Tuesday, December 27, 2005

It's What All the Kids Are Wearing

My brother had one item that he wanted for Christmas that was so easy to buy him. It was Abercrombie and Fitch cologne, and I hadn't been there in years having been trying to get pregnant, getting pregnant, losing weight, trying to get pregnant again, being pregnant again....you get the idea. All I'm gonna say here is this: pushing a double stroller.

I felt about a hundred, course when you're a hundred years old I guess you're probably not pushing a stroller anymore...But anyway, I was approached by the usual 16-year waif-like salesgirl, and this time I decided I was going to tell her what I needed and have her get it, you know having a double stroller to push and all. Well, come to find out that they were sold out of the cologne my brother likes. However, to my good fortune there was another cologne that smelled very much like their original, which I don't remember what that smelled like, but didn't care. AND...you'll all be happy to know this, IT'S WHAT ALL THE KIDS ARE WEARING THIS YEAR. I debated about telling her the cologne was for my 35-year old brother, but decided against it. Was I this fucking annoying when I was a 16-year old saleclerk???

Monday, December 26, 2005

As Marilyn Brooks Would Say, I'm a Bitch

On Friday night, J.'s aunt and uncle came by to give the kids their Christmas gifts; we have never seen them on Christmas, so we always exchange gifts on another day. As they arrived, J.'s uncle said he needed his help to carry the presents in. Now J.'s uncle is a good man, and yes he married into the family too. He is not openly passing judgment either, and still comes by to see the kids. He seems to understand that this 'issue' is between J.'s parents and us, and not them, which is something no one else in his family seems to get. At any rate, he had gifts in the car from J.'s parents for the kids. He told J. that he would bring them back if J. didn't want them to be brought in. Whatever he/we wanted. J. said to take them back. However, his uncle handed J. two envelopes from J.'s parents that he said he had to give him. J. did the right thing and took them. His parents have really put a lot of people in an ackward position; we didn't want to put his uncle in yet another ackward position by not taking the envelopes.

Inside these cards, were two checks. The down payment for R.'s college fund that they were supposed to give us before R.'s christening, but didn't, and their contribution to S.'s college fund. See we sold our souls to the devil when S. was 6 weeks old. J.'s father saw this college plan that looked like a good idea. We would pay a little more than half for it, and between J.'s parents and aunt/uncle they would pay the rest. Now I never felt comfortable with this arrangement, but when it was first brought up I was in the throws of PPD, and then my mom died, therefore I didn't stand my ground because I just didn't care at that time. When R. was born J. asked his parents if the same arrangement would apply for him before we opened his account. They assured us it did, then later told us that they wouldn't be able to put the money in until they sold this property that they were rehabbing. J.'s dad is not the best with money, and he took on this high-risk investment of rehabbing properties in bad neighborhoods with the hope that the neighborhoods would improve and they could sell the properties for a profit. It hasn't been working out that way. And how dangerous are these neighborhoods exactly? Well, J's dad had to hide behind a tree one time due to gunfire. Yah, gunfire. This man has mortaged the house he payed off, the house in FL that they own, and has taken several loans, one of which he did not discuss with his wife. I can't go into any more detail than that, as I believe what he did was illegal. I won't do that to J. So anyway, that's fine if you can't afford it, just tell us. The ironic thing here is that his father was able to write a thousand dollar check to be in a fantasy football league. So, you tell me what is truly important to him? Family, like he always says, or himself, which is really what he cares about. At any rate, they could have afforded to give us the money, and they didn't. Which put us in a tight spot financially as we now had to pay the down payment plus both of the boys' monthly payments on our own. When I asked J. to sit down with me and go over all of our bills, I just about passed out when I saw the monthly payments, plus the down payment. No wonder we were struggling. J. and I cancelled those accounts, and have now invested the money into a much more flexible program for the kids' college. A much better plan, and one that I would have wanted to do had it been presented to me as an option. I'm not blaming J. as he already blames himself, but I will say that I did not have much say in the matter. And that is my fault too. So we breathed a sigh of relief when that was all over with.

