Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sometimes I Wonder Where These Thoughts Spawn From

     The title of this post was taken from the song The Monster by Eminem and ft. Rihanna.

     My jaw tightens and my teeth clamp down a little harder as I literally try to bite back the tears. I grind the inside of my cheek between my teeth and focus on that for a bit. If I just focus long enough on the physical pain maybe I can avoid the emotional pain that is right there on the surface. It doesn't work and I utter a curse as the first tear slips over my closed eye lid and quietly makes its way down my face. I fiercely wipe it away and excuse myself to the bathroom. Rewind to ten minutes before this.
     Tyler's cell phone stopped working a few weeks ago and she has been begging us to buy her a new one. She isn't allowed to have a smartphone and I just didn't want to spend money on a replacement phone. Last night I pulled out an old phone of Mike's, the Blitz. It was the last non-smartphone he had and he loved it. I'm not sure why we kept it but alas here it is. I decided to go ahead and let Tyler have it. I plugged it in and let it charge. Mike had deleted almost everything in it...almost. He had left his downloaded ringtones on the phone. All of them were from NIN songs, except one. He had recorded himself doing the Tarzan yell, you know the one "Ahhhhaaaahhhhhahaaaa" or something like that. It was his voice but it sounded weird and distorted. In that moment I slide the inside of my cheek between my teeth and bite down a little. We laugh as we listen to it several times. I miss his kooky (that's a word he often used) humor. I continue to look through the phone and I find one single text message in the draft folder. It was a text that was meant for me and it simply said...

"This is fun."

I bite down a little harder. Through clenched teeth I tell Tyler she isn't allowed to delete the ringtones or the message. John looks at me and patiently asks why I'm allowing her to have the phone. I bite a little harder. Focus Melanie just focus. I offer a shrug and close my the bathroom I let myself wonder what this simple text was in reference to. The rational side of me sees this simply as a message that was never sent. There is another part of me that wants this to be a sign from Mike that he is still watching over us. I release my cheek from the grip of my teeth and run my tongue along the grooves that I've temporarily embedded on myself. Shaking my head I gather my composure and return to my family. I offer them a weak smile and an"I'm fine." John gives me a hug and kisses my forehead. He understands and accepts me where I am.
     It's the small unexpected reminders of Mike that bring on these emotions. On a day to day basis I can talk about him without crying. Most of the time I can handle it...sometimes I can't. It upsets the kids to see me cry so I try to be strong for them. Sometimes I fail.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

You Hold My Hope In Your Palms

     The title of this post was taken from the song Don't Let Go Yet by David Roch.

     How the heck did my mom and dad manage to raise four kids without going crazy?! Let me give you some insight into what a few hours of my afternoon looked like today. I took John back to work from his lunch break at 2:00 (our van is out of commission for the moment). I picked up Mason from the bus stop at 2:50 and then went home to meet Tyler as she got off the bus at 3:05. I fed Jaxon really quick before running to get Sebastian from his bus at 4:00. I brought him home and began prepping dinner before I had to go pick up John from work. Here is how our conversations went from there.

4:15 pm - I'm attempting to figure out exactly what I want to fix for dinner given that we really need to go grocery shopping.

Tyler - "Mom, when are we going to the store to get stuff for my science project?"

Me - "After John gets home and sometime before bedtime."

Tyler - "Well, will you help me study for math."

Me - "I will but I need you to go study first and then we can review it."

Tyler - "But I don't need to study I just need to go over it with you."

Me - "Study first and then we can..."

Tyler - "But, I don't..."

Me - "Please just go do it."

Mason then walks into the kitchen and put his math paper in front of my face.

Mason - "Mom, I don't understand this. What do I do."

Me - "Read me the..."

Tyler yelling from the living room - "But I asked for help first!"

Me - "...directions. Tyler, I can answer his question in two seconds, to help you study I need more time. Please just wait."

Mason reads me the directions as Tyler yells again that she asked for help first.

Sebastian yells from the living room - "Jaxon is crying what do you want me to do?"

Me - "Tyler, you will have to wait, but please study. Mason, add the money together on the paper and write the total amount. Sebastian, just hang on a second and I'll take him."

Tyler - "Well, I'm done."
Mason - "Thanks."
Sebastian - "Can I feed Jaxon?"

Me - "No, he just ate. Just hang on."

Sebastian walks into the kitchen as Tyler slams her bedroom door - "What are you fixing?"

Me - "Baked chicken and potato cakes."

Sebastian - "I'd rather have mashed potatoes and Jaxon is still fussy. When are you going to the store because I want to go and buy some books."

At this point someone might wear the potatoes if I don't get some peace and quiet.

Me - "Just bring Jaxon to me and I'm not sure when we are going to the store. I have to finish what I'm doing before I go pick up John. Please wait."

Tyler  walks back into the kitchen - "Well when is John coming home I need to get my stuff."

