The Anxiety from the Idea of Camping

The Rantings - For Everyone

When I was a kid, I had a few camping experiences that turned me off of camping altogether.

There was an earwig in the tent the first time I ever slept in one. Someone told the kids they crawled into your ears. I hated tents. The first time I went camping, for real camping, was the first time I ever spent a huge chunk of time away from my parents – in another province across the country with a bunch of strangers, half of whom spoke French, a language that is still utterly foreign to me.

We had to canoe to the tiny island we were sleeping on. I had burnt my finger on a woodburner and was terribly miserable. Plus, I was in a cabin with a bunch of girls who basically hated my guts, so sleeping in the tent full of them, scared of the possibility of earwigs, sucked!!! Then, I had to pee desperately, but someone had said that there were Sasquatch on this island and I swore I saw one (chances are,  it was just another camper going pee…), so I stayed in my tent until the sun came up holding my pee in, crying, while everyone else slept soundly. I woke up the next morning to really bad sunburn on my nose…

My next and last camping experience really put the nail in the coffin.

I’d been at the same school for about three years (the longest I ever stayed at one school) and had been the butt of some pretty harsh bullying. I remember being called “bra-lady” because someone had seen my sports bra in gym class. I remember a lot of getting picked on because of how skinny I was – lots of “do you ever eat?” and “she must throw it all up afterwards” and “I can see your bones! It’s gross!“. And the girls were especially mean to me, not entirely sure why. So, the idea of spending 3 days on a mountaintop with these people was already unappealing.

We arrived and had to take a rickety carriage ride up the side of a steep mountain pulled by two huge and terrifying Clydesdales. They made me, and me alone, sit up front with the old man who laughed when I squeaked as the seat rattled beneath me. We had to walk the remainder of the way up this mountainside to get to the main camping area.

Wooden platforms covered in tarp is how we slept. There was a good six inches between the top of the platform and the bottom of the tarp and the mosquitoes were out of control. The water we drank was warm and the only food I ate the whole time we were there was bread, because the idea of beans totally grosses me out. The whole group that I bunked with were some of my worst bullies and picked on me for every reason they could possibly find.

We had two activities we were allowed to do during the day. Ride horses or go mountain biking. I desperately wanted to ride the horses – there weren’t enough of them, I was too afraid. So, I go mountain biking, but no one tells me that the brakes work differently on a mountain bike. I don’t remember how I fell, but I ended up wrapped up in the bike and one of the supervisors had to come and untangle me – in front of everyone!!!

I went home covered in bites and bruises – literally and metaphorically!!!

Ever since, I have basically said, I won’t camp. I don’t like camping. Camping is not for me.

However, The Boyfriend and his family absolutely love camping. They all have very fond memories of camping with very skilled campers. His Mom has been saying for years that she’s going to take us out camping – she knows how to do it right – she assures me that all these problems I’ve had in the past won’t exist when we go camping, because she’ll make sure I have a great time. She’s never been wrong!

Today, we’re up there visiting and the camping plan begins. Most years, it begins and everyone gets real excitement but then we all realize the burden of our lives and it just gets pushed back another year. But this year, it began, everyone got real excited and then, everyone realized how possible it was. For the first time, it’s possible.

And… Queue panic attack…

I have an issue with the vastness of space. The unknowns of the universe. 

The first time I looked at the moon through a telescope, I got dizzy and lightheaded and then I got scared – really scared. When I see northern lights, I panic about how fast they are moving and I can feel the earth rotate beneath me. When we went out to utter darkness to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower, I couldn’t get out of the van because I was frozen in the fear.

I don’t want to have another bad camping experience.

I don’t want to be sitting in the tent in the middle of the night, under the vastness of space, heart racing, palms sweating, unable to sleep, surrounded by people and yet being entirely alone! I don’t want to be pestering an exhausted camper to stay awake with me when the irrational anxiety hits after the fire has burnt out…

I want to do it. I want to go camping so bad and have this experience that everyone insists is possible!

But, the idea of it… The thought of it… Absolutely terrifies me…

Bower Ponds in May

The Gallery - For Everyone

It was the first really beautiful day of the year and we couldn’t wait to get outside.