So back to the two checks. J. and I have decided to send them back. I do not believe money and family mix, and now he sees that too. If they'd like to set up their own plan for the boys, that is fine, but we are no longer mixing our money together. I do know that I will come off as the bitch once again, and I can honestly say I just don't care any more. After this Christmas whereupon we received two Christmas cards from his extended family, and I sent every one of them a card with the boys' pictures on them, I know where we stand with each and every one of them. We normally receive many cards from them, and hell, even my brother got a card from one of them. Am I surprised? Not at all. As a good friend of mine once said to me, "B., you can tell a lot about how much someone cares for you by whether or not they show up to your wedding or funerals of your loved ones." Oh, how right she is. NO ONE from his mom's side of the family showed up to my mom's wake, let alone her funeral. And most of them only live 30 minutes or less from the funeral home and church. That really hurt me. My MIL told me that people can be too busy to attend, you know. Yah, right. ALL of them. I don't think so. I mean most of them made it to at least J.'s grandmother's wake, and none liked her. They were there to support the family, which was great. Even my parents came to that wake and the funeral. That's what you do. Where were they all when I needed support? They weren't there. They have never been there for J. and I, and they never will be. They believe everything J.'s parents tell them, and don't even call us ever. So we know who really cares about us and who doesn't. And we chose to spend out time with the people who love us/who we love. So that's what we're doing. Case closed. Excuse me as I make my trip to the post office. Money won't fix this problem. At this point, I don't know if anything ever will.

So Long Marshall Fields; Thanks For the Memories!

On Friday, yes the day before Christmas Eve, we trekked downtown to the famed Walnut Room at the original Marshall Fields store. We had to be up by 5:30, so we could get ourselves and the kiddos in the car, parked and in a long line at 8:00 AM, so that we could have breakfast underneath the large, beautiful tree they have. This particular store has 13 floors, and has been a tradition for those here in frozen Chicago. Every year as a child we would head down to State Street, and go to Marshall Fields. It was always so much fun. My mom worked for the store for several years while we were young, so Marshall Fields has always held a special place in my heart. It makes me remember my mom and all the fun we had together, whether it was at the Marshall Fields by our house, or the famous one downtown.

My father was the one who asked everyone to go, and J. and I had low expectations that all would go well. The only time I had gone to the Walnut Room previously was when I was in the fifth grade, and we had to wait over two hours for the pleasure of eating food that was second rate. But it was the experience, the tradition we were after, not good food. So with that memory in my mind, I was afraid of how the kids might do with a long wait. Because you see, there is a long line to just get a pager, and then another line to get seated. My brother's family all came, along with my dad's 'companion'. So there were five kids ages 9 to 7 months, plus six adults. Being a large group also does not make it easy to get a table. Well, we only waited for one hour, and the kids were great! We ended up getting a table right underneath the tree. The breakfast was divine, and the conversation even better. The warm feeling that I had was indescribable. Yes, I did bring my camera. You see this is the last Christmas that the store will be called Marshall Fields. Macy's has bought the store, and will officially be changing the name on the first of the year. Now, yes, I have read Richard Roper's column in the Chicago Sun-Times, so yes I do understand that the Fields family sold the store back in 1983. Therefore, it hasn't really been Marshall Fields for a long time. And really, it's just a name, right? Wrong. To many of us, we have fond memories of this store that has been a fixture in Chicago since the late 1800's. The history, the visits, the traditions. To be honest with you, if my mom were still alive, this probably would not bother me much. It just feels as though another piece of her, and our connection, is being taken away, by a New York company. Now my mother visited the Macy's in New York, but Marshall Fields was home, was Chicago, was on State Street, that great street, was a part of our traditions.

So so long, Marshall Fields, and as Bob Hope used to say, thanks for the memories!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

An Early Christmas Gift For Me!

