The Rantings - For Everyone

Beautiful Weekend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rantings - For Everyone

The Last Couple Days

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rantings - For Everyone

Still Strange

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.

The Rantings - For Everyone

The Last Week or So…

It’s been a very long and entirely unproductive week…

We had two Christmas dinners to go to this year, which were incredibly delicious. First night was a turkey night and the second night was a bacon-wrapped steak night. Both nights were amazing and hanging out with all the family was really great.

The big highlight of our week was The Boyfriend’s four days off. It went by way too fast and four days really felt like two, but I always love having him in bed with me. Although, for some reason, this whole week, every time I sleep I end up getting ridiculously hot and so our usual comfortable and cuddly sleep was more like tossing and turning and keeping each other awake.

Carter’s been so talkative since the older kids left. I’m finding the super constant talkativeness to be incredibly annoying this time around and have to keep reminding myself that he’s not trying to annoy me. He’s just sharing… Every single thing! I don’t think I’ve ever heard him talk as much as he has been lately and I probably wouldn’t find it so annoying if he talked about more than just two or three things. I can’t wait for the older kids to get back so that he has other ears to talk off.

I had all these big plans to get tons of cleaning done while the kids were gone and for the most part, I’ve failed miserably. We did have two solid days of really great cleaning and it was productive, but it wasn’t the degree of cleaning I was hoping to get done. We also got another new mop, this time with steam, to see if that will do our floors better or easier or something. We still have some time before the kids get back, so I imagine it’ll all get done, at some point.

I’ve been playing a lot of video games lately. The Boyfriend was all “try out Fallout 4” and I did and ended up falling in love with it. His second day off must’ve been especially boring, because I stole the game from him when he went to get coffees and didn’t let him back on all day! Then, I’ve been checking in on The Sims 4 stuff almost every other day, although I haven’t been playing The Rayne’s at all. Just random characters or attempting to build.

I’ve been having some knee pain lately, which hasn’t happened very often in the last few weeks. It’s been pretty insistent the last two weeks and I’ve spent a bunch of time complaining. Then, on and off (although more on over the last couple of days), I’ve been having a pain in my breast. I can’t really describe the pain in either of those places, except by saying that it sucks! Thank goodness I have the world’s greatest boyfriend, who will spend hours rubbing my knees and breasts, never once complaining about all my complaining 😉

Well, that’s basically all that’s happening around here. A whole lot of nothing. We’re planning on picking the kids up in about a week, which I’m excited about and then it’ll be back into the swing of school and all that other fun stuff.

The Rantings - For Everyone

Down Three Kids

Well, we dropped the three older kids off yesterday. The drive out to Leduc was nice and the highways were clear. The kids were all pretty tired, so they mostly dozed or sat quietly in the back. Even though we got lost in Leduc (mainly because The Boyfriend and I never trust my navigating instincts – mainly because I’ve proven I suck at it), it was a good time and the kids were all super excited to get to go to their Dad’s, or in Carter’s case, get rid of the kids.

The Boyfriend went to sleep once we got home because he had to work that night and my plan was to stay up with Carter. About an hour later, I was dozing off on the couch while Carter played games. He must’ve realized how tired I was because he sat down quietly next to me and let me nap for the next two hours and it was beautiful. Then we had my brother over and Carter had a great night hanging out with Uncle.

Today, The Boyfriend and I ended up sleeping basically the entire day away. Just couldn’t wake ourselves up for anything. Luckily, my brother stuck around and played with Carter and it was a generally great sleep. I feel a lot more rested now than I have in a while.

Honestly, I’ve been feeling all sorts of exhausted, all the time. It doesn’t help that I’m not eating properly, not getting out of the house enough, basically not taking very good care of myself AND that my sleep schedule has shifted from normal to graveyard. I’ve been finding it very hard to fall asleep any earlier than six in the morning, even when I head up to bed hours earlier. And while this is the most routine sleep schedule that I’ve been on in years, I can just feel it kicking my ass.

