Category Archives: motherhood and introspection

Goofing Around

I spent some time goofing around with my girls, trying our hands a taking a couple of selfies.  It was fun and it was a chance to get a couple of casual pics with my girls.  It was part of my plan to include more pics of myself in my recollections of my time with my kids. 


Trying a New ‘Do

I decided I really wanted to get my hair done before my move.  So, I went out to get it cut and colored.  I went to a cheap salon because with money being so tight before the move, it seemed like a good idea.  But, when she told me it would be $15 for the cut and $67 to get it colored too, I decided she was crazy!  So I got it cut and went next door and bought some color to do myself. 

Here is the before.  The thing I like the least is that you can see so clearly how much hair I have lost while losing weight. 

This is after the cut but before I went home to color it.

And this is this morning after I got up, I colored it myself last night.

Okay here it is . . . .

Okay, here’s the part where I complain a little.  I know . . . I don’t do it a lot, but really, I need to get this off my mind.  So if you are looking for sunshine, rainbows and butterflies, you may want to scroll right on by. 

So here it is . . . . getting old sucks!  I know . . . shocking, right?  But I am only 43 years old and every morning when I get up, I feel really, really old. 

My nighttime routine consists of the following:

1. I tuck into bed and either read a book or watch a little bit of netflix, for about 15 minutes, just long enough to feel sleepy.

2.  I turn on my side and fall asleep for a hour.

3.  After an hour, either my neck, back, shoulder, knees or a combination thereof hurts so bad that I have to turn over.

4.  Repeat this for about 4 or 5 hours, then find out both sides hurt and lay on my back for an hour to sleep.

5.  After another hour (for a total of 5 or 6 hours), everything hurts but especially my neck.  So now I have to get up, because I have learned that if I stay in bed past this point I get a HORRIBLE headache (no matter how much I really really want more sleep!)

I get up in the morning an stumble downstairs blearily to the coffee pot and wait for the caffeine to do it’s job and wake me up enough to mommy for the day.  I tell Prince Charming I get up in the morning because my bed is trying to kill me.  But I mean really, who gets up because it hurts to much to LAY DOWN!!!  Isn’t laying down the thing you do when you hurt??   How am I so old and broken that laying down is to strenuous for me?????

I tell you . . .  this getting old things SUCKS!!!

Leave it to Beaverland . . .

Eleven years ago, on my very first blog post, I posted about how this isn’t the happily ever after I dreamed of when I was a little girl.  Heck, it is even on my About Me Page!  And certainly I am willing to admit that my childhood dreams of Ozzie and Harriet meets Leave it to Beaver may have been a little out of the range of possibilities.  And I am even willing to say that there are things I never would have expected in a million years.

  • The Prince Charming of my dreams would never have been unemployed, but then he probably didn’t get belly buttons and play at drawing pictures on little backs either.  
  • There were only three children in my dreams, but that is only because I never even imagined how wonderful four children could be.
  • I would never have thought that I could be the mother of kids with special need, but then all kids have their own special needs, my kids just wear most of theirs on the outside where I can see them.  
  • I never imagined changing homes almost as often as we change our socks, but we have just been searching for the best place to raise our family and I think this time we found it . . . and besides, my kids like the adventure. 
  • It never crossed my mind that I would teach my kids at home, I had visions of handing them their lunches, patting them on the head and sending them off to school.  In my mind, homeschooled kids were lonely children resembling the kids from the Von Trappe family, not the friendly, outgoing kids in my home.  But then, I would have missed out on all the wonderful light bulb moments of discovery that make homeschooling so much fun.

Von Trappe Family

 My kids

    The thing is, if my childhood self could have had a list of lives to choose from, she wouldn’t have picked the life that said “budget conscious, homeschooling mom of four kids at least two of whom have special needs and whose husband isn’t working right now”.  And . . . she would have been wrong.  She would have missed out on a wonderfully relaxed home filled with laughter, love, learning, fun, giggles and quite simply filled with so much life.  There is no part of my life that I would exchange for the Ozzie and Harriet meets Leave it to Beaverland life of my dreams.  Because  realizing those dreams would have made me miss out on the best parts of the life I have.

