Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

I know I've still been absent, and I hope you're still reading my blog!  I'm not going to do a year in review post since I haven't been blogging very long, but I will do a holiday recap.

My Christmas Eve family get-together was terrible.  The boyfriend's father is in the hospital and not doing well, but he's always been awful to my boyfriend so I think it's karma kicking his ass.  I did not do well dealing with the SIL from hell, and spent most of the night alone.

Christmas was great.  We all went to my parent's house, and the kids got lots of toys they wanted.  T finally got his Bat Cave that he begged us for every day since Thanksgiving.  He also got a bunch of Transformers toys and a creepy robot panda with blue LED eyes that terrify me.  Princess got another FurReal Friends cat to freak me out with (because one wasn't enough, and apparently 6 real cats aren't enough either), a couple dolls, and a tea set.  They got a Leapster explorer to share, but she won't let anyone else touch it, so we'll be getting another one for their birthdays in a few weeks.  Goober got a ride-on train, a monkey Happy Napper, and a noisy little steering wheel thing.  He could care less about any of it.

Yesterday I took the kids to my mom's house again because my aunt and uncle, and 2 of my cousins were coming over.  It was better than expected.  My sullen, 16-year-old cousin actually talked to people, and my other cousin was acting pretty normal.

We're staying home for New Year's Eve tonight.  I'm just going to make some potato skins, jalapeno poppers, and pigs in a blanket, drink some bitch beer, and watch the countdown on TV.  I always seem to have better New Year's when I stay in.  Going out is always a let down and a bad hangover.  The kids are already bouncing off the walls, so I don't know if they're going to make it til midnight or not.  Usually they would, but I think they found candy or something, which could lead to a mega sugar crash.

I hope everyone else has had a good holiday season, and have a safe and happy New Year!  I'm going to try to take "me" time in 2012 to take care of myself by going to the gym.  The membership was a not-so-subtle gift from my mother to let me know I'm getting fat.  I haven't worked out since college, though, and it will be nice to get away from the kids for a couple hours a week.

Are you making any resolutions for the new year?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sorry I've Been Sucking Lately

I know I haven't been blogging much the past couple weeks and I'm sorry.  I've been focused on getting ready for the holidays and my kids' schedules have been totally off.

My kids have been staying up even later than normal, and I'm not in the mood to blog at 3 am.  The baby's teething again and is barely sleeping at night and not napping much at all.  And now my oldest, is sick again and has no voice.  I swear, since he started school, someone in my family is always sick.  I don't remember getting sick like this when I went to school.

I also started taking medication that makes me feel really hung over and groggy every morning when I don't get 7 or 8 hours of sleep (which pretty much never happens) so I've been staying in bed until 10 or 11 every morning.  I wasn't kidding when I told you my kids' sleep is really off-I'm lucky my son has afternoon preschool or no one in the house would even been awake when it started.

Happy Holidays to everyone, and I'll try to be better about blogging most days.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Morning Battle

"Three, two, one," I stare at him, eyes narrowing.  "This is your last chance."

He spits in my face.

"That's it, I'm getting your father."

"Noooooooooooooooo!" he wails, in the earsplitting tone only small children can muster.

"Then get dressed, right now.  We're going to be late for school."

He crosses his arms and turns away from me.  "I go bye-bye with Gamma."

"You can go out with Grandma after school."

"No school!" He lays on the couch and covers himself with a blanket.  I attempt to put his clothes on,
getting a swift kick to the chest for my efforts.

I hear the thud of footsteps on the stairs and say a silent thank you.  "He won't get dressed again."

"Listen to Mommy!" his dad tells him.

"No thank you." I try to get his pants on again, and again he spits at me.

"I'm done," I say, trying to keep my temper in check as I walk to the kitchen to get his snack ready.

The booming voice of his dad reaches the kitchen.  "Get dressed right now and say sorry to Mommy or you're getting a spanking!"

"No, no, no!" he screams before dissolving into tears.  I know the tears mean he's finally getting dressed.  Another morning battle has just barely been won.

This post was written for this week's red writing hood prompt from Write on Edge.  The prompt was to write a post starting with "Three, two, one" and keep it under 300 words.
Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Doorbell

The doorbell rang; I'm hiding in the kitchen.   I hear the false voices of family greeting each other.  I hate big family get togethers.  Especially at my mom's house, when she drives my dad an me crazy for days, tells us she needs more help, then decides neither one of us can do anything right.

I hug my aunt, uncle, and cousins, listen to them gush about my kids for a few minutes, and retreat back to the kitchen and food that I've been preparing very slowly for a reason.

It's such a farce.  My oldest cousin, who's my age, thinks he's hot shit because he's a CPA and acts like he knows everything and is smarter than everyone.  There's no discussions with him; just lectures.

The next cousin is a year younger than me.  We got along well as kids, but she's typical ditzy blonde ex-sorority girl who works all day, parties all night, and lives with her head in the clouds.

