Monday, November 30, 2009


I lose my keys all the time. It's pathetic really. Every time we leave the house there is a massive search for my missing keys before we can actually go anywhere. This morning was no exception. My son couldn't find his gym shoes, so he ended up missing the bus and needing a ride. So, when it came time to leave, we looked everywhere. Emptied the toy boxes, checked all my pant pockets, looked in the cupboards, sifted the litter box, and so on.

Finally, it came to me. I had tucked the keys in my bra last night before bed when I took them away from my daughter. This is not the first time, no, this is the second time I have lost my keys in my bra. The first time my kids were late to school. I had to walk them in to get a tardy slip. When the woman working in the office asked the reason for our tardy, my oldest refused to be deterred, although I was stepping on his toes and clearing my throat like a mad woman, my son offered up the truth. With a dirty look in my direction he said, "we are late today because our mother put her keys, in her bra, and forgot they were there." She just scribbled 'unexcused' on the paper, and I went on my merry way with a very red face. It doesn't appear that I've learned much from that experience, does it?

The person who comes up with some kind of lojack chip that can be placed in a key fob and then tracked online, will make a fortune.

And for the people assuming that Imust just have put my keys down on my bra, while it was sitting on my dresser, you are wrong. I was wearing it...both times, and no, I wasn't even the slightest bit uncomfortable.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Living large, back in charge

Well, Hubby is gone. I'll miss him terribly. However, first I need to celebrate our return to our regularly scheduled programming! The thing about having lived alone (albeit with many children) for the last year and then some, is that, I've grown to like it. I'm selfish by nature. When it is just me and the kids, I don't have to share the remote, or watch stupid movies instead of football, hear my husband bitch about my beer being too strong, or "sleep on the edge of the bed, for no stinkin' man..." *Someone other than me knows those are song lyrics, right? Please name the title and artist in the comment section. Please?*

Right this moment, I am snarfing down pita chips with a spicy dip that my husband hates, drinking an IPA which my husband swears tastes like vodka, and playing on my netbook while watching the Jags suck ass. Heaven, just heaven. Speaking of football, I'm bummed because Dallas played on Thanksgiving (of course we won) and so there is little on right now for me to get stoked about...and I missed the Dallas game in favor of figure skating, so now I'm sure you understand why the remote is happy to have been returned her rightful place, at my side.

By this next next week, I'll be missing my other, better, half. Right now though, I'm going to hang ten on my wave of loneliness.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dumping my brain, to try to make it, make sense

My husband met and got engaged to his ex-wife while she (he would find out later) was still married to her second husband. My husband adopted his own son when he married his ex in 1988. They had another son, then she met her fourth husband. She was pregnant when they separated, my husband gave up parental rights to his third child (maybe, it isn't known definitively) and her third child was adopted by husband number four. She went on to have a fourth child with her fourth husband. My husband had custody of his oldest child in 1991/1992 when his ex-wife left. Eventually, she wanted Shan back, so in 1992/1993, my husband gave her custody.

He stayed in close contact with his ex, her new husband, and the children as well as could be expected with them living in California and my husband residing in Florida. In 1994, another military transfer landed the ex and husband number four back in Florida. We also met in 1994.

From 1994 to 2001, we had the children very liberally. They (including my step children's half siblings) spent every weekend and lots of in between time with us. In 2001, they decided that they didn't have time for us any more. They had stopped wanting to visit and their mother was loathe to enforce visitation, so my husband chose to let them be. It is suspected that her fear of them wanting to live permanently with us, which would have stopped her child support payments, caused her to go to extreme measures to keep the children away from us.

In 2007, my oldest step son showed up on our doorstep. He was 20. He had two children and was being sued for support. He did not then, nor does he now have anything to do with his kids. We took him in. He lived with us for a year. That time was awful for our family. My husband's job had slowed down and the there was no overtime to be had. We struggled to buy groceries and clothes for the kids, but, somehow we stretched our means and made room for Shan. While he was with us, he went once a month to drill (Army reserves) and drilled for two weeks in Summer. Most of his pay went directly to child support. The rest he bought games with. He contributed NOTHING during his stay with us. He received a large sign on bonus in 2008 and he returned to his mother's house. He stayed there until recently when the money ran out.

My younger step son joined the Navy. He was away for the majority of the period of time that Shan was with us in '07. In June, Shad was discharged from the Navy. He returned to live with his mother after leaving the service.

In September, the boys' mother put her foot down. She is going through divorce number four, and has no room in her budget for adult children who don't contribute. The boys spent time bouncing between friends' homes until they had exhausted their welcome. Then Shad reconciled with his mother and returned to her home for five weeks while Shan stayed with us.

The problems started when Shad showed up on my doorstep. The situation around our house deteriorated very quickly until I threw both of them out. The boys then went to stay with my husband's brother, and then his sister. On Thanksgiving, my husband called his family to let them know (the condensed version) of what had happened and encouraged them to close their doors to the boys, as they had stolen from us, were violent, and unpredictable.

When the boys found out that they were no longer welcome with my husband's family, they returned to our house making yet more threats and trying to kick down the door. I physically blocked the door to prevent my husband from going after the boys. The neighbors scared them off. Their father procured restraining orders against them yesterday. I am hoping that they will stay away.

I shared the lengthy and complicated family history because I wanted to shed some light on why the boys might be as messed up as they are. It is not to say that their mother didn't do a good job raising them, it was more to explain that their formative years were very unstable. In hindsight, maybe we should have forced the boys to spend the time with us, maybe it would have made a difference. Maybe not.

