Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

In my absence, I received a blogging award from my blogger friend Lady Mama. She is very sweet to even think of me. If you have not yet checked out her blog, you should. In reading many of her posts, she reminds me of myself....only more sane. Thanks Lady Mama!

In accepting this award, I am supposed to list five things I love, then pass the award to five bloggers. OK, here goes:

Things I love:

1. My family (our dog, Rhett included)

2. Hair appointments, manicures and pedicures

3. Vacations

4. Celebrity gossip

5. Naps

Five great bloggers:

1. Kelly at Kelly's Ideas

2. Kathy Rainwater at Mom's Night Out

3. Mama of 3 Munchkins!

4. Mommia at Sam & Elise

5. Miss Understood Mommy of 2 at A bit misguided, or maybe that's just the sarcasm

I hope you ladies enjoy your award!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Nightly News

Every night my husband and I tune in for the local news, Channel 13 KTNV. I like to catch up with what is going on in the world outside of our home once the children are sleeping soundly. For me, it is easy to get so wrapped up in what is happening inside my home that I sometimes feel I am in a black hole. What?! A nuclear bomb just exploded? You're kidding! Both my husband and I both really enjoy this channel's news anchors and reporters.

I have found though, that since moving to Las Vegas, watching the news has turned into a combination of a fashion show and a comedy gig. My husband and I spend our half hour watching the news discussing the weather and news broadcaster's clothing and hair- my husband pointing out whose outfit looks "old lady" and whose shows off her nice "rack". Nice, I know! I always notice if someone has gotten their hair highlighted or fixed in a different style.

Of course, parts of watching the news are quite depressing. Las Vegas is a big city and there is known gang violence here, so there is always something about someone being shot or killed. Here, people also drive like complete morons. I guess there are many of those people everywhere, but I just notice it more here. The bigger the city, the more crazy [and sane] people there are. About a year ago, it seemed that every time I turned on the news there was a broadcast about someone being run over at a bus stop. For gosh sake! Watch where you are driving and get off of your darn cell phone, people! People here drive like they are always in a hurry. Most pass me by. Rick says I am starting to drive like a grandma. I don't think so. I think I am just the only person on the road that actually goes only 10mph over the speed limit. Besides, there is nothing wrong with driving as cautiously as you can. Our children are always with me, so it's better that I am even more careful. I do realize that going very slow (like a grandma) is also dangerous, but this is not the way I drive.

I do catch myself yelling, "COME ON DUDE!" and "LET'S MOVE IT BUDDY!". Now, when we are at a red light and Nick does not notice the light, he repeats those. Luckily, I am not one that cusses very often. Really, I never really cussed very much before children came along, but now, it is more rare. I just don't want my children to think that talk like that is acceptable and worthy of repeating. Ha! I sound like such a goody two shoes.

OK, back to the news...I got off on a tangent.

Anyway, the biggest issue I have with watching our favorite channel for nightly local news are the typos. When they advertise something or label a photo there are always several typos. What the heck?! Isn't this the frickin' news we are watching here? Don't they have a spell check? I don't expect perfection, but come on! If it were one or two typos every day or two, maybe I would understand a bit more. Well, no...I still expect more out of a news broadcast. But I am not kidding or exaggerating here, I see at least three typos a night. It has really become so comical that I now look for them nightly, so that I can point them out to Rick and we can laugh together. I have never watched a news channel that had so many typos. It has left me wondering....does no one else see these? Are my husband and I the only people in Las Vegas who notice? Maybe we are the only ones who care. The channel always asks for volunteers to write on their blog site for recommendations. I am trying to think up a way to say, "Hey, use spell check! Is literacy optional in news broadcasting?", in a nice way. I know that sounds horrible. See, I can be judgemental too and I have no right to be. My blogs are not error-proof. Stop that, Crystall! Rick must be rubbing off on me.

Family Vacation

I am very excited to report that I have been planning a family vacation. Things have been so very stressful here that we really need to get away for a few days and experience a change of scenery. Our vacations are no longer for rest and relaxation. We have too many wild children nipping at our heels for that. But, it can give us a camera full of great memories. Both my husband and I really do enjoy experiencing things through our children's eyes. They are innocent and everything is new, bright and exciting. Through them, it becomes new and exciting for us again also.

Our destination is not a very far one and we have gotten a great deal on tickets and hotel fair thanks to military discounts. Otherwise, Rick and I probably could not pull off the bill afterward. I figure the drive will not be too bad now that we have the minivan. The children really enjoy the van; and, if they start having issues with the long trip, there are always movies to watch. Our minivan has two flip down screens (one of the back seat, one for the middle seat) for the children's viewing pleasure. The boys get very excited when I agree to let them watch a movie in the car. When we first got the van we had to limit the movie time because every second we were in the car there were yells coming at us from all directions about what movie they wanted to watch. Even for a trip to the gas station one block away, they were requesting a movie. So, I had to put a rule in place for that.

