Monday, September 30, 2013

Happy Fall Everyone! 

I know that I haven't been blogging much but with three kids under the age of 9 all in activities and a job, things get a little hectic. 

This weekend on Sunday, we decided to celebrate my birthday since I work on Tuesday.   I have never been to an apple orchard and so we went and checked one out.  We had so much fun picking apples that we went a little overboard and picked about 27 pounds of them.    I have spent all day today and last night baking with apples. 

Last night I made some apple bread and it was delicious!   I wanted to share the recipe with all of my readers because it was just that good. 

1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Shortening
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Cups of Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups of Apples, Chopped and Pared  (I used my Pampered Chef Chopper)
1/2 Cup of Chopped Walnuts
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon

-Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour loaf pan
-Cream together the 1 cup of sugar, shortening, eggs and vanilla.
-Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until smooth
-Stir in apples and nuts; spread in pan
-Mix the 1 tablespoon sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over batter
-Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes.
-Immediately remove from pan; cool bread completely before slicing

Monday, July 29, 2013

I realize that I haven't blogged about The Beast recently and since my blog is about The Beast I should probably do so right?   

This adorable photo was taken at the park one day.  This is basically my life.   Beast went up to the top of the slide and was so irate that nobody would go down with him that he sat at the top of it like this forever.   It was so embarrassing because he wouldn't let any of the other kids by and wouldn't respond to anything I did or said.  I was not about to climb up there myself to get him so I let him pout like that until he finally decided to come down. 

Just this week, I took the boys to the store to shop for school supplies for my middle son.   He was so excited because it's first grade, so this is the big time.   He had to carefully choose his backpack, which was Lego Chima and since Beast is going to start Pre School in the fall, a year early, I though that he should get to pick out a backpack too.  They had so many different ones to choose from that I thought Beast would easily pick Ninja Turtles or Batman.  But no, he had to have the same backpack as Jackson.  I could see Jackson cringing so I told Beast that he couldn't have that one, he had to pick out his own.   You would have thought I took away his blanket or paci or commit suicide right in front of him.....holy meltdown with screaming, crying and thrashing around.   Can we say embarrassing?   I let him just have his fit as we got the rest of Jackson's school supplies.   Finally, as we were picking out a new lunchbox, Beast saw one he loved and wanted to have it.   There was a matching backpack to the lunch box he picked out, Despicable Me so I told him we could go and get that one.  He was all for it, even acting excited.  We picked out the matching backpack and he finally calmed down.   We start heading up to the cashier to pay and halfway there, he takes his new backpack and lunch box and pitches them out the side of the cart and informs me he doesn't want them anymore.  He wants to Lego one.    At that moment, I was done.  I put those ones away and said that I was done, he gets nothing, we went up to the front and paid.  The entire time he is screaming his bloody head off and crying causing a giant scene while everyone looks at me.  

As I write this, Beast just informed me that I should probably "Soap out his mouth"  (Disclaimer: I have never done that to him nor threatened to do that to him so I have no idea why he would ever say it)  I asked him "Why would I do that Beast?"   He then looks at me and says "Because I'm going to be a bad boy"   Sigh. 

Preschool can't come soon enough - three delightful afternoons a week.   

Monday, December 31, 2012

Things I've Learned in 2012

I haven't blogged in a long time, I actually haven't blogged as much as I would have liked to this year but I had a rough year.   This blog isn't going to be so much about the Beast as it is about myself and what I have learned in the past year.

Side not:  If you want to keep up with The Beast, I created a Facebook page for him called The Beast - go ahead and "like" it and you will get to see his latest shenanigans.

Things I've learned in 2012

*To let people and things go; This one I have learned more recently.  I had a family member who my entire life has been outright verbally abusive towards me and anything that I do.   They once told me that they were shocked my daughter was such a good kid because I am her mother and they couldn't believe how down to earth and fun to be around she is.  Nice hey?   This person also has told me throughout my entire life that I am fat, stupid and a spoiled brat.   Keep in mind, this is someone that is a very close member of family so for all of these years, it's just been too hard to cut them off.   This year, I had enough. The final straw was when I was really proud of something I have accomplished and every time I would post something about it, he would post something negative or snarky about how awful my personality was.  I realized that it is way better for me to just let this person go and cut them off completely than to keep the peace in the family and continue to put up with the abuse.  

