Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I Really Needed This Right Now

It's such a good thing too. I once read an essay about parenting a special needs kid. I'm sure I've shared it here before. However, I can't find the post (go figure, it was before I figured out tagging I'm sure) so I'm reposting in an easy to find clearly labeled and tagged post. Here is the essay and then I'm going to talk some more.

Trip to Holland
Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this:

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans: The Coliseum, Michaelangelo's David, the gondolas of Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland??" you say. "What do you mean Holland? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around and you noticed that Holland has windmills - and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away, because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't go to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

This past couple of weeks has been especially hard for me and James. Yes, I know that should probably be "James and I" but I added James to it as an after thought and instead of just correcting it, I'm writing this drawn out sentence explaining it instead. Yeah, it's been like that.

Going along with the multiple doctor visits for me and the stress and anticipation of the twins upcoming birth and the planning for the kids to go to Wisconsin for a month with their grandmother, we had the meeting to get the results of James' psychological evaluation. I thought those results would bring me some semblence of peace. Sadly, I was wrong. They did nothing but aggitate me even more. It seems that now that I know what is wrong about James, I've stuck myself on that.

The difficulties that present themselves in our day to day lives are not any different now that I have that report than they were before I had it. James has not changed one iota since I was handed that sheef of 19 pages detailing the results of the tests and what it all boils down to.

Sadly, the one that has changed is ME. I am stuck on the things he "can't" do, the things he finds "difficult", and even though they are exactly the same as before, I can't let them go. I am beating the dead horse. I always felt that having that report would give me freedom. Freedom to try different things. To look at it and say "Yes, that is what is going on, now I know how to help him!"

The difficult about always being right is that in instances like this, what we have been doing is the right course of action. It's mind numbing and stressful and makes you wish you could smash your head in to the wall. And it seems to make not a damn bit of difference with James. It's the "right" course, it's the one I knew about all along. It's the one I asked to have verified. I so wanted to be wrong this time.

So now I have to get out of the rut I've stuck myself in these past few weeks. I am so angry and frustrated. Not at James per se, but at what he was born with, how he's wired. I want to scream from the tops of the highest mountains about the unfairness of this all. How it's so unfair to saddle a child with this, and to chain his mother to it as well.

Homer told me "I can't believe he is that bad off." He told me I was lying. That I'm a horrible parent. That I don't know what the hell I'm talking about and that HE could definately do a much better job. I know he's an idiot. He can't even MAKE an effort to spend time with his kids. James calls him more often than not. However, I'm already feeling this way, feeling as though I have failed this child miserably, and I'm only making things worse, and here is the stupidest man on the planet (after Katy's dad of coarse) reinforcing all of what I'm going through.

Jason is as dumbfounded as I am. However, Jason also gets "nice" James. I get the constant mean angry chip on his shoulder I hate you because you are the authority James. So he gets some kind of relief.

I've been told that James will never reciprocate on the feelings. When he says things like "I love you" and "I hate you" to him, they are the one and the same. They are buttons to push to get a reaction. He just doesn't understand the difference. This is through no fault of us trying to teach him, it's just how he's wired. Every time I hear "I hate you" and "you are so mean to me" and "you make my life absolutely miserable" and "you hate me and don't want me" even though I KNOW those are buttons, they hurt because they are reinforcing my own doubts, my own fears and feelings regarding him.

I look at him and his outward appearence is that of a "normal" boy. He's very small for his age. He has no muscle on his body. He's stick and bones. But aside from that, he looks "normal". I know looks can be misleading. However, I want him to BE "normal". He never will. I have to find a way to give that up. That desire. Though I don't think I will. I'm rather certain that it will always be there, in the back of my mind.

There are plenty of GOOD things about James. However, I just get caught up in the day to day grind that I forget to pay attention to them. That I forget that sometimes you have to go looking for them. I need to stop, and look for the windmills and tulips and Rembrandts in James. They are there. Once I can find them, then I can share them with him and maybe they will help him in a way like they help me.

Prayers and blessings everyone. I hope you remember that no matter where you land, with a little exploring, there is beauty in every thing and every one.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Another Doctor Appointment Update

I met with a doc yesterday. The female Dr. Rodriguez. I don't know if the two are married or what, after all it seems Rodriguez is a pretty common name, like Johnson and Smith. With both babies being head down, I don't need a c-section. I was also told they CAN do an induction as long as it is "slow". Um, how do you have a "slow" induction?

I have another appointment next friday, which I'll end up taking ALL of the kids to because Jason has to work 8-5, but that's fine, it's just a regular appointment with no extra fancy stuff like ultrasounds or NST's, so I'm not too concerned about it. I need to ask if they'll do an ultrasound to follow up with the position of the babies. I also need to ask what will happen if they both stay head down and the c-section date comes up. Should I plan on being there for that or just let it pass on by? What if I don't go in to labor on my own, and it seems as there is no end in sight? I keep getting told "Oh, you'll have those babies some time around 36 weeks". Well what if that just is not the case?

