Monday, July 30, 2012

The Ring of Fire

How was your weekend? Unless it was consumed with thoughts of ringworm, bleach, sanitizing and fungus then it was better than mine. I spent all weekend washing, re-washing sanitizing and bleaching everything I touched. I got ringworm on my arm and face! You can’t imagine how often you touch your face until you aren’t allowed to touch your face.

Logan recently had ringworm which morphed into the ugliest case of infantigo you’ve ever seen. I was militant about sanitizing and quarantining my house during and after this epidemic of fungi but I apparently missed a molecule and it has taken up residency on my arm and jaw bone.

I jumped online immediately to find the best home remedies to try. I’ve applied just about every house hold item to these little demons from vinegar and nail polish remover to ostrich poop. I’ve burned and stained my skin with the bleach technique, I’ve felt the fire of a thousand suns when I applied the vinegar and salt paste… I pretty much sacrificed my body to the Google search engine monster and trusted hundreds of strangers who all swore it would clear up in a couple of days. A “couple of days” have come and gone and I am still an infected, fungus carrying diseased germa-phobe. Thank you, Yahoo Answers and Wiki for a whole lotta nothing!

I have scheduled a doctor’s appointment. Unfortunately they can’t see me until the end of the week. So I have a “couple of days” left of washing, re-washing, sanitizing and bleaching before I can hopefully be prescribed something with unicorn tears to clear this up.

One time Kylee had lice and I thought that was the worst thing I ever had to endure… I would now like to retract that thought and submit my new idea that ringworm is the absolute worst thing I will have to deal with.  Now I know what Johnny Cash was talking about when he sang A Ring of Fire. He obviously had applied bleach to his ringworm.

I fell into a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down and the flames went higher
 And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire The ring of fire
The RINGWORM of fire!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ventage not Vintage

The other day I received a summary statement from daycare that our account was behind and a payment needed to be made immediately.  I initially thought this was a mistake because surely the X-man wouldn’t neglect his only financial responsibility. Nonetheless, I contacted the X –man to inquire about this and he politely and graciously told me he forgot to drop his payment off and would gladly take care of that immediately. He would even contact the director of the daycare as soon as we hung up to clear up the matter and for me not to worry my pretty little head about anything. Knowing his word is as solid as concrete, I carried on with my day worry free and indulged in a candle lit bubble bath accompanied by Yanni’s Greatest hits. Later that evening I went to daycare to pick up our little darlings and was greeted with the staff of the daycare singing and dancing songs of praises to me that a payment was made so promptly.

If only that were 1/3 of the truth I would be prancing in a field of daffodils and butterflies with a bottle of chilled Moscato.

The true version of the above mentioned scenario looked a lot more like me doing multiple follow ups and reminders for the X-man to take care of his financial responsibilities… Being assured he is, he would and he did… only to find out…. he didn’t. When I address the broken promises and lies I am greeted and buffered with nothing more than fluff and bedazzled excuses as to why he is omitted from needing to tell me the truth, take care of his responsibilities and obligations and how I just “love to fight with him.” Yep folks, that’s why we divorced, because we didn’t fight enough to fill my endless craving of immature and mindless debates.

Meanwhile, he trots around town in his new Mercedes living at his parent’s house portraying himself as a “man.”  Substituting a real job for a dream as a “pro-fighter.” Neglecting our agreement with every choice he makes. The lack of respect is blinding and the ignored messages are deafening. The only thing I can rely on is that he is lying.  That civil co-parenting dream I had 2 years ago is now a very faint imagine of me not hurting him with a bat or accidentally scratching his beautiful, too expensive because he has no job and pays no child support car!!

….Breathe in….. and out…. Breathe in…. and out….….Breathe in….. and out…. Breathe in…. and out….

Wouldn’t it be nice if life was organized and categorized like Barnes and Nobles? There would be a section for parenting, co-parenting, social living, cleaning, dating, working and therapy for sure. So when you’re going through a specific season in your life, you could go to that section and find what you need?

Life just isn’t that clean or simple is it? Darn. Back to reality we go.

I promise my next entry will be wine induced and surely have some happier things to report. 

Thanks for letting me vent!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's been two weeks, but here's the recap!

I’m back from church camp!!! It was an amazing experience and blessing to be there.  I know God’s calling on my life has to do with teenagers in some way. I think it’s a field that is still in the tweeking process. Or maybe I’m the one still in the tweeking process.  The last few years I have had the chance to watch our students grow, change, endure, fail, succeed and overcome. I didn’t grow up in church so I never attended camp as a student and this was my first time as a counselor. I had absolutely NO idea what to expect or how to prepare myself. I certainly didn’t know I was supposed to bring a blow dryer or curling iron to camp. (Note to self – bring beauty products next time) No joke.

A group picture of the girls @ camp

Students worshipping

Being a counselor at camp is much like being a substitute mom or the mother of a newborn. Hear me out… There was little to no sleep available and the sleep you did actually get was very poor in quality. There was always a need to be met (not your needs). You never sit down. Ever. You’re always waiting on someone to find their shoes. Your showers are rushed and also poor in quality. The meals were questionable and again, poor in quality.  It’s a sufficient comparison in my opinion. 

