Hopefully I will be able to attend this with the children if all are in good health ❤
Today I have planned a little feast for my brood. Making cookies and spending time with family and close friends on this shortest day of the year.
I hope all your holidays and the new year are filled with love, warmth, and comfort!
Here is some pretty pictures I found online I’d like to wrangle in one place 🙂 I hope you enjoy them as I do!
This reminds me of Ophelia a bit as well.
All my little dancing around a fire 🙂 though I have less than what is pictured!
Little Asian girl makes me think of my two smallest daughters, Fiammetta and Persephone.
We first moved in to our home in March of 2012. This year we have lived here for four years. Settimio was the first one in our family to celebrate his birthday here. Our house was still so sparse and there was much unpacking to do!
We have spent four winters in this little house by the bay. One winter we had a light dusting of snow that melted before the kids came home from school. This winter has been by far the wettest I’ve seen here. There has been almost constant rain and we’ve had our little road flood numerous times. There has been standing water on our road almost the entire winter. It will slowly drain away only to be replaced a couple days later with more rain water. At one point the city closed the road and had people come in to fix the drainage problem. The back field behind our house has looked more like a lake than grassland.
Last night we went to sleep with the wind blowing and howling through the trees up and down our little valley. We live just outside of city limits on a little plot of land between two bays. The bays lie North and South of us, East and West of us are two hills. We live on the lower end on the West hill. So, when the wind gets blowing it just whips right through here, it can be pretty amazing. Quite a few trees have fallen this winter and knocked out electricity for a time. The power company is pretty good and usually gets the electricity back on quickly. I don’t think we’ve gone longer than one night without.
Throughout the night I woke to the wind blowing against our little house. At times I worry that the trees might fall and land on our roof but they seem to be pretty sturdy.
This morning I awoke to the wind blowing and Ophelia telling me to come look at the water of the bay blowing up and onto the road. Water on the road is not new, but never before have I seen it come from the bay side. I came out to see and there looked to be two little waterfalls flowing from the bay down into the road.
There is a little hill built up by the bay, presumably to keep the water in or out depending on your point of view. I heard that before the road was built the water from the bay came all the way up behind our house. Beautiful, scary, and amazing this wind has been.
I love the noise and watching the clouds fly by, the bright morning sun breaking through the clouds illuminating the earth making anything with a wet surface shine like liquid silver.
It truly is beautiful and you can feel the power emanating from the elements. I’m surprised we still have electricity, though oddly and unexpectedly we don’t have water. A water main has broken but thankfully crews are on there way to restore them. As I sit here writing I can hear the mighty wind whoosh through while my chickens cluck and bawk at the inconvenience of it all!
Days like this I love to open all the windows and doors and let the fresh air flood in, giving the house a much needed cleansing. It’s a wonderful feeling lying in the warm bed with the baby softly snoozing beside me feeling the cold, clean air around us.
It’s the middle of the night and I should be sleeping in my warm bed with my children. The past couple of weeks I’ve had all 4 little ones in the bed with me. Besides my king size bed I have a set of bunk beds in my room. Fiammetta usually sleeps in her own bed on the top bunk but lately she has been coming up with different reasons why she should sleep with us.. Mostly it’s because she’s scared of one thing or another. I’m ok with it.. I love having them all squished in there with me. I think it’s most uncomfortable for her and Sal. I keep me and the baby separated from the rest with a pillow between us. That way the kids won’t roll over and accidentaly squish him. I’ve been having trouble sleeping this past month. I seem to fall asleep great, and some nights I can even stay asleep for the whole night.. (as much as one can while breastfeeding a 4 month old) But then other nights I wake up around 3 or 4 am and my mind is racing, jumping from one thought process to the next. Tonight seems to be one of those nights. I think it may be because I have been falling asleep with the kids around 7 or 8 pm so by 3 or 4 am I’ve already had about 8 hours of sleep!
