Sunday, August 29, 2010

What a Weekend It Was

I have been insanely busy lately. I am very fortunate that, in this economy, I am able to work as much as I am. But I am swamped. During the week I work really hard and really long so that I am able to take my weekends off. And this weekend was a perfect example of that. But we were busy; just in a different way. My family partied.

That means SUCH different things than it did a few years ago... But Friday night we hosted the birthday party for my 88 year old grand mother. It was fun, it was special for her, and she is still rockin' pretty hard for an 88 year old. In all sincerity, she moved down here about 4 years ago after selling her house to be close to me and The Boy and it has been so special to see the two of them become so close. She mentioned on her birthday how special the last few years have been for her because of her relationship with my kids and that means a lot.
So after that party was over we went to bed only to get up the next day and head to my BFF's son's first birthday party. And guess what? The Boy went in the bouncy house almost the whole time. That is epic for him. He was always that kid that didn't want anything to do with the bouncy house but he did great. Then he was off to his last soccer practice for this season. On a side note, he spent a lot of time pretending to be a frog this weekend...

So then to finish up the weekend, on Sunday we hosted a party for a bunch of old friends. Like friends I seriously haven't seen in 10 years that I had reconnected with because of a certain social media site. It was a great day. One of those days where seeing old friends is the greatest thing in the world because they still seem so...the old friends, but then somehow we all seem to have grown up and matured. In a good way. But we still all reconnected like it used to be. One of those days where your children amazingly play outside like little angels together for hours while you sit and actually get to have several lengthy conversations with your old friends. And you wonder, "Whose kids are those?" because they are so sweet and play so well with everyone... It was just a really good day.

We were busy all weekend long, but we had a great time. Both of them crashed super early Sunday evening in preparation of the week ahead. Here is The Girl rockin' her party dress on Saturday afternoon.
She looks like that phone she's holding should be a martini glass or something. She amuses the hell out of me. Hope everyone had a great weekend. I have another busy week but also have some blog posts floating around in my head regarding my son going back into speech therapy tomorrow morning for the first time in almost a year, and my daughter and the follow up on the bite thing. Will write soon...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What Would YOU Do?

So I don't know if you remember or not, but a couple of months ago I got a call in the middle of the day from The Girl's daycare. Another little girl had bit her. They had cleaned it all up and dealt with the issue and my daughter wasn't hurt too badly, although when I picked her up almost 5 hours later her skin still had the red outline of where the teeth had gotten her. My biggest fear at the time was not the my daughter had been bit; it was that she was going tolearn how to bite.

For a while they kept the little girl "biter" sequestered from the rest of the group. She continued to have issues and they never let her run free with the rest of the kids. She was in a bouncy seat, or she was in the highchair, or she was in a different room. But recently she has been out with the rest of the kids. I assumed this meant that the issue had been laid to rest. But the other day when I picked up The Girl I witnessed "the biter" (for lack of a better term...I know this poor girl shouldn't be labeled in that way, but I am obviously not going to use her name...) pick up her fist and clock my daughter in the face. The daycare ladies immediately told her NO! and removed her from the situation but not from the room. I was a little bit mortified, but also understand that kids will be kids so I let it go.

Fast forward to this weekend. The Girl has been hitting her brother a couple of times. In addition to that there have been several times where she has put her teeth onto us and not bitten down, but looked up at us while doing it and said, "No [Girl's name who has been biting]." So she knows it is wrong. And it is clear where it is coming from. She sees this other little girl doing it and knows it is wrong. But. There's always a "but" isn't there. She actually bit her brother twice this weekend. Actually twice today. Once this morning when he wouldn't give her his chair (I saw the two little teeth marks on the bottom and the 4 on the top) and he actually cried. It left a mark for about an hour. So it was pretty significant. I told her very firmly, "NO BITING!" and took her out of her brother's room and shut his door. She cried and came to me and said sadly, "No bite bruh-dah." She got it. But the fact remained that his door was shut for at least an hour. And every time she came to me and asked, "Bruh-dah?" I told her, "No. You bit brother. He doesn't want to play with you when you bite." And she would look at the ground and walk away muttering, "No bite bruh-dah." Then she would follow it up with, "No bite [Girl's name who was biting at school]." It is pretty clear to me where it came from. She did it again right before bed. She went in to sit on her brother's lap to watch his show when it was her bed time and he told her no and shoved her off and she reached around and bit him. Again, while doing it saying, "No [Girl's name from school]." This time he cried pretty hard. I told her "NO BITING" firmly again and put her outside of her brother's door and shut it while I dealt with him. She cried and cried. I went and got him a boo-boo pack and put it on his arm, which actually had a tiny little cut in it, and talked to him about what was going on. I told him someone at school was biting his sister and she was therefore learning how to bite. But I explained to him that I was punishing her every time she did it so she would learn it was not okay and under NO circumstances was he to EVER bite her back because he would be teaching her it was okay to bite. He seemed to get it.

