Sharing in the ups and downs of life and parenting. Join the roller coaster ride.

learning to be creative

Currently I am a singe, stay at home mom. That means that I am not bringing in wages clearly. Well, maybe not clearly because many stay at home moms work from home, but I don’t, just so you know 🙂

My ex had a very good job when we were together, and I am fantastic with saving money you guys, I don’t mean to brag, but I am just totally awesome at it (and thank goodness because now I really need to hone those skills) Well my point is that I didn’t need to be creative with food, or clothes, or well anything because since I saved money so well we could always buy anything we needed. Once again not bragging, we weren’t rich, and we didn’t have expensive taste. We only bought what we needed, but we never had to worry about not being able to get the necessities.

Well, now I have to be creative, I have no choice. I don’t mind it, but I have to admit, as amazing as I am with money, I am not a creative crafty person by nature. I am really having to learn and research and stumble upon ideas to save us money now and still have what we need.

So, I decided I want to share some of the ideas I have come up with. None are new I admit, someone has come up with these things before, but maybe they are things you all haven’t thought about and it would help you save money and stretch things out too. :)Also, I was kinda hoping you all would share any ideas you have to help out to. But like I said, I am not super crafty, so any ideas need to be easy. Like “crafty ideas for dummies” because I am definitely a beginner 🙂

okay so here goes:
1. My kids never finish bananas any more :/ They used to so I kept buying them. Then I noticed I was throwing over ripe/ rotten bananas away every time. Finally it hit me, BANANA BREAD. Banana bread calls for super ripe bananas anyway, and its pretty easy to make. So now if I dumbly buy too many bananas again I have something to still use them for and stretch out the food 🙂

2. super lots of uses for crescents, okay a dear friend of mine came over and cooked dinner for the kids and I a couple weeks ago. [He’s so sweet, just gotta say :)] Anyway, he had accidentally bought crescents, so he left them here for me to use later. Well, I had no idea what to do with them, because I was fairly sure the kids wouldn’t eat them as is. Finally, a memory from my past slapped me in the face, and was like “hey kids love pigs in a blanket!” so I made that, and the kids LOVED them. Score 1 for mom 🙂 While recovering from my sore slapped face I also remembered that you could use the crescents to make mini pepperoni rolls, as well as cinnamon rolls. So yay, no wasted crescents, and some quick easy tasty treats to make them a little bit tastier to young kids. Oh, one more, you can spread some jam, or jelly, or fruit puree and roll the crescent for a little like rolled tart I suppose.
[I’m not putting recipes because like I said, I’m not crafty, these are very elementary ideas I realize, so I am sure if this is just a reminder to you of things you can do you will have a recipe in mind 🙂 if not comment below and I will tell you how I made them ;)]

3. Finally, I hate to admit that I only had one wash cloth. I had other towels, and kitchen towels, but no little wash cloths. Weird huh? Well I didn’t really care until the stress of this new life sort of got to me and I started to break out like crazy. Well, I didn’t have money to buy wash cloths, I mean they are just little squares of cloth but they are darn expensive. So anyway, another duh moment. I realized, why not just cut one of my slightly older falling apart towels into those same little squares of the same cloth that would cost me a ridiculous amount of cash. And voila plenty of wash cloths now 😉

So, there are a few of my ideas, nothing big, but it helps me 🙂 As I come up with more I will share. I hope these at least jogged your memory as I am sure you all are way ahead on this creative, crafty ideas of saving money. Speaking of you guys being creative and crafty; share some love for this newly single mom who is inept at this stuff haha. Send me some ideas please please please 🙂 Just if its too advanced some instructions may be needed 😉

Thanks guys
love and prayers

Heather 🙂

The importance of counting your blessings

I’ve gotten a lot of questions lately about how I do all I do, and how do I keep such a positive attitude and get through the tough days. Well, for one I will say that as a mother I am able to do all I do because, well I have to. I am driven to do my best for my children. I have read many blogs from mom’s that have kids that have different, or “special”, needs. (I along with most moms in that situation hate to say “special” needs because all children have special needs, as all children are different. So a child with extra needs just needs different things) Anyway, most of them will tell you that it is hard, but if you were in their situation you would be able to do it too because, well you have to, you love your children and want the best for them.

