Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 in status updates

This is cool. It's called "A Year in Status" and it auto-generates a posting of status updates. Sadly, I have thousands upon thousands so it pulled from July through December. I made two because....well...I could. :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all of you out there who come by day after day to read what I write. As you know, 2010 wasn't the best of years for me so I am really pinning some serious hope that 2011 will be a kinder and gentler year for me with a generous mix of love, happiness, great health, friends, laughter, success and, of course, a rockin' awesome job that I will love and will pay well enough to keep things running at a good pace with room for extras (and will somehow compensate for the time the children will be in day care and not with me).

2010? You weren't so kind and gentle. You were harsh and unforgiving. You brought pain so deep in the past 12 months that I think it rivals the past 12 years. But, to be fair, you also brought to light the fact that I have some seriously amazing friends and even more amazing family. You taught me that I not only can be completely alone, I actually crave it. You showed me what things and treatment I absolutely will not put up with again and you showed me the good things I deserve and didn't have.

Oh yes. You broke my heart a few times. That goes without saying but in the the end I am still standing and to be quite honest, I had doubts several times along the year.

So here is to 2011. May the good outweigh the not good a million to one.

Enjoy the start to your New Year. The kids and I head north tomorrow morning and won't be back for a few days. the kids like to say......

See You Next Year! :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Has Left The Building

Without regret, I boxed up Christmas and put it all away. This is the earliest I have ever put away Christmas but I've had my fill and need it to go away from my day to day life. Yesterday I was stir crazy with wanting it away from me but the kids weren't ready yet so I left it alone.

Today though, out came the boxes and strapping tape and in no time at all, it was all out of sight. (I think I need to find a good place to buy discount office supplies though because I am out of strapping tape again. Where does it all go?)

I'm not sorry to see it go. It was a tough season for me in many, many ways and I am really hoping that 2011 will be kinder and gentler to me. I hope to see things come together for me and for the kids but more of all, I hope the year is filled with peace, joy, good friends, love and laughter.

Here's hoping the same for all of you.

New Couches

The couches in my house had seen better a long shot. I had taken to re-stitching the repairs I had already made over the years of dogs and kids being rough with the furniture. They were gross...and embarrassing and for the past year have, honestly, been taunting me. I have long dreamed of new couches but figured they were out of reach for a long while yet to come.

Then my birthday and Christmas and good friends came along and suddenly, I found myself being the owner of a new couch and love seat. And I love them!

Moving out the old and in the new took some serious strength, which I do not possess thanks to the damage to my spine and the resulting nerve damage. So Marlene and a son of her friend came to the rescue. I don't think they needed to read any testoripped reviews because their strength was pretty impressive. The old nasty couches were moved into the garage until a truck can be obtained to take them to the dump (They are that bad. Too yucky to even think about giving away for free.) and the new couches that make my heart sing, were moved in and set up.

The kids and I are VERY happy and I predict I will be finally spending time in the living room again (something I have avoided for most of the year). Maybe this is a really good step for taking control back in my life. A girl can hope.

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's Here

December 24th is here and, ready or not, here we go. The kids should be home from their overnight with Dakota soon and then it really begins. Maybe a Christmas movie watched together? Later this evening, Dakota and Vicki will be back for a Christmas Eve dinner, the tracking of Santa (thanks to the internet), the annual reading of the Night Before Christmas, the leaving out of Santa's treats...and the carrots for the reindeer, the chaos of Christmas Eve bedtime when two little ones will be too excited to settle down.

Then the adults will bring out their gifts for the kids and put them under the tree. Dakota and Vicki will return to their house and I will go to sleep so Santa can do his thing.

The kids, I'm sure, will be up and down all night wondering if it's time. Wondering if Santa really did come. I predict they will both end up in bed with me and there will be precious little sleep to be had.

Dakota and Vicki will come back at 6AM and we will free the kids from the back of the house so they can run to see what wishes have come true for them. I am looking forward to their excitement. Christmas is magical when you are little.....and I hope and pray the magic stays alive for them for a long, long, long time.

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone. May the love and joy of the next few days fill your heart and soul.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

We All Need Saving - Lyrics

It's Coming

Twas the night before the night before Christmas and Casey was in full denial that Santa would soon be there. How is it possible? I feel a little like the Grinch - wanting to hold it back, stop it from coming but, like the Grinch learned, Christmas comes anyway.

And so it shall.

I sat down and went through all the cards I received this year. Twenty-nine in all as of yesterday. Twenty-nine people sat down and thought about me and the kids when they addressed the envelope and signed the card. Hundreds of you a day come by here and each time, it's because you have thought about us...or are thinking of us. That's pretty amazing really. All of you thinking of us. And still....I feel alone and lost. How is that possible?

None the less, thank you. Thank you for thinking of me. I wish you all the very Merriest Christmas. I hope we all find peace and experience good will.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

You Asked For It.......

Peppermint Kisses

Step 1: Heat oven to 200 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with wax paper or parchment

Step 2: In a large bowl, combine 3 large egg whites and 3/4 cup sugar. Place bowl over a pot of gently simmering water, and whisk constantly until sugar dissolves and egg mixture feels warm to touch, about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Remove bowl from water bath. With mixer on high, beat until very still peaks form, about 6 minutes. (Which I've actually noticed takes 8-10 minutes).

Step 4: Spoon mixture into a large freezer weight bag fitted with a star tip (or cake decorating bag - that's what I use but warning: This step is MESSY!) and pipe kisses onto baking sheets. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Bake until crisp throughout, about 1 hour. To cool, leave in oven with door closed about 1 hour.

