Monthly Archives: May 2014

Product Review: Caloric Cuvee Wine Glass

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So, it’s a cute little company that all began with a brilliant idea.
In 2012, a stay-at-home-mom was trying to get in shape and was doing the Weight Watchers program. She wanted to enjoy her nightly glass of wine. (You fellow moms know how crucial that glass of wine can be in saving our sanity at the end of a long day.) But she was sick and tired of having to eyeball a guesstimate of how many ounces she was pouring in order to keep track of her points through Weight Watchers. She got a friend to make some smart etches into a wine glass and voila! A business idea was born! They added in a “Who Cares” line for non-dieters as well.
A few really creative and cute ideas later….. (I personally love the beer stein, which offers both the problem and the solution.) and she had an awesome business going.
These glasses are hand carved by “enslaved” family members and is a simple, family-owned and run business. Which just happens to be my favorite kind of business.
Today in my mail I received my spectacular “Mother’s Helper” wine glass. It comes in both stemmed and non-stemmed. The etching is hilariously done as if children themselves etched it. Which is great because aren’t they the reason we drink in the first place??? 😉
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You can check out their website for other options. But this one is my most favorite because it applies well to my life. Except for the fact it only goes up to 4 kids.Which I guess means I am going to have to fill up this bad boy TWICE. But who am I kidding? I would have done so anyway. Because Cabarnet sauvignon is delish and I have high aspirations of being a lush.
(Dream big or go home.)
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So, all in all, I am very impressed with this product. It shipped quickly, customer service was very personable and helpful and the glass is both witty and well made. Which is exactly what one wants in a wine glass. Amiright?
Oh! And guess what!!! Caloric Cuvee is offering one awesome possum wine glass to one of my readers!!! If you are interested in winning your very own Mother’s Helpers, go to my pinned post of this blog on my page at Snarky Hippie https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Snarky-Hippie/232710006789384 to enter.
In the meantime, go check out Caloric Cuvee and see their entire line of products. 🙂 http://caloriccuvee.com/
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Simple Things

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This is my picture of happiness.
I walked out into my backyard the other day and glanced at this and got this sense of peace and satisfaction in my heart.
Because what this picture is a picture of is more than just some cloth diapers hanging to dry on a clothesline.
This is a picture of the fact I am finally at a place in my life of financial security and stability where I can afford to buy such cute cloth diapers. It is a picture of me being true to my heart and respecting Mother Earth by not using disposable diapers. It is a picture of my backyard. A lovely, fenced in, private yard that is part of a safe, nice, happy house. Where I live. With my healthy children. My whole clan of children, all 7 of them. A big family, just like I wanted from the time I was a little girl. And my boyfriend, who is more of a man than any other I have ever been with and makes this house a home in so many ways and turns my raging heart to still waters when I most need it.
This picture.
This picture is my dream come true.
Everything I ever truly desired in life. I have it now.
I am so very richly blessed.

HomeMade Potato Chips

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Due to popular demand, I have decided to begin doing a couple of themed blogs a week. Mondays will be recipe blogs. Wednesday will be product reviews. If you happen to have a product you either make to sell or work for a company that sells a product you think I would be interested in reviewing on my blog, please message my FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Snarky-Hippie/232710006789384?ref=hl . I will also be doing the Sunday Confessions once again, linked up to Hot Ash over at https://www.facebook.com/MidwestKitchenWitch?fref=ts . In between those days I’ll try to throw in a couple of rambling meanderings via my own brain. 🙂
So, today is Monday. *jazzy jazz hands*.
Viola! Homemade Potato Chips!
So, here goes! Let me know if you try this recipe and how they came out for you! This was a huge hit with my Littles and the boyfriend, who all asked for seconds. And thirds.

I made ranch flavored chips. You can make any kind your little heart desires. I found the Ranch seasoning in the aisle of the grocery store where they sell stove-top popcorn and all the fixin’s. I also bought cheesey jalapeno seasoning for a later date. 100_2888
You want to make sure the potatoes that you use are fresh and still firm. You can choose to peel them if you would like but I never bother to. Wash your potatoes, then slice thin in discs.
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Next step is crucial if you want your chips to have a crisp crunch to them. Soak them in ice cold water for 30 minutes.This helps to rid the potatoes of starch.

