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First day of Kindergarten for the boys, First day of 2nd grade for Sofia

I know that it’s been a very long time since I posted. I don’t have a very good reason for not posting, other than not feeling particularly inspired.

The summer flew by, but lots going on….

Money – The husband and I decided to file for bankruptcy. Not an easy decision, but the one that makes the most sense for us at this point. Obviously things are not great. Clearly. But they could be worse. We’re taking it one day at a time.

Marriage – Status quo. We get along most of the time, but things will never be the same after last year. At least for me.

Job for husband – Currently trying to find work, pretty much anything at this point. So discouraged here. Because we don’t want to pay child care, we’re trying to find something at night or swing shift. One day at a time.

Work – As many of you know, I came to my current place of employment after losing out to the BIG job I originally tried out for in fall of 2009

That BIG job recently opened up again. The person who held the position became very ill and over the course of about a year, it became clear she wasn’t able to come back. I was consistently encouraged by every person in management (my boss included) to apply again for that position. As the BIG BOSS had no Secretary for the better part of a year, he relied on me to help him with a variety of things. I was happy to do so as it gave me an opportunity to show him what I was capable of. Many people did not like him, but he was always very good to me. When he announced his impending retirement, I was disappointed. He had been a cheerleader for me and now, he would be gone. The decision was made that his replacement, THE NEW BIG BOSS, would select a secretary and make the final decision on this job I so desperately wanted.

So old BIG BOSS left, new BIG BOSS came and the process began. I went through the series of interviews and felt really good about everything. I had a letter of recommendation from my current boss (CBO) and the BIG BOSS. I made it to the final two, beating out someone who I considered my main competition. 

I didn’t have much time to revel in that fact as ultimately, I lost out to someone who is in a lower administrative classification than myself. New BIG BOSS chose to go in a different direction, I guess you could say, as my competitor was bilingual.  As I’d been working towards this job since 2010, to say it was a crushing disappointment doesn’t even begin to cover it. I get the bilingual thing, but it hadn’t been a requirement for the job. A Bachelor’s Degree had been, something I did have and my competitor did not.

I simmered through weeks of bitter and angry feelings toward my employer, feeling burned and defeated. It knocked me off my feet for a good 6 weeks and only recently have I begun to see clearly. I’m not perfect, but I’ve consistently performed my job well and risen through the ranks accordingly. This was my first taste of having the door slammed in my face due to politics and ya know what? Not so fun

I definitely feel differently about my job and workplace at this point. While my goal is to eventually find something better (made difficult due to generous total compensation here), at the moment I am focused on the kids. I’ve decided to embrace the fact that I don’t have a high pressure job, count my blessings and be happy that I have a job that is flexible, pays decently, provides wonderful medical coverage for my family and contributes generously to my pension. It’s hard to wrap my head around thinking about my pension, but I guess I’m at that age (20 years out) that I have to start thinking in those terms.

School – We made the very difficult decision to remove Sofia from private school so that all 3 children will attend school together. The boys were starting kindergarten and let’s be honest, we are in no position to be paying tuition. Sofia handled it better than I did. Her main concern? When can we go clothes shopping? They’re all settled in and we’re very happy with the decision. They boys love school and Sofia has a great teacher. I did decide to separate the twins, which I think is best for them but obviously harder on me. It’s a new world for me having to make sure all 3 kids have clothes to wear, 3 lunches to prepare, 3 sets of homework to oversee, etc. I am going to need a separate calendar to keep track of who’s class I am volunteering in and when. The school is moving towards a more minimal homework philosophy (emphasis on reading, reading, reading), so that works in my favor.

Weight – Not good. Not good at all. Not sure what to do about it as my plate is so full. No pun intended. I’m considering joining a gym near my house ($9 per month to go 4 days per week). Need to check it out. Need to get moving. My doctor put me on meds for high BP and I’m not sure they are working. Still having a lot of back pain due to degenerative disc and arthritis, exacerbated by weight, of course. I guess you could say I’m a hot mess.  

Sofia – Seems to be a little better, but still has an explosive temper, anxiety and several phobias. I discussed it with her primary pediatrician over the summer and he spoke to a child psychologist colleague who felt that between the family history (schizophrenia, general mental illness and anxiety disorders) and her behavior, there was more than enough there for an assessment. He gave me some names, but I’ve yet to look into it. I am hesitant to open the can of worms. For the most part, she is a happy, bright and engaged little girl. But she does display a lot of anxiety and an explosive temper. I’m sort of on the fence on what to do about it.

