My first taste of teenage meaness

Okay, that title isn’t really reflective of what I’m going to write about today. I’m just at a loss for a catchy title for this one!  Having 5 boys and the oldest being 17, I have been on the receiving end of frustration and even anger more times than I can count.  This was something different and much more devastating than the occasional “I hate you”.  This encounter has left me doubting everything I have done regarding my kids for the past 17 years. Not to mention physically sick for days now.  It started out as an innocent conversation.  My oldest son had borrowed money for his trip to the beach with his friends.  My husband, his step-dad, gave him $75 and the deal we all agreed to was that in return for the money he would put up a gazebo in the backyard that just needed to be assembled.  After a week of hearing nothing about doing this, I texted him a quick note asking when he would be able to put up the gazebo?  What happened then is something I have never experienced and something I never want to experience again.  That simple question led to him telling me that he now has a full-time job and could not do the work.  It then escalated to him saying I was a horrible mother and launching into an attack that was so cruel and hurtful that I have literally made myself sick trying to figure out if what he said to me was how he felt and if despite devoting my life to my children did I really mess up that much?  And if I did mess up that much do my other children feel I am not doing a very good job either?  As I said, it has caused me to doubt the past 17 years and all I have done.  I am by far not a perfect person or parent.  I have in fact made a lot of mistakes in my life as a whole but those mistakes were never a decision to make a bad choice or hurt anyone else.  They were genuine mistakes and I have worked very hard to always go back and look at my choices and decisions to be sure the next time I was faced with something I had learned from my past mistakes.  But now, I feel like an absolute failure and I am unsure about every step I take with the kids or anything remotely related to my family.  I am in a situation now that has me more upset and emotionally drained than I have ever been.  As I lay thinking about this whole situation a news report came on the local news about 4 local teenagers that had died during the night in a horrific crash and my heart sank even further.  I have been on edge since my oldest son started driving a few months ago and these types of news stories always make my heart stop until I see the details or names.  This morning seeing the news alert and fear gripping me completely not only because I already worry about his safety but because having argued and then not spoken I just don’t know, I cannot even put it into words but every parent reading this will know what I mean!  So now I am here desperately trying to figure this all out and work through my hurt feelings and feelings of complete inadequacy and move in a forward direction.  The next hurdle will be living with my son’s choice, if he decides to never speak to me again I’m not sure how I will deal with that. Any advice from those who have experienced this would be welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Add a comment July 4, 2011
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Happy 4th of July!

My kids are so excited for this holiday every year!  Well what isn’t exciting about a summer holiday with Fireworks and lots of good food!  Today was a pretty good day!  I had 4 boys working on the backyard, pulling weeds and cleaning out the shed.  This was actually the very first time they all worked on the yard together.  There was some fighting and name calling but they did a really good job trying to get along and do the work in the heat.  Now, you may be wondering why they were doing the yard work for me for the first time today!  Well, I put up the pool yesterday and they were all begging to go in the water today.  I tried all through breakfast to explain the chemicals were still working to get the water right for swimming and that the water itself was very very cold having just been filled up.  No one was having any of my reasons as valid and in a moment of desperation I blurted out “Fine! You can all go in the pool once the backyard has been mowed, weeded and the shed is cleaned out”  Usually given the option of work for a reward most of my boys will generally walk away saying it’s not worth the price of admission…..today they looked at each other and all agreed with silent looks back and forth that this was a deal they would take!  I was shocked but tried not to show it to them.  After arming them with trash bags, gloves and sunscreen out they went and in a matter of about 2 hours had the entire yard looking pretty good!  Of course after I gave my approval to their work they all ran and jumped in the pool!  Success for all!  I wish something would be worth cleaning their rooms…..something I have to work on!  Have a wonderful day tomorrow and enjoy time with your families!

Add a comment July 4, 2011
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The Bag Lady