There's my semi-relatable cousin, who's 5 years younger than me.  He has some issues, but he's good for conversation for a half hour or so, when I get creeped out by him staring at my boobs.

My youngest cousin is 16 and an angry teenager.  She talks to no one, sitting silently with her ipod.

My aunt is fake nice, as long as everything is going her way.  I can't stand it.  She wears the pants in the family, and her husband and kids seem to defer to her.

My uncle thinks he's more important than he is.  A big shot CFO at a fortune 500 company with the wife, kids, houses, rental properties, and golf skills.  Oh, and a standing in the community because of his work with his church and as a basketball coach.

The 5 years we didn't speak to each other because of my uncle's affair sits like a gorilla in the room as the snow begins to fall.

This post was written in response to this week's Red Writing Hood prompt from Write on Edge. 
We’d like you to craft a piece of fiction or creative non-fiction around the holiday season, keeping in mind that for some people “the holiday season” begins around Halloween and doesn’t end until well after the New Year is underway.  The piece should begin with “The doorbell rang” and end with “snow began to fall.”
Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Funfetti Fudge!

This month's Crazy Cooking Challenge was fudge.  I was really excited because I love to eat fudge but I've never tried making it before.  I searched Pintrest until I found a bunch of recipes.  Then I narrowed it down to the easy ones that my kids could help me make.

I settled on Funfetti flavored fudge, which I found here.  And it turned out awesome.  My not-quite 4-year-old had tons of fun stirring in the sprinkles, and eating the fudge.  It turned out really sweet though.  I thought it was great, and so did the kids, but none of the other adults who tried it could really eat much.  I guess I just have a huge sweet tooth.


3/4 of can of  sweetened condensed milk
2 cups white chocolate chips (this is equal to 1 12 oz bag)
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
rainbow sprinkles

-Heat water in double boiler.  Add chocolate chips and condensed milk and stir until melted.  At this point, the mixture was really sticky.

-Stir in vanilla and almond extracts.  These made the mixture nice and smooth.

-Take off the heat and quickly stir in a handful of rainbow sprinkles.  Stir quickly until combined, so they don't melt.

-Pour into an 8x8 foil-lined pan.  Add more sprinkles on top.

-Cut into 1" cubes when set.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Memories Captured

My youngest son and what everyone in the family calls him

The Car Accident

The three of us giggled as we walked out of the firehouse and into my car.  I was with my little sister and her best friend.  We went to the firehouse to see my sister's boyfriend and his friends.  It was always so much fun there. You would probably be surprised to find out what we all did in that firehouse-teenagers can be wild and crazy.

We drove out of the parking lot to head to the mall, which is where we told my dad we would be.  I had just gotten my driver's license two weeks ago, so my parents wanted to know where I would be with the car at all times.

There was an intersection that had a blinky red light, but it should have had a traffic light.  The people with the right of way were either going up or coming down a hill that peaked maybe 20 yards from the cross street.  I stopped at the red light on the cross street, looked both ways, and put my foot on the gas.

That's when the red Camaro came shooting over the top of the hill and into the back of my car.  I was horrified.  We were all okay, but the car wasn't.  I didn't even have the car for a month and it was messed up.  Then the guy in the Camaro got out with a baseball bat in hand, screaming at us.  My horror turned to terror as  I floored it and drove away.

Thankfully, the guy didn't follow us,  I knew you weren't supposed to drive away from an accident, but
at the time, it seemed like the right thing to do.  We pulled into a nearby school parking lot to check out the damage.  My entire rear bumper was dangling off the car.  It was only held on by 1 bolt.  There was also damage to the rear wheel well and the side of the car.

I felt even worse after I saw the damage.  The three of us decided that my dad would be really mad if he found out what happened.  So we drove to the mall we were supposed to have been at the entire time.  Then we called my dad and told him someone must have hit my car when it was parked in the parking lot.  After he came, we made a report with mall security.

To this day, my dad has no idea that the car wasn't really hit in the parking lot.  Looking back, I can't believe I was more afraid of my dad being mad than I was of the bat-wielding Camaro driver.  I just hope that asshole totaled his car that afternoon.

This week's RemembeRED prompt from Write on Edge is a flash prompt using the word crash. Take the next ten minutes to write about the first single memory that word calls up. Focus on the emotions and the experience, spend ten minutes really exploring that memory. Then wrap it up, publish, and come back to link up.

Write on Edge: RemembeRED

Saturday, December 3, 2011

When I was 16

Pierced an eyebrow, 
wore Kikwear jeans, 
loved WWE, 
fainted on backstage line at Black Crows concert!

This post was written in response to this week's Saturday Centus prompt by Jenny Matlock.  The theme is when you were sixteen, and the post can't exceed 16 words!