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Next step, deep fry time. No, not the healthiest. But these chips are so delicious we can forgive the fat content, right? Yes. Yes we can. So, melt your oil of choice (I use vegetable shortening) in a mid-sized sauce pan and turn to medium-high heat. Wait until oil heats up before dropping your potato slices in. Rinse the slices off , pat dry, and drop just enough in to the pan so the oil covers them completely. You want to cook these bad boys until they are LIGHT golden brown. Because they will continue to cook after removed from the oil so you don’t want them deep brown while still in the oil. 100_2890
Once they are cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the oil and drain on paper towels (or a cloth dishrag used specifically for this purpose if you happen to be a tree-loving hippie who abstains from disposable paper products.)

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Let them sit a minute to allow the grease to drain before sprinkling your seasoning (or plain salt) on to them.
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And there ya have it. Yummier than the ridiculously over-priced bage of potato chips. Sure to be a family hit. You’re welcome. 🙂

PPD Can Kiss My Arse

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Postpartum Depression.
Years ago I was ignorant enough to think that those two words were a label translated as: “Bad Mom.” Simply because I thought depression as a whole was a sign of weakness and depression directly after birthing forth a little amazing wonderful miracle just made a person selfish. How could you be anything but not happy after having a child?
Then again, I also thought Postpartum Depression meant you hated your own child and wanted to harm it.
Ignorance at it’s finest.
Because in 2001 I had my first son and he was a preemie and the medley of interventions through the labor process and his subsequent NICU-stay triggered a case of PPD. I just didn’t realize it at the time. For certain. That weight of fear and worry weighed me down. I didnt want to go anywhere without him, woke up a million times a night to check if he was still breathing, had zero sexual relationship with my husband, quit laughing, dropped friends. I was stressed and exhausted loving this baby. Eventually, about a year after he was born, the fog began to clear and it started to get easier. But that year was hell. It began the slow destruction of my marriage. It gave me memories of an awful lot of worry and not enough joy.
It wasn’t until 2003 when my second son was born and I read “Down Came The Rain” by Brooke Shields that I realized what I had dealt with back in 2001 had in actuality been PPD and was nothing to be ashamed of. That so many women dealt with it than I had even realized.
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I had the same obsessive fears and worries with Aidan. One time I was holding him and had a vision of throwing him violently at a wall. It terrified me, to have those thoughts. Because I had absolutely NO desire to harm him. Ever. I was just so paranoid I WOULD hurt him. That some horrible accident would happen and I would lose him. I was on hyper-proective mode 24-7. I never slept. I never put him down. There was no time to enjoy his infant months, I was far too busy carrying the heavy dark clouds around with me.
Eventually, I got on prescription medicine to help. And it did. It took some experimenting to find one that didn’t give me weight gain or no sex drive or make my hands shake non stop or make my brain do this weird buzzing sensation periodically. I have never been a fan of western medicine so after awhile I weaned myself off. And i was okay. For a good decade. Funny thing is, I hit some pretty rough patches in between. Birthed two babies while in an abusive relationship. You’d think THAT would make me depressed. But that just goes to show you that PPD, though possibly triggered by such things as a birth plan going awry or a baby needing to stay in the NICU, really has not much to do with circumstances and all the world to do with hormones, low vitamins and nutrients, lack of sleep, etc….
Because less than 2 months ago I gave birth to my first daughter. After 6 sons that alone should be reason enough to be nothing but happy.
And I was. Am.
But…..I had planed a home birth. And labored for over 24 hours on no sleep for 48 hours. Didn’t eat for 12 hours. Transition lasted HOURS. I grew exhausted and worried. So, we transported to the hospital. I broke down in weary exhaustion and pain and got an epidural. After all of the research I do and knowledge I have about the risks of an epi I GET ONE. And then mentally beat myself up about it for weeks after. (I still regret it. I feel like I wussed out, basically.) Lucy ended up with a fever at birth and had to stay in the NICU. I stood up on feet and legs still numb from the epi and almost fell over in my stubborn determination to go see and hold my daugher who was upstairs alone in the NICU. I spent more time in the NICU than in my own room. Never slept. No. Literally. Never slept. I got 2 hours of sleep in the first 3 days of her life. And it didn’t get much better after that. I would be sitting in a chair holding her amidst all of the wires in the NICU and would fall asleep sitting straight up, and then abruptly jerk away in a panic thinking I might drop her. I was exhausted. But I couldn’t sleep.
