Thursday, March 23, 2017

The time of your life..

When the kids were little, I felt like I never got a moment of peace. I was nursing, cleaning, doing laundry, making food, entertaining them, reading books. It was non. stop.

But now I’m looking back at photos and I see that my house was on point! I was letting my creative juices flow and in between the cleaning and the breastfeeding and it gave me life!  I was painting my walls, refinishing furniture, or planting in my beautiful garden. I busted out the power sander and made that Venetian Plaster I applied in the dining room shine like a mirror. Painted the kids room with a fairytale castle, forest and clouds covered the walls.  I even covered the guest room/office completely in harlequin diamonds!  I painted with a baby strapped to my chest in an Ergo, gardened while the twins rolled around on a blanket on the grass, and I knew all about annuals and perennials.  I was always covered in paint, and looking back in pics and videos I can see that my house was pretty damn organized, and my garden was completely fabulous.

I even mowed my own damn lawn, m'kay, people?

Soo.. what the hell happened?? Why is it now that my kids are finally all in school 9-3 do I feel like I have no time for ANYTHING anymore?? I can't seem to complete a single task, and I have unfinished projects left and right.

Is it possible that ADD can get worse with age?  

I feel like all I do once they’re dropped off is put on my workout clothes (in case I get the urge to exercise (highly unlikely)), clean the house, do laundry, maybe edit some pics, run to the grocery store, and then suddenly it’s time to pick up the kids (from two different schools, mind you).  I race the clock from one pick-up to the next and then after school activities, homework, dinner, bath time and then it's time to collapse into bed and catch up on mindless TV.

This blog has not been updated in almost 4 years because I’ve been so busy. The irony of being too busy to write about my busy life does not escape me.

I will say that I personally seem to be a bit more pulled together than I was back then.  I get a shower every day, so that's a big step up... so there's that. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da!

At this point in my life, 4 kids, 8 years in, I'm no stranger to gross. There's a stomach bug making it's way through the girls' school right now, and Aurora had it a few days ago, it only lasted 24 hours, no big deal.  She woke up in the morning and said her tummy hurt, then she barfed all over her bed (okay, that was kind of a big, gross deal).  Awesome!  So, we obviously kept her home from school and (after changing her sheets) she laid in bed all day, watching cartoons.  I expected this to make it's way through the rest of the kids at some point, but I was hoping it would be with the ease of Aurora's case.  Barf a few times in the morning after we're all already awake, then spend the day cuddled up with stuffed animals in bed while watching Dog With A Blog.

So, as my nights often go, we start out with no kids in our bed, and at some point in the night, the twins always make their way into our room, either to pee in our bed, or as in last night's case, to barf all over our bed.  Oh, yes, this is the life!  Last night, it started with Atticus.  He went from deep, peaceful sleep to a suddenly gagging barf-sprinkler.  I rushed him to the bathroom to hold his head over the toilet when I noticed a horrible, foul, FOUL smell- cat shit!  So there I am, helping Atticus balance his head over the toilet without falling completely in and I notice a pile of steaming fresh cat shit sitting on the bathroom rug.  Then it dawns on me!  I had scraped out and hosed out the cats' litter box earlier, then left it outside to dry in the sun and I had forgotten to bring it back into the house.  AWESOME!  So here I was at 1am; sick toddler, cat shit, trail-o-barf through the hall... where to start?

I get Atticus back into bed, then Bea starts saying that she needs to throw up.  Bea is really dramatic.  REALLY dramatic, and often pretends to be hurt or sick so she gets attention. If somebody hits their head, suddenly she "hit" her head.  If somebody's toe hurts, suddenly her toe "hurts".  If I call her bluff, she can even shed convincing tears and cry "but, I looove yooou!" and make me feel extreme guilt.  I didn't know if she was lying last night, but I took her word for it (because who wants to take a chance with that??) and pulled her into the cat-shit bathroom, I then watched as she lightly coughed over the toilet and said "all done" then bounced back to the bed.  I took a minute to pick up the bathroom rug and toss it out the back door into the rain (I get to deal with that today) then I wiped up the trail-o-barf, and got back into bed right when Atticus was ready to say hello to the toilet again.  So, back we went. Then (surprise!) Bea joined us again with her little princess cough, and the three of us shuffled back into bed.  Then, believe it or not, Bea said she had to throw up, and I reluctantly brought her back into the bathroom because, like I said, who wants to chance that??  And whadaya know?  She barfed!  So we spent the rest of the night and into the morning doing this dance. We've only got one kid left for it to hit, so I'm hoping the worst of it is in the day because I don't know if I can handle another sleepless night-  It felt like I was revisiting the newborn days- SUPER FUN!  Not.

