Mi Familia!!

Mi Familia!!
Roscoe, Sophia, & Emily(across top) and then I think you can figure out the rest!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My baby...getting grown up...

Emily is my oldest daughter. She means the world to me, because she is my daughter. She also was a gift to my heart and soul at a time that I sorely needed her. They say that every mom has the kid that they needed to have... and I find that to be true. All of my kids have given me something special that I needed. They are all so unique and I adore them all. But today is about Emily.

Often, I neglect to talk about Emily much on here, because as I've mentioned before, she doesn't like it. She finds me embarrassing, because she is 13, and I am her mother! : ) I'm ok with it.. I was 13 once too!

But today I don't care what she wants, because I am so proud of her that I need to talk about it!
From the moment of her birth, I knew that she was something special. She has a peaceful calm about her, that is very soothing to me... and also many people that she meets.

She is super smart... smarter than I was at her age...and that's saying something! (could I be a little less humble... but it's true...I'm no dummy, but she has seemingly endless potential!)

Now that being said, right now she is 13, almost 14, and fairly convinced that she is way smarter than I am....and that doesn't fly so much with me... I have life experience, the likes of which I hope she NEVER has to have.... anyway. I have this idea for her birthday which is coming up, which I hope will be something that she will cherish forever. I'll have to tell you all about it soon. We'll see if it a good one.... I have a feeling it will be something that she will appreciate more as she gets older.

A few weeks ago, I had a post about how Emily was going on an audition for a high school that she was trying to get into... well she did it!!

She got in for both of the majors she was trying for... so now she has to decide which she will choose. Theatre or Vocal. I think it is awesome that she has gotten in with either because now she gets to choose the path which feels right to her. This school has a such a good reputation that it should really help her when it is time to apply for college and scholarships!! I am so proud of her!! I'm so interested to see where she will end up. Watching her life unfold has and continues to be one of my greatest joys in life. I feel so lucky to have her as a daughter. She is truly one of the coolest people that I know!

Right now she is in London with my sister. She is apparently having great time! I am slightly jealous, seeing that I have never been... but honestly I think it is awesome that she has had this experience. The day that she found out she was accepted they went to the show Wicked. My sister said it was probably the best show she has ever seen! The cast was fantastic... and how perfect to go the day that she hears about her acceptance. To be able to see what she has hopes of doing someday. I know that it is a big dream, but I really feel like she could do something with this talent of hers. I also want very much for Emily to have a strong scholastic base because, she is smart, and she could do anything she wants to do...and that's the great thing about this school. She can do trigonometry and be in the school musical (if she makes it...). She is struggling a little to keep her focus on her schoolwork as well as artistic endeavors and that's a no go at this school. They must be doing well in school to do the fun stuff...so I'm hoping that this is the push she needs to regain her focus. I think that it will be!

She will be returning home tomorrow. I can't wait. I miss her so much when she is gone. She actually travels a lot... well a lot more than I get to anyway... so I am used to missing her... but I am always so glad to have her home! The little ones miss her too. She adds a little something extra to the dynamics of the family! Every weekend day they will call up the stairs to her... and when she doesn't come down they are sad. Sophia stopped in the middle of playing with her little people today and looked at me very seriously and said..."Mom, I miss sister so much...I can't wait to hug her..." I agree, kid!! : )

My mom did something nice and unusual today, too. She sent me flowers. I have only received flowers a few times, delivered to the house anyway, and it was really special! She sent along a note saying that I deserved them for raising Emily well, even though sometimes things were hard. It even said I love you!...wow! I got a little teary eyed... that was a pretty strong emotional outburst from my mom! They are pretty and lighting up my living room... especially because it is awful outside...icy, cold, bad roads... it was a super nice way to start my day, that's for sure!

hmmm, I had some pictures to put up... like a picture of Emily getting the news over the phone..and my perdy flowers.... but I'm unable to put them up right now... I'll have to try again later... sorry!

Today I am thankful that Emily is coming home tomorrow!
I am thankful that my mom sent me flowers, and love!
I am thankful that Emily has been getting these wonderful opportunities, I hope they keep coming!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The rest of the story...

Ok, Roscoe and his Frakenfinger(the new nickname I gave it, that let's me try and lighten a pretty heavy experience) are doing pretty well. He and Sophia are finally feeling better from their sickness, AND their Dad took them out of the house, as part of an ongoing apology for being a jerk that night. Hey, we were all over burdened that night... he has apologized to me and the kids for his outburst...so we are all healing here. So now I feel like I can get to...

The rest of the story:
At the end of the last post about this situation I was back in Seattle, but hadn't called my family or anyone else yet... and I had just found out I was pregnant.

Everyone just knew that I needed to get rid of the problem.
It's no big deal... it's ok... I went down to welfare and they would even pay for it... the worker told me "hey we'd rather pay to get rid of the problem than pay for the rest of the kid's life..."

wow... that's a heavy and sad statement.

Even my awesome friend was like, no way, you can't have a baby... you can't even take care of yourself. I can't be the person you depend on with this... it's too much responsibility for me to take on...

( now before anyone feels harshly about that... I think it was totally reasonable... it wasn't his problem, and although we were young he is about 6 years older and was recently divorced with a young baby in another state because of pretty sad circumstances... he was broken and sad and me having a baby was not something he needed to remind him of everything he had lost...so I got it...and was NOT upset with him (ever) for being honest with me about that.)

He got another mutual friend to come and talk to me about how she had done it... and it wasn't so bad... I would be able to start my life over and move on and away from this bad situation.

I think that it is important to note here that I did not have an incredibly religious upbringing. So as far as religious beliefs to make the decision for me... I felt like I did have choices. My mom was an atheist and my dad, at one point, wanted to be a protestant preacher... so you could say that I made my own way as far as my faith goes... I went to Sunday school.. but had not absorbed or felt a part of any particular dogma, as far as this situation goes. I have always (and am even more convinced because of my situation) felt that it should be a woman's choice as to whether she has a baby.
no one else's.... you can't legislate morals... it just doesn't work.

I don't think that women who don't want to have babies... should be forced to have babies... I mean do we really need more unloved and unwanted children in the world?
I realize that this might not be a popular stance, but I feel very strongly about it.
I don't want to bog down this story with my personal feelings about such an explosive debate.. but felt like I should throw it out there... because it effects my personal story greatly!

I had everyone around me telling me, that the only reasonable decision was to get rid of the baby... and my automatic reaction was honestly the same. My friend was right... how the hell was I going to be some one's mom... I couldn't even take care of myself... how could I be responsible for another life?

So I made the appointment. I went into the clinic and had a few appointments to talk with the ladies at the clinic. They were actually the least persuasive of anyone in my surroundings. They never told me what I should do. They gave me all of my options without opinion. They gave me numbers of people to talk with, for any decision. They, of course, gave me brochures for everything... adoption, abortion, and programs to help new moms get started.

The law there is that you have to talk with a social worker before the state would pay for it... to make sure that you would be ok. That was such a joke.. the woman asked me nothing about my feelings at all... she asked me a few rote questions...

Was I with the father? no. check

Did I have any family support? no. check

Did I have a strong religious base? no. check

Well, then it seems like this is the best decision for me then right... um I guess so... yeah, ok whatever, check.

