January Twenty Eighteen

Ailment talk. It comes with getting older. And since I celebrated another trip around the sun in January, it makes total sense I’m excited to talk about my ailments. Hang on while I grab some black coffee and fiber pills…

Back pain. I’ve had lower back pain since I was a teenager. I blame my excessively long torso as the doctor called it the day I was born. I never fit into onesies or one-piece swimsuits as a kid. Now they have onesie extenders and extra-long torso swimsuits, but I was born back when car seats were optional so, yeah, things have changed a bit.

The pain has worsened over the years. It’s been present when I was all muscle and in the best shape of my life, when I was pregnant, now. It hurts the most when I wake up in the morning, sometimes so much that I can’t even stand up right away. It doesn’t matter which bed I sleep in… my bed, a hotel bed, a sleeping bag, anywhere. I’ve tried physical therapy and massage, both offer temporary relief. But I’ve found a solution to help with the incapacitating morning pain: the couch.

Brian snores; I’m a light sleeper. One of two bedtime scenarios go down every night when it’s time to hit the hay:

  1. I leave to sleep in the guest bedroom.
  2. I stay in our bed because I’m extremely tired, and know I can fall asleep before Brian starts snoring.

In early January, we were in the process of moving all the kiddos into one room, which included switching rooms for the guest bedroom and moving the couch from the bonus room into Saige’s old bedroom… which will soon be a media room with all the gaming systems and new television (breaking my one television in the house goal). I like our 2007 television. The new ones are too clear for me. And all this HD stuff, I’m not a fan. I like the illusion of flawlessness on the screen. Reese Witherspoon is supposed to be Legally Blonde age at all times. Even during Big Little Lies. Not that she doesn’t look amazing but let me escape back into the early ’00s for an hour.

So, the guest bed was out of commission. And Brian snores, as has been made clear. Like in Legally Blonde, “I believe the witness has made it clear that she was in the shower.” One night I left the snoring serenade around 1am and slept on the couch in Saige’s old room. Not ideal but it was my best option. I woke up in the morning to no lower back pain. I didn’t even realize this at first. I’m so used to getting out of bed with lower back pain and dealing with it until my body warms up, usually within 20 minutes. Some mornings I’m basically a stiff board that can’t bend. Those mornings it hurts like a bitch. It was probably three times of me escaping the snoring and sleeping on the couch to figure out I wasn’t waking with lower back pain, and that the couch was the reason.

I’ve always thought firmer mattresses are better for back pain. Turns out my back likes it soft like our couch. Until we buy a new mattress, I’m buying a four-inch mattress topper for the guest bed (because, say it with me, Brian snores). And if I like it, one for our bed. The things that excite me at 39. If I start going on about the weather like my grandmother used to, put me in the old folks’ home. My grandmother also liked to figure out how you got sick. Like a simple stuffy nose, “Now where were you two days ago? Were there any people around you who also had a stuffy nose? Did you touch something that had germs on it? Oh, you went shopping? It must have been the shopping cart. Or was the checker sick? Did they hand you change after wiping their nose?” Brian does this, too. Makes me wonder what questions he’ll ask at 93 like my grandmother did. Scary thoughts, haha! He’s starting to complain about millennials at work. He’s getting old.

We have the guest bedroom all switched around now, and I’ve slept in there a few nights. It’s nice to have an actual bed and be able to sprawl out. But the couch! I wake with literally NO BACK PAIN. NONE. So, the couch is my current bed. And I don’t have to make the guest bed in the morning, so there’s that also. Unfortunately, my lower back pain comes back as the day progresses but it’s the kind I’m so used to having that I forget it’s there. I’m just so thrilled to start each day without the pain.

Lower right abdominal pain, SOLVED. At least, I think. But I’ll take it. I was about 22 when I started getting this lower right abdominal pain. It’s mostly a constant, dull ache. Sometimes it’s excruciating and then it goes away. And sometimes, I don’t even know it’s there. When it first started at 22, my doctor thought it might be gastrointestinal related… he scheduled me for a barium enema. I was given this nasty stuff to drink and told to fast, and was scheduled for a morning appointment the next day. The stuff was so nasty, I didn’t drink it. And since I didn’t drink it, I figured they wouldn’t have me do the test so I ate… pizza and a Coke for breakfast. I still went to the appointment to tell them I didn’t drink the stuff and figured they’d just tell me never mind.

