Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Somewhere along the ride we lost our way

My family and I used to live in CO. we moved back to WA a little over a year ago. Washington state was where my husband and I grew up. We missed our little town with our family so after nearly two years on our adventure to Colorado we decided it was time to come home again.
Things this year turned out pretty well. We FINALLY bought a home of our own! It's small and a fixer upper which is exactly what we wanted. We get to create out own home from this odd and broken one. 
Except there is just something not right. 
I get the sense of it every now and again. Where is that home is where the heart is? That perfect blissful feeling?
To be honest I have no clue. 
Our awful little apartment in Colorado was that bliss. We felt perfect. We felt whole. We felt at home. Why now that we have that home to call our own and back in the place we grew up as home does it feel empty? 
We missed our family dearly that was the biggest motivation to come back. Yet I think that in our far away home we were able to be us, be that little family we needed to be. Here we can't seem to find that contented feeling. 
I think I find the fault in myself more than anything. I was super mom in Colorado, currently I feel like I just skim by. 
This post isn't to feel sorry for me. But I assume that many of us feel like this at some point or another. Even though I'm feeling sub par as a mom with this weird feeling of not fitting in just right, it's all part of life. The ups and downs we all experience. 
All I can try to do is to search through myself and find whatever piece I seemed to drop on that 1200 mile drive. I want so badly to bake away and do my crafts and play hard with my kids. I just want more, I want the peace we all had in Colorado. 
Here's to making the best improvements on myself this coming year so that we can find our little perfection again. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Loss of innocence

My step daughter just turned 9. She had been begging for a tablet. Her mom, my husband and I, and grandma went in on one together to get her one. She was ecstatic. She could now enjoy all the Monster High she wanted, play all the dress up/make up apps, and now be able to text her mom or grandma or my husband and I when she wanted. It had never crossed my mind that it would be used for anything like what I discovered last night.

At 9 I had boyfriends and kissed boys in the corner of the playground. We snuck holding hands but never once did sex cross my mind. I have heard how kids younger and younger know way too much about sex. We see it all over tv, movies, magazines, ads on the internet but I suppose I never stopped to think that all this sex everywhere would make a 9 year old curious and search for it on YouTube.

We had just finished watching the new Footloose and she was wanting to learn some new dance moves. She loves entertaining. So, we got on her tablet and I started typing in Footloose choreography. In the search bar, it drops down to your previous searches and there it was. "sex vidios". My stomach dropped. I just went on with the search for dance videos while my brain began to process what I just saw. I would have assumed parental controls had been put on the tablet prior to giving it to her, but I was wrong. Our boys have a tablet for kids games and learning apps, and the first thing I did was install Kid Mode to keep them from downloading anything and only being able to access their stuff.

But now the issue of how to gently handle the situation. Do I talk to her mom and my husband first and let them sort it out, definitely not a confrontation and make her feel bad, even as I type this I am a little shakey still. I would much rather her mother have this conversation. I will, no doubt, be giving the same speech to my sons someday.... I told her to leave her tablet downstairs charging for the night. She asked why and I told her that she needed to go to bed as it was almost 10.

While the kids were outside playing I decided to do a little more investigating to see if she had gone looking for anything else. Sure enough there was an app installed called "Adult Sex". I text my husband at work to let him know what I had found. He suggested taking it away but was not much help otherwise. He naturally goes to an extreme...guess that is why we are together. I tend to sit on a situation for a minute and go through several options and choose the least damaging. I opened the app, it said  to enter an age, so I clicked on it and I did not have to enter an age. She had accessed it. Just as the app opened and sex sounds start coming from the tablet my 3 year old walks in the room. EXIT! EXIT! Damn this app is slow! EXIT!!!! I felt like I was in that scene from Because I Said So where she had clicked on the "adult friends" ad.

While my nerves are still a little rattled I am going to talk to her mom. Surely we can both be uncomfortable and come to a solution, other than the obvious of putting the parental controls on the tablet ASAP and talking to A about what it is she is trying to find.

