Sunday, March 26, 2017

Things You Don't Think About When...

Don't get me wrong.  I LOVE my 4 kids.  I'm glad we had 4.  Matt was the one who originally wanted 4 kids.  I was good with 2.  We compromised when we got married and said we would have 3.  And here we are with 4!   (I realize we can plan all we want BEFORE kids but doesn't mean God will bless you with them biologically but its something I think people need to agree on before they get married).

I'm sort of torn on the number that everyone is fascinated with.  Some people believe it is one - two too many.  With other people, 4 isn't many at all!  My neighbors have 10.  My other neighbors have 6.  Another house down the road has 8.  And everyone in between has 3-4 each.   So I feel pretty normal in this neighborhood.

Growing up with only one sister who is 4 years older than me, I got used to doing things certain ways.  She didn't really "affect" me in many ways.  The things I did were not decided by anything she did (if that makes sense).

There are things I WISH I had known or thought of though before having more than 2. Yes, the messes are bigger ... and just more of them.  But I've found myself saying to myself "I wish someone had told me that a long time ago."  Yeah, if I knew then what I know now!

1)  Time.  You think 1 or 2 kids takes a long time putting on their shoes?  Multiply that times FOUR times longer!  You think 1 kid takes a few minutes extra to get in the car?  f.o.u.r. times longer.  If it takes you 10 extra minutes to pack a to-go lunch or bag... yep, that would 40 minutes later you MIGHT be ready to go.  Pretty much, you will be permanently late to everything you do from now on.

2)  You could apply that rule to almost everything.  If 1 or 2 kids stress you out... I wouldn't recommend 4.  Toss the "I want a big family" idea out the window.  You will be permanently attached to Chlorox wipes and a bottle of wine.  And coffee.  And more wine.  And more coffee.

3)  Bedtimes.  Good Lord.  Each kid has their own "thing" that helps them go to sleep.  And yes, you want them to go to sleep FAST.  Immediately.  I got lucky with 2 of mine and they never needed/wanted me to rock them or lay down with them.  Put them in the bed, say I Love You & Goodnight, close the door, and you're done.  The other two I spend AT LEAST 1.5 hours with each of them and they usually still aren't asleep after that.  But just reminding you , that if you like to read or watch TV or whatever it is you do to wind down after a REALLY long day... if you have alot of kids, bedtime rituals become the last half of a marathon.  For me, I don't have a hubby who helps me with this because he works nights, so Kudos to all of you who do have help.  You can tell me all about whatever ridiculous reality TV show you watch the next day.  But I haven't watched TV in about 3 years now and I rarely get to read.  Unless its Fancy Nancy to my 4 year old.

4)  If one kid gets sick = they will ALL get it.  Yep, thats ALOT of vomit.  Just     think    about     that.

5)   Things are not as simple.  I've heard "cheaper by the dozen" and "the more the merrier" and  "what's one more?"  That's only true depending on what you're talking about.  Ok.  For instance, I have 4 car seats in my car.   Even though I have one kid old enough to not need one by legal age, she is so short that she still requires a booster so the strap hits her across the shoulder and not the face.   No biggie.  BUT on the rare night that my hubby is going to keep the other kids while me and a friend take our girls to the movies, I can't just "swing by and pick [her] up."  Else I have to remove some car seats that I think my hubby welded to the seat.   Someone else has to drive or I have to meet you there.  Plus I usually have so much "stuff" in my front passenger seat even when its cleaned out and organized, that it just doesn't work.  Easier to drive separately.

6)  The level of planning reaches an all new high.  And I'm a planner!  Sunday mornings I ALWAYS hear the same question from Matt:  "why didn't you lay their clothes out last night?"  (so he can help get them ready FASTER.  Its because by Saturday night, I am mentally checked out from all the planning during the week:  the lunch boxes, the clothes, the homework, the signed school papers, the backpacks, the after school activity bag packing aka swim gear, ballet bag, baseball bag, and the weekly dinner menu (if I even get around to that).  Did you put gas in the car?  Which kid will you pick up first or which one gets out first will decide your car rider lines?  Will you have time to come home in between any of that or do you need to pack it all in the car?  Then someone vomits and throws all your plans out the window.  But needless to say, I usually don't lay church clothes out on Saturday night mainly because I'm exhausted.  And I fully expect one kid to wake up running fever during the night because that's just how it is.  See what I did there?  I multiplied my chances of that happening ALOT.  Plan to get woken up in the middle of the night 4 times as often.

7)  Yep.  The word that these millennial kids don't like to hear, right?   You are limited in space.  You limit what activity your kids can do because of either costs or timing -- usually one extra curricular activity will interfere with the timing of another.   So you have to pick one!  Heaven forbid one sibling determines what another can or can't do, right?  We teach our kids they can be anything they want... oooohhh, wait that falls on a Thursday night at 6:00pm?  Yeah, no. That's already our swim and ballet day.  Your sleep just got even more limited.  Your car space.  Everything has a limit.  Especially the iPad time.

It takes an army to raise an army.  My best friend also has 4 kids.  We used to carpool more often, but with 4 kids each, we have literally run out of room and can only pick up 1 extra kid... which sometimes defeats the whole purpose.  
What's that you say?  Get a bigger vehicle?  Um.. no.  We have several friends who drive the short bus with 6 kids.  That's not in the cards for me.

I'm not complaining.  Like I said, I LOVE my kids.  But these are things you DEFINITELY don't think about BEFORE having them.  You are probably thinking about all the positives of having a large family.  Plenty of those too... I might make another post about that later.

