Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tribe Happenings

Just a few bloggy minutes to spare, so here are the happenings around the ole homestead.

1. We are trying to figure out who Bad Bob is...Teagan yells all day "Baaaa Ba" so we are on the lookout for this character!
2. Gray has a fever..looks to be a virus a friend has, no biggie.
3. Hubby is off to NY tomorrow to deal with his mom. Don't envy his task, totally envy that he gets to eat all that yummy NY food :(
4. So sad that hubby will be gone on my only days home with him
5. Even sadder that next week I will be away on business on my normal days off with him and the kids
6. Teagan eats like a horse, seriously she can pack it away and she is following in the footsteps of her siblings eating anything and everything but enjoying the things with a stronger flavor and texture most.
7. Girls had a full week of school
8. But they are calling for more snow this week
9. Again, why don't I get to run away for two days to the place with good pizza....oh yeah, i don't want to deal with the MIL situation.

Off to grade and then put someone down for a nap, and sadly that someone is not me

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oh insightful internet world

please help!

OK, so if anyone was reading a year ago, we had my mother in law move in and it took her less than a week to drive me to the brink of insanity. She then left.

She was here because she is a mess. Financially, mentally, emotionally, she makes Charlie Sheen look like a saint.

Now we hear, from brother in law #1, that there are foreclosure or eviction or something notices being posted on her front door. He says she won't tell him anything and that she is drunk all the time. Joy. She won't return my husband's calls. Double joy. Brother in law #2 lives with her...yeesh.

We really don't want her here, she is toxic beyond belief. Imagine all those jokes about in laws, and then throw in a violent, self destructive alcoholic...that is her. She needs help, she needs to stop drinking and smoking and blaming the world for her problems, but we have no idea how to help her. It is at a point that we have considered trying to get her committed just to get her help, seriously she has wasted the last 11 years of her life and has sacrificed relationships with everyone, there is no one left to help (and the brothers are inept and useless, so we can't ask them for anything)

My husband is choosing to ignore this right now, but we are concerned about what happens when she comes home and all her stuff is on the lawn, or worse, the cops come to remove her and she attacks them. I am considering having Ry go to NY this weekend and stage a mini intervention. I am willing to allow her to come her only if she gets into treatment. I found a place here that she could go for both alcohol and mental assistance, although she would have to work to help pay for it, and I could only offer a month or two of help and then she would need to move out. Should we offer this knowing that having her here is bad for the kids, bad for our marriage and bad for my mental state? I believe our family unit will come through fine, a little shaken maybe, but we are strong and loving and forgiving. What if he offers and she says no? Does he cut off communication? I have no frame of reference for dealing with this and there is no one else to help. Anyone have to deal with a family member in crisis and had to play the role of the grownup? Help please!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

See that edge..yeah those are my toes hanging over it

Man, I am struggling lately. Between the lack of sleep and the fact the rest of the world doesn't understand that I am on the edge, I am barely making it most days, and certainly not gracefully. I cannot remember the last time I was this tired for this long. I know it will get better, but when you are exhausted all day and can't even look forward to bedtime since you kbow you won't sleep, it is a bit of a bummer. Oh well, off to give an exam tonight and fingers crossed I stay awake while my class takes it!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Shock and Awe

Here is the thing, if you were to know me casually here in my town, you would often see me out and about with 1-4 kids hanging off me. You would see me eating lunch at Carlos, or at Target, or at an event at the kids school. You would also know that if I am not one of these places, I am probably at home since you would see my car in the driveway when you drove to the elementary school nearby.

You would see me walking around with my pony tail, minimal makeup and jeans. You might hear me talk about what I am concocting for dinner....but here is when it gets interesting. Sometimes when someone talks to me, I mention something about "work" and when I do I get this series of confused looks and then the "What do you do" question. It is almost amusing to see the gears turning, and I often wonder what these folks are thinking, where do they think I work? It gets even more fun when I mention I am a professor. I watch their face change as they search my face to see if they should laugh at the funny joke I made or if I am serious. Then comes the "Where" question, and I explain my work from home professorship and my PT gig at the local University. It seems this always throws them. I am not sure if I simply don't "look" like a professor, or if I am too young to be one in their mind(haha...I just want to be too young for something) or maybe I just don't seem smart enough, but it always makes me giggle inside when it happens.

