Tuesday, November 27, 2012

BLOG HOP!




                                                                              JOIN THE TEA PARTY!

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                                                                      Welcome to Tuesday's Tea Party!!!
We all know blog hops are a great way to gain more followers, meet other bloggers and help each other out. 

The Blogger: But I don't want to go among mad people.
 Alice: Oh, you can't help that. We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.
 The Blogger: How do you know I'm mad?
 Alice: You must be. Or you wouldn't have come here.

Meet the daydreaming host: 
Adventure Into Domesticland
 
and this weeks simply mad co-hosts: 
Funny Postpartum Lady
Busymee 



CLICK THE PICTURE BELOW TO LINK UP

Adventure Into Domesticland
 

Monday, November 26, 2012

memorable moments

Our family spent Thanksgiving in a hotel this year, a first for all of us.  Two of our daughters were in a cheerleading competition the Friday after turkey day, which required them to be awake and functioning at an illogical hour - so instead of getting up way too early and driving the morning of the competition,  we decided to use the opportunity to make a mini vacation.

We haven't taken a lot of family trips, mostly because of our schedules being already slam packed - oh and that fact that we have too many children to ever take advantage of family deals, yet not enough to qualify for a  group discount.

Also, traveling with 5 children is  a lot of work...unless you have 6 children, then its a piece of cake - or if you have multiple nannies, and your own tour bus...that sounds awesome.  Unfortunately we don't have either of those things, all we have is a van, with a tiny TV (that is NOT a TV, its a DVD player...which means I cannot "change the channel" - so stop asking kids!) and a broken remote control.

This time it seemed appropriate to take the children - I was going regardless, the discounted rate at the hotel was undeniable.  After all, it was their competition not mine (I was told this several time when trying to practice with them...) so I guess they had to come.  Oh yeah, and it was thanksgiving.

We made reservations at a shmancy fancy restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner, invited both grandmothers and had a few other surprises planned. 

I spent entirely too much time doing an AWFUL job packing the morning that we were scheduled to leave for our vaca...I think I had convinced myself that there would be a closet full of new clothes at the hotel - because I barely packed enough clean underwear for everyone.

We hit the road by noon Wednesday and made it to the hotel not too shortly after that.  The hotel, actually a resort,  was beautiful, 4 pools, several places to eat, 2 lobbies (which still doesn't make sense to me) , an arcade!! It really was fantastic.

The first thing my kids had to do was go swimming.  Regardless of the fact that it was 50 degrees outside.  Their dad took them down stairs, while I did all the guests a favor by not putting my bikini on.  I watched them through the window from the room, jumping into the pool and then running to the hot tub. They spent a good amount of time down there.  When they came back up, one of my girls had a huge gash on her nose.  I asked what happened, she said, that she had her eyes closed and didn't realize how shallow the pool was, scraping her face against the floor - ouch...and eww.  She had a competition the next day - hopefully they didn't take points off for appearance.

That night we decided to go downtown for dinner.  There is a permanant production of cirque du soleil in that area, which I had seen 10 years earlier when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter.  James surprised all of us by purchasing tickets to see the show while we were there.

While watching the show, I couldn't help but feel a little nostalgic.  My oldest sat a row in front of me with my mom and her two sisters, my son and youngest daughter were on either side of me.  I watched my children more than the stage.  I loved seeing their faces light up, the seriousness of their brow line, and the whispers of surprise and amazement.  I too felt those feelings, but for them.  It overwhelmed me to think of myself sitting their 10 years earlier and being at the end of my childhood- only 18 at the time.  Now as I sat there with my children, I felt the same joy, through them, and five times more significant. 

After we left, I asked the kids what they thought, they told me their favorite parts and how their grandma kept telling them to "listen to the music" - which they were trying to do...but she kept interrupting.  We laughed...and it felt wonderful to share that moment with them.

The next day, we had Thanksgiving dinner at a resturaunt not intended for children, after removing the 16 glasses and 8 steak knives from the table, my brood was on their best behavior. The food was delicious, and the service top notch.  It was another experience that I hoped my children would later appreciate.

On Friday the girls had their competition, which lasted 5 hours...no no they didn't cheer for 5 hours, their actual performance was literally two and a half minutes - however awards are at the END of the competition.  It was a long day.  They didn't place in the top five, which I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little relieved for cheerleading season to officially be over now.

One of my girls took it pretty hard, luckily we had another surprise planned for that night, which would hopefully take her mind off of the loss.

My son's birthday was the week before and we decided to celebrate it on our trip. 

We had made reservations to a pirate dinner show (our family really likes to eat...and my son likes pirates...win win).  James purchased the "VIP" package for us that night, which included front row seats, interaction with the pirates, and special attention for the birthday boy.

When we arrived to dinner, we were swept away to a private room, filled with appetizers, a bar and a pirate who mingled with us.  It was very "VIPish".  James was asked to volunteer for the pre-dinner show, and was lead backstage.  As the pre-dinner show started, we all waited with cameras out for his big debut...but he never came out.  Even as we were walking into the dining room for dinner, he was M.I.A.  A server lead us to our seat, less James.  The server sat the children and their grandmothers front and center, and then showed me to my seat...away from the family!  I was livid...James was still missing.   Finally James appeared at the table, explaining that they had forgotten about him backstage, hence not including him in the show.  That was strike two...I was furious.  We got up to speak with the manager, and explained how they had separated our family - to the point that I could not even see my children, and kept James backstage for 30 minutes, missing out on part of the experience.  The manager was very apologetic, bought us a round, moved us closer together and ended up refunding half of our money.

The show starts,  I feel a lot better now, being able to at least see my children's faces.  The show is really bad....they tried tying Christmas in with pirates, with a horrible plot about a magical treasure chest and there was this female elf - Pixy, who was...well..."talented", she climbed the ropes with no hands...I'm pretty sure, her sole purpose was to entertain the dads in the audience.  As James and I are making innaproraite jokes, I look to see my children's reactions...they are completely enthralled.  They are all wearing pirate hates and the girls are singing pirate songs, my son is pointing at the ship and making gestures about going up on the stage.

Dinner is served next.  There is a woman with a cart dishing out steak, green beans and carrots.  When I say one of the grossest meals I have ever eaten, I am not exaggerating.   It was that bad.  My kids ate it all up, hoping for dessert and wishing to be part of the show.  Their wish was soon granted as a pirate came over and ushered them all up a ramp onto the prop ship. My son needed a little pep talk from his daddy, but once he was told that it was OK, he ran after his sisters, up the ramp as well.   They were given another opportunity later in the show to go on stage, and this time no pep talk was needed.

After dinner,  my son was presented with a "real" pirate hat and a birthday cake - which was rock solid frozen..and it wasn't icecream cake....he mostly licked it.

When the show was over, we had the opportunity to take pictures with the cast, which included santa...weird, yes...exciting for my kids though.  We then went into another room with a DJ, where we did the chacha slide, and someone stole my sons hat off of his head...don't worry though, we got him a new one.

Overall the night was, strange.  I personally would never recommend the place to anyone, but if you asked my kids, it was the highlight of their vacation.

Forget the 5 star resort we stayed at, the once in a life time restaurant, or the multi-million dollar - world famous cirque du soleil act that we took them too.  Their favorite moment was being on a pirate ship, and taking a picture with (a very poor attempt at) some guy dressed as santa.  And swimming....regardless of any injury, swimming is always thoroughly enjoyed.

Kids don't know better..for their own good.  They enjoy things that are worth enjoying,  and can't really appreciate a dollar amount.  We try to provide them with great stuff, when all they need is great moments. I am sure they will look back when they are older and say "wow we did some nice things", but more importantly they found the fun in the less nice, the less luxurious, and the company in which they had.  I am proud of my children, and a little disappointed in myself.  For a moment, I forgot that it isn't what we do, it's who we do it with, that makes a moment magical.

I hope you all made memories this Thanksgiving!

If you enjoyed my blog - please take a moment to vote for it.  You can vote once a day, and feel free to encourage your friends to vote too - or you could all get together and vote...that would be special :)  Just CLICK THE ICON BELOW and find BUSYMEE on the list Thanks!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Looking back, and moving forward

Tomorrow my son will turn 3.  My life has changed tremendously since getting pregnant with my my little guy.

A little over 4 years ago, I was a single mom, with one daughter...a different kind of mom.

