My Life in a Nut Shell

3 surgeries for Endometriosis, countless medications, and lots of difficult years trying to conceive. We put the medical stuff on hold and decided to work on being parents instead. In July of 2000 we were blessed beyond all measure with a phone call announcing the birth of our daughter, Megan. Megan's birth mother had given birth the day before and was leaving the hospital. We had no warning that Megan was coming. At 4:29 in the afternoon we were a couple, at 4:30 we were parents. Deciding that we wanted a sibling for Megan, we looked into all our options. This time insurance covered IVF. One round and we were blessed with triplets, Abigail, Brigid, and Caroline. Did you know that there is a 70% chance of divorce in families of Higher Order Multiples? Almost two years after the triplets were born my ex-husband and I separated and eventually divorced. During that time both my Mother and Father passed away from cancer. In February of 2007 my sister came to live with us to help out. In December of 2008 she had to leave so now it is me on my own with the girls. In February 2010, Lisa passed away and finally found her own Peace.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Burger King

Finally an end to what had to be one of the hardest weeks at work.  I think everyone there, kids included, are ready for a break.  A vacation.  We've been going at things full throttle and I really think Memorial Day will provide everyone with a much need rest.  We have two new teachers starting at our school who I think will be fantastic additions to our work family.  It is such a small, cozy school and it really needs people who can get along with each other and who love children.  And I think our bosses have done it with these two new teachers. 

I will admit that this has been a trying week.  I kind of liken it to being pecked to death by a baby bird.  I realize that is another cliche but if it works why not go with it.   I do love my job.  I do love my kids.  It's just that it starts from the moment I get up until I put children to bed at night.  My children naturally want all my attention.  Since I am the only parent in my home it is hard when they all want my attention at the same time.  And then there is the classroom.  They all want my attention.  And on days when I am so tired, the constant pull at me wears me down. 

I'm not sure what prompted me to suggest walking to our neighborhood Burger King for a field trip for the three and four year olds at my school.  I think because it is Oaks Day and there is no school that made it seem like fun.  My children were with my school as well and I knew they would enjoy it.  So off we headed with two teachers and five parent helpers.  I forgot that the kids are so young because as soon as the food was passed out everyone needed help getting things open.  As we finally have a lull in things I headed over to get some napkins.  A gentleman standing there says, "Are you the teacher?"  and I answered yes.  Then he says, "Do you think they would like some ice cream?  How many kids do you have?  I'l pay for every child to have ice cream."  And then he did!!!  He paid 47 DOLLARS for the ice cream for all 28 children.  Amazing.  I got his name and the company he worked for to send a thank you note.   By the way the company was Steinrock Roofing and his name was Bill and his friend was Curtis.  I figured I had to mention it since he so kindly offered to pay. 

Even when I am feeling down and worn out by life I am constantly surprised by the blessings and kindness that abounds in this world.  He really did make my day.  He made all those children's day.  Truly fantastic.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Good grief

So I really wanted to title this entry with a really good cuss word but I'm trying to be good here.  Today was really rough.  I mean really rough.  Started with not getting to bed until midnight.  Then woke up at 4:50 a.m. to go to the bathroom.  At that point there really is no point to go back to bed.  I'm operating on less than 5 hours of sleep.  I worked today from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.  The only breaks I got were at 8:30 to take my girls to school and then 4:00 to pick them up at school and bring them back to my school.  I really don't mind the extra money.  That is always good incentive to work extra hours.  I'm just really tired.  And there must be something in the water because pretty much every child I encountered today has tried my patience.  I have an incredible amount of patience for children.  I really do.  If I didn't I couldn't have done what I've done for the last 18 years.  I like being around children.  I like the little people that they are.  They make me laugh everyday.  I learn from them everyday.  But today?  Oh my goodness.  I'm not sure how I made it through today.  I suspect that God had something to do with it.  He provided me with just enough energy to get through today.  And I'm praying to him tonight to give me the strength to get up tomorrow morning and do this all over again.   I really need a day off.  One that doesn't involve a funeral, sick kids, appointments, cleaning, moving, unpacking, or running errands.  A really good day off just for me.  A day where I get to choose what I want to do and not feel guilty about it.  I don't get those very often.  I need one to refuel.  To re-energize.  Pretty much every conversation I have goes something like this:  "How are you today?"  Me?  "I'm tired.  I'm always tired."  Not sure how else to answer that question.  And the funny thing is every Mom I have talked to in the last two weeks is saying the same thing.  Why do we Moms give so much of ourselves to the point that we are giving all of ourselves away?  I feel certain that this is not quite how life should be.  But really every Mom I work with and talk to feels the same way.  We are tired.  I don't see an end to not being tired.  I get brief moments of rest but nothing like I feel I need. 