For this trip, movies will be allowed. We are going to Disneyland.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Playing Catch-Up

I was busy today doing some much needed housework. We have been going non-stop for over a week with Rick being sick and the fun-packed holiday weekend. So, when we returned to real life today when Rick went back to work, the "To Do List" was long. Our home had been neglected for long enough. It was beginning to really bother me. Once Rick was out the door, we got busy.

The children cooperated and even helped me get things back in order. Nick and Jacob picked up trains, little army men, and Matchbox cars while I ran around with the vacuum (threatening to suck up any toys that were left behind on the floor). Lyla was busy crawling around trying to keep up with me. I did about five loads of laundry and stripped and remade everyone's beds. It was a very productive day.
I am not that fond of cleaning; but, it is a really great feeling when I look around and things are not in complete disarray. For a few moments, the toys are all in the toy box, the floor is not speckled with dried droplets of juice and the bathroom sink is not covered with a thousand sticky fingerprints. The time that it takes me to look around, just a few seconds, does not last long. But, for now, while I have a 4 year old, 2 year old and a 9 month old, it will have to do. For, in another split second, the cleanliness is nothing but a memory.

When Rick came home from work, I was happy to report that the children had all been very well-behaved all day. With the excitement over the last two weeks with Rick's illness, I was thinking that Nicholas in particular would have a difficult time being good. He is so easily bothered by change. But, no. He was wonderful. Maybe he is just growing up a bit. Although one day I know I will be sad to no longer have my little boys, I do look forward to some things about them getting a little older.

Then, at dinner, Nick explained why he was so well-behaved today.

"My name is not really Nicholas, Daddy", he explained to Rick. "My name is really Spiderman and I was bitten by a spider".
Ah hah! That explains it! I have to say, I was also so very impressed that he used proper grammar. Was bitten? Wow. I didn't think we had discussed being bitten versus bit for him to get that correct. It could have been luck.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

This Memorial Day finds our family doing well. Nick, Jacob and Lyla are all happy and enjoyed playing in the pool this morning at Rick's father's house. It was nice to have a such a good time in the sun with a few other adults around to help with the overly-excited boys gallivanting to and fro. There were Spiderman water wings and sunscreen globs everywhere. Lyla was kicking and splashing, smiling ear to ear. My husband, Rick is still having some post-surgical pain; but, thankfully, he is doing much better. I was enjoying the help, the sunshine, and having a ball watching the boys enjoy themselves so much in the pool.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank service members, veterans and military family members for the often unfair sacrifices they have made and continue to make for our country and the people who live here. What bothers me most about those sacrifices is that I feel they are often overlooked. In this country so many people take our freedoms for granted, not realizing (or not caring) about the fact that others are losing their lives for them. And really, life itself is only one of the potential sacrifices. Marriages are difficult and parenting can be even more challenging with frequent separations; and, time apart is part of most military lives.

Also, I really cannot figure why so many people look down on military service members. Is it that they know that the military does not pay well? Or maybe they think that service personnel are uneducated and ignorant. I don't know. Whatever the reason, it's a shame.

There is another thankless job besides being a mother: being a military service member.


One question: When I make a comment on other blog posts, there is a word verification step. Are those words actually found in a dictionary? Apparently, I really need to expand my vocabulary.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I Won on Momlogic!

OK, I am totally surprised! I just checked on the Momlogic web site to which I belong and I won a prize! How cool is that?! I never win prizes! NEVER!

The contest required that you write about the first reaction you had when you discovered you were pregnant.

Here is my response:

I would love to say I was overjoyed; I would love to mention that I was glowing with happiness, smiling from ear to ear. I would love to say that at that moment, I gleefully rushed down the stairs to broadcast the good news......but I did not. I was holding the pregnancy test in my shaking hand, trying to gulp down the huge lump I had in my throat. I was horrified. I was terrified. I could not move. I was in disbelief and struggled to recall the last time I had even had sex. It was twice. It was only TWO times since the birth of my son, Jacob, who at that time was 7 months old. Only twice had I even thought of sex. In that instant, in that brief moment, I felt my life was over. I burst out crying. I walked slowly down the stairs, sobbing harder and louder with each step. As soon as my husband saw me, he knew. He knew I was going to the bathroom to pee on the white stick, so he knew when I returned blubbering like a child that we were pregnant, again. It took me a couple of weeks to get over the sadness. Now, I am so sorry that was my initial reaction. But, it was raw. It was me. I felt like I was just not ready yet. I was not sure if I even wanted three children. I had never imagined having three. But, that is now exactly what we have. The best part of my story is, we are so very very happy.Now, we have our girl; the other two children are boys, and we could not be more excited about how our unexpected surprise has brought so much joy to our lives.Now, my husband and I joke that he must have walked by the bed on the right night at the right moment- that is how fertile we are!