Jason is supposed to have his vasectomy on the 17th of July, but he is in the process of rescheduling that. I guess they are now looking at dates in October and when that calendar opens up, the woman who does the scheduling will call him and set a date. I would have liked for him to have it done before the babies arrive, however with it being the 17th and things being so unknown about their birth, it's better to reschedule. If this were a single baby birth, I would tell him to keep it and not even worry about it overlapping the birth. I'd be pregnant until the end of August easily then!

My BP is normal again. I was right, it's the automatic machine that does that to me. With the nurse taking it by hand, it was a good 124/70. I have swelling in my feet and fingers, but I'm ok with that, I think that is more from the heat and the fact that my body feels as pregnant as a woman who were 4 weeks overdue

With the babies being over 4 pounds each and I'm now past 33 weeks, the told me that if I go in to labor they won't try to stop it. That was according to this one doc. I might get a completely different story if I were to ask another one. I would like to stay pregnant until the kids leave for Wisconsin, it would just make that a little less stressful. I know I would also like some time alone with Izzy before they arrive. However is it really that wrong of me to hope it happens sooner?I'm SO over this already. I've been waking up each morning with HORRID cramping in my legs, and I've been making sure to get a dose of calcium each day. I drank a decent (12 oz) cup of milk yesterday and no cramps in my legs today, so I need to start making sure I'm doing that every day. The heat is not helping my lovey dovey happy feelings at all!

I know this next month is going to get crazy, but as long as I'm NOT pg through most of it, I'll be OK! I have an open schedule (meaning I can call and schedule any time I feel I need to talk with her)with my therapist, so I'm hoping that with her help I'll be able to handle the breast feeding/pumping to the point that I can get over the hurdle and make it 2nd nature. It's all psychosematic for me, there are no physical inhibitions to it, so thankfully that helps.

Evening Primrose Oil is now a daily thing for me. 1000 mg orally a day and starting tonight I'm going to do the suppository (yes I know family didn't want to read that, sorry for the TMI but it's a risk you take while reading here!) and hope that it really kicks my cervix in to gear. If I can go in to labor on my own and deliver vaginally I know that will really help with my recovery!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and they find that staying cool isn't too hard! Prayers and blessings everyone.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

a rambling appt update and other stuff too

I had an appointment and ultrasound this morning. I have an appointment on Friday morning too, but it's more of a formality and meeting with one of the many docs more than anything else.

My weight was 296 so up one pound. That's 5 pounds total gained from my initial weight at 291 at 9 weeks. At that point my home scale said 286, which is what I was before becoming pregnant so I'm equating a 5 pound difference between home and doc office. They took my blood sugar, so they have a base level. The appointment was the MFM side of things and they like to have at least ONE on record. My blood pressure was high at 136/88, but it was also one of those automatic things (which recorded high last week too) and those seem to always come out higher than having a person do it. I think it's a little elevated, but it's also hot and muggy here, so retaining water and the headaches are part and parcel of that. I measured at 44 today. 3 weeks ago it was 38. I forgot to ask this past Friday what I was.

Both babies are currently head down and it seems like they are back to back. Jack's head is in my pelvis where it "should" be and Abbey is trying to edge him out, though she is up a bit higher. That certainly explains the recent increase in pelvic pain and pressure! For at least the last week I've had horrid pain my hips and it has felt like someone was driving their head between my hips and pelvis and shoving them apart. Now I understand it is actually SOMEONES and they are both doing it! They may or may not stay both head down. I need to ask on Friday if they'll do an ultrasound if/when I go in in labor to find out where the babies are laying.

Jack's kidney is fine. The dilation is right at where they worry about it being an issue, and it may in fact be a little smaller because he kept moving they weren't able to get a really good look at it. They want me to do kick counts, but it seems like a joke. How do I keep track of which baby is kicking, especially when they are both in what seems to be CONSTANT motion? Jack is weighing in at 4 pounds and Abbey is 4 pounds and 13 oz. I asked about the size difference, especially considering that up until now they have been really close together, and they are still within a close distance so I'm told that there is no worry there. I had to schedule an appt to go back in 4 weeks and have the babies measured again, however there is high doubt that I will still be pregnant then, so I just had her put me on the schedule for whenever and if it looks like I may make it that point, I'll reschedule it because it is currently set for 7:40 in the morning. Yeah right, I already know there is no way I'd make it to that appointment, not that early in the morning!

I'm going to pick up evening primrose oil and start taking that tonight. I'll start doing the vaginal suppositories next week once I hit 34 weeks. It has the added benefit that it helps stabilize my mood so I get that along with softening the very stubborn cervix. With both babies being head down, it'd be a midwife that delivers if I were to go in to active labor on my own. When I asked a couple months ago, I was told it'd be a midwife checking on me the entire time I was in labor anyway and the doc would only make an appearence once I was moved to the O.R. for the delivery and to "catch", which is something I'm very ok with. Now the trick is for my cervix to actually cooperate and open on it's own and put me in to labor. The contractions my body can do, it seems the cervix is the stubborn part of the equation. Once I get to 34 weeks they won't try to stop any labor and once the cervix gets to 4 cm they would keep me as being in active labor and delivering soon.