I arrived at the office and told them I didn’t drink the stuff. They said no big deal, there is another liquid I could drink that was a smaller quantity and tasted better, and it only needed to be in my system a short while before. Why they didn’t tell me this the day before, I have no idea. So I drank the stuff. Then I told them I had eaten breakfast; they said it was okay and asked what I had eaten. The look on the guy’s face. Priceless. Brian still talks about his face these days. Apparently the guy was thinking I ate something light like eggs or toast. Turns out pizza wasn’t going to cut it for the test. Before they rescheduled me, they walked me through the test and told me what all was going to happen. Um, this is when I said no way was I going to do a barium enema… I had no idea what I was signed up for. I asked if there was something else I could have instead. Turns out, there was. Have to love the medical system. Signing up people for the most expensive tests because they can. I ended up having some sort of scan of the area. CAT scan maybe? I can’t remember. Whatever it was, it turned up negative.

The pain came and went through my 20s. I would always bring it up and we’d do some sort of test and nothing ever showed. Each doctor I’ve had ordered different tests. By the time I hit my 30s, I figured it wasn’t anything that was going to kill me like cancer, because I would have been dead by then. After I had Laine, it was at it’s worst. My wonderful doctor, who always takes everything seriously, decided we’d get to the bottom of the pain. We did all the scans again, he sent me to a few different specialists, including the hernia surgeon. That was fun. The hernia guy basically said there was no indication of a hernia from any of the tests. But it was likely I could still have one and the only solution was to open me up and if I had one, he’d fix it and close me back up. Yeah, nope. Even my doctor said that was a bad idea.

After all the tests then, we came to conclusion that it was most likely muscle related. I didn’t love not having an actual cause but I felt confident after all the tests and specialists that my doctor was right. If he wasn’t concerned, then I wouldn’t be. The pain continued to come and go.

It was the most painful last October. I would just be standing and it would throb. And I was in my major anxiety phase (anxiety comes next down below). I went back to my doctor—who was on vacation—so I saw the nurse practitioner. We talked about my history with the pain. She felt around on the outside. Conclusion: muscle related. I just didn’t want to accept this after the pain I was having. But I did. It was the same conclusion my doctor had a few years back.

Well, I went to my doctor a few weeks back for my annual. I’m old school, so I’m all for annual pap smears. They changed the recommendation to 3-5 years and I’m really annoyed by this. SO much can happen in one year, let alone five years. Even on young, healthy women. My doctor accepts my annoyance and I get checked every year. And since he was up in there—and we had been talking about my lower right abdominal pain again—he went ahead and felt around. We’re almost certain my pain is caused my the psoas muscle. My left side felt fine while my right side was tight, and as he put pressure on it, I said that was exactly where it hurts. I quickly Googled and sure enough, the location of the muscle is exactly where it hurts. Apparently it could be caused by all sorts of things, like my gait, maybe one leg is slightly shorter than the other, or just how I use the muscle daily.

I’m so elated I have an answer. After almost 20 years. And I’m for sure not going to die from the cause, yay. And holy crap, the psoas muscle can also cause lower back pain. It’s like it’s all related. I’ve looked up psoas muscle stretches and have been doing them, in combination with lower back pain stretches and couch sleeping. I’m not 14 again but my body is feeling better. It could also be psychological and my body feels better having answers. Either way, I’m excited.

Anxiety. This has been fun. It started after I had Laine, I had MAJOR postpartum depression. It was bad. She was born in July and by September, I realized I needed some help. We were home in California to celebrate Blaise’s first birthday, and Laine was just shy of two months. It wasn’t anything specific but a combination of how I felt and how I was acting. I emailed my doctor and he called a prescription into a pharmacy down there right away. After a few weeks on the  medication, I felt better. But we were in the process of selling my beloved pre-kid BMW and going down to one car for a few months, and it was winter. I spent most days at home with the two kiddos. And by December, I realized I was 30 pounds heavier. Which wasn’t from having Laine. I had lost all of my Laine baby weight by September, before I went on the depression pills. Way to make a depressed person even more depressed. Make the depression medication cause weight gain. Not cool. I immediately connected the dots and stopped the medication that day.