*I can do anything I put my mind to;  This year, I took a look in the  mirror one day and was completely disgusted by what I saw.   I had gained a lot of weight over the years and it was time to get rid of it.   However, for so many years, I just never thought I could actually do it.   It seemed just too overwhelming to me.   Plus, I had discovered by seeing a therapist that I was afraid to lose the weight and be considered "pretty" again because in the past, every time I felt that I was "pretty" or "beautiful", something negative happened to me. I won't go into the details of what those events were because I'd rather keep them private but they were significant enough to really leave an impact of how I thought about myself.   It was just easier to be ugly and overweight.   I am happy to say that since September, I have lost over 40 pounds.  I am down 4 pants sizes, 4 notches on my belt and 1-2 shirt sizes.   It feels pretty amazing.

*Mommy Groups are not for me; I have always thought that it was important to have a lot of friends but I have found out that is not the case.   In the past, I have joined a couple different groups of women and have come to the conclusion that these "Mommy Groups" are just not for me.  I am ok with that but I really struggled at first.   I don't want to offend anyone by saying this but MY experience with those groups just go to show how judgmental and downright mean those women are.  I am not your typical stay at home, soccer mom.   I would prefer to work and interact with other adults where we don't have to sit and talk about our children the entire time.   I can easily leave my child(ren) with a babysitter or daycare and go off and have some time to myself without feeling guilty about it.  I also love to go out and have a few cocktails and have a good time.   The groups that I have found and have been a part of are absolutely the opposite of me and have been the type that try and make others feel bad so they can feel better about themselves and I just don't agree with that.

*I am important too; I have always sacrificed time to myself for my family and because of that, I have always felt unimportant and taken advantage of.  It made me bitter.   This year, I took a lot of time to myself and I still do and I think that I am a much happier person because of it.  I have also just kept my mouth shut (shocking I know) and kept the peace many times in relationships but this year I learned how to stand up for myself.   It caused a rough road for awhile, but in the end it was the best thing that I could have done.

*Friends mean everything;  It is definitely not about quantity when it comes to friends, it is quality and let me tell you, I have some quality friends.  It's just too bad that I am in Minneapolis and most of them are in Michigan.   But, I try to see them as often as I can and luckily I got to spent a lot of time with them this summer.  It really made our bonds stronger and I am so lucky to have them.   There are some that are even further away (you know who you are) that also mean the world to me and I am so fortunate to have people like that in my life, who always have my back and are always there for me.

*You learn who your friends are;  When your road gets rocky and things get hard, you really do learn who your real friends are.  They are the people who continue to check up on you after they know you are having a hard time and the ones who kick you in the ass when you need it but don't want it.   They are the ones who listen to you complain over and over and over and over about the same thing until the one day you realize what they have realized all along.   They are the ones who don't get bored with your "drama" and stick it out with you and aren't just in it to get all the juicy details.

*Competitive Dance/People are not for me;  I can be a competitive person but I do not go overboard.   We tried out the dance world for one year and that was enough for me and for my diva.   It is amazing to me, how crazy these people are over dance for girls at such a young age.   Let's be realistic here, even if your child is a fantastic dancer, the chances of them becoming a professional dancer are slim.   It is also so incredibly expensive.  I know people who have gone through a foreclosure and filed bankruptcy but refuse to take their child out of dance and pay for them to do solo's.   Most of the "Dance Mom's" are the type who will kiss ass because they think it will help make their child a better dancer in the eyes of the teacher and this is something that I refuse to do.  I want my child to succeed on their own, not because I suck up to their teacher.  What kind of message is that sending?  We were lucky and Olivia decided on her own that it was just not fun and wanted out after the first year.  My anxiety cannot handle most of those people.

*Only you can make you happy; This one is pretty self explanatory.

*Do not be afraid of change; This is by far the hardest one for me.  I despise change and I do not handle it well at all.  I need to take "happy pills" if I am dealing with any kind of change because my anxiety does not like it.   I hate change so much, that I am that person who never rearranges my furniture and I only work out at one gym because going to a different one stresses me out so much.   I know, I am crazy, I admit it.  I stood up to the possibility of a huge change in my life and I handled it ok, I think.  (My friends might beg to  Sometimes, change can be a great thing although it is hard in the beginning.