People tell me A.L.L the time "I don't know how you do it with 4 kids!"  and then I think that I don't know how my neighbors do it with 10!  Besides the homeschooling bit.  And they drive a church van.  My advice?  Find what works for you.  The limits will definitely find you.

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Get Thee Behind Me!

A not so funny story.   But you might fight it amusing, because its times like this I have to laugh to keep from crying.  Ok, I did cry once.  It started out as laughter but progressed into sitting in the kitchen floor doing the ugly cry with a bottle of wine and Chlorox wipes in my lap.

About 3 weeks ago, Merritt woke up with red eyes and nasal congestion.  Could be allergies.  Could be pink eye.  Who knows, right?  Mason had been on an antibiotic for an ear infection from teething the week before, and we had some extra antibiotics in the fridge thanks to a lovely pharmacy family and a hubby who can't read the bottles.  But it worked out to our advantage, Merritt started the antibiotic and was completely clear about 24 hours later.  (kept her on that med for 7 days though).

Back up almost 2 years ago.  Mati Claire had what appeared to be an ant bite on her knee that got infected, red streaks running up and down her leg... we thought maybe spider bite instead, eventually turned into a black scab... was there for several months before falling off and leaving a pitted scar on her leg.    Several months later, again.  A new spot about an inch away from the first spot but followed the same format.  About 6 months later (this would be about a year and half later from the first spot) a THIRD spot very similar appeared.  Took her to the dermatologist and because it had already scabbed over they couldn't do a biopsy.  Couldn't tell me what it was (that was the day of the Smoothie King incident and where my kids went insane-link below).  Well, we decided we would go back IF she ever got another one because these are spread out months in between.

So back to present day on a Thursday (months later).  Mattox has a spot on his inner thigh that followed the same process:  looks like a white zit or ant bite type bump, wart maybe?, gets infected, his pants rub it and open it up, it drains, pretty gross to deal with, we put antibiotic ointments on it, black scab, and a scar.  A few days later, he has about 20 of these spots up and down his thighs.  I immediately recognize them as the same type bumps that Mati Claire had.  We take him to the dermatologist and he tells us its Mulloscum Contagiosa = contagious rash virus.  The derm "paints" the spots with a special medicine (that as a pharmacist, I have never heard of and never dispensed in my life).  We leave it on for 4 hours and rinse off in the bath.  Ok.  Got it.

Welllll, Mattox was apparently mortified to tell the dermatologist that he also had a few bumps around his private parts.  So the dermatologist failed to paint those with the medicine (no fault of his own).  One bump in particular again follows the nasty course of events of getting quite large, pus-filled, painful, and the redness/swelling starts spreading.  He can't walk.  His teacher calls me from school concerned because he can't sit in his desk at school the "correct way".  He was miserable.  Considering this is near his genitalia, Daddy puts him on some antibiotics for the abcess.  A few days later, a hot bath drains it out and it might be one of the grossest experiences of my life.  He learned the hard way to never be too embarrassed to tell your doctor anything!

I also learned that this virus stays in your system for exactly 2 years (will be permanently gone after that) and any new bump that appears in that time should be treated by the dermatologist immediately. Not your local pharmacy, not even your pediatrician.  ONLY the dermatologist has access to this "medicine" that they would not give to me.  So I have to get an appointment with a dermatologist every time he gets a new bump like this for the next 2 years?  Yep.       yippee.      They apparently did not ban my family from future visits to their office after our first visit with the smoothies.

See POST LINK HERE for that post.  I also learned that he should not take baths or share towels with anyone/siblings for these 2 years.    Did the virus know that they just destroyed my nighttime-bedtime routine?  I do better at separating the boys from the girls now that they are getting older, but yes, they do share baths and towels OFTEN!  Grrr.....

Ok, so Mattox is on antibiotics.  Merritt is on antibiotics.  Mason just finished antibiotics.  We're good, right?

Mattox wakes up a few days later with "the pink eye".  Although I wouldn't consider it pink eye -- just full blown dual conjunctivitis.  Nasal symptoms as well.  He looks like an alien with not pink but RED eyes.  Spots all over his legs.  Then he gets his first real bloody nose.  He looked like he was hit by a truck.  Or beat up.  Poor guy.

Ok its a long holiday weekend.  We have time to Recover.  Regroup.  Right?

Saturday, Mason throws up all over Mati Claire and is running fever.  So I assumed the stomach bug that has been circulating the community found its way to my house.  We are pros at that!  He was completely fine and symptom free for 2 days following that episode.
Tuesday morning I walk in the gym and I get a phone call from the director at Mother's Day Out.  "Mrs. Miley?  You need to come pick up your youngest son.  He has Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease."

ummm.. WHAT???  How did my other 3 kids ever survive without catching this?  This is a new one for us.  The praying commenced that no one else caught it despite their ages.  I can't really quarantine an 18 month old for a solid week or more.

Mati Claire gets a stye.  We thought it might be the beginning of "the pink eye"  (and I'm using quotations on that because that's what my kids call it).  Nope, just a stye so she's walking around with a hot washcloth/warm compress on it for days on end.

Merritt starts showing signs of "the pink eye" again and complaining of a severe ear ache. She.can.NOT. hear.anything.  We tested her for days to see if it was selective hearing or if she really could not hear.  But considering she finished a round of antibiotics, I was not too concerned.  It must be viral, so I let the conjunctivitis run its course.  I'm sort of in military-mom-mode at this point.

