Like changes on the autumn breezes

20131029-081125.jpgWe used to do leaf pile pictures every year.  It’s a tradition.  It’s been a forced tradition the last two years as my oldest became a full teen and found it very uncool.  I guess I don’t blame her, but I still wish I could sit in a pile of leaves and get up again without aching.  Now I have two teen girls, and one preteen boy.  Wow.  Time has snuck up on me and stolen my babes.  This year I settled for something much better.  What?  Settling for something better?  Yeah, well, I don’t always make sense.

This year we did our family pictures when I would normally be asking leaf pile pictures.  My kids aren’t tiny any more.  I still have my favorite pics of them from the piles, and one of them is this one here, on the left.  It’s a frozen moment in time that reminds me of the ages and stages with just a glance.  They were 6, 3, and 7.5 when that was taken.   What doesn’t show up in that picture is how hard those stages were, while done simultaneously, ha!

I love my new picture for this year.  They are now a month shy of 15, 13 and 10.  Watching my kids grow up tossing leaves, or in this case, not, is a precious thing as I flip the pages in a book.  Time is fleeting.   I can only steal moments I manage to capture from the time monster, who insists upon gulping down the childhoods of my kids in whole years.  Who knew last year was my LAST year for the leaf picture?  It was also the last year for trick-or-treating.  The last year for Santa.  It was a year of many LAST things…  but also a year of first things… many grown up firsts… Like trail rides through the city with Dad on park trails and along riversides.  New schools and teachers and new formats for homework have really changed things up, and making huge choices in looking to the future beyond school has my mind racing.  The growing up now with these kids is just as hard and intense as it was when they were little; it’s just different.20131029-081136.jpg

Am I ready for different?  No.  But I wasn’t ready for their little kid childhoods while I was in them either.  I’ll figure this out about the time the last kid is done muddling through.  With any luck, They will turn out just fine, regardless of my help.  🙂




I’ve gone Live with CHOCOLATE!!!

I am now an “official blogger” over at!  I’m as excited as a nerdy school girl with fresh notebooks and carefully sharpened pencils the night before classes begin.  I may or may not know this from personal experience.  I may (okay enough with the may not’s) have a thing for notebooks and cool pens and pencils.  I’m old school, okay?

That said, I am still a tech geek too, and love my laptop time and blogging.  It has come too far between posts as of late, but I will make up for lost time soon.  It will be colder than heck in Indiana and I wont be so excited about getting outside like I am now.  It sleeted on me today!  Yeah!  Snow would have made me happier than the nasty sleet coming at me sideways in the parking lot, making it hard to see where the car was.  It’s OCTOBER.  Stop that!

Anyway…I digress.

Come join me over at some new stomping grounds and see what my crazy blogging friends are up to while you’re there!

I’m up late – again – and tomorrow is a new day full of craziness I’m sure.  I’m gonna need a nap again tomorrow and chocolate is a given…  It seems the blog’s name is very fitting already!


Wants a nap, will settle for chocolate

moms.fortwayne.comMy life, the one I live on a daily basis, it’s a bit nutty. Anyone who knows me would laugh as this is severely understated. The one thing that is never understated, however, is my need for chocolate. It’s not a craving, here, people; it’s a daily prescription for my sanity. Honest!

Take this morning…  The boy-child was ready early for school. That sounds fantastic, but what that really means is that he is ready and actively able to annoy sisters all morning long. He’s 10. ‘Nuff said.

Boy-child runs around annoying his sisters, stirring up the dogs and making our morning routine a bit of a ruckus. The girls, ages 13 and a month shy of 15 both are in full meltdown mode for multiple facts. A.) Laundry did not magically do itself.  (I’m mean and make them do their own laundry so they can be self-sufficient adults later in life)  B.) Someone, aka the annoying little brother, is taking too long in the bathroom doing nothing in particular. And C.) Hair is not cooperating with the desired style of the day.  It’s tragic and life changing stuff.  Seriously.  It is, so I’m told.

This is a normal and typical day. It’s truly a no-big-deal-it’s-gonna-be-fine kinda daily life sorta thing. It’s teenagers-and-a-household-full-of-chaos kinda thing.

Then our personal goofiness begins to twist it up. The boy is sitting on the couch in a somewhat forced manner. Not quite a time-out, but a, “Calm-down-before-Mom-loses-her-cool” kinda thing. The dogs are running amok and one jumps up on the couch, turns to the boy and pukes all over him. It’s not a little bit; it’s a crazy lot for a little dog. Suddenly we are not ready early for school; we are going to run late.  It’s five minutes before the bus comes. There are clothes to change, a boy to wash, a couch to clean, mess on the floor and all those puky clothes. He’s traumatized to boot. It’s hairy but it’s not abnormal. Not really.

The girls are battling it out and one is storming around slamming things. Lunch money is an afterthought and breakfast was not even a consideration. One slams herself into her room and the other storms out. Somehow we’ve managed to get two out the door to the bus just in the last seconds of the squeaky bus wheels grinding to a halt and its loud exhale coincides with mine. I’m weary and it’s just now 7a.m.

The third child you ask? Why is she not on a bus too? Well the 4th and 7th graders both ride a morning bus. The freshman in high school is staying home. I am very ungracefully traversing the waters of home-schooling her. Truthfully? I am kicking and screaming all the way. I just am not one of those amazing moms who can do this with flair and fantabulous style. I am not a teacher and I don’t fake it well. I struggled to get through school myself. I’m a fraud adult and I’m about to be found out. I can’t do the algebra and it’s painfully obvious that someone else needs to help with that area.

