For Better, For Worse, For Ever

My sister got married this weekend…..for the second time.

I had so many mixed emotions this weekend and if you add a baby who was sick, and then seemed to be better and then was definitely sick again….by last night I was completely spent and this morning, I just wanted to crawl back in bed.

As it is, I sit here in my jammies with brutal hair and my oldest, frumpiest, comfy-est hoody on and I’m drinking green tea with brown rice (my comfort tea, second only to Earl Grey with lots of sugar and milk – but seeing as I don’t drink milk anymore, that kinda kills that drink, no?) It really doesn’t help that it’s raining outside and the grey blah-ness of it all makes me want to go and burrow deep into my bed and forget about everything for a moment.

I didn’t have any issues with my sister or with her ex-husband. I loved them both. I had accepted them both as family. Their differences were not my differences and so the split was a difficult one for me……

I handled it badly. I’ll just say that….. Just put it out there. At a time when I should have been supportive and loving – I was preachy and judgmental. And when it all came down to it…..my actions and reactions wedged a space in our relationship.

I was mad at her. This was the first time that I’d come face to face with a relationship break up that affected me (selfish, much?) and for all the pain that I was feeling over it all for her, for him, for their girls….I couldn’t get past the pain that I was feeling and my self-righteous, judgmental attitude. I can’t even fathom the pain that she must have been feeling to make the decision in the first place. I’m not saying that it was right or wrong or making any calls on it. I wasn’t there in between their 4 walls, witness to all that went on. When it all comes down to it, that’s not my place nor is it a responsibility that I want…one of making judgment calls of right or wrong for someone else. When I look back now, I just can’t even imagine what she was feeling and then to know that I just added to the pain…..it just about kills me, now.

I look back and wish that I could have done differently….that I could have acted differently. I wish then that I knew what I know now. It’s not my place to judge. My place is to love. Unconditionally loving….that’s how I want to be, to live, to act. I want to be able to love unconditionally.

I can do that. At the very least, I can try to do that.

So on Saturday, seeing her look so beautiful and seeing her so happy and seeing embracing a new start…..it was….I don’t know what to say it was. It was so many things. It was lovely. It was beautiful. It was the end and a beginning. It was happy and sad. It was so many mixed emotions (for me).

I am so happy for her. She is marrying a good guy. He loves her. He loves the girls. Those little girls have walked a journey that I don’t envy and yet here they are with a mother who loves them, and a father who loves them and a step-father who loves them and lots of family on all three sides who love them. It’s not an easy path they are walking and not one that they chose and yet……in it all – they are extravagantly loved…..which has to count for something, right?

It’s really not about me. Except that “this” is me. These “are” my feelings. I’m a bit mixed up about it all. I’ll be fine. We have love on our side and we’ll get through this as a family.

It’s just something new….and I often don’t do well with “new” stuff.

I just want to make sure that I show more love and support than I have in the past. I didn’t like that side of me that was so judgmental and hurtful and selfish. I want to be more loving and compassionate and thoughtful and to be thinking outside my self. I want to show my family (and friends and those I come in contact with) that I will love them in the good times and in the bad times; in the happy times and in the hurt times….for better, for worse, FOREVER!

Too Fast, Too Much, Too Little, Too Late

I can hardly believe that SIah is almost two years old.

I know that I just did an update post about him, but it’s really hitting hard that my baby is moving on from becoming a baby and that he’s becoming a little boy.

I have nursed him to sleep forever. Yes, I nurse him to sleep and you know what……I do it gladly…well, mostly gladly. And I’m not even really that much upset that it means that I’ve had absolutely NO LIFE for the past almost two years.

I chose to do this. I didn’t have to. I wanted to.

All the “things” that they tell you to do with your kids…I have tried it all. I nursed them. I bottle fed them. I formula fed them. I swaddled them to sleep. I put them to sleep on their backs and on their sides and on their tummy’s and I let them cry it out and I bounced them and rocked them and sang to them…pretty much if its out there….I’ve done it.

I wasn’t trying to create little schizophrenic little babies and so I didn’t do this to one kid all at the same time. It just seemed that for each kid the “experts” recommended something different. I guess that’s what happens when you have kids over a 10 – 12 year span.

But with Siah, I wanted to slow life down and to take the time to really enjoy him. I wanted to cherish every last minute that I could.

Before I just couldn’t slow my life down. I “fit” the babies into my life and now I regret it. I couldn’t wait for them to grow up. I was always pushing and encouraging them to reach the next milestone beacause it meant that I was one step closer to freedom. I was one step closer to getting “my life” back. I was so selfish and immature back then. I wish I could go back in time and have a chat with myself and tell myself that this time with them was so short, that once it was gone – I could never get it back; and that I would regret not just enjoying them where they were at.

