Saturday, April 23, 2011

What was I thinking?!

Some days I think I've lost my mind. No wait, that's not quite true. Let's face it. I don't think I've lost it, I know I have. And honestly, what mom seriously hasn't. Don't lie to me now (or yourself). We know moms get what I call "baby brain". This condition occurs once a woman becomes pregnant. Slowly, over time, her memory gets foggy and soon she's lucky if she can remember her child's name, let alone what day of the week it is. And don't fool yourself into thinking it gets better as time for a by because that too is a lie. And if you have more than one, my dear, are doomed. Doomed I tell you to forget everything, make poor judgements and become mindless most days.
I definitely had one of those mommy brain moments a few days ago. It wasn't something simple like forgetting to do something we had scheduled. Nope. This was a full blown mommy moment of what the heck was I thinking. I had definitely lost my ever loving mind because if still had it I wouldn't have decided to do what I did. And what was that decision you ask...
I allowed both my children to invite a friend over. Not just for the day. That would've been the more sane thing to do. Nope, not me. I invited them to spend the day (starting around 2) and the whole night. Gasp! I told you I lost my mind.
What you may ask led me to make this insane offer. First, it's Spring break. I'm a big believer in keeping the kids active and love when they can get together with friends. Unfortunately, Spring here has sucked. It's been cold and rainy almost every day. I understand that's what Spring is about and usually I embrace it. However, it's almost May and we've had maybe 3 warm Spring days. Yesterday the sun was out for the first time but it was freezing cold with a bitter cold wind. My kids go crazy cooped up inside. They need to get out and run around. They were driving me and each other nuts. I did what any (crazy) mother would do and invited friends over in hopes of diffusing the situation.
The good I plan worked out for the most part. My kids didn't kill each other and they weren't so bored. The hard thing about having a boy and a girl is you know they're going to find ways to annoy and torture one another. It's no different than when you double that number. The good thing friend is an only child and the other doesn't t have sisters. It's worse when they do because the annoyance level goes up (as does the torture), if you know what I mean.
I find at 6 and 8 years old it's best to separate them and keep them focused on different things. The girls did good with this. They were more than happy to play in my daughter's room with their baby dolls. The boys were trickier. They wanted to walk the fine line and annoy the girls. Sneaky is what they were. They would tiptoe to their door, knock and run away and other juvenile things. Typical minor annoying kid stuff. The girls took it in stride and ignored them for the most part. We made it through.
Hubby was somewhat helpful once he got home. I was very greatful. He didn't do much but he was good at what he did do. The girls spent some time climbing all over him before going back upstairs to play. The boys hung out with him in the living room and watched hockey.
The evening went well. Bedtime (which I was dreading) was a bit trying. I honestly thought the girls would be worse than they were. The hardest thing was to get them to talk quieter. Our house is tiny and noise carries easily. The rule was music off by 9:30 and to start quieting down by 10:00. Bedtime by midnight. I thought that was more than reasonable. Hubby works early so quiet was not optional what so ever. The hardest part was just getting them to lower their cute, giggly voices. It took a while but they finally quieted by 11 and were asleep by midnight. I was so relieved.
This time, the boys were better. They weren't as wound up and settled down to sleep in the living room easily. I put on the movie Despicable Me and they quietly watched it. My son was out by 11:30. I could tell his friend was fighting sleep and I didn't want to head to bed before he was out. He was the wild card in the equation. See, he's slept over before with negative results. First time I had to call his mom at 11:30 to pick him up. I was understanding (if not a bit frustrated because I had offered to drive him home earlier) because it was his first sleep over ever. Second time he slept over before the boys had a hockey game. Midnight rolls around and he's begging to go home. It took a bit of persuading but hubby convinced him to stay. Everything worked out. This was the third time. I prayed he was "broke in". His mom was convinced he'd be fine. I wasn't quite sure but willing to try. I asked a few times between 10-11 if he was ok and he said yes. Of course, once the movie was over at midnight he wanted to go home. I felt bad but I couldn't do it. I was exhausted and had a meeting to go to the next morning. I attempted to convince him to try to sleep and he said he couldn't. I told him I had to go upstairs and I'd be back. My hubby woke up and said no way, he needs to stick it out. He told me not to go downstairs that it would be alright. It broke my heart because I could hear the boy sniffling. I decided to give it five minutes. Thank goodness two minutes later all was quiet. He fell asleep and stayed that way.
The boys were awake before 7! Ugh. But that's sleep overs for you. The boy was fine. I explained everything to his mom and she was ok with everything. Thank goodness because I felt horrible about it. I'm a firm believer in letting parents know how their kids truly were when asked. I'd want them to be honest with me.
I'm still left questioning....what the heck was I thinking doing two sleep overs in one night?! That's a sure sign of a mommy losing her mind. However, I truly wouldn't have it any other way. Overall everyone had a great time so it was well worth it.
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Monday, April 18, 2011

