanging out in bed for an hour reading.

Thus this un-entertaining post. But honestly? My absences have lost me so many readers and commenters I felt I had better post at least a few times this week. I doubt I'll get them back but eventually....I'll get inspired and write again. Perhaps I'll even remember how to be funny.

But I'll leave you with one more crazy mom comment. Wednesday when A was trying a fruit snack thing and had sucked on it and spit it out into my hand but then wanted another? Mom says "you should make her eat it." Apparently force feeding toddlers is also in her skills book. She just forgot her toddler size gavage tube for direct shunting to the stomach of objects rejected by the toddler palate.

Oh mom. Back to the book.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What's a woman to do?

Ok, I think it's time for me to learn Spanish.The problem is, although that would be the obvious language choice for living and working in Hispanic heavy California, in San Francisco, the Asian population is way bigger. And how does one pick just one of the many languages in the Asian community in order to succeed.

No, the truth is I plan on learning no new languages in my last few months pregnant with my 4th child nor after, while caring for 4 children. I am just frustrated. The lovely monsoon we had here in San Francisco yesterday left me with my neighbor's tree in my yard. Well a third of it. But it was a big third. Fence crushed, and basically a whole tree sitting in my yard. Was quite a sight. So I called up the dude who mows my lawn and has trimmed my trees and asked if he had a chainsaw to cut up a tree. I'm pretty sure this man understands me because he hasn't usually done things against my wishes to date. So when I told him to just come over and take a look and give me a price, since this was not my tree and the neighbor had to agree before money was spent, I thought I made myself clear.

Problem number 1: the woman who assists me with my mother's paperwork is familiar with this man and has seen him tending to my yard before, so when he arrived and I was upstairs she let him in no problem. Problem number 2: language barrier? Or seemingly nice man taking advantage of woman? I still am not sure. All I know is I came downstairs and the tree was gone already. He'd been here 20 min, my neighbor just happened to call as I looked out the window and shrieked "oh my god he's already done it!" (Let me qualify 'shriek.' While I am a girl, I do not shriek like one, but I did yell loudly in shock and surprise. Who would have preferred I write it that way?)

Good lord. How can a man chop up a tree in 20 min? What made him think he could just show up and do the job when there are two people involved and he doesn't know one of them? And I never agreed on the price I'd pay him so who does he think is going to pay? What just happened here?

So then he told me how much it would cost. And it's a lot. Not crazy, but twice what I pay him to spend 2 hours cleaning up my yard and he just did this job in a quarter that time. So, now, stuck between a rock and hard place (neighbor and yard guy) what do I do? He can't undo the work he's done. If I push back about the price I risk the relationship I have with him, and so far I've felt him to be trustworthy.

So for the first time that I can remember in my long and independent life I went to my husband and told him that I thought I might need a man to back me up. I'm not sure if I'm being taken advantage of. Does this man think I'm stupid? Is it because I'm a woman? Will he act different if I have back up? All he does when I talk to him is shrug. What is that about? Is this language? Or is this just how he is?

Naturally my husband was in the shower.

So, after a quick check in with him, I went back down the scene of the crime. I would have to take care of it myself. My neighbor showed up, I asked the right questions and found out that the per pound disposal fee of 'pine' is higher than your average tree disposal fee. We worked it all out for a lesser fee and I let him finish the job and everything seems to be fine but I'm still unsure what happened. Am I an easy mark? I do trust people. I was raised in Illinois at a time when kids could come home after school without parents home to care for them. I could count on one hand the number of times I feel like someone has taken advantage of me in a business transaction. But it's possible I have no idea how gullible I am. Wouldn't that be the very definition of gullible?

Sometimes I do wonder what would happen differently if I were a man. I'm not asking for the opportunity to be one, but I'd love to do the whole costume thing and see if the world seemed different in the way people reacted to me. Because if I'm getting shafted for being a woman? There's some ass kicking to do.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rewarding motherhood

DH and I were having a conversation last night about the 'rewards' of parenting and how I've been feeling lately. "Real" jobs give you concrete rewards. Each day you look at your stack of paperwork accomplished, or number of sales made, or whatever measure of success your job uses, and you know how much you did successfully today. You can leave satisfied that you did a great job without anyone telling you or patting you on the back and saying you rock.

