Saturday, January 30, 2010

Coats Coats and More Coats

There are a lot of coats in this house. We all have several and yet - everyone pretty much wears the same one or two. It's insane how full the hall coat closet it.

The coat I've been wearing on rainy days was desperately in need of washing so I tossed it in the washer and opened the closet to find another one that would work in the rain. Oh my gosh. Every single coat is so big on me now. In a couple of them I seriously felt like I was playing dress up. How did that happen? (yeah yeah.....I lost weight. I get that. But still!)

I finally found one that didn't hang weird on me and, as I was trying it on, I reached in to the pocket and found a very old binky that once belonged to Kaylen. I totally remembered this particular binky - it was one of her favorites. She stopped using binkies when she was 15 months old (she was never really much of a binky girl - just every now and then). Keep in mind the child turns 5 on February 10th.

Do you think that coat has seen the light of day in the past 3.5 years? Yeah - me either.

I really need to get a coat that fits.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Update

I know I haven't posted in a few days and I know you all knows that means I could be going either way - up or down. I'm doing ok. Really. I've been keeping busy which doesn't allow much time for blogging - well that, and I don't have a lot to say right now which is actually good. It means things are relatively calm inside me and I like it that way.

The kids are ok. Kelton is having trouble and I am working with his teachers and school counselor to make sure he is able to talk to non-family to work through some of his anger issues. The thing with Kelton and anger is he can show it aggressively on the outside but mostly right now he has turned it in on himself. I think it's because he is afraid to actually tell us he is angry at us. I keep telling him it's ok to be angry at us and that both of us will understand. It will in no way change our love for him if he is angry at us.

Mostly he is physically taking it out on his clothes. He has destroyed three pair of jeans in a week and a half at school. Apparently he is shoving a pencil through the material and then ripping the legs from top to bottom. He is chewing on his shirts and making holes.

The counselor and I had a nice chat yesterday and I suggested that she not try to sit him down to talk because he doesn't do that well so she ended up taking him outside to play wall ball and he was able to scream and yell things each time he hit or kicked the ball. He told me he felt much better afterwards. So clearly he needs to physically get his feelings out. Hopefully this will help him process and get to where he is ok.

Kaylen, on the other hand, just has full on tantrums that, when they are over and she collapses in my arms crying it all tumbles out. As frustrating as her tantrums are, I'm glad she can tell me what is happening inside her so I can reassure her that everything is going to be fine.

I am actually more worried about Kelton than I am Kaylen. It would make me feel so much better if he could verbalize his feelings instead of turning them inward but at least we have a plan and Dakota is on board with doing what it takes to make sure the kids are ok.

So really? All in all, it's moving along.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's Been a Day

And it's not even close to over.

It's been one of those days - one of those not good days. I don't have the energy or desire to go into details but it's one of those days when I wonder and worry about so many things.

My anxiety appears to be through the roof.

Tomorrow will be better. It just has to be.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Creepy Weirdness

Kaylen and I left about 10am to go to Moms Club this morning and, after spending some time there, we went to the new library to check out books. We were gone probably two hours all told.

When we left, Maddie was in her crate and Jordan was in the living room just hanging out as he does.

When we arrived home I could sense something odd the second I walked through the door. Then I noticed it - chucks of dried mud from the front door into the kitchen (and all over the kitchen floor). Mud like you would expect to come out of shoes that had been in the mud, dried and then were put on inside and walked around in.

Only - I know that neither Kaylen's shoes nor mine had mud in the treads and I know for a fact that the floor didn't look like that when I left the house.

I quickly scanned the house to see if anything was missing. Nope. Everything was in its place. Anything added? Nope. Every single door was locked and the deadbolt had still be locked on the front door. Hmmmm......

I cleaned up the mud and took care of getting lunch for Kaylen. Then I text'd Dakota to ask if there was any chance she had come by or had known that someone else had come by (some of her family members have keys to the house) and explained why I was asking.

I barely put the phone down when she called. No - she had not been by and she didn't know of anyone who might have. We went over the doors being locked, nothing out a place. Still - no explanation.

So we concocted our own: Jordan must have had mud caked in his paws and while Kaylen and I were gone he walked around a bit and because the mud was dried (or drying) it came off leaving a mud trail.

I'm not convinced of that since I do towel off the dog feet (most of the time and I know I did this morning) but that's the story I'm going to stick with.

Otherwise, I may drive myself crazy.

So weird. So Twilight Zone-ish.

Rooms of Our Own

Last night Kelton wanted to sleep in his own room. This is the first time he has slept in his own room since all the craziness with breaking up started. Not only that, but he fell asleep by himself (well - he did have Maddie with him but still - no mom which has rarely ever happened in his entire life). He slept in his own room!

I know to most people this is not such a huge event (and I know many of you are rolling your eyes) but to me? HUGE! To Kelton? A very proud moment.

Kaylen still needed help falling asleep but even she stayed asleep all night long.

It's a huge deal. Everyone slept in their own beds all night long.

