Friday, February 26, 2010

More Photos....yes again. :)

Here are a couple more photos from yesterday. I'm having so much trouble deciding which ones to enlarge. *sigh* Decisions, decisions.

This one is one of many in a Princess Series that Kaylen insisted on having taken. My silly girl.


It's Friday. It's going to be a good day - busy, but good. This afternoon is Book Fair set up and then Monday we are off and running for a very busy week. I'm not as excited nor as nervous this year as I was last which is good. We know what we are doing this time and we will get it done. Ingrid, bless her buttons, has put in waaaaay more time than I have this year so I need to think of something special to do to thank her for her hard work and dedication. She has let me slide by doing the easier stuff because she knows that is what I needed to be able to do this time around. She rocks.

It's my weekend "off" from the kids and it is going to be a very busy, fun and exciting few days. I've been waiting for this weekend for a while now and I am so happy that it is here. Life is has this way of always working out even when you think it can't possibly.

It's about faith and trust and hope for a brighter future. So let's all raise our glasses to that!

Happy Weekend, Everyone!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More Photos

My friend, Shawna, offered to take photos of the kids and me with the goal being to get a couple good ones I could enlarge and hang in the living room. Here are a few of the many that she took. :)

As The Years Go By

The first year was a fluke - the photographer pulled me into a picture with Kelton because she thought it would be cute. The next year, very pregnant with Kaylen, I wanted to copy it because I know it would be the last picture of just Kelton and me alone together. Then, it just made sense to keep taking the same post so I could watch my babies grow and change (and apparently myself as well. Dang I looked young in that first picture!).

I think it's so cool to be able to see them all to compare them. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Pictures

Princess Kaylen

Kaylen is on a Princess kick lately. Today she asked that I drag in all the Halloween costume boxes from the garage so she could dress up and than, in the end, she went into the regular dress up stuff stored in Kelton's room and came out all decked out like a princess. High heeled shoes included.

Then she asked in her oh so sweet little voice if we could find "princess jewelry" from my jewelry box. So off we went into my bedroom. We fell in love with my charm bracelet and a three heart necklace. She looks great!


Mid-week. Thank goodness.

Sometimes it strikes me that I wish my life away in large increments which bugs me because soon enough, the kids will be grown and I will be older (yeah yeah - keep it to yourself) however I also think it's human nature to be waiting and wishing time away (I wish it was bedtime for the kids. I wish it was spring. I wish we could fast forward...). But - be that as it may. It's nice that it is mid-week because it means the weekend is almost here.

Of course, that also means the Book Fair is almost here. It starts Monday and while I know it will be fun (it was a ton of fun last year) it will also be a lot of stress, a whole lot of work and running around and, now that Kaylen is 5 and doesn't enjoy just hanging out when I have to be at the school, hard with Kaylen. I'm also a bit on edge about all that needs to be done...not to mention Classified Staff Week is the next week and we still need to pull a rabbit out of our hats for that one.

More volunteers would be nice but sadly, the school just doesn't have the level of parental involvement that we would like to see. My friend, Jeri, who doesn't have kids in our school, is once again volunteering to fill in gaps for us. (Thank you, Jeri! You rock!)

I'm sure it will go fine and whatever doesn't get done, doesn't get done. To be honest, the books will be there, the kids will buy them and that, in all actuality, is the whole point of the event. Raffles? That is just icing. And I'm ok not breaking last years record. We really killed oursslves last year but this year? Neither my heart, nor Ingrid's, has been in the game.

The one thing I'm really not looking forward to? School starts an hour earlier this year which means I have to be at the school and ready to go by 7:30. With both kids.

We set up Friday afternoon and I know I will feel tons better once it's set up and the stress of waiting to do it is over.

Then the weekend. It's my weekend "off" and I am really looking forward to it. You know, if you had asked me back in November how I would feel about weekends away from my kids you would have heard me say I didn't think I could do it - I absolutely didn't want to do it. I'd never been away from my kids except for the rare night here and there (with Kaylen that equaled two nights in her entire life). You know what's funny? I love it! I love my kids so very much but time away is really, really great. Who knew? (yes, I know. Most of you. You all told me it would be good - even better than good and you were right. I'm ok admitting when I am wrong so here you go: I was wrong!") I look forward to my time when I'm not doing it all.

