Thursday, August 27, 2015

Nope. Not On My Watch. (Apparently)

The boys are growing so fast and I cannot keep up. I think because I'm distracted a lot with the other two, and because they're my last babies, I haven't really been thinking about what they should be doing next. The other week a friend asked me if the boys were sitting up yet and I was like, "Oh. I have no idea." BECAUSE I NEVER TRIED you guys.

They're my babies, they can't sit up. They were just born. To prove this to her I sat Henry up and then put my hands out to catch him in his inevitable fall, but nope. He just sat there and smiled like he'd been waiting for this moment for months. Luke followed suit. Little stinkers.

Then someone was like, "Oh they're almost seven months? Are they eating solids yet?" and I just kind of went blank. Solid foods? For my infants? Are you insane!? But again, they chowed down as if they'd been doing it their whole lives.

And now they're almost eight months old and this morning my friend said, "Oh Henry has a tooth!" And I was like, "No he doesn't." And she gave me that look like she was embarrassed and sad for me. So I checked and lo and behold, my youngest baby has a tooth.

So, I did what any normal mother would do.

I tried to push it back in.


Get in there! I'M NOT READY YET!

Almost every time I talk to my mom she laughs and Every Dang Time I mistakenly think it's because I've said something amusing. She shuts that line of thinking down real quick and says, through her muffled laughter, "That's just another dollar in the Future Therapy Jar". Get it? Because I do so many weird things my kids will need therapy?

She's hysterical.

(Yet does she pay for my therapy? Noooooooooo. That's not her fault.)

Anyway. Here are some pictures of the children I am apparently ruining by "pushing in their teeth", or "telling them to live with me forever", or whispering "no one will ever love you like I do" while they're sleeping.

Hen, rocking the 80's bib and liking it.

Kids hit an age where they can't take a normal picture. They smile like they're about to be shot. But it's still cute.

Tula is trying out a new look.

Henny in his favorite spot. My chest.

Luke rocking the old man hat. He's the cutest little old Jewish man ever!

Popsicle picnic!

Friday, August 21, 2015

That's Just How I Roll Now

Well, I just tried to shave my leg with a toothbrush. So that's how my day is going.

The scary part is I didn't realize it until I got to my bikini line. I was too busy yelling at my kids through the shower curtain to stop playing in the clogged up sink while toothbrush-shaving to notice that a) none of my hair was disappearing, and that b) my razor felt strangely bristly. Actually, the bristle didn't really faze me because Josh and I share a razor now that we have four kids and can never find anything, so I never know what I'm going to find in there.

Oh yeah, that's right. You heard me. He shaves his face with the same razor that shaves my vagina.

You're welcome for the visual!

Honestly, whatever. It's not like those two things haven't come in contact before. WE HAVE FOUR KIDS YA'LL.

Anyway, now that I've embarrassed my whole family. . .

After I realized what was happening, I threw the toothbrush over the curtain, heard it smash into the mirror and then forgot about it. When I remembered to go get it, I found it on my bed with all the other toothbrushes a la Tula, and now I don't know what to do. Throw away seven toothbrushes or just try to sniff them and throw away whichever one smells the most razor-y.

I'm not going to tell you what I did.

I'm just going to say we'll probably all survive.

I didn't hear anything for a few minutes and then I found them all playing together.
They were literally - ALL. PLAYING. TOGETHER.
For like, twenty whole minutes.
It was so amazing and cute, that it made me feel so good about the fact that my boobs are different floppy sizes. 
Real, floppy.
Real, different.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Four Years Old!

Addie turned four this past weekend.


How in the world?!

Oh my gosh she's so wonderful. She's smart, has a freakish memory, she's funny, and gorgeous, and a fantastic big sister, and kind, and feisty, and stubborn, and strong, and full of energy, and sensitive, and amazing.

Birthday morning hugs.

Now she wakes up every morning and says, "Mom, am I still four?" As if it might go away.

My sister and I were up 'til midnight, in a 90 degree house that would not cool off, blowing up balloons, and meticulously taping them to the ceiling while trying not to slip off the chair with my sweaty, sweaty feet, so Addie would have a birthday morning surprise.

Also, my sister was just in town for a while to help me out while Josh went on his annual golf trip with his bff. He actually calls him his "bff" so I have to let him go, because that's so cute.

(He doesn't really say that. He's probably going to ask me what "bff" means when he reads this, but I like to imagine him as a little teenage girl-ish, in his 41 year old, mountain man body - it makes our fights and and all the fights I have in my head because we don't have time to actually have them in real life, way funnier.

