Friday, December 28, 2012

Fire suppression is not part of my job description.  I do have a pretty wide job description- at last check I was not responsible for fire issues- that is why I have a fireman husband.  But of course- he was at the firehouse (why would be home when catastrophe strikes- it would be against all rules for him to be here for any crisis.

I put the twin comforter in the dryer.  Turned around to get a diet coke out of the basement fridge and the dryer started beeping with an error message that indicated to empty the lint filter.  Which I did do, really I swear I did.  I opened the dryer and smoke started pouring out (crap). 

Not good.

My mind blanked out. Kids out replayed in my mind over and over and over.  Kids out. Kids out. Kids out. 

Thank goodness our neighbors were home so they could go and stay warm there. 

I could not reach the gas valve on the dryer. nor could I reach the plug.  But I did know which circuit breaker to throw. Did that.

Called 911.

The fire department came. again.

Thank Heavens.  Our house is fine. The kids are fine. Just a little scared.  We will spend sometime cuddling and settling down.  But it could have been much much worse.


Kitchen Needs

As you know we have 5 kids.  Which means we have a lot of kitchen needs. Buying a ton of plates from major retailers gets really expensive really fast, especially when you factor in how often things break (we cannot get through a meal with out something happening). 

Somewhere along the line someone suggested shopping at  hotel supplier for some basics.  I found PeachSuite Hotel Supply as a great option for things we need all too often at great prices with an easy to use interface. 

One of the best things about buying hotel supplies online is not taking 5 kids out of the house into place with lots of things that could get broken- it would be like taking 5 small bulls to a proverbial china shop.  That would not end well.

While I have not used it specifically as a hotel amenities supplier I have to say that I would expect nothing less than great service and help from them.

Holiday Pagents

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I am not the only parent who is having a hard time this year with holiday programs.

Bearing in mind that until recently I did not cry.  Last night I was biting back tears and distracting myself as much as I could.  I did not want to be *that* mama.

I read the article I know What Six Looks Like and I get it.  Six is Stinky wearing his glasses slightly askew. Six is him being so excited about his glasses. Six is him wearing his mouse ears at his show singing "Mousey In The Snow".  Six is him crying over his sisters being annoying.  Six is him insisting on cuddles before bed.  Six is his sweet little lisp as he tells me he loves me.  Six is my heart walking around outside of me with a huge grin ready to be great the world.

I can't even imagine not having my Stinky laughing and being kind.

I have no idea how I got so lucky to have him as my son. 

Pole Dance Free Style Memory Loss

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The basic format of our pole classes is: meditation, workout, trick time, dance time.  Sometimes there is a moving meditation in there too but that depends.

I get all happy for dance time and then it comes an I'll start dancing and my mind will blank out. Fairy climb I get to the top of the pole and well then what? What can I do from there?  Sitting here at the table thinking about it I can list off somethings but in the moment I blank- test anxiety pole dance style.

First, getting up high kind a freaks me out.  I am short- and mildly klutzy (okay-- moderately)- staying close to the ground is to my benefit- I have a shorter distance to fall.

I can do some pretty fun tricks and I am really proud of them, however, incorporating them into a dance and staying fluid escapes me.  Figuring out what to do escapes me.

Sometimes I wish I could have someone just calling out trick names and I could incorporate them because sometimes I can only remember like two things to do.

... I don't know what happend for four days....

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lost time.

Me being somewhat of a type A control freak, this is a problem.

Thursday night I was at a class and I just did not feel right.  I got home and my boob hurt.  I just figured that I needed to nurse, thankfully little dude was more than willing to help out.

Husband went to meet some friends and I went down the rabbit hole. 

I started to feel so cold. Unbearably cold.  Since the kids were sleeping I popped in the bath to try and warm up. I took off my shirt and bra and saw a red, streaky swollen boob staring back at me. Mastitis. 

It went down hill fast.  I got wash clothes to use as compresses and a manual pump to help prevent milk stasis.  Then I called my doctor. I know there are lots of great ways to manage mastitis naturally.  Really- and they are great.  But I lack a great immune system and when I get sick, I get very sick very fast.  When she called back I briefly went over my history with her.  She called in an antibiotic script for me and told me to come in first thing in the morning. 

During the night I just got sicker.  In the morning I felt horrific. I went to the doctor and she sent me for IV antibiotics at an immediate care center- I was not ready to go right to to hospital.

But first Stinky had to go to the eye doctor, but that is another blog post.

At the immediate care center- I was offered two guys phone numbers-- then they found out I had 5 kids-- one of them must have been insane because he still was interested.  Then had a few rounds of antibiotics, bloodwork and a breast ultrasound.  I was sick.

That doctor decided that I needed to be in the hospital and sent me over.

I drove myself. 

Monday morning I was finally cleared to come home with no real memory of the intervening days.   This was a problem.  I needed to find my car.  After walking around for a bit in the parking lot- I found it.  How would I explain that one? "Sorry, can you help me find my car? I was really sick when I drove myself here and I have no idea what happened the next few days."

Everything is an emergency

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I hear desperate calls of "Mama!" "Mama!" with a tone to them that make it seem like the cat is on fire or something.  It is usually something much more benign. Like needing a drink.

Peas is dramatic. She is.  She is also 4.  I have to really strive to remember that in her world the things she needs are an emergency.

It is not always easy.  I get annoyed.  But usually once she knows I am paying attention the desperate please of 'Mama!!!' calm down a little.  Really though don't we all want acknowledgement- for someone to pay attention to us?  Once we feel heard things are much better- its that way for Peas also, I guess.

Hyperemsis Gravidarum

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Oh Duchess (or Princess) I feel for you.  

Hyperemisis ins not just morning sickness it is really hell, absolute and total hell.  It was wanting to die but knowing you wanted your baby.  It was actually considering abortion.  It was going on anti nausea meds meant for cancer patients.  It was painful.  I have had experienced it complete with home IV therapy. 

Whats worse is unless you have been there, you can't understand.

Hyperemesis can cause re-emergence of depression or anxiety.  It is very lonely.  

I remember wanting to hit anyone who brushed me off as having morning sickness- but I couldn't move without being dizzy or puking.  I questioned myself a lot-- was I doing the right thing? Was I just being dramatic?  Was my doctor treating me effectively? I desperately wanted to explain to my husband how hellish it was and being so angry when he minimized it. 

The judgement.  Oh the judgement was hurtful.  It cut deep. 

 The thing that helped the most was finding other women who had been there.  So my advice to anyone who has hyperemisis is to know that you are not alone.  You are not weak-  you are stronger than you know. 
Find a community who will support you and lean on them. 

No Hate

Friday, November 30, 2012

Hate is one word that we do not use in our house.

It is one of the words that I do not let my kids say.  We also avoid words such as stupid, dumb, retard, gay, etc

Honestly, I do not mind nearly as when the kids say other inappropriate words, such as the 'f word', but that has only happened a few times, mostly because I said it when I broke a toe.

Why do we not say hate??

Hate is too strong.  Hate, to me, is associated with violence.  Violence in general is something I seek actively to avoid.

It may be harmless so to speak to say you hate coconut (for example)- but really do you hate coconut or do you just really really intensely dislike it.  Hate is just too strong of a word to use.

What words do you not use? 

Mental Block or something else...???

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I have posted before about my need to wear glasses.  I wear them all the time.  I truly dislike taking them off- with a passion.  I can't see and I feel very vulnerable.

Like my mom, I have poor hearing, especially when there is lots of background noise or poor acoustics.  I can hear that something is being said but I cannot decipher the words.

However, I noticed that I feel like I hear better when my glasses are on- kinda crazy right? Maybe it is because when I have my glasses on I can pair what sounds I hear with lip-reading skills.

Either way, I noticed this the other night at pole class.  I had been wondering why I felt so much more vulnerable without my glasses- not being able to see or hear properly would do that don't you think?

Attatchment Parenting--ahead of the fashion

Saturday, November 24, 2012

So Attachment Parenting is the new thing.

Celebrities are doing it.  It is 'in' to babywear (in a non crotch-dangler), it is in to co-sleep (or bed-share), breastfeeding is cool now, cloth diapers are stylish, gentle parenting is the new rule, milk sharing is more mainstream, crying it out is out, and listening to our instincts is replacing listening to experts.

Thank goodness.

I am always behind the times.  Like terribly behind the times- on this though I am thrilled (and proud) that I was ahead of the curve- maybe the only time I have ever been 'ahead of my time'.

