Lightning speed

Our life is speeding past me. Every day when I drop the kids off at school, I swear I just did it 2 hours ago, not 24. Every time I help kids with baths, I know it surely hasn’t been two days (or three) since the last one. Can’t be. And I say “help with bath” because I don’t actually have to do it anymore! Mikey needs no help at all…with bathing that is. The child needs help in other ways. πŸ™‚ Β And Brittany actually washes her own hair and Katie’s hair. I no longer have to bathe children. And I swear, I had to wash three little nekkid bodies all at the same time like 2 weeks ago. It couldn’t have been years. Impossible.

We are so crazy busy.

But we are also just in a really peaceful place…somehow. I’m not exactly sure how we can be this busy and still have peace. I’m not sure, but I’ll take it.

I started a new job in August. It’s part time. There is NO WAY on earth I could work full time. I have no idea how other parents do it. No clue how they do it. I guess I could do it if I had to. We do what we have to do. This job is a really great opportunity and I feel very fortunate. But it is seriously interfering with my 1-2 load of laundry a day requirement. Staying on top of things has become next to impossible. BUT the world will not stop spinning if I get behind on laundry.

The kids are all doing relatively well in school, considering their parents provide very little assistance or support. Brittany and Mikey are very good about doing their homework without me hounding them. And Brittany, my most helpful child, helps Katie with her homework. Jackson could do better in school, but I’m afraid he inherited more from me than just his cute face.

Phillip cooks basically all of the meals these days. My kids don’t even ask me what’s for dinner anymore. The other day, Brittany said, “Has dad cooked dinner yet?” And I knew that I had arrived.

So we are good. We really are seriously good. And I’m feeling like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop less and less. In fact, I’m not sure a shoe has dropped in a good while now. Shoes certainly get lost regularly, left outside in the rain, and chewed up by the most precious dog ever. But one hasn’t dropped in a while.

I’m thankful. But I kind of wish things would slow down just a little. I cannot wake up tomorrow and have them in college. We’ve got to save first.

Day in Kemah with these two
Day in Kemah with these two
Halloween 2015
Halloween 2015
Chuy's 7th birthday in dog years.
Chuy’s 7th birthday in dog years.
Super Brain Yoga
Super Brain Yoga
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10 random things I love other than my husband and kids.

In no particular order…

1. Cream Cheese. It goes all on all of the things. You can put it on almost all things and it makes it instantly better.

2. Bacon. I’m a vegetarian. Sort of. But I eat bacon. Because without bacon, what is the point of life? And like cream cheese, it makes almost all things better.

3. Books. I love getting lost in books. I used to read scary, horrible gruesome stuff, but not so much anymore. I like to read peaceful stuff. I need peace.

4. Coffee.

5. My bed.

6. Slow pace. There are times when everything is on high speed. I need slow as often as I can find it.

7. Easy. Easy food. Easy driving. Easy friendships. Easy conversation. Easy cleanup. Easy hairstyles. Easy makeup. Easy bill pay. Easy shoes. Easy yard work. There are enough hard things in life. Some things just need to be easy.

8. Jesus. I’m no Bible thumper. Not at all. And I’ll be honest, there are MANY things that I’m unsure about, but I feel pretty good about Jesus.

9. Learning. I LOVE knowing next to nothing about something and delving into it hours and hours and hours until I know as much as I care to know. Want some medical research done? Just ask me. I’ll lose lots of sleep over it.

10. My dog. He completes me. The end. ❀

 

It’s a long #itsmikey post

Earlier today, I read some posts about Mikey from the last several years. Some of them made me a little sad or anxious because I remember how I felt when I wrote some of that stuff. We’ve been through some very hard times with him. There will be more. He will always be a challenge. But for the most part, as I read those old posts, I was just amazed and relieved at how far we’ve come.

So, for me, for our family and friends, here is a little trip down Mikey memory lane. This reminds me why blogging is so important. And I regret that I’ve abandoned blogging for facebook. Just not the same at all.

There was this post when I didn’t think we’d be able to keep him.

When we weren’t sure if/when he’d speak. Just thinking about that now makes me laugh!

Back when I was told he is “significantly delayed” and I wanted to punch her in the neck, but I didn’t.

Back when I had to remove every toy or thing that Mikey could throw from his room.

There was this post after he basically got kicked out of preschool. This was the second preschool I had to pull him from before he was three. After this, he ended up in public school/preschool for kids with disabilities. It was a GREAT experience and helped him so much!

When I was at probably my lowest point with him. Feeling very hopeless.

