Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Decisions Decisions Decisions

ARGH! I have a "situation" I don't know what to do about.

I wrote earlier about my youngest child and her separation anxiety and my concern over how she wasn't adjusting to preschool.

Well, her teacher said she was doing better and making progress and was only crying for a couple of minutes each day when I left her. When I ask her if she likes school she says "YES!". In the mornings she WANTS to go to school, marches happily to the door, goes with me to drop off her big sister, walks to her class room and then freaks out the moment we walk into the door of her classroom because she knows I'm going to leave.

But I thought it was getting better ....

Yesterday was her birthday, so I dropped her off at preschool at 9am and went and bought some cupcakes for her class to celebrate her birthday. I got back to the school at 10:30am and I went to take the cupcakes to her classroom and saw that her class was outside on the playground. But I couldn't see Monkey6 - Then I saw her in the corner of the playground. Her teacher was holding her and she was bawling - I mean hysterical sobs bawling. My 3yo [who has playground time at the same time as the 2yo] was over there next to the teacher patting her little sister's back and trying to comfort her. [so sweet!]

I watched for a while from the window, concealed from the kids outside, thinking she must have fallen or something, to see if she calmed down. She didn't.

I went out onto the playground and one of the other teachers saw me and was concerned and said "Is something wrong? did something happen?" and I said "NO, I just saw my baby crying and I wanted to check on her" and the teacher said "Oh, she does that every day." and another teacher next to her said "Yep. Every day." I said "She cries hysterically like that every day?" and the one teacher said "Yes, every single day. Her teacher just holds her and she cries the whole time."

So, I walked across the playground to the teacher and she said "Oh, she's just upset. She hasn't been crying long, she just saw you and started crying." [The teacher did not know I had been watching from inside for some time]. I asked "Does she do this every day?" and her teacher said "Oh no, not at all. She just gets upset and cries now and then." Another teacher near by said "Yeah, she usually plays with the other kids and has fun. She's been doing a lot better. She's just upset today."

Meanwhile, Monkey6 practically jumped into my arms, radiating joy and laughing through her tears she was so excited to see me.

So, I just took her home with me and as I was leaving the playground another teacher [different from the others] said "Yeah, she does that every day. Poor thing."

I was kind of upset - I had no idea she had been crying like that. I think the teacher thinks she is helping me by making me feel better about it, because she knows our situation and knows I needed Monkey6 to like preschool. But I don't like not knowing what is really going on.

So, I decided to take her out of preschool and just keep her home with me. When I went in to tell the teacher and the director of the preschool today, the teacher actually teared up. She was visibly sad to lose Monkey6 and obviously attached to her [and Monkey6 loves her teacher - this teacher has carried her around almost non-stop at preschool for a month now]. The teacher said she felt like Monkey6 was really making progress and that she was getting better. She said she was playing with the other kids a lot more and having fun most of the time. The director echoed that statement - that Monkey6 had been doing much better the last couple of weeks and seemed to improve every day. [At this point I'm totally unclear on what the real story is - is she crying a few minutes now and then but mostly having fun or is she crying most of the time she's there?]

Then when we got home, Monkey6 [who is used to having 5 kids around to play with and who has never been with "only" me for any extended time period] was crying and following me around while I tried to clean and do laundry. I played with her and read her some books, but I simply *can't* sit and be her playmate all day long - I have other stuff I really do have to get done. So she was bored to tears half the day and fussy about the whole thing. She kept asking about my 3yo [who has ALWAYS been with her - they are inseparable] and just seemed kind of miserable at home.

She had her 2yo check up today and I talked to her Pediatrician about it and the Pediatrician recommended pulling her out of preschool. She felt that if Monkey6 was *going* to adjust, she would have by now.

And I agree with that. On the other hand, I also think she's going to be bored at home.

And there are other disadvantages - with her home, my writing will basically cease - it will drop down to barely happening at all. I have gotten SO much done with her in preschool just 4 days a week. And now that will stop. I'll be lucky to get anything done, and I'll only be able to work during her afternoon nap, which isn't a long one.

