Saturday, October 8, 2016

Trump on women

I don't give a crap who people vote for. I don't care if you vote Trump, Hillary, Gary Johnson, or write in your best friends, mothers, cousins, brothers, aunts, neighbor. You're vote is not my business. What is my business is what is put out there by people who are suppose to be role models. If you do choose to vote Trump however, and you have children you have a moral obligation to denounce the things he has said about women. The latest being the worst by far!

It is no secret I have ten children and a mouth like a freakin sailor. I, in fact could probably make a sailor blush with the swear words that can spew from my mouth. What you will never hear is me demoralizing other human. I guess I am not so shocked by what Trump said. I am more shocked by people defending it as locker room banter. I have an 18 year old son and have been around a lot of teen boys and men in my life. I have never heard them say the things this man has. I mean come on "Grab her right by her pussy" What the hell is that???? That's rape and sexual assault, that's what that is! That is not locker room banter. If my son or any man in my life spoke those words I would slap the taste out of their mouth. If any man ever said or tried to do that to my daughter he'd be pulling a foot out of his mouth for sure!

By trying to defend this as locker room banter you not only add to the rape culture in America you teach your daughter or your sons that these words and actions  are okay. Like I stated above you want to support Trump go for it, but make sure you teach your kids that these words and actions are not okay! If you think they don't hear about or see them on the news or social media guess again.

We already live in a culture that I have had to protect my daughters against many times and almost always from older men. My oldest daughter has been followed by adult men starting at age 16. She has had comments made to her walking around town or while she was at her job. Yes, it's locker room banter until it's your daughter those words are directed at, right? Believe me father's if that was your little girl Trump spoke about grabbing the pussy of, what would you do? Mother's, what about you? Would it still be locker room banter?

Now mother's and father's what if it was your son who said these things? Would you defend him or slap the taste out of his mouth? Would you want your teen son to speak like that or be a respectful man? I don't know about you, but I want to raise men who love and respect their wives and daughters. Who respect all the women in their lives. I want my sons to tell a woman she is smart, beautiful, and worthy. I want them to see passed the things society judges women on. I want them to know women are not objects, but equals.

Now feel free to read passed everything I have said and claim this is just one more bias piece of writing by a lib, but please do so and then in the same breath turn to your little girl and tell her she is smart and can be whatever she wants. Teach her that sexual abuse verbally, physically, or in any form is unacceptable and not locker room banter. Teach your sons that women are to be respected and treated with dignity in all situations. Do it for your kids, but most of all do it for their future relationships!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

When your child has a mental illness


                 When your child has a mental illness

I am going to be open and honest here in a way I never have before. I have had not one, but two children diagnosed with a mental illness caused by a genetic condition. This was not the life I chose for them, but in life we don't get to pick and choose ideal situations, do we? My children were diagnosed with ADHD (Attention deficit disorder), ODD (Oppositional defiant disorder), and one has separation anxiety and the other generalized anxiety disorder. I have been very lucky that my older daughter has grown out of and has had awesome treatment for these disorders and besides the generalized anxiety is so much better!My seven year old though,... I don't know she'll ever be 100% better. I pray for her, I work witheady her, she gets the help she needs (She has an awesome team that works with her), but sometimes that's just not enough. This post I am going to focus on my younger daughter as it seems she is the age most kids begin getting diagnosed.

Devony was a toddler when she started showing her differences from other kids. She was stubborn, hard headed, mean, very inappropriate, and would pick up on any negative thing and run with it. We used to joke that we were banning her from hanging out with the teenagers because she acted like one. I have videos of her flipping out as a baby even! I knew something was wrong. I just didn't know what. I probably should have since her older sister had the same conditions, but Devony was so much more severe. Still she was my baby. My joined at the hip child who looked to me for everything. Her big blue eyes and cuddly nature snowed me into believing it was all in my head and then came prek.

School was hell. Maybe not as much for her as for me. My husband hated picking her up from prek because the teacher always had him wait to last to get her as   she had done something almost every day. I was that mother who started to think maybe the teacher just didn't like her. I mean come on, sure she was hyper,but it couldn't be that bad, right? Even her ped said she's just active.

I was so excited for kindergarten. It had to get better right? Nope, it only got worse. We always got the she's so cute, she says the damnedest things, but something is wrong. She can't sit still, she can't express herself properly, she can be mean, she doesn't do well with her peers.... Was this school out to get my baby too?