Hmmm...what else do I have? I had an interview last night. It was umm....interesting. If you are on Facebook you already read all about it. My brother gave me some grounding about it really not sounding like a good fit. I feel weird about the possibility of turning down a job offer in this day and age but he is right - if in my gut I know I wouldn't be happy there then that's the answer. And if one person wants to hire me, there will definitely be others. There are a ton of red flags for me on this one (not to say it has been or will be offered). Oh - and no benefits is a tough one. I am a grown up with kids. I need health insurance. The kids we can add to Dakota's insurance since she is their legal parent but I still need insurance. Time will tell.

Looks like it's time for another cup of coffee so I will end here and let you get on with your lives. Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

I'm glad I went to the trouble to make my bed comfy and nice for myself. As you can see - there is rarely room for me on it. :)


It's early on Tuesday morning though not as early as it has been on some of the days I've posted. I've been awake since 4 but I stayed under the covers and let my thoughts roam until the dogs started to stir. I had moved into Kaylen's room around 11:30 last night since she summoned called me in and I had every intention of just settling her back in and then returning to my bed but alas, I fell to sleep. The next thing I know, Maddie is curled tightly against me and Kaylen is sideways using me as a pillow and her pillow as a blanket.

Oh yeah - a totally comfortable way to sleep. Or not. :)

Yesterday was a good day. A really good day for me which was a nice change of pace. I kept busy in the morning with a project and then spent the afternoon catching up on everything the needed to be done. Weekdays are definitely easier to navigate than weekends alone with the kids. Those are long days but I've always thought that - Saturdays when Dakota would be studying all day were very long days. There is something about the weekends that scream "everyone else is with their family doing things and you are not." which is weird since the kids and I are my new family unit. I guess mentally I haven't made that particular switch. It almost feels like isolation for the weekend. Even Facebook is very, very quiet on the weekends. Blogs aren't often updated. It's just so different from the week.

The kids are doing ok. Kaylen is a strange little duck. At night she whimpers and cries for Dakota and talks of how much she misses her but during the day she will barely talk with her on the phone. I know she misses her bedtime cuddle time - and probably that is when she misses her the most because she never really saw Dakota during the day.

Kelton appears to be ok but it's hard to get a read on him. He is extra needy and wants to be snuggled a lot. He also is constantly telling me how much he loves me (which I love but I don't like knowing it's because he needs to be reassured that I love him, too over and over).

They are both very excited that it's Dakota's night with them. I don't have much to do to stay out of the way this week but I figure I will save the errands I need to run today and take care of them tonight just to get out of the house for a while. Next week will be easier as I'll have somewhere to go on Tuesday and Thursday.

Here's hoping for another good day!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Thanks to everyone who commented on yesterday's blog. I'm really thinking that, given time, things will even out. To say my life was turned upside down and inside out is putting is mildly and while there are some really good parts to my life now I find I am left with some pretty big "self esteem issues" to overcome. The self-talk needs to switch from "I am completely unlovable and not worth the trouble" to ...what? I guess to "I am enough and I am worth it.". I need to stop doubting everything I see and hear.....which I think is the biggest thing. My trust in what I thought was reality was shattered into a trillion little pieces over time and I imagine it will take time to find the balance. I want to trust because the alternative is driving me nuts. It's not who I want to be.

I loved the advice of breathing in with "I am" and out with "ok." I tried that in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep and it seemed to help.

I'd love to tell you I feel better today. Well - and in some ways I do but it's sort of like walking a balance beam. I wobble to the right, wobble to the left and hopefully find my balance dead center for a while.

I want to be fine now. During the day it's easier to pretend that but at night? Not so much. Night is when my brain spins. Fake it until you make it and all that. attempt to get out of my own way I took the kids over to a nearby park and let them feed the ducks. They had a good time even though they left with more mud on them than I fear they left behind. :) It was nice to be out in the fresh air, walking the trails and feeling the sunshine warm me. Here are a few of the photos I took of the silly duo.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

How to Hit Reset?

Does anyone know how to reset the internal panic button sensitivity? Mine apparently is set at "ultra-sensitive" and it's driving me over the edge (as well as a few others, I'm sure).

I'm already taking a decent dose of anti-depression meds laced with anti-anxiety components but seriously? I have *got* to get a handle on this.