Now, off to hose cat shit off a rug!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

I Should Have Known Better, With A Girl Like You...

A few weeks ago at about 8pm, Beatrix suddenly got hit with a high fever.  I'm not sure how high it was actually because our thermometers are always missing or broken, thanks to the twins' charming ability to hide/lose/destroy any and all useful objects in the home, but she was very hot.  Not long after the fever began, she started breathing rapidly, got lethargic, shakey, vomited, and complained of a headache.  That's what got me; when she started saying "Mommy, my head hurts" over and over, I knew I couldn't brush that off.  So... at about midnight on a Sunday, I took her to the ER.  We got in right away, and while we were checking in with the nurse, I realized her fever was totally gone, and I started wondering if she maybe wasn't as sick as she'd seemed an hour earlier.  I was happy, of course, that she seemed better, but there was a small part of me that wanted her to show some symptoms, damn it!  Not in a Munchausen sort of way, but I knew that she had been sick an hour earlier, and that she would probably be sick again an hour after we got home- so, show the Dr.'s while we're here so they can do their job, kid!

The nurse took her temperature and it was a very normal 98.7.  REALLY??  I started to get mad at myself.  Did I over react?  After all, this has happened before with her older siblings when they were babies, and I told myself back then that I wouldn't jump to conclusions with another sick kid again.  I had taken Aurora to the ER as a baby when she seemed to be having trouble breathing during a bad cold, and when we got to the hospital, she too, was "FINE".  Alert and smiley, only a slight fever, and clear lungs.  I know it's better to be safe than sorry, but frankly, I feel bad for wasting the Dr.'s and nurses time, for looking like a loon, AND for costing us over $800 for a dose of tylenol and a nebulizer treatment.  So, when Bea threw up some neon green bile in front of the nurse, I couldn't help but be excited!  See?  She's really sick!  Then, yes, I realized how insane that was, and continued on with being the awesome mom who wants her kid to be healthy.  Which I do, but, like I said; a little green bile barfing doesn't hurt when I don't want the Dr's to think I'm a nutty, overreacting mom.  They gave her a popsicle and she was suddenly, totally fine- and even insisted on walking down the hall herself to get her X-rays, all the while clutching said popsicle.  Her lungs were mostly clear, and before long, we were sent on our way.  Bea with a big, blue popsicle smile on her face.  Well played, Bea, well played.  I hope you enjoyed your $800 popsicle.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

It's been a long time...

I just realized that it's been almost a year since I wrote my last blog entry.  A lot has happened since then, and I often thought "Hmm... I should blog about this!", but life has a way of keeping you so busy with life, that you can't find the time to do the little things.  Since my last entry, I've lived in New York for 2 months- while Monte was there rehearsing for the Madonna tour- with the 4 rambunctious kids where there were plenty of adventures to be had...  that would have been a great time to blog, eh?  But, no.  No, I did not blog in NYC about my daily adventures into the big city with 4 kids.  Trying to squeeze 6 people into a cab, carrying a stroller up and down subway steps, our visit to the Statue of Liberty or Ground Zero, the incredible amount of walking we did because most cabs would avoid us like the plague.

I weaned the twins from breastfeeding in June, they were 25 months old.  It was bittersweet because I know they are our last kids (um... ya think?), and as much as I was completely over nursing (I had officially been nursing for SEVEN years straight), it's also such a sweet, loving bond, and I know I'll never have that experience again *sniff sniff*.  Oh, who am I kidding??  I am going to throw a party every year to celebrate the fact that I am DONE breastfeeding!

Then, this summer, we went to Yosemite and of course Monte was on tour all year, so I took the kids and went with my family without him.  My parents and my sister, her husband and their 4 kids were there, so there were plenty of people to help and entertain.  We're trying to make it a tradition every year, so this year we've already got our reservations.  Looking forward to the trip, the kids love it there, and so do Monte and I!

Monte was gone from January to December (with a handful of 2-3 day visits in between).  I visited him in Nice, France for a week when they were there in September, and that was a really nice getaway for us together.  He then came to play the Los angeles shows in October, and we had a weekend away together in Vegas right after that.  I moved us in November to a house closer to my parents because I couldn't stand being so far away from all that family help (20-30 min), so I hired some movers and away we went.  Now we live on the same street as my parents, it's awesome!  I'm not sure my mom thinks it's as awesome as I do, but tough cookies, grandma!  I've got ya now!  Muahahahaha!

