I have risen from the dead

Well, sometimes it feels like it. Life has taken some pretty serious whacks at me lately, and like the Energizer bunny, I just keep going and going and going. But, honestly, I haven't been myself. Hell, I even opted out of Matt's party...because I didn't want to go and sit there while people were having fun and laughing and joking while I felt like I was dying inside. I've been functioning because I *have* to but for no other reason. Mostly, I wanted to lay down and go to sleep for days, weeks, years, until all this chaos and upheaval was over.

Sadly enough, life doesn't work that way. I can't go to sleep indefinitely and if it's not one thing that tumultuous, it's another. If it's not one child, its one of the others.

I've spent the last 2 months wondering when the hammer would drop and something would happen with/to Elizabeth.

But no more.

The dr. has given me what my wonderful husband has coined "happy pills" and I'm feeling more like myself. More than I have felt in years, maybe. It's probably a good thing too because this year has been one of the shittiest years of my entire life. Even more so then the year that Chuck and I had problems.

I am thinking I'll start updating my blog again. However, you won't see many more of these late-night updates. I have, involuntarily, been moved to days as of December 1st. I found out 2 weeks ago and have been trying desperately to find suitable, reliable daycare for Luke and Elizabeth that I trust and feel comfortable with. It couldn't have happened at a worst time for us...but in a way I'm looking forward to having my evenings with my family. I'm looking forward to hanging out with my husband after the kids go to bed for the night. I'm looking forward to having sex whenever I want (well, any night I want). So, even though it was a huge shock and something I hadn't planned on and completely FREAKED out when I was told....I'm okay with it now. Especially now that I have a nanny coming to my house whom I know will be awesome with the kids. That helps me immensely.

I read a quote today and it hit me profoundly: Life is more than just breathing. Real living is made up of moments that take your breath away.

I'm thinking I might start really living again.


The Gods are out to get me....

Last night, couldn't log into AFEL free agency board.

Tonight, the Mt. Dew was depleted from the vending machine. Not only that, but the vending machine then spit money out at me AND ate 15 cents of mine. So I tried another machine, but didn't have enough money on me. So, when I called and ordered my dinner (yes, I ate out Chuck...wait. I didn't eat OUT Chuck, my punctuation was wrong in that) I told them to bring me a Mt. Dew too. Kill two birds with one stone. BUT they forgot my freaking Mt. Dew.

I'm NOT a woman to be reckoned with today.

I'm horny. Irritated with the school and my OHR. And WITHOUT Mt. Dew.

Other random thoughts:

Chuck and I might be starting a conglomerate blog of “Our experiences with the P-ville School District”. Seriously, we’re so beyond frustrated that sometimes we’ve had to laugh at how incredibly ignorant these people are.

We watched part of “Kite Runner” Sunday night, it was a good movie. Unfortunately, we were both whipped after a whole day of cleaning out/rearranging the garage from hell.

I’m making the kids Halloween costumes this year. They are turning out cute…problem is I’m not sure when I’m going to get the time to sew up Luke’s jedi robe. It’s the biggest part of his costume so I’ve gotta make sure its done by Friday (we go trick-or-treating at a campground). I still need to find a dashiki for Zachary's Zomo costume too.

Chuck and I are listening to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels. Holy hell, Ranger makes me quiver when he says “Baaabe” Mmmm. He might be on my celebrity list. You know the list of men that you’d have sex with, with your husband’s blessing, if they threw themselves at you. Too bad he’s fictional because *whoo* seriously. Who’s on your top celebrity list?


It's the little things....

Sometimes amidst life it’s hard to step back and see the impact that you are making on your children. Hard to see the positive influence when dealing with temper tantrums, mouthing back, and attitude.

In the last 3 days though, each of my children have given me reason to reflect on the good things we are imparting on our children and shows me that we are doing right by them.

Two days ago, Zachary had a new classmate join his class. He sat with him at lunch and made him feel welcome because “he doesn’t know anyone else and that would be mean for him to sit alone.” When talking about his day, he told me that tomorrow he wanted to buy two ice creams. I told him that he didn’t need to eat two ice creams for lunch and he informed me that he in fact wanted to buy two not for himself, but one for him and one for his new friend. I teared up and told him how incredibly proud I was of him for thinking of others and being so welcoming.

This morning, I watched my friends little girl while she took the boys to school and stayed to help in the classroom. Gracee at one point got a little teary-eyed over missing her momma. She was standing there, crying big crocodile tears, when Elizabeth went over to her with a washcloth from the laundry and started wiping her face and patting her shoulder. Every time Gracee would whimper, Elizabeth would wipe her eyes for her again. It was so amazingly sweet and showed the enormous amount of empathy that a 16 month old can hold.

Then Lucas got home from school and informed me that tomorrow he’d like to take some food to school. I looked at him quizzically and asked why? He informed me that he wanted to take some boxed food into church to put into the basket because there are people in our world who cannot afford food and need something to eat. So, he’d like to help them and take macaroni and cheese and a bag of peas for them. And more if he can. My heart honestly swelled with emotion for what an amazing child to want to give so generously for people he’s never met and for the right reasons.

So, I’m thankful that we are teaching them such valuable morals and ethics and more so that they are already living it.


So, um, wow.

Lots of changed since I last logged into blogger to actually blog. There's some new buttons and stuff on the dashboard...at least it looks different to me. But it has been a while.

Life has been chaotic to say the least. I'm feeling stressed at this moment as I type. Maybe that's the reason I decided I needed to sit down and get it out. I'm at work, on my break, wishing I was at home helping Chuck get the kids in the tub and then into beds. Reading their bedtime story to them. Making life easier on the kids as they wouldn't have just one stressed to the max parent all the time, making life easier on Chuck as we could tag team if we start to lose our patience, and ultimately easier on myself.

One more year. That's what I keep trying to remind myself. I don't know if I'll make it. One more year until Luke is in kindergarden and we would only have one child in daycare. One more year until I can attempt to go to days and see Zachary for more than just 25 minutes a day. This is not to mean that I wish for them to grow up. If we could skip ahead one year and not miss anything but keep them the same age....that'd be nice.

School has started for both boys. Lucas is in young 5's at St. Mary Catholic Church. Zachary has started 1st grade at public school. We debated hard putting Zachary into the private school as well (Lucas has to, it's the only way he could go to young 5's every day of the week since he actually falls past the age 5 cut off) but we ultimately decided to work it out at the public schools again this year with the hopes that we could see some positive change in the bureacracy with the new teacher. I've been told before that I'm too naive and this time proves to be no different. So, I'm taking on the district. I spent at least 15 hours on the phone last week speaking to the ISD, child advocate groups, the school principal, and the social worker. Oh, and not to mention calling the Dr.s office and requesting that he complete a report stating in writing what he suggested at our last appointment that Zachary would benefit greatly and truly needs a parapro. I'm happy to say that he did; I guess even a person that you can't stand is helpful in some way.

In completing the report, we also found out that Zachary has been diagnosed as ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) as well as ADHD. After our IEP meeting on Monday, the special education director suggested that we may want to have Zachary tested for Aspbergers. She feels that he meets many of the criteria needed to be classified as such. I've always felt that Aspbergers is a concern, as has other Special Ed. Teachers, however, the drs have said that since there is nothing you can take to cure it, why diagnose it?? Just treat the symptoms. So we have been and now we are dealing with the bureaucracy that is known as the school district and coming up into walls. Well, walls built by the teacher anyways. I swear if I hear one more time that won't be feasible in my classroom, I'm going to scream.

All that being said, I?m cautiously optimistic that the Special Ed staff is coming on board with us. And once everything is in his IEP, the school and teacher must comply. Zachary had a good day at school today and yesterday made friends with a new kid. Today he sat with his old friend though because it wouldn't be fair to only play with my new friend." What was left unsaid?? Duh!

Lucas has had some issues of his own and we've switched his school. He seems to do well at his new school and his best friend is there, so it?s helpful that he knows someone. Over the summer (after we pulled him from his previous preschool) he had stopped sleeping in our bed all together. As school approached I kept finding him in my bed when I woke up in the morning. Last night, he was in his bed all night long. So, I'm thinking that he's starting to get adjusted. He's such a great kid.

Elizabeth is my sweet baby girl. Her laugh and smile is contagious and she's learned how to hug and kiss and seems to know when I need those things. I love watching her walk around with her baby doll (OMG, how did I end up with a girly girl?) and giving it to me making smacking sounds indicating that I should give the baby a kiss too. It's too cute. I'm enjoying my morning alone time with her and getting to know her again as an individual, just like I'm enjoying my free afternoon time with Lucas (while E is sleeping). Today he and I read a book or two while sitting on the couch cuddling. It was really nice. I think he only did it though because he?s grounded from all toys. ;)

Some little tidbits and pieces.

I chopped my hair off again today. I told them not to cut it to ?this? point?which is exactly where it ended up. But it's cute. Just hard for me to adjust to hair that doesn?t even come to my chin.

My fantasy Aussie football league is starting another season. My husband keeps trying to talk me into trading my best players to him because then it?d be like we're both winning Crystal division. Riiiight.

