The Rantings of a Tortured Mind

Valerie Rayne Rants


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Hard Adjustments


It has felt like a series of very long days for the last few ones. The kids are stressing me out, the constant cleaning (and never being completely satisfied with it) is wearing me down and I haven’t been sleeping very well at all. I’ve been relentlessly snappy and nagging towards The Boyfriend, even though he doesn’t really deserve it and I am desperately craving a vacation – not that I know what that is, but I’m craving it!

Today is a day that for some reason, is my making my stomach twist into knots. After staying up way too late last night as a storm quickly passed over us and woke up all 4 of the kids at 2:30 in the morning, I got woken up this morning by the neighbor kids screaming at my kids through the window. Then, after all the kids went outside to play, Carter ended up hitting his head off another kids head and his stitches started bleeding. They look fine and I’m hoping they’ll take them out and leave them out, but still… Freaks a mother out!

It doesn’t help at all when you hear Kaeidyn’s blood-curdling screams because of it and it’s harder to calm her down than it is to calm the one that’s hurt down. It makes my heart race and my chest feel heavy trying to keep both of them calm, so that I can keep myself calm. Which led to more nitpicking towards The Boyfriend today, when I started, “You’re the one with the first aid certificate, why am I the one that has to actually do it?”, which he rebutted, “I tried to look, you just jumped right in there!”. Well, excuse me!

My body has been fighting back to all my movement and cleaning, which seems to eat up so much of my energy. Three floors, an endless stream of dishes and neverending garbage buildup, tends to fill my day with more than I can handle, all by myself. But every time the kids or The Boyfriend pitch in, I just feel like I have to work that much harder to clean up after their mistakes. Maybe I’m just being too picky… No, I’m definitely being too picky!

Then, my online world is picking up on me rather fast and I apparently wasn’t prepared enough for it to do that. Members have really begun participating on Lifestyle Bloggers Anonymous, my Twitter feed seems to have something I have to respond to multiple times a day and it’s the first time in a long time that I’m not inspired or motivated to deal with any of it. I do, because I told myself I would, but I’m having a hard time forcing myself to get in front of the computer to do these things. When I do get on the computer, I only spend long enough to check these things out before getting off…

It’ll just take some time to adjust. Let’s hope!

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Seeing the Light at the End of This Tunnel


These last couple of weeks have been pure, unadulterated, mind-numbing, heart-wrenching hell! I know it’s been awhile since I last wrote, and I apologize profusely for it, but it’s only been in the last two days that I’ve started feeling at all ready to write again. I’ve spent many days processing and analyzing my feelings, coming up with pages and pages worth of plans, and figuring out and preparing to begin putting my plans in motion. It’s been trying to say the least.

In my last post, I had mentioned about the landlord’s inspection of the unit. I decided not to be there when the landlord did his walkthrough because I was in no way prepared to hear what he had to say. The next day, child services showed up at our door and found our house to be in a “deplorable” condition. Even if we had gotten back up to 100% clean, because of that toilet they still would’ve deemed it deplorable. They asked if the kids could go stay with my Mom and the real fun (sarcasm) began.

It was horrible timing to say the least as Chef was just coming home from his 21-day work stint and his parents were coming into town and my Mom already had my sister’s 2 kids visiting her. The Boyfriend was heading off to Calgary for his training the day after this all happened, which I struggled to not resent him for. And all four kids and I went to stay at my Mom’s. Thank goodness for her and Chef honestly, because I don’t know what would’ve happened without them.

I called around and was able to get our move-in date bumped up, which was more of a gong show than I had expected it to be. After spending the most horrible week and a bit at my Mom’s place, being lectured every single day about how I could be a better parent, even though my parenting was never in question, my housekeeping skills and state of mind were, we finally moved into our new place. And let me tell you, I love it!!

I wouldn’t in anyway say that it’s my dream house, though Kaeidyn would. All the bedrooms are upstairs, there’s 1.5 baths and my kitchen sink looks out the window to the backyard! It’s a thousand times bigger than our last place and there are no carpets in the entire house, which makes sweeping after meals that much easier. We’re still working on getting all the furniture and appliances we need, which will probably take at least another month or more, but everyone has a place to sleep, even The Boyfriend and I have a mattress, and we’re not dying of boredom.

I’ve also been doing magnificently on cleaning every single day. I wake up and do the load of dishes from the night before’s midnight snack, while I’m making lunch I sweep and mop the kitchen floor and do any other dishes that may have been used for the kids’ breakfast and lunch dishes get done while I’m making dinner. I’ve never lived in a cleaner kitchen! Now it’s just a matter of keeping up on it.