One of those "Mommy" Days

Anyone who follows me on Twitter may have seen me tweeting about doing some Spring cleaning today. I was geared up and in the mood. Do you ever get into one of those (rare) moods?
It wasn't on the days original agenda. See, ORIGINALLY, the plan was to take the kids and meet up with a good friend and her daughter. We were so excited. We try to get together every few weeks but it's hard to get the kids together. We live about a half hour apart and we're usually booked solid with other things on the weekend. We plan play dates during breaks/vacations. Well, hubby told me at the very last minute that he'd be off from work, so I cancelled our plans. I'm a firm believer on putting family first and it was supposed to be a family day.
Too bad it wasn't meant to be. I woke up after the kids and came downstairs to hang out with them so hubby could rest. He game down 30 minutes later, grabbed a quick bite to eat and announced he had to run to the bank to "move some money around" so our mortgage check wouldn't bounce. 45 minutes later (kids are fed and playing board games) he calls to announce he's going to stop at the gym for a workout. Then he'll be home for lunch before taking Goalie Boy to sticks and pucks at the rink. Then they would come home for an hour or so before heading over to a friend's house to watch the hockey game. Well, there went family day. If I'd known, I wouldn't have cancelled my original plans and would've just made it a girls day out.
I didn't let it get me down. The kids wanted to play outside since the sun decided to come out of hiding. I figured it was as good a time as any to get some Spring cleaning done. I didn't realize how much I had bite off until it was too late but I wasn't going to stop. Probably didn't help I was PMSing (yes, I'll admit to that). Once I get in a cleaning mood during that time of the month I run with it. I never know when I'll see it again.
I tuned my Direct Tv to 80's music and decided to tackle the living room. No easy feat. I haven't done more than minimal cleaning (vacuuming, decluttering) since November. I pulled all the furniture out of the room and had it dusted and vacuumed when hubby came back from the gym. He made us pizza for lunch. He put a load of laundry in the wash and then off the guys went to the rink. Little Bee was invited by a friend to go to the park so I figured perfect timing to finish the living room up and sweep and mop the living room.
I got the living room steam cleaned and put back together before everyone got back. I also decluttered and tossed dime stuff out. I was sore, but feeling good about what I had accomplished.
Then it happened. Hubby brought a friend of Goalie Boy's home. I wouldn't normally mind but I was in the middle of cleaning the kitchen floor. Hubby decided OT was a fine time for him to shower and do things upstairs while the boys ran in and out of the house. He expected me to stop everything I was doing. That's when my day fell apart. Here I was sweeping, mopping, doing dishes and trying to keep 2 energetic boys in line. I was really upset when hubby announced they had to leave to go watch the game because he gave them no time to clean up their mess. They tossed everything into our shed and never picked up my son's bedroom. Hubby thought I was overreacting. That hurt. He didn't try to understand where I was coming from or support me. Being on time to pick up the pizza he ordered and go to the friends house was more important. He was sending a message that it was ok to make a mess and leave it. I was.hurt and upset.
The straw that broke the camels back was after they left. I had mentioned to my husband that I would appreciate if he brought up the dirty clothes he took our of his trunk and left in the front hallway. Also, if he could make the bed. He did neither of these things. I seriously sat down and cried. I felt invisible, like my wants, needs, feelings were nonexistant. It's not right. I understand he works his butt off for us and I would too if I could find a job. But this is the pattern that has been going on forever. Even when I worked 60 hours a week too. It's so frustrating. The most he does around the house is to throw a few loads of laundry into the washer and dryer here and there. Occasionally, he may clear the table, wash dishes or fold laundry. I appreciate when he does these things. I wish he would do yard work, lend a hand around the house one day a week. Make it a family thing. I don't think he's showing our kids a good example on a male's role in the house.
I was honest and told him how I felt. He says he's sorry and he'll try harder. Unfortunately, this is not the first time we've had this conversation. I'm going to try to stay positive and hope things change.
Am I alone in feeling this way? My dad worked continuous shift when I was growing up. He never seemed to be home. However, I clearly remember him mowing the lawn, trimming the bushes, doing lawn care, vacuuming, doing laundry. My husband use to do these things years ago but it stopped when my parents lived with us and it's never been the same sense.
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

