Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Frank Sinatra Would Be So Proud...

Tonight is New Year's Eve. I know, it's a shocker, you all get so much useful information just by reading this blog, don't you? Anyway, my sis-in-law Holly came up with a grand idea a few years back, and we have kept it as a tradition ever since. She is having her annual New York New Year's party tonight. The concept in itself is brilliant: we all gather about six, bring munchies and drinks, and the kids all play together and trash her playroom. (OK, the trashing the playroom part isn't brilliant, but what are you gonna do?) At nine, we watch the live presentation of the ball dropping in Times Square since they are three hours ahead of us, and we scream, yell, blow noisemakers, and make a big ruckus. We all leave shortly after, get home before the drunks hit the road, and have the kids in bed by 10:30 or so. Then we as adults have the opportunity to celebrate actual New Year's by ourselves, which usually means around 11:30 we give up and fall asleep.

Our plan this year is to have me go into labor sometime today and spend New Year's in the hospital with our new little tax deduction, er, bundle of joy in our arms. We will have to see!

Happy New Year!

New Year's Resolutions

I usually do not fall into the category of people who make resolutions. Besides the easily attainable ones, like when I was newly pregnant with Emma and I resolved to gain 30 pounds, or when I had the twins and I resolved to lose twenty, which happened in three days. (Don't hate me, I had twins, remember?) Last year, my only resolution was to not get pregnant this year. Sometimes, God has a great sense of humor, doesn't He?

I have decided to actually make some New Year's resolutions this year. I am feeling a little like I need a plan and purpose for this year or I will go completely crazy and not just a little crazy, which is how I live my life. Call them resolutions, call them year-long goals, whatever, here is my plan for 2009.

1. I resolve to hold it together enough to not be institutionalized this year. That's the only shred of sanity I am trying to keep. The rest is going to be long gone, and I am OK with that.

2. I resolve to get into my pre-pregnancy clothes at some point. Not the ones before Emma, or even the ones before the twins, but just those that I was wearing at this time last year. Oh, and not just get into them, they have to button all the way and not look completely ridiculous.

3. I resolve to NOT resolve to not get pregnant. (Confusing, but think about it for a minute. Get it? OK!) I am certainly not planning on getting pregnant, which is why Marty had his vasectomy, but I am not going to play chicken with God again. He always wins.

4. I resolve to try and become a little more organized this year. I will never be like Martha Stewart, nor would I want to be, but being able to find both shoes when I want to leave the house would be nice. However, with all these shoe-stealing children running around, I might be a few years away from that goal. We will have to see.

5. I resolve to finish the boys' room. I have one more wall to paint, and the hanging light needs to be put up, and a few more details need to be done to pull it all together. I better be able to finish it in a year!

Well, that's about it. Happy New Year's everyone! What are your resolutions?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Baby Update

First of all, don't forget about the baby pool! You can find it here and enter as many times as you like. Many dates have passed, including my personal prediction, so get cracking!

Here's the latest. Doc today says I am dilated 2 cm and 75% effaced. If I don't go into labor on my own, I am scheduled to be induced Jan 5th to ensure I get to the hospital on time. (I think you all know I tend to labor really fast, so getting there is a big concern.) So enter the pool, but pick a date between now and Jan 5th, OK? Well, I guess if you really wanted to, you could pick another date, but that would be kinda silly, huh?

Don't forget, go HERE and enter to win nothing but bragging rights, since I am too cheap to offer real prizes! Good luck!

Come On, Spring, Where Are Ya?

I know, it's still December. The tree is still up, and the Christmas dinner leftovers have not been all eaten yet. There is still snow on the ground, and more to come. It has been winter for what, a week? But my seed catalog came in the mail, and I got excited about the idea of planning my garden and now I cannot wait for spring to come. The iris in my front yard has teensy little buds on it, just enough to get me thinking that spring is just around the corner, but make me wait for months on end for it to show it's springy face.

I did a garden for the first time last year. I was so thrilled at the idea, we were just feeling like we had gotten our heads above water with the twins' baby days, and I had great plans for the summer. Then I got pregnant again, and I changed my plans a little due to morning sickness. I did not plant everything I was going to (the though of onions made me sick, so I ignored them) and the herb garden did not get as much use as cooking was not high on my list of things to not make me puke. This year will be different. I want to be successful(ish) in the garden, I might actually have time to weed every now and again, and now I know to watch for the neighbor's chickens coming into the yard and eating all the corn seeds. I am ready for spring!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Thank You, Tom Sawyer, Thank You!

Question: How do you get your children to stop fighting over whose turn it is to wear the cowboy hat, and turn that energy into cleaning the couch? I'll tell you. Take a page from Tom Sawyer.

I got a cool thingy for Christmas, it is a Sonic Scrubber. It looks like a big electric toothbrush, but had different attachments to clean different things. One of those attachments is an upholstery brush, so I thought I'd give it a try on our couch cushions. Here was my plan:

Step 1. Get scrubber and a small bowl of water. Do not look at children, but go to couch and start scrubbing.
Step 2. Giggle uncontrollably as I clean.
Step 3. Do not make eye contact with kids, keep everything to myself.
Step 4. Kids wander over to see what is going on.
Step 5. Continue to giggle, and try to hide what I was doing.
Step 6. When asked, "Can I do that?" Answer with, "I don't know, honey, this might be too hard for you. Besides, I don't really need help, this is pretty fun, and I'm fine on my own."
Step 7. Giggle some more, and scrub with glee.

Let me tell you, it worked. I finally "gave in" and "let them" do it. The kids took turns scrubbing the couch, and they did well taking turns since they knew that if they didn't the opportunity would go away. The couch is clean, and I got to make lunch at the time, uninterrupted since they were so enthralled with cleaning. Sometimes, I amaze myself.

Here's a passage from Tom Sawyer, after Tom gets all his buddies to whitewash the fence, just by making it seem fun. I love this:

Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it – namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. If he had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. And this would help him to understand why constructing artificial flowers or performing on a tread-mill is work, while rolling ten-pins or climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement. There are wealthy gentlemen in England who drive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty or thirty miles on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service, that would turn it into work and then they would resign.

I gotta remember this philosophy.

A Great Start To The Day

I actually got TWO stretches of three hours of sleep last night! I feel like a million bucks, even though it seems like I am carrying all million dollars in quarters strapped to my belly. The boys are not feeling too great, but they slept until 9:30! That is a record. I got a shower, and even did my hair this morning. I am attempting to clean up the remnants of the weekend where everyone was sick and not much got done. However, we are down to our last garbage bag till payday, so I have been putting trash into grocery bags and tossing them into the laundry room, since the garbage can is at the end of the driveway.

Today, Marty has to go to the dentist to have his crown put back on that popped off this weekend. It stinks since we do not have dental insurance, but teeth are important, so we will figure it out. The poor guy broke his tooth and our couch all within twenty minutes this weekend. Maybe he was just trying to get out of doing dishes, since he was on a 'breaking stuff' streak. Hmmmm, I'll have to watch that one... :) Just kidding, honey, I love you!

The snow is continuing to melt, we are down to about a foot left. It's freaky to see big chunks fall off the roof right in front of the windows, I jump every time. I hear we are in for a nasty week weather wise, and may lose power. I really wanted to have this baby in the next couple of days to get the tax break this year, but maybe it's best that nothing is happening so far. I do not want to bring a new baby home to house full of sick kids, no power, and no running water. Oh, well, God knows best!

I'm off to continue trying to organize my house at least a little. I am in the mood to just throw stuff away, so I am not going to waste it!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hey Yah, Hey Yah, My Husband's Back!

It is official! The Seahawks just finished their final game of the season. They are not going to the playoffs, and fantasy football ended last week. WooHoo!!!! If I had the energy, I would be doing a happy dance right now. However, dancing seems like it would take way too much energy, so I am blogging instead.

