Monday, April 27, 2015

Just Another Manic Monday.....

Does anyone know this song?   It's definitely a dated song.  If you notice it's June 1986....I believe I was in 8th grade- but after my Monday today, I was definitely having a Manic Monday Moment....and the big hair?  Well, I did sport that as well back in the day....  My music taste has definitely improved since the mid 1980's but who can really listen to this song and NOT let it take you back to the 8th grade dance where you sat there and BEGGED God for the class jock to just NOTICE you even existed??  Ha- before I see anymore squirrels, let's continue, shall we?

So recap-

Seven kids.  Five in school.  One insane toddler who absolutely does not talk intelligibly.  Oh, and a baby who LOVES to stay up late and makes me a tad tired during day.

Got it?

Today the small peanut was up at 5:50AM.  Now, lately, I've just been getting up after nursing her and just getting ready for the day.  Mostly because the kids during the school week are up at 6, but also because when I fall back asleep, I tend to sleep HARD for an hour, have the wackiest dreams possible and wake up super hard and feel incredibly groggy.

So what did I choose to do today?  Yep. You guessed it.  I fell back asleep.  I was SOOOOO very tired and thought the extra hour would do me good.  The older 4 can pretty much get themselves ready for school and my oldest two have come to expect rarely seeing me at 6am....although I am trying to make more of a physical appearance as of late....

But, as usual, after 7 I woke up groggy and feeling incredibly exhausted.  Why didn't I JUST get up and stay up at 5:50???  I was awake, I wasn't crabby and I could have taken a shower.  Oh, wait.  I just admitted I don't shower.  Oh well.  I am rather unfiltered, so I suppose the fact I don't shower every day should not probably surprise anyone....or perhaps it does....

I woke up feeling even more tired than when I went to bed last night.  I had some crazy bizarre dreams and even remembered some of the dreams.  When you dream about your neighbors and your big ole bus you drive, and snow, you know you're exhausted.

But I woke up tired and angry because I realized I would NOT get to shower and I forgot I needed to go to Target to get some things that had been on my list for a MONTH.  I'm not even exaggerating there.  Ask my husband.  It's been on my bathroom counter growing each week.

So I quickly got dressed and got the last three kiddos off to school and fed the toddler and got the baby all ready for a road trip.  There were a few things on my list that were essential I buy today.  But the other things I was basically going to price.  I had a few gift cards leftover to use for some "fun" things, like onesies for the baby, underwear for the toddler (God help me in that endeavor...) and some towels for my bathroom.  I needed (and yes, I use that word loosely) sheets for my bed, pajamas for my oldest, and these fabulous nursing pads that two of my friends use called 'lily pads.'

Fast forward.  I'm in my mini van.  Driving with the toddler and baby in the back seat.  I'm feeling pretty good about myself.  I've got the double stroller, the diaper bag, a snack for the toddler, her water bottle.  I'm the BOMB!!!

I should stop the blog there because anything OTHER than being the bomb occurred after that.  Well, maybe a bomb did occur.  It slowly became a GONG show and when I pulled in the parking lot and had to drive half a mile out of the way because they were blacktopping big holes everywhere, I should have taken that as my clue to head back home, IMMEDIATELY....

But instead, in true crazymomma fashion, I hohummed my way into the store, and was no where near prepared for what ensued....

My first mistake was the double stroller.  In an effort to remain germ free, I insist on the double stroller.  The problem here is that the car seat actually causes the back seat of the stroller to need to be flat.  Therefore, I can NOT stick things (i.e. items I am buying...) in the bottom where one could normally place items.  So in true crazymomma fashion, I thought I could pull a cart and push the stroller!

Don't say it.  I already know.....First word into my head was something I can not type here, but the PG version would be 'idiot.'  Can we agree to that?  Good.

So once I walked about 50 feet into the store trying to push a double stroller and pull a target cart, I realized it was not going to happen.  (have I mentioned how well I handle humility???)

I abandoned the cart over by the beauty products.  Essentially, I felt, I was leaving another customer an easy way to get a cart who may have realized their purchases were too many and they needed a cart.  Call me a 'good Samaritan' if you will.  The only thing is, I pretended I needed a product at the end of the aisle and basically RAN AWAY FROM THE CART.

I can only hope that no one was videotaping my asinine move.

Once I figured no one saw me escape from my "cart," I proceeded to lay low by rolling through the back of all the aisle ways.  (yes, I know I have need to alert anyone else about them...)

