In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

On Becoming A Mommy

Life sure has a way of grabbing a hold of us, so that all of our attention is on these things that stand before us…sucking out all of our energy and leaving us to do little else. For these last weeks, all my focus has been on facing giants, vomiting up the shit sandwiches that are way past their expiration dates, and researching and learning how to apply the new found wisdom to my life, all while trying to hang on to whatever sanity there is left in this brain of mine.

Yet, life goes on just the same…food has to be cooked(and you damn well better believe it’s healthy food and I am continually amazed by the great recipes I am finding, trying & loving)…clothes have to be washed…the house has to be cleaned…a garden(much bigger this year) has to be planted(thank God for husbands)…of course there is exercise to be had(Jillian Michaels is kicking my ass daily and I am now going to a yoga class 2 times a week and doing it on my own)…and of course there is actual work to go to so that we can have things like food and shelter…and more importantly, children that need to be loved and tended to, which means “time“…children that don’t care that I might be in the middle of a hot flash, they just want a hug and to be held right now…children that are completely crazy for me even though I have been acting completely crazy …these children that make my life so much sweeter in spite of how many moments we have, that cause me to question how the hell I became a parent again.

This past week, in the middle of “one of those” moments…you know, one of those moments when your child(who is suppose to be completely potty trained)completely shits out of her clothes, in the middle of a packed restaurant? And you are totally not prepared because they are potty trained? And your all by yourself to deal with this on your own? After figuring out how to get out of there, without getting the ice cream that was promised to 2 little people for eating all their food, without raising attention to ourselves and getting her in our van, without getting shit everywhere, and getting her home and into the bath tub, I was exasperated to say the least.

In my mind, I was screaming, “I am too old for this. I am suppose to be the fun grandma not the mommy.” As I tearfully knelt there next to the tub, cleaning her up, she grabbed my face, kissed my cheek and said, “I love you mommy.” In that moment, she melted my exasperation and any anger that I felt. She broke up my pity party with her sweet smile and her innocent expectation of my unconditional love. In reality, it doesn’t matter to her how old I am, it just matters that I am here. Of course she sensed my frustration, but regardless she knew that no matter how I am feeling, I will still take care of her and love her. What matters to her is that she can count on me.

Today, May 14th is the 2 year anniversary of us officially getting our little people. Regardless of the fact that we had them 90 % of the time leading up to this day, it is the day that their mother, my step daughter, handed them over to us. Ironically, it was the day after Mothers Day and came on the day we had reached the “enough bridge” with her. What started out to be a temporary situation and her getting her life together, has become a long battle of fighting for the best interests of 2 little people. Each month that passes by that she doesn’t get her life together, cements their place in our home.

It wasn’t suppose to be this way and this most certainly, was not what we intended, when we started down this road. As reality set in, about a year ago, that this was no longer a temporary situation, I started this blog to record my journey of becoming an unexpected mommy once again. My life was interrupted to fit in 2 little people that had already captured my heart.
You would think that the second time around would be so much easier. It’s not. Granted I loved being a mommy the first time around. Granted I have the wisdom I gained from having walked this mommy road with my 5 children. Granted I learned a trick or two through out those years, that have come in handy in the present. Granted I have learned to pick my battles and because of previous experiences, I have the ability to see more of the bigger picture, than just what is at hand. I know what comes next. I know what I am aiming for. I know what works and what doesn’t. I know that you can’t parent each of your children in exactly the same way and get the same results.

So yeah, I’ve learned a few things along the way. Regardless, these 2 little people are their own unique persons and come with their own set of challenges. It’s just that this time, I am older and come with my own set of challenges. The one thing that remains the same, is that once again, I am watching a piece of my heart, walk outside of myself and grow up before my eyes.

Raising someone else’s children, and loving them like they were your own, comes with it’s own set of challenges. When I agreed to do this, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but since I had never walked this road before, I had no idea what I had signed up for. I still don’t really know what the “right” way is suppose to look like but I do know that I would do it all over again in a heart beat. Even with all the heart ache and the life we have given up in order to do “this“, I would not think twice about it…even though I am sure we are not doing “this” perfectly, by any means, we would still choose “this” road.

Because I am so enmeshed in the “parenting” from day to day, I can’t always see how far the little people have come over these past 2 years. When I hear the insights of people that are on the outside looking in…from those that have been witness of our transformation into a family, I am reassured that we are in fact doing the right thing. People see the happy, loved, well behaved, and secure children that they are and remind us of the sad fate that would have been theirs, had we not chosen this road.

This journey of becoming a mommy again, while in my mid 40’s has changed me. I have always said that my five children, raised me up to be the woman I am today. Now, I say, these two little people, have come in to my life to work out all the quirks and rough edges…to teach me those things I didn’t learn the first time around. I think back to those first days of embarking on uncharted waters and not having a clue to what we were going to do. We didn’t plan for them to still be here but here we are 2 years later…living, loving, growing and learning how to be an unconventional family.

Today our family is 2 years old...Maybe I am too old to be a mommy…maybe there are moments that I wish I was the fun grandma and not the mean mommy that say’s “no”…but just maybe, we are all right where we are suppose to be?

