Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hanging with my boys

I spent most of this past weekend babysitting my nephews.  It was a very nice time.  We successfully navigated 2 bedtimes without any problems- go me! LOL!  Actually, all in all, there were very few mishaps which was nice.  The only real problem was Luke trying to "tickle" Tyler's cheek and giving him a nice scratch instead.  Of course this was the day before his piano recital and I was sure my sister was going to $hi& bricks sideways.  She didn't!  WooHoo!!!!  The boys declared Aunt Sarah does the best Scooby Doo voice since each nights bedtime story was a Scooby Doo story.  It was a fun time with the boys.  Something I don't get much of anymore and I appreciate all the more because of that. 

Now the bad part is that I was beyond tired.  My sisters house kind of creeps me out since there are some windows without shades or blinds.  I hate that!  Also it was uber windy and the wind whipping around the house was unsettling.  Makes me feel very on edge.  I was also supposed to spend the night Saturday night because my sister didn't think they'd be home until 1am at the earliest.  My mom assured me that she was fine watching Princess Bear for the night and that I should just come home in the morning.  Yeah, in retrospect I should have probably stuck with that plan!  My sister got home about 12:45am and we chatted for awhile.  I then decided that I wanted to go home and sleep.  So there I am at 1:20am wearing my flannel pj bottoms & sweatshirt heading home.  There is a ton of construction on 74 between Morton and Peoria.  Crazy Train by Ozzy came on the radio.  I have a MAJOR problem driving anything near the speed limit whenever I hear that song.  Let alone a lone stretch of highway in the middle of the night.  I realized that I was doing WELL over the 45 mph allowed in construction zones.  I reigned it in and considered myself lucky.  I continued on my way just looking forward to getting home.  I switched lanes to get ready for the exit I needed.  Next thing I know I see cherries and berries flashing behind me.  I pull over and a State trooper asks if I know why he stopped me.  Hmmm- nope!  Not really.  Just exhausted and trying to get home.  He tells me that I didn't use my turn signal when switching lanes.  Seriously!  I apologized and mentioned that I was pretty tired and just trying to get home.  He gave me a written warning and let me go on my way.  I'm so thankful for a couple of things.  First of all that the cop wasn't around when I was channeling my inner Mario Andretti while Crazy Train was on.  Second that he let me off with a written warning.  My moms reaction was to ask if he was bored and my brother in law thought that he was looking for a DUI stop since I wasn't far from downtown.  Whatever the case is I'm just glad that he was cool about it.  So that's the story of my weekend!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Kids are cute!

It seems as though lately Princess Bear (PB) and my nephews are letting loose the one liners that are just too cute!  Nothing seems to brighten a day more!  The aide in PB's classroom had twin grandsons born earlier in the week.  PB had been looking forward to this event all year!  One of the twins had been having some problems and was sent to NICU earlier in the week until his lungs cleared.  I asked PB yesterday on the way home from school how the kids were.  She said Baby A is great but Baby B is still in NCIS.  Ummm- think it's a bit earlier to be picking out a career!   I'm sure it's just me but I thought it was cute!

Tonight I was babysitting my nephews.  I'm pretty sure that I've mentioned my addiction to doing my nails.  Mani's and pedi's are a must in my world.  Gardening destroys it but that's ok.  When I got there this evening I had on Sally Hansen nail strips in a zebra pattern.  My youngest nephew noticed it right away and wanted to know how I did it.  I told him it was a sticker (close enough for a 3 year old, right?).  I then said that after I put them to bed I was going to redo my nails so the zebra would be gone when they see me tomorrow.  Luke quickly looked at me and said "We don't have any of that stuff! We're boys! No girly stuff here!".  I showed him the bag I brought complete with stuff to do a mani.  "OOOOOOOOHHHH! It travels?"   I'm not quite sure why that blew his little mind but it was cute.  He and his brother are definitely all boy and constantly remind us of this. 