Makes approx. 4 dozen
And just in case you are wondering......I am still struggling to find some sense of peace. Thank goodness for my children.

Peppermint Kisses try to keep in line with Christmas' Past, I got up this morning determined to make Kelton's favorite Christmas treat, Peppermint Kisses. They aren't hard to make and took me three go arounds to get them right. I know the recipe by heart but my head is all over the place these days and I completely messed up. The first batch was a double batch which meant 6 eggs. When it wouldn't whip up correctly, I made a single batch (3 eggs). Half way through that mixing I realized that it wasn't whole was just supposed to be the egg WHITES. Holy cow.

Twelve eggs later.......the mix was perfect and I was ready to move to the next steps and I no longer wanted to use a kershaw blur on myself. Kidding. But still....I was close to the edge and thought that if I hadn't had two expectant little faces watching me, I would have ditched the whole project after the first disastrous results.

So...if you are lucky enough to eat one of these peppermint kisses, be incredibly grateful. This was almost the first time in 5 years I didn't make them.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Nugget of Wisdom

Dakota emailed this to me today. She in on the email list for this place but thought this was especially good to share. I thought so to. At least, it speaks to me.

"When you realize that every part of your life is working
to bring you closer to knowing your true nature more
completely, then life can only get better."
- from The Passion Test

Life is here for your joy.

When it seems tough, relax.

Let go.

Go within and gain clarity.

Your life is on the path of ever-increasing happiness . . .

If you will allow it to unfold.

Monday, December 20, 2010

“It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens, but it is never gone.”

Rose F. Kennedy


This weekend I received an email from one of my readers which really shook me. It came in late Saturday night and I have to say, it kept me awake for a while. My heart was shattered for her. Last Thursday, her husband of 13 years killed himself. Apparently he had been living in a constant state of physical pain for the past 11 years and he finally reached his breaking point.

She wrote because she said she has been impressed with my strength over the past year and that she hopes to be half as strong while she goes through her own loss.

That stunned me. I starred at the words she had written and though "Strong? Me? What is she talking about? And her loss is so huge compared to mine." But then, as I sat there thinking some more, I could start to see the similarities. While I will in no way say they are the same, there is similarities in any big loss. But I still fail to understand where people see strength in me. I feel anything BUT strong.

I wonder if you installed hidden cameras in my house if you would still see strength in me. I doubt it. I still spin easily, I still cry often, I struggle daily to face the world as a single a person who has been rejected in one of the most personal ways imaginable. Damaged.

But then I can also see where I have finally found peace in being alone. Where I crave the silence and the peace so I can hear myself think. I have discovered that I need to take care of me and not just everyone around me. I'm finally on a list of own list.....but a list. I can buy things that make ME happy and not give a thought to whether someone else will like it...or judge me for my taste. I have discovered I like a different style of clothing and I no longer dress like "just a mom".

But's not all happy. The realization that I have no idea of who I really am hit me hard and without mercy on Friday when I went to the mall to pick up my last two gifts. I walked into the main mall which was bustling with moms and children. I was instantly aware of where I no longer fit. Something else that is forever gone. I am no longer a mom of young children. I no longer have someone to push in a stroller, to spend every moment of the day with. No permanent sidekick. The reality hit me so hard it took all I had to stay standing. The loss overwhelmed me.

I have lost so much in the past 12 months. The family I dreamed of and worked so hard to have, sacrificed so much for, the safety of being someones someone, my role with my children. I feel like I have been pulled under the water by a wave and I am scrambling for all I'm worth to find something solid to stand on but all there is shifting sand. I am working so hard to keep my head above the water and some moments, I am successful and others? Others not so much. And I will admit that sometimes I would be ok with the water winning. I'm not saying it's the right choice - I'm just saying I understand having a limit and being pushed beyond it.

Is that being strong? I don't know. But I do know this: I wish Linda strength as she travels the road of losing Mike. I wish her peace beyond measure as she faces this Christmas and every Christmas after because I know how hard it is to find peace in the holidays after having a loss you never imagined would happen.

Linda, I wish I could reach through and hug you. Please know you are in my thoughts. Feel free to email me any time. Maybe we can help hold each other up.

Jack the Elf

As you know from years gone by, Jack the Elf lives at our house from Thanksgiving to Christmas. He is like little hidden cameras (one of the best hidden cameras for the month of December) all over the place watching the kids and reporting back to Santa each and every night.

I'm not saying it's a perfect solution to the daily drama of childhood but it's a fun game to play. Jack hides in different places every day and does his own personal surveillance of their behavior and then goes to the North Pole every night to report to Santa. Kaylen asked if he had a tiny camera so that he could show Santa what they were doing. I had to say I didn't really know but maybe he does have a little nanny cam or something.

Yesterday when he kids came home, Kaylen stopped by to say hello to him. It was so cute. They wanted to know if he had moved over the weekend while they were gone. I said he did and that I think he was missing them.

Today, Santa's little spy is hiding on top of the entertainment center on the shoulder of a Santa decoration. I love when the kids spot him and yell out "I see him! I found Jack!"

Everyone should have an Elf on the Shelf in their house. It's such a fun tradition.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Read In Day

Today is Read In and Pajama Day at school and the kids were so excited. They both changed into the jammies they wanted to wear and loaded up their backpacks with books, stuffed friends and blankets. Kelton upped the ante by taking the beanbag chair. :)

They could not wait to get to school!

