Thursday, August 30, 2007

Viewing my life as through

a camera lens. That's what I find myself doing at times. Thinking...hmmmm now how would THIS look on tv? Or...I'm glad I don't have a camera crew following me NOW! LOL

Earlier this year the Mega family community was approached by some tv producers looking for families with 12 or more children. Some of us were emailed privately and asked to be interviewed for the show. Tom said no WAY! He was not going to be put on tv for all to judge and criticize. 2 of my online friends met with them, one of them was picked for the show.

Since then I often find myself trying to image how the workings of my family would look to the public. Like yesterday...driving to my mom's house with a van full of kids, one with an extreme case of poison ivy. Stop at my sister's house to pick up something and she's not there. Go to the bread store (discount place) and watch me fill up a cart, spending $30+ in about 5 minutes. Then hear all the remarks from the clerk and other shoppers about running a daycare, having a party, and how THAT'S a LOT of bread! Watch me pause at the door because I realize I forgot to get bagels...but not go back in since the kids were in the hot car. Drive down the street toward my parents' house only to find at the next traffic light...smoke coming from the right side of my van! Yep, the brakes on my van decided they didn't want to work properly and were smoking (and stinking). We made it to my mom's and I'm on the phone trying to figure out what to do with the van and find someone to pick up Michelle from work at 8. I get ahold of Pat and tell him we need the car, he volunteers to pick up Michelle. Finally after allowing it to rest and taking it for a test drive we deem it's ok to try to drive it home. I'm happy to report we arrived home ok, no smoke. Although there was a slight burning rubber smell.

Then there's this morning. The first time in quite a while that people had to be out the door early. Tom's no problem...he has to be gone by 6:30. Luke had to catch the bus for freshman orientation at 7:30. Pat had to leave by 7:30 to make an 8:00 class. Michelle had to be ready too since she was catching a ride with Pat (going into class 1.5hrs early) since I don't trust the van to make the 42 mile round trip without a problem. There were quite a few banging of doors, pleas of HURRY UP! Get out of the bathroom NOW! I have to get in there too! At least they got out when they were suppose to. Although I'm sure next week will be even more interesting since we'll be adding in 4 (possibly 5) more kids who need to be out the door at that time too. Did I mention I'm dreading the start of school with all my heart? I thought so.

We can't forget the comedy of all of shopping! 8+ hours at the outlet mall...the wheeling and dealing, the cajoling. I swear my kids will grow up to be world class negotiators. There's me telling someone I refuse to pay $7 for a shirt. Only to turn around and have another kid try to convince me they NEED a $17 long sleeve black shirt. How they can't live without this shirt.

Watch us as we enter the food court. Gather at the table while trying to decide what to do for dinner. Decide to get 2 pizzas Last stop is into the shoe store where we're ignored by all the unoccupied salespeople. Probably because they've pegged me for a...head straight to the clearance rack...type shopper, and they'd be right. I try to keep ahold of Danielle while fighting the urge to choke on the $60+ price tags we pass. Breathe a little more freely as I see the color coded clearance tags. Smile as I find 2 pairs of $15 sneaks. Smile gets even broader as I discover the girls like them and THEY FIT! :o) Then I start to doubt whether I should pay $15 for their sneaks. Can I find some cheaper someplace else? Will I get to that someplace else? Push aside the doubt and whip out the plastic (which makes me sick to my stomach to have to do). It ends with me limping to the van (my tailbone was killing me!), driving home knowing I'll have to do this again Friday! Maybe THEN I can be done. lol (BTW...Danielle and Sean were PERFECT the whole day)

Sitting here I'm wondering how tonight will turn out. The parent's portion of freshmen orientation is tonight (note to self...find and fill out papers that need to be returned at the meeting...stop at library to make a copy of Luke's birth certificate). I THINK it starts at 7...have to check and I'm assuming it goes until 8. Michelle gets out of work at 8, meaning someone has to leave the house to pick her up by 7:30. That is IF we have 2 cars to drive, otherwise someone is going to have to wait for a while until their ride can get to them. At least Pat has today off so that we have ONE car that's driving ok to use. I'm thinking that I'll probably go to school with the van (and cross my fingers), Tom can take the Tercel and pick up Michelle.

