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 soon......it 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 yet.....so 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!