Saturday, July 13, 2013

What I'm going through

Things have been very unpleasant in the Stroup household. No sooner did we find out that we were expecting a bundle of joy did we learn about a form of extreme morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). Today I'm on an upswing. This is how my pregnancy is spoken of. Upswings, downswings. Since I'm on an upswing, I wanted to make something to just get out my feelings. How I'm feeling. What's going on with me, with my health. I found out very early that I was pregnant. I was about 4 weeks along. By week 6 it became very apparent that this pregnancy would be very different than Harper's. I was sick with Harper, but it was only at night and it felt very "manageable".

About week 6 I began throwing up constantly. I was bull headed and refused to go to the doctor before my magic week 8 appointment to check for viability. Between week 6 and 8, my condition deteriorated. I saw my doctor and she prescribed an antiemetic drug, Zofran. I called this a wonder drug because for the first few days, it worked like a dream. Then, around Father's Day, my condition worsened. My body rejected foods and liquids of any kind and after 48 hours, my body began full starvation/severe dehydration protocol and I began to be in the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. When your body doesn't get nutrients it needs, it starts to use things it's not supposed to and you begin to have ketosis. That is how they judge how dehydrated you are, by measuring ketones. Dehydration and ketosis are dangerous for a number of reasons including organ failure. This was just the beginning.

Most days I feel incredibly alone and that no one truly understands what I'm going through. This isn't "morning sickness". This isn't the same thing that you probably experienced. This isn't in my head. This is not aided by medications. Most all of the joy of being pregnant has been stripped away and stolen from me. Instead of pink or blue, my questions are picc line or medication pump, pills or suppositories? My health is not controlled by my doctor or myself, but some person behind a desk at an insurance company. If they feel that I don't need a certain kind of care then I simply don't receive it. On top of that, in a downswing, imagine if every food or liquid that hit your lips turned into poison in your belly. The most basic human need is taken from you. There is no pleasure in eating any longer. There is only what can I eat that I will be okay with throwing back up. And even throwing up is no longer normal. It is replaced by a violent, breath-taking beast that purges your system so violently, you might pass out or any other number of other terrible things.

I am currently 13 weeks. Since week 9 I have been in the hospital 5 times. Most days everyone finds this inconvenient. I have a hard time asking for help. Most days I just want to sleep. I feel guilt about not being involved enough in my business, about how much my family is going through, about getting pregnant. All of the joy is removed. All of the joy is replaced with fear, anger from people around me. Not at me or the situation necessarily, just fear has a way of turning to anger. Most days I feel fear, too. Fear of knowing that all of my medications will fail (5 of which are just trying to battle HG), it is just a matter of when. That in fact my health's condition most likely has little to do with my medication and more to do with when I was hydrated last. I start knowing people at the hospital. Every hospital visit will be an hour's drive, and several hours there. If I go to the Hospital in my town I have to go through the ER. I hate going there. They've blown out my vein before. It's still healing. If I go to the City I get to go through Labor and Delivery. It is so much more pleasant. They get more of what I'm going through.

I don't ask for help from anyone but my sister or my husband anymore. I've dealt with opposition and guilt and anger from other people about wanting to drive an hour to the city hospital. Fighting when you are 48 hours dehydrated just kills you. Crying tears that you know are probably close to the only liquids you have left in your body. I gave up a long time ago about anyone really getting this that is close to me.

This is a lonely place. I pray for it just to go away.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The one where we talk about silence and news.

Things have been pretty calm on the blog front. I've been pretty silent as last time I wrote, I took a hiatus from electronics and went on an amazing family vacation to California. My family and I all fell in love with California, and Zak and I would move there tomorrow if we could afford it. I am so thankful that we took a leap and chose to take the trip to spend our tax money on something that couldn't be bought. A whole trip of family memories and experiences that we won't soon forget. And I'm so happy that we did it when we did. Shortly upon returning, we got a surprise that we won't soon forget.

I had been feeling very funny. And it was slightly reminiscent of another time in my life where my body felt unlike my own. So on May 3, I took a test. And it was negative. And I laughed at how silly I was and my paranoia. But, something just didn't feel right. So on May 5, I took a test. And it was negative. Again, laughing off my paranoia. The aching paranoia just wouldn't go away, though. So, May 7, (Happy birthday Cristy), I took another test. And right away, the screen said PREGNANT. And, in that moment, I had a heart attack. Let's be honest here, as I've shared in previous posts, our house is getting foreclosed upon. At this point, we are getting ready to move. I have just opened a brand new business in the last year. I am terrified. Most women may not admit it, but that moment is terrifying. Realizing that you will be responsible for another human being brings out a whole host of insecurities. Am I good enough, strong enough, etc. to handle this? This little miracle baby was a total surprise to the Stroup household. As I've posted before, my husband did not want any more kids. I did. And in the end, I guess women always win, one point for me, God. But, you could work on your timing. Since that has all happened, I have been totally silent in the blog world, because I felt like I could just explode and tell everyone, and sometimes I just had to tell complete strangers, because it is just very exhilarating. Any post that I would put would just seem false in that I would be leaving out the biggest thing going on in my life right now.

The first trimester is not kind to me. I'm currently 8 weeks and 4 days. My morning sickness started at about 5 weeks and it became abundantly clear that this pregnancy would be different than Harper's in a lot of ways. I have hyperemesis. This means that along with working 60 hours a week, I vomit CONSTANTLY. It's very sexy. Finally had my first doctor's appointment and got on a sublingual medication called Zofran and it is my new best friend. Not puking all day means a whole lot of things can happen. For instance, you will feel like a human being. You might actually get out for the first time in about 4 weeks and go grocery shopping. You might even cook dinner. My poor family was living off fast food. Along with that, my hormones. I am a crazy b****. Seriously. I scream a lot. And then I cry because I screamed. I spent 10+ minutes today screaming at a stupid automated phone call I had to do for my insurance. I'm surprised I didn't have an aneurysm. Seriously, if I hear, I'm sorry I don't understand your response one more time I will drive up to Ohio and smash that computer.

