Tuesday, July 8

A day in the life...

What. A. Day. First off, let me say that we had some horrific storms last night with 80mph winds, so I was up monitoring the weather until 2am. Here is a brief recap of my day...

6am: Wake up, get the trash out, shower

6:30am: Make breakfast (blueberry pancakes)

6:50am: Start getting kids up, dressed, and fed.

7:30am: Pack Avery's lunch. 

7:40am: Read "Llama Llama, Time to Share" 1,452 times.

8:20am: Load all 4 kids in the car. Out the door to take Avery to basketball camp. It's at Mizzou Arena, which is great except there are approximately 636 steps down to the floor (remember I have 3 wee ones in tow).

8:40am: Avery joins the group, but realizes she forgot her lunch at home. Shit.

8:55am: Pick up Avery's lunch.

9:10am: Drop twins off for preschool (which is Tues/Thurs morning only)

9:30am: Go back down the 636 steps at the Arena to take Avery her lunch.

9:45am: Drive 80mph to make it to my 10:00 dentist appt.

10:15am: One of the two crowns that were supposed to be placed today doesn't fit. Crap. Maren is throwing a fit because she doesn't like seeing someone's hand in my mouth. Re-do impression and schedule another appt in 3 weeks.

11:15am: Home just in time to meet the lawn service and unlock the gates. Lay Maren down and start making spaghetti sauce for dinner. Attempt to clean up graham crackers that have been ground into the carpet. Start a load of laundry.

12:30pm: Leave to pick up the twins. Realize I forgot a check. Turn around, get a check, proceed.

1:00pm: Pick up twins.

1:30pm: Home. Supposed to meet the plumber, but he is running late. Can't be here until 2. I cancel because I have to leave at 2:30 to pick Avery up.

1:35pm: I know the twins won't get a nap today, so I tell them to sit quietly in their room and read books while I try to do more laundry and clean a bit. Lay Maren down.

2:10pm: Go to check on the twins. Stealthy little ninjas went into the bathroom and got a bottle of detangler and sprayed the ENTIRE bottle on their heads. Oh.My.God.

2:20pm: Load kids in car, head to the Arena to get Avery. 

2:35pm: Those stairs again, Jesus. 

2:45pm: Watch Avery play bball and try to ingore the stares that the twins' ratty, detangler soaked heads are attracting. 

3:15pm: Back in the car. This time Elizabeth doesn't want to be buckled. A fight ensues. I win.

3:35pm: Home for a quick snack.

4:00pm: Leave for Avery's CrossFit class. 

4:30-5:00: CrossFit.

5:30pm: Back home, lay Maren down, finish cooking dinner. 

6:00pm: Feed the kids (minus Maren). While I am piling dishes in the sink, the twins go out on the deck. Elizabeth takes her shoes off and proceeds to get the biggest splinter known to man lodged into her heel. 

6:05-6:50pm: Attempt to remove aforementioned splinter from a thrashing, angry toddler. Only partially successful. I surrender. 

6:55pm: Bath time for the twins!

7:20pm: After lotion and jammies, it is time for a dance party in the twins room! Then, a bedtime story.

7:35pm: There is a bird in the kitchen. A fucking bird. I don't know if the sliding door was open and it got in during the Great Splinter Extraction or if it has been in here all damn day. It keeps flying head first into the window above the sink. 

7:45pm: Attempt to catch the bird. Can't.

7:50pm: Corral the bird in the laundry room and open the door that leads to the garage. Attempt to chase it out. Dumb bird goes behind the washing machine instead. IS THIS REAL LIFE?!?! Oh, and Maren is screaming now. 

8:00pm: Finally, the bird is out. Go get Maren.

8:05pm: Feed Maren while playing "Beat the Parents" with Avery.

8:30pm: Get Avery off to bed, bathe Maren. 

**Somewhere in here I also changed countless diapers and fit in 6 breastfeeding sessions. I didn't have a bite to eat until dinner, and I only got to finish half my plate. By the way, the laundry and dishes still aren't done.

And now it is 9:23. I have 4 chapters to read tonight and two essays to write, but I have spent the last half hour writing this instead. I am exhausted. All of this on 4 hours sleep, and I get to start all over tomorrow. 

So, the next time someone says "Oh, you're a stay at home mom? What do you DO all day?!" I am going to give them a swift kick in the nether regions and point them to this post. 

