Thursday, January 24, 2013

into the battledome....of crap.

All Right guys, it's that time. That moment I have been dreading since the moment I gave birth. Nope, not the first broken bone, or the first day of school, (are you kidding?! I'm too neurotic......that kid's staying home with me. I'm home schooling that punk.....he's doomed to be dumb forever) and it's definitely not the day he gets his driver's license (oh pahlease!) no no no, it's way worse than all of that!

And no, I am not cutting his hair. That is way worse than this...

but only by a little.

That's right my pretties...... it's potty training time!!!!

I have been holding out on this, honestly. I've heard whispers that it's like a big debacle and I am an emotionally delicate individual, people! I do not want to struggle with the likes of this. Of course, everyone always has to point out that boys can be harder than girls to train and blah blah blah.

I thought I could just let him tell me when he's ready. I was in no rush. It's not like he's going to freaking graduate in diapers, right?..... although he does actually know what a trapezoid is so maybe I am wrong about that.

Yeah, I didn't even know what that freaking was until my 2 year old told me, okay? 

Seriously. 

Stop laughing. 

*sigh* So, I've been waiting for the "signs" that he's ready to try this whole potty business but honestly, I probably should have started last year when he started wanting to actually sit on the potty and flush the toilet every time I went. *doh* like that wasn't a clear indication, right?

It became obvious that I wasn't going to be able to delay "the battle" much longer when a couple of weeks ago he came up to me and said "Mommy, I poopy. Diaper time?" and sure enough.....

I'll have you know that I actually have a potty and a seat for him and I have had them for some time. Unfortunately my son has been in the 90th percentile all his dang life so he actually never could fit his exceptionally large ass on any of the seats I paid pretty damn good money for.

So I've purchased the Mac of the potty world......
It's called the Prince Lionheart potty for Pete's sake.

I highly doubt this beast will let me down. And it better not for what it cost. But everyone says this thing is big in comparison to the others out there with a soft cushiony seat and etc. etc. etc.....

For good measure I also bought some awesome superhero undies....

Thor? What what!

I don't even think my kid has acknowledged what a super hero even is but I think they rock (do they come in my size?) so whatevs.

It looks like I am doing this thang. It may take a few weeks.... or maybe a few years but who's counting, right? 

Pray for me. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I'm in a glass case of emotion...

So.... yesterday was rough on me for obvious reasons. I don't think I quit crying till I fell asleep last night. You should have seen me, all bawling over my dinner plate. It was rather ridiculous. Yes, it was over a dog. But by golly, I love the mutt. P.M.S. could have had a lot to do with it as well. I'm totally cool with admitting that. I'm woman, hear me roar..... or sob into my chicken patties.

Anyway, I woke up this morning with a clearer head. It's occurred to me that while animals are usually super adaptable to many situations, that's not always the case with humans. This move has not been very easy on anyone and I wonder if Michigan's anxieties aren't him feeding off of my anxious attitude the last few weeks.

I remember when I was pregnant I was an emotional roller coaster occasionally just running off the freaking tracks. That poor dog was a wreck too. Chewing his legs all up, pouting when I was being "crazy", and he started exhibiting all sorts of God awful behaviors. This is usually a very well behaved and devoted animal but during my pregnancy he even started nipping a bit. The same activity took place when Raine came home. I was an anxious new momma and Michigan didn't handle my mood swings all that well then either.

I'm not going to lie, I've been a big ball of stress and just pure evil since we made the move. I think my problem lies strongly in my obsessive compulsive disorder. My routines and order are all out of whack and every day I wake up a bear. In fact, I am honestly curious how I am handling things as well as I am! I have had break downs from less.

So I owe it to my first babe to give it another month. I stand by what I said yesterday, I am certain Michigan would never hurt any of us. His low growls and whining are merely an indicator that he's uncomfortable. As a momma I get super protective and add P.M.S. to the mix and it's basically a recipe for paranoia.

Today things were better. I forced myself to relax and dog and boy followed suit. We all curled up and watched a movie and things were right in the world again. I still intend to put what is best for my dog and my family first over my own desires but I owe it to everyone to make sure that high tension isn't the culprit for everyone's sour attitudes.

Time for me to suck it up and cheer up..... where's that Midol?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Michigan


James and I got Michigan after we had been dating only a few weeks. He was my first official birthday gift from Jimmy and he really sort of became the little baby I was told I would never have. The day we went to go see if he was the dog for us, I actually rode 45 minutes in an automobile to meet my new pup. (if you're new to these parts, you can read here why this is indeed, amazing.) I remember walking into the "breeder's" home and realizing this wasn't a legit breeder at all and thinking that I wouldn't likely be going home a new dog momma just yet.