Signing off,
Completely Rattled L.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk

We decided to try a hand at homemade chalk, first of all I'm cheap..... No.... I mean seriously CHEAP! and secondly I like the satisfaction of making something myself. So I set out to make chalk for much less than you can buy from the store.

My daughter had a blast helping to make it and of course to use the chalk when it was done!

Homemade chalk recipe

What you will need:
Plaster of paris
Non-toxic tempura paint
Mixing bowls
Cardboard tube
Plastic wrap or aluminum foil

Mix 1/2 cup plaster of paris with water.... slowly! Keep it on the thick side. Let sit for a couple minutes. Add in tempura paint (he paint creates a chemical reaction that somehow thickens the mixture pretty quick) add a little water if its too dry.
The best consistency we found looked like Greek yogurt but only a tad thicker.
Spoon the mixture into a paper towel roll, toilet paper roll, Christmas wrap roll, or aluminum foil roll (this is what I used its perfect for little toddler hands. I cut the roll into about 4 inch sections). Cover the bottom end of the roll with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. After each spoonful tap the tube down to push out any bubbles. Fill to top and set it upright. (We did our chalk mixtures in small separate batches for each color my daughter chose.)
Let dry for 24 hours. Unwrap the cardboard from the chalk, let dry for another 24 hours.
Voila! Homemade chalk for super cheap with endless options!

It's a bit of a long process. You can get impatient and use it before it dries all the way but it will just crumble and not write very well but I have a 4lb box of plaster that I can make tons of chalk with.
-it's important to keep the mixture on the thicker side and let it set and to get rid of bubbles. We had a few that I rushed and they didn't turn out as well.

The plaster of paris can be found at a home improvement or craft store. My local craft store sold a 4.4 lb bag for 6.99 and the home improvement store sold a 4lb bag for $6.48 I also get a 5% discount there so I went with home improvement store. The tempura paints I already had on hand and we even given to us so no money into that! The cardboard was just a tube that would have been thrown away. Over all my total cost for 6 different colored chalks cost me $6.67 for the plaster of paris after taxes and the discount. I only used about 2 cups of plaster of paris out of the 4 lbs, so we can make chalk for years! Or use it for another craft!
I would say this craft was definitely a success, we made a mess, we had fun, we colored which made another mess, and I kept it cheap!


-------- Note that the orange and the pink chalks were not dry all the way-----------

Monday, May 6, 2013

That awkward moment as a single mom…

…when you see a hot guy at the grocery store and your boob starts to leak.

I've encountered a lot of awkward moments since being a “dating mom” and they all seem to happen at really inopportune times.  For example, today…
I’m at the gas station, pumping some good ol' 87 into my run-down Escape and a truck full of very attractive men pull up, smiling and doing the usual head nod.  When I finish pumping and pull out of the gas station, I get a nice little smile and wave from a cutie with the truck… then it happens- he spots the two car-seats in the back occupied by screaming children. 
Well, there goes that one.

I never noticed how many attractive men there were in the world when I was a “non-single” mama. 
Favorite place to go?? The grocery store, HANDS DOWN!

The grocery store holds all of my favorite things in life.  I like to call it my One Stop Shop.
Food? CHECK! Booze? CHECK!  Weird people? CHECK!  Single men? DOUBLE CHECK!
The booze aisle to me is like the clearance rack at Neiman Marcus for an upper middle class house wife; I walk up and down the aisle checking out all the drinking opportunities and the nice pecks on the man standing by the Guinness.  At least he has good taste, right? 
And here we go again… my right boob decides NOW is the perfect time to let down and I look like an idiot staring at the delicious man with boob juice all over my mom shirt.  As long as he hasn't spotted me yet, I get the perfect opportunity to day dream about our flawless life together… 
~He lets me sleep in till 8am in the mornings while taking care of my children, tells me I'm hot in my yoga pants, and loves the way I wear that sports bra~
Oh crap, I’m drooling and he’s staring at my dripping shirt.

I’m not asking for much in a man, just the basics.
-Shared love of food and booze.  Obviously.
-Same crude sense of humor.
-Slight nerd card. 
-Undying love for the San Diego Chargers. WOOP WOOP!

