Old photos bring happiness and sadness


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I have been working on a photo project lately. I need to find 4 old photos and 4 new photos of each of my kids.

One of my kids (my middle child) I don’t have any photos of him as an infant. He joined us when he was a toddler. That pains me, as my other 2 kids have beautiful baby photos for this project.

I love looking at photos of my kids, and remembering them as smaller kids.

But I do not like looking at photos of myself.

Prior to my youngest son joining us, I was in the best shape of my adult life. I was at an ideal weight, and fit. I looked…dare I say it…good.

Then, 2 foster care adoptions worth of stress eating, along with my father’s dragged out death…and I now need to lose nearly 30 pounds.

I am sad.

But, I do love looking at the photos of the kids. I swear I could wallpaper the house with them…


School safety and Mom guilt


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School shootings scare me to my core.

Everyone thinks it won’t happen at their school, in their town.

At this point, school shootings happen almost every day. It is unfathomable. It is so common that we don’t even hear about all of them.

Every day I leave my kids at school, I feel panicky. I feel anxious. I feel scared. I tell them they need to go to school…but do they? At what point does the risk out weigh the benefits? Should I home school?


Forgotten again


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My mother…

She makes me crazy.

I try, I am not sure why. She continues to hurt me again and again.

She once again forgot my youngest kiddos birthday. She will declare she is “the best grandma,” yet she forgets their birthday.

She has forgotten my older son’s birthday too…and I am sure she will this year too.

I didn’t even say anything this time. I don’t want to hear her excuses.

She has never forgotten any other grandkid except my 2 boys.


I have to assume it is because they joined us through adoption, and so somehow they don’t register with her the same. She can deny it…but her actions speak louder than her words.

Similarly, all 3 of my kids get little recognition from another set of grandparents. They at least remember…but a card with a dollar, or a stick of gum (yes…they have been known to put a single stick of gum in the card), isn’t quite what the other grandkids get on their birthdays.

I guess it is just hurtful. I am glad my kids haven’t realized how shitty the situation is yet…but I won’t make excuses when they do.

Sometimes people exhaust me. Truly. I wish I didn’t let them hurt me, but they do.

(Potty) accidents happen


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I peed myself. This post isn’t about one of my kids having an accident. It is about ME, a grown woman, peeing her pants.

I am not talking about the little trickle of pee when you sneeze after birthing children. I am talking about actual wet pants.

So, here is the story:

I am trying to be vigilant about hydration. I had a 12 oz cup of water, along with a cold coffee within the hour. I then decided to take my kids to a park to play.

Yes, I peed prior to leaving. Dang it all.

But, I also brought a bottle of water along for the walk. Most of it I guzzled down at the park.

My youngest had decided to practice riding his bike. He biked to the park without incident, and did an awesome job.

After about 40 min at the park, I was feeling all that liquid intake. I was ready to head home, and so were the kids.

The trip home included an area of down hill biking for my little guy. He is still getting familiar with his bike, and was scared. I explained he would just coast down the hill, and apply brakes to slow down (pedal backward) and stop.

Oh, foolish me.

We start down the hill. I am quickly left behind as my little guy forgets how to brake in his panic of the fast hill.

I find myself running after him to stop him. And, as I run, I feel the pee start to leak. More than a few drops…like, enough pee that it could be noticed.

But, I cannot stop! I must save my screaming child!! Just as I reach him, he brakes! I feel like one of those football players, trying to stop my full sprint momentum but it is too late, and a flag will be thrown. I tried to jump over my son on his bike as he came to a halt in front of my sprinting mom downhill pee run. Instead, we both crashed to the ground.

Thankfully, the only injury was my pride as I realized I had just peed myself.

Thankfully, I had on black pants and a longer shirt. Nobody knew what had happened, except me (and later my husband since I had to tell someone this hilariously embarrassing story).

And now my kid is afraid of his bike, again. And I need to take some core workout classes, cuz clearly I need them.

The end.

Houseguests and playdates


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I don’t like entertaining people. I will never have a home with spaces designed for entertaining guests. I do not like having to remember to offer a drink or a snack and playing hostess. I feel like if I have allowed you in, you should feel comfortable enough to get a drink if you are thirsty. Or, at the very least ask if you want me to get it. But please, don’t sit there wanting something and waiting because I didn’t read your mind and offer.

Here is another dilemma with guests…

What is the polite way to ask them to leave?

This is awkward. I don’t enjoy guests very much mostly because of this.

If I schedule a playdate for 1pm and say “after lunch” that means I won’t be making lunch for everyone. I will expect to provide just a snack. I would also expect that unless prior arrangements werr made, you would take your child home before supper time. Because a few hours can feel like days…and I certainly do not plan a playdate to purposefully last 7 hours. I don’t want to scramble to make food for extra people because 4 hrs into the playdate, I am STILL entertaining.

