Friday, January 31, 2014

Pit and Peak Week 2!

So, here we are, another week gone. Time to link up with Tales of a Twenty Something and share my pits and peaks for the week.

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Pits

- I've been sick all week. What started out as a scratchy throat on Monday slowly developed throughout the week into some sinus, chest cough, migraine thing, just to be topped of last night with explosive diarrhea. FUN!

- As a result of the above pit, we were out of milk for 3 days. And sandwich meat. And bread. And snacks. And paper towels. And we got down to our last diaper.

- The 11-month-old has also been sick/teething. A carry over from last week. She developed a little cough too. More fun!

- The dog has decided to try and dig its way to China in our backyard. Little bitch. She's awfully cute, but don't be fooled. She is the devil in disguise.


- The 7-year-old got a bloody nose after being whacked in the face with a soccer ball.



Peaks

- My Dad is here visiting. This is always nice as he lives about a 12 hour drive from us, so we don't get to see him as often as we would like.

- I was able to resolve a child support/custody issue with the ex that has been going on since May of 2012. HUGE WEIGHT LIFTED.

- The 7-year-old lost his tooth in the soccer ball incident of 2014. This is a good thing because he looked like a snaggle-toothed alligator and it was hard for him to eat.

- The 8-year-old lost her tooth. She was eating a graham cracker. This is also good because now I don't have to chew up her food and feed her like a baby bird anymore.

- Hubby got our taxes filed today. WE DIDN'T OWE ANYTHING! I am in shock. We were both laid off in March of last year and cashed out our salaried savings plans and 401K's to help us out with the loss of income. I figured the penalties/taxes we would be hit with would end up making us owe. Plus, I was claiming unemployment (until the emergency funding was cut off) and had to claim taxes from that.

- I found the perfect little First Birthday outfit for the baby's birthday next month.



That's pretty much it. I guess when you're sick and house-bound you don't open yourself up for too many exciting pits or peaks. 

How about you? What were the highs and lows of your week?



Thursday, January 30, 2014

Photo Link-Up

So I happened to stumble across Tales of a Twenty Something's A Photo an Hour post I thought "hey! what a great idea!"  I was only recently introduced to the idea of linking up with other bloggers. I just participated in my first link-up with Tales of a Twenty Something's Pit and Peak and had a lot of fun doing it. I also got involved with More Than Cheese and Beer's Sunday Confession. Last week's topic was reconciliation.


Upon reading a little more, I discovered that the hosts of the photo an hour post are Southern Mess and Meg on the Go. Going for it. Connecting with more bloggers - yay!

I'm a bit of a photo freak. I have over 400 photos on my personal Facebook page and literally thousands on my computer. I can't help it. They are mostly made up of various shots of my 5 kids and the places we go, crafts we do and food we eat. Yes, I'm one of those people. This should be a cake-walk for me.

So here goes my day in photos. I should disclose that I am sick as shit and battling a migraine...so don't get too excited...

7:30 am:
Position the 11-month-old in front of Jake and the Neverland Pirates in hopes of a little peace and quiet for my migraine. I'm not a believer in the TV babysitter, but some days you gotta do what you gotta do to keep your sanity.


8:30 am:
Cut up toast for the 11-month-old's breakfast. 


9:30 am:
Check on my Silence of the Mom Facebook page. Because I'm a narcissist.


10:30 am:
Find the baby trying to make a phone call. She's very popular, even at 11 months.


11:30 am:
Catch the dog running away from the hole she is digging. Don't let her cuteness fool you. She's the devil in disguise.


12:30 pm:
Make a nutritious lunch. OK, so obviously not nutritious at all. But ZFG. (Zero F____ Given.) If there is one time I'm allowed to not eat healthy is when I don't feel well. I'm surprised I mustered up the energy to even do this.


1:30 pm:
Nap on the couch with the baby. Had to go into stealth mode to take this picture. I was not about to risk waking her up for it!