The weirdest things will trigger my fight or flight instinct and then I start to spin with thoughts of "I'm not good enough. I'm not enough. I suck. What would anyone ever see in me?, etc." I doubt myself and everything I know to be true. And the thing is - even when I am spinning there is this part of me that knows...I mean *KNOWS* it's not true. What kind of mind games do I play on myself and why am I doing it?

Is this just part of the process of learning to trust again? Both trust in myself and in others? Because seriously? I'm driving myself crazy. I hate that I can spin so easily. Hate. It.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday, Blue Sky and Stability

That pretty much sums it up for this moment in time. I had several good chats with a couple people (Thanks L, N and D) last night and a decent nights sleep and woke up feeling better than I have all week. I don't feel as emotionally unstable today which is a pretty amazing feeling and one I think we all take for granted until the sand shifts beneath our feet and we don't have it.

Kelton seems to be working hard with his writing which gives me hope that this will all come together. His speech therapist caught me at school yesterday while I was working on Book Fair stuff and we had a good conversation which gives me hope as well. I talked with his kindergarten teacher (who I've really gotten to know through PTO stuff)and she admitted that she tried to have him evaluated in kindergarten but was told it was developmental and that he would outgrow it - so that is why she told me what she did back then. She had a feeling it would cause him trouble down the road and is happy to know he is getting help. She reassured me that he is an exceptionally bright child and it will all come together for him. All the right things for a mommy on the edge to hear.

Dakota and I have been communicating a lot this week which has been really good. She brings some good perspectives to the table and I can only hope I do for her as well when she needs it. It's nice to be there for each other in this new way.

I have other things going on that just feel better today. Much, much better. Some day I will share it all but for now, that's all you are going to get. :)

Nothing new on the job front which I try hard not to freak out about. As I kept hearing last night: Life has a way of working itself out. It always does.

I just need to hang on to that when the sand starts to shift.

It's going to be a great day!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I've had a hard couple of days - I guess that's just life though. I could be all Zen about it and say "You can't appreciate the highs without going through the lows" and all that jazz but to be honest? The lows suck and when you are low, it's hard to feel like the highs are coming back.

It's the whole "standing with your back to the ocean and getting kicked to the ground by a big-ass wave" thing.

I have so much stress right now that I just know I'm going to have to break out the zit cream soon. And I am so not kidding.

Kelton's teacher called yesterday (and I was already on edge when that happened and I have to say, my heart drops when I see the school prefix on the caller ID). She was calling because she and Kelton's other teacher are very concerned with his writing and spelling. (*THUD* that was the sound of my heart hitting the floor) They aren't sure that he can catch up to where he needs to be and recommends that we start letting him keyboard things (which we do already just because he enjoys it). His speech issues has really impacted his ability to sound out the words and spell correctly and they aren't sure how that will play out or if it will change. Anyway - you get the gist. It went on and on and on as I fought back the tears.

Here's the thing - he CAN do it. He just doesn't want to. He doesn't want to take the time to write neatly and he hates taking the time to sound out the words because yes, it does frustrate him. But he CAN do it because we work with him on it.

His teacher gave me some ideas to help but overall, I was left with the impression that not much can be done if he doesn't want to do it.

I hung up and fell apart and then I sent an email to Dakota who, to her credit, was amazingly supportive and had some good ideas but more than anything, she kept telling me it would be ok. That's Kelton will be ok.

I wrote to Kelton's speech therapist and she wrote back and said she would meet with Kelton's teachers and come up with a plan. I wrote to Kelton's teacher and asked what she thought of a meeting with the two teachers, Dakota, me and Kelton. She wrote back this morning and thought that would be too much for Kelton given all he is dealing with (which comes across as she knows part of his struggling is because of home stuff). She recommended that I drop him off at school at 7:55am and she will work with him every morning until school starts. She thinks that will help and be more beneficial for him than keeping him in at recess to work. I agreed and so did Kelton. He was happily running towards the school door this morning at 7:55 for his special one on one time with his teacher.

Needless to say though - this all has thrown me for a loop.

And there is other things as well which when added to this just pushed me right off the edge last night. When Dakota and I were talking about stuff after she arrived last night, I completely melted down. I finally pulled myself together and took off for a while so they could have their time together. I didn't have too much to do so I came home early and just stayed to myself. Once the kids were sleeping, Dakota got ready to go and as we were hugging goodbye I completely lost it again. Everything was just too big for me.

