Some of My Favorite Netflix TV Shows

I’ve been watching quite a bit of Netflix lately, especially since they’ve been adding a whole lot of really amazing stuff. Not only have I been watching a lot, I’ve been adding tons to my list because it seems like everyday they add something that I swear I just said I wanted to see. Today, I figured I’d share some of my favorite TV shows from the past few months, because there are quite a few of them and I don’t want to forget.

Honorable Mentions

I don’t have much to say about these shows, save for the fact that I absolutely loved them!

  • Call the Midwife
  • Gilmore Girls
  • Raising Hope
  • Weeds
  • Frisky Business
  • Huff

Prison Shows

There seem to be a lot of these lately, and I can’t say that I mind. I didn’t think that I would like prison shows, but it turns out that I’m super obsessed with them, to the point where I will stay up late just to watch “one more episode” (which is usually a lot more than one…). I think the thing I like the most is that they force you to question your own beliefs about punishment and rehabilitation.

Wentworth

I finished all the seasons of this show in a matter of days, because I just could not stop watching it. If you saw Orange is the New Black and really liked it but was left wanting a little more, Wentworth will surely fill the gap. I found the storyline to be insanely intriguing, the characters to be so relatable and the whole experience was so visceral. When they cried, I cried and when they cheered, I cheered. I don’t think I’ve ever yelled so loud at a TV.

Unitè 9

If subtitles don’t bother you or you speak french, this show is almost the Canadian version of Wentworth. I’m still devouring episodes of this masterpiece like they’re going out of style, One thing that I do appreciate about this show, more than most others, is that it is stereotypically Canadian – everything in it is so nice and civilized, and yet, somehow that does not diminish the drama.

Orange is the New Black

I mentioned it earlier and I should probably add it. The Boyfriend and I powered through the first two seasons and were absolutely in love. I follow the show just about everywhere online and I spent a long time excited for the third season, but it took us forever to get around to watching it. I think the thing that I probably love about this show the most is the actresses in it, because I feel like I can relate to each and every one of them. Their problems could be my problems and that makes their experiences that much more real to me.

Crime Dramas

I generally tend to avoid crime dramas because they have a tendency to make me pretty sketchy. However, there have been a couple that I was really looking forward to seeing and was really glad that I’ve taken the time to watch them – although definitely need to stop watching them before sleep because they affect my dreams.

How to Get Away With Murder

I just started this show tonight. I’m already most of the way through season one and so far, I’m really enjoying it. I’m having a lot of fun watching the way the characters are developing and it’s definitely a show that piques your curiosity. I’m getting a huge kick out of seeing so many OITNB actors in it and I have never seen gay sex look as amazing as Connor Welsh makes it look!

The Fall

First of all, I’ve never had a bigger crush on a fictional serial killer than I have on Jamie Dornan as Paul Spector. There were honestly so many things to love about this series and I cannot wait to see next season. I’ve actually watched this show twice, because I insisted on The Boyfriend watching it after I had finished it all, it was that good. And I plan on re-watching the whole thing when they bring the next season out!

Other Dramas

Grey’s Anatomy

Kaeidyn and I started watching Grey’s Anatomy forever ago. We haven’t gotten many opportunities to watch it, especially being that she insists that I watch it with her. I’m actually kinda shocked that I’m even putting this on my list, because for years, the entire time we had cable and it was on TV, I despised this show. Every time it came on, I’d whine and moan. Watching it from the very beginning, in a way that I can control, definitely makes this show great. I can watch it when I’m in the mood for it and then it really gets to me.

Grace & Frankie

I was expecting this show to be a stupid-funny comedy. I was pleasantly surprised when it was more than just funny comedy. There were many episodes that had me holding back tears and the whole family was swept up in the story. There were so many deep discussions had about why Grace & Frankie weren’t just happy for their husbands and a lot of explaining the complexities of relationships and sexualities. I absolutely loved this show and I’m desperately waiting for the next season to come out!

Downton Abbey

I’m a sucker for period pieces. I have such insanely romantic views of the 18th – 20th centuries. A few months back, I went through a serious obsession. It started with Mr. Selfridge and The Paradise, two very similar shows, and then Downton Abbey – I’ve still prolonged finishing the currently available season because I’m not ready to wait for more episodes. I’ll probably just end up watching the whole thing again before the next season comes out on Netflix.

 

 

On My List…

I still have a ton of shows that I’m waiting to watch or that I’ve got seasons left to watch. I want to get through all the ones I’ve started before I start more. Below is a list of all the shows that I still have left to watch or that I’ve started and not finished (assuming they don’t get removed before I get to them). A single asterisk (*) means that I have to watch it with The Boyfriend and double (**) means with the whole family. What do you suggest I finish first or start with next?