I do think it is going to affect us negatively on the financial front, and that's hard - I finally felt like I was making headway towards getting us out of this hell hole we live in and like I was working towards getting us to a better situation all the way around. [Even if the fiction book I've already finished doesn't sell, I am planning a childbirth book that I DO think would sell and do well].

And there is also the matter of my own mental health - until I had her home all day today, I hadn't realized how *precious* that time "off" from 24/7 solo childcare was to me - how important it was to my psyche to have that time to work and be productive with my writing without someone constantly needing me.

The bare naked truth is that I kinda NEED that break. I am burned out like you would not even believe and getting a break to work on writing was really helping to recharge my tank. It was also helping me with just keeping our household running - getting the whole place decluttered and keeping on top of housecleaning well.... MUCH easier to do without the little ones here.

So, I'm really torn. On the one hand, it is clear she's not ready. And I don't want her to be in that situation. She has SERIOUS abandonment issues, and I know exactly why - who wouldn't in her situation?

On the other hand, I think SHE would have more fun at preschool if she could just adjust to me leaving her there and I would be a better parent if I had a handful of hours off each week to work on earning a living. Seriously.

It is such a catch 22 - I feel miserably undecided. I feel like there isn't a good answer at all. I'm definitely leaning towards keeping her home, but I don't feel any peace either way.

I'm very interested in opinions if you want to share any thoughts.

God Bless you.


The Baby is TWO!!!!!

Yesterday was Monkey6's second birthday! I still can't believe the "baby" of the family is two years old already!!!!

She had a great day [except for the preschool part].

It started with her birthday breakfast - complete with Birthday Bacon!!!!

She went to preschool at 9am and then at 10:30 I went to take cupcakes for her class. I found her crying hysterically on the playground with her teacher holding her. She had been crying all morning and some of the other teachers told me that she did that "every single day". [I had been told she only cried for a "couple of minutes" and then was happy, so I was surprised to learn this.]

So, I took her home with me.

My parents came and took her to Toys-R-Us and let her spend a fortune on whatever she wanted [including chocolate, as you can see from her face in the pic below ;) ]. Here is Monkey6 with all her loot her Grandparents bought her:

After the other kids got home from school she got to open her other presents.

For dinner she had Zaxby's chicken fingers and french fries. After dinner she got to have her birthday cake:

Thank You God for Monkey6!!!! :) :)

Uber Children Strike Again

My children are so smart they scare me sometimes.

I just sat down at my computer to write and found a story my oldest child is working on. She has written it in English [and it is good] and then translated it into German. Just for fun - because she can.

Yesterday she entertained and enlightened me with a lengthy dissertation on the different Ptolmeys that ruled ancient civilizations and who placed them in power and how they ended...

[Lest you think she learned any of that from me - be certain that I barely remembered the name "Ptolemy" from my BA in History - much less how many there were and who put them where].

Nothing surprises me any more. I'm convinced she knows everything. ;)

I'm just glad she's harnessing all this brain power for GOOD because she'd make a hell of an Evil Genius. I sure wouldn't want to have to thwart her plans for World Domination. ;)

Then there's the youngest one. She decided she wanted some cereal while I was giving her sisters a bath. She couldn't reach the bowls [in a high cabinet], but she didn't let that stop her. She pulled a chair over to the counter, climbed up on the counter, got out the *coffee filters* opened the box of Life cereal, and poured herself a big "bowl" full.

Now THAT is Improvising, Adapting, and Overcoming!!!!


Sunday, August 29, 2010


Another laugh from my amusing children:

I was driving along, minding my own business, and all of a sudden I hear Monkey4, the 5yo, SCREAM from the back of the van "PRAY!! MOMMMY PRAY!!!"