David – He’s a living, breathing cartoon character. Always smiling and trying to make people laugh. He’s like a 5 year old Jim Carrey with all his facial gestures and body movements. I can’t even begin to describe how animated he can be. I call him the “song and dance” man. He still can exhibit a little temper once in a while, but for the most part, is a sweet, extremely affectionate little boy.

William – A dream child. Innately good, he just wants to follow the rules and have things in order. For the most part, he doesn’t complain, picks up when he is supposed to, eats when he’s supposed to, follows directions. He makes things easier for me and thank god one of them does. Quiet and reserved and not overly touchy feely, he’s always thinking. It’s pretty evident he’s going to be a little heartthrob, with his enormous brown eyes, thick shock of hair and beautiful olive skin, but don’t let him hear you say that. If you even whisper that he is cute or handsome, he flips out. One thing William does not like is attention. Negative, positive, doesn’t matter, he doesn’t want it. I guess you could say he is humble. Steve says he will probably be a priest. He’s joking, sort of.

All the kids are now going to catechism. I know that’s not what it’s called anymore, but that is what I call it. They go every other Sunday after mass, so that means I have 3 hours to myself. Talk about a dream come true. It doesn’t get much better.

I think that’s about it for the last 6 months. I’ll probably try to upload some photos and for god sakes, try to post regularly – if there are any readers left!! If you are still out there, please post and let me know.

 

 

 

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So, it’s been a while since I updated this blog. Months. Since I started my blog in 2007, I never thought I’d go this long without an update. Truth be told, 2012 has not been a great year thus far. I’ve spent the past 4-5 months trying to keep my head above water, so not a lot of time or mental fortitude to write anything inspired. But in the end, this blog has been my creative outlet, so I am going to attempt to return to writing, with some regularity, starting today.

So what the *hell* have we been doing the past 5 months? Oh, lots. Let me break.it.down.

The marriage:
Nothing new there. I’m still bitter about last year’s near-indiscretion and not sure I’ll ever get over it. Also quite resentful about the financial situation and carrying the burden of responsibility for our family of five. It’s something I feel the weight of every minute, every second of every day…I can never forget that I have 3 little people depending on me to feed, clothe and love them, keep them safe. I’m not saying I’m doing anything spectacularI know tons of single moms do this and thrive – but I’m not technically a single mom and the resentment I feel for my husband is hard to get past at times. I’m trying. He’s trying. We all are.

Family:
I did finally come clean with my brother about how dire our financial situation is and while I expected him to judge (he has before), he didn’t. Inside he may have been, but he only offered support and love, which was much needed and welcomed. We had a chance to reconnect a bit and that meant the world to me.

My mental health:
It varies. Some days I’m fine, but other days, I am fighting back panic attacks and tears most of the day. Thank god for Klonopin, that’s all I can say.

When it rains, it pours:
A few weeks back, we had both cars give us problems. The van needed front end work, so not drivable on the freeway. The other car wouldn’t start. Got a new battery and still wouldn’t start. It was probably the lowest point of this year for us, by far. I barely had money to buy groceries and here I have 2 cars non-functional at the same time. A co worker drove me to work all week and by the grace of god, a mechanic up the street diagnosed it as an electrical problem and fixed it, free of charge. We still need front end work on the van, but it can be driven around town (Steve doesn’t need to go far now that the kids are out of school) but at least one car works. Last week, our refrigerator stopped keeping food cold. So we are currently keeping all of our food in the freezer. This happened last year and cost $250 to fix. I’m going to try a 48 hour defrost, but haven’t had a chance. Last week, Sofia swallowed a polished quartz stone about the size of a nickel. It has yet to pass through. So, after work, I am going to take her to after care as I won’t be able to rest until I do.

Work:
Where to start? I have tried for several different positions lately and for a variety of reasons involving politics and a cuthroat job market, have not gotten any of them. I’ve come close, but no cigar. There’s one left, so we’ll see. Being involved in such competitive job searches has shaken my confidence a bit. Then again, maybe I’m not meant to leave here. Maybe I’m meant to stay in this position as it offers me flexibility. Maybe the universe knows I can’t handle a high pressure job with 3 small children. Maybe, maybe, maybe. Who knows. I feel like something is keeping me here and pretty soon, will stop fighting it and get on my husband’s ass to do something.

Finances:
Not great, obviously. I am still working on the side for the German, but there have been a few dry spells in there that were scary for me. I have gotten behind on a few things, but somehow always manage to make the payment in the end. People (who know the real deal) comment on how the hell I am doing it on my salary and I have to tell you, I have no idea. I have to go out there and hustle and let me tell you, this is not in my nature – not even close. I would rather stay home and watch Real Housewives repeats. But I am a mama bear and if hustling is what I need to do to put food on the table, this is what I will do. (and by hustle, I mean, actively seek out work, actively seek out new positions, sell myself, etc.)

