Saturday, January 29, 2011

Old Photo Booth Picture


I watched a really ridiculous movie tonight.  It's about these guys who end up in a hot tub that also happens to be a time machine.  I won't go into exactly what makes this movie something I won't watch again because that's not the point.  I will give the movie this much though, it got me thinking. 

If you had a chance to go back in time, would you change anything?  Or would you do exactly what you did so that everything in your life now would remain the same? 

I went through a lot growing up.  Some of it was really, really good, and some of it was really, really bad.  There are actually huge gaping holes in my memory - times that my brain has decided are better left forgotten.  Many of my memories are quite literally snapshots of times I am sure I must remember, but can't quite recollect.  That's not to say everything is a blur - because it's not.  There are definitely things I wish I could forget, and much that I am so thankful to be able to hold onto.  There are times that I think would be nice to go back and change... but I wouldn't.  Why?  Because it made me who I am today.

I have a saying I revert back to often.  God always makes good from bad.  And I can honestly say there isn't anything in my life that He hasn't used for glory.  I think about who I have crossed paths with.  People that were sure no one could understand where they were coming from.  People who were convinced that they weren't worth anything, and that hope was lost.  I think of my youngest... and the love I have for her birth parents.  I think about the trials my children will face.  I think of my friends.  And even though it sounds so contrary to what the world teaches, I find myself thankful that the hurts I endured made it possible for me to relate to them, for me to understand them, and for me to love them, and for me to understand the power of forgiveness.  I am thankful for the pain, because the pain made me real and helped me to understand that transparency is the only way I can live my life, if I am to live it fully. 

So no... If I could go back into time, and change things, I wouldn't.  I like whats been done with who I have become.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Coccyx , My Coccyx, My Coccyx, My Lovely Lady Coccyx



Just what you always wanted to see...right?  Technically I took a screen shot of my xray tonight, so this counts towards the 365 project ;)

I got a call from the Dr.  She said the nurse who told me the other night that nothing is broken was right, but that my Coccyx is displaced.  It shouldn't turn in like it does in the picture.  Unfortunately there isn't much to do but wait for everything to heal.  There is a chance that my tailbone has always been detached, that I was born like this, and the trauma just aggravated it.  That's the route I am hoping for...

I am so fed up with my body right now.  I wish my connective tissues would do what they are supposed to do.  And it upsets me that my son inherited the same rheumatic stuff.  I don't want him to have to go through all the stuff I have.  But I guess it's like any other trait we hand down to our kids... we do the best with what we have and pray that they make it through intact.

And I really shouldn't complain.  I'm lucky to have the support system that I do, and I am thankful that I can turn to Jesus.  Things could always be worse.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Creative Kids


I am not a person that likes to sit.  I don't like to be told that I can't do anything, that I have no choice but to just let life happen around me.  I don't like not being able to fulfill obligations.  I don't like needing others.  A lot of it has to do with my desire to control everything around me.  Because, you know, if I can control everything around me then nothing can go wrong... right?  Um no. 

It's easy to blame everyone else for our own mistakes.  But the truth is, most of the time, we are our own worst enemy.  I fell on Sunday.  Did I slip on juice that one of the kids spilled? Yes.  But was it that child's fault that I fell? No.  That child told me that juice was spilled.  That child then tried desperately to clean it up on their own.  Unfortunately the cleaning created a bigger mess.  So, when I got downstairs to survey the damage, and I saw that what should have been a contained spill actually spanned from one side of the house to the other, I got mad.  I got so mad that I started rushing around.  And, as I stomped into the laundry room to angrily get a mop I slipped and fell.  I fell hard.  I hit my tailbone, my back, and my head.  I wasn't mad anymore.  I screamed and cried for help, and when the realization that I couldn't get up on my own hit, pride sunk in and I got worried that I would have to be taken to the ER in my ugly, yet comfortable robe and with hair that was bathed in apple juice.

That first day I was flat on the couch.  I wasn't angry anymore, but I definitely wasn't accepting of the predicament I was in.  Then the next day I got it in my head that I was going to be bigger then the injury and get myself to the Dr and be ready to take a road trip the next day.  Well, it didn't quite go down like that.  My pretty much new to me car died on the way to my appointment.  It had to be towed and has yet to be fixed.  At the end of the day, after majorly overdoing it, I found myself in big time pain.  Today was different though.  Today I accepted that in order to heal, I am going to have to give up on being everything to everyone, and everyone to myself.  I realized that it wasn't an attack from satan, but rather a gift from God.  It was my own human emotions that got me into this mess.  But it was God that got me out.  He took the bad and made it good.  How?  Because today I saw my kids in a way I haven't seen lately. 

