Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmastime Conflict

During the Christmas season, on top of all the usual fights, my children have many new things to argue about.

Christmas Tree: Everyone fights over who gets to put the star on top, ornament placement, and what the tree should be named.

Christmas Shows/Music/Movies: No matter what is playing at any given time, someone is whining that they didn't get their way and whatever is on is stupid.

Christmas Card Portraits: We go to Target Portrait Studio every year to get cards. There is much dismay over getting ready, wearing itchy clothes and driving there. Then during the session someone won't smile, another goofs around and just a lot of general uncooperativeness. Then while I chose a pose after the session, they all disappear somewhere into Target.

School Holiday Programs: Again with the whining over getting dressed up. If it is a siblings program, there is whining about having to go watch it, and bickering all through the show.

Advent Wreath: There is always an argument over who gets to light and blow out the candles. They all take turns, but it is always somehow not fair to the child whos turn it isn't.

Advent Calender: Each day someone gets to add a character to that days spot on the calender. There is a rotation, everyone gets the same amount of turns, but it is somehow not fair once again. My one daughter is sure it is never her turn. She sounds like a dying cat!

Jesse Tree: This is my least favorite. All the kids don't listen to the bible passages and talk through all of it along with the prayers. More fighting over who's turn it is to put the ornament on. My husband wants to burn the thing.

Travel: Much like all travel with kids, there is a lot of whining about it being too far, or it is not at the person's house they would like it to be at.

Gifts: I just got all the gifts under the tree. Someone's gift is bigger, someone has more, no one has enough. My dramatic girl (the same one referred to as a dying cat) doesn't want any gifts since she doesn't have enough!

Fake Wine at Christmas Eve Dinner: We always get the kids the sparkling juice that comes in a bottle that looks like wine. We call it kid wine. I measure that shit out to make sure everyone's glass is exactly equal, but to no avail, there is a belief that I gave someone "the most".

Aren't the holidays stressful enough? It's as if my kids think "Hey, let's make mom batshit crazy, and dad want to strangle us, just for fun! I don't think they have enough stress during the holidays!"

                        Happy Holidays To You and Yours!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Moms Don't Get Sick Days!

I learned a very hard lesson this weekend. On Saturday morning at 2 AM I woke up with a fever, headache. dizziness, body aches and phlegmy cough. Awesome! I got up at 6:30, threw up, tried to wake up my husband, and he didn't budge. I wanted him to take my sick kid to the doctor and pick up my ten year old. I then gave two kids medicine, got one kid fed and dressed to take her to the doctor, and drove 40 minutes to pick up my ten year old from a sleepover. Then we went and sat in Urgent Care for two hours. After that we had to go to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions. Influenza has invaded our house.

I got home at noon. I spent the day mostly resting. At 2 PM my husband took the boys to get hair cuts so I couldn't sleep. I needed to pay attention to what the girls were doing while he was gone. He was only gone for two hours and he did make all the meals all day, if cereal and mac-n-cheese are considered meals. At least there's that! I took Tamiflu and went to bed at 9:30.

I assumed my husband would put the kids to bed at some point. No such luck. I found out later four of the kids put themselves to bed at midnight. At 2 AM I woke up and my 12 year old was playing a handheld device beside his dad who also was playing a device. WTF??!! I asked my son to please go to bed.

Sunday I woke up feeling a lot better because Tamiflu is a damn miracle! Two more kids woke up sick. Then I saw all the upheaval that took place in my absence the one day I was incapacitated. I gave medicine to all the little sickies and cleaned for two hours. Meanwhile, my husband continued sleeping. Did I mention, I have the damn FLU!!?? Apparently no one really cares.

My question is, why don't moms get sick days? We could be on deaths door but we are still expected to take care of everyone else. If we do take to our beds, we will be paying for it when we wake up the next day, as I found out. When anyone else gets sick, mama is there to comfort, nurture, wait on, medicate, and generally take care of them. She also keeps the place in order as usual all while dealing with little sickies. When mama gets sick, nope, no one is going to take over her role and God forbid if anyone takes care of her. Hell would freeze over before that would ever happen! It is frustrating and just wrong. It makes me wonder what these people would do if I died. The place would go to shit-and fast!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Twins Are Easy...And Hard!!!

People often ask me if twins are easier or harder to raise than their singleton counterparts. My answer is a little of both. Some of the things that make it easier are the very things that make it harder. The only thing I have found to be all the way harder is all the crying, tantrums, and whining! MAKE IT STOP!!!
Easy: If you breastfeed feeding them takes half the time because there is no switching sides, they eat together and are done in 20 minutes!

Hard: Getting two newborns latched on is a bit tricky, and if one gets fussy during a feeding it is difficult to comfort her if her sister is still attached to you.

Easy: They are in diapers together so you are done with diapers all at once.

