Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Loss Of Words

We’re going to be leaving on our trip to Southern California on Thursday still. Older Boy stopped puking Monday evening. Younger Boy only puked once today, but kept two meals down. However, at dinner time he threw up again (during Older Boy’s birthday party that we decided to have since both boys had kept their food down that day … until then). If it were anything like Sunday night I'd say cancel it, but I think time is on our side here and that we'll be good to go.

The boys are supposed to go see Jane tomorrow since we’ll be leaving Thursday (her day with them). I expressed that 1)I really thought that with our trip planned Younger Boy needed another day of sleep and rest (like he had today – especially since he puked up dinner), and 2)I was concerned with the risk of him puking at Jane’s house because not only is it Jane and she freaks out when one of the kids does puke but she also has the baby over there. I guess I was more concerned with the health of the baby and I didn’t want to risk exposing him to whatever Younger Boy has, apparently, not totally kicked yet.

Anyway, I suggested that my fiancé call her up and let her know. He decided that he was going to let her choose whether or not Younger Boy should go over there. So he called her up, and from my end of the conversation, I didn’t have a damn clue of what Jane’s final decision had been. It turns out she told my future hubby to let Younger Boy decide.

OK, can I just burst out with a “Are you F’ing Kidding Me?!?!”

You’re going to put the health of your baby, the health of your other son who is 3-years-old into that sick 3-year-old’s hands? The boy can’t make up his mind if he wants a turkey and mustard sandwich or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I was appalled. I was literally at a loss of words after my quiet under my breath “Are you F’ing Kidding Me?!?” came out.

The first thought that came to mind was, “Is Jane seriously that incapable of making a responsible, rational, and sane decision?” Then I thought, “Is she seriously that lazy that she’s going to put that responsibility in Younger Boy’s immature and innocent child hands? Then I thought, “F That Shit! If she’s not going to be an adult and make a responsible decision then I sure as hell am.”

As much as I would love to share the joys of parenting a sick child with her, I’m not about to do that. Especially since she doesn’t feed them anything but junk! The last thing I needed was Younger Boy getting sick again at her house and her freaking out about it. The other last thing I needed was Younger Boy going over there and then her baby getting whatever it is that caused the puke fest over here. I’m not a doctor, but considering that it took about a week for Younger Boy and Older Boy to catch whatever lovely ickyness Middle Boy had last week I really didn’t want to risk it.

I honestly think that Younger Boy will be good to go on Thursday with another day of sleeping, drinking water, and resting. Like I said, he did pretty good today until dinner time. And I truly do feel really bad that he’s not going to get to see Jane tomorrow. But I care a whole lot more about him getting better and being healthy. Am I being too paranoid? Maybe ... but then again I've never had kids before. Don't all mothers worry about their childrens' illnesses at first? I know my mother still worries about my health issues today. She may not be there wiping up my puke, but she cares and she calls and she asks questions to stay in the loop. I've considered that maybe he's just got a touchy and sensitive stomach since he participated and competed for the title of "Top Puker" in our family. But when it comes to having babies I get even more paranoid about the risk of illness.

And it really just blew me away that she chose to leave that responsibility in Younger Boys' hands. That she couldn’t just say “Yes, I’m willing to take the risk” or “No, I’d prefer that he not come over.” Is it really that hard of a decision to make? Especially when it comes to the well-being and health of your children?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy (Puking) Monday!

I don’t think that I enjoy Sunday’s anymore. The kids always pick Sunday night as the night to get sick. By “get sick” I mean to puke all night long, all over the place. And Monday morning hurts after a night of kids puking. If I’m not up helping to clean it up, I’m sleeping restlessly with an open ear to hear the “I’m about to puke” cough.

Younger Boy and Older Boy are both sick.

It started last night around 10-something in the PM while driving home from my parents house. My parents babysat the boys so that my fiancé and I could go out to dinner with an old friend from back in the day. Older Boy was complaining that his stomach hurt and that he felt sick. We weren’t quite sure what it was, but we were driving home. That’s when I heard that lovely “getting sick” cough. I turned around and there’s Younger Boy puking in his lap. We rolled the windows down and luckily we were near a gas station.

