The Rantings - For Everyone

The Late-Term Ultrasound

So went for that late-term ultrasound I was talking about

As I’ve said before, I have a lot of anxiety surrounding these types of ultrasounds. Basically any late-term tests will make just about any Mom nervous, but late term ultrasounds are my particular Kryptonite. Today made me feel like all my anxieties are 100% justified…

For weeks now, we’ve been going to our prenatal appointments and being told that my weight looks good and I’m measuring right where I should be – even though I feel like I’m tiny for pregnant. Today, the first thing mentioned is that I’m measuring small, am I sure I have my dates right. I explain to them multiple times that I have measured small through all my pregnancies and that a lot of my babies were born really small. I’m also a pretty small person, so don’t get your hopes up on me having the biggest of babies! They bring it up at least two more times during this appointment…

Then, baby’s breech. Honestly came as a shock to me because I was sure she was head down. My baby’s are normally always head down. But, even though I’m still weeks away from my due date, on my 7th pregnancy and having a c-section, it should not have made them all react to the news of a breech the way they did. I felt like I had to be the calming voice of reason for a room full of professionals because everyone seemed to get real worked up over this.

Not even ten minutes into my appointments, only a few measurements in, and the doctor is coming in and pointing out a sign that reads that while they’ll tell us if they find anything, there’s still a 5% chance that our baby will be born with a problem not detected at this late stage of ultrasound. Thank goodness I am a 7th time mother and not a 1st time mother and knew this particular thing, because otherwise I’m sure it would’ve taken me back. And I understand that he’s also a doctor that deals with infertility a lot, so he would tend to put disclaimers all over the place, but I don’t think ten minutes into the appointment was the place to do it…

I told them about a hundred times that because I’m a night owl, my baby is a night owl. She was likely to not move too much or be more lethargic because it’s the day. Generally, she’s up all night kicking and rolling and moving and then is mostly quiet during the day and it’s been this way for awhile now. I tell them this over and over again, and even though she’s visibly moving on the ultrasound and kicking the radiologist, they keep talking about needing to “wake her up” and poking and prodding on my stomach like crazy people!

Even send me for a non-stress test. In which it took three of them to find the baby’s heartbeat, because instead of just once trying to put the Doppler on the part of my stomach where you could visibly see the curve of the baby’s back, they were all trying to put it where the ultrasound told them they would best pick it up. After a few minutes, I picked the damn thing up and moved it over there and instead of strapping it down, they just made me hold it there for the next thirty minutes.

And throughout the whole damn thing, I have this doctor coming in lecturing me about how I need to go to the hospital if I haven’t felt the baby move. I am literally clicking the button saying my baby is kicking, her heart rate is doing the jump and fall that kicks usually produce, the paper is literally giving the exact readout they want and I’m getting a constant stream of going to the hospital about my baby kicking. And I’m doing everything in my power not to roll my eyes and burst out in tears all at the same time..

I left, generally just raging. I kept my polite Canadian face on through the entire exit, but the moment I was out the door, The Boyfriend got to listen to a very big rant. Hate how stupid doctors can be sometimes.


So the next day, my Mom calls me on Facebook to let me know that my doctor called. She’ll be over in a few minutes so I can call her back. I call the doctor back thinking it’s probably nothing, they just want to go over the results of the ultrasound. Nope…

She asks if I can go up to the hospital to see a specialist because my amniotic fluid was quite low. All the kids had just been dropped off to go bowling and thank goodness for my Mom because she was my absolute superhero in the moment. The Boyfriend couldn’t leave work, so she worked out babysitters and re-worked the plans for the kids so that she could drop me off at the hospital.

I spent the next three hours, strapped to the stupid fetal heart rate machine waiting for the specialist to finally come and see me. It was honestly one of the biggest wastes of my time ever. Because all the specialist did was refer us to another specialist to have a more in-depth ultrasound.

I really hate how out of the loop we’ve been kept about a majority of this pregnancy. As I’m laying in the hospital bed, nurses’ station only a few feet away from me, I get to hear about how what I thought was a routine ultrasound was actually a biophysical profile – that our baby failed. That not only did they find only a small amount of amniotic fluid, they also couldn’t visualize the baby breathing (although not an entirely worrisome thing this late on, it would explain why they were all freaking out about “waking her up“). And apparently my baby’s weight has not been right on track, as I’ve been told, throughout a majority of this pregnancy!

And I was especially upset that not once did anyone give me any indication of how this problem of low amniotic fluid is dealt with. Right now, they want to do another ultrasound, that’s all I’ve been told. They’ll come up with a plan after that. From what I’ve read online and in my baby books, it’ll most likely be amnioinfusion (which sounds riskier than I’d like) or delivery (which means baby would be in the hospital for quite awhile before coming home). But I hate relying on information that I read because I know that doctors could literally do anything – even stuff that you’d never read about online. And I understand that it all changes based on the various and specific circumstances related to your particular case, but seriously… I hate being left in the dark!

What people, especially doctors, don’t realize about me is that when I was a kid, I was determined I was going to become a doctor. For fun in my youth, I used to read medical textbooks. To this day, I still get excited when reading medical literature and somehow manage to understand a ridiculously large amount of it. I enjoy medicine and am fascinated by it. I’m also far more comforted by too much medical information than too little.

I mean, here I am at the hospital strapped to this machine. I’m the only patient in this particular testing area with two nurses and a resident. We’re talking away like a bunch of gabbing teens. I even joke at one point when a janitor comes in and one of the nurses is in her way that we’re just having a slumber party in here. We’re talking mostly about medicine, kids and babies – as you do when you’re bored and stuck on the maternity ward! Nonchalantly, I ask what side the liver is on. I’m pretty sure I know the answer (left-side) but wasn’t sure. They literally had to Google it!!! These people are supposed to be trained to know things about the human body and yet they literally had to Google something as simple as basic anatomy.

It just makes you feel like there is no point in seeing doctors because they are just as freaking clueless as the rest of us. It’s all just an educated guessing game. And while I may not have been pre-med or gone to medical school, I seem to be all educated up in this particular situation. I could make just as informed of a guess as they can!

So now, tomorrow we take a two hour trip out to Calgary to do a better ultrasound with a more experienced specialist and then who knows what happens. I’m sincerely hoping that it’s not a situation where we end up having our baby in Calgary. And I’m kinda hoping that they don’t decide to just “closely monitor” this pregnancy, because I really don’t want to be going for tests constantly over the next 5-6 weeks. Especially with how much stress it all causes me. How much rage and upset it all causes me.

I guess we’ll just wait and see…

The Rantings - For Everyone

And… Cue Panic Attack

It is ridiculous to me how much anxiety making grown-up phone calls gives me. When I have to call and book a doctors appointment, it’s like full-out exhaustion-inducing stress. I literally feel the effects of the stress of it all day long. And it’s not like it’s hard or like there’s ever been a bad outcome or like anything bad is going to happen – I can’t explain what it is that stresses me out about it.

Today, I had to call the doctor that will be doing my c-section. They had already had a bunch of appointments booked for me over the next little while, including a late-term ultrasound.

There is nothing that makes me more uneasy and anxious than late term ultrasounds. No matter how many babies I have and how many times I’ve done them, they just give me automatic flashbacks to all the terror and uncertainty of pregnancy with Kaeidyn. I immediately remember 17-year-old me getting my stomach slapped by a doctor and then being told that my baby wasn’t moving and then spending the next few hours in a terrifying rush. I immediately remember the feelings and the fear and the tears and hearing her cry from the first time and just feeling absolutely disconnected from it.