So the day was set. It was two weeks away. I had found out right away... I've always been fairly in touch with my body... so I knew right away....

TWO WEEKS to wait? are you serious? well I guess you have to be a certain length along to make things safe... well in my head I was thinking... yeah but the longer that I breath knowing that my breath is for two people.. how can I possibly "get rid" of this baby?

I knew what I wanted to do.
I knew what everyone else wanted me to do.
I knew that logically it was the only responsible decision I could make. I was only 19 years old with only a high school diploma... what was I going to do?

So, I took a lot of walks. I went to the park and stared at the beauty of the world and cried. I thought about how all I'd ever wanted, but hadn't FELT was love. I am a very spiritual person, and have always had my own special relationship with my higher power (whom I don't choose to label, I feel like we know what's up with each other and I don't need anyone else's approval or judgement... can you tell I never had much trust in the church? power breeds corruption regardless of church or government... fodder for another post though!).
So, I prayed. I sat with myself or with my friend, who gave me his opinion once, but didn't pressure me about it... just let me come to it myself. I decided I should call my mom the night before I did it. I don't know why, but I was feeling bad that she didn't know where I was or what was happening with me. I hadn't mentioned that I missed my sister's college graduation yet.. but that was one of the many lame things I did when I bolted.

I called her and told her that I was ok, just wanted to tell her, oh and I'm pregnant and getting an abortion tomorrow. ok. bye.

what?!? ...I can't even fathom my own daughter doing this to me now... after months of not knowing if she would ever even see me again... I call saying I'm pregnant and getting an abortion. man, I should call my mom right now and apologize(again!). : (

well, even at the time, I thought that my mom handled it really well. My mom was not one known for emotions... she still gets uncomfortable with the fact that I end every call with an "I love you"... her response is usually .."Ok, bye" ... I am comfortable with this btw... just for background here ;)

...so there was no emotional response... no tears... she hung up, called a family friend, and called me back, a few minutes later... " ok, I'm not telling you what to do, but I called Sally, and she thinks that you should rethink it. She says you can come stay with her, in (place middle-american state here, sorry just don't remember...Nebraska?) and get a job and have the baby. She has horses, you know(like this was a selling point or something?). ok. just think about it."

me: "hey mom, do you think it matters in Nebraska that the father is black?"

mom: utter silence

me: "oh, shit, does it matter to you?" (dawning on me for the first time...)

mom: (immediate answer) " no, no of course not, why would it? I have to go... I'll call you back."


five minutes later:
mom: "Sally says, you can come, but you should think about how the people in her small town would react... to you... to the baby..."

me: " are you serious? wow... well whatever... I'm getting an abortion... I gotta go..."

Ok I have to say here...after this many years... words are really just the gist of things...

The next day I get up... take a shower.. walk to the clinic.

crying... and crying...
I get there... sign in on the clipboard and go sit down.
I'm just sitting there, waiting...
and then I realized... if it is making me feel this awful... it's just not right for me.
I got up, and walked out the door.

As of that moment, as far as I'm concerned I became a mother. By getting up and making that decision, I started thinking about someone else... other than myself. From that moment on, I was completely committed. I had gotten a job, where my friend worked as soon as I had come back to Seattle, but now I got another one... cleaning a hair salon at night. My friend said I could stay until I was able to save enough to get my own place. I got back in contact with my mom and a few select friends...and decided that I should move back to Tucson...and did. My friend didn't meet me at the bus station... which was one of a long list of shocks when I returned. It turns out that people were really angry... and my amazing friend in Seattle was one of the only people who was able to easily forgive me my mistakes. My guess is that they felt betrayed and worried, and didn't know how to reconcile that with a returned PREGNANT, young friend. And I was not nearly as strong and confident at that time as I have become through this journey. I wasn't able to verbalize how I had felt to them... I just hid away... because I didn't know what else to do. There was also the matter of skipping out on my half of the rent when I bailed... but I'd like to think that feeling mattered more than the money... although truth be told, I'm not convinced that is true, sadly. Regardless, all of my friends thought that I was making a huge mistake. I was all alone.

I poured over books about pregnancy. The day that I had walked out of the clinic I quit smoking(kind of a big deal for me since I smoked almost two packs a day then...yuck!!) I ate as healthfully as I could, and I put my entire life into this little person growing inside of me. As scared as I was, I had this inner calmness and knowledge that everything would be ok. I knew that I had made the right decision... I could just feel it.

I LOVED being pregnant. I was young and healthy and it was easy... and amazing!
When I went home, I discovered that not everyone was able to forgive me like my friend in Seattle. I still don't talk with the girl who was my roommate at the time, and there are still people who hold resentment towards me for the way that I left. It took me YEARS AND YEARS to be ok with that. My friends were like my family and it killed me that I had lost so many over something that had truly felt out of my control. But as the years have passed I realize that I did what I had to do... and if the people who still hold a grudge after all these years can't let it go... well, I'm sorry for them actually. It was a lifetime ago and I personally don't have room in my heart for hatred.
And like so many things that you understand later... it was actually the very best thing for me at the time anyway... with no support system I had no one but myself to rely on. I found out through that experience that I really could do anything. I depended on myself...and did a great job. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I'm not naive enough to believe that this could have happened this way for anyone. I know that I am lucky and blessed... and it is one reason why I try to be as thankful as I can.
I have lived a different life... and I so much prefer this one... full of love, forgiveness, gratitude, and joy!
All of this brings me to my point about choice. The fact that I felt able to make this decision, all on my own, with no one making me choose one thing or the other, has made all the difference in the world.

I had a friend who had a baby right before me who never felt like she had a choice, in the matter... being Catholic... she had to... and she was the saddest and most regretful person. She was bitter and angry and even thinking about it now makes me sad for her... and her kid. I think that if she had been able to come to the decision on her own it could have been different for her. And if she hadn't made the same choice as I did... then maybe there would be two less tragically lost souls in the world. I know that for myself... I could never have made another decision... and if I had, I seriously doubt that I would be alive today... but I would never say that my choice was the right one for everyone... I've known too many children who came into this world without the love that my children have... and seeing them makes me wonder... how is that better than the alternative?

I stayed with my mom for two weeks... that was so not fun or comfortable, but it was necessary. I found a tiny little house... it was a cottage really... but it was nice enough. It had a kitchen, a living room , and a bedroom with a bathroom in it. It was right next to a laundry mat and a grocery store, so that was convenient. I ended up getting a job about a mile away at a convenience store, working nights... and that was the beginning of my new life. I worked 50 or more hours a week for the whole time, until the day I was due... then I quit. I decided that I needed a quick break before I had the baby...and I ended up getting really sick and having to be induced... my birth story with Emily is not pretty. I've already stated that I was not full of confidence... but that is for another time.
The entire time I was pregnant, my biggest fear was that I would suck as a mom... but luckily the second that I looked into my beautiful daughter's eyes...all my fears melted away. I knew then, like I do now... that everything would not just be ok, but would be really great. Not every moment is amazing..and some really suck, but for the most part... my life is full of joy, all because I made that very important decision...so many years ago. It is the hardest and best decision I have made, in my whole life!

Today I am grateful that I was blessed with my amazing daughter.
I am grateful for the ability to see my good fortunes and appreciate them!