It's so easy to get wrapped up in life, to get so bogged down with everything that we don't have the patience or the time to see what is right in front of us.  Afterall, every day there are things that need to be done, and individual needs make getting that stuff done more complicated!  But today, today I saw three kids who are a lot like me.  Today I realized that things don't always have to be as difficult as they feel, and that sometimes it's me who is expecting too much.  Today was a gift that I wouldn't have even noticed sitting there waiting to be unwrapped if it hadn't been for the fact that I was forced to stop.

Does this mean that tomorrow will be just as insightful? No.  Tomorrow may be a really crappy day.  But what I will bring into it, and into other days will hopefully change how I deal with it.

God always makes good out of bad if we are willing to let go.   And for that I am so thankful. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

DoctorTools





It's funny how a car can look to the casual observer as if there is nothing wrong with it.  There aren't any large dents or chips in the paint.  There may be a few slight blemishes but nothing that makes anyone question it's durability over the long haul.  When the owner complains of problems others don't quite understand why.  Everything looks fine.  But the driver knows different.  First the belts seem to wear quickly, they lose elasticity and won't stay in place.  Then the mechanism that holds the hood in place fails, and has to be replaced.  Eventually the car begins to fall apart from the inside out.  The owner takes the car in, the mechanic looks it over but is perplexed.  There really isn't any clear reason the car is having such problems.  A few different mechanics are called in, and they too see the issues, but can't really find a link that makes sense.  So, they call the owner and explain that they are going to do the best they can to take care of what's going on, but they can't guarantee that there won't be any more problems, or that what they fixed won't break again.  The owner leaves the shop frustrated and with nothing more then temporary fixes, and the knowledge that something else will eventually go wrong.

It's like that. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

On the Couch



Slipped on juice that had been spilled on the floor by one of the kids.  Landed flat on my back and injured my tailbone. It's going to be a couch day...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Boots


I've spent most of my life dancing. When I was little it was ballet, when I got older I did the club scene. Dance has always been a part of who I am. I hear a good beat and suddenly I am transported and I can feel the familiar desire in my muscles. My soul craves it. For me, it's the ultimate form of expression. I miss it and intend to find it again.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Brick Wall


There is so much I want to say.  But sometimes it's more important that you make sure what you share is done with the right attitude.  And right now I don't have that.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Watching Tv


So, today was a snow day for my kids and husband.  If you don't know what that means, it means none of them had to do what they normally do every day because snow fell in accumulations that made it unsafe to get where they need to go.  The reason I didn't include myself in the list of people who got a snow day is because I didn't.  I am a stay at home mom.  There are no sick days, no vacation days, and no snow days.  My job is literally 24/7.  The breaks that I do get during the day (ie the afternoons the youngest has preschool) are used for Dr appointments, school appointments, grocery shopping, cleaning, and whatever else I need to do that is easier to do without kids.  My weekends require even more work because all three kids are at home.  And if you remember from reading other blogs, 2 of those kids have special needs (1 of the 2 requires constant supervision)

So when I go away for the day alone, or go out to eat with friends, or go away without my husband or kids, it's because I need it.  If I don't take care of myself, then I can't take care of my kids, or my husband.  And my husband is just as capable of taking care of our three kids as I am, and I am thankful he has the ability to do it.  He knows how important it is that I take time to get refreshed.  Because as they say... if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

*For the record, I know working moms work just as hard, and yes you need breaks too :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuscon Shooting and the Parents Behind the Murderer

My heart is breaking for the parents of the man accused of the massacre in Arizona.  In many ways I can relate to what they must be feeling.  Can you imagine finding out that your child, the one you raised, the one you did your very best to help be a good person, made the decision to commit such a heinous act? 

I have 2 children who have mental health issues.  With both kids I have had to work hard to get them the necessary help to learn the tools necessary to function in society.  I've prayed without ceasing for all of my babies.  I've done everything I can, and will continue to do everything I can, to make sure they don't end up as statistics.  But what if... what if with all my efforts, with all my pleading, with all my interference... something still goes wrong?  What if my child who doesn't have any mental health issues decides to one day make a decision that will forever change her life and that of others? 

I've been reading some of the latest news articles where "friends" and neighbors are giving their opinion of this mans parents.  One "friend" even found it necessary to let reporters know what he thinks he remembers frequently seeing in their shopping cart.  Another "friend" commented on how the mother didn't make a point of engaging her in conversations while running errands.  A neighbor described how he felt the family was too private, they even went so far as to plant lots of bushes.   Are you serious?  Are you friggin kidding me?  I hope that if my grown child decides to act out inappropriately that my friends and neighbors don't find it necessary to smear me in the media.  Because guess what?  I buy things you may deem unnecessary.  I don't always make small talk with people I know (or barely know).  And sometimes I actually avoid people I know because I have things I need to be doing.  We also planted lots of greenery in our yard to keep neighbors and any passersby from being able to see every move we make. We like having privacy.  Those choices will not make a damn difference in what my children do with their lives.

