My angels!

My angels!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

expectations vs reality

I gotta be honest with you all.  I always wanted to be a mom.  Seriously for as long as I can remember.  I have always been good with kids and started babysitting when I was really young.  I thought I knew it all, or at least some!  However, being a mom is completely different from what I expected it to be.  I thought all sun shine and rainbows, but reality is snot, poop, and unknown substances smeared on the sun shine and rainbows.  Don't get me wrong I love it.  I am just shocked at how completely different it is from what I expected. 

So why is that?  Why is the reality of parenting such a shocker?  It is like some big club secret that has been locked away, and only when you have kids do you get access to the keys.  Parenting really is a club all of its own.  You can talk to any parent, even if you don't like each other, about parenting and understand each other.  You don't have to agree, but you will get that "oh man I feel ya" We know because we have lived it.  If your not a parent you think whats the big deal my nieces and nephews stay over all the time!  Trust me I thought the same thing.  See you get the part time deal that way; and it is all sun shine and rainbows.  You don't get to know the dark side of parenting. 

Yes, I said it; the dark side! You have probably noticed especially with the use of social media today most people don't talk about the dark side.  You are constantly bombarded with images worthy of pinterest and finding you fall short.  Because no one wants to pin or post about the dark side.  How can we as parents help each other if we all pretend that this elephant isn't in the room thou?  How can we help prepare future parents for the reality of parenthood? 

 Parenting is tough.  You want to raise an intelligent, kind, compassionate, human being that isn't a door mat or a bully.  You want them to be confident yet humble.  Well I can go on and on.  Then there are parenting books and philosophies up the BUTT!   Yes you will be drowning in them.  Many contradict each other, so which is correct?  You also are stuck with the way your parents raised you.  Plus, everyone and I mean everyone will have advice for how you should do literally everything!  No joke! 

So you bring home this amazing bundle of joy and are expecting sun shine and rainbows, but what are you supposed to do when reality doesn't match your expectations.  The reality of parenting can make you feel overwhelmed, scared, and alone.   Where do you turn now?  If you don't know, don't worry I didn't either.  I felt and still do at times that feeling this way isn't ok, and it some how makes me a bad mother.  This is why we need to talk more about these dark days.  We need to openly allow each other to share without judgement.  So when expectations and reality collide we know its ok!  Don't give advice here, but encouragement.  Acceptance.  Hugs.  Reassurance. 

This was the beginning of my postpartum depression journey.  When my expectations of how, who, and what parenting was supposed to be met the reality of how parenting really is. 

Flying with kids!

As you can see I have 4 kids!  Four very active, loud, opinionated, passionate, wild, active, fun loving kids!  You can also see my main picture above is us at an airport! Yes,  I crammed my kiddos into an air plane, and No I am not crazy.  Or at least I don't think I am.  However, I did do lots and lots of prep work before the flight.  My kids had never flown before so that helped to.  I also want to make it  known that I had not flown since 2000!  Yes, it has been a while, and while some things never change some changed A LOT!  I researched all the new rules with flying.

So my first step was I found the cheapest tickets I could find!  Seriously, with 6 of us flying the cheapest way to go was the only way to go.  I found great round trip tickets from Spirit airlines.  I quickly learned that flying these days is very different.  You now pay for everything!  Carry on and checked bags, extra fee.  You all want to sit together, then you need to pick your seats, extra fee!  Even with this these still were the cheapest seats! 

But what about the kids.  I did not want my kids to be the screaming, yelling, crying, kids that we see videos of on Facebook where rude strangers posted complaining about them.   So I planned ahead.  I went to 5 below.  Each kid got a brand new back pack.  Some small games Hungry hippos, clue, connect four, and uno.  They each received a pack of gum, fidget spinner, and fidget stick.  I bought them each a pencil case, markers, crayons, colored pencils, and a notebook (these I bought when school supplies were on sale)!   I went to the dollar store and bought them each a couple small things squishy light up animals small fidgets.  I made sure their ipads were charged and packed those as well. Each got new headphones.  All these things I wrapped up as presents and gave them the day before the trip!  They were so excited.  Also, they did not need any of their electronics on the flight, other than taking some pics with them!

My 5 and 7 yr old each brought a stuffed animal and special blanket. I packed an extra outfit for everyone in the bags as well, even myself in my own bag and my husband.  You can never be to prepared! 

Airline food is super expensive!  Find out the rules on snacks and drinks and bring SNACKS! Do not forget yourself also!  You will get hungry too!

We arrived early enough to get through security.  Make sure you wear shoes that are easy on and easy off!   The kids did not have to remove theirs.  So I am not sure what age that starts.  Also dress comfortable.  I let my 7 yr old wear her pajamas. 

We had a great experience, and would definitely fly again! 

