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A Little Christmas Magic

Happy Christmas Eve! Hope everyone is having an amazing Christmas so far and that you didn’t just get fuzzy socks and a coffee mug with a sarcastic saying on it! Even if you did though, it was well meaning I’m sure {even if not well executed} You might be the parent that sent $20 to school so that little Suzy could buy you something from the Christmas Shop Supporting Vegan Lunch Options. Come Christmas morning you unwrapped a plaque covered in gold foil printed with #1 mom or Best Dad Ever! You’re loved, and you really are #1! Even so maybe that $20 plaque money could’ve been better spent on a Target gift card or anything else. Yet this is when that old saying comes to mind ‘it’s the thought that counts!’ With kids, sometimes, it really is the thought that counts!

My defcon four did pretty damn good this year for mom! With a 17, 15, 13, and 10 year old things get a bit more interesting come Christmas. The handmade coupon books that were never redeemed {actually I think they each owe me a good bit of whine free chores!} The homemade Christmas ornaments that are in a box in the closet. The sweet letters about you being their hero. Those precious keepsakes are replaced with material things. Sometimes the material things are coffee cups {even when you don’t drink coffee} or fuzzy socks. Sometimes they are regifted decor from around the house, like what I received for the youngest of the defcon four crew tonight. Still I said thank you and gave her the beaming smile of approval for the thoughtfulness. She tried, and for me that’s what counts! The thought.

I’ve been a wreck for weeks as I scurried through trying to budget for Christmas without a mound of debt I couldn’t pay back and without phoning a family member for a loan. Somehow we managed to manifest some Christmas magic. We didn’t even procrastinate {as much} as we have in the past. The obstacles that were put in front of us were obliterated by our optimism and knowledge that it would work out. I still am sporting my fancy Christmas anxiety that’s reserved only for this time of year. Honestly though, I’ve never been more excited for Christmas as I am this year. I know that everyone got what was on their list, plus a few things.

I kept ‘Anxious Annie’ at bay for the most part {there were a few days where I took the bipolar express straight to mood swing station} and replaced her with inner ‘Resourceful Rhonda’ as I like to call her. Rhonda can scout out a deal like no other! Me and full price, we aren’t friends! If I’m going to buy my daughter half a shirt then so help me I’m paying half price for it! The big things this year which are on trend with every adolescent Christmas list-electronics. My #3 wants a tablet, 2 oldest want new iPads, one fancy laptop and the kitties sleeping in a cat tree! {I had to, sorry not sorry} Being a parent with four kids to appease with over $1000 Christmas wish lists each is a bit of a headache to say the least. I don’t know how we managed to accomplish such a financial hit but somehow it’s happening!

If ‘E’ wasn’t helping me, we wouldn’t have everything we have this year, but between his conjoined financial backing pooled with my own money, my resourcefulness, his good credit, and a bit of Christmas magic we are making this Christmas one for the record books! ‘E’ and I really stepped up this year to give defcon four the Christmas they deserve after this crazy chaotic year!

Now I have to go wrap this shit up! Literally! I have procrastinated this part long enough! I’m truly grateful for the many blessings we have and that we will all be together tomorrow! I hope you all having a very Merry Christmas! Stay Positive! You’ve Got This! ☮️❤️😊🎄~M

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The Terrible Tens

I’ve heard about the terrible twos but with my threefold I swear there is something about age 10! No one warned me about the terrible tens! Age 10 in girls is when the hormones start flooding and they are at that age to be too old for barbies but they are too young to claim the independence of the teenage years. It’s like the alarms all sound and they are triggered to be these angry, irrational, emotional little monsters. {ok that’s overdramatic…not really, but maybe} I get it they are trying to find out who they are and what is really going on in the world but it’s not a fun age at all. It’s hell year. It’s hell year for everyone {even my monster} but I think it’s just part of growing up.

When 1 was 10 she was moody and started being super emotional. She was quicker to talk back and never wanted to hear anything I had to say. I thought “we’ll just wait this out, it’s fine.” The more I punished and the more I fought her the more she pushed. She stayed in that sensitive kind of rebellious {she’s always been too scared to be too rebellious or disrespectful} “phase” for a year or two. She had a wild streak at 15, but quickly turned the corner and is an awesome almost adult person at 17. I’m glad she was the first of my threefold, if this were reversed I might have sent them all to boarding school at 9. Just to be safe and not taken my chances.

Two, I wasn’t even prepared for her terrible ten years. I was blindsided by the hate she had for me. I’m not going to lie I didn’t know how to react. She made me feel like I was the worst mother on the planet. I didn’t know what to do. She was pretty mean for a couple of years but then she came back to me. Now that she is 13 I can honestly say I am looking forward to the teenage years because those pre-teen years gave me major anxiety and a lot of mom insecurities. I realized with two this might be a thing. I just wasn’t sure. 2 isn’t all roses and sunshine, but she has really matured and is growing into an independent person who is becoming an awesome young woman.

