Not My Brother 

Summer is half over and we are almost done with Cowboy’s summer classes. So much has happened in the last two months. Colt has been sick and in and out of the hospital. Now those nasty allergies are on the attack. Poor Colt! Mommy and Daddy are suffering with you. 

In other news, I have lost all of my personally grown from seeds veggies. Rabbits and feral cats really enjoyed their personal salad bar! On the other hand, the replacement veggies I bought at the Walmart are growing like crazy. At least we will have some fresh grown things… So far I have three tomatoes coming in and one lone zucchini. Archer has already put his claim on it. It is to be used for the thousands of zucchini bread loaves that he has decided I am to make in the fall. 

Kitten is so bored that she is begging to go for a bike ride tomorrow morning by the river. It is to be a Mommy/Kitten date. I love that my fifteen year old wants to spend time with me. Happy mommy dance!!!! Well, in my head I am doing the happy dance. I can’t dance in front of the kiddos. That would make them moan and groan and tell me to stop. Little critics!!

We are going to see some museums soon in Harrisburg and the kidlets can’t wait to go! Cowboy has been bouncing off the walls. He had me make a paper airplane for him yesterday and he has been flying it all over the house. This morning, he tossed it in the Living room and it landed on Colt. The nurse and I told him to be careful of his big brother. Colt can’t dodge out of the way. Poor Cowboy looked so confused. He told us that Colt wasn’t his brother, Colt was Archer’s brother. I guess because Colt and Archer are twins, Cowboy assumed that Colt was only Archer’s brother. We assured him that Colt belonged to him and Kitten too. He didn’t look to thrilled. I guess all those times that Colt won’t talk to him, or play has made Cowboy feel less then loved by his big brother. We were informed that Archer could keep Colt and that Kitten would stay his Sissy. How do you argue with a six year old? Here’s hoping that he will understand eventually! 


Living like it’s the last day! 

It’s been a rough month of trying to balance everything. It flew by, and seemed to drag past all at the same time. My Cowboy graduated from Kindergarten, I am preparing for a full summer of activities that the kidlets will like. (Fingers crossed!!!) Archer and Kitten survived state testing. All but my pepper plants are dead. (Ms. Black Tumb strikes again!) And Colt managed to scare not only his nurse and I, but poor Kitten too.

The weekend before Mother’s day, he had been in the hospital for a few days recovering from uncontrollable seizures. We got him home after a clean bill of health. He was home only five hours, when we had to take him back again. He couldn’t breathe! His O2 was terrible and he was so junky sounding. As a Mommy, when your baby can’t breathe, you almost can’t breathe. My hubby was at work, so Kitten rode with us up to the hospital. We barely got to check in, and they were calling a pediatric trauma alert for Colt. Kitten was so brave. She stayed facing the wall, and out of everyone’s way. She never cried or showed she was scared. I think I would have lost it if she hadn’t been there. Colt ended up with two IVs, x-rays, and deep suctioning all within the space of a few minutes.  Twelve medical professionals worked in tandem to help my baby. Even now, I can still remember the panic and the tight feeling in my chest and throat as I type this out. With all of his health and medical issues, that night is the first time in a long time that I had been afraid that I was going to lose my son. Colt and Archer had a birthday coming up in a week, and I had the awful thought that we could lose him before he even got to thirteen years old. Thank heaven above that Colt was stable a short while later! 

No parent should have to outlive their child, but it does happen. A small part of me is terrified of outliving my son, and another part knows that it will happen. It didn’t happen this time, and God willing, it will come much later from now. I know I’m not ready. I may never be.

Since this happened, we have been spending more time with each other. Watching crappy movies, laughing, cooking and baking, and taking joy in all of Colt’s moods. The other day, he out right yelled at his day nurse for trying to sing along to an Adele song. No one messes with his Adele!!! 😂 

We even braved a museum as a family. All the kids, Colt included, had fun. My hubby and I would’ve had a better time without the large group of screaming middle school kids there on a field trip… The twins got spoiled on their birthday and the kids even got mommy on her bike. Wow! Am I out of shape. It’s been a long time, but Kitten will not let me give up. My own little drill sergeant! The end of the school year is coming and I can’t wait to have as much fun with all my kidlets, as we can. Time snuggling with all my babies in the hammock, riding bikes, talking walks by the river, playing in the creek. Kitten has been making plans and talking about zip lining…

Whatever the summer has in store for us, bring it on.