Monte got off tour December 23rd, and we decided to get the kids a puppy for Christmas because we lost our precious Duke in October, they were heartbroken, and we were ready for a new doggie.  It was awesome to watch them open the box on Christmas morning and there was an adorable puppy inside!  She's been a good dog so far, and is as cute as a button.  Since then, Monte has only left to record his new album in Denmark for 2 weeks, and somehow I survived with the kids.  It's amazing how much harder it is to have him leave after he'd been home for a stint.  I get so used to having him home!

I'm going to try to get better about blogging again.  Wish me luck!  ;)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Flying The Friendly Skies!

Traveling with 4 kids is no easy feat. We checked in fine, and it was nice to unload the giant bags, and only have our 4 rolling carry-on bags, backpacks, stroller, car seat, and children to deal with. My biggest fears were security, and boarding. Well, also the actual flight and getting everybody off the plane and to the car. Going through security, at one point, Tiffany was showing her ID behind me, and a TSA agent asked me with great concern if I was alone with the kids because that's what it looked like at the moment. She was very relieved for me when I told her that I did indeed had help. The kids were not required to take off their shoes through security-SCORE! I was able to quickly collapse the stroller and place it on the belt, the girls were very good listeners and they put their own bags on the belt, then held the babies hands for us on the side while we finished loading the belt with bags, car seat, shoes, etc. Nobody wanted to line up behind us, of course, but I must say, we were very efficient! We got through as quickly as possible, with no hang ups, and the security personnel were extremely cheerful and helpful, and the other passengers were very kind and friendly. Once we were through, we even got a big round of applause! It was awesome.

Once we got settled at the gate, I took the girls, and Atticus, with me to get some Starbucks. The line was a good 20 minutes long, but we made it through with coffee for me, and juice, yogurt, donuts, and muffins, as requested by the girls... so I thought. Apparently, Aurora wanted a chocolate muffin, but i got her a banana nut muffin, and I couldn't hear her because it was so loud, but she didn't make it really known until we were done with our transaction and walking out of Starbucks. Aurora is our middle child, and while she is a bright, wonderful, sweet, loving, happy child most of the time, she has a dark side that reared its ugly head once the twins were born and she had to compete for the attention that she once had in abundance... for which i have a lot of guilt mixed with frustration. So, sometimes, when she doesn't get her way, she has a complete "possessed-by-Satan" meltdown that nothing can stop once it's started. Nothing. So, there I was, halfway out of Starbucks, baby strapped to me, Ariel by my side, hands full of coffee and baked goods, and Aurora begins to scream "I HATE BANANA MUFFINS!!! I WANT A CHOCOLATE MUFFIN!!!!!" Shit. I was essentially trapped because my hands were full, Tiffany was at our seats in the terminal with Bea and couldn't hear us, everybody's staring at the lady with all the kids and Starbucks coffee and bags, Aurora is crying, and screaming "NO! I WANT A CHOCOLATE MUFFIN NOW!!" across the terminal. I asked Ariel to hold the bags of food while I tried grabbing Aurora's arm and coaxing her out of Starbucks but she wasn't having it, it looked really bad, I could feel everybody's eyes burning into me. I finally had no choice but to leave Aurora, run over to our seats and toss all the crap down next to Tiffany, leave Ariel with her with no time to remove Atticus from the Ergo because Aurora was now alone, screaming her tushie off in front of Starbucks, and I'm sure people were concerned and security wasn't far from intervening. All I could think about was the family who was kicked off of a Jet Blue flight just the week before because their 2 year old was having a tantrum. I had been mostly worried about the twins, but they were being perfect, even Atticus, as I raced across the terminal, he happily bounced along with me, a little confused, but just enjoying the ride. I finally got back to Aurora and picked her screaming little body up, and carried her into a bathroom stall. She was still screaming about the chocolate muffin, and at this point, I definitely couldn't give in because I would be rewarding her naughty behavior. So... I lied and told her that She could no longer go to New York, and that I was calling grandma to come pick her up. I felt kind of bad about it even as I was saying it, but I was desperate... and at first it didn't even work, and then I got worried because I really believe in following through with threats so they know I mean business, but then again, it never even really works with Aurora, no matter how good my track record is with following through. It took about 10 minutes of fake calls to grandma to get her to stop crying, and once she was calmed down, we entered the terminal, and joined the rest of our group.