3 out of 4 are miserable.  complaining.  missing school.  but ok, I've got this.  I just make my rounds from kid to kid:  medicine, comfort, love and hugs, lots of rest and naps, video games/ipads are worth every penny, Chlorox wipe everything they touch, wipe again, and then wipe again.   wash, rinse, and repeat.

then my healthy one bites the dust.  I pick Mati Claire up from school and we barely make it home before she starts vomiting.   great....I don't know if she has the stomach bug or the beginning signs of Hand-Foot-Mouth Virus too (Mason was apparently classic text-book case with this).

ALL   FOUR   KIDS    SICK   AT    THE    SAME     TIME.     And its my birthday.   Its not only pouring down rain outside... its pouring inside as well!

Cancel the sitter. Cancel the date night birthday dinner we had planned. Heck, cancel the whole month of January!  Even had to cancel the cleaners.  Lord knows I've cleaned every inch of the house by now.

I've never had all 4 sick at the SAME time.  Each with their own thing.  I call my pediatrician because I'm on the verge of a mental breakdown.  They don't need to see ANY of them because its ALL viral. Obviously ALL the antibiotics they've been on haven't helped.

Insert my crying session in the floor here.  What else can I Chlorox?  The liquor store knows my name now.  ;)

Merritt who had been on the mend... I now find myself taking her in to see the pediatrician Monday morning because she is crying over her ears.  And she literally can't hear me unless I scream at her.  I asked if she wanted candy for breakfast -- and she replied with an answer that didn't make any sense. I'm confused as to what is going on with her.  She does have fluid in her ear, but not ear infection.  She might have to go see an ENT but we're on another round of different antibiotics, Sudafed, Benadryl, Flonase, her regular Prevacid, and Advil or Tylenol for the pain.

Here I am almost 3 weeks later.  All managed to make it back to school this week until yesterday.  Mattox has "the pink eye" AGAIN.  Very strange that both he and Merritt had the exact same symptoms TWICE both cases separated by a week or so.  Between the two of them, they have had it FOUR times!

When do the sicknesses stop??????????  They went an entire semester without getting sick.  They get vitamins.  They even get probiotics every single day.

Like I said before, Chlorox and wine are my best friends this month.  and the Kroger Clicklist.

Why yes, I did make my appointment for a spa day next week!

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Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas 2016

We had such a sweet Christmas this year!  My parents and grandmother came to stay with us for a few days.  Matt has been off work ALL week --- including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!  Wow. He has NEVER been off the night of Christmas Eve before ... so he got to see how it all goes down.  I am usually doing dinner, making breakfast casseroles, baths, bedtimes, reindeer food, cookies and milk for Santa, reining in the sugar-crazed kids, cleaning up so Santa can actually have room, putting all 4 kids to bed by myself, getting back up to put toys together or wrapping a few last minute jobs, trying to quietly put all the presents out, making sure the Elf is gone, and then putting myself to bed only to get a few hours before getting up before the kids to catch them coming down the stairs with the videocamera.  Its exhausting and hard to actually enjoy it... BUT since Matt was off... I got help this year!  yayyyy!

Mati Claire is 9 and getting into the pre-teen stage.  She was a little hard to buy for this year, but was happy with books and movies.  Mattox racked up on electronics and everything Minecraft!

Merritt got all the "big" gifts this year.  She got TWO motorized vehicles that we think she can do for her size and weight.  Small girl problems.  When you are extremely small, not strong, or coordinated enough to do regular bikes and trikes... she has a hard time enjoying playing outdoors sometimes (especially when the older siblings are running circles around her).  She gets frustrated and then chooses to come back in.  Hopefully these new toys will let her have some fun too.

It was alot of fun to watch Mason open his gifts this year.  This being his second Christmas, he quickly learned how to unwrap his presents!  He REALLY liked his new PB chair (it is pretty soft and cuddly!).  I have to say that I think his Christmas pajamas turned out pretty darn cute!  that little tooshie.   and.his.curls.  Lord help me.  I can't say no to the curls!

Never even had time to finish decorating the tree. No angel or star at the top.  Matt never got the last of the decoration down out of the attic... we let Coco, our Elf, stay there for awhile.
I let the kids decorate however they wanted!!! its hard to "let it go".

But I can do some mean cupcakes.  chocolate cupcakes with peppermint frosting.  and swirled.  yes, that made up for the cookies!

Mamaw playing with Mason
Our annual Sunday School class Christmas party was another big hit as usual.  I feel the need to explain why we dress up.  The party has evolved over the last 10 years from starting out as a tacky Christmas sweater dressing up like Christmas movie characters.... to dressing up as Christmas-related just dressing up in general!  This year's theme was the HMA's (Holmes Music Awards) and we dressed up as singers.  When your last name is Miley and we've joked that we should name our kid or our next dog Cyrus.... it leaves very little room for debate.  We went as Miley Cyrus and Billie Ray Cyrus!  Fun times.   Just for the record, I DID wear a nude colored bodysuit under the swimsuit/sports bra.  Technically, the only skin showing was my arms.  just fyi.   It was hilarious seeing everyone's costumes!  At our age, we all have very little shame anymore.  You have to be able to laugh at yourself and I hope no one took that too seriously.  I did tell my girls that I was NOT who you want to be or take after.  They don't have a clue who she is, but enjoyed watching me be silly.  And blonde for the first time ever.

go big or go home, right?
I am SOOOOO looking forward to 2017!  Its going to be great!  I am done with both schools' fundraisers til the next school year.  We have a couple of vacations planned (one with kids and one without!).   Matt is turning 40 this year.  Girls are turning 10 and 5!  Merritt will be starting Kindergarten and graduating out of preschool (what??)  My 20 year high school reunion (not even sure if I can go to that, but 20 years really?)  And then my sister and I are going to see Bruno Mars in NOLA later in the year!  I.can.not.wait!!!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Catching Up

Playing catch up here.