Stupid people piss me off. I hate hearing all the Obama rhetoric without them knowing the full story of anything. Well, and that goes either way I guess. I just work for the government and therefore a bunch of Obama-loving liberals. *sigh* Anyway you slice it, people will take one shread of truth and twist it to make it work to their own thinking and then phooey on the rest of the actual facts. Gah. Good reason for me to keep my mouth shut around certain people.

My friend Staci is wonderful. That's all. She helps me so much with everything and I greatly appreciate having a good friend so close to me.

Chuck and I are applying for new jobs. In a new city. Yea, we'll see how that progresses.


Lordy Lordy Look who's FORTY!

11 years ago, I met a man. He was an arrogant SOB who was funny, smart, and a little demented. I enjoyed his company even if he was 9 years my senior.

We started seeing each other.

Now, at this point I was 20 years old. FORTY was so oooollllllldddd to me. I was firmly entrenched in the belief (because my parents were in their 40's) that people over 40 should not have sex.


At 40, you're old and that's just nasty and disgusting.

How the hell did 40 creep up on my husband so fast?? I guess that's what happens when you marry someone older than yourself. Ah, well, I've moved my "no sex" age up to 55 now. I think my age will continue to move up as my parents get older. Therefore, I can still continue to have sex with my husband.

Yep. Because now 40 doesn't seem that old.

Happy Birthday Chuck. I love you. You are amazing person, husband and father. I'm so glad to have shared the last 11 years with you.


Remember how I said I wanted to go to days?

Well, I've changed my mind.

I'm ready to go off the grid.

Stay at home and homeschool my children, no t.v., eating only what we raise or grow, become experts in all areas like medicine, blacksmithing, mechanics, everything.

That's all. More maybe later.


Update...I tried to keep it brief :)

There are so many, many things that have been happening I’m just going to do an update and overview on my life.

1. The bathroom is in the process of being remodeled. My brother came down and helped Chuck finish tearing it out and then putting the subflooring back in after reinforcing a couple of floor joists. He also replumbed the tub and showerhead because apparently even though you get the same type of shower controls they are NOT interchangeable. That was one weekend. The next weekend, Chuck went to start cutting the holes for the controls and such into the tub surround when we realized that the controls would hit smack dab in the middle of the decorative lip. So, Chuck cut all the pipes out, resoddered them and fit them all back in and they work perfectly now! We got the shower surround up without too much more of an issue and then called around and got estimates to put up the drywall, mud and tape it. While I *can* do this all myself, it takes me a looong time when I can only really work on it on the weekends. So, its worth the $275 to have someone else do that portion of it for us. Well, we got a call from the drywall guys brother yesterday that our drywall guy is unavailable and indisposed to finish the bathroom but that he would be able to come out and add the last coat (um, huh? What about finishing the first coat and the second coat?) and installing the fan/light. Chuck questioned what the heck was going on and our drywall guy got nabbed for a felony domestic and a warrant for unpaid child support. Rock on. Straight up nice dude, right?

However, the bathroom is now coming along nicely and looks better than the original drywall guy was doing it.

2. Zachary has had a horrible week. He’s been incredibly off and I’m sure some of it can be attributed to the change in his routine by not being in school any more. On Thursday of last week, he went off over something incredibly minute in detail and slammed his head into the wall over and over again until he had a huge goose egg on his head. Then after he finished that he took a three tiered toy bin and threw it all into the middle of the room. Saturday wasn’t too much better when he had issues because I said to turn the game off to go get ice cream. Needless to say, he didn’t get ice cream. I’m hoping that this week he starts to pull out of this and adjusts to being at home a bit better….just in time to start summer school and change the routine up again. ;(

3. Elizabeth got her first hair cut. By her brother. Yes, yes, that’s right Lucas decided on Thursday (Thursday wasn’t a very good day in our household) to take a chunk out of Elizabeth’s hair. Luckily (for her and him!) it’s not too bad. Just causes her hair in that spot to stand up when I try to pull it into a pony tail.

I’m thankful though, because it was literally HOURS after going and getting her 1 year old pictures done. Which turned out adorable (like there was any doubt!)! I don’t think that the individual who took the pics felt it was her best one, but it’s PERFECT Elizabeth. It shows her personality so well. I’ll have to scan it and add it in so everyone can see what a gorgeous little girl sh’es becoming. And a flirt, OMG, I’m in for trouble.

4. Lucas Michael, besides cutting his sisters hair, is officially driving us nuts. It’s gotta be the age. And being the middle child probably doesn’t help things. He has some major issues picking up. Never wants to pick up and usually waits until his brother does it all and then he gets to get off the hook. Well, Saturday, I’d had enough. At school, they praise Luke on what a good helper he is, how he always helps pick up, he’s the sweetest boy ever, and on and on. Well, I sent Luke in to do their bedroom and Zachary stayed in the living room and helped me (a lot). There was about 15 minutes of toddler work in their bedroom to get the toys picked up. Do you know how long he was in there? SIX HOURS. Yes, you heard me right. SIX HOURS. Chuck allowed him out to eat breakfast and lunch and then it was back into the bedroom to pick it up. I’m talking like 15 or 20 toys (some little stuff) and a few markers and about 5 articles of clothing. He cried and threw a fit and I told him he was going to stay in there until it was picked up. He may be stubborn, but he ain’t even started to see the stubbornness of his momma. It finally got done, by him, after Daddy promised him that if he cleaned it, he could have back his toys that I took away about 6 months ago. Which included his Light Up Blue Light Saber. It was clean in about 40 minutes…including vacuumed. Obviously, Daddy should be giving the incentives more often. But then again, I only took away so many toys ;)

5. My friend had her baby girl about 4 weeks early. After many complications including Riley’s lungs collapsing, being born with literally no blood, her oxygen level not raising about 20% for almost 3 hours, the uterus rupturing and the placenta detaching and the fact that Riley was passing blood onto the momma and it wasn’t coming back, she is looking on the upswing of things. She’s a little over one week old and is off all the machines except the ventilator and was removed from 5 of her 6 medicines. I just pray that this baby girl keeps fighting and comes home with Mommy and Daddy soon.

So, that’s me in a nutshell. I’m going slightly crazy having all 3 kids with me most of the time and then having an additional 2 kids that I babysit on Fridays but I’m trying to make the most of it and get as much sleep as possible. We’ve got plans to go to a Children’s museum this week, splash pad next week, then a playdate and County Fair the following week….all dependant on little boys’ behavior though. So we shall see….and I won’t be holding my breath.


Summer is here and so are the mohawks!

So, as promised to Zachary near the beginning of the school year, if he still wanted a mohawk come summer he could have one.

When the discussion of summer school came up his first question was "can I still have a mohawk?"

He didn't forget still. Yesterday was the last day of school.

Today was clipper time.

(That's just colored gel by the way. I am not so cool of a mom that I would let them get their hair permanently dyed.)

And not to be out-done by his brother, Luke requested one for his hair cut too.

I think they are absolutely adorable! Chuck however is an old fuddy duddy and says they look silly.

So, they are happy and feeling way too cool (Luke still has an airbrushed tribal tattoo on his upper arm). I can't wait to show the 'rents. Hehehehe

I'll spare you all the events at my dr.'s for today. I may blog about my idiot dr. tomorrow.


Welcome to the 21st century!

I JUST ordered cell phones for Chuck and I.

These are the first cell phones we've ever had (I had one for work a long time ago, but it wasn't ours, kwim?)

And we LEAPED into this century with a bluetooth phone for Chuck and a VCAST/1.3 mpx camera phone for me. In PURPLE.

Edit: Well, let's back that train up...it's subject to final credit approval. So we may not get the service anyways. We'll see.


Another one of those "I'm so thankful" posts

This weekend our area was hit pretty hard by the storms. When I was younger, I LOVED storms. I would stand out with my dad and watch them come in...with the sirens going off and everything before my mom would yell at us all and tell us to get our asses in the basement. I always thought she was a little it of an alarmist at times.

But now that I'm a mom...well, let's just say things have changed.

I think if we had a basement I'd feel a little more comfortable knowing that the kids could be safe, but we don't. And after the tornado of last year I'm even more than a little leary.

It really bothers me being at work because I don't know what's going on. Not that Chuck can't handle the situation himself, but the not knowing kills me (Yes, I have some control issues.) Saturday night when day 2 of storms struck, I was here by myself with Luke and Elizabeth because Chuck and Zachary went to Cedar Point for the day (and had a great time I might add...here's Zachary in line for the Demon Drop. Um, yea. He rode it.). I wasn't nearly as nervous as I was on Friday but I did stay up until 12:15 watching the radar and listening for sirens.

And then it struck again yesterday! But we weren't home...and it didn't hit nearly as bad where we were at.

This round of storms has knocked out power for 31,000 people in our area. Many people in our small town have no power and likely won't until Wednesday. One woman lost her life when the storm kicked up with little warning and knocked her travel trailer over onto her, killing her. Her son is 10 and goes to Zachary's elementary school.