That whole first c-section experience, my first labor experience, just really has left a sour taste on my tongue that has followed me through subsequent pregnancies. And now that we’re doing the c-section and now that we’re not just talking about it but actively booking appointments for it, I’m just bogged down in nerves by it. I just feel like a nervous ball of nervous energy.

And The Boyfriend could not possibly be more distracted. This whole obsession with traveling and camping and becoming wilderness outdoorsman is taking over everything! Literally, I call the doctor and I start lip quivering over how nervous late term ultrasounds make me, and next thing I know he’s planning a camping vacation with the boys – which I’ve been listening to planning and ideas about for three days now! I talk about how we’ve only got a few weeks left until baby is here and the subject swiftly gets changed to the hiking trail he just found that would be so great to do with the boys. His mind is not at all even thinking about baby and c-section and frankly, it is pissing me right off!

You have no idea how many times in the last few weeks, I have to remind him that I won’t be able to do all these things this summer – I will have just gone through major abdominal surgery, I will have just had a baby – and even if those previous two things weren’t happening, I am not an outdoor campy hiking person. You can’t expect me to do 100km of hiking in a summer – which is his ultimate goal right now… And I’m sitting here just like, “Can I have a minute to maybe get over pregnancy first?!?“.

The only time I’ve ever seen him even slightly obsessed with anything half this much is when a new Star Wars movie is coming out. He is just ridiculously obsessed with this camping/hiking idea. It’s all I’ve heard about for a really really long time now. He talks about it non-stop and when he’s not talking about it, he’s sitting on his cellphone literally mapping out trips that he wants to take and places he wants to go. Almost everyday he’s coming home from work with a new area he wants to travel to and a new place he wants to explore and a new campsite he wants to stay at.

On one hand, it’s absolutely freaking adorable. He can be such a passionate Pisces sometimes. On the other hand, can we focus on my pregnancy until it’s over and then be passionately obsessed with other things…?!?

The Rantings - For Everyone

All By Myself…

Can I just be a total bitch for a second…?!?

The Boyfriend has really sucked during this pregnancy. I mean, really sucked! Out of all my pregnancies, this is the one he seems the least interested in – less interested in what’s going on with the baby, less interested in what’s going on with me, less interested in helping out, just less interested!

It’s amazing how often he is sitting right there and yet I feel like I’ve gone through this pregnancy all by myself…

And I know part of it has to do with third pregnancy. And part of it has to do with the fact that we just had a baby not that long ago. All the luster is lost. But it just makes me long for the days of Carter and Cazzwell pregnancies and experiences.

I remember when I was pregnant with Carter and had such severe joint pain, The Boyfriend having completely sleepless nights just rubbing me down. I remember him helping me paint my toenails and putting my clothes on. It was a lot less help with Cazzwell, simply because I didn’t need it as much, but he was excited and involved and hand on my stomach constantly.

This time around, he just seems completely uninterested. The only time he touches my stomach voluntarily is for the 20 minutes I lay in bed while he falls asleep. Almost every night for the past two trimesters, the moment he’s asleep, I get up to go take a bath. Most of the time he doesn’t even notice. He doesn’t listen to me complain anymore and just zones out in whatever he’s into.

It’s been a lot of me being really focused on pregnancy and last pregnancy and him and everyone else focused on everything but pregnancy and a pending baby.

From summer travel plans to The Last Jedi coming out to earning enough points for a “free” Xbox game pass, it’s all been a thousand times more important. And when I try to talk baby stuff or pregnancy stuff, somehow we end up right back on the mountains, that scene with Kylo and Rey or the latest game pass game he got… And I’m left there to freak out about pregnancy and baby all by myself…

And when I say “freak out“, it’s not really freaking out because let’s be real, it’s all old hat now! We’ve been through all this a million times. We know what’s coming, we know what to expect. We know, we’re prepared, we’re good. So, it’s not really freaking out.

We ignored this pregnancy for so long. We denied it existed for so long. It’s going to be our last baby ever! No one, not even our own kids, wanted us to do this. Have our 7th baby, 6th child. It’s a girl, finally after 13 years of having nothing but boys, we finally get our girl – his first girl! We should both, now that everyone knows about this pregnancy, be allowed to have joy in the experience. We should be excited and happy and can’t-wait-to-meet-our-little-one and just so in love with this final experience.

But I seem to be all by myself on it…

The Rantings - For Everyone

Things I Hope Will End When This Pregnancy Does

  • My constant exhaustion
    Sitting doing nothing makes me exhausted. Dealing with the kids makes me exhausted. Cleaning makes me exhausted. Doing fun stuff makes me exhausted. It all makes me tired down to the very core…

  • My extreme bitchiness
    I’m normally bitchy. It’s not unusual for me to be generally bitchy. It’s probably the one word almost all of my family would immediately choose to describe me. However, I’m more bitchy than I’ve ever been. I’m bitchy to the point where I will often stop myself and go, “Whoa Val, you’re being really bitchy!” and that has never happened before and definitely never so often…
  • My lack of smiles aka Dead Face
    I wouldn’t say that I’m a huge smile-er or that I smile a lot on the regular. However, I’ve never been able to go as long as I seem to be able lately just not smiling at all. And I suppose when I say “not smiling“, I also mean just being expressionless. It’s like dead face, where there’s nothing going on. No smiles, no pouts, no eyebrows raised or scrunched, just nothing… Dead face…
  • My pain
    Let’s be real for a second… I’m never going to be pain free! I’m under no illusions about pain in my life and that it has been there for a really long time and it will probably remain to be there for a really long time. But I’m ready for the type of pain to change and I’m ready for the area of pain to change and I’m ready for the length of pain to change. It’s been so much of the same continual pain during this pregnancy and it’s really starting to weigh me down (literally and figuratively)…
The Rantings - For Everyone

Sleep

My Mom said that I’ve been sleeping a lot lately today. I literally laughed out loud because it must seem that way. Every time she’s showed up to the house abruptly over the last two weeks, I’ve been laying down trying to nap. But sleeping a lot…

That has not been happening. My sleep has been so screwed up that I feel like I am getting absolutely none. And my energy levels have been a clear sign that I haven’t been getting enough. And if that hasn’t given the clue, then my bitchiness sure will!

I’ve been having a lot of problems with my hips and legs – as is mostly to be expected during this stage of pregnancy. I think I’ve got a touch of Restless Leg Syndrome going on because the moment I lay down to go to sleep, my legs start seriously aching. It starts above my knee and then just kinda shoots out from there. Within 30 minutes of laying down anywhere for any reason, I’m having to go for a super hot bath just to ease the discomfort a little bit.

I’m sure to everyone it’s been feeling like I’ve been “sleeping” a lot. By this, they mean I’m up in my room in my bed. But sleeping, I’m definitely not. I spend most of the night awake tossing and turning or getting up and down to go pee or take baths – which I take at least two of almost every day. I’m just so uncomfortable physically that sleep never comes. By the time morning comes around, I haven’t slept a wink and I’m full-fledged irritated.

Luckily, for the most part, The Boyfriend has been incredibly understanding. Especially being that I’ve been terrible at getting in and out of bed without waking him up. So I normally get to stay in bed after he gets up with baby. It normally takes me a good long hour to fall asleep once he leaves the bed and I finally get two hours. Then he wakes me up and it’s mostly just me being tired and bitchy all darn day!

