The Rantings - For Everyone

Pain

I have had some of the worst hip pain of my life over the last couple of weeks. Once it starts to sink in, my leg begins hurting and then my shoulders begin hurting. The pain spreads until I’m completely consumed by it.

I can handle a few days of pain. I can even handle weeks of pain if I get a couple days break in-between. But this constant everyday sort of pain. It wears on you and far more than just physically. It begins to take a toll on your mental well-being. When you wake up in pain, spend your day in pain and go to sleep in pain, it really begins to screw with your outlook on life in general.

So either because of the pain or because of the way the pain affects me or both, I have been sleeping a lot. Correction: I have been in bed a lot. The sleeping has been pretty difficult, especially with the pain, because I’m tossing and turning all night long trying to find a position that doesn’t hurt. I also can’t seem to sleep through any sounds, from the kids getting ready for school in the morning (which used to be my deepest part of sleep) to the cat opening Kaeidyn’s bedroom door with her paw (which is just a barely audible scratch and squeak). By the time the baby is ready to get out of bed, I’ve just finally found the comfy spot and it’s finally quiet in the house.

Luckily, I have been blessed with just about the best boyfriend ever, because he knows that I’m tired. He knows that I’m in pain. And so, he gets up with the baby and lets me get an extra hour of sleep without him in bed, so that I can sprawl out all over the place. However, the last couple of days, the baby has been in need of mom earlier, so I’ve been having to get out of bed, even if I’m dragging my feet all the way.

Don’t even get me started on the ways in which the pain makes me feel like a terrible Mom. More than once in the last week, I have had to apologize to the kids for literally forgetting things they just said to me, for not hearing large chunks of things they’re saying to me – not to mention all the meals I haven’t cooked or all the slack they’ve had to pick up on the cleaning front. Honestly guys, I am so lucky to be surrounded by so many understanding, compassionate and loving people.

I’ve dealt with pain so much in my life, especially ever since The Boyfriend and I started having kids together, that you’d think that I’d deal with it better. You’d think that it wouldn’t drag me down so much. You’d think that I’d have some strategies to deal with it – and strategies that actually work, not just a hot bath that gives me half an hour of uncomfortable relief, but something that actually helped. But the older I get, the worse equipped I am. Pain literally takes me out of the game now.

One of these days, I’ll get around to seeing my doctor about it. It’s been a problem for long enough now that I should probably see a doctor about it. Not that I think there will be any solution. When I was pregnant with Carter, I had severe joint pain – I’m talking really really bad. There were even days that I couldn’t type on the computer – and everyone knows how much that bothers me!!! Felt like I was constantly going for tests, had a handful of hand and knee x-rays done. They gave me topical cream that was supposed to help – it didn’t and just upset my stomach. I often find that pain is a problem that doctors really don’t know that much about – or at least, not in terms of effectively treating it… They try, but it’s often (in my experience) for naught.

I know it will get better, at some point, eventually. But waiting for it has been painful!!!

The Rantings - For Everyone

Master Procrastinator’s Funk

I feel like I’m finally beginning to come out of the funk I feel like I’ve been in for the better part of a month.

Don’t ask me where exactly it was coming from, don’t ask me what was causing it and definitely don’t ask me how I’m managing to come out of it, because I have answers for none of these questions.

It seems like it happens when a series of things feel like failures to me. I get sick after the baby gets sick. I anticipated it and yet, did nothing to prepare. So, for three days, I laid on the couch doing nothing but whining about my sickness – while the world continued to move on around me.

The world of five kids and a partner who is working so hard outside of the house and procrastinators all around, and the world where Mom is too miserable to do anything. So, the dishes pile up and the garbage overflows and the clean laundry ends up all over the floor and no one is eating properly and everyone is just plain moody.

And then I get over my sickness and I realize how disgusting the house is and how unhappy everyone is, and how now I gotta clean all this shit up. And we know I’ll never get to it, because I’m me and just because I play the role of “The Cleaner”, doesn’t mean I’m actually good at it. Master Procrastinator is actually my superhero name!

And the to-do list just becomes so overwhelming that I can’t help but be completely rundown by it. Just emotionally and mentally exhausted. It gets to the point where the only thing I can even bring myself to do is click on decks of cards in Solitaire, in an attempt to numb my brain of all the crap that is going up there…

I’ve heard some people say that being a parent, especially a Mother, is the hardest job in the world. However, I’d like to clarify that being a homemaker – in the most basic sense of the word – is the hardest job in the world.

Sure, raising kids is hard. But it’s incredibly intuitive. It all comes to you by instinct. Well, that and common-sense. Yes, it’s overwhelming and exhausting in its own right. Yes, you have to actively put effort and time into it. Yes, it’s not easy at all.

But take away all the homemaking aspects, and it becomes a lot easier. Take away the bills to pay, take away the rent. Take away school and schedules and making and preparing meals that are not only, to some degree nutritious, but that your kids will also eat. Take away housecleaning and laundry and dishes for days. Take away all these things, and the job becomes a heck of a lot less overwhelming, time-consuming, mentally and emotionally exhausting.

Add into it my own self-imposed deadlines for stuff that I’m supposed to be getting done online – stuff that I started, stuff that I want to work on, stuff that I want to finish – and yet, with those deadlines looming I just feel paralyzed every time I try to get anything done. I’ve written before about staring at the screen just mindlessly clicking through tabs, not able to focus on anything for longer than half a second. Just feeling bogged down by it.

Ugh, I’m going to get over it all. I swear. It seems like one day I’ve got a handle on all of it, and then the next day I just can’t do anything. I hate these times…

The Rantings - For Everyone

I Know That It Won’t Last Long

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rantings - For Everyone

Birthdays & Back-To-School

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My baby also turns one tomorrow…

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

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

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

Is it bedtime yet?!?

The Rantings - For Everyone

The Beginning of Teenagehood

I have been ridiculously tired. Like nap everyday tired…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rantings - For Everyone

And… Release…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eventually, we’ll figure this shit out…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rantings - For Everyone

Can’t Believe There’s Five Kids Now…

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

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

My daughter is officially becoming a teenager.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rantings - For Everyone

The Kaeidyn Drama

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.

The Rantings - For Everyone

Raising Dads

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.¬†

Internet Detox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!