Thursday, December 25, 2008

Single Mom’s Night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
Every creature was stirring, but luckily, no mouse.
The stockings are here and one over there...
It is almost like nobody around here could care.
The children were wild and fighting, nowhere near their beds.
While helpless, I watch them hit each other's heads.
When out on the lawn, there arose such a clatter.
We all ran out to see what was the matter.
Away to the door, I flew like a flash
Tripped on a car and then stepped on some trash.
I cursed out loud at the mess they had made
And said, “why can’t you put things way after you played.”
When what to my wondering eyes should I find,
But the dog and cat in quite a bind.
The dog was barking, the cat was hissing.
But good thing neither was missing.
The kids started shouting and making it worse.
I knew I had to take control, and started to converse.
“Now, Cowboy! Now Sebastian! Kids stop it right now!”
“Oh come on guys, I need a break, somehow.”
“Get in the house! And go to your rooms!”
“You in the kennel. No more of these volumes.”
With sad faces or tucked tails, and emotional display
They did march, but for once no words of back talk, they just did obey.
I sat for a moment, and paused at the scene.
And thought, “How many people live here? Fifteen?”
I had to clean before Santa could do his task.
I really had no choice and no time to bask.
I picked up and dusted, straightened and washed every dish
I was getting sleepy, cranky and downright childish.
I creeped down the hall to check on the kids.
I found even breathing and closed tight eyelids.
Then back down the hall to where presents were stashed,
And hoped that nothing got too smashed.
I started unpacking and sorting out gifts
Once, from the bedrooms, I heard tiny shifts,
So I paused and listened, and heard not a sound
I had to work fast before I was found!
All gifts were arranged, full stockings and candy canes hung on the tree,
It would be quite a sight for the first up to see.
I yawned and I stretched before turning out the light,
I reflected for a moment on what all happened that night.
I did this again by myself. Just one mother with three children
No partner around, just me to take action.
My children, my world. My everything in those three.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to thee.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Traffic Makes Poeple Crazy

I'm sure somewhere someone is doing a very expensive, time consuming study about this. And yes we have all heard about road rage.

Let me save you both time and money and give you the answer. Waiting in traffic makes people crazy!

They get mad, impatient and forget their manners. They yell, curse and flip off strangers. Cut in line, block intersections, drive on the shoulder, cut corners and just in general make it dangerous for others.

Am I guilty of some, if not all, of these? YES!

I sit in a lot of traffic and mostly, though, I am patient. My occasional yelling or impatience is at the idiot that I mentioned above.

Tonight, for example, we were sitting in a lot of traffic to only go a few miles at best. As soon as we were free, some one made the mistake of deciding to turn right.... the horror! The more important person in the car behind them decided they wanted to go in around instead of waiting the 1-2 seconds it would take for the person to turn. Problem was I was in the lane next to them. I honked, the VIP stayed in her lane.

I don't remember driving always being like this. I feel like I am driving into warfare or something. I have to be both offensive and defensive at the same time with my driving.

What I hate the most in the whole wide world is when a driver knows the lane ends, you have to merge, the continuing lane backs up, as drivers will go all the way to the end of the lane before getting over and basically "cut" in. What is worse is when they will continue on the shoulder until they can get in. I will let one car in. One car! That's all I "have" to let in. One car is polite! And yes sometimes I will let 2 in, but that is my limit! Why should I let 2, 3, 4 people over just so I have to sit there that much longer. What if every car in front of me let 2+ cars in line? That is why the line is sooo long in the first place! Duh!

Anyway, just had to vent since I almost got sideswapped tonight! (actually writing this on Monday but posting on Wednesday!)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ban on Dogs or Owners

I don't usually write about "hot topics" but this one is a hot button for me.

There was this article about Texas Attorney General being asked his opinion on banning certain breeds of dogs. Very interesting, yet hot topic.

I don't know if I agree or disagree. But let me talk you through some of my thoughts on it.

I am a dog owner. I am not the best nor worst dog owner. I know what to do in theory with him but I don't always follow through as much as I should. One thing that I made sure I did was socialize him as a puppy but since I haven't been able to get him neutered yet (after the first of the year! snip, snip, baby) I haven't done as much socializing as he needs.