Picky Little People 

For the last two weeks, I have had a little side project going. I, Miss Black Thumb, have been growing vegetables!!! I’m shocked that I got as far as I did. I have sugar pumpkins, zucchini, and tomatoes growing. Still waiting on the peppers, but they take a little more time to sprout. I think my kidlets think I’m nuts, but so what? I am doing this for me, and it feels pretty darn good! My hubby is Switzerland during this project. As long as I am not blowing tons of money, he is fine. I am really crossing my fingers about these veggies. It will be so nice the have fresh veggies to cook and bake with. Can’t wait for fresh pasta sauce and warm, yummy Zucchini Bread! I know the kids will think I’m brilliant then. All part of my evil plan…

My kiddos are junk eaters. No fast food meal is too gross! Cowboy snacks all day long, not ever bothering to finish a meal. Archer prefers Hot Pockets, and Kitten is all about the age old question, chicken or fish sandwich? She is not a beef or pork person. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, but Archer and Cowboy are not fish people, or huge chicken fans. As far as they are concerned, “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner!” 

My only saving grace is that they do like veggies, but not all veggies. They are all broccoli fans, but you can only eat so much before you find yourself in the grocery store cringing as you put fresh, or frozen broccoli in the cart. At least they will eat asparagus, corn, potatoes, and carrots too. But only on special occasions, in certain meals. It is my hope that with fresh veggies that we grow ourselves, I can get them to broaden their tastes a bit. Maybe try new things. I have the spiralizer ready and the veggie inspired recipes waiting for our first picks of the season. Fingers crossed!!!

Pipe Dreams…

Have you ever wished for something that was gone after you became a parent? What’s that old saying? “If wishes were horses?” Not sure but oh, do I have wishes, dreams, hopes… You get the idea.

As a mommy, and a special needs mommy, I never seem to have a minute to myself. With Colt, I need to be in the room for if and more likely when he has a seizure. This is my reality, and I have made peace with it. His needs are a lot more important than some of my own. We are lucky enough to have nursing for 18 hours a day during the week. It truly is a blessing. If he were my only kiddo, I could get so much done and enough sleep too! I miss uninterrupted sleep. I really do. Since Kitten was born, I have not gotten a full night of uninterrupted sleep. 

I may miss it, but I am not really complaining either. I wanted kids and mommies are notorious for not getting enough sleep. Time for myself, on the other hand? Yes, I complain loud and clear!!! I’m not asking much, just alone time to take a shower, or heaven forbid, use the toilet without one of my little darlings knocking at the door, or barging right in. Please! Just two minutes to allow mommy to pee in peace!!!!!!! 

I have to get either Kitten or Archer to watch Colt, make sure they know to watch for seizures, and how to suction him and swipe the magnet for his VNS implant to stop the seizures. I then have to try and sneak passed Cowboy and make for the bathroom. It is as pathetic as it sounds. Almost every time I do this, I get caught. The six-year old wants a snack, his big brother is being mean and won’t allow to snack he wants, he misses mommy and wants to come with me. The list goes on and on. The nursing helps, I can get some sort of sleep, maybe a quick shower after bedtime. But it seems the only time I am allowed bathroom time is when everyone is asleep. 

On top of this less then humorous comedy shtick, I cyber school Kitten, Archer, and Cowboy. They are in the house with mommy all day long. Luckily, my babies are rocking their school work. (Proud Mommy Dance!) I love having them home with me, but again, no private time. I even get one kiddo to watch Colt, and the other two seem to wait until that moment to find the need to chat with me. Sigh, I admit that it really is a small issue, but it is important to me… I even know that I’ll miss it when they move on and start their own lives, and have their own kiddos. I can only wish, hope, and dream that when that happens, they get their privacy stolen from them, like they stole mine from me! Hahaha!!!!😋

Where is the time going!?!

