Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Giving and Taking

I love manicures. I just don't like the fact that another person is doing the work. I know it sounds silly....that's the point right? Manicures are supposed to be special because it is done for you. It's a luxury....well, I just feel so uncomfortable about it. I know that this is their job...it just feels wrong to be sitting like a queen on her throne while someone else is cleaning the dirt from my nails!
I don't get them done very often at all...I can count on one hand the amount of times I have had a manicure or pedicure. Besides the cost, it just makes me so uncomfortable being the one getting polished...maybe I should be the one giving manicures instead of taking them.
There are two kinds of people in the world, givers and takers. I prefer to be a giver...It feels so wrong to me to be a taker. All day, every day I am a giver..so one would think that maybe once every 2 years I could indulge a little and be a taker and get my nails done. I mean, I am paying for it, it's not like I'm a moocher and getting it for free!! Although the one I just got was for free(for me at least it was)my friend had a gift certificate! I paid a nice tip too!
I am uncomfortable with cleaning help as well...especially when they're PREGNANT!! I kid you not...there she was on her hands and knees with her tummy hanging low washing my floor. I felt badly firing her because she needed the money..but I couldn't be a part of that anymore. I almost asked her if she needed me to come and clean her house! I have more cleaning lady stories for another day.
I will end with this: I'd take a giver any day of the week!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Waiting Game

I hate waiting. I hate waiting for results of tests at the top of my "hating to wait" list.
My mom is going for further testing this week to see if the cancer has spread to the lungs too. We are scheduled to go to the oncologist the next day to find out the results....I HATE WAITING!
I try to stay upbeat for her. She knows that I'm trying...I know that she knows I'm trying...but its very difficult. I had a health crisis myself almost 3 years ago and I can sympathize with her...sort of. My health crisis was not as difficult as my mom's is....I had a much better prognosis and today I am (Thank G-d)cured. The prognosis for mom is not as good. She's stage four and older...but she's fighting it with everything she's got(the chemo has taken almost everything).
I'm watching her wasting away to practically nothing...
We sit at doctors offices and...wait. Take tests and ....wait. Call the doctor and .....wait.
She finally told me the other day that she is willing to go for a second opinion. I have been asking her for months! This will require more tests and more waiting...but if that is what we need to do...
I'll wait at any doctor....wait for any test results...wait as long as I need to...whatever it takes to beat the evil cancer.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Raising Linda

My Mom was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago. It has totally taken over my life...especially when she was in the hospital for over a month. Trying to juggle my totally hectic life before she got sick was hard enough..but after the diagnosis, I seriously wondered many days if I had the strength to make it through.
She is now undergoing chemo and we pray that she will be with us for a long time.
There are some days, however, I am taking care of my Mom in a way that feels so utterly frustrating and slightly disturbing.
Let me explain...my Mom has some great attributes like.. acting young for her age, and being stubborn(which has helped her fight the cancer). These attributes also have a downside. She acts like a rebellious teenager...taking her friends car and driving herself to chemo when she is so weak she can barely function....not telling me that when she saw the doctor he might want to hospitalize her because of her extremely high blood pressure. Yeah...and also staying with her friend in the emergency room so filled with people that there are no beds and they are all complaining of swine flu symptoms...I almost had a coronary when she called me from there...She has NO IMMUNITY!! Her oncologist had just told her that her white blood count is dangerously low...and she's in the emergency room!! I was a little angry...just a little.
What am I supposed to do with her? That is the question my sister and I ask each other very frequently. Yes, she is 61 yeas old...but her behavior proves otherwise. She wants her independence..and I want her to have it...but I always have to pick up the pieces of her life when she acts irresponsibly.
Truthfully, this has always been the way she has behaved(hence,two failed marriages) but now with her health in jeopardy it has become more of an issue. I have always been her caretaker in one way or another(you definitely don't want details)but now with the demands of my own kids and husband it is more stressful. I try to balance everyone and everything the best that I possibly can.
Every day is a challenge.....especially raising Linda.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Grass is Greener