How he’s 8. We still have some hard moments…even days. But all in all, he’s doing amazing! He’s making all A’s and B’s in school. He’s not on any meds. I realize that is not anybody’s business one way or another. However, I do feel like it’s an accomplishment for all of us that we’ve managed to keep him med free, despite suggestions from many doctors to do otherwise. Can you believe I was told to put him on something for ADHD when he turned four?? Yeah…no. Anyway, he has made the AB honor roll almost (if not every) reporting period for 1st and 2nd grade. Things may get harder for him at some point, but for now, he’s thriving. Just to clarify, I’m not always anti-med, but I’m a firm believer in avoiding them if you can. And so far, we’ve been able to.

He’s turned into quite a math whiz. He can be taught very difficult math and almost immediately pick it up. Aunt Gale taught him some algebra a few months ago and he picked it up right away. I sat down a few days ago and taught him long division in about three minutes. Mikey scored better than 99% of second graders nationally on his STAR math test. Scored at 4.5 grade level. The way he does math in his head is quite amazing. Even the adults in his life can’t always follow his line of reasoning to come to the correct answers that he gets.

He still struggles with controlling his impulses and moods. I think he’ll always struggle with that, but we’ll all do the hard work to continue to teach him. He still is somewhat socially inappropriate. Again, I think that will always be a struggle. And so, we teach. We have “official” diagnoses that we don’t talk much about. We don’t because we don’t really like labels. Also, it’s just Mikey. Who cares what he “has?” Not us. Not right now anyway. We wouldn’t change a thing.

I know I post about him a lot. But guys, he confounds me. Every day, he presents new problems or worries for me to try to figure out. And I’m kind of a problem solver. And not to make my kid sound like a problem necessarily, but… Maybe puzzle is a better word. Anyway, he takes up a lot of my brain.

He also takes up a great deal of my heart. Every struggle to get him, to keep him, to get through to him, to keep him safe, to help him learn and thrive, it’s all been worth it. He is a difficult, beautiful little complicated person. We have come a very long way with him. I can’t wait to see the great things he will continue to do.

Oh and I forgot to mention that he has a cast on his right arm right now. He injured his elbow. There are no visible breaks, but apparently if a kid won’t straighten/bend his elbow, it needs to be treated like a break. This is also the kid who intentionally failed two vision tests when he was five or six because he wanted glasses so… I’ll let you decide if I think he *really* needs that cast or not. πŸ™‚

mikeyblog3verticals

mikeyblog4horizontals

 

 

 

 

Gird up your loins.

Sounds gross, right? Loins. Just the word sounds slimy and unappealing. It’s a really old school phrase that basically means to get your tunic (men) pulled up and out of the way to prepare for a fight. I’m going to compare it to the phrase (ladies) to “Put your big girl panties on.” Roll up your sleeves, crack your knuckles, grit your teeth, and get ready to stand your ground. Take on the day. Take on the problem. Get ready to fight.

I think many of us have some things we need to fight for. Right now, I feel like I need to fight for my kids’ innocence. That is my battle ground right now. That’s a fight I’m not prepared to lose. And I will gird up my loins (do girls have loins) and fight. We’ve been through some rough patches where we had to fight for our marriage. We’ll be there again, I have no doubt. Maybe we need to fight for our health. Maybe we have friendships we need to fight for. Maybe we need to fight for our integrity.

And when it comes to these kind of fights, I think these things are important to remember:

  1. Prayer is seriously a great line of defense. (And I admittedly don’t do enough of it.)
  2. We need a good support system.
  3. Humility is our ally. Pride is our enemy.
  4. When in doubt, just tell the truth.
  5. Limit distractions.

And just for fun, here’s an illustration of how to literally gird up your loins. It’s a good thing guys now have Hanes. This looks complicated.

gird-up-your-loins-2

 

 

This week in some random run on sentences.

New bed for Jack. New sheets with monsters on them that are very cuddly. Spending lots of time with our favorite dog. Reading. Lots and lots of reading. Expanding our writing chops. Vocabulary words. SO thankful for Khan Academy. Learning about pulmonary systems. Crash course of History of the World. Lunch outside. Sunshine. Lots of laughing. Lots of talking. Talking about hard things. Park day. Classes at the college. Student small group. Reading to my boy again. I missed that. It was my favorite. I know he’s safe. He knows he’s loved. We can absolutely do this.

I would take a bullet for him. I’d step in front of a moving train for him. And yes, I’d even homeschool him if I had to. I’d do anything for him.

Our Christmas puppy

We have a new family member. We got him a little over a week ago. He’s awesome. We are so in love and we have no puppy regret.

Meet Chuy.

IMG_9593

He’s a piebald dachshund. And he’s practically perfect. Seriously.

