Saturday, November 21, 2015

Eight Little Words That Crushed Me

My youngest, Little L, who is two-years-nine-months old, has always been strong willed. She is incredibly independent and vocal about what she wants. I recently went back to work meaning she had to go to preschool full time. 

Little L had gone through a bit of a rough phase, behavior-wise, that started six or eight months ago. She was in the 18-month to 3-year-old class at preschool and she was screaming a lot, hitting from time to time, and just showing general bad behavior. We kept chalking it up to the "terrible two's". I didn't get it because my other two never went through that phase. 

Towards the end of the summer Little L's preschool director reached out to me and asked if I would be alright with moving her up to the three-year-old class. She said even though Little L was only two-and-a-half, she felt she would do very well as she was completely potty trained and was getting bored in the baby class. They needed the room in the younger class as they had new kids enrolling, so we agreed that would be fine.

Little L's first day in the "big kid class" was also the first day back at school for her siblings. She was so proud of herself. We started to notice positive behavior changes almost instantly. She was flourishing. She loved all the art projects that she was doing, and she loved being able to play on the big playground and on the swings. When she went full time, I didn't think it would be that much of an adjustment as she was already there three days a week.

Apparently I was wrong. Over the last couple of weeks since I started work, Little L's behavior has started to slip again.

We used to have two days a week together, just the two of us. We would go to the park, or go grocery shopping, or just hang out at the house together. Whatever it was we were doing, it was just us. Sometimes we would nap together. I loved that. It was like when she was a little baby all over again. She didn't have to share my attention with any of her older siblings or her dad.

Last night hubs, Little L and two of our other kids went out to dinner. I thought it would be a nice treat to kick off the Thanksgiving vacation. That was a big mistake. Apparently Little L hadn't napped at school and she was a nightmare. She wouldn't sit in her seat and she kept screaming every time we told her to do something. Eventually I told everyone I was going to sit in the car with her, told them to eat and just get my food to go when they finally brought it all out. 

So off we went to the car. 

"Why are we leaving, mommy?" She asked, big brown eyes staring up at me.

"Because you wouldn't sit nicely and you kept yelling and screaming. There are lots of other people trying to eat dinner who don't want to listen to you scream." I responded.

She climbed up into the car, I buckled her into her car seat and then I went and sat in the front.

"Can I watch one wittle tiny Paw Patwol?" 

"Yes, but first you need to listen to me. You can't behave like that when we go out places. You have to listen to mommy and daddy when we talk to you. If we ask you to sit nicely, you have to do it. Do you understand?" I asked.

"Yes, mama. I'm sowwy I didn't listen."

And then she said eight words that I never imagined I would hear; "I just miss you every day at work."

Soul. Crushed.

She was holding my hand, rubbing my thumb with one of her fingers and then she turned back to the DVD player and kept watching Paw Patrol.  

I'm not sure how I didn't cry. Maybe I would have if my two older children hadn't come crashing into the car at that very moment.

It was that moment that it hit me. I had been excited to start back at work. I had dreaded it for so long, but once I was out there working again, I was feeling really good. My anxiety had lessened and I was no longer taking antidepressants. I had a reason to get up and dressed every day, and although I was still surrounded by kids all day, I was also having adult interaction with someone other than my husband.

I had just assumed that everything was fine with Little L as well. I sent a text to her teacher to ask if she had napped that day and tell her that lately, she had been very grumpy at night. Her teacher told me Little L hadn't napped today and that she had "been a little stinker at school lately too."

I suddenly felt very guilty that I hadn't even thought about how this transition was affecting her. Not only do we not have our alone time anymore, but her dad is now dropping her off at school every morning. Every afternoon when I pick her up she runs to me screaming "MOMMY" as though she hasn't seen me in weeks.

I know she will be fine, she will adjust, and life will go on, but I still don't like that a decision I made - to go back to work - is affecting her negatively. It is really hard for me to discipline her for misbehaving when the root of the behavior is my fault, and added to that is her exhaustion from a long day with no nap. 

How do I handle that? How do I be firm and consistent with my expectations of her, yet understanding and not overreact when she's simply just tired and cranky?

I guess I will have to spend as much one-on-one time with her as I can and have lots of snuggles and naps with her whenever I can.

Friday, November 20, 2015

EXPOSED - Brian the Foot Man

I first heard of Brian the Foot Man last year when he messaged my page, asking if I would be interested in sharing his message. I posted a status with his offer: get paid $50 for a few pictures of your feet. That was it. Apparently he had pretty specific requests when it came to the pictures, but it was still a free $50.

Many questioned why he would do this. It was simple. Brian had a foot fetish. He would not approach women who had not expressed interest first. My status got a few responses and from what I understand, a few women actually took him up on his offer. Didn't seem too bad to me. There are a lot of women out there who could use some extra money, be it for diapers, groceries or even a pedicure. I considered it, until hubs told me he wasn't comfortable with me doing it.

Fast forward a year or so, and Brian reached out to me again, asking to share his message. I did, and I even joined a secret group he had for the women who had participated, or were interested in participating, even though I never did. At first the group seemed like pretty much any other group - a bunch of people with similar interests sharing stories, memes, looking for advice and support, etc. I basically hung around in the background, commenting on things here and there but never really getting too involved.

I was taken back a little with just how personal some of the women in the group would get with each other. I thought it was nice that they had somewhere they considered safe to reach out to people when things were tough, but they were sharing their most intimate thoughts with a man most of them didn't know. Brian and I had messaged back and forth a little through my Silence of the Mom page, and he came across as very polite, understanding of why my husband wasn't comfortable with the whole thing and generally respectful. Another blogger friend of mine also joined the group and shared the same thoughts on him as I did.