We arrived and the kids announced to everyone that it is my birthday and then, just for fun, told everyone how old I am. *sigh* I got the kids settled into their rooms and as I was starting to leave, the fire alarm sounded. Yikes. Kaylen's teacher and I looked around and quickly spotted the culprit: a toddler in his mothers arms pulled the alarm as they stood in the doorway to say goodbye to their kindergartner. The mom was horrified. I felt her pain - there but for the grace of God and all. The teacher took the kids outside and I walked over to the office to let them know where the pulled alarm was located. Needless to say, it was a blood pumping way to start the day. :)

I felt bad for all the kids standing in the field wearing nothing but their pajamas. Brrrrrrrrr. I'm sure most of the PJ clad teachers were wishing they were somewhere warm applying tanning lotions instead of shivering. I guess the silver lining is that the rain wasn't pouring down right then.

Oh - and here is something: Kaylen's teacher met me at the door yesterday to let me know that Kaylen had been rubbing her head and when asked, admitted she had a headache. Later, she complained of not being able to read the board from her seat. After asking some questions, the teacher moved her closer and she was able to see well enough. Necia, the teacher, said "I happen to have a 4pm appt Thursday with Dr. S and I can't keep it. I'll call and cancel and you call and grab it.

So - Kaylen is going to the eye doctor to get stronger lenses on Thursday. At least this pair lasted her 2 months instead of just 3 weeks. Poor girl. :(

That's about all from here today. It's bound to be a quiet day. The kids have early release but we have nothing planned other than hanging out and just being home together. And that is ok with me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

I'm here

Nope. I haven't given up blogging. I just gave up on trying to find something to write about and, instead, chose to pull the covers over my head. Today is the first day I haven't had massive cobwebs filling my brain but just the same, I wasn't motivated to do too much. I did end up making an eye appointment for myself (Thanks to the Lion Club) since my vision is getting increasingly worse. I also vacuumed and swept not to mention dishes, laundry, etc. I'm not a total slug.....

Wednesday is my *gulp* birthday. I hope it passes quietly because every time I think about it, I get a "kick in the gut" feeling. December used to be my favorite month of the entire year but last year and this year I mostly just want to survive it and move on. Maybe some day it won't feel like this.

Judge me if you want but thinking about this month reminds me of the emotions I had when we were doing the funeral planning for my mom. Sure, there were moments of grins and giggles but mostly it was the kick in the gut feeling. I guess loss is loss though, you know?

I need to get off my behind and start working on wrapping the kids gifts and making sure I have everything in order for the big day. I was thinking I would get it done this week while they are at school but more and more I'm thinking I will spend my weekend taking care of everything. Pull into myself, be alone, watch something on TV and wrap gifts. During the Christmas break, the kids and I are going to not plan a lot besides looking at lights and making the Christmas goodies they like. I'm going to try to keep it fun for them without it being too much for me. A delicate balance to be sure.

Tonight is our first night of getting out to look at lights. They are very excited and I have to say, I'm looking forward to sharing it with them.

Fa La La La La

Monday, December 06, 2010

Brain Dump

I am finding myself really struggling mentally and emotionally right now. I mistakenly assumed that by the time the one year mark came and went, I'd be feeling better about my lot in life. Everyone said that the first year is the hardest and technically, I have started the second year so why isn't it coming together?

Did I expect a magical date to come and set all things in my world right? To make me suddenly happy and content more times than not? Maybe I did. Maybe I had my sights set so tightly on the year mark. But then....have I gotten to the year mark yet? Is there still hope for the magic bullet? Technically, Dakota didn't move out until January. Last December was it's own special hell for me and while this year isn't painful in the same way, it's still painful.

I close my eyes and take deep breathes often in order to try to keep my happy face on for the kids. They are excited because, it is after all, Christmas. I just want it over and done with. But then, I also want to freeze time right here.

It's very confusing to be in my head these days.

But anyway.....

The kids went shopping last week with Dakota to buy gifts for me. I've already taken the kids to get Vicki and Dakota gifts. It's no easy feat to come up with gift ideas the two kids can agree upon. Kaylen was determined they both needed jewelry and kept gravitating towards anything shiny. Her future partner is bound to have a jewelry loving girl on their hands. Thankfully right now, she doesn't know the difference between diamond and cubic zirconia engagement rings but I have feeling that once she is old enough, the will know every single gem out there. Anyway, I talked her out of jewelry and she finally settled on something else. (I can't say because I think they both read this.) Kelton made a great choice on his own.

I still need to take them out to find something for each other. That is harder than you think since I don't usually have one on one time with either of them. I'll have to be creative as to how I handle this.

I have a couple more things to pick up before I am completely done. I want to be done but because of the head games I play with myself, I'm having trouble just getting it done. Thankfully a friend of mine was kind enough to let me do about 6 hours of office work to make a little extra money to fill in the gift-gap. It felt really good to be productive and help someone get work done. And picking up some extra money didn't hurt either.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Paw Prints

Kaylen has been receiving paw prints at school almost daily. Paw prints are given out at school for positive behavior and once a week there is a drawing to see which student wins a prize. Kaylen will not put her paw prints in for the drawing (she says "I won't win anyway.") and instead brings them home.

When she first started getting them, they were few and far between and to encourage her do things on her own (which is one of the reasons she is getting them - bravery) I set up a special reward: on the day when she gets a paw print, she can sleep in my bed with me.

Well now. This week she has gotten a paw print every single day. Every. Single. Day.