Unluckily the bathrooms were blocked off and out of order. Unluckily, we’d accidentally left the extra pair of Younger Boy’s clothes at my parents (he was in his pajamas). Unluckily that gas station sucked and didn’t carry hand wipes or anything useful for cleaning up and airing out the puke smell from the car. Luckily for us Younger Boy’s puking expedition was limited to his lap and his car seat.

We got home and Younger Boy got a shower. We tucked them all in, I gave my spiel about how ‘If you have to puke do it in this little garbage can here and come get us. And if you hear Younger Boy puking come get us.” I went into the bathroom to take my contacts out and washed my eye make up off. I came out to find Older Boy with his head in the trashcan (out in the kitchen) and was met by Middle Boy who informed me that Younger Boy had puked again.

We had another round of cleaning and everyone was off to bed. At this point I kind of chuckled to myself. My supervisor had told me “Kids puke all the time” as we were writing up my new job description before I left. I had taken that with a grain of salt, but considering all the puke I’ve been cleaning up the past week I’m wondering if there’s actual validity to it or if she jinxed/cursed me with her guarantee. Either way, I’m up to my elbows in puke today. Even better was when Fat Cat decided that she ought to puke too. Luckily I stopped her from jumping onto the carpet and made her puke on top of the table. At least table tops can be wiped up and then wiped down with Clorox Anywhere.

This morning I found Older Boy sitting on the couch. Just sitting there.

Me: You need to get back into bed.
OB: I threw up
Me: What do you mean you threw up? Where?
OB: I threw up on my bed
Me: You threw up on your bed and you decided to just sit on the couch and not tell us?
OB: *shrugs shoulders*
Me: Did you get any of it in the garbage can next to your bed?
OB: No
Me: What did we tell you last night? Do you remember?
OB: *Shakes head yes, in that confused diagonal yes but maybe no*
Me: What did we tell you last night?
OB: *stares at me like a deer caught in the headlights*
Me: You said you remembered. What did we tell you last night?
OB: To come get you if I puked.

I could not believe it. After the reminder of last night he managed to do nada of it. He threw up next to the garbage can, and the best is that he just went out to the living room and sat on the couch allowing the smell of puke to fill the room and sink into the bedsheets. Luckily I had cracked the window to air it out last night. The boy is almost nine years old and sometimes he acts like he's the least responsible of all of them. I understand that he's never been challenged to be independent before or to hold himself accountable, but in the last six/seven months that I've been here he's learned quite a bit that he now is.

He cleaned it up (was told that he had to clean it up). And after I gave him a good example of how to clean it up right he finished it up a lot sooner. He then was sent back to bed to sleep some more. He was not pleased, but neither were my future hubby and I.

Luckily for me, my fiancé is on vacation so he’s helping to take care of Middle Boy (who isn’t sick anymore). Older Boy and Younger Boy have been instructed to sleep and take it easy all day. I’m hoping and crossing my fingers that whatever they have is somewhat related to what Middle Boy suffered from last week. If so, then that means that they’ll be up and bouncing back to normal by tomorrow (after a day of soup and rest). If not then I’m not sure what we’ll do.

Older Boy’s birthday party is supposed to happen tomorrow. We’re supposed to leave for vacation Thursday. Our Engagement Photoshoot and Family Photoshoot are Sunday down in So Cal. (Sidenote – Younger Boy’s nose actually looks pretty decent and if there is redness I’m sure I can find a foundation to cover it with. I’ve already told my fiancé that the boy is getting make up on him.)

Welcome to Motherhood Crys! Just another one of those initiation rights of passage I guess. Right?

So that’s my Monday. (Can I have a glass of wine yet?) Happy Monday everyone! Hopefully yours is full of less puke than mine.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Waiting Stinks

So my computer is broken and I have to use my future hubby’s computer to do my non-work stuff. I don’t like to use my work computer because they have access to view exactly what I’m doing and when I’m doing it. Sucks, but I’ll take it to be able to work from home. So here I am, waiting for the weekend when I’ll hopefully be able to bring my computer in and get it fixed. It stinks because all my photos are on there, all my wedding planning is on there, and it’s mine. I hate waiting. I have patience, but really I don’t.