Now I just need to keep this trend going. (So Dakota....encourage this tonight, please). We're finally getting there - baby step by baby step.

Now if I could just get the dogs to sleep somewhere *other* than my bed. Because really? Not a fan of dogs on the bed.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dear Monday,

So far you suck. In a big, big way.


Dear Monday,

Hey Monday...let's make a deal. I'll show you some respect you if you take it easy on me. Sunday was rough so it would be really nice if you would keep that in mind and maybe do a little something special for me. Flowers would be nice but it's not like I expect you to run out and buy me some. :)

No - instead of flowers, how about if you just don't bring any unwelcome surprises? And maybe, just maybe, you could hold off on the rain so I can have a break from the freakin' muddy paw prints.

And Monday? If you'd like to wave your magic wand and clean the house from top to bottom that would rock. I mean really? How much have I done for you over the years? It would just be nice to get a little something in return, you know what I'm saying?

Maybe you could help keep the children happy and entertained. A little warmth and sunshine would mean Kaylen and I could take a bike ride/walk which I know she would love and would be me some good as well. But mostly? Mostly I just want the day to run smoothly. No shoes dropping. No emergency calls from the school (for either Kelton or PTO stuff). And certainly no bad news.

Can we make a deal? Please?
Thanks for at least considering it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Sundays are hard days. They are long with seemingly no end in sight. It doesn't help that the day starts hours before the sun comes up and it probably really isn't helping that it's raining today or that we really have no where to go outside the house.

It's been a long day.

At 9 o'clock Kelton decided that he wanted to completely rearrange his bedroom which set off three hours worth of work for me. I h ave to say, these kids have waaaaaaay too much stuff and I am already having anxiety over their upcoming birthdays. Where on earth will more stuff fit?

We did purge a ton of books today which was good. My donation pile in the garage is enormous and I am very glad the truck is scheduled to be here tomorrow to pick up.

Since the room has been finished, it seems like all the kids do it A) fight with each other or B) demand my every second of attention. It's exhausting.

Here are pictures of the rearranged bedroom. Enjoy them - I'm sure tomorrow it will look like a cyclone went through there. :)

Too Much Sugar Before Bed

I learned an important lesson last night: too much sugar before bed makes for a very bad night for Kaylen. I hadn't been asleep even an hour when I woke to the sounds of hysterical crying. I was confused with where it was coming from and why but I finally shook the cobwebs from my head and went into Kaylen's room. I found her sitting up sobbing and wanting Dakota.

I finally got her settled and returned to my bed. And then we repeated the scenario a couple more times.

Gotta watch that sugar in the evening, I guess. :)

In other news, the kids and I went grocery shopping yesterday and it was wildly successful! I laid down the ground rules before we left the house and they did exactly what I said I expected. It was awesome! No whining for Pokemon trading cards, no asking for things not on the list such as an led hdtv or some other outrageous item.

It went so well and I was so proud of them. So proud of us, actually. What a great first grocery shopping trip as a family of three.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Once Upon a Time

Fairy tales suck. Stay with me for a minute and see if you don't find yourself agreeing. In fairy tales, which my daughter can't get enough of, everything turns out perfectly. A woman who has a life of misery finds the person of their dreams, they fall in love, send out the wedding invitations and live happily ever after. The end.

But that isn't the end, is it? We all know that after the wedding the real work begins.

What I want is a book that continues the story. That gives a realistic view of marriage and life post-blissed out wedding story. That highlights that you don't always agree with the person you have fallen in love with and that you don't need to have a perfect life to know that you made the right choice for someone to share your life with.

I don't want a doom and gloom book but I do think it's unfair to give children this warped view of what being in love is all about. Sure - it's great and in the beginning it's all consuming but somewhere along the line real life takes center stage and the it takes work, and dedication, to keep the train on the track. There are choices to be made every single day. You can't just sit back and say "I found my perfect mate and now everything will be perfect from this point forward."

Ok wow. That was a tangent. However let me be clear: this is NOT a slam against my former relationship. It's just the path my brain is taking this morning. I guess more than anything, I don't want Kaylen so caught up in wanting the Cinderella story that she doesn't see the whole picture. It could also be that I am really tired of reading princess stories. :)

Comcast Dude Comment

Remember that post I did that highlighted my Thursday of having phone and computer problems? I don't know if many of you go back and read posted comments (I confess I rarely read posted comments to other people's blogs so I won't hold it against you if you don't read mine.) but a rep from Comcast found my blog and commented about how glad he was they could take care of the problem quickly and if I had any other problems to be sure to call the company and left contact information.

I thought it was cool. Do you think there are people out there who google for terms like "Comcast trouble" or something which then leads them to blogs to get a feel for how the community is viewing their company? (If they are that is kind of cool.) I guess I just might have a regular visitor who just happens to be a Comcast rep (though really? The likelihood of that is.......? Yeah - that's what I thought.).