  • Scandal
  • Mad Men (Started) *
  • Suits **
  • Nashville (Started)
  • House of Cards
  • The Good Wife (Started)
  • Land Girls
  • Once Upon a Time (Started) **
  • Bones *
  • Dexter (Started) **
  • The Walking Dead *
  • Glee (Started) **
  • Spartacus *
  • House (Started) **

I’m planning on doing another post like this, next time for some of my favorite movies on Netflix – and there are a lot of those! Especially documentaries. And if you have any suggestions for movies, let me know and I’ll add them to my list. Any of these shows interest you?

 

The Rantings - For Everyone

Weekend Full of Love

It was honestly such a great weekend with the kids – I mean, there were lots of headache inducing moments and I have been in a bit of a “funk” – the kids made the whole entire thing seem like just such a wonderful weekend. I don’t know what is going on lately, but I’m a very popular girl with them lately!

Kenzie’s an Emotional Bomb

Kenzie was an extreme emotional rollercoaster ride this weekend. We had one day, where I spent half the day yelling at him for getting everyone else in trouble and the other half of the day, he was snuggled up in my lap giving some of the best cuddles I’ve ever gotten! Today, we had an epic meltdown when Kaeidyn joked that the girl that Kenzie’s been hanging out with a lot lately was his girlfriend, which resulted in crying and yelling and storming off to his room to try and sleep, avoiding being anywhere near Kaeidyn.

When he was a bit younger, the extreme mood changes would normally signify that he desperately needed a nap. Now, a nap doesn’t seem to help nearly as much as removing him from the situation and cuddling the crap out of him. Out of all the kids, he is definitely the most emotional. And he has absolutely no problem showing it!

Kaeidyn’s Talkative

Kaeidyn has been incredibly talkative lately. I mean, she’s always talkative. She’s always been talkative. This weekend just seemed multiplied by a thousand. Every chance she had to talk, she talked. And then she talked some more. Honestly, I can’t even slightly remember any of the things that she talked about. I do know that multiple times I had to ask her to stop because my brain was literally turned to mush from the amount of stuff it was suddenly filled with.

We had a few days of drama over the school week, as her “boyfriend” was texting her some stuff that we weren’t too happy to see. Nothing all that crazy inappropriate, but they kept messaging each other back and forth asking when they were going to kiss. Then there was some talk about “what would we do if the parents weren’t around“, to which no real response was given.

When The Boyfriend read the messages, he responded back before I could even stop him, that he would have to meet Kaeidyn’s two Dad’s before getting a kiss. Kaeidyn often seems done with this “boyfriend” and seems to keep him around just so that she can say she has a boyfriend. So when he called and they finally got to talk and he kept pushing kissing her in secret, she decided to break up with him. It go a little weird after that, he said she hated Americans and said that she was leaving him for another guy (which Kaeidyn chalked up to him implying she was a slut) and went off about how he was going to flirt with one of his teachers to make her jealous. She was surprisingly unphased by it and we’ll see how it goes tomorrow after school.

Carter’s a Pain, But So Cute!

Carter has been a pretty big pain in the butt lately. Some of the things are cute pains in the butt and others are just incredibly annoying. He’s been having a lot of nightmares. He claims they are Five Nights of Freddy (a computer game that his favorite YouTuber, JackSepticEye, plays) dreams. He forces himself to stay awake much later than he should because he’s terrified to go to sleep. We’ve been trying lots of different things to try and get him to sleep. Last night, I took him up to bed and tucked him in and sat beside his bed. I told him to close his eyes and said tonight he had to dream that we all went to the beach.

I sat up there for a good twenty minutes describing us playing at the beach. I felt so full of joy and love as he laid there with his eyes closed and a huge grin on his face as I whispered, “Mommy would splash you and you would scream at me ‘It’s so cold!’, before splashing me back” and he whispered, “Okay” after every sentence. He only slept for an hour or two before coming downstairs and falling asleep on the couch next to me, but that didn’t harsh my happiness high.

He’s also been really terrible for picking on everyone else right now. He always wants everyone to be paying attention to him and talking to him and playing with him. He wants to be the center of attention. So he’s in everyone’s face. He’s also enjoying play fighting more and more and really gets a kick out of the fact that he’s so much stronger than everyone. He loves going up behind the other kids, bear hugging them and then half throwing them to the floor. Sometimes the other kids laugh and think it’s hilarious and will try to do it back to him and it’s a great fun time, other times, they whine and cry and get really upset. It probably doesn’t help that there’s a lot of blame placed on Carter from the other kids about everything!

Keirnan’s Quiet

Keirnan has basically been really quiet – which is absolutely no surprise. We’ve started his home reading program from school and he’s doing so amazingly. Unlike Kenzie, who is still struggling with reading, especially having any interest in it, Keirnan seems to really enjoy it. And he’s definitely not having many struggles at all. I expected that his speech impediment would’ve held him back more, but it seems to not even be having an effect. And I can’t even say he has a speech impediment anymore, being that his speech is pretty darn perfect. That kid has had the odds stacked against him since the day I went into premature labor and he has just done so amazing and hasn’t let any of it get in his way or stop him.

