October 30, 2011

Fight Club

I swear, its like kiddie fight club in my house these days.  (I know, I know...The first rule about fight club?  Never talk about fight club.  Still.)  Andrew and Hannah's sibling rivalry seems to be at an all-time high.  Yesterday Hannah woke up, came downstairs, and walked over towards Andrew's toys.  His response?  Smack her in the face.  ?!?!  He has never done that before, so I was shocked.  Hannah promptly pushed him back (that girl is NO easy win!) and then they were both crying.  Chris, being the fabulous guy he is, had let me sleep in but I couldn't help but wake up when I heard the crying.  By the time I got up and got my lazy butt downstairs, they had both been sitting in time-out for a good while and were on "Level 3."*
The rest of the day kind-of went the same way.  We had some periods of happiness, especially when Poppy and Nana (my dad and stepmom) arrived for their visit, but for the most part the kids have been at each other's throats more than ever before.  I was thinking that, with Andrew in school all day and Hannah at preschool, the time apart would help make this stuff better.  Not happening.  Hannah goes to preschool from 9-12 every weekday, with two days a week when she is there ALL day (picked up after Andrew gets picked up from school).  According to Chris she is fantastic when its just them, but as soon as Andrew gets picked up she gets CRANKY.  I guess she just wants to be the only child or something.  She's definitely not a fan of sharing attention.  Andrew is usually sweet, but oh.my.lord...if Hannah dares get anywhere NEAR his toys?  Meltdown!  He cries and cries and cries...I keep telling him that the more he freaks out, the more she wants to keep doing whatever it is she's doing.  Its as if they LIVE to annoy each other.
I don't know what the solution is, or if this is just a phase, but I am ready for the fight club to be shut down.

October 16, 2011


I am so frustrated.  And sad.  And mad.
I know its normal for couples to argue and get stressed out over stupid stuff, but it seems like its happening to us all.the.time.  I need a freaking break.  I need to get away from everything, but there's no way that's gonna happen. 
I do stupid stuff (like accidentally letting the cats outside) and Chris gets mad because he worries that they might get lost or hurt or something.  He says stuff he doesn't mean, and I say stuff I don't really mean...and its a vicious cycle that just goes on and on.
Ugh.  We probably need a date night or something, but that ain't gonna happen anytime soon.  The kids demand so much of our time and energy and we have NO ONE to help us out.  We are both exhausted all the time.  I work all day with 100+ sixth graders and come straight home to my own 3- and 5-year-olds.  Chris takes a break as soon as I walk in because he's tired and needs a break (duh -- He's been with Hannah since noon, and picked up Andrew at 2:30ish).  I usually don't get a break until after the kids are in bed.  By that time I am so tired I just want to sit down (or just go to bed so I can start all over again the next day).
Its frustrating.  Our marriage is suffering because we're so busy and tired and stressed out.  At this point, though, I would rather have time by myself than a date night with Chris.  We're not getting along so if I'm honest, I really would probably not enjoy a date night.  Right now everything I do annoys him, and everything he does annoys me.  That's horrible to say, but its true.
We should probably go back to counseling, but when?  When do we have the time?  Or energy?   
I don't know.  I'm just rambling...I can't bottle stuff up or else it comes out in an explosion later on, so that's all this is.  Any advice/opinions would be great.  Or even just a "Hey, I've been there.  You'll get through it." would be nice.

October 13, 2011

Teacher's Pet?

Oh my goodness.  My kids are just blowing me away lately with the way they're just soaking everything in and learning so much!  Andrew comes home every day telling me all kinds of new stuff, and he's just zooming through the little readers they send home.  He started on #1 (duh) in August and now he's in #7.  He always asks to read more and more every night, beyond what they ask him to read for homework.  He loves math and he's VERY good at it (makes his math teacher mama so proud!).  We make up word problems for him a lot and he answers them right every time.  Too cute.  The other night he was rolling around on the floor.  I asked what he was doing and he said, "Look, mommy!  I'm a cylinder!  I roll when I'm on my side!  But mommy, if I were a cube I would slide.  I couldn't roll if I were a cube."  Wow.
His handwriting is still terrible, but he'll figure it out.  He has a Transformers notebook that he likes to write in.  I found some websites where I could make special handwriting worksheets for him, so I printed out a lot of those.  Several people mentioned a program called Handwriting Without Tears as well, and I am looking into it.  Can't afford to buy much right now, so I'm working with the free stuff, but he's fine.  I just LOVE seeing him so excited about learning!  Makes a mama so stinkin' proud.

Hannah?  Oh my goodness.  She is a MESS.  Such a cutie, and such a stinker.  She is talking so clearly now and she's oh-so-girly.  She loves to dress up like a princess (she's obsessed with the Disney princesses), brush her hair, paint her nails, and look at her cute clothes.  She's so cute...If you ask her a yes or no question she answers, "yes uh-huh!" or "ummm...no."  Its adorable.  (Well, probably just adorable to me, but its ok.  I'm allowed to think she's awesome.)  She recognizes all her letters and loves to tell us, "R is for Rapunzel!  T is for Tiana!  C is for Cinderella!" (you get the point) when she sees them on signs or whatever.  LOVE.

I'm a teacher.  I was in school full-time for 20 years straight.  It makes my heart so happy to see my kids developing a love of learning.  Life is good.

October 11, 2011

Taking a Time Out

After being sick for more than two weeks, I finally cried "UNCLE."

I called my boss (principal) and told him I needed a few days to recover from the physical and mental stress.  He was so gracious and understanding (or at least he pretended to be), and said to take the three days I'd asked for.  I headed to the doctor yesterday and found out I was sicker than I thought!  It would seem that letting a cold and cough linger for two weeks is really not good for you.  Interesting.  Anyway, I ended up with FOUR shots* (3 of which landed in my hiney), a prescription for some heavy-duty cough medicine so I can actually SLEEP at night (imagine that!), and a Z-pack.  Nice.  I am already feeling better, but following my doctor's advice and staying home through Wednesday just so I can rest and fully recuperate.  Normally, I'd just keep on going 90-to-nothing and get sicker and sicker and...You get my point.

So, today is Day 2 of staying home.  I am trying to rest and work on my school stuff (part of the extreme mental stress I mentioned earlier) while the kids are in school.  When Hannah comes home at noon, I try to work on being a better mom to her and give her some quality time.  When we pick up Andrew from Kindergarten at 2:30-ish, I try to give him some QT as well.  Its all about balance, and I have been WAY out of balance for a long time.

Everybody gets off-balance sometimes!
I have been working so hard on being a good teacher and school employee that I've been giving my all to them, which does not leave much for my family.  That is so unfair to them.  I come home at the end of the day exhausted and physically unable to be the wife and mom I want to be.  I spend all weekend trying to hang in there and do fun stuff with the kids and Chris, when all I really want is a quiet hour to myself to de-stress.  I have been sick for so long that I come home and collapse and am pretty much useless.  Not good.  My house is in chaos, and my poor kids...The mommy guilt is overwhelming.  I know, I know...I have to work.  They understand.  They still love me and they know they are loved.  I just feel so very guilty about it all.

I don't know.  All I can say is that I am so grateful for this doctor's note that gives me permission to rest and get to a better place...not just physically, but mentally as well.

*For those of you wondering what was in those 4 shots...Here you go.  One was an antibiotic shot (since I suck at taking pills), one was a steroid shot (to help me feel better quicker), one was an anti-inflammatory (to help my lungs recover from the coughing, and one was a B12 shot (bloodwork shows that I have a MAJOR B12 deficiency).

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