When I would wear my now 8 year old because she liked to cuddle, I would be told that she needed to learn to self soothe.  She couldn't learn to self sooth unless I showed her and made her feel safe.

When we opted out of most baby proofing in favor of being with the kids and watching them or just putting things away (like in storage, away)  that could be broken or injure them (like choosing green cleaning products--- goooooo vinegar!) I was told that my kids would be injured, poisoned, or whatever.  Thus far, no one has died and my children are learning to use their bodies adeptly-  I am usually observing ready to step in if there is an issue, but usually I let them be.

When we did extended breastfeeding with Stinky- I felt I needed to hide it.  I am proud that I have been able to nurse my kids for a long time.  We have an amazing bond and the benefits of breastfeeding are undeniable.

When we let Peas set her own pace for things instead of pushing her, I was told that I was doing her a dis-service.  Peas is an amazing girl- but stubborn.  Pushing her would prevent or delay her growing into the awesome kid she is.

When Pixie lived on my chest for months because she was happiest there, I was told she needed to be on her own or she'd have a hard time walking.  She walked at 9 mos.

When Little Dude crawls around the house that has not been sanitized I have been told he will get sick.  Actually- his immune system will be stimulated and learn to respond to threats.  By nursing him I am giving him a boost, but for your body to make antibodies- it first needs to be exposed to the bug.

Now, it seems that my weird parenting style is becoming more mainstream and people are seeing the benefits of it- yay!

Our instincts are there for a reason. Listen to them (use reason and good judgment too, of course, but our instincts are to care for and protect our babies by keeping them close).

(and as a post script- I just have to say it----- I told you so.)

Mother Failure

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Do you every feel like you are a failure as a mom?  I do.  Often.  Like right now. 

My 6 year old is pouty
My 8 year old has an attitude
My 3 year old does not seem to have a pair of ears-- but she does have a death wish for climbing on EVERYTHING
My 4 year old is so mercurial I can't keep up
My 8 month old needs to be touching me at all times

The house is a mess even though I spend countless hours picking up.

It is so humiliating to admit this but I just want to be alone-- even on Thanksgiving.  I just want to be alone.  I am overstimulated and I need some time to decompress.

So right now I feel like I am failing as a mom and it is pretty rotten.

The cost of art

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Art is expensive.  Paintings can go for millions upon millions of dollars.  Art museums charge high fees to view their galleries.

But that is not what I am talking about.

I am talking (or writing) about the cost of art at home.

My kids love making art projects. I have learned that nearly everything can be re-used in a kid's art project an experiment- side note- save toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, and egg cartons--- add a little paint and you have hours of fun.

Its great to see them being creative and learning what happens when all of the colors are mashed together-- but it can get expensive!

Construction paper, butcher's paper, paints (several kinds), pastels, glue, glitter, sequins, yarn, clay, etc all add up. fast. 

I guess I have decided it is worth it.  Realistically, spending $4.99 on yet another stack of construction paper is a better use of that money than a lot of things, and hopefully some great memories will be made.  And that is priceless.

Happy when there is nothing to be happy about

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I am just happy right now. 

Realistically there are no developments that should make me happy, in fact the general state of my things should leave me rather sad and anxious, but I am not.  I am content.

I have faith that what ever happens I have people whom I love and who love us and on whom I can depend.

There is immense freedom in that.  There is immense freedom in treasuring the intangibles of life, my family, my children, nature.

Last night, picking up my daughter at a friends home I looked at the sky and was so awed by the beauty and immense expanse of the night sky.

Pole pics

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I have gotten a few question to pose pictures of pole tricks...but I have not been confident.

Please be kind.

I know these are easier tricks.... But I am really confident in these (I know the flatline needs to get more horizontal)

Throbbing Headache

Monday, November 12, 2012

This sucks.  I have to whine for a moment.  But it really freaking hurts.  I have had this headache for what seems like forever and a day.  I have napped, taken OTC meds, had baths, acupuncture (which actually worked briefly), homeopathy, tried caffeine, and water with no relief.  I am miserable.  My head will not stop hurting and there is nothing that I can seemingly do for it.

My head hurts and I am tired of it.  I am tired of pain.  I can't say I am angry.  I am just tired of it.. I want it to stop. Now--- yesterday even.

The kids are sick of it too.  I am snippy when it hurts and they have done nothing to deserve it.

Headache, headache, go away.... come back again another day (or never).

The Sock Saga

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

One of the things that annoy me most are the sighs and grumbles and under the breath mutterings that say so much with out saying a single word.

Today, I called my husband out on it, he does the under breath grumbles quite often.  He used to actually say something picky about it. So maybe this is progress, but whatever-- it bothers me a lot.  I am left feeling like I can do nothing right, or good enough, not a good feeling.

Wait--- for this story to makes sense you need context right?

Our house has a hard time keeping track of lids.  Lids to juice, to water, to anything--- it will get lost.

Last night husband was in the cupboard and noticed the Tylenol, and he noticed the lid was missing from the Tylenol (of course).  He grumbled, grunted, sighed heavily, and with an 'ugh' worthy of a Grand Slam Tennis serve, he shut the door.

I went on with the evening feeling less than, like I could do nothing good enough.  Thus the confrontation.

He defended himself saying that he isn't saying anything.  I countered that it was not what he was saying it was the message that was being put across.

Anyway, to the socks.  He takes off his socks next to the bed. and leaves.them.there. This used to really bother me- I told him so-- that in fact there were his socks on the side of the bed at that very moment and I just had to give it up and make the best of it... not grumble or endure it.  That now instead of grumbling about the socks I just pick them up and toss them down the stairs. No harm. No foul. Life goes on.

He had to walk over to the side of the bed to verify that in fact there were socks on the side of the bed- and that they were HIS socks.. Despite walking over to his side of the bed... noting the presence of the socks-- he did not pick them up.  Instead he just went downstairs. 

Be Kind

Monday, November 5, 2012

I get a lot of questions about how I manage 5 kids and what our house rules are.

To be honest-- I really don't have any set house rules.  Most of our 'rules' center around being kind and making safe choices.

To that end, I do not feel it is necessary to make rules.

If we respond with kindness and love what more can I ask?  If we make safe choices what more can I ask? 

My job is to model that.  To respond to them with kindness and understanding and to make choices to keep myself safe.

If I am going to be entirely honest, I screw this up all.the.time.  I get frustrated.  I get exasperated.  I get tired.  I get snappy.  Then I apologize.  I hope and pray that in doing so my kids will learn that kindness is our goal, but even mothers are people- and people make mistakes.

Forgiveness is also part of the deal- they make mistakes, I forgive them. I make mistakes, I ask for forgiveness. 

How much better would our world be if we focused on being kind? To others- family members, friends, or strangers.  Be kind. 

Happy 3 Pixie!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

How come each day lasts an eternity and each year goes by in a blink??

Today Pixie is 3.  I can hardly believe it! But here we are- 3.

She is exuberant. Full of energy. Has a great sense of humor and is just as mischievous as all of the others.

It is very interesting to see how all of the kids have such different personalities but are so similar. 

Pixie is my little tattoo artist. Anytime she finds a marker she decorates herself- so far we have avoided Sharpies (except for 1 time- if you need to get Sharpie off of skin milk works great)

She is a climber- more than any of the others- which I did not think was possible, I must learn to never tempt fate.

Pixie is smart- she watches everything and learns all of it.

She loves Go, Diego, Go! She has a sense of justice and is upset if she thinks it is not carried out well.
Pixie on the tree stump- believe it or not she had strep, bronchitis, and an ear infection (with a ruptured ear drum) in this picture.  Nothing slows her down!!

Why I am voting for Obama

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Don't hate me--- or fine-- hate me-- but I am still voting that way.

Personally, my ethics and believes about a lot of social issues lean right.  But these are my beliefs.  They are right for me.  Not for everyone.  One of the most important things I believe in is the absolute separation of church and state. No one, can or should, attempt to legislate morality. 

It would be great if government did not have to step in and provide help to people less fortunate.

Yes, we support charities. 

A lot of charities only provide assistance to people of a certain demographic.  A lot of people do not live in an area where there is aid readily available.  So until there is enough charitable aid available for everyone who needs it- the government as a whole needs to fill in.

Social justice.

Freedom of and from religion.  We are not a Christian Nation and more than we are a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation.  We are a nation of diversity, and that is a good thing. 