As I said previously, I’ve been in a bit of a “funk” lately. I think it’s mostly PMS, although I’ve spent a lot of time searching for some other explanation, rather unsuccessfully. I’m getting bogged down by cleaning again, and even though we’re doing way better than we’ve ever done before on any of it, I just feel overwhelmed by it. I didn’t notice it until I went to clean my fridge yesterday and the weight of the to-do list just kinda buckled down on me.

Finances Suck Right Now…

 

Then, our finances right now are absolutely abysmal. Since The Boyfriend went back to graveyards, we’ve had it pretty comfortable. We have periods every month where it seems like it’s going to be tight, but for the most part, we’ve managed really well. Then, this back-to-school season crept up on us way faster than we were expecting, and the tightness seems almost suffocating. The one wonderful thing that helps a lot is that The Boyfriend and I have always had an agreement that when it gets like this, he takes over and I get kept in the dark about every financial move until it’s over.

It sounds like a stupid plan, but I tend to get even stupider about money the moment it starts going bad. And instead of dealing with the problems, I let the stress consume me until I literally can’t breathe. I cause myself epic panic attacks, that often aren’t even necessary, because the solutions are often incredibly simple. The Boyfriend is able to keep  his head on straight when looking at those problems and can communicate his needs better in those moments. It’s a system that we’ve discovered works for us and I’m sure there are some areas where he gets left in the dark while I deal with it (although, off the top of my head, I can’t think of a single one…).

Tomorrow, he starts his days off, which we’re incredibly excited about. It was his long stretch of days, so the break is desperately needed. We’ve got lots of cleaning-related plans for the next two days, because I really want to get the floors mopped. They are in dire need of it and are totally due for it, and I’ve had it on the to-do list for way too long! That’s priority one. I’m also hoping we’ll get our bookshelf tidied up again, because even though it’s not messy, my books don’t look organized and pretty and that makes everything feel messy.

So, I had a good weekend. How was yours?

The Rantings - For Everyone

Lessons in Letting Go

I have been sleeping a lot lately. Too much. Being awake seems like such a boring burden. We’re only three days into the kids being back at school full-time and I’m already driving myself insane with daytime boredom.

Then, finances are just kicking our butt right now, as they do every year at this time. And we keep saying, “You’d think we’d learn…“, but apparently we didn’t and we don’t. We know exactly what we’re doing wrong and how we can fix it, but it’s never easy to take ideas and turn them into action – especially when the task at hand seems so large and daunting.

Eventually We’ll Quit

We talked about quitting smoking again, as we always do whenever finances get tight. It seems like the quickest way to save money. Normally it’s all talk, but this time we both flirted heavily with the idea. To the point where we went an entire 24 hours without a smoke, before I caved and begged for one.

After 13 years of smoking, giving it up seems like such a big deal. And I hate when my only motivation seems to be finances, even though I know that I have other motivations – none of them ever seem important enough to make me want to quit – except finances. And that never seems good enough for me.

It’s also a terrible time to decide to quit. Posts on my blog are clear evidence of the stress I’ve been feeling. Quitting the only thing that brings me any relief isn’t the way to lessen my stress. It’s not exactly the best time to make a life-altering change, especially after the steady influx of those recently.

The reality: it’s all a bunch of excuses so that I can continue smoking. And I kick myself in the butt every time, but eventually you just have to realize that you’re not ready and there’s always tomorrow! So, “tomorrow” it is.

Back-to-School Adjustments

In other news, back-to-school is going better than I thought it would and we’ve managed to form a semi-workable routine for the time being. The kids have been waking up and going to bed at the same time, we do all our reading and schoolwork before bed and they all have more than enough time in the morning to gather up anything they could possibly need. The boy have all been doing great walking to and from school and Kaeidyn’s gotten the hang of her bus. Now I just need to stop falling asleep while they’re at school…

Carter is not adjusting well to the full-days at all and is struggling with the whole concept of bedtime. Some nights we seem to have no problem getting him to go to sleep, but other nights, he’ll come down for hours and hours on end. He tends to get scared upstairs “by himself“, even though he’s surrounded by the other kids. He’s been having a lot of nightmares lately, which isn’t helping. And then the waking up early in the morning is being pretty difficult for him. He’s often still tired and wants to go back to sleep. Yesterday, he was so mad at me for waking him up, he got out of bed and stormed out of the room in his half-asleep state and slammed his head right into the door. He was so mad, he didn’t even cry or say “Ow!“, he just stomped his way downstairs.

