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WE HAVE MOVED TO A NEW SITE!!! http://www.mommyhood-shivonne-costa.squarespace.com/ As of June 18, 2015, this is our new location. Please come join us!! I started blogging the week I got married. I thought it would be nice to blog the full first year, you know, to cherish those memories and share them with my family and friends. Little did I know, it was going to be my greatest coping skill for the craziness that comes with marriage! I found writing to be a fantastic way to reframe an ugly marital spat into a humorous event, allowing me to smile at the situation by the end of the post. And now, I am honored to share my struggles and joys of fostering, adopting, birthing, and raising 4 beautiful children. It's my hope that others gain laughter and new ways to see their own frustrating life situation through my writing. Because I love to write! PS, look for me on Facebook - "Mommyhood-Shivonne Costa"

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Insane Mommy

     Have you ever met one of those parents that thinks their child is sooo adorable no matter what that child is doing? Little Johnny could be bobbing for apples in the toilet and his mother would say, "Oh, Johnny is such a creative child! And he just loves the water... he'll probably be a snorkler when he gets older." And as sister Suzie is found punching little Johnny in his teeth with her ceramic piggy bank, this mother says, "Suzie and Johnny just looove to rough house. It really helps them bond and get their energy out in a productive way. I bet Suzie is going to be a wrestler someday."
     I don't know about you, but I generally wanna tell this mother to stop spiking the Kool Aid, get a clue, and realize her children are holy terrors! However... this being said, I'm starting to sympathize with this woman. She probably knows her children are total nutballs (afterall, she lives with them and we don't see her screaming in the bathroom and pulling her hair out in frustration when she steps on the broken piece of piggy bank left in the middle of the floor). I bet this mother has already lost her mind, and the only way to find a semblance of peace is to look at her children's flaws through rose-colored glasses and just pray to God that a miracle occurs.
     So, in honor of this insane mother, I have decided to try her method. Instead of just venting about all the crap my kids did this week, I am going to join hands with my crazy mother friends and choose to put my blinders on and pray for a miracle myself! Here goes nothing....
     Cameron peed his bed several days ago... never told anyone, just made his bed and hid his wet clothes... again. Tucking him in tonight, I was knocked on my butt by the smell of stale urine wafting up from his covers. (Enter Insane Mommy.) "Cameron is so inventive... he found a way to make a water bed with absolutely no cost to the family. He's probably going to be an mechanical engineer when he grows up."
     Taylor got into my make-up, deodorant, and medicated facial masks three times last week, despite numerous punishments, long talks, and tears (mine). She then chose to lie repeatedly each time, swearing up and down that she didn't do it... all the while my make-up was on her face and there was nail polish dried onto the bathroom floor. (Enter Insane Mommy.) "Taylor has a real knack for beauty... her eye for color and style could take her far in the world. She may even grow up to be an artist... or a Kardashian."
     Cameron lost BOTH SETS of keys to our new family car... you know, the keys that are a few hundred dollars to replace? He lost them 4 days ago and we have torn the house apart. We found the spare set (naturally, the cheaper one) and still have yet to find the main set with the automatic starter attached. (Enter Insane Mommy.) "Cameron is such a good hider! I bet the FBI could find some great use for his skills in the future... if I choose to let him live that long (CRAP! I was doing so well....)."
     This week, Taylor and Cameron painted in their rooms with NON washable paint, they took bubbles upstairs and blew them all over Taylor's room (leaving a slippery, soapy mess EVERYWHERE), there is a mysterious hole that showed up in Taylor's wall, Cameron pulled out the laminate flooring and then jacked them up trying to put them back, Taylor created a climbing mechanism to get to the top of the medicine cabinet and then proceeded to cover herself in Dora band aids (then lied about it), she locked the bathroom doors from the inside and we couldn't get into the bathroom (leading to Cameron trying to use the missing car keys to open the door), Cameron drenched himself in a mud puddle directly before getting into my car upon being told not to, Cameron stole a drink from subway and then lied to me about it, and let's not forget the weekend prior when the kids called 9-1-1, didn't wear seat belts after being told to, and then Cameron stole from his grandma. (Enter Insane Mommy. I said, Enter Insane Mommy. Hey, Insane Mommy! Where did you go??)
     Well it appears that Insane Mommy is looking for her Xanax and a cold compress for her head.... I better go join her, just to make sure she's ok....