Now That's a Pole Class

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

After last weeks not so great class, a toe injury, sick kids, and just general exhaustion, I was apprehensive about class.

I actually considered not going.  I was not feeling 100%- I felt tired and kind of like I was coming down with something.

Honestly, I had been having a really hard time being patient with everyone lately and I figured getting out would allow me to refocus myself even if I did not have a great class, as it turned out I had a great, amazing, awesome class.

It would have been a HUGE mistake to stay home.

I had an amazing class.

From the beginning of class I was able to get into it.  Yes my toe hurt. I was more slippery than EVER before.  I was weaker than normal.  Something about it was just right.

We were going to review a few tricks that I wanted get better at, one of them involved sitting on your non-dominant hand.  See after my wrist injury, doing things that put a great deal of stress on my wrist are often quite painful.  Instead of just gritting my teeth and doing the trick, I opted to hop out of it, and try it with my other wrist down.  My right wrist was strong enough and I was able to do it, just fine. 

The other big thing that happened in class is- I took my glasses off to dance.  I never take my glasses off-- really only to sleep and shower am I without them.  I need to be able to see.  I need to have an escape route.  Much like I need to have windows that I can see out of all the time- I need to have the ability to get out of somewhere fast. 

I took my glasses off and had a great dance. 


Thursday, October 18, 2012

When I was little my mom would invite our neighbor over for tea- daily it seemed- or we would go there.

While they talked, the neighbor's son and I would play. 

I learned to love tea.  I associate the warmth of tea with cozy, intimate friendships, that distance cannot impede.

When I was really little my mom gave me tea with milk and sugar.  Then honey. Now I drink tea like she does- almost room temperature plain.

Tea will always make me feel closer to my mom.  I like that feeling.  At the moment there are two mugs (empty) sitting next to me- and those are only the cups I have not put in the sink today.

Even though there are times I would have thrown the mugs at my mom rather than sit and have a cup of tea with her, I am really so thankful I have those memories with her.

I hope I can foster that kind of relationship with my kids (maybe without the tea throwing part).


Right.. yeah.. feminism.

I am a Stay-at-home-mom how in the heck can feminism apply to me?

Well I have the choice to stay home.  I had the choice to work and for our family it was better for me to stay home and now with the 10 kids I have running around (hyperbole) it is really good that I am home.

Feminism doesn't mean that I want to be like a man.  It means that I am embracing my femininity- while having equal rights and protections under the law.  It means, that while I am very different from a man, I am worth no less and no more. 

It means that my personal role may be caring for my kids and family- that may not be the role for every woman. 

Do you ever feel like........

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Someone is talking just to you and as much as you sit there trying to "lalalalala" it out with your hands it is just not going to stop until you listen.

This may be in a sermon, or message, or speech, or just through people in day to day life... That G-d is just going to make you see something no matter how you try and block it out- He will not stop until you get it?


That would be happening to me right now.

And it is wonderful. I am learning to find my faith not the faith that I was specifically raised with, but with what resonates with me. 

One of the biggest things that drives me nuts is people who extol how important faith is to them and take no action to back them up or worse yet- take actions that are contradictory to their professed faith.

Faith without action is meaningless.

not such a great class last night

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Last night was back to my Monday night class.

I just can't get in a groove there.  I feel really out of place and just ugh. not cool.

Last night the class was really big- which is sometimes really fun, but last night I did not enjoy it.

Thursday's class was  I drove home thrilled so proud of my body so happy to have had the chance to take that class.

For a while I have been down on my body-- hard..
because it is jiggly in places I would not like to be
because my kidney is being a pain
because even my blood can't seem to figure out a reasonable clotting time-- it seems to clot just dandy in things I need and want-- like my lung or my retina-- but my kidney--- no clotting there!

So yeah I am bummed.  I'll be bummed for a bit.. but bounce back. 

invert disorientation

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Left and Right. 

Simple enough most of us were able to figure this out in childhood- or at least before we started (legally) driving.

Not so when you are upside down.

In pole dancing it becomes a whole other world when upside down.

"Put your right hand here."  Well which right hand?? right/left it is all a big mess...

Even worse with your feet. 

"Take your left leg and move it backward.... no the other backward" Say wha??

I become an absolute idiot upside down.  Like it is not even funny--- ok well it is kind of hysterical. 

Tomorrow (if I remember) I'll have someone take pictures of a trick for an example.

The day Peas attacked the mail carrier

Friday, October 12, 2012

I ordered Peas a dress online.  She helped me pick it out and was very excited to wear it.  Since there were none for Pixie online I went to brick and mortar store to buy one.  Subsequently, I brought it home and Pixie decided to wear it and make her sister intolerably jealous.

-- for those unaware jealousy is a very intense feeling for a 4 year old girl, especially, when she in general has the emotional intensity of a hurricane--

She began asking immediately if her dress had come. over. and over. and over.  After telling her the mail carrier would be bringing her dress she began stalking the mail trucks and accosting the mail carriers like a puppy; meeting them on the neighbors yard, asking if the dress was there.

For the first few days it was ok, cute even, to see Peas run out eagerly and ask to have the ever patient mail carrier say, "no, not yet, maybe tomorrow".  For the first few days she was okay about it, then she got mad.

"Where is my dress???!!?!?!?" she would wail and as she got more irritated I began to hope that the dress would make a miraculous appearance.  I also began to worry for the mail carrier's safety- for a 4 year old, Peas is quite determined.

Of course the day the costume arrived we were at the zoo and then lunch.

When we returned- a box on the door-step... a glorious box! In it the much anticipated dress.  The mail carrier can live to see another day.  

**in case it is not obvious this is written tongue and cheek** 

Want to make a kid feel dumb?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Send them to school.

***This is a rant-ish post of my own personal experience as a parent within the public school system with very sensitive (and smart kids)***

I am sure it also clearly exposes some of my own insecurities and issues with school as well.

Princess is in 3rd grade.  Everyday after school there are tears.  Math is confusing her- I'll try and explain it a different way- a way that makes sense in my head, because, ya know maybe we think similarly and all--- but then she flips because her teacher said for her to do it differently and <<>>>

Somehow we make it through the the math, science, and on to English- grammar specifically.  As a product of Catholic schools I can diagram a sentence and parse a noun like no one's business.  But there are more tears. 

Finally, in the morning she comes down the stairs and tells me she wishes she were like some other kid in school who is the smartest.  It is hard to explain to an 8 year old that the other kid may appear to be really good at something, s/he may have difficulty but hiding it, maybe s/he has struggles in other parts of his or her life. 

More importantly- she is great just the way she is.  Just how she is.  So math is hard- that is only this specific math- arithmetic for me sucks- but I can do differential equations and higher order math without a problem.  She is one of the most caring and sweet girls I know.  She is amazing, smart, and wonderful.

It makes me so sad to have to build her up every morning for her to come home so sad.  It makes me so sad for her to compare herself to other kids- they are not the same- they are individuals. 

Honestly, I did the same- and I still do it-- compare myself to others- myself always coming up short.  I do not want her to repeat that pattern. 

Response to Mom Stays in the Picture

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I'll admit- I am a camera dodger.  More often I am the picture taker.

There are very few pictures of me and there are a couple of reasons for this- most of which are a direct reflection of my own insecurities.

My appearance is a long standing issue.  I have never been happy with it.  My face is too fat, my arms too big, thighs, hips, blah blah...I am working on this and it has gotten better (I still dislike my exceedingly round head though)

I never feel right asking people to take pictures of my children/friends and I.  Like it is selfish or self important to ask someone to do that- why would anyone want a photo of me?

No one really offers to take pictures of the kids and I so there is that as well- and we have even fewer of us as a family.   This makes me sad.  There are not family pictures from holidays-- or even just a fun Saturday.  There are not photos of family traditions.

Growing up, pictures were kind of different, I mean- we had to use film! But other than that, we just didn't have family pictures taken.  I wish we had them.  My mom is beautiful.  I love showing her off.  Even as she ages she has this class and shine about her. I just love that.

Does anyone else feel really weird about asking others to take pictures-- or do people just offer and I am not 'picture material?'


The Meltdown

Friday, October 5, 2012

In a house with 5 kids - it is busy.  we are often all on top of each other.  Most of the time this is fine and we enjoy tickle fights and and cuddle fests. But sometimes (at least once a day) there is a line crossed.  Sometimes the line is invisible but sometimes the line is glaring neon green strope lights flashing- it doesn't matter- someone's feelings get hurt- gets injured- offended- something taken away- ad infinitum.