I went outside to her and told her again NO BITING. She looked up at me crying and said, "Sorry bruh-dah." "No bite bruh-duh." She seems to get it. She knows it is wrong. But this little girl at school is doing it to her. I actually felt bad for her. She is getting such mixed messages. She's a little girl and she gets frustrated. And instead of being taught healthy ways to handle it, she is being taught horrific ways to handle it. Needless to say, I am NOT happy.

I will be having a chat with the lady who runs the daycare tomorrow morning. This has been going on for over a month. And if the little girl who is doing the hitting and biting hasn't learned by now how to not do that, then perhaps it is time for them to tell her she needs to go to a different daycare. I don't mean to sound insensitive. Really, I don't. But I am now dealing with the ramifications of her actions in my own household. I think it goes without saying but I will say it anyway...The Boy has NEVER bitten his sister. There is no violence here. There is one and only one place she is learning this stuff and it isn't the kind of thing I want my child to learn in school. If this continues to go one without any changes perhaps I have to look into moving my child somewhere where this isn't an issue. Because it is very difficult to work for 3 days a week teaching your child something is wrong, but then send her to a place right after that for 4 days where she is subconsciously taught that biting and hitting is okay. No wonder she is confused.

I am frustrated. Very frustrated indeed. Internet...what would YOU do?

And just cause I feel so bad talking about my precious baby as a is a picture of her at her brother's soccer practice over the weekend so you can all remember just how sweet and cute she is...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Place Holder

I am SWAMPED with work right now and have been working every single day through my lunch and every single night after the kids go to bed. As a result I got extremely exhausted and got some nasty summer cold. So...right now, let's consider these pics a place holder until I can get my head to function a little bit better...

Peanut's piggies after playing in the lake...

And The Boy offering up a kiss...
Swear I'll post something of substance this weekend...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

We're Baaaack!

We are back from our weekend in the mountains. And like promised...I have a few pics for you all. It's late and I am completely exhausted from unpacking and taking care of two kids all afternoon and evening. I will give you the highlights. Let's start with the most unfortunate portion of our weekend...

The Boy was up in the loft playing with two of his cousins when we heard a cry. This was not uncommon this weekend as there were 7 kids there and often someone ended up in tears. I heard the cry and immediately declared that it didn't belong to me (I was only listening for The Girl's The Boy rarely cries). Upon further inspection I realized that the cry did indeed belong to me, and it was The Boy. I called upstairs, "What happened? Why is [The Boy] crying?" His older cousin yelled something back but all I heard was "There's blood." I ran upstairs and he was laying on his back and I saw some blood on his hand and neck and he wasn't screaming, but was clearly upset. After searching and asking where he was hurt we determined it was his ear. It was bleeding pretty good but I couldn't really see much so I asked what had happened. His older by 10 months boy cousin showed me (and his mom who had come upstairs as well when we realized blood was involved) that he had put a pillow on top of a mattress on the floor and was running in place on top of them. Shockingly, he lost his footing somehow and fell onto the boy and somehow he teeth/tooth had hit his ear on the way down. Again, still not sure entirely what happened as no adults were present (we were sitting 30 feet away downstairs), but it was completely clear that his had been an accident.

So I took The Boy downstairs and calmly got a paper towel and blotted away some of the blood and really looked for the first time at his ear. Holy shit. Have you ever had that feeling where you look at something thinking it is no big deal and then all of a sudden go, "Holy crap! We are going to the hospital..." That's what happened. A rather large chunk of the soft tissue on the outside of his ear was literally ripped away. The skin was like flapping around. It was horrible. I tried to remain calm (and think I did a pretty good job of it considering The Boy wasn't even crying anymore...) and went outside and had my step mother confirm that, yes, he needs to go to a hospital. We quickly found the number for the urgent care clinic in Arnold, CA and called to confirm that they were open. I put The Boy in my step mom's lap while I changed my clothes and threw The Girl into her pack n play and muttered, "night night" and ran out of the room. This was about 9:00 in the morning on Friday. My Dad came with me and we left and went to two places that were just normal doctors offices and not urgent care places before we found the right place. As soon as we found it we were taken right in.