So, while we are having issues with the NEW van not working, the shower still not being finished because of yet another round of problems, more money going out to those two things to help fix, my stupid teeth literally breaking off just sitting here...

at least we have our lives. And our power. And all those close to us are safe and well. For all those things, I am thankful. I'm thankful for these reasons right here...


Interrupt your normally scheduled programming

to bring you the latest news in my house.


It's been 6 days without a tub/shower in our house and it's fixed. I'm going home tonight and taking a bubble bath I think.

I can't even describe how excited I am.

We now return you to your normally scheduled lives.

My baby is a graduate

A graduate of kindy that is. It's been a rough week, between not having a bathroom, my van not working and not learning of the kindergarden graduation until Monday night at 8 pm, but tonight went amazingly well.

We started out the evening by everyone taking baths in a storage tub in the kitchen since the boys hadn't had proper baths since last Friday. We couldn't have our graduate walking for his diploma being all grubby!

Then off to an early celebratory dinner at the Top Buffet. I'm so glad our kids love chinese. It's fast, cheap and easy. And it's such a treat for them, especially since they get to serve their own ice cream.

Then onto the school. We dropped him off in his classroom at 5:45 pm and left him to get his "2008" sash on and headed to the gym to take our seats. They handed us a program upon entering the door and we corralled Luke and carried Elizabeth up the bleachers in the gym to find some seats in the center. I perused the program to find out that my son would be in the graduating class of 2020. That just sounds so foreign to me. So far off. But I know it won't be.

They started the graduation march on their little stereo and in march the kids. In pretty much a straight line with a few stragglers, all the kids searching hard for their parents in the huge audience and waving madly when they did. Zachary came out and did the search. And again. And again. Made it to his seat, still looking for us. He knew we were there...we walked him in. I yelled his name. I could read his lips when he said "I HEARD them!" and he finally located us....and jumped up and waved his little arm off.

The principal did the whole speech about thanking all the parents for being such an active part in the kids' lives, blah blah blah.

Then the kids performed a few songs..I like Peanut Butter, the Button Factory and a slew of others. Zachary perfomed so well. Singing and doing all the motions so enthusiatically and really getting into them. And in between times? He sat. No screwing around, just sat and was respectful of those speaking and the situation that he was in. I think he took his graduation very seriously.

There was a really cute, albeit very long, picture slideshow presentation. In which there was a close up shot of Zachary making a funny face. It was just such classic Zachary that it made me smile...through tears. Because the very first song that they used was this one....

This song makes me think of my kids as it is every time I hear it. I have wanted to make a photo montage of them with this song, so to hear it as his graduation song, made me more than a little misty eyed.

As he was standing there at one point, waiting to start singing one of his songs, I saw him as I would an 18 year old. At his high school graduation. It made the breath catch a bit in my lungs to picture him all grown up, a man, ready to face the world. I've had this happen a couple of other times since he started school...and it always hits me like a blow to the chest. A reminder that the days are too short that he will be my little boy. I couldn't help crying. It seems like just yesterday he was Elizabeth's age....learning how to walk, how to talk. No more...he has found his voice for himself.

You can see that for youselves, as he corrects the other kindergarden teacher when she misprounces our name. This video is just so "Zachary".

Congratulations buddy. I love you and am so very, very proud of you.



Never heard that word before until a couple days ago. I don't have any good pics of E recently because she's been under the weather :( Here's why I hate missing t-ball.


Working mom=suckage

Being a working mom is tough. Not only do you have to balance your time between work and home, you have to balance your time between work, home, soccer matches, t-ball games, banquets, end of the year programs, among a multitude of other extracurricular activities that your kids are in. Now multiply that by 3 (Okay, well 2 for now. Elizabeth isn’t really old enough for extracurricular activities yet, but give her a couple of years).

Working days, you have the evenings “free” (as if as a parent you never have anything to do in the evenings, certainly not mundane things like cooking dinner, mowing the lawn, doing dishes, washing laundry….Nope, those things don’t need doing.) to do those extracurricular activities as most of the time the games or matches are scheduled in the early evenings. Yes, there are field trips and class parties but those are once every few months, or at least in our schools they are.

Not like t-ball and soccer which was 2-3 nights a week for the last 2 weeks and now twice a week through June. Yikes!

When I worked days, I thought “Man! Everything is scheduled for those people that don’t work days.” That was back in the day when a playdate from stay-at-home moms was the highlight of the activity schedule…or maybe a mommy and me class.

Now that I work nights (again) and my kids are older, I feel that I’m missing out on a lot. All their sports and classes and such are at night, well, because most people work days. Nights makes sense.

And now..*sigh*…now, the kids KNOW things. When they were younger, it wasn’t a huge issue if we didn’t hit that weekly playdate. They didn’t know the days of the week, or how to count, or able to really keep track of when things were. Now, they do. And they remind me of these things.

Like tonight.

Zachary told me that tonight was his first “non-practice” for t-ball.

“Non-practice”=1st game.

He then informs me “Momma, I’d really like it if you were there to watch me at my first non-practice.”

Ugh. Rip my heart out, kid, and stomp on it. That might make me feel a bit better. I’ve tried to explain that Momma can’t make it to every game but that’s something they don’t exactly understand yet. And really, neither do I. I should be there for everything. My mom was for me, afterall, right?!?!

STOP. Your mother, Lisa, was a stay at home mom. She didn’t have to try to balance home with personal time at work.

My boss is really understanding of me leaving for an hour or two every night, but I have to use up my personal time. Which is also the time that I have to use for vacation. And long camping weekends. And Christmas off with the family. And I’m not even talking about a day for actual “personal” use! Yea, right, does that even exist for moms?

Well, I did go tonight. And loved it! The boys did a great job, Lucas has quite a throwing arm and Zachary can really catch a piece of that ball! And the looks on their faces when they saw me there was….priceless.

I just feel saddened by the fact that I might miss out on one of my son’s first home runs, or first goal with a goalie, or any multitude of huge things that I could miss out on by not being there.

And the hurt feelings they’ll have knowing that their mom never saw it.

ETA: Don't get me wrong. I feel very lucky to be able to stay home with my kids during the day and be able to not have them in daycare at all. It means that they are always home with a parent, and I like that a lot, but there are days when I wish I didn't have to work at all. Today is one of those days.


I have a problem.

Please tell me I'm not the only loser out there who like obsessively checks the same 8 blogs over and over again, HOPING they posted something new or a new comment or something.

Gah. I have no life.

Elizabeth's 1 year check-up

So, today was the fateful day that I took Elizabeth in for her 1 year well-baby check-up.

She passed with flying colors. Like anyone thought she wouldn't. Pshhhaww.

Elizabeth is now 19 lbs and 14 oz and exactly 30 inches tall. She has gone from 10th percentile for weight to 50th and is still hovering at the 75th percentile for height. Her head circumferance shot up from 5th percentile to 50th!!! The dr. figures she just had a major growth spurt (No? Really? Could it possibly be from all the food she keeps eating? Ack. At this rate my kids are going to make me broke by the time they all get into elementary school!)

The doctor did say that it's a little abnormal to grow so much in the head and weight and not in the height, but it's not something she's concerned about in the least as she's still on the same curve for her height, so her other stats are probably just catching up with her.

We went through all the traditional pediatric questions:

Is your house babyproofed? Yes.
Do you have functioning smoke and CO2 detectors? Yes.
Is she sleeping in her own room in a crib? Yes. (most of the time ;))
Is she drinking whole milk in addition to breastfeeding? Yes. (Yes, I am still breastfeeding. Suck an egg if you have something to say about it.)
Is she still in a car seat? Yes. Rear-facing.

Then she asked if she was saying "mama" and "dada" yet. I giggled. It just slipped out. I, being the humble parent that I am *cough, cough* replied "Um, yea! and much more. She has about 20 words right now."

I think the Dr. thought she heard wrong. She repeated it back to me; "20?" Yep. We're just as suprised as anyone considering our boys didn't really speak until they were 2. But she talks All. The. Time. Mama, dada, brother, doggie, milk, ball, down, na-nas (probably the most important one to her...Nursing)....the list goes on. Of course, she only does it in her own time, no one can make her say those things when we want to!

Yesterday, she wanted one of my chocolate mini donuts (this girl lurves chocolate...found that out at her 1st birthday party!) and started spazzing by shaking her head around, shifting from one foot to the other, reaching for them and when I asked "do you want one?" she sat down (hard! Ouch!) on her butt and started shaking her head yes. Over and over until she got one. No screaming. No grunting. It's just so easy to talk with her.

So, all in all, a good appointment. Minus the screaming due to the shots, but even that was short lived. All is well in Elizabeth's world.


Summer Nights

Sometimes, we get too wrapped up in the day to day trappings of living that we forget to just sit back and enjoy. Or remember. I know I do. Today was a bit of a rough day mentally as I tried to figure out finances (which is never fun for me), so I was listening to some music at work. I threw in some Mellencamp I had since I'm going to be seeing him in July (hooray!) and wanted to start getting pumped. (Yes....I know July is a long way off but I get excited waayyy ahead of time for things...much like my children.)

As I was listening I was hit with a memory. A very good, relaxing memory. One that I should start using as my zen memory.