Now I'm off to watch an episode of Bones on netflix.  More likely I'll fall asleep to it but you'll have that.  Tomorrow is my friends middle daughters First Communion so if PB is up and moving we'll be going to that and then it's back to take care of my nephews.  I'm spending the night.  It's a very odd thing for me to spend the night away from PB.  She's 10 years old and I can count on one hand how many times this as happened and still have a few fingers left.  It also seems like when it does happen it's never really a fun event for me.  I think I'm going to have to change that! 

Friday, April 25, 2014

If I knew then....

Princess Bear (PB) had her piano lesson today.  Her piano teacher is a very dear, long time family friend.  She was actually my sisters piano teacher way back in the day.  She was telling me about a woman she knows that is pregnant with her 15th child.  Yes!  You read that correctly!  Her 15th child!!!  Also none of the births were multiples!!!  I had such a rough pregnancy with PB that I can't even fathom doing it another 14 times (yes I'm aware that every pregnancy is different but after you've spent 7.5 months throwing up and on a drug they give cancer patients for nausea tell me how you'd feel!).  This made me think about 2 of my cousins that I'm going to see at a family wedding next month.  They are both divorced and desperately want to be mothers.  I can relate.  I really can.  I used to say that if I wasn't married by the time I'm 30 I'm just going to be a single mom.  Yeah- if I knew then what I know now.  Being a parent under the best of circumstances is hard.  Even with a partner.  Being a single parent is so tough.  There is just no easy way to describe it.  I know that all moms are on duty 24/7 but single parenthood is a different 24/7.  There are no breaks.  There is no one to look at and say "Today has sucked major @#(* and I'm outta here for a couple of hours- you're on!".  There is no one to help you when your child has the flu and is miserable and you have the same flu.  I can't say that I would have changed anything once I found out I was pregnant but I sure can say that I'll never be so flip about single parenthood again.

I'm done with the single parenthood bit.  Now lets talk about if I knew then what I know now what I would have done differently during my pregnancy and raising PB in the early years.  First and foremost, you know how every OB-GYN in the world gives out a copy of "What to Expect When You're Expecting"?  Yeah that's all kinds of well and good but they also need to give out a copy of Healthy Child Healthy World and tell parents to get familiar with its website as well.  It's absolutely terrifying what toxins they are finding in the cord blood and blood streams of newborns.  I'm not talking about moms that are living high risk lifestyles either.  I'm talking about everyday moms.  I'm talking about moms that think painting a room for the babies nursery is safe (guess what- it's not!!!).  I also saw something the other day that made me cringe.  Vanilla scented baby pacifiers.  Yeah- do you know what is in that vanilla scent?  Nothing you want around your newborn!  Here is a short video from the Healthy Child Healthy World website.  Share it with those you know who are pregnant or are thinking about getting pregnant.

 There are lots of other thinks I'd change like I'd probably have used cloth diapers.  Have you ever seen a child that has had a reaction to the chemicals in diapers?  My friends son did and it was awful.  If I didn't go to completely cloth I would have done diapers that weren't bleached.   I'm not sure how since PB had to quit nursing because she was aspirating and needed thickened feeds and breast milk doesn't always thicken well but I would have at the very least used organic non GMO formula. 

I don't beat myself up too much because I didn't know about these things when I was pregnant and PB was little.  I just to the best I can now.  That means very very little artificial anything.  Organic fresh fruits and veggies.  No parabens or phthlates in bath products.  Every little bit helps.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter 2014...Everyone survived

Ack!  Holidays are always such a messy affair with my family that tends to bring out the worst in all of us.  Please know that I'm typing this knowing that the fault is as much mine as my sisters and my mothers.  I'm most definitely not trying to let myself off the hook here.  I do wonder why we keep on putting ourselves through the same ringer time and time again. There were also some lovely parts of it but I always feel like I need a few days to decompress and recoup.  We have a road trip to Chicago coming up in a few weeks & frankly I'd give just about anything to get out of it at this point. 

