Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Carousel of Chaos

We are halfway thru our first week of school!!! Kylee’s first day went great! She cried a little when her dad and I had to leave, but it’s my guess that after we left she began teaching the class. We’re so fortunate (and cursed) to have such an independent and strong willed child who can be thrown into virtually any situation and come out on top. She might pout or cry on her way there but she’s gonna rock it one way or another.

First Day of School

First day of Kindergarten

In addition to starting Kindergarten Kylee has also begun cheerleading (cringe) which has turned our once simple little schedule into a very complex tango that I have not quite mastered yet.

My brain clocks in at 5:50am and doesn’t clock out until 10pm. I start off by getting the kids up and ready for school. It’s a lot like herding turtles thru peanut butter. Slow, aggravating and messy. We have to leave about 15 minutes earlier than usual to get Logan dropped off, then Kylee to school for breakfast and me to work on time. The sense of urgency in our schedule lingers until I get to my desk and have my first cup of coffee. There is mild relief during the day but at 4:30 I’m back on the carousel of chaos. Rushing to get the kids, feed the kids, pack the cooler and diaper bag (yes because Logan is STILL not potty trained), get to practice, keep Logan from doing cheers at practice, back home for baths and showers and snacks (oh my), bedtime stories and prayers, make lunches for the next day, rotate the laundry, inevitably forget something then collapse in bed. Repeat the next day.

I was aware that our schedule would undergo an extreme makeover when I signed Kylee up for cheerleading. I don’t think I truly took into consideration all of the logistics at the time but I am feeling the exhaustion from my muscles to my bones.

Starting next weekend Kylee will have a football game every Saturday until the end of October. Somewhere between the practices, games, homework, dishes and laundry we have to schedule their birthday parties. As predicted, Kylee has made it perfectly clear that she is too old to share her party with her younger brother. I can feel my shoulder muscles burning as I type this.

This season in our lives is quite frantic and I find myself sweating more than I used to but I’m learning things along the way too.

Maybe this information will save someone’s life….
1.       The milk seems to expire faster when your life doesn’t slow down so buy milk every chance you get.
2.       Never buy lucky charm cereal because they only eat the marsh mellows. You’ll be stepping on the uneaten cereal for weeks.  
3.       Your car will never stay clean
4.       “Come on we’re gonna be late” means nothing if the TV is on.
5.       “Come on we’re gonna be late” means nothing if the TV is of.
6.       “Come on we’re gonna be late” pretty much means nothing, ever.
7.       “I’m hungry” is only uttered at bed time.

 I will continue documenting the things I learn along the way for your reading pleasure.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Meet The Teacher

I pictured what Meet the Teach Night was going to be like. I played it out in my head. We were going to go to the school, walk the halls, meet the teacher, put supplies in assorted boxes, see some of Kylee’s classmates, even maybe pimp her out to some friends before the first day of school. It went a lot more like a frantic fire drill and no one knew where the exits were.

The place was swarming with clueless parents (ahem….me) who had no idea where to go and another group of people who were running the clueless folks over. A hall monitor finally pointed us in the right direction and we found Kylee’s classroom. It was not at all what I expected. It was a cluttered and crowded storage room. It looked like the setting for a Hoarder episode. It might be a normal size room if all the boxes and unused televisions weren’t stacked up to the ceiling. I tried to hide the confusion and dissatisfaction from leaving my face. Doesn’t this teacher have a Pinterest account? There were no lockers, no individual itty bitty desks; there were no fun charts or pictures on the walls. To be fair I couldn’t really see the walls due to the overwhelming piled high…stuff. It was nothing like the room on Kindergarten Cop I’ll tell ya that.

Kylee immediately buried her head in my crotch and began to cry. She didn’t want anything to do with what was going down. I filled out some paperwork and then we walked around the school. The X-man and I told her stories from when we were in Kindergarten. We did our best to give her a better outlook on the situation but I’m still fairly certain Monday will be tough day for both all of us. One of the boxes of tissues on that supply list should be set aside for the mothers. Just saying, I’m gonna need it.

And I’m still unclear on the pick-up and drop off zones and rules. All the changes are very unsettling to both Kylee and me.

Next year I’m writing a book called Starting School for Dummies. This entire process has been bumpy and confusing to me. Hopefully by the time Logan goes to school I’ll have a better act for it. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Venti Cup of Crazy

The TO DO list to prepare for Kylee’s first day of school seems to be recycling its way through my purse. I check 1 thing off and add 2 more. I complete the list and throw it away and receive an email with reminders that create a new list all together. I dare to say I’m completely ready for Monday, but I think I really am.