Their problems at the moment are centered around the fact that they want me gone. They want my husband to believe that I have made mistakes similar to their own mother, and that I am unworthy to be his wife. No, I'm not speculating, they actually said this. They believe that if they can just get rid of me and my children, their dad will give them the house to stay in and that he'll support them, while they try to grow up. Again, their words, not mine.

If only they were mature enough to see that what they want will never come to pass. My husband came to this country as a young man. He has supported himself since then, doing anything from washing dishes, to serving, to finally engineering. He put himself through college, and then through graduate school. My husband doesn't believe in free rides. We are at an impasse. I hope that the boys move on. Maybe go to their mother's family in Virginia, or better yet Morocco. I just want to be able to move forward from here.

The damage that they have done is extensive. They have cast aspersions on my character with my husband's family, who already believes me to be the Great White Satan, so this was certainly not a welcome happening. They have hurt me and my children in ways that I can barely begin to describe. I have loved those kids for many years now, most of their lives, really. It is very hard to come to terms with them not reciprocating the love that I had for them, but worse still, outright hating me.

Then there are my children, who worshipped their oldest brother. The same brother that has made threats against their lives and stolen from them. How do we mend this hole in their hearts? How can I help them come to terms with something that I, as an adult, am struggling with?

My husband's heart is broken. He is absolutely crushed. It is said that time heals all wounds...I'm not so sure that is true.

Friday, November 27, 2009


The facts:
Step children came by the house on Thanksgiving. They tried to kick in my door. Door frame splintered.

The threats:
Kill my husband. Kill me. Kill my children.

The results:
Two restraining orders. A new door and frame. A ruined holiday.

The aftermath:
Feel like crap, can't think, can't write, can't focus. Fear.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Children are blessings, but, I don't always feel blessed

When I make any type of negative reference to motherhood, my mother responds with, "you wanted it, you got it, Toyota." She usually follows this up with a crude Italian hand gesture. So, my question to all of Bloggy World is, do we have to cheerfully embrace all aspects of parenthood when we become mothers and fathers?

I think that is possible to be a good parent who still feels frustration at the stress and work that parenthood is. I would never change my decision to have children. Nor my decision to have many children. There are however, about a million things that I would like to change about our family life. So, is that okay? Is it socially acceptable to, "love your job, but, hate the hours?" I think it is.

Some, like my mother, challenge that it isn't okay to express discontent. I think it is fine, healthy, normal even. I am pretty sure that the human race would be in trouble, if the only people who became parents, were those who could love every minute of the 18 years plus that were to follow.

So, in a nutshell you have one of the main reasons I blog. And because that is one of the main reasons I blog...let's talk about my three year old.

Yesterday I had grand plans. A clean house, a surging BAC, and a full night of sleep. Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!! At five o'clock yesterday evening, everything changed. My three year old grew increasingly frustrated that his, "best fwend," LB didn't want to play with him. So, in a fit, he threw a scooter at my 7 year old. The handle bar hit his finger when it crashed to the floor and my 7 year old ran dripping blood all over the floor to the kitchen.

I disinfected, and applied pressure. Then I added an antibiotic cream and a bandage. The rule of thumb here for stitches is...if I can get the bleeding stopped, and then keep it stopped, enough that the band-aid covering the wound is free from blood at the 24 hour mark, we don't go for stitches. This may be a liberal policy for most of you, but, it was suggested to me by my aunt and uncle who are both doctors, therefore it works for me. Of course, I clean wounds frequently and watch carefully for signs of infection.

In 8 days, we had not one, but, two medical emergency type situations perpetuated by my three year old. I am so freaking frightened by this. I am terrified that something will happen to my babies. If that had been my one year old's finger, I'm pretty sure it would have severed it.

My three year old weighs a little over 50 pounds. He was seen carrying my 7 year old through the living room yesterday (like a baby, LB's legs were wrapped around his waist) and the extent of his strength is unreal. *H.M., if you had seen the poker through the LCD screen episode, seriously, the 4th of July was nothing by comparison, and he hurled the poker at least 10 feet with enough force that it went through the television and the tip embedded itself in the wall.*

So, what do you think? Is it okay to be scared and frustrated? Is it fair to say that while I love being a mom, I don't love being *that* mom? Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

He says, she says

My husband is on his way home. I am delighted. I cannot hardly wait until I can leave the kids with him and get the heck out of Dodge. I know that I am well and truly, mentally and physically exhausted, when the idea of being alone trumps that of seeing my husband. And, boy, oh boy, does it ever!

Tomorrow, I am taking our laundry to the coin laundry again. BY MYSELF! I am dizzy with anticipation. It is of course necessary that I go, or else we'll have to show up to Thanksgiving dinner at my grandparents' home naked. The washer is still dead, and the laundry situation is honestly that bad. I don't know when we'll replace it, but, I think that it is important to find out what is wrong with my truck first.

My husband is so excited to come home and be part of the family, I'm so excited that he'll be here so that I can ditch them all for awhile. Such is life, or to be more accurate, such is 'our' life.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday night TV, my crutch is gone

Did anyone else watch the last episode of Jon & Kate tonight?

I did. It was sort of strange, because in the dairy farm portion, I was reminded of all the reasons I fell in love with the show in it's early days. Originally, I watched the showing thinking, "if that lady can do it, why can't I?" It was a motivational thing for me. I empathized with the 'crazy' on the show. Kids hitting each other every time Mom or Dad turned their backs, the unreal noise level, the work involved in raising a large family was well portrayed.

As the show evolved, long before the headlines and rag magazines, my interest waned. I mean, it is near impossible for me to sympathize with nannies, ski trips, and Hawaiian vacations. Still, I watched. Not as often, but, I did more often than not.