2:30 pm:
Pick up big kids from school....Yeah, I didn't expect that either.


3:30 pm:
Contemplate doing laundry...decide against it. All that bending down, getting back up, loading, unloading. Gives me a headache just thinking about it. Actually doing it surely isn't going to help my migraine.


4:30 pm:
Pick up shredded tissue off the floor. I still am not sure why this is so fun for babies. Maybe because they don't have to clean it up? Who knows.


5:30 pm:
Get a drink. I know, I know. Diet soda. Horrible for you. But I like this. I don't drink alcohol, or smoke cigarettes, or do drugs, so occasionally I have a diet soda.


6:30 pm:
Dinner for this evening...one because I can't deal with cooking tonight and two because it is a fundraiser for the school...hence the cow at the kids' school earlier.


7:30 pm:
One more diaper change and then I'm leaving the rest of it up to the hubby. This sickness, whatever t is, has gotten the better of me...time for the Imodium.

I lead such a glamorous life.




Sunday, January 26, 2014

Reconciliation

I wanted to contribute to More Than Cheese and Beer's Sunday Confessions this week. The topic is Reconciliation. Since Wednesday, I have been searching every inch of my brain for an entertaining story. Some wild fight/argument that I got into with someone that had a big dramatic reconciliation at the end of it.

I thought, and thought and thought.

Crickets...

Well, shit, what am I going to write about now? I have to come up with something funny, witty, clever.

Still nothing.

Taps head...hellllooooo....is this thing on?

While coming out of the bathroom on Saturday - where some of my best thinking is done and biggest arguments are won (no, that isn't a euphemism) - it hit me...I don't need to reconcile with anyone else...I need to reconcile with myself.

I get such "mommy-guilt" for the things I do, don't do, say, don't say etc, on a daily basis.  I actually wrote an apology to my babies, saying sorry for all the things I don't do, should do, could do better.


That is all well and good, but what about all the things I do get right? I provide them with a safe home, good food, toys, clothes, unconditional love (even when they irritate me). We laugh, we sing, we dance. We snuggle, I sing to them at night, we read together. They come to me when something is upsetting them and we work out a solution. I hug them and kiss them. I surprise them at school for lunch. I try my hardest to follow-through when I've told them we'll go somewhere or do something.



They may get mad at me for sending them to bed early, taking away their Legos or Barbies or not letting them have dessert when they are misbehaving, but they know they are loved. That's a lot more than some of the children in this world can say.

I'm not sure if I will ever totally get rid of that "mommy-guilt". I'm not sure I'll ever fully reconcile all of this within myself. But I am trying.

And that's half the battle.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Why My Daughter Will (Probably) Never Be A Doctor

Over the weekend we were at the local park. It has a couple of playgrounds, a splash park, a big grass patch for running around and sidewalks that run down along the river. While sitting on a bench watching the kids on the swings, I heard a "THUMP". I looked up and saw a cyclist, on the ground, not moving. The hubby immediately jumped up and ran over to him. A crowd started to gather. I could see the guy's head, face down, and he wasn't moving.

Shit.

The kids started to notice something was going on, so I told them that there had been an accident and to stay here or go to back to the swings, but not to go over there because there were too many people and we needed to give them room.  I tried to keep the kids occupied. Our friends who were visiting from out of town came over and started talking about it. I just wanted to change the subject.

After a few minutes I see the guy start to move a little - phew. He was wearing a helmet, but as hard as he hit, if he hadn't been, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be with us today. This is where I point out that he was 1 of only 3 of the 10 cyclists in their group who was wearing a helmet. WEAR YOUR HELMETS, PEOPLE!

I started thinking about it. My palms got a little sweaty, and I started to get that little panicky feeling in my chest. I was telling myself to stay calm. I saw blood on his knees and someone said he had blood running down the side of his face. I took a sip of my cherry lime-aid because, for some reason, when I start to get panicky, it seems to help if I drink something cold and sweet.

