Toot.

So this is a post to toot my own horn. So if that rubs you the wrong way, then skip it. But I have so many days that I feel like a failure or a lazy bum, that I think it’s okay to post a WIN for today! I accomplished a ton of stuff today! So, here’s what my day looked like today, just in case you care.


7:45-8:45 – kids up and fed. Jack done with spelling and math lecture (which I don’t teach)
8:45-9:45 – middles dropped off at school/granny’s, 2 miles on treadmill and sauna at Rec Center while Jack read and finished math at Rec Center
9:45-12:00 – grocery store (with list!), groceries put away, laundry, pick up Britt from school
12:00-3:00 – lunch for myself and three kids (I made soup), shower, history & bible with Jack, read to Britt, worked on photos, did NOT take a nap, more laundry
3:00-4:00 – Picked up Mikey and a family friend from school, brought them home for snack
4:00-5:00 – took three kids to Cherry Berry (The buttered popcorn flavor is GREAT, btw)
5:00-6:15 – Phillip cooked burgers and we ate, more laundry
6:15-7:45 – Rec center again where I walked about 2.5 miles and sweated in sauna
7:45-8:45 – took Mikey to Wal-Mart to buy him a yoyo and a couple of other things. Mikey memorized my phone number while we were there.
9:45-11:45 – 2nd shower of the day, talked/emailed/texted with two friends about our upcoming trip to Singapore/Cambodia while finishing up a senior gallery


And now I’m done and I should go to bed, but I’m going to go read for a little while. I just need to sit and be alone for a little while. I’m exhausted. Most days aren’t *quite* as busy as this one, but they are close.

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Stay in your bed.

When we moved Jack from the crib to a toddler bed, all I had to say was “Stay in your bed” and he did just that. He rarely ever got out or whined or cried. He just didn’t. And I thought I was so awesome.


Then there was Mikey. (dun..dun..dun…) When we moved Mikey from his crib to a toddler bed, it was kind of a nightmare. He fell asleep on the floor almost every night. He screamed. He cried. He threw toys. He banged his head on the floor. When we moved him from the toddler bed to a twin bed, it was worse. I would sit in the hallway outside his door so he could see me until he fell asleep. He didn’t regularly fall asleep in a bed until he was probably 3 years old or so. He would fall asleep on the floor or a chair or the couch. He was and sort of still is a huge pain to get to sleep. I stopped thinking I was awesome long ago.


Brittany came to us already sleeping in a big girl bed. She’s only gotten out of her bed a handful of times. She’s cried at bedtime more than a handful of times, but nothing out of the ordinary for a 2-3 year old. She wasn’t easy before she came to us, and not for several months in, but she’s easy now. Pretty much.


And now there’s Katie. She screams when we put her in her bed. She kicks the wall. She throws everything out of her bed and then gets mad because she wants it back. She wakes up in the morning screaming at the world. She’s pretty much done this for the last 15 months. We just took the rail off of her crib last night. She got out once and she got in trouble. She woke up this morning and didn’t scream. She just played until I got them out of their room. Tonight she hasn’t gotten out of her bed yet, but she screamed for about 10 minutes. Now she’s just in there talking trash. She’s temperamental, but nothing like Mikey was at this age. She’s strong-willed, but it’s laughable compared to Mikey.


So it looks like we are officially out of the crib stage FOREVER! Now if I can only get Katie potty trained, we’ll be golden.



Issues.

We all have issues. We all have junk in our past that we don’t like that has shaped us into who we are. We all have junk that maybe we’ve used as an excuse to be less than we could be. Some of us have mommy or daddy issues. We may have health issues. Some of us may have been a victim. We may have victimized someone else.


I’ve been thinking about this post for weeks. Should I post it? If I do, what should I say? What should I not say? What good would it do anyway? That kind of thing.


I’ve been volunteering with some students at church the last few months. And doing so has given me the opportunity to talk openly about some of my issues with some amazing young ladies. And some of them have similar issues. I see myself in these kids. And some of what I’ve talked with them about are issues that I have had with my dad.


As far as I can recall, I’ve blogged about my dad once. And that was when I made my blog private years ago because he found it and tried to track me down. I later got over it and decided he could read to his heart’s content. I decided not to let him determine another decision in my life. And he could be reading this now and that’s fine.


There are a lot of positive things that I can say about my dad. Things that are true. These are the things that everyone in my life saw. You see, my dad was not absent. My dad was not an alcoholic. I rarely heard my dad curse or even raise his voice. My dad was not physically abusive. My dad was not a dead beat. He was at every school function that I had. He supported me financially. He even bought me a car when I started college. He did everything “right” on the surface. People even like him. Sort of.


But all of the good things that he did were wrapped up in lies and manipulation. None of it was based on unconditional love. My relationship with him was so odd that it’s really hard to even describe. I could get into specifics of actual instances or things that he did, but I don’t want to do that. And it’s not the individual instances that were even the most damaging. It’s just the whole relationship. The whole package. I can’t really put into words the weird that is my dad. And I’m not talking about a good weird. Just odd, strange, off, not right kind of weird. And that, mixed with many inappropriate behaviors that I’m not going to get into here, just made for a father/daughter relationship that wasn’t what it was supposed to be.


I have one memory of ever hugging my dad. I’m sure there must have been more, but I only remember the one. And it’s not a good memory. He hugged me the day our house burned down. I guess he hugged me because he was glad I was alive. I just zoned out until he let go. Maybe when I was really little, I would crawl into his lap, but from my earliest memories, I didn’t want him touching me. He made my skin crawl from as early as I can remember.


Thankfully, I saw less of him after my parents divorced in 3rd grade. And I saw even less of him when he remarried a woman who wanted very little to do with me. Shortly before mine and Phillip’s wedding, I finally had enough of everything that he is. I was tired of him tainting my life anymore and I knew that I wanted my new life with Phillip to be free of him. I knew that I could never allow him around any children that I had. I began to realize that he shouldn’t be around any children at all, for that matter.


And so I cut off all contact with him about 12 years ago. Unfortunately, his mother and sisters only chose to see the surface. They couldn’t or wouldn’t see what he really is. They probably saw me as an ungrateful brat. Maintaining any contact with them became more and more impossible until eventually I never saw them again either. My grandmother died without ever meeting Jackson. I didn’t see her before she died. I didn’t go to her funeral. I have regrets about some of that, but I was protecting myself.


So anyway, we all have issues. I guess you could say that I have “daddy issues.” And I know those issues have led me to do or believe things that have gotten me into trouble over the years. Those issues have tainted many aspects of my life at one time or another. But ultimately, I’m responsible for my life. I’m responsible for my choices and actions regardless of the hand I was dealt.


This is part of who I am that I’ve never written about openly. And I’ve only talked about it in small circles. And for whatever reason, I just felt that it was time.