Tuesday, December 11, 2012

OJ and ADD

I am standing in the orange juice section at Wal-Mart, I marvel at the choices, my head bouncing like a ping pong ball as I consider the possibilities.  Milk gallon containers, clear plastic containers, the simple side pour carton, the front pour carton, the pulp free, the extra pulp, the medium pulp, the tangerine juice creeping into my peripheral vision...WAIT...stop...hold the presses...I forgot my Adderall.

I give up on my quest to find the same orange juice that I've bought for the last five or six years, and I head to the front of the store, "Iced coffee and take your Adderall, iced coffee and take your Adderall," I repeat over and over in my head.  I buy a Starbucks can of something coffee based and cold, and I drain it with my pill.  Then I get a new cart, the whereabouts of my last one, an unknown story.  I walk slowly back toward the orange juice, this time embracing the crazy.  I let myself be sidetracked by every shiny object, waiting, giving the medicine time to kick in.  I wander from Holiday sweaters, to bras, to coffee, careful to not put anything in my cart.  Finally, I reach the orange juice, and with confidence pick up the right bottle, never second guessing myself.

I move from aisle to aisle, picking up my groceries in a precise order.  My phone rings.  I stop and answer, "Hey Baby.  Where are you?" implores Jeff through the phone.  "Wal-Mart," I reply.  I can sense the careful thought put into the words to come, over the phone line, as if they are tangible.  "I didn't realize you were going straight to the store.  Your medicine is here."

I smile, "I had an Adderall with me, and I already took it.  No worries."  The palpable tension evaporates, I can hear the smile in his voice when he replies, "Great!  Love you.  See you when you get here."

For most people, Wal-Mart is sensory overload, for someone like me, the ADD in full force, Wal-Mart is potentially hazardous to both our bank account and my mental health.  For those of you who didn't know, the ADD is a newish set of letters that trail behind all the other acronyms used to describe me, GAD, MDD, GERD, OCD, CFS, etc.  My children have it down to the bare bones, "Mom is crazy," they say.  If only they knew how right they are sometimes...and all it takes to humble me is a simple bottle of orange juice...no pulp.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

They did WHAT in Washington?

Washington has decided to legalize pot.  That sealed the deal.  Screw the bills.  I'm going.  Not for that reason particularly, but, because I decided it was an omen.  And that was that.  Flight booked.

I am already having a trying day.  The house is a wreck.  Jeff is grumpy...ahem, 'not awake yet.'  The sinusitis I have been fighting for...I don't even know how long is making me feel like death!  It's all good though, because I am excited!  I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel that...hark...isn't a train!  See how a vacation can do a girl a whole mountain of good?

If you all remember Boss Lady (who takes exception to the name and is a really dear person that I love ever so much) you will know how excited I am to be spending Friday and Saturday nights at her house watching the dogs and birds!  They were so cute when I visited yesterday!  I can't wait for that either!

Enjoy your day guys, I think that in spite of the odds, I am going to love mine!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

To be or to not...

Jeff's company flies all the employees out to Seattle for a week in December.  Spouses can come, but, must pay their own way,  Before the 'pay your own way' was noted, I was invited.  After that came to light, the bills became more important than me.

I get the point.  We are behind on bills and it will help us catch up.  However, it would have been my first real vacation in my entire life.  It would have allowed me to recharge my batteries and come home a rejuvenated person who just had a whole week with the man she barely gets to see here.  It would have meant everything to me.

So...c'mon y'all, tell me that I'm not worth that $300, tell me it is all in my head.  I need to hear it.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Halloween and a couple of other important things

The sheer number of things that have happened in the last two months are nearly impossible to even update you all on, but, I am going to try.  We moved.  We moved into a lovely house on a great cul-de-sac, in the most close knit neighborhood...and then found out that our charming new rental, goes up for public sale on the 16th of this month.  Can I hear a "what, WHAT?"

