Thursday, September 25, 2014

The conversations no one ever REALLY wants to have about the end of life....

But for some reason, I've had a bunch with my spouse.

It's that ever dreaded one, you think you won't have to worry about until you and your spouse are much older, like 60's, or 70's even....

Where do you want to be buried?
Where should I live with the children if something happens to you?

Now, of course, in my husband's line of work, it's something that we have discussed often at times.  At one point, I remember us deciding on someone who would tell me if something were to happen to him.  We always picked a priest to be the one to deliver the news, and thankfully, after 18 years, no one has had to ever deliver that dreaded message no one wants to get.  "Ma'am, there's been an accident...."

It's not to say I don't think about it, and it's not to say I obsess over it.  We are all going to die.  We started dying the day we were born.  Our days are numbered, and the riskier behaviors (jobs, too) we have, the greater risk of not living "forever."  Even despite my husband telling me he's Superman and will live forever....

But sometimes, circumstances cause me to actually develop a game plan.  Remember, I am a planner.  Type A personality.  But in my defense, I am about to have my seventh child, so some small amount of preparation is actually probably pretty practical of me...  (as I pat myself on the back, and say, 'nice one, catholicmomma...')

The circumstances have arrived where once again, I needed to ask these questions.  I am certainly not convinced of his impeding doom, but reality is, when someone who is in a dangerous position, goes after someone of equal or greater danger, the possibility in lies that there COULD be an accident, and the last thing I need to deal with is piss poor planning.  Not making light of someone dying in any way shape or form.  My husband is my best friend in the ENTIRE WORLD- and I would be completely devastated if something happened to him, which is why, it's imperative I have a semi-thought out plan before he heads out just so when I switch to auto-pilot and stop functioning as a human being for awhile, I can rely on my clear headed brain PRIOR to the event to dish out the necessary information to others.

So last night, the conversation sounded a little something like this:
"Where will I live if something happens to you?"  -me.
"Where do you want to live?"  -husband.
"I don't know, that's why I'm asking you."  -me.
"I don't know where you want to live."  -husband.  Snarky little fella.
"I need you to help me make a rational decision in this.  It's serious time."  -me.
"I think you'll be fine wherever you live."  -husband.  Listen fella- this isn't a debate over which pair of shoes look better-this is the rest of my life without you conversation and I need SERIOUS!
"Where would YOU live if something happened to me?"  -me.
"I have no idea."  -husband.  And he's probably right.  This is something that we've discussed for a long time.  (we've had several opportunities to discuss, 'what if something happens to you' scenarios...)

We fell asleep with nothing really definite planned.  There is a family in Arkansas I would most likely move closer to, simply because they have been like parents to us since we lived in the very first city my husband was assigned so many moons ago.  But other than that, it did cause me to think and really ask those tough questions that we sometimes avoid for fear of death and dying.

Did you know I have no idea how to access my online bank account?  I"m talking about the one that my husband has because of his law enforcement job.  I'm certain I could possibly find something somewhere I've signed that grants me access to the account- but that is our primary savings account and regardless how much money I "get" should something happen to him "on the job" I need access to those funds because there will be lots and lots and LOTS of unexpected bills I imagine that will pile up.

Did you know, I have no idea how to; change the filter in the furnace, switch the vents from winter/summer zone (probably just something in Snowland-cause I NEVER remember helping do this down south), turn the pilot light off, or even light it for the gas fireplace, change a tire, fix the toilet, rewire a light switch when we get a new light, or ceiling fan, and about two billion other little things I take for granted all the time?

Did you also know, that I have a terrible fear of having to sell this house alone?  Seriously- we've lived in four houses.  Do you KNOW how much paperwork that means we have signed, filled out, photocopied, mailed, and had certified?  A ridiculous amount, but my husband has always been the one to handle ALL of it.  Such a blessing because that is a PAIN!

