What defines me?

Cancer , A Dozen Kids , Life, Struggle

There isn’t a moment where my brain isn’t thinking how can I bring in income. How can I barter a surplus of my families needs. Sitting in the car while Marc drives on some adventure my phone is in my hand focused on the side hustle. Multitasking is in my blood. Sitting watching some lifetime movie while letting ads play for swag bucks or for a game to win gift cards. Then using the gift cards to stretch as far as I can. Coupon codes for everything. Apps taking over my phone. The drive is in me to make sure my family succeeds without me being away. Having an autistic son who will always be home means this is my life. I look at the laundry soap I just couponed and think I could wash laundry for others for trades for change whatever they can afford. I see everything as an opportunity. I stop to pick up the penny in the parking lot every time. I save and hustle in every situation. There are 17 apps on my phone used to make money, gifts, and gift cards. I’ve learned to make meals from very little because I came from very little. My meal planning is based on sales and coupons. My kids wanted a membership I couldn’t afford I asked to give my time instead. It’s valuable and it worked just fine for me! It’s all about mindset!

So recently with everything going on and being cooped up inside I reached out to Cool Bank wanting to purchase their art supplies as a way to keep the kiddos busy. They so graciously responded telling me about their colored pencil set that would be perfect for my daughter. Hailey being quite the little artist. She really enjoys top of line art supplies.

When Cool Bank shipped us the colored pencils and sketch books Hailey’s eyes lite up. They were so bright and vibrant in color. They had a labeled lid showing each color and their name. Making it really easy to remember and find which color you may have used on your art work.

Day 30 of sheltering at home left me with far too many bored kids to accomplish a thing! Cool Bank saved the day again when we realized how well they worked for wall art! Next thing I knew there was a dragon on the wall. Kids smiling and an entire day of peace and quiet for Mom! What a win!

I would absolutely recommend Cool Bank for all of your butting artist at home. They are a product living up to their reputation of an outstanding product. I can’t wait to see what else Hailey can create with these amazing art supplies.

Luxury

daniellemomof8gmailcom

Being in this world right now is pretty crazy right? Truth be told though I’ve been trapped many times and in far far worst circumstances. The biggest challenge for me is that being trapped now brings up so many of  those very harsh memories. It does however also make me very grateful for the time I am going through now.

I remember being just a teenager newly married in what would later be determined as the most abusive relationship of my life. Locked into that trailer with nothing. There wasn’t cable or Netflix. WiFi didn’t exist for me. Alone was all I really knew. My husband was never there. I did have the rats that crawled the walls of that nasty trailer. Sitting in tears at the table wishing I had food to put on it watching the rats run in the curtains was my entertainment. Not even an adult yet and that was my life.

The comet smell I spent my day inhaling. The man I was married to would just pour it everywhere swearing the bugs would eat it and then die. There wasn’t even a egg to be seen in the fridge. Counting 47 days once I was left there in that countryside trailer. No air conditioning no fan just me and the heat. The time I had left that solitude to find my so called husband was when he sold me to the highest bidder. One of the biggest regrets I have is not just staying for day 48….

There was a time when I was merely 15 living in Decatur a town I still am unable to drive through without shedding a tear I was left alone just 11 days there. My father staying with whatever girlfriend rated higher than me at the time. I can’t even remember her name just the stupid gold convertible she so proudly sported around. For those 11 days the food was so limited I remember having this 6 pack of frozen hashbrowns and I would cook one a day topping with those baco bites my paternal grandma had left for me. They were so crunchy those bacos. I just hated them but I would tell myself it was my meat for the day and I had to eat it. Day 9 I remember find every single penny and pop can in the house and making the mile walk to this corner store. Buying myself bread and taking it back to putter and grill it. The taste was so delicious! I stayed on the phone so much to prevent from going crazy lonely. Later the phone bill would be all my father remembered from the time. The heat in that house was unlike anything I had ever experienced. Just one fan and blazing summer days. It was such a lonely time for me. Eventually he would come back to tell me to leave the house he wasn’t going to pay for it. $20 and a new homeless adventure came next.

22 years old my ex husband just winning the kids, me again homeless. I broke into a friends garage sleeping in the basement. It’s winter now. I’m alone on a wet and cold mattress in a basement half flooded with water waist high. Just 24 hours there but I promise it felt like an eternity. Cats piled all over my body for warmth teeth chattering and feeling like I had no one in the world. Because in fact I didn’t.

