Monday, March 11, 2013

A fail kind of day.

Biggest is having trouble focusing in school, she is also having trouble turning in assignments. Sometimes because she lies about having homework, and sometimes because she is so disorganized that she simply can't find her finished homework. I blame myself, we live an unscheduled random life with little organization. This is not the first meeting we have had. This time they mention "I don't know if she has ADD or ADHD or whatever, but ..." and then trails off. I wonder, once again, if we moved her ahead too fast. They reassure me that she can handle the material, "she is smart enough...maybe developmentally she isn't ready."... "She won't make it next year if things continue like this." Yes, I say, and then I think of how after the other meetings I was really good about getting her to sit down and do her homework everyday for about two weeks, sort of like I make a new cleaning schedule for the house and succeed for 2 weeks."Change in diet, maybe."..."She doodles a lot, maybe a coping mechanism, I don't know what she's coping with..." In my head I wonder, is it the financial situation, do I yell too much, I've been very absent since I started college. Talking to sister later and she says Biggest seems to be in charge of baby an awful lot. My going to school might be bad for my kids, but not going to school is bad for them too. I'm changing our diet, at least that is what I am starting with. It's gotten really bad since I started school. I'm cutting out HFCS, artificial dyes and preservatives. I am not replacing the food currently in our house but integrating new food and working through our stockpiles. Day #1 went well, although I almost ripped open a box of girl scout cookies 4 times. Day #2 was sort of a failure. Oldest wanted to make muffins. I said I would help, ended up hanging laundry and then getting stuck on the phone with the phone company. She forged on without me and I wasn't able to explain how I substitute butter or applesauce for the shortening. I haven't even had shortening in the house for years, I bought it for their combined party, I messed up the last icing and tried to stick with my mom's recipe. It still didn't work. Anyway, Oldest used 3 cups of shortening instead of 3 tablespoons. It was a stinky, bubbling mess in the oven. I hated to waste expensive blueberries so I turned the rest of the batter into frosting by adding powdered sugar. After running a self clean cycle on the oven I put in a duncan hines strawberry cake, which is loaded with every nasty thing I am cutting from our diets. It's been a fail sort of day, I'm exhausted from the past 5 nights being interrupted by one girl or another. Sickness, vomiting, sore toes, teething. I need sleep and I want time without kids. I want to magically be an organized person who can help teach my daughters to be the best them they can be. Instead I'm a frazzled, tired housewife who spends too much time on school work and mundane chores to give them the time they need. It's spring break, maybe I'll catch up this week. Oh and my dog is covered in something that smells amazingly nasty and I on Saturday I got bit by one of three dogs prowling the neighborhood. Thankfully the kids weren't with me.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Today is December 28th

Today is December 28th. Christmas is over, it went well. Reality is back in motion and our kids were blessed to get a lot of spectacular presents thanks almost entirely to people giving us money or actual presents straight from their Santa lists. Thank you to those people. Middlest will be 7 in a few days and we were scrabbling to figure out how to pull off her party. An actual birthday and a party should have food the child chooses and seeing as how most of our food is coming from food pantries I wasn't really sure how that was going to happen. Luckily a friend is trading some of Hubs plumbing services for grocery money. Yay!! Another friend has chairs and tables to lend so we don't have to rent a shelter at the park, a prospect that seemed very well impossible. Shortly after Middlest's birthday I start college, this is huge, this means that I will actively be doing something to ensure we are not broke losers forever even if it will take some time before we benefit from this move. That same day Littlest (who hold on, needs her butt wiped right now)starts at the college's child development center. She has, for quite some time, been excited about starting "school". Today is December 28th and I saw my husband cry, oh not a full blown cry but he started to and you could see him trying so hard not to. This is a man who has literally not cried since he was a child. Things are that rough and I am trying to hide it from the kids since Biggest worries too much about such stuff. Hubs will start college in the summer, he already has an AA but now he's going to get a degree that will actually help him get a job. We are poor but we are not dumb and we are not losers. We are going to go back on food stamps but we are not lazy. We are blessed, by wonderful friends, by a Government willing to help those out who need it and to have intelligent, healthy daughters and each other. Today is December 28th and I am thankful.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I feel like we are being overtaken by stuff, it's pouring out of the rooms and across the floors, it is dripping from the shelves and congesting the whole house. In a matter of minutes a clean floor can be covered. When I sweep there are toys, papers, bottles, magazines, books, shoes, tissues and lots and lots of sand. The girls room can not safely be walked through, peril comes to people or their stuff. No one in the house has any true respect for most of the objects in it. The insanity must stop, I have attempted on multiple occasions to pare down, I have gone on rampages of de-cluttering bringing 2-3 garbage bags out of the house at a time, yet we still seem to be overtaken by everything. It's hard for me sometimes to get rid of some of the kids toys, hard to let go of that cute shirt that my first daughter wore but the others won't wear. I need to disconnect emotion from objects, I need to accept that the kids MAKE their own toys when they want something, that the best toys are sticks, ropes, dirt and their own imagination. What is a reasonable amount of items? How can we fit 6 of us in a 2 bedroom house more comfortably? I want something all of us can keep under control. I hope this doesn't turn into most of my quests, a strong start with a resounding fizzle as it gets past over in the next great project.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Fun with Contact Paper