And with that...I won!!! On it's way to me is personalized stationery from the Nesting Shoppe. Nesting Shoppe has provided custom invitations and stationery for celebs Trista Sutter and Charlie Sheen. So, it MUST be cool! My prize is valued at $50.
I will have to promptly get off of this computer and think up some people to write little notes to on my new stationery. I also should gather the children up for a trip to the office supply store for a fancy pen! Thanks Momlogic!


Rick, my husband, had surgery today. He is doing and feeling well. The surgery went as planned with no complications. I truly thank God.

I wrote about Rick's diagnosis of a kidney stone a few days back. It is turning out to be more than just a kidney stone....if you can say just in that sentence. He had a narrowing in one of his ureters (the tube leading from the kidney to the bladder). His surgery today was to place a stent in that tube to help to hold it open. The kidney stone is a bit above the stent. The physician is not sure if the stone will pass on its own- further testing and procedures will be in the future.

The biggest worry that I have is the abnormal blood work that has been collected. Rick's lab work suggests that he could be in renal failure. His physician suggested that the issue may totally clear up now that Rick has the stent in place. I am really praying for that. My husband is a very healthy and active individual. A diagnosis such as renal failure would completely devastate him and our family (understandably). Any age it seems a shame to be given such a diagnosis. But surely, 40 seems way too young for renal failure in an otherwise healthy-living individual.

Rick is being kept an inpatient until lab work is done in the morning. At that time, his urologist will make a decision and consult a nephrologist (kidney specialist) if needed.

Like I said before, when it rains it pours.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

When It Rains...

When it rains, it pours.

I am tired. I started taking my crazy girl pills thinking that I need to at least try them and see what I think. I shouldn't be against what the doctor suggests for me. So, now I am living with the relatively small side effects. I am more is that even possible? And, I am nauseated (not horrible like during my pregnancies), but no amount of nausea is fun. I am very sensitive to medications, so I anticipated feeling a bit strange for a while. I had to reschedule some of my tests. My insanity is not going anywhere and can be followed up next week. My husband's health issues are, at this time, more serious.

My husband is still trying to get over his kidney stone incident. He has been at home for two days in bed. Occasionally he seems to come out of his groggy slumber to join the real world and drink cranberry juice. He has some additional testing tomorrow. I am praying that things will go well. I am not sure if the stone is affecting his kidney function or he is getting stones from decreased kidney function, but one or the other is the case.

For two relatively healthy individuals, my husband and I are having a bit of a tough time. Neither of us get ill very often. I suppose I should be thankful that my children are well (knock on wood). Ahh, just another bit of the ups and downs of life.

I apologize for the short post. I am just too tired to think straight.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Boys Are A Team

The boys have been on a roll being wild men. Nick is just getting to the age where he knows how to act like a gentleman. However, he is easily influenced by Jacob.

Jacob, on the other hand, is two. He objects to just about everything.

"Jacob, let's go upstairs to get dressed."


"Yes, Jacob, we need to go bye bye".



"NO!" (I pick him up, trying to quickly get him dressed.)

"Do NOT kick Mommy! I am trying to get your pants on. We need to leave."

"No!" He thinks for a while, then says, "Where we goin'?"
(I know he was hoping for a "McDonald's" or "the park" response.)

"To get Daddy's medicine."

"No! I go outside."

"No Honey, we need Daddy's medicine. We'll go out later. Now let's get on shoes."


Jacob kicks and screams as I pick him up and load him into the car seat and put on his shoes once he is buckled in. He is very objectionable these days. It is very very difficult at times.

Fortunately for my husband and I, Nick has recently become very supportive of his brother. He is now totally on Jacob's side and they have become an inseparable team....against us.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Fun-Packed Weekend

Yes, I know.....the blog is not pimped. What a difficult task that has turned into. I purchased the files and attempted to complete the "pimping" and there was some kind of error with the files. So, now, I must wait to hear back from the company. Oh well. Now, my screen is just white....BORING! I will get over it; at least I have three columns now! Hopefully, this transition will not take me forever to complete and will be worth the wait. I wish I had the luxury of sitting in front of the computer all day to fix this issue, but I don't.

OH, and other things we did this weekend....
I went to the MIX 94.1 Kids Mix festival on Saturday with the children in 105 degree weather in the middle of the (frickin') desert at 12 noon. Nice idea that was! No shade... $3 bottled water
Ugh! I will expand on this outing soon. I took a bunch of pictures.

And far the most fun of the two days.....

My husband and I went and bought some cacti, palms and desert-friendly flowering shrubs for the front yard. We were sick of how our front yard looks so bare. We have been putting this off (even though both my husband and I really enjoy doing landscaping) because we are renting and do not like putting our money into someone else's home. But, we could not wait any more. So, after working out in the front yard [again in 105 degree heat] for three hours, we both came in sweating and eager to cool down. Within moments, my husband starting feeling badly, having increasingly intense pain in his lower back. A few minutes later, he was doubled over in pain, barely able to walk, nauseated and sweating profusely.