Jeff got a fantastic new job.  The home office is in Seattle.  I, you guys will be proud of me I know, have survived two of his trips out there so far, the latest for three weeks.  It's hard.  I have always been so independent in the way I care for myself and my children, that I realized as Jeff was leaving for this amazing new opportunity (because he is brilliant, and I am not the only one who has noticed) that I actually 'share' the parenting with him, and I was going to miss my support system.  Hello!!!  Isn't that insane for a 'married single mother,' of many, many years?  We lived it.  We did it.  He is home now.

The kids had a fantastic Halloween.  I had two doctors, two Dora pirates, and a sleeping Doodlebop.  Jeff and I took the kids trick-or-treating!  Again, JEFF and I took the kids trick-or-treating!  It was so novel and amazing to have a pair of eyes to meet, and to share thoughts about how cute our kids are.  This was by far, Mommy's best trick-or-treat year yet!

Yesterday, I got the one gift I have been lusting after for years, and years.  I slept in...until after 11.  When I got out of bed and made my way toward the coffee...there they were...kids eating and playing, Jeff smiling at me.  I got to sleep in until my body told me to wake up...and nobody was even mad at me!  Never has anyone done something for me that meant this much.  Not ever.

So...lots of changes, lots of things staying the same too.  I just keep pinching myself...and amazingly, it keeps hurting!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I miss my guy...

I am insanely missing someone who is just a few feet away.  My children take up so much of me, and so much of him, that there is rarely anything leftover for each other.  I hate it.  If I could, I would run away to a desert island (well, a cooler island) with him...and stay shipwrecked for about three months.

I can scarcely bring myself to admit it, but, I am jealous of my own children when it comes to the snuggles and cuddles they get from him, and by the time we both hit the bed, we are lucky if our hands brush, before we give in to the sleep we spent the last three or four hours yearning for.

This is new territory for me.  This is the first time in my life that I have cared enough to feel this way.  Crazy, right?  How do the rest of you find time for each other?  How do you find the energy when you have the time?  This mama needs to know.

I have the world's most wonderful man in my life!  How do we keep each other afloat?  Actually, screw afloat...how do we keep each other going at full throttle*, with the wind whipping through our hair?

Tell me bloggy friends...tell me how it is done!

*large quantities of illegal substances aside

Monday, August 6, 2012

The scoop

It didn't work out with my dogs.  It breaks my heart, but, I had to let them go.  Granted, they went to the two loveliest people on Earth, but, I am still sad, my heart still feels empty, and I will likely always long to have them in my lap, or sitting on my feet, but, it was the right thing to do.  They are happy and healthy, and J's cats can come out from under the bed once more.

We did go and pick up the birds that I had being fostered.  I am loving having them around, and the cats find them neither yummy nor scary.  They are a perfect fit in our household.  J was amazing, and converted a china cabinet into an aviary.  The birds have tons of room, as much attention as I can sneak them, which with the kids all in daycare, is actually quite a lot.

Daycare.  Sure enough, I took the plunge!  It is amazing to have a child free zone in which to clean.  I highly recommend this route to all of you.  Even if it is a two, half day, per week deal...do it.  I should have taken advantage of this a long, long time ago.  I have a chance to listen to my own thoughts, J can decompress, and the kids are having a blast.  Granted, they kick up a fuss every morning, but, they come home chattering about friends, projects, and teachers, so we know they are enjoying 'school.'

I am once more the Schedule Master.  I love having a schedule, and having everyone adhere to it.  It is a beautiful thing.  I know what time (relatively) the kids will wake up, eat breakfast, leave for school, come home, eat dinner, have a bath, get computer time, and go to bed.  Lovely.  This is one of the things that DH and I argued about, time and time again.  He is anti-schedule, and I am pro-schedule.  He is green with envy though, that I can put the baby in his crib at bedtime, and he goes to sleep, sans tears, no walking the floors with him until the wee hours.  Hehehe!

