Thursday, April 29

Surprising Blog Statistic

So I've been using a visitor counter as long as I've had my blog. I've change providers a few times and just last night switched again.

Tonight, I went to check the new information. I was surprised to see that out of 35 visits so far today, nine of them were direct links to the blog entry back in January about Maxwell coloring Missy-dog blue with permanent marker.

I had no idea that story was still floating around out there, but just today I had two hits from Japan and one from Australia on that page. So funny!

Enjoy the story if you haven't read it before. Or read it again if you need another laugh!! I'm glad Maxwell's sense of adventure is still bringing laughs to many people.

Birthday Celebrations

Well, last week, he did it. Against my wishes, my lil' man turned seven.

He had a special day! His Grandma and Papa Gene and the four of us all when out to lunch at Red Robin. Then, Matt had to go to work, but my brother, Damon, and his girlfriend, Amy, came into town. We went to American Pie for dinner and had a great time. Although there were no gifts given last weekend, I know he had a wonderful time with his family.

Tomorrow, we leave right after school to head to Ohio. It's time to party it up Kobylak Style. We're having about 30 family and friends over to my inlaws home to celebrate the big day. I plan to (pray for me) make a large cake with the end scene to Super Mario Brothers on it. I pray it comes out well and I hope I don't stress...too much...over it.

I'll post pictures on Sunday or Monday! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 28

The Storm

I'm not sure if the emotional storm is hovering or passing, but I can see some light through it.

On top of being emotionally exhausted lately, I think I'm getting sick. I'm not sure if I'm getting sick because I'm stressed, or stressing because I'm sick. Maybe it's both.

Matt has been doing a lot to help break the storm up for me. He's been extra sweet and thoughtful. And today, he got a few hours off of work and came home to clean the house for me. It looks great! I love that man.

Sunday, April 25

In "It"

And I'm trying to find my out. I'm not finding it.

I feel like I'm in a 'scream and cry' state and I want to leave. I would like to have a long, hard cry, but I can't seem to find the release button. I constantly feel like it's just on the edge, but it won't come.

Some of the things I used to do, I've put off. Not because I don't want to do them, but because they seem 'too big'. I'm still getting my things done, but I'm not doing them as quickly or effectively as I used to. Payton's birthday party is next weekend and I have no plans made. Nothing. It's exhausting for me to think about it. A friend invited me out on Friday night. I would have loved to have gone and I needed the break, but I couldn't find the momentum or energy to get off my butt and go.

This isn't right, but I don't know what to do. I don't know. I just don't know...

Friday, April 23

Happy Birthday, Stinky

It's that time.  My "baby" boy turns seven years old tomorrow.

It's hard for me to think "seven".  It sounds "old" to old as seven can be.  But it's not little anymore.  I see it as a big kid age.  He's closer to 10 than I'd like to admit...and I'm not ready to go there.

In processing all this, here are some pictures of the littlest to the current Payton.

I love you, big guy.  You're my brainsource and my intellectual buddy.  I'm so proud of the courteous, polite and compassionate little man you are becoming.  Your brother loves you so very much and you are a spectacular role model for him.  You make our whole family so very proud of you.  We love you with all our hearts!

Wednesday, April 21


Max is full of funny things to say or do. But here is his newest one:

He was out riding his bike yesterday. He rode the limit of two houses in each direction. He stopped on the sidewalk and stared at his bike. I asked him, "What's wrong, Max?" He said "Come here!" I walked down to him and asked him again, "What's wrong?" He looked up at me exasperated and said, "It's out of FUEL!!!"

Seriously? What 3 year old says "fuel" instead of gas? After we filled his bike with "fuel" he continued his ride.

Only in Max's world...

Dad...and stuff

Earlier this week, my dad was sent the the hospital because of some breathing trouble. He's been in the hospital a few days now and he was thinking he would go home today. Instead, he's staying longer. If you're a praying person, please pray that he's home soon and that he can return to a somewhat normal life soon.

In other news, Payton turns seven this weekend. I'm excited for a new journey in his life. I'm not sure I'm ready to have a seven year old in my house, but there's not much I can do about it. His birthday party is next week on May 1st. Matt's brother, Jason, is coming up from Georgia and bring his girlfriend, Lindsey. It will be the first time we've met her. We'll do our best to appear normal. At least for awhile.