Off to the ER we rushed. I ran one stop sign and two red lights on the way. I figure I safely ran them though (if there is a such thing)-because no cars were coming in the opposite direction. I do not do this...but I was not going to wait at a red light waiting on no one to pass while my husband was in so much pain. I needed to be able to blink and get us there "I Dream of Jeanie" style. Nicholas, since he is an excellent driver, made sure to point out my driving skills were really lacking by screaming from his carseat each time I disobeyed a rule of the road. Thank God he was there to point out my errors, or I surely would have never noticed.

After nearly two hours of average fun at the ER on a Sunday evening with three children running around making friends with all of the swine flu patients, I decided to get my step mother-in-law meet me at home to watch the children, get them fed and put them to sleep while I went back to help Rick. It worked; but I'll tell ya, it was no thanks to the customer service in that place!
Bottom line, I am writing this post at midnight on Sunday evening because I just got home. Rick is now snoring very loudly on the bed after taking quite a bit of narcotics to cope with the pain of passing a kidney stone.

I have a lot of drama. Always have. When will it end? I read in a magazine once a long time ago that drama queens bring on the drama themselves. Obviously, I was quite bothered by that news since I have chosen to ignore two very important facts about that statement:

1. I read that over ten years ago

2. The source was an entertainment magazine (I think Cosmo)- therefore the reliability of the source can be questioned

Does having a lot of drama make me a drama queen?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pimping My Blog

My page is currently under construction.

I am working on "pimping" my blog page this weekend. I am hoping to have all of this completed by Sunday evening. I am not going to rush this process because I will surely mess it up if I do.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Bug Fiasco- GROSS!

I was reading a recent post on Moody Mommy's blog site about head lice. I know, I am sure all of you are just dying to read about such a subject. But, reading her post really got me thinking about my head lice experience way back when. My story is actually so gross, I considered not posting about it. But hell, I disclose most everything else here. Why not? But, if you are easily grossed out, then, don't read this. I will move on to another less-disgusting subject tomorrow.

I have added Moody Mommy's link below. Her blog is a good one, which is also evident in the number of followers she has.

A long time ago far, far away.....

Da da da daaaaa da da daaaaaH! (Sorry- flashbacks to the StarWars movie. We watch that movie WAY too much around my house).

When I was nineteen and engaged to my high school sweet heart, I was trying to get together wedding supplies. I wanted to make the head piece for the flower girl (the groom-to-be's 2 or 3yr old niece). I got busy gathering the supplies, making the twisted vine head piece, adorned with pink flowers and ribbon. It was very pretty. My flower girl thought so too, as I placed it on her head several months prior to the wedding for a fitting. She giggled and then put the head piece on my head.

A couple of days later, my head was itching horribly. Because I had experienced some allergy related issues with shampoos, I assumed that was the problem. You know what they say about assuming. It makes an ASS out of U and ME- and so it did. I went to the doctor after getting so frustrated with the itching. The physician again declared that he thought I had an allergy to shampoo and prescribed me with medicated shampoo. Months and months later, I was still dealing with it. I could not stand the itching, but what was I to do? I switched shampoos over and over and over. Months passed. I even noticed that where my hair was touching my back, the skin was beginning to turn red and itch. I constantly wore my hair up so as to not irritate my skin.

Anyway, as you have probably guessed, I figured out that I had head lice- no doubt contracted from the flower girl. By the way, her mother got rid of her head lice case months and months prior....and me, a nineteen yr old woman (kinda) was dealing with it for a long long time unknowingly. YUCK! I was so grossed out that it had gone on for so long. I wanted to burn all of my clothes and sheets from my bed. I was crying and completely mortified. I begged my mom to go to the store to get me some RID because I worked at the closest grocery store and I didn't want my friends to know. My mom was also disgusted, but reluctantly agreed. My mom helped me comb through my hair- at that time was past my shoulders in length. What a mess! I didn't even want to tell my fiance- I was so embarrassed and ashamed. But, I wanted to be honest with him, so I told him. I am not sure how he understood what I was saying because I was sobbing hysterically. He, of course, couldn't figure out why I didn't want to tell him. He was sweet and made me feel better, thankfully.

Well, when you mothers are out there combing through your child's hair trying to remove all of the bugs and nits, just be thankful that it is not your hair that you are combing through.
And, if it is your hair you are combing through,....I can surely empathize [or is it sympathize?] with you.

By the way, I was just looking for a few photos to include in this post; but, they are so creepy and disgusting that I cannot bring myself to include them. Talking about lice is one thing....looking at them (even in a photo) is another! I have to go now- I am extremely itchy after writing about this and looking at those pictures. I will now go look through my hair in the mirror, just like I always do if I get the slightest case of itchiness. Those suckers will not fool me twice!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Doctor's Appointment

I went to the doctor today because I have been increasing moody since giving birth to Lyla. I have found myself very depressed and irritable- overly stressed about everything. Since having Lyla and getting my tubes tied, I have not had to resort to birth control pills-something that has been a part of my life for a long time. All of this moodiness left me wondering, Is this who I really am [off of hormones]? I am a much less stable person. I decided that I needed to just get a few things checked and make sure that I am not off of my rocker for some other reason.

