Thursday, January 22, 2015

You lift me up, up, up, up to heaven


This little angel is my Levi born at 3:53 AM on Friday, January 22nd, 2010.  This picture was taken just about 8 hours after he was born and look how photogenic.
This is Levi now, my big Pre-Kindergarten guy.

Let me clarify this before I continue, I love each of my four children equally, they are my reason for being.  There is no way I could imagine life without a single one of them, they each have their own influence on my life.  With that said, let me say that Levi completely changed my life forever.

Levi is my last baby, I had my tubes tied the morning after he was born.  I knew from the very shocking moment I found I was pregnant that this would be my last time, I was 36 years old and my youngest at that point was about to turn 7.  Because of my age and because a genetic heart problem had been identified in me in recent years, this pregnancy was heavily monitored.  He was growing on schedule and thankfully his heart was developing normally and showing no signs of this defect.  I had an uneventful pregnancy until the last 2 months before my due date when I began having contractions at regular intervals, that is when I was wrought with worry (Abby was born 10 weeks prematurely!).  I needn't have fretted, I made it to 36 weeks before he was born.  From his first breath this child has been the embodiment of love and complete joy.  He is the friendliest, most loving child.  He is curious and eager to really learn about things not just hear quick facts.  He is sensitive, you must approach him knowing that whatever you are feeling he will pick up on it immediately.  He is intelligent with the ability to absorb new things and integrate them easily.  Being pregnant with him and in those first months of his life I learned just how tender and loving my older children are.  They were considerate of my need for rest and they all wanted their turn holding, loving, and feeding their new brother.  My heart felt many days so full of love that it could burst at any moment.

As he has grown from my baby bump into a living, breathing baby boy, to a toddler, to this now adorable little boy he has adored his daddy above all.  He has developed quite a vocabulary for such a young child, not only does he understand many words and phrases he can actually use them in context.  He looks up to his big brother.  He loves his sisters even if he doesn't always understand them and their moods.  I tell him it will teach him better patience for when he is a boyfriend and then a husband if that is what he wants to be when he gets older.  He laughs at that and says. "I don't know about all that because girls are really weird sometimes but I do want to be a Daddy just like mine!"  That swells my heart right into my soul.  Not only am I lucky to have great kids, the kids and I are lucky to have this man to love, honor, and cherish.  To love and lead us through life.

My cup overfloweth.

So my darling Levi, I wish you a very happy birthday and I thank you sincerely for being you!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fee fi fiddly i o....

No I haven't been working on the railroad all the live long day, just felt like singing.  Oooh here's another I love to sing....
Golly what a day, indeed.

Craig and I went to get Levi's birthday present and I think our little man is going to be quite stoked as he's getting the R/C truck he wanted so badly.  It's not the blue one he pointed out but it looks almost identical to the red Chevy Silverado we had a few years ago.  Of course, 'Charlotte' did not have awesome tires like this one does.
 I ordered his cake yesterday, last year I made his cake but this year I wanted to get him a Superman cake....they did not have the accessories for that one and it was going to take 2 weeks for them to come in if I ordered them so we went with a silly monsters cake.  I got the cute little dinosaur candles he wanted, too as well as a big polka dotted 5 candle.

I made a Dump Cake today as well as the Angel Food Pineapple cake and let me just say now that if you have never had this cake, MAKE IT!  Take Angel Food cake mix (I personally prefer the Betty Crocker one because it bakes up fluffier than Duncan Hines but they work as well so don't panic) and mix the dry cake mix with 1 can of crushed pineapple.  Stir it up real well (so cool as it starts to foam and expand, kind of exciting for the little ones to watch too) then pour it into your pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  It does sink a little once cooled but whoa nelly is this cake good stuff!