After about 7 or 8 minutes (which felt like an eternity) the ambulance showed up and the paramedics came strolling down, taking their sweet ass time. I took this as a sign that the guy wasn't in too bad of shape, which was reassuring.

Hubby came back over and said that he thinks he broke his arm and his sunglasses had cut the side of his face - hence the blood. All the guy could remember was his name. He didn't know who the president was or what day it was, and had no clue what had happened. He must have asked half a dozen times.

One of the other kids asked if the 8-year-old wanted to go play and she said no, because her head hurt. I looked at her, she was sitting next to me, and I could see the worry all over her face. She was like looking in a mirror. I had figured out a year-or-so prior that she may take after me with the whole "blood-accident-freak-out" thing when we pulled into a rest stop and there was a guy being loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher. We went into the bathroom and she said she felt lightheaded.

For as long as I can remember, I have had a problem with blood.

Like the time my brother chiseled his finger while in our grandparent's garage. I came sauntering down the stairs in one of my grandmother's dresses and high-heels, took one look at his finger and passed out.

Then there was the time we were chasing each other, he fell, I came running around the corner, saw the blood and hit the deck.

Oh, and how about the time I got my bellybutton pierced, went to pay and fainted right there.

Or when I passed out in the chair getting my first tattoo.

I've passed out when having blood drawn, and getting shots. I fainted in the car on the way home from the hospital after I broke my foot.



The list goes on...and on...and on...It would be fine if I were a fainting goat. That shit is hilarious. But I'm not.

Funny thing is, I would love to be a nurse. I know I can't, because you kind of have to be conscious in order to help someone.

When my daughter has a loose tooth, hanging by a thread, and there is even a hint of blood, she gets a tummy ache and gets all "funny".

I feel terrible that I have passed this trait on to her. For one, it is no fun to feel like you're going to faint anytime there is any sort of emergency, that may or may not involve blood.

I have gotten better, over the years, at calming myself down in those situations. I mean, I've given birth 3 times without passing out. All those blood tests etc. I do like it if the hubby, or my mamma, are there with me, but I can do them alone if I have to.

I don't make a big deal out of the whole thing to my daughter. I don't want to draw any unnecessary attention to it. Maybe she'll outgrow it.

Maybe not.

Either way, something tells me she won't be applying to medical school.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Pit and Peak Link Up

So my blogger friend over at More Than Cheese And Beer posted something on Facebook about this thing she had found called Pit and Peak by Tales of a Twenty Something over at Bloglovin.com. I decided to check it out and thought the premiss seemed pretty cool, so here we are.


The idea is to post the pits (lows) and peaks (highs) of your week.

Pits:

- The 11 month old is teething and fighting some sort of cold. As a result, she has been whiny, clingy, fussy and angry. I have had zero to no sleep the last few nights.

- I am cranky (see above). As a result I am short tempered and easily aggravated. Not good news for anyone in our household including me because I get mad at myself.

- I have been searching for a job for the last 7'ish months to no avail.

- I have a constant knot in my stomach over custody/child support/visitation issues we are going back to court over with both of our exes.

- I was on emergency unemployment, (which was cancelled as of December 28), to help out while I'm looking for another job. I was laid off in March of last year from a job I had been at for almost 4 years. Now that they cancelled the program I am trying to figure out how to make ends meet on just the hubby's income.

Peaks:

- My kids for their progress reports and aced this last quarter! I am so proud of them and the hard work they put into school and homework.

- There was no school on Monday for MLK Day or on Tuesday (teacher in-service day). This meant that there were no school lunchesto pack, no homework to do and no manic school-day running around to do for those two days!

- My best friend and her hubby and 2 kids came to visit for 4 nights. It was the first time I had met her 9 month old - they live in DC.