The good, the bad and the ugly. *Week in Review*

*Family days are the best, especially when everyone gets along.

*Physical Therapy can make a difference. I'm going to miss going.

*Hell has frozen over. I walked into the Orthopaedic office and it was nearly empty. I was in a room in 5 minutes and back in my car in 29.

*My Dr is human and has a heart.

*Pecan apple chicken salad at Wendy's is yummy. The fail was they were out of pecans.

*Outrageous gas prices over $4 now.

*Comp lady at Drs office is nice and efficient. Called me right away and had the needed paperwork ready and waiting for me to pick up.

*We had an 80 degree day. Let kids play before dinner and homework. Then it poured cats and dogs.

*Cold, rainy days with temps just above freezing. Thankful for no snow.

*New hit dinner...tostadas with beans, cheese, lettuce and sour cream.

*No major fights with homework. Feel like I won a huge battle there.

*Kids got good report cards. This is easy for my daughter, not so much my son. So proud.

*Son is learning that focusing and hard work pay off. I think teachers may finally get him. It's about darn time.

*Son picked up his hearing aid Friday. Wish him luck. He's nervous as heck but excited at how much better he's hearing.

*Fail, audiologist being on vacation next week so we have to wait on minor aid adjustments. We'll live though.

***Overall it was a great week. I know the rain brings flowers and sunshine will come to stay more often as the days get longer. My son's teachers are listening to me and he is making improvements because of the adjustments I've suggested. The audiologist was nice enough to give us a loaner aid for 3 months while we continue to search out financial aid options. I would definitely say that the good outweighed the bad this week. I feel blessed.
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Angels and Devils

If you're kids are anything like mine they have their ups and downs. Those sweet precious moments you just want to cherish forever. And then there are those moments where you wonder who's child is standing in front of you because you know you taught them to behave better than that. When you have more than one you get a great variety of moments sprinkled with LOTS of sibling drama.
My children definitely have moments on both ends of the spectrum. I think most of the more dramatic moments happen when they are together. Here are some of those moments...

***Daddy is play wrestling with son and goes a bit overboard. Who jumps in to save him but his sister (2 yrs younger and 45 lbs lighter!). She will launch herself through the air and onto Daddy's back. She will pummel him so her big brother can get away. Sweet, right? That is until Daddy gets a bit too rough with her (he sometimes forgets they're kids) and she will beg her brother so save her. So, where is her knight in shining armor? The one she just saved minutes before. You guessed it, staying as far out of the action as possible. You see, this particular knight's armor is a bit tarnished. He will not be saving or defending any distressed princesses.

***When one of my kids go to the doctor without the other one they always ask for a sticker and lollipop for the other. My heart melts every time and the nurses always tell them they're a good brother/sister.
***Also, if I take one of them to the store they never ask for a treat just for themselves. They always make sure to ask me to get something for both of them.

***If they go to the school store or on a field trip they always want to buy the other something.

***Some weekend mornings are great around here! The kids will either be playing the Wii, watching TV together or playing imaginary thing. I love it. The inevitable downfall is a fabricated argument of some sort. To the point of shouting, crying and name calling. Ugh! There are those moments I wish they would just play separately and ignore each other but thankfully those moments pass quickly.

***My kids enjoy playing games together. But god forbid one of them doesn't quite follow the rules (intentionally or otherwise). All hell breaks lose. And let's not even talk about sore losers, or sore winners. Sore winners are the ones that gloat in your face that you lost, they beat you, you suck, they're better than you, etc. That kills me and is not acceptable in our house. It breaks my heart when the loser cries not only because they didn't win but when that the winner rubs it in. My son is usually the evil culprit of this. We do not play that way. You can celebrate winning but don't be nasty about it.

