Friday, August 30, 2013

5 on Friday


What do you do when you don't have a lot of blog fodder? A linkup, of course! I thought I'd join in on the 5 on a Friday fun today with Darci at The Good Life Blog.

Last night I got to go to Paige and Elsa's Back to School night. I am really glad that I went because I enjoyed meeting their teachers and of course hearing about how wonderful my children are. Drives to Topeka on a weeknight are always exhausting, but worth it since I get to spend a little extra time with my babies.

After being hit with a very nasty cold for over a week, I am finally getting better. In fact, I have actually gotten out of bed the last two mornings at 4:45AM and gone for a run. It was on the treadmill because running in the dark still skeeves me out, but it was a run and I'm glad to be back at it. Taking a week off is no bueno.

My sister and her husband and their adorable son will be here this weekend! They live up in Chicago so I don't get to see them that much, but they are trekking down for the holiday weekend. We are having a family get-together at my aunt and uncle's house which is always a good time. Plus, I have all the girls this weekend so it will be nice and loud.

I will be making PW's Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos and my Avocado Corn Salsa to bring to the party. Both dishes are always huge hits and I'm excited to get my noms on. I really need to take a picture of the Salsa, but I do not do well with food pictures. Maybe I'll try that this weekend and post the recipe with the pic next week.

Jason and I finally started watching Game of Thrones (about time). We did have our Netflix subscription set to streaming only and we upgraded to include DVDs. I've only seen two episodes so far, but I'm hooked! Tyrion is by far my favorite character. I still hear Edna Mode's voice in my head saying, "No Capes!" though.


Have a great holiday weekend everyone!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

20 Things About Me

I'd seen this floating around Instagram lately, so I thought I'd join in. I've done a few of these in the past so I'll try not to repeat myself too much.

  1. I am a very loyal friend. I may not call you or text you every single day, but I will always be there when you need me. All you have to do is reach out.
  2. I tend to gravitate towards people younger than me. Not sure why, but most of my friends have typically been younger than me with the exception of college.
  3. I absolutely hate talking about my feelings. I have gotten better about it since Jason will prod me to talk, but I still have a lot of work to do in that area. 
  4. I cannot stand people/kids screaming. If my girls start it up, I shut that shit down really fast. At the pool this past weekend, a group of girls were playing Marco Polo and I wanted to stab myself in the ear.
  5. I am never more pissed off than I am when I'm driving. I have terrible road rage and zero patience for stupid drivers or any other drivers, for that matter.
  6. I have an irrational fear of driving off a bridge into a river. I've had multiple dreams about it and is scares the crap out of me. Especially the thought of the girls being in the car with me.
  7. I am near sighted in my left eye and far sighted in my right eye. I've worn glasses/contacts since I was 9 years old. I did have a lazy eye that I got to wear an eye patch for until it was corrected. Fortunately, I never had to wear it out of the house.
  8. I am right handed, but I always wear my watch on my right hand. I know you are supposed to wear it on the opposite hand, but it just feels weird to me.
  9. I love wearing dresses and skirts.
  10. My favorite color is orange especially paired with navy blue.
  11. I very rarely have my nails painted. I'm just too lazy to do it. I've only ever had two pedicures in my life and both of them have been in the past year.
  12. I love astrology. It is cheesy and corny, but I think it is absolutely fascinating. I'm a Gemini.
  13. I had my appendix out when I was three years old. I don't remember it, but I have a (not so) awesome scar.
  14. I've never had a broken bone.
  15. Of all my pregnancies, only Elsa decided to be born on her own. I had to be induced with the other four. She still does things on her own timetable.
  16. I have been pregnant a total of 3.75 years.
  17. I have absolutely no desire to have any more kids, nor do I regret not having any boys.
  18. My biggest dream is to travel the world. I don't want to be stuck in Missouri for the rest of my life.
  19. To go along with that, I would love, love, love to be on the Amazing Race. 
  20. I'm scared to get married again. I didn't realize it until recently, but that fear is there. I don't want to fuck up someone else's life again.
  21. I strive to teach my daughters to learn to love themselves, flaws and all and to not pick themselves apart.

There you have it. There are so many more things, but mind tends to go blank after a while. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Highlights

Since my weekend was basically a whole lot of doing nothing, I thought I'd chat a bit about the past week. First off, thank you so much to those of you who responded to my post on Wednesday. Your kind words really meant so much. Not the easiest subject in the world to talk about, but it is a big part of my life.

Last Tuesday, I drove to Topeka to go to Cordie's Back to School night. I missed it last year so it was really interesting to hear about the things they do in 8th grade these days. They have the kids split into pods basically and they have a group of teachers teach in each pod (Math, Science, Language Arts). They also seem to focus a lot on emotional growth which I thought was really cool. So much different from when I was in junior high.