Maybe I should try some experiments like blogging about needing to obtain an auto insurance quote and see if I have any insurance agents contacting me. In a weird sort of way, I can see that working for a company because you know bloggers, we talk about anything and everything and if we are happy about something, we let people know and if you aren't happy.....well that comes across as well. :)


Ugh. It's grocery shopping day. For the record, I think it sucks that grocery shopping weekend falls on my weekend with the kids. Not, I guess, that it would be better if it didn't....maybe. I don't know. We'll see how this fun adventure goes. I admit I have never done a two week shopping trip alone with the kids before. Grocery shopping has, in years gone by, been a 4 person family event. This will be new.

My list is big which begs the question how it will all fit in one cart (we've always split the list with two carts). Believe me when I say I do not want to have to make two trips.

Dakota is going to be by at some point this morning to pick up a free oil change coupon we bought into a program last year. Up front cost and then coupons for free oil changes which is great but the place is hard for someone with small children to use so I usually end up going somewhere else. They don't make appointments and they expect you to be able to leave your car there all day. Ummm......yeah ok. And I'll just let me kids have full run of your sad little waiting room. Trust me people, that wouldn't be pretty for anyone.

Oil changes can be costly, depending on where you go. But it's not like having to have for pay for a rv repair, you know? But if you don't get the oil changed regularly well...then you cul dbe in a world of hurt.

Yeah - that was a random thought. Maybe I should finish my coffee before I open up a new post. :)

So anyway - it's Saturday. Wonder what the day will know, besides the epic shopping trip to get groceries.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Well Crud

There I was sleeping away when I hear a small voice say "Mom? I can't sleep. Can I get up?" "What time is it, Kelton?" "3:30". " It's too early. Let me move the dogs and you can crawl in with me."

He settled in and was snoozing quickly. I, on the other hand, was awake with no hope of going back to sleep. *sigh*

Soon enough another little voice called "Mom? Where are you?" so off I went into Kaylen's room to resettle her. Once she was sleeping again, I got up.

It's going to be a long day.

On the plus side: it's book fair time again at school and my first meeting is this afternoon. After that, Ingrid and I are off and running on the massive amount of planning it takes to bring this all together. At least this year we have some idea of what we are doing which is miles ahead of last year. We have one month to pull it together and run a successful event.

Another plus is (hopefully) today's weather will be as spectacular as yesterday's. It was almost spring like so when Kaylen and I went to the park with friends the park was full of moms and kids with the same idea; get out and run off the energy!

Kaylen and Colton . Kaylen loves to help others spin on the spin toys which is great because after a while Mommy gets a bit dizzy. :)

Kaylen spinning. Please notice her Punky Brewster outfit. Yes you see it correctly. A blue floral dress, black polka dot pants and brown leather boots. My daughter is nothing if not a fashionable child. *insert rolling eyes here* Her clothing choices are never, ever worth the battle so I just roll with it.

This is Caitlyn. She is my friend, Catrina's, daughter. (Colton is her son.) And can I just say how jealous I am that she will wear adorable outfits know....go together? So jealous!

My little munchkin!

Caitlyn again. Let me tell you, I am waaaay out of practice getting cute kid shots when the kids are moving at the speed of light.

And this is David. He is my friend, Tina's, son. I actually really like this picture. LOVE the blue sky in the background. :)

Hmmm..I think that is all I have for this morning. At least so far. Yesterday was a day full of ups and downs for me and I'm really hoping today has more ups and than downs. Hey! I have an idea. House? Let's get along today and have nothing go amiss, ok? I really don't think I'm being unreasonable. I did, after all, give you plenty of attention yesterday. :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Day in the Life

I know. I haven't blogged today. It's just been one of those crazy kind of days. First off - I actually slept until 5:30 which, right there, took a whole hour of my time.

Then it was getting the kids taken care of and off to school. And of the bulbs in the ceiling fan blew and as it did, it popped itself off the base. Lovely. I had to shut down the electricity and use pliers to remove the base. All this when it was still dark outside so I had the kids holding flashlights for me. It did dawn on me that if I had waited 20 more minutes, the daylight would have been enough to see by but hey - it's done and it all worked out fine.

I noticed somewhere along the line that, as in recent days, my computer connection was painfully slow and refusing to load at times. Hmmmm......

I made a phone call and learned that the person on the other end couldn't understand what I was saying even though I could hear them perfectly.

DING! Comcast problem since both the phone and the internet are hooked in through them. I called Comcast on the house phone and yep - they figured out there was a problem. Something about our house should be reporting at a 30 and was only reporting a 20. Awesome.

Someone would be here between 10 and 12.

The guy came and did all his inside the house checking and things were fine. Outside he went and lo and behold, the problem was the line from the street to the house. He put in a new line and presto! Up and running.

In between all this, the school nurse called. Kelton was running a 99.8 fever and complaining of not feeling well. It was my call since they don't usually send home unless it is 100 degrees. Feeling horrible I explained I was waiting for the Comcast guy. They were great and after talking with Kelton back to class he went. I, however, was left with mommy guilt.

As soon as Comcast Dude was gone Kaylen and I went to the school. I went to his classroom and he looked ok to me. A bit warm but certainly none of the tell tale signs of him being sick (blazing red cheeks, his birthmark being noticeable, etc). I told him I thought he could stay at school which he was not thrilled about but the VP who was subbing in the class agreed with me.

