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Friday, February 28, 2014

Did I forget......?

Honestly, I used to be a huge drinker. And by huge I mean I would have qualified for a program somewhere. I got it under control, and kept it under control for the past 8 years.

TODAY, I'm seriously wondering how I haven't gone back to that.

I bought a calendar. My mother bought me one of those date books. I have post its. I have reminders on my phone. People mail me things.


In the past month, I have missed 2 meetings of little importance. I'm honestly afraid the next one I miss may be something really important. Because honestly, it's not like I pick meetings to miss based on importance. It just kinda happens. And to me, it happens a lot.

I used to blame my lack of retaining information on "pregnancy hormones" when I was pregnant with Child 1. Then I blamed it on being a new mom. Then I blamed it on getting a new job and being in charge of way too much. Then I blamed it on working too many hours. Then I blamed it on "pregnancy hormones" when I got pregnant with Child 2. Then I blamed being a mom of two.

Honestly, it's just me. I'll own it. I can not remember anything. I lose my phone. I lose my keys. I lose my keys often, and blame my kids. CHILD 1 AND CHILD 2 PLAY WITH THEM AND LOSE THEM ALL THE TIME!!!!........ This has happened a total of twice. Usually, I put them somewhere I won't forget them. And I forget them.

I forget to file paperwork. I blame Daddy for moving it. He must have put it in this bill pile because it clearly isn't on my paperwork pile. I put those piles together last Tuesday but it can't possibly be my fault.

I forget when Child 1 has meetings at school. They happen quite frequently so you would think I could remember. I have a set time for someone to come to my house every other week for Child 1. I still forget that. Sometimes I make up excuses, sometimes I say I forget. Depends on whether or not I'm in the mood for the look I get.

I make plans with friends and forget about somewhere else I said I'd be at the same time. I forget to do things around the house. Daddy asks me to wash his work jacket. I forget until he text messages me at 3 to ask if it's dry yet. I calmly say "No, it's still wet" and run to put it in the washer.

I forget to eat. People, this honestly happens. I get distracted by life. By going and doing and being responsible and being Mommy. I notice at 9pm that my stomach is growling. And when I think about it I realize the last thing I ate was that half a club cracker Child 2 didn't finish eating at 10 in the morning!

I forget to water my house plants. Thankfully, people know me well and gave me cacti. And some rather large leafy semi-trees that withstand even the largest lack of attention. And when I do remember to water them, I vow to remember not to let them go so long without water. Which reminds me, I haven't watered them in a week. I should do that today.

I forget to feed the pets. We have quiet pets. A hamster named Elephant and a turtle named Tuck. Child 1 reminds me to feed them and water them every night. Honestly, if it wasn't for Child 1, both pets would have perished.

Hopefully my lack of the ability to remember is helping to teach my children responsibility. Child 1 is the pet minder. Not because he needed a job, but because Mommy kills things. When Child 2 is old enough, I shall make him the plant minder. Not because he needs a job but because Mommy kills things.

Maybe I'm not an alcoholic because I keep forgetting to go to the liquor store!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

I love it when they punish themselves

Small funny bonus post.....

Child 1 had a kind of rough day at school today. He just genuinely didn't want to be there, and made sure to inform everyone of that every time they got to close to him. He gets his people hating skills from me, in case you were wondering.

Child 1 asked the teacher not to tell me about his bad day. Apparently he thought he was going to be in trouble. Considering I have days that I snap at my family because I don't want to do things either, I was simply planning on talking to him about it. Usually a little chit chat fixes whatever ails him.

After I got the story of being mean to other kids, a lot of yelling, an occasional swatting of hands and random other things he was doing to show people "LEAVE ME ALONE ALREADY", I asked what his problem was. (I hope I was more tactful than that, but I highly doubt it.) His response was "MOM, can we go home already?"

This is the point where at home I would have hauled his butt to the couch to sit until he stopped with the attitude, but we were in public. And public means Mommy resolves things a little differently. Don't judge. You know you do it too. So I got down on my knees, looked him squarely in the eye and said "What was the problem today?"

What I got next I can only describe as verbal diarrhea. I have no other explanation. He told me everything everyone he's ever known has ever done wrong to him. Last Tuesday "Sally" pulled his hair. And 6 months ago, "Bobby" down the street didn't want to ride bikes with him. And a year ago, someone yelled at him for spitting. Yep, I got all that. None of it answered my question of what the CURRENT problem was.

However, Child 1 then took a deep breath. He looked me right in the eye. And this was his next sentence.......

"Mommy, can we go home and write down the class rules? I was a little bad today and didn't remember them."

I am a firm believer that if a kid picks his own punishment before we even finish talking about what happened, let him do it. So, we came home and wrote down 10 class rules. Our list was maybe 30 words. He wrote them all, asked for help making his letters, asked what the rules meant and how to do them.

