Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Help, on both sides, and a village

Im a giver. Its who I am. I love to help, to gift, to give. No strings attached. No thanks needed. Even if I dont know you. If I see/hear you are in need and I am able I will give. In fact some times it gets me in trouble. For example when a friend needs gas/grocery money on the 23rd of the month....and I have it sitting in my car payment account....Guess which bill is getting paid a little late??? Lol. It also means I have a tendency to give away almost as much as I sell each month. Not the most successful business plan but it works for me.
The flip side? Im not very good at ACCEPTING help, not to mention the anguish it causes me to ASK for it. Im learning to be better. Especially at this point in my health when we need soooooo much help it seems. I've gotten good at asking a group for help. It still takes a LOT for me to approach an individual and ask. So here's the thing. Please, please, PLEASE do not offer to help if its not sincere. If you say "Anything you need, just ask." "Anytime you need me, I'm here." "If you ever need help with the kids, just ask." I will. It will take a lot, and I may exhaust all other options and ways of DIY first but eventually you will pop up on my ask list. And when I approach you multiple times and here, "not this week" "I'm really tired today" "Sorry there's a sale I want to hit" I will try not to, but I will be offended. I may find my self hitting the 'unfriend' option. :hide: And even worse, NEVER volunteer someone else. Chances are I've already asked them. Its ok not to volunteer to help. I wont be offended.
It takes a village. At this point I find myself needing a large village. But you arent drafted, it's volunteers only. You can still be friends and not be in 'that' village. Its ok. Everyone isnt up to dealing with extra kids, or chauffeuring me to appointments or cooking meals. But I'm VERY thankful for those who are. The ones who sacrifice sleep, and sanity, to care for my children when I'm stuck in a hospital bed. So I can focus on healing and health and not worry myself sick about my family. Or worry how we will be able to pay our bills with DH missing so much work to try and do everything. The friends who I never imagined being the ones to step up and help. The school who surprises me by making sure my children are safe and fed, even during the summer. The neighbors who make sure our yard doesn't become an eyesore or a reason for code enforcement to fine us.
So bottom line.  If you offer, eventually I will ask. Please only offer if you are sincere.

Friday, May 20, 2016

When no one wins...does everyone loose???

My oldest had field day today and i was soooooo happy to feel well enough to go. Now it was modified and inside due to rain but ive been several times. Now if you dont have kids i know what you are picturing. Hot day, water bottles, sunburn, being outside ALL day at school. Classes competing against each other, cheering on team mates, tug of war, three legged race, ribbons and awards at the end of the day. Well thats how WE did field day, but unfortunately its no longer anything like that:(
There were no teams, winners, pries, ribbons or even keeping score. Volleyball, 4 square, jump rope, hula hoop.....normal gym activities, nothing *special*. No one wins. No one even sweats. Did the kids have fun, sure. Did it build character, teach them about team work, not a chance. It was very uninspiring. And it made me think, when we raise a generation where no one wins, does everyone by default loose???
With common core, and weird grading (that i DESPISE) the kids dont strive to win, do get 100 or an A+. My heart broke a little the day my  year old came home and told me excitedly that she could miss "x" words on her spelling test and "still get a 3". Are we teaching our children to aim for the minimum??? To not be the best they can be?? I was that child who HAD to get 100, A+, 4.2 GPA. I wanted to be THE BEST and i aimed for it. What do our children have to aim for? Mediocrity??? Ugh

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bucket list

Bucket lists were all the rage several years ago. I always found them slightly morbid, even if they were the "30 things to do before 30" type. Even though i tend to plan to the extreme (because our family trip to Strawberry Festival" would be completely RUINED if i couldnt track down the kids coordinating strawberry outfits lol). But now im in that place in my life where im beginning to see the benefit. And making a bucket list, and accomplishing those set goals is a much easier way to 'get my affairs in order' than the alternatives.
So what goes on a bucket list??? Back packing across Europe or seeing Australia or the Alps would be awesome but its not attainable unless i could somehow figure out how to drag my doctor along. And theres no cheating on the bucket list. I cant say "watch my kids grow up and get married and in 80 years die of old age, peacefully in my sleep. here begins the practical bucket list journey, heavy on the crafty stuff lol.

1) Take the kids to the beach. Location of said beach is not important. The experience on the other hand is.

2) go camping :gulp: the kids have been begging to go for years, but sleeping outside just isnt my cut of tea. But i can do one night...I think.

3) make 'mommy' quilts and memory bears for the kids and michael. That way they will always have something to hold on to and snuggle.
*open to advice on said quilts as besides tshirt quilts and baby blankets i have very little experience.