But the weight didn’t come right off. And I was still having PPD. I went to my doctor to chat. We decided I’d try another depression medication, one that doesn’t cause weight gain… in fact, it even helped lose weight. I was sold and started right away. That stuff worked. By June I was down 20 pounds and my depression was minimal. I had even started running again and feeling back to myself.

Life was better. I went off the medication. I don’t like being on stuff if I don’t have to… which is why we have two kids 10 months apart. Medication has its place but if it isn’t necessary, I’d rather skip taking pills.

After I had Saige, I feel like she fixed me. I don’t know what it was about having her but I felt amazing after her. It probably helped that she as the easiest baby alive. Kid didn’t cry until four months. Brian thought something was wrong with her. My doctor said she was fine and the only thing wrong would be if I told other new moms how easy she was. Even after she let out a cry, she was still super easy and the cries were minimal. We made up for her extreme easiness when she was a toddler. That was hell.

And then Baby came. Easy peasy. We had already been-there-done-that with all things pregnancy and babies, and adding her into the mix was nothing. The stress of everything buying and selling and moving was hell though, but unrelated to adding to the family… unless you count her having to be induced early because of high blood pressure. But that wasn’t baby-related. If that makes sense.

Having four kiddos was going well, we had moved into the new house… life was good. I wasn’t having any PPD but I wanted to lose weight. This is where I made a bad decision and went against my preference to avoid medication. I went back on the depression pills that helped me lose weight. Dumb. While they did help me lose weight, they majorly fucked with my head. And I didn’t put the two together for months.

I constantly thought I was going to die. Not suicidal thoughts but if I’d drive across a bridge, it was going to fall into the water below. If I went to a show, the seats above were going to fall and crush me. If I went for a walk, a tree would fall and kill me. Literally everywhere I went something was going to happen and I was going to die. I’d lie in bed at night and worry I was going to die in my sleep so I’d try to avoid falling asleep. It was consuming. And I had no idea why this was happening. I’m not afraid of dying; I am afraid of leaving my kiddos without me. Especially since they wouldn’t remember me much given their current ages.

Finally, one night I was avoiding falling asleep and started Googling these thoughts. And then the lightbulb went off… was it because of the medication? I hadn’t had these thoughts back when I had PPD. But maybe I was now because I didn’t really need the medication and it was affecting me differently. I found a forum on a depression site and sure enough, I wasn’t the only one the medication who was having these always going to die thoughts. I stopped the medication the next day. Within a week I was feeling so much better. The thoughts were going away. This was last spring.

September, I was putting the kiddos in the car and they were annoying the hell out of me. Bickering over anything and everything, Saige was still semi-difficult; someone had forgotten something inside I had reminded them to grab about five times. It was a bad morning. And I thought, I hate my life. I felt awful. I didn’t really hate my life… my lower back pain is my biggest problem in life. I decided at that moment I wanted to try the pills again because clearly, something was wrong with me. I had become increasingly annoyed at the kids in the previous weeks. Maybe it was coming off of summer and our California trip; maybe it was because I wasn’t taking care of myself and felt like crap; maybe it was because I was back to the busy weekly schedule we keep; who knows. But I recognized I needed to do something. I refilled my prescription.

Sure enough, about three weeks after starting the medication again, those dying thoughts were back. I stopped after the first one. I knew. And then I started researching what the hell was wrong with me. I decided I had anxiety. And that I probably have had it for a while. My doctor is super cool; he actually appreciates my internet diagnosis tendencies. Before I went to him for my annual appointment, I had talked with a friend who is a pharmacist and told her what had been going on. She recommended an anxiety medication (that doesn’t cause weight gain). I told my doctor this, he agreed, and I’m on the pills. For now.

Man, the pills are working. It was a few nights ago that I realized I was just sitting on the couch, enjoying watching the Olympics. I don’t think I’ve just sat for a while. I was always jittery, having to be doing something. If I was sitting on the couch, I was looking at the one crumb on the kitchen counter, and I’d have to get up and clean. Which would lead to me cleaning the baseboards and painting the house. Okay, not really but I was super wound-up. I think my anxiety was causing me to keep busy to avoid dealing with the fact that I have anxiety. And I’ve been up for running in the mornings again, even when it was 27 degrees outside. I haven’t wanted to consistently run in a really long time. And, go me, I went to bed with dirty dishes in the sink the other night. Unheard of. I’m still slightly bothered by this but that’s because I’m a clean freak, anxiety aside. There are other reasons I diagnosed myself with anxiety, but that’s a whole other blog post… as if this couldn’t be one on its own already.