Back-to-school is approaching rapidly.  We go back the 20th of the month here.  The next couple of weeks will be fraught with orientations, shopping, hair cuts...the same stuff that all the rest of you probably do at a normal time of year, like after Labor Day.  I have no idea why Florida must start school so early, we have pushed back by three weeks since my eldest started kindergarten, and we still start earlier than most of the country.  I am trying to decide if I am excited that school is starting, or if I am dreading fitting homework time into our evenings.  Probably the latter.  Definitely the latter.

The next time I post, I will try to get a little something of substance up here, instead of my 'news' letter.  In the interim, please click the link and appreciate my bloggy friend Monica's clever writing...I pushed my kids' drawings over onto the sides of the fridge to make room for this...http://andillraiseyou5.blogspot.com/2012/08/to-clean-or-not-to-clean-that-is.html

Sunday, July 15, 2012

When life is a roller coaster, things happen fast

The first item I'll address in this post, as many of you were considerate enough to ask, is my eldest son.  He is currently on hiatus with my mother.  When he comes home, he will be living with his father.  I am backing away.  We are at the point where my trying to intervene does more harm than good, and I fully recognize that now.  I will always be here for him, and I love him, and I am proud of him...when he is ready, we'll resume a relationship, right now though, think of it as an episode of Sr vs Jr.

Living with the dogs did not work out for J.  He is a cat person, dogs are too much for him to handle, and thus, I have found a wonderful family to love and potentially try to place my JRT and Papillion one day.  They have two houses, both furnished like any home, comfy and warm.  The difference is that one home is for the dogs and the other is for them.  It's a beautiful set-up.  The dogs they have are terrific, mostly older companion dogs, who now truly are masters of their own domain.  Animal Planet plays on the flat screen, relaxing music plays in the garden, and dogs of every size and breed are playing happily within, plus, I get visiting privileges...it is the best I can have of both worlds, in the most literal sense.

Not working well for J too, was having the baby.  It was too much, too soon.  We now have Hercules, which might be even more important right now.  He is starting kindergarten this year, and he will be able to go with Little Boy  to and from school.  He will also need a more structured environment for his homework and bedtime than Baby Z right now, and J and I are better at offering that, than their dad is.  Hercules also has more specialized needs than his little brother, and I think that this will be a positive step.

Yesterday was H's 6th birthday party.  My aunt and uncle cancelled, as did J's brother.  J's mom and sister were otherwise engaged yesterday, so it was a small little party.  A friend of ours came and brought her brother and two boys, so that was truly awesome of her, and my step son attended with his girlfriend.  We managed to have a party for the little man despite the odds, and fun was had by all.

Sadly, I have little more I can share with you at this time, as my daughter's eyes have opened, and her mouth works on the same hinge.  It will be bedtime before I will be able to hear my own thoughts again, much less, be able to share them.  I hope all of you are having wonderful weekends!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Here is the blog post I never imagined writing...

I moved out.  Out of DH's home.  I took three, and soon four of our children with me.  I moved on.  I found someone else.  I found refuge from the fighting, frustration, and general feeling of ambivalence that had taken over my life.  Mentally, I left a long time ago.  I left the moment that I woke up with my eye swollen shut and my hair matted with blood.  Each day, as I watched the bruising fade and the scar emerge, I left just a little bit more, until finally I wasn't an emotional presence, and at last, not a physical presence in his home any longer.

I lost myself in those last months, I lost a little of my sanity, a lot of my pride.  I lost my ability to focus, make decisions, and really even to function.  I drank to the point of excess.  I took pills to try and recover what I had lost...me.  I avoided my home, DH, and by proxy, my own children.  I snapped.

Then, I met J.  Slowly, I started to wake up from the walking coma I was in.  I could assess what my life had become while I was beyond caring about myself.  It wasn't pretty.  At first he was a solid reassuring presence that helped me feel strong.  Then he became the rock that anchored me when I was missing my children.  Finally, he became my best friend.  For the first time in my life, I knew what love wasn't.  Love wasn't what I thought I had for this last decade and change.  Love wasn't roses, empty words,  broken promises, or flashy declarations. 

