About Me

I am an insane human being. I have been a wife for 15 plus years, and a mom for almost as long. I had 3 children early on...then struggled with life and IF and loss for 8 years. Thought our family was complete, so I compensated by adopting all the shelter pets. Then we were surprised that our luck changed. Our running total is Parents: 2, Kids: 5, Pets:4. My life is far from perfect, and much of our happiness was hard fought and won, from the death of a parent, job loss and marriage troubles, miscarriage and IF, we have been through it all, and dare I say we made it, with a lot of love and laughter, and not taking ourselves too seriously.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Random Thoughts

I experienced more work drama this past week. Luckily, this wasn't personal in nature or having anything to do directly, but I did happen to be involved by default. I didn't do anything wrong, so all is good. But let me just say that people are freaking crazy. People in high positions are especially freaking crazy. Kindness will always rule over nastiness, and I am not sure why everyone doesn't just understand this. ESPECIALLY when it comes to people who are caregivers or those handling your food.

My dryer is still broken. Repair guy came Monday and said he fixed it. Well, he fixed one problem which was no heat, but there were related problems so on the first load it kept shutting down. After a lot of fighting, someone is coming out Thursday, instead of the following Monday. So much headache. And pethair. The dryer does wonders for collecting pet hair out of the blankets and clothes. Hang drying them does not good, so I feel like there is an abundance of dog hair floating around.

Teaching a teenager how to drive is supremely nerve wracking. I have no idea how anyone ever learns how to drive. I really don't have the temperament to sit in a car with a learning driver. I just want to scream and close my eyes. But I can't so it's really hard. I wish I could pay someone to do it for me, seriously.

I am pretty sure I just had my first Ovulation in a year, thanks to weaning off of the domperidone. Unfortunately, that means my milk supply is pretty much gone at this point. Which really makes me kind of sad. I was hoping to keep the nighttime nursing session, but he is rejecting it and I'm pretty sure it's because I don't have very much milk now. He's 16 months, and I had it in my head that I would nurse him until he was totally walking full time, which he now is. But I can't help but be a little sad at this, especially since he acts like he still wants to nurse. And after struggling so damn hard to get him back to nursing and fix my supply 11 months ago, I just feel so very guilty and sad about this. But I couldn't stay on the domperidone any longer. I fee like there should be more fanfare if he was the last Baby I will ever nurse.

Toddler Boy hasn't been feeling well this week, so it's made for some very long and boring days. It finally want too cold or muddy yesterday so we played outside for a while which was nice. Then it's back to cold today. I can't wait until the weather just makes up its damn mind.

My niece turned 22 today. Which is just crazy to me, because I was there when she was born, and I got to cut her cord. I was a junior in high school, and she is about to graduate college. Man that makes me feel so old.

I have a million spring cleaning items I need to do, but I have no idea where to start. I have a desk piled high with papers and other junk. It's the catch-all area, a hidden room off of the den that's part-office, part dumping ground for things that have no place. There's a door so we don't have to look at it. But it's bad and I can't find anything. It's just so overwhelming, and I need a day without toddlers underfoot so I can get it done. My walk-in closet in the master bedroom is also a mess. I have clothes and items that have. When outgrown and out in there for storage, but it's getting a little out of control. And the coat closet is a mess, but until the weather decides to warm up for good, all the cold weather stuff still has to be accessible.

This month is kind of a quiet month with not much going on. April will definitely pick up. We have Easter and Spring break and all the fun activities we do for that, a concert, a NASCAR race, my sister's birthday, and already a few appointments on the calendar. I can't believe we are already looking at the 4th month of the year already. Time is just flying.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

When it rains...