Once it was time to board, we were of course struggling to carry all of our bags, babies, and car seat onto the plane, so some flight attendants and a passenger were nice enough to help us out. A nice passenger carried my rolling carry-on bag for us, a flight attendant carried Beatrix to our seat because I was holding both the twins, plus a car seat and a backpack, and another flight attendant offered to take the car seat from me, and she kindly carried it to our seats, and the passenger lifted my bag into the overhead compartment and everything. How unexpected and wonderful that was! Once at our seats, the babies were in need of their naps, although, Atticus was enjoying the view out the window, so I nursed Bea to sleep before takeoff, and she quietly slumbered in my lap. Atticus, strapped into his car seat, was so fascinated by the airplanes and trucks outside his window, the most noise he made was the sounds that trucks make, "Vrooom vroom!", "Wow!" and "Ooooh!". The girls were sitting quietly in their seats, and we were all settled and ready to go. A 30-something British couple found their seats behind us, and they immediately launched into a very loud hissy fit about being "surrounded by children", and spend the last 10 minutes before takeoff trying desperately to change seats so they didn't have to be near kids, and they eventually got their wish, and were moved 3 rows up- thank goodness, because I don't think I could have handled their glares and complaints for a whole flight. Atticus was jumping for joy at takeoff, and before we knew it, he was passed out in his seat. The babies took a 2 hour nap, and woke up refreshed and happy. The girls played with their iPods, colored and read books. Overall, it was an easy flight, considering, although a few of the flight attendants called me "crazy" for traveling with all these kids, despite having Tiffany for help. Once the plane landed and we were waiting for the plane to empty out, we got several compliments from passengers and flight attendants about how well behaved the kids were- score!

Fortunately we had a VAN service to pick us up because they got our bags to the car so we didn't have to deal with all that fun stuff. Also, thank goodness we brought our own car seats because, due to a miscommunication, there were 2 of them in the van and I think they had been manufactured in 1982, overhead shield and all. No bueno. We got in late, so there was no traffic into the city, and the kids were in daddy's arms in no time.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

New York, New York!

Tomorrow we leave for New York to visit Monte while he works. He's already been out there for a month, and we're going to be visiting him for 2 months! We're all really excited to see him, and to have a change of scenery for a while. I can't wait to show the kids the museums, Central Park, the zoo, and the Statue Of Liberty. Although the older girls have been there before, they were so young at the time, I'm not sure they really remember any of it. It's sure to be a grand adventure, but I'm pretty nervous about the airport and flight. Fortunately, I have the help of my friend and neighbor, Tiffany, she will be joining us for the whole trip to help with the kids. Thankfully, because I couldn't do it without help. I don't even think I can legally fly alone with this many kids... could I? I'm mostly worried about getting through airport security with 4 kids. Getting everybody's shoes off, the stroller collapsed and loaded onto the belt, the two giant car seats for the twins, the carry-on bags, and then of course, getting the actual twins through before they run off while we're busy doing all of the above, and then chasing them through the airport... which is what Ariel did to me years ago as a toddler when I flew to Europe with her, and nobody helped me, rather, they rolled their eyes. It was probably because they were thinking "Wow, that lady is a moron, she can't even get ONE kid through security without holding up the line. What. an. asshole."

Okay, I guess security isn't the only thing I'm worried about, I am also quite a bit worried about boarding the plane. Gate checking the stroller (and maybe one of the car seats) , dragging the car seat(s) onto the plane, pulling our carry-on bags and backpacks... and oh, yeah, somehow carrying the babies along as well. This might be where the Ergos come in handy so we can go hands-free. I'm assuming the girls will be pretty easy. I imagine that Atticus will be running up and down the aisles the entire flight, saying hello to all of the other passengers and trying to take their electronics, and Beatrix will hopefully sit peacefully in her seat, munching on snacks, and the girls can play with their iPods or watch a movie on the iPad.

Then there will be our arrival at JFK, and getting everybody off the plane, getting our luggage, loading up the car, and driving into the city. I don't know why I ever bought black luggage in the past, because as nice looking and basic as it is, it's almost impossible to find your luggage on the carousel at the airport amongst all of the other black pieces! So, this time, I got the loudest, most obnoxious suitcase colors I could find. Fortunately for me, TJ Maxx is full of all that luggage that (for some mysterious reason) don't sell as well in the real stores. I'm pretty sure that I got some suitcases from Austin Powers' personal collection, so there will be no mistaking it!

Here's to a smooth journey to the other coast!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Lisa, It's Your Birthday, Happy Birthday, Lisa!

