Monday, February 27, 2012


This was an email I sent out to a friend this morning and as I was writing I realized that this was something I wanted to share on my blog.  And so I told her that at the end of the email.  I think sharing it not only helps to give me accountability but I feel like if I put it out here, there, wherever, it's reaching people who might be able to give me ideas and guidance.

I've determined I need a life coach.

I think I'm pretty good at helping others to figure out what they want to do but I need someone to talk me through what I want to do.

I enjoy teaching but I think I've allowed myself to become satisfied with it because it gives me a paycheck and I've got a tiny bit of flexibility and it's different everyday.  But I don't think it's what I want to be doing forever.  I need to find something that allows me to create in a different way.  And I really do believe the quote I put up the other day about finding what you love and then doing it and the money will flow to you.  I love all this crap with pinterest and blogging and baking and making things.  I really do.  I lose steam, though, because I'm working full time and I'm in school full time.  And I have 4 kids and I just moved and life is life.  I won't give up school because I firmly believe that whatever I end up doing an MBA will help me.  But I really need to find a way to make my creative side and drive my full time job....where I get paid.  In cash money.

I don't like this feeling.  I've always felt very in control of where I was going and what I wanted.  I sort of feel like I'm too old for this shit.  I'm 32 years old, shouldn't I know what I want to be when I grow up by now?!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ch-Ch-Changes Are Hard

There are some days where I could literally take my two hands and wrap them around my husband's neck because he drives me so insane that I don't even want to be around him anymore.  And yes, I'm aware that I could simply leave the room or the house or the state instead of attempting to strangle him but then he'd get squatters' rights to the house and we can't have that happening.

Other days, the man keeps me so grounded and in check that I have to do a double take and see if it's still him that I'm married to.

We moved into our new home this past weekend and let me tell you, it's a shitshow over there.  I write about that more on my other blog, but let me quickly lay it out for you....we're sleeping, sort of eating, showering, and watching TV in our new house.  I don't consider us really living there yet because we're still making it home.  If that makes sense.

We have been wanting, anticipating, hoping for this move for quite some time but that didn't change the fact that come Monday night when all was said and done and the majority of our crap- which is A LOT OF CRAP- was moved into our spacious new basement I felt a sense of sadness and anxiety.  And my kids saw it, and my parents saw it and my husband saw it and I tried really hard to contain it.  But truth be told, change- even when hoped for, wanted, anticipated and instigated on your own- is really freaking hard.

There wasn't much to leave at our old home.  Yes, we left our house which was brand new when we bought it.  Yes, we left our neighborhood which was a dead end street where our kids could run without too much fear of cars.  Yes, I left one of my very best friends who lived right across the street.  But other than that, there was nothing there for us. 

We took our memories with us.

We came to a neighborhood where our new neighbors greeted us with a box full of goodies for us and our kids on our second night there.

My friendship didn't end simply because I don't live across the street from my friend anymore.

But the sadness and anxiety I felt, and still feel a bit, was more about the change from the familiar to the unknown.  It's scary to change.  To move.  To walk away from what you know to something totally different.  And to walk into a home that is not new and needs work and sweat.  And then to have your son tell you that the house feels weird and doesn't feel like home.  Well, it really makes you question your choices.

And then you cry.  And then your husband steps up and makes you realize why you married him and put up with his maddening and annoying ways.

He reminded me that our brand new house wasn't all that great in the brand new and building department.  Sure, we got to pick our countertops and no one had ever lived there before but the house was poorly built.  And we lived in a development where there was nothing for our kids or for us.  Now we live 6 houses from the beach/lake and 5 minutes from my job. He also reminded me that my friend works only 10 minutes from us and has solidified her place in our lives as the Godmother to one of our children.  There were so many positives that he pointed out that I was not recognizing because I was allowing my anxiety and fear and sadness to overwhelm me.  And then he gave me the greatest gift of all, after our kids, etc., he told me that my color choices and decorating ideas were so much better than he realized and that he was giving me free reign over the entire house.

And then the tears of happiness flowed.

Well, not really.  But that was only because he asked me to stop crying because it made him sad and he didn't like seeing me sad and then he told me that I could go sleep at the old house if I wanted.  But I had to lug the bed there.

So, we've moved and I've been reminded, one again, how lucky I am to have the husband and family that I have.  And each day, I'm looking at things from a more positive light and seeing more and more that helps to reassure me that our choices and our change are good good things.  Even though they are hard.

The very best things come out of the hardest circumstances.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The PPD Buffet

I took the girls for their 4 month checkups the other day and things went swimmingly well!  They are growing- not on the charts, yet, but thriving and that's all that really matters.

When I arrived I noticed an all too familiar paper attached to their files and when we got into the exam room, Peggy, my pediatrician's nurse handed me the paper and asked me to fill it out.