I was always envious of the relationship that Jon had with his kids. Part of me wanted to make a tape of the pertinent parts and present it to my husband, in a, "see, other Dads know how to give their kids a bath/take them out of the house/dress babies/brush teeth," kind of way. My husband must have been aware of my secret desires, because as much as I liked the show, he has always hated it. "Are you watching that again? Don't get any ideas!" He would often admonish me.

If you all were watching tonight, you might have noticed that has changed. What was up with the extremely immature, IMHO way he handled the older girls before the lemonade stand thing? I mean, I totally live in a glass house on this one, I am NOT the disciplinarian extraordinaire, but, sheesh, my finest moments aren't recorded on film.

When the headlines started I was pulled back into the storyline. I was shocked that in less than a half a year a couple could go from renewing vows to divorce court. I mean, WOW, it was fast! It will be interesting in a truly voyeuristic type of way, to see where the family will go from here.

A little shout out, because a few more prayers can't hurt

A bloggy pal of mine, and one that I know is a bloggy pal to several of you, had her baby today. He was 10 weeks early, but, he is a strong boy. Four pounds, four ounces, and 18 inches of baby boy. If you guys are so inclined, leave a comment on her blog, but definitely include her, her son, her husband, and the brand new big sisters in your prayers tonight.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sadism and Masochism, G rated

Right now I sit duct taped to my chair, too tired to care. I was sort of hoping that my oldest child would take the duct tape away from my three year old before he fell asleep, but, I am pretty sure my hopes are about to be dashed. Are you wondering how something like this happens? Well, it is pretty simple. First you have to be privy to Gitmo style terror tactics. You know, when ten minutes into every rest period someone wakes you up by screaming in your ear? After about a year and a half of that, your captors can step it up.

They start to deprive you of food. First a morsel here, then a bite there. Finally, they are eating everything but the most gruesome vegetables off your plate. Now you are tired and weak. It is time for the next phase.

Humiliation. My captors excel in this area. "Mommy, your shirt is stretchy," followed by yanking on it so that my boobs are exposed to the rest of the Target patrons, works well. Also a comment like, "I'm telling Dad that you spent $300 of his money today," proclaimed loudly at the grocery store checkout, has merit too.

Finally, the waterboarding. This is when you leave a glass of anything unfinished. Remembering, when it applies to someone else only, that we have strict waste not, want not rules around here, my captors will bring the cup to me and force me to drink it. Often ending up with me choking and gasping for air because I am seldom allowed to hold my own glass.

The end result is falling asleep sitting up, holding your laptop, correcting your husband's reports, and coming to, just in time to realize that you have been duct taped to the chair, and that the remainder of your living room under 4 feet in height is now festooned by duct tape streamers. Yay!

Hard lemonade and bad music

So, it is Saturday morning and I have a little secret. I am drinking wine. Not intentionally, but rather because my son insisted that I finish the 'lemonade' I put in the fridge after dinner last night (in a paper coffee cup) in favor of a bottle of my favorite hard cider. As a result my mood is much improved over an hour ago when I stopped the game of, 'throw all the apples my mom just washed and put in the fruit bowl as hard as you can against the wall.'

Of course, as soon as I opened the cider and took a generous swig out of the quart size bottle, a mother and daughter knocked on my door collecting for their church's abused children's fund. I think they won't be back. Perhaps it was the bug eyed look of the daughter, or maybe the aghast expression on the mother's face when I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand, but, I think they were pretty appalled. Whatever. At least they came before I started a movie upstairs and music (headphones) downstairs.

Speaking of music, my taste is abysmal. I like just about anything. Including the musically challenged but the stuff with clever lyrics. Last night I listened to N.W.A. (does anyone else remember them) and 'A Bitch Iz A Bitch' to which I love the lyrics, "when you say hi, she won't say hi," how true is that? Then Everclear and "Santa Monica" and "Volvo Driving Soccer Mom." To prove that my taste is truly eclectic, I played some Syleena Johnson, "Guess What" happens to be one of my favorites and John Legend's, "Number One." If you haven't heard the last one, pull the version with Kanye West up on YouTube when your children are far away. It makes me laugh out loud.

Today I am kind of cranky. I swear that my kids woke up this morning asking themselves this question, "what can I do that will REALLY piss my mom off today?" They have been busy testing their theories since their eyes opened.

My truck is having issues. I need to have it looked at, but, how? Not like I can plan to entertain six kids while they are trying to determine what it's issues are. I am leery enough of the voltage meter on 'L' and the funky smell when I cut off the engine not to want to go anywhere. Sadly, I have to get milk, so, I'm hoping the old girl will make it to the store and back. I love my truck. I agreed to get a minivan when it has to be replaced, so I am firmly intending to drive it until it qualifies for one of those 'Antique' license plates.

Have a good weekend everybody!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

200 posts???

This is my 200th post. It is hard to believe that there are 200 bits of my life and family on the Internet for just anyone to stumble upon. As crazy as it is to think about that, blogging is a wonderful thing. It is my lifeline. When my husband left our home to start his new job in Far, Far Away over a year ago, I didn't realize what an impact losing the only adult conversation in my life would have. It was loneliness like I had never felt before.

I was already reeling from leaving the workforce in favor of staying home full time. I lost many friends when I left the working world. We tried for awhile to stay in touch, but the lunches out, which we had used to connect were a thing of the past, and phone conversations in a quiet car on the commute home were gone forever. It was just a matter of time.

When my husband left, our baby at the time wasn't even three months old and I was already pregnant again. It was an incredibly difficult time. I was exhausted. We were just beginning to come to terms with the unusual behaviour our then two year old son was exhibiting. I was waking up several times a night with our daughter (still am, as a matter of fact) and the fatigue associated with pregnancy was hitting me hard, but, I didn't know what to attribute it to yet.