If you don't already know, I am a football widow. My darling husband is an avid fan, and football takes a bit of his time and energy. He has two or three fantasy teams, and enjoys watching every game he can. He has done very well this year not letting it take up too much time, but I still breathe a sigh of relief at the end of every season. Weekends will no longer include, "Can we get all that done and be home in time for kickoff?" It will be nice.

Oh, more news. I got called for jury duty! I am so bummed, I have always wanted to serve in a jury, I think it would be fun. However, being called to serve two weeks after my due date seems a little much, so I will have to mail in the little hardship thingy. I hope I get called again. I want to be involved in a big, news making case where I get to point and yell, "He's guilty!" Well, only if he is actually guilty, I want to be an impartial juror.

Thank you to everyone who responded to my last post and offered help. I really appreciate it, and I will be calling. However, don't give me a hard time for not calling earlier, I did have help lined up in the last two weeks and every time they cancelled due to the snow. I can't exactly ask someone to walk to my house and help out, can I? Wait, can I? Maybe I'll give it a try...

A Long, Eerie Night

I have been sleeping on the couch the last couple of nights. No, Marty and I are not fighting, but we are sick, and I am pregnant so we sleep better this way. Prior to this, I had been getting up seven or so times a night, and lack of sleep makes me cranky. Well, crankier than normal. I don't think anyone would say I have the sweetest disposition when I am nine months pregnant.

Anywhoo, the couch has made it so I can sleep propped up, and I end up less stuffy and congested. I know, you all really want to know this, but this is my blog and I'll blog about whatever I want. See, there's the cranky coming out! Our snow has started to melt at a rapid rate, and big chunks of snow and ice have started to fall from the roof. Since our roof is metal, it makes a really weird noise as it breaks, slides, goes over the edge and falls with a thud to the ground below. When this is the sound that wakes you from sleep, it is even weirder. The thing is, I knew it would happen, and I knew what the sound was, I even was 100% sure that there was no way it was loud enough to actually be a section of the roof of our house that was collapsing and falling into one of the kids' bedrooms, squashing them in their sleep, so why did I have to get up and check anyway? I think it's a mom thing. It does not matter how ridiculous the possibility of the imagined peril, you have to go find out for sure, or you will not sleep. I think it is the same instinct that makes you stay awake with a newborn, since there is no way that new life will be able to continue breathing all night if you are not diligently watching each rise and fall of their little tiny chest. The same instinct that makes you turn around in the grocery store when you hear any child shout, "Mom!" even though you left your kids at home with your spouse. Moms as a whole are a crazy bunch.

Overall, I did sleep relatively well last night. I got a solid 3 hour stretch, which hasn't happened in weeks. Some people say that this is God's way of preparing a mother for the waking of a newborn all night. I say that's a bunch of baloney. Why would God prepare someone for lack of sleep by making her go into it exhausted already? I know God has a sense of humor, but that's just plain mean.

Today I am planning on attempting to clean up a little more of the Christmas mess that still lingers around my house. Since I can bend over and pick things up approximately two times before falling on the couch exhausted, it is taking a while to get everything cleaned up. At this rate, I should be done about 2011. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Few Christmas Pics!

Here are some Christmas pics, courtesy of Amy. The boys were a little excited about the day, and did not get a nap. Sitting still is not a strong skill of theirs, but at least they were sharped dressed little men!

Our little family. Don't the kids look thrilled? This is, "Really, we have to do family pictures BEFORE we open presents?!?"
All of us together. This is Marty's siblings, spouses, and kids. Love the socks, Holly!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Christmas And Last Couple Of Days

We are a family of tradition. Some times, things happen that get in the way of tradition. We have always had a bustling, busy Christmas Eve/Day, and I have always wanted to slow down a little and spend some time with just us. This year, the snow created the reason why, between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, when we are usually doing 4 Christmases at least, we only did one. We got to spend a lot of time with our little family and we enjoyed it a lot. We missed the family that we were unable to see, and it felt a little strange, but hopefully we will catch up with everyone soon.

Christmas day we had snow up to my hip. I don't know how much exactly, since we don't have a yardstick, but at least two and a half feet of snow gathered in our yard and driveway. My darling, hardworking husband spent over an hour on Christmas eve trying to dig us out, and was unsuccessful. We got more snow that night, and Marty spent another three and a half hours Christmas morning digging the van out of the driveway so we could go to his family's Christmas. I am so happy he was willing to go through all that work since it is a long driveway, and two of the neighbor's four-wheel-drive trucks got stuck, but Marty's hard work and snow skills prevailed and our van made it to Christmas. It was wonderful, I think the day would have been a lot less fun if we had missed every part of our Christmas traditions. My parents were going to come up, but decided to postpone the trip for the snow. I am hoping to see them soon.

The snow finally started melting today. It has warmed up a bit, and we have lots of drips and we can actually see Marty's car again. I am really praying it melts before it rains, I am starting to worry a little about our roof. It is pretty low-pitch, and I am concerned it might collapse under the weight of the snow and rain. Also, it is metal, so sending someone up there to clear it off would be really stupid. All we can do is pray.

We have been lazy the last few days. The last couple of days we have not actually been snowed in, but going out would be a hassle and knowing the idiots out there driving it is not worth the risk. We should be getting a ton of stuff done around the house, but we are all sick and severely lacking energy. I guess the timing is good, since we are not missing anything being sick, but it sure would be nice to use this time a little more productively.

I had been hoping to have the baby this weekend, but with everyone being sick I am now hoping we hold off a little longer. I really do not want to bring a new baby brother home to a sick household and not let the other kids near him for fear they will sneeze green goobers all over the new baby.

Anyway, Christmas was wonderful. We had good family time and I made a turkey that turned out really well, very moist and tender. Yay for my turkey! We have a ton of leftovers, since it was a 20.5 lb. turkey for two adults and three small kids, but that will be good. I hope you all had a great day as well, and enjoy the rest of the weekend as an extension of Christmas. I am off to cuddle kids and take a nap.

I Got Some Love!

Melissa over at Full Circle showed me love the other day, but being close to Christmas I did not have a chance to blog about it. My mission is to accept this wonderful award and admit to five addictions. So here they are.
1. I am addicted to chocolate. When I was about seven, I was told I was allergic to chocolate, so I had very little of the fantastic numminess until another doc told me that was not true at the age of twenty-five. I have a lot of lost years of chocolate enjoyment to catch up on.

2. Blogging. (Duh!)

3. Bath and Body works antibacterial hand soap. I have all different scents, and I love them.

4. Chuck. It is the greatest TV show ever. It is the number one show in my DVR, and I love it. Did I mention it is the greatest show ever?

5. My hubby says I am addicted to seasonal decorating. I really do not think I am nearly as bad as some of my friends, so maybe this is not an addiction, or maybe I am still in denial. My decorations are stored in color coded bins, so Christmas is green and red, Halloween is orange and black, Easter is pastel, etc. However, I only have five Christmas bins and three fall/Halloween bins. That's not an addiction, right? Right?!?

I now bestow this award to five of my bloggy friends,
1. Holly at Snow Mommy
2. Tracie at Little Bearfoot Farm
3. Amy at Love My Babes
4. Brenda at The Campbell Family
5. Erin at live, Laugh, Love

Have fun!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Christmas Eve and The Reindeer Had an Accident!

Merry Christmas, everyone! We had a fun and eventful Christmas Eve. We woke up to six to eight inches of new snow, add that to what we already had and Marty could not get out of the driveway to get to work this morning. It kept snowing all day, we took the kids out and they had a blast. We don't own a yardstick, so it's just a guess, but I think we have a total of between a foot and a half and two feet of snow. It is amazing, I can only remember one time having this much snow, and never at Christmas. What a way to slow down and appreciate the day.

The kids were hesitant at first going outside, Marty and I had to stomp a path for them to follow. The boys wandered our path for the longest time, but since the snow was past their waists and up to their elbows, they would not venture out on their own. Emma finally did, but the most adventurous of the bunch was our crazy cat. He leaped and bounded in the snow that was deeper than he is tall, but just kept going. I'm telling you, he is actually a dog.

