Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Time flies....

Well, long time, no time to blog. Things here have been really crazy since November of last year. Now I am finding thing winding down a bit it's time to blow the dust off this thing and give it another go.

First, the excuses, I swear they are half way decent. For myself, my RA has really taken to flaring up this winter. I am thinking that it might be time to throw in the towel soon and admit that maybe I need to take the damn meds. I am however going to see what the summer brings. Because I like to rush into things that way.

My second excuse would be that my cousin was in a very bad car accident. She was out with four friends, on the freeway. The tire blew out and they rolled numerous times. My cousin and her boyfriend were thrown from the vehicle. The person in the car behind them guessed that she flew 30 feet into the air. Thankfully that person was a doctor, and the person behind him a police officer.

Unfortunatley my cousin and her boyfriend were feeling pretty stupid that day and weren't wearing seatbelts. They are both lucky to be alive. She broke her back in 2 places and they had to staple her head back together. She's only 21. Her boyfriend had to have surgery first to repair his kidney and spleen, and then to rebuild just about his entire arm. His elbow shot out. They never found it. Gross. So we've been spending a lot of time running between home and the hospital. I can't help but tell her everyday, buckle your damn seatbelt! She says she will from now on. WE even took the boys in to see her, as she is now our safety example.

On a lighter note, it's hot here! The boys want to spend most of their time in the pool. I feel fortunate when I hear friend complain that it is still snowing where they are. HA HA! SO for your enjoyment, here are a few picks of me and the boys enjoying the warm AZ sun.

Niko & Mom

Maceo & Mom
Are you jealous yet?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Pests that you can't kill...No matter how much you want to...

Yesterday my son came home with three of these: Fiddler crabs
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Three of them. He got them at school. In fourth grade at our school they do a semester with animals. Typically it's millipedes, dwarf frogs, and fiddler crabs. At the end they ask you to volunteer to take some of these guys home. Ok, so for the past 2 kids we took millipedes. We're familiar with them, what's a few more, really. This year the boy wanted the frogs. Ok, so fine, we looked them up, got prepared, I signed the form. Clearly stating, we will take FROGS, and if there are any leftover millipedes, we would be happy to give them a home. So of course, the boy brings home the crabs. Right now they are in the plastic shoe box they came in, with some sand and some water and a place to climb on to. I know they need salt water, but info online is varied and limited so if any one has any tips, I would be eternally grateful...

Of course it doesn't stop there, oh no! Not in our house. It's never that easy... Joining our household yesterday were also 3 of these fellows... (That is not my hand holding the "beatle" No way am I that brave, although I put on a good front, because you can't let the children sense your weakness or you might wake up to find said weakness on your pillow while hearing a giggling boy who is watching to see if you wet yourself. You must pretend you could care less if it touches you, while making sure it doesn't)
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Madagascar hissing "beatles" ( you can rename them whatever you want, I know a roach when I see one.)
My youngest raised beatles in his class this year, through all the various stages, and then brought them home in their little plastic case. I felt bad for the little guys, I really did. He was all over those bugs, constantly holding them. You would like we didn't have cute furry pets galore for him to love on. So these beatles lived peacefully in their little tank for a couple weeks until one day I found their case on the kitchen chair, the one facing the patio doors. The doors I had left the window open for that morning. Oops. They were some dead bugs. Sigh. So I did what any mother not wanting to hear screaming and crying all night would do, I hid them on top of the fridge and claimed ignorance while I tried to figure out where to get replacement bugs. A week into this endeavor, I cracked and told him the truth and made rash promises of new bugs. Which is how we ended up bringing these guys home.

We read up a little on them, but still had some questions. I knew it wasn't a good sign when I asked the pet shop guy if they lived better solo or in groups, to which he said "uhhh I have never heard of anyone keeping them as pets, so I'm not sure" Swell. So we compromised on 3. The boy was happy. "Awe, Mom, he's hissing at me, that means he loves me!" Sure kid, just like the cat loved you when she nearly took out your eye for blowing in her face. Sigh. I did read a few sites that had advice on keeping these as PETS so that made me feel better. Hubby says we're crazy, that clearly they aren't pets, they are a part of a Fear Factor challenge. DUH. So if anyone has kept these, or has any advice for us in their care, I would love to hear it!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

And the trophy goes to...!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Me! For worst mom EVER!

Last night was both the most horrible night, and the best, all in the same night. I will start with the worst, since, well, I got an award for it and all...