I am sitting here at my older daughter's school trying to make sense of my emotions. I'm here with my youngest looking at the program for next year. This all came much faster than I expected...much too fast.
It all started this morning by letting her go on the bus with her big sister..she's been on a school bus before when she was at her former school, but this is different. I then hopped in my car and tried to follow the bus there so that I could be there when she got off. Of course,I lost the bus somewhere, and they got there before me. I found my girls in the playground...playing and happy.
It was okay that I wasn't there to get my youngest off the bus(not with me it wasn't). Then she took my hand to start walking in the building...but a few seconds later..she let go.. It was a foreshadow of what was about to happen...it was the start of a new era.
What is it about today that is making me a crazed lunatic? It is the start of a new era for me as well ...I will be without any children home with me. For the last 13 plus years, I have had someone home with me at least part time... I realize now that I won't have that identity of a mom of little ones. My babies are all growing up...
I try to say to myself...Snap out of it! This is what you have been waiting for, for years! You keep saying that you can't wait until the house is quiet and you have the whole day to yourself, to do with what you want. Ha! that's funny..I'll be taking my mom to more appointments and volunteering more at my kids schools!
The question is, what will I doing with this newfound time? I'll probably find something else to complain about. What does this new stage mean for me? I have always defined myself as a stay at home mom...but I don't have to stay at home now. I guess the grass is greener on the other side...I don't know. I'll let you know when I get on the other side.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ready For Take Off

Wow! My oldest just left today to go on her eighth grade trip, and I miss her so much!! It's funny that my husband and I had the same reaction when we said goodbye to her today. She said goodbye to me first while I was half asleep in the pre-dawn hours... as soon as I heard the door close, I panicked...OMG I just let her go!! I didn't give her a proper goodbye...I won't see her for 3 days!! I didn't make sure she brought everything....etc.
My husband took her at this insane hour to the school for drop off, and had the same reaction, as soon as he left he realized what a big deal this was!
We talked later and shared our similar reaction together...we were all growing up!!
I was lucky enough to receive a call from her while she was on the train, and after that, I felt better knowing she was having such a blast!!
It is so hard to let go......
My youngest might go to a school next year that is a much longer day because of the commute...I'm not sure I'm ready for her to go. It means a new chapter for me as well, it would be the first time that I wouldn't have anyone at home with me since the day I became a mom 13 years ago! I have had my kids close enough together that when one goes full day, I still have one at home even half day.
My little one is going in a few days to see this school and go on the bus with her older sister to try it out. I'm only having minor chest pains.....
It is so much worse when it is the youngest, I never thought I would be like this. I am always pushing my kids to the next level and secretly wishing for this new stage of having the day all ALONE!!
But now that this is a reality...I'm not sure I'm ready.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Piece of The Pie

They all want a bite outta me!! The people in my life all need me, and that's a good feeling...except when they all need me at the same time!!

"Mommy...where's my uniform shirt?"
"Mommy..she hit me again!"
"Mommy..I can't find my shoes..and I'm late for the bus!"
"Mommy...the toilet won't flush!"

This whole scene happens while I am in bed, trying to wake up!! This happens every day, just different questions. All you mom's out there know what I'm talking about right??

The daily grind...this one needs new socks, this one needs to get to their O.T. appointment, I need to fill out paperwork for my Mom and take her to her doctor and chemo appointments not to mention cleaning and cooking...

My husband is sadly last on this list, by the time the kids are in bed (well, most of them)and the house is quiet (except the phone ringing) we are able to talk.....who are you???

The pie only has crumbs left....a few lonely crumbs!! I am completely depleted. There is nothing left of me.....

We are trying to carve out time for just the two of us, it's a daily battle. But it is imperative to our marriage to make the time.

I started this blog as a way for me to talk to other moms and get advice as well as give any if needed. It's a way for me to get the "pie" filled up again...so I can be able to give my family a piece of me -- day after day...after day..after day...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Out of the Box

