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!

The Rantings - For Everyone

We Got “Our Baby” Back

It’s been a few weeks since our van was stolen. After a week, they found her but she needed to get a few repairs. They also completely cleaned her for us. And today, we officially took back possession of our van. I have felt amazing all day!

I had no problem falling out of love with the truck after pressing down on the brake pedal of “our baby” again. I immediately remembered all the reasons I loved her and how much I had missed her and “screw that truck!”. Thank goodness too, because I thought I’d always be wishing for that beautiful driving experience, but nope!

Then, went down to Heritage Ranch and looked at the horses and let Cazzwell crawl around in the grass. It was such a beautiful day – just the right kind of hot as long as there was shade about, clear blue skies that went on forever and this most splendidly gentle breeze. It was hard to go back inside, but glad that I did because the house was so cool!!!

The Boyfriend had mentioned that he had heard rumors that The Sims 4 was coming to console. Upon returning from our visit with the horses, I got word straight from the horses mouth that yes, The Sims 4 is coming to console. And had a little mini game-gasm. YAY!!!

Now the plan for the rest of the night is to clean my living room, write a few blog posts (since I’ve got a few things on my mind), and then I think I’m going to work on The Mermaid. And then, I’m going to veg and try to finish Switched at Birth before going to bed. Sounds like a great way to cap off a great day!

The Rantings - For Everyone

One Hell of a Week

Let me just start by telling you, this has been one hell of a week…

We’ll start with camping. The drive out there seemed to take forever and I was absolutely shocked at how well The Boyfriend did considering he had worked the night before and hadn’t gotten any sleep yet. It took us longer than we had hoped to get out of town, but we kinda figured that would happen. The older three kids ended up staying at friends’ houses, so we only had to take the younger two boys with us – which meant that our van had tons of room for all the stuff.

The drive into Crescent Falls, down a windy gravel road that looked as if it was tearing away at the edges, had both Carter and I gripping onto our seats and he was frantically telling Daddy that he didn’t like “this“. It took us a bit to find where the family had begun setting up the campsite and both Carter and I felt great relief when the van finally came to a stop.

It took awhile to get everything all set up – we had two tents to get assembled, air mattresses and an inflatable pool (which made the most awesome playpen for Cazzwell) and getting the fire going while we were all distracted by the beautiful spot we had picked out – it was a few hours before we finally got to set out our camping chairs and sit around the fire, ready to eat the corn on the cob and hamburgers we had to cook in creative ways since a few bags had been left behind.

The night seemed to go on forever. We stayed up into the wee hours of the night, until the sky was finally dark and there wasn’t a space in it without stars. I gripped onto The Boyfriend tightly and breathed through the fear. He said, “When you’re ready to go to the tent, just let me know” and I responded, “You will not hear me say I am ready to go to the tent, so you just let me know!“.

I was most surprised at how easily I fell asleep. The water was incredibly loud and you could hear all sorts of bugs and creatures making chirping noises. It was also freezing cold – I was wearing two sweaters, two pairs of pants, and slept with two blankets on and was still cold. But tucked in between The Boyfriend and Carter on one side and Cazzwell on the other, their rhythmic breathing and combined heat – not to mention the little solar light that was placed outside our tent flashing in a way that reminded me of an alarm clock – I ended up falling asleep within no time. I woke up a couple times during the night, but didn’t have any problems falling back asleep.

The morning was probably my favorite time. The Boyfriend got up with the kids and let me stay sleeping in the tent, as the sun rose and the fire was started and everyone began waking up. By the time he came to wake me up for breakfast, I felt utterly refreshed and was absolutely surprised that I walked out of the tent with a smile on my face!

It wasn’t long before we were packing up to head home. The whole thing just whizzed by us. We had hardly had a chance to really enjoy anything and The Boyfriend was incredibly upset that we hadn’t gotten to go out and explore once. Packing up the camp was super easy and we were all really excited to be back on the road. I even got to drive a huge part of the way back home and everyone in the car fell asleep – which made me feel like a great driver. We got home, we were exhausted!!!

We unpacked what needed to be unpacked from the van right away, left the rest and went to bed. Sleep came so easily for all of us and it was a deep sleep. The kids had school the next morning and The Boyfriend woke up to get everyone out the door. He looks out the back window and realizes the van isn’t there. Ensue panic…

I get woken up and after he’s already called the cops to report the van missing, I realize that my laptop isn’t where I left it. Nor is my phone. And then I remember that my brand new camera, that we had just bought for camping, was plugged into the laptop and is also nowhere to be found. The cops get called again for an update and then insurance and car rental place and just ugh…

Honestly, I’ve never been so glad that absolutely all of that stuff is entirely in The Boyfriend’s name, because he had to make all the phone calls and deal with all the people. We had insurance come over to take statements from both of us and that has been a bit of gong show, but for the most part, I’ve just had to sit back and see what happens. However, the poor Boyfriend…

They found our van after a week of it being missing. From what we know so far, everything that was in it when it went missing is still in it. Now it’s spending time getting fixed up and re-keyed (which is surprisingly expensive and thankfully, since they came into our house and took the key, is likely covered by insurance), but it’ll probably be at least a week before we get it back.