A real convo with my marriage-saving additions:

Me: Do you think you could fold this laundry?

Josh: Sure. Like, I'll totally do it. Like, totally, for sure, I just got a manicure.

**two hours later**

Me: Honey? The laundry?

Josh: What about it?

Me: . . .

Josh: Why are you looking at me like that? LOL, I mean, OMG, your face! Don't have a cow.

Me: Here, I'll help you.

Josh: Thanks.  Hashtag, you just got played. Hashtag, not folding by myself. Hashtag, I'm gonna get distracted by something in the garage starting. . . now.

Me: Honey!

Josh: Hashtag, you're so beautiful today!

Me: I love you!

And scene.)

Anyway, Becky was here and we didn't really get to talk to each other until everyone went to bed, which has strangely been around 10:30, so we didn't really get to talk. But it was nice to know she was near me. As she should be.

It also reminded me I don't have time to breathe right now.  Which is ok.  More on that later.

Have you ever tried to get six people to smile and look at the camera all at once? It's impossible.

While I was putting Tula down for a nap Addie dressed Henry up as a pig.

The girls chillin' under a giant metal chain horse. Like they do.

Luke being ridiculously cute, and Henny looking fierce in the background.

Luke got a turn to get dressed up as a pig. 
Addie shares.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Bozeman has this Sweet Pea festival every summer with arts and stuff, and they have this one mile race for kids which - c'mon, that's already the cutest thing ever - but then you add a huge rainstorm and a hundred soaking wet kids and it is ADORABLE and simultaneously MISERABLE.

We weren't going to go because it was raining so much, but then it seemed like it was slowing down, so we put the boys in the stroller, pinned the numbers on the girls and got to the starting line.  The second we got there - downpour.  Then more downpour. The longer we waited the harder it rained, the more clothes Addie took off. She would have had her pants off had the race not started right on time.

I wish I could have gotten a non-blurry photo, but my phone was too wet to function, and I was running backwards while pushing a double stroller with my butt so my skills were not that great.

So, I don't know how to explain this, but there's something that happens to me when I watch a race or am in a race. I am completely overwhelmed by emotion. It's weird, but I can't help it. The first marathon I saw was one my friend Gina ran in San Francisco. We saw her coming to the finish line - the finish line after 26.2 miles - she made it three feet in front of the line and then said, "I have to go back" and she turned around and ran another mile to go get her friend with whom she had started the race, because she had promised her they would finish together.

Goddamn Gina, now I'm crying again.

Anyway, she's amazing, they finished together. The end.

Also, the first marathon I ran was in San Francisco, and Gina happened to be running the half that time. We crossed paths at my halfway point and stopped and hugged over the dividing tape and she said, "You're doing awesome! Keep going!" and then ran away from me. I didn't see her again until the finish line. And I knew I was going to finish, I'd worked too hard not to, but it helped me. Having someone tell me I was doing a good job when all I wanted to do was sit down and disappear into the asphalt, was like filling air into my lungs for the first time. Super happy cocaine air.

The end for real.

So, we started running and Addie and Tula were just charging.  Like, they were so excited Josh and I actually had to push it to keep up with them. I thought we'd be able to do a nice walk with their pace, but they were not slowing down.  They. Were. Racing.

About every thirty seconds Addie would turn her dewy face, criss-crossed with matted wet hair all over her cheeks and forehead up toward me, and would say with and insane amount of thrill, and joy, and hope, "Mom! Am I winning?!"

And every single time it made me cry.

Because she was so happy, and she was so excited, and she was so proud of herself, I could not handle it.

I was so glad it was raining.

"Mom! Am I winning?!"

"Yes! You are! Keep going!"

**runs harder**

"Dad! Am I winning?!"

"You're doing so good girl! I'm so proud of you!"

**smiles bigger than I've ever seen in my life**

And the crowd was out there in the rain. God bless the crowd standing there freezing, and wet, and cheering everyone on. They were all clapping and yelling and whistling, and at that moment it was all for her, and it's all she could hear over the pounding rain, and she ran faster. We saw our friend Michelle and Addie ran harder. We saw Grandma and Addie ran harder. We saw her Uncle Andy and Auntie Christina and cousin James and she ran even harder.

And my heart exploded over, and over, and over again.

Of course she didn't actually win. Some super fast 8 year old killed it. But she won to her. She ran the whole mile, all by herself, in the pouring rain. And that was everything. That was all I want for her in life. To be proud of herself, and to do things that are difficult with joy.

Just after we finished. Moments before the horrific cold set in. When we were running we forgot that being wet makes you really cold.

