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Hey stalkers, how you doing?

Yep, and now there are two.  Hi Smarpet74, or shall I refer to you by your real name, Gail.  You and Evelyn/Christa/Positive Change and the slew of other fake accounts she has are now teaming up.  Cute. Took me a while to figure it out, but here we are. If you have questions, I’d love to chat.  Really.  I have so much to tell you, and the proof to back every word up. See, what you’ve heard isn’t the real story.  Ask me, I’ll fill you in.  Want to do coffee?

 

Of course, I unlocked my account, so it was all for naught, really, wasn’t it? But it’s all good.  Locked up again, snuggly and warm.  Guess you guys can try a new one?

 

 

 

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Where is the time going?

You know, I thought with vacation planned that time would creep.  Slowly ticking by, agonizingly slow, the days would pass.  In fact, that hasn’t been the case at all.  I looked at our flight reservations today and the trip is just over 2 weeks away.  Where did the time go? Why is it flying by?

I suppose family life is keeping me on my toes.

Halloween was last week.  It’s a HUGE holiday for our family, as we get about 500 Trick or Treaters and their families a year.  For my husband, it’s SHOWTIME! We dress up, the animatronics are out, and the house is specially lit.  We have music and food, and a good time is typically (hopefully) had by all.  We get a LOT of positive feedback from people who come trick or treating, and even get asked to pose for photo ops.  It slays me that tons of random people around town have pictures taken with little old me in costume each year.  This year I dressed as Pennywise, and my son went as Georgie.  Of course, my son invited a friend over, so I got totally dusted.  That’s fine though. The kids had lots of friends stop by and I think they’d tell you it was their favorite Halloween yet. The house got tidied up (somewhat, but the nice part of halloween is that dust is considered ambiance), and I feel a bit more relaxed.  There is still tons of stuff I need to go through as I continue on my “purge of the things” but I felt more relaxed.  I had BAGS of clothes I had washed from when my washing machine broke.  Since nobody had worn anything in them since, I purged every one and donated all of them.  It made me feel lighter.

What hasn’t made me feel lighter at all was stepping on the scale this morning.  Stress, candy, and bloating, not to mention eating all the fatty foods has ballooned me up a bit the past few months.  I have about 2 weeks to shed some of the bloat and a lb or two. It’s going to be brutal.  I hate that I am the “chubbier one” of the family.  It’s not even like I am that big, because I’m not, but British people seem to be smaller than Americans, especially where I’m from.  I think it’s because they are more active, and tend to spend more time outside…at least my family does.  Here in the States I work full time at a desk job and don’t get out and about as much as I would like.  I said months ago I needed to lose weight, yet here I am.  I didn’t do what I set out to do, and I’m honestly a little down about it.  I have two weeks.  Let’s see what I can do with that.

I’m beyond excited to see my family.  It’s going to be different this time because my husband and kids are going with me.  I feel a bit nervous about keeping them all entertained.  I tend to have my habits when I go home.  This year I want to visit my mom’s grave the day I get there.  It’s a bit of a habit.  Having her buried 3000 miles away is tough in some ways.  I have no “place” to go to memorialize her.  When I go back to England, I feel like visiting her grave signifies a lot.  I’m also arriving on the anniversary of my grandfather’s death, which also lands on my cousin’s birthday.  I usually go to the cemetary and visit both my mom’s grave as well as all the other family members that have passed as well.

The weekend we are there will be my cousin’s birthday party.  This is awesome, not only because I get to go and take my favorite 3, but also because a lot of the family will be in one place.  It allows me to see almost everyone in one shot.  Trying to make it out to see the whole family is no easy task.  Having everyone in one place is awesome and hopefully feel like old times.  It’s tough because there have been some family estrangements and arguments over the years, which means likely everyone won’t all be together.  I kind of hate that, yet on the other hand, I understand it.  Assholes are going to asshole, if you get my drift.  It does make me sad though.

