Plus One – Meet The Adventures Family

Plus One has been my better half since 1998!  My dad got a job offer in Colorado my junior year of high school.  He didn’t want to make me change schools for one year, so my mom found a wayIMG_4815
that I could finish high school in college.  So, I went to a community college to finish high school and get college credit.  Bonus, I got in state tuition when I went to a normal university.

 

Spring semester of 1998, I decided to take Anatomy and Physiology.  Plus One walked in, and I knew I would marry him.  I was dating some other guy at the time.  Plus One figured it wasn’t going to happen.  I flirted, he was oblivious.  I flirted more, he was more oblivious.  Finally, we went out on a date, and then I broke up with the other guy.  (I told you I was going to hell!  I’m not an innocent angel!).  That summer, Plus One went off to Philmont Scout Ranch to work as a ranch hand.  He had done this the previous 5 years.  He called me a couple of times.  I wrote him letters.  He didn’t respond.  I left him messages, he didn’t call back.  I was heartbroken.

 

IMG_4811I went off to college that fall.  My roommate let me use her computer, and I saw him online.  I IM’d him (we’re old – this was AOL).  I just said “It’s Q” except I used my real name.  I saw the little dots indicating he was typing for a few minutes.  No response appeared on my screen.  So, just as I was getting ready to disconnect and cry more, I got “Hi”.  Yeah.  After months of being ignored and no contact, minutes of him typing, “Hi”.  He asked to come up and see me.  He didn’t want to talk over IM.  I let him.

 
The first thing I said to him was “You have a lot of explaining to do.  Not talking or responding to me for months hurt.”  He said “I know, and I’m sorry.” (editors note:I was a schmuck, I admit it) We reconnected.  Remember, I’m head over heels in love with him.  Lots of ugly family things happened, where I was asked by my mom to make a choice, and I did.  They saw how much he hurt me, they didn’t like him.  I lied to them about his age, because I knew they wouldn’t like a 17 year old dating a 22 year old.  We eventually hammered all of that out.

 

IMG_4820We did the long-distance thing the rest of that year.  I stayed at my parents house that summer.  He proposed.  I said yes.  I went off to college that fall, and he paid for my apartment (still family issues).  I was probably depressed, and stopped going to school.  I moved down with him.  I got a job as a bank teller.  He worked graves for a police department as a dispatcher.  We planned a wedding.  We got married.  We bought a house.  I went back to school.  His mom caused major major problems.  He supported her and told me to suck it up.  I was finishing school, and decided I was done with is mother.  I told him that I was moving to the other side of the state, he could follow me or we could end the marriage.  He followed me, but made sure to run me over with a bus when telling his family.  This caused further problems with me and his “mother’s” side of the family.  I passed my CPA exam.  He finished college.  He got a new job on the other side of the state (we both wanted this), and we moved back down.  We had a baby.  Things came to a big head with his “mother”, and we eventually cut her off.  I’ll explain all of her glory later.

 

He saw the error in how he was treating me, and expecting me to suck up everything to make sure his “mother” was happy.  Our marriage improved.  We had another baby.  It improved more.  I IMG_4809almost died.  We both saw how much we meant to the other.  We’re recommitting to each other next year at our 15th wedding anniversary.  We moved from Colorado to Texas.

 

He’s put up with so much from me.  I know a lot of bad happened in our relationship, but he’s my rock.  He supported me when no one else did.  He was willing to walk away from me completely so I didn’t lose my family.  I knew then that he was a good man – he was willing to lose me just so I didn’t lose my biological family.  He’s helping me find out who I am.  He’s been so patient with my ongoing depression (no longer just PPD), my mood swings, my lack of desire to do anything.  He listens to my needs and helps meet them.  He tells me his needs, and I help meet them.  He is my best friend, my better half, my soul mate.  I would be lost without him.  We both give 100% to the marriage.

 

 

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Littles – Introducing The Adventures Family

IMG_1432Littles is our bonus baby.  Yeah, breastfeeding isn’t birth control. God sure knew what he was doing, though, because if we had waited a year, the difficulties that are Smash-N-Break may have made me not want to try again.  And Littles completed our trilogy.