After the presentation, she gave her dad and I a little tour of her classes and I am again amazed at how grown up she is getting. 13 seems so young and so old all at the same time. I surprised her with a new phone (she finally got a smart phone) and then she and I went out for some Froyo. It was nice to have a little one on one time with her. I've got another trip to T-town on Thursday for Paige and Elsa's Back to School night.

This cold is still kicking my butt. I have been alternating between Dayquil and Nyquil to try and dry up my head so I've kind of felt like I've been in a fog. Exercise has been nonexistent because I just haven't had the energy. So, not only do I feel like crap because of this cold, I feel like crap because I'm not getting my workouts in. It has been a great week.
We did a lot of sleeping this weekend
 I still have this half marathon looming in the distance that I don't feel prepared for. I haven't had any volunteers to be my travel buddy so at this point, I don't even know if the trip is going to happen. I'm not making any decisions yet, I'm just going to see how things play out. I know some people have to have things planned out to the last minute detail, but that isn't me. I like to fly by the seat of my pants and see what happens.
This week, I'm going to try and get some running in. I'm not going to hit my 60insixty goal, so I'm just going to have to set myself a new goal. You only fail if you don't try, right?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Throwback Thursday


Yesterday while I was going through old pictures of the girls I found this little gem of Paige and it reminded me of a story I could share for Throwback Thursday.

Look how sweet she is
 A couple of weeks after Paige's 5th birthday, she woke up complaining of stomach pain. I didn't really think a lot of it, but got concerned when she was listless all weekend and the pain didn't seem to go away. By Sunday afternoon, she was in tears from being in so much pain, plus she was running a fever so I packed her up in the car and took her to the ER at Children's Mercy. 

The doctors who examined her seemed to think it was a case of extreme constipation. They took X-rays of her tummy and saw that she did have some blockage. They then wanted to give her an enema. If you have not had the pleasure of holding down a screaming 5 year old while a nurse shoots water up her bum, then you truly haven't lived. 

The enema did it's job, but the pain did not seem to decrease. They finally determined that it was appendicitis. It only took 4 hours. The hospital we were at did not do the surgery so they had to transport her by ambulance to the other Children's Mercy hospital downtown while I followed in the car. I was so scared for my little girl and upset that I couldn't be with her in the ambulance. I was on the phone with my ex (we were still married at the time) and he was making arrangements for the other girls so he could join us at the hospital.

By the time they got her in to do the surgery, it was the next morning and we had spent the night in the hospital. The surgery went very well, but we found out that her appendix has already ruptured. That was rather disconcerting. They had done the procedure via laproscopy through her belly button so she doesn't have the wicked scar that I do. 

She ended up staying in the hospital for a week and my ex and I alternated taking days off work so one of us would always be there. She was a trooper and loved being in charge of her pain medication button (even though it was timed). We went through another trauma when they had to remove the catheter and make her get up and walk to go to the bathroom, but otherwise she healed up very nicely.

Definitely not an experience I ever want to repeat but I am very grateful that Paige came through with flying colors. 
My little diva

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Why I gave up custody of my kids

Or, the question everyone wants to ask but no one ever does. I've been thinking about writing this post for a long time, I just haven't been able to get it all out.

If you have been following me for any length of time, or if you have read my story, then you know that I went through a pretty ugly divorce. It is one thing if the two of you decide that you can no longer be married to one another, but throw infidelity in there and hurt feelings and fights are multiplied exponentially. And, when you have kids, it only makes things worse. My mom once told me that she wouldn't wish divorce on her worst enemy. I completely understand what she meant.

My ex and I had a lot of fights as our marriage was disintegrating. He wanted to know every excruciating detail about everything and I wanted to shut down and not talk about anything. I do NOT like to talk about my feelings, in case you didn't know. We even tried marriage counseling, but at that point, I think it was too late for me. I had already emotionally shut down towards my ex because all I could think about was Jason. Unfortunately, I may have led him along for a while because I was so scared of pulling the trigger and actually filing for divorce. I was unwilling to let go of Jason, yet I was unwilling to split up my family. Emotionally stable, I'm not.

