Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dear Groove, Get Back Here STAT

Today my parents (gratefully? happily? with a huge sigh of relief? wondering how I will be able to keep these five grandchildren of theirs ALIVE, let alone raise them into any semblance of adulthood?) returned to the Northwest, leaving me alone with my perfect, docile little newborn girl, and my four older children.

Yes, I'm scared sh*tless.

I suppose I must feel like Angelina Jolie in the 1.88 hours per year she doesn't have two full time nannies shadowing her: petrified. Inadequate. Overwhelmed. Totally alone.

But I muddled through day one, thanks to a neighborhood saint who has been taking my eldest to soccer practice.

And I will continue to muddle, with some help from the always-tapped Franzia spigot.

But I will admit that five seems like a LOT. Four was noteworthy, but not really freakish; now I feel like the lone oddball in a land of more manageable families whose offspring number in the twos and threes.

And my dad even had the audacity, while he was here, to suggest I trade in my beloved tank, my Armada, for a MINIVAN. What's next? Growing my hair to my arse and wearing modest jumpsuits, a la Michelle Duggar (who I admire greatly, by the way)?
And why, you are asking, didn't I think about this sequestration from the mainstream when I got myself pregnant with all of these kids?

I can't HEAR you....

I'm sure before long I will have this five thing down if not perfectly, then good enough; I love the chaos and all the little buggers too much NOT to get it down.

But in the meantime, if you happen to run across my groove, please send her back my way. I need her desperately.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

This Big Ole Buffet

Now that I have a newborn again, I have been reminded of the GRAVE injustice that is visited upon mothers everywhere: particularly mothers with a job, or with several kids already. Doesn't the universe know that a new mother has been pregnant for god knows HOW many days? That she has suffered all sorts of indignities to her nether regions, her thighs, her tummy? That after her long nine-month marathon of flabby endurance, she has won this magically wonderful supercalifragiligisticexpealidocious prize of a perfect new little person? Um, isn't that more than the Superbowl, World Cup and Masters combined? AND THAT NOW LIFE is SUPPOSED TO STOP? That all mama wants to do is loll about in her (sweaty? One of those things you forget - all the water that comes out of you after having a baby?) bed with her perfect newborn, and have chocolates and mimosas and calzones brought to her by caring, hot male nurses?

But no. Life keeps going. There are still my other beloved monsters who need to go to soccer, do homework, practice piano, EAT. There is my lovely PVT. My parents are here; I won't see them again for a long while. There is still SO much LIFE lollygagging around these here parts, and it is all wonderful. But I wish it would just slow down for a minute, so I could savor it in discrete bites. Because at this rate, I just cannot digest it all.


Speaking of this aforementioned velocity: our little girl was baptized today. Unlike some of her brothers, she was simply an angel: smiling (I'm pretty sure) while the water was poured over her head, not crying at all during the ceremony. My mother declared she will be a nun.


And: our eldest turned eight this week. EIGHT! Keane, you are so intense, so intelligent, so energetic, so tightly wound. I probably worry about you more than any of my children; you burn so hot and bright. I fret that all you have going on - piano, soccer, school, LIFE, is just too much sometimes. How naive I am at this point: I can't even fathom what the years ahead hold, when you and your siblings will be gone more than here, when a dinner with all of us at the table is a rarity.

Oh, and today? I smelled BOY SWEAT on your soccer uniform. Does that happen now that you're eight? Did my laundry burden just increase 300 fold - again?

How I love you, my dear eldest son. You are not easy for me or your father. But we love you so very very much.

Maybe TOO much. We keep having MORE of you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's The Hormones, Stupid

Hello friends! I am trying to drag myself out of the rubble...having a newborn is EASY. It's everything else that is a pain in the arse.