Messy heap of blankets and babies
This past weekend the husband came down to visit with the kids. He rented a hotel with a pool so the little ones would get to swim. All three of them ended up staying over both nights with him. That was a bit weird and sad. I’m not used to sleeping with out them. That was the only time besides when Valentino was born that Persephone has not slept with me. I missed her tiny little body next to mine. Every night she falls asleep holding my hand or putting her tiny chubby hands on my arms. She’s very snuggly. Last night I had her little hands on my arm and Salvatore fell asleep, next to Persephone, with his arm draped across her to hold my hand. When I do wake up in the middle of the night I love hearing all of their soft breathing. They all have been sleeping pretty calmly. It seems that if there is less of them in the bed that is when the wilder sleeping happens, when I will wake up with Percy upside down or laying sideways, to a little whimper, a sudden crazy scream, and less frequently there have been kicks or punches to the face from a dreaming little one 🙂 The latter three I can definitely live without!
So this Friday Alex came by to pick up the kids and take them out to dinner and they all decided they wanted to stay over night with him at the hotel. So I packed them all up a bag and kissed and hugged my babes goodbye. This is definitely not the way I wanted or imagined my family to be! I knew it would be good for them, and for Alex, but it’s hard for me to let them go. Saturday I was taking Settimio out for his early birthday date. He wanted to go see Deadpool and I wasn’t sure it would still be out in the theatre at his real birthday a month later so we decided to go now when Alex would have the little kiddos.. Settimio and I went out to eat lunch at Anelia’s in La Conner, a Polish restaurant that two of my younger brothers work at; one as the Chef and the other as a waiter and prep cook. We had the brunch, Timio had the Joe breakfast hoagie made from french toast with bacon and home made sausage, I had a super delicious veggie omlete. Ophelia stayed home and we took the baby with us, he had the breastmilk. After brunch before heading in to the movie we met up with Alex and the other kids at the mall. He agreed to watch the baby for the 2 hours so I could watch the movie with Settimio. At Salvatore’s birthday movie date in January we went to see the new star wars movie and I had to stand the whole time so the baby wouldn’t cry. I really did not want a repeat of that so I asked Alex to watch Valentino for me so I could sit this time! The 4 little ones and dad hung out at the mall playground for a couple hours. The movie was pretty sweet. Settimio covered his eyes a couple times during the less kid friendly parts 🙂 There was one sex scene, one strip club scene with boobs, a lot of crude humor and some pretty gruesome killing bits, way more than in the other superhero movies but Settimio is almost 12 so it wasn’t too terrible. Definitely not a movie I would let the younger kids see. Overall we both enjoyed it! After the movie I got Valentino, Salvatore and Settimio and we went home, Alex was taking the girls to the daddy daughter dance that night! This was his and Fiammetta’s 3rd and Persephone’s first time attending. Little Percy has been so excited to go! All year since the last one she’s been talking about going to the Daddy Daughter Dance. They went out for dinner at Anthony’s, a seafood restaurant in town, one of Fiammetta’s favorite places. After the dance they came by and got Sally so he could spend the night with them too.
I knew Sunday would be a long day! My mom and I had plans to go to Ikea while Alex had the kids. I suppose that is one good thing about the little ones being gone for the day, I can get a bit more stuff done! Driving to Ikea from where I live takes about an hour and a half to two hours. My mom drove down my brother’s empty van and I drove down my van with all seats but the the two front and the baby’s removed. Ophelia and Settimio stayed home but we took Little V with us. I was going down to get a couch, a rug, a bookcase and a bed frame. We walked around and checked stuff out..It was crazy packed. I got all the crap I came for and we left. That is the brief version because in reality that journey took all day!! We got home just after dark and I had to unload all that heavy, heavy from the van. Had the older two help while my mom held the baby. It all ended up fitting in my brothers van so mine was empty. No reason to have taken out my seats, but I’m glad I was prepared just in case! Would have totally sucked if I didn’t take out the seats and ended up needing the room. After we got every thing unloaded from the van and carried down the stairs into my house I realized that we grabbed the wrong size bed frame.. wah wah.. So this Saturday I will be making another lovely trip to Ikea to exchange the queen size bed for the proper king that I need. I may buy a few candles that I passed up the first time. When we got home Alex had already dropped the littles off and headed back up to the B’ham. They were all watching t.v. when we arrived. Good way to keep them preoccupied while unloading the loot. I got the rug layed out and the couch put together then headed to bed.. I was exhausted and my feet hurt from walking around all day on the concrete floor.
