Friday, January 31, 2014

Do You Have The Time To Listen To Me Whine

The title of this post was taken from the song Basket Case by Green Day.    

 Me: "Did you get it?"

Plumber: "Well, I'm not really sure. The water seems to be draining but call us back if it backs up again."

A week later...

Me: "Did you get it?"

Plumber: "Well...I wasn't able to retrieve the toy but the water is draining. Hopefully, it was pushed through. If this doesn't work, call us but we will have to take out some of the ceiling downstairs to get to the pipes and get it out."

Just Freaking Fantastic!!! 

This little adventure with the plumber started a few weeks ago. Mason came downstairs one afternoon and said a toy had gone down his bathtub drain and the water wouldn't drain. Try as we might, we couldn't fix it ourselves. Oh, you want to know what went down the drain?...a bad piggy from an Angry Birds game. It was the size of a golf ball and squishy. BAD PIGGY! As this was happening, Sebastian's shower stopped draining and once again we couldn't fix it. So, we call the plumbers and had them come out.

Me: "So, you think you can fix Sebastian's shower."

Plumber: "Well, the drain cap needs replaced and it's about 50 years old. They don't make it anymore. I'm going to have to take it back to the shop and see if I can fix it myself."

Just Freaking Fantastic!

Then the boiler for the heat starts to act up and, at one point, the heat didn't turn on. Lucky for us, our plumber also does heating and air. I didn't deal with them on this particular interaction John did but $400 later here we are.

Me on Wednesday: "Hey John can you turn the heat down it's like 76 degrees in here."

John on Friday: "So hun, I turned the thermostat totally off and the heat is still running nonstop. So, the air conditioner is running to keep the house at a decent temp."

Just Freaking Fantastic!

I guess we will call them to come back on Monday.

Oh, you thought that was the end of my crabby patty post, well you'd be wrong. Thursday my first paycheck since Oct. went into our bank account...all four hundred dollars of it. I was expecting more and was, sadly, disappointed. Who needs money right?

Just Freaking Fantastic!

And one more thing. If one more person tells me how lucky I am to be a teacher because I get random snow days and summers off, well I might just scream. I have a 10 month contract. I do not get paid for being off in the summer. I choose to have my 10 months of pay spread out over 12 months so that we can eat during the summer. As far as snow days go, we make them up. I may get to stay home on that day but I will make it up.  Man I really am a crabby patty today!

Rant over!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Everybody's Looking For Something

     The title of this post was taken from the song Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics.

     After my last post, I had several people message me and some told how their children have struggled with anxiety. I deeply appreciate all the positive messages and encouragement. I was also asked how the other two children were handling the loss of their dad. It's been a very different grieving process for them all. Sebastian grew up in almost an instant. On April 13, 2011, he was a care free normal 11 year old boy but, on April 14, 2011, he was instantly thrown into a life experience that is a harsh reality for us all. A reality that no child is prepared for...nor should they have to be. He cried the night Mike passed away; since then, I can count on one hand how many times I've seen him cry. I don't know if he felt like he needed to be strong for me because, clearly, I couldn't hold it together or if his was more of a private grieving. I think its the latter. I was talking to Tyler one day when she told me she has seen him cry about Mike on many occasions. Maybe he feels like he shouldn't add to my grief. I'm not sure. We have talked about it before and I've told him it's okay to let it out. He just grieves privately. I must point out, he has no trouble talking about his dad on a day to day basis.
     For the first two years, Tyler constantly asked me questions. "Why did he have to die? What was heart disease? Why did he have heart disease? How did he have a heart attack? Why did he leave her?" It was non-stop questions all the time. I know this was her way of trying to rationalize something that seemed completely irrational. In the last year, the questions have dwindled as she has come to accept that he's gone and, while he loved her very much and vice versa, he is never coming back.
      Mason had complete melt downs for the first year or so. He would crumble into a pile on my lap or at my feet and scream that he wanted his daddy. It was absolutely heart breaking. I don't think his 4 year old mind could process what I, as an adult, had trouble processing. He didn't want the logical reasons like his sister. He didn't care about any of that. He just wanted his dad back. The melt downs have grown less frequent but, like I said, in my last post, he has replaced them with anxiety...about everything.
     We are slowly figuring out how to live our lives without him. We have all changed. Forever. Irrevocably. The worst part for me is I like the old me much better. I was a bit more carefree and a lot less cynical. I'm often amazed that even with all of this going on John still loves me and all my crazy. I know he would have liked the old Mel a lot more. I hate that he doesn't get to see that. It scares me sometimes. Other times, I wonder what he was like before he went through a horrible divorce. I wonder if we would have been better. I wonder if we would not have been ready for each other without these experiences. 3 years ago, I would never have thought that Mike's untimely death would also have a deep impact on people he would never meet. We are all learning, changing, and figuring it out. The best thing is; we're doing it together.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

There's Nothing In This World I Wouldn't Do

     The title of this post was taken from the song Hey Brother by Avicii.