Katie came to visit this afternoon and told me about her Christmas with all of her family afoot, she did not have a wonderful visit with them.  The only bummer about our Christmas was that Linda couldn't make it up here to the house but since I know how she was feeling there is no way I would have expected her to come.  Christmas Eve when we took the kids down there to her house I could see she felt yucky but was putting on a brave face for the kids' sake.  Katie and I were discussing why I have such disdain for the holiday which led us into a talk about religion.  Her father was a Baptist minister so she grew up Christian.  I am not a Christian.  She doesn't force feed her beliefs.  I told her how it bothers me that people act nice for one week out of the year calling it Christmas Spirit and my thoughts on it are simply: be a decent person, always, not just once a year.  It also bothers me that the holiday seems to come from the wallet and not the heart and I definitely don't like that.  We also discussed how so many will claim that they are Christian people and yet be so dispassionate about others, especially the downtrodden.  It is a simple fact that if the story of Jesus is the truth, he was born homeless.  He also spent the last 3 years of his life living off of what others supplied him.  And yet these so-called Christian people will turn their heads to the homeless or worse, choose to pass judgement and speculate as to how the person found themselves in that situation in the first place.  I would rather offer someone a hand up.  I've been there, not to the extent that some others have been but I have indeed been homeless.  It is not something I am proud of and yet I am not was not drugs or alcohol that led me to that place in my life, it was opportunity versus circumstance and I survived so that is that.

It was a lovely day here, 60 degrees in January AWESOME!  It will get cold again, I know, it IS still Winter.  As long as the Flu stays far, far away from my family it can get as cold and yucky as it wants to.  I would prefer to see at least a little bit of snow.

Well folks I have babbled all that I intend to for this night, it is time to go snuggle up to Craig and get some rest.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Woke too early, again...

I'm still trying to come to terms with my friend's untimely end.  I wanted to wake and see that it had all been some horrific mistake and that he was in fact fine but his obituary was posted on Thursday and so began the task of truly trying to process it.  I am grateful for the time he was a part of my life, I must focus on that to stay on track with my goal for the year of finding balance in my own life.  Chris was a wonderful friend and my life is richer for having had him be a part of it.

I've not been sleeping too well lately again and it's driving me a little batty.  Wednesday morning I woke around 2 AM, I laid back down at 3 then when the alarm went off at 6:15 I turned it off, closed my eyes for what I thought was 5 minutes and opened them to see it was in fact 7:45 so the kids were 20 minutes late for school.  Yesterday I woke at 3 AM and did not go back to bed for fear I would oversleep again.  I did come back from dropping them off and crawl back into bed next to Craig and slept for about an hour.  This morning it was 4:30 when I woke and I was refusing to get up, fighting to go back to sleep but at 5 Ally wanted to go out RIGHT NOW so I had to get up.  

I had a bizarre dream when I did nap yesterday, it got to me.  It was a dream within a dream, I was having a nightmare and telling myself "You need to wake up, this is a dream and you need to wake up, now" and I woke up only I was not actually awake, I was still in a dream.  When I finally did wake up I was relieved but also confused, it's not often that I have a dream within a dream like that and it is never a pleasant experience.  All of my dreams are pretty bizarre, most of them nightmares or on the very fringe of one.  That is what has led me to suffering frequent bouts of insomnia.  When I did wake, though, Craig had come back in and laid down to hold me and that was a wonderful thing to wake up to.  I love falling asleep in his arms on those rare occasions that we actually go to bed at the same time but I admit I love it even more when I wake in his arms.  It's the best way to start the day.  Even on those nights I don't fall asleep in his arms, I fall asleep holding his hand or with my arms hooked around one of his.  I love the comfort of having contact with him.  Odd since I was always the person who wanted her own bed at all times because bumping into someone in the middle of the night was just too much to deal with.  Having to fight for pillows and blankets and room to move was just not my thing at all.  Then there was Craig.

Everything in my life seems to come to that...."things were like this, then there was Craig."  I wouldn't trade it for anything.  Even in those dark times we both are prone to.  I love him, I love being in love with him, I love this life we have and are building together, with the kids.  I know that relationships and people grow and change, I know that someday this could all come to an end....we've come close to the end several times, once to the point of me looking at houses for rent in the area so the kids could finish the year at their schools.  Not just looking for a house but actually going on tours of available houses, weighing the options.  It always comes back down to the simple fact that we love one another and although sometimes it seems it would be easier to say goodbye, ultimately it would be the hardest imaginable task.  For now, for this very moment we are evolving together and I make sure to be appreciative of that.

I want to go back to bed because that is where he is and because I am really quite tired at this point.  Levi will wake soon (I'm shocked that he's not awake already, actually) so a nap will have to wait until later.  

