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Real Confessions of True Housewives

These are the true confessions of an actual housewife. Nothing has been changed to protect the innocent because this whole blog is about showing that life isn’t perfect.

1. I cleaned my microwave, like really scrubbed the snot out of the inside, last week and it kinda freaks me out when I open it because it looks so different now.

2. I have twins. One is a lot more emotional and intense than the other. When the quiet one starts to throw a fit I’ve thought on more than one occasion “please not you, you’re the good one.”

3. I hate when my children are in trouble and grounded from things like the TV or computers because sometimes I just need a short break where they’re focused on something other than making a mess or jumping on me.

4. Things that my husband hates (well, at least doesn’t like) for the girls to play with are the things I try to cram into the time he’s at work. This involves markers, stickers, glitter, and feasting on the unborn. (well, ok, not that last one)

5. We tend not to censor our language much at home and it drives our families crazy. We subscribe to the Dumbledore attitude on language: fear of the name only increases fear of the thing itself. We have at home words and not at home words and the girls are learning what words they can use at home but not in public. We know that this is contrary to pretty much everyone in America, but our theory is that words are arbitrary and just a string of letters. Just because they’re put together in a specific order doesn’t make them ‘bad’. Socially unacceptable, ok, but not bad. Language has no morality- no sense of right and wrong. It’s a freaking word.

6. I HATE folding laundry. I wash it and dry it, but I hate folding it any putting it away. This means that it often piles up in the living room until we get so sick of it that one of us folds and puts it all away.

7. The children are not allowed to watch scary movies or things that will give them nightmares, but they love playing video games with us. This includes zombie killing games, games with lots of explosions, and games with things like skeletons and ghosts. Secretly I feel like this is good preparation for the actual zombie apocalypse.

8. I want the children to dress nice, in outfits that coordinate, and have a well groomed appearance when we’re out and about. At home, most days we don’t get out of our jammies if we don’t need to. We play, paint, craft, read, and laze about in them all day.

9. We let the children ride their scooters in the house. Not their bikes since they can get some wicked speed on those, but the scooters they got for Christmas. We have hardwood floors and a good sized hallway and they zip around like tiny little balls of energy.

10. We live in a highly republican area with a large community of very religious people, neither of which are things that the husband and I prescribe to in life. We don’t force our beliefs on the children (such as: you will NOT believe, or: Republicans just want everyone to be as miserable as they are) but rather we want them to question everything and make their mind up for themselves. This is also something that drives a lot of our friends and family crazy. We have open discussions with them on whatever they want to talk about. They know the basics of the human body already, down to the fact that they came from eggs and something from Daddy to make them into babies and that boys have ‘sticky out parts’. We answer everything honestly and as age appropriately as possible. We want them to be well rounded people and not just pigeonhole themselves into one group and blindly follow it without any thoughts on what they actually believe. We DO however teach tolerance and acceptance.  We talk about how some families have two mommies or two daddies and that’s  just fine, that love is the only thing that really matters.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Real Confessions of True Housewives. Life is messy, go out and enjoy it.

~Kelcy

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Peachy Keen, Jellybean

Sometimes you just need to know that not everyone has the most perfect life. The advent and proclivity for everyone (and their mother- literally) to be on social media makes it easy to put forth the best image of your life. Rarely do we encounter honesty with daily updates, photos, and check-ins. Enter: me.

You won’t see me checking into the gym on FB. I don’t have a gym membership let alone time and motivation to go work out. Sure, I love my children more than life itself, but there are times they want to have a battle to see who gets to spend time in the padded room that day. (hint, usually they encourage me to be in the padded room- sometimes I want to be there for the peace and quiet)

My BFF and I started this blog to show people what real life was like in our lives. We both love to craft and have fun with our families, but we’re also realistic in saying that it’s not always perfect in our houses. Laundry isn’t always done, and when it is it usually sits in the baskets for at least a few days before A) we finally fold it and put it away or B) we’ve worn everything from the basket so it’s empty again and the clothes are back in the washer. The house isn’t always spotless. In fact, it’s RARELY spotless, if ever. The dog needs a bath, the sink is full of dishes, and I haven’t had a full nights sleep in over 4 years. It’s life, not a movie.