So I do try to be a responsible pet owner of a very powerful, strong and smart dog. He is a mix of two of the breeds on this list for home insurance and dog breeds that might raise your insurance rate or you may even get denied. (I was honestly surprised to see Husky because all of them that I have known are big teddy bears but they are strong dogs and in the wrong hands....I guess)

I knew this getting him so I had to take a firm hand (okay somewhat) from the beginning (he was sooo darn cute in the beginning).... He is still really cute and it is hard sometimes to follow through with disciplining him. I also try not to really play with him too much, like rough play (I will throw a ball or toy) but I don't want him to see me as an equal but as the alpha. I need to control the food and boundaries, etc. He can not win "games" with me. I have to win or I don't play.

So anyway, I would hate for my dog "breed" to be banned and I know many pit bull owners would be upset by it too.

However, I think that many of them would agree with me that in the wrong hands and with the crossed and bad bloodlines out there, they can be very dangerous. That isn't to say they all are, just that they can be.... They are smart, strong, powerful dogs. Then again, any dog can be bad in the wrong hands, over bred and after being abused.

So who do you "ban" the dog or the owner or maybe even a little of both? I think if they make it harder to get the dogs, it would help a bit but just like illegal drugs, people will find a way and I think that the dogs might even be treated worse, making them meaner. *shutter*

I thought talking it out would help me be on one side of the fence or the other. I am still clearly on the fence about this. I don't think there is a clear right or wrong answer on this issue because I see how these breeds can be (not just pits but all the "dangerous" dogs). However, how do you control the "bad" ones.... the owners and the mean dogs they created? I just don't think banning is the right answer.....

What do you think? What do you think of the list of dangerous dogs?

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Alchemy of Loss

This is my second book review for TLC Books. I hope that I can continue to review books.

I was asked to read The Alchemy of Loss by Abigail Carter. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this or how I would feel or relate to a widow. I choose to not have a spouse any longer. She did not.

From the minute I picked up the book until it was done, I was hooked. Obviously I am reading a book about a widow, a widow of 9/11. I knew how the big story went. I knew that when she got the first phone call from him saying where he was, that it wasn't going to be a happy story; however, I was not expecting to be sucked in the way I was.

As she watched the news, as she waited for news, anything, I was waiting and hoping too. I felt silly because I knew it wasn't going to end with him coming home but she wrote it so well that I was waiting for him with her. I kept thinking was it because I had felt strong emotions over the event as well and so I knew how I felt not even having lost anyone or was it her writing. I am chalking it up to both because the rest of the book was written in much the same way and I was spellbound as I read it.

I also saw how I could relate to a widow in the pages. She was grieving and my own grieving a failed marriage is many of the same steps and emotions. There are many differences of course because I made a choice and I still see my ex.

I definitely would recommend this book to any reader. We can all relate in different ways to Abigail and her journey. I wish her luck.

So check it out!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Just very random stuff

I have a lot on my mind so I haven't been doing great (again) at blogging. I keep wondering if I should give this up. I found myself a long time ago but at the same time there are always new things I find challenging with my role as a single mom. *sigh* I hope I can keep this going because honestly I do love it.

Anyway.... All my Christmas shopping is finally done! I got a later start than I wanted but today I bought the last of it. We have a tradition that "Santa" leaves Candy Canes on the tree. I had to buy the candy canes and I thought for sure that would be pretty easy. Not! My kids have been spoiled by the different flavored ones, not peppermint. They don't even eat those! So I have to buy the different flavors. I did find some but not the requested ones. Oh well. They are good enough.

Speaking of traditions, another one we do is on Christmas eve I give them pajamas. When K and H were little, I used to match them. But now it is just whatever looks good at the store. They each got two this year because they all need PJs. Plus I couldn't decide! I love PJs. Wish we could wear that to work.

Then tomorrow I do another book review. I am excited about this book. I love it. I think most of the people that read my blog would love it! No hints or giving it away but just check back tomorrow for the review. I need to find my notes that I wrote.... Hmmm....

The kids all went with their dad and stepmom to her mom's house in Austin. At first K wasn't going to go but about an hour before they got her, she changed her mind. We have all been sick this week so I was also worried they wouldn't go. I hate to be like ungrateful but I needed a break really bad. I love them to pieces! Can't live without them but I just need a break.... or really what I need is more help with them and from them but that is a whole other blog post.