Yes, everything is still going great after my surgery.  My sister had it done yesterday as well!  She is handling the post-surgery better than me!  But yes, definitely worth it!

We had our annual Halloween Miley Mash a few weeks ago.  I think this is the first year that is did not rain!!! We had a huge turnout with around 60 people.  But I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Apparently Matt doesn't own a brown shirt like we thought when I passed over the Chewbacca outfit.
I want to kiss his lips off!  Oh how I love this sweet baby (even if he wasn't a fan of being Yoda)
We dubbed him the "Santa Claus" of Halloween! He rocked as Willy Wonka!!! (see pic below)
the sweetest ladies ever!!!

trouble trouble. and more trouble! ;) i'm kidding, yall!  I love these boys like my own!
Princess Elena of Avalor!
I mean, it doesn't get any better than THIS!!!! We should ALL take notes!
White cotton candy!  I heart Etsy!
The reason we did Star Wars this year.  Darth wasn't having any other costume this year. 
my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE addition to my decorations this year!! She is something fierce for a wreath!

a few more new additions. 
I may have to go back and get some more of these trees!  

I wrapped up Eastside's Fundraiser just in time for Clinton Park's to begin!  Lesson learned, do not volunteer to chair TWO fundraisers ever again.  They have had my attention and every spare minute since school started and I'm tired!  But the good news is that Clinton Park's will be done as of December 15th and the PTO probably won't see me next semester at EITHER school!  I'm "off" as of Christmas break!  Nope-- you won't even see me at a meeting next semester!

We went to visit my family for a few days when we got out for Thanksgiving break.  Mati Claire has been begging us to take her to a UT game.  Of course I picked the absolute COLDEST game they've had all year.  Seriously, 20-30 degrees and windy!  We went prepared and had a great time though.  It was a good game.  Analyzers got mad because people started leaving after halftime... maybe some of it was due to the fact that FL beat LSU, but I'm willing to bet that it was because they didn't come dressed appropriately and it.was.freezing!!!!!  But worth it to experience the kids' first college game with them and make it memorable!  I bet they won't ever forget it!

NOT a FAN of the COLD, but a FAN of the VOLS!

So here we are at Thanksgiving.  What are we thankful this year?

  • Thankful we have a roof over our heads.  
  • The grandmothers are still with us (except the one I never met on Matt's side).  My Mamaw, Gan-Gan, Matt's Granny, Gigi, and Nana.  As tragic as 2016 was for so many people, we have been lucky and blessed.  
  • Poppy is still with us.  Praises to God!  I know He heard our prayers. 
  • Health and safety.  Just watching the news will make you want to never leave your house.  We were in Tennessee when the news hit of the Chattanooga school bus driver that wrecked the bus killing 6 children in the process.  We've had so many friends be diagnosed with cancer this year.  Or continuing to battle cancer this year.  2016 felt like the Grim Reaper was upon everyone.  Again, we are thankful for our family's health and safety during travel.  I want to wrap my kids up in a bubble and never let them out! ;)

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Monday, October 24, 2016

My Uterine Ablation Procedure

Well, since I have had a TON of people ask me about this... I guess I will blog about it.  It may not be something we all wish to hear about, but oh well.  This is my life now.

I mentioned in my last post that my periods (since having my 4th and last kid) have been a nightmare.  I've always had bad and heavy periods growing up, but these have progressed from there.

My first two days, I couldn't go more than 30 min - 1 hr with a SuperPlus tampon AND a pad.  So heavy that I had to get out of car rider line one day (and who does that??) just to clean up AGAIN after I had just left the house right before that.  So ok, it was only the first two day of each cycle, right? No.  Nope.  Then it would d...r......a..........g......for usually up to t....w.....o......w......e......e........k.......s.......  Yep, my last one lasted 2 weeks.  Then I only got 2 weeks "off" before it was due for another monthly cycle!

so yeah, with 4 kids.... who has time for all that mess???? Heavy and way longer than my normal. My mind immediately went to future vacations (with or without kids, but how can I do that if I'm bleeding and can't go more than 1 hour on vacation?? and having to pack 2 weeks worth of tampons in a suitcase?? for real??)

What is the ablation surgery?
#1.  First, they knock you out completely.  Not fun.  Its so weird.  You won't feel a thing and won't remember a thing. But this wasn't my first rodeo with general anesthesia.
#2.  Hysteroscopy.  They insert a camera to look at everything.
#3.  Depending on what they see or don't see.... they may or may not do a:
#4.  D&C.  Scrape out "stuff" that maybe shouldn't be there (cysts, fibroids, etc).  I didn't have any of that.They will also do a uterine biopsy to rule out uterine cancer before they do anything else.
#5.  They then fill the uterus with a liquid (I'm guessing saline of some kind.) and expand the uterus so the liquid fills all those little nooks and crannies! hehe
#6.  They then insert this metal mesh looking appliance (to me it resembled an avocado kitchen utensil or a whisk).   They heat this thing which then heats the liquid... and it will basically burn the inside lining from which you are bleeding.  It cauterizes the lining to decrease/stop the bleeding.
#7  You wake up with some serious cramps that will last a few days.