Speaking of Tom, there's the relationship aspect that would be portrayed. It's not pretty right now. Not because we're fighting or angry at each other. We'd have to see each other and have more then a few minute phone conversation to do that. No it's that it seems to be sorely lacking at the moment. I haven't seen Tom's actual face since at least Sunday evening. He's been in bed by the time I got home the last few nights. Before that he's pulled a few late nights outside and I've been asleep by the time he comes in. Just goes to show that my view is correct....sleeping is just a waste of time. Now if only my post partum body would agree with my brain!

And last but not least there's how my housekeeping mixed with baby and toddler juggling ability...or lack of would be perceived. ROFL!!! But maybe that's a post for another time.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Vacation is over

Thanks everyone for the well wishes. It took me almost a week until I felt like I had before I got sick. This last week I've really been bugged by my sloooow recovery. Also that at times I'd feel pain when I moved certain ways still and my stamina was sorely lacking. I usually jump right back into things once I'm discharged from the hospital. So taking 4wks to recover seemed WAY too long. Although I should've known better since it took me about this long to feel well after my gallbladder surgery. I'm happy to say though that week has been a good week. I still can't do too much but that's because I've got Sean glued to me, not because I'm in pain or have no energy.

Tom did end up taking the kids camping during the first week of his vacation. It was too cold and rainy for Sean so I opted to stay home. Liz had to back out of going at the last second so I offered to keep Danielle. (Liz would've been Tom's major helper with her) I got a glimpse of what life once school is back in session will be like since I was alone with Sean and Danielle quite a few days. Oh my goodness!!! I missed my big kids. I've gotten so spoiled that I'm a wuss now. lol I'm happy to report that EVERYONE survived.

Sean is growing like a big fat weed. The kids seems to aquire rolls overnight! At his 1wk checkup he weighed 8lbs. At his 3wk checkup he weighed 10lbs (same as Luke when he was born lol) I'm sure he weighs even more now that he's almost 5wks old. Here's a picture my mom took when he was 23 days old. (will try to get a newer picture when Liz gets home tomorrow)

He's a very alert baby that likes to be held by mom a lot. :o) Nursing is his favorite activity. He does really well at night though. The last few nights he's only woken up ONCE although his morning starts before 6am. He seems to have had a twinkle in his eye for at least a week now. We're starting to get glimpses of an almost smile. I even got an adorable crinkled up nose face yesterday.

Tom's second week of vacation ended up being hot and humid. It sent us to the beach in the evenings 2 days this week. Sean isn't beach friendly at this time I wasn't a happy camper. It ended on both an emotional high and a low.

The high was Danielle's 2nd birthday which she THOROUGHLY enjoyed. She blew her candles out like a pro. When I asked if she wanted to do it again she say 'Es. I relit the candles thinking she would blow them right back out. She had other ideas and sat back down into her seat, expecting everyone to sing Happy Birthday to her again. THEN she blew out the candles. She loved her new Zapf babydoll and I'm reminded why you don't leave a newborn alone with a 2yo. lol That poor doll!

The low happened yesterday morning after dropping Michelle off at work. (yes, she now has a job) On the way home I pulled in front of a Tacoma pickup while attempting to turn left at a T intersection. (I was facing the top of the T....truck was coming from the left of the top) I looked left, waited until an SUV passed infront of me, looked right to see if it was clear and never looked left again. I didn't see the truck until it had smashed into me. I CAN'T BELIEVE I DID IT! I've always thought people that that happens to have to be morons to not see a huge vehicle bearing down on them. Now I'm one of them. Here's a not so great picture of the damage...

So now our 1mo new to us Volvo that I told you about here has a VERY smashed up front end. Sean and I were in the car and we're both fine. I was a bit sore last night and will probably end up with bruises on my shoulder, neck and jaw from the seatbelt. I don't think Sean moved at all. :o) I'm SO thankful I wasn't lazy in buckling him into the car like I was tempted to be. (had second thoughts about having to climb IN the car so I could reach the middle seatbelt. Also about climbing on his seat to make sure it was secured into the belt tightly)

I shocked myself and fell apart at the scene. I'm usually the one that stays composed during these types of things. Mostly I was mad at myself for being so careless. Then I thought of all the ramifications of accident like...losing out on the $1500+ we just spent to buy, register and tune-up the car, Drew not being able to start his new job this week (he was going to borrow the car until his Saturn was fixed), I was issued a ticket and now will have points on my license which means higher insurance for a few years, and higher insurance premiums based on an accident alone. I was a basketcase all day and I think I scared the kids just a bit. They aren't used to seeing their mom randomly break into hysterics. They've been walking on eggshells around me since I got home yesterday.

