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 😉

The Rantings - For Everyone

Weekend Full of Love

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

Kenzie’s an Emotional Bomb

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

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

Kaeidyn’s Talkative

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

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

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

Carter’s a Pain, But So Cute!

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

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

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

Keirnan’s Quiet

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

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

Finances Suck Right Now…

 

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

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

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

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

Stress Level 11 and Happy Birthday Monkey

The Night Before Back-to-School

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

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

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

The First Day of School

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

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

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

The Second Day of School

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

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

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

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

The Weekend Finally – Happy Birthday Monkey!

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

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

The Rantings - For Everyone

Check In and Vent

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

Getting Back-To-School Ready

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

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

Boys Being Boys

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

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

The End…

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

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

The Rantings - For Everyone

Stressed Out Mommy, But Not Tonight…

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

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

What We’ve Done…

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

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

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

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

Terrifying Stress

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

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

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

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

The End…

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

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

The Gallery - For Everyone

Late Afternoon at Gull Lake

Last night, The Boyfriend’s sister called and asked if we’d like to go to Gull Lake. It’s probably our favorite beach around here because the water is incredibly shallow, so the kids get to feel like they’re going deep because they’re so far away from the shoreline, when really, the water never goes above anyone’s chest.

The sun was shining bright, the water was nice and warm and we had a good two hours of beachtime. It was a wonderful late afternoon at Gull Lake.

I keep forgetting that I have a camera when I remember to bring my phone along, so I didn’t get nearly as many photos as I could (or should) have. However, I did manage to snap a few after the kids reminded me 😉

The ride home was loud since we brought our nephew home with us and everyone was beyond excited, but it was super relaxing. We realized today though that every plan we keep on making for the summer seems to not work out, but when we don’t plan anything, we manage to have really amazing days. YAY for spontaneity 😉

The sun on our drive home.
The sun on our drive home.
#FridayFavorites - For Everyone

#FridayFavorites: For the Week of July 31 – August 7

Ever wanted to be able to see what I’m up to all over the web without actually having to go all over the web? Well, now you can with #FridayFavorites. Join me every Friday to see my favorite finds and posts over the last week.


Favorite Google+ Update

After years of talking about it and planning my face off, I finally took the plunge and got myself an official website. And then I proceeded to celebrate everywhere!

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ValerieRayne13/posts/QjoEpbQQWUB

Circle Me on Google+


Favorite Pinterest Board

Without a doubt, my Nail Art Pinterest Board sees the most activity. Everyone I follow seems to have one of these, so the options are endless. One day, I even plan to do some of these!

Follow Valerie’s board Nail Art on Pinterest.

Follow Me on Pinterest


Favorite Song

A little while back, I watched “Whatever Happened, Miss Simone?” on Netflix and ever since, our whole house has been a little obsessed with the song “Ain’t Got No – I Got Life” by Nina Simone.

Follow Me on Spotify


Favorite Tumblr Find

Everything you find on my Tumblr will be absolutely NSFW and totally intended for adults only! But here’s my favorite PG-13 find from this week and be sure to check out my upcoming #TumblrFavorites post.


View on Tumblr

Follow My Tumblr


Favorite Facebook Update

Along with all the other “launching” I’ve done over the last week or so, I also re-did/updated my Facebook page. And shared a screenshot from my current game of #TheSims4.

Like Me on Facebook


Favorite Tweet

The older three kids spent a month at their Dad’s. The day we went to pick them up, we woke up early and we were all beyond excited. It had been just a few days too long!

https://twitter.com/ValerieRayne13/status/627494449677926404

Follow Me on Twitter


Favorite Instagram Photo

We stopped for ice cream when we went to pick up the kids and the boys played on this sheep statue. Carter’s face is all unhappy looking because the metal was hot.

Follow Me on Instagram


Favorite Youtube Video

I found Alaska Thunderfuck through Willam Belli and while I haven’t watched more than a couple videos, this one song (and the video for it) has been on my mind all week!

Subscribe to My Channel


Well, that’s my #FridayFavorites.

I encourage you to follow me wherever you are and if you have favorites that are different than mine, let me know what you loved in the comments below! And be sure to join me next Friday for another installment of #FridayFavorites – what will I find?

The Rantings - For Everyone

Unexpectedly Great

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

Great Change of Plans

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

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

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

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

Holidays Soon

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

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

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

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

The List - For Everyone

TO DO: Get Back-To-School Ready

This year is probably going to be one of the most stressful years of back-to-school that we’ve ever experienced. Even more than our first child going off to Kindergarten and even more than our last child graduating Kindergarten, this year marks some pretty major milestones and/or struggles for all the kids, and therefore, all the adults.

