I have just returned from 3 wonderful days at the beach. This was our first family vacation with the boys…and I am pleasantly surprised to be reporting that 1) nobody was killed or even critically injured and 2) we may actually take all 4 kids on another vacation someday. It was that much fun.

I was dreading lugging two babies, two teenage girls, and all of their collective belongings anywhere. I was worried about the boys having to sleep in Pack-n-Plays since they have never slept anywhere but in their beds in our house. I was worried about them eating fast food and restaurant food the whole time. I was worried about the sun and their baby skin. I was worried pretty much about EVERYTHING.

I was worrying for NO. GOOD. REASON.

We had plenty of room: for all of the stuff we wanted to bring which included 2 playpens, 6 HUGE beach towels, a queen size blanket for the beach, toys for the boys, crazy amounts of diapers and wipes, clothes, bathing suits, pajamas, bathroom stuff, sunscreen, cards, bibs, tippy cups, a gazillion pacifies because I can never seem to find one when we need it, blankets, books, sun shelter, strollers, Floppy Seat covers, and god only knows what else. We had to use the car carrier, but it did all fit.

The boys slept fine: and even seemed to like being in the same room as us. The girls of course slept fine because they had their own room and could do whatever they wanted…which scared me, but by bedtime I really didn’t care what they did…cause, damn I was tired. Beach + babies = tired me.

The food was great and the boys ate pretty well. We had a little fridge in our room so we picked up some fruit to give them for snacks. We ordered fairly healthy food for breakfasts and did the best we could at most meals. A few lacked veges, but overall it was ok.

The boys didn’t get a sunburn. The only people burned were the girls, and that is only because they were too dense to put on sunscreen the first day. I warned them…but they don’t ever listen. Which is fine – wasn’t my skin that was burning. We coated the boys in sunblock every day and we also took a sun shelter (like a tent with no sides). They played and napped under this if we were on the beach. We also made them wear baseball hats if we were out walking around for any length of time – which they HATE, but would eventually quit trying to throw off.

I didn’t really forget anything – except for bottles. Which kind of sucked at first because I was worried the boys would freak out. They only drink one bottle a day now – at bedtime – but I was still worried…because that is what I do. Worry. But – they didn’t even seem to notice that they disappeared. They went to bed ok every night without them. They were pretty happy to have one last night when we got home, but I don’t imagine that weaning them will be a big deal at all.

All in all – a great time. If you have little kids and are dreading the family vacation – don’t. It was not all that bad, and honestly I can’t wait to do it again. Except for the whole "vacation costs money" thing.


A Day Late

Yesterday was my wedding anniversary.

My husband and I had already decided to go out to dinner to celebrate sometime in July since the girls are with us this month and we didn’t want to miss time with them. To me this meant we will still acknowledge the fact that it was our anniversary. To my husband apparently it meant that the day could go totally unrecognized altogether.

I had bought a card, but on the way home from work I was worried that maybe I should have gotten him something else… I figured that even though we were officially celebrating the event later, my husband would still get me a card or have something small planned and I didn’t want it to appear that the day meant nothing to me. I wanted him to know that it was important to me.

As it turned out, there was no foul in my not getting him something special – because not only was there nothing special planned – he worked late and didn’t even eat dinner with me. He wondered upstairs around 8:30 and asked if I wanted to go get a drink somewhere – as I was in the bath recovering from ½ hour of “I don’t want to go to bed” screaming from the boys. Obviously I had no interest. Instead we watched Nip/Tuck with the girls for a while and I went to bed. This morning, a day after our anniversary, he sent me an email recognizing our anniversary.

I know that my complaints sound pathetic and whiny. “I would be happy that he sent the email” “You have a wonderful husband and an anniversary isn’t what shows that he loves you” “Isn’t he a fantastic father and loves you?” – and my response to all of these is that they are true. Which is all fine and dandy. I love him. I appreciate him. He is a good husband and a kick-ass father. Yet, at the same time my feelings were hurt and I didn’t feel appreciated or special on a day that I think is meant just for that.

Anniversaries are the days where you get to hear that your partner loves you, needs you, and knows in their soul that they made the right decision to be with you forever. When that day whisks by without recognition…it just stings a little.