I hurriedly ran across the main aisle and darted into the kitchen aisle and pretended to be fascinated with a new Keurig.  I don't need one, but I needed to look distracted.  At that moment, my James Bond meets McGyver act came crashing to a halt.

The peanut started to spit up, but got choked on her spit up.  She scared me because she was having trouble catching her breath while she coughed, so I hurriedly pulled her out of her seat and picked her up.  She was fine, but when I tried to place her back in her car seat, she had decided that me holding her was the ONLY way she would continue on this journey, we'll call, the TRAIN WRECK....

I foolishly believed I could get through the store quickly and painlessly while holding her, and pushing the double stroller.

Side note- empty car seat, in the back of a double stroller, with a 30-40 pound toddler in the front seat, makes for a rather difficult time in pushing in any direction but straight.  I had several aisles to maneuver through, so imagine my dilemma.  It was becoming comical, much to my dismay...

The next item of business to get was the lily pad package.  This is apparently the next greatest invention to sliced bread.  They are nursing pads and incredibly, will NOT move from their position.  Maybe they have some sear sucker action?  I wouldn't know, because, I spent about TEN minutes in the breastfeeding aisle and couldn't find them ANYWHERE!!!  At this point, I wanted to cry.  My friends swore by them and were convinced I could find them with no problem.

Suddenly, little peanut spit up all.over.the.floor.

I'm talking something that would probably need a friggin MOP AND BUCKET to clean up.

I ran.

Ok.  Running is stretching it a bit- but I sure as heck pushed that darn stroller as fast as a one legged dog could push a cart.... (is that even possible?  Who cares at this point...)

I moved to my next destination.  Sheets..  I found a nice set, "on sale" because really, the way things are getting, when it's "on sale" anymore, it's basically just regular priced from a year ago.  Tossed into stroller.  At this point, peanut is getting heavy.  She has to be pushing 16 pounds and my one arm is starting to shake.... Quiver....

My last item I went looking for I never found.  Pajamas for my oldest.  I don't know if I've mentioned before, but she's 15 years old and is SIX FEET TALL....

The girl has grown literally out of all her pj's.  She is traveling with me later this week and just needs a nice decent pair of pajamas.

No offense, Target, but the only jammies I found came in two styles.  Old lady and prostitute.

Who in their right mind wears some of these clothing items labeled PAJAMAS!?!?  Honestly.  Have we as a society just decided to toss the idea of modesty or just plain DECENCY out the cotton pickin' window?  I believe so.  I found some interesting moo moos.  Some rather bizarre tank top hoochie momma tops and some incredibly SHORT SHORT bottoms, but I found nothing in the form of ACCEPTABLE for my 15 year old.  I could have bought a moo moo, but I didn't want to insult her cute style and I certainly wasn't going to buy her something she'd be looking like she needed to go downtown and stand on the street corner cat calling in either!

At this point, my frustration level was through the roof, and the little peanut pooped and began to let me know she was ready to get a clean diaper.  The toddler had also decided she too wanted out of her cage and was doing everything in her power to escape the double stroller.

I am pretty sure my head was about to explode....

I'm rounding the corner heading to the checkout when I suddenly get that sick feeling in my stomach. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?  I am probably one of the ONLY people left on the planet that does NOT have a Target credit card.  I say that because every single time I check out from that store, they ask if I want to open an account and save 5%.  Nothing would please my husband more than for me to save him money.  However, his idea of me saving money is basically not shopping....but getting another credit card, is NOT his idea of saving money...EVER...  For whatever reason, I get so insanely stressed when I go through the checkout and have to tell them no.  For whatever reason again, I seem to be plagued with visiting the most DETERMINED employees that insist on knowing exactly WHY I won't cave and just get the card.  I mean, it's 5%!!!  Why on God's green earth would you NOT want to save money?

So once again, I did what any irrational red head holding a fussy baby with a poopy diaper and a sister who is screaming for her "Olaf panties" would do-

I blamed my husband.

I'm certain there are people out there who are convinced I'm in some kind of archaic relationship.  I have this vision of people seeing a cave man like fella with a giant club dragging me by the pony tail back into our cave....

I promise, it's nothing like that.  I just like to blame him when I don't have the courage to just say, "no thank you..."

You'd think I'd get over that one.