Everyone loses it at some point.  Usually at least once a day (often several times a day) one of the kids loses it.

Princess in true princess fashion cries and marches of to her room
Stinky sometimes does the storm off.
Pixie can scream and yell with the best of them - but when someone offends her she does not hesitate to stand up for herself.  We are working on appropriate strategies.

All of these meltdowns last 20 minutes at most.

Peas has them beat.

She has the emotional intensity of-- something I have no idea how to describe- it is just a lot.  She can go from 0-100 in a second.   She is a little 4 year old tornado.

I really do not want to say anything negative about her- but they are epic.  Epic in intensity. Epic in duration. Epic in every sense of the word.

There is nothing that I can do to really help her.  That is the most frustrating part.  I want to comfort her, to distract her, to help her recognize her feelings that she is having and help her learn to direct them in appropriate ways.

Sometimes I get angry and frustrated that she has these meltdowns because I really feel so helpless.  I want to make her understand.  I want to tell her it is okay. I want her to know I love her and she is loved and safe.

She is an emotionally and sensory intense child.  I am still learning how to help her.

If any of you have any advice on how I can help her (or help me) please let me know. 

She is a super sweet amazing girl but I feel like I am failing her right now.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

I don't remember if I have been vocal on here about my love and adoration for the 45mm poles we have at our new studio.

If not--- Oh my heavens the are a dream

I am a short person.  I have very small hands.  50mm poles are what I have been dancing with since I started- and I have always been challenged by getting my grip strong enough to make up for the fact that I am not able to wrap my hands around the pole.

45mm poles are a dream.  They could not come at a more perfect time either-  I was still feeling down about my 'come back'  with the 45mm poles I am able to do so much more with more confidence.

A Big Picture

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sometimes the way G-d works in life is truly amazing.  There have simply been too many coincidences that have happened for it to be just one big game of chance.  A a wise man once said, "a coincidence is a miracle when G-d chooses to remain anonymous".

My relationship with G-d has been superficial mostly.  I pray- of course- but my prayers were inconsistent.  There are very few specific prayers I like- I love the prayer of St. Francis.

For a former Catholic School student I have read appalling little of the Bible.  I have memorized absolutely no verses.

A great friend invited me to do a Bible Study with her.  I have never really read the Bible- and that which I did read was read like any other book.  I certainly am not a good candidate for a Bible study.

Showing up at this Bible study was baffling.  There were people who were actually planning on memorizing a whole book in the Bible.  I cannot even remember my neighbors phone number.  No, I will not be memorizing the book.

I have been searching for how to bring G-d into my daily life as opposed to one hour on the Sunday.  If we are to honor G-d and serve Him- shouldn't that be kind of a regular thing?  Shouldn't that be a focus rather than an after thought?

The way that G-d has brought some amazing and brilliant people into my life at the perfect time is remarkable, and I am so very thankful for the opportunities I have been given to deepen my connection with G-d.

I am still searching form my home faith.  I am learning more about what it is at least. 

If you have a crab put it in water

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Oh my goodness.  My kids these days are really teaching me about patience and helping me develop more!

I remembered a lesson I learned as a kid, "If you have a crab put it in water"  This was in reference to getting a hermit crab to stop pinching, but it works just as well for people.

When you are feeling really short tempered and cross (thanks to Grandma for reminding me of that word) take a shower or a bath.  When your kids are going to drive you up the wall- put them in the bath. 

It really works.  There is something about water that is so inherently soothing it can help relieve stress and tension.  It works for sick kids (and teethers). 

All in a days work

Sunday, September 23, 2012

"can we get rid of some of these bags?" ~Almostsingle Husband
"Why do you always pick on my bags?" ~Almostsinglemom

I'll admit that I save gift bags.. hoard maybe. But they had been in the basement closet for a long time where we generally put stuff that has no other home

They were in their home (maybe taking over like an invasive species)

Somehow weeding out the bags turned into cleaning out that closet- and the crawl space

Then the dog (White Fang)got out (because the dog always gets out) she was caught thanks to the fast feet of almost single husband and my remarkable ability to get 5 kids buckled in the car with 2 dog leashes and phones and on the way in 5 minutes. 

White Fang was caught a block from home trying to kill herself crossing the road. 

Princess wept over animal rights.

Peas had a tantrum or epic (even for her) over a pickle which probably scared our neighbors.

And now it is lunch time.

Flip flops, stillettos, and climbing fences.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

White Fang- our Siberian Husky has a penchant for escape.  She considers it an art form perhaps.

Whenever she is inside she is begging to go outside.  Whenever she is outside she is either attempting to escape or sunning herself

We put in a new fence, put in an electric fence and have tethered her in an attempt to keep the dog contained, with limited success.

She knows how to open the screen door and nose open the bigger door if it is slightly ajar. 

Friday night, most of my family was out to dinner. Princess was at a birthday party. 

After buckling LittleDude in his seat, I went to put the dogs in their 'house'- crate- White Fang ran for it.  Out the door and to the fence. 

I called for her unsuccessfully from the backyard, but heard her collar so I knew she was close. 

Here is where the lesson comes in.  Climbing a fence in flip-flops is not a good idea. There is limited traction and there is limited stability to be had leading to unnecessary injuries.

Thank Heavens our neighbors helped me get her back.

The show would repeat the following day while I was wearing stilettos- again- not a wise footwear choice. 

Wanting more

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I have been pretty open that my faith/religious relationship with Gd is not very deep.

It seems so fake to go to worship for an hour a week then leave and be done with acknowledging Gd at most before meals.

What about being grateful for everything we have been blessed with? What about serving our Gd? What about our responsibility to give to those less fortunate? Or to help?

Why does that end so soon after services? What do you so of you want more?

September 11. again

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

This day just insists on coming every year doesn't it.

I am, as always immensely, indescribably thankful for the sacrifice the FDNY, NYPD, and our military service members and families have made and continue to make.

There are no words to say what I want to say.  So I will leave it at - Thank You.  You will not be forgotten. 

Terrorists have not won.  They cannot win.  Hope is so much more powerful than fear.  Love so much enduring than hate.

I am not a bitch. Really.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I am not a bitch, really, even though I seem like one (and act like one). I am really not.

For the longest time I thought I was just a crabby pain in the butt and very mean. But you know what? I am not.

So many people (family members included) told me I was just a mean person.

I was talking to my doctor about all of these symptoms I was having, headaches, irritability, actual nervousness, catastrophic thinking, etc-- guess what. I am not a bitch. I have anxiety. Anxiety can be managed. Anxiety makes life hard.

It can make the nicest person ever seem like the Wicked Witch.

Anxiety does not always manifest as panic attacks- it can take many forms. Food for thought- almost all people who have anxiety also have depression- though again the manifestation is not classic. (Thanks Dr. Grim for that info - what an unfortunate name for a psychologist, huh??)

Lets talk about mental health stigma

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I am pretty open with my mental health issues.  There are somethings I don't discuss because I am not really clear on how they happened and I do not want to give misinformation, but for the most part I put my brand of crazy out there.

When I started talking to a neighbor about it I was warned by my husband to not do that. Someone would think I was crazy.  When I talked to a friend about it who blogged about it, there was concern for judgement.

Ok- fine judge away.  I would rather be judged to be a wee bit nuts than being prejudice or hateful.  I may be nuts- but I am nice (most of the time).

Recently there have been a spate of articles that say how there should be more or less (depending on the article) gun control laws to prevent a tragedy such as Aurora, CO.

No- tighter/looser gun laws will not do crap. A criminal clearly has no interest in following laws and will probably find away to do whatever it is he wants to do.  Looser laws can easily lead to more shootings as 'mistakes'. 

What needs to happen is Mental Health reform and reduction of the stigma attached.

In the case of Mr. Holt he had been seeing someone. She had discussed him with her colleagues as a potential danger.  However- he began withdrawing from school and thus was out of their control.

All of this just is tragic.  One of the most tragic things is that it was preventable.

I really do not know anyway to fix this- I wish I did.  But all I can really do at this point is talk about it. Loudly. 

Inside the mind of anxiety

Oh mental health....why must you require such diligence.

I am very prone to anxiety.  I can leap to an absolute catastrophe in my head in minutes- ok more like seconds.  When I am having anxiety issues I am very irritable.  This is good for no one.

My prescription for my meds ran out not that long ago and I thought it is 19 days... I can make it through 19 days. I was so so so very wrong.