No, not anything fun, so to speak, but I'll take it over any material good out there! What is it you ask? A fun day with the family where no one cries and everyone takes naps? Nope. A day to myself whereupon I spend the day being massaged, exfoliated and just plain pampered? Nope. How about someone taking my little kidlets for the day, so I could get something done during the day that needs to be done in my own house? Wrong again. So what is it, you ask???? I got my period. No, silly, that's not the good part. The good part is I was in very little pain this month. Yah, I had pain, and the lovely nausea that always seems to start a few days before the lady makes her appearance, but pain that was easily controlled by only taking two pills of Ibruprofen! I was able to take the kids to the doctor for shots, among all the snotty-nosed kids-YUK! I was able to get down on the floor and play with my kids. I was able to make dinner. I was simply able to be myself and not some woman on the floor wincing in pain, telling herself 'Only 4 more days of this. I can make it!' Oh, and we were even able to go to the Museum of Science and Industry to see the 'Christmas Around the World' display, which J. and I have been doing since before we were even engaged. It's our tradition, neither family did it when we were growing up. I was afraid it wouldn't happen this year, but it did! I have never heard of endometriosis pain being horridly painful for months, and then not being too painful the next. I am not asking for an explanation. I am counting it as my Christmas miracle. This was the best gift I could have ever received. Hopefully, I'll get more of this wonderful gift in the months to come.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

First There Were Five, Now There Are Two

"I've become so numb, I can't feel you there. I've become so tired, so much more aware."LP 2001

"One thing, I don't know why, it doesn't even matter how hard you try....I kept everything inside, and even though I tried, it all fell apart, what it meant to me will eventually be a memory of a time I tried so hard, and got so far, but it in the end it doesn't even matter. I had to fall and lose it all, and in the end it doesn't really matter.... 'In the End' LP 2001

Four years ago today, I miscarriaged. After infertility, tests and more tests that revealed nothing is wrong, a surgery and then a beautifully unexpected positive pregnancy test. My RE, not the one who helped to bring me my two boys, felt I had not responded well to the Clomid, and actually did the math wrong when calculating the amount of sperm; they said J. only had 8 million sperm instead of 64 million, big difference I know! And I am not a whiz at math, so the fact that I caught it and no one else at that clinic from hell did, well that simply tells you exactly how that clinic was---shoddy at best, criminally negligent at worst. Anyway, I never in a million years thought that clomid/iui cycle worked, so I went about my business and felt sorry for myself.
My husband was the one who suspected I was pregnant; I actually took the hpt to prove him wrong! When I had my blood drawn, and the clinic called to confirm the pregnancy, I can best describe my response as excited as well as numb. Happily, surprised out of my mind, numb. It was great, while it lasted.

I can only say this, I never felt quite right about that pregnancy. I can't tell you why, but I didn't. Not the typical 'I have tried for so long to get pregnant that I can't believe that this is actually going to end in a baby' feeling, but that something was very fragile and I couldn't shake this feeling that said don't get attached.

I went along with the clinic and my blood drawn every other day. For the first week and a half, everything went well. Then ,when they had anticipated my HCG levels at over 1500, we had an ultrasound, and didn't see a thing. The ultrasound tech. said not to worry, the clinic's machines were over 10 years old, so not very precise. They would call this afternoon with the levels.
At 3:00, the nurse called; she said I had to come in again on Monday because the levels had not exactly doubled. They were not far off, but they needed to do another ultrasound to make sure I didn't have an ectopic pregnancy. Yah, THAT was a lovely weekend.

J. went with me on Monday, and we could barely see a thing. Luckily, I went home only a half hour after the students went home, something I rarely did, because that is where I got what still rates as one of the worst phone calls I have ever gotten. The nurse was all matter-of-fact-like; like someone who has never gone through anything remotely like infertility and miscarriage. Let's just say that by the time I called my husband I couldn't breathe. He was 45 minutes away, and was going to leave right away, but suggested I had my mom come over pronto so I wasn't alone. As fate would have it, I caught her right as she left for her dentist appt. Of course, she came right over. This all happened the Monday before Thanksgiving. What a lovely start to the holidays! Just a month prior, we also learned that my mom's cancer was back for the third time. Maybe this all is the reason why I hate this time of the year. I don't know.