I’m also waiting on the test results to come back in from the blood work I had done last week. The doctor said that it should take about two weeks for her to figure out what was wrong with me. Two weeks, that’s not too long, right? Oh geez, it’s taking forever! I’m the woman who thinks waiting three minutes for a pregnancy test to show results seems like hours. Two weeks is taking F O R E V E R!

Let me back up. I’ve been having a rough go. I feel like I have to eat, almost all day long. I feel like my blood sugar is all out of wack. If I don’t eat then I start to feel sick. In fact, if I don’t eat I get sick. I get nauseous, I get light headed, I start to get clammy, I feel like I’m on my way to drinking one too many. And in my opinion, feeling like you’re getting drunk without getting any of the booze is just wrong. I also get pale, and I can’t concentrate, and it’s just not a good time. This all started a year or so ago … and I know. I probably should have gone to see the doctor when it all first happened. But, I didn’t. There’s no good excuse for it outside of I just dislike going to the hospital. And it wasn’t that bad then. If I ate by 11am and 5pm then I was good to go. I kept nuts and trail mix in my desk for the moments in between.

But lately it’s been worse. I feel like crap even after I’ve eaten. Even though I'm eating more it’s like I need to still eat every 2 to 4 hours in order to make it through the day without feeling like yuck. I decided that it was finally time to go in to see the doctor. It was more pissing me off that my body was totally revolting against me. Not that I blame my body. After I starved it for years and years and subjected it to party night after party night I probably wouldn’t be at the top of my favorite people list either. But still…with three boys, two cats and a fiancé to take care of I figured it was time I stepped up and took care of it.

I told the doctor anything and everything I could think of. Like the history of high blood pressure and cholesterol on my dad’s side. And the history of anything and every other disease and illness you can think of under the sun on my mom’s side. So she tells me, It’s either your thyroid having issues or you’re the opposite of diabetes. (Both diabetes and thyroid issues are prominent on my mom’s side.) She tells me that I need to fast and get blood work done the next day. She tells me that it will take about two weeks. Younger Boy got the stickers and I was sent on my way…with nothing else!

I figured it was up to me then to do the research. What I found for the opposite of diabetes was hypoglycemia. I found it came with an altered diet, the necessity to cut out foods that make more sugar in your body, and a completely changed way of planning meals and what those meals consisted of.

I’ve been trying to incorporate some of those changes … and they’ve worked a bit. But still it would be nice to know what’s wrong with me. It would be nice to know what I can officially do in the mean time. It would be nice if I could just get some sort of knowledge from those that have it, because I really hate guessing on my own how to take care of me when I really have no medical knowledge outside of what I can research online.

For the record – As of tomorrow I’m one week down and have one more to go. Waiting on important things stinks. Or maybe it’s more I stink at waiting on important things. Makes you wonder how I’m able to not go completely crazy planning a wedding that takes place about 11 months from now.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Is It A Coincidence or Not?

I have two kids home with me today. Younger Boy with his animal nose band-aid and a puking Middle Boy. The boys went over to play at Jolie’s (Jane’s mom) yesterday so that my fiancé and I could have a day together to spend some quality time. I woke up this morning (after a night of tossing and turning) to the sound of a boy puking and gagging in the bathroom. My fiancé was up at the time so he handled it, however when I woke up I went into the room and (as I thought) discovered that a majority of it had ended up in the bed sheets.