Now, my children don’t have many different needs or attention, aside from my son. He was born with club food, and so from his third day of life he wore a cast for 3 months. We had to travel from Charleston, WV to Lexington, KY every week for the cast to be changed. This was followed by a surgery, and then special shoes he wore for 23 hours a day for two months, then all sleeping moments for almost 3 years. We are done with the “hard” part, or time consuming really. Aside from the mother’s fear when it was time for the surgery, the rest was made very easy by the loving doctors and nurses at Shriners Hospital for Children in Lexington. At this point we visit Lexington about every 6 months for a check up. So see, its not really that hard. I count that as a blessing because though we had to deal with a hardship, it could have been so much harder. And we were blessed to be referred to Shriners 🙂 I have a special place in my hear for the Mason’s and their subsidiaries,

Let me explain why they have a place in my heart. Another thing my son needs help with is speech therapy. We went through a program in our area called “birth to 3” they help children between those ages with many developmental delays. We worked with them for a couple months, because we didn’t realize he was behind in speech. When he got to age 3 his therapist said she was sorry, she could no longer work with us, but referred us to the Childhood Language Center in our area. This organization is ran by the Scottish Rite, another branch of the Mason’s. My son still receives therapy from them as well. Once a week he goes to his therapist, who we all love, and “plays” as he works on his speech.

Both these organizations are non profits and we have been so blessed to get the special treatments my son needed for no money out of our pocket. Another blessing, count it 🙂

Ok, so none of that sounds like much, but there’s quite a bit more. See, I have albinism, I was my mother’s special needs child. Due to my albinism I am legally blind. This has brought up many obstacles and then blessings in return. I can’t drive, so getting myself to a job, and the kids around was something I was so so scared about. Getting a job was scary, finding a place to live with minimal money was scary. But all of these things have been answered for us.

See, we have an apartment that I applied for where my rent is based on my income. It was nearing the end of January, I had waited and waited, and applied and applied for jobs. Finally, the same day in January I heard that an apartment had opened up for me, and I got a call about a job. Count it, another blessing 🙂

[update: I am not currently working, I am however looking for new employment, I am stressed due to the fact I am not bringing in money, but we have to keep moving forward]

I am lucky to live in a city with public transportation, so I have been able to get the kids and myself where we need to go with the aid of buses and cabs. And whether it be my good sense with money or another blessing from God, but even when times are really rough and I only have something like $70 in my bank account there is always enough money there for the things we REALLY need. And, if the money isn’t there, I am lucky enough to have friends and family that help if they can, which I am very thankful and blessed for.

So, basically what it comes down to is I count my blessings almost daily. Living this life, alone, low income, two young rambunctious children, non driver, etc is hard. Its really hard sometimes guys, sometimes I get stressed, sad, lonely, and even depressed. I hate to admit it, but I even break down and feel like its too much and cry. Those are the days in particular that I have to remind myself to look at the things I DO have, rather than what I don’t. And remind myself to forgive myself if I can’t get it ALL done EVERY day.

So, when I notice I am starting to feel this way I think about all the things God has given us. I’ve always been told He wouldn’t give me more than I can handle, and though occasionally I feel he trusts me a bit too much, I think back on the times it was really hard and scary. Then I see the places God blessed me and gave to me to help us get through. So that’s my “secret” its not much of a secret though. That is why it is so very important to count your blessings in life. In the darkest, scariest, worst times of your life try and think, even if you can only find one good thing that has happened for you, focus on that. If you don’t believe in God, okay, then just see it as a positive if that’s the only way you can accept it. In all the negatives I bet you can find at least one positive.