I reserved and paid for the kids' train tickets to Wisconsin today. They'll be gone from July 7th to August 4th. The come back date can be changed to a later date if we really need to because the babies are born much later (actually making it to July 31st or there abouts) than what the current thinking is. Honestly it'll be nice to have them gone for that long. It will give me one on one time with Izzy. Also things will be a bit more relaxed and less stressful, at least until the babies are born.

We are doing the final prep stuff to get ready. Jason has the next 3 days off (he had today off as well) so we are going to be focusing on getting our regular laundry caught up (so I can start organizing and getting the kids packed up) as well as getting the newborn and 0-3 month clothes and the baby bedding all washed up. On the agenda as well is getting the last bit of the office reorganized and getting one of the moses basket stands (we only have one, the coffee table will work very well as the other) up and reinforced (it's just 2 bars, one at each end of the basket right now, and are not comfortable with it like that). We need to try out where we are going to put the infant seats in the van. I'm thinking the far back and they can go in and out over the top of the back seat, but we'll see how that works. We'll get those installed once the older kids are gone and we no longer need those seats for them. I would like to sew another moses basket cover (the current 2nd one is fleece and I think it will be much too hot) but I don't know if that will get done or not.

The heat is really killing me, but we'll make it work. I need to pick up some box fans for the upstairs. We are on putting ceiling fans in up there, but right now, we have our focus elsewhere. I would like to get those in before the kids come back, or shortly after that. 2 of the lights up there stopped working anyway and they have to be replaced, so we are just going to buy fan/light combos. We know that having those in the 3 main rooms (boys room, girls room, play room) will really help with the air flow and keeping things cooler up there. Shoving box fans in the windows will help as well. They'll bring in the cooler night air and have the added benefit of keeping Izzy from pushing stuff out of the windows.

I'm thinking that is all for now, I'm going to go veg in front of an A/C unit until it's well after dark and then head to Walmart to pick up some much needed stuff, like stuff for my hospital bag that I need. I told the kids I'd make smoothies at 9, and it's almost then, so that MUST get done.

On a side note, no we haven't done the maternity pics yet. We were both just too wiped out after Jason's folks left last friday to do them. We waited until the last minute when I was pregnant with Izzy (it was just over 41 weeks when we did them).Considering Jason has the next few days off so they WILL get done. It'll give him a reason to hide in the cool basement setting stuff up during the day so once the kids go to bed we can do them.

Prayers and blessings everyone. I hope your weeks are as mundane and rather same old as mine seems to be. Try to stay cool in this heat.

Monday, June 22, 2009

What a Screwed Up Blessing!

OK, you all know how Jason was laid off in December, the very beginning of December at that? So his old job, the one that laid him off, called him last week Wednesday wanting him to return to work the very next day. They wanted him to drop EVERYTHING and just jump. That just was NOT an option. I had appointments that I had scheduled around his Walmart schedule that I NEEDED to be at, and without the kids if possible. He told them he couldn't start then, he'd need to talk to the manager at Walmart, because Sign Art (the old job) was very unwilling to have him work around his current schedule until he can get a new availability to go through, and see if he can get his schedule changed and the manager was gone until today.

The manager at Walmart isn't willing to adjust what Jason is currently scheduled to accomodate Sign Art, and honestly, I can't blame them. He can put in a change of availability but that won't take affect for about 3 weeks, so until then, Jason would either be working what he is at Walmart and telling Sign Art to wait or working at Sign Art and for the days where the shifts overlap, calling in to Walmart. In the long term, Walmart is the better deal simply because of the stability of the job but also the fact that there is a lot of different ways he can take the job, and management is the ultimate goal.

However, we don't know if him NOT going back to Sign Art will affect his unemployment. It's been 6 months since he was laid off from them, and he's now on an extension of his unemployment, which will last about 33 weeks (20 regular weeks and then 13 bonus weeks because we live in an "overly distressed state"), so some time in to the New Year. Once Jason hits 90 days at Walmart (2 months from now) he can get switched to a different department and work full time.

We KNOW the job at Sign Art is temporary. MAYBE it will cover 3 months. Jason is friends with a guy that still works there and he told jason that honestly, he'd be better off staying with Walmart. However, Jason is only working part time right now, and we can't afford to live on just his part time Walmart pay and my measely child support (my ex is ordered to pay about 175 every two weeks, and only pays about 140, and that's about 1/2 of what he used to pay because he's also unemployed) especially with Jason making $3 less than what he used to. That being said, it took him almost 6 months to find this job and he spent at least 3 of the last 6 months unemployed. He doesn't want to screw himself out of a job and just quit at Walmart because we KNOW that Sign Art will lay him off again.