It took me a few nights to sleep at home afterwards, since it was clear that they had come inside the house. Then it took me even longer to finally start sleeping up in my room again. However, I’m still having a hard time sleeping at night and get my best sleep in the morning, once every one is awake.

To make this last week more stressful, school is out now…

The Rantings - For Everyone

The Beginning of Teenagehood

I have been ridiculously tired. Like nap everyday tired…

I’ve barely been on my computer over the last week, which is entirely abnormal for me. And when I do get on my computer, I’m just not motivated to do anything. I click into all the projects, tabs open like crazy. Then, I just sit there reloading the page. I’ve been here so many times before…

In general, I am feeling unproductive and unmotivated lately. I just feel like I don’t have the mental capacity to do it all, when my brain is so filled with so much other stuff right now.

Kaeidyn has been seriously so difficult to deal with. I’ve attempted to write about it so many times and I just keep feeling loss for words. I expected teenagehood, especially with her, to be incredibly hard – but I figured I had another two years before I was going to be in the thick of it. And while I know that we’re not even close to thick yet, it’s feeling really heavy to deal with.

I’ve had to be the type of Mom that I hate being a lot lately. The lecturing, hovering, up-in-your-business, disciplinarian Mom. I hate being that Mom. I hate having to use the “I’m the parent” card. I hate having to make a rule and then stick to it hard and fast. I hate it. I hate that I’m constantly having this internal war with myself about how much to let her get away with and then having to use my brain to come up with consequences that teach lessons about values and character. And trying to explain these things to a 12-year-old…

I’ve ranted about her use of language in the past. I thought swearing was really going to be the worst of our problems, but I’m learning that I was wrong. It started when she began saying to baby Cazzwell that she was going to punch him in the face – something that we attributed to us getting her to watch him too much. Now, out of nowhere, she is insisting on calling him a crackhead – every time she sees him, or if he looks at her, or if she’s being loving towards him, she calls him a crackhead.

The one that bothers me the most though, and that she’s just pushing like crazy, is the constant talk of killing herself or wanting to die or hoping she chokes. And it’s not in some depressed, “I’m so sad, I’m going to kill myself” way, it is very much like we’ll be sitting there watching a show and randomly, out of nowhere, she’ll suddenly say, “I want to die!“. And when I get upset, because of course I do, she smirks and carries on as if she didn’t just utterly destroy me.

I keep trying to tell her that she doesn’t realize how what she’s saying is affecting the people around her. How does she think it makes people who have actually attempted suicide feel when she goes off about killing herself? Does she think it’s okay to call little babies “crackhead”? Does she really need to talk like that?

But nothing I say or do seems to be making much of a change at all. 

After over a week of dealing with her crap, The Boyfriend and I decide it’s time to take her cellphone away. Of course, she basically just ignores us – which we had sorta anticipated. So then, she gets told to come home right after school the next day. Instead, she doesn’t come home until after dinner. When asked where she was, she shrugs her shoulders, “Down by the river with friends” and acts as if she shouldn’t be in trouble. So then she got grounded and her cellphone got taken away and hidden.

However, this whole thing has basically not worked out at all. She has basically managed to get away with using her cellphone everyday and because it was pre-planned, is spending the weekend babysitting – in a different city, might I add. Needless to say, I know that my kid is getting the message that punishment means absolutely nothing around here.

And it’s terrible, because it is the one thing that The Boyfriend has always said that I suck at. Consistency in consequences. And I’ve always known that he’s not wrong, but when it’s like this, I feel like he gets to do his “I told ya so” dance all the time. And especially with Kaeidyn. He doesn’t feel very comfortable being the disciplinarian – I don’t make it easy for him (and neither does she…). So I can’t even be like, “You think you can do better? Be my guest!“. Ugh…

I officially do not like being a parent to a teenage daughter. It’s a lot of brain work. It’s consuming to a degree that I don’t think you can ever be prepared for. I just have no energy for anything. She has taken it all out of me. Not to mention the four boys… Don’t even get me started!

The Rantings - For Everyone

And… Release…

It feels like it’s been an exceptionally long couple of days. 

Cazzwell has been sick, again. I feel like he gets sick a lot. It’s the amount of kids we have and the rapidly changing weather, it’s gotta be. But this one is just being rough!

He has been one heck of a grumpy baby. More than once, I’ve had to set him down and walk away and just let him cry for a few minutes, because it gets to be so overwhelming. It always tends to feel like he’s only grumpy for me – although the logical and rational me knows that that is only because he spends the most amount of time with me – in the moment when he’s just not giving up, the irrational side of me takes over and I just think, “My baby hates me!”.

