Kevin and Dominique plus 3

Posts have been few and far between here.

 

For many reasons, but one mostly.

 

Having a 2 year old and infant twins is hella hard.

 

There is no amount of sleep (not that we get any), no amount of caffeine that can touch the constant heavy blanket of fatigue that is over Kevin and I.

 

There for when we do have spare energy I usually don’t spend it blogging.

 

My brain cells have been in survival mode since the twins came home. I don’t normally have enough to spare to form a lucid thought let alone an entire witty blog post or one that isn’t just a short:

 

HELP ME.

 

My days are spent with Dora, Elmo and keeping up with the Duncan’s not the Kardashians.

 

I usually feel like a haphazard mess when we do get out of the house and then our outing usually end up feeling haphazardly disastrous so any attempt at feeling “normal” is just a vicious circle of haphazardness.

 

I want to blog, really if I ever should have been blogging about my life to document for my family/show the kids later in life so they don’t gripe when I tell them to clean their rooms or at least serve as entertainment for others it should be now.

 

Our life could be a reality show.

 

Sometimes when I am waving my white flag at the kids and trying to down my fifth cup of coffee before they lunge another attack at me I think about the Goslin gang and I try to whine less or at least try my best to not be Kate Goslin-ish.

 

Sometimes when things happen that would be full of canned laughter on our imaginary television show I don’t see it as funny at the time.

 

For example…recently someone sold us a rigged stroller off craigslist. We got scammed. Before we realized we had been duped we (I) decided it would be wonderful if we took our entire family to the local farmers market. I think I forgot I don’t live in Pinterestlandia and this is the kind of thinking that gets us into haphazardness and that I actually have 3 boys…2 infant boys and a 2 year old that don’t really dig farmers markets or being in public, well at least not behaving in public. The stroller was acting funny on our walk with all three boys strapped in and finally as soon as we got to the farmers market it broke. In the middle of the entrance. A huge, semi tractor trailer of a stroller that weighs almost 100 pounds broke with all three kids in it in the entrance to the farmers market. We sat on the ground and tried to fix it but it didn’t work, we figured we would just carry the boys around, enjoy the farmers market and then figure out how to fix it when we were done. You know make the best out of a bad situation. WRONG.

 

It was totally broken, not going back together, the previous owner used GLUE in the sockets so it would work to be shown not used.

 

So we had to walk home. We weren’t terribly far from home but when you insert Noah mourning (raging over) the death of his balloon animal he got at the farmers market and the fact that the twins are near impossible to hold together at the same time and they both decided they were hungry as we were leaving and wanted to tell the world about it, oh and it was a nice 95 deathly degrees out we might as well have been states away from our home.

 

Kevin carried Noah at first and I carried the twins. About a block away from the market Noah took his box of milk and squirted it over Kevin’s head and I was losing the twins. He couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just keep them up (there is an I told you so coming up) and I hoped taking the one that could hang on instead of slide down me like a greased pole would be better.

 

WRONG, wrong, wrong, wrongy, wrongy, WRONG!

 

Noah brought his wiggles guitar to the market and would not leave it with the stroller and was carrying it while being held. And by carrying it, I mean hitting me in the face with it most of the walk home.

 

Sweat dripping down my face, I am 99.9% I have not only developed asthma on this walk but am now having an asthma attack and am in fact dying and all I can hear are the cries of my seemingly feral 2 year old and the ever so overly cheerful wiggles singing, “fruit salad, yummy yummy, fruit/fruit/fruit/fruit salad yummy yummy.” (Note: the repeat is the smashing of the guitar on my face restarting the song)

 

I look up and Kevin, who was so sure the twins would be easier is carrying them like footballs by his hips.

 

We look at each other and through parental telekinesis tell Kevin to go ahead since his load was lighter and not waging an all out war against him. He shuffled home and I took a break from carrying the wild alligator, I mean my toddler home.

 

I stood Noah up on the sidewalk and waged the mom maneuver of I can do this all day kid attitude. We stared at each other for about five minutes and I asked him to walk and he did. He then realized it was hella hot outside after three houses and he did not want to walk and put his arms up for me to carry him.