Now I know how fast they grow up. I did not know to take advantage of the fact that one child is so easy and that you could “try” to nap or at least rest when they slept because if/when you had a second one…..ya, that possibility is not even anywhere close to being a reality. Now I know that the crazy first year of life is one to hold onto and enjoy…even the cruddy lack of sleep times and the crying times and the all the horrible times……it’s such a short amount of time and when they are 7 or 10 or older – you realize that the time has flown by and you wonder how it happened that you got from there to here.

I don’t believe that this means that you can’t whine about how tough it is….it is tough. MOTHERHOOD IS TOUGH….but try to enjoy every minute that you can, recognizing that it goes all too fast. Now I realize that all those things that I thought were so important – were not; and the times that I resented my tiny little one for getting in the way of “my life”…….well, I can never get back that time, but those opportunities that pop up….well typically a better one comes up later down the road and now I know that “this time” is the most important thing to me.

I chose to take extra time with Siah and now I’m finding that our time and our routines and our schedules are evolving to accommodate a little boy instead of a little baby. We still nurse but even that is changing. He used to fall asleep when he nursed and now, more often than not, he is still awake when he’s done. And Jon’s been putting him to sleep….which is another step of him growing up and moving on. He’s not needing me for everything. I’m getting to adjust to not being his “everything”. It’s another adjustment and yet like all the rest of “this growing up” and transitioning from one phase to another…..I am determined to enjoy it.

I want to be able to enjoy all of the different phases of all of my kid lives. Sometimes it is easier to enjoy the different phases than at other times, but one thing I’m learning is that “this time (the present)” is so fleeting and that once it passes I can never get it back.

I want to live my life so that I have no regrets or at least as little regrets as possible. This requires that I take time to figure out what’s really important to me and what things just aren’t as important. It also requires that I spend time talking to and gleaning information from those who are further down this road of life and who have been where I am at. I can learn from their experiences, from their mistakes and from their successes. Then I can make the best choices for me and for my family. Years from now I will look at my family and see the investment of my time and love and effort and I will never regret that.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

No, I’m not actually going to talk about hair or shampoo or anything like that, but really what was running through my mind was the stupid whine that seems to be on a looping track these days.

I’m so tired. We’re running around crazy busy. I never seem to have time or energy to do things that I like to do. We are commuting too many hours in a week. When will we buy a place in the BIG CITY? Will we actually be able to get a place in the BIG CITY? Whine! Whine! Whine! Moan! Moan! Moan! Snivel! Snivel! Snivel! and all that crap….

It seems to be all I’m saying these days, and I’m thinking that you have got to be at the very least as sick of hearing about it, as I am sick of whining about it.

And so….I’m gonna talk about something else.

I wanna talk about LOVE! Yup, Love.

See, I’ve been mulling a whole concept of “Unconditional Love” over and over and over in my brain….about as much as I’ve been whining about it, and so you know it’s quite a bit.

The concept of loving unconditionally in your life takes a RADICAL SHIFT of thinking….at least it does in mine.

Especially in the area of parenting.

You see, Since we became parents……12-13 years ago – we’ve done this sllllliiiiiide from one type of parenting to this whole completely different kind of parenting.

Before we were all about control. Control your children so that you can train them properly and then you’ll have good kids. Yell at them when they get outta line, spank them (it’s how we were raised), if they disobey, make sure that the punishment is so severe that they never want to even contemplate doing that thing again. And make sure that they know who is the boss….if they don’t respect you as being in control, then you’ve lost all hope of ever having a good kid…..

There was a lot of fear that we might “mess up” and somehow our kids would be wrecked or ruined and then it would all be our fault and we’d be these horrible bad parents and “Woe is us! We wrecked our kids! There is no hope for us or them!”

I know that’s a bit of an overkill reaction, but it’s kinda what we felt like.

Slowly……OH. SO. SLOWLY……there were aspects of that type of thinking that just didn’t sit well with us and we started to institute slow, tiny, itty-bitty, baby steps of changes. I think the first change was that we decided to not spank our kids any more. Not that we don’t believe that there shouldn’t be consistent discipline or that there shouldn’t be consequences for choices made, both positive and negative…..but we just didn’t see that “we” could justify “hitting” our children in anger or love or really for any reason. I never wanted to see the kids flinch when we raised our hands to them. We don’t want to see them shrink into a shell of themselves when a voice is raised at them. We don’t want their concept of us to be an angry, yelling, hurtful parent who is disappointed when they mess up and is only happy and approving when they “get it right”. We don’t want their concept to be that if they are “good” then we are happy and accepting; and if they are “bad” then we reject them until they “get it all together”.