Brian's identity was totally private. His original profile had been shut down, so he took over the profile of a friend's husband. The only clues we had as to who he was, was a shot of his hairline, a picture of his calves, and the fact that he said he was an accountant and was single.

Recently, women started complaining that someone was taking things they had posted in the secret groups and were sharing them in other groups. This was obviously upsetting to some of the ladies who had entrusted us with their deepest, darkest secrets.  A few days after I noticed the first complaint, Brian posted that he was leaving the group and shutting down his account. It appeared that a woman had made it her life's mission to find out the truth and expose him. She posted a blog entry on a seemingly brand new blog, showing screen shots of the picture of his hairline, his real Facebook account, his wife (no, he wasn't single), a Paypal transaction with his wife's email account. Also shared was what appeared to be texts between him and someone else, listing the collateral damage that this woman had managed to bestow upon him, his family and his life by outing him.

According to the snitch, Brian's wife had no idea about what he was doing. I find this strange because it was supposedly her email attached to the Paypal account. What I find even more strange, however, is why was this woman so hell bent on exposing him? What did she stand to gain from it? Was she just hoping for a huge first post on her new blog? 

I am by no means saying that what he was doing was right. You pay women for pictures of their feet to satisfy some fetish you have and you hide it from your wife, that's wrong. Granted, he wasn't molesting children or stealing money from the elderly, but he was being unfaithful. He may not have physically been with all these women, or feet, but he was carrying on relationships that he didn't want his wife to know about, or so the story goes.

Was it this woman's duty to out him? She certainly wasn't doing it for the wife's sake. She blasted pictures of her and Brian all over the internet in her blog post. If the texts she posted screenshots of were legitimate, she had also done irreparable damage to their marriage. Why? Why did she do this? Why did she feel it was OK to share personal information of women in that secret group? Why did she feel she was justified in vilifying Brian and exposing the identity of his wife, who was supposedly oblivious and innocent of any wrongdoing?

I guess I won't ever "get it" unless this woman comes forward an gives an explanation for her actions. Then again, I don't need to "get it", it doesn't affect me personally and has nothing to do with me. I can't help but feel bad for the wife. She didn't ask for a husband with a weird foot fetish, and she didn't ask to be blasted all over the internet either. I also feel for the women whose private information was shared with people in a group that they weren't part of, without their permission.

I wish I had so much free time that all I had to do was go on fabricated witch hunts to expose people I don't even know.

Brian, if you're out there reading this, I'm sorry that biatch decided to out you. I may not like that you were doing this behind your wife's back, but it wasn't that trolls duty to expose you.

To the woman who outed Brian, maybe you should put all that energy into something that is actually productive.

Did you have any experiences with Brian the Foot Man? Weer they positive, negative? What do you think about him being exposed like this?

Friday, November 13, 2015

Back to School, Back to School...

This week I started working at my children's elementary school as a Teacher's Aide. After the birth of our youngest, hubs and I decided to try and make it last as long as possible with me staying home. That was over two and a half years ago. I knew I was going to have to go back to work eventually, but I was putting it off as long as possible. Part of me dreaded leaving our youngest, but part of me knew it was time and was yearning for some adult interaction!

After the birth of my first child, I had no choice but to go back to work when she was 12 weeks old. It killed me. Luckily she was with my ex husband two and a half days, my mother two and a half days and me on the weekends so I didn't have to put her in daycare. After my son was born I managed to stay home for roughly eight months before having to go back part time to help ends meet. I was so consumed with the luxury of being able to stay home with baby number three that I would get teary eyed every time I thought about having to go back to work.

I had been trying to get a job with the school since April. I interviewed over the summer and eventually a spot opened up. I was already familiar with a lot of the staff and the procedures of the school having spent so much time there as a parent. The first week I trained as a volunteer, getting the hang of the office policies, as I will be spending some of my time there each day. I also got to see a little of the classroom, which was what I was really looking forward to! I was officially hired on Tuesday, November 10 and got my schedule and the teacher's who I would be assisting.

So far I am really enjoying it, even though I feel a little out of place, not too dissimilar to Billy Madison. Everyone has been really helpful and kind. The majority of the kids have been pretty gentle on me. There are a few who have tried to get away with things a newby wouldn't know, but I'm pretty sure I haven't fallen for any of it! Some of them I just want to wrap up and take home with me, like the ones who tell me they're still hungry when they've finished their lunches, or the ones who get picked on and start crying.

My least favorite part of the job is definitely lunchroom duty. All the aides have to work it, but as I'm the low man on the totem pole, I have to work the entire two-hours. Wiping tables, opening ketchup, handing out napkins, spoons, and forks. Today was one of the worst. On the menu was tacos and ice-cream sandwiches, among other things. Doesn't sound bad, right? Wrong. There was taco meet EVERYWHERE - all over the floor, on the benches and tables, basically any surface that could be covered, was. The chocolate cookie from the ice cream sandwiches was smooshed all over the benches. It honestly looked like half the kids there had bathroom accidents.

We are considered a "healthy school" because we serve whole grain foods. Problem is, most of it is whole grain junk food. The majority of the kids today had pretzel bites with cheese sauce, an ice cream sandwich and a frozen icee-type of thing. Not exactly nutritious. I typically pack my kids' lunches because they prefer it to most of the food served, and I control what is in there. There is always a sandwich, some form of fresh fruit of veggie, yogurt or cheese stick and a drink. Yes, there is also some form of treat, either gummies or cookies, but it's all about balance, right?

I could go on and on about the food, but I'll save that for another post. I have a feeling I will have lots to write about now. I hope you'll stick around and follow me on my back to school adventure!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Kelly's Story

Today I am sharing a very touching story in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Please take a few minutes to read Kelly's story. Leave her some words of encouragement and support, especially if you have been through something similar.

