Thursday, October 29, 2009

Spooky Stuff

WooHoo, I'm making it two weeks in a row for MamaKat's writers workshop!

Here are this week's prompts:
1.) Show your spooky side.

2.) Show and Tell using your favorite Halloween home decor.

3.) Write a poem to your child as their Halloween character (for example I may write a poem to "Pongo"...the 101 Dalmatian Laina is going to be for Halloween)

4.) Post a vlog of yourself playing a Halloween prank on a family member or

5.) Describe a favorite Halloween costume or moment you wish you had on video.

I'm thinking this will be a combo of #1 and #5 ;) but it's pretty much just #5.

Who doesn't love Halloween as a child? It has always been one of my favorite holidays. Every year as soon as school started I would start thinking about what I was going to be for Halloween. No matter what it was that I finally decided on, my mother was there to whip it up for me. I don't think we ever bought Halloween costumes. My mother was so creative and talented when it came to Halloween costumes! For several years in a row I was some kind of martian. One year my mom covered a box in tin foil and made me a tin foil hat with antennae and painted my face green. The next year she sewed a couple of extra arms on a shirt and I was a 4-armed alien with a third eye painted in the middle of my forehead.
But my favorite costume idea of my moms, the one that had everyone laughing at/with us, and the one I wish someone had videotaped would be the one where we all dressed up in black garbage bags and wore goofy orange wigs ;) It was simple, but effective. Can you imagine seeing five children and their parents all dressed up like this? I don't know where my mom got the idea. Maybe it was a year where she had no ideas and at the last minute threw it together? Not her most creative, but it was hilarious! My brothers were in boy scouts/cub scouts and they had a Halloween party for the scout families... we all sat together and would do this crazy laughing in unison. My step-father and youngest brother had these wonderful hearty contagious laughs. Every time we would do the laughing bit, everyone would laugh. We ended up winning the costume contest :) I wish I at least had a picture of it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


? I have nothing. Or too much. I get overwhelmed entirely too easily and just give up. It's been one of those days. Again. I think everyday is one of those days.

I've been in the same pjs for probably 5 days now. I've lost count. Thank God we don't have neighbors or friends ;)

My 12 year old daughter asked me if she could stay the night with her girlfriend and 2 boys next weekend. Um. Not a chance in hell. Nice try though. Now I'm re-thinking her attendance at the school's Halloween dance.

We let Little Man stay up late and watch the new Transformers movie last night. He kept us up last night talking about how his butt doesn't have a gun. ?? Did I miss something? Did one of the transformers have a butt-gun? I don't know where he comes up with this stuff. He was still talking about it this morning. But Mom, my butt doesn't have a gun. Not sure whether he considers that a good or bad thing. Sorry kid, your butt will hopefully never have a gun. Now I'm re-thinking letting him watch anything.

And now my 5 minutes of relative peace and quiet has been spent...back to the chaos...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

When Movies Really Strike a Cord...

I just watched "Marley and Me" for the first time the other night. I know, it's been out forever. And I really avoided it for several reasons: rumor of a sad ending, the whole feel-good holiday popular movie bit, I don't really care too much for Jennifer Aniston (gasp! but she always seems to be the same character), and I didn't think it would be all that good so I wanted to wait for it to go down in price (there are no movie rental places around here)...

Anyway, my husband caught it on cable this week while he was in a motel out of town. He said that it was really good, he might have actually cried - but it may have been the fact that his eyes were watering because he was sick (or so that's what he told him roomie)... But he also said that the couple really reminded him of us and our relationship and situation. His rundown of it was that the couple got married, got a dog, then she wanted a baby, they ended up with 3 and she had postpartum depression and got all mad when the husband mentioned it.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg. There were so many things in the movie that reminded me of us. And of our life. I really wanted to point out how clean their house was until she had the kids ;)

But, yeah, tons of similarities aside from the ones he mentioned: the colic, the fighting, ppd, the chaos and exhaustion, the whole issue of parenting and being a stay at home mom w/no breaks...(I swear we've had the same fights!). It was almost like someone took my life and made it into a movie! I don't think I've ever identified so much with a movie. It had a certain amount of raw realism that a lot of movies gloss over. I would be willing to bet that a lot of stay at home moms with more than one child identified with the movie.

The issue of miscarriage in the movie was pretty unexpected and hit a spot in my heart. Not that I thought I was over it or anything, but it seems that when you least expect it, something will bring it out and unwind all those memories and feelings that you try to keep tied up. I am fairly certain it's something that I will never get over. I doubt anyone does.