My OB/GYN agreed that the issue is probably hormones and increased stress combined with little rest, but he took some blood and scheduled a couple of tests over the next couple of weeks. He also told me that because I have migraine headaches with a aura (visual disturbances), he will not give me a prescription for a low dose birth control pill until the headaches are evaluated by another physician. Bummer. He further explained that he believes the pill would probably alleviate most of my issues- but again, he won't give me any. RRGGH! It's not like I have all the time in the world to schedule doctor's appointments going here and there and everywhere traipsing three small children around. If I get lucky and find someone to watch them-i.e. my husband, he is not in town very often. I am also stuck in the weird rut where I feel guilty every time I ask anyone to watch the children. I need to get over that.

Another thing that was not-so-great was that my blood pressure was sky high. I have never had any issues with my blood pressure. But, again, I believe my nerves are just shot and my stress level has reached a new level. So, for my own health, I better get to caring about myself as much as I care for my children- and chill out. If my blood pressure has not improved by my next visit, I will add that to the list of things that needs to be discussed with the other doctor.

So, all in all it was a visit that did not really hold much good news. I am not sure what I wanted. Did I expect that I would walk out of there cheerful and rejuvenated? But, I did some medication that is supposed to help with hormone-related moodiness. I am not a medication lover, so I am sure if more than a few seconds come up and I feel back to normal, I will promptly discontinue taking them. I know, I am a horrible patient. I just do not want to take medications unless I really need them.

I will keep everyone informed as I find out more info and results from my tests. I am sure nothing is seriously wrong. I just need a tall glass of wine to sip while in a bubble bath (in a bathroom that overlooks a white sand-covered beach with crystal blue waves crashing on the shore). The children can be present in this dream-but they are just snuggled in their beds in an adjacent room dreaming of castles at Disneyland and sleeping until at least 8AM.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Going to the Doctor

Well, now after my last post, I decided that I needed to schedule a short, unaccompanied drive straight to the doctor's office.

Tomorrow at 8:45am, I will be sitting in my physician's office, spilling all of my drama. Who knows? Maybe I am normal and I have just gotten over-tired. I guess I could have some kind of hormonal issue. I have always said that any time I act really wacky it is surely due to hormones.

Anyway, I will return tomorrow with updates on my sanity. That is, if I find out anything. Ooh! Maybe I will conveniently "get lost" on the way home and take myself out to lunch. Hmmm, sounds quiet, maybe a little lonely- I'll get over it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mommy Blues

It is OK to say that I am sad today?
Is it alright to be depressed when really I do love my family more than life itself?
Is it acceptable to say that I would never trade a thing...not one thing....
and still...I am sad?

I am having mommy blues today. Actually I have been having these blues for a while. I am not quite sure what is going on here- is this too late for postpartum depression?

I consider myself quite strong, supportive and constant; but sometimes, things bother me too. Sometimes it is hard to be the strong one. Sometimes it is tough to be the "go to" person all the time. It is sometimes really hard to be Mommy. Sometimes it is hard to be the ever-supportive wife.

Is it OK to say that I get tired of never eating a warm meal? Is it alright to say that it gets old to always be eating while standing, doling out everyone else's food- that is.. if I get to eat, if someone else doesn't demand what is on my plate. And then, two hours after first realizing that my stomach is growling, I finally get to eat and it is hurried by a tired and crying baby or two little boys who never seem satisfied. Nothing that I do now is for me. I have nothing outside of my family. No career. No friends. No....anything, without them. I am sad to even admit that sometimes I think they are not enough. Am I horrible to think like that?

I couldn't even manage to mail out stuff for Mother's Day on time. Now, my mother and mother-in-law probably think I do not care to even think of them. But I do. They are just last in line behind my children and my husband. They are in line right where I am. And, that will not change.

I want to take care of myself. I want to do things that are fulfilling for me personally- things that do not have anything to do with my children or husband. I want to have some little part of me that is reserved-some little shred of myself that is only dedicated to me. But, it seems too much to ask when I am a mother. Besides, by the time I am done doing all that needs to be done, there is no longer the time, the energy, or the motivation for those "me" things. Is it OK to say that sometimes, I am down about that?

I don't really want much. Just a hair appointment so I don't look so horrible, just a nice bath with no interruptions, just a few moments to use the bathroom with no one busting in, just enough energy so that I can workout. I want to be healthy and look better, but I just cannot do it. I want to be able to sit down before 9PM and not have to listen out for anyone crying. I want to NOT be needed-for just a few minutes, just a few seconds. Not that this will ever happen, but if it did, I would surely complain then about NOT being needed. I am so twisted.