Aside from the physical issues associated with suddenly stopping medication I was batshit insane, and this is an insult to bats (sorry).  Headaches. Crabby.  Over-reactions. Not to mention my dear friend the eating disorder was right there to greet me.

Yesterday, after deciding I could not put myself or my family through another day of crazy mama- and begged for more meds.  I promised I would keep my appointment but I needed something to get me through.

Thankfully, my doctor understood.  She called back to say the prescriptions had been called in. I did a happy dance and flew to the pharmacy.

Of course- the pharm tech only heard ONE of the prescriptions being called in- there should have been TWO. I almost died. Sweet relief was coming to be snatched away from me.  The pharmacy agreed to call my doctor-- lo and behold-- there SHOULD have been two scripts not just one.  Got home and took my meds in a few days I should see some improvement.

Moral of the story: Going off meds is a BAD idea.  Second: know your meds- your pharmacy may not. 

Things that are harder than you think....

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Finding a babysitter.

When I was a teenager I babysat-- a lot.  I had no idea how hard it was for parents to find sitters- was it always this way? or is this a new thing?

After finding a sitter it is kind of overwhelming to make sure they are a good person and will not destroy my house- or heaven forbid- anything worse.

I always feel terribly unqualified and unable to interview sitters. Much like making conversation on a first date I stumble and stagger through the conversation occasionally (often) putting my foot in my mouth.

Finding sitters and activities is hard.  It seems like you have to be in the 'in' mom crowd to find out about them.  I am in the mom crowd who is still wearing maternity pants.  Not 'in' at all.

One of my friends from childhood must have felt the same way and she started a great website to help moms along.  Go check it out- you may find the next Mary Poppins

Where'd the Pole Go?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I have not been blogging so much about pole lately because I am having a hard time with it.

My pole history in brief:

I started pole in February of 2010. I had to take the majority of the summer of 2010 off because of kidney issues then more time in the fall/winter for 2 major surgeries, asthma issues, and an injured wrist.

All was mostly well until August 2011 when I had wrist surgery and learned Henry would be joining our family.

I went back to pole a few weeks after Henry was born (I resumed classes in April 2012) but had to have kidney surgery (yet again) in July of 2012 this required more time off.

Going to pole has been discouraging and humiliating because I cannot do some of the tricks I took for granted. Monkey Climb? Sure. Shoulder Mount to Pencil? Got it. I could catch on to new tricks with relative ease and incorporate them into my routine without being scared.

Now? Not so much. I feel like I can't put together even what is supposed to be a fun dance- my mind blanks. Tricks that *should* come easy are hard. Opposite side invert? I just got that sucker back.

And I am slippery! I have never been terribly slippery before grip aids were great for new things but usually I didn't need them, now I cannot find a darn grip aid that helps me!

Here is the issue. All of this was really eroding at my self esteem. I would leave class and be angry at myself. I would almost dread class. Pole dancing was not the happy refuge that it was.

I made a decision. I would give up. I suck and there are no two ways around it.

My instructor pointed out that yes I started dancing for 2.5 years but I have not actually been dancing that long. With that time I have had to take off 20 months. So within that 32 month time I have had to miss 18-20 months- and not just miss because work got busy but because I had a baby, multiple surgeries, injuries, it is not like I could just jump back in.

So sure. I can't do somethings now but give me time- I will.

Asthma and Allergies

Thursday, August 30, 2012

It is late summer here. Late summer early fall I the absolute worse for my allergies and asthma. I am an itchy, drippy, wheezy, sneezy mess. For as long as I can remember I have really really had a hard time with ragweed- it is the bane of my breathing.

Despite using nearly every allergy medication on the planet it is still a pretty rotten time. I know people who extoll the benefits of using Raw Honey for curing seasonal allergies- and more power to them, but severe asthma attacks are not the same as a runny nose and watery eyes.
My allergist recommended I consider getting an air purifier for at least my bedroom, so when I am sleeping (and cortisol levels are low- making asthma issues more likely) there will not be as many allergens floating around in the air.

I did it.

It was expensive but so are hospital stays.
But it is has been 7 months since I was in the hospital last for asthma. So far, my asthma has been remarkably controlled this season, despite record high mold and pollen counts.

Ideals, Ethic. Morals. Parenting

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What do you do when your ideals and ethics contrast drastically with your parenting partner's?

My husband is a Boy Scout, in fact he received his Eagle Scout. Go him.

Problem. I am massively, drastically, and emphatically opposed to discrimination. The Boy Scouts of America have chosen a very unfortunate stance that embraces discrimination.

What am I to do when my husband who truly loves scouting and what it has taught him (no he is not a homophobic asshole) wants to have Stinky involved in this organization?

Should I put my foot down and refuse?
Sew a rainbow patch on his shirt?
Picket his pack meetings?

I realize that Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts are a "Family Oriented"activity. But really families come in so many different forms. Shouldn't our primary goal be about teaching acceptance and love?

Family may or may not be blood related. It may or may not come with a legal marriage certificate. What is does come with is love.

I have a dirty dirty mind.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The last couple of weeks have mostly been a blur of hospitals, blood, and pain medication.

Somewhere in that my daughter, Pixie, was laying next to me and watching Dora (one of the most annoying children's shows which for some reason makes kids love it that much more).

Dora needed her map. So she instructs all viewers to say "Map" not once..several times.. and louder. Sooooooo do you see where this is going?

I must still have 50 Shades on my mind because it went somewhere that has forever changed the way I see "Map".

Something along the lines of "Say my name.... louder" and not in a child friendly situation. I'll just go ahead and blame the drugs for that one.

Family Time

Friday, August 17, 2012

We are very lucky. 

My husband's family loves my kids.  One of the kids aunts is super amazing and takes Princess for girl time.  Princess needs that desperately.  Time when she gets to be the star- where the attention is on her. 

Of course my in-laws and I have differences.  We are from different families- different families do things differently- that does not change the fact that I appreciate how much they love my kids or how much my kids love them.

How the other half lives

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Most of the time I am really content with my life. Every once in a while I get sucked onto a trap though.

My family is larger than average.

Every month though- despite living modestly- we end up scraping by- we look at the bills and the income and think, "well this is going to be fun...."

What would it be like to not worry? What would it be like to not have to utter a quick prayer that we manage?

Then I remember- so maybe we are financially tight- and that can be stressful. But we have each other. We have so much to be very thankful for.

Life's a Beach

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Now that I am feeling better, finally, we can enjoy the summer- what is left of it at least.

I am supposed to be taking it easy and letting things heal- but sometimes- we need to do something fun.  Especially, after being cooped up for so long.

My sister and her kids and I met at Foster Beach in the city. I was really nervous about this trek.  I do not like driving in the city and it is quite a ways, in addition to the 5 kids beach thing. 

However. It was fantastic.  I am so so glad we did it. We left early. Missed most traffic, got a great parking spot and had a wonderful time.

I had never been to Foster Beach before- it is a huge, and beautiful beach.  The water was really wavy today- which apparently is somewhat unusual- but the kids had such a great time.  I can't even describe how amazing it was.

My kids were thrilled to see their cousins and played so nicely. 

Pixie made sand angels.  They built castles, played ball and were truly enjoying being kids.  I can't wait to take them back.  I am so so thankful that my sister and I are getting closer, that our kids get along, and that we have the ability to get together and enjoy our area.

Life Threatening Anemia

Sunday, August 5, 2012

On July 10 I had an endopylotomy.-  yet another surgery to correct my kidney issue.  Another stent.

From the recovery room things were different.  It hurt.  Usually in recovery I was fairly comfortable, this time I was hurting.

When I got home it still hurt.  The pain was not anything that I could handle. Stents are almost by definition uncomfortable- this was exceptional, and the bleeding it was unreal.

I became very pale, very tired, and did not feel well at all.  Eventually, I went to the ER. My hemoglobin was below 6.  The doc and nurse came in and in a very no nonsense way, "you have anemia that is life threatening, you need to be transfused and admitted"

Well then, I had no idea. 

All of a sudden things happened fast.  I was taken upstairs blood was hung.  One unit, then a second, then a third.  All the while i was still bleeding in my kidney. Over the next few days I had almost my entire blood volume replaced.

Please please donate blood.  You never know when you may need it, and when you need it, its nice to have. 

When I went to the hospital I did not expect this.


Friday, August 3, 2012

When my parents built their home on Lake Michigan they were given personalized address plaque. I looked forward to the day that I could have one for my house.