A friend of mine posted about an activity she learned through parents as teachers, so when my girls were whining about wanting to watch TV I decided to give it a try. It only requires a few things, contact paper (I always have a roll on hand because I LOVE that stuff, I buy mine at Home Depot.) Bits of paper, yarn, beads, etc. You then tape the contact paper to the window sticky side out and let them stick bits of paper and yarn or whatever you have on hand.
They have been at this activity for over an hour now.
Once they are finished you just pull it off and stick the sticky side where ever you want to hang it. We now have some decorating the walls near all the girl's beds, one on the fish tank and I have now started cutting them to the size of the windows flanking the front door.Previously I have tried a variety of different solutions for these windows although none of them involved real curtains. We have used sheets, extra fabric, a pirate flag and a $30 roll of this sticker stained glass stuff from home depot. My kids had most of that peeled off within a week. Now I have started to place these creations by my children in the window. The whole roll of contact paper was about $14.00 I believe. I use it all the time and have been using the same roll for months. I have used the contact paper to seal up a poster Littlest got from a Yo Gabba Gabba concert her Aunt took her to...smartly so, since it has ended up under the bed and in her bed countless times and without the contact paper covering would be in shreds by now, I use it to make charts for the girls into checklist that you can use dry erase markers on and covering calenders for us to record upcoming events. This project is cheap and I think it will look way better than any other window solution we have used to date. I am also hoping that because it's their artwork they won't peel it off the windows.
I also appreciate that this is going to make my living room more private and I can therefore worry less that random strangers or mailmen will see the girls and I wandering around half naked.

Friday, May 18, 2012

a letter to my mom

The truth is I'm a bitch and I'm sorry, I don't actually want to hurt your feelings and I know it must be so hard to be in the position you are in, but it's just stressful when you call me for everything and I can't really help you. I have no car, I have no money and I have 4 kids I NEED to take care of and the burden of caring for you pisses me off because most of the time you won't help yourself. There is so much pent up feelings from when you weren't there for me or you blamed me for what went wrong in your life; as if a teenage me dealing with past sexual abuse and feeling tormented in my mind could not cut herself as if getting baker acted for it was somehow my fault and all a plot to make your life miserable. So the car was taken and it was my fault but I know they wouldn't take the car for one late payment there has to be more to that story. and that you would scream at me ad blame me years later after I got my act together or bitterly spit out how I used to be a "drug addict" when I was that fucked up teenager. It's not the same as a 50 year old alcoholic that can't remember even how the hell she got home from the bar or who doesn't actively do anything to change her life. You have had months and months to figure out your living situation , to change it. We offered our (tiny) house (that doesn't even adequately hold our family) as a place to crash so you could save up a down payment for a place you could afford, and I know it would suck to lose your autonomy but it would be a step towards getting it back with the ability to pay for it and you stubbornly refuse. This is my house and I won't give up everything! but it's not forever, Mom! It's so you don't lose everything, it's so you can save some of what you have and move on to other things, so you don't end up on the street or scrambling with no money and no home. It's for me too, so I don't have to be the one trying to figure out what to do with you and your stuff on a moments notice, it's so I don't have to live for over a year wondering what the hell is going to happen to you next month, what's going to happen if you can't pay your rent. I don't want to drive you to the store, I don't want to swing by the library, I don't want to have to take care of you, I want you to take care of you. I want the mom you were to come back, the one who was amazing when I was little, who cooked, and sewed, who was in the PTA and my girl scout leader, the one who was sure of herself and involved. I hate that you stopped parenting when I became a teen because I needed you. I hate that when I stayed at your house and I was sick and coughing you came out and told me to stop coughing, as if I could, because I was disturbing your wife. I hate that when I just wanted to hug you that one day, you pushed me away and went across the street. I hate that you smoked pot with me and I hated even more when you got drunk with my friends and you were so embarrassing and sloshy and slurry.I hate that you basically abandoned my twin for your girlfriend, that you told her at 17 that she had to go find her own place. I hate that I am scared that I will give up on my kids, that I might decide I don't want to parent anymore. I know I wasn't an easy teenager, I know you helped me and that in all rights I should help you when you are going through a rough time but I am angry that it's happening already because you made shitty choices. I hate that I can't forgive you and I hate that you had such a rough life and I hate that I am such an ungrateful daughter and I hate how I am so like you in some ways yet love some of the other ways I am like you, I hate how I seemed to get the worst things of both parents. I hate that you don't have a special person like I have Hubs. Please, if you can just try to help yourself a little more and not wait until the last damn minute, if you can call Hubs when you want something from him instead of calling me to get him to do something for you, if you could pull yourself together and be the mom of my youth, the crafty, involved would stand up and fight for her kids mom. If you could just understand you are worth fighting for like you used to fight for your kids. and please, understand that I am trying. That when I do those little stupid things for you,when I ask about farmville or make a little joke, when I reach out I am trying. Trying to understand, trying to forgive. trying to rebuild our relationship and I am sorry for making you cry.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Baby Arrives

