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Archive for June, 2007

Yes, Max got his first spanking yesterday. I asked him where he put the toilet paper that he was using to clean out his nose and he looked me dead in the eyes and said, “I threw it in the toilet.”

“Good boy.” I proudly said.

Then I went into the bedroom, looked into the crib, and saw toilet paper draped over Bella’s face and going into her mouth.

I tanned his hide and made sure he understood why.

*I hate that I spanked Max and never want to do it again. Disciplining has been a huge struggle for me with him because of how strong willed we both are. I’m looking for better ways to deal with my own frustrations so that I can better guide him to “good” behavior.*

BUT…

In the middle of the groaning and moaning about the realities of my life I always feel the need to stop and count the blessings that crop up or linger around. In no particular order:

My paternal grandmother made these two fantastic quilts for my kids:

The horse one was sent to Max after his birth and the other for Bella after she was born. I hate that I *think* that I’m not crafty enough to do art like this. I want to be. My mom and paternal grandmother are both very crafty – so I do have it in me. Maybe once my body isn’t in constant pain (mainly my hands) I’ll learn how to knit, sew, and quilt. Hey, I’m still young – I’ve got lots of time to learn.

I can’t wait to lay these new quilts out on my kid’s beds.

This next wonderful part of my life is what makes me feel like I can and will survive the next year… and that is my relationship with my husband. Even though we have both felt the stress of parenting while poor – we have manage to stay supportive of one another. We don’t fight, we talk. We make one another laugh. We don’t argue over petty things, we keep the disagreement focused on the “real” issue at hand. We don’t blame one another for our personal sufferings, we acknowledge each other’s feelings and perspectives. Okay, I admit it… I do blame him sometimes but he lets it go in one ear and out the other. He understands that I’m “venting.” And if I get out of line – I admit it. Anyway, I really like Hal as much as I love him – and that means a lot.

The third good in my life… I have a couple of friends that I can call any time. And they call me, too. We support and value each other. I feel lucky to have these women in my life when so many people have trouble connecting beyond superficial interaction.

Then, of-course, there is my kids… they are both happy (I have no idea how or why – but they are), healthy & full of life and love…

and that’s all she wrote.

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All I really have to say is that I hate my life right now. It is a true conundrum… I love my kids and my dogs but I feel so miserable spending every day with them.

I hope sending Max to preschool helps me to feel better about the time I do spend with him. He is just so difficult right now. Corporal punishment goes through my mind every day, but I stave off the actions that could easily follow those thoughts. Being a loving, kind, gentle mama is not my goal right now – surviving with brain and dignity intact is.

Liz came for a visit on Sunday bearing fresh banana bread. Max asked her to “help” him use the potty – even though he knows how to do it by himself. I think Max has a little crush on Liz. Hell, what human being wouldn’t???

I read Monica’s last journal entry about me, yesterday. I now know that ending our friendship was the right thing to do. She pretty much hated me.

Oscar was taken to the emergency room, again, last Thursday and all his meds were increased. We are still in the “wait and see” mode as to whether or not he has pug encephalitis. I’m trying to get a little Ari Gold in me and not feel so attached to Oscar (so I can leave the house worry-free). *Fucking dog is costing us too much money, if he doesn’t get better we are putting that pooch down!* When both our dogs leave us, we WILL be pet free for a while.

Max is in the “why” stage of learning and while some of his “why questions” are fun, most of the time they are just plain annoying.

Sometimes, my favorite part of the day is bedtime story time – when everyone sits and listens together. Though, the night I took this picture… Max wasn’t listening very well.

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Yes.

I stole this link from Kelly H’s blog.  Do read it.

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Yesterday we received a notice in the mail that our home owners insurance went up… therefore so did our monthly mortgage payment – by $211.00. In case you are curious, we have a mortgage loan for the amount of $125,000 – which by the way, is unheard of (extremely low) in our area. The only reason we paid so little for our home is because my dad sold me the house I grew up in for pretty much the amount that he had left to pay on it. Anyway, our monthly mortgage payment is… $1,309.00. I have excellent credit so our loan is a low interest loan. The area I live in is over priced, even as a buyer’s market. We are living paycheck to paycheck. It’s just not right.

Today, I received notice that our taxes are going down. Not sure at this point how much that will take off of our monthly payment but hell, anything would help.

This morning… Grandma told me that she would pay for Max to go to pre-school: 3 times a week, any three days I choose, for 3 hours in the morning – 9am – 12pm. I asked her to help me with the cost of preschool and she without hesitation said she’d be happy to foot the entire bill. I found a church that runs a toddler preschool for $44/week. I spoke with the woman who runs it, liked what she had to say so will be popping in for a visit sometime Friday morning.

Last night, my mom (she currently lives in New Hampshire) told me that she is definitely moving to our area next summer to “be a grandma.” I am so happy about this!