Ok, well enough of the race stuff.

On to pictures! 

Oh, the boys are 7 months old now, and can SIT UP! And I'm telling you, they are even cuter sitting up than they were laying down. It's some weird new law of physics.

First time sitting without falling! So proud of themselves!

These are becoming my most favorite pictures. They are also evidence that we might need to invest in a king sized bed if we are ever going to want to relax again.

Babies, working on their sitting.  They're pros. Happy little pros.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Making My Way Back

Sorry it's been so long!  My kids are trying to kill me.  And by "kids" I mean Luke and Tula.  Between the two of them I'm averaging about four hours of sleep a night, not in a row.  I am not one of those people who's all, "I only need four hours and I'm good to go."


I need 8. Minimum.  I never get it, and rarely have, but in the past I have at least aimed for it.  Now, I can go to bed at 9:30 but Luke senses it (he has the force ya'll) (yeah, first Star Wars joke for Luke - I'm not proud of it) and he will wake up at 10:30 screaming his head off.  Thus ruining my life.


Here's some real important news for you all.

The other day for some reason my left boob was out of control.  Like it was twice the size and all full and bouncy like a teenager, and my right boob was all workout granny (small and doing it's own moves in the Jazzercise class even though she's been attending the same class with the same routine for 7 years, but still all cute with her headband and leg warmers even though she hasn't broken a sweat since 1976.)   

Anyway, I'm not sure why my right boob was being so lazy, but I put Henry on the left because he's usually my reliably serious sucker and I sometimes need him to get the party started for Luke, but he got distracted by Amy Schumer on TV (because shes hilarious) and wasn't trying very hard.  Luke wasn't getting any milk and he has this fun new trick when he's hungry where he bites hard on my nipple and then pulls while yelling at me through gritted gums. While this may sounds adorable, it is not.  It is a thousand fiery suns, herpes on your gums, hangnails on your pinkies painful.

No matter how much I tried to talk Henry into eating he wouldn't pull his eyes off Amy Schumer so I switched Luke over to the left to cover for his couch potato bro and instead of checking if there was milk he just bit and pulled and grunted as hard as he could.

And you know when something hurts so bad your start laughing because you cannot believe how much pain you're in? Well, that's what happened.  It was like nature's way of making me not throw my baby across the room for hurting me so badly.  I just started laughing/crying hysterically and that did it!  Both boys whipped their heads up to look at me and find out what the heck was going on, and Mommy's pain?  Well, that shit is hysterical.

This is during the manic laughing pain.  They are so thrilled.  Little stinkers.

Back to regualarly scheduled blogs from here on out, but for now, here's a bunch of photos from the last month!

Becky and El took a 3 week road trip and hung out in Bozeman for a few days!  In our living room! They also never slept, because, again, my kids don't like people to be happy with life.

I never understood the magic of parks until I had kids.  I mean, they bring so much happiness.

Look at that!  Pure joy!  She's so wonderful.

Oh, Addie and Tula have taken up painting and drawing on their brothers instead of paper.

Me: Addie, I told you no drawing on your brothers!
Addie: I wasn't drawing on them, I was arting on them!

Apparently Henry can scoot himself around because this is NOT where I left him.

My heart.

Arting on themselves.

Sometimes you need a helmet in the car.  You never know what could happen.

It dropped to 70 degrees.  The girls dressed appropriately.

Not nursing, just loving me up big time.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Labor And Delivery Part 3! The Final Saga

(Part 1 and Part 2)

Oh, Henny.  My little Hen-Bo.  Chubby Henny Penny.

This small bundle of joy jumped into the world feet first and never looked back.  He screams and sometimes only dogs can hear it, it's so high pitched.  He smiles and the world is a happier place.  He scratches Luke's head while they're nursing and Luke just looks up and smiles at him.  They are best friends already.

So, where were we?

Oh yeah.  Luke arrived!  Or fell out, depending on who you ask.  And it was magical.  It always is.  I don't care how much pain you're in, or how stressful the situation is, the second that baby is out it is the best feeling in the world.  And so I looked up at Josh and smiled, both our eyes filled with tears, so happy it's ridiculous, and then a split second later I realized - there's another one in there and he has to come out.

The brief pause we had for Luke's birth was suddenly over and the OR erupted again into a flurry of chaos. People were yelling, nurses were flinging things, I'm pretty sure a maintenance guy was in the corner mopping an invisible spill. I still wasn't on the OR table, but it didn't matter, my doctor pulled the zipper up on her wet suit and dove into my vagina, fist first.

