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Showing posts from 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 dru…

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 ju…

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 …

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

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 k…

The one where we start getting real.

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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 frick…

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

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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 o…

The one where I talk about my sister and iBaby.

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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 …

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

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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:





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…

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

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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 …

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

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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, …

The one where we talk about insurance.

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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 …

The one where I had a perfect day.

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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:








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…

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

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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 ju…

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 in…

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 fr…

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

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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.


The one where you learn the cost of the dream.

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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 sala…

The one where I quit my job.

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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 …