I was diagnosed with stage 1 grade 3 breast ductal carcinoma 13 November 2012. I discovered the lump shaped like a squashed walnut 2 weeks before the diagnosis. I am adopted and having traced my birth mother’s records it turned out that she had sadly died from breast cancer at the age of 44, she had had it for 8 years and after bilateral mastectomies her fight ended. I was 36 when I was diagnosed, exactly the same age she was and I was actively looking for lumps.

Before a diagnosis is made there are a multitude of hospital visits to make, appointments to attend and test to be performed. I had a syringe test, the result came back as 95% fatty, I thought although this sounded positive it was an odd percent to give to someone usually you would say 99% so an alarm bell went up. I am a wife to Tim and a mum to boys aged 22,17 and 8. Tim and I decided not to speak to the children about the initial stage until we knew something a little more concrete.  

Four days later I was asked to go in and have a mammogram and although it was uncomfortable it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I asked to see the result, which is not usual, and I could quite clearly see my grey lump with grey threads moving away from it. On the same day I went and had an ultrasound and core biopsy. My husband had taken time out of work so after the mammogram I sent him back. During the ultra sound I asked if the lump was actually a fatty lump and it was then they said ‘no, I think it is a pea size cancer!’ my world stopped. I laughed in a kind of disbelieving way, got dressed and walked out. I tried to walk but my legs felt like they were filled with lead, my heart felt like it had stopped. I rang my husband who came and met me, I asked him to park the car and then told him what had happened. 

We then waited 10 very very long days, I say ‘we’ because Tim was with me 100% the whole way and is my rock. We cried with disbelief, I started trying to be practical in a morbid kind of way, choosing funeral hymns, writing letters to the kids, looking at our insurances, I spoke to work  and started writing a diary so that ‘just in case’ I died everything was in place…When the 10 days were up the surgeon at the Churchill, Oxford called me with the result (I had requested this before the follow up appointment the next week) she told me I had an aggressive cancer and I needed it out ASAP. I went and bought a wig!!

On 8 Dec I had my first operation, a lumpectomy, 2 lymph nodes were removed and I was told there and then that they had got all my cancer. I was left with one 2 inch scar. I had a genes test (blood test) and then in January 2013 I began chemotherapy. I tried the cold cap (feels like an upturned ice-cream on your head and is very, very cold) but sadly it didn’t help retain my hair and 3 weeks later all my hair on EVERY part of my body had disappeared. It was traumatic waking up every morning to a nest of hair in the bed (I had cut my hair to shoulder length). It was initially quite shocking for the kids, we had talked to them all about what was going to happen but remained positive and upbeat. My mum virtually moved in so she could help out and our local church helped with the provision of some meals to make it easier on us all. 

I went to hospital to have a Picc line put in, a painless but slightly uncomfortable line that they will feed drugs into, it stays in your arm for the duration of chemotherapy. The actual chemotherapy took a very long time whilst I was wearing the cold cap but when I stopped wearing it, it didn’t take as long. After each chemo I was given a phenomenal amount of anti-sickness drugs to take plus injections to keep my white blood cells working. I was told that I was going to get sicker before I got better and I was ready for this. At one point when my FEC D chemo changed and I was given a higher dose I was told I would feel like I had been in a car crash!

Tim became a master chef; he worked his way through Jamie’s 15 minute meals, cooking super healthy meals and keeping my calories up. Believe me, anyone going through chemo will need every last calorie. As a result I was never hospitalised. I had been told to monitor my temperature and if it went to 38 degree C I had to go straight to hospital which was quite a scary thought. I made it through 6 sessions every 3 weeks and finished my last one on 1 May 2013. I joked with friends that I would be dancing round the chemo ward rather than the traditional Maypole!

During this time my gene testing had come back, (it took 3 months), and it said that I had a BRCA 2 variant. I made the decision that I didn’t want my life to be spent worrying and checking for lumps and opted to have a bilateral skin sparing mastectomy and reconstruction.

I went to the hospital run reconstruction event to see what types of surgery I could opt for and scared myself silly. I googled reconstructions but it was only when another lady offered to show me her skin sparing mastectomy that I then felt ready to make the leap. I realised I would lose my nipples and most of all I would lose all the sensation in my breast.  I deeply mourned the loss of this sensation, I had breast fed all of my children and realised I would never be able to feed a baby again.

On 8 July 2013 I had my surgery, I showered in the red stuff they give you to prevent infections and then headed to hospital for my 7:30 am appointment. I was drawn on by the surgeon and then I was walked down to surgery. I waved goodbye to Tim and knew that this was going to be a very long day for him. The surgery went well and I was soon back on the recovery ward. I had 4 drains in and was hooked up to pain killers. Initially it felt like a small child was sat on my chest and I honestly thought I would never be able to move again. It is quite restrictive, but the hospital got me up and moving about quickly. I was in a ward with other women but they all had different illnesses and I felt quite isolated and embarrassed because they had all seen me without my hair. I quickly got over this but it wasn’t something I had prepared myself for. After 3 days I was allowed to go home. I still had 2 drains in and a district nurse came round to my house to see me and change my dressings daily.

My scars were keloid and I had some necrotic tissue. I had lots of different bandages some with honey and some with silver to try to heal me quicker but this is not a fast process and I had to learn to be patient.

I went back to work in my pre-school on 4 September 2013. In hindsight it was way too soon but I was getting worried about money and felt it was the best course of action. I also took on an extra day to try and cover the financial deficit. I was tired, so tired. I had been given Tamoxifen to take for 10 years and when I first started taking it, it put me into a kind of menopause – hot sweats. I googled ways of combating these and found Starflower oil to be the most effective.