Then my husband fell ill. Not even two months into his new job he fell ill and had to return home for a couple of weeks in order to have surgery. It was yet another stumbling block in our path that made me question if God himself, wasn't trying to tell us we had made a mistake taking this job. My husband, barely recovered, left the children and myself alone again, and reported back for duty.

Then I came across a blog, this blog. It gave me hope. You see, at the time the author was raising her four children with a husband who was also working out of town. Her blog gave me hope. There was someone else like me. She was making do, so I could too. She was the one who encouraged me to start my own blog, so that I could have an outlet for words and emotions that I hadn't anyone at home to share them with. I will be eternally grateful for this.

That blog led me to another one. This one. Here I found a Catholic, liberal, mother of five, just like I was at the time.* Her sarcasm smacks of my own and though she is far more eloquent than I could ever hope to be, I felt even less alone.

Over the course of the last 200 posts, I have seen my then three month old walk, I have given birth to another daughter, we've adopted two dogs, had two children in casts, had a near death experience, dealt with possible unemployment, reconnected with my grandparents, sent a child to middle school, and embarked on a journey to help our three year old. How could this all have taken place in just over a year?

The Bloggy World allows me to interact with other adults in a way that otherwise I would not. I am not a very social creature in real life. I don't make friends easily, and those that I do make, I keep forever. It is just my way. In Bloggy World, I can be a pseudo social butterfly, I can comment on a stranger's blog without a moment of embarrassment, IRL, I would probably be loathe to do more than meet your eyes and nod.

Thank you Bloggy World for letting me carve my own little space. Thank you guys for reading, and mostly for writing. The stories you all share, are the ones that renew my faith in family life and sometimes in myself, and of course, they make me laugh. Laughter is the best medicine after all.

*Still Catholic, still liberal...just more kids.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The glamour that is my life

This morning I woke all the kids up for school. When I got out of bed, my Jack Russell did not. I noticed immediately because she follows me everywhere, crying like a child if I so much as shut her out of the bathroom. I was concerned, so I went back to my room to figure out what was the matter with her. Molly threw up all over me and my bed three times. Yay! Not even seven in the morning and I'm already cleaning up vomit, and changing the linens for the second time.

My attempts to get my kids ready are foiled by my asking one of the children to please turn the television on and to put it on the weather channel. Flipping channels they found Despereaux on HBO at Oh damn dark thirty on a school day. I waited patiently for the movie to be over so that they would be able to put their shirts on, right side out. The programming Gods were laughing though, because Hotel For Dogs came on right after. We are officially too late to catch the bus.

This leaves me with four children to dress, four heads of hair to brush, and eight shoes to put on in record time. Thanks to my oldest daughter's cast, she is in need of my handmaiden services as well. Then it is just a matter of walking two dogs (one has to stop to barf every few feet) and strapping three children who resist to various degrees in the car seats. We are off on the first school run.

The first round is a success, the children are on time, and the baby only throws up all over her car seat once. We arrive home just in time to unstrap three children from their car seats, feed two dogs, two cats, and one baby.

Oops, look at the time! It is now past time to start restrapping babies in their hated (and thrown up in) car seats in order to make the second school run. Not one to waste a good car seat strapping in, we'll stop at the store. First, we need to hit the local organic produce spot because my kids have eaten three pounds of apples and two bunches of bananas overnight.

Okay, we're there. I park in the back, next to the loading dock so that I can 'borrow' the only shopping cart there big enough to hold at least two of my kids, which is usually designated only for stock. It takes me 15 minutes to get the kids out of the car and into the store. We order smoothies for breakfast since we're there anyway. My phone rings, it is the school, my daughter forgot her lunch money and I need to drop it off. We grab some fruit and our breakfast and we head out. It takes me another 15 minutes to get the kids back in the car.

We stop at the big grocery store to get some meat for dinner. Lamb sausage on the grill sounds great (too bad I'll be too tired to actually fix it tonight, but, I don't know that yet) and after another struggle to get the kids back in the car, we head home.

I am exhausted from all the car seat shuffles and decide to put the cold stuff in the fridge and run by the school, that way I can save the "unbuckle, rebuckle" process. Once there I have to circle five times to find a parking space and finally settle on one that seems to be closest to the "ESE Permit Only" sign, but, not so much so that I couldn't plead ignorance. It takes me another 15 minutes to set up the double stroller and put the babies in it. The four of us head up to the office. We drop off lunch money and head back to the car, much to the chagrin of my three year old, who has decided that he *must*see his older sister. He bolts. I am not fast enough to catch him pushing the regular double stroller. Finally, an ESE aide sees my plight and after a frantic nod from me, tackles my three year old and holds him down until I can catch up.

I struggle to carry his fifty plus pound weight with one arm and push the stroller with one hand. The pain from my arthritic wrists is nearly enough to bring me to my knees. We get back to the car and I start the car seat process all over, this time I'm tired and it shows. It takes me nearly 20 minutes to get everyone situated.

Home again means that I can load the dishwasher, sterilize bottles, change the litter box, and lament over the mounds of laundry overtaking my home do to my broken washing machine. Lunch time! That will be four different meals. One gluten free. One toddler friendly. One of rice cereal, and a sandwich for me. Of course the dog, who has purged her insides of whatever ick she had eaten, is starving and she steals my sandwich while I'm trying to coax my 6 month old to eat her cereal.

Today is early release day! Time to go get the kids. The first half of my day must be repeated in reverse.

Snacks, homework, unload the dishwasher. Start baking a loaf of gluten free bread to serve my three year old with his dinner. Then start boiling two pots of water, one for regular pasta and one for the brown rice pasta. Another pot for alfredo sauce. Preheat the oven for the regular garlic bread. Slice the gluten free loaf and commence turning a few slices of it into garlic bread.