We want to love our children and to be a safe place for them to grow and develop and to stretch their “wings”. We want them to RUN TO US not only when things are good, but especially when things are bad. We want for their concept of us to be that we love and accept them for WHO they are and not for what they DO. They can’t win or lose our love. Our love is UNCONDITIONAL…..is it FOREVER. We love them because they are our children. We just love them.

When we love unconditionally, we just accept that there are hard times and better times. There are things that they need to learn, and what better place to learn those things than within the boundaries of our love.

The whole unconditional love concept doesn’t mean that I just let my kids run wild and do whatever they want, and I just say….well, my love will make up for all the rude destructive behaviour and one day they’ll grow up to be productive successful contributing members of society. Nope! I’m still responsible to train these little ones. I’m more responsible the younger they area and as they grow older, my responsibilty for them lessens until they are confidently standing on their own and then I’m just their if they need me and ask for my help or advice.

But for now….they can learn through choices and consequences. Life is made up of choices and consequences and just about everything that we do in life is either a choice or a consequence. I can choose to speed, but I have to accept that if I speed, the consequence could be a $150 ticket at the least OR I could kill someone at the worst. Learning to make positive choices, means that I don’t want to kil anyone and so I choose to NOT speed because I don’t even want to deal with that consequence…..

But the whole idea of choices and consequences means that I don’t have to yell anymore….not that i’m not human and sometimes I go further than I can handle and then I get to apologize to my kids for yelling. I mean, if I want them to be respectful to me and to each other, do I not offer them respect as well. Lead by example, right? But take tonight for example…..we’ve talked about not yelling at each other. Talk respectfully. Treat each other the way that you’d want to be treated. But, tonight….that one didn’t go over so well.

The kids were helping to tidy the house and Xandra and Jeremy started to get a little frustrated at each other and instead of asking us for help with their dilemma or figuring out a way to communicate their needs and wants…it dissolved fairly quickly into Xandra screaming in a fit of rage that she “WASN’T SCREAMING AT YOU?” And so calmly I told them both to go to their rooms and get their jammies on as it was time for them to go to bed.

They dissolved into a sobbing mess, neither wanting to go to their rooms, but both heading their all the while crying about how sorry they were that they were yelling and that they wanted to stay up and help.

I calmly explained that I wasn’t angry, but that the consequence for screaming at each other disrespectfully was that their time helping in the family was over and they could just go to sleep. Xandra handled it a bit better than Jeremy and got her jammies on and piled into bed. Jeremy was a bit more upset and that’s normal as his brain doesn’t always grasp the situation quite the same way as the girls due to his own personal sturggles.

Just because he struggles doesn’t mean that he gets away with it. He still has to deal with the consequences that his choices bring to him. That’s life…that’s what life brings…that’s what he will have to deal with for the rest of his life. It’s better that the learn that now, where it’s safe within our love as opposed to learning it when he steps out on his own…..that would not be loving of us to just “set him loose to figure it out on his own”, would it?

And so, I went back to their rooms, and hugged them and explained how the situation could have gone differently. There are several different scenarios that they could have chosen, but their choice was to try and control the situation by force. In effect, they were beating each other with their words and their volume….not cool! They did “get it” and they went to bed. In case you were wondering, it was 7:30pm and by the time all was said and done and their lights were turned out it was 8pm, so it’s not like I sent them to bed at 5pm…

But the big thing….once upon a time….I would have yelled….and possibly screamed at them to exert my control and force over the situation. I would have used my words and volume to try and force them to do what I wanted. They have learned from me, and it’s going to take time to help them “un-learn” that way of dealing with situations. Fortunately, I have that time and I’m willing to take the time to help them learn new ways of dealing with different situations that come up.

My kids are still expected to be respectful of people and things. They are not allowed to just run wild. BUT…….I want them to know that above all else, they are loved and that they are loved because they are my children, and not because they are “doing” it right. I believe in them. I want the best for them. I will be cheering them on ans they make great decisions, and I will be here with open arms when they make choices that negatively affect them or those around them. I WILL LOVE THEM UNCONDITIONALLY!

More Ripples….

I don’t know if you remember, but fairly recently, I talked about how trauma can have some long term affects.

I was saddened and disappointed to see yet another wave rippling through the family this past weekend.

In some ways it’s a good thing (I’ll get to that) and yet it’s still so hard to see those you love hurting.