Kids don't work that way. Each day you could count the number of diapers changed, (perhaps I should time myself and be proud of my efficiency per diaper change or something?) noses wiped, tantrums ignored or whatever, but what makes you feel like you were a brilliant mom at the end of the day? The husband thinks the fact that my kids are brilliant and generally happy should be enough. I think that on a day to day basis, where at any random time some kids are happy and some are not, I can't take credit for the happy kids and ignore the unhappiness. I can't say that just because A learned a new word today that makes ME a great mom. Maybe she learned it from Elmo? Who knows?

So how, at the end of a day, do I feel brilliant about the job I'm doing? I've had a history of jobs at which I did excellent work and knew daily that I was a success. Mothering? Not so much. Each day I have failures. Failure of discipline, failure of handling a crisis, misunderstanding a kid, yelling too much, almost crying with frustration and so on. How do you overcome all that 'failure' with just saying "oh, well the kids seem happy usually so I must be a fantastic mom?"

Perhaps they were just born happy? Maybe I have unusually brilliant kids genetically? Maybe it's grandma who makes them so happy, not me? Where do I get my daily affirmation that I am doing a great job?

DH just can't fathom this issue. He feels proud just because they are great kids. That's all it took over the 4 days he cared for them. But you know what? He gets to go back to his job where he is brilliant. He doesn't have an endless string of days and months of the same every day crap the kids pull to drag him down from his self esteem of previous days. I used to know I was brilliant at about anything I tried to do. Now? I'm not so sure. Am I a good mom? And if no one tells me that I am, can I believe it about myself somehow? And even if people tell me I am, how do I not discount their opinion due to them not seeing how I parent when I'm alone (when I'm generally more yelly and frustrated)?

I need me some Dr. Phil or something. Someone to tell me that it's as plain as the nose on my face that I rock as a mom. I can't wait 30 years for one of my kids to turn around and say that I did ok. I just can't.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bridesmaid to be

How exciting. My best friend has gotten herself all engaged and stuff! Not that I knew ANYTHING about it ahead of time, what with being consulted about the ring and all. But the lucky lady got proposed to in, of all places, Tuscany.

Tuscany people. How cool is that? Who gets to sit on a balcony in Tuscany with a gigantic rock on their hand and know they've found the man they're going to spend their life with? Not many people I tell ya.

But the stranger thing? She wants me to be a bridesmaid. I never thought I'd be all old and crap before I was her bridesmaid (this is not a comment on how long it took her to get engaged, but a condemnation of how fast I got old.) I mean I'm old, decrepit, fat, tired and pathetic at most times of day. I'm supposed to pull myself together and get cute and look like I belong with a gaggle of lovely young ladies, none of whom have any pity for the likes of me. I'm preeeeeetty darned sure I don't get to wear flip flops down the aisle.

And good lord, I never even thought of this when I planned my wedding. Did my bridesmaids think they had a long way to go to get ready to be in my wedding? I hope not. After all, it was me I wanted people to look at, not my bridesmaids. And theoretically, everyone will be looking at my gorgeous friend, not me, but still. Her pictures forever will have me in them. I will theoretically have to look at those pictures with me in them. Ugh.

The good news is I have year. In that year I get to give birth and hopefully breastfeed my way back to a more normal size for me. THIS time I plan not to squander post partum weight loss by eating my way back up 30 pounds just months later. Oh such a shame. I have such plans this time. I want to walk that baby around the whole neighborhood daily. I want to choose differently this time. But who knows how I'll feel? I got overwhelmed with the triplets. So I ate. Do I have a better coping mechanism this time around when I feel overwhelmed? No. Will a single baby not overwhelm me? Unlikely. I will be overwhelmed. I will reach for the chocolate bar. Oh yes I will.