Going home without her…leaving her in that hospital. It tore my heart out. And then when we were finally able to take her home. Suddenly I was so overwhelmed. Like a brand new mom. Like I had never done this parenting gig before. Her cries flustered me. Nursing hurt. Sh had a lip tie that caused her to struggle with nursing and me to have pretty severe pain that made me cry. I had blood blisters on both of my nipples. I loved her so much. She was beautiful and perfect. I knew this because her Daddy said so. Because people on Face Book said so. I just was having a really tough time wrapping my own brain around the fact she was mine. I felt like some sort of wall was between us. I had every single reason in the world to be happy.A beautiful daughter. An amazing man. A wonderful new house. Financial security. My other children all healthy. I was so blessed. But I still felt like everything was all foggy and gray tinted.
There were days that were easier. Days I would feel a wave of love for her and be so grateful. Days I loved the smell of her milk-breath. Days I laughed a little or played with the kids and actually enjoyed it. Not many but those days were there.
Just as much as there were hard days. Days like the time Lucy was screaming in her bassinet to be changed and the boys were all yelling and the tv was blaring and I actually yelled “SHUT UP!” at my newborn daughter and slammed the bedroom door shut and Justin went in to take care of her while I sat on the back porch and cried. Or the times she wants to nurse and nurse and nurse all day long and I feel “touched-out” and give her a bottle just to get her off of me for a few minutes and I feel this huge wave of major mom guilt because how DARE I behave that way or feel that way when I am so blessed to HAVE this precious child. And then I resent her for causing me to feel that guilt and then I feel guilty for resenting her….a cycle of depression.
A few days ago I took the kids to the beach. I sat in the sand nursing my sweet baby girl who was dressed in her flamingo “beach outfit”. The boys were building elaborate sand castles and splashing each other in the salty, foamy waves. It was the first time in weeks that I had felt a moment to be able to just sit and BE. Not fel tuggd in twenty different directions. Just let the sea air cleanse my spirit and BE.
And I was.
I sat and watched and listened. To what childhood joy sounds like and looks like. I took mental snap shots and tucked them away in my soul. I cradled that tiny girl against my heartbeat and almost wept at the realization that I was missing it. Missing precious moments with her because i was getting caught up in the shadows.
I can’t have that.
She very well could be my last child. I want to soak in each moment for what it is and BE, live it, experience it, laugh, love…….
I don’t want to miss any of it. Because some day…someday she will be a gangly awkward 11 year old…..a 17 year old poised on the brink of discovering life……a young lady on her wedding day….and I want so badly to look at her in those moments in that time and see in my minds eye the sweet pink baby girl she once was, and recall the loveliness of it all, and not have a bit of it tainted by shadows.
So, I am back on my herbal/vitamin supplements. Eating better. Forcing myself to sleep even when my brain doesn’t want to. Working out. Getting fresh air and sunshine even when my depression says “Ugh. Sun BAD” like a disgruntled caveman. I’m paying better attention to my own needs so I can meet Lucys needs better. (and those of my other children as well.) I force myself to eat when I don’t want to. I force myself to SIT DOWN and just hold her in my arms from time to time. Just to breathe in the wonder of her and worship this womanchild with my beating heart and awe and reverence.
PPD is a bitch. It’s a tough demon to battle. I’m in the midst of that battle right now. And I’m fighting like crazy to win. Because life is too precious and fleeting. It really is. And Lulu won’t be so little for long. Someday my arms will be empty and I want to look back and be grateful for a clear mind, an open heart, healthy emotions, and the capability to be stronger than the shadows.
I do want to add that if my natural supplements don’t work or help to my satisfaction, as much as I HATE western medicine, I would not pause to take a prescription drug if it meant my mental health and well being were set so I could properly care for and love my daughter. I add this point just to be sure no one reading this feels they are doing something wrong if they choose to take meds. This is no time for judgment. This is a time to do whatever it takes to get healthy for the sake of your child. Whatever it takes. Ask for help from family or friends. Be honest about how you are feeling. take care of yourself. Be aware of triggers. eat well. Get sleep as much as is possible. And know there is nothing to be ashamed of. You are a good mom. A strong mom. A kickass mom. It is no measure of your love for your child, it is simply a measure of the fact we as a culture tend to idolize women who stand alone and do it all alone. We were never meant to. Find your village. Reach out. Ask for help. Accept it. Even if it is just on line. Don’t just tread water. Climb up onto your boat and start paddling for shore.
When you get there, look for the lady in the rainbow bikini flaunting her chubby postpartum body in all it’s glory while holding a pretty baby girl. That’s me. Hi. How are you? My name is Tonia and I suffer from PPD. And it sucks but it’s getting better and I’m still a badass mama. And so are you.
xoxoxo