I am thankful that my husband is such a good father!
I am grateful that I had such a very good friend in Seattle(still!), because without him, none of this would have happened!
And finally I am grateful to the people who read my blog, writing out these things is very therapeutic for me... and I love being able to share these stories with you! Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 26, 2009

the last 4 days and 5 stitches later

So it has been 4 days since I left you all hanging, right at the good part of "my big decision"...
and I am sorry for the delay.. but in the last 4 days, a lot has been happening at our house.
there was a mass exodus of bodily fluids exiting my two younger children, from just about every orifice... which as most of you mamas know... is not only pretty darn gross, but also incredibly time consuming...

Emily has had a slew of things going on, but they deserve their own time because what happened tonight trumps everything else for right now...

***right now***
my mind is racing... I am so spent... we just spent three and a half hours in the ER with our kids. Sophia was playing under the high chair and knocked into the recycle bag.. there was a torn up can in there because our STUPID F-ING CAN OPENER DOESN'T WORK RIGHT ... and within one minute Al(who thank goodness, had just walked in the door with groceries) picks up Roscoe and goes...oh my god... blood everywhere.... on the chair... on the floor... running down his hand... he nearly cut the top off of his ring finger on his right hand...
well after looking at it, I actually felt like I was going to throw-up... I am usually the uber calm one..
chanting continuously "everything is alright...let's call the doctor or .... let's get ready to go to the hospital, but it's going to be ok"... and so forth... well tonight..I couldn't...and I have to say that my shock and uncoolness made Al step up and take control..and he did well...
After over two hours in the hospital, I ended up having to take Sophia out in the car and drive to get her dinner
(ours was at home burning in the stove, because when we left I didn't think to turn off the stove.. it was literally like charcoal when we got home...the house smells awesome.still.rock.on!)
and try to explain why we couldn't go home and go to bed....
reason being: Al had to hold Roscoe in the front seat, for his very first ride without a car seat, to the hospital because he had to hold the finger because it was bleeding copiously... and we were afraid of what might happen if he was in his seat... so I had to go and Emily is in London...so I had to bring Sophia... and I had to be able to pick them up..and if I took her home and put her to bed I'd have to wake her up...put her back in the car...not worth it...

he ended up leaving with 5 little stitches in his tiny finger... and Al had to hold him down while they did it because he TRIPPED OUT!! I had to go because he wasn't allowed to nurse and he wanted to very badly so seeing me just made him sadder... Al's a cook and has cut himself so many times it wasn't as bad to him...bad but not woozy, black out bad...

needless to say the evening sucked.

and to top it off my husband lost his shit tonight when we got home and yelled at me in front of our kids... and I know that he was stressed... I was too.. but what he did was wrong...and I had to explain to my kids and eventually tell Sophia...Look, I don't want to talk about Daddy anymore for right now... do you know how much that sucks...
this is too raw... and open... it's too much!
my heart is hurting right now...
I'm sorry I guess the story is going to have to wait for now... because I can't focus on anything else right now...
I write, like I think, and I can't write about something I'm not feeling or thinking about... it just doesn't work.

Today I am thankful that my little boy is going to heal fully and be just fine, soon.
I am thankful that my husband was able to pull through at the hospital and do what needed done.
I am thankful that tomorrow is a new day, because I need a reset button right about now.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Writer's Workshop: My Favorote Photo from last month, P Hardest decision I have ever made...AND SPECTACULARLY PURPLE VOMIT!

1.) Tell us about a memorable blind date. never had one, that I can think of...
2.) Other than the birth of a child or your wedding, write about a joyous moment.
3.) Write about one of the most difficult decisions you have made in your life.
4.) Share the best picture you took last month and explain why it's your favorite.

So, my first reaction to these prompts was to have this picture pop into my head...One of our favorite things to do in this house is to snuggle up on the couch together. We don't do it nearly as much as we should... because life gets busy... but right here... this is the good stuff!

I think that it is pretty obvious why this would be my favorite. I love my kids more than anything... and this picture has all three of them, displaying their very unique personalities!!

1)Emily- just lovely, the glowing smile, she and her brother are holding hands... and there is something about that face that just makes me happy! : )

2) Roscoe- those big beautiful blues (ignore the seemingly constant shiner healing under one of them! he's a bruiser!)... those crazy sticky-outy Putnam ears... he is named after my grandfather, and his son(my uncle, who passed away right after my sweet boy was born) and little did I know that giving him that name, bestowed upon him the FAMILY ears!! They are one of my favorite of his features, because they give him character, and I think they are adorable...of course I'll give you that I am fairly biased!! ; ) Plus, you might have to know him to see it, but in this shot you can just see that he is plotting something naughty!

3)Sophia- that is Sophia to the T. BIG and LOUD! She is a child who lives life hard. Whether it's the good times or the bad... she feels everything very deeply. It's just her nature. Now that I am seeing how trying Emily's puberty has already been(Emily the essence of calm and balance)... I live in fear... really... serious FEAR, of Sophia in 10 years!! I think that my mother might get her not so secret desire, that I have a child like me, with that girl!

3) Write about one of the most difficult decisions you made in your life.

This is the other one stands out to me more than the rest.

The decision that I will choose was both the hardest AND (once I listened to my heart) the easiest decision I have ever made. It changed my life forever. It is probably the single most important decision that I ever made as well.... because it started a long (and somewhat painful) process of healing myself, from the inside out.

I'm talking about the decision to birth and keep my daughter, Emily. Without getting too deep into the badness that was me at the time of her conception, I can say that I was at my lowest point, which is saying something, for me! ; )

I, like my Sophia, lived life hard. I felt things deeply, from the times of my earliest memories. I struggled with my body, being in my own skin, and inside my own head. By the time I was 16, I had been in rehab 3times(suicide,12, alcoholic coma 14, crystal meth 14- had my 15th birthday in rehab...oh yeah it was a partay!)... I actually started to settle down with my bad self for awhile... got into an"alternative" high school, and even technically graduated a semester early. Even though I had just turned 17, by this time both my mom and I knew it was just better for me to move out. She payed my rent with my Dad's child support and I lived in a little apartment, 90 miles away, and went to Beauty school because my mom wanted me to have a "skill". Things went well for awhile... but after a year or so... I started back up with my old bad habits and wasn't treating myself or body very well. I started a downward spiral... that quickly and very, very quietly spun completely out of control. Looking back now, I seriously wonder if I had some kind of chemical imbalance... it makes sense, I ate Chef Boyardee or something like it, if at all...and partied for the rest of my diet. The closer I was to people around me, the less I felt like I could talk to them... I remember thinking... I am totally going crazy.... I'm crazy, what is happening to me?

So, I ran away.

from my friends, my family, my life, my pain (or so I hoped) my sweet dear little kitty who had just had babies... just bolted. mature? no! but I do think that it saved my life. I was suicidal and really messed up enough to do it.. and it wasn't for attention.. it was because I didn't see any reason to continue the struggle of life.(yeah, and I wonder, where oh where, my kids get their inner drama queen from, right?) So I go on what I think in my head is my last trip to see a dear friend in Seattle.

