Lysol is Good for the Soul

I’m using you guys as my Complaint Department today, ok?

If I could have a redo on this beautiful Thursday, I would seriously consider activating it.  Porter has croup, and his little cough is about the saddest thing in all the land.  His first sick visit to the pediatrician had us leaving with a round of steroids and at least 3 days home from daycare.

I took Amos with us as an afterthought because he’d ran a tiny bit of fever early Thursday morning, and woke up with really puffy eyes.  Turns out he was the sicker of the two.

I’m skipping the specifics and letting you know that he’s been drinking spinach and fruit smoothies for the last few days (I was afraid he might starve after a 2 week-long boycott of our real-food-go-to’s for him) and coupled with his illness, it did not end well.  The icing on this disgusting cake is that we’re a week and a half into operation “get that boy outta diapers quick-like!”

Bad, guys.

It was bad.

When he came to our bed at 6 this morning, he was smelling a little ripe.  I followed him back to his bed, and it was that scene from dirty jobs where Mike Rowe has to clean a basement that had seen a pretty bad sewage backup.

REAL BAD.

For. Real.

We were already germ-xing like, whoa! but I needed the big guns to help with this.  I know that between the daycare and sick days at home, I’ll never be able to smell Lemon Lysol and not think of all of the germ fighting I’ve done in my life.

The disaster zone was wide spread thanks to Amos tossing and turning during the night. We learned the hard way that green smoothies aren’t meant to be ingested when you’re sick.  Take that nugget of advice to the bank.  Or the toilet, whichever is closer.

Pat and I got things cleaned up as fast as we could since school doesn’t accept tardy notes that say things like “Hank’s little brother exploda-pooped all over the bottom bunk and his parents were busy praying and screaming about it.”

This gross morning didn’t end with toddler sick belly.  No way, that’d be too easy.  I got round 2 when I went outside to let our big dogs out of their crate *Side note* PLEASE! SOMEONE LET THEM COME LIVE WITH YOU!!! THEY CAN’T STAY IN A CRATE FOR EVER!.

Pat had to go on to drop Hank off, and my mom was on her way to help with the little boys, but I couldn’t leave without letting Simon and Suze try to escape while I stood in the enclosure with them (or pee, whatever you want to call it).  I let them out SIX TIMES yesterday.  More times in 1 day than I have since they had to be banished to the crate last week. They managed to knock over their water dish during the night, and the short version is they were brown when they rushed out at 7:24 AM.  I don’t know if you’re familiar with how big of a poop a 65lb dog can make, but it’s big.  And what they’d churned up in that crate was a level of Dante’s Inferno, I’m pretty sure.

I put that fire out…uh…NO!  I washed that poop up, ran inside to change clothes, doused myself with more Lysol, and Bo Duked my way across the hood of my Expedition to make it to work on time with Margaret Hannah.

I was there long enough to live it up with my class on our first color party day and came home to be with the little boys before 10.  It only took about 20 minutes before the next wave came over our house, and for the last 4 hours, I’ve been toting around my Lysol in one hand and a sick boy in the other.  You can’t be around too much Lysol, can you?

Surely not.

Pray for us, will you?  And spray a little Lysol out at your house for the homies caught up in this evil, please.  It’ll do your soul and immune system some good.

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Qualifications for Getting Throat Punched pt II

Mom of 4 kids edition.

Now that we’re out and about with all the children of the world more often, my throat punch list has started to grow again.  Or at least I’m getting more annoyed at the SAME questions I was being asked while I was pregnant and only had 3 children.

I try to keep my eye rolling to a minimum and my hands always by my side or on a child, but it’s getting hard to do.  I can’t promise one won’t just sneak up and catch you square in the throat when you do something worthy of such in my presence.  Jesus is dealing with me on this, ok?  But until I get it right, watch out.

One of the rules I had in my high school classroom was you weren’t allowed to ask stupid questions.  I never have understood why teachers tell students there is no such thing as a stupid question, because there is in fact PLENTY of stupid questions.  Example of a simple direction:  Be sure to write your name on your paper if you want it to be graded.  Example of a stupid question: Do I have to write my name on my paper?

Uhhh…..

Or my most favorite of them all from the classroom: What are we doing today?

Oh My Lordy Be!!!

Want to send me to the 10th level of annoyed real fast? Ask me that when you walk into my classroom.

What the heck do you think we’re doing inside this SCHOOL today?  Inside a HISTORY CLASSROOM on this great day?  We’re learning.  About history.  OK???

I mean, why lie to these children?  Why encourage these stupid questions?  They grow up thinking it’s ok to ask things like “Do I really have to pay my taxes? Wear my seat belt? Chew up my food before I swallow it?”  Insert whatever stupid question you can think of into this, and FEEL the frustration.  I cannot be alone in this way of thinking!

These kids also grow up to bother me with the kinds of questions I’m going to list below.  Nobody wants that, ok? Nobody.
Throat-punchable questions for this stage of my life are as follows (you’ll note similarities from the last list)

1.Are they all yours?

What kind of question is this, guys???

I know babysitters travel into public with several children at a time, but they’re being paid for it.  When I go into public with all FOUR of my children, it’s because I have/need to.  Why would I pick up other random children just to run inside Grocery Outlet for a gallon of milk and a pack of nutrigrain bars?  Don’t ask me this garbage.

2.I just don’t know how you do it/ How do you do it all?

Do what?

Feed and water the kids?  Make sure they wear enough clothes to cover stuff?

What? DO WHAT?????

Keep them safe and happy?

YOU JUST DO!!!

There are no other options.

When they say they’re hungry, feed them.  When they start to smell bad, put them in the tub.  When they push their sibling off the porch, discipline them because it’s not ok to raise butt holes.

The only other option is to not do it all.  Then where would we be?