It was the PPD questionnaire that measures, or attempts to measure, how depressed you are and if you're in need of help.

I've filled this questionnaire out three times so far since the girls were born.  The answers really haven't changed each time.  Although I don't think I cry nearly as much as I did when they were first born.  That's for a few reasons, 1) I've learned to hold it back quite well and 2) my hormones are finally starting to level off and my thyroid meds are really doing their job. 

YAY for less hair loss!

I didn't fill out the questionnaire this time.  I shuffled it in with the rest of my papers and "Accidentally" threw it in my diaper bag with the vaccine info sheets.


My answers haven't changed.  And I'm not sure they're going to change any time soon.

I go to work each day at job that I like ok but don't really love and don't really enjoy anymore.

I went from having two kids to having four kids in no time at all.

I am in graduate school getting my MBA.

I am moving and trying to sell my home all at once.

I am scheduling specialists and doctors for myself and my twin girls along with making sure I take care of my older two kids' needs, as well.

I am attempting, with my husband's help, to keep our house in some order and out of squalor.

I am worried about each of my kids but most especially my twins and possible issues that they may have and how to treat them.

I am concentrated on medical bills and regular bills and getting them paid and out of the way.

I am missing the gym and running because I just cannot find the time or energy.

I am trying to figure of what I want to do with my life.  What do I want to get up and do each morning, other than be with my kids?

And there's more.

And I'm stressed and I'm sad and I'm overworked and I'm overwhelmed.

And I'm lucky to have all of these problems and people to help me with them.

But all of that, and more, would be reflected in the answers to that crappy, poorly constructed, instrument of inquiry.  And, really, I don't need to hear that I should be seeing someone or maybe consider meds.

I know all of that.  But I don't want to do meds and I'm not quite sure where or when I'd fit a therapist into my schedule.  I'm not opposed to therapy but, really? The time commitment and the cost just doesn't fit right now.

So, I avoided the questions and I thought about a conversation from a few weeks ago with a good friend.  My plate is full, full of good, full of bad, full of overwhelming and fun and sad and scary but it's full and it always has been and always will be.  When one thing gets figured out, something else will take it's plate.  It's like the endless buffet.  We just keep going up for seconds and thirds and so on and so forth.  And I'm lucky for all of the fullness of the plate because it's certainly worth a lot more than what I paid to get into the buffet. 

But I really think that a lot of what I'm feeling isn't any more intense than it ever has been.  When my second baby was born, I went into a deep dark place that was very very very hard to get out of.  This time around, I went somewhere, and I still go there occasionally, but it's nothing like before.  And this time around I have tools that help me.  I know what I need to do to get me out of it.

And filling out a questionnaire and having ANOTHER person tell me to call a therapist is not how I can get out of it.

Maybe I'll take a breather before I head back up to the buffet or when I go up I'll get something a bit lighter, like salad or some fruit.  But I doubt it.  It's not who I am.

So, for now, I avoid the questionnaire and I rely on my somewhat developed coping skills and my friends and family who have been there every step of the way.  I allow them to answer the questionnaire in my head, the questions that I ask myself when I think I'm getting too deep into it.  And when the answers are what I don't like, I have them to help pull me out.

Or help me clear my plate a little bit more.

And for that I am lucky.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Just Do It

I had a co-worker come into my classroom the other day and sit down and start talking with me about "Things" as of late.

By the way, working on week 3 of being back at work and counting down the days until our next day off!

ANYWAY, this person comes in and starts asking me all sorts of questions and we're chatting and I'm reserved because I don't really trust a lot of my co-workers because usually what is said to person A ends up being told to persons B, C, and D and if I wanted all of those people to know my business I would just tell them.  But, again, I digress.  So, we're chatting and my co-worker is asking how everything works with all four kids and getting them where they need go, etc. and they ended the conversation with, "I just don't know how you do it.  Seriously."

And then my head exploded because I hate that phrase.

No, seriously though, I know people mean it in a kind and somewhat complimentary way but I can't freaking stand it when they say, "I don't know how you manage with 4 kids." Or "I don't know how you do X, Y, and Z and have all those kids."  OR anything that sounds even remotely like that.

Because, you know, 4 kids and managing to wipe your ass and put your hair in a ponytail is a feat for even the weakest. 

And it is. 

And it has been for me, at times.

How do I do it?  I don't know.  I just do.  I'm not doing anything more than the mom of one or two kids.  I'm not making mountains move each morning. 

I'm doing what needs to be done and sometimes a little bit more.  And a lot of days, I don't even think I'm doing it that well.

Isn't that what we're all doing?