We did have a dog somewhat similar to Marley. But we ended up taking her to a farm. She was a wonderful and beautiful Border Collie. She was awesome with the two older girls (tweenie and step-tweenie - when they were 6 and 7). She really kept track of them (when she wasn't eating the floor!) and would check on them all the time and did a lot of things really similar to Marley. Unfortunately when Little Man was maybe 5 or 6 mos old, she barked at him and almost bit him. So we found her a great home with a family that bred and trained Border Collies. And now we have a stinky wiener dog with attitude and an insane, but fairly well behaved black lab.

I was also quite impressed with Jennifer Aniston in this movie, she did a really great job and wasn't her usual same old Rachel from Friends character ;)

Something important that I came away from this movie with was having to do with the relationship... I realized that I am probably never nice to my husband. While the couple fought quite a bit, they always ended up being sweet with each other in the next scene, or the wife would be all nice and forgiving and back into the partnership. They always made up and came out stronger, more of a team. I complain a lot about my husband and his lack of engaging in our "partnership," but I am equally, if not more, at fault. I'm almost certain that my indifferent behavior (due to exhaustion at this point!) and lack of time for really engaging with him continues to keep a wall up between us and inhibits our ability to become more of a team. In that way the movie was quite the eye-opener. I'm so rarely sweet or forgiving or even nice to my husband these days. By the time he gets home every day I am so completely drained. And then within an hour or less of him getting home is when the colic clock strikes... I really need to make some efforts to rebuild our relationship. Or at least get it started in the right direction. It's just really hard to spend any energy there, when I barely have the energy I need for the kids. But honestly, the tone of our interactions permeates the house. If we were more together the rest of the house would surely sense it.

A little deep for what I thought was going to be some fluff movie ;)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Flying By the Seat of my Pants

It's been a while since I have done Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop... I've been checking her prompts every week, but then not having the energy to write anything that would fit. This week #4 really struck me. I've been thinking about "How Motherhood Has Changed [Me]" since I became a mother.

I'd be lying if I didn't say it has changed me to the very core of my being.

I don't know what most women expect going into motherhood, but I'm guessing most believe what I did about becoming a mother: my life will continue exactly as it is now, but there will be the addition of a baby. I'll do the same things, be the same person, except I'll be changing a few diapers. And I'll have this wonderful bundle of joy and sunshine that I will carry around with me while I do all the stuff I normally do, and everyone will comment on how adorable and well behaved she is and pinch her cheeks. And I will be so overwhelmed with joy once my dream of motherhood has been fulfilled.

I started my journey towards motherhood with small steps. I first became a step-mother every other weekend and on holidays. Minimal changes. Pretty much led the same life I did without children, so hello motherhood, this isn't so bad. And I had a child for all the important and festive holidays. It was perfect.

Our next step was adoption. We adopted our 6 year old niece. I was so completely thrilled. I could jump right in and be that PTA super involved Mom. She was at that age where we could do all sorts of fun things together like crafts, baking cookies and playing games. We started out spending time with her while she was in foster care. We would have her every other weekend and on holidays. As soon as we finished with all the classes and preliminary paperwork we got to have her move in until the adoption was finalized. By that time I was about 6mos pregnant with our first baby. It was also the end of the school year, so I wasn't able to get as involved as I would have liked.

Having my first baby hit me like a ton of bricks. He ended up having colic, so basically he spent hours upon hours a day having screaming fits. I spent pretty much his first 8mos of life holding him and trying to keep him from screaming his head off all the time. We couldn't go anywhere, if we did he would scream the entire time we were in the car and wherever it was we were going.

It was then that I really understood the full scope of motherhood. Once you become a mother, you are a mother 24/7. It's so much more than a job. You don't get any breaks, and there is no quitting time. You are on the job all day and all night. I had never imagined myself a stay-at-home mother, but circumstances led to that being the only logical choice. I was, and still am happy with that choice. I wouldn't have it any other way. Motherhood is an enormous responsibility, and I wouldn't trust anyone else with the care of my precious children.

I never imagined how much of myself and what I did to be me I would choose to put aside when I became a mother. I didn't expect that motherhood would change me all that much.

But now I look at myself, my life and the mother I have become, and realize that I have pretty much completely lost touch with the person I used to be. At the moment I'm not sure whether it is a good thing or a bad thing. I am leaning towards the good, and trying to see the positive changes in myself that have occurred.

I used to be somewhat irresponsible and a little self-absorbed (internally speaking that is). Motherhood forces you to become a responsible person, or at least it should. It is no longer just your life that concerns you, there are the lives of your children that are of the utmost importance. And you really can't be too self-absorbed. You can't get hung up on yourself when you have to spend most of your time caring for others. So in that way motherhood has forced me to become a better person.

I am realizing now what a large and involved topic this is, and how little time I have to really do it justice... especially since at the moment, while I am trying really hard to use what little brain I have left to compose something articulate and worthwhile, I have a 4 year old who just will not leave me alone and has been nonstop talking and demanding the entire time I've been sitting here drafting... and a colicky infant who decided that now would be the best time to start a full blown screaming fit.