See this being trapped story has been mine for as long as I can remember. So now being trapped in my home just plain feels like a luxury. Not once have I had to experience hunger pains. There was never a time I had to talk to myself and tell me to keep going…. My family is with me and no way would I ever dream of wanting to end that. I haven’t even counted this time. It doesn’t feel like the trapped I’ve been through. This feels like a luxury. A luxury that if I stay home my chances of being sick or my family getting sick is lowered.

My children are sad. They feel trapped and sad. Lonely and missing all their friends and extended family. But me I know how many luxuries they have. Peace of mind is knowing they won’t know the same pains I do. They are so rich in love and life. I find comfort in knowing in the toughest moments I have come far enough that I can make times like these easier for my children. What I have overcome has given me the tools to know how to survive.

It’s hard to believe that is moment this virus and the crisis the world is going through is one of the easiest times of trial in my life. It’s the first time I don’t feel alone. Support is all I have. I cut out all of the negative and everyone who was in my life and had only brought pain to the table. Those who loved me in an unhealthy way. Those who didn’t love me at all. They are gone now. I stood up for my mental health and I chose to not allow anyone in my life that wasn’t making a positive impact. I am so much stronger for it. My worries are far less. I don’t now think of the motives behind those who love me. They are pure and I am certain of it. I have a luxurious life that I am beyond grateful for.

As I scroll through my facebook groups I see post after post of how people can’t believe mom’s are still dragging out their kids. Post about how a mom deserved a cps call for making her kids buy groceries in line at the store with her. Blown away am I by all of it. What on earth are single mom’s to do? Leave their kids who are to young home alone? You want them to now find a babysitter with daycare closed? You want them to come up with the husband’s and family that abandoned them?

The solutions are basically the Mom needs to fix the problem. She should go herself figure it out. Nothing helpful is being offered as a solution. So much shaming and bashing. We are tearing down those we are already at their lowest. Luckily that mom isn’t me anymore. I’m not in that position and I am so grateful. It’s just barely in my rear view being that mom though and boy does my heart hurt thinking of all those others still there.

Life is already so scaring. We are already battling so much as single parents. I sit up at night with all of the worries running through my head. Spending time trying to switch myself out of survival mode now to be thrown right back in it.

I dread having to leave home. It’s not even about the virus completely. It’s going out to be judged and shamed. Going out and seeing the looks because buying 5 dozen eggs to others is hoarding. They have no idea this doesn’t even last us a week. No one cares either. They are not interested in knowing your why’s only in being angry.

I am just hoping the compassion spreads and people start to remember we are all in this together. Solutions and not blame is all that we need during these hard times. It’s not as easy as you think and you don’t know each other’s stories.

It’s pretty clear changes are hear to stay for awhile. My princess had her bday this weekend. Unfortunately just days before she came down with a cold that was kicking her butt. Cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, and tummy ache. With the virus still on the rise pretty much anything causes alarm.

She had to spend her weekend mostly in her bedroom to herself. So she didn’t pass what she had to the rest. She did get to come out long enough for us to sing to her but that was about it. 15 mins out of 4 days spent out of her room. My heart hurt for her. No sleepover, no outting. Not even hanging out with the parents because you can’t work if you have a cough and no one can miss work.

This morning while cooking breakfast with Hailey she said Clare said it was one of her best bdays. The home made cake her sister made. The singing in the kitchen. Putting up the projector and her picking her favorite movie. All the girls piled in the bedroom. She loved every moment of her day. Missing out on her grandparents but knowing we would get t o make that up very soon.

The changes keep coming but the kids they just don’t care about it. They have all they need and are not fearful. They know we will be in this together and how strong our tribe is. Such encouragement I get from their peace of mind.

It’s hard to keep your mind off the increasing numbers and statistics. It’s consuming in everything now. Just been trying to stay home and focus my mind on how to improve our quality of life. New ways to bring in income. Ideas on how to say money. Keep my brain on the useful stuff. While still being mindful of taking precautions. Staying home and cleaning and transferring anything I have to resort to buying at the store.

I’m not certain that life will go back to how things were now or if they will move forward into a new normal. For now we are just rolling with the punches and making due with what life hands us. After all we are so blessed to have each other.

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Anyone else feeling totally overwhelmed by the daily changes? I haven’t hardly left my home now but the rare occasion that was a must like the pharmacy run I was completely blown back by the changes. People with such anger towards each other in the line about how close they were getting their carts to each other. Just how they would respond to each others fears were mind blowing for me.