My daughter’s teeth have been another major concern.  I was heavily impressed last week when the orthodontist and coordinator called me for a conference call to address all my questions and concerns.  I feel like we’re on the right track, and am cautiously optimistic.  The process will be a bit more drawn out than I initially imagined.  She had teeth pulled, a 3d scan done, and next week we begin the process.  Her canine teeth are impacted, meaning they are bearing down on her 4 front permanent teeth.  I’m a raging mess about it but am hopeful we can save her teeth and give her a beautiful smile in the process.

This week and next week are a whirlwind at work and home.  Appointments, school conferences, and getting the family ready.  I’m excited but nervous as my usual procrastinating self needs to kick it up many notches so I’m not a raging lunatic the 2 days before we leave for vacation.

Who am I kidding?

I’ll be a raging lunatic the 2 days before we leave.

 

 

 

Drowning Puddle and Rising Tide

I’ve always been honest in this blog, even when it reflects how awkward, emotional, and chaotic I am or my life can be. I own my crazy, I own my messy house, my chaos, and my choices.  Sometimes feel like I’m doing pretty darned well at this thing called life, and sometimes, meh, not so much.  The past few weeks have been a combination of the two.

Let’s start with where I feel things are tanking a bit, and end with a positive bang, shall we?  (Not that type of bang, you perverts. ha!).

So, the house.  Oh my god, the house.  I’ve never been great at housekeeping, probably because I am always so damned busy.  I’m always working, running kids from place to place, and on the move somewhere.  When I am not doing those things, I am resting because I am exhausted,  trying to tackle some sort of project, or I am laid up with a bad back or pinched nerves in my hip.  I’m kind of a mess, and my house reflects that.  It’s not hoarder status, but my mother is probably rolling in her grave like a rotisserie chicken about my current mess.  The washing machine broke the other week, meaning I had to tackle a lot of the clothes stored in the laundry room.  Some had to be tossed, and I ended up washing every piece of clothing in there and the laundromat, sorting into bags by person vs donate.  Massive job that took me all day and a handful of cash.  My husband, through rage and youtube alone, was able to repair the washer (we were both aggravated the washer went right after we replaced the fridge that broke and didn’t want to spend the money buying a new one.)  Bags of laundry are in my living room, y’all.  Like, bags and bags.  And I need to put the clothes away, except there isn’t enough room because we have minimal storage space.  Which means I have to go through those damned bags again and pick out only essentials, and also donate clothes in closets that can go, so that I can make room.  See, it’s never just one job, it’s two massive ones. Add to that 3 other bags of hand-me-downs that someone passed on, and it’s a big project.  That’s part of where my problem lies.  It’s never just a simple job….it’s a job that needs 4 other jobs done before it.  Effectively, we have too much stuff, and it needs to be purged.  Once I do it, I know I will feel divine.  It’s just a matter of getting it all done with no block of time to give it.

Not to mention, I clean it, and five minutes later someone comes by and messes it up.  It’s an endless cycle.  I hate it.

Financially, I need to dig myself out of some debt.  I want to get all the weight of money and housemess off myself.  This will include cutting the cable cord, although I have been too chickenshit to do it.  Ridiculous really, because I literally watch maybe 3 shows on TV.  That being said, I’m not the only one who lives here, and I can probably get the shows I need for everyone else a different way.  The cord cutting is in progress.  Researching and trial running things is currently going on.  I picked up a second job.  Honestly, the company told me up front the pay is shit, and really, it kind of is.  That being said, it’s money, and I’ll take it.  I had said “the only way I could do a second job is if it was remote, could be done outside of my regular job, and had flexibility.  The odds of getting something that met all those criteria was pretty slim, until the universe handed me exactly that.  It’s something I can do remotely, nights, weekends, and has a load of flexibility.  Score.  Even if it’s just a couple of hundred bucks a month, it’s a good side gig. I’m also going to be in the process of selling some stuff we have.  I have gorgeous, brand new with tags on Disney kids’ princess dresses that have never been worn.  Time to sell them.  Collectibles that I no longer collect.  All of it…it can go.  Kids clothes I can sell.  Now, I say I’m going to do this quite a bit, but this time I need to ACTUALLY do it, so I figure if I write it here it will spur me on.