Did you also know I have a terrible fear of buying/selling cars?
Yes, as irrational as it may sound, I have had to think about which car I will sell.  The mini-van?  Or the bus?  Technically, eight fit in the mini-van and if there's not another adult in the front, the oldest can sit there and the next older three can sit in the middle and the youngest in the back.  There really would be no need for the bus- minus more space for travel-but it is four years newer than the those thoughts go through my head when he heads out for missions.

Did you also know I have a terrible fear of not being able to visit his grave should something ever happen to him and we move away?
How obnoxiously goofy, you say.  Well, yes and no.  I know his soul is no longer with his body and his body is not what I was married to, or in love with, so just knowing he's in Heaven, should be enough for me to be satisfied and I can talk to him anywhere, but there is just something very powerful about being at a cemetery.  One of our babies is buried in Arkansas, and we have a stone at the site (just a little homemade, Hobby Lobby stone, someone made for us) and it would give me such peace to go by and just sit there some days.  The little ones would explore the cemetery and I would sit like a big goof ball and cry my eyes out telling little John Matthew how much I loved him and missed him and prayed the sun glasses would hide the big red eyes from little eyes that kept saying hi to him when they ran by.
But for me, a physical place to go and sit and chat is important.  We have another miscarried baby buried up here, Gemma Rose, and I have to ask my husband all the time which cemetery is she buried at because there are so many and I sometimes get very distraught when I can't just jump in my car and visit.
So the idea that I might have to bury my husband in a city/state we will no longer live in, sometimes freaks me out!

Yes, I know.  He is already working on his Sainthood cause dealing with me.... I am very well aware of this....  :)

So twice I've tried calling him to rehash these and a few other questions before he heads out tonight and tomorrow, but so far, he's had to stop talking to deal with a team member calling to inform him of more changes, or expectations of what they're doing.

I did not intend for this to be a morbid post, nor did I intend it to be a 'make light of death' post.  But it is something we generally avoid, or have no real reason to think about.  And sometimes, other people's perspective, help us put things into perspective.  Remember, the grass is always greener right where you water it....
My "Superman"

Monday, September 15, 2014

If you give a mom a broom....and she goes to clean the kitchen....

Today is one of those days that I am CERTAIN the creator of 'If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," was doing a parody of motherhood....

I had quite a bit of catching up to do after an entire weekend of activities, celebrating birthdays (we finally had my hubsters bday celebration dinner) and zero, I'm talking ZERO laundry completed....

So in true CrazyMomma fashion- I set to task one room at a time once I shoved, er, I mean sent, my #5 on her merry way to first grade....The littlest peanut and I were on a mission to tackle each room.

Well, it's 12:15, she's already down for a nap and I'm fairly certain I'm 10 minutes behind her and let me tell you, there is not one completed room in this house, BUT, there are lots and lots, and can I say one more, LOTS of little tasks completed in each room that no one, not even me, will remember by 5:00 this evening....

So before I forget, let me tell the story of, "If you give a mom a broom...."

She might set out to sweep the kitchen.  (I suppose might may explain that ideally, the mouse would have LIKED to have a glass of milk with the cookie, didn't necessarily mean he was gonna get it!!)

But she realized, there were 10 pairs of shoes, a laundry basket, a baby blanket, and a giant bag of give away clothing in her way!