Things are looking up.

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As I was folding a load of the kid’s clothes, I heard Max ask, “Mommy, what’s Oscar doing?” I looked down at my feet where he was last laying, not touching me, and he was shaking.

“Oscar is having a seizure, Max.”

“Oh.”

I rushed to the kitchen counter to grab Oscar’s Valium and waited for him to stop seizing. He was shaking for about 20-30 seconds. I tried to give him the Valium twice before finally figuring out that I needed to wrap it in peanut butter before cramming it into his tightly closed mouth. He’s been sleeping since the Valium took affect and I’ve been a complete wreck. Max, an inspiration, is totally unaffected.

I spoke with someone at Pug Rescue, today, who will be putting me in touch with other pug owners whose dogs have epilepsy. I need some practical support from other people and I need to know how to take care of the “new” Oscar. Though, I’m also considering the option of giving Oscar up for adoption with Pug Rescue. The decision rests mostly on my shoulders because it is me who is most affected by his condition. Not to say that Hal isn’t affected, but he is not the one home alone for nine hours a day with both kids and both dogs. I’m not ready to make this decision. The very thought of giving up or loosing Oscar scares both Hal and I into tears every time we try to talk about it. I need some time to figure out what I can handle and what I can do. As it stands right now, I live in perpetual fear that Oscar will need to be rushed to the hospital or worse, die before I can take him there. I know that this kind of responsibility is par for the course when you have pets which is why I’m reluctant to “give up” on him.

I just want to be able to relax, again.

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And then I have days like today when I’m reminded of what I love in my life and why:

Oh, and I almost forgot to include this adorable shot… Nature Boy:

When ya gotta go… ya gotta go.

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Soothing Hip Mamas

I’m putting these responses (RE: last entry) from a mama message board that I belong to over here in Mindful Mothering. I need these kinds of reminders:

new

((((hugs))))

Submitted by meg on Sun, 06/03/2007 – 8:49am.

It gets better. It sound hollow but it does.
And then it gets worse and then it gets better and then….
I found that sending Devon to preschool for a few hours a week gave us a break from each other in our intense affectionate/angry/physical (him climbing and kicking and punching and biting and me hugging and swatting and restraining) relationship. Could you somehow get a regular break from Max either with a friend kid trade type thing, a babysitter or a preschool? It really helped me…
I’m so sorry about Oscar.
“Speak a little softer and work a little louder. Shoot less with more care and sing a little sweeter and love a little longer and soon you will be there.”–Jane Siberry

 

Thesen are my EXACT feelings from about 1 year ago….

Submitted by ascedarleaf on Sat, 06/02/2007 – 11:01pm.

Fuck I wish I had known about you fanfuckintastic ladies about a year ago….

I felt and sometime still feel exactly this way! My boys are little more than a year apart; the second one unplanned. He didn’t sleep at night until this past february. I thought I was going to die, kill myself or my children. I felt like I was in the deepest darkest hole and my loved ones around me just wanted me to buck up and DEAL, their words not mine. Bird, as Erika says YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I think all mamas have some version of this story and if they don’t they are really fucking lucky, saintly or brain dead. No offense to all you blissed out mamas out there perhaps just some sour grapes….but I digress.

Bird, you are my personal shero today for speaking your truth. A wise friend said this to me during this time and I pass it on to you. I know you are a good mama because you care enough to care.

My love and admiration to you.

 

You are not alone. And I liked what-all newleaf wrote.

Submitted by 733t sewz0r on Sat, 06/02/2007 – 8:05pm.

I liked the honesty and directness of your post.

“Macaroni – let me finish! – salad.”

 

you are absoloutly normal

Submitted by Ericka on Sat, 06/02/2007 – 7:26pm.

you are absoloutly normal and EVERY mom feels AT LEAST this way. i have a friend that is just the most balanced, delightful, productive good time and he was a twin born a year after his mother had his older sister. He had a very good childhood. When he became an adult, his mother told him that she literaly went through a period where she HATED her children, and thought she made a big mistake and was miserable for a good long time. What can you say? Your taxed out and your life no longer belongs to yourself and no one tells you its going to be this way. Tell Bella when she gets to be about sixteen. When I was in the ER aboout three weeks ago, I had a dr. tell me to stop breastfeeding because it was causing contractions. and I havn’t. You want to know why? Because if I don’t, my 16 month old will scream and freak out and after about ten minutes I get an adrenylne rush so strong I feel like I could toss a Hummer across the street. The sound of my children freaking out and tantruming makes me so angry its scary, and that fear keeps me reluctantly breastfeeding my kid, hating every second of it. I don’t know what else to tell you other than try and get out of the house more, keep blogging, and keep telling yourself you’re not the only one. In our society its not a secret that dads get sick of their kids, need time away and do things half assed so they can get to do something they want to do. Be enlightend by letting yourself of the hook and not playing intgo societies facade. Hey, even rockstars and actresses complain right?