To us, at least, it would seem that he could tell Sign Art to jump off of a bridge, especially as he is re-employed, but he's NOT employed full time, and even though it's only temporary, they ARE going to give him full time there, and some over time too. So it's all really up in the air right now, and VERY frustrating. My suggestion is to tell Sign Art he can work part time, like on his days off or when he has evening only shifts until he can get the new change of availability in to effect.

Prayers and blessings everyone, I really hope that your daily lives are not nearly as convoluted as those going on here!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Evaluation Results and Going On From Here

We got the results of James' Psych Eval on Thursday. They basically said what I've been saying all along. It's reassuring to have it there on paper, to know that I'm not just making it all up, to have it "proven" I guess you could say.

The report does lay a lot of light on things. But it also brings doubt and many questions. Going on and doing things as we have been, while in some cases is perfectly OK, but in others it's just not going to work. I have doubts now. The report tells me James has difficulty processing spoken word. We kind of knew that before anyway. So I'm left wondering how much I'm saying is actually getting through to him.

I'm sitting here wondering what it is he can do and what he can't do. How are we, as his parents supposed to help him learn and grow? How does this information change everything that we've been doing up until now?

Some of the big questions Jason had for me are things like "How do you emotionally connect to a child who won't/can't give that connection in return?" "How do you keep reinforcing the positive interactions when those are so far and few between because the child is so angry and negative that all interactions with him take on that light?" I don't have answers to those questions. I don't have answers to my own questions. Things like "How do I help him understand the why of things when he asks when it really seems like it doesn't make a difference to him?" "Why should I bother explaining anything to him when all it boils down to is that he just wants a reason to go against what I've asked or expected him to do/say/behave?"

Jason's parents were here for dinner yesterday. James had it out for Jason all evening. He was full of snide comments and hurtful remarks. My understanding is that James doesn't understand the emotion behind those remarks, just the fact that they get a reaction from Jason. How do we teach a child like this to try for POSITIVE reactions instead of the constant negative ones? How do we teach him that the positive reaction is much better than the negative when all he wants, it seems, is some kind of reaction? Jason told me that he was very embaressed by James' behavior yesterday. James got angry/upset and being told NOT to sit on his grandmother the entire time she was here. He really didn't care WHY he couldn't do it, what mattered is that he couldn't.

James feels very starved for attention, or so it seems. He MUST be involved whenever Jason or I are paying any kind of attention to one of the other kids. He becomes very angry/hurt/discontent when he is told that he is not included in the interaction. He becomes irrational. Telling us that we are mean and horrible and that we hate him and that no one loves or wants him. From what I understand, even though these are very "emotional" responses, they are not fueled by emotions at all, but by the fact that James has learned that statements such as those will receive a reaction from Jason and I.

How do you teach a child who feels he MUST be the center of attention at all times simply because he believes that is how it should be to share his time with his parents with his siblings and to do so without pouting and fights and purposely hurting others? How do you teach a child that he can not take his frustration and anger out on his younger siblings just because they annoy him or are in the way of what it is he desires? How do you help him understand that phrases like "It's good you are punishing Izzy because that means I won't have to reatliate against him" and "I hate Jayden, she is stupid and annoying, and I don't care if I hurt her, she deserves it" are NOT acceptable. It seems that as far as he is concerned, as long as HE feels it's ok, then that is all that matters.

James and Jayden were playing today. I think they were wrestling. James held Jayden down and pinned her arms to her body. He then twisted his hands and her arms to the point that it was VERY painful for Jayden. When Jayden came to tell me that this had happened, her arms were bright red. She also had a couple of newly formed bruises on her arms. I told James that he needed to stand in the corner. I showed him the marks he made. I told him that he could not do that. He knows that, because of CPS coming in and out (again, thanks to James) that while we can "hit" him we can not leave marks. I told him that him leaving a mark on Jayden is like us leaving a mark on him and it is NOT acceptable. I don't feel it made an impression. I think he took the info and let it fall off of him like water drops.

To add insult to injury, Homer doesn't believe that James could be so "messed up". Everything I say needs to be taken with a grain of salt simply because I can not be believed. Why would I make this crap up? Why would I state that things are this difficult if they weren't? Wouldn't it make sense to exult the good over the negative? James is a very smart little boy. His wiring in his brain makes him a very difficult little boy as well. My ex has NO clue about it either. His wife runs a daycare. Apparently, that is his base of expertise. NOT raising James on a day to day basis, but the fact that they handle some "difficult" kids every so often. I gave Homer the name and number of the psychiatrist that did the evaluation. I told him that he can call and get the results. That Homer can talk to the guy and ask any questions he wants. That he can get a copy of the report probably. And yet, I have a feeling that Homer still will not "get" it. Oh well, I'll set Homer aside in my worries. His incompetence is no longer something of my direct concern, thankfully.