In my last post I mentioned that during a snow event, my dryer decided to break. That's been so. Much. Fun. Because of course we had like 6 loads of laundry that needed to be done, plus all the wet snow clothes. We literally hung clothes and towels on every available surface on my first floor, including cabinet doors and the blades of the ceiling fans. I could have gone to a laundromat or my mom's, but it's been windy and freezing, and the idea of lugging heavy, wet loads out of the house to anywhere just sounded really unappealing. The stupid thing is we actually have a brand new, spare dryer. But it's electric, and we don't have that hook-up here. We got a quote for that when we moved in, but it seemed like a lot of money to me and we didn't actually need the hook up at the time so we didn't have it done. Hindsight and whatnot. I do have a home warranty so I can get it fixed for the nominal service fee, which is awesome. But it also means going through the process and parts are likely to need to be ordered, so it won't be fixed quickly, but it will be (relatively) cheap. My brother-in-law in another state talked my husband through what it would be to run the electrical himself, but my husband has never messed with electrical and it seems...risky. It involves tapping into the main electrical box, and if he makes a mistake could mean a several-thousand-dollar fix by a real electrician, and possible death, so yeah. Plus, the cost of the material needed alone is more than our service fee, and he won't know it didn't work until it doesn't work, meaning we wouldn't be able to return anything at that point and recoup any money. So, we wait.

I haven't been sleeping well at all for the past week. Between totally weaning from the domperidone and the time change, I'm a freaking mess. My hormones are going crazy trying to regulate I think. I'm flashing hot and cold day and night. Nighttime is the worst because I'm like dying hot going to bed and rolling over constantly trying to find a cool spot. Then eventually I start to be freezing cold, but 5 minutes after I pile on the layers I'm sweating again. The thermostat is right where it always is, so it's obviously me. Not sleeping well is making for a very cranky me, so I hope my body gets itself together soon. My gyn is going to love talking to me at my annual visit in 2 weeks.

Today one of my dogs found a way out of my yard. We have a fence, but it's pretty crappy in some spots, which we rigged up when we realized there was a hidden hole she found. We had a company come out when we moved in and they wanted nearly $4K to replace the fence with the same crappy design we have now, which doesn't work for our dogs. To get the type of fence we ideally need, it was $10K. So we opted to get a much more affordable invisible fence. Only at the time we only got 2 collars for the smaller, more mischievous dogs that were going under, around, and through to get out. Our bigger dog never tried to get out, and we figured we were safe because she could easily leap over the fence if she wanted. And we mostly were, until this hole presented itself and she walked right on through. So we rigged it, but the weather must have knocked the piece down. So my poor husband has to come home and trudge through the icy snow to figure out how to fix it again.

On top of the fence business, he is also trying to fix our basement. I wrote a little over a year ago about how we had a sewer back up in our basement. It wasn't bad, but in my foggy post-pardum state decided to make an insurance claim to get the water cleaned up. I just thought that's what you do. Well, I won't ever make a claim again. Not only did they immediately raise my rate, but I got a letter about a week ago asking for proof that we fixed everything. Apparently this is standard before a policy renewal, so they say, but no one I know has ever heard of this. Of course we had not made the repairs. Because. The area that got wet was our laundry area, and for some reason the carpet came right up to in front of the washer and dryer. So the carpet that was cut out was a big square in front and a small portion to the side of that area. They also cut out 3 parts of the lower drywall, about a foot high each. They took out much more than was actually damaged of both the wall and the carpet. This is the area that boxed in the washer/dryer. It is all off to the side of the main room, right next to the utility room. Initially we were going to put down hardwood flooring and get rid of all the carpet, but it's the kids' area, and they balked, saying the carpet made it more cozy. But then they also proved they couldn't not spill stuff and take food/drinks down there, and I didn't want to get brand new carpeting. Then we had water back up a few more times in that same area and realized that carpeting that area again was a bad idea. So life went on and we didn't fix any of it, and really sort of forgot about it. It's a laundry area and looks like it. Plus, kids toys got put in that corner and you couldn't see the walls anyway. So fast-forward to now, we have to have it fixed to provide either pictures or receipts that says the work is done by the 20th. If we don't, I am guessing they won't renew our policy. So we had to quickly think up a plan to make it looked fixed enough for pictures. My husband fixed and cut the small bit of drywall, and we decided since it's a laundry room area we put down those stick-on flooring tiles that won't get ruined if they get wet again. Currently there are a few more tiles to lay, wall to paint, and trim to nail in. Then I can email over pictures of this tiny little area and it will all be good. But man.