Wednesday, June 25

Something is wrong with Maren

About a month ago, Maren had an "episode". She basically lost muscle control and couldn't stand up no matter how many times she tried. She would get about halfway there and then fall straight backwards. She was also crawling very erratically. It just so happened that she'd had 5 shots that day, and we also found out through bloodwork that she was severely anemic. At the time I thought that her system was just completely overwhelmed and that was the reason for her dizzy spell. Well, it happened again last night. I scooped her up and took her to the ER right away. I showed the Dr a video of the episode, and he thought it was likely some type of seizure, though a very atypical one. So we followed up with her regular pediatrician's office today, and after seeing 4 doctors, they all agreed that there is something neurological going on. So she will be going in tomorrow for a brain MRI as well as an EEG.

To say I am nervous is an understatement. Seeing how perplexed and concerned the doctors were really bothered me. And even after everything I went through with Avery, I always felt so fortunate that her issues could be fixed. The thought of Maren having a lifelong seizure disorder is enough to make me want to break down. I am trying not to think the worst, but it is so hard. I just want my baby to be Ok.

Monday, June 23

School, summer, and the vacation that wasn't meant to be...

Boy have I been busy! I started school back in March and I am well on my way to becoming a nurse! Things have been crazy hectic because I am taking a full load, but after 10 years off, I am ready to get this over with! In a dream world, I will end up in a CRNA program, but I have a LONG way to go to make that a reality. But so far, so good!

Summer is going well so far. I decided to keep the twins in part time preschool over the summer so they can keep their routine (and so I can have a little time "to myself") so nothing new there. Avery is in summer school right now and once that ends in early July, the real fun will begin! She is scheduled for Mizzou volleyball camp, Mizzou basketball camp and art camp! She will also spend some time visiting grandparents at the end of summer, and she is super excited about that. Maren is growing and changing at a rapid pace. She is almost 14 months now, and still breast feeding like a champ! I never thought I would BF at all, much less past the year mark! No signs of stopping any time soon either. I want her to be a baby forever, so maybe this is one way for me to hold onto that...

D and I were supposed to be going on a dream Ireland vacation this month. He had a conference in Belfast and his expenses were covered, so I was tagging along. Well, apparently it wasn't meant to be. Our original flight was cancelled for no good reason as we were on our way to the airport, so they rescheduled us for the following day. After many hours sitting in the STL airport, boarding the plane a few times only to be kicked off again, and being told we would not make our connecting flight, we ended up surrendering and coming home. It was very disappointing, especially because our flight ended up taking off only 30 minutes after we left (and we would have easily made our connection because it was delayed too). D and I were both sick over it--literally. We moped around for days, feeling absolutely depressed over it. I'm still sad that it didn't work out, but after all of the headaches, I have to believe that I was just supposed to be home with my girls for some reason. Maybe something bad would have happened if we had gone, I don't know. It sucks that we lost so much money (around $10k, all said and done, thanks to a fancy non-refundable tour) but not much we can do about it now. The good news is we have decided we deserve a trip for our upcoming 5 year anniversary in November. We don't have a clue where we will go, but we are open to suggestions! What is your go to relaxation destination?

I have lots of ideas for blog posts, but little time to sit down and wrote them. I'm hoping to make some time to do it after I finish my mid-terms. In the meantime, enjoy some pictures of my beautiful little ladies!

Friday, March 21


Just a few weeks after my commitment to healthier eating, I am happy to report that I actually am seeing improvements in the twins' behavior! Hallelujah! I have cooked real food every single night, and nearly all of it has been organic. We have also purchased a pig as well as a side of beef, so in a few weeks we will have a freezer full of fresh, hormone/antibiotic free, local meat. We have purchased a pig about every 6 months since we moved to Como, but this is our first round with the cow. It is grass fed and grass finished (which I didn't even know was a thing) and I am really excited!

In other exciting news, we have visitors coming tonight! Granny and Papa are driving up from FL as we speak. I can't wait to see them! If the weather is nice next week, we are planning to have a few outings, including a day trip to St Louis. It should be a lot of fun!

Wednesday, March 12

I have become the mom I always judged...

When I was younger, before I ever had kids, I worked in a preschool. I silently judged many of the moms. Specifically the stay at home moms that dropped their little one off and bounced out the door for their day at the gym, the spa, the mall, or whatever else they might be doing. It never made any sense to me, that a stay at home mom would pay someone to watch her kids. What did she do while they were gone? And to find out that the same mom also had a housekeeper--my brain nearly exploded. I mean, how lazy can someone get?!

Fast forward 10 or so years and I am starting to get it. Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, I drop my twins off for 4 hours of preschool. 4 hours of blissful, (mostly) quiet time. 4 hours that I can utilize to go to the grocery store with only one kid in tow, catch up on laundry, go to the doctor, or perhaps take a quick nap. I need these 4 hours to maintain my sanity. I love all of my girls, but I do need a little break from time to time. And besides that, they desperately needed the socialization!