Kaeidyn goes from being an elementary school student to a middle school student, which means that she’s moving schools and will most likely be taking a city bus by herself for the first time in her life. Carter goes from half-days in Kindergarten to full days in Grade 1. Keirnan jumps from the grade where, as all the teachers say, “you’re learning to read“, to the grade where, “you’re reading to learn“. And Kenzie, who struggled with his reading quite a bit, goes into the next grade and we see how good or bad his reading ends up being.

There are so many things we need to do to get ready for this wonderful (and yet, totally terrifying) school year. Honestly, I’m not even sure where to start – so the following is listed in no order of importance, really, no order other than what my chaotic brain spits out.

Make Doctors Appointments

This has been on The List for so long and it still needs to be done, and especially as we go into this school year. All of us need to go in for physicals because we haven’t had one in over four years and not for lack of necessity, just for lack of motivation…

And not just general physicians. We all need to go see an optometrist as well and we already know that The Boyfriend is going to end up needing glasses. Finally, getting everyone in to see a dentist. Keirnan’s the only kid who has ever seen one and that’s something I seriously want to change.

We’ve already agreed that The Boyfriend has to set me up a spa day as a reward for making these calls.

Find Out About Middle School

They had an information night before school ended, but we weren’t able to go. Now I’m wishing I would’ve done more to ensure that I was there, because I feel like we are so ill prepared for Kaeidyn’s first day of school. She keeps talking about needing this and that, I have no idea where I’m supposed to put this and that. It’s all just a stressful ball of unknowingness.

Get School Supplies

We’re waiting for the lists to come out on this one and hopefully we won’t leave it to the last minute like we’ve done almost every year prior to this. It’s always amazing to us how hard this process can be and how much of a headache it causes everyone.

Along with the regular school supplies, every year we get the kids two new pairs of shoes (one for indoors and one for outdoors) and a first day of school outfit. This year, they are probably also likely to need new backpacks and at least one of them has grown out of their jackets from last year. Hopefully we’ll get the masses of laundry under control so that we’ll have a better idea of what’s needed in terms of clothing before school starts.

Adjust Sleeping Schedules

As soon as summer hit, all of our sleep habits became completely erratic. The older three left for the month to their Dad’s and followed his late evening work schedule, often staying up until he got home from work after midnight. The Boyfriend, Carter and I completely and easily adjusted to The Boyfriend’s graveyard sleeping schedule and are more likely to be sleeping during the day and waking during the night.

It’s especially important with Carter going into full days this year that we adjust our sleep schedules and in a better time frame than the night before school starts. We’re hoping to start making all the kids stick to their normal, regular, school-time bedtimes after this weekend and hopefully I won’t take long to follow in their footsteps.

Create a General Routine

Many of you know, it’s long been a goal of mine to create routines in my life and I generally tend to suck intensely at doing it. I’m not saying it has to be perfect or even good, but I’d like to have some sense of organization going into this school year.

Big important things include a regular laundry schedule, a regular homework and reading time (in which Mommy ensures their agendas get signed and any papers that I need to know about get seen – because it was such a big problem every year before this…), a set dinnertime and specific chores that the kids have to do to help us keep the house clean during the school year, because it always seems to go downhill then.

Clean, Clean, Clean!

Since we’re on the subject, I really would like to get the house clean as part of the back-to-school readiness. I’d like for the first day back at school, not a single one of us stressing out over any messes. I’d like all the laundry to be done, all the dishes to be put away, the floors to be mopped and the cobwebs to be vacuumed out of the corners of our basement.

I want my table set up and ready for the kids to use for homework, I want my bookshelf neatly organized with a space specifically for all the books they’ll be bringing home. I want to get rid of all the crappy, worn-out, raggedy furniture that we’ve currently got and replace it with less crappy, worn-out and raggedy furniture. I want all the stuff to have its place and be tidy.

In a Perfect World…

If we lived in a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to worry about any of this stuff because I would be homeschooling my kids year round. Alas, that will always remain the elusive dream.

In a less perfect, and yet still entirely perfect world, I wouldn’t have to deal with middle school because we’d live closer to where I grew up and there was no such thing as middle school.

And finally, in a perfect world, I would not leave so many things until a month before school starts…

The Rantings - For Everyone

It’s Me Again!!

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

Finally…

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

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

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

Introductory Stuff…

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

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

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

Until We Meet Again…

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