I hope nothing else decides to break down this week. It's utterly impossible to get anything done with toddlers around. The littlest one got mobile and so the steps are his favorite place to hang out. And he just figured out to climb up onto the dining room table and literally try and swing from the chandelier. My mom is super-busy doing her seasonal tax job, so I literally have no back up during the day to try and work on any of this. My poor, wonderful husband.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Snow is Yuck.

My Toddler boy who is now 3 was born during a Polar Vortex. It was bitter cold when we brought him home from the hospital. Needless to say, he isn't a fan of cold weather. The first 2 winters he was old enough, I tried in vain to bundle him in a snowsuit and boots and take him outside. This was a futile attempt because he would scream and cry and kick off his boots and yank his gloves off with his teeth and throw himself all around in the snow in tears, despite having older siblings who were bey clearly enjoying the snow and trying to take him with them down the hill on a sled. I have even tried just letting him walk out on our deck and check out the snow, giving him a chance to see and touch it on his own terms without having to get all bundled up. Once he got his hands on the cold wet snow, he had had enough. He loves playing in the water so I even let him go out in tennis shoes to stomp around, but nope. If he made it 5 minutes, that was a long time.

He was the only one of my kids who had never been sledding. I couldn't even find the 3T snowsuit, having never pulled it out of storage because why bother. He was out shopping with my husband on Sunday and when the cashier told him that there was going to be snow coming, he promptly said "I no like snow. Snow is Yuck."

So today we woke up to snow. Not the 1-2 feet like they were predicting when I went to bed last night. We got maybe 6 inches of snow with some ice on top, and that's being generous. We haven't had any other substantial snow all winter so this was our last chance. I got up and told all the kids to get dressed and moving, we were going outside in the snow. My darling 3 year old once again told me "Snow is Yuck." But then he watched our crazy dogs go outside, jumping around kicking and biting and throwing around all that glorious white stuff. He laughed and laughed at them. My husband and I bundled the little guys in too small snow suits (that's what happens when it's freaking March and I pulled out the snow stuff way back in October!) and took them outside. At first little 3 year old winced at the cold wet air hitting his face. But then I showed him the little sleds and a small enough hill to go down that was fast enough for him but easy to climb back up. Then he realized I could just pull him around in the "baby" sled. Then he realized we could kind of make a snow man, and oh look at that I can make a ball and throw it. And I can kick and knock my snowman down. Hey, it's fun to stomp around in the snow! So we played until his clothes were soaked through. After lunch he promptly passed out in my arms.

We went back out a little bit later after a nap and a snack. This time the older kids were just coming back from the big-kid hill and played with us. I actually got to take some video of him sledding and of the sibling snowball fight. I came back in as it started to get dark, only to discover that my dryer broke. So now I have a million articles of wet snow clothes plus other laundry hanging all over my house. School is already on a delay for tomorrow with a possible cancellation, and all I can think of is not having a dryer to properly dry snow clothes. Maybe my toddler was right after all.

Monday, March 13, 2017

MicroBlog Mondays: Favorite Pictures

I love having my phone as my camera, because not only can I capture random, mundane moments I would otherwise miss, but also because I can always have them with me. I can scroll through favorite moments and always have my family close, even when we are apart. I also find gems that my kids take when I'm not looking. Everything from selfie after funny-faced selfie, to the floor of the car, to funny things happening in the background of life. Usually I blog from my phone, and I can't figure out how to quickly pull pictures over to blogger, so I never add any. Today I am lucky enough to be on the laptop, so I thought I would share some of my favorites over the last 6 months or so. I have a million more than I was able to post, but here is a sampling. And since blogger is being dumb and won't allow me to caption individual pictures, these are trees peaking in my backyard, one year old pleased with his destruction of his smash cake, practicing blowing candles out with older brother, getting to blow his own candles out, a rare occasion of a clean room, brother love, my first batch of cookies done during the harried and crazy holiday season (a victory for sure), doggie snuggles, baby sweetness, cool shot from NYC trip, and my favorite room in the winter. In no particular order. My girls are absent from this collection only because I didn't really have any from this time frame that were my favorite or just featured them.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Microblog Monday-Sisters/Siblings