First grade. Devony had the most amazing teacher. She was able to sit with us and was just open and honest. She explained things in a way that made me really see something was wrong. This same teacher had her sister and noticed the similarities. It clicked then. My God, I had two of them! Two kids with a disorder than can make them criminals, drug addicts, make their lives so difficult. The teacher sat and explained how far behind Devony was and how she was ready to go to bat for my child to get her the help[ she needed. Tears flowed down my face as it all became clear. My baby's life was about to change dramatically and damn it, it wasn't fair! It wasn't fair that I had to do this again, that she had to go through this, that she was suffering mentally and even physically. She's already been through so much with grade 4 kidney reflux and a duplex system. I wanted to hug her teacher. I will always be thankful to her and later the  principle and social worker at the school who made her feel normal and okay. Who encouraged her and built her up, but that's a post for another day.

Within a week I had Devony into be looked at by mental health specialist for children. It took about three months to be told what I already knew. My daughter was mentally ill and would need a lot of treatment that includes medication (that can have horrible side effects), therapy, monthly meetings with a nurse practitioner to adjust medication and add more as needed. She'sin a smaller class because she can not read and may have some other learning disabilities. That's just the medical part. Now let's talk social impact on her.

When a person sees Devony out and about or listens to her they see a "bad kid" a kid who says horrible things sometimes and lashes out when she feels threatened. They see a child who has a meltdown that can put the most tired two year old to shame. We are talking hours of crying like a newborn if she feels like she isn't getting something she should have or if her senses become overloaded with sites and sounds. She can cry like a newborn for hours at a time. There is nothing harder than holding your child as she screams like that and not knowing how to help her. I had no idea what to say the day she told my mother matter of factly she was going to die and be put under a dead stone (she meant headstone). How do I explain to people why my 6 year old would look at them and say things like I don't like him/her or the way they look. Two weeks ago her doctor walked into the office and Devony said "Oh so we speak English now". My husband now refuses to ever take her back again.  It killed me the day her IEP report came and it said "She's fine as long as she has taken her medication" or hearing her say "I couldn't help it I didn't get my medicine today".

There are more children diagnosed in this country with mental health now than ever before. More kids are growing stronger by the  fact people recognize the issue! I am thankful that Devony gets a little better everyday. That I get that awesome privileged of seeing how sweet, loving, and kind she is capable of being. I am growing strong enough to say on bad days this is not her this is just the bad wiring in her brain. I love enough to fight daily for her and find what is best. To look into new treatments and ideas. I love when parents reach out to me and we connect in a way only other parents with kids like ours can. When I see a child melting down in public I don't look at the mother with disgust, but understanding. My prayer is that more and more attention is brought to the world of childhood mental health. That parents won't be scared to reach out for help or worry about the stigma put on their child and yes, there is one.

I do worry about Devony's future. I hate how the world will view her, but one thing will always
remain I will love her harder, because she needs it. I will fight for her with ever ounce of me being because that's what a mother does. I will never give up. I will never back down. I will make her life the best it can possibly be! Every time she pushes away I will pull closer.To all the moms and dads out there fighting the way I am. I see you and I am with you., There is a whole community of us out there seek us out!

Some helpful links:

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

When I knew I was finally done with kids.

So many people with mega families like mine don't ever get that feeling of being done having children and that's okay. It's okay to have the family size a person wants whether it be none or twenty it's all up to a family to decide what is right for them. I just know one thing, it's not always easy to know when to say when.

According to the world, standards, and pretty much ninety percent of people I have met in life I am crazy and should have been done long ago. It was a conversation with my sister yesterday (she has chosen a child free life) that brought this all to the forefront of my mind. Then again today when a cashier at a grocery store asked me "Don't you think it's time to stop now?". I looked at her shook my head and said, nope going for an even dozen. I lied though. I am done. I'm not done because society has told me I should be. I am done because after taking a look at myself, my family, and our needs I know I just am.

I have been told by people, yes told not asked, that I am addicted to pregnancy. WRONG!!!!!! (That was done in my best Donald Trump voice). Who loves back aches, peeing every five minutes, and for the love of everything holy hemorrhoids! Being pregnant sucks ass, but I do love the reward at the end. Closing in on the end of my tenth pregnancy I am sad to know that it's over, but excited to see what the future will bring too. I look forward to my wine glass once again being full rather than sitting lonely in the cupboard. On top of that having gestational diabetes has taken so much of the things I love from me. I mean french fries!!!! I am a french fry guru. How could they!!!!!

Another big reason I know I am done is I am starting to forget who I am. I need to find that person again instead of getting lost in the day to day needs of everyone else. Yes, that may sound selfish, but darn it I need to be able to read a book again, take a shit without someone sitting and watching me as if I am the newest episode of freakin Paw Patrol! I don't think I've peed alone in the house for the past eighteen years!!! I keep assuring the kids I don't need their help, but I don't think they believe me.