I tried to be more on top of things and have my ducks in a row to make things a bit easier.  I will admit that I'm a procrastinator to the greatest extent and then stay up late getting things done which never helps.  I'm tired and cranky and add some serious PMS and it's gloves off.  I did have almost all the "stuff" ready for Princess Bear's (PB) Easter egg hunt.  The Easter Bunny only puts money (mostly change although a few dollar bills slip in) and stickers in the eggs.  None of this candy crap because by the time my mom gets done she can open her own damn Fannie May!  So I had the stuff ready to go and just had to put it in the eggs and then hide them.  Go me.  Then there was the fact that the shirt she was wearing to Church and her Aunts house didn't dry well the first go round so it didn't even come out of the dryer until 1am.  At that point I had caught my second wind and stupidly stayed up watching Bones on Netflix until 3am.  Ugh!  Take away that pint I earned earlier!

PB woke up and was rearing to go at 7am.  I told her she could quietly hunt for her eggs.  She was cool with that.  I'm now having mom guilt that I more or less slept through that and took no pics.  She saw the Easter basket of gifts from me but decided to wait until after Church to open that.  Church was a lovely service and then it was homeward bound to get ready to go to my sisters house for brunch.  My mom was still trying to get my nephews and PB's Easter gifts together when we got home from Church.  I honestly don't remember making out nearly as well as the kids do now!  PB was thrilled with her gifts from me as well as her grandparents.  The best part was receiving her own copy of "Frozen". 

We got to my sisters and it was pretty much chaotic.  My sister is one of those drama mamas that doesn't chill and enjoy company.  In addition to my parents, PB & myself she also invited her brother in law and sister in law.  My sister is one of those people that if she says we're sitting down to eat at noon you damn well better be ready to put your a$$ in your seat at noon or else.  Her sister in law sent a text that they were running a few minutes late due to a diaper explosion.  Every parent gets that.  She was not going to wait for them.  It took a bit of convincing from my mom and brother in law to get that accomplished.  I just stayed out of that one. 

After brunch the kids were all sent to the playroom.  One of my nephews decided to go upstairs so PB being the oldest and therefore in charge went upstairs after him to shag his rear back downstairs.  This somehow lead to my daughter being in trouble.  Wait a minute.  You weren't paying any attention to what your child is up to so his cousin took it upon herself to get him back in the fold and she did something wrong?  Oh hell no!  At that point I was not happy (as in downright pissed and everyone knew it).  Then my sister went off on my nephews for bringing Legos into the family room.  From what I gathered they had previously decided that the family room would be lego free since the baby would be in there.  That is all well and good in theory.  The boys forgot and then received Legos for Easter that they wanted to play with and show off.  While I understand my sister wanting a safe place for the baby please understand that the baby isn't mobile and was never near the floor.  Consequently her ripping my nephews a new one seemed a bit extreme.  So that was strike 2.  Don't mess with my boys! 

The third strike was my mom having a fit that I let me 10 year old daughter get dessert without me holding her hand and she had a fit.  Really.  So after all kinds of little pissiness and squabbling I was ready to indulge in some wine, run away or having a serious Calgon take me away moment.  The Calgon moment won.

Mason knowing how my family is periodically sent texts asking if I was ok and not in jail.  While he means it in total jest I honestly would never be surprised if at the very least the cops were called.  Part of me understands this is just my family and that I shouldn't try to change something that is obviously never going to change.  Then there is the part of me that longs for the nice normal Hallmark family.  SO, that was our Easter.  I sure hope yours was much nicer!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Busy busy busy!