Lessons in Letting Go

I was not very happy waking up this morning. Kaeidyn has had a “boyfriend” since last year. They broke up because he “cheated” on her, but then they made up sometime later. After a tumultuous summer apart, they have now picked up “dating” again in middle school. I knew all of this and then this morning, I got a message from her boyfriend on my phone asking when they were going to kiss. She’s signed into her account on my phone and so I get all sorts of notifications, and it’ll stay that way until she’s old enough to use all of this stuff independently.

Six in the morning, he tries to call her. I was already pissed about “when are we going to kiss“, I was even more pissed that I was being woken up almost an hour early for a phone call from her boyfriend. Needless to say, I didn’t answer it. When Kaeidyn woke up, she got a mini lecture about the messages I had read and the early morning call. She went to school and then The Boyfriend came home and I vented to him about the whole thing. Being the protective Daddy that he is, he immediately responded to the message, “You can kiss me when you talk to my two Dad’s“, to which the cocky little eleven year old boy responded, “But can’t we do it secretly?!?“. Jaws dropped…

I hope that the lecture that followed after school got through to her. I hope she heard me when I explained why she can’t do it “secretly“. I told her, “Straight up, I care far less about you kissing a boy than I do about you sneaking around behind my back!“. I struggled not to raise my voice as I explained, “You worked so hard to raise my trust up enough that you get to do a lot of things now that you never used to. You worked so hard, it would be a shame for you to lose that all now.“. I never once told her not to kiss him or that she shouldn’t do it, but I did tell her that if she’s not mature enough to talk about wanting to kiss a boy, maybe she’s not mature enough to be kissing a boy. If “secretly” is the only way either of them is comfortable doing it, then maybe they’re not ready to be doing it at all.

I can’t be with her every moment of every day and I can’t always have my eye on her. The most I can do is arm her with an arsenal of support and hand the safest ball possible to her. It’s in her court now and she’s gotta call the shots. It’s a lesson in letting go, that I wish I had a few more years before I had to experience. All I can do is try my best and thank goodness I have a great man to turn to and vent and be comforted in knowing that he carries some of the burden too.

The Rantings - For Everyone

9 Things You May Not Know About Me

Some of you may have been reading my blogs for years and some of you may have only just found me. Some of you may know me from real life and some of you may have chatted with me online. Almost all of you will know that there’s not that much that you don’t already know about me, but just in case, here’s 9 Things You May Not Know About Me!

  1. I’m a Smoker

    Hello, my name is Valerie Rayne, and I am a smoker… I am not proud of the fact that I smoke and have quit in the past only to pick up the bad habit once more. I have every intention of quitting, someday soon-ish, although my almost two pack a day consumption is hardly convincing anyone. I had my first cigarette when I was 11-years-old and was later caught by my school principal. I vowed never to smoke again and then there was Alfie. That was almost 13 years ago… I’m a smoker.

  2. My Body is Full of Scars

    First, I’ve had 4 babies. Don’t even get me started on the stretch marks, some that are hard to believe are now over 10 years old! My first, Kaeidyn, was an emergency c-section which was absolutely butchered by the surgeon – left me with a crooked line with a dent in the middle, separating my stomach from my pubic mound! Then, in my early twenties, during a serious battle with depression, self-mutilation ran rampant over the flesh of my thighs and arms. My body is full of scars.

  3. I’ve Failed… A Lot…

    It all began my first year of high school and physical education was mandatory and I was just not feeling the whole physical thing. It didn’t take long before my high grades quickly followed that first “F” into the abyss of failure. After a huge setback in Grade 12, I dropped out 2 weeks into my graduating year. I enrolled in a community college of sorts, dropped out a few months later because there was no babysitter backup plan. I’ve been evicted, homeless, on welfare, fired from jobs, broke, broken and I’ve failed… a lot…!

  4. I’m a Serial Monogamist

    I have basically been in long-term relationships since I turned 14. My first love and I dated for 2 1/2 years and experienced all of the “firsts” together. Approximately 8 months went by before I met Alfie. We were together for almost 6 years (give or take, being that we broke up for a few weeks here or there and for a pregnancy) – albeit, we weren’t exactly monogamous. Alfie and I had only been broken up for a few weeks when The Boyfriend and I got together, and we just surpassed our 7 year anniversary. I’m a serial monogamist.

  5. I Suffer from Depression

    After I became pregnant with Kaeidyn, I began experiencing extreme bouts of depression. This has twice landed me in mental institutions, once for an overdose and once for self-mutilation. I have been diagnosed with clinical depression, borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder. Although I dip into “funks” almost every other month, I have been virtually symptom free for over five years without medication. I suffer from depression.