Speaking of kids shows. I can name every overrated, money sucking show since 1998! How many remember Bear In The Big Blue house or The Big Comfy Couch? Yeah, I can still sing all the songs word for word along with every other show that came along since. I will say the 90's children's programming was so much better than the crap on today. I mean come on, Caillou, enough said.

I have had so many bad times and good times with my kids. Hospital stays, specialist, days spent crying in worry or stress. Then their were the happy tears that came with pre-k graduations (no matter how many I have been too I end up weeping by the end). The good times for sure outweighed the bad, but when things were at their worst man, they were bad! We've struggled, we've triumphed, we've lived another day. Now, well now it's time to move on. I have kids heading off to college at the same time I will have a tiny baby at home. My babies are heading off into the world to form their own lives and families. It's such a new, beautiful season for our family, but also marks the end for new baby days. My oldest daughter said something a few months back that stabbed me in the feels (see how I can use teen slang). Her words were: "Mom, the new baby isn't going to know me because I won't be here anymore." OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, I know the baby will still be exposed to her often but this picture of her and her baby brother probably isn't a relationship she will have with her new sister.

I'm so ready to be rid of diapers. If anyone ever wants to challenge me to a speed diaper change, you're on! I could go the rest of my life without having to clean up food off the floor and jelly off the cupboards. I know one day I will look back and miss all the chaos, the running, the yelling, but for my own sanity, my own health I know it's time to end the era. When all is said and done I will have spent nearly twenty years having children. My oldest will be nineteen in March. So after this big rambling post I will add a list of the factors I took into consideration in making this decision:

1. My health. I am not getting any younger and things are starting to take their toll!

2. The health of my marriage: It'll be nice to know my husband on a deeper level again.

3. Do I still enjoy it as much as I once did?

4. How do the other children feel about it? This does effect them as well.

5. Do I have the time to make sure everyone is getting what they need?

Those were the top questions but in the end. I just knew. I knew this was it. After this baby there will be no more. To be honest though I always thought ten was a pretty cool number!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

When you're having baby number 10

I am no stranger to people acting shocked, outraged, or just unsure how to feel when I tell them the size of my family. They often ask questions or make some sort of rude comments they think are so witty. I mean come on, don't you own a TV? What does that have to do with having a baby? Do people really think we don't own a TV so we just have sex twenty four seven? I love having a large family that's why we have so many kids. I also love having four TV's in the house. These comments and questions started right around when I had number six and have just progressively grown more and more common and people have become more and more open about saying things. So here are ten things that happen when you're having number ten in list of least to most common.

1. People asking what church we go to because after all we must be holy rollers to have so many. 

We do attend church. I love my faith, but my faith does not dictate how many children I have, I do. I totally believe birth control is a great thing for those who want to limit the number of children they have. I do not think it's a sin or evil. Large families are not for everyone. 

2. People walk up to us and say, I wish I'd had more children. 

I really never know how to answer people who say this. I take it as a compliment. I always wonder though why they didn't. Some elaborate and say I wanted a lot of kids, but I couldn't have any. Those always break my heart. I'm sure some just stuck with the norm of 2.5 because that's just what's done. Having older children (17 and 18) I often wonder what my life would be like if I had stopped with them. Sure, I'd have a ton of freedom, but my house would also be so empty!

3. People I don't know recognize me.

I was signing my daughter up for Pre-k in a room with another mom. The woman do the paperwork asked me how many children and when I said ten the other mom was like oh you're Stephanie! I was just talking about you the other day with so and so.... ummmmm okay... I know you how? Apparently we must be the talk of the town! 

4. You never have to show ID at the school. 

There isn't a person at any of the schools who don't know who we are. We have upwards of four kids in any grade level at any time. The teachers, principles, even janitors know who we are. They know all about our kids and always seem to want to stop and chat. When I walk into one of the kids schools I feel like I am walking into Cheers!

5. Everyone who knows and loves us want to know when we will have the next one. 

I always want to say hey, let's get this pregnancy over with first. 

6. Are you done yet?

This is something I get from everyone from family to strangers and my answer is always the same. 
I have been done since number 5! I don't know how this keeps happening! 

7. They just must fall out when you sneeze. 

It's this question that makes me want to break out a chart and explain the birthing process to people who don't quite get it. Things still have to go through what they go through every time. If it was only that simple!

8. So how much do you get in food stamps?

REALLY!!!!!! Just REALLY!!!! 