I found out that Littles was on the way at 4 1/2 weeks.  When you’re used to skipping half of the first trimester, it makes it hard.  I’m also a pessimist.  He was such a welcome surprise that I was a nervous wreck convinced I would lose him as a punishment.  Hey, I’m pretty sure I’m hell-bound, and figure God needs to punish me while I’m alive.  My hand basket to hell is very well decorated.  You’re invited to ride it into hell with me.  So, Littles let me know he was in there securely.  I puked.  Constantly.  For NINE MONTHS.  One day, I puked over 50 times.  I just stopped counting at that point.  It was only 3 in the afternoon.

Littles birth was a cluster.  But, he was an easy baby.  He was just so attached to me.  Still is.  Part of that was because of me – I had bad PPD and PPA, and would panic leaving him.  Part of that is his personality.  He had acid reflux to – 3 for 3!  But, by now, I had learned about the Rock’N’Play.  Love it.  He slept!  It kept him at the right angle so his reflux could be controlled.  Yes, I know now that it can increase the SIDS risk.  We were fortunate.

When Littles was 18 months, he wasn’t talking.  We had an evaluation, and he was diagnosed as having a speech delay.  They also thought he had SPD, too, but not severe enough to needIMG_2413 intervention.  By the time we moved to Texas (he was a month shy of 2), he didn’t need the intervention anymore.  He still won’t talk to strangers much,  but he’s quite the chatterbox at home and once he’s comfortable with you.

Littles is very possessive.  He tells his brothers “My Momma” often, and can have a meltdown if they get near me on his bad days.  He hates the sound of the lawn mower, and has started to hate the sound of the vacuum.  Slapping his ears is commonplace (by him, not me).  Tags are often removed from his clothing because texture.  Certain clothes won’t be worn because texture. He gets his hand wet, or a drop of rain, and crying commences because texture.  He does like bath time, as long as it’s his idea.  He avoids senses, where Smash-N-Break seeks them out.  Food is challenging, because texture.  I swear he survives on air right now.  If it keeps getting worse, another evaluation may be necessary.  He also watches TV on his head, just like Smash-N-Break (editors note:it looks like Mork’s kids are visiting our house sometimes).

IMG_1529Littles wants to learn.  He tries to write his name, and will sit to be taught with me (as long as it’s in my lap).  He’s cautious with his adventures, but will follow his brothers anywhere.  He is quieter than his brothers.  He’s content.  He views Plus One as a discipline.  Don’t get me wrong, he loves his Daddy.  It’s just that when I have to discipline him, he views it as his world collapsing.  I have to be very careful in how I discipline him.  I’m his safe place, and with this SPD, I have to be careful.  There’s tantrums, and then there’s SPD meltdowns.  When we hold him, we have to use more pressure than with Bubba.  We do the same with Smash-N-Break when he’s still enough to cuddle.  I worry that I’m sheltering him too much.  There are just days where I know that the status quo will be easier for me to handle (and him), so I don’t push him outside his box as much as I probably should.  He got his Daddy’s brown eyes and brown hair.

He loves elephants.  He’s very smiley.  You can see the love he has in his eyes.  He may just not show it to you physically.  I can get all the hugs and kisses I want, but everyone else has to ask him permission.  I hope I’m not stifling him.  I worry I’m doing everything wrong with him.  With all of them.

 

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Smash-N-Break – Introducing The Adventures Family

IMG_3620Today’s introduction is for Smash-N-Break.  He’s 4.  He’s the result of giving up after a year of unexplained secondary infertility.  We decided to be happy with Bubba, and stopped.  I decided to lose weight seriously, and signed up with a personal trainer.  (I really need to get back on that….) They tested my metabolism, and it was way high.  It didn’t make sense, because I’m very fat and round.  With the metabolism as high as it was, I should have been losing weight.  So, I tested.  Hey!  Look!  Two lines!

Smash-N-Break came about 7 1/2 months later.  His birth was painful, even though he was a repeat c-section.  I’ve written about that.  He was harder than Bubba, plus I had to get used to going from one to two.  It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, but that was because all Smash-N-Break needed was a boob to become happy.  Seriously.  The kid never took a bottle, and nursed for 15 months.  Eeesh.  He also had acid reflux.  He wouldn’t sleep in the cradle we had.  He wanted to co-sleep.  I wasn’t comfortable with that.  We got the arms-reach co-sleeper and tried.  I didn’t sleep much.  We angled it some, but it wasn’t great.  He was a giggly, happy, baby.  Boy howdy could Bubba make him laugh.  So many pictures we have of them are of Smash-N-Break looking at Bubba with hero admiration, and Bubba doing whatever he could to make Smash-N-Break laugh.