  6. I’m on YouTube

    Not many people know this about me and I think it’s the one thing people find most shocking about me. I’ve recorded a few covers and put them up there (although none of them are as good as the ones I used to have on there, but now have no access to…) and I’m also in the recordings of the hangouts that The Erotic Writers Group did back in 2013. One day, I plan on going back to making videos and I often mean to and then forget entirely, however I’m on YouTube…

  7. I’m Scared of Everything…

    Little birds, ducks, loud noises, thunderstorms, just to name a few. Spiders and dirt and tall grass and deep water. Seaweed and algae, racing heartbeats and stomach aches. Basements and attics, outdoors at night. New foods, new people, new technology, new anything. I have mini panic attacks over simple fears and I find new things to be afraid of everyday. Sometimes, I can work through my fear and deal with it, sometimes I break down and sob like the world is ending. I’m scared of everything!

  8. I Have No Friends

    I have family. I have boyfriends and ex-boyfriends and their families. These people I consider to be my best friends, the ones who will be there for me and love me through everything. I have Facebook friends, mostly people I know through my brother or sister, definitely not people I regularly associate with. I have online friends, where I only know them online and have only ever talked online. Acquaintances more than friends. I find friendship to be a very difficult thing – from the making to the keeping – and I’m not sure I’m complaining. Therefore, I have no friends.

  9. I’m a Picky Eater

    I’ve always been a picky eater. It’s something I desperately want to get over but I just can’t seem to do it. I like potatoes, eggs and rice, beef, pork and chicken, breads, gravy and corn. That’s pretty much it. I’ll eat a few other fruits or vegetables throughout the seasons and get a serious craving for broccoli at least once a year, but other than that, I like to keep it really basic. I don’t like spicy foods or sweet foods, I’m not a huge fan of savory foods and only rarely have a desire for salty foods. I’m a picky eater.

So, there’s 9 things you may not have known about me. Did you find any of them surprising or did you already know them all? Maybe I’ll come up with more things, but at this time, I can’t think of anything you wouldn’t already know. Hope you enjoyed 😉

Stress Level 11 and Happy Birthday Monkey

The Night Before Back-to-School

It’s supposed to be done! I finished everything on the to-do list, I checked it all off. The stress is supposed to be gone! But it’s not, it just seems to have gotten worse and worse. I suddenly feel completely bogged down by the stress.

I’m glad it held off all day, even through a beyond bitchy daughter snapping at me all day and a bunch of kids who are way too excited about the first day of school. I got through the school shopping without rubbing my temples once and took everything in stride. I did the cleaning I had set out to do without any issues or procrastination and even had fun mowing my lawn.

I should be feeling accomplished. I should be feeling completion and closure. However, all I feel is stressed. My chest feels tight from the stress. And I can’t put my finger on the cause. I’m hoping that it’s just waiting for the first day of school to start.

The First Day of School

Kaeidyn starts school about half an hour before the boys do, so we had more than enough time to go drop her off in the morning. The Boyfriend came home early from work and we were all so excited. She was a ball of nerves. I dropped her off and it felt good knowing she was surrounded by kids she went to school with last year.

Dropping the boys off wasn’t nearly as much of a gong show as it usually is and we quickly found their classrooms and the whole thing took us less than half an hour. They all rushed off to do what they needed to and we were on our way in no time. The whole experience had completely wiped me out and when we got home, both The Boyfriend and I slept until it was time to go pick them up from school.

All the older three said they had great days and had lots to say about what they had gotten to do and what the plan for the next day was. Carter said it was “a bad day” and that it was too long for him. “It was boring. All we got to do was sit there.“. He’s definitely not used to the full days yet and spent the entire night not looking forward to going back the next day.

The Second Day of School

This morning, The Boyfriend couldn’t come home from work early and so Kaeidyn, who had just gotten her bus pass the day before, took the city bus to school for the first time in her life. I was seriously freaking out about this moment so much for some reason. I went to walk her out there, the morning air freezing cold, and a whole bunch of her friends were standing there waiting. So, she went on her way alone and I returned home to watch her from the window.

Then, the boys walked to school. This is the first year that Kaeidyn wasn’t with them, so Kenzie was the oldest kid – meaning he was in charge. Plus, this was Carter’s first time walking to school without an adult present. It was a big step and they were all so well behaved for it. I got a full report back when they got home on how everyone was and I couldn’t believe how buddy buddy they all were after it. I was expecting some sort of hassle, but it went perfectly.

All the firsts was so much for me though. The Boyfriend came home from work and I felt it all just sort of bubble forward. I vented about a lot of things to him – too many things. I went off about things that I didn’t even mean, just was in the heat of the moment of it all. “I no longer have any babies. I’m an un-fertile old woman. I’ll never have another first like this!”. No tears, but lots of frustration. Needless to say, I went to bed and slept until it was time to go pick the boys up.

The second day went much better for all of them and if I thought they were talkative on the first day, I was shocked at the amount of talking on the second day. Everyone had stuff to say all night long and often we’d have to raise up our hands, “One at a time!!“, because they’d all just get so excited about all the things they did and all the things they were going to get to do.