Now there is something that has been on both my and my future hubby’s mind. Middle Boy has had a history of getting sick after spending time over at Jolie’s place (and occasionally with Jane). We have some theories I wanted to run by you lovely ladies. (I can’t remember what I originally named Jane’s mom so let’s just call her Jolie)

Theory One – Not So Healthy Food
In the beginning months of me moving here (and when the boys were rotating overnight weekend visits at Jane’s) Middle Boy had the tendency to start puking. We thought that perhaps it was related to the types of foods she was feeding him. At our home he received nutritious homemade meals and fresh fruits and veggies. We baked chicken nuggets or grilled hamburgers once in a while or ordered in pizza on nights that we’re just running out of time. And once in a blue moon the boys get fast food when they’re out with their aunts (my future hubby’s sisters) … but that’s the extent of fast food in their systems. When they are with Jolie and Jane they often are fed fast food, corn dogs, chips and other snacks that we usually don’t have in our home. In short, we thought maybe his stomach was being sensitive to the change in the type of food that he was being offered between both of our households. (This theory was also applied to Younger Boy’s Flamin’ Hot Cheetos vomit incident.)

Theory Two – A Not So Healthy Environment
Now as I work in the pet industry I don’t knock people who have a lot of pets. It does, however, worry me when I walk into your house and it smells like a petting zoo. In fact, I think that I’ve walked into barns that smelled better than Jolie’s house. I have great concerns in sending them over there, but that’s where she lives and we don’t have much choice in that matter. Let me explain … Jolie lives with her sister Ruth (who actually owns the house and has the big heart to rescue and take care of all the animals).

Concern 1 – It’s just not all that clean. There are quite a few animals in that house. (How they got there is another story.) There’s at least three dogs, 8 cats, 4 birds, three turtles, a guinea pig, a mouse … I think I’m missing some more but I could be wrong. I know that there used to be iguanas but those were adopted by someone. There’s cat litter, cat/dog body fluids all over the place (including couch and table tops [table tops they eat on]). You walk in there and you feel a film of ickyness start to cling to your skin … and all you want to do it get out of there. I’ve slept in that house once. I never wanted to sleep there again and luckily I had convinced my fiancé to move out anyway. One of the main reasons I don’t like going over there anyway is that I can’t stand the ickyness of it.

Concern 2 – There is a hole in the wood floor. I kid you not. The wood floor was installed by someone Ruth knows (knew). And it started sagging, and then it became a hole. I assume it’s caused by 1) its an older house and the floor supports are all funky and 2) a cheap and poorly done floor installation. They’ve moved the couch so that it covers the hole. But that scares the heck out of me too. How the heck do they know that the couch isn’t going to fall through the floor?

Concern 3 – This house is located in the not so great part of the city. I grew up a couple of streets down so I know this from experience. I grew up in my dad’s family house, and the neighborhood went to shit around it and the other nice folks that lived there. All it takes is a couple of bad apples (drug dealers) to turn a neighborhood sour. When I was little there was a pipe bomb in the playground across the street. There was a drug dealer two doors down that got shot at (his house was shot at multiple times). We woke up with a bullet in our window. I joke (yet am serious) when I tell people that I can hit the light switch and the floor in one swift fluid motion. Jolie and Ruth’s house isn’t that far from where I used to live. I know for a fact some guy was shot at the corner intersection. I also know for a fact that the apartment complex across the street from their house is shady.

Back on topic, it’s Concern 1 that relates to this post. I have this nagging wonder if the condition of that house has something to do with Middle Boy getting sick all the time. Like I said, this is not the first time he’s come back from spending the day over there. He also spent the night over there the time that he woke up with a raging ear infection. I wondered if maybe he had gotten something in his ear canal that caused it to inflame that badly and that quickly. Because he was doing pretty well the last time I had seen him (that Sunday morning).

Anyway, is it a coincidence that Middle Boy keeps getting sick when he goes over to see them or is it possibly a combination of these theories that he’s getting sick. The boy doesn’t get sick, except for these instances. Although he did manage to catch a 24-hour flu bug from class, the joys of kindergarten.

We’re kind of at a loss of how to approach this. We’re don’t want Middle Boy to continue getting sick whenever he comes back from their place, but we can’t exactly link that he’s getting sick from being over there (even though he pretty much always gets sick when he goes over there).