Thursday, February 21, 2013

When I Die...

     When I die, I hope to leave a legacy. I want my clients to feel changed by what they've accomplished in treatment, I want everyone who knew me to remember me and all that I try to stand for, and I want my children to reflect all that I've taught them (or tried to teach them). However, when I die, I found out that my kids just want my stuff and that's pretty much the end of it.
     I discovered this fun little fact the other night when Cameron came running upstairs, anxious to share with me the conversation he had just had with my husband.
     "Guess what! Dad said that when he dies I can have his tools!" (Cam)
     "Uh... ok... how did this conversation start, by the way?" (Me)
     "I asked Dad about when I get adopted next week, what does that really mean... I know I get to live here forever, but what else? And he said that it means that when he dies, I get his stuff! So I asked him for his tools... and he said YES!" (Cam)
     "Well, that's certainly one way of looking at your adoption. Another is the fact that we will be your family forever... so when it's Christmas time or your birthday, no matter where you live or how old you are, you're going to come back home to celebrate with us. And we will help you find a car, get into college, look for a job, help you when you have questions about raising your kids, or tending to your llama, whichever the case may be." (Me)
     "Yeah, ok... but if I get Dad's tools, what are you gonna give me when you die??" (Cam)
     "You mean apart from the unconditional love and support you've received?" (Me)
     "Yeah." (Cam)
     "I guess I'll have to get back to you on that one. It's not like you'll want my shoe collection." (Me)
     (Taylor, from the other room) "Can I have your shoes, Mom? Please??"
     I'm starting to get nervous that these children may try to off us in our sleep, just to get our shoes and tools. If for some reason I am found lying in my bed with a number 2 pencil sticking out of my eye and a Pretty Pretty Princess necklace noosed around my neck, know that it has been a priveledge sharing my stories with you all... and please give Taylor my shoes.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Beyond Ridiculous

     Here I go again.... seconds after feeling those lovey-dovey, mush-gushy feelings towards my kids, I'm instantly swept away with visions of hanging them up by their ankles and flogging them with wet noodles. This emotional pendullum that I ride on is literally going to make me crazy (or has it already??). Not that I want to say that my feelings for my kids are circumstantial... that would be wrong (that would be wrong, right?), but when Cameon makes me a loving card one minute and then lies directly to my face the next, it's a legitimate struggle not to give him a shovel and tell him to start digging (don't stop till you reach the 6 foot mark, my friend!).
     For whatever reason, both kids were out of their minds this weekend (hooray for long weekends off of school). Not only were they at each other's throats, but they were insanely hyperactive, impulsive, and downright disobedient. My blesssed mother-in-law babysat for us and I doubt she will ever volunteer again... not that I can blame her. When the kids intentionally don't wear their seat belts and then taunt her about it, call 9-1-1 from her house phone and then lie their pants off, and the projectile vomiting that followed throughout the night, I wouldn't be willing to enlist in that war again either! Then, after Cam and Tay rifled through her belongings, Cameron thought it would be awesome to steal from his grandmother... and then make up a completely fabricated story to explain how he got the loot. And THEN he lied repeatedly to try to get Taylor in trouble.
     Naturally, Cameron is the victim in all of this. Obviously. I'm a mean mom, Dad's a mean dad, Taylor's the worst sister possible. That's why he smashed her water bottle to bits and broke her toy bin.... and then blamed her for it (AGAIN). And this was on top of all the normal everyday things they do that drive me bonkers (writing in toothpaste on the mirror the second I've finished cleaning the house, flooding the bathroom during their showers, leaving every light on in the house, showing complete inability to pick up their toys, and the constant throwing of clean clothes into the dirty clothes hamper). We had Cameron tested.... he's well into the average range with his IQ, so he's obviously not stupid (Taylor, we just don't know about yet), so WHY in the world does he put more of an effort into making my scream than simply using his powers for good??
     Weekends used to be my time to recover from the long week.... but now, I can't wait to go back to work. I need more of a break from these ridiculous children than from busting my butt at work and dealing with severely mentally ill clients. I just don't have time for all this nonsense! Is this normal?? Do Moms feel this way regularly or are my kids worse than the general population? I remember nannying for several different families and never having feelings of utter madness like this.... did I just get old and less tolerant? Or are these knuckleheads beyond ridiculous?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Good, The Bad, And The Pukey

