Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Watching Your Dreams Die When Raising A Family

I had a chance to step out of my normal routine today and attend a union meeting for my job. While the meeting was wrapping up, I had a chance to chat with our national rep. As we were chatting, I had stepped out of the moment, and drifted down memory lane. The conversation was about raising 7 children. And about what a full time job it is. And I found myself wishing I could be in her shoes. All the traveling, meeting new people, going exciting places and breaking from the same old ho hum kind of day.

While going down memory lane I remembered a sort of bucket list I had made for myself a long time ago. The list was filled with all the things I wanted to accomplish before I was old. I can laugh about it now, because my idea of old was 40. But it seems like every year the list gets more worn and yet nothing ever gets crossed off. And I caught myself tonight saying " I always hold down the fort at home, while my husband is off on adventures for the union or his job." I can't believe that those words came out of my mouth. At what point did I raise the white flag and surrender my dreams in favor of watching my husband have all the fun and adventure that was meant for me. Perhaps it's the mother in me taking the reins and saying that my day will come eventually. But, just maybe I am not willing to fade quietly into the background. To become invisible to all but my family. And that is kind of where I am standing right now. I feel like I am invisible. I want to see some of my dreams come to pass. To be able to tell my grandchildren about all the exciting things I accomplished in my life. I would like to think that I am not alone in my quest to maintain some sense of my dreams, but I am not so sure. Because right now I feel so alone!!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Strange Eating Habits

My youngest children have the strangest eating habits. I have to laugh at them sometimes. I can turn my back and in a flash they are in the fridge helping themselves. Case in point yesterday, I got up yesterday morning and started my usual routine. When I walked into the kitchen I found my two youngest children had been up for a little bit before me, and they were in the fridge helping themselves to breakfast. Now it wasn't your usual breakfast food like cereal. They were eating graham crackers with steak sauce on them. Just doesn't sound like a good combination, but they were tearing it up. And that is just one example. Sometimes I think it's just an attempt to try out their tastebuds.

And speaking of food, I have to comment on a story I was watching on fox channels morning news show yesterday. The story was about a family with four kids and their grocery shopping habits. I was astonished to hear that they spend almost 300.00 dollars a week on food. How outrageous. My family spends about 200.00 every two weeks on food for our family. And I have a hard time dealing with spending that much. The news story showed the mom in the grocery store filling her cart with junk food, and expensive ready to eat meals. Me personally, I can't afford to do that. The secret for me is: 1: shop at discount food stores. 2: Buy food on sale 3: avoid frozen ready to heat and eat meals. I have to buy alot of them to feed my family. and 4: avoid the junkfood unless you can get something you want on sale. And it's really cheap. And the other secret is to make foods that not only feed you for that meal, but leave extra for a leftover dinner day.

So, another lesson learned since we acquired the children last year. Eat affordable food and cook meals that your family will love. Go back to making homemade meals, instead of take out and frozen foods that are nothing but garbage. These things have been key to keeping our heads above water.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

On Strike.... Part 2

O.k. so being on strike didn't quite work like I planned. The children decided to try and rebel against he strike by not doing their daily work. But, my husband joined the strike along with me. When we returned from work last night to find the house a literal disaster area, and the children refusing to clean, it was time to step up the fight.

All my husband had to say was "take it all", and I knew he was unified with me. Now for those that don't already know, " take it all" means no t.v, no vcr or dvd player, no video games no telephone, no computer and no radio. Just work and four walls to stare at. For those of you with teenagers, this is the worst punishment of all. And in my house it is so easy for me to follow through with this. I don't play when it comes to this punishment. I have been known to remove all of the following items and lock them in my room. Keyboards, mouse, speakers, all conecting cables for dvd and vcrs, telephones, all cards required for satellite tv converter boxes, and all other unpluggable entertainment devices. Now, I am sure some of you are saying that this is a harsh punishment, but this is what you call an attention getter. Nothing gets the attention of todays overspoiled children like taking all of their favorite things away. And it gets quick results. Meaning, when I returned from work today, the house was clean and the children looked like pathetic, whipped children. And I didn't have to raise a hand, or even raise my voice in yelling.

Now the only other reason this has worked so well, is that from day one we were up front and honest, and told the children that these things would happen without even blinking an eye. And so far has worked well to get the results that we want. If you don't believe me try it for yourself. But a word of caution, if you don't get immediate results you can not back down. Stay staunch in your resolve and stay strong, and be patient, for you will get the desired result.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spring Has Sprung!

It has been a good day today! The baby fell back asleep pretty quickly this morning, my day at work went quickly, and the weather couldn't have been better. Just a beautiful day. The kind of day that I wish I could have played hookie, and stayed home to hang outside and watch my children play in the yard. But got to work to make money to pay the bills.