So why am I doing it? In our house, we struggle with a host of hard things. One of the biggest of which lands my eldest child at home learning to manage her issues as life reveals them to her. I hesitate to even put them on the page now because there are such negative connotations to them. But it’s time that families who have hidden lives were not hidden. Time to let someone know that they are not alone. There are a lot of us out there living these hidden lives — and they are hard and odd looking to most others, but they are OUR lives to live, and truthfully, while I TOTALLY WOULD trade all the issues with someone, I wouldn’t trade my kids or my life for anything.

Two of my three kids struggle with ADHD, two struggle with mental illnesses, one with dyslexia, one with OCD and one has so many issues to contend with it’s been paralyzing; changing the entire structure and dynamics of our family. For every situation, every interaction, each issue and every parenting task, we have to view it in light of each of their various diagnoses. Then there’s the whole normal growing up stuff and (cue scary music) hormones of puberty to contend with.

We have issues here. Heck, our issues have issues. It makes for an interesting life behind the front door. I shut that door tightly to most people and let the mask of what I want people to know of our life be what they see. I like keeping our Facebook family picture life be what people believe of us … but that truly helps no one. It makes me lonely, and it lets others believe the lie that I have my act together and that they should, too.

Just about every day, at any given moment, I say, “Seriously…  I need some chocolate.” I let out a huge sigh and try hard to gain composure and rational thought.

Right now? Today? I could really use a nap. BAD. I have insomnia on a regular basis. You’d think as exhausted as I am usually I would simply fall into bed and crash easily. I can sleep anywhere, anytime, as long as it’s daytime. As soon as it’s kid-free and quiet and it’s dark outside, nope, not gonna happen.

So naps and chocolate are a constant desire. I crave them both.  But in truth, every time, I’d settle for chocolate.

The “Smashed Bananas” Perspective

Sometimes in life, even though you know better, you hunker down for a long… slow… sulk; because, darn it, well… you DESERVE to!  After all – who would blame you, right?  The circumstances (insert your own set of whatevers here) just call for a little down time, and no one would blame you for feeling down at all.  True enough.  I’ll nod along with you.  I have to, because that’s just what I did today.  But God?  He had other plans besides that slow sulk.  He usually does.

Today I went to the dentist for some repair work.  I have been doing battle with my genetics since I was a teen when I received some damage to my enamel from braces I had.  It was no one’s fault; my teeth were just sensitive to the glue used and I then began cavities everywhere there had been glue.  Jump ahead to this month, I am sporting a mouth full of root canals, caps, fillings, and a very large 6-tooth-bridge that spans the width of my smile.  The bridge is as wide as my smile is.  This is not the type of thing they (dentists) prefer to do.  It’s a large bridge and a LOT of teeth.  Since it is my entire front smile, it was not possible to break it up into smaller sections that were more stable.  It would be obvious.  The thinking was to save as many real teeth as we could, and I didn’t want to wake up without teeth in my 30’s and have to instead “put them in,”  yet, so that’s what we did 5 years ago.  We essentially bought me a shinny new smile.  smile_teeth[1]

Jumping to today, I have a wiggly bridge (no bridge is sposed to be wiggly, but most especially not one that involves teeth). The post that anchored the right side has broken and needs repaired.  It sounds very simple till it’s explained with a serious expression upon the face of my dentist.  Drilling through the bridge = a large risk of damage or breakage of the bridge.  Remove it to fix the problem and re-glue it = risk of breaking it in half.  The later seemed more of a better shot than the first.  Grudgingly I agreed to give it a whirl.  We (meaning the good doc)  tried to take it out, but it wouldn’t budge.  Not cool.  We now wait to see if we can loosen it more naturally with a few weeks of wait-and-see-time and hope for the best.  If not, we wait longer and then try to fix it and cross our fingers, toes, (and eyes if you can).  If it breaks, however?  I am out a bridge (aka TEETH) and have no back up set.  No way to purchase a new set.  It feels like a huge deal.  Like the end of the world.  In my head I know it’s not, though I am fully sulking anyway.  I want teeth, and for more reasons than just eating.  I leave in a sour mood knowing lots more smashed bananas are in my future.  I’m told no hard food till it’s fixed.  I am soooo done with smashed food!
Sulking, I stop by the little grocery on the corner on my way home.  My head is down and I’m mumbling to myself.  I get to the checkout with my milk, bread, and yes, more bananas, and I’m wearing that “Poor Me” shirt proudly for all to see.  An older gentleman is in front of me and lays out his weeks worth of meager groceries.  I can tell that’s what it is just by looking.  All I think is that it’s nice I wont have to wait long to check out.  That’s all until his food stamp card is declined not once, not twice, but three times.

By the third time God was already screaming at me so loud I was deafened.  He was clearly embarrassed and ashamed and he took the items, offering in broken english to go put them away for the cashier.  She waved him off saying no, she would do it.  She was shy and also clearly embarrassed for him.  I quickly stepped up to her and asked her to add his bill to my waiting items before he could move away too far.  While I had been mumbling about eating smashed bananas, this man couldn’t even BUY bananas.  How selfish was I?  Nothing like a reality check to humble you and bring a bit of perspective.  I tried to make the man understand that I wanted him to have his food.  He was sure he wasn’t understanding my english well enough.  He waved me off.  I assured him I meant it.  His look of shock was enough to make a lump form in my throat.  While I wasn’t sure how God planned to cover the extra $39.47 I had not planned to spend so far from payday, I was sure I knew he needed it far more than I did at that moment.  But If God had his bill covered long before he walked into buy his groceries, I knew He also had my means covered to provide it.  One thing you can always be sure of is that God ALWAYS has a plan, and it is ALWAYS PERFECT and on time.  Rarely early, never late, but ALWAYS perfect for the moment.

In the midst of my long, slow, sulk God showed me that I had a lot to be grateful for.