Change of plans

Sorry readers,
I know it’s been months and months again, but as it turns out having FOUR little kids (six and under when the last one joined us) IS hard (course you know-it’s one more and he is a newborn and you still have an almost two year old “tantruming” toddler, an almost 4 year old stubborn little miss sassy pants and a very loud, wild, talkative, demanding almost seven year old).
The newborn stage is difficult with all the sleepless nights and the sore nipples, the bleeding and the crying and what not… BUT it is especially difficult when you have to keep up with three more kids. Their endless activities and school assignments, projects and schedules take on a life of its own.  ESPECIALLY when you angelic baby (the one w/o a school schedule) turns on you (to the opposite of angelic) right before you give birth to the next baby!
Rewind to December, I was 30 weeks pregnant and despite my huge (literally) discomfort I was super excited about going to my home country of Sweden for Christmas. All the plans were made, present bought and wrapped, kiddos pumped on both sides of the world! We had packed all our brand new winter clothes, (for three kids, their daddy and their very pregnant mama) hoping for snow! I was slightly nervous about the flight though, having a high risk pregnancy and my babies’ tendency to become extra difficult in the end and then show up way too soon. I also had a rather large cyst crowding the baby on my left ovary to worry about. (And the tiny detail of traveling with three crazy kids by air across the Atlantic).
I talked to my mom daily leading up to our travels. The Christmas plan was in full swing with tons of amazing (and yummy) plans for our family and with both my siblings and their families coming together as well!
My doctors were on board (not the plane but with the plan)! My cyst seemed to have shrunk, baby looked great on all ultrasounds, no signs of pre-eclampsia as of yet, I mustered up some extra energy for my prenatal appointments and all was well.
Until it wasn’t…

Happy friggin 4th!!!

Hubby is scheduled to fly out early morning on the Fourth of July and I’m not going to lie- it sucks!

But we are not going to let that keep us from the fun-oh no!

We have a full day of celebration planned this year. We are going to a parade (have never seen a real live American parade before and am really excited!!) in our neighborhood and fireworks by the beach (love fireworks) and we are bringing grandma and grandpa (and hopefully uncle, aunt and cousins as well) along! I have bought food for a family BBQ and festive paper plates, cups and utensils as well as quite a few Independence Day decorations! I have also laid out matching flag colored outfits for myself and all the three kids! The weather promises to be warm and sunny but not too hot. Maybe we can swim in the pool and grandparents can take the littlest baby so that I actually get to cool down and splash around as well. I can’t wait to spend some much needed quality play time with my kids!

I’m in high spirits; baby’s first fourth- lets do this!!!

And then darling daughter wakes up with a fever and then an extremely runny (smelly, leaky) diaper….
Which after breakfast leads to another…and another…with the mood to follow!
Can you say; complete toddler meltdown!

So yeah, we wave bye bye to daddy dearest (oh yeah; thanks for leaving me Hun!) as I rapidly begin to understand that nobody is going to want to hang out with us on this very special day…

Holiday or not, kids get sick and there is nothing you can do about it. I cancel all our plans with friends as well as family. It’s all good, we will make it work, it is just the crankiness and the overwhelming loneliness I feel when kid number two starts throwing up…

I order in food, but right now I only have one kid willing to eat and that would be the one without any teeth!

Its not like I have time to eat anything anyways, I’m running around like a mad woman, and strangely enough the idea of eating while people around me (and on me) are vomiting (and dry heaving) does not seem that appetizing…

I stream YouTube videos on the tv and keep changing diapers, smearing diaper rash cream, wiping butts as well as tears and pushing fluids.

I desperately stage some photos in memory of this “special” day of all my little kiddos in their outfits (good thing my “fancy” camera snaps dozens of photos in seconds because there are no willing participants and especially my daughter will not stand for it) on the patio- which turn out more sad than funny (keeping up the facade right…or not).

I change them out of their celebratory clothes right after our private little (disastrous) photo shoot scared any nasty fluids will make the nice outfits filthy (the washer and dryer already working overtime).
Of course my toddler throws another tantrum wanting to keep her red, white and blue Tommy Hilfiger dress on…

Let’s just say I’m in for a long night…

The kind of night where in between nightly nursing session (and they are plenty) I have to change sheets twice (we are now out of sheets that fit our bed), wrestle as well as share said bed with not one, not two, but three sweaty, germy kids (good thing I love them). I also have one of them throw up as I brush their teeth-after having thrown up…Hate when that happens!