I left camp with an emotional/spiritual knot in my heart. It blessed me to be used as a vessel for God to communicate to the students. But it overwhelmed my spirit to see so many young people going to war prematurely over things that I didn’t know existed. So many of them unpacked their junk at the altar and I can only pray that it stays there.

While I was frolicking around at camp, the kids spent the week with their dad. To say I missed them would be the understatement of the year. Part of me ached all week as more hours passed that I didn’t get to talk to them, see them, or hear them laugh, cry, fight or whine. But they were kind enough to reserve a little bit of that for me once I picked them up.

Things are super great with The Boy. Loving him is easier than blinking and more natural than breathing. It’s definitely like nothing I have ever had before.  It’s deeper than a feeling and stronger than an emotion. It’s a blessing I can touch, feel and smell. It’s so real, that it’s unreal…. Yup, that makes sense.  

My dad is in town from Florida and will be meeting him for the first time. Typically this type of situation would create anxiety and momentary nervous fits for me. However, I feel really comfortable about it. I’m still getting to know his family too. We took my kids and his son to his dad’s house last week. I love getting little glimpses of what my future will be. His son is incredible, his folks are genuine people and his brother is good company.

For the first time in many, many years, I’m looking forward to what the future has for me instead of dreading it. My future has happiness, certainty, trust, love, joy, peace, laughs, and it’s all real. How cool is that?!  

The Boy helping Kylee with her goggles (awe, love)

Isaac and Logan developing a game plan 
The Boy and Isaac
The Boy with ALL the kids (love even more)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mother appreciation on tap - Get some!

Some nights in the world of motherhood or easy breezy while other nights are downhill cluster-iffic frenzy. There’s really no mathematical calculation to determine what the next night will be like. No numbers system or Da Vinci code to solve the mystery of why one night the kids are on point with their manners and the next night they run lose like wild banshees on bath salts.  Whether the majority of your nights run smooth or barely run at all, whether you parent alone or with a partner, parenting requires appreciation. Without it, a parent is liable to lose the few brain cells of sanity they have left. (If they haven’t already)

Yesterday I got off a little early and decided I would get the few items I needed from the store before I picked the kids up. Going to the store with the kids is an obstacle course with booby traps hidden everywhere. The marketing genius jerk thought it would be a nifty idea to place little gadgets and toys in random aisles with the salsa, or easy mac. So as I confidently turn down the pasta aisle I’m attacked with Mom can we get that? Oh mom look at those straws! We NEED those! Puh-Leeeeease mom!? Oh man, we NEVER get anything.

So yesterday as I was checking out, I saw the candy was on sale and thought I would surprise the kids with a little treat. (Another booby trap, the candy by the registers. There truly is NO escape) the last 3 times Kylee has requested candy she has wanted the Hershey’s white chocolate cookies N’ cream bar. It was a no brainer. Feeling like a total rockstar I thought in my head, Yup, Im gonna make their day with this candy! I was wrong. Her ungrateful response when I gave it to her was not only appalling, frustrating and hurtful; it flat out pissed me off. As if I should have known better, she wanted the Hershey drops MOM. Sparing you the details, I handled her attitude right then and there and I enjoyed a cookies N’ cream Hershey bar later that night, compliments of Kylee’s terrible attitude.
I tell you this story because it got me thinking about how much we mothers do that goes completely unrecognized and sometimes blatantly disregarded; Sometimes by our kids and sometimes by our spouse. A simple unexpected treat for the kids set the tone for our evening. After the discipline portion of the night was finished we recovered and ended our night in a better way than we began it. No doubt about it, I felt completely unappreciated last night.

I have great family and friends who support me and randomly send their praises my way and reassure me that I’m a good mom. Unfortunately I don’t have affirmation on tap. However we do have a drain of appreciation that never gets clogged. I needed someone to pull me aside last night and say, Amanda, you are seriously amazing and I don’t know how you do it. I think it’s important to give ourselves praises when we need it. It’s a self reliant strategy I developed that helps me fit more comfortably in my super mom cape. So here are a few reasons why I’m a kick-ace mom. Feel free to add to the list the reasons why YOU are a kick-ace mom too. Because let’s face it, YOU ARE! WE ARE!

1.       I cook at least 5 nights a week. (Crock pot cooking totally counts!)
2.       I get a load of laundry done every night or every other night.
3.       I deep clean my house weekly.
4.       We wrestle and tickle each other every night. Lots of laughs
5.       I do the dishes every night (even when I REALLY don’t want to)
6.       We pray together, daily
7.       I let Logan splash in the tub
8.       I watch Go Diego Go.
9.       I paint Kylee’s nails
10.   I randomly buy them little treats. (even though I buy the “wrong” kind)
11.   I sacrifice a lot for their happiness
12.   I make them snacks after school
13.   I make them breakfast before school
14.   I stock our pantry with stuff they like
15.   We eat dinner at the table together
16.   We talk about their day together
17.   We go swimming
18.   We color
19.   We play Barbies
20.   We play school
21.   We play store
22.   We play hide and seek
23.   We play “monster”
24.   We play, a lot
25.   We snuggle when we watch TV & movies together
26.   We love each other. 

Come on fellow mommies, let’s get some appreciation on tap! You’re worth it. I’m worth it. And in the moments when you feel drained of everything you need to keep going, refer back to this list.