Some days, I’ll be so exhausted that when the kids get home from school, I’ll ask if I can go lay down for a bit. Again, so incredibly lucky on my part, because the kids are also incredibly understanding and enthusiastically reply, “You go ahead and lay down Mom!”. However, sleep is almost never had during this hour of laying down. It’s mostly listening to them play downstairs. But the laying down helps with the headache that always sets in from the lack of sleep.

Sometimes I’m seriously so surprised that I’m dealing so well with the lack of sleep. I’m functioning pretty decently on the short uncomfortable sleeps that I’m getting. Sometimes, I’m just so down and out about it and can’t help but be bitchy and snappy and utterly useless!

I hate how the third trimester kicks in and it just takes over your whole life. Sure, the discomforts of the first two trimester are hard to deal with, but the third trimester always seems like it’s impossible to manage. You often wonder how you’re ever going to make it through.

We’re coming up very quickly on the end of this whole thing. Only 11 weeks left and probably less than that being that we’re planning to do a c-section. We’ve decided to do the c-section almost entirely so that I can get my tubes tied at the same time and we can just be done with all of it, all at once. I haven’t gotten nervous about the c-section aspect of it yet, although I imagine that will change once we meet with the obstetrician. Right now, I’m just excited about it.

The prospect of never getting pregnant again, especially when I’m currently so fed up with being pregnant, is just making me long for the end. I’m so ready, it’s ridiculous.

The Rantings - For Everyone

Pneumonia Blues

This last little bit is taking it out of me entirely and I haven’t a day in a long while where I didn’t wake up incredibly bitchy and then spent the whole day in that state. It’s been so rough around here that I’m not even sure how to write about most of it…

First and foremost, about two weeks ago, The Boyfriend came inside from shoveling in pain. He rarely ever is “in pain“, so when he is, not only is it very obvious but it definitely signals that something is wrong – because he rarely ever experiences pain. He thought he had pulled a muscle and for the next week, things got progressively worse. He comes home from work one night, red-faced and gripping his chest, in the most pain I’ve ever seen him in. We rush up to the hospital.

After being seen by triage nurses, we were pretty quickly sent to the back for him to get an ECG and then we were pretty quickly rushed even further back where he was given some Tylenol and an NSAID. We were both convinced he must be having a heart attack, as his heart rate just kept going up and we could overhear the nurses saying he was tachycardic. They send him down for a chest x-ray, they do some blood work and after about 4 hours (which is pretty incredible being that the wait times were upwards of 3 hours), they tell us he’s got pneumonia.

So, he has been exceptionally sick. Sick, in pain, on medication, and just all around not feeling well.

And I’m trying so hard to be the girlfriend that takes care of him. I’m trying so hard not to resent him for getting to be so well taken care of. I’m trying so hard to just not be angry all the time and it is not working. I wake up everyday and he’s stiff and I immediately hate him and want him to stay out of my face.

I don’t like being the rock. He’s supposed to be the rock. And I’m well aware of the fact that sometimes I have to be the rock. However this particular time is just not being easy. I’m not ready to be the rock and I don’t have the energy to be the rock and I’m just so sick of taking care of everybody.

It doesn’t help that I have about a million other stressors happening right now and he can’t even be there to offer me a hug because he is so sick. So I feel like I’m out here, sailing on choppy waters all by myself in a boat that isn’t even water-worthy, and it’s scary and it’s daunting and it’s overwhelming and it makes me want to cry constantly. But rocks don’t cry… However, my pregnant ass totally fucking doesn’t care!!!

And that’s another part of the whole thing that just really has been eating at me. He comes home from work that night, in pain, and I immediately jump into Mom mode. Because we at first think it’s just a muscle cramp, I suggest a hot shower. I undress him and hold him up, I turn on the water and make sure it’s the right temperature before he gets in there. I help him in and sit right next to the tub while he’s in there. I help him out and get him dried off and re-dressed. I support him on my damn shoulder, even though he’s way heavier than I am and I am a totally weakling. And not once during all my pain, during all my pregnancies, not even during labor, has he ever done this shit for me.

I have to struggle my own fat ass out of the bathtub when it’s three in the morning and my hip is causing me so much pain that I can’t feel my legs. I have to hold the cold cloth to my head as I’m pushing his baby out. I have to pull on my own damn pants on even when I can’t lift my foot of the ground. And I just can’t seem to get over that…

I’m sick of taking care of everyone and no one taking care of me.

And of course, his version of taking care of me is different than that. He looks at how hard he works outside of the house as taking care of us. He looks at the fact that he’s the only real income earner as taking care of us. And while he’s entirely right, it doesn’t make me feel any better. It just makes me resent him more. It makes me feel like I shouldn’t complain and frankly, that’s all I feel like doing lately. Complaining and bitching… And unfortunately, I don’t see that ending anytime soon for some reason!

 

The Rantings - For Everyone

Hating Toddlerhood

After spending many years on mostly graveyards and then spending probably close to a year in a nighttime position (i.e after all the kids were home from school), The Boyfriend has been working a lot of days lately. It is ridiculously hard!

I don’t know why exactly his work hours have been all over the place lately. Part of it is training – he’s now having to re-take all his certification tests because he’s been working there long enough that they’re all coming up on their expiration dates. But it feels like it has been way too long of this everyday being different hours – some days bright and early in the morning and he’s getting up with the kids when they get ready for school, other days it’s halfway through the day when he’s leaving and other days the kids are all just getting home from school.

And I am just not doing well with it.

Having to spend so much of the day alone with Cazzwell is just being so hard for me. He’s officially at that age and stage that I hate. That beginning of toddlerhood where he’s into everything, making a mess of everything, whining all the time because he knows what he wants but still has no words to tell you what he wants. That constant on the move, constant neediness, constant noise. They are so all-consuming at this age.

And when the kids are home from school, it doesn’t feel so terrible. They really are some of the biggest helpers in the world. They almost enjoy the neediness, the noise, the fact that he can actually play with them now. They like having him in their world and their space. They all like the aspect of “being in charge” and “babysitting” him. So, I get some serious breaks from Cazzwell when they’re home. Sometimes, I get away with hours of not having to deal with the baby.

And when The Boyfriend is working his regular shift, he helps out in the day while the kids are at school. When I hurt too much to chase him up the stairs again or when he’s finally exhausted my whining limit, The Boyfriend is there to lend a hand. I get to enjoy Cazzwell without having to do all the work of Cazzwell.

But with everyone gone during the day and just him and I hanging out, it’s just getting to me. If I wasn’t pregnant and feeling so run down by that (don’t even get me started!), it might not bother me as much. It might not feel so overwhelming. But right now, it just feels like I’m not sleeping and all I’m doing is dealing with a kid at an age and stage that I hate and it feels like serious work!!!

This has always been a hard stage for me. I’ve felt this way with every single one of my kids. They get to about a year and a half and then they just take it all out of me. I thought when it was the first three kids, all one right after the other, I thought that it was just because there was a lot of them all at once. It was so stressful and overwhelming because there were so many of them in that stage. But Carter and Cazzwell have totally taught me that it has nothing to do with the number of them, it’s the age of them!

There was somewhat more of a gap between Carter and all the other kids. And toddlerhood with him was pure hell. He was and is more rambunctious and demanding than all of my other kids combined. There’s a huge gap between Carter and Cazzwell and toddlerhood with him is not being friendly to me. I don’t have the energy to keep up with their energy!