Our plan this evening was to go to Marty's Grandma and Grandpa's house for Christmas Eve. I was a little concerned that we would not be able to get out of the driveway, so Marty headed out early to take a test drive. His plan was to go down the driveway, onto the road and see how the road was, and turn around and head home. He spent over an hour digging and driving, and moved the van a total of four feet. We stayed home.

I quickly threw together a dinner and we ate to the sounds of Christmas music, and wanting to make the night special, I read them the Christmas story out of Emma's children's Bible. I tried to explain to Emma that the story was real, that it really happened a long time ago, and Jesus really lived. Emma seemed to get it, and was really excited at the thought. "Really, Mommy, it really happened?" "Yes, baby, this is a true story." "Did Santa go to the stable, too?" Oh, Crapola.

The kiddos are in bed, and I am headed there soon, too. The gifts are wrapped, the stockings are full, and the cookies have been nibbled. The carrots for the reindeer have reindeer teeth marks in them, and the reindeer must have really been excited since they pooped on the rug. In this house full of pee and dirty diapers, it seems crazy that every mythical creature that enters has an accident. Between the Easter Bunny and the reindeer, we go through a lot of raisinettes. Yes, it is Marty's idea.

Anywhoo, I probably will not be blogging on Christmas, but will be spending it with the family. Have a very merry Christmas, and slow down and enjoy the day. I'll have plenty of stories come Friday, I imagine!

Random Musings on The Birth of Christ

I believe in the Christmas story. Not the "when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter" one, but the baby Jesus born in the stable Christmas story. I think it is easy for us as Christians to say we believe the story, we read the story every year, and we know it by heart. But how often do we look into the truths behind it, trying to understand what was truly going on? How did Mary feel? What was it really like?

Now I am not a preacher, or a minister, or anything like that. This is just some thoughts that have been gathering in my mind lately. I will just try to muddle through the mess, join me if you would like, OK?

I learned in church a few years ago that in the custom of the times that Jesus was born, women were betrothed to their husbands at about age fifteen. We don't know for sure, but Mary was probably around FIFTEEN. That just blows me away. A young woman, or girl, rather, that in this day and age, would not even be considered mature enough to drive a car or choose the mayor of her town, was chosen by God to raise His son. Unbelievable. How did she deal with all the pressure? If she was chosen by God, you know she did not blow up in a teenage temper-tantrum, saying, why me? She was at peace with her destiny and trusted God. And she was fifteen.

When the angel appeared to Mary, Joseph wasn't there. He did not have the benefit of hearing the news from the Almighty himself, he instead heard from Mary. What guy can hear from his fiancee that she is pregnant, knowing full well that the baby is not his, and believe the idea that she did not cheat on him, but that God made her pregnant? What went on in his mind? The thing was, an angel later appeared to him and told him the truth. He believed, and while the law said he could have taken her into a courtyard and killed her publicly, he spared her life, married her, and raised Jesus as his own. He trusted God, but it could not have been easy. I can't imagine that they never got looks or comments from other people as they went to the market or to temple. I know how people can be, and they can be mean. I admire Mary and Joseph for their ability to hold their heads up high as they must have endured some horrendous judgements from others. It is a great reminder to me to not judge, since the truth might just seem unbelievable. It's not my business to know every individual person's miracle.

So the baby is born, in a stable of all things. Here is a fifteen year old giving birth without the help of a doctor, midwife, or even her mom. Sure she has Joseph, but really, how helpful are guys during a delivery? She probably delivered the baby and managed to keep Joseph from getting a concussion when he passed out on top of it all. She was all alone in a faraway place, scared, and fifteen. The whole thing amazes me.

They both knew that God had chosen this child to be the Savior of men. They knew that in order to save someone from their sins, there had to be a sacrifice. Did they hold that precious little baby, knowing full well that he would be sacrificed at some point? How do you deal with that? Then the strangers start showing up to see this new baby King. That had to feel great, being new parents and realizing that the rest of the world thought this was as big a deal as you do. However, the wisemen come bearing gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Great gifts, but do you know what myrrh is? It's fancy-schmancy embalming fluid. Used on kings and royalty when they die. That's the equivalent of showing up to a modern baby shower with a casket. Here's a gift not for the new birth, but for his inevitable death. What a total reality check. How do you accept a gift like that gracefully? How do you not throw it back in the wiseman's face, screaming "No! Go away, this is my baby and I will protect him with everything I have!" I don't know how, as a mother, she could have dealt with that. But she did. And she did it at fifteen.

As I really think about the story, truths come to life that make it a bigger miracle than I originally thought. More than just the virgin birth, more than the star. The feelings behind everything is what I am thinking of this year. The Mary that we think of in the story is happy, blessed, content. But truly, this was a young girl who must have felt betrayed and disgraced in her community, terrified and scared in the stable, and devastated at the realization that this child, this piece of her heart, would die. She chose to trust in God instead of whining, complaining, or just shriveling up inside due to the strain. And although it was not an easy life she led, she was blessed in many, many ways. Mary and Joseph were never wealthy, but they had the honor and privilege of being the people who the King Of Kings called Mom and Dad. It truly reminds me of the true meaning of Christmas. It's not about the stuff, the gifts, the stockings hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. It's about the miracle of the birth of our Savior. And it is about believing in God, and trusting Him even when things do not go according to your plan, or seem so very, very wrong. I know God is in charge of my life, and I do not need to worry. Where are you this Christmas?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Confession Time: I Lied To My Daughter

Yesterday was the boys' two year check-up. It took me four tries to get out of my driveway, but I did beat the snow and made it to town. We had told the kids that was what we were doing, and Emma wanted to make sure she was not getting tricked. She kept asking, "This is for the boys, right? I am not getting any shots today?" Between Marty and I, we probably told her twelve times that no, she was not getting a shot, just the boys. You can imagine how my heart dropped when the doctor mentioned that Emma had not gotten her flu shot this year, and it would be a really good idea with the new baby coming. How do you explain to a four year old that we didn't mean to, but we lied to her twelve times and she was actually getting a shot? I'll tell you how. Bribery. She go her flu shot, screaming the whole time (I can't blame her, she must have felt so betrayed and tricked) and then she got to go to the McDonald's play area for lunch. By the time the shot was over, she was totally fine, but leading up to it was the worst tantrum we have seen since her flu shot last year. She went first which completely freaked out the boys for their shots, by the time we got to Grant he was crying before he sat on the table. I think he was so upset at the reaction of the other two he really didn't notice the shots themselves, which was good. Overall, Emma was happy with the outcome since she loves the McDonald's play area, but it was traumatic for all of us. As we left the exam room, I didn't realize we were right across from the nurse's station. We got a lot of looks of pity leaving that office, especially when they saw my big belly. I was so happy to get home and take a lovely nap. If only I could have had some wine to go with it...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I Love The Snow. Most of The Time.

We have had really crazy weather around here recently. We almost never have snow before Christmas, and the lowest temperatures get all winter are in the high 20's. The last week and a half have been an exception. We have reached lows of 7 degrees (that's -14 to you, Lia!) and have had snow and ice and wind for over a week. I love the snow, I think it is great. It has caused some problems getting the last of my Christmas stuff done, but that's OK. The kids have had a blast, I haven't gone into labor yet, and it's just so pretty.

Monday is garbage and recycling day. Our garbage guys come at about 4 am, so everything goes out the night before. Our driveway is a tenth of a mile, which really doesn't seem that long until you have to drag a garbage can and four recycling bins through six inches of snow. Then it's really freakin' far. Or I should say it seems so, but my hubby is a gentleman and does it for me.