I'm thrilled for her because it means she is really standing up to the challenges she faces every day at school but wow! A munchkin in my bed every night is a lot. Some nights, when she is particularly restless, I will move her back to her bed (which she seems to be ok with). I figure it's either that or I will need to start reaching for the sleeping pills to get some good sleep.

Is it wrong that I hope she doesn't get one today? Yeah, I know it is. Clearly I am going to need to come up with a new reward system. Though between you and me, most times it makes me happy to roll over and see her little sleeping face next to me. :)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

If You Are Only As Old As You Feel.....

...I must be 180 years old this week.

It's been an extremely rough week emotionally which equates to not enough sleep....or maybe that there just isn't enough hours to sleep. Last night I fell asleep putting the kids to bed and didn't get up until my alarm went off. Still - I crave more sleep. Sleep, I learned over the past year, is a great escape.

With all the sleep I try to get you wouldn't think I would need to read up on eye wrinkle cream reviews but you'd be wrong. On a good day, I still look like I have bags under my eyes. And my laugh lines? We really don't want to go there. :)

I'll be 46 in 13 days and today? Today I am feeling each and every one of those about 50 more.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


or lack thereof.

I'm exhausted these days. I've started taking all the vitamins again in the hopes that they will help. I sleep though probably not nearly enough as I need. I sneak in naps when I just can't function any longer. I take all my prescriptions as prescribed. I try to breathe and just take it moment by moment.

And yet I could use a miracle protein powder to boost my energy. Then maybe the floors would get attended to more frequently and the deeper cleaning would get done. As it is, I do what I need to do to skate by. I will actually Swiffer the dining room table when I can draw pictures in the layer of dust. The laundry and dishes are always caught up and beds are made every day.

But am I jumping up and down with an excess of energy? Hardly. My to do list seems daunting and it is, December 1st. As every mommy knows, this is a busy month. So here's hoping I have the energy to get it all done.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wild Week

It's been a wild week since I last posted. Kelton had a 24 hour bug that kept him home Monday and Tuesday. Kaylen came down with it Tuesday-Wednesday and Marlene and I came down with it Thursday-Friday. Yep, you read that right. Over Thanksgiving.

Our Thanksgiving feast consisted of jello, ginger ale and crackers. At least there weren't any dishes to do. :) (And a BIG shout out to Cande who ran to the store to pick up stuff for us. Thank you!!!!!)

The kids were picked up around 2:30PM Thursday for a long weekend with Dakota and Vicki which meant I could finally go back to bed and sleep for a while. I felt much better when I woke and by morning I was "cautiously optimistic" that that worst was over. I slept in Friday but Marlene went out and about to hit the 4AM sales. She wandered home around 10 and then we went out and had breakfast before running a few errands and ending up at her ex's house to hang out for the rest of the day.

Saturday Marlene went to a family birthday party that I wasn't up for attending. I will just share that it was hard to be away from my kids for the holiday and especially for all those days. It was the longest time span I have EVER been away from them. Family time with someone else's family just felt too hard to face right then. I stayed behind, hung out with a friend and worked on my Christmas cards.

I got the phone call that Kaylen's first tooth had finally come out. It was incredibly bittersweet for me. I was sooooo happy for her but sooooo sad for myself. It was the very first milestone of childhood that I have missed with my kids. I couldn't help going back and forth between sadness and anger at having missed it. Yeah yeah - it could have fallen out anywhere but it didn't and I missed it. If you are a mom who has been there for all the milestone, you know what I am talking about. A crushing blow but there is nothing to do about it. That's life.

That evening we hung out again with a friend and a good time was had by all. We stayed up too late and laughed too hard but it was all good.

Sunday we opted to have a sleep in day and I didn't get up and moving until after noon. The kids were due back around 2PM so I got up, got things in order and said goodbye to Marlene so the kids and I could have some much needed together time.

It was amazing to see them at the door! I swear they each grew an inch! We spent hours catching up, cuddling and hearing all about their fun weekend adventures.

It is sooooooo good to have my babies back with me.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nothing Says Holidays Like.....

...sick children. Kelton woke up at 4 this morning complaining that his tummy hurt. He had a few go arounds in the bathroom, took a warm bath thinking that would help and finally crawled in next to me (I had Kaylen on the other side because she woke up unhappy about her stuffy nose).

I started trying to figure out how the day would work. Clearly Kelton needed to stay home but how could I get Kaylen to school and deal with her lunch issue, etc. I just didn't know how it would work. I talked calmly to Kaylen and touched on "I need to stay and take care of Kelton so I can't come to lunch today but I can find someone to be with you." No dice. She became hell bent on not going to school.

I started spinning lots of ideas in my head but none would work. Hmmmm.....I really wanted her to go to school. I decided to call Dakota and trouble shoot. Usually she doesn't work Monday but since it's a holiday week, she is working today. (Of course.) We kicked around some ideas and finally came to the decision that Kaylen would go this morning and I will bring her home at lunch time. I just can't be in two places at the same time.

I got Kaylen ready for school and took her over. I left my sick Kelton at home for the 10 minutes it took me to take her over and drop her off. I got her settled and came home and called Kelton's name. I left him on the couch but he wasn't there. He had gone into my room to snuggle in my bed and watch TV. I walked into the room and was greeted with a little boy, sitting upright, with a lap full of puke.

No. Way.