The RE's office wanted me to come back that Wednesday for more bloodwork and another ultrasound. Since we knew for certain that I didn't have an ectopic pregnancy, the RE confirmed seeing an intrauterine pregnancy, J. and I felt there was no reason to put me through any more tests. Tests wouldn't change anything. At that point I called my OB/GYN's office and filled out the forms in order for my file to be sent there. I had been with my OB/GYN for many years, and trusted him a lot more than I did the clinic, which was zilch at this point. That clinic was all about money, and even was listed by the ASRM, I think that's right, this year as being one of the few infertility clinics in the country to not report their success rates and other statistics. I'm sorry but when an ultrasound tech. is doing IUIs, that is just wrong, wrong, wrong! BTW, this did not happen to me, it happened to a friend of mine I met months after S. was born. She didn't know this woman did not have the qualifications needed to do this procedure.

The worst part about all of this was that I was in limbo for three weeks. No one could tell me I definitely would m/c, but no one could tell me I wouldn't. Three weeks to the day from hearing that awful information, I miscarriaged at home, on my own. I had spent the day at the hospital waiting for an emergency ultrasound due to brown bleeding. The hospital has a policy that does not allow the woman to see the ultrasound screen. And this hospital is Catholic, therefore since there was a heartbeat, albeit a very slow heartbeat, there was nothing they could or would do. Not that I would have allowed them to; I still had not given up hope. I was told by my doctor to continue taking it easy and to remain on restricted pelvic rest. AKA, no sex, like that was going to happen anyway!

At 9:30 that night I started having the worst back cramps. I knew what was happening. I took two Tylenol and sat back in bed with J. Now I had Vicodin in my medicine cabinet guys, and I still don't know why I didn't take it. I really don't, because the m/c was painful. I just had J. rub my back. I remember I was watching TLC's 'Dream House' with the Cefae's, don't know if I'm spelling that right. The pain didn't last all that long, and soon I went to sleep with the help of a Valium or two to calm my nerves. I could take that now since I knew for sure I had lost the baby. I woke up in a puddle of blood. My wonderful husband changed the sheets and washed them, telling me it was not a problem. Telling me he'd take care of me. He called his boss and went in to pick up some work to do at home. I called my work and had to lie to one of the teachers about why I wasn't coming in. I had to leave lesson plans for the sub. AGAIN. The ironic thing is I just saw this teacher on Friday, and we always hug when we see each other; I eventually had told her what happened that day.

That day I felt relieved that I finally knew what was happening, which direction my life was going. Those three weeks took their emotional toll on me, and I can tell you I have never been the same since. I can also tell you that I have never felt as alone as I felt in those weeks that followed. And being a teacher, I soon had two weeks off for winter break which I was looking forward to. It was very hard functioning and trying to focus and be happy in front of children eagerly anticipating the most wonderful time of the year. Also, having a pregnant teacher in the building wasn't helping matters much. I tried to make the most of those two weeks. I tried to let myself grieve, but it was hard. Did I mention my SIL, brother's wife, was nine months pregnant with their third child? They were very good about everything, but there was really not a whole lot they could do to make me feel better. That was the year my ILs had me in tears because we didn't see them on Christmas Eve, just Christmas Day. Great timing, eh? Real supportive, eh? That was the year that my SIL asked us for three-thousand dollars so she could buy a new car. Yes, as we were trying to pay for infertility costs, no less. Our relationship is much better now, but that day it was not good. As they all continued to fight, and my SIL repeatedly said Merry Fucking Christmas, which was what I myself was thinking, I walked out. Jeff and I went home, and I saw my husband cry for the first time. Sobbing cry; I did the same.