So I will continue on this topic in some future posts...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Wisdom of a 4 Year Old

I'm just amazed at what comes out of Little Man's mouth these days! I know where he gets most of it, but he clearly has an absolute understanding of what he's talking about.

For example, after lunch he tells me that I'm not to talk to him ever again. I started laughing. Oh you should have seen the way he looked at me! He was so serious! Then he told me that I'm not supposed to be laughing because he's not joking.

A little while later he said, "The star is purple (he's coloring) but you can't talk to me right now. I'm never talking to you again. And you can't laugh at that anymore."

A little while ago he was talking loudly and nonstop. I told him to quit talking because I was trying to put his baby brother to sleep. He replied "Just do what you have to do mom!" LOL!!!!

His latest kick is when he says something to Dad and I answer him, he will tell me "but I was talking to Dad." Or he'll say "But I wasn't talking to you." This happens about 20 times a day because he's always talking and I'm always just automatically responding out of habit ;) And when I keep doing it when he's talking to someone else, he will tell me that I'm driving him insane! ;) I have no idea where he's heard that one before!

And it really amazes me how damn specific 4 year olds can be! My God. This morning he would not eat his banana because he said it was full of yellow stuff and he does not like the yellow stuff. He usually eats bananas... We've been battling for weeks because Wal-Mart changed their store brand colors. His crunchy granola bars now come in a white package instead of a green one. He wouldn't eat them because they weren't in the green package.

So many times a day now I catch myself looking at him and thinking about how fast he is growing up. How quickly he is catching on to the world. How perceptive he is, and how well he is understanding things. It's all been in the blink of an eye. He seems to be growing leaps and bounds by the day. It's really hitting me these days that he's not my little baby anymore. And he really reinforces that when he insists on doing absolutely everything by himself!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Getting My Craft On!!

So while hubby has been out of town, I have been busy crafting! Once I get the kids in bed at night that is... I've been staying up so horribly late!!! But I am so digging it!! I haven't been in bed by 1am since he left!

I actually broke out the sewing machine! Last night I made this really simple Fleece Gnome Hat. It's not the greatest picture, but it's darn cute!

My favorite is this adorable crocheted pumpkin hat!! Is that the cutest hat ever?? ;)

I started off by altering a girly booty pattern that I'm in love with, but wanted to make some less girly booties for my boy! The pattern is for mary janes, so I just had to fill in the stitches where the hole is and then added a couple of rounds in the cuff... I don't know what inspired me, but I was going to make them in red for a Christmasy set... but my orange yarn jumped out at me and I thought..hmmm...little pumpkiny booties! I was just going to leave them plain orange, but then I just happened to have this perfect green sitting out that I had made some other things with... and I thought I would add some edging to make it look leafy or viney... And after I finished the first bootie I thought I must have a hat to match!! So there you have it!

It's a wrap! I finally got around to making that baby wrap! And I LOVE IT!! I was (and still am) in love with the pouch sling, which is awesome for the cradle hold and to get him to sleep, but if he's wanting to sit up I have to hold on to him with one hand... but the wrap? Pretty much hands free!! I found the instructions here. Super easy!! Except I did it the hard way... unable to find jersey in the limited craft supply store here, I resorted to cutting and sewing a jersey sheet. Jersey is really awful to work with - at least the jersey this sheet was made of.
I was really set on doing more crafty stuff tonight - like make the 2nd bootie ;) But we had a long and exhausting day! I loaded up all the kids and road tripped it to a halfway bigger city about an hour away. Sadly because they have a bigger Wal-Mart that still has their fabric/craft department (the one we usually go to [30 mins away] got rid of that dept!)... so I got some more material to make some more slings with. I'm completely addicted! ;) Actually I wanted to make one for my niece who had a baby a few weeks ago... and maybe one for my mom's friend who just adopted a toddler and just had her 1st baby.

Anyway, we ended up gone all day! From about 11:30am until 7:30pm! All that staying up all hours of the night is catching up with me! ;)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Post Where I Don't Whine About Anything!!

I know, a miracle isn't it. Is it even possible? Seriously, don't blink or you might miss it ;)

My husband is going to be going out of town on business soon. I feel so evil being overjoyed at his being gone. Well, maybe not quite "overjoyed" as much as relieved. It's awful I know ;) With my hands as full as they are these days you think I would be saying the opposite (bordering on a whine here), but sometimes it doesn't make much of a difference whether he's here or not. Things just aren't quite as tense when he's gone. (Although I do think he's been making small efforts here and there to help out and do things with the kids).