I need a book that can tell me how not to reach for the chocolate. Because my friend's wedding is worth it. Oh yeah yeah, I'm worth it too. I know. Don't preach to me about self love, but I was worth it last year too and I ballooned my way back up to my highest non pregnant weight ever. And then I got pregnant. Not helpful.

By next October I need to be HAWT. Or presentable. I'll take presentable but I'll shoot for hawt. I can not be the old ugly chick next to the hawt bride and her other two young cute bridesmaids. I just can't. My kids will see these pictures and while I love having guilt ammunition to use against them (as in see how you ruined me?) I do not want it to be in my friend's pictures. She has to still love me when it's all over and I'm quite sure the wedding planning may give enough reasons for us to pass evil looks amongst ourselves. I will not give her something to point at in photos for the rest of our lives. So there.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dearest Mommy

Dear mom,

I know that once upon a time you had two children of your own. Clearly, we must have come from you because I look like you for sure. I am quite certain that during our toddler years we resided within a reasonable distance of you as I did not have nannies or grandparents to whom I ran instead of you. Now I know it's been a long time, I'm an old woman myself, but I think most parents remember their childrens' early years with some fondness or at least some detail.

So how is it that you turned to me two days ago, when two of my three were fighting to be on my lap to be read to, and said "insist that they sit with me and read a book."


How, pray tell, would you like me to 'insist' to a child of 20 months that they sit with you? Logic? Force? Cookies? Well that last one might work, the attention span of said child might only last the length of the cookie so I'm guessing it would be limited in its success.

So I tried to explain to you that I had been gone 4 days and naturally the kids wanted to sit in my lap and it was definitely nothing personal about you that caused them to do so. I came up with what I thought was a brilliant parallel to explain by saying that even when there were 100 other toys in the room (oh yes, I MIGHT have bought that many in the early days before we ran out of money) the children generally could be counted on to fight over that ONE particular toy that one child got ahold of first. Your response? "Yes well they should not fight over toys."


Wait. Did you just say, mother of two children who I can personally testify did fight over every last and blasted thing on the planet, they "shouldn't?"

What rule book did that come from? What means this "shouldn't"? Children with children sized brains and egotistical mindsets of the typical child should not fight over toys?

Ok, you are disqualified from the judging of children from here on out. Because your rule book? It was written by aliens or something. Or old people who have forgotten what children are like. And I can no longer help you if you continue to compete with me over my own childrens' attention and yet expect them not to be competitive with each other over their one and only mother.

You, my dear mom, are going to have to chill.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Reality bites

So, the reality is I don't feel like writing. Heck I don't feel like getting out of bed in the morning either, but I have to do that. Coming back to the 'real world' that I inhabit? Sucks. Because every day is the same thing. Or rather, every week is the same routine. I have bright spots in every week to look forward to, date night, one morning with time to myself, but that's about it. But I had freedom for 4 days.


That is hard to recover from. I had the choice of when to get up (relatively because I did have obligations I went for) where to go, and what to do when I got there. I got to hang out with old pre-children friends. I got to be my old animal rescuer self. I got to be brilliant at a 'job.' I forgot about the internet (mostly intentionally because the hotel wanted to charge me $13 a day for the privilege of checking my email) and forgot about the daily grind of mothering and got to just be.

I also got to remember why animal people drive me batty. Actually, I've had a theory and corollary for some time: "Animal people are crazy" is the theory, or honestly? The Truth. Capital T. It just is true. The corollary is "Animal people who fixate on one particular animal are craziest." Thankfully I did not run into the latter. But the weekend was full of the former. Sure I include myself in this collection of crazy. I used to have a cat rescue. One has to be crazy to have 23 cats in a house that pretty much has to then reek of cat urine. I don't know why you can't keep the smell down, but the reality is you don't actually smell it if you sleep and eat there. You just don't notice it. I'm definitely crazy. But I was not overboard. I like all animals. I just "get" cats the best so I chose that one to rescue. I also did not become the crazy cat lady with 100s of cats running through the walls and eating each other's dead carcasses like you read about in the news sometimes. So I know I'm not totally nuts.