Have a great Saturday!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Goodbye my friend

This is how I will always remember you:  First and foremost, that smile.  I can remember back as far as when we were but small children and even on my worst days you'd say something off the wall and shoot that smile and all I could do was giggle.  Even now into our adulthood, you had the ability to turn something mundane into hilarity.

Such a tragedy to lose you, my friend.  

Please, if you are hurting know that somewhere there is someone who wants to help, just reach out.  If you know of someone who is hurting, please be the hand that reaches out for them.  

My heart is breaking and I cannot continue this post, please pray that his soul finds peace and that his sons will never doubt his love for them.

I love you, Chris, thank you for being a part of my life.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The weekend has arrived....

It was a busy week getting back into the swing of things but thankfully it went pretty quickly.  Thursday morning it was 3 degrees at 7:30 when we were leaving for school and my heart was breaking for kids who had to wait on a bus to arrive.  There were a lot of upset parents and heartbroken kids that school was not cancelled or even delayed.  There were also confused teachers who agreed it should have at least been delayed.  Needless to say from that dreadful morning I have a house full of children with sore throats and poor Levi's lips are chapped to the point of cracking.

Things went well at my Psych appointments, Kathy and Mykah agree that my plan for making each day count are a great idea and proof that I am in a good place.  Mykah and I discussed what options I have allowed myself for when I do crash.  I told her I am well aware that it is not a matter of IF but WHEN and I am preparing as best I can.  I know it will happen, I also know I will survive it because I always do.  Also, having this blog to come back to and read through the days I have been okay will help.  Truthfully, one of the most difficult tasks I have is not letting others' foul or off moods effect mine.  I tend to own others' emotions and I need to not do that, I need only accept responsibility for my own.  I am not the cause of depression in myself or anyone else, it happens and I accept that.  I cannot allow their state to alter mine.  I will do my best to keep that from happening.

Tomorrow is Miranda's 20th birthday!  Wow wow wowie wow, 20.  No more teen years for her, it is now on into adulthood.  I hope that adulthood is kind and gentle to her.  I hope that she becomes comfortable in her own skin and happy with herself and that she stays that way.

We have no plans for the weekend, aside from the fact that I do have to make a trip to the grocery store.  We usually don't have weekend plans as it's mostly a time to recharge for the next week ahead and too because our sleep schedules are so varied.  I am usually up first followed closely most times by Levi and then it is usually several hours more before anyone else wakes up.  Normally the older 2 kids are up, if not all night, at least very late on Friday and Saturday nights so they tend to sleep late on the weekends.  I was up by 5 this morning and was actually a bit shocked to see that Scott was asleep.  I was actually thrilled.

Abby mentioned the other morning that her friend BB wanted to spend the night this weekend and I had to remind her that no, BB is not allowed to come back here as she has gone beyond my 3 strike policy.  The child stepped on and broke Abby's guitar and never once mentioned replacing it, Abby's tablet had been stepped on and broken and BB is who was blamed for that (whether it is true or not I do not know but the fact remains I do not doubt that it was her), she woke my entire house ringing the phone at 2 AM to discuss Facebook.  There is also the fact that she eats twice as much as all the people in my house put together and I cannot afford to feed one person what it would take 5 people a week to eat, even if I could I would not.  Then there was the morning after she had eaten some fairly expensive gelato out of the freezer some time after everyone went to bed and puked in the living room floor and did not even pretend to move to clean it up.  And, there is the fact that Ally does not like her at all.  As soon as BB walks in the door Ally starts to bark and will bark at her every step through the house until she is in Abby's room and the door is shut then when she comes out of the room Ally acts really suspicious of's hard to trust someone that your dog doesn't trust, ya know?  Animals are pretty intuitive about people.  Abby will not go stay the night there at BB's house, she says she just doesn't feel safe in that neighborhood and then there is the issue of BB being rude to her mother's boyfriend and that makes Abby uncomfortable.

The fact is my kids have it so good here at home they never spend the night away.  I prefer it that way, too, I know where they are and that they are safe and warm and fed.  Call me overprotective or overly critical, maybe I really am.  I'm okay with that.