The couch is in our upstairs living room. I bought two white slipcovers for it. That way when one is dirty, and I know it will be with my children, I can throw it in the wash and put the other one on. I suppose we didn’t need a couch up here but I was tired of sitting on the chairs we have.
My old “couch” wasn’t cuttin’ it.. though I did paint and reupholster those babies right after Persephone was born.
They weren’t too comfortable to sit in while trying to nurse The Newborn. That’s what all the little kids call Valentino, I hope that remains his nickname until he’s an old man!! We still call my little Joey brother Fetus, his nickname from babyhood.
The new and improved version.. don’t mind all those canvases back there.. the gold shelf drying, the new rug nice and soft for fresh crawling baby knees, when that happens..
So now it is almost 5 in the morning.. hopefully I can fall back asleep and not feel too much like crap in the morning when I have to get up in one more hour to get the kids ready for school..
Goodnight world. xoxo
When my husband and I decided to get married we had been together for about 6 years. We had 3 kids together (plus my 2 and his 1), so we were a family of 7 sometimes 8 when his oldest daughter would come visit. We also had known each other since we were 14 years old. So this wasn’t a whim decision. We had our ups and downs but when we decided to get married I was in it to the end. I thought we would fight through everything together and come out stronger. All our issues we would work on together and in the end we would be a happy family working on our life goals together.
I was wrong. He wasn’t happy and instead of trying to make things better he came up with every excuse as to why he should leave. To be honest, we all were not happy. There was so much negativity in our household it was like a dark cloud of repression hanging in the air. When he finally left it was sort of like that fog lifted and we all could breathe again. He was miserable and he made everyone else around him miserable as well.
Due to the course of actions taken I have lost so much respect for him. It is hard for me to look at him sometimes or even talk to him. I know there is goodness in him, there were reasons I loved him and married him. But after all this I find it hard to see them sometimes. I am not going to bash him. He is a human and working through his own issues. Just as we all are and I am not perfect in any way. I just find it very hard to comprehend his actions and all the things he has done and said this past year and a half.
It all boils down to he doesn’t want responsibility anymore. He doesn’t want to be a husband and father on a daily basis. He loves the kids and wants to see them but he doesn’t want to everyday. He didn’t like being a father. He was so angry all the time. Every little thing would upset him. Even driving to the store would put him in a bad mood most times. I would dread his days off of work. We all had to walk on eggshells so we wouldn’t upset him. And once he was upset that would be it for the day. There was no going back. It was hard to live like that. His yelling and constant nitpicking of the kids, especially my oldest 2 and of them especially Ophelia, got worse and worse. It was like she couldn’t walk through the same room as him with out some criticism being thrown her way. Sometimes he would straight up ignore her. She would ask him a question and he would just walk away. Most nights at dinner he would wait until she was done eating before coming to the table. It was sickening. Then it started more and more with my oldest son, and then with our 3 year old son too. He never acted that way with our 2 daughters, to be fair our youngest was only a toddler. He would get upset sometimes with them but he treated them more delicately.
He started breaking dishes in his rage. Then some furniture and eventually punched a hole in the wall while screaming at Ophelia. That was around the time I got pregnant with our last child, baby 6. That was the final time he moved out. I told him he wouldn’t be able to come back unless he got counseling and anger management. We also needed more marriage counseling and family counseling, him and I with the children. He decided that the easier way was better.
At first I would have taken him back if we could have gone to counseling. But as time moved on and I was forced to take care of our family by myself my own anger and resentment toward him grew. His leaving I could have understood to some extent. He was overwhelmed with the large family that we had. But what made me angry and sickened me more was the things he would do or say when he would come around to see the kids.