Now, okay- for a while, I have lived in this house and I can finally order my own custom address plaque. Of course, I am torn. Should I put our last name on it? A "date established"? Just the address?

Of course there are a ton of residential address plaques to choose from and this is not helping my indecisiveness. HELP!!!

This is what I ended up with.

5 reasons to give blood

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Please Please Please give blood. I have spent the past few days receiving blood. My kidney stent was causing me to loose a lot of blood that put me in a dangerous situation. Thanks to some generous people quite literally giving themselves, I am okay.

1. You don't have to die. Almost everyone I talk to is an Organ Donor, and you have to actually die (usually) to give your organs, blood... all you need is a few hours.  However, not many people give blood. 
2. It is almost painless, one needle stick. Just one.
3. You get some yummy treats- after you give blood you get to have some great treats- and a good excuse to indulge.
4. You will be a hero. Literally. Blood donors save lives.
5. It is one way to give that doesn't cost a thing.

For obvious reasons I can't give blood right now. But I will again as soon as am I am able. Please give blood, you never know when you- or a loved one will need it. I certainly did not expect to need blood this week, but I did. I am so thankful it was available for me.

When They Say 'No'

Saturday, July 28, 2012

My kids say 'no' to me often. And that is okay. Here is why: - They matter- their opinions matter - No one should really be forced to do things Sometimes, even if they say 'no' they do not necessarily have a choice. I know this and they know this- but there is usually a compromise to be had if you think outside the box-- sometimes this means we do things that look a little wacky- but whatever, we are working together in a team. How can my kids learn that their opinions have value and matter if I don't instill in them that they matter? I want my children to know that each of them and all of their opinions matter. If they feel I won't listen to them, will they believe their peers will listen to them? This may be melodramatic- but if my girls do not feel confident their opinions matter will they know that they can say 'no' to a boy (or girl)? How will they know that they can say 'no' and be respected if I don't respect them? Go ahead- say no.

He has found his voice

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Little Dude has found his voice, he has learned he can talk in little baby coos and get a response and smiles. It is one of my favorite parts of babies. I love this part. Seeing little ones eyes eyes light up when they get a response. It is super cute. We chatted today in baby for about 20 minutes and we smiled at each other cooed and were generally soaking each other up. This part is some of the magic of parenting. I adore it. Somehow I forgot about it between Pixie and Little Dude, but it was a great surprise for me. Each of them is so unique and even at this young age their personalities are emerging. I am so so blessed to have this time with them.

6 things about kidney stone

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Kidney stones.

If you have been reading my blog for the past two years you know what pain my kidney stones have given me, here are some things I have learned.

1- when stones are in the kidney they often don't hurt.
2- After excruciating pain of a stone traversing from the kidney south, it can be super exciting to see a stone in your pee. There is a certain amount of pride.
3- Stone hurt buy they are nothing to obstruction, the first time I obstructed I thought I was dying.
4- After a few episodes of stone pain I knew what drugs worked for me. To the point that I could tell the ER doc exactly what to give me.
5-Stents are created by the devil.
6-Stents would make wonderful torture devices

Just avoid kidney stones, really. Avoid.

Pixie has a Pixie

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pixie is now the bearer of a pixie hair cut. She is the latest in my children to cut her hair. There must be some irresistible song that the scissors sing enticing children to cut their hair.

Pixie took a chunk off of the front it .

Oh well she is cute. Not everyone can pull off a pixie!

8, 6, 4, 2, and 17 weeks

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Today Stinky celebrates his 6th birthday. Where have the last 6 ears gone?

I love watching him grow up.

He is proud of himself that he know how to make Daddy a cup of coffee and me a cup of tea. He also can switch the laundry and organize the snack cabinet.

He is amazing. He contributes to our family in such a wonderful way. He is kind and generous (when he is not hungry or overtired).

I greatly appreciate all he brings to the family.

He loves to be useful and help I am so so blessed to have him as my son.

From the land of nursing

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I have five kids (that is a lot of kids).

Each of my children were born early- they have always had their own agenda; but because of their early arrival there was almost nothing I could do for them. I could breastfeed though.

My mother did not breastfeed me, and until my first baby was born I had absolutly no intention of breastfeeding, that changed.

I had to learn how to breastfeed and my children had to learn how to breastfeed. Instinct tells us to breastfeed, but even things that are instinctual can be hard. A cat will hunt a bird, but she will not catch everyone. It is instinct but practice is still necessary.

One of the biggest surprises I had with each child was how sore my nipples got. They were mangled, cracked, bloody messes. When my child would look at me with hunger in his or her eyes, I would take the good pain meds and nurse (really, I saved Vicodin for nursing)

I was given cabbage leaves, nipple shields, pillows and tons of things to help relieve the pain. I almost gave up.

Somehow I stumbled on nipple creams. I used medical grade lanolin, All-Purpose Nipple Ointment, letting my milk dry on my nipples, ice packs, heat, weeping, and screaming.

Just when I had enough I found EasyNurse and figured that I had nothing less to lose. My nipples already looked like that gone through a meat grinder (babies- even without teeth can do a heck of a lot of damage. EasyNurse actually really helped. I was shocked. Best of all I did not have wipe it off before nursing again. The less I had to mess with my breasts the happier I was.

Thank to a great support system and finally finding a product that worked for me I have been able to nurse without crying in agony. I am now on baby #5 with no plans to stop soon.

EasyNurse is also great to use on little cuts and scrapes. It is very soothing.

**this is not a sponsored post** just was so happy to find a product that helped so much!

Ahead of the times??

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I am always behind the times. Ok- not always- but usually.

However... I have noticed something. My parenting style is ahead of the curve.

Before baby-wearing was in I wore my babies (thanks to some wonderful women for introducing that to me). I would tell so many people about how amazing baby-wearing and no one would listen to me. Now of course these same women are eager to try baby-wearing.

Before cloth diapers were in again, I was eagerly researching and trying them. No one believed me when I said that they are not that hard.

Breastfeeding. I am an extended tandem breast feeding mom. 8 years ago I would never have imagined myself here. Now more and more mothers are electing to breastfeed and some are even breastfeeding 2 children. This is so exciting!

Things that I did which were firmly on the crunchy edge of the spectrum are now moving towards mainstream.

I must admit I am feeling a little proud right now. I really really want to loudly and obnoxiously sing "told you so!!!" but I will refrain- and instead take pleasure knowing that children are having their needs met.

Mission Impossible - find a baby sitter

Friday, July 13, 2012

There comes a time when a family needs a baby sitter. Finding one however can be like finding a needle a haystack.

It is one thing to find a sitter for 2 kids or so but finding someone who can handle 5? Getting Mary Poppins contact information may be easier.

We have a had a few really amazing sitters and a few that I am not so crazy about and of course the kids have an opinion too, and finding a sitter who everyone likes is a challenge.

When our regular sitter had the audacity to move to Alabama for college I was crushed. The kids loved her, I loved her... what could be so important about college anyway (kidding). But we would need to find someone who was a little more available.

After trying out several sitters, one clicked. The kids are all giddy when she comes, she engages them. They do things! She takes them to the park! She paints with them (and she cleans up!) which is amazing.

I find myself paying her more than I normally would for a sitter but she is worth it.

When a mom finds a good sitter we will do anything to keep her happy.

the missing diaper bag

Monday, July 9, 2012

How did the diaper bag get lost? It is large. Cumbersome, and in general hard to miss. But somehow ours is missing. I have looked everywhere I can think of the car, closets.. but it has not turned up.

Any ideas where it could be?

Small house, Full of Love

Sunday, July 8, 2012

(and noise)

We have a small house by American standards. We have a large family by modern American standards and yet we get along just fine.

5 kids in a 3 bedroom 1.5 bathroom house with 2 dogs and 2 cats.

Here is the thing. We may be right on top of each other, but we have fun. We have tickle fights and dance parties, pillow fights and hug fests.

I am so blessed to live this life. It may not work for others but it works for us.

Can you do something???

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I have a really hard time with 'can' vs. 'can't'.

For example: when I hurt my wrist. Could I do xyz?? Well I could- but would hurt a lot. Then I get yelled at for saying I could do something when I couldn't... Shouldn't there be a qualifier there? "Can you do this with out pain?"

Another one, can you drive to my parents house for lunch? Technically, yes I could. It is not reasonable, but it could be done. Sooooo what is the answer? Am I supposed to say, "Yes, I could- but I would have to leave very early"

I can never tell! What do you do?