So until I find that dude… or any sexy piece of man for that matter, I’ll be roaming the grocery store aisles with boob juice on my shirt, drooling at all the cuties that walk by.
Sounds attractive, doesn't it?

Single mama of two pooping machines

Friday, May 3, 2013

Kicking the Habit

Gasp! Have I done the unthinkable??? Have I nursed my baby until she was 2.... No...... 3.... No..... 3.5!!
(Ok now I'm just splitting hairs, 3.5.... Really? Or--- I could be hardcore and pull the month card. Yes I still nurse my 42 month old.....) oh please let's be real about this I know I don't have time to figure out the math on that. Yes my child walks, she talks, she has all her teeth.... she even wipes her own bum!

I have decided to wean my 3.5 year old. I had originally hoped to let her self wean.... but I think she would have been that 19 year old still snuggling for "mommy milk"!!! ; )

For me it just became obvious that it was time to ease it off and let her become an official big girl!

I had struggled through my pregnancy to let her continue to nurse, as breasts become extremely sensitive during pregnancy. I powered through wanting her to nurse until at least age 2.
The first trimester was finally over and things became much easier. ........Then I started producing more milk and let me tell you my daughter loved that! She went from 30 second nursing sessions to 5-10 minutes sessions!

Pregnancy was pretty great while nursing I didn't pack on a ton of extra weight. I only gained 20lbs and I have my daughter to thank for that! Don't worry my son was born a happy and healthy 7 lbs. 1oz.

Then came the tandem nursing, this was a whole new learning experience.

I noticed my son seemed to be suffering from what they call fore milk/hind milk imbalance. I had to balance this by block feeding. This was a struggle for a few months but once my milk regulated and we adjusted to a tandem schedule all was great. My daughter helped me when I was "full" I hardly ever pulled out the pump.

April marked the month she turned 3.5. Although she was days away from officially being 3.5 I felt we were close enough and I found the perfect opportunity to attempt the weaning process.

She and I were sitting and I was enjoying. (tolerating) this morning nursing session. (Lately I had not been enjoying them they made me irritated because she was rough with me no matter how many times I asked her to be nice she wouldn't listen.)

I had a light bulb moment---- I thought ok this one is good, this is a good memory I want it to be captioned in my brain like this.----

I looked down at her and I asked her if she was ready to be a big girl. She nodded sweetly up and down. I then said would it be ok if only baby had mommy milk from now on? She again nodded sweetly. I said ok so this will be your last mommy milk.... Is that ok?.…..........
She looked up at me broke away and said no more mommy milk for me? Just baby?....
I said yes you are such a big girl now I think you are ready to be done with mommy milk ok?
She looked a bit disappointed but she agreed.
That evening before bed she asked for mommy milk and I had to remind her of our talk from earlier. She didn't take it well.
..... Melt down ensued......

I am sure it was easy for her to say ok she agreed with me as she was drinking mommy milk at the time but once reality hit and she was dealing with not having it, it didn't go over so well.

To comfort her I asked her to come snuggle with me and I told her I would still spend special time with her. We rocked and cuddled for awhile, then she was ready for bed. I think she was afraid that just that little moment of time she was guaranteed with me everyday would be lost on baby as well.

She has watched me nurse her brother staring at me with this sad longing face. which about broke my heart, I wanted to offer her some but I knew that if I did we would just go through this all over again.

I make certain that she gets special cuddle time with me where she snuggles up close to my chest and we just hug.

I have to say I love taking this special effort for her. It's so hard to find a good balance between my kids and I know my youngest gets more attention just because of his age he needs more "watching".

I would have to say it wasn't as difficult as I had imagined and she has wowed me with her efforts to be a "BIG girl"!

-We are so proud she has been clean and sober for 2 weeks now!-


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Should I give it up on the first date?

The day started out perfect.  We locked eyes in the kitchen over coffee and tea and there was a spark. 

We took our time getting ready, no point in rushing a day like this.  We enjoyed each other’s company while I picked out a cute outfit and talked about the adventures we would go on.