As I've illustrated for you before, I also have an angry, angst-filled teenager, and a 2 year old who has been running random fevers and being sick and crabby for the past 2 weeks. I'm really not sure why my husband hasn't ran for the hills. If I were him I would lock myself in a room for the next year and just never come out. It's an excellent plan. I might even slip him scraps under the door.

Coming to terms with the fears and anxiety that pregnancy gives me and raising another little baby is something that happened very quickly. Here are some things that I would do differently however, a) I would go back in time to approximately 90 days and not sell all my baby furniture (damn it, damn it, damn it). b) I would have called my doctor immediately and gotten these little miracle pills. At the end of the day, I could not be happier to have a new little person in our lives. And Zak immediately seemed excited about it. Harper is also ecstatic, and has even named the new baby, "Birthday Cake".

Seeing our little baby on the ultrasound screen was very exciting. Watching a little miracle's heart beat on the screen was just absolutely indescribable. It is not cheapened at all the second time. And that is all for now.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The one where we do too much at once.

So, lately, I have way too many commitments. And I'm technically sick right now. But, I can't really be sick, so I'm deciding not to be. It totally works that way. And by totally works I mean I take a lot of Alka Seltzer cold. I need to invest in the company. My vacation is this week and that means my excitement level is super high. I'm ready to go to California and live like I'm in the Big Pimpin' video. Just kidding. I'm gonna have kids with me, so it will totally be PG. It will kind of be like Yo Gabba Gabba except with less plushies and furries and a lot less color. I will be DJ Lance. I'm awesome like that.

This past weekend we totally did way too much. Is this just how it is now? I started a Zumba class and so that was Saturday morning. Then we went to a family get together. Then I came home and had to go shopping for the vacation. Sunday we went to a birthday party and Tay had soccer. We have too many commitments. Kind of like right after we get back from vacation, we have to move. So, that's awesome. Pretty much every weekend is like that and so because of this, I no longer know the meaning of free time. This is probably why I decided hair brushing was an optional activity. Is this just society? Everyone lives balls to the wall constantly and we don't ever slow down and take a break ever. The thing about me is I f'ing love naps. I'm crazy about them. I would be napping right now if I could. Kids totally take naps for granted. I need to slow down.

I took a gamble and bought this really cool thing for Harper. It's called Citrus Lane. It's a monthly subscription thing, but I just bought one month because it was on sale for half off and it was actually really cool.  This month we got all sorts of cool stuff. Here is all the that came in the box:

It also came with some orange vanilla shampoo/body wash from the Honest Company. Harper really liked getting mail. Here is our review on the box. First, the paint with water set from Melissa & Doug is a huge hit. She was amazed when she opened it and got very excited to do them. Love, love, love Melissa & Doug stuff. Next, the placemat. Now, it's nice and all, but Harper thinks it's a baby blanket, so it's not all that useful as a placemat to us. It's pretty cool, though. Totally washable and you can write on it with markers. She will appreciate that one day. The drink holder is something that I've wanted to get for a long time, but never bit the bullet on. This one is cool because it is expandable to fit bigger bottles or milk jugs. The fruit mash up is always a good bet with Harp because she really likes mashed up fruits especially ones that come in that type of packaging that they can just "drink" it right out. Finally, the Honest Company shampoo is yet to get used, I threw it in our check bag for baths on the trip. I'll let you know what I think of it. Seriously, though, if you have an extra $25 a month, you should join Citrus Lane for your kiddos.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The one where we talk about tragedy.

In the aftermath of a tragedy, we all hug our kids a little tighter, love a little better, become more thankful, more vigilant. We stare pure evil in the face and we can either succumb to constant fear or overcome and still live our lives. The trick is to always take every moment that you have and live it like it's your last. Sometimes I get so absorbed in the everyday hustle and bustle that I don't stop and do that. I don't give thanks everyday for the good life that I have. I don't always revel in the fact that I have 2 healthy, wonderful children. And we should. We should not live in fear, we should live in fact. Fact that we all have an expiration date, fact that any parent out there with living, healthy children is lucky to have them. Live for those who have lost their lives and those who are living with real hardship. #prayforBoston

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The one where storms and business makes you extremely worn out.

So, running your own business can always be challenging. Especially when your partner gets strep throat and has to miss basically the whole week of work. Watching a lot of kids, cooking, and doing all the cleaning by yourself is exhausting. Then to top it all off, we had a super bad storm last night and Harp was too scared to sleep in her own bed so she wanted to sleep in mine. Which would have been fine except that my husband usually doesn't sleep in the same bed with us if she's in there, but last night he did. Which means that Kickle Me Elmo was a) kicking me all night b) kicking off MY covers c) crying about her binkie constantly that she kept spitting out. Every time I tried to take my blankets back, my husband would yank them away. So, I was  cold, got barely any sleep, and had to get up super early to go do all the work for the daycare. I'm exhausted right now. If someone asked me what I'd do for a cup of coffee right now, the answers would be disturbing. That kind of tired.

I am so happy I am only 2 weeks out from vacation. I am so happy tomorrow is Friday. I will kill someone for a coffee.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The one where we start getting real.