Why is it that I feel that something is "wrong" because my child doesn't fit the "mold"? I know that I am not the only mother out there that feels this way! Every child is a world of their own put into a cookie cutter system.
It is so hard some days to fight the system, I feel like just giving in. Why is it that because there is a teacher that can't deal with anything other than robots for students, my daughter had to leave the school? She couldn't stay there...it would have been a disaster.
I am now looking to other options, though they are not totally ideal. No school is perfect..I know that. It's really a matter of what kind of sacrifice are we willing to make. There is a really good school that my older daughter is at but it is located far away, it is a one hour commute each way. Or, go to a closer school where we would be sacrificing other things.
The bottom line is that I don't like feeling this way...having to feel like my daughter doesn't really have many choices because she doesn't fit into their mold.
It is not as if I haven't dealt with this already with some of my other kids, it bothers me more, because I have to deal with this again.
My children count on me and my husband to make these decisions for them, it is so frightening!
We have to be their advocates....that is what keeps me focused to do my best to keep their best interests my focus every day.
Out of the box or in the box? Who cares? In my opinion,it's the child that doesn't fit in the box who becomes an even more unique individual.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Time Flies When Your Having Fun

My oldest is graduating from elementary school in a few weeks! High school is just around the corner! I remember when she was born.....older, and wiser mothers said that time will fly- that I should enjoy every moment. I just nodded with my eyelids at half mast from sleep deprivation. Now of course, in hindsight I see that indeed, time flew.

She is now 13 and ready to start on her new stage of entering high school. I too am entering a new stage called mom of teenagerhood. With this new stage I now have to learn to step back and keep my mouth shut. I stand to the side and watch as a bystander now.....not like before when she would trail behind me as a little one.
I need to sit and listen to her more than she needs to listen to me.

Months ago her school started planning the 8th grade trip. I immediately told her I wanted to chaperon....her response was less than enthusiastic. She told me, trying to be sensitive, that she would rather I not go. I was happy and sad at the same time. I was happy that she was ready to tell me that it was time to be more independent(I might embarrass her). I was sad....because I couldn't go on this awesome trip....(white water rafting, people!).

Growing up is hard ......for both of us! Time is flying.....and I'm having so much fun!

Monday, May 11, 2009


Can you wipe me? That is how I am woken up most mornings. You would think that I am used to this already....I've been through this 3 times before!

My youngest is still too little to take care of herself in the bathroom. So the "can you wipe meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee?" question is still happening here. It also seems to happen at dinner also, but that is better for me because my husband is home. All I have to do is give him the "look" and he gets up to take care of it.

Why is it that I couldn't wait for them to say mommy when they are babies, but when they start saying it, it becomes so grating on my nerves?

Just when I am ready to throw in the towel, my youngest will come over and give me a hug and say, "I love you mommy" in the most loving way! I am convinced that those moments are the ones that have kept her from being sent to the gypsies!

"Mommy ......where is my homework sheet?" Is the question I was asked morning, by my 12 year old son. How was I supposed to know? (I thought) It turns out that I did know....I threw it out by accident. Oh, well.....better than being woken up to help in the bathroom.....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!

I have big plans for today! My sister and I are taking my mom out for lunch and the we are hosting my in-laws for dinner (only 20 people!). I hope everyone will be in good moods today....especially my mom....ya never know what will happen! I guess she keeps me on my toes!
My mom was diagnosed with cancer in January and it's been a very rough road. We hope that she will be with us for many more years, but the reality of her diagnosis is not as optimistic. We take every day as it comes and her attitude is good for the most part. I have always taken care of her in some way my whole life (long story)but now she needs more care than ever. I am her primary caretaker (along with my sister) and some days it becomes very overwhelming. I am constantly balancing her needs with my four young children and husbands needs. I now understand the "sandwich generation" saying so very well!
I am doing the best I can, at least that is what I tell myself everyday. Every day is really a gift, though some days it is harder to see than others!
I plan on enjoying the day with my kids, mother, and mother -n-law!! I have so much to be thankful for!! Enjoy your day too!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Space Invaders