All in all, life is good right now. My back feels great, I know why I’m having lower right abdominal pain, and I’m not going to die at every moment. And I’m actually enjoying things. You know, when I was a kid, all I wanted to do was be older. Adults had things figured out; life was easy. Hahahaha. I’m not sure I want to be a kid again but this whole adulting thing isn’t what I expected. No major complaints though, life is pretty damn good. I’m even looking forward to spring and dare I say it, summer. But not for the weather. I’m ready for a break. To wake up and have nothing on the schedule, glorious.

Until then, January 2018 in pictures. And I have to say, it feels weird seeing 2018. It was just 2006.

The Pie! She was still in diapers early November. I’m not a potty trainer. Dealing with accidents and constantly running to the restroom, not to mention having to deal with it out and about (with multiple kiddos)… not my thing. Maybe I’m lazy but diapers are way easier. I never pushed any kiddos into undies until it was their idea. Blaise was just shy of 3.5, Laine at three, and Saige just after three. Each of them decided one day they wanted to wear undies and that was that. Blaise had a few accidents and still slept in a pull-up for a few months after; Laine had zero accidents and was in undies full-time; and Saige had two accidents in undies. Except for that, Blaise and Saige still asked for a diaper at first. Which was fine. Why fight them, especially when they would still tell us? By early January, Saige was using the bathroom for everything. We celebrated her success with an ice cream truck she had her eye on at Target.

Tiny Trekker! Saige started outdoor preschool. Following in Blaise and Laine’s footsteps. She was actually registered for fall but I pulled her last summer. She wasn’t ready and I didn’t want to deal with potty training. So we gave up her coveted spot. But then she potty trained herself in November. And after she turned three, she became a whole new kiddo. She matured so much and was easy again. Saige! She started asking to do things like Blaise and Laine. School, dance, gymnastics… you name it, she was up for it. I emailed our preschool director and asked if there was a rare spot open for spring. She said she’d let me know. Sure enough, a spot opened up… not only for spring but right away. A kiddo had pulled out of the preschool. I registered Saige within five minutes of getting the email. I wasn’t going to start her until mid-January when Blaise and Laine would be at the farm for their Thursday class, but I ended up starting her the first Tuesday in January. Saige was ready and she was asking to go. I figured it would either be good or bad no matter when she started, so we just went for it.

She did great! It was the first time I had ever dropped her off anywhere or left her with someone other then Brian or Lisa. Her first day she did cry about an hour in but nothing major. She pulled it together and when I picked her up, she was already asking to go back. By day two, she was fine. Her Thursday teacher had Blaise and Laine also, and when I asked her how Saige did, she said she could tell she was my kid (this was a compliment). I remember when Blaise and Laine were three and four, and in preschool. The same teacher complimented them for putting their boots on themselves. Apparently other kiddos’ boots would come off and they’d just sit and wait or cry for a teacher to help them. Not my kiddos. They deal with things.

It’s mid-February and Saige is loving school. Every night we ask the kiddos what their favorite part of the day was and without fail, Saige always says, “Going to school.” Even on non-school days. She loves it that much. Which is good because she has another two years of preschool… although she’s asking to go to DigiPen and Riverview.

Three kiddos. While Saigers was at her first day of preschool, the other three and I killed time in Redmond. Blaise and Laine were still on break from their Tuesday class and Baby doesn’t have anything going on Tuesdays. It’s always nice having different combinations of kiddos. The dynamic always changes somehow.