3.Are you done?

Did you poop this morning before you left the house?  Is this information I need to know to be able to carry on with my day?

Is it going to affect you directly if I’m not?

Four children isn’t weird, historically speaking.  One kid is.  One of my grand dads was 1 of 5, another grand dad was 1 of 17, a step grandmother was 1 of 12, I could keep going.

I teach a class full of 18 3 year olds most every day right by myself.

Four is not a big deal.  Especially four that I made. ESPECIALLY when the oldest can wipe himself, the girl likes to put away her own clothes, the little boy knows how to put his shoes on AND dress himself, and the baby sleeps through the night.

Get off my back.

4.Why in the world did you have all these kids?  Did you MEAN TO? And can you afford all of them? 

I  can’t roll my eyes hard enough at this mess.

Why do you wear such ugly clothes?  Did you MEAN to leave the house in those pleated pants?  They aren’t a thing anymore.

I wanted every one of these children.  Pat and I planned each of these pregnancies and the Lord was on board with our plans… Or maybe we were in tune with His plans.

Either way, they weren’t surprises.  But so what if they were?  Who doesn’t like surprises?  Are you going to turn away a nice bouquet of flowers somebody SURPRISED you with because it didn’t make sense to have them delivered to your desk before lunch?  Should I have asked Dr Pollard to put one of my children back because they were going to make me miss the next 5 years of going to see movies in the theater?

GUYS!

As far as affording them goes, I’ll let you on on a little secret: Hank was the most expensive kid. We bought gender neutral baby junk, I breastfed, & HELLO! Hand-me-downs!

Other than going out to eat, they haven’t been that expensive.  It does get a little tight when more than one is involved in something like ball or tumbling, but those things aren’t necessities.

The short answer is yes, we sure can afford these babies.  I have no doubt they get more expensive as they get older, but we’ll handle that when the time comes.  If you must know.

I’ll end this with no.5 before my blood pressure gets too outta control.  The more I type, the more I remember to add to the list, but 5 is a nice even number.  I’d hate to keep you here longer than you intended to be.

5.You know how that keeps happening, don’t you?  Don’t you have a TV at home?

A variation of this one appeared on the last list, but that didn’t deter people from continuing to ask it.

In an effort to not get raunchy with my readers, I’m just going to leave it with “Yes.  I do.  I also have a slight Netflix addiction, and we see where that’s gotten us.Would you like for me to tell you how it keeps happening?”

Think about what you want to say or ask before you actually ask it.  If it falls anywhere on this list, go ahead and mark it as a stupid question for future reference.  If you want to know how I managed to get such (relatively) well behaved children, I’d be more than happy to tell you about that fun.  Or if you want to know my great recipe for blueberry cheesecake cookies, I’d love to give it to you.

But if you’re asking a question to fill a little silence while you’re behind me at the checkout, just go ahead and let the silence drag on.  It’s not bothering me one bit.  I’ve got these 4 amazing people to make me happy!

hank20150723_18504020160710_195031.jpgsnapchat-7184853223656502460.jpg

The Complaint Department

If you have little ones, you should be familiar with the time of day that gets referred to as The Witching Hour.  Wikipedia defines it like this:

In occult belief, the term witching hour refers to the time of night at which creatures such as witches, demons, and ghosts are thought to appear and to be at their most powerful, and at which black magic is thought to be at its most effective. This is because the period from 3AM to 4 AM is the span where there are no Catholic church services and prayers which are marked by the Canonical hours which are also three regular hours in length.

In mama/caregiver lives it’s that time of the afternoon between preparing to eat dinner and bedtime, and ish get crazy then!

Those ghouls and that black magic are flying all over my house during then EVERY. DAY. Other than allowing unending episodes of Justin Time to be watched on Netflix or giving in to letting them play, fully clothed, in the water hose, I can’t come up with any better ways to handle my pack from 4 to 7pm.

I deal with tattling throughout the day, but during WH (that’s what we’ll call the witching hour from now on, k?), I turn into the official Ferrell Complaint Department.

Hank wants to complain about a certain child at daycare.  He gives me a run down of everything that that child did that day that annoyed him.  He reenacts scenes from swimming lessons when the child got in trouble for [insert asinine reason] and tells me how he would have handled it had he been in charge.  Every now and again, he switches it up and complains that Margaret Hannah is looking at him.

Margaret Hannah brings things to the department’s attention like “You are exactly wrong about why that man is getting arrested on COPS, mom!  You exactly said it was because he was running from the police, but I know the right things, and it was because he swallowed a ziploc bag.”

3 things to address with that:  She’s just learned the word exactly, her awareness of her surroundings is frightening when she repeats this stuff in public, and I’m thankful she used the term ziploc bag as opposed to crack rock.

I don’t even know what channel COPS comes on any more.  She slips off to her bedroom to “make a list” with the lone orange crayon that survived the wall-coloring purge from a few weeks ago, and somehow, makes her way to our room to hang out with the Men and Women of Law Enforcement…

I can’t even.

Amos usually only complains when someone sits in his spot on the couch.  It’s never the same spot, just the one he thinks is his at that time.  Or about why I won’t let him eat a third box of yogurt covered raisins.  He does like to complain about that.

Porter is my anchor, though.  That sweet boy just coos and watches it all, unless he’s working up a poop.  Then he might complain.

So, here’s where I’m going with all this, I need to complain about a few things today. You be my Complaint Department for a few minutes, please?  I’ll even put it in list form to make it easier to keep up with, because we know how I feel about a list…

  1.  Sorting children’s clothes

    There’s SO MUCH.  They outgrow things too fast, I’m too sentimental, and it seems to multiply when I take it out of all my hiding spots.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m oh-so-thankful to be able to go through these things.  To have these children in my life, but there are just SO MANY THINGS in my living room right now.