Jenny Matlock

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What I've Gotten Through

This week, the prompt from Mama Kat's that struck me the most was 1.) What did you go through in order to get out? “The best way out is always through”  (Inspired by  Shatterboxx and some dude named Robert Frost).

I have struggled with demons since I was a teenager.  For a long time, I never thought I would get out.  Addiction and other self-destructive behaviors made it seem like there was no light at the end of the trouble.  But eventually, I did, and I really do credit it to my kids.  Becoming a mom totally changed my life.  I'm pretty sure I would be in prison, dead, or in a very bad way if I hadn't gotten pregnant when I did.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.  I was always a little self-destructive.  I've written a lot about how I was bullied in school, and to deal with it, I started drinking when I was 12 and cutting myself once I was in high school.  But things didn't get really out of control until I met my first boyfriend in community college.  He was disabled and we met when he asked me to help him smoke pot before class.  I should have cut and run, but I didn't.  I liked that he noticed me, and that ego boost was all I needed to get totally sucked in for the next 5 years.

I should have broken it off when he told me he needed me to drive his friends to rob someone for weed.  I didn't.  I should have never looked back after I ended up shut in a closet with garbage bags full of pot while police searched the house I was in.  I stayed. 

He promised me a lot.  His parents were very wealthy, and I got all new clothes, constant dinners at fancy restaurants, vacations, and the promise of a house.  I was caught up in the idea that I could get everything I wanted and not have to work for it.  I didn't know how much it would cost me-I was 18 and incredibly naive.

When he told me I only had friends because of him, I believed him.  He convinced me that I was damaged goods and that no one would ever love me but him.  He was controlling, even when I was in college in Philadelphia and he was in New York.  I drove home every weekend to be with him.  When I wasn't with him, he was constantly calling me to make sure I was too busy to do anything else but talk to him.

It was my first relationship, and I believed it was how love really worked.  Looking back, it makes me sick (and really sad) that I couldn't see how damaging and wrong I was.  I stopped talking to my family because he convinced me they were trying to break us up so I would never be happy.

Things got really bad when the hard drugs got involved.  Have I mentioned he became disabled in the first place because of a car accident due to being high on heroin and whippets?  You'd think one would learn from that.  Anyway, it started with a few pills, then led to coke and heroin, and finally led to crack.

I had a dark few years there, and I don't remember a lot (which I think may be a good thing, although now I have a terrible memory and sometimes people get annoyed that I repeat things a lot, or don't remember something important they told me).

I do remember the crazy drug runs and week-long binges, the lying, the stealing, the selling of prostitutes, the paranoia, the cheap motel rooms, and finally, when things got really bad, the bartering of me for drugs.  It really sucked.

We finally broke up when he threw me under the bus once and for all to save his own ass.  He had asked me to take a bunch of money out of one of his accounts (since he was disabled, he couldn't use the ATM).  His father was furious when he found out, and when confronted, my ex told him I stole the card and took the money out and he had no idea.  Of course, I was the one on the bank's surveillance videos.  I consider myself incredibly lucky I didn't go to prison.

Once the relationship was over, I was so incredibly relieved.  I managed to stay away from the drugs for a while, but my ex kept calling me.  He still needed someone to help him do drugs, and apparently, he didn't care that he almost ruined my entire life (drugs will do that to a person-all you care about is getting more drugs-nothing and no one else matters).  I fell for it and continued to do drugs.

When I met the boyfriend, I finally stopped seeing my ex.  I still couldn't kick the drugs, though, and for a while, the boyfriend and I were spiraling out of control.  Then I realized I was pregnant, and it changed my life.  It did what no rehab could do-make me see that there was something to really live for, something much more important than the pull of any drug.

I went through a whole lot of hell before I came out on top.  I've seen things and done things most other moms who see me walking around with my kids would never guess.  I consider myself lucky for coming out unscathed for the most part.  Yeah, I rotted my teeth with the drugs, compromised myself and my morals, permanently damaged the inside of my nose, and ruined my memory, but I'm alive, sober, and happy.

It doesn't take much for me to look back and think of how bad things could have been.  I could very well have been that homeless crackhead prostitute you see when you go into a bad neighborhood.  I could have been that dead body in the gutter, forgotten by all until some off-leash dog finally discovered me.  I could have been locked behind bars for 20 years.

Instead, I learned what love really is, both the relationship kind of love and the unconditional love you can never imagine until you have a child.  I learned that life is worth living.  I learned that anyone who tries to tear me down or convince me I am not worth it is the one who isn't worth it.  I learned having money can't buy happiness or love.  I learned that real friends are the ones who stick around through good and bad, not just when you do drugs with them or give them shit.  I learned that there are a lot of people who will just hang around you because of drugs and money, and those are people I want to stay far away from.

But the most important thing I got out of it all is that I can get through anything.  No matter what life throws at me, no matter how bad things may seem, they will get better, and I will fight to come out on top of whatever life may throw at me.

Mama’s Losin’ It