Hard: Two poopy diapers to change at once is no cake walk. That goes double for the potty accidents during potty training!

Easy: They require the same amount of sleep so they are on the same sleep schedule, if you are lucky!

Hard: They usually wake up at different times during the night and one may wake the other, so mama get little to no sleep in the beginning.

Easy: They sleep together so they don't cry for you because they keep each other company, at bedtime, during the night, and when they wake up in the morning.

Hard: They may mess around for quite some time at bedtime before they decide to fall asleep, and if one wakes up during the night or early, she may wake up her sister, then it's party time! If one says she is scared, the other one inevitably will too! It  is cute to listen to them at night though!

Easy: They eat the same foods. When they are babies spoon feeding is a breeze, you just alternate bites.

Hard: Twice the food mess on you, them and the floor.

Easy: They entertain each other and don't get bored easily, meaning you will not need to spend as much time playing with them, sometimes they won't even let you play!

Hard: They find interesting things to keep themselves entertained, such as, writing on walls, making water messes, spreading lotion over every inch of their rooms, and giving each other hair cuts! I used to get mad about the hair cuts, which have happened to both girls several times, but now I just shake my head. I wonder if they will ever learn!

Easy: They are at the  same developmental stage so they share the same toys.

Hard: They fight over the same exact toy, 

Easy: They are the same size, so they can do all of the same things.

Hard: They can easily kick, bite, scratch. and hit each other because they are the same size! As preschoolers my girls looked like they had spent a few hours trapped in a box with a cat they were so scratched up!

Easy: They share clothes, so no need to separate them. They also share a dresser.  

Hard: They will both want to wear the same article of clothing they both adore on the same day. Fighting ensues! If they have matching outfits, and one gets ruined, the other gets retired.

Easy: They have the same homework so they can work together and I you will only have to explain once if they need help. I always loved doing homework with my twin! 

Hard: As older kids they may divide and conquer, one will do one assignment, while the other does a different one, then they copy each others work!

Easy: They have some of the same friends.

Hard: If one friend comes over they may fight over her. I remember this happening with my twin and I and our friend got very uncomfortable.

Easy: If they get sick it is usually together so they have a sick buddy. They don't get lonely and aren't constantly needing something from you.

Hard: Double the puke, snot, fevers and medicine to dole out.

Being a twin and also having them I have found there to be many benefits, and also many issues. I do not know which one outweighs the other. Lets just say, it is pretty close to a tie. It is all I have ever known so it remains one of life's mysteries. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Don't I Have Value If I'm "Just" A Mom?

For more than twelve years I have been a stay at home mom. That was always a good enough reply when people would ask me what I do. It was acceptable because I had small children at home during the day. This past fall my two youngest children entered kindergarten. Last May when they finished preschool I began to get a lot of questions and comments about my plans for when they entered school full time, such as:
Are you going back to work?
What are you going to do all day?
Are you going to find a job to do at home?
Maybe you should do daycare.
You should go back to school.

I usually replied that I wasn't sure what I wanted to do yet. I really wanted to scream. Why is it anyones business and what does it matter to them what I do? Why suddenly do I not have value unless I am doing something besides staying home and being a mom? Is my value dependent on income alone and nothing else? What changed besides my kids being in school all day?

When people asked what I am going to do all day I wanted to say:
Whatever the fuck I want,
Mind your own business,
or sleep, read blogs, clean, relax and screw around.

I never say these things, and I wish I could. I don't because there is too much judgement.

Truthfully, I am not ready to face starting all over yet. I have been busting my ass, surrounded by little people all day for over twelve years. I'm tired and have been dealing with medical issues so I am taking a break. Is that really too much to ask? The thought of finding a job to fit my kids school schedule so I can be home when they are home is overwhelming. So, for now I am just fine with being home for a while, during their school hours. I wonder why so many people do not think this is fine. My value is more than a paycheck.

My contribution to the household is time instead of money. Why do so many people think money is the most important thing of all? MOM is the most important job I could dream of having. That job did not disappear when my youngest kids went to school. I am still just a mom. I just have a little more time to take care of me. Is there a problem with that?

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Perverse Plot of the Pint-Sized Pilfering Princesses

There are products disappearing from my house left and right! Every week there are items on my list that most people replace every couple months or a few times a year. I thought maybe we had a house elf but then I realized what was happening.

In the past two years my six year old twins have gotten very good at playing independently and quietly. The result of that is they have also gotten very sneaky. They have become sneaky little petty thieves. I have compiled a list of all the items they snatch and their bizarre uses for these items. I hope you enjoy it. I figure if I have to live with it I may as well entertain someone with this list!

Q-Tips: Making cute little stick figures, using lots and lots of Tape, "painting" on Paper using water in a Dixie Cup.

Tape: ^^ Walls, paper, projects, faces, to tape toys together or wrap around pens.