Oh, but not just the vagina.  (I guess I should take a moment to say, I'm not hiding anything, so if you don't want to hear certain words, just look at the cute pictures of Henry. Please and thank you.)

No!  Just the vagina would be too easy.  I'm on kid number four here people, and kid number two for the day, you could put a motorcycle in my vagina and I probably wouldn't care.  However, babies don't live in your vagina, they live way up there, and Henry was so far up he was practically in my throat. My doctor plunged herself in there, past my cervix, deep into my mother lovin' uterusand was trying to grab a hold of Henry to "guide" him out.

Let me just take a sec to remind ya'll the epidural they made me get?  STILL WASN'T WORKING.  That's not true, it was numbing a small portion of my right side.  So if an ant wanted to crawl on my right leg I woulda been cool, but since THAT'S NOT THE CASE WITH CHILDBIRTH I was definitely not feeling cool.  I was feeling like there was an adult trying to reverse-birth herself into me.  And she was yelling things like, "Get me the hook!", and I was like, "Uh, no. Don't get her a hook. Why do we need a hook on top of all of this?  Get her a Xanax or a glass of wine, NO ONE HAND HER SHARP HOOKED OBJECTS PLEASE."

But it was all good because the nurse was all, "We're all out of hooks!"

And then the doctor was like, "This is the OR, we're supposed to have hundreds of fucking hooks," (she said that with her eyes, not her words).

And the nurse who could read said looks said, "I wasn't set up for this to be happening yet, so all the hooks are somewhere else.

And I was all, "Could you guys please stop saying 'hooks'!"

And then my doctor was all, "It's fine!  I just broke his sac with my finger."  Because apparently she's like a mother bear in the woods breaking sacs with her bare fingers and teeth and whatever she can because the OR was not ready for my hyper-speed delivery of twins.  I half expected her to rip up her scrubs to pieces and start tying it around things to flag where she'd been at some point.

Meanwhile, Josh never lets go of my hand.  Not ever.  Not once.  Because he is the one I was supposed to love and have kids with and be partners with forever and ever amen.

Ok, so she rips the sac and I'm thinking, great.  Let's guide this sucker outta there.  But, and here's where it gets really fun, she can't find his legs.  And the nurse who's helping with the ultrasound can't find his legs, and I'm like, "I know he has legs, he's kicking the shit out of me!" and then the anesthesiologist leans down so close to my ear I almost think he's going to lick it, which would be weird, and he says very softly, and very gently, "Amy. . . can you feel that?"

"By 'that' do you mean the grown woman up to her elbow in me trying to fish out a seven pound baby?"

"Yeah, that's what I mean."


"Ok, great," he says.  "You're doing great."

"Fuck your face I'm doing great!"

I didn't really say that, but I thought it.  I was not doing great you guys.  Not at all.  I was very grunty,  and whiny.  Like, not valley girl whiny, "Mawm, like why can't I like have BOTH cars for like my birthday?" but the kind of whiny you hear when a guy is stranded in a cavernous ravine and video tapes his final days, and he's strangely optimistic that he will be found on the first day, but by day fifty-one he's out of water and hope and just sort of groans before the battery dies and they never find him.  That kind of whiny.

And then just when I think it can't get worse, my doctor starts firmly telling anyone who will listen to her to page another doctor.  And then another.  And then she is rattling off all the doctors in her practice and quietly and gently not-yelling for someone to get them in the damn OR.  So a bunch of doctors rush in, and there's already about ten nurses, and extra people to . . . hold things? I don't know why there were so many people.  One of the doctors I've met before balls up both of her fists and thrusts all of her weight onto me, and my doctor finally finds a leg and starts pulling.

AND THEN she yells (but not a real yell, a stern command), and here's where I can't type this without crying. . .

She yells, "Page peds.  We're gonna need peds in here right now."

Peds, as in pediatric, as in there is something wrong with my baby.  My baby.  My baby who is not even out yet, she knows there's something wrong. And even though it seems impossible, suddenly I feel nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  I am numb, and I am cold, and I am so laser-focused on her face, she is the only person in the world as far as I am concerned.  I am not even there.  I'm not floating above my body, like some people say, I am right there in my body, more aware of it than I ever have been in my entire life, and all I want, all I can think about is my doctor and helping her somehow get my baby out so that he can be ok.  And that's how it remains for the rest of the time, I feel absolutely nothing, and I can think about nothing.  It is me and her and Henry.  And I can see her fighting.  I can see her trying so hard to get him out as quickly and deftly as possible.  And then all of a sudden she does.  All of a sudden she's telling me to push harder and Henry comes out.