The kids are also liking the clean start and Kaeidyn has created herself an entire weeks worth of schedules to ensure her room stays clean. Luckily, we got rid of so many toys when we left the other place, so we haven’t yet had an issue with a mess that way. Mostly just lots of dishes, sweeping and mopping. All the kids even help with the laundry, which I think is going to be the only real issue here, at least until we get a proper washer and dryer. Right now, we have a small apartment-sized dryer that only dries about 5 articles of clothing at a time, which doesn’t work too well when Kaeidyn alone has that many dirty clothes at the end of a day. But we’re making it work until we can afford a bigger dryer.

I’ve been spending the time that I’m not cleaning, creating calendars and schedules and to-do lists to try and ensure that we stay on top of things around here. I really don’t want to end up in a house like the last one and I’m determined to make sure it doesn’t happen around here. If it means I dedicate my life to nothing but cleaning, than that’s what I’ll do. I don’t have any other choice. The first few days here almost felt like I was starting a new blog with all the planning and preparing.

The Boyfriend is starting to feel really stressed out about work-related stuff, which means he comes home in an off mood, which sets me into an off mood. He desperately wants to get promoted simply so that he doesn’t have to work so hard and it seems like he’s being used and abused and stretched completely thin at work. It’s hard to know how to support him during this, other than listening to his rants about his job. I have a hard time not voicing my strong-headed opinions about how he should stand up for himself and stop letting them push him around and it’s even harder, because he’s not that kind of guy. He’s a people-pleaser through and through and doesn’t want to disappoint his higher ups. He carries the weight of his work (and everybody else’s) on his shoulders.

So, that’s essentially what’s been going down around here. It’s been a lot of stress, a lot of tears, a lot of reinventing (if that’s what you want to call it…) and we’re looking forward to not being in this rut anymore.


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The Boyfriend is NOT Alfie…


It has not been a good couple of days these last few ones. It’s been stressful, I’ve been sad and I feel like there is absolutely no light to end of this tunnel. It started with a visit from my landlord, just adding to the stress of all the things we’re already stressing about. After exchanging words with him, he gave us a 24-hour-notice to come into the house. The Boyfriend was wonderful and missed many good hours of sleep to help me get the house decent enough for the landlord’s inspection. Who knows what exactly will come out of all of that.

We threw out so many things though. Literally just went into the kids room with shovels and garbage bags and everything went in there. Toys, clothes, garbage and even some things that I would want to consider sentimental. At first, I was barely phased at all by it. I just kept on working. But then, we got to our room and there was just so much stuff in there that I would’ve preferred to keep, and it was incredibly sad for me. I felt like I was throwing away my past. I felt bitterly angry with the kids.

Then, my sisters kids are down for a couple weeks. And while that part of it has me more than thrilled (especially being that I rarely get to spend this much time with my niece and nephew), it is just another stress. Last night had to be one of the roughest nights I’ve had in a long time as we were asked to take all 6 kids for a couple hours so my Mom could get some of her own stuff done. And while the actual experience itself was surprisingly wonderful, we returned back to our house to discover that our power had been disconnected and 6 kids and no electricity tends to be a pretty big pain in the butt, even more so when you take into account the 4 boys and their obsession with gaming.

Upon realizing that we didn’t have enough bowls for breakfast in the morning, I just called my Mom and we all came and slept at her place. First time in months that The Boyfriend and I have slept in a real bed!! Not a mat on the floor… But it’s just adding to my sour mood. I mean, not the fact that I slept at my Mom’s place, but the fact that I’m never prepared for anyone to do anything. I can’t have people sleeping over at my house, because it’s either too dirty or I don’t have what I need. I feel like a crappy mom and a crappy aunt.

Every single day though, I can feel myself getting ready for the changes that are about to commence. I’m absolutely sick of living life this way. This unorganized, messy, unprepared, not ready for anything type of life. I’m done with it! I’m ready to start fresh and create routines and clean every single day. Unfortunately, we’re still weeks away from moving and the impatience of it all is killing me. I am tired of waiting and just want to get this show on the road already. I need it, The Boyfriend needs it and our family needs it.

We were supposed to get to go see the place in the middle of July, but now we won’t get to see it until our move-in date, which is seriously bumming me out. I’d really like to know what we’re getting into and what we’re going to need, outside of all the stuff we already know. For instance, how many bathrooms does this place actually have? Do I need to get one garbage can for bathrooms or two? Where are all the bedrooms? Is that going to affect the type of beds we can now get? Will I have a place that I can put a dining room table or are we going to have to get creative? I don’t like knowing so little about the place that we’re moving to.