One day when Iwoke up, I knew what I had been missing all these years, because he was sleeping peacefully next to me.  Love.  I found it when it was unsought and even an unknown entity.  I realized that it was the strength shared with me, the shoulders helping hold my burdens, the quiet acceptance of me at both my best and my worst.  Love was the feeling that compelled me to watch him sleep, the sadness I felt when we weren't together, the unmitigated joy when we were.  I was in love for the first time in my life.  It was quite the realization for a mother of seven.

Of course nothing can be as simple as just a happy ending.  DH was convinced he wanted to keep the children, and I let him.  I thought it would be the easiest way to prove to him that he wants the joy of having his children close, not the work of raising them.  It was a good plan I thought, but, I couldn't have been more wrong.  He stopped cleaning, doing laundry, taking care of the kids...or rather after I left, he never started.  Then on a Saturday morning I was 'surprised' when DCF ordered my kids out of the house due to the conditions inside.

I blame myself.  I should have fought to get him to let me in before it came to a head, afterall, I knew he didn't know how to be the parent in charge.  Things shifted.  Suddenly instead of just fighting him, I was fighting the state too.  The children went to stay at my Aunt's house for a few days while we I cleaned the house and did the piled up laundry.  The kids were back home, but, now we had the monkey of the State on our backs, still do, to be honest with you.

To this point I had been cherishing each and everyday with J, I mean, who would want a woman with seven children?  I decided I had found the answer to the age old question, "Is it better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all?"  I knew it was better to have loved, I wasn't sure how I was going to deal with the inevitable loss, but, I figured time would tell.  Much to my surprise, out of the ashes that had become my life, came something beautiful.  It turned out J wasn't just my true love, he was also going to be my forever love.  He didn't just love me, he loved my kids too.

We moved the baby girls into our home, previously known as J's home, first.  Then came my 10 year old.  Saturday, he saved my dogs' lives.  He rescued them from the 'rescue.'  At least he rescued the two of my dogs that didn't die in there.  He built them a phenomenal shelter out in the vast, but, sadly unfenced backyard.  As soon as the remodel is done in the back bedroom, Baby Z will join us here too.  As you can see, I didn't underestimate true love.

He doesn't just want to be there for my children, he wants to be there for our children.  He may not be their father, but, he is fast becoming Daddy.  At first it was 'J,' then it was 'Daddy J,' and now more often than not, it is just 'Daddy.'  Did I die and go to heaven?  I keep wondering...

My 6 year old adores him too, and while my 12 and 14 year olds resent the hell out of me, they both like and respect J.  The 14, 12, and 6 year olds will stay with DH.  He is better able to handle the older children, and they want to be with him.  The happiest balance that is possible, has been found.  We live less than four miles away from DH, so the visits are nearly daily.

As for me, I have found the man who puts his arms around all of us, because he is just big and strong enough to be able to, and tells me, "It is us against the world baby, through thick and thin."  I believe him.  He is brilliant, handsome, loving, funny, tender.  He was my salvation, and now he and my children, our little family, are my whole world.

From now on this Proud mom is blogging from the happiest point in her life, about our lives, and I think I am going to love it...I hope you all, my bloggy friends, will keep following me, commenting, and supporting me.  Just like 'Footprints,' this is where I need as much help as possible, to be carried through these rough patches, because there is still a long, hard, steep, road ahead. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Saying good-bye

This has been an incredibly difficult week. Many of my feathered companions have needed to find new homes. My furry companions are leaving tomorrow. I am on an emotional roller coaster and I am a freaking mess.