Matt has started the South Beach diet and he's lost 15 pounds! He's looking great and I can tell he feels a lot better too. I'm really proud of him. He's doing really well and looking really good too!

I'll update with more about Payton turning seven (including pictures) this weekend. Watch for it!!

Sunday, April 18

It Just Gets Me

We sing a lot of great songs at church. And a lot of them are "for me". You know. When you hear something and you know that God wanted you to hear it. It means something to you. It hits you where it a good way.

Even though we've sung this song many times at church, it got me today. "No weeping. No hurt or pain. No suffering. You hold me now. You hold me now. No darkness. No sick or lame. No hiding. You hold me now. You hold me now."

I needed to be held today. And I was.

Saturday, April 17

Single Mom - for too long

I'm stressing a bit.  I have all the emotions and thoughts about Max still going through my head.  And this week, Matt's been gone.  Why do crazy things always happen while he's gone?

One night, Maxwell was awake and sick.  He woke up several times in the night and let's just summarize by saying we changed all his bedding a few times.  The next night, it was Payton.  He couldn't sleep and woke up a few times and finally ended up in my bed.  Ugh.  Means I have to carry my 45 pound "baby" back to bed.

Then last night, the dog puked in the middle of the night.  Thankfully it was mostly on her bedding, but still.  I actually laid there contemplating if it was something I could leave until morning.  That lasted long enough for the smell to hit my nose.

Today, we had a birthday party, which was great, but it was overshadowed by two things.  One; a looming visit to the vet that I was sure was going to be chaos. It wasn't.  Everyone (even the dog) behaved very well.

The second thing was a call from my mom telling me that my grandmother's sister (my great aunt) Ruby had passed away that morning.  It's no surprise really.  I know she hasn't been well at all lately, but it still sad to see this generation of our family coming to a close.  There is just one sibling, a sister, left from that family. 

All of this craziness has been dealt with without Matt by my side.  I used to be fine with that.  I used to be ok "flying solo".  I used to look forward to his time away as my time with just the boys.  But any more than 2-3 days and I'm anxiously awaiting his return.

Thankfully, he comes home tomorrow.  I miss you, babe.

Wednesday, April 14

Evening Out

I'll be the first to admit my feelings in my last post were flying high. I appreciate all the love and support from all my friends online and in person. Thank you so much. I've received a lot of hugs the last few days. And I really appreciate it all.

I am not taking my decision - whatever that ends up to be - lightly. I love my job. I love my co-workers. I love "my kids". I don't want to miss any of that. But I'm wondering how I can make all this work.

And I know that not all kids are the same. But I think there is a difference between personality and defiance and disrespect. Maxwell's personality is to be argumentative, but it's not ok to be disrespectful in the way he does it.

I'll figure it all out sooner or later. Thank you, again, for your support with all this lately.

Monday, April 12

Failure as a mother

Now before this goes the wrong way, I *know* I'm not a bad mom. I'm a great mom. I do amazing things and I have amazing children.

THAT SAID, I feel like a failure to Maxwell. Payton had my best for 5 years. I gave him everything I had and he grew in leaps and bounds because of it.

Now, Maxwell is approaching the stage where I really got into the learning process with Payton and I don't have the energy or time to get it done with Maxwell. Max is not behind. In fact, he's far beyond what most three year olds know. He knows all his upper and lower case letters. He can write his name. He can tell you the sound every letter makes. He can count to 10 without issue and sometimes make it to 16 without trouble. He's not behind. He's not dumb. He's not in trouble intellectually.

But, last night, I melted down. Beyond a meltdown really. I cried for hours. I don't think I've ever done that. I feel that my working has done some harm to Max. Not major harm or something he can't recover from, but instead something that has altered his personality a bit. He seems to be in "survival of the fittest" mode. He throws things when he gets overwhelmed and he whines -- A LOT. He demands things without asking. And his responses at times are angry and meant to be intimidating.

It's NOT how a child of mine will act. It's not ok to speak that way to anyone. And I see kids all day long who have parents that didn't take the time to sit down and say "NO! You can't talk that way." I don't want my kid to be that way to someone else, especially if he can't talk that way to me.

