The Rantings - For Everyone

I Know That It Won’t Last Long

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rantings - For Everyone

Birthdays & Back-To-School

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My baby also turns one tomorrow…

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

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

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

Is it bedtime yet?!?

The Rantings - For Everyone

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 Adults 18+

It’s Not That I Hate Lingerie…

In February, I tweeted:

The “wear more lingerie” line stuck out to me, because 2 years ago, The Boyfriend and I were going through a lull – as we do from time to time. In¬†Awkward Conversations, “he praddled off his ideas of how we could fix this problem ‚Äď including me buying lingerie, me being more forceful, me kicking him off of games earlier, me wearing a bra (so he has something to take off, not that he takes off any of the clothes I currently wear‚Ķ), me doing this and me doing that and me working my ass off to make him attracted to me.“.

And every time I read studies like this, I am just always shocked how the sexual health of a relationship is always put on the woman’s shoulders. Okay, and obviously not always, but more often than not!

I am a woman who doesn’t wear underwear. If you didn’t know that about me, now you do!

I grew up with very small breasts. Basically, I had nipples. I would wear bras, but the smallest sizes were still too big for me. I still wore them though because I had been absolutely convinced that if I didn’t, even my tiny breasts would sag. I had Kaeidyn and began wearing bras because I had jumped from under an A cup to a C cup and attempted to breastfeed and then stopped abruptly and the whole entirety of my social circle yelled at me that without a bra, my breasts would sag and look terrible.

Then, I had Kenzie. With Kaeidyn, I didn’t get to breastfeed even though I had desperately wanted it. I tried for a few days but my milk had become infected. Kenzie took to the breast with ease and I was able to go for a couple months with him. But then, he stopped getting anything nutritional from me and would spend hours sucking away and getting nothing. He was constantly starving and my chapped nipples couldn’t keep up. Two days into this and I became incredibly engorged.

The bra came off and never went back on!

Underwear is a sporadic thing for me. I always have a couple pairs on hand for period week and if I get a yeast infection or am wearing jeans, I won’t go without them. But, for the most part, I’m always without my underwear. I basically moved out of my Mom’s house and it became a thing to do every once and awhile and now, probably because of laziness more than anything, I hardly ever wear underwear.

And why can’t that be just as sexy as the girl who chooses to wear lace and crotchless panties?

I ranted on Facebook around the same time as the awkward conversation two years ago, “You know what’s annoying about lingerie…?

They do not show it on bodies of Mom’s, who have curves in all the “wrong” places – so everything that even hints at the showing off a baby belly immediately feels like it’s just “not for you”.

Then, they show these beautiful pristine models in these awkward poses that no way in hell the average woman is going to do – hell, even know to do.

And seriously, why do we all have to be barbie dolls for our men?!? He can wear boxers that cost him $5, I have to wear lingerie that costs me $50 and isn’t even flattering to who I am as a person….

I freaking love lingerie. I look at it all the time. I imagine myself wearing it regularly. I hope to one day make some of my own! I don’t, by any means, hate lingerie. But sometimes, I seriously hate that I’m SUPPOSED to love it. And that I’m SUPPOSED to wear it to keep my man interested in me!!!

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

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

Ready to Get Back to Work

I hate these huge gaps between posts lately. I hate that I keep promising myself to change that and then just end up sucking at it. I hate that I’ve become such a huge slacker and that I want so desperately to change it but my body and mind just can’t seem to get on board with it.

I had spent quite awhile freaking out about baby stuff. We finally went in for the ultrasound that I had talked about in my last post and it went really well. It was fun because The Boyfriend got to come in for the whole entire thing and we got to watch it from beginning to end – two things that have never happened before.

All our worries were greatly relieved when we were told that everything is looking great. Baby’s heart is looking fine and he’s right on track for his growth. Now we’ve just got to go for the Glucose Screening Test and then probably another ultrasound closer to the end of the pregnancy.

The kids have all been a serious handful and a half these last few days, maybe even going on a couple weeks. We’ve left Kaeidyn to babysit a couple times while we ran to get coffees or whatever and the power goes to her head and she becomes little miss bossy, in the worst kind of way. It irritates the boys to no end and then she has the hardest time coming out of the wannabe-mommy-mindframe.

Carter is by-far the one that hates it the most. And he has just not been able to get along with anyone for anything. He’s constantly getting on someone’s nerves. He’s been really klutzy lately and has been hurting himself on a regular basis. He will literally sit at the top of the stairs and fall down them on purpose. He doesn’t even cry, just gets up and does it again. I tend to raise my voice in his direction a heck of a lot more than I’d like to.

Kenzie has been an emotional wreck and is prone to burst out into tears the moment he doesn’t get exactly what he wants. Lately, that seems to be going over to other people’s houses – whether it’s my Mom’s or a friend of his – and the moment you say “no”, he’s bawling on the couch. Or one of the kids will start copying him and he just breaks down in tears. It’s been days of calming him constantly.

Even Keirnan has been more of a pain in the butt than normal. He’s been noisier and has gotten to that terrible stage where he’s prone to hit long before even considering to use his words. And he is seriously getting so terrible for his lying, all the time, about everything. Even things that don’t need a lie. I don’t get it and I don’t completely get how to stop it either. We’ve tried all the tricks I remember from the other kids and they just don’t seem to be working…

The Boyfriend has the next two days off and we’ve got plenty of plans. First and foremost is a lot of cleaning. We have been seriously neglectful and I’m officially done with that. Upstairs, downstairs, laundry and yard – it’s all gotta get done. Then we’ve got dinner at both our Mom’s places, which I’m looking forward to, because I’ve been desperately wanting to get out of the house and have a reason to do so. I also hope that I can find time to focus some attention on my online stuff. I keep saying that I’m going to and then end up not and I’m just so ready to get over that. I’m so ready to get some work done!

The Rantings - For Everyone

Week of Nervous Wreckage

Long time, no write! My apologies. 