     It has been quite a busy week here in the Costa home! And, as always, with the good comes the bad. However, I would like to hope that there was far more good for all involved than bad! Last week, I spent a great deal of time after work planning for Cameron's 7th birthday party, getting ready for my parents arrival, and preparing the sermon and worship for Sunday morning, all the while dealing with that pesky sinus infection that was up in my business for the last month. By Thursday night, I had no voice left. All I kept thinking was "how in the world am I going to yell at a bunch of 7 year olds for a few hours on Saturday AND still have a voice to preach with??"
     Luckily, I spent Friday home from work, trying to get the Z-pack from my doctor (which, by the way, must be the lastest street drug, otherwise my doctor wouldn't have given me such a hard time when I asked him for it... the accusations, the disapproving tone, the quizical looks. Am I missing something, here??). And then we spent Saturday morning getting ready for the birthday party. Cameron, being the creative little buck that he is, asked if we could have a building party for him. Afterall, he did get a toolbox and a few tools for Christmas, curteousy of my husband, so it seemed like a great idea.... except I don't know anyone who has ever had a building party, I know literally nothing about building, and how does one decorate for this type of theme? Hang hammers instead of balloons and serve food out of metal lunch boxes?
     My husband decided (AKA I strongly suggested) that he would take an active role in this birthday party. Afterall, it's only fair, since I did everything for Tay's party just last month. So, he found a design for a "simple" bird house online and convinced me that the supplies would be inexpensive and easy to get. Great, I thought! Inexpensive and easy sound tremendous, given the craziness of this week. And women, this is why we don't ever trust what a man says... because this was neither inexpensive NOR easy. It was a half hour before the party as I sat there watching my father pre-drill holes into the bird houses for the children, saw dust going all over the freshly decorated room.
     To my surprise, I survived the party... the constant banging of hammers made it virtually impossible for me to shout above the noise, which coincidentally saved my voice (gave me quite a headache, but at least I could still talk). Cameron loved his construction site birthday cake (thanks to our local bakery.... I seriously don't know how those Martha Stewart mommies out there do it!), and he loved his completed bird house.
     By Sunday morning, my Z-pack was really kicking in. After a week of nonstop action, I was finally ready to speak... and I was also pretty excited to be done with all things that needed my immediate attention (well, for at least 15 hours until work on Monday morning). But my evening did not go quite as planned, as evenings of mothers rarely do. The baby engaged in projectle vomiting, which is quite an awesome sight to see, but less than awesome when you're the target. Around 9 pm, I got a bit of a queasy feeling. At 10:30, Taylor woke up barfing her stomach out. By 11:30, I was vomiting so violently that I woke up my parents several rooms away.
     It was 15 hours of constant nausea, throwing up, cold sweats, and horrible chills... it reminds me of how my husband once described feeling on the morning of our wedding. The dehydration set in, "accidents" happened (things you'd rather your father not be there to see!), and I became delusional. All in all, it was a fantastic weekend. To top it off, I forced myself to go to work this morning and had to return home after another "incident" occured, you know, just to make sure that I didn't have a shred of pride left. But at least Cameron had a great party, Taylor is feeling 150% back to herself (as evidenced by the constant chatter going on in the house), and Isaac has proven to be the type of baby that simply sleeps a lot when he's under the weather, so I choose to count my blessings instead of the number of times I've had to change my clothes in the last 24 hours.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Adult Fairy Tales