So she set out to put the shoes all away, which once in the garage, she realized the recycling bins were stacked ONCE AGAIN, and placing recycling in them would be next to impossible, so she set out to fix that, which led her to recall the oatmeal box she tried to toss earlier that morning in the rush of getting kids out the door, actually bounced off the shelf (because of said stacked recycle bins) and proceeded to roll under the mini-van.  So she came back inside to get the broom to try and scoop out the oatmeal box so she wouldn't forget it was under the mini van when she set out later this day to pick up children from various after school activities, but once inside, realized there was still more to put up before sweeping the kitchen floor, and where was that vacuum cause that rug in front of the garage door was a MESS!
So she took the laundry basket upstairs to find which room it came from, and once she went in that room of her two older daughters and caught whiff of that hideous, "dang these girls need showers" smell, she went to open a window and realized that ALL of the windows upstairs were probably closed because it had gotten so chilly in the evenings of this weekend, so she proceeded to go to every bedroom and open the windows and once in the younger three girl's room, she discovered a mess on the floor and some MORE dirty laundry (I think it just mass produces itself- who HAS so much laundry???)
Once that laundry was picked up she walked all the way downstairs to toss the laundry and discovered that GREAT!  A load was complete.  So she took the clothes out of the dryer and folded them and placed them on the table which reminded her that her OWN laundry basket was on the coffee table with for some reason, children's books and a box of crayons in it.  Well, she had to take the crayons downstairs to the art box and place the books on the book shelf and she saw her vacuum that lives in the basement (she has two, since there are three floors in this monster story) and remembered she wanted to vacuum the rug upstairs, so she headed back upstairs to the kitchen where she originally had set to sweep and began a vain search for the vacuum.  She went in the laundry room and remembered she forgot to put the washer clothes in the dryer, so she set out to do that and start a brand new load- she then looked in the piano/office room for the vacuum and to her dismay discovered quite the disaster.  Paper, tiny little pieces of it, and what appeared to be pencil sharpenings from colored pencils ALL.OVER.THE.FLOOR.... But no vacuum.
At this point, her little assistant, we'll call her, Flo, had discovered that the windows were NOT open in this office room and began her attempt at dismantling the wood blinds, so the mom lifted the blinds on the window and proceeded to open the window to allow Flo to enjoy the beautiful breeze blowing in, but for Flo, it wasn't enough.  The other window needed an adjustment as well, so before Flo could dismantle it, Mom was there attempting to lift the blinds, but discovering that one of her little gems had tied the strings of the blinds into a knot that would befit a King trying to tie up his worst enemy in the world.
20 minutes later and blood pressure raised to almost normal, she opened the window and then placed the door stopper in front of the door, which reminded her to open the front door and find the door stopper for it, which she thought was in the closet with the vacuum, but was not, but upon further investigation found the door stopper behind the front door and proceeded to open the front door, just as Flo was picking up the heavy doorstopper to the office and attempting to place it through the wall of the office.  Mom ran to pick up the door stopper and harshly say 'no' to Flo, who took it lightly and proceeded to her next natural disaster, which was attempting to sweep since Mom clearly had abandoned that job.
But mom was on a new mission, because paper and pencil shavings covered the floor of the office and needed immediate attention and WHERE WAS THAT DARN VACUUM?
She took some clean clothes to set on her bed upstairs, and discovered the vacuum was in HER room!  So she brought it downstairs to vacuum up the office/piano room, but discovered as she stepped over the baby gate of the stairway, that there was lots of "yuck" on the floor below the steps, so why not vacuum this up since it would be easier than sweeping it, and she was RIGHT there with the vacuum.  So vacuum plugged in, floor sucker sticks attached, and mom set out to vacuum the floor and discovered the stairs were actually quite in need of vacuuming, but she only did the first 5 steps because the assistant had taken the vacuum parts off the vacuum and was trying to break the wood floor with them, so she came back down, took the parts from Flo and headed into the office/piano room.  She vacuumed it, but stopped when she realized the girls had taken lots of junk out of their desks and left them on top of the desks.  She decided that was her invitation to just take that junk and toss it for them in the garbage.
Once back in the kitchen, she realized she never loaded the dishes in the dishwasher from breakfast, so without further hesitation, she began to rinse them and attempt to load them, only to discover the dishwasher was still loaded and clean from last night.   (is anyone else as tired as I am now?)
She proceeded to unload the dishwasher and her assistant, Flo, came over and with great strength, pulled herself to be nearly on top of the dishwasher in order to better assist the mom.  It was all fun and games until Flo nearly dropped Mom's beloved Goonies coffee mug and almost fell off the dishwasher. Mom decided this was too much fun for BOTH her and Flo and took Flo off the dishwasher and commanded she go and get a toy from the toy box.
Flo reluctantly complied, but set ahead, full steam.  The mom took that to make lightening speed getting the rest of the dishes out, and began to load the dirty breakfast dishes into the dishwasher.  She looked at the current dishes left, unload-able, and thought, she could wash them in zero time.  She filled the sink and washed the three dishes and turned around to wipe down the counter in which someone had spilled oats on that morning and realized she had forgotten to wipe down her fridge at some point the day before when she had discovered multiple dirty hand prints all over the front (clearly, every day is a "give a mom a broom day....")
She began to wipe the refrigerator and realized she never swept in the dining room, and thought she should do that some time today, but instead opted for wiping down the kitchen table which had not been wiped down after dessert the night before.  (we did celebrate dad's birthday several days late, mind you).  As she wiped down the table, she also decided to wipe out the high chair, which she just decided to toss the cover in the laundry room, and as she entered the laundry room, discovered her laundry was completed once again, so set to task to fold the dryer clothing and transfer the wash over and start a new load.
Once that was complete, she remembered she never finished vacuuming the office/piano room, so she completed that task, and remembered the rug by the garage door that was full of grass, dirt, and other undesirable yuck so she headed that way to vacuum.  She actually completed that task and decided to finish sweeping the kitchen, which is the task she originally set out to do, two hours prior.