During his self imposed punishment, he volunteered the information to me. I went to my doctors appointment without him today. Apparently I am not allowed to go anywhere without his presence. I suppose next month, to avoid the disasters, I just won't mention I have someplace to be!

I have TWO kids, and the many way I know it...

I went to the doctor's today. Rest assured, I'll be around for a while. I know you were all worried. But I took baby number 2 with me, while baby number 1 was at school. This started a discussion between the nurse and I about children. And what we do differently. I started thinking 'There's no way I could have changed my parenting that much'.

And then I really started thinking about it.
And thinking about it.

Which resulted in todays post. The many ways I have changed how I parent from Child 1 to Child 2.

With Child 1, everything had to be new. And clean. And pretty.
With Child 2, used is totally fine. Clean is a relative term. And as long as there isn't poop on it, it's   acceptable.

With Child 1, I carried a diaper bag everywhere. Literally everywhere.
With Child 2, a bottle shoved in his car seat and my wallet shoved in his car seat will get us just about anywhere.

With Child 1, I monitored milestones like a Nazi.
With Child 2, I'm kinda sure he is on track, but I can't remember just when he started rolling over.

With Child 1, everything was sterilized and put away correctly.
With Child 2, I wash em and shove em in the cupboard.

With Child 1, his clothes always matched- even to go to bed.
With Child 2, he's lucky if his socks match. And bedtime- HA!

With Child 1, I monitored what he ate constantly and he had only age appropriate food.
With Child 2, he's had oreos and Cheetos before his first birthday.

With Child 1, I read parenting books.
With Child 2, I used the parenting books to prop up the corner of his wobbly dresser.

With Child 1, everyone had to wash their hands before touching him.
With Child 2, if they look clean, have at it. TAKE HIM!

With Child 1, I took pictures of everything!
With Child 2, I can't even find my camera. Uploaded cell pictures will have to do.

With Child 1, I constantly called Daddy to make sure all was ok.
With Child 2, I inform him the kids are asleep and I'm going to work and good luck!

With Child 1, I felt bad if I went anywhere that wasn't work for the first year.
With Child 2, I look for reasons to have to go somewhere, anywhere, for an hour.

With Child 1, I would have loved to quit my job and stay home.
With Child 2, I would love to go back to work. Daycare is beneficial they say......

I'm sure there are so many more that I haven't even thought of yet. As a child, I used to tell my mother I thought my sister could get away with murder simply because she was Child 2 and I was Child 1. I had rules, I had expectations, I had to do it all. Keep in mind, Child 2 had expectations and rules too, but as Child 1, they seemed way more attainable. Children have funny ways of thinking.

Now I just realize that by Child 2, Mommy is tired. Mommy knows what will kill a child and what won't. Will Cheetos REALLY mean he will end up obese? Or will it simply stop the crying long enough for me to put on clean underwear? Will taking the diaper bag with us everywhere really do anyone any good? Or will it be YET ANOTHER thing for Mommy to carry when everyone else's arms get tired.

Thankfully, there are only Child 1 and Child 2 in my house. There will be no Child 3. I'm fearful of what Child 3 may have gotten in the way of child rearing. By then, I probably would have put a juice box in a bottle, handed him so crackers and taken a nap on the couch.

Thank GOD Child 3 is not anything we have to worry about around here.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Family Shitstorm


I don't know why I bother saying that. Someone will.

I love my entire family. I especially love my mother, my stepfather, my sister and my brother-in-law. These four people live (believe it or not) right next door. It's like my family picked a block and said "THIS shall be our land!" and all moved in next to each other.

It's a blessing. While I was pregnant with my new son I had complications. I knew I could walk my oldest next door in the middle of the night so Daddy and I could head to labor and delivery to make sure the baby was ok. I knew if I was deathly ill, I could call any one of these people and they would take my son somewhere, anywhere, so I could sleep. I knew if I was feeling the sensation of choking someone, either myself or my children could go hide next door. And that has been a life saver. 

They spoil both my children. There are always trips to Ya-Ya's house. Ya-Ya is my mother, who detests the idea of being called Grammy. She picked it, the kids love it, everyone's happy. My sister and brother-in-law are always giving my son money for doing well in school. They also give him lots of candy, which I promise to pay them back for someday. Their children will get Easter Baskets filled with pixie stix and pop rocks. HA.

BUT, it's also a curse. Because we live so close, parenting is often a family ordeal. Those people with parents who live states away, say a little thank you right now. Trust me.

When a situation comes up, like my last entry, people have input. I usually take input very well. Until it comes from my family. Then it becomes like some kind of personal attack to which I must arm myself and begin battle. So, family, take this as my apology.