The positive to all of this is now we have a definitive answer. It's in black and white. We can apply for SSI for James. We can continue to get services for James that he needs. We can take what we have been given and find the ways to make it work for all of us.

Prayers and blessings everyone. I hope that you are able to take what is going on right now and find the positive in it. After all, without the positive it's just too depressing to worry about.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Uh, Happy Birthday Jason, I Think

I know that's a werid title. Jason's birthday was Sunday the 14th. For his birthday he almost got to have twins! Let me go back to the beginning, shall I?

Jason was scheduled in at 8 in the morning on his b-day. What a sucky time to work, on your birthday of all days! I got woken up to James playing video games. When I dozed back off, he asked if he could use the portable dvd player that is actually Katy's and stashed in my room, I said NO. He went in, took that out, and also took out my DS. He couldn't get that to work, or maybe he could, I dunno. He said he couldn't but I have a strong disbelief in anything he says when he's trying to get OUT of trouble. Izzy decided that since we had locked the fridge (a piece of rope and a padlock) he would take EVERYTHING he could out of the back hallway and dump that on the floor instead. UGH!

I dragged James out of bed and had him clean up the back hallway as his punishment. Izzy, I made him stand in time out, get a bath with no toys (*gasp* NOT that, trust me, he wasn't too happy), sit in time out in the office on the stool, no movies, and no snacks. He spent a lot of time sitting in the crib, he found it appealing for some reason and I could keep a better eye on him as he was in the office with me, or upstairs. James was ok with cleaning up the back hallway once he found out that Izzy was being punished too and said "good, now I won't have to retaliate against him". That kind of statement so bothers me coming from that kid!

About 1 in the afternoon, I started having regular contractions. Keep in mind, I won't be 32 weeks until Wed this week, so contractions, regular ones at that, are NOT good. I timed them a while to see if they would go away. I drank a bottle of water. I moved around. All a big fat not working. Great. They were about 5-7 min apart. At 3 I finally decide I have to call the midwife to see if I should go in. That was a big "Yes ma'am, get your butt in here". I tried to call Jack, he was at work. I called Katie Ann. I called Jason at work. Katie was first because she had a lot further to drive, being up at my mom's and all. Jason still made it here before her. Katie got here about 4 and off we went.

They set me up in triage, which is now roomy and nice, especially compared to how they had it set up at the old hospital. I get on the monitors. Damn, regular contractions! Little ones, but they were there. They couldn't get both babies on the monitors so I was sent downstairs for an ultrasound, that Jason unfortunately missed because he was dealing with my ever so impatient sister.

Side note here. How long did she honestly expect it to take us at the hospital? Why is it that we are there an HOUR and she is already calling us and asking when we will be done? Also, why the HELL wasn't she keeping a closer eye on Izzy? When I got home, my house was much more trashed than when I left!

Back to the main story here. The babies were both doing fine. Jack is head down, but he has his back to my cervix. Abbey is curled up inside the U that Jack makes. They were both practicing their breathing, a very good sign for them. She didn't take measurments to determine their size, that wasn't the goal. She measured each ones fluid and took some readings of blood flow through the umbilical cord. She checked Jack's kidneys. They both had a little fluid in each one. One of Jack's kidneys may be bigger than the other. I see a doc for that later today (with today technically being the 16th). The cords are not around the babies' necks.

I get back upstairs and the contractions are BIGGER. Well crap! So it is decided that I get a shot of terbutaline. That is some NASTY stuff. I also get a bag of fluid. And the Doc (who happens to be the same doc I saw in the office last time) ordered steroids for the babies' lung maturity to go a little faster. The terbutaline gave me some AWFUL side effects, but I was told of them. My cervix is way up high and closed tight, both good things. They got the contractions to ease up quite a bit. I was still having them, but they were much less frequent and much more mild. I was ordered not to stray away from my home town (which rearranged a couple of plans for the week) and to drink enough water to drown a fish. I also had to go back on Monday and get the 2nd shot of steroids.

Jason went down stairs at one point to call his sister and let her know to come pick up the kids and to cally my sis and let her know what was going on. She had called my bro and asked him to come over because she was freaking out about needing to leave to go pick up Alex and wah wah wah. In this time frame, James ran away again. I didn't get Katie's side of that until earlier today (today being the 15th, which I am still on). She called the police. And my bro to come look for James. Thankfully he didn't run too far, and he came home on his own. Our family worker happened to be the one on call, so that worked out for us as well.

Jason came up and told me about James and Katie and that whole debacle. At that point, I am huddled up, shivering and freezing, under a blanket (heated) and a sheet. I start having coughing fits because apparently, terbutaline is also a med they give to asthmatics to stop their episodes. Great, just great. I'm having a hard time breathing well and I need to give Jason the number to our therapist because it isn't programmed in to the cell phone, something I apparently need to remedy. The therapist gets called, James comes back, Audra gets there, things get settled down, thankfully.