One of our favorite places to go is down to Bower Ponds. There’s tons of places to walk along the river, not to mention the actual ponds plus two playgrounds to take the kids to. It’s always one of the first places we hit when the weather gets nice and is one of our most frequented summer locations.

This year, Kaeidyn had control of the camera and took a ton of pictures. She got some great pictures of the family and of course, I’m obsessed with the pictures she took of The Boyfriend and I. But today, I wanted to share some of the landscape shots she got. What do you think?

And… Release…

The Rantings - For Everyone

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.

Kaeidyn & I Do Karaoke

The Gallery - For Everyone

A few nights back, Kaeidyn decided she wanted to do karaoke.

We recently discovered Sing King Karaoke on YouTube and we’ve all been a little obsessed. After a couple songs, I started recording her. We’re nearing the end of the hour long session here, but she insisted, “Mom, you be the guy!” – and so…

I always love when she’s listening to music and singing. Even when she listens to her annoying music. I love that she’s musical. It’s the one area we can really connect. When she picks up the guitar, when she listens to music, when she sings karaoke, I love it so much!!!

Remember, if you like this video, subscribe to my channel for more!

Still Snowing

The Rantings - For Everyone

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!

Scatterbrained

The Rantings - For Everyone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spring Cleaning 2017

The Rantings - For Everyone

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…

Can’t Believe There’s Five Kids Now…

The Rantings - For Everyone

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…

5 Things That Happened During My Hiatus

The Rantings - For Everyone

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

  1. Cazzwell’s Birth

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

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

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

  2. I Turned 30

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

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

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

  3. Got a Guitar

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

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

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

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

  4. Almost Baby #6

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

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

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

  5. #ReDesign2017

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

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

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

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

Welcome Back… Finally!!!

The Rantings - For Everyone

It has been half a year since I last blogged!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where Did the Time Go?

The Rantings - For Everyone

I absolutely cannot believe that I haven’t written in over a month…! It does not feel like it’s been that long and it’s definitely not for lack of things to write about. June just whizzed by in a blur and while July has slowed down a lot, it feels like I haven’t had a moment for anything.

The summer started with dropping the older three kids off at their Dad’s. It’s been incredibly boring without them here and it’s probably the first time ever where they left and days later, I was missing them hard. It comes and goes in waves and sometimes, I’m relieved that they’re gone and sometimes, I just want my babies back. They’ve been there for about three or four weeks now and we’ve probably got another week until they come home. I cannot wait!

The Boyfriend also left shortly after they did, leaving Carter and I at home alone. He got an incredible opportunity to go train other managers up in the Northwest Territories. You have no idea how awesome it feels to say that my boyfriend had to go on a business trip. He wasn’t expecting me to be as supportive as I was and that made him very nervous about the trip. He spent two weeks up there and had a great time exploring this totally new-to-him place.

I knew I would start missing him pretty hard by about day three and I was totally right. The first couple of nights went by with ease and then that third day hit and it started dragging miserably to the point where it felt like it would never end. By day seven, we were both going pretty nuts and it became a bit of a battle to make it through the day without sadness over the absence. We’ve never spent that much time apart and I can’t imagine it happening very often in the future. It was such a relief the day we went to pick him up from the airport.

Carter and I had made a “Welcome Home, Daddy” sign and greeted him at his gate. I’ve never seen either of them look so happy as when they first saw each other. Unfortunately, he’s basically been working non-stop since he got back from the trip and only today has he finally gotten days off. We are both so excited about finally getting to spend some quality time together!

Have had a couple prenatal appointments over the last little while too and baby is doing really well. They sent me for another ultrasound – a biophysical profile to be exact. The last time I went for one of those, while I was pregnant with Kaeidyn, resulted in me being induced for labor the very next day – so I was a little nervous about it. All went well though and baby is looking great. Now we get to start doing prenatal appointments every week and we’ve only got about four weeks left!

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to get this pregnancy over with. My body has ached like this, and worse, before now – but never has it made me so entirely miserable. I can’t wait to get this baby out of my belly and into my arms. I’m nothing but excited about the idea of having my baby here!