 

So I mustered up what little energy I had left and carried him home, the last stretch wasn’t as bad, I think Noah was even tired of his antics by this point.

 

We got inside and all I could hear was my heart pounding in my head. Kevin left to go get the stroller with the van. Noah came up and hugged me and patted me on the back and asked for milk.

 

I got him milk, trying not to curse the fact that he had just dumped a box of milk that cost as much as a half gallon of milk out from Starbucks on Kevin’s head and down the front of my shirt.

 

I then sat down on the computer and updated my status on Facebook.

 

Dominique Teall

We bought a triple stroller yesterday and decided to take it out today to the farmers market…as soon as we pulled up the wheels popped off and wouldn’t go back on. We carried all three boys, one screaming after the death of his balloon animal all the way home. 
Worst (non medical) experience as a parent to date.

 

 

Immediately people started commenting how funny it was.

 

I closed the computer, irritated and pouting and went to self loath and hide the Wiggles guitar.

 

I cooled down….realized I myself was throwing a temper tantrum of the emo type and realized it actually was pretty funny.

 

Although when I hear the wiggles I do have PTSD flash backs of that walk I do laugh a little.

 

We are trying to sort ourselves out and adjust to our life of Kevin and Dominique plus 3. While it doesn’t sound as daunting or catchy as Jon and Kate plus 8…somedays…ok all days it feels just as hard.

 

So forgive me for the lack of updates, if we are being honest let all just applaud that Kevin and I are still alive.

 

Hopefully on top of surviving there will be blogging too.  

Kevin-isims

While at Home Depot, with all three boys, all of whom were crying screaming.

(Note you will only understand this if you too are forced to watch the Disney channel far too much)

Kevin: This would be better if I had a rainbow Puffle. 

Me: It is sad that we even know what this is.

Kevin: Yes, yes it is.

Me: Did you just subtly reference Phineas and Ferb? 

Kevin: Why yes, yes I did.

Me: (sigh)

Digging out of the ruins.

I finally feel like I am in a place where I can allow myself to move forward.

Since the twins were born I have felt frozen in time. To me I still feel like I should be planning Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas.

This year blew straight past me, actually it ran over me like a train.

This time last year I was eating healthy, loosing weight, had a successful Etsy business and my future looked predictably happy. My kind of happy, a control freaks dream.

But life isn’t like that.

So here I am standing on the other side of the Hell my family was just drug through ready to brush off and walk forward.

It is a hard thing moving forward after a trauma, because you are all too aware you could be walking toward another trauma and you have to pick up all the shattered pieces of your life from the last trauma.

So I stayed paralyzed in my own personal Hell.

My mind never left my bedrest, the end to my pregnancy or the NICU. It is like all that pregnancy nesting took made a little nest in the middle of a hurricane.

I couldn’t leave the nest because leaving the nest meant accepting where my life had placed me.

And quiet frankly I didn’t want to.

I didn’t want to accept the lives my twins were handed because as their mom witnessing their first months on Earth filled with pain, tubes, tests, surgeries, near death experiences and diagnosis after diagnosis their future seemed so much more fragile.

I faced a new role, I was a mom of three, could I be enough?

I had to accept what and who I had become. I gained the baby weight with the twins and then some (and by some I mean A LOT) because eating was just about the only thing I did to get through this year.

I had to accept that I was “broken”. That I had post traumatic stress disorder, that I was depressed and needed help controlling my anxiety.

I had to make plans to fix both these things.

I didn’t want to do any of this.

But I am a mom, a mom to three beautiful boys, a wife to an amazing man and I NEEDED to do these things for them.

I NEEDED to do this for me.

Over the past month I have slowly started to see more clearly what I need and what my family needs.

And I wanted to do it.

I feel like the hurricane passed months ago but the clouds, flood waters and ruin all remained.
So now it is time to rebuild and clean up.

Time to move forward.

 

moments growing into memories.