Just pray for us, so much needs to happen tomorrow...so, so much...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Back to roots long forgotten

When our oldest son was little, his father and I would take frequent trips to Northern Virginia, where my family is (at least the important part of it) and of course our son went with us. We toured the Smithsonian, the Capitol, watched the lighting of the White House Christmas tree, meandered around the Mall, climbed the Washington Monument, went to the zoo, attended mass at the Cathedral. You name it. Then this most important year came, his last year of middle school, and with it, the privilege of going to Washington on a field trip. We were a little surprised that when the field trip opportunity arose, BB pitched it to us as an experience of a lifetime. I feared those memories were to be treasured, but by his father and myself alone.

With thanks to his amazing grandparents, this 'opportunity of a lifetime' came to fruition for my son. I was excited for him to take this trip, convinced that as he experienced these breathtaking things, the memories would come back to him. I was sure that as he laid his hand of the wall, and felt the names etched in stone underneath his finger tips, he would remember. I thought for certain that as he gazed up at the airplanes that so fascinated him in his younger years, he would think about those times...that the memories would come flooding back. I was wrong.

It makes me want to weep with the heartache of it all. The holidays spent throwing snowballs, and watching the most important city in our nation light up with the festive colors, the sheer stubborn determination that he would exhibit when he insisted to feed the machine his own metro card. All those memories made with love, carried and cherished all these years aren't with him. They are only with us. It makes me wonder as each of my children grow older, what will be the important moments, and what will exist only as chicken soup for this mother's soul?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tiptoe among the tulips

My life right now is inside out, upside down, and sideways. I see precious little of my children. I see precious little of my fur and feather babies. However, I still bask in the love of good friends, a good man, and a wonderful family. In spite of the craziness that surrounds me and defines me at the moment...I still keenly feel, love, joy, and happiness. The question that remains is if there is a way to marry all of those feelings with the different roles I must play as a mother, partner, friend, and companion.

I know that I am being a little cryptic in my post. I ask that you forgive me for that. I will write something more detailed and definitive soon. In the meantime, will you all please tell me how you manage to play all the cards life deals you concurrently? Most of all, will you share how you manage (if indeed you do) from feeling inadequate in one venue while you concentrate on another? My inquiring mind wants to know...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Teen angst

I once had a friend tell me that teenage boys, "get those hormones going, and then they stay f#*ked up in the head until they start to get laid." At the time I thought it was a rather offensive statement, but I didn't entirely write it off since it was coming from a former teen boy. Actually, I still think it's an offensive statement but, would consider flying my teenager to Amsterdam to get high and get laid, if it meant that the child returning would somewhat resemble the one I gave birth to. Yep. I might just be *that* desperate.

My daughter texted me a link last night, it was along the lines of: WorldWideWeb.militaryschoolinformationfortroubledteens.edu

I guess I'm not the only one fed up with him. It can't all be in my head. Not if my daughter is researching potential boarding schools where we might deposit her older sibling. This thing is serious. This kid is killing me, and if that sounds like an exaggeration, he is in fact, torturing me into insanity. I mean, what mother sets her alarm to take her Xanax 45 minutes before her son's alarm is set to go off? Me. Clearly the answer is me, but, why should this be?

I tell people in stores in public places that he has Tourette's. That way they will excuse him and hopefully my clearly inadequate way of dealing with him. What does one say when their son utters a four letter word, or several of them strung together with as much hate as possible? I say nothing. I ignore him. I continue my shopping, placing my eggs carefully into my cart while I give curious onlookers a small sigh and an apologetic smile, "He has Tourette's," I say. What else can I do? I can't scream like a fish wife, or bend my six foot tall son over my knee. So? what do I do?

I take away his Xbox...he punches holes in my walls. I take away his cell phone...he goes after his little brother with a two by four. He controls the house. We tiptoe around him. We pray for him to sleep. We luxuriate in his absences. We have given up. We feel like we've tried everything legal to help him...to help us. So, what do we do? We have another 3 years, 8 months, and 14 days until he turns 18...not that we are counting of course.

Maybe my daughter has the right idea. Maybe military school is a good plan.

