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Top 10 Signs Mom Needs a Break

This is where we usually write an intro but we're too tired so here's the list...


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10. A trip to the OB/GYN is like a mini-vacation.

9. You want to scream at young girls on the street "Just you wait, Missy--one day you'll look like me!"

8. You think about having another baby just to get a few days rest in the hospital.

7. A nap trumps sex any day.

6. You seriously consider divorce just to get every other weekend off. 5. You're kidding, right? You want a list of 10? Sure, right after I feed the kids, pay the bills, do the laundry, walk the dog, meet a work deadline, pick up groceries--what do you expect from me??? Make your own damn list!

You have got to see this, especially if you have kids!

Cursing Caterpillar

Things are going fairly smooth. However, life without night time nannies is taking some getting used to for me. At 6 p.m. I used to look at my watch and think "Only one more hour and help will arrive." Now at 6 p.m. I look at my watch and think "No one is coming to help you...insanity won't be that bad. You probably won't even know that you have gone completely off your rocker. A mellow, blissful feeling will settle over you and... HEY! TAKE THAT OUT OF YOUR MOUTH AND STOP PUSHING YOUR SISTER!"

Techniques and things to expect when you have kids:

1. Know thy opponent.
They are crafty, master manipulators. From the moment they leave the womb they have your number. They know the buttons to push to get what they want. You will bend over backwards to please them, but you can never do enough. They will always want more, whatever you give, more will be demanded. They have no remorse, no regret about bending you to their will, as a hurricane might bend a blade of grass. They appear weak, small, frail, and feeble. They appear utterly helpless, sometimes even allowing drool to run down their chubby chins, but it is only to lull you into a false sense of superiority. You may think that you have them under control, but the opposite is usually the case. You may think that you are taking care of them, but in reality you are being trained. Trained to serve, to cater to their every whim. Do not underestimate them.
While they are small, they are surprisingly strong. While they flail about and appear to be uncoordinated, they possess quickness and agility that would rival any prize fighter. In this lesson we will discuss some of their more common attacks and defenses, and review some techniques to counter these moves.

2. Bottle Feeding:

A. The Double Arm Sweep is a technique they use often. Once the nipple is in their mouth and their mouth is full of formula they wait patiently for you to drop your guard and relax. Once they sense that you feel in control they will suddenly flail their arms in a windmilling gesture knocking the bottle down and away from their mouth and spewing the stored up formula down their chin and into the folds of skin around the neck where it can ferment properly. This move may be accompanied by a smile, which allows formula to run down around the ears, or more often a shriek and grimace.

B. The Arch and Twist is used to the same effect, to dislodge the nipple from the oral cavity. In this technique your opponent will thrust the head and buttox back, arching the back, and at the same time twisting the head away to one side. Again this is done in a vigorous motion as soon as the little terrorist feels you relax.

To combat these techniques I use The Cross Body Arm Bar. Start with your opponent laying across your lap on a pillow. I prefer to have the head and shoulders across my right knee and the head turned away from me. Place your right arm on the opponents chest in a diagonal line from the left shoulder to the elbow of the right arm, pining their right upper arm to their side. In this manner you will be able to control both arms, preventing a Double Arm Sweep. Even though the left arm remains free below the shoulder you need not worry, your forearm will prevent them reaching the bottle. Also, with your right forearm just under the chin you can prevent your opponents head from turning too far towards you.
As you well know, once their face is pointed at yours, they will be able to see the fear in your eyes and will spray your face with formula, accompanied by a loud sputtering sound and followed by an innocent looking grin.
As I was saying with the forearm across the chest you can prevent both the arch and the twist of The Arch and Twist Nipple Removing Technique. You must be sure to hold your opponent snuggly or they will escape your grasp and defeat your efforts to nourish them. On the other hand, you must not hold too tightly or you will have made your intentions known and you will have a screaming fit to deal with.
Once your right arm is in place, grasp the bottle firmly with the base between your thumb and index finger and the nipple pointed down. Insert the nipple into your opponents mouth slowly to test for a reaction. Opponents who have studied the Reflux Code are unpredictable and it may require persistence on your part to complete your task.
The beauty of this counter technique is that it gives your opponent enough freedom of movement that they still think that they can maneuver, but allows you to control the situation. (Or think you are controlling the situation.)