First was a small strawberry farm to pick our own strawberries.  We walked up and down the fields with the sweet smell in the air, both excited to take a bite of the vibrant berries.  To my surprise, a beautiful picnic had been planned under a large oak tree.  Sandwiches, drinks, and a hunger for more.

With the car smelling like berries and excitement, we set off on an adventure.  Unsure where to go, we headed for the coast.
I opened the door and couldn't control my thrill when the saltiness of the air inhabited me.  I love the beach, and what better way to experience it than to ride a surrey on the boardwalk?  We laughed till tears formed at the funny looks from passersby and ran out of breath only 15 minutes into our ride.

With our extreme exhaustion an hour later, we decided to replace those burned calories with chocolate milkshakes and whip cream.  82 million calories have never tasted so good.

Walking barefoot in the water and sand, with our treats in hand, we talked about the joys of life and laughed about our adventurous day. 

On the way home, we listened and laughed while singing along to early 90’s music.

We stood in the kitchen drinking some homemade sangria and making manicotti… together.
The day ended with walks through the neighborhood and checking out the beautiful homes.

It was the perfect end to the perfect day.  I have never been on such an amazing date and enjoyed myself so much.  I laughed till I cried; I smiled the whole day through… I was happy.

The key to the perfect date is to date a woman.  A dear friend and I decided to spend the day with our children and forget about men completely.  We set out with five children between the two of us and enjoyed every aspect of the day. 

Thank you April, I thoroughly enjoyed your company and you looked HOT! 
Don’t get too excited gentlemen; I’m not turning lesbian just yet… 

Single mama of two pooping machines

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Date night? What do we do?

The other night, hubby and I got a date night. It is a rare rare event in our home. So rare, if it was a steak, it would probably still be saying "moo".

We live an hour away from both of our parents, we do not know very many people I would consider close enough to watch my kids (one doesn't like mommy to go upstairs for 30 seconds to grab laundry) and with my husbands work schedule, we really only get to go on a date every couple of months. My best friend and her husband came up to stay for a two days and go to an event together and volunteered to watch the kids so we could go out.

Date nights before our little treasures used to be going 45 minutes up into the mountains for dinner at a riverside lodge, camping for the night or weekend, breakfast at a diner, I used to go to parties, I was a  "woo hoo!"girl, shopping for sexy lingerie, I had Wii bowling parties, UFC fight nights, never once did I worry about getting home quickly or worrying what was happening back at the house . We would just jump in his truck and go. So what is date night like now?

We hurried out the door while the kids were both taking a short nap, we went to a restaurant, we talked about the news from Boston, we talked about the world that will be left for our little men, I ordered one adult beverage and 3 drinks in felt tipsy (Yay for not being a drinker.), we ate and watched the people around us (Some young guys from the local community college baseball team were in front of us , an elderly couple clearly still in love, a family with children around the ages of 6, 4, 5-7 months, and one on the way, a father and son who were talking about school and sports, and a teenage couple who appeared to be on a first date or very new to dating each other.) Now that I think about it, we were surrounded by so many different stages in life. Young love, young adulthood, the child raising years, life with kids on the verge of leaving the nest, and life after the kids leave. Then we left. BUT, we didn't go home.

But where do you go and what do you do after dinner? We did what many home owners do on the weekends, we went to the home improvement store. Why? Because I could slowly go through every aisle I wanted and not worry about when the inevitable melt down was coming, or magic fingers adding things to the cart, or a child running wild through the store. My husband usually goes to stores alone, so he didn't get the enjoyment I was having. I picked out our garden, we talked about paint colors for our room, I planned my dream kitchen, I sat on toilets and we did a reenactment of the scene from "Couples Retreat" with the kid peeing in the showroom toilets at the store, we laughed, and then we went home...all before 8 pm. What has become of us?

We are parents to small humans who we love. As much as I want a break and to go out with my husband and have him to myself, I miss the kids when I am gone and look forward to that hug when I walk in the door. Date night has definitely changed from 4 years ago, but I value them more now than I did before. They are more precious when they do happen and being able to eat my dinner next to my husband, holding hands, and not sharing is almost like Christmas.