Oh and look in my sidebar! I have a new widget.... It is my baby brother's band!!! He is the singer. I got goosebumps when I heard him. Not that I think they are superstars but I think they have a really great sound and with some more practice and the right breaks, they could good go far.

My other brother is in Iraq. I have emailed his wife... well just once. She is sad. I don't often like to wish away time, but I hope for her and him that the time seems to fly. I have been crying again too. Mostly when I think of him or something reminds me of him. Even when I think of her, I get choked up.

In other news, have you seen the commerical with the little boy that is yelling at his dad for eating the last cookie? "He's gonna leave! He's gonna leave!" (see video below)..... Cracks me up EVERYTIME! I love it. Not sure why but a few others loved it enough to put it on YouTube.

Soooo anyway, I wish you all a Merry Christmas (or whatever you celebrate). I will more than likely post more this week! I will actually not have to fight for the Computer!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lions and Tigers and ..... Okapi... Oh my!

From the zoo this past weekend.... I wish I could take credit for the first two pics, I can't. Those were K. She loves taking pics but especially of animals.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Good or bad mom?? I am not sure

This weekend I went to the zoo with my kids, my aunt and her two grandchildren. It was a great day! Cool but not cold, just warm enough and not tooo sunny either. Just perfect.

The kids range in age from 14 to 2 yrs old. They all enjoyed it!!

So to back up a step or two, my daughter has never been very maternal, even for a child her age (now 14). I am not expecting her to be like all "Ooohhh babies!" and know what to do. However, I remember babysitting at age 11 and really knowing what to do most of the times... I mean as moms (and dads) we don't always know what is wrong for our kids.

Anyway, you know what I mean, some people just have a natural maternal/nurturing instinct.

Back to the day at the zoo. K was trying to keep up with her little cousin S. S is a typical 2 year old, busy and as a lot of new things to see and do. Now K, she likes little kids but like I said, no maternal instinct, very clumsy and looks to me like what the heck do I do? It was cute.

I mentioned to my Aunt my observation. She agreed but then said everyone used to say she would be a great mom and then she wasn't (or didn't feel like she was.... My cousin was a bit of a troublemaker. I love him but.... he got in some trouble. He is a great man now).

I said, I understand because I feel the same about me.... Not sure I am a good mom. I don't feel like I am. I get a lot of negative feedback. I have an ongoing self-esteem issue left by their dad. Many people comment how many boys are so loud or have to be kept very busy or they get bored, etc. I second guess myself all the time. I don't feel like I do enough or it isn't good enough and I am not as involved or they aren't.

I want someone, just one person, to reassure me. Someone that knows me, knows my kids, knows deep down, maybe, they are good kids. I mean really they aren't bad. There are some things I could do better but I am on my own against 3 so I pick my battles and it seems to work okay for us, and really isn't that what matters.... I just wish I could be so confident in my life and choices as I am writing this.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Me and my brother

This is a picture me and my brother (I actually have two). He is 2 yrs younger than me and we used to be close. Now, not as much.

Anyway, he is in the Army and is deploying this week for the second time to Iraq.

I am so proud of him but at the same time, I am scared for him, for us.

He has three children and a new wife. He has just come back into our life's in the past few years and now will be gone for another year. I am not sure exactly when he is leaving, he could be gone now. I just know it is this week. His oldest and only son's bday is on Thursday.

Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. He said if we do pull out of Iraq this year, he will be there longer than a year.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The bumps in the road....

I am often surprised that years after the divorce, years after being well over and ready for the divorce.... I still hit bumps in the road.

So today is would be my 15th wedding anniversary, instead, it is just another day. Small bump but not huge. I am definitely much happier post-divorce and away from him. That was a very bad relationship and I knew it for a long time. It was long over due but.... I see couples at the store, at the park, at restaurants, with their children or just each other, and it is another small bump.

Then because I am insane or nosy or both.... but the stepmom and I are "friends" on Myspace. Well she posted new pictures of them.... Christmas pictures of them. Happy, smiling couple. This is a big bump for me. Something I always wanted to do but only once did we take pictures together. One time. There they sit in their perfect house, fire, Christmas tree, stockings hanging on the mantle. Their dogs sitting with them.

Turns the stomach I tell you.


And I am not saying I really want that, for sure not life with him. I really do love my life and I am happy with my choices. It is just some little bumps of life after divorce... nothing more.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

In a blink of an eye....

