Back to me

A wise but VERY OLD man once told me that I need to keep doing the things I love because that is what’s going to keep me sane.

Well my Dad was absolutely right!

And I am making a point to do things that I loved to do before my world imploded. A few years ago, I fought depression and anxiety. It hit me hard and out of the blue. It took a lot to pull myself out of it. But I did it without drugs or therapy. I worked on the internal me.

Well this year has been nothing but a bunch of bumps in the road. And I have moments where I can feel the anxiety and depression starting to creep back in. This time instead of hiding it from my family, I am very vocal in saying I am having a bad day. It also feels good to have a great support system in the chaos called my life. My family, all of them, have been amazing!

But now it’s time for me to get back to being me.

First things first. Clearing my calendar. You should see all the things written on it. Doctors appointments, homeschool activities, Brianna’s school activities…etc. I have to slow down. I have been on the go constantly for 4 months now. And I feel it hitting me.

So October we are starting to slow down.

I need to be home in order to have a homestead. My garden has suffered. My chickens have suffered. My wallet and health has suffered.

I enjoy doing things with my kids. But I am also an introvert, which means I honestly enjoy a relaxing day at home more.

The last few weeks I have made the effort to do something for me. I have cooked more. I cleaned out my chicken coop and started going back to the old way of taking care of them, instead of my lazy way. And I even read a book!

The difference I feel is incredible and I am going to keep on this path of getting back to me.

Lets be real here…..

I am just going to come out and say it….reading other blogs whether it be about parenting, homeschooling or homesteading, makes me feel like a lazy shit hole person.

BOOM! There it is!! That is the God’s honest truth.

I see everyone happy, living life and raising a happy, healthy family.  And I am over here like where’s the blog post about your out of control teenagers or about the stress of being a special needs parent???

Lets be real….no one’s life is perfect. But when you are having a hard time with your life and all you read is sunshine and unicorns riding over rainbows, it just makes it that much more worse.

I follow TONS of blogs on Facebook, Pinterest and through email. Not one post about how they locked themselves in the bathroom and cried while drinking some pina colada!!!

They are making these beautiful dishes of food, with their perfect kids who are all absolutely perfect, living in their perfect house with their perfect husband.

BLAH!!!! Bologna!!!!

Even the special needs blogs never post about the bad days!

WHY NOT??? Maybe you make someone feel like they are not alone. And that your life is not the only one in chaos. Maybe you can be encouragement or even find encouragement in others to continue on. Keep going on your journey. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

So Lets be real here…..

Raising a family is hard……

Raising a special needs child is hard as hell….

Raising 3 teenage girls is even harder……

Raising 2 children who are not biologically yours is hard…..

Keep yourself sane is the biggest challenge……

While trying not to kill your significant other because he’s the only one who gets it and would understand when you lash out at him…..

Starting a homestead is hard……

Homeschooling is a wonderful and hard at the same time………

I do all of these things. And the last 2 months of my life….no the last 6 months of my life have tried my patience and my love for my family and my husband.

I am not going to lie. I wanted to run and never look back. I still have days like those.

I have days where the thought of waking up and getting out of bed terrifies me for fear of what the day and my special needs child will bring.

When someone in your family has a mental illness it affects EVERYONE!!! Life is hell right now.

I have been special needs shamed…..I have heard everything from I am the reason she is like this to not doing enough to wanting to ship her off and forget about her.

Listen here…. Never in my life have I ever fought for anything more than the children in my life regardless of if they came from my body or not.

But it takes a person..a mother with a huge heart and strong will to say I am not what my child needs right now!!!

Here’s the truth on my life….

My oldest daughter needed a change of scenery. She needed a reality check that she was not going to get from us. She is 18 and made the decision to move across the country.

This in turn has sent my youngest daughter, my special needs child, into some kind of breakdown. We can’t control her, she is a danger to herself and has lost all touch of reality. I cry daily, I fight daily and I feel defeated daily. We have 1 doctor and 2 therapist and I am getting no where. This is not only affecting us but our neighbors because she is dragging them into it by running over there every time she gets mad.