We should be able to afford to fix one of Craig's vehicles in the coming months but it looks like he'd rather ditch one of them and get another instead.  He has his '86 Buick Regal that he has put a Cadillac engine in but has not completely installed so it has not run in years (yes we towed it here from Florida when we moved).  Sadly the move here actually caused body damage to it.  He also has an '85 Chevy K5 Blazer that I talked him into 2 years ago.  Turns out that is definitely not a street vehicle, it is more an off-road toy.  I think he'd like to get an El Camino or Monte Carlo or even maybe a different Regal to put his engine into.  Whatever he decides, I just want him to be happy with the choice he ultimately makes.  It would be beneficial for us to have a second operational vehicle for those rare occasions that I am out at an appointment with one child praying I am not late to pick up the other two, or the times that I have an appointment of my own and worry about what if a school calls for me to pick someone up.  Yes by all means Craig can call his parents and either his Dad can take him or they can lend him a vehicle to go get them but it would just be better for us to have a 2nd of our own.  For him to have his own so that when the occasion arises that he just needs to get out and away for a little while, he can.  Everyone deserves time of their very own and I think that he deserves to know he has an "out" if he wants it now and then.  We'll see what the coming month or 2 has in store.  As I said, I just want him to be happy.

It is nearly 8 AM and my house will soon begin to wake and stir so I will close for now wishing you all a wonderful Saturday.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Monday, Monday so good to me....

This morning came and went without a hiccup and that was unexpected and great.  Scott likes his 2nd semester teachers, although one of them has a speech impediment and that may prove to be an issue for him.  Levi was happy to be back with his teachers who adore him.  Abby is the only one to report that her day was awful but she IS a pre-teen so....that.

I woke around 2:30 this morning because I was sweating....ME, sweating, in January no less.  I figured if I was hot, everyone else must be near death with the heat so I cut it back a bit and went back to bed.  When I got back up at 6:30 it was freezing in here!  So that made it abundantly clear that no, there is no temperature that pleases me for long.  It topped out at around 35 degrees here today and they are saying that Wednesday it will top out around 24 with 15 to 20 mile per hour winds, gusts up to 30 and the low temp for that night is 7 degrees....yes, dear loyal fan, I am shivering just thinking about that!  Last school year the kids were out of school when the temps hit the teens in the mornings, rumor is it will not be that way this year due to the new superintendent of schools.  I guess we will see what happens.  I am all for them being home, or at least a delayed start to the day.  Many of the kids are bussed in and most of those children have to board their buses between 6 and 6:30 in the morning which it's still pretty close to the coldest possible temperature for the day at that point.

I did not call the friend I spoke of the other day, instead when I got home from taking the kids to school I started the dishwasher and promptly crawled back under the blanket.  I did send her a message asking her to call me later in the week if she'd like to get together on Friday for a cup of coffee.  I hope to hear from her.

Tomorrow morning I will not get to crawl back into bed as I see both Mykah and Kathy beginning at 10.  I have a pretty awesome Psych Team, I just don't like going very often.  I mean, there are times I KNOW I need to go so I do it without's just that the times I feel I'm doing okay I don't want to go because I feel it really is just a waste of time for them and me.  I do need to see Kathy to re-up on meds, though, so it won't kill me to sit and talk with Mykah and let her know that truly I am okay at the moment.  Better than okay, really, I feel pretty great.  Full of hope for the future and just full as in content with the now.  The past likes to rear its ugly head now and then but lately that hasn't been as frequently mostly because I flat out refuse to acknowledge it.  I don't want to let what was dictate what will be anymore in my life.  As mentioned a time or three before, this year is all about being mentally capable for a change.  I'll talk with Mykah about that, that should let her know that I'm in a good place and plan to work my rear end off staying here!  If I'm doing this well even though I've not been on the meds long enough for them to be working their magic, imagine how well I can do when they are.  Unless they go bad, which sadly many (read: MOST) do.  We'll see.  