*It is ok to ask for help and admit to people that you are floundering;  This one is hard for me too.  I don't like to burden other people with my problems or make it look like things are not going well.   I don't ask for help much and when I do, it takes a lot.   I am always amazed at those people who will come right out and ask you for something that they need; like a babysitter or to borrow money.  I was going through a very personal struggle this year and couldn't work through it alone.  I went to a therapist for a few months and was amazed at the things I learned.   Because of those things, I was able to work through my problem and things are going pretty good for me right now.   Maybe because of that, I will be more open to ask for help in the future. 

*Temporary Insanity is a real thing;  ; )

*Life is short; Have fun; I would hope that this wouldn't need too much explanation.   Life is way too short to spend it upset or bored.   Everyone needs to have a lot of fun.   No matter what that means to you; if it's staying at home with your family watching a movie or going out with your friends and getting into some innocent trouble, fun is so important.  Life is too short to be so serious.

On that note, I want to wish all of my family and friends and anyone else who reads my blog a very Happy New Year!!   I wish you nothing but happiness and hope to have a lot of good times with everyone in the next year.   Please be safe tonight.  I am staying in and probably going to bed early since I volunteered to work all day tomorrow.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Taking the Next Step

It's been awhile since I've blogged but I've been going through some stuff so I have kind of put it on the back burner.

Awhile ago, we had a meeting with The Beast's Early Intervention Teacher, his Speech Therapist and his Occupational Therapist to see where he was at.   He is actually doing amazing right now and has pretty much caught up with everything and is speaking at the rate of an older three year old and he is not even three yet.  So, we decided to drop the speech therapist because why make her waste her time with him when she could be helping kids who really need it.    We have made a lot of progress lately, this summer we were able to get rid of the pacifier and then in the last few weeks we have gotten rid of his bottles and his crib.    This went way easier than I thought it would so I was grateful for that.   Shortly after he was done with his bottles, I went up into his bedroom to check on him while he was sleeping and he had a pacifier in his mouth.   So, basically, he has been hiding a pacifier somewhere waiting for just the right time to pull it out.   I guess I don't mind because he doesn't use it nearly as much as he did.   He even went to grandma's house for three days without it and was fine.   I'm going to pick my battles.  

Our last major battle is potty training.   By this age both of the other kids were fully day and night trained and The Beast absolutely refuses to even try.    He has yet to even accidentally go in the potty chair.  He is so strong willed that there is no reasoning with him, I have tried everything; letting him pick out his own underwear (he chose lego batman like his brother), let  him pick out his own potty chair (a Cars one with a gear shift that makes noise) and I have even assembled a treat basket so when he actually uses the potty, he gets a treat.    The kids literally screams like I am killing him if I even try to put underwear on him.   If I put him on the potty, he does everything except sit still to actually try and go  potty.   It's so frustrating and I am so tired of diapers.    He will purposely hide when he poops in his diaper because he doesn't want me to change it.    It's disgusting and he has such sensitive skin that he ends up in a rash all of the time.   They don't make the only diaper he isn't allergic to in a size 6 so the poor kid always has a rash.

Anyway, at this meeting with the other teachers, we decided to bring in a therapist.   Our school district has a new grant for 0-3 year and they wanted me to try it.   A therapist will see The Beast in three different settings; our home, her office and one other place (maybe daycare?) and evaluate him to see if there are any issues that she can formally diagnose.   I told her that my hunch are any of the following: Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD or Anxiety. 

It's not that I want him to have something wrong with him, it's not that at all.   I know he's doing well but there is just something about the way he acts that I don't know how to handle.   The reason I am bringing in the therapist is because he will not qualify for Early Intervention in January when he turns 3.    He is doing too well with his milestones to qualify.    But, I am worried that once he gets into school he is going to struggle and if he isn't in Early Intervention, it will be like jumping through hoops to get him any extra help.  If he is already enrolled in the program, he will always automatically have the help he needs right there in the school.   I am of course hoping that he doesn't need the extra help, but it's good to know that he automatically has it if he needs it.    He will also be able to start preschool next year in the 4 year old class, even though he is 3, because his EI teacher is in that classroom and she would take responsibility for him. 

Overall, I think this is a good thing and I am happy with my decision although family questions it.   They seem to think that I want something to be wrong with him and it's not that it all.    If there is something going on, I would love to find out so we can address it and simply move on.   It is always hanging out in the back of my mind and this will maybe put me at ease. 