Which brings me back to this:

How do you ask people to leave??!!

Guests…I have kids. Kids need to be in bed on time if I want the next day to be a good one. This is even more important on a school night.

Please, if it is getting late, go home! If I begin having kids change into pj’s, you need to take the hint and go home.

Friends, I try to be friendly, and understand. However, I just cannot. If I am dropping hints left and right that you need to get moving, and you aren’t picking up on them, I am at a loss.

My anxiety will not allow me to say, “For fucks sake man, it is time for you to go!” even though I am screaming it in my mind.

Instead, I smile and pretend I am ok.

Socializing is exhausting for me. It hasn’t always been this way. But, things change…and this is how it is now.

Anxiety means I crave interaction and friends. It also means this exhausts me and I regret the plans when it is time.

I also hate entertaining because my home is…mine.

For many years we did foster care. It is truly like living in a glass house. You are judged constantly, and have no choice but to allow people into your home.

Now that I am done with that part of my life, I really want my space to be…mine. Allowing people in is hard for me.

I also do not trust people with my kids. This means most of the time my kids want to play with friends I try to arrange a meeting place. A park in nice weather, or an indoor playland. It also means sometimes I schedule playdates at my house. Sigh. My anxiety will not allow me to leave my kids at your house. And, I won’t invite myself to stay…so my house it is.

So, with all of this said, how do you politely ask someone to leave??!!

Humanity failed me


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My son has been battling some stomach issues. That said, I thought he was ok the other day and we headed to a mall to make a Build-a-bear. His birthay is coming up, and we had a few coupons.

He seemed pretty calm for a kid in Build-a-bear…and I realized he wasn’t feeling well pretty quickly. He said he needed to use the bathroom, so we headed to the nearest facilities, which were in a Target.

My little boy was kinda mad we had to go into the girls bathroom. At this age, he feels it is taboo going in there. But, daddy was still paying at the other store for the bears, and mommy was the one taking him in. The ladies room was BUSY. When I got my boy in a stall, he proceeded to cry and cry. Howl. Even screaming, “Help me please!!” And, “it hurts!!”

You see, his stomach issues are now producing excess gas…but he thinks he needs to poop everytime he gets the gas pains. He tries and tries, but nothing happens.

I have been laying him on the floir at home, and bicycling his legs like I would a baby (he is 5) to help get the gas out. Assuring him if he accidentally poops on the floor he will not be in any trouble.

But, in Target, with his panicked screaming, I wasn’t going to put him on the floor. I tried calming him. It took me about 40 min to reason with my panicked child and get him off the toilet in the public bathroom to go home to some privacy.

But do you know why humanity failed?

Not one person in and out of that very busy restroom asked what was going on or if my son needed help.

He was screaming, “help me!” Nobody addressed it! Nobody even asked!

What if I had been a stranger with a stolen child hurting him in the bathroom??

Nobody asked if he was ok.

At first his screams made me a bit embarrassed. But, I just wanted to help him, and didn’t care if he wad loud. Then, after some time passed, I realized nobody seemed to care, and I felt angry.

We need to stop worrying about offending other parents. We need to help each other out with less judgement.

When you see or hear a situation…offer kindness and help.

Had someone asked, I would have explained, “sorry, my son is feeling constipated and has a stomach ache…”

But nobody asked!

Security should have been there, checking if there was a situation. It would have been embarrassing, bit at least humanity would be looking out for each other.

Lockdowns continue


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Last week, there were some reports that a nearby school had received threats. School and police officials called it rumors, and said added police presence would happen for the day in question. But, they said things were safe, and it would be a normal school day.

The morning of the threat arrived. Before school began, there were reports of hearing gunshots near the building. There was a lockdown, and buses of kids headed for school were sent to neighboring districts.

Our school, 5 minutes away, carried on the day as usual. There was a call to parents, assuring no danger but giving the option of keeping kids home if we felt the need (thanks for your permission-sarcastic voice).

Other districts, further than ours, had lockdowns. A local college cancelled class and activities due to local threats in the area. It wasn’t even their school, yet it was too close for comfort, and safety should come first.

I am feeling disgusted that my district barely acknowledged what happened.

Today, the first day back after this happened, I almost had a panic attack as I got my kids ready for school. I took extra anxiety meds to prevent the breakdown I felt coming on.

I have begun looking at other districts. But, will things feel safer there? I just don’t know. I am seriously considering homeschooling.

Stay safe.

Not celebrating St. Patrick’s Day


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This is the anniversary of the last time I heard my father’s voice. The last time I heard his nervous laughter. The last time we said I love you.

He went to surgery, had complications, but survived. I was shocked…I truly didn’t think he would make it thru the surgery. But, in a cruel twist if fate, I would watch him suffer a full month before losing him.

He had a few moments of consciousness. A few times we could communicate with small nods or eye blinks. His lungs never were able to support him on their own, and the tube never left his airway.