You’re all aware we’ve had some financial struggles this past year. I’ve been out of work since November and we’re financially strapped because of it. I have tentatively secured a new position across the state, but I haven’t finalized my contract yet and I have to travel over there occasionally for meetings- on no money since I haven’t been paid yet, with a car that won’t make it since I blew a coil the LAST time I drove there in December (i.e. it won’t make it back over the mountain passes). We have to figure out how to sell or rent out our house and move with two kids, a dog, and some large pieces of furniture I’ve inherited that I refuse to part with anytime soon.

The children are 4 now, and have their own chore charts with daily activities. There are 5 things for each of them to do daily: put dirty clothes into the clothes hamper, pick up their bedroom, pick up their kitchen/grocery store area (located in the corner of my kitchen), and then they rotate daily on the following; putting away silverware, wiping down the coffee table, wiping down the bathroom counter, and picking up the living room (at least their own stuff from the LR). In my opinion, and from searching a lot online about appropriate chores for 4-year-olds, this isn’t outrageous. If they do these everyday, none of them should be too hard to do. Husband and I even help them with all of these.

Then yesterday happened. The girls were sent to clean their room… at 1:00 PM. I kept checking on them and offering suggestions. Their room wasn’t that messy, it should have taken about 15 minutes. Instead, every time I went in it was messier. More stuff dumped on the floor, clean clothes strewn about, blankets as far as the eye could see. And it just got worse at the day went on.

They got to have a break for dinner- after all they’d really just been playing for 5 hours. They ate and then went back to clean, or in actuality to play. We have a method of reminding them, encouraging them, showing them, and telling them what to do – in that order. They know there are consequences to not following the rules and directions. They’ve cleaned their room many-a-time before with no issues. Last night they refused to follow the rules.

Bedtime came quickly and we’d already run through our discipline actions for failure to comply to with the standard house rules. They start slow and work their way through consequences. They couldn’t play anything else until their room was clean, and that usually involves playing Minecraft with Daddy. They lost TV privileges- so no Jake and the Neverland Pirates or Bob the Builder the next day (yes, my girls are awesome). No computer time- with or without Daddy. No going to the park (one that Mommy HATES enforcing because I like to get them out and tired). Finally we start to take things away. Last night I removed 3 FULL trash bags of toys. Pretty much anything they got for Christmas is gone now. This is on top of the 2 bags we removed LAST month for similar infractions. I’m at a loss on what to do with them. Yes, they’re only 4, but they know the rules and they’ve followed them before with no problems, we’re really not being unreasonable.

Add this stress of having to take away stuff that they love to my current unknown about the job (as far as I’m concerned until I have my signed contract I’m not employed) and having to make due with my husbands income alone, I cracked.

I folded 5 loads of laundry. I was putting stuff away and dropped all the sheets and blankets I’d just folded. I snapped. I threw everything down and stormed off to my bedroom. And I cried. And cried. and cried.

It wasn’t pretty. I’m still puffy today. It was somewhat therapeutic, but also stressful in and of itself. I know it didn’t help anything, but at this point I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know if I should be looking for other jobs, or trying to apply to things locally even though we still plan on moving to the other side of the mountain no matter what. I don’t know if I’m being unfair with my expectations of the children (although I will say that I really don’t think that I am) but I know that something needs to change, and soon, or I’ll end up in that little padded room for realsies this time.

Happy New Yea… oh crap, things haven’t changed a bit in the last 7 days.

So we’re now officially 1 week into 2014. I have failed again at blogging more. The world didn’t end and I didn’t become an instant millionaire in the year shift. Life just continues to go on. 

The one thing that HAS changed is that my claim for unemployment has been decided on. I filed for unemployment benefits on November 15th, 2013. That was the last day I officially had a job and the first day I was unemployed. After numerous phone calls, many of which involved more than two hours of wait time  just trying to talk to someone, I got a letter in the mail today that says I’m not covered by unemployment benefits. Turns out that you have to work at a company that has more than 4 people in order to be worthy of getting assistance when you no longer have that job. I will be looking into what I need to do to appeal this, but at this point things are not looking good.