And Lord knows that I am grateful that spring is here. Now I can finally kick the children out of the house and tell them to go play outside. No more cabin fever. How nice is that. There is always a downside to it though. Like my son and daughter like to run outside first thing in the morning before they even get dressed. Picture two small children trying to shoot baskets in their underwear. No pajamas, their underwear. And here comes mom yelling " get back in the house and put some clothes on your naked butts." To which they always laugh and run the other direction. There is nothing like a child that thinks it's a game to play chase with mom first thing in the morning. And that is one of the perks of parenthood. The little moments that bring a certain joy and laughter into an otherwise dreary day. And how I love to live for those moments.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Nonstop Crying Babies

I have forgotten what it is like to deal with a nonstop crying baby. But I was reminded today of just how stressful it can be. My morning started out like any other Monday morning. 6:30 a.m. baby wakes me up as soon as her mother walks out of the room. I have come to understand that this means I need to pick her up and put her in my bed, put a bottle in her mouth and drift back off to sleep. Or sometimes it's just a matter of a well timed pacifier. Well, this morning none of that worked.

After about an hour of this nonstop crying I reached over and hit my husband and said "It's your turn". And I rolled over and went back to sleep. Though it wasn't a deep sleep since I can still hear that constant cry coming from the other side of the bed. Nothing we were doing was working. Heaven help me I put her swing in the room next to us and shut the door for about 10 minutes. When that didn't work I went and picked her up again, and low and behold what did she do........she let out the biggest belch ever. Boy oh boy, two hours of crying for 1 burp. It's now going on 9 a.m. and she is sound asleep and it's now time for us to start getting ready for work. Oh great, what a nice day today is gonna be. It's hard enough some days to put on a smile at work, but today is gonna be extra hard. I can't wait for my day to be over so I can go to bed and get some sleep. Although I can guarantee my husband will be asleep long before me!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What A Fast Weekend

My how quickly the weekend flew by. Here it is almost Monday and I don't know where time going. Maybe it's because the days all seem to blur together. It seems like no sooner does one day end than another one begins.

Well, all has been well here in the land of many children. The strike seems to be working. And I think the kids are finally starting to get the message that I mean business. Although it is difficult for me to not kill myself trying to stay on top of everything. I am starting to find a certain peace in taking time out to do things for myself. Heck yesterday I was out of bed before anyone else so I took advantage of it and went errand running alone. That's right, not another person with me. I got to listen to what I wanted on the radio, and I had no screaming, whining children to deal with. I need to do that more often. Life was great yesterday. And the wedding that my husband took me to, allowed me to get out of my monkey suit of a uniform that I live in, and actually put on a nice dress and feel like an attractive woman again. That made me feel almost as good as running errands alone. LOL

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Supermom On Strike!!!!!!

Supermoms of America unite now. It is time to raise up our arms and fight the oppression that our families bring on us. That's right, I am on strike. I can take no more!!!

Once again my children have pushed me to the brink of a meltdown. I will not be pushed any further. The children have neglected their responsibilities to the point that my home looks like a disaster area. The mess has spread beyond the bedrooms and into the rest of the house. The laundry pile is bigger than ever, and my responsibilities grows everyday. I am so tired of working 8 or more hours everyday at my fulltime job outside the home only to go home to more work. The food needs to be cooked for the next day, the laundry needs to be done, and my house needs to be cleaned up. And guess who gets to do it.......ME!!! And I am sorry to say but this is also directed at my husband who I love dearly, but has a warped sense of responsibility. His idea of work is to get someone else to do it. And my oldest son who likes to hide in his room all day long and only comes out when I bellow at the top of my lungs, is also on the receiving end of this outrageous release of anger. I feel like a volcano that is about to spew it's hot, molten lava on the village below.

So, until some changes are made and implemented I am on strike. I refuse to do anything that I don't absolutely have to do. No more than 2 loads of laundry a day, and I will only cook 3 days a week. The rest of the work will have to be picked up by someone else or it just won't get done. Now I know that doesn't sound like a strike, but believe me it is. I do hope that things change really soon, because I don't think I can continue much longer at this pace. After all you can only drive a car for so long at 100 m.p.h. before the engine gives out. And my engine is sputtering.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sweet 16

Today is my niece's birthday. Happy Birthday to the big "D". It surely doesn't seem like she is 16. Where is time going? She is really wanting to be independant. She now wants a job. What a great idea. I never would have thought of that.

I was thinking it would have been nice if I could have stayed home from work today to spend the day with her. But I had to do some mandatory training for my job today. Couldn't miss it. So, I guess I will have to take some time out this weekend to take her out and treat her like royalty. I was picking my brain trying to figure out what to do and I came up with was something every girl loves. A manicure and a pedicure maybe even a massage. Hmmm, what I wouldn't do for those things. But this is not about me, it's about connecting with the children and making them feel special. And isn't that what everyone wants, to feel special and loved.