I balanced things such as school, work,  and motherhood, and somehow still managed a social life.  I had been raising my daughter with the help of my family, for 5 years.  I embraced being a young, single mother...I loved it.  I loved being the "boss"....and knew that whatever I thought was in her best interest, was the path that we would take.  One on one time was our normal daily conversations, riding in the car or bath time, it wasn't something that was sought after, it was just there.

I met James over the holidays in 2008.  I was ready for a serious relationship, but I had no idea how serious we were about to get.

I still remember telling my friends that he was a widower with 3 little girls, and their jaws hitting the floor.  I had a "back up" plan for our first date, a party that a friend had invited me to, but we got along so well - with the help of a few "adult beverages"- that I invited him to the party with me.

 The next few months flew by, we introduced the children, faster than I ever imagined I would be doing so. All the girls got along, and it felt like every second we were all spending time as a "family".

When we found out that I was pregnant, we officially merged as one family.

It was my first time living on my own, away from my parents.

It was my daughters first real big change in 5 years.

The first year was so hard.  I missed the parent I used to be.  I wasn't the "boss" anymore, it wasn't just what I thought was right, it was what "we" thought was right.  My "young" daughter was now the oldest of 4 girls, and I had a difficult time grasping why they weren't all on the same page.   I had grown each year and learned to adapt to my daughters age, now I also had a 2,3, and 4 year old to adapt to. 

Being pregnant was harder than the first time, and with 4 kids in tow, it was beyond exhausting.

When my son was born, he was that missing piece of pie...he completed us.

The next year was even harder than the first, the baby got all of my attention, I had to protect him from the others...there were so many hands that wanted to touch, tickle and hold him.  He was (and still is) a very loved little boy.

We moved two more times from the time I got pregnant until my son was 2, the girls switched schools, and we went through a lot as a family.

I used to feel really bad, like I had lost who I used to be...so many things were changing, including me.

In  this last year, I have realized that while things have changed, it hasn't been a bad thing.  I have grown, and as my family grows we all change.

My one on one time with my first daughter, may not be as frequent, but it is still there, and cherished more than before.  I am a stay at home mom now, and though there are days that I wish I could go somewhere and interact with other adults, and have a reason to put on real clothes, I know that I am very lucky to be home with my children.

My priorities have changed,  I am a different mom.  I have lost some of who I used to be, but have gained so much more along the way.

The upcoming birthday of my son has shed so much light on my life now.  I still cannot believe I have 5 children.  My attention is shifting from the "baby" to my school aged children, and as each child goes through a different phase, so will I. 

I feel like my feet are finally planted, I am not spending so much time trying to plant my roots, and I can finally grow into who I am supposed to be.    

So while I am sad to see my son grow another year, become less of a baby and more of a child, I am so excited for his future, my future and my families future. 


If you enjoyed reading this post, please check out some of the others on my blog :)
I am currently in a contest for the top 25 family blogs - I would really appreciate your Vote.  Please click the button and find my blog BUSYMEE on the list! Thanks!






Saturday, November 17, 2012

K5 Learning - Review Opportunity

My kids are out of school for the next week....what to do...then I remembered that I was given an opportunity to review an online reading and math program!

My children are really good students, but with the long commute to and from school, and all the extra activities that we are involved in, we sometimes miss out on the extra enrichment.

The computer and ipad are a hot commodity in our house, and it is kind of an unspoken rule that they are only to be used for learning purposes...if they get caught using it for something else, it then becomes another person's turn.

I am excited to try out K5 learning, and see how it compares to some of the other websites and apps that our family already uses, I will try to update you along the way and give my full, honest review at the end of my 6 week trial.


K5 Learning has an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students.  I've been given a 6 week free trial to test and write a review of their program.  If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their  open invitation to write an online learning review of their program. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Life IS fair.

November is the time of year that most of us count our blessings, say what we are thankful for and try a little harder to appreciate the hand that we were dealt - or the cards that we were fortunate to not have been given.

We are more aware of our health, our home, our family and our friends.

Facebook is full of "gratitude", store isles feel more friendly and the public has an eagerness to give.

On thanksgiving we say thanks for a meal that is hot, huge and mostly very tasty!

 November, is personally the beginning of my favorite time of the year.

I love the next few months that follow, we have several family birthdays in those months as well as Christmas and a new year, with new opportunities.

I wish the feelings that were created by the holidays stayed within people all year round, but unfortunately we tend to go back to our usual ways by the time February rolls around.

This year has taught me more about myself, my family and life in general than any other years of my being.  I have been so thankful in the past few weeks, even as things have not been easy, made sense or felt "broken". 

This time last year, I was sad, lonely and confused.  I couldn't understand why my life was the way it had become.  I felt as though I had made the best decisions, but was facing the worst consequences.  If someone had told me that things would be OK, I would say no they would not.  If I had been shown a glimpse into my future that is now, I would think the wrong tape was rolling.

I have a tendency to think things are unfair, and that has shielded me from seeing the beauty in things that only happen as a result of something else.  I am thankful for the good that comes out of even the worst situations.


When my daughter was born, I thought it was unfair that she had no father.

As a result, my parents were extremely involved in her life, as well as mine.  Not having a father for the first few years of her life, provided us with an overwhelming amount of support from family and friends and to an extent, she became "everyone's child".

I think it is unfair that My 3 "step" daughters (I am only using the word step for story telling purposes)
lost their mother - and even though I never met her, I think its unfair that she passed away.

Although I would never want anyone to be lost or lose someone they that love, this woman created 3 beautiful children that I now get to be a part of.  I will forever be grateful to her for that.

When my relationship hit rock bottom, I thought it was unfair that we couldn't be happy together.
Without going through the things that we did, we wouldn't be able to be as strong as we are today.  Our love is more true than it has ever been, and we have a better appreciation for one another that we wouldn't have had without overcoming the obstacles that we did.

Recently, I have felt that it is unfair that we have not been granted the home, which we built.  The home that we put a lot of time and emotion into.  However, we have a home, a place to lay our heads, food in the fridge and family to love - and that is more than some can say.  Throughout the whole moving - or not moving process, our family has learned the importance of patience and being thankful for whatever you are able to have.  The emotional ups and downs of working with the builder, the mortgage company  and the school, has brought James and I closer, and has helped us learn to pick one another up.

I could give many examples of things that feel undeserved, I am sure we all have an equal amount of "why me?" moments in our life.

While I am thankful for the obvious, the things that go without saying, I am also thankful for the unknown, the unexpected and the unexplained.

After the holidays pass, I don't want to lose this feeling, I want to be as thankful in March, July or September, as I am right now.

Remember without rain, we would have no water, so be thankful always, even when life seems unfair.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Dog Days...

My worst behaved child is extremely hairy and pees in public...

Yes my 6th child, a dog, Duke, is the one who causes me the most grief.

For all of you who thought that I allowed my hairiest (human) child to pee in public...I'm classier than you assumed aren't I...and you know what they say about assuming...

If you aren't aware of my furry little monsters misbehavior's, you can read about them here  and here.

Duke likes to run around the neighborhood, the neighbors however do not like this.  A few months ago Duke got out...AGAIN...this time, the neighbor cried like a little baby....actually the neighbor screamed profanities at me, while I cried like a little baby. He claimed that Duke was being aggressive, if by aggressive he meant growling at him, then yes he was being aggressive.

Duke has never bit anyone, but I can see how he may be considered "scary".

I am scared of him, because he enjoys eating my shoes - and that frightens me...only a sick monster would enjoy destroying shoes..and leather ones at that!

The day after Dukes stroll around the neighborhood, I got a knock on my door from animal services.  The neighbor was pressing charges.  $700 in fines...that's more than I spent on back to school shopping for my kids!! If I complied with the courts requests, dog training, install a micro chip, and go "downtown" to watch a movie (I have a feeling popcorn and soda will not be provided), my fines would be less...but just so we are clear all of those things cost about double what the fines were originally.

This couldn't be real.  Doggy court? Was the judge going to be a k-9?

I kept thinking that I was too young to be dealing with this...I haven't even had time to rehearse the speech... "Duke, I'm not mad, I am just so disappointed in you...(silent stare)....(BIG sigh)...."

So we did what any good owners would do...we put Duke for sale on craigslist...

OK NOT really...we friggen hired a dog attorney.  NO JOKE.

I can hear it now, every time one of my kids gets in trouble..."MOM, you got the dog a lawyer, can't you just hire one for me!...ughh I knew you liked him more than me!"