I am lucky never to have suffered anything like postpartum depression. But I do get a touch of...postpartum schizophrenia. One moment I am on top of the clouds, thrilled that I have a healthy baby, that life is good, that everything is just fine. The next moment I am suddenly exhausted and petrified, filled with existential despair: where is Keane - Rory - Will - Colette - the baby? Are each of them OK? Holy crap I have HOW MANY? How am I going to do this? (And why didn't I think about this before, you ask?)

I suppose trying to wean myself off the freaking Percocet is complicating matters, too. Ahem.

But all in all we are doing just fine. This little girl is simply wonderful.

And very much adored.

And in retail news, for those of you who are not suffering from very odd, wavy topography around your midsection, Nordstrom is offering "Triple Points" right now: spend any amount on your Nordstrom card, and you will receive triple the points for each dollar spent, thus entitling you to Nordstrom Notes and other manna from Nordstrom heaven three times as fast.

Party on, Wayne.

Just limit your Percocet.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Babies and Boots

My sister asked me for some more pictures of our new one-week old. Alas, I had hardly anything to show her; we are TERRIBLE at taking pictures. But here is the whole clan:

The pathetic truth is that I have NO excuse for not taking pictures; this little one is SO easy so far! Of course they all are these first few weeks, when they are so tired from just being born and adjusting to life outside mommy's porta-bath, but she is simply perfect. Eating, pooping her brains out (how sad is it that the color and consistency of newborn poop is a fascinating topic of conversation), waking a few times at night for a little meal before falling back asleep - COME ON. CHALLENGE ME.

Well, no, please don't actually. I like this.

Of course I have to remember that the Percocet is, ahem, quite helpful. As is having my mother here, under the guise of live in babysitter/housekeeper/chauffeur/"make sure you're eating enough PROTEIN" monitor.

So those of you on the fence about having another one...go for it, I say! Just make sure you have a good postpartum narcotic and an even better live-in assistant, and you will be just fine.

I continue to be bombarded by emails taunting me with luscious fall fashions; unfortunately my body is still in the throes of extremely funky postpartum lumpiness, so no lovely burgundy tops and skinny jeans for me yet. I am still resorting to these loathsome maternity dresses, for cripes' sake. BUT I can fantasize about BOOTS:

Of course I picked out those black ones as my favorite - $675 from Stuart Weitzman! My special talent, sniffing out the most expensive item of the group. Looks like the boots will have to wait along with those skinny jeans...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Introducing VT No. 5

After a day of ever-intensifying contractions, our new daughter arrived on Saturday: Saturday, you say? Sigh. Yes, she was born on September 11. At first I was a bit dismayed about having her birthday shared with such a "day of infamy," but then I thought - well, nine years after 9/11, we Americans are still spitting out babies and doing just fine, thankyouverymuch. As in, eff you, you eejit jihadists.

ANYHOO, it was a very odd day: I was pretty sure I was in labor, so PVT and I checked into Labor and Delivery. They hooked me up to the fetal monitor, and told me the contractions I was feeling were probably all in my head, because they weren't registering on the monitor.

Um, huh? They were sure registering with ME. So then I thought I must be the biggest weenie in the world. Then they took me down to get an ultrasound (Why? Beats me!), where everything looked fine, but my contractions intensified. When I returned to my room, they were about to send me home, but hooked me up to the monitor again - just to be sure. And lo! My contractions showed up, sizeable and regularly! So all of a sudden they were scurrying around, calling the doctor, and prepping me for surgery.

I was rather glad I wasn't an insane hypochondriac with no tolerance for pain.

Shortly thereafter, Sylvie Maria VanTrease arrived - all 5 pounds and 13 ounces of her. Despite her wee-ness, she was crying lustily. And after they had sewed me all up, they brought her to me - she was rooting around already, looking for a meal.

She is perfect, and perfectly healthy - all of her plumbing works, she can hear, her bilirubin level is low, she is eating like a Japanese guy in a hot dog contest - she is simply wonderful. How did I luck out again? How can I possibly have five healthy kids?

Her siblings are rather smitten with her too.
Cripes, my friends. It all went so well that I can't say definitely that I will NEVER DO IT AGAIN.