I got him cleaned up and took the comforter, cover and towels to the laundry room. Sadly, my comforter is very difficult to wash and dry here which I know because Friday the kitten peed on my bed twice (on BOTH of my comforters though he is off the hook. We had a vet appt for him anyway so they ran his urine and found he had a UTI. He is now on antibiotics and is back to using the litterbox) and the kids and I spent Friday evening at the laundromat.

I have remade my bed, added extra protection coverings and gave him a barf bowl. It's going to be an interesting day.

I'm hoping like crazy Kaylen doesn't catch it. Or my sister, brother in law, niece or nephew (who was here visiting us for the weekend).

The good news about today? It's supposed to SNOW! I love snow days. I love being snowed in with my kids and just having fun. There is something magical about snow days.

I have pictures and adventure stories of the weekend to share once I get things downloaded. I will tell you that we had a great weekend that was packed with fun and excitement. The kids and I were completely and utterly exhausted last night which resulted in a massive meltdown by Kelton over various things that broke my heart. I can't help but wonder if some of it wasn't fueled by over tiredness as well as starting to get sick. My poor buddy. I hope he is better will suck to be sick and miss out on the snow play if the snow arrives as scheduled.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ho Ho Ho

If you haven't noticed by now, I am skipping over Thanksgiving completely and just moving forward into an elongated Christmas season. The kids will be with Dakota and her side of their family for Thanksgiving so I figured we could spend more time in the Christmas spirit. Or something like that.

Yesterday Groupon had a great deal for Santa pictures at a local mall so I clicked "buy" and today the kids and I ventured out to get our annual Santa photo. They were very excited and had a great time visiting Santa.

The Trimming of the Tree

Monday, November 15, 2010

Random Ramblings on a Monday Night

I have nothing specific to entertain you with tonight but heck - I'm sitting here so I may as well blog about *something*. The holidays are coming, which I'm sure you all know but in case you didn't yet realize it, there it is. They are coming.

I am so not ready.

The house is semi-decorated for Christmas (Don't judge. Thanksgiving is a holiday that just isn't a big deal to me. Never has been.) Inside, all that is left is the tree which the kids would like to put up tomorrow. I'm pushing for Wednesday but we'll see how it plays out. I don't so much care as long as there is time to enjoy doing it together. I will have to get egg nog though as Kelton sees that as a critical part of tree decorating. :)

The outside decorations still need to be dealt with but I have a week before I really have to break out the best acne product to deal with my stress acne over decorating so as to keep the kids Christmas intact.

I finally got some gift ideas from Kelton so I need to squeeze in some child-free shopping. It's going to be a lean Christmas but that's life and I'm sure a lot of us are in the same place. I've been squirreling away funds from here and there so hopefully there will be enough to let Santa do his thing.

Kaylen and I both need haircuts this weeks. I can still cut Kelton's hair at home but Kaylen's is tricky (it's straighter) and well...I have yet to be able to cut my own hair without looking mighty frightening.

So much to do and never enough time to do it. Such is life, I suppose. But for now? It's time to hit the pillows and get some much needed sleep. Good night.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Decked the Halls

It was bittersweet but thanks to Marlene, it was more sweet than bitter.

But wow! I was in a piss poor state of mind when I packed stuff away last year (hmmm...wonder why.) Things were seriously just thrown into boxes instead of carefully packed away. Oh well.....very little damaged so it's all good. :)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Love and Logic

I have been given the amazing opportunity to take a 7 week course in Love and Logic (thank you, Dakota, for bouncing around your night with the kids for these 7 weeks). I've been wanting to take this class for years now but until this year, the timing never worked out. Last night was week 4 and I have to say, I am really enjoying it. Marlene is taking it with me with the thought that it will allow us to be on the same page when it comes to dealing with the kids. I think that is vital when you merge kids and parents who are being raised/raising differently and have different life values. It's tough on the best of days.

Anyway, after class last night I stayed after and talked with the counselors who are facilitating the class to see how I can hand over the ownership to Kaylen for some of her issues (one of the premises is having kids own their own "stuff" instead of parents owning it for them which allows them to develop the life skills they need to be successful people). After getting a run down on Kaylen they looked at each other and said "You can't. She can't take responsibility for getting herself through this because it's not willful behavior. It's medical and mental and that isn't her fault." They talked with me a while longer and praised me for doing all I am doing to get her through what she is going through and really praised me for doing that things I know I need to push her through even though it breaks my heart because I doing what is in her best interest. They were impressed with how far she has come in such a short amount of time. They are hopeful that she will be able to tackle the day alone by the end of Christmas break.

It's so nice to have counselors, whose schools are based on the love and logic formula, tell me I am doing a good job. The other thing I am relieved about is that the basis of my parenting has always been Love and Logic. Instinctively. I have tweaking I can do but really? The ground work is already there from my 8 years of parenting.

I'm doing a good job. And right now? It's great to have that validation.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Ding Dong the Computer is Dead

I got a call last night from the computer repair guy and, as is the case these days, more bad news was given to me. He ran the 6 hour diagnostics on it twice and came up with nothing but every time he runs Windows, it shuts down immediately. He has spent three days working on it and, as he said, is completely befuddled by what it is doing. He has changed out everything but the processor and it still isn't working. And yes, even the power supply.


Thankfully he backed up all the data so all my photos, resumes, etc. are saved. I have an XP CPU in the garage that my brother got back up and running after our last computer crisis (pre-computer guy and the Geek Squad couldn't fix it). It's been out there for a few years so the computer guy said he will come over and see about getting it up and running for us. Hopefully that will work. Otherwise, we will be down to just the laptop because there is no way I can afford to get a new CPU at this point.