My sleep schedule is absolutely all over the place and has been for about a week and a half. I’m lucky if I’m averaging 4 hours a night. I seem to have a lot of energy though. I stay up almost all night, sleep for a couple hours before the baby wakes up ridiculously early, doze while he’s playing in bed beside me until The Boyfriend gets home from work, and then I’m up again. I’m hoping something will give soon there because I can foresee it officially being too much in a day or two.

The two eldest kids have been trying my patience a great deal this week too.

Kaeidyn has technically been doing it for awhile now and it just keeps seeming to get worse and worse with her – which is to be expected but that does not make it any less trying. In this last week alone, two new rules have been created for her. She’s been missing a lot of school, making a lot of decisions without asking parents (like messaging me after she’s already at her friend’s house across town, “I’m staying here tonight!“, instead of messaging me beforehand and asking for permission…), and her snarky attitude is constantly present.

I’ve been trying to touch her and cuddle her more. She had pointed out awhile back that I was always saying that I loved the boys but never saying it to her. I hadn’t even noticed to be honest. There was awhile back there where she didn’t like hearing it and so, I guess I stopped saying it so much. So, I’ve been trying to be more affectionate to her, letting her know that she is truly loved. At first, she would flinch every time I’d stroke her hair or give me a dirty look if I said anything nice to her, acting like I was some weird alien species. It must be working though because she has actually come and sat on the couch next to me just to cuddle.

Eventually, we’ll figure this shit out…

Kenzie is following directly in his older sister’s footsteps. In this last week, I have literally had to yell over top of him that I didn’t want to hear his arguments anymore. He will take the most minor things and blow them up to huge proportions and have an absolute meltdown. He used to storm up to his room, slam his door and go to sleep. But now, he’ll stand there and just yell at you and argue with you. It is absolutely sucking the life out of me!

He’s now got a group of friends too, just like his sister. And because she was allowed to do such and such at his age, he immediately thinks that he gets to do it too. He doesn’t remember that, to some degree, Kaeidyn had to earn all that stuff. So, he’ll go to his friend’s house and then without telling anyone, leaves his friend’s house and ends up at another friend’s house. Or they’ll go to a park without telling any parents. Or he won’t come home from school until dinnertime. He also forgets, just like Kaeidyn, that he has to ask permission.

Carter has not been understanding the word “no” lately.

It’s a very fluid word for him. He thinks every little variation to the plan will change the answer. “Well, if this happened…” and he will constantly ask over and over again. You’d think he’d forget about it or something, but the next day, he’s still asking hoping the answer will change. And when you finally have had enough and get upset at him for not understanding the no, he pouts and pouts and acts like you’re the cruelest person in the world and like you’re being unfair only to him. And then the asking begins again…

Keirnan is the only kid that I have no real huge complaints about!

He’s been a great helper this last little while, which is such a change from just a little while ago. When I’m feeling frustrated with Cazzwell, he jumps in and takes over and is the best big brother you could ask for. When I need help making food or cleaning up a mess, as long as I say I need help, he gets up and goes about helping out. I think he’s been enjoying the feeling of taking care of things. He has been angry a lot towards Carter, which has been a struggle to figure out how to deal with, but I can’t always blame him for feeling like that towards his little brother, because Carter can be a real handful. And he seems to gravitate towards being annoying to Keirnan.

You punch a monkey so many times and eventually the monkey’s going to punch back!

I have been incredibly unproductive this last week too. I had a good two weeks of some seriously epic productivity. I was getting stuff done left and right, writing lots, keeping the main floor pretty darn clean, motivating the family to do their part. And then, it just all went out the window. I’ve spent this last week mostly glued to my computer, mostly wasting time and mostly trying to ignore the world around me. There’s been lots of game and Star Wars talk happening and I’m just not interested. I’m not interested in being interested this time around. I’m not even interested in faking interest. So, I’ve been trying to just kinda zone out and stay that way.

I’m hoping that The Boyfriend’s next two days off will give me some time to decompress from this last week. To have some sort of release. Have a bit of kid-free time, no electronics and hopefully really nice weather. In a perfect world, we would go for a drive somewhere and now that I have my ID, The Boyfriend would finally take me out drinking or dancing or something. Just something adult, for grown-ups.

I need to have some sort of experience because I’m starting to feel cooped up in all of it.

The Rantings - For Everyone

Still Snowing

It has felt like a very long couple of weeks. Very long. And I expect that it’s going to take awhile for everyone to recover.

In my last post, I was freaking out a little bit about our annual inspection. The Boyfriend worked incredibly hard and we ended up having no problems passing. We were a bit surprised, because we both felt incredibly unprepared, even though we pulled multiple overnighters. But, we’re all good for another year!