The year ended up less than stellar. The sheer fact that I have a tendency to shop clearance and sales all year round was the ONLY way we were able to have Christmas. I even went out the day before Christmas Eve with money we’d received AS a Christmas present in order to do some last minute shopping for our children and immediate family that I hadn’t even made cookies for as a gift. 

I had met with a friend and her family the days before and mentioned that I didn’t even have money to buy Christmas dinner. I wasn’t looking for charity or help, I just knew I could trust telling her and her mom that things were rough and I’d be met without judgement. This family has been such a blessing, and I say that as a [mostly] non-religious person. I was religious at one point, and they has a large part of getting me involved and supporting that part of my life. As time has gone on it no longer fits with my beliefs. I’m not denying that there is a higher power, I just don’t agree with many of the commonly accepted groups and beliefs that are on the front lines of that particular trend. (But really, that’s a story for another day.)

Anyway, this family is the most Christian family I’ve ever met. Yes, that includes mine. I don’t remember EVER hearing them judge someone else or put someone down because of their beliefs. They are everything that a true Christian should be and I love them even more for it. They just love. They support. They listen. They care. And that day was no exception. My friend called and asked if they could stop by and immediately I knew. I felt bad for a fraction of a second. I hadn’t intended to try and benefit from the conversations we’d had, I just enjoyed being able to talk openly with people I trust. I also knew that they wouldn’t have done what they did without being who they are, honest to goodness amazing people. They brought by a ham dinner for my family to share on Christmas day. 

I sobbed. I sobbed hard. When I stopped sobbing, I thought about what they’d done and I sobbed some more. Seriously, the kindest people you’d ever have the privileged to know. 

So our Christmas came to pass. We enjoyed the time with our families. We enjoyed watching the children open their presents and knowing that yet again we feel like we didn’t do enough, but where we fell short friends and family picked it up. The girls had a wonderful time and that’s all that really matters. 

We enjoyed our ham dinner and ate ham for days afterward. I even made baked beans with the remaining pieces, a first success on dried beans being actually edible for me. 

We survived new years. My husband was sick and we’re not big party people so I think we were all in bed way before midnight that night, although I could be wrong. I did take the girls to go see FROZEN and that was fun.

We waited and waited to hear on the unemployment. I hadn’t quit my job and I wasn’t fired so we didn’t anticipate any major issues. I had informed my employer that we would be looking at moving in the next year in order to find a bigger metropolitan area for more educational opportunities for the ladies. It was meant as a courtesy but it ended in the termination of my employment. I don’t know that there were any hard feelings. I certainly don’t harbor any ill will toward them. I loved that job, but it just wasn’t enough. I worked my butt off to try and make sure my replacement would be the best informed that she could be and I tried to tie up any loose ends before I left. I got no severance or end of year bonus, even though I feel like I worked my butt off to close a large financial gap. Again, I shouldn’t EXPECT anything like that so no big deal, but finding out that I don’t qualify for unemployment because the place I worked didn’t have enough employees comes as a kick in the gut. 

I have been without a paycheck for two months now. We survived Christmas and we’re rapidly approaching the ladies 4th birthday which I’ve been planning for more than a year now. We were looking forward to inviting all their school friend, even though they aren’t in school anymore, but now everything seems to be tits up. 

I had a minor panic attack this afternoon when I got the news. I was chatting with my husband on the computer at the time and told him what was going on. I had told him I couldn’t breathe. Unfortunately this also took place as I’d called my father to tell him what was going on, hoping for some insight or additional view on where to go from here. Also, the children were supposed to be napping. My dad was coming into town at the moment and swung by my place. We started chatting and it happens to be the moment when our cell phones were shut off so my husband started worry that I had passed out as he couldn’t get me on the phone or on the computer. 

Eventually he called my dad, who was here, and I was able to explain that I was fine and not ignoring him. 

And such begins the saga of 2014. I’m really trying to stay positive but I’m finding it increasingly difficult. (Can’t you tell by my upbeat and cheery post?) I have sat down tonight and created a list of things I need to do from applying for food stamps to figuring out how to sell gourmet pot cookies (I DO live in Colorado after all). I keep trying to remind myself that the best people rise out of the ashes. Greatness comes from adversity. Nothing will change if you don’t change it. Cliched phrases help, but I have GOT to figure out how to get us back to square one. Until then, I will continue to get up and care for my children and try to better myself everyday. Just another day in a Pin Perfect Life…

What’s your closet?