I picked up all the PTO stuff and a letter of recommendation from the principal and Kaylen and I headed home.

Once home, she and I went on a bike ride/walk around the neighborhood. Then, as I went to look for something in Kelton's closet, his closet door popped off. Crud! An easy enough fix but really? Enough is enough.

And now I am going to run over to a neighborhood park and meet a friend for a little bit. It's been quite the day. Not as all like I envisioned but still - not all that bad either. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I have no idea what to post this morning. I'm sitting here with my big ol' cup of coffee trying to make sense of my muddled thoughts. I'm pretty sure I might have gotten some decent sleep last night except for the small fact of dogs and daughter.

Jordon, bless his buttons, is 13 years old and apparently even though I let him outside prior to my 10pm bedtime by12:30 it was abundantly clear that he didn't do all things a dog should do while outside. For some reason, he didn't feel the need to wake me (I'm a light sleeper - it takes nothing to wake me). So - up I got to clean up a lovely mess. (Dakota, is this when I mention this is the 2nd time in a week? Once on your weekend and now last night. *sigh*)

Then it was back to bed - only the dogs had already taken over MY bed. I really don't like dogs sleeping on the bed. I moved them over and made a bit of room for myself and went back to sleep. (Have I mentioned I'm not really that much of a dog person?)

At 2:30 I was summoned by the girl child who was clearly upset. She wanted to know if Dakota had already left to which I replied "Yes honey - hours ago. It's the middle of the night." She burst into tears and said "But I wasn't asleep yet!" "Ummm...ok but you see honey, you were. You've been asleep for hours and hours." "No I wasn't and she promised not to go until I was asleep." Tears and more tears.

Then she asked for a stuffed animal that Dakota had hugged and filled with "Mama Love" Sunday night. I sighed deeply and went to locate it in the toy bin.

I crawled in next to her thinking I would wait until she fell back to sleep and then I would return to my dog infested bed. Only....I fell asleep.

Fear not though - at 4:00 Maddie bounded into the room because well....I think she is used to me getting up about that so it only made sense in her little doggy brain that it was outside time and breakfast time.


I pulled myself from Kaylen's bed and let Maddie outside. Then I made her get back on the bed to lay down because I wanted to snooze some more. Except.........then my mind was awake and spinning. All bets for sleeping were off.

So yes, while I got some sleep it was broken into bits and pieces. Some nights are like that, I guess.

If you're looking for me - I'll be slugging back some coffee. It's going to be a long day. (Half day for Kelton and this morning the repair guy is coming for the dryer. In there, I want to run a quick(ish) errand.)

Have a good day, everyone!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Previous Post

Ok - clearly there were mixed reactions to my earlier post. Here's the thing: Dakota and I both thought it was funny. Neither of us were offended by it because if that had been the case, Dakota never would have released it and either a) she never would have told me or b) she would have shared it privately with me.

I was in no way being disrespectful to Dakota and I know that she was in no way being disrespectful to me.

Our relationship, while complex, is going fine. I think we are better parenting partners right now than we have *ever* been and I know we both put the needs and safety of the kids first. We have way better communication when it comes to the kids and we are, all in all, doing fine in that regard.

I highly respect Dakota as a parent and as a person. The choices she made couldn't have been easy - and I'm sure some are still not. Back in December I wouldn't and couldn't have seen it that way but with time, distance and perspective I can see it now.

When she comes to see the kids we have a respectful and friendly switch off(sometimes I stay around, sometimes I don't because I don't really have a lot of place to go hang out). I share with her what she needs to know and she takes it from there. The switch back is equally as respectful with her telling me what I need to know. We hug each other goodbye and I close the door.

We're talking about sharing our children in a respectful manner; not sharing a sales job search or some other competition driven thing. We both love our kids and we both want the absolute best for them given the circumstances we are dealing with.

If the kids have a hard time separating (like they did last night) I know that I can pick up the phone and Dakota will be on the other end to talk with them and calm their fears around not seeing her again. She will sing to them if they need it. And Dakota knows the same is true when it's her turn to do bedtimes. I took one of those calls just this weekend when, after the initial goodnight call, Kaylen fell apart. And Dakota took one last night when Kaylen was in full hysterics.

No matter what, I will always love Dakota because without her, I wouldn't have 15 plus years of memories and I sure as heck wouldn't have our amazing children.

I'm not so blind as to realize that we probably won't hit bumps here and there but I think we are doing ok and as long as we keep the kids first, we will continue to slog through just fine.

And to do that, we need to keep a good sense of humor. So rest assured, all is good with us. We'll let you know when we feel one or the other is being disrespectful. Until then, assume we know what we're doing. :)

Step up and take credit, please. :)

Ok - I'm dying to know who posted this comment on Dakota's blog. Totally made my day.