When we lost Nathaniel, each of us grieved very differently. I worried about Angelica the most through those sad, dark days because where Xandra was open and expressive with her grief – Geli really didn’t say too much. Yes, she cried (we all cried). Yes, she asked questions. Yes, she hugged and needed hugs; but there was a huge part of her that was quiet. It felt like she was grieving from about 20 percent of herself and that she had closed off and turned inside the rest of herself.

I knew that eventually she would talk and share and that as long as we kept the lines of communication open that she would eventually work through what she needed to work through.

Last week, Xandra was in my room and we were getting ready for the day and she sat down on my bed and said, “I really miss Nathaniel. It’s funny, mom. How can I miss someone that I never knew?” Man, that little girl has some deep, DEEP thoughts swirling around in side of her.

I said that I missed him, too. Then we talked about how she misses the idea of him. That she had already had a little brother and that she knows what it is to have a little brother and now with Siah being a baby – it makes that loss even more tangible as he can represent the baby brother that we didn’t get to have. Just like she always has, she grieved deeply and then rebounded and headed on her way to finish getting ready for the day.

I wondered what had reminded her of Nathaniel, as there hadn’t really been anything that stood out…..and then just like her – I let it go and continued to get ready.

Geli came into see me yesterday as we were trying to get ready for church. She put a project that she had been working on early this year onto my bathroom counter. They had to draw a self portrait and then write a poem about herself. One half of their face was a literal drawing and the other half was to be more symbolic. She did a great job of the project and got 100% on it.

I was quite surprised to see the poem, though, and will copy it here for you. It is probably the most open and honest that she’s been and there is a good chance that I’ll get her to work through her emotions this way a bit more in the future. This also explains a bit more about her, because she’s been holding all of this inside. It’s a HUGE LOAD for a little girl to be carrying and I was so happy to read the poem because it enabled us to have a really good talk about her emotions and feelings and fears. I was also so saddened by the poem because she has been carrying all this inside even though I’ve tried repeatedly to talk to her about Nathaniel and how it all affects her. It’s hard to think that she’s been scared for the past 4 years. That just hurts so bad. I wish I could take that pain and fear away and I know that I can’t and I also know that how she deals with all of this will help to define her as a person. I just hate to see my babies hurting.

Happy but Sad

I am happy but sad
I wonder how people live and die
I hear my brother talking to me
I see my brother walking to me after school
I want my brother who died
I am happy but sad

I pretend I still have my brother
I feel my brother sitting on my lap
I touch my brother
I worry that another sibling will die
I cry when I remember my brother, Nathaniel
I am happy but sad

I understand that things happen
I say I’m fine……but….
I dream about my brother
I try not to think of Nathaniel too much
I hope that my other siblings will not die
I am happy but sad.

By Angelica
Age 11

Winter/Spring 2009

In the first paragraph she’s talking about Jeremy and Siah and Nathaiel…she not crazy and seeing Nathaniel…..just wanted to clear that up.

The line about hoping that none of the other brothers or sisters die…that one just gets me in the gut. I don’t want them to die either and I have these tiny little moments of irrational fear sometime. Mostly for Siah and then I have to go in and check on him to make sure that he’s still breathing. I hate that about myself. But, for the most part, I know that I cannot keep my kids from dying and I also know that I would survive and that I would carry on. I hate even thinking about that, and even more, I hate that I know that.

But, these are just the ripples of Nathaniel’s death still spreading out and touching us. I’m thankful that it’s not as intense as the early days, nor does it hit quite so hard as it did initially, but it still hurts…..for all of us.

The Day Before….

Tomorrow is the 4th anniversary of the day that Nathaniel died and was born.

It’s been a funny lead up to the day….funny – different or funny – weird not funny – ha ha.

We’ve talked about it off and on for the past month, but more “in passing” as opposed to an actual discussion about him or the day… and now….here it is upon us.

This is the first year that I’m very aware that I’m not grieving the day in a very hard way. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that since that time, we have been blessed with a living child.

To be honest, I didn’t grieve this day last year very hard either, BUT I was out of town and busy and didn’t even really realize that the day had come until it was mostly over. I was just trying to get thorugh the day in an “out of the norm” schedule and with a 4 month old.

It was probably 6 or 7pm that evening that I realized that I had forgotten and really even at that point I had only a moment to feel terribly guilty that I had forgotten, and then my time was once again consumed with Siah and my surroundings.

So, I’ve had this week, off and on, to remember and to put some thought into tomorrow. I woke up this morning remembering how I woke up and felt uneasy that he wasn’t moving and how I tried to tell myself that it was nothing….how I stressed all morning and then finally late in the afternoon we went to the hospital and it all began…..

What a hellish day.