Needless to say, I’m feeling mighty exhausted lately…

The Rantings - For Everyone

Lost It on the Internet

They say that once you post something to the internet, it’s never lost. You can post it and decades later, it can still be found. And I believed that. But it’s not true…

Years and years and years ago, I don’t even remember how long ago, I had a YouTube channel. It had way more videos than I currently have on there, including at least 4 or 5 original songs. I can remember the titles of almost all of them. But then I decided I was going to start all over again and deleted the whole channel.

Years and years and years later, I can’t find any of those videos. I can’t find any of those songs. I can’t even remember most of them. This morning, I woke up with one of my old songs stuck in my head. It’s probably the best song I’ve ever written, one of the most significant things I’ve probably ever written, it’s a great song. But it no longer exists anywhere online.

I’m not sad about that particular song. I remember all the words and the guitar. It’s all good. But some of the other ones, I can’t even remember if they were any good. I had a song called “That Thing I Do”, I can remember that I really enjoyed singing it. But I can’t remember any of the words or how to play it. I’ve searched high and low, everywhere I can possibly think and still can’t find it anywhere.

So, it’s not true. You can post things to the internet and lose them entirely. The world was wrong!

The Rantings - For Everyone

Beautiful Circle

I always think it’s so funny how much of pregnancy you forget about, even when you were only pregnant a little while ago. For most of my pregnancies, they happened shortly after a previous pregnancy. Within a year. The longest gap I’ve got is between Carter and Cazzwell, and that was 7 years.

But just two summers ago, I was struggling through my pregnancy with Cazzwell and already have forgotten how hard it can sometimes be.

I’ve spent a good solid week just in this absolute bitchy state. I can’t seem to shake this terrible feeling all throughout my body and it just brings down my mind so much. I can literally sit here seething because still yet my hip is too cramped to climb the stairs at anything faster than a snails pace or because I needed more help getting something done than it should take.

We go out grocery shopping yesterday. I had been dreading it for days, just not looking forward to doing it or putting my body through it – honestly, I haven’t wanted to leave the house at all. So, it was already a total “ugh” situation. We hit the first store and I’m doing okay at first. Then, we get to the meat aisle and all I can do is limp pathetically about the rest of the store as that pain sinks into my hip and my whole left leg starts to tingle. But it’s okay, I can push through it.

Hitting the second store was utter hell. I literally ducked out of the checkout, told The Boyfriend he’d have to do t he rest of it and sat until he was done. Made him load all the groceries into the van and made him and the kids unload it all when we got home. And I just hate when I have to have everyone around me working like little ants while I sit there in pain trying not to cry!

I always forget how hard it is to sleep during this part of the pregnancy. The part where your body is expanding and it can tell. The part where you can’t predict when you’re baby’s active hours are, so you fall asleep to them kicking the shit out of you and you wake up, multiple times a night to them kicking the shit out of you. The part where at a moments notice you could need to run to the bathroom to pee!

I got a good long sleep last night. The kids and The Boyfriend have been beyond wonderful letting me sleep in almost every morning because they all know I’m struggling. I was up in bed for hours upon hours. And yet, when Cazz crawled over me this morning ready to get up, I felt like I hadn’t even slept a wink. I just remember tossing and turning all night long.

I am finding some general comfort in the knowledge that this will most definitely be my last pregnancy. The plan as it stands is to go in and have this baby by c-section and get my tubes tied while they’ve got me opened up. Now that we know we’re having a girl, both The Boyfriend and I are officially ready to be done for good. I think, even if it weren’t a girl, I would be tapping out after this one. I don’t think my body can do this for much longer.

It’s so crazy to me to think about all the time over the last 13 years that I’ve spent pregnant or having babies. It basically equals out to 54 months in total that I’ve been pregnant – give or take a few weeks here or there. 2 out of 6 of my pregnancies have been premature to some extent, 1 pregnancy ended at 9 weeks. But all-in-all, it’s been about 54 months of pregnancy. And while 5 out of 13 years doesn’t sound like a lot, it sure does feel like a lot.

When I started my journey with pregnancies all those years ago, it was with a girl. Now that I’m ending my journey with pregnancies, it feels almost divine that I’m ending it with a girl. I also started with a c-section (although that was an unplanned emergency c-section) and am ending with a c-section (that is planned). Now, as long as nothing else is the same as it was the first time around, we’ll be all good!

I suffered with pretty bad post-partum depression with Kaeidyn. From about my 5th month of pregnancy on until she was about 6 months old. It was massively exacerbated when I was told I had the perfect nipples for breastfeeding and was really looking forward to trying it and then because of the emergency aspect of the c-section, ended up getting an infection so bad that even my breastmilk was infected. So all my hopes of breastfeeding were wiped off the table really soon after she was born, because she downright refused to drink it. All my hopes and dreams were really crushed with her – wanting to have this all-natural, vaginal labor with a healthy baby and then ending up doped up on Prozac and then epidurals and having a c-section for a baby that refused my milk. It was devastating.

I don’t want to say that it feels like the universe is giving me a second chance with this baby, because I don’t think I need a second chance. For all the hell we went through in the beginning, Kaeidyn is now a healthy and thriving teenager who does all the things you want a teenager to do. I always say “She was the first pancake and that one always comes out bad!“. So, it’s not a second chance but it kinda feels like this cathartic thing.

When The Boyfriend and I first started becoming interested in dating, I kept saying that there were “signs“, like signs from the universe that it was meant to be. I’m not normally a person who believes in these types of things because I don’t think there’s some pre-destined path we’re all supposed to be on. However, there are times in life when it feels like the universe is trying to tell you something. You have the same dream over and over again, you keep re-living some experience over and over again, things just stick out so obviously as something that has to be bigger.

It kinda feels like this pregnancy is that. I was saying in my post Must Be Pregnant, that I want to come to the decision to be done having babies all on my own. And while I have done that, it sometimes also feels like the universe is giving me all the signs. I used to always talk about the vicious circles in my life – these repetitive bad events. And now I feel like I get to have this beautiful circle moment.

fingers crossed

The Rantings - For Everyone

Must Be Pregnant

This post was written in September 2017 during the beginning of my pregnancy with Baby #7.

The Boyfriend and I basically knew we were pregnant (although hadn’t taken a test yet) and Kaeidyn was catching on. At the time, I was considering “If I’m pregnant, I’m having an abortion. And if I’m not pregnant, I’m getting my tubes tied!” but I was struggling, because I wasn’t sure that I felt that way or was making those considerations because it was what I wanted or because it was what other people wanted.


I haven’t been feeling very well lately. I think it’s mostly just because of the time of the year – weather changing, back-to-school, etc. – but it’s been resulting in me sleeping a lot, having back and stomach pain lots and just generally being in a funk.

Every time that I exhibit any of these “symptoms“, Kaeidyn goes into hardcore, “You’re pregnant!” mode. She’ll ask if I’m sick, I’ll say that I’m not feeling well, she’ll say, “Must be pregnant!” – and while she’s never been right, she always follows up with, “If you get pregnant again, I’m packing my bags and moving out!“.

And I get it! She’s sick of me having babies. Everyone is and I get it. I hear them all shouting at me, “Get your tubes tied! Screw the depression from being on the pill, get on it! Have an abortion!“. I hear it all being screamed at me and I understand where everyone else is coming from and blah blah blah!