Last week I got the news that my car is in need of about $500 worth of repairs. I swear to you - it's always something. I so much need life to settle down and feel good again for more than a few hours here and there in any given week. I want to feel happy more often than I feel scared, lost and alone. I want to feel safe more often than not. I want my life to be predictable and boring again. Right now, boring sounds like heaven.

Some day. Some day everything will be ok. I have to believe that. I just have to.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

I stole this from one of my blog-buddies. She and I are standing in just about the same place and I think this song does a great job of speaking to the journey we are on: we're waiting for our real lives to begin.


I didn't really need further proof that I am losing my mind but just in case any of you did, I offer up Exhibit A: Zip. Zip is a 2 month old male tabby that the kids fell head over heels in love with this weekend and who now is shaking up life at home.

I haven't seen Kelton this happy in such a long time. The look of his face as we walked towards the car yesterday with the kitten was priceless. He stopped dead in his tracks, looked up and me and gave me the sweetest, heart-melting smile I have ever seen from him followed by "Thank you, Mom. This is the best day EVER. I will never forget this moment.". That moment of pure joy from my boy who spends a lot of his time being sad was worth everything.

Kelton cannot leave Zip alone. He made him a bed to keep him near him on the couch. He learned to "scruff carry" Zip so he won't get scratched. He talks so sweetly to his "baby cat" that I swear to you, I melt. He wrapped Zip up in a blanket and kept him with him for hours. The excitement in his voice is something you have to hear to believe. He is so excited to have a pet that is his "from the time he is a baby until he dies". All our other pets were full grown by the time the kids came along. The reality of having their very own "baby animal" has without a doubt, brought real happiness to them. It's a pure happiness I haven't felt from them in over a year.

Did I want another cat? Not really. We did just lose Lucy a month ago but as far as animals go, a cat will slide easily into the kids and my life. We still have Dallas and Andi and really? It's not such a big leap to take the cat count back up one more. And well....he sure is sweet. But mostly? There is nothing I wouldn't do to bring happiness back into my kids lives and to let them have a pet that doesn't remind them of life before the divorce seems like an easy enough thing to do for them when they wanted it with all their little hearts.

Now if I can just recall all my kittenhood stuff. It's been at least 13 years since I've had a kitten in the house. Maybe tomorrow, in between hunting for any and every job (including accounting jobs), I'll hit Google up for kitten training tips. :)


I can feel the winds of change coming. Again. Just in case I ever start feel too comfortable and safe in the world the "winds of upset" are there to remind me that I am not safe and I am not to get too comfortable with feeling safe. I don't recall the last time I felt safe for more than a day or two -though I am sure it's been years.

One thing that will really help is if I could land a job and bring in my own money. Money might not buy happiness but it does buy freedom. I've thought about looking into a medical assistance program or something like that. Maybe one of those colleges where you can attend in your pajamas (oh come on - I know you've seen the ads). Online classes might be a good thing to look into to give me some new skills.

I've run the numbers and if I could even land a decent paying part time job (30 hours a week) I could probably make it ok. Not great, but ok. It's hard when you don't feel safe in your own life. Every day it's like waiting for a shoe to drop and that's not a fun way to live. So no, money might not buy happiness but it sure does help.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

In Need of Fits of Giggles

I'm in the mood to have my spirits lifted. (Cande? Do you hear me? That's a challenge, babe.) So, everyone, bring over all your karaoke machines and let's get down and get funky. I, of course, won't be singing but I will be sitting in the corner of the room laughing at all of you and that is the goal I am after. Laughing.

I want to laugh. I want to push all the adult stuff far, far from my thoughts and just laugh and have fun.

Maybe I should start of joke of the day challenge. Let's see who can make me laugh.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Homework Time

Homework time stresses me out a little and it's not even ME doing the homework. I think, more than anything, it's the constant "Time to do homework!" line I feel I say a hundred times a day. Followed quickly by "Nope. Not until your homework is done." line.

It's not really hard. Kaylen has 20 minutes of reading to do and Kelton has 20 minutes of reading, spelling words to write and a handful of math problems. All told, it takes about 30 minutes which is exactly where he should be (10 minutes for each grade level). For a long while he was great about coming home and settling right in to work but lately he has been playing the "I need a break. How about if I start in 10 minutes?" which stretches into "How about 5 more minutes?" until I am ready to break out in head to tow body acne from the stress of his negotiation tactics.

I set the timer and even after it rings, he tries to work me. I don't budge but I am sooooooo tired of the begging and trying to get out of doing the work.

And of course, what big brother does, so does little sister.

Sometimes I want to sign off their homework charts just to be done with it but I don't. It's all about being a parent. Not a fun part but a part, none the less.

It's been a day

A very long day. Thank goodness it was early release from school though or it would have been even longer. Kaylen had an unexpected substitute today which threw an already precarious day right out the window. It was one of those days when the pain in her eyes was almost more than I could bear. If you all only knew how much anguish this child is in because she is different from other people in that she can't seem to just roll with the tide, I'm sure it would break your heart like it does mine.

So close to "normal" and very far from it. And my wicked-smart girl knows it. That, my friends, is what makes it even more heartbreaking than it otherwise might be.

I spent the day in the classroom; leaving only when it was time for activities that took her to people she has grown accustomed to (PE and Music). I'm pretty sure I would have rather been doing anything else today than making turkey art projects (and by anything I mean even researching hair loss shampoos for the fun of it!).