My sister also moved to town and then her kids came to visit her and because Mom’s boyfriend was in town, everyone ended up at my house. So I had three days of extra people here – which was amazing and awesome and probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do all year. It felt like a lot of work, probably because I’m not used to dealing with that many people.

By The Boyfriend’s second day off, we were itching for alone time. Quiet time. We finally got it last night and we both soaked it up like crazy. Even ended up getting rid of Cazzwell in the morning and slept the entire day away – which was so desperately needed after a series of very late nights and ridiculously early mornings. Hopefully, now that the big stressful stuff is done, The Boyfriend and I will finally be able to get on some sort of more-regular sleep routine.

The kids are all doing pretty good. Kaeidyn has been pushing her luck a lot lately and her attitude has been wildly out of control. I ended up taking her phone away from her for a few days because I just couldn’t get over how she was treating everyone. The way she talks sometimes just absolutely astounds me. She can be so angry for absolutely no reason and has the ability to just break your heart with her words. I see a lot of “consequences” in her future.

Kenzie, Keirnan and Carter have all been pretty darn amazing. They’ve been helping keep up on the cleaning ever since the inspection and have all been having fun taking turns “babysitting” Cazzwell – really, the adults are just in another room (like when I make dinner) – but they don’t care about that. They’ve even been getting along better, although Carter has been having a great time playfighting lately.

Cazzwell is growing up way way way too fast. Pulling himself up on everything now and he is just so ready to be on the move. He crawls so fast! He’s gotten into yelling as loud as he can for absolutely no reason and for such a small kid, he’s the loudest of the bunch. We’ve been attempting to get him on more solid foods and sometimes it seems to go great and other times, it’s a bit of a pain. There isn’t too much that he really enjoys eating lately and for the most part, he just makes a big mess.

I ended up spending the three days that my sister was here completely off my computer. I haven’t done that in awhile and definitely not while we still had internet. It was surprising to me how easy it was. Normally, I’m itching after a few hours. This time, day three I started to notice. I’m working on a few different projects right now, so I’m super glad to finally be able to concentrate on that stuff. Hopefully, I’ll get one of the projects done very soon.

It’s snowing a lot lately. We had a week of really warm weather – like, wear your t-shirt outside weather. Then, big globs of snow. And while the snow only lasts half the day and mostly melts before nightfall, waking up in the mornings to nothing but white in the middle of spring is just so utterly depressing! I am desperate for warmth and sun and blue skies – and based on the weather right now, it’s going to be a very short burst of that before we go back to winter. It’s very sad.

Who else is still getting snow? Rant about it with me in the comments below!

The Rantings - For Everyone

Scatterbrained

I have been attempting to write for days now. I’ve technically done a lot of writing. My drafts folder is filled with half-finished posts. Finishing things is absolutely not happening for me right now. It means that I’ve been refusing to hit publish.

It’s the weather. It’s the cleaning. It’s that crap between The Boyfriend and I that I have yet to be able to adequately write about. It’s the kids – especially the daughter who has been upsetting everyone and the baby who has been incredibly needy. It’s everything! Absolutely everything is making it hard for me to get anything done or to even want to do it in the first place.

I have never helped so little in preparation for our annual inspection. I was pregnant last year and worked 10x harder than I have this year. For all my bitching about The Boyfriend, he has been beyond amazing, because he’s just been working circles around me – even though he’s exhausted from working and getting less than 6 hours of sleep almost every single day.

We’re down to 3 days before the inspection and there is still an epic laundry list of things to do. Right now, I feel like if we pass, it’ll be because they’ve lowered their standards. However, I feel like this 3 days before every single year and somehow we manage to pull it all together and make this place look spectacular. So, I’m hopeful…

We’ve got so much stuff to do this time of year. I always look forward to Spring because not only does it bring warmer weather but it also brings the largest amounts of money we see all year. Profit sharing and taxes hit within weeks of each other, plus our paydays, and we never go through periods of having to borrow money from people like we do in Winter – because of birthdays, back-to-school and Christmas being all clumped together. However, it becomes one of our busiest times of year because there’s always stuff to do.

Everyday I’m adding stuff to the list of stuff that we’ve gotta do. The Boyfriend’s poor face whenever I do just breaks my heart. He gets his hopes up that he’s going to get to sleep longer and then I remind him that we have to do this or that and his sleep decreases by an hour. I feel so bad for him right now. I can never get over the fact that he does all of this and doesn’t complain once. He never whines or pouts (at least, not outright), he doesn’t distance himself from me (even though, it’s gotta bother him when I’m sitting on the couch and he’s cleaning after being awake for 20 hours…), he never gets mad. I’ve been sure to be a constant stream of appreciation for his absolute amazingness.