The Weekend Finally – Happy Birthday Monkey!

Now that it’s the weekend, I’m feeling a little bit more relieved of all the stress I’ve been feeling. Mom took two of the kids last night and two of the kids tonight and that has been helping tremendously. Then today is Keirnan’s birthday and it’s been a day full of reflecting over the last eight years of his life, and that is being beautiful.

It’s incredible to think about how far he’s come, to think about all he’s been through and where he’s now. I spent most of the evening going through pictures of him from his younger years and it’s amazing how much he’s grown. From the baby with the weak lungs and jaundice lying in an incubator to this amazing, kind, handsome, sneaky devil of an eight year old. Tonight, I’m feeling like the proudest Mommy in the world.

The Rantings - For Everyone

Check In and Vent

One of the things that I absolutely love about The Boyfriend is his ability to completely calm me when my nerves are running rampant. He can tell immediately when something is up and somehow always manages to say exactly the right things to make me forget how stressed out I feel.

Getting Back-To-School Ready

We went to the school and got all the school lists for the year. I refrained from feeling utterly embarrassed when Kaeidyn inquired what type of counselling programs her middle school will have – and whether or not there will be one for kids whose parents have split up. First of all, we originally asked for counselling due to a break-IN not a break-UP. Second, we don’t think she needs counselling for something that happened seven years ago and has always been an amicable break up. Third, the first time anyone at the school meets us as a family and our kid is already asking for counselling… I’m sure I turned various shades of red!

We plan on waking up early tomorrow to do the actual school shopping. The plan is to go first thing in the morning when the stores are likely to have less people in them so that it won’t be such a hassle keeping track of the four kids. I’m stressing about the financial aspects and how much it’s going to cost, but The Boyfriend says he’s got it all figured out and I know from experience that if he says it, he means it. So, I’m letting him worry about it and I’ll worry about the kids.

Boys Being Boys

The boys have all been pretty terrible these last couple of days and that’s causing me a great deal of stress. I feel like I’m yelling a lot lately and they all just seem to be at really terrible stages. Kenzie is getting into talking back and I always find that really hard to deal with. I hate when my kids leave my mouth gaping and speechless. Carter seems to always want to fight with everyone and no one is ever interested in fighting. And so he’ll keep pushing and pushing and pushing until eventually the person gets irritated enough to strike back in a big way. Albeit, he hasn’t gotten hurt at all, there is a lot of crying involved in the whole process – this super dramatic, over-acted cry. And while Keirnan never seems to be directly involved in anything that is causing trouble, he does always have to involve himself in some way, sneakily. He’s also been lying, a lot!

I’m hoping that it will just ease itself out over the next couple of weeks. I think a great deal of it all is caused by excitement over back-to-school. I think a great deal of it is caused by a lack of structure in their days. I think once those two things become relatively more fixed, they’ll naturally let up on the constant bad behaviour. I hope…

The End…

I’ve been trying to write a lot over the last two days. My drafts folder is evidence of this, as I am officially up into the double digits for those. I keep getting two or three paragraphs into something, it’ll give me an idea for something else and the ideas just keep coming in those three paragraph snippets. Everything is left undone. And unfortunately, I struggle with picking things back up after I’ve neglected them. I’m working really hard on a few of the posts though and I’m hoping to have something erotic posted in the next day or so, because I gotta get at least one out of my drafts…

Well, that’s all I’ve got to catch up on for now. Just wanted to check in and vent 😉

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Whirlwind of Stress

I cannot get over how stressed out I’ve been feeling, about everything. And I was doing relatively well ignoring it all, putting it off and not worrying about it all. I mean, it was there, but it wasn’t in my face. Then, I spent a day in absolute pain – probably my bodies way of shocking me into awareness of the stress.

A horrible pain nestled itself in my back. It started out dull and quickly turned to a constant nagging pain that would not let up. I tried a thousand positions across every piece of furniture in my house, I was rolling around on the floor trying to find somewhere that would feel good, I used every pain management trick I know to get through it. It was brutal and today, I woke up feeling it all through my stomach.

I didn’t realize exactly how stressed I was until I realized that we’re just a couple days over a week from the start of school, and I just can’t get over how much I am freaking out about it. Firstly, can I just say, I absolutely despise how every single freaking year, we go into August thinking that the back-to-school thing will be easy and we’ll have all our finances figured out for it and then somehow we get to the end of August and it all seems to unmanageable, all too big to deal with.

And you’d think after 6 years of doing it, and experiencing the exact same thing every single year, I’d finally get it through my head and prepare better for the stresses and burdens and of it. And yet somehow, nope… It just keeps happening!

It does not help at all that I have a daughter who is like a little mother. When I try not to worry about something, she’s likely to fill the gap and her stress and worry often makes me stress and worry a lot more than is necessary. And even though I raised her and she’s turned out great (and even though I point this out to her every single time she starts freaking out), she does not seem to trust me at all.