I get there on his doorstep.. never calling or anything and he is so sweet and happy to see me... and for a week I pretend that I'm visiting... and I remember what it is like to laugh again... have fun... feel...

but then it's the end of the week and I make sure to leave for the "aiport" when he's working so he won't see me off (pre-9/11, so you could still go back with folks)... and just start to wander... I go to a seedy hotel with my last cash to"end it all"... and just can't do it... start... have some very faint scars still... but just can't do it... feel like a failure...

I can't even kill myself right...

so I'm on the streets.....scared, hungry, cold, alone, confused...NOT having sex for money(not that people didn't assume and try) so really broke...

hitchhiking, to go anywhere... I had to leave the city because I felt like I would bump into my friend and I didn't want to have to explain that I was a dumbass...

fast forward a couple of weeks...

I'm picking flowers on an off-ramp because as I am hitching, I get let off on a highway... this cop drives by and tells me I can't do that... I have to be on the off ramp... and then circles to make sure I stay there... I wasn't doing anything illegal... so he couldn't do anything about it... but he didn't want me on the highway...

so I get picked up, by a very attractive older man, who asks if I'm hungry and offers to buy me something to eat...of course I'm a dumbass, and so I say no thanks, but how about a pack of cigarettes.... he stops and buys me a pack... and some food. He was nice.. he wasn't lecherous. He was actually nice. He didn't try to get me drunk and offer lewd things... just nice.

So we talked, and hung out...and we connected somehow..it was easy to talk with him. He called some friends, a hippie couple with a little girl... and they let me stay the night... and the next day he helped me get into a shelter for women. He took care of me, in a kind way. We spent time together and ended up being somewhat of a couple.

Now let me tell you NOW when I think about it and he was sort of lecherous, right? I mean he was much older than me... but really, at the time it didn't seem creepy... at first... whatever he came into my life at a time when I was totally lost...I had nothing or no one... and he helped me... sort of... we would go out and play cribbage with his friends... go to BBQ's... he bought me cigarettes... at this point in my life two months and social gatherings together made this a VERY serious relationship! Then things started to get weird for me... I met a very nice woman at the shelter who was trying to get into my brain.. where had I come from?... didn't anyone miss me?... wasn't there anyone who I should tell that I was ok?

fast forward two months... time in the shelter was almost up... these are temporary homes... and with out a time limit people get comfortable and won't leave on there own (trust me...on that one)... I was terrified of contacting anyone that I knew... because I was embarrassed that I had lost my shit. This woman came in every weekend... she was a volunteer from some church... doing charitable work, by going to the shelter and helping out doing whatever needed done.... but she had taken an interest in me...and worked on me until finally I said that I would write me friend in Seattle a letter. I did. He called me at the shelter the day he got the letter.... saying please come back... I've been so worried... everyone is looking for you... why didn't you tell me? I guess that my letter had explained to him enough that he (being the amazing guy he is) wasn't mad at me at all... just really worried. So, I left the shelter... went back to Seattle. No good bye... just left... I didn't think that it would matter.

fast forward two more weeks... no period... go to a clinic..and my suspicions were right... I was PREGNANT!! I hadn't even contacted my family yet...

****cue the entry of the SPECTACULAR PURPLE VOMIT******

ok not in this story but in my life right now... as I was writing this last night I all of a sudden hear MAMA...MAMamamamamaaaaa..... I run upstairs to find my Sophia in bed crying, her bed and face and hands, covered in the brightest, most frightening purple colored vomit I have ever seen... we had berries for dessert last night... and I just don't have the leisure time to finish the post... I want to give it my all and I just can't right now... so I will finish it as soon as I can.. I'm thinking tonight? I'm hoping that the pukefest will have ended by then...and I will be able to come and focus on my story.

sorry guys..and thanks for reading until now! : )

Today I am thankful that Sophia can aim into a bucket when she is ISN'T sleeping! (I'll try to be thankful for something deeper next post ... right now I'll take what I can get! ew....)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Sanctuary

For some reason, I have been a grumpy grump for the last few days... or as my husband told me tonight...FOREVER!!!

hmmm... well, I'll give him a couple of days... maybe...

So I decided it was time to think about what makes me happy... and do it...

My very favorite thing to do when I need to de-stress or get a fresh perspective on anything that might be bothering me, is to take a BATH.

it's not just a bath... not just a shower.

it's a whole ritual that takes at least 30 minutes but preferably an hour or so. this is not something that even happens once a week, although that is my goal...(and yes I shower in between, but it's not the same thing)

We are a family of five... that means we have a lot of laundry and it doesn't always get done in a timely manner. Things can get pretty Lord of the Flies around here when it comes to having a fresh towel. But for some reason, my towel is sacred. Maybe it's because everyone knows that it is so important to me. Maybe it's because they all live in fear of my bath/shower NOT going as planned... if that is the case, my family is pretty smart! : )

There are several products involved in this ritual for me.. but I can guarantee a happier Mama on the other side of it.. it has NEVER failed me.. not once... now I'm not promising that little birds will come land on my finger as I sing merrily... but it will always de-grump me...
I just got out of the bath...and YES...I do feel better!

I promise that I am not working for any of the companies that supply me with these mood altering products... but I have to let you all know that I LOVE. EACH. AND. EVERY. ONE!!!
for me aromatherapy isn't just some hokey word, but a real way to elevate my mood and consciousness... and it helps that all of these products are natural and good to my skin, animals, and the earth all at the same time... how cool is that?
anyway, I whole-heartedly recommend all of these products... if they seem like something you would dig... go for it... because they rock!

so here they are:

It starts off with some salts. They are a little pricey, so they only get used when I know I can spend some time in the bath with them. They make a world of difference to my over-taxed ( &under-toned) muscles... because as most of you know this whole Mama business is hard work! : )

This part lasts as long as I can let it.. depending on how long I think I have before the world downstairs starts to unravel... which does happen at times without me! ( I know I sound immodest, but what can I say, my kids love me!)

The next step is full body cleaning with a poofy thing...whatever they are called in the real world. This soap smells so good and doesn't dry out my super sensitive skin...pluses on both counts! It also gets nice and foamy, which I admit makes me happy, deep down I still like bubbles!

Then there is some foot scrubbing and so forth which is neither sexy nor interesting... so let's move on shall we? : )

The next step is a clean head.
I am a stinky hippie.
I think I have eluded to this fact before, but it is totally true. I only wash my hair about once a week (preferably this way). It is mostly because I have sensitive skin (including my scalp) and washing it too much dries out not only my hair but my scalp and causes itchiness and flaking (although this shampoo stops the flaking part...) But it is also because I like my hair way better on about day three. I hate my clean hair because it is unruly and crazy sticky outy... it behaves much better when it gets a little dirty. Sorry for all of you who wash yours everyday... I know you don't get it... it's ok... we'll probably never meet in real life! ; ) We can still be friends!

Now washing my hair in the bath ends the bath... because I don't like sitting in my dirty hair water... so it's on to the shower part...

Time to rinse off any residues.. wash my face with an amazing smelling (and working) facial cleanser (with some alpha-hydroxy because let's admit it... I'm getting older now). I wash my face while my conditioner is hanging out on my head smelling good and doing it's job...
then it's time to get out.

But never you fear, it's not over yet...
there are more luscious, relaxing smells to lift my spirit.