3. Escape Maneuvers:

A. The Arch and Flail is used mainly when you are standing erect, but not always, it has also been seen while in a sitting position. Normally, I hold my opponent facing me, my left arm around the upper thighs while supporting the back and head with my right. The Arch and Flail is prevented altogether as long as your right hand remains in the support position. However, your foe is patient and cunning, waiting for that one moment of inattention to strike. The moment that you free your support hand for another task, they will act. Just try to reach for a bottle, open a door, grab a toddler who is running past with no pants on, or maybe just try to get a sip of coffee. As soon as they feel the right hand move away they will arch backwards, pushing off with both hands, flailing their arms out as if in a swan dive, and try to bash their noggins on to whatever may be behind them.
I don't think that they actually believe that they can get away. I think they do this strictly for the psychological effect. "Pay attention to ME! Or I will make you feel very bad."

B. The other technique that they use in this situation is The Forehead Tush Push. This move consists of simultaneously pushing their head and arms forward into you shoulder and thrusting out with their legs, pressing their butt against your arm in an effort to create enough room to slip down out of your grasp. This move is sometimes even employed with the support hand in place and can be very effective.
One version of this move is even practiced by the toddler. The only difference is the toddler is standing on her own, positions herself between you and the counter while you are trying to cook or clean (usually for the toddler in question) and thrusts her rear into your shins while bracing against the counter with her head and arms, effectively separating you from the task at hand. (I have not come up with a counter to this particular form of the tush push. Yet.)

C. Both the Arch and Flail and the Tush Push techniques can be countered by simply turning you opponent around. I have named this submission hold The Post-natal Nelson. Again, I like to use my left arm so that I am free to use the right for other tasks. With your opponent facing away from you, place you left arm over her left shoulder, across her stomach, between her legs, and grasp the pampered bottom. Then drape your subdued opponent diagonally across you midsection, cradling her head in the crook of your arm. Your opponent may now flail to her hearts content and you will be unaffected. Do be careful not to stand too close to any object that may be grasped, upset, or over turned by a 15 pound person. This hold has the added advantage that anything spit, drooled, or aspirated from the darling infant will land on the floor and not on your third clean shirt of the day.

4. Submission Moves:

Yes, they have their submission moves too. You must always be wary any time you are within 12 to 18 inches of your opponent. As I said before, they are surprisingly quick and strong. One moment of carelessness on your part and you could be faced with The Lower Lip Yank and Stretch, The Fist Full of Hair Method, The Nasal Probe, or the tried and true Eye Gouge. Once you are in their grasp you are at their mercy, right where they want you. I have found that these attacks are not limited to adults. They are practiced at every opportunity on whoever is close at hand, siblings included.

I hope that this guide to Post-natal jujitsu has been helpful for you.


Quick update

We went back to the doctor again this morning. The twin's reflux was getting worse again. Jordan has been having an especially hard time. We changed pediatricians, but in the same office. Dr. Mickillip just was not listening to what we had to say. It was a little frustrating. First she told us that there was no way that both twins could be suffering from reflux. That was contrary to everything that we (Kari) has read about preemies and reflux. Twins, especially identical ones often have the same symptoms at the same time and reflux with preemies is common. The next time that we called she suggested that we try Mylicon. We had tried that and it has done nothing.

Dr. Vaughn, who we saw when Mickillip was not available, listened to what we had to say and told us that we were describing "classic" reflux babies. The medication that she prescribed, Previcid, helped for awhile, but we were seeing the signs that they were backsliding.