Then, The Boyfriend leaves for his training on Sunday. I am beyond stressed about that and so is he, but for completely different reasons. I’m trying so hard to be the supportive girlfriend in every way I can possibly think of, but it is being much harder than I had expected it to be. The Boyfriend is more stressed about it than I’ve ever seen him over anything before. He hates the idea of leaving us for 5 days. I, on the other hand, feel the same jealousy towards him getting this “vacation” from the kids as I do for their Dad never being around. It took me all week to figure out that this was what was really bugging me.

It took until Kaeidyn began freaking out that he was leaving us for good before it even slightly clicked for me. I didn’t fully realize it until The Boyfriend expressed that he was upset that I wasn’t more upset about him going. At first, I stammered and stuttered through, “It’s because I think it’s important for you to go, so I don’t want to talk you out of it in anyway” and then I kind of snapped, “I’m trying not to feel the same way about this as I do about Alfie. He’s always getting a break from these kids and now you’re getting it too and I just want to know, when the hell my break is going to be?”. I think we were both kind of taken aback by this thought. I hadn’t realized that that’s what I was feeling and I don’t think he ever thought that I would put him in the same category in any way as Alfie. The big difference though, and I just keep reminding myself of this over and over again, is that The Boyfriend doesn’t want to leave, Alfie did. The Boyfriend would rather not leave me with the kids and has caused himself so much stress just worrying about it, Alfie never thought any of that. I need to remember that The Boyfriend is not Alfie…

I just need for the next two weeks to go by so fast!! I need them to whiz by like nothing. Ideally, I’d just sleep through them…


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Getting Crazy


I think a stress that we haven’t fully realized is beginning to consume both The Boyfriend and I. It wasn’t apparent to me, until last night when a minor storm rolled over the house and I began seriously freaking out. Not just my normal regular “I’m-scared-of-these-storms” freaking out, but to the point that I, as I was cleaning the window to better be able to see the clouds, began bawling my eyes out. I could not seem to break the pending panic attack, no matter how hard I tried.

The Boyfriend did a wonderful job of staying extra calm and saying as many calming things as he could come up with. Not that anything he was doing was working the way he had hoped it would, but he was patient and relaxed and over the next two hours the storm passed by and everything was clear and I was finally calmed.

But then, The Boyfriend came home from work today, unusually stressed out. He normally comes home flustered from crap at work, but after you let him vent about it for about 45 minutes, he usually is less stressed. Not today. He has been, apparently, stressing pretty hard about money. I think that he thinks that I’m not paying as much attention as I am on the money. I proved him wrong and eased his worries there, thank goodness!

I’ve never, in the 4 years that I’ve been with him, seen him stress about money. Honestly though, I think it’s a whole bunch of different kinds of stress and he’s just focused in on the money right now. But I think it’s this move. I think he feels unprepared and I think he really hates that. Of course, I’m just piecing this together from what I know of him since it will probably take him another week or two to figure out what’s bothering him. Once we get right close to the move date.

He’s also majorly stressed out by work right now. He’s not looking forward to his training while he’s got so many things already on the go at the job. He just started a new initiative with his crew and he’s having to leave for 5 days. That frustrates him a lot. He’s also pretty concerned about leaving me here for 5 days alone with the kids, being that they have been a handful and a half lately.

Yesterday seemed like the longest day of my life and about an hour before The Boyfriend got home from work, I broke down in tears because I was so upset by them. They are all at such unmanageable ages when you stick them all together. I’ve got Carter, who is learning every bad habit his older siblings are teaching him, while at the same time just learning how to really talk. So, what we end up with is a full-of-attitude back talker. I don’t know how many times I’ll give him heck for something and he’ll sternly turn back to me and exclaim a solid, “No!”.

Kaeidyn and I are constantly clashing heads about everything. I woke up the other morning to her arguing with me about whether or not the nail polish she had found was actually hers or mine. Today, I had to give her a huge long lecture about respect and accountability. Try explaining that one to a stubborn 7-year-old… I walked away from that conversation with a headache and feeling like she hadn’t heard a single word that I said. And sometimes I wonder if she ever hears me or if she never will. My Mom had cursed me with my first-born being exactly like I was growing up, and if 7-year-old Kaeidyn is already like 13-year-old me, I am absolutely screwed!

