Monday, March 29, 2010

Am I Crazy?

As I sit here, windows open, letting the spring breeze air out the house, I hear kids outside. They are riding bikes, running around, yelling and playing, alone. Most of the kids range from 5-10.

The same as my kids.

I know many moons ago, when I was a kid this was common. Parents opened their doors and let kids run free until dinner time. But the world is not the same. There are TWO sex offenders in our little neighborhood. There are 6 different entrances/exits for this area. Not to mention, my street is where the DMV does driving tests.

I don't let my kids play in the front yard without an adult. I know I NEED to be more concerned than most, Noah's autism can make him unpredictable. But I find it unsettling that there is no one watching these kids.

The other night hubby was driving home about 8:30 pm and as we turned the corner four kids came darting out into the road, in the damn dark, hubby slammed on the brakes hard enough we all flung forward and honked the horn. There were a few parents in their garage and not a single one looked up.

Kids need to play outside, they need to run, and they need freedom. But when is an appropriate age to roam a neighborhood free? I am over protective and I know it. Do you let your kids play alone? Or do you monitor them at all times?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Beachy Bubbles


Bubbles are serious business
Just about my favorite expression ever
All three boys are very photogenic, but I swear Isaiah can not take a bad picture. Most of these were straight out of the camera. As a side note, this kid eats like a trucker. He is insanely muscular and tiny. All three boys are built like this. I am just thankful they didn't inherit my fatty gene!
I posted more pictures of today's beach trip on my photo blog, Jenni-Lee Photography

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What Happens When Your Yard Floods

Last week our yard was under about 8-12 inches of water, the WHOLE yard. It has dried up now, but the awesome craptastic conditions brought us a little friend...
The fun of living in Florida
We thought it was just a baby,
Snake in the Grass
Until we saw the rest of it!
til we saw the rest of him!

Countdown to Birthday

I could just smooosh him
In a month this little guy will be...gulp...five. He will be a KINDERGARTNER. As excited as I am to be able to drop off and pick up all three kids from the same place, it's hard to accept my baby is so big.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Making the Grade

It is report card week for my son's. Noah brought his home Tuesday. I held the envelope with mixed emotions, this has been an incredible year for Noah so far. A HARD fought battle, that took a turn in our favor this year. Yet, I was still worried, his report cards have never been pretty. Noah's schooling in general has been a rough road but this year his teachers have worked miracles. It really didn't matter what said, I KNOW he is making major progress. When I opened it I damn near (ok maybe I DID) cried tears of joy, five A's and one B. All S's in behavior. ANNNNNDDDD for the first time he surpassed a goal on his IEP. I told him over and over how proud I was of him. He beamed. I took all three boys to Sonic for slushes and rented them a movie to celebrate.

Jordan was sick and was home so he missed getting his until today. He had a perfect report card. No less than I was expecting of him. He is like me in so many ways, slightly neurotic and accepting nothing, but the best from himself. I was so proud of him as well and of course told him how awesome he was. I made cupcakes to celebrate.

It's so hard to balance. Yes they both had fantastic report cards and yes I am proud of both of them. But it's not the same feeling. For Jordan, it's a matter of fact. He is smart. It took him a little while to get the reading down, but he has it locked now. I don't stress about Jordan's future, well anymore than the average mom. For Noah, ever letter, every tiny milestone is a HARD. So every victory, is that much sweeter.

I won't even get into my concerns with adding Isaiah, who is looking to be in the gifted range, into the school mixed next year.

I try to let all three boys know I am proud of them and all that they achieve and love them even when they don't, but it's hard not to keep my emotions in check and treat them all equal.

And while I am on the subject of grades, I got a B+ on a philosophy paper this week. I was not happy. I have a 4.0 and am having a hard time accepting that I might actually get a B in a class. Sigh. I am too old for this college crap.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The one where I bitch a lot...

Last Saturday I woke up with the norovirus, which if you don't know is like the world's worst stomach bug times 10000. I blacked out several times. Fun stuff.