Drowning in stuff.  It starts with a dribble and ends with a pond.

Yet all is not lost!

I’m realizing that we are raising really kind, loving, and giving kids.  My son has volunteered to tutor younger kids at an elementary school.  My daughter is a warrior of a girl who volunteered to get her teeth pulled, yet cried over her friend struggling with a family issue. She hates to see anyone struggle, and tries very hard to be a good friend.  I am seeing more and more as they grow that lessons of trying to be kind and helping others have taken root with them, and it brings me a lot of happiness.  I also see they have a quick and sarcastic wit which I enjoy quite a lot.

In other bright news, one of my favorite neighborhood kids told me yesterday she was surprised to see me “stylin'”.  When I questioned her, she looked at my ripped jeans and said “it’s not often you see old people with style, wearing jeans like that”.  I joked about her calling me old and while I realized I’m officially old, it sure did make me laugh.  If I’m a stylin’ old lady, I can deal with that.

One month before we head out on vacation.  I had thought that time would drag, but it has ZOOMED by.  I can hardly believe it’s happening so quickly, but I am beyond excited.  I can’t wait to see the intense green fields, smell the country air, and see the star filled night sky with nothing to block the view.  I want to taste the foods that bring me comfort, like fish and chips, custard, bakewell tart, and more.  I want to hug the people who will tell me stories about my mom.  I want to sit at my mom’s grave and tell her all the stories and gossip since my last trip.  Giggling with my cousins, having a beer and cracking jokes…I am excited for every moment.  I can’t wait for my children to see where I grew up.  My only sadness is I can’t show them the land and houses (unless I want a trespassing charge that is) where I ran in the fields and climbed the trees.  I also want to know if there really are leeches in the brook by the old house of if the adults just told us that to make us stay out of it. I’m glad we’d already booked the vacation and paid for it before some of life’s burdens fell on us.  I know otherwise we’d have had to postpone, and mentally, I think all four of us NEED this break.

Life is a balance.  When we feel like we are drowning, we need to grab tight to the life preserver and hold on.

 

 

 

 

 

Traumatized Mama

Today we had the emergency consult with the oral surgeon for my daughter.  In  my last post I detailed that her canine teeth are coming in where her permanent front teeth are, putting those teeth at risk.  The DR reiterated what I had expected the procedure would be (I googled the issue last night and felt better after reading what the recommended path would be to correct…it matched what everyone had told me thus far.)  He did recommend taking out two baby teeth, however, in order to start the path for making space.  We discussed it, and my daughter decided she didn’t want to wait and wanted to have the extractions done today.

I was floored.

“You want the dr to remove the teeth today?”  I asked, just to confirm.  “Yes, let’s get it done today.” she responded.  I asked again, and got the same response.  “Mama, will you still with me though? and hold my hand?”.  “Of course” I responded.  “I wouldn’t have it any other way”.

That, y’all, was a teensy white lie.  Of COURSE I wanted to comfort her, be there, and hold her hand.  That’s what mamas do.  What I didn’t want to do, however, was see the procedure of pulling out teeth.  First, it makes me queasy, and secondly, I remembered all too well having to have the same procedure done as a child.

It wasn’t until I stood there, holding and stroking her hand, softly talking to her, and quickly glancing at what the did, that I realized how badly I was traumatized by the same procedure as a kid.  I had 12 teeth pulled in total, a combination of baby, permanent and wisdom teeth, done over several appointments over many years.  My mouth, while loud and opinionated, is physically very small, and it caused a great amount of crowding as my teeth grew in.  I had gapped, buck teeth as my front teeth came in, and the rest just crowded in.  I had teeth pulled, a headgear to space them out and move them, and then braces.  The headgear made me look like an utter dork, and I hated it with the power of a million suns.  The braces were a pain, and I slacked on wearing my retainer.  The result? Years of orthodontics to end up with a snaggle tooth and still a few crowded teeth.  The teeth pulling though…that was the worst.