I'll spare you the gritty details but he needed several stitches. He was SO brave. Without question the hardest part was when they had to put lidocaine into the open wound to numb it. They had to physically restrain him with me holding his upper portion of his body and my Dad holding his lower portion. I looked him in the eye and talked to him the entire time telling him what was going to happen and helping him through it. Once the lidocaine shots (yes, there were several) were done, he relaxed a little. He felt the pulling when they put the stitches in but I told him Spiderman had made a special trip up to the mountains to loan out his special web to put his ear back together and he was going to think it was SO cool when a web sewed up his ear. He liked that. We were home about two hours after the incident happened and he was FINE. Seriously fine. He left 15 minutes after getting back to the cabin to go on a hike. I proceeded to collapse into a ball on the floor once he was gone and burst into tears. My step sister (whose son was the one who had cause the accident) was also in tears as she felt SO bad that it had happened. But it was an accident. Plain and simple. These things happen. But I can't even tell you how hard it was to remain strong and positive and keep him in a good place, but I did it. I totally held it together for him. And he was such a brave little dude. And seriously, he didn't let it slow him down at all. He was fine. He played with his cousins the rest of the weekend without any drama at all. I am still shaking. Here is a picture of his ear when we got home from the hospital...
That picture doesn't actually look too bad. Over the next couple of days the entire ear turned purple and black with bruises. And tomorrow morning (Monday) I am going to take him to his normal pediatrician to look at it and make sure the doctors did a good job. He was also put on antibiotics since there were teeth involved and to help prevent infection. There is a chance he will need to see a plastic surgeon. We won't know until his regular doctor takes a look at it tomorrow. But seriously. This little dude has had MORE than his fair share of visits to the hospital. And he was so brave. I am so proud of how he handled it. Me? I'm not sure I have stopped shaking yet...

But besides that, it was a great weekend. I know that sounds lame to say but it is true. He didn't let his ear slow him down in the slightest and he had a fabulous time playing with all of his cousins, as did his sister. It was crazy, and exhausting and chaotic, but that is the wonderfulness of family. My kids didn't feel any of that. They just knew they were at a cool cabin having a great time with family. And to prove my point? Here are a couple of pics to show the fun side of things as well...
Same day as the ear accident, there he was at the lake playing with his cousins (although he couldn't go in the water as far as them cause he had to keep his ear dry...). Check out that grin on his face. Look like he is moping around to you? Not so much...

And here is his sister. She's such a goof. She rocked her shades all weekend long. Seriously. She wanted them on all the time. She's a Hollywood starlet in training...or something...
All in all it was a great weekend. It took me a full week to pack and 7 hours later after we have been home I am still not completely unpacked. My son got stitches and I am so tired my limbs physically hurt. But the kids had a fabulous time. And that's really what it's all about, right? Right?!?!? Hope all of you had a nice, safe, stitches free weekend.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I'm Out

I am taking the kids and we are heading out for the weekend. We are heading up to a cabin in the mountains (not MY cabin, mind you because that is 5 hours away and not baby friendly AT ALL etc...) for the long weekend. I cannot get over how long it has taken me to pack for this weekend. It is insane how much crap you need for two kids and one adult for 4 days. CRAZY!

Anyway...before I go, a couple of things. First of all, thanks to all of your great suggestions and some research done on my own, I finally got my camera. I got the Canon Rebel EOS T1i. I could not be happier. It came yesterday and even though I have been super busy packing and getting ready for this weekend I have had a little time to play with it and it is FABULOUS. Seriously. I can't believe the pictures I have captured in such a short time. This weekend will be filled with hundreds, I am sure.

And secondly, I wouldn't leave you all hanging for the long weekend without giving you a little taste of some of the new pictures...