If you have read my blog for a while, you know I have three children. K is 14 and a 9th grader and my only girl. H is 12 (nearly 13) a 7th grader..... and L is my surprise blessing, is age 6 and in 1st grade.

People tell you to enjoy them while they are young and I never understood that or the idea that "Time Flies" or "They grow up too fast." until I had kids. When I had my children, my life seemed to have sped up. Each year it goes faster. Especially with L. He is so much younger than the others that all his life he has done things faster than them. Rolled over, sat up, crawled, walked.... ran! All of it faster to try to keep up with his sister and brother.

I have tried to keep him little in other ways. I have spoiled him and not stuck to the same way of doing things as I did with K and H. I know I shouldn't and yet I keep doing it. I was an older mom and with the other two being 8 and 6 when he was born, I knew all too well how fast time flies. I felt like I enjoyed them but I realized I made them grow up too fast.... but I can't hold any of them back and I realize that....

However, yesterday showed me just how grown up he is getting and I really realized I can't stop it.

He was asked by a neighbor/friend to go help them pick out a Christmas tree and then go to lunch. My heart was screaming, "NO! He is not old enough for that." But my brain couldn't come up with one good reason why he couldn't. I know the mom and he and the boy are friends. Sooo I said yes. Then I gasped. What had I just said?? My baby could go with someone else! OMG! What was I doing? But I said yes.

As they left, I let out a sigh and my older two were like, "Wow he is growing up."

And so he is..... so they all are....

Friday, December 05, 2008

Finally House pics!

The remodel has been complete for a few weeks now but I have been lazy in taking pictures. Today I finally slowed down long enough to do it!!!!

So this first one is from the doorway looking into my room! Isn't it big? It is hard to see the color on the walls but it is gorgeous! You can kinda get an idea on the left side of the picture.

This one (below) is of course my bed. Don't you just love the lights and curtains! Thanks to Goofball for putting them up for me. Isn't he sweet!?

Below is a picture of the view from my bed.... well one of them. This is the back of the closet! I would like to move the tv/dresser here but my cable isn't there right now. Darn!

The other view from my bed, towards the door.

This is looking into my bathroom.

My closet!

Bathroom sink. I am a bit sad that I couldn't get better pictures of the colors but hopefully you can tell.

So that is my new room/bathroom. It is great! OMG! I can actually come home and hide a little bit. Just relax which I haven't been able to do for a long, long time!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Holidays Post-Divorce

I was reading a new to me blog. She posted about the holidays and how this year would be here second since her divorce and she will have her daughter instead of last year when she didn't. Then on a message board I belong to, they have been talking a lot about custody and holiday schedules.

And yeah I complain that my ex doesn't have the kids regularly but that just means I get the kids for most of the holidays! Not to mention that we worked it out so that we each get them for the Christmas time. Last year they picked up the kids late afternoon on Christmas Day. This year they will get them until Christmas eve.

It isn't perfect but it works for us. This will actually be the 3rd Christmas that we have been apart.... or is it the 4th? I really don't know and I really don't care!

But I know many people will be going through this for the first time or even the second time and it is one of those hurtful moments when being divorced. I wish for them peace in this situation. That they can find some comfort and just try to enjoy the moments they do have.

Monday, December 01, 2008

A scared child and one that sleep walks = Long nights!

Soooo L has always been scared to sleep in his room. At first I gave in a lot because one he was cute (just 3 yrs old) and two I wasn't sharing my bed with anyone else. Okay so really I guess it started long before that even but I really gave in when his dad and I separated in 2005.

Anyway so it has been an uphill battle to get him to sleep in his bed for the past 1-2 yrs.

Well tonight was one of those battle nights. And as I listed for the billionth time that our house is safe (doors and windows locked, big brother in the room, big scary doggie... etc).... I took him by the hand and started to walk him to his room.

When I turned the corner and was eye to eye with a person. "HOLY CRAP!!!"

It was just his very sleepy, disoriented brother who has a very bad sleep walking habit and has since he was old enough to walk. Scared the crap out of me! I sent him back to bed.

And here I was trying to tell the little one how safe our house is only to squeal like I saw a mouse or something.

Crazy stuff.

I got his sister to sleep on one couch and him to sleep on another. No, no not some torture for her. She has actually said she prefers to sleep there. It is I who forces her to sleep in bed.

So everyone is finally tucked in. I just hope they all stay put!