By the end of the weekend everyone, but hubby (thank God), had it. As soon as the kids were over the tummy issues, they all developed a terrible chest cold. Even more fun. I was fine after, whoo hoo! But then the chest cold hit me on Thursday. I have no voice what so ever and can't breathe.

This school year has been nightmare sickness after sickness. We haven't been lucky enough to get plain old colds. NO, we have to get swine flu and norovirus. I am over it.

I am declaring war on germs. I normally don't like the use of hand sanitizer, but I just bought a shit ton of it. I am going to strip my house and clean the whole damn thing, you know once I can move without coughing up a lung.

Spring cleaning is going to be in full effect.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lazy Parent=Good Parent?

Well maybe not LAZY, perhaps relaxed.

Most days, after I pick up my four year old son from preschool, we sit on the play ground and hang out with the other families. The kids run and play, us moms chat. It's one of the things I love about this preschool, the community.

Anyway getting off track...

As we chat, I listen to other moms talking about their kids after school activities, baseball, soccer, football, basketball, ect. I am silent for those chats. I am not such a fan of younger kids having after school commitments. Truth be told I was not such a fan of preschool in general, until I found this school. My thinking is that kids are only little and free for so long, why rush the responsibility and pressure?

My boys love to run and play in the yard. They play baseball, soccer, football, but at their own pace and when they feel like it. This laid back approach to parenting has kinda always left me feeling at odds with other busy parents. I wondered, am I being lazy? Is this lack of scheduled activities hurting my kids?

Then a friend sent me this link and my parenting philosophy was vindicated!

I love the manifesto at the end! Yes, some of it is tongue in cheek. Parenting is hard, but it doesn't have to that hard. If we play our cards right, it can be pretty freaking fun.

****Edited to add:
Check out the comments section for some more awesome anti-over-scheduling points.

On another happy note, I started read a new blog a few weeks ago and her "happy pipe" style of living has really started to have an effect on me, if you haven't read Enjoying the Small Things, start now. I am not linking to her to kiss her ass or add to her gazillion followers, because she doesn't need it. But really, we all need a little more happy in our lives and every time I read it, I feel happier, more appreciative of my family, and pretty much all warm and fuzzy.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fall in Line Kiddo

I liked school as a kid. Really liked it. It probably helped that I was a pretty smart kid, school came easy.
I remember planning my outfit for the first day most of the summer, that was one of the best parts of going back to school.
Next year, however, my kids lose that right. Their school has decided to implement a uniform policy, their PUBLIC school. The school sent home a little informal poll asking us to vote on this subject a few weeks ago and though the results were not released, the school principal "says" as a result of the poll, there will be uniforms.

Blue, green, or White (HA) shirts, and blue, black or khaki pants. EVERY DAY.

I am fundamentally opposed to public school uniforms for many reasons.
1. There is NO conclusive proof uniforms have benefits, especially on the elementary school level. In some places, where gang activity is a problem, it has helped at high schools. But just like slapping a coat of paint on a crumbling building putting uniforms on kids at a failing school will not help.

2.It takes a kids right to chose. Since they were 2 or 3 years old my kids have picked out their own clothes. Public school already smothers every bit of self expression out of our kids. No recess, no sitting with friends at lunch, no hugging, no singing in class (even in K), and definitely no learning to think for your self. Instead it's preparing for the FCAT, having useless shit crammed down their throats.

3. Giving individual schools the right to make up rules as they go, is a slippery slope. I bet some of the supporters of these uniforms would shit bricks if the school took an informal poll and decided to teach sex ed a new way.

4. The cost. NO it is not cheaper, at all. I shop all year long for my boys back to school clothes, getting killer deals. I never pay more than $7 for Gap and Old Navy Jeans. Jeans that last most of the year, even with boys. Now I am going to spend more than $400 on 4 uniform sets for each of the three boys. These clothes will not last all year. Dark polos shrink and fade fast. Khakis will be ripped at the knee in weeks.