I’m so glad that I’m 4 years removed from the weighty emotions of that day. I had a moment yesterday where I teared up thinking about a little boy who would have been around 4 years old……but who is only a thought…not even a memory…just a dream or a hope.

I think that we will do what we’ve done ever year except for last.

It’s the way that we celebrate life and remember Nathaniel.

We will go out for breakfast and then go and buy some hellium ballons and write notes to Nathaniel all over them and then let them go in a near by park.

This year will be a little different with Siah around to get on it all….I’m thinking that we’ll have to get a balloon that he can keep. He’s not going to understnad why he had a balloon in his grubby little hands and then all of the sudden it’s gone and he can’t have it back……too funny.

Just because I can talk about all of this without feelig crushed under the heavy weight of grief doesn’t mean that I don’t still hurt thinking about all that we’ve lost. It’s just a different kind of pain. I think that if I had to describe it…it’s become a part of me. I will always have this little piece of my heart that belongs to Nathaniel and while the wound of the loss is not immediate and fresh – there was still a wound and it left a permanent mark. I’m okay….in fact most days, I’m definately better than okay….but I live with this….this is just who I am. I have a child – children actually – that I don’t get to hold and cuddle on a daily basis, BUT……

I do appreciate the children that I have, that MUCH MORE because of it, and even if that was all I got out of “all of this” then that’s amazing, but it’s not…there is SO MUCH MORE that I’ve learned and that has been given to me as a result of the loss and in a weird way, I’m thankful for what my children – ALL OF MY CHILDREN – have taught me.

So, tomorrow we celebrate life! If there was one thing I could leave with you it would be,

“Live your life with no regrets!”

I hope your day tomorrow is full of love, and peace and hope. Mine will be!

Where to even begin……

I’m a bit overwhelmed at the number of things that I could talk about…the funny stories, the fun times with family and friends, the snow – OH MY GOODNESS, THE SNOW!!!!!!! – slowing down, clearing out and cleaning up…..there is just so much to talk about and so little time.

The baby is sleeping right now which means that I have to choose wisely…..as I sit here in my pyjamas smelling of 2 day old funk…..blogging is probably not the “wisest” choice….and so I will be quick.

I have pictures to share and will get to them as time allows.

It’s busy having the kids home from school, AND….I want to be able to be there for them and not to be glued to this screen. I have to admit that I’m surprised at how easy it’s been to ignore my computer for the past while. Typically it calls to me like the “cracK” it is…whispering of all the sweet time we could waste together and fortunately….my kids quiet ha ha ha ha ha ha I just about peed myself over here….okay, well they are really not all that quiet, but it would have made a good story to talk about how my kids quiet whispers as they asked for some stories to be read cuddled on the couch and how it warmed my heart.

Reality is a bit more brutal. Some fights, some games, a lot of Wii – thanks Mum and Dad C.- and most of all lots of laughter….well, really…most of all, lots of food. My kids sure eat a lot….I’d like to say that it’s the healthy food I give them…that they just love to fill their “preshus wittle bodies with all that good healty vitamin rich goodnes”, but really…sometimes….I just wonder if they have worms or parasites or something….these kids are machines when it comes to food!

So, with all the thought whizzing around in my brain, I am going to go and take a shower and if I still have time…..I might make a list of all the things that I have to talk about and possibly, hopefully, give a really good shot at whittling it down to the funniest, the saddest, the more exciting….you know…all the really highly charged emotional stuff that makes for really good blogging……or I could just get on here with no thought and blabber on and on and on….cause ya all know I’ve done enough of that recently……

I do hope that your Christmas was full of peace and that you were able to be apart of some really amazing memories.

And so I leave you with my best Arnold voice and say……I’ll be back!

In Keeping With the Theme…..

So, last week was a bit of a rough week for us over here, BUT……..we’ve survived and are back to being our cheerful happy selves.

Thanks for sharing with me. I love it when your girlfriends will sit down and cry with you and then out of left field, you get a dear friend who gives you a bit of a kick in the pants, and it’s all good. Thank you…….seriously THANK YOU!

But, in the middle of all of this, I’ve been noticing that my house has kind of thrown up on itself.

I was NEVER a packrat – EVER! in fact, I would regularly go through my “memory chest” and re-sort and file (under G for Garbabge) things so that I only ever had a certain amount of “the most important things“.

A few years into marriage, someone who lived next door to us, had peeked in through our window (can we say creepy, sleezy, stalker?) and wanted to know if we were moving. It was far enough into our marriage that we weren’t sporting that “just got married/don’t have enough stuff/trying to fake that we really are grown ups now” look. I just really REALLY liked a clean, no extra crap look.