I already had stayed to myself without a soul for a friend so the isolation isn’t so bad. Missing my couponing and mystery shopping a bit since that was a big part of my life. It’s still not that bad not having to shop 5 times a day. What is disturbing for me is the constant changes.

If you spent your day online you can see every moment a new report of a new symptom now being considered the virus. Or you can see the different information by all the officials in office. The numbers are always changing. The fear ever growing.

Change is intimidating. I had just adjusted into this life where I was no longer in need of the survival mode that I had raised myself in. As I tried to break down that mind set here is the world saying we are all in survival mode. This is the fight of our lives as a whole.

My home better prepared than most and yet everyday I have to sit down my children and make sure they clearly understand the need to sanitize and wash our hands nonstop. The need to not engorge themselves eating because they see I have a bit more stockpiled than normal to prevent going out. Reminding my kids that food waste is critical to prevent right now as the limitations in the store are below what we need to make a meal for a family our size. It’s so scary as a mother to have these talks. To ensure your children they are safe but still must take all of these precautions.

I am waiting daily to hear that our income is gone or reduced even more. Losing the life I have worked so hard to build is a overwhelming fear that is taunting me daily. Racking my brain at ideas to keep income flowing. This is now our daily life. The changes are not stopping anytime soon and I am not even certain life will go back to what it was.

How are you dealing with the changes? Are you afraid of what is to come?

Did anyone else never imagine this as a reality? I honestly never ever thought that a virus would keep me locked into my home. Never did I imagine my daily life would be lived in fear. That I would need to tell my children to stay away from everyone.

Here we are though right smack in the middle of a crisis felt around the world. I haven’t been out of the house in some time now. Avoiding contact at all cost is pretty much the only thing I know to do to keep my kids safe. Just a few weeks ago you could find me in Walmart more than home. Five times a day I would be there doing whatever I could to make and stretch a dollar. All of the avenues I used to stretch what we had are currently gone.

No one is able to coupon with the store shelves so bare. You grab whatever you can grab your hands on and be grateful. Weeks ago I was able to get chicken and beef at a fourth the cost it’s posted at now. Buying in bulk was a necessity for us. Now with the restrictions it’s not allowed. The limits are so low that I am unable to buy one meals worth for my large family in one trip to the store.

My grandmothers who taught me to cook lived through a time when things were hard. Money was scarce. So they passed to me the skills to make a meal from very little. I can make my own bread and tortillas. To be honest the kids and I have lived through extremely poor times and never did go hungry. Prepared in a sense I feel for what is to come. It doesn’t however make the fear any less. More prepared than anyone else I know and still I am filled with more worry than I know to handle.

Recently taking such gains in my mental health I feel like this entire ordeal is a set back. Learning to handle my worries and feel like I was in control of them to now feeling I have no control over anything. Crying myself to sleep a few nights already with thoughts consuming me. My teenage daughter spoke of fearing for the kids whose safe zone was school and now it’s gone. She told me she was worrying of the kids who were not getting any food now. Prideful in her compassion I still feel so sad she even has those worries to bare.

I plan to avoid the stores or going anywhere. To avoid contact with any and everyone. Treating my home and yard as a bubble really. How long will this continue is so uncertain. How long before the economy blow is at my front door? Life’s uncertainties sure play with my anxiety levels that is for sure.

 

I am utterly filled with fear and worry. Let’s face it you can’t escape seeing it in your face everywhere you turn. No one is talking about much else. Times are hard and confusing for sure. The information is changing all the time and depending on your source it’s completely different from one to another right?

So here is me right smack in the middle of trying to find the right meds combo for my mental illness. Now a crisis bigger than any I have ever imagined here on our doorstep. Large families with restrictions on how many pasta they can buy at the store. The limit often being less than what one meal would be for their family. Of course I’m completely panicked. Deeply did I suffer with hoarding food issues and now the entire world is hoarding food.

It’s like having my faults intensified and right in my face. I pace my kitchen more times than I can count. Trying to do the math of how many meals I can make. How can I stretch this further. The cabinets are fully packed. Fridge too my worry never eases with that now. Each day the worry increases. Going to bed searching for information on what may close next. Waking searching to see new information.

I try to find peace in knowing I am much more prepared than most. Reality is though we consume much more than most being a large family. There is no school, the stores have very little and the lines are long. Coming into contact with so many if I wanted to attempt to put more stock in the house. Is that worth it. Which worry is greater getting it from contact with others or not going to the store and staying stockpiled with what our family will need?