And that my friends, is a small snip it of my crazy, grass is always greener where you water it, life.
Enjoy your Monday.  I hope this made you smile a little.... :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What they don't tell you.....Quit telling people to not have kids!!!!

If I subject myself to one more 'anti-having children' article I'm likely to help raise my incredibly low blood pressure (so perhaps I should consider it??)  Ha, never.
So today, I'm suffering from some seriously low blood pressure.  I don't even have to take it to know what is going on.  I stand from a sitting position and nearly fall over because the entire world becomes dark and I have this generally yucky feeling that makes me just want to lie down and go to sleep- which could also be other things, but since blood pressure is something I am getting really good at diagnosing, we'll stick with it for now.... :)

So I took a break from my really good books I've been reading through - and answered a couple of texts from my husband, daughter, and good friend.  While waiting for my husband's response to one, I thought I would peruse through the yahoo news for any brainless news to annoy my 'already annoyed at this world' mind....

Imagine my surprise when I came across yet ANOTHER article painting parenthood to be nothing short of the biggest waste of way too much money, mind, and matter I've read yet.  Here's the article if you dare to read it....make sure you eat breakfast, or a snack, because it gave me terrible heartburn the further I read down....

10 Things your kids won't say....

Ok.  Disclaimer.

I don't think people, who don't feel called to have children should reproduce.  I'm not going to condemn you, I'm not going to judge you.  If you don't feel the call-please don't have children.   I don't think you should ever do anything permanent to your body (simply because mutilation of something God created I think is just like desecrating a sacred object-but we can argue that another time) and sometimes, how you feel NOW, may not be how you feel, say, 10 years from now.

But I'm certainly, going to be the first one to say that, yes, it is a challenge to have children in this day and age, and yes, it can be expensive, if you insist on keeping up with the Jones and buying your little prince or princess every single toy/gadget/electronic/Gap/Justice/Hollister item they feel they want and/or deserve.  Yes, it will be physically and mentally draining, but I can assure you, if you have a spouse who is on board with you, it makes it somewhat easier having someone else on your team.  NO, you won't be able to be a selfish old goat and buy that ridiculously overpriced, gigantic waste of energy house you "dreamed" about or that cute little sports car that you and your big toes can ride in together after you pay a year's salary for, unfortunately, or is it?

I can't think for anyone else but me, but I can assure anyone who even still reads half the stuff I write, that these articles are written with one clear agenda.  The person even said, if you're going to have children, have one-because you can barely afford that one.  (even after pointing out that parents of three or more children spend 22% less than parents of two or LESS).    One child.  Ok, those of you who have purposely chosen to have one, or two children, great.  My only argument is when I hear these people tell me (and believe me, after admitting multiple times to multiple strangers that I'm pregnant with #5, 6, and now 7, I've heard it enough for it to be considered a valid stat)they can't handle the one, two, even three they have now.