P.S. I'm still not smoking.

P.S.S. I apologize for not commenting on your blogs recently. Even though I get to read occasionally, there has been no time for my computor addiction. I do plan to take some time for myself in the near future so I promise to stop by soon! Hugs and love, Lori

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I shared with you last week, that I am right smack in the middle of the insanity called menopause. Even as I reached the one month mark yesterday, of not smoking, I do still question my sanity of stopping at such a time. Maybe that is why I am completely amazed that I am still smoke free and have not committed murder.Seriously.

I have tried hard to keep my sense of humor through out all of this but believe me it has been harder than hell to laugh some days. The insanity of all these things are no laughing matter. There is nothing funny about withdrawing from an addiction…the side affects that feel like you really could come out of your skin…and sorting through the issues that make me addicted to such things, makes me want to hide under a rock.

Reading this article helped me a lot and explains a lot of the symptoms associated with withdrawal. I read lots of things to help me get through and nonetheless, just reading that I would very likely gain weight, and not being able to sleep at night, feeling irritable, tired and frustrated and fighting mood swings and depression, have about put me over the edge.

Here’s a glimpse into this insanity…the first week of not smoking. It’s 2 am and I can’t sleep. I go on-line to various stop smoking web sites to get encouragement. I read that a person can expect to gain up to 21 lbs and that is just from not smoking…that an average smoker burns 200 calories a day just in the process of smoking and that just stopping, will put on the weight…that it takes 3 months for your metabolism to get to normal…that if you eat more, due to your increased appetite, and don’t increase your exercise, that you can then double or even triple that number.

Holy Hannah. Up to this point I thought the reason people gained so much weight is because they ate instead of smoked. I flipped out. I ran to my sleeping husband and he was woken up to me screaming and crying hysterically over him. You can take a moment a feel sorry for my poor husband, that didn’t know what hit him. Honestly, I think he wanted to stuff a cigarette in my mouth and call it quits for me but he didn’t. He’s such a trooper.

There is nothing funny about Menopause and the hellish insanity that living in the middle of it can bring. When you read about all these symptoms at I hate Menopause or here in a long list of symptoms… which include weight gain, insomnia, irritability, mood swings, depression, and fatigue which are all smoking withdrawal symptoms also. You have to be as surprised as I am that I am not in jail.

I have determined that menopausal woman are not suppose to be “mommy’s” to little children. A menopausal woman is no match up to a 2 ½ and almost 4 year old children, who’s characteristics include being rigid and inflexible, domineering and demanding, having violent emotions, being defiant, argumentative, and going to opposite extremes. Can you see the conflict? Can you hear the conflict? Once again, you can take a moment to feel sorry for my poor husband who comes home to this every day.

… only for a moment though, because he comes with his own set of symptoms. In all my research to find some answers and help for these maladies of mine, I came across this web site called Body Logic, about Andropause, which is male menopause and my dear lovely husband has most of the symptoms listed. You men are not off the hook and come to find out that more men suffer then what gets talked about. One of the symptoms listed is Irritable Male Syndrome which I always knew existed(sorry guys)but didn’t know the medical community had an actual name for it. Just reading that alone, gave me some pleasure. Anyways, there is a whole slew of symptoms which he has and now we know why our household has gone completely nuts…and I’m not the only one!

If you can imagine for a moment, a menopausal woman who has recently quit smoking, married to and living with an andropausal man, who also has recently quit smoking,…living with and trying to be “Daddy and Mommy” to a 2 ½ year old little girl and an almost 4 year old little boy. Can you imagine what life is like at our house? The dynamic’s in our home right now are explosive, emotional and exhausting. This is no laughing matter…but maybe it is…cause seriously, it is kind of funny when I lay it all out like this.

Recently, I happened to catch the Dr. Phil show which is surprisingly rare, but the woman I care for had it on and on this day it was about Menopause and Andropause and they brought up Bioidentical Hormones. I must live under a rock, because I had never heard of this before and come to find out that it’s been out for a long time. In fact Suzanne Summers wrote about them in her book, Ageless, The Naked Truth about Bioidentical Hormones. I have not read the book yet but I have been researching them and my husband and I, are quite possibly going to give them a try.

I know my husband and I aren’t the only ones going through this so I want to share with you what we are finding out. In doing my research I came across this web site and this one,that explain bioidentical hormones and what they do for men and women. I also came across this blog, Holy Hormones, that is written by a woman, that has gotten a lot of help from them. She also shares a lot of good information about women issues so I would recommend giving her blog a visit.
So here I am, exercising like crazy and cooking and eating really healthy on top of everything else I already do in a day, just to maintain some sense of control over these things. I am doing everything I can to get a decent night sleep but it’s not happening. I am doing everything I can to not let the shit sandwiches kick my ass completely. I am doing everything I can to maintain some sense of peace and tranquility in our home in spite of the hormones that are shooting all over the place. The truth is, I am just trying to hang on to my sanity here and if you have any information to share with me, it would be greatly appreciated by me and anyone that has to be around me.

If you are ever wondering why I haven’t stopped by your place and commented or written a new post in awhile, you now know why!