To make a long story short, I found a wonderful, caring RE who helped to give me my two boys upstairs. Unfortunately, I lost R.'s twin, which has been making me feel sad lately. I know there should be S. and two little babies at the tree this Christmas morning and there will be only one baby alongside S. I never let myself grieve that loss because I felt I should be grateful that one of the babies survived, and I am, I am. I just am feeling it lately. I also lost an earlier baby, too. So many dates on the calendar; conception dates, and miscarriage dates, and due dates, and luckily two healthy childrens' birthdays. I just can't forget, though, that I had five babies, and only took home two. I know how lucky I am, believe me I do, but I can't help but feel the loss of those little souls and what their lives might have been like. We never even got to meet each other, but maybe it's better that way. I don't know. I just miss them, you know?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Somehow, I Survived!

Not only did we have a snowstorm on Thursday, but we had a really big snowstorm. The kind whereupon your husband takes you seriously that he better be home for dinner tonight, or at least by the time I have my therapy appointment, damn-it! So he left very early. Because in the course of 4 days, my hubby didn't make it home to kiss his kids, or at least one of them, goodnight. Which makes for a long damned day for mommy, especially since we stayed indoors for the majority of it. S. was impressed by the snow. I however, was not. And I am pretty sure I can speak for my husband here when I say he wasn't either. Why? It took him 5 hours to get home. Yes, FIVE freakin' hours!!! He left work at 3:30 in order to be home by 5:30 so he could take a conference call at home while insuring that he would be home in time for not only dinner, but for his wife's therapy appointment. Guess what? He took that call in the car, and his co-workers in Singapore, which by the way was very warm at 91 degrees, were laughing at him. Nice. I was not laughing. I was frustrated as was my hubby. So I did not make it to therapy, and by the end of the night, I needed therapy big-time. Remember my 3-year old now has the mouth of a 13 year-old, and has taken to sneaking things while I am taking care of his brother. At least I could laugh on Thursday when I 'caught' him sneaking his father's Total cereal and Cheerios. He didn't see me laugh, but come on, what kid sneaks healthy food? At least I understood sneaking chocolate Christmas cookies, but health food? Whatever floats his boat, I guess.

After hubby got home, we watched the news, and saw the accident at Midway Airport. The cars that were hit on 55th and Central Avenue. The little boy who died. I can't even think about it. Now, of course, they are trying to blame the airline. Guys, it snowed 11 inches here. Only one runway was open since it was so bad. Spokepeople at Midway Airport said that runway was open because it was clear. It was SNOWING HEAVILY. I personally do not know why the plane was allowed to land at all. Now I have my own personal grudges against the flight industry. I mean it was them who, 13 years before 9-11, searched my carry-on luggage, and took out my tampons and other 'personal' items in front of people which embarressed the hell out of me since I was a teenager. It was them that delayed a flight of mine at the Atlanta airport, never want to go back there again!, for 2 hours because WE WERE WAITING FOR A FLIGHT ATTENDANT TO LAND from her flight FROM CHICAGO! I mean, don't you plan beforehand how many flight attendants you will need? It was them who on a flight from LAX to O'Hare, made us wait an hour in the airport and three hours on the runway. The best part? We couldn't get up, meaning we couldn't even go to the bathroom! Why put us on the airplane in the first place? Oh, I could go on and on, as I am sure most of you could too. I have flown since I was very young, and really enjoyed it. However, I do remember when you had room to breath while you sat in your seat, and I also remembered when we were on planes that had game rooms. Yes, people, game rooms. That's how old I am. So I'm a little bitter. Especially when I hear the treatment my husband receives when he flies business class. FILET MIGNON???? SLIPPERS??? ROOM TO MOVE??? MINTS???
So basically what I am trying to say here is that even though I acknowledge that the flight industry is flawed, I still cannot blame them for this tragedy. Our mayor appears to want to do that. But you know why. It's all about money. We don't want to blame people working for the airport because then potential customers might view it as unsafe and not fly in to it. Then the city would lose money. Yep, money is always the reason. We don't want to lose money. Trust me when I say this, in my opinion---don't sue me Mr. Mayor, SNOW, not Southwest Airlines' negligence caused this crash, which then caused that poor boy to die. Make no mistake of that.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Terrible THREES?