Once I’m awake, I just don’t want to do anything, at all. Motivating myself to do any of the things that I’m supposed to be doing is incredibly difficult right now. All I want to do is wrap myself up in warmth and veg. And I spend all of that time that I’m vegging, beating myself up for not doing all the things that I’m supposed to be doing. Of course, instead of just getting up off my ass and doing those things, I just sit there down-talking myself and my actions. It’s unproductive and adds to the exhausted feeling.

In other, less depressing news, we’ve got big plans to get the house cleaned while we’re down three kids. I’ve already decided that we’re taking a portion of our gift cards to get ourselves a device that will make our floors easier to clean. We’ve been using mops but we haven’t been able to find one that works good enough. So, I want to look for other options for getting these floors clean. I’m also hoping that we’ll finally take all the broken or unused pieces of furniture to the dump, because it’s been on my to-do list all year and it’s absolutely time. We can’t start replacing all the crap stuff until we get rid of it!

I’m not sure how long the kids are going to be gone at this point. I like to play it by ear instead of setting a specific date. Sometimes, I end up missing the kids a lot and want them back sooner. Sometimes, plans get made and it’s easier to have them stay longer. Sometimes, their Dad needs to send them home earlier or wants to keep them an extra couple days. Sometimes, the weather is bad. So, we play it by ear. I know it’s going to be at least a week and The Boyfriend has a couple of those days off, so we should be able to go all of my cleaning to-do list done and I’m quite excited about it.

But for today, he has one night off and for him, that means it’s a gaming night. I’m glad to have him distracted right now because for the last couple of nights, all he’s wanted to do is talk about is Star Wars. While I have great respect for Star Wars and would consider myself a fan, I’m nowhere near obsessed as he is and it is incredibly exhausting to “fake” interest. And I put “fake” in quotations because it’s not that I’m faking, it’s that I’m not nearly as interested as he is.

For example, I don’t care enough to watch every trailer before the release of the movie. I figure, I’ll see the movie when it comes out. I don’t care to pick apart those trailers to try to figure out the movie before it’s released. I figure, I’ll see the movie when it comes out and figure it out at that point (and all the times that I watch it after that first time…). However, that stuff is exciting for him and important to his experience. So, I pay attention to what he’s telling me so that I can ask him questions about those interests, “faking” this extreme interest, because it’s important for him to be able to share that experience with me. It’s one of my favorite parts of being me in a relationship, but I sure do love getting a break!

Now I just have to figure out what I’m going to do while he’s gaming it up 😉

Almost Christmas Break!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s the Stuck in a Rut Blues…

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

So, here goes it…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breakfast with Santa 2015

Breakfast with Santa 2015

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

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

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

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

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

https://plus.google.com/+ValerieRayne13/posts/1TwGFK1SK7f

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

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

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

Internet Detox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s Happening Again…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Making My Mind Race

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lately…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rantings - For Everyone

Weekend Full of Love

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

Kenzie’s an Emotional Bomb

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

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

Kaeidyn’s Talkative

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

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

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

Carter’s a Pain, But So Cute!

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

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

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

Keirnan’s Quiet

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

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

Finances Suck Right Now…

 

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

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

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

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

The Rantings - For Everyone

Lessons in Letting Go

I have been sleeping a lot lately. Too much. Being awake seems like such a boring burden. We’re only three days into the kids being back at school full-time and I’m already driving myself insane with daytime boredom.

Then, finances are just kicking our butt right now, as they do every year at this time. And we keep saying, “You’d think we’d learn…“, but apparently we didn’t and we don’t. We know exactly what we’re doing wrong and how we can fix it, but it’s never easy to take ideas and turn them into action – especially when the task at hand seems so large and daunting.

Eventually We’ll Quit

We talked about quitting smoking again, as we always do whenever finances get tight. It seems like the quickest way to save money. Normally it’s all talk, but this time we both flirted heavily with the idea. To the point where we went an entire 24 hours without a smoke, before I caved and begged for one.