But I couldn’t help it. Last night, after hearing almost every day for a week now that I’m pregnant and that is going to result in my 13-year-old daughter running away from home (when none of us even know at this point if I am pregnant, being that I still have a week before we can even count me as being late…), and I just snapped at her.

At first, I was like, “It just breaks my heart that that’s where you go!” and I was just going to leave it at that. But her face, in response to my words, just pissed me off. I suddenly went on a rant – “How anti-feminist of you! Forcing me to make a choice that I don’t want to make about my reproductive life!” and she didn’t seem to care about that argument – which only surprised me because she’s usually so feminist-minded on other issues.

So then I said, and even while I was saying it, I was thinking this isn’t the right argument, but then I said, “How would you feel if I would’ve aborted you when everyone was telling me to? Or any of your brothers? Should I just make all my decisions off of everyone else’s thoughts and opinions?!?“. She basically decided to end the conversation at that point and went up to her room to go to bed. It was already midnight by this point, so after her bedtime anyways.

But now I can’t get the whole thing out of my head.

It’s not that I want another baby. Like I said last night, I think my only response to finding out that I was pregnant again would be to cry for days. I don’t think I want anymore kids, even though The Boyfriend and I have long said that we would like to try for a girl. But I don’t want to end up with 17 boys just to get a girl… And honestly, I’m tired of having babies!!!

I’m ready to do something else with my life other than be pregnant. I’m ready to just raise the family I have instead of continuing to expand it. But I also don’t want the decision to be made for me by my 13-year-old daughter. I don’t want to constantly be threatened with losing her because I don’t want to get my tubes tied or I don’t want to go on birth control. And I know, I know, those aren’t the only options. I know that safe sex is important. I know that I have ways to not get pregnant and if I don’t want kids anymore, I should be using them and blah blah blah. I freaking get it!

But I want to come to the decision to use those methodologies, all on my own. I want to get to the point where I make that decision – not where I’m coerced or forced into making that decision. And it always pisses me off when other people think they should get to have a say in my life, when I’m the one who has to live it, not them.

The Rantings - For Everyone

Kids and Their Freaking Cellphones

I’m officially nearing the end of my rope with these kids and their freaking cellphones.

Ever since Kaeidyn got her cellphone back it has been nothing but attitude and fighting between us. And then a couple days ago, Kenzie found her old phone and started using it. It has been nothing but attitude and fighting between all three of us now…

It is so stupid how unhappy cellphones are making me and I don’t even freaking have one!!!

I’m seriously getting to the point where I am considering taking the phones away from all of them and saying that there will be no more cellphones under my roof unless they are used for work purposes only (because The Boyfriend has to have one for work). Because I’m sick of my kids acting like a bunch of dramatic junkies.

I’m most sick of Kaeidyn who can’t seem to fucking live her life because of this thing that is endlessly glued to her face. She can’t get her homework in on time and she can’t go to bed at a decent hour and she can’t talk to a single person without so much snark and crudeness in her voice. In the last two days, all we’ve talked about is her attitude and that damn cellphone.

Kenzie doesn’t even have the phone for a whole day before his face is glued and all he can talk about is the damn thing. And of course, his attitude suddenly goes into overdrive because now the other kids are jealous that he’s got a cellphone and has games that he gets to play whenever because apparently the rule of no games on school days goes entirely out the window, because it’s a fucking cellphone!!!

And I know I’m not fucking powerless here. I can’t be fucking powerless here. But in the moment that I’m dealing with them and all their cellphone shit, it feels like they have control and I don’t and where the fuck is that coming from?!?

My pregnant body cannot handle the stress that these damn electronics are causing me. It literally feels like the thing that is ruining my life right now. I wake up angry, I go to bed angry and all because of some stupid tiny device and a bunch of wannabe adults.

I’m officially nearing the end of my rope with these kids and their freaking cellphones.

The Rantings - For Everyone

For Way Too Long

It has been too long with all the kids home… way too long!

Way back in the beginning of December, they all got really sick. It hit every single person in the house, even The Boyfriend who normally doesn’t get sick. They missed almost an entire month of school! And then Christmas holidays began…

They have been home for way too long!

While they were home sick, it wasn’t so bad. Everyone was sick, so it was a lot of laziness and cuddling. But they were too sick to have energy. Then, a few days after Christmas break started, they all started feeling better.

They have been home for way too long!

Almost immediately they were unmanageable. I could feel my hair graying on probably the second or third day of healthiness. But they would have these moments, where you were almost grateful they were home and you were getting to experience them like this.

They have been home for way too long!

But then, they got to this point, where they couldn’t stand each other. Carter is seriously a handful and a half. I mean, the kid has energy for days, he’s tough as balls and he likes to be the center of attention. So, him being up in everyone’s face was really starting to get on everyone’s last nerve. Awhile ago…

They have been home for way too long!

And now, it’s just out of control. They have been home for way too long now. They have had too many days pent up in the house. They have had too much togetherness. It’s just too much…

They have been home for way too long!

I feel like I spend all day yelling at them, trying to convince them to be good and ultimately end up with my head in my hands and tears in my eyes. On more than one occasion, I have just stopped fighting with them, arguing with them, trying with them and let them beat the crap out of one another until someone is crying.

They have been home for way too long!

Kaeidyn’s barely been at home at all. She’s been babysitting a lot. There was awhile there where she didn’t have a cellphone and things were going great between us. She was even nice when she found out I was pregnant again. But then she got her phone back and all I’ve gotten from her is attitude, dirty looks and ignorance.

They have been home for way too long!

And don’t even get me started on how messy the house seems now that they’re always in it. Between Keirnan’s LEGO all over the place, Carter’s papers strewn about every single surface and the mess they all seem to make any time they get themselves food, I just feel surrounded by the mess of them.

They have been home for way too long!

And because it’s a break and holiday, their bedtimes are all absolutely screwed up and yet they seem to still wake up at the crack of dawn. Tonight, we were literally fighting with them to go to bed at 2 AM!!! I’m too old to be going to bed at two o’clock in the morning… On a regular basis…

They have been home for way too long!

There have been some benefits to them being home so much. They’re all around all the time, so whenever I suddenly get the urge to clean, I have a bunch of little helpers (not that they’re much help, but at least I don’t feel like I’m doing it alone). Kenzie really likes to take Cazzwell in the morning, so The Boyfriend and I normally get to sleep in a little bit (which is great because I’ve been having terrible sleeps).

But let’s be honest, they have been home for way too long!

The Rantings - For Everyone

Looking Back on 2017

It’s that time of year where everyone looks back on 2017 and looks forward to 2018. I started getting into the spirit over the last couple of days and thought it would be fun to kind of walk down memory lane (which we all know I love to do!) and reminisce on some of the best and worst moments of 2017.

It has felt like an incredibly long year! While I’m surprised we’re already in December, I’m not surprised that an entire year has gone by – because it has felt like it!!!

Here’s some of the more memorable things that happened this year.


I Returned to Blogging

After falling out of love with it over 6 months earlier, I finally returned to blogging! After giving birth to my 5th baby and doing a major redesign of ValerieRayne.com, I was finally ready to begin writing.

In 2017, I wrote a total of 90 posts bringing my total archive up to about 170 posts. I also managed to publish my 100th post! By far, the most popular post this year has been No Longer #FucketListed: An Over-the-Knee Spanking.

Speaking of No Longer #FucketListed…

Not only did I finally check an over-the-knee spanking off the list, which has been on it from the very beginning, I also checked a few other things off the list this year. It’s been exciting to explore.