But it's good to spend some time back amongst my tribe of crazy. Animal people are well intentioned. Several of them actually get along with people too, and that's who I spent my time with this weekend. The director of this particular animal rescue is 'da bomb.' She is non judgmental, funny, smart, and can laugh at herself as well as her circumstance any time. That's the way to be people. If you can't laugh at yourself you really need to loosen up. But when you choose a life of animal rescue it is imperative, nay, life saving, to be able to laugh because of all the pain you experience through the suffering of innocent animals. And when your family consists of over 200 farm animals of varying shapes, sizes and disabilities? Your life is full of humor.

So, I spent my time either at the 'farm' with happy people and happy animals, or resting and recovering from a cold from hell with a good book. It's hard to come back. Day one, same old thing. Grumpy, fighting kids. Crazy mom with annoying judgments. Wake up, feed and clothe kids, entertain, feed, nap, entertain, feed, get them ready for bed, sigh with relief when it's all over. And being away for 4 days did make me miss them, but that sense of ennui comes back like a ton of bricks the minute it begins again.

I think I need a new job.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm back and I'm good

sorry sorry sorry! I hope none of you thought anything was wrong. It was terrible to leave you hanging with the ultrasound post (the kid is fine btw) and then drop off the face of the planet. But the next day was no nanny, two cats to the vet during nap time, then an afternoon of sick babies. Then Wednesday, I had to do 87 loads of laundry, pack, write up instructions, and go to the dentist to get a hole drilled into my head as well as 2 hours of gum torture.

Busy much? And then I hopped on a red-eye to come to Maryland. Sick, exhausted (sick kids equals no sleep and mommy gets sick too) and feeling a little abused, I nevertheless honored my commitment to come to Maryland for the annual fundraiser of an animal rescue group I go way back with. Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary is the happiest place on earth for animals. Farm animals that is. If it fell off the back of a truck on the way to the slaughterhouse, got abused by an owner, neglected by a collector, abandoned in a truck in downtown DC, or was just walking down the road and found by a good samaritan, it ends up here and lives out its life in comfort, companionship and with good medical care until it dies of old age.

My job is to run the Silent Auction. Around 300 items get donated each year. I get to sort through that collection, write it up, set it up and harass people into bidding for each and every item at or above their intended limits of spending. I am good at that last part. Is anyone surprised I can harass? I thought not. I love this job because the director of the sanctuary sits all weekend and tells me how wonderful I am and because I know I do a good job. You know how infrequently a mom hears she's wonderful or feels like she's doing a good job? I think you do. Not often.

So this is supposed to be a delightful break for me and some relaxation comes with the deal. But then I had to get sick the day before I came? How unfair was that? So instead of catching up on sleep like I dreamed about, I am sleeping to heal. Would be nice if I could breathe at night, but not so much these days. And being limited by what a pregnant lady is supposed to use while sick basically sucks. Ah well. I'm eating well, have read one book so far and am enjoying the scenery. Wish I had the energy to visit old friends, but not this year.

The hardest part was memories of my dad that hit me like a cement truck when I arrived. For those who don't know, my dad died last November of pancreatic cancer rather suddenly as he was predicted to last 3 or 4 more months but he gave up. He just gave up and quit all treatment and died within days. So fast that I couldn't get there in time. But dad loved the area in Maryland and Virginia. And as I crossed at Whites Ferry (an actual ferry for cars across the Potomac) I was just so sad that he chose to give that up early. True, he wouldn't be here now, but it takes a while to forgive someone for dying on you, no matter the way or reason for the death. And how I wish he could meet this new kid or even just watch me mother my kids. He's missing my greatest accomplishment. That sucks.

So, on with the show. I should have some amusing anecdotes from this weekend as animal people are all pretty strange (myself included but I'm not the weirdest) and they usually lend themselves to parody quite naturally. I'll let you know if a cow decides to follow me home too. Thanks for hanging in there during my absence.