In other news, my house has never been and stayed this clean ever. I’ve even been tackling the huge amount of laundry that had piled up and I’m actually enjoying doing it, because it’s staying organized and tidy! Cleaning up after two people is a million times easier than cleaning up after six! I wish it was always this easy because I’d never have a problem getting it done. I’ve got a few little projects to do before the older kids get home but otherwise, my house has looked great for a while now and it definitely feels really nice!!

Ready to Get Back to Work

The Rantings - For Everyone

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!

Week of Nervous Wreckage

The Rantings - For Everyone

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!

Sick and Pregnant

The Rantings - For Everyone

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 😉

The Kaeidyn Drama

The Rantings - For Everyone

Originally written around March 13th:

Parenting is the by far, the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And you’d think it would get easier as they got older, but the reality is that it just gets harder and harder. Since my last post, the Kaeidyn drama reached the boiling point today and we ended up going into the school and having a discussion with them.

As part of the school program, Kaeidyn’s able to use Google Hangouts. She enjoys it because she can keep in touch with her friends. And she knows that all the parents have access to her account and are regularly reading through her conversations. Last night, The Boyfriend checked in as usual and noticed some seriously disturbing messages.

One boy had sent her sexually explicit messages asking her to do a variety of sexual favors for him. No matter how often she said “No” or the number of ways in which she said it, the boy continued to ask her and push her – at one point even stating that he would force himself on her. One girl had sent her pictures of her cut arms and messages claiming that Kaeidyn was the cause of them. Immediately, The Boyfriend called me and we began hashing out a plan on how to deal with it.

We woke up early this morning and went down to the school to get it sorted out. We’ve had problems with the girl in the past and honestly, I’m incredibly concerned about her, so I wanted to bring that to the school’s attention right away. We met with the principal and it sounds like they will be talking to each of the kids we mentioned, including Kaeidyn. He will confer with Kaeidyn’s counselor and they will do what they can on their end.

The Boyfriend had been fuming prior to the meeting but was comforted by the meeting. I walked out more upset than I was before we had gone in. The feminist in me is angry at all men today and I don’t see it going away for a while.

All night and all morning, The Boyfriend kept saying things that just were a little off to me. After the boy pushes and pushes Kaeidyn, instead of saying “No“, she replied “Maybe” to the question “Would you have sex with me?“. This irritated The Boyfriend to no end and multiple times he said things that implied that Kaeidyn was inviting more advances. He kept saying that we should ground her off of Hangouts and essentially punish her for allowing herself to be violated, for not telling the parents immediately, for something. This is after the other night spending hours on the phone with Alfie basically listening to the same crap.

Then, we go into the principal and the language used, once again treats it like she’s instigating and she’s at fault. She’s “vulnerable” and “perky“, “attracts the boys” and “puts herself in the middle“. Again, no one is out and out saying, “It’s her fault!“, but almost implying that it is.

I remember being 11-years-old. You are sexual even when you’re not even aware that you are sexual. I remember one time sucking on a candy cane, like I did all the time. Except this particular year, a boy mentioned how sexy it was when I did that. I couldn’t understand how it was possibly sexy and relied on my Mom to tell me. Kaeidyn’s going through the exact same thing and the language used by all the men and even some of the women in our life, implies that she’s somehow at fault for how others’ see her.

It’s ridiculous how ingrained this thinking is in the mind’s of the people around me. It reminds me of when she was wearing short skirts and everyone immediately told her that she “would be raped” dressing in that way. And I feel like everyone is reacting to this negatively, except for me. And I can’t seem to convince anyone of how okay all of this is.

The reality is, that kid is growing up. And faster now than ever before. And in this time, we make the decision what kind of parents we’re going to be and what kind of relationship we’re going to have with her. And to be honest, it is a thousand times more important to me that she comes and talks to me when she’s ready to have sex than it is for me to not have her having sex. Of course, I don’t want my baby girl to have sex yet and I don’t want her out kissing boys and being surrounded by drama. But I know that I don’t control that, she does!

Added on March 26th:

After being talked to by the principal, the boy is no longer talking to Kaeidyn. He considers her to be a “snitch” and Kaeidyn has moved on and seems entirely un-phased by it. She has blocked the girl on Hangouts and has been attempting to steer clear of any drama.