Me - "I'm picking him up in a few minutes and I know you need to go to the store."

Tyler - "Well, if we hadn't waited until the last minute to do this..."

Me - "Tyler, please be paitent. We will get it done."

And within the span of an hour I have a massive headache and a deep sense that I am so screwing up as a parent. After dinner I sit down and look at the pictures from the photo session we had done yesterday. I'll pretend we are always the put together family these pictures portray :) Seriously had a great time having these done!

Pictures taken by Tony Maro. Check out his website at

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Gray Would Be The Color If I Had A Heart

    The title of this post is from the song Something I Can Never Have by NIN.

      Gray is the color for today. I watch out the kitchen window as a little squirrel runs around our yard. I'm immediately grateful that I'm inside my warm and toasty home and not out there in the cold drizzling rain. I hold my steamy cup of hot chocolate so that the heat warms my hands. I'm always cold. In this rare quiet moment I contemplate how I arrived at this exact place in my life.
     Often times, I can't make sense of the direction my life has taken and, most times, it seems surreal. Regardless of the fragmented events that have propelled me to this exact point in time, I'm content in this particular moment. I want to grab hold of these feelings and never let them go. If only everyday, every minute could be filled with such contentment. I wish I could make this moment last.
     I look over and see my to-do list sitting on the counter; a list that I know I won't come close to finishing today. I set my mug down and pick up the list, "It's just stuff Melanie. It's just stuff." I reiterate this over and over again. Finally I fold the paper in half and rip it into tiny pieces. For the next few minutes I'm just going to be okay with me the way I am right now.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

But At Night When The House Is Dark

The title of this post was taken from the song Creepy Doll by Jonathan Coulton.

     I am delusional... let's just throw it out right from the start. I had plans for my maternity leave. I knew I was having a c-section, but I had planned on being up and moving within days. I had planned on John going back to work and me being superwoman...that is...if superwoman wore PJ's and shirts with baby puke on them. I was going to keep the house clean, cook dinner every night, spend extra time with the kids, work on some of those Pinterest projects I've been dying to try, start my new ABA class, get in some supervision hours for class, and, on top of all of this, baby Jaxon was going to be the best cared for baby ever. Are you laughing yet? Clearly, I'm delusional. What I had not counted on was a long recovery. (Ain't no one got time for that mess) I need this recovery over with.
     I quickly learned that having a c-section was no laughing matter and who can laugh, cough, or sneeze without immense pain after having their abdomen sliced open 4-5 inches. I learned the hard way that I needed help. UGH! The dreaded H word! My LEAST favorite 4-letter word. I have had to depend on John to take over when I can't take another step. I've had to ask for h*** when I can't hold my eyes open one more minute. I cried from pain after I attempted to pull weeds from the flowerbed. John did an I told you so dance after that and I realized I should have listened and taken it easy.
     Jaxon is 3 weeks old now and I'm still in denial about how long this recovery process is going to take. I am taking my ABA class and managing to stay on top of that or at least not fall too far behind. When I do manage to clean house, I pay for it with pain later so I get the bare minimum done on a daily basis. I have cooked dinner a few times but not the amazing meals I had planned on. I have yet to start my supervision hours and I'm not sure when I'll be ready to. Every morning or night I make a to-do list. I tell myself that today is going to be better. I'm going to feel better and I'm going to accomplish something. At the end of every day I look at my list and shake my head in disgust at the lack of things I actually managed to accomplish.
     I know I should just be enjoying this time off and taking it easy but that has proven to be much more difficult than I had ever imagined. I just want to physically be able to do whatever I want/need to do whenever I want to do it. For heaven's sake! When did getting in and out of the car become a process?! I feel like a little old lady as I use my step stool to get into bed each night. Can someone just stamp a big L on my forehead and we shall call it a day?...

Be A Simple Kind Of Man And Be Something You'll Love And Understand

     The title of this post was taken from the song Simple Man by Shinedown.

     Jaxon Alexander Mullineaux was born on Oct. 14 at 12:47 pm. He weighed 8lbs 8oz and was 21 inches long. I don't care to go into all the details. I ended up having a scheduled c-section and it was a very different experience from having three natural deliveries. Everyone is healthy and well.  

Look at that precious face! Nine months to grow this little fella and nine months to do a lot of worrying. Nine months of being unsure of how I would handle being a new mom again. Nine months of worry about how the other kids would do once the baby was here.  Nine months of worry over the fact I'm 34 and having a baby, am I too old for this? Nine months of worry about how we would financially afford a baby, especially since I don't have paid maternity leave. Nine months of random weird looks and questions from people wondering why I would want another child. Nine months of feeling like I had to defend my decision to have another child. Nine months of constant worry. All of that disappeared when I held my son for the first time. I know I'll be a good mom, not perfect, but good. We made the choice to have a child and he will grow up in a home where he is loved. I am in love.