- My vacuum died...which at first glance seems like it should be a "pit" but as a result my mamma bought be a Dyson Animal. That thing is freakin' amazing! (But I'm kinda grossed out about how little my last vacuum picked up in comparison.)

- Aside from teething and colds, I am blessed with 5, yes 5, beautiful, healthy, amazing children, a wonderful husband, and family and friends who I couldn't shine life without.

- My Facebook page, which I created to help promote my blog, is slowly but surely climbing the "like" ladder. I am meeting some amazing people and other bloggers. I feel blessed to have people who are actually interested in some of the things I have to say!

So those are my highs and lows for this week. Nothing earth-shattering or overly dramatic or exciting, but they are mine, all mine!

How's your week been?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

How We Went From Massages in the Driveway to Pissing on the Mailbox

So this morning I watched the neighbor let her dog piss on my mailbox. She was on the phone (the neighbor, not the dog), and she stopped by our mailbox, the dog lifted its leg, and then they continued on their way. I know that it is the dog's way of marking his territory, but here's the thing, my mailbox isn't his territory. It is mine.

A little history on the neighbors.

He is a clown. Literally. He does birthday parties, church events etc. That should have been my first clue. Never trust a clown. Seriously. Those things freak me out. We had to have our house tented for termites and while the yellow and red tent was on our house, he set up all his circus stuff in his front yard with our house as a backdrop and took pictures. She was apparently a member of the Israeli Army (maybe another clue?). They have a big dog.

We used to get along with them. We'd see her in the driveway and chat for a while. She gave the hubby, who suffers from a bad back, a massage in the driveway (another clue) and told him about some medicated patches he could use on the knot in his back. We exchanged phone numbers after there were some break-ins in the neighborhood and agreed to keep an eye on each other's places.

We had a rubber tree on our property line that was slightly on theirs, but mostly on ours. This thing was ginormous. It shaded half of our house. Not a bad thing when you live in Florida, but the problem with rubber trees is their root system. They will literally bust through pipes, foundations, whatever they have to, to continue growing. Plus, that side of the house was so shaded that it never saw sunlight and the grass wouldn't grow and the house never fully dried out. This concerned me because of potential mold issues. Not to mention the huge leaves that it dropped in the thousands.

We decided to cut the tree down. The hubby spoke to the wife, explained what we were going to do and that it would be no cost to them. She was excited to say the least. She hated the leaves it dropped as much as we did. The husband wasn't as thrilled because he thought of losing the shade that it provided. That and the fact that he would now have to look at our house. Ummm, you're the one with the circus gate that we would now have to look at. (For real, you guys. The gate that goes from the front yard to the back yard, on the side of the house next to ours, is literally a gate that says "Circus" and looks like a couple of those show horses.)

We explained that after it was cut down, we would have to wait to be sure the stump and roots were dead before we could grind it out and that could take up to a year to happen.

So, down came the tree. Over the next few months, every chance they had, they were asking what was going to happen with the ugly stump. When were we going to grind it? When were we going to fix their fence that the tree had broken...etc...etc...Every time we explained it to them. Again. You have to make sure the root system is completely dead or else 50 more trees will sprout up where the roots are.

Then started the dog issues. Never, in the 3 years that we had our one Golden Retriever, was there ever an issue. Then we got a second dog. Still no issues. Our dogs would bark at each other if they were outside at the same time, but that was the extent of it. Their dog would sit outside and bark and bark at nothing for hours at a time. It used to infuriate me when I was trying to get my babies to sleep.

One of the boards in the fence separating our yards came loose. Next thing we know, we're getting a call from her saying our dog stuck its head though their fence and bit their dog. Well, your dog must have been pretty close to the fence to get bitten.