I battled on and my hair gradually started to grow back. It came back quite curly and fine but it was so nice not to have a cold head. I stopped wearing the wig as soon as I could as it was starting to make my head itch with the extra heat from my new hair. Everything was starting to heal. It was only after all of the above that the enormity of what I had been through really sank in. 

I finally felt like the ‘car crash victim’ that they had described. I was in shock and deeply traumatised by the loss of my femininity. I cried all the time and became a complete wreck. I went to see the Dr and Oncologist Psychologist as I felt really depressed. I was referred to a well-being group run by Breast Cancer Care. I met others just like me and we to this day remain in touch. 

Cancer didn't leave me on the surgery table, it is part of the ‘new normal’ me. I have changed and I have had to accept this and most definitely move on. If I can help anyone along their cancer journey I am happy to help. I have shown my reconstructions to several ladies contemplating this surgery and I hope it has helped them make a decision. 

Every day I thank God I am alive and that I am still the wife to Tim and the mother to my gorgeous boys.

Thank you very much Kelly, for sharing your incredible journey with us!

If anyone finds themselves in a similar situation to Kelly and would like to hear more of her story, please message me on my Facebook page and I will get you in touch. If you know someone who would like to share their cancer story, please direct them to my Facebook page or have them email me at

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I'm Tired...of Everything

I'm tired. Really tired.

I'm tired of lying in bed not being able to sleep because my husband is snoring.

I'm tired of figuring out what the hell to make for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and then making it.

I'm tired of letting the dogs out, then in, then out, then in again.

I'm tired of my kids talking back and arguing with me about everydamnthing.

I'm tired of juggling which bills to pay out of each paycheck.

I'm tired of running my kids to baseball practice and Girl Scouts meetings.

I'm tired of doing mountains of laundry that never seem to get smaller.

But you know what, I will keep shopping and cooking and and doing laundry and running kids around, and here's why;

Because lying in bed not able to sleep means I have a bed to sleep in and the one I love lying next to me.

Because figuring out what to feed my family means I can put food on the table and in their bellies.

Because letting the dogs in and out means that we have a home and two additional four-legged family members.

Because my kids talk back and argue means they are strong and independent and aren't afraid to stand up for what they want and believe.

Because juggling bills between paychecks means my husband is employed and we have a paycheck to juggle with.

Because I'm tired of running my kids all over town it means they are healthy and able to participate in extracurricular sports and groups.

Because having laundry to do it means we all have clothes on our backs.

I may be tired and frustrated and feeling long overdue for a vacation or some "me" time, but I wouldn't change any of it...

Unless I could get a housekeeper. ;)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Car Named Spot

I have seriously been sucking at the writing thing these last few months.

Actually, that isn't entirely true. To say I've been sucking implies I've actually been writing - which I have not.

This happens to me every few months. I totally lose my mojo. It isn't like I don't have constant prompts, I'm a mother of five for goodness sake. I don't know if it is because I am so busy with kid stuff, or my bow making stuff, or what.

So I have decided to use the SITS Girls writing prompts for October to try and help me get my groove back.

Today's prompt: Do you remember your first car? Did you give it a name? Tell us about your first car or what it was like when you learned how to drive.

First I should clarify that I didn't learn to drive in my first car, which was a base model 1990 Honda Accord. I learned to drive in a Lincoln Town Car. One of those huge, square tanks. Doing a three-point-turn in that baby was fun. Thank god I didn't have to parallel park it.

My first car, as I mentioned above, was a Honda Accord. It was burgundy and was the base of base models. Power nothing, cloth interior, no right sideview mirror. Eventually the rear view mirror started falling off, the brake lights got stuck on, and I had to jiggle the battery connectors to get it to start.

But I loved that POS. It had over 190,000 miles on it when I finally got rid of it.

I affectionately began calling it "Spot" because the paint started fading on the hood, roof and trunk. My first semester of my freshman year up at FSU I didn't take Spot with me. I was living on campus and didn't think it was necessary to have her. There were campus buses, I had a bicycle and pretty much every bar was within walking distance.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving. I arrived home for Thanksgiving break to find something I never thought I would see. My stepdad and grandfather in the driveway, painting Spot. They had one of those spray paint guns and were going to town.

One would think they would test the application process before starting on the actual car, but they didn't. They started with the trunk of the car. They sprayed it on so thick it was three times darker than the rest of the car and there were drip marks that dried and were there forever.

From the trunk they moved on to the hood of the car. That application went a little smoother. Still darker than the rest of the car but not as noticeable. By the time they reached the roof they had it down to a science. The roof would have been perfect if it weren't for the leaves and other shit that landed on it leaving little imprints in the paint.

I appreciated the thought behind what they did, they were just trying to help. I didn't really care, I still loved my car. I knew I was lucky to even have one, there were plenty of people I knew who weren't so lucky.

I hear Spot got totaled shortly after we donated her to a family who was in desperate need of the car. She wasn't worth much at that point and what little money that would have come from the insurance company would have been a lot more helpful to that family than me.

After Spot, I upgraded to an awesome Toyota 4Runner, but I will always remember Spot fondly, she represented the beginning of my freedom and was a glimpse towards my independence. 

How about you? What was your first car?

Friday, August 7, 2015

August Secret Subject Swap

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap.

This week 16 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Secret Subject Swap

My subject is “Tell me about your day, from the perspective of your child(ren).” It was submitted by

Here goes:

"MOOOOOMMMMMYYYYYYY!!! I HAVE TO GO POOOOTTTTTYYYYYY!!!!!!" How many times do I have to yell before she's going to come in and get me?