Things have been a bit crazy around here.  Mostly in good ways.  Things are moving right along planning our Disney Vacation & Princess Bear (PB) is getting more excited by the day.  I've started a planning binder so I can make sure all of our ducks are in a row & I've started a journal for PB.  The journal will basically cover everything she does every day we're at Disney & will hopefully be a wonderful memento for her.  I've also started the autograph book for her.  I'm slightly torn because I found a really awesome template to go with that has a picture of the character on each page or to go with completely blank pages.  I saw an incredible idea online of turning the various autographs and pictures taken with the characters into a memory quilt.  Awesome idea, right?!!!? 

PB has had some health issues lately that have been a bit of a drag.  She's been a bit clingy but I think it's because she's not feeling well.  The antibiotic she's been on was wrecking total havoc on her GI system even though I was having her take probiotics.  Thankfully today was the last day of that antibiotic and she is switching to a different one for the next 4 months.  I'm still not happy about her being on antibiotics for that long but do think it's better than putting her out for a procedure that is no fun in and of itself. 

There has been more going on but today was a very busy but tiring day & bed isn't just calling my name.  It's screaming it!  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Planning a family vacay

I've spent most of this evening online finding out all kinds of good info about our upcoming big family vacation.  My parents decided that they wanted to take us to

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Disney World!!!   

Disney is one of my all time favorite vacations.  C'mon- it's the happiest place on earth, right????  Also we're going at the PERFECT time of year!!!

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Christmas at Disney World is FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!! Princes Bear (PB), my dad and I are all Christms fiends so it will be awesome for us! My parents haven't been to Disney during Christmastime so it's completely new to them. This is going to be PB's first trip to Disney and she's beyond thrilled. When we started planning this we knew we had to go when the weather was a bit cooler since PB has such a problem with overheating. I was pushing for December immediately since they do such an incredible job decking the halls!

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The last time I went to Disney was with my former best friend and another one of my closest friends WAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY back in the day and we went the week before Christmas and left to fly home on the 23rd. It was perfect. Everything was decorated to the hilt, we did tons of fun Christmas shopping there and there were virtually NO lines! My mom isn't down with being gone right up to Christmas so we'll head down the first few weeks of December. We're driving which is kind of ok with me. My mom is having blood clot issues again so that instantly takes flying off the agenda. Then there is the fact that I've been so bloody outspoken about Obummer and the government it wouldn't completely surprise me to find myself on a watch list. So driving it is.

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Driving gives us a bit more leeway was far as extra stops as well. One of PB's favorite movies is A Dolphin Tale so of course we'll be stopping in Clearwater to see Winter. I can't tell you how many times my child has sat and watched Winter via the webcam they have set up so this is just going to rock her little world in the best of ways! The biggest issue we're having at this point is which Disney resort to stay in. The first time we went we did not stay in one of the Disney resorts and it's just not worth the hassle. One of our favorite resort standbys is the Port Orleans. My dad's best friend told him that we HAVE to stay at the Animal Kingdom resort so you can wake up and see the animals. Um yeah...I don't think so! At least not for the entire time. I called the other night to check on availability for 9 nights at it was going to be over $9,500 and that didn't include the park passes or meal plans. It will probably discount closer to the time we're going but that is still Cra-cra!!! I was checking out things on the Disney website and one of the resorts that caught my eye was the Wilderness Lodge. It's beautiful. Well- if you're into that kind of thing. Log structures and lodge type decor. I personally LOVE it so it totally works for me. Isn't it pretty?

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Some of the Christmas decor at the Wilderness Lodge
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Cute, huh?  We're thinking that we'll stay at one of the moderate or deluxe resorts for most of the time and then spent 2 nights or so at the Animal Kingdom Lodge so PB can experience that without the whole thing costing a second mortgage. So now we're trying to get PB to narrow down what her must see and do's are. She wants to see Beauty and the Beast daily. I tried explaining that probably wouldn't happen. So we've been looking at her Kid's Guide to Disney and trying to get a game plan. I've been on Pinterest pinning all kinds of ideas and things to check out. I've got to get my rear in gear and figure out how to use my sewing/embroidery machine so I can make her so uber cute custom shirts. I've also been checking out Etsy for some shirts & dresses for her as well as autograph/memory books. I also found a SUPER cute countdown to Disney idea that I plan on doing. Yeah, I'm just a big kid when it comes to Disney! I'm just so thrilled that PB is going to get to go while she's still Princess crazy! Hopefully fun will be had by all!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spring Break.....and the living isn't totally easy