It’s been a week, to say the least. Not necessarily a good week, not necessarily a bad week. It’s been a week that has been full of emotional ups and downs. It’s been a week that has me utterly exhausted and feeling pregnant in every inch of my body. It’s been a week that I am beyond ready to have over. And it’s definitely been a week that I haven’t wanted to write about (and I’m definitely not enjoying that.. the not wanting to write thing…).

We’ll start at the beginning, Monday. We had our second ultrasound to go to and we were all very excited. The older three kids were hoping to come along, but they ended up getting stuck out at their Dad’s for the day. Carter came with The Boyfriend and I. They waited out in the waiting room while I traveled back with the technician. It was a long ultrasound and after about forty-five minutes, she asked if we could do an internal ultrasound so that she could “check my cervix“. Another fifteen minutes passed and the official exam was over.

The technician helped me wipe up the cooled gel and told me I could go get The Boyfriend and she was just going to go talk to the doctor. It all started adding up in my head:¬†super long ultrasound + external & internal ultrasound + talking to the doctor = something’s not quite right.¬†I felt like a nervous wreck by the time I got to The Boyfriend and I grabbed his hand and whispered to him, “Something’s up…“. We went back into the room and I told him all the things I just told you and then we had to wait another fifteen minutes for the technician to get back, with no word about anything that had just happened.

Even though we had seen that our technician got beautiful pictures of our baby’s face, during the actual showing-to-us part of the exam, she seemed to be focused on the legs and the “cute” feet. Carter quickly lost interest in what was on the screen and The Boyfriend and I giggled and held hands tightly. She asked if we wanted to know the sex and we both enthusiastically said yes and we were told we’re having a boy – not exactly the news we were hoping for (especially the older three kids), but we’re happy nonetheless.

Baby #5 - It's a Boy - April 2016
Baby #5 – It’s a Boy – April 2016

We left and I¬†bitched to The Boyfriend about the whole thing and we went and picked up the kids and all was good. Two days later, I got a call from my doctor’s office saying that they wanted me to come in early to discuss the results of my ultrasound. The nurse says to me, “It’s important you don’t panic“. I hang up the phone after booking my appointment and immediately burst into tears thinking the absolute worst things possible. Those words, “It’s important you don’t panic“, had me panicking more as I worried “Is it important I don’t panic because it could cause harm to me or the baby or is important I don’t panic because there’s nothing to panic about?!?” and I had a good forty minutes of absolute nervous wreckage!

So then, I whip out all my pregnancy books that I’ve accumulated over the years and spend the rest of the night searching up anything dealing with ultrasounds and cervixes. Had myself almost entirely convinced that I probably had an incompetent cervix and why were my doctors dealing with it so stupidly. I was greatly relieved when we went to our appointment and found out that that was not the issue at all.

Most babies umbilical cords have 3 vessels. In approximately 1% of pregnancies there are only 2 vessels. We are the 1%. 

At this point, we are not worrying about these results. We’re waiting to hear from the perinatologist to book a more in-depth ultrasound that will tell us whether or not there is anything to worry about. In 75% of pregnancies with a 2-vessel cord, the baby is born normal and healthy and fine, and at this present moment, there is nothing to indicate that we wouldn’t be in that 75%. And if we’re not, we’ll deal with that when we know for sure! After a drive out to Calgary, an even longer ultrasound and then a wait until our next prenatal appointment…

The kids have been a handful and a half, especially during the weekend when they were home and full of energy on the cold and rainy days we had. None of them are getting along very well at all right now and it is driving the parents batty. Carter and Kaeidyn are always at each other’s throats and his favorite thing to say to her is “Enough!“, which seriously pisses her off. Really, I suppose, it’s Carter not getting along with anybody else and they all constantly want to have space from him and he just really doesn’t like that.

Today was Kenzie’s birthday and we also got a new-to-us couch. We’ve been saying for months now, maybe even years, that we needed to get rid of our junk furniture and get new stuff and today we made the first huge strides. Finally threw out my broken and ratty lamp and got The Boyfriend to get a new one. Finally moved two couches that were super wrecked out of the living room and moved the new couch in, which resulted in us having to push everything else in the living room over to the right by about a foot. We plan to actually take all the junk furniture to the dump tomorrow, but after all the work we did today, I seriously needed a rest.

And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing since the kids went to bed. My feet are up and I’ve been laying out for at least an hour now in hopes that the spasm in my hip will go away and the baby will stop pushing on me uncomfortably. The Boyfriend has been taking super good care of me so that I can relax after working so hard today and for that I am super grateful. It’s a good end to a full day!

The Rantings - For Everyone

Sick and Pregnant

I have been ridiculously sick for the last three or four days. Yesterday was the first day that I could breathe out my nose and I’ve never been more grateful for the ability! It came on swiftly and I had a whole two days of nothing but complaints, tons of tissues and so much mouth-breathing. Having a cold and also being pregnant made the whole experience that much worse.

I haven’t completely ended the morning sickness phase. While it’s not as constant as it was in the first trimester, certain things still make me super queasy. I still have to be especially careful how much coffee I drink, because one sip over baby’s limit sends me running for the toilet. Then, the soreness throughout my body is just incredible. I remember pregnancy hurting in every joint and muscle but it still tends to take me by surprise, as parts of my body that I typically don’t feel, suddenly scream out in pain.

We get to go for the next ultrasound in four days and everyone is incredibly excited. We’re all desperate to find out what we’re having and more than one calendar has been marked in anticipation of finally getting to see a real baby. Especially now that we’re starting to feel the baby move (just…). It’s all becoming very real and that’s an exciting stage to be getting to. It’s really interesting to be experiencing it with the kids, now that they’re all grown up.

Kaeidyn has been my little caretaker. She hounds me to take my prenatal vitamins and anytime I’m not feeling well, she’ll go above and beyond to try and make me feel better. It’s very cute how she lovingly puts her hand on my slowly expanding stomach and asks me, “How’s baby doing?”, before touching my forehead, as if to check my temperature. Keirnan has really taken no notice at all in the pregnancy or the baby and only shows any type of interest when a group of people are showing interest. The only thing that he has said and continues to say is that he hopes it’s a girl. Kenzie’s head is right at the height of my stomach and he’s been enjoying giving me huge hugs anytime I’m standing. He smushes his little face up to my stomach and squeezes tightly.