Jake keeps saying...mommy's scared! I told him no, I'm mad. Then on the way to taking Michelle to work t his morning I broke down as we got closer to the dreaded corner. So maybe there's a little bit of truth to what he's claiming. It's been a vicious circle. I start crying, get mad at myself for falling apart, then get embarrassed because I fell apart and start crying even more. This afternoon I've been fine. I guess the final test will be in an hour when I go to pick Michelle up from work again.

Michelle and Pat start back to college on Wed. Unfortunately they can't coordinate rides to ease my driving time. Pat will have to head to work after classes and can't wait around for Michelle and vice versa. I'm just glad Pat decided to go back to school NOW instead of "next semester" like he'd planned on a few weeks ago.

The other school kids start back to school in 9 days (on the 5th). I'm dreading it with all my heart! Especially since Jake has the 5th grade teacher from hell. The one teacher who's managed to make EVERY kid I know that's had her HATE school/5th grade. Including socially minded Val and academically minded Liz. How can you turn off 2 kids who enjoyed school for 2 totally different reasons? I a lousy teacher! I've already put Tom on notice that I will pull and homeschool Jake if I think he's being negatively affected. Who knows...maybe they'll love each other...stranger things have happened. We have quite a bit of school shopping to do. Everyone is still wearing last years sneakers and they are falling apart. At least I'm set on backpacks...I think. I also bought a ton of basic supplies before Sean was born. So we're not totally unprepared. The plan right now is to go out shopping tomorrow (Michelle's only day off this week). Hopefully we'll get everything we need in one trip (hey! a girl can dream!) to get some lunch. Then it'll be time to be brave and conquer the evil intersection. Voya con Dios!

Monday, August 13, 2007

UGH! Two steps forward, 3 steps back

I posted about how great everything was going on Thursday and then I wake up Friday morning. MISTAKE! I was soooo sick. I think I've only been that sick two other times in my life...once with strep and another with the flu. I was on the toilet all morning and didn't know what to do. I had to take Michelle and Liz to the dentist for appts at 1pm...I'd already confirmed them the day before! I called Tom and asked if he could get out of work early and take them. He was going to at first but then said that he was super busy trying to get ready for his vacation (taking 2wks off starting Monday!). Besides it was only call and cancel. I broke into tears, realized there was NO way I was going out the door and called the dentist.

I then grabbed Sean and headed back to bed. By then I was shivering and burning up under my blankets. As the kids got up and would pass my room, I'd call them in and have them take Sean for a little while. They'd carry him out into the livingroom, pass him around for a bit and then send him back in with me to be nursed. I'd hook him up and fall back to sleep. Someone would hear or see him moving (my door stayed open), come grab him until he was rooting like a madman on everyone's arm....then back into bed with me. I felt guilty for not "taking care" of my newborn. Although the guilt wasn't too bad since I slept until well after 5pm.

I tried to get up but my head and back were screaming. It was almost like a spinal headache and was just about as bad painwise. (had one after Danielle's delivery) I kept calling Tom asking where he was in his errand run, that I needed some pepsi. Everytime I'd talk to Tom he'd ask if I needed to go to the dr or the hospital. I'd tell him I'm pretty sure it wasn't pregnancy/c-section related (normally having the runs isn't one of the symptoms...otherwise I'd have been worried too). He finally got home, (asking again if I wanted to go to the ER...I guess the tears made him nervous) I slowly drank down 2 pepsi's and took a few tylenol and started to feel a bit better. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to go to sleep after sleeping all day (Sean too, he was napping a lot more then normal with me in bed all day). We both slept fine.

