My trick or treaters


#3 was a cat, # 2 was a butterfly and # 1 was a character that she drew and created (yep ENGLISH TEACHER MOM is a little geeked out by that and yep it looks just like her).

I have disappeared because I have a nasty case of laryngitis and my voice is so wishy washy. So in effort to not become sicker I have been super lazy every night. Working on homework and going to bed.


My three beauts!

“Your children are not your children.
They are sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For thir souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the make upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness.
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He also loves the bow that is stable.”
Kahlil Gibran

The other side.

“Man is not worried by real problems so much as by his imagined anxieties about real problems”

So as I begin emerging into the regular world I laugh at all the comments I get. From, “Where have you been?” to “Are you doing better?” And I know they mean well and that shows they care. I imagine any new job is an adjustment. But with me be an OCD suffer I find myself resisting change and when I am in the midst of it I am all out miserable. I think sometimes that resisting people mistake my actual feelings or belief. They see panic disguised at being grumpy. They see me being overwhelmed as unhappy. They see me falling off the face of the earth as not caring. None of these I actually am.

It is just my OCD. Though I consider myself in the best phase of my OCD, meaning fully managed, OCD is no different than any other anxiety disorder. It ebbs and flows with the tides. It can be triggered by something as little as someone puking by me or me hearing, to the gigantic life changes that seem to happen from time to time.

When I am in a good phase I always feel so foolish and selfish for how wrapped up in the moment I get. Which is why the mantra “Live in the moment” strikes up my anxiety. Too often my OCD forces me to live in the moment to be real with the situation. In the last three months that is all I have done. I survived moment to moment. No different than any other mom transitioning to a new high demanding job.

I just never want it to be mistook for unhappiness, ungratefulness or anger. I am all of those things yes. But I am that at my OCD. Not my new job, not my changing life or not the people around me. I never even realize how bad it was until I am passed it and I hear those comments.

It is funny because I have been hearing it so much lately how happy I am or how I seem ummmm well tipsy. And I get it. Those things tell me just how anxiety ridden I was. Even my students told me yesterday that in the last few weeks they have watched me let my guard down. Have fun and just do my thing.

Anxiety is a bitch. And I have chosen to deal with my anxiety without meds. Sure I know those few months might have been a bit easier if I gave into the pharmaceutical America. But whenever I have been on meds there are sacrifices I made that I am just not willing to make. And more importantly, I suspect I have lived with undiagnosed OCD for many years, but I have seen been diagnosed and treated. A successful treatment that tells me there is always an end. Eventually Mommy Rhetoric wins.

I don’t discount that meds work for me. They do. I just have to weigh their need in my life. Right now, a job change I just think not so much. I survived. And you know why? Cause I have an awesome support system. I have an awesome guy who never wavered in our decision for me to take this job and reach my goal and my dream. I have an amazing group of friends who constantly supported me an uplifted me as I may have been biting off their faces, I have the most beautiful and caring daughters who show me every day why I do this and why I get to the other side. And all of my new friends….it just does not get better. I know this.

That doesn’t mean I don’t slide back from time to time. But I know that with those slides often come huge slides forward and at the end of the OCD anxiety ridden time there is sunshine and light. Because there always is. I have survived some pretty crappy things that my OCD made just that much worse. But in the end, my life, my family, and my friends are in tact.

It feels a little weird to end this here, but that is where it ends. I know there will be more tomorrows with OCD, but I also know….I will survive.

MommyJargon’s Bacon War

I have always been a coupon cutter, but I have never been one that was able to get a cart of groceries for $10.  I look at couponing websites and blogs.  I try to learn the “secrets” of saving big, but it just never happens.   Despite trying to save some money on groceries, I am now spending more than ever.  I cringe every time I think of how much groceries cost our family of 5.

I should mention that these 5 family members are big eaters.  Yes, MommyJargon too.    For example, last night for supper I made grilled chicken, 5 pieces that were flattened to the size of my entire hand.  One entire box of large shell pasta with a herb butter sauce.  And peas.  Not only was everything wiped out, but I had a hard time saving a plate of food for Hubby.  Middle could have eaten another chicken at least and Oldest could not stop eating the pasta.  Only Youngest did not have seconds, but that was probably because he had a plate of chicken nuggets for a “snack” when the other two came home from school.  Tonight’s menu is roast, mashed potatoes and California blend veggies.  I already know that it will be devoured with a vengeance.

Not only do we have big appetites, we are fans of certain foods.  Certain foods that we like to eat every day.   Of course none of these special foods ever seem to have coupons!  For example, our beloved Biscoff spread that 4 out of 5 of our family members LOVE.  My Youngest sometimes eats two sandwiches a day of this stuff!  Middle packs his lunch every day for school.  His top picks for his lunch box probably add up to almost $5 day.  Sadly, for him, I won’t let him pack his top picks every day.   Hubby not only packs his lunch,  but also his breakfast.  The only family member that I do not feed one meal a day is Oldest, she eats at school.  Which of course we still have to buy.