one handed typing while I nurse my new babe. The older girls will stay Biggest, Middlest and Littlest and new babe will be Baby. Baby was born March 30th at 12:33am, my smallest baby at 7 lbs 12 oz and my shortest at 20 3/4 inches, the other 3 were all 21 inches. Despite my really thinking she was a he, she is indeed a she. I am in possession of the most fabulous sentence and sometimes I just like to say it aloud to hear it "I have four daughters." It is this pleasant warm feeling that gives me goose bumps and makes my heart swell. When I told Hubs about it he said he had been saying it too. She was born at home and I had her in the water this time, which is new and different for me and totally awesome by the way. It was a perfect birth which is not to say it was pain free, there is something about a baby moving down into your hips and the way they open up that honestly doesn't feel awesome. I go into the birth thinking that I want to just accept this feeling in a positive way but while I know it is bringing me my baby it hurts and I can't deny that. So I move and I moan and I rock and I hang from Hubs and I imagine what the baby looks like as she descends and these things make it easier. I also laugh and I joke and I enjoy the company that surrounds me. I had a crew at the birth and while I didn't want to spend the whole time interacting with them I needed them there in the background, making noise, having a good time, filling the house with positive happy energy. My sister, husband and kids of course. Then my friends who also happened to be the midwife, birth assistant and photographer and a doula who I later felt bad for having her there since I didn't need her at all with the amazing support team I already had. The evening was a light hearted evening that ran in the way time does at birth's. It's not linear but all blurs together and it's the moments that stand out. Looking back it's magical the way birth's are if you are the one in labor or the one there supporting the mom. In the moment it was hard work, important life changing stuff that made my little family not so little.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Moms worry, a lot. I am no exception. Every pregnancy seems to have me worry more that something might happen and the law of odds seems to make it more likely. How many times can one get so lucky as to easily become pregnant, carry a healthy child through a normal pregnancy and deliver a beautiful, intelligent child? I have been down right scared these past couple weeks because I can not imagine the baby after she is born, there is a disconnect between her and my picture of her as a baby in my arms and in my life. I think of the stories I have read where the moms JUST KNEW something was wrong, just had a sense that they were not going to get to know their babies and I am terrified, I clutch my belly and I beg her to please be okay, I tell her how badly I want her, how badly I want my fourth little girl, my own little women. Then I go back to being terrified that something will happen when she is born and I will not have her. This has never happened before, I have always been able to imagine my girls and this is what makes it so much more real and scary.

This morning I woke up at 6am, I lay in bed and I felt her move, and I rubbed my belly where she was moving and I thought about all this and how much I wanted her. Then I did something. I imagined her as a he and their he was, I could imagine HIM as a baby, I could picture his birth and him in my arms and as a small child. Why would I even try this? Because the first time I heard the heartbeat "he" flooded my veins with every beat of the heart, the thought "he" is what popped in my head when I talked to him, touched him thought of him before we were told "80% chance" at the sonogram, before we cut the gender reveal cake and it was pink. Then when I tried to say "she" it just felt wrong so I kept saying "the baby" and I could tell I was offending people by not accepting this little girl. They pushed "she" and I knew if I persisted everyone would think I was the mom with all the girls who truly wanted a boy. BUT the thing is before they told us what the baby was I honestly could not decide WHAT I wanted more a boy or a girl, I truly had no preference. A lot of parents will tell you that and honestly it is rarely true, this time it was...until the cake was pink, in that moment I was SO FUCKING HAPPY to be having another girl, to be getting my little women. I jumped up and down and screamed and smiled and even cried a little to be getting my fourth girl, how damn lucky could one mom get?? But then, girl just didn't seem right, but I made my plans anyway, saying "she", naming her, falling in love with this girl, so devoted to my fourth little girl mostly forgetting the "he, he, he" beating in my veins with his heartbeat, forgetting the dreams where he came out a boy, forgetting how sure I was, how I just knew, I just knew he was a boy. I was wrapped up in my daughter but as birth approaches and I can not imagine her I have grown scared, afraid I will lose my child at birth and this morning I wonder if I have found out why, because what if I will lose her when she is born? What if she is a he, this morning I imagined my son and he was real in a way she has not been. She has only ever been real since the cake was pink, she's only real in my womb. What if I can't imagine her because she doesn't exist and a son exists. I have about 2 weeks to know the ending of this. I want a baby, any baby as long as it lives and breathes and grows into an adult. No doubt if she comes out a girl I will feel guilt for thinking so adamantly that she was a boy, and if she comes out a boy I will be so happy to have a boy, yet I will also have to mourn the loss of the daughter I think I know. I guess we shall see.