In our defense, she was extremely affordable and was able to handle all the paperwork for us.

That was a horrible defense...please send any further questions to my attorney.

We also got Duke trained, which was entirely too expensive and lasted for about 3 minutes...we were informed that he is not aggressive but HIGHLY distracted, I have no idea where he gets that from.

This all happened a while ago, and frankly I forgot about the whole situation...

But I was reminded today.

Duke's lawyer called...wow that sounds rediculous.

I have to be in court this Wednesday, at 9 am, for my DOG!

I have yet to have him micro chipped, nor have I watched the movie about aggressive behaviors in animals...so tomorrow will be a day dedicated to getting those things done.

I would take temper tantrums, and dirty diapers over court any day...Duke has really done it this time.

He is family though, and hopefully the next time he has the urge to eat a pair of my favorite heels, he will remember who had his furry little back...

 

I hope you enjoyed reading about my busy - sometimes hard to believe life. If you enjoy my blog please vote for it (daily) in the circle of mom's top 25 contest

Saturday, November 3, 2012

do unto others...

"If you have nothing nice to say, then don't say anything at all", remember this being told to you as a child?  I know this implies to the way we treat others, but I also feel this way about my life right now...not all of it, just a small part that is taking up way too much of my time and energy.

I don't like to write when I am upset.

I don't like to complain about the same issue over and over.

And I  especially don't like when there is no solution to a problem....

I have not said much lately because of these reasons.

Well here goes, I am going to say something that may not be "nice".

I am angry, sad, disappointed, hopeless, defeated, and NOT OK with how things have turned out.

My family and I have been through more than most in the last few years, my children have learned to adjust to situations that are out of their control and have been resilient in doing so.  We have been patient, understanding and optimistic.

About 7 months ago we decided to build a home, and relocate the children to the school that was closest to that future home. We also signed the girls up for cheerleading, in an effort to make friends before the school year started.

During the building process we visited the home every day, purchased furniture to compliment the setting, allowed our children to "call dibs" on their favorite room, and received quotes for paint, and custom built ins.  We were building our dream house.

Dreams, are just that...a dream...at some point, you wake up. 

We are slowly waking up, and finding out that we may have to look for a new home.

We have done everything we can, I wont get into specifics, mostly because what I am angry about involves my personal specifics being shared with others in a hurtful way.

As you can imagine, our family is devastated, and we are now faced with the challenge of making sure that we can move closer to the school that our children now attend.

Yesterday afternoon, while stuck in traffic, 30 minutes late for picking up my children from school, I received a phone call from the principle of their school.

I assumed this would be a phone call regarding my tardiness, which I did make the office aware of, so I immediately told her that I was only a few minutes away.

It wasn't about that...it was about my children being enrolled in a school that we are not zoned for.  She "heard" that we had not closed on our home yet.  She informed us that "people gossip" and schools are already over crowded, she could not have children whom were not in her district taking up classroom space.

THIS is what I am angry about.  I can handle finding a new home, I can handle driving 45 minutes each way to my children's school, I can handle living out of boxes because half of our home is packed up, I can even handle the humiliation of people thinking that our house was never "our house".

I cannot handle people saying things with a purpose of hurting my family, while we are already hurt, while we are already aware that we have to fix the problem.

I cried when I received that phone call, James was so angry, and spoke to the principle for almost 45 minutes.  My heart broke into a million pieces because I do not want my children to be affected any more than they already are, by the things we are dealing with.  At the end of all the talking, our children will be able to stay in this school until we find a home.

I want to say to whomever felt the need to share that information, whatever your intent was, shame on you.  Shame on you for trying to hurt a child, and an entire family for no other reason than to be "gossipy". 

I was asked, by the principle, how I would feel, as a parent, if my children were being affected by the overcrowded classrooms because of students who did not belong in a specific district.  I was told "I must understand where a parent like that was coming".  NO, I do not. My kindergartner had to switch classes in the first few weeks of school because of overcrowding, she is doing great, excellent actually.  My children are affected by the overcrowding, and I can promise you some of the children who do not live within the district, will never live within the district. 

We have been honest with the school from day one, they have a copy of our contract, and are well aware that we do not live in the area yet.

"Over crowding costs the district thousands of dollars", I was told.  So does driving almost 50 miles a day to get to a school that will be in our district in the very near future. 

I just cannot understand how getting my children out of a school while we work out the kinks of relocating, to then re enroll them in the same district, will benefit the parent who felt the need to share this information in an attempt to have us removed.

I am so angry...I do not usually write when I am angry, but this was the straw that broke the camel's back.

As always though, I have learned something significant from this whole experience, two things really  First off, be careful who you share things with, even if what you are sharing is not wrong, inappropriate or unjust, because people can always find a way to turn things around.  Secondly, family is what makes your home, a school, a house, a whole community can be taken from you, but if you nurture your family, it will continue to grow strong. 

Our children are doing so well academically, socially and emotionally and my relationship with my partner is stronger than ever.  We are teaching our children about compromise, and that it is possible to find the good in each situation.  This school year James has driven the girls to school every day, this is the first year that we have had to drive, we previously walked.  He listens to disney radio with them (and has memorized and obscene amount of kids songs), treats them to breakfast sometimes and makes sure that they are always on time.  He has bonded with them a lot over the past few months.   I see the joy that this time has brought all of them, it is time that they will look back on and be thankful for, they won't remember the early wake up calls, or stop and go traffic. 

My family will be OK, I will not allow a house, gossip or circumstance to bring us down, but I had to get all of this off of my chest.

My compassion for others has grown immensely,  and I will always look back at this time in my life to remind myself that we need to treat others with the same understanding, that we expect.



Sunday, October 21, 2012

My first giveway!

I recently had the opportunity to review a children's book by author Saragine Francois, and was also provided a copy of the book to give away to one of my readers :)


"Diamond's Lucky Penny" encourages children to find the "lucky" in every day mishaps. Although Diamond gets himself into a few dilemmas, with the help of a special penny he is able to see the positive out of each situation. This is a good read for young children, and reminds them that things aren't always as bad as they seem. 


Simply leave the comment "Lucky" in the comments section of this post and you will be entered to win a copy of this book!

Good luck!

Ends 10/26/12

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A laughing matter

Yesterday was one of those days...you know "those" days.

Sometimes when my life is so unbelievably hectic, as in could not possibly be real, I MUST be dreaming, kind of unbelievably hectic, I can't help but just embrace it.

At the end of almost every day, when its quiet and all of my children have made it safely through the day, I think to my self "gee-golly today was busy"...yesterday I thought "HOLY HELL today was IN-FRIGGIN-SANE"

The morning started with one of the girls "getting sick" in the bathroom.  Which immediately makes me sick, because when you have multiple children, sharing bedrooms, a bathroom, clothes, most likely toothbrushes and other things that they will regret sharing later, you are bound to spread germs...its inevitable, when one gets sick, the rest always follow.

I kept sicky home from school, and sent the others off.

After some medicine, bananas, toast, gatorade and TV, my little one was stable enough to run errands with me...the errands were planned well before she was sick and I kept her in the air conditioned car most of the time.  The only person I exposed her "ickies" to was her 2 year old brother who decided to be overally affectionate that day, despite my pleads of "stop kissing your sick sister" and will likely be the first of the siblings to catch her bug.

I thought for sure a day of playing "nurse" and cleaning up messes (apparently when you are sick, you have no control over your extremities, therefor spilling or knocking down anything within 5 feet of you...this happened all day.) while packing for our move would be hectic enough of a day.

It was just the beginning. 

I picked up the others from school, all of whom slept on the car ride home, if you don't know..their school is almost an hour away.

After getting home, the littlest girl stumbled from our van directly to the couch.  I woke her up to do homework, but her response was mostly just high pitched whining...I couldn't deal, so I sent her up to her room.  When I went to check on her 10 minutes later, she was out like a light.  When I felt her, she was burning up.  Bad mom.  Sick kid #2 for the day.  I gave her some Tylonol and let her be.

Recap: 2 sick kids, 2 kids with a lot of homework, 1 kid who needs a lot of attention and has found a blue marker and is beginning to look like wild smurf, boxes EVERYWHERE, and a dog...my poor, forgotten dog (if anyone has middle child syndrome its him)

It gets better, the girls have cheerleading practice at 6...by their school...almost an hour away,

The babysitter comes to watch the sick ones and the smurf.