I know that every last one of you wish the best for my kids. And would do anything and everything to give them whatever they should want or need. And I couldn't ask for a better living situation. And I love that you all want to be so involved. I apologize that I take everything concerning my kids the way I do. I know I sometimes create tension amongst the clan. But honestly, parenting is hard.

Parenting is the hardest thing I've ever done. And truthfully, I sometimes feel like I'm not putting the puzzle pieces where they are supposed to go. I know this is my own little issue to resolve, and admitting you have an issue is the first step to recovery right????? I have no idea what all 12 steps are, but there is one where you find the people you wronged and apologize.

Ya-Ya, GJ, Aunt B, Uncle Revin and Daddy- I formally (and publicly) apologize. I am grateful you are all so willing to be there for anything that comes up. I know for a fact I will once again piss one of you off because I take to heart what clearly wasn't meant as a parenting insult. Just remember this line and repeat it to me as needed: "HEY, THIS ISN'T ABOUT YOU!"

Sometimes, I feel like what everyone says is about me. Maybe it's because I have no faith in my parenting ability. Maybe it's because some days I feel like my child is smarter than I am. Maybe it's because I quit my job to stay home with the kids and I'm starting to think like one.

I really believe I am starting to think like a 5 year old. That's the excuse I'm going with....

Raising a Racist???

Today's post was going to be a bucket list. This mornings trip to preschool drastically altered the way this post is going to go.

I walk my son inside. I sign him in. I let him into his room and blow him a kiss. Sounds like a perfect morning right? Should have been. But directly behind me is the teacher. She wants to talk. (Can you feel my excitement right now?) Any preschool conversation that starts with 'I didn't want to talk about this in front of him' has the potential to ruin my morning.

Before I tell you the statement my son made to another kid, let me provide you with information. I bought my son new shoes. Teenage mutant ninja turtle shoes that light up. My son does not like to share under the best of conditions. New shoes are completely off limits unless you are helping him put them on.

Another child says 'Your shoes are so cool!' and touches them. Six months ago, my son would have hit this other child. So I guess I should be happy I wasn't having a discussion about putting other kids in danger. This conversation is one I'm not sure how to handle. I never thought I would have to handle it.

I never thought I would hear of my son saying "Don't touch my shoes! I don't want them to turn black!" to an African American kid. NEVER THOUGHT! For the love of God, my best friend and brother (obviously not blood related) is black. He's been exposed. Skin color differences are not new to him.

I call Daddy, who giggles at the story. I warn Daddy no giggling tonight when we address the subject with our son. His answer- I'll try.

I have tried on many occasions to tell Daddy that my day isn't all about talking my son to school then hanging out while the little one naps. I actually have to handle things. Apparently now I have to handle racism. We have been working on social skills for so long, that I think we missed a giant obvious thing we should have been talking about. What it is and is not appropriate to say to other people.

So today we are going to talk about:
1- You can not tell people they are fat
2- You can not tell people they smell funny
3- You can not tell people they are ugly
4- You can not tell people you don't like them (or they can't touch things) because of their skin color
5- You can not tell people they are mean
6- You can not tell people they are stupid
And the list goes on.....

Basically, if any of you are Big Bang Theory fans out there, I feel as if I am raising a Sheldon. He's a smart kid. He's far beyond where he should be intellectually. However, he has no concept of tact. I grew up with a very small filter between my brain and my mouth. My mother got her wish. I got one just like me, only worse. He has NO filter. Everything is literal and he says just what he thinks.

Today, that made him a racist. And that made me the mom of a racist. And that we need to fix.

And who says being a stay at home mom is easy?????

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Gym

As if being a stay-at-home-working-still mother wasn't a busy enough job, this mom decided to go to the gym. Consistently. Like as "a thing".

There's a back story to the gym. Unfortunately, it's not very interesting. I want to run a 5K. I paid my registration fee, and suddenly realized 'I DON'T RUN!' Which is how the membership to the gym happened.

Because I decided to stay home during the day with the boys, I can't just go anytime. I either have to go really early before Daddy goes to work, or really late after I get out of work. My first gym experience I chose the really late option. Really early sounded more like work.

This, folks, is a bad plan. Really late means a few things in terms of gym speak. There are actually a lot of really good runners who go to the gym as late as I went. I felt a little silly just walking the 5K (you didn't think I was going to start right out jogging did you???). I also had a fun little reaction. I came home really hyper.

This normally is what people want when they go to the gym. I wanted to be tired and wanted to come home and go to sleep. This is not what happened. I left the gym, went to work for an hour, went to the grocery store (at midnight), put said groceries away, played silly facebook games and didn't fall asleep until after 2. I'm sure eventually I'll get used to this. But for now, it seriously messed up my today.

Being a non-finisher, I'm not sure how long I'm going to stick with the whole fitness thing. I'm sure it will make me feel better about myself. I'm also sure it will make my really busy days even busier. In the end family balance is the most important thing. I feel I get enough exercise just accomplishing my every day life.