My Mom is also being a great help and taking the kids for a night so that we can focus without having to tag team so much. It’s hard to get anything done when the boys wanna tell you a story and the baby wants to be held and the daughter is asking if she can go somewhere with someone. I’ve been finding that my brain is super scattered lately because of all the information for all the people that I’m holding in it. Trying to keep track of friends names and which YouTuber the boys are into and how much food did the baby actually eat today – it’s all just a lot of stuff going on up there. Not to mention my own ideas, thoughts, fantasies and daydreams.

It’s just the beginning of April, but I absolutely feel like I’m ready for it to be over already…

The Rantings - For Everyone

Spring Cleaning 2017

It’s inspection time again and I am feeling burdened…

We’ve had this annual inspection every year that we’ve lived in this place and yet, every single time that it comes around, it causes me the most insane amount of stress. The stress is caused by the fact that we could potentially face eviction if all does not go perfectly. And that would be the worst!

Even though I feel like we’ve been cleaning more than ever and more consistently than ever, it feels like there is a lot of things to do. Really, it’s a lot of the jobs that get neglected all year long, like washing the walls and baseboards or cleaning out the closets. Winter is just ending too, so we’ve got some yard work needing to be done.

It always seems to be the worst time of year for us in the sense that we’re not set up to do a big spring clean. The kids are home for two weeks, meaning that messes are way more frequent and overwhelming than usual. The Boyfriend always seems to be working the longest times during this time and also ends up having to do a big majority of the cleaning and it must just be incredibly hard for him. Last year, I was pregnant. This year, a baby makes where someone always needs to be watching him.

We’ve been tag-teaming cleaning as much as possible and I have really perfected the art of delegation with the kids. Everyone but Kaeidyn has been super helpful lately too. Keirnan will make a face and pout and tears gather in his eyes, but he’ll get up off his butt and do the work. Kenzie and Carter are my two best little helpers – although Carter’s jobs often require telling him to redo them over and over again. But between The Boyfriend and I, we’ve been slacking a lot because it’s like, “Okay, you go clean this while I watch Cazzwell and then you watch him while I go clean this!” and we just do not work well that way.

Right before spring break started, all the kids got sick as the weather got warm very fast. We went from -30 Celsius to +10 and every single one of them got stuffed noses and bad coughs – even The Boyfriend, which almost never happens. Carter had a few days where his ears were really bugging him and is still looking exceptionally pale. Cazzwell has been a bundle of sickness!!

Every time we think he’s over it and he clears up and his nose stops running it ends up being the calm before the storm! He’s been congested. It goes away and during the day you hardly notice and then at night, he wakes up from his sleep coughing or snoring extra loud because of the phlegm. Then, because he’s 6 months now, he’s “leveled up” in formula and we’ve been trying to introduce more solids into his diet. This has caused him to have a bit of constipation.

Can you believe that I have had a handful of babies and have never had to personally deal with constipation?!?

It has been stressful and heartbreaking and exhausting and a great test of patience! I often crawl into bed at night just absolutely flabbergasted that I made it through the day. Like, how?!? How did I put up with that kid slapping the other kid across the face? How did I get through the fight with Kaeidyn over her cellphone? How did I manage to do the dishes and make a meal? How the heck did I do it?!?

The next few days will become more and more focused on cleaning. We are finally getting a new-to-us washing machine and won’t have to pack up bags of laundry to take down to my Mom’s to do once a week! The Boyfriend and I are planning a dump run with our old broken down washing machines, which will immediately make our basement feel cleaner. He’s picked up all the cleaning supplies we will need and has worked out a general timeline of all the things he needs to get done.

And then we’ll cross our fingers and hope for the best in two weeks time…

The Rantings - For Everyone

Can’t Believe There’s Five Kids Now…

I’ve barely written about the kids at all since I returned from my hiatus...

It’s not for lack of things to write about at all. It’s entirely for lack of not being 100% sure how to write about it all. First of all, it’s often hard to remember what exactly did happen in the heat of the moment. That’s right, there’s been heat. Second, it’s often incredibly difficult to figure out how exactly I feel about what happened in that heat. Sometimes, it’s an irritant that passes within a day or two and you forget that it even happened and other times, it lingers in the air for weeks!!

My daughter is officially becoming a teenager.

If you couldn’t tell it from the physical transformation she’s undergoing, you’d definitely be able to tell from the extreme attitude shift and sudden swing into this girl that I no longer recognize as my adorable and amazing Kaeidyn. Don’t get me wrong, she’s still amazing and she’s not doing anything specifically wrong – well, save for using a lot of really offensive language – but she is just giving so much snark and attitude and for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

She went from being the girl who was obsessed with makeup and pink and happy things, to this black-wearing creepy-show-watching jerk honestly. One of her favorite things right now is a game in which her and her friends pick on each other until one of them eventually leaves the group for a couple days. They all make up and do it all over again. She’s been really into anime, which doesn’t bother me at all, but she picks the most morbid and creepy anime she can find. And it’s the only thing she ever wants to talk about – the only conversation I get out of her lately.