I know I've argued this before- and sometimes I wish there was a godless way to answer, but it does seem to me that if you fully relied on a higher power that 1) yes, there will be days of complete overwhelmness, and 2) you would place all of your trust in that Higher Power and know that the only way your "making it" is because you have let go and are relying on His strength.  AND MOSTLY BECAUSE WHY WOULD GOD GIVE YOU WHAT YOU DON'T NEED FOR WHAT YOU DON'T HAVE???   If you have two kids, why do you automatically think you don't have what you need for three?   Just because there are days that are sometimes our own fault of running around to the 46 activities per child because they have to do EVERYTHING so they'll play career baseball and basketball (only 1% of HS students go on to play college and I think the stat is even lower for college to pro-but I digress)  So you see, sometimes, our "I can't handle the two I have" are self inflicted!!!

Now, does having that "Higher Power" make my life "easier?"  Holy heck no.  But does it bring me great comfort?   Absolutely.  I find that the more I rely on myself to take care of my family, the worse I do.  My husband also senses it as well.
Anyway- back to this ridiculous article.

The guy argues your "better off economically" if you stick to one child.

Ok, Explain this.  Better off economically?  Do you mean, and bare (bear?  why can't I remember which bare goes here????)
Better off economically means that because I have only one child I can still afford all those things I NEED like a brand new car, brand new phone every year, brand new house, brand new clothes, brand new.......... are you following me?

Better off economically because there is this idea that we spend somewhere between 200,000-300,000 dollars on our children up to their 18th bday?  Yes, that figure blows my mind because that doesn't include college and if you only have one child, than why do both parents have to "realistically" work unless they both make barely enough to cover necessary bills?  (and by necessary I mean "realistic" bills like a house payment, car payment, electricity, water, etc etc-not 20 GB of data for a brand new iphone- not hardly a "need" is it? )

So, barring the parents that dually have to work to actually meet necessary expenses, why is one child "economically better?"

Ok, let's skip to another one of the "insightful" problems with having children.

6. “I know you love my sibling more than you love me.”

This one really annoyed me more than anything because once again, they're making parenthood out to be this job that should be super easy and require no thought, or work or effort.  

Who goes to their job and only does the stuff they like?  Who teaches in a classroom and only calls on the ones they like and ignores the ones they don't?  Regardless of the anwers, parenting is not an easy job- let me make this extremely clear and I have no letters/numbers/dots/smileys after my name.  I'm going on strictly over 14 years of parenting and that's not very much- minus the fact it is soon to include 7 children- and quite frankly, in this day and age- well, that's a LOT, so maybe there's some, a pinch maybe, of truth in my words.  

Don't get me wrong.  If you sign up for parenting, you're signing up for one of the most difficult, thankless, painful, at times heartbreaking jobs you'll ever have, but it doesn't feel that way all the time and in fact, the opposite of all of those holds true for a better portion of the time.  Now grant it, I only have a high school freshman, and she's a wonderful child, but I've got friends with college age, and married with their own children, children, so I've seen a lot and for as many really, bad, horrible no good days (yes, Alexander, there are those days) there are even more blessed, triumphant, glorious, beautiful days.
And to say you'll love one sibling over another is to well, take parenting as a silly temporary job that requires no thought or effort.

Do I have children who make my life easier than others?  Oh for the love of Pete, YES, but do I love the difficult ones less?  Dear Heavenly Father, NO.  In fact, I feel those need even more love and I find the more I try, the easier my relationship with those children becomes.

It takes effort to be a parent.  I don't think you need a million dollars to do it either.  I don't think I've had to buy all six of my children clothing for every season since, well, I've never had to!  I have 12 bins of clothes downstairs full of every size/season/shape and color you can imagine and I NEVER turn down hand me downs because one can always find a treasure in hand me downs.  I don't think our lives will be any more complete whether we live in a 10,000 square foot home that cost 10x's that or a simple 1800 square foot home, with 4 bedroom and four walls and some really cool Home Depot paint to make a house a home.

And quite honestly, as much as I complain about that dag gone bus I drive on occasion and soon will have to drive all the time when #7 makes his/her debut, I feel really safe in that huge monster. I'm like two heads taller than everyone and feel like it might hurt someone else more than me if I get hit!