On Being a Mother While Also Being A Daughter

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Mom, it’s a boy. The ultrasound tech said it was a boy. I don’t WANT a boy. Maybe that is immature and selfish to say so. But, how am I going to bond with a boy? I wanted a baby girl so we could do girl stuff together. A boy won’t love me the same. I don’t know enough about boy stuff. How am I going to do this?
Mom, he’s in the NICU. His cries sound like a tiny bleating lamb. I love him so much already. I want him to be home. I miss him so much. Mom he needs surgery. He’s so small. Mom, he cries so much. Mom, he won’t eat. I can’t feed him right. Everyone says “breast is best” but he just won’t and I just can’t and I’m such a failure at this. I didn’t know it was this hard.
Mom, come to the ultrasound appointment with me. Look at the tiny heart beating! Look how small and sweet! You hold my son while I see the new baby on the screen, okay? You wait here, I forgot to take the ultrasound photos with me! Hang on! I’ll be right back. I need them. Mom, can you bring us to another appointment? Mom, you can wait in the car. This should be quick. This should be fine. Mom……the baby…..they said I lost the baby. No heartbeat. Mom, those ultrasound photos are so precious now, even more. Mom, why did God take my baby? What did I do wrong? Mom…..I don’t want the D&C. I’m so scared. I feel so small. Mom….I need you. I tell the nurse I need you. She doesn’t listen. I’m so scared….
Mom, it’s the due date of my third child today and here I am in this hospital. But it’s you in the bed, me beside you, me out in the hall out on the phone relaying information. You lost my brother or sister today. I ache. I feel so damn selfish, sitting here all full of life like this. I’m so sorry Mom. I’ll go home and clean your house now, Mom. Look how spotless the bathroom is, Mom. It’s nothing. It’s a futile effort. I am helpless. I can’t soothe this pain for you. I’m so sorry Mom. Mom, I brought my newborn son to your house. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I wanted to cheer you up. I’m so sorry I was stupid. I’m not very good at this sort of thing. I want to wrap you in my arms and tell you what a good mom you are. What a good mom you were to the one you lost.
Mom, he left us. He’s living with another woman halfway across the country now. Mom, I’m pregnant again and he doesn’t even care. I can’t do this. I want to give up. You sit on my bed and tell me how strong you think I am and I cannot see it. I think about you raising me alone and I cannot fathom doing so myself. I am scared. Mom, the oldest boy hates his younger brother. He won’t stop trying to hurt him. Raising two is hard….how in the world will I ever be able to raise three???
Mom, I see you. Right there in the middle of a push I look up and see you, holding my oldest son, in the delivery room. You’ve been in this room for hours. Holding my hand, encouraging me, wiping my face with cold cloths, offering me iced red raspberry leaf tea. Thank you. Thank you. Look mom! His head! I can feel his head, his slick, wet hair! It’s another boy! I love him. Just as much as the other two. Remember when I didn’t want ONE boy, mom? How worried I was? Now I have three! God is good.
Mom, I’m trying so hard to hold my marriage together. I don’t think I can forgive the past. I think he is cheating again. What do I do? Mom, my heart hurts. Mom, I’m pregnant again. Mom it’s a boy. Mom, you are so far away this time. I’m all alone this time in this hospital room. I miss you. Mom, the bills are piling up. Mom, how do I find time to do all I need to do? Mom, this is HARD. Mom, if it wasnt for my boys I would throw in the towel today. They won’t stop making messes. They won’t stop fighting. He won’t calm down. I just need a shower. A nap. Mom, help!
Mom…you should see how sweet they can be. Look at this photo of Zane holding baby Creed. Look at how Aidan helps me cook dinner. Look at Bailey learning to ride his two wheeler without the training wheels. His big brother taught him! They make me so proud. Being a mom is this weird blend of losing your mind and having an overflowing heart. It makes me so much more grateful for all you did for me, mom. All you still do.
Mom, he won’t stop crying. This new one, the fourth boy. It’s colic. It’s exhausting. I don’t know what to do, how to help him, how to soothe him. Is he hurting, mom? Is he hungry? Is something wrong with my milk? Why won’t he stop crying, mom? I want to throw him straight out a window. But instead I lay here in bed, a screaming, red-faced tiny boy on my chest. Sometimes I cry with him. Sometimes I call you and you hear him crying. Sometimes you are here and you scoop him up off pf my chest and take him out of the room and I don’t know what you DO with him, just that I get a moment to sleep before I lose my mind and ohmygodTHANKYOUMOM! Will he ever outgrow this, mom? Will he ever be happy? Will I ever stop feeling like a failure as a mom?