Kenzie has been getting very rough lately, to the point where we’re almost worried about it. He doesn’t seem to notice at all how strong he is and it’s resulting in a lot of hurt people and broken house. From the window breaking, extreme rough housing and payback hitting. If Keirnan does something to him, that in anyway Kenzie doesn’t like, Keirnan will get a hard hit from his bigger brother. It’s mean and unnecessary and we’re just trying to figure out how to manage it. Today seemed to be a bit better, so we’ll just have to see what is going to go down.

Needless to say, we’re frustrated, stressed and exhausted and I don’t even think either of us have come to really realize it yet. I imagine that the 5 days that he’s gone are going to be an extreme test. All I can say is, there better not be any storms for those 5 days…


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Coming and Going


Seriously… I need to start posting more. Every single day, I’ve written something. There it sits in my drafts folder, waiting to be published. You’d think I’d just hit publish, but I leave them unfinished. I hate that… Anyways.

The older kids are gone for a couple days. They left Saturday night and they won’t get back until Thursday sometime. So it’s just me, The Boyfriend and Carter for the next few days. Let me tell you, it’s been amazingly beautiful so far!! The first night, my Mom took Carter for The Boyfriend and I and we slept in so late the next day. Then today, Carter let me sleep until almost noon. I am one heck of a well-rested girl!

I also impulsively dyed my hair yesterday. About a year or so ago, I had been mentioning it constantly. Right around the time that I started showing my first real noticeable gray hair. Then, I guess I must have forgotten about it, because it didn’t come up in conversations or anything. Then, we were wandering through Wal-Mart yesterday and I abprubtly said, “I should dye my hair…” and moments later we were walking out the door with a rich mahogany color.

It’s been about 12 years since I last dyed my hair. Needless to say, I was much more nervous than was necessary. Concerned I was going to do it wrong, concerned about how it was going to turn out. By the time I actually started, my stomach was in absolute knots. All of which were unjustified. It ended up being a pretty decent experience. The only thing that I’m noticing after the fact is that it’s not enough of a change. It’s pretty much my natural hair color. I want to put pictures up, but my camera is dead and my webcam isn’t working. So you’ll have to wait.

In about a week and a half, The Boyfriend’s going away for a few days to further his training for work. It’ll be the first time since we’ve been together that we’ll be apart for this long. The biggest thing that I’m not looking forward to is 5 days alone with all 4 of the kids. Non-stop. I’m trying to keep my jealousy over his vacation-from-the-kids to an absolute minimum, because I don’t want him to decide not to go. It’s his next step on the ladder to where he wants to be, which I’m not even sure he knows where it’s headed. But I’m determined to not hinder him. It’s much harder than you would think it is.

Then, almost as soon as he gets back, we’re moving. It seems like it’s further away than it’s ever been and looking around our house, you’d have no idea. We’ve barely begun packing. Our move-in date got pushed back 15 days, so we still have tons of time. I’m hoping we’ll get to at least see the inside of the place sometime around the 20th, because I really want to know what the place we’re moving into looks like. That’s one thing that sucks about going this route, is that we have no idea what we’re getting into right now. All we know is that it’s a 4-bedroom and that our rent is a lot cheaper than it is now… But, no complaints!

So that’s the latest this week. Hopefully I will start publishing more posts coming up soon. Maybe I’ll spend the night going through my drafts. Hope everyone’s having a great week!!


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Impatiently Waiting for July


I can’t believe it’s still a month until we move. I’m so ready for it now. I’m ready to move immediately, like yesterday! I feel like this house that we’re moving into is going to resent us so much because we’ve put so much pressure on it to be the big starting over point in our lives. It’s unfair to the new place, but we can’t help it.

The kids are most excited about the concept of 4 bedrooms and are constantly arguing over who gets to share a room with who. But The Boyfriend and I just keep thinking about how much things can and will change for us once we’re out of the Glendale house, how much better our lives can be. I, of course, have been having all sorts of mixed emotions and thoughts regarding this move, that it’s often really hard for me to figure out exactly what I’m feeling about it.

I keep getting too excited about it and I feel like I shouldn’t be doing that. I shouldn’t be expecting that this house is going to change anything, because the changes need to come from us, not just the house. And of course, once I start realizing that I’m putting so much pressure on the house, I’m no longer excited about it. Instead, I’m daunted.

We went and looked at the outside of the house last week. We won’t get to see the inside until closer to the middle of July, which kind of sucks, but I figure it’s better that way. We have a fenced backyard coming our way though, and that makes me SO incredibly happy. I won’t be having to search the entire block for the kids. Albeit, I know Kaeidyn for sure will try to escape the yard and I’m sure the rest will follow along with her. But, we’ll worry about that when it comes up.