 

OH MY

Submitted by KJ on Sat, 06/02/2007 – 6:55pm.

Bird, you just wrote my blog that I don’t have time to write becayse #2 is always crying and needing to be held. seriously, my exact blog. I wish we could just hug each other and cry for hours!

 

Been there, mama

Submitted by newleaf on Sat, 06/02/2007 – 5:43pm.

{{{{{{vibes}}}}}
Please remember a couple of things:
1) your kids will become playmates for each other.
2) toddlers test the shit out of you, regardless.
3) all first-born kids get waaaaaay too much attention. 2nd born get used to waiting. It’s cool. If every person on the planet were a first-born kid, it would be hell.
4) You are a pro at being a mom, but you are learning to be a mom of two. That will come with time.
5) It’s okay to hate it. You don’t have to be an ever-nuturing door-mat to be a good mom.
6) Can the DH help?

{{{{{more vibes}}}}}}

 

 

amen

Submitted by crockmama on Sat, 06/02/2007 – 7:24pm.

to #3

 

 

I can’t really complain

Submitted by peculiar old bird on Sat, 06/02/2007 – 6:19pm.

I can’t really complain about DH. When he is not working, he is home doing his share and then some. I’m stuck with the two kids for about nine hours a day 5-6 days a week. It takes some getting use too, I guess. Occasionally, my MIL will take Max – maybe once a week for a few hours. It’s not much but it is appreciated. Thank you for what you said, makes me feel better knowing these are okay feelings to have and that this too shall pass. Everything you said makes sense to me.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. – Chinese Proverb

kids!

Submitted by Henry on Sat, 06/02/2007 – 5:29pm.

I am glad you wrote this. I know quite a few mothers with two kids who have felt this way (with many it passes rather quickly) and they feel very guilty about it often. You are not alone. I have one kid, so I can’t say I agree (sorry). But it sounds like you needed to say it.

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I have a confession. This is really hard for me to write for fear that those who don’t have children won’t understand and those that do have children will look down on me. I’m feeling regretful that we had a second baby. Of-course I love Bella. I wanted Bella. We tried for four months to have Bella. I have never, not even for one second, considered giving her up by abortion or adoption. I wouldn’t “pawn” her off on anyone even if I had a willing receiver. I am just feeling like a horrible mother right now – to both of my kids.

My patience has been tested and it is wearing very thin. Max is an amazing child. I would say (naturally) that he is absolutely brilliant. I fear that I did him a huge disservice by having a second baby before he was no longer my “baby.” He has become blatantly insolent – testing me every chance he gets – rarely obeying the first time I ask/tell him something. Yes, I know this is normal behavior for a two year old but I still feel responsible for it in some way. He’s cooped up in our house all day with only a porch and back yard to escape into… and I have to be a willing party for that to happen.

Bella cries more and longer than I ever let Max because half the time I just want to ignore her and the other half, I’m genuinely involved with something I can’t break away from right away. I swat Max more than I ever in my life thought I would and my bond with Bella is nowhere as strong as it was with Max when he was her age.

Every day is a struggle to be gentle to my children. Every day I struggle to talk calmly so Max will listen and feel respected. I just want to feel like I can handle this. I want to feel less annoyed by my kids. I want my kids to be older so I can have a break during the day while they are at school.

And then there is my poor little dog, Oscar. Clearly, he has some brain damage. I am filled with so much sadness today.

I had to push his leathery tongue back into his mouth.

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Fire!

Hal took today off from work so he could go with Bella, Max, and I to a fire station tour with 20 other parents (mostly moms) and their kids. One of my friends, Michelle, organized the outing. She’s pretty cool like that. Every Friday, she gets all the “library mamas” together for an outing. The regular Friday library function goes on a break during the summer months so Michelle took it upon herself to keep the group together and active. I think a trip to Mote Marine will probably be in the mix sometime next month, too.

After the fire house we (my family) went to Tijuana Flats for lunch. Now, we are home and just hanging out around the house. Hal and I got some house work out of the way right away so we could chill for the rest of the day. I’m on the computer, Bella’s sleeping in her crib, Max, Hal, and the dogs are out on the porch. The sliding glass door is open, rain is drizzling, and a cool breeze is circulating through the house.

Hal and I are trying to “enjoy” Max in all his glorious 2 year old ways. He is NOT organizationally compliant. That kid is blazing his own path. Bella on the other hand… she (thus far) seems to be a very laid back/go with the flow kinda gal.

Max and Michelle (who looks high on oxygen):

This is how Bella looked the entire day… except when she was sleeping or laughing:

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