Carter spends a lot of his time being rough to my stomach and The Boyfriend and I almost always have a discussion about how he’s going to be so jealous when baby gets here. He’ll roughly poke and prod my stomach or squeeze my flesh in his clenched fists. He’s been climbing all over both the parents lately and will sit directly on top of the round of my stomach. While he’s excited and curious and interested – asking tons of questions and wanting to be involved – he generally gets unknowingly rough with my stomach. I think he’s going to have the hardest time out of all of the kids adjusting to a baby in the house – mainly, having to share his Mom and Dad with someone needier than him.

We went for a nice drive yesterday to take the kids out to Alfie’s. Have I ever told you how much I love that we can drive? We drop them off at the McDonald’s in Leduc, which is right across the highway from an airport. We sat in the parking lot long enough to see four planes go overhead and it absolutely made our day. Carter was invited to go with the kids for the first time ever but we said no, because none of the kids have been getting along well lately, and especially not Carter and the older ones. So, I decided that they needed a break from each other. Have I ever told you how much I love having that option?

The Boyfriend goes back to work after having the last two weeks off this weekend, which is a little sad. I’m looking forward to getting back into some sort of routine because having him home means that I spent a lot of time seriously slacking. Many nights passed where I didn’t do the dishes or make dinner or even move from my spot once. He’s managed to work this next week where he works a couple days and then gets a couple off and then works a couple and then a couple off – and it’s honestly so great to have that to transition back from holidays.

The rest of this weekend, the plan is for me to muster as much energy as possible to get some of the cleaning projects off of my to-do list. I really gotta buckle down and get these floors mopped and while The Boyfriend is home is the best time to do it. As long as the couple things are done by the time the older kids get back from their Dad’s on Sunday. It’s going to be a busy weekend ūüėČ

The Rantings - For Everyone

Beautiful Weekend

The weather has been beyond beautiful. So beautiful that you want to spend every single moment of the day outside. We went from being in the negatives to being double digits into the positive and it has made me one heck of a happy girl.

Yesterday, The Boyfriend came home from work and informed me that, unbeknownst to me, he had booked his holidays and they started right then and there. I thought we still had months to go, so it was a wonderful surprise. Then he decided that he wanted to go spend money that was burning a hole in his pocket, so he called and booked appointments for Kaeidyn and I to get our hair cut.

I had added this particular task to my to-do list many months ago. I hadn’t gotten my haircut in about 8 years and it was unhealthy and ridiculously long. Kaeidyn and I both picked pixie cuts but with a completely different style. It was so much fun to watch her go from long hair to short hair. I thought I was going to cry so hard, since I did the last time I got my haircut, but I dealt with it pretty well and was quite excited when it was finally done.¬†It’s the shortest I’ve had my hair since the last time I shaved my head.

We even went to a couple music shops around town and checked out the guitars and drums and violins and pianos and the kids were so well behaved during the entire outing – which was a good 5 or 6 hours long. When we got home, I was still wanting to be outside, so I took some of the kids to the park for a little bit. It was pretty windy out, so we didn’t stay long, but it was a good walk and everyone enjoyed it.

Today, the sun was shining bright early this morning. It made me immediately want to get up and move. We had also promised the boys that we would take them shopping today and had said that we had hoped to go to Rotary Park – probably our most favorite park in the whole city. Although it took us a little bit to get up and going, we did exactly that. First, we went and enjoyed the sunshine down at Rotary. Keirnan and Kenzie spent their whole time on the monkey bars and Kaeidyn spent almost all of hers on the swings, Carter was the only kid to really explore the park. Then, we walked up the big long staircase. It was hell on my knees and by the top, I was heaving for air.

Afterwards, we went to Wal-Mart and the kids all got little things – toys for the boys and CD’s for Kaeidyn. I was hoping to find a pair of pants or running shoes – since pregnancy has made me need both! – but they didn’t have a single thing I liked. I even looked for a dress or a skirt, but had absolutely no luck. Oh well, maybe next time…

Now I think the next couple of days will be solely dedicated to getting the house clean. The Boyfriend was amazing and got the kids to help him clean the living room this morning and Kaeidyn’s been doing a bunch of laundry, but the kitchen and our room is in desperate need of a good deep clean. And being that The Boyfriend’s on holidays, I see no problems in getting in done.

My last prenatal appointment went really well and everything’s looking normal and fine. We’re impatiently awaiting our next ultrasound in about 2 weeks and crossing our fingers that we’ll get a girl gender reveal. Then, it’s time for the dreaded Glucose Screening Test, which I’ve hated doing every single pregnancy – this time is no exception. The juice-y/pop/syrup stuff makes my head feel gross, and I hate gross-head. Looking forward to everything coming back normal on that.

One last thing, if you haven’t noticed, “The Erotica” category is now gone and has been replaced with “The Writing” category. I decided that I didn’t want to limit myself to only writing erotica – what if I ended up deciding to write something without sex or sexuality in it? – so the name was changed. You’ll still find my erotica there, but you’ll also find other stuff too.

The Rantings - For Everyone

The Last Couple Days

It’s been a good couple of days around here, even if it has felt overwhelming at times and even though I’ve been struggling with worry. The kids have all been a handful and a half, especially the boys who are not only getting on each other’s nerves but everyone else’s as well. Then, more visits to the doctor than I would like are keeping me awake at night, plus my body feels all tight and cranky, so I’m exhausted!

We went to our second prenatal appointment the other day. We were hoping to get some answers, like if I would be put on medication for high blood pressure, but instead the appointment just swung open the door to even more questions.