I started this blog with the promise to myself and my kiddos that I would write something at least once a week. I have failed miserably… Being a mommy is hard work. Even on a good day, I still feel like a headless chicken just running around, never sure of what I will collide with next. I know that as a mommy, no matter how hard you try, you are always hearing that voice. You know the one I’m talking about. The one that sounds like every grade school teacher that you have ever met, and your parents all rolled into one. It’s saying, “YOU CAN DO BETTER!” 
I really have come to despise that loud, judgemental voice. Us mommies are only one person!!! I know that my kidlets love me. It shows a few times a day. I just wish there was a way to silence the voice. Some sort of off button or mute button that can be smashed with a hammer and make it go away. 

With the birth of every one of my babies, I felt almost selfish. I wanted to be a mommy. I wanted for my kids, what I never had. Full blooded siblings. I love each and every one of my siblings, but we are so far apart in age that it’s hard to find a common ground. Something to bond over. Whether by fate, my subconscious plan, or God’s work, my kids have that bond! I feel guilty for having so many kids that they have to help each other, and am so thankful that they are so sweet, and loving towards each other. 

With Colt’s disabilities, I have come to rely on Kitten and Archer a lot for help with our little Cowboy. Colt is a full staff of full-time work all on his own. I use to joke with my hubby that each of our kids needed to be only children. They always seem to need that one thing at the same time for different reasons, ME!!! With health issues, medications, appointments, and broken promises, I curse myself everyday, multiple times a day. Why was I so selfish? Why did I have that desire for more babies? I can’t even begin to answer those questions, but I do know that just looking at them? I wouldn’t miss a minute of my crazy, busy, cuddlebugged life. I am their wacky, scatter-brained mommy, and so thankful for all the extra time and energy used up just trying to be there for them. I’m hoping I will be able to post more often now that things are starting to slow down a tiny bit. At least I can assure Kitten that I am keeping this promise, and taking some small amount of time to write for myself…

Until then, there is an angry six-year old complaining about the fact that because he didn’t eat his dinner, he will just die of starvation without a million and one snacks to get him through til breakfast.  Sorry Cowboy. No dinner, no snacks! That will go over well… 

Pillsbury Casanova 

So my son Archer is a bread lover. I’m not talking about just enjoying bread. I’m talking about getting the same light you up inside and everyone sees the glow kind of love. It started when he was a toddler and just grew. We always knew he was a fan of bread, but it wasn’t until a holiday meal at a family gathering that we realized just how bad of a fan boy he could be.

At family gatherings, there are easily 30+ people there for some good old home cooking. The younger kids are in the kitchen spread out at the table and at the counter on stools. This day, someone had sat Archer at the counter. Normally this wouldn’t have been a problem, but let’s face it, Murphy’s Law seems to follow us around-the-clock. My sister-in-law makes homemade crescent rolls for almost every gathering. Hot, soft, delicious… I could go on, but you get the point!

Archer must of had his antenna up, because unknown to my husband and I, the bread basket was across the counter within reach of him! Each of us had our hands full getting plates ready for the kids. After only a small amount of people had gotten food, we here this: “Where have all the rolls gone?” Hubby and I stop, look at each other, turn and zero in on Archer. There he is, my baby boy, with the cheeks a chipmunk would envy! He had helped himself to the rolls and was actively trying to shove them into his mouth. Needless to say, we put the rolls on our plates back and made sure Archer was never seated near the food at a gathering again. 

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Colt has nursing care at night and his nurses are amazing! They are so sweet to all our kidlets. One nurse had been out shopping and had brought a fresh loaf of bread to share. She had no idea just how much Archer loves all things bread. She was sitting next to him and as he was the closest, handed him the wrapped up loaf of bread. We were all chatting and I glanced over at Archer. He is now 12, and does have some control, sort of, when it comes to bread. He was sitting there, listening to the chatter and seemed fine. That is, until I noticed that he is unconsciously cradling the loaf and stroking it like you would if petting a cat! Being the loving parents we are, we pointed it out and laughed. We tease with our kids all the time. Archer does get a little embarrassed, but takes all the teasing in stride. He was laughing and was blushing bright red. The nurse was laughing with us as we pulled out story after story about Archer the bread thief. I’m not sure what made me do it, but I ended up christening my son “Pillsbury Casanova”. We all laughed and Archer got even more red. After a slice of the bread, he was good to go.