Finally! "Morning mommy."

"Morning sweetie. Did you have sweet dreams?"


"Do you have to go potty?"


Oh, geez...she really should brush her teeth before she comes in to get me.  I wonder what we're going to do today. Oh, looks like she's making coffee and packing daddy's lunch. He must be working today. I'm thirsty, is she ever going to give me my yogurt drink? 

Oooh, there it is. Mmmmm...ugh, my tummy hurts, I really should slow down when I'm drinking this stuff.

Bubby and Sissy must still be sleeping. Oh no, not oatmeal again for breakfast. Now where did she go? Oh, ironing daddy's shirt for him. He must be running late again. I'm going to see what's going on over at Jungle Junction. I love that show.

Everyone is awake now. Daddy has gone to work. Sounds like Bubby and Sissy are arguing. Oh no, mommy doesn't look happy. She's always yelling at them for arguing and tattling on each other.

Looks like it is time to get dressed. She knows I don't want the white shorts and blue and white shirt, I only want to wear my Sofia the First dress or my sparkly Hello Kitty tutu.

Now we're getting in the car. She's still yelling at Bubby and Sissy. They're arguing about who gets to sit in the front. We must be going to Publix. They always want to sit in the front when we go to the store because then they get to push the shopping cart.

Yes! I get a cookie...I want a sprinkle, chocolate, sprinkle...yikes, now mommy is grumbling at me for changing my mind all the time.

We're back from the store and I guess it is lunchtime now. Macaroni and cheese again? Mommy is making herself one of those green drinks in that really loud machine. Oh, now she's eating the rest of my mac and cheese that I didn't eat. I guess those drinks don't fill her up too much.

Nap time already? Time flies when you're...wait, how old am I again? Eh, never mind. 

I hear the dog barking, now I hear mommy yelling at her. Wow, I must have slept forever!! Oh, here comes Bubby. I wonder where mommy is...oh here she is!

She sure looks tired, and angry. But she always gives me the biggest, best hugs and kisses and tells me she loves me all the time. She says I'm her best girl. I am pretty great...

Mommy must have some stuff to do at her desk, she's given me a snack and put Elsa and Ana on the TV. She's always tapping on that black thing with the ABC's on it.

Now she's telling the kids to do their chores, and they have to read for 30 minutes when they're finished. They must not have been good at all today. That makes mommy so upset. Especially when she has to start cooking dinner and keeps getting interrupted.

Oh yay, daddy is home! Mommy looks happy. She gave him a big kiss. She sure does love him. Oh good, Bubby and Sissy are setting the dinner table. She's thanking them and hugging them and telling them she loves them too. She really does love them, even though she yells at them a lot.

Oooh, chicken, my favorite. 

Now it is bath time. Mommy really likes giving me a bath. I think it is ten minutes of quiet time she gets to look at her phone. She's laughing at something now. She loves to laugh.

I love it when mommy reads to me at bedtime. She lets me pick whatever book I want. When she's finished the story she snuggles me up to her and sings me a whole bunch of songs while she looks at me and gently strokes my cheek. She yawns a lot though. I bet she's going to get in bed now too because she's so tired.

She just gave me lots of kisses and put me in my bed.

"Sweet dweams mommy. I wuf you."

Oh no, I think I need to pee again.


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out.

See you there: Baking In A Tornado The Momisodes The Bergham’s Life Chronicles Stacy Sews and Schools Dinosaur Superhero Mommy Southern Belle Charm Never Ever Give Up Hope Sparkly Poetic Weirdo Someone Else’s Genius Confessions of a part-time working mom Searching for Sanity 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Funny Friday - July 2015

Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with.

baking in a tornado

I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend. 

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Sanity Waiting to Happen (

1. "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with a bull." W.C. Fields

2. "Is that a bull in your truck, or are you just happy to see me?"

3. Texas...

4. Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "I smell bullshit."

5. I've heard of grabbing the bull by the horns...but I didn't realize you were supposed to throw it in your truck afterwards. 

 Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile: 

The Momisodes (
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Thursday, July 16, 2015

My Road to Healthy - Update #2

A few weeks ago I started on my quest to get fit and healthy. Tired of being embarrassed to wear a bathing suit or walk around in shorts, I decided to take up jogging. Typically I only run if something is chasing me, but even then I'm more likely to play opossum, roll over on my back and act dead.

Week two was still a struggle for me to get up when my alarm went off at 6:15 am, but I did it and felt so much better about myself for sticking with it.

Thursday evening of week two we drove to Melbourne to spend the 4th of July weekend with friends and family. Friday morning I didn't get up as I had hardly gotten any sleep due to my sister-in-law's dog and cat that had us up most of the night. They were out of town in the Keys so we were using their house in exchange for taking care of their pets. I can honestly say that will never happen again, but that a whole other story.

I got to spend July 4th with Kristen Mae, from 
Abandoning Pretense, and her awesome family.

Friday afternoon I was starting to feel really guilty for not getting my run in, so I threw on my jogging gear, laced up my sneakers and headed out the door. 

Thirty minutes later I came panting back into the driveway after having been chased by a tiny dog that jumped out of nowhere and being whistled and yelled at by a couple guys in a truck. Seriously? What the hell is that all about? I'm 99.9% certain that is not an effective way to pick someone up. 

"Oh hey baby! Circle back around. Sure I'm sweaty and disgusting and about to collapse from the Florida heat and humidity, but the way you hung your head out the truck and hollered really gets me in the mood..." said no one. Ever.

Anyway, I made it back to the house and jumped straight in the pool, only removing my sneakers. Then I got myself cleaned up and we headed out for dinner where I gorged myself on bar-b-que.