So...if it was you, send me an email at And thanks for making my day. :)

Crazy Thinking

Last night was a tough one for me. I didn't anticipate the emotional roller coaster ride I would take inside my own head. After such a great weekend, I wonder where it all came from. It didn't hit me all at once, it kind of snuck up on me. One thought lead to another and then another and even though I kept telling myself to knock it off I just couldn't turn it off. I tried thinking of other things...silly non-sensical things like pond pumps...and I even tried distracting myself by watching Sunday's episode of Brothers and Sisters. But alas, not much quieted the crazy in my head.

Logically I know everything will be fine. Better than fine. I do. I know it. I know that everything has a way of working out.

I guess it's true what "they" say. Healing and learning to trust again, wondering if, someday down the road when someone really got to know me, if they would still want to love me and all that jazz isn't a straight line from the depths of despair to the top of the mountain. It's full of "four steps forward and two steps back".

I had a couple friends I spent some time texting with and they helped. And where I am this morning? This morning I am left with a "Crazy Thinking Hangover". Mostly, I'm sure, because all my crazy thinking really didn't do much for getting quality sleep.

But everything looks better in the light of day, right? And the sun will be up in about three hours.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Solitude

Right now my world is very peaceful and still. Just what I need. It's so odd to hear the stillness instead of the constant input of noise and the constant whirling of thoughts in my head. Instead of crazy-making thoughts swirling (like; how much laundry do I need to do today? Do the beds need changing? Should I be mopping instead of blogging, maybe looking up home remedies for acne? Figuring out what I need at the store? Planning a menu for dinner?) I am left with important thoughts. Some deep, some not but they are thoughts I don't get to think when I'm caught up in the noise of life with children.

Being without the kids is a new experience for me and while I thought it would be really, really hard it's not all that bad. I miss them, yes. I love seeing them, yes but somewhere in all this I am stopping to breathe and take inventory and be with me. Rediscover what I like and have it be ok that there are things I don't like. I never really got to know myself in my 30's or in the first half of my 40's (I was 32 when I broke my back and that pretty much defined who I was for most of that decade. Then Kelton was born when I was 37 and then Kaylen when I was 40).

But now. Now I get a chance to be me. Still a mom. Still a responsible person but also ME. I get to decide how I want to spend my time and who I want to spend time with. Not all the time, mind you but a whole heck of a lot more often than I ever have before.

This is a new world. And so far, it's an ok place to be.

Nap Time!

Here is something that is cool. Today I can take a nap if I want to. Naps are a luxury I never take advantage of. Well..never until now. I can crawl under the covers and close my eyes and drift off - or as probably more the case, let me mind wander here and there in the quietness.

Right now there is no where I need to be. Nothing that demands my attention. Dakota and the kids are going to the mall and today, my need for being inside my own head is so much greater than my desire to hear the noise of a bar code scanner.  When I learned of their plans I didn't for a single second think "Oh - that would be fun! Maybe I'll head out to store." There is nothing about being in public today that entices me.

But a *that* entices me.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Poor Little Girl

My poor girl. Since she was tiny she would seek comfort in warm water when she was sick or just unable to cope. She is having a tough day and has been in the tub for over 2 hours. :(

It's hard to be not yet 5 and have so many emotions to try to handle. She breaks my heart even though I know she will be ok.

No Longer a "Just"

This morning in the shower (I know, TMI - get over it) I was hit with a revelation: I no longer see myself as "just". You know, "just a mom", "just Casey", "just a stay at home parent", "just not good enough", "some who is just waiting for someone to notice me", "just the partner of a law student" (this is in no way a slam to Dakota. I did this to myself - I allowed my thinking to get that warped. I allowed myself to become "less than". It wasn't intentional - but, over time, it did happen.).

I'm not sure when or how this new change in how I see myself happened because I realized I was a bit shocked to make this discovery. I've been so very used to seeing myself as a "just".

Now, when I think about myself, or see my reflection in the mirror, I see Casey. I AM a mom (and a damn good one), I AM good enough. I AM strong enough. I no longer am putting myself behind everyone else. I am finally feeling comfortable in my own skin (which I guess makes me think of skin id reviews to find out who I have been...but I digress).

I have set boundaries with the kids, and with others, so that I can take care of me. I ask for help/support when I need it and slowly but surely, I am becoming myself again.

I am no longer a "just". I AM.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Holy Cow, Batman! I got an award!

My friend, Jen, honored me with a blog award. You remember those, right? Back a couple years ago they flowed like water and I had gotten many of them but I think the novelty wore off (or I bored people into a coma, not sure which) because they stopped rolling in.

But anyway - I have one now!

Here is what Jen said about me:
•Casey. She is my oldest online friend. I "met" her on StorkNet while I was pregnant with Miss A and she was pregnant with her son. She is going through massive upheaval in her personal life, but she amazes me again and again with her grace and strength.

I'm not sure all that is true but thanks, Jen! :)

Apparently I am supposed to list 10 things I'm grateful for, as a condition of accepting this award. That shouldn't be too hard, right? Ok - so here goes:

1.Blogging and all of you who come here to read and support me. I love being able to come here and share about my life - the good and the not good and I am so thankful that 99% of you are here because you care and want the best for me.