I have obviously been disillusioned by the mainstream media touting, 'the terrible twos, the TERRIFIC threes'. What, come again?! After what really seemed to be a year of the terrible twos, I realized that they weren't so terrible once S. turned three years, one month and two weeks, or something like that. Now that S. can talk so clearly that everyone can understand what he's saying, I wish he couldn't talk at all. After a year of, "What did you say honey? Mommy can't understand you.", we have now entered the phase of 'I wish I didn't understand him because I can't believe he just said that!' It is like having a 13 year-old in the house. S. loves to say the opposite of everything I say, which was funny when I did it as a child, I'm sure, but not so funny now that I'm the parent! If I ask him to sit in his chair so we can eat breakfast, lunch or dinner he says," NO! I am NOT going to sit in my chair!!!" That child has seriously made an indentation on the bottom step because he's been there so many times. I don't know what else to do. It isn't helping much that it's been in the single-digits around here, so if there is no reason to go out, I'd rather keep the boys warm and toasty at home.

S. can also get into trouble in a matter of minutes. This kid is crafty, sly...you get the point. Yesterday, I put him in his room so I could put R. down for his nap. I won't bore you with exactly what he did to warrant putting him in his room when I can't devote full attention to him, but let me say the kid just can't be left alone in the house, even when I'm simply upstairs and he's downstairs. So I hear a loud noise as I'm changing R. I go into S.'s room, and that's when I see it. He pushed his nightstand table across the room so he could step on it to turn the main light on. My son is obsessed with lights. Now I did not leave my son in the dark, I assure you. However, I only turned his lamp on, and according to S., that is just not good enough. I disciplined S. immediately. I put him back into his room. No more than two minutes later, he is doing it AGAIN! So now his nightstand is LOCKED in his closet. Along with the cute baseball garbage can he used earlier in the week to stand on. At the rate we're going S. will soon be sleeping on the floor. Which begs me to ponder this question, 'Why in the hell did I spend my husband's bonus on a child's furniture???? Yah, he was my first, maybe my last, my everything. But come on! Make no mistake, his brother will be getting furniture from Target if he's lucky. Or maybe R. will get S.'s furniture. Soon! I was the baby of the family, and just hated when I had to pay for my brother's prior mistakes, but what can you do? I have posted a picture of S.'s room prior to him taking the chair rail down, it's now glued to the wall, as well as when he still had all the furniture in his room. What can I do, guys? Is this normal? I'll let you know if I make it through tomorrow's snow storm with my sanity intact. Yep, snowstorm, which means we will be in the house all day and night. Let the fun begin!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Just an Observation and R.'s 6-month Appointment

I have big boys. Actually, I should say I have big babies. The other day I took the boys to the pediatrician. S. was going to get a well-child visit and then the flu shot, R. was going to have his 6-month visit and shots. Well, they weighed and checked out S. first. Now I knew my son was a string bean and all, and that he could fit into his brother's diapers, but I didn't know just how skinny he was. He is only a bit over 28 pounds; R, is 18 pounds, 3 ounces. S. was still a bigger baby. S. was enormous! Tall and chunky. R. is shorter, more compact, which is cool since he fits into S.'s old clothes longer. The thing is S. has gained only 10 pounds since he was 6 months old. My boy is definitely a mover! He eats, and eats, and eats, and nothing sticks to him! He will like this when he gets older. He definitely takes after my brother, and me as a child. My brother still has a 29 inch waist, and has to work out to put on weight! R. seems to be taking after J.'s family, who struggle with their weight. I do not want that for him; it has been so hard on J. It's just weird how two boys can come from the same parents, and yet be completely different.