From Kari's research we have found that many preemies like ours are on higher doses of Previcid and/or Reglan and Zantac. We wanted to try something else before they got as bad as they were last month, where they were not eating and starting to lose weight.

When I called the doctor yesterday and explained what was going on the nurse told me that Doctor Mickillip thought that twins should have grown out of the reflux by now. That was the last straw for me, even the book that they sent us home with says that reflux is not uncommon with kids like ours. I feel like either she is not the expert that we thought that she was or she just doesn't care. Either way we won't be going back to her.

The nurse gave me the number of the gastric specialist. The first available appointment date is three months from now so we went back to see Dr. Vaughn again. She has put the girls back on Reglan and Zantac in addition to the Previcid. I hope this works.

In other news:
I think that I finally have the pool back to normal. After five hours of vacuuming I almost have all the sand off the bottom.

The big girls woke up vomiting today. That had us a little concerned. We figure that it must have been something that they ate, but we don't know what. I tossed out some hot dogs and the hard boiled Easter eggs, thinking that one of those must be the culprit. They seem to be much better now.

Hilda will be going back to Mexico for surgery at the end of April. That pretty much coincides with when we were thinking of trying this on our own again. We have had someone here helping us for almost a year now and we are really ready to have the house to ourselves again, even if it means more work.

The twins are sometimes sleeping through the night and I think this might be doable with just Kari and I. Although the bewitching hours between 5 and 9 p.m. are still a challenge. Also, some help may still be needed while I am away at work. Kari thinks the night nannies are more help than the daytime help. You have to have a few hours to yourself at some point.

Making Progress

We had lots of fun putting together a Easter egg hunt for the big girls. Grandpa Wayne and Kari's mother, June, took the girls for a walk while we hid the eggs. Rylee got the hang of the hunt right away and Reagan soon figured it out with a little direction.

Yesterday we went for a walk. Doesn't sound like a big deal, right? Well this was the first time that we have gone to the park as a complete family. It was quite a production getting out the door, but it went pretty smooth after that.

Today, after Grandpa Wayne and June headed home, we took the whole family out to a crawfish boil at my good friend Jay Bason's house. I think it was a little bit of a confidence builder for us. We successfully got to a social gathering, remained there for more than an hour, and returned home without any major meltdowns.

However, it was not the most relaxing experience. Soon after we arrived the twins were ready to eat and Rylee and Reagan immediately set off to explore. Reagan was the most trouble, the free spirit that she is. Rylee tends to stick pretty close for reassurance. Reagan on the other hand has no qualms about wandering off to do her own thing. (Unless Dad is trying to do something around the house, then she needs to be held by Dad and only Dad). Her first order of business was to confiscate all of the unattended Easter baskets, much to the chagrin of several five and six year olds. Next she made a bee line for the street and began to crawl under several cars in hot pursuit of someones family cat. Then over to the side walk to tip over several cups of Koolaid and attempt to abscond with another girls Dr. Pepper. Thence, to the yard to gather every toy and ball scattered about the yard. At one point she had three balls, one stick, a base ball glove, a squirt gun, and of course her comfort blanket (lovey) that at one point looked like a Dalmatian.

Initially there were several women cooing over the twins and since Kari wasn't hungry I took the opportunity to dig in to the food. While I was distracted with the buffet is when Reagan began her rampage.

We didn't really get a chance to socialize much, it was just chasing kids in a different setting. Still it was nice to get out and I think that we are making progress.

Check the slide show for pictures. I got some good ones of Rylee inspecting the doomed crawfish with some disdain mixed with curiosity.

I have spent the last several days fretting over my malfunctioning pool filter. The entire bottom of the pool is filled with the diatomacious earth (DE) that lines the filter.

I didn't really have the money to spend to have someone come look at it and I have never serviced that type of filter. So after hours of searching the internet for pool filter maintenance tips and a couple of trips to the pool store I decided to take on the job my self.