One thing I often go back to is my children. In all the bad that comes and goes in my life, if things hadn’t gone the way they did for me, I wouldn’t have the special kids beside me.

So, all who ask how I do it. I do it because I have to, and I count my blessings to get through the hardest times. And THAT is how I stay positive and come out with a smile, because I know, things will be okay, even if it takes time, things will be okay. Another truth is, sometimes the smile you see is hiding something deeper, but I stay strong for the kids and smile as often as I can.

Count your blessing guys, trust me, take a minute just to think about how things turn out in your life, it might just change your perspective. Also, consider that as bad as you have it, there is quite possibly some one out there with it much much worse. And at least you weren’t chosen to face those hardships.

Love and prayers
Heather 🙂

Cops and robbers went wrong, I’m tied up……

Oh my goodness you guys, this is fantastic, perfect in fact. The explanation here of being a stay at home mother as compared to Stockholm syndrome is masterful.

I found this particular link from my favorite blog mom Beth Wooly, mom and author of Five kids is a lot of Kids.
www.putdowntheurinalcake.com
Visit Beth’s site for some amazing writing, heart felt stories, and mega huge laughs.

This video is from Ann Imig of Ann’s Rants Enjoy, I certainly did!

Love and prayers
Heather 🙂

PS I meant it, visit Beth’s site! 😉 She was my inspiration to begin my blog, I wanted to for a long time, but until I saw that writing the way I would talk worked, well I was too scared to get out there. So, if you are reading my page, you absolutely need to see hers!!!

Finding myself cont. Bitter sweet

Okay, in my previous post about my history and finding myself I said that I don’t hate my ex for the things that took place. And I don’t, and I do forgive him, but I can’t lie guys, I am human and there are time where I feel a twinge of bitterness towards him. Bitterness, anger, and even envy. All these things are awful, and part of my human, dark, and twisty parts. God is helping me with these parts of who I am.

Bitterness, my feelings of bitterness come from the fact that I gave him my youth, I spent 8 years with the wrong person. And in that time he stripped me down to nothingness, all that I was when I met him was destroyed. And then I had no choice but to leave, and have literally nothing while starting out all over again to raise my children alone and re build myself. Also, after the birth of our second child he had convinced me to get my tubes tied. I am mostly upset about this above all. If he wishes to remarry some day he can have more children, and I can too, but only after an elective and expensive surgery :/ If God sees fit to give me someone else and they want children, Id like to be able to give them that without such extremes. But, it is what it is, and God will pull me through whatever happens.

My envy comes from the fact that he moved away and back to his family who supports him. He left a high paying, responsible web job, to go basically get to go back and be 18 again as a pizza delivery person. And his, stereotypically younger than myself and him, girlfriend moved with him. So I envy that he has it so easy. Nearly no responsibility again, a chance to regain that youth he lost with me, and to top it off he’s not alone. But again, it is what it is, and God will give me what he wants me to have when he sees fit. Maybe I need to grow up a bit more before I get those things.

All this aside, I don’t like to speak ill of people. My ex and I could not make it work, for many reasons, and these are all my feelings I have spilled out here you all. He is not a terrible person.  He does love his children, he does pay child support, and it may not be much, but he does see them when he can. I can’t take that away from him.

Okay, so I’m human, but I am working on these dark and twisty feelings, because I don’t like to wast time on being negative. Happiness and joy are feelings I would much rather consume my heart and mind, and God has helped me tremendously with that. 🙂

Heather 🙂

PS I got caught in a rant and didn’t mention the most important part. The Sweet part to this occasion. That being my two wonderful children. Without my ex, and without those years together I wouldn’t have them, the most important things in my life 🙂

The sad truth about domestic abuse

I’m not a therapist, and my study of psychology is quite limited, so everything you read here is either my opinion on the matter coming from my experience, or something a counselor has said to me. Either way I do believe all situations are different, and how people take their cirucumstances are different as well.