I take the two healthy girls to cheerleading...and get stuck in traffic, it took us an hour and 15 minutes to get there.

During practice I received a very stressful call regarding our new home, the closing date, and a bunch of "what ifs."  I already started packing...I'm moving...somewhere...lock your doors, if I know where you live, I may be coming for an extended stay.

The car ride home is where the hectic starts.

I actually could of handled everything else up until this point.

I hear "mommy the brush is stuck in my hair" coming from the back seat.  I look in my rearview.  "Stuck" is an understatement.  A hairbrush is growing out of my child's head.  I laugh..hard.  She cries.  I tell her I will get it out when we get home...in an hour.

I laugh a few more times when I catch a glmpse of her in the mirror...she laughs too, her sister laughs harder.. "brush-head" cries again.

On the ride home I realize that the baby (who is now home with daddy) is wearing his last diaper...almost immediately I recieve this text:

"Jacob is peeing everywhere!!!!"

OK, so he was wearing his last diaper...

I stop at the store to grab diapers, while in the parking lot I attempt to remove the brush from my daughters hair.  It is not happening.

We finally get home.  As soon as I walk through the door, I see my son standing at the top of the stairs, naked, with tears running down his face, he frantically says to me "Sowwy mommy, I peed on your shoes!!"

 I laughed...he cried more...I hugged him.

"Brush head" is now hysterically crying.  I perform emergency surgery and remove the object, she survives and is left with a slightly horrible haircut.

I sit down in the kitchen, by myself,  and laugh.  One of my daughters walks in the room and asks why I am laughing.  Her face lights up, as if to say "tell me the joke...I want in!"

I look at her and say "Some day, when you are a grown up, you will get it...you will laugh too sometimes"

She looks at me like I'm crazy (which I may be).

I could of cried, complained or been angry yesterday but I chose laughter, sometimes you just HAVE to :)


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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Just going with the flow

Children rely on their parents to tell them what to do.  Their days are planned by us, and may change without them ever knowing.  They sometimes only know which day it is by their schedule of events, if they have soccer practice, a birthday party or school to attend.   Children don't have anywhere to be except where we bring them, or tell them they have to be.

Their lives are completely out of their hands.

As parents, we decide when, where and how.  Where we will live, when we will do things and how we will work out all the details.  Our children may affect our decisions, but really they just wait to be told what to do.  

Our family is moving, and going through many changes right now.  My boyfriend and I are the ones who are struggling to keep up, and having a hard time dealing with the chaos.  Our children are just going with the flow.

Attempting to pack is leaving our current home looking like an episode of hoarders and my 2 year old is forced to stay inside so I can get things done.  My daughters have had to make all new friends, again, this is the 4th school for my 9 year old and the 3rd for my 8 year old. 

I can only imagine that they are as equally exhausted as we, the adults, are.  Waking up early, going to bed late.  We have to drive almost an hour each way to the school that is close to our new home, factor in hours of homework, late night dinners, cheerleading practice 3 times a week, and football games that last all day on Saturdays and you've got a very hectic life for any child.

My patience is shorter than usual, and I feel as though I yell more than I talk.

This would be an excuse for any child to act out, do poorly in school, or just have a bad attitude.  This is also life...and my kids, if any, know this.

When I met my boyfriend, he had 3 little girls, and had lost his wife tragically a year before, and I was a single mother, with a fabulous family but never a "father" for my daughter. 

Since then we have merged into a family of 7, adding a baby boy that has helped form an even stronger bond between us.

Our children have gone from having less to more, built new relationships, attended new schools and were given new homes.

You never hear them complain.  They don't ask why often, or use the things that have happened as an excuse.  They just go with the flow.  They are happy, healthy, beautiful children.

I on the other hand do ask why, and I am sure my boyfriend does as well.  We both feel guilty sometimes, but always have the best of intentions.  We strive to give our children more, and can only hope that our hard work is providing that.

In a few weeks we will be in our new house, and my children will continue to do the things that they are "supposed to", because that is all they know.  They will have friends over to play in their new backyard, and sleep in later because their school will be just down the street.

I wish I could always take the burden of life off of my children, even into adulthood, but for now I am thankful that all they have to do is just go with the flow.


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Friday, September 28, 2012

4 is more (than 3)

For the past two years I  have had 3 children in elementary school.  We did homework every night, required reading and occasional projects, it was a lot of work, but manageable.   This year I have 4 children in school, and I am in over my head.

I also have a 2 year old that could be the poster child for the slogan "TERRIBLE TWO'S!"

Our days are hectic, exhausting and jam packed with education.

I attend meetings, sign up to volunteer, and run around trying to find "requested" materials (that word "donate" gets me every time...times 4)

Each day after school there is at least 2 hours worth of homework to be done, sometimes longer depending on if a child has a melt down from sheer exhaustion, or if an entire sheet of math was done incorrectly and has to be redone.  Short stories are usually too short and need more sentences added, spelling, vocab and social studies have to be studied for and the amount of signatures that I make each day for behavior, test scores, permission slips or what ever else, is causing me to consider turning a blind eye to forgery.

Although I would do anything for my children, the expected responsibilities become very overwhelming at times. A mothers work really does go unnoticed, a parents work for that matter.  Most kids have no idea what we do for them, and how much we sacrifice.

I sometimes wonder, why cant they do these things themselves...why must my life be consumed by forms, letters, parent teacher meetings,  and HOMEWORK.  I did my time...though I was not very successful.  I feel like a student again, less the new clothes every year, packed lunch, and manicured hair...

Yesterday while talking to my 3rd grader about her day, she told me that she got two answers wrong on her homework from the night before. IMPOSSIBLE...I checked it!  We went over the problems, and I realized that I actually hadn't caught her errors (3rd grade math is challenging...err I mean she's gifted and on an 11th grade level) .  I explained to her what she did wrong, and she fully understood.  After she put her homework away she looked at me and said "Mommy, you're one of the only parents who checks their kids homework, a lot of the kids in my class get things wrong"

My heart broke.  I couldn't imagine, not helping my child.  I am so proud of them, especially when they have a strong understanding of a subject and bring home high grades. I love report card day, and actually look forward to conference night.  I want to hear if my child is struggling so we can work extra hard in those area, academically or socially, I want my child to be confident in all areas.

The every day work is hard.  The constant correcting, reminding, and reinforcing is exhausting.  I have to tell my children the same things every day, they misspell the same words, use the same excuses and try to get away with the same things.  I will be a happy parent when everything sticks, and I don't have to be annoyed by my own requests.

That day will come, it will be a long, bumpy road but it will get here faster than I may want.  My children know that I check, and double check their homework, I talk to their teachers, am active in their lives and ask questions...they have no idea how hard it is, or that sometimes I don't want to do "that", but I know that they are becoming better students because of it.

One day they will bring home a test that they aced, studied for themselves and that I had no idea about.

That is why they can't do it by themselves right now, and although I may think I  have done my time this is my real time, the most important,  the most meaningful, the time that will give me the most reward.

4 is more than 3, and when my son is a little older 5 will be more than 4, the years will be more difficult before they get easier, MORE homework, MORE tests and oh so many more signatures but all this hard work will provide me with 5 children who I will have helped mold into 5  wonderful people who will do GREAT things!


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Friday, September 21, 2012

Brainy-lack

When you are responsible for as many people as I am on a daily basis, it is imperative to be aware, dedicated and disciplined at all times, also known as A.D.D. ... oh wait that's not what A.D.D. stands for.

OK so I may not be the most focused mother, my children might have to keep me on track once in a while and sometimes I get a little distracted. As long as we don't pass too many mirrors, or go to a butterfly conservatory after school to do our homework, I am usually pretty focused.

I also do several headcounts throughout the day, which looks very silly because I often forget what number I am supposed to be counting up to, and sometime I call out other children's names that are not mine, which causes complete panic..."Mommy, who's Ashley? Are you having another baby" (That question ends with me passing out, and then needing a very tall drink)

Yesterday we just happened to be at a mirrored butterfly museum...kinda...it was actually a frozen yogurt shop that was colorful, delicious and put me in a comatose state.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are by far the craziest days of the week for us.  We are building a home almost an hour away from where we live now, and have enrolled the children in the school close to the new house.  I thought it would be a brilliant idea to also sign them up for cheerleading by the new house, which means that those two days we have a 4 hour gap between when the girls get out of school and when they have cheer practice.  I am pretty sure everyone in our new neighborhood thinks we either homeless or creepy lingerers.  We hang out where ever I can afford that day, restaurants, book stores, libraries, an occasional gas station...