Here at Pin Perfect life we like to showcase how very human we all are. This takes form in daily blunders and comical interactions. We like to laugh at ourselves just as much as we laugh at others. We’re not perfect and we’ll be the first ones to tell you that. We’re on a crusade to let everyone know that everyone is full of shit. We’re all the same. We all have fears, even if they’re not the exact same fear, we all have things we don’t want coming to light. Our goal as Pin Perfect bloggers is to show the world what happens when you stop being afraid and start being honest.

This video has been popping around cyberspace for the last couple of days, and I finally found 8 minutes to watch it. It was worth it. She is funny and to the point about coming out of the closet, and we all have closets. This is a great speech so we wanted to share it with you.

http://www.upworthy.com/a-4-year-old-girl-asked-a-lesbian-if-shes-a-boy-she-responded-the-awesomest-way-possible?c=gt1

 

Check it out and know that you are not alone.

~Kelcy

Christmas Crafting

So Christmas is just around the corner, and here an Pin Perfect life we DO spend a lot of time on Pinterest. While our experiments may not always turn out (thus lending themselves to some really great new blog posts) sometimes we get an idea and it works.

I’m working on a family advent calendar of the sorts. I also did my yearly making of the children’s advent calendars from left over Halloween candy. The idea for the family calendar came about after seeing 24 Christmas books wrapped in Christmas paper so that you open and read one each day. I liked that idea, but expanded it to be a full 24 days of Christmas family activities.

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Each day we will do something as a family. I made our own Christmas Movie Bingo that we can play, I purchased a new Christmas movie used from Amazon (we always get 1 new Christmas movie each year), I included the girls Santa pictures as one night, and the list goes on. I figured I’d share my calendar and what I am doing for each night. I don’t have everything assembled yet, but I still have a couple weeks to get it all together.

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I just made the calendar in MS Word and added the graphics. It’s simple, but I don’t need anything super complicated for this. I then had it printed and used our at home laminator to laminate each copy so that they are protected. While I had the laminator out I laminated the bingo cards, also created in MS Word.

ImageI put these in a box and then labeled it with the date it is scheduled for on our calendar.

ImageI also gathered the stuff for a few of the other days.

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I have everything I have completed so far gathered in a big green bucket. Each item is wrapped and then labeled for the date it is to be used. The coffee cups are for hot chocolate and Christmas lights. I found 4 ounce cups on Amazon and ordered those for the girls and then used disposable ones for the hubby and myself. I wrapped each one and labeled them by person and with the same date.

I used white computer labels I’d picked up at Dollar Tree for the labels. It was just easier for me. I could have done something fancy, but I figure we’re going to rip the paper off anyway, might as well make it more visible than fashionable.

I still have a few things to get: gingerbread house kits, gift cards for the store that we will be shopping in, stuff along those lines so that the girls have something they can open each day, even if they have to open one thing together.

For their personal advent calendars, I have made them from left over Halloween candy for the past couple years. Typically I get small paper cups from Dollar Tree, as well as foam board, tissue paper and glue. Then I glue the cups to the foam board in the pattern of the calender for December that year. Let that dry. Inside each cup goes a piece of candy. Then you apply glue to the rim of the paper cup and attach the tissue paper. Once dry, the children can then punch through a cup a day for a single piece of candy.

This year, I decided to try paper cups. I bought enough cups to make 50 containers. I trimmed the rim off the top of the cup, then sliced them around the edge so that the cut went about half the distance of the side and were spaced about 1″ apart.

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Inside each cup went a piece of leftover candy. I started with one strip and folded it down. I did this in order all the way around the cup then put on a piece of tape.

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Once they were all assembled, I used my trusty while mailing labels and numbered them 1-24. Now they’ll each get a basket with the cups and will have to find the one for that day in order to open it. Nothing like working learning into your fun. 🙂

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So that’s it for my family advent adventures for this Christmas season. I’ll keep posting things I get done as I finish them. Until then, what traditions do you have in your family for the holidays?