But, today, I blamed him for not getting a Target credit card.  He's ok with that.  I think he's just relieved I don't just cave and get the card....although, he is looking into what exactly our savings would be with the card...  :)

So I got home.  The sweet, screaming, poopy diaper filled baby fell asleep in the car.  The crazy toddler got her package of Olaf panties and sang "Let it Go" all the way home....and I?

Made a huge cup of coffee when I got home and sat down to type this adventure...

Cause I promise, the grass IS always greener....right where you water!!!

"Let it Go" takes on a whole new meaning....

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monster Mommy Blogger....and other tales from the mean homestead...

I have sat down to blog about fifty times.  I promise.  I can't even make up the stuff that happens when I go to sit down.... I had desperately wanted to blog about Easter Sunday and how beautiful it turned out after quite the fiasco of having a free front row pew dropped into our laps and then arriving to Mass on time (which on Easter Sunday is suicide-you may as well wait for the next Mass if you do that...) only to discover the ushers had not put out the reserved signs?

I had wanted to blog about how my Grandma Grace had been CRAZY on my mind that day, starting with the wake up of my little peanut.  So strong was she, that I felt compelled to pull out her very old, very dainty crucifix necklace and wear it to Mass.  She remained on my mind the rest of the day and I desperately wanted to blog about how my amazing husband realized after all these years why it was so important to me to have pictures made after Mass.  My grandma had always, always, ALWAYS done that- even if the weather was yucky- we had our pictures taken either on her front porch or in front of a giant bush/tree in her front yard.  There were some amazing pictures of me that I recall.  And let me tell you, I use that word "amazing" incredibly loosely.....
My Grandma Grace's necklace

I wanted to blog about how we had baked a ham and a turkey to bring over to our friend's house to celebrate the holiday together with other friends.  How when we got there, we met some new friends and incredibly, one of them was the very resident who was the first one to start trying to save my life after I birthed my little peanut and began hemorrhaging three hours later.  The funny thing was that she recognized my husband, but couldn't place where she had seen him, and it wasn't until I was sitting and nursing my little peanut and she came into the room I was in and I immediately recognized her.

Talk about surreal!  God has done that on more than one occasion.  Placing the person back in our lives after not being able to thank them for something they've done for us.

I wanted to blog about how, after 10 weeks, I was starting to emerge from my cocoon and was starting to feel almost human again, but was discovering that although I was able to get out, I was suddenly dealing with something very distressing.  I was overly angry, anxious, irritable, over exhausted, and very depressed.  I was losing my temper with my children. I was getting upset with my husband.  I was getting angry I couldn't sit down to blog, which always brings me such peace to just sit and type away.

I wanted to blog how I hadn't been able to just sit and spend time in quiet prayer or conversation with God in I didn't know how long.  Sure we did our bedtime prayer with the children, but for me to just SIT and chat with my Savior?  It had not happened in so very long.

But an event in my life this past week, opened my eyes and "woke" me up.

I got angry.

I'm not talking, grouchy mama bear angry, I'm talking, anger that scared me to the point that I actually wound up accidentally hurting myself.

Back up a few months.  Ok, maybe back up a few years.

My kids fight every single night after dinner.  Over what?

Cleaning the kitchen.

Ok, before you say, "why bother?  Just clean it yourself."  Well, yes, I suppose I could just say that.  But I am a firm believer that my children's generation is going to have a really tough time in the real world when they grow up.  Kids are not made to do chores, clean up after themselves, or pretty much anything my generation and probably every generation before me, were made to do, ever!  It's important to my husband and I that our children learn responsibility and what it's like to be a part of a community (aka family).  In order to do this, they have expectations they must complete.  One of the very few things we expect them to do is the shared responsibility of cleaning the kitchen after dinner.  Now by "clean the kitchen" I have already tried to have a great deal of dishes done, so basically it involves loading your plate, cup and silverware, wiping the table, counter and stove down, sweeping the kitchen and the dining room, and a few dishes.

You would think we had asked them to clean the kitchen after a dinner on the Titanic.

Every night they bicker over WHO has to do what and WHO is waiting on whom to complete a task.  Whether it's one waiting to sweep until someone wipes the table, or someone waiting to dry dishes while another actually washes them.  Doesn't matter, they fight.  Constantly.

Well, like I said, I am really fighting some serious PPD.  To the point I am now going to actively seek someone to speak to about it because it's starting to wear me down.