First, we brought all the kids in to hopefully listen to the baby’s heartbeat and the doctor tried and tried past the point of every one of the kids becoming bored and we just couldn’t get it. The Boyfriend felt uneasy about that, but that’s probably because we never had a problem getting Carter’s heartbeat – so it’s new to him. Then we discussed my blood tests, which showed that my red blood cells are large. So now we’re going for further blood tests to see if it’s a Vitamin B12 deficiency or liver disease or just pregnancy-related. And then we ended up ordering a 24-hour blood pressure monitor to get a definitive answer on that, and I pick that up in a day or two.

After about six years of not seeing a doctor to seeing one every other week… It doesn’t sit well with me! It makes me nervous and I just want it to be over and done with.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of days trying to catch up on some the online things that I’ve neglected for a long time. Tumblr kind of distracted me and I spent the majority of my time deleting, tagging and organizing my Tumblr. It’s looking pretty good and I can’t wait to hop on over there later tonight and get adding more. I’ve got a Top 5 Tumblrs to do AND the winter #TumblrFavorites is almost ready to go!

I’ve also been playing a ridiculous amount of The Sims 4. The Boyfriend tried for days on end to get me to play and I just couldn’t find the interest, even after I downloaded another Stuff Pack. Finally, after the kids bogarted it for a few days, I decided to go on. Created a new family, because I can’t seem to stick with one anymore. However, something happened and I ended up losing that because it didn’t save. So today, I spent a huge portion of the day on it.

I’ve been meaning to take screenshots or videos or something of my gameplay, but the last couple of days I’ve just really wanted to focus on playing. I feel like there’s still so much of that game that I haven’t even come close to experiencing yet. So, I’ve been taking my time to really explore and have been focusing a lot on Clubs lately. I even made my own Club for the first time today and managed to have about four gatherings, which allowed me to get quite a few Club Perks. I’m finding Clubs to be a very interesting addition to the overall gameplay.

And I’ve even gotten quite a bit of cleaning done over the last two or three days. I’ve been making The Boyfriend deal with laundry and interrupt his gaming the moment I realize the machine is done. The kids, even though they’re not listening and fighting, are being helpful when I ask them to. Today, they did an amazing job getting the living room clean as long as I could keep Carter distracted.

He has just been in a bug everyone type of mood. He wants to be best buds with Kenzie and Keirnan, but neither of them really have an interest in him or any of his interests right now. They’ve all been super-competitive lately, each trying to out-do the other. One boy will say that he was good at something and the other boys will insist that they’re better or that his good thing was simply a fluke. Carter, because he’s hating being the youngest right now, seems to be the worst and always has to have the last word.

Kenzie has been ridiculously loud lately and I can guarantee he’s not even noticing it. Today, we were all sitting in the living room and the boys were playing relatively quietly. Kenzie starts to get louder and louder and louder, when the parents turn and ask him to quiet down. This happens probably three or four times before he gets in trouble for being so loud after being asked so many times not to. Immediately he breaks down in tears because he had no idea that he was getting louder. It’s only really weird because he’ll notice when everyone else gets louder and asks them to quiet down but can’t notice himself at all.

Keirnan has been violent a lot lately and has gotten in trouble quite a few times over the last few days because he deals with every single issue with his fist. Then, when he gets caught in the act or after the fact, doesn’t matter, he’ll try to fib his way out of it. I don’t know if I’d call it an out-and-out lie because he’s been pretty afraid of getting in trouble for that again, but it’s like he’s trying to manipulate the narrative to better the chances of someone else getting in trouble – usually Carter. I tell ya, boys are hard!

Kaeidyn’s been Kaeidyn. She’s been sleeping in a lot later and we’ve even had a couple mornings where the parents were out of bed before her. That hasn’t happened in ages. She goes for her babysitting course soon and she’s incredibly excited about that and she’s spent the last little while trying to talk me into letting her throw a baby shower for me, so it’s been a lot of, “When I get babysitting license I can start saving money” and “When I get money, I’m going to buy you the cutest thing for your party” and “We could play this game and this game and eat this food and invite these people” and just on and on. I love that she’s so excited for a baby though!

Well, I think I’ve talked about everything there is to talk about. Good talk ūüėČ

Almost Christmas Break!

It’s the week before Christmas break and I am feeling absolutely tuckered out! It’s been a wonderful couple of days though, so at least the exhaustion is absolutely worth it.

Every year from the school, we get a nice little Christmas hamper. This year, the kids were at two different schools and we got two of them. So one day, we had to go pick one up and the next day, one got dropped off. Needless to say, my cupboards and freezer are totally stocked and the gifting burden will be a little less. It’s always great to get the extra help even if it does mean we end up with two or three turkeys… ūüėČ

The older kids will be going to their Dad’s again this year. I say almost every year that I’m not going to send them, because I want the holiday with them, but then I realize how much I could use the break. And we still celebrate our own Christmas together, so we’re not missing out on anything. I wouldn’t say that we have any “traditions” save for opening presents, but we always do something special.

This time around, we started letting kids open presents tonight and we plan to do one each night until they leave. They are beyond excited about this idea and tore into those first gifts with so much excitement.

Kaeidyn had gone to the store at her school and got everyone presents and she desperately wanted everyone to open one of her gifts. She got Kenzie and Keirnan a board/card game that kept them busy half the night and Carter got a giant drawing/cutting book that he was at first really unimpressed with (because he thought it was homework…), but then proceeded to spend the next two hours drawing in. The Boyfriend got two work shirts and my beautiful daughter got me a wicked ugly Christmas sweater and a CD filled with jazzy holiday songs.

I have the best 11-year-old daughter ever! Got me an #UglyChristmasSweater ūüėČ

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But probably the biggest present that she gave us parents was a report card with all A’s and B’s. We were a little concerned that the transition from elementary school to middle school might’ve been rough on her grades, but it turns out that she’s doing awesome! Kaeidyn always gives me so many reasons to be proud of her but today just topped the cake! I’m so lucky to have that kid ūüėČ

Tomorrow night, we go to the boys’ Christmas concert. After listening to them all practice, I’m pretty excited about it and it’ll be the first year that Kaeidyn is sitting in the audience with us and not standing up on stage performing. As far as we know, she¬†doesn’t even have a concert this year… I’m hoping it won’t be too crazy hectic because it usually is and that always makes me anxious. I can basically guarantee that I’m going to cry!