It was a sweltering hot day in late July. Made even more sweltering by the fact that we were in a vehicle with no air conditioning, on black top surfaces in a traffic jam due to construction surrounded by big rigs in Chicago. Did I mention we had 2 toddlers with us and we were pulling a camper. We were headed into downtown Chicago to see the Sears Tower and eat at Eduardo's for traditional Chicago-style pizza.

We made it in and out with little problem. The pizza was great, the boys were mostly well-behaved, we had ice cream. How can you top ice cream?

We were headed to our campground about an hour from Chicago. The air had finally started to cool down since darkness had fallen around us and you could hear the crickets through the open window along with the rustle of the corn in the fields. We got to the campgrounds and everything looked dead. I read through the phamplet at the front gate, to see how they handle their late arrivals and I'm so glad I did. After closing time (11:00 pm) they put out tire shredders. No one, not even current campers, allowed through the gate with a vehicle after close time.

Okay, so here we are with a camper in the middle of nowhere, late at night, with 2 sleeping children. What do we do?

We keep driving. That year I was working a modified schedule so I was used to being up until 3:30 am or so, therefore, I was wide awake and willing to drive a bit further to find something else. Plus, the boys were sleeping and the air had finally cooled down enough to be comfortable. I took over the wheel, Chuck riding shotgun.

It was one of my favorite nights together ever. The windows were rolled down and you could smell the sweet, balmy, summer air. The boys rhythmic breathing coming from behind us. The radio on really softly, probably listening to Mellencamp. The moon was huge and full on up in the sky lighting our way through the back roads of Illinois. We really didn't know where we were going exactly, just knew we were headed west. Towards Iowa.

Chuck and I talked that night. Like we hadn't talked in a long time. Those summer nights take me back to our summer at camp when we first met and everything was new and exciting. I heard stories that night on those back roads of Illinois that I had, surprisingly, never heard before. I felt relaxed. In love. Happy.

We came up to a four way stop in the middle of cornfield alley, when we saw some lights. It was strange as we hadn't seen any lights for quite a while, save the occassional farm porch lights. Off to the southwest corner of this 4 way was a bar. But not just any bar. A strip bar. Advertising some big name stripper and a sign that said BYOB. Chuck and I just looked at each other. Surely, that didn't mean the same thing as in Michigan.

Yep. It did. Waiting in line...yes there was a line in front of the strip club of the corn....there was a line of dudes sitting on their cases of Bud Light cans. It was the wildest thing I think I've ever seen. We joked about how it's too bad the kids were with us as it would have been a case study on human nature like never before to go into that place.

We drove on. And talked. And just lived and enjoyed each other and the night for all that it was. And before we knew it, it was 3:00 am and we were in Iowa.

Somehow, the lights of the Iowa/Illinois border town, broke the magic of the evening and I was instantly tired. We ended up parking our camper in a hotel parking lot and getting a room to get 4 hours of shut eye before we moved on for the day.

On my Mellencamp nights or those balmy summer nights, I'm reminded of that night in rural Illinois. And reminded how great my life really is to be able to have and remember those moments.


Chaos I tell ya! But dang I have cute kids!

I’ve been missing. Not just from blog land but from myself too. Things have been crazy and I’ve been bitchy. Those two things don’t really coincide very well and it doesn’t make me in the mood to be blogging. I’ve found I have to be in the right mood to write. Otherwise, it becomes a chore for me and the posts become “forced”. I’ve been informed that that is exactly what happened with my last post, and I don’t feel it was my best letter either. I still have 2 more letters to write. One to Zachary and one to Elizabeth and I will because I like the idea of commemorating each year of their life with a letter from mom to put in their baby books; but I need to be in the mood to do it so I can express all I want to express eloquently.

So why have things been crazy and I’ve been bitchy? Well, we had 5 birthdays within 2 weeks. My birthday is April 28, Luke is May 1, my Dad is May 3, Zachary is May 9 and Elizabeth is May 11. During that time we have one huge birthday party plus Mother’s Day. This year we also had a field trip to the zoo for Zachary’s school.

So for those 2 weeks, I worked a modified schedule. What’s that mean? Well, that means I get virtually NO sleep. Really. I work four 10 hour shifts from 4:30 pm to 3:00 am. Get home and asleep by 4. Up to get the kids off to school by 7:30 at the latest. And since it’s filled with errands and stuff to get ready for the birthday party, usually no naps.

No sleep=bitchy mommy.
(I’m sorry Chuck.)

So, why do I do this to myself? Because we only have one party for all the kids, we want to make sure that THEIR day is special to them. So, I take the evening off of each child's birthday every year so that they can do things that they want to do. Like go to Toys R Us to pick out their birthday toy and choose the sit-down restaurant that they want to go to. Growing up, I always shared a birthday party with my dad, but MY day was MY day. I want to make sure that the kids get to feel special on their birthdays like I did.

So, that being said, we had a birthday party. A big birthday party that was wonderful and completely chaotic at the same time.

Wonderful because we have only one party and I get to make it a big one because well, there is only one! Wonderful because you have three times the fun. Three times the excitement and anticipation. Three times the squeals of delight and the exclamation of “OH! That’s just what I’ve always wanted!” Even though they may have never laid eyes on it before.


It’s complete chaos! Have you ever tried to have 3 kids’ friends and family together? It’s a lot of kids! And then amidst all that we have 3 kids opening gifts at the same time. It’s a lot of gifts, a lot of wrapping paper, a lot of bags, a lot of noise, and a lot of confusion. Well, confusion for mom and dad anyways. It’s very difficult to keep who got what and from whom straight.

But after all is said and done we survived. Exhausted and seriously ready for a beer after the kids’ bedtimes but we survived (The need for beer was not a direct result from the kids: more along the lines of inconsiderate, rude, mean, irreprehensible bitch party guest that happens to be family. Ugh)

So, without further ado, I present my birthday children. Well, their cakes anyway. I'm VERY proud of Elizabeth's cake. It was my first cake that I decorated all by myself. Without cheating and using the store bought decorations anyway. I love how it turned out and it matched her invitations and her dress. Not that anybody but me noticed ;)
My mom usually makes the cakes for the kids, and true to form, she did again make the boys cakes. She knew it was kinda important for me to make the 1st birthday cake, but she make each of the boys. I was super impressed with how it turned out and the boys were so excited to have Spongebob!!

Zachary sporting his "6" crown that we made from posterboard. Do you have any idea how easy it is to find princess crowns but difficult to find king crowns? The boys were excited with their homemade-by-them crowns regardless.

Lucas in all his 4 year old glory. Getting a good picture from him anymore is like pulling teeth. I think the only reason he looks happy in this picture is because he was finally (Ghod, MOM!) able to eat his cake!The birthday kids together. Elizabeth didn't really know what to think of the candle.She did, however, know what to think of the cake. And she thought, no KNEW, she liked it. Miss E wasn't a very happy camper when I took her chocolate away from her. It must be in the genes she got from her daddy.

So, that's it for yet another year. Whew. I'm glad it only happens once a year.


Happy Birthday Lucas

Dear Lucas,

4 years and 9 months ago, I had a dream.

The Leibrand family then consisted of Mommy, Daddy and Zachary who was about 1 ½ at the time. On vacation in Wisconsin, Mommy had “the dream”. The dream that told me truer than a pregnancy test could that I was pregnant with another baby. You. Daddy, of course, didn’t believe me, but I knew it.

Two weeks go by and we got the positive test that confirmed my belief. We were expecting another child to add love to our family. (age in pic...16 months)

Over the last 4 years (Wait! FOUR years? How did you become four years old?) you’ve grown into an amazing, bright, vibrant, charismatic boy. You’ve enhanced our family. You bring laughter and joy and love to our family every day; sometimes in small ways and sometimes in a way that bring a giant belly laugh to all those around you. You, Lucas Michael, have a gift. A gift of laughter. A gift to touch those around and make them laugh and appreciate the life they’ve been given. That’s a very important thing; one I’m repeatedly thankful for.

Over the last year you have grown up so much. You started preschool at your 3rd birthday and went to school for the summer with your big brother. The teachers all told me that you were a quiet boy who was a bit of a follower, but you followed directions very well and tried to get along with the others. Then Zachary went onto kindy and you were alone at the preschool. You blossomed there. You made friends. You became your own identity at school. And on the way home from preschool every day for the last 8 months you talk non-stop about everything you learned, heard, and did. You are so incredibly smart. Sometimes it surprises us when you come out with some fact that we're SURE you couldn't possibly know...and yet you do. For 2 months we have heard all about the planets "Did you know that the sun is a star? And that the Earth moves around the sun? And Pluto is the coldest planet because it's the farthest from the sun?"

But, it doesn't end there. You pick up things every where. I remember being in the store with you a few months ago and you picking out the letters of your name off the formula can that you were carrying. I went to school and let them know you could start learning your last name...which you have now. Along with your birthdate, our phone number, the list goes on.

I know we've had a rough year, buddy. You've been usurped as the baby in our family and I know that some of the issues we've been having the last few months is a bit of the "middle child syndrome" coming out. I understand. I remember. I promise to make some special time for just you and I so you can see how truely special you are to me. And what an incredibly important role you play, just by being you!, in our family.