Its Super Duck!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Some cousins of ours have a farm in Northern Illinois. I am more of a country mouse than a city mouse. So I loooove going up there. It doesn't hurt that they have 2 beautiful horses and some of the best dogs ever.

They have a couple of ducks- one of which is a Muscovy. They have a mask on their face so it looks kinda funny- the link is to a picture of a Muscovy.

This particular Muscovy is named Hero. When Peas saw him on one of the visits to the farm she said "Look Super Duck!" It took a minute... but we realized that she meant Hero.

I thought it was hysterical and probably one of the funniest things I had heard in a long time.

Can't wait until we can see SUPER DUCK again!

Cooking without a book

Friday, June 22, 2012

I love to cook- most of the time. I love to cook when I am not pressured or rushed.

My mom and grandmother taught me how to cook. I am sure I drove each nuts sitting and wanting to 'help' all the time.

Most of the recipes I learned were measured in handfuls and pinches. Texture, aroma, and how the food looked were more important than measuring things.

Fudge is one of my grandmothers specialties. Her instructions to me included 'beat it in the bowl until your arm is going to fall off" there is also the part about the soft ball stage (which is actually a recognized term).

Somehow her food was always amazing.

My mother is the same when I ask her how she makes something she says "oh I just throw in whatever is around". Somehow it always turns out fantastic.

Ironically- it is the same way I cook. I add flour until the bread dough has the right elasticity. Add herbs and vegetables as they are around the house. Some habits maybe are genetic.

Equine therapy

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I love horses. Well, most animals. But horses have a special place in my heart. I like them more than almost any person.

Horses, for me, like pole dancing is, are somewhat therapeutic. There is some majestic quality with them. Their warm breath, the soft nickers and wuffles they way they look in to you with their big beautiful eyes.

They are truly magical. The connection they form with people, the unspoken bond that is so deep.

My cousin-in-laws- who I adore- have been kind and generous enough to let me play with their horse, and I look forward to that time constantly. In the country, on a farm, where my organic food proclivities are not weird.

Horses Rock

New and unusual!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

So I have returned to pole dancing- no shocker there.

I love it again- also- not a surprise.

What is a surprise is before Little Dude I would just throw myself into a trick and just go for it. Now I am a bit worried. More cautious. Though I am sure my pole teachers think it is fantastic that they need no worry at attempt any CRAZY tricks- or new things without a mat. Now- even with the mat I am more nervous.

I don't quite know how to handle the fear. Is this something that came with turning 30? It is cramping my death defying pole style..

Seriously- I am nervous to climb to the top of the pole flip upside down hold the pole between my legs and let go, I mean really-- where is the fun in that?

The only other time I was even slightly nervous pole dancing was when I got my first cast off my wrist. I was worried about stressing it too much- got over that real quick. But now?

I hope it goes away.

Its the 2 step!

Monday, June 11, 2012

One forward, backwards. sideways, throw in a few front-rolls, maybe some back-rolls for fun....

It is the Eating Disorder Dance. Some days are better than others, some days I feel trapped in my mirror looking at things that are growing in ways I do not want them to grow.

Then I forget to eat. Not hungry. What? Food? Who needs it--- why am I shaking?
Eat. Panic. Sweat. Real anxiety over eating.

Then the culmination. I weigh myself. I never weigh myself. Ever. I consciously avoid knowing my weight. It becomes and obsession. When I obsess over that number I become a mathematician of caloric content.

After a few weeks of backstepping, I am coming out of it again. Remembering. It really is a coping mechanism. Get overwhelmed? Compensate with food.

Silly Stinky

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Stinky is silly.  This much is known.  Much like water is wet- it is just a known and accepted fact.

A silly Stinky-ism, "I have a summer cold"

Several days earlier I said that he was acting like he had Spring Fever because the kids were being all kind of crazy.

Spring Fever = A Summer Cold in the world of a 5 year old.

Hardware Stores

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What a strange post title huh?

Well I was in one the other day.  Not the Man Store (Home Depot) just a regular small town hardware store.  It was so awesome.  They have EVERYTHING (and the kitchen sink)  I mean seriously.

Most interestingly they people who worked there were super nice and knew everything.  It was like talking to Google.

I will make a point to go there more often!

LittleDude Update!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

LittleDude is not so little anymore, and he is a joy to have.

He has learned how to smile and smiles when he sees me.  There is no better greeting than gummy baby smiles.

He is in one of my favorite parts of babyhood.  He smiles and coos, but stays put.  He is happy to see me- no matter what I look like.  Snuggles make everything better for him and he still has the best new baby smell.
Here are some photos from his journey.
Me holding him for the first time in the NICU

Bili Lights


In the wrap on my chest, where he lives.

Happy boy!

Learning to love barbie

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

If you have read my blog you probably know that I am not a huge fan of Barbies.

A while ago- I posted about how I do not blame pop culture/barbies for eating disorders, especially mine- and it made me think about my thoughts and feelings regarding the dolls and popular culture in general.

I do not believe in giving in items or advertisements power. And by blaming barbie and media for the influx of eating disorders- we are inherently giving them power. By fearing them- we are allowing them to control us. Giving away that control and power is very dangerous, we as a culture, people, and gender, need to retain that.

Living in fear is more dangerous as is giving someone else control over what we think is dangerous and destructive.

A Barbie is nothing more than a Barbie until I give it more power and control to damage my children and myself.

The Talk..

Friday, May 25, 2012

My mom never had 'the talk' with me as I can recall.  I never told her that I started my period and I certainly did not tell her when I lost my virginity.

Princess, being the oldest of five kids, has a pretty good idea of the basic human reproductive system.

One moment that made me laugh was after I had Stinky.  I was going to the bathroom- with an audience and she noticed I was bleeding.  She declared that she did not want to have kids because she did not want to bleed.  I laughed- but did not have the heart to tell her the truth- but we covered that part a bit ago now.

My mom took the much less chatty approach.  Being that she worked at a library there were books left around the house, knowing that I would read them, she just assumed (rightly) that I would figure it out via the reading material left around.

Likewise I did not feel the need to tell her when I started my periods.  I assumed she'd figure it out by the bathroom garbage.   The only time we have only really spoke about it is in reference to the monster PMS and cramps I had.  The entire thing was utterly humiliating.

princess- is 8 now.  I have heard of girls starting developing at age 9 or 10 and frankly that scares me to death.  At what point do I need to take a much more active and vocal role in this?  How can I make sure the entire thing is not terribly humiliating for her?

Guilt issues

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I have a ton of guilt issues.

When I was little- I got Cinderella on VHS for a gift one year, I also received Peter Pan.  I kept a tally if I watched one, because I felt guilty if I was ignoring one- and afraid I would hurt its feelings (yes- I know VHS tapes have no feelings)

Time has not resolved my guilt issues- if anything they have gotten worse.  I feel guilty for everything.  Get the wrong thing at the store- guilt.  Forget something- guilt.  Feel tired and neglect laundry- guilt.

Anyone else have guilt issues?

Breastfeeding in public

Monday, May 21, 2012

I have a lot of kids- which means we have to be out and about lest they (and I) go insane.  We went to the market this week and after browsing the kids had ice cream and LittleDude got hungry.  So I fed him.

This means I sat down on a bench, whipped my enormous boob out, and let LittleDude eat.
Honestly, I never gave it another thought. I rarely do!  This time a middle aged women walked by and gave me a thumbs up... we proceeded to talk about our experiences breastfeeding.

I have never gotten negative feedback for feeding my kids.  I do not know if I give off the "bring it on" vibe.. or if I just happen to be in the right place in the right time.  What would I do if someone actually said something negative to me about nursing in public.

Why bother saying something? Would it make me stop nursing in public? No. I guess I would, after restraining myself from unleashing a verbal diatribe on them, ask them why they had a problem with it, what specifically was the problem.

Why would anyone decide to speak up about it?  Have you ever had feedback about breastfeeding? What did you say?

The trouble with boobs

Sunday, May 20, 2012

As much as guys love breasts, I have to say they are a big pain.

I almost cried when I started getting boobs.  I would have done anything to cut them right off.   As a teen with body issues and an eating disorder two lumps of fat stuck front and center on my body were certainly not welcome additions to my eating disorder party.

After getting pregnant my breasts grew to immense and disturbing proportions.