Mom, it means the world to me, the bond you have with my children. Listening to you talk to them or read to them.You are such a good Grandma. My kids are so blessed. I am so grateful.
Mom….he’s dead. My fiance is dead. I need you. I need the police officer to shut up. I need my mom. Why can’t I remember your number?? Why is my mind suddenly blank? Please come, please hurry. Mom, how do I tell the boys the man they call Daddy is dead? Mom, how am I going to get on that bus and travel across the country to bury him? I’ve never even BEEN to a funeral. I’m terrified.
Mom, Im calling you from the funeral home. I just saw him. I wish you were here, Mom. I wish you were here. I touched him. He was so cold. He looked like him but not at all like him. Mom…this…this is so hard.
Mom, I started bleeding. I lost my baby. Its in my hand. I’m on the phone with you and there is this tiny little sac in the palm of my hand with this tiny little person inside of it and I am just sobbing and talking too fast and you can’t understand at first. Mommy, I need you here. Mom, WHY??? Mom…..can we bury the baby here? On your property? Under this tree? Can we wrap it in this small towel and put it in a little tupperware and dig a hole and bury it here? Can I put these flowers on top? Can I come and visit this baby mom? On days when I ache so hard I cannot breathe? On days I blame myself? On days I miss this child I never got to hold? Can I come here and sit and talk to this precious little child? Thank you , mom. Thank you for understanding. I love you.
Mom, its another boy. It’s ANOTHER boy. Can I tell you a secret, mom? I’m disappointed. Does that make me a bad mom? To be so selfish as to wish for a daughter instead? I feel outnumbered mom. All these boys….no one to do the girly stuff with. I love my sons. I do. But oh, I wish I had a daughter. I still have that bonnet you gave me “just in case”. And the dresses from Joi. And the pink blanket from Gram. I still have this stuff and don’t know what to do with it all.
Mom, this is still hard. Being a mother is always hard. Just in different ways. Ways I never seem to expect. I need your advice. I need your help. I need your hug. I need your encouragemnet. Am I messing it all up? Am I doing this right? I’m so glad you are here. To spend Christmas with us. To talk to. To eat dinner with. Here I am, pregnant with my seventh baby and raising 6 more and I am so in love with them but so overwhelmed as well. Behavior issues and discipline and schooling and trying to raise them to be men of integrity….and really, there are days I want to go hide in the bathroom and cry. There are days I DO hide in the bathroom and cry. And I am so glad you are here. I was on the verge of sinking and your presence here keeps me going. I am never alone. You are always here with me. Thank you.
Mom, this baby is being stubborn. We are transferring to the hospital now. No homebirth. I am so disappointed. Justin is calling the ambulance. I am wishing you were here right now, instead of across the country.
Mom, it’s a girl. It’sagirlit’sagirlit’sagirl! Oh I wish you were here. To see her. To hold her. She came out perfect, all pink and strong, grabbed right ahold of my finger. I bawled. I understood in that moment what you have had for 34 years. The love for a daughter. I love her so much. The boys love her. I wish I could share this with you, Mom.
Mom, I’m so happy these days. Despite the struggles. Despite the fact she has lip tie and can’t nurse well and for the first 2 weeks my nipples were bloody and raw. Despite the sleepless nights. Despite the way the boys sometimes argue and fight. Despite the housework that never ends.
I am so happy. So blessed. Life is so good. We got through a lot of storms, didn’t we. And you and I….we argued and fought and didn’t speak. And I’ll be humble enough to tell you every time we didn’t talk tore at my heart. I missed you. You are such a part of my very soul. Understanding this fact helps me to realize how silly I was to veer worry I would not bond with my sons. After all, they are as much a part of me as I am of you. This is the greatest gift a mother gives. Her soul, her dreams, her SELF. I am the mother I am because of the mother I have.
Thank you.
For everything.
I love you.
Happy Mothers Day.
xoxoxo
md