Not only have I shipped my kids off to preschool, I have also paid someone to clean and organize my house. When I still had approximately 40 unopened boxes in the garage a year after we moved, I knew I needed to call in a pro. I am SO glad I did. And the cleaning, oh god, the cleaning... It never ends! I can clean the house floor to ceiling, but 5 minutes later, it is a wreck again. It never ends. I'm happy to let someone else tackle it every once in a while. Go ahead, call me lazy.

Other things I would "never" do:

Bribe my kids. Ha! That's an almost daily occurrence here...

Let my baby have a pacifier past 1 year. Avery was well over 2 when we finally got hers pried out of her mouth, and the twins were around 18 months. No clue when we will take Maren's but it won't be anytime soon...

Let my appearance slack. Doesn't everyone want to be the mom that looks put together every second of every day? Sure, but who actually has time for that shit?

Lose myself in my kids' lives. Sadly, this has happened. I feel like I no longer have an identity outside "That mom with peanut butter on her shirt and spit up in her hair." Most of my day is spent running kids to their various activities, and I haven't made any time to explore my own interests. I am trying to change this, though.

Have a child that has to be practically dragged out of a store/restaurant/other public place. Yeah, this one is completely unavoidable with twin toddlers. My own personal hell was served up to me last summer when I dropped Avery off at art camp and Elizabeth realllllly wanted to stay. It took me 45 minutes to get her out of the building. I mean, what can you really do when you have another toddler and you are also carrying a newborn? It was terrible. I was hoping a kind stranger would take pity on me and hold the baby while I wrangled the angry twin, but no such luck. And I won't even tell you how long it took to get her through the parking lot and into the car.

Let my kid eat/drink xyz... Ugh, yeah. My kids have gone through such extreme hunger strikes that I would let them eat practically anything they wanted. Things I should be ashamed of. But, guess what? I'm not!

Sadly, there are so many more things I judged other moms for. I feel so silly looking back at it now. I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt now and realize that most of us are doing the best we can. Some days are better than others. I'm sure I have been judged many times, with many more to come. But it never fails that the ones who judge most harshly are those that don't have a clue what it is like to walk in our shoes...

Were you a parenting critic before you had kids? What did you judge most harshly?

Saturday, March 8

Avery's first sleepover

I dropped Avery off for her first sleepover this afternoon. I had to fight back tears as she ran off excitedly. I had to coax her back to give me a hug! How is it possible that this day has already come? I swear she was JUST born! I don't think I will be getting any sleep tonight...

I hope she has fun. She deserves to be away from whiny little sisters for a night. But, geez, I feel lost without her! She is my little sidekick! I guess I better get used to it, though. It might be the first but won't be the last!

Since I am feeling all sentimental, let's take a look back at little baby Ry...

Thursday, March 6

Getting back on track...

The last month has really run me down... With all of Avery's activities (dance, Girl Scouts, CrossFit, gymnastics, horseback riding), I feel like I am always in a rush. Couple that with the stress of moving the twins to "big girl beds" (more on that later) and the fact that I am still waking Maren at night in an attempt to pack some pounds on her, and I am just about ready to pull my hair out!

In all my stress, I have developed some pretty bad habits. More often than not, I have been buying convenience foods because, well, when the hell do I have time to cook?! The twins have gone through a pretty significant personality change, and I honestly wonder if some of it is food related... So I made a commitment to get back on track with healthier eating. I went to the store on Tuesday and purchased only single ingredient foods... So far so good!

I hope that getting our diets under control will help all of us. I need to get back into a cooking routine. We need to make more of an effort to sit and eat together as a family--even if it's at 5:00 because we have other obligations in the evening. I am starting school in 2 weeks, so hopefully I will be able to keep it together. I KNOW I can do better for my kids than I have been. I can do better for myself. I will do better.

As I mentioned earlier, we moved the twins to big girl beds about a month ago. I resisted for a long time, but I finally did it to shut D up. What.A.Mistake. Seriously, my well behaved 2 year olds have turned into complete hellions! They spend more time crying than not. They fight. They are becoming violent. What the hell?!

Initially, they were terrified on the beds. Would not go near them. I could get them to fall asleep in them occasionally, but only if I laid with them for 3 hours, and that just isn't realistic. Plus, they would wake up in the middle of the night and scream. So they said they wanted to sleep in the floor. Fine. Knock yourself out, kids. All was fine for about a week... Then the real trouble started...