Being that I am short and have a smaller frame, large breasts make finding clothes hard.  Really hard.

It doesn't get any easier.  Now my boobs are giant and they are deflated like two bowling balls.  I am now wearing a 32 HH and the cup size is too small.  I mean really.  This should not be allowed.

The inadvertently knock things over and otherwise get in the way.  Big boobs are not fun.

My Problem with the AP (Attachment Parenting) movement

Full disclosure: I am an attachment parenting parent.

First, I think it is great that Attachment Parenting is getting press. Yay!

What I do not like is that people are now clamoring to be AP parents. I tried on mainstream parenting with Princess it sucked for us. It did not feel good- like a sweater that it itchy and does not fit right and rubs in all the wrong places.  So I stopped and started listing to my heart and my instincts and doing what felt right.

I did not run out and buy 30 books and try each brand of parenting on.  I tried to listen to what my heart was saying and go with that. So far it works.  I am not an ideal attachment parent.  I do not follow all of the rules.  Following all of the attachment parenting rules also felt forced to me. So I again, did what feels right.

It is important to note that what feels right varies from child to child and from stage to stage. The unique nature of children needs to be honored.  They are individuals too.

I do believe that especially when babies are infants and newborns I need to put aside some of my needs to meet theirs.  If I need a shower and the baby needs to eat whose need gets met? The baby's my needs can wait.  I am older and understand priorities better.  Babies live in the moment.

The issue is that babies and kids can sense a fake a mile away.  If parents are doing this just because it is 'in' it will not be authentic or genuine for anyone and benefit no one.

Summer Fun

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Today was a hot summer-like day in the Chicago area.  The NATO people picked a great weekend to be here!

The weather is amazing.

Despite a summer cold (ughhh).  We went to the french market and browsed, got some fresh produce and some amazing lemonade. We just had a really nice day. Being together.

Four kids had ice cream cones and were ADORABLE.  Then we played in the fountain. Walked to the library, looked around.  Enjoyed each other and enjoyed the day. 

I overheard a bunch of moms saying how they can't wait to get breaks and get away from their kids and that made me sad.

Don't get me wrong, I want days off too.  I want breaks too. But not everyday.  I like my kids.  I enjoy hanging out with them.  I think they are pretty great.

Melt into the pole

Friday, May 18, 2012

I have been back to pole dancing for a few weeks and things are starting to come back.

I no longer feel like I am going to kill myself on a standard invert, my shoulder mounts are there--- they need polish but they are there!

One trick that was driving me insane was the inside leg hang.  I could not get in the right spot to save my soul. It was making me so so so mad. 

 My Monday class was fantastic. I am starting to really feel invested again.  For a few weeks I didn't know if that would mean that it was time for me to find a new exercise because I was just getting too frustrated.   But as I have gotten stronger and started to get tricks back I am feeling more confident. 

This week I had a make up with Molly on Wednesday- aside from deciding that I need to take pole poise she helped me get my inside leg hang back again.  I was fighting it.  I was not allowing myself to melt into the pole and let the pole hold me.  By being too stiff I was countering what the pole was doing.  So I got it.. even better, I got the cupid. 

Always during the relaxation at the beginning I have a hard time getting my head to shut up, settling down into relaxation is always hard.  Somehow it happens with out me noticing it- next thing I know I am settled and enjoying my class.

How did I go months with out this???

Mothers day

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I do not hold out a lot of hope for holidays or birthdays.. especially Mother's Day (see the Happy Dead Mouse Day post for reference).

This year was again that way that means it is a damn good thing I have a sense of humor.

As I was visiting the bathroom, you know like most people do first thing in the morning, my children- 4 of them the ones who can walk....picked the bathroom lock and burst in. Full of delight and joy, anxious to wish me a "Happy Mother's Day".  I am really thrilled they are so excited to wish me a Happy Mother's Day, but I like to pee in private. 

But that is just what motherhood is isn't it? Motherhood is witnessing the happiness on your kids faces when they feed the ducks or when they are so excited to give you a bouquet of dandelions.  All of that makes it so special.

The rest of the day was a typical day- with lots of spontaneous "Happy Mother's Day" hugs thrown in. 
I could not be the mom I am with out the kids and family I have.  They have given me more and taught me more than I could ever possible hope for.

Here is a picture of a funny card I got:

When the going gets tough

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It is tough.

Generally, I try and find the humor in life.  They chaos that happens in my life is humorous- it has to be- or I would go crazy.  Sometimes though it gets to be too much.  The load becomes heavy.  The kids antics frustrating. My own issues.  My own heart.  My own stuff becomes to heavy to bear to carry on with let alone to laugh at.

The ache. The empty. The exhaustion. What is it? Why can't I remember to be thankful for what I have? Why can I not see all of the good things in my life and focus on that. 

Some wise person once told me that you need to have the bad times.  The sad times- to be able to appreciate the good times the happy ones. 

For heavens sake though- I really would appreciate a clean kitchen

Sometimes you just have to laugh

Monday, May 7, 2012

It was one for the record books- and not in a "we had a great time way"

I get a lot of people asking how I do it with so many kids... well I just do... really what else can you do?

Really though- I laugh. A lot. Maybe that makes me insane but- in reality- the crap that is bad- is not really that bad.  I should be and am focusing on being thankful that I have such amazing kids who can drive me batshit crazy.  I really would not have it any other way- maybe a little more sleep though.

To point- after a long day (a character builder) I was driving Pixie to the ER talking with my mom, and I realized I forgot my purse and wallet. I burst out laughing.  And that is when it hit me.  I was letting myself get so stressed out and so upset over things that in the grande scheme of things are not that big of a deal.  So I laughed (and sounded crazy).  Then laughed some more.  What else can I do? Surrender to G-d and let it happen. 
One good part of the day was making it in and out of the ER in under an hour- and not because I signed out against medical advice.

In the end the little potty was found (in a cabinet) and empty (thank heavens) I can shampoo the carpet to get the stuff out of it. The ER staff was able to get the thing out of Pixie's nose.  Everything will be okay (great even if my headache will go away).

past to present

Friday, May 4, 2012

I guess this post is not a surprise..or maybe it is. It is something that I tried to put together in my head on the way to the grocer today- and even then I knew I had something to say but how to say it escaped me so I will work on the theory of conscious streaming - thanks Camus.

Do I live in the past? maybe. If we believe that we are created and shaped by what we have been through, what we have over come, where our ancestors have been..... maybe this makes some sense, but maybe not.

Maybe I am so interested in where I come from (ancestry-wise) because I have no idea who I am now. I have been good at reading people and being who they wanted me to be- so I would be accepted or approved of- thus in the process who I am got lost. Or perhaps never got a chance to develop.

It led me into some interesting situations. A lot of them I carry around with me dwelling on them, wondering, over analyzing. Trying to figure it all out. I wish so frequently I could just tell my brain to turn off and take a break.

A lot of my life I don't remember. I remember some things that are immensely painful and traumatic.

I remember the first time my ex hit me with my riding crop- arguing about where the dogs leash began. I told no one. Or when he ran over my foot when I was on my way to work on purpose because I got out of the car when he was hitting me. It took more than that for it to end though.

Here is the thing. It never got better. That stuff happened when we were dating. After marriage it was worse. I was embarrassed. Afraid no one would believe me. Afraid that maybe I did deserve it.

But because I have made it through that and worse. I know I am strong. I know I can handle a lot.

For now though I will continue researching trying to find out where I came from to yield clues as to who I am, and maybe I will be able to figure it all out. Maybe I can get my brain to quiet. Maybe I can figure out my identity. Maybe I can finally fit in

Peace and Faith

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I have talked before about my strained relationship with G-d.

There are a lot of things I just didn't understand and taking part in services was resented and not joyful.  For a long time I just kind of assumed this was how it was supposed to be- that this was how we paid our dues to G-d for the privilege of existence.

Then fate (or G-d) intervened with the birth of LittleDude I learned some fascinating things about my family history- things that I never had any idea of- things that make parts of life make so much more sense.  It is like a puzzle that is being put together piece by piece, and with every piece the picture becomes clearer.

I also met an individual- a Rabbi- who was able to give amazing insight into the beauty of religion and faith.  Learning has always been a passion of mine- and learning to see G-d in everything, expressed in everything is joyful.

Religion/faith does not have to be something to be born- it can be something- that is to be celebrated- faith is a gift.  Learning about my faith.  My relationship with G-d is not something to be resented- if I learn to look at things through the right lens.