Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Boobs, Planes, Dog Hair

Why, yes, thank you, my workhorse boobs and I are feeling better!  Yay antibiotics.  The most difficult part of taking the entire course of mastitis drugs is finding four - FOUR - times in a twenty four hour period where my stomach is empty and I am AWAKE. 

Anyhoo:  summer.  If a measure of a mother's devotedness is the state of her disheveled, unkempt house, then I am doing awesome: 

My "dining room"

The game room - that is a "fort"
I just can't keep up.  What do you do with 5 kids and an infant in over 100 degree heat?  Despite the state of the house, though, I am generally thrilled with how well the elder children are doing.  One has found a buddy in the 'hood who is equally obsessed with Microsoft Flight Simulator (the beep beep beep from the cockpit punctuates our long hot days); another has been on a obsessive Lego building streak; and the little-ers, despite watching a bit too much Sponge Bob, are not totally languishing, what with swimming lessons and karate thrown in here and there.

Really, the sole casualty this summer?  My primo Dyson Animal Hair Vacuum.

I am not easy on vacuums.  What with the jillion children and a white lab who sheds a polar bear's worth of thick white pelt each summer, my vacuums have to be exceptionally overachieving.  So after many years of buying the El Cheapo vacuum at Walmart, last summer I decided to splurge and got the creme de la creme - the "Vacuum that Never Loses Suction" (said in the refined Germanic tone of Mr. Dyson).

Alas, this guy lasted 10 months Chez VT.
Dyson is no match for my brood

Suction lost.  My home is coated in a week's worth of Skippy fur, which has the half life of the Jurassic era and will probably haunt the inhabitants of this home until 3025.  Back to the drawing board, Mr. Dyson.

Monday, June 25, 2012

One Month

There is always something about Sundays that unhinge all of us.  Yesterday we went on a bit of recreational house hunting - bigger houses with huge lots out of our price range, some fun daydreaming - and towards the end of the day we had all had it with each other.

Sylvie channeling the vibe of the day

Towards evening, PVT voiced a sentiment I had been thinking all day too:  "Today it feels like we have too many kids."  I hadn't wanted to admit it, but everything seemed to be just too much:  how could I care for all these children adequately and individually, plus nurse and care for a newborn, plus make and clean up after all the meals, and do the laundry, and...and...?

It just seemed more than I could do physically.  For better or worse, it WAS more than I could do physically:  I was coming down with mastitis. 


That's all I have to say about that.

But our lovely wee Margaux is now a month old, and we have survived.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Where I Reveal More of My Life So You Can Smirk Freely

Want to feel like an awesome parent?  Well, look no further!

We bought our 21 month old her own freaking iPod.  Oh yes we did.  Because:  her mother was very, very, very stupid to have let her play with her iPhone in the first place; because now she throws nuclear fits when I don't let her have said iPhone right away; because she knows how to take the phone out of airplane mode and calls everyone in my contacts list (sorry Mom!); because right now I am operating in survival mode; because PVT is facing two airplane flights with Hurricane Sylvie in his lap; because if Sylvie is sucked into an iPhone coma, I know that the baby is safe; and because we are big, huge freaking wimps who cower in the face of this toddler.

It's getting ridiculous around here.  The iPods, iPads, iPhones, Apple TV, Kindles, Kindle Fires - and I consider myself to be a relative Luddite! 

How am I going to ratchet this monster back?  Will my children ever play outside, read a book?
Colette discovering headphones, Sylvie watching Dora on the Kindle

I'm going to worry about that when the baby is six months old.  I promise.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Blackhawk Down: The Mommy Installment

I apologize for the sporadic blogging, my friends. We have finally released my mother after over three weeks in captivity, and I am just trying to keep these six kids ALIVE. I wish I were exaggerating about the alive part, but I'm not: have you ever marshaled four kids, one lethally independent 21 month old (whose future career will either be owning a chain of nightclubs or heading a professional women's wrestling league), and a wee infant through a parking lot? Or brought them all to - ye gawd - a POOL party?  These are daunting tasks, not for the cowardly or those prone to dizziness, stroke, or heart attacks.
What a lovely picture - too bad it doesn't include ALL of my children

We adore our Sylvie, of course - everyone finds her potent combination of confidence, mischief and moxie hilarious. But I've never had one quite like this - or one quite this young - with an infant. Sylvie would love nothing more than to drag Margaux around like a rag doll, or poke her eyes out, or maybe just finish her off as an after-nap snack. The only time I can let my guard down is when Sylvie is napping, and then I hide in a corner and cry for a while.
Yum!  Some delicious infant thigh, please!