2. My kids. Without them, I would never have started blogging in the first place and I would never have met so many great people. Oh - and they are pretty fantastic kids too. :)

3. My brother and sister because they have held me upright more times than not lately and even though we live hours away from each other I have felt their love, concern and care for me every single day.

4. My friends. Until recently I never realized what a big circle of friends right here in real life I had surrounding me. But here they are and they continue to show up, to call, to email, to invite me out, to hang out with me. They listen to everything I have to say and offer whatever they can to help. I've had friends take my daughter for the day so I could just be a mess. I've had friends bring coffee and flowers. I've had friends who check in often and make sure I'm doing ok and to see if I need anything. I had a friend from Illinois reach out on the phone today. I used to feel so alone but I don't anymore. I find that so ironic but I am thankful for it.

5. Dakota because even though this isn't the life I wanted she is being true to her word and doing what she can to help make this easier (hmm..that doesn't sound right but you know what I mean) for me and for the kids. I respect that she is standing by her word and I am thankful for that.

6. Coffee. Without it I don't know where I'd be.

7. Quelf and drinking games because for the first time in a long time, I was able to just be "Casey". To see glimpses of who I am instead of being "just mom" or "just the partner of the person in law school". It's nice to look in the mirror and see the person I used to see.

8. Text messaging. Now three months ago I never would have been thankful for it but since I got my fancy phone and now that I know I have a circle of friends, texting is a very easy way to connect with people.

9. I'm grateful this list of 10 is almost done. I am quite proud of myself that I've come up with this many without too much trouble. A month ago? I doubt I could have. And since this is just a silly grateful number, I'll add that I'm grateful that grief and pain has an upside: it's probably the strongest fat burner I've ever been in contact with. :)

10. Finally. The last one. I'm grateful that I am stronger than I thought I was. I'm grateful to know that, when the time is right, I won't be afraid to love again. I'm grateful to know that I. Can. Do. This.

Thanks for the award, Jen. You rock! :)

Clearing Out

I'm slowly but surely starting to clear stuff out. Yesterday there was a "stuff swap" at my moms club so the kids I went through the garage and various toy bins and collected a bunch of stuff to take it. It was nice to be taking stuff *out* of the house instead of loading stuff *in*. (Though Kaylen did talk me into one small doll and 2 books know, we only have a million books and a few thousand dolls.)

The garage is full of crap...errr...I mean stuff....that needs to be sorted through and taken care of. Dakota's law books are out there as are various boxes of bar review material. Wonder if there is a good place that she can sell textbooks and materials?

The toys are overwhelming out there. What child needs four large doll houses? Apparently mine. We seem to acquire them as we go. Just recently a friend of mine gave her a princess castle doll house and that sucker is HUGE! I have a lot of the big toys out there because I can't stand to have so much stuff in the house.

I guess in a weird sort of way, it will be good to have two houses that they will go between because goodness knows we have enough stuff to split between the places.

It's daunting to think about but I'm trying to do it piece by piece. That's pretty much how I'm doing everything these days.

Feeling Stronger

I'm feeling a bit stronger over the past few days. I think the reduction in stress has been a good thing for me - well that and spending time with friends who make me laugh, listen to me vent and rant, sit quietly by when the tears roll down my face and who offer their time and their houses for me to be able to regroup.

Last night Dakota came over to spend time with the kids and I decided that I wanted to be somewhere else, so a friend graciously took me in. She has kids but since they aren't my kids I was able to just kick back and enjoy. The kids and I raced a box full of Hot Wheel cars down the hallway, I colored a picture, I watched cartwheels and I attempted to put together some Littlest Pet Shop toy (and failed miserably, I might add). The kids were all over me which was fun - I felt like royalty (and really great because when they called "MOM!" it wasn't for me. I didn't have to oversee bath time, or fuss at them for picking up their toys. I just got the fun part. :) )

I stayed gone until the kids were asleep and then came back. I know I can't hang out at my friends homes all the time but it sure was nice last night.

One bad thing though, as I gathered up my stuff to head home, I slipped my cell phone into my coat pocket. By the time I took it out in the car something bad had happened and it was flashing "Verizon Wireless". Nothing I tried seem to reset it. When I got home I showed Dakota and she was awesome. She tried all the tricks I had tried and then picked up her phone and called Verizon. She talked with them for a bit and we did various things with the phone but the upshot is, my phone is toast and needs to be replaced. It's three weeks old. :( So - that's on my To Do List for today for sure. It's amazing how fast I have become dependent on that thing to stay in touch with people which allows me to stay out of my own head.

So - all in all, I'm feeling stronger for today and that's all I can ask for.

Stretched to the Limit

I have some pretty great friends. Near and far and everywhere in between. The other night when I had two of my friends over for pizza and game night we talked about a ton of things. Nothing was off limits (or at least from my memory......I was doing a fair amount of knocking 'em back so memory is spotty in places. Hee hee.) and one of the topics that somehow came up (and I really have no idea how) was stretch marks from pregnancy.