Our dentist was Dr White.  He was ok, I suppose.  A good dentist, but not a children’s dentist per say.  He was a family dentist, but not a dentist geared especially for children like my kids go to.  I remember the gas, and not much liking the feeling.  At first I was happy and giggly, but I keenly remember being afraid.  I think I bit him out of fear, and he yelled.  I remember the teeth hurting.  Today, I felt a feeling of the same fear wash over me, even though it wasn’t me having the teeth pulled.  I realized the whole teeth pulling trauma had been more of a trauma for me as a child than I had remembered.  I turned my head, still talking softly to my daughter and comforting her.  One of the teeth broke when the dr went to remove it, so he had to try going in and digging out the fragments.  The other tooth had a HUGE root on it, far bigger than I had seen on any baby tooth.  I had to look away during the fragment scavenger hunt, because I started to get really queasy.  Oh, the things we do for our kids.

On the way home, I sat in the back seat with her.  She had what looked like little gauze teeth sticking out, but they got bloody fast, so I had to change them.  She looked a bit worse for wear, but soon picked up as the laughing gas left her system.  By the time we got home, she looked herself and asked for a snack.  The numbness bothered her the most.

So now we go down the rabbit hole of getting her teeth fixed so that we can save her front teeth and get her canines in the right spots.  It’ll be a process, and I foresee some of it (the gum surgery) being unpleasant.  I’m stressed on a mom level.  Nobody wants to see their child hurting.  That being said, she is strong, brave, and I think she’ll take it all in stride.  I may be a bit more fragile in the process than she is.  I held strong today for her.  That being said, I felt terribly sorry for the little girl who was so frightened and traumatized all those years ago.  I had no idea how much it impacted me until I was in the moment today and it all flooded back.

 

Glass Box of Emotion

I’ve been an emotional wreck all day.  Luckily, everyone else left the house so I was able to do it without having to put on any sort of brave face. Sometimes a good cry cleanses the soul, although it usually leaves me puffy, splotchy, and red faced.  The source of the tears? Well, I’ve been sick for 2 weeks, so I think I’m run down to begin with.  I’m exhausted, my ears feel full of fluid every day, and I just feel generally like a pile of crap.  I’ve been getting a bit better since the doctor put me on antibiotics, which has helped.  I was just starting to feel a bit brighter, when we got some difficult news.

I had taken my kids to the dentist a couple of months ago.  They mentioned offhand I may want to take my daughter to see an orthodontist, as one of her teeth appeared to be damaging the root of another.  I left under the impression that the tooth in question that was going to be pushed out was a baby tooth, and none of us were concerned.  The orthodontist called me last week and mentioned the dentist had asked them to follow up to get us in for an appointment.  I decided we might as well have her looked at, and headed in this morning.  Everyone there is super nice, and I felt instantly at ease…..

…..Until they showed me the x-rays.

The X rays they took showed a much more dire situation.  My daughter’s canine teeth, which have not come in yet, are coming in not where they are supposed to.  AT.ALL.  Instead, they are coming in from above her from 4 teeth, at an odd angle.  By all accounts, her canine teeth are about to push out all of her front 4 permanent teeth.  As soon as I saw the X Ray, I knew we were going to have a situation on our hands that was going to be pretty significant.  The Dr came in, and explained the severity of the problem, and that they wanted us to see an oral surgeon, who would go in and expose the teeth, connect something to them, and then orthodontic hardware would be used to “pull” the teeth to the correct spot, as well as expand the space in her mouth to make room.  The whole thing sounded uncomfortable, and I was glad my daughter couldn’t see the fear in my face.

