Sunday, February 23, 2014

Visit from Memere, Pepere,Taylor and Myah

We were lucky enough to get a visit from not just Memere and Pepere, but also our nieces Taylor and Myah over this past weekend.  Memere and Pepere had been planning to visit for a while, and then, a few weeks ago, Myah wrote an essay for school talking about how much she missed us and wished she could visit us.  I thought, why not?  Our sister-in-law just had a baby less than 2 months ago, and I thought it might be helpful to her to have fewer kids in the house, and Memere and Pepere were coming anyway.

It was such a treat to have them here!  They are helpful, polite, and sweet (so maybe I wasn't doing their mommy any favors by having them here for the weekend...).  They play so nicely together, and played nicely with our little ones.

They arrived Thursday afternoon, and Memere went with Eric to pick up the kids from school, and I got home from work as they got back.  We made dinner and had a nice dinner together.  Then bedtime was a little bit of a fiasco... we had planned to have the girls sleep with our boys on a mattress on the floor, but all the kids were overexcited (especially Asher), and so we had to pull the girls out.  Then there was some shuffling around- Pat and Steve decided to sleep in our room with the girls on the floor in there, and Eric and I went into the guest room.  Apparently Steve decided he didn't like our bed, so he ended up in the couch in the living room, Pat was in our bed with the 2 girls, and Eric and I were in the guest room... which is a pull-out couch with an air mattress, and the air mattress had a leak.  So uncomfortable!  We were all exhausted the next day.

Fortunately for Memere and me, everyone under the age of 10 was energetic enough to make it to the Please Touch Museum on Friday. Eric had to work, and Pepere stayed home to work on house things, so it was just Memere and me and 5 kids.  The place was pretty busy, but we didn't lose any children, so it was a success.

Taylor on the carousel

Asher and Myah on the carousel

Benjamin on the carousel

Myah and Charlotte on the scooter
Asher and Charlotte fell asleep on the way home, but Benjamin insisted on no-nap.  I had an afternoon full of fun appointments- Trouble had an infection in his paw and had to go to the vet.  He is always a hit there, such a handsome guy. It's at home, with his infection, his tummy-licking, and his  out-of-the-litter-box peeing that he's a problem.
Trouble at the vet
Pepere stayed home with Benjamin and I hoped he'd bore Benjamin into a nap, but no such luck.  Then I had to take Charlotte to the doctor because it seemed like she might have an ear infection.  We were there for an hour, with her racing up and down the hallway, and stomping on the scale.  With her shoes on, the scale said she weighs 27 lbs.  As Benjamin would say, "Her not a baby.  Her heavy!"

On Saturday, we had perfect weather.  We, along with the rest of the city of Philadelphia, went to the zoo.  No lions, but we did see tigers.  And orangutans.  The weather was so nice, we were able to have a picnic lunch outside.  The boys have been eating twice as much as usual, which I love.  I love watching them enjoy their food.
Taylor, Benjamin, and Myah at our outside lunch

Tired mommy and beautiful baby 

3 seconds later and the baby is fading
All 3 kids fell asleep on the way home from the zoo, but Charlotte woke up getting moved from the van to the bed, so I got a cranky baby.  Eric and Steve went to a basketball game, so Pat and I were at home with the kids.  I flopped around on the couch complaining I was tired, and saying that Eric was in the dog house.

We had a big spaghetti dinner, and around bedtime, Eric rushed down to the basement to find our sewer line had backed up.  Who knows whether it was from overuse of water (9 people bathing, toiling, and washing dishes) or from flushing too many flushable wipes when Benjamin pooped in his pants.  But, ugh.

Our family left at sunrise this morning to get back to Maine, and we had a day to get back into our routine, too.  I managed to get in a jog, and Eric went to the Endurance Sports Expo with our neighbor, and I made him take Benjamin.  The few hours of peace I had this afternoon was very restorative.  It was a good weekend, and we can't wait for our family to come back.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


This winter has been rough.  I know I started a post just like this last winter, but the computer ate it and I never retyped it.  So here it is again.