After we left the farm, the three and I went to Arena Sports for the indoor jump zone. Blaise and Laine were the oldest kiddos there since it was a public school day. I was slightly annoyed with another mom. She had two kids, probably about four and two. The four-year-old was a stinker. She was a trouble-maker. I watched her and her brother, who went along with whatever she did. The mom was talking on her phone the entire time. The rest of the kiddos, Blaise and Laine included, were playing a game of tag. About seven kiddos, most looked around 3-5. It was a fine game, everyone was happily playing. I’m proud of my older two because they are used to having little ones around and they know how to play with them at their level. And then these two kiddos, and by two, I mostly mean the older sister. She was trying to walk up the slide ladder while the group of tag players were standing under the ladder. Admittedly, they were in her way. And in a group of seven kiddos, they weren’t really aware this kid was trying to get up the ladder. Laine eventually noticed and started moving the troops. But by then, the little gal ran over to her mom who was sitting next to me chatting it up on the phone, unaware of her kid, finally noticed the daughter. The daughter said the other kids were being mean to her (not true). The mom, telling the person on the phone to hold on, immediately tells her kids to stay away from the older kids because they cause problems. Then she went back to her conversation. And her kids walked away and tried to cause problems with the other kids. Blatantly obvious her kids suffer from the negative attention is still attention syndrome. I ramble. We packed up and left not long after. Not before Blaise taught a little guy some stretches. Super cute. I didn’t want my kids to be those kids even if falsely accused. Baby was in her own world, and she found a young guy who worked there to flirt with.

We left jumping for McDonald’s. They have a play place and fries are always a selling point. There was enough time to eat and play before we left to pick up Saige.

Baby slider!

That afternoon. Saige was SO tired after her first day she fell asleep on the floor. We had our friends coming over to work on some homeschool science stuff… I don’t even think they knew she was there at first. She slept through six kiddos running wild around her.

LEGOs and Star Wars. Blaise is obsessed with two things: LEGOs and Star Wars. All he does is make Star Wars stuff like this with his LEGOs. I love his passion for these things but I couldn’t care less about Star Wars. And all he wants to do is talk about everything Star Wars. I amuse him and listen but I’m one of three people in the world who has never seen Star Wars and I have zero desire to change this.

He has me take pictures or make videos of him putting these things together. He always ends each video with subscribe to my channel. He doesn’t have a channel… he just watches LEGO YouTube videos often.

Preschool, day two. This was weird. I only had ONE kid. One. That’s all. For three hours. And I wasn’t pregnant. The last two times I only had one kid, I was pregnant with the next. It’s the oddest feeling. It feels like I’m forgetting something.

Blaise and Laine were back to their routine and with Saige in preschool, that means I only have Baby Tuesdays and Thursdays for three hours. Baby and I enjoyed our first three hours together playing at Marymoor, running on the trail, and lunching at Red Robin before picking up Saige. It was really nice to have some one-on-one time with her. There are times I think it’s tough being the fourth, less attention and parental time. But then I see how she has three siblings and life is so much fun for her. It’s a birth order trade-off.

Errand day. Friday was on the books to be my errand day. Costco, Target, Trader Joe’s, Fred Meyer, and everything else I had been putting off from the three-day weekend the weekend before. I like to avoid crowds. The plan was to drag all four kiddos around. They’re used to this. I time things so they can have samples at Costco. Which is kind of annoying. I don’t like being one of those sample people. Some people take samples so seriously. They wait in line for a new batch. Actually, it’s not a line, it’s a cluster at the end of each aisle. People and free stuff. Always amazes me what they’ll do. When I signed up for the gym I went to in SLO, they were giving away free running shoes. I didn’t want them. I already had a pair and brand I liked, and I didn’t want something for free that I had no intention of using. They couldn’t believe I didn’t want FREE shoes. I think they confirmed with me about 10 times that I did not want a pair. Even the next time I went to the gym they double-checked. Eh, free isn’t always wanted. But my kiddos love samples. And we usually end up buying half of what they’re promoting. We’re an easy sell.

Brian ended up staying home sick this Friday. I don’t think he realizes this but it’s become a pattern that he takes a sick day after a three-day weekend. And it’s not that he’s faking it, he really is sick in some way. But I wonder if he wills himself sick somehow. Since he was home, Laine and Baby stayed with him while Blaise, Saige, and I headed out.

Saige discovered the Trader Joe’s kiddo carts. And Blaise and Saige took the escalator up and down at Fred Meyer a few times. It’s the simple things in life.

Skiing 2018. The kiddos were back on snow for weekly ski lessons. Saige desperately wants to go also so we’ll start her indoor skiing this summer. All three will go to the snow next year. We’re already planning 2019, I know.

Mel bath. He wasn’t thrilled. We went running this morning and it was raining. He was muddy. I think he thought if he stayed far away from the water he’d be safe. Wrong. He raced around after his bath like Leilah used to do. We miss her so much!