N9 is special. By special I mean he is our special problems little guy. When he was being born we almost lost him a few times. There wasn't enough amniotic fluid to cushion him, and the cord was wrapped around his neck and chest. He was not able to breathe with any contractions because he was being strangled. They literally asked my husband who he wanted them to save, his wife, or his son. I told them the baby always comes first. They managed to save us both, but not without some minor harm to N9.

At first it was just seizures. He had them constantly. As you held him, fed him, even as he fell asleep. They were very mild and after numerous tests the doctors couldn't tell us why he was having them. By 2 he had outgrown them as a constant and they morphed into febrile seizures. Thankfully we haven't experienced anymore of those in years, and he rarely gets sick.

One of the long term effects is that he is having a very difficult time learning to read. Or write. He is in special ed classes for these subjects. Amazingly he can pound out math better than most adults. He has amazing spacial skills, and can usually complete a video game before anyone else in the house. But give him a book and there can be hours of tears trying to complete homework.

Along with this seems to come an inability to focus on set tasks. He can get very overwhelmed. Which is what went down last night....

I was in a rush trying to get everyone/everything ready for J13's big solo for jazz band that night. I heard M8 suddenly start crying and screeching. In terror. So I ran down to his room, which he shares with N9. The door was barricaded. With a toy box, and a closet door. Because that's what boys do...They take everything that moves, apart. So I pushed past the barricade and found their room a huge mess and M9 still crying. N9 was screaming and throwing things around. I grabbed them both and demanded an explanation.

Turns out that J13 had upset N9 by pushing him out of his room. That upset N9. So N9 suddenly decided he had to find him Gameboy. By throwing everything around his room and accusing M8 of taking it. He can be pretty scary when he is upset, thus the terror that M8 was in when I found them. So what did this smart mom do? I yelled at him. Really yelled. Asked him what he was thinking, told him he had to stop this fit, told him he needed to apologize to M8 and to clean the mess he made. I didn't tell him. I yelled it at him.

So suddenly my sweet confused boy is in a ball on the floor crying his heart out, hitting himself in the head and pulling out his hair. He's begging me to stop talking. He's telling me I am confusing him, that he can't understand everything I am saying. My heart broke. I had just terrorized my own child. Hubby came in and tried to smooth things over by explaining the things N9 needed to do in a more calm manor, but N9 still kept rocking himself and saying he could no longer understand what we were saying. So I asked him if he wanted some time alone and he said yes.

I left the room for about 5 minutes and then went back. He was crying in his bed so I crawled in with him and just held him and rubbed his head. I told him how sorry I was that I yelled at him. I told him that I was upset that he scared his brother so badly. I told him I loved him. He did finally calm down, and when I offered to have Hubby let him help make dinner while I finished getting things ready to go. There's nothing he loves more than helping us to cook.

In the end, the room didn't get clean. N9 forgave me, but I don't imagine he will forget that crazy mom anytime soon. He did apologize to his brother. Dinner was a little burned, but still good.

Now for the proud moment. J13 had his first, ever, solo. He did AMAZING. It was a very proud mom moment when he stood up and played and people cheered him. I took video but not sure yet how to work it off my camera. I did get a pretty good picture of him after. Its a huge change in look from last. My little guy is growing up!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Am I a bad person?

We had family day on Sunday. The Ex picked up the boys around 10am so I could have a few hours to do some chores and errands. Hubby had to work until 1, so we all planned on meeting back at the house at around 2.

Once everyone was there, including myself, Hubby, kids, Ex, his wife, the 15 year old girl they are fostering, and Roomie, we all sat down to listen to N9 read a story he had written. This is a monumental thing as he wrote it himself, no one helping and it wasn't a school assignment, just something he did for fun. Since N9 has a learning disability, especially in reading and writing, this was a huge deal.

So as he sat there reading, I noticed the Ex was playing on his cell phone. His wife kept jabbing him, telling him to pay attention. He told her he was. Next thing I knew she tossed her (very light) flip flop towards him and told him again that he needed to pay attention. Well the next thing that happens shocked, I think, most of us. Ex threw the shoe down and started snapping at his wife. Asking her what she was thinking, throwing a shoe at his face etc. He breated her a good couple minutes and then went back to his phoen to ignore her. Then we all waited and his wife just told N9 to go on with his story.