Siblings definitely have their love/hate moments. The hate ones are more often than I'd like and never pass quickly enough but I bathe in the glow of the love moments. I wish I could find a way to bottle it and then sprinkle it over them when the bad moments come. This mommy doesn't want quiet all the time but I would do almost anything for love, piece and happiness all the time.
One of my favorite saying is my children have devil horns and angles wings. Oh, and those halos you see above their heads...yep, they're a bit tarnished but that's ok. They're working on polishing them up a bit as they get older. The good news is...I think my kids are normal, well adjusted kids

Sunday, April 10, 2011

An unexpected rant on American Healthcare

I haven't been blogging the last few weeks because of computer and medical issues.  I've missed it so.  I've been able to hang out on twitter but trying to blog from a phone is not very effecient.
2010 and 2011 have been rough years for me physically.  It seems once I get one thing under control another pops up to take it's place.  Some things are minor, others not so much. Minor like a virus or major like my neck/shoulder problem.  I've been trying to stay positive, though I have to admit it's been very hard.  It's taken it's toll on my mentally and emotionally at times.  I'll tell you it's never been boring though.  Besides the hope that things phyically get better over all I wish we had better medical coverage.  The deductible plan we have is going to kill us.  It's $1700 individual, $3700 family.  We've had to put off doing some things medically that are needed.  In October, my husband had a severe allergic reaction that took a long time to get under control.  We still can not tell what caused it and pray nothing triggers it again.  We do know he is allergic to almost every outside seasonal thing possible year round.  Doctors wanted to have him start allergy shots but unfortunately our old (co-payment based) medical coverage ended at the end of October.  We could not afford to pay in full the every other week visit to the allergist for shots (for approx 3 months) at full cost.  Plus follow up shots for another 9 months. So, we've forgone it and hope for the best that he does not have another reaction.  My son's audiologist has suggested trying hearing aids to help with his minor hearing loss and tinnitus.  Unfortuanately, the aids cost around $4500 for two.  That doesn't include the maintaince and reprogramming fees.  We've had to put those off while we save money.  Even our old plan wouldn't cover any of it.  Our audioligist is helping by lending us an aid to try out but it's still going to cost out of pocket expenses.  He's 8!  His hearing effects his learning which effects his attitude towards school, which in turn can effect his whole attitude towards life.  His self esteem and furture are at stake.  He really needs to aids but we'll try the one.  Problem is, even if the aid turns out to be a godsend, we can't afford it and we don't qualify for any time of aid.  The audiologist, while nice, doesn't understand.  She keeps trying to press us into getting a line of credit.  We can't afford to make the monthly payments on said line of credit.  We're barely making our mortgage payment right now.
I've been lucky in that the issues with my neck, shoulder and back have been coverered by worker's compensation insurance up to this point.  However, it's $80 for a doctors visit.  When we all had the flu back in February my husband finally dragged himself to the doctor because he had to be healthy to work.  We couldn't afford the Tamiflu.  Its $90!  He did get two other meds that did help some.  So it was $80 for the visit and another $60 for the meds he did get.  Thank goodness the doctor let us pay $20 and billed us the rest of the $80.  The rest of us sufferered through it.  It wasn't pretty.  When I threw my back out in February, I was able to get it billed under comp because it was the same area that I had injuured at work 2 years ago.  My son needs to go back to see the ENT for  6 month follow up, the audiologist wants to do a follow up too.  Who knows how much that's all going to cost.  These are two things we can't put off.  I'm hoping the doctors will work with us.  My heart is sickened by the greed of insurance companies.  I can suck it up for some things but my children's healthcare needs should be coverered 100%.  America is failing all of its people, its sad.
The last two months I've been battling with another medical issue.  Nothing life threatening, thank goodness but it's been quite painful and it's one of those things people either don't talk about or whisper about behind closed doors.  I had planned to blog about it now, but I got off my original topic with my medical insurance rant.  I'll blog about it next time.  I'm so upset over how American Healthcare is hurting families more than helping them.  It's such a shame.