I carefully removed the housing to the filter, half expecting the thing to blow up. After reading all the warning labels on it you would think the thing is filled with plutonium. With Reagan's help I got the filter disassembled and over to the pool store for replacement parts. I was feeling kinda proud of myself after getting it all reinstalled this evening. All I had left to do was turn on the pump and recharge the filter with DE.

So I dumped 12 scoops of the stuff down the skimmer, just like the pool guy said. I then went to tuck my wife in and finish up some dishes that were scattered about the kitchen. (Yep we actually ate dinner tonight. With all the kids awake, no less.)

For some reason I decided to take one more look at the pool before turning in. I don't know why, but I am glad that I did. When I opened the back door the first thing that I noticed was the unusually loud noise of the pool pump. It is normally a barely noticeable hum. And on top of that I heard the sound of splashing water coming from the pump area. I knew that couldn't be good news.

No where did I read that you should not run your pool cleaner (it has its own dedicated pump) while you are recharging your DE filter. If I had read something about it, it may have read something like this: WARNING: IF YOU RUN YOUR POOL CLEANER AT THE SAME TIME THAT YOU PUT DE DOWN THE SKIMMER THE LINES TO YOUR POOL CLEANER WILL BECOME BLOCKED WITH THE DE POWER AND CAUSE YOUR PIPES TO EXPLODE.

If I could form complete sentences, I would say that your pipes are going to burst and the water right here will be about up to my knees. Good luck Dad.

Yep, I was feeling pretty smart even after spending $200 in parts. I was feeling pretty smart until I was standing ankle deep in water next to my pool pump, a flash light in one hand and scratching my head with the other. Wondering "Where is all that water coming from?"

By the time I get done with this project I will no doubt have been better off calling someone who knew what they were doing. I only hope that the only break in the line is the one that I can see by the pump. I don't even want to think about a broken line underground.

But, now I know. Chalk it up as an other lesson learned.

I feel like I have some catching up to do. There have been many events that have been "blog worthy" and not enough time or energy to write them down.

Last week I got home fairly late one evening, around 11 p.m.. I decided to enter the house through the garage. I had not done this much lately because our garage had been filled with trash. The way my schedule worked out I was always missing trash day and we were on about the third week of trash accumulation. Since the cans were full the trash bags began to pile up in the garage.

At any rate.

I punched the opener and proceeded to get my bag from the back of the truck. As I rounded the back of the truck and headed for the garage I glanced up. The sight stopped me dead in my tracks.

As you might imagine, a family with four kids in diapers can fill a diaper pail in no time flat. Those diaper pails must be emptied and the bags placed with the rest of the trash - in the garage.

I can't imagine what would be attractive about a bag of smelly diapers. You would have to ask a pair of Labradors to get an expert opinion. Aren't they supposed to have a keen sense of smell? Apparently human feces is not totally objectionable to man's best friend. They dug in to those diapers like they had not eaten for weeks and this was a prime rib buffet.

There were shredded diapers and excrement strewn from one end of the garage to the other. The smell was overpowering, to say the least. I should have gone around to the front door at that point but I don't believe that I was thinking clearly. I tried to tip toe through the disaster until I slipped and almost went down into that stinking mess. I gave up being dainty and shuffled toward the door. I entered the house shoeless and went in search of my wife.

"Did you see what those &*%$#@ dogs did?" I asked without any sort of greeting.

She smiled.

She did apologize for not cleaning it up, she was having trouble keeping the vomit down and had kids to deal with. I can understand that and she did get the dogs cleaned up.

The dogs had been making a fearsome racket outside and since the nurse was coming over to administer the monthly RSV shots to the twins, the dogs where put in the garage for safe keeping. Apparently they got bored.

I took me from 11 p.m. till 3 a.m. to get it all cleaned up. Have you ever seen what they put inside diapers to absorb the pee pee? It is some kind of powder I think. When it gets wet all that powder swells in to little translucent beads. Those beads are really sticky and even a hose on full blast will not remove all of them from a garage floor. I considered firing up the pressure washer.