My two oldest children are girls, 2 weeks shy of 4 years apart. They shared a room at one point several years ago, but we had to separate them because it was nonstop fighting and I couldn't handle it. This was probably when they were about 5 and 9. My oldest was often the bossy, bully-ish big sister and not very helpful. There was never a point where I could have left her in charge of her two closest siblings, even for a short period of time. My younger daughter would often try and ask for homework advice, as her sister had all the same teachers and did most of the same projects, but she usually got met with grumpiness and an unwillingness to be helpful. It used to break my heart for my younger daughter, and I spent so much time talking to my older one about how mean and hurtful she was being. Her little sister even stood up to bullies for her, taking no crap and calling them out when she would see her older sister get picked on.

But nature has a way of working things out, or time rather. The older they both got, the better the situation started to become. When we moved to the new area, but three older kids really started relying on each other more. The first summer we spent in this house they spent it together, camping out in the basement together, or exploring the neighborhood together. It was so nice to not have them always fighting! My oldest has taken them to football games and after-game hangouts at the local diner, and they often go either one-on-one or as a group to hang out around the neighborhood together. It's so awesome to see that when one of them wants company, they seek the others out and offer to go do something together. They also will often conspire together to ask for something special from us, or one convinces the other to sneak into the kitchen to whip up a batch of late-night cookies. I think sometimes they figure if they are all involved and not bugging me to do it, I won't balk at the mess (or the cookie sheets that always end up being put away dirty.)

The relationship that has really made me the happiest to watch bloom is the one between the two girls. Because my sister has always been, and will always be, my idol and the person closest to me, the only one I want to talk to when things are crappy, or when things are awesome. She is 9 years older than me, but she has absolutely always been my idol ever since I could walk. She just gets me, and accepts me for me. She is the only one who never asked or expected me to be anyone other than who I was. We live in different states now, but we talk all the time and I still miss her.

When my youngest daughter got her first period, after I comforted her, she wanted her sister. Then she was ok. This past week she had a particularly crappy week, that all came to a head Friday after school. I was given a heads up a little before school let out that it was going to be a crappy time. I knew my oldest wasn't going to be home until later that night. I almost texted her anyway telling her that her sister was going to need her, but I decided not to. After I had held and calmed and talked, shed asked if her older sister was home, and said she needed her. She asked several times that evening when she would be home. She needed her sister. And it made me aware of how much I still need mine, and I called her and immediately felt lighter.

When she wakes up with a bad dream, or there is a loud storm, she goes and climbs in bed with her sister.

Later that night she didn't want to be alone. Despite a lot of recent fighting between them, (thanks, stupid girl hormones) she sought out her brother. They watched a movie together and camped out in the basement for the night. They might be mean and yell and fight, but when the chips are down they all seem to step up.

I grew up with lots of siblings, but we were all spread out. Still, my best memories are the ones with a full house and lots of chaos. I remember being my youngest daughter's age (12) and really relying on my older siblings despite the large gap in age. I remember how close I was to my older brothers, and how I found solace in them in a way I couldn't with my parents. I knew how important those relationships were in my life; I just really didn't grasp how important they are in my children's lives until now.

It's really cool too see my Toddler boy kiss his baby brother on the head, or hand him a toy, or take his hands in his and walk with him the way he sees us do. But it is really something special to witness my older children needing and reaching out to each other, to put aside the fighting and arguing, and come together to lift each other up and comfort each other in a way that no one else can.