I start looking around, kinda freaked out, wondering what she sees that I don't - is there a meteor heading for Earth? [I looked up and didn't see one]. Is there a renegade rhino charging across the field to intercept our van? [I checked the field - just some sleepy cows]. Has she seen the Archangel Gabriel in the Heavens blowing the trumpet that signals the second coming? [The only Gabriel I see is my son in the back seat. ]

She continues to yell "Pray!!!!" and I say "WHY are you screaming at me to pray? What do you see that I am missing?!"

And she says "Mommy, its a grave yard!"

And I look out the window and sure enough, far off in the horizon, there is a tiny, ancient family burial ground that I never would have seen in a million years.

I had to laugh.

It is our practice as a family to pray for the dead whenever we pass a Cemetery [which, for a while my 7yo was calling a "Purgatory" - being confused about her words, but understanding Church doctrine ;) ].

And since my dear friend Cyndi passed away, we pray especially for her [along with the other dead people] whenever we pass one.

My children have become VERY vigilant since Cyndi's death - they NEVER miss a chance to pray for their God Mother. We will not pass a single solitary grave without praying, I promise you [none that are marked anyway!]!

For which I am grateful - what a lovely thing for them to pay attention to.

But we did have to have a talk about how to alert Mommy to the need to pray *without* almost causing her to have a wreck because you scared her so badly.... ;)

"May the souls of the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace, especially Cyndi. Amen."

And Thank you God for my sweet, prayerful little Monkey4! What a precious girl she is!

God Bless you!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Little Mantilla Rant...

I have a little pet peeve here. This post will only concern Catholic readers most likely, so my other friends and blog friends be warned.

It is coming back into vogue for Catholic women [usually of the very devout bent, of which I am one], to cover their heads when in Mass, as they did for 2,000 years before Vatican II.

Now, lest you think this post is about me disagreeing with this practice - it is not. I believe that covering the head to go into Holy Mass and the presence of Almighty God is an excellent practice. Anything that helps us step out of our secular lives and *recognize* that we are in the presence of the Divine is wonderful IMO. And head covering does this. It also shows respect and love for God, which I also love.

I wish that more women did it.

No, this rant is about Mantillas specifically. You see, Mantillas have become the "retro head covering" of choice among head covering Catholic Women in Mass.

It drives me bonkers actually. I have tried covering with a mantilla, and it is one of the most annoying things I've ever tried to do - it is slippery lace that won't stay on your head. For me at least, it meant that I spent most of Mass fussing with the stupid thing to keep it from falling off.

For my daughters, it is even worse - to the point that it became an occasion of sin [goofing with the stupid mantilla instead of worshiping God] and I took them all away and refused to let the poor little wenches cover in Mass. [Heartless I am. LOL!]

But I just don't get it.

First, I think they look stupid. It just looks like someone took a piece of spare lace and laid it over their head.

Second, I don't think Mantillas even fulfill the purpose of head covering. According to my very devout and orthodox Priest, the reason women are called to veil their heads is that they are veiling the hair and in effect, veiling their beauty, so as not to distract from the beauty of Christ and the beauty of the Sacred and Divine there in the Sanctuary.

A mantilla does NOT cover the hair or conceal it in any way - it is "see through" lace. It doesn't veil anything - if anything, one could say it is a way of "enhancing" the beauty of the hair because instead of veiling the hair, one is "dressing it up" in a see through lace party dress. :) [I'm thinking this is the difference between a burqa and a negligee personally....]

If we are covering our heads out of modesty... well, lace doesn't really do it does it? [And in NO WAY am I advocating for Burqas for Christian women, just trying to point out the irony of using lace to cover something up that isn't supposed to be seen.]

Third, it gets even worse with younger girls when I see some of them with the equivalent of a small lace doily on the very top of their heads - it just looks too silly to take seriously. It looks like great-grandma pinned one of her lace tea coasters to the kids' head.

I don't know - it just doesn't seem like this lace mantilla thing has been well thought out.

