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Aug. 18th, 2016

Almost time for back to school....

The six little monsters start school in the next couple of weeks. I know, I feel bad for calling them monsters, but they really don't know what to do with themselves during the summer. There's this thing, we call it the outdoors, but they seem really afraid of it. If they're distracted by, say, Pokemon Go, you can occasionally trick them into thinking that outside is like inside, with insidious distractions like electronics. Beyond that, no thanks.

On the other hand, Aidan is doing a bit of work with a therapy group called Adventurelore, and he's going and getting therapy while canoeing and other activities, and he's absolutely in love with it. He gets to be busy (and he needs to be busy) but also learns skills for coping. The school district is paying for it, which is great, because they don't bill to insurance, and I can't afford the hourly rate. I hope the winds keep blowing in this direction, because you never know what will happen when other people are paying.

Josh's summer program wraps up today, and he gets a couple weeks before school starts for him. His summer program includes both school and swim/camp time, so I think it's great.

The rest, well, they're mostly doing their thing. Zach, and Ben, and Alex, and Emi. I wish I was a more creative and brave parent, but I'm not. :p I don't feel all that comfortable taking them all off on adventures with just me to do damage control.

It's going to be hard getting them all up early, but I think it's time for them to go back and see some other people.

Apr. 4th, 2016

It ain't easy....

I'm trying to figure out my life. I am a mother to six kids, and they all have their own problems and challenges. I am their primary caretaker, and that means that I have to manage their problems. Or try. Parenthood is such a challenge, because we're not trained for the job, and then, sometimes, you get complications beyond the norm and you have to learn as you go, think on your feet, and endlessly second guess your decisions. Add to that the loneliness, the judgments you get from people who don't know what you're going through, and the frustration, and parenthood can lead to lots of stress and heartache.

If you do a good job, nobody notices. If you do a bad job, you're going to hear about it. Even if you think you did a good job, others will still judge you. I don't know why people cut each other down.

I guess this is just rambling, but there are just things going on in my life. Sometimes, I want to tell people, and ask for support. But sometimes, I just feel very alone, and like saying anything will only cause my grief. It's a sad situation to be in--when you're trying to be strong enough to bear all the weight of a family and all the challenges of being a mother, but feeling like I should just keep it all to myself. Maybe that's why we go to therapists. We pay people to listen to us, to support us, instead of believing that the people we should be able to count on want to hear about our problems. Billions of people on this earth, and yet we're so often completely alone.

Apr. 1st, 2016

(no subject)

I was thinking the other day about my writing, or lack thereof. I have a degree in creative writing, and I don't use it very much other than on Facebook and Twitter. And I'm kind of ashamed of that. I used to write more, even if it was just here. I used to enjoy writing long, winding, complex sentences that challenged me and the readers. I used to make people laugh, or sometimes I just made myself happy.

In the last few years, I've struggled with things going on in my life. It's become more busy, complex, and difficult. The stupid thing is that I should have been posting all along, because writing is like therapy to me. And being an introvert, it's a way to get thoughts out of my mind and share them with others without trying to find the words in the instant. I find that my brain works faster than my mouth sometimes, and I lose half of the ideas and thoughts I have. Sometimes, I struggle with emotions and how to express them out loud. When I write, I feel like I can do so much better.

So, I want to try. Try to start writing again, start putting my thoughts down so I can get them out of my head. And maybe people will understand me a bit better sometimes. I can only hope.

Jan. 27th, 2015

Snowmaggedon 2015.

Today is our anniversary! Fourteen years of wedding bliss. And it's snowing like mad! We're stuck in the house, all eight of us together. It's not so bad. We might have to shovel something eventually, but I'm hanging out in my pajamas for now. I am endlessly thankful for the garage to park our cars in and the plow guy who will clean up the bulk of the snow later.

Apr. 7th, 2014

If it sounds too good to be true....

We were customers with AT&T Wireless for several years--I think since 2008? And before that, it was Cingular, and they merged in. We were there for quite a while. We were getting frustrated though--my phone was broken, and I wasn't due for a new one for another year or more.

Then! We heard about the T-Mobile deal where they'd pay off your cancellation fees. Woo hoo! Yeah! But....

We switched over. Got new phones. We thought it was all good. Until we realized just how bad their coverage is. I had an (not unreasonable) expectation that I would have coverage whenever I was on the highway. I mean, this is where most of the cell towers are, no? But I could drive up and down Route 101 and have miles of dead zones. I didn't have data, I didn't even have call coverage. Unlimited data! Unlimited calling! If you could get a signal in the first place.

I was endlessly cursing and complaining as we'd drive around on the weekend, and I couldn't get a signal to call home to check on the kids, and they couldn't get in touch with us. I'd aggravatedly explain to the kids that I couldn't play anything that wasn't on my downloaded Spotify playlists because I had no internet access. Maybe that saved me from endless cycles of kids' songs, but still.

So, long story short, I'm switching back to AT&T. They've changed things around, so now I can get unlimited texting and calling, which I didn't have before--I had 550 minutes a month, and no texting plan. I'll only have 2 gb of data a month, but I'll expand that once we port Marcel and Zach over--which we'll do later because, while T-Mobile has no cancellation fees, you do have to pay for the phone you chose.