Confession:

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Today.
Today I want to run away.
Today was harder than yesterday.
I’ll tell you the truth. Being a mom is hard. Even on easy days it comes with it’s challenges. Even on the smoothest day of sailing there are moments of treading water with heavy legs and standing face first into waves that threaten to sweep you off of your feet.
Today was not an easy day though.
Look, in case you are incredibly naive, let me assure you that every single post you see on Face Book by a parent regarding their child/ren is always only a half truth. For every wonderful brag post you read, keep in mind that that very same child has pushed limits, rebelled, argued, demanded, fussed, whined…something. Something that has caused that mother or father to grit teeth, breathe deep while counting to ten, lock themselves in a bathroom to cry, face a huge brick wall and just stare at it in defeat. Because parenting is HARD AS HELL.
My kids are wonderful in so many ways. They do chores, they help with the baby, they watch out for each other. I have seven young children and yet, while I was pregnant I managed to nap most days because the youngest would nap and all of the others would sit quietly for a solid hour and a half and watch a movie so I could sleep. They ask to help prepare meals. They clean the bathrooms. They rub my feet. They are unschooled and get passionate at times about what they are learning about. I have a lot to brag about.
But lets be real here. REALLY real.
They try me. They test limits. They push buttons. They eye that line that I drew and jump right over it while staring me defiantly in the eye. My ultimate goal every single day is to not yell. Not cuss. Not lose my patience. I want to be that calm, smiling mother that reads 20 story books in a row without complaint and hunkers down on the floor to build castles with blocks and has the zen of Mr. Rogers. But honestly? Truthfully? I fail. I fail every single day. Some days I do pretty great and maybe I am simply a bit impatient with them at days end or something. But I still call it a failure. Some days are bad. Somedays are like today. Today when the 11 year old, who is so much like his biological father with too much pride and not enough humility, argued incessantly with every freaking thing I said. I could have told him I was his mother and he would have refuted it. He argues everything. During Family Meetings, when I am explaining a rule, when I am chatting with someone else, he always has to jump in with his two cents. He interrupts and cuts in and won’t stop if I say stop. It drives me mad. Makes me want to punch him. Go ahead, react to that one. I would never actually punch him. I’ve never punched anyone. But don’t tell me you have never had a moment like that. A moment when you want to smack your child or flip them off or say “Fuck you, you’re being a jerk right now and I don’t deserve that.” You don’t ever actually DO these things, but oh man have you thought them at least once. So, he argued all day. With every damn thing I said. And on top of it when I asked for his help after dinner because I was busy and the baby was crying he looked me straight in my face and said “No.” and then turned to walk away. And his 6 year old brother, who has anger problems and we KNOW he has something going on within him but we don’t have an official diagnosis yet so we take it day by day and today was a tough day for him. He threw rocks at two of his brothers. Big rocks that could have done serious harm. He called me a bitch. Slammed his door. Lay in his bed kicking the wall and screaming verbal abuse at me. When I sent him to his room and stepped outside for a smoke to calm myself down so I could handle him rationally, he opened his bedroom window and pressed his head out to cry and fuss and argue with me and refused to close the window and the 11 year old came up to me at that moment to argue once again with me so I put out my cigarette and went inside to clean the kitchen to breathe to escape to calm down and the toddler ran in, busted straight through the baby gate and grabbed a special knick knack I had had sitting up on the counter, a gift from dear friends, and threw it smashing to the ground. And I plopped him in his crib and gave him a bottle, and the baby is going through a growth spurt and nursed 3 times in one hour and was crying for more and I was sweaty and had sore nipples from thrush and her bad latch from her lip tie and the mere thought of nursing her made me want to run away and cry so I made her a bottle and gave it to Justin and just kept on cleaning the kitchen. While crying.Because I’m dealing with all of this in the span of ten minutes and I only got 4 hours of sleep last night.