5. It does NOT blur class lines. The school is not supplying the uniforms, so some kids will be in old, hand me down, goodwill polo and khaki and some will be in designers ones. If a publicly funded school want to force uniforms, it better be ready to supply them to kids who can't afford them. And since my sons' school has a pretty high level of students living at or below the poverty level, there will be more than a few kids who can't afford them.

What got me the most? The reason most parents were supporting it. It's easier.
EASIER??? Of course taking away a person's right to make choices is easy for other people. It would be EASIER for the government if we lived in a communist country. None of those pesky freedoms getting in the way.
I also keep hearing it's not a big deal. It is a big deal to me. If I wanted my kids to be in uniforms, they would be in private school. This is about parental and hell even KIDS rights.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I remember laying the the hospital bed, hearing the unmistakable swoosh-swoosh sound of a babies heartbeat on a monitor in the room next door, the crying of a brand new baby in another room. I remember being LIVID, that I had to be in labor with my baby, who was never going to cry, on the same floor as the babies who were healthy.
Even worse was the total silence of the room, when Kai was born. Until I heard, gut-wrenching sobs and realized they were coming from me.

I can't believe it's been three years since we lost Kai. When I posted last year I said I had three miscarriages. I had hoped and prayed I wouldn't face his Birthday with empty arms again, but here I am, two more miscarriages later and still with empty arms.

Most days now, I don't think about March 10th. I try not to. I could have never imagined the hurt would still be so bad.

Sensory recall is a bitch. The whole time we sat in the hospital room, we watched only 2 or 3 different shows (cable in this hospital is limited). I can't turn on those shows now, without feeling a knife in my chest. The sadness is so overwhelming.

I know this was nothing compared to losing someone you "know". I never had the pleasure of holding Kai, seeing him smile, or him being a part of my everyday, but I still feel like someone is missing.

This is the first of many letters I wrote to Kai.

From the moment the test turned positive, we were all in love with you. I couldn't wait to heart your heart beat and feel those first kicks. I wondered if you were a girl or boy, if you would look just like your brothers or be entirely different.

Seeing your little heart flutter the first time filled me with joy. As time went on you grew bigger and stronger. I loved watching the changes though ultrasound. You gave us a few scares, not being able to hear you with a Doppler, but it was always quickly fixed with an ultrasound. It was through those scares, we found out you were mostly likely a boy. I loved to feel you squiggling around, a constant reminder you were there.

That comfort all changed last week, when I woke up and realized my water had broken, I knew there was nothing that could be done to save you, but I raced to the hospital anyway. Hoping desperately that I was wrong. The hospital staff was optimistic, your heart beat was still strong, there was plenty of fluid, and I could feel you kicking away. I wish I had held on to those last few hours more...

Later the pains started, another trip to the hospital. This time the news was devastating, I was losing you. There was no fluid and your heart was slowing down. I could feel your kicks getting stronger, as you fought to live and it broke my heart.

The next morning you were gone. The world dropped out from under me. Pain and sorrow I never knew existed filled me.

I know you are safe in God's arms, but I can't help but be jealous. You belong with me, growing and healthy. After many long days, I gave birth to you, I felt so empty. I still do. Your brothers are still asking about you.

I wish I could have told you, I love you so much. I will hold you in my heart forever.

I can't stop the sorrow I feel, every time I rub my belly and realize it's empty. I keep wishing this was all a terrible dream, that you are still mine. People keep telling me this will get easier, that the pain will fade. I am sure they are right, but right now, it takes everything I have to breathe.

I pray you are peacefully sleeping in the arms of angels and that you know how very wanted and loved you are.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Reasons Changing Your Birthday Doesn't Work

My birthday is cursed. As long as I can remember, I have never had a truly HAPPY birthday. There were some meh ones, which on the scale of my birthdays is great. Three years ago I was picking up Kai's ashes on the 12. My dad's fiance, practically wife, passed away last month. Her birthday? March 12th. Sigh. The date just has so much sadness attached to it. So this year, I just decided to change it. I even changed it on facebook, to avoid my poor dad having to see lots of birthday posts, on a day that will be rough for him. So this year March 7th was my birthday. I had a pretty good day, but don't think changing it helped.