Serve dinner to one happy child and four who couldn't manage anything but, 'gross' among them. Rehang the drapes the kids pulled down while I was fixing dinner. Decide NOT to try to get the baby to eat any more cereal, or more appropriately, any cereal at all.

Time to throw away enough food to feed a small army of appreciative children somewhere too far away to send it to. Then time to bathe three, *groan* no four children. Check homework. Put one baby to sleep. Sit down at the computer to blog so that I can look too busy to help anyone with anything for a few minutes.

Still left to do? Take out the garbage. Walk the dogs. Put the rest of the kids to bed. Take something for this cold that I seem to be coming down with, thanks I'm sure to Typhoid Mary and her bubonic plague spreading offspring at the ER the other night. Then I have a stack of school forms that need to be filled out, half of which want my credit card number.

To think, I get to do it all again tomorrow!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Emergency Rooms Suck

Today started out decent. I was in a cleaning groove. It only happens so often, so I was trying to embrace my inner June Cleaver. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be.

Yesterday, in the 2.2 seconds it took me to turn around to check on my little girls, my next door neighbor gave my three year old a cupcake. Shit. F*#k. Damn. He was just coming out of an upswing of bad behavior from a previous diet infraction, and then this. Last night he was awful, horrible, terrible. It was indescribable. Today was worse.

He kept taking off his shoes and screaming in the store. He kept pinching and clawing at my 16 month old. Finally, he found a toy baseball bat. One of those miniature things they give you on fan appreciation days at the ball park. He hit his older sister so hard that her wrist/arm immediately started to swell. We iced it to no avail, so I called my grandparents and begged for help.

My grandfather was here in minutes, but, not before my three year old took a swing at my seven year old with the grill brush. Fortunately, my seven year old was scratched, but, not seriously hurt.

The end result was a 45 minute trip to the E.R. at the children's hospital. Then a five hour wait. An hour for x-rays, a splint, a sling, and a discharge. A 30 minute trip back home, in the dark, from downtown, which is significant only because I don't see very well at night and because I loathe driving downtown.

My oldest daughter is now happily sleeping. My youngest daughter who screamed the entire time I was gone is finally resting. My three year old who apparently took a nap at 5:00 p.m. today, is going like the Energizer bunny on coke, or maybe just like a toddler tyrant hell bent on world domination on gluten. How does that song go? There ain't no rest for the wicked...

I. Am. So. Tired.

Dear Lady,

I want you to know that while I openly admit to being a germaphobe, I am not a crazy germaphobe. For the most part, I think all those masks at the hospital are sort of scary and pointless. BUT, and this is a big but...YOUR KIDS NEEDED TO WEAR THEM, DUMBASS! There were newborns, and elderly patients, and well, ME. Your kids were coughing and sneezing and oozing bodily fluids. Your son actually coughed a cheese cracker up on a baby's head 10 feet away from where you were sitting. It was ridiculous how little attention you were paying to the discomfort of everyone else around you. I'm selfish and I'm bitchy, but, you Broad, take the cake.


The woman who will hunt you down if she gets sick

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fishy water...yumm

I had left the house on Thursday morning to go by my children's school, before Shan and Shad left, of course. Shan was supposed to have been watching the little ones while I was on the school run. He chose instead to go back to bed. Which left my Hercules without supervision long enough to get into a bag of bread that was hidden away at the top of my pantry. One bite, he took one bite, and the following has since transpired.

  • He stuck his head in the fish tank and drank the water. Even my cats stay away from the tank, but, not Hercules, no, not Hercules.
  • He bit my one year old hard enough to leave a 24+ hours and counting mark.
  • He hit my 6 month old.
  • He has taken off his diaper to poop on the floor twice...sorry, make that three times.
  • His imagination is in overdrive. There is much talk about pirates and pickled pirates. *He uses the word pickle like I might use douche bag dum-dum???!!!*

Further proof that his diet is working isn't needed. I believe now. I believe.

My oldest son upon seeing him drink from the fish tank (I was on diaper duty at the time) was quick on his feet, he rinsed his mouth out with soap to kill any lingering germs. *Soap, yes, soap really.* Good thing I'm obsessively natural about cleaning products, huh? All that was left for me to do was to add some water to the tank so that the goldfish were no longer flopping on the gravel.

Other than my 16 month old's war wound, she is fine, as is my 6 month old, who just had the crap scared out of her.

I might start to cry if I have to clean up any more poopy messes from the floor (Molly, Patty, this includes you girls too) but, other than that, we're just praying for a rapid detox process.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A bad case of the blahs...random style

This morning Shan (formerly known as my step son) pounded on my door. Apparently he and his brother had been sitting outside of my house waiting for the mail to arrive. He wanted the paycheck I helped him to get reissued from his last employer that he rabbited (in my day, this meant quitting w/o notice) from. I was pretty surprised that he seemed to think that I would want to give it to him. His $30 paycheck (fine, $31 and change) was important enough that he had the balls to knock on my door after stealing my oldest son's game system. I agreed to check the mail IF...AND ONLY IF, he returned the DS.

I found the check and walked across the street to where my husband's cousin lives. I asked him to take it and to give it to my step son Shan, only after Shan gave him the DS. So, at least my son has his DS back (it was a limited edition color, that I was having trouble tracking down) even though, all of his games and accessories are gone. Still, the DS was a gift that is special to him, and he is very grateful to have it back, even though he can't play it until he gets some new games.


How long do you figure a person can go, having to wake up 3+ times a night? I find myself at 16 months and counting with no clear end in sight.