4) Make and preserve 'life event' items for the kids. Baby blankets for their future children, cloth pad starter sets for the girls for when they need them, wedding day lingerie. Im praying the doctors are wrong and i have a looooooong life ahead of me. And if thats the case not only will i be ecstatic but those items will be needed one day anyways, even if its years down the line.

5)Write notes for Michael and the kids for birthdays, life events, holidays. Im not great with words but im praying God provides me with the correct ones.

6) Get the children involved in some activities that do not revolve around mommys doctors visits and holiday stays. Girl scouts, cub scouts, sports, etc

Thats all for now........

Kids are resilient and making friends

Kids are resilient. In every aspect. They bounce back from broken bones, heart breaks and anything else life throws their way. My nine year old comes home one day in tears bc her beast friend said they "werent BFFs anymore", 12 hours later its all forgotten and they are planning a sleepover lol. As an adult, and a mom, that does not baffle me one bit. Its completely normal. But not for moms. Especially stay at home moms. We no longer *have* to deal with people daily (outside of our family that is). There are no classmates, co workers, casual acquaintances that you would allow to put you through the seesaw drama that tweens experience daily. If a friend slighted us in any way, like so many other things in life these days, they are replaceable. Now dont get me wrong, Ive seen some actions from *adults* that definitely are the international  cue to RUN. For the same reason. We no longer HAVE to deal with them, so we dont. But this makes it very hard to make and keep friends. We can look into the future and see the "what ifs" and weigh the consequences of putting up with toxic people. And some times its not worth it......But how many potential friends have we passed over because someone was just having a bad day???
Some of my closest friends and trust me, most weeks im a borderline hermit lol, are the ones i met by chance. The one i met because she locked herself out of her car and was stranded. Being the night owl i am, i was up to see her cry for help on a local page and drove to her rescue. That was our first meeting. Yes, in retrospect it could have gone horribly wrong but instead i made a good friend.
At this point in my life when im dealing with bucket lists and phrases like 'quality of life' being tossed around, I wish I had more friends. I wish my 'village' were bigger and at any point in time i could reach out and instantly have someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on. Im hoping that yearning will surpass my natural tendencies to avoid potentially awkward situations and the risk of being tossed back into the "mean girls" high school mind frame that has overtaken many mommy groups.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

up all night....a different perspective to parenting.....

I dont post a lot, partly because im busy (lol), partly because im hesitant to share 'too much' online. But this one needs to be said.

Any parent of 2+ will tell you every child is different.  They learn different ways and at different paces, they react differently...and they SLEEP differently. My oldest (8) has NEVER slept through the night. Not a huge deal or a medical concern, she really just relocates. Comes and finds mom or dad and goes back to sleep, even if she goes back to her bed. Of course this could be because we co-slept for the first few.....or 5 years. She likes to know we are there. My second(6) never liked co-sleeping. It wasnt happening. By 6 months she had to be in HER bed, in HER room by 8pm or someone would pay. She slept through the night from then on. She doesnt 'relocate', shes asleep allllllll night. My third(4) is kind of inbetween. Usually he sleeps all night, occasionally he has a bad dream or accident and wakes up. It was a nice balance. We got sleep even if multiple children, and dogs, were in our bed by midnight;)

Then came our fourth(2). Because of medical issues, she just never developed a 'normal' sleep pattern. Feeding tubes, apnea monitors, hospital stays. I dont think she equates nighttime with sleep. Tired=sleep time. If it happens to coincide with darkness thats good, if not thats ok too. 22 hours a day crying the first 6-10 weeks, sleeping in a chair in the nursery to be close by......Sleep kind of became a thing of the past for me. (My husband is lucky enough to be able to sleep through natural disasters, but at least one of us gets sleep lol) Add in trying to run a business in addition to a household of 6....yeah.....

So its been a struggle....She goes to bed around 8, and wakes up 3 hours later ready to play for 4-5 more hours. Shes just NOT tired. (And we limit sugar, she doesnt get caffeine and DOES get melatonin some nights...Its not something we are doing, its just her.) Fighting, begging, bribing....Done it all. After all, mommy is tired. But recently, Ive had a different approach...

Now, we bond. Last night we had chips and bed...while reading books. Sure mommy was tired, but a cup of tea took care of that. She was happy. Then she went back to sleep. She woke up and she was happy. And after all, mommy can sleep during Paw Patrol easily;)~  Now eventually she will have to learn to sleep through the night...It could be tonight since she fell asleep using the potty at seven. (As a good mom, of course i snapped pics before putting her in bed lol).