It's been awhile since I've written. I've been trying to unplug this past weekend and really enjoy my daughter. See Mom With the iPhone. Today the water main near the daycare was being replaced, which left the daycare with no running water for several hours. Which means I got the day off. I was supposed to take Harper to the zoo on Saturday, which turned into a new kind of hell in of itself. Basically, the road that you take to get to the zoo was backed up for a mile or so. And instead of being a sane rational person and getting the hell out of dodge, I took a gamble and tried to go anyway. The next 3 hours of my life was kind of what I believe hell would be like. I sat in traffic for 3 hours trying to get the hell out of the park where the zoo was. Meanwhile, Harper spilled an entire soda on herself and got semi-overheated. While I was sitting in traffic, I pulled her out of carseat, stripped her buck nekkid and changed her. She cried. A lot. I cried, too. It was so fricking awful. Seriously, everyone in the tri-state area decided to go to the zoo. Literally all of the parking lots were full. It was scary. I, for at least 10 minutes, went certifiably insane and almost killed my best friend simply because it was her idea to go to the zoo. Holy schnikes. So, when I finally got out of there,  I drove as fast and as far away as I could and went to Suson Park. Which is normally like the most unbusy place ever, but it was busy, too, because they were having some sort of family fishing tournament. Weird. The concept that people actually do stuff like that. But, it still wasn't as busy as the zoo. And while I was there, I was reveling in what a cool and amazing person my kid is. I mean I'm biased and all, but this girl is awesome. She is funny, kind, smart, and endlessly loving. And I thought, self, remember when you read Mom with the iPhone? Live that. Unplug. And so I did. I didn't look at Facebook until she was in bed. I played with her while she went down the slide. I didn't take any pictures with my phone. I just sat there and loved my kid endlessly and was the kind of mom that I want to always be. But, life gets busy, and I own a business, and I have to get on the computer and I have shows that I like to watch. But, I am capable of unplugging and not checking my phone all the time for intakes for the daycare or updates on Facebook. I'm able to really actually live my life instead of being a passive viewer in everyone else's. And, the best and worst part was that Harper was wanting to do everything, "myself", "by myself", "myself", "I did it, I did it!". She let go of my hand and went to town. She didn't want mommy to catch her at the bottom of the slide. And it comes like a bat out of hell when you realize that your little girl will not always be little forever. And thoughts of this may be your only baby and are you really okay with that being the case.

The bottom line for me, is that it is not. And this is something that on most days my husband and I disagree upon. I have been incredibly raw on my blog and this is something that is harsh and uncomfortable and that most people like to pretend doesn't happen in their Facebook lives. The fact that at times you and your husband disagree on an issue that is so big that it may end up ending your marriage at some point. That is real. Now it may not always be babies or anything, but there will be an issue that is massive at some point in your relationship that requires one person to bend or it will break. The question is who will bend and when. Will it be my body or my age or my husband? I know in some way, shape, or form, I will be a mother again. Be it to foster children down the line or another one of my own or something.

Anyway, I have gotten way off topic, but my best blogs always seem to turn that direction. So, after Saturday's debacle, I decided to take Harper to the zoo. And again, I unplugged. But, this time I did take pictures. We rode the carousel for an hour. We laughed. She gave me kisses and told me, "I'm having a great day, mommy, I love you." We saw hippos fighting and a baby elephant and watched sea lions dance in the underwater tunnel. Here are some of my favorite pictures, all from the carousel, she just had pure elation:

And after the zoo, we went and visited Zak's grandma in the nursing home. And Harper ran up to her and held her in her arms for at least 15 minutes and completely melted me and Granny Di (or as Harper would call her "Dee Di")'s hearts. And again I was reminded of how endlessly kind this little person is. Sigh.

And then I came home and my husband and I had a disagreement and barely talked. And that is a reality in itself, too. Sometimes that happens. And then I had feelings of guilt when he talked about how sick he is of hearing or seeing my favorite show. And I just wanted to curl inside myself, and that is real. And that is what I'm trying to do with this blog. Vent about my real feelings and real occurrences and not sugar coat what life is like for me and probably most people. The end.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The one where I had the worst service ever at a restaurant.

So, last night Zak had a doctor's appointment that he had forgotten about. We were going to go out to dinner, but since that wasn't working out, I asked my sister if she wanted to go out to eat. We went to Los Cabos a local Mexican joint that has good food. Boy were we in for a real treat. When we got inside, the host at the front was counting his tips and ignoring us. Hmm, that's kind of jerky. He didn't even look up at us or anything when he said, "How many?" We told him 7. He said to hold on and proceeded to add up his tips for awhile longer instead of seating us. Which alone would've been whatever. Finally, we got seated, given our chips and salsa (which of course the bottle was nasty and unclean). We sat for 15 minutes or so before the guy who was hosting came over because he was going to be our waiter, too (lucky us). I let my sister have the one high chair that we basically got ourselves and had to sit Harp in an adult chair. Zak ended up getting out early and calling us. I told him, "Come on Barbie, let's go party." By the time Zak got there we still hadn’t ordered our food yet. When our waiter brought our drinks they were all messed up. He didn’t know whose was whose and he brought Harp’s water in an adult glass (obviously doesn't have a 2 year old at home) and even though I asked him for one he never brought her one that had a lid. We didn’t even think about  asking him for new salsa. I asked the waiter if I could get a high chair and he acted really pissy about it. Go figure.