Staying positive is difficult. To combat the fear I have spent time finding little solutions to keep me feeling ahead of the game. Things that reduce my anxiety just slightly. But it’s in the back of my mind if I were to pass who would my kids have? What would happen to them? Where would they go? How would life be for them being split up? Staying away as much as possible is my only solution. Making sure to keep us in a bubble and safe is the best way to prevent the worst case.

What are you doing to reduce your stress during these times? Are you still employed? Are your children home from school and cooped up with you?

Isn’t it funny how much a memory can be different depending on who tells the story. Our perceptions of the same even are so different. I wish I were typing to say someone recollection of a memory doesn’t have a hold on me. Longing to post about how I have moved on from those holds my past still has on me.

This week a memory was shared of a run my mom had done on her own. My mom had asked me to be there for her before I got myself wrapped up into trouble. ( Trouble I might add I hands down didn’t do!) My mother would be running a marathon in Little Rock. I vowed to take my preteen daughter and be there to cheer her on. Problem was I got into that trouble. I was on probation now… Unable to leave the state.

I had a good job. Tons of hours. Just got new place. Left the douchebags that had got me into the trouble. On probation but I had cut a deal I had 3 months left just don’t get in trouble and I would have everything wiped from my record. Clean slate. Even had all the fines and court cost paid off completely. With 7 kids can you imagine how hard that had been to do in 3 months time. But I had. Proud of myself was an understatement. The court case had a no contact order keeping all the douches away. It was my time to shine. But….. My mom needed me. She just needed me. She didn’t have her husband. My brother, I love him but even going he would not support her how she needed I knew that. After all I had done this before and knew what she would need.

So here it is. Decision time. Do you break probation and be there for you mom? Make sure she doesn’t lose any money by you backing out? Or stay safe and get yourself out of trouble? Keep climbing that mountain you have been heading up?

Of course I chose her. I wish I had thought of my wedding day when I just knew she would come and I paced the window praying my mother would be there…. Never was she to arrive. Had the memory of being homeless and her knowing and leaving me there to riot in the sexual abuse that was happening entered my head would I have stayed and not been there for her? If I had thought to the time where the police were at the windows and doors me alone for the third day at 12 years old hiding under her bed praying not to get caught would my choice have been different? No. It wouldn’t.

The car ride to the marathon my mom was to run and me support. She yelled and punched herself in the face and head. She got angry many many times. Money was a constant worry for her on the trip and it really didn’t matter how much I paid for nothing eased that tension. My daughter cried asking what was wrong with nana. She heard her cursing for what was probably one of the first times in her life.

I can’t remember any enjoyment from the trip. My little brother never showed to the race. Was late to even get there for us to leave. I’m sure you can imagine the reaction from my mom….. I got back pulling into the driveway of my home. From this nightmare trip to be arrested. Two more nights in jail and $900 more in fines because I chose to be there. The record now still there that would have been wiped had I chose to not be at her side. The record keeps me from gaining employment often.

Seeing her share this memory asking my child if she remembers. I wonder does she remember? Cause it’s the trip her granddaughter saw her in a different light. It’s the one that she seen a glimpse into just a tiny bit of what childhood was for me. I remember her asking me if nana was crazy…. The pain that trip put on me and even my little girl and yet my mom shares it as though it’s a fond memory for her.

She does the same with the wedding picture that I told her my grandfather was putting his hands into my panties. I wish I could erase every memory from my brain. It makes me sick when my pain is shared as their fondest moments. It’s crazy how perception is different on the same events.

 

This past weekend we found ourselves at the Clay High School. They have an indoor fly in there. Inside the gym as you walk in the very first thing that will catch your eye is the Horizon Hobbies table that always sits with some neat plane! This time they did a raffle. Of course I was all over that. I had my eye on the eflite delta ray one that was sitting there just ready for me to win! I even bought a extra five tickets last minute because my gut just said do it! Guess what?! Those tickets sure did have the winning raffle number! There I was running across the gym in my snap on socks happy as a clam to claim my prize!

I simply can’t wait for the batteries to come in and get it binded and up in the air. I had a fabulous time at the fly in watching everyone with their new planes and some with their tried and true planes.

My eflite is a trainer so I can learn some cool skills without such a high risk of wrecking it! It’s the peace of mind every mom wants while teaching their little ones to fly to I am sure. img_5646img_5643_std.original-1img_5643_std.originalimg_5645_hd.original-3img_5642_dvd.originalimg_5645_hd.original-2img_5645_hd.original-1img_5645_hd.originalimg_5642_std.original