I use a toner and also a facial moisturizer from BWC as well (BWC, btw stands for Beauty Without Cruelty- they are an old company that does good, check them out!)

Now the moisturizer makes my face really red... but it the price I pay for smooth happy skin... I think that my skin reacts to something in it.. but it feels so good afterward that I decided I just won't use it right before going out into the world... so far that works for me.

Then comes the whole body moisturizing, with you guessed it...my patchouli stank, already in it... score for me! I rarely use the oil I have because this lotion gives me enough of the smell to feel like myself!

So there you go.
That is a peek into the little ritual that has probably saved my marriage and possibly the lives of one or more of my children on a bad day!! : )
And I'm hoping that when I wake up in the morning..smelling perdy and feeling refreshed that my recent funk will have lifted and I can move with a happier face!

Tonight I am thankful for the time to relax and enjoy one of my favorite "me time" rituals.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Writer's Workshop: Mushy stuff about my Man!

1.) Describe your significant other's most attractive quality (on the inside).

This is a totally easy one for me.

I love my husband, like most married women, I guess.
But also I appreciate him A LOT!!

My husband is the first person I ever followed my heart and not my head for. EVER. No other person in the whole world could have convinced me that it was a good idea to not go to work, but instead hop on a plane, with my 8 year old, headed to Las Vegas, to get married...on Leap Day!!

He has this uncanny ability to make me feel safe and loved and whole... and that everything will be ok.

The very best thing about my husband is his ability to help me know that things will be ok.

When I was in labor with my kids, if he had his hands on my back or shoulders or whatever...I was ok. He was amazing.

The first pregnancy (with him, that is) I was scared. I did everything on my own the first time.. I had to share this time... everything... and that was hard for me... but mostly I was scared that I was going to tell him to F*** off or get away from me... or whatever... I have friends that told me they thought they'd want their men around, but just couldn't stand them while in the throws of labor... and for me I didn't want him anywhere else.
I can't imagine doing it with anyone else... he was everything I needed him to be. He was with me through every tone, push, walk, cry... all of it... and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

When I was headed to the ER, with the hernia badness, he was the one who was able to get me to breath, and look him in the eye and feel like i could get through it.

At the end of a long day of diapers, and tantrums, and snotty attitudes and dishes, he is the one who melts my heart with a single kiss, and when we fall asleep in each other's arms, there is no where else on earth that I long to be.

My husband's best quality is his ability to melt my frosty stares of frustration (whether at him or the little ones), his ability to make me feel like no matter what we will be ok, his ability to make me feel safe, the way he completes me.

He is my soul mate, the love we feel intertwines our souls in a beautiful dance that I hope will last forever.

So I guess that my husband's best inner quality is the way that he loves me.
with out rules or regulations, or exception.
wow, I am a lucky woman!

Today I am thankful that I found and married the love of my life.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What a day!

I made it!
I am sitting here at my computer after a day FILLED with stuff.
Some of the stuff is ok (like playing with my kids and snuggling with my hubby), but most of the stuff (vacumming, errand running, and a thousand dishes, from being gone all day) being done is better!
I was gone from my house a lot today and I miss my kids when that happens.
It is nice to miss them every once in awhile.
So it is a little bittersweet, like so many thing in life. : )

Sophia and Emily had dental appointments today.
It was Sophia's first, and I couldn't be there because someone needed to stay home with Roscoe... Al went because he freaks out about things a little more than I do ; )....
and I knew that I could trust him and that Sophia would be just fine.
Which she was.
I think that it was good for him to see her do well, on her own with him watching behind some glass. He is SO protective that it is good for him to see her handle her own business sometimes! : )
And yes, three is a little old for a first visit, but Sophia is many things and one if them is her very own person. She came from the womb, in the exact way that she has lived her life thus far.... with drama and her own way of doing things! It was better to wait until she would be able to deal well with the situation. You don't force Sophia to do anything she doesn't want to do! Determination is what most people call it. It doesn't make for easy toddler years, but I feel sure that she will be able to accomplish any goal that she deems worthy, because she has tenacity to spare that one! : )
Emily did well too...and may or not need braces..I'm thinking it will depend on how ridiculous it will be cost wise... her bottom teeth are crowded, but no emergency. We'll see what happens with that. We got a referral for an orthodontist.
Al and I both could've had braces...I'm good with my goofy teeth, and his too for that matter... they give him character... but him not so much, as far as personal acceptance goes... so we'll see, is all I can say.

Then when they got home, I had some errands, as well as a doctor appointment of my own.
I have been very anxious about this appointment because I have to have surgery. Not a big deal surgery, an outpatient, the doctor does it all the time, but I didn't even go to the hospital to give birth because I don't like it there, so it's a big deal to me surgery.
whew.. that was a mouthful!
I have a hernia.
It needs repaired.
It comes out every single day, and hurts, until I put it back in...and then sometimes it still hurts. For anyone who doesn't know, a hernia is where your muscle has torn apart (from being fat and having too many babies, in my case!) and your intestines push out to cause a bulge...ew... I know gross, right?
Well, last year I got REALLY sick. My poor little boy got a wretched cold and I got it right along with him. I was sicker than I had been in years and years...and I ended up coughing myself an umbilical hernia. I felt it happening..and my sister being a doctor (and used to helping me diagnose myself over the phone...poor woman) talked me through what was happening and what it meant.
It's not a big deal until it is..and then you can die.
ummm... thanks Suzie!
So then I read a bunch online about it..and that is pretty much true. As long as I can still push it back in place... no big deal, other than being uncomfortable and inconvenient. BUT if it pushes out and gets stuck... then your intestine get no blood, and eventually dies(but sometimes in as little as an hour, thanks to the internet for that info!) and then you poo in a bag forever because they have to remove it...
it gets grosser, so sorry, I'll stop there...

Well, about a month ago, maybe two now... it happened.
BIG long story, prepare yourself emotionally ok?