Dr. T mentioned getting the ablation done several months ago, and I kept talking myself out of it.  I finally decided (after another bad month) that there was NEVER a good time to do any kind of elective/somewhat necessary surgery.  I say elective, because was I going to die without it? no, but it sure made life pretty miserable.

I talked to a few friends who had it done in the past few years and all said it was worth it.  They were "down" for a day or two.

My mom was coming down to help me with kids and planned to leave a few days after the surgery and I was back on my feet.

Surgery went well.  Because I have had 4 C-sections, she had to "skip the area of scar and scar tissue because its already paper thin."  She could only ablate (is that the right word?) 80% of my uterus.  For some people this procedure will COMPLETELY get rid of their periods, but because there was about 20% left untouched, she said I would still have one, but it should be drastically better.  I cramped pretty bad for 3 days, but did not bleed at all.  EXACTLY one week later, I've had very light bleeding every day for almost a week now.  I am not sure if that is my period (since it was time for that anyway) or if its surgery related, but I go for my 2-week post checkup tomorrow.

yay, all done with the hard part.  In recovery, she went over all the post-surgery stuff.  All I heard was "no working out or lifting over 10 lbs. for TWO WEEKS."   ummm...... what??? Did I hear that right?  Mason weighs almost 30 lbs probably and I lift weights on a regular basis.

Mom was the awesome mom that she is, and has stayed with me for the past 2 weeks to pick up Mason (car seats, cribs).  Dr. T wouldn't even allow light walking as exercise for at least a week and absolutely no lifting weights for two.


its all good though.  Just keep looking at the long term... not the short term.  :)

My sister is looking into having it done and her doctor has told her that they have to try all other methods and rule out several other things before insurance will cover this procedure.  just fyi for all those interested... I unknowingly had already ruled out all that stuff in the past few years:
#1  Blood work. They have to rule out your thyroid.  My thyroid is normal.
#2  IUD and birth control.  I tried to get an IUD after my 2nd baby in 2010, but because my uterus is tilted, it physically will not go in the right place in my uterus (it should be placed at the top of the uterus and mine kept hitting the side wall of the uterus).  To this day, the IUD insertion procedure was the most painful experience I've ever had including my 4 C-sections.  The IUD wasn't there 5 minutes before they took it back out.   Which is part of the reason I had my tubes tied after this last baby!  We all still wonder if the fact that my uterus being tilted is the reason I don't dilate and have to have C-sections?? no way to prove that though.
#3  You have to be done with having babies!!!  Obviously, destroying the lining of your uterus will make you infertile!  My tubes were tied, so that ruled that out anyways!  hahaha!  Four and no more!

Looking forward to getting back to my normal routine, mom is looking forward to going home finally, and Mason is looking forward to me being able to pick him up again!!!

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

My Week

You ever have one of those weeks you just want to do over?  Not even one day - I'm talking a full week!?

This week was looking promising as of Sunday.  I've been really pushing my workouts, and my calendar was pretty "empty" except for a few weekly extra-curricular activities for the kids.

Sunday.  woke up.  went to church.  had an AWESOME workout that left me posting about it.  cardio is good for the soul, btw.  Then about an hour later, I started my period.  TMI?  Stay with me.  Since having Mason, these have become my worst nightmare.  Dr. T said its a combination of age, perhaps pre-menopausal, and never good for people that have had 3+ kids.  I've been struggling the past few months and finally decided to schedule a uterine ablation procedure.  Getting that done in 2 weeks and although I'm a little nervous about it, I confirmed that I made the right decision after Sunday.  Even Anaprox, who is normally my best friend, gave me ZERO help. Literally face down on my bed or in the bathroom for 2 straight days.  Not easy to deal with when you have kids or have to sit in car rider line for hours a day.  Should have known then that this week was plummeting.

Monday.  Post-deadline day for the Eastside fundraiser.  I chair that committee so I'm responsible for the bounced checks, late orders, and all things that end with just stupid people.  Absolutely amazed that people don't know who their child's teacher is.  Don't know how to add up their own orders.  Don't READ the directions on the order forms...and therefore don't follow the directions that spell everything out for you.   I digress.  It's my job I volunteered for and I'm used to it.
I pick up Merritt from preschool.  She's scratching her butt and keeps telling me she got mosquito bites.  Nope.  Chiggers.  Fun times.  (and its panty lines not her butt to be exact.)
First Cub Scout meeting for Mattox.  Its at 6:00 pm. Yeah.... my hubby works nights and night times and I don't get along.  That puts us getting home after 7:00 pm... one of my kids is ready for bed, but I still have to bathe and feed all 4 by myself and get them in bed at a decent hour since its a school night.  It sucks big time but my little Cub Scout is worth it, right?  Again, night meetings REALLY don't work for us.
Dealing with whatever seasonal allergy crud I have, I lost my voice this week.  Expending twice as much energy to try to talk when you can't.  I joke that its because I've been yelling at my kids, but truth is just sinus drainage.

Tuesday.  Still dealing with Fundraiser aftermath.  Still amazed at the people turning orders in when the deadline was last Friday.  but ok.  I'm cool like that.
I had made Mati Claire a dermatology appt with the new dermatology dr/clinic in town.  I was super excited to be changing my records over as well (saves me a trip across Jackson from now on).  The dermatologist is the brother of a friend of mine, so again, I was really looking forward to getting to know this clinic -- and also because I frequent dermatology OFTEN with my psoriasis.