Yesterday the kids "earned" yogurt...and I just happened to be craving it as well...win win.  My children love food, it is their kryptonite and they will sit like perfect angels while savoring every single bite.  While we were in the store a mom walked by, counted my children and said "You have 5 kids??" .. I was thinking a mean response like "WOW, you can Count??" but instead I smiled because damnit I was eating froyo!  She then complimented me on how well behaved they were.  After they finished their treat they did their homework, and watched some TV...I told you we linger...

I couldn't help but think "I have good kids..I am a GOOD mom!" I was high on my horse...staring at my little "perfects" as I like to refer to them to strangers.

After regaining feeling in my extremities from eating way too much "strawberry delight" I decided it was time to go. I do a headcount and notice one is missing...I see a child outside...unsupervised...shoving something in her pockets...

Must not be my kid...that kid just stole a pound of skittles from the topping bar and where the heck is her mother??

My legs go numb again...that's my kid.

I tell the children its time to leave and run outside, my son doesn't want to go and says "No, not yet!"...the others follow me.  I scold my rainbow-handed daughter all the way to to the car, until I hear "Ma'am!! Ma'am does HE belong to you"

I forgot my son inside...he has a look of disgust and is on the hip of another woman...

This has NEVER happened...I may get distracted but this was a new low. You don't realize how important the little things are...such as the "headcount"..until you fail miserably without it.  Yes my daughter deserved to be spoken to for her poor decision, however I was setting a horrible example by not being responsible myself.  I allowed her to distract me and the result could have been a lot worse than it was.

My daughter IS in big trouble for her actions, and my son wasn't (too badly) traumatized.   Hopefully this was a lesson learned for the entire family.

Point of my story...stay focused..stick to a plan, regardless of the "perfect" circumstances...and never eat so much froyo that it actually freezes your brain to the point of stupidity.

Hope you enjoyed the comedy that is my real life.   Check out my FB page, and please vote for my blog by clicking on the lady that says VOTE FOR ME.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Because I said so...that's WHY!

Children, mine specifically, have a knack for asking a lot of questions.  Young ones are curious and not afraid to ask about or attempt to solve the worlds problems.   Questions can be good, they expand their minds and spark new interests.

However, "Why??" after being told to do something, is neither cute or innocent.  

It is an ancient stall tactic and as a mother, I find it to be a form of torture.

At least once a day the dreaded "Why?" tricks me into answering.  

Me: Go get in the shower

Child: Why?

Me: because you are dirty and need to take a shower

Child: Why? I don't smell.

Me: (Smells child) well no, you don't smell...but you need to take a shower.

Child: Why?

Me: Ughhhhhhh....Because!


Just because,  that is always my answer.  I have no problem answering a question about homework, our family, something that they heard about or saw somewhere, anything really...except "why?".

"Why?" is only asked when they are told to do something, they don't actually want to know why...they just don't want to do that thing, whatever it may be.

Sometimes, I don't know "why?" and that simple question can confuse the hell out of me! I will have a plan mapped out for a smooth day and that 3 letter word will derail my good intentions.  I start to wonder myself "why?" Why do they need to pick up the playroom if they have already told me that they have full intentions of destroying it later, or have at least implied that, by saying "we are going to play in there later". Why do they need to eat more pizza before they have ice cream...that's just dumb.  

"Why?" questions my judgement, rattles my confidence and makes me think under pressure. Most of the time, "Why?" doesn't work, I know the reason and that's all that matters, but believe it or not, there have been situations that have made me wonder "why?" myself..  The truth is sometimes, not often, but there have been times, that my requests may not be exactly logical.  However, once the orders leave my mouth I cant put them back in, and it is pretty embarrassing to be outsmarted by your child. 

I should really just throw the "why?" back at them when they ask, my answer could just be "I don't know, why?"   The only problem with this...children also, have all the answers.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

I want my mommy...

A few weekends ago my mom came to visit, and it was magnificent! Being that I am my mothers only daughter, her and I have a special bond, another words, I am her favorite child.  OK maybe not, my mom is just an incredible woman that goes above and beyond for all of her children (or you could just listen to all the fun we had, and be the judge of  if she plays favorites or not...kidding brothers.). We talked, baked with the children, (she) did crafts with them (while I enjoyed an adult beverage), she sat in the sun with me for 7 hours, through 3 football games that the girls "cheered" aka jumped around at, we went to the museum (which took all day - she is a teacher, science is her crack) she even babysat so James and I could have a date night with friends, and my house was cleaner after she left.

While my mom was visiting, we stopped by the house that James and I are building and I showed her the guest room, which she joked about being her room.  I wished she wasn't joking.  If I could rewind and have been nicer to her during my EVIL years I would...(karma is a real B and I'm going to get it times 4 for the way I treated her) unfortunately I cant afford a time machine (yet), so I can only be ever so thankful for her now, and I AM.  

My mom is organized, patient, logical, creative, and all things that I suck at.  I often wonder where I came from.  I am not my mothers child, but I do appreciate her for pretending I am. She makes things seem easy, and she seems to enjoy helping me make better sense of my life by continuing to support me in so many ways.  

I try to call her as much as I can, but it doesn't compare to her being here with me.  Its funny how you cant wait to get away from your parents, "When I grow up" is all we think about, and then just when you think you wouldn't need them, you really do. 

As a mother of 4 girls I often wonder what they think about me, how they really feel about my constant nagging, over protective tendencies and embarrassing antics. Well the other day I found out how one of them feels, while flipping through videos that she had made on my Ipad, it was a series of 3 videos.  The first video she said "I am going to tell you about Alexis..." Oh no I thought, she used my first name, she hates me. She had to cut the video short because I had just yelled at her to get in the shower. The next video she was in her PJ's, with her wet hair wrapped in a towel, she said "Ok, now I cant wait to tell you about Alexis!" first thought that crossed my mind - SHE HAS DIRT ON ME...oh crap what does she know??.  She turned the camera off again to go brush her teeth.  I was nervous to watch the next video, could I really handle the truth? Do I WANT to know how she REALLY feels, or am I better of pretending I know.  I decided to watch it.  There sat my daughter, about to reveal her true feeling about me, and she spoke these words "So Alexis is my best friend...I mean she's kinda my mom too, but she's my best friend". That is exactly how I feel about my mom, and I want nothing more than my girls to feel that way about me when they are grown and don't NEED me, I hope they want me, the way I want my mommy to be around more again.  

Friday, August 31, 2012

Here and Now

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."
Buddha

At some point, we all dwell in the past, some more than others.   The past can be disappointing, regretful, bittersweet, memorable.  The past can be painful and have severe consequences, or it can be the highlight of our life, and hard to let go.

I have had so much lost in the past.  Career paths rerouted, regretful decisions, friendships severed, words misspoken.  I use to dwell on these things often.  I use to feel sorry for myself.  Could of, should of, would of....Didn't.  I also have loved, lived and been proud of my past.  Highlights of my past cross my mind frequently and bring back feelings of accomplishment.

The future is exciting, scary, unknown, and often dreamt about.  We set our goals in the future, make changes for the future, and sometimes put off the undesirable for a future time. We brag about our future, complain about the future, over plan for not only our future but our loved ones future as well, and worry about the overall future for everyone.

We all have both a past and a future worth dwelling on and reminiscing about .  

Some say the future isn't promised, of course the future could be lost at any moment, death is a clear indication of that. But what if those future events, good or bad, that consume us were kept in the future and not set on a pedestal or agonized over. 

What if past hurt was geniully forgiven, previous obstacles overcame and chapters closed?

This post sounds deeper than it is intended to be, I really just wanted to write LIVE IN THE MOMENT...but I thought further elaboration on my thoughts, would have a better effect.

I am not enjoying everyday as I should, and I know that is because every day I do not live in the moment.  I do not appreciate the things right in front of my face.   I do not see the humor in my children's mistakes, or take the valuable lessons out of them every time as I should.

I look forward to so many things, and miss out on far more.  The thoughts "when they are older...in the new house...next summer..." have fogged my head and not allowed me to enjoy THIS age, THIS home, THIS summer. 

I want my children to enjoy now, tomorrow, yesterday...living in the moment will give them a wonderful past. present and future.   