One normal day, going along my daily life...(it was a Steelers game actually and I had spent the day ,and night before, preparing all sorts of football food) my belly starts to hurt, really bad. I also get ulcers when stressed, lately they've been under control with meditation and relaxation techniques (which is good), but because of them I sometimes don't recognize that my hernia is out because I have a little bit of a belly and the pain starts off the same. So when my tummy hurts, I get a snack (which helps, if it's the ulcer)..and then go about my business, because I have two toddlers and still can't find their pause buttons(although trust me I HAVE searched them both thoroughly)!
Often it helps and the problem is solved.
This day I went from not so hot... to the floor... hands and knees.. toning (a relaxation/pain management technique I used to birth my last two kids) within 5 minutes time... no good... it didn't touch it... my babies were scared at this point, because obviously this is not my normal behavior ; ).... and I didn't want to scare them but I couldn't keep my cool... so then it hits me...DUH!... check your hernia, ding-a-ling.
So I check, and it was out about five inches and when I touched it I literally felt like I was going to pass out. When I touched it, it would stick up and looked like a stick in my belly...and all around my belly button was blue.... really creepy.... and I admit it... I panicked. I was calm on the outside but my head started racing...
I had to get the kids up the stairs to Sophia's room and put them in there, while I tried to take a bath to force the thing back in. Luckily her room is right by the bathroom and she could see me and talk to me from behind a gate. They were safe and that was the best I could do. I had to wait for Emily to get home from her music class around 1, about an hour.
When Emily got home..I lost it. Moms out there will probably know how you can keep it together for your kids but once someone is there to help... you crack...well I cracked.
Poor Emily!
I made her take the babies downstairs to watch a movie and then call Al to come
home and take me to the hospital. I was having such a hard time not crying, that my arms were tingling and going numb... I was starting to hyper-ventilate because it hurt so bad, and I couldn't stop crying. I have never cried so hard in my life. Emily called my sister on speakerphone who told me in her most serious DOCTOR voice...
Thames-CALM DOWN, STOP and BREATHE...and it worked...for a little bit.
ok sum up time(sorry, I know it's long)....
almost five hours after the whole thing started...Al and I are headed to the ER... while I look like I'm pregnant or something and that things are going badly... because I couldn't even stand up straight and I had to hold the hernia because being upright and not holding it was impossible... just agony.
They took me right back to a room, took my vitals...high temp -102?... blood pressure-195/145... never even got that high when I had gestational high blood pressure... they take me to another room..and maybe 3o minutes later after poking me a lot and asking, much too calmly, "On a scale from 1-10 where is your pain level"
I'm physically shaking here.. my whole middle is blue and sticking up weirdly ...ummm 10!!
So then they get me an IV and give me something... something strong...I think it was morphine..and within 5 minutes, I kid you not...
my first words in over an hour other than "ow, ow, ow," or "help me, please help me"
....are WHEEEE!!
Al looked at me like I was NUTS... the nurse looked at me and laughed! Unceremoniously, after about 30 minutes while waiting for cat scans(which they still give me just to make sure)...and talking about emergency surgery options with doctors...
it's gone...
I felt it go...
I swear I HEARD it go...
but I was high as a kite so maybe not... : )

and just like that I go home, $7000 ER bill later... I just walk to the car and go home...

Man, can I just tell you, that I have never felt a hangover like the one I had from whatever they gave me that night... I can see how people get addicted, because I felt so rotten that I might have pushed a pain killer button if I was still at the hospital (they give you those after surgery..appendectomy, on the books here too...I must like belly surgery or something!)

ok, so that was way more about me than you...sorry...
I guess I have some pent up issues surrounding this darn hernia that needed venting...
the whole point was to say that as much as the hernia sucks..and it does, really..so inconvenient...I'm scared of the surgery... and don't want to do it. It feels somehow like an elective procedure to me... because most of the time it's no big deal. But the doctor wants me to schedule as soon as I can, to get it done.
Oh yeah, that was the point too...
I spent almost THREE hours in the waiting room today to see the doctor for probably 5 minutes tops.
how much does that suck?

But the good thing is that I came away with a good heavy dose of perspective(always helpful, especially when focused on my own fear and mostly ridiculous trepidation over the surgery I need). A lot of the people that I waited with are dying, or really could die soon. There were a lot of colon cancer surgeries and other much worse diagnoses than mine. My little problem is nothing compared to the things that these people and their families are going through.

And truth be told. They had sent me some information in the mail letting me know that there would be a wait and to bring a book. I actually worked on a project(which will soon be the subject of a different post) for Emily. Being the Mama of three means that 3 hours of time that no one talked to me, while I addressed envelopes, and collated papers, while feeling excited about the outcome of said project...was kind of nice.
It only got a little old when EVERYONE but this one angry, bitter man wanted to talk to me about how much waiting sucked. I couldn't help it...
I just said "well, I actually am enjoying the peace and quiet of getting something accomplished here" with a smile...
but he didn't get the hint... he kept talking... so I kind of nodded occasionally , but was very happy when they called me back shortly afterward! : )

There's so much more of the day too... involving much tickling and general family playfulness, followed by family snuggling and calm time...but I am spent from that vent... so that will have to be the end of my post today.

Today I am thankful that I am mostly healthy!
I am thankful that I got some good fun family time in today!
I am thankful that I have a fun surprise project in the works for Emily's birthday!
I am thankful that the girls don't have cavities and did well at the dentist today!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Insomnia, Berries & Last night's Awesome Dinner

First off for those of you who may skim...
go check out Lissaloo's blog for a cool give-away involving huckleberry products from Montana!They look yummy and she's cute, so it's worth the trip! : )

Secondly, I can't sleep... I fell asleep earlier, while putting my son to sleep tonight, because it has been an emotionally draining day, and my not always so thoughtful husband woke me up... he wasn't trying to be mean... he thought I'd want to be up to spend time with him, because normally I would. But tonight I would have rather slept, because right now when I close my eyes all I can see is my friend's poor little sweet son. And it's not a pretty image. I spent the day making her food and then brought it to her and spent some time with her. She is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. I think that she is in shock and denial really, but when the shoe drops, I'll be there. She showed me pictures while I was there of her sweet boy, before they took him away, and I wish I hadn't seen them. I followed her lead and felt like I needed to be there for whatever she might need, but if I never see such a thing again.... that would be ok.

So right now I am going to try and distract my brain from it's unpleasant images with a post about my rocking dinner last night. It was good for many reasons.

1. It utilized my new food processor( a birthday gift from my sister....SOOO COOL!!), which meant that it took only a few minutes to prepare instead of the usual hour or so...how sweet is that?
2. It was healthful.
3. The kids loved it!

so here we go!

Baked Tofu & Veggie Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce
Step 1 -the tofu
You will need:
1 block of firm or extra firm tofu
{optional: powdered Kelp & Dulse , Nutritional Yeast}
Bragg's liquid aminos or Soy sauce
Olive oil
Sesame Oil
Cut your tofu into the shape you prefer. I cut it in half, then flip it onto it's side and cut it into 3 equal slices, then flip those back over and cut again into quarters. So that I end up with sort of equal rectangular slices like this:

Put some parchment paper onto a cookie sheet, and place the tofu slices onto it. Sprinkle the tofu with Bragg's or Soy sauce(first to help the other items stick), Kelp, Dulse, Nutritional Yeast and 21 Seasoning Salute (or some other salt-free seasoning).
If you are not using the seaweed or yeast I'd throw some salt and pepper and whatever seasoning you might desire on it. Drizzle with a little olive and sesame oil(you don't need much) and put in a 350 oven. It's done when it has a texture that feels right to you, we like ours kind of crunchy, but here it's done when everything else is! : )

Step 2 - the peanut sauce
You will need:
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup HOT water
3 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
3 Tbsp Bragg's Amino Acids or Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp or so of Honey
2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
a shake of cayenne pepper
1 dollop of Sesame Oil ( sorry I don't measure often!... just a tiny hit for flavor)
2 Tbsp Cilantro( I didn't have it this time, it was good without but SO much better with it!)
First off I have to say that this recipe is loosely based on Molly Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook(one of my go to cookbooks of all times, I HIGHLY recommend it to everyone!), but I've changed it here and there over the years. ok...

Measure your peanut butter into a medium sized bowl, add hot water.
Stir...be patient it takes a minute, but it will work, trust me!

Once it starts to incorporate add your other ingredients.
Can you tell I shop at Trader Joe's! : )

Done... how easy, right?