And I realize that THAT is where my desire for more children comes from. To do what my Dad did for me, that I never even realized until now. To build this family that will always have each other long after I'm gone. So that they always have someone who lived the same life growing up, that can relate to them like no one else. And also, so they will always have a group of people who will love them unconditionally for who they are, who can share in their trials and triumphs, and who will always have their back. Just like I know that I know that no matter the miles or the time apart, I have a group of people I can pull from. I could show up on a doorstep in the middle of the night and I would have refuge from the storm. I know it won't always be smooth sailing. But family is forever.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

These Days

It's a little after 8am on a Friday. I woke up way early having to pee despite really wanting to sleep straight through after last night. The wind was so strong and intense that the power went out, and the entire house was up. I couldn't get settled until everyone was done waking up in confusion hearing the wind wail in the pitch black. We have a lot of trees, when it's windy it's very noisy on the second floor.

So far this morning we have nursed,sent older ones off to school and Daddy off to work, ended a meltdown, had our morning banana and milk, played a game of catch on the stairs and then included the one dog and we all played catch with her and her toy too, cuddled on the couch, and playing in the living room. It's almost time for me to make breakfast. I've been waking up hungry but waited because the boys need time to play first. Despite the headachey, tired way I feel in the mornings (thanks weather for those things) today things feel relatively calm and serene. Which is often not the case. My mornings are usually very noisy, with older kids arguing for a spot in the mirror, or a missing jacket, and the littlest ones decide they need to add to that and there are tears for attention and breakfast and attention. Those days have a way to make the day start crappy.

Today won't stay like this. There will be moments of meltdowns and tantrums that test my patience and force me to have to do a mental reset. Today is ordinary. We have no special plans, other than to figure out a meatless dinner in this first Friday of Lent. It's cold outside. Very cold. It's germ season, when some really nasty bugs circulate, so we would be avoiding playgrounds anyway. There are already toys spilled all over the floor. There is a ton of laundry to do.

But these are the days and the moments that fill my heart. These ordinary days are the days I am going to miss the most when they are over. These may be the lasts of the firsts I will ever have. I am trying to appreciate all the little moments I have with them, in this life.

I had to take a break writing this because the boys went from happy to hangry in a hot second. We had breakfast, did the dishes, picked up messes, went and played upstairs in the boys room (where I let them pull all the stuffed friends and blankets off the beds and bounce and play), picked up the kids' bathroom, and one of us got to take a nap. I also went through the closet looking for a few smaller clothing items I needed, gathered up the dirty laundry, played dress up in winter clothes, picked up another big mess that required a broom, sliced an apple for a snack, and called in to pay a bill(because they charge you to pay online and I refuse, also I never have stamps), and am getting ready to make lunch.

This life, it's not glamorous. It's not fancy. It's not rich in money. But it's rich in love and laughter, and sticky, slobbery kisses, and big unending messes. But I love it just the same.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Microblog Mondays-I don't know what to even title this post

So yesterday I had the most unexpected, offensive, and upsetting conversation happen at work with one of the doctors in my department. He's a small man in his 60's who probably weighs like 130lbs soaking wet and has never struggled with weighing too much a day in his life. He makes a lot of money (but still dresses cheaply), has a huge house on the water and a boat he likes to throw department parties at, and has an odd sense of humor. The encounter started like this:

Me (carrying a tall styrofoam cup of black coffee not quite 3/4 full) So I made some coffee in the back. Bring your own cup though because I couldn't find any back there.

He looks up: That cup isn't full of coffee is it? That's a lot of caffeine.

Oh, no it's only up to here. I probay won't even get to drink half before it gets cold and I dump it out anyway.

Well that's still a lot of caffeine and you're small...well you're short...are you pregnant again?

Noooo. I wouldn't be...

So when are you going to skinny up??

(Insert shocked expression here) I wish I knew. (Too stunned and embarrassed to have any better answer)

Well, you're so short, and it's bad for your heart. You're so cute. I can tell...you know, I really like you (or some off compliment that was trying to show he wasn't being offensive) what did you weigh in high school?

Yeah, I was never small. I've never been skinny.

Oh, really? Is your mom...

No, my grandma. Once I hit puberty I got the boobs, butt, hips, and thighs. I'm also the shortest in my family so I really got screwed. I'm working on it.

He maybe realized at this point this wasn't maybe the most appropriate conversation to have. I don't know if it was the look on my face or my voice or what. But he started talking about other things that I didn't really hear and after a few minutes I finally said " so there's coffee. Bring your own cup" and walked away.