2.  My husband working late20160629_222010.jpg

He hasn’t been home before 2 AM since last week.  I’m not happy about it.  He’s got this weird thing about not getting into a hot bed, so in his absence, I’ve let the kids sleep with me most nights because A. When I’m let alone with 4 children for this many hours a day, I don’t care about a hot bed, B. Family Co-sleeping is a big thing in Europe.  I’m embracing it, and C. I CANNOT be softly touched on the cheek by a 3 year old ONE MORE TIME at 1:56 AM or be scared awake by a 5 year old staring at me at midnight without accidentally punching them.  So, family bed it is for now.

3.  That dang mail lady20160630_113411.jpgI ordered this cover 2 weeks ago.  It was guaranteed 3-5 business days to get here.  That meant I should have had it around last Thursday.  I’ve tracked it every morning.  I know how long it spent in Texas and Georgia.  I also know it spent 4 days “awaiting pickup” in my town. I can’t roll my eyes any harder.  Whatever, I’ve got it now, and can’t wait to use it.  I you’re interested in checking them out, look up Milk Snob on Instagram.  Good Stuff.

Since I’m the house Complaint Department, I want to know 3 complaints you’ve got.  No judgement in this space!  Everybody needs to whine about something every now and again.  I’ll just read these during the WH today, so I feel even closer to you all.

Adjutsting

We’re all doing amazingly well this way since Porter joined the pack.   He sleeps really well, eats like a champ, and seems to only be uncomfortable when he’s wet. 20160601_212501.jpg Ok, and when I make him wake up to nurse.

He’s also mastered the art of the blow out.

And laundry?  I can’t even.

I forgot how much a newborn is capable of generating.  Add that to the pile of clothes the other 3 keep wearing outside, getting wet, and coming back in to change for the 4th time in one day, and it’s made me know I need a mental health day just to deal with all the laundry baskets coming and going down to the laundry room.

There’s also food.  The big kids are always hungry.  Being home means 3 meals a day I’m responsible for.  We all know Amos would be fine with oatmeal pies and nutrigrain bars every time he sat down at the table, but that seems like a parenting fail if I’ve ever heard one.  Hank wants a “turkey tortillo” followed by a handful of oreos for all his meals, and Margaret Hannah seems to be living off a pack of dill pickle sunflower seeds and fruit loops.

I gotta do better.  I mean, they’re all pooping like normal, but this is bound to turn into something bad if I keep letting them make the meal decisions.

Pat’s been good help.  If good help means being in charge of nap time and changing Amos when he needs it, then yeah, we’ll call it help.

He’s quick to remind me how tired he is, too.  Which I LOVE.

But in all honesty, we’re both pretty much dominating the parenting game right now.  It’s nice to have such a dedicated teammate.  He even volunteered to stay home so I could take Hank to a birthday party Saturday, and make a Fred’s run.

That’s love, just so you know 😉

Over the last week, we managed 3 doctors appointments, a traumatic video of a circumcision (while Porter was getting his), and a wild goose chase between the medical records and business offices of Medical Center Enterprise.  Plus!!! We’ve somehow managed to watch an episode of the new season of Peaky Blinders on Netflix every night before 10 pm.  Seems like straight up date night in our book!

I mean, I usually fall asleep 15 minutes into an episode, but it’s the quality time we’re spending with each other that matters.

The biggest hurdle for now still seems to be Amos.  He loves on Porter and wants to hold him a lot, but he’ll also pull on his feet and try to rub his nose all over his body for whatever strange reason.  One second he’s cooing “Hey Friend! Hey Buddy!” to him and the next he’s trying to pull out a piece of Porter’s hair.  We’ll get there.  I have no doubt.

Or we’ll just start crating Amos with Gypsy.

I kid! I kid!

A little…

Margaret Hannah is on top of everything Porter may need.  Sister knows what to do when we change diapers (there’s a little more involved with little boys in the beginning), keeps that ‘hanitizer’ close by so she can hold him if I need her to, and took right to keeping track of his pacifiers just like she does with Amos.20160603_165139.jpg

Hank has always been a great helper.  Bringing another kid into the fold hasn’t slowed him down a bit, either.  He’s a great burper, diaper-throw-awayer, and tells Porter all kinds of secrets.20160531_095920.jpg

Right before he turned two, we started letting him put the garbage bags in the trash can.  That moved into him actually taking out the trash as soon as he was tall enough to do it, and it’s remained one of his jobs now.  The garbage is staying full just like the washing machine, so he’s been fantastic about emptying it.  Way better than I am with moving the clothes into the dryer, for sure!

Porter has an audiologist appointment next week since he failed his hearing test in the hospital.  We aren’t worried about anything because the nursery nurse specifically said they gave it to him super early so whoever was on call at the hospital the Saturday he was born could get on home for their Memorial Day break.  Pat will be along with us for that fun, and it may even turn into Porter’s first trip to Target.  Nothing has sounded more fun in quite a while!  We’ve got several boxes of newborn diapers to exchange since I brought home yet another 9 lb kid who jumped straight in to size ones.20160602_173853.jpg

I was sad to not be able to use those tiny diapers for all of about 13 minutes.  I got over it when Porter sick bellied his way through a size one that didn’t get put on just right, a pair of footie pajamas, the blanket he was swaddled in, and the burp cloth that was wedged between my side and him.  If that would have been a newborn diaper, the end result could have been much worse.

Yes, that’s possible, even given all the things he pooped through.

For now, these slow days are so welcomed.  We’ve got a busy summer, but having the chance to be with all my babies like this is pretty much the best.