But then she brought Michigan out to meet us. She placed him on the floor and he immediately went down on his tummy in a playful manner, hopped up into my lap, and gave me two little gentile doggy licks ...... I was sold. Legit breeder or no, this little guy needed a home and I was bound and determined that I provide it for him.

The ride home was filled with cute puppy cuddles and excitement. Admittedly a little puppy puke too ;) but in all that new puppy glow I hardly even realized I was in a car much less felt any fear about driving another 45 minutes home!

Over the next few weeks we really felt like new parents. Now that I am actually a mom, I can verify that bringing home Michigan was exactly the same as bringing home my newborn son. I realize not everyone feels that way but hey, I take pet parenting just as seriously. Anytime we went out and left Michigan with my mom we missed him and even came home early quite a few nights ;) He was so so easy to potty train.... the easiest I've ever trained in fact and I have trained plenty of dogs in my time. Being a Rottweiler, he did try to establish dominance for a bit but I knew what to expect and was able to establish my role as "alpha" properly and peace was restored quickly.


When we got Michigan we lived with my mother (yes, Jimmy and I already lived together after only a month of dating.... that's another story for another time) in her big house with an acre of property for Michigan to run free in. Unfortunately the unexpected happened and my mother wasn't able to keep that home and we had to buy the two family house so we all had a place to live. As a result, Michigan lost the big yard to play in and the open space in the house.

Conditions weren't ideal but we knew it was temporary. We started working our tails off to get a bigger house of our own and a better place for our pup.

Then I got pregnant.

There was a small moment when the excitement of the pregnancy died down where I worried that dog and child may not actually work together. Michigan had never been around kids so I honestly had no idea how he would react. I started doing my research and talked to a few other Rottie owners who had nothing but glowing reports of their kids and pup babies living in harmony so my fears eased off and I had faith that it would all have to work out. Finding a new home for Michigan simply wasn't an option. He was my first baby.

Things had to work out. They just had to.

And so began the process of cramming two adults, a 130 lb dog, and a newborn into our apartment. Gates went up, everyone was separated and everyone was introduced slowly. As Raine grew he showed Michigan a lot more attention but mostly they were still separated by a gate due to the fact that this big dolt of a dog was too big to realize he was accidentally knocking the tot over. There were many petting sessions over the gate and doggy licks to the toddler's face but other than the occasional passing of each other in the same room there wasn't much direct contact because we really didn't have the space for it. We all longed for the day we would move into more space to romp and play as a family.

Well, as I mentioned a few weeks back, the move hasn't been easy on anyone. Michigan has taken the strongest hit it seems. He pouted for nearly a week and there was some issues eating and going to the bathroom in the house. I expected as much honestly but once that was all squared away I thought things would just be peachy.

But it hasn't really worked out that way.

I do not believe in a million years that Michigan would ever hurt Raine. But with my knowledge on dogs I may have to finally admit that contrary to my belief that Michigan is an angel.....he is, in fact, an animal with animal instincts. Instincts that can't always be predicted and now that my son is a wild-man-full-blown-jumping-off-of-the-furniture-and-creating-chaos-at-every-turn toddler I can't, with good conscience predict the behavior of either boy or dog. It would be irresponsible of me as a dog owner and as a parent to assume that I can do so. Parents and dog owners who have assumed perfection in these dog and child relationships have lost a lot.... sometimes everything.

Don't get me wrong, dogs and kids can and do live in harmony in many many families. But knowing what I know about animals I know the signs of harmony disrupted. Michigan is definitely now confused about his place in "the pack" now that the child is old enough to start establishing dominance. I had hoped that moving into the bigger home would settle these currently mild issues but it seems, after being here almost a month, to only have made things worse.

If I had brought Raine home first things would most certainly have been different. But I didn't know there would ever be a baby. I had accepted that a puppy was likely the closest I would ever get to motherhood. And honestly, I don't regret a thing because if things had happened any differently I would have never had this time with my first boy. He may be a pain in the ass sometimes but I honest to goodness love the heck out of this dog.

So my heart is breaking today because I think it's time to accept the truth of things. That it's better for my Michigan to live in a better home than we can provide. I believe that he is 100% my responsibility as it should be whenever we humans take on a pet. But I may have to realize that, in this case, my responsibility may actually mean finding him a better home where he can be truly happy.