It's almost time to go home and sit down and enjoy some cake and ice cream. Yummy, I can't wait. My favorite thing to eat before bed..........lots and lots of sugar. Yes, no sleep again tonight, I will be too wired up with sugar. Not to mention getting the kids hyped up. Good luck getting anyone to sleep tonight.

Until The Next Time, Remember Any Day Above Ground.......Is A Good Day

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Peace and Quiet And The Trashed House

AHHHH! My house is once again quiet. All of the children went to isit relatives this weekend. What a joy it is to reclaim my house again. No children to jump on my bed like it's a trampoline, or want to play basketball in the house because it's raining outside. It's a great feeling.

I was talking about how my home has changed since all the kids moved in. My husband and I bought our home a few years ago. We loved in the minute we saw it. It was just the right size for our family of 5. But since we added more to the family I have seen a drastic change to my home. Some of it normal wear and tear, but mostly from people not taking pride in what they have. For example there is only one room in the whole house that has no holes in the walls. This drives me crazy. I can't stand looking at walls with holes in them. And my nephews room is horrible looking. He has blinds on his window. Now becasue of normal wear and tear the blinds were falling apart. So we went to home depot and bought another set and hung them. And less than two weeks later they were all torn and tattered again. This infuriated me. Because we spent hard earned money for the new ones only to have his room return to the same condition. And this does not even begin to cover their disgusting habit of doing a half-ass job cleaning up. I can't stand coming home to a dirty house and opening bedroom doors and finding just pure filth.

I talked a little bit about not having pride with your possessions. I don't know how to instill in them a sense of pride. I get the feeling that they are just feeling hopeless about their lives. Almost like they are trapped and see no way out. I knew that bringing up these kids would not be easy becasue of their history. They grew up in a drug infested neighborhood to addicted parents. And a father who sold drugs. How do you change a lifetime of thinking. And turn around a life and give it a future. This is the answer that I am always searching for. I so want to teach them to be proud of their accomplishments and their belongings. For without a sense of pride what do you really have? Where do you begin to make things better? In June it will be a year that they have been with us, and we have seen some changes in the kids. Performance in school is much better. And they are beginning to understand that it is possible to live life without having it centered around drugs and alcohol. But we still have a long way to go.

Live Everyday Like It Was Your Last. And Have No Regrets.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

PMS And 7 Kids

How does one survive having PMS and yet live in a house with 7 kids? It's bad enough in our house when one female is suffering with PMS. But now all three ladies of the house seem to be on the same clock. For two weeks a month the tension in my house is almost unbearable.

Well this week is my week to be crazy. And I am dealing with issues with my 16 yr old niece and her daughter. My niece is suddenly having an attack of brain farts. She wants to pretend that other things are more important than her daughter. So, tonight my husband and I need to sit down and have a talk with her about her responsibilities. It seems as though she is under the impression that I am the one taking care of her daughter. And I beg to differ, I have done my time with babies. I am no longer going to be making bottles because she didn't feel like it. Or even retrieve items that she forgot at the baby sitters. I know she is only 16. But her life as a teenager is over. And she needs to step up to the plate and accept responsibility for the life she created. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind watching her baby while she is in school. But other than that it is her job to raise her daughter. And yes that does mean feedings at 2 or 3 a.m. when you have finals the next day, or sleepless nights with a sick child, or even missing out on things because no one can watch your child. That is the life of a parent. And you should have thought of that when you made the decision to keep the child.

Since I am suffering from a horrible case of PMS this week, I have to be careful with my words when we speak to my niece this evening. I am so sorry to admit but, I really have no sympathy for teenage mothers. Sure people cry about how hard they have it. Horse Puckey!!!! What is so difficult about living in your parents house with free child care, only have to go to school, no bills to pay, no real responsibility at all. Come cry to me when you have a job, are paying your own bills, and raising your children, then and only then will I feel sorry for you!

Remember, Take a few minutes out to do something nice for YOURSELF!!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Where Did The Weekend Go?

It's Monday and I have been sooo busy working overtime and running all over BFE, that this is the first post since late Thursday night. WOW, where did the weekend go? But I survived yet another weekend with additional relatives staying with us. This time my 6 yr old nephew and his 8 yr old sister. How do I manage to keep my sanity? But yet we survived yet another crazy weekend.

A weekend filled with a stopped up toilet that needed to be repaired, school projects that test my patience, endless errands and of course the never ending mountain of laundry. As always there I never a dull moment in my house. I guess I was lucky that we had very nice weather this weekend. My nephew was able to take the youngest kids to the park to let them run. And run wild they did. They ran so hard that by the time I got home Sunday night from work they were already asleep. The upcoming week will be filled with beautiful weather and children just itching to run wild in the sunshine.