So there you go, just another reason to not judge a book by it's cover, it may be a very knowledgeable least on one subject :)

If you can't say something nice

you really shouldn't blog....

Just been super busy here, and the baby cut her first tooth and is working the second through. This equates to her waking every 20 minutes at night and wanting to be held all day long. However, she is my last little baby and I know this will pass, so I am going to roll with it because never again will I have to endure a baby cutting her first tooth, and I am sure I will miss it.

Today the girls have their award ceremonies at school. Both will be receiving awards, Haven the Creative Problem Solver Award and Brittan the Classroom Helper Award. They also both got great report cards, Brittan does exceptionally well in all subjects, but we think she may be gifted in math, seriously I have never seen a 7 year old love math and be able to complete such complicated problems.

Haven also had a good report card, and we were thrilled with her writing grades as writing was the last hold over from her years of seizures. She has broken through and is achieving well at school. She could do a touch better, but it is due to lack of effort, not medical issues, so we wil take that any day! We are so proud of how far she has come, and the hurdles she has scaled. What a difference a year makes!

OK, off to do a work call, then lunch and errands, then another award ceremony, then work...whew!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Screw it all, I am taking a day

The girls are off to school today again, two hours late, but off they went. I know it sounds bad to say that it is calm and easy when they are gone, but it is. They get bored being here, especially when we are house bound and even playing outside is an ordeal. They enjoy school, seeing friends and the stimulation they get there. In the summers, I plan activities to combat the boredom, I find things for us to do to allow me to work and them to have fun, but these two weeks of unexpected captivity really threw all of us.

Since they left at 10:30, Grayson and I have had three really funny conversations, Teagan and I played with her blocks, they both had lunch, dishes were done, the bathroom was cleaned, the house was vacuumed and laundry was switched. I did some basic work, emailed some folks and obviously I am blogging. That is in under two hours. This makes may day much calmer, as does the decision to take the day today for me and the kids. I need to do some serious cleaning, and that will commence once the little one goes down for her nap. I needed to play with the two littles, since they don't get my attention as much when I am juggling the demanding older girls and work. I need to do a few small, small, small things for work and I decided the rest can wait until tomorrow. And finally, I need to just relax, since I have a yucky cold, and I have been stressed beyond belief for the last few weeks.

Today, I decided, is MY day. MY day to straighten up since it makes me feel better. MY day to play with the kiddos. MY day to blog :) MY day to relax. I still have a mile long to-do list for work, but tomorrow I will be better equipped to handle it. So today is the day I am taking for me, my kids, my family and my sanity.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Back to the grind...sort of

FINALLY the kids went back to school! They have been off for almost two and a half weeks, with a measly 4 hour school day in the midst! They had a delay today, but they went, and that is all that matters.

I am also back to work this week as PT school reopened following the blizzard(s)! In bad back to the grind news, Ry's family has reared their ugly heads...seems there are issues with his mom, her mortgage, etc again. I really don't want to deal with this, I don't want Ry to deal with this and I am annoyed that we are expected to fix things. Well the one thing we know is, we will not be offering to take her in this time, and unless the only choice is us or the streets, she needs to figure this out for herself. Sucks when we are forced to deal with this garbage when they never show any interest in our lives and have never been here for us during tough times.

In good news, Ryan and I just booked a hotel on LI for July. We really miss getting up there, but his family never has room for us, and we feel like we are stuck with them if we do stay there, so we decided to make our own trip. Em's sister got us a ridiculous rate at the hotel, making this so so affordable. We are not really planning on seeing the family, maybe for a dinner or something, but we are hoping to take the kids to the beach, to a diner, to see friends, etc. I am SO excited to get to go home on our terms!!!