Here is The Boy, mid flip on the couch. I don't even think I need to say that on my previous camera this would have been one big, blue blur. And now? Check him out...
Couldn't be any clearer. And even though I haven't gotten that perfect snapshot of The Girl running down the hall yet, I have been able to capture clear pictures with some of her typical expressions. I used to always miss those expressions because when she made one, I would push the button and wait...and wait...and, oh! There's the picture. Too bad it's of the back of her head as she walked away. But sometimes she goes down the hall to her room and gets a book from her little bookshelf and plants her bum on her chair for some reading. I think it's too cute. But I have never been able to get it before since as soon as she sees me, she stands up and brings the book over to me to read to her. But now? I snuck up on her and caught the expression she made as she noticed me jump in front of her door...
Classic, I love it. And after getting my camera late last night after my subjects were in bed for the night I snapped this pic of The Boy first thing this morning. I said, "Check out Mommy's new camera. Make me a funny face." And when he did? I got it. Love it!
And finally...There don't even need to be words to describe this picture. My precious little daughter, all clean after a shower with the sweetest little face known to man-kind. This picture. This one right here is worth the $800 I spent on the camera.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. We are going with my Dad, step mom, brother, step sister, step brother and ALL the kids. 7 grandkids ranging in age from 10 weeks to 7 years old. Believe me. I will have MANY stories for you all. And lots of pics. Have a great weekend, I'm out.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Too Quiet

For only the second time in his entire little life, The Boy is spending the night at The Ex's house. My therapist seems to think that I need to try and encourage this happening more often, although I tend to disagree. Selfishly, I love having my boy around. I don't need him to go away. It isn't like I have some hot date that I am going to go on when he is gone. I just have one less child in the house. And it's quiet. Too quiet. And I don't like it.

I should clarify that if The Ex asked me to have him spend the night more regularly I would totally let it happen. But she doesn't. In fact, I had to have three conversations with her to make tonight happen. She says all the "right" things when we talk about it. "Of course I would LOVE to have him come and stay with me...I miss him so much..." So I suggested that perhaps we should start having him spend the night one Friday night a month. She thought that was a GREAT idea. But then she never brought it up again. When I mentioned it to her, she reiterated that she thought it was a great idea, but this particular weekend wasn't good for whatever reason. So when she told me she was going out of town for a week to Mexico with her new girlfriend I proposed again that perhaps she could take her son this Friday before she leaves. She finally agreed.

One would think that if The Ex is taking The Boy for a night then perhaps I would have a night off, right? That apparently isn't how it works. Even though The Boy was SO excited he might have jumped out of his skin, and woke up every day this week asking me, "Is today the day I get to have a sleep over at Mom's house?" (So freaking sweet he makes me want to die...) I apparently don't get much of a break. When I still hadn't heard from her at 5:30 I was getting worried she would flake and then I would have to kill her and then I would be in jail, and really, that isn't good for either one of my kids... So I texted her and asked, "What's your timing for tonight?" She texted back, "I'll be there at 7:00pm." So...let me get this straight. You are "taking him" for the night to give me a night off yet I still have to feed him dinner, get him in his jammies and get him packed up for his night away with you? That's helpful. She got here right about 7:00 and after they packed up his toys that I hadn't included (because she let's him watch Spiderman, which I don't because of the violence, so she had to get a bunch of Spiderman toys...but I digress) she left at about 7:30pm. He goes to bed at around 8:00. So my "night off" consisted of a half an hour less with my child. And not only that, but it is during this time of night that I am done cleaning up after dinner and enjoying my kids. I try to be "done" with everything by around 7:00 each night so I can have some quality time with them for at least an hour before bedtime. So I still had all the work I normally do, but I just got less of the "good stuff."

No, I'm not bitter. I'm really not. Want to know why? Because my boy is SO happy. He is SO excited to go and I know he's having a great time. And really, when it all comes down to it, that's really all that matters. But...The Girl is in bed...and The Boy is not. Besides the 3 nights that I was in the hospital giving birth to his sister, this is only the second time ever in his entire four and a half years on this planet that he hasn't been with me. I am doing what's best for him, and I always will. No matter how uncomfortable it makes me. But I miss him. And it's quiet. Far too quiet.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Random Revelations

First of all, thank you all SO much about the camera feedback. I am doing some more research and will probably end up purchasing one this weekend. Obviously I will let you know how it all turns out, and I am SURE you will end up seeing lots of results. But thank you for the feedback. And to the commenter who told me she was also a divorced lesbian mom who has looked to my blog for support over the last year? You have no idea how much that means to me. I feel like there aren't too many divorced lesbian moms out there in the blog world and it means SO much to me to be able to help even one person. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one blogging whose family didn't turn out the way they had wanted. So thank you for finally commenting. I can't tell you how touched I was.

Now onto our regularly scheduled blog post...