Eating with 2 three-year-olds

Thing 1 has been home all week with the start of pneumonia, again. She had pneumonia in May this year and spent a week in the pediatric wing at the more expensive (and ideally better equipped) hospital in town. We did chest xrays on Monday after visiting the doctor and having three back to back nebulizer treatments, which is a lot for a small 30 pound frame. We finally got her oxygen levels up so I was able to take her home instead of taking her straight to the hospital. It was a stressful week and I hardly slept because I was up worring about having to go back to the hospital.

Anyway, last time she got this she stopped eating so we’ve been trying to find stuff that she would like to eat and allowing her to eat a little all throughout the day. Today, her oxygen levels were good, low 90’s still but she didn’t seem to drop into the 80’s so I will consider this a win. We made a quick run to the grocery store this morning and stopped for lunch on the way home. She said she wanted ‘bread’ for lunch so I figured we’d stop at Subway and get sandwiches. She managed to eat the tomato and a couple olives, then proceeded to scrape the turkey, lettuce, and cheese off the bread and eat the bread by itself. Maybe next time I will take her at her word. 

Then, tonight for dinner I made cheater french dips and boxed macaroni-n-cheese. Real health nuts we are here. Thing 2 proceeded to tear apart the bun her french dip was on and dissolve the chunks into the au jus stirring it up with her little metal toddler spoon. I like to think that this is some sort of sign of hidden genius, but there are moments that the little window licker just seems one pumpkin short of a patch. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m impressed with what they can do at 3, but I also think that means we hold them to a higher standard. Every time they prove themselves smart, we expect more. Perhaps this isn’t fair to them, but I like to think that we will help encourage them to do more and not get bored in school like their parents did.

We become so accustomed to their intelligence on a daily basis, we often forget that they are, in fact, only 3. They can both write their names, Mommy, and Daddy without any assistance. They know how to wake the computers up, open Google Chrome, type http://www.pbskids into the browser and arrow over to the full address, press enter and play whichever games they choose. They also enjoy playing Plants Vs. Zombies, Worms, Borderlands, Blood Bowl, and Rock of Ages. They aren’t fully capable of moving the characters around and completing tasks but they know how to move in almost all of them and have figured out clever ways to drain the bankroll. 

Then they throw a tantrum, refuse to go to bed, talk about pee-pee/poo-poo/fart-fart, shout ‘No!’ when told to do something, or any number of other things that are perfectly normal for kids their age while their father and I become quickly frustrated because we know they are capable of more. We often equate intelligence with maturity and we’re both working on understanding that there’s a difference. 

They are also very funny. Thing 1 woke me up the other day by slapping me on the face with both hands and telling me she was just doing a face dance. I laughed. Hard. Thing 2 has the most amazing facial expressions, often invoking gales of laughter at the most imperative moments. 

And yet, eating with them is always a chore. They take FOREVER to eat. I don’t know if they do that at school, I would imagine not because they probably aren’t allowed to. At home, they can stretch a meal for 2 hours. 2 HOURS! For 1/4 cup of oranges, 1/4 cup of green beans, 1/4 cup of chopped chicken and a cup of milk. Seriously. We’re not sure how to change this. We’re trying new techniques as we think of them. We’ve set timers, we’ve allowed them to just eat at their own pace (which usually means they don’t focus on eating and then end up getting upset when it’s time for bed), taken their plates after an hour regardless of how much they have left, bribed them with dessert, bribed them with computer time, and a number of other things. Nothing seems to work. They’re stubborn. It’s frustrating and makes me proud all at once. I’m happy to let them be them, I just wish they’d get a move on while they’re doing it!

Does anyone really read this anyway?

So this post is titled “Does anyone really read this anyway?” which doesn’t really matter because I’m going to write it and put it out there in internet land regardless, but in the event that I have a fan base (omg, I just snorted Orange Julius up my nose, that is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever written) I felt I owed you all an explanation for the lack of posts and what will likely be a deluge of new material.

About a month ago my husband and I finally made the decision that we need to move over the giant mountain range to Denver. We’ve both lived there are various points in our lives and we met on that side of the mountain, but we hadn’t really wanted to live or work there again. As it turns out, we have bright children. I know that must surprise the few of you that actually know us, but there it is. Anyway, with the brightness sometimes comes… shall we say… emotional intensity. (No, really, that’s what it’s called.) We need to find a program that will allow Thing 2 to learn how to better handle and control her emotions. Thus, we decide to make the move to Denver.