Step 3 - the stir-fry
You will need:
Various Veggies your family enjoys
(we used 3/4 of a cabbage, 2 medium onions, 3 cloves garlic, 3 celery stalks, 3 carrots, 1/2 green pepper, 6 oz mushrooms, & 2 small heads of broccoli)
Pasta Pot
Pasta of your choice
(usually peanut sauce is served over a long pasta like spaghetti, but we were out, so we had penne... eh, it worked but I'd prefer long thin for next time!)

First put your pasta pot on to be ready whenever you are... there's nothing worse than waiting for water to boil when you're ready to go! Cut your veggies into thin strips. If you have a processor you can use it, although truth be told I prefer a wider slice.. the convenience of the processor so wins out.(I bet they have attachments with varying degrees for slicing.. that is my new goal to find out!)

When processing or chopping your veggies put them into separate groups for cooking. I messed up this time and put most of them together... lesson learned.
I would group them 1) onions, cabbage, garlic, celery 2) carrots, mushrooms, green pepper 3) broccoli.
When done prepping veggies, your ready to go. Oh, check on your tofu... but if you don't press it first then it can be awhile... it doesn't take too much babysitting, but use your own judgement.
Get a saute pan heated up...when hot start you first round of veggies. We had so many I had to use two pans until they had cooked down a bit!

This step can take a varying amount of time, depending on how thinly they are sliced and how much you have, and also how done you like your veggies. I like mine pretty vibrant still, tender crisp I guess. This will all depend on personal preference. I like to let the onions and cabbage get soft, then add the second group, and finally add the broccoli at the very last minute. I like my broccoli bright green and not mushy AT ALL! At some point you will want to throw your pasta into the boiling water as well. I didn't time exactly right, so I threw my veggies into a bowl, put the broccoli on top and put a plate over it until my pasta was done... worked great! The residual heat of the veggies steamed my broccoli perfectly!

Pull your tofu out when you are ready for it and plate everything up! In our house everyone likes it a little differently, as far as on the side or on top.

Here are the final products.

Emily's veggies on the side.

Roscoe's Tiny Bowl, all together like me!

Mine all together! : )

Sophia's all separate! : )

Today I am thankful that my kids will eat my creations, and even LOVE them, even when they are full of veggies!! : )

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Saddest News

A very good friend of mine just lost her baby, this is her second miscarriage now...
She called me this morning to let me know and to ask me to tell all of our mutual freinds so that she didn't have to have that conversation a hundred times.
The sorrow that I feel for her is overwhelming.
She and her husband have been a part of my life for a very long time.
They helped me raise my daughter when I was working two jobs and going to school all at the same time. Three nights a week she spent the night at thier house with her husband's son(he was my friend long before they even met... but you know how it is once your married..at least for me.. my friends moved from male to female.. because that's just how it works...)
I feel so much for this family and would like to ask all of you to send all your thoughts and prayers to them.. they are in so much pain..and grief
I don't have much else to say right now... I feel guilty that I am able to have healthy children... I have no idea how to comfort her..
I am making stock right now and just got back from the store picking up veggies to make her the most healthful soup, because she had to birth the baby and has gone through labor.. even though she doesn't have the prize that you are supposed to receive in the end.
If anyone has ever dealt with this situation and you have advice or things that actually helped you to feel better I welcome yuor thoughts.
Thank you.
I am thankful, so very thankful for my precious children and having the opportunity to watch them grow into the amazing people that thye are.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Reason # 376 to not like Fairy Tales

Ok, here we go... I feel the need to warn people that there is scary stuff coming... prepare yourselves emotionally!( that is one of my favortie things to tell me kids, btw... not the scary part, but prepare yourselves emotionally for...ex: the fact that we are leaving in 10 mintues... and so on...: ) .... it generally works, actually! )

I really don't like fairy tales.
There are several reasons for this.
I think they set people up for disappointment.
Not to mention that no daughter of mine should feel like she needs a man to come save her
and take her away from the horrible existence that was her life before he came around.
How about how they were originally told to scare the crap out of kids into being obedient little closed mouth yes sir/ma'am... don't talk until spoken to little adults?

How about how they have been Americanized and Disney-ized more than anything into one day if you're a sweet, beautiful, girl who doesn't stick up for herself, and holds her tongue at the onslaught of abuse on all levels... a prince will come take you away and you will live happily ever after.

How about real life doesn't involve happily ever after.

I think my life rocks, but it's certainly no fairy tale ending. We work hard to keep things going well... and real life takes work.... regardless of what your goals are.

I get really frustrated with the idea that someone(man, woman, magic...whatever) should come save you... save yourself... no one can change your life but you... take responsibility...

If a wolf eats you, you are dead, the woodman can't come set you free, you are dead...period.

(yes, I know... I'll say it again...I have issues...I get it...I beleive in positive thinking, but realistic thinking as well!)

Alright that rant curtailed abruptly to avoid repeating myself( and sounding like a lunatic), I am here saying that we own just about every Disney movie known to man.. we have fairytale books coming out of the wazoo.... > : /
and yesterday I was reminded why that is such a bad thing!!
Sophia was napping as usual in the afternoon, and when she woke up she had several of her favorite toys and decided that she would like to play by herself for awhile... my first thought was SCORE!! Roscoe was still sleeping and I was trying to get some things done around the house.
My husband was home and working on some weather proofing that needed done.... I was filling out some paperwork for an upcoming doctor appointment (more on that forthcoming), when all of a sudden Sophia starts to scream.... crying hysterically and shouting..." the baby Mama..the baby died in the fire!!...Mama ...Mama..."

I look at my husband as I am running up the stairs and say "where does she get this stuff from?"


...and in particular this page!
I blew it up so that you could see how terrifying this picture is...!
Yes, I know I'm the mom, but the truth is we've had this book in the house for over 12 years... I don't remember really paying attention to this part back then. Emily is about to turn 14 and gives Sophia stuff regularly, as she doesn't feel like she needs it anymore. It is very cool in a lot of ways, because it has been completely her idea and doing.... I've never told her she had to or even should. She's just cool like that!! : ) Sophia has so many toys and books and puzzles..etc.. that we haven't had to buy again...really nice!
But, it is also bad at times because sometimes she will give her things that I don't necessarily want Sophia to have... like this creepy ass book!!
I mean that is one scary fairy, right? Let's not even talk about the princess' tatas on the front cover! I mean boobs around here are no big deal...I nurse my kids and have friends who do as well... they aren't a big deal around here, because we don't do THAT to them. They aren't these objects of sexual fantasy, but providers of one of nature's greatest gifts.
But that's not the point.. the point is my poor sweet girl is traumatized from this picture...
I talked to her about it...and then read her the book..and explained the baby wasn't dead, but put under an enchantment...and then I caved and asked if she wanted to watch the Disney version.... because truth be told, I'd rather she think a prince will come save her than an evil fairy will zap her with frickin' lightning!!
Today I am grateful that my kids are napping peacefully and letting me vent my mothering guilt!
I am thankful that my eldest daughter is kind, loving, caring and generous .
I am thankful to have a food processor that gave me almost 40 minutes of extra time to write this post! (stir fry with tons of veggies and baked tofu & noodles with peanut sauce for dinner. I would still be prepping if not for that amaazing little machine!!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Wow- How about some holidays!?!