This young man was 22 years old.  Any right his parents had to interfere with his mental health treatment flew out the window when he turned 18.  And I can promise you that the services they could have gotten him when he was younger were few and far in between.  I know this because of the battle that it takes to get my own children help.  These parents didn't have a right to speak to his Doctors, and if he wasn't threatening his life or that of others, then they couldn't force him to be hospitalized.  And even if they could force a hospitalization, once he got out it would have been up to him to refill and take his meds.  This person was sick.

Could his parents have done more?  Did they turn a blind eye?  Did they ignore blaring signs?  I can't answer that.  I don't know what they did or didn't do to help him.  And you know what?  I don't need them to tell me.  They didn't buy a gun, then buy ammunition, then go and open fire on innocent people.  And it's important to remember that they are grieving too.  They will now carry with them more guilt then most of us will ever know.  Their son killed people.  Can you IMAGINE that guilt?  Can you IMAGINE having to look people in the face knowing it was YOUR child that caused their pain?  Regular mommy guilt is nothing compared to this.  They will forever wonder "What if?".  They will play his life over and over and question every single bit of it and beat themselves up over what they should have done differently.  Their son didn't just take the lives of strangers that day, he took the lives of his parents with him too.

So before you judge these parents, you better start judging yourself.  Because if we are going to crucify them because of their son, then you better be ready for it to happen to you.  I can promise you this, even the best parents have the potential to raise a murderer.    

A Doll and a Computer


     I remember when our elementary school first got a computer.  We got to go once a week to the lab and play Oregon Trail.  It wasn't like today's games with the detailed graphics, it was dot matrix, little green and black dots that made up crude pictures.  When we got a computer in our house, we were one of the first of my friends.  And we didn't have public use internet, it hadn't been invented yet.  We had to do everything off of Dos Prompt and when you printed things you couldn't just put in a sheet, you had to load your pile of paper and make sure the holes lined up properly.  It wasn't until I was in college that the internet started gaining popularity in homes (I mainly used the computer lab at school).  At that point though you still had to use landlines and everything went really slow.  The first time I used Yahoo Messenger was in 1997 and it was the coolest thing, but the messages weren't nearly as instant as they are now, and a lot of people didn't know what it was.  But if you mentioned ICQ chat, a select group of people knew exactly what you meant (typically your WoW players).

     Things have really changed.  Most every home in the US has a computer, with internet.  It's rare to find a cell phone that can't access the internet.  Most fast food joints have free WiFi.  Computers have become a part of our lifestyle.  And regardless of what you think about computers, and the internet, and technology in general, computers and the internet are going to continue to become more and more a part of our daily life.  What I find interesting, and the main reason I decided on this blog topic today, is how well people think they know you based on your internet presence.     

     It's a well known fact that I am active on Facebook.  It's always surprising to me when people can't understand how I am able to get online so often.  First of all, I'm a stay at home mom and there are times during the week where no kids are at home.  Also, I have a laptop, and my laptop is in a central location.  So if I am sitting down watching Dora or some other obnoxious show, I jump on real quick and see what other people are up to, and sometimes update my status.  I have the internet on my phone.  So sometimes when I am stuck in a waiting room, or in line somewhere, it's quite easy to send a quick status update.

   I use Facebook (email) as a way to keep up with people in a way that I don't have the time to on a regular basis.  And a fact about me - I hate talking on the phone.  I didn't like it before the internet, I don't care for it now.  There are very few people that I will actually take the time to talk to on the phone, and I can garuntee you I am doing 3 other things at the same time.  If I were to talk face to face (or ear to ear) with all the people with whom I am connected to every day, then I really would never get anything done.

    Here is something else you should know though too.  I don't share my whole life on Facebook.  What you see posted is actually about 1/4th of what goes on minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day, week to week in my life.  It's a snapshot of my life, but not my life.  I am willing to share other stuff with you, but you need to know it's not going to happen through a news feed.  And I understand that it's the same way for most everyone else too.  And that's ok.  In reality it's still more then you or I, if we aren't extremely close, would know about each other if we frequently talked or saw each other in person.