That was my entire day. Not just that ten minutes. But all of it.
I basically just coasted. Just prayed to get through it alive. Just survived until bed time.
And I wish I could be more honest. Could just once make a FB status update that says : “OHMYGODTHEY’REDRIVINGMECRAZY!!!!!!!!”
And not fear the repercussion of judgment from other people.
Because in reality, we all have hard days. Days we wait out the tantrum and wonder how the hell they can scream that long. days we want nothing more than a freaking shower. Days we don’t even get to PEE alone, but find ourselves peeing with a fussy baby sitting on our lap and chubby toddlers fingers sticking under the door. Days we lay in bed at night feeling like we failed. Days our child cries themselves to sleep or the very last words we said to them before bed were harsh and grouchy. Days we are so exhausted and yet the house is a mess and the kids didn’t take baths and we didn’t even get the chance to brush our teeth and we wonder what in the actual fuck we DID all day.
I have a friend on Face Book who I admire so much because she is REAL. She loves her children with a passion. Truly. That is obvious. She is her children’s most valiant defender. She is their voice. She fights for them, stands in the gap for them. She has a son who has autism and she is so hands-on and perserverent with him. I do admire all that. But what I truly love about her is how REAL she is. She posts cute pictures of her children. Shares their achievements. BUT, she also has the balls to be 100% REAL. If her children are testing her, if they trash the house, if they throw a fit, if they push her to her limits, she admits it. She vents about it, lets out her frustration.And once in awhile she will get some unsolicited advice from a fellow mother who thinks that is what she is seeking, some solution to her problem at hand and she will respond with a polite but firm matter-of-fact “Thanks but no thanks. I’m not asking for help here. I’m just saying it’s hard right now and I’m being real.” Why is it okay to bitch about a job or the traffic but not about the tough moments of being a parent? I think it’s unbelievably healthy and brave. To not swallow the truth but spit it out and show the world that motherhood is not all neat and perfect and tidy and easy. it’s messy and tiring and sweaty and bloody and an emotional mind fuck. I wish she knew how many times I find myself doubting myself as a mom and then I remember how she had posted about that same sort of thing the week before and it brings me so much comfort just to know I am not alone in this. That other moms right now are struggling too. That we are all in this together.
I’ll footnote this to say my children are always worth it. Maybe it gets easier as they get older. I do know right now that my eldest son rarely tries me these days. He is maturing and learning to handle himself better and incorporate coping skills and its nice. Maybe new challenges will come down the road with him but for now, he’s pretty cool. All I DO know for sure is someday I will MISS THIS. As crazy as it sounds. In the same way I used to complain about my first son keeping me up all night struggling to nurse and now I look back at those bleary dark silent nights when he and I were the only two people awake on earth and I see how PRECIOUS those nights were, in spite of the frustration of him unable to nurse and my utter lack of sleep….it was in those nights that our bond formed and strengthened like steel. So, now I savor those same sort of nights with my youngest child. Even these bad days, I will look back on eventually and miss.
But today…….
Today I need wine.
And that’s the truth.