Most of the time he was in a medically induced coma. He had many procedures. It felt like we were torturing him to death, and I couldn’t take it. A doctor finally said he could not recover after he aspirated stomach acid while getting a procedure for a feeding tube. We ended the life saving care, and he slipped away within 3 minutes.

I woke today feeling heavy. I wish I could go back and have another conversation. I wish my mother hadn’t been making jokes about death before he was taken to surgery. I wish I had taken a moment alone with him, and given him a bigger hug.

I was scared. He was too. It was hard.

Today, I wanted to stay in bed. But, I am a mom. I couldn’t.

My youngest woke feeling sick. After about an hour he started feeling better. We had a birthday party to attend. I was dreading it, feeling like I didn’t want to be with people today. My middle son was excited. My youngest also dreaded it…he has anxiety too. My college aged daughter is also home, and the whole family attended together.

My youngest wouldn’t play there. He stuck close. My middle son was a social butterfly. My husband chatted with former work buddies.

My little guy said he didn’t feel good after about 40 min. He wanted to go home. He felt constipated and wanted to use the home toilet.

When we got home he couldn’t go. He tried. He cried. He was exhausted, hid belly hurting. He fell asleep on me for about an hour. Unusual for my almost 6 yr old boy to nap…I knew I was in for a rough night.

When he woke, he felt awful. I tried a warm bath. Finally, as he squatted on the toilet seat with me helping him balance, he finally started to go…explosive poop with a whole lot of gas. He also peed. While squatting. With me holding him. So he peed directly on me. I was soaked. He was crying. I assured him I was NOT angry at all…that all messes can be cleaned up.

He is finally feeling better. He is smiling and playing.

I am exhausted. Mentally and physically. The day has been hard.

Seeing your child in pain is brutal. It was a long afternoon of his crying and screaming in pain.

The weight of the day was already taking a toll before dealing with my son not feeling well. All of this together, and I am beyond exhausted.

Life for me right now is good. That doesn’t mean I won’t have hard days though. Today was hard.

Things I learned from 5k kids


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The last few weeks I have learned a lot of fun things from the kindergarten class.

One boy explained how girls rule the world. “Girls have the babies. Withoit girls, there would be no babies, boys or girls. So that means girls rule the world!” Smart kid.

I learned a kid was sick with fever, and still sent to school cuz mom needs to work. Sad times for mom and kid. Being a working parent is hard.

I have learned more than one kindergarten student has their own smart phone, and sometimes they bring them to school.

I have learned some kids are watching horror movies, and sharing the plots with their friends. Many parents will be confused of their kids knowledge of Freddie, Jason, and Chucky.

I have learned that one kid was worried he had lice because his head wad itchy. I checked, thankfully he was lice free. He decided maybe he needed a shower.

I discovered some kindetgarten kids are already showering daily, while others do not.

I learned one kid had a “burning butt, like it was on fire” requiring his mom to apply cream. Kids at this age really don’t have filters!

I hear about parent fights.

I hear all kinds of crazy stories. Volunteering in 5k is a fun time.

Mom, wanna know what I worry about?


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“Mom, wanna know what I worry about?” Says my 5yo son as he eats dry frosted flakes, crunching.

“Of course! Maybe I can help!” Is my reply…thinking he is about to tell me something silly.

“I worry that our house will burn down. That is why every morning I bring my stuffy in the car with me to school. I am afraid the house will have a fire and he will burn.”

Omg. Not at all what I expected.

So, I thanked him for finally telling me this was bothering him. I finally understood why he would suddenly burst into tears if he walked out the door without his favorite stuffed toy, begging to get it before we drive to school.

I had no idea he was worried about this.

So, I won’t be irritated by the last minute request to get the stuffy. Now I understand his anxiety about leaving him behind.

I calmly started a chat with my cereal crunching boy, explaining we have dogs that would alert us to any danger, including fire. We also have smoke detectors. And, we reviewed the fire safety plan. I had him demonstrate how to open is bedroom window so he felt more comfortable. He remembered our designated meeting place. We discussed safety is more important than our things…even things that we might love. We talked about our pets, and how we try to leave them an escape, but that we can’t go back in the house if there is a fire.

Honestly, I probably wouldn’t be able to follow that rule.

His birthmom was burned pretty badly in a cooking fire. Her apartment had significant damage, and she had some 3rd degree burns and spent about a month in the hospital. She had to wear compression bandages for 2 yrs following the incident.

I don’t know if this is where his fear originates.

I do know I have the same fear. I always have. I grew up in an old house, and always feared fires.

Even now, I am a bit OCD about checking the stove before bedtime (even though it is electric and not gas).

I don’t think I passed me worries on to him…but I suppose it is possible.

I worry about his anxiety level at his young age. This worry, escalates MY anxiety level, and we are in a vicious cycle.