So, I am curious to see how it goes today and hoping that it goes well.   The Beast will be on his best behavior I'm sure, just to make me look like I am a crazy person, that's what he does : )

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a mood disorder that is characterized by multiple and/or nonspecific worries that interfere with the person's life in some way.

This is something that I struggle with and it really sucks.   I know that it's common and many people out there have it but it is so embarrassing.   It effects everything and a lot of the time I try to deal with it on my own without the help of prescription medications because the side effects just aren't fun.   I think that I have probably struggled with this my entire life but just didn't know it  until I had Jackson.

I remember the day that I really knew something was wrong.   Jackson was still little and I was having a rough time at work.  I was a foreclosure counselor for a non profit organization and I loved my job.  It gave me a purpose in life and I felt like I was really doing something good with my time and it was very fulfilling.   A local company had a HUGE lay off because it was right when the economy started to tank.   At the time I lived in a very small town so the majority of the people who were calling me for help,  I just couldn't help and I knew a lot of them.    At the time, a mortgage company wouldn't work with you if you were only receiving unemployment as an income because it wasn't considered "steady and reliable".   I was getting so many calls from people that I couldn't help, we had just moved out of our house into a rental house and I had these two children at home.   I was just so overwhelmed that I had a mini break down.   I haven't told a whole lot of people about this and it was three or four years ago.   Anyway, I remember waking up one morning and just thinking to myself, if I don't go to the dr, I am going to pack a bag and just leave.   So, I called the dr and got in immediately.

I was diagnosed with GAD and actually went to therapy a few times plus was prescribed anti anxiety medication.  I was also ordered to take 2 weeks off of work and to just lay low and try to relax and keep stress out of my life.    Eventually, I was able to get myself on a medication that worked for me and was doing great and then I got pregnant with The Beast.   I had to cut my medication out cold turkey and that was hell.

Since I had The Beast, I haven't gone back on my meds and lately I have been feeling like it just might be time again.  I am finding myself very overwhelmed by the littlest things and I worry nonstop about everything.  I wanted to write this blog because I find the whole topic to be very embarrassing to admit and I need to stop doing that.   It's not something I can control.  I am also using this as a little bit of an education to those who may be struggling and don't even know it.  

Some of my specifics include:
 restlessness or feeling edgy
 becoming tired easily
 trouble concentrating
 feeling as if the mind is going "blank"
 sleep problems (trouble falling or staying asleep or having sleep that is not restful).
 Re-experiencing the trauma in repeated nightmares or flashbacks
 Difficulty trusting others
 fear of losing control
 numbness or tingling sensations

There are so many more symptoms out there but those are just some of mine.   I know that I need to go in and talk to the dr, it's just finding the time now that it's summer vacation, I have three kids at home and my husband is traveling.   That is a lot of the problem, not having the time to myself to ever do anything, I think it intensifies my symptoms. 

Anyway, if you read this, thanks for listening and letting me get it off of my shoulders.  Sometimes that helps the most.  I think that after reading this, some people might understand me a little bit better and know why I am the way I am.   I think that I get misread a lot of times and it's because of these "issues".  But, it's not exactly something you want to break out in conversation when you first are getting to know someone new. 

Does anyone else suffer from anxiety?  What do you do to help "deal" with it? 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Apparently I should "Seek Therapy"

So a week or so ago, I was at a place (I will not mention where, last time I did I got in trouble) and at that place were a bunch of moms sitting around a table waiting for our children to do something.    While we were sitting there, we were talking and laughing and telling stories about kids.  Well I got started telling stories about The Beast and how delightful he makes our life because it's always something.    I was saying how exhausting he is and we were all laughing and having a good time because everyone knew I still love him but get frustrated with him.   Then, out of the blue, one of the other moms looks at me and says "Maybe you should see a therapist".  The whole table got silent.  I was thinking in my head, seriously?  did she really just say that out loud to me? I didn't want to make the whole table feel uncomfortable but I had to say something.  I told her "Well gee, thank you, that was a pretty offensive statement to make" and then laughed it off.  I honestly don't think she meant it in a really bad way and then she could see I was upset and she tried to say how she would never be able to deal with a child like that because her children were so perfect.  (Yeah, like that makes me feel any better).   But all I could think is "Who says that to someone?"  There is nothing wrong with seeking therapy and believe me, some days I have seriously considered it, but that is such a personal thing to say to someone, especially someone you barely know. 