I originally thought that the dogs had just tore the diapers up and left it at that. I found out the next morning that they had ingested quite a lot. Those pee pee beads are not digestible and will pass right through a Labrador Retriever. The deposits that I found looked remarkably like big brown snow cones, left in the yard to melt in the sun.

I try harder to get the trash out on time now.

That is all I have to say about that...

Proud Daddy

Rylee is really doing well with the potty training. Much better than I could have hoped for after day number two. On the first day she was very excited and responded well to all the praise. On day two, however, she wanted nothing to do with sitting on the potty and there were several accidents.

Now she is running to the bathroom and doing her business without even telling us until she is done. "I did it! I did it!" is sometimes our first indication. The bribery with candy certainly helped. I am very pleased with how this is going. Kari is really the one who got us on track with the potty training and I impressed with her creativity. She has really gotten Rylee to perform.

The Law of Unintended Consequences: On the down side, Rylee now takes off the night time pull-ups that she wears to bed. This morning there was a little puddle on the carpet. We are talking about buying another potty for upstairs.

Thank you Kari for acknowledging the plight of the only male human in the house.

It can be difficult at times being the only guy. I do appreciate good advice if it might make my life easier, but I feel like I some times get constant direction from all the experienced women instead of just friendly advice.

I am sure that it is well intentioned, but Hilda relays to Kari everything I say and do with the girls while Kari is sleeping. Any nonconformity or indiscretion is duly noted and recorded. I feel like this information is dissected and analyzed by the prosecution for use against me. I realized recently that I am a little standoffish around Hilda because I feel like she is always watching me, waiting for me to slip up so that she can add more to her report, thinking "That is not the right way to do it. I will have to tell Kari about that so she can straighten him out." Big Brother is always watching.

I hope this isn't taken the wrong way. Hilda is a great help and I do like her. I also agree that our girls are lacking discipline in some areas and it will be much easier on Kari (and me) when the nannies are gone if we have them under control. So I am trying to conform to the rules that Kari has set forth and I agree with all of them. I think that we are making progress.

Kari has really been a trooper the last week. She has been dealing with a severely sprained ankle and it has not really slowed her down. Although it has not been fun, she has kept the household under control. You just do what needs to be done and Kari has stepped up to the plate again.

There were a few times over the last week where the added stress of less nanny help have shown through for the both of us. There were a few moments were I was glad that she was hobbled, because I thought I may have to make a run for it. It is nice to know that you will be able to outrun the person who wants to strangle you.

I think that many relationships would have crumbled if subjected to the stress that ours has been and I thank God that we have a strong one.

I have some more pictures to add, but I am not sure yet how to use the new slide show that Kari put on here. So look for them in the near future.

First of all welcome to Kari's need for change every so often. Yes I got tired of the background and had to change it up. I also wasn't paying attention to what was being deleted as I changed the template. So I had to redo the chatbox and the photo link, etc. I do like the new slide show though. You should be able to click on it to enlarge and get better views.

Madi and Jo Jo got the second to last dose of Synagis today. ( To protect against RSV) The medicine really burns going in to their little thighs, but they were both troopers. Madi weighed in at 14# 4oz, and Jordi weighed in at 13# 5oz. Madi has been a little fussy still, but overall feeling much better. Her last dose of antibiotics is tomorrow evening. Jori has been drooling like a faucet, and her bottom gums are soft.

This morning I heard Rylee say "I did it!" so we proceeded with the ritual of wiping, flushing, washing hands, sticker, and of course the M&M. I then tell her go get her panties on and I walk into the kitchen. I'm getting bottles ready. Rylee comes in with panties in hand saying "here momma!" "Big brown poop!" So we started the discussion of what to do when we need to big brown poop.

Edited: Rylee poo-pooed on the potty the following day no problems!

