Bday Celebrations Part 1

I have to break down the bday celebration into parts simply because if I put it in all in one it would be a VERY long blog post. We did so MUCH fun stuff. My eldest daughter and my second to eldest son both had a birthday this weekend. So I did a two for one special! I mean after all 8 kids absolutely puts you on a bday budget! About five years ago I had decided to no longer buy my kids Birthday gifts. It was like throwing money in the toilet! Literally! I bought them a harmonica one year from the birthday list and the thing was lodged in my toilet for a week! I had to call a plumber! The toys are just junk! They are never taken care of and aren’t made how they use to be. I probably sound like a little ole grandma with that statement but it’s the absolute truth. I decided that an experience for their bday was remembered longer than a gift and that it was far more special. So now I put a 100 dollar cap on an experience of their choice. They are welcome to bring a guest or sibling but that must be included in the cap amount for spending. Hailey and Malachi putting their bday’s together meant a 200$ cap.

Both of the two are very into animals. The largest pet store we know of quickly made the bday list. Pruess Pets quickly made the kids list. It ended up being our first stop! Upon arrival we realized there was a pride fest through the town. Leaving roads blocked off and the town was packed. Preuss Pets was in the middle of the madness. They even had a designated employee walking the parking lot making sure those parking were for the pet store and not choosing to walk the town while using their parking lot. When you walk up to the pet store there is a waterfall coming from the side of the building and running like a river back inside. We stopped and admired before entering so we could then show the kids what it ran into inside. As we walked inside all the kids jaws dropped.  The water fall ran into a river of the biggest fish I had ever seen. A bridge allowed you to cross and look down at the fish. So big the tops of their heads would bob out of the water.

Across the bridge in my favorite section of all time. It’s the bird section! I stopped and talked to each and every single bird, Got videos of birds whistling in perfect response to Hailey whistling. We awed to each of the rooms of birds. Two rooms and one other area all contain birds. Some even outside of their cages hanging out. Hailey and Jake got to mush on some babies of some kind that an employee brought out while they were walking by. I sadly missed that experience. I did get a ecstatic briefing of it by the two afterward.

The next stop inside the pet store was the salt water fish. This section would blow your mind! It’s incredible! It’s huge and it’s bright  and every fish made me want to color! They had the neatest tanks and array of fish. It was very crowded the flow of people not moving in any kind of cohesive manner at all. We had a hard time staying together or moving around in the circle we had intended. This was a bit of a bummer to me.  I don’t enjoy being around mass crowds of people and this felt as such.  I remember turning to show a kid a fish at one point and it being a group of strangers and I was alone in the midst of them. My favorite fish that I hope to one day have in our tank is a frost bite clown fish. My heart is just set on having one one day.

The next section we come upon was the fresh water fish. It’s not nearly as colorful of a fish section but they do try to hold their own those freshies. I had always been told that those little neon fish were injected but the employee there told us that is no longer the case. Those are now born that way. They stay bright neon forever. I thought that was super cool. They did have neon green ones the best color in the whole wide world! They had piranha that caught Malachi’s eye. Can you imagine that was his request a tank of those bad boys? This section had a lot of more green plants in the tanks and less of the colorful coral so it didn’t catch your eye as much as the salt water section had.

Next stop is the reptile section. When I got to this point I had seriously lost my entire family and was on my lonesome. I have not a clue how this happened but I was cornered on my own in the scary spider corner. Those are just in the beginning of the area where the reptiles are and their are a lot of them! They have a huge pair of tortoises Marc says that they are about the size our boy will get. Our tortoise Herbert is such a little guy right now fitting in the palm of my hand without a problem I had a hard time imagining him growing so much. I visited all the snakes and lizards and such. Then paused to buy some rabbit food. Visited with the one rabbit the pet store had. which is also all kind of by the reptiles.

Somewhere in the middle is rats, hamsters and small fury things. There is a tiny room for cats to be adopted maybe 9 or so cats were inside but the sign said it was stressful on the cats for people to come in and out. You could only visit those guys if you were serious about inquiring to give them a home. The door was locked. The middle also housed lots of things for your fury pets. Food,colors, toys galore. They sold bulk food for pretty much every animal as far as I could see. Home made dog treats and such sat on the counters.

The kids all had a absolute blast we spent well over an hour just taking in everything. They had a list a mile long of wants now. They have set themselves in motion to get tanks set up before their next visit. Every kid is so going to want a fish tank in their room now. I had the most fun watching their smiles! They were just lite up with excitement.

Zoo, Special Needs, Patience, Love, Understanding.