I think I'm rambling now which means it is time for bed.  Night all.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Dad

I sure do miss him.  While going through boxes today  found this picture of him with my niece, Ana.  She was about 1 1/2 when he was feeding.  My Dad liked to call himself the big grump.  He was gruff and loud; an old Air Force sargeant.  This is such a tender photo of a man with a big heart.


  Damn, I sure do miss him.


Everything Conceivable

We are in this book.  I had the chance to talk to Liza Mundy when she was writing this book.  I liked the idea that she was trying to point out some of the "side effects" of what happens when assisted reproduction is not handled properly.  The part she interviewed me for was the part about having triplets.  I've said it before.  I don't think my ex and I were adequately prepared at the beginning of the IVF process for the possibility of having multiples.  We were told very vague facts at the beginning about there being less than  a 1% chance of having multiples.  I still say they should have every AR parent talk with a family or two about multiples so they can be prepared.  No, I would not ever change having my girls.  That is not what this is about.  I love my girls.  I know my ex loves the girls.  Neither of us would change having them.  It's just that when we went through the adoption process with Megan we had to go through two months of classes to prepare.  So if there is that much preparation for adopting, why not for any AR procedure?  If you get the chance to read this, it is really interesting.  And not just because I'm in there.  This should be required reading before any AR procedure.  It really is better to be informed.

Red Robin

Ok so I'm trying this thing out to see what happens when I add this ad to my posting!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Red Robin

I got my first check yesterday for my article I wrote for Today's Family.  It just was so amazing that I got paid for my words; that someone really thought my written words meant something.  I hope I can keep it going.  It's a complete high!  I promised the girls that I would take them out to the restaurant of their choice for dinner.  They chose Red Robin.  After a looonnnggg day of trying to at least unpack the kitchen and living room, we showered and headed off.  The first problem was that we had to wait to get a table.  That's NEVER a good idea with four kids.  By the time we got to sit down I had been crawled on, jumped on, ran into, and whined at.  Sometimes watching the girls interact with each other is like watching a basket full of puppies.  Or a box of silk worms (the girls have been learning about silk worms in class).  They are just everywhere.  The girls and the silkworms.   I was amazed at how much whining took place today.  I really anticipated a nice day of unpacking and the girls playing without fear of my telling them to be quiet.  That's the nice thing about this townhome.  No need to have quiet feet on the floor because no one lives below us anymore.  But the whines just kept on coming.  They came all through dinner.  The server forgot our chips and salsa so by the time dinner was brought out the girls had just had enough.  At least dinner was delish.  Brigid enjoyed the mac n cheese so much she licked the bowl.  Megan ate her entire burger.  Caroline and Abby ate like birds.  The usual.  Here are some pics of my crazy girls at dinner:


The crew at dinner.  You can tell by the faces the kind of night I had.  The top of Caroline's head is visible to the left just above the table.  She would not hold still for any picture.


Proof that Caroline was at dinner


No Caroline put the balloon down!

Will you girls please hold still?

some pictures defy explanation

Ok Megan- Smile!

Hooray!  Caroline's holding still!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Derby Festival Tea

I won tickets to the Derby Festival Children's Tea party that was this past Sunday 4-18-10.  Megan and I had a blast.  She was a little overwhelmed at first because when you first come in you are handed a tiara and wand along with a small bag filled with trinkets, a notebook, and pen.  Everywhere you looked there where girls in the finest party wear.  As girly as Megan can be she is still somewhat a tomboy.  So much tulle!!!  The Derby Festival princesses where there as was the Derby Queen.  Megan got all of their autographs and a photo sitting with the Queen, whose name was Megan as well.  All the children were seated together and all the adults were seated together.  I kept laughing to myself because I'm sitting at this table with all these stay-at-home Moms who can afford to drop $50-100 dollars on tea party tickets.  Oh, if they only knew!  During the tea party every child in there got to walk the runway.  As Megan walked the runway they said something to the effect that she was in 4th grade at her school and her hobbies were cheerleading AND...horseback riding.  Poor Megan.  she really does want to ride horses again.  I keep saying I'm going to try and find a way to pay for her to take lessons but that always seems to take a back seat to something else.  We did enjoy ourselves and it was nice to have some one-on-one time with Megs.