Also, the chickens say Hi!img_20160602_100412.jpg

 

PS  I usually post on Monday’s and Thursday’s.  I also usually share it on Facebook when I’ve finished a post.  I’m thinking I may back off since it seems like I’m all up in people’s newsfeeds a bit more than before, so be sure you subscribe if you want to know when a post goes live, or just keep checking back often.  I’m glad so many of you are interested in following along.  Some I know, and there’s becoming an even bigger number I don’t.

SO HI!! To all you new people.  I”m constantly shaking my head when I see where everyone is reading from.  Like, who could possible think we’re funny enough way out in Illinois and Michigan to keep coming back every week?  Either way, I’m glad you’re here!

 

 

Why I Didn’t Induce

What exactly happened Tuesday?

I’m sure it doesn’t matter to a majority of people, but I want to always remember why I chose not to go through with my scheduled induction.

Last Sunday, I couldn’t catch my  breath.

Not because anything was wrong, but because I couldn’t rationalize in my mind why I had agreed to going to the hospital for an intervention-filled delivery when I knew that wasn’t what I wanted.

As surprising as it may be, I can get a little granola when it comes to having babies.  And I’m sure some of the things I’ll be referencing aren’t for the faint at heart.  You’ve been warned: click the links at your own risk.

But, it’s true, something primal in me came alive when I started my pregnancy adbenture 6 years ago.  I watched an amazing documentary called The Business of Being Born (also see Pregnant in America) and was in shock over how birth practices are handled in our country.  I read everything I could and researched as much as possible, and realized early on, that this was something I could totally get behind.

I don’t mean I mounted a crusade to save the world from c-sections and Pitocin, but just wanted all mamas to be informed about options for delivery.  You have choices.  You can say no. Or yes.  It’s a given that as long as everything is medically sound with you and your baby, of course.  But you do have options.

I’d heard stories of my grandmother having a twlight sleep birth, and laughed at how barbaric it seemed. BTW that’s one of those links I was telling you to click at your own risk.

She went in to the hospital pregnant, woke up to a newborn, and didn’t remember much about what happened to her in between being pregnant and then not. This was totally normal.  It was practiced well into the 1960s, some places even until the 70s.  What the wha???

It was normal!!! People accepted this as appropriate medical practice because DOCTORS told them it was cool.  But now we know better.  And when you know better, you do better Thanks for that nugget Oprah!

Knowing I could say no to Pitocin and membrane sweeping (ick!) meant I could have the birth I wanted.  But with Hank, I didn’t have my no voice under control just yet. Surprising, I’m sure.

I ended up in the hospital for almost 3 days laboring my little heart out with him.  I caved at the 22 hour mark to get an epidural because I couldn’t take the brutal contractions the Pitocin I was told I had to have was causing.  I hadn’t been allowed to eat anything since midnight of the day I went to be induced, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much that affected me.  I was so hangry and weak, the last thing on my mind was pushing out a baby.

Luckily, Hank tolerated it all so well that c-section wasn’t threatened until I had reached the 24 hour mark of my water being broken.  I survived, and he only suffered a bit of cone head.  That makes it all ok, right?  The end result was a healthy baby.

No! Not alright!

I’m still a little traumatized about how that went.  Even back then, I knew there were other ways than jumping straight to last-resort methods.  I just got so caught up in the day that came and passed that Hank was due.  Good gracious being late was sooooo bad!!!  Or not.  I know now.

Thankfully, I have an OBGYN who supports informed decisions, and never once has he declined to answer any of my questions. I know he did all he could to keep me from having a c-section, and for that I’m grateful.  But it still didn’t happen how I’d hoped.

Once I had Margaret Hannah and Amos naturally, I saw how totally different the other end of the delivery spectrum could be.  They both came out alert and calm, I recovered in 1/3 of the time it took with Hank, and my heart for safe, informed birth pretty much exploded.  That’s pretty evident by both of my Instagram account follow feeds.  If it’s about a mama in labor or some cute Etsy junk of baby paraphernalia, I’ll follow!

I assumed things would follow the same path with Porter as they had with the last two. Obviously he’s proving me wrong, but the days before I was supposed to be at the hospital this time, I just wasn’t able to find any peace.  I’m anxious for him to be here, no doubt, but I’m more concerned with it happening naturally and safely.  Every prayer I made over those few days got me closer to and more comfortable with the decision I ultimately ended up making.

Don’t get me wrong, if the only way to get him here means taking other steps necessary to ensure his and my well being, I’m down for that.  But after being monitored, having an ultrasound, and spending 3 hours in Labor and Delivery Tuesday morning, all there agreed that it would cause more stress to Porter if I continued to be stressed about being induced.  Two amazing nurses and my dear, sweet, Dr. Pollard told me to go eat breakfast, relax at home, and gave me a game plan I can live with for Sunday if Porter still isn’t here.

The nurse that discharged me said “I hate I’m not going to get to be here when you finally do deliver.  Not many women stand up for what they want.  You would have regretted this for the rest of your life if you would have continued on with it, and then said ugly stuff about us for making you do it.  You go sister!”

Those were powerful words my pregnant heart needed to hear.

I’ve talked about savoring this pregnancy, potentially/probably the last one, as much as possible, and I’m taking it to mean Porter wanted me to be SURE I was soaking it all up as long as possible.  I’ve lamented about the usual struggles that all pregnant women experience, but I’ve also spent extra time feeling him move, admiring (and crying) over just how big my body grew to be able to grow him, and of course, realizing I’ll most likely never look like this again.  That’s not even the hormones talking, either.  That’s just total awe and respect for what our bodies are capable of when it comes to life.

Please realize I’m not about that mommy shaming (unless we’re talking about the grocery store haha!) style, and what works for me may not have been what worked for you.  The goal in every pregnancy is a healthy baby and mama.  I also get that not everyone wants to think about the realities that come with birth.  You know, storks and all that crap.  But please know I made a decision I think is best for my life and family, and Porter will be here when he’s here.