Sofia:
She is as challenging as ever. In fact, while the boys become less challenging, she becomes more challenging. The past few months have consisted of daily battles, tantrums, oppositional behavior, exhausting everyone in her wake. All that said, since school let out, she is bored, but much more manageable. I think she’s getting more sleep and that’s a huge difference. She does go to bed early during the school year, but I think the getting up early and pressures of school and all that goes with it takes a lot out of her. Who knows, maybe my little princes will become beasts when they start school as well. When she is in her “normal” state of mind, she is the most articulate, engaging, bright and loving little girl you’d ever want to meet. It’s the times when she’s not in her regular state of mind – head spinning around a la Linda Blair, tantruming, screaming, kicking and acting out – that is so concerning. I’ve talked to her pedi, who talked to a child psych and because of my own family history, her anxiety and vomiting phobia (think I’ve mentioned this before), they feel she is symptomatic enough for an evaluation. So, just trying to process that and see how to move forward. One day at a time.

Will:
He is my little prince. Selfless, adorable, loving, smart, creative. Steve likes to joke that he is going to be a priest and I can’t say that I disagree. Whenever I take him out, if he buys something for himself, he always thinks of his brother and sister. Would they think of him in the same way? Probably not. He is the first to clean up, listen to what I say, make his bed, and fall in line. He’s a kind, selfless child and I am so thankful that one of them is like this.

Dave:
David has come a long way in the past year. He burst out of his shell and loves to make people laugh. We joke that he’s a “song and dance” man as he loves to dance around to Michael Jackson and do air guitar. He’s quite petite for his age, so people always laugh when they see him do this stuff. He’s also quite a terror on his bike. He’s been riding w/no training wheels since he was 4, so when people see this little guy who looks 3, tearing it up on his bike, they stare in amazement. It’s awesome! He’s a bundle of energy, but he makes me laugh and smile on a daily basis. He’s always telling me I look pretty, even when I have just woken up (which I can assure you, is not my prettiest moment). He’s truly a doll.

I think that brings us up to speed with how I’ve spent the past 4-5 months. Things are hard, but could be worse. The kids are happy, despite it all. They do ask for things that we can’t afford, and that is hard, but they do seem to “get it” after a while. We had a very generous and kind friend treat us to a Disneyland trip in February, all expenses paid – stayed at the Disneyland hotel. That didn’t suck.

There are no summer camps in our summer, but I’m lucky to have them spending time at home, playing in the yard, their dad at their disposal, just like I did as a kid. I think summer camp is great and god knows, I wish I could send them to some, but I never had camp growing up (and neither did any of my friends) and we managed to get by just fine. It’s going to be ok. My husband may lose his mind, but it’s going to be okay.

The good news, the godmother is taking Sofia and me away this weekend to a resort. I’m a little nervous about leaving the boys (guilt), but am hoping this is a time for relaxation and to put aside my troubles and enjoy a cocktail or two. Or five. We shall see. Sofia has been quite good this week, so I’m cautiously optimistic.

Hopefully, this will be the first of many blog posts to come!

A pictorial history of what we’ve been up to the last 5 months!!

My favorite pic of the kids this year

Sofia teaching Geography

My silly boys at their 5 year old doc appt – complete with boy move hand in pants

Hearing test

Doing what they do

Tee ball

Impromptu trip to Disney in February (treated by friends)

Got SOfia’s haircut for a birthday party

Just another day at the park

Sofia bridging to Brownies

The kids trying to convince me a new kitten is just what we needed in our lives

Sofia being Sofia

Will after buying items for his brother and sister, with his own quarters, after buying something for himself

Sofia flying a kite with her 8th grade buddy on their 1st grade/8th grade end of the year picnic

Will running for base

Playing with the cousins

Sofia’s bowling birthday party

Sofia and her godmother at the park

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So, updates all the way ’round.

David has asthma…AGAIN. We were kind of on the fence about the daily pulmicort treatments, but now I am kicking myself. He caught this awful, deep cough that I and everyone else at my workplace have & asthma is sure to follow. It always does. I hate coming to work when he’s like this. He’s going to be seen by his pediatrician this afternoon and hope we can nip this in the bud.

Since I’m already going to be there…

I’m going to ask about William’s stuttering. I realize that it is a very normal think in a 3 year old boy. But this has been going on for at least 9 months and I think it’s actually getting worse. It’s not a once in a while kind of thing; it’s every time he speaks, becoming part of his way of talking.