The Dads have all seemed to simmer quite a bit and we haven’t had anymore discussions regarding it. Kaeidyn spent some time not using Hangouts, simply so all the parents could come back down to earth, and has only recently started up again – so far, so good.

Raising Dads

The Rantings - For Everyone

After six years, you forget how entirely painful pregnancy is. I haven’t had a single day in over a week where I haven’t woken up beyond grumpy because my whole body is sore. The Boyfriend asks almost immediately upon waking, “How was your sleep?” and today I literally snapped at him that he “wouldn’t want to know!“.

It’s weird to feel your body expanding so slowly and yet so quickly. My hips have been feeling it the most and I’m often complaining about it. I’ve had some serious breast and nipple pain that wakes me from a dead sleep and I have never been more itchy in my entire life! Even though I’m in bed for plenty of hours, I don’t feel like I’ve been sleeping well at all and it has made for an even more bitchy and lazy me than usual.

The boys have all had more energy than we know what to do with. The weather is changing swiftly and you can tell in the kids’ attitudes and behavior. They’re also all growing, so eating like they’re constantly starving. We literally feed them dinner and the moment they clear their plates, they’re begging for a snack. It’s hard to keep up with all of them and their constant movement and noise and wants and needs.

Kaeidyn has begun dating a new boy, which has stirred up a lot more drama than ever before. I’m not sure what’s different about this boyfriend specifically, but she has been dealing with drama from her friends over it and I have been dealing with drama from Alfie over it. He has become especially uncomfortable with the idea of her dating and after finding out about this new boyfriend, he kinda flipped his lid. I spent a few hours on the phone with him last night having the first “fight” that we’ve had in years! He called it a “fight“, I didn’t think it was.

I think that both The Boyfriend and Alfie have this idea in their head that because I’m a sex-positive parent and because I’ve never said that being a teen mom was the “worst thing that ever happened to me“, that I’m somehow going to support her having sex younger and getting pregnant younger. It’s the only thing that I can think of for why they both don’t seem to trust that I’ve got any handle on Kaeidyn dating.

And when we say that she’s dating, what we really mean is that she calls this boy her “boyfriend” and they text each other sappy love memes. The most she’s ever done outside of that is held hands on a dare at lunchtime.

Both the father’s in my life seem to think that they can actually “scare off” her boyfriends and that they can punish her for dating or showing interest in boys. Multiple times Alfie said to me that I should send her to live with him so she couldn’t date. I laugh so hard at both of these thought processes. Mainly because I was a girl who was sent to her Dad’s so that I would stop seeing one specific boy and all that did was drive us closer together. I mean, it’s a story as old as Romeo & Juliet

I keep trying to tell them that we can’t control what she’s doing and any attempt to do so will blow up in our face. I keep trying to tell them that the only thing that we can do is arm her with arsenal of tools to make the best possible decisions, all we can do is steer her in the right direction and hope she continues on that way. She’s going to make mistakes and that’s part of growing up. And yeah, none of us want to see our baby girl hurt and none of us want her to live the lives we’ve had to live, but we can’t put a chastity belt on her and lock her in the closet. We wouldn’t do it to our boys, we shouldn’t do it our girls.

I’ve discovered over the last little while that it is much harder to raise father’s than it is to raise children. It’s especially hard to raise father’s of daughters. 

The Last Couple Days

The Rantings - For Everyone

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 😉

Still Strange

The Rantings - For Everyone

Why is it that The Boyfriend’s babies always cause me so much joint pain? With the three older kids, during my pregnancies, sure I was beyond sick and in the hospital almost all the time because of gallbladder pain or kidney infections or premature labor. But never once did I experience any joint pain with them whatsoever.

Get pregnant with Carter and almost immediately start having severe knee pain. It lasts the whole pregnancy and then some and my doctor becomes concerned that I’ve got arthritis. Then, the pain subsides and I have no real issues for almost five years. Then, I get pregnant this time and the joint pain is back with a vengeance.

It’s been near impossible to get a comfortable sleep for a good three or four nights now. From my hands and wrists really bugging me to that damnable knee pain. It’s absolutely terrible and by far, my least favorite part of pregnancies with The Boyfriend’s babies!