After 13 years of smoking, giving it up seems like such a big deal. And I hate when my only motivation seems to be finances, even though I know that I have other motivations – none of them ever seem important enough to make me want to quit – except finances. And that never seems good enough for me.

It’s also a terrible time to decide to quit. Posts on my blog are clear evidence of the stress I’ve been feeling. Quitting the only thing that brings me any relief isn’t the way to lessen my stress. It’s not exactly the best time to make a life-altering change, especially after the steady influx of those recently.

The reality: it’s all a bunch of excuses so that I can continue smoking. And I kick myself in the butt every time, but eventually you just have to realize that you’re not ready and there’s always tomorrow! So, “tomorrow” it is.

Back-to-School Adjustments

In other news, back-to-school is going better than I thought it would and we’ve managed to form a semi-workable routine for the time being. The kids have been waking up and going to bed at the same time, we do all our reading and schoolwork before bed and they all have more than enough time in the morning to gather up anything they could possibly need. The boy have all been doing great walking to and from school and Kaeidyn’s gotten the hang of her bus. Now I just need to stop falling asleep while they’re at school…

Carter is not adjusting well to the full-days at all and is struggling with the whole concept of bedtime. Some nights we seem to have no problem getting him to go to sleep, but other nights, he’ll come down for hours and hours on end. He tends to get scared upstairs “by himself“, even though he’s surrounded by the other kids. He’s been having a lot of nightmares lately, which isn’t helping. And then the waking up early in the morning is being pretty difficult for him. He’s often still tired and wants to go back to sleep. Yesterday, he was so mad at me for waking him up, he got out of bed and stormed out of the room in his half-asleep state and slammed his head right into the door. He was so mad, he didn’t even cry or say “Ow!“, he just stomped his way downstairs.

Lessons in Letting Go

I was not very happy waking up this morning. Kaeidyn has had a “boyfriend” since last year. They broke up because he “cheated” on her, but then they made up sometime later. After a tumultuous summer apart, they have now picked up “dating” again in middle school. I knew all of this and then this morning, I got a message from her boyfriend on my phone asking when they were going to kiss. She’s signed into her account on my phone and so I get all sorts of notifications, and it’ll stay that way until she’s old enough to use all of this stuff independently.

Six in the morning, he tries to call her. I was already pissed about “when are we going to kiss“, I was even more pissed that I was being woken up almost an hour early for a phone call from her boyfriend. Needless to say, I didn’t answer it. When Kaeidyn woke up, she got a mini lecture about the messages I had read and the early morning call. She went to school and then The Boyfriend came home and I vented to him about the whole thing. Being the protective Daddy that he is, he immediately responded to the message, “You can kiss me when you talk to my two Dad’s“, to which the cocky little eleven year old boy responded, “But can’t we do it secretly?!?“. Jaws dropped…

I hope that the lecture that followed after school got through to her. I hope she heard me when I explained why she can’t do it “secretly“. I told her, “Straight up, I care far less about you kissing a boy than I do about you sneaking around behind my back!“. I struggled not to raise my voice as I explained, “You worked so hard to raise my trust up enough that you get to do a lot of things now that you never used to. You worked so hard, it would be a shame for you to lose that all now.“. I never once told her not to kiss him or that she shouldn’t do it, but I did tell her that if she’s not mature enough to talk about wanting to kiss a boy, maybe she’s not mature enough to be kissing a boy. If “secretly” is the only way either of them is comfortable doing it, then maybe they’re not ready to be doing it at all.

I can’t be with her every moment of every day and I can’t always have my eye on her. The most I can do is arm her with an arsenal of support and hand the safest ball possible to her. It’s in her court now and she’s gotta call the shots. It’s a lesson in letting go, that I wish I had a few more years before I had to experience. All I can do is try my best and thank goodness I have a great man to turn to and vent and be comforted in knowing that he carries some of the burden too.