That being said, I am a survivor of domestic abuse and/or battery. I learned that the abuse part of the statement does not encompass physical neccesarily and so battery is added. When I say I’m a survivor, I was never beaten to a pulp like some unfortunate souls, and I never came close to an actual bodily death; however, I survived in the sense that I finally got out of the situation. I was scared, and emotionally and spiritually nearly dead. The self who went into the marriage no longer existed, and had to be sought out again.

Abuse sometimes begins with one person controling another person. It can be small at first, and easily over looked. Wanting to know whereabouts constantly, not trusting, keeping tabs by phone, reading private messages. Eventually the controlling person may ask for the victim to stop talking to friends and family, and may keep the victim away from these people.

Once little things such as these have been set in place, and is now “normal” to both people harsher types of abuse may begin. Verbal abuse, emotional and more mental abuse. In my case what camne next was slowly, without my noticing, being convinced I could not live with out him. Literally, I was convinced if I left him, or he left me, there would be no way for me to survive. Much less raise two young children. I couldn’t drive, I didn’t have a job, I didn’t have a home, I wasn’t much of a cook. How would I get myself and the children to the many places we needed to go with out driving. This part was particularly hard for me to get past, being a non driver, and legally blind, I had been convinced this would actually be impossible for me.

After these mindsets were in place, physical abuse was allowed to happen because I was too afraid to leave. He would take the kids, I thought, because I couldn’t care for them on my own. The kids need their daddy, I told myself. So I stayed…

I had always told myself before I got married, that I would NEVER be one of THOSE women who stay in an abusive relationship. Boy oh boy, the saying “never say never” is all too true, because God made sure I understood what those women went through. Not because he wanted me to hurt, but to gain compassion for them, because in that place and time I was no longer thinking for myself. I wasn’t having rational thoughts. I was truly convinced I would probably die and lose my children if I left him. I know it sounds crazy, but that’s because it is. I had been mentally abused and altered to fit what he wanted, someone that would never leave him no matter what.

The thing that finally ended it all, was a slap in the face. This wasn’t abnormal in his physical abuse, nor was it the worst thing that had ever happened. What made this time different was that my son saw it happen. My ex and I were already having problems, and were on the verge of separating, I was just far too scared. I kept going back because of my mental state, but this day God gave me the strength I needed all those years. An extreme calm came over me. I told him in a soft calm voice I was going to call the police, and then I would be leaving with the children.

After all was said and done, I did get out of the situation. I went to counselors, and I still go in fact. I am also still working on my way back to myself.

I want to say here, that if you or anyone you know is suffering any type of abuse, please don’t hesitate, you can contact me, or there are help lines, many many people and places willing to help.

I also want to say, I know that my case was “mild” in comparison to many others’ experiences, and I am not saying that it is easy to get out at all, in fact I am acknowledging that it is tremendously hard. But never give up on your self, and God and others around you can help if you need.

So that was my experience with this terrible thing that happens in real life. Anyone can be the abuser, not just men. Its hard to get out of, and scary. In cases like mine it goes unnoticed or ignored, or written away and excused because it seems so “mild” it can’t be “real” abuse. I had convinced myself it wasn’t because I had never had to go to the hospital. Silly looking back, but that was how I made it “ok” to stay.

I’m not writing this for anyone to feel sorry for me, the opposite in fact. I am a survivor, I am still weak and scared sometime, but I keep going and I persevere. I also wanted others to see that there are “varying degrees” of abuse, and maybe sometimes it goes unnoticed. I wanted to tell my story because, maybe possibly it will help someone else someday. And if not, I got it off my chest. But abuse is something no one has to take, from anyone, ever, and there are things that we can do about it. Thank you for reading.

Love and prayers,
Heather 🙂

Alone time?

Okay, so yes I am a single mom, and yes, I am alone much of the time; I’m alone except for my kids’ company EVERYWHERE I go. On that note, this blog is geared toward mothers in general, single, married, moms of youngins, moms who’s babies have left the nest to fly on their own.