Anyway - on top of various things that are throwing her for a loop, the poor thing is cutting six, yes six, teeth. No wonder her mouth hurts and no wonder she is complaining of pain from her ear to her jaw.

I opened her mouth for a good look when she complained of pain again for the second day and low and behold, she has 4 molars coming in AND her bottom two permanent teeth are coming in behind her not very loose two baby teeth. YIKES!

Clearly I am going to need to check the stash of Tylenol. Poor thing.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

My Weekend

I guess actually I should start with Thursday. Thursday night Dakota and I took the kids to see Disney on Ice. It was AMAZING! I sat next to Kaylen and she was so swept away by it all that I actually had tears in my eyes from her excitement. It was truly an experience I will never forget....and I hope neither will the kids. It was a late night though, that's for sure. I finally had the kids home and asleep by 10:30. Well worth it though for memories that will hopefully last a lifetime!

Then, this past weekend the kids were with Dakota so I got to put aside my mommy job for a couple of days and I got to be a grown up doing grown up things. I tell you, the newness of not being "on" with the kids 24/7 is something I am still getting used to. I have my moments of completely enjoying it and then other moments when I miss them so much I think my heart will break. It's weird.

But..instead of focusing on the part that hurt to have them away, I will focus on the being "just Casey" part because that has some really good moments.

Friday was Trunk or Treat at school so while Dakota, Vicki and the kids set up Dakota's trunk with decorations and handed out candy to kids, I played the PTO role and then I took Kaylen around to all the cars (a friend she was hoping to meet up with didn't show up and she was so sad and didn't want to trick or treat without her. I got her going around and then we picked up another friend of hers to take with us the rest of the way which turned it from a tearful event to a fun one for Kaylen. Kelton, of course, rocked the trick or treating from beginning to end without an issue.

Once that event was over and the kids were on their way with Dakota, Marlene and I just hung out, watched TV and eventually went to sleep. I was exhausted from the past 24 hours. We had thought about going hot tubbing but when push came to shove, I was just too tired.

Saturday we went to Andrew's soccer game. Half way through the rain started falling hard so I packed up and waited out the rest of the game in the car. Sitting in the cold rain is not my idea of a good time. After the game, we wandered around a few shops, had lunch, went to Costco and then came back here to build a new bookcase that Marlene bought for me from Ikea. I LOVE IT!

It didn't take long to build but long enough that there wasn't time to move stuff around in my bedroom and set it up. We did, after all, have plans for dinner and drinks with our friend, Cande. We headed over to her house, picked her up and then went and saw Life as We Know It....which was a really, really good movie (and no, Cande, I won't say that you cried. That secret is safe with me. Hee hee.). After it was over, we headed downtown to Top Shelf for some martinis.

Half way through our first (well...only) martini, Cande got a text and then a phone call from her husband. He was having trouble breathing so we settled up the bill and drove her home. As we turned off her block, we saw the ambulance coming so we turned around and waited to see how it would play out and what we could do to help.

The ended up taking her husband to the hospital (where he stayed until last night) but he is ok. We stayed with Cande while she called people (John's sister went to the hospital with him since Cande has two young children.). Then we talked about anything and everything under the sun (like does lipofuze work?) to pass the time. We headed home around midnight. Not the best way to end an evening out but I'm glad we were there to help her.

Sunday we headed out and had breakfast at a new cafe we found and then come back here to shift around my bedroom and set up the new bookshelf. It looks AWESOME!!!! I was able to take the stacks of books I had on my night stand and dresser and put them someplace where they look good and I was able to get out some other special things and give them a home as well. I LOVE the way it has changed the look of my room. What an amazing gift - thank you, Marlene!!! :)

It wasn't long before Marlene needed to leave to pick up Andrew and take him trick or treating with her side of the family and I waited for my munchkins to come home to go trick or treating as well. It was a really good weekend but I am always happy when my babies come back home.

Family Photos

Friday I took the kids in for family photos. At first I had thought I would just get shots of the two of them but then I got to thinking it would be nice to have pictures of the three of us. I found a great coupon and was able to get a really awesome deal on a package so, dear family members of mine, one of these will most likely end up being your Christmas gifts. :)

Sometimes taking the kids in for photos is as much fun as say....a colon cleansing (necessary but not all that much fun) but this time went really well. One of the poses Kelton created himself and I have to say, it turned out quite well. :)

Check them out:


I can easily spend hours lost in daydreams - especially when the house is quiet and my thoughts are all my own. I dream of redecorating.....of moving walls to make rooms bigger, changing the garage into a family room, painting all the brown trim white and getting new kitchen appliances and Kohler kitchen faucets. I like to think about things I would do if I were to win a $50,000 home makeover contest (and yes, I enter them whenever I can) or get caught by that new home show that walks up to people in Home Depot and foots the bill for a dream renovation of a single room.

But....dreaming is all I can do (unless I win a contest) at this point and that is ok with me. At least I have dreams to dream, right?

Looking Back in Time

I was in the garage searching for some thing the other day and I came across the keepsake bins I have for the kids. Being the highly emotionally-based person that I am, I kept tons of things from their baby days; special toys and books, jars of the first food they ate, one of their newborn diapers (unused, of course. I'm not *that* sentimental), binkies and a bunch of their adorable teeny tiny baby clothes.

My heart lurches whenever I go through their boxes of things. How could they have been that small? I can remember how they looked in each outfit as vividly as they days when they wore them. Tiny blue pajamas, pink blankets, Kaylen's first dress, the summer clothes Kelton wore when we first moved here and it was hotter than heck. Oh how it all makes me long for those days.