I can barely eat or sleep. I am having anxiety and every morning I start shaking when I know she awake because I know it’s coming. My son is scared every time she throws her tantrums. His little heart starts racing and he begins to cry. My husband is having aches and pains that get worse the more she argues and fights.

I need help. We need help. We keep asking for help. But keep getting no where.

Where are the blog post that show you just how hard it is to raise teenagers, special needs, step children or even keep a happy marriage?

If you can’t be real on your blog, where can you be real at?

I didn’t write this for sympathy or to get people upset. I just needed to be real and vent.

So if you made it to the end, thanks for listening.

Life on the funny farm

It has been anything but funny around here. More like chaotic, overwhelming, stressful and a nightmare.

It all started with homestead problems. Our well started pumping sand. So that was a month before we could get our new one dug and an unexpected expense. Then we had one chicken problem after another, from incubators not holding temperature to sick chicks from a feed store. UGH you name it; it happened. There was a lot of lost on the homestead.

Then started the personal problems.

My oldest daughter moved across the country. It was for the best. She needed a reality check and she wasn’t getting it with Mom and Dad. So she moved in with my brother-in-law and his family. But it wasn’t the easiest thing to do.

Hubby’s business just died! Nothing for almost 2 months.

Then my granddaddy suddenly passed away. It was a long 2 days of being at the hospital. He went from walking, talking and living on his own to relying on a ventilator in a matter of 12 hours.

At the same time, we were in the middle of a huge homestead fence project. Thankfully, my hubby wasn’t working and he was able to be there for the kids and work on the project while I took care of what I had to do.

Then my special needs daughter start having a rough time. I guess it’s all too much for her. Too much change; too fast. So we found an autistic school that she will be attending next school year. That will give me a break and her something to do.

Next was my son’s unexpected surgery. He came through like a champ. But Momma was a wreck.

Now we are nearing the end of our fence project. My son is healing nicely. Hubby’s phone is ringing. And Brianna is getting ready for school.

So there’s an abbreviation of the past 3-4 months of my life.

It was anything but funny!

 

Best January ever

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I feel like I have accomplished so much in these first 3 weeks of January.

I turned 34! My birthday was quiet and uneventful. So YAY! to a drama free birthday.

I have stood up for myself and told 2 important people in my life that they will not disrespect me or walk all over me or my family anymore.

We started back to homeschooling and I feel like we are doing pretty good. Some days are better than others, but yesterday was the best yet. I felt like just in that one simple activity so much was learned. We talked and discuss while they used their hands to create something so wonderful. It was definitely a proud mommy moment.

My youngest daughter has been working with a wonderful therapist for the last month. Up until now she has resisted any kind of therapy, but she has really connected with this therapist and I truly see a difference. Then this week, the therapist got us in for an appointment with their psychiatrist. And let me just say, WOW! Where has he been my whole life!!! When our therapist asked how it went. I told her she was a life saver. He just knew what he was talking about and none of this well it could be A or B or Z. He nailed it and talked to my daughter not just about her. Wonderful man!!! I am beyond thrilled because it has been a long 10 years of trying to find a diagnosis.

As I am writing this, I am sitting here looking at my 4 brooders. That’s right~count them FOUR brooders. First one has my baby chicks that hatched on January 2. Second one has a week and a half old Pekin duck with a couple of chicks flying in and out. One chick has really taken a liking to my lonely duck and is very protective if any of chicks come in. The third is full of Cayuga Ducklings about 4 days old~19 of them to be exact. And last but not least~ more Pekin ducklings. These are 4 days old. I have 19 of them also. Most of these will be sold with the exception of the chicks and 4 ducklings. I sold 15 ducklings at the beginning of the week. So my new little business adventure is very productive. Keeps me busy that is for sure.

Growing a Large family

I am also setting up the incubator so I can set 24 eggs for a Valentines day hatching. Or as I like to call it The walking dead hatching. We aren’t big Valentine’s Day people. It’s just too close to Christmas and my birthday. I will probably just cook a nice steak dinner, so why not also hatch some babies!

I also have a couple of pre-orders on some female chicks that I am keeping. Just trying to add some interesting chickens to the flock. My first order comes the end of February and my last order won’t be here until first week of June. Who knows what other kind of trouble I can get into between now and then.