So, as a mom I already knew that the kids were going to follow me like ducks in a row wherever I went, but after becoming a single parent it got worse, can you believe it?

Bathroom time is now a team sport, it seems everyone has to go at the same time, so its some sort of twisted relay race to make sure everyone makes it to the designated place to relieve themselves instead of anywhere else, because hey, have you ever had to ask your kid “why is there poop in your drawer?” this was a recent question of mine 😉

We can’t blame them if you think about it though, going with us to the rest room, and talking openly with no bashfulness at all. I mean come on, from the day they were born their first bodily excretion, be it drool, from the bowel, or the bladder, has been talked about and adored for years. Then when potty training begins, we talk about it more in depth. So of course they would want to make sure mommy (or daddy) is using the potty right, and “wow mom you peed A LOT) and such 🙂

Oh yeah, I’m one of those people too, if you are squeamish or don’t like talking about bodily fluids openly, some of my posts may not be right for you. Don’t worry, its not ALL I talk about, promise 🙂

Another thing, I NEVER let my kids sleep in the bed with me. To those of you that have or do, more power to you, it just wasn’t the route I wanted to go. But after the divorce, suddenly, out of no where my 4 year old would wake in the middle of the night and climb into my bed. Then his sister started doing it too. I tried to nip it in the bud, with no avail of course. Most times I don’t even know he’s come in the bed till there’s a foot on my face, or arm across my neck.

Which brings me to a mommy math moment. A full sized bed, which is what I have, can comfortably sleep 2 full sized adults. For some reason though, it cannot comfortably sleep 1 full sized adult and 2 1/2 sized beings in the form of a 4 year old boy and a 3 year old girl. Who knew? the math seems like it would work either way, but nope, trust me friends, it does not in fact work that way.

Finally, laying in bed last night exploring the randomness of my mind, as I could not sleep, I was thinking about the body fluid thing again. I go there a lot sorry. And I decided that if at this age of kids, you as a parent haven’t been drooled, puked, peed, or pooped on, oh and used as a snot rag, one of these things at least, you aren’t doing it right. If you have gotten away with no bodily fluids on you I need your secret, because it seems to go along with the job.

How do these things work in your house? Do you co sleep, have you figured out bathroom time alone, and do you have any funny body fluid stories? I happen to have many!! I will save them for another time 🙂

love and prayers
Heather 🙂

Finding myself

Oh, so I figure I might need to give you all a little bit of background on myself before this blog makes a ton of sense. So here it goes.

Born and raised in West Virginia pretty much. Minus some moving around when I was really little and a few years in Kentucky for college. I got married at 20. at 23 and 24 I had my two children. After 7 years of marriage their father and I separated and eventually divorced.

Our relationship was pretty screwed up lol. There was a lot of verbal and mental abuse. I eventually believed that I could not make it with out him, and I certainly couldn’t raise two young children alone. And if I left him, he would take the children. Then came the physical abuse, it had happened before the kids, but then stopped for a while, until it started again. Finally one day something in my brain clicked after he had slapped me. My son had seen it this time, and for some reason I grew quite calm. I left him that day.

I want to say that, as much as I want to hate him for these things, I don’t. We were both broken people at this time. I allowed the abuse to take place, and he, I’m not sure, he just acted the way he felt appropriate I suppose.  I am not giving him a pass, nor condoning his actions. Merely stating that I forgive him.

So A year has passed, and I have done therapy. I was told at one point that after a divorce it can take 2 years or more to “become yourself again”. Learning who you are as a single person again. Boy, they were right. Its weird living alone, sleeping alone, not having another adult around. Dating is so hard you guys, lol. If you haven’t had to put your self out there in a while, its nuts. I often feel like a 14 year old giggly girl again 🙂  By often I mean the less than a handful of “dates” I have been on since the separation and divorce.

Maybe that’s something I can sound of to you guys about. You up for it? Lord knows I need all the help I can get you all. Anyway, more on the “getting back to who I am”  later. Have a great day.

Heather 🙂