Friday is a short day of school. Saturday, the older kids have a birthday party to go to and Sunday, we’re driving them out to their Dad’s. And then, the plan is to get my house spotless while it’s just Carter at home.

It’s the Stuck in a Rut Blues…

I am stuck in a writing rut! I have written a ridiculous amount of content that will essentially be trashed because it is such a disorganized mess that I can barely remember what I was trying to do. I’ve been having a hard time writing what I want to write and instead tend to go off on these little tangents that lead nowhere and I basically keep saying the same things over and over again. And tonight, I am putting my foot down and forcing myself to complete at least one post and publish it!

So, here goes it…

The countdown to Christmas is officially on. One minute, I’m okay with it. The next minute, I am sighing and throwing my hands up because I feel so utterly overwhelmed by it. Alfie wants to take the kids again this year and even though I said last year and the year before and all the years before that that it wasn’t going to happen this year, I ended up saying yes. I thought I would feel worse about it but it’s actually bringing me a great deal of relief to think that we’ll only have to do Christmas with Carter.

Thank goodness for The Boyfriend too around this time, because he absolutely takes over the Christmas shopping. He gets such a kick out of shopping for toys and knows exactly what the kids are talking about when they say they want “this” and “that” thing. Really, I don’t know why I despise these holidays so much when basically everyone around me takes over everything that would typically be my responsibility. Luckily, I am aware of how incredibly blessed I am!

The kids are all doing really great and it’s weird that I don’t have more complaints about them. But they’ve been seriously amazing lately. Yeah sure, they’re still kids and I know that Kaeidyn’s gotten in trouble a few times over the last couple of days because of her attitude, but for the most part, it’s been awesome with them. Everyone has been super cuddly lately, they’ve all been helping a lot with the cleaning (even if they are making destructive messes everywhere everyday… They at least help clean it up!), and I’ve even gotten a couple nights this week off of making dinner because Kaeidyn and Kenzie have been enjoying making it!

Although, now that I read back over the last two paragraphs, I realize that I have been incredibly lazy this last little while. No real surprise there, especially being that it’s winter. And let’s not kid ourselves, I realize that I’m lazy every single day! But I’ve definitely noticed I’ve been more lazy lately. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I haven’t slept at night for weeks now. Both The Boyfriend and I have been on the graveyard shift – him because it’s his job, me because I tend to do whatever he does where sleep is concerned. So, he sleeps during the day, I end up sleeping during the day. He’s awake all night, I end up being awake all night.

As it is, it’s 4:30 in the morning and neither of us seems to be anywhere near ready for bed…

I’ve been kicking myself in the butt hard about this sleep schedule. As someone who has suffered with sleep problems for over a decade, I know what I’m supposed to be doing to combat them. Straight up though, I have never slept better than I have been sleeping lately – it’s just terrible when it comes to the hours that I’m awake. And not because I’m tired during those hours, it’s just that I’m incredibly lazy during those hours. Like, I simply do not have the energy or desire to do anything.

And it’s especially bad when I get on the computer. Normally, I get on here and within minutes, I’ve found something to do – what that something is is different every time, but I find something. Lately, I get on here and five hours later, I realize that I’ve done nothing but reload the page I’m on over and over again. Maybe I’ve clicked around and typed up a paragraph of rambles or played the level I’ve been stuck on for over a year on Candy Crush Saga a few times, but mostly, I’ve just stared at the page, reloading, stuck in this damnable rut!

Breakfast with Santa 2015

Breakfast with Santa 2015

Before the weekend, I got a call from Kaeidyn’s school. It sounded all official, so I sat up in bed concerned, only to learn that Kaeidyn had been given a bunch of tickets to go to the Festival of Trees and Breakfast with Santa. So, a few days later, we were heading out to do that.

The kids were all beyond excited. For Carter, he had never actually met Santa before – we’ve always been working and been super busy around this time of year and the whole visiting the mall to get pictures taken with Santa just hasn’t worked out. So, it was his first year and he was nervous and giddy and it was absolutely adorable.

The Breakfast with Santa was a lot of fun and the kids spent the whole thing talking all things Christmas. The Boyfriend was so happy to see bacon at the breakfast and I had a cup of tea for the first time in years and it was delicious!! And then, they turned the music on…

We all got up and danced around for a bit. I’m always sad that this doesn’t happen more often because it’s honestly some of the most fun we ever have as a family. The kids all like to compare moves and somehow the parents always really get into and while we all know we probably look like a bunch of dorks, none of us seems to care for a second. There are just not enough opportunities for family dancing!

Then, we waited in line for what seemed like forever to go take a picture with Santa. No one could stand still because they were all just so excited and the longer we stood, the less still they were. I was so relieved when we finally made it up to Santa, because the kids had just gotten to that point of reaching their anticipation limit Рwhere they go from restless to just misbehaved.

Carter was so hesitant to get up close to Santa. They had been given candy canes and Carter shyly offered one to Santa as the other kids tried to push him in closer to get picture ready. Everyone took their place around Santa and the kids, all like little professional models, turned to the camera with their greatest smiles and it was such a nice little moment for us. Especially The Boyfriend, who had never experienced the whole first-visit-with-Santa thing.

We went down to Mom’s immediately after the breakfast, which was way earlier than we normally go down for Sunday dinners, which means that I watched more football today that I ever have in my entire life! After filling up on breakfast, we were being served a great lunch/dinner and tons of appetizers and having a generally great time – save for a few little arguments here and there – which isn’t an abnormal occurrence when you get two pretty strong-minded Scorpios in a room ūüėČ

The day absolutely tuckered us all out though, completely. Kenzie fell asleep at Mom’s. Then, when we got home, both the parents ended up dozing off on the couch as Carter curled up in blankets on floor and fell asleep. Kaeidyn went to bed almost a whole hour earlier than her bedtime. The only one who didn’t seem massively exhausted from our adventures today was Keirnan.