My family calls me the Bag Lady.  They have adopted this little nickname because I carry around bags and bags full of my “stuff” everywhere I go!  I’m not sure if I need an intervention or just more time.  My “stuff” is basically all of the things I have to do and all of the things I want to do!  I actually think I’m making a little progress.  I used to find an article or ad in a magazine and I would add the whole magazine to my bag.  Now I’ve adopted the habit of carrying around blank 4×6 index cards.  Every time I see something in an article or bulliten board I immediately pull out my index cards and add the information to my current card.  Usually these cards hold about 10 bits of information using both sides.  I guess it’s a good system except I currently have about 30 cards filled with information!  I see a lot of good things that I think would be good for the kids and I to do, especially since school is ending on Friday.  My problem is that usually by the time I get through either the magazines or the cards either the event is over or I still don’t have time to plan the project with the kids.  About 2 years ago I bought this book “The Family Managers Guide to Summer Survival” written by Kathy Peel.  This is an awesome book!  Since buying it though I haven’t really even gotten to implement any of her great ideas!  But this year so far I’ve gotten a few things scheduled from the ideas out of the book….that’s progress, right?  I am determined to make this summer a good one for everyone, I just need some help in getting all my ideas off the ground before September rolls around an all we have done is watch movies, play video games and play in the backyard.  I’ve always wanted to be the type of mom that can make everything memorable for my kids.  So when they grow up they can reminisce to their families about how much fun their childhood was and tell stories about our adventures together.  So far, I feel like I’m failing miserably.  Our house is always a complete mess despite the fact that I try to clean it every day.  Holidays, school breaks and summers never work out to be anything memorable because I try so hard that I get overwhelmed.  Mostly, I think I need friends that also have kids and can help me with planning and implementing my ideas.  I know that when I’m doing anything having someone there with me just to talk to makes me do things a hundred times better.  Like cleaning, if I have a friend or one of my kids in the room with me just talking about random things, I get the room done faster and better than if I’m alone doing it.  I’m not sure why that is because being an only child, I always was alone doing things and that’s how I learned to do them, alone.  Short of hiring someone to come to my house all day and “talk” to me while I clean and organize things, I’m not sure I will ever find anyone who doesn’t have their own things to do all day instead of sitting and hanging out with me! I can see that help wanted ad, I’m sure I would get a lot of completely normal people applying for that “job”!  Well, I guess I better get back to organizing my bags!  My new favorite show is coming on soon, Extreme Couponing!  I guess I better buy some new bags to hold my coupons…..

Add a comment June 16, 2011
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Fairytales help!

Fairytales Parties is my party planning business.  I’ve had a lot of personal things to deal with in the past year and have not devoted any time to my business.  Party planning, especially children’s birthday parties is my passion.  Occasionally I will get a mom/dad that is difficult to work with, but even then seeing the kids eyes light up when they walk into the party makes it worth it.  I’m just sitting here tonight wondering how to get things back in motion.  Before all the issues with my family came about I had plenty of money to do things like advertising, stock inventory, etc.  Now I don’t have that luxury and I’m not completely sure how to make that work!  Essentially it will only take me a few parties to be back to a place where I can comfortably do those things again.  But how do I get back out there and find people who want to hire a party planner, especially in this economy???  Maybe I’m over-thinking this? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!  Sometimes just hearing an idea from someone else or encouragement that it is possible really gets things going!!

Add a comment May 17, 2011
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Finally, I am back!

Things have been so crazy in the last 3 or 4 weeks!  I haven’t even had a chance to open up my computer until now!  Well a lot has happened since I’ve last posted.  But I think my life and my family are back on a good path!  Which has lifted a tremendous amount of stress I was carrying around.  It is amazing to me how a slight shift in my mood can change the course of my children’s lives!  Everyone has become more positive and the amount of yelling going on in our house has decreased drastically.  At the moment I am almost finished renovating my bathroom.  When we bought this house 13 years ago we had to renovate every room on 3 floors.  The bathroom at that time was skipped due to the amount of work it needed.  We did a few things like pulling up the old flooring, replacing the toilet and vanity.  Since then it has always bothered me that the bathroom wasn’t very nice.  I have 5 boys, none of them care what the bathroom looks like!  Whoever designed our house made a very bad decision to put a window next to the toilet.  Since none of my boys close the door while in the bathroom I routinely get a view of them peeing hands free and looking out the window.  Of course that means that a lot of what is coming out misses the toilet!  I’ve tried to come up with a flooring solution for around the toilet that would be easier to clean up and be water/pee resistant.  So far the best solution is just to paint the floor and seal it really well.    I will keep you updated and post some photos of my progress soon.

On a more serious note, my 8-year-old son has to go to have some testing done.  About two years ago he had a seizure due to a medication mix up.  Thankfully he recovered fine and is a happy and healthy little boy.  At that time the Dr expressed some concern that he may have been misdiagnosed as ADHD and in fact may be Autistic.  Of course hearing this was very scary and we immediately set up a meeting with our own pediatrician to discuss our options.  At that time, our pediatrician felt that although he did display symptoms of both ADHD and Autism that he felt we should stay on the course we were on and just be vigilant at looking for any new symptoms.  Everything seemed to go as usual so we have remained with the ADHD diagnosis.  However, lately, maybe the last 6 months or so, he has been really displaying different behavior.  I called the original pediatrician who suspected Autism at CHOP and spoke with him and then called our personal pediatrician to update him.  Both of the Drs feel that we should have him tested for Autism as soon as possible.  I am waiting for the testing facility to get back to me with a date to have the testing done.  From what I’ve read they do a very comprehensive test and if he is on the spectrum at all they will guide us in the right direction.  Even though it has been 2 years since I heard the word Autism, I hung up with the nurse at the testing facility and completely broke down.  I even called our lawyers office and made an appointment to complete our wills and discussed plans for all our kids should something happen to us.  I have no idea why I had this type of reaction.  I’ve known this was a possibility for 2 years now and for some reason making that appointment overwhelmed me.  Possibly it is because of my strong feelings against labels.  I really dislike any type of labels because once you have one you are no longer you to others.  You are the Autistic kid, the drug addict, the alcoholic, the Down Syndrome kid.  Well I’m sure you get the idea but the one thing I have always tried to do in my life is to see people as who they are not just go by their label.  Because 9 times out of 10 there is so much more behind that label that can touch your life so deeply.  I’m not sure how I’m going to get through the testing appointment.  I guess that is another thing I will update on once it finally happens!