I woke up Saturday still feeling so hot. I could barely stand for more then a minute and still needed frequent trips to the bathroom. It was about 6 at night when I realized....I have a bridal shower tomorrow at 1pm and haven't bought anything for it! What am I going to do? I decided I'd get up early Sunday and go out shopping. Weeeeeeell, I couldn't get to sleep Saturday night. I saw the wee hours of the morning creep in before I convinced myself I might fall asleep if I tried. Needless to say, I didn't wake up Sunday morning until well past 10 and that wasn't enough time to shop properly. I also still felt weak and not particularly well. So wasn't a stellar idea in my book to be out all morning/day. So I asked Michelle for a blank card and gave the couple cash. I know it will be appreciated and I have a legitimate excuse for not having a gift. I still feel like a cad for not having anything for her to open today. It was a nice shower despite how I felt about my gift. She seemed to really be appreciative of it and that's all that matters. :o)

Tomorrow Tom gets our van inspected and hopfefully will make it legal to drive again! Fingers crossed that the state doesn't find a reason to deny it and give Tom a hard time. We really can't provide a lot of the information they want from us since we just BOUGHT the van, not rebuilt it. I can't wait until all this red tape is behind us! There is talk of going camping if the van passes. I was originally going to go but now I don't think I'd be good enough to go to the mailbox much less the Adirondacks. Besides it's suppose to be pretty chilly and rainy this week. Not something I want to deal with with a newborn and almost 2yo. I'm trying to convince him to wait until next week but he's not having any of it. I don't really mind staying home alone (although some big kids would probably be here since they have to work and whatnot). NOt sure I can handle Danielle and Sean at the same time. I'm getting nervous about that come September. But that's something for another blog post at a later time.

My plan to stay up until Sean woke up for his midnight'ish feeding is backfiring. He hasn't woken up and my head keeps snapping back while I sit here trying to concentrate. I was trying to avoid Sean waking me up 30-45mins after I fell asleep (HATE when that happens cause I have the hardest time getting fully awake then). Guess everything is pointing for me to go to bed even if my head says to wait a FEW more minutes.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

2wks home with my new little man

First here's a picture of Sean, taken when he was 6 days old.

I want to get a newer picture soon (need to borrow one of the girls' cameras). I also want to get a pic of the BEAUTIFUL quilt that came in the mail last week from one of my chat friends Jeeps/Jill. It's light blue with train cars on the top, backed with red bandana material on the reverse. Jill's son, M picked it out for us and they go together perfectly. It's snuggly too (yes, mom's been using it)

Secondly, thank you for all the great wishes, comments, emails, gifts, etc. They are all truly appreciated and mean a lot to me.

Sean has been doing great. I still haven't gotten the knack of NAK (nursing at the keyboard) with him yet. Part of me would rather pay attention to him instead of the monitor, part of me was letting the kids veg in front of the computer...leaving me alone, part of me hasn't bothered to even try very hard to get the knack. So online time is spent lurking/reading mostly. Throwing in a slow chat with one hand here or there. Although I missed Tues night chat. I went to bed by 10:30 and also forgot it was Tues night until I woke up on Wed morning. *blush* I've been wanting to update here so please forgive me if this gets lengthy. I'm afraid I won't get back on to add more if I keep it short.

Sean has been doing really well with the nights. He's giving me about 3hrs at a time with nursings between them. Usually his nights start between 10 and midnight. I'm trying on occassion to hit the bed as soon as he does, but with all these older kids it's not so easy. The other night Tom and I both went to bed around 10ish. Liz and Carrie were still over at church watching transmissions from Norway. They called about 10:45 for a ride which Eileen or Olivia (who were sleeping on the livingroom couch) answered. They woke me and told me the girls were needing a ride and I answered..."tell them I'll be there in a few minutes". Then promptly fell back to sleep!!!! As did Eileen and Olivia. I woke up about 1.5 hrs later and thought...oh they must have gotten a ride home from SOMEONE. Started to go back to sleep and then decided to make sure they were home. They weren't in their room, nor on the computer. (girls didn't have my cell phone with them) I jumped in the car and drove to the meeting hall, they weren't there. I started panicing but decided to drive into the back of the property and see if they were at the rec center. Suddenly they came out from between a few bushes on the patio. PHEW! I felt so bad for leaving them to wait all alone (they'd told everyone I was on my way and it was ok to leave...afterall we only live 2miles from the place!). They didn't quite know what to do. They didn't want to leave the rec center since they'd already told the little girls that's where they'd be waiting (but I wasn't informed). They didn't want to walk home because the country streets were so dark. They thought about heading back to the meeting hall and sleeping in the mother's room until morning. Which I'm glad they didn't do because I did NOT want to have to start searching buildings and dorms for them! Needless to say I was living with a bit of guilt for a while. Luckily it was mostly through the night so the girls couldn't play off of it too much. lol