I'm sick and tired of winter.  I think I have a mild form of Seasonal Affective Disorder, and probably have for years.  February is always the worst for me- I remember taking Zoloft when I was in college, Lexapro in graduate school, I remember finding myself in tears for no real reason other than that it was February again.  Since getting pregnant, things have been better for me, but last year and this year have been hard again.  I'm not crying for no reason (this is good news), but I am irritable and find myself getting disproportionately upset over things.  I feel sensitive to social slights (perceived or real) and let little things nag at me.

I am also feeling "antsy."  I have nothing big I'm working toward- and the past 15 years of my life have been a process of jumping from one goal to the next.  Finish college, get into grad school, get engaged and married, buy a house, finish grad school, have babies, new house, more baby, get licensed...  all those things on my mental checklist have been checked.  I have everything I dreamed of as a young girl: a handsome husband, healthy and wonderful children, a career I love, a nice home, good relationships with friends and family.  But right now I feel like I want something else to work towards and get excited about.

I'm toying with the idea of starting a private practice here, near where we live.  I have always wanted to work with women on matters of sexual function and dysfunction, and since going through infertility and a high-risk pregnancy, I have wanted to work with women around those issues as well. I do like couples work, and I have found that I love doing long-term, insight-oriented therapy.  I get to do some couples work, and a fair amount of long-term therapy at my current job, but no sex therapy work.  I find myself frustrated with the inconsistency of my clients- they often lack commitment to therapy and don't prioritize it, meaning that I get last-minute cancelations or people "forgetting" their appointments, or discontinuing abruptly for some reason that I never discover.  With all of the snow days we have had, I have had to go weeks or months without seeing people, which is very disruptive to the process.  It is frustrating all around.  I don't know that a private practice would necessarily solve these problems, but it would leave me feeling more in control of the type of client I work with.

I have also thought about writing a book.  But I feel completely sapped of any creativity.  As a child, I was constantly writing, and always had ideas and story lines in my head.  Now the only things in my head are a to-do list and a mental calendar.

At my annual with my gynecologist today, she reassured me that I'm at one of the most difficult points in a woman's life- with 3 young children and a career and not much sleep.  She said she thinks I'm doing amazingly well considering.  It's nice to hear that, since it is so easy to beat up on myself everyday for the ways in which I'm not doing things well enough.

I just keep telling myself, spring is coming.  We'll go a full week without a snow day and/or an illness.  We'll make play dates and then actually have them.  We'll play outside after dinner, go on walks, go on jogs, go to the playground.  But I'm seriously considering a one-way ticket to California as my next life goal.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Here are some pictures from the past few weeks, since I've been so bad at posting.  I have so much on my mind, and so much to say, and yet never sit down to write.

Charlotte and I happened upon story time at our library.  I was hesitant, because the boys were not great participants at story time, but she was great.  We loved it- and I think it's our new thing on Wednesday mornings.
captive audience

We went to our friend Nate's 6th birthday party.  It is incredible that he is 6! I still remember having dinner with his parents the night before he was born.
building a Lego car for racing
the finished product.
Asher didn't build a car to race.  He stood next to me and asked repeatedly, "When we going to do the piƱata?" 

The next day it was warm, and we went to the zoo.  On the way back to the car, Asher told me "I'm all out of energy. I can't take another step!"
Asher gets a ride on my shoulders
So I walked back to the car with him on my shoulders.  That was my workout for the day!

Then we went from spring-like to winter again.  Monday was a snow day, which started with an 8:30 showing of "Frozen."
as fascinating the 10th time as it was the 1st
We had a little time out in the snow, but it was pretty wet snow.
a large snowball
 This weekend, Asher is sick again.  He woke up today with a fever, and he has a cough.  We had another birthday party to attend, but Asher had to stay home.  It was at the Little Gym near us, and Benjamin showed great aptitude for gymnastics.  I might try again with gymnastics at his school...
upside down
sibling love
 Charlotte acted twice her age, and played happily on the equipment.
Brave girl on the balance beam
At lunch, Charlotte sat in a chair like a big girl.  While I went off to look for a fork and knife to cut up her pizza, she reached for it and started to eat it all by herself.  She ate 2 pieces!