I want a do over. I want to go back to when Kelton was first born and really enjoy each and every moment. If only I could rewind time.

I love the children they are now but I long for those days of holding a tiny baby in my arms. The sleepless nights? I don't so much miss those but I'd even go back and live through those again if I could hold my teeny babies again.


Monday, November 01, 2010

Sugar Overload

"Can I have more candy?" It's a line that has been said many, many times today. I know I am probably unlike most parents but I usually let the kids go wild with their candy for the first two days and then I start to ration it. If I play my cards right, the candy will last until the onslaught of Christmas candy arrives. I don't mind the sugared up kids as long as we are going to be staying home but I do often wonder if their reaction to all that sugar is akin to some diet pill side effects. The jitters, the waaaaaay too high of energy level, the lack of being able to focus for very long on one thing before flitting to another. I know all you moms of sugared up kids know what I'm talking about. :)

I have to admit though - they aren't the only ones on overload. I've pillaged my fair share of Snickers Bars today, too. :)

Halloween 2010

Halloween 2010 is officially behind us and the only reminders are bags of candy, sugared up kids and decorations that need to be put away. I usually would have done that today (because, after all, Christmas decorations come out in two weeks. Don't judge. You decorate when you want to and I will decorate when I want to. *grin*) but instead, the kids took the day off from school and we all just hung out together.

For a sensory child who lives in overload right now, last night was a lot. Trunk or Treat Friday night was a lot (and both nights had many tearful moments). But the deciding factor was there was a morning sub in her class today and that means chaos for me and even more overload and craziness for Kaylen. I just couldn't do it to her. So instead of swapping stories with teachers and my other school friends about costumes we saw last night (including a neighbor boy dressed to the nines as a sheriff. Chaps and riding boots really topped it off.), the kids and I snuggled in my bed and watched The Disney Channel and enjoyed some much needed down time.

A totally great way to start a new month!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

School Pictures

I know I'm biased but I think they are the cutest kids in the world. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010


My morning was off to a rocky, rocky start when little Miss Kaylen, who had crawled into bed with me a bit before the alarm went off, started complaining that she had a cold and couldn't possibly go to school (last week she had a sore throat and while I don't doubt that she is a victim of the cold going around, it took mere seconds for me to put the pieces together). I told her that yes, she could go to school which immediately resulted in a full-on meltdown. I get it - I do. Monday is a switch from the weekend and change is hard for her. Saturday she spent the day making pictures for people at school and talking about when she got to go back and how much she loves school. But after 48 hours in the comfort of her little family, going back to school is a change she just doesn't feel up to facing. I get that. And yet - face it she must.

She cried and carried on for about 30 minutes and by then I *had* to get in the shower or they would be late for school. I managed to talk her into a hot shower with me (remember: this is a water child and when upset, hours at a time can, and will, be spent in the tub). At a 20 minute hot shower (mine was only 5 but I let her stay in while I got ready) she was ready to face her day and I didn't hear another word about "I'm not going and you can't make me."

She got dressed, she and Kelton packed their lunches (I love this new thing they are doing because then I know they will eat - after all, it is food they are choosing.) and got ready for school. They both decided to eat the school breakfast which helped ease the time crunch.

Then it was off to school with smiles on their faces. I got a hug and a kiss at the classroom door and she was off and running. I came home and decided to put my 6 over-ripe bananas to good use by making two loaves of banana bread. Then I folded laundry and put it away, started new loads, grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down to job hunt.

I have to say, the fall day is distracting me a bit. The wind is blowing and the leaves are falling to the ground like snowflakes. I'm tired today from our busy weekend.

Saturday the kids and I hung out and just had some much needed quiet time together. The kids played very well together all day and we decided to pick up McDonald's for dinner. After dinner, the three of us cuddled in my bed and watched TV. Marlene arrived around 7 (she worked out of town all day) bringing candy from the beach candy store that my kids love. Oh ok - she brought some for me, too. As well as Eggs Benedict from my favorite beach restaurant, Pig N' Pancake. YUMMY!!!!

Needless to say, the kids were jacked up on sugar and it took a while to calm them down and get them off to dreamland. But they had had a great day and that is what childhood is all about.

Yesterday we headed to the mall and the kids played on the bouncy harness thing and Kelton was beyond thrilled to do a double backflip in the air! Kaylen has been doing them for years because of her time in gymnastics but Kelton was never brave enough until this week to try it. Earlier in the week, he did a single flip time and time again but yesterday he did two before his feet touched the ground. I was sooooo proud of him!!!!! Slowly but surely, he is facing his fears and moving forward.

After that we grabbed lunch and then went to pick up Princess, Marlene's dog, from the groomers. She is so cute with all her hair shaved off (she is a German Sheppard who sheds incredibly bad). From there we stopped at WalMart to pick up some pumpkin carving supplies and a new pumpkin for Kaylen (she gave hers from the pumpkin patch to Kelton so he could enter it in the pumpkin parade at school). Then it was home to carve pumpkins, roast the seeds and make popcorn balls (which didn't turn out very well - I tried to cut the recipe in half and didn't turn out as well as it should have. Oh well. We still have time to try again.).

From there is was bath time for the kiddos and off to dreamland they went. It was a good weekend and we all had a great time!

(That reminds me, I haven't posted pumpkin patch photos. I will do that and then link to them. :) )

Sunday, October 24, 2010