And to answer the real question:  NO!!! I AINT DONE HAD THAT BABY!!!

Because EVERYONE Needs to Know

I just need to get this off my chest again.

I’ve had a rant or two over on Facebook about this very issue, but I feel like EVERYONE could benefit from knowing what I’m about to tell you.

When you approach a 4-way stop, whomever gets there first is the vehicle who goes through the stop first.

If two people get there at the same time, the person to the right goes first.

There are no rules for waving people through, giving them the stink eye from across the street, or sitting at a total stand-still while you all just look at the other vehicles passing through.

When we lived on the other side of town, I had to go through both of our town’s newly installed 4-way stops, and DAILY it caused me so much anger the veins were popping out on my forehead once I got to my classroom. Then, I had to go BACK through them to get home.  There are MANY MANY citizens of this town who are lucky to be alive right now.

Sister can’t always keep her temper in check about this.  I’m capable of letting a lot of things  go and cooling off to avoid catastrophe, but the 4-way stops in town? I make no promises.

I’ll leave this link here for you so you can learn the rules as well.  I’d hate to have to fling open my Expedition door and cut you over this nonsense.

http://www.vdriveusa.com/resources/how-a-4-way-stop-works.php

 

36 Weeks & a Kindergartner

I’m 36 weeks pregnant.  To some that means “any day now!”  To me, that means another month to stretch my belly to it’s limits

I’ve carried all these babies to term, and while each labor and delivery date has gotten shorter, each baby has gotten considerably larger.  The last two were with no epidurals.  The last last one was totally medicine free. I don’t like to brag (yes, yes I very much do), but just sit with that a minute.

I had to go for a regular, weekly visit Thursday and a position ultrasound because I have a history of growing babies who prefer to live it up transverse (sideways) into the third trimester.  I haven’t been surprised at any of the other visits to find out baby Tobago has been hanging on to tradition like the others, but Thursday’s ultrasound was a little different.

There was some concern expressed over how far I am, and how hard it might be for the baby to turn head down like he needs to in such a short time.  If you’ve ever spent much time listening to any of my other birth stories, you know I’m not about that c-section talk.  I in NO WAY think sections are bad or make you any less of a mother than I am.  I just know what my body is capable of, and I like knowing all my options.

I’ve always appreciated my OBGYN’s patience with me, and his support of my choice to let things happen when they’re ready to happen.

But Thursday had me a little flustered.  The ultrasound tech went right into her little tisk-tisk voice while she was telling me how Porter was laying.  I came right back with that I still had plenty of time for him to move, and she just said “You’ll just want to be sure you talk to your Doctor about everything.”

He’s got plenty of room and fluid to still move.  Jumping to what the on-call calendar looks like is not apart of my plan, yet.

The doctor came in to talk it over.  He had a few good suggestions for things to try between now and next Thursday’s ultrasound and even told me to look up a website he knew I’d be interested in for other alternatives to rotate babies.  Spinningbabies.com if you’re interested, as well.

The funny starts when I decided the best thing for me to try was something called a forward leaning inversion.  Basically, you keep your knees on a higher surface like a couch or stairs, and then place your elbows flat on the ground in front of you with your belly tucked toward the surface you’re using as much as possible.

I’d already told Pat he had to be on standby since I can’t even seem to get off the couch these days without a little extra help.  I was laughing too much at just how hard it was to get my elbows flat to be able to focus on the type of breathing spinningbabies recommends you do while you’re in the position.  My sinuses got stopped up, my head was pounding from the rush of blood, and when you’re this pregnant AND laughing, well, having to pee is a given.

In the end, I was able to get it figured out for the 5-breath stretch needed, but I have not been interested in doing the inversion as many times a day as recommended.  I’ll call it a win if I can manage once a day.

I really just want to see this cutie when he’s ready.  Even if the way he gets here isn’t how I wanted.  Just don’t count me out of the natural game too soon.  I may march my self up to the only indoor public pool in town and teach Hank how to do a handstand if it means getting Porter to turn.  We’re giving it a few more weeks before any decisions are made.

And since my Mama Heart was already on edge a bit from Porter Position News, I felt like the ride to Dothan after our doctor’s visit was the perfect time to fully embrace ALL the feels that go along with having to register your FIRST baby for Kindergarten.

I’ve never felt like it would be a big deal to let Hank start school.  Pat and I have done an amazing job with preparing him for “big school,” and the time he’s spent at the daycare has made sure he’ll thrive when he gets there.  I’ve shaken my head at the mama’s that cry over the next step in their kid’s life.  I’ve even told myself how silly it really is to not want to embrace all the new things that come along with starting school.

Until it was SERIOUSLY my turn to send my child on his way.  I almost had a panic attack standing in the dollar spot in Target looking at summer supplies and individually wrapped snack food.

Like, how is he going to manage the lunch line???  Those tray’s get heavy!

What if he’s having a bad day?  Right now, he can just let me know when we all get out on the playground.  He gets to run errands for his teachers a lot, so he just stops by my room on his way to wherever to say hi.  That’s not going to happen anymore.

I can’t deal with this.

He’s still a baby!  One that has stinky feet, can eat 2 hamburgers in one sitting, and farts like a champ, but that’s irrelevant.  What is public school going to do to him?  Is he going to get bored and act out because he isn’t being challenged like his dad did?  Will he decide it’s all too overwhelming and get frustrated like he does when the bent puzzle piece to his Melissa & Doug Firetruck floor puzzle won’t fit?  There’s too many what ifs and OMGs to not get caught up in all the emotions those other mama’s were experiencing.

Shame on me for thinking I was above it!