I am lonely. I want time with my husband that is not filled with the children or time alone with him that does not occur at 10 PM when I am too exhausted to formulate a sentence. How can I be lonely with my three children always nipping at my heels and my husband who really does try to make a happy life for us?

I miss my work. I miss the personal satisfaction that I received from my job. I hate paying $350/month for my student loan when I have no place to use the degree. The money is in trade for the paper I have framed hanging in our study. It is probably dusty.

I miss having money. I miss having the luxuries that come with having extra money. I hate worrying if we will ever dig ourselves out of this hole. I hate that financially, we are not where we hoped we would be at ages 35 (me) and 40 (Rick).

Is it OK to say that I get tired of
changing diapers, crying children, and picking up toys five times a day?

While I am complaining I will include these things that I cannot stand also (because I am on a roll):
our muddy backyard with no grass or trees, dust and pollution in the air, money taken from an already horrible public school system, increased violence and cussing on television-the public's need for these things to be entertained, worrying about my children getting abused, or being bullied, or doing the bullying, additional skeletons popping out of my husband's closet and always being understanding about my husband's diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) and all that it entails. I am tired of worrying about Nicholas developing OCPD. I can't stand sweeping (and sometimes mopping) the kitchen floor at least twice a day and still it is covered with food and sticky from spilt juice, Rhett (our dog) licking the floor while "cruising for crumbs" until he coughs and gags, washing at least eight loads of laundry a week, and never being done with all of the chores. When one is done, there are five more that pop up in it's place.

I know all of these things that I have talked about come with motherhood; and obviously, I chose to be a mother. And, I do love it- 99% of the time. But, isn't it OK to sometimes be sad about what you sacrifice while being a mom?

I need a vacation (and maybe some medication).

Monday, May 11, 2009

Movie Night

Saturday we had a wonderful family night. My husband, I, Nicholas, Jacob and Lyla all jumped into the minivan for an afternoon out for an adventure: a movie. Until now, Nicholas, Jacob (and obviously Lyla) have never seen a movie in a theater. My husband and I have been discussing it for a while and with the constant previews of Monsters Vs. Aliens we decided to try it out.

What a great time! Surprisingly, no one acted up. My two boys sat in awe staring at the big screen. Jacob refused to take his eyes off of the movie even for a moment to take a sip of a drink for the first half hour. He sat in his booster seat, clutching the arm rests with his mouth partially open in total amazement. Nicholas behaved like a gentleman, shoveling popcorn into his mouth happily and experiencing his first tastes of a Slurpee. It was a real treat for everyone. Lyla even behaved, sitting on my lap for most of the movie as I played with her quietly.

Although the day was expensive-movies are not cheap, we cannot wait to go back. It is really so nice when we can all do something together and have such a blast.

Everything But the Bathroom Cup

"OH where, oh where has my bathroom cup gone? Oh where, oh where can it beeeeeee?
With it's hard water stains and lyme buildup- Oh where, Oh where can it beeee?"

My children absolutely adore when I make up songs about our life.

"Do it again, Mommy!", squeals Jacob happily.

My bathroom cup has been missing in action for several days. I recall a few days ago, right before the cup mysteriously disappeared, I gave it to Nicholas for a sip of water. Now, three days later, I am still looking for the cup. I have asked Nick about it several times. My questions about the cup have become so frequent that Nick is no longer responding. He is, in fact, ignoring me.

It is interesting how young the male gender picks up this trait. Is this trait only passed from certain fathers to certain sons or is it indicative of every male? I have recently been thinking that I need to try a different approach for Nick anyway. He has been ignoring me quite frequently. Maybe I just hen peck him to death. Nick, don't do that. Nick, do this. Not like that. Over there. Over here. Stop it. Do it. Pick it up. Get in. Sit down. Zip it. Answer me!

So, tomorrow I will turn over a new leaf, again. I do this a lot. I always reevaluate my approach to my children. If one way is not working, I try another. Or, if something is working, I try to expand the idea to other issues. Anyway, I will try to give Nick a break- and not act like a pain in his bum. I still want to correct him when appropriate, but I think that I am going to cut back and try to give him a break. I probably need to just chill out (for lack of a better phrase). Maybe then, when I speak to him, he will be more apt to listen.

By the way, the bathroom cup....FOUND. While making Nick's bed this morning, Nick jumped up off of the floor shouting, "Who put Mommy's cup under my bed?"

"Ah Hah! I wonder...", I responded.

He smiled, giggled and ran it into my bathroom.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Violence On Television

Well hello everyone! I hope everyone had a nice Mother's Day. My day was nice- no major catastrophic events.

I went to dinner at my step-mother-in-law's house with my husband and the children. That was wild, as usual. My children just love going over their house. They run around screaming and carrying on, getting away with reckless wild behavior for much longer than they do at home.