    My adorable little helpers

    Sisterly adoration

    Dandelion bouquets for mommy and blowing wishes for my kids

    My beautiful girls

    Mischievous smiles

    Slumber so sweet, you just want to snuggle

    Silly games

    The light these people bring to my life

    Smiles to melt your heart

    Firsts that are a LONG time coming (At three years old, the first time my autistic son climbed stairs by himself)

    Sisters who help and adore their baby brother

    Joyful kids

    Silly kids

    Playful kids

    Playing dress-up

    Thoughtful moments

    Sisterly smiles that show how close they truly are

    Quiet moments

    My beautiful teenager daughter, she made me a mother and changed me forever.

    Prince Charming who loves to share his knowledge with his kids

    A house filled with love

    He’s Changed Me

    Little Prince has changed how I look at things.  When I watch a show or a video about a family affected by special needs, I have a different outlook.  I was always open-minded and softhearted but now I am more personally affected.

    For example, Garth Brooks’ video “Standing Outside the Fire” makes me cry.  I LOVE it.  The way the boy with special needs works so hard for what he wants to accomplish, the way his mother supports him, and when his father come running to his side at the end, it touches me in a real, very deep way.

    And for another example, I have always had social issues and I was always uncomfortable when I was approached by someone I didn’t know and they talked a lot to me.  When I was at bus stops, I was often approached by people who had special needs who wanted to chat.  I was always polite,  I was never once rude to them, I smiled at them, listened to them but inside I was uncomfortable.  But now when I look at one of these people at the bus stop, independently making their way in the world, chatting with people at the bus stop, I actually admire what they have accomplished.  When they chat with people they don’t know, I think of Little Prince in the future, I think of how I would want people to treat him if he was able to communicate and wanted to chat with them.  Now, I chat back, I smile at them and mean it.  I converse with them and really listen to them.  I treat them with the respect I think we all deserve and I treat them the way I hope Little Prince is treated in the future.

    This little boy who can’t talk, who doesn’t sleep and eat properly, and who lights up every single moment of my life has changed me in so many real and profound ways.  He has opened my heart and mind and made me a better person.

    Bits and Bobs

    Here are some random thoughts floating around in my head today:

    1.  I am still working on Little Prince’s sleep and eating habits.  His sleep is going better (for now anyway) but his eating not so much.  But we keep trying!  I am so in love with this little bundle of sweetness.

    2.  I love how Princess Magpie loves to entertain her brother.  She is so cute singing, dancing and playing with him.

    3.  I packed up a box of his toys yesterday and he never even noticed!

    4.  The kids are no longer sick, YAY!  I am now getting a sore throat . . . it sucks, but I can handle it. 

    5.  I am trying to come up with healthy foods to make for meals for my whole family.  It is a challenge but I like doing my best to come up with some.

    6.  I am still an emotional wreck who cries every time I so much as think of saying goodbye to my friends.

    7.  On the other hand, I have some groups from new town on facebook and I am getting excited by some of the things there.

    8.  We got a little behind in our schooling this year, so I am hoping to do some summer school after we move so that we can be caught up by September.

    9.  I love how much the little girls love to ‘help’ me pack.  It is cute to see them get excited.  I laugh as they love the boxes just as much as putting stuff in them. LOL


    I having a day today.  I am tired, grouchy, and headachy!  Not fun, but I am putting on a happy face and trying to get things done. 

    And I am trying not be grouchy when they girls get overly excited and overly loud in their playing.  There is so much to do as I was out shopping for groceries yesterday and when mommy is away, disaster comes to play. 

    In the meantime, I am nursing what I think is my 79th coffee for the day and trying desperately to get things done. 

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    Annette J. Dunlea Irish Writer

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