Audra has willingly taken the kids until Tuesday evening so that I can have a couple of quiet days of rest. I really need them. I am SO exhausted. I could barely sleep last night. I think the worry of the twins coming too soon and the meds and all of that just got to me. I FINALLY went to bed at 6 this morning, but then woke up at 8:30 because I thought I heard someone come in to our house, and it turned out to be our neighbor getting ready to take his boat out ont he lake. Good grief! I laid around in bed most of the day while Jason cleaned. I told him that was my plan and he was very OK with that. He called in to work last night for today. He felt he needed to be home to make sure I was OK.

Speaking of Jason and myself. Sitting there in the L & D Triage gave us some time to talk. I told him that what he had said hurt me so much and why. He told me that the choice of words he had used weren't accurate. We came to a meeting place at least. Things are definately smoothed over. I did ask him to utilize our family therapist and actually TALK to her. He did that today, while the kids weren't home, so he could speak honestly and not worry about little ears overhearing what they shouldn't. We've decided that as a stress reliever, he needs to stop hiding away and do something active. So now I'm on the search for a punching bag, one of those big ones you hang from a rafter. He'll put it in the basement and when things get stressful, go take that frustration and aggrevation out on the bag. It at least seems like a good idea. I have thearpy. He will have a bag. Ironically, in our mismatched male/female roles, that right there is very sterotypical.

Tomorrow (later today technically) I have an ultra sound and an appointment with a Maternal Fetal Medicine doc. It's just a consult. I see a midwife on Friday. I was already going to start having weekly appointments, but I think now it will become guarenteed to be there every week and I'll get Non Stress Tests (NST's) as well as the every other week or so ultrasound. Right now the hope is the babies stick it out for at least 2 weeks, until I hit 34 weeks. The nurse was impressed that I hadn't needed a terbutaline shot before now and the midwife was VERY pleased at the closed cervix. They also did the fetal protien test, the one that tells if you may go in to labor in the next 2 weeks, and that was negative. I kind of figured it would be, with having scraped a very closed cervix and all.

This week is a busy week. Tuesday is the Maternal Med doc. Jason has Tue, Wed, and Fri off, which is nice. Wed I have therapy that morning. Thur morning I am meeting with the doc that did James' psych profile. HOPEFULLY we will get some narrowing down of what is going on with James at that point. On Friday I see the midwife. Jason's folks are coming up for dinner and they had it catered by my sil. Yum, good food that I don't have to cook! We always get together for "our" birthdays. My birthday is Thur. Jason and I are/will be 32 this week.

Because of my "stay close to home" restriction, I can't go get Katy Beth for her 3 week visit. This makes me very sad because I was REALLY looking forward to the time with her. We're going to set it up so that after the babies come and James and Jayden are with Grandma Linda that Katy will come down for a bit. She had said that she wanted to while they were gone. Hopefully her swim and baby sitting classes won't be taking place at the exact same time.

Well, I'm heading off to bed now. I'm VERY sleepy. I'm sleeping back in the bed tonight, and last night. It just makes me feel "safer" I guess. The security of having Jason right there next to me is soothing.

Prayers and blessings everyone. I hope you all have a less chaotic week than mine is shaping up to be!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

On a Happier Note

I went to a consignment shop on Friday. I've been wanting to get bouncy seats for the twins, and I decided I would like to have a boppy pillow for while I'm feeding them, more for propping one of them than using for myself.

For general reference, a Boppy is a pillow that looks like a stuffed horseshoe. We had one with Izzy and it was great. It was sold to a consignment shop a couple of months before we became pregnant with the twins. Go figure. We didn't have a bouncy seat at all with him, and I really missed that. By the time I thought to get one, he was basically too big for one, so we didn't bother. I thought he'd love the swing, he hated it until he was bigger, basically too big for the bouncy. Oh well.

I'd gone to the consignment shop before. I had gotten clothes for the kids there. I knew the had nice stuff at decent prices. With "needing" to be prepared by 35 weeks, I've been feeling the pressure to make sure that the newborn needing stuff was done and accounted for. The boucy seats and the Boppy are on that list.

The basic of basic boucy seats runs about $20. Most usually come with a vibrating feature now. Babies love that for some reason. A Boppy is anywhere between $30 and $40, usually more close to $40.

I picked up two bouncy seats and one Boppy for $40! The Boppy has a slipcover on it, so it will be handy for washing, and I was thinking I could pick up another one, which run about $10. One bouncy seat is a run of the mill basic with just a detachable toy bar and vibrating. The other is a little fancier with a toy bar that lights up and plays music, and can be set to do it continuously or baby kick activated, and vibrating. They are both blue, so it really doesn't matter WHO sits in which one.