This time last year the only thing I was worried about was planning the perfect 1st birthday part for Noah.

In fact I was so worried about it all I remember from Noah’s last month of infancy is hitting every party store in a 10 mile radius and making sure I had all my pins planned from Pinterest.

What a mistake. Yes, I had my perfect streamers and full blown Mexican fiesta (he was born on Cinco De Mayo and I called it when I found out I was pregnant so it was a running joke) but if I could go back I would ditch the party and soak up that little 11 month old.

The twins weren’t even a thought yet.

I didn’t realize the turn our lives were about to take.

In fact we had just had the conversation that we would wait a year before trying for a brother or sister for Noah (God has quite a sense of humor).

About a month after Noah’s party I found out I was expecting. And we were given loads and loads of twin clothes.

Toward the end of summer it all got mixed up. I was too tired and too big to try to organize any of it.

At some point this fall while I was on bed rest in the hospital Kevin packed up all the clothes people had given us for the twins that they wouldn’t fit for sometime along with the summer clothes.

Last week I sat down to go through a tub of them, looking for 6 month clothes for Evan.

But there sitting on top of all the clothes were a little pair of khaki shorts.

Noah’s khaki shorts. The ones he lived in this past summer.

The ones he took his first steps in, turned 1 in, the ones I cuddled him in almost every day.

The ones that roughed it in the sand box at the park, the ones that lounged in the sand on the beach in Hilton Head on our first family vacation.

I held them to my heart and instantly tears filled my eyes.

My little boy, yes still little, was not this little.

Yes, I have two little brothers following his foot steps and they are even littler than that pair of shorts but it still stung.

It wasn’t a bad sting. More of a melancholy nostalgia.

I could instantly smell his sweet baby head, the one that is now usually a messy little boy sweat head. When I saw the worn knees from crawling I remembered that joy we had watching him take his first steps. I remember that he actually had to grow into these 6-12 month shorts and that they barely fit at 12 months, my boys don’t have butts.

I put the shorts down, wiped my eyes and left the pile of clothes on the nursery floor.

I went down stairs to Noah laying on the couch with a book and curled beside him.

I smelled his hair, kissed his cheek and hugged him tight because it hit me I am right in the middle of the sand pouring through the hourglass of childhood.

He won’t ever be as little as he is right now.

He smiled back at me and gave me a kiss.

We looked at his Runaway Bunny book over and over, backwards and forwards. We looked at the pictures and read the words.

But more than just reading a book and taking a break with him I was there in that moment. I was present and so aware that, that moment while seemingly very little was oh so big.

A moment that next year when I take his favorite striped shirt that he was wearing and pass it down to the twins I will remember that moment.

These moments may pass far too quick but they will never be grown out of.

quote_dr_seuss_memory_love_toddler

The moments of toddlerhood I never want to forget.

 