Add a comment May 17, 2011
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The “it wasn’t me…..” syndrome

This will forever be a problem that I will never be able to solve! An example of this happened just today….there are 4 children home and a room I just cleaned a few hours before is suddenly in a state of chaos. I call for all children in the house to come to said room and wait to hear the hushed conversations of “what does she want?” “is something broken?” from them on their way to me. So I stand there in the middle of the mess with 4 confused faces looking at me and ask “does anyone know how this happened?”. Now, even though I know what I’m going to hear, I still hold out hope that this time it will be different! (what is the definition of insanity, again?) But to my dismay I get the same answers from 4 confused looking children “It wasn’t me!!!”. Okay, now what? Ask again and get “honest mom, it wasn’t me!”. I generally know where that leads the blame game! Once they realize I am not going to accept it was in fact none of them which would lead to a gremlin living in our house and setting them up to take the fall for all things chaotic……they quickly turn on each other. Then I am met with shouts of “it was him!” while pointing at each other! I guess I should be thankful it rarely turns into 3 against 1 with my youngest usually ending up on the wrong side of solidarity! But I am always lost about what to do at this point. They will go hours and hours clinging to “it wasn’t me!” even acting insulted that I could even think they were so irresponsible! Generally in the end I end up cleaning the chaos back up while letting everyone know how I cannot believe they would put me through this again and again. There are actually times few and far between that hours later the guilty party will slink down and cuddle up to me with sad eyes and a heavy heart. “sorry mommy it was really me” to which I always respond with hugs and kisses feeling sad myself that this little person went a few agonizing hours racked with guilt and feelings of letting me down. I always imagine that long walk to me with that little heart wondering if they will be forgiven. It always makes me take a step back and wonder did I make too much out of a simple mess that was probably made unintentionally and wasn’t the result of a “let’s get back at mommy” moment!!! Rather a result of slaying that imaginary dragon and heading off to the next adventure in another part of the castle! I guess in the end I’m happy that my babies have the freedom to play and imagine and just be kids without worrying about keeping everything perfectly neat and tidy! Giving them that freedom is most definitely worth a few IT WASN’T ME moments!!!

Add a comment April 18, 2011

Lonely Planet

Am I here alone?  Well obviously the fact that I am surrounded by chaos 97% of the time tells me I am in fact here with other people!  However, there are times where it feels like I’m the only person on the planet!  There are several rooms in my house that only I venture in to.  These rooms seem to have some kind of forcefield around them which does not let in male members of this family!!  Such rooms include: The Laundry Room, any room that needs cleaning up, the backyard in spring, the bathroom while I’m cleaning it (this room certainly has said forcefield while I am cleaning it.  Every once and a while I look up while cleaning and notice boys gathering at the door and peering in but never breaking through the forcefield that keeps them at a safe distance from having to do any cleaning!)  The thing about having just one small bathroom for a family of 6 males is by the end of any given day it not only smells like one of those port-o-potties you see at fairs and large sporting events but it actually resembles one.  My children apparently have a block when it comes to flushing the toilet.  I enter the bathroom and have to unclog the toilet which has a growing pile of #2.  God Forbid I wait too long to run upstairs to pee without factoring in the unclogging process….that is a recipe for disaster!  I’ve even gone to the extreme of hanging a sign (yes, laminated for those who have poor aim) that explains the process that should occur in the bathroom.  After a few days of the same behavior I ask each child “Did you see the sign behind the toilet?”  I’m always confused at their answers, some claim to not have seen the sign at all (given that this sign is on bright poster board that is relatively impossible) and some claim to have not understood what it meant??  My response of “so you’re going with that answer?” or the more popular “is that your final answer?” is always met with complete sincerity!  This I’m afraid is something I will never understand along with the fact that you have no problem using a toilet that has a 2 foot pile of poop in it and in the summer the lovely addition of swarming flies.  These are the times I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle and even more sadly I’m fighting here all alone!!

Add a comment March 26, 2011

Welcome to my World!

Okay, so I have entered yet another world I am completely unfamiliar with: Blogging!  I’m going to put all my effort into understanding how this works and hope to entertain you along the way!  I tell my stories to those I know in the real world and those stories make people want more and more stories!  Someone suggested along the way I write my blog about raising my 5 boys and here we are finally!  Every day is an adventure here and I hope to relay some of the goings on here at Casa Werner for your entertainment!  So come back often or when you need a laugh!!  I’m sure I will never run out of entertaining things to share!!

Add a comment March 26, 2011

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

1 comment March 26, 2011

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