OK, off to shower and get dressed for class. Good times.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Day started off nice, kids and I hung out upstairs, slow start to the morning and then down to have breakfast. Ry got home late, but came bearing bagels and presents so we forgave him. I got a really nice chocolate heart, a great card and cash....which threw me for a second until I saw the note in the card that I could only use the cash to get a pedicure :)

Kids were spoiled with Webkinzs and candy and they were thrilled. I got Ry a dark chocolate heart which is his favorite and a nice cash though :)

Day got a little rough due to the overwhelming pile of work I have to do. I try to explain this to folks, and no one seems to get just how much goes on here behind the scenes. I have not had a day off in years...with the exception of maternity leave. Seriously I work every day of the week because I have to. I have lectures to write in the next three days, I have to teach Monday and Wednesday, I have to grade 4 major assignments, I have to teach online, I have to mentor 6 faculty and coach 20, I have 7 hours of meeting calls over three days time and I have to get ready for a new session start on Thursday. I also have to nurse a baby on demand, cook three meals a day (well that has gotten lax), clean up from a meal three times a day, run kids around to school and other activities, do laundry every day, vacuum at least twice a day, wipe bathrooms, table, dust, etc every day just to stay afloat. It is incredibly overwhelming and I have a work trip in three weeks so I need to add pumping to my list plus shopping for appropriate clothes and I have a class I am taking ( my LAST!!!) that also starts in 3 weeks!

It got to be so overwhelming that I just broke down. I rarely get so overwhelmed that I cannot muscle through and make a plan, but right now there is just too much at once. I know that this will go on until summer and that seems a long way away. I often fear that it isn't worth it. That getting the doctorate isn't worth it, that working extra to pay things off isn't worth it, that killing myself daily isn't worth it, but I hope it is. I hope that in three years we will have no debt beyond the house and my school loans. I hope that in three years we will live somewhere else, Ry will have a better schedule and I will have one job. I hope in three years, it is worth all of it.

So I decided that since there is no hope for a day off, I needed two hours. I closed the laptop, paid for a PPV movie and sat on the couch with the baby. I laughed a few times out loud at the movie, and felt a little better. I also decided that tonight will be a Chinese food night since the family has been asking for it for weeks, and I just have no desire to cook. Hopefully once the kids go to bed I will be able to start writing the lectures, and the hubby feels so bad for me that he agreed to clean the upstairs tomorrow with the kids so I can work downstairs in the morning. Maybe tomorrow it won't feel so overwhelming.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

This is when I go for mom/wife of the year

OK, when I go crazy and get stressed, I tend to overcompensate because I feel bad for my family. Some traditional moves I make include: really intense and ridiculous craft sessions, over the top and difficult from scratch dinners that include the kid's help and crazy excessive outings.

Yesterday I went for the crazy outing, but overall it went well with the exception of me wanting to crawl in a hole and die from exhaustion somewhere around 8 pm. The kids and I got up and ready to go and then waited for the hubby to get home since he had taken my truck to work. Before he headed to bed, the hubby helped me load the masses, he threw the stroller in the car and off we went. First stop was lunch at Red Robin. Kids were so so so good! Haven and I shared a huge cheeseburger, I had onion soup, Britt had a kids burger and Gray a pizza. They behaved, they ate and everyone was happy. Then we headed over to the big mall where Carters and Old Navy were having big sales (40% off!) and I had coupons for 20% off and $10 off a $50 purchase! My goal was to get the baby outfitted for spring and summer and I think we did really well! I ended up spending under $120 dollars and got her 11 full outfits, 3 shirts, three outfits for a friend's baby and a dress for me! In addition, I got two $10 off $35 purchase at Carters and another 20% coupon that I can use together in March, so I will be able to finish buying her spring and summer clothes including her PJs! I am also super excited because I got her this beautiful white dress that looks like ones my other girls had at her age and were favorites of mine :)

After some serious shopping, and fending off Haven's request for clothes even though the child has more than she can wear, I treated the kids to Dippin Dots and we were off the Wegmans! Somehow we even managed that outing and got everything we needed with no yelling and no tears! Came home, made dinner and then ran to CVS to get the last few goodies for Valentines Day.

Today I am going to try to win wife of the year. I am looking for hotel rooms in NY for the summer right around Brittan and Teagan's birthdays. Husband is thrilled because he will be able to see his friends, and I am excited because the kids and I will happily sit on the beach with pizza for three days.

Friday, February 12, 2010


There are moments where you realize that while your life may be difficult, you may face obstacles, you may face illness and pain and suffering, there are others out there facing much more, and doing it with such grace.