The above is my Facebook status. In what I am assuming is my husband's desire to show off his new FB skillz, he clicked on like. Which in turn made me grumpy. I suppose it is easy to like something like that when you are 350 miles away and well rested.


I have eaten four bags of Halloween candy, stopped dead in my tracks on the fifth because it was nasty. Out of date Reese's cups are the worst. Unfortunately, I know how to read date codes on those and I am appropriately horrified that it took me having to eat three before I checked the date. Eeeeeewwwww! I suppose if I end up with food poisoning, it will undo the damage from all the binge eating. If not, I'll have a size 18 (not quite, really) ass to remember this experience with the steps those delinquents by.


I took my kids to a wine tasting last night. I was shopping with my oldest and the three youngest when the beer/wine guy there put a free wristband on me to gain entry to the beer/wine tasting last night. I did protest (faintly) which he waved off because the event was pretty dead, so I tried a couple of wines while my kids ate dessert. One of my old work contacts was there. It felt weird to talk to someone still playing the game after being out of it for so long. It makes me wonder how I'll feel in 5 years when the kids are all in school and I go back to work...or if I will?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

We all have a breaking point

If you all have been reading long enough, I am sure that you have noticed that my happy (mostly) little family life blog has turned into a long boring story about the step children from Hell. All of that changes today, I hope. I threw my step children out of my house today. Good bye and better yet, good riddance to trash.

I really didn't think that it was possible for someone to stop loving their child. I dismissed the theory out of hand when their mother told me that they had exhausted everything she had to give them, including her love. I figured she was angry and bitter, and it was out of hurt and frustration that she spoke. Now, I think I have a better perspective.

Last night as I stayed up way too late to finish a project that I had been working on, it occurred to me that I ought to make a list of what my youngest step son was needed to do today. The list included directions for dropping off one application and checking another four or five places that he applied to, but, hadn't heard back from.

He dropped off the application, but, he didn't go and check on any of the other applications. I left the house to buy milk and take lunch to the school with instruction for him to hop to it. He didn't bother. He was waiting for me to return from the children's school so that his brother (who was supposed to be waiting to hear back from ??? via telephone, to figure out why he isn't in the Army any longer) could go with him.

I'll admit, it made me angry. I was furious that he hadn't done much of anything he was supposed to do on the job front and that my oldest step son was planning to shirk his responsibility again (he missed a job interview last week) to ride with his brother.

I stated in no uncertain terms that they could go together today, but, that in the future, they will not be attached at the hip because I don't feel that either child makes good decisions when they rely on their sibling for counsel, also because they both have to find a job, and only one of them can drive to work, the other does not have a license nor a method of transportation, therefore he needs to be hoofing it around the neighborhood to find employment.

This started a fight. I don't fight. I just simply said, "if you don't like my rules, get out." So instead they chose to run their mouths. They told me that they weren't leaving because this wasn't my house. I had one demand to use my phone to call his father. The other told me that because they are the oldest children, it is my husband's responsibility to support them before my children. I was told that it is their right to tell me how to spend money, because it doesn't belong to me, because I don't work, so it is my husband's money, and apparently they think they ought to be in charge. I was told that I am too lazy to work to support myself, so I kept popping out kids to make my living. I was called a whore. They informed me that they don't think my children are their father's children. My kids were referred to as bastards repeatedly. I am a bitch, and a cunt, and a compulsive liar. They threatened to call child services on me and say whatever they needed to, so that, "you never see those children you say you love so much again." There was more, so much more. It tires me to think about it even.

The End. I hope, this is the end.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Who knew a cooking class could be so emotional?

My baby boy at three years old is the light of my life and the bane of my existence. I love him so much and I get so frustrated because I just don't understand what makes him tick. I feel like I am in a constant state of limbo where he is concerned. I ask myself everyday, how hard I want to push to get answers. Do I really need a label for my son? Is it necessary? Would being able to say, "he's _____ you jackass, don't judge him or me," be worth being able to fill in the blank? Would it help him? How do you know? How do I know?

There are times that I am overcome by emotion because he starts singing made up lullabies to 'his girls' as he calls them in the car. Then there are times that I am overcome with fury because he throws sand in the baby's face, repetitively, without remorse, unable or unwilling to be deterred. Sometimes he holds me, he pulls my head down on his chest and he holds me tightly, but, tenderly too, and I can feel the love in his touch. Then, there are the times that he hits me, seemingly too stubborn to stop.

I think that after 6 children and 2 step children, I have a pretty good idea of what is, and is not, normal. I know that my son isn't normal. I feel it in my heart that bursts with affection for him and in my body that aches with the struggle of trying keep up with him. I know that my son is special.

Tonight I took a cooking class (at Whole Foods again of course) that was presented by a lovely woman with a product that caters to the GFCFSF crowd. Miriam Diamond, who owns Nana's Cookies, was the guest tonight. She is in her own right a mover and a shaker in California where she lives. She is both a friend and a vendor of Jenny McCarthy, who uses her products both personally and at her new school. She is a warm and fabulous person whom I was very glad to meet.

It wasn't actually Miriam Diamond that really struck a chord with me tonight, it was one of the other mothers in the class. She has a son, the same age as mine. He is GFCF, like mine. *yes, the dairy went too* He does the same things my son does. The very same things. He has the same behavioral issues. The very same. Like my son, he was an early talker and is very verbal. Like my son, he has problems with excess yeast. Like my son, he is very well loved. Like my son he isn't autistic. Like my son, maybe he is.