And I forgot to mention the best part--the fine print. We didn't get our cancellation fees paid by T-Mobile, because you only have two months to get them the paperwork for the money, much like a rebate except with a smaller window.

So, T-Mobile sounded like such a good idea, until I had to fork out about $500 more than expected. And their coverage sucked. Sigh... Lesson learned. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

*Disclaimer: I know AT&T isn't perfect, and maybe you'd have better luck with T-Mobile if you're a city dweller who rarely leaves metro areas. But I'll still sigh in relief when I get my AT&T access back and can call from just about anywhere.*

Mar. 28th, 2014

Time flies?

I guess you could say it's been a while since my last post. I guess it was sometime in 2012? Hmmm. That's not cool. My life has been busy. I'm going to use that as an excuse. It's no lie! Lots of things are going on.

To cover a one-two-skip a few synopsis, the kids have had their issues. Zach has vomiting issues that start and then continue for months on end. Josh has officially been diagnosed as autistic, and we had a huge number of issues with his health, safety, education, etc. Ben and Alex are doing well enough, even though they have their own issues. Aidan is in kindergarten and, while being a challenging child, has proven over and over that he's a smart cookie. Emiliana loves going to preschool. She is so social, so sassy, so funny.

Marcel and I have had some lumps and bumps, and last winter (not this winter, the endless winter) was particularly rough. I long for a vacation away, with the whole family, or just with Marcel. Not sure that's going to happen any time soon though. Marcel's parents moved to Florida last summer, and while it would be nice to take a trip to visit, there are priorities around the house that we have to take care of.

We've done a lot around the house, including finally getting a king sized bed. It's a wonderful thing, and we sleep in the same bed together after sleeping in separate beds for the better part of our marriage. The only kid still sleeping with us is Emi, but we hope that we'll get her out before she's 15. :)

Zach recently went through a battery of tests, trying to figure out his vomiting. There's been no real answers, which might be an answer in itself. We're trying new medicine to see if we can break the cycle. He's basically being homeschooled, with educators and assistance from the high school.

Ben is in middle school, and he's doing pretty well. He's still a stressed kid who likes to argue, so we have to get him to learn the Serenity prayer.

Josh had huge problems in school, until the point when we had to bring him to the hospital and get him admitted to get his moods and his meds regulated. When he came out, he was transferred to the autism program at the middle school. It's a constant work in progress, but we're seeing progress.

Alex has turned into our long haired hippy boy. His hair is long and flowing, and he's an easygoing kid--most of the time. He wouldn't be a Lamothe if he didn't have issues with anxiety, but he does well in school and is excited to learn.

Aidan is a challenge at home and at school. He's smart--which is a benefit that sometimes backfires. He's a strong willed child. I hope we can work to harness all these things and teach him to use them well. It's a big job though!

Emiliana cries on the weekend, complains during vacation, and counts the days until she can go to school. She loves school, but it's mostly because she loves her friends. She likes to see people and chatter with them. She started preschool so quietly, so cautiously, and then she came out of her shell. She's got a lot to say!

Not much else to say right now--but I hope to write again. It's a good outlet. It gives me a voice when there are times that everything stays jumbled in my head.

Jul. 13th, 2012

A Different Kind Of Grief...

One of the girls from my old babycenter group, Tracy, died in a tragic accident a couple of days ago. I doubt she had more than second of fear before she was gone, the car she was riding in smashed by an 18 Wheeler that ran a red light. She left behind a husband and a son and a daughter.

I can't say I wasn't shocked or sad when I heard the news--going to her Facebook page and seeing all the memorials and sympathies being expressed almost feels like a practical joke because it's still her face in the profile pictures and information, unchanged, as if her life continued on the way it had up until that tragic event.

Here's the sad, honest truth though--my day to day life won't be altered by this. She wasn't someone that I had even met in real life, and even online she was more of a casual acquaintance than a dear friend. But the thought that sits so heavy on me, the thing that makes my heart heavy is the fact that it could have been me--or anyone I know--gone in a flash, suddenly, unexpectedly, tragically. She is gone, wherever you want to believe she has gone. But she left behind a husband who I'm sure never thought anything different was going to happen that day, and kids who will learn far too soon and painfully what forever means. And that is what hurts--the thought of it. That they went through life, with hopes and dreams and plans, and suddenly it was all shattered. Tomorrow will be another day in their new lives, and there is no going back. What would my children's lives be like without me? How long would my husband grieve me? And what would I do if I lost any of them--would I ever really be alive again? You want to remember to live every moment to the fullest, knowing at any moment you could lose it all, but who can ever bear the though of that? I can't.

Mar. 13th, 2012


I swear, there are more sins in parenthood than there are in the Bible.  So many things that you can do wrong (or have go wrong) that make you feel like you're being judged by others, even if you're not.  It's that good old fashioned Catholic guilt, but stronger, because you're not just cursing yourself to eternal damnation, you're also (maybe) totally messing up your kids for life.