Today was my birthday. I had a great night out with Monte last night, just the two of us went to a nice dinner, and did a bit of bar hopping in Santa Monica. I think the kids were in cahoots today, and that their main goal was to present as many obstacles to us as humanly possible. First of all, getting out of the house was a feat in and of itself. The babies decided to take late naps, they resisted any and all attempts to feed them, and we didn't even get out of the house until 4pm. It was much later than planned, so we decided to eat an early dinner at a kid-friendly restaurant, then go to Target to redeem some gift cards that the kids all got for Christmas from their aunt Vikki. I know, very exciting, not only for a Saturday, but for my birthday as well... but I felt like keeping it simple. Anyways, while walking to the restaurant from the parking lot, Monte was holding Atticus, and the girls were fighting over who knows what, when one of them suddenly elbows Monte in the balls- he immediately drops to his knees, several passerby's stare, the girls are completely confused, and he can hardly move, nor talk. After a seemingly very painful minute, he slowly gets up and we somehow make it into the restaurant. Whew! We're in, now we can relax, right? Er... no.

Dinner was ridiculous, the older two girls were just fine coloring their menus, but I wonder what in the hell we were thinking when we decided to go out to a restaurant with all four kids. Every time, we say that we're never going to do it again, but then we do it again- seriously, WHAT THE HELL were we thinking?? If the babies weren't on top of the table, they were under it and if they weren't trying to dump out the salt and pepper shakers, they were jumping on the seats, screaming in their horrible shrieking pay-attention-to-me voices. It was chaos. Monte finally shuffled the kids out of the restaurant, into the mall, while I paid and finished my (much needed) glass of wine. When I met them by a fountain inside, they all seemed happy to be out and about, although Monte was still walking with a bit of a limp.

We went into Pottery Barn Kids, to let them explore for a bit, and I wanted the girls to pick out some new sheets. We spent a few minutes following them all around, picking up toys that the babies were relocating around the store, and of course, the one moment both of us had our noses in our phones, Beatrix decides to climb onto a table to check out the tea party that two baby dolls were enjoying on top of it. A woman (who I witnessed not 3 minutes earlier knocking several boxed of frames off of a shelf, by the way) sneered at us and commented loudly "Is anybody watching her??" while shooting me a dirty look. Okay, first of all, we so were watching our children, if we had not been watching them then Pottery Barn Kids would have nothing left on the shelves because all of their merchandise would be on the floor. Covered in Cheerios. Secondly, Beatrix was in the process of climbing from the chair onto the table, she wasn't technically even on the table yet, so Frame-Knocking-Over-Lady was just an old meanie who could have at least waited until Beatrix was standing on the table, teetering on the brink of death before freaking out on us. Thirdly... yeah... we were sooooo those assholes messing around on our cellphones rather than watching our kids... er.. not that we weren't watching our kids... Suffice to say, we left pretty quickly after that, sheetless, and on a mission to get some bad-ass toys from Target. Woohoo, Saturday night!

We get to Target and tell the kids that they can each pick out one gift within a certain price range, and they spend the next 20 minutes perusing the aisles, eventually settling on some goodies. I had to get tinfoil, and Monte needed something in the opposite direction, so I took the kids my way and we were to meet up in a few minutes by the tinfoil. Who would've thunk that walking 10 aisles with four INSANE children would be such an ordeal? Beatrix wanted to stay in the toy aisle, she would not stay seated in the cart, so I placed and buckled Atticus into the cart, carried Bea, and instructed the girls to walk close to me. The girls start fighting over who gets to push the cart, I start tell them that only I get to push the cart, and of course, as I'm speaking and trying to pry the girls' hands off the cart, Bea squirms out of my arms and runs the opposite direction, I chase her down. Just then, the girls take hold of the cart again, still fighting like maniacs, and begin pushing it full speed ahead towards some shelves full of household cleaners and before I could get to them- BAM!! They ram it right into the shelves, products go flying, Atticus is crying because he was thrown around in his seat, Ariel is crying loudly and holding her face because it was slammed into the cart's handle, and while I'm trying to see what the damage is to everybody, Beatrix takes the opportunity to make another escape, and I chase her down... once again.

Damn you, tinfoil.

So, I imagine at this point that we were quite the sight to see; Baby crying in the cart, 6 year old crying very loudly while holding her now BLOODY mouth, 4 year old trying to explain away- in the whiniest of all possible voices- how absolutely none of this was of her doing, and the other baby still squirming like a maniac in my arms, squealing, screaming, and completely focused on getting back to the toys aisle. I very hastily pick up the items that fell off the shelves and put them back, and rush the kids over to the foil aisle so I could get away from the staring people (because the last thing I needed to hear tonight was more commentary on my awesome parenting skills), and assess the situation. Just then, Monte walks up to us looking completely confused, "What happened?" I've decided never to leave the house again, that's what's happened. So, we went straight home, and opened a bottle of wine. It was very good.

I know this may sound crazy, but it was a great birthday, and I love my nutty family.