So a couple of things. First of all, I realized something sort of profound today with my therapist (yes, I see one; and no, I'm not ashamed to admit it. Like everyone, I have issues and talking to a therapist is a huge help to me...). I have created a life that is without any sort of backup. I have no "co-" anythings. Let me explain. Most people have co-parents, co-partners in life, co-workers...etc... I have none of those things. I am single and granted, that wasn't by choice, it was just how things ended up. And hopefully that isn't my lot in life for the long haul, but for now, I am single. Thus no partner in life. I am self employed and I run my own business. Therefore I have no co-workers. This is a big one for me. I take on all the responsibility of everything I do. There is no one to run things by, or no one to step up if I need a day off, or no one to shoulder any of the burden. Just me. My business and if I run short, or screw up, or just need a sounding board, I am looking in the mirror. I also have no co-parent. One could argue that I do have The Ex as a co-parent. And I guess in some ways, I do. She gives me a small amount of child support so that is helpful. And she does call herself Mom to our son while I am his Mommy. But physically she takes him for 3 hours a week. That's it. She takes him on Saturdays from 10:30 until about 1:30 every week. That's it. Every other second of every other day he is with me. And when it comes to issues, or decisions, or worries...I am on my own. So no, co-partner in life, no co-workers, and no co-parent. No wonder I feel like I am being pulled in 50 directions at once.

Now let me clarify. I am not saying, "poor me," about anything I just mentioned. Clearly I have set up this life for myself. I could be out there dating right now (although how I would find the time is seriously beyond me...), I could have a regular job where I worked with lots of other people, and I could "force" The Ex to be a bigger part of our son's life. But I don't do any of it. So I accept that these are the choices that I have made. I just have never put that together before today. I am always walking around feeling like I am carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders and today I actually pieced it all together that perhaps I am. And perhaps I created it that way. This must be what works for me. But it is just one of those things that makes you think.

The Boy is going back to see his old speech therapist tomorrow. We "graduated" from speech about 6 months ago because he was testing at age appropriate. But since then he has gotten worse where his speech is concerned, not better. And I know it is because he isn't getting the one-on-one time like he used to. You can understand him when he talks but he has serious trouble with certain sounds. The "L" sound, the "th" sound, the "W" sound and the "R" sound are a few that come to mind. So I am taking him back to meet with his therapist tomorrow to see what she thinks. I am pretty certain she is going to think it would be beneficial for him to get some more therapy. Which means LOTS more money. But he will be starting kindergarten in a year and I don't want the other kids to give him any trouble. Plus, if I'm being honest, when I listen to the other kids in his class that are the same age, they sound a whole lot better than he does. So I am taking the steps and looking out for my kid. I will let you know how it all turns out.

Random thoughts on a random Thursday night. It is the end of a long week and I am going to go sit on the couch for about a half an hour before I get back on the computer to do some more work before I collapse into bed for the night. Thank you all again for your feedback, I truly appreciate it.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Quick Question

Okay so I am a super bad blogger. I logged onto my google reader today and there were 67 new messages and I was reading all of your blogs thinking about how you all are so good at updating your blogs and I'm so...well, NOT. Oh well. Life of a single mom trying to work enough to support her two kids...not a lot of spare time for fun things like blogging.

But seriously...I need you all. I am having a camera dilemma. I take lots of pictures of my kids. If you know me in real life and are fortunate enough (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) to be on my monthly email picture list you realize that I take A LOT of pictures. And I do a lot with them too. I send them out, I use them in tons of photo albums and in my videos I make for my kids. My point is that it is necessary for me to have decent pics. And now that my daughter is moving ALL THE FREAKING TIME, I am having a really hard time getting a decent shot of her. They all come out looking like this:
And that is unacceptable for me. I have a little crap point and shoot camera right now. Well it isn't crap, but I am wondering if it is time for me to invest in a decent one. Right now I have the Canon PowerShot SD980 IS, if that means anything to anyone. So here's my question to you all: What do you use? And how user friendly is it? I want something that I can still point and shoot but I want to have clear pictures. Does that exist? I don't think I have the capability to figure out those lenses and how to focus it myself so it would need to be something that still has an "auto" feature but perhaps in the future I can look into how to use some of the manual features. I am thinking of spending between $500 and $750 but definitely no more than $1,000. But I certainly don't want to shell out that kind of money with no research, so I am coming to you all first. You all take fabulous pictures. Tell me your secrets...I want to stop seeing my daughter's face looking like this...