My ex ended up filing for divorce once he realized that we were never going to recover. After that, we had some decisions to make. He was able to enlist the aid of his parents and hired a lawyer. I didn't have that luxury and therefore, had to do everything on my own. We were able to go through our possessions and easily split everything up. I'll admit that since I felt guilty, I let him have a lot like the TV, computer, car, etc. Now we just had to decide about the kids.
Easter 2009
That should have been the easy part. Four little girls belong with their mom, right? I was employed with a good job, I didn't have a drug or gambling problem or anything else that would consider me an unfit mother. My ex then bluntly told me that he wanted custody of the girls. He said that he had already lost me and he didn't want to lose them too. That was a blow. I thought long and hard about it and finally agreed. I did think about fighting him for custody, because after all, they were my babies, but I didn't want to hurt them any more by dragging them through an ugly custody battle. I knew that he would be moving to Topeka to be closer to his parents so he could enlist their help. They have always been very active in the girls' lives and I knew that would be good for them.
September 2009
What I never anticipated was the heart-wrenching guilt I would feel on a daily basis because I'm not there to help them with schoolwork or get them up in the morning or any number of daily activities that I totally took for granted. I didn't know that I would feel like a bad mother because I'm not there. Nor did I realize the financial burden that child support would be. I do struggle daily with the thought that maybe I made the wrong decision, however I do know that my girls are happy and healthy and well-taken care of. My ex is a great father and I know that he loves them as much as I do. I wish they lived closer so I could drive over and give them snuggles whenever I wanted, but it isn't as if they are completely cut off. We have phone calls and Skype and Facebook and Instagram. Not a great substitute for a hug, but there you go.
Fall 2011
I love my kids more than life itself and I would do just about anything for them. As much as I miss them and miss being a part of their daily lives, that was the decision I made and I have to live with it. I would never want them to think that I didn't want them and I try to tell them I love them as much as I can on the weekends they are with me.
Easter 2012
So there you have the sordid story. Have any questions, just ask. I think I am pretty much an open book and I don't try to sugar coat my life.

Monday, August 19, 2013

No Van, just down by the river

Monday morning (barely) and it feels like I'm getting sick. Blah. My head hurts and my throat hurts and I just want to go back to bed, but I'm here at work like a champ. Tylenol and Emergen-C are my two best friends right now. I absolutely do not want to get sick.

I discovered a new park this weekend and it has a really nice running trail right by the river. I went out on Sunday morning with the intent of running 4 miles, but that didn't quite happen. I made it 3.75 miles with a run/walk combo. It really pisses me off that running is so hard for me. I don't understand how some people can go out and run 10 miles like its nothing and I'm huffing and puffing after one. Ugh. Yes, I realize it is mostly training, but I think that some people are just born to be runners and that I never was.

That said, I still have a half marathon I'm supposed to run in 6 weeks. I'm going to keep on keeping on, but I'm really going more for the people than the actual race. Also, I'm in search of a travel buddy if anyone is interested. Flights are pricey so I was looking to drive, but 9 hours by myself does not sound like a good time. If anyone wants to carpool with me, please let me know!

I had a nice low key weekend with the girls. Hannah has gotten herself a job so she didn't come. She is also the master of "I thought my dad was going to tell you". No sweetie, he's not. You are 17 years old, start taking some personal responsibility. Gah! The girls swam for a little bit on Saturday, but the water was really cold since the temps haven't been over 80 for a week now. We then went out for some Sonic shakes and they got goofy on me.
Sunday after my run, I took the girls back out to the park. Of course they found a way down to the riverbank and had to get in and play in the sand. I was not prepared for wet and sandy butts in the car. They had fun though and that was the important thing. I'm just glad I found another fun, free activity for them.

When we had to leave, they were already asking about coming back with their swimsuits. I need to scope out to see if there is a No Swimming sign posted anywhere. I also need to remember to pull Emmeline's hair back in a ponytail. That child constantly has her hair hanging in her face.

Hope everyone else had a good weekend. Any fun plans in the upcoming week?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Realizations

Back to school time is here again! I'm going to go ahead and be a dick and say that this does not affect my daily routine all that much. This is both good and bad. Good because I don't have to deal with the daily drama of getting all the girls ready and off to school and bad because I don't get to see them every day. Downside of not having custody. The three younger girls started school yesterday and Hannah starts back to day. My big high school senior (sniff). I cannot believe that in one short year she will be off to college. Plus, she just got her first real job so my baby is all grown up.
First Day of School - 6th, 8th and 4th grades  

Emmeline is still in full three year old mode which means that she reminds me on a daily basis that I absolutely am done having kids. I can't get enough of her wild mood swings which alternate between hugs and kisses and rolling around on the floor screaming.
She's already taking selfies
At least I can get a little me time when I'm running. Speaking of which, I am supposed to be running a half marathon in less than two months. Am I ready for it? Hell no. Am I freaking out? Absolutely. I have been a ridiculous slacker that past few weeks, but am back at it again this week. I still have to get in my miles for the #60insixty challenge, plus I want to be able to run more than 3 miles without stopping to walk.

I'm thinking that this half will be my swan song. I realized that I just don't like running that much. I'll probably keep doing 5K's because those are manageable, but I will never be a long distance runner and that's okay.

I've also decided to give up drinking for a while. I tend to have a problem with overindulging and not knowing when to stop, especially if Jason isn't home with me. How sad is it to get completely blitzed when you are home with your kids? Very, at least to me. So, I'm making a conscious effort not to buy any alcohol. If I don't have it at home, I can't drink it and goodness knows I never go out anywhere. I'm not giving it up forever because I really do enjoy a beer or glass of wine at the end of a long day; but for now it is the right decision for me.