Kylee and I packed her back pack last night with her list of supplies. We will meet the teacher tomorrow night. She’s excited. And I’m excited with a dash of hesitant nervousness and bitter sweet sadness. It’s one of those milestones that you think is a lifetime away when you’re sitting in bed at 3am nursing a little baby who hasn’t developed the skills to talk back or have an opinion on the pizza toppings yet. But the “lifetime” has passed and Kindergarten is knocking on the door. At the same time Logan is transforming right before my eyes at a pace I’m not comfortable with. I’m certain an emotional meltdown will transpire when I have to walk my last child to Kindergarten. Let’s not discuss it.

Moving on…

I recently went to a birthday party at a place called Painting with a Twist and had a great time. It’s a class you pay to take and BYOB (NOT Bring Your Own Baby) and see how talented you can be under the influence of alcohol. I opted not to drink because I wanted to get my $35 worth and have a painting I would actually hang up in my house. I surprised the crap out of myself when I produced something that didn’t look like it came out of the reject pile from my 3rd grade art class.  

                                                              (See? Not too shabby!)

So after I drank a venti cup of crazy this morning, I fashioned either a very good idea or a very foolish idea. I’m planning another trip to Painting with a Twist and the guest list is quite diverse.

Guest List:
My mother - Nuff said
My Sister – Loud and opinionated and with wine even louder and more opinionated.
My Ex-MIL – We have a good relationship and communicate often however we never communicate under the influence…..
My future MIL – Super sweet
3 Ex Sister in laws – My relationship to these girls have been up and down over the past 2 years but currently steady and peaceful.
My friend Julie – Oh lawd you’ve never met anyone more confrontational in your life. But in a funny, I can’t believe she said that kinda way!

I’m contemplating inviting the girlfriend as well. She and I communicate almost daily via text. The most intimate form of communication these days. She respects me and my choices, the kids like her and from what I know about her, she’s a good mom too. I figure, why not.  

Why not experiment and put 10 grown women in the same room with wine and paint and see what happens?

If nothing else, some good Kodak moments are sure to follow. Stay tuned!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Retiring The X-Man

I think as humans we tend to care more about being served a big, hot plate of justice than doing, saying and acting in way that we know is right.

For me personally, I have done this by blogging about the X-man. It validates my emotions to publish them. It exerts all my bottled up aggression and frustrations. But how long does it last? It’s obviously not a permanent solution to the problem otherwise I wouldn’t have so many entries involving him. 

It’s a band aid to a gunshot wound.

While the X-man plays a big part in my life, it’s not my place to expose him on my blog, in public, in private or anywhere else. I don’t discuss his true colors with the kids and I surely don’t want the kids to discover them here.

I’m not apologetic or regretful for my emotions. I’m 127.3% entitled to how I feel about the situation and him in general. But as a Christian I have to display characteristics of Christ even when I don’t FEEL very Christ like. 

God pours his grace on us when we are undeserving of it. Although my grace tank for the X-man is running on fumes, God is big enough to replenish it for me if I’m open to receive it. Truthfully, I was/am perfectly comfortable sitting in my dirty diaper of anger and disappointment. But this is not what God desires for me. He has equipped me to not just survive my circumstances, but to overcome and conquer them. With Him, I can be victorious over my situation in a righteous way.

I was at a place where I didn’t want to pray for him anymore. Quite frankly the more I prayed for him the worse he seemed to get. Obviously my prayers weren’t/aren’t producing the outcome I desired.
Then this scripture came to mind: James 2: 14-26
Basically, faith without works is dead.

The purpose of my prayer is to ask God to align me with His will, rather than asking Him to be aligned with mine.  My prayers can’t be contingent on what God can do for my circumstances.

God doesn’t call me to be responsible for the X-man. Only God knows his heart, intentions and motivations.
He knows mine as well.

Blogging about the X-man only feeds Satan and his quest to steal, kill and destroy our lives and relationships. I’ve been fueling the fire that Satan ignites daily.


This will be the last entry about the X-man. 

Thank You - Gee What A Concept

*Thank You
*I appreciate you

Both statements take one breath to say and just a few thumb strokes to text. The effort to say these things are so minimal and the outcome of it are so vast. I can’t compute in my head why someone would deny anyone these magical words.