Friday, February 17, 2012

It's Friday...random style

I was on Facebook today, extolling the virtues of kitty cats and laziness, when my bloggy pal, Eric's Mommy, suggested I actually post something on my site. So, here goes Eric's Mommy, this post is for you kid!

My teenage son sprained his ankle yesterday. I am so immune to such types of disasters with the number of children I have, all as klutzy as their Proud mother, that I handed him an Ace bandage, crutches, his prescription strength Naproxen, and an ice pack, and decided to forgo the Emergency Room which would have done the exact same thing for him, eleven hours later. Who knew that the OCD mom, who assured he went to the doctor or hospital every time he sniffled as an only child, could evolve into moi?

The baby is officially mobile...and has found out how to scale the baby gate that separates my kitchen from the living room. Worse still, after watching his smooth moves...he has taught this neat trick to my two small dogs. When I wander downstairs at night and I catch the crotch of my...well anyway...my crotch, on this frigging gate, I have to ask myself why it is still there. The only person or thing it is effectively keeping out of the kitchen is me.

Money is still tight. Times are still tough. I could expound on this issue for awhile, but, it has begun to bore even me. Even typing the words, forced a yawn and a desire to see who has been kicking my butt at Words With Friends today. There will be nothing more at the moment about the Proud family economy, or any thoughts on our country's either, as we seem to be running neck and neck.

Cable on demand is a very efficient way to torture parents. Seriously, who needs waterboarding when you can just force someone into watching the same effing episode of Wow Wow Wubzy 40 times in a row? Does anyone in the CIA have small children? If I had anything to hide, I would have given it up, before Widget and Walden even came onto the screen, for the 40th time. I swear.

This subject brings me to my Irish twins. I am now able to begin to imagine how having real twins might feel. They speak a language of their own. Nobody else can understand a word they say, unless they deem it to be so. This loosely translates into the planning of chaos, mayhem, and painting the walls with my mascara...and we are none the wiser, because we never understand the evil plot, until we find ourselves in the midst of the broken guitar, missing Xbox hard drive, or Clinique wall murals. People, listen to me...DO NOT have children less than a year apart by choice. Really. It sounds cool and all...but, it isn't. Parents of multiples and for other parents of Irish twins...our reward is in Heaven. I hope.

I finally had my hair cut and colored. I went a full year (better than, really) without doing anything to it. Now, people tell me that they hardly recognize me. Seriously? I've worn my hair this way for 17 years, with the exception of the last 18 months, and now you don't recognize me? I find this slightly strange.

This concludes Random Friday. You all have a great weekend. Before I go though,
ergonomic keyboards were *not* and I repeat *not* made for hunt and peckers like me. Typing this post has started to make me wonder if I am having flashbacks...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It is wayyyy...past Monday

Blame it on the cable guy who was days late to hook up my service, blame it on the son, who insists to switch my desktop to his tv instead of my monitor.  Blame it on me being lazy...but, as Tanya reminded me...I am late.

Late with the blog post of course, not late late.  Thank goodness!

I have, what feels like a small army of children plotting my downfall.  I have the school board, collaborating with those same children, giving out days off like tic tacs.  It all seems to be leading to my demise.  Really.  Not just a bloggy demise, I mean, I've been there...done that...this is more of a blogging resurrection...slightly off track.

Cell phone blogging is not what it is all cracked up to be, so, when I retire to my humble abode for the evening, I shall get a real post up here, and, fix whatever I did wrong on our taxes.  I promise.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A new lease on life...and blogging too

Even though it would be my husband's fondest wish, my New Year's resolution isn't to diet, but, rather to make my way back to the blog world.  My little blog, so long abandoned, was such a great outlet for me, and diary of our lives.  From the Proud family to all of yours...Happy New Year!  And check back with me on Monday for updated pictures, a new post, and our family's latest news.  For now I'll leave you all with a picture of the seventh Proud child.