  • In teaching Noah how to talk I always say, “go get a book”, “get a book”. Over and over. So now he calls books, abooks.
  • Noah would pick apples and tomatoes over any candy or cake any day. He goes crazy when he sees them in the store. I always have an apple in my purse. We took Noah to Ikea a couple of weeks ago and my purse apple was our saving grace.
  • Noah calls Kevin, “add” trying to say dad. It is adorable. When he wakes up in the morning to check if Kevin is still home he yells out, “add?……add?” . He waits after every call to see if Kevin will come into the room. Lucky for him (and me) three days a week “add” is home in the morning.
  • When Noah is done being somewhere he starts blowing kisses and waving goodbye. He usually wont stop until we leave. Such a polite way of saying, “I am over this.”
  • When I wake up in the morning and go to wake Noah he smiles and gives me a kiss and a hug around the neck….could there be a better way to start the day?
  • On the other side of that, sometimes Noah wakes up first and a couple of times he has woken me up by blowing in my mouth. Nothing like CPR to get your day started….it is a terrifying way to wake up by the way.
  • He break dances. Really. He saw it once on tv and since then he adds floor spins and putting a leg in the air while he is on the ground to his awesome dance moves. He must have gotten his dance skills from his aunt Amy because Kevin and I can’t bust a move for the life of us.
  • Noah is more upset when the twins get shots than when he gets them. He’s a very protective big brother. We have home health care nurses that come to give them shots and when they come he pushes them out the door and tries to close the door on them and tells them no.
  • He usually has 3 or 4 binkys at all times. He likes to stack them and carry them around.
  • He “crickets” his feet when he is falling asleep. He rubs them together, usually against me to fall asleep. He got that one straight from me. As Kevin put it, “pay back for all those years of you ‘cricketing’ me.”
  • He is a little actor. Everything is dramatic. We put socks on him the other day in the bedroom in the back of the house…he then belly crawled from the room, through the hall, through the dining room, through the living room unable to walk with his socks on. But then once we put some music on he was magically able to dance. If he bumps his head and no one is around to see it/react to him he finds everyone in the house and reenacts the incident very emphatically…it usually involves him putting his hand on his head, squinting his eyes and “fainting“. I think we have a soap star in our future.
  • Whenever he is about to do something bad he closes his eyes while doing it…like we can’t see him since his eyes are closed…the deep dimples and giggling give his plan away too.

These are just a few of the things I don’t ever want to forget….the things I wish I could freeze time for. So I figured I would write them down so one day when books aren’t abooks and I am not woken up with kisses and smiles and sometimes the beginning of CPR I will still have these moments, none of them forgotten.

 

the apple of my eye

the apple of my eye

The beginning.

Anxiety attacks.

I have suffered from them my entire life.

I remember my first one, I was maybe 5 and I had watched All Dogs Go to Heaven.

It devastated me. My mom was out Christmas shopping and my dad let me watch it alone. He didn’t notice that I had curled myself into a ball an hour after the movie under the couch pillows crying.

After that it was the constant fear of separation anxiety that stopped me from going to sleep overs with friends.

When I was 8 I got up the nerve to go to a friends house to spend the night. A friend who’s house wasn’t right across the street. If I changed my mind like I often did in the middle of the night my mom couldn’t just walk across the street and get me.

I was excited. But that day I didn’t spend the night. I had to come back home because in the span of me being with my friend that day my dog, one of the best I had ever had became critically ill and was dying. He died that night in my arms.

It was cemented in my head I couldn’t leave home because something bad might happen and I might not be there. It made me so sad that my dog had been suffering and I was having fun.

I had tried to get a handle on my anxiety in high school. I tried to put myself in social situations I normally wouldn’t. I did somewhat succeed. I had a couple of groups of close friends and got along with everyone. A class my senior year helped me. Human relations. It was a life saver. It took a group of kids that were all trying their best to be normal and survive the awkward days of high school and through out semester made us all friends. We laughed. Cried. Bonded. Broke down walls and held each other up when needed. Some days were light hearted, some days were heavy. But we all came away feeling better. We all managed to take something away from that class. It really helped me.

But after high school at 20 years old I was diagnosed with what I had known I had, had for 4 years. Cancer. Doctor after doctor told me the lump was nothing, but I knew. But it didn’t matter that I knew. I was “too young” or a hypochondriac.

All the hard work I had done to overcome the anxiety was shattered.

My anxiety had been validated.

All the walls I had broken down instantly were rebuilt and this time closed me in. A prisoner in my own mind and body.

I stopped talking to my friends, extended family, I stopped going out, I only allowed a close few in my circle and I clung to them for dear life.

As I got further and further away from my cancer and closer and closer to my 5 year mark being cancer free my anxiety got better and better.

I had Noah and my anxiety came back into my life, but not as extreme as I thought it would.

Then surprise, I got pregnant with the twins. My anxiety took on a new life the day I found out I was pregnant.

I immediately was afraid. I just knew they were going to come early. I started drinking protein shakes everyday trying to bulk them up as fast as possible. Other moms assured me it would be ok but something in my head…that little voice told me that it was not going to be ok.

Then sure enough my fears were validated.

28 weekers.