Then the Dr said something that DID get me visibly upset.  “your insurance takes about a minimum of 12 weeks to get approved.  We recommend starting well before that due to the severity of the issue.”  In other words, I’m going to have to come up with a couple of thousand dollars I don’t have, and have no idea how to get. Of course, I will figure it out, because that’s what needs to be done.

I hate the fact that when it comes to health and well being, money dictates so much of the care a patient gets.  I am sure there are families who aren’t able to raise money like that, so should their child loose their permanent teeth?  It’s heartbreaking. I chatted with my father about the situation, reminiscing about when I had to have braces, and the changes in the methods they use now.  When I mentioned the insurance not kicking in for months, he said “well, we will just have to figure it out, won’t we?” That’s the attitude I’m trying to have.  Keeping it positive and knowing that somehow, it’ll get figured out, even if it means hustling a bit.

It is hard, though, because my daughter is always the one with the medical issues.  She has a congenital eye issue, Strabismus, with alternating amblyopia, which she had surgery for, but needs further treatment as the eye has dropped back in when she gets tired. She had to have her tonsils and adenoids removed.  She suffers from massive nosebleeds. While her brother sails through school, she struggles more.  She just always seems to have a tougher time of things getting through life.  That being said, she’s a tough cookie.  She’s brave, smart, sociable, loving, and I call her “my warrior girl” because she gets through the challenges she’s faced. One one hand, I’m sad this is yet another surgery and issue she has to face.  On the other, I’m a tiny bit grateful that out of the two kids, it’s her, because I know she will handle it and get through it easier than her brother might.  She’s a tough kiddo, and I know she’ll be ok.  That being said, I’m her mama, and I can’t stop crying that she has yet another challenge to tackle.I would love to see her have an easy time of things for a while.

Hopefully at the end of the day, she’ll have a beautiful smile to match her amazing soul.

 

Everyone Needs Mama Support

rainbow

Last night, however, I stumbled on a tweet that sent me down the rabbit hole and left me saddened and feeling “shook”.  A user @TheBloggess tweeted about her lesbian daughter coming out to her, and that her response was pretty much “ok, but could you hand me the syrup?” Her blog post about it was really well written and discussed the impact of coming out to family and how they handle it. Honestly, I thought her reaction wasn’t bad at all, in the sense that it was so normalizing but I found her thoughts on how it was such a big deal to her daughter, yet not such a big deal in the grand scheme of things so touching.  It was a great post. Another poster, @RoseyTea4Me commented “To any person who didn’t get a good reaction from their mom, there are lots of mamas here, including this one, who can give you words of support and love.  You are enough and wonderful just as you are”.

Tweets from other moms, including myself, began to appear, also wanting to give support and love to any of those folks who had come out and gotten a less than positive reaction from parents or siblings.  After all, our family, especially our parents,  is supposed to be our safe place, but it’s an unfortunate happening that many people who come out get a less than loving reaction.  What I wasn’t fully prepared for, was the depth of how bad it could get.  People belonging to the LGBTQ community began thanking those who offered kind words, support, and just basic Mama Love.  Some of them decided to share their experiences.

One person shared his mom told him she should have aborted him.  One woman shared her mom called her a “greedy slut” when she came out as bi-sexual.  The comments kept coming.  Other people didn’t go into detail but you certainly got the sense their “coming out” had been pretty brutal. A search online will show you the horrible reactions people got from their parents.  Such a defining moment in these peoples’ lives, ruined by the very people who were supposed to love them the most. I went to bed saddened.  I woke up thinking about it.  I’m sitting here still feeling shaken to know that people got that response just for being their true selves, when their true selves weren’t hurting anyone.

Growing up, my childhood wasn’t perfect, but I consider it to be a good one.  At the very least, I never doubted I was loved or supported in who I was.  At the very core of my life, I knew my parents would have my back. Sure, I suffered with self esteem issues.  I suffered stupid mistakes because of that.  But at the end of the day, I knew I could simply be who I was.  I’m always shocked when I see moms who don’t support their children, or who are abusive in any way.  I’m not a perfect mom by any stretch, but at my core, my love for my children is unbreakable. Their happiness is my happiness.