So here I am … with a band-aid nosed Younger Boy and an upset stomached Middle Boy.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Younger Boy’s Picky Nose Syndrome

I cannot remember if I’ve even mentioned this bad habit Younger Boy has before. I want to say I have, but I really can’t remember. Anyway, he sucks his thumb. And the bad habit isn’t really that he sucks his thumb, in fact I wish it was just sucking his thumb. But no, Younger Boy goes beyond sucking his thumb. While sucking his thumb the proceeds to gouge out skin from his nose area. He’s been wearing band-aids on his nose literally for a little over a month now.

It started during the cold season, when his little nose was raw from the constant nose blowing. He got a pretty good, but little, chunk out. It was a battle because he was going to Jane’s on the weekends then. So all week long I worked so hard to keep Neosporin and band-aid’s on his nose. All of us also worked on keeping an eye on Younger Boy and reminding him that he shouldn’t be picking at his nose. Then he would go to Jane’s (if it was his turn in the rotation to see her) and would come back with a fresh, red, scab torn off or new skin scratched off nose.

Now that he doesn’t stay the weekend at her house I’ve been able to get it healed. Well, the initial gouges are healed, but he’s now been taken some good, but little, chunks off the tip of his nose. I’m rather worried that it’s going to scar. Despite my efforts, he sometimes will take the band-aid off and pick at the scab or the fresh skin.

Now, not to be selfish, but we have engagement photos and family photos in about two weeks. And I would love for his nose to be healed. Except yesterday he decided to rip the band-aids off not once, but twice. And that pretty little scab is gone and in its place is a bright red patch of raw skin.

At first I thought that maybe it was related to when he went to visit Jane and her mother. Every time he visited them he came back with raw skin, and this would be after his nose was just about healed. I thought perhaps he was regressing and this nose picking was a part of this regression. But now, I just don’t have a clue. I thought maybe he was just scratching and picking at the scab. But now I notice that when there’s no scab he continues to scratch away at it.

This has got to hurt him when he does this, right? Not only that but he had me in tears. Earlier this week I found that he had ripped the scab off. So I cleaned the area, dried it and put a fresh band-aid on it. My fiancé was washing dishes and the other boys were playing in their room. Well, Younger Boy went into his room and proceeded to tell Older Boy that I had hurt him. And seriously, the last thing I need is Younger Boy telling Jane or her mother that I hurt him. My fiancé had a little talk with him about all of it. Although I’m not sure how much of it soaked into his 3-year-old brain. I really try to be gentle when I do all of this, but raw skin hurts no matter what you do.

We’ve been trying to keep an eye on his fingernails and making sure that they don’t get too long. We've recently tried using liquid band-aid which worked well on the side of his nose but didn't last too long on the tip of his nose. My latest experiment in trying to get him to keep the band-aid on is drawing a cat nose and whiskers onto the band-aid. As you’ve heard here, he’s pretty fond of being a kitty cat. The last two nights of having kitty cat features on his band-aid have been successful. I’m hoping that maybe it will work. And I’m hoping that maybe it will heal up, and after it’s healed just maybe he won’t scrape the skin off.

Here’s to hoping!

Below is his nose almost healed after the cold season and when this behavior first started.

Below is what his nose is currently trying to heal from. This was from two weeks ago. Since then he has torn the scab and the new layer of skin off. He's also starting to pick at the side of the right nostril *sigh*

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Crown Royal On the Rocks Kind of Night

I always have these really great and fun blog entries planned. And then something or someone steps in and really ruins it.

Yesterday was a Crown Royal on the Rocks kind of night. It started off with Younger Boy exploding water, corn and other foods that I so preciously cooked into a delicious soup across the kitchen floor – straight from his three-year-old mouth. And then Older Boy had quite the meltdown over fractions. And then Younger Boy really topped the cake when he picked the scab off of his nose (that’s been my latest mission impossible with him – I’ll have to blog about it soon). And I also got to go to the hospital to get blood work done (because the doctor believes I have the opposite of diabetes but can’t really diagnose or help me out with it without seeing the test results). So I also felt like crap because my body is revolting against me.