In my case, I have just decided not to cover at all. I feel stupid in a mantilla and I feel conspicuous if I veil with anything else. We are fortunate at our Church that a fair number of women and girls veil, but they ALL use mantillas and anything else seems to "stick out like a sore thumb" - which, in my opinion, *detracts* and *distracts* from the Mass - which is the whole thing I'm supposed to be avoiding.

Devorah, however, has some really cool head coverings that actually cover the hair and also tie into place [instead of that free floating lace mantilla that you have to try to pin to your head with hair pins. It doesn't work very well]. I think I may buy a couple of hers and see if I can't start a revolution in our little Church. Wish me luck. :)

One final reason I don't like mantillas is that sometimes they can be used as a tool of "judgment" - I have seen a few women who veil look down upon those who don't in a very self satisfied way - definitely in a "I am MUCH holier than you because you don't cover your head" kind of way. And I think that is a terrible shame and a road block in their own personal spiritual growth. But, of course, that is no reason not to practice something that is otherwise a good and wholesome thing to do. [And to be fair to Mantillas, this could be a problem no matter what the woman chose to cover with.]

We need to guard our thoughts so that we don't condemn our fellow worshipers as somehow "less" than ourselves because they don't have a doily on their head.

I'm just saying... :)

God Bless you!

Quote of the Day:

We got to have lunch with my former college roommate and her family at Chic-Fil-A today and it was awesome! It was so great to get to see my friend and her husband and catch up with her and meet her kids, who are wonderful.

After we got home, my 7yo told me about some "playground drama" that was going on while we were there that I didn't know about.

While the adults were talking, the kids were playing on the CFA playground.

At one point my 7yo was waiting her turn to go down the slide - she was waiting for her little 1yo sister to finish her turn and get out of the way.

Another little girl climbed up behind my 7yo and kicked her in the back and said "GO!".

My daughter said "No, my baby sister is down there and I am waiting for her to get off the slide so I don't hurt her!"

The other little girl said "I don't care! Go!" and kicked my 7yo in the FACE.

My 7yo held her ground and physically prevented the other girl from going down the slide on top of her 1yo sister.

I was very proud of my 7yo - LOVE that courage! I gave her the high five and big hug for being brave and protecting her little sister.

But I just about busted a gut laughing a couple of minutes later when I heard her in the next room talking to her brother.

My 7yo said, with disgust, "Yeah, she is one of those kids who has parents who always say yes to her about everything!"


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Word Gets Around In This House....

Like a surreal game of "Telephone"!

Tonight I was studying Greek and Latin roots with my oldest child, the 11yo, who has a test on them tomorrow in school.

We were studying the word "circumcise" which is comprised of two roots: "circum" meaning "around" and "cise" meaning "cut".

I was trying to explain what circumcision actually means and my daughter was absolutely horrified.

Her response was "WHAT?! What do you mean they cut off part of the baby's penis?! Who would do something like that?!"

I launched into a history of the religious and social reasons why some people circumcise.

In the midst of this conversation my 9yo son walks in the room. He is not circumcised and he asked "Then don't I need to be circumcised if it is God's Covenant?"

So, I went on to explain how Jesus changed the rules and because of Him, circumcision doesn't matter any more - the New Testament tells us that it is only "circumcision of the heart" that matters - that we believe in and love God and our neighbor.

To which my son replies: "So... was Jesus circumcised?" and I said "Yes, but because He died to save us all, men don't have to be circumcised any more."

Which seemed to satisfy everyone. My son left the room and my oldest daughter and I went back to studying Latin and Greek roots.

3 minutes later my 5 year old runs frantically in the room, all upset and yells "Mom! Is it really true that Jesus had His penis cut off?!!"


Quote of the Day:

A certain child, who has requested to remain anonymous, said this to me:

"I'm sorry, but when you called me awhile ago, I couldn't come because I was in the middle of making food for the dung beetles."

[It took me a minute to figure out what that meant too LOL!]

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Finished My Book!

I finished my juvenile fiction novel yesterday! The whole thing.

I have written an actual BOOK. I am stunned. How did I manage that? LOL!