I have been wanting desperately to get Paytyn out the of house a bit. It's a very overwhelming experience and something that is very hard to accomplish on my own depending the activity. I was fearful to even ask Marc to join me. My head was spinning with thoughts of how he would react. Maybe it would be to much and he would bail. I still need constant reassurance he won't. Even when I try hard to think of his love and that he won't my head still thinks he might. That there will be something eventually that will make him decide walking away from us is easier. Anyway I mustered up all my might and I asked Marc if we could take the little boys to the zoo. He never hesitated to say yes. We choose a zoo that was a little over an hour away. That was the cause of the first mild melt down. Paytyn struggled with the car ride almost immediately. He was angry that it would take so long. He was already against he zoo and just wanted to go to his Marc's. My amazing boyfriend is a problem solver though. We stopped at a gas station for snacks a drink and chargers that were ten feet long and green. Making us able to hand him our cell phone and a charger and keep him entertained the rest of the car ride. I smiled so big realizing what he was doing. He always burst my heart just wide open with his thoughtfulness. We arrive at the zoo. A line to enter gets paytyn a bit upset. He has no patience of any kind. After the lines and we get in we are off on a trail things are going well until we stumble on a family that has found some frogs. Holy melt down. Paytyn needs to catch these frogs he needs them to come home with us and there isn't anything coming from my mouth to change his mind. He melt down completely. Kicking, screaming , demanding things aren't fair. I can feel the eyes on me. The other family with us at the time ( the one with the damn frogs) the mom thinks that she should hold a conversation about eagles and frogs and salamanders. It's clear quickly she is lonely and a talker. I keep looking at her trying not to be rude at least give eye contact. Thinking the entire time "Lady, shut the fuck up I know you see my child right now I know you see he needs my attention. GO AWAY! " I feel terrible feeling that way as she was a kind lady who just wanted to socialize. The thing is a child with autism and bi polar and ptsd it consumed every ounce of energy you have. It's all got to be focused on him to win the battle. Finally the family walks away a bit and I get paytyn calmed down. Maybe 2 feet ahead I find a snake that has just eaten. He was just a straggler on the trail. I honestly had to debate that in my head even pointing it out for my family to enjoy wondering what it would create for paytyn. The snake was handled a bit better and we all got to enjoy seeing his full belly for a moment. The entire day was full of melt downs and complaints. He was on my back, on Marc's back, he yelled, he cussed, he hit me a few times. There were many moments that he was mom mom look and enjoying. HE had a huge smile more times than he was angry. Marc never hesitated to offer paytyn a piggy back ride to help take some burden off me. The one thing I wanted to do there was feed the giraffe it was just an absolute must for me. Unfortunately the train wasn't running during our visit. They had a tram in it's place but it was a extremely long line and a small tram. We opted to walk. I think I may have been the only one to read the warnings for the walk before we started though. 1/2 mile walk up steep hills. That walk was the longest walk of my life!!! The boy wasn't pleased. Klowey and Aj weren't pleased. My leg pain had been at a ten within 20 mins of our arrival and I was desperate to hide it so I didn't ruin anyone's time. I knew if I showed the pain I was in Marc would find a way to aide me and I really wanted the day to be about the kids. We arrive at giraffe's but paytyn has no interest the walk has taken whatever patience he had left for the trip and he was done. Marc being Mr. Amazing tells me while I am in another line to buy lettuce and feed my giraffe friend that he is going to sit and let paytyn on his phone while the rest of us go enjoy. My heart smiled again. What a gift this man is.  He and paytyn sat on the bench and the 3 of us just enjoyed the hell out of feeding those giraffe. We tried to walk Africa area a bit more but it was nearly impossible. Paytyn was clearly done for the day. On our way back we decided the tram was worth the wait for a ride back. We sat again giving paytyn my phone for a bit of a distraction. Mr. Amazing steps up yet again. Having me and the kids go sit in the shade. I was having a struggle with the heat at the time and my leg. I hadn't eaten at thing that day it was far hotter than I had imagined it being and I was pretty exhausted. He holds our place in the line directly in the sun while the rest of us get a bit of a break. In line the man has a slur in his voice.  Clearly not his fault. Paytyn begins to make fun. He tells the man he has a derpy voice. I tell paytyn that he isn't kind and needs to be. He responded with what I like derpy voices. He sounds all derpy derpy derp derp derp... I am embarrassed instantly. This poor man doesn't understand my son and doesn't get why he is taunting him. Paytyn now mocking every word from the man's mouth. The man walked away and no longer stood in front of us waiting for the train. I am sure my son hurt his feelings. I wondered if I should step up apologize and explain my son has special needs he has no concept that he is hurting anyone's feelings.  