   My point is, and I promise I am getting there, is that technology has come a long way.  And things like Facebook are great tools for people like me to share a glimpse, and get a glimpse of life.  But don't assume that everything you read is, well everything.  And don't assume you know a person, or how they divide their time, or really, anything, based just on what you see them doing on Facebook.  It's important to still have relationships, to do stuff with people, to get off the couch, or the chair and live life.  Just make sure you bring your phone and send a picture to Facebook or update your status so I can get a glimpse of just what keeps you going.   

Monday, January 10, 2011

Milk in a Fridge


There is this interesting phenomena that happens whenever certain types of weather are being predicted.  It happened when we lived in Florida.  When preparing for hurricanes and the such we had to stock up on water, batteries, canned goods and other emergency staples.  Living up in the north we make sure to have eggs, milk and bread in the house when the possibility of massive snowfall is reported.  In both cases there are people at the extreme who stock up on supplies as if the result of the impending forecast will mean they are going to be stuck in their homes with no way out for a long period of time.  What is interesting is that the reality of being unable to go out and get important essentials past a few days is actually quite rare.  Yet we still react.

I went to the grocery store today, not with the purpose of stocking up on anything important.  I actually just wanted to make sure I had food for the kids in case the snow equaled no school, and I didn't want to deal with the massive amounts of people feeding into storm hysteria tomorrow.  What's funny though is that I ended up being one of those people.  I purchased 3 gallons of milk on Saturday.  That's my typical weekly amount.  But then I went to the store today and was thinking about the fact that it was cold, and snow was coming, and bought 3 more gallons of milk.  When I got home and opened the outside fridge and saw the milk from Saturday I realized I now have 6 gallons of milk in the house.  That's 1 gallon more then the number of people who live here. 

So bring on the snow.  If nothing else we will come out of it with stronger bones.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Cat Drinking from the Sink

Yeah I know... enough with the cat photos and blogs. But it's late, I'm tired and I want to put a good effort in with the 365 thing. So here ya go. My cat, drinking water the only way she will.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Scout and his Derby Car

It makes me really happy to see my kids happy.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Smart Cat



This may sound silly, especially to people who don't understand the point of animals, but I love my cat.  She really is part of the family.  I truly believe that God intended for people and animals to share their lives, and it's always interesting to me to talk to people who really don't like (or understand the need for) pets.  Yes, one day my pets will pass away.  Yes, my pets use the restroom and I have to clean it up.  Yes, I have to feed my pets every day.  But, what my pets have given me in return is often times more then most humans.  If you want to understand the definition of unconditional love, and by that I mean love that expects NOTHING in return, and love that will continue even if discourse occurs - love that regardless of what happens is deep and pure, then look no further then the devotion and care an animal gives its human.  It's as if God wanted us to get a small glimpse of what He feels for us.

I've had animals in my home my entire life.  The only time I haven't is when my husband and I were first living together and he had somehow been convinced he was allergic to all animals with hair.  When we adopted our first dog, Casey, it was neat to see how that affected my husband and the bond they shared.  And it was a heartbreaking day when we had to say goodbye to her.  Now I see my kids interacting with the four legged creatures in our home and it brings such joy.  So yeah, I love my cat (and my dogs and Amber's cat).  

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Tattoo






I heard some noises in the bathroom and went to investigate only to find my youngest standing in the sink putting a tattoo on her lower back.  It's a curious spot for an almost 5yr old to use.  The typical placement for young ones is usually on the top of the hand, or on the arm.  When I asked here where she learned to put a tattoo there she told me she saw it on a person she has a relationship with.  I had never noticed that this person had ink there, but she had.  It really made me think about what things kids notice...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

TLC on TV

Can anyone tell me what part of this is ok? This is so disturbing.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Blurry Face


I'm going to admit to something that moms aren't supposed to admit to other moms, let alone themselves.  I don't fully remember my middle daughter as a baby.  I remember her as a child older then 18 months, and I remember bits and pieces before that, mainly moments surrounded by specific events, but on a whole, it's sorta one big blur.  I have valid reasons.  My grandfather passed away and my son is only 12 months older then her (and has special needs).  But the bigger issue is that I was suffering from Postpartum Depression.  Many of you may be wondering why I decided to share something that you feel shouldn't be discussed, that it is private family stuff.  Here is why.  PPD stole memories.  It kept me locked inside the shell of who I was, just going through the motions of the person I thought I was supposed to be.  It kept me from bonding to my child the way I wanted to.  It made me turn to alcohol when I went out with friends and was away from the kids.  It made me question my value as a person, as a wife, and as a mom.  It made me disappear.  And if sharing my own struggle helps another mom, then I don't care who knows.  Postpartum Depression is a real thing.  Most of the time it is triggered by the hormonal changes that occur after a baby has been delivered.  Sometimes it latches on to depression that was already there and takes a joy ride.  It is really important that if you think you may be depressed, that you seek out help.  And don't listen to any Dr that tells you your feelings just come with being a mom.