My love language is words of affirmation. I like being told I’m doing a good great job, that my efforts are recognized and appreciated. I like feeling needed, wanted and valued. When I’m denied of these things, depending on who is denying them to me I tend to feel sad, insecure, angry and sometimes hurt. And right now, I’m pissed.

Being the mom, I naturally assume the role of tying any lose ends involving….. Well everything. This month I’ve been busy preparing for Kylee’s first year of school and cheerleading. Making the calls, asking the questions, filling out the paperwork, pulling birth certificates, shot records, making appointments, buying supplies and chauffeuring to and from all over town. All of this is in addition to the nightly routine of madness that includes cooking, cleaning, bathing and bedtime stories.

Naturally I do my best to keep the X-man informed of things involving his kids. And naturally, those messages go unanswered and unacknowledged. A simple reply of, “thank you” or “thanks” would suffice. But nothing. His lack of response and expression of appreciation irks me to the center of my core. He doesn’t share in the stresses of parenting with me so the very least he could do is acknowledge a text. Last week I sent him a lengthy email with the details of Kylee’s school schedule, before and after school care, costs, plans, uniform colors, dress code requirements, first bell, tardy bell, cheering schedule, and a few other things that will affect him every other Friday.  I basically chewed up and spoon fed him every aspect he needs to know. Just another message that went unanswered. At this point, I would appreciate “K.” (And I HATE “k” responses) But in his case I’d make the exception.

His girlfriend serves as the intermediary and at this point I have a better chance communicating with her than I do him.

I’ve listened to The Boy have conversations with his ex wife and it’s the type of relationship I think that even dreaming for is a long shot. They discuss their son’s upcoming baseball season, schedule and their plans and goals for him this school year. It’s casual, easy, respectful, mutual and two sided. They both speak, they both listen and they both leave the conversation satisfied.

I understand that co-parenting is a sport that takes time and practice to go pro. My relationship to the X-man is always under construction and I’m sure will always have infinite room for improvement.

I’m doing my part. I’m following the rules. I’m taking the high road. I’m playing nice. And the disappointment that accompanies him not doing his part disturbs me and wears me out emotionally.

My expectations of him are severely below average and rightfully placed there. He continues to miss the bar that I have set so low for him. It’s embarrassing that at the age of 29, being respectful is still such an unfeasible challenge for him.

I’m a great mother to his children. And that fact alone should be the monumental and sole reason he displays respect, gratitude and appreciation to me. I do it for my kids not him, but in return it relieves him of the burden of doing a thing!  A simple “thanks” would be nice.

THANK YOU for reading. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Potty Like a Rock Star

The potty is the throne of my frustrations right now. Logan and I are literally in a pissing match with one another. The battles go something like this:

Me: Logan do you need to go potty?
Logan: No
Me: Let’s try
Logan: No! I no need to go potty.
Me: Logan, let’s try to go potty!! (Full of over-exaggerated excitement)
Logan: (sits on the potty for 7.2 seconds) I done.
Me: No keep trying babe
Logan: I DONE!!! (full of over-exaggerated rudeness)

On Friday night I put Logan in his coolest pair of big boy underwear. I fully disclosed the terms and conditions of wearing the big boy underwear and he understood and agreed to those stipulations.  He must have liked the bribe I offered him because he went pee pee in the potty…. Well some of it got on his step stool but most of it made it into the bowl. Kylee and I threw a massive parade of excitement and cheers! You could see it on his face that Logan was proud of himself. He was properly rewarded with an ice cream sandwich because I accidentally ate all of his pre-purchased rewards of M&M’s. Don’t judge me.

With the roll we were on I wasn’t at all going to slow down this potty train. I kept him in underwear the rest of the weekend…. As a result I have a fully potty trained toddler cleaned a lot of pee out of my carpets.
The part that irks me is he fully understands where to go and how to go. But he won’t go. Unless I tell him it’s time to take a nap or go to bed or leave the pool, then he realizes his untimely desire to pee in a potty, or at least sit on one for 30 minutes.

This is one of those situations I would much rather shell out a lot of cash for someone else to do for me. Like Man’s Best Friend. You pay someone, send your dog away for a week, they come back trained, well mannered and how to open doors for their master. I would gladly send Logan off for a week if he would come back brainwashed into pooping in a toilet.

Man’s desire to have their butts wiped for them obviously begins at birth and ends when…. well, uh, hmmm, does it end?

Inquiring minds want to know… 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Be Merry and Gay or be Gay and Marry?

