Forrest says to me this morning, "So, part of me wants a fifth baby." He said he never felt like he needed a fourth baby, but now that Miranda is here he kind of wants another one. He says part of it is because he'd like another boy, and part of it is simply because he regrets his vasectomy. (He's been having some long term pain and swelling, but his doctor says he has to wait a year before he can do anything about it.) Apparently another thing is that he feels like we already have so many children, why not have more? Ultimately, neither one of us wants me to go through another pregnancy, and with PTSD being his main disability, there's probably no way we'd be able to adopt or be foster parents. So, barring a surprise pregnancy (I've had dreams of surprise twin boys) we're definitely not having more kids. But I definitely think it's funny that Forrest is beginning to feel what I felt before when he didn't want more kids.

More government money?

That's right. We are never going to have to work again! Sort of. So, as you may know, Forrest is considered unemployable by the VA, which means he gets about $3000 a month in disability money. A while back he found out about a caregiver program they offer that pays a family member to be a caregiver to a disabled veteran. We're almost done with the application process and it looks like I will be getting $1100-1200 a month for being his caregiver. I'm thrilled that I'll be getting paid for putting up with his stupid bullshit, because boy, is it rough sometimes. Lessening our overall financial stress should go a long way in reducing his anxiety. And, as a joke, Forrest suggested I start saving for a boob job, since mine will essentially be disappointing after I'm done pumping. (Which is true. They used to be awesomely perfect, but pregnancies and pumping have made them sad.) And I agreed that that would actually be justified, since it would contribute to taking care of him and keeping him happy. So that may actually happen sometime in the next couple of years, which is kind of exciting.

In the meantime, I have to get my family into a decent routine now that little Miranda is here. Forrest has a 7 day elk hunting trip in about two and a half weeks. I'll be taking all the kids to drop Audrey off at school, and I may have to take the all out to run errands and do the grouchy shopping. I know I can handle it, I just don't want to. And of course, I'll have to start exercising at some point, and Vivienne wants to start potty training. None of which will be easy while I'm pumping.

Finally - Miranda Charlotte

Well, the little monster is out of me! She is tiny, and way more laid back than I expected. She doesn't even really cry. After what was a great start to breast feeding she developed some latching issues and I've decided to just pump instead. It was too painful to try and figure things out. She can't even use a nipple shield, and the whole thing became very stressful. With three other kids to deal with, it's just too much and I already know how to make pumping work. It's sort of a bummer, but I also feel like it gives me a little more freedom. Sure, I'm stuck with a pumping schedule, but I also don't have to be the only one feeding Miranda. Forrest is happy because he likes the bonding that comes with feeding a baby. We're just a bottle family, and I'm ok with that. Miranda isn't digging the bottle quite yet, but she's working on it.

As if this wasn't stressful enough

So it turns out Forrest's mom is leaving the 22nd. She's driving from Idaho, so she wants to be able to keep things flexible, but I'm assuming she only has the one week off from work. That means I have to have this baby before I hit 41 weeks or else we're screwed on finding someone to watch our kids. Maybe having a deadline will encourage this baby to come on her own. It sort of seemed to work for Vivienne, who was born 40 minutes before I was scheduled to be induced. I don't really want to go more than a week past my due date anyway since my placenta started to calcify while I waited and waited for Audrey.

I'd hate to go into labor right now though, as all the kids are sick. It would be difficult enough for my grandma to adequately handle them when they're healthy, but dealing with three sick kids is rough. So I guess I'm back to hoping this one is born after Forrest's mom arrives since that should give the kids enough time to get better.

On an unrelated note, The Prestige is amazing. Because, Hugh Jackman.

Angry face

I want to have this baby so badly, but I just realized I can't relax enough for it to happen while my grandma is here. I just don't trust her enough to be able to take care of things for a day or so. She's been all weird and anti-social today, there's no way she could entertain the kids or even get Vivienne to take a nap. She refused to give Audrey cuddles the other night, even though Audrey specifically asked for her. I hate that I come from such shitty people. I still cannot believe that the kids chose to stay with our friends when my mom was here for Vivienne's birth. It's sad, but I trust our friends more than my family. I'm not sure Forrest's mom will be much better, but hopefully this baby is born within a day or two of her arrival, before she's overwhelmed by our normal life.