9. I'll give you mine, you won't even notice another. 

Yeah..... first dude, you're trying to give your kid away. Also yes, I would notice, my kids are trained a certain way. They all look alike too!!

10. Are you getting fixed after this one?

Clearly I'm not broken, but your manners are ;)

To be completely honest though I do sometimes enjoy that look of shock when someone hears how many kids we have. Their mouths often gap open as they search for the right words (Even if more often than not they find the wrong ones). Overall most people are really cool about things or at least pretend to be. In the end though my family makes me happy and I could care less how nayone else feels about it as it's not their issue. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Let me tell ya'all about my best friend (giveaway)

My daughter's always taking about her ride or die friend. I'm like what's a ride or die? I know my age was showing. Apparently it's the same as what I called my best friend aka my BFF. At my daughter's age my BFF's changed a lot as do hers. Friends come and go with the seasons, but sometimes a few of them stick around over the years and now for me, decades! I never thought the day would come I was have an s at the end of decade when talking about friendships.

My ride or die I met in Junior high. We were both a little awkward and odd. She was my partner in crime and the one who would have my back no matter what. To this day I know she still has my back. I say someone made me mad she will be the first to be like okay where you want me to hide the body. It's just the way we roll. She is my BFF.

We have never strayed far from each other in life. She stood by me as I had children and tried to put claim on a few of them. She was just blessed with her first baby girl after two boys and I cried for her. She has always been and will remain my sister from another mister. Speaking of sisters, her parents had accepted me as one of their own. I loved them with all my heart and mourned for weeks when they passed on. At me grandparents funeral she was one of the few people who I remember coming in and just hugging me. We know each other, she's my best friend after all.

She knows things about me that I will kill her if she ever tells my kids. She knows things even my husband never will. I think she knows things about me I don't even know, The funny thing is our paths led us in two different directions. I became Suzie homemaker, while she kept her free spirit. I am a born again Christian she's Wiccan. We have more differences than similarities, but I love her! She is my dearest friend!

When I think of famous movie BFF's I think of Thelma and Louise. I actually wonder if that's where the term Ride or die comes from. I mean we all know what happened there! I have been very blessed to have had my girl by my side for these DECADES! I look forward to racing the nursing home halls in our wheel chairs together. I love ya Belynda!

Now for the contest. I want to know about your BFF, your ride or die, your best friend! The winner will receive Thelma and Louise bracelets pictured below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This prize is a review item I received.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Mosquito & Fly Repellent Incense

I was excited to get the chance to try these. I use natural products whenever I can for whatever I can. It's so much safer for my children and pets. There are quite a few of these sticks in this set so I can use them on more than one occasion. I use essential oils daily so I am thrilled that's what is used in the making of these. These oils include citronella and thyme, both which are know to repel and kill bugs.

The sticks come ready to use. I just stick them in the ground and light them. It's that simple. They let off a stream of scented smoke that forms an almost barrier around an area. They burn for a long time, providing long lasting protection. These will be great for using along the woods line at our fourth of July party.

I really love the concept of this product and I know these will become a must have for all our outdoor parties. They are simple to use and work. Those are the most important things! These would be great for picnics, camping, the beach. Anywhere there are bugs these should be!

Overall a great product.

I recommend this to anyone who has outdoor parties.

In received this to review. My opinions are my own.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Cupids Arrow ~ Valentine's Day Natural Scented Soy

It's no secret that I am a candle junkie. I am that person who will spend an hour on the candle aisle at Walmart smelling each one. I am not ashamed! I was excited to get a chance to try out this beautiful Valentine's candle. It was listed as smelling like cinnamon, which is one of my favorites. 

The candle came wrapped securely so there wasn't so much as a smudge on it when it came. That's great because the label is so adorable. I love the cute little cherub taking aim. The candle was actually much bigger than the picture on amazon made it look. So that was a huge plus. 

This candle has been burning daily for three days in my house and it's only about half gone. It's listed as lasting 72 hours, but I feel it may last a bit longer than that even. The candles aroma fills my dining room even before it's lit. As soon as I took of the lid my senses were assaulted with the beautiful scent from this. It does smell exactly like cinnamon candy. 

Everything about this candle screams fun and Valentine's. It would be a perfect gift for a friend or a lover. I know I love getting candles from my husband! 

Here are a couple other great facts:
This is made in America. That's a huge plus for me. 
This is soy so it burns clean with no chemicals. I love that since I have kids and pets in the house. 

Overall an excellent product that is well designed and lasts a long time. 

I recommend this as a gift for Valentine's day. 

I received this to review. My opinions are mine and mine alone.