I’m laying awake in our big bed (that suddenly feels small and cramped) when all the kiddos are finally asleep listening to each of their individual breathing patterns, (one arm around my beautiful daughter and another around my littlest man, while my big helper sleeps by my feet…for some reason) listening to their little whimpers and snores and my heart fills with so my love that I can hardly stand it…

Yes, they are a handful, and messy and smelly and oh so loud but at the end of the day I am just so so grateful to have them! Grateful that they are here with me, healthy and happy and whole (even with a nasty stomach bug) . They are my biggest accomplishments; who would have knows after my degrees and my diplomas that being a mommy would make me feel so important, so proud and so extraordinary!

Hope you had a great 4th of July this year everyone-I did despite it all (I have to admit it was pretty bad…and sad). I had a holiday I didn’t expect, one that I didn’t see coming and I was all alone to handle it all. But I think maybe that we have all been there one time or another and anyways; isn’t that what us mothers do…? We care and we fix…and we handle!

Too late I realize there in the pitch black room (while my five year old is mumbling something about Star Wars and transformers in his sleep) that I forgot to cancel the swim instructor-scheduled to come first thing in the morning…

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Huge Christmas Trees, Potato Tacos and a little bit of life insurance…

We’ve had a busy week after coming home from my sister’s (the heat alone makes everything harder). I asked my son if he missed her and to my surprise he continue to answer no repeatedly (even if he cried when we left). So I ask again and he yells “NO mama, stop asking, it’s too hard to talk about”!!
He also keeps talking abut her house, horse and dog and now he even has a pretend horse and a pretend dog named the same names!

We had to get our dog back, we had to stock up the fridge and pantry, we had play dates and soccer and swimming. On Monday, I had to go to school to hand in grades and return final exams and had to bring both kiddos along, which was interesting with all the questions my son asked EVERYONE and how little my baby girl wanted to hang out in the baby carrier.
I had to go all the way back to get the stroller- turns out she liked that even less!

I manage to get all the paperwork in and books returned with the school still standing (two years ago my son tugged a giant Christmas tree down in the main office while I was still a student hoping to graduate- fortunately no one was hurt- unfortunately the giant tree WITH lots of ornaments took down a desk, a couple of chairs and some paintings off of the walls as it went down- I wonder why they declined our offer to stay and help clean up…!??) and everyone in one piece!

Since everything went so well and since we were starving I decided to make the (very bad) decision that we would have lunch right there in Old Town at an actual restaurant. I don’t know about your kids but mine are certainly not what you would call well behaved at restaurants (or any place where sitting down quietly for an extended period of time is required) so I’m not sure what I was thinking? Wait, yes I do!
You will think I’m crazy…but knowing how much I like potatoes…and Mexican food maybe you would understand! They have these potato tacos that are seriously to die for. I went to this little place several times when I was pregnant with my daughter- it was always like “dinner for two…” Or “two or more sets of plastic ware to go…?) nop! Just for ONE, at least I could indicate my stomach then and blame my pregnancy. Now – not so much but I was really craving them and we were right there…so…

Of course it ended up a disaster, the rice, the salsa…the guacamole… in the water fountain (ehm, yes!) and two kids wilder than ever. It was “check please!” pretty much as soon as we had gotten the food- despite my preparation of “chips right away”, apple juice (any measures) and a brand new dinosaur coloring book…
At least I managed to scarf down one potato taco (hey, they are just not the same heated up).

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On Tuesday I had my appointment with the insurance lady that I have been trying to avoid for quit some time. It just didn’t feel like a very fun thing to do despite the needed end result of life insurance (besides she sounded super rude on the phone- maybe because it was slightly difficult to get me scheduled). There was talk of blood draws and running on the treadmill, urine samples and  blood pressure readings. I guess that is all fine- pretty much what we women do on a regular basis during pregnancy, am I right!? (Well maybe not the treadmill- which in my case was the elliptical we have at home). But this “check-up” seems so nerve-racking like a test you have to pass and it is for something so depressing and unthinkable as life insurance. Who wants to even think of that? Especially when you have young children. But I guess it’s a necessary evil.

So I did schedule with the rude nurse even if I did “white-lie” (also called “flat out lying”…but I did feel bad…at least a little bit, I never lie) telling her we wouldn’t be back from my sisters until today- trying to postpone the inevitable. For a while before, I was convinced they would run all the tests on me and find some incurable disease, I actually could physically feel the fear of having to leave my children. I know I’m being ridiculous and ungrateful and a worry wart but everything is just so good right now (and I am actually extremely grateful) which is always scary… (Am I the only one feeling this way?)

Days before the date I had come to terms with it- I swear I really had (it was something that wasn’t to be avoided and it’s good to get the reassurance that you are healthy and getting life-insurance is the mature, responsible thing to do). So at the time of the appointment I was feeling fine until…I wasn’t

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