I love you little man,


Happy Birthday to me!

So, today is my 31st birthday. My dad called me this morning and asked if I felt any older. YES! was my emphatic reply. I went out on Saturday night for a friend's bachelorette party and 4 beers and some (okay 10) jello shots later and I was smashed with a killer hangover on Sunday. ALL. DAY. LONG.

It started as a hangover and after sitting at the planetarium with my kids and husband and seeing them spin the stars around faster and faster, and making me want to puke, it turned into a migraine. Which made me want to puke.

I'm too old to do that folks.

So, we move onto today. My birthday. I love my birthday. I'm seriously like a small child counting the days until my birthday. Now, I just do it in my head instead of on paper and tell everyone. But, that ticker is there because it's MY. DAY.

I got my tattoo from my husband for my birthday. Well, probably more correctly is I got a tattoo from me for my birthday and told Chuck not to buy me anything else since it was so expensive.

But, that doesn't mean that I don't want to CELEBRATE my birthday. So, yesterday, when he asks "Do I still have to get you a card and SAY happy birthday tomorrow?" I was a little pissy. And today, when nothing (beyond an e-card) is said...and nothing is done when he comes home to remind the kids to tell me happy birthday and nothing is said about small little gifts from my kids to me or a cake or nothing. I was hurt. Depressed. The weight of the world on my shoulders. I know, I acted like a child, but like I said, I love birthdays.

But, just for the record, I'm a huge BIATCH.

How could I think that my husband, whom I know loves me dearly, could forget me is beyond me. But I was sure he had, so I sulked around for an hour till I had to go to work. Again, childish for sure. I'm not saying I'm proud of my behavior.

But, at 7:00 pm when the staff at my work threw me a little party with cake and ice cream who shows up with flowers from Elizabeth, a massager from Luke and a framed piece of Zachary's artwork and all 3 kids but my husband. With chinese for dinner for me.

*smooches* I heart my husband. Seriously. Truly. Love this man.


Beware. Rants ahead. And a couple bright spots.

Ugh. I promised Chuck I would blog on my bad days instead of unload it all on him. So here's my unloading on the unsuspecting internet.

First, I started my period for the first time in a couple months. I feel like I'm back in freaking high school with the EXTREME irritability, cramping, back ache, bloating. Ick. Seriously, it's no wonder my parents said I was a complete bitch during high school during my periods. I hate me right now. Plus, I want to eat EVERYTHING in sight. Normally, I have to work to get in 1600 or 1700 calories a day. Yesterday I was easily pushing 2300. Not good for the weight loss.

So, I stayed home from work yesterday. Good thing too as Elizabeth woke up at about 11:50 or so puking her little guts out. Poor thing. She wouldn't even really wake up, just puke and go back to sleep. So her and I dozed in the chair for about 3 hours until she was mostly done being sick. She has a bit of a fever but hasn't thrown up since 3:30 am so I hope we're all done with that mess.

This morning Zachary had a dentist appt for a couple of fillings. So, I go to his school to pick him up, he's in the gym, so I have to walk down there. no biggie...still have some time...then remember I didn't give him his meds. So, we go back home, get his meds and give them to him. It is now 10:28 and we're supposed to be at the dentist at 10:30. Not going to make it. But oh, well, we head out anyway. On the way there, we are stopped by the police. Ugh! Are you kidding me? And I hate it when they ask "where are you going in such a hurry?" Does it matter?!? Are you not going to give me a ticket if I answer correctly?? (FYI: I must have answered correctly because, miraculously, no ticket today! Bright Spot #1)

Get to the dentist and the woman was like "um, you are 1/2 hour late. I don't think the dr. will see you." Okay, I'm kinda pissed now. I just got stopped by the cops which made me even later, but not only that but the last time that Chuck was there, they left him waiting in the waiting room until they were freaking CLOSED and then were like "oh! Sorry, we totally forgot about you. You'll have to reschedule." So, if it's your fault, they reschedule you, if it their fault they reschedule you. I'm so changing dental insurances when it comes time. They seriously suck. So, now we don't have an appt until May 20.

On the way home, 2 people cut me off and an old lady in a grandma mobile slams on her brakes right in front of me. I scream some obscenities (yes, not my most shining moment in front of the children, I'm sure) which she doesn't hear and probably couldn't if I was right next to her anyway.

Also, I saw no less than 3 houses through my drive this morning with fake flowers ALL OVER the outside of their house. WTF is up with that? Seriously? It looks nasty and they are FAKE! Outside! This one house had them intertwined through the posts of their front porch, attached to the house itself and planted everywhere in planters. Eww.

Zachary, Elizabeth and I stopped at a flea market too on the way home since we had so much time considering we didn't see the dr. Zachary found a tape player/recorder he wanted but when she opened it up to show us it played the inside was all rusted out and one of the springs fell off the battery compartment. She was then like "well, I'll sell it to you for $1". No. Thanks. It won't work with the battery compartment like that!! I did however buy a nice, more compact stroller with shade for $10 so that's my deal for the day. I can now sell my big one. (Bright spot #2)

The Schwans man just came (Bright spot #3). I love the Schwans man. I held off from buying the 1/2 gallon of ice cream but I did buy some LiveSmart whole wheat crust BBQ chicken pizzas. They sounded good. Maybe I'll have one for lunch. I'm off to do just that.


Internet Porn

So, a friend went to see Avenue Q.

Apparently a song reminder her of me. I'm really clueless as to why.



Eating Problems and Children

Chuck and I are trying to start eating better.

The short term goal is to lose some weight, but ultimately the reason for this is to be healthy. Healthy enough that we are able to see our kids give us grandkids and watch those grandkids play and grow up. Possibly have kids of their own.

In doing that, we are counting calories and other macro-nutrients to try to be inline with what is recommended.

And I want the same for my kids. To be healthy. To live healthy.

Tricky thing, that is, because I do NOT want to be the diet nazi. I don’t want my kids afraid to eat things in front of me and take to hiding to eat. I don’t want my kids to gorge themselves on snacks when they are allowed them because they never get them. I don’t want my children growing up with the notion to eat past the point of fullness because we made them clean their plate. I don’t want them to have self-image issues because mom and dad were obsessed with how we looked and constantly discussing “dieting” or “calories”. I don’t want them tying rewards to food or emotions to food.

Why do I know about all those things. Because that’s EXACTLY how I was raised. Those are the issues I have with eating.

And yet, we run into issues. So how do we handle those issues?

Part of the problem is we’ve been lenient with “treats” in the last year. Daddy would go to the store daily for his afternoon Mt. Dew and bring something home for the kids. Usually a Little Debbie or sometimes a candy bar. So, now the kids expect that and throw a gigantic fit if they don’t get it every day. They ask “if we be good, can we”? That goes against everything I believe in. You don’t get food for being good. You get food to live.

Part of the issue is that Zachary is “starving” every night for dinner and bugs constantly, yet doesn’t eat when food is put in front of him and that’s wasteful. I want him to understand that he needs to eat what he asks for. But how to do that without making him clean his plate and eating when he’s not truly hungry? And how do we handle the bedtime “I’m starving” pleas? My suggestion tonight was to allow him to start dishing his own food from the options that are for dinner. Then he needs to eat that food before he gets more. And if not, he can put his plate in the fridge and eat it later. Afterall, some people can’t eat a lot at one time. So, how do we know when he’s hungry at bedtime or when he’s manipulating us? How many times do we tell him to eat his leftovers before it borders on insanity?

I wish that kids came with child-specific instruction manuals.


I feel.....more.

I waited for 12 years to do this.

I waited for 12 years to know exactly what was right for me. What was perfect and represented me.

Afterall, I didn't want Tweety Bird tattooed on my ass forever. That's not who I am.

But, this. This is perfect for me. It's beautiful and elegant and explains a huge part of who I am.

And I love it.

I got it done on Saturday for my 31st birthday (at the end of the month). It took about 45-50 minutes to do it and it wasn't bad painways except over the spine. That caused a bit of discomfort but I still lived through it.

It's a Celtic Motherhood knot and in traditional celtic knotwork the children are represented by dots inside the knot. I changed that a bit to be hearts...one heart in emerald green for each of my May babies.

I didn't get the piercing...yet. I asked about it but we were on a tight time table so I didn't. Soon though. Especially after the tattoo and the pain/discomfort associated with it. I told Chuck that I like the pain. I like the reminder that it's there. He laughed and said these are the times he's glad he married me. I guess being a pain junky has its advantages.

I've heard that tattoos are addicting and I can see it. The adrenaline rush was amazing. On the way home, I was already thinking what I could get for my next one. But, considering it took 12 years to decide on this...it might take me a while.



I have a good friend, T, who moved to Florida soon after our children were born last May. Her son and E were born 5 days apart; it was so much fun to be going through pregnancy with a friend and considering we had another friend who delivered a week before E, it was three times the fun. T is still active in our Michigan mom’s group, but she has moved on and made friends in a new mom’s group in Florida. (Traitor. Hehehehe) She asked all us Michiganders for thoughts and prayers today for one of her new friends who lost her 6 month old baby boy from SIDS today.