Please visit Eva and see the strength of this young woman who is suffering, and dying, from CF. Her spirit, her smile, her ability to see the end of her life coming and choose to approach it with a loving spirit is amazing, touching and inspirational. The topic matter is sad, I warn you, but look through her postings and you will see that she attempted to live every minute of her life, that she has been surrounded with love and has chosen to send love out to those in the world who she has touched.

I hope that I can live my life, teach my children, and battle our seemingly minuscule health issues with just one ounce of the joy, peace and strength of Eva. I hope that a miracle happens and new lungs appear, but if they don't, I thank her for sharing her story and wish for peace in her passing.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The good, the bad, the stressful

Well the DC metro area has set a new record with the 2009/2010 winter being the snowiest on record ever. Did I mention that our forecast has snow on Monday and next Friday and that yesterday's snow was "supposed" to be only a few inches but then became a blizzard? That snow in the forecast makes me nervous.

My husband and kids have been here the whole time. Ry worked from home Friday and Saturday and has been off through today and will need to work from home tonight too. He may be able to get out tomorrow night if he takes my truck, but we will have to see if a plow comes down our road.

The good to having everyone home? I get to sleep in, no morning rush, lots and lots of family time, the snow is pretty.

The bad? Cooking and cleaning constantly! Feeding the family has become a full time job, not to mention doing dishes and laundry. Having housebound kids makes for messes, and I am done with the constant busy noise that comes from a houseful.

The stressful? I don't get snow days from my FT job and the courses I am writing, however the PT school has been shut down. So trying to work has been tough. Thankfully I am almost caught up.

Kids are off through Friday at least, we will see what happens since Monday was a scheduled day off that they may make a school day to make up some snow days, but then again, there is snow in the forecast.

Off to start cooking some more...I will post some of what has been cooking here the last few days, and yes I am quickly becoming fearful of feeding the tribe once they get bigger and Teagan begins eating!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I choose to ignore

the massive amounts of snow and instead bitch about work, which incidentally is also crappy due to the massive amounts of snow *sigh*

OK, here is the work bitch. I work hard, really, really, hard. I am a really good employee and do whatever is asked of me, happily, I also live under the belief that I do what I do to help our students get a better life, to become well educated and to be successful in the endeavors.

Therefore it really irks the crap out of me when I am passed over for a promotion for my boss's friend, who is very qualified and a good worker, etc. but who has not been with our program as long. It was a huge slap in the face, and it destroyed my ego for a few days, and then I got over it, buckled down and got back to work. I will keep working, keep doing my job, keep taking the shit I am given for one simple reason....I need the income and I like my job working with students, plus the fact that they pay for my doctorate. I will not, however, forget what has transpired and will be making some career moves in the next few years since I feel I have nowhere left to move into. Work can suck it sometimes.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mean or Motivated?

So Teagan is teething and somehow has decided that 3 am is an excellent time to wake up, scream, nurse, poop and then be all cute. She pulled that this morning, and during her cute period, managed to wake her brother who quickly became an whacked out leaping, spinning, noise making animal. That was lots of fun for the tired mama, and I was stressing about needing to go to the grocery store with all the kids with the 20" snow storm approaching and teh resulting crowds. If I could have avoided the store, I would have, but we were out of food as a direct result of having the kids only attend school for four hours this week, and I needed to go out and brave the crazy stores just to get food to survive!

So, as it rounded 5:30 am, the two kids that were awake and I voted to wake the older girls up....well, I voted for Teag. Woke those two girls up,and I admit I got a little wave of joy after all of the early morning wake ups they have given me, and told them to hustle. Fed everyone a hot breakfast, threw them in the car and made it to the store by 7 am! It was not too crowded, and somehow we survived and made it home with food supplies. The pickins were slim, but we made it out and the kids were rewarded with Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and so was the very tired mama.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Snow Boom

It has been a snowy winter here in VA!

To recap: We had snow the weekend after Thanksgiving with a few inches, storm before Christmas with just shy of 2 feet, snow last weekend of almost 10 inches, tonight we will get a few inches and we are expecting another winter storm Friday into Saturday!

Thank goodness I bought new snow pants and boots for the kids, last year we had almost no measurable snow, maybe one or two small passing storms, but this year it has been massive.

Now I love snow, but I need for our state to learn to deal with the snow and make my kids go back to school, they are going stir crazy and are so far off the routine, it is making me crazy!