The following week, on Monday, I got up when my alarm went off and headed out the door. As I was jogging I felt a little twinge every now and then in my knees, but didn't think much of it. I soldiered through Week 2, Day 3 of the C25K app and felt stronger than I had previously.

Wednesday rolled around and I got up for Week 3, Day 1. This week was compromised of a brisk  minute warm up, two repetitions of 90 seconds of jogging, 90 second of walking, three minutes of jogging and three minutes of walking, and a five minute cool down. 

As I started my first bout of jogging I had stabbing pains in my knees, like someone was prodding me with a hot poker. It seemed to wear off as I went on so I kept going, pushing through it. The whole rest of the day I was feeling it. I iced my knees but kept on with my life as though nothing was wrong. 

Little bird and her eggs that I 
check on during my jogs.

Friday morning, when I should have gone out again, I slept in and made breakfast for my best friend and her family who were staying with us. I had decided I was going to give my knees an extra day of rest and go out on Saturday instead. So, Saturday afternoon, after my friends had left, I went over to my parent's house to use the treadmill. 

I got through my brisk five minute warm up and as soon as I started jogging I was hit with fire in my knees again. Determined not to give up, I pushed through the pain of the workout and made myself finish. I would be damned if I was going to quit now after three weeks of getting myself up and out there.

Big mistake.

When your body feels pain like that you should really listed to it and back off. The rest of the day was spent on the couch, moving as little as possible and icing my knees. From research I have done on where the pain is, it would appear I have tendinitis of the knee. Both knees, actually. 

So now I have to rest my knees as much as possible and put the C25K app on the shelf until they are healed. 

Man, am I pissed. 

I have literally been forcing myself to get into the habit of waking up early and jogging, in an effort to do something good for me, and this is how my body repays me.

So I will be swimming and doing yoga until my knees feel better, and then I will start it up again, and hope for the best. 

In the three short weeks that I was jogging, I really started to feel better about myself. I was starting to feel stronger, not knowing my body was planning a rebellion against me.

I hate to think of the setback this will cause, but I am assured by those who are runners that my body will remember quickly and it won't be as bad as I think.

I was noticing on the days I was jogging that my anxiety was so much less noticeable. I also felt as though I had more self confidence. I'm sad to report that the pain doesn't seem to be easing up. My knees are OK when I wake up in the morning, but as the day wears on, the pain gets worse. I don't exactly have the luxury of sitting around elevating my legs all day being that I have a gaggle of kids to take care of.

I will try not to let this get me down and will try to find peace in my yoga and swimming and give my body time to heal.

I may not be able to run, but I am not giving up on a healthier, happier me.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Guest Post: I Hate My Job - Update

Back in May I had a guest post from a woman who was beyond frustrated with her job. Not what she does for a living, but the conditions her patient lives in on a daily basis.

Today she is back with an update for everyone. I hope you will all be as kind and understanding as you were towards her original post.

Hi friends. It’s been awhile since my original post about my nursing job.

I was really hoping for some good news for you.

First off let me say thank you for all of your positive responses about my story. I have to admit that I was worried that some people might be asses about my despair. That is however not why I was anonymous and why I continue to be. It’s to protect my job and patient.

So calls were made and investigations done and I have to report that nothing has changed.

Sure I guess the cleanliness of the home was put first. Dishes were done, laundry taken care of and medications were ordered, but that only lasted so long.

I can’t say I’m surprised. Not by the mother. I am surprised by the system. I probably shouldn’t be, but I am.

When I first made the call, they immediately called me back within an hour and took down all the pertinent information and I expressed how urgent the situation was. I was not at work the day they came to visit and inspect. (I’m referring to Child Protective Services.)

I did however hear second-hand from the other nurse about them being there and that at the end of their inspection they told the mom, “You really have nothing to worry about.”

I can’t even fathom what the fuck that means you guys. I mean, I spent a long time making the decision to report. I am not the type of person to make false claims or to report anybody for mundane stuff. This was my first time EVER reporting someone but it was my job as a nurse. I read over the legal definitions that required me to report trying, TRYING to find a loop-hole telling me that I was overreacting. I didn’t find one. So I did what I’m legally obligated to do.

I feel so let down.

Things after a week turned into the norm again. It was like the system gave everyone this security that, “Ok, we’ve inspected, and have done our job, so go on with your life. Nobody’s dying.”


That is the unspoken word and phrase I keep hearing to this day almost a month later, in my head.

I hate that the law and legal system has let me down. I hate more that they have let my patient down.

I hang my head in despair feeling like, “What am I doing here?”

“Am I really making a difference?”

I think I am but I’m not sure most days. Especially now. It appears that now that the home has been inspected and just pushed aside that maybe I was just exaggerating and I know deep inside I wasn’t and am still not, but that’s how it feels.

I will never know what it’s like to have a disabled child. I have a healthy son.

I do know though how it is to take care of a disabled child and to have people think that she is my child, even the doctor’s that see us. That I know more about her lifestyle and daily going ons, is sad.

If any one of you can give me some hope and tell me that what I’m doing is not in vain, I would greatly appreciate it.

I dread work more now than I ever did. I still love my job with her. Love my job as a nurse, but don’t quite understand how to deal with the mother anymore.

Thank you again to Silence of The Mom for hosting me anonymously. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have a place to come to.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Kids Hate Each Other

Cain and Abel, Romulus and Remus, Rachel and Leah. All infamous siblings whose relationships were riddled with competition, rivalry and jealousy and in two thirds of them, death. Sometimes I feel as though one day, people will be reading about my children on Wikipedia for similar reasons. 

Cain slaying Abel by Peter Paul Rubens

My kids hate each other. 