Anyway, here's why I get a little party attitude going on:
  • I can sleep with as many lights on as I want! I must admit, I'm a little afraid of the dark, but he can't sleep with any lights on. We compromise by leaving a night light in the bathroom.
  • I can stay up as late as I want without having to worry about waking him up when I come to bed! I've always been a night owl. And he's one of those that has to go to bed just after the news. It's one of our biggest clashes. As much as I can't stay awake - I hate going to bed early! I feel my most productive time is when the house is completely quiet and full of sleeping people.
  • I can do whatever I want when the kids go to bed! I always have plans of doing dishes and laundry late at night when he's gone, but then I never follow through... always end up wasting a bunch of time doing nothing but stalking my facebook friends on the computer. Or playing those stinking addictive games on facebook.
  • I can fall asleep watching television!
  • I can watch a bunch of girly movies with Tweenie ;)
  • I can make whatever I want for dinner! He's kind of picky - kind of a meat and potatoes kind of guy. He hates it whenever I make anything fru-fru ;) I'm totally getting some Feta cheese and pita bread - oh and hummus! Mmmm. I love to make feta salads in pita bread. And I love pita and hummus. Sure I could buy these things for myself for lunch, but it just seems extravagant. And to be honest, I just now googled whether you can eat Feta while you are nursing. And yay that restriction is lifted ;) I just assumed that whatever you can't eat while pregnant you can't eat while nursing. I kept forgetting to ask my doctor after I had my first son, and I've pretty much been pregnant or nursing since then... and it's always been one of those questions I mean to ask after having the baby... I can't believe I haven't had Feta in 5 years! Moving on...
  • I can turn the heat up to something a little more civilized! And pretend like I have no idea why we went through so much propane that month...
  • I can drink martinis naked. Oh, wait, sorry - that was Dharma & Greg. If I wasn't nursing, I might actually make a few margaritas! Or a whole blender full just for me!
I always make all these lofty plans to get a million things done after the kids go to bed, but then I just so enjoy sitting around in the quiet that I don't want to disturb it by actually doing anything ;) I'm pretty boring and lame, so I just go to bed with the TV and lights on and fall asleep way too early!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

At a Loss

I feel awful. Today has been another one of those days. I think it's been about 4 or 5 in a row again! That's Lazy Baby for ya. 4 or 5 awful days in a row then one or two decent ones, then back to the 4 or 5 day crying jag. And the evenings are still just as bad. He'll have a decent one here and there where he'll only cry for 30-45mins and then settle, but still has to be held all evening. If I put him down he's right back to square one.

Days like today I just give up. What else can I do? Days like today, go ahead Little Man, take 4 cookies instead of eating your lunch that's been sitting there untouched for 2 hours! Just eat the cookies and quit pestering me.

I know why he keeps pestering me and I feel terrible. He acts up when the baby is having a fussy day. Every time. I can't give him any attention because the whole day is spent trying to calm Lazy Baby. Even with the baby sling these days are very challenging. There are a lot of things I still can't do with him in the sling. Like dishes and laundry. Now it's been about 5 days since any of it has been done.

This is the first break I've caught all day, and it's almost 3pm. And instead of cleaning a pan for dinner I'm sitting here completely frazzled and distressed and blogging. Well, I did manage to get a load in the wash first. And I will probably go clean a pan in the middle of this post while I still have a chance...

I just don't know what to do. I know this whole colic thing will end. I know that time is fleeting. My two toddlers will only be toddlers for so long. And I hate that I am not able to give them each as much attention as I should. I try to comfort myself by telling myself that it's just a few months... then I'll be able to dedicate more time to the other two. And in the evenings more time with Tweenie. But in the here and now it really sucks and I feel helpless and overwhelmed and guilty for not being able to be more available to Little Man and Baby Girl.

The other day I noticed that when Lazy Baby is at the height of a screaming fit, Little Man runs around like a maniac throwing things and flinging himself around like he's completely lost his mind! At first I thought it was funny. Then I realized how sad it was. And I felt even more awful! And I've been watching him these past few days and every single time he acts up in similar ways.

Anyway, days like this I really wish I had someone I could call to come over. Several times today I was at the end of my rope. I just had to give up and quit yelling at the two toddlers and just let them do whatever they were doing because I just couldn't deal with it. Baby Girl keeps climbing the gate and getting the baby wipes and wiping everything in the living room. She also keeps messing around at the window. And the worst thing is that now she's climbing the toy cube shelf! She's quick and quiet and sneaky! Today when she got up there she turned the heat all the way up (unfortunately the thermostat is within reach). A half an hour later I was sweating my butt off and thought I'd better check - sure enough! Last time she had turned it all the way down!

And I did let Little Man sit at the lunch table for 2 hours today. That was how long it took me to eat my lunch! The only saving grace today was that Baby Girl went down for her nap right after her lunch without any hassle. Thank God!! Because I really would have lost it.

I just don't know how some mothers keep their sanity, because I'm walking a really fine line these days.
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