Craig cooked dinner tonight, his marvelous fried chicken.  I was watching TV with Levi when he stuck his head in and said I had to come see the sunset so I walked to the back door and was floored to see a beautiful purple sky with a blood red horizon, it was amazing and sadly my cell phone could not capture it as I saw it or I would share it.  I love that he does things like that, too.  It's just one of those things he knows has meaning for me and for him to acknowledge that and take part in it means a lot to me.  I may have mentioned it before but it warrants repeating every chance I get: I love this man.  He is warm and kind, he can even be pretty funny when he's in the mood to be and his laugh fills me to overflowing with pure joy.  He is intelligent and strong willed, he makes me hungry to learn about things and eager to share in his strength.  I am able to be me because of his love and respect, and because of my wonderful kids who bring me happiness that cannot be measured.  I know there are people who are content to not have children, I used to think they were so selfish but I get it and now, having had my children and seeing what I have of this world I get it even more that there are so many who should not have children.  I know, too, there are people who are content to not have a partner in life and I respect that.  I personally need my partner, no I don't need just someone in my life, I need the someone I have.  I feel like I waited my life for something to happen, that something was close many times but I was left still half empty it seemed until one fine day this man I admired decided to take my hand and take a walk with me quiet and comfortable....then he turned on a dime and kissed me and that was it, I was more than hooked.  If this love can honestly be called an addiction, I do not want a cure.  I want to take my last breath and give it to him so that he may breathe just a bit longer.  Yes, it's like that.  I wish that everyone in this world could find someone or some thing to bring them the love I feel for Craig.  The world would know peace.

I will close for the night so that I can go and enjoy the rest of this night beside him.  

I wish you all Love and laughter.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sunday Bloody Sunday....

(And I mean that in the British sense of Bloody)

Well, it's back to school in the morning and aside from Levi, I don't think anyone is really looking forward to it.  Of course, at 6:30 tomorrow morning NO ONE is going to be looking forward to anything but bed time.  Well, except me, I'll be looking forward to coffee and snuggle time with Craig.  When school started this year and the decision was made to put Levi in Pre-Kindergarten I panicked a little bit wondering what on Earth I was going to do without any children in the house.  Suddenly, though, it dawned on me that Craig and I had never had "us" time beyond those moments after the kids went to bed before we went to bed.  This was going to be new and different!  It really has become something I look forward to each day after the kids are off to school.  I admit it, I was worried about being left alone with him for all those hours of the day....I love him but what if we had nothing to talk about?  What if we found we really just got on each others nerves?  What if the kids were the glue that held us together?  It wasn't me I was worried about because there has never been any doubt for me that Craig is my world, I was worried he'd get annoyed with me.  I always worry about that because Craig is a very private person, he always has been.  He went from being single and basically alone 95% of the time to being around me and the kids 98% of the time.  He handles it like a trooper, though.  We do back off and give him time and space to just breathe and I think that has been the saving grace.  Either that or GASP he actually does love us.

Have I ever mentioned how lucky I am to share this time with him?  Yes indeed, lucky and happy as a lark.

Which, exactly how happy is a lark, anyway?  Or, happy as a clam....really?  Where did goofy things like that even come from and why on Earth do we still say them?  GOOGLE!  Google will tell us!  I was involved in a conversation about this not terribly long ago about how these current generations are different from ours.  The actual statement was that they are stupid because of technology and I personally disagree with that.  Perhaps they are a bit lazier but they are certainly not stupid.  Because of technology they have the ability to learn so many things at an incredible speed.  Dictionaries, encyclopedias, thesauruses, all things of a by-gone era because now all one must do is open an internet browser and suddenly the entire world is right there in front of them with just a few mouse clicks.  How awesome is that?!  Pretty darned awesome, I think.  One can argue that these things have made our children less social than our generation was but the truth is that there are just more ways for them to communicate with one another so gathering face to face isn't as necessary as it was for us.  I personally love that I never have to worry about where they are or who they are with because they're here hanging out online with their friends.  What are your thoughts on the issue?

Ugh Spongebob is on in the background here and I feel braincells disappearing!  I see no entertainment value at all in this show, I guess I am just a frump.  No.  No I certainly am not because I am a Teen Titans GO! fan and you cannot be a frump if you enjoy that show.

I can think of nothing else to go on about it at the moment, ha ha we all know that is so not true!  I could rattle on about endless things a great deal of the time and yet I know Abby is dying to get on the computer and find out if O2L has posted just one more goodbye video and see what BB is up to on Facebook so I'll quit torturing her and move my caboose into the kitchen to prepare the chicken for tonight's Alfredo.

Love and laughter to all!