I’m not!!! I need this boy to still be under my wing.  Or if not mine, at least Marnana’s. Sister knows she keeps a tight leash on her boys.

It’s just SO.MUCH.TO.DEAL.WITH!

And it’s not even May.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to make a coherent post come August about actually SENDING him to his first day.  Heck, this was just registration, and look how I’m handling it!

I will say I felt slightly better at his exasperation with me over being prepared on registration day.  He never lets me down when it’s time take a nice picture.img_20160414_083623.jpgBut then he finished up his screening, and came out with a weird, flashy toy, and the biggest smile you ever did see.  He told us about everything he was asked. How he knew his address, but couldn’t remember my phone number, but that’s ok since all those teachers see me on Facebook.  He knew how to count until the teacher told him he could stop, and he picked out some good rhyming words.20160414_082249.jpgHe’s ready, that’s for sure.

It’s just going to take me a little longer…

Kid Conversations & Sick Junk

Even though I like to think I’m raising a pretty hardy bunch of ‘chilruns, they continue to prove me wrong by catching every little bit of mess that passes through the daycare.  And then some stuff they just generate themselves, seems like.

Last week, a few toddlers passed around what we figured to be a simple fever virus.  No symptoms other than fever, and they were over it in about 2 days.  When Amos started having a temp Sunday night, I just assumed that’s what it could be.  He had 2 full days of fever and then was good.

Marnana decided she wanted in on the sick action Tuesday night.  2 days of fever, then total recovery.  Fine.  If you’re gonna be sick over this way, make it quick.

She did get super angry at Amos when he wanted to cuddle up next to her at the end of her first full sick day.  She was running a fever, and Amos normally stays as far away from her as possible since she’s part honey badger.  I guess he figured she could help him feel better that night.  He got situated next to her so sweet like.wp-1460142834806.jpg

And she got bent ALL KINDS out of shape over it and frustratingly shouted this:

MH: He won’t get off me, mom! I cannot control this!
Me: Control what? What does that even mean?
MH: It means I am not asponsible for this kid because he is pulling my skin everywhere.
Me: Your’e being silly, & you need to calm down. He’s just trying to be sweet & lay with you, Marnana!
MH: No mother! He has to move outta this house. I’m going to scream!!!
Hank: And get a spanking for it, too!
MH: You are not my dad, Hank, & I am fed up with this life you are causing me to live.

Total threenager in the house!  But, she did seem better the next day, so I took that as our cue to move on from the sick junk.

Except that’s never the end of the gross stories with the Feral Ferrell’s.  Amos went to daycare Thursday and seemed totally fine.  We got to my moms Thursday afternoon, and he just became so uncomfortable and fidgety that it was obvious something was wrong.  So wrong that he decided to puke all over the both of us.  I had to run to our house to change and get the vommick (that’s what it’s called at our house) off my body while my mom took on getting Amos cleaned up.img_20160407_162513.jpg

He still didn’t seem to have any other symptoms that were causes for concern, so we made plans for him to stay with my mom again, and all would be right with the world.  Except not. Of course.

Even though I’m constantly ranting about germs, and not sharing stuff, and staying out of each other’s faces, it just falls on deaf ears.  Case in point is when Hank got out of the shower Thursday night and came to me with this mess:

Hank: Mom, I have to tell you something
Me: I don’t like when you start things by saying that.
Hank: I, well, I just kinda was accidentally thirsty some, and, um, well, I just had to get something to drink since all the water was gone from your cup on the counter.
Me: So what did you do, son?
Hank: Well, I just accidently drank out of the milk jug because Amos doesn’t have a sippy cup in there either.
Me: Do you normally drink out of his cups that stay in there?
MH: Re just do that all the time
Hank: Well, but see, I drank that milk accidentally, but then I dint mean to, but I dropped my peppermint in there too, but I’m just real sorry about it OK?
Me: HANK! Where did you get a mint from?
Hank: Out of the Sonic bag that was in the garbage can

Not only are they sharing sippy cup germs secretly, we also have some minty milk to deal with.  What’s yours is mine in our house.

When Margaret Hannah woke up Friday morning, she had a weird rash on her knees, middle of her back, lower stomach, and forearms.  Uh… seems like a good reason to drive 45 minutes to the pediatrician’s office to find out what the heck was growing for sure!

Cut to a stressful ride over there that included 3 stops to poop.  Something about saying “Let’s go to the Doctor’s office” is a natural laxative for my crew.  We showed up 10 minutes late, had to wait another 10 minutes because records are always needing updating over there, and a 10 minute stint in the waiting room made for the perfect combination to generate another poop for both of them once we got into an exam room.

Geez!

The short of it is that Amos has acute bronchitis and a touch of pneumonia in his right lung.  MH has an aggressive case of hand, foot, and mouth disease.

Yes, please!  We need this in our lives right now like we need clean laundry!  Hank had his first t-ball game and Jamboree Saturday, I had Porter’s shower Sunday afternoon, and we missed a birthday party.  I mean! It’s just exactly how I wanted the weekend to play out.  PLUS I dare not forget that I’m 35ish weeks pregnant.

Yes, yes.  We can handle this like the bosses we are.

I just needed to complain a second.

Wash your hands people!  And do your part to keep your sick kids at home, please.  All of mankind will thank you.

 

I Have a Problem…

Hi.  My name is Emily, and I’m an addict.

Of the Netflix kind.

I don’t even know why we still have cable at this point, because all we watch on it regularly is The Walking Dead, Fixer Upper, and the local news for weather coverage.  Besides that, if it’s not able to be found through the Roku stick, we aren’t about it.  Pat even owns stock in Netflix, we love it that much.

For a long time, He and I would wait to watch things together, but ain’t nobody got time to sit down at night and watch a show that usually isn’t fit for children’s ears, so we’ve moved on to picking what we want and filling each other in.  So far, it’s worked amazingly.