The appt was at 3:30pm.  We had to waste a little time before then, so I treated the kids to Smoothie King for an after school snack.  Knowing it was a new office, I made them leave their leftover smoothies in the car before going in.  However, Mason (18 months now) did not get a snack -- and would eat 24/7 anyways -- so I took my smoothie in with me to share with him while waiting.

This is where the shit hit the fan.  While trying to utilize my 15 minutes of me-time earlier in the day, I had stopped at Clinton's fabulous James&Leigh and bought myself a new necklace....a $75 new necklace.  Trying to be the "nice" mom, I let my dress-up queen Mitt wear it.  Telling her repeatedly - and I do mean repeatedly -- do.NOT.break.mommy'!  What does she do?  She breaks my new necklace.  I really blame myself for that.  I mean what was I thinking giving a $75 necklace to a 4 year old?  But at the same time, she didn't listen after I....wait for it... REPEATEDLY TOLD HER to NOT break the necklace.  So yes, I popped her on the bottom in the waiting room because, well...yes, I was mad.
Mason, who is normally pretty quiet and shy (like my older two kids), decides this place is his second home.  He literally tore the place apart.  And then tried to eat the pieces.  The waiting room is white walls, glass figurines and decorations, pamphlets for every cosmetic procedure available in the 21st century, low side tables perfect for his height... he was probably in his own personal nirvana.  He threw a glass ball like it was a baseball across the room.  He threw those pamphlets like they were confetti at a 1999 New Year's Party.  He unplugged every lamp and tried to knock over every single thing in that waiting room.  I ask Mati Claire to help me "watch" the other two while I deal with Mason.  Of course its the one time he doesn't want his Goldfish or milk...nope, he spies my Smoothie.  I look up and notice that every single receptionist, office staff, and patients are and giving me the stank eye.  I probably would be too if I were them.
I ask Mati Claire to go out to the car to see if she can find Mason's pacifier since he has taken his screaming to DEFCON 5.  Nothing wrong with him...just not happy with the fact that I won't give him my Smoothie yet.
If you don't know Mati Claire, she is slower than Christmas.  God bless it.  And I just sent her to the car to find a needle in a haystack.  Of course the nurse calls her back then.
So we wait.
and wait.
and wait some more.
Of course she comes back empty handed.  Because that's how my day is rolling.
Because this is the day from hell.
We all go back to the tiny hot as hell patient-exam room.
Mattox decides to act like a 2 year old and start crawling around on the floor under the row of chairs -- who by the way is WAY too big to be crawling under chairs - therefore he knocks all the chairs over.    I attempt to bribe him with candy later if he will just behave for 30 minutes.  He's not taking the bait.  Mati Claire is now throwing one of her "I'm too sensitive so I'm going to cry because my siblings are frustrating me" meltdowns.  I get it.  She's trying to help.  She really is.. But crying isn't helping me.
Mason is still screaming for multiple reasons.
Merritt is actually somewhat behaving at the moment still reeling from the pop I gave her in the first waiting room.
Mason decides to take the nut/bolt cover from the exam table floor (the bolt that has the bed secured to the floor has a pretty covering over it)...and eat it.   He starts choking and I am literally doing the CPR finger swipe in his throat when the Doctor walks in.
I hand him this spit-drenched piece of plastic instead of shaking his hand.
I apologize to him before even introducing myself because his chairs are knocked over thanks to Mattox.  His patient, Mati Claire, is crying.  Mason is screaming so loud from doing the finger swipe I can't hear what the nurse is asking.
So I decide that now would be a good time to give Mason my Smoothie since he's being unconsolable and quite loud.
In the meantime, Mati Claire has to answer some questions about the reason she is there....telling the nurse who doesn't speak English very well, that she has night sweats, nose bleeds, warts, and perhaps heart palpitations -- NONE of which are necessarily true in the manner she was speaking of.  We get Mati Claire squared away and I ask the Doctor about getting my records transferred over... give him a brief history and ask him some questions.  I literally can't hear what he is saying even though he is 3 feet away from me because Mason is so loud.  Mason takes that moment to pull the Smoothie straw out of the cup and S.L.I.N.G it.... E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E.  Those nice pretty white walls, the table, the floor, the siblings, and ALL.Over.the.Doctor.himself.     And his nice suit.  Its in my hair.  On my hands.  Sticky pink smoothie all over the room.  Not thinking I would need them, I failed to bring in any tissues or wipes or diaper bag.  What kind of exam room doesn't have paper towels??  What the heck do I use to clean up this mess???  My shirt of course.  Of course I chose to wear a "nice", it couldn't have been one of my t-shirts circa 1997.  I am dripping with sweat... because either there are too many people in this confined room, they don't have the A/C turned up, or I am about to die from mortification.  I can NOT get control of my kids.  I have to laugh to keep from crying.   I've apologized a million times already, so the nurse brings the other kids crayons and paper to attempt to occupy them...instead of destroying their office.   2 of my kids threw them back in her face!!! Wth???? Whose kids are these??? Yeah, these are NOT my kids, right???  I can't seem to pick my jaw up off the floor.  I'm still recovering from cleaning up the smoothie, checking to make sure I haven't missed any places, and now Mason is coloring all over these nice pretty WHITE walls with his new crayons!
Yep, you've never seen a momma snatch crayons out a kid's hand so fast.
Luckily he didn't get very far in his masterpiece.
The doctor picks Mason up!!! Since when does he let a stranger pick him up?? oh yeah, the doctor is his new BFF!  Probably so he could lick the smoothie off his face.  