I finally orgasmed everyday for an entire month, The Boyfriend and I finally had sex outdoors and we even made our own porn for the first time!

WTMFI Wednesdays Returned

Back in 2007, I ran a weekly meme on one of my old blogs called WTMFI Wednesdays. I decided in April of 2017 that I wanted to bring it back. And so the process began and in November 2017, we hosted the first session of WTMFI Wednesdays.

WTMFI Wednesdays
I have been trying hard to participate in every single session and one of my goals for 2018 is to start getting my submissions in on Wednesdays – instead of what I’m doing right now, getting them in whenever I get them done! You can check out my WTMFI Wednesdays submissions here.

Celebrated My 9-Year Anniversary

The Boyfriend and I celebrated 9 years together this summer. It was pretty exciting for both of us honestly and neither of us could shut up about it. I wrote about it, I sang songs about it, we were obsessed!

Can’t imagine what 10 years might be like… 😉

I Got Pregnant… Twice…

First there was the miscarriage. Cazzwell was about 5 months old when we found out that I was pregnant again. We were definitely not ready. I only quickly touched on the miscarriage in 5 Things That Happened During My Hiatus.

Then in August, we discovered that I was pregnant again. We kept this one a secret for a really long time, even though everyone had basically guessed and ultimately we were in a bit of denial ourselves. Boxing Day we finally told everyone.

So, in the Spring we are expecting to have Baby #7! We’re counting it as a pretty big milestone for a few different reasons. We plan for it to be our last baby and it’ll be The Boyfriend’s first baby girl.


All in all, it’s been a crazy eventful year.

I didn’t even talk about all the traveling we did this summer – two trips to Crescent Falls, my first time camping as an adult, and going to Edmonton to see Roger Waters in concert! Or the #EroticLimericks I wrote or all the fin-spiration I gathered in preparation to write The Mermaid (which I have plans of publishing in 2018!). Or our van and a bunch of other stuff getting stolen…

Needless to say, I’m ready for 2017 to be over and for 2018 to begin!!!

The Rantings - For Everyone

This Christmas Season

Thank goodness for The Boyfriend at Christmastime, because without him, Christmas would suck.

Multiple times this year, I threatened to cancel Christmas altogether. I didn’t shop for a single present for a single person. I didn’t wrap a single present for any of the kids. I was officially Scrooge all December and made my opinion about this stupid holiday crystal clear at every waking moment.

Having kids at Christmas really makes you hate this time of year. It’s bad enough the Christmas music, the general cheer, the constant posts arguing about which phrase is politically correct. To deal with a bunch of kids who have no religious reference for Christmas and who don’t believe in Santa, and you end up with a holiday of sheer greed.

The Boyfriend gets all giddy about gift-giving. He really does love to do it, even when it’s not Christmas, but especially when it’s Christmas. Getting toys for the boys is just about his favorite thing of the year. I think it’s because it’s the one time of year when it’s entirely socially acceptable for him to be glued to the toy aisle. And he loves toys!

But they were basically terrible all leading up to Christmas. I kept saying, “If Santa Claus was real, you’d all be on the naughty list getting lumps of coal!”, because they were all just so arrogant, cocky, rude, and misbehaved coming into the Christmas season.

On Christmas Eve, we went to celebrate with my Mom. The kids all got to open more than one present. They should’ve been ecstatic. They opened presents from Uncle first – he had heard that everyone needed pants and so got everyone pants. Every kid, “This isn’t what I wanted!”. Then, they opened presents from Grandma and at least two of them complained about it. I was quite upset at them for the rest of the night for their rudeness and lack of holiday spirit.

The Boyfriend couldn’t imagine not celebrating Christmas with the kids. Even though he kept agreeing with me that our kids didn’t deserve all of this stuff that we were doing and planning for them, he kept on buying presents and obsessing over celebrating. And so, Christmas morning we let them wake us up ridiculously early to open presents.

Luckily, this went far better than the previous present opening.

They loved their gifts. They were all polite and excited. And then once all the presents were opened and the majority of the wrapping paper cleaned up, we revealed the biggest news of the day…

Baby #7 - Coming May 2018

We’ve known for quite awhile that I was pregnant. Basically 4 weeks after it happened. Everyone had basically guessed, but we denied mostly because we were in denial. It was only in the last couple of weeks that we finally went for our first prenatal appointment and subsequent ultrasound.

So finally, after 13 years and 4 boys, we finally get our girl!!!

The Rantings - For Everyone

Pain

I have had some of the worst hip pain of my life over the last couple of weeks. Once it starts to sink in, my leg begins hurting and then my shoulders begin hurting. The pain spreads until I’m completely consumed by it.

I can handle a few days of pain. I can even handle weeks of pain if I get a couple days break in-between. But this constant everyday sort of pain. It wears on you and far more than just physically. It begins to take a toll on your mental well-being. When you wake up in pain, spend your day in pain and go to sleep in pain, it really begins to screw with your outlook on life in general.

So either because of the pain or because of the way the pain affects me or both, I have been sleeping a lot. Correction: I have been in bed a lot. The sleeping has been pretty difficult, especially with the pain, because I’m tossing and turning all night long trying to find a position that doesn’t hurt. I also can’t seem to sleep through any sounds, from the kids getting ready for school in the morning (which used to be my deepest part of sleep) to the cat opening Kaeidyn’s bedroom door with her paw (which is just a barely audible scratch and squeak). By the time the baby is ready to get out of bed, I’ve just finally found the comfy spot and it’s finally quiet in the house.

Luckily, I have been blessed with just about the best boyfriend ever, because he knows that I’m tired. He knows that I’m in pain. And so, he gets up with the baby and lets me get an extra hour of sleep without him in bed, so that I can sprawl out all over the place. However, the last couple of days, the baby has been in need of mom earlier, so I’ve been having to get out of bed, even if I’m dragging my feet all the way.

Don’t even get me started on the ways in which the pain makes me feel like a terrible Mom. More than once in the last week, I have had to apologize to the kids for literally forgetting things they just said to me, for not hearing large chunks of things they’re saying to me – not to mention all the meals I haven’t cooked or all the slack they’ve had to pick up on the cleaning front. Honestly guys, I am so lucky to be surrounded by so many understanding, compassionate and loving people.

I’ve dealt with pain so much in my life, especially ever since The Boyfriend and I started having kids together, that you’d think that I’d deal with it better. You’d think that it wouldn’t drag me down so much. You’d think that I’d have some strategies to deal with it – and strategies that actually work, not just a hot bath that gives me half an hour of uncomfortable relief, but something that actually helped. But the older I get, the worse equipped I am. Pain literally takes me out of the game now.

One of these days, I’ll get around to seeing my doctor about it. It’s been a problem for long enough now that I should probably see a doctor about it. Not that I think there will be any solution. When I was pregnant with Carter, I had severe joint pain – I’m talking really really bad. There were even days that I couldn’t type on the computer – and everyone knows how much that bothers me!!! Felt like I was constantly going for tests, had a handful of hand and knee x-rays done. They gave me topical cream that was supposed to help – it didn’t and just upset my stomach. I often find that pain is a problem that doctors really don’t know that much about – or at least, not in terms of effectively treating it… They try, but it’s often (in my experience) for naught.

I know it will get better, at some point, eventually. But waiting for it has been painful!!!