Holocaust

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un-holocaust-victims
Interesting fact:
Did you know, that during the Holocaust, 90% of Germans supported the Nazis?
NINETY PERCENT.
Thats a scary high percentage rate.
And it’s easy to shrug it off as them all being brainwashed or ignorant to what was really going on.
But the fat of the matter is, they were more than aware of what was going on around them. You can’t miss neighborhoods turning into ghost towns, long time aquaintenances up and vanishing, shops going out of business, soldiers marching down your streets……. They knew.
So, what explanation is there that so many Germans supported the Nazis? Were they all just evil and cruel?
No, the answer is a simple one.
They were AFRAID.
The Germans were people just like you and I.
Imagine for a minute that the people in authority in YOUR country (politicians, police force, military) all made it very clear to you that you were to now betray any one (ANY ONE) who was not your specific race. And if you chose to disobey these orders, your family could be at risk. Your business could be destroyed, meaning no way to support your family, no way to provide for their needs. You could risk your children being taken away, you being killed and your children being orphaned, your spouse being hurt or killed as well.
What would you do?
Would you risk your families security and safety and choose to protect or defend those you were forbidden to protect and defend? Would you put a stranger before those you love the most?
Interesting fact #2:
The Nazi party/army numbered approximately 27,800,000.
There were approximately 67 million German citizens during that time. .75% were Jews. Minus the Jewish population, the number of Germans versus Nazis during that time period shows how vastly outnumbered the Nazis were.
This begs the question: WHY did the Holocaust even HAPPEN? Why didn’t the Germans rebel?
Simple really. FEAR.
Fear, brought on quietly, small step by small step, ca control the masses quite nicely. The Nazis took one tiny sliver of rights and independence and justice away from the Jewish population at a time. Not all at once. It was subtle. On top of it, the convincing of the Germans that they had security based on loyalty to their nation was also brought on in subtle tones and ways. We can look at the stories and facts and statistics NOW and wonder how in the world such inhumanity and evil was allowed to occur. But back then, in the very midst of it, it was not so obvious.
Think something like the Holocaust could never happen again?
You are dead wrong.
I believe 100% that something like it could very potentially occur again.
But even on a smaller scale…..it happens every single day.When we allow fear to win.
The boy at school who is teased and tormented mercilessly and no one speaks up to defend him and no one befriends him for fear of being a target as well and he goes home and puts his fathers gun to his temple and pulls the trigger. And that’s a holocaust of one.
The man on the street corner with the cardboard sign in the wheelchair. Looks like a bum. Maybe you don’t know he is a veteran. Maybe you don’t know he has a son he hasn’t seen in 6 years because PTSD is a bitch and he hit the bottle pretty hard when he came back from deployment and his wife couldn’t handle it so she left him and took his son and maybe if someone would just notice him and reach out in kindness….but instead the city starts arresting anyone homeless and duping them outside of city lines and he is a shadow at best. A holocaust of one.
The young woman who is raped at a college party and we pay more attention to how many drinks she had and how short her skirt was and she carries that shame for years because no one is brave enough to say “Rape culture” out loud. Holocaust of One.
The black man who works hard every day to support his family and on the weekend and takes off his suit and puts on casual clothes and goes to a store and gets trailed by a shop owner who accuses him of stealing and all of the other patrons watch but not one yells out “Racial profiling is wrong!” and its another holocaust of one.
The woman in the library who was born with male genitalia but knows 100% she is a woman in the depth of her soul and lives as such and she hears the group of older ladies over by the fiction section whisper words like “abomination” and “nasty” and “sin” and it hurts like a knife through her heart that to be true to herself she has to stand all alone. Holocaust of one.
We allow these things to happen. Every single day. We turn a blind eye. We make excuses. Just like the Germans rationalized away their reason for standing idly by while millions of Jews were brutally murdered.
You can reason that this is different. But other than the numbers, its the same. It’s people with a voice becoming voiceless.
As Jiddu Krishnamurti once said “It is no measure of good health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” And our society IS sick. Profoundly. We lack empathy, compassion, decency, love, integrity.
It only takes one small ripple in a pond to send the waves in the ocean crashing to a shore.
Be the pebble. Be the ripple. Be the goddamned wave.
Be a voice for the voiceless. Strength for the battered. Love for the orphaned and widowed and lonely. Get up on your soapbox. Be loud. If they won’t listen to you, MAKE them. Bang on pots and pans. Scream your speech. Until your throat is hoarse. Write it out and publish it and mail it to a million senators. Find a platform. Take a hand. Give a hug. Share a smile. Be kind. Tell someone that they matter. Spit in the face of injustice. Stand in the doorway. Burn a figurative bridge. Build a figurative bridge. Shout and defend and weep and make noise until the stars fall from the sky if that’s the change that needs to take place to make this world a better place for our children.
We can stop this holocaust of starving souls, one at a time.
And it only begins with ONE. ❤
Remember,
"All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men to do nothing." (Edward Burke)