I think I let myself get cocky: I've had five infants! I wasn't concerned about the postpartum period at all. But it is different every time, and the chemistry of a family is forever altered when you add a little one. The adjustment period, the re-learning of everyone's needs and wants, just takes time. At least this is what I am telling myself. I try all day long to be cheerful and patient, only to come to the end of the day and overreact over one infraction. Lately the tantrums have been coming from my usually preternaturally mature three year old, whose cataclysmic fits after a grueling week of "Flitter Flutter Fly Princess Camp" have unhinged us all. My eldest, during his Nighttime Litany of Grave Anxieties, asked, "Mom, since the baby has come everything has been so HARD. Are we going to MAKE it?" Which sort of broke my heart.

But we will make it - with crutches like SpongeBob, Dora, and Jose Cuervo Light Margarita.  I love these little rascals so much - I just hope by the time we make it through this period, they still KNOW that.

PS - I apologize if you've gotten five calls from me in a row at a lousy time of day.  I am not actually drunk dialing you.  Sylvie is addicted to my iPhone.  I have created a monster.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Top Ten Awesomest Things About Not Being Pregnant

10.  You can bend down without grunting, groaning, or uttering an obscenity that is decidedly inappropriate for your three year old's ears.

9.  You can drink a liter of Diet Mountain Dew, a Capri Sun, AND a glass of wine, and ONLY THEN will you have to go pee.

8.  You can get dressed without pulling on a repulsive pair of granny support hose in 103 degree weather.

7.  You no longer have to worry that every odd pang you feel means that your baby is going to be born prematurely with three heads.

6.  Oh the Places You'll Shave!

5.  Pinot Noir.

4.  The days of being a mobile science experiment - what is she having?  when will she detonate? - are finally over.

3.  You look in the mirror and suddenly see shades of your pre-pregnancy self, and dare to think that maybe, maybe, you will look like a non-pregnant person again - someday.

2.  Walking:  so much chicer than waddling.

1.  The gorgeous perfect wee newborn you're holding has an amazing (albeit dangerous) ability to instantaneously erase nine months' memories of discomfort, worry, bone-crushing fatigue, and swollen nether regions.  Dang her.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Six Kids. Zero Brain Power. The End.

I have been trying to write this post for three days now, thinking some great, deep, meaningful thoughts on my sixth postpartum experience might bloom in the deep recesses of my brain, but alas:  I've got nothing.

Yes, I am this mother.  Go ahead and shame me. 
 I am too tired to care.
But I am muddling through with no major calamities or injuries (well, since last Friday, which I still can't talk about), so I suppose that's no small feat.  And the baby is really quite easy.  Sure, she wakes up and eats a couple of times during the night, but since I don't actually LEAVE my bed to feed her, I think I'm getting just as much sleep as when I suffered from pregnancy insomnia.  What I think is difficult is my impeccable timing:  having a newborn the DAY after school gets out - so now I've got all five all the time, plus a newborn.  And it is harrowing to realize that I feel like I am barely managing and I have FULL TIME live in help in the form of my mother right now - my mother who changes diapers, burps babies, plays "volleyball, Memere!  Play volleyball with me!" and pushes toddlers on swings with alacrity.

She leaves in five days.  I am hoping that before this fateful day, I will grow an extra brain, or an extra hand, or acquire an extra offshore account to pay a full time mother's helper.  I am not picky:  I will take a mother's helper in human form - i.e., Mary Poppins - or chemical form - i.e., Percocet, Xanax, Lithium.

I am muddling through.  I just hope through all the muddling I don't forget how freaking lucky I am to have six - SIX! - healthy kids.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Where I End the Day Very Lucky. Except: I Forgot to Shop?

So all I am able to say about today is that I am very, very, glad that everyone went to bed with the same cognitive functioning as they had when they woke up this morning.  Maybe someday I will be able to fill you in with the painful details of my brief moment of maternal neglect, but the little incident that happened is still too fresh and gives me the mama heaves to think about too much. 

And now I end the day overwhelming thankful - undeservedly thankful - that I still have six healthy children.  I don't care if my house looks like crap, or that I have lost a measly eight pounds since delivery (although COME ON, what is up with that?), or that I feel like I run around all day long in circles and accomplish nothing.  Nothing really matters right now except that the baby is attended to and fed, and that her older siblings end the day reasonably happy and healthy.

Also?  The week that you have a baby is not the GREATEST time to impose draconian limits on "screen time." 



And now, can someone fill me in?  I was only in the hospital for three days, and somehow I missed the start of the Half Yearly Sale?  HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?  I don't recall an email or a catalog!  Nordstrom Brothers, have you forgotten me here in the Dust Bowl?  I cannot even begin to imagine the merchandise that I might have desperately needed for me or my children that is ALREADY GONE.

Well, I'm sure that after the damage I do after shopping the Anniversary Sale - LIVE, in Seattle - in a few weeks, no one will ever forget again to notify me about the goings on in the Nordstrom Universe.