As we were driving home from the appointment, I saw yet another Pet Sitter truck. As I've mentioned before, our area is becoming increasingly affluent. But it just made me laugh, and then ponder the issue. Would I have a pet sitter come to my house if I worked and had disposable income? I am nuts about my dog too, just so you know. I decided I might if I was a doctor or someone with a schedule that required me to work long and goofy hours. The newest addition to our neighborhood includes a couple that are DINKs, double income, no kids. I remember being that neighbor once! Anyway, since I am a SAHM I am privy to most goings-on that I wouldn't be had I worked. Well, these two have a pet-sitter come everyday. I wouldn't even know where to find a pet-sitter. However, I DO know where to find a mobile pet groomer, and I will be using them just as soon as said dog needs another haircut. It is so hard to take two boys and a scrappy Shih-Tzu in to PetsM*rt, and I do not like taking her on the weekend. So this mobile pet groomer is answer to my prayers! Suddenly, as a parent of two, I understand just so much more.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I Did It!

No, not that. Our power went out yesterday for a few hours, in the middle of the day when the SUN was shining. Lovely Commonwealth Edison could not tell me the problem. I HATE ComED! So the boys woke up very early from their naps, due to their fans and humidifiers going out, so it was a LONG and COLD afternoon/evening! Feeding R. by candlelight is not something that I ever feel like doing again. Remember when the power goes out, you can't even use the gas stove let alone the microwave. Yah, it was good times around our house. Thus, when we got home from church last night I was just exhausted. I told J. there were things I wanted to do to him, but I was too damn tired. It's weird when the body wants to do something badly and just can't. I told J. that was the difference between being 22 and 32. J. said we'd try tonight. Let's just hope for power all day. No heat just stunk! It was barely 30 degrees out!

What I did do however, was to hire a babysitter. She is actually the person who has been watching R. and S. in the nursery. I asked her about a month ago if she knew anyone who would be interested, and she said she would be. I was thrilled! Not only did I find a sitter, but one who has already been with my kids for months and knew all about them. And she is 21, and drives herself over. I love her! She comes a few hours one day a week, and then at least once a month J. and I are having a 'date' night. It has already really helped! The first Saturday night we had her, J. asked we what we were going to do? He felt we could do anything with the kids that we were going to do that night. Well, at the end of the evening he thanked me. He said it was just what he needed. My therapist has been telling me I needed to do this since she began seeing me almost 6 months ago. It has also been good for the kids. I take S. to tumbling class without R., so we now get mommy-S. time, which is important. Oh, my goodness, have I found out how good I had it with one child! When I have to take R. and S. out together, it takes such a long time. With just S., we are in and out. Now S. can get in and out of the car himself, and many other things, so that is another reason why having just him is easier. I am not trying to say that raising only one child is easy, because it surely is not, but having only one child to take care of at a time does have its advantages. Now I want to figure out how to have some R. and mommy time.

Anyway, so now I have to find another way to trim some fat off the budget. The only downside of this is that my sitter starts student-teaching in January, and will then only be available at night a few days, just when I could have used her the most! Starting in January, J.'s busy season starts. It sucks! So basically Monday through Friday the kids will be all mine to care for, and my hubby will be super stressed which is a bummer around here. You know, makes for some lovely weekends. Being sarcastic here. So for now, I am in heaven.

Oh, and a BIG congrats. goes out to my friend P. She was my fellow partner doing IVF. Her two did not work, and she and her husband sadly had to accept having only one child. She is also 40 years old, so you know how low her odds were in the first place. She just told me, like 30 minutes ago that she is 20 weeks pregnant! She m/c a past pregnancy so was very guarded in telling anyone until the big u/s. She got pregnant on her own, no drugs, how cool is that! So there is always hope, and miracles do happen. Now it kind-of makes me worry about not using birth control the other night. Well, I'm going to choose to think about her good news instead. I can't believe just how excited I am for her!