In this, I decided to tell my boss that we were going to start looking over there but didn’t have anything definite and promised I wouldn’t leave him in the lurch. I love my boss (not like that, outside of work I think we might kill each other, but as bosses go he’s pretty rad) and I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t keeping anything from him. I don’t do lying, it’s not worth it and I have no reason to lie to him anyway. 

With my announcement that we would soon be looking at moving to Denver, he decided that he needed to take the time to train someone new for my position. This effectively puts me out of a job at the end of the month. I’m not angry or hurt over this, I agree. Business wise it’s likely a good choice, although I still think that waiting until the end of December would have been fine, hence my original suggestion. This job does have a lot of components though so I can’t fault him wanting to get someone in before the next big event. Rant rant rant, blah blah blah. 

So that leads me to my first announcement: I will not be working, earning money, or otherwise filling my time (until the local strip club stops laughing at my application and calls me back) so I will have more time for you beautiful people. More stories to enlighten your lives. More reasons to be thankful that you’re not me. More of me in general really. 

And in learning more about me than you ever wanted to know, I will let you in on my next announcement: I have a degenerative neurological disorder called essential tremor. Apparently 10 million Americans have it. Well, 10,000,001 now really. 

It’s kinda like Parkinson’s but not. There are similarities and differences. It can lead to Parkinson’s but not all the time.  It could be Parkinson’s just misdiagnosed, but we won’t know until the path diverges enough to be clear on this. 

With the diagnosis came medication to control the shaking. If you know who Katherine Hepburn is then you know what the shaking of ET looks like (not the alien, the disorder). That beautiful lady had ET and I do too. I don’t have it to the degree that she had it in her later movies, but I’m told it will likely get there. 

I’m not so much depressed about this, it is what it is and I can’t just wave a magic wand and change it. It’s not terminal and I am still functioning enough to have most people not even know I shake at all. I would much rather laugh about it than worry about it. 

The medicine, however, is fodder for so many quandaries. For starters, the typical medication prescribed for ET is a beta-blocker. I can’t be on a beta-blocker because my blood pressure and heart rate are phenomenal and that would just make me pass out. No one wants a 2** pound woman passed out and shaking on the floor. Not a pretty sight. So the next medication given is an anti-epileptic, or anti-convulsion medication. This is what I get to be on. This is what caused the pharmacist to eye my car keys, turn her head, and asked very concerned “Are you taking this for seizures?”

I just laughed and explained it was for tremors. I giggled all the way to the car though. 

Next, you have to ramp up this medication. Typically people start super low and go up until they find something that works. The pills are 50 mg each and they’re tiny. A lot of people start at 12.5 mg, I was started on 25 mg. 

For those of you math geeks out there (or nurses, or anyone else that cares) that means that you have to cut your tiny pill. For me it’s in half, for others it’s in quarters. Why do they not just make smaller doses? Honestly, you’re asking someone that either shakes involuntarily or has seizures to take a sharp instrument to cut up a tiny white tablet that isn’t that stable despite being flat on two sides. Seems like a recipe for disaster.

I’m happy to report that the first day after I took my pill (taken at night due to drowsy side effect) I notice a big difference in my tremor. It was like I’d been riding a boat in rough seas for 15 years and suddenly I woke up to the calmest, smoothest sailing. Not perfect, but not nearly as bad as it normally is. This means I can type better and faster with less mistakes. This means I don’t have to constantly move to hide my twitches. This means I found the courage to get the help I needed for this.
This also means side effects. They’re supposed to wear off, but two days in I haven’t seen any improvement. I get randomly dizzy, waves of nausea, and often sluggish. Not the best when you’re trying to tie things up the last few days of work. Also not great when you’re chasing after 2 three-year-olds. I felt good tonight so we had a ladies night, but 20 minutes after taking my pill I’m drowsy and want to throw up. Guess that means it’s the end of the post. 

Just wanted to let you all know that I’m coming back for more. Lots more. And you can count on it showcasing the Pin Perfect Life… NOT.