Only the bare essentials for me thank you….

This continued on in our married lives for years. In fact, we moved houses 9 times in 7 years, and instead of it being a problem (I mean, obviously we had problems as you can tell because what “normal” person moves 9 times in 7 years…..at least 4 of those with kids) I actually looked forward to it because it was just another opportunity to “throw more crap away“.

And then……..THEN…..then we moved to our current home. Where we apparently set down roots….or had a pile driver come out and drive some piles into our current home. We’ve been here for the past 7.5 years. Even for the first couple of years, I just threw things out. It was kind of like a revolving door policy. If something was going to come in, then something else needed to go out. I only had “so much” room and was not going to let things get cluttered.

And now here I am and my house feels CHAOTIC, and I don’t understand how we got here, where all this stuff came from and when did I change and WHY?

I’ve been getting rid of crap lately (see, my theme that I mentioned – ha ha ha ha) No, I’m serious. I’ve been throwing stuff out. If it’s not super important to me or the kids – then OUT it goes.

And, over the weekend, we got rid of a van load of junk, and I have another van load of junk to go tonight. I’m totally embarrased typing that out, because I must admit that I’m barely even started yet. Now, before you go all “crazy” and think that I’m living in the dump….remember that my normal sense of “clutter free” is probably a bit harsher than yours….remember the previous comments of my house looking like we were moving…yah – I like the minimalist look.

But, I did have WAY TOO MUCH CRAP and I’ll be throwing it out, giving it away, or selling it so that I can finally feel like I can breathe again.

I think I figured out when and why it happened.

Almost 4 years ago, we sweet little boy died before we even got a chance to hold him, and it ROCKED MY WORLD.

I’ve not been the same since.

It was hard to breathe let alone worry about my house. It was an effort to just survive and only the very most important things got any energy focused toward them…..like caring for the kids, but honestly, I don’t think I did a very good job of even that. It’s amazing to me when I see how far from “that place” that I am, but it’s sad to see how the “effect” of losing Nathaniel is still with me.

I’m stronger than I knew I was, and yet I’m also aware of a sense of frailty. I can’t “do it all“. I recognize that I tire easier. I can’t plan too many events in a row or I feel overwhelmed. I like my alone and quiet time. I’m just so different. It’s the same me but different. I sit here trying to explain in words, and I fell like I’m not doing a very good job, and really to say “it feels like a part of me died with Nathaniel” is probably the best way of explaining it. Not in a sad, depressed way, but just that a small part of me changed and will never be the same, and that happened when Nathaniel died. I still don’t think I’m explaining it well, but that’s okay.

Back to my house….I just didn’t care as much about……well….I just didn’t care about much. But the further I get away from that point in time, the more I’m aware of the healing that takes place over time. I don’t think there is anything else that can make the process go faster – just TIME!

And no – having Siah didn’t make things better. I love Josiah. I’m so thrilled that he’s a part of my life. He has his own spot in my heart and in my life. He didn’t fill the spot that was Nathaniel’s; he never could, and he was or never is supposed to.

I love the fact that Nathaniel is still having an impact on my life today. I never got to hug, and raise him, but his legacy lives on. It lives on with every “thing” that I process and learn about “living, dying, grieving and healing

In thinking about my house and processing why I am at where I am today, and how I got here….I realize that it’s all a part of the process. I can choose to see it as such or I can be frustrated.

I choose to just walk it out. And so today, walking it out means that I am seriously decluttering.

And I’m loving it.

How about you? Are you a pack rat or do you like the minimalist look or do you have a healthy balance?

Hey! How YOU Doing?

Alright, so it’s been an amazing week of barf, diarrhea, diarrhea, and more diarrhea.

And you, How’ve things been for you?

I bet my week trumps your week, no?

On top of all that “fun-ness”, I reluctantly kept both Xandra and Jeremy home from school as school policy states that “your child should be 24 hours diarrhea-free” before you send their germ-y goodness back to class.

Let me just say that I so appreciate the teachers. Jeremy’s teacher in particular, but Xandra is a whole fun ball of emotional energy in her own special way, as well.

Now, it’s not entirely fair in that I get Jeremy “med-free” and we dope him heavily before we send him off to lay siege on his classroom, to war, to school.

I must explain…..well, actually – I really don’t have to, but I want to….because if me and my situation can in any way help you to understand some child and their parent better or to help you to give just a little extra grace to “that child” in church or at the mall or heck, even in your own family, or even if you just walk away and say “THANK GOD THAT’S NOT ME HAVING TO DEAL WITH ALL THAT” I think I might understand how or why that poor mom looks like hell so frazzled, nope I won’t ask her to bake 4 dozen cookies to bring to the “troop” meeting tomorrow night…..then my work here is done.