I feel like I have been kicked repeatedly in the chest. To me, it's no different than considering putting Raine up for adoption. I feel hollow and empty at even the thought. I would do anything in my power to make it work. I've even brought the idea of not having anymore children to the table if it meant we could keep Michigan here with us. But I am only being selfish now because he is still unhappy anyway.


His happiness needs to go before mine.

It's funny, I would have never thought that I'd have to learn this lesson with my dog before I'd have to learn it with my son....

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Instagram Lovins

Life has been pretty much all about the move so I don't have many other updates to report. 

Jimmy and I have made a pact to not eat any take-out or fast food of any sort for an entire month just to see if we can actually do it because I don't think we have ever gone a whole month before. We are just too lazy sometimes too cook. But with two mortgages the budget is much tighter so the challenge is under way. I'm telling you to keep us accountable, of course. ;) 

But that's it. I know, I am boring. 

Life still happens though so my instagram is hardly ever deprived....


1} I keep buying this kid hats because he looks so stinkin adorable in them... I mean, really? He kills me.
2} This was the big sad face Michigan walked around the house with the first few days of the move. God forbid the dog experiences any adventure!
3} "I'm being lazy, Mommy" oh, okay kid.
4} I sort of really love the view from my back deck. It's nice seeing a little bit of nature again after living in town for so long.
5} This is where he sits when we do ABCmouse.com
6} Momma's new gate. So far he hasn't figured out how to open it yet like he does all the others!
7} Making onesies at a friend's baby shower :)
8} A little snuggle time before bed.
9} He loves water color paints now. I'm thankful they are easy to clean too!

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Settling

Source: weheartit.com via Kim on Pinterest


I'm finally over it I think. For the most part, anyway. This house is growing on me and now I can look at those two flights of stairs and say "this doesn't suck too bad cause hey, it's exercise"...... Give me a break, okay? When we went for a bigger home I was thinking about all the places to fit some babies not how many stairs I was going to be climbing (with said babies) or how much more cleaning I was going to have to do. But I am getting used to it.

My little fits over the exhaustion are becoming less frequent and the other day I saw a woman my age with a whole slew of kids. They live in the house across the street and have a daughter Raine's age so I'm thinking I won't be as lonely in the boonies as I originally worried I would be.

The dog had a rough start getting used to the new house. He wasn't used to all the space. You'd think he'd be happy but nope, he was a big baby about it. He's finally coming around now as long as we keep his crate around. Raine had a similar settling issue and hardly slept for about a week but now he seems to be in his glory with all the space to run around and chase the dog in.

The cats? They didn't even give a damn.... of course.

As far as "making it my own", that's a work in progress. We agreed we would go from room to room with decorating and what not. It'll probably take me a few years honestly because decorating isn't cheap and now we have two houses to maintain. When I move into a new place I just want it all pretty right now but that's never the way it happens. I've been kidding with people that my apartment didn't finally feel like home until right before we moved out of it. It'll probably be the same here ;)

Mostly I am just settling in. I haven't gotten a full nights sleep just yet but that is getting better. The space feels a little less vast but there are still portions of the house we don't even really use yet. But I figure there will come a time, maybe two more kids later and a desire to adopt, where I'll feel like the space is too small. So for now I am just trying to enjoy it. It's kind of nice to not have a toddler and a 130 lb Rottweiler constantly under foot.

I appreciate how far we've come and that we can provide this for our family. I now realize that none of this will change me either because if all of it were to disappear tomorrow I would still be a happy peach as long as I had The Cuddler and The Destroyer. I think as long as I feel this way I will still be the same girl I've always been. If that changes and I start valuing things (like houses, cars, or my weakness for apple products) over what's important, then I will worry. That time is not now and hopefully will never come to pass so there is no sense in worrying over my character for nothing.

What I should be worrying about is Jimmy burning the house down or it falling down around me with his crazy "home improvements".

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sometimes you just miss your mommy...

My cousin Ariel made this starburst mirror for me and I love the way it looks over our family room fireplace. 

I'm in a foul place right now. I'm sort of hoping it's just an adjustment period but I can't recall feeling like this any other time I have moved.... And I've moved a lot. Sure, I've felt sad after some moves, missing my previous abode and inevitably reminiscing ensues. It's normal and usually the excitement of being in a new place overcomes any of those melancholy emotions that may be surfacing.

But this time it's not happening. From the first night here it just felt wrong. The air is heavy. The excitement is sparse and is easily overtaken with thoughts of just wanting to go "home".