The problem tonight was the back door. Our back door is metal with a metal frame. From what I understand, metal expands in the cold. Unfortunately the door expanded out and the frame expanded in, but we didn't know that until Marty had opened the door and then could not get it closed. We had just put the boys to bed, but of course they were not sleeping through all the banging of trying to slam the door. Marty tried forcing the door shut, we took a spatula to all the snow and ice that had gathered on the bottom, we cleaned off the porch of excess snow, Marty tried lifting the door since it was suddenly hanging lower than it should (I don't know if that is from the cold or from all the slamming, but we will blame the cold.) We tried almost everything. For thirty minutes. Thirty minutes of having the back door open, which probably cost us $75 in heat. Thirty minutes of scraping, slamming and banging, which must have caused enough friction to shrink it a little, we were able to get the door mostly closed but not all the way until I finally took a screwdriver to the door and re-adjusted the latch, which had expanded to the point it was keeping the door open. Meanwhile, the boys are squealing in their cribs since the whole house is shaking every time Marty tries slamming the door, and Emma is trying to 'help.' You know, since she knows everything.

Anywhoo, the back door is finally securely closed. The garbage and recycling are at the end of the driveway. The house is freezing, and I would give almost anything to have a glass of wine right now. The upside is, the kids are in bed, and I can just relax the rest of the night. Maybe tonight I'll dream of wine...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Out of The Mouths Of Parents

There are some things that we believe we will never have to say. I think we were all shocked to announce that the Seahawks were going to the super bowl. We can all think of examples of phrases that we believe will never cross our tongues. Sometimes, however, words come out of your mouth that make you stop and think a minute, wondering if anyone could have predicted that particular sentence. One of these times was this morning. We were relaxing with the kids watching morning cartoons, when suddenly Marty says, "We do not put baby Jesus in the toilet!" After about five seconds, we both busted out laughing. The kids did not get it, and were really confused. We probably should have put the boys' new potties in the bathroom last night instead of leaving them out in the living room, but at least they were being used. Maybe they thought since baby Jesus was born in a stable, he needed to be taken out of the nativity and given a bath?

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Good Birthday

The boys' birthday party was a success! I think we all had a great time, but we missed the family and friends who could not make it. Having a party the weekend before Christmas in the worst weather we have had in years really cuts down the guest list, let me tell you! We appreciated those who could make the trek, and understand those who could not.

The boys had a great time. All day I kept telling them it was their birthday, and I don't think they got it. Sure, they would say 'birthday' and we tried to get them to hold up two fingers to show how old they were, but they thought it was some new game. When we got to presents, though, it was a whole new world. They figured out those presents pretty quick, and really got into ripping off the paper. the difference between this year and last was they actually were interested in what was under the paper, and not just playing with the boxes and ribbons. My little boys are growing up! The cake was devoured (especially by Ben) and they were exhausted by bedtime. I hope they sleep in tomorrow.

Famous quote of the night:

Holly and Amy were looking at some old pictures and found one of me. I don't know who said it, but it was said, "Look, this is actually a picture of Tiffani NOT pregnant!" HaHa. I'm sure laughing at that one. The funny thing was, I looked at the picture, and it was taken while I was pregnant, just not showing yet. At least I am not alone in feeling that I am always pregnant!

Happy Birthday, Grant and Ben!

I cannot believe it has been two years already. Two years of life with twins, two years that these precious boys have been a part of our lives. However, it is even harder to believe it has only been two years since I only had one child, since laundry could be done on the weekends, since I could run into the grocery store without spending an hour in the parking lot organizing kiddos, breaking up fights, and buckling carseats.

Anywhoo, back to the boys. Two years ago today, they entered the world three and a half weeks early, but in a huge hurry. Here's the story. I woke up at the usual time of 7 am when Marty's alarm went off. I needed to pee (of course) so I stood up and my water broke all over the bedroom floor. Marty's first reaction, "Did you really just pee yourself?" did not give me warm fuzzy feelings towards him. But after about three seconds I had to laugh, I couldn't help it. I changed, wiped up the floor and called the doctor, she said to get on in to the hospital fairly quickly, but not to stress. My contractions started around 7:45, we left the house and dropped Emma off at school and went in to the hospital. The thing is, I had called the doctor before the contractions had started, so the hospital was under the impression that I was coming to be induced, and not that I was in labor. They really were not in a hurry, I was finally put into a room and was told that a nurse would be in shortly. Twenty minutes later, I was writhing in pain on the hospital bed and Marty was in the hallway yelling at whoever would walk by, "Hey, can we get a little help in here?" The nurse showed up at 9:50, and was still not in a hurry. "Don't worry, sweetie, it will be a while." If I could have, I would have gotten up and strangled her, but I was in active labor and could not move around a lot. We tried to tell her that things were moving faster than expected, but she did not believe us, and kept moving at a snail's pace. She called the anesthesiologist and told me that he would be in in the next twenty minutes, and I replied that the babies would be here in the next twenty minutes. She gave me a look, one that showed pity that I would actually think that my labor could move that fast, with a condescending edge that said that she was the professional and knew better. She is still not on my list of favorite people. The anesthesiologist (thankfully) came right away, took one look at me and the monitors, and said, "We need to move!" Finally, someone who took us seriously! He tried to get the epidural in, but was only able to administer the little starter dose that will tell them if it is in the right place before I was whisked off to the OR. With twins, they automatically deliver in the operating room since there is such a high chance of an emergency c-section. On the way to the OR, I saw my doctor in the hall. I just remember feeling like the first baby was crowning, and telling her to hurry. She ran, and we were ready to deliver in no time. Grant was born at 10:21, all I got was a quick glance before they whisked him off. Ben came at 10:25, by breech extraction. I will spare you the details of a breech extraction, it's not morning-coffee reading material.

Anyway, just 35 minutes after the meanie-headed nurse first showed up in the room, I was a mother of twins. I learned later that they had to do chest compressions on Ben to resuscitate him, but after a couple of hours in the nursery to monitor his oxygen levels, I was able to have both my babies together. It is an interesting phenomenon to hold two newborns at the same time. The first day of life for a new baby is humbling in itself, the realization that God could create such a perfect little person and grow him up inside yourself is very humbling. Double that and I was in complete awe. Two perfect little boys, so incredibly different, and yet so the same.

Their personalities were quite different from the get-go. Ben was a momma's boy, he responded well to me and demanded to be held most of the time. Grant was easy going and responded well to Marty, but when he was upset, he sure let you know. They wanted to be together all the time so we put them in the same little crib in the hospital, they were so used to each other's presence they would not have it any other way. They did well for the first two days, but then their prematurity started showing. They burned more calories eating than they were able to take in, so they lost too much weight and stopped eating altogether. They were admitted to the special care nursery to be tube fed. Ben had jaundice and had to be put under the Billi lights for two days, that was the first time they were not able to be together, but they were so worn out by then they didn't seem to notice. They spent a total of 11 days in the hospital gaining their strength, learning to nurse, and putting on weight. They were released on Dec. 30. It was heaven to have them home.

That was such a difficult time for our family. Having the boys in the hospital over Christmas was devastating. Marty and Emma both had colds and were not allowed in the nursery, they were unable to visit for a full week. We managed to get through it with God's help, and now it has been two years. Thousands of diapers, thousands of dollars in baby food, and thousands of hugs, kisses, and loving moments. The newborn stage with the twins was incredibly hard, in the first six weeks the longest I slept was 40 minutes. By three months, I was able to log in a couple of hour and a half stretches, and they did not both sleep through the night until 15 months old. I have learned that God will give me what I need to survive, and I can do a lot more with a lot less than I thought I could. These boys are amazing, and I am looking forward to seeing their individual personalities develop.

Happy birthday, Grant and Ben. I love you both so much and I am thrilled to be your Mom. I can't wait to see what the next two years bring!
Family and friends, congratulations on your sons'/nephews'/grandsons'/friend's kids' birthday!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Are You Ready For Christmas? And Other Ramblings...

I was tagged by Amy at Love my Babes a few days ago, but I've been procrastinating. She wanted to know how close we were to being ready for Christmas, and I needed to do my inventory, but didn't get to it until last night.