Now this may not sound like much, but for me it was huge. One of the reasons Ex and I split is that moments like that were constant in our relationship. Everything I did would set him off. I got really tired of being told how stupid I was. When he and his wife got together, and we all started spending together, I used to whine, rather immaturely I admit, that he treated her so much better than he ever treated me, and what was so wrong with me that he felt I should be treated that way? It was a very big deal for me. So when this happened Sunday I had an other immature moment where for a brief second I was pleased, that she wasn't perfect, and that I wasn't just a terrible spouse. But only briefly. Then I was just sad, because really, no one should be treated that way, and I really hope that it was only an isolated inccident, because I really like his wife.

So do those feeling make me a bad person? I hope not. But that doesn't stop me from feeling a little bit like one.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Stop the presses!

Recently my Ex made a comment that surprised me. Shocked me really. He said he was glad that I am the mother of our children. Wow. Words can't not express how I felt hearing that.

Our marriage and divorce were not...Pleasant. We fought constantly, and viciously. Every thought in my head revolved around why I had children with this man. Never once did I think, gee, I am glad my children are stuck with this man as a father. I always assumed he felt the same way. Maybe he did then. Maybe he has matured now more than I have. Or maybe I have matured and just didn't realize I had gotten past these feelings, and am also grateful that my boys have someone like my Ex as their father.

We only recently started seeing eye to eye on raising our boys. I was always the positive reinforcement, to his "Reinforceanator". I would offer rewards, he would punish with lectures and physical labor. I would discuss issues, he would rant and tell them how things are and would be.

But over the course of the last year, our family has gone through a lot. And yes, I do still consider Ex family. That includes his new wife for me, and my new husband for him. We have learned to listen to each other, and discuss how we, as a group of parents, would like to approach things. I really like our new system. I think it gives us, and the children, good balance. Plus they know that they can't get away with things just because they are at a different parents house. Grounded at one, means grounded at both. We like to be fair that way ;).

I know that with this new system, I always have 3 other people who love my children, to bounce my feelings and thoughts off of. It's good to have feedback when you tackle the tough issues with kids. It also seems to make the kids very happy. They love our family time together. It went from once a month and vacations, to at least every other Sunday. The kids really look forward to those days when they have their whole "family" together.

Of course there are always going to be some issues we don't see eye to eye on. Some things we just flat out don't agree on. But we almost always meet in the middle and try to make sure everyone is satisfied with the outcome.

So I guess I can now say that yes, I am glad that my Ex is the father of my children, and they are lucky kids for it....

J13 & M8 Look pretty happy don't you think?
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket



N8 & N9 showing their happy selves
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Another of M8 & J13...What is it with my kids and the bunny ears?Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A reason to blog on

Recently I got some linky love from another blog I read, and enjoy. It's a blog by a solo mom and I really relate to a lot of things she says, because I was also a solo mom for quite some time. I know the difficulties and I know the way some people will treat you. During my time as a solo mom, I spent a lot of it just trying to keep my family together. I am no longer a solo mom, but I still carry that with me everyday.

I started this blog as a way to stay in touch with Hubby's family. Since he isn't very good at it, and I really hate talking on the phone, I figured if I blogged some things now and then, whoever in his family chose to could pop in and see what has been going on. Once I started it though, I didn't really want to share it with his family. I was hoping maybe to meet some people who are in similar situations, or just need someone to talk to.

Being a solo mom so long, and being so young, with so many kids was hard for me. I got a lot of negative feedback, even when the Ex and I were still married. A lot of people were judgemental not only by how many kids we had, but the closeness in age. This is something we chose to do in our family. I don't regret it one bit. The boys are close in age, and also close in heart. They are and hopefully always will be, each others best friends. I made very few friends during my marriage. I got to the point where I was too afraid of the comments and assumptions of others due to these circumstances. So my married life was all, and only, about my boys.

When I got divorced it was even worse. Single mom, FOUR kids? It didn't mater what kind of mom I was, or why I was single. People just didn't see past those 2 facts. So I kept to myself. I got a job, I went to work, I stayed out of peoples way. In all the years since I had my first son I made one friend that has stood by, and that is more to her credit than mine, she was persistent in breaking through my shell, and now happens to be a solo mom herself.

Even when I began a serious relationship, and then got married, I still carried that fear, of people judging me. Even with Hubby's family I was afraid, but they have done nothing but welcome me and my boys into the family. It helps, but I still am in my shell. Maybe the Internet will be an easier medium for me to find people I can talk to, and relate to, and form some lasting friendships.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

They grow up so fast...

J13 came home today sporting a mustache, and a bloodshot eye. Puberty is hell isn't it?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket