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12 Week, and Interviewing my Children.

My husband and I have a pretty close friendship. We talk about each other’s days, share our feelings of anger, frustration, and delight. We joke about the idiots we come across, and uplift each other’s spirits with biblical wisdom and inappropriate, yet somehow totally necessary  humor. There is a time for each of these things to be done, and through the years, we’ve learned to know exactly which buttons to push and when in order to make each other’s lives run smoothly. During our almost 8 years together, he has been my best friend and my arch nemesis. He’s clasped my necklace while I held my hair, and he’s held my hair while I puked my life out through 2 rocky pregnancies. We’ve had our all out brawls and our sobbing, pride swallowing, apologies. We’ve both wronged each other and forgiven sacrificially. He is the one person that has every single right to correct me when I’ve messed up, and I love him for it every day. Right now, I don’t have his daily humor, wisdom, annoyance, correction, or tenderness. So, God has encouraged me by surrounding me with the wisdom and love of close friends. I was quickly corrected on my last posting by our painfully honest, yet gentle spirited pastor on the thoughts of my former boss that I ranted about. I do apologize if I offended anyone through that. Some might remove such a post, but I want to display the truth of this journey. I’ve already voiced my opinions and thoughts. It would be dishonest to retract.  To be clear, I really did feel wronged, but I understand now that I just can’t hold all people to the biblical standard that I’m measured with. Not all people believe in that standard, so I can’t force my beliefs into their ethics. That’s not who Jesus is. He’s a gentleman, and he was silent when provoked to anger and mocked for His obedience to His Father. Now, I did take it in silence and with many deep breaths while I was at the office, but I let it all out in my last post. I should have probably just kept on breathing and taken it gracefully until my last day. Shoulda, woulda, coulda, and you can’t live in the past. So, again, I do apologize if I offended anyone or gave anyone the wrong impression of who my Savior is. I’ll try harder to do better.

Now, I have REALLY enjoyed my time at home with the boys!!

Played Spongebob Operation
found out time-outs outside are better than the corner
made a chocolate bunny for dad (and it really smells like chocolate!)
and had a few amazing, life-changing naps

This week, I decided to interview my children:

Idan

What do you like most about yourself?  To see.

What is your greatest accomplishment? Go potty

 What would you like to be when you grow up? Daddy.

What is your favorite thing to do? um…dogs

What is your fondest memory? He’s my grandma

Who is your hero? Cole. I wanna be a hero too!

What is your favorite movie? Lion King

What is your favorite food? Ice cream, yogurt, and cookies

What are your hobbies? Just 1,2,3

What do you like about school? um, boys don’t punch me in the face

Who is Jesus? (singing) Jesus, I love you

Where does he live? um…a space ranger

Who would you like to marry? Grammy

How many kids do you want to have? um, 3, 2, 1, and go!

What do you want to name them? um…6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, & 12

How old do you want to be when you get married? I’m not a girl!

If you had a million dollars, what would you do? kids can’t punch me in the face.

What kind of car do you want? a 2 million dollars car!

Cole

What do you like most about yourself? My eyes, that I can see.

What id your greatest accomplishment? I complete every one of my papers at school on Fridays.

What would you like to be when you grow up? A soldier.

What is your favorite thing to do? Go to Six Flags.

What is your fondest memory? Dad, when he helped me do XBox

Who is your hero? Dad.

What is your favorite movie? Happy Feet 2

What is your favorite food? Any kind of cake

What are your hobbies? Playing computers

What do you like about school? I get to eat.

Who is Jesus? Our real Father.

Where does he live? In heaven.

Who would you like to marry? Kiley from Kindergarten

How many kids do you want to have? 5, 3 teenager boys, 1 teenager girl and 1 little girl.

What do you want to name them? Kyle, Tyler, and Tony for the boys, Morgan for the teenage girl, and Sunshine for the little girl.

How old do you want to be when you get married? 23

If you had a million dollars, what would you do? Go to Walmart or Target and look at the toys and see which ones I want.

What kind of car do you want? How about a van? Will that be enough for 5 kids (yeah) Okay then, a van. A blue one.

We had our bi-weekly IHOP dinner on Saturday night. I think they’re starting to realize that we’re there every two weeks.

He ate his meal, the rest of mine, and here he is killing off Idan's.
That's 12 weeks down, 50-ish to go

Do you remember my back-shaving neighbor from a few posts back? Well, he has a redemption story this week! Maybe he’s not so creepy after-all. While I was out getting the blades sharpened on the lawn mower (you, know, so I could tackle that awful back yard?), he was mowing both the front and back yard. I came home, ready to spend 3 hours getting it fixed up, to a cleanly landscaped yard! He was so kind to have done that! I should bake him some cookies or something, right? Any suggestions on how to thank him politely while making sure to keep boundaries, and no…I will not shave his back.

Until next week, send your crazy to me, since I’m going there anyway!

 

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11 Weeks And a “2-weeks notice”

SO, as you can probably guess from my heading, I QUIT!!!! There are a few reasons that ultimately led to my decision. First, the man that hired me asked if the pay would work for me. I told him I thought so, but I’d let him know once I figured out child care for sure. Two weeks into the job, I sat down with him and asked him if $2 more an hour would be do-able, because if not then it didn’t make financial sense for me to stay. He said he would make it happen and it didn’t seem unreasonable. So, I made sure to prove my dedication. While my husband was in town for his 2 weeks, I didn’t miss one single day of work. My boss gave me that $2 raise as a bonus until corporate took care of my hourly pay. I received my next paycheck, and there was no increase and no bonus to make up for the lack of the increase. At this rate, I’m pocketing 30% of my paycheck after paying for child care and gas. This was problem number one. Problem number two was that I had the title of Finance Manager, but I was not being treated like a Manager. I felt like I was being treated like a little kid. Not cool. I don’t have any “penis-envy” issues, so I have no problem being under a man —haha…under a man…lol…Focus, Cathi — I have no problem working under a man’s authority whatsoever, but I do have a problem with working under someone who doesn’t show me respect, especially in front of people who are employed under me. That’s not very nice, and I’m not a fan of unnecessarily mean people. There are 2 types of mean. Passive mean, which are people who just don’t try to be nice or people who don’t have a genuine care for the well-being of others, and then there’s Aggressive mean, which are the bullies who push people around just to hurt their feelings or get some sort of high out of making other people upset. My boss is the passive kind. I think I’d almost prefer the aggressive kind. You see, it actually hurts my feelings way more when someone just really doesn’t care about me or my family than when someone calls me ugly. On to reason number 3. There is some fishy illegal and immoral stuff going on in there! I am not a fan, so count me the heck out of it! I also realized how much of a load of B.S. the whole sales pitch is! Do you know how much those sales people lie to you? I mean really? I feel insulted for having been a customer there 2 years ago when my husband got his Fury. Some sales people are so nice to a customer’s face, and then turn around and say the most derogatory things behind their backs! It’s such a shady environment. It really makes me sick. I know I’m not perfect. I’m far from it…just in case you missed my last post…the kitchen is still a mess, I still have laundry to fold, and the back yard….holy cow, it’s bad. I seriously need to mow it, and the front yard is starting to catch up to it. Anyway, I’m no perfect person, but I know I’m not comfortable lying to people to make the company more money, I’m definitely not okay with doing stuff illegally, and I am absolutely not down with anyone disrespecting me. Reason number 4, I’m tired of finding out how Idan’s day went from a sheet of paper. His smiling face doesn’t look like this  🙂 It looks like this:

Reading some good ol’ Dr Seuss
2 front teeth gone one after the other
there it is!
6 quarters, because he’s 6 years old

and Cole lost his tooth at afterschool care. I’d much rather have done an awesome video to follow-up for Dr. Idan.

So the job is not worth the money and the stress and me missing out on my kids’ lives. And that’s why I turned in my 2 weeks notice. I finished out last week, and I’m going to finish out this week, then that’s it for the finance world and Cathi. My kids are already missing one parent, and I think they’ve had enough of a break from me to be happy to be stuck with just me for the next year. I know I’ve had a good enough break from them. It’s helped me to re-evaluate my whole outlook on parenting. I used to be so confused with working moms. I didn’t understand why they would want to work when they could be raising their children at home, and now I realize that it’s actually a very difficult sacrifice for working moms to do. It’s emotionally and physically exhausting to give yourself 100% to your husband, 100% to your kids, 100% to your home, and 100% to your job. Something isn’t going to receive that whole 100%, and it actually isn’t the kids, the house, or the husband. It ends up being yourself, and that’s where the sacrifice is. I respect working moms so much more after walking around in their shoes for a bit, which is the only part about the job that I loved. I got to wear all of my favorite heels everyday of the week! But, I’m just not built for that. I’ve got my favorite sweat pants washed and ready for next Monday morning! I plan on sleeping in – since it will be Cole’s spring break – and I plan on watching the Today Show while I fold that dang mile-high pile of laundry. And then, in the afternoon, I plan on tackling that back yard, finally…and hopefully getting the car fixed (pray that it lasts until then and that it doesn’t cost a fortune!)

ACTIVITY TIME!!!

I took the boys to a wrestling match!!

Painted their faces like Andy and Axil
ARGGGGGGHHHH WRESTLING TIME!!!!
Waiting in line to go in
“Go AXIL!!!”
He now has another favorite
“Go ANDY!”
and what would an outing be like without Idan going poop?

This wrestling match was in a creepy location, it smelled like sweat and popcorn mixed, and it was sticky and hot inside of the warehouse that it was held. It wasn’t my thing, but it was theirs, and that’s where I wanted/needed to be. I had fun because they had fun!

As always, until next week, send your crazy to me since I’m going there anyway!

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10weeks

Here goes my madness… So, I needed to get the oil changed on the car, and I also needed to grocery shop. I got home at 3:30pm, and by the time I made Cole go to the bathroom, then Idan, then he pooped as soon as I got him into the car, so I had to change him again, and we finally got on the road to the dealership, it was 4:15.  We got there at 4:45pm and were out pretty quick. I promised the boys that we’d make it our IHOP date night, since it was dinner time and we still needed to go grocery shopping. So, we did. The boys were NUTS!! They were in the craziest mood and were definitely teaming up on me. It was nice that they weren’t fighting, but my goodness! They’ve become partners in crime! What have I gotten myself into?!

After dinner, we went to Kroger. The boys went to the bathroom before we left IHOP,

6 down, 27 to go!

but as soon as we got to the store, Cole had to go again. While he was in the bathroom, I decided to browse the clearance section -you know, to spend money by saving on items I don’t need, but might eventually want? That dang clearance section!! I bought 2 gillette fusion razors at $5 each though 😉

Cole finished (after like 10 minutes), and just as we were about to pull out of the clearance into the stuff on my list Idan was saying, “I have to go potty too!” So, I pushed the cart to the bathroom, and all 3 of us went in to let him go.

He did his business, and we were off! Smooth sailing….ish. We did the normal routine of madness through the aisles, knocking stuff down, bumping into people, and random bags of candy being found in my cart. Then, low and behold, Idan says, “I have to go poop!” So I raced him, with Cole running behind me, all the way through the store to the bathroom only to find out that he pooped in his pull up. GRRRRRRR. I searched through my purse to discover that I was fresh out of spare pull-ups! “Boooooooooo” (That’s what the soundtrack in my head said at the time.) So, naturally, I cleaned him up, stuck his shorts back on him (pull-upless), and crossed my fingers.