It sounds so easy, and for some it is not a challenge, it comes natural and is their way of thinking.  I am not one of those people.  I dwell, I anticipate and I have a hard time seeing what is, it is a challenge for me to enjoy here and now, but the reward is well worth the work. 

Living in the moment will create a better past, less regrets (or maybe more enjoyable ones), and lead to an optimistic future.  Seeing what I do have, should outweigh what I don't, and sacrifices will soon become my past, less important and just a small piece of the puzzle of my life.

My house is messy today as it is everyday, and feels like it will never be clean.  I use to have a cleaning lady to help me, because 7 people making a mess and 1 person cleaning is a horrible math problem.  I could feel bad for myself, or I could pick up what I can, take care of the important things, and appreciate my children while they are here making a mess...because soon my house will be clean...and quiet, and I will miss this mess more than anything.

Such a trivial thing for me to worry about...but these are the things that consume me, and I am sure sometimes you as well.  We worry, hurt, become angry, over excited, analytical about things that have happened, or will happen, instead searching for the good, the happy, the once in a life time, that is today.


So now that I have over stated my opinion on the topic, I am going to go live in the moment..

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fear not...I have chocolate.

I have enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember.  I am not the most grammatically correct writer and often my writing is simple.  I was never a good student, but writing was one of the few things that got me excited in class, I loved the opportunity to be creative.

Since deciding to share my writing with other people, I have found the passion that I have been searching for.   My friends. family and even some of you that have read my blog have probably recognized my constant quest for happiness.  I have blogged in the past about writing being my passion, but because of my insecurities, I haven't fully embraced my love for words.

Yesterday I was reading this post http://daddydoinwork.com/happy/

(seriously go read it...its good)

It opened my eyes.  It made me understand that everyone has fears, and that we can chose to either grow from situations or stay exactly the same.  Stay scared, stay unhappy, stay unsure. 

Mostly my writing is sarcastic and comical, not because I am trying to be a stand up comedian, but because by nature I look at life in a humerus way. There are much funnier blogs out there than mine, I would not win the funniest blogger award, nor am I trying to...although I would gladly accept it if offered to me.  I appreciate writers who are witty, original and have something worth reading, but I do not want to be them, I want to be me and hopefully offer some of those same attributes. I'm not overly vulgar, or create funny ecards, I don't share crafts or recipes (unless you count  my sangria share).  Not because these are bad things, vulgar can be funny, ecards can offer a good chuckle, crafts are fun, and (many) recipes are delicious, those things are just not me.  

I have a lot of things to share, things that I haven't opened up about, my life, my ideas, my concerns.  I want this to be a platform where I can freely express who I am, as well as a forum where other people can contribute and connect with my stories, rants, and experiences.  I am scared, but I think if I stay true to who I am, what I want to achieve and what I believe in, this blog can be a beautiful thing.

Some days I may tell a story, a funny story because I have 5 energetic, noisy, outspoken kids, and have still have not learned how to successfully manage being the perfect partner, stay at home mom, and run a household.  Other times I may post something deep, like the fact that being a "replacement" mom to my 3 daughters who lost their birth mother is one of the hardest undertakings I have ever pursued, and affects all of us, and how I pray every day that their mother would be proud of me or how I cannot understand how my biological daughter is so well adjusted, intelligent and optimistic despite the poor choices I have made.  Sometime I want to post things that you, my readers, want to hear about.

So now that I have gotten my writing fears, and ambitions out in the open, I am ready to move forward.

The other day on my  facebook  page, I asked my friends to suggest topics for me to write about, things that they wanted to read about.  One person responded, snarkfest, another mom blogger whom I think is wonderful :)  She ask that I write about chocolate, because like most of us, she loves it.  Now I assume she was joking when she offered the topic of chocolate, however, I asked for ideas and she gave me one!

Since she offered her suggestion I have been thinking A LOT about chocolate.  I've been wishing  it were Easter, so I could go buy a giant chocolate bunny and bite the ears off and then talk about the bunny and laugh because it couldn't "hear me" and then laugh more because it's not a real bunny and that's just silly (all by myself of course, because who would do this in front of other people?).  But mostly I just wish I could eat a huge chocolate bunny.  Chocolate is the only food, that I know of, that can be formed into animals, people, or other random objects and considered "cute" to eat.  Could you imagine going to dinner and your steak being in the shape of a person...that's just sick.

I also realized that there are foods that would suck without involving chocolate as an ingredient:

-S'more's... without chocolate I would not want some more.

-Kit-Kat bars, and most other candy bars.  Kit-Kats in particular would be pretty lame though.  I don't think anyone says "I am really craving a crispy wafer today"  

-Chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate chips are kind of a big deal for these guys.

-Pretzels, Strawberries and Banana's should always be smothered in chocolate

-Hot CHOCOLATE. If you aren't adding chocolate you are just drinking water (unless you have more money than me, and can afford to use milk, then you are just drinking warm milk...and if you are older than 2, that's gross)

-M&M's. These cute little guys would be pretty shallow without their main ingredient, and I am pretty sure that Candy Coated shell involves chocolate as well...so they would basically be extinct...what a terrible thought.

The list could really go on, because frankly I would put chocolate on just about anything, so to me any food that doesn't contain chocolate is lacking.

Chocolate is used to bribe, as a reward and to console.  It comes in different flavors, forms, and temperatures.  You can drink it, eat it, and even pay a lot of money to bathe in it (I would recommend going to one of those fancy spa's, could you imagine how many bottle's of syrup you would need, and the clean up!).  How many other food are this diverse? 

Like, Snarkfest,  I too love chocolate, so when asked to write about, I thought why not! I hope this is what my friend was hoping for, if not, I tried.  

If you would like to suggest things for me to write about check out my facebook page and leave me a comment.  

Thanks for reading my blog, I hope you stick around and continue to grow with me.  

If you like what have read, go check out my other posts, if you like those too then you should probably be my facebook friend, and since we are friends then you should click on the little lady up top that says vote for me :) 









Friday, August 10, 2012

Different...but the same.

People always ask me "how do you do it with five??"

Five children is really no different than one, or none.

My five children keep me busy, make me happy, stress me out, cause confusion, make me laugh, make me cry, and fill my heart, mind and soul with goodness and sometimes other not so happy feelings.  One child can do these same things.  A job, a parent, a partner, and even a struggle of some sort can have a similar affect on your life. 

Each day is a balancing act regardless of your calling.

Like most, I tend to forget this when I am consumed by my own life.

I think how hard simple things like going to the store can be, or how every time (and I mean everytime) I go out somewhere, I get stared at and asked in a shocking tone "ARE THEY ALL YOURS??".  Some days I laugh it off, other days this question strikes a cord with me.

Yes five are more expensive than one, at times louder than two, on occasion messier than three or even ten but no different than none.

Those days when someone with none feels consumed with joy by the love they share with a spouse, a friend or a family member, I too have.

Those days when someone with one feels alone and defeated,  I have experienced as well.

We all have our trials, and our triumphs regardless of who or what consumes us,

I have thought "oh she has no children and doesn't get it" or "He is a man, and doesn't understand"

She may be suffering in a way that I have never felt.
He could have the weight of the world on his shoulders.

We are all facing a challenge and may be able to relate to one another in more ways than we realize.

We all need encouragement, praise and empathy.  We all need to feel appreciated, important and understood.

I don't know how YOU do it.  Whatever you are doing.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Seasons come and go...

I knew at some point it would happen.  Summer would eventually start to piss me off.   In the beginning its fun, sleeping in, playing outside, watching movies, vacations...and then it turns into a disaster.  I lose track of days, forget about lunch (aren't 2 big meal just as nutritious as 3 regular meals?), outside becomes increasingly HOT and miserable, my children transform from structured pleasant little children to "that kid" that I never thought they would be.  You know "that kid".  Who ignores you because they are over tired from a lack of a bed time, or forgets how to use any form of manners because their diets have consisted of finger foods (pizza, burgers, chicken wings, corn, watermelon...ever realize how in the summer we just stop using utensils?) and looks at you like you have 3 heads when you ask them if their room is clean...OF COURSE IT IS'NT CLEAN..they have spent more time playing in there over the last 2 months then they have EVER.

Now don't get me wrong, we have had some fun times...."summer" and I.  We have spent wonderful days at the pool, and splashed lovingly, read books as a family, and even made strong attempts at learning new things in several museums.  I even experienced some alone time with summer, and visited a place where children do not exist...this place is called Duval Street and it is magical.