I never mentioned in my birth story about how Danielle reacted to Sean at the hospital. She surprised me and was.....SCARED of him! She reacted to him like she does a dog. Tolerant until he comes too close or crosses into her uncomfortable range. Then she just wants him gone! At the hospital she was sitting on the bed between my knees when someone tried to put Sean into her lap. She straight armed/pushed him right away from her. I pulled her up closer to me, put my arms under her arms and asked someone to give me the baby...figuring I'd hold the baby with Danielle between us. NO WAY! She wouldn't have any of it. She scurried out of and across my arms, across the bed and jumped into Olivia's (7yo) arms. We were all ROFL'ing. We did manage to get her to "pet" the baby once and then kiss the top of his head before she left. Even now...over 2wks later she really doesn't want too much to do with him. If she does she's ok with him as long as he doesn't move too much or cry. (she will show everyone how he cries though...walking around says...waaah, waaah waaah) I guess for Danielle's sake it's a good thing he's not a frequent or prolonged crier.

It's amazing how quickly Sean's changing/growing. He's filling out more and more, I actually had to give him some slack in his carseat straps already. He's always had an alert time in the early morning when he was bright eyed and bushy tailed. Now though it happens more often and for longer periods. He's constantly pushing his head off my shoulder and starting to look around more purposefully. The kids still get freaked out when he looks at them crosseyed though. lol Today he was up for almost the whole day with only a few 10-15min catnaps thrown in. Oh I think he finally had one nap in the evening for about an hour. He's probably heading for a growth spurt and will be nursing nonstop in the next few days.

Tom is taking the next 2 weeks off starting on Monday. We're hoping to go camping. Well Tom will most likelyl go, I'm the one hoping to make it. As of right now I'm leaning toward going. I guess I'll have to wait to see the forecast and how I feel though. I've been doing pretty well until yesterday. Then I forgot that I was mending and did a situp while holding Sean inorder to get out of bed. I think I pulled something because I've felt a burning sensation deep on my right side since then. Hopefully it'll go away soon cause it's getting irritating! I want to be normal again!

Quite a few people have asked me how I feel about my tubal now that it's over. I can say that I'm still ok with it. I have bouts of sadness over it, like when I realized I can now dispose of all my baby girl things that Danielle outgrew. Or today when I talked myself into tears telling Sean he was the last baby. It's not overwhelming though and I can deal with it. I know that for myself I would want to have babies FOREVER...even after menopause came crashing into me head on and in full force. I'm glad that my childbearing has ended on a good note with a healthy baby and me healthy. I'd have hated it to have ended with multiple miscarriages or something of the sort. I know there will be times when the idea of no babies is a bit more overwhelming. (like when Sean is 10-12mos old and I'd normally be getting pg again, or in Nov when SIL, D, has her baby) I'm hoping that with the support I have it won't be too devastating. I have already gotten to the no diapers phase before and was quite enjoying it until I became blissfully pg with Danielle. So I know it's not a terrible thing that I have infront of me. Besides Drew and Allison are planning on a wedding in less then a year so maybe in 2yrs I'll be holding a grandchild which I can then send home because they are cranky. LOL Knowing me I'll probably have the grandkids at my house all the time!

In a few weeks I've got something exciting going on. Val's bestfriend, J, is going to have her baby. Her and her mom have asked me (and Val) to come to the hospital with them when she's in labor. I've already ok'ed it with the midwife and she assures me Dr B will be ok with it. (J goes to the same practice that delivered Sean) The family originally had a Doula but they decided if I was going to be there they'd let the doula go. J's mom wants to be there as a mom, not a coach so that would be my role. I'm nervous about it too. It's one thing when you're dealing with yourself. You know how your body is reacting and what it wants/doesn't want to do. It's another when you have to guide someone else. I feel like I have NO knowledge in the area. Afterall, I've never actually seen a birth! It will be nice to be there though. It'll give me a sense if going through the doula certification would be a good thing for me or not. I think I'd enjoy being a doula. Some people seem to think I'd make a good one. I guess getting through someone else's birth might be a good first step. LOL I need to shower and try to get into bed before Sean wakes up again. I promise more pictures will be coming SOON. I'll also try not to let 2wks go by before updating again.