So now I am home with a heck of a lot of kids.

Champagne all around.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Would She Please Just Have This Baby ALREADY?

My house is clean.

My car is clean.

My hair has been hot oil-treatment-ed.


The phone list for my mom (doctors, Poison Control, neighbors, pizza delivery) has been written out.

Heck, even my GARAGE is clean.

So...once my mom steps off the plane tomorrow evening, this baby can come.

Why do I have a feeling that she'll just foil all my plans and hang out for a couple of weeks?

And come when everything is dirty again? And my mom is gratefully flying/fleeing back to Seattle?

You would think by the way I moan and groan I'm about 41 weeks pregnant, right?

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I just hit full term - 37 weeks. (Which, by the way, is a wonderful thing - I don't have to worry about a premature baby anymore!) But my boys all came at 37, Colette at 38; so I've become entitled to feeling that I should not be pregnant for more than 37 weeks.

I cannot IMAGINE going over my due date like some of you all. How did you ENDURE?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

An Empty Nest - For 38 Seconds

Today my "babies" went off to "school:"

Yes, that's how Will felt about the situation. Fortunately he let me take one more:

Colette, however, was thrilled to carry her lunch box, her backpack, and nap mat to her classroom; she didn't know what was about to transpire. But she did not cry when I snuck out - great progress after being expelled from Mother's Day Out last year.

So now, after a long, hot, CHALLENGING summer, the house is quiet. Creepy quiet! For FIVE HOURS! What to do? I know: eat chocolate, read US Weekly, meet the girls for a long, luscious, unlimited margaritas lunch, and then organize an orgy with my personal trainer and his best friend! Right?

ALAS. The waning days of this pregnancy are interfering with my dates with Adonis and Dionysus, those Gods of Sex and Vino.

I'm glad this little one's coming, though - I can only clean and nest so much. The house is too dang quiet. Good grief, if she weren't coming I'd have to contemplate doing something useful, like volunteering at school.

Or going back to work.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Is Flat the New Black?

Rory made me a "Mii" the other day; apparently this is what I look like to my dear son: Whoa. Look at that facial hair. Time for a Mommy Makeover, methinks.

Speaking of Mommy Makeovers, Anonymous Reader, who just a few weeks ago had her boob job (and has yet to give me permission to let me post before and after pictures!), is finally settling into her new knockers. She felt icky the first week; nauseous, tired, dizzy - she thinks this was from the pain drugs and anesthesia. She sounded so miserable I started to doubt whether I would ever get MINE done. (Although I LOVE pain pills. Every time I try to get my doctor to refill my postpartum Percocet, he looks at me with an arched brow and tells me to take a lavender bath. Damn!) But now she is feeling fine. Although her boobs are still high up by her collar bone - apparently when you have the girls augmented they float a bit too high for a while before settling into their proper home. Who knew?

As some of you helpfully pointed out, I have a year or so of nursing to ponder these weighty matters. Perhaps a year from now, though, when I am so concave I make Olive Oyl look busty, maybe everyone will agree with the New York Times Style editors that flat is the new bosomy:

Circulate this article amongst your friends! Maybe we can all save 5 G's...and use that money to buy gorgeous bras for our nonexistent chests. Deal?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sign Me Up for 10 More

Today PVT and I celebrated our tenth anniversary. Holy longevity, Batman - that's double digits! So here is a rare picture of the two of us - a svelte PVT, a not-so-svelte me, taken by the baby sitter:

We've had quite a ride in those ten years: several moves, many jobs, a job loss, financial worries, a few dogs, many trips, many pounds lost and gained, a miscarriage...and oh, yeah. Those 4.9 kids. It hasn't always been easy, but thankfully it has never been dull.

I think we'll stick it out for a few more years. Oui, PVT?

And one of the few pictures I have of me pregnant with #5:

Just in case you were hoping you were adopted, dear little girl, here's proof that you are, alas, one of us.

Happy September.