Megan and I with the Derby Festival princesses

Megan with the Derby Festival Queen, also named Megan

The beautiful table settings

Getting ready to walk the runway

My pretty girl

As long as I was taking Megan's picture, I figured it was my turn!!
Sorry, no title for this one.  Sometimes I just can't come up with one. 

Here are some pictures I'm posting to show the before of our new townhome.  The girls bedrooms are set up, at least the beds.  Mine too.  This weekend becomes the first long weekend to really plow through everything.  Some days it's a good thing I don't have a spouse.  I know exactly (or almost) where everything is because I packed 99.9% of my boxes.  And while I'm on the subject, this being single thing really isn't that bad.  It's coming up on 5 years at the end of May.  Sure, I would love some companionship but I also enjoy making all the decisions.  Of course I've had many friends tell me that once you stop looking and are content with things that is when someone will pop into my(our) life.  So who knows.

Anyway, here are the pics!
The girls room.  Beds are already set up.  Thanks Aunt Cindy and Uncle Erik (mostly Cindy for putting up with Erik during the whole process.  jeez)
the living room/dining room


ugh.  the playroom.  could be weeks before I see the floor.

Megan's room (although her room is basically set up now)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My musical choices

I chose each and every song on here because they mean something deeply to me.  Sometimes when I'm on here I don't pay attention to the songs simply because I hear them a lot.  But this morning while on here I listened closely to the song by Elton John "You'll be Blessed".  This song reminds me of Megan.  I used to pray many times a day to God to Bless us with a child.  I really didn't care what that child looked liked, if it was a boy or girl.  I just knew that child would be loved beyond all measure.  EJ says "you're eyes might be green or the bluest that I've ever seen. But I promise you this, you'll be Blessed."  I still tear up at this line.  Funny that Megan has brown eyes!  So if you are on here reading my posts take a moment and listen to the songs.  Even to this day those songs can bring tears to my eyes.  And they are always tears of joy.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Movin'

I'm finally in our new place. I am pooped! I'm waiting for the cable guy to come over and hook things up. I'm glad to be in the new place. It was a long year at the old apartment. We had people above us and below us. Next to us and across the hall. It was getting old listening to people walk across the ceiling. And being free of nasty lady just makes me so happy. That was our nickname for our downstairs neighbor. Within the first two weeks of moving in she was knocking on my door and telling me we were too loud. Really she said our FEET were too loud. AS she got angrier and angrier she told me I was a nasty person with nasty kids in a nasty apartment. Hence the name...nasty lady. As we were driving away from the apartment yesterday on the way to work/school the girls yelled, "Our last day in our old apartment and no more nasty lady!" I realize my girls are loud but truly not loud enough to make someone be so nasty. Now we are in our new place with no one above us or below us. And it feels good. I posted on FB that I love my life. And I do. I have a job I enjoy, four wonderful children, family, and friends. I may not be Paris Hilton and live the fanciest of lives but my life is perfect for me.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ever wake up in the morning and feel like the biggest dork? Today just might be that day...

But Abby managed to perk me up this morning. She crawled in bed with me to snuggle and said, "Momma even with messy hair and bad breath I still love you."

Daggone I couldn't ask for anything more. That is true love.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Megan

Momma and Megan at lunch
My pretty girl.

At Schmipff's Candy Store watching red hots being made.


Megan right before her choir concert at school. She picked this outfit out from her Dad's house. She is so proud of it and I think she looks beautiful in it!



Abby

Abby rocking her boots.
Watching too much America's Next Top Model.


Reverse snow angel.





A star is born!

video

While at International Delight Night potluck supper at the girls' school, everyone was enjoying the dancer/martial artists from Brazil. Brigid was enjoying it so much that she was trying to do the same thing in the back of the gym. The lead dancer saw her and motioned for her to come up front. Brigid jumped at the chance to dance in front of the whole school. And here is the proof that Brigid is a ham! She just amazes me because as a kid I could have NEVER gotten up in front of the school like she did. Brigid just rocks!!

4 a.m.