Saturday can't come quickly enough

I took a long, hot bath this morning hoping that it might get labor started since it made labor progress so quickly with Audrey. It didn't do anything. A then I took a shower. When I got out and went to get some clothes Forrest was n the phone in the studio. I was talking to Vivienne when I heard Harrison yelling that he went poop. Dressed only in a towel, I wiped his bum. And then I saw my Grandma just sitting on Harrison's bed, where she's been sleeping, messing around on her computer. The room is a few feet away from the kids' bathroom. She heard him saying he'd pooped, knew that both Forrest and I were not available, and still let him sit there on the toilet waiting. I don't know what her deal is, but her sudden passive-aggressive attitude is total bullshit. She came expecting to help out a little and now she's just being ridiculous. This was not the bak I was expecting. She insists on hand washing all kinds of dishes, yet she doesn't actually get them clean. I pulled out a knife today while making lunch and it was disgusting. Her "help" is more trouble than it's worth. Hopefully things will be nicer when Forrest's mom is here. I never thought I'd be excited to spend time with my mother-in-law (she's actually pretty great, it's more the stereotype that I'd bought into) but I absolutely cannot handle my family. Now I've got a massive headache from my Grandma's hairspray. Fun times.

Dear god

Old people are the worst. I don't know if it's just because I'm massively pregnant and dying to get this baby out of me, but my Grandma is driving me crazy. She's just so clueless and lame. She really thought she could just put dirty dishes in the dishwasher without washing me off first, which you can't. Of course, my mom tried that crap too, only I didn't find out until I pulled a gross dish out of the cabinet. She likes playing with the kids when she wants to, but she gets tired of the games she makes up quickly. She wigs out when they try to touch her laptop, for which she has a trackball mouse that makes the loudest clicks ever. And I don't know, she's just weird in that old person kind of way. It's annoying and I just want to be able to do my own thing. I don't want to worry about whether or not she'll like watching the Daily Show. I can barely stand being a mom to so many little children, I don't want to entertain another adult as well.

So thankful

I am so thankful that Forrest's PTSD isn't very bad anymore. That shit makes everyone crazy. Granted, his was never very bad because he didn't see too much action, so the problem has mainly been his anger and lack of patience. Before we met he did have a lot of guilt, which is still there to an extent. Guilt about not helping orphaned Iraqi children begging for food (he would see them while they were on their way out of camp, not a time that was ok to stop), guilt that fathers died and he, who at the time had nothing, survived. He was also suicidal and checked himself into a hospital in Portland.

But since we've been together things have been pretty good. His therapy also helps. Right now it seems like the biggest thing he needs to do is to stop putting so much pressure on himself. He always has a huge to-do list (don't we all?) and he feels like he has to get everything done as quickly as possible. I'm trying to get hits understand that it's ok to slow down, that even though we're having a baby in a few weeks there really is no deadline. We have an incredible life where we both get to be stay at home parents, we have the luxury of time that most people do not.

I'm part of a group on Facebook for wives of the Marines in Forrest's unit. It's a little weird since I've never met any of them. A lot of them became friends at the annual reunions and next year there are going to be events for the wives only. The few women I've talked to seem nice, but man, their lives are crazy. Their husbands have bad PTSD, which makes the women crazy as well. It seems like every time one of them posts something on the group page it's nothing but drama. Now one says she and her husband, who have 5 kids, are getting divorced. I can't even imagine what it must be like living their lives. The constant drunkenness, fighting, avoidance, the lack of communication, it's all way more than I could handle. There are times when I can barely handle my own husband, where I feel like I wouldn't have married him if I'd known exactly how things were going to be. (Of course, I'm sure a lot of people can say that, it's just part of being in a long term relationship, I think.) But dealing with what these other women do, I know I couldn't handle that, if only because it's not something I want my kids to grow up around.