This other mother and I compared medical notes, cooking woes, potty issues, supplements, medications, labs, hopes, dreams, fears, and more. I have never felt so understood. I have also never felt the need to be understood this fervently. It is a strange new world that I am venturing out in with my son and his dietary restrictions. One I'm not sure either my son or myself is really ready for. I am not a brave person, but suddenly I find that I need to be. When I started Hercules on this diet the first time, I tried to go cold turkey and it was a miserable failure. I persevered at the gentle (yet firm) encouragement of our ped to try again. A slow approach has made it possible to get my son both to eat and to eat right. Now I am faced with the awful reality that it has helped. The diet has helped tremendously. With each adjustment we have made, first dyes and HFCS, then gluten, now son has gotten better and better. There are more lullabies than sand these days. Who would have guessed that it could be so frightening to me, for him to get better? I certainly didn't.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Come to Jesus

Today was a day to come to Jesus. It was a day that I discussed the lay of the land around this house. What I expect and what I won't tolerate. Funny, both of the adult children think that they deserve to make their own adult decisions and lead their own adult lives...while they live under my roof. Not so my friend, just not so.

First, if I pay for your gas, you don't use it unless I sanction the errand.

Second, if you use the food stamps that you've been hoarding to buy your own groceries, no, I sure as heck will not make sure that my kids don't eat your food. Why, are you not eating theirs?

Third, I came so close (thumb and forefinger actually touching) to telling my youngest step son to go f*#k himself today. I'm not proud of that, but, I still think he ought go f*#k himself. He thinks that my children are, "in need of Ritalin or something, they're out of control, they have no discipline." Which of course is actually a reference to my three year old who is special and none of his freaking business.

Fourth, I don't give a rat's behind if you stay here or not. This time though, when you leave, it will be forever, so make sure you really want to go when you leave, the door won't open again for an extended stay.

Finally, you owe me. Not the other way around. Don't have an attitude, don't be ungrateful, don't think that you can treat my home as a hotel. If you live under my roof, you play on my family team, if you can't play well with others...GET OUT!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Forget about cake, "Let me drink wine!"

Today was a day to celebrate. My oldest daughter and I got up early and went to brunch. We had planned to go first to church, and then to brunch, but, my step sons wanted to sleep in, therefore we waited. We went to a simple brunch at our Whole Foods, during which I didn't even collect on my free mimosa (which I am regretting now) and we talked until the farmers market opened up. The farmers market is a very small, informal thing that is hosted in the parking lot of the grocery store.

We had fun looking at the goods from the different vendors. We purchased kitty soaps, pooh bear beeswax candles, and organic dog cookies from one vendor, glass bottle sodas from another, and my daughter's first pair of dangly earrings from a third. We talked to an organic CSA (???) that has what I think is a steep fee. It is $300 for 12 weeks, six items each week. I haven't done the math (yet) but, I'm pretty sure that I can do better at our local health food store. $.99 a pound organic eggplant anyone?

My typing is seriously suckish tonight, I think that it is the organic Sauvignon Blanc that I bought to try a cider recipe on Stacey's blog, I only need 3/4 of a bottle for the recipe, so I thought that it would be prudent to drink the other 1/4. Um, so, yeah...before I make the cider I need to go buy more wine. The soda we bought at the farmer's market today was ginger ale for the same recipe coincidentally.

We then retreated to an outdoor mall to just walk around, window shop and enjoy the cool weather, it was only 78 after all! My daughter picked up a couple of trinkets from a few of the stores, but, really, we just soaked up the sun.

It was a fabulous day. Then, then we came home. I made the Persian stew that I had promised to fix (last night actually, but, instead I made a pork loin roast with brussels sprouts, carrots, and sweet potato casserole) that is majorly labor intensive. There are five or six herbs that have to be washed and finely chopped plus spinach. I was happy to do it, but...

There is always a but. I came home to find an entire 12 pack of soda gone, a Costco size box of chocolate milk empty, 2 boxes of cookies, and 4 bags of Christmas candy gone. Plus three, no, four boxes of school lunch items that went hasta la vista in my absence. Which stresses me to no end about money. If 2 weeks worth of groceries disappears in a single weekend, we are in serious trouble.

Friday, November 6, 2009

TLC will never pick up Viv plus 8

In this post I intend to put myself out there, just so all of you will know just how big a bitch I am...

My youngest step son arrived yesterday at three in the morning. His mother threw him out of the house again and he showed up without any money, wanting a place to stay. To tell you all the truth I was pretty pissed off. Frankly, it really upset me that he gave no thought to waking up my babies when he pounded on my door. Not to mention the ten minutes I spent scared to death. The incident from last year still looms large in my head. I let him in, but, I was sure to hammer home the point that, though he feels his father does, I owe him nothing. This is after all, my house.

Yeah, I'm kind of a shit, but, I've got all kinds of resentment that every cent that should be going towards my children's Christmas is being eaten by their adult brothers. Not to mention the fact the my husband is all over my ass to cut our living expenses. There is a way to do this...shit can the organic GF diet that H is on, on which he is finally showing some improvement. In order to accommodate my husband's adult children? Screw that. I won't do it. So I'm left with not letting them shower everyday (my husband's suggestion) and sitting in the hot, dark (no lights, people) Florida heat.

I can't say that there aren't perks to having my step children here. For example, I can go take cooking classes and I can drive my children to school without fear of having to find a babysitter. The perks, do not out weigh the cons though. I can't be comfortable in my own home. I can't lounge around in my gym shorts or my pajamas. I can't make a bottle in the middle of the night with the lights on, because there is someone sleeping in every room of our home. I can't watch what I want on television, I can't use my computer when I want to, I can't put the babies to bed the way I usually do because they won't fall asleep with the television blaring downstairs and the lights on. My home, the less than lovely place that is, is still my own safe haven, or, it was.