Growing a large family

This post is partying over at the Our Simply Homestead Blog Hop

Hard

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Recently someone said to me, “You just don’t get it, life is hard.”

 

This someone was a family member who I was extremely close to until this last year when he just disappeared.

Apparently life got “too hard” to pick up the phone.

But please don’t assume because someone looks like they are living the perfect life that they don’t understand how hard life can be.

Hard is not knowing when your next job is going to come. Hubby hasn’t worked since November 30. Today, January 13, is his first job in 5 weeks.

Hard is marking off those calendar days and still not hearing the phone ring.

We had 2 months of our mortgage to pay, kids to feed and a homestead to run before even a phone call for a job quote came in.

We don’t live with our significant others family and work at a restaurant the gives us free food.

Hard is knowing we have 4 kids to feed and hoping we can make it through.

I had to scrape together meals the best I can with what I had to work with. My kids never starved, but they also knew we couldn’t grocery shop like usual. And that leftovers had to be eaten. We just didn’t have a choice.

Hard is losing a pet.

Realizing that they will never be there at your feet anymore.

Hard is starting your day at 4:30 in the morning and ending it at 9 at night. And knowing tomorrow you have to do it all over again.

Hard is realizing your another year older and the ones you love and trust aren’t going to be around forever. Hard is knowing tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and one day you will have to say good-bye.

Hard was my Hubby being in the hospital for 24 hours while I am unable to be there. I had no one offer to watch the kids unless it was an absolute emergency.

Getting up, going to work and coming home~ is not hard.

 

Life is hard, once you have lived it.

Life is also hard when lived alone.

 

 

 

2016 Homeschool update and goals

Our new school year begins. I have a 1st grader, 8th grader and a 10th grader now.

This is also the first year that I am not doing all the lessons in all subjects with all of my kids. I realized it wasn’t realistic of me or fair to them. My 10th grader is doing most of the schooling on her own. And only joining us for US History & Geography and Creative Culinary. The rest is through online resources.

My 1st grader is between grades. He is too old for Kindergarten work and not quite ready for 1st grade completely. So we are making it up as we go with him. But I am glad I waited to start formal schooling because now he is so excited to begin. That’s what I want. No one is happy if he is resisting and I am tearing my hair trying to get him to focus.

My 8th grader is the tricky one. She is physically of high school age, technically in 8th grade, but mentally between a 3rd-5th grade level, some days. Towards the end of last year, I notice she wasn’t getting what her sister was doing and was losing interest. She was starting to join more of my son’s activities. Even storytime, she would find some spot to sit so she could hear the story. As frustrating and disappointing as this is, I have resigned myself to it. I want her to grow, learn and be able to function on her own. And it may or may not happen. But for now, this is our reality. Our daughter is stuck as a 9-10 year old. So why would I stress myself and her out to learn things she obviously can’t comprehend.

So my goals for this year…

Have my 10th grader continue to earn credits towards her high school diploma and get a part-time job.

Have my middle daughter continue therapy and continue to work on basic concepts while incorporating them into real life situations. Give her plenty of social situations with children her own age. We have also considered an autism school, but have yet to really make a decision on that.

Have my youngest learn some life skills like tying his shoes and learning his phone number and physical address. Begin reading and build on the skills he has already learned.

Another goal is to simplify our homeschool schedule. From August until November, I had such a full calendar. There was field trips, art & park days, homeschool meeting days and book clubs. I am an introvert so this kind of schedule was too much for me. I know the kids had fun, but it was hard to get in the homeschooling with all the activities. So I am limiting them to a certain amount every month.

Plus all the activities were starting to cost more than I would like to spend every month. With our new budget, we won’t have the funds like we did before.

I am going to pick the activities that go with what we are learning at the time.

I think all of this will help us stay on track and have a great homeschool year.

Peak into our homeschool life

Like I had said in an earlier post, we didn’t start a new school year in August. We are still finishing up Kindergarten, 7th and 9th grade. Our new school year begins in January, after our holiday break.

But I wanted to give you a peak into some of the things we have been doing.