Internet Detox

It took way longer than I would’ve liked, but finally (and I type that with a massive sigh of relief), we have internet again.

The last week and a half/two weeks of our life seriously dragged on endlessly. The first four days were the most brutal, especially for the kids who complained relentlessly about their boredom, even though the parents were working hard to entertain them. We bothered Grandma and overstayed our welcome on more than one occasion just so that we could get a few minutes break from the constancy of their complaining.

By day five, we had kinda started to relax about it, it wasn’t so overwhelming. The kids had finally realized that they were going to have to deal with their boredom and eventually the boys spent more and more time consumed in their lego sets and Kaeidyn picked up some yarn and started finger knitting again.

I don’t think we truly went a full two weeks without internet, because we were able to check in on it when we went places with WiFi, but it was still a serious shock to the system to not just have immediate access. One day, we’ll do it by choice instead of inconvenience. That way it feels more like cleansing rather than detoxing.

I think I was most surprised when, on the first day with internet back, the only thing that got used was YouTube on the TV. Nary a computer or online game nor a single tweet went out that day! And we watched fail videos with the kids, because we’re suckers for ’em.

Then, The Boyfriend had to go to work, but the kids were wide awake and ready to party. So, we fired up the karaoke which hasn’t been used in forever and a day. An hour later, all the boys were beat. Kenzie had had an upset stomach, Carter was feeling tuckered out from running all over the place all day and Keirnan had danced hard during his serenading. The former two went up to bed, the latter fell asleep on the couch and Kaeidyn and I spent the remainder of the night binging on Grey’s Anatomy.

The next day, everyone seemed to have never experienced the purge. It’s as if we never went a day without internet and everyone has fallen right back into the exact same constant connectedness. The Boyfriend got a video game that he’s been waiting awhile for, and so has been blissfully swept up in Star Wars: Battlefront and all the boys have followed his lead entirely. Kaeidyn’s been all too happy to veg on YouTube with my phone. I, on the other hand, have sat most of the time¬†staring blankly at my computer. Just kinda not sure where to start first.

These next few days will be all about reconnecting. Which only really sucks, because starting tomorrow, the whole week needs to be dedicated to cleaning. I have been making a mental to-do list of all the things I want to get done this week for awhile now and I’ve officially gone through every room with the most critical of eyes. And being that The Boyfriend is on a week of holidays, it’s the perfect time to teamwork and power through the lack of motivation I always seem to feel about cleaning.

In other news, my brother is moving back to Red Deer. He honestly doesn’t seem as crazy as everyone was making him sound – sounds like a lot of the problem was specifically with our Dad. Today he’s spent a huge chunk of the day at our house and I haven’t seen a single symptom – he’s been engaged, talkative (and not once only to himself) and according to him, he’s still taking his meds – so my worry with him is dramatically eased for the moment. It sounds like he’s coming back here with a plan in mind and like he’s ready to do what he needs to do, so now I get to be supportive sister, instead of worried sister. I like that more!

The boys over the last two days have given me a bunch of new gray hairs! They have just been a little out of control. I think that I understand why, especially being that they’re not spending as much time running around outside now that it’s started to get cold. They seem to spend the daytime being relatively decent but then dinnertime hits and they all get WAY out of control. Screaming, rough housing almost to the point of injury, constantly picking on and bugging each other, literally crawling and jumping over all the furniture…

I feel like it’s been many years that I’ve felt this level of irritation with them. I was having so much fun in the hardcore appreciation of my children mode and while I obviously still do, it’s not nearly as glaringly obvious as it was, even as little as a month or so ago. They feel like toddlers again, 2 or 3 year olds. Just incapable of listening, edging on disrespectful, always getting into crap, where you feel like pulling your hair out and locking yourself in the bathroom to cry is a normal daily occurrence.

I was preparing for Kaeidyn to be the next thing I would have to worry about. Puberty, menarche, resting bitch face (which she has already mastered!), door-slamming, suspensions, losing her virginity. That’s what I thought I was supposed to be preparing for. But apparently, I should’ve been preparing for my super prepubescent group of boys turning into terrible toddlers again – because I can tell you, I wasn’t prepared and it has hit me like a ton of bricks.

And you’d think, with me already having gone through the toddler years (four times!), that I’d have some idea of how to deal with them when they’re out of control – but in the moment, I literally have no idea. I’m quick to respond the way I don’t want to respond, I’m slow to come up with any type of disciplinary action and I’m even slower at implementing or enforcing that discipline (and The Boyfriend will tell you that I don’t at all).

However, we did find out something about Kenzie this week, during his emotional rollercoasting. He had mentioned to The Boyfriend a while ago that he would like to create a YouTube channel. So, on one of the days that he was being semi-rotten, I joked that if he kept being terrible he wouldn’t get a YouTube channel. The water works were immediate and streams of tears rolled down his cheeks. After he had collected himself and calmed down a little, he got up and started cleaning and tried really hard to be an angel the rest of the night (although the brothers made it hard…). So now, every time he’s getting out of hand, I give him “the look” and ask sternly, “You want a YouTube channel?” and he immediately takes me very seriously.

Of course, him wanting a YouTube channel spawned the idea into every kid’s head and we spent an entire night with pens and paper jotting down ideas for videos that each of them want to do. Kaeidyn’s got quite a few ideas and she’s been so cute setting up schedules and making logo designs. Kenzie has a general idea of what he’d like to do but it sounds like he’s not really sure where to go after that or what he’s really wanting to do. Keirnan and Carter have no ideas whatsoever, but they definitely want to be included in the whole thing – preferably as first player!

Add to all that, The Boyfriend’s gamer-related plans for himself, and I’m getting to share my blog-a-holic knowledge left and right. I’m actually learning that I know a lot more than I thought I did. So now, there’s all this knowledge and all these ideas floating around all over the place, and no one seems to be taking any real action towards everything – and is it terrible that I’m incredibly delighted by this?!?

I’ve never shared this itchy sweater with anyone, and I’m loving every minute of it!!