In other news…

I don’t think that I reported the latest on the house? We are in the midst of getting permits, the final quote for what needs to be done, dealing with the insurance company mold and lead based paint abatement and of course, wondering where we’re going to live.

Fortunately, last week, my landlord let me know that we can stay for a while. Best case scenario? 4 months. Worst case scenario? 6 months. Or more. I’m not sure how long all of this will take, but we shall see…At least I know we can stay put for now. It was an amazing gift as my entire summer has been based on us moving in July. It’s pretty much freed up my summer in a way that was unexpected. That’s not to say that I don’t have a kazillion things I need to do, but that pressure is slightly decreased.

Sofia is back from her vacation with cousins and has been a total “piaga” since. She doesn’t want to go to school, doesn’t want to eat what I give her, doesn’t want me to talk to the boys, and doesn’t want to do anything I ask of her. I know she is just tired and having a hard time transitioning back into a strict schedule, but it’s like she’s pissed that she has to return to her shabby little life. I realize that I am BIG TIME projecting those emotions on her, but it’s there. Just a little bit.

Summer school is only one more week and I’m so happy that it will be over. Of course, she’s going to have to get used to the whole daily school think soon enough, but at least she’ll have about 6 weeks to chill. (I canceled her Spanish Immersion Camp in August since we won’t be moving). There’s a one-week cheerleading camp in August I may sign her up for. Her dancing has improved 100% since the recital, it’s like something clicked in her. It’s pretty cute.

We’re off to Disneyland in 2 weeks (for 5 days) and I can’t.freaking.wait. I could really use some House of Mouse right about now.

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I’m taking part in Wordful Wednesday, courtesy of Seven Clown Circus, where we post a photo that we are dying to share with the world.

I have one question.

When did my little baby boy go from this…

To this?

No more baby here. He’s looking downright “little boy” like.

Justin Bieber, watch your back.

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I Yub My Boyz

It’s Friday and I thought I would talk about my boys a bit. They are quickly transitioning from toddlers to little boys and while it’s inevitable that this happen, it makes slightly sad. I say slightly because – as I continually point out – this 3 year old boy thing is HARD and I am fine with little boyhood being around the corner.

The boys are developing their own little quirks and personalities and are so much fun. Well, when they’re not demanding snacks, throwing things, climbing on furniture and coloring on the carpet with permanent marker.

Some examples of cuteness:

William refers to the backyard as the “Back-i-bar-di-gan” as in “Momma? We go in the back-i-bar-di-gan?” (Backyardigans)

Somewhere along the way, David adopted a decidedly French sounding accent, cadence and all. In the hospital, he kept referring to the oxygen saturation machine as the “Sheeeen” as in “I go to play woom and no sheen?”

He almost exclusively uses “L” in place of “Y,” which let me tell ya, makes for some pretty cute bits of dialogue i.e.

“Just a Yeetuh bit, momma?”
“Why does daddy have a Yawn-mower?” (Good question, my son, good question).
“I put dees in the yawn-dwee?”
“I have one a yeetuh yater?”
“I YIKE it!”
yi-yon “ (lion) “Yadee-bug” (ladybug) “a yong time” (long time) “too YOUD!” (loud) and “I yub you.”

It’s Riyyyyeeee cute.

David continues to imitate all that Will does, even down to the stutter (when he really doesn’t stutter). Sometimes, Will walks around with his head tilted to the left, especially when he is angry or reprimanded in some way. David has now started doing this. They are funny little guys.

William does not like when I have my hair down as he has learned that this often equates to my going to work. He will demand that I put it up!

William is always asking me “You go to work now?” (they never used to ask me that before)

They are continually pointing out the injustices of their lives. (“I no have some!” the minute of them gets a cookie, a piece of cheese, a vitamin, you name it) Sofia is always complaining that she is “never first.” I explained that she was born first, so she needs to get over it.

William has some pretty strong opinions about what he will and won’t wear. He insists on wearing the same “Mader” pj’s every night and the same tee shirt every day. Actually, he alternates between a flag shirt (which inevitably reminds David that he does not have a flag shirt – more injustices) and a red shirt with goldfish on it. He has also taken a liking to board shorts. Never mind that it was 50 degrees yesterday. Surfs up!

McDonald’s is “Oh MacDonnah’s” as in “We go to Oh MacDonnah’s” or “Where is my toy from Oh MacDonnah’s?”

I know I complain a lot. I do. But man alive, I am one lucky lady.