So there I was … sitting on the couch relaxing after downing a smooth delicious glass of Crown on the Rocks … when the phone rang. It was after 9pm and there was really only one person I believed it to be. And from the tone in my fiancé’s voice I could tell I was right – Jane.

Jane, who is supposed to be taking the boys out for dinner on Thursday because she can’t see them this Sunday. Jane who decided to go back to work and has been dicking around taking her sweet time, and allegedly, from my personal observation, totally incapable of figuring out what her work schedule was going to be so that we could work out a new Visitation Schedule with her. Jane who got her job back and has been calling in sick so that she didn’t have to go into work (and so that she could spend time with the boys since you know, she’s incapable of making effort in sitting down and talking to her work people about what days she can have off so that she can see them).

Then I heard the word "Friday" uttered from my fiancé and I was enraged. Allegedly her day off was changed last minute to Friday, which totally screwed up my plans to actually get a day alone with my fiancé. Friday there are already plans that do not involve us spending some quality time together. (It's been a really long time since we've spent some quality time together.)

And that pushed the meltdown button.

I tried really hard not to cry. I tried really hard not to let out a spew of obscenities about what an irresponsible, selfish, low-life, sorry excuse of a human being she is. I held in the temper tantrum of how “Not Fair” it was and how F’ing stupid it was. So I hopped in the shower where I tried not to cry but I did anyway.

When I hopped out I found out that my fiancé had called her back, but apparently this week she just couldn’t change it back. But apparently she’s going to be available every Thursday now. And now if only I can find out when her other day off is I would be that much happier. I’m not really all that willing to change my life and the kids’ plans around every week because she’s irresponsible and is playing the helpless victim.

It’s just so stupid that we work so hard with her to try and set up her days with the boys, and at the same time try to provide the boys with opportunities to see their cousins, go to the library, and do other fun things and then have to let them down and tell them, “I’m sorry, you can’t go see/do that today. You’re going to see Jane.” It’s just not very fair to them. Why should they have to miss out on having fun because she can’t get her shit together? All they do when they go over to her house is sit on their butts watching movies and video games. She doesn't even spend time interacting with them. It seems so cruel to make them do those activities when they know they could be doing something else … something else that they were looking forward to doing. It makes me so mad that she does this to them. She should be living her life and making changes to make their lives better. Not for her convenience. It’s so maddening that she doesn’t even seem inclined to do this for her own children.

She can have her Friday, but seriously … Grow the hell up and take some responsibility for your life Jane!

Thank you for listening to my vent of frustration.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Is It Backlash of Baby Envy

I’m wondering if I am receiving the backlash from Younger Boy’s Baby Envy. I believe it was three weeks ago that Jane told my fiancé that Younger Boy had Baby Envy and wanted to be held anytime that she picked up her baby. I can’t remember what else he may have exhibited, but it occurred to me that was also around the time that this horrid phase of his (needing permission to do things, needing attention all the time suddenly) started up out of no where.

The boys spent time with Jane this last Sunday and we were told that Younger Boy acted out in the restaurant they went to. He was yelling or something like that. At the time I kind of just rolled my eyes and muttered an “I dare him to try that with us” to my fiancé. But now with my new theory I see it as possibly Younger Boy trying to get attention from Jane.

This new theory occurred today at the doctor’s office. I’ve been having some issues with what feels like my blood sugar being all funky. Anyway, Younger Boy is generally really well behaved when we go out. I even let him bring along some of his toy trains. But this time he was blood-pressure rising, you’re lucky we’re not at home and that you’re father isn’t here misbehaving. He pulled out every attention getting gimmick he knows. He dropped his trains and repeated that he did over and over. He forced his faux coughs and sneezes. He even did his “I have to go potty” over and over, even though he didn’t have to go. He even dared try to throw a crying fit which was quickly ended and rethought with a really good glare from me.

If this had been the first time he’d ever been to an appointment with me, I’d possibly write it off as toddler boredom. But he’s been to quite a few appointments with me and he’s been oh so well behaved. Combined with his recent phases, I really think that it’s the “pay attention to me” thing going on. Since he’s three I really can’t get too much detail from him when I’ve tried to see if he’ll tell me anything.