Her language and the way that she expresses herself is so out of control right now. I have no idea where she picked up some of the words and phrases she uses, because none of us use them. Like, “God damn” and “Jesus Christ” – both things The Boyfriend and I remember being punished harshly for saying as kids… I’m not a particularly picky parent when it comes to swearing. They are allowed to swear when they are singing songs that have curse words in them and they are allowed to swear when they are telling a story where someone in the story swears. I don’t get super upset when they are caught up in a game and accidentally say “Shit“, although they do get a, “Hey! Don’t do that again!“. But Kaeidyn is definitely pushing my boundaries with the quality of her language.

I walked into the room earlier today. I looked at her and then went about my business. She snarls, “What, Mom?” and I say, “Nothing” and she responds something like, “This is my goddamn face when I look at you“. I’m not even sure what her face looked like and frankly, that wouldn’t have mattered to me. It’s the words she uses and the way she says them. You miss the days when she used to talk to you sweetly and didn’t insert a vulgar word in every sentence. I use vulgar language, I get it. I say “fuck” a whole lot more than I should! But, there’s a limit

I’ve been saying it his entire life and I imagine that I will continue to say it but Carter is the largest handful ever! He has so much energy that I have no idea what to do with, so many thoughts and ideas that he wants to share over and over and over again and he seems to constantly be moving even when he’s sitting quietly. Over the last little while, he’s been constantly talking about death and dying and who’s going to die first and how old we’re all going to be when we die. He brings it up a lot. And that’s been an interesting thing to deal with.

He’s also been instigating fights constantly with the other kids. He pushes buttons constantly with them. The other day, he insisted on fighting with Kaeidyn. She doesn’t normally fight with them but he wasn’t letting up. She had to have hurt him – when I could see them, she was getting good grapples in and tossing him to the floor with relative ease and when I couldn’t see them, you could hear his “oomphs“. But he just kept going and going and going, until eventually he was playfully tied up on the floor and Mommy was standing over top of the two of them with my hands in my hair!

He just doesn’t give up. He talks and talks and talks endlessly. The older kids went to their Dad’s for a week and The Boyfriend and I were all, “Oh, it’s going to be so quiet with just the two boys” and no, no it was not at all!!! Carter literally talked from the moment he woke up in the morning until he was finally sent upstairs to bed. If he wasn’t talking to us, he was talking to Cazzwell and when he wasn’t doing that, he was pretending to host his YouTube channel while playing games. Which is also a thing he’s gotten into…

Speaking of Cazzwell… The kid is teething hard! He sprouted his first tooth at about 4 months and he just turned 6 months and already has four teeth with a fifth one breaking through! The bottom three came in rather easily – lots of drool and upset tummy, but otherwise nothing too crazy. These top ones though are just killing him. He’s always sucking on his bottom lip or his thumb or anything he can find really.

He’s also on the move! A lot! He spends a big majority of his day in his “walker” and just moves up a storm in that thing – bouncing and spinning all over the place. He’s up on his hands and knees rocking back and forth the moment you put him down and you can’t leave him alone for a second – he’s already fallen off the couch twice! He’s ridiculously quick and my reaction time isn’t…

I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so much about a growing baby before though. I can be in the deepest funk and he’ll do something just so adorable that I can’t help but grin from ear to ear. He’s got a bit of a cold right now to go along with the teething (or maybe as part of the teething), so it’s been lots of cuddles and loves these last few days. I honestly can’t complain!

Kenzie has been up and down and all over the place – isn’t he always?!? One day he’s the sweetest, bestest kid in the whole world and such a cutie and you could just eat him up! And other days, he yells, he screams, he cries, he overreacts to everything. You never know what kind of day it’s going to be with him and little things can set him off. For awhile there, he would get upset and then would stomp off to his room and fall asleep and wake up his normal self again. Now, he just keeps pushing his attitude into your face.

It’s not so much a shock when he pulls it out on me. This is the kid that used to tell me constantly that he hated me. But when he pulls it out on The Boyfriend or Mama T, I am absolutely shocked. Because that’s entirely new. The other day him and The Boyfriend literally got into a yelling match that ended in Mommy telling Kenzie to get up to his room until he learnt to respect his father. I can’t even remember what that was about but I know it was stupid and petty and ridiculous!

He’s at that point too, where he remembers all the stuff Kaeidyn was allowed to do at his age and he wants to do it too. It’s hard because he’s not exactly as mature as she was at this age. It’s been a series of tests to see what he is and isn’t old enough to do. Even Keirnan has been testing next stage/age privileges like sitting on the couch with food. Carter is hating it!

Keirnan has been surprisingly whiny lately and is easily brought to tears. He’s really very much becoming his own person and enjoys spending time doing the things that interest him and really has no desire to do much of anything that anyone else is doing. He’s been spending a lot of time with friends and that has turned him into quite the talkative kid. He talks a lot more now than he ever has before and it’s been such a huge change!

