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.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Change is Good ('cause it happens a lot)

I apparently don't do well with the status quo.   I like change.  I like adapting to change.  So I've come up with something new.  I'm going back to school.  Just not the school you might expect.  I had always dreamed of continuing on in school to get my doctorate.  I liked the sound of Dr. Harrigan.   After getting laid off from my job I've had the time to really think and pray about what it is I want to do.  So here it is.

I'm going to be a cosmetologist.

WTF right?  I have always had an interest in cosmetology.  Always.  Not sure why.  It's funny how quickly this all came together in a perfect fit.  I got laid off.  I called for a tour at Empire.  I liked what I saw.  I found out I can collect unemployment while going to school.  I filled out my financial aid paperwork.   I went in yesterday for a follow-up appointment at Empire and got everything completed.  I start August 20.  It's an intensive year of school from 9-4:30 Mon. thru Fri.  The hours are perfect.  They are flexible with my schedule if something comes up with the girls.  I have prayed and prayed.   This came together just so perfectly.   I feel certain in my heart that this is what I am meant to do at this point in my life.   The possibilities are just endless for all the things I can do once I graduate.  I am just so excited.  I keep pinching myself because I just can't believe this is going to happen.   I'm excited about my future.  I'm excited about my future for my girls.  

Last night I went to a Moms of Multiples get together at Tumbleweed on the River.   My friend Joan treated me to dinner and bought me the most amazing bath fizzies.  (I'm not sure exactly what to call them.  I was going to call them bath salts but with all the talk of a zombie apocalypse because of a drug called bath salts I didn't want anyone to think I was doing anything else but taking a bath.)   It was so much fun to see all these triplet and quint Moms enjoying each others' company!  

I also dyed my hair almost white with pink highlights.  One of the perks of going to cosmetology school is that I got to get this done for free!  Woohoo!!!   I love changing my hair color but always do it at home with whatever color is on sale.  It was so nice to have someone else do it!  The best part of getting my hair done yesterday?  My former preschool AND first grade student, Shelby, is now a student at Empire!  Shelby is one of those students who just stayed in my mind for all these years.  She was the first former student I looked up on FB!  

Today has been a busy day at home.  I've cleaned all the carpet in every room in my apartment.  I cleaned Caroline's mattress and have washed everyone's bedding.   It smells so good in here!  I wanted to make sure that things are in great shape when the girls get home on Saturday.  They've been gone a week and I actually miss them!!  

Earlier this week I helped out at my friends' house getting things organized for the coming home of their new son and daughter from Russia!    Their new bedrooms are so adorable as is the playroom!  I feel so honored that EM and K allowed me to come into their house and help get things ready.  I also took their daughter (the elusive 5th Harrigan) to the zoo on Tuesday so her Mom could run errands.  We spent the whole day there with Ali and her boys (thanks for getting us in for free!) then came back to my apartment pool to swim for an hour.  By the time I took her home she had fallen asleep in my car!   I love 4 year olds!!

Well that's my week in a nutshell.    Can't wait till my girls get back!  I miss them!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Happy birthday or I'm feeling sorry for myself.

What's new right?  I tend to feel sorry for myself a lot.  Today is my birthday.  I'm 44.  I don't mind birthdays.  When my parents were alive I LOVED my birthdays.  They had such a way of making me feel so special on my birthday.   Gifts were thought out, dinner was planned, guests invited.  Birthdays were a big deal.  Fast forward to now when they aren't here and my birthday just becomes another day.   My girls were happy  to wish me a happy birthday today.  And Caroline felt so badly that she couldn't give me a gift.  I realize that it hurts my girls when I don't get anything.

We did go to Liz and John's wedding today.  What a way to spend my birthday!

My girls were so excited to go to a real wedding!  That's what happens when you have a Mom obsessed with Four Weddings, Say Yes to the Dress, and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

  I had to pull up 4 different updos on youtube to do my girls' hair.  Megan wanted her hair and make-up to be like Bella Swan's from Breaking Dawn Part 1.  Did you know there are tutorials on youtube for that?  I'm quite proud of how it turned out!