Considering I’ve never raised kids with babies before I can’t really say that I’ve seen what this looks like. I have, however, been the older sister with a younger baby in the house. But from what I remember, she was always my baby and as we got older I, being Little Miss Bossy, ran the roost. My fiancé is the youngest of his siblings, but he didn’t’ have any babies underneath him. Much less neither of us have been children of divorce.

I’ve been wondering if her having a baby that gets to live with her while they don’t would start to play a factor. I also wonder when and if it’s going to click or matter to the older boys.

In the mean time, do any of you have experience with this and or advice on how to handle it? I’ve started a behavior modification chart with Younger Boy since the potty training chart worked so well. But it’s more geared to him eating his meals and being nice to his brothers. I didn’t want to load up on trying to fix too many behaviors at once.

Trust me when I say that my patience is on thin ice. I've been ignoring, ignoring and ignoring. But oh my gosh am I ever so tired of it at this point. There has to be something that will work, right?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Recharging On the Mountain

This last week was not ideal. I can’t even really remember what started the domino effect of crappy happenings. The earliest I remember was Middle Boys crying fit over nothing except the fact that he just didn’t take a good nap. Then it rolled into the shit hittin the fan at work. Not necessarily that I was in trouble, but that I had a lot of trouble to deal with. With the help of Facebook changing their layout design, children on spring break and causing a ruckus on my forums and online communities, and then my work computer keyboard deciding to just die ... it was not a fun week.

But I did get to recharge a bit. Although not in an ideal, alone away from the boys, type of way that I would love (like the spa!). We decided that we all needed to get out of the house, especially I who had not really gotten out in far too long.

We decided to go hiking out at Point Reyes State park out here in Nor Cal on Saturday. It was a beautiful day and perfect hiking conditions – Sunny, beautiful with a slight breeze. We did a warm up lap around the Earthquake Trail. The trail is basically a big mile long loop, but it runs next to the San Andreas fault that is marked with big blue posts. There’s also a fence right up next to it that was jerked apart during the major 1906 earthquake up in these part. The kids thought it was pretty neat. The park also set up little kiosks with information about the earth’s plates and earthquakes in kid-friendly language so they liked to stop and read from there too.

Then we decided to hike up a mountain side. My fiancé and Older Boy were all about it. Younger Boy and I brought up the rear and Middle Boy hovered between both of us. Although he realized that you got to rest more if you hiked up front because from time to time you’d stop to wait for Younger Boy and me to catch up within a reasonable distance. It was beautiful. I actually didn’t mind being Younger Boy’s hiking buddy. It meant that I got to go slow and steady and drink in the nature around us. And since he held my hand the entire way he helped to balance me out as we climbed up the incline.

He also talked my ear off the entire way. I don’t know how he had the energy to talk the entire hike up and hike up, but he did it. It was entertaining. At one point he decided that we were trains. I guess this could be in reference to me telling him that we were like Thomas the Tank Engine going up a hill. Either way, it worked and provided entertainment.

YB: I’m pulling you Crys.
Me: Are you Thomas?
YB: Yes, and you’re a freight car!
Me: Oh OK, then I want to be Annie.
YB: Ha ha, You’re a freight car!

He also talked about macaroni and cheese and French fries at Red Robin, pooping and farting, and the horse that we saw. A lady was riding her horse down the side of the mountain, it was pretty neat.

It took up about an hour to go a mile and a half up the side of the mountain. We decided to cut the hike short and turn around at that point. It took us about half an hour to get back down. Younger Boy was so proud that he hiked that mountain all by himself. Usually when we go hiking he asks for one of us to hold him when we get near the end, but he did it all by himself and got a big high five for it.

I really loved being out in the forest though, even if was on the side of a mountain. It was beautiful. Here are some photos I took along the hike.

I really loved these little flowers. There weren't many of them as they grew one or two stalks here and there. But they were beautiful.