     Getting a little personal here but this is part of the ups and downs of our life. My dearest 7 year old suffers from anxiety. It started about a year and a half ago and it seemed like nothing more than separation anxiety at the time. He would get upset if he didn't know where I was and would later tell me that he thought I was dead. This is understandable given what he's been through in his short little life. Sometimes I wonder if Mason's monster is my fault because I for sure had some separation anxiety with the kids after Mike passed. None the less, the anxiety is starting to generalize to the point that we are seeing it manifested in different ways at home and school. Its enough that I felt it was time to do something about it. I've done a lot of research lately. What I've found is that there is an overlap between the symptoms of anxiety disorders and ADHD in children. In one article that I read, I learned that 1/4 of children with anxiety disorders have ADHD and younger children with overanxious disorder or separation anxiety are especially likely to also have ADHD. This makes me wonder how many kids get diagnosed with ADHD when the real problem is anxiety. I feel certain Mason could have fallen into this category. So...lots of things to think about.
   Back in December, I took Mason to a child psychiatrist After one two hour session, the doctor wanted to put him on Zoloft and told me if I wanted him to have counseling that I could contact my local Community Services Board (Seriously?! You are a doctor! We are right here asking for help!!) He then went on to say they would see me in a month to evaluate how the medicine was doing. Now, I'm not against medication when it is needed but I am against putting him on medicine and then not fixing the underlying problems. When I addressed my concerns with the doctor his reply was, "If it makes you feel any better we put kids on this all the time."...What? No. That in no way makes me feel any better. I left with the prescription in hand and even took it to the pharmacy. But, after doing my own research, I decided this was not the route we were going to take. While it may be a perfect course of action for some, I knew that this was not what he needed. Furthermore, this was not a data-driven medical decision and I refuse to use mentalistic reasoning to decide if my son's course of treatment is really working or not. 
     Yesterday, I took Mason to see a therapist; Dr. Rob. It went really well and Mason really liked him. We are going to go back. I hope that we can give Mason the tools he needs to cope with whatever is going on in that tiny head of his. Really, look at this face...pure preciousness.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy Birthday To You. Happy Birthday Dear Mike.

     The title of this post was taken from the birthday song :)

     Jan. 23 was/would have been Mike's 38th birthday. It was a weird day for me and I was a bit moody. The roads were still in poor condition from the snow and so we weren't able to make it to the cemetery. We did buy balloons, have the kids write messages to their dad on them, and then let them go at the house. John even wrote on a ballon for Mike. It was very sweet of him to show such support for us and what that day means. Mason laughed with surprise and delight when he saw John let the balloon go with ours. In the days that followed John and the kids watched Star Wars Episode I and II. I am beyond grateful that John is able to delve into the interests that the kids shared with their dad. Here's to another birthday without him.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Addicted To The Love I Found. Heavy Heart, Now a Weightless Cloud

The title of this post was taken from the song Catch My Breath by Kelly Clarkson.
     I am so blessed. Yesterday we were out of school and John and I had my family, and the missionaries from our church, over for dinner. My youngest brother Michael is moving this week and it was our last chance to all be together for awhile.  Mandaly was sick and wasn’t able to make it, but Matthew and his family were able to join us. John and I cooked all day making a three-gallon pot of soup, homemade rolls, a cookie cake for dessert and my mom brought a delicious salad. As we were all sitting around the table catching up and retelling stories from our childhood, I couldn’t help but feel completely at peace with my life. I’m living the life that I want with the people that I love. I can’t help but wonder if this is what it will be like when our kids are grown. Will we gather in one of their homes as they recall stories from their childhood? I am grateful for my three siblings and for the opportunity my kids have to come from a large family. They will always have each other for love and support.  John and I want one more child and then our family will be complete. Until then we will cherish the memories we are making…and oh what memories they are.

 Waking up to his precious face each morning makes me smile. I can't help but wonder what he will be like a year from now. 


      Mason reading Jaxon one of his favorite books The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. As Mason was reading he looked at me and said "Usually I cry when I read this book, but I think I'm okay today." This is what being a mother is all about. 

The adult table...except for Sebastian and Tyler, they always manage to get out of sitting at the little kids table.

From left to right

My uncle Dale,  my amazing Dad, and my brother Michael.


The little kids table :) sorry Trena. My mom isn't in any of the pictures because she was sitting in the living room feeding Jaxon.

This is what life is about.