Tonight, my husband and I snuck away to have dinner without the kidlets. Mean, I know! We brought back the part of the cactus blossom we didn’t finish and the last roll and cinnamon butter. We knew the kids would tear the food up. Without even asking if anyone wanted it, Archer grabs the roll and proceeds to bite off a huge chunk. We had to stop him, make him share the roll with his little brother, and told him he was nuts. You cant eat that roll without the cinnamon butter! So with great reluctance, he did as told and grumbled through spreading butter on both halves. I guess my Pillsbury Casanova is a purest. Bread is to be enjoyed as is. Who knew? 

Cake Crisis! 

No one ever said being a mom was a piece of cake. Being a mommy of four, I whole heartedly agree. Cowboy is my stubborn little red-headed guy. He is Mommy’s boy and very lovey dovey. My cuddlebug! My oldest, Kitten is queen bee. She rules over her bothers and is a great big sister and a wonderful daughter. Archer and Colt are my twin boys. As long as Archer gets to play video games and escape Cowboy a few times a day, he is perfectly happy. Colt is my grumpy guy. He is non-verbal and gets around in a wheelchair. As long as he has his nurses to fawn over him, he is content. They are a handful and keep me hopping, but I would not change a thing. They are my world.
So, yesterday was my birthday. As a mommy, it was basically like any other day. I did get some birthday well wishes, a few I love yous and as a plus, my four kidlets were a little more well behaved then they usually are. A few months ago, I got a heath scare. My blood tests came back pre-diabetic. Anyone who knows me, knows needles are my number one phobia! I was determined to work hard and bring my number down to something healthier. After three months, I got my wish. No more pre-diabetes! So now, I am still working at living a healthier lifestyle and am steering clear of sweets and junk food. 

This new diet is working for me. I am down almost 40 pounds, and feeling better. My five-year old is not so happy for me. Cowboy, is a big fan of food. Hot, cold, salty, sweet, he is there! Knowing about birthdays is still a little confusing for him. He has been telling me for almost a week now that it is March and his birthday. Poor guy really loves attention. One thing he does understand about birthdays is that you sing “Happy Birthday” and you get cake. As I was the birthday girl, I had decided to skip cake this year. My older kids are aware of my diet and not huge fans of cake anyway, so they knew that we were going cake-less. No one thought to tell my little Cowboy.

Last night he was super hyper and asked when I was making the cake. I tried to explain that mommy was on a special diet and can’t have cake. It has lots of sugar and we were just going to have a nice dinner instead. He was not a happy boy! His first words were, “But it’s not a birthday without cake!” I tried to calm him down, but he is stubborn. According to him, all birthdays must have cake and we have to sing “Happy Birthday”. I assured him that it is still a birthday without cake. Mommy is still turning a year older and that we can still sing together. This was not good enough for Cowboy. After giving him a few seconds to think about it, I asked if he wanted to got get his brothers and sister so that they could still sing to me. He was not letting me off that easily…

He told me that its only a birthday if there is cake and we sing. Sometimes arguing with Cowboy is like trying to tunnel through a brick wall will your bare hands. He kept saying this over and over. I asked him why we needed a cake so badly to make it a birthday. He finally found the words to explain his way of thinking. All this time, he though that we sing “Happy Birthday” to the cake! So, in his mind, cake is a must for it to be anyone’s birthday. 

He is now determined to ignore that it was my birthday and that he has still not sang the birthday song to me. It did not however, stop him from crowding me in my chair and cuddlebugging me within an inch of my life. Have you ever been mugged by a five-year old? That is Cowboy’s way of cuddling. Mad cuddling is so much worse! He is not a tiny guy anymore, and I am slowly losing my extra padding. I love my cuddles, but they are really getting very violent!

This morning, Cowboy is still mad and still demanding cake! So for now, until the next Cowboy crisis, I am keeping a low profile and trying to find ways to sneak in some ‘me’ time. Wish me luck!