My PPD resolved around the time my middle daughter turned 18 months.  And thankfully, I have many years of good solid memories with her, and many more to come.  And for the times I have to work to remember, I treasure the photos.

For more information on Postpartum Depression, click here.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Doorknob


I knew it would happen eventually, especially since one of youngest child's new obsessions is tricking people into her room then locking the door.  I was on the phone when I went in to save the cat.  In all fairness to my daughter, she was nowhere around when I originally entered.  She came in a few minutes after I did inquiring as to why I was even in her room.  The curiosity quickly turned to opportunity when she shut the door then sneakily looked at me and announced "I locked it.".  My husband and I had intended to make sure we hid a key in the room, as it wasn't the first time she had tried this.  Every other time she had been on the outside, or someone else had been home to rescue.  But not today.  Today it was just her and me.  I got excited when I realized I had a bobby pin in my hair.  That quickly turned to frustration though as I realized today's rendition are not made out of the hard metal of old.  It bent awkwardly under pressure.  I had no choice but to sit by an open window and wait for my older daughter to come home and rescue us.  Thankfully our garage door has a keypad and she was able to get inside to unlock the door.  Otherwise it would have been my youngest and I stuck in the room, and my older two children stuck outside.  Then we would have had to call the neighbor to get the spare key.   

As I was thinking about the whole situation I couldn't help but think about other times in my life where I feel like I am stuck in one place, and the door that I think should open doesn't.  Rather it's bolted quite firmly.  I wonder then if it means I am supposed to just give up and accept that I am stuck in that one place forever.  Should I call for help?  Or should I just surrender to the circumstances and let happen what will?  Here is what I think.  Sometimes we have to wait until we see someone who can help us, someone who has the key.  Other times we just have to wait until a passerby happens to realize the door is shut and opens it just at that point where we thought all was lost.  And sometimes, if we turn around, we will see that there is a window and that it might not be the best way to get where we are going, but that it is the only way.  The hard part in all of this is waiting.  We are so sure there are other, more important things we should be doing.  That surely our time is being wasted just sitting in one place.  When you feel that, take a step back and look around at all the stuff going on right where you are.  You might realize there is something, or someone, that needs to be taken care of first.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Shoes


They say you can’t understand what someone else is going though unless you’ve gone through it yourself.  The thing is, even those who have gone there, don’t always understand. 

Maya Angelou is quoted as saying “All God’s children need traveling shoes.”  If you had asked me years ago what that means I probably would have given you some ambiguous Christianese statement that gave the illusion of understanding.  Not now though.  Now I have a real understanding of what she meant.  If I am to go where I am needed, where God is calling me to be, then I need to be ready, even if I’m not particularly prepared.  I just have to have my shoes on.  And it’s ok that my shoes are old and tattered.  It just means I’ve been using them.

2010 was a growing year for me.  I learned what it meant to really rely on nothing other then Jesus.  I took a step back and let God do His work, and trusted in His timing.  I gained a new understanding for what friendship really means and that not every relationship has to look the same way.  I realized what it really means to be a parent, and accepted that sometimes it means letting go.  I fought battles – with myself, with others, and with satan.  Some of those battles I won, some I lost, and others I let die out.  I prayed like I have never prayed before, and then prayed again.  I never gave up on what was important but let pass what wasn’t worth it.  I tried new things.  Some of those things I failed at, and others I didn’t.  I cried, a lot.  I laughed even more.  I made time for me, even when others who should understand why I needed to, didn’t.  I accepted help, although more often declined it, but I always appreciated the offer.  I admitted I couldn’t do it all, and for once, determined it was ok to say no, and to excuse myself from that which I couldn’t continue.  I began to smash the old records in my head, and worked hard not to replace them with new ones.  I defeated the desire to go back to old ways of handling things when times were tough, and picked up new tools to keep myself going.  I walked, a lot.  And when I couldn’t walk anymore, I rested, and then I started again. 

I can’t say if I ended 2010 a better person, a better mother, a better wife, or a better friend.  But I tried.  And I’d like to think that if nothing else, I ended the year with a few holes in my shoes.     

A Broken Spatula


My spatula broke.  That's what happens when you drop it on the way to bringing a casserole to church and then someone drives over it.

In the Car






This is technically a picture from yesterday, so it counts for yesterday ;)  The original picture didn't have the fuzziness to it - I added it because when I looked at it I thought I looked like I could be dreaming of the fact that school starts back up soon. Heh.