Like any relationship you must take a step back and ask yourself  "is this healthy".  As my children ignored me in Target yesterday and could not grasp the phrase "stand next to the cart", as my two year old forgot how to use his legs and decided that crawling on the dust covered store floor and as my 6 year old put her face disturbingly close to the stack of apples in the produce isle... I pondered this question.

This is not healthy.

It is time for Summer and I to go our separate ways.

I need to know that in the morning when my children are arguing, spilling cereal and giving me dirty looks because they think I'm "mean" for not letting them wear THAT...that it they will be spending the day learning, playing, and complaining to someone else.  I need my job back of sending them out clean, eager and ready, asking questions when they come home, providing dinner (like I said 2 meals is my thing) taking them to practices, parties and putting them to bed.  I'm good at those things.

Summer always starts out easy, but in the end she's a real pain in the ass.  So I think its time we go our separate ways...besides I invited Fall to come stay with me soon and they say three's a crowd.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

dust yourself off and try again...

Today was not great.  I was on the verge of tears throughout the whole day.  I yelled to much, snapped to easily, judged to quick, and had almost no patience...I actually asked one of the children to stop laughing...but that was mostly because I was convinced that she was laughing at me.

It didn't help that we had 2 doctors appointments scheduled, and picked up a 3rd appointment by noon.  Sitting for extended periods of time, in a confined space with several children repeating "mommy, mommy, mommy!" is a lot like Chinese water torture.

I felt alone and frustrated today.  I felt like everything I did was wrong.  Screaming at the kids to be quiet, or telling them to use their manners while I myself was talking with my mouth full.  I could see them mirroring everything I was doing.  A bad attitude is contagious, and I was sneezing and coughing this nasty virus all over them.

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and was taking it on the 5 people I love the most.

They were no angels either today but they are good kids.  They make mistakes, and they have bad days...wait a second...that sounds familiar...in the future though I would like us to discuss who's turn it is to have a bad day, they cannot coincide with my bad days.

OK so I guess we all kinda had a bad day...

Parent's always say there is no rule book...but I bet kids think the same thing sometimes.  Those moments where they do or say something wrong and have a real look of shock on their face, as if in their head they are thinking "OH CRAP. THIS IS BAD...MOM LOOKS PISSED" and try to get the word "sorry" out as fast and repetitive as possible.

I want to make the right choices, and be proud of myself at the end of the day, but sometimes I fail.  As do my children.  It doesn't change how much we love each other one bit, and the best part is that  the next day we get to start all over and try again. 


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gold Medalist

I was watching the Olympics the other day and was surprised to find out how many "older" participants there are.  Upon this realization, I decided I could be in the Olympics, if of course I excelled in a sport and was in much better shape.  I ran the idea past James, and I have his total support...by support I mean he said "Sure honey".  I have ran a mile a few times in my life (a "brisk" walk, counts right?), and with all the chasing around I do on a daily basis I think I could get the necessary conditioning for something track and field related.  I make multiple trips up and down the stairs, skipping several steps to reduce my travel time...hurdles maybe? 


OK maybe I couldn't be in the Olympics...but I do feel like my life is a work out, and frankly the results are nothing to brag about....no six pack here, just a "soft" belly as my children lovingly refer to it as.

I carry around a 32 lb weight for several hours a day (I also give the weight kisses and snuggles...weird?), I do about 100 squats a day grabbing trash, tying shoes and getting down to "their level", planks are commonly performed in the living room - looking under the couch for my keys, the remote control, shoes or the lollipop that was in someones hand 30 seconds prior and magically vanished.  My arm routine is a mix of exercises called folding, washing, and hand waving.  I use both hands for waving depending on the offense and if my other hand is full. For example if its during dinner and the children are being rude I may have a cup or fork in one hand, so the free hand waves in the air followed by a heavy sigh and the statement "chew with your mouth closed!"  If its  during lunch time, a meal that I don't usually get to eat, and the same behavior were displayed I would waive both hands and say "use your manners!"

I also engage in a lot of sprinting from my van through the garage up the stairs, back down the stairs, into the living room and then back to the van...to find my phone that of course is used by my 2 year old who has nothing to play with...poor kid.

I have ninja moves with cat like reflexes to catch anything or anyone that may be falling, slipping or contemplating an escape.

I just recently discovered that my dishwasher doesn't take 6 hours to run, a quick and determined short person has been re-running it, so my most recent exercise is a timed activity, called dash and unload.

My diet is extremely strict sometimes none existent depending on the length of my exercising.  If its a long day full of sprinting, squatting, arm routine, and ninja moves, I may not have time to eat.  Other days though...well lets just say that a $5 pizza is hard to turn down.

So I may never have that amazing body that I swear I have when my clothes are on but disappears when I get in the shower, but I would say I am in pretty good shape.

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

To-Didn't list

This weekend I had a ton of stuff to do.....but I....to didn't.

I have an extreme case of short term motivation.  I had ADHD way before it was cool to take Ritalin. I get distracted more often than a two year old trying to playing tennis and have the attention span of...oooo look at that!

I was literally in the middle of moping my floor when I sat down to start writing this post.  Only half of my kitchen floor is eligible for the "5 minute rule".

I have such good intentions, I come up with pretty good ideas, but my follow through is horrible.  

People constantly tell me that I look upset, "smile!" they say.  I am thinking people!! I am focusing, if I smile I will start to think about things that make me happy, and then I completely lose my train of thought.  I have a train in my head alright...and its going straight to crazy town.

Even though I really didn't get much knocked of my list (I have several unfinished lists), the weekend was pretty great.

James had the whole weekend off and we enjoyed a lot of family time. He took the kids fishing, I stayed home to do something but I ended up doing nothing.  We grilled, well he grilled.  He cooked a huge Sunday breakfast.  I am starting to feel like I was kind of a lazy ass this weekend....

Normally I would feel very guilty about this, but I don't.  My kids are (semi)clean, ate multiple meals, played A LOT, did not have any accidents...not harmful one's for that matter, the dog is still alive...oh crap I forgot to take the trash out on Saturday...I guess I do suck as a parent.

OK so I now have a very smelly garage, and one more thing to add to my list (Lysol garage ASAP)
but if I were running around all weekend doing things like the mom I wish I were, I would of missed out on all the fun that everyone else was having, so I am glad that sometimes I just to-don't.

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Home Schooled

Yesterday, as I was driving to pick my daughter up from drama class, a sign on the side of the road caught my eye, it read "Bully proof your Child - free class!".  This intrigued me.  I thought to myself  "how nice, a class where children can learn to use kind words, have open hearts and that being different doesn't mean being weird or uncool".  I think there were even unicorns and rainbows dancing around in my naive little noggin.  I grabbed my cell phone and called the number.  "Martial Arts, how can I help you?"  was what I heard coming from the other end of the phone.  I quickly hung up.  I felt tricked.  I have nothing against martial arts, 3 of my children even attended an after care program one year, however I did not agree with this marketing tactic.

Why didn't the sign just say "Teach you're child to kick that little bastard that's been picking on him's ass - free class".  Isn't that what they were implying?  I know that there are many other things that come from martial arts such as confidence, morals, and respect - but I felt like they weren't talking about those lessons.  Maybe I am wrong, I could be completely wrong and the intentions may have been in the right place when coming up with the wording to display on that sign, but my mind went to a different place.

I started thinking about how I would never want my child to be picked on, or be the bully behind the teasing.  I thought about how I try my best to teach my children to be nice, to everyone, and that being mean is never OK.   I wish there was a class where my children could be given the confidence to not only walk away from such behavior but encourage others to make good choices as well.

Then it clicked....every day is a lesson.  Behavior that we allow or do not, morals that we create, ideas that we plant as parents are all lessons.  Telling my daughter's to share with their little brother, forcing apologies, setting rules,  and sometimes making them learn the hard way are all lessons.   No matter how many different color martial arts belts they have, or  all the coolest clothes, nothing prepares them more then what they learn at home.  If I am a jerk, I will probably have little jerk kids...but if I think before I speak, react with compassion, and treat people with respect, I will have children who value those same things.

This house is their  free bully proof class.

Now if only I could find somewhere that I could rent rainbows and unicorns....