Slime! Some days drag on. My solution, slime. It easily occupies the kiddos for an hour, sometimes two. This is Laine in all her glory. The silly one.

Gymnastics Laine. I’m so proud of this kid. She had been asking to take gymnastics after they started Ninja Warrior classes at the gym. She would watch the other girls and wanted in on the action. With the holidays, we decided to wait and start her in January. We rearranged our evenings to make it so Blaise could go to Ninja Warrior while Laine went to gymnastics. Monday night at 5:30pm they had both. It made it easy. The first night Laine went, they moved her up to the next class. In all her screwing around at home, she already had all the skills needed to pass that first class. The kid is strong and ripped. She’s been working on handstand push-ups and can bust one out in the middle of the family room at any time. So we’ve re-rearranged our weeknights for her to attend the next class and Blaise can attend the ninja class.

I love this picture because it shows Blaise and Laine together even though they’re in different classes.

Nintendo. Tuesdays after Baby and I pick Saige up from preschool, we have to kill 2.5 hours before picking up Blaise and Laine. This Tuesday we went to Nintendo to take advantage of our friend’s discount. Blaise got a Nintendo Switch for Christmas and we needed four controllers. Seems obsessive since it comes with one controller, but Brian insisted we needed four wireless controllers so we can all play on the TV. And by we I think he meant the kiddos and their friends. Sure enough, he was right. I’m glad we bought them because whenever Mario Kart is on, at least four people want to play. Go, Brian.

Piglets! The farm where Saigers goes to preschool has animals. All working animals they say, never for food. Even the ducks are workers. I love this. I’m not sure what the pigs do for work but they recently had piglets. I think they were a few days old here. Mom looked tired.

Book of Mormon. It was SO good. I hadn’t looked up anything about it so I went knowing nothing. I knew it was about missionaries and it was a musical, and that was all. I love musicals. It exceeded my expectations… I want to see it again. Next time it comes to Seattle, Karann and I are there again.

Horse Laine. Gymnastics, dance, riding lessons. Yep, she’s your stereotypical little girl. She’s been riding over three years now… it’s not just a phase.

Dancer Saige! Saige wants to do everything the big kids do. They go to dance class so of course she has to go also. I remember when Blaise and Laine started, Saige was a newborn and in a bucket seat still. Now she goes to the same teacher Blaise and Laine had back then. Time sure flies.

Saige’s class is half ballet, half tap. She loves the class and all her new friends. It’s a good group. Although after being around the kid class world, there are definitely moms who live up to mom stereotypes. Likely myself included. Nothing bad or mean, but entertaining to observe. The kiddos are working on a routine for a recital in June and it’s super fun to watch them practice.

Cats! Moosie and Snugs, hanging out in their own way.

Tuesday Baby time. Another three hours hanging with number four. It was my birthday actually, and we went to See’s Candies to get our chocolate on.

More Baby time. Again with Brian sick after a long weekend. He was off for MLK day Monday and he wasn’t feeling so hot this week. He did have a cold, I’ll give him that. But I think it’s an interesting coincidence. He decided to stay home from work this Thursday. And since he was home, I dragged him along with me to drop off the three older kiddos, leaving us to have time with only Baby. She ate it up. I had to stop at Trader Joe’s for pizza crust and since I had success with Saige using the kiddo cart, I let Baby use one. I never let Blaise and Laine use one because they were both always with me and dealing with two toddler pushing these carts, not thanks. Especially since the TJ crowd isn’t exactly kid-friendly.

We had taken Baby to Arena Sports to jump before Trader Joe’s. She had a blast showing off her blow-up slide skills to Brian. He had only seen a video.

More Saturday skiing.

Brunch. Probably the best brunch ever. Not because of the food—which was fine—but the drag queens. Man, they are amazing. And their makeup skills. Stunning. The clothes, the humor, the talent, all exciting to watch. It didn’t know what to expect when Karann suggested we go but it exceeded any expectations I had. What’s even more entertaining is I looked up the drag queens by their names after, and I found a bunch of pictures of them as average guys you’d see walking down the street. It’s amazing how they transform themselves. I want to go again.

This drink menu. Hilarious. I don’t drink but I sure was tempted.