After dinner, my husband got this brilliant idea of turning on UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). OK, I am not sure who flew in, took my husband's brain, and deposited it outside in the garbage can- but someone did.

What was he thinking? Nick and Jacob are running around, half watching whatever is on TV in between squeals. Did Rick actually think that is appropriate programming for a 2 and 4 year old? After some conversation, more angry and evil on my part (I must have been getting tired and crabby), Rick agreed (that I was tired and crabby AND that his choice of TV programming was inappropriate). It was time for us to go home anyway.

The whole conversation about violence had me thinking about how I am so disinterested in movies with intense violence. Am I just getting...dare I say it....old? When I was younger, I would watch an occasional horror movie or a shoot 'em up flick without blinking an eye. Now, I cannot stand horror movies. They are too realistic, too gory, too absolutely terrifying. When I watch these movies, I just freak myself out too much. I go to bed thinking of the creepy way they did...whatever. Then for days, I have nightmares. Have movies gotten more violent or am I just more aware now that I have children? Maybe it is the fact that technology has advanced and film makers are able to better portray realistic events. I don't know. Maybe I have become a wimp.

Either way, it will be many many years before my children are watching those movies (if I have anything to say about it). When that day comes, I pray that I have taught my children enough to recognize what is real and what is make-believe and, obviously, how the movie should (or should not) impact their behavior. Maybe I can put off that day for say...15 years. Is that so unreasonable?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

No Sleep

Today stunk. I am not a mother to pretend that all is just peachy in motherhood all of the time. It's tough and sometimes can seem that the challenges are endless and insurmountable. It is quite typical of the children to totally go nuts between 24 and 48 hours of my husband Rick's departure. That's what they do. Although I know their routine, I feel I am never really prepared for what is in store for me.

I think the children's behavior stems from their feelings of insecurity when Rick comes and goes so often. Nicholas is the primary driver of this train. He goes wild, which prompts Jacob to go wild, then I go crazy and then the Lyla jumps in. Before I know it, we are living in an insane asylum where I am the warden-a bit deranged and unhinged myself.

I realize that my husband is not often gone for long, extended trips; however, some part of me wonders if it would be easier on the children if he were. Once gone for a while, things settle and the house comes to order once again. But with my husband's unpredictable ins and outs, it is hard to get settled. Just when things get back to normal and start to run smoothly, he leaves (or returns) again.

I think that I would be fine with the boys being rowdy if it wasn't for the added strain of my functioning on about 2 hours of sleep per night for the last three days. Lyla has had some difficulty sleeping over the last week. I am hoping that it is a mere coincidence that her issues sleeping began the day after receiving her latest round of immunizations. She has been waking between four and seven times a night for the last week. It is steady getting worse; in the last few nights she has repeatedly been waking up screaming and unable to go back to sleep without some sort of intervention on my part.

Rick called earlier today to say Hi. After about three seconds of speaking to me, he knew I was not myself. After an hour of listening to me sobbing uncontrollably and blubbering without reason, I know he wanted to be home that instant. He reassured me and sternly told me to try and take a nap at the first opportunity I received. I really doubted that moment would arise, but I was all for the thought of a peaceful nap.

Miraculously, the planets and stars aligned for about ninety minutes this afternoon and I did get some rest. I awoke with a bit more patience, thankfully. With my renewed sense of strength, I had no difficulties showing Nicholas (the king of the children) exactly who was boss; so, the boys fell right back in line and behaved much more like gentlemen. As for Lyla, she is my angel. She looks to me for smiles. Thankfully, I was able to again give them.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pictures of Lyla

Oh, I meant to mention that I picked up some pictures I had taken of Lyla a couple of weeks back. I wanted to share. She is really my little angel. Hope you all enjoy!

The Shopping Trip

The other day was a wonderful day. My step-mother-in-law came over to do some projects with the children for Mother's Day and I was told to "beat it" for a while. It was strange as I drove out of the driveway. It was....quiet. I drove down my street, thinking of how bizarre it felt not having anyone with me. I believe it was the first time that I have been alone since moving to Las Vegas. Wait, I did drive to one hair appointment several months back. OK, it was the second time I was alone in the last two years.

Every other time I leave the house, I am packing up this and packing up that, getting drinks, and toys, and diaper bags, and snacks, and making sure I have all of the things I just might need. I always have a just in case pile for all of those things that could happen. What if we're out later than expected and need to eat out? I bring food and formula for Lyla even if the trip is short. What if Jacob spills his lemonade in his car seat? He does this often with those "spill proof cups". I really put so much thought into what each child may need that it is no wonder that I have little memory left for anything else. My brain is too busy thinking about all the what ifs for each child.