Now it’s 3’s turn. If the other two gave me gray hair then I guarantee 3 is going to be the one to make all of my hair fall out or have pulling it out. I don’t know if this is the age or the circumstances we are in or both. Probably both, but I am positive that this kid could be the one that makes me lose my mind. Everything I say she argues against. I don’t even know why she feels the need to make everything an argument! She makes messes that she fusses about cleaning up. She has tantrums worse than two year olds. She screams bloody murder when she is mad. She sneaks, hides, lies and doesn’t like anyone saying anything to her. She throws things, hits, kicks and makes everyone upset. She definitely tests all the patience I have in me. It’s almost like she is possessed. Some days she is awesome, but a few days a week it’s like the wrath of 3 is taking over the house. I’m doing my best. I think she has a lot of feelings and change that she doesn’t understand, but I also think it’s the age too. She wants to grow up, but she wants to stay the baby too. I’m hoping over the next year it settles like it did with the other two. I’m crossing my fingers. Pray for me! I’m sure she will be ok, she is a sweet girl and has a lot of curiosity. She is smart and funny. It’s just the age. {I really really hope so anyway!}

I have never been the heavy handed disciplinarian type of mom. I’m pretty easygoing and I go with the flow {or at least that’s my opinion}. I don’t like yelling, I don’t spank, and I wouldn’t be the one to be cruel. I have rules, but they’re basic and it doesn’t take much to meet the few expectations I do have. Keep your room clean, be mindful of your own messes, be respectful, schoolwork, one chore that benefits the household, keep up with your hygiene habits, be honest, communicate, therapy and take your meds. Okay…maybe that is a lot to ask a ten year old to do. I think it’s pretty straightforward and it’s the same regardless of how old you are. I mean the last two might not be applicable for everyone, but it is in our family! I have at least two out of three that tell me I’m a good mom, so I have that going for me! {get this they even say it when they don’t want something from me!}

Maybe it’s just my kids, but 3/3 seems pretty unlikely. It’s got to be a hormone thing! It’s just got to be. Maybe it’s an ADHD thing? Who knows! I’ve been through this three times now and all I can say is I am so glad my third time will be the last time I have to experience the terrible tens! Someone please tell me if they have any idea what I’m talking about! I think it’s funny I question if this is the kid. The kid that is going to be the one to be the threefold curse it’s clear though, my mom said I would get threefold what I gave to her. They as a whole are my threefold. It was never going to be one of the three. I’m doing my best and honestly I’m pretty sure there is nothing I can do except wait out the terrible tens! ☮️❤️😊~ M

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My Mom is Forever 48: Gone but not Forgotten.

Today would’ve been momma’s birthday, instead she is forever 48. Even after more than 13 years the grief still lingers and makes itself known reminding me of the giant hole that was left behind in our lives over a decade ago. I still wonder why she had to leave us so soon and when there was so much more to do, see, experience and when God knew how much I would need her in the years that were left ahead for me. I was so young and naive, 23 and pregnant with #2. #1 was almost 4. I was a newlywed and trying to figure out my life. Then in an instant it changed forever. I learned it was I who was now the mother.

I’m not sure what a birthday with my mom that would look like anymore. I often wonder if she would’ve been happy or if she would have hated the idea of getting older. I am not a fan of these days that make me think more of her than I typically do. They say “time heals all wounds”, but I don’t know if that’s true. I may never heal from my mom’s death. There was too much that I felt got left unsaid, too much that was left unresolved, and too much that we never had the chance to experience. My mother died and I wasn’t ready to let her go. I couldn’t understand why or what purpose this pain served. I became angry at God, at her, and most of all with myself for all of my mistakes along the way. I still haven’t released myself from the guilt, the grief, or the pain that quickly rushed in and took hold that early February morning 13 years ago unexpectedly out of no where. She was too young, she wasn’t sick, and I didn’t understand how this happened so quickly.

Grief is a unpredictable emotion. You expect it at first and then expect it to subside. It does over time diminish as you begin to go back to the day to day routines in life. No matter how long it’s been, grief can be triggered to come back full force even when you least expect it. It lingers within you and that rush of emotions can flood you as strong and fresh as the onset of the initial loss. There isn’t a timeline where you suddenly stop grieving. I’ve learned that no amount of time or distance will make me stop needing, wanting, or missing my mom’s presence in my life. If anything the time is just seems to make me realize how long it’s been since I last saw her face and heard her voice.

I had to hold on to what I had left in those first few years because my grief was drowning me after she died. I watched as my family moved on with their lives and felt like I couldn’t. I felt like I was responsible for carrying the grief for all of us for a long time. That I had to be the one who was kept her memory alive for everyone. People stopped mentioning her name as they grieved her loss in a different way. I held onto the pain because I felt it was all I had left of her at that time. I know now I have a lot more of her to hold onto than the pain. I see her face sometimes in my own. I hear her words or tone come out of my mouth when I speak in certain moments. When I need her with me I can now have faith that she is watching over me and leading me in the right direction. She taught me about what kind of mother I needed to be for my children. She taught me also all the things I don’t want my children to have in a mother.

Somewhere along the way I realized although we fought and argued and hurt eachother that she was always there to help me when I was ready to accept it. She was always willing to offer her advice and opinion, I sometimes would take as criticism, but it was from a place of genuine love and wanting me to be my best. She wanted me to be better for my family then she was for hers. I may always be grieving, but I can now see that my mother’s memory doesn’t reside only in that grief. She resides in me, my brother, my dad and our children. She is there and will always be watching over all of us. Happy Birthday Momma. I miss you today and everyday. Your memory lives on forever in our family and the time we had together.

Some days, like today are just harder than others. Some days in the ordinary moments it comes rushing back, that loss, out of no where. You expect the birthdays, anniversaries, the holidays, and the day you said goodbye to be difficult. The milestones, the celebrations and the failures, or anytime that you would’ve appreciated their presence, their guidance, their comfort or their love to be with you. It’s such a complicated emotion, grief. Losing a parent is a big loss, and when you feel like things should’ve been done differently and better it can leave you not only grieving but riddled with the confusion and guilt that their absence has brought.

PS: I owe my mother that my threefold even exists! She told me not long before her death right after I found out 2 was going to be a girl – “you are going to get threefold back for what you put me through!” We laughed as she chastised me for being such a horrible teenager. When I found out I was having another girl with 3 after she had died I could hear the laughter of her in my head and the repetition of those words over and over. So this My Threefold was born in that moment. ☮️❤️😊 -M