Friday, February 02, 2007

i came, i saw ... i wanted to leave again

When I left home on Monday, I was so sad to be leaving the kids and Charlie for almost a week. I really debated even attending this meeting. Every afternoon, and every evening - I would call home and talk to my family. My heart melted and I'd wipe away a tear listening to my adorable little children babble in to the telephone "Hewwo, Mommy!"

I wasn't due to return home until today. But as luck would have it, our meeting ended a day early. When I arrived home last night - after battling traffic on the 101, 405 and 5 for almost four hours ... and narrowly avoiding a horrible car accident when the two assholes drivers in the lanes immediately to my left let road rage get the best of them and swerved out of control across a 6-lane highway ... I was greeted by the aroma of Charlie's home cooking once I walked in the door.

The stress of a week away, immediately started to melt off my shoulders.

As soon as I hugged my husband - and showered loving on all of my children - Charlie sized me up and down. He then smiled and said, "Wow. I'm having flashbacks to when you were pregnant with the triplets!"

Surely he meant because I have the trademark 'pregnant woman glow' ... that emanates from the new life blossoming within me.

Instead, he said, "Yes, it's amazing how ... puffy you've gotten this week!"



Charlie realized the error of his ways when I told him that he must have meant "puffy" like the lip I was going to give him - if he ever said that kind of thing to me again, while I'm feeling frumpy enough as it is. Thankfully, he made up for his comment 10-fold when he ran out to the store and bought me some peanut butter and chocolate ice cream, because my supply had mysteriously vanished.

This morning, Charlie took off for an important meeting, early. For the first time in almost a week, I was on my own with the children. I've written about this kind of situation before and what it is like coming back in to the triplet environment, when you've been out for a few days. The only analogy that adequately conjures the experience - is to imagine being dropped off on an island with cannibals and you've accidentally smothered yourself in A-1 steak sauce, instead of Coppertone.

Less than 5 minutes after all the kids were out of their cribs ... I was losing my mind. William was horribly whiny, Carolyn was grabbing everything off the counters, and Elizabeth was using her toy broom to knock pictures off the walls. The lot of them were attacking my suitcase, that had yet to be unpacked, and were throwing toiletries in every direction.

Unlike most mornings where I get up and get dressed before the kids ... today, I was still in my pajamas. I hadn't brushed my teeth, gone to the bathroom, or looked in the mirror.

It didn't take long before I was yelling at my children. I was sending everyone in to time out. William was sobbing in one corner ... Carolyn was sobbing in another ... Elizabeth was sobbing in another.

I was sobbing, too. Not on the outside - but on the inside. I wasn't thinking so much about how rotten of a mother I was for yelling at my babies - that I hadn't seen in almost a week - but rather, how much I was looking forward to my vacation trip to the hospital when I give birth. I remember my mother telling me that every time she went in to the hospital to have one of her seven children, she came home after seven days feeling refreshed.

Never before did I understand that.

Now, I do.

Slowly, methodically and with a strong focus on deep breathing ... I began to regain my composure. I prepared breakfast, got everyone dressed, read stories, and set about cleaning the house. Let's face it - I was gone for the better part of a week and although Charlie does a fantastic job on his own - when I mention "Pledge" he thinks I mean "To the Flag".

At the moment: the kids are napping and the house is partially tidy. I probably would have made better progress on the cleaning front, if the kids hadn't been following me around and pulling out everything I had just put away, and trying to catch rides on the vacuum.

As I'm sitting down - for the first time all day - I'm noticing that my cankles have returned. Charlie was right ... I am puffy. I have swollen feet and a hole in my shoe. And, I yell at my children. And, I threaten my husband with bodily harm when he simply tells me the truth.

If we weren't in an environment where it was 70 degrees and sunny ... I'd be overjoyed that
Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow today. I should probably take advantage of this weather and sit in the sun. I do have a glow ... but, it might be more aptly characterized as a blinding white light from my pale skin.

Although, on second thought - I'll go have a small scoop of ice cream. That always makes me feel better.


  1. Hi! What a fun post. Triplets! I can't imagine the LIFE you must have in your home. Your writing is enjoyable. Continue to share it!

  2. Cankles!!! LMAO!! I remember those! My feet grew a whole size and never went back, so it might be a good thing having a hole in your shoe. Cut a hole in the other one and nobody will notice. Plus, they look cute with your toes sticking out!

  3. A nice welcome home, huh? It will all be fine, especially with some peanut butter and chocolate ice cream.

  4. Ah, the indignities of pregnancy. I am so glad to be done and I totally feel for you!

  5. Puffy is good...I like puffy...I think marshmallows, bread, Peeps...

    You need to think of the glass half FULL, not half EMPTY, Jenna. ;)

    No, really. I read your blog everyday and you make everything humorous. Good for you.

    I can't believe you are over 18 weeks pregnant...wasn't it yesterday that you announced your completely spontaneous pregnancy?

    No? Oh. Are you going to find out the sex? PLEASE DO! It's killing us...boy or girl...or just kidding. Twins/triplets almost never go undetected. ;)

  6. Jen- Are you checking your blood pressure? You know what I'm thinking and your cankles have me a little worried. Are you taking your fish oil? Fish oil can prevent preeclampsia. When do you see the doctor again?

    Okay, just to make you feel better, when I was pregnant with my singleton, my husband asked me if I was growing the baby in my ass. He did. I didn't even divorce him.

    And on your other post about not knowing where to live and not wanting to live in a little house but not wanting to upgrade and be strapped to a big mortgage. Okay, that's my life here too. I have no advice whatsoever!!!!

    Except, you aren't a bad mother and I just came off 8.5 days alone with my quartet and they're all lucky to be alive. Really. I see that as a successful week.

  7. I'm not sure it's OK to be puffy so early in the pregnancy (you and I are are only a couple days apart). With triplets, sure, but not a singleton. Make me feel better and call your doctor, just to check...

  8. Never mind :) ! I looked it up in my week to week pregnancy book and foot swelling is mentioned as normal beginning in week 17.