Today my beautiful spirited child went pee - pee in the potty all on her own accord three times today! Barbie Mariposa looks on above her potty and bestows magic upon Rylee as she sits on the potty. Rylee gets a star on her chart for sitting on the potty. If she tinkles or actually pees she received an M&M. Oh the magic of M&M's. The first time we got a prompted full on pee session, there were praises, dances, M&M's, a miniature fairy doll, special "Tinkerbell panties" . Great excitement. There on became a non prompted pee-pee! Whoo Hoo! Of course she got the star, the M&M and now the coveted "Dora" panties. I think we only had two "uh ohs" today, but quite an increase in "I'm a big girl now!" Or as Rylee says, "I did it! I did it!"

I see great progress in pee-peeing in the potty. The only concern is it has been three days with no " big brown poop" . I truly believe she is a little scared to poop in the potty and is making herself constipated. She had a skid mark today, and oh what such horror! I told Hilda tonight that tomorrow no B.R.A.T. diet include some prunes or other stool softening foods. I want to be very careful with her feelings, but I don't want her totally discouraged and regressing on the progress we have made.

On another note, Miss Reagan wants to sit on the potty too! We do have two. No tinkle or pee yet, but she also gets stars on a chart for sitting nekkid on the potty. Side note: Reagan loves to be nekkid, hmmmmm.

So anyway when Ry poops on the potty she gets the "Prince" of Mariposa. Waiting on the day. We decided that since Rylee has started role playing she needs a "man" kissing the girls. Right now Snow White and Cinderella have a great relationship. And when we get solid weeks of very few "uh ohs" she will get the coveted Mariposa with butterfly wings who bestows magic upon her.

Oh the things we do for less dinero going out, things that should have been done, and things that "will" make life easier for all. Hey we are even talking to the twins about pee - peeing in the potty. It is quite amusing watching Mark do the "Pee pee ~I did it dance!"

So I know it has been awhile since I, the momma, has posted. I'm a little intimidated with Mark's writing expertise. Although, I must say I do correct his spelling and edit and initiate some postings.

Rylee Hope~ it's all about pee-pee right now.

Reagan June ~ No! No! No! her favorite word. So, saying " Yes" or "Yes, momma is the boss" does absolutely nothing except receive more fervent " No's"! Now Momma says " No way Jose!" with of course the arms at cross position and as saying slowly spread the arms apart. So now I get a giggle, a meek "No" ,and redirection. Oye!

Madison Kate ~ She is my laid back "kissy" girl. First of all she loves just to lay on the blanket ( my Daddy's 1976 Christmas American Pie quilt - yes it has lasted for 31 years, even though I'm only 29 I remember it!), anyway, she is in love with Diego! She smiles so vividly every time she sees him! She is my kisser, she loves receiving and giving. She now has caught up and rolls on to her tummy and side. She is such a sunshine in my life. She is now feeling better. No more fever, no more breathing treatments, we just need to ride the antibiotic out. She is drinking and eating very well.

Jordan Lane ~ Spirited, in a different way. She is my "Go-Go girl" I need to get her some white boots. She loves playing games. When I'm not expecting it she is trying to play peek-a-boo with me. So cute! She is also trying and succeeding in pulling her legs up into crawl position. Believe me, the girl does not need to crawl, she gets to where she wants to go by calculated rolling. She is going to give me grey hair!

We have the NICU reunion on March 29th, I am so excited and a little nervous. This will be really the first time we take all four girls to an outing that does not involve doctor appointments or being fumigated! I'm really excited to finally show off my 4 girls under three. But more importantly to show the wonderful doctors, nurses, and fellow bedmates, how far my blessings have come. Side note: " Yes I get distracted easily! I found my beautiful twins photos at two days old. Wow! What a change! Actually their weight now is almost equivalent to there actual age! How amazing is that!