The Rantings - For Everyone

Master Procrastinator’s Funk

I feel like I’m finally beginning to come out of the funk I feel like I’ve been in for the better part of a month.

Don’t ask me where exactly it was coming from, don’t ask me what was causing it and definitely don’t ask me how I’m managing to come out of it, because I have answers for none of these questions.

It seems like it happens when a series of things feel like failures to me. I get sick after the baby gets sick. I anticipated it and yet, did nothing to prepare. So, for three days, I laid on the couch doing nothing but whining about my sickness – while the world continued to move on around me.

The world of five kids and a partner who is working so hard outside of the house and procrastinators all around, and the world where Mom is too miserable to do anything. So, the dishes pile up and the garbage overflows and the clean laundry ends up all over the floor and no one is eating properly and everyone is just plain moody.

And then I get over my sickness and I realize how disgusting the house is and how unhappy everyone is, and how now I gotta clean all this shit up. And we know I’ll never get to it, because I’m me and just because I play the role of “The Cleaner”, doesn’t mean I’m actually good at it. Master Procrastinator is actually my superhero name!

And the to-do list just becomes so overwhelming that I can’t help but be completely rundown by it. Just emotionally and mentally exhausted. It gets to the point where the only thing I can even bring myself to do is click on decks of cards in Solitaire, in an attempt to numb my brain of all the crap that is going up there…

I’ve heard some people say that being a parent, especially a Mother, is the hardest job in the world. However, I’d like to clarify that being a homemaker – in the most basic sense of the word – is the hardest job in the world.

Sure, raising kids is hard. But it’s incredibly intuitive. It all comes to you by instinct. Well, that and common-sense. Yes, it’s overwhelming and exhausting in its own right. Yes, you have to actively put effort and time into it. Yes, it’s not easy at all.

But take away all the homemaking aspects, and it becomes a lot easier. Take away the bills to pay, take away the rent. Take away school and schedules and making and preparing meals that are not only, to some degree nutritious, but that your kids will also eat. Take away housecleaning and laundry and dishes for days. Take away all these things, and the job becomes a heck of a lot less overwhelming, time-consuming, mentally and emotionally exhausting.

Add into it my own self-imposed deadlines for stuff that I’m supposed to be getting done online – stuff that I started, stuff that I want to work on, stuff that I want to finish – and yet, with those deadlines looming I just feel paralyzed every time I try to get anything done. I’ve written before about staring at the screen just mindlessly clicking through tabs, not able to focus on anything for longer than half a second. Just feeling bogged down by it.

Ugh, I’m going to get over it all. I swear. It seems like one day I’ve got a handle on all of it, and then the next day I just can’t do anything. I hate these times…

The Rantings - For Everyone

I Know That It Won’t Last Long

You know it’s been a long time since you last blogged, when your kids start asking, “Mom, why aren’t you working on your blog?!?“.

The biggest reason: I’ve been sick and the baby’s been sick. I spent almost two weeks just feeling right out of sorts, and then the baby is teething and I think had a bit of an ear infection. We’re both on the mend now, but man, were those some rough days. The other kids haven’t gotten sick yet, but they were all saying they could feel it coming today – especially after the last two days of very cold rain.

In my time of sickness, not only did I sleep a lot, I also watched a lot of Netflix, completely curled up on the couch. Documentaries like you wouldn’t believe, which results in me just needing to know everything I can about any given topic – it’s been a little ridiculous. I’ve been a wealth of historical knowledge over the past few days!

I think I’ve also been trying to get used to all the new routines around here and it’s just throwing me off my game. Specifically, now that The Boyfriend’s on these evening shifts, he comes home for lunch. Which means, it’s really nice for me to have dinner on the table when he gets home (I don’t have to, it’s just nice). The whole kids coming home from school (and the anxiety and stress that that always seems to bring me) to having to get dinner ready earlier, has been such a huge adjustment. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to this place where it doesn’t feel like the most overwhelming part of my life!

However, having The Boyfriend around so much while I’m awake – that is a hugely welcome change. Even if all we do is sit and do nothing, it’s nice to have him there. It’s really been great to get to sleep with him at night. I still haven’t fully gotten used to him coming off nights, and so often forget that he’s going to be in bed with me. More than once, he’s looked at me in utter confusion as I talk about wishing he’d be there to keep me warm. He does have a week of upcoming graveyard shifts, which I’m dreading entirely, but it’ll be the last one. Maybe then I’ll get it through my head 😉

The kids have all been doing so wonderful, I’m actually a little surprised. From helping to take care of me and Cazz when we were sick, to be totally understanding about our lack of finances right now, to helping out around the house and even enjoying the heck out of school. The most we’ve had to deal with is Kenzie having minor meltdowns shortly after getting home from school (which I know are a result of him waking up too early in the morning) and Keirnan not being capable of using his brain (which I know is the age that he’s at, because Kenzie and Kaeidyn both went through the same thing – where they just suddenly don’t have common sense for a little bit. You tell them, “Put the dishes away” and they literally need step-by-step instructions to get through a draining rack!!! I blame it on horomones!). Otherwise, it’s been pretty amazing!

I know that it won’t last long…
Kaeidyn is quickly coming up on her 13th birthday. I can remember 13 so well.
I know that it won’t last long…
Kenzie’s in middle school now, it’s his first year. That’s always so rough.
I know that it won’t last long…
Keirnan’s the oldest in the school now. He gets to be big brother.
I know that it won’t last long…
Carter’s gonna really start feeling the pressure of school this year.
I know that it won’t last long…
Cazzwell’s going to start walking any day now. And getting into everything!
I know that it won’t last long…

The Rantings - For Everyone

Birthdays & Back-To-School

This is probably the first summer ever that I have not been totally overwhelmed by the kids. That was, until this morning…

Most summers, by this point, I’m almost literally pulling my hair out in frustration. Normally, I’m yelling all the time because it feels like no one is listening. Typically, I can’t wait for school to start back up just to get a break from them. But this summer hasn’t really felt like that.

They’ve all been so great this summer. I mean, they’ve been kids – so it’s been a handful and a half. There’s also a baby, been a handful and a half. But, they’ve all been helpful, they’ve all been well-behaved and relatively well-mannered. They’ve still been themselves, attitudes and all, but I haven’t felt utterly overwhelmed by them.

However, I woke up today and I’ve just been in this mood. This place, this state-of-mind, and I just suddenly feel entirely consumed by motherhood.

It’s back-to-school. It’s gotta be. It starts tomorrow and I feel like we’ve never been less prepared. Again, I know in my rational brain that we are this unprepared almost every year. Kaeidyn pointed out to me yesterday that this year is no different from last in terms of unpreparedness. But, it hit me like a ton of bricks today immediately upon waking.

I woke up just irritated and annoyed and I can’t seem to shake the feeling. Every time one of the kids makes a sound, I’m having to take a deep breath not to snap at them. Kenzie talks back and I immediately feel personally attacked – like he’s trying to pick a fight with me. And it has nothing to do with them at all and everything to do with me…

I hate when I feel like a total failure as a parent, as a Mom. It’s this time of year, I swear.

Four out of five of the kids have birthdays all one right after another – all at a time when we can’t do anything special for anyone’s birthdays because we’ve just spent every extra penny on school supplies. Which we haven’t even done yet because of the way paydays worked this year. Yet another thing that just stacks against me. It’s not the first time it’s happened – it happens more often than I’d like to admit – and we always figure it out and roll with it and make it work. But it just feels like crap.