It’s Happening Again…

We had a really great Halloween this year, even though three of the kids were gone. Friday, we woke up and got Kaeidyn’s makeup all done for school. She had an epically hard time picking what she was going to be this year and finally narrowed it down to a scarecrow or a creepy doll. Ultimately, she ended up going with the creepy doll.¬†I had a lot of fun doing her makeup and was surprised at how much I didn’t suck.

Carter went as a cop, Kenzie went as a ketchup bottle and Keirnan went as a pig and a monkey mixed together for their school Halloween party. It was a super exciting day for them and when they got home, none of them were ready to get out of their costumes. Then, we took the long ride out to their Dad’s.

It rained most of the way there and by the time we left, it was super dark. I forgot how much I hate driving (even when I’m just the passenger) at night. My hands hurt from gripping the seat so hard, especially as we followed behind a semi-truck that kept swerving around on the windy highway. The best part of the drive though was when The Boyfriend and I saw a shooting star!

We found out some not-so-good news about The Boyfriend’s Mom the other night and so the mood around the house has been kind of depressing. It was made worse when I got a phonecall today informing me that my little brother is going crazy again. I knew it was coming because he started posting a lot of poetry to Facebook but I was really hoping that it wouldn’t happen.

I’ve written about my brother’s craziness before on my previous blogs. A few years back (quite a few now…), he had lived as a veritable nomad, bouncing around from town to town, province to province. During this time, he was experimenting heavily with drugs and who knows what else. He claims that one night he did a lot of Ketamine and had some pretty intense hallucinations and this was the beginning of the crazy journey.

Over the years, his “Psychosis – Unknown Origin”, has come and gone. He’s gone through really intense times where it’s so bad that he’s not even recognizable as my brother. He’s also been medicated and hated it, claims that it “kills” him. He’s also had times when he seems fine and functional and okay. After a couple years of relative okayness, he has suddenly dipped back into crazy – so much so that he got kicked out of my Dad’s, where he’s been living for quite awhile now.

It’s always a stressful time when we become officially aware of his symptoms. We know exactly what he needs to do when it’s like this and the biggest thing is to begin the process of getting help – because often, it can take awhile to find something good, something that fits right. However, when he’s in this beginning stage, there is absolutely no way to convince him that he needs help.

He doesn’t want to leave this time, as I’m sure it’s quite a fun time for him. He gets incredibly creative, soaks up knowledge better than usual and gets away with mind wandering and inappropriate behavior while everyone catches up to what’s going on. I get why he doesn’t want to come out of it. And that probably just makes the whole thing feel more burdensome to me.

Tomorrow, we are going to a head shaving party for The Boyfriend’s Mom. I’m hoping that, since we’ll be surrounded by family and it’s a night to be sad, that I can support him however he needs. I can tell that he’s struggling to figure out how he feels and I know he’s got a lot of questions that he can’t seem to ask. Right now, I’m letting him have his silence as he works through it on his own. And I know we’re both just constantly sending positive thoughts out into the universe.

I have a feeling, these next few months are going to be incredibly difficult on him and our family in general.

Making My Mind Race

I have been having a difficult time falling asleep these last couple of days. I seem to have a lot on my mind – and not particularly about anything – but the moment I decide I’m ready for bed, no matter how exhausted I am, my mind goes into hyper-active mode.

Last night, I’d have to keep stopping myself and relied on the number 30, which I would countdown from and then back up to, and this happened over and over again. I was in bed for a good hour and a half struggling with stopping my brain and all its thoughts and counting to keep the thoughts quiet. Have I ever told you how much I hate numbers and how much I hate that they seem to be the only thing that work?

One big thing that I know that I’m struggling with right now is all the kids. And it’s not my normal regular struggling, where I feel overwhelmed or bogged down by them. It’s precisely the opposite. They’re all getting so old, so independent, so wonderful and I’m constantly in this state of gratitude about the wonderfulness of my kids. However, it also makes me nervous and tense and I feel an emptiness, as if I’m losing a part of myself because of it. I spend a lot of my days almost regretting that I haven’t been a better Mom, that I didn’t get to do all the things I always wanted to do with them when they were young, that they don’t need me more or don’t want me more.

It doesn’t help when they’d all rather be with their Dads, respectively. At least once a day lately, I’m hearing from Carter how much he loves The Boyfriend more than he loves me. Sentences like, “I love Daddy 9, 959 more than you” or “I love you a block away from Daddy” – and while I know that he doesn’t mean them the way that they sound or that that’s not really what he’s trying to say, it always makes me feel like my job as his Mom is being completely diminished. Or, when given a choice between doing our traditional Halloween trick-or-treating or going to their Dad’s –¬†Kaeidyn, Kenzie and Keirnan all chose going to their Dad’s – even though Kaeidyn had planned to go with friends.

And I get it, because even though we knew our Dad wasn’t awesome in any way, when me and my siblings were kids, we would’ve picked Dad over Mom almost any day. Mostly because, no matter how awful it is, it feels like a holiday.

I’m trying not to let myself get hung up on all that negative energy and instead am trying really hard to focus on all the really great things that we’re getting to experience and navigate through together. I’m trying to ignore the fact that I’m sad about the passing of time and instead trying to be really logical about that process. I’m also trying not to ignore the feeling altogether, but to try (and trust me, it’s hard) and appreciate that I even get to experience that. It is making my mind race!

The Boyfriend and I have been having a tense week or so now. It started with his extreme excitement over Star Wars. First, it was the game beta, then it was the trailers and the news, now it’s everything Star Wars. I’m normally a really supportive girlfriend – I take on his interests, almost always. And I get a lot of pleasure from doing so. And I enjoyed doing it for Star Wars too, even though it’s awfully difficult because I really don’t remember enough about the movies to really follow anything that he’s saying.

But after a week or so of that, I was tuckered out from listening to him – to be really honest and frank. I felt like I had spent a lot of time quiet and listening, which isn’t terrible, it’s just so not me (unless I’m depressed). And just as I began to feel exhausted, the elections happened. We’ve had small elections since we’ve been dating, but we’ve never had an election for a Prime Minister before.