I took a deep breath, and scanned the aisles to do a quick estimate of how much time I had left in the store and left to get home safely without any more accidents…about 20 minutes, and I live 20 minutes away. I could’ve given up and just gone home or braved the aisles to grab milk, conditioner, yogurt, and tangerines. It was a tough 13 second debate between Cathi-the-Logical and Cathi-the-Daring, and the latter won. I raced, like for real y’all, through the aisles throwing stuff in while Idan and Cole danced and slid on their knees behind me. I was at the conditioner, scanning the shelf for Dove when those 5 dreaded words sounded off again, “Mom, I gotta go potty.” UUUUUUGGGHHH!!! I grabbed his hand and realized he was walking funny. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I thought to myself, and Cole stated the obvious, “Mom, uh…I think Idan pooped in his pants.” I darted a look towards Cole, as if it was his fault, and he smirked back at me as if the irony was just too beautiful for words. So, I did what any other totally normal person would do. I cupped my hand under his butt and walked him quickly to the bathroom. Cole followed behind pushing the cart this time. Brace yourself for this next part — It was beginning to run down his leg, and I thought, “I have no pull-ups, no back-up shorts or underoos. What the heck am I gonna do?” Then, I thought, “If I could just find a really nice person–a mom– who works here, I can ask her to grab a bag of pull-ups for me and bring it to the bathroom.” I was lucky enough to run into a woman right in front of the bathroom door!!! I was so excited! While keeping my hand on Idan’s butt, I said to the woman, “Can you do me a favor and grab me a bag of pull-ups, size 3/4?” She motioned to me that she couldn’t understand me. It became clear that she was deaf. I can handle deaf. I know some sign language. So, I signed to her, “It’s okay. I know how to sign.” So, then she starts signing away about how no one ever knows how to sign, and she was getting all excited, so I had to interrupt her…which is just as rude in sign language as it is with talking, but I was in a desperate situation. I had let go of the poopy butt to sign…so with every motion of my fingers and hands, I was wafting poop smell in the air. It was embarrassing. I didn’t really know how to sign “pull-ups”, so I wrote it down in my phone as a text saying, “He pooped in his pants. Can you bring me a bag of pull-ups size 3/4 please?” All of a sudden she acted like she didn’t understand me. She stood up, looked around like she was trying to find someone, and then walked back over to what she was doing with scanning random stuff. I must’ve missed the memo that said Deaf People Can’t Walk Either. SO frustrating! If you work there, you should be able to help the customers, right? What happened to equal opportunity regardless of race or handicap? There was, at this point, poop on his socks and shoes. So, I picked him up and put him in the bathroom to clean him. After he was clean, I had Cole stay with him to watch him (totally cool for a 6 year old to do that. I googled it.), and I ran to the baby aisle to grab some pull-ups. I bought them at the self-check-out lane and got them on his little butt. I took my time with the last 5 minutes, grabbed the conditioner, milk, yogurt, and tangerines, and finally headed home. If you think that was great, here’s a little bonus for you: The conditioner I grabbed was actually shampoo. “Booooooooo” <—my soundtrack team in there is always right on cue.

So, my activity this week is a poem for your reading pleasure, inspired by Dr. Seuss:

The Cathi in the Hat

   Cub Scouts and Young Life

   -both on Monday night.

   Campaigner girls on Tuesday

  “Boys, try not to fight!”

   “I love you, Sweet Darling,”

   with X’s and O’s.

   Faxing some documents

   and painting my toes.

   Paying the bills,

   What’s that noise in the car?

   Time to do homework-

   after I mow the yard.

   “Go sit on the potty,”

   “But I don’t have to go,”

   “Go sit on it anyway.

   We’re going to the store.”

   The car doesn’t sound right

   Milk, cheese, and fruit.

   Green eggs for dinner

   “I found your brown boot!”

   Pack up the lunches,

   Send a text to my man,

Finalize deals (in my heels),

that’s the plan.

Phone calls and emails,

Will this ever end?

I ran out of time.

Quick facebook “like” for my friends.

Laundry and dishes,

Brush teeth, take a bath.

“The book fair is tomorrow!”

“I don’t have enough cash!”

The nearest ATM

is in 2.2 miles.

I think I can manage

a few more cheesey smiles.

This car problem is serious.

“Boys, you’re being so sweet!

Now off to bed

while I make this house neat.”

Work all day Saturday,

I need ten thousand sitters.

The pot-luck’s tomorrow?

But we just finished dinner!

“Go sit on the potty,”

“But I don’t have to go,”

“Go sit on it anyway.

We’re off to the store.”

“Hey honey, I love you

Just wanted to say ‘hi'”

I left a quick voicemail.

Yup, the car’s gonna die.

   We made it to church

   and just in time too.

   It’s been a long week,

   So mascara’s waterproof.