There, I said it. I have five; eleven-year-old twins, ten-year-old daughter, eight-year-old son and two-year-old daughter. We are a blended family. A sort of his, mine and ours.

They all hate each other, except maybe the two-year-old. She's too young to be a total shit head yet. I swear if they were in the Hunger Games arena, they would have no problem stabbing each other in the back to make it home alive.

How do I know they hate each other? Let me count the ways...

1. They never want to help each other. Ever. If K asks T to pass her something she's sitting next to, T will say "It's not mine. It isn't my job to give it to you." But then T is surprised when K doesn't want to help her when she needs something.

2. They're constantly racing each other. For everything. The favorite seat on the couch, the bowl with the most ice cream, the last piece of red construction paper. And forget about it if one of them "calls" something ahead of time. The others yell that they're not allowed to do that. No one ever says "Sure, I don't mind if you eat the last piece of chocolate." 

3. They tattle on each other. All the time.  They are constantly trying to get each other in trouble about the most stupid shit possible. "AJ said his room was clean but it isn't." "A glanced at me for a second as she was looking around the room." "K said she doesn't like my skirt." Gah! Who cares? 

4. They give each other nasty looks. We've all heard the phrase "If looks could kill." Well if looks really could kill, I would be childless. And I would be dead, and so would hubs and both our dogs.

5. They're always comparing what the other one has. Try as I might to make everything equal at birthdays and other holidays, someone always thinks the other got something better than them. As a result of this their hatred for that sibling increases exponentially. A thinks that K's clothes are cuter. T likes AJ's headphones better. For the love of god the headphones are the same except for the color!!

6. They can't keep their hands to themselves. Without fail, every time they are playing or swimming one of them tries to kill off another one. They either trip them when they're running, crash into each others bikes or try to drown them in the pool. They may claim it was an "accident" or that they "didn't mean to", but I know better. I see that little glint of evil in their eyes.

7. They hate sharing. It is said that sharing is caring. With most people this may be true, but all it tells me is I am right about my kids hating each other. They will hoard twenty-five Barbie outfits claiming they are playing with them, just so someone else can't have them. It is physically impossible to play with twenty-five outfits at one time, so why can't they let someone else use them? Because they hate each other.

Is there any hope for any of them? Or me? I feel like the only time I ever get relief is when I go for my morning jog

Please tell me I'm not the only one whose children despise each other!

Monday, June 29, 2015

My Road to Healthy - Week One

A few weeks ago hubs and I took all five kids to North Carolina to visit his brother and sister-in-law. It was an amazing week full of pontoon boat rides, tubing, hiking, waterfalls, mountains and lots of great food.

While we were there I found myself being inspired by my sister-in-law. She was waking up early and going out for a run, then coming home and eating a healthy breakfast. She looked amazing. Being in a bathing suit on the pontoon boat made me greatly aware that, while I have lost the weight from my last baby, I still have a lot of work to do firming everything back up.

Not only that, but I suffer from depression and anxiety and am currently on medication for both. I don't want to be on drugs forever, but they have been a godsend in helping me keep my sanity over the last year and a half.

So a couple of days after we got back from our trip I set my alarm for 6:15 am and decided I was going to go for a jog. I told myself it would be a jog because, lets face it, I haven't worked out in a really long time, so I knew there wouldn't be any real running going on.

Waking up that morning was tough. All I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep. What the hell was I thinking waking up so early, when the rest of my family was snoozing peacefully. Somehow I managed to drag my arse out of bed and put on my workout gear and ten-year-old sneakers. I got the dog on the leash and off we went.

I had my phone in my hand and no music to help push me through. We started out walking for a few minutes to warm up and then I started jogging.

And then I stopped jogging. Oh my god, I must have jogged for at least three minutes. *Checks phone* Thirty seconds? What the hell? 

I was more out of shape than I thought. So I spent the next thirty minutes alternating jogging and walking, willing the time away. 

At one point, I turned to look behind me and saw the incredible sky and I had to snap a picture. It looked like pink and blue cotton candy. It started to occur to me that, other than the health benefits, this is why people find joy in early morning running jogging walking. It was so peaceful and beautiful. 

That was it, I was hooked. I made up my mind to replace my decade old sneakers with new running shoes and decided to look into an armband thing to keep my phone in so I could have music with me. 

I knew I was going to need a little more motivation though, so I downloaded the C25K running app. The idea behind that app is that it trains you for a 5K in eight weeks. It alternates jogging and walking, gradually increasing the jogging and decreasing the walking until the very end where you're expected to jog three miles (or as much as you can in 30 minutes).

Thursday rolled around and up I got again at 6:15, tied up my new shoes, stole my son's headphones and headed out the door with the dog. That second day (first day using the C25K app) was much tougher than I expected. I grunted through all the 60 seconds of jogging and let out a sigh of relief each time the app said "begin walking", signaling the start of 90 seconds of walking. 

But I made it through and managed to snap another beautiful morning photo.

The next day my armband and new headphones were scheduled to arrive, which made me really excited about running on Saturday morning. I purchased a couple of running playlists from the iTunes store and loaded them onto my phone. Saturday came, alarm went off, and away I went.

My running toys - armband for my phone 
and noise canceling headphones.

Then it happened. During the first 60 second jogging spurt I felt pain on the inside of my thighs, up high, near my lady parts. Holy crap did it hurt. But I pushed through and finished my workout. I went home and did my stretching, spending a lot more time in a butterfly stretch trying to work out the tightness in my legs. For the rest of that day I walked like I had been riding a horse for six weeks. Every step was painful. 

Great, three days of exercise and I had already injured myself. Thankfully when I woke up on Sunday the pain had gone and I was walking normally again.