At this point, I’m actually just giong to go ahead and see if I can use a world record amount of punctuation marks, quotation marks and such in this post……

I choose to joke and laugh about the situation that we are in, mostly because I like to. I like to find the humor in things and well, in our family, there is a lot of humor to be found.

I can either choose to be angry about what’s going on and get all controlled and then get even more angry when “it” (life) doesn’t fit into my perfect little controlled scheme OOOOOOOOOORRRRR, I can laugh, and just kinda “Flow with it”.

I will honestly admit that I’ve been WAY more of a angry controlled type person for a lot of my life….not that I’ve had tons to be angry about, but the whole cycle of FEAR leading into CONTROL, leading into CHAOS, which makes us ANGRY mostly because we are full of FEAR, which cycles us right back into CONTROL and well….you can see how the cycle keeps on going, eh?

I’ve changed (some) over the past 3-4 years and it’s not been without counselling, but it has definately been for the better and not for the worse.

Okay, Back to my most wonderful son…..

Life with Jeremy is SO MUCH STINKING WORK!

It’s so true. Yesterday, after 2 days of being at home “med-free” I dosed him up. He was absolutely “pinging” off of everything. I had yelled at him lovingly helped him to understand the error of his ways, many, many MANY times, and this was all before 9am. Can you see how the day was shaping up to be a really awesome day?

So I did. I gave him some Ritalin, and even though it took a bit to kick it – yesterday was a pretty pleasant day….sort of. See, there is a HUGE sliding scale of what “pleasant” means. In my world, if nothing gets majorly burnt, irrepairably destroyed, no one gets seriously hurt, and there are no major screaming tear filled melt downs – then I consider it pleasant.

Did you notice all those adjectives in front of those words….yah…that there is the kicker. On a normal day….at that stuff still happens, but if we can “fix” the situation then I consider it to all be succesful.

Man, I’m tired!

I’m sure this post must be winning some award for the longest, worst punctuated, most run on sentances and poor grammer, but really…this is just how it is. Life is messy. My life might be messier than some, and less messier than others. But….this is my life, and I’m okay with it. Tired, but okay.

Okay, so I gave Jeremy some Ritalin….that’s where we were, right, and like I said, the day was okay.

The thing is…..I wonder sometimes…..I wonder what J would be like if he didn’t have ADD/ADHD. Would he be like he was yesterday? He was more subdued than normal. He worked his butt off helping around the house. He cleaned the TV room, he set the table, he wante to do the after supper dishes, he vaccumed, he cleaned his own room (and it looked like a nuclear bomb went off in there before), he got his pyjamas on without being asked, he packed his bag for the next day, he brushed his teeth and he got into his bed to “try” to go to sleep…..and then at 10:30pm he came out crying because he had been trying so hard to go to sleep and he just couldn’t….and that broke my heart.

This kid doesn’t sleep. It’s awful. I wonder if half his problem isn’t that he’s just sleep deprived. I don’t know what to do about that…but that’s a tangent….

He did all that stuff……NORMALLY….he would have ignored that mess and those responsibilites and created the worlds largest human-made spider web in the front room with my most favorite and most expensive ball of wool, and then would have been reduced to a sobbing mess when I didn’t leave it there as a work of art for the rest of eternity.

What do I mean by a spider web….well, take a ball of wool or string or something and attach it to and around every surface in a room, weaving under and in and out a couple of hundred times……yah…it’s awesome….and hell, to clean up….it usually involves scissors, lots of bad words mumble under your breath, maybe a yell or two, and almost always sobbing…..OH MY GOODNESS THE SOBBING!

Really, honestly, i have no idea where I’m going with all of this….I’ve just had 3 days at home with my darlings (I haven’t even talked about the “special-ness” of Xandra) and today is the first day that they are back at school and I have a moment to breathe.

I love my kids. I love their creativity. I hate that Jeremy needs some extra help to be able to function well in the world. I hate being tired. I hate worrying about Siah….that one’s weighing on me right now, but it must be a post for another day. I……..

Well…I have a lot of other “I’s” that I could say, but……couldd I hear from you?

What do you find is the most troubling, stressful or difficult thing that you deal with in your life? Heck, it doesn’t even have to be the most difficult….just something difficult or stressful?

Help a girl out, eh? Let me know that I’m not alone stressing about things?

Mindless Blatherings

I really should have gone shopping this week – we are OUT of fresh fruit and veggies but I’ve been trying to stretch things a bit this week, and to use up some of our frozen or canned stuff and…..well….here we are. It’s Friday and I did spend – well dangit – I can’t find the reciept.