While at Wal-Mart the other day, I found the high chair I want to get as well. It does everything our current one does, which means it will be PERFECT! The 2nd high chair isn't something that we are picking up until much closer to Christmas. The twins really won't need one before then. I'm keeping my eye out for bumbo chairs. We had one with Izzy and it was so useful and handy. They are another $40 a piece purchase and I'm hoping I can find them at consignment shops. Who knew that a piece of shaped polyurethane made in Africa (I think, it's either that or Australia) would be so handy?

Prayers and blessings everyone. I hope that while you are out shopping you too can find some great values and help your budgets stretch that much further!

Trials and Tribulations

I understand that every marriage has their times when things are especially trying. I also understand that it takes strength and understanding and patience to get through those times. I also know that right now is one of those times for Jason and I. I can't say what brought it on. Lots of little things just adding up on top of one another. One by one, things are pretty OK for us to handle.

It was suggested to me that maybe I could start a blog just for venting and keep it private. I like the idea, however it won't be something that I do. I don't update this blog that often as it is. I also don't want a space that is meant to be so negative. I need the reassurance that even while things are difficult and especially trying that there ARE good and positive things in our lives as well.

I'm too tired right now to type out the conversation Jason and I had yesterday, but let me just say it didn't go well, and it certainly didn't help things. I need to write it out though. To allow myself to put it in perspective, to sift through it. To figure out if I should be upset by what was said, and how best to handle that. It is something that we are going to need to discuss and work on finding a solution to. Or at least work on a plan to get to a solution. However, right now, my mind is too foggy with sleep to think straight.

Prayers and blessings everyone. Have a nice night.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Disclaimer, Of Sorts

I need to do this. Here is why. There is a lot going on in my real life right now. I used to use this blog to unwind it all, reformat it, and get on with my merry day. I got to a point where it was all negative, and I realized that, so I tried harder to focus on the positive. However, I knew I could still come, vent it out, talk to myself outloud basically, put it all in perspective, and go on.

I've stopped doing that. I've stopped because I don't want to accidently upset some one in my real life. While the post may not be about them personally, it might be about a member of their family, and their need to defend that person would jump up, understandably, and things would get "dicey" to say the least.

I need everyone to understand that I love my husband and my children dearly. They are the center of my world and while I may find them frustrating and annoying and things about them I just don't like, that doesn't make them any less meaningful to me.

As far as extended family goes, on both sides of the line (meaning in-laws and my own) it is difficult for me. The relationship I have with my mother is tenuous. When I've tried to speak to her about how I feel, I get a rather terse reply about not taking my "misplaced anger" out on her. Her inability to even acknowledge how I feel, let alone accept that the anger is not misplaced (and odds are exactly how she feels about her own mother based on what I've been told) is difficult for me. My sister annoys me to no end. While I question some of my brother's choices, he's doing all right for himself and his family and he and I get along all right.

With my in-laws, honestly I don't know them well enough. I have never really made the attempt to do so either. I'm sure they know more about me than I know about them. They are "Jason's Family" and as far as I see, he can interact with them the majority of the time. He has this same policy about my own family. He knows very little about my own family, and he is very content to keep it that way. Jason's family has become mine by the simple fact that he and I are together. They are like the distant cousins you know you have, and only rarely interact with who live on the other side of the country. Ironically enough, I'd rather interact with them, and we honestly do more frequently, than with my own family, with the exception of my brother.

I know I'm rambling, and I'll bring it back to the point. That point is that Jason is my support network. I have a close friend, another kind of close friend, my therapist, and this blog to add to that network. I see my therapist once every couple of weeks because that is what we can afford. My friends have their own lives as well. While I talk to one with much more frequency than the other, I try not to dump it all on them.

That leaves this blog. I'm not looking for reader input. I'm not trying to make money doing this. Or to become famous in a weird internet phenom sort of way. I have this blog so I can post about my day to day life. So I can keep it straight in my head. The good, the bad, the ugly, the sweet. I come here to vent my frustrations with the goings on in my life, with the people in my life. Those people may include family members from both sides. I'm not out to personally attack anyone. I'm not out to accuse anyone of anything. I'm here, to write it out and try to make sense of the trials and joys that I am given on a daily basis. I may not post daily. Sometimes things are too overwhelming to even think straight. Sometimes they are just too busy. Sometimes I'm just too caught up in the moment. However, boil it down and that's what it is. My blog, about my life, about the things going on with my life, and the people that are in my life, in one way or another. It's all of the experiences, even the ones that might upset someone reading simply because they may want to jump to the defense. That's how it's going to be again.

Prayers and blessins everyone. I hope this finds you well in your life and handling your stress as well as you can.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Dirtiest of the Dirty

Look away all you OCD clean freaks for you will have a heart attack upon viewing these pics! I asked Jason to set up the sprinkler on Sunday as it was very muggy and somewhat hot. Izzy didn't care much for the sprinkler, though I sat in it for a bit. I have pics of that, but this post is all about the Izz-Man. Izzy DID like the dirt however.