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Scavenger Hunt at the park

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Beginning spelling and yes he is shirtless 99% of the time

Growing a large family

This is after he beat me at Go Fish for the millionth time

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Pumpkin fun

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More Park Fun

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She free-handed her pumpkin drawing then carved it.

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My lil farmer boy

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Homeschool Day at the Florida Aquarium

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Turtle Learning at the Florida Aquarium

We have had a lot of park days lately. We also have had quite a few field trips.

This post is partying over at:

Simple Homestead Blog Hop

New school year

Usually this would be where I tell you all about the beginning of our new school year. Except I’m not because we didn’t. That’s right. I think its dumb to try to teach kids how a calendar year works when school begins towards the end of it. Plus we had a very slow start last year that I decided our year is running from January to November. So basically we are finishing up with the last of our months of school before everyone moves on to new grades. During the summer we took a slower approach but there was still learning and progress being made.

Dakota is finishing up Kindergarten. He has finally gotten excited about learning and doing school so that has made things more exciting and fun for me. And the best part is the little booger knows more than I gave him credit for. He is breezing through letter and sounds. Writing is coming easier for him. And Math and Science are his favorite right now. He has even started learning to add on his own, count by 100’s and read numbers in the thousands. All this has happened naturally and I love it!

Brianna has been a little bit more difficult only because we have noticed everything has been sliding backwards with her. We were always told that no one could predict what her limit was and I think we have max it out. So for the most part I try to incorporate a lot of art, science experiments and letting her join in where ever she feels like. But she still has a workbook to work out of and I try to give her computer time or tablet time at least once a day.

Cailin is done with English 9 and has moved on to English 10. She is finishing up pre-Algebra which has been a struggle for her. We are also almost done with Biology. American History has been a struggle for me to begin because I hate History but I know it needs to be done so I am starting that. She is also beginning Creative Photography and American Sign Language. OH and over the summer she completed the written part of Drivers ed. Now she needs her permit and her Daddy to start with the actual driving part.

I am very happy with the progress we are making. Sometimes I feel like we are not learning anything and then I write it all down and feel good about our progress. Plus we did testing and everything was confirmed.

The day the system let us down.

New year 2015

One reason I have been MIA this summer is because of my special needs daughter. I don’t know if it is her hormones changing or just the medicine becoming ineffective because of her being on it for so long, but it has been a summer from hell. She has becoming increasingly agitated and defiant. Usually I can reach her with some humor and talking to her. But even that is not working.

Our breaking point came one Sunday. It all started by me asking her to do her chores and from there the whole day went to hell in a hand basket. By about 1-2pm in the afternoon, we were calling the cops out because she ran away after getting violent with me. Now here is where the system failed.

The cop came out and talked her down. But said he would rather us take her to the mental health center because it frees him up for other emergencies. I honestly understand this, but it kinda just let everything else balloon out of control.

We went through all this question and answer sessions and when it was time to talk to administration the lady said nope doesn’t qualify. Okay but when I then tried to explain that she had kicked me twice and body slammed me, I was made to feel like it was my own fault. Now let give a little back story. Two weeks earlier she ran away and the cops came out, they said I should try to restrain and bring her back to the house next time before calling them out. Now this is what I did. I restrained her from running out of the house knowing she was going to run away. When I approached her, she connected twice in my chest and when I did get a hold of her from behind, she threw her weight and me backwards twice. And this lady called it defending herself.

WAIT! IT GETS BETTER!
So I bring up her running away. Oh no, it’s not running away because she went to a neighbor’s house every time. Nevermind if it was a neighbor we knew or not. Nevermind that she probably would not have come home on her own. Nevermind that these neighbors were scared and uncomfortable. She had a destination in mind and because she went there, it is not running away.

She then asked my daughter about therapy. She refused to go. She then asked if she would like to get help at home or away from the family. My daughter says away. She says she is not going to change being at home and refuses to get help unless she is taken somewhere. So this lady recommends a residential place and says SO & SO will be in to help with paperwork.

SO&SO comes in and says no that place won’t take her because she has never been Baker Acted. Well what do you think we are trying to do!!!! Even says she doesn’t qualify for in home therapy just a case manager.

At this point, I am feeling defeated and worn out. When we walked out of the facility after accomplishing nothing, my daughter got mad because she had to go home. I cried the whole way home. I really thought today was the day she gets the help she needs.