So it's 4 a.m. and I am wide awake. With my luck I'll fall back asleep at 6 a.m. right when the girls are waking up. But as I sit here in front of my computer I think of a comment Caroline made. Before the girls go to bed they brush their teeth and then I wipe their faces. When I got to Caroline I commented that her face was so messy I might never get it clean. She smiled and said, "That's ok Momma. You can wipe all you want but you still won't wipe the smile off my face. Do you know why I have such a smile on my face? It's because I am filled with love for you Momma." Awwwww. She sure does have a way to make me smile too!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Today's Family (or Random thoughts)

The girls made the cover! A few months back I saw an ad in Today's Family magazine looking for parent writers. It has always been a dream to be a writer so I responded. What started as a chance to write a few words about a topic developed into an entire article. I wrote about finding the right childcare fit. I've been doing childcare for so long that I felt I could add my two cents in and hopefully help someone out in the process. Imagine my surprise when two weeks ago I got an email asking to use the girls for the cover! So there we were on a Monday morning at the Mellwood Art Center posing for pictures. It took about two hours and I truly don't know how they got a picture to use for the cover. My girls and I love watching America's Next Top Model. So you can just imagine the poses Abby and Brigid were giving! But after two hours, the photographer and editor were exhausted and sent us on our way. I can tell you the girls are super excited. Especially that their friends and teachers will get to see them on the cover. And I actually cried when I opened the magazine and saw my words (and name) in print.

This has been quite a month for us. It started with the funeral for my sister. It has been a hard road to travel down. (seems I use that analogy a lot) Having that service was a fitting way to say goodbye and it felt good to see so many people there who remembered the good that was my sister. It's been hard to just jump right into things after having so recently lost her. But life does go on. It has too. And we are surviving.

During this month I found a wonderful apartment for us to live in. Actually it is a townhouse. It's an end unit and only one attached neighbor. There is a backyard patio space with a privacy fence and a side yard for the girls to play on. No one above us OR below us. There are so fantastic things about this place. It's less than 5 minutes from the girls' school. Less than 10 from my work. It's in Field's cluster so that keeps the girls there. A friend of Megan's who has been in her class for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade is 4 doors down. She has been over at the apartment everyday since we signed the lease. We officially move next weekend. This is a place where I know our lives will be better. I am just so happy.

I keep telling the girls (especially Megan) that we are leading a very interesting life. I think she sees her friends at school and thinks we are missing out on things. But we do so much. I have always said that I don't ever want the girls to feel like they have missed out because they are in a single parent home and or because the youngest three are triplets. They did not ask for this situation so I don't ever want them to feel left out.

I sometimes think I do a disservice to my children by doing so much with them/for them. I go without a lot to make sure they have what they need. I truly don't have much of a social life. My social life consists of taking my girls here, there, and everywhere. While filling out a questionnaire on eharmony (don't laugh, it's the only way I have the time to meet someone. I work with ALL women) I was stumped trying to come up with hobbies and what I do in my free time. What free time? I go to bed so tired I don't even remember falling asleep at night. I wonder what they are going to think as they grow up. Will they realize how much I do for them? Will they realize how hard I work everyday to give them every opportunity? Are they going to grow up thinking that a single parent home is the ideal? Because really it is not. It's hard being a single parent. Harder than anyone could imagine. I rarely get a break in the action. I am their everything because I have to be.

And yes my house is messy. I sometimes don't have the time to keep it as neat as I would like. But really at the end of the day my children aren't going to thank me for doing the dishes in the sink. They are going to thank me for reading one last story to them or holding them in my arms and telling them how much I love them. If I have to step over a few toys in the process then so be it. It doesn't make me less of a parent and doesn't mean I'm lazy. There is always tomorrow to pick up but not always tomorrow to spend time with my girls when they are young.

Bottom line is I dreamed for years of being a Mom. I didn't have my children easily. I fought tooth and nail to have them. I prayed. And God answered my prayers by blessing me with Megan, Abigail, Brigid, and Caroline.

So see? A cover of a magazine and random thoughts.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Here we go

So much has happened since my sister passed away. I'm still having trouble with "died". Passed away sounds so much better. All in all, I think the service for her went well. It was respectful and it allowed all of us to say goodbye. The thing that amazed me the most was that Lisa's ex-husband was there along with his Mom, brother, sister, and best friends. Wow. It was a tribute to the person that Lisa used to be. The person that I knew hidden under all that sadness and confusion. She is now sitting on my dresser. Well, her ashes anyway. I make jokes about it a lot because I know she would in the same situation. The girls and I are planning a drive to the closest beach in July to scatter her ashes in the Atlantic Ocean.

I will follow up with the rest of the goings-on tomorrow. Tonight I am heading to bed. It's been a long day full of field trips, egg hunts, egg coloring, movie-watching, and a very bad migraine.

Tomorrow? Nothing but positive. There are some surprising things in store for the Harrigan ladies!!!!1