I walked away feeing like I wanted to tell somebody what he just said, but feeling too ashamed and embarrassed to do so. I felt absolutely horrible. I was shocked to the point of not even believing that had just happened. And I just felt like shit. Like I shouldn't put one more piece of food in my mouth for the rest of the day, although it was only like 10am. I walked back out front and never even touched my coffee. I sat and stared at my computer trying not to cry.

This doctor...I don't know him that well. I've never had a personal conversation with him beyond asking about life in general and taking about our kids. I only see him once every six weeks or so, so it's not even like we work together all that often. I have no idea why he thought it was appropriate to comment on my weight. He probably didn't even think twice once I walked away. But that conversation has totally fucked with my head. I know I shouldn't let someone stupid get to me, but I can't help it. It makes me angry because he is first a MAN who has no idea what it's like to be pregnant and have your body got all screwed up after that. He has no idea if I have some medical issue that's maybe preventing me from being able to lose weight, or could be causing me to gain. He doesn't know if I have any stressors in my life that are going on. He doesn't know anything about my personal situation. He probably assumes I'm just a fat slob that doesn't take care of myself and sits around eating Mcdonalds all day.

When he said "You're so cute I can tell..." I know he meant your so cute, I can tell you'd be even cuter, or more attractive, or even pretty if you weren't heavy. In an age where we are supposed to be teaching that everyone looks different, and people of all shapes, sizes, and colors are beautiful...why are we still back to this. That if you changed c, y, or z THEN you'd be better. Why are we still making each other feel like they aren't good enough as they are? How do I teach this to my children. How do I learn this for myself?

The funny thing is I have worked there for 10 years, and have basically been about the same size the entire time. I've been up and down and pregnant, but I'm still wearing all the same scrubs that I've had.

When I look in the mirror I don't love what I see. But I have learned at accept it to a point so that I can live with myself and whatever size I am so I don't fall into a depression that I am very susceptible to. I will never be skinny, but I try every day to make smart choices and add in extra excercise when I can. I had just recently dropped some weight because I could tell by how my pants were fitting.

But this. Oh man. Now I feel like when I am out in public people don't see me as a mom of 5, as an awesome healthcare worker, as a Child of God, but instead as this fat, overweight ugly personal taking up too much space. And that sucks so much. I've never been a skinny person who could eat whatever I want. I have no idea what that feels like. I have always struggled with my weight, and depression, and depression surrounding my weight, and numbers on the scale, and numbers on the tag of my pants. I have to work really hard to make the scale budge at all, sometimes it taking a month or more being super strict to even get a pound off. It's such a mental thing I don't have time to fight with myself about right now.

I am so embarrassed and ashamed that I didn't say anything to anyone about the conversation. Not even my husband, who has always assured me he loves me no matter what size I am.

But seriously...when did it become ok for people to feel like they can comment on someone's weight? It's like asking someone when they are going to get rid of their acne. I really wish I had stood up for myself to him, but I was just so shocked that the conversation was even happening. It hit a huge trigger with me...the shame, embarrassment, and self-loathing I have experienced all my life surrounding my weight. Even the times when I managed to lose a significant amount, I still always felt like the fat girl in the room. I need to be okay with myself as is, because I might never have one of those weight-loss transformation success stories, and I can't live my life that way...hoping and wishing and waiting for the day when I'm the skinny one. That might never be in the cards for me and I need to be okay with that. But this...I feel like it undid all of the work I have been doing just to be okay with myself.

Part of me wants to do something about the situation. I have thought about writing him an email to address the inappropriateness of it all, or go to a supervisor, or even HR. But there comes that shame. I just want this to go away. I don't want it to be talked about. I don't want any more embarrassment of having my weight talked about. And I have this deep down fear that me bringing up the situation will somehow get turned back around on me, and then the whole thing becomes an intervention about my weight. Gosh, as I write this it must sound like I'm big enough to be on one of those my 600-pound life shows. My weight is not that out of control. But that is how I feel when people see me. And it sucks.