Each girl wanted something different. Brigid even had a fancy hair doodad.

 They were so thrilled to be dressed up.  Abby loves this dress.  (FYI it's a consignment find.  In fact every dress my girls have on, mine included, is a consignment find)  And she has on the shoes Megan wore to her First Communion.

While driving to the church, Caroline said, "You know what Momma?  Today we look RICH."  She even caught the bouquet!  Adorable! 

 The wedding was so beautiful and simple complete with a cake reception in the church basement.  Liz is the daughter of Brigid's Godparents.  Brigid considers her a "Godsister".   

We came home and just vegetated in front of the television watching Mall Cop, then a documentary on the Titanic, then Pawn Stars.  Pretty random right?  I told the girls this was how I wanted to spend my birthday with them.

At almost 6 (almost an hour late) the ex showed up to pick up the girls for his week's vacation.  He is mad at me right now for the therapy visit on Wed.  So instead of a "happy birthday" or the understanding that I will be without my girls for a week, he couldn't get the girls in the car fast enough to drive away.  Now I don't expect my ex to gush that it is my birthday but I remind you that I have the girls get a gift for him at every stinking holiday.  Father's Day the girls picked out a Bible for him.  He gets something for Valentine's Day, his birthday, St. Patrick's Day, and Christmas.   I don't get him the gifts to make myself feel better.  I know what it means to THE GIRLS that THEY give him a gift.  They can hardly wait until he gets to the door so they can spring the gifts on him.  That makes MY heart feel good.  Yet each and every holiday I receive nothing.   So this evening I watched the loves of my life drive down the street on my birthday feeling pretty damn empty.  My life was driving away on the day that is supposed to celebrate my life.

So I picked up dinner for myself and went to the Family Dollar store.  I had to pick up some bathroom cleaner.  Yay me.  I had no reason to rush home so I just walked up and down each aisle taking my time.  Kinda nice to do that.  Then I saw that they now carry wall quote decals.  I love quotes.  I have them all over my kitchen, dining room, and living room.  Quotes constantly remind me of what I need to treasure in my family; in God.   And lo and behold there was a Godwink sitting there.  A decal with my favorite Bible verse:

       "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"  ~Philippians 4:13

Just a little reminder that, although I am sitting by myself on my birthday,  I can do anything through Christ.

So tonight I am savoring the quiet time to be introspective.  I'll work hard to not dwell on the fact that my children are gone for the week.   I'll use this time to finish up the organizational kick I'm on.  I'll help my friends get their house ready before they leave for Russia to bring home their new son and daughter.  I'll relax.  I'll meditate and pray.  I'll enjoy the quiet.   I'll try at least.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I'm not a Magician

I just hollered that at my children this evening.  Tonight I can't handle one more problem.  I am officially spent.  My financial worries have, of course, been in the back of my mind.  I received so much help to catch up that I am overwhelmed by friends' generosity.  That helps to remove a lot of my stress.  I still don't get why people want to help.  I am grateful for the Blessings God has given me through others.

Yet tonight I am officially spent.

Here's how this week has gone.  I took the girls to a magic show on Monday at the library.  The girls enjoyed it and Brigid got to help the magician do a magic trick.   ((a little foreshadowing))  I'm still trying to maintain the apartment so there was some laundry catch up and cleaning.  We went swimming at our apartment pool.

Tuesday was my fabulous unemployment orientation class.  3 plus hours of learning how to be unemployed taught by a man who looked and acted suspiciously like cousin Eddy from the Vacation movie.  I then went to my nut doctor to pick up my meds.   You know, when you are crazy you need some help to get through things.   I had to kill 45 minutes waiting for the nurse to come back from lunch so I kicked around Burlington Coat Factory looking at things I can't buy.  We went swimming again.  This time Megs wanted to spend the night with a friend in our complex so I said ok.