Well, when I started this blog I had great plans... and some of them have worked.. just not actually ON the blog!! : )

The main purpose was to help myself be aware of the good stuff... and there has been so much of it lately, I have really just not had time to come on here and talk about it!

I have done so many fun projects and had so much joy that I couldn't even write about it...

I wanted to tell people about all the cool crafts and have nice pictures... but instead I just enjoyed them myself...so sorry for going away, but I'm trying to come back...and I did take pictures...so maybe I'll put some of them up at a later date.. time will tell!! : )

Our Christmas was great! We had a good holiday around here... we just took down our tree tonight. We had it for over a month. I loved that tree and I was a little sentimental about taking it outside... but tomorrow is recycle day and our tree is getting recycled..so it's all good!

The best part about not having the tree is having a lot more space to play... which around our casa es muy importante!

The holidays are always busy...

We have Al's mom, Donna, over Christmas Eve for dinner, which this year was an apple,/cranberry/cornbread stuffed pork loin(which the hubby made by himself while I was finishing gifts!!... way to go AL, it was awesome!!), veggies and mashed potatoes and gift exchange.

Then we have our own christmas morning here at the house.

and THEN we go to my sister's for the afternoon and dinner.

this is a picture of the girls before we left for Auntie Suzie's house... looking sweet... of course!

a picture of the hubby and Yazzle Dazzle... ok his name is Yaz... I just like to add name flair! ; )

Sophia opening some jammies!

Roscoe playing peek-a-boo .. his very favorite game!

This is a picture of the kids just hanging out and coloring.... and the baskets that my sister got from us with all my handmade jellies, plus another one with cookies, crackers, cream cheese, pumpkin bread, and a pomander! : )

PLUS this year my mom who lives out in the desert across the country, decided to visit the day after Christmas!

My mom and my sister, and her daughter Josie at dinner.

I caught Chet smiling... he hates picture taking.. but I got him!! : )

We had them over to dinner at our house... luckily, Emily was staying out with my sister because as you can see we have a very weeny table! I like to think of it as cozy... : )
oh, Al made Chicken Broccoli Alfredo..YUM!!!

some loving before we headed home, from my sister's...

It was so very nice to see them(my mom and step-dad)... it added to the stress, but it was totally worth it! She had never met our son.. it had been 3 years since we had physically seen each other. We see each other in pictures and email and phone conversations... but, of course, it isn't the same. Now, truth be told, when I moved away it took a little while to really wish we were closer... but as we get older I think we relate to our parents more and more.... at least that has been my experience. I can see how some of the things she needed to do for herself, were just that, not malicious things against me, but selfish(even neccesary selfish acts) , and we are afterall just human! Now, I think that my mom is pretty cool... and wouldn't mind seeing her a lot more often. It did take over 2000 miles and about 8 years to feel it this much though!! : )

Two incredibly cool things happened during my mom's visit.
1) My mom told me I turned out alright.
2) I had an epiphany about love.

Now some of you might not get how big of a deal it was for my mom to tell me I was cool... but the short story is... we struggled a lot to come to terms with each other's personalities for a long time. We had rough teenage years, which turned into an interesting relationship when I became a mother at 20.... and which now after time, talking, and growth (on both of our parts) has become a mutual respect for each other. I have always loved my mom... but I actually like her a lot now...and that's a great feeling! It was especially nice to hear her say the same to me... in a crowded room with everyone around and no one, maybe not even my mom, realized what a big deal it was when she looked me in the eye and said "I don't know, kid... I think you turned out ok... you turned out pretty damn good if you ask me.." i actually got misty over it. Ok I had had a beer, but honestly that's pretty flipping nice coming from my mom! : ) It's funny it actually reminds me of when the farmer says to Babe..."that'll do pig... that'll do..." there's just more meaning when people don't say as much sometimes...(did I totally date myself with that movie?)

and on to the second thing... not the first time I have thought this, but it hit me incredibly hard during her visit.
LOVE- the down low on love is simply this...it makes people better when it is right. My love for my husband has, at times been hard, at times been euphoric, and has by far changed me more than any other love in my life. That's saying a lot because I have been a mother for almost 14 years now...and the love that I feel for my children is unexplainable(except to other parents)... but the love for my kids is an extension of myself... the love that I have for my husband intertwines me with him... in a completely different way. I can't explain really what I mean, but as much as sometimes I want to throttle him ( oh yeah, there are definitely days) I honestly can't imagine my life with out him. I could do it... but I wouldn't want to.

I think that my stepdad and mom have the same thing. He has mellowed her in a way that I never thought possible. He is to her what my man is to me... and it's a beautiful thing. I never got to know him well. I wasn't around when they met, already on own, but I always thought he was good for her. Seeing them together was just nice because they compliment each other so well.

I guess I just realized that I love him too... for loving my mom the way he does... she's a bit of a handful that woman!

man... I think things got away from me!
I meant to just come on and say a few words, but now three days and nights and many pictures later... here we are!
...the point was just to get back started on blogging again...
I guess that's why I do this.. I have a big mouth!! :)

I have A LOT of craft-tasticness to share with you all. I'm not sure when I will have time to put them all up, but I will be on again soon. Now that the holidays are settling down, I will have more time again! (I hope!)

Did I mention that it was also my birthday?..... on New Year's Eve?
oh yeah, and that I actually won Pam's Give-Away!
...beautiful scarf, right?

For my birthday I went out with my hubby... and we had a blast!

I actually BEAT him at darts(that HAS NEVER HAPPENED!!) We went out the night before to avoid the crowds, because I am getting old : ), and also because I am selfish and like my birthday to be about me and not the entire world starting a brand new year!(I know I'm needy like that!!)

The second picture is at the site of our very first kiss...long story, I'm sure I'll tell someday, but we were not dating, and didn't date for another 6 months, but I for one walked away from it thinking about him in a special way from there on out... and I get a little sentimental about that first kiss. I was dating someone else(that I actually really cared for) at the time...and had never done anything like that before (kissing someone when dating someone else)... I cried the rest of the night, because I felt so bad...AND because I felt that kiss from the top of my head to the bottom of my toes...and wasn't sure what to do with the situation...
well, it turned out ok in the end, we'll be having our 5th anniversary next month... it just took a little while for the right things to happen. But I still maintain that I knew from that first kiss. The hairs on my neck still stand up when I think about it! : )
Ah, love...and the things we'l do for it!!

My birthday being on New Year's Eve has always put a lot of pressure on the day for me... it's just a little heavy to have two significant times be on the same day. The new year is my new year, no second chances... this is it.
Sometimes, I get sad about my birthday, and getting older, but for some reason this year I can say...
as you can tell by this late night photo...yeah, that's right I AM a delicate flower... what?!?

I hope that everyone had a fabulous holiday season, and has the same feeling of good things acomin' in the new year!!

Tonight I am thankful for family.
I am thankful for the opportunity to get a little closer to my parents.
I am thankful that I kicked Al's butt in darts!! : )
I am thankful that we truly enjoyed the holidays this year!
I am thankful that I turned 34 and not only wasn't sad about it, but ROCKED IT OUT!!
I am thankful that I finally got this post done!
(so what if it's three days later, right?)