Any new realizations in your life?


Monday, August 12, 2013

Running is Easier if it is for a Cause

What is it about the drudgery of returning to work that makes Monday morning so difficult? Add pouring rain into the mix and it is even harder to get out of bed. Jason was nice enough to drive this morning though, and the combination of warm car and rain put me to sleep as if I had taken a sleeping pill.

I did have a nice quiet weekend and even managed to take at least one shower. Saturday was a real lazy day even though Emmeline decided she needed to be up as 6:30AM. I was not pleased. She got in bed with us, but there was no way she was going back to sleep and she kept wiggling and kicking so we just got up. We watched a couple movies and had some snacks and then we finally decided to get dressed and go to Costco. Once we got there and started shopping, though, we noticed them turning off some of the lights. Turned out they were closing.  I was like, "how did I not realize that Costco closes at 6? and what kind of grocery store closes at 6PM on Saturday?"

We didn't feel like going back home yet so we headed up to Zona Rosa, which is an outdoor mall near our house. Emmeline got to play on a little playground and get out some pent up energy and then we walked around a bit. Had some dinner at 54th Street Bar and Grill and enjoyed the time out of the house. I did decide that I need to start reading some news websites because Jason and I don't have a lot to talk about. Living and working together does have some disadvantages.
Simply Sami

Sunday I knew I wanted to get my 5K in since I promised I would do the Virtual 5K for Maggie that was being sponsored by Sami. I thought it was a lot cooler outside than it actually was so I wore a long sleeve shirt. Totally didn't need it, but I wasn't too sweltering. I had previously mapped out a route around my neighborhood that was 3 miles, so I just followed that with one deviation. I did not want to tackle the giant hill that was a couple streets over, so I detoured the other way. Worth it. I forgot to print out the race bib to wear, so I just pulled it up on my iPad for the end picture. I had also forgotten to change my Nike+ app from inside to outside so I feel like the time was a little off since I don't typically run that fast. I do have to say, though, it was a huge motivator for me to hear I was running a 10 minute mile versus my usual 12 minute mile. It really made me want to keep going. Weird how that works out.
Photobomb by Emmeline
We did eventually make it to Costco and spent way too much, as usual. But, now we won't have to grocery shop for a while, so it evens out. I promise I will get back into consistent blogging again. I have noticed that the less I blog, the less I exercise and I don't want to gain those 30 pounds back. Accountability for the win!



Monday, August 5, 2013

Back At It

You know how some people love to shout out every little detail of their life? Well, that is so not me. I am more like a turtle. If I am having personal issues or problems, I will withdraw into my shell and just not talk to people. It is a really bad trait because I'm sure there are people who would be willing to help me out. I just hate asking for help. Anyway, that is the reason for my blogging hiatus. I'm just trying to work through my shit so bear with me here.

My week vacation with the girls went really well. We didn't really do much except relax and go to the pool. Cordie and Elsa and I went out shopping on Friday and got some Cold Stone Creamery which was fun. I would have loved to have been able to travel somewhere, but it just wasn't in the cards. It was a great break from work and I was sad when I had to come back last week.


I have been transitioning to my new role at work and it has been rather busy and stressful. I think it is going to be a good change, though once I'm fully on board and have trained the person fully to take over my old job. It is just kind of hard to do two jobs at once. The overtime pay is nice, though. I did have a nice surprise waiting for me when I came back to work, though. As part of the Corporate Challenge wrap-up, they present an award named after an employee who was always very active and athletic and embodied the spirit of the competition. Sadly, he died unexpectedly at a fairly young age. Each year, the Scott Smith award is presented to a participant in Corporate Challenge nominated by other employees and voted on by a committee. This year, I won the award! I was so surprised and really honored.

This past weekend, I had all of the girls and we had a really good weekend together. It was one of those rare times when no one threw a tantrum and everyone got along. Those are the best weekends. We did go to a Harry Potter themed birthday party for my sister's boyfriend's daughter who turned 11. The party was very cute and the kids had a ball. The best gift she got by far, though was 20 $1 bills frozen in a block of ice. Chipping away at that ice kept the kids entertained for an hour. I'm totally stealing that idea.

Who knew a block of ice would be so much entertainment?
Half marathon training has been going very slowly. I know it is going to catch up with me, though so I just need to keep plugging along. Fortunately, the weather has been fairly cool recently and we've had a lot of rain so running outside isn't unbearable. I just need to do it every day.

I dropped the girls off in the pouring rain last night. They are all excited to start school next week. I still can't believe Hannah is going to be a senior in high school. She's already looking forward to moving out of the house. Always bittersweet to see them go for two weeks, but I know they are only a phone call or a Skype away. Plus, I get to come home to this and my heart just melts.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!