Keep in mind, this is how Izzy gets EVERY SINGLE TIME we go outside. When we come in, he goes straight in to the bath, do not pass go, do no collect $200! He enjoys it and the way I see it is that it's just dirt. Both he and his clothes are washable.

I know it's short and sweet, but alas, it's I've got in me right now. Prayers and blessings everyone and I hope the rest of your week is filled with something that you enjoy as much as Izzy seems to enjoy his dirt!







Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Feeling Overwhelmed

I need to start this off by saying that Jason is a wonderful husband. He tries very very hard to care for all of us. This post may come off as a ripping of him to shreds, but it isn't. This is about me, and how I'm handling things right now. I just wanted to make that clear before anyone starts saying "well your hubby should do more" and all of that.

Since yesterday evening, I've felt like I just can't. I can't do this. I can't take care of this house. I can't take care of these kids. I can't take care of two newborns. I just can't.

I look at everything around me. All the mess and chaos. The kids running around like crazy. The three year old who relishes in mess making and disobedience. The oldest son who is having some seriously emotional difficulties right now. The 7 year old girl who acts up and has the worst attitude just to get attention that she feels she isn't getting. The husband who is working to try make ends meet, but making much less than he used to and we're sitting here keeping a float, but many times it's just barely. My body seems to be giving up on me as well. It's taking too much of me to just pick up the floor or get things put away or cook dinner. It's like I have one task I can do a day, so I better choose wisely. Unfortunately, this house doesn't run on just one task a day, it's many.

I feel like I'm in a constant battle with this house. To get the kids to pick up after themselves. To get the laundry organized and washed and folded and dried. To get the kids to help me clean up after themselves. To try to earn extra money using the computer. To figure out what to make for dinner and actually get it made sometime before 9 at night. To organize and reorganize for the babies that will be coming in just about a month from now.

What am I trying to say with all of this? I don't know. I don't expect it to all just magically go away or fix itself. I keep hearing "you should be taking it easy" and "don't do too much". Well damnit, if I take it easy and don't too much who the hell is going to do it for me? Jason? He can't be expected to do it all alone. Not to mention he works 4-5 days a week, 8 hours per shift. Things seem to fall "more" apart when he isn't here. I can't ask him to stay home so I can keep a handle on things, now can I?

I feel like I'm losing my mind, slowly but surely. Yes, I still go to therapy. This is a new thing however, so talking about with her hasn't happened yet. She did ask me last time I was there what do I do to destress? I don't have an answer. She pointed out that in order to keep my cool, which is the best way to deal with James it seems, and manage everything else, it builds up stress and I need a way to get rid of it all. I don't have a way. I never thought of needing a way.

Apparently, sitting here and crying amongst the mess isn't going to help me destress or help get it all taken care of. It doesn't help me feel any better either. If I'm feeling like this, and I'm the "together" one in the relationship, the "strong" one, the one that "doesn't panic", how must Jason be feeling? How do I find the acceptable middle where I'm "allowed" to be overwhelmed and actually SHARE that with Jason and not worry about it freaking him out as well? I feel like that as long as I'm strong, he can be too, but once I start to slip, it's all over for him.

Yes, I understand he's a grownup. Yes, I understand he's a "big boy" and that he realizes his daily responsibilities. Why is it that his sanity relies on me being sane? Why does it seem that I can't rely on his sanity to keep me sane? Why is it that when I need to break down, I need to keep it to myself because he just wants to "fix" what is upsetting me? I just want the reassurance that when I need him to lean on, he's there. Just BEING THERE.

It seems, from my view anyway, that all of this is affecting him not nearly as much as it does me. He doesn't think "oh, we need to wash all the baby clothes and get the laundry all caught up and make sure the kids are doing their school work and eating decent meals and maybe I should leave these coins/books alone and go see what the rest of the family needs". No, it seems like he is thinking more "oh, yeah, I should do some dishes and I'm tired from working all day so I'm going to lay in bed and read and give my wife some space even though it's obvious she's upset because I know she doesn't want me to fix anything anyway." I KNOW that this is because men and women think differently. I KNOW it's because our focuses are in different places. This doesn't make him inadequate in what he does do. It doesn't make him a "bad" husband. He just doesn't see it like I do, he doesn't think of it as I do, so to him things are running pretty smoothly.

I think I'm done for now. I just needed to get part of that out. I now have to get back to living this life. James' med scrip needs to be dropped off and I need to go pick up something for dinner for tonight so the kids don't have to choose between mac n cheese and sandwiches. I need to put together a load of laundry. I need to label some plastic tubs of clothes so that when we need what is in the tub, it's easier to figure out what that is. If needed, I'll take them to the basement myself. It's all the same as yesterday, and it's not going away any time soon.

Prayers and blessings everyone, I hope your days find you much less overwhelmed than I am at the moment.