The thing is, I have none. I don't know how I got so lucky but I never had any. My friend says she was not so lucky. Maybe it was the bottle of cocoa butter for stretch marks that I bought when I first found out I was pregnant with Kelton that helped (though I know people are mixed on whether it does or not) or maybe there is truth to it being genetic (though I remember my mom had them...but then again, she gave birth to five kids).

I find it both funny and interesting the topics that come up when talking with friends. :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Note to Self

When making a green smoothie and you have the water, spinach and grapes blending do not open the top of the blender to add the berries. Turn it off first. Not turning it off will causes green goo to go everywhere - including the light pink shirt you are wearing.

Dang I hope that stain remover works.


Sunday, January 10, 2010


You feel like a candle in a hurricane
Just like a picture with a broken frame
Alone and helpless like you've lost your fight
But you'll be alright
You'll be alright

Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend, till you break
Cause it's all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you've had enough
You get mad you get strong
Wipe your hands shake it off
Then you stand
Then you stand

Life's like a novel with the end ripped out
The edge of a canyon with only one way down
Take what you're given before its gone
Start holding on, keep holding on

Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend, till you break
Cause it's all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you've had enough
You get mad you get strong
Wipe your hands shake it off
Then you stand (then you stand)
Yea, then you stand (then you stand)

Everytime you get up
And get back in the race
One more small piece of you
Starts to fall into place, yea

Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend, till you break
Cause it's all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you've had enough
You get mad you get strong
Wipe your hands shake it off
Then you stand (then you stand)
Then you stand (then you stand)
Yea, then you stand (then you stand)
Yea (then you stand)
Ohhh (then you stand)
Ohhh (then you stand)
Ohhh (then you stand)
Ohhh (then you stand)
Then you stand

January 11th

Tomorrow is January 11th and will mark the 13th year "anniversary" of the day I broke my back. How odd that it's been that long.

In another couple weeks it will have been 2 years since all the crap with syringomyelia started. (and another link)

Quite a testament to the amount of pain a person can learn to live with. I guess that can be said both literally and figuratively.

Oh - and let's not forget the drama in January 2006 when Kaylen first started her "Pallid Breath Holding" stuff which started us on quite the road.

January. It's never really been my favorite month.

Saturday, January 09, 2010


I had a really good Friday. I had counseling and then met up with friends and talked while our kids ruled Chuck E. Cheese. After that I came home and prepared for an evening with a couple of friends, pizza and drinks. The kids were wound up but overall did well and were more than ready to hit the pillows at bedtime.

After they were in bed and asleep we played a game called Quelf which was hysterically funny and even more so when you add some alcohol to the game players. We did crazy things like cut out a mask and wear it until someone rolled a 4, left the room and had to stay out until someone came to find you, sit under the table for a round, etc. It was really a lot of fun and I look forward to playing it again soon.

It was a really great evening full of laughter, silliness, serious talk, tears, etc. All the things that I really needed and for a brief moment in time I stopped wishing for orlando vacations
Today it's back and forth but last night gave me hope. And I really needed to have some hope.....even a small sliver of it.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

More for Thursday

Things have been relatively calm around here the past few days. It's been needed. As a result though, at the moment I don't have much "public processing" to share. I'm sure I will again soon. (But you know, if that sort of thing bothers you, feel free not to stop by. No one forces you to read what I write. How I process is how I process and I make no apology for it. I'm sure there are lots of things you do that I don't think are right. Just sayin'.) that I've confused most of you.....I'll just keep going.

Last night when I was putting the kids to bed I accidentally fell asleep. I hardly ever have done that but one moment I was asking Kaylen to quiet down and the next minute the dogs were in bugging me to be let outside. Two hours had passed.

I think I was dreaming of custom shot glasses or something. :) Which would be pretty funny.

Clearly I was tired but I had some things I had wanted to do once the kids were sleeping but since it was so late all I really did was take care of the animals, close up the house and went to bed.

Tonight Dakota comes by for dinner and bedtime with the kids. It's all so weird.


This morning Kaylen had a full on meltdown about, of all things, a pink Easter hat which she refers to as her "cowgirl hat". A few months back, Dakota and Kaylen cleaned up, sorted through and organized the dress up bins while Kelton and I did the same to his toy bins. When all was said and done, I say the "cowgirl" hat in the giveaway pile. I figured they knew what they were doing and let it slide.

Fast forward to today. Yeah - not pretty. I'm not sure why she thinks a pink Easter hat is equal to a cowgirl hat but apparently it is a very important accessory for riding her stick horse.

I guess I'll need to keep an eye on the Target Dollar Spot to find another one for her when the Easter stuff comes out.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


The past couple of days I've been keeping busy doing odds and ends of stuff. Monday I spent the entire day prepping and painting my bedroom. It used to have one dark brown wall and three yellow-white walls that I think were the original paint to the room back in the 70's. I've wanted the room painted for years (ever since we moved in) but we had never gotten around to it except for the brown wall that Dakota painted for me a few weeks before she started law school.