Now I begin my first re-write and revisions [the first of many I am certain], but gosh y'all - I WROTE A BOOK!!!!

:D :D

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Celibacy" is Not a Dirty Word

We live in a world that believes Celibacy is impossible.

Just look around if you don't believe me [I bet you didn't have to look did you?].

When my husband first abandoned me, Celibacy was a HUGE concern in my mind. I didn't see how on Earth I'd accomplish living a Celibate life. I was never one of those folks who lost interest in the, um, "marital union", shall we say. I never got "bored" with my husband [or with monogamy].

The idea of living a Celibate life was scary.

But I know that Celibacy is exactly what God is calling me to, and I Submit.

When my husband left, I knew *immediately* that I would never, ever expose my children to some string of "boyfriends" and "lovers" like so many single parents seem to do. You only have to look around at our broken society to see why I feel that way - children are frequently abused by their biological parent's boy/girl friends. My kids have suffered more than enough and I will never put them in a situation where they are at risk.

It took me another year after he left to realize that "Remarriage" was also a bad idea. IF my Annulment comes through [and there is no reason, at all, to think that it won't - there are at least 8 different grounds that make my marriage invalid], I can certainly remarry with the blessings of my Church.

But is that wise? I did a lot of reading about step families a few months back, and I think the answer is NO. It is not wise. At All.

Remarriages that involve existing children have an astronomical rate of unhappiness - and generally the children suffer. Step parents in general do NOT love their step children like they love their own children [ no matter how much we want to believe in the Brady Bunch, it is extremely rare to see a remarriage come together like that - you'd be more likely to hit the Big Game lotto.].

Remarriages with children have an extremely high divorce rate too [I've seen some estimates as high as 90%].

The best one can *realistically* expect from a step parent is that they won't abuse your kids. The step parent may turn out to be decent to the kids. [Odds are against this however, single parents should not kid themselves]. Certainly there are step parents who genuinely love their step children and who are wonderful to the step children - but they are NOT the norm.

There also appears to be a good deal of "pretending" going on in single parent courtships too from what I gather from my reading - potential partners "pretending" to just love those cute little children until after the wedding - when suddenly they feel comfortable enough to voice their true feelings. So even if I found a guy who seemed perfect, I wouldn't really KNOW if he was until after I'd taken that unbreakable Vow, would I?

And even if I did "luck out" and happen to get that Knight In Shining Armor who is a Paragon of Christian Love and Decency and he doesn't harm my children - is it really in my children's best interest to have him around, even then?

I kinda have to say No. I had a very brief period where I spoke with a Catholic Gentleman who was very interested in dating me seriously and we went out on one date. What I found in that time period was that a lot of my energy went towards that relationship - my thoughts, my time, my energy, etc were invested in him. All of that SHOULD have been invested in my children.

My thoughts and my time belong with my children right now. My children have been through a very traumatic experience. My children only have one real parent. My children NEED me - it is not in their best interest that I invest my time and energy in dating Some Guy. My children need everything I have to give and it isn't fair to them for me to squander myself on some stranger who most likely won't ever be a member of our family - and who is most likely to be a negative force in their lives if he DOES become a member of our family.

I am firmly convicted at this time that God is NOT calling me to remarriage. This may change as my children get older and need less from me, I don't know. But at this point in my life, I am prepared and willing to remain single because my Vocation of Motherhood is DEFINITELY where God is calling me - THAT is where my energy belongs.

So, remarriage is out for me. God and I will prayerfully review this every 6 months [we have a standing date] and I trust that HE will make it clear to me if this ever changes. I don't have to worry about it - I am focused on the things He has set before me, nothing else.

And it goes without saying that if I am remaining single, I have to be a *shining example* of Purity if I want my children to believe what I have taught them - that sex is good [AWESOME!] in marriage but that sex outside of marriage leads to pain & misery.

Fornication is just unwise, for a million reasons - not the least of which is because God specifically and clearly says "Hey, don't do that Crap". The older I get, the more I realize just how amazingly BRILLIANT our God is. He is WAY smarter than you, me, or any of those liberated intellectuals out there who are arguing with Him.