I never looked at those being LGBTQ as a big deal.  I still don’t know why it is.  It’s just people loving each other, and the more love there is, the better.  I remember in high school my friend came out to me.  My response?  “Ok.  I mean, you’re my friend, so whatever makes you happy is find by me”.   When my gay friend got married, I showed the pictures to my kids and we oohed and ahhed over them.  I was careful when i discussed the future with my kids that I left the door open that when they grow up and fall in love, all I want is someone to love them as much as I do.  I believe both of my kids are straight, but if the time comes that it turns out they aren’t, I’m ok with that too.

I saw an article where women attended (I believe) a pride event and offered free “mom hugs” to those who needed them.  The response was wonderful, yet sad, as people came up to get a supportive hug and a positive few words that perhaps they hadn’t gotten from their parents since they came out.

My message, to any of you who got a bad response to you making such a brave decision to come out:

You are enough.  You are the perfect you, and there is no other you.  Be the happiest, truest you that you can be.  If you need a huge, some kind words, there are a sea of us mamas out here who will give you those kind words and a hug if you need one.  You are important, you are amazing in your own right, and you deserve to find the love you need from who you need it from. If your parents didn’t give you the response you needed, that has everything to do with THEM and not you.  Many of them will come around and be your champions again once they have time to process.  If they don’t, you can choose your circle, choose your family, and choose the life you feel you were destined to live. If you need a kind word, find me on twitter @Messy_Housewife. The post I saw last night showed tons of mamas from around the world, all willing to give you some support and kindness. We, as mothers, sometimes need to step in where other mamas have faltered.  Sometimes, we need to be available and open for kids when they are down and help them back up.  To those in the LGBTQ community, we’re here, and you are not alone.

Looking for things to do in England

With all of the stresses going on these days, my trip to England can’t come fast enough.  I desperately need a vacation, and if I’m honest, I need to see my family over there.  It’s a funny dynamic.  Living so far away, and with my mom being gone, I often feel isolated from my family.  I go on Facebook and I see some of my cousins experiencing life with their moms, and I feel a bit envious.  It’s hard not to, especially since my mom and her sister were so alike, and I know I would have a lot of the same experiences as them if she were still alive.  In some ways, I feel isolated, but on the other hand, being around that also makes me feel comforted.  They know a part of me that almost nobody else does. I’m excited to introduce my kids to my family again (they were very young last time) and to show them a country half way across the world.

We have about 7 days to experience as much as possible, while getting as much fun and relaxation as we can too.  I have always been of the mindset that travel is exciting and exhilarating, but it should also have time to relax and enjoy it as well.  For me, it’s about the people, and I know the kids are super excited about seeing my cousins’s kids as well. That being said, England is rich with history, and how often do you get to go visit a real castle in the US?  Not too often.  My husband has always been a lover of old places, old architecture, and interesting spaces.  He loves roaming old graveyards, looking at the stones of people who lived and died about 200 years ago or more. He loves the gothic stone churches, the little villages and the pieces of history.

Unfortunately, with us going near winter, some of the houses/castles I was hoping to take them to are closed.  I had REALLY wanted to make the trek to Highclere castle, where they filmed Downton Abbey but it’s closed to the public while they film the movie.  For now we are looking into Chatsworth, which they decorate for Christmas about the time we are traveling.  I’m still looking into other interesting places in the East Midlands. If you know of any, please let me know.  With the long travel time and the need to get around to visit people, I need to stay somewhat local (can you believe I have never really been to London aside from a flight layover where we got stuck?)  London is on my bucket list, but I don’t think we’ll make it this time.

Some day, I hope to take the kids over for Christmas.

For now, I just want to make their trip as magical as possible.