He came back and said, “What do you want?“ in an uber rude way. We sloughed it off again and acted pleasant towards him. My sister ordered and I ordered nachos supreme, you know uber loaded deliciousness nachos. Cristy said the word, ‘chicken’ after hers which is a key thing to remember later in the story. She said, “Nachos Supreme Chicken, please.” and I ordered a nachos supreme with no ground beef. Check. Shouldn't be an issue. A long, long time later, our food came out. The person who brought it wasn’t our waiter and he was in a super hurry. They brought out one nachos supreme with no ground beef and they gave it to Cristy. Cristy thought this was what she ordered and began to eat it. They handed me mine which they said was the same, but it clearly wasn’t. I saw that it didn’t have any beans on it, which is kind of the point of nachos supreme. I knew they would be coming back because they forgot my brother in law's dinner.  I waited for a really long time for our waiter to finally bring my brother in law’s food, so I could ask him for a new one. This was when the super fun exchange went on:

“Excuse me, sir, this has no beans on it.”
“Uh, yeah, that’s what you ordered. You said nachos supreme ONLY chicken (voice escalating every minute).”
“Sir, no I didn’t, I asked for a nachos supreme with no ground beef.”
“Yes, you did, you said a nachos supreme with ONLY chicken. That’s what YOU said.”
I reiterate again. “Well, then SHE (pointing to my sister) has YOURS.”
“Okay, well, I would like beans.”
Yelling at this point, “SHE HAS YOURS, SHE SAID NACHOS SUPREME WITH ONLY CHICKEN!” (Okay, but she’s already eaten like half of them because you haven’t come back to the table for like 10 or 15 minutes, and this is irrelevant at this point.)
“Okay, can you please just fix mine?”
“Dude, what is your deal, can you please just fix this?!?!”

Guy takes the food back, brings it back and slams it on the table, “Here you go, chicken AND beans!” I obviously didn’t feel comfortable eating them considering how crazy aggressive the guy was being.

My husband finished his meal and went up and complained to the manager and got money taken off of our bill and quite obviously this jerk didn’t care about a tip. God, how miserable must your life be to act like that to total strangers. I will never EVER go back to that place and don’t suggest it for anyone else, either. Unless you want to take the risk of getting screamed at.

I just don't get it nowadays. I get that working in food can be a thankless, tiring job. I really do. I worked in food for 7 years. I get it. But, when you go and actually sit down and pay good money at a restaurant this is what you want from the waiter:

This is how our waiter made us feel:

So, that’s my fun story about the worst service ever. Totally bummed that I didn’t get good Mexican food. My husband probably won’t want to go again for awhile since he had his food and it totally had no spit or
anything. Lucky.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The one where I talk about my sister and iBaby.

Right now, my youngest nephew (18 months) is across the room during this glorious nap time totally acting insane. His gestures have ranged from hysterical laughing to Gene Simmons tongue actions. I could put up a Youtube video, but let's be honest it's fricking weird and sick and it makes me vomit that women in the 70's found that sexy. Now he's stamping his foot and growling and shaking the crib so wildly that he is moving it. I'm pretty sure we need an exorcist.

Today we are learning about robins in the infant/toddler room. We are also learning how to use a glue stick without eating it and a refresher in don't put safety scissors in your eyes or someone else's eyes. This should have all been covered in No No Yes Yes.

However, alas it is not. The only thing that book covers is not cutting your hair. It says nothing about gouging out eyes or eating glue. So, of course these are the things that happened. There was no actual eye gouging, just attempts. I run a tight ship. See also in things not allowed, trying to eat small choke-able glue stick caps that you have stolen off the top of the cubbies. In fact our oldest child decided that those little caps looked delicious. I should write these children's books. I'm pretty sure I could No No Yes Yes a whole slew of things that most parents wouldn't think of, for instance, No No trying to run over babies with the Power Wheels Jeep during recess. 

I'm not sure who decided that children ages 1 to 3 needed glue or scissor skills, but I'm pretty sure whomever it was intended upon starting a revolt. My guess is that it was this guy:

I expect the baby and toddler revolt to be a lot like the civil war except with less killing and a lot more crying and keeping you up all night with unreasonable demands and requests. And probably thanks to our curriculum, pretty intricate murdering machines made with glue and scissors. YOU'RE WELCOME. It might be just like this, except with a lot more fecal matter in pants:

My sister keeps on casually asking if I'm going to write about her doing stuff in my blog. Like her totally coming in late this morning. She gave me a faulty thing of blueberries when she came in, too. That shizz got everywhere. She made me do all the work while she sat on her laurels eating bon bons and watching Sweet Brown remixes and Harlem Shake videos. And she never salts her food. Like ever. WTF?! Seriously:

The person who made this ate Cristy's food and was so enraged that they had to make graffiti about it.

Oh and she's probably playing fucking Candy Crush Saga right now. She does shit like that. DON'T YOU SEND ME NO GAME REQUESTS. That's all I've got for now. 

I'll end with the funny story of the day. My nephew Miles was running around saying, "Precious, where is the Precious? I must find my Precious." I asked him if he was Golem and he said, "No, actually, I'm Jack." I'm like why do you have a Precious then? He's like I need to find my Precious. He generally doesn't answer questions. Turns out Harper was apparently the golden ring forged in Mordor. Epic. He kept calling her his Precious. Haha. She totally is.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The one where I try and deal with life and not get swallowed whole.

The weather lately has been amazing and mucho appreciated in the daycare world. The children have been able to go outside and play which keeps us all a little more sane. This past weekend was Easter and Harper was really big enough to get egg hunting and the Easter bunny and it was so much fun to see her go crazy for it. Plus, I got to dress her in really super cute clothes which is always a plus. Here are some pics from her Easter fun:

She kept dropping all the eggs in and saying, "BLOOP!"

Saturday we went out and served some eviction papers and we made as much money as I normally do in a month in a couple of hours. That was amazing and depressing. We usually don't get that many at a time,  but we really needed it with vacation coming up. We really want to buy early check-in on the plane so we can make sure that we are all sitting in the same vicinity. Southwest doesn't do assigned seats which is kind of a bummer. Then we caught up with Zak's dad and had some delicious Steak n Shake and then went back to his place and visited with him and his amazing girlfriend, Jane. She's like my second mom. We also borrowed an awesome suitcase from Zak's dad for the trip and we are all getting pretty darn excited about it.