1. I changed it to avoid heartache, but still had to explain the reasons why 20 times, still rehashing sadness.

2. People get confused.

3. Family will just skip birthday all together.

4. People think you are crazy.

So to recap, birthdays suck.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

domo arigato, mr. roboto

I knew it was going to happen sooner or later. Yet, I was still unprepared.

What strikes fear/annoyance in the hearts of school age parents? At home "projects", that's what. With a first grader, we are well adjusted to the world of nightly homework, but this was our first BIG project. It came with the very cough*detailed*cough instructions of "build a robot". GEE THANKS. Jordan was also armed with the knowledge that last year, someone made one that MOVED. DOUBLE GEE THANKS.

I have no idea what the protocol here is... Do I let him do it alone? Do I help? Do I do the whole damn thing?

I kinda have a hang up about these things. I always had the CRAPPIEST school projects. I never had the cool supplies or very much in the parent help area. I am terrified of my boys feeling the way I did.

So I ran out to Target and bought magic clay, glad ware, a SUPPOSEDLY permanent gluey stuff, and pipe cleaners. Thinking I could attach the glad ware with the glue into a robot shape and cover him in the clay and BAM robot.

Ummm FAIL.

Turns out NOTHING sticks to glad ware. Buh-bye $25. Back to square one.

We ran back out to the craft store and took out a loan for more supplies. Who knew foam was so damn expensive?

Armed with more gluey stuff, foam, paints, and clay from the first trip. We were able to create Mr. Roboto.

Things NOT to Say to Someone Dealing with Secondary (or Any) Infertility

1. It's all God's plan.
Yeah, yeah I know
2. You already have x amount of kids.
3. Why on earth do you want more any way?
no comment
4. But you already had x kids, shouldn't it be easy?
actually it IS easy, we are just making it hard for the fun of it
5. You should just be happy with how many you have.
I AM happy with how many I have, but still feel as though someone is missing from our family
6. Some people never get to have kids at all.
I know, and my heart breaks for those people. But that fact doesn't negate my pain.

And for the bonus round...
What not to say to someone who has had multiple miscarriages:

1. Miscarriages are God's way getting rid of a less than perfect baby.
While I know scientifically this is sometimes true, it's insensitive to point out
2. You keep losing babies, because God thinks you should stop having them.
So you talked to God? And THIS was the information he told you? I feel special.
2. Maybe you just aren't meant to have more kids.
Gee thanks.

These are things said to me, mostly by semi-well intentioned family and friends. I understand that it's not possible to understand how difficult dealing with this is, unless you have been there, but please THINK. Sometimes the only thing you should say is, "I understand".

I am feeling bitter and sad today. Can you tell?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Full Moon

Monday Night
moon 3/1
Sunday Night
Full Moon 2/28
Much less zoom
The moon tonight


That's how I have been feeling lately. Not overly depressed, not happy, just blah. Dealing with a recent loss, school, the up coming anniversary of Kai's passing, and everyday life kinda has me frozen. I haven't felt like cooking or cleaning much. I have forced myself the last few days to be productive.

I really have nothing of interest to blog about, hence the shit ton of picture posts. I just can't bring myself to write out my feelings about infertility and loss right now. In a few days I will post about Kai...

Monday, March 1, 2010

I Heart Faces Phot Challenge Week 9 " Hilarious Outtakes"

I had to do one funny outtake of each of the boys, I really didn't think I had very many since I tend to get delete happy, but I found TONS of them. Turns out my boys like to make funny faces.

2009 488
noah outtake
Isaiah Outtake
Check out more hilarious outtakes over at I Heart Faces