And I can't allow for this behavior to go on. I don't want to look back in 10 years and say "We shoulda', we coulda', if we woulda'...". I don't want to look back and say, "I didn't do enough." And I feel I'm at that point. I'm at the point where I have to make a major decision that may change our lives; for better or for worse.

My children are my priority. Especially Maxwell. He needs me. He needs the best of me. "My kids" at school get the best of me for 8 hours everyday. Max gets what's left over from 4pm-7pm each day with homework, dinner and bath time squeezed in there.

I have to make a decision for Max. Max deserves the best. And I'm not giving it to him. I am failing him.

Toledo Imagination Station

Over Spring Break, Matt and I decided to take the boys to the Toledo Imagination Station.  It used to be COSI.  We were just hoping it was as good as COSI used to be.

We arrived around 12:30pm.  The place was busy, especially since it was spring break, but it wasn't crazy.  A LOT of the same stuff was there as used to be when COSI owned it.  There were some specialty exhibits that the kids liked and we enjoyed a lot of the activities.  The boys favorite was the water area.  They have a big kids area and a little kids (preschool) play area.  They both played in the preschool one and it was just right for them. 

While watching them play, I really noticed (again) their difference in personalities.  Maxwell wants to be aggressive and is very "into" his play.  Notice his angry eyes while he's driving the firetruck below.  Everything he does is with gusto and full emotion. 

Payton, on the other hand, was very nurturing and caring in his play.  He spent a lot of time looking at x-rays, getting the babies dressed and pretending to be a doctor.  The rest of his time was spent trying to figure out how things work.

We did eat there.  Matt and I had salads, Vitamin Waters, and the kids each had a kids meal (chicken nuggets were WAY better than the burger).  Total cost was $25ish.  Not crazy, but a little pricey.

We bought a membership which will get us into a LOT of nationwide science centers.  I'm excited to start using the membership especially since Maxwell can play more now. 

Wednesday, April 7

I've been given the boot

Monday, while doing some yard work, I dropped the glass & metal top of our bistro table onto my bare foot.

Yesterday, the pain was getting worse. Today, it hurts even more. I was about in tears driving home from a friend's house today.

After extras, my new podiatrist decided I have a *slight* stress fracture. He gave me a highly-fashionable and oh so comfortable LARGE plastic boot to wear. He'd like me to wear it three weeks, but said that really, when the bruising and pain went away, I could probably stop wearing it. He's not really worried about the walking on it or stress on it, but more that someone (say, Maxwell, maybe) would step on it and slow the healing (and cause pain).

I'm not looking forward to wearing it all weekend...or returning to school with it on Monday. Hopefully this heals up REALLY fast!!!

Tuesday, April 6

Easter Weekend

The real sign of spring: Easter Weekend!! We spent most of it with my family in Berea. It was so great to see all my brothers (and their significant others) all in one place. We got some great family photos and really enjoyed our time together.

Sunday, we went to church with my parents. It's the church I grew up in, yet now, I only know about 30 of the 100 people there. It was weird. I felt like everyone was holding back. Like no one wanted to really worship, but that a lot of people were there because that's what you do on Easter Sunday. I missed my church and my church family a lot.

Later Sunday, we spent a few hours at Matt's aunt & uncle's home with about half of his family there. We had a great time catching up with all that family and just relaxing around the house.

Monday, April 5

The Best of Today

A beautiful day for what feels like our first day of spring break.

The best of moments:
1) Christmas toys finally got used! Max and Payton each found a few things to take outside to play with.

2) We spent more time outside than inside! Those of you who know my kids, know that's amazing for Payton.

3) After spending time with my parents' dog, Quinn, I started calling Missy "Quinny". Today, when I called for Missy to stop barking and called her by the wrong name, I heard Max go to the fence and tell her "I know you Missy. You not Quinny. Silly Mommy." Yeah. That's awesome.

4) We watched Jill and Kevin's Wedding Dance. Probably 20 times today. The boys can't get enough. And we worked on our dance moves. Bonus.

5) Payton is developing a taste in music. Today, while listening to "The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson, Payton told me that he liked her "singing voice".

A really nice day with my kiddos. Loving them.