My Husband lives about 40 minutes north of us, near his work, living off a coworkers couch. That has been his living arrangement since he left our home, and needless to say it is not very accommodating for visiting with children. When he left us in January 2015 when he would want to come down and see the kids he would come to my house to see them. I tried to encourage him to take the kids elsewhere and visit with them there but he would complain that he didn’t have enough money to take them out all the time, to feed them and to pay for gas driving back and forth. So I let him come here. But I hated it. After a couple months when the weather got better I had him take the kids to the park or beach as often as I could. I didn’t like him coming to our house and hanging out all day. Or taking naps on our couch or trying to in my bed. Most times when he was here he would end up spending more time with me than our children. Occasionally he would help out by putting away our sons laundry or washing the dishes or sweeping. And I did have him help me prune and weed the garden once when I was 7 months pregnant. Though those things helped, I would have preferred if he visited them elsewhere. I did not want to hang out with him if he wasn’t willing to work on our relationship. I didn’t feel like I needed to be his friend. He left our home and family because he wanted to not be a part of it anymore.
But he wouldn’t leave me alone. He would tell me he loved me and missed me and try to touch me or kiss me. It hurt for many different reasons. I asked him to leave me alone over and over. He didn’t want to come back or to work on any part of our relationship or that of the children. He did not get to still act like he was my husband. He was disrespecting me by doing so. Treating me like my feelings didn’t matter. It made me angry with him and angry with myself for not be stronger and pushing away harder. It made me sick with myself when I would let him touch me, rub my back or my feet. I was pregnant and I was sore and it was hard to say no over and over. But then when he’d leave I would feel so disgusted with myself. He would try to kiss me and I’d back away and sometimes he would corner me so I’d have to push away and try to get by. He would tell me “I’m still your husband.” Or if I’d be giving the kids hugs and kisses he’d say “where’s my kiss?” After he’d leave I’d tell him over and over how bad it made me feel that he’d do these things and he’d apologize but do it again the next time he came. The whole situation was eating at me and I really could not take it any longer.
It’s come to the point now where I am telling him to come down just once a month and get a hotel to visit with the kids at. I absolutely hate the idea of them being away from me and our home but I don’t want to see him or talk to him. Sometimes I wish he would just go away forever. We implemented my one whole weekend a month plan this month, February. Before that he had been coming down for a couple hours on most of his days off (once or twice a week). So, I was barraged with all this every week for the past year, but I can’t do it any longer. It makes me sad, the whole situation. I grieved for a long time over the life we could have had. He was my husband and he did mean a lot to me, but I need to move on. I need to be healthy for myself and my children. I know that if I hold on to that anger and resentment it will grow a big pit in me and I can not let that happen.
This past month I have only had to see my husband once, and I feel better than I have in a long time! I feel a sense of freedom. Two weekends ago he came and took 3 of our children out for a couple hours, and this weekend he will be coming to visit with them again. This time he will be getting a hotel and keeping our eldest over night while bringing our younger children home at night. Then he will pick them back up in the morning for another visit. He won’t be taking the baby, our little one is still exclusively breastfed being only 3 months old. Besides not wanting to care for an infant with out food on his own for a few hours, my husband has a small car and 3 children hardly fit in it safely. I’m hoping in March it will just be the one weekend. I am flexible, if he wants them 2 weekends that is ok too. I just can’t keep having him at my house, and I’d like to keep the kids home some weekends so we can have some of the fun time too. Not just the worky weekdays when its all school routine and no movies and popcorn kind of life. I think I deserve to have some of the fun time with my family too.
I will always care about him and have a certain love for him in my heart. But he is the one who wanted to leave and not work on the things that were wrong. There is only so long I can hold on to hope that we can work it out before it’s time to let it all go and just move on.. And it feels really, really good. I am actually a little excited to really heal and to start connecting with that inner spark of life, God, the Divine.. whatever one wants to call it.. at times I even feel a bit giddy! 🙂