Sunday we went to Zak's mom's and did an Easter egg hunt, ate lots of good food, and visited. The weather was perfect and we sat out on the deck and just hung out and relaxed. I made an awesome dinner of chicken and loaded baked potatoes and all was right with the world.

We have lots of kids out from daycare today, so things are pretty slow which is nice. I've been feeling really depressed lately about the house. I'm ready to move and to not have to think about the depressing fact that we aren't going to be living there much longer. I'm really nervous about the addition of another payment and hope that we can knuckle down and make it work. We are going to become a 1 car household which is a little bit nerve wracking, too. I really hope that we just save a lot of money by doing all of this to make up for the fact that we are adding something new. 

Zak and I switched over to cash budgeting and it seems to somewhat help our spending. We only have so much so we can only spend so much. It's been really tough to not live above our means. We were used to a certain type of lifestyle with my old job and we have had somewhat good fortune in just floating from month to month. The hardest part is not eating out every 5 minutes. But, it's really tough when you work as much as I do to muster up the energy to cook after working and being depressed all the time doesn't help either. I'm just thankful that Zak and I are not currently having marital problems on top of it or it would be enough to just swallow me whole. We suffer from issues from time to time, but I've really been trying to let go of all my stress when I get home and it's working out okay. Now if he could just refrain from not thinking before speaking the whole world would live in peace and happiness. ;) 

I guess that is all for now. Rambling on and on.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The one where I look like death and talk about bits and being crazy.

So, I totally just freaked myself out just now when I looked in the mirror. I actually look like the crypt creeper. I have not gotten a full 8 hours of sleep in I don't know how long. If I ever want to get a full 8 hours of sleep, I have to go to bed by 8 p.m. which officially makes me at least 80 years old. So, today I am looking especially ghoulish thanks to my sweet daughter who never sleeps and thanks to the fact that instead of going to bed early when my mother in law took Harper last night like a g.d.'d saint I wanted some g.d.'d ice cream. Plus, by the time I get to Wednesday that means I've already worked at least 36 hours. I work 12-14 hours a day y'all. Seriously, my bags have bags today. They are packing for a 20 year vacation. I just took this sweet selfie:

Ignore my unusually poor artwork. I'm doing this on my laptop. I think that's pretty damn good considering I'm using the stupid little touch pad. Who invented those things anyway? What a sadist. 

Back to ice cream, though, ever since I had Harp, I have the sweet tooth from hell. And yes, we had ice cream at home. We still have some from her birthday party because my mother in law bought the hugest thing ever x2. She is literally the best. See the time she got us groceries, watched the kids, brought us care packages every time we are sick, made homemade chicken noodle soup for us, etc. Literally, the best mother in law ever.

But, here's the deal. I may have a sweet tooth, but I'm frickin spoiled as hell when it comes to my sweets. Plain ice cream, get that shit away from me. I've got to have bits. I even coined the phrase to Zak, I gotta have my bits. Hell, even McD's knows I want bits. It says something about bits on the side of the McFlurry. It's all like, regular ice cream is shit, where 'da bits at?! I should work in marketing.

I'm like this with everything. I'm a picky bastard. Seriously, Z hates going to get stuff for me at fast food places because I'm annoyingly weird and picky. I'm all about customizing shit. And if it gets f'd up then the conversation goes like this, "Oh, you got bacon on my bacon cheddar potato wedges that I specifically requested no bacon on and you forgot the sour cream" "Sorry" "Oh, it's fiiiiinnnneee." <---- When I say fine like that, it's not fine. I'm not going to eat that shit. My husband is used to my craziness and he acts awesome about it. One time when I was a million months pregnant and really crazy and he was doing one of my weird no ground beef substitute beans add cheese type of orders he actually like pleaded with the person taking the order, "Please god, do me a solid, and don't screw this up, my wife is a million months pregnant and will kill us both." God, what a poor, poor bastard to deal with me when I was pregnant. That Taco Bell guy probably really, really felt sorry for my husband. They didn't screw it up, though which means they were probably afraid something like this was going to happen:

I was soooo crazy when pregnant. This post is getting too long, so I'll have to spare you some of the crazy for another day. But, I'll end with a funny kid story, my nephew was playing with Matchboxes and was all like, "LOOK AT THIS I GOT A HOOKER CAR! IT'S A HOOKER CAR! HOOKER CAR! HOOKER CAR!" which upon further inspection is not an 84 Chevy Impala, it's actually a tow truck.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The one where we talk about first world problems and nap time.

Today seems to be going okay. I no longer like to use words like perfect or good for fear of disturbing the powers that be into thinking that I need another really bad day. Harper seems to be doing loads better already with her new medicine and her ear drops. Her ear drops that I almost gave myself a heart attack with because I almost dropped them right into her eye. Literally landed like 1 millimeter from her eye as I screamed, "Noooo!" in slow motion.

Right now, I am taking  over in the advanced preschool room (4 to 5 years old) during nap time. Nap time to 4 to 5 year olds means looking at each other from across the room and trying to mouth things to each other because they think I'm too stupid to notice. And then me telling them over and over to face away from each other and them acting surprised that I actually can type on my computer and watch them at the same time. It's like I'm some sort of Charlie Sheen warlock magic creature with tiger's blood. So, I just said, "Face the dress up clothes" again for the thousandth time. My nephew is under our preschool table playing Angry Birds because he is having a rough day. He has sensory processing and when he has his off days, he really has a bad day. He won't do anything he is supposed to. But, playing games calms him down, so we take what we can get even though it causes the other kids to act worse than usual because they want to play games, too, and not nap ever. 