Remember to take the time today to enjoy the little things in life.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Just Exhausted

I want to apologize to my readers for not doing my daily update on my blog. It seems like over the last couple of weeks, I have been just exhausted. I am not sure if it's been from this sinus infection I have. Or from just plain burnout. I have been burning the candle at both ends again, and it looks like I chose a short candle this time.

My husband and I have been going through alot of stress lately. With the bankruptcy, changes at work, the kids and alot of unexpected home repairs. Sometimes I wonder how we manage to keep up with anything.

And the next 6 to 7 weeks are gonna be a killer. I have made a promise to work a minimum of 30 hours of overtime every 2 weeks. That should help to ease the pain of our money crunch a little. Although my husband is already making plans on how to spend the money. I know that a major source of conflict between married couples is how to spend the money. He wants a pool. Hell, he should be thinking about how to pay off some of our debts before he thinks about sunning his buns by a pool.

so, over the next month or so if I don't make regular posts, please forgive me. It's not that I am lazy, just exhausted. But I do promise to make posting something that I make time for everyday. In the meantime I have to find the joy in my days.

SMILE......It Makes People Wonder What You Have Been Up To!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Vacation...... Ya Right

So here it is the second day of my vacation, and I hve not had too much of a break. I have been non stop moving since it started on Tuesday. But the fun really started when I decided to run errands with three children under the age of five.

Tuesday started off like any other normal day in my house. I took my husband to work, returned home picked up the kids and took my oldest child to work. Then I decided to run my errands, why I did not wait until the kids returned from school is beyond my comprehension. I stopped off at my companies office to take care of some business. That was loads of fun, keeping my eye on all 3 kids was almost more than I could do. Then it was off to the bank to make a deposit and ask questions about an account. That was mistake number 2. The oldest children were everywhere. I remember at one point putting the baby down and running after my wild children as they bolted for the door. Of course everywhere I went I got the question about how old my baby was. To which I quickly replied, my grandniece is 2 months old thank you for asking. Then it was a stop at the local gas station to put gas in the truck. Oh Lord why did I venture down the candy aisle by mistake. My kids instantly turned into octopi, as little hands grabbed at all the sweet treats before them. I must have looked like a crazy woman as I repeated over and over again the phrase " come here, don't touch, hold your sisters hand, stay with me." So after filling the truck with gas it was off to the cleaners to drop off a coat for repair. Again this seemed like the most monumental task ever put before me. But the I saved the best for last. The dreaded grocery store. On the drive there the baby started crying. I didn't think anything more of it when she quieted down. At the store I grabbed a special cart made for large families like ours. It has a bench seat attached to the back of the cart. So I strapped my kids in and put the baby in the seat of the cart and away we went. Of course I did not realize the mistake I made until it was too late. As we go through the aisles I have to be careful to park the cart in the middle of the aisle lest my children be within arms reach of anything eye catching on the shelves. Again I look like a crazy woman repeating the same phrases over and over again, " don't touch, put that down, sit down." About 5 minutes before we left the store the baby starts wailing. Now I am madly looking for her bottle or her pacifier, to which I can not find either one. This is my major mistake, I have nothing to quiet her with. And much to my suprise as I make my way to the cash register people move willingly out of my way. And are suddenly very willing to let me go in front of them in line. Maybe it' the possessed look on my face or the constant repeated don't touch, or the screaming baby. As I am putting my items on the belt I failed to see my 4 yr old pick up a toy and stick it in his pocket. I really looked crazy as i juggled trying to soothe a crying baby, paying for my items, and talking to the monsters sitting on the bench seat. That's when it dawns on my......check the babies booty. Sure enough she has done the dirty deed, and is making it known that she is not happy about it. GREAT!!! Now I have to change a baby, this is not cool. I had to ask a store employee to watch my cart as I grabbed all three children and made a beeline for the bathroom. As I am changing the baby, I notice my son has a toy that he didn't have before and it's still in the packaging. I did the only thing that came to mind, I took it from him and placed it on a shelf. Only to have the employee that was cleaning the bathroom if he paid for it. Wonderful, now I am really ticked off, I must really look like the worst parent on earth. But thank heaven that was my last stop. I had to load up the car one last time, and off we went home. I was so happy to be home, I unloaded everything, gave instructions to the older kids to leave me alone for awhile and hid in my room and went to sleep. Ahhh sweet nap, I can't remember the last time I was able to take a nap in the middle of the day, it was pure bliss!!!

So, did I learn my lesson that I am not a supermom.... Boy I sure hope so. And that certain things need to be left up to the pros, the moms with twins and other multiples. This is where I say that my hat goes off to all of the moms who have multiples. You are my heros. Good night to all