People say you shouldn't be embarrassed by your own young children.  Nope. Absolutely not true.  I was beyond embarrassed.  We finally leave and I assure the office staff that I'm not crazy.  I will check my kid out of school next time and bring just ONE.  And believe it or not, my kids normally don't act like this!!! They're nodding their heads like 'yeah, sure, whatever. bye, felicia!'

I was so THAT mom Tuesday.  The one that everyone hates.  The one people say "geez woman, get control of your kids!"   I'm still trying to figure out what the heck happened in there.

Wednesday.  Kids bring home graded papers and tests on Wednesdays.  Mati Claire. Mati Claire.  Wow.. She brings home her SECOND big whopping F.   yep, an eeeeefffffffff!  eeefffffffin' what you say??? as in, FAILED?  What?? That's not mine and Matt's kid, right??  No kid of ours would bring home ANOTHER F, right?
Me:  "Matt, did you ever bring home an F in elementary school?"
Matt:  "nope."
Me:  "me neither."

So what do I feel is a good punishment and motivation for this?  I have to call my SIL and tell her that we are cancelling Mati Claire's planned sleepover with her cousin.  :(
Parenting is hard.

Thursday.  I can't remember much about Thursday other than I can see Mati Claire's red swollen puffy eyes from car rider line.   She's been crying.  Hard.  AGAIN.  What the heck now?  One of those CRAZY Fundraising people who can't seem to get their money to me when they're supposed to sent her $20 that was short.  The school secretary gave it to Mati Claire to give to me (since I had already been to the school and the bank twice that day).  IN THE 15 MINUTES that she was in car rider line, she loses it.  We think someone stole it out of her backpack, but regardless, it was in her possession and then it wasn't.  There's a whole lot more to that story, but again, parenting is hard.
Do I make her take it out of her piggy bank to replace the $ she lost even though it may or may not have been her fault?
Do I make the PTO eat it?
Do I tell the lady who sent it, that we lost it after it was a week late?
Do I even give the lady her change out of my pocket because she's now calling me asking if I sent her change home with her daughter?

crazy. stupid. people.

and Mati Claire is so innocent she can't imagine why anyone would take a $20 bill out of her backpack.  Hard lessons learned this week about money.

Jesus. Its only Thursday.  Ballet day.  Swim day.  Again, my busiest day of the week.  My best friends call and want to set up a playdate with all of our kids (which gives us mommies a time to socialize and chat up -- which in our defense-- we haven't gotten together once since school started!).  Yeah, well, Mati Claire is grounded.

Do I punish the other kids and not let them got to the park because one of mine is grounded?
Do I make Mati Claire sit on the bench with me the whole time?
Where do I cut off the punishments for each incident?
Similar situation that happens often:  its not fair for the other kids not to attend a birthday party when one of the siblings is sick.

Parenting is hard.  And no snarky comments about having too many kids.  That's neither here nor there and a little too late for that.

I think I need another Smoothie.  Or a drink.  Or a Xanax.

So what are you doing on a Friday night?  We are working on Mati Claire's star constellation poster project instead of getting a sleepover. :(  I am learning that I have to punish myself in a manner of speaking to follow through on the kids' punishments.

And then I remind myself that that is what is wrong with kids these days.  They never get told no.  They never have to earn anything.  Or get truly punished for anything.  And I refuse to be that parent.

:)  Cheers.

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Weight Loss Journey

You probably think I forgot about the blog.  BUT I've been purposely NOT blogging just waiting for this post.  I've been giving my weight loss journey my FULL attention for the past 5 months.

Mason turned 1 back in March.  I usually stop breastfeeding after a year and as much as it pained me to quit that, I knew it was time to "get back to me".  The saying is true "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."  I found myself completely passed out on the couch every day napping after picking kids up from school.  I had zero energy - not to mention kids waking me up in the middle of the night.
Mati Claire asked if I was having another baby, because I looked it.  I didn't want to be "that mom".  Yes I've had 4 kids, but I didn't want to look like I was pregnant all the time, right?  I wasn't happy with the fact that I had to SEARCH my closet every day for something to fit (and be comfortable).  Nothing fit and I was pushing my biggest size in my entire life (size 12 fit, but I was heading for a 14 on occasion).  Everyone always told me, "yeah, but you're really tall so you can carry that..."  What does height have to do with being happy and having confidence in what you look like?

I don't put alot of pressure on myself to look a certain way believe it or not.  I will be the first person to NOT wear makeup (I usually wear it to church or if there is something I need to look "presentable" for but on a daily basis I do not wear it at all).  I'm not one of those people who can't leave the house without makeup on (ahem, my sister ;))
BUT I do want to look my best.  For me.  For my hubby.   For my kids.  I wanted to have energy to keep up with 4 active kids.  I wanted to be able to slide those perfect pair of jeans on and not have to suck it in to zip them up.  I'm about to turn 40 soon, and I just didn't want to look and feel 40.  My psoriatic arthritis already makes me feel old.  Then I know SO many people who have cancer or awful diseases... and I just wanted to be able to tell my kids that I have done everything I could to be the healthiest I can be.  Not that I couldn't die in a car wreck tomorrow...but health-wise, I'm giving it my best shot (and will continue to do so).