She always thinks I’m not going to ensure that everyone is enrolled, or that I’m not going to get them on a bedtime routine for school, or that I’m going to neglect something important. I don’t know how she got this idea into her head, I don’t know where it comes from, but she insists on picking up slack that I haven’t even slacked on yet.

She’s incredibly nervous for the start of middle school. I don’t know if that is the reason why, but she has been very clingy lately. She’s been coming in and waking me up when she gets up, she spends the whole day itching to sit next to me and even though she insists on everyone else going to bed at their “regular bedtimes”, she stays up half the night cuddling and talking about every little thought that pops into her head. I feel like she’s a toddler again, following me everywhere I go, plastered to my hip.

These next few weeks are just a complete whirlwind of things and I just wish I could sleep through it all. Back-to-school shopping, Alfie’s coming into town because apparently I can’t show my daughter how to take a city bus…, first day of school and then Keirnan’s birthday. A couple weeks later is Kaeidyn’s birthday, then a couple weeks after that is Carter’s birthday, Halloween, my birthday, and then Christmas… It’s a lot of stuff all happening in a short period of time. We haven’t even started yet and I already feel exhausted!

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Stressed Out Mommy, But Not Tonight…

I haven’t been feeling very well the last couple of days, which accounts for the lack of posts around here. It starts with a pain in my tooth (one day, I’ll go see a dentist…) and then I get a headache. I take some Tylenol thinking I’m being smart, and this always seems to make me incredibly tired. So I end up dozing off most of the evening.

It’s made for a very stressed out Mommy and I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded by people who understand how I process pain and who try their hardest to comfort me in the best way possible. They have all been absolutely wonderful and I have spent the last few days feeling full of love, which is a great squanderer of pain.

What We’ve Done…

The holidays home with The Boyfriend were beyond amazing and you can expect a couple posts recapping the week in the coming days. He went back to work two nights ago and now has two nights off again (because he managed to work his schedule like a freaking genius!) and it has to be one of the best August’s on record for us.

Even though all of the initial plans we had made for his holidays – which had included many things including going up to visit my sister, going to the Calgary Zoo, camping for the first time in my adult life and checking out the Royal Tyrrell Museum – it was still full of adventure and fun.

It was more of a staycation and we did a lot of things around us. Went to a nearby beach and the local spray park, drove out to the middle of nowhere to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower and managed to see six shooting stars between us (and the adults had a great time making fun of the kids who were terrified of the barely dark darkness), and even got to see my brother, which we hadn’t been planning for. We’ve also had a few really fun days just chilling out at home on the rainy days – everyone’s getting along surprisingly well for how long they’ve been relatively stuck together.

This upcoming week is all about getting prepared to check a lot of things off of our perpetual to-do list. The “fun” of back-to-school is fast approaching and as a serious procrastinator and a person who tends to stress out over the tiniest of things (things that aren’t even necessary to worry about…), I’m feeling a huge weight on my shoulders. I feel like I need to prepare to actually get the stuff done, you know, psych myself up for it.

Terrifying Stress

My biggest stress is my oldest, Kaeidyn, going into middle school. She is so excited about it, which only makes me stress out more. It honestly feels like such a huge step for all of us, especially being that it’s like the pulling of the pin in the grenade of her life. It’s when everything starts to happen for her that will take her further and further away from being my baby, and I am terrified of itand I never expected to feel that way.

I’m terrified of her first real boyfriend or of the pressure she’ll feel (and therefore, I’ll feel) to get a cellphone and be on sites that she’s not currently really old enough to be on. I’m terrified of her first day and the way she’s going to behave in a new school. I’m terrified of her first kiss and her first menstruation and her first real bra. I’m terrified of the teenager within her and I’m terrified of the type of parent I will be to a teenager – especially a teenage girl…

Middle school signifies so much more than just her next step in education. It’s a rite of passage and one that I didn’t have until I was two years older than her and that is probably the most terrifying thing of all.

I’m also incredibly worried about Kenzie and his reading because he is not doing well at it. Not only is he highly uninterested in reading but he’s also struggling to comprehend what he’s reading. He’ll often get the words right but has no idea what he just read or what those words mean when they are put together. And we know from last year that he was struggling throughout the school year because of his disinterest in reading, and we just can’t seem to spark his fire.

The End…

Tonight, I am not letting that worry get to me. That is what the upcoming week is for. Tonight, is all about enjoying the night off with my wonderful man and my great kids. Tonight, is all about not thinking about tomorrow, or the next day or the next week. Tonight, I am letting it all go and having one last moment of relaxation before the waves come crashing over me!

Anyone else stressing about back-to-school or is it just me?