Then I became my anxiety.

I was living in one of my worst nightmares. It was like my oxygen had been replaced with fear.

Every breath I took was like the one you take before you jump out of a plane when sky diving or waiting for the roller coaster to go down that first big hill.

That feeling never went away and it still hasn’t gone away.

I am fighting being consumed by it.

Today I am having an anxiety attack. My third debilitating one this week.

Noah was a little cranky before nap. Wanted an extra bath. Just a little extra fussy.

My brain latched onto whatever negative it could and somehow I ended up Googling, childhood cancer symptoms.

Google is like crack to anxiety.

I know better but I am afraid.

When is the next time my anxiety will be validated.

I feel like I am flying too close to the sun.

I love my husband dearly, he is perfect. Noah, he is too good to be true. And we were blessed with twins.

I feel like it is all too good and one day it will be taken away.

Everyday you see car crashes, cancer statistics go up from something like drinking soda or another sad story in the news that hits too close to home.

I don’t know how to break the anxiety cycle this time.

I just know I can’t live like this.

Before it is suggested I am looking into talking to someone professionally. If for nothing more than being depressed and having post traumatic stress disorder from the NICU, how could I not have anxiety. But of course, I am at the point where I don’t have insurance and I worry about the costs and if I have an hour or so here or there that I can escape to go get the help I need.

It is so frustrating to me because I am logical. I get it.

I know when my brain is being irrational but I can’t stop myself from falling into the traps of an anxiety attack.

This is embarrassing.

It is painful.

It hurts.

It is eating me alive.

I try my best to keep my anxiety hidden. There are a select few that even know how long and how hard I have suffered with it.

But I had to get it out.

Today I had to get it out.

As embarrassed as I am that people will talk or that people will judge me the writing helps.

I sat down at this computer not knowing how or where to begin I just knew I had to begin.

So that is where I am at…the beginning.

Image

(Mini) Noah’s Big Boy Room Update

Here is a little of what we have been up to in Noah’s room.

We wanted something art-ish for Noah’s room but couldn’t find anything that fit the bill for that toddler-boy room. We wanted something that wouldn’t have to come off the wall in a couple of years. I saw a map at Ikea I fell in love with but it was too big in size and budget.

I found this 1988 map on Ebay for $3 with shipping  and Kevin made the frame from extra wood and I used a milk paint and wax to stain it and seal it.

We didn’t expect Noah to care much about it for a few years but he loves it. He points at all the colors and gets really close inspecting all the little words on the map. Score!

This isn’t the best picture of this project but I figured I would throw it in here since it is Noah’s favorite thing in his room yet.

He could spend hours in here. The first time we showed him the tee pee he ran squeeling into the tent and then came running out to get pillows, books and toys. When I closed the little flap on the front the cool factor went up x100000 or at least that is what I gathered from all the giggling and squealing coming from inside the tee pee.

It is big enough we can sit in there with him (even my huge pregnant self) and read a book and he can lay down…he has even dozed off for his morning nap in there a few times.

We built it with wood rods from Lowe’s and since they didn’t have the right size (only 36 inch length ones) we used PVC plumbing couplings to bond the joints…think back to the tens you had as a kid…those little elbow-ish things that always got lost for the poles. We used wood glue to secure them so we wouldn’t run into that problem!

Then I just used a painters burlap drop cloth as the outside.

Total cost $15 (used a coupon to get the burlap 50% off!)

Here is a panoramic (a really bad panoramic) shot of the room to give you guys a better idea of where everything is.

His room isn’t finished but it is going somewhere! Noah loves it and it fits his creative, busy, active little brain much better than his nursery.

I will blog more about the bed but the bed is a an antique I scored from a local family from a MOMS group I belong to. It is a full bed and the mattress sits right on the slats so it is super low to the ground and we have bed rails we attach to the sides.

It is really nice to have a full sized bed instead of a toddler bed he will just grow out of in the blink of an eye.

I will update more! Taking pictures is always an after thought right now since it is all I can do to get a project complete!!