Smash-N-Break makes active people look lazy.  He is constantly moving, talking, asking, doing.  He was walking at 11 months, crawling at 6 months.  HeIMG_3579
wanted to ride a bike like Bubba, so we got him a balance bike.  That made him faster.  It was a bad decision.  He embraces life with every fiber of his being.  He is so creative.  He’s smart, just like Roddy.  He just doesn’t have much patience to actually learn.  He loves to laugh.  He loves to eat.  He’s so adventurous.  He’s broken both arms once already, 366 days apart.  If it can be climbed/swung/bounced on, he does it.  He’s so curious.  He likes to try new things, just not new food.  He’s broken so many things around the house. Hence, his name.  I mean, the kid tried to shove a marker up his butt because he wanted to color his poop.

He has ADHD and SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder).  He’s tough, but he also makes me want to be a better mom for him.  My parenting that worked with Bubba doesn’t work with Smash-N-Break.  I’ve felt like a failure more often than not with him.  I just pray he doesn’t resent me when he’s older, and knows I try.

 

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Bubba – Introducing The Adventures Family

So, Plus One said I have to explain all of us. I’ll start with the kids – they’re more entertaining anyway.

Our eldest is Bubba. He’s 7. He’s the result of 3 years of trying for a baby, and giving up. I’ve already given you TMI before, but here comes more! I Bubbadidn’t get a cycle for like 2 years. Then, it came back. Then, I thought it stopped again. I got like one period, and then nada again. I assumed it was just off having a vacation again. It was busy season (CPA here), so I figured stress, 80 hour work weeks, and lack of sleep was causing it. Plus One had gotten a new job, so we were moving from the Western Slope of Colorado back to the ‘burbs of Denver. Plus One asked me to take a test because he didn’t want me lifting bunches of heavy stuff if I was. I was mad that he wanted me to see another stark white test, so I peed on a stick. Boom. Two lines. I didn’t believe it, so made Plus One go buy like 3 more. All of them had 2 lines. We were pregnant!!!!

Bubba was born about 5 1/1 months later. He was one day past term, I just didn’t know I was pregnant for the first 2 1/2 months. That’s the way to go through pregnancy! He was dehydrated from birth and couldn’t’ maintain his temperature, so he was in the NICU for a few days. Then, we got him home. He had acid reflux, and didn’t sleep, but he was otherwise an easy baby. He was born with hypospadias, and had that corrected when he was 6 months old. The day after that surgery, he started crawling. That’s his personality. He was walking and running at about 11 months. I’ve been trying to keep up ever since.

IMG_1003He’s persistent. He gets back up and tries again, sometimes with tears. He’s sensitive and so sweet. He loves to cuddle, and loves to make us laugh. He’s smart as a whip. He inherited my grace, unfortunately. He did get more athletic ability than me (and possibly Plus One). He’s fast. He’s creative. He is passionate (when it interests him). He can clear a room when he farts, too. I’d also rival his burps against a grown man’s. I’m so proud.

He loves Monster Trucks, art, and superheroes. His dream right now is to be an artist who drives Monster Trucks. He sets up Monster Truck shows with his toy Monster Trucks and invites me to watch them. He’s even made me tickets for them as admission. He loves being a big brother, and is so caring and gentle with Smash-N-Break and Littles. He recently taught Smash-N-Break how to swing on our backyard play set. He’s so good about letting them be their superhero of choice on a kind-of even basis. He still is Batman quite a bit. He’ll take the time to drive Littles in the Power Wheel where he wants to go.

He got the good parts of Plus One and I, and seems to not have gotten too much of our bad. I’m so lucky that he chose me to be his mom.