My blog topics are typically about mothering my little hellions, drinking wine in between the tantrums, trying to have a bi-weekly social life and generally anything else under that single mom umbrella.

Those that know me, those getting to know me and those who think they know me probably know my faith. Today I’m writing about something a little bit more serious than dirty diapers, boogers and ringworm.  I’m not beating my Bible, judging, condemning or directing this at anyone or any particular group. I don’t have an agenda, nothing to gain nor do I have stock in Chick-fil-A. I’m not expressing my personal opinion, rather I’m expressing actual facts that today’s society feels entitled to challenge.

So many self-proclaimed Christians get lost looking for that line between acceptance and tolerance. Society has so cleverly confused the difference between disagreeing with one’s choices for judging the person’s decision to live against God’s commands. There is a clear and obvious difference here that many turn a blind eye to. But for those needing to conceal their sins from public display, this is a strategic defense.
There is a HUGE difference in judging someone and judging their sin. I have Christian friends who support gay marriage. I have friends with gay family members. I’ve had recent conversations with people that got my mental juices flowing, hence this blog entry.

Side bar: Sin is sin. No sin outweighs another. Adultery, idolatry, lying, stealing and being gay are equal in my eyes and I’m fairly certain it’s viewed the same in God’s eyes as well. James 2:10 - For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.
The argument is that being gay is now more socially acceptable than it was…whenever it wasn’t acceptable. And marriage is now a “civil right” that should be made accessible to anyone who desires it. My concern is, where does the meaning of acceptance end? There is a website called NAMBLA which stands for North American Man/Boy Love Association. This group believes “that if people knew more about the actual nature of typical man/boy love relationships, that there would be less unjust scapegoating and persecution of boys and men who have such relationships.” They also believe that adult males and juvenile boys should be allowed to have ANY relationships they desire, including a sexual one. If there is a group big enough that has an opinion about what is “acceptable” then where does the line end and begin? Will society soon be tolerant of this? What about Polysimist? Zoophilia or Bestiality?  

Where is our world going if we let our desires dictate where we go? What if you are happily married and your spouse gets the desire to have sex with someone else? Should we turn our heads or deem that as acceptable because their desires said to do it? We have to be accountable to something other than our desires.  There is term for this is called “hedonism.” It’s basically what America is based on today. A school of thought that argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good.

I read this on Facebook: In a society that accepts virtually anything defined as a "relationship", why would we not legalize multiple spouses, adult-child relationships, and so on and on. You know we cannot be a judgmental society, as condemnation of anything that feels good is seen as wrong.
 Truth is truth whether we like it or not and whether it conflicts with our desires.  It’s not conditional or transient based on the seasons we go thru in life. We can't travel east and west at the same time anymore than we can pick and choose what we like in the Bible when it’s convenient for us in the present moment. If that’s how it worked, what’s to stop me from shoplifting groceries? I could justify it by saying I’m a single mom who receives no child support and my kids have to eat somehow. I could take it a step further and tell people that only God can judge me. This is a fact that is thrown around all the time to make people feel better about their sin. God is the only one whose judgment will actually matter in the end, yes. 

Matthew 7:1-5 “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.”

As a Christian, I am commanded by God to love not only my neighbor, but my enemies as well. It is also the responsibility of a Christian to keep and abide the law of the Lord and stand up for what we believe to be true. Not society’s version of truth, but God’s word. As a Christian, I am more than capable to love and respect anyone despite their personal beliefs or lifestyle. But that does not mean that I have to agree with or support one’s choice to live a life of sin. I can pray for them. I can show them the love of Christ thru my actions and words.  Disagreement is not judgment.

As Christians, we cannot expect non-believers to conform to our beliefs. It is our duty to do our best to share the love of Christ with them through our actions, and maybe one day, after we’ve earned the right, with our words. But we as Christians should fully understand what the INERRANT word of God says. And if you think that truth is conditional, then you really don’t understand HIM at all. Additionally, we have to understand that if we choose to stand for our beliefs, people are NOT going to like us and they’re going to persecute us. But that doesn’t mean we change our stance or the way we treat those who disagree with us.

The biggest lie the enemy is operating in right now is convincing all these “Christians” who change their minds when the wind blows that that’s okay and it’s what God would want. Loving everyone does not equate to supporting and agreeing with everyone. But the sad fact is that those of us that know the truth, but choose to ignore it will be held even more accountable than those who have never accepted Christ in their heart.

 “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”  - Rick Warren

Thanks to a very special friend who shared her heart with me and contributed to the views of this post. Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.