Right now, the boys are off on what I believe to be a wild goose chase. My youngest step son wants to go back into another branch of service (he has been recently discharged from the Navy) but, he has to wait 6 months before he can do, why is it that he (they) are at a recruiting office right now? On my gas bill? Let's save the gas for actually obtaining employment instead of chasing rainbows, or, at the very least, chase them once you've figured out how to make your car payment and put your own gas in the car.

My home is too small. It is too small for me and my six children, throw two more adult kids into that mix, and I feel like the walls are going to burst. Now, factor in that the roof and ceiling are finally being fixed and that we only have TWO, two usable bedrooms until the work is done. Two bedrooms for nine (ten if hubby is home) people, and two dogs, and two cats.

My dishes need to be done. The litter box needs to be changed, I would kill for a nap. If I were living in someone's house free of charge, and eating their food, and taking their money for gas and toiletries and such? I'd offer to do some of those things. *I* wouldn't grimace when asked to contribute. I'd say "thank you" an awful lot. I'd be grateful. Instead, the ways things are, I think that I'll just be a bitch.

P.S. We won't mention the showers are twenty plus minutes everyday, or that my husband isn't coming home until Thanksgiving (which will make it two and a half months that he has been gone) because we can't afford it with the added expenses. We won't bring up the hiding upstairs so that they won't feel compelled to listen to me when I ask for help...because this is Club Frigging Med, for everyone but me.

Alternate title being, "It's a pity party, but, nobody else is invited"

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fighting fish and fluff

Last night our Betta, Survivor, was dethroned as the ultimate survivor. Actually, he was dethroned this morning when my daughter found our new Betta tank on the carpet, upside down. When I woke up my son (Hercules, of course) to find out where the fish was, he informed me that he was somewhere near the foot of my bed. Sure enough, my oldest daughter and I found the fish, it must have been there since last night. I asked my daughter, as she is far less squeamish than I, to retrieve a piece of tissue and flush him. When she touched the fish it started flopping madly. We managed to get it back into the bowl and to put some water in there. Violet (the male Betta) is swimming right now...and not in the big pond in the sky. A bit of internet research tells us that Bettas have a sort of lung called a labyrinth, that enables them to breathe air, and that they don't die until their bodies dry out in 24-48 hours. Wow! Right?

Last night I took a cooking class at Whole Foods (of course) that was kind of cool. The dishes were crab meat stuffed shrimp and tarragon brussel sprouts. I actually enjoyed the brussel sprouts better than the shrimp, surprising, as I love shrimp and didn't think that I liked brussel sprouts. I guess that my mom's version of frozen sprouts that she boiled for a half a century, wasn't the best gauge.

Tonight I took an amazing cooking class there, presented by Lynn Yeager, of Cookie Momsters, who is half of a local company that makes GFCF frozen doughs that the store sells. She showed us an amazing recipe for GFCF Thanksgiving dressing that had everything from apples to sausage in it. It was better than my usual dressing even! She also did a sweet potato casserole, fruit pizza, and ice cream pie. Serious WOW! My new favorite anything is Tempti mint chocolate chip ice cream made from hemp milk that is so freaking good, it was what she used in the ice cream pie! I can't wait to go by her store, that sells all kinds of baked goods (all GFCF) including bread that she assured me would make a great PB&J sandwich. The next day they are open is Saturday though, so I'll just have to force myself to be patient.

Little Boy brought his class pet home today and he is most upset that this time we didn't do anything special with him. I think that it is most important to understand that not everyday has to be a special day...or that is what I'm telling him as my schedule did not permit riding the train or going to the park with Jasper. I have been officially dethroned as the World's Best Mommy, until the next time at least!

A new massage place opened up down the street and I'm considering trying out their introductory hour for $30. I think it is a deal, I'm just not sure how comfortable I'd be. Maybe I'll talk myself into it, and, then again, maybe I won't.

This was, I'm afraid, the best I could do today. For my 200th post (coming up soon) I am hoping to surprise us all with something well written and potentially humorous. We shall see. It could just be all these long days/weeks/months/years of sleep deprivation that Monica talked about here, on her most awesome blog. Then again, that can't be it, she's as sleep deprived as I am, and she is still brilliant and funny. Depressing.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween...the cute and the political

Patty the devil dog

Molly the hot dog

Jelly Bean the cat

The Little Lady, my middle kitten

Baby Girl's first Halloween

The Big Boy has outgrown costumes...

Little Boy, the pioneer

Hercules, who never has time to look at the camera these days

I had no idea what an explosive topic trick-or-treat has become. I tried in vain to find out what hours would be designated for trick-or-treating. So, I did what I always do in a pinch...I asked other mommies. Wowza! I got plenty of answers, most of them included questions about my sanity and suggestions for church Halloween festivals.

Despite the best efforts of the community in which we live, we dressed up and hit the streets. We had to walk over a mile and a half to find fellow trunk-or-treat shunners. Three hours and a half a meager bag of candy each, we returned home.

I understand there are bad people in the world. I understand the desire to shield our children from harm, but, get a grip! Halloween is fun! I got my first Reese's cup one Halloween because my mother would never buy them, she was convinced there were worms in the peanut butter. I decided that Whoppers (my dad's fav) aren't really that good if you compare them to a Milky Way. I got to be all kinds of fun things, from a cowgirl to a homemade devil. I wore fishnet stockings for the first time with a Halloween costume. Doesn't anyone else have fond memories like mine of Halloween?

The death of Halloween as a family holiday saddens me.

Our fish tank is doing well...considering we are on our third water change. We added a catfish to help eat up the extra food my children are prone to give. Each and every person I have talked to has given me the same advice though, start flushing one by one until they're all gone. I guess I'm a dumbass because I can't intentionally kill the fish. In for a dime, in for a dollar, that's me.