   The pastor’s message

   helps me to reflect

   on the week that is past

   and the one that’s ahead.

   The back yard’s horrendous,

   but the front is okay.

   The kids are still breathing,

   My husband’s too far away.

  The kitchen-a disaster,

   I have laundry to fold.

   I woke up too early,

   But I had little boys to hold.

   I just have to breath

   and remember my life

   isn’t my own,

   but belongs to Christ.

   I hear that sweet song

   as I pull out my tithe.

   Good job, Cathi in the Hat,

   you didn’t cry this time!

Until next week, send your crazy to me, since I’m going there anyway!

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9 weeks …green eggs and ham, and a melt down

So, I obviously skipped 2 weeks, but there was totally a reason. My husband came home for a brief visit!

These are some happy Bat-Boys!

Sharing a hug while waiting at the airport

It was bittersweet, but oh so wonderful. The time went by slowly, which was nice. It felt like we got the most out of each day he was home. We had the chance to go out on a date, thanks to the babysitting services of Erin White! We met up with one of the guys he shared a bathroom with (weird place to spark up a friendship,  I know) and his wife in the city. I got to dress up for my man and enjoy a night out on the town.

We also had our IHOP night! It was so exciting that he got to be there for one of our rituals! His mom sent us Thing 1,2,3,&4 shirts, and in honor of Dr Seuss’s birthday, we wore them proudly and ordered green eggs and ham (except for my husband. He’s too cool for that).

Of course, all good things must come to an end, and my husband’s short break was no exception. I enjoyed every little bit of having him home, and when it came down to the last night, our hearts sank into reality.

Reading his favorite story (a gift from Erin White) before bed
a goodnight kiss…
and then a big squeezing hug…
and prayers.

The men praying a little deeper.
A manly squeezing hug
Doing their overview of the day…

And one last family picture (courtesy of Lehren Walker) before we headed back to the airport.

Our incredible friends Steve, Zach, Lisa, Michelle, and Steven brought over dinner Thursday night and prayed over my husband, and that was amazing. It means so much to my husband that these people care so much about him and our family, and it means so much to me that they love him as deeply as they do. I’m incredibly touched, humbled, and grateful for their support. I’ve never seen military/friendship support like this in all my life. What an honor it is to serve alongside these incredible servants of God in Young Life!

Friday started out difficult with saying goodbye, and then work was extremely rough. I ended up getting stuck there for an extra hour, and then as soon as I got home I learned that the boys were fighting with each other a lot. As if things couldn’t get worse, I received a text from my Saturday babysitter that she couldn’t come the next morning. It was 4:45pm, I was emotionally and physically drained, the boys were stressed, and I didn’t have dinner even started. I sent out a series of desperate texts to every single back-up babysitter in my phone. I hit up my A squad first, the B. I had mini melt-downs in between each “Sorry, I can’t.” Cole tried to console me, as best he could, but his little 6 year old heart isn’t built to support my estrogen-vamped-working-on-only-one-ovary-crazy-emotional-self. So, he had his own, totally warranted melt-down from missing Dad. He was crying and turned to sobbing, and Idan asked him, “Why are you cwying, Cole?” and Cole said, “because I miss Daddy,” and Idan hugged him saying, “Me too.”

then by 9:00pm I hit my Z squad, and I reached my breaking point. All of the emotions were out of whack. I was a puddle of snot and tears. I started frantically researching weekend daycare options-which, by the way, there are none in the whole 30 mile radius! I sent email.s, texts, voicemails, made a facebook post, and prayed.. I hated this feeling of worry, stress, and hopelessness. But, thank the Lord that His power is made perfect in my weakness! At 9:45pm, my original babysitter texted me that should could babysit, after all. I don’t ever want to go through that again!!!!!

So after all of the sweetness of my husband- the hugs, kisses, and all-around comfort and warmth of him sleeping next to me, I’m back to going crazy once again.

Oh, and I went to Walmart to buy pull-ups, and spent $117 on new clothes for Cole, a Cars potty for Idan, and Chapstick.

Until next week, send your crazy to me, since I’m going there anyway!