I felt like I’d been hit in the gut and I don’t even know these people.

I was in a horrible mood earlier today. I blame it on lack of sleep and spring break. But upon reading that, and sending up a prayer for that poor family, I turned my thoughts inward.

I am SO. LUCKY. I had three pretty uneventful, relatively easy pregnancies (comparatively speaking). I have three healthy children. I have a wonderful husband who loves me and the kids. Granted, we deal with some issues with Zachary, but I wouldn’t exchange that for anything if it meant not having my sensitive, sweet, loving child. Overall, I am extremely blessed.

Even Chuck, who is the eternal pessimist said he couldn’t understand how I could be in a such a bad mood; after all, today was a momentous occasion. A first of sorts. Zachary brought me breakfast in bed for the first time. Rice Krispies with Strawberries. And it was very yummy. And yet, I don’t remember if I said “thank you” to him.

And yet, there I sat in a shitty mood, because I was being a referee today and unable to put together a string of coherent thought without being interrupted by whining or hyperactive questioning. Unable to get even 5 minutes to myself.

That family now has eternity to themselves without their little boy. Kinda changes the perspective on things a bit doesn’t it?

So, hug your child today. I know when I get home, I'll be going in and checking on each of them. Giving them a kiss on their cheek and thanking my lucky stars that I get to wake up tomorrow and referree again.


More Socially Acceptable (or Unacceptable) Behavior

Let me clarify something on the whole Mohawk issue. It’s not a question of IF I’m going to let him have a Mohawk. We’re letting him get a Mohawk for the summer. I don’t have a problem with it at all.

My whole point for the previous post (that Chuck has informed me didn’t come through) is whether I should beat the living shit talk sternly to those people (i.e. my father) who decide they are going to give Zachary a rough time for having it or whether I’m going to let Zachary take the heat for his choice.

Because my father WILL give him a rough time about it.

But, see, I’m not one necessarily to shy away from touchy subjects with my father and most of my family (unless it refers to how they will sometimes make me feel like shit. I don’t typically discuss feelings with them.) I grew up with a father who was extremely overbearing, overprotective and just an all-around jackass (whom I love dearly, mind you.) At the age of 14, he would measure my hair before I left the house to make sure I didn’t get more than 2” cut off. He would make me change my clothes if my shirt bottom touched the top of my jeans and didn’t fall below my beltline as no daughter of his would go out “dressed like a whore”. I wasn’t allowed to get my ears pierced.

So, at the age of 17, I pierced my ears. I hid it for all of about 1 day. At 18, I chopped my hair off up to my chin from below my shoulders. Obviously, there was no hiding that. My mom, and more than likely my father (as we’ve never discussed it…he gets embarrassed because I’m too open as I know it’s the ONLY way to shut him up), know about my nipple rings (yes, 2. Although I no longer have one as it migrated out after about 4 years of having it. Ouch!) I’ve been very upfront with my family about getting my tattoo, which my mom doesn’t approve of, but she likes the symbolism behind it. When Chuck and I were dating, I would spend my weekends out there. My mom questioned me one time about how they want me to work/sleep in the cabins with the kids. I explained that I wouldn’t be sleeping in the cabins, but with Chuck. She asked cautiously “on his couch?”, to which I replied “No, Mom, in his bed.” That was the end of that. Then about 7 months later, I let them know that we would be moving in together. Again, not pleased, but they know me well enough to know that it doesn’t matter to me, I’m going to do what I want regardless.

Zachary takes after me in a lot of ways. His stubbornness and tendency towards defiance is 100% me. How did I end up being cursed in having all 3 children Tauruses?!

(Disclaimer: Those that know me really well know that there are things that I don’t advertise about my life. However, if asked, I would more than likely answer any question.)

On the subject of socially unacceptable behavior, we have had our first shoplifting experience with Lucas today.

We went to the Chinese buffet today for lunch (I was absolutely exhausted after moving their entire bedroom around (metal bunkbeds are freaking heavy!) so I asked Chuck if we could do lunch out. Upon paying, Lucas kept asking for a toy. I told him no and figured that was the end of that. As we were piling into the jeep, I noticed he was playing with an orange ring. I asked him where’d he’d gotten that, knowing full well that he had not had that BEFORE we went in. He told us that he’d taken it off the counter. So, Chuck trucked Lucas’s little butt back into the restaurant to return the stolen goods. After returning it and apologizing, the person behind the counter was very nice and let Lucas know it wasn’t a big deal; no worries, honey.

I find that frustrating in some ways. While I don’t necessarily think they should call the cops, it would be nice to have them read the kid the riot act. Letting them know it’s not acceptable, or nice, or something.

Funnily, Zachary was almost his exact same age when he did it and has never done it since. When I trucked Zachary’s little butt into the gas station and made him return his candy and apologize for taking it, with him sobbing the entire time, the gentleman behind the counter did tell Zachary that it wasn’t nice to steal and that some people get the cops called on them for that, but thank you for stepping up and returning it. I loved how that clerk handled it. And Zachary has never done it since.

Let’s hope this is the first and last time for Lucas too.


I love my child...mohawk or no.

When do you start teaching your child about appropriate behaviors? Maybe appropriate isn’t the word I’m looking for…socially acceptable may be more apt. Appropriate behaviors would include things like not talking about pooping, farting, pissing and burping in front of others. Socially acceptable is things such as having a “normal” hair cut or dressing like others.

Now, obviously, I’m not necessarily one to be preaching the finer points of socially acceptable behavior. What with my couple different piercings, soon to be more, and soon to be a tattoo along with some of my parenting techniques and personal decisions. However, I’m an adult and I’ve accepted the fact that I do this because I choose to do it, fully knowing that I may get ridiculed for my choices. Called names. Pointed at, perhaps. Talked about behind my back in hushed whispers. I’ve experienced these things.

But at what age do you allow that to happen and not say anything?

Zachary wants a Mohawk. Chuck and I talked about it and we said if he still wanted a Mohawk come summer, he could have one. He questioned our decision, of course, considering the fact that another little boy in his class already has a Mohawk. We explained that we don’t find it acceptable attire for a school environment (yes, we do talk to our children this way.)

We also explained that in getting something that is traditionally considered “counter-culture” and not necessarily socially acceptable, he will need to accept negative comments as part of his choice in looking different. Is it right that people talk? No. But we cannot control others opinions of ourselves.

So, in discussing this with a co-worker, I had mentioned how we had explained this to him and prepared him for the comments and probably comments from his own grandpa’s about looking like a punk. She gasped at how they could say that and how I would be chewing them a new one.

I told her I wouldn’t. And I won’t, unless it gets way out of control. Part of having something different is being different. Part of being different is that people will talk smack, whether we want them to or not. And like we told Zachary (and something I still struggle to deal with daily), we cannot control other’s thoughts or opinions of ourselves.

But is it something that you can understand at almost 6 years old? Or will it be emotionally scarring for him? Is this one of those times that my husband talks about when you need to allow the child to make a mistake or a choice, even if a bad one, to learn for himself.

It hurts my mom heart to see my child hurt. Emotionally or physically. Not sure I’m ready for this, but I guess I can’t fight his battles and take on the bad guys forever. Right?


Let's go fly a kite....Up where the sky is bright....

I feel like my life slips away from me sometimes. I tell the kids "sure, we can fly a kite...maybe tomorrow." And then tomorrow, it rains or something else happens whether it be a sick kid, a bad day with Zachary, forgetfulness from momma and we end up not doing it. It's like our life is full of "tomorrow's".

I think some of that is the curse of essentially being a single parent for the week. With Chuck and I working opposite shifts, it's just not as easy to get dinner done AND play with the kids. There is no one else there to do it, so either you get the chores done OR you play. And sometimes I just feel so overwhelmed with everything, I don't know where to start, what to do, so I do nothing.

I've been really examining my life over the last week. I've been offered something that will take up my time at home, but in the long run, may help our home situation. I am totally intrigued because it would be something for me...I'd be using my brain. Challenging myself again. Something I don't get at my work.

But, I've been concerned about the time it will take away from my family. Even if only for a year that times would be rough, I don't want to look back and think that I lost a year of time with my kids. Enjoying my kids. Playing with my kids.

So, I've decided that in order to do things, I need to schedule things. I have a Franklin Covey planner which I used to use religiously, BC (before children), but haven't since because I didn't feel I needed it. Well, I think I was wrong. I let time get away from me too often thinking "well, I have all afternoon for that" when in truth I don't. I have a billion things that need to be done and by letting things slip away, I get furthur behind and don't make that time for myself.

So, I've decided I need to start scheduling things. Not just for me, but for the kids too. So I don't forget that I promised them that I'd play Chutes and Ladders tomorrow morning or fly a kite over the weekend. But, also, so I can start to fit in my exercise, eating right, newly acquired non-profit work, work, time with Chuck, taking the kids to the park. and chores. Whew. It's going to be a very full Franklin Covey. Obviously, its going to be very fluid as there will always be unexpecteds (isn't there ALWAYS unexpecteds with kids?!) but I'm hoping it will help me become more organized and find a way to fit everything and everyone I love in. Without becoming a raging bitch.