OH, and for my curious friends, I plan to go to the gym really late often. Really early still sounds too much like work.

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Problem That Plaques Me Daily....

So I have an issue I deal with. Every day. It follows me wherever I go. I can not escape it. I'm hoping I'm not the only multitasking mother this happens to. Feel free to jump in with comments.

I AM A NON-FINISHER (I made up my own name for it. I'll explain).

I have about 6,000 half finished "things" I start and just never finish. I start the laundry, and end up leaving that one lonely load to hang out on the basement floor until the next laundry day. I start cleaning out my cupboards, and make it through the first shelf. Still have expired food in there somewhere. I start cleaning out my kids closets, and end up just moving the items to another location. Not cleaned, just relocated.

I start craft projects. I have 3 unfinished knit blankets in my attic. I hope the squirrels living there are using them for warmth this winter. No one else will ever see them. I have a half refinished patio set in my basement. Maybe the two toned look will come back in style.

I have a passionate heart. I love a great many things in my life. But I find myself distracted. My entire life is distracting. School meetings, doctor appointments, cleaning house, teaching my children to love life, seeing family, going to work...... It's a never ending list of things to do. And truthfully, I believe my son got his ADHD from me.

I'm sure there are plenty of mothers thinking 'I finish everything I start.' And I applaud you. But me, I don't have it in me. I forget essential things. OR I remember things 15 minutes after I was supposed to be there. I implemented a post-it system. But ultimately, I forget to put the post-its where I can see them.

I am trying to get better at it. I'm working on being a more attentive mother, a better house cleaner, and a more helpful daughter. My mother routinely asks me to come do things. I usually just say I'm busy. I don't have the heart to tell her that I have started 15 things today and finished none, but that I'm sitting on the couch watching Paw Patrol with my son for the 10th time today.

Someday I will get my shit straight, but for now I am owning being a non-finisher. They say the first step to recovery is to recognize the problem. I know I do it. And maybe tomorrow I'll try to fix it.....

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Reason Behind It All

So in June, we were blessed with bouncing baby boy number 2! However, we were not blessed with the income needed to send both babies to daycare. The cost of sending children to daycare anymore is ridiculous. It was going to cost 3 times as much to send my children to daycare as it does for us to live in our home. Insanity.

So I quit my job.

Makes sense right? Well, we would actually have more money in the house if I quit and kept the kids home. I tried to make sense of it, but thanks to Obama, there really is no sense. It just is what it is.

So at the end of maternity leave, I found myself a newly minted stay at home mother. And boy was I not happy about it. I am not what you would call a Suzy Homemaker. I hate laundry (I often think about just throwing out dirty clothes), dishes are not my strong suit (we often eat off of paper and plastic) and my kitchen floor is routinely sticky (for reasons I am unsure of).

I immediately started looking for a job I could do after Daddy came home from his regular 8-5 job. I needed SOMETHING other than children, right? So I became a Home Health Aide. I was back in healthcare and could do this around my schedule with the kids. Best thing ever.

And then I actually went to work. I realized that getting up all night with the baby (because I didn't want Daddy to do it- he had to go to work), and then spending all day with the kids, and cleaning and cooking and grocery shopping and diaper changes and..... well being a mommy was tiring. Low and behold, I still had to go to work myself.

Now remember how I didn't want Daddy to get up because he was working? I seem to forget that I'm working too. I'm taking care of children. I'm cleaning the house. I'm doing laundry (although if anyone wants socks that match they will have to find them in the sock mountain). I am bathing squirming screaming children. If anyone has any doctors appointments, that's Moms job too!

By 9pm, I want to die. By 10pm, I have to be at my clients home. By 11:30pm when I get home I'm fairly positive I will die. At 4am when the baby wants a bottle I feel like I have died.

"But you get to stay home with the babies. How hard could that be? I would totally do it if I could!" say various friends and family.

Stay tuned for all the reasons why these people are no longer my friends.......

A bit of an introduction....

I know, I know. From the sounds of the title, you are all thinking I'm one of those moms who doesn't do much. WRONG! I am the catch-all mom. The take the babies wherever they need to go, work, clean, cook and help the neighbors mom! Apparently I am also now a budding author (time will tell how that goes).

I am writing this due to the misconception that moms who only work part time have it SO easy. I wish some days I could go back to my full time retail management position. Running a retail store and managing a small army of employees is a cake walk compared to managing a house, 2 small children, and a part time job. I thought I was getting it easy. What I gave myself was a constant headache.

THIS will be my reminder that just because moms quit their full time jobs, does NOT mean they get to sit and watch daytime television and hang out being a "lady who lunches". Ladies (and the husbands you send this to so they shut up), this is a real life account of what it's like to be a stay at home mother during the day and a part time worker at night.