 

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Easy Stuffed Shells Recipe

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After I typed this stuffed shells recipe out I realized I may not be the best at giving directions so sorry if it’s a little jumbled or out of order. Please read it through entirely before you start cooking. Everyone makes them a little differently, as with any dish, and my recipe may not be of much help because I always just kind of wing it but here’s what I’ve got. Please note I do everything to taste so I suggest you do the same if you plan on following.

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Dried basil
  • Dried oregano
  • 1/2 box jumbo pasta shells
  • 1-1/2 finely chopped onions (more or less depending on your preference)
  • About 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 lb each ground beef and ground sausage
  • 1 package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 large tub ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • Any kind of sauce you prefer (my grandmother makes her own but I have yet to get her recipe…)
Ricotta & Cottage Cheese for Stuffed Shells Italian Cheese for Stuffed Shells
I use generic as much as possible, it tastes the same and saves a lot through the year.
Instructions:
Bring your pot of water to a boil, you can a little olive oil and a little salt to it. Put your shells in and cook them almost through, but not all the way done as they will finish in the oven. Drain these and CAREFULLY (super hot) separate them so they do not stick together.
While your shells are cooking, you can put a little olive oil in a pan and toss in your minced garlic and onions to cook until soft. Then add your meat and continue to cook, seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Add the spinach last and cook only for a few minutes. Drain your meat of the grease when finished.Sauce & Meat for Stuffed Shells
In a bowl, mix together your meat/spinach, ricotta, parmesan, and HALF of the mozzarella. Also add your basil and oregano and more salt and pepper if you’d like. Since everything is cooked, I taste as I go and determine what else is needed.
Seasoning & Cheese Mix For Stuffed Shells

You will need a baking dish, I usually go with the throw away foil ones you can get at any dollar store because they make for easy clean up. My grandmother uses olive oil to coat the bottom of the dish, I prefer using the sauce. Spoon your bowl mixture into the shells, fill them however full you’d like. I always end up with too many shells or left over ricotta. Arrange them in the dish open side face up. Pour your sauce over the shells, sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on top, and bake uncovered at 350 until the cheese is nice and bubbly and there you have it. Stuffed shells.

Layer of Meat Sauce On The Shells Shells Stuffed and Resting On Meat Sauce Almost Finished Stuffed Shells

A Meme Tour Of My Brain

Like Shrek, I am also an onion. When you peel it, more onion.
Like Shrek, I am also an onion. When you peel it, more onion.

 

Littles is proving this to be very...very true. Sob
Littles is proving this to be very…very true. Sob

 

This is how hubby reacts to spiders...all bugs really.
This is how hubby reacts to spiders…all bugs really.

 

I need lots of patience. No more than that. Starkiller Base amounts of patience.
I need lots of patience. No more than that. Starkiller Base amounts of patience.

 

I still think its a cookie. Until I chip a tooth biting it, I won't believe it.
I still think its a cookie. Until I chip a tooth biting it, I won’t believe it.

 

I do love supernatural...and would totally do this.
I do love supernatural…and would totally do this.

 

You have been warned.
You have been warned.

 

Did I mention I needed patience. You deal with 3 little boys and 1 bog one!
Did I mention I needed patience. You deal with 3 little boys and 1 big one!

 

I also like dad jokes...a lot.
I also like dad jokes…a lot.

 

Yeah...its true.
Yeah…its true.

 

Almost there. 2 almost fully trained! The end is in sight.
Almost there. 2 almost fully trained! The end is in sight.

 

Boy moms, you will get this.
Boy moms, you will get this.

Lack of Caffeine Rambling (Part 1)

I’ll warn you now that this is just ramblings of my very-much-needing-coffee brain.

So I’m stuck on the couch because Littles isn’t feeling great. Which means, lots of cuddles and kids TV shows. Yes, I’m being a “bad mom” by allowing my 2 year old to *gasp* have screen time. I’ll own it if today makes him into a grown man child living in my basement spreading Cheeto Dust everywhere. But for today, he’s not crying. Winning doesn’t need to be major. Or maybe I have lowered my standards…
Queen-Linny
Anyway, The Wonder Pets surprised me. Lenny, the Guinea pig, is a girl named Linny not Lenny. Wait, what? He’s a she? No! Surprised doesn’t even begin to cover it. This also made me actually pay attention to the show. That phone was ringing and all.