He just finished Nurse Jackie, and I felt like I was right there with him over the few weeks it took him to go through it because of the updates he gave over dinner.  Good grief, Jackie!  You had me scared for a bit when you fell off the wagon… so many times!32ea8caed6303daae44d95e3dddb1f39

I just finished Mad Men.  Before that, I’d come across a really weird show from SciFi called Helix that was so bad I just couldn’t quit it.  It was only 2 seasons, so after about 3 weeks, I felt like I had to commit to something that would take longer to finish.

That’s when I hit play on Mad Men and became obsessed with that world.  I SO didn’t want to have to stop being a part of Sterling Cooper/Sterling Cooper Draper Price/ SC&P/ all the other ad agencies that were living it up in the Time Life building.

It took about 2 months for me to get through all 7 seasons, and I left feeling devastated about what happened to Betty, with a slight crush on Don, and totally in love with Joan Harris’ “I’m my own boss” attitude!  And the total show stealer has to be Roger Sterling.  Hilarious, smooth, so well dressed, and a bit of a pig.  He meant well, for sure.c0fe2742144d341973ce91624d536b3ce18791e3f4dea916d4f9e5725d4c198aenhanced-32099-1427224907-16

Do you ever finish a series and feel a little sad that you’re leaving the characters behind?

Shutup.  Yes, you do.

You become so engrossed in these lives and stories, and then all of the sudden, it’s over.  When I watched the series finale of Mad Men the other night, I immediately went to Google to find a list of what I should be watching next.  Then I went to my Que (or list?  I don’t think it’s called a Que anymore) and loaded that joker up with 7 more shows to keep me going.

I’ve been reading this book series since I was in college.  I think when I was introduced to it (code for When it Changed My Life) there were maybe 6 books out at the time.  These aren’t little books, either.  They would take me months to finish because I was still doing that whole college bit in between reading about Jamie and Claire, and their life together.  Most people thought it was a romance novel, but heck no!  It’s so much more than that.  Even the author keeps a joke tab on her site of all the places she finds her books.  Either way, she takes about 4 years to write the next piece of the story, and right now she’s all side tracked because they made it into a series on Starz.

I’m not mad at her.  But I have invested almost 10 years of my life into these stories, and I need book 9 YESTERDAY.

I digress.  But you know what I mean about being so apart of something, that when you finish that book or show, you just kind of go “Well, now what?”

Then, there’s always this struggle:  It’s hard to find shows that our bunch can watch with us.   We were really pleased to come across Once Upon a Time on Netflix.  Language was minimal, even though Margaret Hannah got in trouble at daycare last week for saying “What the hell do you think you are doing?” to Hank.  When he told me she’d said he, he said “She said it just like Regina says it to Emma all the time!”1d5e242c60a9ff1e0ba1c2a2efc139bb

Geez…

But, as far as ugly words go, I guess that’s better than some of the other things she’s heard on the playground.  I was trying to not hurt myself from laughing so hard at her AND talk to her about why we don’t say things like that, when she yelled at Hank for telling on her.  He said “You did too say that, Marnana!!!” and without missing a beat, she followed that up with “No the HELL I DID NOT!”

Here’s where I’d post that emoji that cuts it’s eyes to the side.  That’s all I can do sometimes with these Feral children.

But back to Once Upon a Time.  I know that seeing real people dressed as a bunch of their favorite Disney & movie characters provided a way for the show to really hold their attention.  We got caught up with the 4 seasons on Netflix over about 6 months, and they’re already asking when we get to watch more since season 5 is currently on ABC.  May be a while on that one, so if you know any good family-ish shows we could all enjoy, let me know.

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In the meantime, Pat and I are saving the new season of House of Cards to binge while I’m in the hospital with Porter, and I’m brushing up on all the lists out there about what to watch next.

Be sure to leave a comment on the post with some of your faves/recommendations.  We’re using every bit of that $7.99 a month subscription over this way!

 

 

Mobile Adbenture

We take a lotta “adbentures” around here.  Since Hank was able to talk, any car ride that lasted more than about an hour was deemed an adbenture.  We also spend a good bit of time at the beach, so that ALWAYS gets classified adbenture.

Now, adding a hotel to the mix of our travel plans is TOTAL adbenture material.  And we took a great last one before we’re officially a party of 6, down to Mobile.

While it was technically a conference trip for Pat, the rest of this pack decided to make the most of it, and take in what sights we could.

We left for the 2 & 1/2 hour drive right after Cousins Easter and dropping the chicks off at my parents house.  Pat found a really good 90s playlist on Spotify, and after a quick stop for supper at a super fancy Wendy’s, we were good to go.

Sidenote: Any time we’re in the car after dark, I pack pajamas for the kids to change into.  They think it’s a huge treat, and I think it makes getting them from their carseats to their beds a huge treat. #winning

So, with everyone in their “juhmas” for the last leg of the trip, and bellies full of half eaten Wendy’s baked potatoes and nutragrain bars, we pulled in to the Riverview Renaissance valet spot to unload a crap ton of bags for a 2 night stay.

The guy taking our luggage commented on how many bags did it take when you have kids, and then tried to follow it up with a funny by asking about how quick they grow out of shoes.  I was not amused.  If anyone knows how much of a challenge it is to travel with children, it’s me.

And it’s always cute to hear about people talking about their vacations.  When you have children, one does not simply vacation.  You go on trips.  That is all.