So we are under a month out from vacation which is really exciting. It seems like the teenager is finally getting excited about going, too. She totally was all first world probleming it about vacation. Zak and I originally wanted to go to Vegas, but she wouldn't go if she couldn't bring a girlfriend and threw a huge stink. First world problem. So, then I decide to do California and to make it a surprise. Except for the fact that my husband has a huge mouth, and pretty much ruined my scheme. Very frustrating. He mentioned places we could go, like California, which she threw a HUGE temper tantrum about. Said there was no way she would ever want to go there, etc. The girl is on crack. Apparently, she wanted to go to Texas (WTF?!) and so no place but Texas was acceptable. Who the hell wants to go to Texas anyway unless you are going to Schlitterbahn. I don't know, she's impossible to please. So, finally, I said F the surprise just tell her and she was pissed and I just kept wanting to yell, FIRST WORLD PROBLEM! Because, seriously, I DON'T WANT TO GO TO CALIFORNIA, WAH! Seriously?! California, sunny all the time 70 degree weather San Diego, right next to the ocean? Seriously? Just one more example of how you can't please teenagers ever. See this post where I talk about angry teenagers.

She appears to be actually happy about it for now. But, I'm prepared for it to change at any minute. Well, anyway, if you need me I'll be busy practicing my travel hacks.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The one where we talk about insurance.

So, I must have enjoyed yesterday too much because today was the stark opposite of a good, perfect day. A little after midnight Harp woke up screaming about her ears hurting. She has had so many ear infections this winter it's not even funny. She just came off of a 2 round course of antibiotics for her ears. The weather is still crappy and I had to get to work. We couldn't really afford for Z to take off with her, but he did to at least get her into the doctor. The doctor was really hesitant to put her on another course of antibiotics. So, we might have to go to an ENT. He put her on some drops and antibiotics and if they don't work, then we will be back to ENT city. I say back, because when Harp was a baby, she was diagnosed with laryngomalacia, or a floppy voice box. Here is a picture of what that is:

So, basically her larynx and epiglottis are misshaped which causes very noisy breathing, reflux, impeded airway, etc. So, we had to go to an ENT when she was a little baby and it's really upsetting to know that she may have some other malformed inner war that is going to be causing her more problems and possibly have to get tubes in her ears. She has been sick for at least 3 months straight, though, and I'm just ready for her to catch a break and feel better. So, I was already a little down about that, but then Z goes to get her prescription filled and we are told that the antibiotic will cost us $286 because our insurance won't cover it. Back in January, we couldn't make the insurance payment and when we shopped around, Harp and I had to get really crappy health insurance because we couldn't afford our good insurance any longer. And to feel like I was messing with her health by leaving my job and everything, it was just really depressing. Also, to make matters worse, the doc forgot to call in the ear drops for her, so there was literally nothing we could do to try and relieve her pain but Tylenol which wasn't even touching it for her. She was fevering right through it. 

We called her ped and got them to send in the ear drops and a new cheaper antibiotic, but I can't help but feel really upset about us having to take risks with our medication that we are allowed because we can't afford any damn thing. And to even take her to the doctor is an arm and a leg where we are concerned. And, though I always recommend following your heart, doing what you dream, and  going for it no matter what the cost to live happily, that does not mean it does not come with it's share of hardships and pain. On a good note, since the weather has been so poor and there is still a lot of snow on the ground, we only had 3 kids at the daycare today which has been great since I've been dealing with so much today. Very excited that one of my 18 month old kiddos learned the sign for green today. He signed it to me when we got to the color of the month. Moments like that make this worth while. I know in my heart I made the right decision and I am doing the right thing, but that doesn't make it less hard to pull yourself up by your boot straps and dive in head first. It will be and is the hardest thing that I've ever done, but I know that we will continue to grow and be successful and one day all of this hardship will be a distant memory.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The one where I had a perfect day.

Today was awesome. Like don't take my word for it, take Ice Cube's. 

Nothing overtly exciting happened other than SNOWMAGEDDON of course. So much for Spring. Me and Harp woke up this morning at about 5:45 and I laughed at the weatherman because NOTHING was going on outside. And I was all like, snowstorm my butt. HAHA! And then it started coming down. And the weatherman laughed at me. Dave Murray came to my house. And, I don't like to brag or anything, but we totally had some THUNDERSNOW. My dog, Kimbo, is totally terrified of thunder and lightning and murdering murderers. He had a complete conniption during the awesome thundersnow. This was Harp's first time really getting out in the snow and she had a really great time. Evidenced by these photos:

Please ignore the extremely poor quality of our snow child. I am aware that he is not even round.

Harp and our "special" snow child.

Kimbo enjoys snow. As long as it isn't THUNDERSNOW. THUNDERSNOW should always be in all caps.

We all had an awesome time throwing snowballs and making our poor "special" snowchild. He is pretty deformed. I'm not going to lie, if it was like Frosty the Snowman and he came to life, I would probably have to kill him with a shovel because he would be totally freaky. He doesn't have any appendages, eyes, or general face type pieces. After awhile, we came back in and had hot cocoa. Harp hasn't ever had it before that I know of and she totally approved. Lunch rolled around and we made oven baked grilled cheese and tomato soup which was just the perfect meal. We all got a bit of a nap, downloaded a bunch of demos on the PS3 to play and just hung out. And, the teenager was less crabby even though her soccer game got cancelled. All is right with the world. Made an amazing Harper approved ham steak, au gratin potatoes, and cheesy broccoli for dinner. Also evidenced by this meme:

Some days are just perfect and all is right with the world. We didn't get anything done that we were supposed to, but hey, that's okay. Teenager is quite excited now because we just got the call, no school tomorrow! I'm leaving you with my delicious ham steak recipe.