I’m also mostly excited about the almost $300 we’ll be saving every month in rent. You have no idea how hyped that detail has me. I just keep thinking, “That’s $300 that can instead go to…”, and the list literally drags on for pages! We can start saving money, we can finally get me a guitar, we can look into getting me a laptop again, I can actually spend money on clothes, we can even consider getting cable eventually again. The list goes on forever of all the things we can now have money for, which is a huge relief. To think that we might actually get to do more than struggle to survive is such a huge weight off the shoulders.

Every time I think about these things though, I automatically shut my happy thoughts down and think that I shouldn’t be thinking them. First of all, I hardly know anything about this house. All I do know is that it’s a 4 bedroom and our rent will be less than it is right now. I have no idea what, if any, utilities we’ll have to pay. I don’t know if there’s a washer and dryer, which if there’s not could take up the whole $300 we’re saving in rent. And I won’t know most of that stuff until closer to the middle of July and I just have to patient – and that drives me nutty…

We need to seriously buckle down over the next few weeks and really start going through all our stuff, getting rid of what we’ll never use and packing up the rest. We also need to find out about selling the van and then emptying that. Don’t ask how, but over the years of it sitting out there never being driven, it has managed to accumulate a ton of crap. All of it’s going in the garbage, no matter how much The Boyfriend begs me to keep something (and trust me, he’ll try…). We also need to figure out how we’ll moving all this stuff over there.

The Boyfriend is pretty sure that he’ll be going to Calgary the week of our move. He’s being sent off for leadership training for work, which he really wants to go to. We don’t know exactly when that will be yet, again something we will find out closer to the middle of July. Why does everything have to wait until July?!? And while we don’t have very much in the way of furniture or stuff to take along with us, we will need a pickup truck to make this move work. Which will be fine if Chef’s in town, but if he’s not, it’ll be a little bit trickier.

And once we see the place, we’re going to need to figure out what all we need. I’ve got a mini list going right now that includes things like a garbage can for the bathroom and beds/mattresses for everyone. It’ll probably take us awhile to get everything that we need, but we’re okay with that. Regardless, we still need a list so that it’s not like it was when I moved in here.

So that’s what I’m thinking about today. I’m making plans way before I need to, I’m dreaming about my “new” life and I’m impatiently awaiting the middle of July!


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Did I Tell You That We’re Moving?!?


And man oh man, are we ever excited about it. I just got the call yesterday and we will be moving over closer to my Mom and into a 4-bedroom!!! The really nice part is, it’s part of a community housing program, so our rent will be less than it is now. We can finally start paying down our debts and both The Boyfriend and I are more than happy about that.

We’ve been working on getting the house clean and Mom even came over the other day and helped me out, which was more than appreciated. So now, we just have to work on getting it packed. We still have another month and a bit before we actually get the keys, but we know that we’ve got it, so now it’s just a matter of waiting until August 1st.

I can’t believe how excited I am about this, especially with how worried and panicked I was about it before. And I imagine, those negative emotions will probably return closer to the move date, but for right now, I’m just high on excitment. I just keep thinking that this is going to be a wonderful fresh start for us and everyone knows we could use one.

I was most worried about telling Kaeidyn, because when we first mentioned we might be moving, she was very upset about having to leave her school and her friends. But when I told her yesterday, she took it very well and seemed to be excited about going to a new school and making new friends. That was an incredible relief for me.

I like dreaming about my life after this move. It seems to be all that’s on my mind. I feel like this house, the one we’re in now, has squashed so many dreams in the 4 years we’ve lived here, that it’s like looking at the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s just fun to do. Maybe I’ll finally be the Mom that participates in activities at school and goes to help out at the school, kind of like my sister. I always thought I’d end up being that type of Mom, but when it came time for school to start for each of them, either I was working or my life was too out of control to make it work. Maybe I’ll finally start doing some of the DIY crafts that I’ve been wanting to do, or start learning how to paint. Maybe I’ll seriously consider going back to school (oh wait, I already am… so let’s say, go back to school), because I’ll now have a clean and functional living space.

Maybe my life will finally be the way that I’ve always wanted it to be. That’s what I’ve always loved about moving. It gives you a chance to re-write yourself. Now, we’re still going to be living in Red Deer, as we have for the last 8+ years. So it’s not like everything can change and you can’t completely reinvent yourself, but things can be different. And that is very exciting.