The most surprising thing about Keirnan right now though is the type of big brother he’s being to Cazzwell. He was the least interested kid during my pregnancy and during the first couple of weeks that Cazzwell was home. He didn’t really want to hold him too much and was never curious about ultrasounds or getting to hear the heartbeat or anything like that. But now, he’s all over that baby. Always playing with him, always sitting with him, always talking to him. It’s adorable to watch the two of them together sometimes – even if they do make a lot of noise together!

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks with the kids these last few. I feel like I’m getting to know them all all over again as they all transition into these upper kid ages. I’m learning a lot about them in a short period of time and it’s being an adjustment, to say the least.

Some days, I honestly don’t know how we get through it. But we do…

The Rantings - For Everyone

5 Things That Happened During My Hiatus

My hiatus officially began in the fall of 2016 and by Christmas, I had shut down my blog and turned its maintenance feature on. I went silent on social networks for awhile and allowed The Erotic Writers Group (which at the time had about 750 members and of which I am the sole moderator) to run itself. I explained the reasons why in the post Welcome Back… Finally!!!, so today I wanted to tell you about 5 relatively major life events that happened during my hiatus.

  1. Cazzwell’s Birth

    We had hoped it wouldn’t happen in September and he heard us and came on the last day of August. I woke up from contractions in the late afternoon. Kaeidyn insisted we wake The Boyfriend up and he insisted we go straight to the hospital the moment he saw my face.

    In what was called a “precipitous labor” (which Google has informed me means a labor that takes less than 3 hours from start to finish), we welcomed Cazzwell into the world. The first few weeks were an adjustment to say the least. He took awhile getting back up to his birth weight, so there were more doctors visits and home visits than we had been anticipating, which made things more stressful. The kids all wanted to be such big help but hadn’t had much experience with newborns, so lots of heart stopping moments. And, there was a new baby in our house for the first time seven years… So, there was that…

    In the last almost 6 months, he’s grown exceptionally fast. Sprouted his first tooth at 4 months, he sits up all by himself and now he’s figuring out crawling – already up on the hands and knees, kinda rocks himself and then falls forward onto his belly. You’d be amazed at how far across a room he can make it like that! Everywhere we go, all anyone can talk about is how quickly he’s growing up.

  2. I Turned 30

    The best thing about turning 30 was definitely The Boyfriend! After the kids broke my last laptop, he went out and got me a new one. Then, spent the day making me feel like his sexy older woman, because that’s a thing now until he turns 30 (very soon – muwhahaha!). The kids were all sweet before school, waking me up with Happy Birthdays but after school, they were their normal usual bratty selves.

    I had made a lot of plans for things that I wanted to have done in my life by the time I was 30. I wanted to be married – even telling The Boyfriend that if he hadn’t married me by the time I was 30, it wasn’t going to happen. I wanted to have a career and be on my way to owning a home and have my driver’s licence and know where my g-spot is…

    Alas, that was not what coming into 30 has been like, at all. I’m still only common-law and at this point probably always will be. I’m jobless in a rented townhouse being driven around by my much-more-amazing-than-I-deserve boyfriend and I still orgasm from clitoral stimulation only! I honestly thought I would be a lot more upset about it. And I was, on the 13th day of November, devastated. But then, when I woke up the next day, I was washed in gratitude and so far, that is what 30 has been for me. Everyday, I look at what life has given and is giving me and I am just so grateful!

  3. Got a Guitar

    I posted on Facebook that I missed having a guitar. I do it every time I’m without a guitar for any length of time. One of my maternal aunts, who I sadly never talk to anymore, commented asking when I’d be home. A day or two later, she brought over a guitar.

    It’s nothing crazy special and she’s not super amazing, but holding a guitar in my hands again feels really good! I’ve been doing terribly at playing her and am saddened when I think about how much time she spends put away. But it’s been a long time since I’ve played and so often times, it feels like I’m having to relearn everything I already know or like I just absolutely suck. And sometimes, I can have fun in that place where I’m sucking and just go with it and smile, but other times, it just makes me not want to play for a while.

    Plus, none of the people in my house seem to have any respect for a guitar session!! I can play through a lot of things, but lately, it has been exceptionally hard to play through my family.

    From The Boyfriend, who not only doesn’t listen to me play at all (which always bothers me a little bit) but also has to leave the volume up just enough on his games to be completely distracting, to the older children who decide that the moment I start playing is the moment to ask me questions and tell me every detail about whatever game it is they are playing (or in the case of Kaeidyn, which anime she’s watching…) to the baby who apparently isn’t very fond of guitar (or maybe it’s the guitar over top of all the other noises) because I have only had one session so far that wasn’t interrupted by a total tantrum.