Am I crazy? I should be psyched. We just bought this big, fancy house in a perfect little suburban neighborhood. It's the ideal place to raise our children and everyone is so perfect and happy. It's the American dream..... And it makes me want to puke.

That's why. It's not me. It's not us. It's not who we are as people. I feel like I just moved into a freaking Better Homes & Gardens catalog. And I'm lost in it.

I feel like Edward Scissorhands trapped in suburbia. I'm trying really hard to convince myself that we haven't made a big mistake. It's so quiet here. Like, zombie apocalypse quiet. I miss the noises, the sounds of sirens, and the drug dealers on the street. I miss color. Everything is so white and pristine here.

I don't know what I was thinking. Most likely I was attracted to a new home that was clean. It catered to my obsessive compulsive nature. Maybe there was a small part of me that felt competitive with my peers. After so many voices saying we would never get here, that we were trash, maybe I wanted to shove all that perfection down their throats.

I don't know really. What I do know is that we kind of actually are the stereotypical "trash" we are accused of being. Not in the sense of personal worth but maybe in the sense that we aren't exactly your typical Pinterest perfect people. And there isn't really anything wrong with perfection except that it doesn't actually exist outside of people's imaginations. I suppose we are the anti perfection. Maybe with a bohemian flare.... and purple hair. Just call me Dr. Seuss.

Jimmy tends to reject anything trendy and well, ideas of perfection change but it's always trendy.

I'm not trying to knock anyone or anything or how anyone lives their lives. I'm just sort of thinking it out and realizing that maybe I made an error in judgement when we bought this place. I'm not sure if I can take this perfect little home and make it the place I envision raising my family in.

I wanted my kids to have better than I had but honestly, is what I had so bad? We were dirt poor and my mom broke her back to get by. There were times that things got so tight that living in our car suddenly became an option. Jimmy's past is similar to mine and no parent in their right mind would want that for their children but this week I started to wonder if maybe that, or some semblance if that, isn't a decent upbringing after all.

It taught us to work hard and appreciate every. little. thing. We take nothing for granted nor do we feel like we need the next best television set or the newest iPad to make life enjoyable or even livable.....not that we don't enjoy luxuries of course but if we work hard and provide our children with so much then how do we instill the same principles we gained from growing up with nothing? and I am not talking electronics and toys here.... I'm talking a LARGE roof over their head and something other than ramen noodles for dinner. 

I know I'm over thinking things and it's something I will simply have to get over because its not like I can actually go back to the old apartment. Yes, that apartment I pissed and moaned about forever. Leaving it made me realize that it holds some of the best and worst memories I've had in my life. I can't help but miss these things and the simplicity of living modestly. Now everything is so big and overwhelming and sort of materialistic even. 

The feeling that we have "made it" has yet to surface because I can't help but wonder if we sold our souls. Can we remain who we are while we are moving on up? I am sure we can and I recognize that we have achieved so much but I am just feeling blue right now and honestly, I'm kind of missing my mommy, okay? It was nice having her company right upstairs from us. Here it's just me, the kid, and the dog alone all day. 

Jimmy is confident we will never change though. To him, this low feeling is all just a part of the adjustment period. I know he's probably right. Today I have begun the process of decorating for me. To my tastes. I have some furniture refinishing projects brewing in this old head of mine too. I'm finding things to take up my time and to occupy this new, larger living space. Maybe I can convince a certain someone to let me have a new puppy..... 

It's the first week and I guess I'm more freaked than psyched right now. Not to mention, the first week in a new home I am always on edge, mentally preparing for the potential haunting to start up. My Mother says that's just silly because it's a brand new house.

She's obviously never seen poltergeist.....

p.s. I am in no way passing judgment on anyone for their lifestyle, for having money, or for being pinterest party people. I, myself, am a pinterest party whore as most of you may know. I am just feeling like a fish out of water up in here. Thankfully today I saw a girl hop off the school bus with manic panic red hair so now I'm feeling a little bit better about fitting in.....even if she is 15 years younger than I am. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Purpose


From the very first painful contraction I knew that I was meant to be a mother. There were no mistakes. Raine wasn't the "surprise" I had originally thought. He was always supposed to come at the time that he did regardless of all the doctors who told me it would never be possible. He was, and is, my purpose. My spirit aligned the moment that I felt that first pain nearly rip me in half. All the uncertainty I carried through pregnancy vanished and I knew that God had called me to love and protect this child. For the first time in my entire life....

I had purpose.

I've heard many mothers explain giving birth in the same way but not many of them could relate to the uselessness I felt pre Destroyer of Worlds. My life was just coasting by and those were just my GOOD days which, if I'm honest, weren't very frequent to begin with. Most times the turbulence was death defying and I'm probably lucky to be alive today.

