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I started my period today!  It has been almost 19 months since the last time Auntie Flow visited.  Wow.

Hal really needs to get that vasectomy. Like, soon.

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Steam

Geeze, if I’m not holding, playing, or otherwise right there with Bella she cries NON STOP. And she doesn’t just cry… she SCREAMS.

I can’t get ready to leave the house without her screaming and crying. I can’t brush my f’ing teeth without her screaming and crying. Right now, she is upstairs screaming and crying. She. Just. Won’t. STOP.

I needed to come downstairs to get the laundry and stopped at the computer to blow off some steam. It’s pretty sad because I’m getting to a point where I no longer have a physiological response to her crying, other than sheer annoyance. I have rationalized that, oh well, I can’t hold her all the time so she’s going to have to learn to deal.

Herein lies the main difference between having one and two children… with one baby, short of taking a shower by myself, I rarely let Max cry. If he even so much as whimpered I’d be right there to pick him up. On the rare occasions that he made it to a full-on cry, my body would have such a physical need to comfort and sooth him that it was impossible to ignore his screams. With Bella, I’m just getting pissed at her. I wish she’d shut-the-fuck-up.

I’m so sorry, Bella. I do love you but damn, girl, you are trying my patience.

Okay, there. I said it. Breath, Michelle and go get her now because that girl is determined to not cry herself to sleep (even though at this point I would be happy for that to happen).

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Tomorrow is my social security disability hearing in front of a judge. After waiting a little over three years for this big day, it is finally here.

We are juggling bills to stay afloat and Hal’s student loan hasn’t even kicked in, yet. If I am awarded SSD, Hal won’t need to get a second, part-time job. We really need this second income and my attorney is like, “Don’t worry, you are a shoe in… but, it ain’t over till is over… but, you will do fine.” So, I’m part nervous as all hell because my family’s future is riding on tomorrow’s outcome and part confident with a fear of being too confident. So please, pretty please, send me some positive vibes and prayers.

Much love to you all,

michelle

*Update*:  I wish I could say that I am confident about receiving SSD.  I was so nervous during the hearing.  It will take anywhere between 30-60 days to get a letter in the mail letting me know if I won the case.  We’ve waited three years for this case to make it in front of a judge, what’s 2 more months, right?  If Hal has to get a second job I don’t think I could deal with it.  I mean, I’d have to learn to deal, but it won’t be easy.  I feel so much guilt for putting him in this position, I hate my body so much for putting me in this position, and not a day goes by that I don’t feel horrible because I’m not as physically active with my kids as I’d like to be.  In a weird way, I need this disability money to validate the very existence of this disease.  I know that is fucked-up and the disease is as real as the pain I feel everyday, but I can’t help but to feel this way.  I’m so sick of insurance companies and government agencies telling me I’m not suffering enough to warrant their financial support.  I am going to be living in high anxiety over this until I get that letter.

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max can be such a son-of-a-bitch in the morning. yes, i know i just referred to myself as a bitch. that badge is neon right now. neither one of us are morning people. i am not a nurturing mama in the morning and max will cry if i don’t sit on the couch and let him cuddle on my lap. all i want to do is drink a cup of coffee. blah. sometimes, mornings suck.

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Part I

Wow, its been forever since I’ve posted. A lot has happened. I started a post a few days ago only to be interrupted by Max, and my new way of dealing with his interruptions is to put off the writing and tend to his needs. This “new way” is a chore that is ongoing, every second of the day so I rarely get to write anymore. I need to be more disciplined or get a laptop so writing happens in the rare moments I do have time. Anyway…

The entire week before Max started preschool, we hit a road block in our relationship. This is what I wrote about that week but never entered into this blog [warning: long-winded] :

Next week can not get here quickly enough.

I know Max’s new found [even stronger than before] will has a little to do with Bella and a little to do with twoness. This past week has been one of the toughest weeks with him, ever. He denies me the smallest moments of respite, needs me for things he usually does on his own, argues with me over simple directions, wants the exact opposite of what I am giving him then changes his mind once I’ve given in to his requests – and the list of twoness behavior goes on. And on. And on. The thing is, Max has been two for months now, and only recently has something clicked in his head that he has free will that must be exercised in every situation.

I’ve come close to smacking him but have sat on my hands to that impulse. Feeling like hitting is a big feeling that never – and I do mean never – helps when followed through. I don’t think it defines a person as a parent, like: if you hit your child you are horrible and shouldn’t have kids. And I don’t think hitting necessarily causes children to grow up to be violent sociopath adults. However, I do strongly believe that hitting children isn’t helpful in guiding them to figure things/problems/life out on their own – at any age.

This is how irritated I am getting at Max’s behavior, pissed enough to want to throw out all forms of logic and slap the shit out of him. Yes, I sometimes feel like hitting my child into submission. Don’t worry, its just a feeling – not something I would ever react on.

Okay, confession… I have acted on that impulse to hit Max (slap, spank, what-ever you want to call it).  I always feel like it was the wrong thing to do and the weight of my action stays with me to this day.  I’m still learning, still working on being the mother I want to be, and loving the mother I am.  Anyway… 

My answer to these big feelings is to read. Sometimes, reading the right book(s) really helps me to find my way in parenting. My sister friends can give me the best advice in the world (and they do) – but I have a difficult time processing snippets of good advice. I need more depth in order to know how to implement advice. I need to understand where I stand in that sphere of good advice. And sometimes, I need lots of examples of how to use that advice. It really helps to have good advice compiled on the pages of dead trees.