One day soon she will older, bigger, more mature. She wont want to play with mommy. So whether that impulse hits at noon or midnight, I will be there to play. I should also add that her new favorite sentence (to me) is "Mommy, I wub you soooooooo much. You is my bestest mommy." Pretty sure im wrapped tightly around that little finger.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

My kids are heartbroken...and its YOUR FAULT

Thats right YOU. I know you dont know me, you've never met my kids but guess what its still YOUR fault. And here's why. Our society has a huge issue with disposable items. No, this isnt a cloth diaper post. Dishes, furniture, cars, pets. Everything is disposable at will. Couch gets stained, buy a new one. Cup gets left outside, toss it. Car breaks down just get a new one. And i totally get sometimes its cheaper to buy new than repair or replace. We totally just bought a new car instead of putting thousands of dollars into a 16 year old one. But this isnt about cars, its about animals.
But just for fun im going to start at the end....
First thing this morning, after staying up two nights in a row to force feed puppies fluids and meds every 1-2 hours i got to tell my kids that one died. Because i was irresponsible and didnt spay my pet? NO. Because someone else was and i was trying to clean up the mess. You can get pets spayed for $20-30. DO IT!!!! Your pet doesnt need offspring. Be responsible. Because THIS is what happens. And no, I wont post pictures of my 8 year old bawling her eyes out holding a dead puppy. That would be cruel. So is not fixing your pets.
And trust me i know what you are thinking, its ok if my dog/cat has babies. Babies are cute, ill find them homes easily. If that were true, why would hundred, thousands even of BABY animals be put to sleep in shelters every week?!?!!? IDK, maybe you are right. Maybe those just werent "cute" enough. BTW you can have the most beautiful dog in the world and it can have not so cute puppies. (Been there too. Husky+ weenie dog= eek)
So say your precious pooch get out and gets knocked up. Out come FIFTEEN puppies!!!!! Do you know 15 people wanting a puppy? probably not. So 8 weeks later you have 9 left, or more. They are no longer little rolly polly puff balls. They are bigger and teething, and not house trained yet and nipping. So you take them to the shelter. Because "they are cute, someone will adopt them". Except the shelter is overfull. And you know who gets put to sleep first? Babies!!!!Cute and cuddly doesnt save them.
Now say they are lucky, a rescue pulls them. ut they were already in the shelter for a day or two, exposed to tons of germs, including parvo. They are BABIES!!!  They arent immune to anything and they go from healthy wiggly pups to dead with little or no warning.
So I get some of these puppies as a foster witha  rescue. My children help me bathe them, name them, love them. They talk about what kind of family will adopt them and where they will live. They go to sleep dreaming of these bright futures..... and wake up being told they didnt make it despite mommy staying up all night to give fluids and meds.
Thats not my problem, you say.
True. Its not mine either. But as my father told me loooong ago. If you arent part of the solution, you are part of the problem. You may not have pets, yours may be fixed, you may not even LIKE pets. But every time you scroll past a plea for donation on a FB rescue group, or walk by an adoption without tossing your spare change in the donation jar, throw away old towels and blankets instead of donating them, YOU choose to not help. You choose NOT to foster for 24 hours and that puppy dies. You dont have to do it ALL, you just have to do SOMETHING. ANYTHING. Rescues do everything they can. We are short of foster homes, short on supplies and short on FUNDS.
If you read this and choose to do nothing, YOU have now chosen to become part of the problem.
Find a local rescue, donate time, talent, funds, anything!!!!! I will leave you with this.
12 hours ago Sonny and Cher were bouncing around with tails wagging. They were "a little sick". Now Sonny is dead. Cher and their brother Erik are at the vet. Erik is not doing well. So here's how you help. Too busy to foster? You are going to help us save these puppies. You are going to donate. Paypal address is Put sonny and cher in the notes. All funds will go to their care. Every penny. Every dollar helps. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Chewy Granola Bars

  • 2 1/2 cups (230 grams) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup (113 grams) honey
  • 1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (67 grams) mini chocolate chips

Prepare Oven and Pan
Heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Line bottom and sides of a 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil. Then lightly oil or spray with cooking spray.
Toast Oats
Add oats  to a small baking sheet then bake 5 minutes, stir and bake another 3 to 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Transfer to a large bowl.

Prepare Granola Bars
Combine butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract and the salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves.
Pour butter mixture in to bowl with toasted oats. Mix well. Let cool about 5 minutes then add  a 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips. Stir to combine. (The chocolate chips will most likely melt a little. This is fine, they turn into glue and help to hold the bars together).

  • Transfer oat mixture to lined pan then use a rubber spatula or damp finger tips to firmly press the mixture into the pan. (Press hard here, this way the bars will stay together once cooled and cut — We press for about one minute to be extra safe).
  • Scatter remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips over pressed granola mixture then use a rubber spatula to gently press them into the top. Cover then refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  • Remove block of granola mixture from pan then peel away aluminum foil. Cut into 12 bars.