I’ll have to find the recipet and then I can update…it was approx $50. I bought a large block of Sheep Cheese.

There is a part of me that is feeling a little bit pressured to hide things like paying a large amount of money for cheese when that money could be someone else’s entire weeks budget for food.

At the same time, I’m not trying to live anyone else’s life. We have made some choices for our life (and health), and some other choices were made for us (allergies, intolerances, etc) and we have to live with (and within) our choices.

Yes, I do buy speciality cheese, but not all the time, and we ration it out. I won’t be apologetic for the choices that I choose to make. So….that’s that.

That’s the deal with being open about stuff, and then dealing with the reality that you make choices that are different than others, and then dealing with your preception of what others might be thinking based on your choices.

It all comes down to judgment doesn’t it?

It’s amazing how judgmental we can be, and I think that we expect the same kind of judgment to come to us that we dish out. I hate judgment. It sucks! I try hard to not judge, not that I’m always perfect at it, but I try.

Okay – I could get all deep here, but I was just trying to whip up an update about how we are doing and what’s going on, and I’m getting all sidetracked…

I blame it totally on the downstairs renters. They are totally blaring their music right now and all I can hear is the thump, thump, thump of the bass in whatever song they are listening to. It’s AWESOME!

They’ve had a party every night for the past week and a half and it’s getting old. We’ve asled them to be considerate of the fact hat we have a family living upstairs, and then….that night they are still going strong at 4am. IT ROCKS! In SO MANY WAYS!

So, I’m tired! I’m also wondering how this fall/winter/spring’s cold, wet, dark, rainy season is going to affect me. I can feel the tiredness already starting to hit. That sucks, too!

Alrighty, well, now that I’ve spread my love and cheeriness all over the Internet – I think that I’ll just be done now.

Don’t forget to check out the store and to ENTER THE GIVEAWAY! Click here to read about the details.

And seriously, if you’ve never commented here or are lurking and unsure about de-lurking….come on….I won’t bite. I promise! Well, maybe only a little bit and only if you ask me to.

Someone has to win, and it might as well be you. Right?

Falling Off the Face of the Planet

Hey! How’s it going? Did ya miss me?

It’s been a busy, crazy, wonderful, terrible weekend.

How ’bout you?

On Friday we went over to my sisters house for a fun night with friends….Saturday night Siah was up from midnight until 3am barfing – although this time I think it might be the flu. I finally got to bed around 4am (so much fun). Sunday we had Thanksgiving with my side of the family and on Monday we had Thanksgiving with Jon’s side of the family. Today, Angelica is downstairs in her room barfing.

IT’S BEEN AWESOME!

I also spent more this weekend than I probably should have. SUCKS, eh?

Well, it breaks down like this….

Entertainment (this could have totally not happened- Bad, bad, bad!) – $90.79
Gas (We got $22.02 free gas – YAH Superstore!) – $78.31
Groceries (Thanksgiving extras included) – $250.90

So that’s were it stands and the total for the month is $650.35. AAAAAWWWWK!

I’m gonna try and reign it all in again this week- get things back on track! It’s a good eye opener for me to see it all laid out here and to have to be accountable to you all. It’s just “keeping it all real“, eh?

Thanks to Cool Mama and Lala for your comments. I appreciate your honesty.

I had never even thought about the “guilt” side of it. It’s amazing how we view things through our own “grids”…through our own struggles and strengths and pain and….and…..well, it’s just interesting to hear that you felt or feel that way. I never got that message from the book, but then again for me…it wasn’t exactly about the “book” per se as about what I took away from it all after reading the book. I guess that’s more the case…the book made me think, and I got really exited about what I was thinking or feeling that I could do or feeling stirred up to do.

Regardless, I love hearing what you all are thinking. I love to hear different points of views. I think that when you are able to hear what others are saying, it helps to “round out” your views or even to challenge or strengthen your beliefs and convictions.

I am feeling rushed and pressured today because I have to go and help out at the school at lunch time today, and that just throws my whole day off just slightly….just enough to make me feel rushed. So, I think I’m gonna wrap this up for now.

I’ll leave you with my two most favorite moments from this weekend.

#1 My dad tearing up when we (the family) gave him and mom their anniversary gift – an overnight trip to Harrison Hot Springs

#2 My dad telling the story about the time that he hooked Grandpa Kennedy in the nose with a fish hook when they were fishing and the hilarity that ensued as a result. He (and we) were laughing so hard as he was retelling the 40 year old story. It was amazing.

What was YOUR most favorite moment from this weekend?