Her psychiatrist is good for nothing. He doesn’t know her from Joe down the road. Every time we go in it’s like he is seeing us for the first time. I have to repeat everything. He has also given up hope. He told us this is it. This is your life.

She is on the spectrum, but she is high functioning. She just has a mental age of 10 or under. She has signs of Oppositional Defiant Disorder. She doesn’t understand appropriate relationships. When she has a friend, she becomes completely obsessed with them and it consumes her life.

So let me recap, had the cop taken my daughter instead of us, she would have been admitted. Even for a couple of hours, it would have been on her record and maybe opened up more resources. But instead, that day taught my daughter that everything I have said to her is a lie.

I tell her you can’t go around hitting people that’s called assault and you go to jail for that. Nope! Wrong! She learned that day that she can hit, kick and slam her Mom down and nothing will happen.

I tell her not to runaway because bad things can happen. Nope! Wrong Again! Because she learned as long as she is going to a certain destination it is not considered running away.

I tell her to listen to her parents. Why? No one else does!

So thank you system! You may think my daughter is a lost cause and that she doesn’t understand what you taught her that day. But I guarantee you she remembers. And it will make my life and hers even more difficult! And next time might not be just a little hitting or kicking. It might be worse. But you just don’t get it. You don’t have any special needs children yourself. You just have a medical degree that says you know it all. But you don’t! And until you live our lives on a daily basis, you will never get it.

You failed my family that day. And who knows how many others you have fail. But the fact of the matter is, I am trying to prevent another theater shooting or another Sandy Hook. I think it’s time that you wake up and take parents seriously. Never question a parents intuition!

This all happened 2 weeks ago. And so far things have been smooth sailing. But my daughter is almost 16. She has goals and dreams. And right now those are not a possibility. We have finally found an autism therapy school and are in the process of trying to get her in there. I want to feel hopeful, but also have been so disappointed in the past that I don’t want to get my hopes up.

 

One gigantic post!

It’s been so long since I posted on the blog that I honestly don’t know where to begin. So many changes have happened. It has truly been a busy time around here. I guess starting with why I was MIA would be good. Well it was tax season and as my hubby’s go to tax preparer, I had to deal with his crazy bookkeeping skills and that usually takes me a while. Now that the weight has been lifted off my shoulders, I can get back to my life.

Also we have been doing A LOT of projects around the homestead.

We fixed a lot of the mangled fencing that was around our property and expanded our driveway so Hubby could get his deliveries easier. Then with the old fencing we made a huge chicken run where my babies could free range but still be safe from my dogs. So every morning I go out and let the Bozos out to have their fun with the bugs and leaves. And when they free range all the time, they are also allowed to play in the rain. And even though I read chickens hate water. Mine sure do love standing in the rain.

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We also redid the liner in the our pool. Well not me, but the kids and hubby. I’ll explain where I was in a little while.

Have I ever mentioned how wonderful it is to have DIY hubby?!? He saves us so much money. And the things he figures out how to do on his own or by watching a YouTube video still blows my mind. Everyone should find themselves DIYer!

He got the pool drained, liner switch with a better build up on the bottom of the pool and refilled in 3 days. And that was with a nasty storm coming through! But one thing I truly love is the redneck inside of him. He truly comes up with some crazy inventions to make the job easier or quicker. See I thought using his pickup to level gravel was crazy. Then there was the time I drove his box truck around the yard to every tree while he rode on top and would cut the branches. But this one I think is the best. Prepare yourselves!

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Yup that’s right! A redneck water hose. What will he think of next? I am a little afraid!

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And of course Dakota had to test the pool as it was filling up. That will be the last time he touches the floor for a few years.

While the kids and Dad were having fun in the sun (it was extremely hot that weekend), I was inside in the daycare/maternity center/ICU.

Daycare because I had some babies to tend to. My first 2 hatchings were growing. I got 4 out of 6 the first time. But then the 2nd round only 3 out of 10 hatched. So I put them together to bond.

DSC_0663The first 4. I ended up with 2 boys and 2 girls (I hope) from this bunch.