My "rock bottoms" were plentiful.

But contrary to popular belief, I hardly ever felt weak. I may have appeared to be so, riddled with "mental illness" as I was, but I always sort of envisioned myself a Buffy-type slaying each new mental issue as if it were just another uber vamp or villain standing in my way. I was cold, calculating, selfish, narcissistic, non empathetic, and sometimes just plain evil but it's who I was and I was very protective of myself and...... I protected well.

When one doctor and then another told me I couldn't have kids I wasn't really affected. I didn't want kids anyway. I was simply too selfish and caught up in my own emotional pain to give a crap about another human being so, to me, this was like built-in birth control.

The day I found out I was pregnant I was pissed off. I mean, infuriated. James and I had just reconciled our relationship after a difficult time (all that "reconciling" was how I got here in the first place!) and I had finally started making the changes in my life that were necessary..... *cough* again. Like I said, I had plenty of "rock bottoms" but I was determined that this be my last and then HELLO positive pregnancy test.

I was hurt, pissed, surprised, and grumpo about the whole thing but it all boiled down to this.... I was scared. Actually, terrified is the more appropriate word. Oh sure, the pain was going to suck but I was Buffy don't forget. But how was I going to raise a child? Me, the girl who has never done anything worth mentioning in my entire life and never had any desire too. How was it possible that I was even worthy to give life and nurture it?

Then I worried even worse, what if this child was just like me?

I suffer mentally and it is hereditary. Did I want to possibly do this to someone else? All these thoughts and fears and for the first time I felt very real weakness to this whole thing. This life I was growing inside me. Me and my unworthy self.

Boy was I delusional. But God knew exactly what was up and at the end, when this tiny soul was plopped on my chest, I knew.

I knew that all that fighting I had done, all the struggles, the pain, the suffering, the sadness was meant to toughen me up to protect this little guy. Meant to chip away at me and give me the courage to purely love him as I now do.

Recently I've come to realize that maybe all of it wasn't just for Raine though. I feel whisperings in my heart. Whisperings that say there is room for so many more. Not just our babies but maybe for some others too. Other babies and little ones that do not have that love and protection that Raine has.

Now I have purpose..... And it's growing.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year! & Instagram Love

I've started the new year off right with all this packing and moving and getting rid of some of our junk in the process. That's what I keep telling myself anyway. Out with the old and in with the new.

Resolutions?

Nah, not for me. Sometimes I make some up just so people will leave me alone but honestly? I'm pretty cool with life right now so I have little that needs changing. Grow our family? But that can't be a resolution....can it?

My weight was still down at 129 lbs when I did my monthly weigh in yesterday regardless of the fact that I have been eating Burger King like they are going out of business. Many people who experienced drastic weight loss from the same evil antibiotic I was on said it took about a year for their bodies to normalize...... So anyway, no weight loss resolutions coming from this lady and I don't smoke so that's out too. Not many resolutions left after lose weight and quit smoking, right? Maybe I'll give up coloring my hair.....

psych!

Our New Years Eve was one of the better ones we've had. Nice and quiet with some good friends, good food, and cute cuddly babies to snuggle. Nothing extravagant as half our stuff was packed and spread out between two houses.

The big move is set for tomorrow and I'm a little anxious. I've moved a million times but this is the first time (other than when my mother bought her first home) that I am moving into a big house that I can call my own and not another tiny apartment. Yes, we own the two family but regardless of ownership we still only occupied one apartment. To us, this move is the big one. Almost the first one. And it's remarkable to us when we consider where we have come from. The nerves are there a little.

Then I have to remember that a bigger house means more to clean...... bargle. I guess that's why we will have to have more kids to delegate that responsibility to ;)


1} Raine's fortune in his fortune cookie. I thought it was fitting ;)
2} Merry Christmas!
3} Uncle Jesse (my brother) spoiled Raine with his first bike this Christmas.
4} Sometimes I walk around this house and can't believe it's mine and how far we have come.
5} I am going to miss Jack though. We are thinking "The Lorax" for Raine's big boy room.
6} This hat.... I die :D
7} Cleaning out my jewelry box I found this cross I didn't even know I have. It's like new to me now.
8} Raine destroying his Grandma's thinks. Who puts greek pillars in their apartment anyways? ;)
9} I may be losing my Jack wall but I gain this awesome coffee mug that was originally decorating Raine's nursery!

So, how was your New Years? Any resolutions?

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