I had only gone out three times, but I was already feeling better about myself. I noticed that the days I jogged, I didn't have nearly as much anxiety during the day. Anxiety and depression are two things I have struggled with for quite some time. I am on medication for both, but my goal is to get to a point where I no longer have to rely on chemicals to get me through the day. I was also eating breakfast, something I had fallen out of the habit of doing a long time ago. Oatmeal or Greek yogurt and granola, with flax, chia seeds, honey and fresh berries.

Every day hubs tells me how proud of me he is that I am getting up and doing something for myself. I really appreciate hearing that and it is a huge motivator, but you know what else motivates me?

I am proud of myself.

Anyone who knows me knows I am not the most athletically inclined person. Sure, I went through my phase in college where I was working out every day and talking aerobics classes. And leading up to my first wedding when I was going to the gym in an effort to have even more of my dress taken in. But I didn't like sports in school and did pretty much whatever I could to get out of playing them. (My high school track coach used to call me and a couple of my friends the "Country Club" as we walked around the track during practice.)

I've had a few snarky comments from people questioning my sudden enthusiasm for running. I just smile and tell them the truth; I'm trying to get healthier, tone up, and do something for myself.

My life, although I love it, is totally dedicated to raising children and being married. I am lucky to have a true partner to share my journey with, but the majority of the responsibilities involving the children falls on me. Hubs works full time and I've been privileged to have been able to stay home since our youngest was born in February of 2013. But that means that all the doctor and dentist appointments, sick days, grocery shopping and the majority of the cooking, cleaning and laundry falls on me. While I in no way claim to be Suzy Homemaker, and I know my floors could stand to be mopped more regularly, it still doesn't leave too much time for me.

So I will keep setting my alarm for 6:15 and I will continue on my journey to get healthy, and sane.

Who knows, maybe this couch potato will sign herself up for her first 5K in the future...

...On second thought, let's just take it one day at a time and see how it goes.

Friday, June 26, 2015

I'm a Big, Fat Hypocrite

Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed the other day I came across an article a guy wrote after eating food marketed for women.

**Spoiler Alert**: Nothing happened. Other than him feeling hungry most of the time and craving fresh vegetables after two weeks of sugary, prepackaged foods.

While I was reading it I was struck with how cliche and downright awful the marketing is for these supposed healthy foods.

SkinnyGirl, Skinny Cow (that would be an insult where I'm from), Svelte Popcorn, Bombshell Jerky...all those names are focused on appearance and weight, not health.

I am always talking to my girls about the importance of being healthy, not skinny, and how the women in magazines and movies are photoshopped and work for hours exercising and eating healthy. I try to convey that appearance, while it is the first thing you notice, isn't what defines a person. A beautiful person can have an ugly heart and a nasty personality, which is far worse than not looking like a supermodel.

I notice my stepdaughters, one in particular, are very self conscious and aware of their appearance. They are identical twins and were always skinny as twigs and could eat anything they wanted. About three years ago one started gaining weight and we couldn't figure out why. We found out that she was eating two lunches at school, after her sister ratted her out. Since then it has become clear to me that she is an emotional eater.

She now has the better part of thirty pounds on her twin and stepsister, who is only a year younger than them. I die a little inside every time I see her covering her stomach when she's in a bikini, or when she is told she has to change because her outfit is too small or tight on her.

I cook nutritious meals with lean meat, vegetables and a starch. We don't go out to eat often, and we go for fast food even less. I keep fruit and yogurt in the house, but we also have ice cream, chips and cookies. I am trying to teach them that it is all about balance. They can have the treats as long as the majority of what they consume is the healthier stuff.

Here's where the hypocrisy comes in.

I want to look like one of those actresses or models. I want to be skinny, and beautiful and still be able to eat whatever I want and not have to work hard for it.

While I sit here and wax poetic about how life is about balance and health and how your clothes feel, not the size on the tag, I cringe every time I have to put a bathing suit on. I feel a rush of excitement when I fit back into a pair of pants I haven't been able to wear for a while and I hate myself a little when my pants start to get too tight again.

I constantly compare myself to other women. Strangers at the grocery store, friends who have had babies and look amazing and even people I know have let themselves go a little. I don't voice my comparisons or insecurities to my kids, I don't tell them when I go on a diet to drop a few pounds, or that I've taken up running to lose the jiggle. I tell them that I'm trying to be more healthy, and that running is good for my heart and overall health.

I tell my kids not to worry about what other people think about them, and that they are kids and don't need to diet, and that their thighs are supposed to jiggle a little. Meanwhile I'm wishing I had the body I did before kids, that my boobs would sit where they're supposed to without a bra like they used to and that my chin hadn't developed some weird adult acne issue once a month.

In a society that is so obsessed with appearance, is it possible to be truly happy with how we look? Are there people out there who are content with the body, skin and hair they have? If so, how do they get to that point? When I lost the weight from my last baby I felt awesome. I had a new lease on life. I enjoyed dressing and clothes shopping again.

Then the excitement wore off and I started judging myself again. My thighs have too much cellulite, my arms jiggle too much and my belly is still saggy. I know that the way I see myself when I'm naked isn't the same way my husband sees me. I know I'm too harsh on myself and that I should be happy I'm healthy and look at my saggy boobs and stomach as some kind of badge of honor for having carried and given life to three amazing children.

But I can't. I don't need my body to be a constant reminder of my kids, they are my reminder.

Is it just a case of do as I say, not as I do (or feel)? Am I just going to have to be a hypocrite for the rest of my life telling my kids to be one way and pretending to be that way myself? 

Maybe if I keep telling myself that appearance doesn't matter I will start believing it.