     My version of a fairy tale has changed drastically from when I was younger. I used to dream of a handsome prince to marry, sweet little children to run around our luxurious home, and happiness and rainbows to fill my every moment. But now, all I dream about is getting a few minutes of sleep, not having to talk to anyone, and peeing without someone shouting at me through the door.
     However, this is my reality. There is a daily routine in my home that the children have started. It begins when my car pulls into the driveway after work and ends when the last child has fallen asleep. This routine is called "Utterly Ridiculous and Continuous Question Asking". I sometimes sit in my car for a few minutes before mustering up the courage to go inside my home, knowing that I will face a mountain mundane questions, followed by a sea of endless prattling. As I put my hand on the door knob and slowly turn the handle, I can hear Cameron start yelling questions to me, as Taylor shouts louder to be heard over him. In fact, the first questions have been fully uttered before I have even finished opening the door! And day after day, I remind the kids that I haven't even come in the door yet, taken my shoes off, gone to the bathroom, or even said "hello" before they're attacking me like a piece of meat fallen into piranha-infested waters.
     And do you want to know the worst part of it all? I'm convinced that these children are talking just to hear their own voices. I know this because the questions that they ask me every day are ones that have blatantly obvious answers, or ones that I've already answered a thousand times before.
     "Mom, did you wear that coat to work?" (Tay)
     "Nope, I thought I'd sneak into the house wearing it, just to throw you off." (Me)
     "Mom, did you see my homework?" (Cam)
     "Since I was at work all day and haven't even walked through the door yet, I obviously haven't seen your homework." (Me)
     "Did you do your hair today?" (Tay)
     "Yes." (Me)
     "And your make-up?" (Tay)
     "Taylor, look at my face.... do you see make-up?" (Me)
     "Yes..." (Tay)
     "Then did I do my make-up today, Taylor?" (Me)
     "Yes." (Tay)
     "Are you making dinner right now? What are we having? Can I have a snack???" (Cam)
     "Can I do your hair, Mom? And will you play dress up with me? You never play with me.... can you put barrettes in my hair? And a head band?" (Tay)
     "And when are you going to help me with my homework project? Did you finish washing my clothes? Can I call my friend?" (Cam)
     "Mom, will you help me put my puzzle away and teach me how to play the piano? And when are you going to buy me boots like yours? Do I get to stay up late tonight? Can I have a pony?....."
     This is when I get a far-off look in my eyes as I let myself envision what it must be like to be deaf. Sure, it's a disability.... to some. But one person's disability is another person's blessing, right? These were the thoughts that ran through my head while I drove home from work yesterday. 
     Fridays are always the toughest... I'm exhausted from the week, the chores have been piling up since the previous weekend, and I just don't have the strength to deal with the questions. That is why I found myself parked alongside the road yesterday after work on this particular Friday. I was just so sleepy... and there was a small turn around that looked so lonely... and I just wanted to shut my eyes, only for a few moments. No one to talk to, no questions to answer. So I turned off the car in order to not waste the little gas I had left, curled my legs up underneath me, and I buried my face snugly into my over-sized sweater. The 13 degree weather quickly cooled my car down, and I had to wrap my coat around me like a blanket to keep from freezing.... and then I could see my breath as I breathed in and out, wetting my sweater where my nose and mouth were burried. I closed my eyes and, despite the cold, I felt a wave of sleep making my head lower heavily onto the center console.
     For 20 minutes I slept, curled up and shivering as the air grew colder and colder in my vehicle. And then a thought hit me. I'm literally risking minor frostbite in order to avoid talking to my children. This thought was quickly followed by another one... I wonder if they let people take naps in the library? 
     I eventually went home. I eventually answered all their inane questions. And then we eventually left them with my mother-in-law for the evening. I slept for 10 hours. Proving that my fairy tale does, in fact, have a happy ending.