I need my space. I can't help it, it's just the way I am. Don't get me wrong, I love being around people. I am a very social person, just ask my husband; he thinks I'm too social. I just need my 2-3 feet of personal space around me.
During my first pregnancy I remember feeling like I was possessed. There was this creature moving around and kicking me. I was really weirded out by this.
My space issue became a real problem when I had my first daughter. Babies need to be held....constantly. She was either nursing constantly or needed to be held.......I said constantly right? No one tells you how demanding motherhood actually is and babies don't come with an instruction manual. So, we all manage to figure things out by trial and error, some of us have more error than others.
Space was and still is a huge issue for me. Children have no concept of personal space; especially children who have sensory deficits. My girls need to not just be next to me, they need to be right on top of me. I have gotten used to it....mostly. What really sends me over the edge is more than one person sitting on top of me and the fighting between them about their designated space. My kids aren't babies anymore, meaning there are big people fighting on my lap! This is a space invasion! My son, on the other hand, is like me and is constantly yelling at his sisters to get out of his space.
This has become so much more of an issue as the kids are getting older because they need me in a whole different way now. Now they need me to listen to them in addition to needing me to be physically close to them. It is sensory overload for me!
I came to realize that they need me in a way that is almost impossible for me to give. I do give to them the best way that I can, and that has to be good enough for them and for me. I do need to take care of myself in a nurturing way so that I can nurture them. If I am depleted, then there isn't anything there to give. I am always trying to strike a balance between everyone's needs and trying to fulfill them the best way possible.
As mothers day approaches I am always struck by the dichotomy of the day. As a child I always hated mothers day because my mom got all the attention. My mother's answer to me was, "every day is children's day". Funny, it never felt like it was my day every day. Now as mother, a daughter, and a daughter-n-law I try to make the day nice for everyone. My mother told me recently that the first mothers day after her mother died she didn't want to celebrate that year because to her - mothers day was about her mother; so then there was no reason to celebrate anymore. We did celebrate after that but I guess it was never the same for my mom. Now as a mother myself, I see the day for my mother and mother-n-law and like to try to make some special time for each as well as carve out some for myself.
Mothers day is a day designated for us to celebrate being a mom. Even with those little and big "space invaders" who call us mom.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Playing Hookie

Playing hookie for a mom is like not washing that fourth load of laundry for the day. Then, the next day that load was the one that had the one item a child needed for school! Moms never really get to play hookie, as I just recently learned. I planned to have the entire day ahead of me without any children and without doing anything for them. I had a quick doctor appointment scheduled for myself that was located near a outlet mall. I arranged my day so that I would be able to leisurely shop after the appointment. I was looking forward to just relax and shop at my own pace!
I ended up going with a friend of mine who needed to start later than I had intended, but we tacked on a restaurant stop onto our day, which was a really nice addition. The shopping part of out trip was lessened to only one hour, but that was fine with me because I was relaxing! I kept saying to my friend, "I feel like I'm playing hookie!" We both felt like we were doing something wrong because we were not taking care of our regular responsibilities.
All afternoon I had this nagging feeling like I was supposed to be doing something. I finally let the guilt go on the ride home because there was terrible traffic and torrential rain. We were running terribly late although we managed to arrange back up childcare for our kids, thank you cell phones!
It was only after I got home and happened to glance at my personal calendar did I see that I totally blew off an appointment for one of my kids! Not only had I already rescheduled this particular appointment one time before, but I was at this office two days prior and I told them that I would see them today!
I couldn't believe it! I knew I felt guilty about something all afternoon.... well, I wasn't going to beat myself up about this. I was playing hookie, and part of playing hookie means there is no guilt about doing it. But what is a mother without guilt?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Moms don't get Sick Days

My job is 24/7. There are no holidays, and no sick days. Certainly there are no "personal days". When I do get sick, things around here can get insane. My kids can't stand it when they see me in bed, and not up and around as usual. My poor husband is saddled with all of my share of the responsibilities, plus his usual heavy load.
Once, when recovering from surgery, I lay in bed watching a cleaning lady, my mother -n-law, my mother, and a babysitter trying to take care of my house! They were having a very difficult time trying to cope. I saw then what it took to replace me and frankly it scared me to death! I have felt ever since then that I cannot "afford" to be sick.
I went just last week to the doctor who told me that I had a virus, and that it could last up to three weeks! I looked at her in panic. I told that it simply couldn't happen, that I could not be laid up in bed that long, I have way too much to do! She wasn't bothered by my outrage, she just shrugged and told me to take care of myself. Take care of myself? I almost laughed in her face!How do I do that? I'm too busy with everyone and everything else.
That is what we tell ourselves all the time. I'm too busy to take care of myself. If I don't though, I will end up back in that bed with everything falling apart around me. It's like that analogy of the airline attendant who tells us in case of emergency we must cover ourselves first with the oxygen mask before our child. It doesn't seem very motherly to take care of ourselves first. Though, it must be done for our very survival.