Today’s animal in trouble was a meerkat. Something about a jackal, and one meerkat wanted to run away and the other one wanted to talk to the jackal. So, in the real world, we know which gene pool would have survived. But, In WonderPetsVille, they decide to talk to the jackal. The jackal just wanted to be friends. Face palm. No, sorry. The jackal wants the meerkat to lower its inhibitions so it’s easier to eat the meerkat. Tequila would have been faster than calling the GirlBoySurprise Guinea Pig and crew. Do meerkats get chewier if they run around a lot? Is that why the Jackal is trying to wear sheep’s closing? Asking Smash’n’Break leads to a “You silly, mama!”

Oh yay! I have wasted enough time to feed Littles and Smash’n’Break lunch! Paw Patrol shall allow me to get it made, and then naps. Blissful quiet is coming soon! I still need coffee. I so will be the crazy lady with a pet raccoon in Paw Patrol when I’m old like her. This is why I need coffee.

Seriously. Lenny is a girl…..

My Coffee Adventure Inspiration

Today’s Adventures Before Coffee inspired me to actually start this blog. You’ll see why. I have to share my level of crazy-insanity. I laugh at myself. Others should laugh at me, too.

I think of myself as a Powerpuff girl who requires coffee to maintain her powers.
I think of myself as a Powerpuff girl who requires coffee to maintain her powers.

I’m a hot mess mom. I admit it. There are days that I’m WITH IT. On top of it all, house is spotless, kids are getting along great. That’s rare. Most days are more like today. I’ve got less than a week until the end of tax season. I should be doing more returns (6 to go!). It’s a part-time gig I do for myself that I find fun. (I TOLD YOU I was crazy!) I got Bubba off to school already. So, I go to get ready to work. Put water in the coffee maker – check. Smash-N-Break, stop jumping on the couch – check. Open the cupboard to get a cup – check. Push the button – check. Seriously, Littles and Smash-N-Break, STOP JUMPING – check. Feed the dogs – check. OKAY, KIDS, REALLY STOP JUMPING! – check. Get coffee. Oh, I don’t have any. I must have forgotten to push the button. I do that. It’s like my children eat my brain. Let’s grab a cup and do it this time. Hmmm. Why is the button not working? Oh, it’s not shut completely. Okay, it’s perfectly shut. Still not working? My coffee maker can’t be broken! Oh no. Anxiety is setting in. Seriously – Littles even has his own play Keurig and makes me coffee. I can’t NOT have coffee. Wait. I smell coffee. Where is my coffee? Did I put it in the microwave already? Nope, not there. Haven’t done dishes yet this morning, so it’s not in the sink or dishwasher. Wait. I put away the kids’ milks from this morning. I bet it’s in the fridge! No. Uh oh. Am I really that dumb? Am I really Homer Simpson level SMRT today? *Places finger into the drawer that catches excess liquids* “Oh snap” (I actually said that, did I use it right?). I AM that dumb.

I didn’t put the cup under my coffee maker. It’s one of those Bunn coffee makers that takes K-cups. (Yep, I don’t care about the environment either. Those tiny little plastic cups just make fantabulous coffee.) In all honesty, I don’t know what the hell I did with the coffee cup. It’s entirely possible and likely that I opened the cupboard, grabbed one, put it back, and then went and pushed the button. Kids are zombies, yo. They eat brains. I also didn’t just remove the drawer that catches the excess liquids. Oh no. In my non-caffeinated haze, I unplugged the whole machine and moved the whole thing. I dripped coffee from the coffee maker to the sink. So, I had to mop, too, after cleaning up all the coffee mess. This is why my coffee is always cold before I get to it. I get distracted. Oh, look a bunny!

I’m learning to embrace the hot-mess that I am, while striving to be a better mom and wife to my kids and hubby. I’ve got Bubba (he’s 7), Smash-N-Break (he’s 4), and Littles (he’s 2). Plus One has been my hubby for 14 years, and we’ve been together for 18 years. Perfection is overrated. Reality is better. I want to share my flaws and craziness. I’m a whole lot more Pinterest Fail than Better Homes and Gardens. I’ll share those with you, too. Seriously – laugh with me at myself. It’s more fun to share that way.

By the way, I did finally succeed in making a cup of coffee. I even had some of it while it was hot!