The Rantings - For Everyone

Unexpectedly Great

Today was an unexpectedly great day filled with new adventure. Last night, my Mom had taken Kenzie and Keirnan for the night because they were desperate to get a sleepover at her house. Today, I was awoken by a phone call asking if we’d like to go to lunch.

Great Change of Plans

The place that we were planning to go to was closed, so we drove across town and decided to check out a restaurant none of us had ever been before. The kids were all so well behaved and ate tons of their food and two hours later, we were walking out fully stuffed and ready for more fun.

I suggested the Sunnybrook Farm Museum and Mom seriously loved the idea, so we spent quite awhile wandering around there. The kids loved the little petting farm area and Carter got scared out of his mind when the turkey gobbled right in his face. They played for quite awhile on the little park that they had there and we all enjoyed checking out the old cabins.

Mom decided she wasn’t ready to head home yet, so we went down to the Kerrywood Nature Centre. We had originally planned on walking out and watching the birds, but came across a little park with a long slide and the kids were more than happy to spend the next little while going up and down the slide.

Then all the kids begged to go to Mom’s house to spend some time there. Kenzie loves going to Grandma’s right now, because she has puzzles and for some reason he is seriously into those lately. He sits incredibly quietly and focuses so hard and has a lot of fun doing them. It was a nice hour or so of relaxing before we headed back home.

Holidays Soon

It’s probably the longest sleep The Boyfriend has gotten on a work day in a really long time. We left around 2 PM and didn’t get home until after 7 PM, and he had been sleeping since about 9 AM. Normally, I wake him up at 4 PM. I hate being awake while he’s sleeping and that hasn’t changed in 7 years!

We’ve only got one more night after tonight before he starts his holidays and we are both incredibly excited. We had hoped to do a whole bunch of things but think we’ll probably end up doing a lot less, for a whole bunch of reasons – mostly time and money. We hope to definitely go see my brother and possibly head up to Whitecourt to see my sister and at some point, Alfie wants to see the kids again before school starts. It’s a shame that The Boyfriend only has one week. But we do that intentionally, so that he gets another week off closer to Christmas time.

Tonight, Kaeidyn’s spending the night down at Mom’s and it’s just me and the boys here. They are being so darn good that I’m actually really surprised. I haven’t had to raise my voice and they aren’t giving me a headache – they’re all sitting nicely together and they’re watching shows like best buds. I’m not used to everyone being so good and it’s been a really great first few days back home with all of them. I wasn’t expecting it to be so good, so it’s a huge relief.

Only a few weeks left of summer before school starts and the weather gets dramatically cooler. How will you be spending your last few days?

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It’s Me Again!!

When I wrote the last post on my previous blog, I never expected that it would be my last post there.

Finally…

After years and years of avoiding it and after hours and hours of The Boyfriend talking me into it, I finally took the plunge and bought my first hosting and domain package. I’ve been planning it out for years and could never bring myself to do it and finally (and I say that with a great deal of relief), I just did it.

I have been sitting on this for a few months now, working diligently to make something that I can be proud of. I wouldn’t say it is at all perfect, and as with all blogs, it needs time to evolve and grow. But, I’ve got a workable base and something that I’m incredibly comfortable with and I cannot even begin to express the excitement I feel about this new journey.

I chose to hold off making my first post here until the older three kids came back from their Dad’s, that way I was sure to have stuff to write about. They got home yesterday and it has been a serious roller coaster of emotion around our house since. I think the last 48 hours has completely drained every resource I have available, however the fact the we’re only 3 shifts away from The Boyfriend’s summer vacation is making it all seem manageable.

Introductory Stuff…

Valerie Rayne's Family DynamicJust in case you don’t know, haven’t read my blogs before, or haven’t already deduced as much, I’ve made this handy little graphic to show off not only my family dynamic, but also to introduce you to the “characters” of The Rantings and how they all connect to me 😉

At the top, there’s me – Valerie Rayne. You can call me Val or Valerie, I like them both. I was previously in a relationship with Alfie, the father of “the older three” – which you’ll find me referring to them as, time and time again – a daughter, Kaeidyn and two sons, Kenzie and Keirnan. Currently, I am in a relationship with The Boyfriend, who is the father of my youngest son, Carter.

A lot of anything else you need to know about us, you’ll discover within the posts on The Rantings, The List and The Gallery, as well as my About page. If you ever have any questions regarding anything you read here, please don’t hesitate to ask in whichever form works best for you (as a comment, in a message, on Twitter, etc.). As those of you who have read anything I’ve written before can attest to, I’m an open book and can’t think of a single thing I have to hide from anyone!

Until We Meet Again…

Well, I’ll leave that there for my first post back and look forward to more posts over the coming days. If you’d like to follow or subscribe to The Rantings, you’ll find options for that in the sidebar. And feel free to browse The Archives to get a glimpse at my past blogging ventures from 2007 until now.