But it's not euphoric.  It's not a relief.  It's totally terrifying.

He immediately gets handed to the pediatric doctor who does a quick apgar and he scores a one.  Which is bad.  He's not breathing, he's not crying, and I can't see him.  I'm trying to get up on my elbows to find him, as if my eyes on him will help things, and I start to breath again and panic and suddenly someone is shouting and I want them to stop because it's so distracting and sad, and then I realize it's me.  I'm the one shouting.

"Is he ok?  Is he breathing?  IS HE OK?!?!"

And my doctor starting shouting back, "Amy.  AMY.  Look at me.  LOOK AT ME."

So, I do.

"He's ok, and you're ok.  Those guys are just cleaning him up and giving him some oxygen, take some deep breaths."

And I wait.

And I wait.

And I wait.

And he cries.

And suddenly everyone is smiling and my doctor says, "See, he's crying.  That's good.  He's going to be fine."

And I break and start sobbing.

Someone hands me Luke and he his perfect, and smells perfect, and I kiss his smushed up face.  Then the doctor comes by with Henry and tells me they need to take him to the nursery, give him some meds and oxygen, and do some tests and make sure he's ok and I beg to hold him, just for a second.  Like, I beg.  So, they hold him right up next to me and Luke long enough for me to kiss him and then he's gone.  And it's just me and Luke and Josh and a hundred hospital employees left.

And we are overjoyed and hearbroken.  We are relieved and anxious.

After that everything really was fine.  My doctor made some jokes, people high-fived each other, a nurse came up to me and said, "Well, that was a career first!"  Everyone was jovial and happy, and just as quickly as we were surrounded by an army of birthers, we were suddenly abandoned and alone and so grateful for the calm and quiet.

Henry turned out to be fine, and about six hours later I finally got to see him, and hold him, and smell him.  Surprisingly, Josh was almost more upset about all this than me.  Almost.  He was allowed to go in and check on Henry in the nursery because his legs worked (oh yeah, my epidural finally kicked in AFTER the whole thing was done), and every time he came back he was like, "You really need to see him.  He needs to see you." And I just nodded because every fiber in my body just wanted those two boys on me forever.  I knew I needed him.  I knew he needed me.  And he was great, and he nursed right away, and clung onto me and Luke, and that's where he has stayed ever since.

My little lovey clinger.

His favorite spot.

My first two seconds with both of them.

Our first real meeting.

First time holding both.

So happy to be together finally.

He opened his eyes the second I picked him up.  
"What took you so long, Mom?"

Home and snuggy.

Brother love.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Catching Up

Well, I am not in any position to be writing anything right now after spending two looooooooong days in a car with four kids, then one week living in one room with all six of us, and a second week living in two bedrooms on an island where my kids refused to sleep, and then topped it off with another two loooooooooong days in a car where everyone hated the car and hated us for putting them in the car; so I'm not going to.

My brain is fried ya'll.

But it was so worth it!

My sister and Elspeth got married!

So beautiful. 
I can't even.

This is Addie's pose.  She's trying to show off her sparkly eye shadow, lip gloss and nails all at once.  It comes across very, very scarily gorgeous.

We went to Catalina the day after the wedding, because why not throw four kids on a boat for an hour across the Pacific to a place where you can wake the whole town with their screaming even with the windows closed?
Tula thoroughly enjoyed herself.  
We learned a few things about her on this trip.  Mainly that she is a force of nature.  And that it basically takes a village to make sure she doesn't escape/break something/break someone/eat posion.

Josh and I got our first alone time since the babies were born!  We chose to spend it hiking topless.  I put my shirt back on for the photo.  Josh is not so modest.  

My sister Rhonda, got the boys these TOTALLY adorable hats.  I mean, they could probably win the PGA just from cuteness alone.

Luke giving his sexy eyes. 

Never in my life have I wanted to murder something with my love as much as I want to smother these two because I love them so much.

Maddie, Addie, Tula, Penelope, Leah, Mikaela, Madelyn, Hailey.
Avalon Generation 2.0

Tomorrow I will FINALLY finish the birth story!  Henry needs his story out there too.  It was the most dramatic of the four that's for sure.  People I don't even know have come up to me in the grocery store and been like, "I was there for that.  That was. . . I've never seen anything like it." and then walked away.  And all I can think is, "Oh great.  Another stranger who knows what my vagina looks like."

Then, the wedding and road trip saga!  So much fun and tests of our will to survive.  Did I mention four days in the car with four kids under four?