I have learned [absolutely the hard way] that when I stray from what God tells me to do, it goes badly. 100% of the time.

It only took me about 38 years of being a Head Strong Idiot to finally put the pieces together and have that light bulb moment, but there you go. :)

This is a lesson that I want to teach my children - I don't want them to have to learn this the long, hard, insanely painful way like I did.

So, remarriage and fornication are out as far as I'm concerned and that leaves.... Celibacy.

Our culture clearly believes that Celibacy is impossible. Our sex drives are too powerful, we are too weak to say no to our most base desires, and we should not even be expected to resist our animal instincts.

Our Catholic Priests and Religious face this prejudice as well - people simply don't believe it is *possible* that they could be celibate. Many people who even call themselves Catholic believe that priestly celibacy is wrong, or at the very least impossible for normal men.

Personally, I have been surprised by the actual Reality.

Celibacy IS very possible. It CAN be done. You don't shrivel up and die and your private parts don't even turn blue.

Who knew?

But I believe it takes a strong faith in God to manage it. [Thus why most Westerners can't even contemplate it].

God has granted me incredible Grace in this matter. I said to Him "God, you know I'm lonely and you know I miss having a partner, but I am open to your Will. WHATEVER it is." [I was scared to say that, by the way].

And God, gentle and loving as He always is, took my feeble "fiat" and piled Grace upon Grace on my head.

He gave me the answer I feared [that I should remain Celibate and unmarried] but then He turned around and gave me the Grace to accomplish His Will - without much effort of my own.

Here are the things I found that have helped me keep this vow of Celibacy that I have made:

1. Guard your eyes. We live in a society that is so saturated with Sex that you almost can't avoid it. I stopped watching TV shows that caused my mind to stray to inappropriate places. [I was already pretty strict about what I watched, but I had to get even tougher. I needed to omit shows that were not overtly sexual but which portrayed things that were sometimes not appropriate. I'm contemplating ditching TV altogether]. When I stopped allowing myself to watch or read anything like this, celibacy became a LOT easier.

2. Keep Busy. This one I have covered. LOL! But it does help. That old adage about Idle hands being the Devil's playground is not wrong.

3. Don't Tell Yourself Lies. This probably sounds crazy, but people OFTEN tell themselves "Oh, we'll just be friends" or "Oh, nothing will happen" and they believe themselves and put themselves in tempting situations. I think they actually believe their own lies until they end up in bed with someone they shouldn't be.

4. Use Common Sense. This goes hand in hand with the thing above - but don't put yourself in situations that could become an occasion of Sin for you - just don't do it. Your life will be a lot easier.

5. Pray. Ask God to help you. He will. This should actually be Number 1.

These are the suggestions I have for anyone who is struggling with this issue. These are the things that have helped me. I'm sure there are many other great ideas out there, but this is what works for me.

Sex makes people do stupid things.

Sex makes people stay with lovers who are HORRIBLE for them - lovers that they wouldn't think twice about walking away from if they weren't sexually entangled.

I think Sex disengages our brains actually. We get so involved with Sex that we can't think straight.

When we have a sexual relationship, we spend SO much time and energy on that relationship [even if it isn't a GOOD relationship]. That time and energy could be spent on so many more beneficial things. Like scoping out the potential partner's actual character and whether or not we should stay with them....or finding a cure for cancer. Stuff like that.

My kids can't afford for me to make any more bad choices in our life. [That "picking a husband" bad choice I made was a hum dinger]. I can't afford it either.

So, personally, I'm keeping my brain fully engaged and avoiding the alternatives.


God Bless You!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Boy Turned NINE!

I'm still in shock, but my baby boy turned NINE last weekend!

He had a great day. His Nana sent him a birthday chocolate chip pound cake from "Breadwinners" and he opted to have that for his birthday breakfast [good choice! YUM!]. Nana also sent him money that he gets to spend - always his favorite thing. LOL!