I am close. Unfortunately, all my great planning getting my Christmas cards before Thanksgiving did not get them all addressed yet, I am still waiting for the magical fairies to come and finish them for me, but none have shown up yet. Drat. I sorted stocking stuff, and Emma is good, but I need a couple of more things for the boys. One more gift for each of my kids, and we are done there. I still have a couple of projects that will remain nameless to finish, and I am running out of time. Also, the twins' birthday is on Friday, and we are having a party here. I need to clean and get the last few things for the party. It would really be nice to not give birth between now and then, but that's not really up to me. Basically, I am behind. A lot. But instead of tackling my list, I am blogging about it, since that makes more sense.

Oh, that reminds me, I had a crazy dream last night. I dreamt that I was pulled over for something minor, but there was a new law saying I was going to have to go to jail. I went to the booking place and the detective guy decided I was about to go into labor and let me go home instead. Very strange. But that reminds me that I forgot to tell you that Marty got pulled over last weekend! By the way, to my neighbors, that was MARTY in my van that was pulled over in the driveway, not me. He did not get a ticket, but it was pretty funny that he told the cop that he is our insurance agent, and then the insurance card he had expired last July. HeeHee!

I'm off to clean and do other boring things. Have a fun day!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's A New World Record!

We had another doctor appointment this week, and I gained another 3 pounds. In a week. I have decided not to stress about it, but embrace it as my one and only chance to be a chub with a very good excuse. I am a little curious how high my weight will go, with Christmas right around the corner, I have no plan to watch what I eat. Well, I will make sure that I sample every dessert from the dessert table, and it's only polite to try everything at a potluck, right? I really would not want to offend anyone, so I will do my best to eat all the fattening things I can. Hey, it's my fourth kid in four years, so I get a little leeway in the junk-in-the-trunk department. Don't argue with me, or I'll sit on you. Wow, I'm cranky lately.

New Rules of the Baby Pool

If you haven't entered the baby pool, go here and leave a comment as for your prediction of when this new little bundle of joy will be joining our family. For those of you who have entered, thanks! This will be fun!

New Rule Number One:
The winner will not get the chance to name the baby. Sorry Dan, but Mufasa and Mack are not currently in the running for the name on which I will bestow my child for life. Dad, I'm not naming him Pear. Marty, we are not going with Whoopsie. I have not had the honor of naming any of my children, and I am not giving the right to anyone else. Sorry.

New Rule Number Two:
If Tracie misses the birth of this child, I will not continue to push babies out of my body just for the sole purpose of letting Tracie watch. Darling, this is three chances. If you can't make it to one, it's your loss. I might suggest living in your trailer in our driveway for a while, so you don't miss it. Or tell Grandpa to delay his birthday for a few weeks so you are not out of town every time. Your choice.

New Rule Number Three:
OK, I really only had two new rules, but it seemed a bit short. So I will stall a little, let's all pretend I am coming up with a new rule here, ok? Doo, dee, doo, doo, doo, dee, doo... can anyone name the song? Alrighty then, I think we've stalled enough.

Have fun with the pool!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Year in Review

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
I got pregnant. Just kidding, I guess that's old news for me, so that doesn't really count. I started helping my sister-in-law with wedding photography, and I started a blog!

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My New Year's resolution this last year was, ironically, to not get pregnant this year. Whoopsie! My resolution for this year will be to lose most of the baby weight. I will not tempt God's sense of humor by resolving to not get pregnant again, but if it happens, I will be having a serious discussion with a certain doctor. There may be threats. We will see.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
In the last year? We got some new cousins, but no one really close to our family. I hope. If you are reading this and gave birth recently and I am forgetting about you, I am sorry. I am sleep deprived and a little insane.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
What kind of question is this? Would this really be entertainment for anyone?

5. What countries did you visit?
Right, in all my spare time, I became a world traveller. Actually, once I went to Canada, but that's five miles from my house, so I don't think that really counts.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Sleep. A hot meal. A massage.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory?
Mother's day, when I figured out I was pregnant. We were watching an episode of 30 Rock, where the main character suddenly realized her period was five days late. I thought, "That is so unrealistic. What self-respecting woman would not know she was five days late?" Then it hit me. I ran to the calendar and counted, and I was exactly five days late. I didn't even get to finish my glass of wine. Bummer.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I was not checked into a mental institution. My kids are still alive, and my husband and I still love and even like each other. I consider this year a success.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I don't count failures. They are learning experiences. I refuse to be a guilt-ridden mommy.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Besides morning sickness, I got two colds, and I think that's it. Not too bad!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
New couches, with our stimulus check. The first furniture that we have owned that did not belong to anyone else first.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Umm, everyone's? Really, this is a year in review question? I think even the worst person must have had a moment of good behavior in an entire year!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The Black Friday Shoppers, but I have already vented about that.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Costco. Diapers and groceries are a killer. We go through a gallon of milk a day and a Costco case of diapers a month. That's $140 a month with just milk and diapers.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I got to go to Las Vegas with my bestest friend in the whole wide world! Oh, yeah, we took our husbands along, too.

16. What song/album will always remind you of 2008?
I don't put a timeline to music. I really cannot think of much, since I don't listen to modern music, so everything else will be also very prevalent in the surrounding years. "If you like to waltz with tomatoes..."

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: happier/sadder, thinner/heavier, richer/poorer?
Much heavier. Much poorer. I'm usually pretty happy.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Organizing my house before I got pregnant again. Sleep.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Puking. Espesially puking with small children wrestling at my feet.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Who knows? We hope to be spending it with family, but we might be spending it at the hospital giving birth. Time will tell!

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
Probably Holly. She keeps me in contact with the outside world.

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
I could be sappy and say I fell in love with my husband all over again, but that's a little too romantic and flowery for me. I fell in love with chocolate again!

23. How many one night stands in this last year?
What kind of crazy question is that?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Chuck. By far, the greatest TV show ever.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I'm a lover, not a hater. Or something like that.

26. What was the best book(s) you read?
One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I discovered that my daughter is as completely tone deaf as I am. Just great.

28. What did you want and get?

29. What did you want and not get?
A winning lotto ticket. Drat, I must have to buy them to win... I was hoping one would just show up at my door, but no, sirree!

30. What were your favorite films of this year?
The only movie we saw in the theater was Hancock, and it was good. Usually we try to watch a movie at home and I fall asleep before it's halfway done, so I really can't say anything was outstanding enough to keep me awake.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 31. I have no idea what I did, that was a long time ago.

32. What's one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Winning the lotto? Discovering the fountain of youth and skinniness? Not hitting the 200 pound milestone again?

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Well, we start with a stylish collection of my husband's sweats and five year old maternity jeans. Top them off with the few shirts I have left that are long enough to cover my massive belly, most of them purchased at men's athletic stores, and accessorize with some very stylish slip on suede shoes since I can't tie my own shoes anymore. Add a few stains and slobber marks to each ensemble, and you have my stylish 'fashion concept.' Anyone jealous?

34. What kept you sane?
Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!! Like I'm sane! That's a good one!

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
That would mean I would have to follow the lives of celebrities. Seriously, who cares? I can hardly keep my own family straight, and I am supposed to care about what complete strangers are doing with their lives?

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The election was a big one, but I don't know that it 'stirred' me.

37. Who did you miss?
Always Teresa. She needs to move closer.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Crapola, I am supposed to keep track of every new person I meet and the year in which I meet them? You should have told me that ahead of time!

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Don't have the garage sale to get rid of all your baby stuff before your husband gets his vasectomy.
DVR's are the greatest invention in the world.
White couches are not a good idea with small children, no matter how much your husband likes them. It is better to go with a shade of dirt, or blood, or leaky diapers.
Two two year olds are four times as loud as one two year old.
Potty training boys is a lot harder than potty training girls.
Pee is not the worst thing in the world to clean up.
Cat pee is a different story.
You cannot have both a clean house and happy kids. Get over it.
If your house is dirty, and your kids are happy, those who really love you won't care about the mess.
Money won't buy happiness. But it would sure make things easier.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?
I have to quote a song lyric? Jeez, I can't even remember my name most days, and you want me to quote a song lyric?!? Hmmm.. I'll have to come back to that one. Dang, it's the last question! Ummm... Living la vida loca?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Because We Are Stupid, That's Why

Our weather has been pretty bad lately. We usually have pretty mild weather, but the last few days have been in the low 20's and windy like we haven't seen in years. Icy roads and strong wind gusts make the roads horrid, and the wind blowing the snow around stings your cheeks like icy needles.