On this trip, I forgot a stroller.  And wearing compression hoses hasn’t caught on with current fashion just yet, so traipsing all over the hotel & downtown Mobile made this TRIP even more of an experience.  At least the view was amazing, right?8220608b-218e-417d-8bd7-eabbd46028ca

Hank gets pretty excited about the opportunity to live it up at a continental breakfast, I mean, who wouldn’t?  Hilton waffles and powdered eggs are to die for.  Especially when they’re free.  But this swanky little spot only offered a breakfast of the $18 a plate variety.

Monday morning had us booking it down 26 floors & jumping in the car for a 3 block ride to a sad, mini Chic-Fil-A.  It was like the one that used to be in the Trojan Center in college.  Only chicken biscuits in the morning, chicken sandwiches & 8 piece nuggets the rest of the day.  And those nasty waffle fries.  *Keep your comments to yourself.  They’re gross.*

But either way, we had our breakfast, and then Pat was on his way to the conference center for the longest day EVER.  It must have been so hard for him to go to a lunch with potential clients and then dinner with some salesmen while his pregnant wife and three children were in the hotel room.  But I’m not bitter.  This window was the spot to be.  I made several snap stories from what all we get to see go by.  So there’s that.eeaf44bb-cfcb-4f69-b946-cd4ea4d8565f

I knew what I was in for when I signed up to go.

But still, I’m not bitter.

I gathered the herd and all the paraphernalia they require to go somewhere, and we went to the parking garage to adbenture some more.  It’s a race to push elevator buttons every.single.time. and once we got down to the right level, we had to walk over to get on a different elevator to get to the car.  Hank rushed to push the button while Marnana rushed to jump in the elevator with a homeless man.  I was all “GUYS! Don’t you remember we were taking the stairs?  Come on back this way so we can walk down these 6 flights to get out of this place!!!”  MH just kept staring at the guy huddled in the corner of the elevator…

Seemed like the perfect way to start our day.

I did manage to get all three to take a quick picture while we waited for a car to move so I could get into my vehicle.  This belly does not sidle up in to any seat very east these days.c3ae1fc1-b5e5-4fb6-9a8c-017431c5b277

Monday was supposed to be spent with my college roommate, but plans changed, and I took the chance to hit up the Old Navy maternity section like a boss.  What I did not plan for was 3 separate stops for children to poop, a total meltdown in World Market over who sat where in their tiny buggies, and ice cream for lunch.  Again, trips, not vacations with this stage of life.

I’m NEVER a briber.  Like literally, I will cut you if you offer my kid food in the grocery store, and don’t you dare breath a word about a toy. I do not reward whiny or bad behavior just for the sake of other shoppers ears, but after Hank decided to walk up onto a display of patio furniture and sit on a table, Amos dumping out a bucket of wind up rabbits, and Margaret Hannah screaming about how much she “reckons it’s a real big problem for my brother to be in this buggy right now and I can’t find my boots anymore,” I was done.  We left World Market with a plastic egg of silly putty, a toy batman, and a felt horse with matching comb.

I was over it.

Then, they napped in the car for the 12 minute ride back to the hotel.  We ALWAYS nap in this pack.  No matter what.  Like, we could go pro we nap so well over here.  This time, all three got together and decided the power nap was plenty, and there was no sense in even trying for anything more.

You had to have your room key to get to your floor, but I’ll be dang if I didn’t have to march my happy end and all of my children back down to the lobby 4 times to get the card rekeyed JUST SO we could get back to the room.  The last time we had to do it, I pulled the fun mom card and let them take the escalator up to a different bank of elevators. Hank’s the only one who’s ever been on one, and Marnana lost her mind.  She fell, couldn’t get her balance, and kept yelling about how to stand up.  I could not stop laughing at her.  You would have to, stop yer judging.

But we all survived and went back to the room so I could have a drink regroup and pull my compression sock off for a few minutes.  I opened the door, and Hank ran to the bed crying his “I’m really hurt” cry.  Turns out he burnt his finger on a light under the reception desk but was afraid he’d get in trouble if he said anything about it.  MH ended up being the one to tell me exactly what happened since he still wouldn’t confess to trying to unscrew a decorative bulb in the Riverview logo.  Great trip. For sure.

When Pat called to say he wasn’t going to be back for dinner, I made the decision there was NO WAY we were getting back in the parking deck just to get supper.  Instead, we went back down 26 floors and over 2 blocks to a pizza place.  Everybody eats pizza.

Usually.

Hank had 4 slices, MH wanted spaghetti but only had 3 bites of it, and Amos yelled “HI BOY!” to everyone who walked in or by.  There were a lot of other people from the conference around, so we didn’t stand out so bad, except for when Marnana asked the waitress if she could turn down that too loud music, and when Hank knocked over his cup because he was trying to shove his smuggled-in-his-jacket batman into a straw.  And it wouldn’t have been a successful meal if they didn’t ALL have to go poop before we left.20160321_175548 (1)

I love being a mama.

I really do.

I knew better than to take all this on.

Oh well.  We’re here now!

We grabbed donuts and chocolate milks Tuesday morning, packed up ASAP, and started out for home by 9 AM.  Pat was still at the conference, but he was able to help us get situated before we left, and it made a big difference.  All of that easy-start to the day got thrown out the window when Margaret Hannah couldn’t hold it in the car a second longer.  I pulled off at the Satsuma exit, like 25 minutes from where we left, and they all said they needed Arby’s like they need to breathe.

Nope.  Pee and get back in this car.  I will not extend this trip any longer than necessary.

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Our happy ending to this adbenture was one last pit stop at KFC, enough chocolate chip cookies for the ride home from there, and a really successful night at t-ball practice for Hank.  I think we all were asleep by 9.

We’d planned on some day trips to the beach before Porter gets here, but I’m a little gun shy right now.  A few days of clear skies and warm weather will make me forget Mobile for sure, but until then, I’ve got my feet propped up, and I’m making the kids play with the crap they got from World Market every time they tell me they’re bored.