Parenting can't be boxed up in this neat little "package" of horribleness that seems to be the latest craz these days.  The amounts of anti-children, we hate children, don't have children if you want the perfect life websites/facebook pages that are popping up are just the opposite of what I'm trying to teach my own children.

I don't know about you, but my heart hurts and I get very emotional when I read the anti-children comments on some sites.  My heart hurts because some of these "well meaning" people are the same ones that expect us to tolerate everything they stand for.  Even if it goes against the very grain of my own beliefs, yet they can spew things like there should be laws against children, people should be sterilized as soon as their born, children are an anchor that drown the very purpose of life-

Those are just a few of the many messages I just found when looking for examples and had to hurry and get off the site before my head exploded or I got myself in trouble with my law enforcement husband.....  thankfully, the filter in my head still works on occasion....

Here's the next one that super annoyed me....

7. “I broke your iPad, iPhone and computer too.”

Ok, first of all, if you're going to give a $100, $500, $900 dollar "toy" to your child, well, than my friend, you have bigger issues than deciding on whether to parent or not.  I'm pretty sure, if we took a poll of all the "broken" iPads, iphones, and computers, statistics would show that 1) parents give these things to little hands to "distract" them from talking too much 2) parents want to make their children "happy" with these things they deem as "toys"  3) you clearly have no idea of the incapacity a child has to understand or differentiate the cost of an expensive electronic device as opposed to Barbie doll or match box car.....  Sorry, but that's the plain truth.  My children are only allowed to use the computer if I'm home, and the computer is in a family room where all can see the activity going on (again, my law enforcement husband can teach anyone who asks why it's absolutely the stupidest thing to allow computers in bedrooms and guess what?  An iphone with data is a computer.....)

Than there's this one-

9.“I’m probably not giving you any grandchildren.”

Why?  Why is this even on here?  Does this define why I am a parent?  Again, we're reverting back to that selfishness of needing a fancy house/car.  Grandchildren do not define who you are as a parent.  Quite frankly, I'll be thrilled if all my kids choose to be nuns/and a priest.  I can think of no greater reward.... ;)  So don't even think about this when deciding on children, for heaven's sake....

10.“You’ll cry when I leave…you with one last bill.”

You know, I think it's extremely noble of parents to want to help their children pay their college tuition, but realistically, the way costs are soaring, soon, only the elite and super de duper de poor will be able to go to college anyway so why are we fretting about this before we even HAVE CHILDREN!!!!!!!  If you think for one second I was going to pay for any of my children's college you're sadly mistaken.  My parents put themselves in debt paying for two years of my college (which they paid off eventually) but then I paid for the next 2 1/2 years after that and to be honest, I took my courses more seriously when I realized just how much it cost!!  I did better academically those last 2 1/2 years and owned my own education.  I'm not saying all kids are like that, and God bless those who can pay for their kids college, but I'm hoping mine can get financial aid, scholarships, and work studies.  Where in the "rule book of kids" does it say we're supposed to make their lives easy and debt free?  Some times, a "good" debt like college, is just what a kid needs to motivate them to get jobs, work hard, and pay it off one month at time.  That's exactly what I did.  I worked my tail off to pay mine off....So yes, I am speaking from experience.   I haven't been in debt since, and prayerfully, I won't ever be.  

There were definitely a few more to peruse, but I think I voiced the jist of my concerns...

If you're one of those people who never wants to have children, that's fantastic.  It takes many different people to make the world go round.  Yes, I empathize with you in regards to the comments you get- believe me-it's just the opposite of comments on my end- perhaps we can join forces together and put together something more wholesome and encompassing instead of immediately just degrading children to unborn soon to be blobs of money draining, life draining thorns...

Not everyone feels that way.  And not everyone will ask you when you're finally going to have a child, or more children, or whatever......just like not everyone is going to ask me if I know what causes my fertility and pregnancies and if I'm "done" as if I'm an oven baking some really cool cookies....  :)