Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Having quadruplets the scariest thing? Not anymore.

Having quadruplets is officially no longer the most frightening experience I have gone through.  I came home Monday night to a warm and loud welcome from all the kids.  “Mommy, I thought you were going to die!”  Me too.  This was followed with, “You got new clothes? No fair!”  They didn’t seem as stressed as I thought they would be.

After what may have been serious food poisoning, a virus, or possibly some unknown gastric disease (they are asking for more blood to test today.) I do not recommend eating at Chuck A Rama. 

Saturday night I did not feel like eating dinner and as the pain increased through the night, I could not sleep.  I got up expecting to vomit, but ended up on the floor crying, scared, and having my limbs slowly become paralyzed.   (Apparently, that’s what happens if you don’t breath.) My husband said I was scaring him and he was calling 911.  I said “Yes, do it!”

All I could think of was the kids are going to be so scared and what are they going to do when I am gone, as in what if I don’t get to come home type of gone.  As the paramedics arrived my thoughts quickly changed to, “Oh NO!  I am not dressed!”  The blanket that darling hubby threw over me was quickly discarded as the paramedics checked my vitals and tried to get me to breath correctly.

After a few minutes they offered me a ride, but I insisted I needed clothes on first.  I ended up wearing a jacket and my husband’s jeans partially on, but everything was covered enough.  Then they asked if I wanted to go in the ambulance or in the car.  I felt better thinking I had a choice and chose to drive ourselves.  Hubby ran in and woke up the oldest boy saying, “I’m taking mommy to the doctor.”

We arrived around two in the morning.  I waited impatiently while giving blood and getting ultra and CT scans for the time to be late enough to call someone for help to watch the kids, not really worried because they were all sleeping and it might be possible we would be back before they woke up.  HA! 

At about 7:30, I called to tell Stephen I was not coming home today (Sunday) and he would have to make breakfast and be in charge.  We didn’t have any cold cereal or pop tarts, only about half a loaf of bread so I told him where the pancake recipe was.  By the time someone arrived to check on the kids he had them sitting at the table with a nice perfectly made pancake breakfast with carrots and ranch dip.  What was I so worried about?

The four have a homework assignment to write and draw a picture of something that happened during the week.  We talked about it and they were all more interested in having a play day at a friend’s than they were about me being gone. 

I said, “And I went to the hospital.”  (hint, hint)

“Yeah, that’s when we had our play day!”

Again, what was I worried about?
This weekend I gained a new appreciation and understanding for my brother and his cancer.  When I told him about what happened, he said it was very similar to one of his experiences.  He came to visit me and immediately told the nurse to give me a different type of tape on my IV and asked where the room’s thermometer was.  He changed it and we ordered some warm blankets.  I am so glad he was able to take care of me. No one else had enough experience to do that for me.  I never even thought of asking for it.   Sometimes our trials can provide blessings for others.

Of course the other things I learned, or remembered rather, are that I have the best husband I could possibly have, I have an awesome family and neighborhood friends, and my kids are pretty good kids.  I have been very blessed.

What am I going to do about it?  I am hugging my kids more.  I am washing laundry and making new PJ’s!  I am letting my kids help in the kitchen more and, since I watched “Hoarders” for the first time while in the hospital and it sacred my pants off, if I had been wearing pants, I being more diligent in making the kids pick up after themselves.  Not that it is anywhere near qualifying for the show, but let’s just say my kids were getting tired of me telling them to pick it up instead of stepping over stuff.  But what do you expect with the mom gone for a few days?

Cherish your loved ones.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A new year, new month, new goals and achievements.

This week we have had three days in a row with three different children staying home from school.  Let me tell you, this bumps my schedule a bit more than I would like.  The first was not sick, but did not want to be late to school since he would have to attend “tardy school” and miss recess. 

Since, of course, it was not really his fault but mine that he was late for school I listened to his reasoning.  Dallas is, um shall we call it “talented” with rhetoric.  He can win a debate with me often.  If he doesn’t win, it is usually because I said, “I’m the mom!” So, he stayed home and turned from the challenge child into a perfect angel.  I thought, “If he will be like this for not going to school, I will keep him home all the time.” No kidding, though hard to believe.

The next day Marek was sick, and he really was for a few hours.  Then he wanted to play and ended up just being happy to be home.  Today it was Stephen’s turn to be “sick”.  Not sick enough to take nay gross medicine though.  I have noticed that this may be a ploy to get one on one time with mommy.
We talked about it and are starting a new “maintenance” schedule for the kids.  As long as they are doing their best in school, once a term (Quarter? Semester? Report card time.) I will take them out of school for one day for whatever they want, including big projects for school like the science fair.  They seem excited about that.

The other thing new is I read a book!  It’s called RetirementQuest Make Better Decisions by John Hauserman, CFP. 

Reading the beginning of RetirementQuest scared my shorts off.  Hauserman clearly and simply explains the economic history and outlook of the future, showing why it is so important to plan for your retirement.  This demonstrated to me further why having a large family is so much work!

I thought, "There's just no way possible to have enough money to retire and live for the extra 30-40 years."  Memories of all the money mistakes we’ve made flooded my mind and the guilt set in.  I began to get depressed, until on page 35 it said,

"The challenges facing these people are beyond the scope of this book.  This book is intended for mature readers who have already achieved a reasonable level of financial security and responsibility, and for younger people who are actively in a wealth building mode."

Well, that explains it.  There really is no hope for us.  But as I read on, I made connections with the mistakes we have made in the past.  I must disagree with the quote from page 35.  Although it may be beyond the scope of individuals that are simply not able to produce enough assets to invest, the knowledge is essential for those potential investors to have prior to their making mistakes.

 Let me say it again, everyone should read this book prior to investing. 

I wish we had read RetirementQuest before we traveled through the pitfalls of inheriting money and receiving lump sums from insurance claims, etc. This knowledge could have saved us enough money that I wouldn’t need to patch our jeans! (Translate that as thousands, and thousands, and thousands of dollars)

The book is thorough with easy to understand examples and hypothetical scenarios.  The author also includes several references to check out like websites for the government, as well as his own website that walks you through the “journey to retirement”.   The website is an amazing tool you can use for free!   I ended up having hope for our future after all as the journey winded through the descriptions of generations and what could be the future for America.

If you are interested in this book, you can purchase it here.

Now that we have come this far, the next goal is to get our Christmas … I mean Valentine’s Day letters out!