Hay Pie. Saigers in the hay at preschool. She LOVES going each week.

Yes, a vertical video. Horizontal I couldn’t see the hay they were jumping into. And I need to work with Saige on counting backwards to blast off.

Library kiddos. After jumping in the hay for about an hour, we still had time to kill before picking up Blaise and Laine from their class. To the library we went. Baby has the same idea of quiet as Laine… both sound like they’re talking through a megaphone. Thankfully it wasn’t too busy and Baby being a toddler, she gets a bit of a pass. Especially in the kid area. They both took to the computers, having no idea how to use a mouse. But the headphones were the biggest hit. We checked out a few books on our way out.

Outdoor school kiddos. Once a month, Blaise, Laine, and Saige are all at the farm where Saige attends preschool. It makes it easy for me with drop-off and pick-up. Saige’s class ends a half-hour before Blaise and Laine so we hang out at the farm until it’s time to grab the big kiddos. And we hang out a little after with all the kiddos, too. It’s a nice way to get their school energy out before heading home… also a way to really tire out the Pie. She passed out in the car and I transferred her to the couch. I think she slept until 4pm this day.

Gadgeteers. Every-other Thursday is insane for the big kiddos. They have their outdoor class, we usually play a little after, head home for dinner, and then they leave for dance for 45 minutes followed by gadgeteer club for two hours. Needless to say, they are exhausted Friday. And if they have Wilderness Awareness class the Friday after, our weekends are spent catching the kiddos up on down time.

They are both working on their projects to be displayed at the Maker Faire in April. Laine is coming along on her light saber and Blaise on his remote control truck.

Story time Laine. Saige had a doctor appointment on a Friday morning. I had to drag all the kiddos with me, which is becoming increasingly easier. Thankfully we rarely have to wait on our doctor, maybe five minutes at most. While we were waiting, Laine read a book to the kiddos to occupy them. It didn’t really work though. Saige and Blaise were busy looking at cars out the window, and Baby thought the stool that spins was the best thing ever. Laine kept on reading though, which is always fun for me to listen.

Then there’s Blaise, who when our doctor came in the room, he sat with Saige and told him exactly why we were there. I’m pretty sure he could take care of the kiddos without me… which is all him, he takes it on himself.

Valentine Saige. Saige’s class exchanges Valentine’s in February. Keeping with tradition, we made crayon hearts like we did for Blaise and Laine back when they went to the same preschool. I like the kiddos to help with their things so she helped take the paper off the crayons and break them up. Blaise is still in a photobomb phase.

More horse Laine. There is this thing called horse time apparently, where nothing is efficient. Drives me nuts. I’m an on-time, get with the program type of person (this is why Brian usually takes her to riding lessons). Laine isn’t, so she fits well in the horse world. I think she brushed Rambo for what felt like an hour.

Running partners. Sort of. I’m trying to get back into running regularly. Which is hard to do mid-day with four kiddos around. If I don’t get up early and go, I’m trying to make it happen during the day. This was my solution. I trust the big kiddos in the house enough while I hit the treadmill in the garage, but the little ones not so much. I strapped them in, gave them lollipops and iPads, and ran. It worked better than I thought it would. I was certain they’d want out.

Nat Geo. Brian loves all things space. I found a Nat Geo space event when I was in the midst of looking for events to attend. It was my early birthday outing for him, celebrating him about to turn 40. It was a nice event and I’m glad we went… I’ll just never listen to the ticket agent again. I know Benaroya Hall; I go there often. I wanted seats a few rows from the stage. All the good tier seats were taken, which is where I usually like to sit. I called to ask if there were any open by chance, there weren’t, so I wanted to buy the front center seats. The ticket agent talked me out of sitting so close to the large screen and recommended the seats up in the nosebleed section. I went with his recommendation and wish I hadn’t. Oh well, it was still a nice event and we were able to see the screen… we just wouldn’t be able to recognize the speaker if we ever see him close up.

Raspberry hands. It was back to killing time on a Tuesday after picking up Saige, before picking up Blaise and Laine. Costco it was. And bad on me, I totally forgot to feed Baby lunch this day. So she snacked on our Costco goods while we shopped. I think she actually may have liked this better.

The start of 2018 has begun. And it’s already mid-February. Next week, Halloween.

Lastly, the rain jumper.


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