  • One uber delicious ham steak, get one that has a lot of purpleish color in it, that is the BOSS ham color
  • Syrup, not sizzurp, like the kind you use for pancakes
Step 1: Cut all the fat and the bone (if applicable) off that bitch. Cut it into little pieces. I always do triangles. Let's face it TRIANGLES ARE BOSS. Throw that shizz in a skillet.
Step 2: Poor some syrup all over those bitches. 
Step 3: Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes turning frequently until all the liquid from the ham and syrup is pretty much gone and your ham has a caramel color but is not burnt. 

Pair with something that is preferably covered with cheese. That's how I do it. BOSS.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The one where we talk about hormones and learn that I never ever put stuff back where it belongs.

So, the thing about living with a teenager is that they are always pretty much angry. Like pretty much you could be like here is $100 and it would piss them off. I've drawn a cartoon dramatization in case you wondered what it is like and needed a visual aide.

Yeah, I drew that shizz. I'm not gonna lie, I'm totally super talented in many different ways. Including drawing. LIKE A BOSS. So, anyway, we are having an angry weekend at my house and it's been super fun.  We've already gotten a new swimsuit, went to a birthday party, have a friend over, got movies, and cookie cake, and nothing has equated to happiness. It's super tough because hormones are evil biotches and I totally get it. See, me being a teenager, and hating my dad and totally plotting his demise because women be completely crazy pretty much all the time. I like to think that as an adult, you get all better and whole, but let's be honest, sometimes I'm still fuckin' nuts. Lol.

It's just, my husband just drives me really crazy sometimes. He is amazing. He has been so great during my whole quitting my job, having no money, going through the process of losing the house thing, and it's been crazy how great he is. But, the dude is also endlessly frustrating. Like, no dude, I'm never gonna put shit back where it belongs. Look, we been together 8 years and I don't ever put anything away. So, I'm not going to start now. Don't waste your breath. I put shit "away" in my own way. And don't you ever mess with my kitchen. You don't cook, stay the hell out of there. Where are the brown lunch bags? Oh, really, we threw them away? WE? Oh, we never used them? NO, WE used them every time your kid needs a lunch to go to school. WE totally used them. Sigh. But, alas, I love him. He's super adorbs. He's endlessly kind. But, if you are sitting there and saying you never once had your husband annoy the shit out of you, you are a filthy liar. And YOU KNOW IT! In fact, I have a meme for that:

So, anyway, I'd better get back to World War 3 because being kind and loving really pisses teenagers off. And, that's what me and Z decided we were going to do, just be there and love, and wait for her to come back around. 

I'll leave you with a funny Harper story. I was getting dressed to go to the store and Harper asked me why I was wearing a seat belt. Apparently a bra looks a lot like a seat belt. Then she wanted a seat belt of her own and was prancing around wearing a seat belt proudly. I love my daughter so, so much!

Friday, March 22, 2013

The one where you learn children must go outside.

So, seriously, I hate Missouri weather right now. First off, for the past couple of days it's been deceivingly sunny outside. All of the kids think we are mean torturers who are punishing them because we don't let them outside when it's sunny which they equate to hot. It's been in the 20's which means we can't take the kiddos outside. Like, legally, we can't. Because they will freeze their little tushies off. But, the thing is that when these kids don't go outside, they act insane. I am exhausted, because turns out our little flu that we thought we had was actually Fifth Disease. Harper looks like somebody done pimp slapped her little face. My poor little girl. And I guess I didn't get the luck of having ye ol' parvovirus as a child, so now I have it. So, I've been running a low grade fever and have some majorly achy joints and bones and nausea. So, I'm already a crab. But, these children are driving me nuts. They can't run around inside without hurting themselves, but they can't release all their pent up crazy energy because they can't go outside. AAAAHHHH!!! I just want to curl up in a little ball and go to sleep. Heck of it is, they'd just wake me up. ;o)

Life stinks. In other news, we will be moving soon next door to the daycare. My dad owns a trailer next to there and when the house gets foreclosed upon we'll be going there. Happy to know we won't be homeless, but sad to know we won't be living in our house anymore in a few months. We really grew attached to it and thought it would be our house for awhile. Grin and bear it, huh? It's easier to say home is what you make it then to actually feel that way.

Funny kid quote for the day, sitting at lunch one of the little girls was telling me an awesome story, "So, my grandma lets me drink soda, but I have to keep it a secret from my mom and dad because it is our little secret! Once upon a time, a beautiful calm little girl drank SODA from her grandma and it was a secret!" Haha, the girl is a firecracker. So frickin' funny.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The one where we learn about my obsession with vacation and contests.

So, when I was a kid, things were weird. Like, super weird. Like I never left the state of Missouri (besides Illinois) until I was 23. My dad ran his own business and he couldn't ever leave it or chose not to. So, as a kid, we never got to take any vacations anywhere. I always hated everyone who would come back from summer vacation and they had gone to Disney World or Florida, or ANYWHERE at all. It was always a really big upset for me to never get to go anywhere or do anything.

So, when I grew up and started making real money, the first thing I wanted to do was GET THE HECKFIRE OUT OF HERE. So, my sister and I road tripped it to Florida to see Universal Studios, Sea World, Busch Gardens, and the ocean. Needless to say, my little mind was blown and I knew that when I had kids, I would always take them somewhere and never deprive them of the world. When my stepdaughter was 9 going on 10, we road tripped to Florida with my mother in law, me, and my husband. That trip was the trip from fricking hell. But, that is a different story. The year we had Harper we didn't go anywhere because things were too crazy. Last year we went to Kansas City. And in only 34 sweet days we are all going to San Diego. This will be the furthest west my husband has ever been and my first time ever in that direction at all. Also, Harp's first time on a plane. We are going to the San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, and Sea World. I'm super stoked to see another ocean, too. Plus, it's supposedly constantly gorgeous. I am so overly excited for vacation I can hardly stand it! 