I get up and sometimes I go to the gym for 5am and sometimes I don't.  I ALWAYS make coffee because as much as I love me lots of Starbucks, our bank account can't afford it the way in which I've become accustomed.  I shower, most days- especially after going to the gym.  I get my kids up and at this point my husband is up, too.  He usually gets the babies going while I'm shouting at my 6 year old to put down GD iPhone, stop beating my score on Temple Run and GET DRESSED!  My 4 year old is, at this point, back in bed fully dressed and begging for someone to PLEASE JUST TURN THE LIGHTS OFF I WANT TO SLEEP.  And if I have on pants, I'm lucky.  But by 6:25am we are out the door and on our way. 

Because it's what needs to be done.  It's what we want, for the most part.  If I weren't going to work and we lived 40 minutes closer, I'd be a tad bit happier.  But we just do it.  There isn't something amazing about it.

Or is there?

I don't like it when people say to me, "I don't know how you do it." because the answer for me is quite simple, I just do.  But at points, even when there was only one baby and two adults and we weren't outnumbered, I have no idea how I did it.  Some days, getting out of bed was and is too much for me.  And for a lot of people with and without kids.

I don't know how a lot of other people with far greater struggles do it.  But they do.

And I'm pretty sure that's all that matters.

Friday, February 3, 2012


We're moving and, of course, I'd start a blog about it!

So head on over, click follow and watch as we take what my dad referred to as "shithole" at one point to something far more promising!

PS- He really only meant the outside looked like a shithole.  And he wasn't completely wrong.  This time.

If You Give a Mom a Hammer

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Only 3 More Years!

So, I wrote this just after I turned 30.  This past Sunday I turned 32...GAH! I think it's time to take a look and see what I've done, what I need to do and maybe if some changes need to be made.....

30 Things to do before 35

1. Complete a triathlon- DONE!
2. Complete a triathlon in under 2 hours- Well, I'm signed up for one in July so, we'll see...
3. Get to 165 and maintain within 7 pounds (Want to do this by 31)- I think we'll adjust this to 33 since I did grow and birth TWO children at once!
4. Sell my house- STILL on the market...BUT we are moving!!
5. Finish my Masters and PhD.- Edited....I have finished my first master's degree and I am working towards my second BEFORE my PhD. Weeeelllll.....I just started my MBA program....lots of changes...
6. Run a half marathon- My friend Kathy wants me to do NJ in May....not sure it will happen this year....
7. Make really good cream puffs (this won't help with #3)- I really should do this.  Maybe this will be my first recipe for our new house!
8. Take my kids to Disney World- Done and Done thanks to Grandma and Pop-pop in March of 2011!
9. Sing Karaoke in a bar- uhhhhhh.....
10. Organize all of my pictures into albums.....yeah, no, not yet
11. Read a book by Ayn Rand- all the way through!
12. Go to Key West and have my picture taken at the Southern Most Point in the U.S.
13. Plant a vegetable garden that actually produces vegetables- This may be a real possibility in the new house!
14. Turn in my lesson plans on time every week- I am actually a week ahead on my plans!!
15. Make a piece of clothing for one of my kids to wear- in public.
16. Jetski
17. Surf- REALLY surf
18. Go to Cooperstown
19. Learn to ballroom dance- not necessarily well
20. Learn how to eat crabs
21. Knit or Crochet a blanket
22. Learn to de-bone a chicken
23. Start my own small business- Working it
24. Speak at a conference for educators- See, this might be difficult considering I'm probably leaving education
25. Either have a 3rd child or make a final decision that we are done having kids- Working on it- We're overachievers and went for 3 and 4 at once! 
26. Take my kids to Boston and Washington D.C.- maybe this summer....
27. Become a school administrator- Things chance and my goal of this happening is really no longer my goal.  I think it's time for me to step away from education for a bit.
28. Participate in one of the 3-day walks for Breast Cancer- I think this is a summer of 2013 thing- as long as the world doesn't end in December!
29. Learn Italian- I need to work on this a bit more actively.
30.  I've really been thinking about taking up a musical instrument again.  Either the piano or the guitar.  I'm fairly certain that if my parents are reading this they each, separately, just punched the computer screen upon reading my thoughts on taking up the piano after the years of shit I gave them about NOT wanting to play the piano.

So, it appears I have a bit of work to do.  I'd like to add a few things.  Things about writing and photography.  Things about improving my health and our finances.  Things about volunteering and working with other people.  I'd like to work on those things that are part of me that I see as faults.  I'd really like to try and improve myself along with accomplishing these things and I think that starts with one step at a time. 

What do I do first? Where do I begin?  We are all works in progress but I really feel like I need to pick one or two of these, master it, and then cross it off.  So, my lesson plans will get turned in on time for AT LEAST the next month and I'm going to look into getting some cds or an app that can help me learn Italian.  Maybe I'll even use it while I'm on the treadmill training for my half marathon and triathlon!

Baby steps.

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