Baby for Sale

Last night I was at The Melting Pot restaurant for the purpose of celebrating my daughter’s sixteenth birthday fondue-style. It was supposed to be a happy, fun-filled family eatery with happy-fun for everyone. Except, I forgot that it was dimly lit, romantic, quiet and not at all a family establishment – obviously a setting for people sans children. And surprise of surprises, we did NOT fit in at all.

The seven of us showed up after almost an hour in traffic with hungry grumpy babies. We were escorted into a smallish room (which had about 5 tables in it) and it went down hill from there.

Throughout the night the hostess would lead various couples into the room we were in and would either immediately or within moments – escort them right back out with a look of horror that said “oh dear god help me escape the screaming toddlers” . We were not very popular.

Roark decided from the start that his high chair was like a prison and it was apparently burning his baby-flesh. That HAD to be the reason he would NOT STOP SCREAMING. Because if there was not a reason as grave and immediate as this, I would have to kill him. I swear people all across Texas heard his screams – and this is a big state people! I spent more time outside the restaurant with him than inside. I would put him down and let him crawl and walk himself silly – stupidly thinking this would make him tired, and he would lay his tiny head on my shoulder and fall into a deep, happy sleep where he would stay until we left for the evening.

I don’t think I have to tell you that this didn’t at all work out how I had planned. After crawling for a bit and tasting freedom, the idea of going back into the restaurant and sitting in his prison-shaped burning chair did not at all appeal to him…even a little bit. The butt.

In the end I ended up with chocolate and Baileys Irish Cream all over my skirt and chicken in my hair. As a bonus my face is cut out of the family picture that we paid extra for and all Roark would show is the back of his head. Lovely night for all…


Sweet Sixteen

16 years ago today my oldest daughter was born. It was a pretty typical day if I remember correctly. I had been having early labor for a few weeks and I was still 5 weeks from my due date. They had me taking some awful drug to make my contractions stop – which made me shaky and nervous which apparently were not working very well. Sometime in the early morning my water broke and off to the hospital we went.

I was hooked up to monitors which didn’t really show any contractions, and then given pitocin. I actually remember telling the nurse that the contractions didn’t hurt that much and I was not sure what all of the complaining was by other laboring women. Oh my, that is funny now! I was so stupid. So very, very stupid.

Within 2 hours my contractions were so horrible that I couldn’t breathe through them. I could only lay on my side curled into a ball and cry. I felt like I was dying. The contractions were at least 2 minutes long and there was less than a minute in between them – I felt like I never got a break. DYING, I tell you. All of my dreams of natural childbirth went flying out the window – and I demanded an epidural. It was the most wonderful relief I have ever felt…and I swore to send my anesthesiologist a Christmas present every year because I loved him so very, very much. No – I never actually did. I should have though.

From 1-4pm we hung out and talked like nothing was going on. By 5pm it was time to push. (I still can’t believe the difference that epidural made. LOVED IT. LOVE, I tell you. LOVE). Pushing only took about 15-20 minutes, and then there she was. A perfect 4lb, 9oz baby girl. She was tiny, tiny, tiny and perfect. She didn’t need any help breathing and held her body temp all by herself – and went home with me 24 hours later.

She continues to be an amazing person. She is strong-willed and funny and a joy to be around. I am so lucky to be part of her life– and have known it from the first moment I saw her tiny, beautiful face.


Baby Talk

Things my boys would be saying to me if they could speak:

If I wanted another bite of egg, I would pick it up my own damn self!

Not sleepy. Not sleepy. Not sleepy. NOT FUCKING SLEEPY!!!!!

Hey, YOU! Change my diaper. Ummmm, NOW! NOWNOWNOWNOW! Would you like to sit in poopy pants? Huh? NOW!!!

How dare you leave my presence without asking permission. I will now punish you with the high pitched screeching sounds of terror… AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Please put me to bed, I am so very sleepy. Hello? Can you hear me? Allrighty then – I will now turn into a butt – you had your chance.

Cheerios please. No – not Kix – Cheerios. Cheerios, DAMNIT!

If you do not stand while holding me, I will scream. I mean it. Scream – loud. Seriously. OK - I warned you not to sit down… WAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

No – I do not want anymore eggie bites and quit singing that damn song.