Anyway, so when I left the house that day, what a relief I felt not worrying that I had not brought something that I may need. By the time I reached the end of my street and began turning the corner, I could feel myself getting emotional. What the heck is my problem? I should have been partying like a rock star! So, I had to snap myself out of it and try to enjoy my short trip out. I figured that there was no telling when this would happen again, so I shouldn't be acting all wacky about being alone and enjoy it. I went to Old Navy, bought a few shirts and a skirt for myself, along with a few things for the children. It was completely amazing how much I felt I had accomplished!

Children really make a very short shopping trip into a long, drawn-out ordeal. Just the task of getting three children in and out of car seats takes quite a bit of time. That, combined with the time taken to cruise direct and reroute traffic in the parking lot around the children, takes a good hour-at the least. When I returned to my home two hours later, my wallet was $150 lighter; but, I got some great bargains AND actually tried on clothes in the dressing room! I don't think I have been in a dressing room in the last 5 years. Seriously. Most dressing rooms are not sizable enough to accommodate three children, a stroller and me.

My favorite purchases of the day.

After my short trip away from home, I was just elated. The two hours was just enough time for my mind to rest; and, for once, not have it so worried about everyone else. I need to do that more often!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Jacob's Day at the Park

When we went to the park, Jacob had fun playing with his brother.

But, he got bored.

So, he went looking for trouble.

He coveted some rocks that were out of reach and off limits.

He couldn't help himself. He "needed" the rocks.

For a second, I think he felt guilty.

After a while, he reluctantly decided to listen and put the rocks back.

He was sad and pouted for a long time.

Luckily for me, he got over it...

and resumed playing.

Blogger's Block

For someone who can talk, and talk, and talk even talk some more about nothing at all, I don't have much to say. I am having blogger's block right now. On some level I feel like my brain is simply in a fog after a busy weekend with the family and a Monday that started with my husband's departure via airplane (again). All of this coming home, going, coming home, going is such a drag. He is not gone for long trips, just frequent trips.

So, since I am in a blogger's block fog right now, I will share a few pictures that I took today at the park. I got a little creative. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Diva Mommy

I went to the park today with the children. There is really a great park in town right in the neighborhood that my husband and I considered buying a home when we first moved here. We decided to rent until we really had a good idea how long we would be here; because, the economy is so dreadful.

At the park I was doing my average thing: trying to keep track of two running little boys who never seem to stay on the same side of this vast park while pushing Lyla in the stroller, stopping Nicholas from attempting to dive head-first off of the side of the large dinosaur sculpture, and diverting Jacob away from running in front of the moving swings. Average stuff. But, by far my favorite part of going to the park is mommy watching- checking out the latest hair styles and clothing attire for "cool" moms. That way, I can assess where I fall in the "mommy looks" department. Most of the time, I feel I am pretty average. I have a few things that I have skipped doing here and there because the children seem to take up so much time. I honestly frequently overlook the importance of some of these things because they do not directly pertain to my children. Most are pretty minor...I thought.

Well, my self-rating of "average" seemed to fall a few notches today as one mom walked in and sat down beside me on the bench. She was so trendy and hip. I tried to disguise the frown I probably had on my face when I first met eyes with hers. She looked a little older than me, but she was much more fashionable. She had short dirty-blond hair pulled back neatly in a low pony tail with a decorative headband crossing the front of her hair. She had a sun-kissed tan- not so dark that she looked as if she would have skin cancer by season's end, but just enough that it looked....well...perfect. She probably put on lotion too, since her skin didn't look all dry and flaky. (This is one of the things that is somewhat hard to manage here in the middle of the desert). The woman wore a long yellow casual-but-chic sundress, the fabric decorated in brown and off-white stripes. She wore a brown leather-strapped necklace that had on it a silver dollar- sized flat shiny round shell pendant. The mom had on brown leather braided sandals that seemed to match so perfectly with her hippy-esque ensemble. The glamour mom was even wearing makeup- perfectly, no smudges! I bet she even took a shower! What the heck?! I need to pump up my game, I thought.

OK, you have to use your imagination here.

The Diva Mommy:

Hair, sunglasses and looks like this

Wearing a dress like this

After I decided it was time for us to depart and head home for lunch, I one more time glanced in the Mommy Diva's direction. I was jealous. I want to be a Mommy Diva. I aspire to look so good while still being a good mom. That woman made it look so easy. I better get busy.

For right now, I am an "average mommy". I squeeze in shower time sometime during the day; unfortunately, it is not always before going to sweat in the 95 degree park with my children. Getting my hair highlighted is about three months over due. I have prickly legs from not shaving every day anymore. I do shave my underarms everyday though- but mainly because I fear people will notice that more often and gag in my direction if I had long hair there. I have dry skin, as lotion just seems to take so much time when I have a baby screaming in the other room demanding my attention. I wear clothes from years and years ago because I have not made the time to get myself new ones. I rarely wear big fashionable jewelry. I always wear flip flops. Gosh! I have a lot to work on! But I aspire to be a Diva Mommy none-the-less. I am determined to get there- it just may take a while.