Mark ~ My darling husband! He has been nagged on and protected. The nagged part: He has Rylee's hands wrapped completely around his entire soul. Reagan has her hands, cuz she is second in place and a little bit more independent, around daddy's hand and heart. The twins wrapped daddy around their little fingers. We have needed a little more discipline and boundaries with daddy. The protective part: He has three grown ladies telling him what to do. Of course from their experience, but also from their generation and culture. They have either raised six or more children of their own, been a part of 10 to 12 siblings, or had mothers who have taken care of multiple children. They also have experience with children of other couples and/or nursing backgrounds. Their intentions are welcomed, considered, and grateful at times. But with all this it is a new experience. They have a father who is in this a new generation who cooks, cleans, changes diapers, and truly misses them. He is not the typical father who is home every night, he misses a complete 96 hours with them at times. There is guilt and love and frustration involved. He is a great father, a great husband, and a great man. We just need him to be on the same page with Momma - Queen "King" of the home to make things blend and be easier.

Momma ~ Anxiety! Imagine you are at a great weight, but you have what is called twin-skin and it keeps you from fitting or feeling comfortable into your favorite jeans. Oh and you have had post-partum depression. You canceled an appointment and rescheduled. Your doctor canceled did not reschedule, nor did he follow up with you to see how you are doing. Honestly my post -partum depression is either non-existent or under hormone control. My anxiety is a different story. I'm not 21 anymore, but I refuse to be the "soccer mom" with a pouch or any icky feelings for her body. I'm having issues, closet issues. Clothes thrown all over the floor, because they don't fit at all or just not right. Can't breathe! Can't get "help" because I don't feel comfortable with my doctor anymore. One, guilt - hey I quit the pills, hate putting pills into my body. Two - Why hasn't he checked on an anti-depressant patient? I have finally gotten motivated to do some fun body building routines. Funny thing - The warm-up routine that keeps you from injuring yourself has hurt my body tremendously. Okay, forget the constant back, neck, knee pain--- ha! ha! whole body pain! What do I do, day two of motivation I sprained/bruised badly my ankle stepping out of my truck! Okay, talk to me next week, when I am some what healed.

Okay - so this is a little into my mind, be kind to me. I promise I'll be back later.

Just keep saying it a it will be true, right?

Since the 22nd I have been home for less than five full days and it is wearing on me a bit and Kari too. We are trying to reduce our dependence on the night nannies. On Saturday and Sunday we had no nannies at all, it was Hilda's days off. On Monday Hilda worked but we had no night nanny. Boy is it a lot of work. I feel like, with the exception of sleeping, I have had a child in my arms or have been listening to one cry almost constantly. Madison is still having a rough time and is not sleeping very well.

Things were very tense yesterday. Kari twisted her ankle the other day and is having a hard time getting around. Constant pain, coupled with constant crying, will set your nerves on edge. We all seem to feed on each others moods. When one of us goes down we tend to drag the rest of the household down with us and when that happens, this is not a fun place to be.

I would say that this whole episode of my life has been the most difficult thing that I have ever experienced. But it is rewarding too.

Rylee's potty training continues and there was some progress yesterday. She made it to the potty twice and was quite pleased with herself. Reagan might get trained at about the same time. She insists on sitting on her potty when ever Rylee does. The potty training, however, has been a huge addition to the workload. I guess we are at the point where it just needs to be done.

We plan to go with out the night nannies whenever I am home this month. That should reduce the financial burden a little, but it sure has raised the stress.

I think that Kari and I are both disappointed that we are having so much trouble doing this on our own. I do feel like I have bitten off more than I can chew in every aspect.

Things went pretty well yesterday till about 5 p.m. That is the bewitching hour. Parents are getting tired, kids are getting tired, and dinner has not been cooked yet.

Kari had just gotten Madison to sleep in the swing. Which was quite an accomplishment since Madison is still under the weather and very fussy. The big girls had just been released from their high chairs, having just eaten dinner. Well, Reagan ate dinner and Rylee pushed hers around with a spoon and cried. I was trying to fix some chicken for us big people while Reagan followed me around, arms out stretched in the "Up!" position, screaming for attention.