Stress Level 11 and Happy Birthday Monkey

The Night Before Back-to-School

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

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

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

The First Day of School

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

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

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

The Second Day of School

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

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

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

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

The Weekend Finally – Happy Birthday Monkey!

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

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

The Rantings - For Everyone

Check In and Vent

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

Getting Back-To-School Ready

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

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

Boys Being Boys

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

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

The End…

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

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

The Rantings - For Everyone

Whirlwind of Stress

I cannot get over how stressed out I’ve been feeling, about everything. And I was doing relatively well ignoring it all, putting it off and not worrying about it all. I mean, it was there, but it wasn’t in my face. Then, I spent a day in absolute pain – probably my bodies way of shocking me into awareness of the stress.

A horrible pain nestled itself in my back. It started out dull and quickly turned to a constant nagging pain that would not let up. I tried a thousand positions across every piece of furniture in my house, I was rolling around on the floor trying to find somewhere that would feel good, I used every pain management trick I know to get through it. It was brutal and today, I woke up feeling it all through my stomach.

I didn’t realize exactly how stressed I was until I realized that we’re just a couple days over a week from the start of school, and I just can’t get over how much I am freaking out about it. Firstly, can I just say, I absolutely despise how every single freaking year, we go into August thinking that the back-to-school thing will be easy and we’ll have all our finances figured out for it and then somehow we get to the end of August and it all seems to unmanageable, all too big to deal with.

And you’d think after 6 years of doing it, and experiencing the exact same thing every single year, I’d finally get it through my head and prepare better for the stresses and burdens and of it. And yet somehow, nope… It just keeps happening!

It does not help at all that I have a daughter who is like a little mother. When I try not to worry about something, she’s likely to fill the gap and her stress and worry often makes me stress and worry a lot more than is necessary. And even though I raised her and she’s turned out great (and even though I point this out to her every single time she starts freaking out), she does not seem to trust me at all.

She always thinks I’m not going to ensure that everyone is enrolled, or that I’m not going to get them on a bedtime routine for school, or that I’m going to neglect something important. I don’t know how she got this idea into her head, I don’t know where it comes from, but she insists on picking up slack that I haven’t even slacked on yet.

She’s incredibly nervous for the start of middle school. I don’t know if that is the reason why, but she has been very clingy lately. She’s been coming in and waking me up when she gets up, she spends the whole day itching to sit next to me and even though she insists on everyone else going to bed at their “regular bedtimes”, she stays up half the night cuddling and talking about every little thought that pops into her head. I feel like she’s a toddler again, following me everywhere I go, plastered to my hip.

These next few weeks are just a complete whirlwind of things and I just wish I could sleep through it all. Back-to-school shopping, Alfie’s coming into town because apparently I can’t show my daughter how to take a city bus…, first day of school and then Keirnan’s birthday. A couple weeks later is Kaeidyn’s birthday, then a couple weeks after that is Carter’s birthday, Halloween, my birthday, and then Christmas… It’s a lot of stuff all happening in a short period of time. We haven’t even started yet and I already feel exhausted!

The Gallery - For Everyone

Late Afternoon at Gull Lake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Favorite Google+ Update

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

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

Circle Me on Google+


Favorite Pinterest Board

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

Follow Valerie’s board Nail Art on Pinterest.

Follow Me on Pinterest


Favorite Song

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

Follow Me on Spotify


Favorite Tumblr Find

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


View on Tumblr

Follow My Tumblr


Favorite Facebook Update

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

Like Me on Facebook


Favorite Tweet

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

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

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Favorite Instagram Photo

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

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Favorite Youtube Video

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

Subscribe to My Channel


Well, that’s my #FridayFavorites.

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

The Rantings - For Everyone

Unexpectedly Great

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

Great Change of Plans

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

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

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

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

Holidays Soon

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

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

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

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