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It being Finale Night for Lost, I am forced to stay away from most of the internet. This is the one place I don’t have to worry about exposure to spoilers. I know I’ve bitched about some stuff, but I still want the ending of Lost to be untainted.

That said, the way I’m viewing the Lost finale is not exactly the way I envisioned it. I am currently in the hospital with David.

A few weeks back, all 3 kids had a mild cold. Sofia and Will got over it quickly but David’s lingered. Thursday, David started coughing a bit, but nothing alarming. By Saturday, the cough was sounding dry and eerily familiar. I felt his chest when he was breathing and it literally felt like sandpaper. He was in good spirits, so I still didn’t think too much of it.

In the morning, we participated in a parade with Sofia’s preschool. We were having a great time, but as the parade came to an end, I noticed that David was really struggling to breathe. Pretty soon, I could tell it was critical that I got him to a doctor – QUICKLY. Thank GOD for our friends who were at the parade. They took Sofia to a birthday party for one of their classmates.

I have never been so frightened driving one of my children to urgent care. Fortunately, David threw up on himself halfway there. It was definitely gross, but made him a little more comfortable.

By now he was struggling to breathe. When we arrived at urgent care, his oxygen saturation was 88. They quickly got to work to stabilize him, via a nebulizer treatment (which I had done at home before we left) and oxygen. They then gave him some predisolone. The doctor felt she heard something course going on in there and wanted a chest xray, so she sent us to the emergency room across the street.

They set him up with a nebulizer treatment (once again), gave him a popsicle and ordered a chest xray. The attending doctor thought he “sounded great!” (which he didn’t) and felt there was no need for a chest xray…but he was going to go ahead and do one as the first doctor wanted it done.

Lo and behold, the chest xray showed pneumonia, which proved to me – once again – doctors can be wrong and you know your child best.

In the first ER, about to get chest xray

They gave him a intramuscular antibiotic shot (incredibly traumatic) and more albuterol and after a few hours, sent us on our way. I was not super comfortable with this, but knew he was stable and that I needed to get my husband and my kids and get everyone home.

Fast forward a few hours, we’re home, have eaten dinner, etc. David has another nebulizer treatment and is still struggling quite a bit to breathe. That’s when I just said “Eff it” and took him up to his hospital in San Francisco.

Upon arrival, they immediately gave him a nebulizer treatment (yes, another one). In my experience, when asthma gets this severe, the albuterol does little to alleviate the situation, in fact, sends the heartrate through the roof. Still, I realizze it’s the protocol. They inserted an IV for fluids, yet another traumatic experience for the little guy.

After all the poking and prodding, David gives every new doctor or nurse that enters the room the biggest stink eye.

A long, feverish night

The morning after

So now we sit, Sunday evening. He’s much better, but it’s been a looooong 24 hours. This morning, a very arrogant doctor came in and told me that he wasn’t doing great so they were going to have to try to keep him on continuous albuterol. She also questioned the pneumonia diagnosis, something confirmed by 2 different hospitals and xrays. Already, I knew her and I weren’t going to hit it off.

I questioned her about the continuous albuterol. I told her that typically, when he’s this bad, the oral steroids are the only things that work for David. She blew me off and told me that was pretty much all they could do. Then, the respiratory therapist gave me a booklet about children and asthma. I know she does not know that I had severe, pediatric asthma, hospitalized 3 times before 12, but I was irritate nontheless. I was questioned as to why David is not on daily pulmicort, something David’s pediatrician felt could wait until he turned 3, which he turned a few months ago. SO I GUESS HE’LL BE MAKING THAT DIAGNOSIS NOW. I tried hard not to be uber bitch, but they have no idea how neurotic I am about David’s breathing. A brochure about the early warning signs of asthma? Really? Check the chart, people.

After David’s prednisolone treatment this morning, he started to turn around (which I could have predicted). The doctor had told me they were doing continuous nebulizer and if that didn’t work, he’d have to go to the PICU. About an hour later, the doctor came back and said she was still trying to “figure David out.” Apparently, he was getting better, so she said it must be pneumonia after all. You don’t say?

Anyhoo – he has continued to improve, even to the point of running down the hospital corridors and playing in the playroom this afternoon. With 2-3 hours of sleep last night, we’re both fried.

Feeling better!

Little Peanut trying to sneak out of the room

So here I sit. David asleep beside me. Hoping that he sleeps well and the hospital staff lets him be tonight. But also hoping they stay the HELL out of the room while the LOST FINALE is on! Because I’m about to watch this thing on a 19 inch Zenith which is incomprehensibly wrong on all levels.

Keep your fingers crossed for a discharge tomorrow!

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