Paper: ^^ I save old paper that are only printed on one side for them to use, but they like to instead steal my printer paper or my notebooks. They cut bits of paper and glue it to other paper, or the obvious uses of coloring and drawing. They also like to Spray water on the paper, which makes a nice mess.

Dixie Cups: ^^ For holding wet Cotton Balls and also mystery liquids for me to find!

Spray (any type): ^^To spray anything and everything and leave it there for me to find! Enough said about that.

Cotton Balls:^^ To make boobs for their dolls!

Band-Aids: For their imaginary boo-boos or boo-boos on their "pets".

Kleenex: Barbie bedding or pillows ( a pile folded in half) for baby dolls.

Plastic baggies: To store projects or fill with water!

Pens: Only my good ones, not the free ones from local businesses! Used to write on walls or draw on paper as intended.

Baby Wipes: To do diaper changes on their dolls of course!

Lotion: To smear on any and every surface imaginable and on their dolls!

Liquid Soap: To bathe their "color me" pets. Also to destroy the bathroom in the process.

Napkins: They use these as intended, but just use way too many, because they are "used up" when they have one dot of food on them. Then they are "too yucky" to keep using. They each use 8-10 per meal.

Paper Towels: As baby blankets, after they design them with markers.

If I am ever Not out of at least one of these items I will be surprised. With them in school now they use less, so it could happen! Hey, at least they are creative, amiright?

Monday, December 1, 2014

I Never Wanted Five Kids

I often hear the phrase "Well, you chose to have five kids." People say it when I voice concerns about parenting so many kids such as, expenses, illness, time constraints, fighting, space in our house and van, and all the kid clutter. The statement is annoying even for parents that have the number of kids they planned for. What mother doesn't struggle with those things? The statement is that much worse for me because I actually didn't choose to have five kids. I chose to have four.

When I was fourteen I wanted four kids. When I started dating my husband I still wanted four kids. When I got married I still wanted four kids. When I started having kids I still wanted four kids, and during my fourth pregnancy, I still wanted four kids. I was in a blissful state knowing I would now have my four kids I always dreamed of having.

Everything was going perfectly. I went to my twelve week prenatal appointment and everything checked out great. The doctor asked if I had and questions and I asked her if I was measuring big because I was showing a lot and had gained twelve pounds already. She said I was measuring where I was supposed to and that it was probably because it was my fourth pregnancy in quick succession. She told me we could do a dating ultrasound to be sure I wasn't farther along than I thought I was. 

I knew for a fact my due date was correct because I had been keeping track of ovulation. I reluctantly agreed. As I walked to outpatient scheduling I thought "this lady is fucking stupid, my due date is not off." I scheduled the ultrasound for the following week anyway. 

The day of the appointment I almost just didn't go. I would have to pick up a babysitter, take a one, three, and five year old out by myself and have them sit in the tiny radiology waiting area with the babysitter during the ultrasound. I was thinking "This is such a waste of time, I know my damn due date is correct." I went anyway. That's when shit got real!

As I lay on the ultrasound table and the ultrasound technician started to scan my already huge belly I saw two babies on the screen and nearly screamed "NO FUCKING WAY, THIS CANNOT BE TRUE, KILL ME NOW." I stayed silent and waited for her to say something. She then said in the most cheerful of voices "oh, look, two babies!" I snapped "I know, I saw that already!" She kept talking incessantly about all the cool shit she was doing but I was too pissed to look and just stared at the ceiling. When she said " Here is baby A's heartbeat, here is baby B's heartbeat," I snapped "I do not want to look at any of this crap, just do whatever it is you need to do so I can go home." I spent the next twenty minutes staring at the ceiling, pissed as hell, having racing thoughts about what this meant for us.Thankfully she was silent the rest of the time until she asked if I wanted pictures. Of course I did because how else was I going to prove that it was true to myself or to my husband."

 Next came the fun part. I had to pretend  to be overjoyed when they let my kids in to see the babies on the monitor and I got to cheerfully tell them all it was twins. My three and five year old were so excited and sweet about it. It was such a joyful moment for them, I wish I had savored it more. I feel like I missed it, since I wasn't fully present. I still regret that.

As I drove home and for the next two weeks I was nothing but mad. All the time, mad. I wondered how we would buy another crib, high chair, and car seat. It felt like starting all over again. I worried about carrying to term and how I was gonna breastfeed two babies at once. I fretted about trying to pick four names since we wouldn't be finding out the sexes. After I got used to the idea I did a complete turn around in my attitude. I was so happy and loved both babies to the moon and back. I then wanted  both babies. I was happy! I love both my girls so much. I would never think of giving one away and can't even imagine it being different.

Just to be clear, though, I did not choose to have five kids. I never wanted five, I wanted four. So everyone just please stop saying I chose to have five kids. I didn't. God chose to give me a bonus baby, and I am so glad that he did!