Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is NOT a replacement for pasta. It is NOT.
It doesn't matter what recipe I use, I KNOW it is squash. I LOVE PASTA and if I wanted a fucking veggie with my pasta, I would make pasta primavera. You taste bud hating people must love being skinny more than I do because I am finished with this vegetable as a pasta substitute.

I will make this squash as a side dish, but nothing else.

That goes for zoodles as well.

What the fuck.


When did carbs become the devil? I am not a sufferer of Celiac (thank goodness) so why do I have to give them up? When did healthy mean no carbs? I thought healthy was a well balanced meal and exercising.

I am not a nutritionist and lord knows you should not use my word as the gospel, but if I have to keep going down a road of vegetables replacing my pasta and going without, I am turning around and headed straight for the red dye 40 and the carbs.

My kids eat well balanced meals, they are not overweight, they do not use food as an emotional crutch, and they do not define themselves or anyone else by how they look. My kids seem pretty awesome now that I've typed that out.  You know what is not awesome? Spaghetti squash for pasta.

Maybe I am doing it wrong. Maybe my kids, husband, and I will one day see the error of our ways. For now, I take comfort in the fact that my kids don't gorge themselves at someone else's house because they have better food.

As for myself, I am going to eat the bread, the pasta, and all the other bad for you food AND I am going to eat vegetables and fruit and all the other good for you food. It is called BALANCE.

Rant over.

It is dinner time here: BBQ/Honey chicken, broccoli, and fruit for dessert. Oh yeah, and some garlic bread for E1 - she loves Texas Toast.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Add It To The List


We use babysitters for date night, date day, or if I need to go somewhere when my husband is out of town. If we use a new sitter I have them come about an hour before we leave to see the interaction with the girls and to basically eavesdrop while I get ready without interruptions. Once the sitter/child relationship has been established, we are walking out the door as soon as she arrives.

As parents, we have encountered some interesting babysitters and have added "rules" to our list after a "lesson learned."  While I understand our sitters are teenagers or in their early 20s, charging $10/hour makes me think some of these rules should not be necessary. At $10/hour, common sense should be a requirement.

1. Bedtime is at X time. Please do not keep my girls awake past this time. You are not here tomorrow to deal with that decision.

2. Please do not tell my girls not tell their parents something. We do not keep secrets and your words are more powerful than you can comprehend.

3. They may eat ____ for dessert. Please do not feed them something else. You are not here for the gas, diarrhea, and vomit that occurred from your decision.

4. Do not let my girls rummage through my make-up and perfume. 
(See blog post: The Clown and The Hooker)

5. If you play outside, you must stay with them. 

6. Please make sure you have not locked the dog in a bedroom.

7. Please do not let my girls use the hot glue gun. 

8. Your teenage pregnancy is not a topic for discussion with my girls. (Especially since I did not know because you were not showing)

9. My girls do not "need" to watch a movie. They are awake for a limited time while you are here so screen time is not necessary.

10. Please do not let my kids play on your phone.

11. Please do not take pictures of my girls.

12. Please do not let my girls get on the internet on your phone.

13. Please do not put pictures of my girls on snap chat.

14. Just stay away from all technology.

15. Do not toss the pull up aside and trust the baby that she won't have an accident. She will. She did. 

16. Please PLAY.

17. Please LAUGH.

18. Please SMILE.

19. Please have FUN.

20. Keep them safe.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

My Daddy Is At Work

My husband travels frequently for his work. Some months he is gone a total of a few days, some months he is traveling for a total of weeks. The girls and I are used to this. It has been YEARS of this schedule and they literally do not know any different. When he is in town, his hours are not 9 to 5. He typically leaves around 7:30 am and gets home around 7 pm. Some evenings a bit later.

I go to parent conferences alone, pediatrician appointments alone, do bath time alone, dinner time alone, hell E2 had her adenoid removal surgery when my husband was traveling. I go to their activities alone. I go to open house alone. I go on play dates alone. I hire babysitters for girls' night out and for board meetings. This routine is not unusual for us and at this point, we do not think twice about eating dinner just us three. E2 sees the hubs on the weekends mainly and E1 sees him for a few minutes at night and in the morning when he drives her to school (when he is in town).
Side note: The hubs does not miss the "super important" stuff like preschool graduations, recitals, a parent meeting that would require both our presence, Doughnuts with Dad, or anything else we together, deem "two parent necessary."

Marriage is a compromise. My husband works damn hard and I get to stay home. I agreed to this. He works hard so I don't have to have a 9 to 5 job. He works damn hard so the girls can participate in activities. He works damn hard so we can live in this house. He works damn hard so we can vacation. He works damn hard so that day in and day out the girls and I can have an awesome life.  When he is in town we have date night and we vacation as a family each year. We also try to make the most of our weekends. The four of us are together when it is possible. When it is not, the girls and I are a perfect trio.

People always ask me how I do it? Do what? Parent? Be a mom? I don't know. Perhaps I am a Nike commercial, Just Do It.  This is all we know. This is all I know. I am not resentful. I am not mad. Do I miss him when he is not here? Honestly, sometimes. I do not mind having the DVR to myself. I do not mind having a snore-less sleep. And sometimes I miss his conversation, his jokes, and simply his presence. Some evenings are lonely, other evenings the peace and quiet are phenomenal.