So, what do we, as wonderfully brilliant people do on a night like last night? We decided to go get a Christmas tree. I know, our high IQ's are showing. This is reason number one why we are stupid.

Our original plan was to go out at 3:30 when the kids woke up from their naps, while it was still light out and the wind hadn't picked up yet. But alas, packing up three children takes time. By 4:30, we were still not ready to go, and we decided to eat a quick dinner before we headed out to save ourselves from the horrors of the fast food drive-thru. I made sandwiches, and we had dinner quickly. Well, most of us had dinner quickly. Emma took an hour to eat. That's right, an hour to eat a half a BLT and a few crackers. We finally got out the door a little after six, and headed to Haggen since we were running short on time.

I am pretty particular about Christmas trees. I used to manage a tree lot, I know the differences between the kinds of trees, and I love the Grand Fir. The needles are longer, lacier, and that is the variety that has the most wonderful smell in the world. It's lovely. At Haggen the wind was so bad my eyes were watering and I could not see. All the trees had been knocked over by the wind and the signs were missing telling you where the different trees were. It's awfully hard to pick out a tree while holding a small child who is refusing to hide his face from the wind, but instead facing it like a dog with his head out a window going down the freeway, and you cannot see anything but a large mass of green. We gave up.

We went inside and got some groceries in hopes that the wind would die down in the time we were there. It did a little, but not much. I was able to discern the difference between the trees, and found that they only had one Grand Fir and it was short and ugly. Drat.

We loaded the kids up and decided to give it one more shot. We have stuff going on every evening this week, so the next chance we would have to get a tree would be the 20th, and that's not OK with me. We really had to do it last night. I gave the kids some cookies to shut them up-er, make the drive more pleasant, and we headed to an actual tree lot. The guys there were great, we found a beautiful tree in very little time, and they tied it to the top of our van for us. I felt so bad for them, the tree was frozen and not really doing what it needed to, and the wind was so strong it made it hard to get the twine over the van. Those guys must've been frozen solid by the time they were done.

We got home a little after eight, and brought the tree in because everybody knows that you have to play ring-around-the-rosie around the tree before you decorate it. Wait, you didn't know that? Neither did I! We are learning things together!

Marty and I got the kids to bed, put the lights on the tree, and collapsed exhausted onto the couches to watch the Survivor finale. After doing dishes and cleaning up enough to make the place safe for the kids come morning, we headed off to bed about a quarter to one.

Mondays are Marty's early mornings, he belongs to a group that meets in town before work, so he is out the door before seven. He grumbled last night about how little time there was until the alarm went off, and we joked about how this would be a night the kids had us up all night. Reason number two why we are stupid. We were woken at 4:30 by beeping. That's right, beeping. I have no idea why, but the microwave was beeping loudly and giving the code F4. I still have to figure out what that means. In the midst of the beeping, Emma woke and we heard the sound that all parents dread. "Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Da(hurl)."

Amazingly, for the child who sleeps with 84 stuffed animals and twelve blankets, she managed to keep her throw-up on just her bedspread and sheet. We got her cleaned up and threw the dirty bedding in the laundry, and brought her into bed with us. We had done this once before when she was sick, since if she's going to puke again, it's faster to get her into the bathroom and keep the mess contained. She was so happy cuddled up between us, at one point she looked at me and said, "Mommy, this is a very special thing."

That's when it hit me. Is this one of those fond memories that she will have for the rest of her life? Is this one of those things she will savor from her childhood, and we will never realize how much she felt loved and cherished? More than the memory of getting the tree, or ring around the rosie, or the hot chocolate that we had afterwards, snuggled up, sick in bed with her parents is what she might hold onto as her favorite memory of this time in her life.

We tried to settle down and get some sleep. Between Little Miss Cold Toes and Grant coughing, making us sit up and listen- is he coughing or puking? We did not get back to sleep. Finally, Emma said, "Mommy, I think I have to throw up again." I looked at the clock. Knowing full well that we had not slept yet and Marty's alarm was set to go off in twenty minutes, I took her into the bathroom and stalled for a while, trying to let Marty get at least a little bit of slumber-time. I held her on my lap, thinking about how she might be cherishing this time together. I rubbed her back and rocked her, wanting desperately to show her how much she was loved. She looked up at me, those big, brown eyes so trusting and content, and said, "Mom?" I pushed her hair back and kissed her forehead, sure that this was going to be a revelation into her little soul. "Yes, sweetheart?" "Mom, I have a wedgie." Okey dokey then.

We finally went back to bed, Marty left for work, and Emma and I slept for another hour before Ben woke up ready to play. I am really looking forward to nap time, so I can get a nap, too. I hope the puking is over and does not spread to the other kiddos. The good news is, the tree is up. It might not get decorated for a while, but that's OK. Hopefully, the kids will have other memories this Christmas.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's a Baby Pool!!!

Holly and I were talking last night and realized that we haven't started a pool for when you all think this baby is coming. Here's the scoop, so you are all well informed before entering:

The actual due date is January 13. This is the same due date the twins had, they were born on Dec. 19. At our last appointment, our Doc said she expected me to go into labor at any time. If for some odd reason, I do not go into labor early, she offered to induce me a week early since I tend to labor fast and that way we could make sure I get to the hospital in time.

Here are the rules for the pool:

Most pools have great prizes for winning. This is not one of those. I would love to offer something cool, like a gift card or something, but I know that the winner would not receive their prize since I will be taking care of 4 kids and I would have a hard time sending it out, I really do not need anything else on my to-do list. Also, most pools cost a buck or so, but this one is free since their are no prizes. If you really want to pay an entry fee, just send us some money. It will not be refused.

No real rules, just leave a comment with your prediction of date and time this baby will be born. You can enter as many times as you like, and the winner will get a great shout out by me on this fabulous blog, with a link to your blog if you have one. See, isn't that better than a real prize? Hey, this blog is read by several people a day, so you might get some good bragging rights there!

Good luck!

The Nutcracker

Last night Grandma Lori took Holly, Lily, myself and Emma to the Nutcracker Ballet. I was a little apprehensive as it is a long production and Emma is four, but she did well. It was so cute to see the audience, it seemed anywhere you turned was another little girl dressed to the nines in her Christmas dress. Emma was excited to 'fancy' and we even bought her a new pair of sparkly shoes for the occasion.

She loved the production and I think she kind of understood the story. I read her the synopsis before it started, so she could know about Clara and her uncle who gave her the Nutcracker, and Clara's dream of the Rat King wanting to fight the Nutcracker. Her favorite part was the 'purple girls,' who were the dew drop and the flowers. After the show, we went out to the foyer and the ballerinas were there, so I took Emma up to meet her 'purple girls.' The main girl who Emma loved was really nice, her name is Caitlin and Emma thinks she found a new best friend.

On the way home, Emma kept talking about Caitlin and told me she wanted to go back and see Caitlin again, and this time we could ask for her phone number so we could find out where she lives and go visit her. How do you explain 'stalking' to a four year old? I felt so bad, like I was destroying her dreams telling her we would not ask Caitlin for her number, but I told her that Caitlin was a smart girl and she would know better than to give her phone number out to strangers. "But Mommy, I told her my name, so I'm not a stranger anymore!"

Anywhoo, Emma came home ecstatic, telling Marty all about the nutcracker coming to life and becoming a prince, and the purple girl named Caitlin who was now her friend. She was a little ticked she could not wear her fancy new shoes to bed, but got over it pretty quickly. She was exhausted and went to bed pretty quickly. We will see how long until Emma decides she wants to be a ballerina when she grows up!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Step Away From The Chocolate!