She started calling the hubby while he was at work to tell him that our dogs were out there barking. She would scream at them to "just stop and go away"! Our dogs bark at her dog when it comes up to our fence and antagonizes them. There have been times when the hubby is grilling, the dogs are out there with him, nowhere near their fence, their Cujo comes bolting out of the house right up to our fence, barking its ass off. Well obviously our dogs are going to react. If their dog was normal and just minded its own business, it wouldn't be an issue. Now it is at the point where the first thing our dogs do is run right over to their fence to see if that other dog is out there.

So that is the story of our neighbors and how we went from massages in the driveway to pissing on the mailbox.

I know it could be a lot worse than it is, but it is aggravating nonetheless.

Do you have any neighbor stories to share?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

For all to soon, they will be gone.

So here we are, the beginning of a New Year. With every new year comes a sense of freshness, a feeling of being able to start over, a clean slate. New Year's resolutions are abundant. Everyone committing to doing the 30-day plank challenge, deleting Candy Crush from their mobile devices and stocking up on detox juicing supplies to make them feel better about all the pie, cookies and booze they consumed over the holidays.



I haven't really made any resolutions for this year. I sort of stopped doing that a few years ago. Last year my resolution was to not yell at the kids as much and work on my patience. It worked. On and off. Depending on what it was the kids were doing at any given time.

My youngest is rapidly approaching her first birthday. I can't believe the speed with which the last 11 months have flown by. The hubby and I were just talking last night about how we miss the days when she used to fall asleep on our chests for hours at a time. While I don't miss the sleepless nights, I do miss that I could bring her into bed with me and she would lay, curled up in the crook of my arm, and settle right down. That feeling of closeness is like nothing else. Now she is constantly struggling to wriggle free from my arms and crawl around chasing the dogs (that I curse when they bark and wake her).

I watch my older two sometimes, when they don't know I'm watching. That sounds creepy, but really I am  in awe of the little people they are becoming. How they are evolving from babies, to toddlers, to mini-adults.

It was one day, while watching my then 7-year-old play with her baby dolls, that it struck me. As she was sweetly tucking her baby in, she suddenly snapped "I told you it is bedtime. Lie down now! I'm not playing this game with you tonight! I love you. *kiss*. Go to sleep!"

Holy crap. That was me. She was imitating me. Surely I don't really speak like that to my babies! I couldn't believe it. My heart sank.

At that moment, I made a deal with myself. I was going to stop snapping at my children. I was going to stay calm, be patient, remember that they are only children. It would be simple. Just remind myself of those few things and everything would be fine.


Not so much.

In no time, I caught myself getting stressed. I told you not to pour the cereal, now it is all over the floor! Why don't you have your shoes on? We're going to be late for school! Stop laughing and eat your dinner!

Stop laughing and eat your dinner? Did those words seriously come out of my mouth? Who tells a child to stop laughing? It is one of the things they are best at. What is more glorious than the sound of a child's laughter? That deep, resonating belly laugh?  That was it, my New Year's resolution that year was to stay calm, be patient, remember that they are only children.

Sound familiar?

This time would be different. This time it was my New Year's resolution. I had to stick with it. This time it would work.

Here we are, over a year later, and I am still struggling with this concept. I find myself in situations with my children where my blood pressure is rising.

I am trying to come to terms with the fact that there is no quick fix for impatience. I am working, daily, on remembering that my babies will soon be grown.

One morning I will wake up and miss the before-school madness, the after-school homework and extra-curricular running around. I will sit across from my husband at dinner and wish that our little mini-me's were still sitting there, giggling instead of eating their dinners. I will actually miss the trail of clothes and toys they leave behind me as I straighten up one room to the next.

I have come to terms with the fact that a New Year's resolution isn't going to fix me. This isn't some fad diet that will help me lose 20 lbs in 3 weeks. This is a life change. Something I will have to continue working on, day in and day out. I will have to continue reminding myself to have patience and that they are only children.

As the old saying goes, the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one. So I admit it. I have  problem with patience. With letting the small stuff consume me.

I need to take a deep breath and appreciate what I have right in front of me.

For all to soon, they will be gone.