The scenery

I love trying to catch the tops of these trees. It's enchanting to gaze up at.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Need To Recharge

I've been meaning to blog for days now. I've sat down to do it, and then something happens. And I can’t catch up. It's not that I feel I'm experiencing a set back in life, I just literally feel like I can’t catch up because the job never ends. No matter how much I get done at work or how crappy of a day I’ve had at work, I’m never done working. By that I mean that I don’t get to come home from work and sit on the couch and get a few minutes because there is my other job as instant mom. There are no minutes to sit down, relax and try to catch my breath.

I need to recharge. I simply have not been able to fully recharge in the couple of kid-free hours I get alone to myself every Sunday (And that is if Jane doesn’t call to cancel.)

My fiancé is on vacation this week. I thought... I really thought that it would be helpful in giving me a break. But it’s not really. I don’t have to drop the kids off at school or pick them up. But I still have to do the other stuff I do every day. There are still crying fits, and yelling, and having to find things because the boys don’t thoroughly look hard enough when they’ve lost something, and there are drippy noses, and chattering, and constant reminding.

That last part has been the teetering of my patience lately. I think my patience is broken. Although I think it’s more the fact that I’m tired of saying things, repeating things, reminding of things multiple times. I don’t mind repeating myself a second time, and I’ll hold my tongue and remind a third time, but when it’s constantly reminding of things (we’re talking I’ve said it over and over and over again) it’s really starting to just frustrate me. We’ve constantly had to remind the older boys that “You need to put your toys/things/equipment away someplace that you can easily find it and so Younger Boy can’t get to it,” – it’s been about six months since I’ve been preaching that one.

And Younger Boy is in this phase…have I told you about this phase? We’ll he’s decided that he’s incapable of performing any actions without my permission or without me having told him the words to do so. This includes going to the bathroom, blowing his nose, turning the light off or on in a room and closing the door. We’re at the point where we are trying to ignore him until he does it himself…but that is a drain. An example, he stands there in the doorway to his room telling me “I have to go potty.” He says this about 10–15 times before he comes and stands next to me. “I have to go potty” another 10–15 times. Then a “I just have to go potty,” as he finally turns and walks to the bathroom sputtering a couple more “I just have to go potty” phrases. Right now he’s sitting in the doorway to his room saying, “The lights off.” He’s only said it about five times…but this expression of ‘I’m helpless and can’t do anything without you” is driving me up the wall. Especially because he was doing all of this just fine about a month ago, without asking me permission/needing my verbal OK on it. This phase came out of no where … WTF?!?

That’s motherhood, right? They go through phases? They’ll get it eventually, right? Because I’m so exhausted…I’m so exhausted of having to find everything, all the time. I’m so exhausted of having to remind them of everything, all the time. I’m so exhausted of hearing the same phrase uttered 20 times when he knows, and has been told he doesn’t need my permission. I feel like a broken record. And really, I’m not bitter, I’m not furious, I’m not about to leave. But I’m just so frustrated that it’s seems like they’re not listening and understanding. It’s the whole “in one ear and out the other” deal.

Where was I? I need to recharge. But I don’t know how to recharge in my new lifestyle. I’ve been trying all kinds of things, trust me. None of them really work, because at some point in the month I always seem to end up back here. Or maybe that’s just the new deal I signed up for. I’m not necessarily experiencing a feeling of hopelessness, but more a feeling of being pushed to the limit and oh, so exhausted. There has to be some sort of balance, right?

How do you recharge with kids in the house? I’m beginning to understand that being a stepmother is not only the most challenging thing I’ve ever taken on, but that I’m having to re-invent myself (again) to a lifestyle that I not only jumped into headfirst, but am learning as I go along. Not that any parent really understands what they’re getting into when they have kids, but it’s kind of rough when you’re the new parent to kids that have been around a couple of years…and you feel like you ought to already know more than you think you do. Or maybe I’m just not giving myself enough credit. I’m guilty of that often because I always think that there’s someway to better myself. The learning process is never over in my mind.

I enforce my positive thinking daily, and look for happy little moments. That’s what gets me through the day. Because what I've learned is that life happens, no matter what. And you need to find something that is going to help you get through it.