Maybe I should have said no to the bags of extra butter microwave popcorn that I ate every night for a month. Maybe I should have limited my chocolate intake. Maybe I should have craved more salads, or not drowned the salads in Ranch dressing. I don't know exactly, but I do know this. I now weigh the same as I did the day I delivered the twins.

I have never fallen into the typical weight gain that they recommend for pregnancy, I gained 43 pounds with Emma and 65 pounds with the twins. I do believe that it is mostly my body, being able to lose all the weight within a few months with Emma and fitting into my pre-pregnancy jeans six days after having the twins tells me that it all goes somewhere, and it's not all in my rear. OK, maybe it is all in my rear, but I can't see my rear right now and I will be so busy after that the weight will drop quickly. Please don't tell me if it's all in my rear, OK? I don't want to know.

I never lost all the weight after the twins were born, but I was able to maintain a healthy weight for my body. I have currently gained 50 pounds with this pregnancy, this morning I weighed in at a whopping 200 pounds. Some of you might be wondering why any self-respecting woman would admit her weight and actually blog about it for the whole world to see, and I'll tell you why.
1. I know the whole world does not read my blog. So there.
2. This is one of those memory things that I want recorded for later in my life, so you all have to put up with it. I am fully rational (OK, rational enough) to recognise that I will not be able to remember every detail of every pregnancy. By the time I am done with this, I will be lucky if I can keep all my kids' names straight.
3. I really don't care how much I weigh. I have my actual weight on my driver's licence. (OK, that's not true. I have my actual pre-pregnancy weight there, I have not gone in and changed my licence every week. That would be silly.) I have never been above 200 pounds, and I am curious how high I will go. I am also planning on being proud of losing the weight (please, God, let me lose it this time!) so I need a point to start from.

I will, from here on out, try and limit my excess calories. Oh, who am I kidding, I am going to enjoy it all, and worry about it later. I'm going to go find some chocolate now.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My 100th Post!

Woo Hoo! I have actually been able to fill 100 posts with mindless drivel about pee and other such nonsense. Thank you for sticking with me through it all, I would like to promise better topics to come, but that doesn't look too likely. In the coming months, I am betting we will add in some nice spit-up stories to the repertoire, so at least there will be a variety of bodily fluids for me to blog about!

Yesterday, both boys went pee as soon as they sat on the potty. We still haven't mastered the whole 'point it down while you are peeing' thing, so the bathroom, my foot, and the scale are continuing to be sprayed daily. In case you were wondering why my foot gets peed on daily and I haven't figured out to move it yet, the boys' potty is directly across from the main toilet. I do not have the ability to bend down and help them, so I sit on the toilet while they are on their potty. It seems no matter where I put my right foot, it is in the stream of things every day. This is why the boys are getting new potties for their birthday with really high guards to keep all the pee in the potty. When I am no longer pregnant and have more mobility, I will be able to jump faster if any goes astray. For now, I have resigned myself to the fact that I will be peed on daily. This is my life.

Happy Birthday, Tarah!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One of These Things Is JUST Like The Other

I do not understand the thrill of wanting only what your brother has. We bought the boys new potties for their birthday (ones with a really high guard in the front, so hopefully I won't get peed on anymore!) and they are sitting in my bedroom still in their boxes. I have not put them away till their birthday since frankly, our house has no storage at all, and I have no place to put them. Besides, who cares if they see them before their birthday? They are turning two. I really doubt that will be the memory that sends them into therapy.

The potties are identical. The boxes are identical. The boys like to sit on the boxes in the morning and watch TV. Why, oh why then, do these boys need to fight over just one? They are exactly the same!!! I got so frustrated this morning with these boys shoving each other off one box so they could sit there, even though the IDENTICAL box was right there. I purposely bought identical potties so we could eliminate the fighting. Silly me!

I dread the time when they get interested in girls...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

They Love Me! (Sniff!) They Really Love Me! (Tear!)

Last night my family threw me a "Celebrate Tiffani" party. This is different than a baby shower in that it is not traditional to have baby showers for the fourth child, but my family is always looking for an excuse to have a party. I didn't really know what to expect when I got there, but they had a few surprises in store for me.

When I got there, I was crowned Queen of the Day with a purple sparkly fluffy tiara. It was fabulous except for the fact that it is made for a child, and I have a pretty big noggin, so I had a hard time keeping it on. Ah, the challenges of being queen. I was seated in a big comfy recliner and they had a really talented, sweet, kind, and super-good-looking gal there to give me a pedicure. Oh, it was fabulous, she is sooooo good, if you ever want a great pedicure, call Tarah at Northwest Hair Designs, the number is (360)318-9700. (Love you, Tarah!) Tarah is actually a friend of mine, but she is also my pedicurist of choice (Yes, Tarah, I know pedicurist is not a real word, but I don't know how to spell aestitician. Sorry!) I have been wanting to paint my toes for delivery, but I haven't had time and have gotten to the point that I can no longer reach them, so it has slipped by. I only wish I had gotten a little warning so I could have shaved my legs. It's been a while. Poor Tarah.

My wonderful husband had sent flowers there for me, and they were beautiful. There was really nummy food and delicious cookie bars of some sort, I don't know what kind they were but they were so good, I snuck a couple home with me. Queen of the Day has some privileges, right?

Anywhoo, my mother-in-law and aunts had set up a table of crafty things and they all made thank you notes for me to be able to send people after the baby comes. What a fabulous idea! Everyone had fun, they were able to do something helpful for me, and no one had to play the oh so embarrassing guess-how-many-stretch-marks-she-has-to-win-a-prize game.

I received a lot of really helpful and wonderful gift cards and gifts, I am so thankful to all of you who were a part of this night. I am so blessed to have the family and friends that I do, I could not imagine better in-laws to share my life with. I love you guys, thank you so much for making this night special!

I love you all!

Monday, December 8, 2008

At Least It's Better Than a Lump Of Coal

Emma seems to have lost her manners lately. I don't know if it's just and age and stage thing or what is going on, but she is driving us nuts with interrupting and talking with food in her mouth. I finally got tired of it today, and decided how we were going to solve the problem.

I told her that since her manners had left, she could either find them on her own or I would call Santa and tell him that she needed new manners instead of toys for Christmas. It really didn't matter to me, it was her choice, but if she wanted toys for Christmas she would need to find her manners on her own. Last year, Marty called Santa and told him she might need new ears instead of toys, since hers must be broken, she was not listening too well.

I wonder how long we will be able to get away with this kind of thing?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes, Part Two

Marty and I like to take time and spend it with Emma on her own. We don't ever want her to feel like she was pushed aside by the twins, so we do our best to make special time with her. Today, we were all sitting at the kitchen table doing a big puzzle we have been working on for a while. The boys were down for a nap, and it was almost Emma's nap time, but we wanted to have quality time. If you could be a fly on the wall, this is what you would have heard:

Emma: I don't want to take a nap.
Me: You know it's your naptime. You are getting to stay up a little for a special treat.
Emma: I want my special treat to not be a nap.
Marty: Sweetie, that's not an option.
Emma: I have decided that I am Mommy, since Mommies don't take naps. I am mommy! No nap for me!
Me: Actually, I was thinking I would take a nap today. Naptime for Mommy! Yay!
Emma: No!
Marty: Mommies either take naps or work really hard. I guess you can be Mommy and stay up and work really hard, if that's what you want.
Emma: Ummm, I have decided I don't want to be Mommy. I want to be Daddy instead. (long pause) Mommy, why are you laughing?

Score one point for Mommy on that one.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Parenting At It's Best

Marty took Emma to a birthday party today. He was able to sit and socialize with the adults and not strain himself, so it was fine. He told me all about it when they got home.

Emma was playing in a playhouse with a little boy that had somewhat longer, wavy blonde hair. Marty said he saw the boy hit Emma on the head with a toy, Emma said something to him, and he hit her again, so she walked away. Great job, Emms! Marty called her over to see what happened. This was thier conversation. Remember, he is with all the other parents, including the mother of the little boy.