First you want me IN the bath, then you want me OUT? Make up your mind woman.



I Am

I am curious and hopeful
I wonder what my life would be like if I had been more assertive as a child
I hear wet sand crunching beneath my feet
I see waves crashing on the beach, surrounded by a lightening-filled sky
I want to stop feeling like a Slinky, being pulled in all different directions
I am strong and decisive

I pretend that nothing bothers me
I feel as small as a grain of sand in this huge world
I touch life with apprehensive hands
I worry that I am not good enough
I am concerned and anxious

I understand what happiness feels like
I say there is a god
I dream of knowing exactly the right thing to say and do
I try to be more every day - better, smarter, someone people can be proud of
I hope that I am a good wife, mother, person
I am
curious and hopeful



I miss coffee. I miss the immediate high that I feel when drinking it. I enjoy being just a little bit shaky and a bit over-aware of everything going on around me. I miss carrying around a cup of hot liquid in the mornings – allowing me to avoid fidgeting with my hands when talking to someone in the halls. My security blanket in a way. I can hold the coffee and feel calm. I am weird.


Ahhhh, Summer.

It is summer here. The mornings are warm and inviting, the evenings are hot and relaxing. It is hard to get motivated to work, and since my girls are with me all of June, I am even less interested in working all day. I want to hang out with them and lay by the neighborhood pool reading silly magazines and contemplating which flip-flops to wear tomorrow. I want to play with the boys all day long, napping when they nap and never once think about email or budgets or have to answer to an angry customer. I don’t want to be a stay home mom so much as a stay home person with no real responsibility. Is there a job that fits that description?


Never Again

I love my children. All 4 of them. More than I am ever able to express... and yet, every stage is hard when I am in it. Every milestone they hit feels like we have climbed mountains to achieve it. None of this baby-making or child raising is easy.

I am jealous of the women that love being pregnant. You know – the ones that sit around in the local cafĂ© rubbing their bellies and looking all cute in their capris, tank tops, and tiny sandals? I HATED being pregnant. I wasn’t tiny. I didn’t rub my belly. I didn’t go to cafes. I sat around at home and wished for babies to arrive.

I am jealous of the women that love the newborn stage. You know – the ones that carry the baby in a sling from birth and nurse 24x7 simply because it is so easy. They dote on every gesture, every poop, every noise the tiny creature makes. I HATED the newborn stage. Breastfeeding just wasn’t my thing. Pumping for months definitely turned me off when the boys were in the NICU. I didn’t enjoy feeling like a bovine. The wild flailing arms, the non-stop pooping, the spitting up, the endless screaming. I just found all of that very, very difficult.

I am jealous of the women that look at their kids, at the road they have traveled and announce “I want to do it again”. I don’t want to do it again. I like where we are now. I like that the boys can crawl, walk a little, stand, point, and smile. I like that I am beginning to understand them. And I like that they are not going to be this age forever. I am looking forward to them learning to communicate better, and run and play. I am anxious for them to develop into little people and become my playmates. I don’t want to freeze time. I don’t want to go back in time. And God knows, I don’t want to do any of this again.


1 Year Check-Up


Weight (19.75lb) = 10 percentile

Height = 75 percentile

Head = 25 percentile

Accomplishments – Sitting, standing, cruising, babbles, can pick up objects with thumb and finger, makes eye contact, hears noises, understands own name, says “ma” “da” “ba”


Weight (21.5lb) = 25 percentile

Height = 75 percentile

Head = 25 percentile

Accomplishments – Sitting, standing, cruising, babbles, can pick up objects with thumb and finger, makes eye contact, hears noises, understands own name, says “ma” “da” “ba”

Aside from Cole being a little bigger, they are almost exactly the same in development. They are doing fantastic! The doctor has declared that they have no problems and he will no longer be referring to their gestational age, as they are fully adjusted. Hard to believe for babies born 3 months early…

Happy Life

I am laying on the floor in the boys’ room. They are each standing in their beds, arms flopping over the rail, hands dangling pacifiers and blankets over the floor below. They walk back and forth in their little baby jails and jabber at each other, and at their daddy. He is reading them a story out of the great big book of baseball stories – something he does every night. I love listening to my husband and watching the boys play. I love seeing Roark and Cole so happy. I love this life.