Naps have become nonexistent. They refuse. Probably because they ripped down their black out curtains and now it is too bright in their room. Then they discovered that if they work together, they can accomplish destruction that nobody ever thought possible. They remove the sheets and blankets and then they actually MOVE THE MATTRESSES! Initially, they just pulled them onto the floor, but then they figured out if they prop them up at an angle, they can use them as slides. Ughhhhh. They do this every single day at nap time. And every day I clean it up.

Their room is totally destroyed, and I am on the brink of an emotional breakdown. I have tried everything I can think of. Positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, bribery, threats, cutting out nap, earlier bed time, later bed time... They don't care about any of it. So I feel like a total failure of a mom. I just want my sweet babies back.

So, please, somebody tell me that satan laces boxed dinners with hellion dust and that my kids will return to normal now that I am making the time to consistently cook nutritious meals?!? A girl can hope, right?

Monday, February 24

"Your poor husband..."

Can I just go on record and say I am SO TIRED of hearing this?! Family, friends and strangers alike have hurled this phrase at me. It never fails that when I am on an outing with my 4 little girls, at least 2 or 3 people feel the need to say this to me. Why? What makes my husband someone to be pitied? What makes anyone think this is OK to say, especially in front of my girls? What type of message does this send to a child, to insinuate that they are some sort of a disappointment to their father simply because they are lacking a penis?

After the twins were born, I tried to let it roll off of me. I get it, society thinks every mom wants a daughter and every dad wants a son. Perhaps some, or even most, do. Maybe the vast majority's idea of a "perfect family" is one with a son (no doubt the first born), a daughter, and a well behaved Golden Retriever. Fine. I figured the comments would stop eventually. When I got pregnant with #4, everyone assumed I (and more specifically, my husband) was hoping for a boy. I expected that. What I didn't anticipate is that complete strangers would be so distraught when I announced that it was another girl. What difference does it make to them? Why is it so undesirable to have a crew of girls, or boys for that matter? I have officially hit my breaking point and I am no longer polite to these people, well-meaning as they may be. Now when I get this comment, I give them a piece of my mind. First and foremost, I use a phrase I learned when people asked if my twins were "natural" or not. "Why do you ask/say that?" Luckily, this gets the point across to most people. However, there are still a few that press on and insist that living in a house full of girls is something to be upset about. To these people, I say that there is nothing upsetting about having 4 little girls that absolutely worship their daddy. 4 little girls that run to the door, arms wide open, the second he walks in. 4 little girls that crawl into his lap with a book. 4 little girls that love to snuggle in (as they call it) "daddy's big girl bed". My husband tells anyone that asks that he wouldn't have it any other way. He knows how very lucky he is, and how special the bond between a father and daughter is.

Certainly, he has fears about raising 4 daughters, but I can assure you none of them have anything to do with hormones or boyfriends or makeup or (gasp) paying for 4 weddings. His fears for his daughters are that much of society still views women as a lesser sex... that some people cannot accept that a woman can be just as smart, accomplished or athletic as a man, or cannot accept that a woman can, in fact, be all 3 of these things at the same time... that a relationship between a father and daughter cannot be just as fulfilling as that between a father and son.

D and I are working our hardest to raise strong, smart, independent girls that know without a doubt that they can conquer the world. We do not determine their value based on the sex organs they have, and neither should anyone else. When we look into each of our girls' eyes, we do not feel sadness or disappointment, but rather pride and unconditional love. So, random stranger in the grocery store, please keep the "poor husband" comments to yourself, especially when little ears are listening. Oh, and you can take that "perfect family" image and shove it, because we have our perfect family right here.

Friday, January 10

Hello again!

The final months of 2013 were quite a whirlwind! We followed our Tigers to Atlanta for the SEC championship (a tough loss) and had quite an adventure! We ended up leaving right after the game because the twins picked up a nasty stomach virus. We drove 12 hours overnight in an ice storm while the twins vomited their guts up in the backseat. Fun. At least I can check that one off my bucket list...

My mom and nephew came to visit for Christmas, which was really nice. Santa spoiled all the kids rotten! Unfortunately, it wasn't a white Christmas, but we made the best of it.

After the New Year, we traveled to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl, and this time we left with a win! Mizzou finished the season at #5! So proud of them and thankful that we got to experience this season. Avery had a blast going to all of the games...

Everyone is doing well. Avery just turned 8, and I will be taking her to the American Girl store this weekend to celebrate. We were supposed to go on her birthday, but make and record cold temps (-40 wind chill!!) set in, so we had to take a rain check.

The twins are a mess, as always. They are talking more and more! They crack me up on a daily basis.

Maren just turned 8 months. She has been crawling for almost a month now--definitely my earliest crawler! I sure wish she would slow down...

Hopefully I will get back in the swing of things with the blog soon...