Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Tula Marie v. Preschool v. My Soul

So, Tula.

Tula, Tula, Tula.

I've mentioned before that she is a force of nature. And she is. (They all are, really.) But, she is a tornado you want to cuddle with. A tsunami with a huge heart. A bull in a china shop with the most adorable giggle. 

She started preschool in September. It's only one day a week, like a starter preschool, and before she started all the teachers were saying, "Oh Tula is so ready for school! She'll love it!" We all thought that because, Tula - she is a doer. She does not cling to my leg and hang back to wait for me to tell her what to do. She does not wait for anyone to tell her what to do, she just does things. She jumps off tables before telling you to catch her. She runs down busy streets after escaping in the morning because she's trying to "go for walk with daddy". She sneaks out the hidden door in the museum and ends up on a completely different floor and roams the dinosaurs with a man she later called "the daddy who found me". She takes off in the grocery store and before I can even say, "Tula, where are you?!" she has made it across the store to the bakery section and has pounded like, at least seven donuts. And she never even paid for them!

While I tried to set the kids up for a picture, so proud of myself for taking them out to the grocery store in the middle of snow storm, Tula took the opportunity to get the heck out of dodge.

And then she got even further away. 
I briefly thought this was going to be the picture I gave to the police. "She went that way!" I'd scream. "Look for her to the left! No, my left!"

But not only is Tula a spitfire, she is also never going to be what you'd expect. I expected I would drop her off at preschool and she'd be all, "Bye Mom! . . . . FOREVER," and then would hitchhike to Mexico and start an abalone diving business. 

But that wasn't what happened. Turns out she wasn't cool with it. 

Not. At. All.

She was so upset and crying so hard. And it didn't blow over. And then it didn't blow over some more. She just kept getting more scared and sad and I tried everything to get her distracted and playing. But then she turned her head to me with her gorgeous bright blue eyes, filled with tears, and said, "I come home with you? I get in the car. I come home with you?" And I was LITERALLY about two seconds away from saying, "Yes. You don't have to stay at this awful place! Come with Mama forever!" But I didn't get a chance because one of her teachers pried her out of my arms and said, "Come on Tula, let's read." And then they pushed me out the door. 

And I just stood there in the hallway listening to my baby girl - my tiny, fiesty two year old with a vengeance - scream her bloody head off. 

One of the other moms came up to me and said, "Please tell me that's not your daughter screaming." And I started to cry and snotted something about how maybe she's too little, and I should go save her. And then the mom said, "Oh honey, you can't stand here listening to this. Go home. Go home right now." And then she pushed me out the door.

I went home and was miserable, and was convinced I was the worst mother in the world for letting my terrified daughter watch me just walk away from her while she was pretty sure I'd just abandoned her in Siberia. It was the longest three hours of my life. 

When I went to pick her up she was happy and fine. A little weepy and clingy, but smiling and showing me the toys.

And then both teachers came up to me at once. Which is never a good thing. That's like being called into the principals office. Turns out, Tula cried and screamed for a good 20-30 minutes and then after her rage, she just up and fell asleep in the middle of the classroom. 

She FELL ASLEEP. In a room full of very loud two year olds. 

I was so shocked that I started laughing hysterically at the implausibility. Like, I could not control my laughter. This is a girl who takes hours to fall asleep at night because she is wound so tight with energy she can't settle herself down. 

And she didn't just sleep for like five minutes. She took a good forty, forty-five minute nap at 9:30 in the morning. 

So that was weird.

And heartbreaking.

Because no one wants their daughter to pass out from sheer exhaustion of panic and rage, only to have twenty tiny humans stepping over her on their way to the craft tables, and fish feeding time. 

But she did.

And the next time was not so great either.

And neither was the time after that.

But then by like the 4th time she suddenly was ok. She wanted me to cuddle her on the chair for a few minutes and then she was off playing. And today when I dropped her off she walked in and said, "Ok Mom, I see you later!" smiled and was gone. Just like that. 

And that broke my heart too. In a great way.

I'm pretty sure I'll be sleeping right next to her on the floor of her dorm room when she starts college, just until she gets settled in. And that is fine with me. Weird for her roommate, but just fine with me.

Or maybe I won't. Maybe she'll move in by herself and call me when she gets there and will tell me how much she loves it. Either way, it'll be awesome. Either way, it'll be Tula. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Bloggy Blog Blog

Ok, so it's been FOREVER.

I'm sorry. But I'm back! And as a way of an excuse I still have the four kids and now have three part time jobs, two of which are writing-type jobs so when I feel the need to write something it usually goes somewhere where I'm getting money. Which feels good. To be making money doing something that also makes me happy. It's like the universe aligns and stars appear out of nowhere in my house and my carpet is make with clean-up-able glitter! It's not enough money to pay our mortgage or anything, but it's something. And that's awesome if you ask me. 

For now. 


It's snowing here. Which means the boys are going to be one in two months. Which means, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? 


I just. I can't even.

Tons of stories and stuff about all of them coming up, but first, here's a million catch up pictures!

Luke being my little lovey. 
I mean, look at that smile. He is so dang darling it hurts.

Not to be outdone, Henry is equally hurt-y. Those laughs!

My mom made Addie the crown, and then all on her own Addie made this throne. She calls it her "charient" and when Tula walked in the room and asked Addie to had her something Addie said, "Ok, but only if you bow to me and say "Yes, my queen.""

Luke, loves being king!

Henry is not as much into it.

Boris is such a trooper. Tula loves him hard. Sometimes a little too hard.

Sometimes when you're child wakes you up at 5am it's ok to put him in the sink so you can get stuff done.

Tiana came to visit!

This is the girls' first round of Halloween costumes! Josh declared Adeline is not allowed to be Elsa anymore for Halloween which probably means she'll be Elsa for the next thirty years.

My mom came to stay with me while Josh was gone for a week! So wonderful. We didn't even get a chance to talk because with four kids the only time you get to talk is when they're asleep, so we'd get out the wine at 9:30pm and then be in bed by 9:45. I lead a very exciting life y'all.

One day I asked Josh to put a sweater on Tula, and this is what I found.
That's a 12month sized sweatshirt. 
She rocked it.

Round 2!

Round 2 was adorable!

Round 2.5, Tula added a dia de los muertos flair.

My Aunt Mary came while my mom was here and when she left she sent me all these goodies! Henry was very excited!

Luke working on his break dancing.

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.