Ironically my kids did not disturb any one.  However my 10 year old was terrorized by the small children that sat behind us!   He said he would only fly again if no kids were by him!  They did get pretty bored. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The death of snowball

So yesterday was a super fun day!  I will tell you all about it later, but first the death of snowball. 

Snowball was my 7 year old daughters hamster.  We had her for about 2 years.  Which I now know is a long time for a hamster.  Ally loved this hamster!  She had to be told not to take it to bed with her, not to share her food with it, and not to take it to the bath with her.    Yes, she did!!!!   Snowball would even come to Ally when it was out of its cage. 

So needless to say Snowball was a very close friend. 

I have no idea why but after I tucked Ally into bed I decided to check and see if snowball had water.  Snowball didn't move when I checked the water bottle, which isn't entirely odd.   But anyways I picked up Snowball.  No movement.  Snowball was DEAD!

 The thought that I held a dead hamster didn't sink in until later!
Stay with me! 
So I calmly put her down and walked out. 

Then ran to my husband and told him.  I asked him what to do.  He was no help.  No, really he even said "I am no help on this one!" 

So I made the decision.  I would put him in charge of bed time (HA, Yeah I was desperate!)  and run to the pet store!  I told Ally to go lay down with daddy.  I mean what if she went to say "Goodnight"  and found a dead hamster (yep it was still in the cage!).   I told her I had to run to the store and daddy did not want to be alone  (that will bite me in the butt one day for sure.) 

I went into her room and held again the dead hamster to take a pic.  Now it dawns on me I am holding in my bare hands a dead animal!!!   I put it back in the cage again and run to the bathroom washing my hands.  That didn't feel clean enough.  At this point my paranoid mind can smell dead animal all over me.  I douse myself in hand sanitizer.   I told the kids stay in bed I will be back, and like  a bat out of hell I was out!  I had to hurry they are 25 minutes away and closed in 55 minutes! 

So faster than the Flash I drove to the pet store.  I run in with my phone in hand pic up and say do you have any of these hamsters!!!! They look at the pic and say "Oh what a cute little guy!"  I reply "Well that little guy is dead!  Which is why I am here for another one." 

They did not... I repeat did not have that kind of hamster!!!  Those of you in your right mind are probably wondering why I did not call first!  I realized this right then too! 

So I quickly grabbed a couple things for the other animals (2 dogs, 1 hedgehog and a tortoise) and head home.  All the while I am thinking of how to tell Ally about this! I planned to let her sleep with me and even stay home from school if necessary.  I was ready to be her rock! 

I get home.  NO ONE....Not one child is in bed!!!! I should have known.

So i get the kids to bed and sit Ally down with me and daddy.  I make him start because I am a nervous wreck, but of coarse I don't like where he is headed.  I mean he isn't saying anything i prepared in my head on the drive home!  So I take over.  At first she laughs and thinks we are joking.  Then she gets quiet, pauses, looks at us and asks "Can I get another one?"   We both say "of coarse".   She smiles says "OK!"  Then she hops off the bed and goes to bed. 

We are both sitting there just staring where she was sitting.  What just happened?  I look at him and say "that was oddly and scarily too easy".  He agrees.   Many crazy thoughts cross our minds.  I sit forever like a deer in headlights.  I cannot begin to fathom what just happened. 

After processing I get gloves (prepared this time) and go into her room to remove the hamster.  She being the sane and level headed one is rightly confused at why I left the dead hamster in the cage! A question that I have no answer to. 

She looks at it.  Says "awe poor Snowball" and as I leave the room she asks if we can bury him like Christopher's Gecko.  I tell her yes Daddy will take care of it with her after school tomorrow.

And my Friends that is the death of Snowball the beloved hamster who lived a long and happy life with her best friend Ally!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Flash

I'm sure you all will know what I am talking about when I say the flash.  You see it in the moment when the day is finally over and you sit down to relax.  The kids are in bed, sleeping you hope!   You can clean or just chill, maybe a little of both.   As you start to think it over and prioritize your evening you wonder about the day.   You glance around the mess in the living room and the kitchen and then it hits you.  "What the heck did I do today?"   It comes back quicker than the flash and its all a blurry mess.   Between feeding 4 little mouths (hundreds of times), cleaning them, and making sure they don't kill themselves or each other the day has already passed by.  It's over in the blink of an eye.  The to do list is still undone and growing.   Then you begin to worry.  In the hustle and bustle of the day what kind of mom were you.  Did you give 100% of your attention to look at those drawings of,  whatever they were?  Did the kids notice your mind was drifting off?  Were you the mother you wanted to be, the mother you needed as a child?  Of coarse the answer is Yes, but you do this to yourself all the time.  The day was full of laughs, crys, and maybe a little yelling, but deep down you know you did your best.  You smile and leave the mess for tomorrow.   You definitely deserve a rest!  Take a bow mamma and enjoy your moment of quiet.  You deserve it as you are the best mom these little munchkins could ever ask for.  

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