He got to open his presents from me and his sisters:

We went to my parents' house for a little party where we had lunch and cake and he got to open presents.

Then his Granny took him shopping and spent a fortune on him. He had SUCH a great time picking out presents. Here is a picture of him with his Granny and some of the loot she bought him:

He chose McDonald's as his special birthday dinner [LOL! The ONE day a year he can pick any restaurant and I'll actually buy it for him and he picks McD's! But it made him happy, and that is all that mattered!]

I'm so proud of my son!

He is a very smart boy and is doing great in school. He is starting to get really "into" reading. He is kind hearted and loves to take care of his little sisters - he's a great brother. He is an excellent friend and he is the kind of kid that everyone likes, he gets along with all kinds of people. His teachers love him... he's pretty much loved everywhere he goes.

His favorite things at this time in his life are Bionicles, Wii and DS games, playing on the computer, Bakugan, Pokemon, and Ben 10.

I can't believe how big he has gotten or what a great kid he is.

Happy Birthday Monkey2!!! I love you SO much!!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

School Daze

This photo is from the first day of Preschool. Aren't they adorable?!!!

August has been the month of starting back to school for our family.

My two little girls, Monkey5, who is 3yo, and Monkey6, who will be 2yo in a few days, started preschool for the first time.

It was an emotional thing. I would normally have waited a year to start Monkey6 - she's really young. But I'm trying to find some way to generate SOME sort of income to get us out of this hell hole we live in.

So, both little girls are going to preschool at a local Church. They go four days a week for 5 hours. My parents are being extremely kind to help me pay for it, otherwise it wouldn't even be possible.

The first week was awful.

The 3yo, who had been BEGGING to go to school since last year - since the first day her siblings all disappeared on that big yellow school bus - decided that she wanted to go to school, but she wanted me to stay there with her. Forever. It took about a week to get her comfortable enough to stay. Now, 3 weeks later, she LOVES it - she's doing beautifully. And it has been really good for her - it is really helping her with her shyness.

I expected my 3yo to have a bit of trouble at first - she has a very intense demeanor inherently and she has had severe [and I mean SEVERE] separation and abandonment issues since her father left. Over all, she had done amazingly well and it is a wonderful experience for her.

The "Baby" - the almost 2yo - is another story altogether. I did not expect her to have trouble - she's my "brave" kid - one of those fearless types who you worry will kill themselves by accident just because they have NO FEAR at all. I expected her to run right in to preschool and never look back, like my older 4 all did [no tears with those kids about going to preschool AT ALL!].

However, I underestimated the impact a parent abandoning a kid has.

My fearless Baby turned into a screaming, crying, sniveling snotball of sadness and desperation when she realized I would be leaving her at preschool.

It did not go well. For the first week I went with her and we stayed for a while and then left together. The second week I tried leaving her and then me leaving but coming back a little later to help her realize that I WAS, in fact, coming back for her. Nothing helped.

She screamed, cried, and freaked the moment we got to the door. Finally the second week the teacher suggested I leave her and just let her cry so she could get used to it.

Now, those of you who know me know I have NEVER "just let her cry" - or any of my children for that matter. I have always used "Attachment Parenting" with my children and this goes against everything I believe in as a parent.

But I had a very hard choice. I am trying to make a career out of writing, so that I can work from home and be here to take care of my children. It is "all me" - I have to find some job that I can do where I can be 100% parent and also make enough money to hopefully get us above poverty level at some point.

If I withdrew her from school and brought her home, I put off the possibility of earning any income for another year. I can't write to any real extent while I care for my child. I also can't go get a job waiting tables, which is what I plan to do if things get too desperate.

I felt like I had to weigh HER wellbeing in this aspect of clearly not being ready for preschool against the wellbeing of the entire family [herself included] - it isn't good for any of us to live the way we live right now.

So, I tried it the teacher's way. The Baby cried for 25 minutes while I sat just outside the door crying myself. Her teacher held her and she wailed. Then she stopped. I peeked in and she was interested in the book the teacher was reading. I left, hoping that we had finally conquered this mountain.