Marty: I saw that boy hit you in the head. Are you OK?
Emma: Yes, but it was a girl.
Marty: Actually, sweetie, it was a little boy, but I am very proud that you used your words.
Emma: Thank you, but it was a girl.
Marty: Sweetie, it was a boy.
Emma: No, Daddy, it was a GIRL!
Marty: I think I see why he hit you in the head.

Yup, that's my husband. If anyone wants lessons in his fantastic parenting skills, call and we can arrange something.

What I Found in My Inbox

I noticed this morning that my inbox had over 1,000 messages in it. I have been meaning to go through it and delete, delete, delete, but who has the time? Today, Grant decided he wanted nothing more than to sit on my lap while I was on the computer, so I had plenty of time to go through it all. Really, it was for Grant, I would be a bad mommy if I wouldn't let him hang out on my lap, right?

I got the inbox down to less than 100 messages. I still need to make new folders for things that I want to keep, but that will be for another day. I did find this e-mail my sis-in-law Holly sent to me a couple of years ago and I thought I'd share it with you all. Just to clarify, I did not write this, I stole it. Fair and square.

Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited their doctor's office more than my doctor and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find any more free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store. I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy. If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music, a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals, and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools. I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room," and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always,

P.S. One more can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.

Still Pregnant!

I have officially been off Ibuprofen since Monday. Ibuprofen is great for controlling pre-term labor, but can only be used until 34 or 35 weeks, or it will interfere with the baby learning to breathe on it's own. I am glad I was able to take it, we are almost into the safe zone to deliver this baby without complications. Monday is the goal, if I can make it till Monday, everything will be fine. He will still be 5 weeks early, which would mean a hospital stay for a while, but there would be no long-term effects. I really want to go longer than that, I do not want to have a baby that has to stay in the hospital again. I am definitely having more contractions and pain since I went off of the Ibuprofen, but that was to be expected. I have not yet gone into labor, so that is good!

I think it would be a lot easier if I were not trying to take care of my invalid husband during all of this, but we are on the tail end of his recovery. This morning, Marty made the switch from Vicodin to Ibuprofen for his pain, and he is feeling a lot better. He made the announcement that he dropped something on the floor and was actually able to pick it up. Hallelujah! It sounds like such a little thing, but around here, it is huge. It's amazing the mess that three small children can make when they have two capable parents, but three small children whose parents can barely move take things to a whole new level of messy. We are missing a milk cup, and I am afraid of what it will look like when I find it.

Well, that's the weekly update. I am racking my brain trying to come up with some funny story, but no humor is coming. Ben did pee on my foot and the scale again this week, but that now happens so often around here that it has lost it's humorous quality. I am going to go put my feet up, have a great weekend!

Friday, December 5, 2008

I Love My Husband (Especially on Valium)

Marty's surgery went well. I brought my camera and took pictures, but Marty refuses to allow me to post them. I have no idea why not, I thought it would make a wonderful addition to the blog, but he is being a spoil-sport. By the way, if you ever want to make doctors nervous, show up to your husband's vasectomy with a big camera around your neck. I was very entertained by their reaction, to say the least!

Yesterday, he was a great patient. The combination of Valium and Vicodin made my husband an incredibly pleasant person. I am going to try to get my hands on some more of those and sneak them into his morning coffee whenever I think it might make things easier, like when we go to the mall to do Christmas shopping. Not only was he well sedated, he was happy, relaxed, and easy to get along with. I was thinking that this recovery was going to be breeze.

Today, however, the Valium is out of his system and the Vicodin has made him a bit... cranky. His sister called this morning to check in, and this was our conversation:

Amy (on the phone): How is Marty feeling?
Me: Hon, how are you feeling?
Marty: What do you mean by that?
Me: Amy wants to know how you are feeling today.
Marty: I need you to be more specific, I don't know what you are really asking me.
Me, to Amy: He is cranky and he needs more Valium. It's going to be a long day.

After I hung up with Amy, Marty did acknowledge that he was being a jerk, and explained that he thought we were trying to figure out if she should stop by today. I miss Valium Marty. He was a lot of fun.

I am glad we decided to do this procedure when we did, since I can't imagine it being any easier after the baby comes. However, if anyone else is considering this, let me give you a word of advice. Being eight months pregnant is not the time to send your husband in for a vasectomy. We were trying to get the kids ready this morning so we could get Emma to school, and neither one of us could bend down to tie our own shoes. We drop something on the ground and neither one of us can pick it up. It's pathetic, really, trying to take care of each other when neither one of us can take care of ourselves, and a nice bottle, I mean, glass of wine would sure make things easier on me.

Luckily, the recovery is short and I am (relatively) patient. I am, however, stocking up good-wife-points to cash in after giving birth for the fourth time. That's going to be a nice box of chocolates.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Because It's a Uterus, Not a Clown Car

Yes that's right, today, my darling husband will go in to Dr. Snippy's office and we will make an attempt to not have any more children. I say 'attempt' because my family history does not necessarily predict that all vasectomies work, and with our luck, we will be in the .1% where it grows back together and we get pregnant with quadruplets. We are ready, we have a freezer with frozen peas, he has his Valium and Vicodin (that will be an interesting combination for the guy who gets tipsy off of two beers,) and he has claimed his spot on the couch for the next few days. I am prepared to take good care of him as long as he is a good patient, and to remind him of Ben's Breech Extraction if he whines too much. Oh, wait, I'm probably not supposed to admit that up front...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Blog About Nothing

I have bloggy block this morning. After my rant yesterday about stupid people being stupid on Black Friday, I feel the need to lighten it up and make you all laugh with some misfortune of mine. But the boys haven't peed anywhere lately, Emma hasn't come up with a new way to describe my ginormous belly and the effects it has on my mobility, and Marty has actually been rather sweet. Wow, I can't believe I am actually on the verge of complaining that things are going well! I better stop now or Marty will call and say something stupid, just to keep me happy. Yes, we are dysfunctional. It works for us.

I could go on another rant, like how stupid is it that they make maternity shirts in horizontal stripes? But two rants in a row seems a little negative, even for me. So I will not comment on how the ads always have cute pregnant women in stilettos (seriously?) or how I cannot find a roasting pan after Thanksgiving. I won't mention those things. Not even once.

If anything funny happens today I promise to blog about it, but right now nothing is coming to me, so I will just hit the laundry pile and hope for some excitement that does not include bodily fluids. I am going to enjoy my boring day, since these don't happen very often around here. I am so glad I don't believe in jinxing myself, or I'd be in for it with that last comment!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Black Friday

Yes, I did go shopping on Black Friday. I was not so thrilled that Kohl's opened at 4 am, meaning I got up at 3 am to get ready. I did get most of what I wanted, and was very happy at the end of it all. I had a great time with my family, we had a lot of fun shopping and people-watching. (But I missed you, Holly!)

We have rules for Black Friday shopping. For us, the point of it all is the fun of the experience and trying to get good deals. We are not pushing, shoving types of people, we are saying-excuse-me and waiting-patiently-in-line people who have an idea of what we want, but if we don't get it, it's OK. We are selective of where we go, since we do not want to get caught up in the crazies. I know that some crowds can get a little out of control, and saving money is not worth that to me. We like to have fun first and foremost, and if we get deals, all the better.

I was horrified to learn of the death of a Walmart worker in New York this year due to a stampeding crowd. I can understand the excitement of getting a plasma TV for $400, but what is this world coming to if the true meaning of Black Friday is to do anything to save money, including killing a man? This is a 34 year old man who DIED. His life is over, but congratulations, you got your laptop for the lowest price of the season! Four other people were hospitalized trying to save him, including a woman who was eight months pregnant. I cannot imagine the thoughts in the minds of these people as they rushed the store, not caring who they hurt along the way in order to save a few hundred bucks. I am just sick at the thought of it all. I hope the security cameras can reveal who is responsible and hold them accountable.