So, in the spirit of my newly worked out ways of organization, we had a great weekend. My house is somewhat picked up (NOT in any way perfect, mind you...there is lots of clutter spots that need to be taken care of) and we enjoyed some "firsts" with the kids.

On Saturday, we traveled to visit a friend and try out the boys' rocket that they got for Christmas. We went to a park and Elizabeth got to try out her very first swing! She very much enjoyed it. I love hearing her laugh. And for the record, the rocket was extremely anti-climatic. 6 inches isn't enough to satisfy anyone.This evening, the boys wanted to try out there new kites that they got for Easter. They have gotten numerous kites before, but we've never made the time to fly them. So, we made the time tonight. Unfortunately, I was at home with Elizabeth making dinner, but they boys had a great time. Zachary was very excited to have gotten his kite up all by himself!

And just one more picture, just because. Because he supports me and gives me the opportunity to do something for myself. Because I love him with everything I have.


Imported Chocolate? Yessireebob!

I know I have mentioned at least a couple different times how much I enjoy reading Angella.

Well, let me tell you why I mention that now.

She is bribing encouraging people to leave comments for her by promising a drawing of Canadian chocolate that is shipped right to your door. And the comments are rolling in! If she gets more than 150 comments, Angella has promised 2 drawings. What a gal!

I know that some of us over at the Artichoke are working to eat healthier, but if I can win, I could hold off to eat the chocolate until the 30 days is up, right?


Things I've learned today

Matt can make anyone believe just about anything.

Thinking about your future and other deep things is absolutely futile when there are 3 children around.

When you are basically a single mom every day, there are ALWAYS 3 kids around.

Old men can turn into extremely rude assholes when they are waiting in line for gas that is 38 cents cheaper than anywhere else in town.

I do not enjoy being screamed at and called a bitch when I wasn’t being one.

I absolutely HATE being referred to as m’am.

In looking up clich├ęs, I found one I’ve never heard of but must use sometime: Like a boy scout troop in an Argentine brothel. (meaning: In the manner of a person who finds themselves in a situation ripe with wondrously depraved possibilities.)

I like situations that are filled with depraved possibilities. I don’t find myself in enough of them.

I need to stop emotionally eating, after I finish my ice cream. (Okay, so I didn’t learn that TODAY, but I reiterated it to myself today.)


Mom, DON'T read this!

So, when I started this blog, I had said I was a lot of things wrapped up into one. A daughter, a mother, a wife, an employee, but that sometimes I miss knowing or being just “Lisa”. I do have a person inside there somewhere. I’m bound and determined to let that person come through more often.

And there has been something I have wanted to do for myself for a very long time. Actually two somethings. Not for anyone else, but me. To express who I am.

And the countdown has now become until I do those things. For my birthday next month, I am getting inked. I was supposed to do it for my 30th birthday, but ended up pregnant somehow (hmmm, Chuck’s birthday present has screwed up my birthday 3 times now!) I have researched and found what I want, but I need to draw it up and find out how much it’ll cost so Chuck can plan enough money for it since he’s getting it for me for my birthday present. Yes, he is. I told him so! I’m excited. I’m a little nervous too. I’ve watched 3 people now get inked and while it was very cool, it was THEM experiencing the pain. But I guess after having 3 kids, and one of them being au natural, I figure I could probably handle the pain.

As far as placement, I’m getting a tramp stamp. It’s perfect for me! I think that placement is super sexy and if I want to show someone I can pretty easily, but no one has to see it if I don’t want them to. It’ll be a celtic motherhood knot with an emerald heart to represent each child.

The other thing that I’m planning on getting done is something that no one else will probably ever see. And unlike the ink, I’m not necessarily planning on showing it off. I’m going to get a VCH piercing.

A what?

Vertical Clitoral Hood piercing. I was considering getting a clitoral piercing, but I think I’m just too chicken. Plus, everything I’ve read about it says that not everyone is anatomically suited for that type of piercing. So I think I’m going to do the VCH instead. I’m excited. I’m more than a little nervous about the pain, but it’s also something that isn’t exactly foreign to me, so I will probably do okay. I’m planning on getting that done the same night as I get my new ink. Probably afterwards, so that my endorphins are already flowing and I’m not quite as freaked out. ;)

So, yay! I’m doing something for myself. I realize a lot of moms probably go to a day at the spa for their personal time, but hey, I never claimed to be normal.


Where everybody knows your name....

Remember "Cheers"??? What a great show. The whole theme was to have a place that is yours. A place that upon walking in they yell "Norm!" or whatever your name happens to be. This place would be a haven from work, spouses, mothers and all your friends would be there to have a drink with.

I always wanted a place like that. But never in a million years did I think that place would be the emergency room.

And it looks as if we are well on our way to having that "LISA!" experience there; all thanks to Lucas. After one experience last Thursday and then the staples from 2 Christmases ago, this kid is going to put me in an early grave, I swear he will.

Chuck calls me at work at 8:20 or so last night. I wasn't at my desk, so my supervisor comes looking for me in the building as Chuck said it was an emergency. Great. Freak me out right away. So I call home and Lucas, instead of sleeping like he was supposed to be, decided it would be a great time to eat one of the Magnetix balls.

Yes, those little magnetic toys that had been recalled. I didn't worry about sending them in, or throwing them away, as my kids are almost 4 and 6....they know better than putting toys in their mouths.

I was apparently mistaken.

So, Chuck feels that it's probably best that we take Luke to the ER. As Chuck has to get up at 5 am and I'm used to working until 1 am, I take him. We had a wonderful time together. We colored. We cuddled. We watched t.v. We talked about whales and blow holes and how a whale would reach to the street if put in his school. At one point I asked Luke: "Are you doing stuff just soo that you can have alone time with mommy and daddy? Because, I'm really not hip on coming to the ER to do that." He replied: "Yup."

So, after an x-ray to confirm that there is truely only one in there and that it is indeed a round one, they basically sent us on our way with instructions to increase his liquids in an effort to help it through faster, watch for puking or severe abdominal pain, and follow up with an x-ray in 48 hours with our regular pediatrician. Check, check, check.


The Easter Bunny has come and gone

I love holidays. I love seeing the excitement of the boys and now Elizabeth. Because let me tell you what, she was excited when she found jelly bean shaped eggs that were meant for her left on the floor by the Easter Bunny.

Our festivities usually start on Saturday when we color our Easter eggs. This year, E was sleeping during it, so she'll get her first egg coloring session next year. Zachary shows his intensity while drawing on an egg before dipping it in colors.
Lucas studies his handwork.

Zachary is telling Lucas "You better not!!" This is just such a typical interchange between these two. I love this pic because of that. (And yes, those are still Christmas trees on our cupboard doors. Yes, I need to take them down.)
Our finished product. They were gorgeous colors this year after using neon gel food colors and 1 tsp of vinegar.
Easter Morning. Miss Elizabeth finds out that the eggs are filled with fruit puffs and she's hooked!
Zachary got excited over the jelly beans inside some of the eggs.
Lucas playing with his ferraris that were inside a couple of his eggs. (I just love his face in this pic...he always plays so intensely!)

The chocolate is already almost gone. But today the boys' decided that Daddy should have some Ferrero Rocheres since the Easter Bunny forgot him. So, it'll be a few more days until we're candy free again.


Walking, schooling and just plain adorable-ness

The last couple days has been so event filled, I don't know how I contain myself. And yet, my blog yesterday was about the bad thing that happened and not the several good things that happened! So I'm rectifying that today.

Elizabeth took her first unassisted steps yesterday!! Yippee!! I have a walker!

Wait. Why am I saying Yippee? Shouldn't I be filled with dread? I mean, I have 2 older kids and I remember what it means when they start walking. They start getting into more trouble. They can now get into things that were a little more off limits before. And walking leads to running. Running away from mommy in near-death experiences like the parking lot at Walmart. Okay, remind me again why I was so excited and encouraging this?

Oh yea. Because it's so cute to watch her take her first steps! It's amazing to see those "firsts" and watch them light up as they accomplish something new. So, I'll take those other things to watch that.

I also had Zachary's parent-teacher conferences yesterday. His teacher couldn't say enough about how much more mature Zachary is now than he was at the beginning of the year. She said she doesn't have to speak to him, well, ever now. He's on top of things and getting along with the other kids for the most part, so things are good in that area! Yay!!

However, they did do some testing for all the students. One of those tests was for word fluency (or something similar to that) which is basically sounding out 3 letter words. Zachary tested "at risk" in that category. So, even though he is at or above in every other category he has qualified for summer school. The teacher expressed her dismay at those scores because, in her words "he is definitely not near the bottom of the class". I explained how I have difficulty with him in that very skill. I believe that it's not that he can't do it...but instead won't. He is too impatient to figure it out, so he'll start guessing by using the context of the pictures, other words, what have you. I also let her know that I'm 100% not against year round schooling, especially for him. Routine is such a major component of his behavior that I've been concerned about him having 3 months off and how long it would take him to adjust (more than likely a month or more) just to turn around and go back to school, and adjust all over again (for a couple months, I'm sure!). So, we may be sending him to summer school and I consider that a good thing.