     The rest of the evening was kinda like the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie series of books.  If Momma spends time outside she'll need allergy medicine.  If she takes allergy medicine it will make her tired.  If she is tired she'll want to go to bed early.  If she goes to bed early she will fall asleep.  If she falls asleep the phone will ring.  It will be her daughter on the other end crying because she watched a scary movie at said friend's house and wants to come home.  When the daughter comes home she'll want to sleep in bed with you.  If she sleeps in bed with you it will cause insomnia.  When Momma gets up she will kill two hours on the computer looking at friends' vacation pics.  If she stays up long enough her allergies will kick in and she'll need to take some allergy medicine.  If she takes allergy medicine she will fall asleep.

So now we are on fabulous Wednesday and Abby's therapy appointment.  I had to take all 4 kiddos with me this time.  The girls' Dad showed up.  So I got to spend an entire hour cooped up in a small room with my ex, 4 kids, and the therapist.  Wee.  By the end of the hour I was so frustrated that I asked that the next session be with just Megan and I and that the girls' Dad can come on his own with the girls.  I've been divorced for SEVEN years.  I don't want to go to family therapy with my ex.  BTDT.  It didn't work the other times we tried it.  Why would it work when I'm not even married to him anymore.   My favorite comment of the year was when he actually said he understood why I needed breaks sometimes because he needs breaks from the girls.  Excuse me??  You get FOUR days out of the month with them and sometimes 2 hours on Wed. evening and you need a break?  Try doing two weeks in a row without a break and then we'll talk.  I don't usually talk about my ex on here in a negative way but that just royally pissed me off.  I don't think he could do two weeks in a row.  Most of the weekends in the summer he brings them back after 36 whopping hours.  What do you call the 26 DAYS a month you don't have the kids???


A friend sent us money to use for something fun, some for bills, and the rest for school supplies.   So I took the girls to see Snow White and the Huntsman.  We went to the 10:45 a.m. showing so we only paid $5 a ticket.  Much cheaper than if we went any other time.  We were almost late because the ex would not stop talking in the therapy appt.   Megan started out crabby when she found out she was going to have to go to a therapy meeting with just her Dad.  So that made her grouchy the entire day.   After the movie we went to Bob Evans so we could use the birthday coupons the girls got.  So that's FOUR free meals.  All I had to pay for was my meal and tip.  Phew.    We get home and the girls want to swim at the pool.  This time we take the two sisters who live in our complex that Megan almost spent the night with on Tuesday.   My girls managed to invite the sisters to spend the night.  I said that was fine.  I keep thinking that this is my girls' opportunity to have a fun filled summer too.  After swimming, all the girls came home to pizza for dinner.  It was the usual:  cheese.  Caroline is a vegetarian and Brigid and Megan won't eat anything but cheese.  Well the two sisters got quite upset that it didn't have pepperoni on it and it wasn't thin crust so they refused to eat it.  They wanted me to make something else for them.  Now if this had been a dietary issue I would have made something else for them.  In this house my girls know you eat what's served or you don't eat.  I'm not a short order cook.  The only times I make changes to the meal is to accommodate Caroline's vegetarianism or Abby's heartburn issues.  Since I wouldn't make anything else, the girls left to go home.  I was livid.  Megan was so upset.  To make her feel better I had her call another friend to come over.   In the meantime the sisters' Mom called and was mortified at her children's behavior.  I felt badly that she was upset but thankful that she called.  I told her not to worry about it.  Truly.

Fast forward to today (Thursday).   I took 6 girls bowling today. allows you to register for 2 free games per day of bowling all summer long.  It was a long drive down Dixie Hwy. to get to the place that offered the free games.   5 of the 6 girls had a blast!  Me included!!  I forgot how much fun bowling could be!  Megs of course was such a crab that I wouldn't buy all kinds of food at the bowling alley that she bitched and complained the entire time.  I finally made her sit out for awhile.  On the ride home, one of our guests got an upset tummy and threw up all over herself and my van.   By the third vomit, I arrived at her Mom's house.   Poor girl and poor Mom!  The rest of us get home and get into our swimsuits for yet another swim.  This time I left Megan at home.   She was such a pill at bowling that I didn't want to reward her with something fun afterwords.   What a disaster that turned out to be. Let's just say I'm not too proud of her behavior.  After swimming we come home, the extra guest gets picked up, and I cook dinner.  

I gotta tell ya.  Just typing this has made me worn out.   What the hell am I doing to myself?  I can't provide everything for these girls all the time.  I'm not a magician.  I can't fix things for everyone.  I can't make everyone happy.  I can't be all things to everyone.  I can't fix Caroline's bruised knee or itchy eyes.  I can't fix Megan's mood swings or ever be enough for her.  I can't video Brigid's audition for the Disney Channel competition on Shake It Up.  I can't fix Abigail's pig tails or find her Mousey.  I can't.   I can't keep getting to 10 p.m. and then realize I haven't done a thing for myself except eat and go to the bathroom.   I can't pull rabbits out of hats or scarves out of my mouth.  I can't make things disappear or reappear.   I can't mend broken friendships or fix someone's hurt from the divorce.  I can't make my ex a part of THIS family anymore.  I can't.  I know I'm supposed to look at things positively and look on the bright side.  But what if the bright side isn't so bright?  What if the magic isn't there to keep running at full speed all day long everyday?   Do other parents feel this way?  Is this just a single parent thing?

I know I will get up tomorrow and jump into my day just like I do every other day.  It's with the hope that just this day, this morning, this afternoon will be magical and I will be able to meet my children's every need and desire.  That I will be enough for them.  That God will guide me through my day and help me find the strength to keep going and not want to go screaming out the front door and never come back.   There is that hope that this time I will be able to pull the rabbit out of the hat,  that scarves will magically come out of my mouth, that I will make the quarter disappear and reappear out from behind my daughter's ear.

That my children will someday notice I put myself last and be appreciative of everything I've done for them.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Many Thanks

I am once again finding myself in the position of expressing my extreme gratitude.  Not a bad position to be in at all!   I'm about $100 off from my rent right now.  I'm going to get help for my LG&E bill at noon so I'm only a few bills behind at this point.  I can't thank everyone enough who offered help and were able to provide help.  I'm also very grateful for those who offered support and prayers.   Everything helps.  Everything.

I can't very often provide financial support but I'm willing to offer my time, talent, and prayers for those who need help.  Always.  

For those still interested in helping my paypal account is under my email address:

Thanks again for your support.   It means more to me (and my girls) than I can ever express.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Embarrassment and Help

If my parents were still around I would have gone to them for help.  But they are gone.  I think the only time I've used the internet for financial help was when my van died and I needed a new one.  And that wasn't necessarily started up by me but by a wonderful triplet Mom friend who I will always be eternally grateful to.  So it is with much embarrassment and humiliation that I now ask for help.  Unemployment still hasn't kicked in but for one week and I'm now 4 weeks out from being laid off.   I do have a job to go to in August but that leaves me being stuck for right now.  My rent at the latest is due on the 15th and I don't have it.  I'm behind on my car payment, LG&E and car insurance with my car tags renewing this month.  That makes me about $1300-$1400 behind.  I have a paypal account set up because in the past I used it for things on ebay.  Some wonderful friends donated some a few weeks back that helped me pay for some things but I am desperate.  If you are able to help my paypal account is under my email address:  

If you feel offended by this request, that is fine and I'm sorry.  But I need help.

I'm tired of living this way.   I'm tired of needing help.  I worked my ass off to get us to where we are at but this setback is hard.   I'm hoping to turn things around.  I'm working to turn things around.  In the meantime I need help and if you are able to give it I would appreciate it.  If you feel more comfortable writing a check directly to my bill then I will forward that information to you.  I'm not asking for vacation money, or party money or for my nails.  This is survival money for us to catch up and keep rolling until I start my job in August.

Thanks in and advance.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Petey the best guard dog ever...

Ok not really.  I took him to Shively Animal Clinic this morning finally.   The Humane Society sorta recommended them because they truly are the cheapest place in town.  I got there around 10:30 a.m. and didn't get home until almost 2.  They don't take appointments so I had to sit in the waiting room for all that time.   I had my cell phone and Megan's Nook with me so that helped to keep me occupied.   It's a good thing she had Twilight's Eclipse on there because I got through a lot of it.  It's completely different from the movie and I wonder if I'm actually reading the right thing.  While I was reading, Petey sat in my lap for over two hours.  He was too afraid to get down on the floor.  He sat and shook the entire visit.  He shook so hard he was actually making me look like I was shaking too.  I was afraid he was going to have a heart attack.  Poor dog. I figure if something awful ever happens, Petey will be sitting in my lap instead of defending me.  Such a baby!

So after all that fun and $83.50 later, Petey has what most likely is considered a skin allergy.  Thank goodness it wasn't mange.  I was afraid of that.  He got a cortisone shot, cortisone pills, and anti-fungal in case it's something else, antibiotics, and an allergy pill.  Wee.  If this doesn't work it's quite possible it's an autoimmune deficiency.  Praying it's not that.  My girls (read Megan) have been through so damn much that I hate to think it will be anything that could possibly cause us to loose him early.

I'm figuring at this point that I need to just win the lottery.  Unemployment hasn't kicked in yet and it's been a month already.  The funds are rapidly decreasing.  Petey's visit today was not what I needed but I also couldn't have that poor dog losing more fur and being miserable.   So shit.  August can't come soon enough. I just need to get through 3 months to survive.  Unless I win the lottery.  Or unless I find Prince Charming and he marries me like tomorrow.

I really hate writing about my money issues.  I'm sure people are saying I shouldn't have gone on that trip to Florida.   I wish I hadn't gone on that trip.  I know I should have put that money aside for something else and I didn't.  I'm thinking I'm just not the kind of person that should vacation.   I just really wanted to give my girls something special that they see all their friends doing all the time.  We've been so tight and frugal with things and I desperately wanted to let my sister's ashes go on a beach in Florida.  My heart was in the right place.  It really was.  It's just that my damn pocketbook is rarely in the right place.   Ugh.

This afternoon a friend is having a 50th birthday party for her husband.  That will at least be a bright spot in my day.  Well that and hearing that Petey is most likely going to be ok.  Did you see that Kate?  I put Bill right on the same level as Petey.  Bill must be loved.

Happy 50th!!!!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Why I don't like hugs

I'm hoping this doesn't sound like a whine.  I don't intend it to be but I'm going to sound like some kind of anti-social nut.  I don't like hugs.   I give them out a lot.  I like to GIVE hugs.  Not receive hugs.  I hug my children all the time.  I hugged the kiddos at the preschool I was employed at.  I've briefly hugged friends and co-workers.  I don't have a problem with giving out hugs.  I just don't want to receive one.

My Mother was an amazing giver of hugs.  It's been 8 long years without a hug from my Mom and I miss that.  When you don't get hugs often it makes it hard to receive one.  And I'm afraid I'm going to get a hug like my Mom's and then the flood gates will open.  And  I mean open.  I'll start bawling like nobody's business.  Let's face it.  I'm a single Mom without any close family.   I don't have a partner.  So I don't GET hugs.  My ex used to give me hugs that would allow me to drop all my defenses and just let everything go.   Just like my Mom. Well-meaning friends have given me hugs and while I appreciate those hugs I tend to accept them rather stiffly. Makes it easier to hold things in.   And I have to hold things in.  I have to hold it together.  If I don't then this family doesn't survive.   So I hold it in.

Please don't read this and immediately think you have to give me a hug.  I'm not looking for one.   Really not.  Just be aware that I'm not thrilled to get one.

And in other Harrigan news...

Megan made the honor roll for the year at her middle school.  First year in middle school in an AP math/science/technology program and the kid makes the honor roll.  I am so proud of how easy it comes to her.   I might also add that I know have THREE children in the AP program out of 4.  This single Mom who works full time, doesn't like hugs, and pretty much does it on her own, has three kids in AP.  I don't think I'm doing too badly.  The 4th kid struggles a bit.  I know she is smart but she has a hard time allowing her smarts to come out on paper.  She has so many other things going for her.  She is a social butterfly and let me tell you that kid can sing.  I mean really hold a note and stay with the melody of any song she sings.  

So there is my brag for the night.  

Otherwise not much going on in the world of Harrigans.  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Why do I keep this stuff?

I'm trying to take advantage of the time off and put it to good use in this apartment.  When we had to leave my house 3 years ago I simply packed a bunch of stuff without taking the time to go through any of my crap.   Which means when I moved from my first apartment to the one we are in now, I brought more crap with us.  I've been tackling one project after another as far as paperwork is concerned.  Like I said previously:  paperwork and laundry are two areas that I fall woefully behind in.   7 bags of trash and two boxes later, I'm making a dent.  Today I cleaned and purged the filing cabinet and my desk.  It feels good to get it organized.  I've only cleaned out about half of what was under my bed.  I have one of those beds that you need a step stool to get up in so I can stack a ton of crap under there.

I finally tackled my honeymoon box.

Yes you read that right.  My honeymoon box.

I kept every boarding pass, ticket, and souvenir possible from our honeymoon cruise.  Even kept every wedding card we got.  I'm not sure why after 7 years of being single and more than 15 years since our honeymoon that I kept all of it.   At first it was just too painful to go through.  Then, after time, I would look through it wistfully thinking about how happy my ex and I had been.   When I tried to throw anything away I felt like I was somehow dishonoring everything we went through as a couple.   If I threw it away then it felt like I was somehow saying our marriage was a throw away marriage.   Monday I finally opened the box and got rid of everything.  I kept the cards from my Mom and Dad, my sister and brother.  And that was it.  It felt good to let everything go.  I still have the memories and the pictures.  I just don't need a boarding pass to      remind me of what a wonderful time in my life my honeymoon was.

Some good things have happened this week as well.   On Tuesday we went to help a friend work on her house remodel.   She and her husband and daughter are adopting a brother and sister from Russia.   They go to bring them home in about 3 weeks so it's crunch time in getting the house ready.   I'm so excited for them!!   They are great parents and I just love their daughter.  We have started calling her the 5th Harrigan girl.  I can hardly wait to meet their new son and daughter.  What a wonderful family!  We had so many people help us when we were trying to adopt Megan that I feel like I'm paying it forward.  Plus I think it is really good for all of my girls to see the excitement while waiting for an adoption to finalize.  They get to see first hand what it was like for my ex and I while we were waiting for Megan.

Tuesday evening I took all 5 Harrigan girls to the planetarium to see Venus cross between the Earth and the Sun.  I loved it!  I loved the excitement of everyone around us and plus I'm a space nerd who loves that stuff.  The 4 year old was lovely and enjoyed herself right down to dinner at Taco Bell. The other 4 were board to tears.  How did I not pass on my space nerdism  to my children???

Wednesday my ex came and took the girls to dinner.  In my excitement in being alone for the first time in awhile, I jumped in my car and went to Goodwill.  I dropped some things off and wanted to find a small shelf for my living room organization.  As I was looking around I turned a corner and there stands....

Megan Harrigan with her Dad and sisters!

Even in my effort to get away I somehow ended up being in the exact same place as my children.  Must be Mom radar.  I pity my children when they start dating.  I'll be able to sense where they are at at all times.  :)

Oh and the other piece of goodness:  I'm the new infant teacher at Adath Jeshurun Preschool!  This is an awesome place to work.  It offers benefits, some retirement, and some of the most amazing early childhood educators out there.  I'm Blessed beyond belief that I will be working there.   I start in August.

That's about it on the homefront.  I'm sure there will be more exciting stuff  coming up.  There always is!