Dakota stood there with her arms around me and let me cry and cry and cry until I was cried out. Then she did something I will be forever grateful for: she talked me off the ledge and offered some unique perspective to all that I have going on. She said things that resonated and helped provide some balance to my panic. It was one of those moments when I realized that we have been, and will remain, good friends. Friends that really do just want the best for each other and for the kids we will be raising together apart. We love each other deeply. But it's not the love that keeps you married - it's the love that comes from years and years of knowing each other and caring deeply about each other.

It's a nice feeling to have a friend like that.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Weekend

On a more positive note than the last post.....I had a really great weekend. It was Dakota's weekend with the kids (and a long one since it was Presidents Day Weekend) which left me time to have time to be have fun and to enjoy things I don't usually get to enjoy. For instance; a dinner uninterrupted by bathroom trips and manner corrections not to mention a nice strong alcoholic beverage (or two) of my choice and sitting in the bar just because I could.

Topics of conversations overheard while sitting in the bar? So, so many. I have to admit that I enjoy people watching and eavesdropping into their conversation. It was especially fun to watch a guy who had come in for food to go and was having a drink while he waited. He ended up sitting next to a woman who was clearly in crisis over the path her life was taking. After a while you could see the "What the hell?!?" look in the poor guys eyes but I have to give him credit, he sat there far longer than I probably would have - and he even tried to give her advice. :)

There was a very young couple who had stopped in for dinner on their way to what I can only assume was a Valentine's Day dance.

I overheard conversations about acne, the economy and a bunch of other stuff. I guess that's another advantage to being out without the kids....I can actually eavesdrop effectively. Fun times! :)

Lions and Tigers and Jobs - OH MY!

Ah life. It can be crazy sometimes. As it turns out, I didn't get the job for which I interviewed but I'm trying to look at it as "glass half full" and all that jazz. It was a commute - which would have gotten old but at the same time, it was a job which would have been great. All I can really do is keep moving forward and keep applying for jobs as I have been doing. This is a really sucky time to be looking for work - which I am only all too aware of. I have to keep believing that something will work out. Life has a way of doing that and I'm trying really hard to keep focused on that.

Maybe there is a position open at a dermatologists office or some other medical office. I guess maybe I should brush up on my knowledge of the treatment of eczema just in case.

Seriously though - I would love to find something in the school district or at Kaiser. You would think my years at Group Health in Seattle would give me an advantage for getting hired at Kaiser but darn it - it's all about finding the open position for which to apply.

Finding a job. Yep - it's full force in front of me and I know how much as at stake which does cause the panic to rise far more often then I would like.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pictures of Days Gone By

I'm on my laptop killing some time today and I decided to go into my picture file and see what was there. As it turns out, a lot because it would seem I never transferred over my photo files from the five weeks that the kids and I lived at The Hampton Inn and Suites in Lynnwood back in 2007 when my mom was dying.

I took some time and looked through all the photos. Bittersweet, that's for sure. There are some of my mom but mostly ones of the kids as we tried hard to keep life as normal as possible for them. Well - normal as possible when you are living in a one bedroom suite at a hotel for five weeks and spending time with a parent who is dying. I remember one day when James and Cara took the kids for the entire day so that I could just sit with my mom. She wasn't awake anymore by that point but it was nice to just sit there and be there with her. I think that is the day I read through a bunch of her old journals (not nearly as exciting as it sounds).

I found a few of my favorite photos from then. Kaylen was 2 years old and Kelton was a brand new 5 year old (we actually drove up on his 5th birthday and then stayed for 5 weeks).

This was from the day that James and Cara took them for the day. They had such a great day!

My goofy boy. He loved all the medical supplies that were around for my mom - especially the gloves. :)

Kaylen loved my mom's wheelchair and, in fact, for a good year after that experience, she would turn almost anything into a wheelchair. Kelton's truck? No problem! It made the best wheelchair of all. Even her dolls had wheelchairs.

This is Kelton and me on the ferry. One of the first days we were there we took a round trip ride so the kids could have the experience. It was fun and they loved it!

I love this one of Kaylen - she looks so little! We spent many, many hours in the hotel pool and even had pool parties with family members. Staying there for so long sure made it seem like home to the kids and me.

Seriously one of my all time favorites! James and the kids messing around at the Spaghetti Factory on the night we went with Lannon, Arne and our cousin and his family.