What is wrong with people today?  I am not perfect by any means and I'm sure I have said things that hurt other people but never really on purpose (unless they deserve it) but I also know not to say things like that to someone I don't really know.

I am currently dealing with a situation that is similar.  Some people and I have a private message on Facebook where we discuss dance related issues and the show "dance moms" that we don't want to share on our wall.   Two of us had competition this weekend and our daughters all did fantastic and won high scores and awards.  We were telling each other about it and most of us were so happy for each other but then of course you have one person in the group who is jealous or bitter or just plain mean.   They come on and make a comment about how their child never wins any awards but they are also the studio that doesn't go around inappropriately shaking their booty and gyrating all over the place so she is ok with that.  WTF?  Seriously?   You cannot just be happy for our children, you have to insinuate that our children are inappropriate.   I don't just understand people.   (For the record, I know that I didn't take what she said wrong because two other people took it the same way as me and this person is known to be a "I have to top everyone and I have a story to top yours, the world revolves around me, etc".)

I just get so frustrated because I am not afraid to stand up to those people instead of just talk about them behind their backs.   I really wish more people would do that, honestly, it makes life so much easier sometimes.  It's ok for someone to not love every single thing you say and it's ok if you make someone upset on occasion, it doesn't make you a bitch (like it apparently makes me).   I know conflict is hard by writing this blog I am not trying to hurt anyone's feelings, just venting a frustration aimed at the people who say the "rude comments" in the first place. 

I don't know, maybe I do need therapy?   LOL

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Is It My Fault?

This is probably one of the hardest blog entries that I am going to write.  As a mother, you want to think that you have done everything that you possibly can to make sure that your children are happy and healthy. 

This weekend was really a rough one with The Beast and how he was acting.  He was extremely irritable, cranky, mean and just plain no fun to be around.  I'm sure a lot of it has to do with the fact that we are working on taking the pacifier away from him.    (Because of his sensory issues, he has a strong oral fixation)   Anyway, we had it completely taken away and he was doing alright but then he found one in his toys and popped it into his mouth and it's like it made him even more angry because  he realized what he was missing.    We tried to run errands on Sunday and it was miserable. 

Before I get into the main reason of the blog, I have a little back story.   Right before I found out I was pregnant with The Beast, I went to Las Vegas with some girlfriends from Saturday thru Tuesday.   I took a pregnancy test before I went just because I wanted to be certain that I could party and have a good time.  I was on birth control and we certainly weren't trying to have another baby so I got the green light when the test came back negative.   Anyway, I drank the entire weekend and didn't take a break until Tuesday morning when I had to fly home.   We went to night clubs, we walked the strip and spent the entire weekend pretty much drunk.  A couple of weeks later, I went to a friend's house for the day with the kids and when I got home I had a terrible upset stomach.  The only time that I throw up is when I am pregnant.   It turns out I was pregnant, about 7 or 8 weeks pregnant which meant The Beast was literally "forming" while I was in Las Vegas.   When I found out, I called the dr immediately and was honest with them about everything.  They didn't seem too concerned and were more worried about my anti-anxiety meds I was taking and made me go off of those cold turkey. 

Anyway, I always joke around with people and say that The Beast is the way he is because I spent the time he was "forming" in my belly drunk.  Just for the heck of it, we decided to look it up: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Effect and look what I found:   Honestly, it makes me want to cry.
-Low Birth Weight
-Small Head Circumference
-Developmental Delays
-Learning difficulties, including poor memory, inability to understand concepts such as time and money, poor language comprehension, poor problem-solving skills

Here's the biggie:
- behavioral problems, including hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, social withdrawal, stubbornness, impulsiveness, and anxiety

That describes The Beast to a "T"....Behavioral Problems, Inability to Concentrate, Stubbornness, Impulsiveness......We also think he struggles with anxiety.

Really there isn't much we can do about it and I certainly didn't drink while pregnant on purpose, I had absolutely NO clue that there was even a possibility that I could be pregnant.   I am humiliated and embarrassed to even bring it up but I cannot help but wonder,  Is it my fault?