I said nothing. I later discussed me wanting to say something with Marc... We discussed maybe a bracelet that stated he has autism or special needs. I am really unsure my feelings on it though. Is labeling my child an answer? The ride home was just as intense. I was completely exhausted and in pain. I would nod off and wake to a melt down going on in the back seat. I eventually get angry and tell them they can't go to Marc's house over behavior. Knowing damn well his behavior is out of his control and instantly feeling like the worst mom ever acting in anger. Aj crys and my heart breaks I know how hard it is for him to have a special needs brother. They sleep for a bit after my anger. We arrive at mcdonalds and go figure get parked to wait. The kids food already in their hands and mine being what we need to wait for. I had intended to eat at home thinking it was easier. The waiting made that idea go out the window. I gave the boys their food. It was almost 6 pm at this point and I knew that they were starved. The entire chocolate milk goes all over the back seat of Marc's car. I sigh, thinking oh no he is going to be so angry. I should have waited to give that till we were home. I wasn't thinking I was just trying to subdue a melt down. I feel completely defeated. Arriving at Marc's I clean out the car. The boys go inside to play a video game. Marc and I sit and unwind in a couple lawn cars in front of the garage. It was the most peaceful part of the day. We sat listening to the birds. A little mama robin perched on a branch right in front of me and I swear she was singing just to me. I waived at her and got a bit of a chuckle out of Marc. Our peaceful moment together was short lived when I heard a scream from inside the house. I entered to Paytyn having Aj in a full blown choke hold. Another melt down over a video game. I bring aj outside with me hoping that maybe if Paytyn had a game to himself a bit he would chillax. Aj, klowey and Malachi practice shooting a bee bee gun we had got malachi awhile back. Marc set up a spot he could supervise them and some cans in the yard for target practice. This last about 20 mins before paytyn is outside wanting to shoot. I tell him at this point that he is going home. He melts again. HE demands video games and is kicking and screaming once again. Pretending like he is leaving Marc's yard. I chase him and put him on my lap for him to kick and throw a fit. Then Marc takes over and has him sit with him. He spins everything in a positive manner. He doesn't get upset by paytyn in his face. Or climbing all over him. Which is far from what I am use too. I am use to men wanting nothing to do with paytyn. Screaming on my bad parenting how I need to beat his ass. My feelings of this may be to much and Marc might leave me fill my head. As eventually things get worse and we need to get paytyn into the car and home for meds. ( he is functioning on 2 hours of sleep in about 3 days) Paytyn wants no part of the car. He punches and stomps my bad leg. Punches me in the head a few times. I get him in the back seat of the car with me while marc puts away our chairs and closes up garage and gathers keys. I am in tears by the time he gets into the car. I am a defeated shell of myself. I feel like a complete failure. My son screaming he hates me that I am a jerk. It's hard to hear even if you know he is simply lashing out the only way he knows it is HARD TO HEAR! My amazing bf reaches to the back seat and rubs my leg he whispers he loves me and I take a breath. Maybe he won't leave me. After dropping off Paytyn I ask. Was this too much, do you still want to live with me? My head is truly telling me he will leave. He reassures me he won't but I can feel he seems sick of answering that all the time. I try to let it be and ease my mind. It's so fucking hard to let him love me. I just don't know that I deserve it. I constantly worry he will leave. He has given no reason what so ever for those thoughts in my head. In fact he goes out of his way to prove the exact opposite but I still have those thoughts. Later in bed he asked if I would like to cuddle before he showers. I fall asleep every time he goes to shower and never am awake when he comes back to bed.  I eagerly agree to cuddles. He comes to my side of the bed and positions himself in my spot for cuddles because the position we sleep we can't face each other. My bad leg and his shoulder just don't allow it.  I lay on his chest and let a huge sigh out. I am so excited to be in the comfort of those arms. He then tells me that he is sorry if he seemed frustrated in the car when I asked if it was too much and he would still want to move with me. He told me it was okay to ask as much as I needed. I had said nothing that I was worried I asked it to much. I said nothing to the feelings I had in the car but here he was in our quiet cuddle moment knowing what I needed to hear. He told me he will give me the reassurance I need anytime I need it. I cried. He didn't understand the tears. I pour out my heart and tell him I was worried I asked too much. I was worried he was frustrated and I did need to ask and hear it. I was crying happy tears because the man meets all my needs head on always! He knows my needs he acknowledges them and he fulfills them without a single word from me. It's true love in the grandest form. I am the luckiest girl alive to be blessed with this man as mine. I don't deserve

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him as he deserves perfection and that doesn’t exist but I love him!