DSC_0677Here is the first 4 starting to get their big feathers with the oldest from the second batch snuggling between.

Now my second batch had a little surprise in it. One we knew might be possible, but secretly I hoped it wouldn’t.

DSC_0681A turken! Not this is not what you get when a turkey and chicken mate. This is an actual breed of chicken also known as the Naked Neck Chicken. My kids fell in love. I went to give these to my neighbor, much to my kids disappointment. But she said keep them. So you could imagine the excitement when I walked back in with all 3 chickens.

DSC_0750 DSC_0749Here is him from about a week or so ago. Not much better, but my son has claimed him, so he is a keeper.

This group of babies are out in the coop in the getting to know each other stage. At night they go into a dog cage and then I place them in the coop. During the day they either play in the run of the coop or go outside to their play area.

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But before they left the daycare, there was much commotion in the nursery.

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We had a successful hatch! 18 out of 22 eggs hatched, but we lost 4. So we ended up with 14 chicks! Let me just say, we knew exactly when the first one was hatched because my older ones were in the living room going crazy. The family and I were eating dinner and the noise level went up 10 decibel. My older ones were squawking and lunging at the side of their brooder trying to get out. It was crazy!  These little ones I sold. But I did keep one little special one. Because I needed a friend for my ICU patient.

This little guy or gal deserves a post all of it’s own, so look for that soon. But I wanted to briefly tell you about our duck eggs that were in the incubator. So the first 9 weren’t fertile. Then I ordered 6 off of Ebay. They were doing great. And then hatch day came. I had 2 pip. After 12+ hours of waiting after they pipped, nothing was happening. So on Easter morning, hubby and I went in there and C-sectioned it out. One was still alive, but the other one had died before I got to it. Needless to say, none of us thought this tiny duck would make it. Most websites said it won’t and then it had a lot of problems so I told everyone who wanted to see the little duckling that day that I wasn’t getting my hopes up. Let’s just say he or she has been officially named Lucky. Look for a post on Lucky’s story with pictures and an update in a few days.

Then this past weekend, I hatched 8 out of 12 eggs. These are purebred chicks. I have 4 Olive eggers, 2 bantam duckwings, and 2 mixed sexlink. It is kinda nice not having to play guess that breed for a change.

Also in the process of all this, we had acquired 4 rabbits from a friend of a family member.

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These were not the friendliest bunnies. Only the white was easily handled. But he was an escape artist. They came with cages that were falling a part. So I had to put more money in then I thought I would have too. But in the end, the kids decided to give them sell them to people who knew how to handle rabbits. Eventually we will get some bunnies to raise, but I’m not in a rush. Plus the kids have gotten very specific on what breed they want.

We also took in a couple of ducks from a vet office. Apparently, they get ducklings a lot. But this time they got a full grown duck and a juvenile duck. My contact brought them out and within a few hours I had found them some wonderful homes.

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So as you can see, we have been very busy around here. And don’t expect us to slow down. I have 12 more duck eggs in the incubator. And 24 eggs on the way as I type. They should be here in a day or so. 12 are silkies and 12 are barnyard mix. Plus we are in the process of buying a shed. Hubby is really swamped with work or else we would build it. But there is no time and not sure when there will be. My youngest daughter has started digging up the grass in our new garden area. I am planning for a fall crop. But am hoping to plant some sunflowers soon. Plus I promised her a butterfly garden. But don’t worry all plants will be chicken safe and fenced in so none of my babies can get to it. My neighbor wants me to hatch some turkeys. So I might look into that in the future. We almost had a pig, but the trade deal fell through. Don’t be surprise when a couple of those pop up on here.

So just to recap. I have:

6 big kid chickens, 7 teenage chicks, 9 baby chicks in the house, 1 duckling, 12 duck eggs in the incubator and 24 more eggs on the way. So officially I am up to 22 poultry on my little farm.

And by the way. I have officially named our little homestead. Triple F Farm!

I was going to go with Feather Tail Land. Since I love Disney. But the I realized I have some of the craziest chickens around. And with the kids and the hubby, I always feel like I am losing my sanity. So Ford Funny Farm it is, or Triple F Farm for a more professional sound.

 

This post is being shared on Simple Life Mom.