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Growing up

Its true...I am growing up, and eventually I will be "OLD".   I use to love growing up, it was exciting, and challenging in a "fun, but I was usually the winner" kind of way. I got to be the boss of not only myself, but my daughter too.

Now I hate aging, and its freaking me out.  I cant sleep at night.  I catch myself saying ridiculous old people things like "jeepers creepers", "I'm not made of money" and for those who know my dad "who would do such a thing??"...I roll my eyes at myself sometimes, I can only imagine how uncool my kids think I am.  Different parts of my body "ache" on a regular basis, I slept wrong the other night and had a stiff neck for a week.    Whenever I go to a bar its a sad reminder that the drinking age sign has a year that I can actually remember living in, on it and that I don't need to flirt with the bartender to get a drink, and wouldn't want to because he is 10 years younger than me, and he wouldn't want me to because he knows how much older I am and mostly because I'm far beyond drinking age and flirting with him would just make me look "creepy".  Instead of drinking care free,  I now think about what I have to do for the next week  and if a 3 day hang over is worth it, because for some reason, as I age, it takes me a lot longer to recover from bad decisions.  I have problematic skin for the first time in my life, am in full denial of my "muffin top" and there are clothes that are inappropriate for me to wear...now I am "too mature" for them, and it is just as disappointing as when they were "too mature" for me.

And it isn't just me, James is aging with me. We have "programs" that we watch together,  prefer fish over red meat because its lighter and doesn't make us "sleepy", and recently we decided that we want to get a credit card with points so that we can take the kids on cool vacations....we want the kids on vacation with us....

I miss the excitement of aging.  Almost 5 years ago, I wrote about growing up and today, as I read what I wrote back then, it reminded me of where that excitement came from.   I thought  I would share what I wrote, so that those of us who are searching for the fountain of youth can be reminded of the good that comes with aging.   Getting older is knowing that its OK, and that we are growing up to a better world, and choosing what we want to do, where we want to be and who we will be remembered as.  So although it scares the "begeebees" outta me, I do know that growing up is a good thing.

 

Growing up

March 20, 2008




When I was younger I wished never never land was a real place.  I wanted to stay care free forever, doing things that are only acceptably done by a child. I was terrified of "growing up".  Maybe it was because I had an exciting childhood, or because I was the youngest of 4 children.  Whatever the reason, I always hated gaining another year. 
Holidays lose that sparkle after a certain age, it’s not as "cool" to talk about an over sized bunny or actually believe that reindeer fly.   Dolls that once knew all of your secrets and were taken care of almost as well as a real child begin to collect dust under your bed.  Imaginary friends disappear…creativity fades.  Trees are now meant for shade instead of climbing, and rocks stay on the ground instead of in your pocket.
Friends become enemies and adults that used to be your heroes soon disappoint you.  Your blinders slowly slip away and the world is an ugly place.  Everything that made sense to you is blurry now and you are forced to be brave.
Fast forward….
That was the hard part of growing up. 
When you actually become an adult, those things come back.  You realize who you are and what parts of your life are important.  Painting with your fingers sounds appealing again and nature is appreciated instead of wasted.  One friend is better than a hundred, and relationships are exactly what you make of them.  "Cool" only exists in your own mind, and there is no one to impress anymore.  Music sounds better, food is appreciated more, and art is in everything you see.  Laughing is better than drinking, talking is better than kissing… living is better than sleeping .
I’m growing up, and loving it.  Things are still challenging and sometimes I’m scared but I’m excited to see where my path will lead me.  A far away land full of hundred year old "children" doesn’t sound as exciting as it used to.  Knowing that it’s OK to be who you are at any age is the key to a happy adulthood. 
  
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Everybody needs a little time away...

James and I are leaving for vacation in about 6 hours...a MUCH needed vacation.  This week (and by week, I mean the past 4 days) has consisted of  2 birthdays, 10 minutes at Chuck E Cheese that was interrupted by a trip to the ER - which included 4 staples to the head, a day at the museum with multiple melt downs by an adorably spoiled rotten  2 year old, several trips to walmart, ice cream in places where ice cream does not belong (ie. the refrigerator...so close to the freezer, but different effect), SO MANY DIRTY DISHES, yelling, crying, laughing, PMSing?, gift wrapping, gift giving, gift opening (X 2), and over the past 2 days 9 hours of driving.    

The truth is, this week was not any more hectic than the week before or the weeks to come.  Crazy is my life.  I love when I am out with the kids and a total stranger stares at me (usually with a look of disgust...which I'm still not sure why they are so angry at the fact that I have this many children, last time I checked they aren't the ones feeding them, bathing them, or dealing with their BS on a daily basis) - as they stare they always ask me "got your hands full today huh?"...my response is always the same "nope. everyday." 

EVERYDAY there is something to do, someone to "deal with", and a deadline that has to be met.  There will never be a good time to take a break, or one that is convenient to everything in my life. However, my brain is telling me to pause...to take a "timeout".  

Tomorrow I will be in my bathing suit with a fruity umbrella drink, telling a stranger about my wonderful 5 children who excel in all areas (especially reading, math and being good looking).  I will spend quality time with my man without having to pay $15 an hour to do so...that sounds sick...I was referring to the babysitter.  

When I return from my time away I will be ready to conquer all of my unfinished business...wait I'm still in fantasy land...that part probably isn't going to happen.  But I will be nicer to my children for a few days and be super motivated for at least 24 hours because time away makes me a happy, somewhat sane (for the moment) lady.  


Friday, July 6, 2012

Its in my jeans...there is something in my jeans!!

This morning I was awoken by a blaring siren, my house alarm was going off.  It was 4:58 AM.  James jumped up and shut it off, the dog wasn't barking, and no doors were open...it was just a fluke.  However I was now wide awake, and scared.  I may be the most paranoid, jumpiest, scared of my own shadow mom in the world.  And I literally mean that my own shadow has creeped me out before.   When I was little I had an excuse to be terrified of most things, actually 2 excuses.  The first one was the fact that I was as blind as a a bat, I wore glasses that gave me the (endearing?) nick name "bug eyes".  When I took my glasses off, everything became distorted and turned into scary figures...usually Aliens or the "shrunken man" that my brother convinced me lived under my bed.   I hated being without those giant coke bottles (my mother insisted on me wearing those huge plastic glasses, she thought the smaller frames looked silly on children...no comment).  The second excuse, and most influential on my paranoia was the fact that I had three pyromaniac, knife fighting, wrestling, extreme dare seeking older brothers.  For those of you who have 3 older brothers, and are the only girl in the family, YOU understand...everyone else does NOT get it.  I only use butter knifes (which takes a long time when eating steak), prefer watching fireworks behind a cement wall, and am saving my money for a flame retardant body suit.  These are two very valid reasons to be a "scaredy cat"...however I now where contacts pretty much 24/7 and my brothers no longer torment me on a daily basis.  (side note:  most of the teasing was from one brother in particular...you know who you are ;) LOVE YOU).  I am now a grown up and the boss of me, however I seem to be turning into more of a wimp.  I am scared of things that are embarrassing to admit.  I make up ridiculous scenarios in my head.  I once helped a friend move and she accidently  left a TV remote control behind in my car.  I found it a few days later, having never seen it in my life, I panicked.  I convinced myself that someone had broken into my car and put a "remote control" which was of course a bomb, in my car....yes I know I am crazy.  I threw it out the window while driving.  The minute it left my hand, I realized that it belonged to my friend.  I am scared of squirrels, terrified actually, that one will attack my face, hamsters creep me out and most birds intimidate me. I still run up the stairs at night, skipping every other step and jump onto my bed to avoid anything (that may or may not be under there) from grabbing my legs.  Child birth was a piece of cake and dental work borderline enjoyable compared to my long list of bizarre fears.  I have come to the conclusion that I will never grow out of this....I think its in my genes.  My BIGGEST fear is that my children inherit this terrible trait.  My daughter seems to be unaffected, she is WAY braver than me, she does play by the rules though...God forbid I park in an "unauthorized" space, she would be on the phone with tow truck company faster than I could back out. She constantly reads me the speed limit while I'm driving, and I wouldn't even consider turning in a library book late in her presence. My son is young, so its hard to tell, he's scared of normal things, but I think with 4 big sisters he's somewhat destine to be a little wimpy.  The other 3 are not biologically mine so I think they are all safe.  I would never want any of my children growing up thinking that monsters are real, or fearing household objects. I just want them to be normal...unlike like me.