My baby also turns one tomorrow…

I can’t even begin to describe how I feel about that. Every time anyone mentions it, I just groan loudly. How did it go by so fast?!? I mean, I remember it going fast with all the other kids, but not this fast. It doesn’t feel like he’s been around for that long. And don’t even get me started on how much I hate the ages we’re getting close to.

I’ve gone through toddlerhood four times now and hated every single moment of it, every single time. I can say pretty confidently that I despise toddlerhood. Teenagehood is being hard, but toddlerhood was harder. Toddlerhood is physically, mentally, emotionally hard. Other age stages are one or two of those things – physically and mentally hard or mentally and emotionally hard – but toddlerhood packs it all into one punch. One punch that lasts a number of years!

I hate that I’m feeling it all the day before back-to-school. It was supposed to hit a week ago so that I could deal and process before the ultimate stress began. But having it hit all at once like this, and not having the excuse of “I’m in the hospital in labor” like last year, is just making my day a crappy day.

Is it bedtime yet?!?

The Rantings - For Everyone

Waiting for Sunday

These last few days have seemed incredibly long.

It’s probably because The Boyfriend has had me up out of bed before 8 AM, and then the day doesn’t end for me until after midnight. That’s a long ass day! I’ve also been able to get a lot done in those hours and still have hours left over to just sit and do nothing, so that is adding to the long feeling.

The older kids come home this Sunday, and save for the fact that I already know they’ve got back-to-school on their brains, I’m really excited about them finally being home. We hadn’t planned for them to be out there this long this time around, but it just worked out that way, and I started missing them awhile back. So this last little bit has just been impatiently waiting for their return.

It’s just been Cazzwell and Carter at home for the last little while. You’d think it would be easier, but my almost year old baby is a huge handful. Honestly, it’s easier with all the kids home because they can help keep him entertained. Carter only has so much patience for a baby before he’s like, “Well, you’re boring!“. And he is starting to move a lot, like hard to catch, move a lot. I feel like I spend my days right now chasing him around and telling him “No“, over and over again. He’s also been screwing with his sleep schedule, so that’s been a terrible way to end my days, because he normally ends on a grumpy note.

After tonight, The Boyfriend has another two days off. I always love when his holidays work out in such a way where his first week back at work is mostly days off. I think it’s been something like 2 days on, 2 days off, 2 days on, 2 days off – something like that. On the one hand, it sucks because he spends almost all of those days tuckered from giving up sleep here and replacing it there and screwing with his sleep schedule (maybe that’s where the baby gets it from…), but on the other hand, it’s great because it feels like he’s around a lot more.

So we’ve made plans for Sunday to go for a drive. In his hunts for places to go he’s come across Ram River Falls and his Mom has basically mapped out a cool road for us to check out, so it sounds like we’re going to be trying that out. And tomorrow, we’ve got big cleaning plans so that I can have the back of our van back – which hasn’t really been gone through since we got it back from when it was stolen. I imagine tomorrow is going to be long and stressful and then the next day, adventurous and awesome!

Honestly, just writing it all out has made me ready for bed…

The Rantings - For Everyone

The Holidays Are Over

The Boyfriend officially went back to work last night after a week long holiday.

We dropped the kids off at Alfie’s a few days before he started holidays. It was such a good drive out there and the kids absolutely loved having all the room in the truck. The drive home was long and boring and it felt so good to finally be home.

It seemed like almost as soon as we dropped the kids off, our days got really busy. We’d wake up to messages or phonecalls early in the morning and then be gone from the house all day. For almost an entire week straight, we did stuff almost every single day.

We spent one day at Gull Lake, which ended up not being as fun as we were hoping it would be, but also ended up being an absolutely great time. The plan was to go out on this big inflatable island that everyone’s been obsessing about. But everyone ended up being more interested on sitting on the beach or playing in the water. It was quite a gross muggy day and it was really smoky from all the fires out in BC, so I mostly laid in the sun.

Then, we did another Drumheller trip so that The Boyfriend’s Dad could see it. We even got to go see the hoodoos – which were exciting but again, not like what I had built it up in my head to be. It was ridiculously hot when we went and everyone else seemed to have way more energy than me. At one point, the whole family was up climbing on these rocky hills, where everyone was climbing, and I was just standing on the little platform watching them. The museum was pretty much the same, except this time we only had two kids to pay attention to, so we were actually able to read some of the signage and such. By the end of that day, I was very sore! Lots and lots and lots of walking – and unlike last time, I wore my flip flops this time, which is not a good idea when you’re going on an adventure…

We also did another Crescent Falls trip. Normally the drive into the falls really scares me – it’s pretty steep and the road is gravel and it gets really narrow and curves. You even have to drive through water at one point. We’ve been there so many times now though that I took the drive into the falls like it was nothing.

The Boyfriend and Carter went on a 3-hour long hike to get to “the other falls” – although again, I think everyone was expecting it to be way more exciting than it was, so came back a little defeated. I hung out on the rocks by the river with Cazzwell for all that time. Thankfully, my mom-in-law is a genius and somehow manages to create something out of nothing, and we weren’t sitting in the sun all day, because it was an incredibly hot day. It cooled off fast in the evening, but during the day, sweltering!

We also went out for an adults-only dinner – which was super nice. The Boyfriend got dressed up in his vest and had recently picked me out a pair of heels, so I even got dressed up to go – wore a dress and heels in public for the first time in a really long time, like stupid long time! It was nice to feel fancy, even if we looked totally out of place among all the other dinner-goers.

It’s been so nice being down the three kids just for the sake of cleaning. Cazzwell is officially at the age where he’s getting into everything. He’s figured out how to climb the stairs, he crawls off the couch and he moves really fast. Plus, everything (and I mean, everything!) goes into his mouth. He pulls things off shelves to put in his mouth, he squeezes underneath of things to find something to put in his mouth. And his toys (which he barely has any of), end up absolutely everywhere. How did it get it in the bathroom? I don’t know, he’s never even been in there. But somehow, his toy is…

Dishes has been the greatest break. Doing one load of dishes a day and being completely done them is so much better than doing three loads of dishes a day and still having some left (that you forgot on the stove…). So much nicer when a plastic container meant for leftovers isn’t used as a bowl for cereal or when a fork is used as a fork instead of replacing a spoon that people were too lazy to wash. It always drives me nuts that over the years I’ve collected about 14 – 16 plates, and a family of 6 should theoretically need no more than 6 of those a day – and yet, at the end of the day when they’re all home, my sink is filled with 14 – 16 plates… It’s so much nicer to just have to wash a couple of those a day than all of them.

I’m definitely looking forward to the kids coming home. I started missing them really fast this time and especially with us going out so much and doing things so much. I always feel bad when they miss out on these big family adventures – even though, a) they’re having their own family adventures up there and b) they’re normally not that interested in our big family adventures. But I still hate when they miss it! I don’t even know right now when they will be coming home – a bunch of dates have been thrown out. Basically, once their family reunion is over.

However, I’m also not looking forward to the kids coming home because once they do, it’s almost immediately time to start getting ready for school. Have I ever told you how much I absolutely hate back-to-school? It’s probably my most hated time of year, because it is just so mind-numbingly stressful. It’s scream-into-your-pillow kinda stressful, cry-yourself-to-sleep kinda stressful, hate-the-world kinda stressful. This year has the added stress of another kid entering middle school. I’m just not looking forward to all that stress!