I’ve been feeling very blah lately too. Last week, I would’ve told you I was excited and nervous for pregnancy and babies. This week, I’m feeling like it’s not real and like I’m not ready for it all. I’m hella excited for the baby, I’m not excited at all for the toddler or the 5-year-old. I’m dreading those toddler years something fierce.

I keep trying to remind myself that it will be easier this time around, because our situation is so different. It will be easier because it will only be one toddler instead of a handful of them. It will be easier because there’s so many more eyes able to watch a toddler. It will be easier because I’m not nearly as stressed out by things now as I was back then. I have to keep remembering that it will be easier this time. However, it doesn’t take away from the dread I am feeling towards those years.

I still just can’t get over the fact that four pregnancies, I knew I was pregnant long before I took any tests. This pregnancy, it still doesn’t feel entirely real even though we’ve now had multiple positive tests AND we’ve even seen the baby. And yet somehow, it still doesn’t feel real. When I wake up in the morning feeling nauseous and sore and terrible, I never think to myself, “Oh, it’s because I’m pregnant!”. And what the heck is that about?!?

It’s so strange being pregnant again after so long of not being pregnant. I say it at least once a day. Everything just feels so new and different.

Introducing Baby #5

The Rantings - For Everyone

I can’t believe that I haven’t written anything in such a long time. I kept meaning to and then everything kept getting in the way of it. First was a terrible start to the New Year with a lot of arguments and upset. I spent the first three days of January in tears. Then, I ended up being sick for a few weeks and my butt was being thoroughly kicked. Then, I found out some news that I wasn’t expecting and have only now started to end my total denial.

I kept asking, the whole three weeks that I was beyond sick, “Why is no one else getting sick?“. Usually colds or flus in our house go through each member of the family like clockwork. One person get sick and then the next one and then the next one, until it’s touched each and every one of us. But no one else was getting sick, just me. I was convinced that I was dying of some horrible disease and I was terrified of going to the doctor to find out that I was dying.

A friend of mine messaged me one night, concerned that I was still sick after so long. Together, we went hunting around the internet to find out what was wrong. At the time, my symptoms included severe breast pain and constant nausea. The only things we could find that fit my symptoms were either PMS or pregnancy. After a long conversation, I finally gave in and asked The Boyfriend to bring home a pregnancy test.

I honestly did not think that I was pregnant, at all. Over the last six years, we’ve had many “scares”. And every time, I get the pregnancy test and it comes back negative and the next day, my period starts. I just assumed that that would happen again. As the lines for positive popped up before I had even finished, I began to shake and sweat. It was not what I was expecting.

Telling The Boyfriend was fun. He was sleeping and I went up immediately and woke him up. He rolled over and smiled at me like he always does and I said, “So, you ready for baby #5?” and he took a few minutes to realize that we only had four kids, so obviously that must mean she’s pregnant. A huge smile spread across his face and stayed there for easily a week. He’s been entirely excited by the whole thing.

We told all our family that same day. His Mom and Sister were first, because we knew we’d get nothing but support from them. Then, we told my Mom and her reaction was exactly what I had expected it to be. I knew that his side of the family would be happy – for him, it’s only really his second child. My family, on the other hand, thinks I should’ve gotten my tubes tied years ago. Plus, my Mom always starts out disappointed and then quickly comes around to being my biggest supporter.

We went for our first prenatal appointment. My blood pressure was pretty high, so the doctor asked if I could check my blood pressure over the next two weeks and then come back in for another appointment. We were hoping it would give some clear answer as to whether or not I should be medicated for high blood pressure at this point, but it didn’t. So, now we’re ordering a 24-hour blood pressure monitor to get a more accurate picture of what’s going on.

We also got to go for our first ultrasound. It was such a fast experience but The Boyfriend and I were ecstatic to get to see the baby and it was even more exciting to come home and show the other kids, who are all incredibly excited about having a baby in the house. Everyone but Carter is hoping that it will be a girl, because we have enough boys!

This week, we go for blood tests and then next week is our second prenatal appointment. I keep saying that it feels like doing it all for the first time – even though I’ve been pregnant four times before this. It’s interesting to see how much has changed for pregnant people in the last six years. At first, the uncertainty of it all really terrified me, but now I’m embracing it a little more and feeling a bit more comfortable.

It’s going to be so strange to have a baby around after so long of not having babies around…