I digress, so with my weird obsession with showing my kids the world also comes this crazy, crazy obsession with taking Harper to Disney World when she is still little. But, Disney World is expensive. Like, if I sold my kidney I wouldn't have enough to pay for it expensive. Like, I may have to surrogate a child to pay for it expensive. So, a few months ago, I started entering Disney contests. Like a lot of them, like every single day like a slightly crazy person. You may laugh, but I've won runner up before. I got 50 sweet free Amazon dollars. I bought my new luggage set with it. Luggage I'm going to take with me when I win my Disney World trip bitches. I'd like to say that I have a lot of free time where I can't really do anything but use the computer quietly when I'm working during nap time. This is like 2 hours at least where I have to entertain myself, so maybe my crazy contest obsession isn't that big of a deal. But, I'm probably just rationalizing, because if I'm being honest, I enter them on the weekends, too. If you ever want to become crazy and try to win contests the best blogs for doing so are and

So, anyway, I'll leave you with a vacation countdown timer to look at with me and dream. And also, another reason why my job is AMAZING. We have a child that is completely non verbal and who started daycare to try and improve his speech. I've been working with him a lot on words. Today he said, "Fish" and "Bubble"! So, exciting! As Charlie Sheen aka the Warlock would say, "Winning!"

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The one where we rename 2013 "The Year of the Flu".

So, I don't even know how bad our luck is, or whatever, but right now Bajesus hates us. Like, super hates us. So, for Christmas this past year, Santa got us the stomach flu. And then for New Years, Bajesus got us the stomach flu. And then because my sister was having an anniversary in early February, he thought he'd be original and give us the stomach flu. And then Valentines Day rolled around and Bajesus sat around and he thought, hey, let's do something really crazy. And all of his little friends were like, you know who hasn't had the flu too much, the S. family. They frickin' love the flu. And so, he gave us some stomach flu.

So, when sweet innocent Harper woke up at midnight last night screaming, "WIPE ME OFF!" indicating to me that she had vomited EVERYWHERE, it was kind of surreal, because how is it even possible that one family could have the stomach flu not like once or twice, but five times. FIVE FRIGGIN' TIMES. I think this deserves a meme.

He was being especially cruel since we aren't over the 6ish week cold from heck fire. Seriously, if you ever have a wild hair and you decide, "Hey, I'm going to quit my reasonably ailment inflicted office job that even with stale, recirculated air still only sees me out 2 or 3 times a year and start a business full of tiny people who have no regard for germs", just be informed beforehand that a daycare is what people in the biological warfare business like to call a HOT ZONE. This means that everything you touch is contaminated. You will constantly be sick because no matter how many times you wash your hands or sanitize, these children will SPIT IN YOUR MOUTH. They will rub snot on you. You will be cleaning up fecal matter and urine all day. Daycare work, not for germ-a-phobes. Children are little, sweet typhoid MARYS! End rant. 

I'll leave you with my funny quote for the day. I always ask the kids how they get so big when I change their diapers because I always pretend they are really heavy when I lift them on the changing table, and one of the boys today said, "BECAUSE I EAT MEEEAAAATTTTTT!" Haha. Kids. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The one where you learn the cost of the dream.

I'm not ashamed to admit that living my dream has cost my family everything. So, when last night my husband and I were trying to figure out where we were going to live after the house is foreclosed on, which is impending swiftly, and we set out a budget, I wasn't overly surprised that we just don't have enough to afford, well, anything. We are living on a nearly nonexistent budget. We have cut corners everywhere. And, we still have maybe $300 left for paying for a home. When I saw this picture, it really embodied my feelings.

That's right, at minimum wage, basically half of your pay for the month is spent to even be able to afford rent on a two bedroom apartment. I make $100 a week right now. This is basically nothing. I work 70 hours a week and make a little over a dollar an hour. This is all out of my own choosing, but doesn't mean that I don't struggle constantly with the position I've put my family in. My husband wouldn't want me putting up his salary, but I will tell you that it is less than double minimum wage. So basically, we are raising a family of 4 on   nothing. And America wants you to live the dream, but you pull yourself up by your boot straps and you do it on your own.

And all I can do is hope and hope that my daycare will continue to be successful so that we can afford somewhere to live when the time comes and we lose our other American dream of owning our own  house. So tough.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The one where I quit my job.

Welcome one and all to my blog. I am a 27 year old wife, mom to a baby girl, step mom to a teenager, and a daycare owner. I live in rural Missouri.

I used to be the big bread winner in our house, an office manager for a big DWI law firm which other than a lot of funny stories and really good money, really made me unhappy. So, one day, I decided to quit. This is how the conversation went with my husband. Keep in mind that this is a dramatization.

I quit and completely changed everything in my entire life. I decided to work with kids (my daughter was about a year old). It has been a huge struggle to make my dream happen. I work with my sister, my best friend in this world, and I get to see my daughter everyday. I get to help raise other people's kids, too. It is
never boring, that is for sure. We have 17 kiddos, 13 boys and 4 girls. That really makes it interesting.

My husband went from never paying bills before in his life to being Mr. Mom. He worries about breakfasts, getting our baby ready to go in the morning, bills, laundry, dishes, pretty much everything, while I work 70 hours a week living the American dream. The American dream has cost us everything and gained us everything, too. We went from living comfortably to constantly scraping by. We put all of our eggs into this daycare's basket and we are really learning to adjust to a whole different life style. I went from being completely miserable to complete fulfillment. It has changed my core. I will leave you all with that.

May is Mental Health Month - Spiritual Guides that are helping my journey

May is Mental Health Month. I am dedicating the majority of my posts in May to discussing mental health. It is so important that we keep an ...