5:46:32 p.m The Meltdown: This is when it all really fell apart.

Jordan was crying, Reagan was crying, Rylee was whining, Kari was grumpy, I was grumpy, and the chicken was burning. I got a little frustrated and raised my voice to Reagan, "Reagan! Thats enough! You have to wait till dad is done cooking."
Reagan replied "NO!" and continued crying, only louder. This interaction aroused Madison, the only one who was quiet.
"Thanks!" Kari said as she put Jordan down and went to fetch Madi.
Then Rylee upped the ante by wetting her pants and having a major conniption fit. Now every one is crying, I am trying to prevent Rylee from running to a carpeted area, she is slipping around in her own urine and the dogs rush in to investigate. Reagan has a hold of one leg of my shorts with both hands, howling at the top of her lungs, while I am holding Rylee, who is squirming like a greased pig, by the back of her shirt and fending the dogs off with my free leg. I paused for a moment, wondering which action should be taken first.
"Take her to the potty!" Kari said, her voice just shy of a yell.
So I took her to the bathroom and she sat on the potty for a bit and calmed down. Sitting on the potty was kind of moot at this point since all the pee was on the kitchen floor, but I guess you need to reinforce that the potty is where you run to when you have to go. Kari was trying to clean up the pee before Reagan and the dogs got into it with Madi in her arms and Jordan crying in the background.
"What is that burning smell?" is what I started to wonder as I was wiping Rylee's legs off.


It was a little overdone. I don't know what I was thinking, trying to cook with all four kids awake is not a sure way to prepare the perfect meal. It was still edible, however we didn't get around to eating it for several more hours.

So the potty training is not going as smoothly as I had hoped. After seeing how excited Rylee was about going potty the first time I figured that this was going to be a breeze. But now, for some reason, she doesn't even want to sit on it. So we have some work ahead of us.

Kari said that the twins did pretty well last night. They slept a little bit more that they normally do. Kari still didn't get to bed till about 6:40 a.m. at which point we switched and I was back on duty.

I heard the big girls out of bed and playing, but they were still quiet enough that I had time to make coffee. At 7:19 Rylee really let out a scream, it was the "I'm hurt!" cry, and I wasted no time getting up to their room. When I opened the door I saw Reagan standing knee deep in clothing that had been removed from the chest of drawers, again. I could still hear Rylee crying but I could not see her. I took a couple more steps into the room, searching for my oldest daughter. I knelt down and looked under the bed. Nothing. I followed the crying to the chest of drawers that Reagan was holding shut. It took a little maneuvering to get the bottom drawer open and reveal Rylee's tear stained face. I do wish that I could have seen how all this came about and I do wonder if Reagan was holding that drawer shut or if she was trying to help. At any rate, Reagan didn't seem too concerned.

It was a busy morning for me. Even on her days off Hilda will come down stairs and help out a little. Even someone to distract a child for a few minutes is a big help. But, Hilda went to the Rodeo with Mary Ellen yesterday and spent the night with her, so I was on my own till Kari got up about noon. Now I know how she felt when I was doing the night shift.

7:17 a.m.

Just a quick post.

I got home late last night. Madison was the only one still up. She is doing better, the antibiotics seem to be kicking in.

Both twins are rolling over all the time now. They don't get blankets in their cribs anymore because they keep getting tangled up in them. It is fun to see them trying to figure out how to roll to reach something that they want to get their little paws on. You can see the trouble shooting going on in their little heads. "Well, that didn't work, what if I roll this way?"

Rylee went pee pee in the potty for the first time yesterday. She and Kari called me. Rylee just kept saying "I did it! I did it!" and proceeded to tell me about her big girl panties.

There will be no nannies today or tonight, it should be interesting. A good test since we are on the verge of going without the night nannies, due to the financial strain that it is creating.

The kids are up...

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