They started fighting and I got upset.  I told them to get out of the kitchen.  Ok, well, maybe I YELLED for them to get out of the kitchen.  My husband always gets irritated with me when I do this, because I'm giving them exactly what they want.  FREEDOM!  No kitchen cleaning tonight!!!  I see it as the quiet time I can spend cleaning the kitchen by myself.  But tonight I could tell I was more angry than normal and instead of calming down, counting to 10, cooling off, or whatever I could do to calm down, I blew up.

I know I'm not the only mom in the world who blows up.  I feel like I am.  Facebook and moms groups, and other places where you see 'perfect' moms can make you feel like your the only mom who does practically anything wrong beyond the scope of June Cleaver....  I certainly felt like I was the only mommy monster at the time.  My husband got upset that I had sent everyone out.  So I did what any rational, hormonal, post partum red head would do.  I slammed a plate on the counter.

Well, that didn't go over so well.  As I slammed it, I realized that this fancy dish (phaltzgraff) would break, not only break, but break into three nicely sharpened pieces.  I went to grab the one piece that started to fall in the sink and literally sliced my hand open.  Like a can opener.  Blood started pouring out (yes, pouring...) and I immediately realized what a dumb thing I did.  On many levels.

Fortunately, not all my kids saw the juvenile display I put on.  Most just knew mom broke a plate and cut her hand.  But for me, it was so much more.  It was the final tipping point that said, I am not handling things anymore.  I am overwhelmed and exhausted and my expectations are beyond what I can reach.  I needed help.

I did again, what anyone with any ounce of rationale would do, and just cried.  "I am such a mess..." I whined to my husband.  He didn't agree, but he didn't disagree either.  I am a mess.  I know I'm a mess.  I have seven children!!!  Who isn't a mess while recovering from a birth to begin with, but to be the seventh time?  It's challenging to say the least.  The external pressures outside our home, whether from me trying to constantly look as though I "have it together."  Or whether it's the constant barrage of questions inquiring how we even handle that many when those with one or two are barely afloat.  It begins to take a toll on a person and especially just having a baby- when the hormones don't know if they're coming or going, and the sleep is hit or miss- and by MISS I mean, this baby does NOT sleep so it's definitely missing in my life...and my husband's.  The laundry that seems to morph out of no where.  And I mean NO WHERE.....

I knew in that instant I needed something.  Whether it was a coffee with a friend or a MOMs meeting I needed it.  The very next day, I found myself at my church's MOMs meeting and listening to a mom witness about anger.  It did my soul good.  I cried like a baboon through the entire talk.  Thankfully, I was surrounded by other hormonal post and pre partum moms who cried with me.... :)

I knew after attending that meeting what I needed.  I needed confession like you wouldn't believe.  The healing benefit of confession is profound.  I think for most of us, we let fear dictate whether or not we'll go to this sacrament.  We let fear of what the priest will think, or what he'll say to us, or we allow ourselves to believe that our sins aren't really bad... Just so we're clear, sin never looks "bad" or we wouldn't choose it...

So Saturday afternoon I was able to visit the sacrament of confession.  I left feeling as though the weight of the world had been lifted.  I was showered with that grace that only God can give me and the priest I visited wound up being one of the most pleasant and kind priests!  I know we tend to be so hard on ourselves as moms and have this ridiculous expectation that can not always, nor should it be always, met.  He was able to talk me back down off the cliff and into reality.  Reality is, I'm not a nun.  I don't live in a convent, and my prayer life is temporarily on a bit of a chaotic hiatus right now.  Sporadic at best.  He encouraged me to pray when I can.  Whether that be while I'm doing the laundry, feeding the kids, cleaning, whatever moment I was in, offer that moment to God.  He loves me so much for even trying to do that.  That's where He has me right now.  I am in the midst of chaos and laundry, and babies, and no sleep and He wants to me meet me right there.  Not in my little prayer chapel with my veil and rosary in hand.  That's not who or even where I am right now....  Just pulling out the seventh load for the day or changing the tenth diaper.  Loading the breakfast dishes.  Sweeping the floor. Dusting the TV stand. Breaking up another fight over Barbie.  Picking up toys for the umpteenth time that day. All of that is where He has me.  Use those moments to pray.
The reason I pray....

And by no means am I perfect.  Confession was just Saturday and I can assure anyone, I've already snapped at one or two.  I made a not so nice mental comment to someone who made a comment out loud about my large family.  I even fell off my "no more swearing" bandwagon again....

But I know I'll pick myself back up, and keep trying.  God wouldn't want me to do anything less than that....He loves me.  He loves you.  He loves all of us.
A little Momster humor...