So... Last week sucked.  I mean, SUCKED.  I mean... well, you get the point.  I can't tell you how much it sucked without getting vulgar and inappropriate.  Not to say I'm not tempted.  It's been that bad.  A few tongue-tingling words might feel good, but they won't fix anything, so why bother?

Josh is still having problems.  He started the week ok, but from Wednesday on, it turned into a nightmare at school.  Calls from the school to come and pick him up, and then going and fighting him to come home.  Friday was a wrestling match that included me, Josh, and the assistant principal.  Yeah, that was fun.  But the real knife in the gut came when they had to call the POLICE because he still wouldn't calm down.  He was desperate to go back into school, to say goodbye to his teacher.  "Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, PLEASE!" He kept trying to unhook his seatbelt and run from the car, which is obviously a safety issue.  And we couldn't reach him.  It was like he was locked into his head, and couldn't hear us, couldn't understand us, understand the ramifications of what he was doing.  So finally, they called the police.  And we still waited and warned him and wrestled him.  Finally the police officer showed up, and he came over and told Josh that he had to go home, he had to calm down.  Somehow he heard that, so he stopped fighting.

And, I swear to God, before we were out of the school loop, he was calm again.  Talking to his brother about video games. And that's so strange, but it gives us hope.  He can be calm, he can be happy.  But... what the hell is going on that is making him so emotional at school?  These outbursts don't usually happen at home (though he did have one about moisturizer last week, as well).  I don't know... We don't know... Even the therapists we've been talking to don't know.  It's probably going to be a long slow process figuring this out, but I  have to find a solution to continue his education through it in the meanwhile.  I have a meeting at the school today to address that very issue.

One day at a time, I guess... But they are very long days, to be sure.

Feb. 21st, 2012

Not your ordinary week...

I'm ready for this week to be done.  And it's only Tuesday!  But next week is school vacation, and I'm really ready for it.  Marcel is away until late Thursday, and my mom is here helping out, but the sleep schedule is messed up because the kids have a hard time settling down when their routines are disrupted.  Josh started anti-anxiety medicine yesterday, and it will be a little bit before we know if it's working, but we're really hoping it does.  He's had a rough time in school lately, which is an understatement, so we need something to change.

Aidan has spent the last several days participating in the school's preschool program so they can do some academic testing on him, and he loves it.  Absolutely LOVES it.  But he doesn't get to keep going--Friday is his last day, and I think it's going to destroy him for a bit.  He has been enjoying it so much.  It's so hard.  They're saying that he doesn't seem to have any academic issues that would warrant coding him, so there's not going to be any reason to bring him in as a special education student, but I inquired about their other program that lets regular students come with tuition and they're completely filled up and have a waiting list a mile long.  

Zach's complaining about his stomach hurting for days, too.  It's just one of those weeks.

Feb. 17th, 2012

How to broach an uncomfortable topic...

Who wants to do that?  But here I am.  There's been a lot going on in my life lately that involves mental health, and I have to say it hasn't been good stuff.  

Josh went through a metamorphosis this winter, from a very happy-go-lucky kid to one who is prone to melt downs, screaming fits, tantrums, and all sorts of other nightmarish behaviors.  And boy, has it been hard.  From sleeping on his mattress in my room (for *months* now) to refusing to get on the bus, throwing tantrums about going to school, and actual problems in school, I have to admit it's wearing me out.  

The good news is, the school has been great, even if something or someone at the school is the source of our difficulties--because Josh is frequently in a good mood when he's not in school, unless it's time to go to school.  We're working with a large team who is trying to offer every single resource they can.

I have brought him to the pediatrician, although that was a huge source of conflict because he didn't want me to talk to the doctor about him and kept trying to leave the room or cover my mouth. Everyone who knows him is shocked by the changes.  I am going to bring him back to see the doctor on Monday and ask him to put Josh on some anti-anxiety meds, because it seems apparent that a large part of the problem is anxiety.  And I have an appointment with a therapist on his ninth birthday--what a day for that--to go and see about getting him to get some help.

I had to go and pick him up twice today from school.  He left after a fit, and went back willingly, but they called me to come and get him again before school was done.  And he was in a horrible rage--even threw a chair.  The principal and vice principal were both there, trying to calm him down, but he just wanted to be alone.  He didn't even want me to be there.  I went out to move my car so the buses could pull in when it was time, and I sat in the car and cried for a minute.  I am trying everything I can, but it breaks my heart for him to be like this, especially since he won't open up about what is causing all the anxiety and anger.  And it worries me.  I was sitting there, thinking about writing about all of this, and I wondered what I would call the blog...  And the thought came to my mind, "I lost my Peter Pan," and that's when I lost it.  Where are the happy thoughts?  The optimism, the cheeriness, the little boy who never let the world get to him?  

So much of this burden is on him--I know he's struggling; it's absolutely clear.  But I think this, whatever it is, call it mental illness maybe, is weighing on our whole family, keeping us on guard and tense.  I didn't really want to put much up about his struggles here, but they're my struggles too.  I have to hope it gets better, and soon...

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