"So How do you do it?"

I can tell you how I do it......I wake up every morning, get out of bed, drink a shit ton of coffee and experience being a mom because my husband is at work. I saw and heard every first step, first laugh, first smile, first word, first spin at ballet, first hit of the tennis ball, first somersault, first walk across the balance beam, first bike ride without training wheels, first word read, first of everything for both girls. I have not missed a single first. While at work, my husband gets pictures of three smiling faces. While at work, my husband gets texts and videos showing him all their accomplishments. I fill him in on what wonderful things the teachers said about our girls. He misses so much, so I don't have to.

Sure he also misses tantrums, potty training, bad days, and all the pull your hair out moments. But this comes at a cost. When the girls are hurt, upset, sad, mad, etc not only can I read them and know it is going to happen, but I can diffuse the situations much quicker. I offer a familiar comfort. I know them better.

I do it because I love being a stay at home mom. I do not get mad about it because it breaks my heart to think of what he feels each and every time he misses something. It breaks my heart to think of all the things he has been told about vs witnessing first hand. He is a great daddy and he only gets to shine on the weekends. That is a world I do not want to know. I do not want to be the parent the girls fight over to sit next to because they have not seen me all week. I do not want to be the parent that the girls get excited for because I am not home all the time. I love being the constant.

Please do not mistake his absence as bad parenting or neglect. He is a GREAT father. He has patience, love, understanding, and a twinkle in his eye when he spends time with the girls. He is their awesome daddy.

I do not need sympathy or even a high five for doing what I do. I chose this marriage. I chose this life. On top of that, I love my girls and after 14 years of marriage you can be damn sure I really love my husband.

And by myself I end this post to make dinner, run baths, and read bed time stories because yes, he is out of town.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Waiting Game

I have not blogged in awhile because I have been waiting to see the direction this blog post would take. Weeks ago, after years of worrying, noting, therapies, teacher conferences, play dates, and daily life we decided to explore the answer to "Why are so many things difficult for E2?" This is not something we noticed over night. This is not a question that popped up a few months ago. This question has plagued us for years. Years.

Everything E2 accomplishes comes with intense patience, one on one teaching, therapy, love, and determination on her part and ours. It is exhausting. The thing that has kept all of us going is her smile and love for life and the excitement that she exudes as each milestone is met.

Deciding to get E2 "tested" was a lengthy discussion with my husband and multiple diagnosticians. I called more than one, spoke to them on the phone, listened to their questions and opinions, and then chose the one that best met our daughter's needs. We did not go through the school district as the bureaucratic red tape is beyond ridiculous and time consuming. That process also takes forever and when you are dealing with a child with delays, forever is not an option.

We chose a doctor who is a Clinical Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow. She is well educated, warm, friendly, kind and matter of fact. The testing took hours divided up into multiple days. E2 did great during this time. She cooperated, played the games, and had fun. It was not upsetting to her, she did not shows signs of stress, anxiety, or anything of that sort. E2 was happy to hang out with the Dr.

We filled out pages of questions. E2's teachers filled out pages of questions. The questionnaires and the tests were complied and evaluated.

At our parent meeting with the Dr. we reviewed pages of observations, test results, graphs, charts, and tables. We reviewed 32 pages of data. Data. Evidence. Facts.

We learned E2 has a Language Disorder and has extreme markers for ADHD with Inattentiveness. ADHD does not always mean hyper or impulsive. People sometimes call ADHD with Inattentiveness, ADD.  E2 was only diagnosed with the Language Disorder because her Dr. does not believe in labeling ADHD at her age. She did explain to us that with such extreme numbers, it would be almost impossible for E2 to not receive this additional diagnosis in a few years.
(Children get tested every 2-3 years.)

E2 has a million thoughts in her head at any given time so to push those thoughts aside and learn a new task, even talking, requires effort, determination, and hard work. It requires patience. It requires understanding.

So now what?

Now we continue speech, physical, and occupational therapy. We meet with her teachers and put accommodations into place to help E2 be successful. We teach her one on one in five minute increments. We check for understanding. We try our hardest to fulfill the seven pages of recommendations. And then we wait. We wait for the interventions to work. We wait for the connections to be made. We wait for the success to come. We are patient.

What we will not do is defend our child's diagnosis, our school choice, our parenting techniques. We will not listen when you tell us she is fine, we will not listen when you tell us what you do or do not believe in. We will not listen if you question an extremely well educated doctor's findings based on data and evidence.

We will listen to what worked for your child.
We will listen to a suggestion.
We will listen to a new idea.
We will read an article you think might be helpful.
We will listen to a loving comment.
We will listen about a school or program you think might be beneficial.

We know E2 will be 'just fine' in the long run. Her IQ (which was evaluated) allowed us to learn that E2 is smart and will find success given the correct tools and environment. While the road E2 travels might be long and bumpy, her future is bright. Her persistent personality would accept nothing less.