I’ve once again hit the books to learn more about what I can do to make life with kids more enjoyable. Finally, I got my hands on the book, “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk (How to Help Your Child),” which within the first ten pages has already given me some tools for my currently empty Parenting Tool Belt. The authors also wrote a book titled, Siblings Without Rivalry,” that I also must buy.

As my children grow and change, my ideas need to grow, bend, and flex with them. That means, I need to be open to changing my behavior. I often feel one step behind in Max’s growth. As soon as I think mothering is getting easy, he changes, his ideas grow, his needs become greater or different and I once again find myself tempted to fall backwards instead of forwards. It is the love that I have for him that keeps me humble and open to learning more.

* To be continued…

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Motherhood is the closest thing to being bi-polar without actually being bi-polar. One day/week/month I’m feeling great and all into Zen-like parenting [and living], the next day/week/month I just want to crawl under a blanket and sleep for a year.

It’s days like today that communal living sounds like the perfect living arrangement. It is the only environment that could and would lend the support I need throughout the day. You mean there would be someone else around to pay attention to my children???!!! Sign me up.

I’ve had a decent day despite Fatigue and the depression it engenders. Today was nothing extraordinary – nothing horrible – and a little boring. A few rough patches but nothing I even remember as I sit to write this out. Oh, I have had pretty severe joint and muscle pain all day. I experience pain on a daily basis, but some days are a little tougher than others. This kind of pain slows me down and robs my interest in playing/reading/doing. I’m surprised I was able to prepare food for lunch and dinner. All I can do is move as little as possible, relax as much as possible, and make up for it by having conversations with Max. Bella is easy… I sit and nurse her on the couch, hold her for a while, and then she’s ready to be on the floor with her toys and Max.

I am very eager for next Monday to arrive. There will be nothing bitter/sweet about Max starting pre-school … from where I stand, its all sweetness. I think it will be good for him, and really, good for our whole family.

We have been talking about “school starting” for a few weeks now and he always says, “You’re gonna go with me? Bella, too?” And I tell him, we will go with you until you are comfortable with the folks there, and then you will “get” to go by yourself. I explain everything to him… it will be like “playtime” twice a week for three hours in the morning, you will make new friends, and get to do arts and crafts, so on and so forth. He says to that, “Oh, that sounds good!”

I’m very excited to see how all of this plays out with him and have high hopes that he will love it… okay, maybe a little hesitant in getting my hopes up too high.

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MIL just picked Max up for the day. Bella is upstairs sleeping. Tonight is my 15 year high school class reunion.

I’m actually pretty excited about the class reunion. Mostly because (I’m a dork and) it will be the first time since Bella’s birth that I have been out sans the kids. And to make the night a sure laugh, I’m going with a friend who is funny as hell. True, I am a bit nervous because its been a while since I’ve had to socialize outside of my comfort zone of close friends. Though, I’m sure after the first glass of wine, I’ll be fine. I’m a bit of a natural social butterfly.

Bella is growing like a weed. I can hardly believe that in five days she will be six months old. I’m really trying to soak up the infant and baby stages because This. Is. It. She will never be born again.

Time can fly by so quickly and unnoticed. A long time ago, starting with Max when I found out I was pregnant with Bella, I stopped waiting for the next development and the next clothes size. I stopped thinking about the future so much and started opening up to what is. Max taught me how to live in the moment. He had been showing me this skill since I went into labor with him, but I didn’t really hone in on how I could do it everyday until pregnant with Bella. She taught me how to start right now. She said by being, “don’t wait until something else happens.” What a wonderful gift from my children – the gift of living in the moment.

Stretching each moment out into a lifetime has become a gift that has served my life well. Instead of wondering [read: worrying] about what I’m going to do when I go back to work, school, life with kids in school… I’ve slowed down. A lot. Time is irrelevant these days and sometimes my mind forgets to properly change days and is lingering in Monday when its really Tuesday.

I still have to get things done, make appointments, plan for future happenings. Life doesn’t stop just because I’ve stopped worrying so much about the future. We are still poor, living paycheck to paycheck, hoping Hal doesn’t lose his job because of some lousy tax break that really only helps the rich – all these things are still a part of life. I don’t really understand why I’m less worried about them. Well, I do worry. Sometimes. I do occasionally crawl up into my head and sit with the difficulties of life and fantasies of the future – but that is happening…um, differently(?) these days.

There were more practical, day to day things I wanted to share but when I sat down to write, this is the stuff that came out. This living in the moment thing must be affecting my writing! Usually, as the day goes on, I make mental notes of stuff I’d like to jot down in this blog and then when I sit at the computer it flows out of that little box in my head. Now, I’m still making these mental notes, but it is flowing out of my head before I get a chance to write it down! Gotta work on that.

Maybe I’ll become one of those obnoxious writers who carries a recorder around with her! My thoughts are way too important to forget!

And that was more exclamation points than any one piece of writing should have!

BellaGrace, 6 months:

Max at six months:

Crazy! They are like twins!

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