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Top 10 things I want my middle schooler to know

I’ve seen this blog post shared on facebook several times. It’s good info. I got my 7th grader to read it tonight. He agreed with most of it and said it’s pretty accurate. He actually said, “This is pretty accurate” because he’s kind of a nerd. Anyway, I decided to write a response of sorts to that post. Really, it’s not a response. It’s just the top ten things that I want my middle schooler to know, in no particular order. I decided 15 was just too many. Honestly, I should just do 5 since he’s such a space cadet these days.

1. I’m really not an idiot. I promise. I went to college. I know stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. I’ve actually learned so very much stuff over the years, that it’s made me forgetful. Forgetful, but not stupid.

2. I mourn your childhood a little bit. I know you’re not a grown up yet, but I sometimes miss when you were little. Sometimes I just want to hold you in my lap like I used to, but you’re all elbows and knees, plus you smell kinda weird. But at least maybe let me rub your back from time to time or play with your hair. I’ll try really hard not to blow raspberries on your neck. At least not in front of your friends.

3. I would take a bullet for you. No matter how irritated I may be with you at any given moment, I’d lay down my life for you without question or thought. My love for you is fierce. Fierce and primal. That’s right…primal. Like a bear. That’s why I growl sometimes.

4. I want to be your friend, but I know I can’t. And it makes me sad. It’s a difficult dance. And I don’t always do it well. I’m sorry.

5. I super duper don’t want to micromanage you. So do what you know you’re supposed to do and I’ll step back and let you do your thing. At least I’ll try. At least I think I’ll try. Let’s maybe practice, how about that?

6. I don’t really know how to do this. The deeper I get into this parenting gig, the more I realize how ill equipped I am. Refer back to number 3.

7. You can’t lie to me. Just don’t even try it. I know everything. Just ask your dad.

8. I want to protect you from all the bad in the world, but I know that I can’t. I sometimes want to lock you in a room and maybe think about letting you out when you’re 25, but then I know you’d be some kind of social freak, plus I’d probably go to jail. And I don’t want to go to jail. The reason I can be a psycho about technology and the internet is because I know the horrors that await. I know it all too well, and I want better for you. I want you spared from that. Please try to understand where I’m coming from.

9. You are my pride and joy. I adore you. I watch you when you don’t know I am. I think about you when you’re not home. I can hear your voice in my head. I’m like the ultimate stalker. I’m obsessed with you. None of my personal accomplishments could compare to you. You are my reason for existing. Creeped out yet?

10. My brain thinks of the worst scenarios possible. So if you’re ten minutes late, I think that you’ve been kidnapped. If you say a cuss word, I think you’ll end up in jail. I know I’m psycho. I can’t make it go away.

Boy, I’m crazy about you. You are my heart and my soul. Now go take a shower. Maybe put on some deodorant.

https://scontent-b-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10256590_10203676579218254_7592701079138391434_n.jpg?oh=1f68c21d69be61b4e9fad44579c1c100&oe=5511BA1B

 

Sorry, can’t relate.

So I often come across blog posts that talk about the many woes of parenthood. Many include such things as waking up all hours every single night, never being able to use the bathroom alone, having no sex life, wrecked house at all times, grocery store chaos, etc. You know the type of blogs I’m talking about. The type that tells us that we have to give up on ourselves and our dignity.

But we have four kids. And we just don’t agree. Now we have lived in “the trenches.” We spent many years there. Thank goodness, we aren’t anymore. But even when we were, I never had a kid in the bathroom with me while I went poop. Just. Never. Maybe *maybe* when they were infants, but I’ve never understood the kids in the bathroom thing. Nobody watches me poop. Nope. I don’t care who you are.

And while our house can be a serious wreck at times, it’s not always. It comes and goes. My kids clean up after themselves. Laundry is manageable. And kids don’t have to eat and drink all over the house. When my house is a mess, it’s because I’m not using my time wisely. It’s because I’m being lazy. And believe me, I do have many lazy days.

They really don’t have to control every aspect our our lives. We don’t have to allow them that kind of control. We really don’t. We are, after all, the grown ups. So when I read over and over again about parents not having had sex in weeks/months because their kids won’t let them, I’m just like, “WHAT!?” Can’t relate, folks. I just can’t.

You let them climb on the kitchen counters? Yeah sorry, can’t relate.

And I seriously dislike parent shaming. That’s not what I’m trying to do. We all do our best. I believe that. My best is so extremely far from perfect, it’s not even funny. But maybe we should try to remember that we are the parents. They are the children. And we let them live in our houses.

I should add, however, that I’m pretty sure our four year old has flushed hair bows down the toilet and seriously stopped it up twice in the last week. That one might be using the bathroom outside for a while.