No one, besides me, seems to enjoy cheaper foods like oatmeal and PB &J’s.  Nope, the kiddos eat frozen waffles with strawberry Philly or Nutella every morning.  Hubbly likes fancy salads with bacon bits, walnuts, dried cherries, sunflower seeds, etc. every lunch.  Fancy apples , like the priciest Honeycrisp, for a snack.

I do love serving up what the family likes and eats.  (We rarely have leftovers!)  I just wish I could come home from the grocery and not feel like we just ate my husband’s paycheck and are going to flush it down the toilet tomorrow.

If this is happiness…

I want more. I finally feel settled. My work now a “safe” place. Those of you that know me and my bouts with OCD know that for a place/person to be deemed “safe” is no small feat. It is a label that can be easily removed and added again. When I walk into work I feel like I belong.

The kids, most of whom I have labeled “safe” are good kids. I love seeing their smiles and I am getting to where I know their personalities and can dish out what they give me in the fun sort of teacher way. We do our business, but we have fun doing it. They are getting used to how I teach and Good Lord I am still getting used to the age difference!

My girls are doing so well. And my intention was to take updated shots of them for the fall and post how each of them are doing. So for the weekend my two goals 1) pictures of them and 2) a post catching everyone up. I got the pictures and then the battery died. Battery charger at school so you get the post and with the pictures later.

#1 is doing really well. Minus her impending teenage hood that will be a miracle if we all survive. The constant attitude toward mom and dad is certainly an adjustment but the little changing body is probably indicative of why. You know how I know she is changing? Cause my 14 year old students check her out. There are times I look at her and I am shocked by just how much she has changed.

#2 is doing surprisingly well. She continues to be the one that always surprises me. I expect one thing from her and inevitably she does another. She handled my being gone a lot more so well and has really handled herself with great dignity. We did clean and move her room last weekend and I noticed some things that alarmed me. I am a little worried about some of her recent worries. But I know she needs counseling. We switched her closer to home and went to have our first appointment and we were not impressed with new place so we decided to switch her to other place in town. And well kind of stopped there cause lives got crazy. I need to add that to my to do list.

#3 is so funny. She can spell her name, read some letters. Her favorite thing to do is play on my IPAD and she is convinced that Santa will be leaving her one of those under the tree. She is IN LOVE with her Mickey critter and always takes him every single place with her proclaiming the whole time….”HE IS REAL.” The cutest thing ever is when she talks to him when no one is around. The other day she told him, “Mickey, you da best friend ever.”

My guy is good. Winding down in his football season. He is now gonna be home much more. He is doing so good at picking up the slack since I am not home as much. He is hankering to go to Vegas and if I could swing surprising him with a trip I would. I just don’t know how to put all the pieces together. I am hoping to do something like that soon. We shall see.

I have officially made it through my first 9 weeks. I am ready to tackle the next 9. I realized (no) learned a lot about what I did wrong. I had that talk with my students that I made mistakes and I am fixing them. So get ready. I got smarter about some things and more laxed about others. Most of it all is just adjusting.

But life is good. In fact, life doesn’t get much better!

Nothing better than a hot tub with Norton.

This weekend has been utterly spent doing everything graduate student oriented. I have been in school eight weeks now.  How the hell did that happen? And two of those eight I have been running behind schedule. Sure I read to stay up, but as far as spitting out what I am learning and figuring out is a whole different story. The sacrifice had to be made that school gave a little to make way for my job, my family and my life. I really operated under the assumption that I sucked at life and work and school because I could not successfully juggle all three. But instead what happened is I read just enough, participated just enough but never truly engaged. That is not the school me. That isn’t what I like to represent and I looked in the mirror and I hated what I saw.

So I worked my ass off this weekend and I apologize for the potty mouth but I did. I worked hard to make up for what I did. I actively engaged both in my heart and mind with my scholarship as I am meant too. I had been phoning it in I think. Now I am not only thoroughly and utterly engaged I am ahead of the game. I have read quite a few weeks ahead. I have written down my thoughts and feelings instead of letting what came at the spur of the moment move me.

And the weird thing I realized is that Norton, my Norton reader, is a constant. I sat in the tub that last two nights reading about composition theory and I wondered why I was so interested in what I reading because really it is theory and I hate theory. But during tonight’s bath tub I realized what it was. It is the one thing I know and I am sure of. The theories by which I employ in the classroom, in my life and in my demeanor are the very things I am studying. They are all so familiar and I know where I stand with each and every one of them. I don’t have to make up some bullshit answer why I agree or disagree and I never had too.

It really just serves as a reminder that I am doing what I am meant to be doing. That I am nearing the end of my masters degree and that I was looking for a constant in a world that feels very fluid. Norton does that all for me. In a way, that people or places cannot. And while it sounds utterly romantic it isn’t. It is a book. It has bible like pages. But those thin pages that curl up from the steam of the tub. They make total and utter sense. Their words they are me to my very core.

I am the composition teacher that works within and outside of the confines of the theories. They are what I turn to when I wonder, “Am I doing this right?” or “Can I do this better?” I either become reaffirmed or recognize a change in who I am.

So tonight, I am so grateful to my old friend Norton and to the theories this precious books provides. You can take a bath with me anytime!