This week is Princess Bear's (PB) spring break.  I will say that I usually try to have enough "stuff" lined up to keep her amused and happy.  That makes for a happy mom.  This doesn't mean that I am spending the week schlepping her about.  There is something to be said for having fun at home.  She's a very artsy craftsy kid so that is to my advantage!  Usually as long as there is paper, markers, glue, paints and other craft items available she's a happy kid.  I'm not quite sure what has been going on this week but we're really butting heads.  I'll be the first to say that I'm overtired, sick of being sick and cranky.  It does not help that my daughter is wanted to argue about EVERYTHING!  I'm not kidding....everything!  If this is an intro to the teen years I might have to reexamine my decision of getting off my antidepressants.  If nothing else the meds helped me chill.  I digress.  PB is an only child that is pretty good about entertaining herself.  She loves putting on music and dancing around the kitchen.   She loves watching TV.  To the point that I call for screen free time.  We've also done some fun things this week out of the house.  She's gone swimming several times, went out to lunch and shopping with her best friend and to play with her cousin.  It just seems as though telling her no sets off a huge reaction.  Usually when I tell her she can't play online.  I'm not a big fan of letting her loose online and this is just hardening my resolve. 

On a different note I'm also wondering if there is any decision that I can make about my daughter that will meet with my mothers approval.  Why I'm still seeking her approval is a completely different topic.  Today I had to take PB to the urologist.  PB has had issues with her bladder and kidneys since she was little.  She was on a 3 month course of antibiotics to deal with some bladder issues.  The have not resolved.  The Dr. talked about doing a procedure that would entail putting PB under anesthesia and checking her bladder and kidneys.  I'm not a huge fan of putting my child under unless completely necessary.  I've read and seen too much to take anesthesia lightly.  I asked what the other options were.  The Dr. said we could increase the dose of the antibiotic and try a 6 month course.  I'm not so naive to think that this is without its own risks.  Especially since PB is allergic to 2 of the 3 major classifications of antibiotics and having her on them unnecessarily can cause issues such as drug resistance.   I still decided that we'd try the antibiotic option first.  I filled my mom in and she wasn't completely thrilled with my decision.   It's times like this that I'm amazed that I'm not a raging alcoholic.  I'm not kidding either.  It's always lose lose whenever dealing with my mom.  I'm a person that has control or lack of control issues.  IE spending the better part of my 20's drunk because I was having fun.  Ugh!  I think it's time to go meditate and pray to G-d it brings some peace!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The upside to not feeling well!

The whole sinus infection/ respiratory infection thing is still making me miserable and the prednisone is making me more vulnerable to other crap.  I had some nasty virus that started last Tuesday and just sucked.  I did find that not feeling well and running a temp left me with lots of free time.  Since I felt like crap I was highly unmotivated.  I was also caught up on the TV I wanted to see so I dove in to a pile of books.  These are the books I've read since last Tuesday.  There is one other one but I've completely blanked on the title!

Love in Bloom by Sheila Roberts
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The House On Olive Street by Robyn Carr
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Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts
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Forget Me Not by Fern Michaels
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Blossom Street Brides by Debbie Macomber
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There were also issues of magazines devoured such as Countryside and Small Stock Journal, BackWoods Home, Back Home, Mother Earth News, Kiwi, Woman's World and Parents.

If you didn't notice I LOVE reading!  That said I'm so glad that I'm feeling more human!  Princess Bear started Spring Break last week.  The kid has plans!  Mostly me chauffeuring her to the pool while she has a grand time.  Nonetheless she has plans!