Gone is all that. Now it is a peaceful blue-gray color. It's a strange change for me even though I really need it (and the kids like it). I just couldn't continue living in a room that was exactly the same when nothing else is. It's shocking to walk in there though - as much as I like it, it also makes me feel sad. Do you think there is any truth behind the Blue Advantage thought that blue helps a person feel less anxiety and more peaceful? We'll see.

Also on Monday I noticed that the coat rack we have on a wall had pulled free. One of the molly bolts pulled right out of the wall - I'm guessing because of the weight of the winter coats, backpacks and whatnot. So yesterday Kaylen and I went to Home Depot and bought higher weight rated molly bolts and a couple of door stoppers. I rehung the coat rack and then installed the new door stoppers. We had removed several of them when Kelton was a baby since they came off so easily and he would put them in his mouth. Since we're past that age with the kids, I figured it was time to put some back in place to keep the doors from marking the walls.

Other than that - I'm just going through the motions and trying to keep life as normal as possible for the kids. Kelton asked me to set up a meeting with his school counselor so he could talk about things he doesn't feel he can talk about with either Dakota or me. It sounds like it was a good talk and he will meet with her again next week at his request. It's nice that everyone at the school is helping me keep an eye on him.

Kaylen refused to finish out her last week in the preschool program. After talking with Dakota, we decided that missing this last week would be better than forcing her to go and creating even more anxiety for her. I thought for sure she would go with me staying in the room the whole time but she was having none of it.

It's an interesting place - this new journey we are on.

Growing Taller

Kaylen is growing like a weed. A few months ago I went to a consignment shop and bought a few dresses that (I thought) would see her through the winter. Ummm...yeah. Not so much. I prefer dresses knee length (or a little longer) because there is less change of her underwear showing when she plays. Well - that and I don't enjoy dressing her like a hoochy-mama. :)

But now her dresses are all getting to be above her knees. I swear it happened overnight. There is no denying it - she is growing taller day by day. I guess it will soon be time to hit the consignment shop again to see if I can find longer dresses since it's not likely that this girl will put on a pair of Hudson jeans anytime soon.

She is still very much anti-pants. *sigh*

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


I'm still here. Just quiet.

Thanks for the emails checking on me.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Tough Day

It's been a tough day. A really tough day. One of those days when the tears flow constantly and the questions and worries consume me. A day when the pain seems almost too much to bear for a second longer.

I have so much to say but as soon as I get a paragraph written I delete it. This is just such an incredibly personal thing and there are aspects to it which make it even worse than it otherwise might be. Not to say it wouldn't be terrible no matter what but there are some things that make the hurt downright unbearable.

Right now even something like disney world vacations just wouldn't bring a smile to my face.

Tomorrow after dinner Dakota will leave the house and except for a couple hours for dinner four times it will be 12 days before the kids have any real time with her. As a parent, I can't imagine anything being worth that.

Like I said, it's been a tough day.


I have a lot to be unhappy about these days but there has been one good thing; I've lost weight. A good deal of weight. I think this is the first holiday season ever that I haven't been thinking of diet supplements to help battle off the cookies, candies and fudge I ate. This year, instead of gaining weight I actually lost it. Having zero appetite is a good thing when it comes to avoiding usually tempting goodies.

It's not a weight loss plan I would readily endorse but it has been the only positive out of this whole mess.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Pay No Attention to the Random Ramblings

There are a lot of random type posts today. Guess that matches up pretty well as my head is filled with random stuff. Sometimes it is even hard to figure out what I'm thinking from one minute to the next. Clear headed I am not. I have moments of clarity but mostly my "fight or flight" instinct is running at top speed. Survival instincts. Yeah - I guess so. Surviving is what it is all about right now.

I have moments of wanting to run away from it all - maybe something like an Outer Banks vacations would give me time to clear my head. But running isn't an option. Standing my ground on issues and finding my voice in all of this is really the only option I have.

Finding my voice and not allowing things to silence me. Not as easy as you might imagine right now.

Wandering Aimlessly

After my (failed) trip to Ikea, I drove to WalMart because I had heard that had decent deals on plush mattress covers. I am all about making my bed as comfortable and irresistible as I can make it right now. I found one that I think will work out and then I wandered around the store. I looked at towels, all the 50% toys and Christmas stuff and even kitchen faucets. Nothing struck my fancy - which is just as well.

Some people shop to ease emotional pain. I am not like that. Some times I wish I was but it's probably best that I am not.

But putting together a super comfy bed for myself? I'm all over that.

Ikea Trip

I went out for a while today and decided to check out Ikea. I always think it will be a good idea and when I am there, I never know *why* I think it's a good idea. Especially alone. I wandered aimlessly and saw way too much stuff. I think that is part of my problem there - there is just so much stuff. Everywhere. Furniture, dishes, kitchen stuff, bathroom stuff, lights and if I looked hard enough; probably

It overwhelms me. Maybe some day I will have to go there without kids but with another adult - preferably one that loves Ikea and can't get enough of it. Maybe that would help.