Lucas Michael. Oh, that boy is adorable. He's getting absolutely rave reviews from school. He's had a wonderful day every day this week and today the preschool teacher told me that they were impressed with how much knowledge he has and is retaining about the planets. It's no surprise to me...they've always interested him so he's spouting off something completely out of the blue all the time. Yesterday, we were sitting there watching t.v. and he looks at me and says "Pluto is the coldest of all the planets." It's like these facts are just swimming around in there, being brought up to the surface more often than not.

Today, however, he fell off a swing in the backyard and bit the skin under his bottom lip open. Chuck took him to ER (it was gaping...and in the spot its at, you can't easily use a butterfly bandage or anything) and they didn't feel it was necessary to put in stitches. But, if it's looking infected bring him back in. Wonderful. He won't leave it alone either so it keeps re-opening. He'll have a killer scar to show the chicks and impress them when he's a little older ;)


I should go to jail

According to all accounts from some mothers, I should be in jail for child endangerment.

This is all based on the assumption that these things are severely endangering your child:

1. Leaving your children in the car within sight a very short distance away for less then 5 minutes, locked, in a small sleepy town.

2. Allowing children to be babysat by a teenage couple.

3. Allow said teenage couple, or any teenager, or any person not the parents, to drive my children in a vehicle.

4. Allowing children to stay a 24 hour period with anyone other than mom or dad.

5. Allowing the older children to play outside, without the parent being there, in a sleepy little town, in a fenced in backyard.

6. Allowing the older children to cross our road (that like 2 cars an hour may go down) to get the mail. While being watched out the window or from the front yard.

7. Considering sending my children to camp overnight before they are 18.

8. Allowing the children to use the stove (supervised) or the microwave (unsupervised).

9. Allowing a young child to test their boundaries in a indoor playground by trying out the "big kid" tubes.

10. Allowing a toddler to walk down the steps by themselves without sitting on their butt.

But, sorry I don't feel that any of them are severely endangering my children. I think some of it is allowing them to grow up. I think some of them are teaching them how to be self-sufficient. I think some of them are giving them some respect for their abilities.

And to threaten to call the cops on me? And then suggest that I would leave a 3 and 5 year old ALONE at the house, for any amount of time, is offensive.

I love my children. I do what I feel is best for them in all circumstances. And I'm sorry you don't agree. But I don't agree with things in others lives, either.

So unless you see me beating my child down with a club, stay the hell out of how I raise my kids.


I'm no Martha Stewart...

But dang I like to create in the kitchen!!

It's Easter time and in my house that means chocolate. (Well, not just chocolate. It also means the Resurrection of Christ but considering this post is about me being in the kitchen I didn't feel that was relevant. Anyhoo....)

Growing up my parents didn't have a lot of money. So, my mom made all our Easter candy. She bought large bags of candy melts and used molds to create some fun looking yummy chocolate treasures for our Easter baskets on Easter morning. Not only did she make molded chocolate, but also birds' nests. (Chocolate melted with coconut and then jelly beans pressed in for eggs. Let cool and harden and voila! Birds nests!)

There are some things I look back fondly on in my childhood. Homemade Easter candy is definitely one of them. And when I got older and realized that the Easter bunny was actually my mom....I started helping make the candy. And eventually when Mom opened her store, I made all the candy for our families.

So, when Zachary was a baby my mom handed the Easter molds down to me. It has now become my family's tradition as well. Chuck never really looks forward to this time because I tend to wait till the last moment and then get bitchy stressed, but I really do enjoy it. I enjoy creating something and being able to give that to my loved ones. And carry on the tradition from my childhood that I loved so much.

Last year was the first year in a long time that our molds weren't put to use. Being pregnant with Elizabeth and being ready to die uncomfortable, Chuck and I both felt it wouldn't be a good year to try to keep up with the tradition. But, no worries, I'm back to it this year!

I already have 3 big bunnies done, some candies, and all my birds nests. Tomorrow I'm running to the store for some peanut butter and mint candy melts to make more little candies and then add some jelly beans to their baskets and the kids are done. With candy anyway. The Easter bunny also brings little trinkets as well.

I've also got a little creative for a couple of my friends' birthdays and created a Strawberry and Chocolate tart. It turned out beautifully and I was so proud of my creation. Not only did it look cool, but it tasted fantastic!! "And that's a good thing."


Zachary and Dentists and Doctors, OH MY!

1Yesterday was a very full day. Remember back a month ago, when I spoke of being the world's worst mother because of my son's totally decayed tooth? Well, yesterday was our appointment to fix said tooth. We went in a month ago and found out that it needed work on it (no shit, Sherlock!) and the dentist at that appointment had the worst chairside manner of any dentist I've ever seen. But I won't get into that because what's past is past. This dentist we saw yesterday was wonderful. He doted on Elizabeth (who tagged along with us for the ride), he was super gentle and patient with Zachary, and explained things to me. What more to ask for!?

So, after the filling is done the dentist explains that he had to drill into the baby root as well. The infection had spread that far. Yes, my poor boy had a root canal at 5 1/2. They put medicine in his tooth and then some more on a cotton ball and made him bite down for about 15 minutes to help kill off that nasty infection before packing the root and then eventually filling the tooth. Zachary was a trooper through the whole thing and only jumped and kinda protested while he was getting the novacaine shots in his gums. He was quite enthralled with the small amount of blood on his dental bib though!

After the dentist, we waited for daddy to get home from work then headed off to the psych appointment. We need to find a new psych before I stab this one in the eyes with a dull spoon. He is patronizing to the nth degree. Last appointment he was generally the same way, but I thought "hey, let's give him a shot...maybe I"m having a bad day". Well 2 strikes and you're out with me; especially when it involves my children and their care. Dr. would only half listen to my answers before making little comments to Chuck about "eh, that's just a mom right?" Um, excuse me? Are you trying to pit my husband against me? Maybe not that extreme but I do feel he was completely belittling me because I'm a woman. And that does not fly with me in any way, shape or form.

Dr. Moron then espoused his general disgust for the fact that Chuck and I work seperate shifts. His take on the whole thing...and I'm not necessarily begrudging him this because I do feel it would be best...is for Chuck and I be home together every night. It would be the best for Zachary's well-being to have our family together daily. So, after about 5 minutes of that I was getting a little heated and asked "so, would it be better for the children to be in daycare for 9 or 10 hours a day, or at least have one parent at home with them?" He quickly said "oh, well, you never want the children out of the house for more than 8 hours. And definitely a parent is always better for the child than a secondary caregiver." Okay. So let's backtrack. We're bad because we're not home together. But we'd be bad if we used daycare, too. Hmmm, that adds up to me that I should be in the house at all times. Isn't that what that sounds like? And while that would be ideal, it's not reality. So why does the dr. harp on it?

I also expressed some concern about Zachary's bed wetting. At 5 years old, he still bed wets almost nightly. Before the meds started in October, he was wetting nightly. He still wore overnights to bed. After he started the meds, that stopped and he was dry at night time for almost 2- 2 1/2 months. When we started seeing a downward trend in his behavior again, we also noticed the bed wetting coming back. I've been keeping a journal of all the days activities, how he behaves, what problems we have, and it seems that there is a connection between his bad days and his bed wetting. Dr. Moron states: "He's doing it intentionally. He should be able to not wet the bed at this age. You need to punish him". Eeek. PUNISH HIM? He said he can't seperate that it's a bad behavior if we don't punish him and make it known that it's not okay with us. Both Chuck and I were completely taken aback by this. Everything we've read says do not punish for potty accidents. So, Chuck asked if he was meaning something like changing his sheets. "yes! Changing his sheets is a good thing for him to do. It lets him know it's not okay. Or adding in extra chores."

Okay, this guy doesn't know us from Adam. But, I get that his assumption is that we allow Zachary to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants and isn't made to do anything. Um, no. Zachary does daily chores. He helps with laundry, he makes his bed, he changes his sheets, he cleans up his toys, he feeds the dog, he picks up the living room, takes out the trash. I'm sure I could go on. Is that an every day occurance? No, not neccessarily all of them, but he is asked and expected to do things around the house.

But, back on the topic of bed wetting. I bring up the fact that my younger brother wet the bed until 14 and so did 2 of my uncles and I had the understanding that it can also be genetic. He said "well, Zachary is just controlling you". Okay, at this point I was fuming and trying to talk myself out of gouging his eyes out with a spoon.

So, last night I did a little online research. Everything I read, from reputable sources like the American Academy of Physicians, says that children do not wet the bed intentionally or to anger their parents. Hmm. Wonder where this guy got his degree from.

He did bring up something interesting though. He asked if Zachary had been tested for Aspergers. This peaks my interest. It's always something I've been really curious about because from the reading I've done and the tests that I've been given, it seems a really likely diagnosis. But I don't know if the 1st dr. ever fully tested for that...if you can even. But then, Dr. Moron went on quickly to explain he doesn't change diagnoses anyways. Why bring it up if you're not willing to do something about it? Just one more strike in my book.

So, off to research new doctors. Again.



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