I'm not a Weight Watchers kind of person.  Lean Cuisine meals LITERALLY make me vomit.  I can't run much because of my arthritic knees.  I'm not really into Crossfit or aerobic classes.  I do love Pilates but wanted to do more than that (and Pilates is still a class thing that I can't commit to a certain day and time ALL the time).  I knew I could lose weight on my own, but I really needed some strict guidance.  My friend, Kristen Stanley, told me about TeamFit.  You can click on the link, but they give you the menu (day-to-day down to every last macro), they give you the workouts, they give you the modifications or substitutions if needed, they give you the moral support, they give you the answers to ALL of your questions, and they motivate you.  I use Advocare supplements, but you can use anything from Walmart or GNC that is comparable.  TeamFit teaches you how to get fit!  Not just skinny.  But muscles (muscles are in by the way).  And if you saw Kristen's abs, you'd probably jump on whatever bandwagon she was on too ;)

The first month, I actually GAINED weight!!!! I was so discouraged.  I wanted to quit because that couldn't be right, right?  All the other ladies that were doing the EXACT same thing as me were dropping like 10 lbs in the first 2 weeks----and here I was gaining it yet doing everything I was supposed to be doing.  Frustrated doesn't even begin to describe how I felt.  I quickly learned that everyone is different!  Everyone responds differently.  I learned to ignore the scales.  I FELT better even though I had gained weight.  After the first 4-6 weeks, I noticed I lost a pound.  Granted I had to lose the 7 lbs I had gained in that first month, so I was still not happy.  T.I.M.E.  Kristen is the best coach ever, because she put up with my incessant texts about "WHY is this not working for me?"  and her answer was always "give it more time."   I wanted the magic pill that makes it disappear in a week.  My husband told me one morning "When was the last time you worked out?  18 months ago.  When was the last time you ate right?  18 months ago.  And you want it to disappear in 2 weeks???"  So I decided right then that I had to accept the time frame challenge.

Over time, I lost about a pound a week.  Very stead that one.  So over 5 months and about 25-30 lb weight loss, I averaged 5-6 lbs a month.  Doesn't seem like alot...until you look at the big picture.  30 lbs is ALOT!   took me longer than I liked, but I did it.  Some weeks were WAY better than others.  I took a week "off" for vacation at the beach in between rounds (I did 2 rounds of 10-12 week plans).  And I only cheated big on 2 weekends (4th of July BBQ weekend and my daughter's birthday weekend full of lots of cakes!)

The food?  Wow.  Its insane.  Its intense.  No, i can't honestly say its fun.  I can say its interesting because you'll eat things you never really thought you would.  You get bored.  Heck yes, I wanted my Mexican, my Chic-Fil-A, my Shipleys donuts, my cupcakes!  But my motto was always "Eat to Live not Live to Eat."  Food is meant to fuel your body.  You will absolutely NOT go hungry or starve on this plan.  If anything, you'll get tired of eating 6 meals a day and struggle to get it all in most days.  It took ALOT of planning, preparing in advance, eating cold things in the car, and learning how to be on-the-go mom (how do you eat out at restaurants, etc).  Eating asparagus at the ball fields and getting plenty of stares from people wasn't my idea of a good time... but I had goals.  I had to get over those stares and ignore them.  I had to find every ounce of will power I had most days (ESPECIALLY when Aunt Flo comes to visit once a month).  I also learned to not feel insanely guilty -- yes, you are allowed to enjoy life as well.  I thoroughly enjoyed a slice of pizza on the weekend.  Or a piece of my daughter's birthday cakes.  Or my chocolate-covered strawberry and cake yesterday after the photo shoot.  Its ok, as long as its not an ALL day thing.  I learned moderation.

I learned balance.  At one point there was a pushup challenge they posted for members.  I was up to 80 pushups a day, and my arms were getting HUGE.  I didn't like where they were headed.  I don't want to look like a body-builder.  I wanted leaner muscles.  Yet still defined.  And realized I was focusing on my strength training and not my cardio.  I needed to balance that more.  So I actually have had to back off the strength some and use what little time I have to incorporate more cardio.  Fine line when you're a busy mom and only have 1 1/2 hours to try to get both in.  But still working on balancing the workouts to where I'm happy with the results.

My goals?  Met them.  Crushed them.  Passed them.

  • Fit into my size 10 jeans/clothes
  • Surprised to fit into my size 8's
  • Even fit into a few size 6 dresses now
  • Everything in my closet fits now
  • Energy to keep up with my 4 kids
  • 30 lb. weight loss
  • Increased self confidence
  • Increased overall well-being; feel better and healthier
  • Ability to workout with severe joint pain
  • Be a good role model for my kids 
5 months to the day!  3/27/16 - 8/27/16.  So here are my before and after pics.  I had my ending photo shoot yesterday that was alot of fun!  When was the last time I had someone do my hair and makeup for me?  Um....12 years ago for my wedding and even then I did my own makeup!  So that was a first for me!   I can't wait to see the final pictures.  I can't thank Kristen Stanley enough for coaching and helping me along the way.  She is so busy with her life, yet she still finds time to help others.  She made a difficult task FUN and interesting!  She took a few pics with her phone yesterday - so this is just a sneak peak.  

Even though I've reached my goal weight and I am extremely happy with where I am now, its up to me to maintain it.  Keep it where it is.  Fine tune it.  Work on the muscle gain still.  I still have a few trouble zones that I'm working on (obviously).  But I'm also my own worst critic.  

Am I done? Never.  :)    


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