Not so much. She cried the next day too - but only for 5 minutes while her teacher held her. The next day she only cried for 2 minutes. The day after that only for 1 minute.

This past week was the third full week. Two days this week she ran to her teacher happily and did not cry. Two days this week she still cried for a minute or so. [I always wait around the corner till she stops].

I don't know if I have done the right thing. It makes me so angry that I am in this position - I would have kept her home for one more year under different circumstances.

But I will say that in the last 2 weeks I have been amazingly productive with writing. I am very close to *finishing* the first draft of the juvenile fiction book I've been writing for the last 8 months. I got more done in these last 2 weeks than I got done in 7 months prior working every spare moment.

I don't know if I'll be able to sell this book or not. But the next book I'm planning is a book on childbirth - and I do believe I'll be able to sell that one. And the parenting book I plan to write after that.

So, I have hope that I may be able to make a successful career out of writing - it is going very well.

I hope that this trade off with putting The Baby in preschool a year early when she's not really ready will be worth it - to all of us - in the end. I hope it is going to lead to a career that can support our family while allowing me to also care for the children by myself.

In other news - My older 4 children started back to public school two weeks ago. It is going AMAZINGLY well for them.

Monkey1, who will soon be 12 [which I am still stunned to realize!], started Middle School this year. I was worried for her [I remember starting Middle School as being pretty much a nightmare myself], but it has gone SO incredibly well! She's adjusted like a dream. All of her academic classes are Gifted Classes, which is good for her. They also put her in an "advanced" PE class for athletes and she's doing well in that as well. I really couldn't be happier about how she is doing.

Monkey2, 9yo, Monkey3, 7yo, and Monkey4, 5yo, all went back to the same elementary school where they went last year. They are all doing very well too - great academically and socially. All 3 are bringing home excellent grades already and are doing great.

So, all in all, 5 out of 6 children are doing well in school. Miss Baby is adjusting - every morning she says she wants to go to school, she just cries when I leave. I think she has fun there - she seems to. She just doesn't want to be away from her mom, which I can understand. I hope it will get better for her soon.

And now, I just have some random funny pictures to share, totally unrelated. LOL!

Here is The Baby wearing some of those freaky fake teeth that the kids got for Halloween last year. She found them in the toy box and inserted them herself. Ain't she purty? ;)

Here's my son in the same teeth. Doesn't he look like he's at the top of his class to you? LOL!

And remember those tiny little Christmas Puppies? Well, check them out now:

Pigtail cuteness is rampant around here:

Monkey4 LOVES to dance:

She also did Cheer Camp this summer:

Monkey1 and her Side Kick:

Here is my sweaty little Monkey5 trying to sleep in the heat [our AC died in June and we live in Georgia... it has been HOT!!!!]

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Quotes of the Day:

On the way to Church this morning, I hear The Boy say from the backseat:

"I'm going to need a weapon with a longer range for this".

I thought it best not to ask... LOL!

And before we left for Mass this morning, Monkey1 says to the younger kids: "Does anyone have to go to the bathroom before we leave? Go now or forever hold your Pee."

Saturday, August 7, 2010

World War III

I have renamed my children.

My 11yo is now "The USA"; she keeps telling the rest of the world what to do.

My 8yo & 7yo are "Israel" & "Palestine", respectively.

Then we have "South Korea" [5yo] & "North Korea" [3yo]. North Korea has the Nukes & she's not afraid to use them.

And then we have little "Iran", 1yo, who just goes around randomly threatening to bomb Infidels world wide [w/ great follow through].

I've decided that I am the British Empire in decline. I'm here trying to rule this world and keep these Heathen Nations under control, and it just isn't working any more.

The Doggone Colonials keep acting out.

Yeah, school needs to start back soon or I'm seriously going to consider a blanket "Scorched Earth Policy" just to stop the Fighting.

Tea, anyone?