Days and days and days commenced of a lot of different things. Facebook went wild with all sorts of opinions and even though I only stood on the sidelines and watched it all go down, it completely drained me. Then, The Boyfriend had a lot of opinions about the elections, which I wasn’t expecting. Neither of us are really political people… Or at least, I had thought.

And suddenly, we were disagreeing about everything. Absolutely everything. I stated a theory about a trailer for a movie and even though he basically said the same thing as me, he disagreed with me through the entire thing. I stated an opinion about the Liberals and he disagreed vehemently. And this went on for days, even for things that didn’t matter at all, that there was no need for disagreement about. It was like he was trying to start a debate with me, without letting me debate.

The night that we heard the Liberals were winning out, I believe the night before the elections, a huge discussion goes on. He’s got lots to say and I really don’t, because I just don’t feel like I have any right to say it. Obviously, I have the right (like it’s my constitutional right), but because it doesn’t interest me and I’m not educated about it and I don’t keep myself informed about any of it, I just don’t feel like I have a right. So, we’re talking away and it’s a lively conversation that for the most part is light and fun.

I have no idea what I said that resulted in this, but he says first, “I don’t want to say it“, and I said, “No. Do!” and he said, “Well, you’re not really out there!” and I nodded even though my jaw was gaping. I can’t disagree with him there. He’s allowed me to live a pretty sheltered life the last few years. He’s worked hard to ensure that I don’t have to unless I really want to and I’ve adapted wonderfully to life as a stay-at-home mom. He doesn’t insist that I get out of the house if I don’t want to and he allows me to kind of lock myself up in here. I’m appreciative of it, even if sometimes it really drives me nuts that he just supports my inaction and that, even though I know he doesn’t mean it that way, he uses it against me.

He tends to think that I’m this naive, innocent little girl because I see the good in people instead of the bad, and because I think countries will send aid not war, and because I think that not all the guys in power are bad guys, and because I would like to think that not everyone in the world is trying to commit some atrocious crime against us. And when he sits there telling me that that’s not really how it is “out there“, it makes me never want to leave the comfort and protection of these four walls. And I hate him for making me feel like the tiniest person in the world.

Even though, I know, that this is not at all what he means and that to him, he absolutely loves these things about me and loves that he can continue to keep me protected – even though I know all of his wonderful intentions, I can’t help but feel slightly off about it in some way. Slightly resentful towards him in someway. And the fact that I have that negativity like that towards him in any way right now is making me feel incredibly guilty and ungrateful. And that is making my mind race!

It has been such a use-your-brain kind of couple of weeks. And that is making my sleep incredibly difficult. I’ve been having a hard time falling asleep, mostly because I can’t shut the constant stream of thoughts off, and I’ve been having a hard time waking up, because it feels like I haven’t rested at all. And although I feel mostly fine when I do get up, I’ve been pretty negative towards myself for the inability to just sleep normally. For being the type of person who sleeps better during the day and functions better at night, for the being the type of person who lays there wide awake for an hour before falling asleep, for being unable to shut my brain up. And that, is making my mind race!

Lately…

I have been utterly sick these last few days. It started with The Boyfriend and he quickly passed it on to me. The first day wasn’t so bad, but day two and three were rough and I’ve done absolutely nothing but sleep and pout.

I’ve had an incredibly tough week with the kids and I just feel bogged down by them lately. I’ve been working hard to keep up on their school stuff and we’ve been doing a great job, but somehow my timing has been off for everything this last little while and I’ve been unprepared on more than one morning for the school day ahead.

Kenzie’s also struggling a lot in school right now and he seems to be taking out on us. His attitude has been out of control the last few days and we’ve had a number of tantrums that resulted in early bedtimes. He’s not adjusting to the reading and the spelling and we knew that he was going to have issues, but we didn’t expect to have no idea how to deal with it once he realized he was struggling. On more than one occasion, we’ve thrown our hands up with no clue about how to proceed.

Carter has been a violent kid and seems to always be picking a fight with his brothers. He’s gotten into just suddenly walking over and punching them or kicking them. We haven’t exhausted the list of ways to deal with it, but we’re going through it and so far nothing is working. He wants to fight and Kenzie and Keirnan don’t. It’s a huge pain in the butt to deal with and I hate trying to figure it out.

Keirnan’s been doing great in school and seems to be the only kid right now who isn’t giving me a massive migraine. He’s been reading a lot and keeping himself busy doing quiet things like building with his legos or drawing. It’s been quite a shock how well he’s doing at school, because we never expected him to. We were always being prepared by everyone for him to not do so great because of his prematurity and previous speech impetiment, but it’s not holding him back at all.

Kaeidyn has been pretty awesome lately too. She’s been doing really good in all her classes, except gym – although she expected that she wasn’t going to do very good. Today, she came home from school with gifts that she had picked up from the school store and brought me home a new shirt and jacket, which she claims is my birthday present. I think really she just picked it out for her and then realized it was too big, but I’m not complaining and gave her great big hugs and kisses for spoiling me.

She’s had a hard time with letting the parents be parents recently and there’s been a lot of lecturing of her, on top of everyone else, about why she needs to let the parents deal with the kids who are misbehaving. She always wants to add her two cents to every situation and most of the time, she doesn’t get her point across very well at all. It’s been trying to say the least.

I’ve been feeling generally stressed right out this last little while. I mean, part of it is the fact that I’ve been sick, so therefore have been slacking on everything. Anytime I slack a lot, I start feeling stressed. But the other part of it, I’m not sure what’s going on. I’ve got no real reason to be stressed out, other than the usual, and yet I can’t seem to shake it. I spent a few days thinking maybe it was another bout of depression, it had started to feel that way, but the last two days seem to be less negative – so I’m just riding it out and seeing where I end up right now.

Well, that’s basically all I have to write at the moment. Just wanted to do a quick update. I plan on spending the next couple days cleaning, so it may be a bit before I write again. We’ll see ūüėČ