  4. Almost Baby #6

    Sometime near the middle of January, we discovered that we were pregnant again. Definitely not what we had wanted or were expecting. I was literally shaking and sweating as I took the second test, because we didn’t trust the first one. We waited a week until we told his sister and mom and then we told the kids. Kaeidyn literally broke down in tears and told us we “can’t have anymore kids!” and only Carter seemed excited. We didn’t tell my mom until…

    Two weeks later, I had a day of some pretty intense cramps and some bleeding and about a week after that, I – as the doctors put it – “expelled the tissue”. I cried hard, really hard. Harder than I had expected to. Not because I was upset that I had lost the baby. That I was mostly relieved by because I don’t feel ready to have a Baby #6. I was upset because I had miscarried. Because I had had to feel it and experience it. Because I couldn’t maintain a life. Because, yet again, I had failed.

    Ultimately, I haven’t been all that affected by it. I spent a few days in a constantly-near-tears state and The Boyfriend was there every time to hold me tight and I came to terms with it relatively easily. Again, not expecting that. I was just saying to The Boyfriend today that I’m glad we weren’t trying, because we aren’t entirely devastated over it. I think if we were trying or even if it was like the other kids where we weren’t necessarily trying but we weren’t doing anything to prevent it, then I think we would have both been ruined by it – I know I would.

  5. #ReDesign2017

    I fell out of love with my blog. It happens more often than I’d like to admit. In the olden days, I would’ve just started a new blog. But I have a domain now, I pay for stuff, I have commitments. So, I undertook the epic challenge of redesigning ValerieRayne.com.

    Honestly, it took a heck of a lot longer than I wanted it to and it was a heck of a lot harder than I was anticipating! Right now though, I’m feeling like it was totally worth it. It inspired me to pick up projects that I had been neglecting, inspired me to start doing #ThrowbackThursdays on Facebook, and I have pages and pages of thoughts and ideas to continue inspiring me. I have fallen back in love with my blog.

    I’ve got lots of plans over the next little while. You’ll see the return of #FridayFavorites and #TumblrFavorites – both even better than they were before. New erotica will be coming your way, especially as The Erotic Writers Group heats up for 2017. I officially started working on The Brighton Tales again and maybe another book *wink*. Some of my biggest goals here this year center around The Sims, The List and The Gallery – all of which I’d like to see a lot more posts in! And as always, I invite you to leave me comments and let me know what you’d like to see more of and I’ll do my best!

The beginning of my life as a 30-year-old mom of five in 2017 (there’s 3 changes in a sentence!) has been filled with ups and downs and weird squiggly lines. It’s been filled with changes and tears and so much gratitude and love. And I’m just so excited glad to be back from my  hiatus. I’m looking forward to 2017 on ValerieRayne.com! Are you?

The Rantings - For Everyone

Welcome Back… Finally!!!

It has been half a year since I last blogged!

In my last post here, The Boyfriend and I weren’t having sex because I was at the very end of what felt like the longest pregnancy of my life. My posting had been sporadic for awhile and the process of carrying and birthing a child and adjusting to life with a new family member just took over entirely.

In August of 2016, we welcomed our fifth child into the world! Previously known as Baby #5, our fourth son, Cazzwell was born. Labor was short and painful and we were home within a day or so. He came exactly when we hoped he would even though we couldn’t have been less prepared – rushing around last minute to get a car seat and diapers and baby clothes.  We rushed so much that we entirely forgot to give him a middle name. He’s the only one of our kids without an amazing one!

The months that have followed his birth have truly been an awesome whirlwind. A bunch of the kids and I all had our birthdays one right after the other, I officially turned thirty, possibly the most boring and also sorta the greatest Christmas and New Year went by, my baby keeps growing up way too fast and finally, I shut down my website.

I fell out of love with everything about my blog. I hated the color, I hated the way things looked, I hated the disorganization that just naturally tends to occur whenever I blog for longer than a couple months. I expected that I would fall out of love with it all and I should’ve prepared for it, but of course, I didn’t. It resulted in a much longer hiatus than I had wanted!

However, those of you who may have seen my website prior to what I’ve dubbed #ReDesign2017, may have noticed that a lot of things have changed around here. There’s new categories (which you can learn more about here or by clicking on any of the categories in the menu at the top or bottom of the page), completely new types of posts and a lot of old ones updated to be better. The Archives have also undergone a major change to be a little bit more simple and again, better. And of course, the entire look and feel of the site has been overhauled.

I have a lot of big plans for the coming days and weeks ahead of us. Most importantly will be to add all new posts to all the new categories and continue the minor site improvements I’m making on the backend. I’ve never looked forward to returning to blogging as much as I did this time around and I’m absolutely excited for the future of ValerieRayne.com.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to get updates on new posts when I post them. And, if you like what you see and you’re excited for my return to blogging, let me know by liking this post and drop me a comment below! What are some posts that you’d like to see more of this year on ValerieRayne.com?